Monday mashup 2018 – vol. 3

Welcome to the third week of 2018.  We have enjoyed so much music already this year, and look forward to what is still to come.  We’ve got some news for you today, as well as three new singles and three new music videos for you to check out.  Here we go!


The concert discovery app Bandsintown has announced a new data-driven program called “Big Break.”  The first bands selected are Foxtrax from Los Angeles, Minke from London, Peach Pit from Vancouver and Sisters from Seattle.

Artists selected will receive promotion across Bandsintown’s digital newtwork, as well as customized editorial, in-app features, brand partnerships tour and special showcase opportunities, and social media promotion.  The program will spotlight 50 artists during the coming year.

Artists will be selected from those using the Bandsintown app, so create your account today if you want to be considered.


The competition, open to any indie artist not signed to a major label, is drawing to a close.  The deadline for entry is this Wednesday, January 24, 2018.   Prizes include a Grand Prize of $20,000, plus mentoring by record label executives, top industry managers, major booking agencies and more.

Categories include AAA (Adult Album Alternative), AC (Adult Contemporary), Americana, Christian, Country, EDM, Folk/Singer- Songwriter, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop/Top 40, Screen Shot (songs suitable for placement in film/TV/advertising/gaming), Teen (artists 18 years old or younger) and Vocal Performance.

You can enter by clicking here.


First up today is “Warning Signs,” a single set to be released this Friday by Italian songwriter An Early Bird.  Let us know what you think.

Our second single is actually a double release, “For You”/”Por Ti” and comes courtesy of Nina Diaz, the lead singer of punk rock trio Girl in a Coma.  The first song is English and the second is the Spanish adaptation.  We think you’ll like this one.

Our last new single for you today is from Santa Cruz based punk rock band Craig’s Brother, and is their first new song in seven years.  Check out “Meilynn’s Song,” from their new IVM compilation Family & Friends Sampler.


Moving on to some new videos, check out this amazing one from Scarlett Taylor for her song “I Can Fly.”  It’s a dark tune with an impressive musical soundtrack.  Let us know what you think.

Our second video is a lot more upbeat and features some stirring cinematography of the Calgary skyline.  Check out “Follow Me” from The Raven and the Fox.

Our final video today is from the new Accomplice One album by Tommy Emmanuel, which we will be reviewing shortly.  Here’s he joined by Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo on the song, “Djangology,” which was recorded at the Abdala Studio in Havana, Cuba.  Have a great week!


Suzanne Santo at the Top Hat – live performance review

Last night we attended the solo show for Suzanne Santo of honeyhoney, who performed to a packed house at the Top Hat Lounge in Missoula, Montana.  Mapache opened the night for her.  They are a duo of acoustic musicians on guitar and dobro who possess some of the best harmonies we have ever heard.  They just released their debut album in October, and we will be reviewing it next week.  These guys were so good that Santo brought them up during her set to do a trio with them that was breathtaking as they did a cover of “Helplessly Hoping” by Crosby, Stills & Nash.  We highly recommend you check them out.

Santo took the stage about 10:35 p.m., along with Blaine on rhythm guitar and foot bass and Paul on drums.  Santo used three different guitars and her fiddle during her nearly 90 min set, which included a two-song encore.

Santo previously released her debut solo album Ruby Red back in August, and we reviewed it here on our blog on August 23.  She released a music video for the lead single, “Ghost in my Bed,” which garnered a nomination for the LA Music Critic Awards for Best Video Official (Female), while Santo was nominated for Best Roots/Americana Artist (Female).

Santo and her band played nearly all of the songs on her album, as well as an amazing cover of Johnny Cash’s “Give my Love to Rose,” and a medley of honeyhoney songs, including “I Don’t Want to Fight,” “All on You,” and “Burned me Out,” which she performed solo.

She apologized for her late start, and explained that they had played the Tractor Tavern in Seattle on Thursday night and had a hard commute over, arriving after their scheduled sound check.

Among the highlights were performances of “Ghost in my Bed” (featuring some outstanding fiddle), “Blood on Your Knees,” “Bullets,” and “Yours or Mine.”  Blaine was also amazing on guitar and playing bass with his footboard.

Santo talked about her performances last year with honeyhoney, including stops at the Top Hat Lounge and a performance at the Bob Marshall Festival in Seeley Lake.  In fact, there was a large group from Seeley Lake at the show that had gotten hooked on her sound when she performed there.

Santo also informed the crowd that Ben Jaffe, her partner in honeyhoney, would be releasing his solo project soon, and encouraged everyone to check it out.

It was an amazing evening of music.  We strongly encourage you to check out both Santo and Mapache the next time they stop in Missoula.

Get it or forget it – Granular, Tribal Seeds, Zilm, Ascending Dawn, Acadian Driftwood

The quality of indie releases remains high, and we have five more to share with you today.  Here we go.

