Music Friday Blog

  • Sarah Darling. 12.13.13

    microphone_300x300.jpgI was watching the American Country Music Awards last night,  ( I know, it is only one of three country award shows and not really the top one, but the music was fun) and thought, "Music Friday does not have enough country music".  There is so much good country and so much country that says good things, that I must make an effort to find those emerging country singers and musicians who will be tomorrow's stars and introduce them to my audience.  Well, I found one, Sarah Darling.  From a farm in Iowa to the beating heart of country, Nashville, Sarah has made it clear that she has the talent, the life story, the music chops and the determination to succeed in what is arguably a tougher competitive field than NASCAR. 

    And she is succeeding. With acclaimed releases through her former label, a  new EP, and now a Christmas album that is both in and out of the red-ribboned box, you can see why she is called "Nashville's Darling".  She has been described as “a sophisticated songwriter with a crisp, powerful voice,” by The New York Times and been featured in national campaigns with major brands such as MoonPie, Durango Boots, Crock-Pot, Viva paper towels and more. She also recently sang during a date on an episode of ABC’s The Bachelor. She has been invited to the Grand Ole' Opry dozens of times and has an show coming up at the Franklin Theater tonight with Mindy Smith, who joined us last week

    Sarah says she has not yet defined herself or produced an album that does that, which is right where Music Friday likes to find its guests.  If our experience is any guide, that definition will grow and change over many albums and concerts in a bright future. 

  • Toby Light returns to Music Friday with EKOP

    noMICROPHONE300x300.jpgI am so happy that Toby Lightman is returning to Music Friday this week.  It is like an early Christmas present.  The only thing that could be better is to see her live, which I could do in Chicago in January but, you know, its cold there. For those of you who may have missed her appearance here in July, Toby Lightman is a singing/songwriting/creative/entrepreneurial genius.

    She has been described by People Magazine as “ no small talent…Toby Lightman continues to shine a light on her knack for making rich, soulful pop.”  And she is still doing it better than ever.   After releasing hit albums with her label, Atlantic Records, she has shifted to producing and releasing her own songs,  starting with the widely heard and seen on television, “Let It Go” in 2008.  More albums followed, plus an EP and national television performances on Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brian and The Today Show.

    On the live performance and film and TV front, Toby is not too shabby either. She has toured with James Blunt, Jewel, Rob Thomas and one night opened for Prince.  Her songs have backed television shows like Bones, One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries , The Fosters  and the feature film What’s Your Number? 

    Never one to rest on anything much less the laurels of past success, Toby has launched a new initiative, EKOB – Every Kind of People – and album to be produced with crowd-sourced funding and input from her fans.  An online Pledge Campaign has been oversubscribed, setting a new bar for fan-supported music.  Toby joins us Friday, 12. 13.13 to tell us about it and give us a peak and what she is planning for next year.

  • Junk Parlor. 12.6.13

    ALBUMCOVER33X232.jpgTalent appears in mysterious ways.  I have a friend who operates a hay and feed store in northern California whose husband is in a rock band that I saw at the House of Blues early this year.  Things and bands change and before I know it he has been invited to join Jason Vanderford's new project, Junk Parlor, giving me an opening to invite Jason to join us on Music Friday and give us the inside story on his new project.  This will be a preview of Junk Parlor's concert in Los Angeles which will I am sure be a festive evening of cajon, gypsy rock and pure fun.  Jason and my friend R.T. Goodrich, Junk Parlor's drummer join is at 2:30 pm ET this Friday.

  • Mindy Smith. Snowed In. 12.6.13

    300x300.jpgThis year I was, shall we say, made aware of a number of Christmas song many that I decided on just one this year.  Mindy Smith's CB, Snowed In stood out .  So she returns to Music Friday this Friday with a Christmas album.  We are only doing one Christmas album this year and of all the albums that have been sent to me, this one stands out.  Not only does Mindy bring us the traditional songs of the season, but she brings us her unique voice and soul - these are songs that not only bring back memories of Christmases past, but of the meaning of the season .  Mindy came to prominence in 2003 with her cover of Dolly Parton's song "Jolene" and then appearing on the Jay Leno Show with Dolly. Seven hit singles and five albums later she continues to sooth and excite us with a new EP, Snowed In.  She joins us Friday, 12.6.13 at 11:05 am PT.

