"There is the sense of theatre that artists such as Sufjan Stevens achieve, and Gruen's music certainly stands alongside such artists comfortably...truly a thing of beauty." Americana UK Kris Gruen writes songs about grownup life infused with a mystic wonder, softening the world's sharp edges like a glass of exceptionally fine bourbon. Kris grew up steeped in classic records. His Americana influenced new folk is grounded in the tradition of great narrative songwriters like Cat Stevens and Paul Simon and yet Kris's voice is strikingly current. A New York City native who's put down roots in Vermont, Kris effortlessly blends sagacious wit and emotional depth. Americana UK writes "There is the sense of theatre that artists such as Sufjan Stevens achieve, and Gruen's music certainly stands alongside such artists comfortably...truly a thing of beauty." While often garnering comparisons to contemporaries like The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, and Andrew Bird, Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority aptly notes, "Kris Gruen is no mere imitator. He possesses a sound all his own."
Open heartedness is featured prominently on Kris Gruen's forthcoming album 'Coast and Refuge" (out June 22, 2018).This is true in both the themes and the making of the album-- whether in writing about what it takes to keep a relationship or a friendship going-- or in the process of making art in a series of collaborations that included LA producer Dan Wilson (Adele, Semisonic,) Justin Gray (Dirty Heads, James Bay & John Legend,) Finnish singer-songwriter Peppina and AM, a singer-songwriter who's toured with Beck and Air. And after a seven country European tour supporting Jesse Malin, another coast led him to work with Peter Morén, of Peter Bjorn & John. Gruen also collaborated with filmmaker Melissa Miller Costanzo for her feature film "All These Small Moments" starring Molly Ringwald and Jemima Kirke which appeared at The Tribeca Film Festival this past April . Coast & Refuge is an album both about and created by partnerships where the sonic and thematic threads feel constant, equally at home in the old townships of Vermont where the new folk-artist lives, as it is in the new frontiers of Scandinavia, and the California coastline where much of it was written. The songs retain folk roots, but bring a contemporary urgency and a huge sound. The result draws comparisons to Matthew Perryman Jones, Pete Yorn, Elbow, Griffin House, Ryan Adams, and Peter Bjorn and John; in fact, the latter's Peter Morén appears on the album as vocalist and co-writer of "Every Day and Night Now." Kris Gruen's voice is seasoned, soaring, and at the height of his craft. Coast &Refuge is a must listen and Kris live is a must-see Gruen has also released acclaimed albums Lullaby School and Part Of It All, and his third studio album, New Comics From The Wooded World came out in the summer of 2013. In 2015 amidst an 8 country European tour supporting Jesse Malin, Kris did a short run release of the Duos and Trios EP which included some and collaborations from 4 friends including Jim and Sam, The Bones of J.R. Jones, Rachel Ries and Peppina. This laid the groundwork and spawned the idea for the upcoming Coast & Refuge. He has shared the stage with the likes of The Avett Brothers, Nicole Atkins and Sean Lennon and is currently touring as support for Alejandro Escovedo on the east coast. read more »
submission date: 6/7/2018
Billboard today premieres "Coldplay", the new music video by Mr Hudson feat. Vic Mensa. The latest single by the acclaimed singer, songwriter, DJ and producer Ben Hudson (a.k.a. Mr Hudson) was first heard on Beats 1 as Zane Lowe’s #WorldRecord. The track's release follows Mr Hudson's acclaimed, "Can't Forget You" which premiered via Pitchfork in September.
Mr Hudson on the “Coldplay” music video - "Here it is at last! I'm really proud of this. We managed to squeeze a whole movie into four minutes. Videos are often throwaway or a distraction from the song, but i believe this adds another layer of story to the song. I hope you feel the same way too. Jade Lorna Sullivan and Vic Mensa are rockstars as always. PS Let me know if you can spot any of the references to some classic films.” First meeting in London in 2013, Hudson and Mensa's admiration of one another developed finally into collaboration in early 2017. After performing in L.A. for the Celebrating David Bowie show, Mr. Hudson skipped the curtain call and headed straight to the Record Plant to work with Mensa on the latter's track "Almost There," released in June 2017.
Fast forward a few months to October and Mensa returns the favor, cutting a verse for Mr Hudson’s new single "Coldplay." "For me "Coldplay" is about that moment when you're about to give up on someone, but you don't," explains Hudson. "You dig deep. You keep working. Even though it might be easier to walk away." He continues, "Vic's verse is powerful. It's more than a feature. He wears his heart on his sleeve. We've been friends for four years and we only just worked together! You can hear in our collaborations that we really wanted to add a lot to the records. Not all features are like that. Sonically, I love the jazz quartet on a space-station aesthetic. Sad-robot music. That's my happy place."
As a sought-after writer and producer Mr Hudson has been working writing for some of the biggest names in music including, Future, DJ Snake and others this year. Most recently, Hudson co-wrote two tracks with English singer JP Cooper including, "September Song" which went platinum in the UK and hit #6 on the UK singles chart resulting in over 260 million plays on Spotify. Mr. Hudson also scored the soundtrack for the 2017 anime short, Children of Ether.
About Mr Hudson
In 2008 after the release of Mr Hudson’s critically acclaimed album, A Tale Of Two Cities, he made a list of producers he’d like to work with for his follow-up album. Unexpectedly, Kanye West offered to sign Mr Hudson to West's G.O.O.D. music and exec produce the album. Next thing Mr Hudson knew he was on a plane to Hawaii. "Before I got to America I was a reluctant collaborator but on the first day in Hawaii, Kanye said 'I want you to help' and I took that to heart and it stuck with me ever since. I just try to help in whatever context I'm in. It's a good headspace." In addition to Kanye, Mr Hudson soon began collaborating on a string of hits and #1 albums with Jay Z, Kid Cudi and Big Sean. read more »
submission date: 2/1/2018
The edition of "Early Works" issued in February 2016 through the Slovak label Slnko Records, brought Ivana Mer's compositions to the international scene. Her songs continue in the cosmopolitan spirit in which they were created and reached various djs and producers around the world. Now this album reborn, full of astonishing and powerful collaborations from intercontinental artists. Japan, Argentina, Australia, Greece, Ukraine, Mexico, Hungary, Slovakia and Uruguay. Fresh visions of her music. Welcome to EARLY WORKS REMIXED EXTENDED EDITION.
Una compilación planetaria
La edición de "Early Works" realizada en febrero de 2016 a través del sello eslovaco Slnko Records, puso a las composiciones de Ivana Mer en la escena internacional. Elegido por diversos medios como uno de los lanzamientos destacados del año, sus canciones siguieron el impulso cosmopolita con el que fueron originadas, y llegaron a los oídos de distintos djs y productores alrededor del mundo. Ahora nace este album con colaboraciones de sorprendentes y poderosos artistas intercontinentales. Desde Japón a Argentina, pasando por Australia, Grecia, Hungría, Ucrania, México, Eslovaquia y Uruguay, se produjeron distintas y novedosas miradas sobre su música. Bienvenidos a EARLY WORKS REMIXED EXTENDED EDITION. read more »
submission date: 12/8/2017
As a result of the exchange between Slovakian singer and songwriter Ivana Mer and Japanese producer Ugh Yoing (member of Poncho+Casino Tart), appears this powerful remix of "Mereus". The original song is the first single from "Early Works" [2016, Slnko Records], the debut of Ivana.
In "About Early Works" she says that "the lyrics and the music came together in one moment in Prague, in 2008 I think, when I recorded it alone with the computer. It speaks about the mythological creature, which is Mereus, the king of the seas. He is calling you by sirens so that you can see your soul in his mirror. All of a sudden the lyrics appeared and I did not really understand their meaning. And then gradually, through this mythological story, I realized that it was about the deeper inward immersion."
About his work, Ugh tells "we added an accompaniment of images that were suitable for the voices and that were different from the original song. I started adding a chord progression, a base, different from the original. Then I added a beat that fits good, the melody and then appears other. All the work was done in one week. We released a new double album through Nunulaxnulan, Japanese label, containing recent works, collaborations and remixes. Mereus is included, we like it a lot."
Filmed in 10 cities of 6 countries (Banská Bystrica, Bátovce, Banská Štiavnica, Bratislava and Zvolen [Slovakia], Venice [Italy], Ibiza [Spain], Prague [Czech Republic] ), the clip was produced and edited by Cristian Estrella. His work was focused on "connecting with water in all its forms and states, seas, rivers, fish ponds, snow ... most of the shots were made with a mobile phone and the macro lens. Amazing shapes appeared. We are made of water. More than half of our body belongs to it. Ivana's martial attitude adds an amusing and dynamic component." The remix is part of "Early Works REMIXED vol.1" along with works of djs and producers from Argentina, Uruguay, Greece, and Australia. The track will be also included in the second volume that will be released in the physical format during the following months. Musicians from Mexico, Slovakia, Argentina, Uruguay, and Hungary already confirmed their participation. read more »
submission date: 9/24/2017
Adam "BixbyKnolls" Roose, A Bixby Knolls (Uptown Long Beach) California Native born May 3rd 1987, hence the alias "Mr. May 3hird", is a melodic threat to those who underestimate him. His music consists of a pure original and versatile sound allowing Adam to create a refreshing twist to current Hip Hop. Influenced by the likes of artists as timeless as The Isley Brothers to current artists like The Weeknd, he creates a sound that allows the audience to bite their tongues before proclaiming the absence of originality in Long Beach. He also provides the rare combination of skills that would make any A & R think twice.
