AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: SHAMAN’S HARVEST/REBELATOR

Formed in Jefferson City, Missouri in 1996, Shaman’s Harvest is a hard rock band that blends Post-Grunge, Metal, Southern Rock, and Alternative Rock into a heady brew topped off with melodic hooks and memorable guitar riffs. Originally founded by vocalist Nathan ‘Drake’ Hunt, guitarist Josh Hamler, and bassist Matt Fisher, the group has undergone several line-up changes over the course of their 26-year career – only Spinal Tap has had more drummers – but the band continues to persevere and grow stronger with each release. While the band has achieved plenty of attention via the release of their albums, they have endeared themselves to WWE fans everywhere for providing theme/entrance songs for Drew McIntyre (“Broken Dreams”) and Wade Barrett (“End of Days”) as well as providing “And Then There Was Darkness”, which was used to promote the Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker fight during WrestleMania 31. Shaman’s Harvest has also had music featured in films such as Legendary and No One Lives.

The band’s musical career began three years after their formation with the release of their debut album, LAST CALL FOR GOOSE CREEK (1999). The group followed that up with the albums SYNERGY (2002) and MARCH OF THE BASTARDS (2006). The group’s fourth album SHINE, was released in 2009 and was their most commercially successful yet, reaching #41 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. The band’s success really kicked in when they signed to Mascot Records and released SMOKIN’ HEARTS & BROKEN GUNS (2014), which reached #5 on the Heatseekers chart as well as #23 on the Rock Albums chart and #34 on the Indie Albums chart. RED HANDS BLACK DEEDS (2017) shot to the top of the Heatseekers chart, proving that the band were hotter than ever. Over the course of their career, the band has released numerous hit singles including “Dragonfly” (2009), “Here It Comes” (2013), “Dangerous” (2014), “In Chains” (2015), and “The Devil in Our Wake” (2018). When the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt, the band’s plans changed, and they spent more time working on new music. At the end of 2021, they released the singles ‘Bird Dog” and “Voices”, which gave fans a few peeks at their next album…

Shaman’s Harvest returns in 2022 with their seventh album, REBELATOR, an album that reveals a bolder, more confident band with plenty to say… and a few monstrous riffs to help drive the messages home. Original members Nathan Hunt and Josh Hamler lead the band through an album that leads the listener on a musical journey that stays within the Hard Rock realm but also takes in many other musical influences. Far from a screamer, Nathan Hunt’s vocals are rooted in the heartland – you can hear the dusty roads and blue-collar lifestyle in his voice, which makes them more identifiable to listener. But don’t think for a second that these songs are ‘soft’. Not a chance. Songs like “Under Your Skin”, “Pretty People”, and the previously mentioned “Bird Dog” and “Voices” showcase a band that could be pioneers of the Heartland Hard Rock scene. This is an album created by a band completely in touch with their roots yet still willing to take their sound in new directions without giving up their well-earned Hard Rock credentials. Welcome to the REBELATOR rebelution!

SHAMAN’S HARVEST

REBELATOR

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: SABATON/THE WAR TO END ALL WARS

Formed in Sweden in 1999, Sabaton has been considered one of Power Metal’s finest bands for over two decades. Rooted in classic Heavy Metal, the group redefined the way that hard, edgy Metal could be played and, in the process, became a leader in the Power Metal movement. The group’s career began like most bands – rehearse, write songs, and head into the studio to lay some demos down. However, instead of having to chase labels around for years, the demos recoded in 1999 and 2000 garnered immediate interest from several labels. While the band’s line-up has evolved over the years – vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Joakim Brodén and bassist Pär Sundström are the only original members – Sabaton’s Metal evolution has continued to move forward. But although the band garnered attention quickly, Sabaton had to learn to crawl before they could rock…

After signing their first record contract, they compiled their demos onto a promotional CD entitled FIST FOR FIGHT. Their official debut album, METALIZER, was supposed to be issued in 2002, but after waiting two years for the label to release it, the band soldiered abandoned the project altogether. Their second album, PRIMO VICTORIA (2005), became their first commercial release and Sabaton was off and running. The album was followed by the releases ATTERO DOMINATUS (2006), the long delayed METALIZER (2007), and THE ART OF WAR (2010). Signing to Nuclear Blast, the band received more attention outside of Sweden, charting in several countries with albums such as COAT OF ARMS (2010), CAROLUS REX (2012), HEROES (2014), THE LAST STAND (2016) and THE GREAT WAR (2019). And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and everything came to a halt… at least temporarily.

