Showing posts with label Indie Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indie Music. Show all posts


"Nights to Remember" Is The Second Insight Into Morpheus Project's Debut Album


Mustafa Khetty is a composer already making quite the name for himself in the industry. A true asset to the Prog and Classical music world, he steps into a new musical venture called Morpheus Project. At his most creative, Morpheus Project draws musical influences from as far afield as the Far East and South America. Back with second single under the new project, "Nights to Remember" gives a bright insight to a fantastic debut album ahead. Out around the end of January, early February, the debut is set to cover all of Mustafa's influences and escape mainstream music. 

Coated in a complex soundscape that sits somewhere between hard rock and progressive rock, this prog rock frenzy features Onur Çobanoğlu's angst ridden vocals and Emircan Ünsev and Arda Keremoğlu's epic guitar playing. Merging moods, emotions, rhythmic patterns and harmonic layers to covey the track's intense arrangement, Mustafa illuminates a stroke of world music within his sound. A creative spirit who's simply a force to be reckoned with within the prog world, Morpheus Project could easily be the next asset to the world of prog.


Pop-R&B Review: Sam Wilder-Homebound

Release Date: October 16, 2020

Label: Spin Move Records


Sam Wilder’s recent release Homebound will raise some eyebrows in the music industry and capture many listeners. Like the saying goes “No risk, no reward.” Wilder stepped out and took a big chance to change his life’s path forever.

He decided to choose the title because he left his home in the Netherlands to go to Los Angeles to find his path in music. Like everyone else, he is missing his family during these lock down times.

As things turned out when he got to LA, he was immediately on the fast track to success taking his many talents to the studio to create radio-ready music for the masses.

Sam’s natural talents become evident in the eight tracks offered on the EP. “Overtime,” is a great tune featuring glossy pop and beats to keep you in a steady groove. And it is good, no, actually better than some of the crap out there they decided to call music. “Penelope” and “Bring It Home (feat. Livy Lee)” also shines the light on this progressing talent.

Everything about Homebound says “Play me” and for good reason. The music is keeping right in step with what you will hear on any platform in 2020. The catchy hooks and Sam’s high vocalizations move each song right to the heart of any listener. The combination of Pop and R & B brings out all the talent this young man has to offer in all eight tracks. The only difference is that he is not on the same playlist as pop divas like Katy Perry etc. Perhaps that can all change if his music makes it to the right people in the industry. He is good enough to break it big.

I enjoy listening to artists like Sam Wilder and bringing attention to all the talent on display on Homebound. It is interesting how eight tracks are considered an EP and back in the day of The Beatles for instance, when they were pumping out 4 or 5 albums a year, it would be an entire album. Now today a full album is at least 12 tracks or more.

Regardless of these facts, Sam Wilder has made his musical statement on Homebound and it will be heard. The talent of this young man is obvious and the potential is limitless. One listen to this album proves that. The purpose and intent is clear, Sam is here to stay and he has an amazing future in front of him.

Keith “MuzikMan” Founder
December 13, 2020

Track List:

1. Fiending    
2. What's Wrong With Me        
3. Set You Off        
4. Overtime
5. Sunlight        
6. Without        
7. Penelope    
8. Bring It Home (feat. Livy Lee) [Explicit]



Ted Wulfers has a new album and it is a diverse mix of rock, blues, jazz, pop, well, you name it and he does it. Check out my interesting interview now on my Podcast and you can read my review here if you are interested


Rock/Prog Rock-American Tears-White Flags

Release Date: June 21, 2019
Label: Escape Music Ltd
The renaissance of 70’s power keyboard legends, American Tears is in full force with their second release in as many years, White Flags.  Not only are they influenced by keyboard-driven progressive rock of the album-oriented 70’s such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, and Deep Purple, they helped define the genre. Founder Mark Mangold’s boundless musical energy and skill spawn critically acclaimed, yet commercially unsuccessful releases Branded Bad and Tear Gas in the mid-’70s.  American Tears would morph into Touch in the early ’80s yet remain clouded in anonymity.  Mangold moved on to collaborate with artists such as Michael Bolton, write hits for Cher and Benny Mardones, and release his solo records.
The band’s current incarnation unearths an ambiance from a time in rock history when keyboard solos reigned supreme. Tom Scholz’s masterful Hammond organ solo on Boston’s Smokin comes to mind.  Mangold’s keyboard riffs are rife with passion and energy. The moment you feel him about to wind down and wrap up, he reinvents the song and takes it to another level.  In this regard, American Tears defies formulaic structure. To the delight of the listener, these songs keep going and going. After all, if you’re enjoying the ride, why would you want it to end? 
In a recent interview on The Final on Vinyl Podcast (or play below), Mangold quotes Pete Townsend when The Who was accused of sounding self-indulgent and pretentious “Thank you very much,” said Pete, clearly proud of being labeled as such. Mangold is justifiably proud, as well.   
Listening to his vocals on White Flags, one is reminded of the soul and range of The Cult’s Ian Astbury.  Each song on White Flags is consistently upbeat with a broad array of tempos and melodies.  Two of the more soulful tracks which accentuate his vocal range come in the form of “Give me More” and the album’s closer “White Flags.” 
To Mark Mangold, White Flags is about surrender and sacrifice.  Giving up the battles and giving all of oneself is a sure path to freedom. The lyrics, vocals, and driving power keyboards echo that refrain.  Those who remember American Tears from the ’70s will enjoy this next chapter in their evolution while an emerging fan base is sure to keep growing. 
Tom Endyke - Staff
October 19, 2019