When he's not displaying his flow, he's probably producing or composing the very music he's writing to, not to mention working with the melodic gift of serenity he also possesses. When singing he delivers a very soulful and warming tone that can bend and fit virtually any style of music. "Consider my music the postcard for Long Beach, CA". Adam Roose refers to his music as the representation that is never displayed through music in his hometown. "I feel the options available for music being represented by Long Beach is good and I support all of them, but my sound is long beyond what people actually have to offer and doesn't need to be hidden or free any longer. People pay for music of this quality." A confident and proud individual is the self-proclaimed "Dean" and CEO/Founder of the illustrious "University". Open your minds and ears to what the "University" and Adam Roose have to offer.
Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Snoop Dogg, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Beck, Van Morrison, Nick Jonas, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Julio Iglesias, J. Cole, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Flo Rida, My Morning Jacket, Gary Clark Jr., Bonnie Raitt, Maxwell, Irma Thomas, Janelle Monáe, Jonny Lang, Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter, Gov't Mule, Dr. John & the Nite Trippers, Tedeschi Trucks Band & Friends, Arlo Guthrie, Mavis Staples, Boz Scaggs, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Michael McDonald, Buddy Guy, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Isley Brothers, Aaron Neville, Chris Botti, Grace Potter, Alpha Blondy, Elle King, Galactic, Brandi Carlile, Brothers Osborne, Rhiannon Giddens, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk with Art Neville, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Better Than Ezra, Los Lobos perform La Pistola Y El Corazon, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Punch Brothers, Taj Mahal, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Anders Osborne, The Lone Bellow, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers, Tribute to B.B. King, Tribute to Allen Toussaint, John Hammond, Elvin Bishop, Mystikal, Jazmine Sullivan, CeCe Winans, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tab Benoit, Terence Blanchard, Davell Crawford, Gregory Porter, Snarky Puppy, Rebirth Brass Band, Big Freedia, Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Ellis Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval, Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings, Donald Harrison, Jr., The Dirty Dozen, The Black Lillies, Dédé Saint-Prix of Martinique, The Garifuna Collective of Belize, DeJohnette•Coltrane•Garrison, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, The Soul Rebels, The Revivalists, John Boutté, The Mississippi Mass Choir, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, Ricky Dillard & New G, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Glen David Andrews, Buckwheat Zydeco, Naturally 7, Cyril Neville & SwampFunk, George Porter, Jr. & Runnin' Pardners, Leo Nocentelli, Zigaboo Modeliste's Funk Revue, Henry Butler & Jambalaya, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians, Imagination Movers, Walter "Wolfman" Washington & the Roadmasters, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and hundreds more are all among the national and sinternational artists scheduled to appear at the 2016 edition of Jazz Fest.
read more »
submission date: 1/19/2016
10th Anniversary New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Various artists - November 30, 1977
Fats Domino Live! From The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2001 - Fats Domino - January 1, 2003
She sang with Jana Kirschnerand worked with hang players, vibraphonists and harpist. Traveling in order to work on her music project in France, Spain, Germany and Czech Republic. Ivana Mer released her debut album “Early works” on February 29th under the Slovak label Slnko Records. "I started completely alone. Just me and the computer. Experimenting with ambient electronics and atmospheric landscapes. When my computer stopped to work while I was traveling, I started to collaborate with musicians and discoveredan acoustic way of composing and performing"recalls her beginnings Ivana Mer. Singer and composer from small town in the centre of Slovakia has great courage. In music and in life. For singing and performing was willing to travel to Spain, France and Germany. In each country she found her way to establish and improve. "First I lived for two years in Ibiza. Somehow naively, I went there to find a producer, which in the end had work out”. Ivana got to know Marc-Eric Laine with whom they produce track “Diamond Fields”. “After short time I met with group of French musicians. I started to write lyrics for the French band and organize voice workshops. Ibiza was also the place of my first performance like singer and composer. I began to present my compositions with the band, which consisted of the cellist and the santoor player." Thesecollaborations strenghten Ivana infinding her own sound which was changing and developing thanks to the variety of the musicians, artist got to know. "I was looking for some essence that would captured my music. Well, I think the journeys really helped me in that. In the end I found out that I’m a kind of beyond the genre type" says Ivana and describes it correctly. Vocal harmonies are the basis of her work, where the electronics and instruments are just supporting them. The genres areoverlaping and ethereal atmosphere of poetic countries are alternated with percussive shamanic calling. Also, on the album appearsthe mysterious sound of the Oskar Rózsa’s prepared piano. He has participated musically and produced several tracks, after he heard and really appreciated the song “Pachoľa” in Slovak Radio FM, bythat time of still unknown Slovak singer living in Berlin. Hypnotic vocal composition “Mereus” (result of cooperation with French producer Anacole Daalderop) is another single introducing subtile and exquisite debut of Ivana Mer. Currently she is preparing for tour in Slovakia and Czech Republic. [ Article by Alexander Cerevka, Slnko Records ]
read more »
submission date: 3/6/2016
Early Works - Ivana Mer - February 29, 2016
Rayon de lune Original soundtrack from Il Giornalista by Tony Morgan. Music by Alessandro Giurato performed by Erika Lo Giudice. An ionone production 2015
Formerly known as Terence Trent D'Arby, the Grammy winner released a new double album "The Rise of the Zugebrian Time Lords" today. The album features an array of pop songs, or what Sananda calls "post millennium rock", like the first single "Blanket On The Ground" and "Les Paul Man".
read more »
submission date: 10/9/2015
Rise Of The Zugebrian Time Lords - SANANDA MAITREYA (Artist)
Popular award-winning urban magazine Yo! Raps, www.yoraps.com, officially launches its brand new website for Hip-Hop and R&B fans around the world. The user friendly website favoured by rappers, artists, labels and urban music fans keeps its visitors fully immersed and informed of any and every current event in the urban culture. With just one click, visitors are afforded the many treasures YoRaps.com has to offer; ranging from the hottest music releases, newest music videos, latest entertainment stories, buzzing new artists and much more combined with multiple daily updates to the young urban demographic at its website. The site, www.yoraps.com, which was established in 2006, is home to everything entertainment and Hip-Hop. Since its launch, Yo! Raps has quickly emerged as one of the premier urban music websites on the web and is Europe's biggest urban online magazine. Yo! Raps has become a key strategic partner of record labels, press agents, and artist managers in the promotion of urban music. Additionall, YoRaps.com offers artists in the urban music industry the option to get exclusively featured with music, videos and interviews via the website's automatic posting system in 3 easy and quick steps without registration and sign up. "Our goal is to inform urban music fans from around the world about the latest in Hip-Hop and R&B. We also want to support and promote independent artists to give them a chance to shine! Our visitors and loyal fans love to see new artists on the rise and to find out what's next and new in Hip-Hop," says Kai Denninger, CEO of YoRaps.com. read more »www.yoraps.com
Rufus is an audio/video project based on a series of episodes accomplished with several different video techniques. The main character of the series is Rufus, a "junky" rat. Episodes have no dialogues, they are instead replaced by music. Each episode has a collaboration, in fact the projects involves several among the most influential underground artists in Italy (I'm from Naples). The project has a strictly artistic and experimental non-for-profit nature, but it will be broadcast one episode at a time over the web by our staff. Here is the link of the episode 0 (featuring Gionata Mirai from "il Teatro degli orrori"), location: Hell.
read more »
In December 2014, Caleb was invited as a faculty member of the Musikwoche festival in Swakopmund, Namibia. The festival is filled with concerts by Namibian amateur and professionals as well as appearances by musicians from Germany, South Africa, and the USA. Caleb recently uploaded a video of his festival performance of Franz Liszt's "Liebestraum" with South African pianist Vera Malherbe onto YouTube. Hopefully there will be more videos in the near future. read more »www.calebvaughnjones.com
The album "Wave Grass" finds the band Honey Barbara exploring a mix of pure instrumentals with a sprinkling of tracks that feature vocals. The surprisingly close, tactile-and, then again dynamic-nature of the acoustic and electric instrumentation resonates well with wholesome sounds and deja-vu-like reverberations that reveal here a country, or there a psychedelic accent all woven in together. Core members James Sidlo (guitars, etc.), Ross Marlow (vocals, keyboards), and Terry Orff (bass) are joined by Dan Tellez (formerly of Aqua Pedestrian) on guitar and Robert Potter (formerly of Pulsating Love Flower) on drums. Additional musicians, as well, join the band on various tracks to further extend the album's sound. Available now in CD, DL and (soon) the LP version in heavy black &white splatter on clear orange vinyl. Pretty keen!
read more »
Wave Grass -Honey Barbara - May 11, 2015
A masterclass for violin, viola, cello, and bass players (from beginner to advanced). Learning how to efficiently use the bow as a string player can be one of the most difficult things about playing a string instrument. In this masterclass cellist Caleb Vaughn-Jones will demonstrate a wide variety of tips of how to practice in order to gain the most control with the bow during performance. Caleb will also share a variety of practice tips for the bow which can benefit young students as well as seasoned professionals. Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 07 June 2014
read more »
submission date: 5/10/2014
We are a record label that started as one of us slinging basically hand-made CD’s out of a backpack. We are focusing on developing our website and ourselves with new releases, both digital and compact disc, and hope to start printing vinyl records soon. Also, we are interested in future re-releasing and linking to many older indy releases of bands that we happen to like, and you can listen to many of these already by following the links on our artist roster. Our policy is we put out what we like, no strict genre rules. Peruse and enjoy!
read more »
submission date: 4/3/2014
Silvia Cecchetti began studying opera under the guidance of Prof. Maria Grazia Liguori and Maestro Marco Balderi and then traditional Neapolitan Song with Maestro Gustavo Palumbo. She graduated from CET (Centro Europeo di Toscolano) as pop interpreter and had the opportunity to work side by side with great music professionals, such as Mogol, Lavezzi, Mango, Ornella Vanoni and Oscar Prudente.
