Katie Costello is a true rebel singer-songwriter

A few years back, Katie Costello became somewhat of a legend among independent artists when she created an entire music video from her iPhone 4.

After what seems like an eternity, Costello has returned with a new EP that is easily one of the best of 2015.  Her new five-track EP, Rebel Pop Singer Songwriter, has been released on a limited basis, but belongs in the hands of every serious music lover.

According to Costello,”This EP is about following your dreams, fighting for what’s right, listening to your heart, and connecting to a bigger picture . . . This EP is dedicated towards the mission of  building a “New World” filled with love, one step at a time.”

With tracks produced by Robbie G (New York Graffiti, New World and Roses) and Seth Jones (Up in the Air and Why Does my Heart Break?) and written by Costello with help from Robert Guariglia (New York Graffiti, New World and Roses), Seth Jones and Michelle Lewis (Up in the Air) and Seth Jones (Why Does my Heart Break?), every song delivers its message in a way that few other artists have mastered – from the heart of the writer directly to the heart of the listener.

She has also released a video for the first track, “New York Graffiti,” which captures some of the magic of an indie artist who isn’t afraid to busk in New York’s Washington Square Park.  Check it out below:

Throughout her career, Costello has consistently delivered some of the best content of any musical artist, signed or not.  Her latest EP is just further proof that her music belongs to the masses.  Thank you Ms. Costello for restoring our faith in the power of music to change our lives and make this a better world.

Women in entertainment: Katie Garibaldi, troubadour to the Golden Gates

Merry Christmas – Indie Voice to pleased to present the final Women in Entertainment profile for 2015, shining the spotlight on San Francisco own’s Katie Garibaldi, singer-songwriter extraordinaire, label owner and the unofficial troubadour to the Golden Gate city.  She also recently obtained an endorsement deal with Breedlove Stringed Instruments, who worked with her to build a new custom Master Class guitar.

Garibaldi, who has been compared to the likes of Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile, Ani DiFranco, Fiona Apple, Jewel and Taylor Swift, continues to play regularly in her San Francisco Bay Area home base  at such premier music clubs as Hotel Utah, The Little FoxCafe Du Nord, and Neck Of The Woods.  She has also toured nationally, including frequent stops in Nashville where she has performed at Music City’s (world-famous) Bluebird Cafe.

Garibaldi is also an innovative entrepreneur and the owner of her own label, Living Dream Music.  She has acquired a devoted fan base, due in no small part to her incredibly engaging live shows and the personal connection she has developed with her listeners through her music.  Regardless of whether she is performing by herself or with a band, Garibaldi shares her emotions with her audience through melodic and catchy songs and soulfully expressive vocals, creating a distinct sound that is both pop and country with a tinge of Americana.

A prolific writer, she recently released her seventh full-length album, Follow Your Heart, which was recorded at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Recording Studios in San Francisco and engineered by Ian Pellicci.  The album features some of Garibaldi’s most personal songs, many of which are inspired by her recent marriage, reflecting back to her simple yet powerful message of the importance of having the conviction to follow one’s heart.  The album also includes performances by several notable musicians, including the Magik*Magik Orchestra.

Follow Your Heart is the first full-length release of all new compositions since her award winning Next Ride Out album in 2009.   During those six years, she has continued to tour the country, building her brand DIY-style with help from her friends in Nashville and elsewhere, and has garnered critical acclaim from both press and peers.

Guitar Player magazine called her “a gifted songwriter with a gorgeous voice,” while Music Connection magazine wrote “Garibaldi is blessed with a sweet and pure soprano, and we hear a sincerity in this artist that is real.”   Music Connection also included Garibaldi on their annual list of the Top 100 Live Unsigned Artists, while her peers in Songsalive! voted her the Songwriter of the Year award.  Garibaldi is an active voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and the current Emerging Artist Of The Year winner from the Indie Music Channel 2015 Awards.   Most recently, Bay Area music blog The Deli Magazine named Garibaldi the San Francisco Artist Of The Month for September 2015.

What inspires Garibaldi?  “My relationship with my husband inspires me a lot, as I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of writing love songs that are inspired by him. Also, I get really inspired to write when I’m touring, seeing different cities and just soaking up all of the various adventures that come with traveling and new experiences. I always seem to come back home with an itch to write something new. And in general, my family and my faith have always inspired me to be myself, do what I love, and follow my dreams, which keeps me motivated as a person, as well as an artist and songwriter.”

