Posts Tagged cd review

CD Review – Greg Dillard “Trapped in Paradise Again”

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Greg Dillard‘s debut album “Trapped in Paradise Again” is an instant hit. Trop Rock / Country / Americana or however you decide label it, you must get your hands on it. The album starts with ‘Trapped in Paradise Again‘. This is one we can all relate to in our day to day lives. ‘Out of My Life‘ and ‘Part of You‘ are both soul searching songs with beautiful lyrics. ‘T.U.I.‘ is a whimsical song that unfortunately some might be a victim of. There’s no point in speculating whether its success will be based on its quality; what we have here is a case of widespread crowd pleasability, which the album has in slabs.

1) Trapped in Paradise Again
2) Out of My Life
3) Part of You
4) My Favorite Place
5) We Can Make It
6) T.U.I. (Texting Under the Influence)
7) Don’t You Want To
8) Just to See You
9) Uphill Battle

Bio – Greg Dillard is a Trop Rock Singer/Songwriter currently residing in Tupelo, MS. Greg performs at venues all over the southeast and averages around 150 gigs a year playing his originals and a wide variety of covers that span numerous genres and decades of music.

Greg is currently working on his first solo project, “Trapped in Paradise Again,” which is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2013. Greg has also recorded CDs with full bands Bliss (Uphill Battle) and Busted Screen Door (Southern Belles and Shotgun Shells).

Greg is a member of the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Americana Music Association (AMA).

Greg’s Website and Contact Info can be found at



The Americana Boogie by Les Kerr – CD Review

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The Americana Boogie – Les Kerr

IMG_20131107_181640_322-1The Americana Boogie celebrates the musical genre Les Kerr calls his own: Hillbilly Blues Caribbean Rock & Roll! This collection of ten songs from Les’ pen includes the rocking title track, true its Americana monikor, the gutsy blues tunes Comfort Music and Understand the Blues, the Trop Rock influenced Old Lighthouse, Mississippi Sunshine and She Was There, and the Folk-tinged Hope and Love and Speak to Someone’s Heart. Rounding out the album with some expected Les Kerr humor are Schmooze It or Lose It and Retro.

In his first CD since the widely-acclaimed New Orleans Set, Les shows his songwriting skills and storytelling ability. Already popular concert additions, these songs are now available in this collection, The Americana Boogie.

Song List:
1) The Americana Boogie – the rockin’ opening track celebrates Americana music
2) Hope and Love – recounts the experience of Les’ friends on the Mississippi Coast during Hurricane Katrina
3) Old Lighthouse – Les grew up near lighthouses on the Gulf Coast and this song pays tribute to them and lighthouses everywhere
4) Comfort Music – just as “comfort food” makes you feel better, Comfort Music does the same!
5) Speak to Someone’s Heart – Les writes words and music but this song is for anyone who follows their passion
6) Mississippi Sunshine – a fond memory of sailing along the upper Gulf Coast
7) Retro – remember vinyl records and Elvis movies? You’ll enjoy this
8) She Was There – a tribute to Les’ stepfather, Bob Gordin, who introduced Les to sailing
9) Schmooze It or Lose It – this lighthearted look at networking applies to music, business, politics, and society
10) Understand the Blues – Les believes that everyone understands the blues, no matter what language they speak

Learn more about Les and all of his CDs at
The Americana Boogie is avalaible at,, I-Tunes, and other online sites and stores.

Jimmy Buffett’s mellow ‘Songs From St. Somewhere’ includes Mardi Gras gem

Posted in CD Reviews, Island Enthusiasts, Jimmy Buffett News, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings, Trop Rock Radio | Comments Off on Jimmy Buffett’s mellow ‘Songs From St. Somewhere’ includes Mardi Gras gem


I have a new goal in life, thanks to Jimmy Buffett: I want to spend so much time drifting from one island paradise to another that I get completely careless about which one I’m actually on. “Where are you?” folks back home will ask when I take their calls. “Ahh, Saint somewhere-or-other,” I’ll reply, fiddling with the umbrella in my cocktail.

The tropical troubadour’s brand-new album is “Songs From St. Somewhere,” and if that sounds a bit jaded, the Gulf Coast native takes pains in his liner notes to explain otherwise. He gives credit to St. Barthelemy in the French West Indies as one of the sites where recording took place. And he explains that St. Somewhere is more a state of mind. “St. Somewhere is not a place you can get to by consulting your GPS or going on Google Earth … Music is the compass that charts your course to this imaginary rock,” he writes.

Still, when you can’t even come up with a real fictional name for your imaginary rock, you’re pretty mellow. And this is, even for Buffett, a relaxed album. His vocal approach is so easygoing that on some tracks it sounds more like spoken-word storytelling set to music than singing.

But he does invest himself in the stories, and they’re what stand out about this particular collection. A classic Cadillac and the circus performer who loved it? The ne’er do-well who steals a car from a Russian mobster? This is enjoyably weird stuff.

