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Browsing: Turn Me On

Since recording her first album in 1993, Garrison Starr has continued to blend folk-rock, Americana and singer-songwriter influences with incredible deftness and to compelling effect. On Garrison Starr’s forthcoming album, Girl I Used To Be, Starr stays unwaveringly true to the emotional landscape she has explored throughout her career, confronting the most confessional, introspective and vulnerable aspects of herself and her experience. Starr’s recent live shows, launching her Patreon, and Girl I Used To Be, all find Starr reclaiming space as a solo artist, after spending the last few years focusing on interesting collaborations and varied side projects while writing…

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Over the course of thirteen years and five studio albums, the kaleidoscopic jam band Howlin Rain has ingeniously explored the ever-evolving relationship between avant-garde psychedelia and blues-based southern rock. Their latest studio album, The Alligator Bride, and new live release, Under The Wheels: Live From The Coasts, Vol 1, both offer immersive listening experiences that are as emotionally and energetically invigorating as they are awe-inspiring in their influences and impressive in their innovations. The musical and existential journeys of Howlin Rain are navigated by the rudimentary compass of singer, guitarist and bandleader Ethan Miller, who founded the band in Oakland,…

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Saxophonist, singer, songwriter, flutist and bandleader Karl Denson has just completed his third tour with The Rolling Stones, whose touring lineup he joined in 2015, filling the shoes left by the late and legendary Bobby Keys. Having once again spent the summer thrilling stadium-sized audiences by flawlessly executing the iconic sax solo that makes “Brown Sugar” one of the greatest songs of all time, Denson is now looking forward to getting back to work with his funky jam band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and his soul jazz outfit The Greyboy Allstars. https://open.spotify.com/album/56MQoYzvGvaaECXTN9rUFY?si=mZwuYG4sTE2AO40TH8BBIw Earlier this year, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe released…

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For his latest Turn Me On column entry, Jackson Truax shines a light on singer/songwriter Alice Howe … Alice Howe’s debut album, Visions, is at once a finely-crafted opening statement and beautifully rustic Americana treasure. Howe’s artistry is itself an expression of loving reverence to her greatest influences including Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt. While Visions fits comfortably in the traditions of their best albums, Howe has extensively developed her own voice as both a singer and a songwriter. Therein lies the triumph of Visions, in which Howe presents something both entirely familiar as well as infinitely fresh.…

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Singer, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Koi Anunta has recently released Tessitura, her latest project under the name In Love & War. The six-song EP beautifully weaves Anunta’s tapestry of trip-hop, industrial rock, orchestral, singer-songwriter and classical influences. https://open.spotify.com/album/5UfCI1Y9958YHoY5EXz9Rx?si=-5W2_LNERSmvN_0LatGjkQ Anunta spent much of her youth being classically-trained before graduating with a medical degree at the age of twenty-four. Her love of improvisation led her to bring her proficiency at classic violin and piano into the spaces of the aforementioned forms of experimental rock. Anunta’s largely-auteured Tessitura is a statement of mastery of this work, while also serving as what is hopefully…

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Merry Ellen Kirk’s last two releases, 2015’s We Are the Dreamers and the newly-released We Are the Dreamers (Reprise), are the remarkable bounty of the decade Kirk has spent pursuing a fascinating music career. While Kirk is very much a singer-songwriter, and her influences and expressions often fit the label comfortably, what makes her albums stand out is her ability to express the most intimate of concerns through the most expansive of musical textures while creating an emotional landscape that feels as sonically lush as it does interpersonal. Though as the title might suggest, the fresh Reprise offering serves as…

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Buck Up, the new album from Carsie Blanton, serves as a Trojan horse for her endlessly fun and captivating brand of cultural subversion. Through blending her two main influences of the singer-songwriter movement and vocal jazz, Blanton created an “All Killer, No Filler” listening experience that’s as radiantly jubilant as it is deeply thought-provoking. https://twitter.com/carsieblanton/status/1108114596856946688 And while the humor, irony, satire, and sarcasm inherent in Blanton’s writing are incredible joys to experience, what makes her work culturally essential and emotionally transcendent is her willingness to provide the feminist, counter-culture, sex-positive, gender-bending, socialist manifesto that we didn’t know we needed until “That…

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On The Wood Brothers’ latest album, One Drop of Truth, the Nashville-based trio brilliantly utilizes a compelling variety of Americana influences to craft a song cycle that’s equally captivating, joyous and memorable. The band’s recent run of West Coast shows found guitarist Oliver Wood, bassist Chris Wood and drummer Jano Rix providing their audiences with musically and emotionally transcendent sets, which included a jaw-dropping blend of delicate folk harmonies, acoustic blues, heavy hitting electric jams and funky soul grooves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYY1T7BYd9U After concluding the band’s annual late-winter West coast run, Oliver quickly rejoined his family for some well-deserved time off. He…

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With the 2018 release of their second album, Lucky 13, and an increasingly prolific 2019 touring schedule, Shannon Rae and 100 Proof are reaching an ever-growing audience with their unique brand of country rock. At the heart of the band’s music and live set are a collection of thoroughly memorable original songs written by the band’s two songwriters, lead singer Rae and keyboard player Dave Polich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIAvBK3CzEE Their show connects meaningfully with a range of audiences, as their original songs showcase Rae and Polich’s ability to masterfully utilize the evocative storytelling and effective song structures that have been at the…

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Fernando Perdomo photo via Cyndi Trissel Less than a year ago, Fernando Perdomo released Out to Sea, a sonically dynamic and thoroughly memorable instrumental prog rock album on which he plays every instrument on almost every song, along with being the sole songwriter, producer and engineer. Perdomo quickly followed with Zebra Crossing, a blending of his prog sensibilities with his equally accomplished identity as a prolific singer-songwriter, largely recorded in one ten-hour session at Abbey Road Studios. He also completed Out to Sea 2, another vivid, compelling and immersive song cycle being released in February, now available for pre-order on…

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