Whether the audience is rapt and attentive or well oiled and rowdy, singer-songwriter Kate Brown charms them with self-deprecating monologues, sheer intensity and her audacious authenticity.
A small town girl from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, she grew up with supportive parents that she characterizes as “Old hippies in an upstanding Midwest Catholic way — really accepting and free.” Her mother played in a folk duo. Brown discovered her calling after she uncovered her mother’s dusty 12-string guitar and a six-string that belonged to her great-grandmother. Eventually dropping out of college, she performed in coffeehouses, peddled homemade CD’s and slept in truck stops as she traversed the country.
It was at a 10-week intensive course at The School at Steppenwolf in Chicago that she met fellow actor and drummer Tony Sancho, the musical partner who forms a fundamental bond in her endeavors. Their onstage connection is intuitive, Brown observes.
Hailing from Washington DC, Alicia Rae quickly found her knack for songwriting the moment she picked up her first guitar. Then came the crisp vocals and catchy, relatable lyrics. The singer-songwriter’s music consists of captivating pop songs with playful melodies and honest lyrics.
Rae worked with Chris Rafetto on her 2015 EP Sweet Melody. Drawing inspiration from her own experiences in love and heartbreak, Rae conveys heartfelt emotion through musical storytelling in each of her songs. She has played at festivals across the mid-Atlantic region and performed at famed Washington, DC music venues like Jammin’ Java and U Street Music Hall. She has shared the stage with award winning artists such as Mikaela Davis, Lewis Watson, Kawehi and Steve Moakler.
From a young age, musical theatre gave Sarah Petrella a great opportunity to gain experience performing and honing her writing abilities. At 15, Petrella left for Nashville to write and record with several prominent musicians including the famed songwriter, Don Goodman. Petrella continued onto a successful career in musical theatre, but was still drawn back to songwriting, her true love and passion.
In Petrella’s music one can hear elements of folk, rock, blues, and country, with her main influences ranging from Patty Griffin to Grace Potter and Bonnie Raitt. KCRW describes Petrella’s vocal stylings ranging “from light fun, to Broadway, to alt-folk rock.” She covered Pearl Jam’s “Daughter” and KCRW called her rendition “strong, sweet and I think better than the original, which is a classic.”
Her latest single, “Mister Mystery,” showcases her sultry vocals and dramatic tendencies as she evokes intense passion in this bewitching tale. The dark melodies and grooving rhythms delve into a steamy story of romance. View the official music video for “Mister Mystery” via YouTube.
Petrella hopes that her music, derived from her life experiences and relationships, will connect with people on a deep and personal level. Have a listen to more of Sarah Petrella on SoundCloud.
After years of singing for film and television, background singing for numerous artists, performing at Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and the Special Olympic Opening Ceremonies, singer and composer Loren Smith is stepping out on his own.
Backed by the producing team of Josh Stevens of LMFAO fame and K-Kov from Israel’s The Voice comes “Beautiful Smile”, an uptempo feel good track combining soul and pop music written by Smith. He has performed hundreds of concerts throughout United States, Canada and overseas, bringing his music to thousands of people worldwide. He has been lovingly referred to as The Luther Vandross of the next generation. Last week, in honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, Smith offered his fans a live version of his new single “Beautiful Smile” for Free download on Soundcloud.
You may view the video for “Beautiful Smile” via YouTube.
“My goal is to always perform with Integrity, Excellence, Passion and Skill, and to teach everyone, as I’m learning, to love themselves and each other better.” ~ Loren Smith
Valley Shine was distilled from a love of whiskey, cats and bluegrass music. In early 2014, Jenna Blake was in search of a writing partner with an appreciation for folk music who shared her passion for songwriting. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Blake was influenced by traditional bluegrass music and roots rock like CCR, CSNY and Joni Mitchell. Blake discovered Sam Sobelman and the two met up to see if there was any musical chemistry. After a couple of writing sessions influenced by whisky, laughs and some banjo pluckin’, they quickly discovered their songwriting styles were a perfect match.
Commuting between Orange County and Los Angeles, Blake and Sobelman began to develop their unique folk-pop sound. They wanted to be more than an acoustic duo, so they sought other members to complete the band’s sound and enhance their artistic energy. The pair enlisted Troy Lawton (drums), Danny Severance (violinist), Myke Wilken (guitar/cello), and Stewart James (bass). Valley Shine’s debut EP is titled LOCA. You may view the Mikme live version of the track “Sugar Dream” via YouTube.
