Monday, February 06, 2023

New Music: Bobbo Byrnes' 'October'; Shania Twain's 'Queen of Me'

Singer-songwriter Bobbo Byrnes and Canadian country-pop songstress Shania Twain both have essential new studio releases available now.

Bobbo Byrnes
Title: October (Kiss My Squirrel Music)
You might like if you enjoy: The Fallen Stars, Bruce Cockburn, Celtic folk, Americana
Tell me more: Bobbo Byrnes' new album October marks a welcome return for the talented singer-songwriter. Byrnes uses his gifts as singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin) to deliver a strong set of nine acoustic gems. While on tour in Europe in the fall of 2022, Byrnes had the opportunity to record at the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany and at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, Ireland. The results of those rich sessions have yielded selections that blend traditional folk with layered sound effects that provide enhanced soundscapes across the disc. "The Sea" benefits from an especially strong arrangement of more quiet verses that give way to driving instrumental sections; the dual use of driving guitar and mandolin further define this great cut. The lovely instrumental "October" fuses Byrnes' nuanced work on the acoustic guitar with the otherworldly layers of an e-bow. "Untitled" is a lovely and yearning nugget, with Byrnes' evocative vocals enhanced by sparse guitar accompaniment. Byrnes really immerses himself in a haunting Celtic-flavored cover of "Crooked Jack." His version of David Bowie's classic "Heroes"  the original version was recorded by Bowie at Hansa Studio in 1977  is especially impressive, with Byrnes effectively building the power of the song with a combination of vocal firepower, well played rhythm guitar and soaring e-bow. Byrnes will celebrate the release of his new album October with a CD release show at The Harp Inn in Costa Mesa, playing 8-10 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9. Information:

Shania Twain
Title: Queen of Me (Republic Nashville)
You might like if you enjoy: Shania Twain, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift
Tell me more: Veteran country-pop music favorite Shania Twain is back with her sixth studio album, Queen of Me. Twain's first new album since 2017's Now, Queen of Me is an effort that finds the beloved Canadian singer-songwriter taking aim at the charts with a disc full of catchy and accessible synth-anchored modern music. The material here is commercial to be sure, with the new single "Giddy Up!" an obvious shot at returning Twain to the attention of her millions of fans. The driving dance track "Waking Up Dreaming" is an especially strong song, with Twain's signature vocals used to perfect effect. Other strong entries on the album include the genre-bending electronica-meets-country nugget "Pretty Liar," shining pop tracks "Inhale/Exhale AIR" and "Number One," super bewitching dream pop sortie "Got It Good" and confessional "The Hardest Stone." Information:

Robert Kinsler

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

New Music: NRBQ, The Stayawakes, Panthervision, The Arcs

Check out some terrific new music titles available now.

Title: Tiddlywinks (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: R.E.M., the Monkees' "Headquarters," The Minus 5
Tell me more: Originally released in 1980 via Rounder Records, NRBQ's album Tiddlywinks has just been reissued via a delightful expanded edition courtesy of Omnivore Recordings. The Louisville, Kentucky-spawned band has always been a genre-defying delight; Tiddlywinks showcases the troupe's eclectic sonic instincts in spades. Band mates Terry Adams (piano, clarinet, harmonica, vocals), Joey Spampinato (bass, guitar vocals), Al Anderson (guitar, vocals) and Tom Ardolino crafted some of NRBQ's most beloved tracks on their eighth album including two winning singles (the propulsive "Me And The Boys" and "Never Take The Place Of You," the latter a particularly lovely soul-mining original). Additional standouts include the buoyant opener "Feel You Around Me," Baroque folk ballad "Beverly," rollicking "That I Get Back Home," '50s-flavored cut "Want You To Feel Good Too" (featuring plenty of great piano work from Adams) and power pop nugget "You Can't Hide." The bonus track "Big Goodbyes" is very interesting with jarring blasts from guests The Whole Wheat Horns and Adams' own harmonica work providing a haunting delivery over the course of its almost four minute run. The reissue features updated artwork and liner notes from original engineer Tom Mark. Information:

