Christian Gratz "1979"


Christian Gratz is a talented multi-instrumentalist and composer from Olyphant Pennsylvania. But this is not what makes him unique. Gratz was born with a rare condition called Synesthesia/Chromasthesia, which is clinically defined as the meshing of two senses. I wanted to find out how Gratz got turned on to music that was popular before his time and how his condition affects his ability to create/play music.

In the late ’70s/early ’80s, the only music that Gratz was exposed to was what he could pick up on the radio. One station he listened to played Top 40 tunes while the other played Easy Listening. Says Gratz, “I’ve always been enchanted with music because I have this thing called Synesthesia which means I see colors when I hear music. Each note has a different color.” When he was young, he thought everyone had this experience while listening to music. “I couldn’t understand why nobody else was as excited about music as I was. To me, because I have [Synesthesia] music became real, it became concrete because I see the effects of music on my brain.”

READ MORE by Bethany Bowman...

CWF (Champlin/Williams/Friestedt) "II"


Black Lodge Records are immensely proud to present the signing of Champlin Williams Friestedt for a new milestone release in AOR. This follows on the heels of the success with “CWF” and the “Live In Concert” DVD that made it all the way to the top of the Swedish charts.

Champlin Williams Friestedt consists of renowned TOTO singer Joseph Williams, composer of film and drama scores and can also be heard in Disney’s animated feature film “The Lion King” as the singing voice of adult Simba.
Teaming up with none other than Bill Champlin formerly of the legendary band Chicago and critically acclaimed guitarist, producer and recording artist Peter Friestedt, the album “II” also includes contributions from vocalist, Michael McDonald, drummer John JR Robinson (Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones), Randy Goodrum (Toto, Chicago), Tamara Champlin and Polar price 2020 winner Diane Warren among many others.


With the TOTO haunting “10 Miles” to the CHICAGO sounding ballad “Between The Lines” and the soulflavoured “Love In The World” to the straight forward rock track “Runaway Dancer” this album really takes you on a Journey:  The album was recorded at Goldmine Studios & Friestedt Productions Studio and produced by Peter Friestedt, Bill Champlin and Joseph Williams.

“II” will be released 15 May 2020 on both digital and physical formats.

Young Gun Silver Fox "Canyons"


Canyons are places of mystery and beauty. The interesting thing is, while they are one of the great wonders in the history of planet earth and attract scientists of all kinds of disciplines, they have also been a popular retreat for artists and musicians. You will have heard of Topanga Canyon, Rickie Lee Jones and Chicago recorded here. Laurel Canyon is even more well known, a mythical place where Crosby, Stills & Nash developed their unique vocal sound while hanging around Mama Cass' place. Or was it in Joni Mitchell's house on Lookout Mountain? Ok, you get the picture. There is something unexplainable, almost magical going on in canyons.

Maybe that's why Andy Platts and Shawn Lee were thinking of "Canyons" when they wrote and recorded their third album as Young Gun Silver Fox. With "West End Coast" and "AM Waves" these two very talented musicians, singers, songwriters, arrangers and producers already explored all things Westcoast, AOR, Softrock and Boogie. But - especially if you are a into the golden age of this sound running from circa 1976 to 1984 - you will be aware that there is no return once you started digging these unconditional musical delights with their timeless compositions, untouchable musicianship and refined arrangements. The great albums from that era appeared when punk broke and the musical establishment was shaken to the ground. Today they sound more up to date than ever. Who would have thought back then?

On "Canyons" Young Gun Silver Fox turned it up to eleven. They are nothing but "Kids" cruising in the fast lane, totally over the top searching for the "Dream Woman", touching down in Tokyo caught in a "Long Distance Love Affair", imagining the theme for a lost 70s TV series starring "Danny Jamaica", being on the winning side in a "Private Paradise", getting deep and soulful in "Things We Left Unsaid" and wondering how to spread "All This Love". Their bass lines, sound layers, brass arrangements and harmony vocals are immaculate. Everything fits perfectly. Just like this. "Who Needs Words" when everything is crystal clear? Exactly!

"Canyons", after all, are magical places of rare beauty. (Mr. Mellow - Porcaroc Club/Mr. Mellow's Sunday Scene/Soho Radio).

Bernie Chiaravalle "This Is What I See"


2020 marks the release date of Bernie Chiaravalle's 10th solo album. It includes 11 new songs written by Bernie and one co-written with Michael McDonald.

It features guest appearances by Dan Needham, Jacob Lowery, Mark Douthit, Dylan McDonald and Peyton Parker. It is available on CD as well as iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby, Amazon and many more online retailers.

James Taylor "American Standard"


It takes an extraordinary artist to re-imagine some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century and make them completely their own. And that's precisely what James Taylor has accomplished with his brand-new album, American Standard.

Recalling the best of James' early work, he infuses new sounds and fresh meaning into these timeless works of art. While these 14 carefully chosen interpretations naturally feature James' warm, one-of-a-kind vocal ability and incomparable musicianship, what makes this collection so unique is the inventive way James and his fellow co-producers, longtime collaborator Dave O'Donnell and famed musician John Pizzarelli, approached the project.

Unlike most who have tackled similar material, American Standard's beautifully simple, stripped-down arrangements are based on James' skillful acoustic guitar work rather than piano and the affect is mesmerizing.