Key Tracks Include: “Hell or High Water,” “Fire Down Below,” “Turn U On”, “Turn the Page”

Rate the Tracks


01. Turn U On
02. Wake up City
03. Hell or High Water
04. Waltz of the Angels
05. Fire Down Below
06. Give Me More
07. Love is Love
08. Turn the Page (Blue Dog)
09. Pitch Black
10. Keep on Movin’
11. White Flags


New Age/Classical/Ambient Review: Karen Olson-SongPath

Release Date: July 13th, 2018
Label: Soundview Records

SongPath is Karen Olson's 8th CD release and is a companion to her soon to be published book entitled, SoundPath: Using the Power of Sound and Silence for Health, Harmony, and Happiness. Notably, SongPath is in the top 10 on four Billboard charts including Classical and #3 as the Highest-Ranking Debut New Age Album so far in 2018.

According to Karen’s website:  She combines her unique background as a Violist, Recording Artist, Composer, Author, and intuitive Holistic Healer, to make a positive difference in the lives of others through interactive programming, events, and concert performances that are fun, inspiring, and transformative.
Karen Olson is a respected healer, practitioner, and musician. With SongPath she adds to her already incredibly impressive resume of releases and has reached the pinnacle (thus far) of her musical achievements for variety, depth, and healing. 

I think after listening to her latest offering I can agree with that statement. I covered A Hero’s Journey in 2016 and was quite impressed. It is nice to find out 2 years later that I feel the same about her music. 

SongPath is very wide-ranging. One of the tracks that caught me completely off guard was “New Ways.” It is an electronic-R&B- rap style song. I think it was titled appropriately considering I never expected to hear such a big change in direction on this album. Olivia Meihofer provides the excellent vocals as she does on other songs as well. I give Karen credit for stretching out musically and taking a chance. I enjoyed the song because it was so different and done very well. I imagine there will be new age fans that will probably not appreciate it but that is ok. All the rest of the album is more along the lines of what you would expect from Karen.

With her “New Ways” you will find “Inspiration” and “Serenity” and an “Adventure” inside the music. All of that is wrapped in a nice package for the prospective listener. 

Personally, if I can find pleasure in any type of music, it is healing. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a certain tag on it for it to work, but that is for me. In this case, the label of new age, classical and ambient certainly fits. What you will discover is joy, healing and quite a range of sounds and styles that would satisfy any musical palette. 

SongPath is a prolific release from my viewpoint mainly based on the fact the lead instrument is a viola. That my music loving friends is not an easy task to accomplish, yet Karen Olson makes it sound like it is all very natural, with very concise musicianship and a flow that syncs with your inner voice and soul.  That covers it all as far as I am concerned.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 9, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

1. Ever Peace
2. Why Not
3. Adventure
4. Moving Higher
5. Reminding
6. Inspiration
7. New Ways
8. Gaining Grace
9. Serenity



Music News: Emerging Artist Beekwilder Releases New Single Lava Lamps With Maty Noyes

Hollywood, CA-July 10, 2018-Sam Beekwilder, a college student from The Netherlands at the time, was only 19 years old when he found himself at a recording studio in Santa Monica, while hanging around on a roof with some new friends, started to sing along with the music everyone was playing. Producers Hero DeLano and Jason Parris were so impressed after hearing the kid’s 4-octave vocal range that they brought him in the studio that night and wrote and recorded a full new song at Sam’s very first time at any studio. That would be the start of the new emerging star called Beekwilder. This a moment in life where “Embrace the unexpected” is the norm.

Being in the right place at the right time certainly helps, and Beekwilder knows this all too well.  Not even a full year into his career, he has already shown the work ethic and talent necessary to make excellent music. In October he released his first single “Oh My,” a fun rap-jam where Beekwilder freestyles over a funky bassline. In March he released an 11-song mixtape he named “Bungalow Bill,” an ode to the studio Beekwilder found a home at in Santa Monica, and the consequences that come with moving away from home to pursue what you love. And as of last week, he got his first feature on a major label release in “Lava Lamps” with Maty Noyes.