Her successful participation in the Sanremo Festival in 94- she was among the top finalists in the “Young” category- brought her national attention and appearances on national television; in the same year she guest-starred in TV shows such as “Viva Napoli” and “Festival Italiano” and released her album “Silvia Cecchetti”, produced by Lavezzi and Mogol. After Touring Italy, States and Canada, performing in theatres such as the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles with Andrea Bocelli and Toto Cutugno she studied in Los Angeles with Maestro Seth Riggs.
In the following years she worked on a project dedicated to the history of 1900s Song with the “Opera Quintet”, a quintet of exceptionally talented musicians members of the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala. After yet another tour, she recorded an album “Tempi diversi”, released in 2009, featuring famous Italian songs reinterpreted in a jazz key, arranged by Ricky DT and distributed by Edel Music.
In 2010 she worked with a group of Franch doctors and the Human Voice association offering her experience like singer and vocal coach and wrting the book “La voce dei 5 sensi” ed. Carish together with them in May 2011. In that book she has described a new vocal dimension that has the power of stimulate different celebral areas. She recorded a CD of “Voci pluridimensionali” with other musicians and singers.
She has been teached for years and in cooperation with Osteopaths, Postirologists, Acupuncturists, Anthroposophics she found a vocal methodology as a singer and vocal coach that respects the human beeing and the natural need for express himself. In 2011 she put on the show ”150 years of Italian tradition:from Melodramma to Pop” with Sandro Cerino and Romano Pucci singing her ability in Belcanto and Jazz styles. In 2013 she remastered the album “Tempi diversi” writing and recording a new song “Il dopo te” – together with Luca Angelosanti and Francesco Morettini – for the American audience; she took part to the italian song festival in New York winning the second place. In 2014 she won the first price at the same FESTIVAL ITALIAN SONG in New York. read more »
submission date: 3/20/2014
Tempi Diversi - Silvia Cecchetti - March 26, 2014
After months of anticipation, Above & Beyond will today premiere the full concert film from their critically-acclaimed acoustic project. The premiere will take place on Vice's THUMP channel at 4pm EST/1pm PST, and will be immediately followed by a Google Hangout with the band at 5:30pm EST/2:30pm PST. The release of Above & Beyond's acoustic studio album will follow on Tuesday January 28 via Anjunabeats/Ultra Records. The feature-length concert film captures the backstories and performances from Above & Beyond's acoustic shows at London's Porchester Hall last summer, during which Jono, Tony and Paavo performed some of the biggest and best-loved Above & Beyond songs as part of a 15-piece band. Following the London performances, the band recorded an acoustic studio album and went on to sell out two further acoustic gigs at LA's Greek Theater (described by Billboard Magazine as "one of the finest and more memorable shows in EDM history).
Acoustic - Above & Beyond - February 7, 2014
About Above & Beyond
Over their three critically acclaimed studio albums, Above & Beyond have continually been celebrated for placing real musicianship and songwriting at the heart of what they do. While their famed club mixes have resonated with the dance generation, the songs behind them have touched fans of all ages across the globe. As influenced as much by Jeff Buckley or Bon Iver as they are by their deep love of electronic music, Above & Beyond's songs and lyrics have been sung back to them at the world's biggest stadiums and stages - from Brixton Academy to LA's Hollywood Palladium, to their famed 1 million people gig at Barra Beach in Rio de Janeiro in 2007. read more »
submission date: 1/24/2014
read more @ amazon »
Germany, end of 2013: dark clouds hanging over the heads of "analog" musicians. A popular music magazine found out that the number of rehearsal rooms and venues for young bands is significantly decreased. Especially the situation for rehearsal rooms is dramatically: too less, too expensive, too dirty and hard to reach. But in cultivated countries there should be room for many different types of culture not only mainstream
Soundlocations will go for a change in Germany and International, the founders will run own locations or locations managed by franchise partners. Under one roof, the musicians will find rehearsal rooms, a live stage, recording studio, distribution partner, gastronomy, experts for business, tour promotion, consultancy and many more.
But not only active musicians will participate and benefit in the Soundlocations project, also fans of the bands and friends of the project are welcome to join the services. Club Events, Live streams, Downloads, interactive community and many more services are planned to support the communication and interaction between the bands and their fanbase.
A comparable project is actually not known, of course there are some successful local activities but no nationwide actions. "Networking" is the demand of the hour! This is also well known to the founders of Soundlocations. The team consists of marketing-, business-, IT-, finance-, consultancy- and of course professionals of the music business. They were all brought together by the passion for music. As you can see: there is a lot to do! Founders, bands and fans: if the all work together, Soundlocations will be a success. A success for the whole community.
Soundlocations is working on www.Indiegogo.com/projects/soundlocations to ensure the financial situation for their all-in-one project.
Skewer came to life in 2005, hailing from Barreiro (Portugal). Part of the first line-up were Valério (Guitars/Vocals/Drums) and Telmo (Bass/Back Vocals). This line-up recorded a Demo in 2006, with a sound resembling the 90's Alternative Rock. This Demo was entitled "I Need Something Stronger", was recorded in Febraurary 2006 and was self-released in 500 copies. Most of these songs were composed by Valério between 1994-1999. In the same year, the band toured nationally, with 25 concerts to promote the Skewer name and the new release "I Need Something Stronger". In June 2006, João Galrito joins the band as the bass player. In May 2007, the band begins the recording of a new EP, baptized "Whatever", with 6 searing Rock tunes. The line-up for this EP was: João Galrito (Drums), Valério (Guitars/Vocals) and the new bassist, Ernani Carlos. With a lot of shows in Portugal, Skewer then focused on releasing "Whatever" and composing songs for the debut album. A videoclip for the single "Stayed" gains shape. This first single gets a lot of airplay in international radios: Ultra Dark Radio (Bonn, Germany), La Gross Radio (Paris, France) and over 20 other radios across USA such as Caya Radio (Colorado), Undiscovered (New York), Spider Radio (Oklahoma). The single got a lot of attention in Portugal in various radio stations too such as: Sinfonias de Aço (Rádio Barcelos 91.9 FM), Santos da Casa (Rádio Universitária de Coimbra), Catedral do Rock (Popular FM 90.9), Ratio (Eco FM 104.8), Culto do Império (Lousã FM 95.3), XFM, Radar (Lisboa) and Rádio Douro. The Portuguese press then began to notice Skewer, and they add to their resume interviews with some newspapers, magazines and blogs such as: Rostos, Jornal do Barreiro, Correio da Manhã, Webbarreiro, AGaragem.com, Santos da Casa, Margem Sul, ATrompa, Loud and Underworld. Brazilian magazines Rock Press, Rock Brigade and Mundo Rock also wrote about Skewer. Skewer releases "Whatever" in August 2007 as an author's edition (with digital distribution by the American CD Baby). In November, a contract is signed with the French Online Label Believe (http://www.believe.fr) to officialize in Januray 2008 the online release of the "Whatever" EP, with the support of Virgin, who added Believe to their catalog). "Whatever" could also be found in Vodafone (UK) and Fnac Online (France), among other big online music platforms. June 3, 2008 marks the releasing of the band's first videoclip, "Stayed", exclusively on MySpace Portugal's front page, 7th July the video premiers on TV along with the first TV appearance and interview in the popular youth-oriented show "Curto Circuito", on Sic Radical TV station. 31th July It is scheduled to air in MTV Portugal's "Headbanger's Ball". 27th August it is also scheduled to air in MTV Brasil's "MTV LAB NOW” and soon in MTV Adria and UK. read more @ amazon »Skewer @ YouTube
Jason Miles & DJ Logic Join Forces to Obliterate Borders on New Shanachie CD Global Noize
All-Star CD Serves Up An Intoxicating Brew of Jazz, Electronica Funk and World Music Featuring Some of Music's Most Creative Players: Meshell Ndegeocello, Billy Martin (Medeski, Marin & Wood) , Vernon Reid (Living Colour), John Popper (Blues Traveler) Cyro Baptista (Herbie Hancock), Bernie Worrell (Talking Heads, Parliament Funk), Karl Denson (Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Lenny Kravtiz), Christian Scott & Others
The signs are everywhere: MTV launches a channel on the Arabian Television Network. African hip-hop groups mix the postures and style of American rappers with homegrown lyrical messages and M.I.A., a Sri Lankan refugee now living in Brooklyn, scores one of the year's most critically acclaimed albums--sound bites recorded around the world mixed in an electronica blender with hip hop beats. Multi-tasking cell phones, cheap lap tops, Kindle Ebooks, YouTube, internet radio, and of course the multifaceted internet itself, have engendered a cultural interchange of unprecedented scope and speed. Music, which resonates across every cultural barrier, leads the charge. The result is a grand "global noise," a spectacular sea of interchanging and mutating beats, sounds and melodies from all directions. It is precisely that reality that Jason Miles and DJ Logic set out to capture with their collaboration Global Noize. Keyboard extraordinaire Jason Miles, who has worked with everyone from Miles Davis and Luther Vandross to Ivan Lins, and Turntable guru DJ Logic, who has collaborated with diverse artists like Phish, Vernon Reid, ?uestlove and Don Byron, join forces on Global Noize to create a thrilling mix of free-wheeling tracks that take listeners on a wide-ranging journey through the minds of some of creative music's most innovative musicians such as Meshell Ndegeocello, Billy Martin (Medeski, Marin & Wood) , Vernon Reid (Living Color), John Popper (Blues Traveler) Cyro Baptista (Herbie Hancock), Bernie Worrell (Talking Heads, Parliament Funk), Karl Densen (Tiny Universe, Lenny Kravtiz).