Where does she see herself in the future?  “Regarding the near future, I’m working on wrapping up my new EP, which I’m very excited about and planning to release it sometime in the early part of 2016. The EP consists of five new songs that I recorded in Nashville with some extremely talented musicians. These songs are a bit of a departure from my usual song topics, where I focus more on self-discovery and faith. They’re also a bit different sonically speaking from my last album, being more stripped down in production and feature a lot of intricate string arrangements. I can’t wait for people to hear them! It’s the latest piece of my heart and soul. I’ll be promoting and touring with the new release next year, and also plan to release a new music video for one of the songs leading up to the release, which I’ll be working on soon. As far as long term plans, I hope to keep living my dreams, making and sharing music, and growing my business as an artist/songwriter to encompass larger opportunities in this industry. ”

To find out more about this artist, check out  her website and Facebook pages, follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to her YouTube channel.


Kanisha K’s got the Christmas spirit

We introduced you to this amazing artist in August 2014 through an article on Examiner.com.   Kanisha K has now released a music video for her cover of “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” and we couldn’t be happier.

The video is directed by Barry and  Derek Elz and is done in the style of a 1940’s era big band tune.

This is the second year in a row that Kanisha has released a Christmas video.  Last year’s offering was “I Found Love.”

The video is gaining popularity and adds on multiple platforms and was recently the #1 most added song on the FMQB chart.  Among those adds are Video Jam, Video Diversity and Cutting Edge, as well as Pulse TV.

Enjoy Kanisha’s new video – consider it our Christmas gift to  you.

For for information on this amazing artist, check out her website and Facebook pages, follow her on Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to her YouTube channel.

Thanks to Jennifer Lyneis of Ue3 Promotions for turning us on to this voice of the future.



Women in entertainment: Tracy Byrnes, keeping the beat alive

Happy Monday.  Let’s take a break from our remembrances of Pearl Harbor Day and take a moment to shine the Women in Entertainment spotlight on another incredible indie musician, Tracy Byrnes, one-half of the alt-americana band The Fallen Stars and the keeper of the beat for others, including Riddle & the Stars and the Leaves on the Wind Music Project.

Growing up to the soundtrack of folk music of the 70’s and her parents’ love of Tom Rush, Bonnie Raitt, Janis Ian and Bruce Springsteen, Byrnes always seemed destined for music, whether performing in high school musicals, internationally-touring folk groups or college choir.   This background culminated in her current role as the bassist and vocalist for The Fallen Stars where she combines her narrative songwriting style with the power of a Springsteen delivery.

Byrnes was drawn to the bass by its design and function as the one that holds it together and keeps everyone grounded.  Her bass of choice is a Rickenbacker 4001 that was made the week after she was born.  “I love how the bass is both rhythm and melody and I’m in control of the heartbeat of the song,” explained Byrnes.

She and her husband, Bobbo Byrnes, co-founded The Fallen Stars, who have earned the titles “Best Live Acoustic Band” and “Best Country/Americana Band” from the OC Music Awards’; “Best Live Acoustic Band” and “Best Live Rock Band’ from the SoCal Live Music Competition, and most recently, “Best Live Band” from the OC Weekly.  They have released a total of five albums while completing multiple tours throughout the United States and Europe, including stints in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Besides her work with The Fallen Stars, Byrnes has also released two CDs and toured with Riddle & The Stars, a band consisting of both Tracy and Bobbo as well as Melbourne, Australia’s Ben Riddle, whom they met while touring together in Europe.

Byrnes’ most recent collaboration is the creation of the Leaves On The Wind Music Project, a fan project striving to write, record and release an original song inspired by each and every episode of the cult sci-fi TV show Firefly.  As a result of this project, The Fallen Stars have become a global sponsor for the fan-based charity organization Can’t Stop the Serenity, which helps raise money for Equality Now, an organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights for women and girls around the world.  A portion of the proceeds of every Leaves on the Wind Music Project sale will be donated by The Fallen Stars to Equality Now.

What inspires Brynes?  “I’m always inspired by the next song and seeing where it will take us.”

What does Byrnes plan for the future?  “To continue following Bobbo from one disaster to another!  No!  Our tours are not disasters!  We’re going to write the third installment of our “Leaves On The Wind Music Project”, release a new Riddle & The Stars CD in the spring and tour the United States in the spring before heading to Europe in the fall.”

To find out more about this amazing artist, click on the links above, visit their website, follow her (and her projects) on Twitter, and subscribe to their various YouTube channels.

Women in entertainment: Janelle Barreto, rocking the indie world

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and had the chance to spend time with family and friends.  Indie Voice Blog is so thankful to be able to continue its series on Women in Entertainment, and shine a spotlight on one of LA’s hardest rocking indie voices, Janelle Barreto, current lead singer of the indie-pop-punk-rock band ROCKET.

