Exclusive Review: Andrew Farstar – “Classics” Album/LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Cover Art for Andrew Farstar’s “Classics” LP

This album of classics, just like the album name ‘Classics’ suggests, is a nostalgic treat from the way-back-when machine that features a vast array of songs from renowned artists that we’ve come to know and love over many years. With the voice of Sydney-based artist Andrew Farstar at the helm of this record, tackling these beloved anthems with a modern and youthful approach that gives us a whole new perspective on these high profile covers, ‘Classics’ is not just a run-of-the-mill tribute or half hearted renditions, it’s a visceral reimagination.

Featuring chart-topping hit songs on the record that includes classics like “Your Song” (Elton John), “I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love” (Crystal Gayle), “Sealed With a Kiss” (Brian Hyland), and many more, Andrew Farstar breathes new life into these songs with a modern millennial signature sound that brings out a whole new world to songs that have been loved for decades by a widespread of fans from many different generations. His versatile and multifaceted mid-to-high range vocals are precise and punctual as they are charming as well. He also brings these tracks out in a way that could resonate with younger generations, who will find an entirely new perspective and appreciation for songs older generations may or may not know…but most likely definitely do.

The musicianship factors and production value parallels perfectly with both performance and structure. A lot of the tracks have a distinctive sound that could be reminiscent of artist pioneers like Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, James Arthur, Harry Connick Jr., and those of a similar caliber. But, when it comes to the overall execution, Andrew finds a way to truly make these songs his own reimagining in a way that gets us to appreciate these classic tunes in a whole new spectrum. Basically, if the renowned artists that wrote these songs took a listen to Andrew‘s versions, they’d be definitely mind blown at the brilliant balance between the insatiable feeling of originality and familiarity he brings to these songs. It’s an album of nostalgia, skilled musicianship, and a demonstration of making something completely your own when it comes to artistic merit.

You’ll love every rendition of these songs that Andrew has put together and will remind you that these songs still can have a major relevance in your life. You’ll love ‘Classics’ from beginning to end, unconditionally. You’ll be glad we recommended this to you. You’re welcome.


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Artist Review: The Jive Aces – “Diggin’ The Roots Volume 1 & 2” LPs

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Don’t just go back to your roots – dig them!

We’ve heard a lot of today’s takes on classic songs from many new age contemporary artists, as well as tribute bands and cover artists putting their own spin on yesterday’s hits from many calibers of genres with a fresh additive or two. Some do it well, some fall flat, and then there’s the few and far between gem that comes out swinging with the charms of both yesterday’s and today’s most influential eras wrapped up into one super tight package. That, my friends, is The Jive Aces.

This UK-based band are definitely not a bunch of randies by any means. Renowned worldwide for their high-energy spectacular showmanship, this elite group has garnered an enormous following from a combination of acclaims including their viral video for the track “Bring Me Sunshine” and for also being the first live band to reach the final rounds of “Britain’s Got Talent”. Since then, The Jive Aces have firmly established themselves as the UK’s No.1 Jive & Swing band, and show no indication of slowing down their momentum anytime soon.

So with a résumé like that, you know there has to be something of theirs worth putting on your playlist. And their 2-Volume LPs Diggin’ The Roots are shining examples of their tightly knit signature sound of songs we’ve all come to know and love over many, many years. Boasting into today’s production value while maintaining that old school influential charm, we get a more than solid performance on both records comprised of eclectically professional musicians that absolutely own their roles on every track to deliver a sound that not only resonates with the classic each song became long ago, but with a whole new realm of energy and technique that gets us to appreciate them all over again in a whole new way, in a whole new era.

