AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: GUS G/FEARLESS

Konstantinos Karamitroudis is one of Rock’s hardest working musicians. However, you may not know him by that name. Konstantinos has wisely chosen to operate under the much-easier-to-pronounce stage name of Gus G as he makes his way through the Hard Rock universe. Formerly a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s band and the leader of Greek Power Metal band Firewind, Gus G was inspired to play guitar by listening to the classic live album FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE and the rest, as they say, is history.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: SNOOP DOGG/220

Snoop Dogg is a pop culture icon. He’s a Hip Hop pioneer with a distinctive style and three decades of hits.  No longer thought of solely as a rapper, Snoop has dipped his toes into every aspect of the entertainment business. He is one of the most recognizable figures in the music business and his reputation -if not his music – is known by pre-teens and grandparents alike. He’s topped the charts and sold millions of albums. He’s been nominated for Grammys, starred in motion pictures, logged in many TV appearances and invested in many business ventures (and not all of them marijuana- related!). However, just because Snoop has become a man for all seasons doesn’t mean that he’s playing it safe these days – far from it! From Reggae to Gospel, Mr. Dogg has expanded his musical vision and has successfully tackled a variety of styles yet he hasn’t turned his back on his Rap roots.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: SARAH SHOOK & THE DISARMERS/YEARS

Country Music has gone through a major metamorphosis over the years. Modern Country radio resembles Pop radio of the ‘90s and you’d be hard pressed to find a pedal steel guitar on any track gracing the Top 40. For those looking for a more traditional slice of Country Music, you’ll need to look outside of the charts and turn your attention to hard-working rootsy Americana outfits like Sarah Shook & The Disarmers in order to get your traditional Country fix.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: THE RADIATORS/WELCOME TO THE MONKEY HOUSE

Celebrating their 40th Anniversary as a band, New Orleans’ The Radiators release WELCOME TO THE MONKEY HOUSE, their 20th album overall. Their first studio album in roughly a decade,  WELCOME TO THE MONKEY HOUSE is a welcome return for the band that also serves as a reminder of their much-missed talents. While the band no longer operates as a full-time outfit, all the original members reunite each year to play the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Instead of letting their 40th Anniversary pass them by, the band decided to head back into the studio and record a handful of new tracks mixed with a healthy dose of songs that have littered their live set for decades but have never made it to an album!

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: GUIDED BY VOICES/SPACE GUN

Remember back in the mid ‘80s when practically every R&B and Pop record released seemed to be performed or written by Prince? From his own albums and singles to songs by The Bangles, The Times, Cyndi Lauper, Vanity 6, The Three O’Clock, Sheena Easton and Sinead O’Connor, Prince was everywhere. It seemed as if he was the most prolific musician and songwriter in the world for at least the second half of the ‘80s… Well, folks, indie singer/songwriter Robert Pollard’s mega prolific output over the years makes Prince look like a lazy bastard!  But unlike Prince, the fruits of Pollard’s insane work ethic is not locked up in a dark vault somewhere, never to be heard by the public. In fact, just the opposite – Pollard has released hundreds of songs under his own name as well as under the names of the many side projects he’s been involved with including Circus Devils, Boston Spaceships, Ricked Wicky, Phantom Tollbooth, Teenage Guitar, and, most importantly, Guided By Voices.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: CASEY ABRAMS/PUT A SPELL ON YOU

Casey Abrams was born in Austin, Texas and eventually made his way to Idyllwild, California. This multi-instrumentalist initially made a name for himself on the 10th season of American Idol – he finished in sixth place – and judging by his 2018 album PUT A SPELL ON YOU, he’s certainly learned a lot during his long and exciting journey. Unlike many other artists who are content to find a niche or genre they feel comfortable in, Abrams mixes and matches genres as he sees fit. This is not a former American Idol contestant that is going to fall in line and churn out a variation on today’s Top 40. Nope. Casey Adams is going to do whatever he damn well pleases!

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: ALTAN/THE GAP OF DREAMS

When a dream is born from love and passion, it will never fade away.  Altan, the traditional Irish outfit, is that dream come to life.  Formed three decades ago by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (vocals/fiddle) and her husband Frankie Kennedy (flute/tin whistle), their shared musical vision became reality on a few duo recordings before forming a full-fledged band – Altan. Even though Kennedy passed away in 1994, Mairéad and her bandmates have continued to keep the musical dream alive. In 2018, they release the beautiful and inspiring THE GAP OF DREAMS.

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AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: AUDREY ASSAD/EVERGREEN

While many Contemporary Christian Music artists are largely overlooked by the secular market, there are those artists who manage to make that breakthrough and touch the lives of listeners who would not normally tune into any type of praise music. Audrey Assad is one of those artists. Since her 2010 full-length debut, THE HOUSE YOU’RE BUILDING, she has released a series of albums that balance the joy of her faith with the trials of being human. EVERGREEN, her 2018 album, continues that musical journey in the most pure and honest way.

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: LEE DEWYZE/PARANOIA

 PARANOIA is the seventh album from singer/songwriter Lee DeWyze, best known as the winner of the ninth season of AMERICAN IDOL. Paranoia is an atmospheric and highly passionate album that blends the warmth of acoustic instrumentation with cold yet emotional electronic textures, creating something that is unique yet still very commercial. PARANOIA is a highly emotional concept album that details the many facets of a romantic Relationship – a subject that all of us can relate to. 

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