Buffett visits all his favorite ports of call, as he’s surely entitled to do at this point in his career. Want some jokey near-novelty songs? Here’s “Too Drunk to Karaoke,” with Toby Keith, and “Einstein Was a Surfer.”

Want to travel vicariously to some exotic locales? Cue up “Rue De La Guitare” or “I Want to Go Back to Cartagena.” Want some of those philosophical numbers where he arcs from his beach-bum image to metaphysical musings? Turn to “Somethin’ Bout a Boat” or “Tides” or “Colour of the Sun,” or check in with the “Oldest Surfer on the Beach.” (The last features guitar ace Mark Knopfler.)

In the middle of it all is “I’m No Russian,” an epic about a joyride in a borrowed Lamborghini. The real marvel isn’t that the references to drone warfare, the assassination of a Russian expatriate in England and the forcible suppression of a female Moscow punk band are all so completely facetious: it’s the song’s six-and-a-half minute runtime and Buffett’s funky willingness to delve deep into a shallow scenario.

A couple of notes on local flavor:

Firstly, Mobilian Will Kimbrough, who has worked with Buffett in the past, is featured as an “honorary Coral Reefer.” He’s credited as co-writer on “I Want to Go Back to Cartagena” and “The Rocket That Grandpa Rode,” and Buffett also includes a cover of his “Soulfully.”

Secondly, the rest of the world might miss this, but Mobile-area listeners won’t: In “Serpentine,” the pirate sings with considerable heart about the impact that Carnival season had on his formative years.

Beads and confetti were littering the air

When the Queen looked at me with her Ava Gardner stare

Though tomorrow would bring ashes and penance by the ton

Mardi Gras’s where I learned to have fun

There’s a flambeaux man with a gold earring

And the cold north wind smells like kerosene

I’m still in love with the Carnival Queen

Still want to wrap her in Serpentine

Like much of “Songs From St. Somewhere,” it’s on the mellow side. You couldn’t second-line to it. But I’ll bet you could slow-dance to it. And I’ll be that here in Mobile, at least, people will.

By Lawrence Specker | 

CD Review – Jimmy Buffett “Songs From St. Somewhere”

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Music Review: Buffett's first new album in 4 years, 'Songs from St. Somewhere,' lacks sparkJimmy Buffett’s “Songs from St. Somewhere” (Mailboat Records) contains a boatful of tunes about escapism, which is what Jimmy Buffett does the best.

There are 15 songs and a bonus track on Buffett’s first studio album in four years, but the best music on “Songs from St. Somewhere” come from somebody else.

The album’s loosely defined concept is the lost island of St. Somewhere, a phrase coined in the late 1970s by colorful Boston Bruins center Derek Sanderson. The album’s most brilliant performance comes in Buffett’s cover of the Jesse Winchester lost-at-sea love ballad “I Wave Bye-Bye.” Allen Toussaint covered “I Wave Bye-Bye” on last year’s Winchester tribute album “Quiet About It” that Buffett assembled (also featuring James Tayor, Rosanne Cash and others) and released on Mailboat . The Louisiana-born singer-songwriter was fighting esophageal cancer. Buffett’s sparse and sincere version holds up well against Winchester and Toussaint.

Django Walker, the son of cosmic cowboy Jerry Jeff Walker, co-wrote “Somethin’ About a Boat,” framed by easygoing John Prine rhythms, and the record’s greatest surprise is the tender “Oldest Surfer on the Beach,” written not by Buffett but by Mark Knopfler, who also plays guitar on the track. Buffett is in good form with the coastal Colombian cumbia-driven “I Want To Go Back to Cartagena” which features Colombian singer Fanny Lu. Emilio Estefan produced the Spanish bonus track of “Cartagena.”

The bad news is when Buffett tries to dip his toes into the same country-music waters that delivered crossover success with the Alan Jackson collaboration “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere.” This time redneck Toby Keith gets the call for “Too Drunk to Karaoke,” anchored by crunchy and cloying Bachman-Turner-Overdrive guitar riffs. You’d have to be pretty drunk to enjoy this song, co-written by Buffett, Mac McAnnaly, Shawn Camp and my Nashville bud Pat McLaughlin.

Buffett’s other songs are so topical and novella-driven they create a narrow scope: the rockabilly-tinged “The Rocket That Grandpa Rode” closes out with tributes to Neil Armstrong, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, and on the folk-rock “I’m No Russian,” Buffett goes to bat for the persecuted band Pussy Riot in between lyrics like “I’m no Russian/not even Prussian/Some say I’m nervy/Hell I’m from Jersey…..”

The musical tide can be high during moments on St. Somewhere, but there needs to be more down-to-earth sentiment in the style of Jesse Winchester.

Simple can be beautiful.

Dave Hoekstra