Born in the heartland of Rock n’ Roll in Cleveland Ohio, Alex started with organ lessons at the age of 8. Soon he was playing at the local church and at school functions. Inspired by the Beatles and British blues/rock bands, he learned how to play guitar as a teen developing a style influenced by guitar greats Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. While playing in local bands like Midnight Voyager and Sahara, he spent young adulthood recording in studios while polishing songwriting skills. After moving to Florida to attend college, Alex continued playing in local bands chasing the dream performing locally and having modest success with a few original songs even making their way to local radio.
Her is the new ambitious release from Alan Leatherman. While still drawing upon the Jazz roots that propelled him on his critically acclaimed and charting release Detour Ahead, Alan has masterfully strung together an eclectic collection of songs across varying genres that have influenced him. Alan takes a refreshing approach to soul, blues, and funk, all through a jazz lens, held together singularly by the reality that “Good Music Is Good Music” no matter the genre. Leatherman’s new album features seven originals (co-written with Brian Usifer & Rick Germanson), and three covers completely re-imagined. And while Alan has a number of musical influences, Her draws specific comparisons to Jose James, Jamie Cullum, and Gregory Porter.
The Nashville-based quartet who write arena-size anthems echoing with progressive intricacy, funk swagger, and even a little metallic edge– announced earlier this week they’ve been added to the Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival, escalating the excitement for the release of their sophomore studio album, REACTIONS.
The 10-track REACTIONS–the first album from the band since teaming with Red Light Management who are applying all resources to elevate BACKUP PLANET as a next level band on the scene–was recorded at Syncromesh Studios in Birmingham, AL with producer Jason Elgin [Collective Soul, Maylene & The Sons of Disaster] and showcases the band’s top-shelf musicianship and songwriting. These strengths are spotlighted in songs like “Little Mingo,” “A Different Life” and another album standout, the haunting and heartfelt “Sublimation,” that’s a simmering stew of impressive fretwork, percussion and towering vocals.
Regina was born of a commission in 2014 from the Jazz Gallery in New York City to write and perform a concert of new music. This album’s queen theme was originally inspired by the life of Queen Elizabeth I, and then by other heroines and memorable figures throughout history, literature, and legend, as well as “queens” in my own life, imagination, and subconscious. Through delving into this theme, Regina has become my trusted muse and alter ego, allowing my art free rein to dance in directions both soul-stirring and soul-fulfilling.
As the retro yet edgy BLIND LEMON PLEDGE, James Byfield explores his passion for “country blues” of pre-WWII icons like Son House, Bukka White and his namesake, Blind Lemon Jefferson. In 2008, he formed the eponymously named Blind Lemon Pledge blues band and built a fan base as he performed around California with a unique combination of classic blues, old time jazz, reimagined rock and pop tunes, along with his critically acclaimed original songs. Now, after a nearly decade long discography exploring a multitude of blues-related styles, Pledge is taking a ‘Backwoods Glance.’
It’s been a big year for Roots of Creation and their front-man Brett Wilson. Earlier this year RoC dropped their chart-topping triple-album Livin Free, and now the lead singer and guitarist has released his own live acoustic album, Get Ready! Live In Columbus. Get Ready! Live In Columbus was recorded during Brett Wilson’s opening performance for Slightly Stoopid in front of a sold out crowd at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH. The set includes a number of original tracks, as well as an eclectic mix of covers and medleys. Brett Wilson handles everything from “Sugaree” by the Grateful Dead to R. Kelly’s “Ignition (remix).” The live album was recorded and mastered by Slightly Stoopid’s monitor engineer Joshua Driscoll, with additional mastering completed by Grammy Award Winner – Jay Frigoletto.
As anyone who studies the marriage of art and commerce knows, the most popular music genre is “anything with beautiful people and a good beat”. Accordingly, the members of City in the Clouds decided to assemble a band based on that philosophy. Whether or not they meet the “beautiful people” threshold is debatable, but the “good beat” qualification is on point. Based in Princeton, NJ and NYC, the band is comprised of brothers Jackson and Brendan Marquardt, Luke London, and Marcus Grey. Previously, the Marquardt brothers worked with REM producer Mitch Easter and toured the US and UK with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.
