Category Archives: MUSIC

Music Vibe

BLAKE SHELTON GETS HONEST

Photo Courtesy: Warner Music Nashville

Photo Courtesy: Warner Music Nashville

On May 20, country cutie Blake Shelton will release his new album, If I’m Honest.

The first single, Came Here to Forget, was released on March 8.  The song, written by Craig Wiseman and Deric Ruttan, has already climbed to No. 1 on the iTunes country chart.

“I’ve had a lot of music over the years, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a song before that’s such a direct look into my life,” Shelton said of the single.

If I’m Honest will be the Oklahoma native’s 12th studio album, “This is the most excited I’ve been about a new album since the release of my second record,” he said.

The buzz leading up to Shelton’s new music has revolved around his divorce from fellow country star Miranda Lambert last summer and his new relationship with pop singer Gwen Stefani, who also went through a divorce in 2015.

Currently, the singer is finishing up his Blake Shelton 2016 Tour, and also leading a team on the 10th season of NBC’s The Voice.

A NEW FIFTH HARMONY

Photo Courtesy: Epic Records

Photo Courtesy: Epic Records

Also awaiting a May 20th release are Fifth Harmony fans.  The groups new album titled 7/27 is sparking excitement thanks to the release of two songs— The Life and Work From Home.

The title of the album refers to the date the five girls formed the group back when they were still contestants on America’s X-Factor.  Normani Kordei told Entertainment Weekly that they had greater input into this album than their debut album Reflection, which was released last year.  She added that “it’s more personal than the last.”

According to Gulf News, their upcoming record shows how the women have matured since their formation as a group in 2012.  The quintet described their album as “edgy, powerful, colorful, a party and elevated.”

“I think on the Reflection album, and since we got off of X-Factor, we tried to establish what the sound was for Fifth Harmony.  What best represented us.  With our first album, you heard the 808 urban-leaning drums as a skeleton in some of the songs, like Boss and Worth It.  You can hear that now in Work From Home, and you’re gonna be hearing an expansion of that,” singer Camila Cabello said.

New tracks in the LP will also include songs about love, heartbreak and others which will let people know more about who they are.

“The main thing for all of us was having a ballad, a slower song.  Finally, they get to hear more of a vulnerable side to us!  We didn’t really have that in Reflection, and that’s something we all fought for,” Ally Brooke said.

WEEZER GOES WHITE

Photo Courtesy: Atlantic Records

Photo Courtesy: Atlantic Records

Weezer announced its 10th studio album self-titled The White Album (following their self-titled Blue Album, Green Album, and Red Album) will be releasing on April 1.

Since the band’s 1994 debut, they’ve often reverted to album covers titled after color names.  Dubbed The White Album due to the stark white cover, band frontman Rivers Cuomo says, “My favorite band has always been The Beach Boys, and what I love about them most are the melodies and the chord progressions.  I guess the harmonies too.  And the orchestration.  Can’t forget about the lyrics.  So, basically everything.  I wanted to get that kind of vibe: beautiful tunes and sweet lyrics.  I also love the dark side of the beach— Venice after dark, hearing at the Del Monte Speakeasy about how the gangsters used to drag the bodies through the catacombs and leave them under the pier.”

He goes on to add, “The inspiration behind the songs were my experiences hanging around the Westside of Los Angeles, which has been our home since Weezer began.  I would just tweet out “does anybody wanna hang?” and then I’d get together with people who responded and talk about life.  I love California.  I wanted the album to make you feel like you were there with us SoCal weirdos even if you’re in Milwaukee in December.”

Weezer have also announced a tour in support of The White Album.  This summer, they’ll be joined by Panic! At the Disco and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness for the North American leg of the tour which hits New York, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts and California to name a few.

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Local Vibe

MIKE IMBASCIANI & THE BLUEZ ROCKERS

Mike Imbasciani is a 18-year-old with an old musical soul. A classic rock and blues music aficionado, Mike is all about Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and much more.  He and his band the Bluez Rockerz entertain audiences with a large repertoire of great tunes, sprinkled with a few originals.  Jive with them on:

– April 1 & 15: 6 pm at Rusty’s Raw Oyster Bar in Fort Myers, FL.

– April 2, 10 & 29: 6:30 pm at Cass Cay in Punta Gorda, FL.

– April 8 & 22: 7:30 pm at Bert’s Bar in Matlacha, FL.

– April 9: 7 pm at Stillwater Grill in Fort Myers, FL.

– April 17: 4 pm at Nino’s Bakery & Restaurant in Punta Gorda, FL.

– April 23: 9 pm at Yabo’s in Fort Myers, FL.

– April 28: 7 pm at Nino’s Bakery & Restaurant in Punta Gorda, FL.

