Jeremy Nail and The Incidents–Self-Titled: Heart on your sleeve rock and roll meets Americana. Based in Austin, they celebrated their release of their self-titled EP on Saturday, May 22nd at the Belmont. Influences like Steve Earle, Paul Westerberg and Tom Petty moved Nail. Songwriting quickly became Nail’s mission. By 2005, Nail moved to Austin and within a year began recording his first album, Letter, which received rave reviews upon it’s release in 2007 for it’s gripping, diverse listening experience and an all-star cast of accompaniments featuring twelve diverse pop songs. The new self-titled release promises ear catching, well crafted songs backed by The Incidents. Catching the ears of veteran songwriters like Charlie Sexton who proclaims that “Jeremy Nail is the most promising up and coming singer/songwriter in Austin and beyond.” Dustin Welch and Nail co-wrote the songs on the new EP. Welch, hailing from Tennessee, moved to Austin and recently released Whiskey Priest a collection of songs that offers at mix of roots rock, progressive songwriting and complete artistry. The band itself consists of a revolving door of talented folks including Kyle Schneider (drums), Chris B. Ware (lead guitar), Mike Fonseca (drums) and Joey Shuffield (drums) resulting in a high energy performance mixed with passionate vocals blending rock and Amerciana. 5.0 McRiprock’s
Susan Cattaneo—Brave and Wild: There’s an exuberance of confidence that propels Cattaneo’s music and drives her lyrics causing the tracks to be somewhat irresistible. She’s able to blend gritty semi-confessional bluesy sounds with poetic conversational lyrics that are more attune to a bluegrass album while still holding on to the edge of a pop-rock sound. This eleven track album is all Cattaneo’s songwriting skills with all songs written or co-written by her. Co-writers include Scarlet Keys, Joie Scott, Denny Hemingson and Dean Brown and also features a few big names on the New England music scene. Cattaneo is an artist that has an interesting past ranging from a dual career in NYC where she was a television writer/producer by day and the lead singer in a funk/folk band becoming regular fixtures in clubs like The Bitter End and Kenny’s Castaways. From there, she moved on to Boston’s Berklee College of Music on a vocal talent scholarship. Upon graduation she’s split her time teaching, raising two kids and writing in Nashville. The album is a nice mix of gritty artistic songs with superb songwriting next to a bit of a commercial feel that makes it radio friendly. 4.5 McRiprock’s
FM—Waiting for a Friend: Boston’s Federico Muchnik (FM) puts out his first album with a stylistic approach with various styles form country, Americana and East Coast folk. The sole performer on the album (except for the guitar solo on “Pacific Standard Time”) he proves his abilities vocally, as well as, on the guitar bass and an assortment of percussion. Major influences are J.J. Cale and Mark Knopfler which you can hear ring through his tracks with his intricate picking, fast guitar runs and warm, raspy voice. The album is quite diverse going with a country flair to a slow-burning ballad from track to track. He also provides commentary on social and political issues in songs like “Yankee Go Home” and “Horrors of War,” pointing out the hypocrisy and troubles of combat and occupation. However, he pulls classic love ballads and writes about challenges of being on the road too— like I said, a bit of a diverse album that keeps you interested long enough to listen. 4.0 McRiprock’s.