Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 40 (UPDATED)

Greetings from the road.  We’ve been on tour with Jerad Finck for the past week, completing five shows in seven days.  He has a show on Wednesday at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles before heading down to Lestat’s in San Diego for a show on Saturday.  After that we head back for a final tour show at the Ole Beck VFW Post in Missoula, Montana on November 2.

GAYLE SKIDMORE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT

Former San Diego indie musician Gayle Skidmore, now living in the Netherlands, has created an amazing lyric video for her song, “No Ordinary Life,” which is an entry into the Little Women competition.  She is currently in first place and needs your help to stay there.  Please check out the video and vote for her once a day before the competition ends on October 29.

MEDIA OUTLET DAMAGED IN FIRES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Music Junkie Press, a great rock and roll online site based in Santa Rosa, was burned to the ground in the Tubs fire. They lost everything – offices, computers, their home, a collection of 70 vintage guitars and over 100 classic drumheads, all their photo equipment, their antique camera collection and all their paper records, including 40 years of rock memorabilia.  They are still reporting on rock concerts and posting photos from shows online, although they are living in a motel room and using borrowed equipment.  They could use some help in rebuilding.  Check out the GoFundMe campaign set up by bands for them.

NEW SINGLES

Check out the new single from Late Night Episode, “Golden Age.”  If you live in Los Angeles, they will be having a show at The Peppermint Club on October 26.  We think you should definitely check them out.

Check out this amazing electronic pop song from Swedish duo Felin, “21st Century.”  This should get you up and ready for a new week.

Last but not least this week, here is TYA with their new single, “Hustle.”  This is another upbeat song that will get your toes a tapping and propel you into another work week.  Let us know what you think.

NEW MUSIC VIDEOS

Here is an amazing blues video from icon Matt Hawkins, combining great steel with some amazing native instruments including didgeridoo and wood flute.  The cinematography is breathtaking.  We think this one is a winner.

Electro pop seems to be the theme of the day.  Check out “Sky Wide Open” from TRISTN, as well as an acoustic video for her latest single, “Nothing to Say.”  Get up and dance!

Our final video today comes from Oh Geronimo.  Another cinematic masterpiece, and the song is pretty awesome too.  Check out “No More Stones.”

 

Michael Shynes is having one of those kind of days

Michael Shynes is a gifted singer/songwriter who is only recently beginning to come into his own.  He lost his Father to an auto immune disease at the age of 25.  To honor his Dad’s legacy, he decided to chase those dreams he had put off for so long.   At that time he was working at a residential treatment center for teens and playing the occasional show on the weekend.

Shynes eplained, “It was important work, and shaped who I am today in a lot of ways.  But after three years, I just got tired of getting beat up, spit on, and called everything you can imagine.  I loved those kids though, and wouldn’t trade my time there for anything.”

Shynes moved back home to keep costs down while trying to become a full time musician.  “It worked out well because I didn’t want to think of my Mom being alone in the house after my Dad’s passing.  But by the same token, it felt like a lateral move being back in my childhood home.  I had many an existential crisis during that time.”

Shynes began playing every show that he possibly could, and as time went on, he was able to pay all his bills (and student loans) with an acoustic guitar.  “Paying rent every month by writing and performing songs was pretty surreal, and the harder I worked, the better the gigs got.”

Shynes was often considered to be a strong local candidate to open up for national acts as they came through town, and even ended up on a tour with platinum recording artist Howie Day.  “That really taught me a lot because I was playing for theaters full of people who were not there to see me.  But I was telling the stories and playing my songs, and everyone was listening.  That was a landmark experience.”

Since that time, Shynes has worked to become one of the most sought after acoustic performers and songwriters in the Midwest. He has an ability to blend shades of multiple genres over an acoustic landscape, and his songs are ripe with lyrical depth rarely paired with mainstream appeal.  “The thing that seems to separate Shynes is unquestionably his voice and phrasing.  With a range and falsetto that is nothing short of captivating, his acoustic finger picking style acts as the perfect bed of warmth on which his soulful lyrics can rest.” (Up Next, a local Minnesota publication)

Shynes has recently completed a new album that will be released on November 18, 2017.   In the meantime, he is already getting favorable press, including The Huffington Post, as to his first single and the title track, “Cold Day in Hell,” which was released on October 13.

