Growing up on the Islands off the BC coast, Barney Franklin didn't choose music as a career until relatively late in life. Though he'd played in a variety of groups as a teen and his early 20's, developing a song-writing partnership with high school chum Gary Fraser, he'd worked in a fish market, as a courier and in construction.
Going under the name of Brandon Wolf, he formed a band in 1978 with guitarist Doug McFetridge, Will Froese on keyboards, drummer Jack Guppy and Kevin Swain on bass. They honed their chops doing local clubs in and around the Vancouver area, playing all the hits of the day as well as mixing in some of their own tunes. They convinced A&M Records to sign them, releasing a 4 track EP in '79. Simply titled BRANDON WOLF, it was full of what would become Bentall's trademark satirical tongue-in-cheek look at life. Unfortunately tho it wasn't quite what execs were looking for.
Changing his pseudonym to Barney Bentall, he re-grouped the next year with The Legendary Hearts, taken from a Lou Reed album title. Consisting of Wolf-alumni Guppy on drums, guitarist Colin Nairne, Barry Muir on bass and Cam Bowman on keyboards, they again made a name for themselves in and around the Vancouver area. They hired Bob Rock (later best known for his work with Payolas) to produce some demos and headed to the studio, resulting in the independant EP LOSING CONTROL in 1980. But despite some slick production - it flopped.
Bentall again re-grouped - this time for nearly 7 years, touring frequently and re-thinking the whole process. He was signed to a major deal with CBS in '87 and began putting the finishing touches on the latest project. Though execs were pushing Barney o use a slick producer like Rock again, or even Bruce Fairbairn, he was intent on using David Tickle and waited until his schedule permitted it. Recorded at Vancouver's famed Mushroom Studios, most noteable for the work done there by the likes of Heart & Chilliwack, "Something To Live For" preceeded the album and lit up the charts. The self-titled album hit the stores the next spring and and saw "Come Back To Me" and "The House of Love" push the album gold. A more 'refined' version of "Something To Live For" was re-released early in 1988 to coincide with the video, his third, just prior to "She's My Inspiration", their fourth single.
A cross-country tour ensued, following which they began working on the next record. LONELY AVENUE was met by rave reviews when it hit the shelves in 1990. The lead-off track was the first single and "Crime Against Love" paved the way for what looked like another sure-winner, with "Life Cold Be Worse", "I Gotta Go" and "Nothing Hurts Like The Words" also released as singles. The sombre "Dark Nights/Dark Road" also gave an inside look at a more sombre songwriter. But problems with CBS caused them to be dropped, forcing Bentall to once again re-think his strategy.
Sony Music picked him up and released '92's AIN'T LIFE STRANGE, a more interspective look at life. Feeling he had a better idea of what he wanted his music to sound like, Bentall took over production duties with songwriting partner Gary Fraser. "Living In The 90's hit the radio as the first single, floowed by "Doin' Fine", Family Man", "If This Is Love" and "Belly of The Sun" following over the next year. They set out on another cross-Canada tour, also landing some gigs in the US and further entrenched themselves as one of Canada's most entertaining live acts.
The next record came in the form of 19100's GIN PALACE. Slightly more upbeat and arguably his most mature writing, "Do Ya" - the first single - ate up the airwaves and was followed by "I'm Shattered". Other noteable cuts included the title-track and "U Shook Me All Night Long". His now infamous legendary raport with the audiences again hilighted another extensive tour which took him well into '96. While on the road, Sony released GREATEST HITS '86-'96, containing 16 of Bentall's biggest hits.
His next new material came in the form of 'TIL TOMORROW. The eagerly-anticipated record came out in '97 and had some of Bentall's strongest writing to date. The lead-off track "Shoulder of The Road" was indicative of the album - well-written hard pop with tight hooks and seemless melodies. The irony of "Making The Bed (When The House Is On Fire)" harkened back to Bentall's sense of humour which was laced throughout the majority of his material. "So Electric", "Always You" & "Take Me To The Moon" all helped establish 'TIL TOMORROW as Bentall's most diverse record to date. Following some extensive touring he all but dropped out of sight, still making the occasional gig. Barney has signed with True North Records and has released his CD titled "Gift Horse"
"Gift Horse" is available here :
Batdorf & Stanley
Fans of Crosby Stills & Nash, Buffalo Springfield, “Rubber Soul”, The Eagles, or classic Beach Boys-harmonies are in for a real treat.
Can you imagine what the Rolling Stones songs would have sounded like if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were California boys with acoustic guitars? Would “Satisfaction”, “Ruby Tuesday”, or “Last Time” have been as powerful if they had been played on acoustic guitars and filled with vocal harmonies? Curious?
So were James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf, purveyors of acoustic rock music for decades. They took 11 Rolling Stones-classics and turned them into something totally unheard of. You don't have to live in California or play acoustic guitar to be enchanted by "All Wood and Stones" ... an amazing collection of Rolling Stones tunes played on acoustic guitars and brimming with joyous vocal harmonies.
“All Wood and Stones” — a unique sounding album of classic Rolling Stones songs.
Beth Wimmer traverses a panoramic, emotional palette with her songs of humanity, hope and humor. "A beautiful voice she has", says Alt Country NL, "Wimmer serves her songs with veins full of soul".
American singer-songwriter Beth Wimmer has called the rugged, famous mountains of Switzerland her home for some time now. After two increasingly promising albums, her newest collection of country-infused rock, 'Ghosts & Men', is by some distance “her strongest yet”, says Americana UK.
'Ghosts & Men' is a collection of Wimmer's modern-folk tales inspired by men past, present and dearly departed. The songs are real stories and fantasy told in Beth's confident, worldly, warm voice. Guitars drive, Hammond organ swirls, and accordion and world percussion weave a warm, rustic bed from which these stories rise.
"’Ghosts & Men' is a warm mix of uptempo blues and soul inflected Americana and more laid back, easy rolling balladry. The dappled folk haze of 'Easier Life' suggests early Joni Mitchell, while the funkier 'Bring You Back', the Hammond backed 'Blame Yourself' (a poignant song about her sister and deceased father) and the southern soul swing of 'Makin’ War' bring thoughts of Bonnie Raitt or the late Nicolette Larson. Deserving to reach as wide an audience as recent releases by Gillian Welch and Lucinda Williams, it’s a contender for 2011's best of’s", says Net Rhythms UK.
