Music Friday Blog

  • 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. 

  • 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.