This song is the perfect track for sharing his talents.  It combines comedic lyrics with a truly relatable story that most of us have endured at some point in our life.  He has followed up the single release with a hilarious lyric video that further drives home his story.

We love the new single and the lyric video.  We also encourage you to check out the live videos he has recently posted on his YouTube page.

 

Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 39

And we’re on tour.  Spent the night with our client Jerad Finck in his amazing hilltop home overlooking Spokane.  His first show is tonight at Darrell’s Tavern in the Shoreline area of Seattle.  He is sharing the stage with another LA Music Critic Award winner, Polly O’Keary & the Rhythm Method.  This is gonna be fun.  As such, we will be posting sporadically here for the next two weeks.  We will be posting a daily tour blog on Finck’s Facebook page every day, including our thoughts about the entire tour process.  In the meantime, here’s our Monday Mashup to get  your new week off to a great musical start.

LIZ KENNEDY DROPS NEW RELEASE

Liz Kennedy released her latest album, Hike Up Your Socks,  featuring legendary bluesman Taj Mahal on harmonica on “Love Gave Me Away” as well as vocals and banjo on “Everyone Knows How It Goes” on September 15.  Watch for our review soon.

NEW MUSIC

Our first new single this week comes from Matt Zambon.  Check out “Blue & Yellow” and let us know what you think.

Just had to share this amazing electronic pop single from the band Elektrisk Gønner for their single “Money.”  Love the beat and especially the soaring vocals.  Let us know what you think.

Our last new single comes from Sara Diamond.  She has a voice like Beyonce’ and great songwriting to boot.  Check out “Stay a Little.”

NEW MUSIC VIDEOS

Our first video today is from John Hickman, who has released a fun animated video for his song “Cascade.”  This should get your new week off to a fun start.

Next up is a new video from Lexie Rose, who we featured back in July.  We think  you’ll love her video for “Wrong,” which we feel is just right.

Last but not least this week is some old fashioned bluegrass, courtesy of Bernie Faulkner with his rousing song, “Potbelly Stove.  This one sure brings back memories of my childhood.  We think you’ll like it too.

Get it or forget it – The Elwins, Tout, John LaFayete Ramey, Noon

Happy Friday the 13th.  Hope you have a spooky good time today.  We have four reviews for your today, two of which are instrumentals courtesy of Trestle Records, which specializes in that genre.  We are proud to welcome them to our family of music enablers.  We hope these albums put you in the weekend mode.  Since we are going out on tour with Jerad Finck, this may be our last Get it or Forget it for a few weeks, but we will do our best to continue to enlighten you on the amazing indie artists we meet.

Artist NameThe Elwins

Album NameBeauty Community

Label:  Hidden Pony

Genre:  Indie Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Hey! Ya, You; 2.  Don’t Walk Away From Me; 3.  OMG; 4.  Hocus Pocus; 5.  Dreamgirl; 6.  Looks Like You’re Hiding; 7.  Never Felt so Good; 8.  Your Very own Beauty Community; 9.  How do you Feel; 10.  Watercolour; 11.  Grind you Down; 12.  C’mon C’mon; 13.  This is It

Publicist:  Auteur Research

Review:  The album kicks off with “Hey! Ya, You,” which is also their first single.  It is a powerful pop/rock song that will play well on the radio, with its cool beat, hooky lyrics and impressive sound.  The album delivers hit after hit, all of which deserve serious industry consideration.  Our favorite tracks include “Don’t Walk Away From Me,” “OMG,” “Dreamgirl,” “Never Felt so Good,” “How do you Feel,” and “Grind you Down,” as well as the superb first single.  We have been seeing some impressive Canadian acts recently, and The Elwins top the list.  The band is headed out for a tour of the northern United States and Canada, and we only wish we had known they were just down the road in Bozeman last weekend.

Recommendation:  This one is super catchy and fun, and belongs in your music library.  Get it.

