Get it or forget it: JERK, Solilians, Spelling Reform

It’s the last day of November and time for another Get it or Forget.  Today we’re reviewing three Noisy Ghost PR clients, with three totally different sounds.  As we get closer to Christmas, sit back and learn about some new music you may want to check out for the holidays.

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Artist NameJERK

Album Name:  Jerk

Label:  Very Jazzed

Genre:  Dance Pop

Track Listing: 1.  Couch Surf; 2.  Accidents; 3.  Delicacy; 4.  Robert Palmer; 5.  Stand Tall 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  With a dense bed of bass and booming rhythms, JERK provides some interesting tunes that will have you dancing in no time at all.  Composed of Austin Smith, Zach Alderman and Vicki Lynn, this band knows how to boogie.  Unashamedly inspired by the music of ABBA, JERK builds on their danceable disco flavor to create its own style.  The vocal harmonies build their home on the perfect foundation, giving the listener a taste of the greatness that awaits this band.  Their songs bear a striking resemblance to Twenty-One Pilots, so if you like them, you’ll love JERK.  All five songs are wonderfully created, but “Delicacy” has the kind of unique sound that would play well on the radio, especially college or public radio.

Recommendation:  Definitely add JERK to your holiday shopping plans.  We’re sure there’s someone on your list that would enjoy these beats, so be sure to Get It.

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Artist NameSolilians

Album Name:  Shin

Label:  Goodbye Better

Genre:  Psychadelic World Pop

Track Listing: 1.  Hine Ma Tov (Merc Yes mix); 2.  Hatikvah The Next Generation; 3.  Lamedvavniks; 4.  Rev’s Gold; 5.  Hine Ma Tov (Space Drone Dream mix); 6.  I have Been, and Always Shall be, Your Friend; 7.  Planet Binah; 8.  Post – Rev’s Reprise 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Solilians’ debut release contains some interesting sounds that would fit best in a futuristic sci-fi film, say a remake of Blade Runner.  Based on Middle Eastern and Hebraic music, Solilians transform these ancient notes into something that is distinctly other-worldly.   Their version of “space rock” makes an ideal soundtrack for watching your favorite anime, but is not the stuff you would put on just to listen to.  This band has a place in the grand musical scheme, but their music will probably not appeal to the general public.

Recommendation:  Unless you are a fan of futuristic soundtracks, you will probably not want this disc.  We recommend to most of you that you just Forget it.

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Artist NameSpelling Reform

Album NameNo One’s Ever Changed

Label:  Black Rd Records

Genre:  Indie Pop Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Microscope; 2.  Expiration Date; 3.  Tuscaloosa; 4.  For Clair Patterson; 5.  Everyone Else’s Experiences; 6.  No One’s Ever Changed; 7.  Tourniquet; 8.  Everybody’s Going Home With Someone Else; 9.  Let’s Start Over; 10.  Drag Your Horse; 11.  The Coolest Guy 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Imagine if Weird Al was the lead vocalist of an energetic indie rock band and you have a good understanding of the magic of Philly-based Spelling Reform.   With driving guitars, frenzied vocals and interesting lyrics, these four lads are destined to take the Indie Rock community hostage with their unique blend of music.  We can only imagine how much fun they must be during a live performance, and would love to have the opportunity to do just that.  This is definitely the type of album you put on and listen to from start to finish, it’s that good.  We love it.

Recommendation:  If you don’t rush out and Get It, you should have your head examined.  These guys know how to rock and we expect they will be rocking for a long time to come.

 

Get it or Forget it: Scarlett Taylor, McDougall, Michael Hornbuckle

Hard to believe but this is our 17th article in this review series – that’s 51 CD reviews since our first one back on September 7.  Indie artists have truly been hard at work in 2016.  I can hardly wait to see what 2017 holds.

