Tag Archives: Marina V

Get it or Forget it – Robbert Fossen Band, Caught with Candy, The Bush League, Peter Kaukonen, Sara Morgan

We were in Spokane last night for the Beth Hart concert at the Bing Crosby Theatre.  LA Music Critic Award winner Marina V opened the show.  Watch for our review shortly.  We’re back in Missoula today and ready for another edition of Get it or Forget it.  Here are five more artists for you to check out.

Artist NameRobbert Fossen Band

Album Name Get Off on It

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Don’t Ever let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down; 2.  All Those Evil Words; 3.  Katrina; 4.  Woman Across the River; 5.  Did Somebody Make a Fool Outta You; 6.  All that Bluesmen; 7.  I Feel so Bad; 8.  Make it Rain; 9.  Still Called the Blues; 10.  I Believe to my Soul; 11.  Can’t no Grave Hold my Body Down; 12.  Get off on It; 13.  Midlife; 14.  Thirty Years

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  This album screams traditional blues.  Its authenticity and quality place it among the best that blues has ever offered, and makes the Robbert Fossen Band peers with the likes of Skip James, Muddy Waters, BB King and Ledbelly.  The guitar playing on “Katrina” would have made BB King proud.  We love this traditional blues sound.  We also love the horns and keys on “Woman Across the River.”  All in all, this one is a keeper and a true necessity for all blues lovers.

Recommendation:  We highly recommend that you Get this one.

Artist Name Caught With Candy

Album NameA Breath Away

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop

Track Listing:  1.  A Breath Away; 2.  Up to my Sky; 3.  Still Here; 4.  Only With You; 5.  One Last Dance; 6.  You Ain’t got me Fooled; 7.  Run for the Sun; 8.  Looking Glass; 9.  Back to You; 10.  This is Where it Starts; 11.  Hold Me; 12.  Ruby; 13.  Hide & Seek; 14.  You Ain’t Comin’ Round no More; 15.  Forget Her; 16.  Swallow my Pride

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  This entire album was recorded by individuals on different continents via Skype Jams, and pieced together by the producer to create the album.  Matt Brabender is an Australian musician who played all the instruments and put the album together, while the vocals came from Sela Hafoka-Houser from Switzerland.  The result is an amazing album that seamlessly flows together.  The chemistry between these two is very noticeable, as if they were standing in the studio together.  Every song has serious potential for radio airplay and placement in film, television and commercials.  Our favorites are “A Breath Away,” “Only With You,” “One Last Dance,” “Run for the Sun,” “Back to You,” “Ruby,” “Hide & Seek,” “You Ain’t Comin’ Round no More,” and “Swallow my Pride.”

Recommendation:  This band is more than a novelty act.  They have shown what can be done when indie artists work together.  We highly recommend you add this one to your collection.

Artist NameThe Bush League

Album NameJames Rivah

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  River’s Edge; 2.  Kokomo me Baby; 3.  Say Yes; 4.  Show you Off; 5.  Catfish Blues; 6.  Kick up yo Heels; 7.  Long Gone; 8.  Hearse; 9.  Tuxedo Blues; 10.  Moonshine; 11.  Cold Shower; 12.  What’s Wrong With you

Publicist:  Blind Raccoon

Review: While the Robbert Fossen Band was the epitome of the perfect traditional blues band, The Bush League takes it in a more progressive manner, in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan and other modern blues bands.  Recorded in Memphis, these college friends from Virginia are out to make a name for themselves in the music business, and this album will definitely get them started in the right direction.  Their sound combines elements of funk, soul, gospel and rock to form their own variety of progressive blues.  They just know how to make it sound so good, especially that blues guitar, and the keys, especially on “Show You Off.”  Their loving treatment of Fred McDowell’s standard “Kokomo me Baby” and Muddy Waters’ classic “Catfish Blues,” as well as their 10 originals created quite a special blues album for all ages to enjoy.

Recommendation:  This one is a definite keeper.  Get it ASAP.

