Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sista Jean & C.B. have gone Back To The Root

The first thing that comes to mind as I listen to "Back To The Root" is, a hot, sunny day, a pitcher of ice cold lemonade and a porch filled with some good ol'Roots music.

And who's supplying the music? Well it can only be Sista Jean & C.B.!!!

Who's that??? Is that what you're asking?

Well, Sista Jean is none other than Miss Jean McClain, one of the best vocalists I know of who has toured with one of my favorite artists; Bobby Caldwell. You might also know Jean as Urban/Soul & House music artist, Pepper MaShay

And C.B. is guitarist extraordinaire, Carlyle Barriteau, who also tours with Bobby Caldwell as well as being a solo artist in his own right.

From the moment you start to listen, you're taken on a trip of roots, blues and gospel. You'll think you're listening to classics of old, but all the songs are original. A huge thumbs up for that!!

Jean's vocals are classic, robust and deeply soulful. And I didn't know this but she is playing guitar on this album!!

What's also amazing to me is Carlyle is not from the South, but from the Caribbean.
Yet, you'd think he'd been raised in the thickest parts of Mississippi!!!

I love the organic nature of this album. There's no bass, no drums, no keys. Just guitar, harmonica and vocals. It's so simple and yet it isn't. Jean and Carlyle truly show their talents from songwriting to skills. I can only imagine this had to have been fun to work on.

Back To The Root is definitely worth a listen.

CD Baby


Friday, December 9, 2011

Joe Choi is "Ahhhhhhh" . . . like a SPA!

I so wish that Seattle still had their smooth jazz station out here, because I know I'd be hearing Joe Choi on that station. His music is soothing, ambient and yet has a bit of hipness to it. . .with a cherry on top!!

This "local" musician is not your average coffee house guy! Not that there is anything wrong with that. . . I love that scene.

But Joe is Ahhhhhhh . . . like a SPA!!!

Okay. . . this is so TMI. . . but as I'm listening to Joe's album, I am getting this picture of having a spa party and instead of playing Joe's album on my stereo, I have Joe HIMSELF playing LIVE!!! HA!!! THAT IS WHAT JOE IS!!!! HA!!!! I mean. . . Ahhhhhhh...

What album am I referring to?

I'm talking about Joe's latest release. . .
“Sing Your Own Song: Volume One.”
Funny thing is. . .there aren't any lyrics to sing to! HA!! It's all instrumental!
What started out as a dream about Joe's daughter who was 2 at the time, has become a reality to take us, the listener, on a journey, in "Craig Chaquico" style.

Recently, I had an opportunity to ask Joe Choi to tell us about his latest project.
This man of deep faith, had ALOT to say.

SPIN THAT 45 (SP45): Joe, tell me about the album. How did it come about?

Joe Choi: First of all, thank you so much (!!!) for this opportunity to talk about it.

The story behind the album centers mostly around a dream I had about my daughter.

I had a dream that my daughter, 2 years old at the time, walked down the stairs to where my wife, her parents, and our other daughter were eating breakfast and began singing a song. The song was so beautiful and the things she was singing about felt way beyond her years. She was singing about prayer and fasting. She sang, "Here I am, fasting and praying, waiting for the answer... the answer..." We all looked around at each other as she sang this song b/c we were being so moved by it. I began to realize that there was music playing in the background and that this music was mine. I saw that this music was causing her to sing this spontaneous and prophetic song. It was music that I had not written yet but I knew it was mine in the dream.

I woke up and felt God speak to me. I felt like He said that I needed to write music to help people sing their own song. To put it in other words, I felt inspired to write a soundtrack for people to live their lives to, sing songs to, and just be creative with.

Wow that is so amazing, because I've always said that all of us have a soundtrack to our lives.

Joe: Yeah, this would be music they could play in the background, music they could play to connect with God, and music that they would look for to find peace, joy, life, etc. I felt convicted about how easy it is for us to live vicariously live through reality TV, the internet, and even through other artists and not truly live ourselves. I wanted to write music that would inspire people to find themselves and their own sound, art, passion, and unique God-given identity.

I felt overwhelmed with how to even start this album so I thought about making a "joke song" for a friend. I thought it would be fitting way to start working on this so I wouldn't take myself or the album over-seriously. So I had this friend who'd always ask me to play this real corny piano part that I made up years ago and it would always get a laugh out of him. I began to sculpt a song around this piano part to see how far the joke could go. The part introduces itself at the end of the song and then the song really takes off. I remember sending him the rough draft of this song while I was recording it and realized that I might be onto something when he listened to it and didn't laugh this time but responded rather with encouragement and amazement.

After that first song, the ball got rolling and I began to explore how to record other imaginations and ideas. There were times I mic'd my newborn daughter's baby monitor to capture her laughing ("Bundle of Joy") and other times where I had to figure out how to record water sounds, chirping birds, and other things ("Alone but Surrounded") that I had never even thought of recording before. It was quite the adventure and a lot of fun. In "Alone but Surrounded" I meticulously sought for a beat that mimicked the sound of lawn sprinklers. The idea behind this song was escaping to a quiet place and realizing once you get there that you're actually surrounded and that's what brings you comfort- remembering that you're not alone. I thought it was kind of a cool and ironic concept that sometimes we need to get alone to remember that we're not alone.

ST45: Very cool!!

Speaking of "Bundle of Joy," I have to say that my daughters totally loved the "Bundle of Joy (Dance in your Pajamas remix.)" It paints the picture of mom getting the kids down for the night, they're all calm and then DAD COMES IN and gets them all riled up!!! GREAT TUNE!!!

Joe: Ha ha. Great analogy and you got it right on. It's supposed to be the crazy ending to the pretty much otherwise consistent-sounding album.

There's a song called "Christina's Happy Medicine" which is inspired by my wife and is for her. Whenever she needs to brighten her day she tries to find some Latin jazz, salsa, or samba music. I thought maybe there are others out there too who would want that- happy music. I recorded this song hoping to give people a soundtrack to dance their own dance to and to help them gracefully zoom through the mundane and monotonous. Maybe this is the song for stay-at-home moms. Ha ha. :) God bless the stay-at-home moms.

So I'd say for every track there is a story.

ST45: What an incredible story! It seems like you've been given great insight on where we are at.

So let's talk about the technical stuff. Where, what, how, etc. . .

Joe: As far as musicians go, I played and recorded all the instruments for this album. It was recorded in my living room in the middle of the night after the kids had gone to bed. I went after this fervently and was pretty much running on no sleep for about two months or so. Some of the tracks were also recorded live at Father's House, a house of prayer in Federal Way, WA, where I work. These live recordings were recorded using a looper and recording software. I could actually geek out and tell you more but I think that's probably sufficient.

I also produced the album and sought the help of a friend named David Jenkins to mix and master it. He operates a recording/mastering studio called Closet Productions in Bothell, WA.

The graphic design was done by a graphic designer I found through a friend who is just starting out but is showing so much promise. His name is Duc (pronounced "Duke") Du. He hand-sketched the album cover and all the art on it. Funny story about working with him was that he asked to be paid for his work by home-cooked meals. I ended up cooking him a traditional home-made Korean style rib dinner. He was very content. On a side-note, cooking is another passion of mine.

ST45: That is very cool!!! I'd love to taste your cooking sometime!! ; )

Thank you, Joe, for talking with me.

Joe: Thank you!!

I hope you'll take the time to listen to this album. Especially in this time of so much stress, anxiety and pressure. . . “Sing Your Own Song: Volume One.” can lift those downhearted spirits.

If you aren't downhearted and you just like great ambient, smooth jazz, then you will love this!!