Diggin’ The Roots is exactly as advertised. They are tracks that have brought on endless inspiration and appreciation among a majority of today’s prominent artists and are the roots to their stories. On The Jive Aces Volume 1 record, RockinRhythm & Blues, we get a tastefully blended album of 13 tracks with many flavorful additives. Classic tunes on Volume 1 include smash hits “Jump, Jive & Wail”, “Feelin’ Happy”, “I Want You To Be My Baby”, and many others of the same caliber. Led by lead vocalist Ian Clarkson, who also takes up roles on trumpet and ukulele, his clean and vibrant voice in the forefront of every song really solidifies the band’s approach. The right rhythm section really paves the way for the rest of the band, and really puts the proper backing behind Clarkson’s effective vocal takes and melody placements. With hot piano leads, an anthemic brass section and funky fiddles added to the mix, this fresh look at some of our favorite Rockin’ Rhythm & Blues tracks will definitely get you up off of your feet and own the dance floor.

On their Volume 2 record, Hot Jazz, we get the same Jive Aces vibe with their tight grasp on 13 more classic tunes that combine equal parts originality and familiarity, just like Volume 1. Staying true to form like the previous chapter of this 2-part release, we get an instrumentally versatile execution of fan favorites from the classic Jazz era that includes “Jeepers Creepers”, “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” and “It’s Been A Long, Long Time“. Both of these records absolutely compliment each other and bring a brand new timeless edge to every perfected measure. The showmanship factors are undeniable and one thing that screams from these releases are the words “INCREDIBLE LIVE SHOW”. Diggin’ The Roots really brings out each member’s musicianship abilities and when put together, collectively bring out a stick dynamite just ready to go off at every event they play. And their devoted fan base and successful career milestones reflect that. But one of the most notable things about The Jive Aces is their authenticity – there is no wacky autotune, no oversaturated production techniques, and absolutely no cheat methods whatsoever being used. This band can produce live exactly what they do in the studio, which is a rare thing in today’s digital age of music.

The Jive Aces are the breath of fresh air you’ve been needing for a long time. They are a standout of their caliber, and once you take a listen to both volumes of Diggin’ The Roots, you’ll see and hear exactly why they are the UK’s number 1 Jive & Swing band.

Connect with The Jive Aces:

•Link to Volume 1: http://jiveaces.com/album/518834/diggin-the-roots-vol-1-rockin-rhythm-blues

•Link to Volume 2: http://jiveaces.com/album/518835/diggin-the-roots-vol-2-hot-jazz

•Official Website: http://www.jiveaces.com

Artist Reach, LLC | ASCAP | All Rights Reserved

Artist Review: Bami – “Stream Of His Grace” EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Captivatingly talented with her voice and spiritually authentic in her message, rising Gospel artist Bami brings us on a modernized journey into the realms of uplifting our Faith in God with her much awaited versatile new EP Streaming Of His Grace.

Bami‘s sound is explosive, multifaceted and graciously fun with a ton of multi-genre additives and flavorful beats on this 4-track record. Her electronically-infused sound combines an array of funky riffs, hypnotic jazzy tempos and a salsa/tropical and Latin edge that brings out her voice very effectively and tastefully. Her mid-ranged voice tackles very spiritual content about her Faith in the Lord and really brings a new and fresh approach to the legacy of Gospel music with her compellingly dynamic production and highly intricate song structures.

Delving into the songs themselves, the musicianship factors are unwavering. The rhythmic tempos are extremely neat and tidy and grasp onto composition techniques reminiscent of many jazz and fusion eras, but that’s just one of many components. Her Pop elements also add to the intuitive song structures and really helps carry Bami‘s voice in a way that is front and center, with very tasteful melodies in her vocal approach that resonate perfectly with the bluesy rhythms and chord progressions. This is a modern day triumph of Gospel music that could easily take on a life of its own, and really showcases an amazing range of production techniques and songwriting structures that are rare in Gospel music, if not new altogether.

The most striking part of Streaming Of His Grace is the originality. The record does not emulate any other artist and Bami really delves into a signature sound that is in her own right. You can draw comparisons to her if you think hard enough, but there’s no question that her approach in Gospel is anything but ordinary. If you’re looking for a spiritual record that is also musically fascinating and compelling, then Streaming Of His Grace will absolutely blow your mind.

