I’ve said it many times before when talking about the Bongo Boy Rock n Roll TV series but it is always worth saying again. In a world where we seem to be swamped by the sheer volume of musical options available to us, it is good to know that there is a show like this that can home in and hone down and present the best of the best of grassroots music. Not only does it do that, but it also does so via a cascade of video performances, offering a neat array of cool music and hot visuals.
The Bongo Boy Rock n Roll TV Show has been a feature of National TV in prime time position on terrestrial TV channels for over ten years and each episode brings a wealth of new music, hopping both genre and geography, sound and style as it makes its selections. As always, since airing, this show has been in heavy rotation Nationwide on more than 72 TV channels in the USA.
Lyia Meta kicks us off this time, and what a start, her powerful vocal making a lasting impression, resonance, powerful, soulful and confident. Slumber is about calling on your inner reserves, about believing in and understanding yourself in the darkest of times. It rises from a neo-soul ballad into an anthemic, stadium-sized slice of rock and roll, as fantastic as it is unexpected.
In The Nick of Time follows thanks to Australian outfit Studeo, a song which muses on the role of artificial intelligence as we move into a bright, or perhaps not so, new technological future and more specifically, its ability to mimic human emotions, desires even love. They wrap classic rock hooks around modern pop grooves to create something totally fresh but wonderfully familiar. They also offer a stunning video, a work of futuristic, cyber-punk art in its own right. And they make a second appearance here with Silence, another glimpse of a possible future, this time from the viewpoint of mother earth herself.
And from the future, we turn to the present, a present with just a nostalgic whiff of the past. Annemarie Picerno and Bob McGilpin have already made a name for trading in blues licks, rock energy and big vocals, and Money Pain is no exception. Big, brash, bluesy and brilliant. Jimmy McNicholas also has a sound that fits into the “classic” category and I’ve Got It All sits at a point where rock energy is tempered by pop melodicism, where groove dances with grace and where the traditions of the past are forged into sounds for the present.
Rev. Yolanda’s We Are Angels is heartfelt and understated, a reminder that we are all special even though in our moments of need we feel alienated and cut off and Baker Grace‘s cool and calming Be Ok takes plays us out. A gorgeously underplayed pop song that puts a beguiling voice front and centre with only a few beats and musical motifs to tether and direct the song. Less is definitely more.
Another brilliant showcase of the great and the good of emerging artists, rising talent and ones to watch, not only fantastic songs but brilliant videos too. You just know that you are still going to be replaying and enjoying this show by the time the next one comes out.