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Miss TessOh Darling, Oh Darling: Joined by a new stellar band that includes upright bass, saxophone, clarinet and drums; equipped with a 1920s Weymann guitar and a suitcase full of new songs, Miss Tess was ready for her fifth release Darling, Oh Darling. Based in Boston, this singer and songwriter is best known for her ability to invoke the sounds of classic jazz, and roots Americana circa the 1930s-50s with a spunk and imagination that proves she is much more than a tribute act. Springing life into some of the best styles of yesteryear along with the dozen original compositions on her latest album. She has a healthy alto voice that rings loud and clear throughout the tracks that is sultry and evokes memories of Sarah Vaughn or Bessie Smith. Her vocals are inviting and personal allowing the approachable nature of her sound feel like it’s just being played for you. On the record she ranges from genres such as classic swing of “That OoOo Oo” and “I Just Want to Make Love Again,” to slow country sounding ballads like “Darling Oh Darling” and “Awake.” There’s even some rockabilly sandwiched in between tracks with  “I Don’t Wanna See You Anymore.” She’s been recognized already by various rags including the Boston Globe who selected her for 2008’s Local On The Verge Artist.  She also spends her time on the road quite a bit as Miss Tess and the Bon Ton parade with a different group of members employing sax and clarinet, upright bass and drums. www.myspace/misstessmusic.com 5.5 McRiprock’s

Girls Guns and GloryInverted Valentine: Self-proclaimed as “alternatives to the alternative alternative, “ Girls Guns and Glory formed in MA in 2005 when former band-mates and high school friends teamed up to record original compositions. Entering the Noise in the Attic Studio, they began to work on their debut CD Fireworks and Alcohol. A successful release, it fueled the formation of a five-piece lineup that began to work the New England club scene. A sophomore release, Pretty Little Wrecking Ball in 2007 proved to be the breaking point in the break-out for the band as they collected two Boston Phoenix awards and garnered lots of media attention and radio play all of which culminated in a Boston Music Award for “Outstanding Americana Act of the Year’ while also being placed in the Boston Globe’s “Top 15 Albums of 2007.” At this point, the band solidified its lineup as a four-piece featuring John Graham on drums and Colt Thompson on guitar with Ward Hayden on lead vocals and acoustic guitar and Bruce Beagley on bass. Inverted Valentine is their third studio release that covers a wide range of musical styles incorporating the Mariachi trumpet, Flemenco guitar from “Temptation” to a stripped down acoustic version and a dark and lonesome tone of the mandocello on “Unrequited Love.” Delivering melodic hooks, but a clear concise message each song is well crafted with thought provoking lyrics. 5.0 McRiprock’s

Hector Ward And The Big TimeFreightline Freak: An eclectic nine-piece band encompassing the wide range of rock, blues, country, Latin, grooves, funk and ska. Celebrating their release at Threadgill’s South in mid-October this is Ward’s first solo project after his band Sigmund Fraud’s release in 2005. Playing music in Texas for well over 15 years, he calls Austin home. His current band creates a unique style with a mix of Texas blues/country combined with funk and Latin grooves. Musicians include: Hector Ward, Alison Beardsley, Phil Roach, Micke McGurk, Scott Beardsley, Dave Farris, Tiger Anaya, Matthew Price and Mitch Quintanilla. Ward’s musical influences range from the legendary (Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Sly and the Family Stone, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley) to the slightly more contemporary (Rage Against the Machine, 90’s Grunge, The Buena Vista Club and more). He has worked with Uncle Lucius, Bob Schneider, Meagan Tubb, Blues Mafia, Little Brother Project and Matt the Electrician. Nicknamed “Hector Hollywood” at just three years old the stage was set for some rock n’ roll in his future. 5.4 McRiprock’s

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