Only on Tuesdays is a pop-folk band compared to artists such as Ingrid Michaelson and First Aid Kit. Only on Tuesdays successfully raised over $10,000 via the crowd-funding site Kickstarter and through various sponsors, allowing them to record their debut EP, the Break Free EP. The EP was recorded in the home studio of Grammy nominated producer Bruce Witkin (known for his vocal production work in the Johnny Depp film Sweeny Todd) in Los Angeles.
Only on Tuesdays was founded by singer-songwriter Autumn Skibinski in 2009. As a solo artist based out of a small town called Eagle River in Wisconsin, Skibinski toured and connected with fans and musicians alike across the midwest and the south. In late 2011, she relocated to Los Angeles where she joined forces with several talented musicians and co-writers to help meld her distinct style with an upbeat pop-rock sound. In addition to Skibinski, Only on Tuesdays currently consists of Martin Valencia from Arizona, Tracy and Kevin Lambertucci of Venezuela, and Gabby Casanova of Mexico. Only on Tuesdays has performed at renowned Los Angeles venues such as The Roxy, The Viper Room, Molly Malone’s, and House of Blues. They are also planning a west coast tour for late spring 2015 to support the release of the EP. The band has spent the last three years writing, performing, fine-tuning and preparing for this release. Each of the songs on this EP were carefully and thoughtfully written from personal experiences. You may view the official video for “Break Free” via YouTube.
Emerging out of the Los Angeles music scene, Water District embodies the poise of city life and the allure of the Pacific Coast lifestyle. Water District was formed in 2012, and since then has captured listeners with an edgy brand of indie rock with topics ranging from love, the irony of solitude in California and The Legend of Zelda. Water District is comprised of Tice Griffin (vocals, guitar, piano), Zack Mueller (guitar, vocals, keyboard), Hunter Gurney (bass), and Ajay Awashti (drums). Together, the band offers a unique style influenced by bands such as Death Cab For Cutie, The Strokes, Kings of Leon, Silversun Pickups, and The National.
After releasing two albums independently online This Was Worth the Drive (2012) and Dear California EP (2013), Water District set out on a self-funded national tour in 2013 and hit major hot spots such as Austin, Nashville, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco.
In 2014, the band signed with the independent record company, Normandie Records. In December 2014, the band released Water District EP. In the band’s eyes, it is their best record to date and one that truly represents who they are as musicians.
“Dear California” by Water District
Image courtesy of Blaine Prow via LaFamos PR & Branding; mp3 courtesy of Amanda Blide of LaFamos PR & Branding
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’s 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.
Los Angeles, California, eclectic-pop artist Jef Joslin just released his catchy single, “Do What You Wanna Do.” The melodious and inspirational track is a toe-tapping call for listeners to follow their dreams and be the best possible version of themselves.
With a deep love for helping others, Joslin has always aimed his artistic career with a humanitarian angle. Co-founding the charity organization, LoveTrade, formed to aid the less fortunate, Joslin is a sincerely altruistic artist. Born to a family of entertainers and performers, Joslin has been singing his entire life. He started playing piano at age four and added guitar at age ten. In addition, the multi-instrumentalist also plays bass and drums. Since studying audio engineering and music production at Middle Tennessee State University, Joslin has been pursuing his musical endeavors, including running his own independent label IAMWe Records.
Indie-pop, Southern California-based quintet, Ghost Lit Kingdom, was born out of an acoustic side project that developed into an emotional catharsis filled with cascading dynamics, powerful vocal and lyrical substance, stunning musicianship and innovative songwriting.
The music of Ghost Lit Kingdom features a textual blend of musical, dynamic and vocal contrast. Dual vocals, as unique together as they are apart, are lain upon a canvas of flowing sound; moving through sections of quiet substance to passages of powerful vigor. The band draws from an eclectic set of influences including folk, pop, alternative, hip hop, and jazz to create their unique and cultivated sound. There is also an energy in the music that is reborn on stage time and again, making their live show a captivating and moving experience.
Watch the video for “You Don’t Know Me” via Youtube.