Monday, April 26, 2010

Ben Rector

This week’s artist, Ben Rector, is another great find from Brite Revolution. Brite is a great site to get new music and support some amazing causes. The best part is that it is now FREE!! Brite is changing some things around and will be pursuing other ways to support the charities and making the music free for you! So if you haven’t signed up yet you are passing on some amazing music. Seriously, sign up. Now. I’ll wait. Click here. Did you do it? You won’t regret it. Free remember? Done? Good. OK, now that you’ve signed up let's get back to Ben. Ben Rector is an amazing unsigned singer/songwriter out of Nashville who has been touring around with Dave Barnes recently and recording some fantastic music.

Ben started his songwriting while at University of Arkansas and has made his way to the top of the iTunes charts. His recent album, Into The Morning, released February 2010 made it to #5 in iTunes Pop and #10 overall. Ben supports Mocha Club on Brite, which raises funds for Africa by asking you to donate just $7 a month, the price of two mochas at Starbucks. Pretty easy I think. In addition to his new album and the tracks you can get free on Brite (another plug), you can download his other releases, Songs That Duke Wrote and Twenty Tomorrow as well as his holiday release, Jingles and Bells for Christmas time.

Ben is back touring on the Eastern regions of the U.S. but I’m hoping he’ll make his way out to L.A. soon so I can check out his live show. Ben looks to be a great piano player and I have a bit of a weakness for men who play the piano… oops, did I just share that with you all?

I hope you enjoyed this week’s artist. There isn’t too much info on Ben out there but his music is really all you need. Check out his websites and make sure to comment below and let me know what you think.





All Photos by Chris Galegar

Monday, April 19, 2010

Caroline Smith And The Goodnight Sleeps

In the world of music there are some living legends. Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King just to name a few. Now, if you were just fifteen years old and you were opening for B.B. King that would be pretty amazing right? How many fifteen year olds are at a level with their music that they could open for a music legend? Well for Caroline Smith this was reality. As a teenager she opened for a blues player so great he has a Sirius Satellite Radio station dedicated to him. Caroline Smith is a singer/songwriter from Minneapolis, Minnesota accompanied by The Good Night Sleeps with a sound similar to Ingrid Michaelson and Katie Herzig.

At a very young age Caroline was taught guitar by her father who bought her first guitar. Her mother didn’t discover her guitar playing until she was fifteen and immediately had her playing in restaurants. Her style is a mix of blues, country and acoustic all rolled together in tunes simple and sweet.

Caroline Smith And The Goodnight Sleeps released their first album, Backyard Tent Sets, in August of 2008 which you can download on Amazon for $8.99 or iTunes for $9.90. Band members are Caroline Smith, Arlen Peiffer, Jesse Schuster and Colin Hacklander.

I hope you've enjoyed this week's feature! Tomorrow will be one year since I started this music blog. I have loved every minute of it and am so blessed and thankful to all of you who follow.





Photo 1 & 3 - Lilly Ball
Photo 2 - Nicole Marie Photography

Monday, April 12, 2010

Frightened Rabbit

It’s late as I write this week’s post and I can actually hear the rain pouring down outside my window. It is so calming that the music has been turned off and I’m listening to nature’s melody instead. I’m looking forward to the rain temporarily washing away the L.A. smog. This week we are going global again and featuring another international band from Glasgow, Scotland. Frightened Rabbit is an indie rock band with Fat Cat Records who released their third album last month. The new album, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, is an album of tracks filled with songs about feeling alone, lost and on the edge but pushing through. I believe we’ve all felt that way at one point or another and I don’t know about you but it’s always been nice to hear songs written by others who have gone through the same things. Somehow though the subject matter sounds severe the music itself is light, upbeat and encouraging.

Frightened Rabbit started in 2003 when lead singer/guitarist Scott Hutchison started playing solo shows under the band name. He was soon joined by his brother, Grant Hutchison on drums, and Billy Kennedy on bass/guitar to form the band. Andy Monaghan joined in 2008 on guitar/keyboard and Gordon Skene joined in 2009 for the new album on guitar/keyboards. Each new member is a significant part in developing the band’s sound and according to Scott, “A lot of the new record is heavily layered and it felt like too much for the four of us to do. We need another member to get them at their full impact. I dunno, we're kind of bored of each other. We just need to add some fresh meat.” Early years of a band’s life involve the development of their sound, which you can often hear if they release several albums though that period. This new album has definitely showed how much Frightened Rabbit has progressed when you hear their older recordings.

The band is touring extensively throughout Europe and the United States and will be playing at Coachella this Spring with a collection of other great bands and artists. If you are enjoying Frightened Rabbit make sure to check out their other two albums, Sing the Greys released in 2006 and The Midnight Organ Fight from 2008.


Photo 1 by Danny North
Photo 3 by Gordon Burniston


 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fink


It is a mark of a great artist and/or album when you have a hard time picking your favorite track. I suppose it’s a nice problem to have but when you have to choose just three tracks to share with everyone it can be problematic. That was the problem I had this week with featured artist Fink. It can be a rarity to love every track on an album and the wonderful thing about buying digitally is that you can only buy the songs you like as opposed to the full album with physical discs. How many have had a CD playing in your car and after a while you start skipping certain songs and listening to your favorites over and over. In this case though if you are enjoying Fink so far then I highly recommend purchasing his album Distance and Time in it entirety. It was the first album I bought and is still my favorite.

Fink’s music has this strange power over me. Every time it’s playing I can’t seem to resist closing my eyes and swaying my head to the music. Can’t you just picture yourself listening to this with a glass of wine or maybe some hot tea in your hand just detoxing from a long day at work? Fink’s music wasn’t always like this. Another international artist, Fink hails from Bristol, England and got his start as a DJ and electronica artist. It’s hard to imagine that hearing him now but his change to singer/songwriter is what propelled his career as a performer. Fink, who’s real name is Fin Greenall, comes from a musical family where his father was a folk musician and his mother a music manager. In addition to creating his own music he also uses his remixing and song writing skills to work with artists such as John Legend and Amy Winehouse.

After releasing his first electronica album in 2001 it was five years before he became his label’s first singer/songwriter with the release of Biscuits for Breakfast in 2006. In 2007 he released my favorite album Distance and Time followed by Sort of Revolution in 2009. You can download the bonus track “Naked For Life” from that album for free for a limited time. Make sure to check the Free Music Downloads tab for instructions. Fink’s track, “This Is The Thing” can be found on the soundtrack for the film Dear John.

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s featured artist. Fink’s music is absolutely the perfect soundtrack when you want to mellow out on the couch or cuddle up with your favorite someone or family dog in my case… Enjoy! Please leave your comments below and let me know what you think.


Photo 1 - Nicolas Dartialh
Photo 2 - Anja Haering
Photo 3 - Nikolas Ernult