He has come an incredibly long way for being an international student in California who only sang in the shower and made hip-hop beats on his laptop. After spending almost, a year living in LA for the sole purpose of developing his music, Beekwilder had over 50 songs he and his producer Hero DeLano had
come up with over the course of that year. “Lava Lamps” was one of these song ideas. Maty Noyes heard the beat bumping out of the Bungalow Bill studio while at a different recording session and walked in and told Beekwilder she would want to hop on the track. After she wrote and recorded her parts on the song, the rest became history. Maty’s team loved the record and wanted to release it as her single, and the song got released on July 6th through Lava/Republic Records. It’s a first big glimpse of the world of potential for Beekwilder. He showcases his energy and his versatility with his voice and his work ethic remains intact. This is an exciting time of opportunity for the young Dutchman.

Being discovered by a major label is every musician or vocalist’s dream. The very few out of thousands have the life-changing opportunity presented in the most unexpected circumstances. Such is the case for Beekwilder, who had always loved and created music but never imagined the possibility of being an artist in a legendary city like LA.

Beekwilder, now only 21 years old, is off to a great start in a promising career. He has already proven to be flexible and diverse enough to sing within multiple genres and to possess a voice unique enough to set himself apart internationally. Who knows where he can go from here? The sky seems to be the limit.

Peter A. Barker
Producer A&R
Spin Move Records

Lava Lamps on Spotify:
Beekwilder on Spotify:



Concert Review: Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes

Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes In Concert At The Colonial Theater
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
August 17, 2017

I have one word for the concert I saw last night, FANTASTIC! Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes worked up the capacity crowd at the Colonial Theater in the Berkshires to a dancing frenzy. Part of my process of observation is watching the reaction of the crowd or certain interesting individuals at concerts. In this case, entire sections of people were standing up and dancing last night. I have been to many concerts at this gorgeous venue and have never witnessed that. It was a lot of fun.

I remember this band from back in the 70s and I know they never made it big like the acts they influenced, namely Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi. They decided to stick to their guns and not cooperate with record labels and slick executives in suits. Just before the end of the show I stepped out to the merch table to buy their new release on vinyl, which is their first recording in 5 years. I spoke to the gent behind the table who happened to be Johnny’s life time friend. He told me Johnny never wanted to sell out and please the labels so they carried on and made the music they loved. So here we are still listening to his music and enjoying their shows.

The show started right on time and they played for a solid 2.5 hours and a lot of time segued right into the next song. The energy Johnny has is amazing for someone nearly 70 years old. He is an inspiration and a joy to watch. Usually when the music comes on the sound system the concert is over, well this was a false alarm. I think Johnny was inspired by the love and energy he was getting in return from the audience as he played another 4 songs for an encore!

The music of Southside Johnny and his Asbury Jukes is a combination of rock, blues and soul. His vocal style is perfect for the music. He has a rough whiskey edge the puts a certain emphasis on the words for each song. 

A bonus to the band’s full sound is the amazing horn section. There is trumpet, trombone and saxophone. All three get a chance to strut their stuff separately at the front of the stage and together as well. Johnny would step to either side of the stage and grab a mic to finish out a song and let his boys cut lose.


Special nods go to the guitar player Glenn Alexander and the keyboard man Jeff Kazee, who has an amazing voice. When he would sing solo or with Johnny it was a treat for everyone’s ears. The band also did a really good job with some cover tunes like the Stone’s “Time Waits For No One.” This the true test of a great band. To take another band’s classic songs and make it their own while it remains very recognizable to your audience, that is something special. That is real talent and resilient musicianship. Speaking of musicianship, Johnny can play that harmonica! At times, it sounded like a locomotive flying down the tracks. He was just so focused and in a groove. The man has the blues in his soul and that is a fact!

I must not forget all the entertainment value that was on display. Johnny can tell a story and he is very humorous. Keeping it light is right in line with all the upbeat and energetic music they present. All around it was a great night for everyone. For me, The Colonial is my destination to go hear all the great bands I know and remember. They have consistently presented great shows ever since the venue reopened after the renovation. I do not see any end to that thank the Lord!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 19, 2017



   Karen Waldrup : A Party To Crash!

 Karen Waldrup is on the road from Des Moines back to Nashville.  Her cheerful, confident southern speech is lyrical across the line.  Karen shines through the cell waves.  She has the story-telling nature of an experienced performer.  “That’s a hot topic.” She exclaims in response to the article subject: Women of Music. It is a topic that consumes Karen’s every moment, professionally, personally and politically.  She is the ultimate warrior of women’s music.  Possibly the next Miranda Lambert.  She is forging her own path.  It is unique, educated, savvy and above all talented.  She’s started a party and y’all are invited to crash it!
She wants to see women succeed in this town.  She is forging the path with a powerhouse of performance and dedicated resilience.  “Tell me a bit of your history...”  propels a journey that answers most of the interview questions with ease.  Karen is an interviewer’s dream.

