"Our first album is a tasty blend of soul, funk, jazz & pop, and offers original compositions especially influenced by Californian stuff from the late 70's to early 80's. We’ve tried to stick to those westcoast colors throughout the whole project, emphasizing melodies, harmonies and arrangements, and searching to find our own and original sound that would echo our feelings on love, joy and pain.
We’ve been listening over and over again to artists that have always guided our music: Bill Labounty, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Steely Dan, Mickael McDonald, Jay Graydon, Bill Champlin, David Foster, Pages, Crusaders, Boz Scaggs, Kenny Loggins, James Taylor, Gino Vanelli, Hall & Oates, but also Stevie Wonder, Donny Hataway, Bill Withers and Quincy Jones.....
We tried to follow Jay Graydon’s advice who declared: 'Try to look for memorable little secondary melodies, whether it be in horn parts, even a string line or a synth line or a guitar line. Little secondary memorable things help, like the frosting on the cake. But, if you don't start with a great song, obviously nothing's happening.You've got to have a very memorable melody to begin with and a good lyric, or nothing else much matters. Just try to pay attention to having the whole package as memorable as possible'."
"From the moment the music begins, it is clear that this album is something special. Every note, instrument and harmony is perfectly placed. She explores each song, its intent and intonation, and then sings with soulful elegance. The songs reach down deep, touch your senses and send you on a musical journey through the seasons and life's passages, both literally and figuratively." ~ Jeanne Holton Carufel (host of Acoustic Peace Club, WMNF FM, Tampa, FL)
Called "one of the best singers of her generation" by Christine Lavin, folksinger and jewelry designer Mara Levine has been creating beautiful interpretations of fine traditional and contemporary folk songs for many years. She has an ear for both new songs and for classics that can be reshaped to sound fresh and new. Layering one harmony line on top of another, she creates rich tapestries of sound and emotion. Folk DJ Jim Marino has referred to Mara as "golden-voiced", while Folk DJ Michael Stock calls her voice "full, rich and soothing".
"Jewels & Harmony", Mara's 2013 release, was the most-played album on folk radio in January and also had the top two songs, "The Dutchman" and "When I Sing With You" according to charts compiled from radio playlists submitted to FOLKDJ-L, an electronic discussion group for DJs and others interested in folk-based music on the radio. Mara's version of Bob Franke's "Straw Against The Chill", with Joe Jencks and her original and intricate arrangement of Paul Simon's "Leaves That Are Green", featuring folk harmony trio Gathering Time, both reached #1 on the folk chart as singles prior to thier inclusion on this album.
Si Kahn lends his seasoned and expressive voice to Levine's moving arrangement of Michael Smith's "The Dutchman" as a duet. Says Smith: "You and Si sound great together, and the interpretation is honest and sincere and tuneful, the cello and guitar and voices filled the space beautifully. I'm proud to be associated with your work". "When I Sing With You", a song that Si Kahn wrote for the album features folk harmony trio Gathering Time and singer-songwriter Joe Jencks on harmony vocals.
Building on the success of "Mara's Gems", her 2009 debut, "Jewels & Harmony" features 15 hand-picked songs that reflect changes we experience and some of life's journeys and passages. Levine has drawn her material from popular contemporary songwriters like Bob Franke, Paul Simon and Bill Staines, and emerging talents such as Nancy Cassidy, Jud Caswell and Pat Wictor.
"Jewels & Harmony" was co-produced by Mara Levine and Bob Harris (Johnny Cash, Girlyman, among others). Harris, who toured with Vassar Clements for 15 years, also plays guitar on 10 of 15 tracks and helped with arrangements on several songs. A number of other artists on the contemporary folk and bluegrass scene also contributed their talents to this recording, including Si Kahn, Brother Sun, Pat Wictor, Gathering Time, Jeff Scroggins, Joe Jencks, Loretta Hagen and Caroline Cutroneo.
Mara performs as a duo with Caroline Cutroneo and as a duo with Terry Kitchen, shares bills occasionally with Gathering Time and sings with a number of groups and musicians. She has performed at such venues as the Borderline Folk Music Club, the Folk Project Festival, The Good Coffeehouse, Strawberry Festival, Huntington Folk Festival, Hurdy Gurdy Folk Club and the Minstrel Coffeehouse. She's appeared on programs including "The Folk Show" with Gene Shay on WXPN, "Folk & Acoustic Music" with Michael Stock on WLRN, "Saturday Folk Show" with Jeannie Holton on WMNF, "Traditions" with Ron Olesko on WFDU, WVBR "Bound For Glory" with Phil Shapiro and "Horses Sing Nine Of It" via the Folk Project.
Mara also has provided vocals for recordings by Spook Handy, Terry Rivel, Terry Kitchen and Jim Indell.
To say Marc Black’s musical journey has included some unusual stops is a colossal understatement. Over the course of his career, Black has recorded and performed in a variety of formats from 60's pop to improvisational rock to ambient experimental performance art. But on his latest, "Pictures Of The Highway", Black returns to the simplicity of live performance.
“I have a Guild D-40 that I bought in 1969”, says Black. “It’s been with me the entire trip. It’s almost a dousing rod for songs at this point”. In planning the production of the 12 songs for the album, Black chose to build an album that could easily be replicated live, either solo or with a small band.
“I’m standing behind the song and letting it speak for itself”, says the Hudson Valley, NY, musician. “My co-producer, Jennifer Condos, wanted to do a real simple record. We recorded pretty much everything at her house in California. We wanted to hear everything and make it as comfortable and honest as we could”.
The album is already gaining attention for Black. “Ooh I Love My Coffee” has already made it to the top 10 of the Folk DJ charts, while the album is in the Top 20. In addition to Condos, Black enlisted friends Jay Bellerose (Alison Krauss/Robert Plant), Steve Gadd, Mark Goldenberg, Sloan Wainwright and more.
Black first appeared on the music scene with his high school band, The Blades Of Grass, which enjoyed a top 40 hit and toured with Van Morrison and The Doors. At 21, he embraced psychedelic folk rock while living at folk-rock legend Tim Hardin’s house in Woodstock. “Tim left town and I inherited his band”, laughs Black. “A compilation of the recordings we made can be found in the Smithsonian Collection on the ESP label”.
He has since recorded more than a dozen CD's, first for RCA, Jubilee, and ESP before embarking on an independent career. An award-winning artist, Black has worked with the likes of Rick Danko, John Sebastian, Taj Mahal, Maria Mulduar, Art Garfunkel and Richie Havens, among others.
In 2009 he was named “Folk Artist Of The Year” on ABC Radio’s Fame Games, and a “New Folk Finalist” at the 2009 Kerrville Folk Festival, as well as a winner at the New Jersey Folk Festival and in the Austin Songwriter’s competition.
