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 www.carmenlundy.com if you like exquisite vocals with jazzy piano and drums. Diana Krall fans– add Carmen Lundy to your playlists! –Mark Weber Music Blog
For 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
It’s not everyday that a song debuts at number one on the Billboard charts. Taylor Swift’s latest, “Shake It Off,” did just that, becoming only the 22nd song in pop music history to debut in the top slot on the charts.
The single managed to go straight to number one due to a variety of factors, including more than half a million people paying to download the tune. In addition, the single has received heavy radio airplay.
Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989, will be released on October 27, 2014.
Emoshoon Ophy is an eclectic musical duo with an intriguing new song called “Cocoa Be.” Dig the African rhythms! The duo used to live close to one another in Nigeria, but didn’t meet until 2010. Since then, they discovered they make a good musical pairing from their adopted home base of Antwerp, Belgium. I appreciate that “Cocoa Be” does NOT sound like everything else on the radio today. I wish American popular music was willing to get out of the staid box its been in for a long time and allow creative music makers like Emoshoon Ophy to gain a mass following in The States! We need more artists like Emoshoon Ophy. –Mark Weber Music Blog
“Hey Hey” is a song that dares you not to dance. It’s high-energy fun, and it’s now available as a digital download release from SFN Records.
The crew behind “Hey Hey” is known as House of Pryme, a house and dance band trio comprised of musicians Rocco DiVinci, Lord Fisher and St John. Featuring vocals by guest singer Rosy Donovan, “Hey Hey” is made for dance clubs around the globe, with its familiar-yet-futuristic feel.
Imagine a disco ball, colorful lights bouncing around, and good looking people with smiles on their faces, as they’re happily dancing, all sweaty and funky– that’s the crowd who’ll jump at the chance to dance to “Hey Hey.”
“Hey Hey” is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and on SFNRECORDS.com. If you want high-energy music to dance to, you can’t go wrong with House of Pryme. –Mark Weber Music Blog
Home Free first came to my attention on the TV show The Sing-Off. They’re an acappella group of five vocalists– Austin Brown, Rob Lundquist, Chris Rupp, Tim Foust and Adam Rupp. They do something that’s rare in music these days– have fun! Case in point– what a fun cover of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” (as seen above). Home Free vocal band is touring all over and gaining new fans daily. With their charisma, harmonies, and country-pop style, I recommend Home Free to “y’all.” –Mark Weber Music Blog
Famous music makers aren’t truly famous until their life is turned into a feature film– think Johnny Cash’s “Walk The Line” or Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” James Brown gets the biopic treatment in the new film, “Get On Up.” In 2014, however, the way a film about a music maker gets marketed has changed from the way it was done in the past…
Here’s where it gets interesting– if you use Pandora, the service that helps you discover music you’d like based on an artist or tempo or style, then you should know Universal Pictures got in touch with them to create a James Brown-themed station in order to be an advertisement for the “Get On Up” film. James Brown may be known for 1960s hits like “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good),” but young people today probably don’t know his music. But they do use Pandora. So the movie company is smart in going where the young people are and utilizing Pandora to market James Browns’ music, and, subsequently, the film.
As for me, I appreciate James Brown, and like his hits, but am not a total fan of his. While I know he set the standard for funk music, and worked hard in show biz to entertain millions, he’s not in my personal pantheon of popular music makers. That said, it would be interesting to see “Get On Up,” which would give me a better perspective on his life and contributions to the music world.
One thing’s for sure: expect to hear ads for movies on Pandora, as it is currently a service that reaches a large, interested audience effectively.
Now you can dance– or exercise– to Amy Grant’s music as she has a remix project out and it’s funky! Hear a sample here:
Amy Grant’s career spans more than 30 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into becoming an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. With three multi-platinum albums, six platinum albums and four gold albums, her total career album sales have exceeded 30 million.
Grant’s chart success has been consistent throughout her career with six No. 1 hits, ten Top 40 pop singles, seventeen Top 40 Adult Contemporary tracks and multiple Contemporary Christian chart-toppers. In addition to her six GRAMMY® Awards, Grant has earned 26 Dove Awards (including four Artist of the Year Awards) and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Conventional wisdom has it that Grant put Contemporary Christian Music on the map becoming the first Contemporary Christian artist to have a platinum record, the first to hit No. 1 on the Pop charts, and the first to perform at the GRAMMY® Awards. With that, her legacy as one of the most influential artists of the past couple of decades is assured. Her first career remix album, entitled In Motion: The Remixes, is available now.
We Were Astronauts is a four piece indie/alternative rock band hailing from Boston and hitting the pavement with tasteful guitar licks, strong rhythms, and memorable vocal melodies. Inspired by and named for every kid whose dream of becoming an astronaut was crushed the day NASA’s shuttle program was closed, the band presents a melodic rock sound that is as timeless as the American dream.
Through the help of fans and Kickstarter, We Were Astronauts traveled to LA in March to record their sophomore EP produced by music veteran Warren Huart, whose roster includes Aerosmith, The Fray and Augustana, and engineered by Phil Allen, Grammy winner for Adele’s 21.
The new EP, Artificial Light, is out 9/23/14. If their song “I Wanna Know” is any indication of the band’s sound, I’m a fan! –Mark Weber Music Blog
The Civil Wars—made up of duo partners Joy Williams and John Paul White—have regretfully decided to permanently part ways.