Artist NamePeter Kaukonen

Album Name Crazy Quilt

Label:  Floating Records

Genre:  Folk Rock

Track Listing:  1.  (Drifting) Cozumel; 2.  The Ballad of Sarah Palin; 3.  The Ballad of Sadam Hussein; 4.  Maria Full of Grace; 5.  Ghost Music; 6.  Lullabye; 7.  Sleep Deprived; 8.  What Goes Around (Comes Around); 9.  Paqui; 10.  Twilight Revisited; 11.  Bobby Gets Old; 12.  The Nature of the Beast; 13.  That’s a Good Question

Publicist:  Doug Deutsch Publicity Services

Review:  Peter Kaukonen has made quite a name for himself as guitarist for Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, Jefferson Starship, Johnny Winter and Link Wray, as well as in his own band, Black Kangaroo.  He learned to play in the Bay Area folk music scene in northern California that gave birth to so many bands, including Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead.  He kicks off with the amazing instrumental, “(Drifting) Cozumel” that makes you want to grab a Corona and sit on the beach.  His tongue-in-check protest songs about Sarah Palin (tune of “Davey Crockett”) `and Sadam Hussein are oldies but goodies, not safe for work but very humorous attacks on these two individuals.  Kaukonen is not afraid to add cursing to his flavorful language, so if that offends you, you may not like this album.  For the rest of us, the overall creativeness far outweighs the occasional bad language.

Recommendation:  If you like creative protest songs, incredible musicianship, and a performer who is not afraid to tell it like he believes it is, then Get this album.

Artist NameSara Morgan

Album NameAverage Jane

Label:  River Delta Records

Genre:  Country/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  The Boots; 2.  Boy Don’t Get the Girl; 3.  More Than one Horse; 4.  That Kind of Man; 5.  Instead of Drinkin’; 6.  Never Been to Nashville; 7.  Thrown; 8.  Sick of Sayin’ Goodbye; 9.  Have to Have it All; 10.  Proud; 11.  Average Jane

Publicist:  Self-promoted

Review:  Sara Morgan is a no-nonsense, country-music singing, southern belle who brings a freshness to country music that hasn’t been there since the debut of Reba, Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood.  Her songs will have you laughing out loud as you tap your cowboy boots and boot scoot around the dance floor.  We love the twang in her voice and the sass in her words.  We see a very long career ahead for Ms. Morgan and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.  Our favorites include her first single, “The Boots,” “More Than One Horse,” “Instead of Drinkin’,” “Never Been to Nashville,” “Have to Have it All,” “Proud” and the title track.

Recommendation:  If you like sass and attitude in your country music, then we highly recommend you check out Sara Morgan and Get this one now.



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. 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!



Get it or forget it – My Girl My Whiskey & Me, Marina V, John Brownlow, MUTTS

Getting closer to that weekend, so we’re bringing you more great artists to get you ready.  We are pleased to present these four to you, which include multiple LA Music Critic Award winner Marina V.  We hope you enjoy the music and will continue to support indie acts.

Artist NameMy Girl My Whiskey & Me

Album NameIn the Ground

Label:  Other Southern

Genre:  Progressive Bluegrass/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  When I Die; 2.  Olive Branch Silhouette; 3.  Last Night I Dreamt I was a Ghost; 4.  Carolina Reel; 5.  Eye; 6.  Lucy; 7.  Cake & Wine; 8.  In the Ground; 9.  Petrichor; 10.  Last Night I Dreamt I was a Ghost (reprise)

Publicist:  None

Review:  Florida natives George William Beardsworth and Kelly Colyer form the nucleus of MGMWAM, a truly progressive Americana band that includes elements of Depression era bluegrass with the more progressive sounds of bands like The Punch Brothers, The Decemberists and The Civil Wars to create a wholesome family-friendly. sound that should appeal to most listeners.  They have embarked on a one-year tour of all 50 states, and we hope that they can accomplish their mission.  If this debut release is any indication, they will be selling out venues before the tour is done.   Their diversity is best shown in the songs “Last Night I Dreamt I was a Ghost” (with the amazing harmonies of Beardsworth and Colyer), “Carolina Reel” (showing off the amazing mandolin chops of Beardsworth, “Eye” (with its perfect marriage of mandolin and violin), current single “Lucy” and “Cake & Wine” (which feels like it would fit perfectly in the soundtrack of O Brother Where art Thou?  All in all, this is one of our favorite bluegrass albums to review, and a necessary addition to our library.

