Video Playback Error

The Adobe Flash Player is required to watch videos on this page

Author: "Contributing Writer"

home buzz rock pop urban country

Omnivore’s Delight 8: Astronauts of Antiquity

OSBlog02_Omnivore_MASTER

India and B. Rhyan of Astronauts of Antiquity are kind of like Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan from When Harry Met Sally—emphasis on kind of. If Meg Ryan was a seductive lounge songstress and Billy Crystal a virtuosic guitarist, the analogy would be much more accurate. As the pillars of AoA, the pair initially crossed paths at an airport while India was Continue reading ‘Omnivore’s Delight 8: Astronauts of Antiquity’

Backtracking Forward: Spotlight On Phil Ochs

OSBlog02_BktrkFWD_PhilOchs

Names like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and a young Bob Dylan are synonymous with the origins of folk music. In particular, Dylan and Baez are heralded as folk icons of the 1960s and will forever go down in the books as musical heroes and purveyors of the sound. However, there existed another man whose unabashedly direct songs became the under-appreciated anthems for the anti-war movement during the decade. Phil Ochs was his name, and he fought battles of racial inequality, war, the draft and corruption with only a guitar and pen in hand.

Continue Reading about Phil Ochs

J. Tillman Live Performance Review

OSBlog02_ConcertReview_JTillman_01Sunday evenings have always held a special place in my heart— a time to relax, a time to reflect, a time to look forward. When Sunday evenings are spent enjoying live music in the company of strangers, the weekly occurrence gains an entirely new level of satisfaction. I was fortunate enough to spend this most recent Sunday night enjoying the authentic folk sounds of J. Tillman. Most widely known as the drummer for folk rock quintet Fleet Foxes, J.Tillman has a surprisingly extensive solo catalog under his belt, having released 7 albums in the past 5 years. Continue reading ‘J. Tillman Live Performance Review’

50 States in 50 Weeks… Week 23: Kansas

OSBlog02_50States_KS

Home Of: Melissa Etheridge, Kansas, Martina McBride, Pat Metheny, Chet Nichols, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Kenton.

Fun Facts: State Flower: Sunflower, State Tree: Cottonwood, State Song: “Home on The Range.”

The Venues:

Ex-Idol Kellie Pickler at Stampede '07

Ex-Idol Kellie Pickler at Stampede '07

Kansas’ Country Stampede festival is arguably one of the nation’s biggest musical gatherings dedicated solely to country music. Located just north of Manhattan, KS (appropriately nicknamed the little apple), Country Stampede is one of the few country music festivals to offer camping spots to their customers, and because the festival is located Continue reading ’50 States in 50 Weeks… Week 23: Kansas’

Under Covers 8: Classic Country Covers

OSBlog02_UnderCovers_MASTERAs is the nature of the genre, country music tend to present us with universal themes that live much longer than their creators. Two such examples are “Ring of Fire” popularized by Johnny Cash (originally written by June Carter) and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” performed by Hank Williams. Cash and Williams have much more in common than one might originally think — Continue reading ‘Under Covers 8: Classic Country Covers’

Backtracking Forward: Wanted On Wax III

OSBlog02_BktrkFWD_WantedOnWaxIIIIn my ideal world, everyone would have access to a vinyl press in their own backyard. Cutting discs would be as easy as ripping a CD. Until that happens, I will be digging in the OurStage archives each month to bestow  artists upon you whose music I would love to hear on vinyl. This month, the unique sounds of Sidecar Agogo and the laid back rhythms of the Chris DaSilva Band have caught my ear.

