Review of New Album from Graham Gouldman

"Review of New Album from Graham Gouldman"


Graham Gouldman

Album: Modesty Forbids

by Adam Jones, 21/3/2020.

I click on the link and start to listen to the opener Standing Next To Me, without taking notice of the artist name. “Mmmmmm” I think as the song commences, “this is very groovy and thats a nice feel on the drums”. Vocals start and it sounds like a cross between Paul and Ringo from those legends I have loved all my life. Now hes mentioning Ringo and the story appears to be about the songwriter being a bit awestruck working with the great drummer.

I start doing a bit of reading about Mr Gouldman and hit his Facebook page only to discover that it actually is Ringo Star playing drums on the first track!  Wow, what an honour to review this British gentlemans interestingly titled new album Modesty Forbids. He has been active in the music scene as a performer and songwriter since 1965, AND this man was a hit songwriter and member of 10CC! I loved all their hits. Okay so now Im really looking forward to writing this one. Cant call it work.

Thats love right there” we are then told to the tune of a bit of piano swing big band jazz. Im smiling and suddenly life feels fine and my foots a-tapping. All Around The World takes us everywhere with some more nice chords on piano and a Beatley sounding band. This is as enjoyable as Ringos last album which I listened to on repeat when it came out.

Its Not You Its Me rocks on with a tasty acoustic guitar part and some cool, almost dreamy hippy style vocals. Theres a nice variety of songs on this album. I think Graham could write a hit song in his sleep, as the acoustic strums with some more great band sound reminiscent of George in the 70s on What Time Wont Heal.

More luscious keyboards feature in the sadly romantic Different Times. Wake Up Dreamer is the next solid song with the opening guitars sounding like a Crosby Stills Nash and Young track. Oh, and the bridge in this one is simply magic, then Graham reminds us that even though we must accept, that doesnt mean we cant reject”. Yep!

Now Im treated to the Russian Doll instrumental with its majestic and classic melodic stylings. The last 3 tracks treat my ears to more cruisey acoustic folk rock with some beautifully played guitar and perfect harmony backing vocals on the closing track New Star. When all is over, when all is done, only love survives”. Yes. So true. Modesty Forbids is a real gem, that is well worth searching for, and when you find it, give it a good shine!


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Review of New Single from Karissa

"Review of New Single from Karissa"



by Adam Jones. 20/3/2020

The piano notes tinkle gently as they introduce a voice with the huskiness of Stevie Nicks and the passion of the great late Janis Joplin. The light at the end of the darkness in so much piano rock is here, with a well-written song and the perfect level of emotion for the lyrical subject. This is what Delta might have been like when she came out, if she had some Aussie guts! And don’t forget the B-side “it was only me in this delirium..this reality…only to be with you” in a Utopian Coma, a gently contrasting but equally emotional performance from Karissa Hambilton, along with some complementary electric rock rhythm guitar.

This strong woman really does rock hard, well, hard enough for me. And those floating piano notes are always entrancing, every time it features momentarily during these songs. Karissa has been tapping the ebony and ivory and smashing out her dynamic vocals since 2011, and her latest offering reveals the maturity and development of a fine artist delivering from the pocket that she fits snugly into.

This is what I call ‘good driving music’. I can take the wheel and engage in her emotional rollercoaster whilst still happily avoiding those giant road trains!  Although, I could have this on during a dinner party, and it would make nice vibrations for my guests’ ears to occasionally tune into, indulge in, during that sweet but brandy-drenched dessert. 

So, without further ado, I tip my glass to you, Karissa, and say a simple ‘thank you for your music’. Never give up, because you’ve got this!



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New March Playlist

"New March Playlist"

Our new additions and playlist changes for March include new releases from Karissa, Fiona joy and Throwing Shapes as well as tunes lifted from current albums by Graham Gouldman, The Mezcaltones, Steve Kilbey, Gareth Koch and more.