Artist Name:  Granular

Album Name XI

Label:  Little Jig Records

Genre:  Electronic Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Ewe; 2.  Try; 3.  I Need You; 4.  Seven Weeks; 5.  Something in Between; 6.  You Don’t; 7.  Hypnotized; 8.  Youth; 9.  Wire; 10.  All Again

Publicist:  Little Jig Records

Review: Granular is a Swiss band from Lucerne who were formerly known as Augustine’s Suspenders.  They combine elements of electronica, dance and pop to form their own style of music.  Coupled with the amazingly smooth vocals of Sebastian Meyer, their music has an 80’s Tears for Fears vibe that is impossible to forget.  The first two tracks, “Ewe” and Try” have already been released as singles, and we think this album will yield a few more.  Our favorite tracks include “Try,” “Seven Weeks,” “Something in Between,” “Hypnotize,” and “”All Again,” although there really isn’t a weak track on the entire album.

Recommendation:  Definitely Get it.

Artist NameTribal Seeds

Album NameRoots Party

Label:  iSeed Industries LLC

Genre:  Reggae

Track Listing:  1.  Aroma; 2.  Gunsmoke (ft. Protoje); 3,  Roots Party; 4.  Empress; 5.  Rude Girl; 6.  Roots Dub; 7.  Aroma Dub; 8.  Empress Dub

Publicist:  Big Picture Media Online

Review:  Tribal Seeds has been creating fans and garnering critical support in their native San Diego for the past 13 years and recently won the title Artist of the Year from the San Diego Music Awards.  Just a casual listen to their most recent album, Roots Party, and it is easy to see why.  This is true reggae in the style of Bob Marley but with a laid-back So Cal vibe.  There are five new songs on the EP, as well as dubstep remixes of “Aroma,” “Roots Party” and “Empress.”  Needless to say, the entire EP rocks, and can easily turn anyone into a reggae music lover.

Recommendation:  Don’t even think about it – Get it now!

Artist Name Zilm

Album NameFunk the System

Label:  A&R Records

Genre:  Funk/Rap

Track Listing:  1.  The Least II; 2.  Set it Up; 3.  London BonBon; 4.  Life is Like

Publicist:  The A&R Department PR

Review:  Zilm is based in Adelaide, Australia, and is heavily influenced by artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers (check out “Life is Like”), and Reggie Watts.  His music is hip, funky and timely, with lyrics that speak to real world problems.  Unlike most rappers, he also accompanies himself on guitar and looper.  He recorded the EP in his home studio where he is currently working on a full length release.  We can’t wait.

Recommendation:  Hop on board his train now – don’t miss the chance to be a musical tastemaker.

Artist NameAscending Dawn

Album NameCoalesce

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Prog/Alt-Metal

Track Listing:  1.  All in Now; 2.  Miscommunication; 3.  Cannonball; 4.  Integral; 5.  Opposites; 6.  Simplify; 7.  Inside the Silence; 8.  Indiscretion; 9.  Cannonball (radio edit)

Publicist:  Effective Immediately PR

Review:  This is an amazing band, mixing prog sensibilities with alt-metal, and featuring the breathtaking vocals of Marlain Angelides, who is every bit as good as Amy Lee of Evanescence.  Despite the metal undertones, this band would do well on rock radio stations and fully deserves the airplay.  From the rocking first notes of “All in Now” through the radio edit of “Cannonball,” they prove their commercial appeal over and over again.  Just like Tribal Seeds could convert anyone to reggae, Ascending Dawn can convert non-metal lovers to their groove.  This one is a definitely winner.

Recommendation:  Get. It. Now.

Artist NameAcadian Driftwood

Album Name First Amendment

Label:   Self-released

Genre:  Roots Rock/Anerucana

Track Listing:  1.  Rain Falling In; 2.  Catch the Sun; 3.  Shallow Water; 4.  Arrival; 5.  Fair’s Fayre

Publicist:  Neon Tetra PR

Review:  This is the band’s debut EP, and it starts out slowly on “Rain Falling In” like good Americana, with a smooth country vibe and lots of guitar slide.   They add some congas to the drum beat on “Catch the Sun” while retaining all the previous elements.  They finally take off on “Shallow Water” after a mellow, acoustic intro, and show that they can bring the rock to their roots music.  “Arrival” returns to the slow guitar, drums and vocals, totally different from anything before it.  They close out with “Fair’s Fayre,” a renaissance-style ballad with a haunting harmonica on top of awesome guitar.

Recommendation:  Definitely worth checking out.  We love this British band’s approach to an American musical genre.


Get it or forget it – Miss Freddye, Amanda Mair, The Rigs, Marmoset Music, Demons

And the cycle begins again.  Now that the LA Music Critic Award nominations for the second half of 2017 have been announced, we can start reviewing the first of the submissions for the first half of 2018.  We have five of them for you today.  Hope you enjoy them.  Don’t forget to vote for your Fan Favorite.  Voting closes 1/31/18.

