Previous month:
May 2019
Next month:
August 2019

Monkey House "Friday"


Friday is more than just a collection of songs - it’s a fully formed compelling work of art, and their strongest release yet. Welcome to the Monkey House!

Sophisticated musicianship, imaginative lyrics, and a flair for melody are signatures of the sound of Monkey House, a sound that has earned the group serious critical acclaim, peer respect, and a steadily expanding international following. 

Those characteristics are again evident on Friday, set for release on ALMA Records July 26, 2019. It is the fifth full-length release from the L.A./Toronto combo that has just celebrated the notable milestone of 25 years of playing together. That rare longevity has resulted in an invaluable empathy in the musical interactions of the core members: singer/songwriter/keyboardist Don Breithaupt, drummer Mark Kelso, bassist Pat Kilbride, and guitarist Justin Abedin. Also contributing prominently to Friday is the elite Toronto horn section of William Sperandei, Vern Dorge, John Johnson, William Carn and Tony Carlucci, as well as percussionist Art Avalos.

Adding to the comfort level in the studio for the recording of Friday was the return of the team of co-producer Peter Cardinali and engineer John ‘Beetle’ Bailey, reprising their roles from previous Monkey House records.

Cardinali also plays bass on four tracks. All but two of the tracks on Friday are solo Don Breithaupt compositions. One of them, "Book Of Liars", is a cover of a song by Steely Dan's Walter Becker. "As a lifelong Steely Dan fan, Walter's death hit me hard," says Don. "I thought it'd be a nice gesture to do one of his."

As has become the norm on Monkey House records, Friday features some notable guests. Guitarist Drew Zingg (Boz Scaggs) and trumpeter Michael Leonhart (Steely Dan) have guested on previous albums and make tasteful contributions here, as does François D’Amours (Gino Vannelli), and Snarky Puppy guitarist Mark Lettieri. Ground Up artist Lucy Woodward (Rod Stewart) adds background vocals throughout, while famed vocal quartet The Manhattan Transfer add their magic to the choruses of “The Jazz Life.” It’s hard to mistake the sound of those four incredible voices together.”

Freedonia "Firefly"


Freedonia is the brainchild of Christopher Cross and Randy Miller. The group is a collective made up of some of Austin’s finest musicians and features all original songs composed and produced by the group, with horn arrangements by Russell Haight.

The sound of the band sound was inspired by Steely Dan in their Aja period, which featured Tom Scott's distinctive all sax section sound.

Freedonia’s debut album was released last year and the new album “Firefly” is set to release soon.

Gerry Beckley "Five Mile Road"


I knew that this batch of songs, even the choice of the album's title, was going to be about my journey, says Gerry Beckley, who finds himself embracing his past personally, professionally and creatively nearly as much as he looks to the future.

But for the singer/songwriter/performer best known for his 49-year career as co-founder of the legendary band America and whose acclaimed collaborations have also ranged from Carl Wilson and Dan Fogelberg to David Cassidy and John Waters the journey still shimmers with a melodic melancholy that makes his music as familiar as it is iconic.

And as America prepares to celebrate its half-century anniversary, Beckley brings his own journey home on his new Blue Élan Records release, "Five Mile Road.

Leonid & Friends "Chicagovitch II"


In just three short years, Leonid & Friends has blown the minds of legions of fans with their uncanny ability to capture the spirit, musicality and fire of American supergroup Chicago.

And what is even more stunning is that Leonid & Friends hasn’t seen Chicago perform live, yet replicates the band’s complex arrangements amazingly note for note.

"Chicago has never been in Russia and none of us have attended their concerts," said Leonid Vorobyev, a multi-instrumentalist who is the band’s leader. "We have only audio records and videos (to help us learn Chicago songs)."

Thanks Mathieu Richet

Backman Johanson and the others "At Last"


In June 2019, BJATO released an AOR/West Coast Rock album called “At Last”. This special edition album, which has been produced through a unique international collaboration, includes TWO NEW bonus tracks. BJATO’S music has a strong emphasis on songs with great vocals and cool guitar arrangements.

The Swedish duo Kaj Backman and Mats Johanson have composed a compilation of songs with strong influences of iconic groups such as TOTO, Airplay and Maxus to name but a few.

The album “At Last” contains FOURTEEN killer songs with an exciting International line up of singers, musicians and lyricists. Hugely talented AOR vocalists Göran Edman, Frank Ådahl, Patrik Ahlm, Johan Boding, Regin Guttesen, Gabby Gordon, Isak Widmark, Robin Öhman and Maurizio Sorrone perform on “At Last”.

UK based Mel Barnett has written most of the lyrics for the album. “At Last” is produced by Tomi Malm, Scott Williamson and Joakim Styren together with Kaj and Mats. The highly acclaimed album “At Last” has been released in Japan and signed to a Japanese record label with regular airplay on several European Radio Stations.


