Tag Archives: Chelsea Williams

Monday mashup 2018: vol. 6

Greeting from the frigid cold of Montana.  Our wonderful spring-like weather evaporated and a cold front set in, with some severe wind chill.  Good thing the music scene is hot.  Here’s the latest.


Author Heather Jacks, one of our panel members on the LA Music Critic Awards committee, is about to release her new memoir, My Headdress is on Fire.  She has previously released a couple of tabletop books, The Noise Beneath the Apple, and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  This one is about her time growing up on Indian land, and is a series of essays.  If you would like to be part of her Indiegogo pre-release campaign, just click here.


We had the privilege of reviewing the latest from Tracy Bonham, and were impressed.  She has recently signed with the ECR Music Group and they’re throwing a party in New York City on February 23.  We highly recommend you attend if you’re in the area.


We love to promote shows for indie artists, so make sure you send the press releases to us for inclusion in this weekly column.  Here’s what we have for this week.

San Diego native Sarah Rogo, who we reviewed back in November, is coming to Los Angeles tomorrow night and playing at Bar Lubitsch at 9 p.m.  If you’re in LA, you should definitely check her out.  She’s been nominated for the latest round of the San Diego Music Awards.

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen from Alexandria, Virginia are heading west for a gig at Boulevard Music in Culver City, California on February 24 at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $20 and available online at the venue.


First up is the latest from LA Music Critic Award winner Kris Angelis, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  We simply love her new single, “A Billion Hearts,” and think you will too.  Let us know what you think.

Next up is a remake of the old Poco song, “Rose of Cimarron.”  This time is features former lead singer Rusty Young along with LA Music Critic Award winner Chelsea Williams, both artists on Blue Élan Records.  We love it – how about you?

Our final new single today is from Canyon City,  a LA Music Critic Awards nominee.  Check out “Shadows.”


First up today is the latest from rockers Harker for their single, “Plague Your Heart.”  This one should get your heart pumping.

Next up is the debut music video from Susie Q for her single, “Home.”  This one has a powerful message of peace.  Please check it out and share it with your friends.

Our final video today is a lyric video by Michele Vreeland for her single, “Wild Horse.”  We love this song and its message.  Please let us know what you think.

See you tomorrow with a new set of Get it or Forget it reviews.



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.

Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 44

And we’re back!  After 19 emotionally charged days, we’re back in Montana and ready to rock!  Although the circumstances were not the best, the time spent with family these past two plus weeks was worth the pain.  So much has been going on in the indie music world during our time away.  Here are some of the latest happenings.  Enjoy our holiday edition.


Blue Élan Records has released its annual Christmas album, featuring such Indie Voice Blog favorites as Cindy Alexander, Chelsea Williams, SEERusty Young, Janiva MagnessJaney Street and Jack Tempchin, among others.  Please buy a copy today and help them support the Alliance for Children’s Rights.  All proceeds are being donated to the Alliance.


Check out her lyric video for “Peppermints and Mistletoe.”  We think it will put you in the mood.


Spokane native Jerad Finck has released a Christmas single, and is making it available for anyone to download.  Check it out below and head to SoundCloud if you want a free download.


We recently discovered Kate Steinway when she was the featured artist at Songwriters at Play in Paso Robles.  Check out her lovely video for “White Christmas.”


Blues artist Pam Taylor is ready to rock your Christmas season with a little bit of naughtiness.  Check out her new single and see what we mean.


Indie darlings Echosmith have a Christmas EP, which they are sharing in their annual Yule Log video.  Check it out.


Here’s a new one from one of Indie Voice Blog’s favorite artists, Katie Costello.  Enjoy the holidays.

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy holiday season!


Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 41 (Updated)

It has been snowing every day since I returned from tour, although much of it has melted when the thermometer reaches the upper 30’s.  It is a beautiful reminder that we are headed into the end of 2017, which has provided a plethora of great indie music.  Just a few more weeks until Thanksgiving and then a few more until Christmas and before you know it, we’ll be announcing the nominations for the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2017.  We have definitely got our work cut out for us this time, as the quality and quantity of submissions are some of the best we have ever seen.   We can’t wait to share our nominations with you.  Until then, check out what’s currently happening in the indie music community.


