Like any true appreciator of music, I do not limit myself to just one genre of music.  Metal may be the main style of music I listen to and probably will always be, but sometimes it’s nice to mellow out and enjoy something that is a little less in your face but still gives me the same satisfaction of musicianship, passion, emotion, and energy that metal gives me.  Here’s a little list of some of the artists that I fancy outside of the metal realm.  Enjoy, and as always, leave comments and suggestions, I always love hearing something new and great.  And now that I am doing bits for “A Metal State of Mind” I will be moving away from metal centric posts on this blog and trying to encompass all the music that I love(and don’t worry, I’ll still be reviewing metal and talking about metal here, just maybe a bit less, and I haven’t given up on the Music Video Madness bit either, I’m just being lazy.) Peace Love and Music!!!

Dispatch

These guys are just phenomenal.  Without ever being played on a major radio station, music video channel, or any other means other than word of mouth they have been able to take the world by storm and sell out venues such as Madison Square Garden multiple times.  They really don’t stick to one specific style of music, but they envelope multiple ranges of styles including rock, reggae, funk, jam, folk, acoustic, hip-hop, ska, and on and on.  Made up of 3 members this trio weaves powerful and emotional songs that have all 3 members working tirelessly singing in harmony and playing musical chairs with their instruments.  The band broke up in 2002, but has gotten back together to do charity shows(selling out MSG 2 nights in a row) and a special farewell shows for the fans.  Just recently announced is that the band is getting back together and releasing an EP of new music and doing a small American tour this summer with the ticket profits going to the local education programs of the communities in which they are playing as well as record sales proceeds going to The Elias Fund(a charity organization founded by Dispatch to raise money for the people of Zimbabwe).  I highly recommend giving a good listen to this band(and not just to the music, their lyrics are extremely well written and highly touching) and purchasing their albums.

Dire Straits

I don’t think a band of the magnitude of the Dire Straits needs any introduction, these English gentlemen were one of the biggest selling acts of their time.  What I love about them is their chill, bluesy, progressive sound and their poppier songs are completely infectious, give a listen to songs such as “Walk of Life” and try to get the melodies out of your head, it may require surgery.  Mark Knopfler’s melancholy at times yet uplifting lyrics and singing as well as his amazing guitar work are some of my favorite things to listen to when I listen to the Dire Straits.

Rush

Rush is a band that is widely accepted and loved by many metal heads.  One could go as far to say that if weren’t for Rush, progressive music wouldn’t ever have had been popularized and eventually finding its way into metal which lead to some of the best metal bands the world knows today(Dream Theater, Opeth, Tool, Between the Buried and Me, ect.)  I got into Rush at an early age due to the fact that my neighborhood friends brother would constantly be playing “Fly By Night” while we were in his room using the Atari and NES(the same dude got me into Iron Maiden as well 🙂 ).  There is not one member of this band that is a complete master of their instrument.  After nearly 25 of listening to Rush they always still seem to constantly sound fresh and unique.  If someone were to ever ask you what progressive music sounds like the best response would be to play “2112” for them.

Bloodhound Gang

This one is kind of a guilty pleasure.  They really don’t offer much in way of constructing deep and emotional music, but they do craft some of the catchiest and funniest(if you think dick and fart jokes are funny) songs made.  Unfortunately, their most recent offering, “Hefty Fine”, was a huge letdown, but everything preceding that has cracked me up to no end with their quick wit and catchy beats.  Not for the easily offended.

G. Love and Special Sauce

Garret Dutton, AKA G. Love, has been able to create one of the more interesting bands I’ve ever heard.  He takes the blues, makes it “sloppy”, “lazy”, and even more laid back and then overlays elements of R&B and rolls with hip-hop style bluesy vocals over top.  Never have I heard anything like the music that he creates.  Their music is perfect for kickin’ back on a hot summer day and sipping some beers or some sweet tea.  If your looking for something different to listen to where the word different doesn’t encompass the word “avant-garde” or difficult to listen to, G. Love and Special Sauce should be right up your alley.

Rev. Horton Heat

I’m not much into punk rock nor country music(with the exception of Johnny Cash and Social Distortion), but for some reason Rev. Horton Heat’s blend of the 2 seem to click with me.  Their songs are contagiously fun to listen to, the lyrics have a great sense of humor, the music has a spaghetti western feel to it, and the musicianship is through the roof.  Jim Heath’s(AKA Rev. Horton Heat) amazing rockabilly guitar work combined with Jimbo Wallace’s infectiously groovy stand-up bass playing create a fun and engaging listening experience.  If you ever have the opportunity to see these guys live, do so, it’s one hell of a stage show and the only place I’ve seen swing dancing(almost on a professional level) in the crowd at a rock and roll show.

Bruce Springsteen

Well, I’m a Jersey boy, I can’t help myself when Bruce plays his sometimes somber, sometimes inspiring, sometimes nostalgic songs of Americana rock often centered around the state I grew up in(about 20 minutes drive from Asbury Park and the Stone Pony where Mr. Springsteen gained his fame).  True story, my mom knows the sister of the girl who dated Bruce’s bass player Garry Tallent in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  And Bruce recorded with his old band The Castiles in the town I grew up in, Brick Township, cool huh 🙂

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  I’ll most likely returning with more posts like this and delving into some classic albums to review and recommend to all you readers out there, and with those missing Creedence tapes.  Hope you enjoyed and leave your thoughts in the comments.

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