  1. Steve Kilbey / Gareth Koch – ‘Stay Where You are’ (from the album Chryse Planitia)
  2. Big Merino – ‘I Lay Me Down (2020 Remix)’ (remix single from the album Sweet Little Angel)
  3. Graham Gouldman – ‘Standing Next To Me’ (from the album Modesty Forbids)
  4. Karissa – ‘Utopian Coma’ (from the album Light at the End of Darkness)
  5. Park Haven – ‘Take Cover’ (single)
  6. Fiona Joy Hawkins – ‘Bushfire Moon’ (single)
  7. The Mezcaltones – ‘Shango’s Surfwaxxx’ (from the album Mexican Hillbilly Surf Music)
  8. Throwing Shapes – ‘Tranquility Base’ (from the album Tranquility Base)

Have a listen to all these songs on Our Soundslikecafe Digital Playlist On Spotify:

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Fiona Joy Hawkins – Bushfire Relief

"Fiona Joy Hawkins – Bushfire Relief"

Fiona Joy Hawkins has recently released two new instrumental singles to support the Australian Firefighters who have risked their own life, many unpaid to save the homes and lives of others in the recent and ongoing Australian Bushfires. All funds made from these songs go to the firefighters (NSW RFS).

I am compelled to help the only way I know how – music. My home has survived to date – as has my village (Kendall NSW) and for that I’m grateful.” Fiona.

Prelude to Fire (Chopin, E Minor #4)


This track, released February 1, 2020, is an arrangement of a famous Chopin Prelude from Opus 28 (#4 in E Minor).

Review of Prelude to Fire
by Adam Jones
29 Feb 2020
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Rock’n’roll. Accadacca is the go, bro! Well, yeah, I don’t mind nodding
repeatedly to that classic Aussie grind. But way before the sweat and strut, sweetness, light, dark
and depth was created in beautifully composed music, such as the whimsical though emotionally
moving piece in E Minor from the great Chopin.
Fiona Joy Hawkins, living up to her middle name with what she has delivered here, has taken what
originally had a constant gentle thump of left hand chords, and delicately prised them into a lilting
arpeggio that creates a light and movement that lovingly compliments the melody. This is a prelude
to the fire in our souls, and those hammered strings reverberate through my nearly dormant neural
networks responsible for sparking when subliminally moving and beautiful music is delivered from
my ears.
Fiona has that same beautiful touch on the keys that my mother had as she played this classical
piece on our old upright piano when I was a boy. Back then I thought it was a bit boring, but if it
had been this amazingly talented woman playing this version I think I would have been floating
around the room with delightful childhood awe across my chubby red cheeks.
If this doesn’t move you, nothing will. Thank you so much Ms Hawkins. Love it! Oh, and please
wait for the final chords that put a sad end to this little masterpiece. You’ve just got to hear it. As I
write this I still have Prelude to Fire on repeat in my studio headphones. No words….

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Written/Piano: Fiona Joy Hawkins
Produced: Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton
Mix/Master: Tom Eaton
Kookaburra COVER Photograph: Adam Stevenson

Spotify Link:

Tolling of the Fire Bell

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And earlier this year on January 9, Fiona released this original composition of Haunting Neo Classical/New Age Piano with English Horn & Cello.

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Written/Piano: Fiona Joy Hawkins, English Horn: Jill Haley, Cello: Eugene Friessen, Produced: Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton, Mix/Master: Tom Eaton

Park Haven Latest Single Release Take Cover

"Park Haven Latest Single Release Take Cover"

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The newest add to our playlist, and its a  help to the Bushfire Crisis as well – check it out…..

Hi. We’re Harry and Isobel. We’re married and we live in an apartment block called Park Haven. We’ve both been musos in our separate spaces for a while but only started making music together this summer when Isobel penned a song about her awkward teenage crush on Harry. Then we got carried away and made some more tunes. We’re inspired by 70’s apartment blocks, 80’s synthesisers and 90’s video games. To be honest we don’t really know what to call the combination of those things but we hope you find a vibe you enjoy in our songs.

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10cc Star Graham Gouldman-Modesty Forbids

"10cc Star Graham Gouldman-Modesty Forbids"

10cc Star Graham Gouldman To Release First Solo Album in Eight Years

On 21 Febuary 2020, 10cc’s Graham Gouldmanwill release ‘Modesty Forbids’,his first solo album in eight years.Released on British independent record label Lojinx, Modesty Forbids is the fifth solo album of Graham’s career, and his first since 2012’s ‘Love And Work’. Featuring eleven tracks, the album’s release will coincide with 10cc’s 14-date Australia and New Zealand tour, ahead of the rest-of-world release in March 2020.