After a three year wait, Sabaton returns in 2022 with THE WAR TO END ALL WARS, a concept album that explores real atrocities, miracles, and events that are tied to World War 1. Written and recorded during the pandemic, the anxious feelings of modern times mix with the dark truths of the past, creating something that is devastatingly powerful. On this album, Joakim Brodén and Pär Sundström are joined by longtime members guitarists Chris Rörland and Tommy Johansson, and drummer Hannes Van Dahl. Loaded with great tracks such as “Sarajevo”, “Christmas Truce”, “Soldier of Heaven”, and “The Unkillable Soldier”, THE WAR TO END ALL WARS – which serves as the sequel to their 2019 album THE GREAT WAR – hits the listener from all sides, inside and out.  

SABATON

THE WAR TO END ALL WARS

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL/ALL THE TRUTH THAT I CAN TELL

Founded in Boca Raton, Florida in 1999, Dashboard Confessional was originally the side project for Further Seems Forever member Chris Carrabba. Armed with a stack of songs that he felt were too personal for FSF, Carrabba recorded an album entitled THE SWISS ARMY ROMANCE, which he chose to release in 2000 under the group name Dashboard Confessional. Still a member of FSF, he went into the studio in 2001 with the band to record their debut album THE MOON IS DOWN. However, he decided to focus his attentions on Dashboard Confessional and left FSF before the release of the album. While Carrabba has added a semi-revolving group of musicians to Dashboard Confessional’s line-up over the years – including Scott Schoenbeck (bass/keyboards), John Lefler (guitar/keyboards), Mike Marsh (drums), Armon Jay (guitar), and Chris Kamrada (drums) – he remains the leader and main creative force behind the band.

 The year 2001 was a busy one for Dashboard Confessional with the release of their second album, THE PLACES YOU HAVE COME TO FEAR THE MOST, and the EPs THE DROWNING and SO IMPOSSIBLE. After releasing the MTV UNPLUGGED 2.0 in 2002, the band’s real breakthrough came with their third album, A MARK, A MISSION, A BRAND, A SCAR (2003), which rose to Number 2 on the Billboard 200. They became a commercial force to be reckoned with and released a series of successful albums including DUSK AND SUMMER (2006), THE SHADE OF POISON TREES (2007), and AFTER THE ENDING (2009). However, Carrabba put Dashboard Confessional on ice and pursued other interests including a reunion with Further Seems Forever, a solo album, and other musical projects. The group returned in 2018 with the long-awaited album CROOKED SHADOWS, which reached Number 4 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart. After touring the album and taking a break to work on a follow-up album, the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down and things were put on hold.

While the world is in a completely different place than it was when Dashboard Confessional last released an album, the group returns in 2022 with ALL THE TRUTH THAT I CAN TELL, an album that lives up to its title. Mostly focused on Carrabba armed with an acoustic guitar – drums only make their presence felt on two tracks – the album finds the singer/songwriter opening his heart, allowing an open line of communication between the artist and listener. But a purely acoustic album this is not – there is plenty of atmosphere in the recordings that allow Carrabba’s emotions to flow and float freely throughout these recordings. While still sounding confident and in control, he isn’t so eager to put his guard up. There are signs of confusion, sadness, and disappointments in his voice, but he never loses hope. No matter how desperate a situation is, you’ll always find a ray of hope with Dashboard Confessional. Preceded by the singles “Burning Heart” and “Here’s To Moving On”, ALL THE TRUTH THAT I CAN TELL is as honest and as straightforward as an album can get. It is time to get real with Dashboard Confessional.

