I don’t know about you but it’s a wee bit chilly out there. I wonder how many group of musicians have decided to name their band, The Artic Vortex. A couple of things to tell you about as you’re trying to get warm.
Veer Magazine has announced the nominees for their 3rd Annual Local Music Awards. 2013 was a great year for local music especially with all of the great new releases that came out, so it’s no surprise that list for best album is pretty packed. It’s going to be a tough vote for the judges (disclaimer: 50% of the vote comes from online votes and the other 50% come from a panel of judges and I’m one of the judges). Do your rock’n'roll civic duty and vote! Just click this link to vote for your favorites. The Hampton Roads Show is nominated in the Best Broadcast Media Promoting Local Music category and this blog is nom…well, no it’s not nominated in the Best Digital Media Promoting Local Music category but a lot of great sites are including the awesome Muzik Lounge and Sam McDonald of The Daily Press. So vote now!
The expression goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun” and that pretty much sums up 2013. Another year of Live Music Friday is in the books and I feel that this year was the best yet. The music scene in Hampton Roads continues to grow and the crop of talent just keeps getting better.
From our first featured artist of the year, Bear Crossing, to the last, The USAF Heritage Ramblers, 49 musicians and bands of all different genres have graced our stage in 2013. From the funk of The Fuzz Band to the blues of Anthony Rosano to the ‘noise’ (the good kind) of Over The Ocean, this year has been a memorable one.
We were able to share brand new albums from Logan Vath, DJP and MrT, Longfellow Street and Noel DeLisle. The Aragona Project even played a song so new that it didn’t even have a title yet. Jake Clemons had found time between European and South American tours with Bruce Springsteen to stop by to perform a couple of great tunes.
This past year has also seen an influx of requests from national artists to come on the show. I’ve always received a handful from prior years but this year has been a little crazy. At last count, I’ve received requests from over 370 national signed bands to perform on the show. I would love to feature everyone but since there are only 52 Fridays in a year, it’s a bit tough and I always have the local artists as first priority. For a few months during the summer, I created a web-based performance series that I offered to the national artist. It was basically the same format as Live Music Friday but this was only aired on the website. The X-Ambassadors stumbled in the studio early in the morning after a sold-out show at the Jewish Mother and played an awesome acoustic versions of Litost and Unconsolable. Other great artists that appeared on my web series was up and coming country singer from Nashville, Bonner Black and the legend, Gary U.S. Bonds. Sadly, I had to end the series because of the added hour of WAVY News 10 Today on FOX 43. Hopefully I might be able to find time in the new year to resurrect it.
I can continue to go and go about the great year but I have to stop somewhere. Thank you to the great musicians of the 757 for making some memorable and passionate music. 2014 is going to be another great year!
We are just under 10 days away before we all huddle underneath a blinged out pine tree and open gifts and share laughter with loved ones. In the world of music, nothing gives back better than a well-crafted tune that you can have for a lifetime. Writing a song is as simple as putting pen to paper but crafting it into a piece of art takes time and time costs money.
The music making process is a several step project: 1. Writing 2. Recording 3. Mixing 4. Mastering 5. Reproduction. Those are the main ingredients and you can add more to your liking (artwork, vinyl, CD’s, etc) but that also costs some coin.
A couple of local musicians are in various stages of the process and they need your help. I have talked about music campaign sites, Kickstarter and Indiegogo before and the great thing about them is that while you help out a friend, you also get something in return. Ranging from digital downloads, advanced releases, swag and album credits, it’s a great way from to get in the middle of the process.
Zach Gehring of Mae fame is starting up a new musical venture called Demons. Zach plans to record a collection of songs and press them to vinyl. Click here to check out his Indiegogo page. Several incentives you get for your donation include digital downloads, tshirts and an opportunity for you to get your money back if the album makes a profit.
Esbern Snare has been working on their debut album, A Violent Peace, for the last year and while the album has been recorded and mixed, they need your help with the mastering, artwork and replication of the record. A couple of gifts they are giving their backers range from advanced copies, tickets to their release show and an opportunity to play Playstation with the them. Click here to visit to their Kickstarter page.
That is all for me today. A couple of things to be on the lookout for is our Best Of Live Music Friday show that will air Friday, December 27 and my Top Ten Songs of 2013 blog that will be published on New Years Eve.
