With roots in bluegrass, blues, jazz, traditional folk, and old-time country, singer-songwriter Naomi Sommers is emerging as an exciting voice on the music scene. She grew up in a New England home full of music and instruments, performing since middle school with her parents and brother in the Sommers Rosenthal Family Band. Naomi’s recording career started at age 5 when she sang her first harmony parts on an album of bluegrass music for children. Over the years she has sung and played flute, banjo, piano, and guitar on more than 15 records released on her father Phil’s independent American Melody label, and has lent vocal and flute tracks to numerous recordings by other artists. In addition to the folk and bluegrass music she picked up at home, Naomi performed in orchestras and wind ensembles as a classically trained flutist, sang jazz with her brother Daniel Rosenthal’s quartets since high school, and joined the gospel choir during college.
After studying literature and music at the University of Connecticut, Naomi devoted herself full-time to writing and performing. She moved to Boston in 2001 to begin a solo career. She played at favorite local venues including Club Passim, where she endeared herself to music fans and fellow musicians alike, and began lasting collaborations. She toured throughout the U.S. with songwriter Noam Weinstein as the duo Broken Dreams, and later followed some of the same routes as a Gray Sky Girl with Lisa Bastoni. In 2004, Naomi traveled to Texas to participate as a finalist in Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk Songwriting Competition.
More recently, Naomi was invited to be part of an upcoming PBS documentary, “On The Record,” hosted by Sir George Martin and narrated by Kevin Spacey. She traveled to the home of Jean Ritchie to play a few songs with the influential folk singer and songwriter on film for the series.
In July 2008, Naomi performed one of her songs at the GRAMMY Foundation’s Starry Night Fundraiser in honor of Sir George Martin (producer of the Beatles and many others). At the event in Los Angeles, she shared the stage with Jeff Beck, Burt Bacharach, Chris Body, Tom Jones, Jimmie Webb and others.
Since 2002, Naomi has put out three albums on American Melody. Two of these were solo albums, featuring original songs with eclectic backup by her family and other outstanding musicians. In 2006, she released a mesmerizing album of traditional and original “old-time country slowgrass” with the Gray Sky Girls.
Now, in early 2009, Naomi has just released an album recorded in Nashville, produced by the acclaimed musician/producer Jim Rooney (John Prine, Iris Dement, Nanci Griffith, Bonnie Raitt). Jim’s enthusiasm over Naomi’s songs and her voice prompted him to end a hiatus from the music business to make this record. The album was engineered by David Fergusson (Johnny Cash/Rick Rubin) and features a backup band of some of Nashville’s finest musicians. Naomi’s trusted family and friends traveled from New England to play on the record as well. She is thrilled to present the resulting collection of songs, the culmination of years of devotion to the craft of songwriting and to the merging of traditional and contemporary styles in American music.
Nathan sounds like what would happen if Dire Straits lost an arm wrestling match to Lyle Lovett. His music is steeped in the feelings of landscapes he has rambled across in the Midwest and Southwest. Chasing trout in small streams or the muse in a dingy bar, Nathan's songs somehow reflect both compassion and restlessness.
At 25, his few adult years have been spent crafting songs and doing the work that matters to him - protecting the rivers and streams that he grew up on. His music is set apart by the strength of his lyrics, which stand tall even without his tranceful guitar playing. He brings a sense of confidence to a live show that can make time and space fade away, leaving only the song and the listener.
Just out is his brilliant new album,
“Even The Hills”.
Born in London, Nathalie Nahai has been developing her musical talent all her life. Having been classically trained in violin and self-taught on guitar, she writes her own music and has been performing in the UK and US for the past three years, both solo and with her band.
Whilst studying at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (London), she travelled to the States to record her debut album with multi-platinum Grammy award winning producer Don McCollister. It was released in 2006 on her label, Fuzzy Muskrat Records (FMR), and received critical acclaim both in local and national press.
