MUSIC REVIEWS
By Chuck Diliberto

 

 

Screaming For Wilson
Rizzo, Gabriel, & Flemming
Independent
All artists are in search of the ingredients that help them create defining moments. Defining moments encompass the ability to naturally flow with inspiration (muse) and aspiration (achievements, goals). Years of talent development and experience are some of those ingredients needed to attain the proper mixture. The most elusive ingredient is what is known as the X factor. The X factor occurs when the artist and audience share a confluence of feelings, emotion, soul, consciousness, and vision. The only prerequisites are an open mind and an open heart.

In “Screaming For Wilson”, Nicholas Rizzo (guitars), Michael Gabriel (bass & vocals) and John Flemming (keyboards & percussion) have created an interesting combination of soul-searching lyrics matched with a contemporary blend of rock-n-roll with a folk sensibility. Their sound comfortably fits in between the Counting Crows, the Wallflowers, and Hootie and the Blowfish. Raw emotion with a tinge of irony pervades the emotional ballads. Michael Gabriel is comfortable singing about tumultuous relationships, as well as musing about his place and role in the larger picture.

The title “Screaming For Wilson” is an interesting allusion to the emotional state of these three musicians. Each song can be considered an emotional rant in search of a sympathetic ear. The guitar playing of Nicholas Rizzo harkened back to a young Steven Stills. Michael Gabriel’s vocals showed an eclectic mix of Bruce Springstein, Adam Gurvitz, and Jacob Dylan. The songs were original, yet contemporary, with a flair for storytelling. Very listenable.
For more information, see screaming4wilson@aol.com 
 

Jericho
Marshall Styler
Eyes & Stars Music
While listening to Marshall Styler’s “Jericho” it occurred to me, that Styler’s use of the word Jericho (the walls came tumbling down) as the title of this CD may be a disguised metaphor for his life’s journey. I was listening for struggles and crashes in the music that were representative of the story of Jericho. If Jericho came tumbling down it was certainly not obvious in any of the tracks contained on this CD.

Styler’s music is fashioned around his fascination for orchestrated keyboard melodies. You can hear him listening to the silent musical soundtrack that accompanies every learning and living experience we encounter in life. In this way, Styler offers his heart to feel the experience before putting music to his feelings. The result is a sonorous landscape of lilting melodies that flit between the physical and the etheric realms of existence.

Styler’s music in essence became a composite of soul and feelings. In some compositions, he was comfortable with his feelings and confident in what he was portraying musically. In other compositions, he was searching for his soul’s meaning and expression as the melodies soared achingly, looking for definition.

Overall, the music was very smooth and relaxing. There was not one stressful note or melody played. Introspective, reflective, and flowing are descriptive ways to describe Stryler’s musical compositions. The oasis waiting for the thirsty traveler.
For more information, please call 1 (585) 899-3273.
 

Junkmusic 2
Donald Knaack
Independent
I can only imagine what Donald Knaack was like growing up. I am sure his love of music was apparent from an early age, I am also sure he was probably a very inquisitive, curious, and creative child. Somewhere in his early years, he also refined a social consciousness that developed with satire and humor. These are just some of the possible explanations for the evolution of “Junkman”. The Bi-line for Donald Knaack reads, “wholly cool percussion music performed on recycled materials”. A picture of him playing wrenches, and a spring coil attached to a metal frame accompanies this.

To get a better idea of what Knaack uses as his instruments you have to pay attention to what you throw in the garbage, recycle, or have tossed into big dumpsters taken to the junkyard. Almost any item that can make a resonant sound when beaten upon with sticks is in Donald Knaack’s arsenal of potential percussive instruments. He truly is the “Junkman”. The titles of Knaack’s compositions reflect the aforementioned development of social consciousness, satire and humor. “What the world needs now is packaging, more packaging”, and “Mantra for a polluter’s grandchild” are but two of the titles representing Knaack’s unique position.

Musically there would be no difference if Knaack were playing conventional instruments or his preferred junk instruments. The music is danceable in a tribal stomp way with introspective percussive moments that perceive Knaack’s soul and vision. It would be fun to play this music at parties and then tell people that’s really tomato soup cans clinging that you are listening to, and not chimes.
For more information, please call 1 (802) 362-0548.
 

Voices
Riccardo Eberspacher
Rasa Music
When we are listening to music, or to someone speak, do we really hear his or her voices? Do we interpret the meanings of the words or music in our brains, in our hearts, or in our souls? Somewhere inside of us certain types of music speaks to the core of our being. At this point, the music becomes intuitive, releasing a gamut of feelings within our bodies.

Do we consider these feelings to be voices speaking to our hearts, our brains, or our souls? Is voicing our feelings and consciousness creating a defining moment that gives our soul a voice? Does everyone that bespeaks of wisdom and truth have a different voice than those who do not? What about those who only voice sensual and sensitive moments, do they have less of, or more of a voice than anyone else does?

In “Voices”, Riccardo Eberspacher has created a pastiche of musical soundscapes that are interwoven with many voices. These voices represent the theme and emotion of his musical compositions. Some of the voices laugh and chide us as the music moves into a sensitive foreplay of feelings and moods. Sensual moans and laughter are elicited as the sounds of waves hitting the surf are heard in the background. At this point, it has become apparent that Eberspacher is a hopeless romantic. His compositions are interpretations of how a hopeless romantic sees the world. There are plenty of oohs and ahhs, both vocally and musically throughout. This is candlelight music with an attitude.

There is also another side to Riccardo Eberspacher’s “Voices”. Amidst his search for the perfect romantic setting, he is also looking for where his soul fits into the larger picture of love. The voices speaking in these compositions are much more introspective and solemn. The music is more searching and tentative, looking for meaning and deeper truth. The music on this CD can be considered world music because it combines so many well-known mediums into one style. You can dance, float, or fly as long as romance is your starting point, and falling in love is your destiny.
For more information, please call 1 (212) 253-1573.
 

Baby Music
Marcus Viana
Oreade Music (Rota Productions)
For those of us who currently have babies, we are always searching for that elusive something that will aid us in helping our children to fall asleep. Alternatively, in the very least, something that will help them to relax during their vigorous routine of eating, sleeping, crying, and filling their diapers. If you are a parent, you will know exactly what I am speaking of here.

In “Baby Music”, Brazilian com-poser, violinist, and keyboard player, Marcus Viana, has discovered a truly novel approach to playing music for babies. All of the songs on this CD are played on a music box. I know what you are thinking, because I went running to find a dictionary to get a better understanding of what a music box really is. Here is the definition; a container enclosing an apparatus that reproduces music mechanically when activated by a clockwork. In other words, you wind up the box and whatever song is programmed into the box plays until the wind-up (clockwork) unwinds and the song is over.

Most of us throughout the course of our lives have heard music boxes played. They are usually programmed with lullabies or Christmas carols and can be found in most gift shops. I am not quite sure how Viana programmed his music box, but he did. Each song has a cascading note sound that is somewhat delicate and fragile. The melodies of the songs are slightly mechanical and almost plodding. This is not a bad situation, of course, when you want your baby to relax and eventually fall asleep.

Actually, my eyes are getting heavy as I write this and I never sleep. The songs are sweet lullabies that move at an even pace without any rough or uneven tempos. This is perfect baby music, solely dedicated to babies, and for babies. Parents everywhere thank you, Marcus Viana.
For more information, please call 1 (866) 644-9098 or 1 (831) 644-9098.

Chuck Diliberto is a resident of New York state. Having written for a hometown publication that covered local and national musicians, reviewing CDs is an extension of that experience. His main interests are spiritual in nature and right living in practice.  




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