Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Paul Mark and the Van Dorens return with Gravity


Paul Mark and the Van Dorens return with Gravity, on their 11th and most astonishing release. But if an introduction is in order, they can all be found and purchased at the band’s website and shows. This is a great group led by a truly gifted singer/songwriter and all-around musician that captivated me from the first listen of the latest record. Gravity is an awesome album from head to toes, and the overall concept of it makes for a timely release that keeps up to the moment in its own peculiar ways. If it was not recorded that way on purpose, then it even makes Paul Mark shine all-the more. Kicking off with the fun lovingly told story of “Gravity Is Failing” which does well in describing what this whole stack of songs are about. You never lose the thread once you hear it and there’s no losing the plot anywhere along the line once the way he sings grabs your attention and doesn’t let go for the entire ride. 

“Forever” follows with a piano ballad to contrast the first number and establish a more serious musical pattern which is then contrasted to more of a combo between the first two with “I Spin When You Grin” containing both elements. Up to this point is has mostly been Paul Mark showcasing himself, but “The Next Fight” starts to show more band participation with some strings starting to show up on another ballad, this one a lot more brooding. The song plays like a warning to keep things from escalating when they get heated, and the next number “Coronation” is an instrumental with a chamber feel to it backed by sirens in the atmosphere. 

This leads into one of the more comical moments on “Con Man VIP” where he carries on about the game and how it is currently being played in Washington by describing what is not the most conventional politics. “Friend Gone Astray” comes in at just the right time with one of the better songs on offer, as it really can’t be flawed. And for more of the songwriting fun you get “You Can Take It With You,” as he brings more humor into the consistent bunch of songs. The album also switches up quite often and gets back to the narrative feel it started out with on “OTB” with more of a spoken word ballad that is rather nice as well. Said changes come on even stronger with a fantastic cover of “Heart Full Of Soul” by the Yardbirds, and what a compliment it pays to the original with an amazing semi acoustic version that just works in every way. 

But that’s not all, there’s also the very Randy Newman meets Tom Waits sounding “Waiting Round For You” that hits home as one of the longer and better tracks. “December At The P.O.” closes with a winter post office homage to top everything off with another great number to write home about on a highly recommended new release. 

 Rachel Townsend

Monday, April 20, 2020

Interview - Alonzo


Hello Alonzo! Thank you for taking time to chat with us today. How are you doing? What has this time of social distancing been like for you? 


Hey! It’s my pleasure. I’m doing great. I’ve literally just been taking this whole thing 1 day at a time while still trying to be as productive as I possibly can. I’ve kind of gone through phases. First couple of weeks I was really excited to get some rest. Now, I’m just doing what I can to not feel lazy and like my life is passing me by. I work out from home every day, I’m teaching myself how to play piano and having fun making Tik Tok videos haha. 

Has this time given you more time to focus on music or do you find it more difficult? 

Well luckily, I had just officially finished recording my Album the week all of this started. The last 2 weeks of March I went back and forth with my producer Eric Zayne and my mixing engineer Rom Zareski. All vocals had been recorded, so at this point we were able to do all of the mixing and mastering communicating via email and phone. I’d say the biggest thing I miss right now is the stage. I really can’t wait to start performing again. 

We saw you partnered up with the UnLonely project to curate your own playlist. Tell us more about that. 

Ahhh yes! UnLonely project is a project launched by the Arts and Healing Foundation. It focuses on spreading awareness about how important it is to not be lonely and the effects that loneliness can have on our mental and physical health. They asked me to create a playlist on Spotify about “Connection”. I wanted to focus on one of the most important connections (the connection we have with ourselves). I really love how the playlist turned out feel free to check out more info here! https://artandhealing.org/unlonely-playlist-alonzo/ 

What music are you listening to the most right now? Any particular artist? 

This is probably gonna sound so narcissistic haha but I must be truthful. I’ve been listening to my own unreleased Album nonstop. Not because I love the music but really because I’m always walking around my living room imagining that I’m performing it and of course being super critical of myself trying to imagine if people are gonna like it or not.

Tell us your favorite quarantine snack? 

My favorite quarantine snack has been donuts (don’t tell nobody but GAWD) 

Anything else you would like to share with our readers? 

