Vinyl makes a comeback via Urban Outfitters

I am old enough to remember going to “record stores” to buy “records.” You know– vinyl ones that were black with a hole in the middle and got spun on record players?

Well, vinyl went out of vogue a while ago, in favor of cassettes, CDs and MP3s. But, interestingly, vinyl has made a comeback via a clothing store. Urban Outfitters, which caters to hipsters with overpriced t-shirts, knick-knacks and dresses (for the girls), is now THE place to shop for vinyl records from various artists of today.

In 2013, Soundscan reported that more than 6 million vinyl albums were purchased in the USA. I’ll bet the majority of those sales came from Urban Outfitters of all places. Not too shabby. –Mark Weber Music Blog


Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper team up for unique duet

Once you see the video for “Truly Brave” by Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper, I think you’ll be wiping away tears from your eyes. The video shows kids from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The song, a mash-up of Bareilles’ “Brave” and Lauper’s “True Colors,” is meant to draw attention to kids with cancer. If you’d like to raise money to fight pediatric cancer, visit –Mark Weber Music Blog


A new version of powerful I Believe song

In honor of World Peace Day, singer-songwriter Kristen Sharma has teamed up with Blessid Union of Souls frontman Eliot Sloan to record an all-new version of the band’s chart-topping hit song, “I Believe.” The single is now available at iTunes and the official music video can be viewed on YouTube.

ibelieveKristen joined Eliot in a Nashville studio earlier this month to record the re-imagined duet version of the song, with Kristen’s updated lyrics that she hopes will inspire more love, peace and unity.

“I woke up at 3AM determined that something had to be done, and wrote the new lyrics to the song,” says Kristen, who refers to herself as the ‘singer-songwriter for good causes.’ “I then shared them with Eliot, and he loved them. He added his finishing touches, and the new rendition was born. The two of us decided to bring the new song to the world as a duet, to create awareness to the problems of the planet today, and give people hope and remind them that love is the answer. We decided to move quickly, so that we could get the message to the world for World Peace Day. It is my hope that this song creates awareness, and inspires everyone on the planet to be more loving, peaceful and united.”

Kristen knows a few things about inspiring lives and healing the world. As founder and President of Inspired!, Inc., she is a sought-after keynote speaker for conferences and events nationwide such as this year’s Anthony Robbins Global Youth Leadership Summit. Having traveled to over 35 countries, Kristen has a deep understanding of the global challenges the world faces today. Her expertise has led her to serve as an adviser and consultant to the Deepak Chopra Center for Living in San Diego, and she was recently honored as Female Entrepreneur of the Year for making the most significant difference for others in her home state of Iowa.

Earlier this year, Kristen released her debut EP, “Shine Your Light,” featuring original songs and a touching version of “Amazing Grace.” In addition to her keynote speeches, Kristen uses her musical performances to teach the importance of love, peace, unity and inspiration. Kristen believes that music is the international and universal language. She’s quick to remind people, “Even the Grinch’s heart transformed three sizes when he heard the beautiful music.”

Blessid Union of Souls exploded onto the music scene in 1995 with the release of “I Believe,” which hit #1 in the UK, Asia and the USA (R&R Hot 100 Singles Chart), where it became the 4th most played song of the year. The band continues to record and tour, performing their endless string of hits which include “Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me),” “Let Me Be the One,” “I Wanna Be There” and “Oh Virginia” to name a few.

For more information on the all-new version of “I Believe,” visit

For more information on Kristen Sharma, visit her official website at

For more information on Eliot Sloan and Blessid Union of Souls, visit their official website at

John Mellencamp to tour in 2015

Rocker John Mellencamp is touring quite a bit in 2015 and I just might go see him. I’ve never been to one of his concerts, but I’ve liked his music since the 1980s.

The “Plain Spoken Tour” starts in January in Indiana, and then goes on thru August. With 80 dates, chances are he’ll be somewhere near you on tour.

Today he released his new album, “Plain Spoken,” on Republic Records. I’m eager to hear his new stuff. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Acoustic soul music from JJ Dae due September 27


JJ Dae is a music maker who is doing something different. He plays both the guitar and piano and raps and sings.

JJ Dae manages to fuse R&B, hip-hop, pop and soul music together with his original music like “That Girl” and “Stuck In The Moment.” He can rap AND croon, making “southern soul” guitar-based music that might remind you of B.O.B., John Mayer and Frank Ocean.

Hailing from South Carolina, JJ Dae is a passionate performer, ever ready to experiment musically. On Sept. 27th, look for his “mixtape” release on iTunes and elsewhere.

Visit JJ Dae’s website here to connect with the artist and see several of his music videos. –Mark Weber Music Blog


A new take on an old U2 song from Barbara Lusch

The band U2 recently made headlines for giving away its latest album for free to all iTunes users. A band like U2 can do that and not worry too much about money, since they’ve been popular for decades. Indeed, U2 was well known as one of the biggest acts of the 1980s, and how many of us remember their huge hit, “Where The Streets Have No Name?”

Barbara Lusch
Barbara Lusch

Singer Barbara Lusch puts her take on that classic song, slowing it down and making it a jazzy, orchestral, dreamy version. Hear it here:

Barbara Lusch’s take on “Where The Streets Have No Name” is just one of a number of 1980s rock song covers on her “Rock Me Sweet” recording. If you’d like to hear her versions of classic 1980s hits from Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Bon Jovi, Yes, David Bowie and Duran Duran, visit her website.

News Tunez connects news to music

NewsTunez is a creative new website “connecting socially conscious music to important news, global issues and satire.”

Sarah Dessen once said, “Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.”

