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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Moon Turn Red. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moon Turn Red. Show all posts

Monday, October 5, 2015

Stony Plain Records artists: Monkey Junk - Moon Turn Red - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Moon Turn Red, from Monkey Junk and it's quite good! Opening with Light It Up, lead guitarist Tony D dusts the slide and they're off to the races behind Steve Marriner on lead vocal and harp backed by Tony and drummer Matt Sobb. This is a swift track with slippery slide and rolling harp riffs... a super opener. Driving blues rocker, You, has a really nice guitar vamp (think Whiskey Train) and Marriner sounds quite a bit like Paul Rogers with cool vocal backing and again solid harp work. Very nice! Show Me Yours is a solid rocker but with a taste of Tone Loc with Marriner's smooth vocals and warm keyboard work. David Wilcox's rocker Hot Hot Papa features Wilcox on vocal and guitar and the track has a real ZZ Top like swagger. Stinging guitar soloing and a driving beat make this one of the total standouts on the track. Love Attack has a definite reggae feel and sets a terrific groove. Breaking from the traditional rhythm on the chorus the band adds a more commercial sound but when it returns it hits hard. I really like this track, it's Louisiana feel on percussion, and the intelligent guitar playing from Tony. Live Another Day has a whole different spin with a Uriah Heep kind of feel. One of my least favorite tracks on the release, it still is interesting and well performed. Marriner lays down a solid and progressive harp solo and Tony rips a pretty nice guitar solo of his own. Learn How To Love is a really cool track with excellent guitar effects. It's really a simple ballad but the melody, vocal blending and precise instrumentation is captivating. Lucky One is really Matt Sobb's track to lead with it's hot drum work. Marriner of course is on top with his excellent vocals and Tony D is driving on guitar but it's the beat that makes this track float. Travelin' Light is a straight up rocker with radio styling. A solid melody and a clever rhythm give this track wheels and Tony slides into home on guitar with speed and accuracy. Meet Me At Midnight has a cool R&B feel with a light funk. Nicely blended vocal harmonies and slick guitar work bring this track if for a solid closer.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

MonkeyJunk Shines on New Stony Plain Records CD, "Moon Turn Red," Set for Release on September 25

MonkeyJunk Shines on New Stony Plain Records CD, Moon Turn Red, Set for Release on September 25
Album Features a Guest Appearance from Legendary Canadian Guitarist David Wilcox

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records announces a September 25 release date for Moon Turn Red, the new CD from multi-award winning Ottawa-based trio, MonkeyJunk.  Comprised of Steve Marriner (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, baritone guitar), Tony D (lead guitar, background vocals) and Matt Sobb (drums, percussion, background vocals), MonkeyJunk plays an energized mix of swamp blues and funky roots rock ‘n’ roll. Moon Turn Red was produced by the band and Ken Friesen, with additional production on one track by Colin Cripps of Blue Rodeo.

To watch a special EPK about the making of Moon Turn Red:

On their fourth CD for Stony Plain, MonkeyJunk displays their passionate and edgy roots-based music with an unfettered delivery, and Moon Turn Red is certain to further cement the band’s popularity around the globe. “With each record we make, we feel like we’re pushing more boundaries,” says the group’s Steve Marriner. “Moon Turn Red is no different in that regard. I really think some of the songs on this album are some of the best we’ve written. We explored grooves we’ve never hit on before and experimented with some new sounds, while paying particular attention to the melodic passages of the songs,” he adds.

MonkeyJunk truly shines on the new album, with ten scorching tracks varying from straight-up rockers like “Light it Up,” “You,” “Hot Hot Papa,” “Live Another Day,” “Lucky One” and “Travelin’ Light;” the reggae-tinged “Love Attack;” the funky “Show Me Yours;” and soulful, goose bump-inducing love songs, “Learn How to Love” and “Meet Me at Midnight.”

Moon Turn Red also features a guest appearance from legendary Canadian guitarist David Wilcox, who plays guitar and sings on MonkeyJunk’s cover of his classic “Hot Hot Papa.” “It was a real thrill for all of us to work with David Wilcox as he is someone we have been a fan of for many years - one of our musical heroes,” says Matt Sobb. “We listened to his music growing up, have covered his songs in previous bands and still listen to his albums in our van while on tour. He was very generous with his time and talents and it was truly an honor that he was so gracious and genuinely invested in making the track sound great with us.  And it was great to have Colin Cripps onboard to produce that song too - his musical sensibility and keen ears really harnessed the best out of all of us!”

Another coup for the band was having Gordie Johnson (of Big Sugar and Grady fame) lend his talents to the recording. As Marriner states, “He possesses an acute sensibility for melody and groove, a champion of ‘riff-rock’, while his role on our album is more supportive than feature, he brought all sorts of vibe to the session that I believe we effectively captured on tape that day.” Tony D adds, “Gordie and I both come out of the blues. We’ve known each other for over 25 years. It was serendipitous that he happened to be touring in the vicinity of the studio in Almonte, Ontario, and after all these years we finally got a chance to work together!”

Moon Turn Red is not only an outstanding addition to an already impressive body of work and a turning point for MonkeyJunk, it is an example of musical camaraderie and brotherhood; the trio of long-time friends and colleagues just seem to click in a way that is at once natural and otherworldly.  Their passion, conviction and dedication to their music are evident with every lick, every beat and every lyric. MonkeyJunk is a reminder to listeners that musicianship, ability and strong song writing will always triumph.

About MonkeyJunk

The 2008 birth of the Ottawa-based band MonkeyJunk came along just when music fans needed them the most. They brought an accessible and refreshing blend of swamp-rock roots and blues to the table and haven’t looked back. In the relatively short time they’ve been performing and recording together, the members of MonkeyJunk have won a collective 20 Maple Blues Awards, two Canadian Independent Music Awards, a Blues Music Award (USA), and have been nominated twice for a JUNO Award (The Canadian Grammy), taking home the coveted hardware in 2012.  

Straight out of the gate, MonkeyJunk quickly became one of the most popular new bands on the scene, performing at festivals and packed venues across the country, amassing a large audience of devoted fans, affectionately called “MonkeyJunkies.” In fact, they hit the road for a tour before their debut album, Tiger in Your Tank, was even released. They are not a fluke, one-off collective or “ordinary Joes” who decided to start a band. These are three musicians who individually had established careers prior to forming MonkeyJunk. Steve Marriner, the trio’s vocalist, baritone guitarist, harmonica and organ player, was well known as the ‘go-to’ guy as a producer, sideman and session player. He’s also toured the world performing alongside Harry Manx.  Steve is also the consummate musical networker and stage guest, having been invited to join many artists in concert such as Randy Bachman, Colin James and Big Sugar. At the age of 19, lead guitarist Tony D performed for three nights in Buddy Guy’s band. In 1982, he opened for Stevie Ray Vaughan.  These events helped propel him into a long-standing career with his own popular project, The Tony D Band. He has also toured with some of this country’s greatest musicians, including the late Dutch Mason.  Before MonkeyJunk, drummer and percussionist Matt Sobb was a very busy session drummer around Ottawa and has backed up several regional, national and international artists live on stage, touring and in studio over the last 24 years such as Kim Wilson, Jeff Healey, Tom Wilson (Blackie & The Rodeo Kings), The Tony D Band and his brother's band, Marty Sobb and The Mobb, among many others.

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