You can find Joe's album on CDBaby and iTunes.
Check out Joe's website and Facebook

Thanks again, Joe!!!
This is a very nice album!
: ))


Monday, November 14, 2011

Leigh Nash Infuses the Sacred Songs of Old

Being Hispanic, I didn't grow up with hymns. I personally didn't know any until much later into my adulthood. I've come to find that they are very comforting, especially in seasons of difficulty and struggle. I would go as far as to say they are a comfort food like "mashed potatoes" or "bread pudding." Okay. . .well. . . those are MY comfort foods of choice!! : )

Hymns & Sacred Songs,

the first of 3 projects by

Leigh Nash,

is my bread pudding ; )

This album is comfort food

for the ears and heart,

while quieting down

the storms of the mind.

As always, Leigh has that angelic sound to her voice! It's so soothing.
Her harmonies are so gentle, yet so tight in their form. . . .beautiful!

Musically, this album is amazing, having that sound of a T-Bone Burnett production.
It almost reminds me of "Raising Sand" by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.
John Hartley, who did a fantastic job in producing this album is also known for working with artists; Matt Redman and Aaron Keyes, whose CD I recently reviewed.

The Track List is as follows:
1.Savior, Like a Shepherd (Blessed Jesus)
2.Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
3.Isaiah 55
4.Oh Heart Bereaved and Lonely
5.Power of the Cross
6.Give Myself to You
7.Come Ye Thankful People Come
8.Blessed Redeemer
9.Out of My Bondage
10.Song of Moses
11.Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above
12.Be Still My Soul

I truly love this album.

The song I am playing the most (right now) is Fanny Crosby's "Oh Heart Bereaved and Lonely." Songwriter Chris Eaton and Leigh wrote the melody. What an amazing acoustic sound!! It seems like the gear used here is vintage. So beautiful. So haunting. The bass moves you like gentle waves on the ocean.

As said in the title, Leigh has taken these sacred songs of old and has infused them with her signature voice, adding simplicity and newness.

I've said it before and it bears repeating. . . good music surpasses all genres. This album is no exception. Hymns are part of the fabric of our lives brought over by our forefathers. These songs are alive today as they were over 200 years ago.

And although these songs have been recorded over and over, Leigh Nash has done a beautiful job of not only keeping the integrity of each and every one, but owning them.

This album needs to be a staple in our collections. . . well it is in mine : )



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sam & Jonah. . .say "I Believe!"


I don’t personally know these boys, which I think makes this review even better for me to write.

I saw them about a year and half ago at my daughter’s piano recital. On top of performing the piano pieces assigned to them, the students are encouraged to write their own compositions and perform them. My daughter, then 11, could care less about writing her piece!! HA!! Which was fine with me. : )

But there were two little boys, who took it seriously and it showed. When they performed,
I was blown away. . . and so was everyone at that recital!

Writing the songs for the recital, Jonah, who is passionate about his faith, also realized he had a passion for songwriting. Soon after, with the encouragement of drummer, teacher, Wade Reeves, recording began.

The finished product “Sam & Jonah Music” is an 11 song album soon to be released.

The tracklist is:
You Saved Us
Cause of Jesus Christ
Lord I Give you My Heart
The Bible
Here We Go
I Need You
Fight The Devil
You Are My God
To Be Like You
He Loves Me

Where does an then 8 year old go inside of his soul to write such prolific lyrics? And it’s not like he’s just spewing what he’s learned about in Sunday School. Jonah FEELS what he’s written. Having my daughters listen to their songs with me, they said they believe what Jonah's saying. His message. . . “cause of Jesus Christ, I win, you lose” or “The Bible, read it, believe it and do what it says.” Simple, true, but the delivery isn’t. For such a young mind, the songs are very sophisticated in their lyrics and melody.

To find out more about this project, I asked Grant Reeves, who produced and played on this album to tell me about it.

SPIN THAT 45: Grant, tell me as much as you can of how much the boys were involved.

Grant: “Sammy & Jonah (8 & 10 years old) were encouraged to begin composing by their piano teacher Christine who is also Wade's wife. Wade realized the boys had a talent for songwriting and suggested to their parents, Rick & Marnie, that he work with them in the studio.”

“Wade approached me to produce the basic ideas into a coherent album project. Wade & I see this as the first introduction to the developing talent of these two young brothers.”

“All the songs were written by Jonah about 18 months ago, with me, co-writing on four of the songs.”

“Jonah is the older of the brothers and is the songwriter. Both play piano (and more recently guitar as well). Jonah wrote the first batch of tunes on the piano but has been writing on the guitar as of late. Wade tracked the vocals, at Dragon Recordings, in Seattle.

The piano parts were originally written and played by Sam Klassen, the younger one and were embellished and parts added by me. The rest of the production, drums, guitars (including guitar samples), bass and the other instrumentation were created, played and arranged, by myself in my studio in Sacramento CA along with some acoustic & electric guitar overdubs by John Morton.”

Grant continues:
“The boys were involved in the vocal tracking of course and raised some of the initial funds by collecting and selling golf balls. Sammy & Jonah's older brother Josh is shooting video and working to promote sales of the CD product.”

SPIN THAT 45: Wow!!! That is amazing!!!

How does it sound?

In listening to this album, the style is very current. From Pop, Rock to New Country.
I, personally love “The Bible,” which is very, very jazzy cool with it’s “Weather Report” fusion sound.

What blows me away, is. . . in listening to “Lord I Give you My Heart,” it’s amazing to know that this song, from it’s intro, to the hook was written and played by two young boys. Sure, they have adults playing on these songs, but I was assured that Jonah and Sam had a say in how these songs were to be done. That is impressive!

From musicians to engineering, this is a well done album.

Do I think it's the best album I've ever heard? No.
But I am confident when I am say. . . this will NOT be the last time we'll hear from Sam & Jonah.

I really want to wish these boys the best.

I can't wait until I can say, "I remember these boys when. . . "



Friday, October 21, 2011

Bryan Duncan: takin' his Stories on The Road

Bryan Duncan...

The name is synonymous with Contemporary Christian Music.

In my opinion, that has been a good AND bad thing because he's more than that.

Bryan is probably one of the most talented musicians in his field as a "blue-eyed soul" artist. In the mid 70's he was part of The Sweet Comfort Band and then broke out on his own in the mid-80's. His style of music runs deeps from pop to blues and everything in between.

He can pierce the deepest part of us with that beautiful voice of his.

The songs that this singer/songwriter was puttin' out encouraged so many of us. Who hasn't been touched by "Strollin On The Water" "Blue Skies" or "Love Takes Time?" It is said that the best music comes from those who have bled through the process. I would say that describes Bryan Duncan.

These great works of blue-eyed soul haven't come easily. There has definitely been a price. The main price. . .addiction.

But hey. . .we've all had hell to pay and have come out on the other side of it. Bryan is no exception. He has taken his recovery very seriously. . . 20+ years people!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!

And with that, this Southern Cal native has found a way to keep himself accountable while encouraging others in the process with his show "Radio Rehab." This show "is BOMB!!!" Bryan drops the funk while sharing whatever is on his mind. As far as his message, he doesn't hold back!! Seems that has always been his forté! And THAT'S OKAY!! HA!!

On top of his radio program, Bryan continues to tour both as a solo artist and as an author. And if any of you follow him on Twitter then you'll recognize his tweets starting with "Spoke to God...He said"

I recently met Bryan here in Washington at of all places, a memorial for a very dear man and friend of Bryan's. Probably not the most ideal place to meet one you've admired for years. . . and for me that would be over 25 years.

He was gracious to accept an interview with Spin That 45 at a more appropriate time. hahaha! So here it is:

Spin That 45(ST45):
Bryan, it's good to talk with you again. Under much better circumstances.