In 2007 she performed to packed houses in her first UK tour, and returned to the US to record her much-anticipated second album, “Fortune Teller”, which is due for release in June. Earlier this year, Nathalie entered the 2012 Talent Competition for a chance to perform at the handover of the Olympic Torch in August. Through massive public voting and support she has made it through to the final in April, an event which will be televised on ITV and broadcast over the internet.
Nathan McEuen grew up in and around the Rocky Mountains, Surrounded by incredible music and talented musicians. At an early age He started performing with his father, John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), and brother, Jonathan McEuen (Hanna-McEuen). Undoubtedly, the family has powerfully shaped his musical inclinations and style, but his influences and pursuits span much farther. As a singer/songwriter, he constructs universal, nostalgic melodies and lyrics. His study and mastery of several instruments, including guitar, piano, drums, and bass, allow him great compositional range.
Three years ago, Nathan moved to California to continue pursuing his music career. In that time he has created his first solo record “Grand Design,” performed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, opened for David Crosby and Gram Nash, Dave Mason, Kenny Loggins, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, performed with Kevin Nealon (SNL), worked with Paul Willams, Willie Nelson, started his own record company called “Lint Records,” and has played over 500 shows.
Watching and learning from the best, Nathan used those experiences to hone in his craft of songwriting, performance, and collaborating. Feeding off of all that energy Nathan decided to start his own record. With the producing help of his brother Jonathan, they formed a concept for the album – a nostalgic sound with a hip spin… “Future-retro-folk-rock.” They started in spring of 2004 and a year-and-a-half later finished creating: Nathan McEuen's “Grand Design.”
Grand Design features 11 original songs, some of which came about through collaborations with singer songwriters David James Holster (John Denver, NGDB, Starship), and Crosby Loggins. The album features many talented musicians including: Mario Calire (Wallflowers, Ozomatli), Randy Tico, Jonathan McEuen, Jimmy Calire (America), Phil Salazar, John McEuen (NGDB), and Jesse Siebenberg (Supertramp).
Grand Design was released in November 2005. Since then Nathan has been on the road promoting his new record and is continuing to build a large following.
Currently on tour with :
Nathan McEuen and his Enormous Ego Band. Featuring: Nathan McEuen (guitar, vocal), Paul Cartwright (fiddle, mandolin, vocal), Chuck Hailes (upright bass, vocal). They play a wide variety of musical genres… From Folk to Bluegrass, Rock to Country. There are only 12 notes in music and they do a good job at showing them off.
This group will not disappoint!
A native of Beverly Hills, Ned Doheny took his first musical strides as a songwriter. His tune "On & On" was recorded by Dave Mason & Mama Cass Elliott in 1971, while the Average White Band included "A Love Of Your Own", written with their lead vocalist Hamish Stuart, on their 1976 album, "Soul Searching". Another tune, "Whatcha Gonna Do For Me, written with Stuart, was covered by Chaka Kahn in 1981. The first artist signed by Asylum Records, Doheny released his eponymous titled debut album in 1973. His second album, "Hard Candy", released by Arista Records three years later, was produced by Steve Croper and featured such guests as Tower Of Power, Tom Scott, Jim Horn, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Linda Ronstadt and John David Souther. Although it included Doheny's version of "A Love Of Your Own", the album failed to sell and Arista dropped his contract. Doheny's third album, "Prone", was limited to a Japan-only release in 1979.
Although he was unable to break through commercially in the United States, Ned Doheny later found a welcoming audience after turning his focus to Japan in the late '80s. The host of a popular radio show, 'Postcards From Hollywood', on FM Yokohama, from April 1990 until September 1993, Doheny gained speed upon releasing "Life After Romance", his first album in nearly a decade, in late 1988. An album of classic tunes performed on solo guitar, named after Doheny's radio show, released three years later, was followed by the equally impressive, "Love Like Ours", later that year, and "Between Two Worlds" in 1993.
Though often categorized as 'West Coast' because of his Los Angeles roots and association with other west coast artists, Doheny's music defies exact categorization, being variously described as pop, funk, jazz and AOR. He's been compared to Steely Dan and the Eagles among others.
