Reviews / Comments / Opinions


One simple thing: the Eagles WISH they still made music this cool.

                                                                            NBT Independent Music - Top 20 Artists of 2007

You are without a doubt, one of the finest artists on BBS Radio, of thousands I've reviewed. Your sound is strong, vibrant, hip, very now sounding. I found myself listening over and over. Outstanding repeatability.  I'm sure you will find your way to the top of the heap, because that's where you belong! A big congratulations on a near perfect CD!

                                                                    Douglas Newsom  Co-Founder & CEO

...absolutely great !  The songs, your voice, the playing, all of it. You have a superbly listen-able and identifiable sound. It's easy to see why you're generating the buzz that you are. Please remember me when you are famous.  Congrats !

                                                                    Jim Fitzpatrick  Re-recording Mixer for Family Guy

                                                                                                    and American Dad

Robert Benson -

    The CD opens with the cut called “Somebody Help,” an acoustic-rock masterpiece that is perfectly articulated both lyrically and musically.  With a lead guitar that adds impeccable harmony to Lisle’s silky voice, the song is as inventive as it is infectious.  “Gonna Be Sure” trades the electric guitar for intense “lead” violin that adds both substance and augments the lyrics splendidly.  The sound effects at the end (crickets, birds, water) adds peace and serenity and is a lead in for the next song on the CD called “Bait,” a space-folk number that could remind some of Pink Floyd’s acoustic mastery.

    But it is the forth cut on the CD, the easily digestible hit called “Inside 4 U” that has grabbed audience’s ears and has topped the Internet Radio charts.  Adeptly blending acoustic guitar with violin, Lisle has captured his emotions both lyrically and within the music.  The next cut called “In This Life,” is acoustic poetry at its finest.  “Open Wide,” with neat baselines and more expert lead guitar from former band mate Pete Sjostedt, tell us that Lisle has arrived.  “Falling 4 You” adds the same elements previously mentioned and ends with an electrical and thunderous storm that adds an intrinsic quality to the song.  “Heavy Distance” is a mellow rock gem with subdued content that is achingly tender, yet bold, and ends with the serenity of wind and wind chimes.  The cut “Atlantic” is another great acoustic number with the catchy refrain inviting you to sing along and ends with a rainstorm.  In the cut “The Story Hurts,” one can hear some of the most irresistible violin work that has ever been recorded, and kudos must go out to the player, Dorian Cheah.  The smooth Floyd-like lead guitar on the cut “No Turning Back,” is subtle but sweet.

    Playing with some of L.A.’s finest session players, including Dorian Cheah on the violin, Giuseppe Patane on bass, Steve Holmes on drums, these expert musicians capture Lisle’s raw emotions in song and spirit.  The country-folk acoustics are inventively blended with lush violin work and are perfectly augmented by Lisle’s powerful and expressive vocals.

    All in all, the CD is refreshing and inventive, and one can tell by Lisle’s introspective lyrics, immeasurable passion and stylish acoustics that he has an emotional and musical connection with his listeners, and when a singer/songwriter is able to achieve those qualities; that is all a musician could ever ask for.  Lisle Engle does this with an irresistible charm and leaves his audiences craving for more.

Lisle Engle - California Miles

- “California Miles” is an album by Lisle Engle who is the son of a preacher and a school teacher. He turned his attention to music very early on in his life. Growing up in Savannah, Georgia, Engle was a member of numerous bands like The Vital Signs before moving to Los Angeles in 1989. Engle’s southern upbringing is showcased on the album through his prolific musings and reflective instrumentations.

“Somebody Help” has guitar work that has a rock vibe to it accompanied by soft drum play. This combination makes for a groovy tone as Engle expounds on his need for assistance. “Everyone keeps lookin’ at me like they’re tellin’ me somethin.’ Look into their eyes, baby I’m nothin’…It’s so easy…Somebody help myself.”