This past weekend several of our favorite indie acts participated in showcases.  Fan Favorite winner FlecHaus took part in Austin Strong, along with Of Sea and Stone and Deer Fellow, at the Sidewinder in Austin, Texas on November 2.  Meanwhile, back in California, Floating Records hosted its “Fall Revue 2017,” featuring LA Music Critic Award nominee Jeffrey Halford & the Healers, as well as Marble Party and  Graham Guest on November 4 at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley.  Thanks to publicist Doug Deutsch for sharing.


Blake Morgan has had an artist residence at Rockwood Music Hall for quite some time.  This month he will host Tracy Bonham on Rockwood’s Stage 3 on November 15.  If you are in New York City,  you might just want to grab tickets for this show – grab your tickets soon cause this series has consistently sold out.


Blue Élan Records artist and former Eagles hit songwriter Jack Tempchin has scheduled a trio of local Los Angeles shows to celebrate the 45th anniversary of one of his biggest hits, “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” which he co-wrote with Glenn Frey.  The first one is scheduled for November 10 at Carruth Cellars in Solana Beach.  Labelmate Cindy Alexander will open this show.  Next will be a stop at the world famous McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica on November 26.  Another labelmate, Chelsea Williams, will open this show.  His final stop will be at Mozambique in Laguna Beach on December 2.


Multiple LA Music Critic Award winner Marina V, recently returned from a tour of Germany and Moscow, will celebrate the release of her latest CD, Born to the Stars, with a show and party at the amazing Three Clubs on Sunday, November 12.  Tickets are half-off if purchased in advance on her website.  This is one show you don’t want to miss.


First up today is blue-eyed soul singer Ashleigh Watson, with her new single “Little Love.”  We love the sound of this song, and look forward to hearing more from Ms. Watson.  We think she’s got a great vibe that will last for a long time.

Next is “Train to Nowhere,” a sure-to-be Americana classic song from The Sound of Ghosts.  This one has everything you love in a great Americana song – great lyrics, vocals, fiddle and even some amazing horns.  Let us know what you think.

Our final single today comes from Tim Maiden, with his beautiful song “So Far Gone,” a trip hop, electronic, R&B masterpiece.  Enjoy this one.


LA-based alt-rockers Satellite Citi bring us their latest music video for “Undead.”  It’s got great guitar riffs and a stunning visual story that brings the song to life.   Video game lovers – this one is for you!  Please let us know what you think.

Next up is a great lyric video from The Rebel Light for their song, “Where did all the Love Go?”  We are constantly amazed at the creativity in the indie music community, and think this one is a hit.

Our final music video for this week comes from Elizabeth and the Catapult, which we recently reviewed in our Get it or Forget it series.  Here is their video for “Ambrosia.”  Enjoy your week!



Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 35

Well, we survived a fire in the apartment two doors down yesterday that totally destroyed it and caused damage to two other apartments.  Mucho thanks to the Fire Department for getting it out and limiting the damage.

Planning on heading down to Oklahoma next week to see my brother who just returned from a year in Iraq.  Looking forward to the beautiful trip through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Texas on my way to Lawton, Oklahoma.  When I get back I’ll be heading out on tour with Jerad Finck for three weeks.  Our first show is October 16 in Shoreline, Washington, where we will share the stage with Polly O’Keary & the Rhythm Method, winners of the Best Blues Band from the LA Music Critic Awards for the first half of 2017.  We currently have shows scheduled in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Murrieta, San Diego and Missoula, and hope to add a few more along the way.


Fresh off the release of her new video for “All That I Want,” Nashville’s own Kelly McGrath has signed with U Management and will be embarking on a tour of UK and Europe during October and November.  For more details, subscribe to her email list by visiting her Facebook page to sign up.  She’s doing a music video release/farewell show in Nashville on September 28 at The Family Wash.  Don’t miss your chance to see her before she leaves on tour.


