From April 4th to June 4th The Ripple Effect ran a campaign on the excellent online music website ReverbNation (www.reverbnation.com). This campaign allowed any artist or band registered with ReverbNation to submit their music to The Ripple Effect for possible review on the site and airplay on The Ripple Effect radio shows. When all was said and done we had received 4,799 submissions! Incredible! The purpose of this column is to highlight those artists and bands whose musical submissions I accepted as being worthy of consideration. While these are not reviews per se, I’m going to provide a brief rundown of what to expect from each artist/band, a sample when available, and a link to check out more on their corresponding ReverbNation page.
Donna Hopkins Band– This two person unit from Tucker, GA sent in this lovely blues-ified ballad that reminds me of Eric Clapton’s “Change The World”. The music is very tastefully done, and Donna Hopkins has a tremendously soulful voice that is raspy at all the right times. Her guitar work is top notch as well! If you’re looking for something to soothe your day away, look no further.
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/donnahopkins
Song Sample – “Meet Me In The River”
North Lawrence Midnight Singers – These four men from Philadelphia, PA seem intent on defying simple classification. I can best describe the sound of their song submission as classic rock mixed with Americana and folk, as sung by a mix of Roy Orbison and Tom Verlaine. While this song seemed underwhelming at first, it quickly sunk its hooks into my brain. If you like The Jayhawks or The Replacements this band is for you.
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/northlawrencemidnightsingers
Song Sample – “Last Great Saturday Night”
The Michael Louis Band – Can you say Southern power trio? I can! If I didn’t know any better, I’d have sworn that the song submitted by this band was recorded in the mid-1970s by some peers of The Allman Brothers Band. The fact that the band’s base of operations is Brooklyn, NY is downright shocking! Seriously. Great vocals, great instrument work, fantastic groove…this band has captured my interest! Check them out waveriders.
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/themichaellouisband
Song Sample – “29 Ways”
The Higher Concept– Hello hip-hop heads. Can you hear me out there? Good, because I think you should check out this powerful three member outfit from Staten Island, NY. All three emcees have nice lyrical flows and I really appreciate their positive messages, but there is one aspect that really distinguishes this group from the pack. I’m not sure I’ve heard another hip-hop group that utilizes overtly poppy sounding productions (music you might hear on modern pop radio) behind their raps. These guys do, and I think it sounds sweet!
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/thehigherconcept
Song Sample – “Everything”
Line Of Force– Man oh man does this sound fantastic to my ears! Let’s go down the list shall we? Ultra funky groove? Check! Fantastic male and female vocals? Check! Nice use of horns? Check! Undeniable overall swagger to the song? Oh yeah! This sounds like an amped up Dr. John track to me, but I can totally buy the proffered comparison with Michael Franti and Spearhead. Seriously waveriders, this music is awesome!
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/lineofforce
Song Sample – “Jefferson’s Blues”
Remy de Laroque– Here we have an indie/folk rock artist from New York City, NY with a very ear pleasing voice. I imagine that English was his second language based on how he phrases some of his song lyrics. It adds a very interesting element to his music. His bio lists Wilco, Nick Drake, and Bon Iver as similar artists and who am I to argue? I would add that the song he submitted reminds me of The Police on many occasions. Good stuff!
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/bio/artist_271
Song Sample – “Where We’re From”