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL

ALL THE TRUTH THAT I CAN TELL

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BEACH HOUSE/ONCE TWICE MELODY

You don’t have to be and indie music fan to realize that the group Beach House is something special. Whether their name is whispered in hushed tones or shouted from the rooftops, Beach House has built a devoted fanbase that continues to grow with each release. Founded in 2004 by vocalist/keyboardist Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally, the group’s commercial profile has never been higher. While their releases have earned them critical raves over the years, fans are now taking their favorite Beach House songs – including “Space Song” (2015) and “Silver Soul” (2010) – to TikTok and introducing them to a new audience. And as music fans know, all it takes is one song and then the gates are open. And with Beach House, there is so much more to explore.

Beach House released their self-titled debut album in 2006 and introduced the duo’s Indie/Dreampop sound, which would evolve and grow with each release. Their second album, DEVOTION, was released in 2008 and entered the Billboard 200, landing at #195. However, things began to change for the band and their third album, TEEN DREAM (2010) rose to #43 on the album’s chart. Their next two albums crashed into the Top 10: 2012’s BLOOM hit the #7 spot, followed three years later by DEPRESSION CHERRY, which snuggled in at #8. THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS, which was released less than two months after DEPRESSION CHERRY, managed to inch itself into the Top 40, reaching the #39 spot on the albums chart. After the release of their B-SIDES AND RARITIES compilation in 2017, the duo returned with their seventh studio album – creatively titled 7 – in 2018. Since that release, the group’s popularity has continued to grow, raising excitement and anticipation for their next album to new levels. And the wait over…

2022’s ONCE TWICE MELODY is not your average Beach House album. This time, Victoria and Alex gift their fans with a DOUBLE album containing 18 new songs divided into four chapters. The first album to be produced by the duo, ONCE TWICE MELODY moves Beach House’s sound forward while still retaining all the great elements that have made them one of Indie music’s most beloved acts. However, ONCE TWICE MELODY is not Beach-House-by-numbers. The album lifts the band to another level as it presents songs that take deeper atmospheric breaths while allowing the melodies to float into the ether. Painting their musical landscapes with organs, keyboards, acoustic guitars, drum machines, and real drums (by James Barone), Beach House have even added a string ensemble to their arsenal. With songs like “Only You Know”, “Superstar”, “Through Me”, “Hurts To Love”, “New Romance”, and the title track, Beach House has not only met all expectations with this new album – the duo has exceeded them on every level. This is music that matters. It is haunting, beautiful, and life-affirming. ONCE TWICE MELODY is not only what we wanted… it is exactly what we needed.

BEACH HOUSE

ONCE TWICE MELODY

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: AMOS LEE/DREAMLAND

Singer, songwriter, and musician Amos Lee – born Ryan Massaro in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – spent his early years as a second-grade teacher and bartender before fame came calling. Blending folk, rock, blues, and soul into his unique musical gumbo, Amos Lee was showing promise long before he came to prominence in 2005 when he released his debut album. In his early days, he performed any chance he got in local venues and bars. However, his first big break was as opening act for Mose Allison and B.B. King. After recording a four-track demo in 2003, he and his manager sent it out to several record labels. The chances of a big label responding to an unsolicited demo was slim-to-none, but, as luck would have it, iconic label Blue Note Records took notice and signed him up. Impressed by his voice, labelmate Norah Jones invited him to open for her during her 2004 tour. By the time he was ready to release his debut album, there was already a strong buzz throughout the industry…

Amos Lee released his self-titled EP (2004) and his debut album (2005) to critical acclaim and impressive sales. While the album stopped just outside the Top 100 in the U.S., it was an international hit, reaching #13 on the album chart in the Netherlands. His second album, SUPPLY AND DEMAND, was released in 2006 and reached #76 in the States. His third album, LAST DAYS AT THE LODGE (2008), did even better in his home country and rose to #29. With each album outselling the previous one, it was no surprise when MISSION BELL reached the top of the charts in 2011. Building his audience with each release, Amos Lee’s catalog also includes the albums MUSICIANS OF SORROW, RIVERS OF SONG (2013), SPIRIT (2015), and MY NEW MOON (2018). During his career, he also released two more EPS, a pair of live albums, and several singles including the hits “Shout Out Loud”, “Windows Are Rolled Down”, and “No More Darkness, No More Light”.

