A Sound Recommendation: Athens Rockers Walden

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Four friends from Athens, Georgia have started a revolution in rock music. Driven by passion and purpose, the band Walden seeks to evoke emotion and inspiration through their music and live performance. To do so, these young men have stripped away every stigma and stereotype associated with playing in a rock band to focus on what actually matters: the music, the message, and the people. Four guys with nothing but a passion for playing shows and creating music quickly became one of the biggest upcoming musical acts in Georgia, capturing the attention of audiences of all ages with their raw sound, infectious energy, and undeniable connection they share on stage.

Walden’s live performance truly shone when they won the 2017 Road to Bonnaroo competition for the state of Georgia. This competition generated a passionate and supportive following for the band in their hometown of Athens, GA . As a result of their growing popularity, Walden has also had the opportunity to open for well known acts such as Moon Taxi and Twiddle and further grow their fan base. These successes amount to nothing more than a stepping stone towards these four friends achieving their actual goal of playing and creating music together for the rest of their lives.

Their latest EP, Green Lights is now available for stream via Spotify

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE     FACEBOOK      TWITTER    YOUTUBE    INSTAGRAM

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A Sound Recommendation: Acclaimed Singer-Songwriter Vanessa Peters

 

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Texas songwriter Vanessa Peters has released 10 albums in the last 12 years and has played over 1000 shows in 11 countries as an independent artist. She has been called “the best kind of singer/songwriter,” was nominated as Best Folk Artist by The Dallas Observer, and has built a strong fan base throughout Europe thanks in part to the albums she made with her former Italian band, Ice Cream on Mondays, and the hundreds of shows she has played overseas.

Peters is set to release her new album, Foxhole Prayers, on October 5, 2018, via Idol Records.

In Foxhole Prayers, Peters’s already-considerable songwriting prowess has risen to its fullest stature, presented as a concise, gut-punching collection of songs composed of piercing observations of both the outside and inside worlds.

In Foxhole Prayers, Peters demonstrates that she has not only reached an entirely new level of lyricism, but has vaulted into a new echelon of musicality. The album reflects a pleasingly diverse yet cohesive collection of styles, effortlessly weaving modern electronica elements and drum machines into more familiar acoustic and rock arrangements.  

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK     TWITTER      YOUTUBE

 

ALL ACCESS: Meet Singer Songwriter Jenny Biddle

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With 6 albums under her belt, international touring artist and Winner of Melbourne’s Best Busker 2010-2012, Jenny Biddle, fashions an infectious mix of indie folk, blues, and a hint of palatable country flavors.

The 5-foot-tall pocket rocket, feisty guitarist, poignant pianist, harmonica squawker, and recovering chocoholic has just released her SIXTH album “Wild & Free” worldwide.

PURCHASE WILD & FREE 

Transforming the live music experience she sways between lyrically reflective to endearingly amusing; her witty stage banter and storytelling make for an electrifying live show. The striking female guitarist has hosted workshops at festivals throughout Australia & the UK. Now based in Scotland, the Aussie songstress is preparing material for her 7th album.

We caught up with Jenny at the Heart of Hawick Music Festival.

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ASoulfulSound:  Sydney to Scotland… how did that happen?

JB:  I moved over for love… the love of…. weather. Hahah! No. I met my wife while I was busking at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I moved over and married her in woods in the Scottish Borders. It’s certainly been an adventure. I’ve since mastered the art of starting a fire with wet wood!

ASoulfulSound:  Hawick seems to be a hotbed of local talent; can you describe the local music scene when there is not a festival on?

JB:  There’s loads of talent in the Scottish Borders – from blues to traditional folk to experimental. Every Monday night in Hawick there’s a FREE local (and not so local) original music night called String Theory. There are fabulous music clubs like St Boswells Live and String Jam Club to name a few, and some great sessions like the Denholm Folk Club where people bring their poetry, music and jam in the night.

ASoulfulSound:  When did you realize that music was your calling?

JB:  At 4 years old, with a red plastic microphone in hand, I used to burst into the living room singing at the top of my lungs. Back then I was into Aussie legend Johnny Farnham and wanted to be just like him (minus the mullet). In my teens I struggled with depression and music became a way of coping, whether listening, creating or performing. When I finished a degree to become a primary teacher, I put out my first album 10 years ago, and have been doing music ever since. Occasionally I wonder if I should get a normal job, but the pull to music is too strong, it’s in my veins.

ASoulfulSound:  Your CV includes guitar making… what drew you to that art form? Is you stage guitar one that you made?  

