Rich Lynch is a singer-songwriter, musician, journalist and radio host currently releasing digital singles on the Internet. As the founder and editor of several online music magazines since 1999 his in-box is regularly flooded with news on compelling new acts and product releases. Here are his current favorites and top picks!
DEREK NORSWORTHY - Derek Norsworthy calls himself a new age artist influenced by the likes of Country, Rock-N-Roll, Pop, Motown and Blues. Now, on a path to create a new hybrid sound in music he offers up an insightful and endearing song that sticks pretty close to the modern CMA formula for success. Heavy horns and rockin' riffs support astute hard hitting lyrical truths and observational humor on the human condition that is guaranteed to keep the "Neighbors Talkin'" all night long!"
TODD BARROW - We learned one valuable lesson when we moved to Nashville nearly five years ago and it's that country music is cool! On "Country's Just Cooler" emerging star in the genre Todd Barrow thinks so, too. The award-winning songwriter from the Lone Star State is already making a name for himself as a country artist to watch. If the lead single from his latest project is any indication things are set to heat up as this track contains all the elements to become a hot commodity in the honky tonks across the land. Starting with a sly slide the 3 minute and 20 second offering is an anthemic declaration of love to the greatest country songs. This one name-checks many of the legends as it cheers on chugging beer and barroom dancing. Barrow - who has an incredible knack for a turn of phrase even provides scientific proof to back his claim. "You can measure it with a ruler, real country's just cooler!"
SNAPDIBZ - Well, it was only a matter or time until someone released a Covid-19 song that would threaten to climb the charts. But, that's just what the Chicago-based purveyors of smart and intellectual hip hop known as SnapDibz have done with their infectious track "The Climb". To unmask this band we know that SnapDibz himself was schooled in guitar before perfecting his rap and that places his musical output in a class of its own. The team felt that with all that's occurring across the globe the time was right for a positive message that gets delivered with uplifting appeal even as it is inspired by a grueling undertaking. "The Climb" has many peaks including the melodic chorus with strong female vocals that makes the case that we are all in this together. Setting SnapDibz apart from the competition in the genre is pleasing production, clean instrumentation and a desire to keep their lyrical style free of excessive profanity or popular superficial topics. SnapDibz want us to remind you though - don't be distant when it comes to social media! Make the climb with them today!
So Dirty The Flamingos - This gritty project hailing from Toronto are as enigmatic and colorful as their name implies even if they are a little rough around the feathers. Their entry in the Kingdom Animalia would probably include the description that reads something like - "laid back lo-fi offerings that straddle the ground between alt-country and Americana in a most satisfying manner". The band grew out of the germination in the mind of frontman Lionel Doe and soon a more elaborate idea was born. The creature that is currently SDTF is a hybrid that proudly struts roots combining the DNA of Sun Records production sensibilities, traditional country instrumentation and a few well placed Dylan references all delivered via Doe's compassionate and insightful songs. The quintet is now spreading its wings on their fine new 2020 release "Unamerican Girl" that builds on the knowledge they gained from recording their first album. Like the proud and quirky bird who gives this group their identity - So Dirty The Flamingos deserve your attention. Join the flock today!
Briana Calhoun - Just in time for a darkening world comes a bright and shining light in the form of Briana Calhoun. Hailing from Louisiana this stunning southern belle is most proficient in the genre of southern pop and she has emerged as an alluring and uplifting force to be reckoned with. Bri is the whole package wrapped up with an air of exotic and mysterious beauty. Strip away the layers and the substance inside is revealed through strong song-writing and performances on her most recent tracks "Hang Up", "Learn Girl" and "Whiskey". Drink her in!
Poker Face is a band truly built for this challenging moment in history. On their much anticipated sixth album, Songs for the Q Revolution the fearsome foursome from Pennsylvania continue to speak their mind while they still can. On the timely "(FEAR) Leave It Behind" an urgent guitar-driven pulsation moves the track forward as frontman Paul Topete provides an injection of courage in a last ditch effort to cure our apathetic populace. The anthemic "Living in the Land of Pinocchio" tells the truth as they see it - and I won't lie - the message is downright disturbing but that seems to be the point. When these political rockers convene behind closed doors it's no conspiracy that what inevitably emerges is a powerful platter that forces the listener to question everything they have ever believed in. They're just playing the hand they've been dealt.
Justin Fancy has just released his debut country single to Canadian radio. While "Long Time Comin'" shares its name with one of the better latter era Springsteen tracks its got a little sprinkling of compatriot Bryan Adams mixed in with a strong modern country vibe. The song is an uplifting anthem that details the sometimes arduous journey it takes to finally make it to your destination. But, this talented performer has arrived just in time. Give it a spin and we're sure you'll fancy it as much as we do.
Foley & The Fire are four music veterans who count Bruce Springesteen, U2, Tom Petty and The Killers among their most significant influences. With "Springsteen On The Radio" they pay homage to The Boss and his ability to get his fans working on pursuing their own dreams. Clocking in at 3 minutes and 36 seconds the powerful AOR-styled anthem name-checks only a few Bruce related songs as it recalls the power and promise of hearing Springsteen echo across the airwaves when tracks about cars and sand took on epic religious meaning for those with ears ready to hear. The end result is a grand sonic gesture that pays fitting tribute to the glory days of Jersey's greatest rock giant. Foley & The Fire have a burner with their latest and it's a good bet somewhere further up the road we'll be hearing them on the radio, too.
ANOTHER DAY DAWNS - These Pennsylvania based rockers made the pilgrimage to Dark Horse Studios in Franklin, Tennessee to lay down tracks for their new EP STRANGERS. But, don't expect any country music on the album's five tracks. On this record the high energy quartet seem to turn the calendar to a point back in the day when acts from the mid-nineties and early 2000's ruled the airwaves. ADD has created a hybrid sound based on the successful alternative rock and nu metal formula. Yet, the quality quartet of Dakota Sean (vocals), Tyler Ritter (guitar), Jerome Betz (bass) and Nick McGeehan (drums) only use that template as a jumping off point to plant their own ferocious and furious flag in the ground. The tasty "Taste of Heaven" shimmers with a glorious groove while the slower "Never Okay" is more than all right as it delivers real insight into the band's own personal story. The end result is that STRANGERS is strangely familiar but surely not contemptible - not even close.
TUESDAY AT SIX - It remains our undying wish that during our lifetime we absolutely do not want to see rock and roll die. Now, a powerful quartet from Gorey, Co. Wexford, Ireland are doing all they can to make sure that never happens with their explosive new single and statement of purpose "Genie in the Bottle" that bubbles over will all the angst and discord you'd expect to emerge in the post-Brexit era of uncertainty and confusion. If you miss the revolutionary fervor and fanaticism created by more familiar acts like the Arctic Monkeys and Oasis - well, give this one a spin - it's sure to rub off on you.
THE CRAVENS - The sophomore jinx is of no concern for this respected veteran pop/rock outfit from West Palm Beach, Florida. On their second release The Dark Side of Love the quintet led by brothers John and Bill Storch mine a slightly darker and grittier path than last year's debut. But, all the elements that made that effort a favorite are still here. Effective songcraft, top notch musicianship and passionate performances abound on the title track and the single "Dakota Rise" in enough quantity to guarantee that the light will continue to shine on these renegades who are serving a life sentence in rock and roll.