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Archive for the ‘Acoustic Instrumentals’ Category

Percussionist James HoodNew Age Music Review: Renowned percussionist for band The Pretenders and Moodswings originator James Hood releases 2014 solo instrumental album titled Ceremony.

If you take the time to listen close enough, synthetic and natural ambient sounds surround us daily. Some sounds are preferable over others, and making the distinction of whether the sound you are listening to is one of beauty or not is naturally up to the beholder. This is especially true when it comes to the diverse forms of music.

Composer, producer and percussionist James Hood is a respected artist who possesses, and has delivered a versatile repertoire of sound to millions throughout his lengthy music career.

If you have heard and are a fan of the popular, ambient electronic group Moodswings, you can thank the group’s originator James Hood for the beautiful melodies he has produced since 1992, to present day.

The ambient electronic song Spiritual High (State of Independence) from the Moodfood album is a fan favorite of the group Moodswings, featuring vocalist Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders.

Moodswings James HoodLikewise, if you admire the musical sounds produced by music icons Jeff Beck and the pop new wave band The Pretenders, you also have James Hood to thank, having been a band member of these popular bands, each with millions of fans worldwide.

Ceremony is the new solo album by James Hood, officially released today on February 4, 2014. To say this album is an exploration in sound is somewhat of an understatement. Everything about Ceremony expresses a definitive statement in relation to beauty and sound creativity.

What makes this new release special is the performance by James Hood on a relatively new percussion instrument named PanArt Hang. The sound effect of the instrument, classified as a directly struck, or hand played idiophone is one of peace and tranquility.

James Hood CD titled CeremonyThis exclusive percussion instrument is related to the more recognizable steel drum, but the musical sound qualities are much smoother and produce, in my opinion, a richer less metallic sound texture.

James Hood is a versatile artist whose creative achievements for producing musical sounds of beauty just took an enormous leap forward. The sounds performed on Ceremony are designed to be inherently relaxing, and the result is a remarkably effective one.

Another quality is a cinematic effect, making it a good instrument for movie or film scores. No matter how you perceive this new album, you will be hearing more about percussionist James Hood and his Ceremony album going forward.

Although this is a solo album, the unique sound structure of the PanArt Hang would blend well with an orchestra too. Either way I hope you take the time to listen to James Hood’s newest adventure in sound production.

The 2 disc Ceremony CD’s 11 songs are: Metal Ambulance, Sonic Ashram, Faerie God, Cherry Mandala, Friendly Alien, Angelica, Imaginary Friend, Sweet Acceptance, Fey Bedouin, Biorythmetic & A Goat Called Lavender.

For information visit JamesHood.com. You may also sample and purchase Ceremony at Amazon.com and iTunes.com. Photo and album cover artwork courtesy jameshood.com.

Voices & Harps

Affinity by Moya Brennan & Cormac De BarraNew Vocal and Instrumental Music in 2013 – The Affinity Album by Superstars Moya Brennan & Cormac De Barra.

On June 7, 2013 international music celebrities Moya Brennan and Corma De Barra released their new album Affinity at the Voices & Harps website. Pre-orders are currently being accepted at major online music stores for their new album Affinity which will be released on June 25, 2013. Moya Brennan and Corma De Barra are both highly acclaimed artists from Ireland, and their newest release does feature the beloved Celtic melodies of their homeland that have brought them international prominence.

After sampling all 12 songs on Affinity, I can say the famed vocalist and harpist, both of whom are revered professionals in the field, have produced one of the finest vocal instrumental albums of the Celtic and World Music marque this year. I would imagine both artists are likewise pleased with their newest combined effort, which is the follow-up to their earlier releases Voices & Harps, and Music of Great Irish Houses.

AffinityIt’s an honor to be among the first to tell fans and visitors about this new release by Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra, but more good news is on the way. I plan to write an album review for Affinity prior to the release date, plus arrangements are taking place for an exclusive interview with the esteemed Moya Brennan, so check back soon.

The 12 songs on Affinity are: Intro (Suas Sios), Sailing, The Lass of Aughrim, Worlds Collide, I Feel You Breathe, Cruiscin Lan, Captain O’Kane, Seoithin Seo, Stoirin Rua, When the Morning Breaks, Ardaigh Cuan & Suas Sios. Below is the vocal instrumental song video Sailing, which is the first single from Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra’s newest album.

Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra’s new album Affinity is currently available exclusively in physical CD format and Mp3 format, or purchase single song downloads at VoicesAndHarps.com. Prior to the June 25th release date sample or pre-order Affinity at Amazon.com or sample and pre-order Affinity at iTunes.

Visit the artists at MoyaBrennan.com and CormacDeBarra.com. Photos are courtesy voicesandharps.com.

Dreamweaver Album by Gandalf New Acoustic Album by Gandalf in 2013: Pre-release music review for Dreamweaver by electronic and instrumental artist Gandalf.

If you have been an enthusiast of electronic and instrumental new age music for the past 30 years, then you know there are a limited number of orchestral musicians who convey the picturesque imagery of their compositions better than the legendary, Austrian born artist Gandalf.

The imagery he creates with his orchestral music is an important characteristic of the artist that is apparent to those familiar with his work, and yet this one aspect soon becomes obvious to those listening to the great composer of symphonic music for the first time. After all, there is a pretty good reason Gandalf is called “The Painter of Musical Landscapes.”

Dreamweaver is a new acoustic album from Gandalf on the Real Music Label. Scheduled for release on March 12, 2013 the hour long recording of 9 songs is performed by a select ensemble of four instrumental artists.

While sampling Dreamweaver it became clear Gandalf artistically works his magic on his newest project in superior fashion. This is what I had anticipated, however the musical brushstrokes in this composition are chosen from a lighter palette of colors that ultimately prove to be a representation of peaceful serenity.