A marketing major at the University of Southern Mississippi, during her senior year she was playing full-time - three to five shows a week - at night.  Her boyfriend at the time suggested: “Why don’t you just move to a music city?”  And so she did.  Karen chose Nashville for a “plethora” of reasons and resources.  She loved the songwriting country music scene that kept her within driving distance of her New Orleans family and roots.  Nashville felt like a “…comforting city, it felt like home to me.”  She continues, “New York and LA were so much bigger.  More people doing the same thing. Nashville felt like a good fit for a Country Music girl like me.”  So, in July of 2008, two months out of college, she packed up and moved, having no connections to the city.  “I knew no one.  NOT ONE person,” she emphasizes, “Not an Aunt, friend, acquaintance.  NO ONE.”  But Karen loves a challenge, she thrives on risk taking, and she does it well.

“I got an apartment on the West side.  It was probably a little more expensive than I could afford.  I got a job at RJ Young, a document solutions company, selling copy machines and worked with them 8-5 Monday through Friday, because I knew I needed my nights and weekends free to write and play.”  Karen describes her experiences working out in the community door to door in high heels as a networking strategy.  And she was good at it.  Really good at it.  She sold 1.5 million dollars of copy equipment over three years on her own.  She connected with all kinds of people, churches, small businesses, CEOs of larger companies, building her network one copier sale at a time.  One of Karen’s former customers was a CPA who eventually became her accountant and Business Manager.   She worked diligently for three years, and her thought was, as her grandfather would say: “How much can I ‘rat hole,’ [put away] because I knew at some point I was not going to want to work that way, and I would need money to live.  I did not want the stress of waitressing or doing something I would hate.”

Karen Waltrup_16Karen got her first break when she auditioned for Sony.  “Sony has been my cheerleader.”  She was selected for the Bravo TV show Platinum Hit.  Twelve people country-wide were selected and Karen was the only person from Nashville.  This experience opened her eyes introducing her to the business side of music. Her first time signing contracts, dealing with negotiating and having to ask for what she wanted.  She was still working at RJ Young and was not ready to let go of the safety net it provided.  Karen marched into her boss’s office and explained she had been chosen for the reality show, that it was shooting in LA, and she would need six weeks off.  They gave her eight.  This was a blessing.  She knew it would take six months of editing before she would have to make any further decisions regarding employment, and that was six months of solid income to stow away.

The Bravo show changed the face of Karen’s career.  She took the approach of one of her favorite artists and mentors, Jewel. She booked 30 shows in 30 days.  “Well, actually it was more like twenty-eight shows in forty days,” she laughs.  “But close enough.  That’s what Jewel does and then she takes three months off to write.”  Karen was now able to book shows in clubs and bars that previously wouldn’t even call her back.  Platinum Hit gave her the notoriety to get her foot in the door, and once club owners heard her they started booking future gigs in advance. She had achieved status.  She traveled and played Tuscaloosa, Little Rock, Memphis and more.  Karen hired a tour manager, a driver, both of whom she had to pay, and went on the road playing gigs for $300-$400 a night.  But still there was no love coming her way from Music Row.

Music Row was not signing women. “In 2008 they had no interest in women.  I realized to live my dream I just had to do it.”  She adds, “I am successful because I do what I say I’m going to do.  PERIOD.”  And the touring took with a domino effect.  Karen started grassroots, doing her own sound and running everything, selling merchandise, working on every detail.  She noticed the “merch” was selling out, CDs, Koozies, key chains, so she increased their inventory.  It sold and it sold shows.  It was a way to continue her dream and keep singing.  She was paying the bills doing what she loved.

For a short time she partnered with Ashlee K Thomas in a band Midtown Violets.  The two friends created an upbeat strong female duo supporting each other both as writers and performers.  They pooled resources and talents and learned to tour together.  Their music was well received, but the record release did not prove fruitful and the women decided to split up the band, each pursuing her own career path.

In 2012, Karen auditioned for the third season of The Voice.  She was selected with the top 142 (out of approximately 70,000 performers) to attend the “blind auditions” in LA.  The blind auditions are filmed over the course of 5 days, and unfortunately for Karen her day was day five.  All of the coaches had selected their full teams except for Christina Aguilera, who had one spot left.  Karen walked on stage, belted out a beautiful rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s Me And Bobby McGee, and the crowd went wild.  But no one turned their chair.

“I’m not a Christina Aguilera singer.  She loved my singing, but she needed a power house to finish off her team.  I’m more a Sheryl Crow.”  The other judges made it clear in their comments they were kicking themselves for not waiting.  Karen’s audition ended up on the cutting room floor, while she scratched her head at the luck of the draw.  It was a let down.  her worst experience to date of being in the music business.  She felt as if she came so close; 30 million viewers would have seen her, but it was not meant to be.  It was the ultimate let down after “cancelling her life” for six weeks of intense work.  She was hoping for a fair shot. “BUT,” she emphasizes, “They paid me well; gave me some of the best vocal training I would ever experience - I learned HOW to sing with The Voice, and for that I am thankful.”