Anyone who’s been a fan of Bryan Duncan, knows your roots from The Sweet Comfort Band to a solo artist to heading up the Neho-Soul band and back to solo work. Your name is synonymous with Blue-eyed Soul.

With that said, let's talk about what you’ve been doing recently.
You've been pretty busy!

BRYAN: Given the changes in the music industry I've been trying to establish just how to stay in it! Downloading and piracy have destroyed the ability to generate a living through product, frankly. I'm still recording new songs for my own project and working with my old band Sweet Comfort Band. I've also started writing books for fun.

ST45: Really? Can you tell us about those books?

BRYAN: Yes I've written two humor books that are published you can see them at my website or Amazon. "Hogwash" is sarcastic observations of motorcycle madness.." Dear God...Really?" is a collection of prayers you won't hear in church and my new book is "Spoke To God. He Said..." a five second devotional. Still working on the cover and volume two is already in the works.

I've been posting new recorded songs on my website for download and we hope to package a collection when they accumulate for a project called "Acoustify" unplugged soul music mostly.

ST45: I've heard the songs, they're great!! How did the book writing originate?

BRYAN: I was hoping to stay home and write lol, but something I've always received comments about in my concerts has been the offhanded afterthoughts between songs that have been a highlight at my concerts for years.. Just trying to put that humor in order. And I'm finding more productive ways of staying on task.

ST45: I can relate. I've often wanted to save thoughts said out loud from those I've seen live.

On your twitter, you often tweet "Spoke to God He said. . . " Tell me about that. When did that start and why?

BRYAN: The Spoke To God series has been my way of making my own awareness of Gods hand in my life more alive and less stuffy. Inspired by step 11of the 12 steps of recovery "seeking daily to improve my conscious contact with God"

I'm also writing a humor collection called " I follow Jesus because..." ie "there are too many Elvis Impersonators"

And another one called "new Rules For Old Men".

As you can see I'm an external processor! 8)

I can't stop thinking out loud!

ST45: LOVE IT!! I've got a few men in my life that I'd love to give a copy to!! HA!

You know, I've admired your voice all of my Christian life (20+ yrs) and in meeting you recently, I found you to be very real and very human, dealing with pains and issues like all the rest of us, including saying goodbye to a good friend.

Has that ever been difficult for you to meet a Christian who perhaps put you on a pedestal? Or had ideas of how a Christian in the limelight should behave?"

BRYAN: Well, thank you for your compliments. I haven't handled the expectations of others very well no matter what they were. I'm non conformist, and defiant to my own detriment most of the time.

Recovery work has helped me immensely in the last twenty one years! I'm finding the serenity to accept what I cannot change and change what I can! I had those lists mixed up! Left me pretty angry especially as a Christian.

I also stay aware of my human frailty through doing my radio show "Radio Rehab."

Yeah, I actually caught a few of the shows. They’re great!!! The message you are puttin out is so honest and real!! I totally dig your choices on music!! How has the response been on your show?

BRYAN: Radio Rehab has been aired in four countries. It was picked up by Armed Forces Radio Network. I received an American Flag from Al Asad Marine Base in Afghanistan with a hand written note of thanks from then Brigadier General Halifan,Commander in Chief of All Operations there. Tax Deductible Donations have been twice what we expected from listeners to the shows. Like I've always said 'recovery is for everyone eventually.'

ST45: That is wonderful. What an honor!! I don't compliment often, so believe me when I say, you are truly an inspiration.

So Bryan, before we close, would you mind answering a couple more questions?

BRYAN: OK, but I'm running out of answers 8)

ST45: Hahahaha!!
Tell us what you are working on right now? When can we expect to see this project completed?

BRYAN: I'm writing "Stories behind the songs" to drive interest at my Website and we're putting up all the "out of print" CDs from my past for download options. We will post a story behind the song once a week. . . starting next month. And we're already posting old projects as we can under "Basement Tapes"

ST45:Wow! A man after my own heart!! I love the "who what where why and how of music!"
I will definitely be watching for that!!!

For your long fans and new ones, tell us something we don’t know about you.

BRYAN: I'm a late night grocery store patron and I've been known to wander aimlessly through Garage Sales and Junk stores. I'm always about Redemption! 8)

ST45: Hahaha!! That is great!!

Bryan, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule. And thank you for letting us into your world. I, for one have an immense respect for the road you have traveled. I love that you are a very serious guy who lightens up our souls with your music and makes us laugh with your quips and humor.

BRYAN: Thank you. May I stay healthy enough for you to hear more from me in the coming years. Seize the day by the throat!

ST45: Well I'm sure you've got many out there praying for you and that throat!
Blessings, take care!



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aaron Keyes is "Dwelling"

I'm listening to a new guy. . . Aaron Keyes.
Well, he's a new guy in my world ; )
He's a worship leader out of Snellville, GA.
His latest release is his second album, "Dwell."

I don't mind saying that sometimes I have a hard time with "worship" type albums. There are very few that I can listen to all the way through. Maybe a song or two. And it isn't because of the lyrics. It's worship for heaven sakes!! HA!! If the music doesn't do anything for me then I won't be interested. But. . . I have to say, I am really impressed by this one. This is a very solid album with some "popness" added to the mix! Especially the last track "Lavish Your Love." Very synthpop!!

I have no idea who Aaron is, but I would love to attend his worship service!
Not only is the worship great, but the music is really good!!!
Love how Hillsong drummer, Paul Mabury hits those drums!! WOW!!
Take a listen to "I Am Not The Same," it's almost like listening to Darren King of MUTEMATH!!

Track listing:

1.O My Soul
2.I Am Not The Same
3.Sovereign Over Us
4.Song of Moses
6.In The Name Of God
7.Only Just Begun
8.Sinless Savior
9.Life Without My God
10.Raised Me Up
11.Every Knee Will Bow Down
12.Hope Is Dawning
13.Lavish Your Love

The worship is nice. . .
The pop is good. . .
You gotta listen to this!

Aaron Keyes


Friday, September 30, 2011

MUTEMATH Revisits The Sixties with ODD SOUL

Well, it's been a long time coming but the date is here. . . the arrival of ODD SOUL by MUTEMATH

So many changes have occurred since the release of Armistice in 2009; marriage, babies, LIFE and most of all. . .saying goodbye to a bandmember. As a long time fan of MM,
(and just so everyone knows . . . I say "I" am the biggest MM fan!! HA!! 11 years now!!!) ANYWAYS. . . it saddened me to find this out, but it happens. I wish Greg Hill the best! He's a terrific guy!!

With the change, a new guy is on board, Todd "Gummy" Gummerman! He is also a terrific guy who truly knows his way with his 6 string electric!

It's funny, when MM's EP came out in 2004, it was recorded by 3 of the members of MM. As it is the same with "ODD SOUL."

Paul Meany, Roy Mitchell-Cardenas & Darren King have done an amazing job with this project! And Todd is STELLAR in having learned every lick PERFECTLY!

The sound is so funkadelic, so 60's, so current and yet, so MUTEMATH!!

Having been a child of the sixties, if the aim was to sound vintage, then I can tell you that the guys got it right!!

Yes, there is a huge Jimi Hendrix influence here, but in listening to the album in full, I can also hear the influences of Vanilla Fudge, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Iron Butterfly, Rare Earth, Frank Zappa, early Traffic, and even some mid-60's Beatles.

Vintage gear doesn't hurt either!! Having gotten the lowdown from Roy on the type of gear he was using, I posted it in a prior blog, which you can read here: ODD SOUL - In Pieces. Paul's use of the Hammond B is phenomenal!!