  • The Bylines 11.29.13

    square300.jpgI saw The Bylines live at the Witzend in Venice California and loved them.  Frontwoman Marianna Thielen, the  face of the group, let loose with her with powerful vocals and  her husband, Reece Marshburn,   master of  classical, jazz and pop piano created a perfect instrumental backdrop. Depending on the project , they surround themselves with national level musicians who fill a venue with unique and infinitely enjoyable music. Whether you see them live, download their music and see their videos, they are pure fun. Marianna and Reece join us at Music Friday at  11:05 am today.







  • Salvador Santana. 11.29.13

    RiseUp_sm-300x300.jpgOur classic Music Friday this week is Salvador Santana  He is one of the greatest emerging talents of our time, son of one of the greatest talents of our time, grandson of two of great musical talents.  Salvador Santana joins us this Friday at 2:30 pm ET.  We will play cuts from his album talk to him about his tour and his future.  I saw him live at the Hotel Cafe and let me tell you, this guy and his SSB band is exciting.  See my review in Vents magazine .




  • Noctambule 11.22.13

    300.jpgI have know Bruce Victor almost a decade - our kids met in the 4th grade.  Severl years ago he formed the Acoustic Vortext, a house concert series to promote and enjoy acoustic music and I agreed to be be chairman.  For five years we met, drank, played and listened to music regularly, enjoying a stream of talented artists come through his living room/cum venue. Along the way I quickly discovered that Bruce was a world class guitar player - the dozen or so guitars hanging on his living room walls was the first hint.  

    One of the musicians who played at the Vortex, as we called it, was Marla Fibish.  Bruce was smitten b y her beauty, her art, her smile and we were all smitten by her beauty.  It was no surprise when the invitations to their wedding and CD release party arrived (two separate events).  How, we all get to enjoy their humor, their poetry and their wonderful music.


  • Sini Andersen: 11.22.13

    302.jpgSini Andersen had to work on Kathleen Hanna for some time to let her assemble the documentary , The Punk Singer, about the singer/activists life, but the result was well worth it.  Kathleen was the founder and lead singer of the famous 90's band Bikini Kill which launched the riot grrl movement in the U.S. and introduced an entire generation of girls and women to feminism- their way.  Kathleen went on to found two other bands, Le Tigre and Julie Ruin but almost died from a mystery disease - later diagnosed as lyme disease.  Sini has assembled one of the best music documentaries from a treasure chest of home movies, performance tape, fan photos and lengthy interviews with Kathleen and her contemporaries and band mates.  An in-depth look into what drove this revolutionary woman and musician and what drove the riot grrl movement and why it is still reverberating in our culture two decades later.


  • Irene Diaz. 11.15.13

    300.jpgIrene Diaz returns to Music Friday for music and for a slightly serious topic, her participation in the Womyn of Color conference at the California State University at LA. Born in the heart of Los Angeles, CA, Irene Diaz has emerged as an independent artist  with a tremendous sound and a huge future.  A singer/songwriter who plays both guitar and piano, her initial exposure to music came at a young age, at only 15 years old she developed her own writing/playing style that sets her apart, now at 25. Her influences come from other singer songwriters such as Billy Holiday, Fiona Apple, and Feist, but cites love as her greatest influence behind her songwriting, with the intention of allowing everyone to relate to that experience and connect with her songs.She joins us at 2:30 pm ET.

  • Reuben and the Dark 11.15.13

    301.jpgReuben and the Dark is the newest project from Calgary's Reuben Bullock. I saw them a few weeks ago at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood and was so blown away I had to book them immediately.  I had actually come for another band - Reuben was the warm up - and I knew immediately they were goin places. Fresh off the release of his second solo album, Bullock has formed a band of some of Alberta's finest musicians. This quartet has been quickly building a reputation as a killer live band, their soaring four-part vocal harmonies achieving epic heights, always leaving crowds hungry for more. And at the core of all this sits Bullock's songs, which manage to achieve a balance between seemingly disparate elements: the introspective with the anthemic, and the feat of sounding simultaneously ancient and uniquely contemporary. Recently brought to London by LUV LUV LUV Records (Florence and the Machine/Blood Orange), the band has returned from a European tour with a new release and headed off to California for gigs in the States.