His previous release, "Stroke Of Genius" - which was based on the poetry of his friend Dan Mountain, who suffered a stroke and remained in a coma for 21 days before waking up when Doctors pulled life support - led to an award-winning documentary, an endorsement by the National Stroke Association and a performance at the Sundance Film Festival (with Donovan). His 'YouTube' videos have been viewed as many as 35,000 times and he was invited by Levon Helm to perform at one of the ‘Rambles In Woodstock’. Meanwhile, he has recently been writing and recording with Eric Weissberg (“Dueling Banjos”) and John Sebastian.
Marcus Eaton’s career has been a study in dichotomy. His music is unique and original, yet wide in its appeal. His band is but a trio, but is as sonically powerful as any twice its size. His influences and famous fans include icons dating to the 60's (such as Rock'N'Roll Hall Of Fame-member David Crosby), and those who are among today’s most acclaimed artists (such as Tim Reynolds of Dave Matthews Band).
Eaton might be a small-town guy at the core, but his music knows no borders.
The singer/songwriter/guitarist from Boise, Idaho, recently released his 5th CD of original material, “As If You Had Wings”, an effort that has proven Eaton’s appetite for expansion. Powered by swirling bassist Ben Burleigh and powerhouse percussionist Kevin Rogers, the release is robust, a real rocker at times, yet shows the thoughtful songwriting that has been an Eaton trademark since he signed his first recording contract with a subsidiary of MCA Records in 2002.
As one reviewer noted, the latest CD is Eaton’s “most accessible yet aggressive rock music yet. He’s developed into a dazzling guitarist”. Announces another, “The intricacy of Eaton’s songs is gratifying and unfortunately lacking in most mainstream rock”. Eaton’s style is an excellent mixture of maturity and excitement”.
The band has been likened to such vaunted trios as Cream, Rush and Police, with Eaton’s clear and inviting voice and ever-dazzling guitar work pacing the band.
One of the more discriminate authorities in rock history agrees with the haughty praise heaped on Eaton.
“I truthfully think he’s one of the best young singer-songwriter guys in America, maybe in the world”, Crosby says. “He’s an enormously talented person. And it comes from a very, very good place. People who really listen to music, I think, will find him just a joy. He’s a really brilliant writer. Brilliant musically. Brilliant lyrically. And he just plays (guitar) like God on a good day!”
And this lavish praise is imparted after a mere two-year collaboration between Eaton and Crosby, who were introduced by a mutual friend two years ago and forged a bond through their passion for music.
Eaton has been a featured act for such wide-ranging artists as Bob Dylan, Train, Victor Wooten, Dave Matthews Band, Tim Reynolds, Derek Trucks Band, Martin Sexton, John Mayer, Jewel, Counting Crows, Jason Mraz and Sheryl Crow.
Eaton borrows from traditional rock, funk, reggae, flamenco, classical, jazz and folk, has toured extensively with Tim Reynolds. The Dave Matthews Band guitarist says, "Marcus weaves a tapestry rich in musical depth and soulful feeling. Sweet impassioned spot-on singing round out this total package of dynamite”.
Eaton has performed at venues vast and intimate. He has been featured on the 20,000-capacity Gorge Amphitheatre side stage during a show headlined by Dave Matthews Band. His CD release party at The Knitting Factory in Boise crammed the concert hall even beyond it’s official 999-seat capacity.
Born in Pocatello, Idaho, Eaton has been one of the most acclaimed artist in the intermountain west for more than a decade. With such luminaries as David Crosby among his confidants, he seems poised to take the step to stardom many have anticipated for him since he first picked up a guitar as a child.
“I think everything happens in a great way for me”, he says. “It happens when it’s supposed to happen”.
In his ongoing quest to explore the vast musical landscape between Townes Van Zandt and Motörhead, Mark Davis presents his 3rd and most ambitious solo album to date, "Eliminate The Toxins". Driving rock. Raw folk. Effervescent pop. Bombastic experimentations. Anthems and weepers, wrapped in striking visual artwork.
Recorded with Lorrie Matheson in Calgary, Alberta, the genre-defying "Eliminate The Toxins" is at once cohesive and sweepingly diverse. While forging new territory, Mark pays homage to musical forebears such as Guided By Voices, Durutti Column, The Byrds, David Bowie, Pan American, R.E.M. and Urge Overkill.
Mark Davis has been performing and recording for 20 years. Sharing the reins with Shuyler Jansen, Mark guided the band Old Reliable through 15 years and 4 recordings. His music has appeared on more than 20 different releases, as well as on television, and in feature-length and short films.
Mark’s last 2-CD release - "Don’t You Think We Should Be Closer?" and "Mistakes I Meant to Make" - was praised as 'a two album tour de force' and 'the roots release of the year', and was lauded internationally by an abundance of four- and five-star reviews. Uncut magazine called "Mistakes I Meant to Make" 'stunning' and Le Cri Du Coyote in France called the song "By The Time" 'one of the most beautiful songs of the century'.
Mark became the most-played Canadian roots artist on the CBC’s Galaxie satellite radio for 2007, spent several weeks atop the National Campus and Community Radio roots chart, and made the year’s top 10 lists of the both the NCCR and Exclaim Magazine.
Mark has shared stages with such luminaries as Guy Clark, Alejandro Escovedo, K’Naan, Fred Eaglesmith, Kathleen Edwards, Great Lake Swimmers, Gurf Morlix, Corb Lund, Ray Condo, Giant Sand, The Sadies, Richard Buckner and Pieta Brown, to name a few.
Marsteller & Rhodes
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.
Being born in a musical family, singer-songwriter Marty Rivers was drawn into music from a very early age by listening attentively to his grandfather playing the guitar and immersing himself in his father’s record collection.
At the age of 13, young Marty took part in a singing contest in his native island of Malta and won despite being the only non-adult participant. It was around this time that Marty formed his first band and started performing in various bars and venues all over. It was the beginning of a long road that has nonetheless brought him success and helped him develop into the artist he is today.
Although his passion for country music has been within him since childhood, he has ventured into other musical genres which developed in him a sense of versatility that is so evident in his music today, both as a songwriter and also as a performer.
The first collection of original songs was released in Marty’s debut self-titled album ‘Marty Rivers’ with two of its tracks charting high on various European Country Music charts.
In 2008, Marty released the album ‘Out Of The Blue’, produced and recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. This was another set of songs all written by Marty himself along with Joe Spiteri, songs that reflect the various musical influences that left such a blueprint on Marty’s music.
Various tracks from the album were released as radio singles, all of them charting high on various charts including the song ‘Made in Mexico’ which went to number 1 on Ramgatie Country music International Top 40 and ‘Call Colorado’, voted as a top song during the 2008 Music Row Songwriters Festival in Nashville.