"This is a special project as the world is a Global Noize and we need to come together in difficult times and great music has the power to do this," states Grammy Award-winning and Emmy nominated keyboardist, producer and composer Jason Miles. "The artists and musicians on the project represent a great diversity and this is what the world is really about. The beauty in this diversity is something that we all need to appreciate." Global Noize is a project that has long been brewing in Jason Miles' mind but the idea was solidified when he got a call from friend his DJ Logic last year to join him for a performance at the Blue Note in NY. "On that day I had a horrible root canal and was mourning the loss of a close relative. I thought that this could be just the tonic I needed to pick myself up," recalls Miles. The night was exactly what Miles had hoped and from this experience he knew that he and Logic had a special connection. The duo later worked together in Morocco at The Casablanca Jazz Festival and had the opportunity to venture off to Marrakech. Miles shares, "We went through life-altering experiences. It was so new to us -- mysterious, crazy and another view of the world. We both knew we had to make this project happen. The picture on the CD over of the both of us with the camel in the desert says it all!"
Global Noize is an organic, free-spirited sonic brew of some of the best elements of jazz, funk, electronica and world fusion – it is music without borders. Miles says, "We started with Cyro Baptista and Billy Martin jamming in the studio and built up the tracks from there. Logic and I pooled our musical resources and had some of the best cutting-edge artists play on the record." From the album's opening track, "A Jam 4 Joe" (dedicated to the late piano/keyboard wizard Joe Zawinul) to its concluding statements on "What I know," Global Noize takes listeners on a mind-bending, global adventure featuring all original compositions.
"A Jam 4 Joe" features Logic and Miles along with guitar wizard and founding member of Living Colour, guitarist Vernon Reid, musical chamelon and bass player Meshell Ndegeocello, percussion maestro Cyro Baptista and the stunning Indian vocal diva Falu. The groove is relentless and is supercharged with magnetic energy. Bernie Worrell joins the mix on "Spice Island' playing the clavinet and organ. Worrell, who is best known for his contributions to George Clinton's Parliament Funk and The Talking Heads, lays down a serious funk heavy groove that reverberates throughout the track. The slow-burning "The Souk" highlights Falu and Blues Traveler's John Popper on the Harmonica in a seductive dance with one another, along with percussionist Braheim. "We were lucky to get John Popper on a day off in NYC," adds Miles. "He just kills on the ‘Souk!'" "Quera Dancar/I Wanna Dance With You" is a cool breezy Bossa Nova that beckons you to move your hips and dance to the music's delight along with Brazilian bombshell and chanteause Vanessa Fallabella, celebrated Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo and season jazz bassists James Genus.
Global Noize, which DJ Logic describes as "a hip and eclectic musical journey crossing all boundaries," further delights with such tracks as "Dar'abesque" (named after the villa Miles and Logic inhabited in Marrakech) featuring trumpet icon Herb Albert. "When I got the track back from Herb Alpert," confides Jason Miles, "I knew that any musician who had imagination and a great musical voice would love to be a part of this. Herb just really brought the track to life. "Bollyhood" is an ear catching trip-hoppy track showcasing the haunting vocals of Falu and "Planetery Beat" joins multi-instrumentalist Karl Denson and guitarist Dean Brown together for a soul jazz romp with killer break-beats and groovin' horn riffs. "Having Karl Denson involved with this album made us happy because we knew there would be great playing, brilliant horn arrangements as well as fantastic compositions all at the same time." Christian Scott is showcased on "Exotic Thoughts," an ethereal meandering piece featuring the young hot trumpeter along with guitarist Carl Burnett and Tabla player Suphala while "Pool of Honey" is as sweet as its title with its uptempo swinging melody and feel good vibe featuring Burnett and Suphala once again along with Karl Denson on flute. "Christian Scott is one of the most exciting young artists on the scene," states Miles. "He really stepped up and showed what a young cat at the beginning of his career has got going on." "Spin Cycle," brings back a 70s funk flavor with its insatiable drum licks from Gene Lake and "What I Know" features spoken word artists Aline Racine.
Jason Miles concludes "When I hear music I love I want to be involved with it. It would be boring for me to stay in one place musically so I love to explore different music. I know Miles Davis felt that way and I'm just trying to keep the grooves hot, the melodies great and collaborate with the best artists I know. Hopefully Logic and I will be bringing Global Noize to the world and show people our musical vision." Global Noize will make its live debut this Spring. Don't miss the opportunity to catch this unique experience in a City near you! read more @ amazon »
Yes... once again - a new release from Hjörtur. Chandni, an Indian word meaning “night light”- like starlight and moonlight, or in Hjörtur's mind it could also be lights from satellites or signals from the universe straight into your mind. Light - is the things we see... Hjörtur has been busy; this is his 4th release this year! He has released an album called “Work” under the name “Alfarspace”, and a single “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow” under his own name. On the 13th of August he released “Humanize” under the name “The Mercuriis”. This song has been played a lot on DR Barometer Netradio. This new album “Chandni” is very soft, and the few words on it are really thought-provoking... like the song “The Paradoxical Commandments”. The words were written by Mr. Kent M. Keith in 1968 and have traveled all around the world and into Hjörtur's mind and from there onto this album with music really matching the words. Give yourself a moment of peace and listen to the music. You will feel it right under you skin...
and it will take you to the stars. Yes, that's where your moment is.
Hjörtur is an Icelandic artist. His full name is Hjörtur Haraldsson Blöndal. Some call him Hjörtur, some call him Blöndal, some call him North Man, some call him HB, some call him Haraldsson and at least one beautiful girl from Latvia calls him Jorik. Composer, musician, producer, performer and video artist
“Like a jam band for the ADD generation, this local group shreds something fierce, serving up a constantly undulating rock ‘n’ roll groove.”
Chicago Tribune | 11 Jan 2007
“Mt. St. Helens craft convincing, explosive guitar-driven rock that only gets better with increased volume” Pitchfork | pitchforkmedia.com
“With the arrangements of distorted guitars and throaty bellows provided by vocalist Quinn Goodwillie, mt.st.helens are rare as a band who successfully pull off a sound that’s both experimental and catchy at the same time. They stay focused as musicians who just want to rock out without taking themselves too seriously as ‘artists.’” All Music Guide | allmusic.com
“Close your eyes and imagine that you have just found yourself riding a train with a brain full of psychedelics and in the background over the sound of the tracks all you can hear is a blurred loop of 1950’s department store music. During the first track of You Are a Ghostly Presence, lasting all of twenty seconds, this will be your experience. However, when that twentieth second drops you had better be ready because Mt. St. Helens has already erupted onto the scene (no pun intended) and turned your confused but sustainable train ride into an all-adrenalin pumping free ride.” Lost At Sea | lostatsea.net
mt.st.helens third album Of Others offers a more refined and concise version of their compelling, guitar driven sound. Having cut their teeth in the early part of the 21st century at Chicago’s Fireside Bowl, Empty Bottle, Schubas and Bottom Lounge (and many stateside tours); mt.st.helens have stuck it out and cultivated a small but devoted following. Of Others draws from influences as diverse as Unwound, Shudder to Think, Ride and Boards of Canada but the result is far from derivative. Guitar player Michael Sprague has constructed a cadre of masterfully spare guitar leads that are at once striking and hypnotic. Guitarist/vocalist Quinn Goodwillie’s (also of acclaimed local group Sleep Out) voice has increased in range and fortitude and is greatly bolstered by the stalwart rhythm section of Jason Sprague (bass) and Ben Geier (drums). After the demise of their beloved former home, Divot Records (Haymarket Riot, Sweep The Leg Johnny, Braid), m.s.h have signed on with Chicago’s Two Thumbs Down Records, home of Driftless Pony Club, May or May Not and Dialogue. Former m.s.h member Matt Fast, of local group Rollo Tomasi, will be re-joining the band this year and handling third guitar, keyboard and percussion duties. Two Thumbs Down Records will officially release Of Others on September 3, 2007.