Musician GandalfGandalf has regularly used electric and bass guitars in rock opera style fashion to represent deep illustrations, but Dreamweaver is elegantly portrayed by lighter instrumentation, which presents a whole new tone and atmosphere for the artist, as for the listener. The four person ensemble convey a more natural sound with importance given to lighter touches of acoustic guitar, cello, flute, piano and drums.

Gandalf is admired for instrumental creations born of brilliant imagination, and this is unchanged. The beauty of Dreamweaver is surreal music qualities crafted in a more personal, naturalistic style. The four person ensemble include Gandalf performing acoustic guitars, piano, and percussion, Merike Hilmar cello, Karin Leitner flutes and woodwinds, and percussionist Christian Strobl.

The 9 songs on Dreamweaver are: Into The Rising Sun (Part 1), Into The Rising Sun (Part 2), Reaching For The Sky, Between Ebb And Flow, Dreamweaver, Shining Like A Jewel, Life’s Blossoms, Written In The Stars (Part 1) & Written In The Stars (Part 2).

Visit the section for Gandalf at RealMusic.com. Prior to March 12, 2013 album release date sample and pre-order the audio CD or digital downloads for Dreamweaver at RealMusic.com. Cover art courtesy gandalf.at & Big Stock Photo – HelleM.

Diane ArkenstoneNew Vocal Instrumental Album in 2013: Pre-release album review for Union Road by multi-platinum selling artist Diane Arkenstone.

For multi-platinum selling recording artist Diane Arkenstone a renewed sense of freedom can be discovered by composing and performing contemporary music in one of her many well versed styles. Early in life it was clear Diane Arkenstone was blessed with the gifted abilities of a natural born artist and composer, which has led to many achievements during each phase of her music career.

Adaptable to a variety of music categories her natural talent and adaptability has never been more clearly pronounced than her new vocal instrumental album titled Union Road, due to be released on her Neo Pacifica Recordings record label on March 26th 2013. I can tell you upfront the 11 free flowing casual melodies shed new light on one of our favorite contemporary artists.

The multi-talented Diane Arkenstone is a popular artist most people will recognize, especially those who favor the Celtic, Native American, instrumental, new age, and world music categories. In addition to her own releases like the Billboard Charting Jewel in the Sun, and top radio chart recording, The Best Of Diane Arkenstone, she has also been a member of associated groups most people are familiar with.

Groups like Adventure Cargo, Ah Nee Mah, Earth Trybe, Enaid, Marquis Ensemble, Middle Earth Orchestra, are like our favorite chapters in the Diane Arkenstone songbook. Many more outstanding albums made our preferred song list as the duo with former husband David Arkenstone.

Union Road by Diane ArkenstoneUnion Road is the newest album by Diane Arkenstone you may soon be calling your favorite like I have. Union Road is an instrumental vocal album with 11 select songs in the folk ballad tradition. Performing acoustic guitar, dulcimer, kalimba and percussion, Diane Arkenstone’s songwriting talents as a vocalist and lyricist are on display, highlighting her capabilities as a contemporary singer with charming lyrical optimism on nine of eleven songs.

Nearing perfection by the casual relaxing atmosphere, Union Road is a brilliant vocal instrumental album with novel lyrics you are sure to love. Keep your eye on Diane Arkenstone, whose sense of freedom when creating original new music is sure to transport you on a route that can only be described as adventuresome.

The 11 songs on Union Road are: Little Cup of Coffee, When I Fall, Crossing The Water, Corner of Nowhere, Just Kicking Around, Beautiful Bones, Lost in You, Your Mama is Gone, Union Road, We Can Live Forever and Dulcimer Suite. Backing vocalists and instrumentalists in are Mader, David Arkenstone, MB Gordy, Chad Watson, Eric Rigler, Bruce Watson, Charlee Brooks and Jane George.

Until the date March 26th when Union Road is released on CD and digital download, visit DianeArkenstone.com to sample and purchase music or visit Diane Arkenstone at Amazon.com. There are also plans for a concert tour in 2013 so watch for an upcoming concert news announcement. Album design by Rachna Kanikar and artist photos by Bill Sparkes.

New Music in 2013: Laura Sullivan’s piano & instrumental album Love’s River, featuring top music professionals Will Ackerman, Nancy Rumbel, Eugene Friesen, Jill Haley and Jeff Oster.

If you like to be informed about brand new music, let me tell you about one of the newest piano with instrumental releases available as digital downloads and upcoming physical CD release at online store outlets on January 1, 2013.

Laura Sullivan is foremost a gifted composer and pianist, but her new album Love’s River is also my first album review for 2013. Knowing Laura Sullivan’s illustrious career and her achievements as soloist and concert pianist, I was excited to take a first look into what sentiment await fans and music consumers in 2013. I am pleased to say Love’s River has a setting of beautiful harmony with a pleasingly calm atmosphere, surely destined to be a popular album in 2013!

The instrumental bliss of Love’s River bestows a wonderful collection of peaceful songs everyone is sure to find enjoyable. Comparable to album Pianoscapes: Trails of North America, Laura Sullivan’s 2013 release Love’s River is an exceptional album by the manner piano music is united with acoustic guitar, cello, English horn, oboe, flugel horn, and trumpet.

Love’s River likewise has the distinction of a number of instrumentals by leading professionals like award-winning, Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, who produced 4 songs and played acoustic guitar on the song Blessed.

An ensemble of award-winning music professionals also performing on various songs are Nancy Rumbel, of the duo Tingstad and Rumbel, playing Oboe and English Horn, Eugene Friesen on cello, Jill Haley on English Horn, Jeff Oster on trumpet and flugel horn. In the music sense, knowing now what Laura Sullivan has in store for us in 2013, it’s appropriate to say our future has never looked brighter.

The 11 songs on Love’s River are Secrets from the Deep, Wishing on a Dandelion, Awakening to Love, Blessed, Holding Heaven, Moonlight Passage, Love’s River, Calligraphy, River to the Sea, Story of the Rain and Snowfall on Water.