In November 2010, the self-penned gospel song ‘The Lord Is Coming Soon’, originally recorded on Marty’s first album, reached the number 1 spot on the God’s Country International Music charts and number 3 on the American Country Gospel Music charts.
That same year, Marty started working on some new material for a new album which was then recorded in Nashville with a group of top class musicians, and like his previous album was also produced by Gary Carter. ‘Midnight Sky’ the latest offering from Marty is a set of 12 songs that once again show the versatility in Marty’s music.
The first two singles from this album, the title track and ‘Run Angel Run’ both went all the way to the top of the Ramgatie charts and the European Country Music Association charts and also topped a number of individual ECMA charts in various countries. In November 2011, the Malta Music Awards Committee awarded Marty with the award for Best International Achievement.
American music icon Marty Stuart will release his 2nd album for Sugar Hill Records entitled "Nashville, Volume 1: Tear The Woodpile Down" on April 24th, 2012. The ten song collection, almost entirely written by Marty, features his touring band of musical missionaries The Fabulous Superlatives. Nashville staples Buck Trent, Kenny Lovelace, and Robbie Turner are joined by country music royalty Hank Williams III and Lorrie Carter Bennett (The Carter Family) on harmony vocals to fill out the cast.
Marty Stuart arrived in Nashville on Labor Day weekend, 1972. “I came to Nashville from the land of Jimmie Rodgers, looking for a place, a place to belong inside the world of country music. It was a country boy Hollywood, the air castle of the South, a dream factory”. 40 years, a decade worth of hits and a full round of hillbilly stardom later, Stuart has hillbilly rocked himself back to the bosom of traditional country music.
“When I reconnected with traditional country music I found myself, my calling”, says Stuart. “The kind that is timeless, beautiful, beyond trend, the empowering force, the reflection of a people and a culture. The kind of country music that the working man and scholars alike call home. The job seemed to be to champion it, love it, protect it, care for its people, attempt to write a new chapter for it and to make sure that everybody understands that it’s alive and well in the 21st century”.
Stuart has done that with his acclaimed collection of country music memorabilia and treasures which currently tours across the country, and with his Marty Stuart Show on RFD TV which provides a platform for some of Nashville’s classic artists to perform on a nationally syndicated program.
“When I first came to Nashville the most outlaw thing you could possibly do around here was to take country music and blow it up into rock & roll. Mission accomplished! Today, the most outlaw thing you can possibly do in Nashville, Tennessee is play country music”. With "Tear The Woodpile Down", the latest chapter in the Marty Stuart story, he’s doing just that
Matt Keating’s 10th release and newest album, "Wrong Way Home" is a 16-song emotional epic, quietly fueled by striking melodies, poetic lyrical turns and is truly aligned with the best of the classic 1970’s songwriters. While he has most recently been classified within the Americana genre, "Wrong Way Home" seeks to revisit his original pop sensibilities, while folding in his more recently discovered alt-country “twang”. Keating’s attention to the craft of songwriting effortlessly combines the humorous with the heartfelt, as stories of lonely carousel makers and long dead beach bums abound. The tone of this collection, his debut on Sojourn Records, is tinged by nostalgia while being entirely modern. It is contemplation on life’s narrative, offering moments of joy and melancholy, epiphany and regret.
Matt has been consistently putting out critically acclaimed albums since his Alias Records debut, "Tell It To Yourself" was released in 1993. In addition, he has released 6 full-length albums, as well as 2 EP’s, including 2003’s "Tiltawhirl" released on Alan McGee’s Poptones label. He has continued to tour regularly throughout the US and Europe. Keating will be touring Europe and the UK, as well as the US, in support of his new release during 2012.
Coming off last years "Between Customers" (“Enough to lift the spirits and restore a jaded reviewers faith in new music”- Americana UK), which was noted for it’s spare and minimalist approach, "Wrong Way Home" reaches for musical heights based more on orchestration and arrangement.
In recording "Wrong Way Home", Keating looked to his long time band mate Jason Mercer (Ron Sexsmith, Ani DiFranco) to produce, as well as an all-star line-up of musicians including guitarist Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell), drummers Greg Wieczorek (Joseph Arthur, Norah Jones), and Mark Brotter (Hem), with strings provided by Claudia Chopek and horns by Shane Endsley and Dave Sewelson (Microscopic Septet).
He lives in the West Village of New York City with his wife, fellow songwriter and designer Emily Spray, and their daughter Greta Spray Keating. In addition to performing and writing, he produces other artists and teaches music and songwriting.
”Northern Lights”, Matt Stone’s debut album, is best described as a collection of stories – Some autobiographical, some shared, and some transcendent. Most of the album was written over the last few years as Matt worked at making the transition from writer to performing songwriter. Matt’s influences include Jackson Browne, Eliza Gilkyson, Johnsmith, Neil Young, Kate Wolf, Mary Gauthier and Bill Morrissey.
The lyrics are honest, very visual in their storytelling and range from whimsical to philosophical, uplifting to heartrending. The title track was inspired by his cousin’s remembrance of having experienced the wonders of seeing the lights as a child. The song speaks of small town life and one’s first love with the enduring memory of one night when the aurora borealis “painted the town”. The opener, “Simple Things”, is an up-tempo laid back ode to the pleasures of mornings at home with coffee on the stove as the sun spills in the kitchen window.
“Time Into Gold” is a lusciously arranged waltz through time, reminding us to live each moment and let our true hearts sing. “Spirit Of The Wolf” is a mystical narrative that bears witness to the intertwined fates of wolves and their Native American brethren. Matt wrote “China Clipper” for his father, who relayed the story of one Christmas gift during the Great Depression that gave him the lifelong dream of flying.
Dave Blackburn recorded, produced and mastered at Beat ‘N’ Track Studio in Fallbrook, CA. Blackburn contributes his distinctive acoustic guitar touches on several tracks. From subtle brushes to fuller drum work to support the arc of each story, there’s no one better than Dave Johnstone. Digging deep beneath with earthy and rhythmic bass lines, you’ll find Dan DiPietro, while the album’s magical backdrop of pedal steel is provided by Rick Schmidt. Rob Whitlock contributes a rustic feel with B3 and Wurlitzer, as well as his effortlessly wonderful piano. Hank Easton’s electric guitar includes fluid and evocative slide work on songs such as “Apogee”, “Fifty Two” and “Time Into Gold”. Dennis Caplinger adds rich shadings of folk and Americana with his mandolin, fiddle and banjo, while Chris Kokesh’s fiddle is suitably mournful and restrained on “Land Of Broken Dreams”. Chris Kokesh, Robin Adler and Dave Blackburn make up the Aurora Chorealis. Dayan Kai’s trio of wood and metal flutes evoke beautiful haunting calls of distant wolves on “Spirit Of The Wolf”. Rounding out the CD’s sound is Radoslav Lorkovic’s emotionally impressionistic piano on “Spirit Of The Wolf” and “Land Of Broken Dreams”, as well as wistful and whimsical accordion on “Brown Dog”.