Listening to this album at this moment, I can tell you I am FREAKING OUT!!! The music is SOOOOOO taking me back to those free concerts in the parks of L.A. . . watching hippies doin their thing, kids sliding down the grassy hills, psychedelic bell bottom pants, floppy hats, leather vests as well as "other things" and . . . THE MUSIC! ALWAYS THE MUSIC!!

If you could see me now, I am breakin out in a tight 60's move as I listen to "Cavalries." MAN!!! The sound of Paul's keys are so smooth like Greg Rollie from Santana, Roy's guitar screams like a siren and Darren's drumming is so tight!!

I wanna hang some

beads in my office,

make sand candles,

bust out the incense. . .

and lay down some shaggy carpet!!!

Yeah, I think "Cavalries" has a huge Santana influence, but more Jorge Santana aka MALO!! Love this guys!!! Los Chicanos are doing to dig this one!! I love the way it merges into "Walking Paranoia." If you listen closely, the intro has a Jethro Tull feel.

I wanna talk about the songs, but I love all of them!! I'll never finish this blog!

But. . .

MAJOR KUDOS have to go to Adam LaClave aka Charlie Blacksmoke, for inspiring the album's title / song and co-wrote "PRYTANIA." Yeah, this one is a HIT!!!

"ONE MORE" is awesome!! It's so FRICKIN' sixties with that dry, naked sounding guitar solo then changes to a fuzz sound, the funky "Steppenwolf" Hammond B, Paul's bluesy vocal and the funk with the bass and drums. The chorus has a Motown groove to it! LOVE IT!!

"QUARANTINE" almost brought tears to my eyes at the accuracy of the sound.
Did MM do their homework or WHAT???

The Track list is as follows:
1. Odd Soul
2. Pyrtania
3. Blood Pressure
4. Heads Up
5. All Or Nothing
6. Sunray
7. Allies
8. Cavalries
9. Walking Paranoia
10. One More
11. Equals
12. Quarantine
13. In No Time

Gotta break out my light box, cuz nothing says 60's like a light box and my brother made this one back in the day!

As is always with MUTEMATH, there is always the message. I LOVED Armistice but felt there was so much turmoil within those tracks as well as some happy moments too. Seems that the album was the soundtrack of my life for a while.

ODD SOUL seems like the guys have come out of that dismal season. And having just seen them in Los Angeles in August, I would say that is very true. They seem soooo happy!! A big congrats to all of them on their milestones as fathers and recent marriage!

Possible Tour for The West??

Living up here in the Northwest, I did ask Paul about a tour in the future. We can probably expect MUTEMATH in late Winter.

Don't forget to catch MUTEMATH on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Tuesday October 4th!
Great day for a release!!
Congratulations on another WINNER!
Can't wait to cheer you on when I see you on SNL, cuz you know I'm rootin for that day!!

Here's a great review that I stumbled onto: ODD SOUL REVIEW FROM PAPER TRIANGLE







Thursday, September 29, 2011

Everything is ALWAYS in it's right place with Robert Glasper!

How can one describe this man and his music. . . his style. . . his interpre-TAY-tion of his favorite songs?!?!

So many adjectives have been linked to him, from smooth, enticing, sexy, inspirational, magical, spirtiual, etc.

To that I would add, his music is “charged” with extreme energy!! Especially in the softness of his playing. He’s very deliberate, conscious and intentionally aware of every move he makes . . . .and. . . . NOT “let’s see where this takes us” kind of mentality. And yet, you wanna go with him, cuz you know when he’s leading the way, it won’t be to a dead-end. And even if it does. . . who cares. . .you’re with him. . .


He captivates me

I am his prisoner

happily willing to submit

as long as he keeps playing

either seriously or

with a sense of humor,

breaking out in some

cheesy type of song or

breaking me down with

his rendition of

“Kiss From A Rose/Everything In Its Right Place.”

And so it was, when I saw him recently at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival at the end of June 2011, I was lost and under his spell. . . at least for the 2 sets I was there. : )

There is just something about Robert Glasper, whether hearing him live or through your stereo. . . you are hooked!!!!

Okay. . .enough, enough about what he does to me!!!

Let me tell you though, there were very few empty seats in the house. . . for BOTH SETS!!!
I was surprised by the variety of ages and types of people there to see this man, who is very unassuming in presence. . . very relaxed. . walking onto the stage as if he’s just walking into his livingroom to play a bit and you just happen to be there.

Oh and drummer, Mark Colenburg and bassist. . . what ‘s his name???? . . . Derrick Hodge just HAPPEN to be there as well!! ; )

The rapport these guys have is unbelievable!! It’s like they can read one another’s mind. It’s extraordinary to watch!!

You are taken on one heck of a ride !! It’s wonderful!!

Leaving, I was left with wanting more.

So I am looking forward to Robert’s upcoming album which will include Mr. Derrick Hodge, Bilal, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Erykah Badu and Me'shell N'degeocello. I am guessing the release will be sometime in Spring 2012.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Restless for Switchfoot's Latest? The Wait is Over

The wait has been worth it!!

I think this album is a complete departure from other Switchfoot LPs, with the exception of "Hello Hurricane" since they were pretty much recorded at the same time.

This album ROCKS you from the moment you click "play." As always, the lyrics make you think. No preaching tho, which is what I've always loved about this band. They're talking life as they know it and want to express it in Switchfoot fashion!!

You know what I don't love about this album? That it wasn't released when I was a teenager, struggling with "The War Inside," my own identity. . . feeling like no one liked me and not knowing how to come through it. WHERE WAS THIS ALBUM WHEN I WAS SUFFERING!?!? Thank goodness, I got through my season. But some don't.

These guys must have gone through similiar wars to have written such profilic lyrics. I can see these songs being used to encouraged the teens of today who feel alone, lost, down, angry, etc. . . i.e. "The Blinding Light" "Hey girl, be yourself now, Don't believe what they told you to, Hey girl, be yourself now, Your skin's more than a pin-up suit, Hey girl, don't conform now, No one else's got soul like you, Hey girl, you're a strong one, But none of us are bulletproof."

I love that!!!!

I totally LOVE this album!!! I love the lyrics, I love the music, I love the technical engineering done on it. GREAT ALBUM!!!

Look for it Sept 27th.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Rachael Lampa has the Remedy. . . . . And . . . . it's . . . ALL WE NEED!

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- 220/Universal recording artist Rachael Lampa will celebrate the upcoming release of her album All We Need with a free concert event at Nashville’s famed 12th & Porter concert venue on Monday, September 26th. The event will kick-off at 5:30pm with a live performance by Lampa, followed by a live viewing of Lampa’s debut on NBC’s The Sing-Off at 7:00pm.

Be sure to watch!!! The show will feature a "behind-the-scenes" performance of one of the tracks from her new album ("Beauty's Just A Word")

Lampa will appear on Season 3 of the hit series as part of The Collective, a group of Nashville vocalists that was formed specifically to compete in the upcoming season. In recent weeks, Lampa has been in Los Angeles taping the series, while simultaneously promoting her highly anticipated upcoming album, which hits stores on September 27th. The first single, “Remedy,” is available at iTunes, and Lampa will hit the road this fall with Group 1 Crew, Shonlock and Rapture Ruckus for the Outta Space Love Tour.

“I'm so excited to share my heart and the stories behind some of my favorite songs on the record as well as play many of them for the first time,” says Lampa. “Plus, we get to watch my first episode of The Sing Off with my group, The Collective. I can't wait to share this night with everyone!”

