The Oswald Zombies uses rap to expose societal problems

“The Oswald Zombies,” by Dr. Dru featuring Big Daddy, does something no other rap outfit is doing these days– calling out the real problems of the world today– the junk in the food we eat, the chemicals put in the air, the elites controlling much of the world to make them sick…very powerful (and informative) song. I wish more artists used their platforms to share information like this:

Be informed about what’s really going on. –Mark Weber Music Blog

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Charlie Daniels brings back the Volunteer Jam for 40th anniversary

Charlie Daniels is bringing back the legendary “Volunteer Jam,” which began on October 14, 1974, at War Memorial Auditorium when Daniels and his friends recorded live versions of “Orange Blossom Special” and “No Place To Go” for the The Charlie Daniels Band’s Fire on the Mountain album. Over the last 40 years, thousands have enjoyed the historic event known as “The Volunteer Jam.”

The Volunteer Jam 40th Anniversary celebration will take place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 12, 2015, to raise awareness and funds for The Journey Home Project and The Nashville Predators Foundation. Joining Charlie Daniels for this one night only event in Music City: Billy Ray Cyrus, Travis Tritt, Kentucky Headhunters, Montgomery Gentry, The Outlaws, and Lee Roy Parnell. It will be a Country music jam, for sure! –Mark Weber Music Blog


Darlene Love’s farewell performance on Letterman is this year

I love Darlene Love. I remember seeing her sing on a Motown Christmas special in 1987, and then I got to interview her for a magazine article in 1999. She’s a music industry survivor. You see, for years people didn’t really know her name. They knew her voice, but not her name. She was featured on several Phil Spector-produced songs in the 1960s, and had hits, but…she never quite “made it” back then.

In the 1980s she played Danny Glover’s wife in the Lethal Weapon movies and slowly but surely started making a name for herself.

In 2011, Love got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and now, in her 70s, she has never been more famous or popular.

Being in the brilliant 2013 documentary 20 Feet from Stardom helped catapult her career into the limelight, giving her tremendous opportunities to sing and speak before millions of people globally.

It’s too bad that this year will be her final performance of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on Letterman, since Letterman is retiring. Still, we can be thankful that she’s been a staple of his Christmas shows for almost 30 years! Here’s a mash-up of her many performances on Letterman from the 1980s ’til now…


The Vince Guaraldi Trio makes Charlie Brown Christmas unique

A Charlie Brown Christmas has a unique sound thanks to The Vince Guaraldi Trio. Indeed, it has become a timeless classic, with songs like “Christmas Time Is Here” and “O Tannenbaum.”

The actual music for A Charlie Brown Christmas was recorded in sessions at Glendale, California’s Whitney Studio and San Fran’s Fantasy Recording Studios. A choir of kids from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael came to the studio and did their parts late into the night, receiving $5 each and ice cream afterward for their time and work.

A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired on TV in 1965, and was unique at the time to say the least. First, it didn’t have a laugh track like all the other shows did at the time. Next, the voiceover actors were kids, not adults, giving Charlie Brown and Lucy and Linus, etc., an authentic sound, for sure. Furthermore, its jazz soundtrack by The Vince Guaraldi Trio definitely didn’t fit the norm. As you could imagine, network execs would have preferred younger-sounding music by some trendy, hip band for the cartoon special.

Well, The Vince Guaraldi Trio turned out to be one of the best choices Charles Schulz and the producers insisted on using, because that Christmas album has since become one of the most popular, best-selling of all time, moving about 3.5 million copies. In fact, The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas has been voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry list of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important” sound recordings. Not too shabby.

Guaraldi died rather unexpectedly at age 47 on February 6, 1976. The evening before, he had dined at Peanuts producer Lee Mendelson’s home and was reportedly not feeling well, complaining of indigestion-like chest discomfort that his doctor had told him was nothing to worry about. The following evening, after concluding the first set at Butterfield’s Nightclub, Guaraldi and drummer Jim Zimmerman returned to the room they were staying in that weekend at the adjacent Red Cottage Inn, to relax before the next set. Zimmerman commented, “He (Vince) was walking across the room and just collapsed. That was it.” His cause of death has been described as a heart attack.

