Lil' Linn & The Lookout Boys- Sharpshooting Gal

Lil’ Linn – Sharpshooting Gal

Lil’ Linn & The Lookout Boys- Sharpshooting Gal

 

 

 

 

 

Lil' Linn & The Lookout Boys- Sharpshooting Gal

Lil’ Linn & The Lookout Boys- Sharpshooting Gal

 

 

 

 

Lil’ Linn & The Lookout Boys- Sharpshooting Gal

 

The Swedish songstress Lil’ Linn has the voice that reminds you of classic female Country/Hillbilly stars like Ella Mae Morse or Charlene Arthur, she just sounds like she’s straight out of a 50’s Capitol records recording. Then add a band that knows how to play it just like they did back in the day.

 

Most of the musicians who teamed up for these recordings were handpicked from other well established Swedish bands such as The Domestic Bumblebees, Eddie & The Flatheads, Riley McOwen to name a few.

 

On the track Open Road, Sonny Rogers joins Lil’ Linn to share the vocal duties.

 

This album still stuns people, as they can’t believe it was recorded and released in 2009. It could easily as well have been released in 1954. Truly authentic all the way and made with passion and love for those sounds from decades ago.

 

Lil´Linn & The Lookout Boys are:

Vocals – Lil´Linn

 

Electric guitar – Thimmy Hedblom

 

Steel guitar – Andre Hakwinsson

 

Piano – David Heikkinen

 

Acoustic guitar – Matti Friberg

 

Drums – Angelo Tiitto

 

Double bass, vocals – Tobias Einestad

 

Guest musicians:

Sonny Rogers – Vocals on Open Road

 

Jonas Olpers – Fiddle on Open Road

 

Recorded, mixed & mastered at Enviken Studios by Patrik Staffansson.

 

Photos cover & back by Per Thorsell / Switchblade Design

 

Layout by: Jonas Veronesi

 

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COTTON - Not Much Left

COTTON – Not Much Left

COTTON – Not Much Left

 

 

 

 

COTTON - Not Much Left

COTTON – Not Much Left

 

 

 

 

COTTON – Not Much Left

 

‘Not Much Left’ is the second single released by the talented composer and producer COTTON. Only a month after his first track ‘Come Back’, the singer drops another record showing a new facet of his neo-soul repertoire. Influenced by musicians such as Jordan Rakei, Jacob Banks and Maverick Sabre, this new song mixes soulful piano chords, laid back drums and bass arrangements with powerful melodies and lyrics. Moved by one of his friend’s experience with homelessness, COTTON’s words poignantly recount his difficult daily realities while attempting to give some hope back. The performer will also soon be releasing his EP “AM4”, which includes his first two singles.

 

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At the crossroads between neo-soul and hip hop, London-based music artist and producer Antoine Cotton, aka COTTON, is blending guitar, keys and vocals in energetic tones. After graduating in music writing, he is now also cutting his teeth on music production, working with other artists to develop their sound, while still refining his own. Growing up in a music environment in Switzerland, COTTON picked up the trumpet at the young age of eight before switching to the guitar and the piano as a teenager. After stepping into London’s music scene, the 26-year-old singer quickly built himself a repertoire inspired by jazz, funk, blues and strong soulful backgrounds. Last year, he released two songs – “Roamer” and “Who You Wanna Be” – while also performing at top London venues including; Brixton’s Hootanany, Notting Hill Arts Club, The Finsbury and Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs as well as playing live on Vibe 106.7 and at Shindignation festival.

 

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The Sowell Family - It's Not Christmas

The Sowell Family

The Sowell Family – It’s Not Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

The Sowell Family - It's Not Christmas

The Sowell Family – It’s Not Christmas

 

 

 

 

The Sowell Family – It’s Not Christmas

 

The Sowell Family is a dynamic young group based out of the mountains of east Tennessee. From their Knoxville home, the band travels across the globe sharing their brand of bluegrass music with adoring fans.

 

Like many family groups, they began when the oldest children were much younger in Texas, and they have now grown into mature young musicians.

 

Last year they won the KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band contest at Silver Dollar City and were signed to Poor Mountain Records.

 

Their high energy stage show features a mix of bluegrass and Gospel music and is winning them new fans around the world.

 

The siblings range from 22 to 12 years in age, starting with eldest brother Jacob on banjo, followed by Joshua on guitar, Naomi on bass, Abigail on mandolin, John-Mark on fiddle, and Justus on dobro. Jacob, Joshua, and Abigail handle the bulk of the vocal responsibilities with their mother, Cindy, being featured on special selections. Most importantly, the band takes their motto seriously. The Sowell Family is most certainly, “Bluegrass with a Mission.”

