J. Rod’s Music World

Justin Rodstrom

Before I get started, I just want to tell everyone to head over to pandora.com. I just found out about this amazing little site. It lets you create your own radio station based on your favorite artists. Maybe I’m late in coming, but if you haven’t checked this bad boy out, you’re seriously missing out.

John Hammond “Push Comes To Shove”

The big blues sound of John Hammond immediately grabs you and pulls you into the southern delta and the crossroads so bemoaned by Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton. At the same time, the production work and special appearances by G. Love give it a unique flavor and new appeal.

Yes, it’s the blues; yes, it’s got twang and swing. Throughout the 12 tracks, Hammond serves up some standards along side five originals. Songs like “Heartache Blues” make you wish Hammond had written all 12 of the tracks. But the duet “I’m Tore Down” with G. Love gives loving credence to the Sonny Thompson classic that has been covered by almost every blues band on both sides of the Mississippi.

Gimme the Blues: “Come On In This House,” “I’m Tore Down,” “You Know That’s Cold”

I give this album three stars

Machine Head “The Blackening”

How would I describe the new Machine Head? Well, as I told a friend of mine, it’s absolutely bursting with energy. A highly frenetic, anything-goes approach has cemented a sound five years in the making. With the first track, “Clenching the Fists of Dissent,” we see Machine Head travel through acoustic guitar work, heavy metal riffing, acapella harmonies and acidic, wah solos.

The metal workout doesn’t end there. Four of the tracks on the album hit or exceed the nine-minute mark. Demmel, Flynn and the boys really pull out all the stops with this forward-thinking metal journey.

Blackening Tracks: “Clenching The Fists of Dissent,” “Halo,” “A Farewell to Arms”

I give this album four stars

Asher Burstein “City Island Nocturne”

With inspirations including Billy Joel, Miles Davis and Jewish roots music, Burstein has put together a unique, if quirky, set of easy listening tunes.

Burstein recently performed these tracks at The Starving Artist Gallery and Café, a village-like beat club in the heart of City Island. His performance was rewarded with a warm reception from some of the island locals and fans. He has even graced the likes of YouTube with a couple of music video-style performances cut from his new album.

Nocturnal Tracks: “City Island Nocturne,” “Sonatina Presta,” “Look To The Water”

I give this album three stars