The Undefinable Lisa Richards

How often is it that you can’t place a musician in a genre or style? Probably not very often as it’s natural to do this when we first hear music; we like to associate and put it in a little box, partly just for our own peace of mind.

However, Australia’s singer-songwriter extraordinaire, Lisa Richards, is one of those artists that simply confounds convention and causes that uncomfortable feeling, like when you can’t remember what other films an actor has been in whilst you’re watching a film. We shouldn’t blame her for this though, in fact, we should commend her for it because coming across an artist like this is not something that happens every day.

Saying this, what we can do is give you an idea of all the little fragmented pieces that make up Lisa’s undefinable style: there’s hints of jazz, a good lashing of folk, touches of blues and the slightest sprinkle of roots and americana – it’s quite the recipe.

But perhaps the most undefinable aspect of her music is her voice, and it is this that arguably makes her music so difficult to categorise. There isn’t much that can be said apart from the fact that it’s liken nothing you’ll have heard before, but it’s sweet and mind-soothing nature seems to fit with all these jigsaw-piece styles that make up her music.

Take a listen to ‘Frank Sinatra’ from her new album A Light From The Otherside which is out now. You can make your mind up for yourself, but I defy you to put this exemplary artist in a box!

 

Links:

http://www.lisarichardsmusic.com

http://www.twitter.com/mymadmusic

https://soundcloud.com/lisarichardsmusic

http://www.facebook.com/lisarichardssongs

https://www.youtube.com/user/lisamrichards

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New Reggae/Soul Sound from Lateefah

Neo Soul Sensation Lateefah Reveals ‘This is Who I Am’

Lateefah - Publicit photo

“This is who I am” brings a bass fueled, revival to the soul scene. Produced by talented young producer KING for Lateko Records, it will be released July 14th. Lateefah’s debut single “Here I am” held the number one spot for three weeks on the Reverbnation Christian chart for St. Lucia and also for a period of one week was number one on all genres chart. The single also reached #27 on the National Airplay Top 50 Gospel Chart (US) in December 2013 sharing the spotlight with notable artists such as Mary Mary, William McDowell, Donnie McClurkin and others. Her second single release “Love Me Through” was well received by the media and already performing live sessions with some of the top radio stations such as Premier Radio and top venues such as The Vortex, she is one to follow.

Listen to ‘This is Who I Am’ here: https://soundcloud.com/lateefahsings/this-is-who-i-am

London Born musician, Lateefah is a neo soul artist who after returning to the UK from her parent’s native country of St Lucia, is now working on further developing her gift for making music. Her new single releasing this year, will hope to demonstrate the talent and efforts of this young neo soul artist.

The cool Caribbean Artist started out singing in church at a young age, and gathers a lot of the inspiration for her work, from her own personal diaries from her childhood. Adapting these written records of her past, Lateefah has been able to create moving and soulful songs that entertain and educate her listeners about her colorful past.

Lateefah developed her passion for singing from early on as 3 years of age! Her earliest memory of being driven by the art, was trying to hit the right notes in the song “The Lord is my Shepherd”. Rehearsing relentlessly, until she hit it with pitch perfect precision. After that success and a great deal of extra practice, the music industry became a second home for the young superstar. The music blood has been in Lateefah’s family since her father founded the 70’s Reggae band, Cygnus.

Along with the Single, you can also get a FREE download of the track “Here I am”: http://latekorecords.com/lat-s-music

Links
http://www.facebook.com/thereallateefah
http://www.reverbnation.com/lateefahsings
http://www.soundcloud.com/lateefahsings
http://www.twitter.com/lateefahsings

Roland Polyak: Little Mullu

Rolly’s Syndicate: Little Mullu

https://soundcloud.com/rollys-guitars/sets/rollys-syndicate-little-mullu

Rollys Syndicate are the Warwickshire based band, that are mixing contemporary blues and soul. They are now set to release a new album for the summer. Working together, Milli aids Roland with moving lyrics, whilst Ro’ brings the guitar backing.

Their music has that open air quality you only reall see in the Jazz genre. With great guitar playing and memorable lyrics, the band congregates together; to make a thoroughly enjoyable collection of moving and expressive tracks.

After a long period of co-operation with the band, Milli could no longer commit to the long term vision of the group. However, in honour of the bands history together, the Roland Syndicate decided to dedicate their debut album to Milli and her lyrical talents.

