With Album Release Upcoming, Cadence Blues Band Has Nothing to Cry About

The Cadence Blues Band (@TheCadenceBlues) may be a newcomer to the Columbus music scene, but their style and sound prove they have an old school mindset. There is already a buzz surrounding the trio as their EP The Seed officially drops next Friday, November 11 at a live show at The Shrunken Head. The young, psychedelic bluesy rockers have the talent to make a good run on the festival and dive scene, which means steady coin for years to come.

The EP starts off moody and haunting courtesy of the over five-minute piece titled ‘No Need’. This tune is a vehicle for vocalist Tony Gregorc to show off. It is the record’s ultimate campfire hippie anthem. This should be no surprise to its growing fan base as per the band’s Facebook profile, the group lists Hendrix and Zeppelin among their influences. One who pays attentions to the song’s lyrics will understand how relevant they were 50 years ago and now, especially with Election Day creeping up.

The pace picks up with track ‘So Damn Excited!’, a hybrid of blues meeting classic rock. If Q-FM 96 ever added this song into its rotation, it would fit into the playlist flawlessly. That stations’ avid listeners are people who thrived in the bar scene and Columbus needs to have throwbacks show millennials how it’s done.

‘Makenna’ is notable for drummer Ty Phillips-Bond’s on-point percussion, but of course he does a solid job from top to bottom on the album. Gregorc’s range gets put to the test on the track, despite this being The Seed’s shortest song. Taking the speed down a couple of notches is the song ‘(More Than) Just a Word’, which sounds like a sped-up ballad that people can move their bodies to.

Lastly, ‘How to Be a Rolling Stone’ is a genius mashup that demonstrates a 1970s attitude with 1990s arrangement. The song is so brilliant, it would be deemed a hit in both distinct decades. Gregorc and bassist Steve Simeon’s vocals are sheer perfection on the album’s final track.

When The Cadence Blues Band takes the stage in one week’s time, if the audience close their eyes and open their minds they will think they are back at the original (and best) Woodstock. They will be joined by solid opening acts Mystic Mamba and Punchdrunk Tagalongs. Per the group’s Twitter bio, Cadence describe themselves as, “A high energy, groove inducing, retro style blues-rock trio formed in Columbus, OH that creates soulful songs with a message, and performs them with feeling!” It is crystal clear The Seed captured this and a whole lot more, but that the live show will be even groovier.

Critique: Kid Runner’s Wake Up Now

Kid Runner (@kidrunnerband) sent out a wake-up call to the music world, so to speak, in the form of their second EP Wake Up Now. Dropped this past October, the unsigned Columbus, OH quintet have delivered a series of tracks that stand up in quality to anything from Passion Pit, OK Go, Walk The Moon, and Fun., who perform a similar routine. If they had the same resources available to them those bands have, Kid Runner would hold their own on late night TV shows as well as the Alternative and Top 40 charts.

The opening track, which happens to be the title track, is disappointing in that it is relatively short but is a nice instrumental intro nonetheless in the same vein of The xx. ‘Thinking Out Loud’ is a would-be hit with fans of Sheppard with strong male and female vocals on display. According to their Soundcloud page, it is the EP’s second most clicked track behind ‘Move’. Speaking of which, ‘Move’ is the track that has earned the group local success as a winner of Radio U’s daily ‘Battle of the Buzz’ competition. Furthermore, the song is also licensed for use on MLB Network. The band also released a video for ‘Move’ that is equally as relevant as major label artists’ videos using a fraction of those groups’ budgets. These two tunes on their own ought to be enough to garner Kid Runner the industry-wide attention they are due.

Wake Up Now has three more tracks that have their own flavor and showcase the five-piece’s creativity and talent. ‘Breaking Away’ is a tune in which the lyrics imply it is a song about destorying figurative shackles and escaping a toxic situation and/or person. It is the EP’s most serious song and one that proves Kid Runner’s wide songwriting range. Even hair metal bands churned out the occasional ballad and life commentary with favorable results. ‘Killin’ Me Now’ is pop brilliance from start to finish with the incorporation of keyboardist Frances Literski’s backing vocals to compliment the strong drum and keyboard work. Litterski’s dove-like vocals are also included in “Higher”, the record’s most dance club-friendly tune.