The songs from 'Ghosts & Men' are written and arranged by Beth Wimmer. The album is co-produced and was engineered by multi-instrumentalist Damiano Della Torre (Sugar Blue, Terence Trent D'Arby) and Wimmer in Como, Italy. The album features Los Angeles great, David Raven, on drums. Della Torre plays electric & slide guitars, bass, keyboards, accordion and percussion. Guest appearances from Pablo Leoni (IT) on drums, and Gianluca Greco (IT) on the unusual Swiss instrument, the "Hang".
"We really cannot find a word of criticism for this already excellent new album by Wimmer. Also, the magnificent instrumental contribution of co-producer Damiano Della Torre on Hammond organ and accordion adds tremendous value to the the songs, and therefore deserves a separate mention" says Rootstime in Belgium.
Beth Wimmer grew up near Boston USA, her childhood filled with running through woods, wading in creeks, fishing, and playing with dogs, cats, ducks and rabbits. Her older brother and sisters sparked her love for rock and roll, infusing their house with sounds of The Who, Jethro Tull, Heart, Neil Young, Janis Joplin and Cat Stevens. "The Pretenders and Led Zeppelin were essential to my survival as a teenager", says Wimmer. Beth's folk-singing grandfather was her darling and her poet-artist, single mother, her heroine. At 18 years old, Beth swapped east coast USA for the west coast: Southern California. There she studied songwriting and practiced her live show.
Wimmer says, "I'd been singing live and in studio on other musicians' projects since I was about 14, but I always had an ache to tell my own stories. I needed a way to express my feelings about living and I knew at my core that music would be my chance. A friend gave me a beat up acoustic guitar. I spent $50- fixing it up, and suddenly the songs came flooding forth - right around the same time the World Trade Center came crashing down".
In the years following, Wimmer released her first two fully-produced albums, 'Live Within Live Without' (2004) and 'Miracle Girl' (2008), with three in-demand Los Angeles musicians who had become key friends and mentors for her: producer-drummer David Raven (Mojo Monkeys, Keith Richards, Norah Jones), bassist Taras Prodaniuk (Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams) and guitarist Billy Watts (Eric Burdon, Bonnie Raitt, Dixie Chicks). Raven co-produced and engineered Beth's records in his home-studio in Los Angeles, a 1925 French Gothic two-story home which was originally a Catholic Rectory.
Both 'Live Within Live Without' and 'Miracle Girl' were well-received, garnering attention and praise in the US and abroad.
"...if Chris Isaac and Annie Lennox moved down to the southern part of the states and got themselves a baby girl - that girl would sound like Beth" – Melodic Net, Sweden.
Beth Wimmer now lives in Switzerland, having found love and a solid home life with her Swiss husband and two cats, in the Alps. 'Ghosts & Men' is Wimmer's 4th, full-length album - and her first European-made record. 'Ghosts & Men' is receiving radio play and rave reviews in Switzerland, Italy, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, the UK, and the United States.
"Perhaps being geographically so far removed from the alt-country industry machine has allowed Wimmer the space to make this excellent record on her own terms, which benefits from being thrillingly more considered, individual and original than so many others who occupy the same field. There's enough evidence here to set Wimmer a cut above the over-crowded field she may otherwise get lost in" – Americana UK.
Catch Beth on tour in Europe now, beginning with dates in Switzerland, The Netherlands and Germany in March and April 2012.
The Beautiful Old
Producers Paul Marsteller and Gabriel Rhodes invite you back into the parlor with “The Beautiful Old”, an entertaining collection of elegant yet earthy songs, ranging from 1823’s 'Home Sweet Home' to 1918’s 'Till We Meet Again'. “The Beautiful Old” keeps the piano, often played by The Band’s Garth Hudson, at the heart of each arrangement, illustrating the original spirit of the compositions brought back to life with such illustrious vocalists as Richard Thompson, Christine Collister, Dave Davies (The Kinks), Graham Parker, Kimmie Rhodes, Kim Richey, Heidi Talbot, Jimmy LaFave, Eric Bibb and more.
The stories behind the songs reflect changing times for music and popular culture: 'After The Ball' became the first song in history to sell a million copies of sheet music (and went on to sell 5 million!) and was the beginning of what became known as Tin Pan Alley; 'Come Josephine In My Flying Machine' is a fun take on the new invention of air-flight; 'The Dying Californian' is based on a farewell letter written at sea in the Gold Rush era; 'The Flying Trapeze' is a comic-tragic account of French acrobat Jules Leotard, who also designed the one-piece garment that bears his name.
These antique tales illuminate the past, but along with the other songs on “The Beautiful Old”, reflect timeless subjects of loss and regret, comforts of home, wistful loneliness, heartbreak and the joys of love as the sweetest song of all.
“Sound Experiment” is the debut release by Bill Cave a.k.a. SymplyBill. It’s being compared to several legends. The album has 13 original tracks with some likened to a modern day Cash, some to Gordon Lightfoot meets Jim Croce, some to James Taylor, others to Townes Van Zandt meets John Prine, but all are SymplyBill.
For an epic & original indie musical journey… Experience “Sound Experiment”.
SymplyBill has created an album that borrows from folk, country and bluegrass, but yet stands in a class all of its own. If you can imagine a sound that makes driving your car fun… That’s SymplyBill.
When you hear it in full stereo, then you’ll understand. Mainly a singer/songwriter/guitarist debut, “Sound Experiment” has some powerful female vocal work (Caroline Pond & Ashley Jo Farmer), solid lead & melodic backup (Rutledge Leland, Louis Eliot & Tag Garmon), and great overall rhythmic guitar for an album that is best summed up as “epic”.
Bill Cave borrows from a life experience that would make a great book but ended up in song. To find his way, he hit the road at 23 and has never looked back. Like “Into the Wild,” but with an alternate ending, so is the life of SymplyBill. Storytelling is a passion, and it is a talent SymplyBill possesses. In one song you might find yourself somewhere in Texas burning up the highway, just a doin it to it, yet in another you’ll be floating through the snowy trees chasing a snow princess in upstate Vermont, and then you might be in the mountains of North Carolina standing in the rain crying out to your best friend. Most find at least one song, if not all, just hits home.
Do you want music that moves heart and soul?