Last year, among his many other accolades, Matthias Sturm was nominated for the 10th Independent Music Awards the 'Short Form Music Video' for “Blood And Thunder,” the title track from his debut album. Considering his status as a musical citizen of the world, it’s no surprise that he chose the dreamy John Lennon and Pink Floyd influenced global harmony song “Peace On Earth” as the unofficial lead single. The tune is gaining airplay from Triple AAA stations & college radio in the U.S. to outlets in India and Dubai. Sturm will be headlining a tour in Dubai the last quarter of 2012 in association with W.O.A International, the Dubai Cable Networks, VH1 and with the support of Rolling Stone (Middle East).
The multi-talented singer-songwriter’s life leading up to his emergence as a solo artist rolls like a high spirited travelogue, with his heartfelt voice conveying highly poetic music and lyrics that, in his words, invite the listener to “step into a Byronesque universe inhabited by muses”. Sturm hails from East Germany; was heavily inspired by Mississippi Delta Blues and jazz a la Miles Davis and John Coltrane; attended the evening classes of the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden; and writes most of his songs at home in a large 16th Century Fortress in the countryside outside of his adopted hometown of Paris. He headed to L.A. to record "Blood and Thunder" at Blind Melon’s private studio with producer David Hillis, best known for his work with Pearl Jam, Afghan Wigs and James Blunt. The collection also features two-time Grammy nominated songstress Erin Alden (keyboards, piano, arrangements) and drummer Dave Krusen, who anchored Pearl Jam as a founding member.
Drawing upon influences from numerous cultures, Sturm has a unique sound that’s steeped in classic 70's rock and has been compared by Shoentel Music in Los Angeles as “reminiscent of Roger Waters... but with more layered depth and more melodic”. Mike Galaxy, an L.A. based music promoter adds, “These songs are cool, very different than anything I’ve ever heard”. They offer a subtle and colorful mix of folk, avant garde and French chanson garnished with cinematic soundscapes. His expansive depth as a singer, songwriter and recording artist is in some ways a musical outgrowth of his highly acclaimed work as a visual artist and painter. After the Berlin wall came down, Sturm became one of East Germany’s youngest and most talented painters. His paintings are part of some of the most important collections in Germany, Austria and the U.S. and in many private art collections.
Sturm has a recently growing fan community in Benelux, where Belgium popstar Novastar recruited him for supporting slots on a 2008 tour of Belgium and Holland. Sturm has also performed on club tours and larger venues across Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, India and the U.S., sometimes on legendary stages like the L’Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Signed to W.O.A. International with a management and license deal for India and the Middle-East, he performed the W.O.A. Indian Summer Tour 2009. Last year, Sturm was back on stage for the W.O.A. International India Tour 2011 in association with VH1. His pioneering of independent music in India included a performance at the International Music Festival at Goa in front of the Indian Minister of Power, Mr. Alexio Sequeira. He recently created a new video clip of his song “Homesick”, which was shot at Goa, and will have TV premiere on VH1 India this year.
For many fans, one of the most compelling aspects of the Sturm musical experience is his lyrics, which read like poems from the romantic era of English literature. “Crow Food” is a song about transformation that draws on the metaphorical image of a man sitting in a park, transforming suddenly into a bird. “Mister D” is the sweeping tale of someone who lost their love and is offered a chance to have his pain taken away, but at a steep price — like a handshake with the devil.
“I see myself as a storyteller, and my lyrics have a strong poetic character”, says Sturm. “They are written in the style of a spoken word tradition that draws on the romantic literature I love from 19th Century England. It was a very interesting phase in the history of poetry and the stories, like mine, were a bit dark and asked great questions about life, death and love. There is a strong association to image and scenery which allows people to imagine themselves in any given situation. My writing is very subconscious, and I always feel the most interesting songs come upon the writer when he or she least expects”.
November 30, 2010, sees the European release of the debut album 'Harbours' by singer-songwriters Meadowland. 'Harbours' is produced and written by guitarists Josef Bernberg and Robin Tinglöf. Meadowland also features Christopher Anderzon on bass and Henrik Ståhlberg on percussion.
Recently featured on Swedish television’s channel 4 breakfast-show, Meadowland have consolidated their previous live performance experience into an intimate stage presence that bears witness to both their technical finesse and lyrical sensitivity. 'Harbours' endeavours to bring that sensitivity to the studio, providing the listener with a full-length album experience reminiscent of the previous singles, but comprising entirely new material, and exhibiting more coherent production.
Josef Bernberg and Robin Tinglöf started playing rock music together in their teens. Growing older they experienced the onset of creative asphyxiation as the responsibilities of adulthood began taking their toll. Life had become mundane and a little bit too realistic. Music had lost its fascination, and the bands they were involved in tended to split up. After a dry spell, they began to play together again, tentatively, in an attempt to recapture some of that earlier fascination for music. This led them to explore a different texture of sound, that turned out to be somewhat therapeutic.
Their current collaboration began seven years ago as an informal song-writing workshop of sorts, void of expectations or demands. After some time they realised that they had unwittingly started a band. They discovered Meadowland. With no previous interest in, or experience of the acoustic genres, they both set out on a new journey of musical experimentation. It is this wanderlust and curiosity that gives the band its unique, soft, spacial quality, inviting listeners to inhabit nostalgic moodscapes.
Meadowland is a band sustained by friendship, dreams and a vested trust in following the music wherever it might lead.
In the winter of 2011 The Men got what is usually referred to as a ”unique offer” in commercials. They were asked if they wanted to travel 9,911 miles across half the globe from Lund, Sweden to Melbourne, Australia to play in a music festival.
”We just shook our heads and realised that it was a completely stupid idea. Sure, we would be headlining the festival, but still — it was too long a journey and too short notice. And then we looked at each other again. Melbourne. When would we get a chance like that again? We had to say yes”.
The group’s singer and hyper-energetic maracas shaker Sven Köhler remembers the trip that made such strong impressions on him, bassist Ola Främby, guitarist Olof Wallberg and drummer Niklas Kilenstam, that it inspired the five first songs on The Men’s 4th album ”This Way”, "If Tomorrow Comes", "St Kilda Beach", "Looking For Swedish Men", "Mr BBQ" and "My New Black Sailing Shoes".
“Oh, no – not a concept album”, you might think. Have The Men followed 60’s icons The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces and The Pretty Things down this risky path? Not really. The Australian theme songs merely work as a kick-off to what might be the best collection of songs in the hard-hitting rhythm and blues tinged power pop style that they’ve made their own.