The Stayawakes
Title: Dogs And Cats/Living Together — Special Edition (Kool Kat Musik)
You might like if you enjoy: Goo Goo Dolls, Fountains of Wayne, Psychic Rain, Something Corporate
Tell me more: In 2022, Kool Kat Musik cast a well-deserved spotlight on The Stayawakes with the release of the band's acclaimed Pop Dreamz. Fast forward to 2023 and the record label has reissued The Stayawakes' 2018 under-the-radar effort Dogs And Cats/Living Togethe Special Edition. An outstanding album of energetic power pop, the album opens with the dashing "Slumbers," an original which struck this listener as a magical collaboration between the Gin Blossoms and Goo Goo Dolls. The album's top-tier tracks abound, including the cascading "Keepsakes," literate "Little Explorer," aptly-titled "High School Weirdness," and artfully sumptuous "Overdue." Lead singer Andrew Ricks' poignant lead vocals have a perfect fit in the musical brew created by guitarist Peter Foulk, drummer Steven Hart, keyboardist David Pryce and bassist Jimmy Cooper. The "Special Edition" also includes six additional previously-unreleased tracks not included on the original 2018 release. Information:

Title: Now In 3-D (Kool Kat Musik)
You might like if you enjoy: Beyond Veronica, the Muffs, the Bangles' early albums
Tell me more: Lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Bonnie Veronica and lead guitarist Kirk Larsen fronted Portland-based power pop/garage rockers Beyond Veronica for 15 years before forming the harder-edged Panthervision. On their wonderful new debut album Now In 3-D (available Feb. 3, 2023 via Kool Kat Musik) the quartet (whose lineup also features drummer Ben Asher and bassist Ty Gerhardt) provide proof that modern rock can simultaneously be melodic, bold and flat out fun. The parade of tuneful tracks include the driving opener "Say What You Like," undeniably catchy "Trouble," raucous "Out in the Street," lively "Through My Window" (which recalls the sound of the Bangles' All Over The Place era), psychedelia-tinged "Mister Riley" and bewitching lead guitar-loaded "I Need You." Panthervision also shines on an amped up cover of the 1966 Love classic "Can't Explain." Panthervision's forceful brand of power pop is elevated by shining harmonies embellishing the rapid fire pacing. Information:

The Arcs
Title: Electronphonic Chronic (Easy Eye Sound)
You might like if you enjoy: The Shins, Modest Mouse, Dan Auerbach
Tell me more: In 2015, Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys) went into the studio with Leon Michels, Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon and the late Richard Swift (who passed away July 3, 2018) to record The Arcs' debut album Yours, Dreamily. The ensemble recorded so many tracks that didn't make it on that debut that they put together the best of those cuts to complete and release as a way to honor Swift resulting in the newly released Electronphonic Chronic. The sound of the album is a welcoming brew of electronica, neo-psychedelic rock, funk-fed grooves and indie rock. The dreamy "Keep On Dreamin'," shimmering "Eyez," hypnotic "Heaven Is A Place" and low-fi delight "Califone Interlude" are among the early standouts; the magic continues with the soul-flavored "River," Americana-tinged "A Man Will Do Wrong" and soulful ballad "Only One For Me" on the marvelous disc. Information:

Robert Kinsler

Monday, January 30, 2023

Watch the trailer for the upcoming YouTube series 'Music Is Still Good'


Watch the trailer for the forthcoming album review series coming in early February! On each episode, TJR and Robert Kinsler each feature a recent album release where they prove "Music Is Still Good." Watch the trailer HERE

Friday, January 27, 2023

Orianthi delivers signature guitar mastery and hard-hitting rock at The Coach House

Orianthi, Mori's Memento

Where: The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA

When: Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

Next: Orianthi performs at The Canyon in Agoura Hills, CA on Saturday, Jan. 28


Review by Robert Kinsler

Photography by Bob Steshetz

Orianthi is one of the world's most talented and exciting guitar players.