Alittle bit about Rachael Lampa

 In 2000, at just 15 years old, Lampa skyrocketed onto the pop scene amassing an unprecedented nine Top 10 singles (four at #1) while touring heavily (with Destiny’s Child, Boyz II Men, Nickel Creek, Stacie Orrico, Amy Grant and Vince Gill, among others) and making high profile appearances on The Tonight Show, The View, Entertainment Tonight, E! and Extra, as well as gracing the pages of Teen People, CCM Magazine and many more. She explored acting with a supporting role in the 2006 film Hidden Secrets, opposite John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville) and joined American Idol winner Jordin Sparks on tour in 2010 as a background vocalist on her tours with the Jonas Brothers and Britney Spears.

Track Listing
01. All We Need
02. Remedy
03. Savior's Face
04. Beauty's Just A Word
05. No Escape
06. Run To You
07. Elevate
08. My One And Only
09. Feel
10. Uncharted Territory
(Bonus Tracks)
11. Human (Feat. Jonny Lang)
12. Live For You (2011)
Rachael has collaborated on this album with producers Marshall Altman (Natasha Bedingfield, Brooke Fraser), David Garcia (Mandisa, Group 1 Crew), Chris Stevens (Tobymac, Carrie Underwood), Dan Muckala (Brandon Heath, MercyMe).

Rachael proves that she can belt like NOBODY'S business!
I'd like to see Rachael being played on all radio stations!
Not just the CCM's. This is a good album and everyone should hear it!!
She's got some great people backing her.
I think this will be the year for Rachael!!!




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shonlock's Gotta Bag Full of Swagga & U Can Bet Ya House On It!!!

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- When Shonlock’s full-length debut release NEVERODDOREVEN (Arrow Records/Universal Music Christian Group) was released on June 21, 2011, the artist, previously best known for his ongoing gig as part of TobyMac’s Diverse City, stepped up to a mic that was all his own. With the success of his first two radio singles and an increased demand for touring, Shonlock will depart from TobyMac’s touring outfit at the end of this month to devote his full attention to his own artistry.

Shonlock’s debut single, “Something In Your Eyes,” became one of this year’s biggest radio hits, holding the #1 spot on Billboard’s CHR Chart, where it remained for seven straight weeks. The follow-up single, “Hello,” is currently #5 and climbing, and a music video will be shot in the coming weeks.

With a lengthy tour schedule for the remainder of 2011, Shonlock will next hit the road on this fall’s “Outta Space Love Tour” with Group 1 Crew, Rachael Lampa and Rapture Ruckus. He spent the summer performing at major festivals, including Creation East, Creation West, Ignite Festival, Heaven Fest and Rock the Desert.

“My band and I have been invited to a lot of festivals, and the crowds have been amazing,” says Shonlock. “It feels good to be able to share what God has given me with such large and attentive audiences. It’s fun to see the reactions people have when they finally put the face with the songs. I love it!"

The excitement about one of Christian music’s most promising new artists extends to the media, where the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. “The acclaimed choreographer (Arrested Development, Aaliyah) turned member of TobyMac’s Diverse City Band is even more talented as a solo artist, dropping one of the rap/rock scene’s most compelling concoctions this year,” said Andy Argyrakis for television network GMC’s Web site.

“If one had to name the freshest urban Christian music album so far in 2011, this one’s a lock,” said mega-site According to, “Shonlock may well be the breakout Christian artist of the year," while declared the songs to be “extremely creative and some of the best musical artistry that I've heard in a while.”

“At the end of the day, I just want to fulfill the plans that God has for my life,” says Shonlock. “I want to use everything He's put in me to point people to Him regardless of music genre or ethnicity, and remain focused on the things that bring us together rather than the things that keep us apart."


Folks, this album is BAD!!!!!! You have to check it out!!!
It's got the funk and nothing but the funk!
And it's so smoooth. . . like silk... oh yeah.
And U Can Bet Ya House On It!!



Monday, August 29, 2011

Spin That 45's Lo celebrates her 50th

I don't usually post anything about myself but this is too funny NOT to post.
Not my singing, but my crazy friend, actress Jesslilyn voguing as I sing Car Wash.

What a fun birthday!!!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

MUTEMATH has Blood Pressure!!!

The second track from MUTEMATH'S latest album "Odd Soul" has been released on iTunes today.

Blood pressure 

Why can't you be more like your older brother? 
Why can't you?.....oooo
Blood pressure

Why can't you do a little more for Jesus? 
Why can't you.....oooo
Blood pressure


Blood pressure
Do better 
Keep rising
Blood pressure

You're on the road, on the road that's bound for nowhere. 
Why don't you do what your told
Blood pressure

Don't worry I'll help you out on one condition
Be more
Do more
Check your blood pressure


Blood pressure
Do better 
Keep rising
Blood pressure

Blood pressure
Do better 
Keep rising
Blood pressure

Blood pressure
More better 
Keep rising

Blood pressure

Monday, July 18, 2011

ODD SOUL - In Pieces

If you are as big of a MUTEMATH fan as I am, then you are fully aware that their latest LP, "ODD SOUL" is scheduled to be released on October 4, 2011.

The word I've been hearing for the last few months is. . . this is going to be THE ALBUM that will make MM a household name!!
Although. . . they've been a household name in my house from the beginning!

I predicted back in 2005 they would be making the late night talk show circuit and not too long after. . . it all happened. . . from Craig Ferguson to Letterman!!

Mark my words, folks. . . SNL is just around the corner!!!!

If you are an Adam LaClave fan, then you'll recognize the coined term "odd soul," which Adam used to describe the combination of soul music and glam rock he created with friend, Jonathan Allen as "Club of the Sons."

And can I just interject that COTS' release of "Young Quanta" is pure genius??
I absolutely LOVE this album!!!! (alittle plug: if you're interested, you can download it from Adam's site.
. . . okay. . .okay. . . back to the title. . . per MM Bassist, Roy Mitchell-Cardenas when I asked him about the title, "We took that inspiration [of Odd Soul] and put our MM twist on it."

ODD SOUL - In Pieces

The guys have been posting videos of "Odd Soul," breaking all the parts down in pieces. If you go to MUTEMATH'S site, there is a interactive video mixer showing the videos in their respective parts and you can create your own mix of "ODD SOUL." Here it is below, full and all put together : )

I am so glad that these stems are posted. But knowing me, I'll never create my own mix. I suppose just for the sake of fun, I might. But for now, I'm going to enjoy them as they are. I mean, don't you find yourself wanting to just listen to one part of your favorite song? Like pre-stereo Beatles where you can turn the left or right balance, just so you could hear the song without the singing or just the guitar and bass playing. Or listening to the bass lines of Stevie Wonder's I Was Made To Love Her done by bassist extrodinaire, Carol Kaye. SO COOL!!

THAT'S what these stems remind me of. So. . .I'm gonna continue to enjoy listening to them individually. And then maybe someday soon, I'll play with the video stems.

I love ALL the breakdowns!!! But have to say, I am finding that I am favoring the guitar and bass stems most, which there are about 3 videos posted. And out of those 3, I've watched & listened to this one the most.

I love that brash, fuzzy "Foxy Lady" sound to Roy's guitar.

It is so FUNKY!!! Like Rare Earth's "Get Ready!"

And Roy's Poncho is bound to set a trend. I'm thinking that would be a cool merch buy with Roy's Guitar and Amp screen printed on the back.

In writing mi "primo", Roy,
I told him just that! That I love the style.

It seems very organic &

60's / Hendrix like.

He wrote back saying, "Glad you enjoyed the song/video.

This new album is very organic and soulful. I'm happy lots of people are reacting well to it."

So that confirms what I thought about to expect from this album. ; )

I asked him to tell me about his amp and guitar.

As they looked very retro and 60's like.