Artist NameMiss Freddye

Album Name Lady of the Blues

Label:  missfreddyesblues

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Miss Freddye’s Gonna Fix Ya; 2.  Luv ya Baby; 3.  Lady of the Blues; 4.  Don’t Apologize, Recognize; 5.  Home Improvement; 6.  Use the Back Door; 7.  Chain Breaker; 8.  Doorway to the Blues; 9.  These are my Blues; 10.  Freight Train Blues; 11.  A Losing Battle

Publicist:  Broads 4 Blues

Review:  Traditional Blues are a special kind of awesome, especially when the vocals are throaty, sexy and female.  Miss Freddye is the perfect kind of blues singer, and she brings it all to the table when she sings, kind of like a combination of Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt.  She has an amazing band that provides the perfect accompaniment to her down home sound, complete with an amazing horn section and a dynamic keyboardist.  The harmonies are also perfect, especially on “Luv ya Baby.”  The title track is a perfect representation of the quality of this whole album, and should hook you on Miss Freddye.  Other tracks we love include the amazing duet “Don’t Apologize, Recognize,” the jiving “Home Improvement” with its screaming sax and piano, “Chain Breaker,”  and the more traditional “These are my Blues” and “Freight Train Blues.”

Recommendation:  Definitely a winning combination, you simply MUST Get this one.

Artist NameAmanda Mair

Album NameTo the Moon

Label:  Despotz Records AB

Genre:  Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Stay you and I; 2.  Rush; 3.  Wednesday; 4.  Hopes; 5.  Empty Blockings

Publicist:  Mystic Sons PR

Review:  Amanda Mair comes to us courtesy of Stockholm, Sweden, and we think she is just what American pop radio needs to survive.  Her sound is dreamy, airy, upbeat and truly radio ready.  Her sound lifts your spirits and gets you ready to face the day.  She should be required listening for everyone who has to go out and work.  The EP chronicles her personal struggles and encourages her fans that they can successfully overcome them as well.  “Rush” would make a great house mix for the dance floor.  “Wednesday” and “Hopes” are light and airy reminiscent of Enya, before closing out the EP with the upbeat and danceable track “Empty Blockings.”

Recommendation:  A great start, this is definitely one of the best International EPs we have ever reviewed.  This one is a no-brainer – Get it now!

Artist NameThe Rigs

Album Name:  World on Fire

Label:  Sain Rogue Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  The Brave; 2.  Fault Line; 3.  Runaway; 4.  Fall or Fly; 5.  The Hunted; 6.  White Flag; 7.  World on Fire; 8.  When we Were Young

Publicist:  Magic Tree Productions

Review:  We fell in love with this band when we previewed their latest music video “When we Were Young” in our last Monday Mashup.  The EP is even better, as it shows a dynamic range of musical talent beyond that in the single.  This band hits the ground running on “The Brave,” and proceeds to blow their listeners away with strong vocals, well-written lyrics and a mind-blowing musical accompaniment that swells and grows to its climax.  The next track “Fault Line” continues that awesomeness, leaving no doubt that this band is ready for serious radio airplay, with a sound similar to Imagine Dragons.  Other songs that we loved include “Fall or Fly,” “The Hunted,” and the title track, basically everything on the EP.

Recommendation:  Don’t think twice – Get it ASAP!

Artist NameMarmoset Music

Album NameTransference

Label:  Marmoset Music

Genre:  Miscellaneous

Track Listing:  1.  Hot Time in the Old Town (Ural Thomas and the Pain); 2.  April Showers (Shaky Faces); 3.  Where the Glories Glow (Dear Nora); 4.  Play a Simple Melody (Trimountaine); 5.  Out Among the Sheltering Pines (The Helio Sequence); 6.  Wildflower Flower (Bouquet); 7.  The World is Waiting for the Sunrise (Distance (ft. Frankie Simone)); 8.  Beautiful Dreamer (Patternist); 9.  Shine on Harvest Moon (Mree); 10.  Me and my Gal (Hot Bloods)

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  What makes this compilation so special is that every one of these songs came out of the public domain and have been reimagined and redesigned by this amazing mix of eclectic artists, through the oversight of Marmoset Music.  The result is a fun album of songs that have been modernized and brought back to life for modern music lovers.  Our favorite tracks include “Hot Time in the Old Town,” “Where the Glories Grow,” “Out Among the Sheltering Pines,” “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise,” “Beautiful Dreamer,” and “Harvest Moon.”

Recommendation:  This one definitely deserves a spot in your musical library.

Artist NameDemons

Album NameEmbrace Wolf

Label:  Spartan Records

Genre:  Punk

Track Listing:  1.  (telebrothy); 2.  Always Your Own; 3.  wish; 4.  Nobody Loves you the way you Are; 5.  Dig; 6.  Decibel Farmer; 7.  17:9; 8.  Arranged Marriage; 9.  Assured Retribution

Publicist:  Spartan Records

Review:  The album begins with the instrumental track (telebrothy) before launching into the full-blown punk track of “Always Your Own.”  Unlike other punk we have reviewed, the lyrics are understandable and the music is low key but highly effective.  The volume and feedback go up starting with “Nobody Loves You the way you Are,” “Dig” and “Decibel Farmer,” making it more difficult for a non-punk lover to enjoy the music.  Our favorite tracks are “wish,” “Arranged Marriage,” and “Assured Retribution.”

