Get it or forget it: Katie Garibaldi, Bobbo Byrnes, Lauren Adams

We’re back with another edition of Get it or Forget It.  Due to my work schedule, I will not be able to publish any reviews tomorrow, so this will have to do until Sunday.  But worry not, we have three amazing artists for you today who will definitely keep you company until our next review.


Artist NameKatie Garibaldi

Album NameRooted Clarity

Label:  None

Genre:  Singer Songwriter Acoustic Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Delightful; 2.  I Am; 3.  In my Wildest Dreams; 4.  On my Own; 5.  Bird in a Cage 

Publicist:  None

Review:  Katie Garibaldi has been making quite a name for herself within the Americana community, where there seems to be little emphasis on whether or not an artist is on a label.  Lovers of Americana music seem to place a value on the music and not the source in determining where they give their support.  Maybe the rest of the music industry could learn something from this practice.  At any rate, Garibaldi has a voice and style of music that throws back to a time when music was purer and simpler, in the vein of Patsy Cline, Barbara Mandrell and Lynn Anderson.  Take for example the first track, “Delightful,” which has been nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media award, and has been released as a music video.

The rest of the EP is just as wonderful.  Garibaldi has a special ability to wow us with the simplicity of good music and her amazing voice.  The best track in our humble opinion is “On my Own.”

Recommendation:  If you love soaring vocals and great music that features mandolin, fiddle, and strings, then this is definitely the EP for you.  Indie Voice Blog is proud to give Rooted Clarity a rating of Get It.


Artist NameBobbo Byrnes

Album NameMotel Americana

Label:  Songs & Whispers

Genre:  Singer Songwriter Acoustic Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Hold Me; 2.  To her Door; 3.  APB; 4.  Hate This Town; 5.  I may Never Know; 6.  Heading South; 7.  Millsboro; 8.  Solitaire; 9.  No Expectations; 10.  Nothing Needs to be Said; 11.  1, 2, 3; 12.  Long way to Nashville 

Publicist:  None

Review:  Anyone who has spent any time in Southern California has probably been exposed to the music of Bobbo Byrnes, one half of The Fallen Stars, a band praised as one of the next generation of Americana bands.   Even though this is a solo album, Byrnes continues to rely on his wife Tracy’s mad bass skills and powerful backing vocals, as well as the skills of bandmate Ben Riddle of Byrnes’ other band, Riddle and the Stars.  In fact, many of the songs contained on this album have been performed at some time by one or both of those bands.   But it is the shear genius of Byrnes, who by the way contributes vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, mandolin, pedal steel, dobro, tricone, accordion, mandoguitar, tenor guitar, piano, B3 organ, dumpster, harmonica, drums and monotron to the mix, that is demonstrated in 12 amazing songs, nine of which Byrnes either wrote or co-wrote.  Strongest tracks include “Hold Me,” “APB,” “Hate This Town,” “I may Never Know,” “No Expectation,” and “1, 2, 3.”

Recommendation:  Byrnes is becoming one of the hardest working musicians in the Americana community, and his first solo album is further proof of his abilities.  Motel Americana is a definite Get It if you love great music.


Artist NameLauren Adams

Album NameSomewhere Else

Label:  None

Genre:  Singer Songwriter Acoustic Americana

Track Listing:  1.  It Takes What it Takes; 2.  Somewhere Else; 3.  Henry (from Saginaw, MI); 4.  Heavy, Heavy Heart; 5.  Miss You; 6.  The Shoe Fits; 7.  Oh Marie; 8.  Between me and You; 9.  We try Harder; 10.  Bayview Drive; 11.  National Cheer up the Lonely Day; 12.  Seminole Wind 

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Lauren Adams is one of the predominant female voices in Americana music today, as well as a very talented voice over artist.  On her latest offering she gives us more amazing tidbits that are worthy of your attention, including an amazing cover and inspiring arrangement of John Anderson’s seminal hit, “Seminole Wind.”  Adams also continues to support the Americana music community by incorporating the musical abilities of some of its best musicians on her projects, and the list of those who have contributed to this project is a who’s who of some of the best and brightest.   This is one of those albums that you can listen to from start to finish and never be bored, as the gamut of Americana music is revealed in the musical gems contained within this release.  The strongest tracks are “It Takes What it Takes,” “Miss You,” “Oh Marie,” “We try Harder,” “Bayview Drive,” and “Seminole Wind.”