Will Champlin "Great Divide"


Born and raised in Los Angeles into a musical family, Will Champlin holds his own from playing piano on Michael Jackson's last record, to reaching top 3 of season 5 of The Voice on NBC. He has toured and/or written for acts like Glenn Frey, Billy Ray Cyrus, Heather Headley, Reik, & One Direction.

His songwriting work on Heather Headley's 2010 “Audience Of One” earned him 2 Grammy wins. He's also recently collaborated with YouTube artists such as Kurt Hugo Schneider and others. 

In July of 2014 Will released his record known as 'Borrowing Trouble' which features the single 'Heat of Passion' that was used for HBO's 2014 fall preview, and 'Eye of the Pyramid' that he returned to The Voice stage to perform. With a new album in the works, Will released the song 'Indigo' as a current single, co-written with Ryan Marshall of Walk Off the Earth. In the summer of 2018 he toured with the Legendary Rock Supergroup Poison playing keyboards and backing vocals.

Now it's time to reveal his new album "Great Divide".

Robert Hart "Pure"


Robert Hart is a British Rock Vocalist and songwriter. His career has seen him play with the likes of The Distance, Company of Snakes and Bad Company, as well as the Jones gang and more recently Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. His recording styles have varied and he can range from Pop to West Coast to Blues Rock to Hard Rock, such is his ability.  

In 1989 Robert recorded a solo album “Cries and Whispers” which can be described as prime time AOR and has been a highly sought after recording ever since. The album was originally released on Atlantic Records with Stewart Levine at the production desk.  

Three years later Robert was the first recording artist to be signed by Hollywood Records which was owned by Disney and had the pleasure of working with the great Russ Ballard. The resulting album “Robert Hart” charted in more than 18 countries and it was a great AOR Rock Album that got him noticed By Bad Company’s Mick Ralphs who then asked him to front Bad Company following the departures of Paul Rodgers and Brian Howe. In 1995 Robert Co-wrote the album “Company of Strangers” and he has since become a household name in Rock Circles.  

The two solo albums “Robert Hart” & “Cries and Whispers” were re-released together in digipack form by Escape Music in 2013 and this package reminded fans just how good Robert is. Robert also worked with Jim Kirkpatrick (FM guitarist) on the DIESEL album “into the fire” in the same year and this has further cemented Roberts reputation as a top notch vocalist.  

Fast forward to 2020 and Robert is back with a brand new album called “Pure” and this is something else as Robert has given us 12 fresh sounding songs that have a unique pop rock sound. Names like Robert Plant and Go West come to mind, these are really catchy songs and are instantly remembered after just one listen.   Robert Hart will be touring Rock Meets Classic with Alice Cooper, Thunder and Mother Finest March 2020!   One to watch out for in 2020!.

Robert Hart: Lead Vocals / Backing Vocals Tommy Denander: All Guitars / Keyboards (Alice Cooper / Steve Walsh / Jimi Jamison) Brian Anthony: Bass / Percussion (Steve Walsh / Lonerider / Overland) Michael Lange: Drums Steve Overland: Backing Vocals (FM / Lonerider / Shadowman)

Urban Soul "Two"


The horns of Lindeborg/Andersson have been heard on recordings and on tour with an extensive list of Swedish and international artists. While touring with Björn Skifs (Hooked on a feeling) the idea was born to pay tribute to the genre that had always been closest to their hearts. The dream was to take their favorite players/singers to a studio and make an album which Lindeborg describes as a heartfelt, energetic smooth jazz record featuring all of our favorite friends from Sweden and abroad.

The groups first release received critical praise, and now the follow-up album, Two (featuring Bill Champlin, Michael Landau, David Hugues, Sara Nordenberg, Johann Asmundsson, Jonathan Fritzen) is sure to garner the same respect.

The Mike Bella Project «ONE»


Michele Della Bella (a.k.a. Mike Della Bella), approached music in 1977 when he was given a guitar at the age of 12; by then he formed his first band with some teen friends discovering himself as a talented songwriter. In 1986, after writing many good songs and performing some brilliant shows in Rome, he decided it was time to rise to the next level, founding his first quasi-pro band, the Joint Stock Company, challenged and supported by Faber Farina whom he had met 7 years before and is his biggest fan and main biographer since then. Faber introduced Mike to the world of music recording so the new band released an album in 1987 titled ‘Something New’.

Jazzed by the result, Mike left playing guitar and learned to play keyboards, then renewed the band releasing a new album in 1989 titled ‘Challenge the Sky’.
The album confirmed Mike’s talent in songwriting thus in early ’90 he decided to quit working with bandmates by starting a new life as songwriter. After having set up his private recording studio he started writing songs over songs, many of these remained unperformed, due to the lack of a band; many others found their place in a new project called Stamina which released an album in 1994 titled “Affinity of Tribal Love and Perpetual Hate”. That CD had a very good impact and reviews in the States and the single “Gifts Of Life” obtained an Honorable Mention in a Songwriters’ competition held by the acclaimed magazine “Billboard”.

After that Mike stopped writing music due to his professional career which was always more demanding in working time. But in 2015 Faber secretly went over the tape cassettes he and Mike recorded in the early 90’s and collected all the songs which still were unreleased, thus compiling a brand new album titled “Unreleased Gems” and gave it to Mike. Listening again to all his old songs that he kept buried somewhere in his mind, challenged Mike to release a real record not only for his personal satisfaction but for the world-wide audience. The Mike Della Bella Project began …”