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Artist NameScarlett Taylor

Album NameChurches

Label:  Borderline Musick

Genre:  Alternative pop/dream pop

Track Listing: 1.  Fucked up; 2.  Crazy; 3.  Imprisoned; 4.  Vacancy; 5.  Off; 6.  Confessional; 7.  Ignite; 8.  Velvet; 9.  Without You; 10.  Christmas Eve; 11.  Shampoo; 12.  Cutting 

Publicist:  none

Review:  Scarlett Taylor is a fresh indie artist with a style that sets her apart from the pack.  She is an incredible lyricist who uses a musical style totally different from her peers to present her message.  Listening to Churches, her second studio album, it appears that she has had some bad experiences in her religious pursuit, and she tells her listeners the painful truths about her life.  The music is airy, spectral and intriguing, drawing her listeners in with something different.   We believe this artist has a lot to say, both in her current project and in the future, and recommend that you check her out.  We have a feeling that you’ll be hearing a lot more from this gifted artist.  Best track is “Ignite.”  Most provocative tracks include “Fucked Up,” “Imprisoned” (featuring Zay from The Truants), “Confessional,” “Velvet,” and “Cutting.”

Recommendation:  If you only like radio friendly music, then this is definitely not the disc for you.  But if you are eclectic in your musical tastes, and not easily offended, then we think you should definitely Get this album.

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Artist NameMcDougall

Album NameReaching for Some Light

Label:  None

Genre:  Folk Rock

Track Listing: 1.  Roads; 2.  Stranger on the Prairie; 3.  Shaken; 4.  Ten Speed; 5.  Cut Loose; 6.  Pitcher on the Train; 7.  Make it Right; 8.  Story of the Gray Man; 9.  Barely Holding On; 10.  Watercolor; 11.  Moving Mountains 

Publicist:  In Music we Trust

Review:  With a voice somewhere between Tom Waits and Tom Petty, McDougall brings his folk rock stylings to his latest project, Reaching for Some Light.  It’s chock full of great story songs full of hope and the overcoming of obstacles.  Unlike his previous recordings, McDougall broke his long-time premise that if he couldn’t play it live, he wouldn’t record it.  What follows is a great disc of music where McDougall still plays almost all of the instrumentation, but recorded in a way that brings these songs to life.   Always a great lyricist, McDougall’s words are the backbone of these songs, but with this record, he allows himself the luxury of providing the musical background they deserve.  Every song on the album is worthy of your attention, especially “Shaken,” “Ten Speed,” “Cut Loose,” “Make it Right,” and “Watercolor,” which features the amazing violin work of Anna Tivel.

Recommendation:  If you like good music with a message of hope and love, then this is definitely the disc for you.  Get off your comfortable couch and Get It.

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Artist NameMichael Hornbuckle

Album NameSoul Repo

Label:  None

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Candle for Mary; 2.  Risin Sun; 3.  Hit me Up; 4.  Angel; 5.  Baby Rock; 6.  Back Seat Blues; 7.  Me and Melody; 8. One Night; 9.  Soul Repo; 10.  Sweat; 11.  Wishin’ Well

 Publicist:  Doug Deutsch Publicity Services

Review:  Michael Hornbuckle has a legacy in the blues world, but he does not rest on those laurels on his latest release, Soul Repo.  From the first notes of “Candle for Mary,” Hornbuckle redefines the blues with this amazing collection of songs.  Of all the artists we have recently reviewed, this is the one we would love to see perform live.  His guitar licks are what memories are made of, and his sweet voice brings the songs home.  Best tracks include “Hit me Up,” “Angel,” “Baby Rock,” “Back Seat Blues,” “Me and Melody,” and the title track, although there is not a weak song among the bunch.

Recommendation:  Hornbuckle personifies the blues.  If you only get one new album this holiday season, then this is the one you want.  Get out and Get It now!

 

Monday Mashup: what’s new in the indie world?

Hope you all survived Thanksgiving week.  We’re back with another look at what’s new in the indie world.

Un5Gettable release cover of ‘NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas Happy Holidays”

Comedy/parody group Un5Gettable has released their own version of ‘NSYNC’s holiday song “Merry Christmas Happy Holidays.”  Winners of the Best Video (Comedy) for the first half of 2016, these boys have proven that there are no sacred cows in their lives.  But believe it or not, these boys can really sing, as demonstrated by this track.  Please enjoy it with our compliments.

Jerad Finck wins USA Songwriting Competition

Jerad Finck, winner of the Best CD (Male) for the second half of 2015, has another laurel to put on his mantel.  He recently won the award for Best Overall Pop song for the title track of his latest CD, Criminal.  Here’s the stripped down acoustic version of his song, recently posted to YouTube.  We think you’ll agree that this song deserves all its accolades.