Still there are differences that give ”This Way” a slightly different edge compared to its predecessors, ”The Men” (2002), ”Return” (2006) and ”Four Good Men And True” (2009). For starters, the band this time decided to record in producer Amir Aly’s Yla Studios in Malmö, while the two latest albums were done in producer Christoffer Lundquist’s famously retro equipped studio.
In Sweden, Aly is as famous for his modern pop productions, as Lundquist is for his ability to capture the late 60’s sound. On paper it sounds like two different production schools, but in reality the difference isn’t that big. “The main goal this time was to push the sound as far as we possibly could. Everyone was to play loud, and everyone was to be heard the most”, is Ola Främby’s summary.
As a fan of The Men’s forerunners The Sinners and The Girls, Amir Aly enthusiastically started his work to create an "updated old school sound for 2013”. Production-wise the task was solved with a clever microphone placement in the studio in order to give each instrument it’s own characteristic sound. The idea was to use fewer microphones but position them in a way that would give the group a more modern and aggressive sound. The result has made Niklas Kilenstam’s already explosive drumming get even more in your face than before. Then Ola Främby’s mighty Gretsch bass was plugged into a Fender 75 guitar amp, which created a fat and slightly distorted bass sound. And when Aly finally panned Olof Wallberg’s ringing guitar power chords and Främby’s pumping bass into opposite stereo channels everyone realised that they had achieved their goal. It sounded like The Men, only more so.
Words like ”retro”, ”mods” and ”60’s” have followed The Men since their formation in the early 00’s. But with ”This Way” it seems the band have escaped the anorak. So what’s the correct way of describing The Men’s music today? Ola Främby needs only three words. “Hard, but elegant”, he says. And when he describes the atmosphere in the song "Back To Square One" he comes even closer to what might be the essence of The Men’s music; “It sounds like England when it’s raining”.
But let’s get back to the album’s sunny start with its Melbourne-inspired songs. "Looking For Swedish Men" almost wrote itself when their Australian record label contact/concert promoter/fan Dave Stevens met them at the airport, holding up a sign with that message.
Dave is also the founder of the record store Pure Pop Records at St Kilda, the beach community that inspired another of the songs on “This Way”. Apart from the music festival gig the band also played in the record store, and hung around on the clubs and bars around St Kilda. With its relentless riff and honking sax, St Kilda Beach became the band’s tribute to the area’s laid-back and inviting atmosphere.
Even the lyrics have taken a step forward this time. Sven Köhler and Ola Främby write the group’s material together with The Men’s fifth member — manager, songwriter and creative spin doctor Joakim Kilenstam. ”It’s not just things we make up, it’s for real. We write about ourselves. To love and live your dreams, like keeping on playing rock ’n’ roll”, Sven says.
The songwriting trio Köhler/Främby/Kilenstam have slightly different roles in the creative process. Sven’s strength is the ability to easily find melodies and basic chord progressions. Ola not only churns out melodies in a near constant flow, he’s also the man with an ear for quirky arrangement ideas that help the songs stand out even more. Joakim is the non-musician with a head full of possible or impossible musical combinations, like: “How about playing it as if it were a soul number on ’Sweet FA’”.
One example that shows just how personal The Men’s songwriting can be these days is the duet "Don’t", where dad and daughter — Sven and Isabella Köhler Alvén, that is — meet in a generational clash, so funny and direct that it’s hard not to be moved.
Of the album’s 13 songs all but two are around the magic three-minute mark. With its six and a half minutes, "My New Black Sailing Shoes" is the big exception. “We had a bunch of unfinished songs that we started with, but never really got around to finishing. So we put them all together into one song instead”. Now wait, where have we heard this one before? Wasn’t that album called “Abbey Road”?
And sure, we could go on and discuss song after song on ”This Way”. But then we wouldn’t have time to talk about the amazingly detailed cover with its tin miniature figures by the collector and miniature creator Pelle Persson. Take a closer look at the minimal proportions of The Men figures on the CD booklet’s last page, and then consider this dialogue when Pelle was about to paint Ola Främby’s boating blazer with its classic broad stripes.
Pelle: ”Hey, that thin red line between the blue and grey fields — does that really have to be there too?”
Ola: ”Well, it depends on how precise you want to be”.
A deep sigh could be heard, but Ola’s boating blazer got a thin red line. The Men is that kind of band. And “This Way” is that kind of album.
Sven Lindström, Malmö, September 2013
Iconic country music legend, Country Hall of Famer and most recently a Kennedy Center Honoree, Merle Haggard, is releasing a new album, ‘Working In Tennessee’, on October 4th, 2011. This marks his 2nd disc for Vanguard Records and is a collection of self-penned Haggard riches, plus a couple of classics made famous by Johnny Cash, as well as a new version of Merle’s stalwart “Working Man Blues”, featuring Willie Nelson and his son Ben Haggard.
‘Working in Tennessee’ is another in a long line of stellar discs filled with Haggard’s honest and candid observations of the world in which we all live, as well as life on the road and at home with backing by his longtime band The Strangers, plus a number of veteran studio cohorts. Produced by Haggard and Lou Bradley at the Hag’s northern California Tally studio, the album is another worthy addition to his tremendous body of decades of radiant work. It’s a loaded mixture that reflects the consistently self-possessed artistry which long ago earned him the moniker “poet of the common man” and displays his masterly phrasing with alternately smooth tones and rough-hued vocals that deliver all the resonant interpretive impact he’s known for.
‘Working in Tennessee’ opens with the title track, an ideal Western swing workout, that underscores Haggard’s oft-confrontational relationship with Music City, to the stark vulnerability of “Sometimes I Dream”, co-written with his daughter Jenessa, to the autobiographical tale of “Down On The Houseboat”, co-written with his wife Theresa. Willie Nelson and his son Ben are featured on the kicking re-make of his anthemic “Working Man Blues” and Theresa joins Hag on a duet of the Johnny Cash-June Carter standard “Jackson”.
The album is a strikingly artistic example of the artist’s unflagging creativity which shows no signs of slowing down. According to Haggard, “I’m swinging back in full throttle right now. Music keeps me alive. It makes me breathe better. It’s funny, but I feel better when I come off a tour than when I start out”. What an amazing accomplishment for a man who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008 and had part of his lung removed. With no signs of the disease returning, Haggard continues to produce songs and perform live at the age of 74 with more energy and enthusiasm than many a younger man or woman.
Michael Brewer was born on April 14th, 1944, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The oldest of four children, he performed on the radio at age four. He was a singing drummer in a rock and roll band in highschool, along with fellow bandmate and guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. In 1960 he sold his drums and bought his first guitar. After graduating highschool in 1962, he traveled the folkcircuit performing in coffee houses from coast to coast, and began writing songs. He met Tom Shipley in 1964 at The Blind Owl coffee house in Kent, Ohio, but they wouldn't become a team for a few more years.