2022’s DREAMLAND is Amos Lee’s second album on Dualtone and his first album in nearly four years. In some ways, the album picks up where MY NEW MOON left off, but it also travels new musical ground. Perhaps influenced by the state of the world since his last album, DREAMLAND is an atmospheric waltz through a musical world that is neither here nor there – it feels like a journey through the land of dreams. Moody and misty like a thick veil of fog, the album is heartfelt and offers a warm embrace as the songs whisk you through the chill in search of comfort, love, and hope. There is heartbreak, but there is also celebration. There is loss, but there is also redemption. Is this the same album that Amos Lee would have released had there not been a worldwide pandemic? Or is this the result of all that has happened since the beginning of 2020? Does it even matter? DREAMLAND is a beautiful album that continues to build upon his musical legacy, and it is a perfect gateway for those not yet familiar with his work. Key tracks include “Worry No More”, “Shoulda Known Better”, and “See The Light”, but DREAMLAND is an album that should be listened to as a whole. If you’re looking for escape, this album is a dream come true.

AMOS LEE

DREAMLAND

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: MITSKI/LAUREL HELL

Born Mitsuki Laycock in Japan in 1990, the singer, songwriter and musician is better known by her stage name Mitski. Although born in Japan, her father’s job with the United States Department of State meant that she lived in several countries – Turkey, China, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – while growing up. Finally settling in New York, she attended several music schools – including the SUNY Purchase College’s Conservatory of Music – and studied composition. She also learned to play several instruments including piano/keyboards, guitar, and bass. Having written her first song on the piano by the time she was 18, her education broadened her musical horizons and she moved to the next level: recording her songs.

While attending college, she released her debut album, LUSH, in 2012, which was followed in 2013 by RETIRED FROM SAD, NEW CAREER IN BUSINESS. Mitski spent time in the short-lived Prog-Metal band Voice Coils before releasing her third album BURY ME AT MAKEOUT CREEK (2014). Signing with the Dead Oceans label, Mitski released PUBERTY 2 in 2016. Over the next two years, her commercial profile rose thanks to her involvement in other projects including a collaboration with Xiu Xiu. BE THE COWBOY, her fifth album, was released in 2018. While her fans have been awaiting her next album, Mitski has been far from idle. One of her most celebrated projects was the soundtrack to the graphic novel THIS IS WHERE WE FALL, which was released on cassette and vinyl.

After a long wait, Mitski returns in 2022 with her sixth studio album, LAUREL HELL. Produced by Patrick Hyland, who has been her collaborator since her 2013 sophomore album, LAUREL HELL is Mitski’s first release since the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. In some ways, this is an album born from the emotions – conscious and subconscious – that manifested during the pandemic. However, the album also rises above the uncertainty and offers a hopeful escape. Mitski gently lays her voice and lyrics on top of a moody electronic landscape filled with hills, valleys, and many other layers that are often felt more than heard. Featuring highlights such as “Working for the Knife”, “Heat Lightning”, “Love Me More”, and “The Only Heartbreaker”, LAUREL HELL is not a dark and ominous release, although it is filled with shade and shadows. But you can’t make shade and shadows without light, and there is always the light of hope waiting around the corner. An emotional tumble down a musical rabbit hole, LAUREL HELL is yet another feather in Mitski’s cap.

MITSKI

LAUREL HELL

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: EELS/EXTREME WITCHCRAFT

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…

EELS

EXTREME WITCHCRAFT

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: THE WHITMORE SISTERS/GHOST STORIES

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.

THE WHITMORE SISTERS

GHOST STORIES

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: THE LUMINEERS/BRIGHTSIDE

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!

THE LUMINEERS

BRIGHTSIDE

Available NOW!

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: TARU ALEXANDER/ECHOES OF THE MASTER

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.

TARU ALEXANDER

ECHOES OF THE MASTER

Available NOW!