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Sound Check

Sound Check

10/3/2018

‘The Modern Lives Vol. 2’ (EP)

Jackie Greene
Released on Oct. 5, 2018 by Blue Rose Music

Jackie Greene’s second volume EP, “The Modern Lives Vol. 2,” is a extension of his first album released one year ago.

“Crazy Comes Easy” is a twangy upbeat song, where, “crazy comes easy to a fool in love.” The video includes a campy rendition of a real three-time cancer survivor in her aging hippie clothing, dancing in Florida, turning object into colorful art.

“Good Old Bad Times,” my favorite, portrays Greene’s multi-instrumental range. The drums punctuate the beat, along with the harmonica and bluegrass feel. It’s as if you walked into a seasoned blues club and began singing along with “young and wild and free.” His influence of playing with blues artist Susan Tedeschi is evident on this track and “Victim of the Crime.”

Greene played lead guitar for the Black Crowes in 2013 and has collaborated with numerous blues artists, including BB King and Buddy Guy. The rest of the album’s songs are all superbly written and performed by Greene, who plays acoustic guitar, piano, slide guitar and the organ.

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Listeners of the album beg to ask, “What genre is this?” Americana? Folk? Blues? Rock? Honky-tonk? The answer is all of the above. It’s a combination genre, and it works impeccably for this album. ♦

‘Still Feel Lucky’

Ben Danaher
Released on Sept. 7, 2018 by Soundly

Country artist Ben Danaher’s second album, “Still Feel Lucky,” captures a sliver of his pain-filled life with honesty and hope. The album was written after the skilled songwriter’s brother was murdered and his father died of cancer in a short time span. The songs from this album draw from his intense pain and loss, with a message of moving on.
On the title track, “Still Feel Lucky,” he begins singing, “tough as nails,” with an upbeat message, “you can hurt and still feel lucky.”

The “Hell or Highwater” song is a deep, bluesy number, complete with a slide guitar riff. With a more rock and roll edge than the rest of the album, this should hit the country crossover radio airwaves with ease.

A moving acoustic tune, “My Father’s Blood,” slows things down. It’s a tribute to his dad’s influence, who passed away of cancer at age 63. “I wouldn’t know who I was if it wasn’t for my father’s blood,” he sings.

“Getting Over Someone,” tells us that we don’t need to hide the tears. The song gives hope to find forgiveness. Even if we’re defeated, we can get over it.

If you, too, are feeling lucky in your life, tweet it. Danahar urges listeners to share their story of hope with the hashtag, #stillfeellucky. ♦

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