“Captive” by Shannon Nicole

Oregon-based songbird, Shannen Nicole, has the innate ability to pen and deliver authentic, emotionally raw songs, maturely delivered and unmistakably soaked in the Beatles-esque vibes from her parents’ record collection.

Nicole’s debut album, Captive, shows her writing about things she or her friends experienced in high school, always captivated by those around her. The album was tracked at Flora Recording in Portland Oregon, a studio that has recently held the likes of The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket and Beth Orton.

“Captive” by Shannen Nicole

Shannen Nicole

Image and mp3 courtesy of Jennifer Thorington & Samuel Markus of Working Brilliantly

“Take Your Time” by Ben Mauro

Singer, guitarist and songwriter, Ben Mauro, just finished a major European tour with pop-funk icon Lionel Richie. It was a two month tour of sold out arenas across Europe. Mauro’s extraordinary musical skills and dynamic stage presence has been the reason that he has remained a core member of Lionel Richie‚Äôs band for over fifteen years.

On December 6, 2014 Mauro released his debut, self-titled solo album. The album was recorded with an all-star cast of musicians including Oscar Seaton (from Lionel Richie) and George Benson on drums, Monet Owens (from Boz Scaggs) and Lenny Kravitz on background vocals, Ramon Yslas (from Stevie Nicks) and Carlos Santana on percussion, and Grammy award-winner producer/mixer Ted Greenberg. Mauro is already getting a reputation as an exciting solo performer. His album has an upbeat California vibe with influences from Jack Johnson, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen.

On every trip to Syracuse, Mauro visits students at his old high school (West Genesee High School) and college (Onondaga Community College) where he studied classical guitar. He gives them advice on how to have longevity in the music business and teaches them the basics of music theory, while also learning about playing music instruments like drums, you can click here for more info about this. In 2014 he started the Ben Mauro Endowment for Music Education at West Genesee. He wants every kid to have every advantage to be able to play if that is his or her passion. Mauro grew up playing the clubs of Syracuse then eventually moved to NYC where he landed the gig with Lionel Richie. He now lives in Los Angeles, California.

“Take Your Time” by Ben Mauro

Ben Mauro

Image and mp3 courtesy of Nicole Acosta of LaFamos PR & Branding