Brian Mackey releases new Christmas single, “Just One Night”

We introduced you to Brian Mackey back in October when his single “Are You Listening?” was getting a lot of traction in the business.  Now Mackey has released his Christmas single, and we think you’ll dig it.  Check it out and download it from Apple Music.

Jess Penner releases lyric video for “Together”

Jess Penner, the solo singer-songwriter persona of Jessica Treskon, and one half of the dynamic duo of Kayjez, recently released a lyric video for her song “Together,” off her EP Good Times.  Check it out and see why we are so jazzed about the future of  this amazing artist.

Marina V launches food and travel blog

International indie artist Marina V has recently launched a food and travel blog.  As an musician who travels and tours around the globe, Marina V is the perfect person to be able to also report on her travels and the food she encounters while on tour.  Check out her blog here.

More video releases

Here are two more amazing videos released in the past week.  The first is by outstanding Americana band The Show Ponies, who are preparing for the release of their new album in January.  Check out their video for “The Time it Takes,” filmed while they were recently on tour.

Alexis Keegan has been a favorite of this blog and this writer since she first burst on the scene.  She recently released the video for her monster hit “Empty Heart.”  Expect a lot more great music from this artist as we head into 2017.

Please let us know if you have any news you want to share.  We’ll be back next Monday with more from the amazing world of indie music.  Thanks to Jen Lyneis of Ue3 Promotions and Laura Goldfarb of Red Boot PR for introducing us to some of their amazing clients.

 

 

UM’s production of Legally Blonde the Musical is the perfect treat for Thanksgiving

Once a year the College of Visual and Performing Arts joins with the Schools of Music and Theatre & Dance to present a musical in the University of Montana’s Montana Theatre.  This year’s offering is the delightful Legally Blonde the Musical, based on the 2001 Reese Witherspoon movie Legally Blonde.

Sometime in the 19th Century the phrase “The show must go on,” originated, and nowhere was it more evident than in last night’s opening night performance.  Several of the cast members had been sick for the past two weeks, including the lead actress, Whitney Blair Miller, who despite her sickness, delivered a believable portrayal of Elle Woods.

Skillfully directed by Teresa Waldorf, with assistance from music director Roxanna Jackson, choreographer Pamyla Stiehl and stage manager Jason McDaniel, the performance was enhanced by the scenic design of Mike Fink, costume design of Bayne Tilton, lighting design of Zach Hamersley and audio design of Timothy McHenry.

From the pink halls of the Delta Nu Sorority to the hallowed halls of Harvard Law, the cast turned in a worthy performance that captured the magic of the original movie, and allowed several cast members to truly shine.  Besides the stellar performance of Miller, other cast members who delivered in their roles were Eric Wills as Emmett, Taylor Caprara as Brooke, Royce McIntosh as Callahan, Saige Perchy as Paulette and Natalie Johnston as Serena.  Johnston totally stole the show with every on-stage appearance.  Other notable performances were made by Erynn O’Brien as Enid, Curen Feliciani as Warner and Kady Nordstrom as Vivienne, while Carissa Lund turned in the most outstanding ensemble performance, consistently amazing the packed house with her incredible dance moves and abilities.  Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the two canine members of the cast, who stole the hearts of cast and audience alike with their portrayals of Bruiser and Rufus.

By all means, you should definitely head out for a great night of theater and catch this show.  Tickets are available at the UMArts box office and online at GrizTix.  Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on November 25, 26 & 30 and December 3, as well as at 2 p.m. on November 26 & 27 and December 4.  There is a talk back with the cast following the November 25 performance.

 

Get it or forget it: Mike Jacoby, Rachel Brett, Patrick Joseph

Up early this morning to make sure I had time to write these reviews before my step son and his family arrive for an early Thanksgiving dinner.  Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring some more amazing indie musicians to your attention.  Grab a cup of coffee and check out our reviews of these new projects.

