Five For Friday – Holiday Weekend Edition!

Wishing everyone a happy holiday weekend, hope you’re already enjoying it!  Here are some catchy tunes to get you thru your travels, time with family, binge eating, or whatever makes you happiest.

1) GOLDEN COAST – Take You Away:

What a perfect song to start with!  A fun, catchy, long-weekend-sounding track from this LA based band.  It’s impossible to not feel transported and carefree when you hear this!  Also a great song for sync opportunities.  This band is playing on Tuesday night 4/7 in LA and I’m definitely going to check them out.

Golden Coast Facebook

Golden Coast Twitter

See Golden Coast in LA 4/7 at the Kick Kick Snare Event! 

2) OH WONDER – Midnight Moon:

This lovely UK duo has been quietly releasing one song at a time on Soundcloud on the 1st of every month.  Here’s the latest.  It’s catchy and sweet, and I love the turn it takes about 3/4 of the way thru.  Their debut album is out in September, and you catch them live in London, Paris, LA and Brooklyn this fall.  Tickets are for sale via their Website.  I think this band will be big in the next year!

Oh Wonder Facebook

Oh Wonder Twitter 

3) THE MAINE – Same Suit Different Tie

Here’s a new one from Arizona based “The Maine”.  This is off their upcoming 5th full length album out now.  It has a great, pop-y sound and it’s catchy as hell.  The band is touring the US now thru May.  Tour Dates HERE.

The Maine Website

The Maine Twitter

4) DIVE IN – Eighteen:

Synth-pop goodness from this Glastonbury based band.  The EP, “Eighteen” is out in late May.

Dive In Website

Dive in Twitter

Dive In Facebook 

5) ALLIE – Remedy:

The new single from this talented Canadian singer-songwriter, and it’s got some serious soul!  I like it more every time I hear it.

Allie Facebook

Allie Twitter

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Life Lessons from Robben Ford

Last night I went to see blues guitar master Robben Ford at the Grammy Museum.  I EXPECTED to hear a guitar legend speak about his amazing career and was excited to hear some songs off his new album, “Into The Sun” out today.  But, knowingly or not, he also dispensed some amazing, life-improving advice that I think can apply to everyone. Bonus!

In a Q & A format, Robben spoke candidly about his legendary career, which started when he was just a teenager.  When asked if he was insecure about playing with a legend like Jimmy Witherspoon at such a young age, Robben said no – and his quote brings me to the first life lesson:

“If you’re confident in yourself, you can fit in anywhere”..

He went into detail about playing on the road with Joni Mitchell, and called it the “best experience of his life” – even though he initially DIDN’T WANT TO!

LIFE LESSON: Say YES!  You never know what an opportunity may bring or how it may enrich your life.

Robin spoke about his guitar playing by referencing Malcolm Gladwell’s book OUTLIERS.  Robben said that as Malcolm suggests, it took him about 10 years to get good at songwriting.

LIFE LESSON:  PERSISTENCE!  Stick to it!  You can’t master a skill without putting in time and effort.

Robben’s single piece of advice to aspiring guitar players is, “Learn chords”.  Robben himself used Mickey Baker’s book Jazz Chords Volume 1.

After inspiring us with insights from his career and words of wisdom, Robben played 4 songs off the new album, “Into The Sun”, out today via Provogue Records / the Mascot Label Group.

This new album is a chance for Robben to do his own thing, which he said that he’s always wanted to do, despite playing on tour with legends such as Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis and Charlie Musselwhite, among many others.  The album highlights his skillful guitar playing, songwriting, and singing.   In speaking of the album, Robben says “The rule was to have no lid on things..I made sure there was room for new ideas and everything my collaborators brought to the music.”  His collaborators on the album are vocalist ZZ Ward, blues great Keb’ Mo’, and guitar masters Warren Hayes, Sonny Landreth, Robert Randolph and Tyler Bryant.

My favorite track on the album is So Long 4 U – with Sonny Landreth:

Robben is playing a live show TONIGHT, 3/31 at Guitar Center in Hollywood at 7 PM.  Register here: Music Mentor Sessions.

Check out the new album and follow Robben – (you never know when you’re gonna learn something!)