Wondering why that experience ended the way it did, but determined to live her dream, Karen went back to “the grind.”  The good news was, the grind had a new label.  Karen worked with Dale Morris Management at Sony Red.  They released her first single “Sharin’ the Night Together.”  And she came to the realization that she needed a band.  “The only way to get larger clubs was to have a full band behind me, but I couldn’t afford it.  So how could I do it?”  True to form, she figured it out.  Karen hired a band and got a gig at Tootsies on Broadway.  She and the band played there for a small flat fee and tips.  She paid them, they felt invested in - and the gig?  Well, it was like a free rehearsal space.

“We looked at it as a paid rehearsal every week.  It was OK to mess up, because half the people are drunk and they don’t notice.  And people loved us.  We built a fan base from all over the world.”  She continues, “I have learned what downtown really is.  It is a room filled with eager country music fans. They want so bad to experience the next best thing.”  They want to like bands on Facebook, so their friends see their pictures with country singers in Nashville.  They want new music that no one else has.  They buy CDs.  They request original songs.  “Most bands only play covers on Broad, but we have gotten away with playing twelve original songs a night. They flock to us.  They say: ‘You are the best thing we’ve heard in the three nights we’ve been here.’”
Karen Waltrup
So Karen and her band hit the road with a new vengeance on the weekends, played Tootsies on week nights and in November of 2014 she had 10 songs ready for a new record.  The record would only cost around $30,000 to produce, but her management company had Kenny Chesney.  They did not need to break a new female singer who was more of a gamble than their superstar in flip flops.  So they dropped Karen.

“I got myself a nice bottle of wine, and thought about what to do.  I don’t have the dollars. I don’t have an investor.  I don’t have a booking agent.  No one buys records anymore.  So, I decided to self fund and produce four songs, call it an EP and shoot a video.”  She spoke to Leslie Fram at CMT, who Karen says became her next “cheerleader.”  Leslie advised her she could shoot the video for $2,500 and no more.
“I met with Leslie and asked her which song to shoot for the video.  She chose Trashy [Crashed the Party], because she said - ‘It is different than any of the songs other female artists are saying in music right now.  It is funny, silly.  It relates to people.  Primarily women in the South.  They all have their story.  They get drunk at a wedding, their 21st birthday, girls night out.  Every one has a story like that.’ - She told me that I could produce a really good video for under three grand, there was no reason to spend more.  And, she promised she would spin based on the song, not on the video.”

So, Karen went ahead.  She had Billy Brown as a contact, after he produced her Sharin’ the Night video for Sony Red, so she called him.   She paid Billy to shoot/direct/edit.  She scouted locations, begged, borrowed and convinced.  She hired her best friend “Stylist” (Amy Lewis of Louisiana) to do just that, style and advise. “We used our brains and our hearts to create the video. And I learned so much in the process...”  Karen made it happen, trusting it would all work out.  “I put it on my credit card.  $3000.  I knew God would take care of it.  I believe in sharing the light and the light comes back.”  And it did. She and the band played seven straight nights at Tootsies, had a gig in Panama City Beach FL, played clubs, festivals and any live performance they could.  Karen paid off her debt in one month.  All of it.  “It was a great testament to believing in yourself and taking a risk.  This is America.  It’s what we do here.” The video Trashy Crashed The Party was #2 for three weeks in a row on CMT Purepack.  It went to #3 for two weeks and held its own in the Top 12 for 5 weeks.

What did Karen learn?  “I’m not sure if people, particularly young women, understand what ‘distribution’ means.  Like the wool has been pulled over their eyes.  They don’t  think: ‘Who is going to get this out there?’  I met with several people and they all told me the same thing...‘I’ll get you on iTunes and distribution...’  But I have a marketing degree.  I knew I could do that myself.  So I started to ask: ‘What can you bring to the table [that is different]?’  Could they guarantee me a feature on iTunes?  They’d try to butter it up, but [what they offered] I can get on Tunecore.  I spent every dollar I made on music.  Everything.  My kitchen stuff is old, my mattress, my couch - I don’t have new things.  I want my music out there.”

The point is, her music now earns her enough money to keep doing what she loves.  She can perform at the free gigs, like Smokey Mountain Songwriter Festival, and open for superstars like Jason Aldean (even if she’s not being paid) just to get exposure.  And for the first time in these ten years, she is getting a lot of attention from labels, because she produced her videos.  Those labels that did not care before, and were catering to a male driven audience, are now meeting with her.  “It’s the real deal, like you walk in the front door of A&R and you are playing your songs for the people with the pen in their hand.”