We are 20 days away from the big day and if you’re like me, you need to get going on the whole shopping thing. You also probably have no idea what you’re getting anybody. That’s why I’m here. I have a couple of great gift ideas that will certainly get you on the favorite sibling list.
As you know by now, this blog is dedicated to spreading the word and supporting the fine musicians of Hampton Roads and there is no better way to support them and fulfill your gift list at the same time then by buying some swag. Pretty much every band and artist have merch for sale at their shows and buying a shirt or CD is the best way to help keep them to continue making and performing music. In this day in age, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home . I have selected a couple of items from the Live Music Friday family that you can purchase from the world wide web.
Logan Vath and his band The Vacant just wrapped up a fantastic opening set for The Last Bison last week at The NorVa and they had a couple of shirts along with his CD, Better Man or Ghost, for sale. If you missed the show or missed out grabbing a shirt, you can grab this sweet tee on his Band Camp page. Click this link here to pick it up.
Who doesn’t love a bundle? Our August 30 Live Music Friday featured artist, Jake Clemons, just released his awesome new EP, Embracing Light. You might have seen him on Jimmy Fallon last week sitting in with The Root singing Song For Hope. Well now you can grab not only his EP but also one of his signature shirts and limited edition lithographs as part of a bundle deal. Click here to grab it and peruse other assortments of goodies.
This is just a small sample of what you can buy for your favorite music lovers. The best way to get something is to attend one of the many local shows that are happening around town. Not only are you supporting local music but you’re helping the local economy.
It’s that time of year when the temperature drops, families get together, the stomachs start to grow a little more and you start hearing Kenny Loggins’ Celebrate Me Home twelve times a day along with your other favorite Christmas tunes. It’s also the time of year to think about those in need. There is a place you need to be at Saturday night for a night of wonderful music and giving back.
The Last Bison has certainly had their best year to date, touring the nation in support of their Republic Records debut, Inheritance. They have just released an EP of Christmas songs titled Sleigh Ride that is available now. They have also been busy crafting new tunes in which they will record later in the new year for their Inheritance follow-up. Rumor has it that they will debuting several new songs at Saturday night’s show, yet another reason why you need to be at this concert.
Also joining the bill is one of our favorite members of the Live Music Friday family, Logan Vath and The Vacant. Logan recently released his debut record, Better Man and Ghost and puts on a fantastic show with his Ringo Starr-esque all-star band that includes Rob Sweitzer of Mae and Andrew Montgomery of Esbern Snare.
96X Presents The Gathering featuring The Last Bison in support of The Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and The Eastern Shore. Saturday, November 30 8p. Tickets are available at any Ticketmaster outlet and at The NorVa Box Office.
Be sure to watch a special edition of The Hampton Roads Show, Home For The Holidays featuring a live performance from The Last Bison Thanksgiving Night at 7p on WAVY-TV and an encore presentation Friday at 11a on WAVY-TV.
Tuesday is here and that only means one thing…well, two things: a day closer to the weekend and new music is released today. Two members of our Live Music Friday family have released two EP’s today.
Guitar slinger extraordinaire Brandon Jarod released his new EP, The Age Of Zero, which is his followup to his 2010 EP, The Crush. Six songs comprise this album including Red Hearts in which he performed on the show along with No Solution which is on The Crush. The Age Of Zero is available right now on iTunes and Amazon.
Our good friends and Republic Records recording artist The Last Bison have released their Christmas-themed EP called Sleigh Ride. 5 Holiday classics done folk-chestral style is most definitely sure to be a new holiday tradition on the playlist. You can grab it today on iTunes. The Last Bison will be at The NorVa Saturday, November 30 for The Gathering, their annual holiday concert presented by 96X and in support of The FoodBank of Southeastern VA. Our good buddy Logan Vath and The Vacant will also be joining the festivities. Tickets are still available and I’ll do a little preview of it next week.
The first notes cue up, you sit back and enjoy the journey you’re about to take. The first thing you hear on the opening track of Song For Hope is a beautiful piano from Brett Mayer which gives you a little New York State Of Mind tease then the guitar kicks in. Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to Embracing Light. Maybe it’s in the blood from his Uncle Clarence or the time spent slinging notes on stage with one of the greatest storytellers in music history but Jake Clemons has honed in and holds his own as a great songwriter and frontman on his latest collection of songs.