Artist NameTout

Album NameLive

Label:  Trestle Records

Genre:  Instrumental

Track Listing:  1.  Have set the Trees A’Sobbin; 2.  Tis Munny in his Purse; 3.  I Pictured Him; 4.  My Condition Can’t be Worse; 5.  So Here I’ve Stood

Publicist:  Trestle Records

Review:  Tout brings us prog rock instrumentals that are interesting and complex, with a steady beat and impressive guitar work.  They provide an excellent background for your daily life, with music that will keep your ears and mind alert.  This live album follows their first three studio albums, which have garnered industry praise and created a huge fan base for this thoughtful and reflective tunes.  All five tracks are noteworthy and unique.  Take time to be reflective – just add these songs to your daily routine.

Recommendation:  If you love prog rock and instrumentals, take these tunes for a test drive.

Artist NameJohn Lafayette Ramey

Album NameExposition Lines

Label:  Self released

Genre:  Roots Rock/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Cheap Rent (Move On); 2.  Guadalupe; 3.  Amelia; 4.  Jenny; 5.  Troubled Soulful Mama of the Deepest Blue; 6.  Parnell; 7.  Let me Down Easy; 8.  Sad Song, Sad Town; 9.  I Don’t Believe You; 10.  Still with Me

Publicist: KB Music Press

Review:  John Lafayette Ramey is a multi-talented Americana artist that brings the total package to the genre.  His songs can be rocky, like “Cheap Rent” or heartfelt and sincere, like “Guadalupe” and “Amelia.”   He even throws in his own version of the blues with “Troubled Soulful Mama of the Deepest Blue.”  His album shows a firm understanding of the many facets of Americana music, and Ramey has the chops to make it in this very competitive marketplace.  He also shows a healthy respect for classic rock with a pair of songs that feel heavily influenced by the Beatles (“Parnell”) and Tom Petty (“Let me Down Easy”), as well as the country feeling “Sad Song, Sad Town” and “I Don’t Believe You.”

Recommendation:  Check this one out if your love the variety of sounds incorporated in the Americana genre.

Artist NameNoon

Album NameDisquiet

Label:  Trestle Records

Genre:  Instrumental

Track Listing:  1.  Use on Floor; 2.  Wow Ashen; 3.  Imani’s Call; 4.  Living Above Visions; 5.  Disquiet; 6.  Plastic White; 7.  Llangrannog; 8.  Obviously Having it Believers; 9.  London Swims

Publicist:  Trestle Records

Review:  The album is aptly named as this album is chock full of discordant notes, eerie and spooky undertones and an overall feeling of unease, making it the perfect soundtrack for the horror movie industry.  Amazingly, it was recorded live at conversational levels during their show at Netil House.  The band incorporates a myriad of styles and tones in creating their unique sound.  This one is not for the faint of heart, but the audiophile in search of something totally different.

Recommendation:  Check it out, if you dare.

 

Get it or forget it – Curtis Peoples, Lydia Loveless, Standing Before Kings, The Oxford Coma

Time is quickly running out and there is still so much to do.  Spent all morning going through my emails and found a ton of review requests.  Unfortunately, they will have to wait until I return from tour with Jerad Finck.  We should have time for one or two more articles before then, so here we go with four more reviews.

Artist NameCurtis Peoples

Album NameFive-Nine

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  All Hands; 2.  Love on Fire; 3.  Last Night my Favorite Band Broke Up; 4.  Damage Control

Publicist:  None

Review:  Curtis Peoples has been a favorite of this reviewer since he first saw him perform at the Roxy on Sunset when he was signed to Maverick Records.  Peoples has been spending most of his time recently penning hit songs for others (including Pierce the Veil), and it is with much joy that we have received this latest offering, even if it is only four songs.  Lucky for us all four are amazing and ready for radio.  Peoples has a strong smoky baritone that lifts his carefully crafted lyrics to new heights.  His musical accompaniment is first rate and shows further signs of the growth of this artist.

Recommendation:  If you love great music, then you must Get this EP.  Hopefully we’ll have a full-length CD soon :).