Yes! Please follow me on Instagram @StoryOfAlonzo and subscribe to my mailing list at this link https://linktr.ee/StoryOfAlonzo

Thank you for your time!

Thank you! These questions were awesome! 

For Press Inquiries:  bsquaredmgmt@gmail.com

End of Interview

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Interview: Joey Stuckey


Hey Joey! Thank you for chatting with us today! We have tried to keep up with you on IG but you have been a busy man! What has been your favorite place you have performed in 2020 so far?

Thanks for having me! I can’t just pick one LOL. I would have to say that we had such a blast performing at the world famous Whisky A Go Go to a packed crowd on January 3rd of 2020. I also had such a wonderful time performing solo guitar and vocals at the LA Braille institute and meeting so many amazing blind folks!

We saw that you had mentioned that you are expanding your recording studio – super exciting! Any new music plans coming from your amazing new space?

Oh yes, I have a lot of things in the works and we are going to be doing some amazing master classes and recording sessions as part of our grand opening so stay tuned for details. You can follow our progress starting in march on www.shadowsoundstudio.com

We love that you are not only an amazing musician but also share your talents with many others! You teach a class at Mercer University right? Can you share with us how that came to be?

I am a Mercer Alumni and feel very honored to teach for my alma mater since 2010. It is important to me to provide a wonderful experience like the one I had when I was a student! I am professor of music technology for Mercer University and also for Middle Georgia State University in addition to being an official mentor for the RRF school. My work in the community to educate and strengthen our musical infrastructure in Macon, along with me being the official music ambassador as appointed by the mayor and city council in 2006, added to the tools at my disposal to make sure that I could provide our town and students with a firm path for success in the music industry. 

What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music in your career? Have you had an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?

I guess the biggest surprise is that, for some people, the music isn’t enough. It always has been for me. I don’t care about the “rock and roll” lifestyle, I just want to work hard and do good work and maybe change a life or two for the better.

 I reject the idea that being an artist is synonymous with being poor, while realizing that having a major hit like an Adele or Taylor Swift is very unlikely. Still, you can make good money and be successful if you work hard. I am amazed, though I shouldn’t be, that so many people have unreasonable expectations. They want the fame and what comes with it but don’t want to do the work. I care about the craft first and making sure I can provide for my family, after that it’s all gravy LOL. 

Can you share some advice for any artists that is wanting to break into performing and writing music? Maybe something you had wish you had known getting started.

Be obsessed with whatever you want to succeed with in life. Trust yourself but be willing to take advice from a few trusted allies and know that not everyone is going to like what you are doing or even understand it, but that doesn’t matter; if you like it, others will as well and while you might not sell out 80,000 seat arenas, you can do well and be true to who you are!

Anything else you would like to share?

Please visit www.joeystuckey.com and go to our fan zone. We have a lot of free music and ways for you to keep up with all in the Joeyverse!

Now where can we find you on social media and catch you live?





Booking:  bsquaredmgmt.com
Press:  Bsquaredmgmt@gmail.com

End of Interview

Friday, July 19, 2019

AV Super Sunshine releases “Are You Happy?”


AV Super Sunshine are, above all else, songwriters. “Are You Happy?” is the latest entry in their growing catalog and drawn from their album Candyland Vol. 1 and they lay out the song in such a way that discerning listeners will be able to tell, from the first, that if you took away the effects and post-production manipulations of the song’s radio and club mix, what remains is a durable and sparkling example of popular songcraft at its finest. Though I believe the band pays deference and respect to past influences, AV Super Sunshine is a band of the present as well and their appeal can cut across genre and age lines with little effort. “Are You Happy?” is one of the best singles from anyone I have heard in 2019 and serves notice that this unique and uber talented band has yet to reach the peak of their powers.


I am taken with the way the vocals and music weave around each other without ever sacrificing any element of the musical arrangement or singing. A crucial decision they make ensures it will come across for listeners – the tandem of the lead vocalist and secondary singer Philomena bring a combination of emotion and attitude to the radio mix that is sure to capture any listener’s attention. The effect dampens only a little with the song’s chorus – the sound of the two singers is a little too diffuse for my taste, but they nevertheless convey the lyrics with a real sense of stakes that makes you sit up and pay attention.