Keyboard player Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, University of Michigan music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community. Chadsey’s creative output changed dramatically, coming together as a trio project duende libre. Their self-titled debut album distills years of performing, apprenticing with master musicians, and crafting originals that explore Latin elements in new contexts. The results are savvy and grooving, reflecting the Seattle scenes Chadsey inhabits and loves, where Uzbek bassists and Jamaican poets and border-crossing fandangos power musical visions.
Rob Duquette – founder and leader of the band duquette – has made his career since the mid-1990s as a well respected and in-demand sideman, most notably as a member of Jonathan Edwards’ touring band. He has also regularly played with other notables like Jack Sonni (Dire Straits) and the legendary composer David Amram over the last 15 years. He gained national attention as part of the jazz-folk-pop group Cactus Highway in the early 2000s, whom the Boston Herald called “a duo of true sophistication,” and the Village Voice called, “amazing.” With duquette’s new 2017 album Trust the Night, Rob comes further into his own as both a writer and bandleader, forging an indie-folk, singer-songwriter sound while mixing in touches of his extensive jazz and world music background. Stylistically, duquette is comparable to Dawes, Elvis Costello and David Gray.
Los Angeles/San Diego alt-pop brain trust Echo Park Social Club is one of the freshest and unusual bands to come out in the last year. With band members Eric Swank, Peter Simon & Rob King, the band’s material is carefully tuned with defining hooks and anthemic choruses as well as their detail to instrumentation and sound design.
“From a band that began their career performing for displaced Hurricane Katrina victims, the band has continued to tighten throughout the years, brewing southern swampy rock with that upbeat NOLA funk to bring something uniquely powerful, guaranteed to make you move.” – Live For Live Music
With excitement towards the release of their upcoming album, Flow Tribe explains, “As a band we are thrilled to release “BOSS” Flow Tribe’s latest full length album. Over a year in the making, “BOSS” blends the hard-hitting grooves of Flow Tribe with the infectious production brought by Mannie Fresh. This uniquely New Orleans’ collaboration puts a new spin on funk, soul, and explores the depths of backbone cracking music. We hope you enjoy listening to “BOSS” as much we had creating it.”
“His rootsy musical narratives are filled with heart and packed with eccentric and authentic characters. His new release ‘Standard’ is a raw and intimate song-cycle.” –Chicago Tribune “Standard refers to a Zen term where transmission is a form of communication. There is also Dharma transmission, a custom of community teaching each other. This is considered a low grade transmission. Tongue-in-cheek, Standard, is even lower. It refers to having things put into place for you – like gears on a vehicle standard transmission. This is the simplest and least innovative way of learning or teaching. It is my term for staying in the box.The people on this album want to stay in the box but they can’t.” – Fred Eaglesmith
Greg Schatz writes and plays music that gets stuck in your head. Steeped in tradi7on, yet
completely original, his songs give words to life’s hard-to-describe moments. Small Peace of Mind, his sixth overall full length album of original material, expands the song-driven mix of roots music he began exploring with his 2012 record, Where the River Meets the Railroad Tracks, and the 2015 follow up, Everything That You Wanted. Small Peace of Mind further solidifies Schatz’s musical vision, informed by the tradi7ons of New Orleans piano masters and a myriad of songwriters, from Jelly Roll Morton to the Kinks.
So funky, you’ll swear it’s vinyl!! The GroovaLottos debut album, “Ask Yo’ Mama” is a fun, retro funky soulful, and bluesy offering from the first note to the last word. This 16 track opus offers 13 original songs and three sketches that demonstrate why The GroovaLottos are considered one of the most entertaining bands on the scene. “Ask Yo’ Mama” demonstrates the wide, genre bending musical vocabulary of the band, as it smoothly transitions from smooth soul grooves, to juke-joint worthy blues, to dance floor ready funk tunes. Featuring the instrumental virtuosity of the trio, topped with amazingly orchestrated vocals by band keyboardist, Mwalim DaPhunkee Professor and drummer, Eddie Ray Johnson.
Jenna has been recognized as one of the leading women of jazz/pop crossover for three years in a row by Jazziz Magazine, having shared it’s cover w/Diana Krall & Norah Jones. She has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Rickie Lee Jones, Al Jarreau, Phish, & David Sanborn, and at Jazz Aspen, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage, Big Sur. Rolf appears on over 60 CDs including recordings that feature Tony Trischka, Loudon Wainwright, David Johansen, John Medeski, Catherine Russell, Jorma Kaukonen & members of the Grateful Dead. He has performed at JVC Jazz, Syracuse Jazz, Toronto Jazz , Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Together they have toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Mexico!