Recommendation:  It is hard to believe that Adams has been performing for the past 38 years, as her music is always fresh and new.  This is by far one of her best offerings to date, and Indie Voice Blog is proud to give it a rating of “You Better Get it Now!”

Get it or Forget it: Freddy & Francine, Chi McClean, Shannon Hurley

Day two of our eight day album review challenge brings us three more reviews.  We are amazed at the quality and quantity of amazing music within the indie music community.  Sit back and enjoy these reviews as we help you determine who you should check out and who is worthy of your hard-earned entertainment dollars.


Artist NameFreddy & Francine

Album NameGung Ho

Label:  F&F Records

Genre:  Country Folk Americana

Track Listing:  1.  If you Want Me; 2.  I get the Feeling; 3.  Something’s Gotta Give; 4.  Tryin’ Hard to Love You; 5.  Duet; 6.  Father’s Daughter; 7.  Ray’s Song; 8.  The Moment; 9.  Sideman; 10.  You go to my Head; 11.  South of my Love; 12.  The World to Me

 Publicist: The Press House

Review:  Freddy & Francine have slowly built up a rabid fan base in their native Los Angeles, and packed the venue for their CD release show at the Hotel Café back in June.  Composed of Lee Ferris and Bianca Caruso, the group has already won the LA Music Critic Award for best pop band for the first half of 2016.  Just a casual listen to their latest CD gives the listener an understanding as to why this duo has become so popular.  Their sound can be considered Americana, folk, pop or country, but regardless of the genre you place it in, the result is some of the finest music coming out of Los Angeles today.  From the first track “If You Want Me” all the way through the final track “The World to Me,” Freddy & Francine demonstrate that they have what it takes to burst forth from their indie beginnings and make it in this tough music business.  Best tracks include “If you Want Me,” “I get the Feeling,” “Ray’s Song,” “The Moment,” and “South of my Love.”

Recommendation:  Freddy & Francine definitely have what it takes to be making music for a long time to come.  This album is further proof that you can expect great things from this band, and is definitely worthy of a Get It rating.


Artist NameChi McClean

Album NameLet me In

Label:  None

Genre:  Singer-Songwriter Acoustic Country Rock

Track Listing:  1.  I Save You; 2.  Build me Up; 3.  Life got in the Way; 4.  Let me In; 5.  It Don’t Matter; 6.  It’s Alright; 7.  Thought I’d Never; 8.  A Thing or Three

 Publicist:  None

Review:  Chi McClean has quietly become one of the best indie musicians you have probably never heard of.  We have known McClean for quite a few years, and his latest CD is his best yet, although we feel that it only begins to touch the musical genius that he possesses.  His songs could easily make the transition to college radio and even mainstream country radio.  The first track, “I Save You,” belongs on the same playlist with Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Josh Kelley and Maroon 5.  There isn’t a weak song on this CD.  McClean’s brilliant writing shines forth on each track, but is especially highlighted on “I Save You,” “Life Got in the Way,” “It’s Alright,” and “Thought I’d Never.”

Recommendation:  You can mark it on your calendar that Indie Voice Blog predicts that Chi McClean will soon become a household name.  Of all the albums we have reviewed this year, this one is definitely in the top 3 and receives not only a Get It rating, but a “You must be crazy if you don’t have this CD in your library” rating.