As a fan of The Beatles and Bob Dylan as a teenager, Price set his sights on being a songwriter. "I don't know if it was the realization that I was always going to be just an average guitar player, or the fact that I always have an opinion, that got me headed in the songwriting direction. But, for whatever reason, I just got that fire. I was inspired by certain music to try and do a similar thing, and I still am..."
Early collaborations with his cousin Dave Price and later on with Mario Noche were also based around writing original music. "Dave was the first person I knew that actually thought about having a 'concept' for a song. Being in my early 20's, I thought that was pretty unique".
The collaboration with Mario Noche was also a fertile creative period. "I think we both respected each other's songwriting ability and that inspired us to always try and bring something of quality to the table".
In 2000 Price recorded his first album of original material, "Bones & Apples". It received airplay in the US and Europe on college and independent radio. He also teamed up with Indiana bluesman, Gordon Bonham to form The Brains Behind Pa - a three, sometimes five-piece band inspired by Dylan's songs and influences. "Gordon and I both have a love of Dylan's music and much that inspired him, so we started a side project to kind of explore all of that music". The result was "Old Hat", a CD EP that contained seven traditional, folk and blues songs. It also received airplay, on college and independent radio stations across the US, in Canada and Europe.
A songwriter that is in a band inspired by Bob Dylan is bound to take the next logical step - that is, write original music for his band. "It's an obvious extension of what we were exploring in all the old songs and Dylan's music. It was time to apply those qualities that we like in all of that music, to our own music. Carve out our own identity". The resulting album, "Better For The Deal", released in May of 2006, has fifteen original songs and strongly reflects the band's influences.
He has continued to perform and record music both with The Brains Behind Pa and other musicians. Price released "The Circus & The Gallows" 3-song CD-single in 2007. In late 2009 he released "With the Eye of a Skeptic...", a full-length, acoustic-based CD.
"It has received some very warm reviews and radio airplay overseas - mainly in Europe", Price explains. "The reception to this record has been the most positive and extensive that any of my albums have received so far. We've had a couple of reviews in the U.K. and airplay in Ireland, which is new territory for my projects". There have also been positive reviews and airplay in Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Sweden, and Croatia, to name a few others, as well as some airplay on independent and college radio in the U.S.
Price's music has continued to gather momentum both locally and in Europe, where the last few CD's have seen healthy airplay and positive reviews from independent radio and media.
It was June 1983 in NYC and Steve Satterwhite had just spent the last of his savings on a fantasy; a recording studio with an eight-track Scully (now on display in the Stax Museum in Memphis) that he had jimmied into a vacant storefront on 4th Street in the East Village. Studio done, Steve now needed someone to record. He put a small ad in The Village Voice and, three days later, came home to find by his door a wild-haired man holding a notebook. The man was Billy Marlowe, and the book was filled with songs.
At the time Billy was about forty, but it was a hardscrabble forty. He had been born into difficult times in Oklahoma (we think), and the tracks on his face pointed to years of struggling with things not always under his control. He had started out with his Gibson J-50, playing music in bars and small clubs in San Francisco, and later in places like Louisville and Baton Rouge, and even Amsterdam and Brussels. But hard times were never far away. Over the years, and like so many others in those days, Billy battled alcohol, drugs and the draft, battles that brought about some broken relationships and some time in prison. But through it all Billy wrote beautiful songs driven by a raw, stinging poetry.
In the East Village during the early 80's there were scores of talented musicians just walking around, some famous and some who would be. It seemed like Steve knew them all and, once they met Billy, it wasn’t hard to bring everybody together to work hours and hours for little more than the satisfaction of making something good. The most easily recognized (by her haunting harmonies) is Shawn Colvin, but there was also the keyboard inventions of Stephen Gaboury, the guitar mastery of Jeff Golub, and a violin in the hands of Kenny Kosek that could bribe its way into heaven. Read the list; it’s a “Who’s Who” of New York musicians from that era. Everyone involved in recording Billy thought they were witnessing the birth of an American classic.
The arranging and recording went on for over a year. The finished album was titled "Show Me The Steps". It was dubbed onto cassettes and a few LPs, but there really wasn’t a plan for a lot of big-time distribution or promotion after that. It ended up being an elaborate demo tape. If you wanted to go to the prom in those days, you had to be invited; the music business was a private party. So the basic hope was that by bringing Billy’s songs into being, someone in the music industry — someone with smarts and market muscle — would shepherd Billy to his proper place in the pantheon of American poet-songwriters. It didn’t happen. The music was extraordinary, but no one called back. And the variety of indie routes that we now take for granted, didn’t exist. Time went by and the project gathered dust. Some more time went by and Billy died. That was sixteen years ago.
There is no one alive today who could write Billy’s biography. Just where he went and what he did is lost to time, but not lost are the extraordinary songs that Billy wrote during his life that were recorded during those special sessions that summer on 4th Street. Thirty years later, "Show Me The Steps" is finally being released. We are all the better because of it.
Billy White Jr
Billy White Jr is a Texas born and based musician and recording artist. Growing up listening to his father’s small collection of country albums he took in all the classics from Hank Williams and Jim Reeves to Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. Around Junior High he discovered Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Allman Brothers Band and all the other greats from the 70’s.
Woodshedding for hours on end in his room he tried to master all the nuances and phrasings of the players and singers he respected and admired. After going on to study music at North Texas in Denton he played guitar and sang full time working with various bands, doing recording sessions and solo shows all the while refining his craft.
After taking time off the raise a family, Billy started playing music again in 1999 and built up his home studio to the point where he could record seriously in it. After producing three albums for other people he released his first album in 2010 called simply “Just Another Guitar Player From Texas”. His second album, “Just Another Sad Ol’ Song” has just been released, with production on number three already under way.
So now Billy has a backlog of material, a studio to record it in and the means and time to release it. Thanks to the current ease of internet distribution, he plans to put out as many albums as possible until he runs out of stuff either musically or physically.
On September 18th, 2012, Sugar Hill Records will release ‘A Tear In The Eye Is A Wound In The Heart’, the 2nd album by Black Prairie, the exploratory, back-porch ensemble founded by the Decemberists’ Chris Funk, Nate Query and Jenny Conlee.
