Previous month:
December 2015
Next month:
February 2016

William Sikström "I Will Be Waiting" Japanese release includes 3 bonus tracks + Interview!!


William Sikström "I Will Be Waiting" is one of the best surprise of 2015 for Westcoast Music fans. The Japanese release offers 3 bonus tracks and new classy artwork! To know more about William, here's for you the recent interview by Toshi Kanazawa!!

First, please let me know your biography. I heard from Mikiya that you are 22 years old now.

Well, I’m actually 21 years old, turning 22 next summer. Born 1994 in Lycksele a small town in northern Sweden. I’m the youngest in my family and have three older siblings. My wife, Rakel, is also from Lycksele. We live together in Umeå not that far from Lycksele.

What kind of kid were you in your childhood?

I guess I was kind of playful, my friends and me were playing a lot outside, we loved snow which we have lots of during the winter. I was not so quiet in school; I liked talking to the other kids. Music was something I listened to a lot, and not the music you’d expect. We had a tape with Casiopea for example that I loved and still do, live recording Mint Jams, my favorites were Domino Line and Asayake.

How did you find music and started playing instruments?

I didn’t find music, it was given to me. I was lucky enough to have a father how found the music when he was a young man. My dad played the electric bass so that was what I started with and so did one of my older brothers, that is why I later thought of picking up the guitar which I did. I wanted to play along to these tracks so then I had to learn

What was the first record / CD you bought?

Oh I don’t know, it was quite recently since my dad and brothers had a lot both on tape/LP/CD and downloaded to the computer. Perhaps it was Pages 1981.

Please pick up some artists that you were influenced with brief explanation on how.

Pages, I don’t really know how. They are the ones I’ve been listening to the most, especially 1981. Jay Graydon/Airplay, many guitar parts/solos. Marc Jordan/Al Jarreau, chord changes. Ole Borud, production and sound

Please let me know some of your favorite albums.

Pages, 1981, Airplay, Marc Jordan - Blue Desert, Al Jarreau - Jarreau and Breakin’ Away, Larry Carlton - Strikes Twice, Jay Graydon - Airplay For The Planet Could make the list very long

You play different instruments and make arrangement by yourself. How did you acquire these skills? Were you in music school?

I started with guitar lessons when I was 13 until when I was 19 and took bass lessons from when I was 16-19. In gymnasium I studied music (16-19 years old) after that I had one year when I studied music more seriously when I was thinking about becoming a music teacher. We played very much and my main instrument was bass and secondary was piano which. I have drums, which is really fun to play. I think the arrangement just comes from having listened on this type of music so much and learned to play different instruments.

If you choose one instruments you are particularly good at, what would it be? Any musician you look up to with the instrument?

Bass, top five; Mike Porcaro, Abraham Laboriel, Tetsuo Sakurai, Johan Asmundsson (Mezzoforte), Guitar, top five; Jay Graydon, Steve Lukather, Dean Parks, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour

What made you to make an album by yourself?

Curiosity, I wanted to see how good I could make it on my own. I wouldn’t give up the playing to someone else, that is the most fun part. Coming up with parts and recording them, that is why I made an album. It’s just great that on top of that, someone wants to hear it.

I find influence from Steely Dan or Pages in your music but they are from older generation in 70s -80s. How you come to love these AOR bands? What is the information source?

My dad, he loves this music and that is what we always have been listening to in our family. Not exclusively but pretty much.

What sort of concept you had in mind while working on this album?

Just go with the flow, if I have an idea go and see if it will work or not. Some songs I started never got to be finished when I realized they didn’t fit with the sound I had started to get.

Where does the inspiration for songwriting come from? Is there any particular occasion / time you come up with melodies?

Late nights are good! Sometimes they just pop up, and most times I actually come up with some other parts first like a groovy beat or keyboard parts. I rarely get a melody in my head since I’ve always been listening to those things more than the melody.

What was the struggle you had through album making process? Was there anything you kept in mind?

I find lyrics to be very hard, it always sounds ridiculous when I first think of some lyrics but then when I put melody and rhythm to it, it sounds better. I tried to make the songs fit together and sound like they came from the same album which was easier than what I thought when I started.

Please briefly introduce each song on the album.