Love’s River will be available at Amazon on January 1, 2013, however you may visit Laura-Sullivan.com to sample or purchase at iTunes by visiting her music store. Photo and album cover art courtesy laura-sullivan.com.

Pre-release Review: The Fire in the Flint by John Adorney & Daya.

Instrumental new age recording artist John Adorney has a sensational new follow-up to his most recent releases John Adorney & Daya – Live! In Concert, River of Breath & The Fountain, all of which are quality releases.

John Adorney’s earliest albums like Trees of Gold, Waiting for the Moon, The Other Shore & Beckoning are similarly top shelf recordings from the award-winning artist who consistently delivers an exciting blend of modern acoustic instrumental and electronic song melodies with pronounced rhythm, grace and style.

The Fire in the Flint is a 10 song collection of John Adorney’s best songs for 2012. For over 25 years, John Adorney has been capturing the hearts and minds of people with his inspiring music, young and old alike. After listening to his newest album The Fire in The Flint, I am happy to say upfront this year is no exception, and clearly everyone will love John Adorney’s new instrumental and vocal album.

The Fire in the Flint has everything you would hope to find in an instrumental with vocals release, but there is something more if you look a little closer. While the music of John Adorney is most often associated in the style of contemporary new age instrumental and world music, the 10 songs on The Fire in the Flint incorporate a broader variation in his eloquent style that appeals to a wider variety of people.

This universal theme quality has always been present, but The Fire in the Flint, is articulated to the fullest which should increase likeability of his newest arrangement to an even broader audience.

If you are an admirer of John Adorney’s earlier albums, you too will say The Fire in the Flint is a wonderful collection of his best songs to date. The eloquent vocals by Daya and cultural African vocals provided by Marcel Adjibi are brilliantly intertwined with a full acoustic ensemble of instrumental professionals.

The Fire in the Flint is an inspiring blend of vocal harmony paired with contemporary instrumentals and upbeat world rhythms that embrace a popular music theme sure to be loved by everyone.

John Adorney performs acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, dulcimer, cello and banjo, while Daya lends her vocal talents on 4 of the 10 songs. Additional artists are Marcel Adjibi (vocals), Richard Hardy (alto and bamboo flutes), Adam Adorney (strum stick and handclaps), Nathan Adorney (violin, mandolin and handclaps), Abby Adorney and Deborah Press (handclaps) and Luise Kallenberg (bells).

The 10 songs on The Fire in the Flint are; 1. TheEndless Rain – featuring Daya, 2. The Fire in the Flint, 3. Aliho Houn/The Path is Open – featuring Marcel Adjibi, 4. A Beggar’s Fortune, 5. The Heart Cloth – featuring Daya, 6. Sailing by Starlight – featuring Daya, 7. A Moment Noticed – featuring Richard Hardy, 8. Always Remembering You – featuring Daya, 9. Admiration (2012 mix), 10. Dawn.

The Fire in the Flint will be an official release at major music stores November 13, 2012, but you may sample and purchase now exclusively at JohnAdorney.com and Eversound.com. Cover artwork and band photos are courtesy johnadorney.com.

Concert Review: John Adorney and Daya Live! in Concert DVD & CD.

For the first time in over 25 years the heartfelt music of John Adorney and eloquent vocals by Daya is now available on DVD. It was during a live concert in Thousand Oaks, California that a professional recording of their concert performance together is presently being offered on CD or DVD format.

For fans of John Adorney and feature vocalist Daya who had the opportunity to attend this special concert event, it was the first time to hear their favorite hit songs performed live, during an exciting evening presentation given in a close, personal setting. I would imagine most fans of John Adorney and Daya have the CD or Concert DVD by now, but for anyone wanting a short concert review of the event, I can say the relaxed intimate setting added to the evening’s stage performance of the best songs by instrumental composer John Adorney.

The complete song list on the John Adorney & Daya – Live! in Concert CD and DVD are Find the Miracle, Neverending, Comme Le Vent, Waiting for the Moon, Always Remembering You/The Other Shore, As My Heart Desires, Drifting, River of Breath, Yilowe, Even in Your Darkest Hour, The Gathering & Every Moment. The recording is nearly an hour and a half in duration. DVD chapters include the Concert, Song Selection, Behind the Music Chapter and Slideshow.

The artists performing with John Adorney and Daya include guest artist Marcel Adjibi, Victor Bisetti (Los Lobos) drums, Eduardo Del Signore (Dionne Warwick) bass, Ricardo Hambra percussion, Richard Hardy (Dave Matthews Band) flute, Mike Fortunato trumpet, Stuart Hoffman keyboards, Fuzzbee Morse (Frank Zappa) guitar, keyboards and flute, Cara Tower guitar, vocals, plus Lauren Evers, Sandra Provencio and Helen Waters performing vocals.

Sample or purchase John Adorney & Daya – Live in Concert at JohnAdorney.com and Eversound.com Record Label. While you are visiting Eversound find John Adorney’s new album The Fire in the Flint and the best new music by quality artists, including The 15th Anniversary Concert album – The Artists of EverSound Live 11. Photos are courtesy eversound.com.

Sarah Brightman News – Dreamchaser World Concert Tour, Dreamchaser Album & Upcoming Spaceflight to ISS in 2013 Announced.

When describing the life and career of international celebrity Sarah Brightman, one can describe her amazing career of singer, actress, songwriter and dancer as an out of this world superstar in every respect. We now have another reason to place Sarah Brightman in the star celebrity category. Already an interstellar idol for many persons, she is about to embark on the intrepid journey of a lifetime.

Days ago on October 10, 2012 Sarah Brightman released a press announcement about her upcoming spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS) for a 10 day interstellar excursion.  After having passed evaluation tests she is now approved by the ISS to begin training for her Russian Space Federation flight aboard a Soyuz Space Rocket.