Continue Reading Wanted on Wax Here

50 States In 50 Weeks… Connecticut

Home of: Dave Brubeck, John Mayer, Hate Breed, Charles Ives, Meat Loaf, Liz Phair, Mark McGrath, Michael Bolton, Moby, Rivers Cuomo

Fun Facts: State Insect: Praying Mantis, State Song: Yankee Doodle, Nickname: Nutmeg State

The Venues:

n2397644150_5134The state of Connecticut may be malnourished when it comes to quantity of music festivals, but the quality of the few they do have make up for the otherwise lack there of. One of such festivals is Continue reading ’50 States In 50 Weeks… Connecticut’

OMNIVORE’S DELIGHT 7: Q&A WITH THE HAUNTED WINDCHIMES

OSBlog02_Omnivore_MASTERSure as the overflowing soul in their nomadic tunes, The Haunted Windchimes are giving folk music yet another modern revitalization. These Colorado natives (and others like them) are steadily introducing young listeners all over the country to the nostalgia of folk music with a fresh twist, all while maintaining the same traditional roots themes and lyrics that have touched audiences for decades. Attribute it to the wide-open spaces and intimate spirit of the road, or to the band’s contagious easygoing life style. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that Windchimes’ reinvigorated sound is gaining momentum from coast to coast. Guitarist / vocalist Inaiah Lujan was kind enough to answer a few questions about The Haunted Windchimes’ music, their philosophies on the West, true freedom and good vibrations. Check out what he has to say below!

IEWQKBAWAZHD-large

OS: How did the Haunted Windchimes come to be, and where did you come up with the idea for that fantastic name?

HW: I was dealing with some severe insomnia when my Desirae Garcia (ukulele, vocals) came into my life in 2006. We had a chance meeting via MySpace and spoke on the phone before we ever met. We’d have these epic conversations and spoke as if we were old friends. Somewhere along the lines we got on the topic of windchimes, and how I thought mine were haunted because they would chime without a hint of wind. She too had a tale of windchimes, and we toyed with the idea of starting a band called The Haunted Windchimes! I don’t think either of us could have anticipated or predicted how far it would go. We were planting seeds, and in the harvest of that year, these seeds and dreams begin to grow and become our reality.

OS: You guys seem to find a new musician to draw influences from (Leadbelly, Hank Williams Sr., Dylan, Patsy Cline) everywhere you travel, in turn creating a very unique sound. Who were you listening to when you first started playing music as kids?

HW: We all come from pretty diverse musical backgrounds, my sister Chela (banjo, vocals) and I grew up with a music lover for a Mom and often fell asleep to the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles and her favorite Neil Young. She would take us for long drives and listen to her favorite songs, and we’d all sing along. The first band I ever truly loved was Queen! I started off on the piano, listening to composers like Chopin and Beethoven. Freddy Mercury and Queen taught me that music could be fun and catchy too. Desirae grew up with a music lover for a father who leaned more towards soulful and jazzier music. She joined a southern-style choir when she was a young girl in Savannah, Georgia. Because her mom was in the military, they moved around quite a bit, giving Desirae in even broader scope on the world and the world of music all around her.

Haunted Windchimes in Concert

Haunted Windchimes in Concert

OS: From Paper Bird to Rojos Calientes, there seems to have been a resurgence of folk and Americana with a modern twist on the Colorado music scene in recent years. Do you attribute this pattern at all to the lifestyles and atmosphere particular to the West? If so, what do you think it is about the West that inspires these sounds more so than other parts of the country?

HW: In the West you have all the inspiration in the world to write songs while in a traditional folk setting. From the beautiful rocky mountains to the various valleys and rivers, and there always seems to be a train whistle blowing somewhere off in the distance. Pueblo, Colorado, where we are from, particularly has an old timey feel. There is a lot of history in this town, and that seems to resonate on every street corner.

OS: As a native Coloradoan myself, I know there is limited civilization East, South, and West of Pueblo for many miles. Has this handicapped your ability to spread your music on a larger scale? Or have you found a niche spreading your music by playing in the tiny cafes and coffee houses scattered throughout rural America?

HW: We’ve managed to carve out quite a niche for ourselves here in Colorado. The music scene is always in flux, always changing and growing. With the help of some great friends in the Colorado Springs area and dedicated fans, we have had great success! We play the majority of our live shows (while in our home state) in Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. We continue to work on branching out to more places such as Grand Junction, Aspen, Denver, Boulder and others.

