Previous month:
December 2014
Next month:
February 2015

D. Edward "Love Is"

Dedward

D Edward, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, has played with numerous groups over his long and storied career, and now releases his new solo project titled "Love Is".



"Love Is" was two years in the making and features catchy hooks and grooves with a familiar, yet unique and modern pop and retro soul sound. D Edward has the ability to sound different on every song yet maintain his own signature style throughout.



"Love Is" features Grammy Award winners piano player Laura Sullivan, trumpet player Steffen Kuehn and saxophone player Tony Peebles, all from 2013 Grammy winning band Pacific Mambo Orchestra, and Billboard Music Award winner Leah Tysse. Also featured on the new album is Marlon “Wild Bill” Curry, percussionist for r'n'b hit-maker Kem, bassist Eric EQ Young, who the legendary Larry Graham calls his direct bass legacy, and Ben Reyes, who recorded on Bobby Brown’s multi-platinum "Don’t Be Cruel" album.



"Love Is" was recorded at Chungo Boogie Music Studio in Oakland, CA, and at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Grammy Award winning engineer Michael Starita mixed the entire album at Green Day’s Jingletown Studios in Oakland, California. The album will be released on D Edward’s own 10th & Clay Records.



An Oakland California native, D Edward began his musical journey growing up in an eclectic musical household, influenced by what his parents and older brothers were listening to on the radio and on records. These influences included old school r'n'b, funk, soul, pop, hip-hop, country, latin and African music, as well as crooners like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.



D Edward’s career thrived in the 90’s San Francisco Acid Jazz scene for many years playing percussion and keyboards, and he co-produced 2 CD's with a group called Know Jazz. During this time D Edward recorded with celebrity DJ's Jay-J and Julius Papp on "The Shuffle EP Vol 1".



He is an accomplished percussionist and currently tours with legendary r'nb/funk group Con Funk Shun. He is also currently working with 2013 Grammy winner Laura Sullivan on her new project and has worked with Genevieve Goings from Disney’s Choo Choo Soul, actress-singer Brely Evans, DJ Alex Mejia, Grammy winner Samuelle of Club Nouveau, songwriter Taura Stinson and Grammy nominated producer PC Muñoz.



His first solo CD "Little Red Box" gained radio airplay around the USA. His song "Truly" broke the Top 20 of the FMQB Adult Contemporary Chart and his album topped out at number 21 on the Smooth Jazz Top 50 Radar Chart.

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at HEMIFRAN


Jesse Brewster "March Of Tracks"

Jesse

With elements of folk, classic country, southern rock and soul, Jesse Brewster has been dubbed as one of the new breed of the musical working class heroes. His 3rd album, "March Of Tracks", was recorded as one song per month for 12 months, with each song being released monthly as a digital download to his fans.



As with most indie artists, Brewster was trying to figure out how to make his record stand out in a sea of music. As the process of the new record began, he initially planned to release one single as a teaser, followed by the rest of the album later in the year. “All that momentum you build up for months while you track, mix, master and create artwork is released at one time with a full album release”, said Brewster, “ There’s this huge push and it seems like it’s over so fast – then you find yourself scrambling to keep attention on the album.”



Brewster started searching outside of the box for a way to record the new record. “The more I looked at the construction of the songs I had and the number of people I wanted to work with, the more it made sense to release the tracks one at a time, allowing me to tailor each song to my vision.” Releasing the 1st track in March of 2013, the project, "March Of Tracks" was born.



Using 5 different studios and 21 of his favorite musicians and engineers allowed the artist a certain freedom as he handpicked his favorite players for each song that played to their individual strengths. “One consistent response from listeners to the singles has been that they really understand the feeling and vibe that I’m trying to convey with each song“, said Brewster. And as a compilation, the music also stands up. For example, if you put the song “Chesapeake” side by side with Brewster’s track “Can’t Keep A Good Man Down”, you’ll hear that they are very different songs, but each paints a picture that is very clear and yet they still mesh together.



"March Of Tracks" is a record of big sounding Americana tracks countered with heartfelt ballads. The opening song, “Make Or Break”, is a gritty rocker about the open road, taking chances and putting everything on the line. “Circles” is a more melancholy rocker that pulls at the heartstrings and chronicles Brewster’s struggle with insomnia, while “Left To Lose” is a ballad about letting a love go.



“Waiting For My Chance” was the 1st song to be released and is an uplifting song of desire and persistence with a catchy chorus and cool slide guitar riffs. “World Closing In” is a playful gypsy-jazz-americana song replete with mandolin, fiddle, upright bass, 6-string banjo and acoustic guitar. Long time band mate James DePrato co-produced this song. “Can’t Keep A Good Man Down” is an infectious, funky groove that is musically fun. The rich backbeat of soulful bass and drums push the twangy guitar hook to the forefront. This song was recorded remotely by each musician, sharing their tracks on 'Dropbox'.



“Chesapeake “was inspired by Brewster’s deep Mayflower roots—his grandfather was William Brewster, the “Pilgrim Father”. “Innocent Sinners” is a bluegrass-folk coming of age tale set in the south, with soaring 4-part harmonies and rich imagery. “One more Moment” (written on the road over the last couple of tours) is a dark acoustic track that is all vibe with only guitar and vocals.



