If Josh Groban had a brother

Jonny Mantra
Jonny Mantra

If Josh Groban had a brother making music, I imagine he’d look and sound like Jonny Java Mantra.

Born in The Bronx, Mantra picked up the guitar at age 6 and eventually went on to graduate from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. A musician’s musician, he has had the honor of performing with many famous fellow musicians and singers.

Right now, Mantra is involved in a contest and you can help him out here:

Also, visit JonnyMantra.com to discover more about this artist.
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Tapebenders are no longer Elusive Parallelograms


Is it wrong of me to say Tapebenders sounds like Pet Shop Boys on acid? That’s actually a compliment from me, but I’m guessing the average person would stick to saying Tapebenders, as a band, is in the same vein as The Replacements, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Dandy Warhols, Built to Spill, and The Stone Roses. Either way, they rock and have a really cool music video for their song, “Semantics,” directed by “American Movie” filmmaker Mark Borchardt:

Tapebenders, which used to be called–get this: Elusive Parallelograms– is a modern rock band from Milwaukee lead by singer-songwriter Andrew Foys. They have recently released “Chasing Ghosts,” an anthology album that neatly summarizes the group’s past five years—cherry picked from the band’s past two LPs and three EPs, and a second album–of new material–is on the way soon. This band is definitely one to watch. –Mark Weber Music Blog


Stunning voice from Sunny of The Black Pack


Sunny and his music collective, The Black Pack, perform mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area at this time, but they’re looking to eventually tour. For now, though, they’re releasing YouTube videos of funky blues jams, cover songs and originals. And I am impressed.

Oh my gosh, this is one of those rare voices you don’t hear everyday! I think Sunny is the male Adele, and I mean that as the best compliment. He has the unique vocal quality that sets him apart from other singers, coupled with the genuine and emotive ability to let his voice do the work without trying to wow people. In other words, he’s a natural singer and one who can and will connect with many people thanks to his talent. Judge for yourself with this sublime song:

Get to know more about The Black Pack at their website here. –Mark Weber Music Blog


An En Vogue Christmas coming to Lifetime TV

Cindy, Terry and Rhona: En Vogue in 2014
Cindy, Terry and Rhona: En Vogue in 2014

En Vogue had a string of hit songs in the 1990s, including “Hold On,” “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” “Free Your Mind,” and “Don’t Let Go (Love).” Since those good times, the foursome has morphed into a trio, with two original members– Cindy and Terry– and a new voice in the mix– Rhona. The other two original members– Dawn and Maxine– briefly tried being a duo but are now staying solo. Anyway, En Vogue (the current trio) filmed a Christmas movie in Toronto this summer and it will air on Lifetime on Nov. 22nd. It will be good to see these beautiful ladies on TV again, and, of course, hear them harmonize and s-a-n-g. They are my all-time favorite girl group. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Jazz meets Rock with ARJUN

ARJUN is a talented instrumental band opening up for Dave Matthews’ sax player Jeff Coffin (& The Mu-tet) at a November 6th show in NYC.

Made up of Eddie Arjun Peters (guitar), Lamar Myers (drums), and Andre Lyles (bass), ARJUN fuses the power of rock with improvisational alternative jazz. The band’s most recent album, CORE, features the talents of John Medeski (of Medeski Martin & Wood) on its title track, and was mixed by legendary producer/mixer Scotty Hard. CORE was recorded at Level 11 Studios in New York City and at a studio in Brooklyn, produced by Eddie Arjun Peters and mastered at Turtletone Mastering by Michael Fossenkemper (Medeski Martin & Wood, Soulive, Bootsy Collins…).

Hear what ARJUN sounds like here:

To download a free song– “Crystalline” — off of CORE, visit http://www.arjuncore.com. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Jay Soul sings Stay With Me

British singer Jay Soul approaches his song, “Stay With Me,” as if he was in bed, singing softly and lovingly to his special someone. In the vein of “All of Me” by John Legend and Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” Jay Soul has an emotive vocal that soulfully compels you to listen to what he has to say. At first I assumed the song would be a cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” but it’s not. It is, however, in the same spirit. As a singer, Jay Soul’s able to alternate between soft and gentle singing and all-out belting with power– not an easy feat. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Jay Soul
Jay Soul

What would falling snowflakes sound like as music?

vonlarsenavatarMusic has the power to transport us to another time and place, where we forget the day’s troubles. Pianist Peter Bille Larsen does just that with his “Piano Sonata No. 8 (Porcelain Snowflakes).” One listen to the delicate piano sounds will have you picturing a dark and cool night where brilliant snowflakes are falling all around you in an almost magical, mystical way.