The lyrics help in this regard. I like the question burning in the heart of this song title and they face it in the writing without any sense of cliché and a genuine wonderment about what their own answers, or others answer, might be. There’s no overwriting weighing down the song with too much verbiage – instead, the same keen sense of what the song needs musically reaches into the verbal realm as well.


The drumming and synthesizer work in the song are its defining musical elements. The drumming is obviously live rather than the result of a computer or drum machine laying down a rhythm for the song and the melody really comes alive with warmth and vitality thanks to the synthesizer playing. AV Super Sunshine are not content with just pursuing those ends, however, and adorn the song with other instruments that complete the song in a memorable way.

The club and rock mixes of the track are effective as well, though in different fashions naturally. The club mix is a much longer take on the track’s potential and will play well in the environment it is clearly aimed for while the rock mix will appeal to a wide swath of new and old fans alike. AV Super Sunshine’s “Are You Happy?” has many faces, as these mixes show, and I can say without reservation I found each of them compelling in their own way. I can’t wait to hear more from this great band.

Zachary Rush

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Where We Begin by Fenix & SM1LO


Music is a far more complicated medium than any other in the art world, and among all of the most popular music genres in the 21st century, there’s no debating whether or not electronica is the most sophisticated and multifaceted. Newbies to the electronica experience that are interested in getting a sampler of everything that the style can do should make a point to check out Where We Begin, the collaborative album from Fenix & SM1LO released this past June on the Say Wow Records imprint which features none other than Llexa on lead vocals. 

Where We Begin is one song sliced fourteen different ways, six of them being one hundred percent instrumentals. The instrumental “Dub” mixes are generally unnecessary for the average fan’s needs, but for music enthusiasts like me, they’re the bread and butter of a weekend spent taking over every club in the downtown core. There’s no vocal to get in the way of our appreciating the differences between house, club and pop versions of “Where We Begin,” and in some situations, the music is more communicative without the addition of lyrics. “Fenix House Radio Dub Mix” and “Club Radio Dub Mix” are two of the best in this category, but they’re far from the only winners here.


Vocalist Llexa gives some clarity to the emotional subtext in the manipulated melodies we hear in “SM1LO Remix” and “Kali Remix,’ and in the album-opener comes close to going over the top but stops just short of drifting too far from the main hook’s harmony. Some of the alignments are off (namely in the house mixes that she’s featured in), but regardless of how her amazing skills are utilized, they’re an ever-present element that keeps things on a mainstream path instead of a jagged, avant-garde one.

I need just a little more energy out of the “Kali Remix” for it to be the best edit here, but the structure of this mix is nevertheless one of the strongest that Where We Begin features. Does it borrow its piano part from the mid-2000s? Yes, but that rigid riffing that follows it beside Llexa’s singing isn’t similar to anything on the FM dial this July; in all actuality, it has the most futuristic vibe of any element here. Electronica geeks will squabble about the minute differences between these mixes, but all in all, there’s nothing in Where We Begin that misses the mark, especially if you’re a newcomer to this sound.


Fenix & SM1LO’s collaborative project and the fourteen songs it has produced make for a tough record for any journalist to review. It poses as many questions about the players that go unsolved as it does provide an answer to listeners in need of some swinging grooves this summer, but I’ve got a feeling that this could be only one installment in a series of releases from this duo. They haven’t said as much, but if they’re keeping up with the critical reception that Where We Begin has had, they would be crazy to miss out on the lucrative opportunity to make more music like this. This is a club-goer’s paradise, and a great way to get acquainted with contemporary EDM.

Anthony Carlisle 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Integriti Reeves releases new Single/Album


The faint strumming of an acoustic guitar greets us with open arms as we wander the lush sonic landscape of “Eu Vim Da Bahia,” the new single from up and coming jazz singer Integriti Reeves. Her gorgeous Latin vocal is met with a decadently melodic backdrop in this spellbinding debut, but the excesses of a mainstream jazz sound are mostly absent from this tightly arranged composition. Reeves is an angelic force to be reckoned with here, dishing out robust harmonies alongside a minimalist beat that is as stirring as any of her words are, and thanks to its erudite master mix, there isn’t a single detail in the massively textured “Eu Vim Da Bahia” that goes without a personal touch from behind the soundboard. The grooves are glowing, the strings are as dreamy as a summer’s setting sun, and the voice of our star player is a velvety slice of vocal virtuosity unlike any other that I have had the pleasure of sampling this year.