"Guitar: It's called a Galanti.

It's a 1960s Italian guitar.

Here's a link to a similar one: Galanti

Amp: it's a Guild Maverick, from the 60s also."

SO COOL!! Thanks Roy for the info. I totally love that my assumptions were correct. : )

Since I am old enough to remember 1960's free concerts in the parks of L.A., ODD SOUL is takin' me back, with it's feel and sound.

Once the album is out, I believe we will be taken back as I think this is the essence of ODD SOUL. . .organic and soulful.

Needless, to say, I am so looking forward to seeing them live, August 16th at The Troubadour. Which I am sure will produce a new blog on that show as well as a few surprises
; )


Check out MM's latest Youtube channel called "weareoddsouls" for all the stems as well as new postings!!







Saturday, July 9, 2011

AI 2011 Tour Rocks Seattle/Everett!

It was an amazing night for those who attended American Idol’s tour of the final 11!

Pia Toscano, Lauren Alaina, Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams, Thia Megia, Paul McDonald, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Stefano Langone, Naima Adedapo and of course the winner of AI 2011; Scotty McCreery performed to a sold out crowd and did not disappoint!!

The 2nd stop on their tour here in Washington had a few kinks in it, but none that were too noticeable.

Staging is simple with backdrops changing with the songs.
Sound was GREAT!!

Everyone gave it their all and sound so much better live.
I was truly impressed!!

Thanks to "mjsbigblog" for posting the set list, you can check it out here

Favorite moments for me were, of course, Casey’s set singing “Smooth” by Rob Thomas and Santana, “Moanin” with Haley, and "Harder to Breath" by Maroon 5. I loved his rendition of “Smooth,” standing at the top of the stage with his bass, singing jazzy slow and smooth!!! It was very nice. Definitely can see Casey doing a gig at Seattle’s “Jazz Alley” or “The Triple Door.”

Another moment was James Durbin’s entrance for “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” He walked down the aisle next to my daughter and niece. . .they were like “WOW!!!” And then walked down past myself and my friend. Certainly made our night! HA!!

Can I just say that Jacob TORE IT UP on Luther’s “Never Too Much?!”

“Maggie May” is perfect for Paul McDonald!!
I can’t wait to hear his original tunes!!

I thought Pia, Thia, Haley & Naima did a great job singing “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae. Speaking of Naima. . . I am not crazy about JLo’s “On The Floor” but I have to admit, Naima had it goin on!!! She was amazing!!! I had to get up and MOVE!!!! Loved her interlude of African dancing!! She is also so beautiful in person!!

Both Pia & Lauren showcased their new songs: “This Time” and “Like My Mother Does”

Western Washington’s son, Stefano Langone truly was shown the love by all at the Comcast Arena at Everett. I’m pretty sure he got the biggest shouts, screams and claps out of everyone in the tour!

Least favorite moment: “Firework” by Katy Perry. Either it was a sound issue or not fitted for Lauren’s voice, but there was a measure of dead vocals. Didn’t really think this song was right for Lauren.

Background vocals are so important to a song. I think they make the song if done right. And so. . . I thought when everyone helped with backups, they did a great job!! Loved the vocals on “Gone” when Scotty sang it.

HAVE to do a shout out to the band!! They were tight!!!! Would love to know who they were. They were amazing and FLAWLESS!!!!! Thank you for doing a great job guys!!!

Mjsbigblog has posted videos of some of the performances. I'm sure they don't mind the plug. Thank you for posting these!! VIDEOS.

Overall, I'm not a huge AI fan, but this season really captivated me. I had to see it through by seeing the show live. And with a few exceptions, I was not disappointed. The diehard AI fans will definitely love the Live Tour!!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Rhinestone Cowboy is Taking His Last Ride

These are the kind of press releases I don't like to recieve










Surfdog Records has announced the upcoming release of Ghost On The Canvas, the remarkable new album from the legendary Glen Campbell. The album - which marks the iconic singer/guitarist/songwriter's final studio recording - arrives everywhere on August 30th.

Ghost On The Canvas sees Campbell capping his brilliant career with one of his most moving and energized works to date, a powerfully emotional song cycle that sees him accompanied by a truly dazzling line-up of songwriters and musicians. Among the tunesmiths contributing original songs to the collection are such modern luminaries as Paul Westerberg, Jakob Dylan, Robert Pollard, and Teddy Thompson, backed by a roster of players that includes Chris Isaak, Dick Dale, Billy Corgan, Brian Setzer, Rick Nielsen, Roger Manning, and The Dandy Warhols. The album is produced by Julian Raymond, who also co-wrote a number of new songs with Campbell.

Campbell will celebrate the new album as well as his extraordinary five-decade-plus career with a valedictory Worldwide concert tour, dubbed "The Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour." A complete itinerary will be announced shortly.

Sadly, Campbell was recently diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. The multiple Grammy Award-winner discusses his health and his long career in an exclusive interview with People, available on newsstands now as well as via

For more than fifty years, Glen Campbell has been among popular music's most successful and significant artists, a multi-talented superstar who can rightfully be declared a living legend and a true American treasure. The Arkansas-born Campbell took up guitar at an early age and in 1958, relocated to Los Angeles where he immediately became an in-demand session musician. He joined forces with the legendary Wrecking Crew, a group of session players whose work can be heard on a stunning range of recordings spanning from the 1960's thru the seventies. The Wrecking Crew played with such artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, Elvis Presley, and most famously, Phil Spector, with whom they helped create the famed "Wall of Sound." In 1964, Campbell was invited to become a touring member of The Beach Boys, playing bass and singing falsetto harmonies, then later contributing guitar to 1966's seminal Pet Sounds.

Campbell achieved his first major success as a solo artist with "Gentle On My Mind," which proved a crossover smash upon its 1967 release. He followed it that same year with "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," marking the first in a string of collaborative hits penned by renowned songwriter Jimmy Webb that also includes such classics as "Wichita Lineman," "Where's The Playground, Susie," and "Galveston."

In addition to hit singles, Campbell also released a remarkable run of gold and platinum certified albums, including 1967's Gentle On My Mind, the first of seven consecutive collections to hit #1 on Billboard's "Country Albums" chart. Among them are full-length favorites like 1967's By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell and the 2x-platinum certified Wichita Lineman (both released in 1968), and 1969's Galveston.

As if his musical career weren't enough, Campbell also drew acclaim as an actor and TV personality, with credits that include 1969's True Grit (earning him a Golden Globe nomination as "Most Promising Newcomer") and four seasons as host of CBS' The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. The highly rated variety series saw Campbell joined by a spectacular assortment of stars - including John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ray Charles, and Cream - while also introducing some of country music's greatest artists (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard) to a wide national audience.

1975 saw the release of Campbell's biggest crossover triumph, "Rhinestone Cowboy," which earned RIAA gold certification while topping both Billboard's "Hot 100" and "Hot Country Singles" charts. Two years later saw Campbell repeating the feat with the gold certified, #1 smash, "Southern Nights," marking his fifth-ever country chart-topper as well as his seventh on Billboard's "Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks" tally.

Though Campbell's life has taken many difficult turns, his faith and family have long enabled him to keep pushing forward, both as a touring superstar and acclaimed recording artist. In 2008, he united with Ghost On The Canvas producer Julian Raymond for one of the most unique albums in his canon, Meet Glen Campbell. The album found Campbell putting his inimitable stamp on songs by such artists as U2, Green Day, Tom Petty, Foo Fighters, and Jackson Browne, supported by members of Jane's Addiction, Jellyfish, and Cheap Trick.