Here’s the latest single, “Secret Crush,” from Bay Area electropop band PARENTZ.  It has a great vibe that’s perfect for your Monday morning.  Please let us know what you think.

Speaking of great vibes, check out “Right Now,” the stunning new single from Becca Richardson.  We simply love her voice and this single, and can’t wait until she releases her album.  We’ll be reviewing it for sure.

For something totally different, check out “Final Step” from Jason Crosby.  It has a very strong Grateful Dead vibe that should strike a chord with those who love classic rock ballads.


Our first new video this week continues in the mellow vein of the preceding artist.  Brandon  Bonine brings us a simple request:  “Remember my Name.”  We love the guitar and the sentiment.  This is his debut single – please let us know what you think.

Mellow seems to be the mood of the day.  Please check out the deep bass vocals of The New Faith in their video for “Fritter Away.”  The musical accompaniment is amazing and the videography is superb.  What do you think?

We close out this week with the first official video from Boomerang, the new album from Blue Élan artist Chelsea Williams.  This one is guaranteed to get your Monday off to a great start.  Please enjoy “Lonely Girl,” an Americana instant classic!


Get it or forget it – Broken Bellows, Chelsea Williams, Kim DiVine, The Band of Heathens

With today’s four reviews, we have finally caught up on our submissions for albums released through August 31, 2017.  We have a special feature coming up tomorrow before getting back to some live performance reviews.  Enjoy today’s offerings.

Artist Name:  Broken Bellows

Album Name:  The Card Table 

Label:  Fervor Records

Genre:  Alt-pop

Track Listing:  1.  Magic in a Gaze; 2.  Misery; 3.  In the Deep; 4.  Waiting; 5.  Steady Steps

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Broken Bellows bring us dreamy pop with incredible harmonies on their debut EP, The Card Table.  Their sound is truly smooth and their lyrics are thought-provoking and relatable, especially “Misery.”  This band has the goods to make a serious impact on today’s pop music scene, and deserve radio airplay.  “In the Deep” has a great upbeat feel that house DJs could play with to make a great dance track.  All in all, a very worthy first effort with five great songs.  Can’t wait to see what else they have in store for their fans, which we’re sure will be many.

Recommendation:  This is a great release for lovers of pop music.  Just released on August 25, we recommend listeners not waste any more time, but just Get it.

Artist Name:  Chelsea Williams

Album Name:  Boomerang

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Pop/Rock/Alt-Country

Track Listing:  1.  Angeles Crest; 2.  Lonely Girl; 3.  Fool’s Gold; 4.  Anything Worth Saving; 5.  Rush; 6.  Six Bottles of Wine; 7.  Little Halo; 8.  Out of Sight, Out of Mind; 9.  Toyota Song; 10.  Don’t Want to die Alone; 11.  Dreamcatcher; 12.  Boomerang; 13.  Angeles Crest Postlude

Publicist:  None

Review:  Chelsea Williams has created quite the legacy in her career.  After seven years of playing the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, she was signed to Interscope Records.  Five years later, she is now with Blue Élan Records, and is releasing her first album on that label.  Although previously known for her simple guitar and vocals, she branches out on this album to include hints of country, blues and Americana in her sound, with an emphasis on smartly written lyrics and impressive musical accompaniment.  Her first single, “Lonely Girl,” is sheer perfection, with screaming guitar riffs and a simple drum beat.  “Anything Worth Saving” has that lilting pop feel of Lenka, while “Rush” reminds us of the incredible Katie Costello. We  really love the swing feel of “Six Bottles of Wine” and the bluesy “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”  All in all, this is an album full of great songs from start to finish, and worthy of repeated listens.

Recommendation: As with most of the Blue Élan catalog, this one is a keeper.  We strongly encourage you to Get it now.  If you’re lucky enough to be in the Los Angeles area, you can grab one at her CD Release show August 29 at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena.