“I know that it’s about the journey, not the destination, and I try to live each day that way which is one of the meanings of 'March Of Tracks'”, he says. Writing songs that have emotion, dynamics and feel, Brewster shoots for integrity with each and every song. “It could be a barn burning, twangy, hard hitting anthem, or a sweet acoustic ballad—as long as I feel I’m being honest and trying to connect with the listener, I’m happy.”

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at HEMIFRAN

 


Miriam Jones "Between Green & Gone"

Miriam

So how exactly does a Vancouver native and song-writing prodigy arrive in leafy Oxford via Canada, Papua New Guinea and Nashville?



Miriam Jones, born in Vancouver the year her parents emigrated from Atlanta, then lived in Calgary, Alberta until she was seven. Even at this early age, Miriam was smitten by English accents and her strongest and most contented memories are of visits to the public library where she was often found listening to the soundtrack of the 1968 "Oliver" film drama. Over the years Miriam kept her passion for musical theatre and rather than being a traditional music fan flitting from new trend to new trend and building a formidable record collection, she tended to latch on to just a handful of songs or albums, and then spend the next few years listening to nothing else. Outbursts of 'Come What May' from "Moulin Rouge" were frequent, embarrassing and took years to subside.



Miriam recalls: “I was eight years old when I wrote my first song, at the time devoted to a pair of Stars Of The 60's' tapes belonging to my folks (The Monkees, Donovan, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap). My mom, who grew up in Nashville and is very musical herself, had various cassettes around from the home of country music. My family spent a good deal of time there on visits to my grandparents, as well as three years living in Papua New Guinea where my Dad was teaching at a theological college on a rural campus in the highlands. That's where I was, up a tree, in fact, when I started to write, and where I first knew that I wanted to make records”.



Geography, people, cultures and traveling have influenced Miriam as a songwriter. Her time in Papua New Guinea was both beautiful and at times frightening, wonder and solitude always at the ready, and the intense soulfulness of the people moved her. At the age of 11 her parents brought her back to Canada along with her two sisters and her brother where they settled in a small mountain town in the British Columbia interior, the place she calls home. Miriam learnt the drums for 5 years and won a regional song-writing contest in her teens. She used the prize money to purchase her first guitar and toured with a small vocal jazz ensemble.



Some years and many miles later Miriam eventually found herself back in Nashville making a record with Grammy award winning producer Charlie Peacock at the controls. Some might say that Jones’ vocal lilt lends itself naturally to the music of the Grand Ole Opry but the resulting album, "Being Here" (2008), was anything but a cookie-cutter country record, the mixture of folk-pop stylings and classic songwriting redolent of the greats of early 70’s southern California with its intimate, soulful, unvarnished performance.



“I spent two weeks with Charlie at his home studio", Miriam remembers, "and wrote three songs in two days because he asked if I could, it was the first time I'd felt really challenged as a writer, and I got so high off of it. The studio continues to be my favorite context to work in". Even the legendary writer JD Souther stopped by, complimenting Miriam on her guitar playing.



Miriam's follow up album "Fire-Lives", self-released in late 2010, was a home-recorded mini-masterpiece (home now being in Oxford with her English husband), which offered a sound that is at times the work of a burgeoning folk and roots Joe Meek. Whip smart songs, endless layers of guitars, horns, pianos, drums and voices combined with the unusual acoustic of the house itself to produce a powerful record that snakes into the listener’s consciousness like Springsteen trying to make "Born To Run" in his kitchenette rather than the Record Plant.



As with "Being Here" the local media, this time in Oxford rather than British Columbia, picked up on the album immediately, and the need to take it on the road resulted in the record's musicians pulling together to form a committed band, Miriam Jones & The Red Sea. No sooner was the new band in place than BBC Oxford offered them a slot second on the bill at the Cornbury Festival. This was followed by an engagement, since oft renewed, to appear at the Greenbelt Festival.



This period also begat two singles including a quick trip to Abbey Road that produced a fresh mix of the "Fire-Lives" track 'Words Away', complete with baritone saxes and glistening bells, which became the catalyst for the first national play on the BBC for Jones’ music, bringing her to the attention of broadcasters, critics and listeners across the country.



With the early success of 'Words Away' and the applause of the summer’s festival audiences still ringing in her ears, Miriam went back to revisit 'Routine Runaway', a concert favourite and another highlight of the "Fire-Lives" album. Once again, Jones took the song apart and rebuilt it from the ground up, taking the organic home studio live recording and turning it into another feat of low budget production ingenuity and yet more airplay.



What then followed was less a quick follow-up to cash in on the media attention than a long period committed to writing and re-writing a collection of contenders for what would inevitably be an important release in Miriam's fledgling career. Armed with more than a baker's dozen of poignant short stories in song form there followed a long search for the perfect producer to bring those narratives to life. That search finally bore fruit in 2014 with the forming of a creative partnership with Simon Edwards (Fairground Attraction, Billy Bragg, etc) who, as well as producing the new songs, became the first member of her new band. The resulting new album contains ten, four minute tales, featuring characters that could have leaped straight from the pages of Anne Tyler or Raymond Carver, delivered with a grit and a warmth that puts Jones firmly in the Bonnie Raitt and Joan Osborne class of tough but soulful exponents of North American roots music.

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at HEMIFRAN