Music

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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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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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

 

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 in the Road.

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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Samantha Fish

Samantha Fish

A blues musician from Kansas City, Missouri, Samantha Fish impressed industry professionals as a teenager before scoring her first Billboard blues number one in her mid-twenties. Fish grew up in a musical family with a variety of genres, including a steady diet of classic rock radio. Her father played guitar and would sometimes jam with friends at home. Young Samantha started out as a drummer but switched to guitar at the age of 15. As a teen, she would sneak into local blues landmark the Knuckleheads Saloon to hear touring musicians, and she began sitting in with them from time to time after she became legal at 18.

Girls with Guitars In 2009, Fish recorded the live album Live Bait as the Samantha Fish Blues Band, and the rock-edged guitar work brought her to the attention of Ruf Records. The label featured her alongside Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on the 2011 release Girls with Guitars, which featured covers of the Rolling Stones and the Steve Miller Band as well as original material from the three guitarist/singer/songwriters. Later that same year, Fish released her solo debut, Runaway, also with Ruf Records. It was produced by mentor and frequent collaborator Mike Zito.

Black Wind Howlin' She saw her first chart success with her sophomore LP, Black Wind Howlin’, also produced by Zito. It hit the Billboard Heatseekers chart and reached the Top Ten of the blues albums chart upon release in 2013. She followed it with Wild at Heart in 2015, which became a blues number one. In 2017, she returned with her fourth studio album, Chills & Fever. Recorded in Detroit with members of the Detroit Cobras it featured covers of obscure pop and soul tunes.

Also in 2017, Fish issued Belle of the West, recorded in Missouri with Luther Dickinson and featuring musical contributions by guitarist/harmonica player Lightnin’ Malcolm, former-Squirrel Nut Zipper Jimbo Mathus, violinist Lillie Mae Rische, and others. The album helped the guitarist pick up a 2018 Blues Music Association award for Contemporary Female Artist of the Year. Fish‘s seventh studio album, Kill or Be Kind, arrived in 2019 and found her working with producer Scott Billington in Memphis.

Artist Biography by Marcy Donelson

(For all “red links” above, please use back button to return here – see AllMusic.com to browse their site)

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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

 

Band of Heathens

Band of Heathens

Performance Video — Heaven Help Us All

When The Band of Heathens decided to dub their sixth studio album of original material Stranger (its first since 2017’s Duende), the veteran band, formed in Austin, TX nearly 15 years ago, had no idea how prophetic that title would turn out to be. Although the name references the famed existential Albert Camus novel and Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi classic Stranger in a Strange Land, it also touches on the “strangers” who make up the band’s loyal fan base, who supported the band during this period with all touring canceled.

As co-founder Ed Jurdi acknowledges, it is certainly an unusual time to release a new album. “The strangest,” he says. “Maybe no time stranger. Since we started, there have been sweeping, revolutionary changes in the music business, but, in this global pandemic, we’re just a microcosm.”
“We’re really fortunate that we have been able to turn directly to our fan base during the pandemic,” adds fellow co-founder Gordy Quist. “The last few months we’ve spent four nights a week live-streaming personal private concerts to fans, and one night a week publicly live-streaming with the whole band Zooming in from their respective homes in California, Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee. At first it seemed very strange until
these walls started coming down and we realized how connected we are by the fabric of music.”

Extending the metaphor of Stranger even further. The Band of Heathens traveled to another city, Portland, OR, with a brand-new producer, Tucker Martine [The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse, Camera Obscura], and the result is something different – a more airy, intimate atmosphere, with added emphasis on songcraft and intricate arrangements set in a spacious sonic landscape that reinvents the band’s sound. These are songs stripped of pretense, but teeming with the emotion borne of personal experience, as has been The Band of Heathens’ method from the very start. Stranger moves off into a new place, but still echoes the group’s artful songwriting and multi-layered narrative observations.

The Stranger was released in 2020 and is a top ten roots rock album riding high in the charts.

 

Nataniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Nataniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Nathaniel David Rateliff is an American singer and songwriter based in Denver, whose influences are described as folk, Americana and vintage rhythm & blues. Rateliff has garnered attention with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, the soulful R&B combo he formed in 2013. Wikipedia

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