Recommendation:  If you are a true punk lover, you will enjoy this one.  If not, you should probably Forget it.


Announcement of LA Music Critic Award nominations for second half of 2017

We think that 2017 will go down as one of the most prolific years in outstanding music being released by indie artists.  We received and reviewed so many that we had to change the review period.  Consequently, we considered more than 235 albums and EPs that were released between July 1 and November 30, 2017, in compiling our nominations for the LA Music Critic Awards.  Albums and EPs released from December 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018 will be considered for the first half awards of 2018.

Fans are encouraged to vote for the Fan Favorite Award.  To vote for your favorite,  simply leave a comment below in the following format:  “I vote for (name of artist) for Fan Favorite.”  No other comments will be counted toward the Fan Favorite Award, and each reader may only vote once.   Comments made on other social media sites will not count.

Fans are also encouraged to comment on other award nominations, and those comments will be reviewed by the Awards committee.  However, they will not count for the Fan Favorite Award unless the comment specifically says that the artist is being nominated for the Fan Favorite Award. 

The deadline for voting for the Fan Favorite Award is Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at midnight MST.  The full list of winners will be announced at 6 p.m. MST on Friday, February 2, 2018.

Without further delay, here are the nominations.

BEST EP (Male) – Ryan Sims, My Side of the Story; Sam Marine, Big Dark City; Ben Anderson, YouTopia; Matt Westerman, Life Out Loud; Vinnie Paolizzi, Kids

BEST EP (Female) – Jacquie, The Only One; Katie Costello, New World; Cara Frew, Dance; Helen Culver, Seven Year Glitch; Libbie Schrader, Red Thread

BEST EP (Group) – Mare Island, Eponymous; TYA, No Money, More Love; RVBY My Dear, Cycles; Social Repose, Empress; Surf Rock is Dead, We Have No Friends?

BEST EP (International) – House Hounds, Saturate; Wolf & Moon, Frames; HUNDREDS, Wilderness; The Raft; Orion; The Raft, A Lullaby

BEST CD (Male) – Canyon City, Constellation; Chuck McDermott, Gin & Rosewater; Case Garrett, Aurora; Rusty Young, Waitin’ for the Sun; Bryan Stephens, Village of Dreams

BEST CD (Female) – Monica Chapman, Small World; Chelsea Williams, Boomerang; Cindy Alexander, Deep Waters; Marina V, Born to the Stars; Katie Costello, Twice the Love; Amilia K. Spicer, Wow and Flutter

BEST CD (Group) – The Commotions, Vol 2; Great Willow, Find Yourself in Los Angeles; Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja, Something for the Pain; FreeWorld, What it Is; Chris Daniels and the Kings, Blues with Horns

BEST HOLIDAY ALBUM – Katie Garibaldi, Home Sweet Christmas; Balsam Range, It’s Christmas Time; Jennifer Hanson, Under the Tree; Beth Marie Anderson, Christmas with You; Bloodshot Records, 13 Days of Xmas; Blue Elan Records, A Blue Elan Christmas

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Male) – Matt Hawkins, Steel Ya Blues; Brandon Bonine, Remember my Name; Canyon City, Midnight Flight; Josh Johnstone, Just What it is; Rod Melancon, Dwayne & Me

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Female) – Janey Street, Undone; Dree Mon, Rebel Soul; Lexie Rose, Wrong; Katie Costello, Hearts on Fire; Rachel Ariana, Imperfect; Suzanne Santo, Ghost in my Bed

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Group) – FlecHaus, Tell me Something; Satellite Citi, Undead; Elizabeth and the Catapult, Ambrosia; Oh Geronomo, No More Stones; Pet Fangs, Gold Coast Dreaming; The Flatliners, Indoors

BEST VIDEO (LIVE) – Sierra Blanca, Paint the Road; Bernie Faulkner, Potbelly Stove; Calico the Band, The Leaving Kind; Rosi Golan, Underneath; Chelsea Williams, Anything Worth Saving

BEST VIDEO (LYRIC) – Mellott, Shooting Stars; Rachel Price, Love is War; The Rebel Light, Where did all the Love Go; Chris Chilton, Adonai; Jared Finck, New Kids

BEST VIDEO (HOLIDAY) – Redhead Express, Love is Christmas; Chelsea Williams, Peppermints and Mistletoe; Kate Steinway, White Christmas; Pam Taylor, Let’s Get it on for Christmas

BEST VIDEO (INTERNATIONAL) – Straw, Bang Bang; Straw, 1965; Captive (ft. Hannah Trigwell), I Could be the One

BEST VIDEO (COLLABORATION) – Blue Elan Artists, Shine Down on Us; David Garfield and J. Paris, I Lied; Beckett and Claire Ridgely, Butterflies

BEST SINGLE (Male) – Mikey Wax, “Spaceman;” Zvchvivh, “Think of Me;” Tim Maiden, “So Far Gone;” Matt Zambon, “Blue and Yellow;” Jason Crosby, “Final Step”