In addition to original CD releases in Japan, both 'Hard Candy' and 'Prone' have been reissued as LP-replica CDs. And all 3 albums, are currently available in digital download online.
Doheny's first album in 15 years, 'The Darkness Beyond The Fire', will be released in 2009.
The Neighborhood Bullys
The Neighborhood Bullys stormed the Los Angeles club scene in 2006. Unleashing infectious melodies played with fevered skill and smartly irreverent lyrics sung with epidemic energy, the quartet quickly conquered unsuspecting audiences and critics. It's obvious that the Bullys are the embodiment of authentic rock and roll, right in line with predecessors including Rolling Stones, Ramones, and New York Dolls. But they sweeten the pot with the new-wave bounce of The Knack, the glam-rock crunch of Slade, the proto-power-pop of Raspberries, the party-metal of Kiss, and the lean, mean R&B/pub-rock blast of Dr Feelgood.
Encountering the Bullys' talent and enthusiasm, Mike Chapman - legendary producer of Sweet, Suzie Quatro and Blondie - was inspired to capture it in the studio. The result is the band’s potent, rollicking debut album: the provocatively-titled "What?" – to be released in early 2010 on Rankoutsider Records.
The lynchpin of the Bullys is Davey Meshell - a Brooklyn-spawned, LA-raised singer, bass player and songwriter who has played with such esteemed musicians as Shelby Lynne, Peter Case, Etta James, Bobby Womack, John Lee Hooker, Chambers Brothers, Buddy Guy, and Buddy Miles. Meshell belies his goateed regular-guy look with the passion and moan of a vintage soul shouter. Although he was the central focus of the band from the start, other members came and went until the line-up solidified with guitarists Tex Mosley and Michael Hayes, and drummer Joey Galvan.
Mosley, originally from Philadelphia, got his start in New York City as a member of the punk-rock outfit Pure Hell, sharing bills and rehearsal space with The New York Dolls. Hays, born in Mississippi and reborn in L.A., is a guitar prodigy whose stinging licks mark him as a phenomenon-in-the-making. Drummer Joey Galvan joined the Bullys after a notable stint in the ensemble The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash.
Getting star producer Mike Chapman to oversee your first album is quite a feat, but it happened for the Bullys in a very straightforward fashion. According to Meshell, the notorious Los Angeles music-business maven Kim Fowley wanted to manage the Bullys. Although that relationship was never consummated, Fowley gave Meshell some good advice.
“Kim said that the best way to get to work with your favorite producer was to send a letter and a demo of your best stuff,” recalled Meshell. “Nobody can top Mike Chapman in my book, so we sent him a demo of our song ‘I’m Bored, Let's Fight,’ and he actually responded. He told me that he listened to it twelve times in a row. Then, he said he’d produce our whole record.”
It turned out to be an ideal marriage of artists and producer. “We had already club-tested the material in L.A. for months,” Meshell said. “Mike showed up, flying in from his home in Connecticut, and we recorded all of the basic tracks in three days. He mixed it and mastered it in his home studio, and now the album’s gonna get out there on Rankoutsider.”
“What?” ranges from the insanely catchy "Spin It," to the sexy pulse of "Lead With Your Lips," the hammerhead slam-bam of "Let Me Be Me," and the rafter-rattling near-gospel fervor of "Alive.” And you can dance to it!
On top of their explosive sound, the Bullys’ songs are blessed with lyrics that are cynical, brutally honest, pointed and peppered with witty rhymes. As Meshell put it, “We don't preach, or tell anyone what to do. We're just writing about how we all live, day to day.”
With an upcoming tour of the West Coast and Southwestern United States and a second album in progress tentatively titled "Lost and Jealous", The Neighborhood Bullys are poised to break out beyond regional renown. “We spend a lot of time around each other,” Meshell said. “Sometimes we love each other - sometimes we want to kill one another. It can be like a battle every minute in the studio and every night on stage. But we're all there because we believe in what we’re doing. What can I say? Whether it’s melodious and harmonious or bare-bones and straight from the garage, we all love loud rock ‘n’ roll.”