Artist NameShannon Hurley

Album NameSwitch it On

Label:  Lenore Records

Genre:  Singer Songwriter Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Switch it On; 2.  Heartbeat on the Radio; 3.  What Will it Take; 4.  Fall From Grace; 5.  Behind the Clouds; 6.  Nightingale; 7.  I’ll Turn it On; 8.  Sweet Lovin’ Ways; 9.  Back to my Heart; 10.  Only Love 

Publicist:  None

Review:  Whether playing solo or with her husband in the dynamic duo Lovers & Poets, Shannon Hurley is a force of nature.  Her dynamic vocals coupled with her incredible keys and electronica create a unique sound in the world of indie music.  Her creative genius is easily seen in this amazing collection of songs, as well as in the innovative music videos that she creates.  Check out the video for track two, “Heartbeat on the Radio,” if you need further proof.

Best tracks include “Heartbeat on the Radio,” “What Will it Take,” “Behind the Clouds,” and “Back to my Heart.”

Recommendation:  Hurley’s potential as an artist seems to be unlimited.  She gets better with each project, and this CD is one of her best yet.  We are pleased to give Switch it On an unmitigated Get It rating.

Get it or Forget it: Emily Clibourn, One From Many, Alexis Keegan

So much indie music has been crossing my desk lately.  I just realized today that I have 24 of them that need reviews, so I’m challenging myself to write reviews on them all in the next eight days.  With that goal in mind, here are the reviews of the first three.


Artist NameEmily Clibourn

Album NameBlow

Label:  None

Genre:  Singer-songwriter pop

Track Listing:  1.  Beautiful Girls; 2.  Blow; 3.  Burgundy; 4.  Fly; 5.  Fools Gold; 6.  Middle of the Night; 7.  Black Velvet; 8.  For the Love; 9.  Die to the Dream 

Publicist:  None

Review:  The first thing a listener will notice about Emily Clibourn’s music is her voice, which immediately grabs your attention with its sweet and tangy sound.  The lyrics also invade your mind and set upon their mission to let you know that Clibourn is a force to be reckoned with.   This album contains nine beautiful songs about love and its many facets, and is the type of music you want to hear when you are unwinding after a long day.  It provides the perfect soundtrack when you want to forget the past and clear your mind.  Every song accomplishes this mission, and every lover of good relaxing music should definitely have this one in their musical library.  Best tracks include the title track, “Beautiful Girls, “Fools Gold,” and “For the Love.”

Recommendation:  Clibourn is a natural storyteller with a killer voice that surrounds you with the pureness of fresh fallen snow.  We are happy to give this a most definite Get It rating.


Artist NameOne From Many

Album Name:  29:11

Label:  Olea Records

Genre:  Indie Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Like a Ghost; 2.  These Three Words; 3.  Apology; 4.  Promise Forever; 5.  Afterglow 

Publicist:  Ue3 Promotions

Review:  One From Many, or O.F.M., may remind you of such groups as One Republic or Imagine Dragons, but with their own distinct approach to the music.   The music is pure anthemic rock with a power ballad mentality that is great to listen to while you are living life.  The vocals soar over just the right amount of acoustical instrumentation, creating a melody that grabs your attention and makes you want to sing along at the top of your voice.  Special recognition to “Promise Forever,” which features label mate Alexis Keegan, but every song on this EP is worthy of repeated listens.

Recommendation:  Most definitely, Get It.  You’ll be glad you did.


Artist NameAlexis Keegan

Album Name:  Endless Road

Label:  Olea Records

Genre:  R&B-tinged pop

Track Listing:  1.  Empty Heart; 2.  Nobody Compares; 3.  Last Song; 4.  There Will be Love; 5.  Everything 

Publicist:  Ue3 Promotions

Review:  Alexis Keegan’s music is full of soul, and is reflected in this perfect collection, with a sound that is part Taylor Dayne, part Pink, but totally incredible.  These songs belong on the radio, with their catchy lyrics, grooving beat, and a voice that needs to be heard.  It is next to impossible to just sit and listen to these tunes which truly make the listener want to get up and dance.  Keegan is the voice of a new generation, and should be coming to a radio station near you in the very future.  This is definitely an artist to watch, and all five songs should be on your play list.

Recommendation:  Keegan has a special gift that she happily shares with every listener.  If you love music that makes you want to move, then this EP should definitely be on your Get It list.