Artist NameLydia Loveless

Album NameBoy Crazy and Single(s)

Label:  Bloodshot Records

Genre:  Indie Rock/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  All I Know; 2.  All the Time; 3.  Lover’s Spat; 4.  Boy Crazy; 5.  The Water; 6.  Mile High; 7.  Blind; 8.  Come Over; 9.  Falling out of Love; 10.  I Would die 4 U; 11.  Alison

Publicist:  Bloodshot Records

Review:  Lydia Loveless has been making a name for herself, both as an individual artist and a collaborator on such project’s as Earwig’s award winning hit, “Wasted on You.”  Her latest project combines new songs with re-releases of previous material, and is a wonderful addition to this year’s indie offerings.  She has a country-tinged voice that reminds us of Martina McBride, mixed with a rock and roll flavor that is perfectly suited to her music.  From the first notes of “All I Know,” it become quickly obvious that we are in the presence of greatness, witnessing the rise of indie music’s next big star.  On top of her originals, she delivers a stunning cover of Prince’s hit, “I Would Die 4 U.”  While we love every track, we were especially drawn to “All I Know,” “Lover’s Spat,” the title track, “The Water,” and “Falling Out of Love.”

Recommendation:  This one is a requirement for all serious music lovers – Get. It. Now.

Artist Name Standing Before Kings (SBK)

Album Name: Standing Before Kings

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Euro Alternative Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Intro (Explosions); 2.  Explosions; 3.  In Your Eyes; 4.  Your World

Publicist:  None

Review:  Standing Before Kings, formerly known as SIKA, is an alternative rock band begun in Russia and perfected in North Hollywood, California.   They have a heavy but pure rock sound that resonates with the conviction of their faith-based lyrics, similar to the sound of Christian rock bands Skillet and P.O.D.  We can feel the anguish in their song “In Your Eyes” as well as the power in their other tracks.  We would definitely love to hear more from this band and look forward to the release of a full-length album.

Recommendation:  If you love rock, and positive lyrics, then definitely check them out.

Artist NameThe Oxford Coma

Album NameEverything Out of Tune

Label:  Siggy Records

Genre:  Psychedelic Grunge

Track Listing:  1.  Trauma (Maybe I’m Forgetting Something); 2.  Inflatable Patriots (Touching People in their Sleep); Patterns of Though; 4.  Cartoons; 5.  Junkies & God; 6.  Everything is out of Tune My Only Victories are Other; 7.  Reciprocal Damage; 8.  Smack & Temporary Enlightenment; 9.  Good Job Boys

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  The Oxford Coma is frustrated with the current state of our country, and that frustration and angst comes through loud and clear on every dysfunctional track of their new album.  They wanted to create an album that would be the auditory soundtrack for a psychedelic hallucination, and they have achieved that goal.  They are also planning to release a feature film that will provide the visionary aspect of those hallucinations.  We think they definitely have the talent to pull off this multi-media project.

Recommendation:  If grunge and psychedelic music is your thing, then definitely check them out.  For the rest of us, just Forget it.

 

Get it or forget it – The Rasmus, Kele Okereke, Becca Richardson, Harper Grae

It’s been very busy this week preparing to take my client, Jerad Finck, on tour.  So much to do gathering merchandise, making last minute logistical runs and finalizing everything.  In addition to that, we have 21 new releases for the month of October to review, as well as eight more through the end of the year.  We will do our best to get all of the October reviews done before the end of the month, but that may be difficult being on tour.  Nevertheless, we will get them done and will start with four reviews for you today.

Artist Name The Rasmus

Album NameDark Matters

Label:   Playground Music Scandinavia

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Paradise; 2.  Something in the Dark; 3.  Wonderman; 4.  Nothing; 5.  Empire; 6.  Crystalline; 7.  Black Days; 8.  Silver Night; 9.  Delirium; 10.  Dragons into Dreams

Publicist:  Guerilla Music Promotion

Review:  The Rasmus have previously released eight studio albums between 1996 and 2012, and are making their comeback with Dark Matters.  The sound is indie rock meets anthemic heavy metal, and is worthy of serious consideration.  Recorded and mixed in Sweden and produced by The Family, Dark Matters arrives at a time when the USA market desperately needs new rock music.  This album hits the ground running and never lets up.  It is the type of album you want to hear again and again, especially “Something in the Dark,” “Nothing,” “Empire,” “Silver Night” and “Delirium.”

Recommendation:  This one rocks – Get it Now!