Merry Christmas from the Charlie Daniels bobblehead

bobbleheadfront_grandeI once interviewed Charlie Daniels and he called me “son” and “Yankee.” I had a great time talking with him. He’s best known for the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and for his fiddlin’ as a Country music legend. If anyone wants to buy me a Charlie Daniels bobblehead for Christmas, I’d like that! –Mark Weber Music Blog

Justin Charney: Canadian drumming phenom

Justin Charney is a teenager who also happens to be a professional drummer. Hailing from Canada, he’s already had the great fortune to play drums for French Montana. Meanwhile, on his YouTube channel, he uploads songs and footage for you to see and hear. –Mark Weber Music Blog

BONUS: Connect with Justin on social media:




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This is what your kids listen to these days

Do you ever wonder why kids–and people in general–are messed up these days? Lets consider the lyrics to some of today’s most popular songs, which, by the way, most teens and pre-teens know and sing-a-long to:

D’Angelo’s “Sugah Daddy”

“It’s just the way she’s so raw and uncut
She needs a spankin’ to shake her up
And I just wish that I could open her up
So I take the child to my crib
I ain’t gonna tell you what we did
so I made the pu$$y fart
She said it’s talkin’ to ya, talkin to ya Daddy”

Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”

“My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun.
Gun in my purse, bit{h, I came dressed to kill
Who wanna go first? I had them pushing daffodils
I’m high as hell, I only took a half a pill
I’m on some dumb sh!t, by the way, what he say?
He can tell I ain’t missing no meals
Come through and fu{k him in my automobile
Let him eat it with his grills and he tellin’ me to chill

This dude named Michael used to ride motorcycles
Dick bigger than a tower, I ain’t talking about Eiffel’s
Real country-ass ni%%a, let me play with his rifle
Pu$$y put his ass to sleep, now he calling me NyQuil

Yeah! This one is for my bit{hes with a fat a$$ in the fu{king club
I said, where my fat a$$ big bit{hes in the club?
Fu{k the skinny bit{hes! Fu{k the skinny bit{hes in the club!
I wanna see all the big fat a$$ bitches in the muthafu{kin’ club
Fu{k you if you skinny bit{hes, what?! Kyuh

Ha ha, ha ha

I got a big fat a$$ (a$$, a$$, a$$)”

Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”

And I’m still in the Murda Bizness
I can hold you down, like I’m givin’ lessons in physics (right)
You should want a bad bit{h like this (ha)
Drop it low and pick it up just like this (yeah)
Cup of Ace, cup of Goose, cup of Cris
High heels, somethin’ worth a half a ticket on my wrist (on my wrist)
Takin’ all the liquor straight, never chase that (never)

Trash the hotel
Let’s get drunk on the mini bar
Make the phone call
Feels so good getting what I want, yeah
Keep on turning it up
Chandelier swinging, we don’t give a fu{k

You’re so good, he’s just wishing he could bite it, huh? (say what what?)
Never turn down money
Slaying these hoes, gold trigger on the gun like…”

Popular music lyrics today are focused on blunt sex, with some violence and name calling thrown in. Does it bother anyone that 10-year-olds are growing up with these songs as their main influence? Is it any wonder why boys treat girls like sex objects to be used and disposed of instantly, even if they get pregnant? Does it matter that a lot of females are calling their songs “female empowerment” songs when in reality they’re just shaking their butts for men and talking about how they get what they want in bed?

Call me old school, but I liked when songs said something meaningful and/or beautiful, like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” or The Temptations’ “My Girl.”

In the era we’re living in, the music makers who rise to the top of the charts spew the most blunt words out into the atmosphere and get regaled as if they were kings and queens among us. The masses are duped into thinking these songs are no big deal, and yet evil is all around us. Indeed, in the society we live in, good is evil and evil is good. The more evil you sound, look and act, the more success you have in the music business. And, strangely, the masses eat it all up, blind to what they’re consuming on a daily basis.

I say all this to get you thinking: what are YOU filling your mind with? Garbage in, garbage out is not a good way to live. –Mark Weber Music Blog

5 Reasons Photo

5 Reasons Why Even Talented Music Artists Fail

5 Reasons Why Even Talented Music Artists Fail

Written by Omari MC (

Sometimes the best way to learn what to do is to learn what not to do. Your music may actually be on par with some of the top acts getting all the recognition, but there’s other reasons you may be failing that are just as important.