Karen would like to see Nashville change the face of music by getting behind female artists; listeners and producers encouraging radio to play more female music. “Between 2008 to 2011, the male-driven market pushed women performers out on the road - sent us on the highway.  It turned into the male ‘Bro-Country,’ which affected sales, and the focus for females...we lost Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Patty Loveless - I mean they are still here, but people weren’t listening.  They thought it was boring. It was all the movement of ‘the party’, larger than life. The only way to satisfy my passion for music is to to make music.  Sometimes that means playing clubs, building a fan base and [hopefully] getting attention from labels.”
“I am really working two fronts here.  On the right hand I want a record deal, a grammy.  On the left hand I have thousands of people who love me.  I lived it.  I did it. [Already] This front pays the bills, buys groceries.  I run a business, the dollars come in and go out, and I can get my nails done and eat mangos and pistachios, things I don’t need.  The fans help me to get to the next place.  I am shipping out CDs to people around the world.  We played Ireland, coast to coast, city to city - Dublin to Donegal and down Ballycotton.  It was so much fun!  And they love our music. I love the Irish culture.  It’s much like New Orleans, so I get them.”

What is next for Karen?
“Constant meetings with managers and labels.  The gotcha is: ‘date before you marry.’ They test you out.  I am doing the best damn job that I can, even if I don’t get a deal.  I want to Increase our shows, bigger venues with hard ticket sales.  We take 100% of door - we will take a loss in transition but in the end will come out ahead.  Venue owners like because is less risk for them. A lot of male artists do this and find success. I like to push myself into uncomfortable places to do better.  Karen believes in the theory of high risk high return.

Her advice to the inexperienced?  “Women do not sell a lot of records - you gotta play clubs - look at Miranda Lambert. [Women who play clubs] turn out to be the best entertainers. “  Karen speaks to the reality shows pointing out that just because you were on American Idol doesn’t mean you can handle performing in clubs.  “It’s a whole different beast.”  She is right on the mark.  “Lots of women are not willing to do it,” she points out.  “It takes a strong passion in music to do that.  It’s not glamorous.  Women want ‘the deal’ not the reality.  The key is to “Sing every time any one asks you to - because that is your job.  That is what God gave you.  I sing everything, everywhere.  Karaoke, for my family, at a bonfire - any time any one asks - because you never know..."Karen Waltrup_10
Karen finds the process of her art most exhilarating.  Her best musical experience?  Creating her EP - Get Away - with her co-writers, Aubrey Lane, Ed Hill, Steve O’Brien and Wood Newton.  She loves the co-writing process.  Meeting at the Hilton to write Trashy Crashed The Party, recording her EP in the studio, and most of all sharing her songs with her ever growing fan base.  This is what inspires Karen.

The Nashville 7:

The final questions posed to Karen (inspired by James Lipton’s approach to interviewing for Inside The Actor’s Studio.)
*1 In one Word describe Nashville:  “Mamma.”
2 Your favorite food experience in Nashville: “Does it have to be a specific restaurant?…no? OK. Sushi.”
*3 One word that describes your music style: Without pause: “Grit”
4 Who is the one person you want to meet in Nashville: “Miranda Lambert.”
5 If you could ask (him/her) one question what would that question be: “Will you write with me?”
6 What is your favorite Nashville venue: “3rd and Lindsley.”
7 Your favorite lyric from a song you wrote: “I’m wild at heart.  I’m young.  I’m free.  I swear I know what I’m doing.  Have some faith in me.”

It’s not a hard request looking at all she’s accomplished.  Karen Waldrup has faith in herself and has proven time and again that she can do it all.  This artist knows how to throw a party - touring or on lower Broad, no matter the venue - all country music fans will want to crash!

Karen Waldrup will be performing 12/7 @ 6:00PM @  The Women’s Music Business Assoc. Toys for Tots Benefit

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Progressive Rock Review: Telergy-Hypatia

Release Date: 19th June 2015
Label:  Telergymusic

Hypatia is release number 3 for the band, Telergy, the name for the creative vehicle of composer and multi-instrumentalist, Robert McClung. I had not heard of this band prior to The Legend Of Goody Cole arriving on my desk for review in 2013. That release followed on from the debut by Robert, The Exodus, in 2011. All 3 albums are concept releases, with each telling the story of an important historical event. The new release, Hypatia, is based on the life of Hypatia of Alexandria, who was a great mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and teacher who met a tragic death in 415 AD.

Robert recruits musicians to help out in his recordings and he turned his attention to progressive music in 2009 after 2 decades of playing in a variety of genres.

On Hypatia, Robert is responsible for guitar, bass, violin, viola, piano, mandolin, organ, keyboards, flute, balalaika, ukulele, sitar, lap steel guitar, bodhran, percussion and tenor/baritone vocals, along with no less than 38 guest musicians and vocalists, including Durga McBroom-Hudson on vocals (Pink Floyd), Blake Carpenter on vocals (Minstrel’s Ghost) and Oliver Wakeman on keyboards (Yes).

