Cold Specks: Winter Solstice


Jim Fusilli, Cold Speck’s Arresting Mix:

Now 26, she (Ladan Hussein) was born in Etobicoke, Ontario, to parents from Somalia. Calling herself a “typical moribund teenager,” she took up a guitar at age 15. After relocating to London, where her extended family was dubious about her choice of career, Ms. Hussein was playing as Cold Specks at St. Pancras Old Church when a producer from “Later… with Jools Holland” caught her show and invited her on the BBC program. The other guests on the November 2011 broadcast included Mary J. Blige, Florence + the Machine, My Morning Jacket and the Who’s Pete Townshend. At the conclusion of her a cappella version of “Old Stepstone,” the traditional folk ballad, Mr. Holland cheered, “The power of the single human voice!”

On her two albums, including this year’s “Neuroplasticity” (Mute), Cold Specks delivers contemporary rock that either arrives with the confrontational authority of hardcore punk and free jazz or is as contemplative as folk and mellow soul. In concert here last week at the Echo, she and her four-piece band demonstrated how arresting that complex mix can be. In a conversation before her late-night set, Cold Specks—whose real name is Ladan Hussein, though she is also known as Al Spx—was quiet, perhaps even shy, a contrast to her bold, insistent music. “I’m a listener,” she said, “not a talker.” She added that she doesn’t follow modern music and was enjoying the doo-wop a manager put on in the van as they traveled between gigs.

…“I am who I am,” she said earlier during a conversation, a simple remark that later seemed a promise of much more extraordinary music to come.

Find her new album on iTunes here: Neuroplasticity

Find this tune on her 2012 album: I Predict a Graceful Expulsion

Woke Up To The Light


Strand of Oaks is led by singer/songwriter Timothy Showalter. Showalter, 32, was born in Indiana, and currently resides in Philadelphia. His new album HEAL was scheduled for mixing on December 26, 2013. Driving on the freeway on Christmas Day, Showalter and his wife hit a patch of black ice and crashed their car head on into a semi-truck, and were very fortunate to walk away with their lives. Showalter suffered a, “pretty severe,” head trauma, “which affected me much more than I realized at the time.” Fearing delays, Showalter, the mixing session went ahead. “Being on the verge of death, and my thoughts being so closely tied to that, changed the album’s direction,” Showalter claims. “Together, we pushed it toward a much more cathartic sound that forces the listener to where I was at that exact moment, somewhere between almost dying and being absolutely fearless.” (Learn more about the artist at Strand of Oaks)

I woke up to the light, you woke up to my hand
Reachin’ for the night we ran
If the morning comes, I will still be here
Holding all the lines of the field

Save the dawn light shine
Save the moon, save the night
And I call you by name I call you here
In the distance we will find,
Heaven lies in waiting
And keep the light on for me
Keep the light on for me

We woke up to the light, and felt no warmth behind


Find this tune and the new June, 2014 Album on iTunes: Heal

Let it Go


James Bay, 22, is from Hitchin, UK.  He brings his twist to the music of his heroes Carole King, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne and James Taylor. Bay’s 2013 debut album: The Dark of the Morning. Bay’s Website: JamesBayMusic.com for Bio. Interview with James Bay: NoiseTrade


Related Post: James Bay: Move Together.

Thank you Rachel.

Crystalline


Ruu Campbell is a British singer-songwriter from Shropshire, England. His music has been compared to Bon Iver and James Vincent McMorrow. (Although, I think he sounds more like Nick Drake.) Campbell’s songs “The Call”, “Crossroads” and Mathereal were featured on Parenthood in 2012.

His new album was released on June, 2014 and can be found on iTunes here: Heartsong.

Ruu Campbell’s website: ruucampbell.com


Whispers


Mike Rosenberg, 29, was born in Brighton, England.  He is better known by his stage name Passenger, is an English folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rosenberg learned classical guitar when he was young: ” My parents were really encouraging about music so that sort of started the path. When I was about 14-15, I started to write songs, which were absolutely dreadful. But as I kept going the songs became better and better – it was just so bloody obvious that this was what I wanted to do. I never really applied myself in school and music was the only thing I wanted to spend my time doing…I’m heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Neil Young although I’m nowhere near as good as those guys!”

Song on Whispers Album on iTunes


(Source: Wiki & Vancouver Weekly: Who is Mike Rosenberg?)

Noah & Abby Gundersen


Noah Gundersen, 25, is an American singer-songwriter from Seattle, Washington.  Gundersen began playing music when he was 10 or 11 years old when his parents had him take piano lessons. In 2002, he inherited his first guitar from his father and taught himself to play the guitar and recorded songs with his father’s recording equipment. Three years later, his birthday gift was an acoustic guitar with which he still performs with today. Around the age of 16, Gundersen was performing solo in local cafes. His sister Abby began to accompany him with violin and harmonies in 2006. 

Find this tune on iTunes on his album Ledges.


Do You Feel


José James, 36, is a singer songwriter from Minneapolis, and is best known for performing and blending modern jazz and hip-hop. James joined the Blue Note roster in 2013 when he released his breakout album No Beginning No End to wide acclaim. With its irrepressible lead single “Trouble,” the album release found José making national TV appearances on ConanLate Show With David Letterman, andTonight Show With Jay Leno.

The New York Times praised his “cool and confident” album, adding that it “sounds like the result of the black-pop continuum, jazz and soul and hip-hop and R&B, slow-cooked for more than 50 years.” NPR Music raved that “James makes utterly contemporary music,” noting that he “skirts categories with ease, fitting in with current R&B innovators like Frank Ocean or Miguel, yet maintaining a strong awareness of a lineage that stretches from Ray Charles to Marvin Gaye to Lou Rawls to Maxwell.”

Find this tune on his 2013 Album titled: No Beginning No End

José James official site and his full bio can be found at: josejamesmusic.com


Let Me Comfort You


Erick Baker, 35, is a singer-songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee. He didn’t sing or write songs until he enrolled at the University of Tennessee. Baker had picked up the guitar during his college days and played occasionally at parties for fun, by his own admission in hopes of meeting women. While doing a set at an open-mike night in Knoxville, Baker was spotted by a local promoter who gave him a spot opening a show for John Legend and soon buzz about Baker began to spread. He has performed with national acts, including rock musician James Blunt, alternative country musician Brandi Carlile, pop-rock musician Gavin DeGraw, the rock band Goo Goo Dolls, the rock band Heart, R&B artist John Legend.

My songs belong to every right turn and wrong turn that have led me here,” Baker says.  “They reflect the pieces of poetry hidden in the experiences that lie in each of our everyday lives.

Find this tune on iTunes: Erik Baker: Live At The Bijou Theatre

If you liked this, don’t miss: Erick Baker – Stay Awhile


Credits:


George Ezra


George Ezra (born George Ezra Barnett), 21, is a British singer songwriter. His debut studio album Wanted on Voyage will be released on 30 June 2014.  Ezra was longlisted for the BBC Sound of…2014, where he eventually finished in fifth place. 

Ezra is the he son of an art teacher and a deputy head. Music trickled down to him via an elder sister, a regular at local venue the Marquee (“She was going out with the promoter”). He made his stage debut at the Marquee as a 13-year-old in a covers band, “singing the female part of Teenage Dirtbag, wearing eyeliner and my sister’s skinny jeans”. When he left school at 16 he took a job in a local sweet factory – “two jellybeans for the box, one for me, all the way.”  Ezra dropped out of college and embarked on a year of support slots, criss-crossing the country by train. Within a year he had a record deal with Columbia. (Source: The Guardian: George Ezra)

Find this song on iTunes on his EP titled Did You Hear The Rain.

His website can be found here: The Official George Ezra website


Triple Smack-Down: Cloud Cult

There is something special here. Can’t put a finger on it. I introduced Cloud Cult earlier this month. (Their bio is worth checking out.)  And when you can’t seem to get enough of something that good (ice cream, pasta, Cloud Cult), you just keep bringing it.  Here’s three new clips from Cloud Cult: Chemicals Collide. You Were Born. Breakfast With My Shadow.


Find their album on iTunes here: Unplug

Dark Coffee


Daniela Andrade, 21, is a folk singer songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta. She has been compared to Cat Power and Nora Jones, and some of her musical influences include Feist and Regina Spektor. She is largely known for her acoustic covers, as well as some originals, on YouTube. Her videos have been viewed more than 17 million times by world-wide audiences, leading to more than 200,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than 70,000 followers on Facebook.  Dark Coffee is a Daniela Andrade original.

If you liked this, check out Daniela singing Daughter’s Youth (Cover) and Glen Hansard’s Falling Slowly (Cover)

Find her albums on iTunes here: Things We’ve Said and Covers.


Árstíðir

Árstíðir (English: Seasons) is an Icelandic indie-folk band with classical, progressive rock and minimalist elements. This tune is titled “Ljóð í sand” (Poetry In The Sand). Árstíðir became known to a wider internet audience in 2013 when a Youtube video went viral (3,000,000+ hits) showed them performing impromptu, Heyr himna smiður (“Hear, Smith of heavens”, a 13th century Icelandic hymn) at a train station in Germany. The video was shot by their PR manager after they had played a concert the venue inside the train station. The a capella was noted for improvising with the vaulted acoustics of the train station to effect the echo chambers of a monastic chapel.

Find the Icelandic Hymn that went viral on Youtube here.

Find their album on iTunes here: Svefns Og Voku Skil (Sleep & Waking Returns)


Smother


  • See bio for Daughter and Related Post here.
  • Find tune and album here: If You Leave

Family and Friends (Go ahead. Try keep your feet from tapping.)


Family and Friends have barely been a band for a year, yet they’ve made quite the name for themselves in both Athens and Atlanta. From their mesmerizing stage presence and their foot-stomping, hand-clapping singalongs to their hilarious YouTube videos and awesome picture posts, this local band has easily made music fans a part of their family. (Source: AMG-Atlanta Music Guide). Find their 2014 album here on iTunes. . Find them here on Facebook.


Thank you Rachel. Who would have thought Father and Daughter would be aligned on a Tune. There’s hope yet…

Johnnyswim


Johnnyswim is a folk, soul, blues, pop music duo consisting of singer-songwriters Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez. The duo formed in 2005 in Nashville, Tennessee.  Sudano spent summers touring the world as a backing singer for her mother Donna Summer. Ramirez and Sudano first met after Sunday service at a church in Nashville, Tennessee. Four years later Sudano attended a songwriting workshop held by Ramirez and became interested in writing songs with him. Sudano and Ramirez were married in 2009.

Find their new album released on April 29, 2014 on iTunes: Diamonds


Carry Me Home


Jamie Scott, 30, is a British singer, songwriter and producer. He started playing guitar and piano at the age of seven. Scott is heavily influenced by 1970s artists like Cat Stevens and James Taylor, and also by neo-soul artists like D’Angelo. Scott has had major success as a song writer with many artists and is one of the main collaborators with UK boy band sensations One Direction.

Jamie Scott official website.


Panning for Gold


Ben Sollee, 30, is an American cellist, singer-songwriter, and composer known for his innovative playing style, genre-bending songwriting, electrifying performances, political activism, and wide appeal. His music incorporates banjo, guitar, and mandolin along with percussion and unusual cello techniques to create a unique sound. His songs exhibit a mix of folk, bluegrass, jazz, and R&B elements. Sollee has also composed longer instrumental pieces for dance ensembles. Raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Sollee began playing the cello in elementary school. Besides classical music, his early musical influences included recordings his parents played of Wilson PickettRay CharlesBillie Holiday and Otis Redding, and later he discovered folk music. (Source: Wiki)

Find this tune on Sollee’s album here.


Thank you Steve Layman for introducing me to Ben Sollee.  And don’t miss Ben Sollee on Tedx here.


Nights Like Tonight


Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Halifax’s Ben Caplan is to folklore what smoke is to bourbon. Perfectly coupled. Ben’s songwriting is as bold in range as it is in ferocity. Fueled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism, it’s the romance and the manhood crashing with his voice that gives Caplan a truly innovative and experimental artistry. A sound that bridges the gap between controlled composition and unruly passion. Striding in pace with gypsy-inspired strings amid the sultry tones of clarinet and saxophone, Caplan has marked his place in the Canadian music landscape with a growling spirit similar to that of Tom Waits. Breaking between guitar, banjo, piano, and melodica, Caplan’s stage show is almost reminiscent of a burly and bearded Freddy Mercury; a raging, strong, and exploratory songwriter, it’s the blues in his soul, and the heart in your chest pounding as one that makes Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers an act not to be missed.” (Source: Audioblood)

Liked this? Check out Ben Caplan’s Under Control.

Find Caplan’s Album on iTunes here.


Whispers


Related Post: Passenger Bio & hit song “Let Her Gohere.


Valerie June


Valerie June, 32, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee. Her sound encompasses a mixture of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass.  After self-releasing three albums, her debut album as a signed artist, Pushin’ Against a Stone, was released in August, 2013. The album was so titled to commemorate the story of her life. June said “I feel I’ve spent my life pushing against a stone. And the jobs I’ve had have been fitting for getting a true feel for how the traditional artists I loved came home after a hard day to sit on the porch and play tunes until bedtime.”

Find her album “Pushin’ Against a Stone” on iTunes here.


James Taylor + Carly Simon = Ben Taylor


Ben Taylor, 37, is the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon.  Here’s a mash-up of his Father’s Fire in Rain and Mother’s You’re So Vain.


Are you ready to feel it now?

Photo of Harry CHAPIN


Two weeks running.
Every day. Every day.
The commute in. The ride home.
It opens the day.  It closes the doors.
Same tune. One tune.
Over. And over. And over.

[John Waters: “Without obsession, life is nothing.”]

From end to end.
The tune on a loop three to six times depending on traffic.


↓ click for audio (Harry Chapin – “All My Life’s A Circle”)


The Big Gato waits. Crouched.
Tapping his fingers on the seat. Impatient.
Waiting for Chapin to stop jabbering.
And then it comes. 4:30 on the running time.
I crank the volume up.
The dashboard vibrates.
Chapin cues him up.
Michael, the Cellist. Man Singing with Soul.
DK and the rest of the band join him to belt it out to the finish:

All my life’s a circle;
Sunrise and sundown;
The Moon rolls thru the nighttime;
Till the daybreak comes around.

All my life’s a circle;
But I can’t tell you why;
The Seasons’ spinning round again;
The years keep rollin’ by.


Image Source: MTVhive

Comes and Goes


Greg Laswell, 39, is from San Diego California.
I’m a (big) fan…own all his albums.
In this clip, he’d joined by a cellist.
Laswell + Cellist = Magic.
Liked this? Don’t Miss “What A Day” and “Not Out


Lily Kershaw


Lily Kershaw, 22, was born and grew up in the Los Angeles, California. Her breakthrough came when one of her songs, “As It Seems,” was featured in the season seven finale of the popular CBS television series Criminal Minds in 2012. A second song, “Ashes Like Snow,” was again featured prominently in the eighth season finale of the show a year later.

  • Liked this? Check out her other hit single, “Ashes Like Snow“, at this link.
  • Her debut album, Midnight in the Garden (2013), can be found on iTunes here.
  • Interview with Lily Kershaw: Watch Lily Kershaw Bloom

Still Trying


Nathaniel Rateliff grew up in rural Missouri, learning to play the drums at age seven. As a young teenager, he taught himself guitar and began writing his own songs. At eighteen, Rateliff relocated to Denver for missionary work. Rateliff developed a dedicated following within the Denver music community. New York Times dubbed Nathaniel Rateliff a Denver local folk-pop hero. Spin (magazine) praised his “massive, alluring” voice. Billboard (magazine) dubbed the unsigned singer-songwriter a “must hear.” He released In Memory of Loss in May 2010 which captured the attention of Amazon.com, which listed his album as the number-one album you might have missed in 2010.  In September, 2013, he set out on a tour with The Lumineers and Dr. Dog, in support of his new album.  Rateliff has also shared the stage with artists such as Bon Iver, Mason Jennings, Iron & Wine, Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons, and Roseanne Cash.  (Source: Wiki)

Find his new album “Faster Than You Can Run” at this link.


Half Moon Run


Half Moon Run are a Canadian indie rock band based in Montreal. The band members previously lived in British Columbia (Comox) and in Ottawa. They have have opened for such artists as Monsters & Men, Patrick Watson, Mumford & Sons and City and Color. Critical acclaim has included praise for their three-part harmonies.  Like this? Check out the group’s other major hits Full Circle and Call Me In the Afternoon which have had over 2.5 million views on Youtube. Their album titled Dark Eyes was released in July 2013 and can be found on iTunes here. The band’s official website can be found here.

“I’m going to be cheeky here and pick one band […] Half Moon Run – potentially one of the most important bands debuting an album this year. It’s progressive without being pretentious.”

~ Ben Lovett, Mumford & Sons


She Keeps Me Warm


Mary Lambert, 24, was born in Seattle, WA. Lambert is a singer-songwriter.  She is also an award winning spoken-word artist. She published her debut book of poetry, 500 Tips for Fat Girls, in January of 2013. Lambert is known to be revealing in her poetry and music, often discussing her early childhood traumas, sexual abuse, body image, bipolar disorder, and her sexuality.  Lambert’s songs, often emotionally charged, have been considered a mix of Adele, Tori Amos and James Blake. Her shows are described as “safe spaces where crying is acceptable and even encouraged.” Lambert was sexually abused as a child, and has described herself as “ending up being a depressed eight-year-old”. Her family was expelled from the church when she was six, after her mother came out as a lesbian. Lambert taught herself how to play piano and write songs at age 6, as an escape from her traumatic and abusive household.

This song, her newest single, “She Keeps Me Warm”, has had over 2,000,000 views on Youtube since it was released.  You can find this tune on iTunes here and her EP titled Letters Don’t Talk here

And for some of her spoken word poetry, check out: I Know Girls


Bio Sources: Wiki & MaryLambertsings.com

James Bay


James Bay, 22, is from Hitchin, UK.  He brings his twist to the music of his heroes Carole King, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne and James Taylor.

NoiseTrade: Your first single “Move Together” seems to either be an intensely personal story or a fantastically deceptive work of fiction. Did you write it to be creative or cathartic? 

James Bay: My best songs are always the most honest ones. I try and stick to things that are going on in my life; all the feelings and emotions that I really need to express. So yeh, I definitely had something to get off my chest when I wrote “Move Together.”

Bay’s 2013 debut album: The Dark of the Morning.
Bay’s Website: JamesBayMusic.com for Bio.
Interview with James Bay: NoiseTrade


Picture On My Wall


The Deep Dark Woods are a Canadian alternative country band from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Find this song on their new album Jubilee (Sept, 2013) on iTunes at this link.


Friday Night: Whitehorse


Luke Doucet, 40, and Melissa McClelland, 34, are the husband and wife duo behind Whitehorse.  The duo has won and been nominated for various Canadian Music Awards.  Their album ‘The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss’ won the Adult Alternative Recording of the year in 2012. They are based in Hamilton, Ontario. (Source: Wiki)

Whitehorse Official Website link.

Find this song on iTunes here.


Friday Night with Lucius


Lucius is an indie pop band from Brooklyn, New York. The two lead singers are Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig.  Lucius has been lauded by the New York Times for their “luscious, luminous, lilting lullabies” and praised by NPR for their “charisma and charm.” On October 15, 2013, the band will release its debut album Wildewoman in North America. (Source: Wiki)

Lucius’ Official Website here. Find them on iTunes here.

See October 11, 2013 NY Times article: Peas in a Vintage-Soul-Style Pod


Comin’ Home


City and Colour is the recording alias for Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green. Green, 33, was born in St. Catharines, Ontario. He plays melodic acoustic and folk music and is often accompanied by a rotating number of Canadian indie rock musicians. Playing guitar since age eight and crafting songs since his teenage years, Green has always known he wanted to write music and sing: mostly for himself, to find peace and clarity amongst the chaos. He thinks it’s kismet that others happen to like to listen. “At the end of the day, when I write a song, it has to make me happy,” he says. “I have to want to sing it again. And then the hope after that is that somebody else will like it.”

Green recorded 3 studio albums.  All three previous studio albums have achieved platinum status in Canada, while Little Hell is also now Gold in Australia debuted at #1 on Canada’s Top 200 Chart, #28 in the U.S., in the top 40 in the U.K. Moreover, almost every show in 2011 and 2012 sold out (including the famed Royal Albert Hall, a two night stay at the Roundhouse in London and New York’s Terminal 5). (Bio Sources from wiki and his official website)

Find his most current album on iTunes at this link.


 

Soft Place to Land


Kathleen Edwards, 35is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician. She was born in Ottawa, Ontario to the daughter of a former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. At age 5, Edwards began classical violin studies that continued for the next 12 years. After high school she decided not to attend college, instead opting to play local clubs to pay the bills. Her musical sound has been compared to Suzanne Vega meets Neil Young. In 2012, Edwards’ fourth studio album, Voyageur, became Edwards’ first album to crack the top 100 and top 40 in the U.S., peaking at #39 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and #2 in Canada.  (Source: Wiki)

Find Edwards’ Voyageur album on iTunes at this link.

Kathleen Edwards’ official web site.


Words as Weapons


Jasmine van den Bogaerde, 17, also known by her stage name Birdy, is an English musician. She won the music competition Open Mic UK in 2008, at the age of 12. Her début single, a version of Bon Iver‘s “Skinny Love“, was her breakthrough, charting all across Europe and being certified six times platinum in Australia. Her self-titled début album Birdy was released on 7 November 2011 to similar success, peaking at number 1 in Australia, Belgium and The Netherlands. Birdy’s second studio album Fire Within is expected to be released on 23 September 2013 in the UK.

Find her album Birdy on iTunes.  Her website: Officialbirdy.com.

17 years old.  Incredible.


Wondering Where the Lions Are


Bruce Cockburn, 68, is a Canadian folk/rock guitarist and singer-songwriter. He has written songs in styles ranging from folk to jazz-influenced rock to rock and roll.  He spent his early years on a farm outside Pembroke, Ontario. He has stated in interviews that his first guitar was one he found around 1959 in his grandmother’s attic, which he adorned with golden stars and used to play along to radio hits. Cockburn’s guitar work and songwriting skills won him an enthusiastic following. His early work featured rural and nautical imagery, Biblical metaphors, and the conviction that heaven is close despite hardship.  While Cockburn had been popular in Canada for years, he did not have a big impact in the United States until 1979, with the release of the album Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws. “Wondering Where the Lions Are,” the first single from that album, reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US in June 1980, and earned Cockburn an appearance on NBC‘s hit TV show Saturday Night Live. (Source: Wiki)

Find his album and this song at iTunes at this link.


Curs in the Weeds


Horse Feathers is an American indie folk band from Portland, Oregon formed in 2004 by Justin Ringle.  The band’s fourth album, Cynic’s New Year, was released in 2012.  This song can be found on the band’s 2008 Album titled House With No Home.  The band’s official web site can be found here.

Foy Vance


“Foy Vance, 39, was born in the North Ireland town of Bangor, but his passion for traditional music was born in the southern states of America. As a child, Foy relocated with his father, a preacher, to the American Midwest settling in Oklahoma. With his father, Foy travelled the American South, widening his horizons and absorbing the rich musical traditions he was exposed to. Returning to Ireland some years later, Foy began writing his own music, deeply shaped by the sounds of his youth. Since those days, he has spent a considerable amount of time on the road, touring with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Michael Kiwanuka, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol, and Ed Sheeran. Foy also scored Oscar-winning short-film The Shore with David Holmes, who collaborated with Vance on his 2012 Melrose EP. Foy’s newest album, Joy Of Nothing, will be released this year.  Vance is moved by the fractions of love and sentiment, giving himself over to the quiet deluge. His is a voice that rattles you and forces you to let it in so that you may all enjoy a dark room, a modest fire and something to toast with.”  (Source: FoyVance.com)


  • If you liked this tune, check out Foy Vance on the guitar with You and I.  Great tune.
  • His new album will be released next week on iTunes: Joy of Nothing.

Friday Night: Of Monsters and Men


Of Monsters and Men is a five-piece, English-language, indie folk/pop band from Iceland, formed in 2010.  The band’s debut album My Head Is an Animal (2011), reached the No.1 position in Australia, Iceland, Ireland and the US Rock and Alternative Charts, while peaking at No. 6 on the US Billboard 200 album chart, No. 3 in the UK, and Top 20 of most European charts and Canada. Its lead single “Little Talks” was an international success, reaching the Top 10 in most music charts in Europe, including No.1 in Ireland and Iceland, and No. 1 on US Alternative Songs.

If you liked this tune, you’ll love “Little Talks” at this link.

Find their album on iTune @ this link.

Tip of My Tongue


The Civil Wars is an American duo, composed of singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White. The two met during a Nashville, Tennessee songwriting session in 2008. After releasing a live performance album and a four song EP, their full-length album, Barton Hollow, was released in 2011. The band won the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album in 2012.

If you liked this tune, you have to check out this best seller on Youtube: Poison & Wine (6,000,000 views)

Poison & Wine Album on iTunes

Tip of the Tongue


Nate Donnis is an American musician and hidden talent emerging. With robust, earthy vocals and songwriting that has gained industry attention via the BBC’s series “Skins” and the PBS series “Roadtrip Nation”. He delivers compelling/raw acoustic music expressed in forms of Rock and Folk. Following the release of his 2007 “All Directions” with the The Donnis Trio, his music has been well-received.  Songs from his debut album have been placed in television/radio and commercials across the world. With roots in upstate NY, his music sounds like the pine trees, ponds,and fields he grew up with, always searching for the mirror of truth in all things. (Source: Artist Wiki)

Album on iTunes here.  Facebook page here.

Beggar in the Morning


The Barr Brothers are a Canadian folk quartet founded in Montreal, Quebec, consisting of Andrew and Brad Barr (of The Slip), Sarah Page and Andres Vial.  Andrew and Brad Barr began their music career in Boston, Massachusetts. Their debut, self-titled LP was released on September 27, 2011.  The band toured North America throughout the fall promoting their debut record.  On January 5, 2012 they performed “Beggar In The Morning” on the Late Show with David Letterman.  (Source: Wiki)

Find the album on iTunes here.


We don’t eat until your father is at the table


James Vincent McMorrow, 30, was born in Dublin, Ireland and is a singer and songwriter.  His debut album Early in the Morning was released in Ireland in 2010 and in the US/Europe in 2011 to widespread acclaim.  He started his musical life as a drummer in a handful of post-hardcore rock bands. Despite liking the comfort and anonymity of playing drums, he began playing music by himself in the side room of this parents house, educating himself as a musician and a songwriter.  (Source: Wiki)

Album: Early in the Morning


The Milk Carton Kids


The Milk Carton Kids is an indie folk duo from Eagle Rock, California, consisting of singers and guitarists Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, who formed the group in early 2011.  Artists Ryan and Pattengale formed a duo after Ryan attended a solo performance by Pattengale in their shared hometown.  Both had long and largely unsuccessful careers as solo performers behind them, and each had reached a professional crossroads.” (Source: Wiki)

Find “Michigan” song on the album Prologue on iTunes.  The groups website can be found here: milkcartonkids.


Brett Dennen


Brett Michael Dennen, 33, is a folk/pop singer and songwriter from Northern California.  As a young adult, Brett was a Community Studies major at UC Santa Cruz. After graduation he met a visionary woman with an ear for raw talent. Her gift for getting people to listen and share her excitement about his music, were a perfect incubator for his unique voice & insightful songs. Brett started working with Leslie Merical in December 2002. She encouraged him to pursue music seriously and made sure he wasn’t slowed by the challenges most new artists face. Inspired by the good in his lyrics and the reaction to his songs, Merical started by convincing promoters at venues to give him a chance to play, despite his inexperience. She connected with his fans at every show and made them feel like they were part of something wonderful while guiding him along the path most artists have to travel alone.  This rest is history.  Along the way, he’s been invited to play on Dave Matthews’ Music Cruise, and to tour and/or play on bills with John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Shawn Colvin, ALO, Jackson Brown, Taj Mahal, Ziggy Marley, Xavier Rudd, Corinne Bailey Rae and others.  (Source: Brettdennenmusic.com)

This tune can be found on his 2006 album titled So Much More.  Loverboy is his fourth studio album and was released in April 2011.

 


Friday Evening: Gregory Alan Isakov


Gregory Alan Isakov, 34, is a singer-songwriter.  He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, he emigrated to the United States as a child, and was raised in Philadelphia. He began touring with a band at the age of 16. He now resides in Colorado.  Gregory Alan Isakov has spent his entire life travelling. His travels have impacted his songwriting with his songs telling stories of miles and landscapes and the search for a sense of place.  Music has been a constant force in his life, as he says, “I’ve always had this sense about music and writing, that I sort of have to do it. Like I’ll implode without it. I probably wouldn’t do it if I felt any other way.”  He has been described as “strong, subtle, a lyrical genius,” but the source of his writing often remains a mystery to him. “My songs have nothing to do with me; they have a life of their own. A lot of times I won’t know what a song is about when I’m writing it. It just has a certain feeling about it.”  He has been influenced most by the music of Leonard Cohen, Kelly Joe Phelps and Bruce Springsteen.  When he is not on the road or writing, he is usually in his garden. A degree in horticulture might seem contradictory to a life spent in motion, but Isakov finds balance in the quiet concentration of the work, creating roots that keep him connected to home.  His new album, The Weatherman, was recorded mostly in solitude outside the quiet mountain town of Nederland, Colorado over the course of a year and a half. “I wanted to make something that felt genuine. We recorded everything with analogue gear and mixed it on tape, which gives the songs a raw and vulnerable feeling.”  The title Isakov chose for the record reflects the nature of his external surroundings as much as his inner experiences. References to the weather are a reoccurring theme in Isakov’s writing, but there is a deeper meaning behind the name.  “To me, the idea of a weatherman is really powerful. There’s a guy on television or on the radio telling us the future, and nobody cares. It’s this daily mundane miracle, and I think the songs I chose are about noticing the beauty in normal, everyday life.”  (Sources: Gregory Alan Isakov Website and wiki)

