Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Maybe 3 Times Is The Charm for Original Members of WAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


ORIGINAL FOUNDING MEMBERS OF WAR—PAPA DEE ALLEN, HAROLD BROWN, B.B. DICKERSON, LONNIE JORDON, CHARLES MILLER, LEE OSKAR AND HOWARD SCOTT—ARE NOMINATED FOR THIRD TIME FOR INDUCTION INTO 
ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

Fans around the world are able to cast votes for 
2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees until December 9, 2014


(November 12, 2014—Seattle, WA)— The seven original founding members of the California funk/fusion band WAR—including Papa Dee Allen, Harold Brown, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar and Howard Scott—have been nominated for the third time for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. These seven acclaimed musicians were responsible for composing and performing such iconic 70’s mega-hits as Spill The Wine, Slipping into Darkness, Low Rider, Cisco Kid, The World Is Ghetto, Why Can’t We Be Friends and many more.



Greg Errico, Founding Member of Sly and the Family Stone and 1993 Inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, comments, “The WAR….. the first multi-genre jam band! Numerous major cross-over mega-hits! This group of musicians / writers / performers brought much joy to the radio waves and many concert performances in the late 60’s and 70’s.  I must say they are deserving of the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”




As original Santana drummer, percussionist, composer and 1998 Inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Michael Shrieve observes, “The sound of WAR is the sound of the other 70's - not the hippie sound of California, but the other sound. The sound of the ghetto, the pulse of the people. Those songs that the original members of WAR made is the soundtrack to many of our lives.  This band is DESERVING of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”



Longtime music journalist and WAR superfan Loretta Sassaman notes,  “Now is the time for these icons to be officially recognized for their individual and collective contributions and for them to take their rightful place in history beside the other Rock and Roll immortals in the Hall of Fame. 


Loretta reminds fans around the world that we should not pass up this opportunity to let our voices be heard. "Voting for WAR is a vote for the pioneering band’s original members, including: Lonnie Jordan, (innovative keyboardist and vocalist);  Lee Oskar, (harmonica virtuoso); Howard Scott, (remarkable rhythm and lead guitarist, vocalist and song writer);  Harold Brown (acclaimed drummer with his unique style and rhythms); B. B. Dickerson, (incredible vocalist and highly innovative bass player), and two magnificent musicians of their time who have passed away, Papa Dee Allen, (percussionist genius) and Charles Miller (who together with Lee Oskar, were innovators of the signature Sax/Harmonica sound of songs like Low Rider). Their music is STILL being played and covered today!”

For the third year in a row, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will again offer fans the opportunity to officially participate in the induction selection process, from now until December 9, 2014.  Fans can vote daily.

Fans can cast their votes by visiting: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's website or Rolling Stone's Music News where nominees are listed alphabetically.  The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2015 inductees. 


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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MUTEMATH Bassist Debuts New Album As "The Pink Dust"




Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas of alt-rock band "MUTEMATH" has a new project he's releasing with friend and bandmate; Cliff Littlefield under the name of THE PINK DUST. 

The band says their music is "eclectic, capturing sounds reminiscent of 60’s and 70’s classic rock, 80’s new wave and 90’s alternative." I would say that's a pretty accurate description. But, I would also add there's a little fusion influence as well as some major soul here.  In listening to this LP, it somewhat reminds of "The Alan Parson's Project" in that, every song is fairly different with it being an album that the listener can play from the beginning to the end. And I am a huge proponent in the old school way of thinking that when the listener takes the album out of the cover / sleeve, they set it on the turntable, put that needle down on track one, play it to the end, flip that record over and continue listening. . . . cuz that's how we do it! (said with latin barrio inflection)


Let's start with the
TRACK LIST:



Lyricist, Cliff Littlefield is on lead vocals and rhythm guitar.  I'm assuming music for the tracks were written by Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas who is on guitar, bass, keys, programming, percussion, and BGV's. Drums are done by Plastic Planet's drummer; Jeff Alan Wright.

There is so much good stuff here. Lyrically, some songs have a light tone to them and some have cool references such as naming rock artists, like Guns and Roses' Axl Rose, quoting lines from Cheap Trick and Disney's "Songs of the South." And some of the songs are really deep. . .  and intense. Musically, my ears have been doing back flips. I absolutely love what is going on in the background. What I can hear, others listening cannot hear until I point it out to them. Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas, who was profiled in the March 2008 Bass Player Magazine, plays just about every instrument on this project. His jazz and fusion influences are noticeable on most of these of tracks. It's the little things that make me excited to wanting to go back and play those "seconds" of ear candy over and over.

I said that I listened to this album from beginning to end, but I will say that some of the tracks have dominated my attention more than the others.

Case in point:
GREEN EYES


This tune is so "poppy," and easy to sing along with. With a hint of Beatles influence, you just want to get up and dance, or at least I do. But what I truly love about this song is the sound of French Horns playing in the background, like a foghorn or Sirens, calling you to come back. It's so consistent as if the band is playing near a lighthouse, the music is making you move and groove,  at the same time, you hear in the distance that "foghorn" so low and deliberate. On a side note, the horns reminded me of Paul McCartney's "Mr. Bellamy" from his "Memory Almost Full" album.

I am not one to listen to any music in the morning. But I found myself waking up with the song playing in my head. When a song is pulling a person to listen to it over and over, even the next day, that says a lot about it. And I have listened to it over and over and can imagine myself back in the day as a kid, listening to it on my favorite L.A. radio stations. It has that nostalgic vibe to it. I would love to see this song released as a single and performed on Jimmy Kimmel or Fallon.



What follows is the deep, dark tune "OUT OF MY MIND"



I am going to guess this song is about addiction in the worst way.