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Career Highlights: Young Cuban Opera Singer Dian Rene Crosses Over Into The US Latin Urban Genre

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

When it comes to being an artist, many millennial sacrifices are made. And if there’s one artist that has truly made the sacrifices and life-changes one has to make to reach a remarkable feat in the world of music, it’s young on-the-rise Opera singer Dian Rene. Someone that has moved mountains in his life to get to where he currently is.

Rene grew up in the Cuban city of Holguín and began singing at a very young age. He studied opera at The University of Arts of Cuba’s Instituto Superior de Arts, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 2013. He studied opera because classical music was all that was offered at the university, but Rene quickly found his passion for it. He also sang popular music to make a living.

Rene became a well-known singer in Holguín, performing concerts as a tenor in a company. He was a singer full time, but he said that with Cuba’s economy, there wasn’t many opportunities for opera, and it also didn’t help

that opera isn’t as popular in Cuba as it is in the U.S.

That’s when Rene and his sister decided to come to the states and make his dreams of being a full time singer in the U.S. market a reality. But it was no easy task. After being subject to hazardous jungle environments, detainment in Mexico and literally singing his way to freedom to the guards that had him and his sister held in a prison area, the siblings made a safe cross over the US border into Texas, eventually settling in Harrisonburg.

After tackling the Opera genre since he began hitting the ground running in the music realm, as of October 19th Dian Rene made another crossover, this time into the Latin Urban genre, where he can showcase his vocal versatility and multifaceted musicianship more exclusively within his craft and passion for music. He released his first US single and is currently working on new material to solidify his signature sound and become a household name in the US market.

With endless possibilities ahead of him within his talent, vocal range, image and artistic merit, Rene is comfortably settled in the US and heading forward with his career in his designated market.

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Music Theory: Boss Piano – A Lesson In Cadences

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

It is nearly impossible for any piano player to not hear the word cadence at least once in their life. Before explaining the cadence meaning, I will start with the reference of what a musical phrase is.

As you might already know, it is a musical thought composed with four measures length in most cases, and incomplete also. A cadence is a chord progression composed usually of at least 2 chords that ends a phrase or a part of a piece of music.

The cadence has a really important role in any piece of piano sheet music because it gives a sense of resolution for that rhythm. There are some types of cadences that are authentic, deceptive, half, and plagal. They are divided into two groups: finished cadences and unfinished cadences.

The authentic cadence is the movement from the chord V to I of the key center. It is usually written V-I and is the most common and most frequently used cadence. For an example, when it comes to the C Major scale, try playing from V (G) to I (C) and you will notice by yourself how a great finish sounds, because the authentic cadence is also known as a perfect cadence and is well-known for its most finished contribution.

When it comes to the deceptive cadence, it is good to know that it’s also called the interrupted cadence. The name is very suggestive, as in this case, it ends on an unexpected chord. The music sounds reminiscent of something interrupting the piece. For this one, the most common chord progression is from chord V to chord VI, also written as V-VI. For an example, using the A Major scale, the chords are V which in this case is the key E and VI which is the key F sharp minor. Play it and listen carefully to get a familiarity to this type of cadence, so you will be able to use it in your own piano tabs.

When it comes to unfinished cadences, it is easy to anticipate that the sound will be unfinished. This happens because the unfinished cadences don’t end on chord I. By using an unfinished cadence at the end of a phrase in a piece of piano sheet music, it will give the listener the feeling that there is more to come in the next section and that the piece is not over.

In the group of unfinished cadences there is the half cadence. It is also known as imperfect cadence and it ends on chord V, while it can start on chord I, II or IV. For an example, in the G Major scale, we take the chords I (which is key G) to chord V (which is key D). Listen and you will notice that this is not the end, it’s more like a “wait for the next part” kind of feeling. When it comes to plagal cadence, the progression is from chord IV to chord I, also found written as IV-I.

Cadences are a great way to practice and develop piano techniques, and are also considered part of the little things that form the basis of piano for any player.

If you need material for rehearsal, here is a website where you can get piano sheets for free.

Connect with Boss Piano to get your copies now, and other great tips & information as well:

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