Tony Lucca, Anna Rose and Castle Creek at The Studio at Webster Hall NYC [Live Review]

Check out my latest review on Live For Live Music on Tony Lucca, Anna Rose and Castle Creek Band – The Studio at Webster Hall NYC – Thursday, April 16, 2015 !!



Getting To Know After Funk: The Grooviest New Band North of the Border

Check out my feature on Electric Forest’s Instrumental Forester for 2014, After Funk, on Live For Live Music!!! They are headed to the States for their spring & summer 2015 tour!!



Jeff LeBlanc marks a new chapter with ‘Vision’

jeff1– Also Published In The Fairfield Mirror –

New York native Jeff LeBlanc is on tour with his highly anticipated album “Vision,” which will be released on May 12. LeBlanc is a likable, down-to-earth musician who has honed the art of songwriting. The Sirius XM “Singer/Songwriter Discovery of the Year” nominee broke the Top 10 of the iTunes Top 200 Singer/Songwriter Chart – twice. His latest, “My Own Way There” (2013), “is like driving with the top down.” “With Jeff at the wheel, he takes you on a winding road through a varied landscape of songs and stories,” stated MTV. Its predecessor, “Worth Holding On To,” (2011) climbed to number three on the iTunes chart and both albums began rotation on Sirius XM’s The Coffee House. Now in the spotlight, the Sacred Heart 2008 alumnus began touring with Gavin DeGraw, Chris Isaak, Ingrid Michaelson, Luke Bryan, Lifehouse and David Archuleta. As a self-managed artist, LeBlanc has made great strides since his 2009 debut “Signals” EP. LeBlanc’s music has appeared on MTV series like “Jersey Shore,” “Teen Mom,” “The Real World” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

The 29 year-old will be headed to Fairfield Theatre Company on Friday, May 1 as part of his album release party – which also includes a stop at Joe’s Pub (New York City) on April 26 and at Club Passim (Cambridge, Mass.) on May 6 . LeBlanc is a regular at StageOne and no stranger to Fairfield’s campus – including his appearance on WVOF last month, where LeBlanc played a track off the new record.

Since then LeBlanc has released a single off of the album “Stumbled,” which is available for those who pre-order “Vision.” The single recounts the blunders of dating and heartbreak, but is contrasted by LeBlanc’s upbeat groove and catch hook: “I can’t believe it, how quick you broke my heart in two / I can’t believe it how I stumbled over you.”

“Vision” was tracked at Nashville’s Sound Emporium, which has seen artists from Jack Clement and Johnny Cash to Willie Nelson, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney. In his artist bio, LeBlanc wrote “Listening to this album feels like catching up with an old friend over a cup of coffee” – a mixture of maturity, intimacy and familiarity. “I was listening to a lot of pop music,” said LeBlanc. “I saw Justin Timberlake live and listened to bands like Michael Jackson which began to influence this record. I started playing simple songs, like ‘Stumbled’ which is only two chords, over drum loops and programming.” All of this translated into a simplistic and relatable song-form. 

Based on LeBlanc’s track record, “Vision” marks a new chapter for both the emerging artist and his fans alike. On this brink, what makes LeBlanc’s records so addictive? It has been narrowed down – a humble feeling and energy behind each hook that captivates and rejuvenates in the ears of the listener; so roll-down those windows and tune in to the “vision” ahead.

‘Here Come The Girls’ by The London Souls

tls  Also Published with Live For Live Music: READ HERE –

The secret is out – New York trio The London Souls released their latest effort Here Come the Girls on Tuesday, April 7 on Feel Records. The Rock and Roll outfit draws upon British influences of Cream and Led Zeppelin, combined with funk, soul, lyrical hooks and rocking instrumental breaks – the new album serves up 13 reasons to jump on the Souls’ bandwagon. The London Souls are a fusion of past and present, mixing The Beatles and The Hollies with the psychedelia of contemporaries like My Morning Jacket.

