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July 2016

Venice "Brunch Buffet - Tasty Covers"


Over the years, when people have asked the members of Venice who their musical influences are, they’ve felt funny merely stating the obvious few -- CSNY, The Eagles, The Beach Boys, etc. -- because sometimes it might have only been one song from an artist that moved them or flipped a switch in their creative brains, but not necessarily the entire catalogue.

That’s how Venice’s new CD, “Brunch Buffet” came about, as a great way to answer that question once and for all, with a cover album revealing the diversity of their musical influences. “Yes, those West Coast vocal harmony bands obviously helped shape our sound,” says vocalist Mark Lennon, “but this album isn’t only about the classic rock or California coast influences. It’s also everything from music of our parents’ generation to singer/songwriters like Shawn Colvin. We cover Keane on this album, and they’re a British band from the 2000's. It's all the same to us, because our music is not only about the 60’s and 70’s, it's about great songs and artists from any time or place.”

And while many older artists helped build Venice’s foundation, newer artists along the way have naturally influenced their journey forward, resulting in a familiar but ever evolving Venice sound. “Ultimately, 'Brunch Buffet' only includes SOME of our favorite songs by SOME of our favorite artists,” guitarist/producer Michael Lennon adds.

“In putting together an album of what we considered 'Tasty Covers,' we realized that no matter what songs end up in this collection, we’ll always have second thoughts that we didn’t do song X or Y by artist Z. So I guess we’ll just have to record another album so that we can visit those there! ‘Supper Smorgasbord - Tasty Covers Part 2!’ “

PARIS "The World Outside"


MelodicRock Records is excited to announce a new partnership with French melodic rock bandPARIS. The band’s new album ‘The World Outside’, will be released via MRR on July 1 in two configurations – the regular edition and a limited Special Edition featuring 2 exclusive bonus tracks.  

This follows the band’s debut album ‘Only One Life’ (produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio) which was released in 2013.  

PARIS are: Frédéric Dechavanne: Lead & Backing Vocals, Keyboards Sébastien Montet: Lead & Rhythm Guitars

For album number two, the PARIS story hasn't changed: it's still the story of two friends since the youngest of age, growing up in the suburbs of Paris and fancying the same kind of music in the second half of the eighties! Life separated the pair geographically, but music kept them united.  

‘The World Outside’ is expertly produced and mastered by Steve Newman - further entwining himself in the PARIS story. The British melodic rock singer/producer had added background vocals on the debut and repeats that role here, adding his voice once again to the rich harmonies on this album.  

The result is the perfect mix of the band’s pleasing AOR debut, with the harmony drenched trademark that is found on the NEWMAN records. Rounding out this album’s lineup is Steve's English teammates David Bartlett (bass) and Rob McEwen (drums), ensuring the best possible presentation for these songs. And because the PARIS story is all based on friendship, Seb made sure that Robert Säll was involved again on one song, like on the debut and Alessandro Del Vecchio adds backing vocals on one track.  

Frédéric says: “We're still writing songs together and we have a bunch of great tunes waiting in the vault, either for a next PARIS album or for any band or artist that requires new material.”   

Check out the first preview track from the album, the song Kitesurfing!

Libby Koch "Just Move On"


Describing Americana singer songwriter Libby Koch as 'country meets soulful', Free Press Houston perfectly pegs the artistry captured on Koch’s new album, "Just Move On", to be released on June 24th, 2016, by Berkalin Records.

Working in Nashville with Bil VornDick, she draws on legends from Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, to Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, among others, to craft an album of 'true cryin’ and leavin’ country songs'. Combining her country soul with a 7th generation Texas troubadour’s storytelling skill, Koch fills these songs with intimacy and honesty. Like the most timeless country classics, they’re the kind that make you feel good about feelin’ bad.