Needless to say, watch out for The Neighborhood Bullys!
Nick 13 will release his long-awaited solo album July 12th, 2011, on Sugar Hill Records.
Nick’s self-titled debut was produced in Los Angeles and Nashville by Greg Leisz and James Intveld, with mixing duties handled by Jim Scott (Wilco, Tom Petty, Dixie Chicks). Nick 13 crafts storytelling Americana songs of heartbreak, experience and passion, driven by his haunting and distinctive voice and acoustic guitar.
Nick 13 is best known as the singer, songwriter, guitarist and founder of the band Tiger Army. His solo work recalls the vintage American sounds of honky-tonk and classic California country from the middle of the last century with a modern twist. He’s already performed at Stagecoach, Hootenanny and South By Southwest.
“Nick 13 has the timbre of Chris Isaak, the tone of a young Lyle Lovett, with some Elvis and Ricky Nelson mixed in”, wrote The Press Enterprise. CMT declared his music to be “drenched in hillbilly electric guitar and coolness”.
Nick’s debut album for Sugar Hill Records features acoustic and electric guitar, standup bass, pedal steel, fiddle and much more from a wide pedigree of players who connected with 13’s genuine passion, understanding and knowledge of the history of the music and forward-thinking vision for the future. Some of the folks on the album include Lloyd Green, Sara Watkins, Josh Grange, Eddie Perez and Mitch Marine, in addition to the album’s producers Leisz and Intveld.
Nick offered fans a brief preview of his solo work during encores at Tiger Army’s 2009 “Octoberflame II” event, followed by a full unveiling on the Palomino Stage at Stagecoach last year. “Nick 13 paid earnest homage to Merle Haggard and Ray Price, both of whom followed him shortly on the same stage”, wrote the Los Angeles Times.
Nick Parker was 13 when he first picked up a guitar and tried to string together a few chords.
By 14 he had put down the guitar and picked up the mandolin. Not least of all because he wanted to be in his brother Ant’s band and they needed a mandolin player.
Their first few gigs came and went, under the name ‘The Mandolin Brothers’, before they changed their name to ‘Why?’.
They spent the next 10 years bouncing around on stages at hundreds of venues and festivals around the UK and Europe, reeling out their folk/rock/skiffle silliness (latterly known as friffle) to sweaty teens and twentysomethings.
In February 1998 Nick finally hung up his mandolin, chucked a new set of strings on his acoustic and started the far-more-sensible guitar band ‘Tobermory’. After various false starts, a few flirtations with industry ‘big’ boys and the occasional mini tour on the continent, Tobermory played their last gig at the end of 2004.
Six years and hundreds of open mic nights later, Nick got fed up with being all serious. He reverted to his tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted beginnings, decided it was time to make a record, and pumped up the tyres on his tour bus.
Produced by former Tobermory band mate Luke Stidson, Nick’s debut album ‘The King of False Alarms’ was recorded on location in a quaint little holiday cottage in Devon, England, during the exceedingly hot summer of 2010.
Nico Georis is visionary and poetic musician and one of the most original keyboard players of our times. His musical talents have taken him from Big Sur, to New York, Paris, Romania, and back to the San Francisco Bay area, while carrying on a legacy of California grooves. Nico is a man who is connected to nature’s realm and is dedicated to musically linking listeners to the pulse of life.
Following the release of his debut home recordings “Songs From Nowhere”, Nico Georis has collaborated with friends to form the band, Sky Country. Born from the lineages of 60’s California surf rock culture, the great american roots of New Orleans piano, blues, roots rock, 70’s Africa, impressionism, and other obscure realms, Sky Country humbly blasts into a new frontier in new California rock'n'roll. Highlights of 2012 included opening for Fishbone and rock n’ roll legend, Leon Russell.