OS: Whether battling natural disasters, fast food, or insufficient funds, you guys have always persevered to move onto the next town during your marathon summer tours, and in some senses lived the concept of true freedom, an idea at the center of your idea of America. How have these journeys in pursuit of complete freedom affected your songwriting?

MWCUHMGWLGNJ-largeHW: We’ve tried many times to describe this particular sense of freedom while traveling. It kind of boils down to what we have dubbed “The Spirit of the Road.” This spirit, if you can turn your mind on to it, has infinite possibilities, or so it seems. It is nurturing and giving if you simply acknowledge it and above all are thankful for its blessings. There have been many times when we’ve been flat broke trying to make it to the next town, and something will always open up, whether it be a generous donation by a stranger while busking, or a show offer that ends up paying well or leads to a chance meeting, this spirit seems to take care of us and light the way. Of course this has had a huge role on our songwriting, but more so made us appreciate the beauty of creation, and believers of the saying, “life is what you make it.”

OS: At times you’ve relied on hitchhiking as your primary mode of transportation and on busking to pay well enough to feed you. It seems as though you have placed a heavy karmic belief and enormous trust in your fellow human. Does this intimacy translate into the live performance setting?

HW: I think it has less to do with karma, and more to do with vibrations. Music is a favorable form of vibration, but we all carry a vibration as people, every city and town too. If we are aware of our own vibration we learn to work in harmony with the world around us, and thus attract like minds and energies that are complementary vibrations. You get what you give out there on the road, but most of the time you are content with giving, and sharing music, because it is a part of you, or an extension of your higher self that wishes to reconnect with its source. The same goes for our live performances! We wish to make people feel a part of something, and that we are all in it together. Sing-a-longs are a staple at a Windchimes shows

OS: Most of your songs sound at home in the folk genre, except for the richly soothing “Summer Solstice”, which is more of a slow delta 1-4-1-5-4-1 blues piece. What was the inspiration behind this song?

Haunted WindchimesHW: Everything surrounding the creation of this song is nothing short of amazing. Shortly after Desirae and I formed the Haunted Windchimes in 2006, we embarked on our first tour in the summer of 07. Before playing music with me Desirae had never been in a band or on the road without her parents. I felt like there was always this gigantic voice inside of Desirae waiting and wanting to come out. One night while in Nashville, Tennessee, we lucked out and got an impromptu gig at a place called Café Coco, we talked the owner into letting us set up on the patio and play for tips. While we were singing songs, I was coaxing Desirae to sing louder because the crowd was so loud. It didn’t quite happen during that particular performance. Later that night something inside of her seemed to turn on, as if she were being born, and seeing the world for the first time. We made our way to a log cabin where some nice folks were letting us stay in Hendersonville, and in this moment of clarity she wrote that entire song on the car ride home… It was during the summer solstice, and we later called her mom in Hawaii to sing it to her over the phone.

OS: With song titles like “Leaving Here” and “Waiting on a Train,” and lyrics like “We’re on the run and we know why,” the first time listener would assume you’re chomping at the bit get hit the road in one direction or another. Is this always the case? Or is there ever a tinge of wanting to stay put for a while?

HW: Our songs of travel have many meanings, the most obvious one is the need to escape, maybe get out of a bad situation or just a change of pace with new faces. The other much deeper meaning is the internal quest we are on (individually and as a group) constantly moving towards and seeking truth and love.

OS: Something tells me you’re not the type to keep strict plans and deadlines, but do you have any general idea of what comes next for the Haunted Windchimes?

HW: We have big plans for 2010! Right now we are scheduled to hit the studio in January to record songs for our new album Honey Moonshine, and a summer tour to promote it! I feel like we have all matured a lot as a band and as musicians since our last album and have become better friends. Our line up now consists of 5 members: Mike Clark – Harmonica / Mandolin / Guitar, Sean Fanning – Stand-Up Bass, Chela Lujan – Banjo/Vocals, Desirae Garcia – Ukulele/Vocals and Myself – Guitar/Vocals, and with the new additions it has inspired better arrangements and better songs. We’re just getting started!

