Listen Up! – Fuzzy and the Rustbelts: “That Sweet Song”

Track List:
1. American Tattoo
2. Ship of Fools
3. 50 Million
4. The Flatlander
5. That Sweet Song
6. Home (Away from Home)
7. Take Me to the River
8. Hello June
9. Mountain Song

Label: Independent
Producer: Karl Maciag

When you buy an album I am certain that you gravitate to a few songs that you deem your favorites. I can remember picking up a new CD because it had that one song I loved. I would listen to that song on repeat, learn all the lyrics, tell others about it, but wouldn’t give the time of day to the rest of the songs. With that being said, every now and then an album comes along where I enjoy every song. I will listen to it from front to back without skipping a track. “That Sweet Song” is one of those albums.

This album by Fuzzy and the Rustbelts is a complete package musically. This release has an old school country / Americana feel, and covers the dynamical spectrum. There are upbeat tracks such as “50 Million” and “Hello June” as well as calmer acoustic tracks like “Home (Away From Home)” and “American Tattoo”.

When you listen to this album you can hear the soul, emotion, and passion in Fuzzy’s voice. It seems that this sound came naturally and nothing was forced when putting it all together. When asked about the album, Fuzzy himself said that “the theme began to become clear….Mountains, Rivers, God.  Mountains are the ultimate hurdle.  We all need to climb mountains and cross rivers to overcome our fears.  But more importantly we all need to pray and realize that we can’t do it alone.  This album encompasses so many thoughts, stories, and feelings that ultimatley make up the all American experience.”

This album is set to release February 15th and they are holding a release show on that date at The 9th Ward in Buffalo. I have heard that it is sold out but if there is a way you can get to that show I would definitely recommend it. I have not gotten the chance to see them live but I look forward to the day I do. Make sure to check out their website and facebook page for upcoming events and news!

Our Rating

Listen Up! – Dilettante Self Titled EP

Track List:
1. Scale
2. Dispossession
3. Incubus
4. Eclipse
5. Rising Tides

Label: Independent
Producer: Anthony Potenza – Studio A Recordings

On January 25th, Dilettante will be releasing their debut self titled EP. I have had the pleasure of playing a show with these guys in the past so I was excited to hear what they had put together.

The EP starts off with the track “Scale” and definitely sets the tone for the rest of the album. Including the lyrics “How am I today? To me it’s all the same. I’ve stepped too far away. Now a man without a name.” Dilettante is very real in what they put forth for all to hear. From Dilettante themselves; “This EP is an open and honest representation of a broken entity. We are delving into the darkest mindsets so many of us are afraid to discuss, but all suffer in from time to time.”

As I continued to listen and get into the second song “Dispossession” I kept coming back to one thing, AFI. It is clear that vocalist Erik Wik is heavily influenced by AFI and the vocal style of Davey Havoc. Eriks vocals are unique and to me, took the songs to that next level. Through the next 3 songs the themes and styles previously mentioned continue, and bring the whole EP together. The final song “Rising Tides” offers some metalcore riffs but still maintains the up and down dynamic energy shown throughout the other tracks.

Overall I thought this album was put together very well. The dynamics the songs along with a mix of clean and dirty vocals pulled together nicely. I could easily listen to and enjoy all tracks and if you like heavy music but aren’t into as much screaming this EP is for you. 2019 looks like it is starting off well musically and I hope it continues this way!

Be sure to check out Dilettante at their EP release show on January 25th at the Rec Room in Buffalo. This show is sponsored by After Dark Presents and also includes the bands Of Night and Light, Overlook, and Winski. For more information click the link below.

Our Rating

Five and Five: The Sound Guy

We’ve all been there before. A band gets mad at the sound guy because “he screwed up their sound” or their set was cut short because they took to long setting up but their story was “the sound guy doesnt know what he was doing”. Well I will tell you I have a lot of respect for sound guys and you should too! Sound guys can be the backbone of a show and they see most of what goes on. There are times I bet the sound guys sees more than the promoter does. They interact with the bands on stage and also see how the bands act in the crowd. They can make or break you in terms of how your set goes. Based on how you act or treat others could bring future consequences, both good and bad. So what should bands do? What are some things that sound guys like and what are some things that are disliked? I decided to take these questions to a good friend of mine, Paul Mitro, who just happens to be a sound guy. He put together a list based on his opinion and past experiences.