“Songs From Nowhere I & II” are Sky Country’s debut home recordings, completely self produced by Nico Georis in his basement of analog relics. Sky Country’s infectious tonal grooves are revealed on an arsenal of vintage keyboards, lush and fuzzy guitars, set atop a warm lo-fi rock'n'roll river bed. Stylistically “Songs From Nowhere” pays homage to the great songwriters and musical craftsmen of the past, while firmly staking its claim to a virgin frontier in new California music.
This is warm California rock'n'roll inspired by the coast and deserts of the western frontier.
Nico Wayne Toussaint
Deeply inspired by the music of Muddy Waters and James Cotton, Nico Wayne Toussaint started in 1992 in Minneapolis a musical quest wich has taken him all over the United States, on the way to meet his heroes, to learn from them and to play with them.
Nico has crossed paths with such legends as William Clarke, Franck Frost, Jerry Portnoy, Gary Primich. Over his different stays in Chicago, Minneapolis or Los Angeles, or while the past four years where he was living in Florida, he has played with a numerous of great artists including Luther Allison, Jimmy Johnson, James Cotton, Billy Branch, Vance Kelly, Rod Piazza, Eddy C Campbell, RJ Mischo and JP Soars.
Down the line, Nico has also toured or recorded with such blues personalities as pianist David Maxwell, guitarists Cash McCall, Neal Black or Mike Welch and guitarist-drummer Killer Ray Allison.
DixieFrog recording artist since 1998, N.W.T. has become on both national and international levels, a reference in the world of blues and harmonica. He has been able to generate, over nine albums under his name, a genuine and personal vocal style and stage presence.
With "Lonely Number", Nico Wayne Toussaint is bouncing back in a dazzling way towards a dynamic and groovy blues, at times even sticky with rock and r'n'b influences. Guy Davis, Rod Piazza, Monster Mike Welch, David Maxwell, JP Soars, Mr Boogie Woogie, Tommy Schneller invited themselves to the pagan celebration.
Devon born songwriter Nicky Swann is a performer with a passion. Her delivery is warm, soulful (sometimes gritty) but always spiritually tinged. She uses elements of folk, blues and country to tell her tales of love, hope and death. She lists Paul Weller, Carole King and Janis Joplin as her big three.
After splitting from her covers duo and long term guitarist in 2006, Nicky searched for a replacement, but was disappointed by those she auditioned. Determined to continue, she decided to take on the role of guitarist herself and quickly expanded her three chord repertoire and was gigging again after six months. She started to write new material and relaunched herself as a singer-songwriter.
Since then she hasn't looked back and her achievements to date include, recording with the top multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer (Show of Hands), winning the Artsbase singer-songwriter award, supporting many top UK artists including Clive Gregson, Roy Bailey and Megson, as well as American artists Corrine West and Brooks Williams. She has headlined the acoustic stage at Transition Festival, supported Show Of Hands at Chagstock, and is a regular performer at Dartmouth Music Festival. She has also performed for BBC Radio with the award winning folk singer and fiddle player Jackie Oates.
Her brand new album "Matches & Dispatches" has just been released. It is, simply put, a collection of songs about love and death. Eleven original tracks, a reworked cover of The Beatles classic "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (given new life away from its pop origins) and a new arrangement of the traditional Welsh poem "All Through the Night" ('Ar Hyd Y Nos'). The album was recorded at The Sawmills Studios in Cornwall and features performances from double bassist Rick Foot, cellist Bethany Porter, and pedal steel player Alan Cook.
She has achieved a growing, well respected reputation in such a short space of time, singing from the heart and captivating audiences with her emotionally honest delivery.
Stormin' Norman Seldin
Norman Seldin is known throughout the music world, espec-ially at the Asbury Park New Jersey shore, as one of the originators of that special sound started way back in the 60’s, when he was a tee-nager. Norman started formal piano lessons at three, and attended the Manhattan School of Music at age 14. At the age of 13, he became the youngest member in history of the American Federation of Musicians.