 

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OOAK + Jemere Morgan - Act Like This

OOAK + Jemere Morgan – Act Like This

OOAK + Jemere Morgan – Act Like This

 

 

 

 

 

OOAK + Jemere Morgan - Act Like This

OOAK + Jemere Morgan – Act Like This

 

 

 

 

OOAK + Jemere Morgan – Act Like This

 

The name OOAK (double Oh-Ay-Kay), what stands for One of a Kind, is Holland’s newest girl group. The three members Kimberley, Cherish and Me’shell are signed with Shock Management and about to take the charts by storm.

 

Cherish and Kimberley met each other when they both followed vocal lessons from mentor and vocal coach Marlon Hoefdraad. He was known for his advising role in several televised talent shows, as well as helping artists such as Re-Play, Dignity and Brace when they started out.

 

Kimberley and Cherish had found their chemistry unique, but were missing just that little extra. When Me’shell joined them in 2012, they felt ready for the biggest challenge of their lives.

 

The girls used 2014 as a prep year prior to their big debut. Despite being shaken by the sudden passing of their former mentor, Marlon Hoefdraad, they spent the year opening for Dutch and internationally known artist such as Gio and Keizer, Marques Houston, Pretty Ricky and Nyanda (Brick & Lace). Besides performing the girls were also working on their own material.

 

OOAK chose ‘Act like this’ to be their debut single. This mid-tempo song is written by group member Kimberley and A&R manager Ryan Lisse (who happens to be a successful writer/producer known for his work for a Dutch TV program in cooperation with Greenpeace). ‘Act Like This’ is produced by Project Hyplified (production team of i.e. Ali B, Angela Groothuizen, Keizer and Gio) and producer Krankjoram (known for his productions of rappers Keizer, SBMG and Cho). The song is catchy and has an international vibe to it. ‘Act like this’ shows the individual vocals of Kimberley, Cherish and Me’shell as well as their unique harmonies. Together with the smooth voice of American/Jamaican singer Jemere Morgan (known for his connection with Reggae band Morgan Heritage) makes this song a potential hit.

 

While recording the official video for ‘Act like this’, OOAK had the privilege to work with some of the best people in the industry. Like fashion stylist Kim Keizer, hairstylist Sharon ‘The Hairdoctor’, choreographer VirgilMoreno and video-director Mike Static.

 

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Ty Waters - Only Human

Ty Waters – Only Human

Ty Waters – Only Human

 

 

 

 

 

Ty Waters - Only Human

Ty Waters – Only Human

 

 

 

 

Ty Waters – Only Human

 

Ty Waters is poised for greatness in American popular music. This child prodigy singer from Vancouver, Canada, has already wowed artists from Michael Bublé to Bobby McFerrin, performed at the infamous Carnegie Hall four times after winning American Protege’s Vocal Competitions…He brought a crowd of a 100,000 to rapture in Santa Barbara with his devastating rendition of “At Last,” made famous by the great Etta James. And even more recently performed at Los Angeles Wilshire Ebell Theater to two minute standing ovation. Waters has performed in Harlem’s famed Apollo Theatre and has been invited to sing there again later. What’s more, as he moves into the world of composition and recording, Waters is making surprisingly mature and timely statements about the state of the country and the world. Waters completed his debut album, Only Human.

 

Ty Waters is no stranger to adversity. Born in Vancouver to Filipino parents, he reached the age of two with delayed speech. There would be a two-year wait before he could take advantage of public health system’s speech therapy treatment. His parents investigated alternatives, including music therapy. So they improvised, teaching Ty various nursery rhymes. To their surprise, Ty started to jazz up these nursery rhymes on his own. His parents recognized his interest in singing and started showing him clip after clip of classic pop performances by the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Lionel Richie, and Etta James. The song is classic soul, not unlike early Stevie, or mid-career Michael. Waters’ clear, effortless voice soars in the foreground, working up to belting and growling quite uncanny for one so young. It resolves into a rollicking gospel coda, guaranteed to uplift.

 

Everyone associated with this project has been inspired by the talent, energy and vision of Ty Waters. There is no doubting that this young man is destined to for a place of pride in popular music.

 

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Balsam Range - Get Me Gone

Balsam Range – Get Me Gone

Balsam Range – Get Me Gone

 

 

 

 

 

Balsam Range - Get Me Gone

Balsam Range – Get Me Gone

 

 

 

 

Balsam Range – Get Me Gone

 