Take a listen:

The mysterious Danish pianist and composer Peter Bille Larsen is a young man with a promising future because he puts his heart into the music he writes and you, the listener, can feel that. And isn’t that what music’s supposed to do? Help you feel? –Mark Weber Music Blog

Sunshine is refreshing electronic dance music

“Sunshine” by Beat Cutterz Vs Tom Linn featuring Vam is an electronic dance music jam that gets people on the dancefloor and makes people feel good.

Check out the song on Beatport and iTunes. You can download several different versions of the song.

Also, as a bonus, see NYC from above in this alternate video for “Sunshine.”

Share this post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites so your friends can hear “Sunshine” to put them in a good mood.  Call your local Top 40 station and ask them to play “Sunshine,” too. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Sue Neil

Sue Neil knows your love is Shining

Rebel Hill Music artist Sue Neil brings a British R&B feel to Gospel music with her new song, “Shining.” The music video is colorful and stylish. She sounds like the female version of Seal– a smoky voice with a slinky, groovy, European beat… I like it!

For Management Contact: Marty Gibbs with Rebel Hill Music at marty.gibbs1@gmail.com

For Booking Contact: Steve Byrd for SJB Anointed at Byrddove@aol.com

–Mark Weber Music Blog



The Bourgeois are brat-rock pioneers

Ever get the feeling that you’ve been lied to?  In their newest single, Smoke And Mirrors, The Bourgeois tackle the topic at length. The frenetic rocker clocks in at just over two minutes and evokes the attitude and energy of The Dead Kennedys.

Smoke and Mirrors is the leadoff track to the band’s newest album, We’re Still In The Gutter, But Some Of Us Are Looking At The Stars. I like that title! The album features four brand new songs from the self-proclaimed brat-rock pioneers, as well as highlights from the band’s first EP and first single. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Roxanna to be featured in PBS special


Roxanna is someone to watch in the music world. Her upcoming PBS special will surely garner her many new fans, as they compare her to Sarah Brightman, Celine Dion and other songbirds who’ve come before her. Want to hear her singing “Close Your Eyes?” Check this out:

Roxanna used to be a nurse in Toronto. She discovered how music helped soothe suffering people’s hearts, souls and minds, and now she’s on the verge of an international career as a singer. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Relaxing classical guitar from Thomas Merey

whiteonwhiteThe daily grind. Deadlines. Stress.

In today’s fast paced world there are few things that we can turn to, to truly relax us anymore. The classical guitar styling of Thomas Merey, on the other hand, can do just that. His masterful arpeggio — on full display on his International release White on White — will wash over you and deliver serenity and inspiration when you need it most. It’s perhaps the most beautiful music you’ll hear all week.

Take just a few moments out of your busy day, relax and have a listen.


For more info, contact Matt Neundorf by sending an email to tmerey@look.ca.

–Mark Weber Music Blog

Rock opera with a sci-fi twist: Bando from Chancius


Here’s something different: Chancius, an innovative Brooklyn-based musician, has just released his new concept album, Bando. He describes it as “kind of like a rock opera, but with a sci-fi twist.”

Here’s the visually-interesting music video for “A Piece of You Wherever I Go,” the album’s first single:

Chancius’ album tells the story of Bando, a young man afflicted with a life-threatening disease. In an attempt to save himself, he volunteers for an untested procedure to meld his consciousness with cutting edge technology. As his story unfolds, the ramifications of blending humanity with machinery are brought to life in sound. Like I said earlier– something different! Learn more here. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Eric Lilavois presents The God in our Glass

In the fall of 2005, Eric Lilavois was on tour through the northwest on his way to Canada with his band, The Days In Between. The band was forced to cancel the second leg of the tour, and after deciding to take up residence in Seattle for a couple weeks, Lilavois slowly coaxed the band into to stopping by a famous studio he remembered from the liner notes of his youth, London Bridge Studio. The band recorded a 5 song EP there, with Geoff Ott behind the famous Neve. Now, roughly a decade later, Eric has become the third partner at London Bridge Studio, as well as London Tone Records.