Norman began his own band, “The Naturals,” and started recruiting mostly black artists in the 60’s when it was not so popular. He managed, promoted and recorded them on his own labels – Selsom and Jade Records – based in Red Bank, NJ. Not old enough to drive and sign checks, his mother drove him to different concerts and shows that he was promoting for both adults and teenagers weekly.
His records were played on the R&B circuit stations from New Jersey, into Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Norman’s early records were dominating the R&B black stations with such huge DJ names as Douglas “Jocko” Henderson, Fat Daddy, Larry Dean, Bill Johnson and Chatty Hatty. He broke in to the Virginia Beach radio market on “Top 20” stations with Gene Loving and Tom Scott.
He was a regular at the famous Broadway Recording Studio in New York when he was 15, and worked with now world famous drummer, Bernard “Pretty” Purdy. He was tutored by famed organist and pianist Richard T, and Tito Puente whenever time allowed in his busy schedule.
Norman’s band changed names to “The Soul Set” which also featured future platinum recording star, the late Harry Ray, whom Norman discovered. He recorded with The Valtairs, along with Nicky Addeo, The Uniques, Tony Maples, The Shondells, Barbaroso & The Historians, and battled Bruce Springsteen’s first band, “The Castiles,” with Norm’s own discovery, “The Motifs” whom he managed and recorded as well.
Always being a fierce competitor, both on and off stage, Norman added national attractions to perform on his shows to gain extra exposure for his own groups. He brought in “The Young Rascals” right after they opened for “The Beatles” at Shea Stadium, as well as dozens of other name attractions. Norman was the “ghost” on dozens of hit records that “went bad” and they called him in to fix the troubled spots on piano, organ and/or vocals when he was in his teens.
An unknown sax man, Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, was an addition to “The Joyful Noyze” during a racially tense time. Subsequently, Norman brought the “Big Man” into the recording studio for the first time. It was during his multi-year stint with Norman, that Bruce Springsteen came in to jam with their band. As a result, Clarence left to become an E Street Band member. Stormin’ Norman continued his pace of an average of 275 nights a year for over 15 years.
Norman was on stage at The Parker House when he went down with what kills most people – an Aortic Dissection. Norman was given no chance to survive the operation, which has a 1/10 of one per cent survival rate. He was the medical miracle of 2002! Although the doctors said he would not be able to perform for at least eight months, he was back on stage in eight weeks. Prior to his heart incident, Norman spent two years in the Mississippi Delta and Louisiana. Stormin’ Norman was recruited to become the head entertainer at the largest night club in the world – La Vela Beach Club in Panama City Beach, Florida. Here he played to an average of 2,000 people a night, and was known throughout the entire South for his 3-5 hour, non-stop musical performances. When he returned home to New Jersey in 1979, he had a reunion with Clarence Clemons at The Lock Stock & Barrel in Fair Haven, NJ. On dozens of evenings, Garry Tallent, Max Weinberg, Billy Ryan and others would come and sit in.
In 1980, 8 tracks with Clemons, Tallent, Weinberg, Roy Bittan, Danny Federici and Southside Johnny were recorded, but never officially released until now, on the new double-CD set 'Asbury Park - Then & Now', on Ivory International Records. There are over 40 years of old and new recordings that were painstakingly digitally re-mastered to form this unique collection of the Asbury Park sound … Doo Wop, R&B, Rock ‘n Roll, New Orleans piano, etc., on a total of 46 tracks.
The newest book from Rutgers Press, 'Local Heroes – The Asbury Park Music Scene' features seven pages on Stormin’ Norman Seldin. A book of his life story is currently being written for a late 2009 release. The soon to be released double-CD, 'Asbury Park - Then & Now' by Stormin’ Norman & Friends, is available at www.backstreets.com as well as at www.theorchard.com which has a link to the e-music website www.emusic.com. This is truly a history lesson when it comes to the sound of Asbury Park and the Jersey Shore.