indie music artists

It is increasingly typical of music to make itself available without a major label contract. Musicians have the technology and the means of distribution in keeping with today. Downloads, Spotify, etc. make it easy to be an indie music artist. By definition, not on a major label.

California Honeydrops

California Honeydrops

The Honeydrops have come a long way since guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland subway station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street-level feel. Listening to Lech sing, it can be a surprise that he was born in Warsaw, Poland, and raised by Polish political refugees. He learned his vocal stylings from contraband American recordings of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong, and later at Oberlin College and on the club circuit in Oakland, California. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Bradbury on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound to support Wierzynski’s vocals. More like parties than traditional concerts, their shows feature extensive off-stage jamming and crowd interaction. “The whole point is to erase the boundaries between the crowd and us,” Wierzynski says. “We don’t make setlists. We want requests. We want crowd involvement, to make people become a part of the whole thing by dancing along, singing, picking the songs and generally coming out of their shells.”

 

 

Marcia Ball

Marcia Ball

“Fifty years have passed in a flash,” says Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist, songwriter and vocalist Marcia Ball of her long and storied career. Ball, the 2018 Texas State Musician Of The Year, has won worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world. With each new release, her reputation as a profoundly soulful singer, a boundlessly talented pianist and a courageous, inventive songwriter continues to grow. Her love of the road has led to years of soul-satisfying performances at festivals, concert halls and clubs. 

The New York Times says, “Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time.” 

The Houston Chronicle says simply, “She’s as perfect as an artist can be.”

(Big) Al Anderson

Al Anderson

Listed as one of the top 100 guitar players of the 20th century by Musician Magazine and with over 900 cuts internationally, Big Al’s music career was destined. Raised by his piano teacher mother and a radio that would get WWVA in Wheeling West Virginia late at night, he would devour all genres of music from Hank Williams, The Everly Brothers, The Ventures, Chet Atkins, Elvis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Motown and Stax paving the way for what would be a giant life in music.

NRBQ years

His first band “The Sixpacks” became “The Wildweeds,” recording a regional hit “No Good To Cry” that went on to chart nationally. With a change in record labels (from Chess to Vanguard) and a change in musical direction, Al caught the attention of the members of NRBQ. In 1971, Al left Connecticut for New York’s to enroll at the “University of Q” — a 22 year planetary course in all things musical. Al’s exposure to a evener wider range of musical genres served him well in the “Q.” His mind and string-bending guitar playing coupled with his giant stage presence had become legendary, and in the course of recording over a dozen albums with them, he had written some of the band’s most memorable songs — ‘Ridin in My Car’, ‘Never Take The Place of You,’ It Was An Accident,’ ‘Comes to Me Naturally,’ ‘What a Nice Way to Go,’ ‘Feel You around Me,’ and many more.

After over two decades of hard touring, hard living and encyclopedic musical knowledge, Al was ready to change his already prodigious song writing talent into a full-time venture.

Two years before he left NRBQ, he wrote a song with Carlene Carter, “Every Little Thing” that she took to top 5 all over the world. That song, and meeting music publisher Pat Daniel McMurry (Escott), were the turning points in Al’s career and life. With the support, guidance and belief that Pat provided, Al became unstoppable. At the same time that Al signed with Pat, he decided to quit drinking and suddenly became one of the most prolific writers in Nashville. “I went from 3 songs a year to writing sometimes 3 a day”.

The parade of hits is long and include singles and cuts by Vince Gill, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy Buffett, Martina McBride, Patty Loveless, George Jones, Sheryl Crow, Leann Rimes, Tim McGraw, George Strait, Rascall Flatts, Zac Brown, Anthony Hamilton, Harry Connick Jr and many others.

He latest love is Music City’s premier rock band “The World Famous Headliners” rounded out with top tier penmen/artists/musicians extraordinaire Pat McLaughlin, Shawn Camp, Michael Rhodes and Greg Morrow

 

Ballroom Thieves

“A rock band in a folk suit,” The Ballroom Thieves 

Calin “Callie” Peters (vocals, cello, bass), Martin Earley (vocals, guitar), and Devin Mauch (vocals, percussion) – released their third album Unlovely on February 14, 2020.  With subject matters ranging from female empowerment, to love in a committed relationship, to their fury about the current state of American leadership, this collection of tracks is the distillation of the band’s personal and political passions.  Songs like “Vanity Trip” and title track “Unlovely” boil over with exasperation and disgust, in protest of today’s status quo.  As the first album entirely co-written by Peters and Earley, Unlovely is also a tangible reflection of their evolution from band members to life partners, as heard in songs like “Love Is Easy.”

Incorporating musical styles that range from Motown to classic rock, Unlovely maintains the recognizable, nostalgia-tinged sound of The Ballroom Thieves’ previous outputs while pushing a heightened brashness.  Since the release of their first EP and debut full-length, A Wolf in the Doorway, The Ballroom Thieves have consistently and skillfully crossed genres, joining artists like CAAMP, Langhorne Slim and Shakey Graves to bridge the gap between folk, rock, and soul.  It’s their unique brand of powerful and harmonious music, while never shying away from topics and ideas they are passionate about, that has charmed fans around the country, while gaining a loyal live following and selling out shows. (Nettwerk Music Group)

 

Mark Erelli

Mark Erelli

is an American singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and touring folk musician from Reading, Massachusetts who earned a master’s degree in evolutionary biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst before pursuing a career in music. Wikipedia

Latest recording — Blindsided

(Blindsided) soars on the wings of jangly guitars, heartfelt vocals and soulful harmony lines…Yep, that’s the sweet spot right there. And there’s enough of it to make this album matter.”
The Associated Press

“Erelli is a throwback of sorts, a foursquare acoustic songwriter in an age of digital audio workstations. For ‘Blindsided’ he has amped up with a superb band…a rock ‘n’ soul set of songs with friction” –Boston Globe

 

Peter Mulvey

Peter Mulvey

is an American folk singer-songwriter based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since the early 1990s, he has developed a strong national following in the indie folk/rock scene through his relentless touring and critically acclaimed albums. Wikipedia

Peter is live streaming on a regular basis during the pandemic.