The exact spaceflight schedule date after her aeronautical training is completed will be determined by the International Space Station team partners at a forthcoming date. During the news statement video Sarah Brightman told of her current flight status, and also gave details about her newest album entitled Dreamchaser, which has a release date of April 16, 2013.

Concert information for the Sarah Brightman World Concert Tour in 2013 was also provided during the live news conference. Her 2013 World Tour, with over 100 concert dates originates in the North American continent on September 13, 2013 in the Canadian province of Hamilton, Ontario, covering 5 continents with concert tickets and VIP packages taking place.

During the course of her professional career, Sarah Brightman has acquired 180 Gold and Platinum awards in over 40 countries worldwide, and reached over 30 million in album sales.

Already a brilliant star in every sense by the accomplishment of many firsts during her career, her ambitious intercontinental World Concert Tour in 2013, and upcoming travel destination of the International Space Station will give new meaning to the expression superstar!

Visit the new SarahBrightman.com website for more news and for World Concert Tour 2013 ticket information. Below is the official YouTube video of the live news broadcast she provided in Moscow, Russia. Space Shuttle photo courtesy NASA – Big Stock Photo Rkasprzak.

Pre-release Instrumental Music Review: Tales of a Gypsy by Award-Winning, Latin Style Guitarist Johannes Linstead.

International recording artist Johannes Linstead is preparing to release a brand new 2012 follow up to his award-winning instrumental album Mistico. The name of the newest album to be released by the famed Latin style, world-fusion guitarist Johannes Linstead on October 22, 2012 is Tales of a Gypsy.

Like Mistico, Cafe Tropical, Encanto, Mediterranea and earlier highly praised releases by Johannes Linstead, Tales of a Gypsy is one among a vast number of new albums produced in 2012 to be in consideration for various best album award categories. From the start I can tell you many industry insiders will say Tales of a Gypsy is his best release yet!

For Johannes Linstead, accolades of his music by even the most popular music sites, however important, are welcomed but may have become commonplace. As the recipient of an impressive number of top music awards, a few include the honors of Best World Album, Best Acoustic Instrumental Album, Guitarist of the Year, World Artist of the Year, in addition to making the Billboard Top 10 Charts.

Tales of a Gypsy has 11 new songs by the champion Latin style guitarist you are sure to love. Beginning with the first song Jungle Love the listener is drawn into the exotic instrumental wonder in which Johannes Linstead thrives.

Reveling in producing music with upbeat tempos and intricate guitar riffs, flawless perfection is foremost while creating an environment of excitement for the listener. Along with songs of festive revelry you will hear in Tales of a Gypsy, moderately paced songs generate a wonderful sense of passion and enthusiasm by the intricately laid back instrumental harmony.

Tales of a Gypsy was created by a group of fine artists from around the globe. It’s the unity of these talented artists that have helped him create what can be considered his best album to date. Joining Johannes Linstead are Anastasios Bigas, Geoff Hlibka, Janljdan Ruiz, Sina Khosravl, Alex Godinez, Jordan Abraham. Special guest artists are Nicholas Gunn, Gisele Fredette and Vasyl Popadiouk.

With so many achievements another award may be regarded as one more official endorsement place upon his work. For Johannes Linstead however, I can imagine the highest honor he receives today may be an intrinsic one. The personal enjoyment knowing people simply love his music could be the best prize of all.

The 11 song titles on Tales of a Gypsy are Jungle Love, Noche de la Juerga, Swaying Palms, September Remembered, La Lunada, Vagabond Stomp, Bella! Bella!, Sosua Bay Sunset, Tales of a Gypsy, Flows Like Water, Caravan of Desire. Sevara is another artist name in which Johannes Linstead releases instrumental music. If you have a chance, listen to the album Everlasting Joy – Music for Yoga. It’s a beautiful album that yet again, highlights his expertise as a guitarist.

Visit JohannesLinstead.com for news. Famous for his live concert performances, Canadian Concertgoers can check out the Johannes Linstead 2012 Concert Tour Schedule. Prior to October 22, 2012 you may pre-order Tales of a Gypsy at Amazon. Photos are courtesy johanneslinstead.com.

Pre-release Album Review: Believe – A Spiritual Romance by music group 2002 – The 20th year Anniversary Collection.

The year was 1992 when husband and wife team, Randy and Pamela Copus of 2002, began their music careers with the belief they each possessed the talent it takes to become a successful music group. As anyone can imagine the long and winding road to prosperity has not been an easy road to travel as artists, but as others have said before – dreams do come true and success can be yours if you work hard, have faith, and believe in yourself.

Fast-forward twenty years into the future. Winning the admiration of many people along their journey, the year 2012 marks a 20th year anniversary for the award-winning group 2002. Today I can tell you as an instrumental music group, Randy and Pamela Copus have realized their dream by attaining a level of success they first envisioned for themselves 20 years ago.

It’s a great achievement which eludes the majority of artists I write about in the music business. For Randy, Pamela and newest band member and daughter Sarah Copus, their story continues to be an inspiration to those who know them best, including friends and fans of all nationalities.

Believe is the 14th album by Pamela and Randy Copus after releasing their first album as the music duo 2002 in 1992. Associated most often as top artists in the new age music category, the 10 contemporary instrumental songs on Believe is a progressive advancement from earlier releases by a majority of songs containing a variety of rock influences with flowing vocals and lyrical verses you will find inspiring.

Everyone will have their favorite songs on this release, and the great news is you will find many new favorites. Rarely do I hear so many exceptional songs on a single album, and as expected, their relentless attention to quality is present in every detail.

This more progressive style, merged with 2002’s signature sound, was actually a natural advancement for them since Pamela and Randy both began their professional careers playing and singing in bands. With 9 earlier albums making the Billboard Charts for a total of 270 weeks, their new release Believe could position 2002 in Billboard’s Top 10 New Age Chart again. It’s that good!