Recommendation:  We highly recommend this amazing CD.  Get. It. Now.

Artist NameMarina V

Album NameBorn to the Stars

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Soft Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Born to the Stars; 2.  I am Iron; 3.  Be my Light; 4.  Together Alone; 5.  Fire in the Sky; 6.  Beautiful Forever; 7.  Good; 8.  Bring it On; 9.  Autumn Song; 10.  Imagine

Publicist:  None

Review:  We have been fans of Marina V almost since she first set foot in California from her native Moscow, and have enjoyed watching her career and influence rise within the world-wide music community.  With the arrival of her new album Born to the Stars, she has brought us her best effort to date, and which has already spawned an LA Music Critic Award for the video to the title track.  Anyone who has seen her perform live knows that she always brings light into the room, and songs like “I am Iron” exemplify that fact.  It is an inspirational song that should find easy placement in television or film.  Other songs that stand out include “Together Alone” (with its amazing string background), “Fire in the Sky,” “Beautiful Forever” (with its simple guitar and vocals), and her cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” one of the best homages to this song we have ever heard.  Truth be told, there is not a weak song on the album, and we believe it will appeal to most, if not all, music aficionados.

Recommendation:  This is one of the best indie music albums we have reviewed this year.  We strongly urge you to Get it and support this artist.  If you live anywhere near where her tour takes her, you would be remiss not to attend.

Artist NameJohn Brownlow

Album Name The Summertime

Label:  Chromopop

Genre:  Britpop

Track Listing:  1.  Burn Hollywood Burn; 2.  Live Forever; 3.  Asteroids; 4.  Government Work; 5.  God Willing (and the Creek Don’t Rise); 6.  Already Gone; 7.  Baby got a Gun; 8.  Don’t Walk Away; 9.  Get yr Groove On; 10.  Gonna Have to let you Down; 11.  Let the Feeling Go; 12.  Man in the Mirror; 13.  On my Way; 14.  Bullet to the Head; 15.  Kingdom Come; 16.  Occupy my Heart; 17.  Rip it Up; 18.  You Slipped Through my Fingers; 19.  Shame the Devil; 20.  Sunshine on the Radio; 21.  Where my Mind Goes; 22.  Radiation; 23.  Let’s not and say we Did; 24.  The Pink Raincoat; 25.  Shalala Says I Love You; 26.  Where Does Love Go; 27.  Storm Coming; 28.  One Fine Day; 29.  Song for the Ferryman

Publicist:  Last Tango Productions

Review:  Veteran Hollywood screenwriter and former music journalist John Brownlow brings new life to the Britpop sound with his debut double album containing 29 original songs.  He wastes no time with the upbeat rocking “Burn Hollywood Burn” and proceeds to give us a dynamic musical journey with a colorful narrative that lasts through all 29 songs, almost two hours of non-stop entertainment.  This double album should be listened to several times in order to absorb all that Brownlow has to offer.  His songs have great lyrical content as well as incredible musical accompaniment that will keep his listeners engaged and coming back for more.  There is so much to this album, but we really like “Asteroids” (with its jazzy guitar), “Government Work” and “Baby Got a Gun (for their rockabilly/surf rock feel), “God Willing” (for its 60’s sound reminiscent of the Monkees), “Already Gone” (for its Smoky Robinson soulful feel), “Gonna Have to let you Down” (for its dynamic bass line); and “Let the Feeling Go (for its overall laid-back and groovy beauty.  All in all this album will keep you company for a long time, so make sure you make time to enjoy it,

Recommendation:  Brit pop is alive and well and we’re so glad we discovered this amazing artist.  This one should be one of your “desert island picks.”  Don’t delay – Get it today.