Click on his site below.

 

The Steel Wheels

Steel Wheels

Creators and Hosts of The Redwing Festival

Simultaneously familiar and fresh, the Steel Wheels bring a singular energy to every note they play and sparkling craft to each song. This potent combination, paired with a robust tour calendar, have made the veteran band hands-down favorites of fans and peers alike. From their base in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, TSW have played the most prestigious festivals, listening rooms, and clubs in the world, cementing a reputation as one of the top independent bands on the scene today.

Check the website for one of the better responses to pandemic streaming solutions, Distance Together.

Shannon McNally

Shannon McNally

For those who have followed McNally’s nearly twenty year career the thing that most sticks with the listener about her, is the timeless effortlessness that she brings to all she does. With a long catalog and longer list of peers with whom she has written, recorded and toured, McNally continues to turn out great music that defies blatant genre-fication. 

At home across the American (Americana) music spectrum, the Grammy nominee who’s live music career began on the jam band circuit of the 1990’s with bands like Robert Randolph and Derek Trucks, writes as well as she interprets the songs of others, has a top tier musicality to her craft, a soul stirring voice that immediately grabs one by the heart strings and a troubadour’s wanderlust, not to mention as it turns out, she is also an excellent electric guitar player.

Note: Embedded video goes back a few years to Shannon’s Bobby Charles Tribute recording. With so much new McNally music since and readily available online we thought this video might be missed. Enjoy.

Shinyribs

SHINYRIBS

is the continuation of Kevin Russell’s musical journey that began in Beaumont, TX when, at 14, he found his father’s guitar under his bed, along with a sewing machine, a billy club and a box of comic books. Luckily he chose the guitar. A Shinyribs show is an exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip shaking, belly laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party. All styles of American music are likely to be touched on, squeezed on, kissed on by this world-class band featuring Winfield Cheek on Keyboards, Keith Langford on Drums, Jeff Brown on Bass, the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns, and The Shiny Soul Sisters – Kelley Mickwee & Alice Spencer. Whether on his 6 string Uke or his Electric guitar or singing a cappella, Russell will entertain you like no one else. The freedom with which he moves, coupled with his incredible voice is an experience in and of itself. His original songs laced with magical-realism along with novel interpretations of popular songs old and new (George Jones, TLC, Leadbelly, T-Pain) are the true art that runs throughout. He’s Burl Ives meets Al Green; Hank, Jr. meets Teddy Pendergrass. Wendell Berry meets Chuck Berry.

Buddy Miller

Buddy (& Julie) Miller

Steven Paul “Buddy” Miller is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist and producer, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Miller is married to and has recorded with singer-songwriter Julie MillerWikipedia

Check out : The first new album from Buddy & Julie Miller in 10 years, Breakdown On 20th Avenue South

When you hear the word Indie, what picture comes to your mind? Maybe someone with long hair, calmly stringing an acoustic guitar and looking sad. They are easily seen as artistic, soft-spoken singers who recite poems in a gentle alto tone. This image of Indie music artists has a lot of historical steepness, but how do you describe music artists in Indie? With Roaming the Arts, all your confusion and controversy become a thing of the past. Read on to learn more about male and female indie pop artists.

Who Are Indie Music Artists

The term ”Indie” is used as an abbreviation to represent ‘Independent’. It implies that the producers of this music genre are independent of any commercial record label. Categorizing indie music artists as being independent singers of many genres is different from the ancient method of describing Indie, looking at musicians like Mac Demarco and Tame Impala. They are a group of alternative rock musicians, whose music genre has evolved into Indie rock. And although most Indie artists are classified as alternative rock, it has caused a bit of controversy whereby many independent rock artists don’t collaborate with independent labels. Many independent music artists don’t belong to a single music genre or style, and they also make categorized self-published music that you can categorize.

Why Is The Genre Called Indie?

Indie music is a product of strong common musical threads that has existed between many artists through the years. This music genre is poetic and introspective and this background dates back to frontiers like Bob Dylan the Nobel Laureate and other similar musicians. Although the music artists in Indie are termed independent, they often do not have a streamlined music genre. Other musicians like Nick Drake gave Indie music the dreariness it is characterized with. The demure and subtle disposition of Indie music was the formative aspect of the business.

Popular Indie Music Artists 

There are lots of singers in Indie music that define the genre and music style. Dylan and Drake belong to a group of Proto-Indie experts and they paved the way for new musicians who expanded the genre to what it is today. Musicians like Elliot Smith, Nirvana, and other first-hand Indie singers still set the pace. The likes of Foals, Coldplay, Frank Ocean, Radiohead, Pavement, The Maccabees, Wiz Khalifa, The Cults, and Billie Eilish. The list is endless, and you’ll be amazed at some music artists in Indie. In the end, whether your favorite artist is Indie or not, music is about the soul. When you don’t have words to express yourself, music does it. But with a deeper understanding of the historical aspect of Indie music, you’ll better appreciate the songs.

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