With Graham’s 10cc tours enjoying ever-increasing success around the world in recent years, in 2018 he was invited by former Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr to join his All Starr Band for tours of Europe and the USA, during which the band played three 10cc songs, elevating Graham’s profile yet further.

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 That relationship continues, with Ringo making a very special guest appearance on Modesty Forbids, playing drums on a song called ‘Standing Next To Me’.

Heres the tracklist along with Graham’s succinct descriptions-

Track-by-track guide to ‘Modesty Forbids’, by Graham Gouldman

  1. ‘Standing Next To Me’(written by Graham Gouldman)

“A song about being asked to join, and my experiences with, Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band. I would stand next to Ringo front of stage when he wasn’t playing the drums. It was a surreal and wonderful experience to see him ‘Standing Next To Me’. It was also brilliant to be on the road with the other members of the All Starr Band, namely Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Gregg Rolie, Gregg Bissonette, and Warren Ham. A dream come true.”

  1. ‘That’s Love Right There’ (written by Graham Gouldman)

“Whenever I go on the road my wife Ariella leaves little notes in my suitcase that I come across when I’m unpacking. She also leaves me little chocolate bars. I was with the band when I found one of these bars and exclaimed ‘That’s Love Right There’. I wanted to make an authentic sounding ‘swing’ record so I asked these brilliant players, Jamie Salisbury piano, Ralph Salmins drums and Chris Hill bass to play on the record with me.”

  1. ‘All Around The World’ (written by Beth Neilson Chapman, Graham Gouldman and Gordon Kennedy)

“I asked Beth to send me her take on the song. I couldn’t top her description. At a time of such upheaval and chaos this song reminds me that all is not lost. It doesn’t hide from the truth of the challenges but it brings it all into perspective and it just fills me with such joy! I loved writing this with two of the great songwriters on this planet! ‘It can only get better’says it all.”

  1. ‘It’s Not You It’s Me’ (written by Graham Gouldman)

“This song was originally written for the Yardbirds who approached me to write something for a new album they were hoping to record, but it never got made. Don’t ask. I liked the song not least because it uses the old excuse when you want to break up with someone that ‘It’s Not You It’s Me’.”

  1. ‘What Time Won’t Heal’ (written by Graham Gouldman and Bill Lloyd)

“This song was written very quickly like all the good ones do. I had a chord sequence and melody and Bill came up with this great title, he also wrote most of the lyrics. Bill is from Nashville and I think you can hear that influence in the song.”

  1. ‘Different Times’ (written by Graham Gouldman, Anna Krantz and Graeme Pleeth)

“I’d written with Anna before and was very happy to work with her again. This song came out of a session we had at Graeme Pleeth’s studio. As well as co-writing the song Graeme wrote a beautiful string arrangement. A song of regret and what might have been.”

  1. ‘Wake Up Dreamer’ (written by Graham Gouldman and Iain Hornal)

“I already had a lot of the musical ideas for this, which I shared with Iain, who came up with the title and more musical ideas. We have written together before and one of my favourite co-writes with him is ‘Say The Word’ from his first solo album and a song we perform in our 10cc show. Let’s stop dreaming and wake up to what’s happening to our planet.”

  1. ‘Russian Doll’(written by Graham Gouldman and Graeme Pleeth)

“I started this instrumental years ago with the idea that it would make a great movie theme. Maybe it will someday. It was only after I’d overdubbed a mandolin, that sounds like a balalaika, that I came up with the title ‘Russian Doll’. I love its dark, melancholic feel.”

  1. ‘Hangin’ By A Thread’ (written by Graham Gouldman and Cassa Jackson)

“We’d already written one song and at the end of the session I started messing around and came up with the start of this. Cassa joined in with what was to become the title and the chorus of ‘Hangin’ By A Thread’.”

