Although alt-rock group Eels released their debut album in 1996, singer, songwriter, and Eels leader E (Mark Everett) had already been releasing music as a solo artist. His debut album, A MAN CALLED E, was released in 1992. With songs like “Hello Cruel World” and “Looking Out The Window With A Blue Hat On”, the album was whole-heartedly embraced by lovers of Indie Pop and Power Pop. While not as successful as expected, E was able to head back into the studio to record his second album, BROKEN TOY SHOP, which was released in 1993. Again, another album of great Pop songs, the album found an audience, although it wasn’t enough for his then-label and E was cut free so that he could follow his own musical path elsewhere. And that is when his creativity began to blossom, and Eels was born…

Released in 1996, E and his band Eels released their first album, BEAUTIFUL FREAK, and it became one of the most talked about albums of the year. Not only embraced by the Indie Pop and Rock kids, the album was a commercial success and spawned the now-classic single “Novocaine For The Soul”. The album was a hit in the UK as well, earning the band the Best International Breakthrough Act award at the 1998 BRIT Awards. The album was followed by the deeply personal ELECTRO-SHOCK BLUES (1998), DAISIES OF THE GALAXY (2000), SOULJACKER (2001), SHOOTENANNY! (2003), BLINKING LIGHTS AND OTHER REVELATIONS (2005), HOMBRE LOBO (2009), END TIMES (2010), WONDERFUL, GLORIOUS (2013), THE CAUTIONARY TALES OF MARK OLIVER EVERETT (2014), and EARTH TO DORA (2020). And this doesn’t include numerous live releases, compilations, and soundtrack appearances including the enormously popular “I Need Some Sleep” from the SHREK 2 soundtrack. For two decades, E has established himself as an artist without borders, constantly evolving and challenging himself and his listeners with each and every release. And EXTREME WITCHCRAFT is no different…

Released in January 2022 (almost exactly 30 years after the release of A MAN CALLED E), EXTREME WITCHCRAFT is an album that still feels familiar and comfortable at the core but also brings in some new twists and tricks. E manages to create a soundscape that sounds both roughly conceived yet intricately stitched together. There’s a successful balance of Rock stomp and Pop bliss that swirls around your cranium as hooks hit you left, right, and center. Like life, there’s a sunny side but there are also those dark storm clouds that roll across the horizon, bringing a sense of dread into the mix, which quickly dissipates when the next bright hook comes along. The album’s emotional depth can be heard on the album’s first three singles including “Good Night On Earth”, “The Magic”, “Steam Engine”, and “Amateur Hour”. However, those song tell only part of the story. EXTREME WITCHCRAFT should be heard as a whole, and you will definitely fall under it’s spell…



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While not all music-making siblings get along – for example: Ray and Dave Davies, Noel and Liam Gallagher, and Phil and Don Everly – they nearly always make wonderful music together. More specifically, their voices blend together and create a sound that is pure magic. No matter what genre they are performing, when siblings create music, it always comes layered with deep emotion. These are people who grew up together, bathed in the same influences and experiences. In many ways, the Folk, Country, and Americana genres are perfect playgrounds for that sibling magic. This is music that grew up on the dusty backroads of America, performed by musicians rooted in love, religion, and family. Even when siblings go their separate ways and travel on their own musical journeys, their bond still remains. And this is where the Whitmore Sisters come in…

While they have not previously released a full album together, the Whitmore Sisters are certainly no strangers to the music industry. Although she spent time in Steve Earle’s band, Eleanor Whitmore is best known as a member of The Mastersons with her husband Chris Masterson. Over the course of four albums – BIRDS FLY SOUTH (2011), GOOD LUCK CHARM (2014), TRANSIENT LULLABY (2017), and NO TIME FOR LOVE SONGS (2020) – the group has established itself as one of the finest Americana bands currently treading the boards. Eleanor’s younger sister, Bonnie, has been building an impressive catalog of solo albums including PICKING UP PIECES (2004), EMBERS TO ASHES (2011), FUCK WITH SAD GIRLS (2016) and LAST WILL & TESTAMENT (2020). While The Mastersons have appeared on some of Bonnie’s albums, the sisters have not recorded an album together… until now.

2022’s GHOST STORIES may be The Whitmore Sisters’ ‘debut’ album, but it feels as warm and comforting as an old friend. Eleanor and Bonnie’s voices sound wonderful when they work on their own, but together, they intertwine like the best of them. The sisters instinctively know when to step forward and when to fall back, making GHOST STORIES an event to absorb and rejoice in. With tracks like “Learn to Fly”, “Hurtin’ for a Letdown”, “Superficial World of Love”, “Friends We Leave Behind”, and the title track, the Whitmore Sisters sing from the heart… to the heart. These are real songs about very real feelings. Nine of the eleven tracks are new originals with two cover versions, one of which is the Paul McCartney-penned “On the Wings of a Nightingale”, which was written for the Everly Brothers. There’s a gentle, playful spirit that is woven into the music on GHOST STORIES even when the subject matter is a little more serious and heartfelt. And that’s the way it should be.