THE LARGEST GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT EVENT IN HISTORY
More Than 30 Million Live Earth Videos Streamed on MSN by 8 Million People – The Largest Online Audience Ever for an Online Concert Approximately One Million People Participated in More Than 10,000 Friends of Live Earth Events in 131 Countries – the Largest Grassroots Organizing Program in History
LOS ANGELES (July 9, 2007) – Live Earth organizers today announced that the 7-continent, 24 hour music extravaganza on July 7th was the largest global entertainment event in history. “Live Earth rallied an unprecedented audience to take action to tackle the world’s paramount challenge – the climate crisis,” Live Earth Founder and Producer Kevin Wall said. “The climate crisis is a global problem that requires a global response – and that is just what we’ve received. Live Earth has established a deep foundation for the ongoing campaign that will continue to move people to help solve the climate crisis.” “Live Earth is officially the largest global entertainment event in history,” Live Earth Partner and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said. “Live Earth is already the largest in history, and the numbers are still coming in.” MSN, Live Earth’s official online partner, broadcast the entire concert series live and has delivered more than 30 million video streams since the concert series began. More than 15 million video streams were seen during the live coverage by over 8 million people and more than 237,000 people watched the video streaming coverage from MSN simultaneously, the most simultaneous viewers of an online entertainment event. Visitors to MSN enjoyed live programming of all Live Earth concerts and extensive climate change coverage, including the Live Earth short films, detailed information on the issues and how to make a difference, and the opportunity to connect with a global community through Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Spaces, and more. MSN expects millions more to enjoy the on-demand video experience, with extensive footage of the Live Earth concerts from every venue, celebrity interviews, backstage footage, easy searching/filtering capabilities for viewing specific songs, artists and much more. Visitors to MSN can continue to learn more about climate change through a wealth of information, tools, and resource; and can continue to Answer the Call by pledging their personal commitment. “July 7, 2007 was the greatest day in the history of MSN. Our Live Earth offering has delivered more than 30 million video streams to over 8 million people around the world, a milestone in online history,” said Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president and chief media officer, MSN. “We are beyond thrilled that MSN connected a global audience together for this important issue and invite people to explore the in-depth experience available on MSN, which millions are continuing to enjoy.” Live Earth reached its massive audience through an unprecedented media architecture covering television, radio, Internet and wireless channels. Live Earth was broadcast across television networks in more than 100 countries. In the U.S., NBC Universal dedicated all of its domestic networks to Live Earth on July 7 culminating with a Prime Time special that aired on NBC. More than 20 of the world’s leading broadcasters including NBC (US), Shanghai Media Group and CTV (China), BBC (UK), Pro Sieben (Germany), TVGLobo (Brazil), Fuji TV and NHK (Japan), South Africa Broadcast Company (South Africa) and Foxtel (Australia) dedicated a combined total of more than 100 channels to Live Earth concert coverage. Live Earth was broadcast via radio channels in more than 130 countries. Through a partnership with Premiere Radio Network, four separate radio broadcast programs at 18 hours each were heard on 200 syndicated stations in the U.S. Both XM and SIRIUS satellite radio devoted 8 channels each to carry all concerts and messaging in its entirety for 60 total hours of music. In addition, World Space satellite radio delivered 22 ½ hours of audio content across Africa, Asia and Europe in 134 countries. Beyond regular concert programming, each partnering radio station carried Live Earth PSAs and promotions to deliver the call to action and encourage listeners to take action. Wall further demonstrated the global reach of the Live Earth message by announcing that millions of personal commitments have been made via the Web and SMS in 178 countries and 35 territories. Live Earth will continue to call on people around the world to commit to make immediate and lasting changes in six key areas of their lives – at home, at work, while shopping, in their transportation, in their communities and with their governments. Live Earth is offering people simple steps they can take – like using energy efficient light bulbs and appliances – and asking people to sign a far-reaching 7-point pledge:
· To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;
· To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become “carbon neutral;”
· To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;
· To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;
· To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;
· To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,
· To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.
The names of people who made commitments and signed the pledge through their computers or mobile phones on July 7th were displayed on the Live Earth web site, on the screens at the concerts, and on the global television broadcasts. However, people can continue to make these important commitments and find solutions for the climate crisis at http://liveearth.org or http://liveearth.msn.com. After the announcement of Live Earth in February, people and organizations all over the world asked to host their own events to support the cause, and the “Friends of Live Earth” program was created to support these efforts. More than 10,000 of these events were held in more than 130 countries ranging from gatherings in people’s homes to public screenings and music events exceeding tens of thousands of people. These large-scale music events, of which there were hundreds, occurred in international cities such as Zurich, Montreal, Malta, Jakarta and Singapore. While still calculating full attendance totals from around the world, Live Earth organizers estimate that more than 1 million people participated in this groundbreaking global grassroots program. In addition, Wall noted that Live Earth has produced more than 60 short films, 30 PSAs featuring stars like Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz, and a book – The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook by David de Rothschild – to serve as lasting media that will echo the Live Earth call to action delivered at the concerts on July 7.
Live Earth was a monumental music event that brought together a global audience on July 7, 2007 to combat the climate crisis. Live Earth staged concerts in New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg and Hamburg – as well as special broadcast events in Antarctica, Kyoto and Washington, DC – and featured feature more than 100 of the world’s best music acts – a mix of both legendary music acts like The Police, Genesis, Bon Jovi and Madonna with the latest headliners like Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas and Jack Johnson. Live Earth's 24 hours of music across 7 continents delivered a worldwide call to action and the solutions necessary to answer that call. Live Earth launched a multi-year campaign to drive individuals, corporations and governments to take action to solve the climate crisis. Live Earth is partnering with the Alliance for Climate Protection, Avaaz, The Climate Group (We’re in This Together), Stop Climate Chaos (I Count) and other international organizations in this ongoing effort. Live Earth was founded by Kevin Wall, CEO of Control Room, the company that produced the concerts globally. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is the Chair of the Alliance for Climate Protection and a Partner of Live Earth. Exclusive online media partner MSN is helping Live Earth reach people in every corner of the globe. Official Live Earth concerts were streamed live at http://liveearth.msn.com. MSN’s 39 localized web portals worldwide attract 465 million monthly users. smart is the world's only automaker serving as an Official Partner. Unlike any other vehicle, the new smart fortwo combines a modern, individual lifestyle with environmental protection by setting the standard in urban mobility and offering the lowest CO2 emission of any vehicle on the market. smart responds to environmental demands with innovative, technologically sound solutions and as a result produces positive and credible answers to the question of ecological driving. Philips, as the world’s leading lighting supplier, joined Live Earth as an Official Partner. Philips was the first to introduce the energy saving light bulb in 1980 and has put environmental product improvement at the heart of its business with its EcoDesign program since 1994, increasing its green product range year by year. Live Earth partnered with companies on a local level who share the commitment to helping people live a more energy efficient lifestyle. PepsiCo, an Official Partner of Live Earth, is committed to making a difference with eco-friendlier packaging, energy and water conservation and waste reduction. It’s all part of PepsiCo’s commitment to Performance with Purpose -- to do better by doing better. Esurance, the direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company, joined Live Earth as an Official Sponsor and is the latest extension of Esurance's efforts to conserve energy and preserve the planet's precious resources. For more than seven years, Esurance policyholders have helped save thousands of trees by buying their auto insurance online and using electronic documents. An official partner of Live Earth, The Absolut Spirits Company, Inc., a subsidiary of V&S Group, produces and markets ABSOLUT® VODKA, Level ™ Vodka, FRÏS® Vodka , Plymouth™ Gin and Cruzan® Rum. The Absolut Spirits Company focuses on reducing the impact on climate change, sustainable agriculture and optimizing use of natural resources as mandated by V&S Group. To view details on the company’s efforts to combat global warming, visit www.vsgroup.com and click on “Corporate Responsibility/Environment.” Intelsat, the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide, is the official satellite capacity sponsor to Live Earth, providing the global high definition infrastructure for an unforgettable viewer experience. Intelsat connects the planet to Live Earth through its network of 52 satellites and global terrestrial facilities. For more information, visit www.liveearth.org or www.liveearth.msn.com. read more »
Armor For Sleep hit the guitars a little harder for their second album What To Do When You Are Dead, and the results are incredible. Moving from emo to more post hardcore territory, the album contains a lot of energy and emotion that feels very raw, similar to Thursday. Despite being a concept album nothing about What To Do When You Are Dead feels too confined or pretentious. It's still the same old Armor For Sleep, just a little heavier and little more mature.
Reviewer: Schmoo (Detroit), January 25, 2006
read more @ amazon »
I sing and create music to comfort, heal, move, transport and awaken the divine voice within us all. Lisbeth Scott is an award winning singer/songwriter whose voice and songs have appeared in over 150 films and television shows many of which are Oscar and Emmy winners including Shrek, Narnia, AVATAR, Spiderman, Passion, Munich (in which John Williams wrote a 5 minute solo specifically for Scott), Ironman and Trueblood. She has simultaneously developed her career as a solo artist producing and recording over 9 albums and is currently working on her tenth. Her work has spent over 10 weeks in the top ten of the Billboard charts and she has toured the world appearing both with orchestra and her band. Scott has recently stepped into the role of film composer and has scored several feature films to date, working with directors Louie Schwartzberg and Adam Christian Clark among others. She is also writing with Nathan Barr as co-composer on the new Amazon children's series Tumbleaf, premiering early 2014. Her composing work will also be gracing Broadway in the next few years in two well known musical adaptations. Lisbeth began her career as a classical pianist headed for a concert career, but as soon as she could, ran away to California to literally find her voice.Someone heard her singing and playing piano for a modern dance class in the hills of Idyllwild and suggested her voice for a score by composer Hans Zimmer. That was all it took. Scott's uniquely moving and shiver-inducing voice was launched. Her voice, songs and compositions are largely influenced by her upbringing and travels, which were steeped in every kind of music imaginable. She was surrounded by classical music as a child not only due to her piano studies, but also because her sister was a professional ballerina.Her parents were award winning ballroom dancers and exposed her to everything from the Mills Brothers to Peggy Lee, to Duke Ellington Judy Garland and Tommy Dorsey. Her Armenian grandparents sang her the songs and sounds of their country. A close family friend was a blues harmonica player and gave Lisbeth an in depth blues education that lead to a love of African rhythms and jazz. Scott spent many years studying African drumming with Baba Olatunji and several others. She also spent a year and half in London studying medieval music and traveled through Ireland for a long while to immerse herself in Celtic sounds. All along the way Scott picked up instruments and learned how to play them...6 and 12 string guitar, dulcimer, harmonium, and calimba to name a few. This combination of sounds and influences translates into a uniquely mesmerizing and powerful sound. A sound that John Williams has called "absolutely ravishing" and Variety has called "...perfection".