The Spider Accomplice has taken its fans captive with the release of ‘The Abduction’

Back in the day, concept albums were the norm for many rock bands.  The Spider Accomplice (TSA) has taken the concept album to a new height with the release of their new EP, the second installment of their Los Angeles trilogy.

Their first EP, Los Angeles:  The Trap, was well conceived and set a pretty high bar for indie rock.  That EP garnered the band their first LA Music Critic Awards for Best EP and Best Rock Band for the second half of 2015.   TSA followed that up with a series of videos called Los Angeles:  The Abduction, which likewise won the LA Music Critic Award for the first half of 2016 for best video series.

TSA’s newest EP, Los Angeles:  The Abduction, is scheduled to be released on October 1, and Indie Voice Blog was one of the outlets fortunate enough to receive an advance copy.  In all honesty, this release could be the premier event of the year.

The new EP doesn’t just live up to the hype, it smashes it into little pieces and raises the bar once again.  The first song, “Bromelaid,” seamlessly joins the two EPs together as it segues from The Trap into The Abduction.  As the narration ends and the song begins, it becomes obvious that the listener is about to be blown away, as the perfect beat of Justin Lee Dixon on drums lays a firm foundation for the otherworldly guitar riffs of Arno Numisto, topped off with the cherry that is the incredible voice of lead singer VK Lynne.

Hats off to the amazing work of producer Steve Kravac (Blink 182, Less Than Jake, MxPx), who has harnessed the power of this super nova band and crafted an EP worthy of the members of TSA.  Kudos also to Andrew Faust (Dead Winter, Midnight Shinigami), a former collaborator who has returned to provide perfect bass and backing vocals that complement and complete TSA’s total package.

Every song on this EP builds on the foundation laid by the song before it, spinning a story that will not be complete until the third EP is released.  Notwithstanding the amazing story that is unfolding on their first two EPs, these songs are good enough to stand alone, and are most worthy of radio airplay, especially “You Still Lie.
Los Angeles:  The Abduction returns us to the era of prog rock, and is most worthy of every music lover’s attention.  It easily will become one of your favorite musical treasures and should be shared with all of your closest friends.  Indie Voice Blog is proud to give TSA its highest recommendation and, on the five star system, gives it 17 stars.
Check out the band’s website and Facebook pages, follow them on Twitter and Instagram and definitely subscribe to their YouTube channel.  You can order the EP through Bandcamp.


Captiva reminds you to ‘Check Your System’

Kansas City, Missouri based alternative indie rock band Captiva is back on the scene with the release of their latest single “Check Your System” on September 27.  The band debuted their self-titled EP in December 2015, and have not stopped writing, recording and performing since then.  Check out this interview with the band by the amazing Piper of Kids Interview Bands.

The band, composed of Pat McQuaid on lead guitar and vocals, JJ Ries on guitar, vocals and percussion, Nick Riffle on bass and Hank Wiedel on drums, was formed in October 2013.  They first started gaining national attention in early 2014 at college campuses in the Midwest before appearing at such music festivals as Backwoods Music Festival, Fashion Meets Music Festival, SXSW, Boulevardia, Audiofeed Festival and Middle of the Map Fest.

Captiva began getting serious airplay on college radio stations across the nation in 2015 and came to the attention of the Warner Music Group.   Since then they have opened for major acts including Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, The Expendables, The Wild Feathers and The Lonely Biscuits.

They joined up with Tim Gutschenritter (National Fire Theory) and producer Jeremy Wilson (Temple Sounds) to record their debut EP.  The EP has received critical acclaim and spawned two singles, “Road to Ruin” and “Chemicals.”

Captiva has been working on their debut album, Pay No Mind, which has spawned its first single, “Check Your System,” a hard rock song that bodes well for the band.  Next up will be the release of their Daytrotter session, followed by an appearance on the television show 38 the Spot and their very own Sofar Sounds session in nearby St. Louis.