Five tracks comprise this EP and each one is a unique beauty. From the opening track Song For Hope, which blends in that great piano with a Ryan Adams-ish tone, to the Asbury Park inspired and can’t-get-this-song-out-of-my-head lead single, You Must Be Crazy, to the epic title track that is simply a work of art, this album is something special. The only downside to this is that it’s just an EP, I just want more. Listening to this feels like an old glove or talking to an great friend or even cherishing a great memory. It is something that you want to embrace and not let go.
Embracing Light is set for release December 3, 2013 and is something you must get right away. Thanks Jake for this wonderful collection of music and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the journey goes.
I’m pleased and honored to announce that the LMF blog has been selected to be the home for the worldwide premier of Jennifer Hope‘s video for Over You. Over You is off Jennifer’s fantastic album, Velvet Fire. I reviewed Velvet Fire back in April (click here to read it) and if you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, do it now!
Over You was shot at Independence Studios in Chatsworth, CA and directed by Swan Montgomery. Jennifer describes how the idea of the video came about:
“The vision for the Over You video popped into my mind one day while stuck in the LA traffic. To avoid utter irritation, I tuned out and let my mind wander to creative endeavors. The inspiration came from the thought that I was surrounded by so many people yet they all pretty much were in their own cages/cars not ‘seeing’ anything else around them in being consumed with the frustration that they were trapped in this non-moving traffic situation. And unable to go forward to the next thing in their journey/life – what awaited them at their next destination. To me that was the same idea as being in and then freed from the type of relationship described in my song, Over You.”
I would now like to present to you the world premier of Jennifer Hope’s Over You:
I first introduced you to The Dahus over a year ago when they came on the show to support their newly minted single, Urgency. I first saw them the prior year at their first show ever, opening for The Aragona Project, Bison (The Last Bison), Parade (Brother Speak) and The Vicars at The NorVA. I knew they were super talented then and I dubbed them the new Kings of the Duopoly. Fast forward to the present day, The Dahus are celebrating the release of their debut full-length album. After listening to it, they are still Kings of the Duopoly.
Glitter or Gold kicks things off and takes you on a runaway trip back in time with its vintage, underground sound. A great opening number that will have you humming for days. Richard Parker gives you an up-tempo punch in the gut that you welcome, just like it does when it’s played live. Always a crowd favorite. The highlight on the record for me is Wicked. Wicked was one was first songs The Dahus wrote and actually released a video for it a few years back. The song was great then and even better now. A great instrumental intro that was missing from the first cut and the additional backing vocals by Kelsey McNair really complete this fantastic song.
Each of 9 cuts on the record are great and producer Mark Padgett (Logan Vath, Bear Crossing) blends that talents of Larry Frame and Drew Orton together nicely to produce an great album that you’re not going hear everyday from anyone else. I’ve followed these guys since the beginning and I know how hard they worked to put this together and it shows.
This record if for everyone. Whether you’re into rock, funk, folk, soul, country or classical, this album will better your life.
As the Music Director for The Hampton Roads Show and as author of this fine blog, I go out and check out as many local live shows as I can and it’s not just the musicians I check, I also check the ambiance and entire atmosphere of the show. From the venue, to the crowd, to the food and what beers are on tap, I take it all in. One of the best events I attended last year was the ETC (Embrace The Culture) Festival. A first year event, it embraced all aspects of the culture of Hampton Roads. 3 stages with three totally different styles and vibes was packed with local musicians with a sprinkle of national headliners. Food trucks lined up to provide their fine fare and Hoffman Beverage will be flowing fine locally, craft beers. This weekend is round 2 and it’s bigger and better than ever.
It all starts up tonight with the ETC/VEER Magazine Fringe Festival, which will expand throughout downtown Norfolk with various local business’ and restaurants featuring local musicians. Click here for the full schedule.
Below is the full list of musicians performing Saturday. The main stage kicks off at 2:45p with Logan Vath & The Vacant. Logan was our Live Music Friday featured artist today and he’s always on of our favorites. His new album, Better Man or Ghost, is one of my favorites and it’s a must have in your collection. You can grab your copy here.