BEST SINGLE (Female) – Hannah Lucia, “Your Love;” Heather Bond, “Keep it Quiet;” Ashleigh Watson, “Little Love;” Liz Kennedy (ft. Taj Mahal), “Everyone Knows how it Goes”

BEST SINGLE (Group) –   Featurette, “Upside Down;” Delsinki, “Wishing Upon a Star;” Echo City, “Burn Me;” Astral Queen, “Take it all the Way;” The Sound of Ghosts, “Train to Nowhere”

BEST INTERNATIONAL ARTIST/BAND – The Fisherman and the Sea, Belle Miners, The Raft, HUNDREDS, Wolf & Moon

BEST COUNTRY ARTIST – Case Garrett, Tim Bennett, Whitney Lusk, Kaylee Keller, Ryan Sims

BEST COUNTRY BAND – CALICO the Band, Steve Azar and the Kings Men, Honey County

BEST BLUES ARTIST – Pam Taylor, John Verity, Stacy Jones, Alastair Greene, R. D. Olson, Dave Hunt

BEST BLUES BAND – Paradise Kings, FreeWorld, Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja, BB and the Blues Shacks, Chris Daniels and the Kings, The McKee Brothers

BEST POP ARTIST (Female) – Marina V, Cindy Alexander, Katie Costello, Alex Mabey, Maggie McClure, Rosi Golan

BEST POP ARTIST (Male) – Curtis Peoples, Fernando Perdomo, Matt Westerman, Bryan Stephens, Ben Anderson, LeRiche

BEST POP BAND – Flood Coats, Seasonal Beast, Elizabeth and the Catapult, Warbly Jets, High Dive Heart, Laini and the Wildfire

BEST ROCK ARTIST – Billy Burnette, Rusty Young, Ben Lorentzen, Russ Carrick, Robert Francis, Peter Simpson

BEST ROCK BAND – The Khourys, Surf Rock is Dead, Social Repose, The Slants, Xs and Arrows, Dopapod

BEST R&B/SOUL ARTIST – Ray Goren, Leslie Clio, Zoey Clarke, Louise Lemon

BEST R&B/SOUL/RETRO BAND – The Marias, The Commotions, Burgess Meredith

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA ARTIST (Female) – Lydia Loveless, Shannon McNally, Liz Kennedy, Chelsea Williams, Amilia K. Spicer, Suzanne Santo

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA ARTIST (Male) – Rich McCulley, Marc Berger, Chuck McDermott, Jason Hawk Harris, Sam Marine, Vinnie Paolizzi

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA BAND – Great Willow, The County Liners, JD and the Straight Shot, The Empty Pockets, Dead Rock West

BEST BLUEGRASS ARTIST/BAND – The Jerry Douglas Band, The Grascals, My Girl My Whiskey and Me, Tommy Emmanuel and David Grisman

BEST JAZZ/INSTRUMENTAL ARTIST/BAND – Tout, Noon, Monica Chapman, John McLaughlin, KRON, Dave Yaden

BEST DANCE ARTIST/BAND – The Innocent Bystanders, TYA, Elephant Stone, Niteshifters, Cara Frew


BEST PUNK BAND – Franks and Deans, Emmer Effer, Hang Tight, The Paranoid Style

BEST HARD ROCK/METAL BAND – SBK, Vacant Home, Aviator, The Black Hand, Downfall 2012

BEST FOLK ARTIST – Ben Bostick, Canyon City, Garrison Starr, Fred Smith, Sierra Blanca, Brandon Luedtke

BEST FOLK BAND – Tony Lovato and MEST, Fire Chief Charlie, Amber Run, Nescora, FXRRVST

BEST TRADITIONAL FOLK BAND – Storywrens, The East Pointers


RISING STAR – Ray Goren, Kaylee Keller, Rachel Ariana, Gina Sicilia, Chelsea Williams

We encourage to subscribe so you can keep up with the Awards and with our blog year-round.  We’ll be back tomorrow with the first reviews for the next cycle.

Monday mashup 2018 – vol. 2

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. day – hope you remembered and thought about the amazing legacy he left behind and the example he was for all humanity, especially in this day and time.  We have a lot of news for you today, as well as three new singles and music videos.  Don’t forget that the nominations for the LA Music Critic Awards will be announced on Wednesday, January 17, with the winners announced on Friday, February 2.  We can’t wait to share them with you.