read more @ amazon »
The pop charts were once regularly haunted by the melodramatic musings of pianists like Liberace, Ferrante and Teicher and Roger Williams, a sensibility that eventually gave way to the more New Age-y affectations of George Winston and his fellow Wave-format-friendly ivory ticklers. But if producer David Foster has his way, young Phoenix native William Joseph will do for instrumental piano music what the Foster-mentored Josh Groban, Michal Buble and Renee Olstead have done for classical crossover and crooner revivalism. Joseph is blessed with a forceful technique and an ear for drama (he composed the theme for his hometown NHL Phoenix Coyotes when just a teen) that recalls Williams in his prime, and approaches his material with a kitsch-be-damned, crowd-pleasing verve that occasionally invokes 1970s' prog-rock excesses (the artist's own title track and "Piano Fantasy") without apology. Bolstered by Foster's usual back-row-of -the-balcony production sensibility, Joseph tackles everything from the classics ("Ave Maria," "Eternal"'s reworking of Chopin) to Led Zeppelin (a version of "Kashmir" that's as over-the-top as the original), Kansas (vocalist Garou guests on the bathos-drenched "Dust in the Wind") and even Muse ("Butterflies and Hurricanes" as MOR melodrama) with supreme confidence, if considerably less subtlety.
read more @ amazon »
When a musician loves his piano by Kerry L. Marsala
When passions give way to emotions the fulfillment of dreams blossom forth producing a rare and beautiful melody. A melody brought to full fruition by the talented concert pianist William-Joseph. As a child, William Joseph (an Arizona native) began his path towards what has now culminated into musical grandeur forming the highest peaks of bliss. At the age of eight William-Joseph, a talented prodigy was taught, disciplined, and nurtured by Russian musician, teacher, and friend Stella Saperstein. Ms. Saperstein has much to be proud of, her dream student has gone from organ player for the Phoenix Coyotes Hockey team to the grandest of achievements bestowed or desired by all great musicians, the status of musical genius. William-Joseph is now a legend in the making and the world of music has welcomed him into their arms as one who is truly elegant, and has attained the ardent status of those masters of music who have gone on before him. In a rare appearance at a intimate location, William-Joseph treated family, friends, and guests to an intimate evening of piano fantasy and the Liberace status of majestic entertainment. Flavored well with his own trademark of style, passion, and grace William played for the captivated audience his moving magical songs that he has written himself, and/or with David Foster. On his debut CD, William has recreated a few well known hit songs too, (classic rock artist- Led Zeppelin Kashmir, 80’s rock band- Kansas Dust in the Wind and Butterflies and Hurricanes by indie-rockers Muse) all leaving his audience breathless and desiring his way of defining emotion. His passion driven music leaves his audience filled and satisfied but still needing and desiring to hear more. His style is hauntingly beautiful and stirs something deep within the soul. William Joseph just recently finished his world tour with talented singer Josh Groban. With William-Josephs debut CD, Within released on Reprise Records, success has only begun to take this master concert pianist on the voyage of unforgettable beauty. An inexplicable beauty that can only be experienced, as you become a part of his world through the striking of the ivory keys. William Joseph a man created to fulfill humanities desire to hear and feel the passionate desires of what art truly epitomizes… and that is what William-Joseph delivers. He stands as a giant within the realm of the great lovers of astounding abilities to write, compose, perform and to those who just appreciate what emotional power can do for the soul. For more information, and concert performances on William Joseph: www.william-joseph.com
May 11, 2005 - Kerry L. Marsala
Imagine early Bob Dylan meets M.Ward, and you've got Johnathan Rice, the latest singer/songwriter on the streets. The dude grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, hung out in DC and honed his chops gigging at The Living Room in NYC. He recorded his latest album, Trouble is Real, in Nebraska with Mike Mogis (producer for Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, The Faint).
read more @ amazon.co.uk »
With an impressive 16 tracks the album you can't help but be taken on a journey across a vast amalgamation of musical styles and influences; listening to the album as though your ears were tuning into a number of different radio stations as each track progresses. The lyrics themselves could be bound and published in their own entity; insightful, expressive, emotive, reflective and sincere. My fave tracks changes everytime i listen because each is so different its hard to compare them. Would definitly reccommend this album to music lovers. Music has become so expansive over the last decade that it can no longer be neatly slotted into a genre. So, Johnathan Rice: alternative rock, folk, country, all of the above? Quite possibly so.
April 29, 2005 - Reviewer: Nadia
Talent is Real and clearly evident
read more @ amazon »
Walking into the club, you look up at the stage in anticipation of the evening’s performance, curious about this band Blue Merle. But instead of the usual array of electric guitars and stacked amps, what you see are acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, upright bass and drums. “The people file in, and they’re looking at the stage, seeing these instruments. And until we step out onto the stage and pick them up, I think they’re expecting something else.” says Blue Merle’s Beau Stapleton
“Something else,” indeed.
Blue Merle is a band that doesn’t simply defy expectations; it renders them irrelevant. Despite its mostly acoustic instrumentation, the band is well practiced at the art of catching an audience unawares and transporting it to a place of pure rock pleasure. It’s a trick they’ve honed through heavy roadwork — whether opening for the likes of J.J. Cale, Badly Drawn Boy and Jem, or playing festivals ranging from Farm Aid to Bonnaroo — and perfect with their Island debut, Burning in the Sun.
Between the scruffy sweetness of Luke Reynolds’ rough, expressive tenor and the orchestral richness of the band’s intricate arrangements, Burning in the Sun is an album that is easy to get lost in. Produced by Stephen Harris (U2, Dave Matthews Band, Kula Shaker), its sound is immediately inviting and disarmingly nuanced. Some songs, such as the string-drenched “Every Ship Must Sail Away” and “If I Could,” are lush with harmony and emotional portent, while others — particularly the insinuatingly propulsive “Boxcar Racer” and “Either Way It Goes” — bubble over with rhythmic energy and melodic allure. Throughout, the music carries the sort of inventiveness and depth of feeling found only in the best rock songwriting.
“We have a rule in this band that the best song wins,” says Reynolds, and whatever it takes to get a song to be as good as it can is what we do. It’s not unusual for us to spend hours in rehearsal, working and re-working a song so that by the time we perform it, everyone in the band is fully committed.” Blue Merle was born when Reynolds met bassist Jason Oettel, and the two began to work on some of the singer/guitarist’s songs. “We really connected,” says Reynolds, and he wasn’t the only one to feel that way. A friend working at Sony ATV studios in Nashville offered some free studio time, and while the two were cutting demos the president of Sony Publishing unexpectedly dropped by. “He offered us a production deal and a publishing deal,” says Reynolds. They ultimately passed on the deal, but were amazed by the offer. “That was four months into our being a band, so it came really fast,” he adds. Despite that auspicious beginning, Blue Merle weren’t in a rush to add members. Reynolds met Beau Stapleton — a mandolin-playing disciple of Neil Young and Sonic Youth — on a trip back home to Vermont, and got on so well that he soon invited Stapleton to join the band. William Ellis, a jazz-trained drummer who had become a successful session player in Nashville, was a college buddy of Oettel’s, and came on to complete the rhythm section not long afterward. It was Ellis who came up with the band’s name. “It’s actually a lyric from a Led Zeppelin song, ‘Bron Y Aur Stomp’ — ‘Tell your friends all around the world/There ain’t no companion like a blue-eyed Merle,’” says Reynolds. “Will is a huge Zeppelin fan, and used to pull out all these fragments from Zeppelin songs, and keep them for potential band names.” Guitar, mandolin, upright bass and drums isn’t typical rock band instrumentation, but that’s turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Blue Merle. “There wasn’t a lot of thought put into the instrumentation,” says Reynolds. “We just met musicians we really loved playing with, and whatever they played, that was the thing that came.” “It’s actually simpler to work with,” says producer Harris. “It’s a fresh feeling, and pleasing on the ear. You don’t have to knock the listener on the head. And that’s the whole thing with the band — they have subtlety, which is beyond many people these days.” “Subtlety is what makes Blue Merle what it is,” agrees Reynolds. “The lyrics, the melody, the musicianship — it’s all there, but it’s never right in your face. There’s a confidence to it, and you can feel it in the music.” read more @ amazon »
If the first two Doves albums, Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast, were records that sounded like they were conceived in Glastonbury-like vast open plains, each number a snapshot of the wide open countryside or of the rolling sea, then their third album, Some Cities, paints altogether different pictures. At points it's crunching and urban, sounding like a midnight high-speed joy ride through the industrial beating heart of the city (most noticeably on the turbo charged first single "Black and White Town"). At others, it's like a long lost soundtrack to some early '60s kitchen sink drama ("Someday Soon", "Shadows of Salford"). Some Cities could only ever have been born in the North of England and is the sound of a full throttle Doves band. It's also the sound of the band at their most relaxed and confident, their most driven and fine-tuned. Some Cities arrives almost three years after The Last Broadcast. Conceived as a shorter, more forceful record than its two predecessors, the record was written primarily in cottages and holiday rents around the UK (Snowdonia, Darlington and Youlgreave in the Peak District) and recorded with Ben Hillier (producer of Blur's Think Tank and Elbow's Cast of Thousands) in Liverpool, Brixton and Loch Ness. read more @ amazon.co.uk »www.dovesmusicblog.com
Hailed by NME as “potentially the most important group since Oasis,” the Music is incontrovertibly among today’s preeminent new rock ‘n’ roll outfits. With the eagerly anticipated “ WELCOME TO THE NORTH,” the UK-based quartet more than fulfills the stunning promise of their self-titled 2003 debut. The album sees the Music teaming up with legendary producer Brendan O’Brien, renowned for his work alongside such artists as Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others.
Recorded in March and April 2004 at O’Brien’s Southern Tracks Studio in Atlanta, the album marks an astonishing leap forward, reflecting the young band’s amazing journey from a high school music room in Leeds to the world stage. Songs such as the pyrotechnic title track and the shimmering “Guide” find the Music refining their distinctive meld of deep dance-inspired grooves and propulsive psych-rock riffing, integrating a new concentration on traditional songcraft and potent lyricism.