He teamed with first partner Tom Mastin in 1965, and settled in San Francisco, then Los Angeles. His first recording contract was with Columbia Records as Mastin & Brewer. They formed a band with drummer Billy Mundi (later to be an original member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention), and bassist Jim Fielder (later to be an original member of Blood, Sweat & Tears). Mastin & Brewer toured southern California opening for The Byrds, along with another newly formed band, Buffalo Springfield. Buffalo Springfield got together in a house next door to Michael, once owned by Lenny Bruce, and they got their name from a road work vehicle that was parked in front of Michael's house. Mastin & Brewer began headlining clubs in L.A., and began recording, but Mastin decided he couldn't take the pressure, and they separated. Sadly, years later Tom Mastin commited suicide.
Mastin & Brewer's man at Columbia Records was leaving to help create a new record company being formed by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss called A&M Records. He took Michael with him, and Michael became a staff song writer for A&M's publishing company Good Sam Music.
Tom Shipley moved into a house around the corner from Michael and they began writing songs together. Soon, Tom was a staff writer for A&M, as well. Their demos for the publishing company exhibited a sound and style of their own, and A&M suggested they record their songs themselves. Their first album “Brewer & Shipley/Down In L.A.” was released in 1968.
Unhappy with life on the coast, Michael and Tom moved back to the heartland, doing what they'd done before - Performing their songs for those who'd care to listen. They made Kansas City, Missouri their home, and with friends, formed a company named Good Karma Productions. Brewer & Shipley acquired a new recording contract with Buddha/Kama Sutra Records in New York City. They recorded four albums for that label “Weeds”, “Tarkio” (containing the now classic rock-anthem "One Toke Over The Line"), “Shake Off The Demon” and “Rural Space”. Eventually, they moved to Capitol Records and recorded two albums “ST-11261” and “Welcome To Riddle Bridge”.
In 1980 Michael and Tom amicably went their separate ways. Michael met Dan Fogelberg in a bar in the Rocky Mountains, and Dan invited him to sing on a song on his latest album. The album was “The Innocent Age” and the song was "The Reach". Dan produced Michael's first solo LP entitled “Beauty Lies”, on Full Moon/Warner Bros, and it was released in 1983.
In 1987 Brewer & Shipley regrouped for a special concert in Kansas City. They did a few more reunion shows, but writing new songs is what got them back together. While on tour in Alaska, they decided to form their own company "One Toke Productions". They have written songs for, and recorded two CD's for that company, “Shanghai” and “Heartland”, and after forty plus years together Brewer & Shipley are still performing.
In 2004 Michael released his 2nd solo effort, entitled “Retro Man”. In the last few years Michael has been more prolific than ever writing songs, and in early 2011 released his 3rd solo album entitled “It Is What It Is”.
"Awash in a melodic swath of near-psychedelic ether, Michael Miller's 'I Made You Up' teeters between that delicate dream state of newborn refuge and Milky Way haze. Don't let the SoCal singer-songwriter thing fool you: Miller's unassuming yet gumptious approach places him squarely alongside the likes of troubadours Pete Droge/Steve Forbert but with flecks of Supertramp/Bowie-style transcendental grandeur."
"I Made You Up" is Michael Miller's second full-length album. Miller describes the recording process as 'effortless', thanks to the group of elite luminaries involved. "They’re mostly old friends who all know each other and also happen to be some of the most talented players in L.A. I feel remarkably fortunate to have had them on this project."
The cast includes drummer Brendan Buckley (Damien Rice, Shakira), bassist Dan Rothchild (Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Beck), pedal steel guitarist Eric Heywood (Ray LaMontagne, The Pretenders, Son Volt), keyboardist Patrick Warren (Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Tom Waits, Sam Phillips), guitarist Lyle Workman (Jellyfish, Beck, Sting), B3/keyboardist Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, The Wallflowers), lap steel guitarist Ben Peeler (The Wallflowers, Jim White), cellist and violinist Stevie Blacke (Beck, Madonna, Snoop Dogg), guitarist Adam Zimmon (Shakira), bassist Joe Ongie (multi-instrumentalist, producer whiz kid), and guitarist Mike Roe (The 77s).
"I Made You Up" was produced by Miller and Buckley, co-produced by Joe Ongie, recorded by Mike Terry (Foo Fighters, The Eagles) at Elliott Smith's old place New Monkey Studios in Van Nuys, California, and mixed by Ryan Freeland (Aimee Mann, Crowded House, Rodney Crowell, Son Volt, Joe Henry, Grant Lee Phillips).
Miller wrote his first songs at the tender age of 6. "My best friend and I would make up these silly theme songs about all the kids in the neighborhood. They were sometimes cruel but extremely hilarious - at least to the minds of 6-year-olds - and we would get the rest of the kids to sing along."
These days, Miller's secret muse for inspiration now comes from his ongoing habit to go exploring in other countries. "It became an annual tradition and sort of my drug of choice. Besides the sweet freedom and built-in surprise of a new, faraway world, I just love getting lost, literally, in strange lands, hanging with the locals, the natives, and seeing how they live. It's sort of like soul mining. I get to go dig for beauty and truth in other people's backyards and the discoveries and treasure-finds typically end up in my songs in some way."
When Miller is not out trotting the globe, you'll find him drawing "little doodles," as he calls them, for several different international greeting card lines. "I still have a line with Hallmark. At one point, they fired some of their best art directors and VPs, then axed my line, saying they were 'reassessing their taste guidelines' and thought my work was too irreverent or inappropriate," he says, laughing. "They then asked if I would be willing to draw for their writers and editors on another line. I agreed but insisted that I use my pseudonym, which was in fact, my 'porn star name'. You know that game? I still get a kick out of seeing my 'porn star' by-line in mainstream card racks."
Michael Miller's sophomore release, "I Made You Up", is available now.
Michael Ward with Dogs & Fishes
Michael Ward is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and studio owner living and working in the San Francisco Bay area since 1974. He has fronted many bands in that time which have been built around his unique singing, composition and lyrical approach. The music blends elements of R&B, country and world music into an insistently rhythmic stew with a distinctive narrative voice. At various times his working group has featured members of touring bands such as Frank Zappa, Ambrosia, Etta James, George Clinton, Bruce Hornsby, Steve Miller and Santana.
Michael's production credits include projects with, the BaAka pygmies from the Ituri Forest of Africa on their first trip to America recording compositions to be syncronized with a performance by the Lines Ballett, Pharaoh Sanders, Zakir Hussein, The Sacred Text Ensemble and Overtone Theater, rock bands The Potato Eaters and The Earthlings, and composers Beth Custer, Joshua Brody and O'Lan Jones, as well as producing and arranging all of his own tracks.
