Category Archives: Worldbeat/Folk Music

Peter Paul and Mary documentary

50 Years With Peter Paul and Mary  is a new documentary by four-time Emmy Award-winning producer/ director Jim Brown that focuses on portions of the trio’s career not included in previously aired PBS specials. This program features rare and previously unseen television footage including a BBC program from the early 1960s that embodies many of the trio’s best performances and most popular songs. This is Peter Paul and Mary at the peak of their artistry, a time when this popular and influential trio dominated the Billboard music charts.
Peter Paul and MaryFrom the group’s emergence in Greenwich Village, to the Civil Rights and Anti-War era of the 1960s, through the decades of their later advocacy and music, to Mary Travers’ moving memorial, and finally to the present, where their legacy continues to inform and inspire successive generations, this far deeper and more intimate exploration of the trio reveals the impact of their artistry and activism on their generation and the world.

Peter Paul and Mary

At one hour and twenty minutes, the documentary weaves together interviews and commentary with the trio, their family members, and people like Gloria Steinem. You’ll hear words from John Kerry and Whoopi Goldberg at Mary Travers’ NYC memorial service– she died in 2009 at the age of 72. And you’ll probably cry when Peter and Paul sing “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane” at that service, without Mary to take the lead. However, the whole audience sings Mary’s part, and by then you’ll probably be dabbing your eyes with tissues.

Today Peter and Paul are 78-years-old. Peter started Operation Respect, taking an anti-bullying message to middle schools around the world with songs like “Don’t Laugh At Me,” while Paul started Music2Life, teaching and inspiring socially-conscious music makers to combine their art with social change.

From Pete Seeger to Bob Dylan, folk music came of age in the 1960s, with Peter Paul and Mary at the forefront. Their vocal blend was nothing short of transcendent beauty. –Mark Weber

The DVD can be ordered at the MVD Shop or on Amazon.

Neonomora is the Sade of the new century

Not since Sade has there been a female singer of stunning beauty and musical talent that deserved to be a household name in America despite being from somewhere far, far away from the trendsetting cities of New York and Los Angeles. But Neonomora is the obvious “Sade” of the new century. Like Sade, who hails from Africa, Neonomora looks like a model. She also sings with passion and a romantic allure on songs like her new one, “Be Still, My Soul.” It’s hard not to instantly fall in love with her.

Neonomora is world class

Neonomora is an Indonesian singer who has also called China and Australia home. She’s literally a woman of the world. Born in 1988, it wasn’t until her brother and some others helped her produce an album that she became well-known in Indonesia. In late 2013, her debut EP peaked at number one on Mustang 88 FM in Jakarta, Indonesia.


Neonomora has since received praise across the media, especially from BuzzFeed, where she landed on the list of “10 Incredible Indonesian Bands You Should Listen To.”

Influenced by Mariah Carey, Bjork, Whitney Houston, and Roberta Flack, Neonomora has had a passion for singing since an early age. She began writing poetry around age 5 and has also enjoyed drawing– the arts are in her blood.

Fast forward to now: her new song, “Be Still, My Soul,” is mesmerizing and captivating– the kind of song that catches the attention of music lovers worldwide. Since it’s sung in English and has a Sade/Enya feel, there’s a good chance it could be the song to help introduce her to American audiences.

If you use Spotify, you can hear “Be Still, My Soul” here. You’re also welcome to check out Neonomora’s website. Look for her forthcoming album. It’s entitled Waters. Like her on Facebook for updates.

Musical Spa offers relaxing music like Grand Canyon

Musical Spa brings together a family of New Age composers from around the world dedicated to creating beautiful music for health and wellness. The group’s catalog is comprised of some of the best relaxing music for massage, healing, spa, yoga, meditation and more. Musical Spa’s purpose is to provide listeners with the ultimate relaxation music experience so they can calm the mind, relax and unwind.

Musical Spa

Musical Spa is headed up by Ivan Valles, a musician who graduated from Berklee College of Music. He studied music production and engineering there. Eventually he moved to Miami, where he met his wife Elisa. She’s a graphic designer and photographer. Together they have two beautiful girls and have adopted an “organic lifestyle.”

As they’ve learned different ways to improve their health, the couple agreed that music has been “the best companion we could have asked for in our journey.”

Do you want to reconnect body and soul, as well as release stress from everyday life? Musical Spa’s offerings are focused on health and wellness– they’re designed to make you feel better. Give the song “Grand Canyon,” for instance, a listen and note how it makes you feel–

“Grand Canyon” is just a taste of what Musical Spa has to offer.

Check out their website, as well as their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Hear more songs via their YouTube channel.

If you’re looking for a beautiful recording of Christmas tunes this holiday season, I’d love for you to hear samples of Musical Spa’s Christmas Music release here. Producer Ivan Valles and solo pianists Kendra and Michael Logozar bring together classic songs done in a relaxing, melodic and soothing way that will calm your spirit this season. I especially like the pretty piano work on “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

Should you have any questions, email Ivan at

Bleeding Obvious offers best album of 2016

The Bleeding Obvious reminds me of a very creative person being unleashed on a computer complete with a multitude of instruments around her and a lifetime of interesting influences.

Indeed, The Bleeding Obvious is the musical project debut of music maker Jess Rowbottom from the UK.

A onetime Wakefield Cathedral chorister, Rowbottom decided to record the new album thanks to personal life changes in recent years.

While I’m not sure what her personal life changes were, suffice it to say she’s making diverse, dynamic, cutting-edge music that literally pops out of my speakers. It’s like she has been reborn and is sharing that with an audience, in my opinion.

So who were her musical influences? Swing Out Sister, Pet Shop Boys and Saint Etienne make the list of synthesizer pop faves. Add in classical and choral music. At one time she sang in Latin, accompanied by church organs. Mixing styles on her new album is a result of her musical upbringing.

Interestingly, Rowbottom didn’t grow up taking musical instrument lessons. But– and here’s where I’m amazed– she plays keyboards, organs, bass, guitars, as well as the accordion, ukulele, autoharp, omnichord, recorder, melodica and even modified children’s toys. A musician’s visit to her recording studio would be akin to a kid in candy store.

bleeding obvious

Listening to her debut album, I particularly liked the song “I, Human,” which reminded me of the group Chumbawamba. It effortlessly combines spoken word, pop and electro sounds in a cool way. There’s even a little kid saying, “Isn’t it bleeding obvious?” in the song.

The Bleeding Obvious represents a marriage of art and music put together by a musically interesting music maker consistently keeping the listener’s attention. If I had an award to give, it would go to this project for “best album of 2016.”

bleeding obvious

Keep up with the news on The Bleeding Obvious Facebook page or on Twitter.