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.
Gamal – Waveriders, you might not know it yet but I love hip-hop. Socially conscious hip-hop especially. So when I come across an emcee with a positive outlook or a distinctly sobering non-fiction approach to their music I take notice. This gentleman from Laurel, MD impressed me with his clean, straightforward flow and the subject matter he chose to rhyme about. Similar artists include Mos Def, Common, and Mannrock. Check him out.
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/nysbgamal
Song Sample – Just Life
Firebug – Ah, heavy throwback rock and roll. It really gets my blood pumping! This quartet from New Orleans, LA has clearly internalized the main points from the book of heavy blues rock. Their song submission strongly reminded me of Clutch’s “Electric Worry”, especially the main guitar riff, but the feisty female vocals really excite and make this an entirely different animal. Similar artists include Queens of the Stone Age, Led Zeppelin, and The Duke Spirit. Have a listen.
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/firebug
Song Sample – Used To Be
The Controversy– There’s no controversy here. The two songwriters in this Los Angeles, CA band clearly know what they’re doing. Their song submission is one of the most compelling indie rock songs I have heard in quite a while. Laura Vall’s powerfully emotive vocals are stunning, and the musicianship supporting her performance is rock solid. I am very impressed! Similar artists include PJ Harvey, Fiona Apple, and Radiohead. Click the link and hear for yourself.
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/TheControversyBand
Song Sample – Real
Ryan David Orr– The song submission from this Lakeside, AZ artist and his band snuck behind my defensive listening fortifications and insidiously became lodged in my mind. It was upbeat alternative folk/indie rock and I liked it! I sampled a few of his other songs and found each totally ear pleasing. One ultra-funky number really threw me for a loop! Similar artists include Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, and Yusef Islam.
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/ryandavidorr
Song Sample – Carry Me Home
Alex DePue – Let’s see waveriders. What we have here is an incredibly talented violin player who began his classical training at age five. Despite excelling in the classical arena he developed an interest in ‘fiddling’. It would take far too long to list the mountain of awards his playing has won him. Basically, he can play all kinds of music, and it all sounds really good! His song submission was a fantastic Latin-flavored fusion number. Similar artists include Itzhak Perlman, David Garrett, and Jean-Luc Ponty. Trust me folks. You want to hear this man play.
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/alexdepue
Song Sample – Paganini Into Yes/Michael Jackson
CJ Garton – Anybody like outlaw country music? Oh you do! Well then, do I have an artist for you to check into. His name is CJ Garton and he calls Nashville, TN home. Prepare to be impressed by both his deep, rich voice, and also just how much southern rock he can pack into his music. His submission was country through and through, but it also featured some pretty mean guitar riffs. If you’re looking for some real down home tunes look no further!
ReverbNation Page – http://www.reverbnation.com/cjgarton
Song Sample – Hunting Trophy Whitetail