Performing before a capacity crowd at the legendary Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, CA on Thursday night, singer-songwriter/guitar virtuoso Orianthi brought her signature command of the guitar and solid talents as singer and songwriter together for a winning concert. Backed by an impressive three-man outfit, Orianthi performed a mix of winning originals and select covers over the course of 100 minutes.

She opened with the heavy riff rocker "Light It Up," a cut that recalls some of the best melodic hard rock stylings of the 1970s. Orianthi was able to cut loose with the first of what would be a night full of flashy and impressive lead guitar solos. Beyond her incredible talents as a guitarist, Orianthi displayed how she has carved out her own sound that falls somewhere at the rewarding intersection where British and American blues meet alternative rock and pop rock. 

From left, guitarist Neil Swanson, drummer Elias Mallin, Orianthi and bassist Justin Andres performing at The Coach House on Jan. 26, 2023.

Another early highlight of the set was the super speedy "What's It Gonna Be," where the artist delivered precision guitar technique as well as impressive high reaching vocal notes in the dramatic choruses. 

The crowd that filled the Coach House was rewarded with the first-time ever performance of a song titled "First Time Blues" (or perhaps the title is "First Time I Got The Blues"), that the Adelaide, Australia native noted she had just written. Based on the strength of the thunderous blues rocker and its strong reception from the audience, there is a good chance we may hear the song on a forthcoming Orianthi studio LP. 

She also showcased her incredible talents as a rhythm guitarist on an enticing cover of Michael Jackson's "Black or White." 

Guitarist Neil Swanson with Orianthi at The Coach House.

Orianthi artfully performed a short acoustic set with her band guitarist; a lovely version of "Where Did Your Heart Go" found her adorning the song with beautiful flamenco-flavored guitar sonics. 

From left, Orianthi and Tracii Guns during a performance of "Sinners Hymn."

For her fiery performance of her original "Sinners Hymn," Orianthi brought out guest guitarist Tracii Guns (of L.A. Guns fame). During the song's last half, Orianthi unleashed a dazzling solo before Tracii Guns answered with his own fiery guitar foray.

From left, guitarist Neil Swanson, singer-guitarist Orianthi, guitarist Tracii Guns and
drummer Elias Mallin at The Coach House.

After ending her regular set with an energetic take on her 2009 hit "According to You," she thrilled the crowd with a powerful version of the Jimi Hendrix classic "Voodoo Chile." Orianthi is that rare modern day guitar great capable of conjuring up the flawless technique, power and wizardry of the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

Mori's Memento performing at The Coach House on Jan. 26, 2023.

Opening for Orianthi was Los Angeles-based Mori's Memento, a rising young troupe whose sound conjured up the hard rock Sunset Strip sounds of the 1980s. In addition to performing some solid original cuts, the group performed reworkings of Ratt's "Round and Round" and Dokken's "Into The Fire."

Thursday, January 26, 2023

'A GRAMMY® Salute to the Beach Boys' is coming on Feb. 8, 2023; purchase tickets now

One of the world's great artists is set to be honored by a slew of other music notables via a GRAMMY Salute to the Beach Boys on Feb. 8, 2023. (You can read my review of the Beach Boys' August 2022 concert event HERE)...Robert Kinsler

The Beach Boys performing at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Aug. 8, 2022.
Photo credit: Bob Steshetz


Weezer will be among the artists performing at the event. Photo credit: Sean Murphy

A stellar lineup of GRAMMY®-winning artists and past and current GRAMMY nominees including Beck, Brandi Carlile, Fall Out Boy, Hanson, Norah Jones, Lady A, John Legend, Little Big Town, Michael McDonald, Mumford & Sons, My Morning Jacket, Pentatonix, Charlie Puth, LeAnn Rimes, St. Vincent, Take 6, and Weezer are slated to perform at the special tribute concert honoring the legendary Beach Boys.
Beck will be paying tribute to The Beach Boys at the Dolby Theatre.
Photo: Kim Kinsler

