“Grateful” is a winning reggae/hip hop/R&B preview of the upcoming album by @EMAN8

EMAN8, “Grateful”

When Brandyn Burnette announced last year that he would be recording solo as EMAN8 going forward, we knew that he was definitely going to spread his wings stylistically.  To date, singles such as “Amen” and “Inspired” have seen the L.A.-based singer/songwriter go back to his St. Louis blues and soul roots without losing any pop elements.  “Grateful” is possibly the best preview yet of EMAN8’s upcoming album.  It’s a song that simply makes you smile, drenched mainly in Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff reggae rhythms which connect with the soul and hip hop inspiration that have been integral parts of Brandyn’s previous releases.  One thing we have all learned from his music is that EMAN8 wears his feelings on his skin – what you see is always what you get.  “Grateful” is perfect soul food for feel-good sunny days where we can chill and enjoy and be thankful for one other.

Published in: on May 5, 2019 at 5:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Long Players: Andy Suzuki & The Method, and Kobo Town

ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD  Born Out Of Mischief

Andy Suzuki & The Method is a trio from New York City consisting of songwriters Andy Suzuki (guitar, piano) and Jason Gorelick (electric violin), as well as the grandson of Grammy-winner Babatunde Olatunji, hand-percussionist Kozza.  They first came to my attention last year with their Ghost Stories EP which featured the jaunty and jazzy “Fairytale”.  The band somehow managed to conquer youth in Brunei, of all places, and toured extensively there last year.  Upon their return they, like many other promising performers, launched an Indiegogo project to record their album.  By Spring this year their fans (lovingly called Methodon(na)s) helped the band exceed their target by over $3,000, and thus we have Born Out Of Mischief.

Andy Suzuki and The Method

The trio definitely upped the ante by several notches with this album.  It’s slick and contemporary, it rocks and tells stories, and it is stunningly sung by Andy.  “Keep Me Running” is a logical first single choice, the opening song with mass appeal written all over it.  There’s also the playful title song and the devil woman saga “Lucy (Devil Song)”, and more songs about different women, including the country-influenced “Virginia” (where Andy’s voice particularly soars), the story of “Annabelle” and her navy boy, and “Lauren” (“will you be my angel?”), which reminds me of Canadian band Blue Rodeo’s best work.  Best of all are the spirited folk/pop of “When She Leaves”, and especially the theme song in waiting to a movie about indie performers, the bar-rocking, fun “Dirty Floors”.

If you’re a performer who is speculating about recording an Indiegogo or Kickstarter-type of project, you should give Born Out Of Mischief a solid listen and contact this trio to find out everything they’ve done right.  Andy Suzuki & The Method have created one of the year’s best kept secrets, which hopefully through touring and outreach to fans should garner them a greater following by the end of the year.

kobotown

KOBO TOWN, Jumbie In The Jukebox

Kobo Town is out to bring calypso-influenced world music to your speakers this summer with the septet’s new album Jumbie In The Jukebox.  Led by Canadian/Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, Jumbie In The Jukebox is an ode to the history of calypso and all of the “jumbies” (spirits) which populate the songs, whether they be sheer fun (“Half Of The Houses”, “Joe The Paranoiac” – live performance below) or stories with pointed messages (“Mr. Monday”, “Postcard Poverty”, “The Trial Of Henry Marshall”).  The melodies are finely crafted and accentuated beautifully by many horn arrangements, all bringing a rich blend of calypso, reggae, pop, jazz, and folk to fill your ears.  Jumbie In The Jukebox contains songs that will sound great outdoors and will make you get whatever groove on you care to bring with you.  Bravo to Drew and Kobo Town for an enjoyable and well-honed experience that will help take them to the next level.

Published in: on June 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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