Website

Facebook

Twitter

FIVE for FRIDAY – 5 new songs to kick off the weekend!

It’s the end of the week!  Here’s a diverse mix of 5 new songs to get you to and thru a great weekend!

1) JAALA – Double Dutch (Demo)

A brand new 3 piece girl band from Australia who describe themselves as “experimental bedroom punk”.  I love em already!  This song starts out sounding groovy, smooth, funky – and just when you start to think you know where it’s going..BAM!  It becomes something else entirely.  But it’s somehow both jarring AND seamless and it’s a fun sonic journey.  Per their Facebook page, they played their first ever gig just this past month, and they have a forthcoming debut album coming out. Can’t wait to hear more from these talented ladies!

JAALA Soundcloud

JAALA Facebook

2) ON AN ON – Drifting

I LOVE this song.  Simply put – it’s just so pretty, but also paints a dramatic cinematic picture.  This would be a great song to sync to a scene – it conveys so much angst and trepidation, lost love and uncertainty.  And it builds to such a fantastic climax!  In their own words, “Drifting is inspired by falling asleep behind the wheel and trying to forget unforgettable things. We’ve never had a song that sounded this naked.”  This band is on tour as I type thru 4/11 – playing Washington DC tonight, Chicago 3/30 – see their website for more dates.  They’ve also got a new album coming out this summer.

On An On Website

On An On Facebook

On An On Twitter

3) COVES – Shot To The Wall

The kick ass guitar riff in this song is reason enough to give it a listen!  There’s not too much happening lyrically but, it doesn’t matter.  It’s groovy and croony and reverby, and a great weekend tune!  They just wrapped up a headlining tour in the UK and their new album drops in April.

Coves Website

Coves Facebook

Coves Twitter

4) WHISPA – L^CE

When I hear this, I just want to be getting in my car, and saying “PEACE OUT” to a long work week.. This is another great song for sync placement.  Soooooooo groovy.  It’s got such a strong vibe, with a couple distinct sections that give this tune definite momentum.  I love what this self proclaimed UK based “anti genre music producer” is doing and if you’re not bopping along to this in some way, well, then you must not be hearing it at all! There’s a free download of this song on his soundcloud page, link below.

Whispa Facebook

Whispa Twitter

Whispa Soundcloud

5) GALIMATIAS – Ocean Floor Kisses

And now, something for when you get home, open that bottle of wine, or draw that bath, or light that joint, or whatever it is that settles you down..  This beautiful sonic-sphere from this talented Danish producer does have an almost liquid sound to it, some of the chords seem to come and go in bubbles.  Just sit back, relax, and enjoy….

Galimatias Facebook

Galimatias Twitter 

Galimatias Soundcloud

SXSW 2015: Favorite Finds

SXSW_2015_Family_CMYK-02

SXSW is both awesome and overwhelming.  With over 2,000 bands playing in hundreds of venues over a week in Austin, – what’s not to love?  Cutting to the chase, here were my favorites: (click band name to listen)

YEARS & YEARSYhE9s9Nj

IBEYI ibeyi-oya-river

SEINABO SEY10354296_1426338304293749_1121069846_n

COURTNEY BARNETT00a91e37

LEON BRIDGESleon-bridges

JAMES BAYJames_Bay-color-17_3126971k

TWIN PEAKSTwin-Peaks

HINDS (FKA Deers)deers-main

New Stuff I Like 2015 Playlist

Happy Friday the 13th!  Looking for new music to kick off your weekend?  Check out my “new stuff I like 2015” Spotify playlist:

There’s some really great stuff here, and,  I’m excited to see some of these bands at SXSW next week!

Most of these artists have new albums either just out or set for release this year.  So take a listen and support your faves!

And, if you’re a musician with new stuff out this year – give me a shout and you just might land on this list.

Looking for new music!

I’ve updated my blog, it’s time to update my ears.  Calling all musicians, songwriters, composers, bands – any and all of you!  I’d love to hear your music!  I will listen to it, I’ll give you feedback IF you want it, and I’ll write about it if I like it!  This is a win/win – new music for me, hopefully more exposure for you.

If you’re in, send a link to alongtherail@gmail.com.  Or, you can tweet it to me at @alongtherail.

Looking forward to hearing from you!