Produced by Tucker Martine, ‘Tear In The Eye…’ is the follow up to ‘Feast Of The Hunter’s Moon’, and the first Black Prairie album to primarily feature vocalist Annalisa Tornfelt. Written collaboratively by all band members, the album feels cinematic and familiar; Tornfelt’s gentle, classic country-inspired singing is connected to the band’s Baltic-Appalachian instrumentals by strange, orchestral interludes. The album is an evolution of the band’s love of instrumental, Italian film score weirdness and the venerable, forgotten roots of American and Eastern European folk.
“I don’t feel like there’s any boundaries in this band at all”, adds guitarist Jon Neufeld. “All my weird songs have finally found a home in this group”.
Black Prairie was formed in 2008, in the living rooms of Portland’s rich music scene, during downtime by the Decemberists’ Chris, Nate, Jenny, who invited their friends Annalisa Tornfelt (vocals, fiddle) and guitarist Jon Neufeld. “At that time, I needed a shot in the arm”, says Chris, who began spending more time with the dobro. “We’re trying to keep the acoustic integrity of the acoustic aspect of it - but otherwise, it’s no holds barred. With these five instruments, what can we do?”.
Black Prairie has become Portland’s beloved “house band,” and is recording a series of collaborations with singers in their hometown, the first release of which being a 7″ with James Mercer of the Shins and Sallie Ford.
When LZ Love & Lightning Red began their 2010 European tour with backing musicians from Croatia and Germany, they didn't anticipate anything beyond a few weeks performing to enthusiastic crowds and adding many new fans. But with each new festival and concert performance, it became obvious that something magical was happening. Strong friendships were forming and great music was being created.
Recording sessions were set up in Split, Croatia and plans drawn to form a world class band. Due to contractual obligations with industry folks in London, Peco Pete was unable to join or record with the new Blues Family. With studio tracks in hand, the entourage headed to Germany to enlist the award-winning drumming talent of Tom Diewock. German legend Ray Frick added vocal tracks to the emergingalbum of original songs and stands at the helm as executive producer.
Bob Cheevers: Americana's Master Storyteller
“I don’t know if these stories are true... but they happened to me”
Approaching a half century of songwriting excellence, Bob Cheevers is at the top of his game and in high gear on his journeyman’s road as a dedicated composer-author-musician. His Austin pal Ray Wylie Hubbard says “Bob Cheevers is one cool scarecrow gypsy poet who writes and sings the romantic, beautiful truth. When he releases a record, I listen”.
With his last two releases bursting into the UK Americana top 10, and several others CD's finding their way into the US Americana top 20 and 30, his pursuit of excellence as a writer was recently acknowledged by the Texas Music Awards recognizing him as the “2011 Singer-Songwriter Of The Year”. On the heels of that award, Bob has recorded a seminal double album titled “Smoke & Mirrors”, with one disc being full band songs and the other having a more acoustic flavour.
The CD is a walk with Bob thru the lives of characters from the goldrush, members of his family, including his only son, victims of the 2011 fires in Bastop Texas, a man named Jesus, sailors, drunkards, a local TV personality and star crossed lovers. The recordings feature performances of musicians from Austin, Nashville, Arkansas and Leicester, England, and is another leap forward for this renaissance artist who continues to write from a mystically deep well of creativity.
Bob grew up in Memphis and got a soul full of music, not only from the icons of his youth such as Elvis and Johnny Cash, but also from his Grandmother and Aunt, both of whom were musicians as well as his Mother, who was a radio star during the big band era of the Great Depression. After college came 25 years in the pop field in LA, followed by 16 years writing for the country market in Nashville, before moving to Austin, Texas, in 2009 where he found his place among peers like Ray Wylie, Kevin Welch, Sam Baker and others, who write and perform because its what they do and a big part of who they are.
Bob plays constantly in and around Austin, thru out Texas and the US, and after taking a few years off from touring ten years in a row in Europe (mainly the UK), Bob returns to England and Scotland for 23 concerts in 32 nights beginning November 1st, 2012. You can see it on his face when he plays and sings. His joy of music runs soul deep, and you can hear it in his voice as he spins his rootsy, blues-flavoured tales of life in a conversational language of the heart.
"An invitation to collaborate with my brother, master arranger/musician Daniel Lanois took us on the trip of a lifetime through our family's Quebecois roots and ancient European history, driven by the pulse of the big city of Toronto. He enabled my fledgling harmonica style to emerge from a hidden place in the woods to meet the world.”
— Bob Lanois
When you have a superstar for a brother, it’s hard not to hit him up for a little help from time to time. Bob Lanois embarked on creating his first solo album with a musical god on his side. Younger brother Daniel is spoken of in the hushed tones reserved for a deity. And why not, it was U2’s Bono who referred to him as the best musician he has ever known, while “Rolling Stone” gushed that he was “the most important record producer to emerge in the ’80s.”
A celebrated engineer and producer himself, Bob stepped away from the knobs and dials of the control room, and, freed from the tangle of cables and microphones, took a chance with his own collection of songs — varied, moody, engaging instrumental pieces — produced by the genius of Daniel.
“I totally had to ‘give’ while working with Dan,” says Bob. “He demands it and is somewhat of a shaman that way in that he will trick you into revealing your true self.” Bob’s first solo project, “Snake Road” is an exit ramp off the superhighway of contemporary sonic exploration. It envelops the past, while pushing another envelope on what today’s — or even tomorrow’s — music should sound like.
“It’s forward moving. I believe I am more a futurist than I am a traditionalist,” proffers Bob. “I would rather plunge into the future. You can hear it on ‘Snake Road’.” What you will hear is the signature dream like landscape of Daniel, with the surprisingly lithe harmonica of brother Bob piercing and challenging the rich, shifting textures of ethereal backdrop.
The nine tracks on “Snake Road” are anything but ignorable. Nor is the fact that Bob has been on the cutting edge of ambient since Eno spent two years living at his house while pioneering the sound at Grant Avenue Studio in the early 1980s. While it’s hard to imagine the rough and tumble, blue collar streets of Steeltown as a womb for music that’s been referred to as “room colouring” and “sonic wallpaper”, that’s how the story goes.
“Ambient music was born in Hamilton, Canada,” Bob will tell you.
That’s where Daniel and Eno worked on seminal Eno recordings like “On Land” (1982) and “Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks” (1983) — in the studio designed and built by Bob.