Artist NameMUTTS

Album NameStick Together

Label:  8eat8 records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  I’ll be Around; 2.  Neighbor; 3.  Let’s Go; 4.  Tin Foil Hat; 5.  Don’t Touch It

Publicist:  Perpetual Media Relations

Review:  Critics are already hailing this Chicago-based band as the successor to Tom Waits, and we tend to agree with their assessment.  The music would make the Blues Brothers proud, with its almost gospel choir feel and its feel-good musical accompaniment.  If you are a Cubs fan, you’re probably already familiar with the band, as their song, “Let’s Go” was used extensively by the club during last season’s World Series run.  This band has the power and the spunk to make a huge name for themselves.  Check out “Tin Foil Hat” as proof.  Don’t be surprised to see them continue to break down the walls that separate indie from mainstream.  We expect these guys will go far in this business, and set a precedent that will enable other great indie bands to also bust out.  As the Cubs (through MUTTS) like to say, “Let’s Go.”

Recommendation:  Be the first in line to Get this one when it is released on September 12.  Pre-order it now.


Monday mashup 2017: Vol 15

Hope you all had a glorious Easter weekend.  We’re smack dab in the middle of the 40th annual International Wildlife Film Festival, so this is gonna be short and sweet.  Several of our favorite artists have recently released music videos in conjunction with releases of new albums and EPs.  We are sharing those videos with you now, with the album/EP reviews to follow shortly in our Get it or Forget it series.

Speaking of the IWFF, the first two days have been amazing.  We attended the Wild Walk and Wildfest on Saturday morning before heading to the Roxy Theater for the first two episodes of BBC America’s Planet Earth II.  The opening night film was Chasing Coral, followed by an amazing Q&A with Zach Rago and Stacy Picullel.  This is a truly amazing film which will play again Tuesday night.  On Sunday, we attended two films:  Yasuni Man, which had a connection to Missoula, and featured a stirring Q&A with its star and filmmaker, Ryan Killackey, as well as Unlocking the Cage, a film about the quest to give basic rights to non-humans.  That screening was followed by a very informative Q&A with Nonhuman Rights Project founder Steven Wise and a reception sponsored by the Save the Chimps foundation.


Pop/Soul singer Gigi Rich has released her debut five-song EP, which will be reviewed shortly.  We think she has something special and are proud to share her first music video with you here.  Please let us know what you think of this amazing young artist.  We think she’ll be around for quite a while.


One of our oldest and dearest friends, Marina V, has released her latest album and a stunning music video which features cameos by many of our other favorite artists.  Please check out the music video for the title track, Born to the Stars, and come back for our review of the album.  Great job Marina and Nick!

We’ll be back soon with the next edition of Get it or Forget it.  Catch you later.


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

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

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

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

Jerad Finck wins USA Songwriting Competition

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

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

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

Jess Penner releases lyric video for “Together”

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

Marina V launches food and travel blog

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

More video releases

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

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

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



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

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

World Hello Day – November 21

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

Temecula Valley Music Awards Handed Out

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

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

Hollywood Music in Media Awards

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

New Video Releases

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

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


Getting to know the 2016 LA Music Critic Award winners – Marina V

We’re nearing the end of our series of interviews with the winners of the LA Music Critic Awards for the first half of 2016.  Today’s interview is special for us because we have been friends with this artist since 2001 when she first moved to Los Angeles from Illinois.  We knew she was special then and over the past 15 years the world has also learned of her unique talent.  She has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and the UK, as well as playing to large crowds in her native Moscow.  We are talking, of course, of the amazing Russian singer-songwriter named Marina V, who took home the prize for Best Video (live) with a stirring performance of her song, “Beautiful Forever.”

Grab a glass of your favorite wine, put on your favorite tunes, and sit back and learn things about the incredible talent known as Marina V.  As you would expect from our history, this is a long one.

IVB:  How long have you been performing?