BACKTRACKING FORWARD: TRENDS IN COLLECTING

OSBlog02_BktrkFWD_TrendsCollectingAmerican culture owes much to the disc jockey profession. Whether on the radio or behind turntables at a club, the DJ has always been on the forefront of setting musical trends by debuting unknown artists and upcoming genres. As a result, styles of music gain immense popularity until a new trend is set. It’s a cyclic pattern and DJs always seem to play a strong role in it, whether the music is contemporary or forty-five-years-old! The genres of northern soul and Latin boogaloo are two styles of music that were immensely popular in particular regions back in the 1960s and now have renewed exposure in the record digging community. The fact that the music is incredibly danceable has helped its revival but looking deeper, the influence of the disc jockey is an integral component of their resurgence.

NORTHERN SOUL

One of the Rarest in Existence

One of the Rarest in Existence

Northern Soul is one of the most notable trends in today’s vinyl market yet it actually took root in the music subculture of England. There was a crucial point in the split of the mod culture in the mid-to-late 1960s when new trends of music took hold. Mods were always interested in American soul and R&B records in addition to the emerging British rock scene of the early 1960s. As that rock scene turned more psychedelic, the influx of Jamaicans into the UK helped establish the ska, rocksteady and skinhead scenes while a faction of the mod culture continued to exclusively embrace and explore the massive American soul scene ( independent and unknown soul artists from the USA that never made it big in particular). Artists who recorded one song in the style of Detroit Soul and then disappeared were crucial to the emerging DJ who wanted to be the first to debut a northern soul recording in a club. Popular soul artists, like Edwin Starr and Tammi Terrell, were embraced as well but the more obscure an artist meant greater notoriety for a DJ. This trend continued to go in and out of popularity throughout the 1970s British scene but within the past few years has reemerged with avengence for record collectors in both the US and the UK.

Northern Soul PatchSo what exactly is northern soul? Some say it’s a style of soul music being played with a solid, danceable beat regardless of artist popularity while others get more specific, claiming its origin from the location of certain clubs, shops or scenes in Manchester, England. While the music on many of the recordings is fantastic, it surely does not garner the insanely high price tags that some of these 45rpm singles receive. See for yourself by perusing the database at Collectors Frenzy of some of the top northern soul pieces that have fetched ludicrous prices regardless of condition at times.

LATIN BOOGALOO

This is a foundational boogaloo LP everyone should own

This is a foundational boogaloo LP everyone should own

Within the vinyl culture, collecting Latin boogaloo seemed inevitable. The style of music developed in the 1960s Puerto Rican New York neighborhoods where young musicians helped bridge more traditional Latin rhythms with American soul and R&B recordings. The pairing resulted in an intoxicating blend of danceable rhythm that contained the perfect blend of Latin percussion and brass with a solid backbeat. Many veteran players of the Latin scene from the 1950s scoffed at this new fusion, but the results produced a sound that became widely accepted by a younger audience of Spanish, African-American and Caucasian listeners. Artists like Joe Cuba, Johnny Zamot, Pete Rodriguez and Louie Ramierez were responsible for some of the more stand out recordings, and the labels Fania, Cotique, Alegre and Tico were recognizable brands that churned out truckloads of incredible records. By the 1970s though, salsa music took a foothold in the burgeoning Latin market and boogaloo slipped out of popularity.

Monguito Sanatamaria LP Hey Sister

Monguito Sanatamaria LP

Fast forward to the turn of this century.  The demand for original boogaloo recordings has skyrocketed due in part to trendsetting DJs throwing exclusive boogaloo dance nights. Boogaloo is the type of music that forces anybody with the slightest hint of rhythm to feel the beat flowing through their veins. It’s a virus that spreads like wildfire over a dance floor as soon as the needle is dropped. Luckily, the latin boogaloo trend is a tad easier on the wallet for new collectors to discover amazing artists but, of course, there are obscure recordings that keep the market desirable for dealers and lucrative for emerging DJs trying to play the hottest, most unknown holy grails.