While the word “ambient” is literally defined as surrounding and encircling, it doesn’t, according to its creator, necessarily define “Snake Road”. “I don’t consider ‘Snake Road’ an ambient record,” Bob says. “I consider it a timeless piece of work that could have been made at any time in history.”
In fact, he continues, every cut on “Snake Road” has a distinct and memorable melody based on a standard structure of verse, chorus and modulated breaks. “Each and every one is, in fact, a classically crafted piece of arrangement genius of a very structured kind,” says Bob. “It’s almost the opposite of ambient where chance and randomness could even be an element.”
“Snake Road” is not Bob’s first foray into playing on an album, but this record is the first project he can take ownership of — his first solo release. Bob played harmonica on the critically acclaimed “The Shack Recordings” Volume 1” (2005) with Tom Wilson (Junkhouse and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings), an album he also co-produced with the triple Juno winner.
Look for a sequel soon.
“Tom’s been hounding me every day for the last year, ‘When are we going to start?’ he keeps asking.”
Singer-songwriter Bob Pressner’s new CD ‘HONOR AMONG THIEVES’ is now available on iTunes, featuring a 13-song collection produced by multiple Grammy-nominated and platinum-selling producer-songwriter David Grow (Blind Boys of Alabama, Lila McCann, Carly Simon, Matt Giraud, Jim Brickman).
The video for Pressner’s “On My Own” from ‘HONOR AMONG THIEVES’, hit Billboard’s “YouTube Most Viewed 24 Hours” chart at #10 for the week of December 29. The video also ranked “YouTube Top Honors” the same week at #10 in the US, #1 in Mexico, #2 in Canada and Argentina, as well as 33 other countries around the world. His bonus-single, also available on iTunes, titled ‘Water Water’, produced by Jim McGorman, is featured in a YouTube video that is approaching 90,000 views
Says Grow of Pressner, “after working with so many established artists, it’s wonderful to produce someone who is fresh and undiscovered – Bob is one of the most artistic souls I’ve ever met”. Adds musician/producer/musical director Jim McGorman (Avril Lavigne, Weezer, Michelle Branch) Bob Pressner's music resounds with the heart and soul of a life well lived. His songs give raw emotions a distinctive voice”.
The cuts on ‘HONOR AMONG THIEVES’ are self-penned by Pressner, and reflect the heart and soul of his burning desire to return to a sense of “Woodstockian” personal freedom, stemming from his traumatic experience as a survivor of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. As a former commodities trader at the World Trade Center, Pressner’s bombing experience, sparked an epiphany to get out of the trading business and explore his creativity through music. The dynamic, edgy and heartfelt compositions on ‘HONOR AMONG THIEVES’ is the culmination of a recording and live performance career in NYC clubs such as The Bitter End, Mercury Lounge, Lone Star, Roadhouse, Lebarbat and others, coupled with a performance at the International Independent Film Festival at Madison Square Garden, that began in the mid-90s, shortly after the attack.
Pressner was a featured artist at The Forge at the 2010 South By Southwest music festival, and his song “Heart Of A Champion” was the title track of a compilation CD of indie artists dedicated to the 2008 Bejing Olympics.
"Haunting....Like Dylan with estrogen." - John Barth
"Some Moths Drink The Tears of Elephants" is here, recorded with the late, great Jim Dickinson at Zebra Ranch in Mississippi. Dickinson produced the Replacements' classic "Pleased To Meet Me" and played piano on The Stones' "Sticky Fingers" and Dylan's "Time Out of Mind." He also produced Boister's 2003 "Pieces of Milk."
In the unsuspecting city of Baltimore, singer/pianist Anne Watts and a collective of creative types known as Boister are fashioning music unlike anything else currently coming out of the United States. The press has been especially enthusiastic in Europe, where Jade magazine called Boisters 1997 debut disc 'the album of the decade' and critics lined up to praise the groups subsequent recordings ("Song of the Smoke", "Pieces of Milk", and "Les Foules en Amour"). One French critic likened Boister's music to "scenes shot in the footlights of a tin pan alley bar squatted by the Lounge Lizards and haunted by Kurt Weill, choreographed to Nino Rota with Irving Berlin on moonlit melodies, orchestrated with theatrical effects and pulsing with the fanfare of marching bands". Others have compared Watts to Tom Waits, Thelonious Monk, and Cat Power.
Boister has recorded with regular support from the Maryland State Arts Council. Their discs can be heard on the radio in France, Spain, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Albuquerque, Charlottesville, Philadelphia, and Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
Three forces of nature meet in B.O.P. Ensemble, a Canadian super-group, featuring folk legends Bill Bourne and Wyckham Porteous, along with up-and-coming singer-bassist Jasmine 'Jas' Ohlhauser. Combining Bourne's grit, Porteous' warmth, and Jas' energetic devilry, the three manage to catch lightning in a bottle.
Bourne, who is cut from the cloth of a classic troubadour, was called by Texas songwriting legend Tom Russell "a shining light in the North American folk and roots scene."
Porteous matches Bourne's nearly legendary status and was called by Andrew Loog Oldham "Leonard Cohen meets Harry Dean Stanton, a warm, warm, performer whose voice is like a bottle of wine who has matured into a friend."
Jasmine 'Jas' Ohlhauser is the wild card of the bunch, an exuberant 25-year-old who also plays with the Edmonton band Lilys On Mars. With the addition of her dance theatrics, B.O.P. Ensemble shows come close to performance art.
Each of the three is great on their own..... Together they're something truly special.
"Thieving In The Alley – Born 53 Plays Songs Of Bob Dylan" is the bands 4th album and follows the critically acclaimed albums "Contender" (2007) and "Foreign Accent" (2010).
After focusing mainly on original material, the band now turns to their favorite bard, with some thieving and inspirations from a wealth of other sources from their americana, blues and pop backgrounds, to create and attractive and interesting selection of Bob Dylan songs.
Among the songs are two never released (possibly never recorded) by mr Dylan himself; "Legionnaire’s Disease" from the late 70’s and "Tragedy Of The Trade" from the mid-90’s. The latter written by Dylan with legendary songwriters Gerry Goffin and Barry Goldberg.
Other titles include "All Over You", an early ’put-down’ song (only recently officially available in demo form in Dylan’s own Bootleg Series) and the mid-60’s single "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?".
