Monday, July 27, 2009

Eric Hutchinson

Some music just has a happy sound to it. Music that puts you in a better mood or makes you feel like you are somewhere else all together, perhaps on a beach or snuggled up in front of fire. Eric Hutchinson’s music makes me feel like I should be driving in an old convertible down the Pacific Coast Highway along Malibu’s Zuma beach with my best friends. Wind in our hair and not a care in the world. While that picture has never been a reality this music takes me there.

Eric Hutchinson is a 28 year singer/song writer who livens up his music with his guitar and piano skills making a perfect combination of rock, pop, folk and soul. After some bad luck on Maverick Records when the label shut down Hutchinson decided to self-release his album, Sounds Like This. His luck turned around when the album made it to the Top 10 on the iTunes list after his high school friend emailed Hutchinson’s page to blogger Perez Hilton who then recommended it to all his readers. Aren’t friends the best? After his success on iTunes Warner Bros. Records picked up the album and rereleased it May of 2008.

The album’s single “Rock & Roll” is a favorite of mine as well as “Ok, It’s Alright With Me” which you’ll have to check out for yourself - I can’t make it that easy for you all ;) Hutchinson has already started writing songs for a new album and I can not wait. His style is very raw and real which is what Hutchinson was going for, “I tried really hard to keep it organic,” he says. “Music is human expression and what’s more human than to make a mistake? So to record something and then take out all the mistakes leaves the project with no soul to it.” Well Eric, if Sounds Like This is filled with mistakes I can only hope you will make many mistakes on the next album.

Hope you all enjoyed this week’s artist and are adding him to your summer soundtrack. Please share your thoughts, comments and music suggestions – I would love to hear them.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rosie Thomas

In life there is some music that is the soundtrack to the emotions or experiences of the past. For getting over boy drama Colbie Caillet and Maria Mena is the perfect mix. For fun times with my best friends, Eric Hutchinson. Rita Springer is the music of choice for intimate times with God. And finally our artist pick of the week, Rosie Thomas, is the music that reminds me of the time when I was discovering what my greatest passion was and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Music.

Rosie’s music feels so personal to me because there are several of her tracks that feel like she was writing them especially for me. That happens to most of us with the music we listen to and I think it shows us that we are not alone in our struggles and experiences and that others have and will go through the same things, good or bad. My two favorite Rosie Thomas songs are “I Play Music” and “Have You Seen My Love.” It used to include the duet “Let It Be Me” but I have surrendered that song to my best friend and her husband who shared their first dance to that song. “I Play Music” was and is a song that I played often as I was realizing that I wanted to spend my days working with music in some capacity or another. I was nearing the end of college and had discovered that I had not majored in what I really loved and had no idea how I was going to make music my career. I was leading worship and giving singing lessons at that time and one line in this song that somehow gave me peace.

“So I play music that’s what I do. I when I sing I lose my self. There’s nothing more I’d rather do. Lord knows I’ve tried everything else.”

It’s a simple statement by Rosie but sometimes simplicity is all we need. I still don’t know exactly where I belong in this world of music but I am blessed to be a part of it, because I play music! “Have You Seen My Love” is pretty self-explanatory. Have you seen my love? Because I am looking and waiting for him. Anyone? Just kidding ;)

Well, I realize that I have made this week’s feature more about myself but sometimes that happens when certain music affects a person greatly. I encourage you all to share the music that has played a strong roll in your life.

Now back to Rosie. She has five albums including a Christmas album released last year and they are all worth purchasing. Rosie is originally from Michigan and even when she was young she knew that she wanted to entertain people. Rosie first tried acting only to discover that music is where she belonged. I was also very surprised to find in my research this week that she is also a stand-up comedian who performs under the name Sheila Saputo and wears a neck brace, arm sling and huge glasses. A woman with many talents indeed!

Rosie’s music reminds me of something old, almost like this would be the music I would listen to if I were living in the real life version of Anne of Green Gables. Somehow simple and complex at the same time.

Rosie has released several of her albums through her own label Sing-A-Long Records. Her last album These Friends of Mine was inspired by New York City where she wrote and recording the tracks for the album. Check out these Rosie Thomas albums and in the words of Will Smith, “Don’t download, go out and buy the record!”

* When We Were Small
* Only With Laughter Can You Win
* If Songs Could Be Held
* These Friends of Mine
* A Very Rosie Christmas

Monday, July 13, 2009

Greg Laswell

It is always a treat when I find new music deals. Purchasing music is one of the things that I splurge on more than clothes, shoes or make up with the excuse that it’s necessary since I work in the music industry. Amazon MP3 downloads has a special daily deal where they offer a different album each day for either $1.99 or $2.99 which in this economy is a great way for so many of us who are trying to save money to still get our new music fix. This week’s featured artist came from one of those Amazon daily deals. Greg Laswell’s album, Three Flights from Alto Nido, was the deal of the day about a month ago and after listening to his first two tracks I knew it would be worth the $1.99 for the whole album.

If you like Coldplay then you’ll probably love Greg Laswell since he has a Chris Martin sound in several of his tracks. But even if you are not a Coldplay fan don’t write Laswell off because his sound is definitely unique and in a different category of music. Laswell is a singer/songwriter but his talents do not end there. As well as playing the guitar, piano and drums he is also a recording engineer. It was those skills that helped Laswell produce his first album Good Movie in 2003 on his own label All The Best Records. He now works under his label 20 Inch Records which has associated with artist such as Anya Marina, Ingrid Michaelson, Molly Jenson, Derren Raser, and Minnie Driver. Laswell released his second album , Through Toledo in July 2006 after his divorce as his “breakup album” and resulted in a healing process for himself as well as effecting others emotionally to the point that he had people coming up to him doing his tour telling Laswell what they were going through. Three Flights from Alto Nido was released in 2008 as his third and most recent album.

Laswell was born in Long Beach, California in 1974 and currently lives in San Diego after he moved there to attend Point Loma Nazarene University. Several of his songs have been featured on Grey’s Anatomy, True Blood, Smallville, and the films Confessions of a Shopaholic and My Sister’s Keeper.

If you enjoy seeing artists live you can catch Greg Laswell August 6th at 8:00 pm at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. For more shows check in with Laswell's Myspace.

Hope you enjoy Greg Laswell and the tracks from his new album and check out Amazon for those daily deals!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Joshua James

Happy 4th of July all! I'm on the road right now so there won't be our usual full artist feature but check out the music from Joshua James to tide you over until next week! Enjoy!