Mr. Clean It Up: Up tempo shuffle groove, classic west coast. I’m a Christian and this lyric has the massage that God watches over us even when we don’t seem to respond to him. Tell Me: My wife is featured on this song, amazing voice and perfect for this. I was listening to Toto’s “Stop Loving You” and found the groove on the verse to be so good, that’s how this song was born. Show The Way: Slightly more modern feel I would say, catchy chorus. I think the verse can be a little bit hard to grasp, but the chorus is easier to follow . I Will Be Waiting: I wrote this a couple of years ago and I thought it would fit on this album, and so it did. Some chord changes that are a little out there, which I love when it’s not all the time. Up On The Hill: My thought with this lyric is that God or what ever you believe in is singing to you. This song started with chorus lyric idea from when I actually were up on a hill and saw all the stars, and the piano intro. She’s a Magnet: Piano hammering 16:th notes is so classic west coast/ Airplay I just had to have it in one song. Guitar lines a la Graydon. I find this lyric to be quite entertaining. I Need You: I think this has a pop sound in the chorus, catchy and not that complicated. The rhythm of the melody in the chorus is quite simple while the keyboard parts are more rhythmic so they don’t interfere. Take a Look Around: I wrote this the same time as I did “I Will Be Waiting”. I have recorded these two songs before, early edition of Take a Look Around is posted on Youtube, so is Costa Rica. This was when I was nineteen. Costa Rica: The first serious song I ever wrote, didn’t know anything about writing music, I just put something together and Costa Rica came out. The lyrics are inspired by when my wife went to Costa Rica for real and I just spiced it up a bit. We never broke up for example. You Are Runnin’: Second song I ever wrote, now that I knew I could write songs I started with the other one You Are Runnin’. This track is re-recorded just for this Japanese edition, to match the sound of the other songs. Some crazy chord changes over the guitar solo.

Pages and David Roberts song are included as bonus tracks. Are these songs special to you?

I think that Come On Home is one of the most perfect tracks ever made, in my opinion. There is nothing I can think of that would make it better. Wrong Side Of The Tracks is such a killer song with an awesome solo by Steve. I have tried to reproduce this, which is very hard but extremely fun. These song have been with me for a very long time

Do you play gigs? or you have plan of gigs in the future?

I don’t currently play any gigs but there is a gig planned Mars 5th 2016 here in Umeå. You know I have never really sung that much in front of people so I a little nervous but that’s part of it. It’s going to be super fun.

What sort of musician do you want to be in the future?

I want to be as humble as possible and not seem to be more than what I am. I don’t think of myself as an artist or professional musician, I’m just glad I have the chance to play and record music and hope others can get joy from hearing my music. This may sound dull but I don’t have any plans to live on my music only. I like to have it as my hobby. Apparently you can make a record all alone from your apartment nowadays. That’s fortunate!

I heard you just got married. I assume you are not full time musician? Am I correct? What else do you do?

I’m studying on university to become a physiotherapist because of my interest in sports and the human functionality. I also think you become a happier person if you give people with what you have to offer. What it his doesn’t matter, it could be your time, your attention, your knowledge, your music.

Your album is just to be introduced to Japanese audience. How do you feel about that?

I’m really exited and very thankful that someone to a shot at me. I know that you guys like west coast/AOR and I surely hope you will enjoy my music. I could never have thought it would be released in Japan, I have sent a few original CD’s to Japan but I’m very happy about this release!

Thanks to William Sikström & Toshi Kanazawa

Champlin Williams Friestedt japanese release including 2 bonus tracks!


"Lavender Moon is a brand new song written by Bill Champlin and Brenda Russell. It has a great R&B kind of vibe to it. Oceand Drive is an instrumental song that I wrote with Janne Peltoniemi, Id like to do a whole record in this style sometime in the future." says Peter.

TOTO singer Joseph Williams teams up with former Chicago singer Bill Champlin and Swedish guitarist/Producer Peter Friestedt for a new remarkable AOR release following the success with the ”Live In Concert” DVD that made it all the way to the top on the Swedish Chart!

In 2012 Champlin/Willams/Friestedt did a sold out Scandinavian Tour and during this time the first recordings of the ”CWF” album took place! The new album also includes contributions from Steve Porcaro of Toto, Randy Goodrum (Toto, Chicago), Will Champlin and Tamara Champlin.