The difficult decision ends a tumultuous period for the four-time Grammy Award-winning band, who has been on indefinite hiatus since late 2012.
Joy Williams comments, “I am saddened and disappointed by the ending of this duo, to say the very least. JP is a tremendous musician, and I will always be grateful for the music we were able to create together. Looking ahead, I’m excited to share the music that I am writing and recording in the midst of this difficult transition. I’ve loved being back in the studio, and have missed performing live. I look forward to seeing you soon.”
John Paul adds, “I would like to express sincere thanks to all who were a part of the arc of The Civil Wars—from the beginning, to the end, and all points in between. My deep appreciation goes out to all who supported, disseminated, and enjoyed the music. Whatever shape or form the next chapter takes, thanks for being a large part of this one.”
Modern rock gets a jolt from the Pittsburgh band Young Fox with their new release, “Predecessors.” The band wanted to put something beautiful into the world and give listeners something to contemplate– and they succeeded with a wall of sound approach to making music.
As a group heavy on guitars without sacrificing melody, Young Fox talks about pain but also redemption on songs like “The Answer.” Lead vocalist Luke Cypher has a voice made for modern rock and sings well. Give the band a listen via their Facebook page. –Mark Weber Music Blog
Blending his love for flamenco guitar and hip-hop, Eric Kamen has created a new-found fusion of world music which he calls “Urban Flamenco.” I love it! After you hear a sample (below) you’ll probably have the same reaction I did: “What a cool idea. Sounds good!”
His latest release, Serenades will leave you dancing just like the music video for lead single “The Lost Tribe.” A subtle, relaxing song that draws you in with romantic riffs and a catchy beat, “The Lost Tribe” is just a taste for what’s to come in Serenades.
The accompanying music video, produced and directed by Pola Rapaport and shot by DP Wolfgang Held, is a fresh take and spin on Spanish flamenco music. Shot in a dance studio, four young women take to the rehearsal space auditioning and interpret “The Lost Tribe” with a variety of contemporary hip-hop, urban, and pop dance passages which gracefully mirror Kamen’s precise guitar playing. Original improvisations are by dancers Holly Googe, Pearrie Hammie, Shakiver Gordon and Cecile Klaus.
Following his first successful experimental release, Native Unit, Serenades is an eclectic set of fifteen songs that will transfer listeners to a serene Spanish village featuring other stand-out tracks “A Rose From Russia” and “Red Moon.”
Serenades will be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon and all major digital outlets on September 2. –Mark Weber Music Blog
Robin Romei is a British singer from London with a cool new rock song called “Vapours.” Harkening back to the days when rock music mattered– instead of the mechanical dance music so prevalent right now– “Vapours” is like an ode to the days when The Clash and The Smiths made music for cool people with a bit of a punk edge. Judge for yourself and give a listen here:
I like the guitar-based “Vapours” complete with Romei’s overt British accent. The song will remind some people of the new wave sound of the early 1980s, coupled with modern day bands like Muse and Keane. –Mark Weber Music Blog
Check out Hookdiggy’s new R&B/hip hop video for “Wind Out.”
Hookdiggy, known for his savvy lyrics and spirited rhyming style, is joined on this radio-friendly track by R&B artist Ceedro, who croons a sly dare to confront life clear-headed and enjoy the opportunity to “wind out.”
The video introduces Atlanta, GA-based model Milann Dior as the starlet who is having a rough day. She’s told to come enjoy the fellowship of friends and have a great time with everyone winding out.
For more information on Hookdiggy, visit Hookdiggy.com, and share your own winding out moments on social media using the hash tag: #windout
Kristen Pfaff received a platinum record as the bassist for Courtney Love’s band, Hole, but unfortunately she died before seeing the actual award. Like many other young musicians, her life was cut tragically short due to an accidental drug overdose. Her mother, Janet Pfaff, has written a book about her famous daughter, and you can see an interview she did with Linda Pellegrino on the AM Buffalo TV show here.
Pfaff’s book, “Unfinished Rhapsody,” tells stories about Kristen’s life from her mom’s perspective, and is meant to bring hope and encouragement to any other parent who has lost their child.
How many times have you “liked” a music artist on Facebook? Well, for Shakira, it appears she’s the most popular music artist on the social networking site, having just passed 100 million “likes.” That’s right– 100 million. Not just a million. 100 million. What!?! That’s insane! Right? Well, her “hips don’t lie.” :) She’s sexy, fun and has a global audience, smartly singing in both English and Spanish, reaching more people than your average singer. Way to go Shakira! –Mark Weber Music Blog
I grew up with Weird Al. He was popular in the 1980s with parodies of Michael Jackson songs. And the amazing thing is, even now, in 2014, he’s still the best parody song/video maker the music world has ever known. This time around, he’s doing something very smart: posting a video a day…
Weird Al knows people have short attention spans– what’s hot one day is forgotten the next, for better or worse. In the old days, an artist released a video, which they hoped would get shown multiple times on MTV. Nowadays, YouTube is MTV and then some. Young people flock to YouTube to see and hear whatever songs stand out from the crowd, so Weird Al is utilizing that site as a way to share his most recent songs, one video a day for eight days, successively, to get people talking about him, and his new music. It’s a brilliant idea!
In just a couple days, “Foil” has more than 8 million views– in today’s viral video world, it’s a hit! –Mark Weber Music Blog