Fortunately, she happily agreed to collaborate on a short term basis. It’s for this reason that most of the lyrics in the album draw their influence from both the bands everyday life and Milli’s personal journey to this point.

The band has now picked a new vocalist from a selection of more than 30 applicants. Her name is Natalie Brown and the band tells us that she is as good as Milli!

Her background includes being the lead vocalist in the original band, StoneSoulUK from February 2006 to October 2013 (writing and performing mainly original material, as well as cover material). Natalie has also lent her vocal talents to the cover band ‘the Bottle’, whilst studying at university (1997-2000). Ontop of all this she has performed at major west midland venues such as The Yardbird, Victoria Square and The Malthouse.

Natalie Brown’s influences include Mary J Blige, Alicia Keys and Michael Jackson.

Hungarian born, Roland produced the album as part of achieving a degree at Staffordshire University. He has showcased his talents at many different live gigs such as: The Public (West Bromwich), Hare & Hounds (Birmingham), Bulls Head (Birmingham), Mixing Bowl Theatre (Birmingham). Roland said that he has played many live gigs but for him the biggest event was at the Sziget Festival.

On-top of these live shows, the group has also been featured on the ‘BBC Introducing’ series, played on Radio Warwickshire, Airplay & The Musical Journey show (live), Tweets & web mentions (Clay Lowe/SoulCuzer radio presenter), Radio Plus – Airplay & Live Room Session.

Through the years, Milli and Roland have developed a good understanding of the musical influences they wanted to follow, and thus developed a winning musical chemistry. Roland’s professionalism and creativity seemed to work well with Milli adding her soulful tones, as she is not only a talented vocalist, but also an amazing songwriter with a history in Drama and Literature.

Benny (drummer) & Luke (bass player) were both attracted to the the unique mix of Soul, contemporary Blues and a touch of jazzy elements, they both relate to in their own personal musical backgrounds.

Luke, the bass player in the band was born in Leamington Spa in 1992, picking up his first guitar at the age of 11. It was after watching the video of November Rain that Luke’s hobby turned into a lifelong passion. He has played from many names such as the African Kora players to Art rock bands and anyone else that would give him his next step into the starlight. His talent developed quickly due to dedication and his love to the art.

Benny, the band’s drummer, plays several styles including jazz, rock, blues and funk. He played in jazz trios, big bands, rock and punk bands through the years. He has recently played in the Boogie snakes and the Holly Perkins Bands. Making appearances on many different jam sessions around Oxfordshire. Bennys drum kit is a vintage Yamaha kit from 1973, Yamaha Vintage Series snare, Zildjian cymbals with Evans heads. The drummer says that his influencers are Dennis Chambers, Ed Thigpen and Zsolt Mike.

The Unique combination of styles and influences Rolly’s Syndicate produce demonstrates the colourful background of the group members, Roland’s Passion for blues from a Hungarian Background, Beni’s Amazing talent and vast experience playing with various bands and Luke’s alternative veins and passion for Jazz & World Music.

Social Networking
https://www.facebook.com/RollysMusic

https://www.youtube.com/user/rollyssyndicate

Buy the Album on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/little-mullu/id881020823

Rising stars Row Z get set for ‘Green Penny’ EP

Much anticipated 3 track release out through GHOSTNOTE Records, June 9th

Tapping into the recent boom in British funk music, Row Z are a Liverpool based five piece with a taste for moody blues. Their new EP, ‘Green Penny’  is due June 9th and is currently one of the most eagerly awaited releases in the world of new UK Blues.

Led by the incredible Richard James Smith, the band specialise in sprawling jazz spiced funk tracks, full of intricate rhythms and virtuoso musical performance throughout.

For a taste, check out the EP’s lead single/title track ‘Green Penny’ – complete with a raw sound reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXvo0OdIslY

Row Z first made a splash with Ska/Jazz single ‘Stalemate’ in 2006, released to universally good reviews and – improbably – a huge chart success in Germany.

Now though, this new material sees them hitting new heights with great crossover potential, pulling together their roots sensibilities with sound that is instantly accessible. It’s the kind of music that can (and has) turned small, impromptu gigs into full on dance parties, bringing in elements from breakdance to swing.