Overall "Thieving In The Alley" includes song written over five decades and should be a treat to anyone interested in sensitive and personal interpretations of that greatest of songwriters; Bob Dylan.
Brad Colerick drew a line in the dirt 20 years ago when he gave up making records to make music for commercials. With the release of ‘Cottonwood’ last year, he crossed that line and now takes a big step forward with his follow up CD, ‘Lines In The Dirt’. With contributions from Suzy Bogguss, Larry Klein, Herb Pedersen and April Verch, Dirt fulfills the promise of ‘Cottonwood’. Boasting nine more compelling originals and two well-chosen covers, Colerick takes the listener on a journey through his life and his stories. Once again the playing is sharp and crisp, the songs deep and affecting. Colerick delivers another round of intimate and thoughtful vocals for an album bound to please any fan of honest songwriting and music making. “Cottonwood took 19 years to make,” Colerick says, only partially joking. “I made a couple of records in the 80s, before I came to California, then I succumbed to ‘blue check fever’ as it was known” -- a reference to the color and allure of union residual checks.
During that period, he created music for some of the world’s largest corporations but not for himself. “Two years ago I got serious about my own music again. Cottonwood evolved slowly and included some older tunes, but since then I’ve been playing live and finding my voice as an artist.” Most of the songs on Lines were written in the last year and road tested as Colerick traveled the West, winning converts with his down-home style. The album was recorded and produced by Ed Tree at his Treehouse Studio. “Ed’s like a bodyguard -- he never lets anything get in the way of the song or the vocal, but every player gets a chance to shine.”
Colerick’s music blends Americana, Folk and Country to create smooth, catchy melodies that seep into your heart with a single listen. His finely wrought, plainspoken lyrics find the poetry in everyday language to celebrate the often forgotten moments that make life worth living. “My California” contrasts the dreams of a mid-western boy with the reality of LA, a wry reflection on the perceptions and misconceptions of the Golden State. Its loping beat and chunky rhythm guitar take us down Sunset Boulevard with a perfect combination of wide-eyed wonder and smoggy cynicism. “Juarez,” a story about the hard lives of immigrants, was inspired by a bumper sticker. “My car broke down in El Paso, and I saw a bumper sticker that said ‘Jesus Lives’ as I was looking out over the border at Juarez. I thought, “Jesus lives where? Here? I feel a lot of compassion for immigrants who come and work incredibly hard under difficult conditions to support their families.” The tune has a bluesy, Norteño vibe, a compelling vocal and pedal steel that shimmers like the heat rising off an asphalt road.
“Remember Me” has a nostalgic 40’s feel, and Colerick whistles a sprightly solo that adds to the tune’s classic air. The song has already been licensed for an Etch-A-Sketch ad campaign. The title track is a sympathetic meditation on the paths in life that we all inherit and the choices and inner struggles we face. The music is subtly dramatic with a ghostly pedal steel and soulful organ complementing Colerick’s emotional vocals. There’s also “We’re Gonna Laugh,” a jaunty celebration of love on a credit card; the swampy bounce of “Let Her Fall In Love,” highlighted by the swooning fiddle of April Verch; and a slow, smoky reinvention of the Johnny Cash hit “Ring Of Fire,” with Suzy Bogguss.
Colerick and Bogguss met years ago when they were both struggling performers. When she heard Colerick’s take on the tune, she asked if he would consider making it a duet.
While Colerick’s friends add plenty of sparkle to ‘Lines in The Dirt’, it’s the songs that make the album memorable. Colerick’s understated delivery and beautiful melodies reveal new levels of emotional complexity with every listen. It’s a deep, rich album - a welcome addition to the canon of great American music.
ROCK, COUNTRY & JAM MEETS THE OLD TESTAMENT BY WAY OF THE BASEMENT TAPES, INSPIRED BY THE FILMS OF LUIS BUNUEL
In places such as Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas, Houston and New York, the 60's saw the explosion of Hispanic rock bands like Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, The Mysterians and The Midnighters, challenging the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, if only for more than a brief moment. After Los Cruzados (coming out of the LA punk scene), Union 13 (from East LA) and, of course, Los Lobos, or more recently Los Lonely Boys. Born in San Roman, Bravo Johnson's distinctive style of claw hammering guitar work and signature falsetto tenor singing voice brings the Americana of Tom Petty or Neil Young to the magical theorems of Aleister Crowley, the eight neurological circuits of Timothy Leary, combining it all together in an amalgam of uber hippie California Rock which has seen Hendrik and Los Deltonos share stage with acts like STEVE EARLE, DBT, WILCO, GOV'T MULE, Q.O.T.S.A.
THE CROOKED & THE STRAIGHT (Stone Junction 2008)
In step with indie Rock and Americana, with a take on vocal harmonies and jangly guitars that borrowed as much from the Byrds and Gene Clark, as it did from Zeppelin. They remember the 60’s and playfully scramble sources without making a commitment to any rock fellowship. The songs had been primped and preened into sophisticated pieces in which Roever's guitar, in particular, was used with spectacular versatility, peeling off blues-rockabilly leads in the showboating manner of Jerry Reed.
COME TASTE THE SUN (Stone Junction 2010)
New songs that deftly expands his vocabulary away from Americana and into classic rock. There are plenty of solid tunes all peeking their heads through the band's established not so hard-rock sound and mellow intimate tunes and amp to 11 anthems alike and plenty of subversive elements that split the difference Not unlike Sergio Leone, Ennio Morricone and Alejandro Jodorowsky, Bravo Johnson's explicit employment of reflexive genre clichés in ‘Rider’, and again in ‘Bird’, evokes themes, characters and settings of Americana, divorcing these elements from their ideological base and shifting the spotlight to illuminate some of the metaphysical and phenomenological furniture of modern life.
Singer, songwriter and drummer, Brian Dale is sought after for his ability to deliver music as passionate as it is intelligent, evident on his recently released CD, "Sticks & Stones".
Brian was immersed in music from the beginning. Raised by dedicated musicians, he developed early appreciation for the musical qualities he exemplifies: expression, diversity, expertise, passion and style.
"Sticks & Stones" is a culmination of Brian's rare musical presence and creativity. Opening track "Free and Renewed" sets the tone for the disc, with it's compelling vocal performance on top of a captivating groove; It also features the moody and soulful trumpet of Latin Jazz Grammy winner Brian Lynch.