Artist NameKele Okereke

Album NameFatherland

Label:  BMG

Genre:  Indie Singer/Songwriter

Track Listing:  1.  Overture; 2.  Streets Been Talking; 3.  You Keep on Whispering his Name; 4.  Capers; 5.  Grounds for Resentment (ft. Olly Alexander); 6.  Yemaya; 7.  Do U Right; 8.  Version of Us (ft. Corinne Bailey Rae); 9.  Portrait; 10.  Road to Ibadan; 11.  Savannah; 12.  The New Year Party; 13.  Royal Reign

Publicist:  The End Records PR

Review:  British artist Kele Okereke of the band Bloc Party has been working on his acoustic release Fatherland for quite a few years, and the resulting album was definitely worth the wait.  The album shows the singer/songwriter side of Okereke, and we are impressed with the finished product.  The sound is definitely international with insightful lyrics that offer a rare glimpse inside this amazing artist.  He even throws in a couple of duets:  “Grounds for Resentment” with Olly Alexander and “Version of Us” with Corrine Bailey Rae.  Best songs include “Streets Been Talking,” “Capers,” “Yemaha,” “Do U Right,” “Portrait,” and “Savannah,” as well as the aforementioned duets.

Recommendation:  If you like acoustic music with an international flavor, then this is your lucky day.  We recommend you Get this one.

Artist NameBecca Richardson

Album NameWe are Gathered Here

Label:  Pink Mirror Records

Genre:  Indie Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Wanted; 2.  My Father’s Daughter; 3.  Stronger; 4.  Right Now; 5.  Dig; 6.  Killing all the Beautiful; 7.  Before the Chorus; 8.  Crooked Hearts; 9.  Rise; 10.  Are you Ready?

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  We fell in love with this artist when we first heard her single “Wanted” and couldn’t wait for her to release her album.  OMG – this one is a definitely keeper that should find a lot of repeat time on your music player, and belongs on your local radio station.  Her voice is crisp and clear, soaring above the music as only those few special artists can.  The songs are well crafted with intelligent lyrics, a steady beat, and just the right instrumentation to support Richardson’s amazing voice.  Besides the killer first single, “Wanted,” we also love “Stronger,” “Right Now,” “Dig,” “Crooked Hearts,” and “Rise.”

Recommendation:  This one’s a keeper.  We think once you’ve heard it through you’ll want to hear it over and over again.  Get this one Now!

Artist NameHarper Grae

Album NameBreak Your Crowns

Label:  Oliver Ann Records

Genre:  Pop Country

Track Listing:  1.  Young Blood; 2.  Dear Daddy; 3.  Blame it on You (ft. Corey Bost); 4.  Thunder Rolls; 5.  7 Years; 6.  Good with your Goodbye; 7.  Break Your Crowns; 8.  True Love; 9.  Free; 10.  Where my Heart has Been (ft. Rand)

Publicist:  Alliance Media Relations

Review:  Harper Grae is a product of the awesomeness that was Glee, and was a contestant on the Glee Project 2.  Break Your Crowns is her debut album, and what a debut it is.  Grae contributes most of the tracks and adds an impressive cover of Garth Brooks’ classic hit, “Thunder Rolls.”  This album deserves serious radio air play, as well as consideration for placements in television and movies.  Our favorite tracks include “Young Blood,” her duets “Blame it on You” and “Where my Heart has Been,” “Good in your Goodbye,” “the title track and “Free.”

Recommendation:  Don’t even think about it, just Get it!

 

Get it or forget it – Canyon City, Monica Chapman, Marc Berger, Alex Mabey

We were so amazed at the level of talent at this year’s Durango Songwriters Expo.  It was our first trip since we moved to Montana, and the talent pool, which has already spawned such acts as Meghan Trainor, Alissa Moreno, Tim Fagan and others just keeps getting better.  Two of our reviews today are artists we saw perform at DSE.  We think all of these reviews will encourage and entice you to continue supporting indie music.

Artist NameCanyon City

Album NameConstellation

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Folk

Track Listing:  1.  Our Way; 2.  Find You; 3.  Midnight Flight; 4.  Like I Did; 5.  Train; 6.  For the Day; 7.  Oh my God; 8.  Satellite; 9.  Run; 10.  Be Scared With Me

Publicist:  Red Boot PR

Review:  Canyon City aka Paul Johnson has a sound smooth as silk, with a dreamy voice that will soothe the listener’s soul and provide the perfect background for a major chill session.  His music goes down like a fine glass of wine, warming your body as his vibe eases your tensions and stresses, creating a truly relaxing feel.  This is music that would be at home on Hot AC and AAA stations, as this music demands radio airplay.  From the first track onwards, Canyon City gives you song after song that will change your mind about indie music.  There are no weak tracks on the album, but we really love “Our Way,” the title track (which is also the first single), “Train,” “For the Day,” and “Satellite.”