In the official 2002 newsletter they advised Believe is a departure from earlier releases since 6 songs contain vocals – like earlier songs Free to Fly, Moment of Love, Sarah’s Rainbow, Deep Still Blue & Remember Now. I remember thinking at the time it was a nice gesture to prepare fans about the vocals in an effort to prevent disappointing anyone, but in all honesty, after sampling Believe I now find it hard to imagine anyone not liking this album.

As one of the first to sample the album and write a review for Believe I am happy to report and say with confidence I anticipate that everyone will reach the same conclusion I have – Believe is a hot new release destined to be the best album ever by 2002! As for the artists Randy, Pamela and Sarah, today I am pleased to say their dream is alive and well.

The 10 songs are Believe, A Dream Creation, Chain of Life, We Meet Again, Dreams of Peace, A Change of Season, Ready To Fly, Yeshua, Oasis, Hold the Sky. Sample all songs from Believe at the 2002Music.com sample page.

Visit 2002Music.com and pre-order Believe at the 2002 store at Amazon.com and purchase mp3 digital songs at Amazon and iTunes October 16, 2012. Cover artwork by Taine LeCesne & photos are courtesy 2002music.com.

Thirty-One Nights by Nicholas Gunn in Billboard’s Top 10 Chart.

The newest album by Nicholas Gunn has apparently been a popular new hit album at Billboard for the week of September 29, 2012.This week Nicholas Gunn’s new instrumental album titled Thirty-One Nights, made its debut at #8 in the Top 10 New Age Charts at Billboard.

Thirty-One Nights is the 14th album by Nicholas Gunn after an interval of 5 years. On this newest release he, Dana Kemmerle and Chris Fossek communicate the splendor of the natural world and beauty of its environment. Earlier this week in my album review, I spoke of the uncompromising instrumental qualities, intensity and passion in which flutist Nicholas Gunn and team dedicated to this release.

For the acclaimed flutist Nicholas Gunn, making the Billboard Top 10 Charts is more the rule and not the exception, having spent a total of 55 consecutive weeks overall on the Billboard New Age Charts.

With over two million in album sales, Nicholas Gunn has consistently shown he is a dominate force at producing beautiful instrumental music. Congratulations go to flutist Nicholas Gunn, vocalist Dana Kemmerle and guitarist Chris Fossek.

Sample and purchase Thirty-One Nights at NicholasGunn.com.

Song Sample: Thirty-One Nights by Nicholas Gunn.

Thirty-One Nights is a new album by the platinum selling recording artist and instrumentalist Nicholas Gunn. The acclaimed flutist Nicholas Gunn’s newest release is anticipated by many persons having been 5 years after the earlier release of another fine album titled Encanto from 2007.

Thirty-One Nights is a vibrant new release with 13 instrumental songs of original music performed by an ensemble of flute and guitar, with vocals on a number of songs. Full Moon over Calle is the song sample video shown below.

The two music professionals joining Nicholas Gunn on Thirty-one Nights is vocalist Dana Kemmerle and guitarist Chris Fossek. Coming next is an album review for Thirty-one nights at New Age Music World. You may sample songs and purchase at NicholasGunn.com. Photo is courtesy nicholasgunn.com.

World Fusion Album Review: New Music by Todd Boston.

If you happen to be in the mood for summertime songs with an impressive blend of instrumental world fusion music, acoustic guitarist Todd Boston has a brand new 2012 multicultural follow-up to his 2010 release Alive. In close balance with Alive by flowing acoustic guitar and percussion melodies, Touched by the Sun heralds in a noticeable international, world fusion blend of Eastern and Western music.

Todd Boston is a brilliant guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist performing international tours in 2012, as a soloist and in a number of ensembles including a tour with the world renowned American singing songwriter Snatam Kaur.

After my interview with Will Ackerman last week, I have to say it is by coincidence that tomorrow on (July 20, 2012) Will Ackerman will be among other musicians at a concert celebration for Todd Boston’s Touched By the Sun album. This special concert event will be in Mill Valley, California at the Throckmorton Theatre.

The concert artists in attendance with Todd Boston to help celebrate the launch of Touched by the Sun are guest artist Will Ackerman on guitar, and other top ranked instrumentalist and vocalist.

Most are award-winning artists, and several are artists who have been featured at this site. They include vocalist Snatam Kaur, GRAMMY® nominated bass guitarist Michael Manring, percussionist Ramesh Kannan, cellist Matthew Schoening, violinist Emily Palen, trumpet and flugelhorn specialist Jeff Oster, and guitarist Shambhu.

Touched by the Sun studio album, which has 12 great world fusion melodies, is a refined instrumental with vocals album, likewise comprised of an impressive team of music professionals. Many of whom you are sure to recognize. There are a number of studio session artists who often provide instrumentals on Will Ackerman productions at Imaginary Road Studios, so the contributing members are indeed a select group of musicians.

Artists on the studio album joining Todd Boston on guitars, dotar, flutes and base are female vocalist Snatam Kaur, cellist Eugene Friesen, violinist Charlie Bisharat, percussionist Jeff Haynes, drums Aaron Sterling, bass guitar Tony Levin, fretless bass Michael Manring, hand clapping Tom Eaton, whispers Tina Malia and Ramesh Kannan on tabla and cajon.

There are other strategic elements about Touched by the Sun that isn’t by chance. Given the fact that Todd Boston is a great performer, and the quality of artisanship delivered by other top-ranked artists, this new Imaginary Road Studios production has every component needed to reach the upper limits of success. Stated more precisely, I expect Touched by the Sun to be an award-winning album in 2013.

Touched by the Sun made the #1 Top Recording for June 2012, with the Top 10 & Top 100 Radio Airplay Charts at Zone Music Reporter. The Brightest Night is a song by Todd that has made its way into the elite 22 artist and 22 instrumental song compilation album in 2012 by Will Ackerman entitled The Gathering.

Once more, Touched by the Sun was created in the care of GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Will Ackerman, and co-producer Tom Eaton and Todd Boston, so every component of Todd’s album was given the attention it deserves by a team of specialists. Comprised of elements that make a great recording, decisive actions taken by Todd Boston has lessened the mystery of whether this is a quality album or not. The question now is where to sample or purchase Touched by the Sun.