Together Tash Neal, guitar and vocals, Chris St. Hilaire, drums and vocals, and Stu Mahan, bass, are The London Souls. Since 2008, the trio has redefined Rock and Roll, praised by music critic Maura Johnston as “amazingly tight… swampy rock music that should make any lazy rock radio programmer rethink the word ‘grunge’…an absolute must-see.”

Although the album trumps Johnston’s words, it fails to capture their energetic live performances. The Souls have appeared at Austin’s SXSW, Telluride Blues, Brooklyn’s Afro-Punk Festival, moe.down, and held the opening spot for Rolling Stone editor Austin Scaggs’ PETTY FEST at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom. The group just finished their stint with Virginia based Americana band Sons of Bill and have shared the stage with The Roots, Janelle Monae, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, The Cool Kids, Soulive, Big Boi, Shooter Jennings and Steel Train.


The opening track “When I’m With You” is melodic and lyric driven, with loud fills around the toms and a driving chorus reminiscent of an energetic, hard-rock Beatles tune. “Steady,” the second song, sits back in the pocket – Hilare clearly taking notice to John Bonham’s precision on “Kashmir.” Not only do The London Souls sound the part, but they look it too. As we delve deeper into the album we discover new interpretations paired seamlessly with musical innovation and feeling. It is clear where The London Souls came from and, with striking confidence, Here Come the Girls sets a new tempo for the up-and-coming Rock duo.

But The London Souls reveal a soft side – “Hercules” and  “Isabell” are soothing, from Neal’s fingerstyle guitar to the hypnotising lyrics. It is all about peaks and valleys – keeping us guessing if the songs will coax us into a deep sleep or startle with pronounced electric guitar riffs. Other tracks like “How Can I Get Through” are upbeat and frantic while “Bobby James” becomes soulful and relaxed. What can’t The London Souls do? Lyric hooks, smooth harmonies and syncopated rhythms fuse with the shuffle on drums and stride piano that is “Bobby James.” Latter tracks like “Run Zombie Run” are spooky – a mix of dissonant chords, slide guitar and almost-falsetto voice – now, cue the abrupt double-time doo-wop frenzy.

This is a band that has found their sound and knows how to flaunt it. Listen to “Here Come the Girls” HERE!

 Also Published with Live For Live Music: READ HERE –

Related: Show Review: The London Souls Show No Sign of Slowing Down With Album Release Party by Sara Furer

Anna Rose and Lee Dewyze on StageOne

American Idol winner Lee Dewyze will perform on StageOne [TOMORROW ] Wednesday, April 8 with Rock ‘n’ Roll singer Anna Rose. Along with the opening act My Silent Bravery, the night will be full of original music and new material from Rose and Dewyze. VIP tickets are available which include early entry, poster, meet-and-greet, and 2-song sound-check performance with Lee Dewyze.

From American Idol to StageOne:

leedwyDubbed as “a cross between Cat Stevens and Paul Simon,” the 2010 American Idol winner is not your typical pop star. Dewyze’s voice is powerful, accompanied by strong rhythm guitar. The conviction and unmasked feeling within each lyric has been constant in both Dewyze’ original material, as well as with each Idol performance. During the judge’s choice in the 2010 season Simon Cowell chose Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” because, “we have heard this song before, but I don’t think we’re gonna hear it like Lee is going to do.” Dewyze receive praise from Cowell, the rest of the panel and fans, including Ellen DeGeneres who quoted his performance as “stunning.” Idol may have put Dewyze on the map, but the former paint salesman was always dedicated to music. “I worked to keep music as a hobby and I was able to make it a career,” said Dewyze. “I had played all sorts of gigs before Idol and my initial thoughts on the show were all about seeing how far I could get.”

Still humbled in the eyes of reality television – Dewyze has gone on to write original material for The Walking Dead; “Blackbird Song,” which was featured during bob Stookey’s wandering scene on Season four, episode 13. Dewyze landed “Fight” from his 2013 album ‘Frames’ on The CW Network’s comedy series Hart of Dixie and in a Chilean Bank Commercial. Growing up, Dewyze was drawn to 60’s and 70’s music with the guidance of his father. “I learned how to play like my idols (Cat Stevens, Eric Clapton, Simon & Garfunkel) and was always loved telling stories,” said Dewyze.