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Founded in 2005, The Lumineers has become one of the most respected Americana/Folk-Rock bands of their generation. Comprised of singer/guitarist Wesley Schultz and multi-instrumentalist Jeremiah Fraites, the duo began performing in 2002 in New York City under a variety of names before finally settling on The Lumineers in 2005. The band struggled to balance their day jobs and musical career, but after several years, they left the hustle and bustle of NYC and settled in Denver, Colorado. It was there that the duo found their true voice. They had moved on from the cover versions of their early days and connected with an audience with their own unique originals. In order to expand their sound, they recruited cellist Neyla Pekar and, shortly thereafter, things began to happen for The Lumineers.

Signing with Dualtone Records, the group released their self-titled debut album in April 2012. The album reached #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and was an international success, reaching the Top 10 in the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, and Ireland. Both critically and commercially successful, the Lumineers became one of the most popular Americana and Indie Folk bands on the scene. Their second album, CLEOPATRA, was released in 2016 and was another success, reaching #1 in the US and UK. Three years later, they followed that up with their third album, III, which hit #2 in the US and Top 10 in the UK, Canada, and Switzerland. Taking a short break, Wesley Schultz released a solo album of covers – VIGNETTES (2020) – while writing songs for the next Lumineers album. In the meantime, Jeremiah Fraites released the instrumental album PIANO PIANO in 2021. With their solo releases in shops, the duo got back to working on the next Lumineers project…

2022’s BRIGHTSIDE, the group’s fourth album, finds the Lumineers sounding confident while also continuing to explore and experiment. But don’t be scared by the words ‘explore’ and ‘experiment’ make you nervous – this is most definitely a classic Lumineers album. However, there have been a lot of changes in the world since 2019’s III and you can feel that in the music. The atmosphere of BRIGHTSIDE is heavier, darker, and drips with emotion. There’s still plenty of joy to be found – these folks are definitely in love with creating music – but the pandemic has changed everything for all of us. Songs like “A.M. Radio”, “Big Shot”, “Never Really Mine”, “Rollercoaster”, and the title track use the Lumineers’ distinct sound with an additional layer that you ‘feel’ more than hear. With all that being said, this perfectly fits in with the Lumineers’ natural progression and will undoubtedly be yet another timeless gem in their treasure chest. But enjoy it now – it is a gift for the present… so be present for the gift!



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The son of post-bop jazz saxophonist Roland Alexander, Taru Alexander began playing drums at the age of seven. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he was surrounded by his dad’s friends and bandmates including Freddie Hubbard, Reggie Workman, and others. Taru’s first professional gigs came at the age of 13 as a member of his father’s quintet. His first recording came when he worked with Fred Houn and the Afro-Asian Music Ensemble on the 1985 album TOMORROW IS NOW! A well-known figure in the New York jazz scene, Taru became an in-demand sideman and recorded albums with Rodney Kendrick, Carlos Garnett, Sonny Simmons, and Salim Washington’s Harlem Arts. In all, Taru has appeared as a sideman on more than 50 albums. Outside of his recording commitments, toured or performed with Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter, Branford Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis, Hank Jones, Carlos Garnett, and many others.

For his 2022 album, ECHOES OF THE MASTER, Taru Alexander has chosen to move forward while also looking back. In order to celebrate the musical legacy of his father and his father’s contemporaries, he gathered together an amazing group of musicians to record a handful of classic Jazz compositions but inject them with new energy. On the album, he is joined by Memphis-born pianist James Hurt, who has been part of the New York jazz scene for nearly three decades. The album also features saxophonist Antoine Roney and bassist Rashaan Carter, who Taru met on a recording session led by saxophonist Michael Marcus in 2008. The sessions also featured vocalist Hanka G, who scats and sings up a storm on “I Mean You”.

ECHOES OF THE MASTER begins with the group’s interpretation of Roland Alexander’s “Change Up”, a stellar opener filled with energy and swagger. The album continues to build energy with the previously mentioned take on Thelonious Monk and Coleman Hawkins’ “I Mean You”. The album also includes covers of Buster Williams’ “Deception”, McCoy Tyner’s “Peresina”, Wayne Shorter’s “Pinocchio”, and another Roland Alexander-penned track, “A Kojo Time”, which was written when Taru was born. While ECHOES OF THE MASTER is rooted in the past, it offers a fresh and invigorating spin on this material and of the genre. The album mixes Bebop with straight ahead Jazz and Taru’s unique skills as a leader and drummer, which brings Taru’s musical journey full circle.



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