On their 5th release, Cutting For Stone, JTB delves into the ups and downs of a personal battle with cancer, divorce, family relationships and realizing that “there is beauty in everything, even if it breaks you.” An autobiographical journey that begins with the up-tempo romp, “Rollercoaster” and goes through the swanky, snarky diatribe of “Cooler Than You,” the angst-ridden “Silence” pausing to rest in the quiet elegant laments of “Air” and “Let Me Be.” The journey picks up with two straight up rock tunes, “Follow Me Through” and “Too Late” and finds its destination in the lush, soaring “Breathe.”
“Footprints on the Moon” (track 1) is a rock/funk-inspired original featuring Gov’t Mule’s Danny Louis on Hammond organ and legendary bassist Alvin Moody. Anchored by Jocelyn’s powerful and emotion-filled voice and Chris’s stylized guitar counterpoint, “Footprints” showcases lyrical sass and powerful songwriting all wrapped up and delivered with a beat and hook that just won’t quit! We sincerely hope you love it! About: Sibling rockers Jocelyn & Chris Arndt blend deeply powerful vocals and retro-inspired guitar to create a new generation of authentic album rock. The Arndts’ debut full-length Edges gained airplay nationwide, charting within the FMQB Top 200 albums and singles in 2016. Their live album 30,000 Miles, released in January, debuted on The Relix Jambands Top 30 at #8. The duo and their band perform coast to coast with past stops at legendary events including The Sundance Film Festival, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, SXSW, Mountain Jam Music Festival, and numerous others. www.jocelynandchrismusic.com
There are a lot of reasons that pianist Joe Alterman could give for moving back to his native Georgia last year. To some, it might look like a mistake for a young jazz musician to leave New York City just as his star is rising. But if jazz is the expression of an artist’s soul, then following that soul to the place where it can best flourish can only make the music better. The fruits of Alterman’s homecoming can be heard throughout the 28-year-old pianist’s third album, Comin’ Home To You. A quick scan of the track listing for Comin’ Home To You is enough to recognize that something has changed in Alterman’s thinking. Where his past releases were dominated by classic standards, the new album includes several tunes from the pop world, radio mainstays like Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Hall & Oates and fellow Atlanta natives the Zac Brown Band.
With his fourth album, Counterfeit Salvation, John Bunzow continues to establish himself as an inspired and innovative American roots singer/songwriter/guitarist of depth, substance and groove. The Portland, Oregon, native has been called one of the finest roots writers/musicians on the current music scene. Producer Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakam, Meat Puppets, Steve Forbert) said he is “…without doubt the best artist I’ve heard in recent times.” Chicago Tribune columnist Jack Hurst credits Bunzow with mixing “the rootsy with the revolutionary.”
Arkansas native Joseph Israel returns to his roots with his new album Paradise. The fourteentrack album was released July 15, 2016 on the Lions of Israel label and showcases the continuing evolution of Joseph Israel as a songwriter, and the skills of the Jerusalem Band in the recording studio. Paradise is anchored by bass statesman and producer Christopher Meredith, (Ziggy and Stephen Marley, Lauryn Hill, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Jimmy Cliff ) who has been working with Joseph Israel since co-producing Gone Are The Days (UME) in 2007. Meredith’s bass lines shine throughout this album and are complemented by the highly talented drummer Marlon Davis. These two set the groove and are accompanied by Matt Smith on lead guitar, and Carl Blackmon on piano and Hammond B2 organ.
Melbourne’s King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are a once-in-a-generation group playing a heady combination of psychedelia, prog rock, freakbeat, jazz, heavy metal and Krautrock at a breathless punk pace. Today they introduce Murder of the Universe, to be released June 23rd via ATO Records. A concept album to end all concepts, Murder Of The Universe is a face-melting musical assault concerned with the downfall of man and the death of the planet. With the album’s tracks separated into three separate chapters, you can now watch the new video for all of “Chapter 3: Han-Tyumi and the Murder of the Universe.” Lit by thunderclaps and lightning, MOTU inhabits a sonic landscape of death, decay, ossification, fossilization, rebirth. It is a place occupied by wandering shape-shifting beasts, bleeding skies, pools of blood, great fires and mushroom clouds; a planet rent asunder by conflict. Pre-order it on vomit splatter and 180
gram black smoke vinyl.