Recommendation:  This is a must have for your musical collection.  It will soon become one of your favorites, so Get it now and play it often.

Artist NameMonica Chapman

Album NameSmall World

Label:  Live Records

Genre:  Jazz

Track Listing:  1.  A Shine on Your Shoes; 2.  Goldfinger; 3.  Piel Canela; 4.  Small World; 5.  Caravan; 6.  Baby It’s Cold Outside; 7.  Big Spender; 8.  What Kind of Fool am I; 9.  So in Love; 10.  Orange Colored Sky; 11.  Don’t Explain; 12.  A Foggy Day

Publicist:  None

Review:  Monica Chapman is a Canadian artist who was born in Romania, and teaches jazz in her spare time.  She has gathered a stellar collection of jazz standards and incorporated the incomparable voices of Mike Murley, Reg Schwager and Kevin Turcotte into her sound.  Jazz standards never go out of style, and Chapman has the perfect voice for these songs.   We love great horns, and she uses them to perfection, especially on “A Shine on Your Shoes.”  This is a great soundtrack for your daily or weekly happy hour, and the tunes will surely put a smile on your face.  We love her take on the James Bond classic “Goldfinger,” as well as the Duke Ellington classic “Caravan.”  Other impressive gems are “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “Big Spender,” and “Orange Colored Sky.”

Recommendation:  If you love jazz, then this is a great album for your collection.

Artist NameMarc Berger

Album NameRide

Label:  Real Records

Genre:   Americana/Roots

Track Listing:  1.  Nobody Gonna Ride on the Railroad; 2.  Take it on the Chin; 3.  Ride; 4.  Time Waits for no Man; 5.  Montana; 6.  Twister; 7.  Heavenly Ancients; 8.  Object of my Affection; 9.  Long way from Vixenburg; 10.  A Bottle of Wine, a Suitcase, an Umbrella; 11.  Object of my Affection (instrumental)

Publicist:  None

Review:  Marc Berger has the perfect voice for roots/Americana – full of gravel, spit and determination.  He underscores his gritty sound with a musical background that is soothing, smooth and pure.  The underlying mandolin, accordion, slide guitar and harmonica flow seamlessly with the percussion and acoustic guitar.  This album takes off from the first note and never disappoints.   While every track is wonderful, we particularly love the title track, “Time Waits for no Man,” “Montana,” “Twister,” and “Long Way from Vixenburg.”

Recommendation:  This one is a worthy addition to your Americana collection – Get it.

Artist NameAlex Mabey

Album NameEnough

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Folk/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Bravest Daughter; 2.  Enough; 3.  Wild and Free; 4.  Soldier’s Wife; 5.  Run to the Edge; 6.  Jesus Was

Publicist:  None

Review:  We met this artist at DSE, and were immediately overcome with the beauty of her voice and the power of her words.  That amazement continues from the opening notes of “Bravest Daughter,” the first track of her EP Enough, as it becomes quickly clear that Alex Mabey has arrived as the new voice in folk/Americana music.  Her songs are well crafted, her voice soars like a bird, and the musical accompaniment is first rate, especially the cello on the first track and on “Soldier’s Wife.”   Our only complaint is that this six-song EP is simply too short – merely teasing us with her greatness.   The title track has such potential for placement in television and film, and creates a yearning for Mabey’s music that can never be fully quenched, but will keep bringing the listener back for more.  “Wild and Free” and “Run to the Edge” likewise grabbed our attention, and deserve serious radio airplay.

Recommendation:  Run, don’t walk, and Get this one now.  It is an absolute must have for your musical library.

Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 38

Happy Native American Day fka Columbus Day.  Just got back last night from an incredible three days in Denver for the Durango Songwriters Expo.  What a wonderful time of reconnecting with old friends like Warren Sellers, Steve Garvan, Bobby Rymer, Richard Harris, Jim Attebery, Vince West, Jill Sobule and Scott Krippayne and meeting wonderful new friends like Elise Wunder, hit songwriter Chris Lindsley, budding superstars and twins Carly and Martina, Chloe Tang and others.  Got to  be a part of Steve’s DIY panel, as well as attend some amazing showcases, listening sessions and panels.  Watch for my review this week.