The Recording Academy®, Tenth Planet Productions and CBS present A GRAMMY® Salute to the Beach Boys on Feb. 8, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. The live concert special will feature a star-studded lineup to celebrate and pay tribute to the group's remarkable career. The tribute special will air on the CBS Television Network and be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+ at a later date.
A GRAMMY Salute to the Beach Boys is produced by Tenth Planet Productions.
Wed, Feb. 8, 2023
Doors – 5:30 p.m. PT
Concert – 6:30 p.m. PT
The public link to purchase tickets can be found here.
Dolby Theatre
6801 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music's history while investing in its future through the GRAMMY Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the GRAMMY Awards® — music's only peer-recognized accolade and highest achievement. As the world's leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.

For more information about the Academy, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @RecordingAcad on Twitter, "like" Recording Academy on Facebook, and join the Recording Academy's social communities on InstagramYouTubeTikTok, and LinkedIn.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Marshall Crenshaw 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition out February 17 on Yep Roc Records

Marshall Crenshaw's wonderful self-titled album is being reissued next month, and the audio CD version includes bonus material too!...Robert Kinsler

Yep Roc Records Announces 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition Of Marshall Crenshaw’s Self-Titled Debut Album
Newly Remastered Original Album Features Seven Bonus Tracks Available February 17
Yep Roc Records celebrates the 40th anniversary of Marshall Crenshaw’s self-titled debut album with a bonus-filled reissue. Available February 17, the expanded CD anniversary edition includes the original album, seven bonus tracks, five of which are previously unreleased, including home demos, B-sides, alternate mixes and live recordings.
Featuring his breakthrough hit, "Someday, Someway,” the album also includes memorable songs like “Cynical Girl, “Mary Anne,” and “There She Goes Again.” With newly remastered audio by veteran engineer Greg Calibi, the CD reissue has new liner notes by Crenshaw. The digital format features newly remastered audio, and the double LP version of the album, released last fall on Record Store Day Black Friday, is sold-out. Marshall Crenshaw is available for pre-order today. 
Hailed as one of the 100 best albums of the ‘80s by Rolling Stone, Marshall Crenshaw was recorded at The Record Plant in New York City, co-produced by Richard Gotterher and Marshall Crenshaw with engineers Thom Panunzio and Jim Ball. Following its release in April 1982 on Warner Bros. Records, Marshall Crenshaw spent six months on the Billboard chart, peaking at No. 50.
Marshall Crenshaw Tracklisting:
1. There She Goes Again
2. Someday, Someway
3. Girls. . .
4. I’ll Do Anything
5. Rockin’ Around in N.Y.C.
6. The Usual Thing
7. She Can’t Dance
8. Cynical Girl
9. Mary Anne
10. Soldier of Love
11. Not For Me
12. Brand New Lover
Bonus Tracks - only available on CD
13. Look at What I Almost Missed*
14. Something’s Gonna Happen^
15. Brand New Lover (alt.)^
16. (You’re My Favorite) Waste of Time*
17. Just Not For Me (aka Not For Me)*
18. Never Gonna Happen*
19. Maryanne*
*previously unreleased
^previously released

Follow Marshall Crenshaw

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Beck and Phoenix bringing 2023 co-headline 'Summer Odyssey' Tour to North America

What a great tour! This has to be one of the mostly highly-anticipated summer tours of 2023! I've seen Beck (many times), Phoenix, Japanese Breakfast and Jenny Lewis  all are terrific in concert. Robert Kinsler




Tickets On Sale Starting Friday, January 27 at 10 a.m. Local on

Beck (in center) with Phoenix. The two artists will co-headline on their 'Summer Odyssey' Tour
beginning on Aug. 1, 2023.

