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Bill DeMain’s Gorgeous, Piano-Based Magic

Appearing on Bill DeMain’s forthcoming album Transatlantic Romantic are two songs that the artist has allowed me to play first on the radio: “Honey Bear” and “Leroy Boy.” Color all of us lucky.

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New on Pure Pop Radio 03-01-17: Vegas With Randolph, Terry Draper, The Del Zorros, The Squires of the Subterrain, and More

Today’s batch of reviews features a preview of a new song from Pure Pop Radio favorite Vegas With Randolph, new releases from a trio of prolific melodic popsters, and much more…

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New on Pure Pop Radio 02.14.17: Starring Pop Co-Op (with the Spongetones’ Steve Stoeckel), James Starflower, The Lunar Laugh, and More

We’re continuing to add more new and new-to-you music to the Pure Pop Radio playlist just about every day. Today, we’ve got reviews of seven albums from which we’re now spinning tracks in rotation. Click below to read all about it!

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New on Pure Pop Radio 02.09.17: Michael Carpenter Times Two, and The Del Zorros

We continue to add new and new-to-you songs and artists to the Pure Pop Radio playlist; here are just a few of the latest nuggets playing in rotation, from Michael Carpenter (a duo song with Allan Caswell, and an album with the April Family), and the Del Zorros.

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New on Pure Pop Radio 1-26-17, Starring Kelley Ryan, The Simple Carnival, and More

We continue to add new and new-to-you songs and artists to our playlist; hundreds have made their Pure Pop Radio debut in the last few weeks. Here are just some of the most recent treasures we’re now playing in rotation. Welcome to Pure Pop radio the latest from Kelley Ryan, The Simple Carnival, Vegas With Randolph, and more…

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New on Pure Pop Radio 1.25.17: Feet First in the Dowling Poole! Jump In…The Water’s Fine!

Willie Dowling, late of the much-loved Jackdaw 4 conclave, and Jon Poole, workhorse musical magician of Cardiacs and Wildhearts fame, first joined forces as the Dowling Poole in 2014, releasing the smashing, hall-of-fame worthy long player Bleak Strategies. The equally amazing, if not more so, One Hyde Park followed last April.

Folding into their classic and melodic sound a deep well’s worth of influences and making good on an unspoken pledge to surprise both themselves and their listeners with gonzo song construction that makes everything they record pop like fireworks, Dowling and Poole remain fearless creators whose music is stimulating and, above all, fun. Their three most recent EPs follow along on this most alluring path.

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New on Pure Pop Radio: Dana Countryman’s Girlville!

Dana Countryman’s Girlville! New Songs in the Style of Yesterday’s Hits
(Teensville) 2017
And now for something completely different? Not completely, actually, because this heartfelt, loving tribute to the sounds of 1960s girl groups shares the same depth of commitment and heart that Dana Countryman put into his much-loved pop songs trilogy, concluded in 2015 with Pop 3! Welcome to My Time Warp!.

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New Music, New Specialty Shows are New Next Week

Hey, 2017: We’re bursting out of the gate with a big year ahead, stocked full of new music, new specialty shows, new interviews, new features and, well, a whole lot of new!

Dori Freeman’s Charming Self-Titled Delight

Dori Freeman | In concert at Jammin Java; Vienna, Virginia; April 4, 2016

Dori Freeman | Dori Freeman
(Free Dirt Records, 2016)

Review by Alan Haber

dori freeman album coverFrom Galax, Virginia, the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains, comes a young singer-songwriter who exhibits the keen lyrical and musical vision of older souls. Dori Freeman, just 24, examines the beating of hearts and other matters on her self-titled long player from Free Dirt records. It’s a beauty.

Currently supporting seasoned veterans Teddy Thompson, who produced this record, and Kelly Jones, who are touring in support of their new record, Little Windows, Dori sings honest lyrics married to equally honest melodies. Her lovely performance this past Monday night at Vienna, Virginia’s Jammin Java was mesmerizing; the full audience applauded enthusiastically after every song, so charmed were they by her performance.

