Summary: Unsigned Underground is all about the independent artist and the music waiting to be heard.
In this episode of Unsigned Underground we’ll be talking to Adam Stokes, songwriter, musician and world traveler. Adam has been all over this country spreading the word about his music and he’s been living down south – way down south as in Guatemala where he took up residence and toured Central South America while his wife worked as an archeologist. We’ll be talking about how living in another country can influence your songwriting, writing his second album and when he’s going to get back out there on the road.
I think that what I really dig about Miriam Jones is that I hear in her music a lot of artists I like: Glen Hansard, Dar Williams, Emmy Lou Harris, Shawn Colvin and even Leonard Cohen. But as with all excellent artists, Miriam takes those glancing comparisons and creates her own mosaic portrait of herself. Miriam’s lyrics are poetry and Miriam’s melodic sense is exquisite. Listen in on our conversation about 70's pop music, gigging in the UK and songwriting and let us know what you think.
Lauren Zettler quit her day job. She now makes music her profession, her life and her passion. We can definitely hear that passion in the songs that she writes – the beautiful melodies, tricky harmonies and draw-you-closer arrangements that is her signature. Lauren was on a previous episode of Unsigned Underground but only as an example and not as a focus so I’m glad to have her on so we can get to talk about her music and her dream. I’m intrigued by her recent story and I can’t get enough of her music and she’s got a new Christmas Collection out on iTunes. Listen to our conversation about following your dream, picking the right people to work with and getting into the Christmas spirit.
I’ve known about John Batdorf for a long long time but because of my personal musical biases I never really took the time to listen closely. I recently was reminded of his name and his music from listening to Mike Marrone’s show on The Loft on XM Satellite Radio as I drove to work early in the morning. Still it was not enough to get me to move in the direction of purchasing some music by John Batdorf or go back and listen to the early Batdorf and Rodney or even John’s band Silver. I grew up in the 1970’s listening to Zeppelin, Springsteen, Pink Floyd, AC/DC – bands like Seals & Crofts, Bread, America, and the like were not my style and as I grew older and even started (ironically) to play my own music in a style akin to those bands I still harbored a bias. But thank you lord that I have come across John Batdorf’s latest CD “Old Man Dreamin’” because it is amazing. The album is one of the few recent albums that I have enjoyed from track 1 to track 11. The playing is superb, the production is excellent and the songwriting displays a craftsmanship that is worthy of study. We had a great conversation about the present and the past - check it out and please leave a comment and visit John's site to get the CD!
Tim Gleeson’s approach to music is simple: a good story, a little love, a memorable melody and some spare change. I put Tim’s new CD “No Sad Songs” on and I felt myself relax into the comfort of the back porch in mid-July. Nothing is over done and yet the songs all feel full and ripe. Tim is no slouch when it comes to performing having toured with Sister Sledge, a career as an LA session man and opening for Jazz singer Anita Bakers’ Rapture tour. Listen to Tim andI talk about the new CD and how he’s handling being an indie musician these days. Let us know what you think.
I've been itching to get a producer on the show for a while and I've finally tricked one into coming on, well not really, I just asked nicely. Cameron Mizell is actually a friend of Carla Lynne Hall's (see episode 20) who I recently interviewed. Carla told me what great work Cameron does with his own music and then she also told me that he works with other indie artists as a producer. I checked out his website (www.cameronmizell.com) and also his blog (www.musicianwages.com) and was blown away by his guitar chops and the variety of music that he had his fingers in. Take a listen to this interesting conversation about what a producer does and how they help an artist approach their own music. You'll be hearing music not only from Cameron, but Lauren Zettler and Erika Lloyd as well. Please leave a comment and visit the artists websites and buy their music!
I found Matthew Moran on Twitter. I’m not quite sure I remember exactly where and how, but I followed his links out of Twitter and on to his website where I was taken with his approach to songwriting and to his music as a business. The more I look at musicians and songwriters in these ever evolving days of the internet download the more I see a business store front. I also see a person that can diversify and Matt is that: diversification. We had a wonderful conversation about songwriting, the music business and how technology can help the business model of the modern musician.
Got Bass? Got Voice? We're going to lay a little jazz on you for a change, but it's jazz with a twist. Jon Burr and Lynn Stein of Jon & Lynn are a jazz/pop duo from the NYC area that combine the distinctive sound of the upright bass and voice into a mesmerizing combo that makes you think that there's a big band playing instead of just the two. John's virtuosic playing encompasses melodic and rhythmic aspects that makes his upright sound like a complete rhythm section all the while complimenting Lynn's spot-on-sexy vocals. Minimalist in nature, but not lacking for complexity, Jon and Lynn make the most out of what they have: bass and voice.
This time around we’ll be talking to Carla Lynne Hall a singer songwriter, social media guru, entrepreneur and all around great person to know.
Coco & Lafe describe themselves as a couple of "empty-nester baby-boomer back-porch songwriters turned street performers turned full-time touring musicians". The spin that they’ve put on their music business is to tour Farmer’s Markets and then to solicit house concerts from the audience when they come up to buy a CD or sign the list.
Quick Shots #3 ~Holiday Shot '0812.23.08In this episode of Quick Shots we're going to lay some holiday tracks on you so you can get into the holiday spirit and let go of that inner Scrooge. We have a mix of styles raning from folk to blues to jazz to rock. Please visit the artists' sites and make their holiday special by purchasing a CD or two. Happy Holidays from Unsigned Underground. Music from: Eoin Harrington, Bryan Field, Kelly Richey, Chris Daniels and the Kings, Last November and Bob Burger. Thanks to Ariel Publicity and Cyber PR
Quick Shots #210.3.08Welcome to episode 2 of this abridged version of Unsigned Underground. I have a mix of songs that for some reason reminds me of music from the late 70's and early 80's. I'll let you decide why they remind me of that era and who they might be emulating. Sit back and enjoy music from ~ Marvin B. Naylor , The Nyquist Frequency, Bryan Zanos, Cavedoll and Louie Zagoras.
Episode 188.11.08Writer, musician, philosopher and everyman Chris Belden is in the studio this time around to talk to Unsigned Underground about his latest CD release entitled Camouflage. Solidly rooted in the pop tradition, Camouflage is a collection of soulful songs about everything from political protest to celebrity photographers. Chris and I have had one of those classic NYC relationships where we have been in the same room many, many times but never really met. Now that we've both moved about 75 miles outside of NYC, we finally get together to talk about music.
Quick Shots #17.29.08This is the first shot of a new, more abridged version of Unsigned Underground. The best tracks from the CDs I have yet to play or from CDs I have played and wanted to play more of. Rock the house with a quick sampling of tracks just layin-round the studio: Osgoods, Narayan, Joe Beleznay, Hey Molly & BFA.
Episode 17 ~ 6.23.08 ~ Interview with Jefferson Thomas You’re in for a treat – I had an opportunity to talk to one of the veterans of the indie music scene Jefferson Thomas. Jefferson has been on the road since he was 16 and has played all over the world. His new CD Western Front is his second studio CD and he has a live CD out there as well. I always find it inspiring to talk to someone who runs his own business and Jefferson Thomas is definitely an entrepreneur in this competitive business of independent music. He has his own label, books his own tours, contracts his bands on two coasts and then oh yeah, writes some kick-ass tunes.