Tag Archives: Kari Kimmel

Monday mashup 2018 – vol. 4

Hope you all got to watch the Grammy Awards last night.  That was an impressive show, especially the performance by Kesha, Cindy Lauper, et al. of her song “Praying.”  It really brought tears to my eyes with its sheer beauty and power.  Let’s all try to honor the message that came through loud and clear – no more harassment and discrimination – just work together in unity.  Here’s our column today.


While most of these indie artists didn’t get credit, several of them were instrumental in helping someone else get a Grammy win.  Kyler England co-wrote five of the songs on Lisa Loeb’s winning Best Children’s Album, while Ross Hogarth was part of the production team that worked on Taj Mahal and Keb Mo’s winning Best Contemporary Blues album.  Great work indies!

In addition, LA Music Critic Award nominee The Jerry Douglas Band lost their Grammy bid for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album to Jeff Lorber, while fellow LA Music Critic Award nominee John McLaughlin won his Grammy bid for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for “Miles Beyond” from the album Live at Ronnie Scott’s, which we previously reviewed in December.

The winners for the LA Music Critic Awards will be announced at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 2, 2018.


Congratulations to indie songwriter Lynn Carey Saylor, who recently won the Song Door International Songwriting Competition in the Hard Rock/Alt Rock category for her song, “Tidal Wave.”  Saylor has been a hit songwriter for many years,


It’s been a busy week for indie artists, including several past and present nominees for the LA Music Critic Awards.  Here are a few of the latest singles to be released.

The first one is from former nominee Crimson Calamity, which released their latest single, “Fool’s Gold.”  We love their sound and think you will too.

Next up is past LA Music Critic Award and Grammy nominee and Blue Élan Records artist Janiva Magness with her new single, “Down Below.”  We expect this one will qualify her for additional nominations.

Next is the latest from Austin band Signy, featuring Delaney Gibson, with their single, “Human.”  We love how different this is from her solo material, and think you will too.

Multiple LA Music Critic Award winner and nominee Katie Costello has lent her voice to the new single “Bon Air” by Hardsoul.  This one is an amazing dance track that will have you on the floor in no time.

Last but not least this week is the latest single from another multiple winner of the LA Music Critic Awards, Keaton Simons.  His new EP 1-2-3 Go will be released on March 9, and he is whetting our appetite with “Crane City.”


Our first video this week comes from Italian rock goddesses Black Mamba, who we reviewed last week.  This video is for their single, “Loop.”  Get ready to rock out.

Next up is the latest from the songwriting guru, Kari Kimmel of her song, “Voices.”  Check out the amazing cinematography of this one.

Our third video this week is from former San Diego Music Award winner Gayle Skidmore for her song “Pale Ghosts.”  Once again, the cinematography is first-rate.

Our next video comes from first-time LA Music Critic Award nominee Ryan Sims, who we also reviewed earlier this month.  Here is his vision of his song, “Black and Blue.”

Last but not least is the new video from Lucy Levinsohn, former lead singer for Lily’s Siren and Waiting 4 Wyatt.  She has returned to a solo career and brings us “Dear God.”

Thanks for joining us today.  We’ll be back tomorrow with five more Get it or Forget it reviews.

Get it or forget it: Pollen Rx, Kari Kimmel, Daddy Issues

Only ten more days until Christmas.  We thought we’d get you ready with our latest edition of Get it or Forget it, featuring three entirely different artists for your musical edification.  Today we feature releases from two artists we’ve told you about before:  Kari Kimmel (pop) and Daddy Issues (rock), and introduce you to a new artist, Pollen RX (punk).  Check out our reviews below.

Artist NamePollen Rx

Album NameSunbelt Emptiness

Label:  Austin Town Hall Records

Genre:  Dance Punk

Track Listing:  1.  Billboard Promises; 2.  Control; 3.  Packaging; 4.  Apartment; 5.  Sunbelt Emptiness; 6.  Interstate; 7.  AR AK; 8.  Again; 9.  Sand in the Well

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Composed of Maud Morgan, Ben Hirsch, Caroline Sallee and Maggie Exner, the music of Pollen RX is part punk, part pop, part indie rock and part dance, seasoned with a healthy dose of 60s rock and roll.  The music is memorable, complete with catchy hooks and beats you can groove to, as well as a message that needs to be heard about the difficulties of growing up.  Both Morgan and Hirsch provide electric vocals as they trade off on the lead, and the music this band creates is worthy of your attention, especially the amazing guitar riffs.  Best tracks include “Control,” “Packaging,” the title track, “AR AK,” and their single, “Sand in the Well.”

Recommendation:  Pollen Rx is the perfect prescription for what ails you.  We definitely think they have a great future and recommend you Get It, play it and dance on.  This album will drop on January 27, 2017.

Artist NameKari Kimmel

Album NameCovers One

Label:  Rykim Records

Genre:  Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Against all Odds; 2.  Eternal Flame; 3.  Ring of Fire; 4.  Rocketman 

Publicist:  None

Review:  By now the music of Kari Kimmel should be very familiar to readers of this blog.  We have been fans of hers since her early days, and she continues to surprise us with hit after hit, not to mention weekly placements on television shows, movies and commercials.  This time around, Kimmel reinvents four classic songs as only she can, adding that special Kimmel magic to the mix.  We love all four of these covers, and think that they stand up well to the originals.  our favorite is “Against all Odds.”  Let us know what you think.

