Music

Browsing Roaming the Arts quickly leads to the understanding that music was the inspiration for creating this type of non-commercial web presence devoted to exposing artists to a wider audience, build their fan base, and drive traffic to their websites. Most of the musicians posted so far have been seen by us in live performance or are actively being followed, awaiting an opportunity for live entertainment to return to the fold. Each post has an embedded video chosen to entertain and give a sense of the artists style. Continuing on to “Visit Site” will take you to the artist website to check schedules, new releases, and a variety of information and links to videos.

Neal Francis

Neal Francis

Liberated from a self-destructive past and born anew in sobriety, Francis has captured an inspired collection of songs steeped in New Orleans rhythms, Chicago blues, and early 70s rock n’ roll. His music evokes a bygone era of R&B’s heyday while simultaneously forging a new path on the musical landscape. Colemine Records

 

“The reincarnation of Allen Toussaint.” Craig Charles, BBC Radio 6

“Think New Orleans meets the Midwest with a little bit of California sun shining in the background.” -TwinCitiesMedia.net

“There’s a good chance you’ll have heard of Francis by the time the year is over…classic Funk, Soul and R&B.” Cincinnati CityBeat

“…gleefully mired In 70s style funk.” – NPR

“Soulful style…uplifting vibe…” – Dusty Groove

 “Instant Americana-funk classic…R&B, blues and touches of gospel and good old fashioned funk merge into pure beauty and soul here, making the appetite and excitement for whatever Francis does next all the more intense.” – Record Crates United

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The Cactus Blossoms

The Cactus Blossoms

“Hey baby, do you wanna take a trip with me? / I’ve got a feeling there might be a silver lining all around.” So begins One Day, the captivating new album from critically acclaimed Minneapolis duo The Cactus Blossoms. Written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the record explores the tension between optimism and despair that’s defined much of the past few years of American life, examining the power (or naïveté, depending on your perspective) of positive thinking in the face of chaos and uncertainty. The songs here are tender and timeless, with straightforward arrangements centered around brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum’s airtight harmonies, and the performances are warm and intimate to match, delivered with a soulful, ’70s-inspired palette of playful Wurlitzer, breezy guitars, and muscular percussion.

The Cactus Blossoms broke out nationally in 2016 with their JD McPherson-produced debut, You’re Dreaming. Dates with Kacey Musgraves, Jenny Lewis, and Lucius followed, as did raves from the New York Times and NPR, who praised “the brothers’ extraordinary singing.” The band was further catapulted into the spotlight in 2018, when David Lynch tapped them to perform in the return of Twin Peaks, and continued to build on their success with their 2019 sophomore LP, Easy Way, which led Rolling Stone to laud the duo’s “rock-solid, freak of genetics harmonies.” High Road Touring

If you love the harmonies of the Everly Brothers, do not miss listening to The Cactus Blossoms. Brothers, they are.

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The Record Company

The Record Company

The Record Company is an American rock band from Los Angeles. The members are Chris Vos, Alex Stiff, and Marc Cazorla. Their music is influenced by blues musicians like John Lee Hooker, early punk bands like The Stooges, and rock bands like The Rolling Stones. Wikipedia

These rising stars have been riding up the charts with their latest release Play Loud.

Below is an excerpt from an excellent article featured in RELIX…where Music meets Journalism

From Play Loud’s first notes, it’s quite evident that something has changed. The raw, bluesy feel that lined The Record Company’s first two albums is no longer there; instead, there’s a rock[1]and-roll swagger that shines through. It’s energetic in ways that feel more apt for arenas instead of the home-studio recordings that often looked inward. On the album’s opener “Never Leave You,” Vos laments being a bit lost, searching for answers, finding solace in the sun. It’s a simple song about relationship confusion, but it sets the tone for Play Loud: The music here is catchy as hell. The single “How High” is an anthemic number, driven by Stiff and Cazorla’s thumping rhythms. At times, it feels like a pure adrenaline rush, especially when the chorus asks listeners to consider “how high do you want to fly”—in an aspirational way.

That’s not to say that their past is completely devoid on Play Loud. “Today Forever” is a slow, bluesy number that finds Vos passionately declaring to a lover that a great move would be to run away for “a day that will last forever.” It’s grand gesture thinking, but that’s the running thread throughout Play Loud—be yourself, take a chance, do it with some gusto.

Most of the songs were written pre-pandemic, but the Play Loud recording sessions took place in the spring of 2020. Unexpectedly, the lyrics seem to take on a new life once they started laying down the tracks, particularly “How High,” which seems to touch on themes relating to recovery.