Visit the homepage of ToddBoston.com and visit Todd Boston’s music page, where you can sample or purchase at several popular online music stores including Amazon, CDBaby, and iTunes. Cover artwork & photo courtesy toddboston.com.

New Album: Wires Rosewood & Roots by Bob Ardern.

Finger-style Folk guitarist Bob Ardern brings new harmony to the forefront in his novel 2012 acoustic album arrangement entitled Wires Rosewood & Roots. Finding inspiration from a number of impromptu events that occurred in day to day life, his newest album reveals the improvisational passion in which he composes.

In many ways, Bob Ardern’s new album Wires Rosewood & Roots, transcends the ordinary into an extraordinary blend of 12 beautiful song melodies you will simply have to experience for yourself.

Bob Ardern is an accomplished Folk guitarist, songwriter and singer, but his mastery of finger-style guitar music is the manner in which Wires Rosewood & Roots begin a new form of expression for the talented artist who is skilled on a variety of music genres.

Bob Ardern is a finger-style guitarist with over 25 years of experience as a popular concert musician performing in venues like house concerts, coffee shops, and Folk music festivals especially in Canada where he lives and is widely recognized. There is also a possibility for a U.S. tour in 2012, and into 2013, so a concert announcement will be made once confirmed.

Wires Rosewood & Roots covers 12 original songs, with some songs on the latest album incorporated as new arrangements from two earlier albums in the accustomed Bob Ardern style entitled Come From Away & Returning Home.

Some of the songs feature Bob Ardern as soloist on a Beneteau acoustic guitar, with the balance of instrumentals on various songs by guest artists. Unlike the unrehearsed events that spawned the concept for his newest album, Bob Ardern is always prepared to perform his finger-style acoustic guitar music with the knowledge and familiarity of a seasoned performer. It’s one attribute about Bob Ardern you can always anticipate.

Artists on Wires Rosewood & Roots are Kev Corbett (upright bass, bodhran, cabasa), Alyssa Wright (cello), and David Findlay (drone, bass, piano, and percussion).

Purchase music at BobArdern.ca or find Wires Rosewood & Roots album at iTunes. Photos are courtesy Bruce Dienes & bobardern.ca.

Nouveau Flamenco ensemble Luna Blanca has a new reason to celebrate the year 2012. So do fans of the Bocholt Germany based band, who admire Luna Blanca, a fine group recognized for their energetic song melodies backed by lively drumbeat world rhythms. This spring is the season opener for Luna Blanca’s exciting new Flamenco release El Dorado.

Luna Blanca is releasing El Dorado on the heels of their highly prized release Provence, which climbed the online radio charts to earn the # 7 position on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Airplay Charts for October 2010. The 12 songs on Luna Blanca’s Provence also received award nomination in the ZMR Annual Music Awards in two categories of Best Instrumental Album (Acoustic) and Best World Album.

El Dorado is a new album in 2012 representing the inherent music qualities that first began their rise to fame and admiration as a Nouveau Flamenco ensemble, but in a more pronounced instrumental variety. After listening to some songs from El Dorado, I can say the songs I listened to are comparable to their best songs from the Provence album. Recently I had the privilege of writing the CD inside cover text for Luna Blanca’s El Dorado album, so an exclusive, pre-release album review for El Dorado will be published in a few days here at New Age Music World.

The group Luna Blanca is made up of founder Richard Hecks (lead guitar) and co-composer Helmut Graebe (piano). Contributing artists are Bino Dola (rhythm guitar, 2nd part lead guitar) and Clemens Paskert (bass, percussions, second part keyboards). Springtime is not too far away, so look for new songs from Luna Blanca in 2012. Simply stated, El Dorado is Luna Blanca’s newest prize Nouveau Flamenco album that will be available as a CD album and new song downloads at their online store or at iTunes.

Watch the song video of Desperado (Church Bell Mix), and join the over 35,000 people who have viewed the official song video in less than a month. The Desperado (Church Bell Mix) song video also feature artistic paintings that are often on exhibit during their live concerts. The 13 songs on Luna Blanca’s new Flamenco album are El Dorado, Los Ojos, Obsession, Desperado, Kolibri, Dreaming, Summer Breeze, Dos Guitarras, Guapa, Hurry Up, Río Mamoré, Puesta del Sol & Medianoche.

Visit LunaBlancaMusic.com to sample or purchase CD albums or find single new song downloads soon at their music store or when you visit Luna Blanca’s iTunes page for album and song downloads. Photo is courtesy lunablancamusic.com.

If you have ever heard the facts about our universe that there are over 1 billion galaxies other than our own, and there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on every shore, then you know these truths about our universe make the interstellar space above us seem infinite and hard to envision.

Fred Thrane from Sandpoint Idaho has incorporated those fact based linear notes on the inside CD cover of his debut album Angels of the Sun, but in a related topic much closer to home and easier to picture is the like a grain of sand approach in which he composed and launched his first instrumental album. Presenting his exclusive talents on CD for his first official introduction, Angels of the Sun yields an expansive diversity in what you would expect to hear on a debut album, so it is a release that can be appreciated by a variety of people.

Angels of the Sun features diverse styles ranging from New Age, Flamenco and Contemporary, which likewise ascertain his aptitude as an accomplished guitarist of various styles. Relying on his strong background as both a student and music educator, I thought Fred Thrane has released a wonderful first album. Everything began when he picked up the guitar for the first time during his teen years studying Classical and Flamenco guitar.

The next phase of his education was Classical Guitar instruction during college years at UC Santa Barbra. Fred later transferred to Cal State Hayward, where he majored in guitar and earned a master’s degree in music, with a specialty in Classical Guitar. For the next 5 years he took lessons from distinguished guitarist Rey de la Torre. Fred Thrane then reached a turning point when he began his teaching career as Professor of Music at San Jose State University and Foothill College while educating students in Classical Guitar. It was during this time period he had composed some of the melodies for this release.