Sync is the first studio album from Keller Williams’ KWahtro, the most recent ensemble from genre hopping multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Keller Williams. Led by Williams on guitar and vocals, Keller Williams’ KWahtro features the superb musicianship of bassist Danton Boller (Jazz Mandolin Project, Roy Hargrove), guitarist and longtime Williams’ collaborator Gibb Droll (Brandi Carlisle, Bruce Hornsby) and drummer Rodney Holmes (Carlos Santana, Steve Kimock). Special guests include The Accidentals, Mike Dillon and Williams’ son Cabell Williams.
Brian Eno feat. on Track 2. These previously un-released recordings are LL Goat’s finest works. They are socially minded songs that groove and rock and roar. LL GOAT (aka “Goat”) is a stellar soloist, but is performing here with his full band. Having been signed to several major labels (Ruffhouse, Interscope), these songs were not included in his previous releases for all the right reasons. FCC Warning: Tracks 1&12 (“faggot”)
Singer and songwriter Laura Vecchione’s (“Veck-ee-Oh-nee”) latest album may have taken close to a decade to realize, but Love Lead needed time to mature under the guidance of an artist who struggled to embrace an inner beauty and power that’s masterfully expressed on her latest release. Recorded in Nashville under the direction of Grammy-nominated producer Doug Wayne, Vecchione brought in musicians whose profound skills perfectly match and enhance the equally impressive craft and artistry of her songs. The all-star core group includes guitarist George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Hornsby), guitarist Michael Sever (Dolly Parton, Don McLean, Gretchen Peters), bassist Mark Prentice (Steve Earle, Bruce Cockburn), drummer Matthew Bubel (BJ Thomas, Bruce Hornsby), keyboardist Jeff Roach (Jo Dee Messina, Will Hoge, Lori McKenna), and keyboardist Catherine Marx (Linda Rondstadt, Rhonda Vincent, Ronnie Milsap). But perhaps nothing drives Love Lead more than Vecchione’s own commanding, impressive voice, described by music critic Billy Copeland as “a force of nature.”
As a jaded, rebellious teenager, Lauren Hoffman connected with Jeff Buckley. She was backstage at a concert, waiting for her father who worked in music. “I asked him, ‘Are you always that depressing?’ Jeff was visibly offended,” she recalls, laughing, “but somehow he was also intrigued.” So they hung out. “‘I told him I write songs but didn’t think I should do that for a career.’ And he said, with all this intensity, ‘If you don’t express and put out what you have, it will destroy you from the inside,’” she says. “I really took that to heart. That affected me, longterm.” Jeff became a mentor to her, up until his death in 1997 just one month before she released her debut solo album.
Til They Bang on the Door is a slinky, brassy and decidedly sexy record that marks a bold, new direction for Lucy Woodward. Woodward was looking for “crazy, low brass instrumentation with feminine vocals” for the album on GroundUP Music/Verve Label Group, so she paired up with an all-star recording cast, featuring co-producer Michael League (Snarky Puppy), co-producer/ keyboardist Henry Hey (David Bowie, George Michael), engineer/mixer Nic Hard, organist Cory Henry and core musicians from Snarky Puppy. The video for the song “Live Live Live” was debuted by Relix.com on Nov. 22, and according to Woodward, “it’s about making peace with that inner-kid who has the urge to be weird and free.”
Throughout his productive musical career, guitarist/vocalist Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam has always understood the connections between West African music and the sounds of the American South. His landmark book Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta discusses the music of the three empires that dominated the culture of West Africa starting in the 6th century, tracing the music from its role in the culture and daily life of Africa to its eventual emergence in the United States. In his teachings, lectures and music (where he displays his own individual voice), Pascal has consistently paid tribute to his ancestors. “As a musician, I have always tried to synthesize the convergence of African esthetics and appreciate their influence in the music of the African American communities of the American South, from the rural sounds of the Blues and Gospel into this music we call Jazz.”