Man, I love these lyrics, especially in the beginning, describing the "user" who puts up the front that everyone sees but no one sees in private, except the "Pusherman."  The music during the verses have this almost twisted seductive tone to them that go perfectly with the words. I could feel this song. That struggle, you want so badly to break away from, but are drawn back to, knowing it's going to be bad and not caring because the payoff is that momentary feel of pleasure. And then the cycle begins again. . . and deeper into the abyss you go.

Great solo work and programming with that fusion feel.



The essence of Alan Parsons is felt on this track; "TIME WILL TELL" 



I'm not sure what this song is about, but I found myself feeling pretty sad for a childhood that was lost. I'm thinking this might be about some type of abuse. I totally loved this song, though. Every part of it. I just love, love, love the solo work towards the end. This is so Alan Parsons, from vocals to echoes to the harmonies to that solo. Really good!!!



ALL OR NOTHING

My 16 yr old daughter loves this track. She told me that it reminded her of something she might hear on Scooby Doo or at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. She is right on track. The song has that eeriness to it as well as that late 60's feel, which is why my daughter thought of Scooby Doo. That show's soundtrack is the epitome of the late 1960's rock music, with the carousel organ sound giving off that haunting but not quite gloomy feel.


I am really pleased with this project by THE PINK DUST.  Cliff's vocals are easy to listen to. His voice is such, that he is able to capture the sounds of 60's, 70's Pop and Rock, early 80's New Wave and 90's Grunge. His lyrics are profound,  thought provoking and emotional. All vocals are tight, including the harmonies. So good that my 16 yr old commented on how much she liked the bgv's. That is saying a lot. I didn't even have to ask. She felt it and had to "oooo" afterwards on one the tracks.

The album has the potential to be a timeless project. I was moved by most of these tunes.

The music is tight!!! Roy does one hell of a job on the music. Drumming by Jeff Alan Wright is incredible. It's apparent that Jeff and Roy are communicating on these tunes via their instruments. Jeff is one sick drummer!! I've only heard him on The Plastic Planets EP.  He's really good.

My personal opinion here is that as a lover of music, I am so bipolar when it comes to listening. I can get bored with music easily, wishing there were something I could listen to that didn't sound like everything else "out there!" But when I do get my hands on something that sounds good to my ears, I have that feeling of being lasso'd - mind, body and soul -  and I don't want to be freed from it. Like when I was a teen. . . obsessed with a 45 or album and playing that record over and over in one sitting, to the point of melting the vinyl from the heat. But isn't that a good thing??? LOL!

THE PINK DUST has accomplished that for me.

I hope it will do the same for you.

Check out the other tunes they've posted on their YouTube and Facebook.
And give me some feedback. I love to know what you think.


THE PINK DUST YouTube

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Father and Son Take To The Stage - The Backyard Stage, That Is.



Singer, songwriter Adrian Bourgeois teamed up with his dad, Brent Bourgeois of 80's iconic group; Bourgeois Tagg recently this summer in a special "secret location" show in the Seattle area. An intimate crowd were privy to "up close" interaction and some great tunes, including a couple from Brent's new album "Don't Look Back," as well as tunes from Adrian's latest release, "Pop /Art." Not to be confused with Lady Gaga's "ARTPOP" album. 

Heavy rains that week continued to threaten the day of the show, but it turned out to be a great night under the stars, with a few cloud coverage. 

Brent; "opening" for Adrian, started off with a tune from his solo project "Brent Bourgeois" released in 1990, which some might recall he sang duet with Fleetwood Mac's, Christine McVie.




Brent and Adrian performed "The High Road" from his record "Don't Look Back." The track features friend Julian Lennon on vocals. I'm really glad that Brent chose to sing this live since it's one of my personal favorites. About 2 minutes into the song, Brent smiles. I can't help but sense that he is "feeling" that connection when you've not only hit those vocals right with the person you're singing with, but adding to that, you're own child. A very proud moment, I'm sure. 



Fans were happy to hear Brent sing his 1988 hit with Bourgeois Tagg; "I Don't Mind At All."  You could hear several in the yard singing along.  




Although Adrian did sing several songs before the evening arrived, I wanted to feature two of my favorite; "As Your Hands Can Hold" following with what I call the "Andrew Gold and Todd Rundgren perform The Beatles" style "Everybody Knows It Was Me." 



Overall, the show lasted almost 2 hours with Brent and Adrian sticking around to sign autographs of their albums, which of course, I had to buy! Both are great albums.  
I encourage you all to pick up a copy of each. Info is listed below. 





I should make mention that attending included, Inside MusiCast's Eddy Cabello. Which I thought was very cool that Eddy came out all the way from Indiana. I, for one was very surprised and honored to finally meet Eddy and his lovely wife. Especially, since I am now part of the Inside MusiCast family. 






Speaking of Inside MusiCast, Brent was a recent guest. Check out the interview with hosts Eddy and another friend of mine, Rich Such.






It's been a while since Brent has embarked on an actual tour. I am hoping that he will consider doing so. If he does, I will keep you posted. In the meantime, Adrian, who I've said in the past is a great artist on his own, can be found in and around the Los Angeles area.
So make sure you catch his live show.

Many thanks to Steve Bartlett Photography for providing videos and photos.






Adrian's CD Pop / Art is available here.

Brent's album "Don't Look Back" is also available on his website as well as CD Baby, iTunes and "other fine locations!" ; )

Facebook: Adrian Bourgeois  Brent  Bourgeois

Twitter: Brent Adrian




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guitarists Extrodinaire; Aaron Kusterer and Jennifer Batten Are Chasing Fireflies



FIREFLIES PRESS RELEASE

Aaron Kusterer and Jennifer Batten Announce New Single ‘Fireflies’ (Owl City Cover) Out June 21, 2014

As a follow up to their last single together, The Melting Pot, Aaron Kusterer and Jennifer Batten have collaborated again to record a guitar-centric version of Owl City’s Fireflies. As a bonus, Batten and Kusterer are also releasing a companion music video.