The breadth of Michael's artistic range can be seen in his work as sound designer and audio producer for four seasons with the widely acclaimed Alonzo King's Lines Ballet. He has also been the owner of the renowned Hyde Street Studios since 1980.
"Chicken Blood & Gin", Michael's forthcoming CD, represents a cross section of his current work. Utilizing his access to, and experience in the studio, he has lovingly, some might say obsessively, crafted each track to support it's lyrical through line. Combining the swampy and imaginative rhythmic lsock he has developed over the years with a stellar lineup of West Coast musicians, many of whom have played the material live, he has produced a lively and adventuresome record with a comfortable groove. The songs and their settings reward repeated listening with their reich arrangements and detailed songcraft, aspiring to territory pioneered by studio masters such as Elvis Costello, Steely Dan and XTC.
New single "Workin' (For The One %)" is available now.
Mietek, a critically acclaimed recording artist and long established superstar in Poland, has achieved notable milestones throughout his vocal career, including several Polish Fryderyks for Best Singer and a coveted slot representing his country at the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem.
His newest studio recording, "Signs", is also his first English language album, co-produced with American songwriter-producer Wendy Waldman. Recorded on two continents with a crew of brilliant Polish and American musicians and songwriters - and ranging in content from Arabic and Eastern influenced songs to American-style gospel tracks recorded with the legendary HB Barnum and Life Choir in Los Angeles - the album's bold vision casts Mietek as storyteller and guide to a musical world without borders. During the album's sessions, Barnum (who has arranged music for icons such as Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, Frank Sinatra and numerous others) noted to Mietek and Waldman that they are "building a new culture" with this powerful new project.
Hailing from the ancient city of Kalisz, one of the oldest in Europe, Mietek started singing in front of live audiences by the time he was six. In his teens, he began attracting attention as a very gifted singer. At the age of twenty one, he made his official debut at the Polish Song Festival, where he won the main prize. He continued participating in international festivals around the world, from Alma–Ata, Russia, Turkey and Israel to most of the European countries and the USA., taking first prize at most of them. Hitting the charts immediately after beginning his recording career in 1990, Mietek has released numerous hit records as an artist as well as a songwriter for other acts. There are countless youtube videos, songs, and excellent musical projects of all types on the internet today, reflecting his wide scope of musical talent and interest.
Together with Edyta Gorniak, Mietek recorded "Dumka Na Dwa Serca", the most popular Polish film soundtrack song of all time and a vocal tour-de-force for both artists. The track cemented Mietek's reputation as the finest male singer in Poland, an opinion which is widely held today. Polish audiences know and love Mietek - he sings with choirs, orchestras, for children, with other artists, for charity, on television, in concert - his distinctive and soulful voice can be heard on TV soundtracks, in video games, church programs, jazz festivals and of course, on pop radio.
As a Pole, he sits at the crossroads of many rich musical traditions, both eastern and western, all of which appear in his vocal style, the production values in his recordings, his superb songwriting, and the wide variety of artists with whom he has collaborated. His insatiable curiosity to explore new musical worlds has led him to work in many fields: world music, pop, gospel, jazz, classical, soul, funk, and Brazilian music. His influences come both from the west and the east - a passion for American pop and jazz combines with a love of Arabic and Asian music, all reflected in his vocal approach.
Acclaimed US singer-songwriters Greg Copeland and Janni Littlepage, English-Italian singstress Luisa Jordan-Killoran and Swedish pop-oracle Citizen K are just a few of the artists and musicians who helped Mikael Persson complete his sophomore solo album, "Marks & Bleeds".
An album that in many ways is about dreams and meetings, where dreams have given rise to song ideas, and various meetings with other artists and musicians have helped Michael achieve what he's been looking for in his musical life ever since its inception in Borås in the 70's.
Early in the process of the new album, Mikael was offered an unreleased song by acclaimed singer-songwriter Greg Copeland, "Roughhouse Boys", and as always is the case, Mikael puts his own unique stamp on an already amazing song.
Later on, brilliant singer Luisa Jordan-Killoran enters the picture, and the project find the dynamics in the vocal arrangements that were previously lacking. Just listen to the heartbreaking version of Vince Clarke's "Only You", and you'll understand why.
In the eleventh hour of work the experienced songwriter Janni Littlepage offers her services and the album feels at once like a finished, complete unit.
Along the way, old friends and acquaintances, like Klas Qvist (Citizen K), Thomas Pontén (Little Green) and Pelle Johanson, have helped out with both arrangements and production ideas.
The title of the new, forthcoming album is "Marks & Bleeds", but in another world and in another time, it could as easily have been "Dreams & Meetings". Please enter the wonderful world of Mikael Persson, and let yourself be swept away.....
Raleigh, North Carolina-based poetic roots rock americana band Milagro Saints are on the road touring in support of their most recent releases "Chance & Circumstance" (Moon Caravan Records), which was recorded in Carrboro, NC, and Nashville, TN, and an EP of their roots-rock versions of Woody Guthrie tunes called "Mighty Road Songs".
The band originally formed in NYC around the songwriting, singing and acoustic guitar of Englishman SD Ineson but moved to North Carolina when they were signed to indy label MoodFood, which had released the debut album by Ryan Adams’ Whiskeytown, one of the originators of the alt country genre.
The Saints have released several albums since then and toured nationally at gigs and festivals including The Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, OK, they opened for 10,000 Maniacs at the Lowell, MA, Summer Music Series for the 50th anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s book 'On The Road', and appeared at Shakori Hills Festival, NC, on the same bill as Donna The Buffalo and Carolina Chocolate Drops.
The band instrumentation includes: hammond organ, melodica, harmonica, accordion (Lee Kirby), lap steel, dobro (Smitty), mandolin, electric guitar (Bert Morales), trombone, fiddle, percussion, and album producer (Jick wins-Low), drums (Rusty May) and bass (Steve Samosky). The selection of original songs vary from rocking out stompers, to acoustic ballads and funky jams.
Since appearing at the Glastonbury Festival in 2004, Millpond Moon have been touring extensively both in the UK, Europe and the US. During this period they have created they're own sound and style, and a new album, "Broke In Brooklyn", produced and arranged by Millpond Moon, is released.
Kjersti Misje graduated from Faculty of fine Arts at Agder University College in 1996 where she studied rythmic music and jazz vocal training. She strums her guitar in subtle chords and various tunings, while blending jazz-vocals with oldtime, country and bluegrass. She also proves to be an excellent folk-singer with a fine, even voice with lots of warmth.
Rune Hauge is known to be one of Norway's leading roots artists, guitarists and singer-songwriters. He's appeared on numerous recordings on guitar, vocals and dobro with some of Noway's leading artists. In 1992 and 1993 he was musical director and performer on two successful Norwegian TV-series called "Roots 92" and "Roots 93". Among the guests were Garth Hudson, Townes Van Zandt, Emmylou Harris, Rick Danko, Paul Brady, Richard Thompson, Tony Joe White and many more.