JB:  I’ve made two guitars with guidance from luthier Chris Wynne (Thomas Lloyd Guitars) – one course was in Melbourne, the other in Italy. If I had all the money in the world I’d just make guitars. What an incredibly unique experience, carving the neck, bending the sides and crafting an instrument from your bare hands. The guitars I’ve made are back in Australia at the moment – made a small body acoustic guitar (cos I’m small) and a huge baritone guitar (cos I have small-person syndrome). I’ve recorded with them on a few of my albums. You can read about the process in my guitar making blog here

ASoulfulSound:  Who were some of your early influences?

JB:  I grew up on a lot of Aussie favourites like Missy Higgins, Kasey Chambers and the Waifs. In particular Cold Chisel (although I don’t sound like them) has influenced my songwriting – whether it be the attention to lyrics, the space in the song, guitar solos, and diversity across the record. There’s a good mix of “clean” rock, blues, modern folk, and country in those artists.

ASoulfulSound:  Your latest Wild and Free is a beautiful collection of bluesy folk rock songs. Can you share your writing process, what inspires you? Do you have a favorite cut on the record, one that means the most to you? If so, why?

JB:  Music has always been a way for me to express different feelings and themes – you can see this in the eclectic mix on the album; from melancholy piano ballads to upbeat blues, soft folk, country, and a random anti-gospel song to keep you on your toes. This album is a quest to find freedom inner demons and society norms – like the title track sings “I wonder who I’d be when I’m wild and when I’m free”. The songs have grown from journal writing and improvising on the piano/guitar, and melding the two together. My favourite song on the album is Years & Years. It took 2 years to finish writing the song (aptly named). The process of writing this was deeply healing and I’m proud of how it’s been captured in the studio – it’s not about elaborate instrumentation, but rather an emphasis on the lyrics and emotion of the voice. I’m hoping the album finds the people it needs to, just as albums have healed me.

ASoulfulSound:  Guilty musical pleasures?

JB:  Singing to cows. Try it!

ASoulfulSound:  If you could collaborate with anyone (living or dead) who would that be and why?

JB:  One of my favourite artists is Canadian singer, Kathleen Edwards. I love her lyrics and the way she uses her voice to enhance the story. She doesn’t just open her mouth to sing the words, she embodies the story… and you believe her… whatever the story is. I appreciate how she can compose from other people’s perspectives and this is something I’d like to explore more.

ASoulfulSound:  Who is on your dream music festival lineup?

JB:  Tracy Chapman, Kathleen Edwards, John Mayer, Alanis Morissette and me supporting them (what a dream that would be. Can you hook me up?)

ASoulfulSound:  Ha! possibly!  We’ll have our people call your people!  

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE      FACEBOOK     SPOTIFY

 

Nashville Beats: Will Hoge – New Music and Tour Dates

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Nashville singer/songwriter Will Hoge turns a critical eye on politicians on his newest track, “Gilded Walls” out now. The song is featured on Hoge’s politically-charged upcoming release My American Dream, out October 5.

Gilded Walls” brings to light the problems in Flint, Michigan, including toxic water, a dying economy and unsafe schools,, while politicians stand behind their “gilded walls that shine.”

“Well another group of kids in high school dead
But you’re still at your golf course teeing off at nine
People marching in the streets trying to find a little peace
You sit around spouting awful sh*t online”

About the album, Hoge says, “Silence couldn’t be a part of my deal anymore.” Border police. Political corruption. Anti-intellectualism. Poverty. Gun control. A broken education system. Indifference to others’ suffering. Each of these things weighed on Hoge, and he confronts them all head-on in My American Dream, which will come with a copy of the U.S. Constitution printed with the lyrics. The result is the fiercest, angriest, and most heartfelt collection of songs he’s released.

Hoge’s My American Dream tour starts September 18th in Washington D.C. Prior to that, he will perform at the prestigious Americana Music Festival September 11th -16th in Nashville  In October he joins Social Distortion for a U.S. run. A UK tour with Lucero is planned as well.

PRE ORDER MY AMERICAN DREAM 

Hoge’s acclaimed 2001 debut Carousel established himself as a masterful songwriter, performer and critical favorite. Rolling Stone compared him to Bob Seger and John Mellencamp, while NPR praised his “sharp, smart, passionate rock ‘n’ roll that seems to exist out of time.” My American Dream is the follow-up to Hoge’s 2017 album Anchors.