On “Heavy Distance” there is an inscrutable intro comprised of waning guitar play, the muted pulse of a breeze and electronic sounds. On this track, Engle seems to be asking a lover if she recalls certain memories. “Do you remember a time when we were together? Do you remember a frozen winter now seems gone forever. Tell me now. Tell me now. Do you feel it too. This heavy distance…Tell me now. Tell me now. I have no resistance.” This track has a hypnotic rhythm to it as Engle’s vocals have an echo them.

With “The Story Hurts” there are specific guitar riffs. Engle sings about a past recollection and how it branded him for life. “Then your friends start shouting…Baby are you counting and you know that it’s all true…Dangerous the truth can be. Still it’s infancy…The story hurts. The story hurts.”

“California Miles,” from Lisle Engle, is an enigmatic record filled with introspective songs that delve deep into the soul of this performer. Each song will bring the listener one step closer to the psyche of Engle as he expresses his troubles through music.

Reviewer: Sari N. Kent

Listening to Lisle Engle weaves a distinct feeling of familiarity and maybe even a pinch of retrospect!  Is it the soul-full and dreamlike intro's of tunes like "Heavy Distance" and "Corona"; is it tastes of musical genius reminiscent of master writers such as John Hiatt; or is there even some possibility of influences as eclectic as Jude Cole? 

No matter I suppose but what does matter is that no matter how you brand the "genre", Lisle possesses both the artistic talent to keep the rock, "rock", yet the feel new and unique. 

Using nicely placed percussion, and sweet string licks Lisle weaves a musical tapestry that contains strong melody lines complete with excellent turns, and even stronger refrains. Good music gets in your head and stay there! 

Ever get a song "stuck in your head"? "Somebody Help" is one of those songs you hear once and no matter how hard you try, you end up humming it all day!  One of those almost annoying "can't stop hearing it" kinds of tunes you just have to love!

It's stuff like this that keeps you waiting for more!

Mike Whiteaker - Luky 7 Music, Inc. Review

Listening to this record is much like the experience of going to an atmospheric, tastefully appointed restaurant, ordering a menu item expertly prepared from exquisite ingredients and not being able to detect any flavor. It’s a well-made album, but there’s not a lot of music there.

There are sound effects that tie the tracks together, ostensibly to give the whole album some kind of thematic continuity. The mountains-and-highway-sign photograph on the front cover and the rugged-seacoast photo on the back cover would seem to reinforce the album’s title, but there’s really nothing particularly California-miles-y about the lyrics to the songs.

Aurally, it’s a very pretty record. Engle has a background in sound engineering, and that’s reflected in the ultra-clean mixing job. The various instrumental layers are heard to the appropriate degree throughout, and the highs, midranges and lows are in perfect balance. Echo and up-front tracks are juxtaposed marvelously. It’s a great way to appreciate a really good stereo.

Engle and his band play the compositions wonderfully. Guitarist Pete Sjostedt contributes everything from cosmically crunchy distortion to lilting nylon-string flourishes in all the right places. Violinist Dorian Cheah, who records under his own name as well, mines the songs for as much musicality as he can, squeezing out some notably eloquent runs in response to various vocal lines. Guiseppe Patane’s bass is deep and sinewy and sometimes full of delightfully snaky syncopation. Engle’s rhythm guitar is dense and driving, and drummer Steve Holmes knows how to impart dynamic variation in the service of a song’s particular sections.

Even from a structural standpoint, these songs exhibit admirable craftsmanship. The refrains are hook-laden, the verses ride along rockingly on Engle’s riffs, and, for all the attention to atmosphere, there’s no gratuitous meandering. It’s on the level of substance that this record ultimately denies the listener satisfaction.

It is one of those albums that struts its best stuff in the first few songs. The chord changes to “Somebody Help” are simple, but well-assembled. If Engle had opened the proceedings with this and then moved into some other harmonic and melodic territory, it would have been a nice component of the overall project. “Gonna Be Sure” starts with the promise of something with an uptempo difference, but when the refrain comes around, one is thinking, “Didn’t we go here in the first tune?” The fourth tune, “Inside 4 U,” is distinguished by the tabla, shaker percussion, intertwining guitars and the upturning “Goodbye, babe” vocal lick, but melodically it revisits the mixolydian terrain we’ve covered in every cut so far (and will get lost in - like a California desert - for most of the rest of the album).