Co-produced by Joe Puerta (Ambrosia, Bruce Hornsby) and Kevin Arndt, "Sticks & Stones" is a complete package: extraordinary melodies, lush harmonies, solid grooves, creative writing, consummate musicians-an exceptional work. The outcome is original and fresh, easy to listen to.
Brian has performed with Joe Puerta, Les Lokey, Ambrosia, Peter Mac and Melissa Mathes; and has been a guest performer with many different artists. He is a seasoned session drummer and vocalist with numerous CD's and jingles to his credit.
Brian Kalinec's award-winning songwriting combines his early East Texas roots with his years of the Houston urban experience for is own particular view of the world. His songwriting and musicianship have garnered him accolades in many significant contests across the United States. His new CD "The Fence" is a collection of stories which relate to the value of work and/or effort in one way or another. Many aspects of such effort are covered here - from building a fence to cutting stone, from choosing a career over a relationship to losing a job, from homelessness to home repairs, from Teddy Roosevelt's star-crossed river adventure in the jungles of South America to a woman whose life is forever affected by her boyfriend's poor choices. Effort is sometimes rewarded and sometimes ignored, and taking the easy way out usually leads to disaster. And sometimes the less fortunate are just simply ignored. "Blessings Of This Day" details Brian's view of the world's predicted end. As a finale, Kalinec has chosen to cover the wistful "A Song I Heard", penned and originally recorded by Maury Muehleisen, Jim Croce's iconic guitarist who perished along with Croce in the plane crash.
Brian's songs are descriptive and poignant, and yet musically accessible. The legendary songwriter, folk artist Tom Pacheco, met Brian a couple of years back and was so impressed with Kalinec's work that he asked to write the liner notes for this CD. Pacheco writes: "In these times of artifice, flash, vulgarity, and vacuousness in the music business, these songs come across as a breath of fresh air and common sense, which as we all know is not so common at all".
Produced by Kalinec and veteran producer-engineer Michael Mikulka at Mikulka's acclaimed Lucky Run Studios, "The Fence" features a fine cast of musicians and vocalists, including Merel Bregante - drums and percussion (Loggins & Messina, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Patterson Barrett - dobro, pedal steel and mandolin (Jerry Jeff Walker, Buddy Miller, Nanci Griffith), Rankin Peters bassist extrordinaire, Matt Harlan - award-winning rising star in the Americana and Folk world, Connie Mims - co-writer of "Paint" and member of legendary group Wheatfield, Cathy-Anne McClintock - Canadian born multi-award winning folk americana artist, Bill Ward - keyboards and fellow Two-Bit Palomino artists Ren and Andi Renfree - vocals, B. Sterling Archer - cello and trumpet, Carolyn Wallace - vocals, Jeff Chambers - vocals, Allisong Smith - vocals, Jim Kam - Chapman Stick and Sandy Buller - bowed bass.
“In this 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birth, these songs resonate in our own times. I'm sure Woody would have loved them. Brian sings, writes, and plays so seamlessly that it feels these songs have always been there” ~ Tom Pacheco
When Brian Kramer from Brooklyn was barely out of his teens he was hanging out with legendary bluesmen, picking up tips and advice from folks such as Buddy Guy and Junior Wells when they would visit his hometown in NYC.
Junior took a particular liking to Brian, and paid careful attention in showing him the right moves and how to play from the heart. Junior would join Brian on his first album 'Brian Kramer & The Bluesmasters featuring Junior Wells', "Win or Lose". He backed Brian up on almost every track and Brian backed Junior up on four of his songs. Former Rolling Stone, Mick Taylor was also part of these sessions as well as a gathering of the finest, most respected sidemen in the US.
Throughout the 90’s Brian toured and continued to be a fixture within the New York club scene, performing frequently with the great bluesman Larry Johnson, until re-locating overseas, seeking a broader range of opportunities.
He has since travelled the globe touring through the US and Canada, throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Scandinavia, South Africa, Portugal and Japan and recorded and performed with world class artists such as; Eric Bibb, Taj Mahal, Bob Brozman, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Toumani Diabate, to name just a few.
His past CD releases have received great acclaim and praise and many have coined the new praise “uplifting-blues” when referring to Brian’s recordings.
His latest 2010 release, "Myself & Mine" brings Brian back to his core center of just one man and his guitar. It is an intimate profile of his travels and reflections in a raw, stripped-down setting that puts you inside of his stories.
Seattle based singer-songwriter Brian Lee, chose to call his first full length 10-song album “Moth” because it was the perfect metaphor for his own metamorphosis and emergence as an artist. He fully relates to the creature, finally waking up in his cocoon to become a beautiful flying creature, like the underdog emerging to take on the world. He makes a long anticipated breakthrough with “Moth”, where he heads away from the darkness and towards the light, unabashedly expressing his feelings of love, hate and frustration and painting richly emotional themes.
“I am getting back to the basics of why people write songs”, he says, “sorting through my own life and picking up critically dark and bright points and exploring all of the emotions I felt in those moments. I am keenly aware of the significance and importance of the darker and sadder side of life, like a moth guarding the night” says Lee, “happiness and sadness, like one cannot exist without the other. It is a powerful thing to be able to recognize this and beautify it in songs”.
Sugar Hill Records is proud to continue its legacy of incredible songwriters with the release of Brian Wright’s "House On Fire". While this is the first label release from the Waco, TX, native, he has built a firm base of fans within and beyond the music industry with two previous releases and tireless touring in the US and Europe. Unlike previous releases, which were both recorded in the studio with a band, "House On Fire" approaches the recording process in a much more relaxed and reflective manner, with Wright playing every instrument himself and handpicking his prolifically written songs into a mindful, well-curated collection.
And make no mistake, this album truly is about the songs. Gems like “Mean Ol’ Wind” and “Live Again” convey the tenderness of the soul which very few songwriters can capture. “Striking Matches” and “The Good Dr” bring the driving sound of a cross-country bound train, bound for heartache or redemption. “Maria Sugarcane” paints with a Southern Gothic brush that would make Flannery O’Connor proud.
“When people ask what I sound like, I usually say I’m somewhere between Woody Guthrie and Velvet Underground”, says Wright. “This album finally allowed me to make the music the exact way it was in my head”.