Artist Name:  Kim DiVine

Album Name:  This Time Around

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Maybe Tomorrow; 2.  This Time Around; 3.  Broken Bird; 4. By Your Side; 5.  Stay; 6.  Fancy Things; 7.  Where I am you Are; 8.  Broken Bird Remix

Publicist:  None

Review:   Kim DiVine is a fiery ball of energy masquerading as a singer-songwriter.  Her songs reflect her beliefs, and are uplifting, thoughtful and introspective.  She keeps her music simple so that the message does not get lost in the melody.  That doesn’t mean her songs don’t have depth, because she is not afraid to use layers when necessary.  It just means that she prefers to let her lyrical content be the focus of her songs by using just the right amount of musical background.  Check out the title track of her latest album, which is further proof that DiVine is one of the best singer-songwriters in the indie community today.   Further evidence is in the form of “Broken Bird,” a soulful song about relationships and knowing when it is time to move on.  We also love the upbeat “By Your Side.”  The rest of the album is just as good, so we’re putting this one on repeat.

Recommendation:  If you like music that inspires you, then This Time Around is one of the best.  Run, don’t walk to your nearest outlet and Get this one now!  If you’re in Los Angeles, she’s having a CD Release show at The Hotel Cafe on August 30.

Artist Name:  The Band of Heathens

Album Name:  Duende

Label:  BOH Records

Genre:  Alt-Country/Roots Rock

Track Listing:  1.  All I’m Asking; 2.  Sugar Queen; 3.  Last Minute Man; 4.  Deep is Love; 5.  Keys to the Kingdom; 6.  Trouble Came Early; 7.  Daddy Longlegs; 8.  Cracking the Code; 9.  Road Dust Wheels; 10.  Green Grass of California; Bonus Track 1.  Out on Each Other; Bonus Track 2.  DC9; Bonus Track 3.  Carry Your Love; Bonus Track 4.  Bessie Smith

Publicist:  Missing Piece Group

Review:  We had heard of this group peripherally, but it wasn’t until we saw them at the River City Roots Festival that we knew we had to review their album.  We secured it on vinyl, which has the same 10 songs that are on the CD, plus four additional tracks.  The release of Duende marks the 10th anniversary of the band, and their fifth studio album.  The word “duende” is defined as a quality of inspiration and passion, and definitely sums up this band, both in their recorded music and their live performance.  They combine elements of Americana, bluegrass, country and rock to create an impressive sound, with well-crafted lyrics that keep the listener engaged.  Their sound is worthy of serious radio air play, as well as placement in television and film.  In other words, this band has it all, and we listeners are the beneficiary of that greatness.  Take our advice, put this one on repeat and dance, dance, dance!

Recommendation:  You must Get this one.  We recommend you go with the vinyl edition so you get 40% more of The Band of Heathens’ greatness.


Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 30

Happy Monday.  We survived the Western Montana Fair, and enjoyed some nice performances from Seattle’s Miller Campbell and other local bands.  This week we’re headed to Livingston to see our friends Redhead Express  at Music Ranch Montana, as well as to Polson for the Women of the Blues salute at the Flathead Lake Blues Festival featuring LA Music Critic Award winner for Best Blues Band, Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method.  Should be a great week.


Seems like you can teach an old dog new tricks, at least in the case of veteran performer Frank Shiner.  A recent convert to Spotify, Shiner’s music has been blowing up lately, with nearly 25,000 streams of his latest single “Drink You Away” in just the past two weeks.  Shiner is averaging more than 22,000 streams a month.  Check him out on Spotify.

Nashville’s Risa Binder is another indie artist who is blowing up on the charts.  She recently reached #77 on the Music Row Chart with her current single “You Haul.”  Check out the video for the song.


Check out this new single, “Money on it” by together PANGEA, from their new album Bulls and Roosters which will be released on August 25 on Nettwerk Records.  We think you’ll like it.