Mona & Maria
Mona & Maria is a new duo from Oslo, Norway. They're here with their debut album 'My Sun'. Mona & Maria’s music can be described as harmony-based pop with folk elements and great, and often grand, arrangements, but still with an acoustic feel. Their debut 'My Sun' consists of 10 self-penned songs. Mona & Maria tell us about the debut:
“Something was let loose after we started working on songs that did not fit the sound of the band we were in. We strongly felt the need to create something more personal, and we started making melodies to something obscure that had been lying dormant in both of us. After a band breakdown, came a new musical need that we found in each other. We both were terrified of singing alone, but together we sort of found a third person to make us feel secure. We began experimenting with harmonies. It became our way of being together. After several rounds and recordings of these songs, the record started to take shape, and we found our soundscape by working with dynamics. We wanted to have both the low-key and intimate, and the grandiose and dramatic, to have both darkness and light at once. We wanted to make unpretentious arrangements that enhanced the lyrics and the melodies, and not buried them. The result was 'My Sun'.”
Mona Andersen (27) and Maria Knudsen (28) have already written songs together for many years, and both were central parts of the band Bazooka Boppers, with which they released two albums. After the band’s break-up in 2010, Mona and Maria continued playing together, and it worked out so well that they decided to move forward as a duo. The album was recorded at Engfelt & Forsgren Studio with Christian Engfelt as producer, along with the girls themselves. Engfelt also plays the bass on a few of the songs.
Formed in 1996 in London by singer/multiinstrumentalist /producer Malcolm Cross. The band name is actually a reference to his childhood hero, West Coast jazz drummer Joe Morello.
The group were a mainstay of London's 'Acid Jazz' scene in the late 90's; outside of recording debut LP 'Jackpot' (1998, CDV Music) Mal worked as a sideman for various maverick UK acts including Spiritualized, Death in Vegas and M J Cole.
A lifelong dream was realised when a recording contract with UK band Minibar brought him to Los Angeles, California, forming the inspiration for his US debut 'Minimal' (2003, self released); a kaleidoscope of musical styles in tribute to his new home. The song 'Too Sweet' from that album was ultimately featured on the soundtrack to the Focus Features movie 'Something New'(2006, Lakeshore Records.)
His latest release 'Handheld'(2007, self released) is a nod to the music and influences of his mispent youth - early 80's synth pioneers Prince, Giorgio Moroder and Yellow Magic Orchestra. The current band lineup includes vocalist Em C, Zak Schaffer (guitar) and Pierre Martin (bass.)
"Hyperactive fun...brimming with irresistable melody and the true flavor of L.A..." (Rave!)
"A real damn good album that you need to discover right away..." (Melodic.net)
"An infectious romp through California's magnificent musical memoirs, still managing to sound wildly Right Now." (Pamela des Barres)
Music Is Love
There's been tributes to The Byrds, The Buffalo Springfield and The Hollies. There's been several tributes to Neil Young. There's even been a tribute to Graham Nash's album "Songs For Beginners". But there has never been a tribute to the collective body of work of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Until now!
On October 16th, 2012, Sweden's Hemifrån and Italy's Route 61 Music releases "Music Is Love - A Singer-Songwriters' Tribute To The Music Of Crosby Stills Nash & Young.
The album features, not only several musicians from the inner circle of CSN&Y (Stephen Stills' former girlfriend Judy Collins and daughter Jennifer Stills, Anthony Crawford and Rick Rosas from Neil Young's Electric Band, Sonny Mone from Crazy Horse, David Crosby's guitarist Marcus Eaton and vocal favorites Venice), but also some cool names from the 70's (Karla Bonoff, Elliott Murphy, Willie Nile, Wendy Waldman), some interesting names from the 80's (Sid Griffin from Long Ryders, Ian McNabb from Icicle Works, Liam O'Maonlai from Hothouse Flowers, Steve Wynn from Dream Syndicate), as well as some new-up-and-coming names from the alt country scene in the U.S. (Clarence Bucaro, Neal Casal, Carrie Rodriguez).
The liner notes are penned by Dave Zimmer (author of two official books on CSN and CSNY), and CSN&Y's official photographer Henry Diltz offers some unpublished photos from his vast archives.
My Darling Clementine
My Darling Clementine is singer-songwriter Michael Weston King and singing and life partner Lou Dalgleish. Together they have recorded an album of country duets with echoes of those great country duet albums of the 60's and 70's - George and Tammy, Porter and Dolly, etc.
Thirteen songs of heartbreak, love, betrayal and bitterness brought together on the album 'How Do You Plead?'.
Michael Weston King is widely acknowledged as one of Britain's finest singer songwriters, admired by the likes of Chris Hillman, Ron Sexsmith, Jackie Leven and the legendary Townes van Zandt (who recorded one of his songs), he draws his influence from a wide range of styles, from pop to folk, from country to soul, from gospel to blues. He is the former leader of U.K. alt country pioneers The Good Sons, with whom he made 4 critically acclaimed albums in a seven year career.
For the past eight years he has been a solo troubadour, touring all over the world, performing with the likes of Nick Cave, John Cale, Roger McGuinn, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, America, Chris Hillman, Nils Lofgren, Ron Sexsmith, Arlo Guthrie, Steve Forbert, Son Volt and many more, and releasing 6 studio albums and 3 live albums.
Together with his wife, the acclaimed singer Lou Dalgleish, and featuring the talents of Geraint Watkins, Martin Belmont, Bobby Irwin and other legendary British musicians, under the band name of My Darling Clementine, Michael Weston King has crafted album of pure country duets, all new songs, no covers.
The idea behind the record was to evoke the great duets of the likes of Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, or George Jones & Tammy Wynette.
Thirteen songs of love, separation, bitterness and acrimony.
Recorded at Gold Top studios in Chalk Farm, London, with Neil Brockbank co-producing. Neil has produced the last few Nick Lowe-albums, as well as work with Mary Coughlan, Alison Moyet, Tift Merritt, Geraint Watkins and many more.
The Mystix have been headlining major stages across New England, performing their unique interpretations of the music of rural America, as well as inspired original material from their three CD's for their constantly growing fan base. Noted for their impeccable musicianship, as well as their soulful, spirited and lighthearted performances, The Mystix never fail to deliver a thrilling show.
The Mystix just released their 4th album, "Mighty Tone", currently being played worldwide.
The Mystix classic matchup of elite studio players and vibrant americana/roots music continues to wow audiences in their recent string of sold out roots ramble shows. The roots ramble tour will continue in October and November 2012. Don’t be surprised to see The Mystix on some European dates in the upcoming future.
Critics unanimously agree their new CD “Mighty Tone” is a true gem and radio play is continuing to grow world-wide.