Reeves is full of energy, has a spunky demeanor and bubbly tone in her execution, but her style of attack is much more conservative than that of her peers. She isn’t afraid to share the spotlight with this excellent instrumental track in the background, and her elegant distribution of the vocal melody is wholeheartedly avant-garde, at least in comparison to what I’ve been spinning lately. There’s a couple of instances where she comes close to overtaking the percussive strut with the colorful cadence of her verses, but instead of assaulting the chorus with unnecessary gusto, she recoils, and lets the guitars work their magic for us. Her unselfishness in the studio makes her quite a rare find nowadays; where so many of the modern jazz players that I’ve been following recently have embraced cruder indulgences of the old school, Reeves is doing the exact opposite, and appealing to a post-genre generation of jazz enthusiasts who appreciate postmodernity as much as she does. There’s plenty of room for growth, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that with a push in the right direction, Integriti Reeves could be a phenomenally popular artist in and out of the jazz world.

Chic, classy and truly one of a kind in every way that really matters, “Eu Vim Da Bahia” is one of my new favorite singles of the summer. Integriti Reeves is still earning her stripes in the underground, but with a voice like hers (and a strong talent for arranging to match), it’s hard for me to imagine her brand remaining under the radar of mainstream audiences for very long. She’s got the sort of skills that you just can’t teach, no matter how disciplined the student might be. Her gifts are natural, uncompromisingly expressive, and exploited quite well in this awesome track. If you haven’t already taken the time out to do so, I highly recommend giving her new EP, tilted Stairway to the Stars, a listen the next time that you’re in the market for new and intriguing Latin jazz. If you’re a connoisseur of the genre, it’s an acquisition you won’t soon regret.

Stephen Dejong 

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Respectables - The Power of Rock ‘N’ Roll



Swinging with as much firepower as a vintage American muscle car, The Respectables get right into the groove of “That Girl” and impress upon anyone listening just how committed to the classic rock model they truly are. The subtly country “Wheel in My Hand” tosses some southern twang into its melting pot of melodies, and much like “18 Wheeler,” doesn’t stop sizzling no matter what volume we’re listening to it at. These three songs and eight others comprise the blistering new album The Power of Rock ‘N’ Roll, The Respectables’ first in ten years, and while they’re not glistening in pop polish, they’re definitely the smoothest work of the group so far.

If “That Girl” has the swing, “Give Some” has the missing sway, and uses it as a foundation for its brutally physical riffing. “Mardi Gras,” one of the more exotic tracks on the LP, bridges the first half of the record into the second without skipping a beat, and though it’s not as tenacious as the title track, it isn’t lacking in lyrical substance at all. The Power of Rock ‘N’ Roll is constructed with very diverse material, but it never feels like a haphazard mixtape.

“Highway 20” is a smart exhibition of the band’s terrific harmonizing as a group, and with “The Shotgun Seat,” makes for the most rhythmically intoxicating song on the album. “As Good as Love Gets” is, regrettably, sort of predictable percussively, but right next to it in “Oasis,” the jaded tone of the drums gets replaced with a surreal spaciness that lends to the introspective nature of the lyrics. “Limousine” is a little too stripped down for my taste, but it doesn’t feel out of place in this record at all. The Respectables had a decade to put this LP together, and you can tell that they spent plenty of time making sure that it was everything that it could be from both a musical and a production standpoint.

The Power of Rock ‘N’ Roll isn’t the only juggernaut in their discography, but I do think that it’s the most fluid and consistent release that The Respectables have chosen to share with us since forming so many years ago. The basslines are beefy, the guitars are crunchy where it counts, and as the music hypnotizes us with its seamless mix, the poetic narratives in the lyrics remind us of who these guys really are, underneath the hard-rocking persona that they’ve fashioned for themselves. To put it quite simply, The Power of Rock ‘N’ Roll is an identity record for this band, and it’s a worthwhile listen for curious indie fans looking for something fresh.


Lucas Kilpatrick