Accompanying herself on stage with just her acoustic guitar, Dori, ostensibly an Americana artist but really so much more, sang sweetly the songs given, for the most part, full band treatment on her album, although there are exceptions: on record, “Ain’t Nobody,” an impassioned gospel testament, is delivered a cappella alongside firmly placed finger snaps; and the opener, “You Say,” about loving one who doesn’t return the sentiment, is played out with only acoustic guitar and bass.

DoriFreeman_CD_Adv_T_J100Dori Freeman, the album, is full of amazing songs. The gorgeous “Where I Stood,” which features Teddy Thompson singing harmony vocals, tells the tale of a broken relationship, rocked by mistrust and deceit (“Yesterday morning I answered your phone/The voice said hello and it turned me to stone/You reached for me as I reached for the door/But I won’t be turning to you anymore”). The very pure pop pleasures of the upbeat “Fine Fine Fine,” which kicks off with “Be My Baby” drums (and here’s yet another realization of this year’s top and oh-so-popular rhythmic nod), would make a fine, fine, fine single, being so catchy and all.

With a vocal delivery echoing the fabric of Luxury Liner-era Emmylou Harris, and the quite amazing and satisfying ability to trail off a note so that it becomes a heartfelt whisper, Dori Freeman is a marvel, a singer-songwriter possessing great gifts full of passion and soul. We’re playing seven songs from this album in rotation, all displaying Dori’s exceptional, emotional lyrics and catchy melodies: “Any Wonder”; “Fine Fine Fine”; “A Song for Paul”; “Still a Child,” which features a lovely, lyrical piano part played by Erik Deutsch; “Tell Me”; “Where I Stood,” and “You Say.”

Make no mistake: Dori Freeman is a talent to watch and savor. We’re honored to be playing her music on Pure Pop Radio.

new pure pop radio logo medium sizeAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

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Charming, Bittersweet “Sabina” Points to Fine Fall Album Release from Michael Oliver and the Sacred Band

Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver

I cannot remember the last time I was so charmed by a song that I played it over and over again upon receipt. Only seconds into the first single from the forthcoming, hopefully late-Fall-ish album by Michael Oliver and the Sacred Band, Everything Sunny All the Time Always, I was thanking my lucky stars that such a wonderful creation (in the form of a great-sounding studio rough) had fallen into my lap. The album, you should know, is being recorded with Ducky Carlisle at his Ice Station Zebra studio in Medford, Massachusetts.

I’ve been a big fan of Michael’s for a long time. News of a new album on the horizon made me stand up and take notice. The new song, “Sabina,” which sees its Pure Pop Radio premiere tonight at 8:30 pm ET and will subsequently be spinning in hot rotation after that, is an expertly crafted, lovely, mid-tempo ballad–a heartstring tugger about loss, about sensory memory, about love, about life. Michael says the song is about a cat or life. Yes and yes.

Following a gorgeous, riff-based opening (played out atop a haunting, ghostly percussion track), Michael sings, “If she’s gone, then why do I call her name and wait for her quiet games?” as the sensory memory sets in. And then, the heartbreaking chorus, punctuated by a sensitive accordion sample, played to perfection: “Sabina’s gone but not forgotten…but something in my heart still lingers. I close my eyes and find her there.”

The final chorus adds an inventive background vocal wash, underpinned by hope, and a closing, sadly and ultimately life affirming observation: “And sometimes we all feel bruised and battered. We all need to know somehow it matters.”

As I said, this is a heartstring tugger. Michael is in fine form on the song, his vocal acutely observed. “Sabina” is a triumph. Listen to the song’s Pure Pop Radio premiere tonight at 8:30 pm ET. Hear it in rotation after that, and keep a look out for Everything Sunny All the Time Always mere months from now. The fall, or thereabouts, is looking up already.

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes