Jacob Banks

Jacob Banks is a 21-year old British singer-songwriter from Birmingham, England. His music is influenced by a range of genres including soul, R&B and hip-hop.

If you liked this tune, don’t miss Jacob Banks performing Unknown.

Annie (and Hozier)


If you missed the 2015 Grammy’s and missed the performance by Hozier & Annie Lennox, here it is. Fantastic…


Thank you Rachel

5J Barrow: Lullaby


“The Brooklyn, NY rockers boarded the stage with a full band, including a violin and mandolin — but despite their earthy, folk rock genre, 5j Barrow had the stage floor shaking with every jump and stomp. The Manhattan-based band advanced through several rounds of competition before taking the final crown in our 2014 Ultimate Battle of the Boroughs last June. They won over the judges and voters in our citywide talent quest with their eclectic sound and theatrical stage presence.”

Liked this? Check out 5J Barrow: Specific Sunrise

Official website for 5J Barrow


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

Thanksgiving


Eric Lewis, 41, who is better known by his stage name ELEW, is an American jazz pianist who has found crossover success playing rock and pop music. He was born in Camden, NJ. He is known for his unconventional and physical playing style, which eschews a piano bench and includes reaching inside the piano lid to pull at the strings directly, as well as the creation that he calls Rockjazz, a genre that “takes the improvisational aspect of jazz and ‘threads it through the eye of the needle of rock.'”

Lewis began his career as a jazz purist, playing as a sideman for jazz luminaries like Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Elvin Jones, Jon Hendricks, and Roy Hargrove as well as performing as a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. However, he eventually became interested in rock music and embarked on a solo career as a crossover musician, quickly gaining recognition for his instrumental “Rockjazz” piano covers of mainstream rock hits like The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black” and The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”.

He released his albums of instrumental covers which can be found on iTunes here: ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 1 (2010, including “Sweet Home Alabama”) and ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 2 (2012, including this tune “Thanksgiving“)

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

Put it back. Put it back.

quartz-arrowhead-rock

By the toe of my boot,
a pebble of quartz,
one drop of the earth’s milk,
dirty and cold.
I held it to the light
and could almost see through it
into the grand explanation.
Put it back, something told me,
put it back and keep walking.

~ Ted Kooser, “On the Road.” Delights & Shadows


 Image Source: Rockpiles

 

Fink: Looking too Closely


Fink, aka Fin Greenall, is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and DJ.  He was born in 1972 in Cornwall, grew up in Bristol and is currently based in Brighton, UK.  His mother worked in the field of classical music and his father was a folk musician. Fin can recall “the one thing of his dad’s that Fin Greenall wasn’t allowed to touch was the old Martin acoustic guitar.” In an interview, Greenall remembers “It was his one possession where he said, ‘everything in this house is owned by everybody – apart from that.'” Their presence had an impact on his future in music. “The great thing about growing up in a house where music is a big factor… was the fact that music being part of your life was a perfectly natural thing.”

Find this tune and his 2014 album on iTunes here: Hard Believer


Related Posts: Fink: This is the Thing and Perfect Darkness

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.

Happy Birthday Bruce (65!)


Bruce has been performing for 50 years. Over 120 million records sold worldwide. And he’s still belting ’em out…

Once you’ve fallen in love with Bruce, there’s no returning to normality, your life will pretty much be centred around that man, you’ll always bring the conversation round back to Bruce and your friends will get fed up with the amount you talk about him. But that doesn’t matter, because he’s Bruce Springsteen, the most adorable man in existence. The way he genuinely cares about his fans, making their dreams come true. The way he is clearly having the time of his life on stage, night after night. The way he makes you feel like the only person in the whole stadium, he’s singing to you. The way that no matter what mood you’re in, there’s a Springsteen song which sums it up perfectly, Bruce is always there to look after you. He makes the world a more bearable place to live. (Source: thatmusicguy8)