So, here are 5 ways to guarantee that you don’t make it as a full time music artist. If you want to keep working the day job and make sure that success doesn’t come your way just follow these steps and you’ll spend countless hours doing the wrong things for your music.

1. The Sit and Wait Theory

I don’t know who keeps telling artists that they just need to wait their time. That is a complete pot of crap. I swear if I hear one more artist say they just know they’re waiting to blow up one more time I might go crazy.

What they mean to say is that they plan for some A&R person or record label to come their way and offer them a deal to fund all their recording costs and do their work for them.

Wouldn’t that be nice? If all we had to do was record an album and post it on social media, and all of a sudden a record label was knocking down our door? Here’s the catch… THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN!

The people who succeed are the ones who get up off their butts and make things happen EVERY day. The word ‘excuse’ is not in their vocabulary.

Keep buying your time and you’ll end up 65-years-old and looking back saying, “I wish I would’ve…” Fill in the blank with whatever you want, but don’t be this person.

If you want to make things happen, then stop giving yourself excuses that lead to failure. (Rarely ever do excuses lead to results.)

2. Unpreparedness

I literally cringe at this one.

If we are to truly say we love the music we create, why do we keep cheating our talents?

Don’t just go buy a domain name. Make sure the site is optimized for building a fan base and converting them to loyal listeners through your email list.

There’s no such thing as a half-way music artist. It sure seems that way these days though.

Everyone and their mama tries to make music nowadays, but a miniscule percentage actually put everything into it they need to.

I can’t tell you how many people send me to a Soundcloud or Reverbnation page when I ask to hear their music.

I should be getting sent to one page only– your personally hosted and registered domain name. Period.

It’s great if the site looks cool too, but personally I’d rather see a more plain site with better functionality than a site with all the bells and whistle but no opt-in box.

3. Trying to Get Around Doing Actual Work

Maybe it’s just me, but I was always taught that if something came easily it probably wasn’t worth doing. Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.

That’s a cliché, and it may be true, but what people need to focus on is doing smart work. You can work as hard as you want, but if you’re not doing the right TYPE of work then it doesn’t matter.

I preach to artists about getting a good mailing list going– preferably a real auto responder instead of just using the Reverbnation tools. I even teach artists the right way to go about it in one of my free programs. (See

Then I take a survey and ask people what they’re still struggling with AFTER I give them the information that will help them.

You know what they tell me? The same old excuses.

“I just need to be discovered.” AKA– I don’t feel like working hard enough to do it myself.

If all this sounds like hard work, it is. That’s the point. If it were easy to be a full time DIY musician then everyone would be doing it.

4. Visiting the Excuse Factory

This one tops them all. Just the other day an artist told me he didn’t feel like learning the smart way to market his music because he didn’t think he’d be good at it. I want artists to seriously think how crazy this is for a moment.

That’s the most lame excuse I’ve heard. Here’s some more of them.

“Now’s not the right time to go after my music.” (You said that last year. When IS it going to be the right time?)

“I don’t have enough money.” (Wrong. I used to think this too. The truth is you don’t know how to wisely use the money you have at moment.

You don’t need a new iPhone or more booze at the bar.

You need to treat your music like an entrepreneur treats a business.

5. A Lack of Business Knowledge

You are an entrepreneur– not just a musician. I understand some artists don’t like the marketing or website design aspects of the job, but you have to start wearing more hats if you really want this thing to work.

Here’s something I never understood either. Why don’t more artists take premium courses to enhance their entrepreneurial skills?

Do they cost money? Of course, but the benefit you get from them outweighs the cost.

Seriously, it does. I’ve taken a few courses.

Obviously, I made sure the people were legit before I bought, but why would I hold on to my money when it’s not making me any money?

I’m extremely grateful I took those courses.

The value of knowledge is extremely important for success. Why do you think multi-billion dollar companies still hire consultants before doing even a standard project? Because it makes sense. Who cares if you have to pay for a course if you get a return on investment. No one is getting any younger, and those who understand this concept and apply it always outshine the people who’d rather waste time looking for freebies everywhere.