It comes as no surprise to learn that Richard James Smith comes with something of a reputation. After receiving Masterclasses from Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Joan Armatrading, Steve Morse (Deep Purple), Yngwie Malmsteen and José Feliciano, Richard had the honour of being awarded his degree by Sir Paul McCartney; but this was just the start.

Since then, Richard has featured as a finalist in ‘Young Jazz Musician of the Year’ and ‘Acoustic Guitarist of the Year’, and featured on Oscar winner Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds To Mars track ‘Up in the Air’ (Remix). Fans include Jools Holland, who swapped numbers with Guitarist Richard after a performance for ITV.

However, Smith isn’t the only band member with pedigree.  Drummer Jay Irving has toured with Tony Christie/The Christians,  while Keyboard player John has toured with the Seahorses, John Squire, DJ Vadim, Cinematic Orchestra,  and played and composed for Lily Allen hits ‘Smile’ and LDN. He also played on the acclaimed debut album from Corinne Bailey Rae.

Meanwhile, Alto sax player Alex Harris has performed for Richard Branson, Prince Charles and Kate Middleton, as well as numerous television shows, radio shows and short films including BBC’s Call the Midwife and BBC Radio London. He has also performed with Kevin Spacey at Ronnie Scott’s, London.

Row Z’s killer combination of skill and experience is what makes their music so brilliant and their EP so highly sought after. And when The Beatles’ first manager Allan Williams asks to book your band for parties after watching them at the Cavern Club, it’s clear you’re doing something right.

You can listen to the other two tracks from the ‘Green Penny’ EP here –

Arthur: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HibIVgB7Ow

Blues for Buddah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6luu4Fon4k

Links:

Row Z Official website: http://www.rowz.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rowzmusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Row_Z_Music

YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/rowzmusic1

Reverbnation:  http://www.reverbnation.com/rowz

Soundcloud:  https://soundcloud.com/rowzmusic

Highly anticipated Fjokra EP ‘Thoughtsteps’ arrives June 9th

Fi_head_shot_tunnel_purple_eye low resVersatile Irish songwriter looks to build on a growing reputation with brand new release

Influenced by a list of genres and artists taking in classical, metal, funk, jazz and more, Fjokra is an artist who is nigh on impossible to pigeonhole.

Born in Dublin and now living in London, he is a multi-instrumentalist whose music takes in so many different ideas and angles that to tie him down to one genre or style is a fool’s errand – just as it seems you have his sound sussed, a new idea will come and slap you in the face. And that’s just the way Fjokra likes it.

You can see the video for EP track ‘Infinite Loops’ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5FrW1UyVyY

‘Thoughtsteps’ is an EP that tantalises and astounds. With the album name, artwork and musical content designed to demonstrate alternative, free and independent forms of thinking, the varied style is all tied together by the consistent high quality of the recordings. Even more impressively, the EP is primarily self-produced but for one track from producer Donald Clark (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Muse).

It’s little wonder that Fjokra counts Mick Jones (The Clash), Duran Duran, and Beardyman amongst his fans – and this range of musicians gives you a glimpse into the wide audience demographics the music is connecting with. Peanut Baines of the Kaiser Chiefs put it his own way, labelling Fjokra ‘sex music for metallers’.

With a fan base that is widening thanks to a unique live show (performed with his eponymous band), Fjokra has already graced the stage at Beach Break Festival and Liverpool Sound City. They also performed at a very special concert which saw Tyondai Braxton (of Battles) premiere his new orchestral piece ‘Central Market’ – a truly inspiring experience for the band. And now, with ‘Thoughtsteps’ only a few weeks away and a slot at the Isle of Wight Festival this summer, he is using that inspiration to fuel his forward momentum.

And if you’re still not convinced that this is an artist with a unique approach, then perhaps his unusual approach to promoting the EP will help. In addition to releasing the songs and music videos, Fjokra has also recorded for each track a cookery show, punning on the song titles from the EP. Due to be posted on YouTube and fjokra.com shortly after the songs themselves are released, the tasty teasers will make this EP a truly multi-sensory experience.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for acoustic versions of the EP tracks, recorded in a guitar shop and due on the Fjokra YouTube channel soon.

‘Thoughtsteps’ will be available from June 9th.