“We were in a new, challenging time,” Vos says. “But at my core, as a human, I was back to being a 14-year-old kid sitting on the edge of my bed, playing guitar because I had nothing else to do today. The only thing on my mind was music. It was the only thing that would make me feel better, making the record. It became the absolute focal point of our lives. That was unexpectedly positive in a field of a lot of negativity. That was one area where we did benefit from being isolated. These songs for me were very emotionally profound. We’d written a lot before [the pandemic] but, all of a sudden, you’re taking it into the studio, and you’re singing this song—and this life, it means something different. We all have a relatable struggle. We all didn’t see our moms and dads for a long time. We all didn’t see our friends for a long time. That’s something we all share.”

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Steve Forbert

Steve Forbert

Samuel Stephen “Steve” Forbert is an American pop music singer-songwriter. Bob Harris of BBC Radio 2 said Forbert has “One of the most distinctive voices anywhere.” His 1979 song “Romeo’s Tune” reached No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No. 13 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart. Wikipedia

Latest release – Early Morning Rain — In Steve’s own words: 

“For the past few years things have been extremely hectic–nonstop issues and distractions. Now we’re trying to cope with a full-on pandemic – the very kind of contagious thing we studied back in history class! My new record is my idea of rather a  “breather”.  I’ve released 20 studio albums of original material by now and I’m taking my time writing more  songs…but this EARLY  MORNING RAIN “cover” album is a what you might call an “easy assignment” for  Americana/folk music fans. You don’t have to study new chapters here, just enjoy these renditions of songs you already know and probably love!”

For more video variety vist Steve Forbert on social media.

And check out his book:

Big City Cat: My Life in Folk Rock

 

Dion

Dion (Dimucci)

“Dion, like a circling star that never fades, generates the energy and fire we need to pull ourselves up and start again.” (Pete Townsend)

Dion may be a household name and Hall of Famer but has earned a post here as he remains relevant at 82.
Currently charting with a new record, Stomping Ground, featuring collaboration with over a dozen major artists.
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Read and remember:

Dion DiMucci had a career unlike any other in 20th century popular music, one that took him from harmonizing doo wop on the streets of the Bronx to baring his soul on a series of singer/songwriter albums in the ’70s, spending his later years bringing his blues into the 21st century. First famous for the hits he had as a teen with the Belmonts, “The Wanderer” and “Ruby Baby” were covers that established Dion as a solo star in the late ’50s, while “Runaround Sue” and “Lovers Who Wander,” which he co-wrote, revealed a songwriting talent that would flourish over the years. DiMucci kept recording after the British Invasion changed the rock & roll landscape of the ’60s, but he didn’t have another big hit until the bittersweet “Abraham, Martin and John” in 1968, a single that introduced a period as an idiosyncratic singer/songwriter, an era encapsulated on the 1975 cult classic Born to Be with YouDion spent some time singing Christian music and oldies before returning to fresh material with 1989’s Dave Edmunds-produced Yo Frankie. From that point forward, DiMucci split the difference between R&B throwbacks and new tunes, eventually settling into a blues groove, beginning with 2006’s Bronx in Blue and stretching into 2021’s Stomping Ground.

When Dion began recording in the late ’50s, it was as the lead singer of a group of friends who sang on Bronx street corners. Billing themselves Dion & the Belmonts (Dion had released a previous single with the Timberlanes), their first few records were prime Italian-American doo wop; “I Wonder Why” was their biggest hit in this style. Dion‘s biggest single with the Belmonts was “A Teenager in Love,” which pointed the way for the slightly self-pitying, pained odes to adolescence and early adulthood that would characterize much of his solo work.

Dion went solo in 1960 (the Belmonts did some more doo wop recordings on their own), moving from doo wop to more R&B/pop-oriented tunes with great success. He handled himself with a suave, cocky ease on hits like “The Wanderer,” “Runaround Sue,” “Lovers Who Wander,” “Ruby Baby,” and “Donna the Prima Donna,” which cast him as either the jilted, misunderstood youngster or the macho lover, capable of handling anything that came his way (especially on “The Wanderer”).

In 1963, Dion moved from Laurie to the larger Columbia label, an association that started promisingly with a couple of big hits right off the bat, “Ruby Baby” and “Donna the Prima Donna.” By the mid-’60s, his heroin habit (which he’d developed as a teenager) was getting the best of him, and he did little recording and performing for about five years. When he did make it into the studio, he was moving in some surprisingly bluesy directions; although much of it was overlooked or unissued at the time, it can be heard on the Bronx Blues reissue CD.

