Keep it together


“I was born 34 years ago in Oxford, Mississippi, to a sawmill father and a church piano playing mother. One taught me how to work and the other how to sing, and I try to do both as much as possible. Maybe the work isn’t as backbreaking as it was for me when I was younger and maybe the songs have changed, but I learned a lot in those day about what it takes to keep going, to not give up. I learned how to sing when my soul was down. Now I find that I just can’t quit. […] A little road worn and down, I took some time off in 2009 and 2010 and finished up a college degree I had long put aside. I read as many books as I could get my hands on. I took some poetry and fiction classes, trying to learn to write better. […]

I feel very fortunate. I don’t have to work at the sawmill anymore with my dad when I’m not on tour. My back doesn’t hurt like it used to. The lights are on and I had a decent lunch before writing this. I have learned to find the joy in these small things. I have learned to do what I have to in order to keep my energy up, because I love what I do and I want to keep doing it for as long as I can.”

Andrew Bryant, October 2, 2014

Note to Self: How good is he?!


Please

Ray Lamontagne permitted 16-year old Sawyer Fredericks to sing his unreleased song “Please” as his original single for the final of The Voice 2015.  Frederick won the competition, and wow, what talent (despite needing a haircut).

And if you are a purist (I am)…Here’s Ray’s version:

Kekuhi and Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole


A Hawaiian mother/daughter duo. If you close your eyes, these two will transport you to the Islands. Devine, soulful, spiritual.

Can you feel the breeze? Hear the ocean breaking on the shoreline?

Aloha Kakahiaka. (Good morning)


 

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


Some Days. Some Days. Only Cat will do.


Source: journalofanobody

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)


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

Cloud Cult


Cloud Cult was formed in Duluth, MN in 1995 by Craig Minowa while pursuing a degree in Environmental Science, shining shoes and driving an ice cream truck. The band’s early work earned Cloud Cult several offers from record labels, but all were rejected in favor of self-publishing. In 1997, Minowa formed Earthology Records on his organic farm, powered by geothermal energy and built partially from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. This nonprofit label uses only recycled materials and donates all profits to environmental charities. The band also tours in a biodiesel van. The band’s merchandise is 100% postconsumer recycled or made of certified organic materials. Cloud Cult has planted several thousand trees to absorb the band’s CO2 output. They also donate heavily to projects that build wind turbines as revenue generators on Native American Reservations.

In the year 2002, shortly after the unexpected death of his two year old son Kaidin, Minowa wrote over a hundred songs to deal with the loss. They Live on the Sun was finished in 2003 and went to #1 on college radio station charts across the country. Since that album, Cloud Cult’s music has been strongly inspired by the loss of Kaidin and the “big picture” issues of life:  “who are we, why are we here, where did we come from, where do we go”. Minowa seems in constant pursuit of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Find this song on iTunes on the album “Light Chasers.”  Find their official website here: Cloudcult.com


 

Closer


Carleton Stone, Mo Kenney & Dylan Guthro are three 20-somethings from Nova Scotia who collaborated for a performance on CBC marking the first time they’ve performed together.  They have strong, independent solo careers, but onstage they shared the spotlight, singing and playing on each other’s material and having fun with harmonies and guitar solos. They also created brand new songs together that showcase their individual vocals and strength as an ensemble, blending their harmonies effortlessly. (Source: Bandmine)

Liked this? Check out Dance in the Dark


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.


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

Gulls


David Gray. Needs no introduction. Play anything Man. Play anything.


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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

August Winds


“This tune is from Sting’s 2013 album titled The Last Ship, his first album of original material since 2003. The Last Ship is also the basis for his late-2014 Broadway production. Sting grew up in the ‘50s during the dying days of shipbuilding in his town, which was dependent on it. The local industry finally collapsed in the 80’s. Now Sting pays a tribute with a song cycle heavy on Celtic sea chanteys, acoustic instrumentation, and somber, hard won truths. A lilting song such as “August Winds”, is where Sting is at his purest.” (Source: iTunes)

Find this song and his new Album on iTunes at this link.


Friday Night: Mario Biondi


It’s hard to imagine how I could not have heard of Mario Biondi prior to tripping into this video on Nia‘s blog.  BIG voice on his rendition of this classic tune (Close to Me) which was composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and originally recorded by The Carpenters in 1970.

Mario Biondi, 42, is a jazz-soul vocalist born in the Sicilian city of Catania in Italy.  He was born of artistic stock.  His great grandfather was a respected painter, his grandmother a singer, and his father a popular songwriter.   Biondi sang throughout his childhood, first performing in public at age 12 in church, and soon singing in public squares before hundreds of people. From there he competed in the Festival della Canzone Siciliana, taking third place. Biondi’s musical pursuits earned him the opportunity to perform alongside such Italian vocal greats as Califano, Bongusto, and Fiorello, as well as American legend Ray Charles. As word of his talent and skill got out, Biondi found himself collaborating with groups like the Change, Mario Brothers, and Funky Company on recordings and tours. Given his powerful and unique voice, it was not long before Biondi was encouraged to pursue a solo career. Featuring material inspired by American R&B artists like Lou Rawls, Luther Vandross, and Donny Hathaway, Biondi’s debut record was released in 2006.  (Link to album can be found here.)


Source: Thank you Nia for pointing me to Mario Biondi (via Sempreventophoto).  Bio –iTunes.

Cat with Peace Train

Now I’ve been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come 
And I believe it could be, something good has begun…

(Music Starts at 0:50 seconds…go ahead…see if you can keep your foot from tapping…)

Saturday Night with Harry


We saw Harry Chapin perform this song, Taxi, in one of his last live performances.   This timeless ballad continues to feed my post-Zen-glow of San Francisco…

It was raining hard in ‘Frisco,
I needed one more fare to make my night…

I’d Rather Go Blind…

Michael Grimm, a Mississippi Southern Soul singer/songwriter, was the winner of America’s Got Talent in 2010.  Grimm sings a blues and soul classic, “I’d Rather Go Blind,” which was a song first recorded by Etta James in 1968.  LOVE his rendition…



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