Music Friday Blog

  • 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. 

  • Jessica Fleischer

    300.jpgI have been keeping my eye on Jessica Fleischer ever since she was on Music Friday about 4 months back.  Her music is so polished and so professional that it is hard to believe she is a rising star on her first full album, Lots of Love.  I received an alert that her new video, It's Hard, from the album was about to be released on YouTube and I knew we had to have her back on.  The video is by her sister, Rachael Fleischer, an award-wining film maker, so I knew it would be great.  And it is. So we booked her back on the show this week and if we are lucky, Rachael will join us and we can talk about the making of "It's Hard" and play some music.  2:05 pm ET/11:05 am PT.

  • Adam Levy. 11.8.13


    300new.jpgThe music business, especially in LA, is tight.  Everyone knows everyone either directly, or through a producer or they have been on stage with them or opened with them or slept with them or played with them. But a most interesting connection happened two weeks ago when a friend of mine who is a soundman for movies and TV told me about a great musician he met doing sound at a club.  That musician turned out to be Adam Levy and he and my friend have stayed in touch for a long time.  Fortunately, a friend of my friend is my friend, or at least in this case, my radio guest.  Adam is one of the  most sought after studio and stage guitarists around having played with many top stars, like Norah Jones and Tracy Chapman and live-backed the likes of Dan Hicks and Roseanne Cash, to name just a few.  He joins us Friday, 11.8.13 for tunes and talk at 11:05 am PT/2:05 pm ET.

  • Palter Ego. 11.1.13


    300.jpgIt pays to go out and listen to live music, and not just wait for the CD's and PR packages to come in.  I was a t a club for another musician, one I knew and who was a friend, when this very sophisticated and fun couple took the stage and introduced themselves as PalterEgo.  Jesse Palter, the very talented and very lovely vocalist both backed and joined by the equally talented (but not nearly as lovely) Sam Barsh made me laugh, tap my feet, and feel very happy I came that night. They performed a combination of jazz, blues, rock, Broadway and soul in a totally unique way.   "Instead of just getting on the bandstand and playing tunes off-the-cuff, we have our own unique interpretations of standards and classic songs as well as my original compositions. Working with such accomplished musicians, we are constantly pushing each other to expand outside of the box. This has taken our group to the next level" says Jessie, who  who took Outstanding Jazz Vocalist honors at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Detroit Music Awards.  The precocious Jesse started singing publicly at age five and learning piano at six. She subsequently studied oboe and trumpet.  She became  a headliner in the Detroit area .

    The other half of Palter Ego, Sam Barsh, is the perfect musical match for Jessie's voice. He has been playing music since the age of 4, starting on piano, and expanding to organ, synthesizers, vintage keyboards, and melodica. He built a career in Chicago and then in teh East Coast playing with top name bands like  Boyz II Men, Bobby McFerrin, to name two. From 2003 through 2006, Barsh was a member of the renowned Avishai Cohen Trio. With Cohen, Barsh recorded 3 albums and a live DVD, performed at many of the world's biggest jazz festivals and received much international acclaim.   And he produces, turning out albums for  Jennifer Lee Snowden, Ilana Martin, and Russ Nolan, and individual tracks for a variety of other artists.

    Of course I couldn't wait to talk with them after the show to convince them that you would love to hear them.  They are very busy , but we found a day - this Friday at 11:30 am PT.

  • Claudia Russell.11.1.13


    153.jpgSometimes you are just lucky.  I was at the Freight and Salvage Club in Berkeley CA, for a album release party for my friends Bruce Victor and Marla Fibish for the debut album Travel in the Shadows.  I bellied up to the bar for a glass of wine and the barkeep, a vivacious woman with a very pleasant voice,  poured me a glass and then we talked music.  Turned out she was volunteering that night  as bartender, but in real life is the much acclaimed and enormously talented singer/songwriter Claudia Russell.  Turns out she is also a friend of Bruce and Marla's and offered to put down her own guitar and help out.  Before the glass of wine was gone I had asked her on the show and, fortunately for all of us, she agreed.

    Claudia has been writing songs and singing for over 10 years that I know of,  and was  named by Boston's WUMB FMthe Best New Artist of 2000.  The SF B ay Area  East Bay Express newspaper  named her Best Musician in 2006, and she has twice been selected as a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting competition. Claudia was a 2004 finalist in the Sisters Folk Festival Songwriters contest in Bend Oregon and the 2002 KRCL Songwriting contest in Salt Lake City. This doe not even count her theatrical performances, and hundreds of gigs with stars like  Loudon Wainwright III, Kris Kristoffersen, Willie Nelson, and Rosalie Sorrels.  I am so happy she is joining us this Friday 11.1.13.

     

  • Lea Marie.10.25.13

    Lea-Marie.jpgI saw Lea Marie Friday night at the Whiskey A Gogo in  L.A. and discovered her solo self - just her and a piano.  Of course I was familiar with her pop songs and her ballads like the title track of her new EP, "Undercover Lover" and  "Turning Me On", but the pure Lea Marie was a nice surprise.  Check our twitter feed and instagram and FB pages for some of the photos.  She popped in last Friday for a few minutes to tell us about the upcoming show, but this week we get her for a full interview.  Have your questions ready - about the new album, about her fabulous time on American Idol, about what she plans now that she has both graduated from college and built a music career.  11:05 PT/2:05 ET.

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1At9jSYAFZY

  • Eddie Grey.10.25.13

    1303515730_eddie_grey_19.jpgEddie Grey is a superb songwriter and guitar player and  his singing is in a class of its own.  Fresh from sold out shows at the Witzend he has the time to come and talk with us.  We will play cuts from the new album Metamorphoses and explore how has developed through several alums and music adventures and learn what is next.  11:30 PT/2:30 ET. Sorry I missed the live show but this Friday I get him all to myself - and you, of course.

  • Salvador Santana. 10.18.13

     salvador-santana-005-620x413.jpgWhat can I say?  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 and you can call in and talk with him.

     

     

  • The Bylines. 10.18.13

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    The Bylines are with us this week.  Like I said in a blog post last week,  when I first saw The Bylines  at the Witzend, I just had to have them on the show.  The had the room on its feet.  Jazz, blues, broadway, rock - they do it all with sophisticated arrangements and clever lyrics. I only saw the founders,  Marianna Thielen and husband and keyboard artist Reece Marsahburn.  They did not have the whole band with them, but they still filled the room with sounds.  When the whole band plays they bring big-band sounds to modern  pop and can seamlessly transition between rock, blues, jazz, pop,  classical while creating something totally unique, and most of all, fun, sound.  Marianna and Reece join us at Music Friday this week at 11:05 am 

  • Mickey Church of White Arrows. 10.11.13

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    Another find by Angeline, she saw White Arrows at a college concert and recruited them ASAP.  The band founder, Mickey Church, who was blind at birth but gained sight later as a child, got his first inspiration from his father, a student of African percussion.  Dad encouraged Mickey and his little brother Henry to pick up instruments as kids, so they played what was around. Mickey eventually took his music to NYU, and graduated with a degree in shamanistic ritual. When you hear what he and the band does, you will know why.  And we are fortunate to have him this Friday at 2:05 pm ET.

     http://youtu.be/zedO7w2UV7k