Links:

www.facebook.com/fjokraofficial

www.twitter.com/fjokra

Instagram: fjokra

www.youtube.com/fjokra

www.soundcloud.com/fjokra

Phil Collins, Alan Sillitoe and jazz; new album from jazz composer and musician John Aram

John Aram to release single ‘EDT (Envie de Toi)’ on 20th May ahead of album ‘You and I’ to be released on 3rd June. 

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/johnaram/sets/edt-envie-de-toi-new-single

Background

John Aram is a well known name among jazz musicians. He has worked extensively with legends like Tim Garland, Kenny Wheeler and Scott Stroman along with huge names in funk like Bob Babbit and the Funk Brothers Band. In addition, Aram is Musical Director at the International School of Geneva, where he now lives, and also regularly conducts the Swiss Jazz Orchestra.

Probably his closest collaborator is Phil Collins. John worked closely with him on Collins’ album ‘Going Back’ (2010), writing many arrangements, booking musicians, supervising recording and going on tour. Daryl Stuermer, also of Genesis, plays guitar on ‘Stuck on You’ from Aram’s forthcoming album ‘You and I’. Aram and Phil Collins are in fact close friends and Collins has contributed to many of his musical projects over the years.

It is a busy spring period for Aram. Aside from his album (see below) he is also due to release “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ Suite’; his ode to Alan Sillitoe’s post war classic novel of the same name, featuring Kenny Wheeler. Aram, hailing from Nottingham like Sillitoe, was in close contact with the author during his writing of the jazz suite in 2010. Tragically, Sillitoe died in the same year just before it was finished so never heard it, as a result Aram decided not to release ‘The Suite’ as a physical disc. He had now taken the decision to release it on vinyl with artwork from Video artist Joss Sessions.

You can listen here: https://soundcloud.com/johnaram/sets/saturday-night-and-sunday

‘You and I’

Aram therefore has a huge wealth of experience in the worlds of jazz and funk, which he has used brilliantly in his new single ‘EDT (Envie de Toi); due to, be released 20th May. The track takes his jazz influences and puts them in a funk / disco context giving the track popular potential beyond its appeal to 70s soul connoisseurs. In has the feeling of a Chic comeback track, a Bruno Mars disco revival number of even of a latter day Michael Jackson. Half way through, however, we get a taste of Aram’s jazz background with a hefty Rhodes solo played by Jason Rebello. It’s a solo reminiscent of Roy Ayers on the vibes or a George Benson guitar solo on one of his funkier numbers.

The rest of ‘You and I’ follows similar themes whilst trying to stretch them in different directions. Very much a concept album, all music is heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder, even down to the artwork used for the album. Tracks like ‘Stronger’ and ‘Stuck on you’ follow the soul disco revival route featuring some brilliant vocals and irresistible solos on each. ‘In the Air’ and ‘You and I’ slow the pace down and move closer to a soul ballad in the mould of Earth, Wind and Fire or even Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. ‘In the Air’ features beautiful vocals from Amy Keys  and from cult Swiss hip-hop artist Rootwords. ‘In the Air’ is particularly close to Aram’s heart as it was written for his wife who was suffering from breast cancer at the time.

There is a great feeling of fun and spontaneity in the album, which reflects the way it was made and thought up in the first place. It wasn’t originally planned at all. Aram and his band were on tour in the UK (London in fact)  and had a gig cancelled so, realising he was still paying them, decided they might as well have some fun and make an album! Not all jazz quintets are this productive. They decided to make music which they loved but didn’t always get a chance to play: funk, soul, Motown, Stevie Wonder, which you will find on the bonus tracks of the album; material Aram had played with Phil Collins before and not had the chance to make himself. The full album did, however, take over a year to complete in recording studios all over the world, from New York to Switzerland, ensuring only the very best musicians were to be featured that fit the style of music that Aram wanted to create.

Website http://www.johnaram.com/

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/johnaram

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JohnAram

YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/johnrogeraram

Guitar Sensation ‘Daryl Kellie’ to Release New Album ‘Wintersong’

To find your first guitar at the young age of eleven in the attic of your parent’s new house is a lucky find, but for Daryl Kellie, it can only be described as fate. Self taught for most of his life, he is undeniably one of the most talented fingerstyle guitar players in the UK, with influences ranging from Queen to Django Reinhardt. Daryl has combined his unique talent with his mesmerising vocals, and he will be releasing his highly anticipated album ‘Wintersong’ on 10th February 2014.