For more on the boys of Captiva, check out their website and Facebook pages, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, and don’t forget to subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Indie-pop princess Katie Costello reveals her mystery

If you’ve followed this writer’s past articles, then you know that one of his favorite indie artists is Katie Costello, a young lady who calls New York her home, and who is truly the Princess of indie pop and artistic activism.

REBEL POP Records and Indie Voice Blog are pleased to announce that Ms. Costello has revealed another of her masterpieces with the release of her latest EP From the Vault and the accompanying music video for her single, “A Beautiful Mystery.”

This five-song EP is a teaser for Costello’s upcoming full-length album, which is scheduled for release in early 2017.  The new album will be her first full length project since Lamplight was released in 2011.

“Silver and Gold” kicks off From the Vault with the kinetic energy fans have come to expect from Costello.  It is fast and upbeat, and is the perfect opening salvo for this musical treat.  Costello’s pure sweet voice rises above the musical accompaniment to lift the spirits of the listener.

The second track, “I’ll be Here,” is a softer ballad, but it still evokes hope as Costello promises that she will always be there.   It is a fitting description for Costello, whose activism and  social work continue to bring hope in a time when many things are going wrong.

“A Beautiful Mystery,” the third track, has already received placements in the Claire Danes’ film As Cool as I Am, as well as on MTV’s hit show Teen Wolf.  As you can see and hear from the music video above, this song is amazing and fun.

Maia Sharp, a gifted songwriter who has penned hit songs for such artists as Bonnie Raitt, joins with Costello to write the fourth track, “Lights,” which has a distinctly jazzy sound.  Costello’s airy voice and lyrics fit the mood perfectly.

Last but certainly not least, the final track, “Here & Now,” has also gotten some advance publicity with its use in a Kellogg’s commercial.  It’s impossible not to smile as you listen to this positive message and memorable beat.

Costello has once again given us music with substance in a world of plastic candy-coated crap that passes for popular music.   Indie Voice Blog is proud to highly recommend From the Vault, as well as anything else Costello has ever written, for anyone looking for real music with a message.  We can hardly wait for the release of her full length album, and will bring you all the details as soon as we can.

If you want to learn more about the princess of indie pop, check out her website and Facebook pages, follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel, her blog on Tumblr, and her email list.  Join the revolution.

Artist/Activist ellee ven is starting a groovalution

Once a constant on the Los Angeles music scene, ellee ven has moved east to spread her Groovalution and encourage people to participate in Give Into the Groove, a non-profit that raises awareness of local charities and encourages everyone to become involved in philanthropy.

Ellee ven calls her music “groovetonic,” which she explains is non-genre specific music that makes you move.   But what is a “Groovalution?”  Read on and you will discover the answer within the interview we had with this amazing artist and activist.


IVB:  How long have you been performing?

EV:  About 12 years.  I was a school teacher, married and divorced and moved into Apartment 1111.  I felt that the numbers 11-11 were a sign from the universe that I needed to do something different, and my heart kept coming back to music.  My first gig was a group of Prince dancers that wanted a voice to add to their music.  From that point on, I was hooked.  I didn’t know if I could write my own songs, but I kept receiving music from friends and friends of friends that I would then remix and add my creative insights.

IVB:   Who are your influences?

EV:  Sade is my #1 favorite because she is so unique and her arrangements are very special.  I think that she is loyal to her band members and works with them to create heartfelt authentic music.  She is a true lady who doesn’t grind but dances elegantly.  I also like Nine Inch Nails, Portishead and Cher – my tastes are all over the board.

IVB:  So, what is a groovalution?

EV:  A Groovalution is a creative revolution, composed of a group of groovalutionaries, which are the individual people engaged in creative revolution.  There is a groovalutionary within us all.   I think you will see that all of my projects are truly connected.   I want to demonstrate that it’s not just music but all parts of our lives that provide balance.  Everybody has a talent and needs an outlet that allows them to contribute to the overall balance.   I specifically want to thank my parents for being the role models that enabled me to take my talent and share it with the world.