After spending his early twenties on the Austin/Waco/Dallas bar circuit, playing everything from punk to covers, Wright flipped a coin to decide his future home, either New York City or Los Angeles. Going West won the day. Today, when not touring, he resides in Los Angeles where he is a fixture in the LA music scene. For the last six years he has been the front man and lyricist for his band Brian Wright & The Waco Tragedies, a band that has gathered a devoted audience across the country.
With nine albums to his name and a few hundred live performances every year for almost a decade, singer-songwriter Brock Zeman is well-established as one of the Ottawa Valley's hardest working musicians. All of this before the age of 30. He's also highly regarded, having earned praise from critics across the country. Exclaim! magazine says Zeman is a "songwriter worth hearing over and over again", CKUA hails Zeman's work as "intelligent, tuneful, heartfelt songs served up with an authentic but understated style" and the KW Record says that "Zeman doesn't surrender an inch to any Texas singer-songwriter you care to name. Closer to home, he has the chops to join the likes of Fred Eaglesmith on the lonesome outskirts of town after the street lights come on".
Zeman has also played on stage with some of the top talent of the contemporary roots and Americana scenes, including Steve Earle, Lynn Miles, Fred Eaglesmith, Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund, Toby Keith, Prairie Oyster and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, to name a select few. Keith Glass of Prairie Oyster calls him, "an emerging Canadian powerhouse", while Juno-award winner, Lynn Miles says "he's a master songwriter, he belongs on stage with the big boys". By his mid-20s, Zeman signed with Busted Flat Records and had played most major music festivals in the country. So marks the first fine chapter in Zeman's music trajectory.
The past year has seen Zeman take on new challenges and roles in the music industry and expand his musical horizons. He founded Mud Records, his signature label for releasing new material, including his most recent album "Me Then You". But Mud Records also serves as the imprint for showcasing new roots talent handpicked by Zeman. The first release on Zeman's label was "Nights Take Forever" from singer-songwriter, Robert Larisey who made the Top 50 Artists listing in the Roots Music Report for the recording, while Altcountry NL gave it a 4 out of 5 stars. More recently, Mud Records released the debut album by the Brothers Through The Hill, "Adelaide", the album received a rave review in the Ottawa Citizen, which also added that Zeman "recognizes talent when he sees it". Rootstime calls Mud Records "a promising young label".
Zeman has also stepped away from his guitar for a time and worked behind-the-scenes in the production studio on his most recent album, as well as both the Larisey and Brothers Through The Hill releases. Zeman also produced the debut album from renown fantasy author, Charles de Lindt. He is also planning and producing albums for a small roster of other musical acts to be released on Mud Records in the coming months.
Buford Pope, a.k.a. Mikael Liljeborg, was born in 1971 on Gotland, a Swedish limestone island in the Baltic Sea. As a 15-year-old he discovered Bob Dylan and was then captured by other story-telling artists such as Neil Young, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, Robert Johnson and Bruce Springsteen. Through the music a whole new world opened up, stretching far from the isolated island. But it was not until he was in his 30's and living in the south part of Sweden that he started to take his own music seriously. He has a unique talent for songwriting and a sense for strong melodies, a talent he has constantly refined. After his debut album ”Buford Pope” he has also released ”Blood Relatives” and ”Too Young To Be Old”.
The many live performances of Buford Pope during the past two years have won over many audiences for his authentic Americana. Now it’s finally time for new studio material. The fourth album, ”Matching Numbers”, will be released in September.
“This is much more of a band album compared to my previous albums. I have written the songs during a period when we have done many live performances and it has been very important for me to bring that live atmosphere into the studio. I’m still a solo artist, but I also feel like a member of this fantastic band I have behind me,” says Buford Pope.
The first single,”Faces Don’t Smile”, has received frequent airplay on Swedish radio this summer. Several songs which have been performed on stage during the past six months and have become live favourites are on the album as well, for instance opening track ”Brothers Of Mine”, ”Somebody Like You” and the beautiful ”The Long Way Back Home”.
”I’m basically always writing new songs, almost on a daily basis. Maybe the hardest part was to choose which of the newly recorded songs that should not be released. But the 13 songs which made it to the album all have a strong connection to each other and reflect different aspects of life and the musical traditions I identify with.”
Buford Pope is highly acclaimed by audiences, as well as music critics, for his country inspired rock and his unique voice. That he’s succeded in upholding the American music tradition in a way few other Europeans have, is only one of many positive reviews. Buford Pope was awarded the prize Sweden’s best alternative country in 2010.
"This is my 2nd CD project. The last one was ten years ago. I was living in LA at the time. It may seem like a long time in between, but for me the spacing is just right.
Recording of this collection of songs has been a great experience. 'Any Road' is a current musical statement. Even though not all the songs are new, it is a reflection of my music as it is today, more me than anything I have done before.
As with any project like this, it has been a collaborative effort. I have been lucky enough to have received the help and cooperation of many friends, some old and some new. I wish, of course, to thank the musicians involved for their years of dedication to the craft, enabling each one to bring their own high degree of skill and expertise to this project. There are others who also have helped, who did not play instruments on these songs, but nonetheless, made an invaluable contribution to this work.
Without the help and encouragement of all the people involved in my musical adventure over the years, I would not be as happy as I am, and I am very happy to be here writing this:
John Pruit for his faith, trust and great generosity. Mark Eagleheart for recognizing that it was time to get these songs into the studio and bringing this to John's attention. Don Richmond for having the great ability to see beyond all that he is involved in, which is always a lot, and for sharing my vision, keeping it so close to what I had in my mind and in my heart. Richard Morrison for his counsel, great patience and his massive amount of expertise in so many areas. Geraint Smith for the great photos. Dee Morrison for her artistic eye and skill. Mark Bennet for being a friend who just stops by for a laugh, and plays great drums too.
There are so many others, whether or not directly involved, who have been there with their friendship, love and encouragement over many years:
Brett Perkins, Michael Glover, David Zink, Marty Grebb, Janni Littlepage, Peter Hesse, Melody Elwell Romancito, Rick De Stefano, Lani and Dennis Reinhart, John Poulos, my Mom, my sister, my cousins, all my co-writers who are listed for their part, and all the great songwriters, some who wrote the cover songs recorded here, and also the ones who wrote songs that have inspired and influenced me and made me keep hoping and dreaming of this time."