TVMAs HANDED OUT

Congratulations to Tim Moyer and the Temecula Valley Music Awards for another successful year.  We also congratulate all the winners which were announced over the weekend.  Here is a list of the winners:

Best Blues Out of Town – Sarah Rogo
Best Country – America’s Kountry
Best Cover Band – Endeavor
Best Jazz – David Maldonado 
Best Pop OOT – Dree Mon
Best R&B/Soul – Shea
Best Rock – Midnight Satellites
Best Rock OOT – The Crooked Stones
Best Singer/Songwriter OOT – Savannah Philyaw
Best Singer/Songwriter- Dulaney and Company
Best Youth Cover – Makayla Phillips
Best Youth Original – Minor Strut
People’s Choice – Minor Strut
Artist of The Year – Ben Allen

NEW SINGLES

We wanted to spotlight some new singles from performers we saw at Durango this weekend.  First up is Marion, who has an amazing new EDM single, “Electric Gold.”  If this one doesn’t get you up and dancing, then you need to wake up.

Next up is Gracie Day, whose new single is already getting rave reviews.  Check out “I Don’t Want Whiskey.”  The song starts at about 1:35.

Our third single is “Home” from Rachel Price.  She is an amazing singer songwriter that definitely has a huge future in music.  Check out this live recording from her performance at The Mint in Los Angeles.

NEW MUSIC VIDEOS

First up today is a favorite of this blog, and many of you in addition.  Katie Costello is becoming the queen of DIY and is an extremely gifted artist.  Check out her video for her latest “Hearts on Fire.”

Next up is a lyric video from amazing UK artist Hannah Trigwell.  She has joined up with Captive on her song, “I Could be the One.”  This is another one that will make you want to get up and dance.

Last but not least this week is a live video from another of this blog’s favorite acts, Calico the Band.  Check out “The Leaving Kind.”

 

Robert Earl Keen returns with new music (interview)

We were hoping to post this earlier but life has a way of manifesting itself in strange ways.  We had the opportunity to interview one of the greatest indie songwriters of the past 30 years, just before he was scheduled to play the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles and introduce his new music.  He is currently in the studio working on making these songs available to his massive fan base.  We only wish we could have been there for the show.

Robert Earl Keen has been a staple on the indie music scene for the past 30 years.  Here is our interview

IVB:  Who would you say was your biggest influence? 

REK:  My most famous influence was Willie Nelson.  I liked Willie before Willie was cool.  If ya want to get a hint of that, pull up the Ernest Tubb show.  Willie was the special guest every week.

The person I tried to emulate was Norman Blake.  I spent hundreds of hours trying to play like Norman.  I know many of his songs and a few of his covers.  I recorded “Billy Gray” on Walking Distance and I first heard “Poor Ellen Smith” on Norman’s record.  I recorded that song on my 2015 Bluegrass album Happy Prisoner.
 
IVB:  Do you think that you have now moved into the role of influencer?

REK:  What is the difference between truth telling and bragging? There are so many people tooting their horns, I have a hard time with that question.  As human beings, we all influence things constantly.  We all share in this experience.  I’ve never been one for staking a claim on credit.  Here’s a short story that might enlighten you pertaining to that question:

TWENTY YEARS AGO there was a guy who owned a club in central Texas.  It was a quasi-dance club that catered to country music fans. When an artist would call to pitch for a chance to play the club, this club owner would ask, “Are you a Robert Earl Keen or are you a Hat Act?” I always got a kick out of that.
 
IVB:  Have your influences changed since you first began making music?  If so, what has changed?

REK:  I used to be frightened to death of the studio.  Mostly it was about the cost of making a record, but I also played with incredible musicians and far be it from me to waste their time.  I have more money now and I’m comfortable with the fact that recording takes time and diligence.  My playing is still mediocre at best, but I love the studio.  I try things now I never imagined.  It’s an incredible place to create music.  In the past, I had to keep all the music in my head.  Now I can work one song at a time and get the exact treatment I’m looking for in every song.  As to influences, I love classical music. I’ve come to understand that classical music is all about placement and nuance.  Classical music provides us with a map to understand recording like no other music can do.  Volume changes, tone, or how many instruments one uses to support the musical phrase.  Classical music has had the biggest influence on my musical thinking for the past ten years.
 