Alt-pop music lovers willing to take approximately 30 minutes to check out Wake Up Now will experience proof Kid Runner is going places figuratively. Literally, the group is expanding their horizons outside of their local confines opening for Civil Twilight in Pittsburgh on May 28 and playing at Cincinnati’s Burnbury Music Festival on June 5. Those gigs are followed by a return to Columbus on September 5 for the Fashion Meets Music Festival. Alternative and indie music’s true believers and supporters must not miss out on a chance to hear Wake Up Now in addition to their self-titled EP. If this band has the success they have demonstrated they deserve, the alternative and pop rock genres are in great shape for years and years to come.

*Photo courtesy of the band’s Facebook page

With Some Backing, New York Artist Will Have Multiple Adult Top 40 Hits

Soloist Caitlin Mahoney (@cmahoneymusic) has created a beautiful work of art with her latest EP West for a While. The singer’s performances should remind music lovers of another respected singer-songwriter, Norah Jones. Jones scored several Top 40 hits across multiple charts with her brand of Adult Contemporary tunes. With her latest effort, Mahoney has proven she has the songwriting and performing skills to follow suit.

Although from Florida, Mahoney’s music hub is in New York City. This is a town that it is difficult to be discovered in, however, given her effort as heard on tracks from the EP Mahoney is up for the challenge. The title track is a catchy little gem that is ready for the airwaves, clocking in at under three minutes. Additional tracks, “Wrong” and “Your Are a Safe Place” do not disappoint and are worthy of airplay. As a matter of fact, Mahoney has some spins under her belt at college radio stations. It is only a matter of time before major labels take notice leading to play on other stations.

Regarding live events, Caitlin Mahoney has one more 2013 gig left. She will grace the stage of The Path Cafe in New York City on December 27. After that, she extends her brand with a tour of Germany after the first of the year. If she is playing in your town, Mahoney is worth the curiosity to see what she brings live. The album West for a While is recommended listening and can be found at her Facebook page, Bandcamp site, among other outlets. Above is a video for a track that is not featured on the record, but is worth checking out as it features vocals from fellow musicians Jo Kroger and Kat Quinn. Spreading her wings internationally, Caitlin Mahoney’s career is bound to soar in 2014.

The Bloody Nerve Have The Bloody Nerve To Break Music City Stereotypes

Nashville-based duo The Bloody Nerve (@thebloodynerve) is not your typical group coming from Music City, U.S.A.. When people think of Nashville, they think of honky tonks, country line dancing, cowboy hats, and yeehaws. Guitarist Stacey Blood and vocalist Laurie Ann Layne shatter the image that outsiders have of their hub. Curious minds can read about the band on their Facebook page and will learn that both members were not even born in Tennessee. They do, however, know that to make a splash, going to the music capital of America was a smart route to go. An even smarter route: not trying to be a typical Country & Western act, which helps them stand out even more. In this current scene, originality is a breath of fresh air.

Speaking of which, on the tune “Find Ya Love” (the featured video), Layne’s haunting vocals match up beautifully with Blood’s guitar playing. The video’s budget is not huge, but it did not need to be. It features Layne’s luscious blood red lips in a near-embrace with the microphone with shots of Blood on guitar and walking around town. The video and song tell a good story without the bells and whistles of other videos, which often distract from the songs.

Is there a touch of country in The Bloody Nerve’s music? Sure, being in Tennessee has its influence on some of the group’s tracks. “Place To Hide” is a track that sees Blood handle the majority of the vocals and it definitely has some state roots, but it is a Blues-influenced track versus Country. “Local Honey” is the group’s most Country-influenced tune, but it a fun-sounding track that is atypical of their brand.

The Bloody Nerve have an EP titled ‘Red’ available that can be downloaded at their Bandcamp page with a free tee shirt for the purchase. Not only will indie music lovers get some great songs to listen to, they will receive an early Christmas present. The EP is a brilliant demonstration of the variety within the band’s music. With the holiday season among us and even in this questionable economy, consumers of the alternative to the mainstream are best served in investing their dollars in this band. There is a curiosity about what this group can pull off next.