Recommendation:  Kimmel’s latest EP drops this Friday, December 16, and we think you should definitely Get it, especially if you love cover songs by a classy artist.

New album releases on September 10

Artist Name Daddy Issues

Album NameHandle It

Label:  Play Like a Girl Records

Genre:  Alt Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Inside my Mind; 2.  Different; 3.  Dead end Road; 4.  Too Soon; 5.  Nice Try; 6.  Rusty; 7.  My Favorite Fantasy; 8.  Born to Fly; 9.  Your Lies; 10.  The Blade

Publicist:  Jennifer Allison Publicity

Review:  Girls rock, and no band exemplifies that more than Daddy Issues, who we introduced back in September.  With Angela Alvarez on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and Julia “Jules” Whelpton on bass and rhythm guitar, supplemented by Andrew Cushman on lead guitar and Brett Weir on drums, this band has a sound that sets them apart and creates an atmosphere where it would be cool to be a groupie.  Reminiscent of the Wilson sisters of Heart, Daddy Issues truly bring “girl power” to a whole new rocking level.  There is such a sweetness to their music that complements the cutting edge guitar sounds laid down by both Alvarez and Whelpton.  We love every song on this debut album, but are especially impressed with “Inside my Mind,” “Different,” “Too Soon,” with its obvious No Doubt influence, “My Favorite Fantasy,” and “Your Lies.”  The album closes with a very personal song, “The Blade,” which gives an intense message about the dangers of depression.

Recommendation:  One of the best CDs of 2016, this one is a true no-brainer:  you simply MUST Get it!


Monday Mashup Vol 4: What’s new in the indie world today?

Happy Monday – can you believe there are only two more Mondays after today left in this year?  Has it been a good one for you?  If not, what are you doing to change the future?  Indie artists are our hope for a brighter tomorrow, so get up, get busy, and let’s change the world for the better.

Kari Kimmel releases new album

Indie artist extraordinaire Kari Kimmel is one of the most well-known of indie artists, since her music has been heard in countless television shows, movies and commercials.  Hot on the success of her last release, Poppyfields, Kimmel is releasing an album of covers on December 15.  Check back for our review of the new CD.  In the meantime, get out and add it to your collection.  You can pre-order now on iTunes.

Foxtrax plays Sofar Sounds Los Angeles

Foxtrax, who we introduced to you in August, performed at last night’s Secret Holiday Show for Sofar Sounds Los Angeles, which was the 300th Sofar Sounds show.   They previously had performed a residency at Sofar Sounds in October.  Unfortunately we couldn’t be there, but we are sure it was a smashing success.  If you are an indie artist, you owe it to yourself and your career to become part of the Sofar Sounds experience.  Congratulations to Sofar Sounds on 300 shows.  Thanks for all you do for indie artists!!!

Alexis Keegan set to perform at The Mint

The music of Alexis Keegan was born in the soulful sounds of Motown and R&B, and Keegan wants to go back to those roots.  If you’re lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, you can get an early taste of the new sound by attending her performance on January 28, 2017 at the world famous Mint.  We think you will be pleased with the new sound.

Cindy Alexander to open for Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin

Speaking of upcoming concerts, two of the best artists on Blue Élan Records will be performing together in a special show at Hollywood’s famed Hotel Café on January 22, 2017 on their Second Stage.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear some of the best music in Los Angeles when Cindy Alexander opens for the famed Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin.

Congrats to Janiva Magness for her Grammy nomination

And speaking of Blue Élan Records’ artists, we send out our heartiest congratulations to Janiva Magness for her recent Grammy nomination for Contemporary Blues for her album Love Wins Again, a first for both Magness and Blue Élan Records.

StageCrafts, L.L.C. to take over management of Stage/Sound

Theatre Unleashed Managing Director Gregory Crafts and his talented wife Jenn Scuderi Crafts have launched a new venture, StageCrafts, L.L.C., which will take over management of Koreatown’s Stage/Sound venue, effective January 1.  This is an amazing venue where we were able to catch Round Rock a few years ago.  We wish them the best as they continue to keep intimate theatre alive in the Los Angeles area.

Video Releases

Redhead Express, one of our favorite indie groups, has released their latest music video, just in time for Christmas.  This one is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit, as Kendra, LaRae, Alisa and Meghan cover “Away in a Manger,” bluegrass style.

Patrick Joseph has released a live video of his amazing song, “Piece of Your Love.”  This one gives us goosebumps.  Enjoy.

Come back tomorrow for another edition of Get it or Forget it.  Until then, keep it indie!


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

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

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

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


Artist NameJaney Street

Album NameThis Side of Paradise

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Singer-Songwriter/Indie Rock

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

Publicist:  Mad Ink PR

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

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


Artist NameMitch Hayes

Album NameHeroes


Genre:  Singer-Songwriter/Folk/Americana

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

Publicist:  Doug Deutsch Publicity Services

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

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


Artist NameKari Kimmel

Album NamePoppyfields

Label:  Rykim Records

Genre:  Pop/Rock

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

Publicist:  none

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

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