CD Release Reviews

Ross Jenssen: Stories EP

Ross Jenssen: Stories EP

Ross Jenssen, our friendly resident three piece instrumental future-groove band has just released some highly anticipated new music. The release, a short three song EP is entitled Stories, and features a cool bit of art on the cover, from Berkshire native and longtime collaborator Sam Ban, depicting some sort of radio-equipped tome with wires, ports, […]

Wild Adriatic drops their best album yet

Wild Adriatic drops their best album yet

Just over the border in New York a local band is about to release what may be their biggest hit yet. Calling to mind soulful and dynamic sounds, Wild Adriatic has won early acclaim from places such as Rolling Stone, USA Today, Relix and Guitar World. The band, touring out of Saratoga Springs, NY, routinely […]

Matchstick Architects: All That’s In Between

Matchstick Architects: All That’s In Between

The Matchstick Architects are a band based mostly in the Berkshires. (A couple of members are from New York and Connecticut respectively, but who’s counting?) If you’re into the local music scene, chances are you’ve heard these guys (and gals) play, and, if you’ve got ears, you’ve enjoyed them. The Matchstick Architects recently released an […]

Francesca Shanks: I Am Walking Away

Francesca Shanks: I Am Walking Away

Francesca Shanks released her second album, titled, I Am Walking Away. The album begins with “Other Moccasin.” The song immediately grabs the listener’s attention with the line, “First you die quiet, then you die loud. Your blood sails on, furling the tears flowing out”. It’s just Francesca and her ukulele, until the synth comes in, […]

Cosmogenesis is a local electronic album to hear

Dayne Henderson is an electronic music producer. You may know him as Starseed. His fourth album, Cosmogenesis, “traces the story of humanity upon a multidimensional cosmic journey”. Each song on the album represents a particular star or constellation. The sounds you hear represent Starseed’s feelings or reaction to that star or constellation. Starseed isn’t just […]

Benny Kohn shines through on latest album

Benny Kohn shines through on latest album

Who knew Benny Kohn could sing? For the past decade or so, Kohn, aka “Benny Fingers,” of Windsor, has played keys for well-known Berkshire bands like The Rev Tor Band, Misty Blues Band, and the Sister City Jazz Ambassadors, among others. But last month, the piano man released his own debut album, Fingers First, with […]

Bella’s Bartok’s latest album will ‘Change Yer Life’

Bella’s Bartok’s latest album will ‘Change Yer Life’

Western Massachusetts six-man “modern pop-klezmer” band Bella’s Bartok opened their Halloween set at The Garage at Pittsfield’s Colonial Theater by performing a high-energy, sweat-inducing cover of Danny Elfman’s “This is Halloween” from Tim Burton’s film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” That same penchant for eerie vocal harmonies, listen-worthy lyrics, catchy rhythms, echoes throughout the band’s latest […]

Mary Verdi’s ‘Flight’ surrounds you with love

Berkshire singer-songwriter Mary Verdi is a veteran on the local music scene, a lifelong musician who started performing at age 3. Today, she continues to accompany herself and others on piano and guitar, crossing the genres of pop, country, holiday music and more. Her latest album, “Flight,” is Verdi’s sixth release, and nestles well under […]

Sounds and Tones puts out another local album

The Berkshires’ own Sounds and Tones Records has been actively reviving the art of independently producing and promoting musicians from across the country and several genres. Back in November, the label helped North Adams resident Francesca Shanks release her debut full-length album, “Wolf Island,” which she’s performing from this spring. Describing her sound as “Berkshire […]

Oakes & Smith’s latest surges with hope and emotion

Tyringham-based folk-art duo Oakes and Smith, just shy of six months out from releasing a four-song EP, “Evergreen,” the musical and lifelong partners have released a five-song follow-up called, “Between the Earth and the Sky” (Feb. 2). Whereas a reviewer for EssentiallyPop.com described “Evergreen,” as an album “filled with music and lyrics that take the […]