There’s a chord change - from a tonic to a major chord a whole step below it -that, when used judiciously, has a nice aesthetic impact. The problem here is that, after a few tracks, the listener finds himself saying “Oh, no, he’s not going there again, is he?” It gets to the point where not even the most furiously passionate violin line can save it.

Engle is a first-rate sound engineer with a fairly developed pop-alt-rock sensibility, some guitar chops within a certain range, and a knack for putting together an ensemble of good musicians. The question is, what did he want to do with all these elements at his disposal? One senses that his main interest in music is how it enters the ears rather than where it goes within the listener after that. California Miles is an impressive record in many ways; it’s just not very memorable.

Barney Quick -

The Promise Live Radio

Lisle Engle - California Miles (2007)

I've said this before, I'm a sucker for rock violin. Lisle Engle uses the violin a lot like Dave Matthews; augmenting his vocals and as an important soloing instrument. It gives this excellent sounding CD a late 60's early 70's feel and takes me back to bands like Curved Air and It's A Beautiful Day. There are some exciting pop melodies among the dozen or so songs and good production throughout.

Gonna Be Sure - Song Reviews

...the intro sounded like a led zeppelin track,sounded great the vocalist sounded awesome also and his lyrics were well written simple but good music that made the song so effective the voice of the vocalist sounded like bon jovi and is really catchy like the chorus,i highly recommend this track to any indie rock fan and hope i hear more from this guy in the future the guitar solo was outstanding and original.  8/10

                                                                    ronaldo6  -  10/06/07

A lively intro, which gets the song going. I love the drums, amazing. And the catchy chorus is great. You sound like a famous artist but I can't think at this moment of time. I also think you should have mad the song a little bit longer but it's still rocking me out. Overall I really like this track and I'm rating it very highly. 9/10

                                                                    pasty -  10/07/07

Nice, powerful acoustic guitar. The vocal is urgent and grabs your attention. The violins in the background are also fitting. This is a song that extols the power of love. It's the kind of song that makes you want to shout your girl's name out loud and say, 'God, I love her!' You don't hear many songs like that in our manic depressive music culture. This is up stuff. 9/10.

                                                                    ibdanmac  -  10/23/07

Roots !

The guitar intro reminds me of an old Led Zep song but the vocals and the violin changed my mind. I have a REM feel to it.   Not a bad reference huh ?  Arrangements are fine and production sounds pro.  Did I hear a trumpet in the background ?  It's all well done and pretty catchy. Not the usual MTV stuff ...  The electric violin at 2' or so is an original idea.

                                                                    EyesInward -

                                                                        Brick, New Jersey,  October 11th, 2007

Inside 4 U - Song Reviews

Dave Matthews groove

Is that Tablas in your intro? I'm sold!!

This song is very polished. The rhythms are original, and this is one of the more professional songs I've heard on garabeband. The mix and production are excellent. There is nothing I would have done differently.  Extra Credit: Production, Grooviest Rhythm.

                                                                    GoodPeople -

                                                                        San Francisco, California,  October 26th, 2007 

Somebody Help - Song Reviews


Very nice intro with a pleasant guitar sound. The vocal is nice. Excellent guitar sound. Excellent ideas. You do not sound as anyone I know as you have excellent original ideas. Nice tune.

                                                                    EMILIEN  -

                                                                        Paris, France, November 6th, 2007 


This sounds like the real thing, very professional sounding. Guitar lead was excellent and great rhythm through song. Vocals and music were well balanced. Lyrics are easy to relate to and easy to sing along to which is a major plus, because we all love to sing.

Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Guitars, Production, Lyrics, Beat, Most Rocking Track.

                                                                    cradledoll -

                                                                        Kendallville, Indiana,  October 24th, 2007