Pimps of Joytime puts the needle in the groove with its fresh collection of 10 funk anthems ready to put a smile on faces across the globe. An intersection of Brooklyn’s indie music scene, New Orleans funk and San Francisco soul, the Pimps’ new studio release Third Wall Chronicles (Sugar Road Records: March 24, 2017) unites us around a common bond of Peace, Love and Music. The apex of positivity and a solace from the daily grind shines bright as the Pimps of Joytime throw the dance party of the year on Third Wall Chronicles and everyone is invited! Brian Jay, Pimps of Joytime band leader, is no stranger to working with A-List talent in the studio as he’s produced albums for a “who’s who” of New Orleans heavyweights, including such stars as Cyril Neville (The Neville Brothers), James Andrews, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie (The World’s Most Recorded Drummer), and Corey Henry (Galactic). He’s shared the stage with Art Neville, George Porter and Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), Eddie Bo, and he’s currently working on an album with GRAMMY Award-nominated blues artist Cedric Burnside (grandson of legendary blues musician R.L. Burnside). Brian Jay co-produces Third Wall Chronicles with Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin. Co-writers on the album also include Anthony Cole (JJ Grey & Mofro), Nappy G (Turntables on the Hudson), DJ Black Pearl, and Chancey Yearwood.
Hailing from the great Northwest, where he was a founding member of the pop-noise band Frequency dB, Peter Buzzelle is a singer/songwriter that can best be described as a devotee to guitar-centered Power Pop in the tradition of Big Star, The Posies, and The Shins. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll find additional layers that demonstrate a keen sense of song craft featuring a dichotomy of joy and melancholy mixed into a style heavy on melodic hooks, original riffs, and the occasional odd time signature.
With their sophomore release two, the rising PHO use funk as a vehicle to explore their “Minneapolis sound” influences with torch in hand. Intimate and soulful, intense and highly energetic, the new album comes sprinkled with psychedelia and hip-hop, while maintaining the tight arrangements of funk tradition. The thirteen tracks, which were produced by John Davis, feature Kirk Johnson of Prince’s New Power Generation on percussion. Recorded in Cannon Falls, Minnesota at the legendary Pachyderm Studio (‘Nirvana-In-Utero’), there was no shortage of vintage vibe amidst a playground of old ‘70s synths and classic guitars, all articulated in the expansive array of musical colors ever-present throughout the mix.
Born in Brussels in 1973, Zeke Martin entered the world with a pair of drumsticks in his hands. Influenced by his father, Stu Martin, who played with Jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Charles Mingus, Dave Holland and Quincy Jones to name a few, Zeke’s musical repertoire includes a blend of Jazz, Funk, R&B, Reggae, Rock and more.
Paul Messinger is a poet, songwriter, vocalist, and instrumentalist, who writes nuanced, character-driven songs in varied styles. Grant Britt, reviewing AMERICA 2.0 for NO DEPRESSION, wrote: “Take the earnest, anguished delivery of Jonathan Richman, stir in a pinch of John Hiatt’s unearthly yowl, add the soul of Van Morrison, then back it with Lee Oskarinspired harp, tossing in a few pages ripped from the Little Walter catalog. T hat’s the recipe for AMERICA 2. 0: Assorted Tales and New Myth, the latest effort from Chapel Hill, NC-based harpist/vocalist/composer Paul Messinger.”
I released my 7th CD “Captain Soul” in January and it’s making quite an impact already having been played on over 80 radio stations! I’ve included the CD download below and info on my music in hope that you might include a track on your site! My music is mostly all original and while defined as Americana or California Country we bring in many styles from gospel, R&B and even reggae. It’s all woven together with high energy, catchy hooks, great harmonies and socially and spiritually conscious lyrics. We get comparisons to the Eagles, the Dead, and Neil Young amongst others even though we have our own unique sound!
The String Cheese Incident & SCI Fidelity Records are pleased to announce the release of Believe, the 7th studio album from SCI, due out April 14, 2017. Following the release of Song In My Head in 2014, the band once again enlisted the help of producer Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads). The new album of SCI originals was recorded and produced in the newly founded “Sound Lab,” a hybrid recording studio and band hangout in Colorado.
In 2016, Stolen Rhodes returned to the studio to record their highly anticipated album Bend With The Wind. Recorded at Dylanava Studios outside of Philadelphia with the help of producer David Ivory (Halestorm, The Roots, Silvertide) and mastered by Ted Jensen (The Eagles, John Mayer,AC/DC), Bend With The Wind includes several songs the group has road tested over the years, with a few that were written right in the studio.