Interview with Amy Holland in Paris!


Amy Holland is actually on the road with her husband Michael McDonald in US. The band toured in Europe last March and played in Paris at The Olympia. An opportunity to meet Amy Holland for a video interview I am pleased to share with you. Enjoy!




Amy Holland was honored with a GRAMMY nomination for Best New Artist after her debut self-titled album. The single, “How Do I Survive”, soared into the Top 20 on the Billboard charts and put Amy on the map. It was ten years prior that she came to Los Angeles as a teenager to exploit her singer-songwriter skills. Fortuitously, she met then piano accompanist Michael McDonald, who was later to become producer of the hit LP alongside Patrick Henderson, making her a household name – and a few years after that, his wife. And now she's back with a new studio album aptly entitled, Light on My Path, produced by award winning Fred Mollin (Dan Hill, Jimmy Webb, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Mathis, Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus). It highlights her fluid and melodic style which will please country, jazz, blues and pop fans alike. In addition to the up-tempo first single “Walkin’ on a Wire”, which grabs you on the first chorus, the album features several sure-to-be classic ballads including “Prove That by Me,” a duet with Michael McDonald. Friends who contributed background vocals on the CD are David Pack (Ambrosia), David Crosby, Joseph Williams (Toto) and son Dylan McDonald. Amy co-wrote “Impossible Love” and “Light on My Path” on this record.

On the heels of her recording success that brought her fame globally, came her second album, On Your Every Word, also on Capitol Records. Although caught in the corporate crossfires there at the time, it was re-released by EMI in 2005. Cuts from the album, “Turn Out the Night” and “She’s on Fire” were featured in Scarface, and on the soundtrack, broadening her audience even more.

For the next several years, she became a staple for music supervisors of films big and small, most notably Night of the Comet (“Learn to Love Again” a duet with Chris Farren), Teen Wolf (“Shooting for the Moon”), St. Elmo’s Fire (“For Just a Moment (Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire”) duet with Donny Gerrard) and many more, as well as for television shows including One Life to Live (“All I Know” duet with Michael McDonald).

She also contributed vocally to recording projects with artists including Kenny Loggins, Joni Mitchell, Tim Weisburg, Doobie Brother Patrick Simmons as well as Michael McDonald’s solo albums. Her songs were recorded by Judy Collins (“The Journey to Miracle River”), Tim Weisburg (“I’ll Never Give Up”) and others and “She’s on Fire” was recently sampled by Lil Wayne.

By this time, Amy and Michael were married and had two children. Amy planned on a short hiatus to be a full-time mom and wife. The happy couple bought a farm in Tennessee and planned to settle down a bit from the typical rock ‘n’ roll whirlwind of touring and recording. As fate would have it, her lifelong dream career was brought to a screeching halt by a long and difficult battle with breast cancer -- that she gratefully won!

In the interim, when she was in Maui at their vacation home and had no performances and nothing she had to do, she started collecting museum quality buttons, antique charms and old jewelry that she repurposed into one-of-a-kind pieces – each named after a song! They became so popular that she couldn’t keep up with the demand and, once she returned to California, put it on a back burner to begin writing and recording again.

Her third album, The Journey to Miracle River (2008, Chonin Records), reflects her renewed inspiration. Amy co-wrote all of the songs with friends Jon Vezner, John Goodwin, Michael McDonald and Bernie Chiaravalle and featured contributions from Vince Gill, Michael McDonald, Shannon Forrest, Stuart Duncan, Tim Akers and son Dylan McDonald, to name a few. Amy’s voice is also heard on “Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth” from the very rare collector's DVD "Peace" by Willie Nelson and Friends benefitting the National Veterans Foundation; also featured are Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Michael McDonald and Pat Simmons.