  1. ‘Waited All My Life For You’ (written by Graham Gouldman and Phil Thornalley)

“Phil discovered the demo of this whilst going through some old files and played it to me. I couldn’t understand why we’d never finished it before but I’m so glad we did. It has a lovely Beatles feel to it. Btw, I first met Phil in 1986 when he produced the first Wax album. We have remained friends and worked together occasionally ever since.”

  1. ‘New Star’ (written by Graham Gouldman and Iain Hornal)

“I got the idea for this walking home one day. I heard something being played in the distance on someone’s radio. I couldn’t hear the song very well but I heard the rhythm which I liked. The chords came into my head immediately. I originally wanted to repeat the verse chords for the whole of the song using different melodies but it just didn’t work, so I asked Iain to help me finish it adding new parts. I lost my mum in 2019 and the first line of the song, ‘There’s a new star up in heaven’, refers to her.”

Stream or download here

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Karissa-Light at the End of Darkness

"Karissa-Light at the End of Darkness"

A regular soundslikecafe artist Karissa has recorded a brilliant new single, 2 songs that will capture your imagination with her heartfelt lyrics and delivery. Listen below and find it on the new February playlist.

Based in Young, Karissa divides her time between a young family, running her own business and her recoding career.

She lists her influences as Paramore, Muse, Sia and Lady Gaga. In her own words: “I love making music- it’s that simple. It’s always been part of my life and it’s who I am. I was put on this earth to stroke the keys of a keyboard and singing gives me inner satisfaction. It’s how I can express how the music makes me feel- emotion and passion. It’s been to long since I’ve done a recording and it was so good being back in the studio. I’ve longed for it and I felt like myself again being back in the studio creating music.”

About this track…Light at the End Of Darkness
This piano driven track also features full rhythm section with an up-tempo catchy feel. Karissa’s lyrics speak of passion, frustration and loss but resolve into the positive.
About this track…Utopian Coma

A ballad from Karissa with her signature piano work and vocals augmented by drums, bass and guitar. Reminiscent of anthemic 90’s tracks from artists such as Evanescence and Paramore.
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Eldafyre – Stylist Acoustic Poet

"Eldafyre – Stylist Acoustic Poet"

Soundslikecafe is proud to present our first feature artist for 2020 – Eldafyre

Heres the most recent review

Music review of the album ‘Raw’ by ELDAFYRE

Author: Adam Paul Jones

Lie back in bed with quality headphones wrapped around your head and escape into a meditative state with the grooves from ELDAFYRE’s ‘Raw’, an opus of 7 expansive modern jazz masterpieces. Mind you, I’d have this album, an indulgence for your ears and mind, blasting out of loudspeakers whilst spring cleaning the house!

38 year-old Mark, who hails from the central Victorian country town of Shepparton, and now more likely calls Byron Bay his spiritual home, is ELDAFYRE, with those dreamy and nasally new folky vocal tones reminiscent of Boy and Bear. This is a very fine album featuring sultry saxophones and trumpeting horns, that blend effortlessly with stereophonic keyboards, complimentary guitars and a beautiful dark rhythm section, topping off this modern catchy jazz-rock-funk outing.

 Imagine if an old creative Melbourne songwriter with jazz, blues and folk influences met Steely Dan and Patti Smith’s love-child, well, they would give birth to ELDAFYRE, and this ‘Raw’ album that opens quite naturally with ‘Welcome Around’ – getting that bass guitar popping with some twangy guitar and smooth trumpet before we are introduced to ‘why don’t you come inside?’, an invitation few could refuse, with that voice! As this song progresses I want to get up and dance with my special one and celebrate our love.

We can have ‘Another Wholesome Night’ with what now sounds like Rikki Lee Jones’ backing band, and yes mate, we will “be so kind to see it through”. As we keep dancing, ‘The Evening Came Together’ and we stopped to marvel at the conversation going on between Mr. Trumpet, Mr. Sax and Mr Keyboards. This is ‘Where Connection Bonds’ and we swing together like willows swaying in a warm breeze.

There is so much more to come, including some rock electric chords playing with a sax in ‘Phat Lines Down’, then we are treated to a ‘Long Pause’ (which is anything but), before ending appropriately with yet another work of art, ‘A Last Goodbye’.