Angels of the Sun features 9 engaging songs, and brings with it the foresight and experience of a music professional that has devoted much of his life acquiring the skills needed to produce an album which is singular in its existence yet further reaching in its appeal among many.

Dennis Murphy and Jim Norris are two performers who provide accompaniment on this release.  While Denis plays bass and Jim contributes the variety of percussion parts, both complement the nucleus of Fred’s composition by magnifying his melodic theme, and then adding a good measure of vibrant harmony of their own.

The more extravagant Flamenco styled songs Big Sur, Fandango in Four, Farruca & Moraga Raga were my favorites. Like most songs on this instrumental album, you will find they are quite lively and up-tempo with great percussion enhancements which are in harmony with the energetic atmosphere one would expect to hear on Flamenco music. The Title Song, Dawn Dancer & The Third Heaven are more serene in tempo and rhythm, but they too are engaging and consistent in theme.

Finding a forte in blending New Age, Flamenco and Classical styles into a single orchestration, Fred Thrane is a music professional who shines on his first release by his diverse experience as a guitarist. More than capable of arranging a select number of music influences into a single improvisation of wonder, I can see where Angels of the Sun will please a wide variety of musical tastes. In the end, this makes his first release seem more like a universal commodity.

Visit the fredthrane.com homepage to find out more. Sample or purchase at his CDBaby.com page & Amazon.com page.

Hubble Telescope cover image courtesy NASA, B.D. Moore and J.J. Hester.

It really doesn’t matter how old you are, but I would be willing to take a guess and say that there was a time in your life when everything seemed much simpler. Living the carefree life as a youngster might be the best way to describe this positively uplifting feeling that everyone has experienced at one time.

Keith Driskill has created an acoustic guitar album that gives one the impression of those lighthearted days by gentle guitar melodies of inspiration. His release A Time of Innocence is an acoustic guitar album that at least, momentarily shuttles the listener to a relaxing state of mind by its peaceful down to earth purity.

Keith Driskill performs superbly on acoustic guitar using the fingerstyle technique, and as it turns out, he is pretty well versed in articulating the emotional imagery of those carefree days, and does so with amazing clarity. Finding an early fascination in learning how to play the guitar at age 10, Keith began to explore and develop his own skills during the early years as a youngster growing up in Kentucky. This may have had something to do with the present day Utah resident’s abilities at expressing the simplistic period of our youth by fine guitar melodies.

A Time of Innocence is a New Age, Solo Guitar album with traditional Folk music elements. The 9 songs are best defined as serene and peaceful, yet there is a broader modulation of warmth and depth, which makes A Time of Innocence something rather unique and special. On the surface you will find light guitar rhythms comingle and reside in time with more complex tracings of depth and refinement which is a nice counterpart to the lighter more serene qualities.

The song Lover’s Farewell is the melody I felt best compliments this adaptation. The equally relaxing Moonlight Lullaby & Fireflies each convey an elevated atmosphere of inspiration. It may be less important how I phrase the description of Keith Driskill’s acoustic guitar music, just so long as wonderfully uplifting music is incorporated when summarizing his solo guitar endeavors. While true none of us can return to the carefree days of our youth, Keith’s guitar melodies offers a moment to reminisce about those lighthearted days of our past that ironically turn out to be important to most of us during our adult years. It’s an easygoing acoustic expression about A Time of Innocence.

Visit the driskillmusic.com homepage and then sample / purchase on his music page or visit his Amazon.com page.

Photos courtesy driskillmusic.com.

A New Horizon album by José Luis Serrano Esteban.

José Luis Serrano Esteban is a Spanish musician who has spent many years composing music in many different styles embracing Classical, Rock, New Age, World and Electronic music, which began the creation of two albums of instrumental music that he has released.  His music is full of divergent shades of timbre, sensibly crafted in the recording studio, which invites the listener to pause and appreciate.

A New Horizon is his second album published in 2009. It contains 14 pieces from nearly classical pieces to electronic rock, and his main idea is reaching peace through the beauty expressed in his music compositions.  The album takes the listener on a voyage through a broad range of imaginary landscapes.  In addition to A New Horizon, he has released more than 100 music compositions in varying styles from Classical, Electronic, and Rock music.

José Luis Serrano Esteban is a composer who has studied both classical guitar and electronic music.  In his albums he plays all kinds of guitars, including bass guitar and also keyboards and percussion instruments.  José has also spent some years working on technical issues related with sound, computing and electronics so has been able to produce his own recordings.

Using timbre as an important part of his compositions, fine elements of electroacoustic music enable him to emphasize ideas and create “sound landscapes” for his listeners.

On A New Horizon, some pieces were performed with the help of great musicians like Nacho Serrano (Bass and 12strings acoustic guitar), Nuria Felix (Violin), Santiago Puente (Clarinet), Gloria Esteban (Flute) and Covadonga Serrano (Piano).  José Luis Serrano Esteban is signed on to be a featured artist on the LandscapeHD channel near the end of 2011.

Visit his English and Spanish website JlseMusic.com to sample or purchase and find at other major digital store outlets.

Steve Orchard is a New Age musician from the UK releasing the third album from his Dancer Trilogy Series.  With this sequential album, a bold and thoughtful design in dancing rhythms, along with lively choreographed melodies entice ones imagination exactly like the first and second in series were envisioned.

Moondancer is the conclusive result in his highly imaginative Dancer Trilogy Series, reaching a point where it couldn’t get any better than what I have heard so far with the first two.  Then again, it becomes clear Steve reaches for the stars on the rhythmic dancer series featuring earthly qualities of rain, sun and moon elements.