Hypatia is a 17 track album which lasts just over 63 minutes. Nine of the tracks are narrative scene setters which link the main tracks and carry the concept through the album. They tend to be very short and vary in length from just under, to just over, a minute. The longest track on offer is track 4, “Philosopher” with a playing time of 11:44 minutes and the shortest of the main tracks is track 12, “Scapegoat” with a running time of just under 3 minutes. (2:54)
The first main track is track 2, “Astronomer” (7:15) and follows the directional narration of “Scene 1” (0:38). The initial building up of gentle sounds, slowly increasing in intensity, is suddenly blown away by the thundering entry of “the band” at just over a minute. Chunky guitar chords and stunning keyboards/synths run riot and a superb lead guitar weaves a melody over the solid background. Around the 2:30 minute mark, the lead instrument morphs into a stunningly emotive violin with a particularly memorable theme. A little muffled atmospherics carries the track into a very upbeat flute passage which reintroduces a level of chunkiness whilst maintaining an almost Eastern feel. Once again the guitar gets a chance to show off a little as the track starts to drive along and then settle back into the chunky feel of the starting point. This track works very well and bodes well for the album, remembering that it is a concept album and is mainly instrumental in nature.

A second short narrated scene setter, “Scene 2” (0:37) leads the listener into the longest track on offer, but only by seconds, “Philosopher”.(11:44) This time the band is piano based and has a magnificent arrangement of choral voices set against majestic strings. The slow “burn” of the choir fades to usher in some subtle synths which are joined by drums and bass to form a driving track with a terrific feel. The choir splits and leaves the male and female voices at times harmonizing and at others juxtaposing for the lead. The violin sweeps along with an excellent theme as the track approaches the halfway point before giving the piano a chance to lead the way. A change to a slower, almost melancholy, theme backed by some excellent strings lulls the listener into a false sense of security before the band “up the stakes” with a very metal section leading into a frenetic synth section which morphs into an electric guitar theme before returning to the synth. The track ends with a gentle orchestral fade out. 

One of the best tracks on offer is track 14, “Murder” (9:30) which aurally illustrates the brutal ending which befell Hypatia, when a small riot caused by rivals of her ideas, climaxed with Hypatia being attacked and killed by having pieces of her body cut off. The track conjures up the atmosphere of the unfolding brutal killing by constantly building in intensity, together with “shouting from the mob” in the background. The choir adds to the mesmeric soundscape being produced and there is a distinct slant to a metal style in the driving music. The slow section coinciding with the realization of the actions of the mob is stunning, bookended as it is by the metal style of the rest of the track.

Telergy has successfully produced another concept album which works very well, considering that the “storyline” for the most part is only being suggested by the instrumental nature of the music and the details of the story are being formulated inside the head of the listener. The music echoes the developing concept so well and shows that instrumental music that is well thought out, properly produced and played with passion will indeed “speak” to the listener.

Hypatia is not an “immediate” album and indeed I had listened several times before it suddenly all just worked and I found the album eye-opening (or should that be ear-opening?). My advice would be to give the album a chance, it does require multiple listens, but hopefully you will then appreciate just over an hour of excellent instrumental progressive music and the concept held within.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Astronomer, Philosopher, Murder

Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
The Burning of the Library of Alexandria
Scene 6
Scene 7
Scene 8
Scene 9

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk
October 12, 2015
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk


Indie Rock Superstars Salute The Thin White Duke With All New Interpretations Of David Bowie’s Best!

Features performances by Kittie, Dum Dum Girls, Electric Six, Rogue Wave, Heartless Bastards, The Muffs and more!

Los Angeles, CA - David Bowie’s career has been defined by his unique ability to make artistically complex and challenging music sound like mainstream pop…ok, maybe pop music from an entirely different planet, but pop music all the same. As a result, the definition of rock music has expanded; Bowie never went mainstream, the mainstream always came to him. For these reasons and more, he is one of the most deeply revered and profoundly influential artists in modern rock. And nowhere can Bowie’s influence be felt more than in the world of indie rock, where bands and artists have taken Bowie’s fiercely independent streak, commitment to artistic integrity, and a diverse array of musical styles into the 21st century and beyond. Now, a truly impressive gathering of indie and modern rockers have gathered to pay tribute to the man with A Salute To The Thin White Duke - The Songs Of David Bowie to be released on both CD & vinyl as well as mp3s on October 2 courtesy of Cleopatra Records.