TOUR DATES

9/18 – Washington D.C. – City Winery
9/19 – Philadelphia, PA – World Café Live
9/20 – Pawling, NY – Darryl’s House
9/21 – Boston, MA – City Winery
9/22 – Fairfield, CT – StageOne
9/23- New York, NY – City Winery
9/25- Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe
9/26 – Columbus, OH – Rumbus Cafe
9/27 – Akron, OH – Musica
9/28 – Evanston, IL – SPACE
9/29 – Evanston, IL – SPACE
9/30 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
10/3 – Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theatre*
10/4 – Providence, RI – The Strand*
10/5 – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom – Hampton Beach, NH*
10/6 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
10/9 – Montreal – MTELUS*
10/10 – Toronto – Danforth Music Hall*
10/12 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
10/13 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live*
10/14 – Greensburg, PA – Palace Theatre*
10/16 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom*
10/19– Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s*
10/20 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room At The Old National Centre*
10/21- Nashville, TN– Marathon Music Works*
10/23– Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall*
10/24– Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom*
10/27– Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl*
10/30 – Los Angeles, CA – The Moroccan Lounge
11/1 – Tulsa, OK – The Shrine
11/2 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
11/3 – Louisville, KY- Zanzabar
11/7- Charlotte, NC – Visualite
11/8- Atlanta, GA – City Winery
11/9 – Charleston, SC – Pour House
11/10 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theater

* with Social Distortion

Will Hoge (solo) On Tour in UK with Lucero:
12/5 – Glasgow – Stereo
12/6 – Manchester – The Deaf Institute
12/7 – The Garage – London
12/8 – Brighton – The Haunt
12/9 – Bristol – Thekia

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE     FACEBOOK    TWITTER    INSTAGRAM

 

 

West Coast Beats: From Portland Mimicking Birds

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Mimicking Birds’ singer/songwriter Nate Lacy is broadening his horizons. And then shrinking them back down to microscopic levels.

With the band’s immersive and textural latest album Layers of Us, Lacy takes us on an epic journey that examines both “the infinite and the infinitesimal” with equal amounts of wonder.

Layers of Us is Mimicking Birds’ third full-length album with producer Jeremy Sherrer (Modest Mouse, Dandy Warhols, The Shins). Recorded at Isaac Brock’s Ice Cream Party Studios, it’s easily their most ambitious work to date. If their self-titled 2010 debut established the band as fearlessly honest, and 2014’s Eons demonstrated added depth and experimentation, then Layers of Us represents the maturity that comes with touring extensively and continuing to expand their sound.

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Lacy: “This album was shaped by our travels as a band. And just as much rhythmically and melodically as lyrically. On tour, time seems to stand still—in the songs we play again and again, in the geography we speed past.”

As a whole we continue to advance and broaden the parameters of our senses.” Layers of Us explores daunting topics like life, death, and eternity with a gentletouch.

 

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE      FACEBOOK      TWITTER   YOUTUBE

 

A Sound Recommendation: From Italy Singer-Songwriter Fabrizio Cammarata

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The restlessly creative Cammarata studies the arts, favours Latin American literature, has written books, theatre plays and worked on movies.

Sharing stages with the likes of Ben Harper, Patti Smith, Daniel Johnston, Emilíana Torrini, he has honed his uniquely romantic interpretation of Indie-Folk.

A life lived is condensed into the new album ‘Of Shadows’, that was produced with Dani Castelar (Paolo Nutini, Editors, REM) and is released on 800A/Kartel Music Group and Haldern Pop Recordings November 17th 2017, following the EP “In Your Hands”.

 

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    TWITTER    YOUTUBE

A Sound Recommendation: Katie von Schleicher

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photo: Allison Kaye

Katie Von Schleicher rose from intern to artist on Brooklyn label Ba Da Bing with Bleaksploitation, a self-recorded 2015 mini album of irreverent, fuzz-laden tunes. On her debut full-length, Von Schleicher strikes again on the magic that comes from her warped and uncompromising sound.

Shitty Hits channels the bright, sunny radio burners of the 1970’s, songs you drive to, carefree, and songs you can cry to, which The Guardian describe as “Portishead meets the Beatles,” and NPR’s Bob Boilen calls “one of those constant repeat records for me.”

Conjuring the home recorded sound of Paul McCartney’s McCartney or Jeff Buckley’s Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, Shitty Hits was created on a tape machine at Von Schleicher’s childhood home in Maryland. Where Bleaksploitation courted a kind of sonic nihilism, Shitty Hits shows confidence, growth and unflinching self-realization. Inhabiting the roles of producer and engineer, Von Schleicher cements her voice as one to be reckoned with, parsed and pored over, on an album that is “never less than beguiling” (Pitchfork).

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE     FACEBOOK    TWITTER     YOUTUBE