But you don’t just hear Lee’s stories – you feel them. Songs like “Fight” are full of contrast that tug your emotions parallel to Dewyze. The opening lines “I wrote this song to make you feel alright today / I wrote it to make everything alright” are sung with sentiment and fingerstyle guitar; and as Dewyze builds into the chorus with a four-on-the-floor bass drum and upbeat-folk rhythm section, reminiscent of Mumford & Sons, we are convinced – the emotion in each line runs deep within Dewyze’s blood. “I like smaller venues,” said Dewyze, because “I have the greatest fans in the world,” which will allow this sentiment to pour out into the crowd.

Listen to Dewyze’s in-studio performance of “Fight”:

Dewyze will be accompanied by Rock ‘n’ Roll singer Anna Rose and ready to perform both new music which will appear on Dewyze’s upcoming record, as well as fan favorites and a possibly a few covers to pay tribute to Lee’s beginnings.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Princess Anna Rose:

anna roseThe daughter of Oscar-winning Alan Menken, know for his musical compositions in films such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, claims she is a Rock ‘N’ Roll child. After learning how to play the piano at 2-years-old and taking up guitar at the age of 5, Rose gravitated to the greats; The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy. “My house was a Rock ‘N’ Roll house,” said Rose. But how do you label an artist with such diverse rock roots? Rose described her music as “70’s Aerosmith – where Steven Tyler is sweating on stage. It’s Strut-Rock mixed with accidental Pop and front Porch Blues,” or as Waters would say:

Well, my mother told my father,
Just before hmmm, I was born,
“I got a boy child’s comin,
He’s gonna be, he’s gonna be a rollin stone,
Sure ‘nough, he’s a rollin stone
Sure ‘nough, he’s a rollin stone”
(“Rollin’ Stone” by Muddy Waters)

Except, that boy is no match for Anna Rose – where the road is home and true spirit of Rock ‘N’ Roll becomes synonymous with ‘Beat Culture’ of Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road.” In the past two years Rose has proved herself as a Rock singer/songwriter. The 27 year-old has strong beliefs in the importance of live music. Touring has allowed Rose to feel – connecting with her fans on multiple platfiorms. “I always feel that music is extremely individual and during live performances my records are more Rock ‘N’ Roll because I am less introverted, opposed to being in the studio,” said Rose. As Rose heads for Fairfield Theatre Company with her electric guitarist she will bring the energy of a full band, but be able to strip it down, “just like it used to be when I started performing solo. It will be interesting to connect with fans with just my guitar and vocals,” said Rose.

Listen to Anna Rose’ “Behold A Pale Horse”:

Anna Rose Music Digest:

The independent artist and soon-to-be-married rocker is a living reminder that, at the end of the day, music is what keeps us going. “On tour is the only place where you can connect with fans and the band. Digestion of music has become so rapid – put on Shazam and it tells you who the artist is. Being on the road is my favorite time to listen to music because the drummer (guitarist, etc) is going to hear things different than you and it pulls you in – and connects you.” Her latest work “Behold A Pale Horse” is electric and gritty in “Electric Child,” driving in “Because You’re Mine” and “Show Me Your Hands;” but still sexual, intimate and soulful, heard in “Beautiful World”. “The goal is to make what I want to make,” said Rose. For the next record Rose will continue down the same path – Rock ‘N’ Roll, gritty blues, trippy placebo, and still avoid recording crutches like auto-tune. “ I’m still pondering. The writing process has been good [although not all the songs have been written]. I have been holding off until these upcoming shows, but the next record will be full of great pop songs and heavy rock.”

Final thoughts – “The first week I’m touring with Lee Dewyze; excited to meet him and see what he is all about, but moreover I get to talk, listen and perform music all day,” said Rose. “So come out and see Lee an I, but if not, go out and see live music – do something else! But really by that I mean – come see Lee and I (laughs).