IVB:  Do you think the Americana industry itself has changed, or is the change more personal? 

REK:  Americana has changed drastically.  Here’s a credit grabber for you.  I was the original poster boy for Americana when it was created by Gavin Magazine in 1996 or 97.  I don’t remember the year.  I’m on the cover.

There was a gold rush like campaign to control and define Americana music.  In the beginning, it was wide open.  Americana included everyone from the folk scene – Greg Brown, Bill Morrissey, Patty Larkin, John Gorka, Dar Williams and so many others. Americana included west coasters – Dave Alvin, Norton Buffalo, Rosie Flores, all kinds of jam bands.  But it was Nashville who won out in the end.  Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Drive By Truckers, Patti Griffin, Lucinda Moore, Buddy Miller, and Jim Lauderdale were among the Nashville group.  I was lucky to be included in that group.

The field is much smaller now, but the amount of music that is out there in the world of Americana, and specifically the Nashville brand, is seemingly infinite.  I feel like I’m always changing. In that way I’m the same as I always was.

Wow, that was fun – it was such a honor to interview Keen and to hear his thoughts on the genre that inspired him and supported him all these years.  We look forward to hearing his new songs.

Kanisha K returns with a Nashville mix of her single ‘Oh Damn Yeah’

Kanisha K is no stranger to Indie Voice Blog.  We have featured her twice before – in 2015 for her Christmas song, and this past February for “Bet on Me,” which was also nominated for best single (female) in the LA Music Critic Awards.  We love what this young lady has accomplished, and her future potential as an indie artist.

 “I love being able to do what I love and to inspire people who think that their dreams can’t come true.  All of this is hard for me to believe sometimes, but I think everything boils down to focusing on your passion and working hard.  I’m excited about the way music travels,” explains Kanisha when describing her vision.  The Holland, Michigan native has embraced hit music from the past as well as the current music scene, forging a combination that allows her creative style to shine.

A couple of years ago she released her song “Oh Damn Yeah” to Top 40 and CHR Radio.  The song was written and produced by uber producer Joe Vulpis (Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, Richie Blackmore, Jennifer Love Hewitt) and mastered by Tom Coyne (Adele, Beyonce, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Pink, Ariana Grande) and recorded at Vulpis’ studio in Nashville.  It seems only fitting that two years later, she is re-releasing it as a country mix.

“Working with Joe Vulpis and bringing his songs to life through the recording process was an enormous honor for me.  I really fell in love with “Oh Damn Yeah” and “Never Stopped Loving You” and worked hard to preserve the integrity of both the music and the lyrics. I think we have some hits here.”

 

The song takes all the elements of today’s country pop scene and mixes them with this amazingly written song, keeping all the elements that made the original version such a hit while making the song attractive to another genre.  It is truly ready for extended air play on a multitude of radio formats, as well as being a killer song for placement in television and film.

But as every artist knows, every story has a beginning and Kanisha’s begins at home.  At a very young age, the singer was introduced to a wide array of music from her supportive parents.  She credits her musical influences as Etta James, Alicia Keys and Aretha Franklin.

From singing and playing piano at age four to joining a band and playing the sax and guitar in sixth grade, Kanisha knew that vocal lessons would be the next step in her musical education.  Beginning those lessons in eighth grade she went on to join her High School choir the next year and also became involved in local community
theater. Her participation in an award-winning choir ultimately took her into the studio with Robyn Robins from The Silver Bullet Band and eventually headed to Los Angeles where she recorded two songs at the legendary Capitol Records studios.

Kanisha enjoys speaking about her love of animals and is proud to live in a family that has a total of six pets – two dogs, two cats, one bird and a rabbit.  She has recently gotten involved working with the HSUS (Humane Society of the U.S.) and the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected organization and plans for much more work with pet and charity foundations in the future.

We can hardly wait to see what’s next for Kanisha.  She has garnered our full attention.  Don’t forget to follow her on Spotify, and listen there as well.