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Artist Name: Mike Jacoby

Album NameNortheastsouthwest

Label:  None

Genre:  Singer-songwriter Americana/roots-rock

Track Listing:  1.  Ready When you Are; 2.  Nevermind Me; 3.  Hell if I Know; 4.  Explaining to Do; 5.  Lay of the Land; 6.  Anyone’s Guess; 7.  Talk a Good Game; 8.  What’s That got to do With Me; 9.  Lie in Bed; 10.  Where she Goes; 11.  The end of the Line 

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Founder of the Los Angeles based band Haymaker, Mike Jacoby has released his second solo project with Northeastsouthwest.  The album is a true solo project, with Jacoby doing the producing, recording and writing, while Grammy-winning engineer Gavin Lurssen contributed the mastering.  The album contains 11 story songs that are well crafted with the lyrical content being the dominant force.  The album title gives homage to the fact that Jacoby was born in the northeast and current lives in the southwest.  His musical accompaniment is tight, laying the perfect foundation for his well-written words.   Jacoby doesn’t have the smoothest voice, but it totally fits with the Americana vibe coming forth from this incredible collection of songs.  Best tracks include “Nevermind me,” “Hell if I Know,” “Lay of the Land,” “Anyone’s Guess,” “What’s That got to do With Me,” and “Where she Goes.”

Recommendation:  This album is definitely for everyone who loves great songwriting, especially if you are an Americana and/or roots rock lover.  This one is another no-brainer – go and Get It.

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Artist NameRachel Brett

Album NameNot Just Another EP

Label:  None

Genre:  Pop/Country

Track Listing:  1.  Don’t Flatter Yourself; 2.  Sensible; 3.  All my Life; 4.  Second Best; 5.  Bad News 

Publicist:  None

Review:  Rachel Brett is a young actress and musician with whom I became acquainted at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  She has been described as Taylor Swift meets Avril Lavigne, and the description is spot on.  Her music is edgy pop that would work well on Top 40 radio.  From the first notes of “Don’t Flatter Yourself,” it becomes obvious that this girl can sing and create music that needs to be heard.  In fact, she has been a voting member of NARAS since she was 16, and was recently picked as a Featured Artist by ReverbNation.  “All my Life” is her most popular song on iTunes, and she has just posted a new remix of “Second Best” on ReverbNation.  We are impressed with her maturity and her potential for a very long career, both in music and acting.

Recommendation:  We are proud to recommend this EP, as well as all the rest of her catalog.  If you like music that’s fun, witty and sung by an incredible vocalist, then rush out and Get It.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Artist NamePatrick Joseph

Album NameHindsight

Label:  Moon King Music

Genre:  Singer-songwriter Indie rock

Track Listing:  1.  Don’t you Know; 2.  Sorry; 3.  Better off Alone; 4.  Don’t Believe It; 5.  Piece of Your Love; 6.  Foot in the Door; 7.  Arsonist Blues; 8.  Untangled; 9.  Such a Long Time Ago; 10.  Setting Sun 

Publicist:   None

Review:  Patrick Joseph has had an amazing career so far for an indie artist.  He looks back on that career in his latest, Hindsight, a collection of old songs, new singles, remixes and remasters that gives the listener a taste of his awesomeness.  His voice is the perfect complement to these very radio friendly tracks, featuring songs that span his career which includes film and television placements, massive radio airplay on such tastemakers as LA’s own KCRW, and the honor of Producer of the Year at the 2015 Independent Music Awards.  Best tracks include “Don’t You Know,” “Better Off Alone,” “Piece of Your Love,” “Foot in the Door” and “Arsonist Blues.”  Check out this original version of “Don’t Believe It” which was released back in 2011.

Recommendation:  Joseph is a special breed of singer-songwriter, with powerful lyrics on top of skillfully mastered musicianship, resulting in one of the brightest “best of” albums we have ever reviewed.  You owe it to yourself to get out and Get It ASAP.

 

Get it or forget it: No One Mind, Racing Heart, Affordable Hybrid

Welcome back to another edition of Get it or Forget It.  We are so thankful for the opportunity to review indie music, and to let you know what we think of it before you give your hard earned cash away.  Take a moment from all the Thanksgiving preparation and join us as we discuss three new releases from Noisy Ghost PR’s talented client base.