Either you acquire the correct entrepreneurial skills or you spend your life wondering, “Why didn’t anyone discover my talent?”

There’s a difference between having a music hobby and a music career.

If you want it to be a career all you have to do is take the action. Don’t rely on anyone else to make your career happen for you! You are responsible for you.

Written by Omari MC (
Guest blogger on The Mark Weber Music Blog


Stunning song from Rachel Kerr

She’s not Beyoncé or Whitney Houston, but she sure does sing a song like she means it, with a Gospel-infused feeling that’s undeniable. Her name is Rachel Kerr, and her song, “What I Want,” is a stunning song– see and hear for yourself in her music video:

I have a feeling she’s on par with Beyoncé and Whitney Houston as a vocalist-artist. I am going to her website to get her music and suggest you do too! –Mark Weber Music Blog

Barefoot McCoy

Folk pop from Barefoot McCoy

Barefoot McCoy is not only a memorable name for a recording artist, but also true: he enjoys being barefoot. In the video for his song “All Roads Lead Home,” he’s barefoot and walking on train tracks and other surfaces. Meanwhile, there are beautiful scenes from the city and country– a very visually appealing music video for sure.

To learn more about this artist, who has an album called Take Me Away, visit –Mark Weber Music Blog


Bob Dylan singing Sinatra tunes?

Well this is interesting… Bob Dylan is going to release “Shadows in the Night,” featuring his versions of classic songs made famous by Frank Sinatra. Say what?!? Dylan singing songs like “I’m A Fool To Want You” and “Some Enchanted Evening” should be…interesting. It’s due on Feb. 3, 2015 and I can’t wait to hear it! –Mark Weber Music Blog


Music streaming has replaced CDs

Today I gave a lady in her 90s a CD of my recordings of older songs from the 1920s – 1950s. A couple years ago, I spent thousands of dollars of my own money to record a couple dozen songs so I’d be able to “sell CDs.” Well, here’s the reality: CDs have been replaced by music streaming sites like Pandora and Spotify.

I remember when I visited Valerie Ell in New York City, and she had music on in her apartment. I liked the music mix and asked her what CD it was. She told me it was “Pandora.” You’d tell it an artist you like, and it would automatically curate a playlist of songs from the artist and artists like them. In essence, it’s the ultimate “online” jukebox.

And people are paying to stream music now. Not everybody– a lot get their music for free…but enough people are willing to spend a couple bucks a month to have full access, without advertising, in order to listen to a huge variety of music on their devices, like their iPhones and iPads.

My first CD was Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s Homebase in 1991 or so. In the early 1990s, I bought a lot of CDs and cassette singles at stores in the mall. But, in the 2000s, everything changed. Cassettes pretty much disappeared, and CDs seemed to be the main way people bought music. However, along came Napster, and suddenly everyone and their brother could share their music libraries with each other, for free, online using their computer. The recording industry was still focused on trying to sell people $15 CDs…but the young people were like, “No thanks, we’ll get stuff free online.”

After Napster came iTunes. Suddenly it seemed like everyone who listened to music had an iPod and would download songs they wanted for 99 cents each from iTunes. Albums were not en vogue, but singles were. Why buy an album when you only like, want and need the hit single, right?

Fast forward to 2014. We no longer go to stores to browse shelves of CDs, noticing artwork. Nope. Instead, society has moved on to streaming services, where music is pretty much what I’d call “sonic wallpaper.” Sure, there are still great singers and bands “out there,” but sadly and strangely, it seems like the whole music industry has died and we’re left with lots of auto-tuned cartoon sex sounds passing as “music.”

So Pandora and Spotify and other services will deliver a plethora of music to the younger generations, and they’ll probably be replaced by something else in a couple years. For now, though, streaming has, for better or worse, replaced CDs as the way people consume their music. –Mark Weber Music Blog



Fiddler Wendy MacIsaac brings the Cape Breton sound to the world

Wendy MacIsaac has long been recognized as one of the finest fiddlers to ever come out of the Cape Breton, Nova Scotia music scene. For those of you who don’t know, Cape Breton is the cradle of Canada’s Irish/Celtic music scene– the kind of place I want to visit one day just to be surrounded by so many wonderful musicians.