When asked about the project history in a recent interview, Aaron stated, “Jennifer told me at one point that she really liked the song Fireflies . . . it kind of grew on me. So I thought, let’s just do this.”
“While making my own arrangement, I wanted to be sure to give a tip of the hat to the original,” said Aaron when asked about the guitar-centric nature of the cover. “You’re not going to find a lot of fast guitar playing in this thing.”

The Fireflies cover will drop in the US on June 21st along with the companion music video. The video will be available worldwide via YouTube. European download release dates to be determined.
You can read more on the project and get a sneak listen of the track on the Fireflies Info Page.

Aaron Kusterer's Official page

Jennifer Batten's Official page

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brent Bourgeois Perfects His Curve Ball With "Don't Look Back"






It's been more than 20 years since diehard fans have heard anything by singer songwriter Brent Bourgeois, known for his solo work and more notably for being half of 80s New Wave; Synthpop group; Bourgeois Tagg. 

Leaving the group for various reasons, Brent moved to Nashville in the 90’s at the invitation of friend Charlie Peacock to produce Contemporary Christian Music. Brent Bourgeois seemed to have the golden touch working with the likes of some of CCM's greatest teen pop stars. In my opinion, he made these artists sound less CCM-ish and more like the true music artists that they were.

But those diehard fans were always asking when Brent might put out another album. 

Fans will have to wait no longer! 

Brent . . . is. . . . back!!! 

And like a fine wine that has aged well, Brent has a new album that is sure not to disappoint. ”Don't Look Back" is the title and releases June 2nd. 

This week I interview Brent Bourgeois to talk about why he left, what brought him back and his creative way of getting those diehard fans and new fans alike to participate in the selling of this LP.

ST45: Brent, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me. I've been a long admirer of your work as an artist and producer and more.  You've had an amazing career! 

I have this theory that artists I wouldn't particularly listen to, I find myself liking a song or two of theirs, only to find that people I've liked, worked on those projects. You're one of those people.

Tell me where your love of working in music came from. 

Brent: I was always kind of a one-trick pony as a kid. I loved baseball, but I was a prodigy at music, specifically the piano. It was just something I could do at a VERY young age, and I had perfect pitch. So music was just something I always did, always was destined to do. Once I found out I couldn't hit a curve ball, I never thought I would do anything else.

ST45: "Dare to Fall in Love" from your 1990 self-titled release is one of my favorite tunes you recorded. For us Hispanics, that is our jam! I read a while back that you were not crazy about this song and wished you had not recorded it. 

Brent: I don't “not" like “Dare to Fall in Love” – it's just that by making it the single on that record, it took the focus off the tone of the rest of the album, and may have fooled people into thinking that it was something that it was not...

ST45: Kind of Maria Muldaur's "Midnight At The Oasis." I read it was added at the last minute and was nothing like the rest of the album and as we all know, was a huge hit. 

Both songs, yours and Maria's showed your diversity, which I wouldn’t think is so bad. 

Brent: “Dare to Fall in Love” was in a pile of songs for "other people" that I wrote as part of my publishing agreement. Some of those songs also showed up on my next record “Matter of Feel,” to my lasting regret. I tried to hide “Dare to Fall” from my record company because I knew if they heard it, they would want to make it a single, but somewhere along the way they heard it. And made it a single.

ST45: What was the inspiration behind it? Even though it was written for others to record, there had to have been some type of situation that inspired you to write it. Do you have regrets of writing that song?

Brent: Funny, it really was more craft than inspiration. I have to drill down to that memory bank, but I really think I was writing a track that probably sounded a bit like something else at the time, and then wrote lyrics that fit the track. I know that's not the romantic answer, but it's the honest one ; )

ST45: Great answer, but not unusual. I’ve heard that from several songwriters. So let’s talk about  your early days. Where did your love of music came from? What was getting into the music industry like and how do you think it differs from today? 

Brent: The answer to that question is really long; the short answer is that everything has changed. 

When Bourgeois-Tagg was being courted by record companies the music industry was near the top of its game. Budgets were large, two albums were guaranteed. . . (at Warner Brothers in the 70s, it was three), you were going to make at least one video, and that video was expensive to make. Record companies were large operations, with huge rosters. The biggest sellers sold millions, sometimes even tens of millions of records. If you didn't sell 100,000 records or more out of the gate it was considered a disappointment. But considering how much money was spent to break an act, it had to be a disappointment. But unless you sold literally millions, the artist would never see a penny of record royalties because the cost of making, promoting, and getting the record to market was so huge. Our first two records cost $250,000 each to make, and we made several videos that cost that much or more. So even though we had a big hit with "I Don't Mind At All," we left Island Records something like $700,000 in the hole.

Now, the whole system is flipped on its head. There are only 3 major record companies and they are hardly signing anything. Everybody else is "independent," which can mean almost anything. The music industry itself now works at something less than 10¢ on the dollar. There are almost no record stores. Radio means almost nothing to all but a very few artists. Recording studios are going the way of stock brokers and travel agents. We are all our own chief cooks and bottle washers. 

The good news is technology has made the recording process cheap enough for almost anyone to make a record. (Some would say that is not necessarily good news). I made this record for $5000, an absolutely unheard of amount even a short time ago. So I don't have to sell all that many copies to break even, especially because I am not giving 85% of the income to a record company. But I am responsible for all marketing, promotion and distribution, something the record companies, with their vast resources, did very well when they wanted to. 