IVB:   What made you decide to DIY?

EV:  A couple of reasons.  First off, I didn’t know I could get someone else to do it for me or would pay me to do it.  My family was always a creative force for me, and believed that it was a personal choice to visualize your own artistic endeavor.  Who better to do it than the one with the vision?  As I moved along my career, I realized that this is the way to do it.  I can do it my own way with full artistic freedom.  Very grateful that I can redo my entire catalog if I want to and am responsible for creating content that moves my fans.  I’ve gotten better at marketing but wouldn’t mind getting the machine behind me to further my reach.

IVB:   Are you seeking to be a mainstream artist?

EV:  Not really.  I don’t care enough about being mainstream that I would sacrifice my own artistic vision.  I don’t want to have to dress a certain way, or have a certain look to fit in.  I understand their reasons for wanted to package artists in a certain way, but I want mine to be unique.  There is too much music today that seems to be copies of what’s already there so that they sound the same.  I don’t believe that music can be authentic that way.

IVB:  What are your future plans?

EV:  I recently spent some time in Southeast Asia and want to continue that.  I want to make my music available to more and more people and have spent a lot of time improving my YouTube channel.  Love my new video for Underwater.

I am planning to do a webcast at Kulak’s Woodshed in Los Angeles on November 9, which will be part of my annual 11-11 party.  I have a large collection of fans from around the world who will be able to tune in and see me perform.  Since I can’t take my whole band to places like Bali, this is a way for me to meet my fans digitally.

Give into the Groove in Lexington is another event that I have been involved with, but am taking this year off for personal reasons.  We have so much going on with my band right now that has taken priority and besides, I need a breather!

IVB:   Any good stories from touring/recording/performing?

EV:  I recently did a show in LA that brought together some of the people I worked with a decade ago.  Getting the chance to talk to you (IVB) today is also special since it has been a while since we connected.  I really love the community that this music has grown, and that’s the reason why I can’t stop doing what I’m doing.

IVB:  What social media platforms do  you use?

EV:  My website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. 

Indie artist/activist K-Syran seeks to conquer US

Born in Norway and currently based in Switzerland, K-Syran is an indie artist on a mission.   She released her latest album Smoke in my Veins on August 6 on Intimacy Records.  The record contains 12 tracks including “Intimacy,” which was selected as the anthem for the 2016 United Nation’s International Women’s Day, and “Hello,” which is currently riding the Billboard Dance Charts.

The album was recorded at Metropolis Studios and produced by Tom Nichols (Celine Dion, Kylie Minogue) and Charlie Thomas (One Direction, Nick Mason), who are credited as The Secret Agents.  But what sets the album apart from others is the fact that it combines seductive dance tunes with a thought-provoking message in a style that has become the trademark of K-Syran.

“The power and joy of song has the ability to comfort and inspire each individual.  Music can offer hope when people need it most – that’s what I want to give,” says K-Syran.  “I wrote some of the material on Smoke In My Veins with women in mind, but the ideas and emotions behind my songs strive to be universal.  I think it’s a mistake to think that lyrics in dance music cannot deal with anything of substance.  Dance was a form of spiritual activity for human beings throughout the history of our kind, a powerful form of emotional and physical expression.  That’s why I want my music to give audiences music that would move their bodies while engaging their minds. ”

In an effort to learn more about this intriguing artist, Indie Voice Blog interviewed her.  Check out the results of that interview below:

IVB:  How long have you been performing?

K-S:  When I was five, I told my parents that I would become an actress.  I have been performing ever since and never looked back!  Performing is my life, and without it, I believe I would die.   I have experienced short periods of not performing in my life, and I felt as though my soul was dying

IVB:  Who do you consider to be your influences?

K-S:  As a female artist it must be the one and only Madonna!  What a woman she is!  I believe she will go down in history as a revolutionary, a strong female artist who conquered the entire world with her charisma and determination!  She is a true artist and business woman, and a legend who still has children singing her songs!

IVB:  What makes your new release special?