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Artist NameNo One Mind

Album Name:  Self-titled

Label:  Third Uncle Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Folk Wagon; 2.  Tiger; 3.  In the Valley; 4.  Revenge; 5.  I Don’t Know who you Are; 6.  Big Talking Man; 7.  Grey Days; 8.  Bad Attitude; 9.  Island of Hours 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  No One Mind (“NOM”) was created by Ellis Anderson, Noah Dehmer and Missy Thangs after their previous musical partnerships had dissolved in betrayal and acrimony.  Fused together on a musical base of traditional rock and pop, NOM brings their message from the perspective of both the accuser and the accused, creating an interesting sound along the way.  Based on the material contained in their debut album, we believe that this band still has a lot to say.   Stand out tracks include “In the Valley,” “Revenge,” “I Don’t Know who you Are,” and “Big Talking Days.”

Recommendation:  NOM has a truly unique sound within the indie community, and a message that needs to be heard.  If you like music that is outside the norm, then this is the band for you.  Take a chance on this as yet unknown band and Get It.

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Artist NameRacing Heart

Album NameWhat Comes After

Label:  Misra Records

Genre:   Experimental/Electronica

Track Listing:  1.  Flogging a Dead Horse; 2.  That Doubt Remains; 3.  Bargaining Chip; 4.  New Economy; 5.  Letters From the Compound; 6.  Sleep With my Fists Clenched; 7.  A Prayer From our Leaders; 8.  New Economy (Slight Return); 9.  Badlands; 10.  Squaring the Circle; 11.  What Comes After 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

ReviewWhat Comes After is the sophomore release for Norwegian artist Mathias H. Tjønn, who calls his solo project Racing Heart.  The album is full of political statements about many different issues, including recession, power, conflicts with no clear enemies and those caught in the crossfire.  The sound is fresh and diverse, helped in no small part by the creativity and musical genius of Jenny Hval, who contributed both lyrics and vocals.  The album is a definite departure from the type of music we usually hear, but that departure is a badge of honor as Racing Heart continues to find its voice.  Best tracks include “That Doubt Returns,” “Letters from the Compound,” “Sleep With my Fists Clenched,” “Badlands,” and “Squaring the Circle.”

Recommendation:  Racing Heart brings a lot of meat to its material, creating a diverse and fresh sound that crashes through supposed musical barriers to deliver hard hitting social commentary.  We recommend you Get it.

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Artist NameAffordable Hybrid

Album NameBat/Roky

Label:  Flannel Gurl Records

Genre:  Post-punk

Track Listing:  1.  Bat; 2.  Roky

 Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Affordable Hybrid is a four-piece post-punk band from Sweden which has not released any music since 2009.  On their latest two-song 7″ vinyl EP, they reintroduce themselves with a frenzied sound that immediately draws the listener in and puts a spell on their ears and mind.  Both songs are best listened to loudly, and offer hope that this band is back on the scene.  Welcome back to Lars Ludvig Löfgren, Samuel Järpvik, György Barocsai and Mikael Björklund.  The music world and music lovers everywhere have missed you.

Recommendation:  Definitely Get It.  The energy alone is worth the price.

 

Monday mashup: What’s new in the indie world?

Happy Thanksgiving week!  We’re proud to bring you a new feature which will be published every Monday.  So many things are happening in the indie world, and we try to cover as many of them as possible.  This feature will bring you tidbits of recent events involving indie artists.  If you want to know more about the latest happenings, check in with us each Monday.  If any of these snippets pique your interest, let us know and we’ll expand our coverage.

World Hello Day – November 21

K-Syran has released a music video of an acoustic version of her song “Hello” to celebrate World Hello Day, when everyone is encourage to say “hello” to 10 new people.  You can find out more about K-Syran by checking out our Women in Entertainment feature on her.

Temecula Valley Music Awards Handed Out

The TVMAs were handed out on November 12 in Temecula, California.  Among the winners announced by founder Tim Moyer was recent LA Music Critic Award winner Diana Rein for Best Blues.  Other winners included Bob Karwin for Best Acoustic performance; Maddie Lei for Best Country performance; OS Roxx and Cougrzz Rock tied for Best Cover Band; Daring Greatly for Best out of Town; Jarvis Brown for Best Rock performance; We Belong for Best Tribute Band; Anthony Cullins for Best Youth Original song; Makayla Philips for Best Youth Cover Song and Franklin’s Cove for Most Supportive Venue.  Erick Turner was also awarded Local Legend.

If you live in or around the Temecula Valley of California, TVMA is gearing up for their 2017 season.  Check them out for more info.