I think the person I feel the worst for is someone like my son, Adrian. He was born in the wrong era. It is extremely difficult for someone like him to even make a decent living doing the thing he loves to do and is so good at. And it breaks my heart.

ST45: Adrian truly IS an anomaly. He is a throwback, which says a lot of his upbringing. He is a rare breed, who understand what true songwriting is all about. I was a fan from the moment I first saw him and his friend, singer/songwriter/musician Ricky Berger. Those two are incredible! 

I'm sure people knew after you left Bourgeois-Tagg, WHICH by the way, B-T are in that category of being considered cult classic artists. It seems most music enthusiasts have that true appreciation and understanding of who you both were and what you were all about. It was sad to see that era end. But then you moved to producing some of Contemporary Christian Music's brightest stars, such as Rachael Lampa and Jaci Velasquez, Point of Grace, as well as others. 

The song you recorded with Ginny Owens; "One Thing” from the “Roaring Lambs” album; love that song. Definitely did not have that CCM sound which I think, for that season, was out of the ordinary.

Brent: I think that song was right in line with other stuff I was producing at that time in the CCM world, whether it was Cindy Morgan, or the “Streams“ album.
ST45: And then you left the music industry altogether. . .
Let’s talk about what you brought you back to making music and create a new album. For no less than $5,000, I might add. 

Brent: I don't know how to explain when it goes away, and I don't really know how to explain when it comes back. 

There are probably some practical reasons for me doing this when I did. The technology has advanced to the point where it has now become conceivable to do what was absolutely impossible not too long ago. It was never possible to consider making my own record without a record label and a recording contract, and those two things were in the rearview mirror for a guy my age that wasn't ever a platinum-selling artist. And financing one's own record was a pipe dream and a certain money-loser to boot, which made it an extremely irresponsible thing to do for this father of four. 

But now...it's possible to conceive, and if not now, when? 

The idea of making a record for $5000 would have been laughable even a few years ago. But that number allows one to consider that it might be possible to go beyond breaking even and make a living doing this. That is a very important consideration. Because if I can't make a living doing it, I don't really have time to indulge in something so vain as making my own record. That's the practical side of it. The existential part is a mystery...I think I had psyched myself into believing that I could never make a record as good as my last one, so I would just be disappointed at the results.  For whatever reasons, and it took this long, I finally got over that one...


Don't Look Back


ST45: Sounds like you had a lot of difficult decisions to make, Brent. Being a parent myself, I can empathize. And then as you put it, "psyched" yourself into not being able to make music, also had to have been hard.  Years have passed and if I could be so bold as to say the flood gates of creativity opened up and writing began to emerge. 

The outcome of that is your new album "Don't Look Back, made at the cost of $5,000, which completely baffles me! Following you via Facebook, I am in awe of the personnel on this project, Brent. So many incredible people that reads like a who's who for us who love music. 


Brent: Well it was a one-time, call-in-all-the-favors kind of thing, and is the true secret of how I was able to make this record so inexpensively…

ST45: Wow! And who was on the list of phone calls? 

Brent: Larry Tagg, Michael Urbano, Lyle Workman, Chris Rodriguez, Mike Roe, Jerry McPherson, Steve Brewster, Mark Hill, Aaron Smith, George Lawrence, John Lee Sanders, Vicki Randle, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Molly Felder, Paige Lewis, Tim Pierce, John Fields, Ross Hogarth, David J. Holman, Charlie Peacock, Adrian Bourgeois, Kasim Sulton, Todd Rundgren, Julian Lennon. I should mention that my son, Adrian is playing the acoustic guitar on "The High Road."

ST45: That must have been so much fun and what a great group of names! I can't wait to hear the album in it's entirety. So from what I've read on the social media sites about this project, you're doing something that. . . I'm sure has never been done, called a Kick-FINISHER??? 


The Concept

What is it? How did you conceive it? And how does one get involved? 

Brent: Kick-finisher (www.kick-finisher.com) is the doppleganger to Kickstarter. Now, I think Kickstarter is a great program–lots of my friends have done it–Adrian did it; crowd-funding is THE wave of the future as far as making art. I guess I just hated to ask people for money. I asked musicians for their time instead! So once you've finished making a record, this is where you used to hand the finished master over to the record company; the promotions and marketing departments decided where they were going to spend their advertising dollars, how much they were going to pay for radio, and how much they would pay for a tour. Then they turned it over to the distribution arm for delivery into the thousands of record stores. Now there is none of that. How do I make people aware that I even have a record out? At least I used to have a fan base. Bourgeois-Tagg sold a lot of records. And I sold a fair amount as a solo artist. But that was over twenty years ago. The deal with kick-finisher is, instead of me asking you to pay for me to make my record, I'm going to pay you to sell my record. I need a sales force, and who better than the people most interested in me making a record? 


So there is this option: 

You can make $1 for every record (download) you sell, or you can donate the money to Julian Lennon's White Feather Foundation, which is dedicated to bringing clean, safe drinking water to those in need in Africa. For every record you sell, 13 liters of water is donated. 

ST45: That is fantastic! I know about Julian’s White Feather Foundation. 
Great idea!

Brent: Yeah, most people are taking that route, and that's great. And then it gets like Kickstarter–the more you sell, the more incentives there are. It is a new approach to getting one's record to market, but the basic principle has been around a long time...You can be an affiliate by signing up at www.kick-finisher.com. People who agree to do this will get all kinds of goodies...

ST45: And so how is it going? How long will it last?

Brent: Lots of people are signed up, but talk is cheap ; ) 

Have no idea how to gauge how much anyone is going to actually DO. The kick-finisher program doesn't have a time limit; it will have a window of exclusivity coming up shortly, where the only place you will be able to buy the download for about a week is through a kick-finisher affiliate. We're not even releasing to iTunes or Amazon until later in the summer...