So without further ado let’s take a look at the five things you should do and five things you shouldn’t do if you’re a local band playing a show. (Although these can apply to all bands I am trying to help out smaller bands as they grow)

Let’s start with the five things that Paul recommends you don’t do.

  • Don’t show up unprepared. Soundcheck isn’t a time to go over parts. It’s for getting the audio right. Get on and get off other bands need to soundcheck as well.
  • Don’t be late for load in. Nothing screams amateur hour more then showing up late. And for goodness sakes if you’re late don’t expect a soundcheck!
  • Don’t be a diva. If something about the show doesn’t go your way don’t whine. Be cool and roll with it. The promoter and the other bands will remember if you took one for the team and didn’t make a big deal about it.
  • Don’t be picky about the sound. Be as minimal as possible with what you need. Take the time to figure out what you actually need to hear to play. Remember the sound guy/gal can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. And for the love of all that sounds good, don’t show up with your own sound guy without first clearing it with the promoter AND the house tech BEFORE THE DAY OF SHOW!
  • If you make a mistake or have a gear failure don’t make a big deal about it or blame the sound guy. It’s not his job to know the the 9 month old battery you’ve been too cheap to replace, finally died.
  • Alright now that we have looked at some things that are not recommended, let’s look at some things that you should do.

  • Do tip your sound guy. Especially if you have a ton of special needs. And even if you don’t it’s just good practice. Chances are you’ll get a little extra love from him/her.
  • Know your gear. Take the time to learn your gear inside and out. When something breaks…and it will, you should be able to troubleshoot it fast and get on with the show. Also new drum heads that are properly tuned and fresh strings the day before (not right before you play or they will stretch out and you will never stay in tune).
  • Be open to sharing gear. It makes the show go faster and honestly your gear probably isn’t better anyways.
  • Have a clear agreement on what is expected from your band and the promoter. No one likes feeling like they are getting ripped off. If you’re still not sure how much you’re getting paid by the day of the show you’re not doing it right. #contractskeepfriends
  • Stay for the entire show. This goes along the lines of being a diva. You’re not special. Hang out on the floor and make some new friends. Green rooms are cool for a quick refresher and getting your heads in the game right before you play but that’s it. You have to get fans somehow so try being outgoing and drop the moody, depressed artist thing that you have going.
  • And here is one more bonus tip that will get you extra points with the sound guy!

  • Make a stage plot and input list. The pros do it and so should you. This helps the sound guy get you up and running faster. Keep in mind that he/she has probably mixed hundreds of bands in the last few months and you can bet they will not remember what you need from the last time you played.
  • So there it is ladies and gentlemen. Five things you should and five things you shouldn’t do from the view of the sound guy. So let’s hear it. Do you agree or disagree with Paul? Do you have more tips you would like to add. Sound off in the comments and let us know your opinion!

    About Our Expert

    Paul Mitro has been producing music and working in the industry for over 10 years. He has produced many albums as co-owner of Old Bear Studio located in Batavia, NY. Paul has had the chance to mix for bands such as Haste the Day, Oh Sleeper, and We Came as Romans as well as work with bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Queens of the Stone Age, and Billy Talent. Paul has been in a number of bands and currently plays guitar for the metal band Tetelestai. Paul resides in Buffalo NY with his wife and soon to be born child! Make sure to check him out at

    January Spotlight: As We Are

    Dale Vaughn of As We Are

    Coming out of Mt. Vernon IL, As We Are, has been tearing up venues all across the country and encompassing the heart of a DIY band for the past 6 years. I had the opportunity to experience them live for the first time this past summer at the Kingdom Bound festival in NY as part of their Summer Tour. Their sound and live set took me back to 2007 when I was into bands such as Stellar Kart, MxPx, and Hawk Nelson. Fronted by Dale Vaughn, they are high energy and really know how to connect with the audience. The band recently signed to Raven Faith Records and re-released their self titled “As We Are” EP which includes songs such as “Promise Land” and “Wave Goodbye”. This EP and all their other music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, and any other music streaming sites.

    As We Are is starting 2019 off with a 2 month tour, the no name tour, and will be back in the Buffalo area on January 26th at Stamps the Bar. This headlining show also features the bands Tetelestai, Among the Wolves, Element 36, and Signs of a Slumbering Beast. Make sure to check out their website and social media sites below and check back for photos and video off their upcoming tour!

    All things music

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