Hollywood Music in Media Awards

It’s definitely awards season.  The HMMAs are unique in that they honor music in media from both indie and mainstream artists.  These awards, created by Los Angeles producer Brent Harvey, continue to expand their reach and are becoming more and more prestigious in the industry.  Among the indie artists who were nominated and appeared at this year’s HMMAs, held on November 17 at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, were Katie Garibaldi and Marina V.  Justin Timberlake and John Debney were among the winners, which also included indie artist Jon Mullane for Best Independent Video for “Born Beautiful,” as well as an Honorable Mention for his documentary, Shine On.  Find out more by visiting their website.

New Video Releases

War and Pierce released a lyric video for their song “On and On” while Alexis Keegan released a video for her song “Empty Heart.”  Check them out below.

Wanna be included in next week’s mash-up?  Just send your news to us at lamusiccritic@gmail.com.  We’d love to promote you and your music and keep your fans apprised of your latest news.  Looking forward to hearing from artists, fans and publicists.  Subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss any of our features, including two Get it or Forget it articles this week, when we will review the latest from Mike Jacoby, Patrick Joseph, Rachel Brett, Racing Heart, Affordable Hybrid and No One Minds.  Until next week, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy your family time.

 

Get it or forget it: Sharif, Steven Graves, The King Brothers

We’re back with another edition of Get it or Forget it, focusing on Americana and blues today.  Check out these three amazing artists and keep the indie music spirit alive.

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Artist NameSharif

Album NameTangled Dreams and Empty Bottles

Label:  None

Genre:  Americana/Medicana

Track Listing:  1.  Hold On; 2.  When She’s Drunk; 3.  Last Night’s Lanterns; 4.  Burn in the Breeze; 5.  One Fine Day; 6.  Fatal Love; 7.  Waiting on a Whisper; 8.  Lay Your Arms Down; 9.  When He’s Drunk 

Publicist:  Judi Kerr

Review:  Sharif has been creating amazing music for several years.  He recently completed his Masters at Berklee in Spain, focusing on melding the sounds of Middle Eastern music with Americana, creating a new genre which he calls Medicana.  He has incorporated several uniquely Middle Eastern instruments, including bouzouki, sitar, oud and glissentar into the soundtrack of this album.  He also has added the sounds of several gifted musicians to the mix, including Daniel Clark (Ryan Adams), Josh Grange (Sheryl Crow, Dwight Yoakum) and John O’Reilly Jr. (Beck), which further elevates this CD among most other indie music.

From the first notes of “Hold On,” it becomes quickly obvious that this new music will be quite special.  Add to that the smoky smooth vocals and the listener soon learns how great indie music can be.  Best tracks include “Hold On,” “When She’s Drunk”, “Fatal Love” “Lay Your Arms Down,” and his amazing cover of Carole King’s “One Fine Day,”  although every song is worthy of attention.

Recommendation:  We have reviewed quite a few albums from Sharif, and this one just happens to be his best.  We highly recommend you immediately Get It and add it to your collection.  We think you’ll listen to it over and over again.

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Artist NameSteven Graves

Album NameCaptain Soul

Label:  None

Genre:  Americana/Roots

Track Listing:  1.  Light Turns to Day; 2.  Man From a Different Planet; 3.  Walk With Me; 4.  Somewhere, Somehow; 5.  Take you for a Ride; 6.  Fly Like the Dove; 7.  Forever Wild; 8.  Called her an Angel; 9.  No one Left to Blame; 10.  Heaven in Your Hands; 11.  Another Day 

Publicist:  KB Music Press

Review:  Steven Graves has been recording music for quite some time, and Captain Soul is his seventh studio album.  Raised on country music, Graves naturally gravitates to that genre, with a healthy helping of Americana, roots, gospel and classic rock thrown in for good measure.   This message-infused music provides an ample supply of food for thought, making Graves the Arlo Guthrie of his time.  Best tracks include “Somewhere, Somehow,” “Take you for a Ride,” “Fly Like the Dove,” “Forever Wild,” and “Another Day.”

Recommendation:  Steven Graves is truly a voice for his generation.  His meaty tunes combined with an excellent soundtrack make Captain Soul a definite Get It.