Champlin says ”I’ve been involved with a project that includes me, Peter Friestedt a great guitarist and producer from Sweden, and Joseph Williams, the singer of TOTO! I was pretty knocked out by the stuff. I’d almost forgotten how good it was when we did it. There are great songs and even better performances on this album, and I know you’ll love it It’s rare for me to be involved with a project and be surprised by how good it is. This one will knock you out

Joseph Williams is the lead vocalist with Grammy winning US band TOTO. He has been busy as a composer of film and drama scores, as a session vocalist, backing singer and can be heard in Disney’s animated feature film “The Lion King”as singing voice of the adult Simba (“Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”).

Guitarist, producer & recording artist Peter Friestedt has released two critically acclaimed albums “LA Project” (2002) and “LA Project II” (2008) that got top reviews. Peter has been a busy sessionplayer playin on records with David Foster and Fergie Frederiksen and touring Europe and Japan with Joseph Williams with who he also released the ”Williams/Friestedt” album that was a top 40 hit in Scandinavia!

Bill Champlin was the lead singer of the legendary band Chicago for more than 25 years, and is a founding member of the band Sons of Champlin. Champlin has written Grammy award winning songs for Earth Wind & Fire and George Benson, and worked with countless artists including Elton John, The Doobie Brothers and Steve Lukather of TOTO.

Lava "Fire" reissued by Preservation Records with Bonus Track "Sophie"!


Tracklist: 1. Sophie 2. Fake 3. Something 4. Streetgirl 5. LoosingYou 6. You 7. The Woman I Want  8. Wait For Me 9. I’m In Love 10.Indian Summer BONUS: 11.Sophie

Lava needs no new introduction, as it is a well-established band within the Westcoast/AOR scene. They have made 8 albums spanning from the late 70’s until today, and they still actively performs. Their albums are considered to be Westcoast essentials and several only exists on vinyl.

Preservation records has gotten access to the original mastertapes for Lava – Fire and is re-releasing it exclusively on CD for the first time. It will also include an extended booklet with the full story of how Randy and Lava got together + new photos that never has been available.

Lava has already a big fan base all over the world -Extra bonus track with alternative version of Sophie -Quick sell, first time released on CD.

Remastered from the original master tapes -Extensive picture material included in the cover. -Will appeal to all fans of AOR and Westcoast

Tobias Edborg-Torjussen founded preservation in 2015.

Links to Facebook & Soudcloud

Graham Nash "This Path Tonight"


This Path Tonight is the new studio album and collection of 10 songs from Graham Nash. Produced by Shane Fontayne, this is Nash's first solo record of new music in fourteen years.

The title track, This Path Tonight, is the debut single. Like the album, the song is one of reflection and transition of a singer-songwriter whose career (the Hollies, CSN, CSNY) has spanned more than five decades and counting. Graham Nash is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductee, GRAMMY TM Award winner, and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.)

Paul Carrack "Soul Shadows"


Soul Shadows comes in the wake of Carrack's latest sojourn as featured vocalist and keyboard player in Eric Clapton's band for his UK and international tour, the result of their longtime friendship and mutual respect.

The new album is the follow-up to 2013's warmly-received Rain Or Shine, which maintained Paul's recurring status as a staple of the BBC Radio 2 playlist. But where that album contained a mixture of covers and originals, the new set is comprised almost entirely of some of the best songwriting of Carrack's entire career, plus one lovingly-chosen remake: the Bobby 'Blue' Bland gem that was also a major R&B hit for Aretha Franklin, 'Share Your Love With Me.'

Bonnie Raitt "Dig In Deep"


With Dig In Deep, her twentieth album, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt comes out swinging. The follow-up to 2012’s triumphant Slipstream—the Grammy-winning, Top Ten-charting first release on her own Redwing Records label—the new record illustrates the delicate balance of consistency and risk-taking that has defined Raitt’s remarkable career for more than forty-five years.

Tom Hansen "A Taste Of California"


Tracks: My Lady, Song For Hansson, Brazilian Night, Stay With Me, A Dream Comes True, Vis A Vis, Falling Leaves, Standing Tall (A Tribute To Whitney Houston), T-Party, Special Friend, Mr. Westcoast, Enter 2000, Wessel Song, Magic Moments, Stay With Me, Fate, Time To Say Goodbye & My Lady (Disco Remix/Radio Edit).