Bluegrass and acoustic music group Balsam Range were founded in 2007 in Haywood County, North Carolina. Featuring many notable players, the band went on to receive multiple awards and honors. Buddy Melton (fiddle, lead and tenor vocals) was a member of Jubal Foster and had previously performed with David Holt and Doc Watson; Tim Surrett (bass, dobro, baritone, and lead vocals) performed with the gospel group the Kingsmen Quartet, Tony Rice, Ralph Stanley, and Brad Paisley, and has a place in the Southern Gospel Hall of Fame; Darren Nicholson (mandolin, octave mandolin, baritone, and low tenor vocals) appeared numerous times on the Grand Ole Opry Stage; Dr. Marc Pruett (banjo) won a Grammy Award, and Caleb Smith (guitar, lead and baritone vocals) was a founding member of gospel group Harvest. Their 2007 debut album, Marching Home, featured six Bill Monroe songs and seven original compositions, and their following records, 2009’s Last Train to Kitty Hawk and 2010’s Trains I Missed further added to their burgeoning reputation. But it was 2013’s Papertown that really solidified their standing in the bluegrass community. Named after their hometown of Canton, North Carolina, the record earned the group an International Bluegrass Music Association Award (IBMA) for album of the year after having spent five months at number one on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey Chart. Their star continued to rise in 2014 when they received the Entertainer of the Year Award and Vocal Group of the Year at the IBMAs, and they followed that win with official praise from the House and Senate of the State of North Carolina in 2015. In 2016, they released their sixth record, Mountain Voodoo, which went on to be nominated for three IBMAs, and in 2017, they issued their first collection of holiday music, the It’s Christmas Time EP.

~ Bekki Bemrose

 

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In just over a decade, Balsam Range has collected armfuls of industry awards, held multiple months at the top of radio charts, recorded and performed with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra, headlined an array of eclectic music festivals, all the while maintaining their identity and refining their craft to become one of the most vital artists in the roots genre.

 

On the heels of their second International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year award, this eminent band continues to be a tour de force in Bluegrass with their album, Aeonic, to be released January 4, 2019 from Mountain Home Music Company.

 

With this music, Balsam Range continues to grow the magic that has mesmerized audiences and expanded their fandom – arresting songs full of humanity, dynamic performances graced with subtleties, and material that is both personal and profound. Music that would be powerful in any genre but is made all the more compelling through this Western North Carolina band’s acoustic music mastery.

 

The album kicks off with a song that has already spent weeks at the #1 spot in Bluegrass Radio, “The Girl Who Invented the Wheel.” With the lead vocal by Buddy Melton, 2-time IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year, it’s an out-of-the-box anecdote about a man left impressed albeit rejected by an independent woman: “I’ve been left before, this was a different deal / I think I just met the girl who invented the wheel.”

 

Several of the songs share a prevailing theme of searching for meaning. They may reveal where Balsam Range finds itself as an artist, evaluating the past, looking toward what’s next. “Tumbleweed,” with lead vocal delivered by guitarist Caleb Smith, is a mid-tempo stroll through a town that lives inside a mind tortured with regret. “The Rambler,” with vocal rendered by mandolin player Darren Nicholson, is a dirge into the dark night of the soul, a story about life on the road and the road of life.

 

“Get Me Gone,” the most recent single from Aeonic, continues this theme of looking back, moving forward. It’s a catchy version of an otherwise sad story of love lost and soon to be forgotten. “Gone like whiskey gone like broke / Straight outta here like wind-blown smoke / Won’t you give me some light good Lord, and get me gone.”

 

“Hobo Blues” showcases instrumental minimalism in order to pull you into the sadness of the character. A Ray LaMontagne cover with lead vocal by Smith, it creates a quiet interval on the album that adds to its thoughtful effect.

 

“Help Me To Hold On” is a song about desperation and it’s performed that way, with an arrangement that portrays a profound sincerity. Melton’s vocal range and controlled power result in a performance that highlights a singer at the top of his game and illustrates why he has been awarded as such.

 

“Let My Life Be a Light” harkens back to the foundation of this band. Driving traditional Bluegrass Gospel powered by the band’s most seasoned and awarded performer, Grammy winning banjoist, Dr. Marc Pruett. Pruett’s perfect timing and syncopation here showcases why he has been so celebrated, performing with greats like Ricky Skaggs before bringing his prowess to Balsam Range. With lead singing from Smith, the chorus sounds off the rich 3 part harmonies of him, Melton, and Tim Surrett.

 

“My Cross to Bear” is a murder ballad, purposefully written from an ambiguous first-person perspective who is constantly tortured with the guilt of their crime.

 

“Graveyard Blues” continues on dark themes common to Bluegrass storytelling, illustrating the harshness of life in another era where hard labor, tragedy and death were commonplace.

 

“Angel Too Soon” challenges listeners’ hearts. A hauntingly beautiful performance matched with an equally haunting lyric about the death of a child, it is the hardest of subjects and surely meant to be cathartic.

 

Bookending the collection of songs on this album with uniqueness, Balsam Range shows yet another dimension of their talent with a cover of The Beatles’ “If I Needed Someone.” With lead vocal by IBMA Bass Player of the Year Tim Surrett, the song features Beatles-styled stacked harmonies, along with impeccable timing and instrumental wizardry, that are unlike any arrangement the band – or arguably anyone in Bluegrass -has attempted. The result is a look at how adept Balsam Range is at merging genres. Both styles become enriched by the influence of the other.

 

It has been said that great songs are timeless. But they also organize time into attractive human pieces while their lyrics manage their way into our hearts and minds with lasting meaning. Great music has no expiration date – it is Aeonic.

 

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