There’s a time clock ticking in my mind. The timing of life, the timing of a heartbeat, and the timing of a perfectly executed musical performance. Oh wait, that’s my damn phone and it’s the boss sending me a text about some black metal dude named Avi Kaplan. He used to be in Amorphis, right? No man, he was in the Pentatonix! Alright, alright… back the Ford up and reset my clock, jeesh. This guy has something that people can latch onto no matter the time of day, night or mood. It’s something infectious and affectionate, and this is just a sampler with the release of his EP I’ll Get By.

“Change on the Rise” sounds like a haunted Southern Baptist Church choir backing up the lyrical content of “Without the light, the darkness comes. Hold through the night shadows will run. Fend off the enemy, sing out the jubilee.” So where in the hell is Quinton Tarantino when you need him? Damn dude, I just scored your next movie and you ain’t even answering your Facetime. Anyway, “we’re singing all day and you can’t tame it.” The beautiful part about this song is there are minimal instruments involved. If I was walking down a lost highway and I heard this coming from the middle of nowhere, I would subdue temptation and walk into this mystery ministry with every hair on my body standing at attention.

I can’t even comprehend “I’ll Get By.” My mind is blown and if this doesn’t go up for a Grammy then there’s seriously something wrong with American culture. The integral part of being in a focal band such as Journey, Van Halen, The Four Tops or the Commodores is vocal harmonization. It used to be a standard and how that got lost amongst today’s five punching fingers is beyond me. This song has it all, including a memorable, whistling spaghetti western outro.


“I was born in California, raised up by the trees. Came out from the mountains, hearts are following the breeze.” This has the ghost of Waylon Jennings hovering above it and the chains of Johnny Cash’s entity kicking open the cellar door.

The closer, “Full Moon,” again reminds me of a Tarantino soundtrack. Something about love and Mexico, or at least the southwest. To hell with tacos in this Spanish abridged sueno. I want to ask the waitress what time she gets off work and if she wants to sip fine wine by the oceanside. I mean it’s a full moon and what do I have to lose? A slap in the face? Eh pendejo…. lo siento, mi amor. Pasemos la noche juntos.

I’ll Get By Track Listing:

01. Change on the Rise
02. I’ll Get By
03. It Knows Me
04. Sweet Adeline Pt. 2
05. Chains
06. Born in California
07. Full Moon

Run Time: 26:16
Release Date: February 28, 2020
Record Label: Fantasy Records

I was born in the late 60's amongst hippies and bikers. Cut my teeth on 70's rock and roll surrounded by motorheads and potheads, and in the 80's spread my wings and flourished as a guitarist. In the 90's I became a semi-professional musician knocking on death metals door, as well as entering the world as a freelance writer. In the 2000's I moved to Hollywood and watched the music industry crumble in front of my dreams and then took a break. Now, in the early 2020s I'm ready to rock again… or swing, blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, classical, etc. Its not so much a job to me anymore, but a great way to express myself and have a good time, and, "I know, its only rock and roll but I like it".