#Sundayrecommends is a small token of our gratitude, and a tip of the cap, to those bands, artists and performances (and the like), that have helped inspire and shape us as individuals, song writers and performers, and as a band.

Individually we have some similar - and some very different - tastes, so each week we will share with you something important to us. Hopefully there's something for everyone here.

#mondayrecomments 28.09.20
Sound on High. A couple of #powerbalLADs

Sound on High... we made a band in lockdown.

So, in what is our last week of sharing #NewMusicEveryWeek, a little bit of shameless self-promotion (is any promotion not?).

Our standard line is… we are Sound on High, two fellas from LegenDerry, Ireland, dreaming about taking over the world one #powerbalLAD at a time!

We started the band in #lockdown. With Pete in Essex, London and Connor in LegenDerry. All the songs we have released to date have been written and recorded in lockdown (with the exception of Pete’s quintessential pop ballad #Buttercup that goes back 10+ years: check out the Lyric Video here!).

Writing and recording remotely seems to work for us. And our song writing style has a bit of everything, sometimes one of us will write the whole tune with no input (I’m not giving up on Hope), other times one of us will create the song, passing it to the other for some enhancement (Rock Monster and I know a girl are good examples here) but for the majority of our songs, one of us will come up with the main ideas and share them with the other (Pete’s additions to More than this, A song for Sarah and Undone take those songs to a whole new level). And we’ll hopefully share new releases in the coming months with the ‘produced’ versions of Back on Everything and, possibly, Father… with a very special guest.

After four weeks of sharing ‘produced’ tunes, we had four weeks of #DemoSessions, one guitar, one vocal. And this gave us the chance to demonstrate how we take a song in its raw form, and turn it into a full ‘produced’ track. And based on your vote, we took A song for Sarah did this to it (the evolution of a song).

Now. We use the term ‘produced’ liberally. All our recordings have been done using a microphone and an iPhone (and sometimes a laptop). We use BandLab and Reaper (both free DAWs). So the quality isn’t where we would like it to be. But we started this band with the ambition of writing and releasing music that we believe in. And so far, so good.

Over the last three months we have been sharing #NewMusicEveryWeek, sometimes writing, arranging, recording and producing a song within a few days (this week included!). It was an idea we had to grow our fan base quickly, and whilst we didn’t know what ‘good’ looked like going into this, we're doing alright now.

Next steps?

Well, we’re going to pause for a while. We’ve reached breaking point a few times, juggling our proper (less fun) jobs and other personal stuff. But we’ve made it. 

So, yes, a little break to catch our breath and reflect. We have a number of demos (very ‘demo’ for us!) ready to go (see the 12 songs that didn’t make it) plus a number of recordings we want to finalise. 

We want to write more songs. We have c100 but that hasn’t grown very quickly over the last 12 weeks!

And we want to play live.

Oh and we’d also like to see each other and have a beer (it’s been a whole year!).

And then, well, we want to get into the studio in the New Year and record our songs proper. 

We’ve got some ways to go to take our lockdown fun into a proper band but we think we’ve done alright so far.

So Hold on. And #turnyourSoundonHigh

Thank you for your support, likes, comments and love. 

Pete and Connor xx


#sundayrecommends 20.09.20
Tom Waites. Closing Time.

Tom Waites… there are no words.


Just listen and love.


#sundayrecommends 13.09.20
Tommy Emmanuel. Endless Road.

Tommy Emmanuel… CGP.

The first time we heard Tommy it was inspiring. Just one man and an acoustic guitar. Playing some of the most complex fingerstyle we had ever heard. Clever percussive effects. Artificial ‘waterfall’ harmonies. And some fascinating covers. Check out Somewhere over the rainbow (this was the song that started it all for us).

A large part of Tommy’s playing involves using an independent thumb technique, essentially where the thumb plays the bass line / rhythm whilst the fingers play the melody. Think of patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. But harder. Listen to (The man with the) Green Thumb for a great example of this.

His 2004 album, Endless Road is one of our favourites. With some crackers including a soft and (relatively) simple ballad, Angelina, to Chet’s Ramble – a tribute to his hero Chet Atkins. The original fingerstyle guitarist who awarded Tommy his CGP letters (aka Certified Guitar Player)a true accolade from another great man.

Tommy’s live shows are another thing altogether. Playing another Endless Road hit, the fast (and getting faster!) Tall Fiddler. As well as other older energetic classics including Guitar Boogie and Classical Gas. Tommy also likes to introduce the band, playing Blue Moon – you’ll love this.

So much possibilities with one guitar. What a great man.


#sundayrecommends 06.09.20
St Paul and the Broken Bones.

St Paul and the Broken Bones… gold shoes and soul.

