Matt Commerce, Wayne Riker, Janell Rock

Artist: Janell Rock
Song: “The Black Cat Cries” (from the CD Performer)
Heard By: Silvia Flores, College Area

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Janell Rock: "The Black Cat Cries"

I liked the bass in the beginning. Instead of just keeping the rhythm, it actually played the melody. The vocals seemed interesting in the beginning but then got a little repetitive in the middle of the song. I like how you can feel the emotion being portrayed throughout the song. It was definitely jazz — almost a little of the bebop era and kind of close to Anita O’Day. The lyrics were something like “the cat cries for the little girl.” Metaphorically speaking, I took it to be about someone’s heart crying. I got a sense of longing. I can really see somebody like that picking up on the jazz circuit here in San Diego.

Artist: Matt Commerce
Song: “Only with You (feat. Quino)” (from the CD Closer Than You Realize)
Heard By: Ovie Soto, North Park

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Matt Commerce: "Only With You" (feat. Quino)

I thought it was an interesting mixture of three styles: there was a little bit of a country feel in the singer’s voice, the music had a reggae beat with some of the typical reggae instruments, and then there was an addition of a ukulele, which gave me a little bit of an “island” feel. The acoustic-guitar solo was nice. It wasn’t too prominent or tinny. The female singer sang a nice harmony that didn’t overpower the lead singer’s melody. Obviously, “Only with You” is the title, and he’s talking about life with this [particular] person but not with other people. I think around Valentine’s Day it’s timely.

Artist: Wayne Riker
Song: “Tumbleweed Trot” (from the CD Fretology)
Heard By: Christian Ferruzca, Linda Vista

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Wayne Riker: "Tumbleweed Trot"

It sounds a little like bossa nova — Brazilian music. I think the guy’s really good. I took a couple of guitar classes myself, but I didn’t go that far. Mainly, I was just focusing on the guitar. There was no singing; it was just instrumental. The music was really mellow. It’s a CD that you can sit down and have a cup of coffee to — maybe even [take] to the beach. I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is music for younger people. Rock and alternative rock is pretty much what I listen to the most, but I can also just come to a coffee shop and put something like this on my laptop.


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