Among the participants is the all-girl alt metal Canadian quartet Kittie who expressed a sentiment shared by many of the artists here, “We are so excited to be able to contribute to this amazing tribute album. ‘Space Oddity’ is arguably one of David Bowie's most well known songs so we put all of our efforts into doing all of its intricacies justice, while still retaining our signature, heavy sound.’ Meanwhile, Detroit’s own Electric Six made no bones about their preferred Bowie era, saying “We had to do ‘80s Bowie because frankly, we couldn't trust the earlier Bowie. And the ‘90s Bowie is, well…So ‘80s Bowie was the one for us, and ‘Blue Jean’ was just sitting there waiting for us to club the shit out of it, and, man, did we club it!” Similarly, Zach from Rogue Wave had this to say of “Modern Love,” the song that opens the album, “My favorite Bowie song from his tailored suit era. All that uptempo beat and those chugging horns couldn't hide the sadness of what it means to come down to earth.”

Jared Artaud from The Vacant Lots succinctly expressed the challenges of approaching Bowie’s music, “It’s hard to touch Bowie. He’s an architect. What he’s done, you can’t make it better, so we wanted to reconceptualize it & approach the song from another point of view.” And The Tulips offer this entirely accurate description, “Covering a Bowie tune was like jumping into a cab and realizing there's a tiger sitting shotgun, and no one says a word.” A wild ride indeed! And fans of Bowie will find this collection of covers equally as thrilling!

Track List
1. Modern Love - Rogue Wave
2. John, I’m Only Dancing - Jesca Hoop
3. Letter To Hermione - Dum Dum Girls
4. Heroes - The Tulips
5. Ashes To Ashes - Icky Blossoms
6. Starman - The Deer Tracks
7. Rebel Rebel - The KVB
8. Cat People (Putting Out Fire) - Magic Wands
9. Blue Jean - Electric Six
10. Jean Genie - Heartless Bastards
11. Suffragette City - Ume
12. Fame - The Vacant Lots
13. Space Oddity - Kittie
14. Moonage Daydream - Boy Hits Car
15. Absolute Beginners - Coves
16. Changes - The Muffs

Buy the CD or Vinyl:
Buy the digital album:

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158

11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025


Rock-Pop Review: Gordon Weiss-It’s About Time

Release Date: June 8, 2015
Label: Gornpop

Gordon Weiss has a new album out titled It’s About Time. I find that title very appropriate considering it has been 7 years since he released his last recording. However I think there can be more than one more meaning in that song. Once again musical/studio wizard Jeff Canatta provides his talent in the production phase of the album as well as contributing musically.

Weiss is the kind of artist that wears his influences on his sleeve and those influences are ingrained in his soul, you can hear it in his music. He plays guitar, piano, bass, keyboards, balalaika and percussion throughout the album. His talent is quite apparent and his voice is very distinctive. 

The first two tracks come bursting out of the gate with energy and a decisive direction. “The Ugly Inside” is an excellent way to kick off the album showcasing the all-around talent of Weiss. Its highly energetic approach and fast pace get in you in the right frame of mind and essentially set you up for what is to come. “I’m Your Fan” (featured on Rate The Tracks) is a radio ready pop-rock tune with all the essential elements. With lyrics and music to match it makes for the perfect ear candy.

“Sticky Thoughts” is drama and truth set to the perfect musical setting. The piano, bass and drums are the screen the actors portray their characters upon. It’s not hard to see this kind of thing in your mind’s eye. Only good music is able to produce the proper images that the words suggest and I find the music of Mr. Weiss to be an appropriate answer to that question. In other words, he gets the job done very well. 

My ears and senses always appreciate a multi-talented artist like Gordon Weiss. “About Time” is another great tune that dives into the conceptual piece of this recording. I liked the way the song builds up slowly then launches into a faster paced guitar with an organ, bass and drums to drive it to the next level. Then when it reaches a climax it steps back and slows down for further introspection then forces you to listen closer to the words. It is the perfectly crafted pop-rock track and it pays tribute to the fab four nicely.

There are complex tracks such as “Thanks I Get” and “Spinning ‘Round” that offer several layers of instrumentation and apexes of sound that are remarkably entertaining and progressive. It shows a musician/songwriter in his element bringing all of the talents he has to the forefront to create virtual musical magic. If you can recall The Beatles album Rubber Soul and how they were changing and getting more complicated with their presentations, then perhaps when you hear those two tracks and find parallels.

What I truly love about covering artists like Weiss is I never forget. They leave me with a great impression and always touch base to let me know there is some new music to enjoy.

It’s About Time never disappoints, it is consistently solid throughout, the words and music tell a story and it makes you want to hear it all over again. It is funny how he says in the “Great Imitator” “If I wrote Hey Jude, would they say it's too Beatley?” Well it works for me and I like the way he slides that in there to remind you from whence he came. This is great pop-rock album that deserves more than one spin.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: The Ugly Inside, I’m Your Fan, About Time

01. The Ugly Inside
02. I'm Your Fan
03. Saccharin, Aspartame, Splenda, You, & Me   
04. Sticky Thoughts   
05. About Time
06. The Great Imitator
07. Thanks I Get
08. Spinning 'round
09. My Love Still Grows

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

June 23, 2015

Review Provided By Write A Music

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