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February 2014
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April 2014

The Belle Brigade "Just Because"


Founded by siblings Barbara and Ethan Gruska, The Belle Brigade’s music is artfully arranged, with enticing melodies and pop harmonies, fueled by the interplay of driving rhythms between Barbara’s drums and Ethan’s guitars.

Both are gifted songwriters – finding inspiration in the works of Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, The Beach Boys, Sly Stone, Harry Nilsson and countless others.

The Gruskas come from a musical family. Their father, Jay Gruska, is a movie and television composer, and their grandfather is multiple-Oscar-winning composer John Williams.

The Belle Brigade’s self-titled debut (co-produced with Matthew Wilder) was hailed as one of the best albums of 2011 by PASTE. Ann Powers, writing for the Los Angeles Times, took note of the “memorable voices and considerable charisma within songs that gleam with hooks and pour over with earnest emotion” while Newsday praised the album’s “sun-kissed ’70s SoCal sound” and SPIN observed, “The brother and sister team from LA, bring beautiful harmonies to their quirky folk rock.”

Their new album, “Just Because,” was recorded with engineer and co-producer Shawn Everett and mastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig. It will be released by ATO Records on March 25, 2014.

David Pack's Napa Crossroads


The serene setting of Napa Valley is not only home to some of the best wine-making in the world but is also a host to stellar music and music-making. Napa Crossroads is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between five prestigious wineries-- Silver Oak, Far Niente, Pride Mountain, Gargiulo Vinyards, and Casa Piena-- and David Pack, legendary producer, vocalist, and hit-maker (former singer-songwriter Ambrosia) who conceived and produced the project.

Stellar guest stars include: The Doors' Ray Manzarek, Bela Fleck, Alan Parsons, Todd Rundgren, David Benoit, Billy Dean, Jimmy Wayne, Larry Carlton, Doyle Dykes, Mindi Abair, Robert Schwartzman, Cage The Elephant's Lincoln Parish, Rick Braun and others.

The album was created with a unique blend of superstars in the world of wine including Larry Maguire of Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel on jazz guitar and vocals; David Duncan of Silver Oak and Twomey on guitar and vocals, and Jeff Gargiulo of Gargiulo Vineyards on guitar, piano and vocals. Suzanne Pride Bryan of Pride Mountain Vineyards and Carmen and Gail Policy of Casa Piena wrote lyrics along with the rest of the group. The album is available exclusively at the following five wineries until release in February 2014: Far Niente; Silver Oak Cellars and Twomey Cellars, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Casa Piena, and Gargiulo Vineyards.

Pack describes the experience as “Five years, five wineries and a lot of fun.” He goes on to say, “It’s a time capsule to preserve the memory of friends, Napa Valley and a time that will never be again.” Noted producer and musician, Pack has been drawn to Napa for many years with an unrequited passion for viticulture. He became a welcome figure in the Napa community a number of years ago after developing a friendship with winemaker Jeff Gargiulo and playing concerts for local events in the community. That friendship opened Pack to the world of undiscovered musicians among the winemakers and incited Pack’s desire to create a recording that serves as a backstage pass to a once-in-a-lifetime special event.

The wineries invested in the album financially and creatively, collaborating on two tracks each along with contributions from special guests, culminating in 14 tracks of original material. All songs were produced by Pack and written and recorded in Napa Valley beginning May 2009, which includes one of the final recordings of the late Ray Manzarek. Larry Maguire, partner & president of Far Niente says, “I love my life in wine, but had I met David when I was 22, I think we could have had one really hot band. Working with him has helped me realize one of the great dreams of my life—to record my songs on a professionally-released album—and it has reawakened my passion for creating and performing music.”

Maguire’s compositions, “Corner of His Room” and “Next Adventure” are drawn from moments with his children and the new adventures he and his wife have yet to experience. “Being included in this project fulfills a dream for me. I have been writing songs for years and thoroughly enjoyed the process of actually getting them finished,” says David Duncan, President and CEO of Silver Oak Cellars, who contributed “Every Time I Look at You,” and “Crossroads Bound,” to the project. One is a love song to his wife and the other follows the concept of the “crossroads” which provide secret ways through the valley.

Suzanne Pride Bryan, Co-owner of Pride Mountain Vineyards says “‘O’ Blessed Vine’ and ‘You Were the One’ capture special moments in time at Pride Mountain Vineyards, where we are always happy to be ‘high on the mountain.’” Suzanne’s songs were inspired by her parents, Jim and Carolyn Pride, the winery’s founders. “This combined musical effort, which includes five spectacular winery partners, will allow people throughout the world to experience the warmth, spirit, and humanity that grows ‘heartily’ in Napa,” says Carmen Policy, owner of Casa Piena. Policy brought “Full House Full Heart” and “A Friend Like You,” which were influenced by the idea of friends and family, a concept that is embodied in the name of his winery. “David’s concept of bringing together the art of songwriting with the art of making wine defines Napa Valley and what we are all about. To see his dream come true and be a part of it is truly awesome,” says Jeff Gargiulo owner of Gargiulo Vineyards. His songs, “April Born in May” and “Wine Country Cowboy” were inspired by his daughter and Jeff and David Duncan’s band The Silverado Pickups.

David Pack has won international acclaim both for his solo work and as former front-man for progressive rock group Ambrosia. He is a Grammy winning producer of legendary artists including Wynonna, Selena, Aretha Franklin and Kenny Loggins, and a Music Director of global stage events including both of President Clinton’s Inaugurals and events for Barbra Streisand, Elton John & the late Leonard Bernstein, and recently for Avon, with Fergie of Black Eyed Peas and The Who’s Pete Townshend Tec Awards. His #1 pop classics such as “Biggest Part of Me” “How Much I Feel” “You’re The Only Woman” have graced global radio for over 35 years winning BMI 5 mil. Airplay awards. His collective works as a performer and producer have sold over 40 million units worldwide. He credits mentors & friends Leonard Bernstein & Quincy Jones, whom Pack introduced, as setting his life’s quest for excellence in creating special music projects that bring people together in unique ways, such as Napa Crossroads, David’s dream project.