Oh my.

Another discovery through Tiny Desk! If you haven’t checked them out do it… short sets, by great bands, from mainstream (Adele, Coldplay, Harry Styles) to artists we didn’t know about (Nickel Creek, Leon Bridges and our latest Sunday Recommendation!).

With Paul atop the Tiny Desk in his suit and gold shoes, they belt out some of their finest tunes.

What lungs. What soul. What groove.

But nothing prepared us for the gig. London, Kentish Town, 3rd February 2017. 

A wall of sound and soul. Just incredible. Opening with Like a Mighty River from the crack of the snare and full band (horns and all) turned up to 11, we were blown away. The first song applause only slightly less deafening than the beast of an opening tune.

Anyway. Words can’t do Paul and the guys justice. Check them out. Tiny Desk and KEXP, And their covers of Otis Redding, including this awesome live performance.

They're also big Sam Cooke fans. Sensible gents. 

Get your gold shoes. And fill your lungs. This one is awesome. 


#sundayrecommends 30.08.20
Michael Jackson. HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I

Michael Jackson… the King of Pop.

The first album I was given as a kid. And we’ve been hooked on MJ since.

What a great album. A double CD. With CD1 being a greatest hits up to that point (1995). And CD2 being a studio album of new hits. Not all critics appreciated this format though, with some comparing it to bringing your Dad to a fight.

But what a CD2 it is. Grammy award-winning. With six singles. And so many great songs. Including Scream (featuring his sister Janet and the most expensive video ever made), the R Kelly scribed You are not alone (albeit Belgian courts ruled plagiarism…), A stranger in Moscow (you don’t realise how good this song is until you listen to it again), This Time Around (featuring The Notorious B.I.G.) and the follow up to Bad, 2Bad (featuring none other than Shaq on rap… don’t get me wrong it’s a great song).

The record also included covers such as Charlie Chaplin’s Smile and the Beatles’ Come Together; MJ actually bought the rights to the entire Beatles back catalogue in 1985.

The King of Pop, and all other genres it seems, with HIStory CD2 drawing from R&B, hip hop, hard rock and funk. 

Deeper more personal than perhaps any of his other albums, MJ rages against social injustice (They don’t care about us), environmental issues (Earth song – and what a video this one has) and the treatment of him by the press (Tabloid Junkie).

One of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Allegations and personal issues aside. The King of Pop is immortal. Long live the King.


#sundayrecommends 23.08.20
Sam Cooke.

Sam Cooke... live at the Harlem Square.

Another gem we found watching some random live videos on YouTube.

I think we’d been binging on Camp Freddy videos (a Hollywood super group including the likes of Dave Navarro and Matt Sorum, with regular guest appearance from Slash, Tom Morello and the late Chester Bannington). And stumbled across this cracker… 

Road Recovery 10th Anniversary Benefit Concert @Nokia Theatre NYC 04.17.08 Bring It On Home.

The performance is great, if not without its rough edges. But that’s the whole point of an impromptu session right?

More importantly the song sounded awesome. And a quick search later took us to one of Sam’s live versions. At the Harlem Square.

And what played out was a three minute intro with Mr Soul, something we’d never heard before, riffing on the spot not just with words but with melody, accompanied by his band, and raw emotion. 

And then of course the song. 

And with a bit more digging we came across the original recording for Bring it on Home to me, with full song harmony (something we very much enjoy!).

And other hits like Having a Party, Twisting the Night Away and the powerful A Change is Gonna Come

Soul. Blues. Gospel.

All of the above please.

Back in the day you were either a Sam Cooke fan or a Ray Charles fan. We know which camp we would have been in!


#sundayrecommends 16.08.20
Jim Steinman.

Jim Steinman... the original #powerbalLAD
They say ignorance is bliss. Maybe enlightenment is even better. 

We didn’t know much about Jim Steinman until we saw Bat out of Hell: The Musical… 

Jim is a song writer. And a song writer extraordinaire in one specific genre of song; the power ballad. So a man after our own hearts then. 

Working with the likes of Celine Dion (It’s All Coming Back to Me Now), Air Supply (Making Love Out of Nothing at All) and Bonnie flippin’ Tyler (with none other than Total Eclipse of the Heart).

I know what you’re thinking. It’s pretty incredible!

And one of the crowning successes of his career is working with Meat Loaf (‘Meat’ to his friends). Jim wrote and produced Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell albums (I know how can it get any better?!). 

(A quick word for Meat by the way – what a cracking performer. It takes a whole cast to sing his back catalogue such is the difficulty of his discography.)

Jim also wrote the super successful and awesomely entertaining (and suitably insane) Bat Out of Hell: The Musical. And so our age of enlightenment began. 