James Harrah "Light Years Away"


James Harrah is an American guitar player and songwriter. He began his career in the early 1980s as the guitar player for Rickie Lee Jones on her tour following the album “The Magazine. Shortly after that he signed on to Madonna’s “Virgin Tour” and then the “Who’s that girl” tour two years later.  His first album “Words Fail Me” was released in 2009 and his second release “Light Years Away” is due out this spring. James has been a part of the music scene for four decades contributing his unique sound to a diverse array of artists such as Jane Child, Herbie Hancock, Melissa Etheridge, Andrae Crouch, Al Jarreau, Leonard Cohen, Jewel and Ziggy Marley

A man who dons many hats, James has also worked on numerous films, tv shows, commercials and Broadway musicals. His work can be heard on the films, “Dinner for Schmucks”,  “The Guilt Trip” and TV shows, “Friends” and “Supernatural”. Most recently James’ writing and playing credits can be found on the new Huey Lewis and the News album also due out this spring.

James gives credit to his roots. His mother Allegra was an opera singer who passed on her love and passion for music to her 8 children. They learned to harmonize from very young ages and put it in to practice in their fathers church. Guitar came to him very naturally after that and he had no shortage of people to accompany.

Marc Bonilla "Celluloid debris"


Marc Bonilla is an American guitarist and composer. He has worked with Keith Emerson (including on 1995's Changing States and in 2006-2016 was featured in the Keith Emerson Band), Ronnie Montrose, Glenn Hughes (on Addiction (produced, co-written and performed), The Way It Is, 1999, also playing keyboards), David Coverdale (late 2000 live band) and Kevin Gilbert (Toy Matinee live band). He also appears on the Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute album Encores, Legends & Paradox (Magna Carta Records, 1999) and a spoken word album with comedian Bobby Gaylor for Atlantic entitled "Fuzzatonic Scream" including the controversial single, "Suicide" in 1998.

He has released a number of solo albums. Among them, EE Ticket (Reprise, 1991), and American Matador (Warner Brothers, 1993), which includes covers of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and "I Am the Walrus" with guest Ronnie Montrose. Bonilla currently plays in California Transit Authority, a project led by former Chicago drummer, founding member and Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer Danny Seraphine, featuring some updates to early Chicago songs as well as new material and has currently completed the follow-up album of all original material. He has also produced, co-written and performed with the Keith Emerson Band's new album. In addition, he tours with Eddie Jobson's UZ Project as singer, guitarist and bassist.

Discover his new cd ""Celluloid debris"!

Geyster "Television"


"We live in a society where words and images speak louder than action.

We pretend to save the world, so we sign the trendiest online petitions or walk together to protest racism or to save the climate.

And for the sake of a good conscience we manage to convince ourselves we can have a significant impact on those things. Then we proudly post evidences with pictures or videos of our heroic actions on social networks to show how engaged and good we are to our followers.

We have, in some way, created our own television channels with a continuous live stream of the surface of our lives, showing an entertaining binary and contrast less world of make-believe strictly limited to joys & frights, pain and enjoyment sadness & happiness with the void throwing in between.

Gil Scott Heron used to say the revolution will not be televised. Well The revolution will be (and already is) advertised, facebooked, twittered, instagrammed, networked Broadcast…. and therefore, it will be televised."

Gaël Benjamin

Mark Baker "The Future Ain't What It Used To Be"


The name Mark Baker may not be immediately recognisable to many, but for liner note/album credits junkies, it signifies top shelf AOR songwriting. Whether it be anthems or ballads, a Mark Baker song means memorable hooks and a big chorus.  

Mark Baker is the man behind the iconic Signal ‘Loud & Clear’ album as well as many other songs including tracks for 38 Special, Paris Black, Triumph and Boulevard. He was also the main co-writer on House Of Lords’ acclaimed ‘Demons Down’ record, re-joining as co-writer on some of the band’s more recent albums too.  

‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ is a compilation of Mark’s songwriter demos from the 80s and 90s. The songwriter demos feature various singers, including the best session vocalist of them all –Mark Free. I’m pleased to say there are several unreleased Mark Free vocals.  

But that’s not all – there are some original demos from the House Of Lords ‘Demon’s Down’ record as well as an appearance from Chicago’s Bill Champlin on an amazing AOR anthem. Several of these demos have been traded online for years and MRR is thrilled to be able to bring one disc of this material to light in July. The tracks come from DAT masters and will as always be remastered by JK Northrup.  

Mark Baker ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ will be released worldwide July 26 alongside Outlasted ‘Waiting For Daybreak’.  

You can pre-order the album now as well as hear a couple of the songs right now!