Paul Clark "Down At The Whistle Stop"


"Last Spring, while working feverishly on my CD, "The Shorter the Trailer, the Longer the Road," (which many of you are involved with), I had an opportunity to record  a completely different set of songs at OceanWay Studios, in Nashville, Tennessee. Stoking the coals for firepower to the tracks were my old friends Phil Keaggy, Phil Madeira, Dennis Holt, Don Harris, as well as new friends, Matt Pierson and Todd Robbins. After 10 basic tracks were finished, I took the data back to my home studio, (in the Kansas City area), and in between touring dates, I spent the next six months recording vocal and guitar overdubs, as well as adding two new songs. Local friends, Jay Pfeifer, Jimmie Bratcher, Charity Von, Christie Kuzmich, Stan Kessler and a small choir from Church of the Harvest, added coals from their bins of talent. Nashville fiddle player, Jimmie Herman, joined in before mixing began."

"A few weeks ago, about an hour before sunset, I tossed my 1946, tobacco sunburst, Gibson J-45 guitar, my Canon 6D camera with a 40mm F/2.0 pancake lens and an empty box from Costco into my 05' Ford explorer and raced against the setting sun to a railway crossing just west of Parkville, Missouri. Placing my camera on the box in the middle of the railroad tracks, I was able to fire off 42 self-timer shots, (as well as get in a 30 minute aerobic workout from running back and forth to the camera), before the curve of the earth silenced the golden hour light. The next day, my good friend, and photo/video genius, Isaac Alongi, took my photographs from the night before, as well as photos I had taken at the old train depot in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania and home spun imagery for song titles and credits, and assembled the CD artwork in a fashion that I think you'll find pleasing to the eye"

Paul Clark


Martin Lorentzon "Together"


With his 3rd album, "Together", Swedish singer-songwriter Martin Lorentzson has taken his love for rootsy pop music one step further. Through working with other songwriters and soundscape producer Carl Granberg, the new album shows that Martin’s warm voice paired with strong melodies and detailed, dreamy arrangements is a winner.

Martin is a true do-it-yourself artist.

All of his albums have been realized without a record label or today’s crowdfunding platforms. The hard work has paid off - He’s been playing live in national TV several times, and his songs have been placed in big brand commercials.

His new album indicates a more daring path in his career, a path that likely will attract new listeners and fans. Martin is, however, experienced enough to have balanced expectations.

“The more songs you write and the harder you work, the better songwriter you’ll become. That’s all that matters".

"Together" will be released March 25th, 2014, as a physical CD and on all digital platforms.

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at HEMIFRAN

Ambrosia "One Eighty" and "Road Island" reissues by Rock Candy


BASED ON AMERICA’s West Coast, Ambrosia began their recording career in the mid 70s as a full blown progressive rock band, brandishing a sound that was clearly influenced by British groups like Procol Harum, Genesis and Caravan. However, with the passing of time, their style was to radically shift towards a more accessible, song based, approach, resulting in brace of melodically inclined albums that elevated the band’s profile considerably.

Issued in 1980 on the Warner Bother’s label, ‘One Eighty’ was the band’s fourth album and is now regarded as the high point of their AOR period. As a six man outfit, the approach is studious yet exploratory; leaving enough space for the songs to breathe and be supported by carefully executed multi-layered backing vocals and a soulful r ‘n’ b undertow.

Comparable to other premier melodic rock acts of the period such as Toto, Player and Steely Dan, the album benefits hugely from two US top twenty hit singles, ‘You’re The Only Woman’ and ‘Biggest Part Of Me’; both of which showcase front man David Pack’s world class voice. But don’t go running away with the impression that their music is all sweetness and light; tracks such as ‘Ready’, ‘Shape I’m In’, ‘Cryin’ In The Rain’ and the anthemic guitar driven ‘Rock ‘N A Hard Place’ position the band firmly at the epicentre of a some serious and powerful hard rock. Hugely recommended. Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology,12 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, rare photos and new interview.


By the eighties the group had morphed into a hugely successful AOR unit, enjoying hit singles and mainstream media exposure very much in the breezy but precise style of Toto, Player and Steely Dan. Of course, the icing on the cake was vocalist David Pack, a man whose voice has been compared to such masters of the art as Bobby Kimball, Michael McDonald and Steve Perry. ‘Road Island’, originally issued in 1982, was Ambrosia’s fifth album and in many ways saw them returning to their progressive roots composing songs blessed with ambitious arrangements.

This stylistic volt-face was in part emphasised by their choice of producer, Pink Floyd engineer James Gutherie, with recording partly undertaken in London’s famed Kinks owned Konk Studios. In addition, the album artwork’s illustrative calligraphy (undertaken by Ralph Steadman - one time illustrator of satirical publication Private Eye) was somewhat reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, further emphasising their progressive rock roots. Musically brilliant, the album contains lashings of intelligently conceived tracks, such as ‘For Openers (Welcome Home)’ and the seven minute quasi-prog epic ‘Ice Age’. Other more traditional sounding melodic rock tracks included ‘Still Not Satisfied’ and the Fleetwood Mac reminiscent ‘How Can You Love Me’ - two of the band’s finest compositions.

These two Ambrosia cds are now availables at Rock Candy Records!