“We were a little more focused on this record,” singer Robert Harvey says. “It’s good, we get to show people that we can actually write songs. I think the main criticism of our first album was that we didn’t have enough ‘songs.’ They were more groove-based things. But people forget, we were just 18 or 19 years old, we just liked grooving and getting fucked up. Now we’re a couple of years older and we’ve got other things in mind.”
Celebrated by the Los Angeles Times for “a grand sound that mixes Zeppelin, Queen and U2 into an electronics-spiked sonic storm,” the Music first took flight in late 1999, when the teenaged Harvey, guitarist Adam Nutter, bassist Stuart Coleman, and drummer Phil Jordan came together with a goal of blending rock, soul, funk, dub, and electro to create something both uplifting and original. Over the next years, the Music developed a reputation as a truly innovative combo, known for their awe-inspiring, unpredictable live performances. In 2001, their first single, “Take This Long Road And Walk It,” was released by the influential Fierce Panda label to unanimous acclaim, followed the next year by an equally praised eponymous debut album.
Fuelled by a wave of coast-to-coast airplay and a bounty of rave reviews, “THE MUSIC” burst onto the American charts upon its February 2003 release, coming in at #4 on Billboard’s “Heatseekers” ranking of new and developing artists. The foursome headlined a number of sold-out North American dates, along with special guest performances supporting Coldplay and the Vines. Rightly acclaimed for their explosive live shows, the Music appeared on such network TV programs as CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman and NBC’s Later With Carson Daly.
Upon their return to their native Leeds, the Music took a brief respite from rock ‘n’ roll, then quickly got together to begin woodshedding material for their sophomore record. Kicking off with a series of riffs and grooves created while on tour, the band soon had a fistful of strong musical ideas to bring into the studio. The next step was deciding upon a producer to assist them in their quest.
“We were thinking about working with a more dance-oriented producer,” Harvey says, “but when Brendan O’Brien’s name came up, we were all like, ‘Well, yeah!’ We’re not necessarily fans of the bands he’s worked with, but the sheer power of the records he’s done is just unbelievable. We wanted that kind of power on our record.”
O’Brien trekked to the UK to see the Music in their natural environment – kicking out the jams onstage. Enthused by what he’d heard, the producer invited the band to team up with him in his Atlanta homebase, Southern Tracks Studio.
“We had our hearts set on making the record in England,” Harvey says, “but Brendan explained that he did his best work in his own studio. We wanted the best possible results we could get, so if it meant going to Atlanta, we were cool with it.” While stationed in Atlanta, the Music devoted themselves to their project, spending the majority of their time hard at work crafting and concocting the material that would make up “WELCOME TO THE NORTH.” “We’re constantly jamming out,” Harvey says. “While Brendan and the rest of the team were busy doing something else, we’d all get in a room and play, getting ideas together. Then we’d say, ‘This is too good to waste, let’s get it down now.’ As a result, this is a true representation of what we are as a band.” From the opening statement of ‘Welcome To The North” to the album-closing “Open Your Mind,” “WELCOME TO THE NORTH” has all the twists and turns of a journey down a long road, not unlike the remarkable ride taken by the Music over the past two years. Intricate and increasingly mature in their vision, songs such as the blistering “Cessation” and the turbulent “Freedom Fighters” represent a band whose artistic worldview has grown by incredible leaps and bounds. “You grow up in a sheltered world,” Harvey says, “then all of a sudden, you become 20 or 21, and it’s like someone taking the roof off and you’re exposed to the harsh realities of the world. There’s a lot of coming to terms with that on the album. ’Welcome To The North’ sounds like kind of a small-minded statement in and of itself, but it’s really about breaking free. That’s basically what the whole album is about – it’s about becoming universal.” Driven by that humanitarian ideal, the Music have created a second record that dares to dream, a brave and beautiful work that yearns to move and motivate all who come into its path. “WELCOME TO THE NORTH” amply demonstrates the Music’s transcendent power to shake up the world. “Music nowadays, it’s grown a bit stale,” Harvey says. “We wanted to do something that made people feel good. We want to reach a lot of people. We don’t want to be just something underground. We want to touch a lot of different people with this record.”
read more @ amazon.co.uk »
read more @ amazon »
BRING LOST “BILL COSBY” MUSIC TO LIFE
“The Original Jam Sessions 1969” Features Music from NBC’s “The Bill Cosby Show” and Cast of Jazz & Funk-Loving Legends from the 1960s “The New Mixes, Vol, I,” An Exciting and Eclectic Dose of Contemporary Mixes from Mix Master Mike, Cornershop, Bedrock, Herbert, Los Amigos Invisibles and Others While Quincy Jones and Bill Cosby are today considered two of the most accomplished entertainers in America, the 52-episodes of NBC’s “The Bill Cosby Show” (1969-1971) were among their first notable television credits. Jones, as musical director, assembled a crack team of prominent jazz and funk artists to create a soundtrack and essentially left the tape recorder running during numerous informal jams. The sessions, however, ended up in the vault and were forgotten until over 30 years later when the “lost tapes” were rediscovered during an office move. Quincy Jones Music and Concord Records now present those sessions on two separate, yet equally unique and ultra-cool, recordings. From the first notes of Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby: The Original Jam Sessions 1969 (in stores June 22), you know you are in for a quite a musical ride. Authentic interplay, vintage 1969, the heaviest musicians on the planet¾ Jimmy Smith, Milt Jackson, Les McCann, Monty Alexander, Ray Brown, Joe Sample, and Tom Scott and among them¾enjoying a fresh, loose, funk-loving romp. Follow-up with Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby: The New Mixes, Vol. I (out July 13) and come full circle, as some of the hottest artists, DJs and producers from today’s international world of Lain, jazz, electronica, lounge and hip-hop help build a distinctive and contemporary bridge between old and new. Among the “new-mixers” are Mix Master Mike, Bedrock, Mario Caldato, Jr., Herbert, Cornershop, and Los Amigos Invisibles.
“We discovered some boxes labeled ‘Quincy, Jimmy Smith and Oscar, 1969,’ and about fell out of our chairs,” explains Marc Cazorla, executive producer for Quincy Jones Music, who along with producing partner Nancie Stern suggested the release of two separate albums. Jones quickly gave his go ahead. Cazorla explains, “A lot of people don’t really realize the impact that jazz has had on modern music, and Quincy’s always looking to turn people on to something fresh. Both he and Bill were completely supportive of the idea.” There are two original session versions of the near-cult favorite “Hikky-Burr” on The Original Jam Sessions, one instrumental and one with Bill Cosby on vocals. The EMMY Award-nominated song (Jones’ first of four nominations; he won for “Roots”) became the theme for the NBC television show but also a hit single for Jones when he re-recorded the track for his early 1970s GRAMMY® Award-winning album, Smackwater Jack. Mix Master Mike turns it into a modern-day funk-classic with Cosby’s vocals and several choice elements from the original sessions on The New Mixes album. During the original jam sessions, Jones would give ideas or themes to the musicians and then just let them play. It is obvious from “Hikky Burr” and all the other tracks included on The Original Jam Sessions that the jazz giants in the studio were having fun and savoring the opportunity to stretch their jazz legs. The New Mixes mirrored that same unscripted approach with artists encouraged “to take creative liberties.” The result is an irreverent nod to the past¾a recording that deftly retains the funk-loving spirit of the original music while firmly supplanting it in today’s contemporary music scene. “All of these artists were psyched to work with Jones’ music,” says Cazorla, “and Quincy really flipped when I played everything for him.” read more @ amazon »
Much has happened since 2002, when Fischerspooner released their breakout record #1. If that album’s computerized fine art was a trip back to the '80s, another time warp might be necessary to sustain any momentum for Odyssey. The dance music muse, always in motion, has backed off on the electro/new wave sound that Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner used as a platform for their experimental live shows. Upon first listen, it sounds like the duo has chosen to ignore this; if Odyssey isn’t a clone of #1, it’s at least a close relation. There are, however, crucial and clever differences. The record is much friendlier for one thing, a result of warmer sonics and an unclenched pop sense that was only hinted at previously. "Just Let Go" starts off with a familiar Human League keyboard, but right in the middle of the chorus a jagged, garage band guitar riff smears the song’s makeup. Suddenly you don’t recognize them anymore. Where’s that sexy, but vacuous pose Fischer and Spooner used to lean on? There’s no pretension in a song like "A Kick in the Teeth," with its layered and lovely vocal line. Our cheese is now served straight up. The result? Tasty. - Matthew Cooke
The new wave/electro-pop troupe Fischerspooner was formed in New York City in 1998 and has come to incorporate multimedia, strange handmade costumes, dancing, and performance art. Originally a duo formed by classically trained musician Warren Fischer and video-artist and experimental theater performer Casey Spooner for an impromptu rendition of their makeshift track "Indian Cab Fever" at the Astor Place Starbucks, the group grew to over 20 performers, mostly dancers and guest vocalists. These singers have included Cindy Greene, Lizzy Yoder (also of Sweet Thunder), and Korean pop recording artist Mona Trona. The group uses the stage antics of David Bowie and traditional mainstream pop vocalists, along with the campy electronics of Giorgio Moroder or Depeche Mode and vocoders of Trans Am. By the time of their 2000 eponymous debut, Fischerspooner was a certifiable sensation in downtown New York City art galleries and clubs. The single "Emerge" topped European charts, invited a six-song remix EP, and won Fischer and Spooner invitations to international fashion, art, and society happenings. The 2002 album #1 was a re-envisioning of their debut with yet another mix of "Emerge," this time more sedate and electro, following the trend of the times. ~ Daphne Carr, All Music Guide read more @ amazon »