Steve Orchard from Bristol, England is quite masterful at producing electronic instrumental music composed with improvised mood sensations and a progressive repertoire of lively rhythms.  If you have read our interview or earlier album reviews you know that Steve Orchard is a prolific singer songwriter having composed and performed original music for many years on guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, various skin drums, piano and keyboards.  His music was featured on BBC Radio, film scores, local radio jingles, plus Steve was a band member in 100’s of concert venues and a recognized soloist in South West & London England during the 1990′s.

Drawing inspiration from the natural environment, Steve’s first in series Raindancer is based in a tropical soundscape where beautiful South American rhythms are explored with flutes, panpipes, acoustic guitars, keyboards percussion, along with a wonderful array of elements by synthesizer.

Sundancer is an emblematic second album in Steve Orchard’s Trilogy Series, and like the first album, the second reflects rare qualities of relaxing yet energetic melodies that I felt achieve universal appeal.  In fact the energetic symmetry, illuminating atmosphere and Island music impression did help him win several music awards.

Moondancer is the twilight and glowing counterpoint keeping well in contrast to the first two albums, but I do want to point out that Moondancer is far from being a boring or lull you to sleep album.  Here again you will find radiant melodic imagery right beside a natural and reposeful atmosphere, and this is where an emphasis on the dancer suffix comes into play.

Counting Stars begins the twilight sequence of the series with a light keyboard melody set in a deeper background and like Apollo’s Return, mysterious imagery is not the prevalent consequence with this first song, or the entire album as a whole.  Moondancer is carried out with a deeper contrast in style as the moon prefix implies, yet is very complimentary to the first two albums sunnier atmosphere so you will find this album preserves many of the same rhythmic qualities which are an integral part of the entire dancer series.

Phases & Tides, Nebula and Grimaldis Comet are three songs that help make this distinction clear since bongo drums and other percussion enhancements gently counterbalance deeper keyboard tones, infusing shades of light which in turn introduce a more illuminating atmosphere.  The soft flute melody in moderately timed Nocturne creates an interesting contrast when combined with the twinkling effect by keyboard.  Lost Contact has a deep futuristic feel by the dreamy keyboard and synthesizer tones while Earth Glue adheres to the counterbalance theme by a wood flute melody and percussion woodblock beats, and the intermittent chanting does convey a strong ethnic influence too.

NewAgeMusicWorld.com features many outstanding musicians who are all are capable of producing mood elevating music to either help you relax and unwind, brighten your day or even inspire you by notes that seem to dance.  The Dancer Trilogy Series from Steve Orchard is an all-inclusive colorful kaleidoscope of vibrant melodies, and this latest is no exception.  It is lively music rhythms in step with a wonderful radiant design. 

Visit the steveorchardmusic.co.uk homepage and sample or purchase Moondancer on his music page. Read my interview with Steve Orchard and album reviews on our pages dedicated to Steve Orchard.

 Moondancer cover design copyright David Orchard.  Big Stock Photo – mpemberton.

Starting from early childhood this New Age artist from Southern California has always had the ambition to pursue music as a career. Beginning piano at age 14 she first began composing music on her own after discovering music greats like the Beatles, Herb Alpert, and John Williams. By having these three great artist influences with such a varied range in sound, you are probably wondering who is this artist and what does her music sound like when integrating three great music influences into one hybrid music entity.

Let me introduce Kori Linae Carothers to everyone. Those already familiar with Kori know her early compositions began without formal music lessons, but she grew to find a greater appreciation of her music by formal education.

After doing quite well as a musician early in life, she continued with Classical music studies at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music where her future as a concert pianist looked promising and the rest of her story is history as they say.

Taking time off to first raise a family, her desire to produce music returned while attending a Yanni concert, and after helpful encouragement from her husband, her first album The Road Less Traveled and second album The Journey became a reality.

Trillium is the third album release in her music trilogy. The entire Trillium album holds a wide array of New Age, Contemporary Piano, Acoustic Instrumental, and Ambient touches in a well thought out arrangement, giving a multiple angle approach that fits together remarkably well.

Kori Linae Carothers performs much of the melody by playing classic piano, Native American flute, light vocals and synthesizer on this project, along with some beautiful orchestration throughout, giving the complete project a classical embrace. There are also a number of gifted musicians playing guitar, cello, violin, dulcimer, and flugel horn, along with the percussion enhancements. Together they create a great amount of depth and beauty thanks to the assistance of the talented professionals playing beside her.

The Trillium album production was also placed in the skillful hands of Grammy Award winning Will Ackerman at his Imaginary Road Studios, giving the final product that extra special touch for which he has become famous.

Trillium also happens to be one genus of around 50 species of flowering plant in the Lily family. This flowering plant is another example of the great gifts that come in threes since this species has a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, all with a 3 leaf distinction.

Crystal Fields is just one of the eleven colorful song varieties among the full bouquet from the Trillium album. Once you discover the many beautiful choices available, I really wouldn’t be surprised if you pick the whole bouquet as your personal favorites.

Crystal Fields is one particular song that starts out in a well defined melancholy tone, beginning the mid tempo piece with a deep flowing piano movement that boldly takes the initiative by planting the first seeds of hope. As the song progresses the mood reaches full extension of this theme, setting a deeper range of emotion from each carefully considered note.

The soft and delicate melody of lighter piano notes are a result from pressing the instrument’s three foot pedals based at ground level, dampening both the piano tone and your eyes at the same time.

The distant flugal horn melody soon grows and is then generously dispersed by applying extended brass notes having a light vibrato, enhancing the tonal warmth and harmony purely by implementing the three valves of this brass instrument known for warm tonal sounds.

The bass cello is the third instrument to tug at your heart strings by rising up to the surface in a characteristic movement of feeling. This final considerate thought for depth, richness, and ambiance connects the trio of orchestra instruments together in a classic moment of splendor and clarity, arriving at our fruitful conclusion of one picturesque song variety from the many songs from the Trillium album in full bloom.

From the 11 songs on the Trillium album I picked the white one. Find a full bouquet of colorful songs at KoriTunes.com.

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