Over the course of his astonishing career, Campbell can lay claim to six Top 20 albums and 21 Top 40 hit singles. His track record as one of country music's greatest stars includes 27 Top 10 country classics spanning 22 years, as well as nine #1 country albums.

Campbell has also received a stunning array of honors, beginning in 1967 when he made history by winning multiple Grammy Awards in both the Country & Western and Pop categories: "Gentle On My Mind" was honored as "Best Country & Western Vocal Performance, Male" and "Best Country & Western Recording," while "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" was named "Best Vocal Performance, Male" and "Best Contemporary Male Solo Vocal Performance." The following year saw Campbell earning yet another Grammy when By The Time I Get To Phoenix was named "Album of the Year" - the first country album to win the top award. What's more, "Gentle On My Mind," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," and "Wichita Lineman" have all since received the "Grammy Hall of Fame Award."

Among Campbell's many other honors are seven Academy of Country Music Awards (including "Top Male Vocalist" and "Album of the Year" in both 1967 and 1968), three American Music Awards (celebrating "Rhinestone Cowboy" and the album that bears its name), three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, two Country Music Association Awards, and the UK's Q Award for "Q Legend." In addition, Campbell has received the Academy of Country Music's prestigious "Pioneer Award" and has been inducted to both the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as the Musicians Hall of Fame (honoring his membership in The Wrecking Crew).

Glen, I'm sure you're fans,

friends & family

are praying for you!

We wish you the best as

you embark on your

upcoming tour.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Andrew Allen on Life, Love and Everything in Between

Epic recording artist, Andrew Allen has been pretty busy these days with recording a new album, writing songs for other artists, doing an acoustic tour AND preparing a summer tour starting this month.

His song, “Loving You Tonight,” topped the Canadian radio charts for more than 22 weeks!! And most recently, Andrew has been nominated for a Canadian Radio Music Award. Pretty cool for this native Vancouver boy!

On the U.S. side, he isn’t doing too badly here either!! “Loving You Tonight,” is doing very well on the top 40 stations, like my Seattle station Star 101.5. As well as being released as an EP, it can also be found on the "NOW (That’s What I Call Music!) 37 CD."

Recently, with drummer Nate Lotz, Andrew graced us with an acoustic set at The Renaissance Seattle Hotel sponsored by Star 101.5, Sony Music and the hotel.

I personally had never heard of Andrew but was invited by a good friend to see his set. SO GLAD I took her up on the offer.

The one thing I noticed about Andrew is his presence as well as a smile that lights up the room. When you meet him, he makes you feel like you've known each other for years. He is very genuine on and off stage!

Andrew was gracious enough to sit down with me afterwards to talk about his life, writing and his upcoming album “What You Wanted.”

Spin that 45: How old were you when you started getting into music?

ANDREW: I was like 5 years old. My parents put me into piano lessons. I kinda didn’t really love the practicing side of it, but I definitely enjoyed playing it. So by about the time that I was about 10 years old, I had done a few different competitions and such with Royal Conservatory and sort of the typical things your parents get you to do. But I started working with different Disney songs and that kind of thing. And then I also started writing my own stuff. And I mean, my songs at that point were 18 minutes long (laughs) and they changed every time I played them but they were my OWN songs and so that’s kinda when I started playing and getting serious into it.

SP45: Very Cool! You started pretty young. When did you start writing?

ANDREW: Legitimately writing music. . . probably when I was in grade 10, I would say, I sort of formed a band. There was 3 of us that all played guitars. So we were a “three guitar band” like Collective Soul or something. Had a bass player and a drummer. And that’s when I really started writing songs. I didn’t really know where I was going with the song writing. I really didn’t know what the structure was and I honestly didn’t have a lot of influences because I wasn’t listening to a lot of music. It was more a sort of just what I was feeling and that’s what I would write. And it ended up being pretty well crafted pop songs for not knowing what I was doing.

SP45: That kind of leads me into my next question. . . who were your influences during those teen years?

ANDREW: I didn’t honestly have that many. . . if any. I feel almost bad for saying that I wasn’t a “music listener!?” I still wouldn’t say that I am today. I’m not super cutting edge on the new stuff that’s coming out.

SP45: Having learned that I am avid MUTEMATH fan, you told me before our interview that you saw Mutemath twice in Vancouver.
So, you like Mutemath! HA!

ANDREW: (laughs)YES, I love Mutemath. But again, it’s because a friend honestly held my hand and brought me to the concert.

I love music, but I’m definitely one of the guys that say “Oh, I could be listening to other music or I could be writing my own.” And so I just kept writing my own stuff. Which is why I’m always really honored that people take the time to listen.

But some of the influences that I’ve definitely grown up with are Bob Marley & Sublime. And some of the newer guys like Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Maroon 5 & John Mayer.

The first CD I ever bought was the "Cool Runnings" Soundtrack. It was that whole Raggae Island influence that I just loved. I haven't bought another rhythmic aspect type CD since then.

SP45: Yeah, your music definitely has that Raggae Isle feel to it.

ANDREW: Thank you (smile)

SP45: So Andrew, let’s talk about the new album.

ANDREW: Okay. It’s called “What You Wanted,” and it’s 11 songs that go through every gamut of love you could think of. It’s definitely influenced by love and by life and by kind of all the fun things in it. But also all the hard times that you go through while you’re in it.

I had written basically the first five songs before I went in to record it. And then I wrote the last 6 while I was in the studio process. And that was really challenging for me because I’m not used to writing under pressure. But it was also really neat to see what came out because of the pressure.

A lot of time in my writing process, I’m kind of humming the tune getting through the songs and then once the song is completed, “it” in a way tells me what the song is about. Like one song on the album is called “Dance With Me.” It's about a friend of mine that passed away from cancer. And the saddest part about it, was she had only been married for 2 years. When she passed away, I couldn’t help but think of the husband, being I, too am one. Thinking of what that would feel like after not knowing her that long. And so one of the concepts on that song, which is the darker or sadder songs on the album, is just the idea of maybe when he plays “their song,” he’ll actually still be able to dance with her, no matter where she is.

The next song on the album is “What I Like About Us” which is just a fun, upbeat song about all these crazy adventures that maybe or maybe I haven’t gotten into. And just those fun weird quirks about our relationships, that by the end of it, you say “You know what? All these weird little quirks are what I like about us!”

So it’s definitely an album that covers all the things that matter to me.

SP45: Awesome! I’m sure your fans can’t wait to hear it. When can they expect to see its release?

ANDREW: I’m not too sure about the date, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be around mid June, which is coming up soon!

SP45: Great! I know I can’t wait to hear it myself. You’ve told some great stories behind a couple of the songs. Where else do you get your inspiration for writing?

ANDREW: Definitely from life! I also write for other artists and sometimes I find that a challenge because all of my songs come directly from my heart. They’re influence by real people and real events which is why a lot of them are very “storyteller” type songs. It’s funny, I was listening to the record in my car recently and I was like “whoa, in a lot of the songs I say ‘and she says,’ or ‘he said,’ like I’m telling a story. And so to write for other people, you really have to try to get inside their mind and write something that you hope feels real for them.

And so when you asked what my inspirations are, they’re from life, love and from real people and real things that have happened.

SP45: You know when you were introducing one of your songs here at the Renaissance, you said that you are pretty much a happy person.
What makes you sad?

ANDREW: What makes me sad. . .um. . .

SP45: I hope that’s okay for me to ask. . .

ANDREW: Oh it is, I haven’t been asked it.

The things that make me sad. . . . I think frustration is like my biggest battle with myself. Such as when you’re frustrated because you’ve done something. Like "guilt" is one of the worse. And I don’t necessarily hang on to it, but it’s like I strive to make sure that other people are happy, that I’ve treated people fairly, that I’ve done right by them and that I’ve give them the right about time.