Koch’s gospel grounded and honky tonk voice powerfully navigates the emotions inherent in an album about relationships, starting with the opening break up trio, “Just Move On”, “You Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “Out of My Misery”, 3 diverse, retro to modern songs that ultimately convey more about the triumph of empowerment than the pain of loss. Tracked live with veteran players handpicked by VornDick, the album, her 4th, is a fine follow-up to her 2014 release, "Tennessee Colony", which drew on her ancestors’ stories to address themes of family, faith and home. Calling it 'a frisky blend of country, folk, bluegrass and gospel set to some mighty fine fiddle, banjo and mandolin' and labeling it 'daisy fresh', the Houston Press put "Tennessee Colony" on its year end top 10 list.

Though Houston native Koch began writing songs in junior high school, she never considered doing so professionally until she attended law school at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University, where she discovered she could hold her own in a city full of heavyweight talents. A job at a large Houston law firm convinced her music, not law, was her true calling, and eventually, she decided it was time to, just move on.....

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at HEMIFRAN

Gypsy Soul "True"


You’ve heard of crowd funding a CD, but what about an entire career? It all started with a promise to each other almost two decades ago in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gypsy Soul made the audacious commitment to each other to successfully make their living from their art and not to wait around for a label to discover them. They have just completed their 13th independent CD entitled, ”True” which is scheduled for an official release on June 17th, 2016.

Through their 19 year professional music career, Gypsy Soul have cultivated and nurtured an audience of life-long fans, not simply via their musical excellence, but because of their compelling story and dedication to all aspects of their craft. From their humble beginnings as immigrants to their unwavering passion, work ethic and approachability Gypsy Soul’s, Cilette Swann and Roman Morykit , have garnered a permanent place in the hearts of their fans. The exchange that’s come from these relationships has inspired their loyal supporters to donate over $81,000 for different CD projects. In fact, the duo's entire music career has been funded almost exclusively (save a few licensing deals and TV film uses) by the continued patronage of fans to over one thousand of their live shows.

Like its creators, their music is much like fine fusion cuisine, Italian, Irish, South African and Ukrainian to be precise. As with any work of art, their music is born from heartache and struggle, love and determination brewing with many textures, nuance and flavors. Their message is both universal and intimate, familiar yet otherworldly. Their roots rock meets acoustic soul sound is a true culmination of the very best of both Cilette and Roman's tastes, experiences and cultures.

Morykit, Gypsy Soul’s producer shares that he feels ”True” is their most unique CD to date, as it is a combination of both a live and studio record. "We like to call it a performance record as we limited ourselves to one or two takes to keep the performances fresh for our listeners”, states Morykit.

Gypsy Soul have had a Top 40 hit at Adult Contemporary radio with “Silent Tears”, and have had a number of other songs in the Top 5 on many other radio charts. In their 19-year professional recording and touring career, they've won numerous independent music awards, including the Independent Music Awards, International Acoustic Music Awards, Just Plain Folks and honors at Lilith Fair. The duo has sold over 140,000 CDs independently and had over 1.6 million downloads and plays of their songs on various online platforms. Their music has been aired on many TV shows including Providence, Roswell, Felicity and 90210, among others, as well as movies such as Quick Sand (Michael Caine) and After Sex (Brooke Shields).

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt at HEMIFRAN

Monkey House "Left"


Welcome to the Monkey House. This acclaimed project is the brainchild of singer/songwriter/arranger/producer Don Breithaupt, and, nearly 25 years into its career, Monkey House has recorded its strongest work yet Left, the fifth Monkey House album, is the follow-up to the 2012 album Headquarters.

That recording made believers out of some internationally renowned musicians who were then eager to participate in Left. That elite grouping includes LA session great Jay Graydon, guitar ace Elliott Randall (Steely Dan), and jazz star Donny McCaslin (David Bowie), while returning guests include current Steely Dan members Drew Zing and Michael Leonhart.

"Left" is more than just a collection of songs, it’s a fully formed and compelling work of art. Don explains "I view the making of an album as part of the art form. It is meant to be cohesive, something that musically and sonically sounds like one body of work.” He has accomplished exactly that here.

Read the full Monkey House story on ALMA RECORD site!

Also, don't miss the Inside Musicast interview with Don Breithaupt. ENJOY!