Musicians on the A Taste Of California album: Tom Hansen, John “JR” Robinson, Peter Friestedt, Larry Williams, Victor Brooks, Svein Finstad, Nils Mathiesen, Kenneth Eriksen. Line Knudsen, Magne Arnesen, Rheanne Lindeberg, Oliver Tangen, Hig Lande, Trine Charlotte Askjem, Kjell Håkon Andersen, Astrid Tveitan, Halstein Larsen, Oystein Trollsas, Truls Gran, Jon Ronander and others.

"My new CD is out for sale now. It's in the style of Earth Wind & Fire, Al Jarreau, David Foster, Shakatak, Chaka Khan & Fourplay. Price is 15 eurosor 130kr inclusive post. Order at [email protected]"

State Cows releases new single...


State Cows just released their newest single Stuck On A Train with B-side Holly Mole. This time they’re again joined by groovemeisters Peter Olofsson and Mikael Emsing on drums and percussion respectively. Holly Mole features the amazing Samuel Muntlin on saxophone.

In celebration of this new release they’re also offering their full digital discography at a 35% discount price. Head over to their Bandcamp page to take advantage of this offer.

Andrea Zonn "Rise"


Most every songwriter tries new work out for friends and colleagues. When Andrea Zonn does so, it must be especially nerve jangling, because her friends includes some of the finer songwriters of all time. Her years on the road as a fiddler and harmony singer for James Taylor, Vince Gill, Trace Adkins and others have drawn her close to some important artists. And she’s the first to tell you how much she values working for them. But on "Rise," Zonn’s second album as an artist, they’re supporting her.

I kept wanting to call this The Love Record because I have so much reverence for the people who are on this project and who I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with over the years,Andrea says. “I have learned so much from them. And I’m their fan. There are no casual calls here.

Nor is she merely dropping names. These are the kind of high-level recording sessions any producer would put together if they had these contacts. Besides Taylor on harmony vocals, plus country legend Gill and modern day blues master Keb’ Mo’ singing and playing guitar, her dream team includes great session and road musicians she’s worked with over her career: dobro star Jerry Douglas, Newgrass-founding mandolinist Sam Bush, former Newgrass vocalist and current Doobie Brother John Cowan, and multi-award winning musician Mac McAnally.

Read more…

West Of Eden "Look to The West"


West Of Eden is the Swedish folk-rock band that has thrilled audiences in Sweden and abroad for over a decade with their unique sound and brilliant songwriting. Masterful musicianship combined with the extraordinary voice of singer Jenny Schaub and a deep love for the traditional Celtic folk music has earned them a solid reputation amongst critics and fans around the globe.

With 8 highly praised albums under their belt, the band has now got used to being called “simply phenomenal” (R2 Magazine), “masters of their genre” (UNT) and “the best of contemporary folk” (Irish Music Magazine). Throughout the years, West Of Eden has collaborated with members from groups like the Chieftains, Mark Knopfler’s band, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Wolfstone and Anúna, among others.

With their 9th album ”Look To The West”, West Of Eden ambitiously attempts to tackle a piece of contemporary Swedish history as they present 13 new songs about the great wave of emigrants that left Sweden for America at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Almost a 3rd of the Swedish population travelled westwards from West Of Eden’s home town of Gothenburg to search for greener shores, and the town flourished in the footsteps of the emigrants.

The fact that so few songs has been written about this in Sweden is surprising, and something the band has taken as a challenge. Among the songs on the record, you’ll find everything from melancholy parting songs like ’Going To Hull’ and ’Sweet Old Country’ to gutsy folk-rocking tunes like ’Wilson Line’. The hopes and dreams surrounding the new life waiting on the other side of the ocean can be heard in the title track, while ’Please Mister Agent’ is a tongue-in-cheek story, based on an authentic letter that Jenny Schaub has rewritten into a song.

With ”Look To The West”, West Of Eden has created a thematic, yet varied collection of songs with a subject matter as present today as it was back in the days of the Swedish emigration. Breakups and departures. Memories, wishes and hopes for the future. The first steps on a long journey.

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at HEMIFRAN