Like the haunting sounds of artists like Tori Amos and Enya?  Check out the latest single from Hannah Park, “Not Like You.”  Please let us know what you think.


We mentioned we were going to see Redhead Express this week.  They have recently released a new music video as an entry into Ryan Seacrest’s “Best Cover Ever” contest.  It is a cover of “I Got You” by pop artist Bebe Rexha, and we think you will love it.

Blue Élan artist Chelsea Williams has released a live studio video of her new single, “Anything Worth Saving,” from her recently released album Boomerang.  Please let us know what you think.

Last but not least this week is the first Christian music video from Spokane native Chris Chilton, co-written and produced by another Spokane indie legend, Jerad Finck.  Please check out the lyric video for “Adonai,” an amazing song of worship for today.


Monday Mashup 2017: Vol 11

Sorry about the past two weeks, but we have been hit with computer problems on our desktop, losing the CPU fan and, of course, the part is out of stock everywhere.  We have been forced to go back to our trusty lap top computer for the foreseeable future.

Consequently, we are offering a rare Wednesday edition of our Monday Mashup because we just couldn’t wait until next Monday to share indie news and these amazing videos with you.


We are proud to announce that one of our favorite indie bands,  Redhead Express, have signed a record deal with a major indie label.  The band recently shone during their time at CRS in Nashville, and as a result, not only will they be signed to the label, but will also be the stars of a reality show based on the label.  We send our love and best wishes to these four amazing sisters, and wish them well in the future.  We will continue to update you here about their successes.


Noisy Ghost PR client The Wild Now just finished performing at SXSW and released a music video for their song “Run for Your Life,” ahead of the release of their new EP Afterglow, which is set for May 19.  We will be reviewing their new EP shortly, but in the meantime, enjoy this amazing video.


Blue Élan Records artist Chelsea Williams has released another acoustic music video in support of her EP Little Halo – Demo Sessions.  Check out her incredible vocals and enjoy the simplicity of her song “Boomerang.”

my education releases dreamy video for ‘Class A’

Need some soothing background music?  Check out the new video by my education for their single “Class A” off their recently released album Schiphol.  This eight minute video should provide the perfect background for reflection, meditation or just chilling.

Have a wonderful first week of Spring and we’ll be back soon with more indie news, reviews and videos.  Please let us know what you think of this series and all of the rest of the content on Indie Voice Blog.  We love hearing from you.

Monday mashup 2017: Vol 9

Welcome to another week of spotlighting the indie arts.  We have spent the past week with the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, as well as combing through a constant stream of emails from indie artists, who have been busy creating new material for the world.  Grab a cup of coffee and let’s look at some of the happenings over the past seven days.

Michaela May releases new single

Based in London and Toronto, Michaela May is a dynamic singer songwriter whose lyrics are personal and heartfelt, while her music is electrifying and upbeat.  We love her new song, You and I, and think you will love it too.  Check it out on Song Cloud and Spotify and grab your copy today.

Milck continues to speak out

Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Milck continues her viral quest to speak out against injustice with a recent appearance in Toronto, where she and a choir of 1300 singers recorded this video on behalf of Choir!Choir!Choir!  It is a powerful protest statement and should be spread near and far.  #ICANTKEEPQUIET

Chelsea Williams releases latest video from Little Halo – Demo Sessions

Blue Élan Records artist Chelsea Williams continues to tease us with acoustic demos of songs from her forthcoming album, Little Halo Demo Sessions.  Check out this acoustic demo session of her tune “Lovesick Blues,” which was released last Friday.

Adrian Underhill releases new video for ‘Not Good Enough’

After viewing this intriguing video, I am looking forward to see what else Adrian Underhill has planned for his debut album, which will be released later this year on Indica Records.  Please let us know what you think about his video.

Thanks for checking us out and for supporting indie music.  Check back later for an exclusive interview with LA Music Critic Award winner Allison Iraheta, as well as the return of our Get it or Forget it review series.  Until then, keep it indie!