Barreto grew up in Southern California where she first began performing on stage in musicals, winning local talent competitions and landing a Press Telegram Award in Performing Arts.  Immediately after high school, she was discovered by and signed to her first development/production deal with Howling Dog Productions.  Shortly thereafter she recorded several 12” singles and began showcasing at local dance clubs and venues, which led to her being signed to Solar/Sony Records as part of an all female pop group.

Barreto soon realized that pop music was not her calling, either musically or lyrically, and began to write her own original alternative rock material.   This led to her co-founding the alternative indie rock band Exploiting Eve, which built a huge local following in Los Angeles and performed at some of best and largest of the local venues, including House of Blues (both Sunset Strip and Downtown Disney), BB King Blues Club, The El Rey Theater, Huntington Beach Pier, Santa Monica Pier, Gay Pride Fest, Key Club, Viper Room, Roxy Theater, and countless others.

We first met Barreto back around 2001.  The band was starting to take off, having just released their second CD, Getting Thru, and was getting airplay from LA legendary rock station, KLOS.  DK Films created a live music video for the band from a show held at the world famous Whisky-a-go-go in 2002.

After winning numerous awards, she decided to continue her music education by returning to school and graduating in Music Theory and Guitar from the Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena.

Barreto left the band around 2007 to pursue solo musical aspirations.  She spent several years performing as a singer-songwriter and as a studio vocalist, all the while perfecting her songwriting chops.  When The Pills, an LA indie rock band, lost their lead singer, Barreto answered the call, and Rocket was born.

Based out of Los Angeles with music in the vein of Paramore, Foo Fighters, Joan Jett and Stone Temple Pilots, Rocket recently released an amazing music video for their single “HEY BABY” as a follow-up to their radio single and current EP “The Singles.”

Rocket is currently enjoying success at commercial Alternative Radio, receiving national airplay on such stations as KROQ 106.7 “Rodney on the Roq” (Los Angeles); Indie 103.1 “Go Deep” (Los Angeles); East Atlanta Village Radio – Regular Rotation (Atlanta, GA); FM 90 KACV Regular Rotation including Featured Artist interview “Under the Radar” & “The Indie Show” (Amarillo, TX), KRZQ 104.1 The Real Alternative “New Music Show” (Reno, NV); WRIF2 101.1 “Undercover Sound System” (Detroit, MI); WLKK 107.7 “Underground Collective” (Buffalo, NY).  At the same time, the band has provided tour support to some of rock’s biggest and most infamous bands, including Puddle of Mudd, Missing Persons, Bow Wow Wow and Gene Loves Jezebel.

Here’s what a couple of local LA music critics had to say about Barreto and Rocket:

“We think the band is ready for larger venues and would not be surprised if we hear their music placed in TV commercials and movies very soon. . . Front-woman Janelle Barreto, always impresses with her powerhouse vocals and stage presence.  She is literally unstoppable.”  (Renee Silverman, AXS.com).

“Barreto’s diva stage presence fits well with her voice, which seems to project and reverberate throughout a crowd with the depth and power of a great rock voice.”  (Mari Fong Burr, Campus Circle Magazine)

But what inspires Barreto?  “My greatest inspiration comes from a desire to fulfill my destiny of being a messenger.  The influence, energy and power that music and lyrics have to move, change and effect people is very special.  I feel honored and grateful to be blessed with this gift, so I look to care for it, and to maximize its use.  I create songs to have people be reflective, engaged, taken on an emotional journey, and be evolved by my music and words.  I’m also inspired by everyday things like beauty, kindness, love, loyalty, friendship, achievement, and coincidence.”

The band has also received critical support, including the 2015 Best Rock Band award from the LA Music Critic and Best Music Video for “Hey Baby” at the Other Venice Film Festival.  In addition, Rocket was selected by World Arts Music and I am Musicology to perform at their Touring Kick-Off event at the historic Ivar Theater.  They also participated in the Levitt Pavilion “Emerging Artist” Summer Concert Series.

What does the future hold for Barreto and Rocket?  “On a personal perspective, as long as I can breathe and I’m here in this existence (forever how long that is), I will sing and make music. You never know when the ride is going to end, so I might as well spend as many moments doing the thing that I love the most, and feel I was put here to do. So, I will continue to write songs and make records for as long as I can. On a business aspect and more in the near future, for my band Rocket, our focus is on collaborating with a good record label to get us to higher heights, help us complete a new album and get radio play. Ultimately we aim to tour, so more music lovers can be exposed to and influenced by our art.”

Keep up with Barreto and Rocket by checking out their website and Facebook pages, following them on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribing to their YouTube channel.