K-S:  Smoke in my Veins is full of excitement and pleasure because it contains rhythmic chanting with depth!   I believe that losing yourself in rhythmic movements that get your pulse racing can induce a mood of frenzied exhilaration.  In addition I hope that my vulnerable lyrics will reach you deep inside.

IVB:  What are your future plans?

K-S:  I’m working on a new album which I’m super excited about.  Because of the success of my  single “Hello,” which reached #38 on the Top 40 Billboard Charts, and my album in the United States and the UK, I am planning a mini-tour.  In addition to my music, I’m still working as an actress.  I am filming a psycho thriller at the moment, and my part is exciting and challenging.

I am also producing my play, Breaking the Silence, in Geneva next January.  I wrote the play for an amazing cause that we should all be more aware of called Human Rights Watch.

In Africa, young girls are getting married between the ages of 13 to 14, and are starting families.  Medically speaking, they are far too young to give birth,  and often end up with vaginal fistulas, resulting in their rejection by their husbands and the community.   This condition can be corrected with a tiny, inexpensive operation that can save these girls.

IVB:  Do you have any stories you want to share about your band – touring, recording, or fan interaction.

K-S:  While touring with Blue on their UK tour, my dancing DJ’s system completely broke down on set, forcing me to sing a cappella in front of an audience of 4000!  I loved every second.  It was such a treat being on this one month tour with Blue’s four guys, Duncan James, Lee Ryan, Simon Webbe and Antony Costa.

IVB:  What types of social media do you use?

K-S:  I love Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as YouTube.  In fact, the music video for my song “Hello” was recorded using some of the tech from Snapchat.


Get it or Forget it: Debbie Hennessey, No Nets, Rae Fitzgerald

Welcome back for our third installment of the Get it or Forget it series.  This week we will feature two more artists courtesy of Noisy Ghost PR and one artist who does it all herself.  So sit back, settle in and check us out as we help you decide where to spend your hard-earned entertainment dollars.


Artist NameDebbie Hennessey

Album NameNo Longer Broken

Label:  none

Genre:  Country Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Every Song is You; 2.  Whiskey Charm; 3.  No Longer Broken; 4.  Sugar and Rain; 5.  You Can’t Unpull a Trigger; 6.  Let me Go; 7.  Right for Right Now; 8.  I’m Leaving the Fairytale Behind; 9.  Woman

 Publicist:  none

Review:  Debbie Hennessey has been a force in indie music DIY circles for many years.  On her latest offering, she co-writes with such other notable indie writers as Courtney Leigh Heines and Athena Marie, crafting an intensely listenable album of country tinged rock.  The album is perfectly produced and mixed by Jeffery Marshall, who also co-writes six of the tunes.  But what truly sets these songs apart from the majority of country music today is the voice of Hennessey, entirely different from any other female voice you will hear.  It is this difference that provides Hennessey’s signature and makes her music unique.

As far as the songs, the lyrics are definitely relatable and should connect with listeners who are struggling with the same issues as the songwriters.  Best tracks on the album are “Every Song is You,” the title track, “Sugar and Rain” and “Right for Right Now.”  The other stand out song is the one tune not written by Hennessey, the brilliant duet with singer songwriter Lexie Hofer, “Woman.”

Recommendation:  This one is a no-brainer.  Between the lyrical content and the musical accompaniment, and a voice that stands out from the pack, No Longer Broken is a definite Get It for lovers of great music.


Artist Name No Nets

Album NameBright Light

Label:  none

Genre:  90’s Punk-tinged Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Dark Matter;  2.  Heavily On My Side;  3.  Black Diamond; 4.  Holes; 5.  Morning; 6.  Bright Light; 7.  Lucky One; 8.  Gettin’ Despondent; 9.  Gilded Cage.

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  With a sound reminiscent of the 90’s band The Cure, No Nets springs forth from the Brooklyn stomping grounds with an intriguing mix that is set for release on October 21.  Even though the album has not yet been released, the band has been busy with launching its first single “Dark Matter,” as well as a lyric video for “Heavily on my Side.”