Eight-time Grammy-winning artist Beck and Grammy-winning French band Phoenix announced their upcoming co-headline Summer Odyssey tour. Produced by Live Nation, the 19-city run kicks off on Tuesday, Aug. 1 in Seattle at Climate Pledge Arena, with stops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston, Boston, New York, and more before wrapping up on Sunday, Sept. 10 in Columbia at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The tour will feature Japanese Breakfast, Jenny Lewis and Weyes Blood on select dates with Sir Chloe.

The tour will make a Los Angeles stop at Kia Forum on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023.

TICKETS: Tickets go on sale starting Friday, January 27 at 10 a.m. local time on


Tue Aug 01 – Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena ^#

Thu Aug 03 – Bend, OR – Hayden Homes Amphitheater ^#

Sat Aug 05 – Concord, CA – Concord Pavilion ^#

Mon Aug 07 - Los Angeles, CA - Kia Forum ^#

Tue Aug 08 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena +#

Wed Aug 09 – Orange County, CA – OC Fair*

Fri Aug 11 – Phoenix, AZ – Footprint Center +#

Sat Aug 12 – Las Vegas, NV – Michelob ULTRA Arena +#

Tue Aug 15 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre +#

Fri Aug 18 – Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP ~#

Sun Aug 20 – Houston, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion ~#

Mon Aug 21 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion ~#

Tue Aug 22 – Austin, TX – Moody Center ~#

Thu Aug 31 – Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion #

Sat Sep 02 – Detroit, MI – Pine Knob Music Theatre ~#

Sun Sep 03 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage ~#

Tue Sep 05 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway ~#

Fri Sep 08 – Philadelphia, PA – TD Pavilion at the Mann ~#

Sat Sep 09 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden ~

Sun Sep 10 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion ~#

Support Key

^ Jenny Lewis

+ Japanese Breakfast

~ Weyes Blood

# Sir Chloe

* Fair Date


2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominee and eight-time Grammy-winner Beck has traveled light years from his emergence as a reluctant generational spokesperson when “Loser” exploded into a ubiquitous 1994 smash. Beck's singular vision has since seen him utilize all manners and eras of music, blazing a path into the future while foraging through the past.

Surfacing just as mainstream and alternative intersected, no small thanks to his 1994 debut Mellow Gold, Beck quickly confounded expectations with subsequent releases including the lo-fi folk of One Foot in the Grave and 1996’s multi-platinum Odelay—which has remained a cultural touchstone for generations.

Beck’s creative evolution has always progressed at an exponential rate.  From the atmospherics of 1998's Mutations and the fluorescent funk of 1999's Midnite Vultures, the somber reflections of 2002's Sea Change, 2005's tour de force Guero and 2006's sprawling The Information, 2008's acclaimed Modern Guilt, 2014’s Album of the Year Grammy-winning Morning Phase, the “euphoric blast of experimental pop” (Rolling Stone) that was 2017’s Colors and his 2019 "best in a decade” (People) Hyperspace… No Beck record has ever sounded like its predecessor — though The New York Times notes a consistent thread: “Though Beck’s records through the years have tended toward maximalism, a kind of meticulous sonic gorgeousness, melody remains central to his art.``

Follow Beck:

Website | Facebook |  Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Phoenix is a critically-acclaimed band from France. Born out of high school friendships in Versailles, Phoenix have been nominated twice for Grammy awards, winning “Best Alternative Album” in 2010 for their record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix which included hit singles "1901" and "Lisztomania." They also won “Best Rock Album” in 2014 for

Bankrupt! at the French Victoires de La Musique. 

Known for their sleek, highly stylized sonics and incredible, infectious melodies, Phoenix recently released their critically lauded new album Alpha Zulu featuring current single Tonight with Ezra Koenig. The band has headlined festivals including Coachella, Rock en Seine and Governors Ball. They have sold out New York City’s prestigious Madison Square Garden and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, and played festivals from Glastonbury (UK) to Vieilles Charrues (FR) to Summer Sonic (JPN) and more around the globe.

Follow Phoenix:

Website |  Facebook |  Twitter  Instagram |  YouTube 

About Live Nation Entertainment

Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Sponsorship. For additional information, visit