ST45: Earlier you said the idea of making another record after your solo release some 20 years ago seemed like it would never happen.  But now you have this project. . . "Don't Look Back." 

Is it possible that Bourgeois fans will see more LP's from you in the future, Brent? And what about live performances? 

Brent: I hate to place it in the hands of the "fans," but if it sells enough to make it economically feasible to do it again, then I will. I would love to keep doing this, but it is not going to happen unless it can be a part of my living. I think that is a fair thing to say. And to all who might say, "You should do it anyway for the love of it" that's easy for them to say, but it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy, both of which I need to spend on making a living to support my family. I hope this is just the beginning of the 2nd part of my album-making career.

ST45: This is very true. . . going out and touring is not easy and it's not as huge a money maker as some might think.

But I do hope, for those of us who appreciate you and your music that we'll at least get to see a BB All-Star tour sometime in the near future. 

BRENT:  I wouldn't hold your breath ; ) 

ST45: HAHA! Okay! Fair enough.  What about a Bourgeois-Tagg tour or even album project? This year seems to be the tour of reunions. Is a probability for you? 
BRENT: No, but as 80’s nostalgia continues to rise, there are the occasional package concerts with mid-level 80’s acts that we might be a part of. Everyone is too busy with their own careers and lives to do a reunion record. And I've already explained the economics of it. That doesn't mean we won't ever work together again. Those are two different things.

ST45: If anyone has read my blogs, they know it's no secret that I am fan of your son Adrian. Do you think we might see a project and or tour between the two of you? 

BRENT: If I ever do any house concerts, or small club dates, Adrian will be a part of it. He plays everything, can sing background vocals, and is a built-in opening act. What more could you want?

ST45: Absolutely! I would love to see the two of you live! And I have a huge backyard that is perfect for a house concert! Just say the word! So, from where we are, on the outside, it would seem that you've accomplished a lot for a young guy who is still in his 50's.  Is there anything else you would like to do?

BRENT:  I would like to make a decent living making music again.

ST45: Well if your new concept of distributing music works, I can't imagine you not making a living from it. 

Before I say thank you, I want you to know how much I appreciate you taking time out to talk with me. I'd like to ask you one more question before we close. 

Your music will always be your legacy. What I, personally would like to ask you is, what would you like your legacy to be with those who love you, thinking most of your family? 

BRENT: To be a person who showed love, and who had the proper perspective between work and family.

ST45: Brent, thank you so much. As I said, I'm looking forward to hearing the album.
Good luck on the Kick-Finisher.

FACEBOOK 

FOR Brent Fans




Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jen Haugland Discovers Herself Through The Storm




After much soul searching, singer / songwriter Jen Haugland proves that she has grown up in her writing skills and matured with her new LP, "Where I Am."

Working with producer, Eric Copeland of Creative Soul Records, this 11-track album is an impressive project of music that should not be ignored.  Well crafted and thought out, it has the ingredients to be considered timeless.


Track Listing:

Deep Into You
The In-Between
Where I Am
Little Bit Crazy
The Storm
For All the Ways
So Hard to Find
Peace
Intentionally
Loved You Well
The Storm (Instrumental)


I have to admit that while listening to it, I did have some emotional moments, especially while listening to The Storm. What a powerful song! And so beautiful. It's a very gripping type of composition that has you feeling like you've heard it playing at a tear-jerking movie. Mark Burnett, take note! I think you should take a sec and listen to this song! : )

Not every song is going to bring you to tears, tho. There are some bouncy tunes, like Little Bit Crazy which has that kind of "spring in your step" kind of feel.  Love "So Hard to Find" with it's smooth jazzy feel to it.  And Jen sounds so cool on this track. Really love her groovy vocals! I detect Bossa Nova artist "Basia" in her tone.

Critics might consider this a Contemporary Christian release. But with the genre of music ranging from soft pop to contemporary to maybe a little smooth jazz, it would be, in my opinion a shame to place this in the CCM category.

The messages may fall under the realm of Christian, but in listening to every song, the lyrics talk about real life . . . relationships, from intimate to spiritual. And who hasn't heard those types of lyrics in songs heard on today's radio stations? I have.

And as I said earlier, I did feel some tears flow as this has been a heavy week for me. Deep emotions surfacing! And perhaps that was Jen's intention. She is after all, a licensed therapist. And as she states on the liner notes, the album is not just meant to be enjoyed but to bring healing to those hurting.  I can believe that.  One song in particular that brought those tears was "Intentionally," a song about children with special needs. The "special needs" I have been dealing with are kids who don't feel valued and wished they had never been born, thus having a desire to hurt themselves. So when I heard this song, I saw those faces in the lyrics. And THAT to me is good songwriting!

It Takes A Village!
So impressed by all who are on this album. I've heard most of them on other projects. 
It's great to hear these great musicians on this album together. Truly stellar in their skills.

PERSONNEL:
Drums: Steve Brewster, 
Ken Lewis, Brian Fullen
Bass: Gary Lunn, Mark Hill, 
Danny O'Lannerghty
Guitars: Mark Baldwin, Dave Cleveland
Keyboards: Eric Copeland, Blair Masters, Jason Webb, Jeff Roach
Trombone: Barry Green
Orchestral Programming: Brian Green
BGV's: Eric Copeland, Debi Selby & Jen







My bottom line is this album is definitely worth listening to. 

If she isn't already, Jen should be proud of this work.  

As for me, "Where I Am" will be a staple in my collection.

Check out Jen's website
Jen Haugland Music
Facebook









Tuesday, April 22, 2014

West Meets Northwest At The Showbox


Seattle folks love them some Switchfoot. And rock legend, Michael Bloodgood of 80's iconic Christian Rock band, BLOODGOOD is no exception! 