The NAMM Show for musicians is the equivalent of Saint Patrick’s Day for the Irish.  It is an annual event held in January every year at the Anaheim Convention Center which brings together all types of music manufacturers, buyers and musicians to show off the latest innovations and to share music.  It is not open to the public, although some special events are, like the nightly musical showcases in the hotel lobbies of the Marriott and the Hilton, as well as on the outdoor stages outside the Convention Center.  Kudos to Tim Moyer, who coordinates these artists every year.  Here is a list of indie musicians who will be performing on the Marriott’s two stages during this year’s Winter NAMM, which will be during Grammy weekend, January 25-28, 2018:

Wednesday, January 24
5-5:40 – Paula Boggs Band
6-6:40 – Will Champlin
7-7:40 – Nu-Blu
8-8:40 – Stephanie Brown and the Surrealistics
9-9:40 – Minor Strut
10-10:40 – Static and Surrender
11-11:40 – Lunar Hand

Thursday, January 25
11-11:40 – Jamie Stillway
12-12:40 – Aidan James
1-1:40 – Dauzat St. Marie
2-2:40 – Ben Allen
3-3:40 – MASUMI Trio
4-5:40 – Tim Moyer Songwriters Round (Steven McClintock, Tessa Delee)
6-6:40 – The Get Down Boys
7-7:40 – Incendio
8-8:40 – Wish and the Well
9-9:40 – Parlor Social
10-10:40 – Paul Childers
11-11:40 – Shaye & Black Hat
12-12:40 – Gene Evaro, Jr.

Friday, January 26
11-11:40 – Heather Nation
12-12:40 – Trevor Gordon Hall
1-1:40 – Tiffany Christopher
2-2:40 – Grayson Erhard
3-3:40 – Lloyd Spiegel
4-5:40 – Tim Moyer Songwriters Round (Kiki Ebsen, Makayla Phillips, Randi Driscoll)
6-6:40 – Stephanie Johnson Band
7-7:40 – Wimberly Bluegrass Band
8-8:40 – Printz
10-10:40 – Bernie Williams and Gil Paris
11-11:40 – Chase Walker
12-12:40 – The Fenians

Saturday, January 27
11-11:40 – Emily Faith
12-12:40 – Jon Mullane
1-1:40 – Jessica Malone
2-2:40 – Chi McLean
3-3:40 – Wilifax
4:5:40 – Tim Moyer Songwriters Round (Sister Speak, Josh Logan, Olivia Henken)
6-6:40 – Venice
7-7:40 – Aaron Rizzo
8-8:40 – Larry Mitchell
9-9:40 – Sara Rogo
10-10:40 – The Crooked Stones
11-11:40 – Komox
12-12:40 – Elvis Monroe


Kudos also to Jay Tinsky, who has booked a great line-up of performers on the Sennheiser Microphone stage (Booth 6577) inside the Convention Center.  Unfortunately, these performances are open to badgeholders only.

Thursday, January 25
11:30 – Randell Kirsch and Luann Olson
12:30 – Ronee Martin
1:30 – Michael Mell
2:30 – Talbot Brothers
3:30 – Rie Sinclair

Friday, January 26
11:30 – Jaq MacKenzie
12:30 – Astral Queen (ft. Nina Storey and Mark McKee)
1:30 – Ari and the Alibis
2:30 – Marcus Eaton
3:30 – Julia Othmer
4:30 – Nu Blue

Saturday, January 27
11:30 – Dixie Jade
12:30 – Luci
1:30 – Lola Lennox
2:30 – Debby Holiday
3:30 – Charlie Bereal
4:30 – J. Malik

Sunday, January 28
11:30 – em rossi
12:30 – The Talbots
1:30 – George Krikes ft. Pretty Polly
2:30 – Ari and the Alibis
3:30 – Marina V


Our first single today, “Interfear,” comes to us from Australian band Foemen.  This one should get your senses pumping and your heart racing.  Let us know what you think.

Next up is the “Times Flying,” from Elin K, a majestic ballad that will take your ears and mind on an excellent auditory journey.  Check it out.

Our final single today, “Winter” by Luke Buck, is another ballad that will take you on a journey that will appeal to all of your senses.  We think this one has legs.


Check out this amazing lyric video from Foreign Figures for their single, Heart of Gold.  We think this one is a sure-fire hit.

Next up is “When we Were Young,” an amazing video from The Rigs and featuring DeAnte Tyree Duckett.  This might become our new favorite song, and it’s perfect for this particular holiday.  Enjoy!

Our final video today is some K-Pop from Down Under,  Stalking Like Candy‘s “Can You See the Light.”  We are overjoyed and amazed at the visual stimulation and the fun, upbeat vibe of this band and their song.  Let us know how they affect you.



Best indie albums of 2017

Here’s our list of the best indie albums of 2017.  Some of them were nominated and/or won LA Music Critic Awards during the first half of 2017, and most of the rest will be included when the nominations for the second half of 2017 are announced on January 17.  Consider this your “sneak peak” of those nominations.  Every album on this list has been reviewed in the “Get it or Forget it” column of our Blog.  How many of them do you have?

Honorable Mention:  Even though we have selected 25 albums for our list, there were a few that didn’t make the list, but deserve mention, including Ride by Marc Berger, Find the Silver Lining by Kelly Fitzgerald, Little Folks Like You and Me by Mike Younger, Small World by Monica Chapman and Honestly by Jay Asher.  Definitely check out these albums.

25.  The East Pointers, What we Leave Behind – This award-winning Canadian band has what they need to break into the American music scene.