STILL GETTING YOUR FEET WET IN THE VINYL POOL?

Due to vinyl’s resurgence in the music buying public, hordes of new enthusiasts starting record collections for the first time are being welcomed into the circle. Before jumping into the heavy hitters like the northern soul genre or original Lexington Blue Notes, the new buyer needs foundational albums to take root. Talking Heads 77, Thelonious Monk Criss-Cross, The Doors Waiting For The Sun, The Beatles White Album, Marvin Gaye What’s Goin On and all of those hundreds, if not thousands, of timeless discs are in demand like never before. As  new collectors join the club, it will be interesting to see what vinyl-buying trends arise from all these fresh perspectives.

Have an insatiable appetite to dig deeper? Mid-to-late 1970s obscure disco, Cumbia, Afro-beat and private homemade pressings of all genres are a few other high-priced trends cooking on the burner.  But if you happen to find that holy grail collection of original 1960s and 1970s Nigerian Afro-Beat recordings, please give me a call.

Keep Digging!
-Gregorious-

50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS… WEEK 21: FLORIDA

Home of: The Backstreet Boys, The Allman Brothers, Matchbox 20, Jimmy Buffet, Bo Diddley, Tom Petty, Elvis Presley, Gram Parsons

Fun Facts: State Flower: Orange Blossom, State Bird: MockingBird,  State Song: “Suwannee River”

The Venues:

logo1 Florida has given birth to many a jam band over the years, hence the reason why so many Jam Band-based festivals have flourished. The most pure of these events is the Wanee Music Festival in Live Oak, FL. Planted on the banks of the Suwannee River halfway between the Eastern coast city of Jacksonville and Western coast city of Tallahassee, this festival allows customers to take full advantage of the natural Floridian paradise, and even instills secret midnight jam sessions to enhance the weekend’s spontaneity. Did I mention that the festival has been hosted and headlined by local treasure The Allman Brothers since 2005?

The St. Petersburg / Tampa region of the state is one of the few cultural hot spots falling between southern Miami and northern Jacksonville, and is thus loaded with venues. The Crowbar is decked out with a state of the art sound system, and stunning interior design. Best of all, it’s Chameleon-esque, hosting bands from famous ska act Big D and the Kids Table to up-and-coming DJ Pretty Lights. The interior atmosphere and staff seems capable of catering to all genres, from garage rock to rave, in turn creating a happy musical environment hybrid of sorts.

The Music:

UTJYBUGXKMEA-largeFlorida is the Southern most state in the contiguous USA. That being said, it should be expected to host some pretty legitimate dirty southern blues rock. Quartet John Q. combines nasty slide guitar riffs and effected solos with first hand lyrics everyone can relate to. Check out their bluesy tale of a vengeful backwoods arsonist, “BrushFire.”

USVAQAIWRDJV-520x520Placing in the top of her class, speaking three languages fluently, and holding a masters degree in architecture are a few reasons why Maja Sar is a real life Wonder Woman. Her angelic voice is just icing on the cake. Equipped with a background in Opera, Bosnia-born Maja translated her talents into the Pop/ R&B realm ( it won’t be long before you hear her on the radio). Take a listen to the beautifully minimal “A Cappella” and you’ll understand what I mean.

NLQLJXTGDCBT-520x520As a southern paradise, Florida is swamped with tropical influences. Safe to say, Latin mega-star Leon Cheva is adequately representing a multitude of those influences. Originally from Puerto Rico, Leon and his band Anonimo Music Group play every Latin style under the sun including, but not limited to, salsa, rhumba and tropical. Having won the Latin Channel 4 times, Cheva’s smooth grooves will have your hips swinging within minutes. Check out their rich, big band effort “Un Nuevo Comienzo.”

Check out these acts and other great Floridian artists in the playlist below! Who are your favorite OurStage Floridians? Where do you like to see live music in Florida? Let us know in the comments!

 


Exclusive Interviews
Featured Artists
OurStage Updates
News
Features
Reviews and Playlists
Editors Pick

 

 




 

iAnEAqqqq