MV:  I’ve been performing for only 17 years, but I’ve been writing songs as long as I can remember and singing before I was talking, according to my mom.  I was very shy for many years and wouldn’t perform until I met Nick (my husband), who encouraged me to share my songs with people.  I was attending Illinois College, where they had a talent competition.  I entered and sang my song before the entire campus and won first prize.  But more importantly, people came up to me afterwards and told me how much they loved my song and wanted to get it.  One girl even cried because the song meant as much to her as it did to me.  That statement made an impact with my soul because I realized that my music could affect others just like it affected me.  My music could bring pleasure to others and not just be therapy to me.  That was my catalyst to start performing.  I met you in 2001 at a Songsalive showcase at the old Club Lingerie in Hollywood

IVB:  Who are your influences?

MV:  For anyone that knows me, my primary influence has always been The Beatles, who always inspired me when I was young.   I am also a huge fan of Russian folk music.  Later I began following Jewel and Tori Amos, and discovered my true love for females in music.  Tori is a genius.  Of course, Paul McCartney is one of the greatest influences of all time, and Lennon and McCartney were the most amazing collaboration of all time.

IVB:  What made you decide to DIY?

MV:  It was not a conscious decision.  I realized I wanted to perform and didn’t know what to do, so I went online and searched out singer songwriters who were performing to try to find out what to do next.  It was support from my fellow students that led to my first record.   I learned a valuable lesson about crowd-funding and used email to send to all the students and faculty to pre-order my first CD.  I raised enough to sell 1,000 copies at $10 each.   After I finished that first record, I started sending it to labels and booking agents, but didn’t get much of a response.  I still had the passion and determination so I decided to just do it myself.   My goal was to reach people with my music and maybe reach someone at a label so I wouldn’t have to do it all by myself.   I moved to LA after college because I understood that LA was to be the place to be.

IVB:  Are you seeking to be a mainstream artist?

MV:  Yes.  My dream and my goal has always been to reach as many people as possible with my music.  I need the machine and marketing that you can’t really do on your own unless you have the resources of a label.  My music is pop rock, and my song “You Make me Beautiful” was a top 40 hit in Brazil where I’m right there on the charts with Beyonce and Katy Perry.  On my own I can’t do everything I envision, but I’m doing all that I can at the moment.  That is my true dream and vision.

IVB:  What are your future plans?

MV:  No fucking idea!  I honestly don’t know.  I just keep doing what I’m doing.  I just finished a wonderful and very successful tour in Europe, and I’m very proud of that.  I’ve been working on my “2 Songs a Month Club” through Patreon, and am actively pursuing getting my songs on television and in commercials.  I’m working to get to play more and more places in an effort to reach more fans.   I want to do vinyl print of my album Superhero.  I keep talking to various publishers to get the help I need to make it to the next level.  In the mean time, I’m really living life, travelling, working for myself and getting to love it all.   I think I’m definitely working very hard to move on up.  I think I’m at the top of what an indie artist can do by themselves, and am very hopeful for the future.

IVB:  Any good stories from touring/recording/performing?

MV:  I got a really sweet deal from a local dealership who sponsored us with the car we used for our C to Shining Sea tour.  I also once had a fan give me $10,000 to work on an album.  I was doing crowd funding before that was a word.  I love inventing new ways to find support for my music.  All of it brings me closer to my fans and brings me great joy because I get to be a part of my fans’ joy.  Without the support of my fans I would be nowhere.

I’m currently doing dinner concerts where I cook them a gourmet meal and then play their requests.  Another time we had a fan that offered us support, which included fixing some appliances in our home and helping us build a fence around our house.  He never charged us for his labor although we did split the materials cost.  That’s what fan interaction is all about.  I’m also working on editing a video of our tour from Europe.  We did the same thing for our C to Shining Sea tour.

IVB:  How can your fans find out more about you?

MV:  The best place is my website.  They can also check out my Facebook page, join my Komrades group on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

If they can’t make it out to see me live, I’m doing an online residency on Ampli.fy during the month of September.