Our lives are so short. The Japanese have a saying that the man who dies with the least regrets dies the happiest. So the challenge is in deciding what makes a life worthwhile. If I were to die tomorrow, what would cause me the most pain would be if I had betrayed the love in my life and the gifts God has given me. If I can keep that foremost in my mind, and act accordingly, embracing what I know in my heart to be true, I could die tomorrow with peace, knowing I’d done my best. An awareness of our imminent mortality is the best friend we have. Act accordingly. Let’s get to work. read more @ amazon »www.nedmassey.com
After a decade as one of the world's most successful dance acts, Faithless's distinct sound has put them at risk of becoming dinosaurs. Thankfully No Roots doesn't rest on the laurels of former glory and delivers something quite special. Sister Bliss's shrill, semi-hard-house synth stabs are all but gone, replaced by less dated sounds and more thoughtful use of them. Tempos are lower and song structure plays a more valuable part, for No Roots is in fact only two gigantic, epic songs, with each track a progression on the previous one and clever segues leading into the next. The only song that doesn't fall into "Parts 1 & 2" is the lead single version of "Mass Destruction" tacked on the end; it's a funky, breaks-based tune with Maxi Jazz's trademark vocal (used sparingly throughout the album) over live bass and guitars. Anyone who's seen Faithless live knows how they can jam around their back catalog, making medleys and breakdowns of epic proportions: No Roots is a studio realization of that. Highlighted by "I Want More," downbeat tunes build until their climax when an uptempo number will kick in. "Sweep" is simply a 909 drum and percussion loop with synth flourishes that drops into "Miss U Less, See U More," a classic house tune that closes part one of the album. Something other than a collection of hands-in-the-air floor-fillers and downbeat songs to chill out to, No Roots should be listened to in its entirety. It's a cohesive body of work that builds and dips in all the right places. -- David Trueman read more @ amazon »www.faithless.co.uk
Simple Kid is a walking, talking, falling down pop paradox. the sharpest, most complex, poisonous, saddest and funny lyricist trading under a flimsy disguise of idiocy
Simple Kid #1 : With interest in the likes of Drake and Buckley being invigorated in recent years, there has been a surge in the number of troubadours in the music world. While most seem to happily follow the footsteps of Messrs Drake, Buckley (x2) and Dylan, Simple Kid embellishes his influences with his own experimental samples and insightful, unique lyrical style. Imagine Dylan and Badly Drawn Boy fighting with Casio keyboards and you start to get the idea. Standout tracks such as 'Staring At The Sun' and 'Average Man' are thrilling and joyous, and the rest of the songs are great fun. An assured debut that is not afraid to be different, and promises much more in the future. read more @ amazon »
The new avant-garde instrumentals by composer Jimbeau Walsh, a soundtrack for the movie of your dreams. Imagine yourself on a secluded beach in Hawaii, and, tuning into the night stars, hearing the ethereal news from afar.
Blessed Doodles - Jimbeau Walsh
Jimbeau Walsh has been a musician most of his life, and a composer for many, many years. He was a professional drummer for over 20 years and wrote his first song at age 16. An avant-garde composer, he writes in many genres and could be considered both spiritual and secular at the same time, but always modern. His latest release, "Blessed Doodles," combines his instrumental expertise and percussive grooves with beautiful and ambient melodies. read more @ amazon »
Songs We Sing is a winding collection, running the stylistic and historic gamut of pop music; hues of ragtime, folk, psychedelia, country, and rock are cast liberally across the album. Songs We Sing recalls a time when America was under the spell of such UK imports as Donovan and Van Morrison. The man responsible for this throwback to simpler times is 23 year-old Matt Costa. At age 12, Costa received his first guitar but it was quickly shelved and replaced with a more “thrilling” gift: a skateboard. Costa compensated for his late start skateboarding with intense dedication to the sport and in a matter of years nearly turned pro. Three years ago that path shifted drastically when Matt shattered his leg in a skateboarding accident. The injury required eighteen months of recovery and rehabilitation. During that downtime, Matt directed his energy, passion and talent toward the guitar, writing and recording simple tunes. Initially, a mini tape recorder served as his crude studio. Matt’s songwriting later flourished when he invested in a 4-track recorder. Two years ago, Matt’s homemade demo began circulating amongst friends and acquaintances in and around his hometown of Huntington Beach, California. One copy found its way into the hands of No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont. Costa made such an impression that Dumont offered to record more demos for him in his home studio. Those first recordings led to a self-titled 5 song EP that Costa and Dumont distributed themselves. As interest in the EP grew, the two were already deep into the sessions that led to Songs We Sing. Considering Dumont’s experience as a songwriter, one might expect him to have taken a more active role in the songwriting process. This however, was no usual mentorship, as Dumont remained behind the control board, offering encouragement, more interested in capturing Matt’s talent than in shaping the songs himself. Phil Ek (Modest Mouse, The Shins) applied the finishing touches, mixing the twelve tracks that have become Songs We Sing. Archetypal themes run throughout Songs We Sing. Evil, love, nature, poverty and the universe itself all make appearances. Costa approaches these topics without posture and without politics. As the narrator in “Cold December” Costa sings, “I have not failed to be what you’d expect of me / Swallowing glass just to stay pure.” Costa doesn’t put on an act and he makes no effort to meet anyone’s expectations. He re-presents his life in a mixture of words and melody, and the seeming effortlessness with which he performs leaves one wondering why songwriting isn't a more common form of communication. Matt Costa’s skill with a guitar is immediately apparent, especially in a live setting. He has supported a variety of artists including Built To Spill, Lou Barlow, Pinback and James Mercer from the Shins. A 2005 summer tour with label mate Jack Johnson opened Costa’s eyes to the rigors of touring. Taking the stage as the opening act for one of the most anticipated tours of the year can allow you to shine, or lay bare your weaknesses, but Costa held his own on the road. Whether it be solo, armed only with an acoustic guitar, or backed by a collection of musicians, his performance draws you in and you are left with no choice but to listen to the stories he has to tell. Costa’s flexibility and willingness to embrace almost any situation, musical or otherwise, keeps Songs We Sing fresh and free from categorization. It’s an unexpected effort from a young man in the unlikely suburban surroundings of Huntington Beach: a city whose reputation is built on surfers and skaters, not brown-eyed bards with compelling voices. read more @ amazon »www.mattcosta.com
Beck is bummed. Really bummed. And if song titles such as "Lost Cause," "Lonesome Tears," "Already Dead," and "Nothing I Haven't Seen" don't make the point, his achingly sad lyrics and Sea Change's unerringly downcast sound do. While 1998's Mutations arguably the singer-songwriter's masterwork and Sea Change's spiritual cousin--was filled with unflinching self-examination, moments of levity were found in songs like "Tropicalia." Not so on Sea Change. Beck's woozy, almost narcoleptic delivery seems to amplify the set's sense of ennui. But sad isn't necessarily bad, and despite the somber tone, there's much to praise, not the least of which is the return of producer Nigel Goderich (Mutations, Radiohead ) who wraps Beck's gloom in a dreamy, warm blanket of soft strings and floating bleeps and gurgles. Like Daniel Lanois , Goderich is all about vibe, and even Beck's most bare-bones songs benefit from billowy atmospherics. That's especially true of "Paper Tiger," a restless, slowly building epic improbably propelled by a languid orchestra and Beck's expressionless drone. The inky black feel of "Round the Bend"--a glacially slow dirge with muffled vocals--may be the darkest thing Beck's ever written, not counting the very grim "Already Dead." Whatever's going on in Beck's world, at least we know he's purging, which, all things considered, may be better for his soul than ours. --Kim Hughes read more @ amazon »www.beck.com
Colin D’Cruz got into music professionally as a bassplayer with resident bands at five star hotels. Performing every night on yearly contracts with different bands laid strong foundations for his musical growth. From nightclubs to the concert stage today, Colin has played just about every form of music from jazz, rock and pop to funk and fusion. Being open minded with a best is yet to come philosophy helped in widening his musical horizons and developing an individual style. Colin’s credentials include several concerts for Jazz-India, some of which he performed as a member of backup bands for international visiting artistes. His experience with so many bands and musical styles led him to form the Brown Indian Band, a melting pot for music from all over the world.
Dan Stewart, once the best kept secret in country music; is about to blow his cover with the release of his new album “Thank You” He left country music’s Mecca, Nashville, for the glitter of Las Vegas. While in Nashville he recorded demos for several of the industry’s top music companies and then decided to strike out on his own. Many of his songs have hit the airwaves on country radio: on mega-station KZLA in Los Angeles and the Interstate Radio Network out of Nashville. Always creating an immediate buzz with listeners and effusive praise from the disc jockeys; Dan has a steadfast belief in his ability with a song and he always knew that if he could just get it heard , that would be half the battle. With the advent of Internet sites like MP3.com and it’s legion of imitators, Dan saw an opportunity to take his music to his most enthusiastic supporters - the listeners. Posting his music on the site , he began moving up the charts with upwards of 200 hits per day. Soon, his songs “Thank You’ and “Nothing But Your Lovin’ Will Do” were gaining him featured artist status on MP3 sites all over the Web and the World. Dan is currently represented by renowned entertainment attorney, Owen J. Sloane, whose glittering talent roster includes Matchbox 20, Elton John and Kenny Rogers. He and Sloane plan a showcase in Nashville in the near future and a recording session of new songs. read more @ reverbnation.com »