24.  Becca Richardson, We are Gathered Here – Check her out at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles on January 20.

23.  Harper Grae, Break Your Crowns – Definitely check out this rising star from Nashville.

22.  Rusty Young, Waitin’ for the Sun – Young was the former lead singer for Poco, and the band has reunited to support his solo artist.  This is his first solo effort for Blue Élan Records.

21.  The Show Ponies, How it all Goes Down – The band recently announced they would be disbanding and this album was their final one.  They were an LA Music Critic Award winner during the first half of 2017.

20.  Elizabeth and the Catapult, Keepsake – Check her out when she performs at Sundance this year.

19.  Great Willow, Find Yourself in Los Angeles – This band is becoming a player on the Americana circuit.  Check them out live if you live near there.

18.  Bryan Stephens, Village of Dreams – Another great Blue Élan Records artist.

17.  Jeffrey Halford & the Healers, Lo-Fi Dreams – Another LA Music Critic Award multiple nominee from the first half of 2017.

16.  Ray Goren, Me – This past LA Music Critic Award winner has a great future ahead.

15.  Marina V, Born to the Stars – This Russian-born singer-songwriter is one of a kind.  Welcome back to the charts.  More than 65,000 worldwide fans can’t be wrong.

14.  Chris Daniels and the Kings, Blues with Horns – This indie artist has had a storied career and his latest is one of his best.

13.  Chelsea Williams, Boomerang – Another premier act from Blue Élan Records, she will also be performing at Sundance.

12.  Jangling Sparrows, 140 Nickels – Watch for these guys near the top of the Americana music scene.

11.  Andrea Harsell and Luna Roya, Something for the Pain – This band is a Missoula, Montana staple that is definitely going places.

10.  Halladay Quist, self-titled – Another Montana artist with a family legacy of musical excellence.

9.  Gina Sicilia, Tug of War – Another Blue Élan Records artist who is at the top of her game.  Multiple LA Music Critic Award winner.  Watch for her 8th album coming soon.

8.  Amilia K. Spicer, Wow and Flutter – Another past LA Music Critic winner, this is one of the best Americana albums released in quite a while.

7.  Seasonal BeastMuscle Memory – One of our best “finds” this year, watch for great things from this New York duo.

6.  Breaking Grass, Warning Signs – Another multiple LA Music Critic Award winner, this band is redefining bluegrass music.

5.  Wendy Sweetlove, Dirty Sunday – She was nominated for several LA Music Critic awards right out of the gate,  She is definitely an artist worth checking out.

4.  Janey Street, In my Own Skin – Reigning LA Music Critic Icon Award winner, she is another of the special breed of artists signed to Blue Élan Records.

3.  Rod Melancon, Southern Gothic – Multiple LA Music Critic Award winner, he is the last of these artists signed to Blue Élan Records.  He is currently touring Sweden.

2.  Katie Costello, Twice the Love – This artist has consistently produced award winning albums.  She also had one of the Best EPs of 2017.

1.  FreeWorld, What it is – The pride of Memphis, this band is redefining American Blues.  Check them out the next time you’re in Memphis.

Best American EPs of 2017

Continuing on with our “Best of” lists for 2017, here are the Best 15 EPs released by American artists, as well as a few more that deserve mention.  You can find the complete reviews of each EP in our Get it or Forget it columns.

Honorable Mention – Red Hymns self-titled EP; Helen Culver Seven Year Glitch; After Hours Radio What Happened?; Broken Bellows The Card Table; Life Lessons Best When in Motion

15.  Sam Marine, Big Dark City – Definitely a surprise, this five song EP was obviously the result of an artist who has learned how to become part of the local community and reach out to them for help when needed.  We think you’ll be hearing a lot more from this artist in the future.

14.  Surf Rock is Dead, We Have no Friends? – A perfect combination of American and Australian ingenuity, this was another surprise this year with a huge potential.

13.  Eli Raybon, Green – This 20-year old Southerner has risen to the challenge and has set the bar high for subsequent projects.

12.  Mare Island, Eponymous – Likewise this Bay area band has some large footprints to fill in the future with this amazing debut EP.

11.  Ben Anderson, YouTopia – Indie label Chromodyne chose wisely in signing Anderson, and his four-song EP shows great promise.

10.  Riley Smith, self-titled – Riley Smith has made quite a name for himself as an actor on such beloved programs as Frequency and Nashville.  He can now add accomplished musician to his resume, as this EP was simply amazing.

9.  Ryan Sims, My Side of the Story – Another rising star in the country music field had a lot of help from his friends, including Jason “Slim” Gambill, Darryl Jones, Kenny Aronoff and Kim Bullard.  They helped him achieve a breakthrough sound that will have him rising up in Nashville in no time at all.

8.  Jacquie, The Only One – She survived NBC’s The Voice and a bad experience with the music industry to come back stronger than ever as an indie artist.  Can’t wait to see what’s next from this future superstar.

7.  Social Repose, Empress – Nearly 300,000 Facebook fans can’t be wrong about this one, and their latest EP proved just how good they are.