This is the vision of News Tunez. Join the cause at

Creating a good work environment for music bands and more

Music bands can easily break-up if they lack communication between members or project a bad attitude to the people they encounter, from fans to promoters. There are several things that help foster a good work environment for music bands…
1. Integrity
•Always project a positive image of the band.
•Choose to do what is right for the band rather than oneself.
•Be a good manager of the time, money and resources of the band.
•Follow through with assigned tasks.
2. Teamwork
•Communicate in a pro-active way with band members and management.
•Put others’ needs before your own.
•Encourage others and provide specific feedback.
•Reward what you want repeated. 
•Standout or step back when asked.
•Have an attitude that utilizes your talent for the benefit of others.
•Take time to build relationships with band members.
3. Excellence
•Take time develop your talents and encourage others to do so, too.
•Take the time to develop as a team.
•Strive to do the very best with the talent you have.
•Have a “whatever it takes” attitude.
4. Fun Through Creativity 
•Make every moment (lesson/concert/meeting) fun-filled.
•Have a positive attitude even while instilling discipline and structure.
•Create an environment where people can contribute ideas freely.
•Goofiness is encouraged.
•Laughing, smiling and high-fives are the norm. 

Thanks to music maker Johnny Juarez for these lists of great advice! –Mark Weber Music Blog

©Imaging by Marlis 2012Dale Nichols - for Personal and Promotional use

Cinematic music from Dale Nichols in Dubai

Canadian musician/composer Dale Nichols creates music of an evocative style, weaving layers of emotion and melody into beautiful soundscapes for an intimate, cinematic feel. He also enjoys exploring music of other genres including jazz & blues, stride, rock, and pop. Today he lives in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) where he performs regularly at venues around the city.

To learn more about Dale Nichols, find him on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. –Mark Weber Music Blog


Experimental bass from John M. Shaughnessy II

Bassist John M. Shaughnessy II just released “All That Was Left Behind,” a CD of original, instrumental music, and I am impressed.

Weaving between jazz and funk, Shaughnessy is a true musician, enjoying the fun of experimenting with sound.

Educated in Buffalo, and winding up in Charlotte, Shaughnessy wanted to record an album of songs he’d been “saving” for years. Recruiting fellow musicians Chris Garges and Ron Brendle, “All That Was Left Behind” took two hot, sweaty July days to record in the studio. And by looking back on music from his past, Shaughnessy experienced both a creative and professional rebirth of sorts.

Without overdubs or studio wizardry, “All That Was Left Behind” is an album of tracks that haven’t been tampered with– indeed, most tracks are first or second takes, giving the album an honest, live, and compelling feel.

To find out more about bassist John M. Shaughnessy II, visit his website here. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Adam Levine’s band will tour in 2015

Be honest: can you name another person in Maroon 5 besides singer Adam Levine? Maroon 5 lives or dies based on Levine, and with his many appearances on NBC’s “The Voice” TV show, Levine has never been more popular. And that’s good news for his band Maroon 5, as they get ready to tour internationally in 2015. Kicking off in Dallas on February 16, The Maroon 5 World Tour 2015 will include dozens of dates in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Maroon 5 will be playing songs from their latest album, “V,” including their hit single, “Maps,” and soon-to-be hit “Animals.”

One Direction has sold more than $230 million in tickets this year

Most people may laugh at the “boy band” One Direction, but those boys are laughing all the way to the bank. The band, which appeals to teen girls who spend lots of money, is the first touring music group to sell over $200 million in tickets in 2014.

One Direction has been touring the world, with a focus on Europe and North America, raking in $230 million. So, all you musicians who can’t seem to make money– here’s  the deal. Recruit teenage boys who teenage girls find attractive. Record them singing some songs, put them in sexy clothes, and share their link(s) on social media. Then you just might be able to get quite rich in the music biz.

New country pop duet from Sarantos

Sarantos is an artist who keeps in touch with fans. Combining soft rock, pop, country and dance music, he releases a new song on the first Tuesday of every month. Then he releases a new music video on the second Tuesday of the month, a funny video on the third Tuesday of the month, and a whiteboard video on the fourth.

Just recently, Sarantos released a new country pop love duet called “A Country Song.” It’s about two people in love– a man and his wife and “what they like to do.”

You can listen to it at– more specifically here.

Carmen Lundy

You need to hear jazz singer Carmen Lundy

Jazz singer Carmen Lundy will release her 14th album, Soul To Soul, September 23rd. This time around she’s teamed up with fellow acclaimed vocalist Patrice Rushen of “Forget Me Nots” fame and sought-after trumpeter Randy Brecker.

Get an idea of Lundy’s sound in this video from her previous release:

Lundy not only arranged 11 of the 13 songs on the new album, but also played every instrument– props for that! Visit if you like exquisite vocals with jazzy piano and drums. Diana Krall fans– add Carmen Lundy to your playlists! –Mark Weber Music Blog

Everett Young finds music life starts after 40

KL_Promo_01For Everett Young, his music career really started taking off after age 40. It wasn’t until age 42 or 43 that Young got to the point where he could “really play guitar.”

The self-taught musician may have gotten a later start in the professional music world, but with time came wisdom and seasoning, resulting in music made not just for the moment– like so much pop/rock is today– but music for people who think about issues and ideas and are looking for artists who are willing to take chances with songs about confronting fears and more.

Online, you’ll find Young’s music under the name “Kicklighter.” You can visit his website, here, to learn more about the man who cares about crafting sophisticated up-tempo songs with thoughtful lyrics. Take a listen to “Until You See The Sun,” which is written to encourage people to find their passion, commit to it, and live it throughout their live–good stuff! –Mark Weber Music Blog

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