In 1968, he kicked heroin and re-emerged as a gentle folk-rocker with a number four hit single, “Abraham, Martin and John.” Dion would focus upon mature, contemporary material on his late-’60s and early-’70s albums, which were released to positive critical feedback, if only moderate sales. The folk phase didn’t last long; in 1972 he reunited with the Belmonts and in the mid-’70s cut a disappointing record with Phil Spector as producer. He recorded and performed fairly often in the years that followed (sometimes singing Christian music), to indifferent commercial results. But his critical rep has risen steadily since the early ’60s, with many noted contemporary musicians showering him with praise and citing his influence, such as Dave Edmunds (who produced one of his periodic comeback albums) and Lou Reed (who guested on that record). Dion continued to be active as the 21st century opened, releasing Déjà Nu in 2000, Under the Influence in 2005, and Bronx in Blue in 2006. His first major-label album since 1989’s Yo FrankieSon of Skip James was released by Verve in 2007, while 2008’s Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock saw him tackling 15 songs from the classic rock & roll era. Influenced by a conversation with rock critic Dave Marsh about his long and still relevant career, and a dare from his wife Susan to prove it, Dion cut Tank Full of Blues, producing and playing the guitars himself on the recording and writing or co-writing all but one track on the set. Issued on Blue Horizon, it is the final recording in the trilogy that began with Bronx in Blue.

Dion signed to Instant Records in 2015 and immediately set to recording a new studio album. Entitled New York Is My Home, its first single and title track — a duet with Paul Simon — was pre-released in November digitally and as a striking video. The album was issued in the winter of 2016.

Then the singer/songwriter and Norton Records surprised everyone. In 1965, DiMucci was signed to Columbia, and had cut 15 new songs — all produced by Tom Wilson, who was recording Bob Dylan in the same studios at roughly the same time — for an album that the label, for whatever reason, decided not to release. Dion left the label over the decision. Some tracks were issued on singles, others later on various compilations. But for over 50 years, the tapes sat. That’s where Norton’s Miriam Linna and Billy Miller came in. They received the rights to release the entire record as it was originally intended, completely remastered from the original tapes. Featuring ten originals, one by Mort Shuman (who had co-written “Teenager in Love” with Doc Pomus for Dion & the Belmonts), and three by Dylan (who had been enamored with Dion since the ’50s). Though Miller passed before it was issued, Kickin’ Child: The Lost Columbia Album 1965 was released by the label in May.

In 2020, Dion released Blues with Friends, a collection of original blues songs performed as duets with such superstar pals as Bruce SpringsteenPaul SimonVan Morrison, and Billy Gibbons. The album was released by KTBA Records (it stands for “Keeping the Blues Alive”), which brought out a similar set in November 2021, Stomping Ground. Another star-sprinkled set of original songs, Stomping Ground featured guest appearances from Rickie Lee JonesBoz ScaggsKeb’ Mo’Mark Knopfler, and many more. In between those two albums, in November 2020, Dion issued a Christmas single, featuring his versions of “Hello Christmas” (featuring Amy Grant) and “You Know It’s Christmas

Artist Biography by Richie Unterberger – via All Music Guide

 

John Prine

Read Obit from Rolling Stone Magazine

John Prine

was an American country folk singer-songwriter. He has been active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer since the early 1970s, and is known for an often humorous style of country music that has elements of protest and social commentary. His legacy is being noted in every corner of the globe. Evidenced by the hundreds of recording on Facebook and Youtube by musicians covering his songs almost daily since his passing from Covid-19 in April 2020.

Check out long time lead guitarist Jason Wilber

 

Lawrence

Lawrence the Band

They are brother and sister with an eight-piece band delivering soul-pop music with some hints of funk, R&B, and rock and roll.

Most of all they are young and having fun.

Latest release – Hotel TV

Funniest Video – It’s Not All About You

Clyde Lawrence and Gracie Lawrence have been writing songs and listening to countless Stevie Wonder, Randy Newman, and Aretha Franklin records in the living room of their family’s New York City apartment since they were little kids. After years of playing together, they officially created Lawrence, an eight-piece soul-pop band comprised of musician friends from childhood and college. In June 2019, Lawrence became the first band to sign with Beautiful Mind Records, the label of Grammy-winning producer/song-writer/artist Jon Bellion. In the weeks following the signing, they released the Bellion-produced single “Casualty,” and embarked as support on Bellion’s Summer 2019 Glory Sound Prep Tour. The signing followed the release of Lawrence’s sophomore album, Living Room, in September of 2018. Co-produced by bandmates Jordan Cohen and Jonny Koh, Brooklyn-based producer Eli Crews, and Clyde and Gracie themselves, Living Room chronicles the trials and tribulations of growing up, including break-ups, make-ups, and a family loss. Living Room built sonically on the band’s first album, Breakfast (2016), which was produced by Grammy Award-winner Eric Krasno (Lettuce/Soulive). In addition to the band, Clyde has also amassed a considerable resume writing songs and score for films and television, while Gracie is an accomplished film, television, and theater actress. (Splitter.fm)