THE HIPNAUTICALS

The HipNauticals is a rockabilly band known for their highly entertaining live shows.  The band blends one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music with country western and rhythm and blues for an exciting show.  Enjoy some rockabilly on:

– April 2: 7 pm at Bert’s Bar & Grill in Matlacha, FL. 

RIVERSIDE BAND

The Riverside Blues Band is a group that came together in 2002. The accomplished musicians play the classic rock of the 60s, 70s and 80s, including everything from high energy dance music to classic blues covers and reggae. With inspirations like The Eagles, Bob Marley, Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Ray Charles and much more, the Riverside Band entertains and puts a spin on the sounds of yesterday.  Catch up with the Riverside Blues Band on:

– April 1: 7 pm at Dolphin Key Paradise Tiki Hut in Cape Coral, FL.

– April 8, 9: 8:30 pm at The Jacaranda in Sanibel, FL.

– April 29: 6 pm at Fathom’s in Cape Coral, FL.

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Reading Rocks! Teen Battle of the Bands!

Kudos to The Brittany Russell Band

By: Yohana de la Torre, Chief Editor

The Brittany Russell Band

The Brittany Russell Band

The young musical talent of Southwest Florida took center stage at this year’s Reading Rocks! Teen Battle of the Bands!  Fourteen bands entered the competition and when it was all said and done, the last band standing was The Brittany Russell Band.

Comprised of Brittany Russell, Christopher “Andrew” Morrison, Sam Thomas and Andon Burns, The Brittany Russell Band is a multi-genre band with a large rock, blues and soul music influence.  They came together playing for their churches worship band and have grown leaps and bounds into a dynamic group with a great passion for all types of music.

GCT caught up with The Brittany Russell Band after coming out on top and here’s what they had to say about their musical journey together, their inspiration and their recent win.  

YD: Congrats on your win!  Can you tell us a little about what inclined you all to become musicians?  And how did you all get started?

BR: “We all have different reasons for becoming musicians, but I believe that the love we share for music has driven us since day one.  I have always been exposed to live music, from a very early age and I’ve been performing with a band on stage since the age of 8.  Sam started playing guitar at 11 and Andrew at 7.  Andon has been playing drums for as long as he can remember.  What is interesting is that for each band member, at least one of the parents is a musician themselves.”

YD: What type of music/artist/genre would you characterize The Brittany Russell Band as?

BR: “This is something I find particularly interesting about us as a band.  It’s difficult to classify.  We have such a broad spectrum that is nearly impossible to tie down, and the hope is that it keeps the audience interested.  If you had to get specific, I would say Rock, Blues and Soul — anything with feeling.  The best thing is that each member brings a unique flair to the group regardless of the genre we are performing.  We also certainly love praise music and often work spiritual songs into our set list wherever we are performing.”

YD: What can audiences expect to hear at one of your shows?  What inspires you all?  

BR: “We are a mixed bag.  We would not classify ourselves as a cover band and have our own originals.  We do however play cover music as we enjoy it and our friends and fans do as well.  We have original music on iTunes and CD Baby, along with other internet downloading sites.”

YD: What is the ideal setting for you all to create and jam?

BR: “For us, all we need is to be in a place with a good sound mix.  Nothing beats a small venue with a large vibe.  When you find yourself in a place full of history, and full of musicianship, you really feel it, and just the racing of your heart can become a beat on its own.  We love playing in Memphis because of the music history and the crowds are awesome.  We also love playing in and around Fort Myers because we have built such a solid fan base.”

YD: Do you all have a favorite artist or band that inspires you?

BR: “Both Sam and Andrew are huge Rush fans.  Andon loves Coldplay and I’m an old soul— Linda Ronstadt and Janis Joplin— but I also like Carrie Underwood and Haley Williams of Paramore.”

YD: When you are not making music, what do you enjoy doing?  Or do you have any other hidden talents?

BR: “We have many hidden talents.  I could be considered a professional crab leg cracker.  Andrew is giving Noah a run for his money by taking care of animals such as mice, hermit crabs, Guinea pigs, birds, cats, dogs, gerbils, and he currently has three fish tanks and a hedge hog.  Sam can solve a Rubik’s cube in less than 40 seconds.  And as you can probably guess with Andon’s golden locks, he is a surfer dude.”

YD: You all just won the Battle of the Bands at the SWFL Reading Festival.  What do you think about this opportunity and what was it like competing with all these local bands?  What are you all looking forward to most from this experience?

BR: “We feel most definitely blessed!  The festival was incredible!  The other bands showed tremendous talent.  You never know who will show up, and you never know who will show out.  Now that the competition is over, we’re excited to see where we go next.  This has been an amazing opportunity and we’d like to thank the Southwest Florida community for voting for us.”

– The Brittany Russell Band will perform on May 13 and July 2 at the Miromar Outlets & on July 4 at the Downtown Fort Myers 4th of July Celebration.  For more information or a band schedule, visit www.brittanyrussell.com.