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Artist NameThe King Brothers

Album NameGet up and Shake It

Label:  Club Savoy Records

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Rock me Baby; 2.  Just Driving Around; 3.  Hound Dog; 4.  Hootchie Cootchie Man; 5.  Just the way I Like It; 6.  Blind Snake; 7.  Close to You; 8.  Get up and Shake It; 9.  Bigg Legged Woman; 10.  Tore Down 

Publicist:  Club Savoy Entertainment Group

Review:  Talk about blues history.  The King Brothers, second cousins to the legendary Freddie King, have also shared the stage with the king of blues himself, BB King and their adopted “uncle,” Albert King.  They have been playing together for more than 60 years, and every song on their latest Get up and Shake It is proof of their amazing talent.  With a combination of original instrumentals and outstanding covers of such classic blues songs as “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Tore Down,” and “Blind Snake,” the King Brothers will have you singing the blues in no time at all.  This disk is delightful from start to finish, and hard to believe it’s only their third album.  Definitely check out their tribute to Freddie King on the Leon Russell penned tune, “Big Legged Woman.”

Recommendation:  If you are moved by the blues, then this is a must have for your collection.  By all means, get out and Get It.

 

Kaylee Keller wants to help her community with the release of her Christmas song

When we last visited with Kansas-born Kaylee Keller, she had just won the LA Music Critic Award for best lyric video for her collaboration with the Vinyljackers of her hit “Diamond.”

More recently, Keller released a duet with country singer Rusty Rierson of the Alabama classic hit, “Christmas in Your Arms.”  Check out the stream below.

Today we’re sitting down with Keller for another interview on what’s new in her career.  Grab a cup of coffee and learn new things about this amazing indie artist who, surprisingly, just turned 19 years old.

IVB:  What have you been doing since we last talked after your win for LA Music Critic best lyric video?

KK:  First, after I won, I was waiting to receive my Grammy.  But seriously, I have been in Nashville for the past three months working on my new EP.  I worked with some of the best songwriters in Nashville who have helped me craft my new six song EP, which I plan to release as a group of singles throughout 2017, and then release the collection near the end of 2017.  I loved working with my producer Nathan Meckel.  I’ve been thinking of calling the EP Ruby, as a spin-off to my first EP Diamond, so then you could look me up as the Gem Collection.  We want to test the waters with each single so that they will stay fresh.  I like to be a trendsetter and do my own thing as an independent artist.

IVB:  Tell us about your latest project “Christmas in your Arms.”

KK:  This one was a fun project.  Garden City, Kansas is my hometown and they approached me to see if I wanted to be part of their annual holiday compilation album, called Kozy Kansas Christmas.  It’s their fourth year of doing this CD and I was honored that they wanted me to do a song for the album.

The proceeds from the sale of the album go to fund local charities in Garden City.  They only print a limited amount of CDs, which makes them more valuable.

I’ve known Rusty Rierson for about three years after we met at a Joe Diffie concert.  I was doing the National Anthem, and Rusty was the opening act.  After I was approached by Garden City, I asked Rusty what song we should do.  He suggested that we do an Alabama song called “Christmas in Your Arms.”  My mom suggested we make it a duet.  Both of them proved to be great suggestions.  We had a blast turning the song into a duet.

The album is available on Garden City’s Facebook page and can be purchased there.  My single on the album is also available on iTunes.

The project is getting a lot of media attention, including The Ellen Show, as they begin planning for next year’s double CD.

IVB:  What’s next for Kaylee Keller?

KK:  I wanted my current EP, Diamond, to be country, but it turned out to be more of a pop project.  I’m using my new Christmas single to introduce me to the country pop community.  I’ve been called a mixture of Colbie Caillat meets country pop by local media.  The new project is much more country based albeit country pop, which is where my heart truly lies.  We are looking forward to bringing this side of me to my fans and to hopefully find new ones in the country pop genre.

 

Get it or Forget it: Janey Street, Mitch Hayes, Kari Kimmel

Happy Election Day!  Hope that you are exercising your rights as an American, and have or intend to vote today.  It is so important that we all participate in this process.

Since it’s my day off, I decided to check back through my emails to see what submissions I had not yet reviewed.  Imagine my surprise to find several amazing CDs that I had missed.  My apologies to these artists for not recognizing your talent in my initial perusal of emails from your respective publicists.