Listen up lovers of fine music, do yourself an ELDAFYRE favour….

Describing himself as a ‘Sylist Acoustic Poet’ and with his new album of Dark Smokey Jazz NoirRAW” featured on soundslikecafe we managed to get him sitting on the couch and asked some in depth questions of this aspiring new artist –

  1. Tell us about the moment you decided to become a singer/writer/artist/musician? What did your family/friends have to say about it?

When I was very young I watched ‘the little shop of horrors’ and ‘the lion king’. I got my hands on the soundtrack and used to sing it over and over. The first time anyone becomes a singer is when they first start to sing. For me it was these songs to the walls of an old bungalow in Shepparton. Near the showgrounds. Down a street called Williams rd. My families way of support was to call me names and force me as far away from them as possible.  Then I found myself locked in the car so they couldn’t stop me from singing. They call it hard love.

  1. Who are your early influences?

Brian Transeau. Patti smith. Rodriguez. Melanie Safka. John Butler Trio. Jeff Buckley. Xavier Rudd.

  1. Tell us a little about your writing process, how does a song come along? What gets you going creatively?

Being alone. Where nobody can possibly here a word I’m singing. This happens in quiet spaces with just me and my guitar. Being together in the moment. Finding a ‘jam night’ and making up music in the heat of the moment. Being surrounded by a dancing crowd. I create many unheard songs this way. People tell me I look possessed. I literally have no concept of space and time. When I come out of the creative coma its like I am born again. The song is always complete the first time. If it doesn’t complete itself.. then it gets thrown away.

  1. What is the first record you bought and why?

Offspring – Smash.  It made me jump around the room and forget about school.

  1. What current/new Artists/Bands inspire you and why?

Brian Transeau. True music lovers have an artist they resonate with the most. ‘Movement in still life’ Was a transitional album for my life. Every-time I listen to that album I am transported to walking Melbourne streets. I treasure it. Its my life and blood. Ill never love an album more.

  1. Tell us a little about what a crowd can expect at a live show?

Currently I do only live acoustic poetry sessions at some pretty cool restaurants and cafes. Some magical festivals. Expect music therapy. Expect to be relaxed. Expect to forget about your worries. Most report a deep sense of healing and restoration after my performances.

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‘Eldafyre’is a stylist acoustic poet. Sending out euphoric melancholia infused with the deep passion of love, from all things. Eldafyre grew up in Shepparton and now resides within the northern rivers of NSW or deep in the mountains near Melbourne. With four mastered studio albums we see a vast range of genres. The RAW album was 3 years in the making. Eldafyre wrote every song in one evening. Recreating the same lyrical stories to a dark jazz smokey noir band. Hand selected and collaborated with some of the best session musicians available in Australia. After three years absorbing the creation, a remix was made with an intention to finalize the work of art. Filtered organically with all ego and unwanted material omitted. With influences from Patti Smith, Rodriguez and Melanie Safka. Eldafyre thinks of himself as a storyteller. Telling this story as a studio musician.

Check what it’s all about now-


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Tim Walker’s Red Velvet Chair

"Tim Walker’s Red Velvet Chair"

After moving back to his hometown of Adelaide earlier this year, ex-Sydney singer-songwriter Tim Walker set to work to record a new album, inspired by a recent trip to Europe. Tim, who began in folk before evolving into a country rock act, is now a prolific soloist doing gigs around Adelaide.


The first single from the forthcoming album is Red Velvet Chair – a pen portrait of a woman on the rebound and determined to enjoy her ‘freedom’, but also vulnerable at the same time because of it. The song’s narrator invites her to sit down on the ‘red velvet chair’ and collect her thoughts.

The single’s ‘B side’, On The Bridge, will be the opening track on the eventual album, and is a completely different sentiment.  A short, classical prelude to all that is to follow, providing the thematic underpinning of the entire album – a beautiful floating spark of hope and redemption for a world in flux.

Walker’s new album, due for release early in 2020, was recorded in a Grange studio according to a strict plan. A spiritual album with more universal themes than his debut, the album echoes the singer’s recent European trip, where he was struck in particular by the European culture, saturated with centuries of spiritual and religious symbols.

Download or stream:

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