With the release of her latest solo recording, Off The Floor, Wendy MacIsaac has accomplished what many traditional fiddlers strive for and few achieve… a recording that truly captures the energy and passion of a Cape Breton dance.

“There is something special about the leather sole on the dusty wood floor that is a very big part of the sound of the Cape Breton style of music. Hearing great dancers is something I hope will never be lost.”

An accomplished dancer herself, Wendy has captured that sound in a way that makes you feel like you are in the room, hearing the music, watching the dancers, and celebrating the sense of community that it all inspires. Her accompaniment is outstanding, with fellow Cape Bretoners Tracey Dares MacNeil on piano and Patrick Gillis on guitar. Engineer Mike Shepherd did a stellar job of capturing the music and atmosphere that makes this such an outstanding recording. Started at Lakewind Sound Studios, the recording was then taken on the road to the West Mabou Hall where Wendy has spent many hours playing.

A born collaborator, this is Wendy’s 7th recording. In addition to four solo albums, she has also recorded two full-length albums with Beolach. Her most recent collaboration, Seinn, with Mary Jane Lamond received stellar reviews from around the world, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Album, an East Coast Music Award for Group Recording, and a Music Nova Scotia Award for Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year.

If you appreciate the sound of the fiddle and are looking for Celtic music to dance to, I wholeheartedly recommend Wendy MacIsaac and all of her fellow Cape Bretoners. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Henri Brana debuts with A Place Where We Can Love

Leaving the beaches of Brazil, Henri Brana boarded a flight to Sweden with a toothbrush, a guitar and a dream. Now, six tough years later, his long awaited single, “A Place Where We Can Love,” has arrived and it was worth the life-changing trip. If you’re a Coldplay, U2 or Keane fan, I think you’ll enjoy Brana’s music. Have a listen here:

Find out more about this talented recording artist here: –Mark Weber Music Blog


Chelsea Reed and The Fair Weather Five

In October 2012, vocalist Chelsea Reed brought five of her friends together to play some tunes in a South Philly dining room. Secretly, her plan was to form a band that played for swing dancers, so she could finally have the chance to sing her favorite songs for an audience that loved early jazz as much as she did. Since that fateful afternoon, those men have comprised the Fair Weather Five: Noah Hocker on trumpet, Chris Oatts on saxophone, Jake Kelberman on guitar, Joe Plowman on bass, and Austin Wagner behind the drums.

Today Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five are at home at swing dances, jazz clubs and concert halls alike. They have played renowned Philadelphia venues like the Kimmel Center and World Cafe Live in addition to touring around the country in a trusty blue van. They love exploring the roots of jazz and finding creative ways to interpret forgotten songs. Drawing upon the influence of artists such as Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five bring the intensity and passion of early jazz to every stage they play to put on one heck of a show.

Their new self-titled CD starts off with the upbeat “After You’ve Gone,” which will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1920s and you’re in an upscale-yet-fun supper club where everyone’s on the dance floor. Other songs that follow in the blues-jazz vein remind me of my time listening to buskers on the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans.

As someone who performs music from the 1920s-1960s, I especially like this group and their musical selections, including “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” and “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.” If you like music that harkens back to a different era, seek Chelsea Reed and The Fair Weather Five out! –Mark Weber Music Blog

Sunset is really odd

I got a CD in the mail from The Planetary Group. It was all in black with the word “Sunset” on it. I think Sunset is two guys shrouded in black because the picture included was just that. The music is odd. It’s a foreign language (French), and you should see the strange videos. I’m not going to post them here, but lets just say they’re different from the norm. Anyway, musically, Sunset is definitely different from the same old, same old, and I guess I’d describe it as foreign language talking with upbeat electronic dance music jamming, such that you could **maybe** dance to it?! Hear for yourself:


Susan Boyle’s new CD makes great Christmas gift for your mom

Get your Mom the new Susan Boyle CD for Christmas– she will love it. Released in October, Boyle’s latest is called Hope, and it covers several well-known songs, including a stunning version of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” and a surprisingly soulful and rousing rendition of the classic Gospel song, “Oh Happy Day.” The fiftysomething Britain’s Got Talent star, who recently told the press she’s got her first ever boyfriend, also covers “The Impossible Dream,” “You Raise Me Up,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Again, your mom will LOVE this album. –Mark Weber Music Blog