The vocals are not pretty, but you wouldn’t expect that from a punk band.  What stands out on this album is the frentic energy that permeates each track with a sound that grabs hold of your earbuds and demands your attention.  This is an album that will get your body moving to the beat while the subtle message permeates your brain.  For that reason alone, Bright Light achieves its mission to stand out from the rest of the indie rock pack.  Best tracks include “Dark Matter,” “Holes,”  the title track and “Lucky One.”

Recommendation:  If you like the pretty voices of singer-songwriters, this is not the CD for you.  But if you enjoy indie rock and are more interested in the musicality of good punk-tinged rock, then you should definitely Get It.


Artist NameRae Fitzgerald

Album NamePopular Songs for Wholesome Families

Label:  none

Genre:  Indie blues-tinged rock

Track Listing:  1.  Earth, Everything; 2.  Jackal ii; 3.  Copper & Genesis; 4.  Your Side of the Mountain; 5.  False Moon; 6.  Dark Man; 7.  Lost in Ukrainian Village; 8.  Magic Town; 9.  Medicine Cart; 10.  Tower; 11.  Jackal 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Deep in the heart of Alabama is a special place called Muscle Shoals, which has been producing its own sound for many years.  Out of that sound comes the heartfelt lyrics and voice of Rae Fitzgerald, who grabs your attention from the first notes of her latest offering, Popular Songs for Wholesome Families.  Don’t let the album name fool you – this collection of thought-provoking songs is just plain good music.  Fitzgerald’s voice soothes your soul while her lyrics make their way into your brain, giving you true musical food for thought.  Strongest tracks include “Copper & Genesis,” “Your Side of the Mountain,” “False Moon,” “Dark Man,” and “Medicine Cart.”

Recommendation:  If you like your music with meat, then Fitzgerald is definitely an artist you will like.  Her thought-provoking lyrics and the personal reflections they contain earn Popular Songs for Wholesome Families a definite Get It rating.


Americana artist Annette Conlon to embark on ‘Compassionette Tour’

Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Annette Conlon is hitting the road in support of her critically-acclaimed debut solo album, Life, Death, and the Spaces Between.  Conlon is also seeking to raise awareness of animal cruelty, factory farming, and the many vegan options in music, fashion and food.  The Compassionette Tour will wind through Alabama and North Carolina, head up to Chicago for an evening show in Chicago, then back to Los Angeles, where she will wrap up this fall tour with a Halloween performance at SoCal VegFest in Costa Mesa on October 30.

“I am so excited to share my love for animals and vegan-ism with folks across the country, to show them how easy it is to live more compassionately, from what you eat, to what you wear, and to help folks make the connection that our animal friends are not food,” states Conlon.

Her husband Doug will accompany Conlon on the tour, playing mandolin and banjo and providing background harmonies.   Conlon will be performing on two of her favorite guitars, her Bedell Blackbird Vegan Parlor and her Seagull Artist Studio Concert Hall. Both instruments are made from sustainably-sourced woods and found tone-woods, and the Bedell is 100% vegan, containing no animal products.  Conlon is endorsed by both of these companies.

“We are thrilled to have Annette perform at Chicago VeganMania this year,” says CVM co-founder, Marla Rose. “Annette’s approachable, warm and welcoming style along with her passion for vegan-ism help listeners imagine themselves making steps in this direction. There is so much progress and movement in the mainstreaming of vegan-ism happening today and Annette and her music speaks to that so beautifully.”

The tour kicks off in Nashville at the AmericanaFest on September 24 (Antique Archeology Pickin Corner), before hitting Birmingham the next day (Bluff Park Shopping Center) for Moonlight on the Mountain.  The tour continues with stops in Asheville, North Carolina on September 28 (The Block off Biltmore), Hendersonville, North Carolina on September 29 (Santuary Brewing Company), Chicago for Chicago Veganmania at the Broadway Armory on October 1 and at the Red Line Tap that evening (Heartland Veg Café).

Check out her website and Facebook pages for more info.