So the next time you pick up a mic (or a hair brush), shut your eyes and go for the fist-grabbing, knee-shaking, tear-jerking emotional rollercoaster that is the powerbalLAD. Think of Jim and his awe inspiring back catalogue. 

And since we, Sound on High, have been sharing some early demos of songs recently, check out this beauty of a demo by Jim What Part Of My Body Hurts The Most

Jim Steinman, the original #powerbaLAD


#sundayrecommends 09.08.20
Girl from the North Country. Original London Cast Recording.

Bob Dylan and Broadway… Girl from the North Country
A few years back, I was walking from Waterloo Station to the flat I was staying in at the time. And I walked past that wonderful institution, The Old Vic, and past a fairly understated sign that mentioned something about Bob Dylan’s music incorporated into a play coming later that year. 

Now, at the time, I wasn’t much of a theatre goer. But I thought this was worth a punt.

And oh my.

Since its debut in 2017, Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country has exploded. From The Old Vic, to a 12 week (sell out) run at The Noel Coward Theatre, and a special eight week run at The Gielgud Theatre earlier this year. 

And now. Conor and (a slightly different) cast (with slightly different arrangements) are on Broadway.

Obviously a cracking list of songs but a wonderful story to boot (which can be a difficult thing to achieve; incorporating these powerful songs seamlessly around an equally powerful storyline without it feeling too contrived). Combining a cast of endless talent and buckets of emotion.

As soon as the show ended, we had the soundtrack playing on repeat. Make no mistake these are Bob Dylan songs. With Bob Dylan messages. And for the most part, Conor kept the basic melody, if anything making it, maybe, more melodic. Adding more instruments and more vocals and some amazing hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-standing-up harmonies.


This Sunday we recommend listening to Girl from the North Country (Original London Cast Recording). 



Ps remember your local theatres and artists, #lockdown has been a terrible time for everyone involved in the sector, do what you can to support what you love!

#sundayrecommends 02.08.20
Rolling Stones. Let it Bleed.

A storm is threat’ning… Let it Bleed .
Hit play on Let it Bleed and right from the opening chords of Gimme Shelter, you know this is a different record. We think Rolling Stone magazine was right when they said Jagger and co had “never done anything better”.
Written by Jagger and Richards, the song is a reflection of the times prevailing; the Vietnam war and the tension that brought. Interestingly, Richards wrote the opening riff whilst facing his own tensions of love and jealousy; between his girlfriend at the time and Jagger.  

As an aside, Richards – a rhythm player – has always been regarded as the band’s lead guitarist, their conductor throughout their (incredible) 60 year tenure.

The haunting palm mute / clean note combination, swelling volume and distant ‘oohs’ builds the ominous atmosphere of the record. 

And then Mary Clayton hits you.

From the first chorus on the song has found a new level.

And then Mary takes it up another level again with her almost-shrieking “Rape, murder! It's just a shot away! It's just a shot away!”.

Gimme Shelter’s outro takes us from the initial state of tension and danger to a more positive, hopeful attitude “Love, sister! It’s just a kiss away!”.

Let it Bleed came out in 1969, and is one of the – if not THE – best Rolling Stones album. And we’ve only focused on the first song. With eight other crackers on the record Let it Bleed is a must listen.

Oh. And the closing track on the album happens to be You Can’t Always Get What You Want


#sundayrecommends 26.07.20
NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

An awesome discovery… Tiny Desk: NPR.
A little different this week. Not a band. Not a record. But a series of short live performances.

A a collection of “intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen”.

You know, YouTube is wonderful place for music fans. I can’t tell you the number of artists we’ve discovered on YouTube just by simply scrolling through. 

And then one day, we stumble across St Paul and the Broken Bones: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert OH MY!

Now Paul and the gang will get their own moment on these pages in due time (what a voice, what a groove, and awesome live) but what this led to was a seemingly unending list of awesome, popular artists who have sat down at the Tiny Desk and belted out three or four of their songs, to a small group of fans and staff, in a quirky record shop setting. 

Some of the more recognized names include Adele, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Sting (& Shaggy!), Coldplay and Harry Styles.

And to this day, Tiny Desk is a main go to for us for new music, and artists we may not have heard about or heard enough from. In the past, Bob and his Desk has helped us to discover the likes of the sisterly harmonies of Joseph, the country fusion of Jason Isbell, the Sam Cooke-inspired soul of Leon Bridges, and a now main-stay favourite of ours the blue-grass rooted Nickel Creek (and all the bands Sean Watkins, Sara Watkins and Chris Thile have spawned- incidentally check out The Watkins Family Hour). As well as learning more about some folk that (ashamedly) we maybe didn’t know enough about; Jackson Browne’s set comes to mind here. 