By the age of sixteen, Daryl was gigging every weekend, with his younger brother Nick on drums. He moved to London when he was nineteen to study music, and hasn’t looked back. Living in his van, with a bed, camp-stove and of course, a guitar in the back, this was when he really started to develop as an artist. He was even taught by Jazz guitar legend Martin Taylor. Despite attracting lots of attention from music managers, Daryl decided to remain completely independent and release his own music without the help of a label. Daryl’s message to others who may be in this predicament is “figure out what you really love and concentrate on that, if you try to do something else, your heart won’t be in it”. His ever-growing fan-base means he can also tour without the involvement of big promoters.

Daryl has toured constantly for the past 2 years and supported a massive range of acts, from Toploader to Carl Palmer of Emmerson Lake and Palmer fame, plus notorious American blogger Perez Hilton has also raved about him….”So clever! So good! And, the fact that he’s gorgeous doesn’t hurt either!”.

Here are just a couple of the many outstanding reviews he has received:

‘Daryl Kellie is a brilliant and exciting new musical talent’

– Richard Chapman, (Author of the million selling classic ‘The Complete Guitarist and ‘The New Complete Guitarist’)

‘To call Daryl a guitarist would be a bit of an over simplification. A million miles away from that guy who used to walk around college twanging his way through Green Day covers to anyone who’d listen, Daryl treats his guitar like a mix between a drum kit, a keyboard and a guitar. Utilizing an oft attempted (but rarely mastered) ‘tapping’ technique along with ‘body percussion’ as employed by fellow guitarists such as Eric Roche and Tommy Emanuel, Daryl dropped jaws with his cheeky cover of Beyonce’s omnipresent ‘Single Ladies’ and literally melted minds with an extended Michael Jackson medley. Anything that makes hearing ‘Single Ladies’ for the billionth time a little less ear-stabbingly repetitive deserves the highest praise imaginable.

–Sternberg Clarke

If you can’t wait to hear the album, Daryl is releasing a cover of the Beyonce hit ‘Single Ladies’ on December 16th.

Have a listen: https://soundcloud.com/daryl-kellie/single-ladies-put-a-ring-on-it

Or watch a live session: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1UnylkE-LI

He will also be releasing his own single ‘Would’ on January 20th 2014!

 

Social Networks:

https://www.facebook.com/darylkellie

https://twitter.com/darylkellie

https://soundcloud.com/daryl-kellie

 

Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn3p5_dotJc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fxbx0-O8kY

Jazz quartet Mercury aim to cross over on UK Tour

Image

Mercury (from left to right above): Tom Thorp – Sax / Gavin Barras – Bass / Jim Molyneux – Drums / Daniel Brew – Guitar

Four piece hit the road after 2013 release of self-titled LP

Following the release of their self-titled album in June this year, jazz quartet Mercury are set to take to the road for the final three months of 2013. Hitting major cities across the UK, the four piece are looking to expand on their growing reputation as one of the most diverse jazz acts on the circuit.

With four members who each bring a different range of influences to the table, the sound of the band pushes the genre boundaries more than the usual jazz quartet. Elements of pop, grunge, dubstep and even drum and bass are included to make sure Mercury’s tracks remain versatile while maintaining a solid jazz foundation.

News of their live dates is hotly anticipated by those in the know, as their live set packs quite a punch. So much so that, having only played a couple of decent club gigs, the foursome were invited to play at Manchester Jazz festival. Following their set, representatives from the notorious London jazz venue King’s Place were waiting for them backstage, interested in immediately booking them to play the same stage as countless international acts.

The rest of the tour has been built around that date, and will see them take in cities from their native Manchester all the way to Jersey.

Tour Dates:

31/10 – RNCM, Manchester. (Double Bill/Support gig) Empirical + Mercury

21/11 – The Big Easy, Birmingham

23/11 – Zeffireli’s, Ambleside

05/12 – St James’ Vaults, Bath

06/12 – Colston Hall, Bristol

14/12 – King’s Place, London

18/12 – Benjamin Meakes Theatre (Jersey Arts Centre), St Hellier, Jersey

In the meantime, have a watch of their live performance of ‘Quicksilver’ taken from their self-titled album:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6uXkOEcV6M

http://www.mercuryquartetmanchester.co.uk/Welcome.html

https://www.facebook.com/mercurymanchester

https://twitter.com/MercuryMancs

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