Amy came to music organically. She was born in Palisades, New York to very talented parents. Her mom was a star in the 1930s and ‘40s. Known as Esmereldy, she could best be described as Ray Stevens meets Minnie Pearl (without the hat). She played on her southern roots and performed her novelty songs with a thick Hillbilly twang. Some of her records were “Slap Her Down Again Paw,” “I Didn’t Know that the Gun Was Loaded,” and “I’m My Own Grandma.” She was a woman of many “firsts.” She was the first female DJ on WABC Radio in New York, was in “soundies” that played in movie theaters, which were the precursors to today’s music videos, and she was the voice of Possum Pearl in the Popeye cartoons. She was also a terrific musician with expertise on the ukulele and piano. Although she was offered a movie contract by MGM, she felt it best to quit show biz when she got married, “probably because she didn’t want to outshine dad,” according to Amy. But dad was certainly no slouch. He was an opera star on Broadway but needed something more stable when their first child was born. He became a mastering engineer at Mercury Records and was responsible for mastering hits like “Walk Away Renee” (Left Banke) and records for Dusty Springfield, Johnny Mathis, the Four Seasons and early Ray Stevens hits.

Growing up with such strong musical influences led her to know by the time she was twelve that music was what she wanted to do the rest of her life. Despite the bumps in the road before, during and between hits, Amy Holland is here to stay and her album Light on My Path allows her vocals and style to shine, proof that talent will always be in demand.


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!

Welcome to Inside Musicast RADIO!


Inside Musicast has recently launched their radio "Inside Musicast Radio". 

Jeff Lorber, Tristan, The Dirty Loops, Chicago, Donald Fagen, Samuel Purdey, Lee Ritenour, Toto, Andreas Aleman, Christopher Cross, Ed Motta, Incognito, Los Lobotomys, Michael Landau, Tim Cashion, Young Gun Silver Fox, Terramara, Steve Khan, Snarky Puppy. Just a sample of what's spinning at Inside MusiCast Radio. 

Inside MusiCast Radio - the radio station you've never had...until now. 

There are many ways you can listen to Inside MusiCast Radio:

The web site:, iOS App (for iPhone and iPad), Android App, Winamp, iTunes, Windows Media Player, Real Player & QuickTime

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

Jay Graydon All Stars - 20TH Anniversary Edition


A 4 DVD box set, having a few flashbacks from the 1994 and 1996 actual concert footage, a fun and informational band reunion hang at Garden Rake Studios 20 years later, filmed by Todd Homme, and a lot of bonus material, such as for instance a complete explanation by Jay Graydon on how to play his "Peg" solo, as well as a very cool jam session in Jay's garden from 1989 with great musicians, including Steve Lukather, and so much more.

Interview with David Hungate (TOTO)...


David Hungate is the original bass player in Toto. He has a legendary amount of studio session credits that include Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Shania Twain, Boz Scaggs, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Chet Atkins, Vince Gill, Joe Cocker among countless others.

David made a triumphant return to Toto last year after an over 3 decade hiatus. He also contributed to the long awaited Toto studio release Toto XIV. Hungate was kind enough to lend Reggie Boylesome of his time to talk about his return to Toto and many other subjects.  

Check it out:

Interview with Bill LaBounty. Discover the new album "Into Something Blue"


Bill LaBounty just released his new album R&B tainted "Into Something Blue" featuring 11 brand new songs (plus a bonus track "Corporate Rock And Roll" on the japanese version). For the songwritting, Bill has joined to this project his wife Beckie Foster, Gary Nicholson, Jeff Silbar, Sam Lorber, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller. The album also includes covers from Ray Charles "Funny But I Still Love You" and Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues".

"Into Something Blue" is produced by longtime partner Rick Chudacoff and features Bill (vocals, keys), Jack White (Drums), Rick Chudacoff (Bass), Larry Carlton, Tom Hemby, Danny Parks (Guitars), Mark Douthit (Tenor Sax), Barry Green (Trombone), Bryan Cumming (Clarinet), Joey Richey, Stephanie Wilson & Nicole Ritchie (Background Vocals).


Interview with Mark, Kipp and Pat Lennon of the band VENICE!

The band Venice will release their new album "What Summer Brings" on November after a seven year recording hiatus, during which time three of the band's vocalists toured stadiums and arenas as Roger Waters' backup singers on his "Pink Floyd's The Wall" world tour. You can watch and listen to the first single "What's Done is Done" as a lyrics video HERE!

On september 19, we had the pleasure to meet Kip, Pat and Mark Lennon at their Hotel in Paris before the Roger Waters shows. We shot this interview to share with you stories about the band, their experience with "Pink Floyd's The Wall" tour and their upcoming new album. Enjoy!