6.  Matt Westerman, Life Out Loud – One of LA’s brightest rising stars, Matt Westerman has a very promising future ahead.  We truly believe the sky is the limit for him.

5.  The Khourys, Good Stuff – Sisters Guila and Jahnna will surprise you – imagine one doing vocals and one doing rap – the combination is heaven’s nectar.  They are just as good in concert.

4.  RVBY My Dear, Cycles – Australian born and Brooklyn based musician Gabbi Coenen blew us away with her sophomore release.  Watch out for this one.

3.  Alex Mabey, Enough – An alumni of the Durango Songwriters Expo, Mabey seems destined to follow in the steps of another famous alumni, Meghan Trainor.

2.  Katie Costello, New World – A perennial winner of many awards, including the LA Music Critic Awards, Costello brought us both an EP and an album in 2017, and both were superb.  Here’s of taste of what makes this artist so great.

1.  Vinnie Paolizzi, Kids – Biggest surprise of the year was receiving an EP from this young self-promoted artist that simply blew us away.  We are dying to see what comes next from this young man.

Best international EPs of 2017

We have reviewed a total of 338 albums and EPs this year.  As you can imagine, there have been quite a lot of great ones along the way, and we plan to share some of them with you over the next four days.  We are breaking our “Best of 2017” lists down into four categories – Best American EPs, Best International EPs, Best American Albums and Best International albums.  Today we will share our Top 10 Best International EPs.  Individual reviews are available as part of our blog’s “Get it or Forget it” series.

10.  Elephant Stone, Remix of Fools.  This five-song EP contains remixes from the band’s Ship of Fools album,  The best of those songs is the Young Galaxy remix of “The Devil’s Shelter.”  Check out these lads from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

9.  Amber Run, Alaska.  This four-song EP contains two songs from the band’s sophomore album For a Moment, I was Lost, as well as two cover songs, including Maggie Rodgers’ “Alaska.”  This band hails from the UK.

8.  Strange Boy, Annunciation.  The band released their debut EP with four songs.  They are also from the UK.

7.  TYA, No Money, More Love.   Queensland, Australia is responsible for this amazing band, who has brought us five new songs.

6.  The Raft, Coming up for Air.  Phil Wilson aka The Raft is responsible for two of the best EPs of 2017.  This one was released back in August.  Wilson hails from the UK.

5.  The Fisherman & the Sea, The Beggar Princess.  This EP is part of a group of four scheduled to be released before their debut full-length album later this year.  We can hardly wait.  Our first band from Finland.

4.    The Raft, Orion.  Gift number two from Phil Wilson.  This one is the best of the three EPs he released in 2017.

3.  Hundreds, Wilderness (Akustik Edition).  German siblings Eva and Philipp Milner have brought us a true treasure with an acoustic version of some of their hits, along with an acoustic cover of Bon Iver’s “Plume.”

2.  Wolf & Moon, Frames.  Stefanie and Dennis met at a party in the Netherlands, and now travel the world sharing their dreampop material.

1.  Cara Frew, Dance.  Cara splits her time between her native South Africa and the US, bringing great electro pop dance music wherever she travels.

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Top 15 American EPs.  See ya then.


Monday mashup 2018 – vol. 1

Happy Monday.  Time for our first Monday Mashup of 2018, and there’s lots of new stuff for you.  Here we go!


MILCK has continued her myriad of successes as 2017 closes out by being named to two important lists – Buzzfeed‘s “The 17 Biggest Baddass Women of 2017 You Probably Never Heard Of” and Billboard Magazine‘s “The 20 Best Protest Songs of 2017.”  Both of these additions stem from her creation of “Quiet,” which was written as a protest to the Inauguration of President Trump, as well as MILCK’s refusal to not talk about past mistreatment, and ultimately resulted in her being signed to a major label.  That song was considered to be the #1 protest song of 2017.  Congrats to MILCK!  We can’t wait to see what she does next.


First up today is the latest single from Jay Katana entitled “When She Dies.”  It is an impressive bit of instrumental guitar magic.  We can hardly wait for the release of his album, which we will review shortly.

Next up is “The L Word,” the latest single from Ellee Ven (featuring Prodeje).  Check it out and get your groove on.  This one will make you want to get up and dance.

Our final single today comes from the band Lesser Pieces.  “Texas” is a grooving and soulful song that should give you a sweet chill time soundtrack.  Let us know what you think.


Blue Ēlan Records has a pair of artists releasing new videos this week.  First up is brand new artist Polly Baker, who has released the lyric video of her first single, “Scraped Knees.”  We simply love this video and the song, and can’t wait for the upcoming release.

The second artist, Cindy Alexander, has released the official video for her song “Book of Love,” from her just-released Nowhere to Hide album.  This song is simply beautiful and is acoustically driven, as are all the songs on the new album.  Enjoy!

Last but not least is the latest from perennial LA Music Critic Award winners The Spider Accomplice.  They released their latest video “Swallow” on Christmas Day, and it was the best present we received.  Let’s rock out with TSA!