Sit back, take your mind off all the political backbiting, and learn about some amazing artists that you simply must check out.

janey-street

Artist NameJaney Street

Album NameThis Side of Paradise

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Singer-Songwriter/Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Among the Missing; 2.  Good Side; 3.  Bring it On; 4.  House of Mirrors; 5.  Situation; 6.  Tears Taste the Same; 7.  I’m not the Girl I Used to Know; 8.  End; 9.  Grand Delusion; 10.  My Side of Paradise; 11.  Radar; 13.  Scat Like Ella; 14.  End of the Day 

Publicist:  Mad Ink PR

Review:  OMG!  I can’t believe I missed this CD.  Janey Street is part Anne Murray, part Ann Wilson and part Patti Griffin, all rolled up into one awesome package.  Her songs are sometimes laid back, like the title track, and sometimes in your face, but the overall vibe is just great music.  Every song is powerfully written, with lyrics that are meaty and memorable, and a beat that drives the message home.  “House of Mirrors” is the perfect anthem for this election day, as is “End.”  It’s hard to pick my favorite, so I choose them all, although “Scat Like Ella” is a great song that reminds me of Maroon Five’s “Moves Like Jaeger.”  This is definitely one of the best releases of 2016.  I can’t believe this amazing artist, whose previous biggest hits were in the 1980’s, had not published any music in more than a decade.  Welcome back Janey!

Recommendation:  Whatever you have to do, definitely get off your backside, rush to your favorite retailer/online music source and GET THIS CD!

mitch-hayes

Artist NameMitch Hayes

Album NameHeroes

Label:

Genre:  Singer-Songwriter/Folk/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Look at You; 2.  The Hardest Thing; 3.  All my Heroes; 4.  Hand of the Devil; 5.  All Fall Down; 6.  Home Again; 7.  Helping Hand; 8.  Ashes & Dust (Erin’s song); 9.  A Peaceful Revolution; 10.  Life Goes On; 11.  Something Deep Within; 12.  Home Again (reprise) 

Publicist:  Doug Deutsch Publicity Services

Review:  Mitch Hayes is a man of many talents and a cancer survivor, which has added an edge to his amazing voice that can still deliver a powerful message in song.  His lyrics are so well written that they instantly connect to the listener, in part because the musical accompaniment is perfectly suited to each song.  These songs make you think and reflect, especially “All my Heroes.”  This is the perfect album for your relaxation and meditation time, as it gives you perfect food for thought.  So glad you survived your cancer scare, Mitch.  The world needs more artists like you.  Best tracks include “Look at You,” “All My Heroes,” “Home Again,” and “A Peaceful Revolution.”

Recommendation:  If you’re a Tom Waits and/or Americana fan, then you should definitely Get it.  It’s truly worth the listen.

kari-kimmel

Artist NameKari Kimmel

Album NamePoppyfields

Label:  Rykim Records

Genre:  Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Keep Shinin On; 2.  Nothing you Could Do; 3.  One Foot out the Door; 4.  For Anyone; 5.  Just the way I Like; 6.  Feel Alive; 7.  Over It; 8.  Every Second; 9.  Undercover; 10.  One in a Million; 11.  Everybody has to Fall 

Publicist:  none

Review:  Kari Kimmel may not be as well known as other pop icons like Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson or Pink, but her songs are no less powerful.  In addition, this DIY master has had her music placed in more than 600 movies and televisions shows, and has consistently been ranked among the Top 50 artists on VH-1.  Her latest effort, Poppyfields (named after her daughter) is by far her best to date.  From the first note of “Keep Shinin,” a serious power ballad, it explodes with a sound that is so much better than most of the music you hear on today’s Top 40 stations.  “One Foot out the Door” is so sassy and fun, I bet Pink is jealous that she didn’t record it.   Although this album is perfect from start to finish, our favorites are “Keep Shinin,” “One Foot Out the Door,” “For Anyone,” “Just the Way I Like,” and “Every Second.”

Recommendation:  If you love an artist that consistently puts out amazing music and has achieved a similar level of success to many label-driven pop artists, all while doing it by herself, then you would be a fool not to rush out and Get It.  We are sure you will be putting this one on repeat.