Switchfoot, on tour promoting their current release "Fading West," true to form showed Seattle they never disappoint! 

Pictured above is Michael Bloodgood and his wife with Switchfoot at the Showbox. According to Michael, it was a Killer Show, adding that they just get better and better every time he sees them. 






Michael with lead guitarist and super nice guy,  Drew Shirley before Switchfoot's stellar performance. 



















If you haven't 
already 
heard,  
BLOODGOOD 
has a new 
release with 
DANGeROUSLY 
CLOSe. 
Check it out
 here and 
download it!







Also, take a listen and watch "Lamb Of God" from the new album done in classic Bloodgood style! 












Friday, April 4, 2014

Radio Friendly is Here to Tell You That Everything Will Be Alright



Met some great guys recently at the NAMM Show 2014.
When you attend a product show like NAMM, you're bound to make connections and even pick up a few CD's from artists. Such is the case with the guys of "Radio Friendly."

These guys love music, they love Rock n Roll, and they love Jesus! 
Bosch Boschetti, lead vocalist had this to say about the band: 

"This band is very dear to my heart because it allows me to take God's message out to people who are lost and broken and gives us a chance to encourage the saved as well. It is great to see people come to the shows and experience God for perhaps the very first time and this is what keeps me going."

So I give the album a listen.

Not bad.

In fact, they are really good!!

Track listing:
1. Love is alive
2. Hold on
3. Say a prayer
4. Everything will be alright
5. Uptown downtown
6. Talk talk
7. Changed


The band are very skilled. The engineering of this EP sounds great!  They definitely have that West Coast rocker sound going on. 

"Uptown Downtown" is by far the best track off the album. It's got that L.A. groove.  
For me, personally, some of the songs have too much of a mainstream Christian sound, but this is definitely more rock and roll. Love the harmonies and the break in the middle with the guitar solo by Mark Hoffman. REALLY NICE!! Everything about this song is good! Jimmy Sabala kills it on the drums! And of course, Steve Christian carries this tune nicely throughout on his bass. 

"Talk Talk" shows that they can rock the house with their 80’s pop and new wave groove.

The bottom line, is I like the album but would like to see more stuff like "Uptown Downtown" and "Talk Talk" cuz I am listening to these over and over! 

"Love Is Alive" by Radio Friendly.  

This album is full of energy and worth a listen!

Check it out! 

Official Website
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

DUSTIN PRINZ IS AT IT AGAIN WITH ELEVEN. LOVIN WHAT I HEAR AND SEE!



Dustin Prinz isn't a household name, but he is definitely on his way!
I've enjoyed listening to his new album "ELEVEN." This is Dustin's third project release.
I predict this is the album that will get him radio airplay.

What amazes me is how Dustin can be so qwerky at times, funny, imaginative and then turn your emotions with his serious side. The guy is deep!!!

And so talented!! With the exception of a few doing piano, organ, string arrangements and co/writing two songs. . . Dustin has done it all! Dustin wrote all but two songs, which he co/wrote. He recorded, mixed and mastered this project. First thing I noticed when I listened to this CD was how well it sounded! Beautiful work, Dustin!!

Track List:
1. Freedom
2. Angry Breakup Song
3. So Many Deserving
4. Maybe
5. Next Time You'll Know
6. Evolve
7. You'll Answer When She Calls
8. Blindfolded
9. Snow Day
10. Northstar
11. Radio
12. Delivered In Tears
13. Limbo
14. I'm Still Alive
15. Broken Guitar Strings


Check out some of the videos Dustin has produced.
He is amazing and the songs speak for themselves.
And the videos are thought provoking and then just crazy fun!



There is a lot going on in the mind Dustin Prinz. "Limbo" really got to me! Watch the video and you'll see what I mean. You'll also hear Dustin's nephew Rydon Prinz, who was 2 weeks old at the time of the recording. A talented little guy with perfect pitch in crying! ; )








There's lots of stuff going in these videos. Love the imagination and thought that went into each one. But I can't watch a video while driving or working. I can listen to his album tho.
And as I said in the beginning, I really like this piece of work. It's really nice!
This album is definitely one that can be listened to from start to finish. A really good project. Give it a listen! You won't be sorry!

FACEBOOK
ReverbNation
TWITTER YouTube


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spin That 45 Talks with Groove Master, David Hungate on His Upcoming Tour with Toto




"Jeff was one of the most loyal, supportive friends you could ever have, particularly on musical issues." 
David Hungate talking about his friend. . . the great Jeff Porcaro




One of my favorite bands, Toto announced last week that they are hitting the road this summer with Michael McDonald. 

2013 was the first time in almost a decade they had done a short tour in the U.S. with several personnel changes within the group, including Nathan East on bass since 2010. Nathan will not be with the band this year as he will be out promoting his first debut album. I love Nathan East and I am so happy for him. 

If you read my blog last week, you’ll have seen that I was first to post that David Hungate, bassist and one of the founding members of Toto will be making his first appearance on stage with Toto since he left the band in 1982.  

Do I need to tell you how excited I am about this???

It has been a very long time since David has toured with Toto. But he never stopped working. David’s music credits read like a “who’s who” in music. Working with the best of the best in the industry. Just check out his credits on “All Music.” Pretty amazing and impressive!! 

But when I found out that he would be going out on the road this summer, I had to know why after all these years, he would be touring with them again.  And, I know that Toto fans would also want the lowdown (no pun intended. . .HA) on how this came about, and how David feels about going back out on the road. 


It’s a huge pleasure for me to talk to David Hungate. 