Isakov’s Albums on iTunes: “The Sea, The Gambler” and “The Weatherman

Trampled by Turtles


Trampled By Turtles (TBT) is an American band from Duluth, Minnesota that was formed in 2003. The band’s inspirations include Bob Dylan,Neil Young, The Rolling Stones and Nirvana.  Their fifth release, Palomino, maintained a position in the Top 10 on the Billboard bluegrass charts for 52 straight weeks. Their music has been featured in TV shows including Deadliest Catch and Squidbillies. Their newest album, Stars and Satellites, was released on April 10, 2012 and debuted at number 32 on the Billboard 200 Chart and number 11 on the Alternative Chart.  Trampled By Turtles made its national television debut April 24, 2012, on Late Show with David Letterman. (Source: Wiki)


References:

Friday Night: Passenger


Mike Rosenberg, 29, was born in Brighton, England.  He is better known by his stage name Passenger, is an English folk-rock singer-songwriter. His nickname comes from the folk-rock band of which he was the founder, main vocalist and songwriter, and which released just one album. When the members of the band chose to go their own separate ways in 2009, Rosenberg opted to keep the band’s name for his solo work. His most successful single “Let Her Go” has topped the charts in 16 countries so far.

Rosenberg learned classical guitar when he was young: ” My parents were really encouraging about music so that sort of started the path. When I was about 14-15, I started to write songs, which were absolutely dreadful. But as I kept going the songs became better and better – it was just so bloody obvious that this was what I wanted to do. I never really applied myself in school and music was the only thing I wanted to spend my time doing…I’m heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Neil Young although I’m nowhere near as good as those guys!”

Song on All the Little Lights Album on iTunes

(Source: Wiki & Vancouver Weekly: Who is Mike Rosenberg?)

Lego House


Ed Sheeran, 22, is an English singer-songwriter. He was born in Halifax, England.  He was raised in Framlingham, Suffolk and moved to London in 2008 to pursue a musical career.  He sang in a local church choir from the age of four, learned guitar at a very young age, and began writing songs during High School. His early childhood memories included listening to Van Morrison on his countless trips to London with his parents and going to an intimate Damien Rice gig in Ireland when he was eleven. In early 2011, Sheeran released an independent extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project, which caught the attention of both Elton John and Jamie Foxx. In 2012, he won two BRIT Awards for Best British Male and British Breakthrough. In 2012, Sheeran began to rise to fame in the United States. He made a guest appearance on Taylor Swift’s fourth album Red and wrote songs for the boyband One Direction. “The A Team” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards and he duetted with Elton John during the ceremony. He will spend much of 2013 touring North America as the opening act for Swift’s Red Tour. (Source: Wiki)


Source: Thank you Rachel.  Find Ed Sheeran on iTunes and on Amazon.

Friday Evening: Depth over Distance


Related Posts: Ben Howard – Only Love

Lead Me Home

During his last school break, my Eric hooked me on the AMC Series The Walking Dead. (A wonderful, uplifting and nurturing series on humanity. Sarcasm dripping.)  This song, “Lead Me Home” by Jamie N. Commons, premiered on the show.  Commons, 23, is a singer-songwriter who was born in Bristol, England.  He relocated with his family to Chicago at the age of six where he was immersed in Chicago Blues.  He returned back to the UK at 16.  Raspy like Tom Waits – gothic like Nick Cave…amazing young talent.  His new album, Rumble & Sway, was released last month.

Jamie N Commons – Lead Me Home from Jordan Bahat on Vimeo.