[Marius Masalar/Unsplash]

Music Reviews

00:00 May 30, 2012
By: Kristal Blue

Ryan Harris & Co.

Cheers To The Wind

Ryan Harris & Co.

I have no doubts that Ryan Harris & Co.'s debut record Cheers To The Wind will find many happy homes in the music collections of a diverse audience. Ryan says of his band "I'm still not exactly sure what genre we are, and honestly, I'm OK with that." Listeners will feel the same. Ryan's blues-driven Americana song writing is supported by a four-piece horn section, creating a surprisingly comfortable tension...something like a rugged fiesta. Bob Kling chimes in on the upright bass lending certain tracks, like "I Think I see A Face," a melancholic twist which gives the album a nice sonic balance. The themes are pretty consistent—lost love, vague love, change. But the instrumentation allows each track to act as an individual vignette. The horns can be carefree or mournful, the drums driven or subtle. Ryan's vocals are the most consistent —conversational and rambling, he delivers the lyrics and lets a catchy horns refrain hook you in. Blues lovers, brass lovers, Americana lovers, take note. You will find a moment of bliss on this album.— Suzannah Powell

Various Artists

Treme- Season 2: Music from the HBO OS Rounder

It's hard not to view the soundtrack to HBO's "Treme" as a New Orleans music sampler for the rest of the country (and world). No doubt that New Orleans music has its own renowned reputation— but there's something exciting about the exposure that a popular television show can grant to a musical culture. Treme entertains and educates; each episode devotes nearly as much screen time to musical performance as it does to narrative development. The soundtrack to Season 2 features "characters" who are, as we know, also real live musicians and legends to the city: Kermit Ruffins, The Hot 8 Brass Band, DJ Davis, to name a few. Speaking of DJ Davis—I wish the soundtrack had a little more of his flair. A consistent theme of the show is Davis' attempts to get airplay and exposure to local hip-hop and bounce. Ironically, the soundtrack is missing that very presence (beyond Davis' "Road Home" and "From the Corner to the Block" featuring Juvenile). Perhaps we should interpret the failure to include all sounds of the city as a testament to the vast sonic quality of New Orleans. But beyond the soundtrack's functionality there is the question of quality. Does it stand on its own apart from being a vessel of exposure? Apart from being a series soundtrack?

Certainly. New Orleans music is not just exceptionally diverse—it is simply exceptional.

—Suzannah Powell

See You in Mexico

The Doomed Traveler

Community Records

Local rockers See You in Mexico have created something very unique on their latest effort, The Doomed Traveler—in fact, labeling the album is a unique task in itself. It's a rock/folk album, yet, its also a novel. At Communityrecords. org you can download the six-track album and read the song lyrics, as well as fictional diary entries going along with the music. It is a meticulously developed concept.

The story chronicles a group of explorers coming back home after a failed expedition into a foreign land. Details are vague in regarding the date and location when this is happening, or where they went—everything is left to the imagination.

The music itself is engaging, with a wide variety of instruments providing an atmospheric background to the story. Acoustic and electric guitar, accordion, violin, harmonica…all these sounds set the mood for the emotions the characters are feeling.

The Doomed Travler is an inspired journey, and an exceptional artistic venture. This is one not to miss.—Peter DuPont

Kristi Guillory and the Midtown Project

Broken Glass

Kristi Guillory/ Indie

Veteran Cajun accordion player Kristi Guillory is back with her latest project that is sure to take folk music to the next level. Formerly known as the front woman of Bonsoir, Catin, Guillory has ventured into her newest musical collaboration, The Midtown Project where she is joined in the studio by Cal Stevenson, Brian Marshall and Danny Devillier.

Broken Glass is a sweet blend of soulful Americana folk and Cajun music mixed with the rhythms of great instrumentalist. Guillory pours out blues like emotion conjoined with the fun loving vibes of traditional folk music in every track.

Kristi Guillory and the Midtown Project are all about feel good music. Pick up a copy of Broken Glass and hear for yourself. — Kimmie Tubrè

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