ST45: David, thank you so much for the opportunity to talk to you. I have to say your playing has influenced me so much, from the first time I heard not just Toto, but Boz Scaggs. And no, I’m not a bass player, I barely play guitar. . .hahaha. But your bass grooves have long stayed with me. You are so amazing!! Probably what I would consider one of the sexiest groove players EVER! 

First off. . . how are you feeling about this tour?

David: Thank you! The Tour? It’s about the coolest thing that has happened to me since I started playing music. Having been part of Toto in the early years is about as cool as it gets, but to do another tour after 34 years is really mind-blowing.  I left the band in '82 after moving to Nashville...one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. When you close the door on something like that, you don't do it with the thought that you can ever go back, and that's how it was--case closed--no regrets.  I had to get off the road to raise my kids --good motive.  

My time in Nashville has been wonderful. I've made some wonderful friends, gotten to play on some incredible music. I'm really lucky. I got to do the LA studio thing, the Nashville studio thing, and be in an incredible band.  

I did OK. 

I'm 65. . . . set to retire, not feeling quite right about it, and I get an email from David Paich asking if I'm interested in doing a Toto tour. Total shock - - in a good way.  The rest of the guys and I haven't seen a lot of each other over the past 3 decades.  They didn't know if I'd want to do it, and I didn't know that I'd want to do it until it was offered.   

I've gotten to do some great music with a lot of different musicians and artists in my time, but the thing that always comes up first about me is "founding member of Toto."   That was the pinnacle I walked away from, where I had the opportunity to play at the top of my ability with the best musicians in the world.   There's no way you can not miss that, but you have to let go of it and go on--raise your kids (they're doing fine), make a living, and ride off into the sunset.   

I didn't feel really good about that.....going out with a whimper, fading out.  You dare not hope for "one more time" in the big time and I didn’t. Then it lands in my lap thanks to my old and dear friends. It's too good to be true.  So, I get to go out on top--playing with the best of the best. It couldn't be better!





ST45: How incredible! And for all of us hard cord Toto fans, this is truly a dream come true. 

You mentioned the “rest of guys.” Who is touring as Toto and how did they react when they heard you were going out on tour with them?

David: Luke (Steve Lukather), David (Paich) and Steve P. (Porcaro) had apparently discussed the idea and all were happy that I wanted to do it.   Wouldn't miss this for the world.  It'll be different. Last time I was with them, Jeff (Porcaro) was there, and Bobby (Kimball), and we were all young and crazy.  Now we're old, with grown kids, maybe still crazy....that remains to be seen.  I'm sure if so, it'll be in a good way.  At this point in life, I don't think any of us want anything but good music and good times--no time for weirdness, bad vibes, any of that.  Just play and groove, and count our blessings. Great drummer, Shannon Forrest will be on drums and I assume Joseph Williams will be on vocals.  


ST45: I have a feeling that once you hit those rehearsals, it will take you all back in time, perhaps a little bittersweet as Jeff will not be there and Bobby. But I’m sure there will be LOTS of laughter and THAT GROOVE that has made Toto legendary.

I had read that the last time you were technically on tour with Toto was in 1998, right? Had you toured at all with anyone?

David: No. Last time I toured with Toto was spring of f-ing 1980!  34 years!  Can you believe that?  That kind of sh*t doesn't happen.   

We didn't tour in '81, my son was born in Jan of '82 and in Feb. I got a call from our managers that they were putting a huge tour together--like 9 months!  I had moved to Nashville the previous year, was making some good headway getting my foot in the door, with a 2 year old and a newborn didn't see myself going on the road for 9 months, and didn't think it fair to ask the guys to let me send a sub for that and future tours. 

Like I said--hardest decision of my life.

Prior to Toto I'd toured with Sonny and Cher, Seals and Crofts and Boz Scaggs.   After Toto I didn't tour until 2008 when I did a few dates with Lynda Carter and began regular touring with Vince Gill.     


ST45: You’ve definitely had an incredible career to be proud of. It’s wonderful that although it was a difficult decision, it was the right one for you and your family. What was your wife’s reaction to the invitation and her thoughts about your going out on the road? And your kids?

David: My wife is supportive. My sons are happy for me.  It's only 6 weeks.


ST45: That's great! You know, Toto is such an iconic group that over the years there have been several fan sites, pages and groups paying tribute to this fantastic band. What do you think it is that people love about Toto? What is the draw and why do you think it continues? 

David: Good music played as well as it can be played.  There have never been any teen idols in the band. It's never been about image or that Justin Bieber type crap. I think real Toto fans are perceptive and knowledgeable about music, but even those who aren’t, can't escape the fact that these guys are way good!  I think the listeners get a kick out of the fact that the guys in the band have played with virtually every major artist in every major genre of commercial music....that they're pro's and they're not pandering to the lowest common denominator, or trying to wow everybody with their incredible chops all the time, though they obviously can. They can see that the band's having fun....and that makes it fun.    

Another thing,  when Toto first hit the scene, there was a lot of good music being made by others, technically speaking--great songs, great playing and productions.  That's no longer true.  There's not a lot of other good stuff going on---"good" meaning "requiring considerable musical talent to create.  Toto's early stuff is more impressive now that ever because music hasn't progressed beyond that--it's a peak, and there aren't many up there.      


ST45: I believe you are right about that. Remembering the music that was coming out of the late 70's, there were so many great albums being released. But when I first heard the songs on the radio from the 1st Toto album, that was it!!!! I was a fan for life! Went out and bought the album right away and was blown away by it. What a project! To me, it was sophisticated, it was full of soul AND fun! That album is timeless! And then when Hydra came out, I bought the album, but could not wait until I got home to listen to it, so I bought the 8-track as well!! HA!! I think out of all the Toto albums, Hydra is my most favorite, then the first, then Turn Back and Toto IV.  

David: You really were in from the start!   That's so cool!