Not only a man of eclectic and exquisite musical taste, each live performance gets its own write up in Bob’s own style; back to St Paul and the Broken Bones then “Close your eyes and listen, and you might imagine someone who looks a bit like Otis Redding. Open them, and you're likely to see someone who looks more like your neighborhood bank teller.”

Thanks Bob. Tiny Desk is the greatest thing we’ve found on YouTube. Keep it going. 

#sundayrecommends 19.07.20
Guns n' Roses, Live Era '87 - '93 

One of our biggest influences... Guns n' Roses.
"You want the best? Well they didn't f'n' make it. So here's what you get. From Hollywood. Guns n' Roses!!"

The crowd drone swells. The cow bell strikes. And you're hit by a tidal wave of noise, energy and dirty rock n' roll.
Nightrain. From the first A power chord to a signature melodic Slash outro solo, you realise this is a band that doesn't mess around.

Emerging during an era of glam rock - big hair, make up and costumes, Guns did it differently. Wearing their own gear. And only a Guns n' Roses flag draped behind Adler's drum kit to remind the crowd who they were, they hit the scene as a no nonsense, balls to the wall, rock and roll band.

Live Era is a compilation of some of their greatest recorded performances. And was what first got us hooked on Gn'R. Slash became a hero and an idol (he will get his own Sunday soon enough I think). Axl's opening growl and 'shananana' on Jungle was mesmerising. And you would move from aggressive rock n roll with It's so easy and Out ta get me, to the soft and sweet Patience and Don't Cry, with the standout anthems of November Rain, Sweet Child o' Mine and Paradise City, well, standing out.

I'm not a fan of 'greatest hits' type albums, you don't get to experience the songs within their original collection, order and wider album message. But this is different. As an introduction to a new band (and at the time, a sound and style we hadn't hear before). Live Era did the trick.

That is of course not to say this is the only record to listen to.

Appetite for Destruction is without question one of the greatest rock albums of all time. With the opening reverb of Welcome to the Jungle through to Rocket Queen and Axl's recorded 'session' in the studio (you'll know it when you hear it... 2.20). You realise, again, this band was pure, unadulterated rock and roll. And they were very good.

After years and years of hoping they might get back together. The proper band that is. And watching what seemed like all the live videos on YouTube - including
Live at the Ritz 1988 (quintessentially old school Guns). And going to gigs with various incarnations and bandmates including Velvet Revolver and Slash (and Slash's Snakepit on YT!). They finally did it. And went on their #notinthislifetimetour. And on 17th June 2017, we saw them LIVE in person (our first #flashbackfriday). One of the greatest gigs we've ever been to. 

And of course. As band names go. They nailed it.

Guns n' Roses. Rn'fn'R. Just awesome!

As a post script; our latest track
Rock Monster. has obvious Guns influences. The driving energy in the track, The crunching guitar. The furious solo. "You want the best? Well they didn't f'n' make it..."

#sundayrecommends 12.07.20
Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection 

First Sunday, first recommendation... Elton John.
The fact that we have his whole collection on CD should tell you everything you need to know!
Everything we love about music. Awesome live performances. Power and emotion. Unbelievable standalone hits and genuinely engaging album stories.

And as lives shows go... well they don't come better than
Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
A broad range of styles and influences. His earlier albums had a raw edge to the songs, stripped back with powerful melodies and a higher pitched Elton.

This evolved over the years as his style developed, voice changed, Bernie and Elton themselves matured. And Elton continued to experiment with his influences and his idols (citing the likes of Brian Wilson for his "revolutionary" approach to moving the root note of the chord ~ think
I get around).
Blues. Rock and Roll. Pop. And heavily influenced by gospel in songs such as 
If the river can bend, taken from his 1997 The Big Picture record, to his earlier records including Empty SkyElton John and my favourite Tumbleweed Connection - with the powerful, thought provoking (and apt for our time?) Burn down the Mission.
Of course any tribute to Elton is a tribute to Bernie Taupin. For Elton John is not one person. It is two. The singer and the songwriter.
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.
Elton really helped us to find our style of music. His broad range encouraged us to experiment ourselves. From acoustic rock and roll, to country and soul, blues and pop. Elton's influences can be found throughout our tracks.
A living legend and a man who has guided us to other greats, including Leon Russell (check out their collaboration
The Union and one of Leon's most loved songs A song for you).
Something for everyone here. One of the best ever.


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New music. Every week.


Sound on High.
A couple of lads, starting small and aiming big. Dreaming about taking over the world, one #powerbalLAD at a time.
New music every week.
Acoustic rock and roll. Country and soul. Blues. And Pop.


Mason Agnew Recordings.