“The God In Our Glass” is a tribute to Eric’s close friend of over 20 years, Ryan Hoherd.

“When you lose someone that suddenly, that close, you start thinking about all the missed calls, all the times you couldn’t make this thing or that. Suddenly it’s not what would I do for another 5 years with this person– it’s what would I do for just one more hour.”

“Ryan was a force, the life of the party, and an absolute prankster. We lived together for a number of years and we use to blast each other out of bed with fireworks in the morning. There was a hilarious moment while recording the organ for ‘God in Our Glass’ at London Bridge, with Ryan’s cousin Andrew DeWitt on keys, where suddenly in the middle of the take the Leslie just caught fire and filled the room with smoke. Right then and there I knew we had his approval!”

Eric assembled an all star cast of musicians that he has worked with over the years to contribute their talents to the track, including Ben Smith (drummer for Heart) Andrew Joslyn (strings for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Passenger String Quartet) Matt Herman (bass for The Days In Between) and a powerful horn section consisting of Danny Levin, David Moyer, and Ian Souter, who have independently appeared on records by Vampire Weekend, Regina Spektor, Mayer Hawthorne, and Snoop Dogg.

As a producer, Lilavois has worked with many notable artists such as Saint Motel, The Dustbowl Revival, Celeigh Chapman, The Smokey Brights, as well as countless others in various capacities, like Atlas Genius, My Chemical Romance, Surfer Blood.

When he’s not making music, Eric Lilavois is the curator of the Make Music Pasadena Festival, the largest free music festival on the West Coast, garnering an attendance of over 40,000 annually. Cool. –Mark Weber Music Blog

White Wisconsin gal named Alma doing neo-soul music well

Neo-soul singer Alma
Neo-soul singer Alma

Not many white girls from Wisconsin do neo-soul music. But Alma does. She’s good! Her first album, the jazzy Tactics, releases Oct. 17th, and I recommend it.

Topics like jealousy (“Blind Side”) and a sugar addiction (“Honey”) can be found on Tactics. Her openness endears her to fans, who donated over $5,000 to the project. Find out more at www.hearalma.com. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Allen Toussaint touring with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

When I visited New Orleans, I peeked inside Preservation Hall one day to hear the jazz music coming from inside. It was glorious.

Now the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is touring America, with legendary songwriter/musician Allen Toussaint. It’s a match made in musical heaven, as they share the stage and make music Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and One Direction could learn so much from.

In concert, the coming together of Toussaint and the Jazz Band is simply marvelous. The party’s on the stage, and the people in the seats can’t help but feel the beat and want to stomp their feet to songs like “Working in the Coal Mine,” “Fortune Teller,” and “Southern Nights.” Toussaint may be in his 70s, but he’s timeless in action– playing the piano with styles ranging from classical to Dixieland, blues to R&B, and pop to jazz. His piano skills and his singing voice are in top form– a delight to hear.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from the Preservation Hall venue located in New Orleans’ French Quarter. The band is known for performing traditional New Orleans-style jazz, and they do it with gusto. Heavy on the horns, you’ll hear the trombone, trumpet, tuba and more…along with funky bass lines, drums and sax solos.

You need to attend this show when it comes to your town; I saw them at Shea’s Buffalo and they were awesome! –Mark Weber Music Blog

The Simple Parade makes piano pop love songs

The Simple Parade
After getting more than 10,000 views on YouTube with the engaging song, “Confetti,” The Simple Parade’s piano pop continues with several music videos.

Starting Tuesday, Oct. 21st, The Simple Parade will be releasing live music videos from their full-length album– one video (aka “Chapter”) a week, every Tuesday, until the end of this year on Tuesday, Dec. 30th. These videos were recorded all over the Midwest (Grand Canyon, Zion, Las Vegas, Denver, etc.)

The Simple Parade’s Justin Hooper says, “Okay, so this whole story starts about 9 years ago when I first started writing love songs. At that time I had never been in a serious relationship, so my songs were primarily based off of a combination of movie plots and romantic notions. As time went on, I ended up marrying the love of my life and my best friend, and throughout the years I have seen many different sides of love. I have seen the joys, the heartbreaks, the lighthearted, the struggles, the romance, the losses, and above all the importance of this word in all of our lives.”

To find out more, visit The Simple Parade’s website here.

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