Phillip Bell—Since: Since, Bell’s debut album draws on the subjects of love and loss using an array of strings and guitars effectively. “Cause and Effect,” the opening track, reminiscent of Coldplay or Doves with a rich, full sound filled with keys and strings. “Always With You,” is another standout on the album with lyrical sweetness and sorrow and “Forever,” balances the album out with harmonies galore. With a bunch of heavy hitters backing the album both in its production and mixing it’s a knockout combination.
Jimmy Dasher—The Waiting Game: Calling in almost all genres (folk, soul, blues, jazz, funk, country and indie-rock) Dasher takes these influences along with the strength of his songwriting and his debut album is born. He’s been kept busy in his other projects including an independent acoustic duo, Window, and as a member of Levi Smith’s band. The Waiting Game is indie-pop, but it includes moments of Americana and Southern Rock. The joyous part of this album is that the majority was written while living in isolation in a West Texas cotton field with only his dog and guitar as company. Brilliant! “Get Burned” and “Square One” feature catchy lines and guitar hums and haws. “You Say You See Me” and “Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down” clearly tracks Southern Rock and Americana influence. There’s mastery in Dasher’s guitar skills– a nice accompaniment to his powerful vocals.
Tori Sparks—Until Morning/Come Out of the Dark: Singing in English, French and Spanish, Sparks spends the majority of her time on the road playing shows that finely balance soul and hilarity. Her combined talent and entrepreneurial spirit has kept her busy with interviews and appearances with well-known radio stations, mags and newspapers. Her songs have even been licensed to TV giants such as MTV, Lifetime, Oxygen and others. This is not a traditional album, but a double-EP. The first disc reflects the dark and sensual dynamic of Sparks’ vocal and songwriting skills. Check out “Mama,” for a good sampling. The second disc, is Americana meets folk—the first track, “My Delilah” reflects the polarity of the first disc. She hosts a cast of talented musicians, Mike Farris, Shawn Mullins, Paris DeLane and David Mead throughout the recordings.