One of the things that make me sad is when I know sometimes like even when in this career where I’ve spend a lot of time promoting and pushing myself and I’m neglecting time spent with my family and friends. And I see sometimes that that hurts the relationship that I have with them. And that kind of gets to me where I just go “Ugh!!” It’s the only pressure that I put on myself.

Another thing that makes me sad is, world type events. I’m a really strong advocate for not just human rights but sort of equality for the universe, you know like humankind and it drives me nuts to see the amount of consumerism that I know I’m part of and not to be able to see a tangible way to be able to help.

Like I think what blows my mind is when you think about Third World countries that are NOT depressed and yet, we are! And I think it’s because we have way too much crap!! You know what I mean? And so, we get super down and we have this super high suicide rate and all these depression medications. And yet, we’re all like we feel so bad for these Third World countries. But I think there’s something they could teach us!! And so, a lot of the time I get really saddened by that type of thing and then I get sad that I’m not doing anything to help it.

So, I would say those are the two things that kind of bring me down.

SP45: You have a strong faith. Would you mind talking about that?

ANDREW: I was adopted. My birth mother who is 1st generation Irish, was a very strong Irish Catholic. And one of the things she wanted to make sure about my adoption was that I would be raised by a Catholic family.

At 12, I stopped going to church, but came back to it before getting married, attending a Baptist church, cuz I liked the music aspect of it. I began to be a part of the worship teams, which I found amazing! Sometime after, I went to work on a cruise ship for a year and coming to the end of that year, I decided that I wanted to do something different. And ended up getting a job as worship director, where I worked at for 2 years, which I loved. Except for what ended up happening was I became so frustrated by the political aspects of the church. I found myself wishing that they had hired a politician instead of a musician.

But that’s what encouraged me to sell everything, jump into my van and start touring across the country, because I thought that the music that I was and AM writing, is about life and love, which is exactly what Jesus taught and it’s not coming through that way, like preachy. And so I’m not out here to try and convert the world or anything like that and I’m not carrying Jesus in a box. I’m just hanging out and hopefully people can experience love through it.

SP45: Okay so here's my last question. . .
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

ANDREW: WOW, those are huge questions.
I didn’t see myself HERE . . . 5 years ago! So I would say that in 5 years, I will be happy to be wherever I’m placed because that’s where I’m supposed to be.

And in 10 years it’ll be the exact same thing! (smile)

SP45: Hahahaha! I love it!!
Andrew, thank you so much for taking the time to sit with me and give us a look into what makes you tick. Can’t wait to hear the new album! And I can’t wait to see you live at El Corazon in Seattle on June 21st. Again, thank you!

ANDREW: No problem! Thank you! (Big smile)

Andrew Allen


Friday, June 3, 2011

Hold On cuz Peter Furler is ON FIRE!!

I truly love my job!!

I love, Love, LOVE listening to music!

AND I love giving my opinions & thoughts on what I’ve been listening to!
So here I am again. . . sharing a truly solid piece of work with all of you!!

“On Fire” by Peter Furler

Does that name sound familiar? It might if you’ve been a fan of The Newsboys.

I’ve been a fan of The Newsboys for a number of years. I’ve seen them perform a couple of times and have been blown away by their performances. So I was looking forward to listening to this new album by former frontman, Peter Furler.

Peter is working with some of music’s BEST people, plus this is also a family affair with his wife and father lending their talents to some of the tracks!

Here’s the track list:
1. I’m Alive
2. Reach
3. Glory To The King
4. Never Ending Love Song
5. Matter Of Faith
6. All In Your Head
7. Closer (Featuring Steve Taylor and Some Other Band)
8. Faster And Louder
9. Psalm 23
10. Hold On
11. Greater Is He (Featuring Phil Joel and Bill Furler)

As I mentioned above, I am so impressed by who is on this project.
I am ALL about the liner notes!! Give me more liner notes!! HA!!


Let me tell you who is on here. . . Steve Taylor!! A legend!! Steve set the trend of NOT following the CCM format in the 80’s by blowing us away with his outspoken lyrics and delivering it in a New Wave style!! For you youngins out there, you might recognize Steve singing “Yo Ho Heroes" from The VeggieTales’ movie; “ The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.” Currently, Steve is working on a film adaptation of Donald Miller's book, "Blue Like Jazz" as well as just completing this project with Peter.

Musican & Photographer, Jimmy Abegg has been a part of Rich Mullins’ Ragamuffin Band, as well as working with some music’s finest i.e. Phil Keaggy, Charlie Peacock, Shaun Groves, Stellar Kart, Jars of Clay and Michael W. Smith, just to name a few.

Also, Phil Joel, formally of The Newsboys also lends his voice. GREAT!

For me, an album can be written well and have the best of the best playing on it. But if the sound sucks, I am immediately turned off. So I would like to tip my hat to Peter and “Me In Motion’s” Seth Mosley for doing a fine job of producing and making sure that the sound quality was beyond excellent!


Let me tell you about my favorite songs. . . which could change, since every time I’ve listened, I’ve added a new favorite to my list : )

The album sets you up with “I’m Alive!”

The beat is gonna take you for a ride. . . the lyrics are uplifting and encouraging! This is a song of CELEBRATION for anyone who has come out of a hard situation and or struggle and so happy to be given another chance!!

For myself, who had been chasing mirages in my life recently, only to find that God had been loving me the whole time through it. . . Yes, this song would be my anthem!!

This is a “get up and dance and CELEBRATE being alive and given another chance” song!!:)

“Never Ending Love Song,” to me is very reminiscent of that Newsboys sound. Great tune!!

“Matter of Faith” I love the intro to this. Very easy going and then the chorus comes punching!!

“Closer” definitely reminds me of Steve Taylor. I love this song!! It has that 80’s New Wave nuance to it. And of course. . . VERY outspoken lyrics! John Painter is SICK on the bass!!!

“Faster and Louder” is very MGMT / Passion Pit!! Love this song!! I wanna jump up and down!!!

Psalm 23 begins like a ballad but is very Euro sounding. Having just listened & reviewed Lady Gaga’s album, I could hear very similar sounds of that Euro beat with its angelic like keys!! Perhaps that is because DJ Andy Hunter did the programming. Very well done!!!

OKAY!!!! I think “Hold On” is my favorite of all. NO!! IT IS!!!!! I LOVE this intro and then the drop into acoustic guitar!! This song gives me chills!!! I LOVE THIS SONG!!! I can definitely hear this track on the top radio stations. I’m freaking out at how much I love this song!!! I love the underlying "Strawberry Fields Forever" feel to this. Especially at the end. Very cool!!!

I have to turn this up!!

I wish my speakers were louder!!!


For anyone who has loved Peter’s voice and style, you are going to love this album!

For anyone who is not familiar with him or The Newsboys, you are going to love this album!!!

Look for it’s June 21st release.
Official Facebook

Liner Notes:
Produced by Peter Furler and Seth Mosley

Vocals: Peter Furler
Guitars: Seth Mosley and Peter Furler
Bass: Seth Mosley and Peter Furler
Keys: Seth Mosley and Peter Furler
Drums and Percussion: Peter Furler
Background Vocals: Phil Joel, Peter Furler, and Seth Mosley
Additional Background Vocals: Summer Furler and Celi Mosley
Programming: Seth Mosley and Peter Furler
Additional Programming on “Psalm 23” and “Water To Wine”: andy hunter
Guitars on “Closer”: Jimmy Abegg
Bass on “Closer”: John Painter
Additional Production on “Closer” Peter Furler, Steve Taylor, John Painter, and Jimmy Abegg