ST45: HA! Thanks! So let me ask you this. . . you mention the music of today and I'm assuming, you're speaking of Pop & Rock, basically music that is played on the major stations that played Toto. Are there artists or bands of that genre you've been impressed by? If so, who? 

David: My favorite current artist has to be Esperanza Spalding---great singer, and BASS PLAYER, beautiful girl.  Her talent astounds me. I don't know that she'll ever be as big as she deserves to be, but she's at the top of my hit parade. I guess you'd call what she does "pop/jazz?"   

I'm totally confused by the current pop market.  I just don't hear anything out there that hasn't been done before, better, or that isn't worth doing at all.  

R & B . . . my biggest love, is virtually dead, replaced by rap and hiphop.   Country is pathetically trying to be 80's pop.  I know I sound like an old fogey--"you kids, get off my lawn," but I am truly glad to have had a career when I did.  


ST45: Yeah, but I would consider it fair to say that you and your style of playing basically set the standard for so many up and coming bass players at that time.

As a fan myself, I know fans have their opinions of which songs they’d like to hear. But let’s suppose you get to choose a few songs. Which ones would love to add to the playlist? Let’s say 3 songs. 

David: Top 3 Toto songs?   “Miss Sun” was one of the 4 or 5 songs on the original Toto demo that David (Paich) and Jeff (Pocaro) did and is a sentimental favorite, though it's kind of dated and I doubt we'll do it.    Still, it's a sentimental favorite--really cool tune...for one thing, it's got like an 8 bar buildup and "modulation" in the middle, but it actually stays in the same key! 


ST45: Yeah, everything about that song is amazing! Love, love, LOVE that modulation and climax of the song. 

David: Next 2? Let's see  — “I Won't Hold You Back” is such a gorgeous tune....the guitar solo section is an iconic moment.  "All us boys" has taken on an ironic new meaning now that we're all old men, but still boys at heart. I don't know...there are so many good tunes in the catalog… “Pamela” --great tune, really fun to play.

Hard to pick favorites…


ST45: Love all of those songs! I beg to differ on “Miss Sun,” tho. That song is a what I consider a staple. Absolutely love that song. It’s the ultimate in sexy!! Great choices on the other songs. “All Us Boys” would be a fantasy of mine to hear live as well. 

So David, you say that after this tour, you plan to retire. Does that also include session work? What will you do with your new found time?

David: After Toto, it's going to have to be something pretty special to get me out of the house.  I have hobbies, enjoy reading, and am really adept at doing nothing : )    


ST45: HAHAHA. . .doing nothing. . . a man after my own heart! Have you ever considered writing a book about “David Huntgate, the musician?”
    
David: I've done a lot of writing over the years.  It's more a question of editing at this point....and I don't have an ending yet : )  


ST45: Well if you need help in editing, I can refer you to someone.  ; ) 

Can we spend a few minutes and talk about Jeff Porcaro? Today, April 1st would have been Jeff’s 60th birthday. He passed away at such a young age... 38 in 1992. David, tell me about your relationship with him? What was he like? 

David: To really answer that would require the aid of a team of shrinks. Remember, it was L.A., early 70’s -- they wouldn't let you on the freeway if you couldn't prove you had a few neuroses. Most of us were "a nice bunch of guys" so relationships were complicated. Bottom line — he was the most amazing drummer I'd ever heard, and he apparently found some redeeming qualities in my playing. That was the basis of our relationship.  After that it gets complicated.    

Not only were we from different worlds--I was a midwestern farm kid, he started out in the projects in Hartford--I was 6 years older, which when you're young is a huge difference.  But in non-chronological age (which is what really matters) he had a few thousand years on me and on most people. Jeff was an old soul.   The kind of genius, wisdom, charisma, ability he had doesn't all just originate in a certain generation.  Not that any of us were into any "past lives/psychic/ Bridey Murphy" bullshit--it's just the only explanation. 

If you knew Jeff and were equipt to appreciate his genius you looked up to him, no matter how much older you may have been. It was kind of awkward, but that's how is was. In nearly all musical situations, he was the de-facto leader.....the guy everyone looked to for approval. Jeffrey's approval was the best--digging a playback, he'd dance, this infectious smile on his face, point at you when you played something he dug.  On the other hand, if he thought something sucked, he could wield the most devastating, subtle sarcasm on the planet--he might even draw a cartoon.    

So, being Jeff's friend was complicated, a little scary but never dull.  He was also one of the most loyal, supportive friends you could ever have, particularly on musical issues. If he thought someone he respected was being treated badly by a producer for example it could get ugly, and funny, real quick.  

He was a lifesaver to me confidence-wise.  I was dragging around this inferiority complex they issued to everybody growing up in small midwestern towns and he made me believe that I had some ability.  And to be clear, that's the Jeff I knew for 10 years or so.  I left Toto, and L.A., before he settled down, married and had kids.  Our interactions after that were few and brief, but always pleasant.  We were both growing up, and the tragedy for me is that we never really got to know each other as mature people.  That would have been amazing I know.


ST45:  I have to say that this really took my breath away. That was really beautiful. I don’t even know what to say after that. . . 

(ST45 takes a moment to breathe)

Okay. . . One more question;  you said at the beginning of this interview that when people think of your name, it always goes back to you being the founding member of Toto. Aside from your legacy in music, what would you like your legacy to be in your personal life, especially for your family?

David: Being a decent guy, being a good husband and father, taking care of your family--those things are way more important than getting kudos as a musician or whatever.   


ST45: Well said. 

Man. . . David, I cannot tell you what it has meant to me to talk with you. Have fun rehearsing. And I look forward to seeing you and the guys tear it up this summer!! 

David: I've enjoyed doing this interview. Thanks : )