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Marcus King

Lead singer and guitarist for The Marcus King Band, 25-year-old Marcus King has a lot of experience under his belt despite his young age. With over a decade of performing live, King has already made a name for himself among today’s top indie artists. Not many musicians can claim to be a professional by the age of eleven! With King’s dedication to his craft, he has sought to revamp the indie music industry through his unique spin on the genre. Read on to learn more about The Marcus King band from Roaming the Arts.

Marcus King And The Early Years Of His Life

Music was a huge factor in King’s upbringing. With a four-generation legacy of musicians in the family, King seemed to be destined to leave his mark on music as well. Learning from both his father and his grandfather, Marcus King learned how to play the guitar by the tender age of just four years old. His passion for the guitar has only grown with time, prompting the design of the Marcus King Gibson ES 345, a custom vintage design inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains King called home. Talent for string instruments can be traced back to King’s great-grandfather, who was an avid fiddler. With his grandfather transitioning from fiddle to guitar, and dear ol’ dad being a professional guitarist himself, King certainly had a lot of talent to learn from.

Further Inspiration For King’s Unique Brand Of Music

Through his upbringing in Greenville, South Carolina, much of the influence for The Marcus King Band can be attributed to his hometown. The indie music artist can be described as a powerhouse combination of classic rock-n-roll blended with soul and country influences. Some inspiration for this sound can be seen from King’s father, guitarist and singer Marvin King, who is known for his own band, Marvin King and The Blues Revival. King’s grandfather lent his guitar expertise to the country scene, contributing again to the type of music King would later showcase. 

Where The Marcus King Band Is Today

Alongside Marcus King (guitar and vocals), The Marcus King Band is made up of members Stephen Campbell (bass), Dean Mitchell (sax and guitar), Justin Johnson (trombone and trumpet), and Jack Ryan (drummer). The five musicians have been performing together since 2013 – That’s 8 years performing as the Marcus King Band! Their record, El Dorado, is out now and available to be enjoyed by music lovers everywhere! The group is currently located in Nashville, Tennessee, where they continue to write and perform music regularly. Concert information can be found on their website, along with all of the latest updates on The Marcus King Band.

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Scary Pockets

Scary Pockets

An Incredible Cover Band From The LA Music Scene

Scary Pockets are a dynamic funk band formed from the LA music scene (Los Angeles, USA). The band consists of Ryan Lerman and Jack Conte who are joined by a continuously rotating line up of quality musicians to form Scary Pockets.

Ryan Lerman spent his twenties touring as a bassist for the American singer-songwriter, Ben Folds. He also has performed as a guitarist for Micheal Bublé and as a musical director for John Legend. A very impressive back catalog of performance history. The other half of Scary Pockets, Jack Conte, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, disc jockey, entrepreneur, and filmmaker. When these two talented individuals mix their skills together, along with some of the best session musicians from the LA music scene, the results are phenomenal.

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Allman Betts Band

Allman Betts Band

Devon Allman and Duane Betts unite in this exciting band.

Back on the Road. (Somtimes with friends)

The Allman Betts Band includes Devon Allman & Duane Betts on guitars and vocals, Berry Oakley Jr. on bass, Johnny Stachela on slide guitar, John Ginty on Hammond B3 (Robert Randolph/Dixie Chicks) and Devon Allman Project percussionists R. Scott Bryan (Sheryl Crow) and John Lum.  The show features original music from their two recent BMG albums, songs from their solo projects as well as classic songs by The Allman Brothers Band, the legendary group founded by Devon and Duane’s fathers, Gregg Allman & Dickey Betts.

Their sophomore album, Bless Your Heart, was released on August 28, 2020.  Like their debut album, Bless Your Heart was recorded at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, John Prine and Elvis Presley).

“This is The Allman Betts Band’s best offering yet, showcasing a band still tethered to their legacy but finding their own way with a sound that honors their roots without stepping all over them.” – No Depression

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