SXSW 2015: Favorite Finds


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)


IBEYI ibeyi-oya-river

SEINABO SEY10354296_1426338304293749_1121069846_n


LEON BRIDGESleon-bridges

JAMES BAYJames_Bay-color-17_3126971k


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  Or, you can tweet it to me at @alongtherail.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

New Stuff I Like: RYAN AMADOR

“Where do you fall on the spectrum of sexuality?”

A question I’d never asked myself before, but now that I’ve heard Ryan Amador’s song “SPECTRUM”, I can’t stop asking myself that!

Ryan calls his genre “bio soul”,  and expresses himself through songs that are deep in thoughts about love, sex, and human nature itself.  He has a beautiful, crooning voice that belies his young age.

Though “SPECTRUM” is a super catchy, fun little ditty of a tune with a refrain that will stick with you for days, it’s lyrics present underlying questions and a premise that are quite profound.
The song also features wonderful contributions from Jo Lampert and Gyasi Ross.

Spectrum is on the collection of songs called “4S”, which as a whole beautifully captures Ryan’s range as a songwriter and singer.
His music elicits sadness, hope, love, loss, power and joy all at the same time.

Looking forward to a lot more from this talented singer / songwriter!

Check out more from Ryan here:
Ryan Amador homepage
Ryan Amador Facebook

NARIP love..

Last weekend I went to my first annual NARIP networking brunch.  Wow – SO great!

NARIP stands for “National Association of Record Industry Professionals”.  They’re a wonderful organization for almost ANYONE involved in the music industry.

They have seminars, workshops, a job bank, A & R sessions – just to name a few of the wonderful career advancement opportunities.
Another feature are the monthly brunches – everyone in attendance gets 30 seconds to introduce themselves to the group.  I met SO many wonderful, talented musicians – many of which I will start profiling here on the blog.
The music business is ALL about networking and connecting with people – and NARIP is a great way to do it.

Check them out here:

I’m incredibly excited to be back and can’t wait to dive into a new year of music.
I have a music related resolution – I hope to see, hear, learn about, write about and enjoy more diverse  sounds this year..  Get some more variety into my musical “diet”.

CBS’ 60 Minutes this past weekend gave me the perfect launching point, as they did a story about the NYC production of ALIVE!  55+ and Kickin!

It’s musical theater in NYC, in which all of the performers are over 55 years old.  Many came to the open audition out of obscurity, finally able to pursue a life long dream.  Performers range in experience both on stage and in life.  Some have been working full time jobs their whole lives, dreaming of the spotlight one day, while others have served time in jail.
But wow- they can sing!

Taken from their website: “ALIVE is about the healing and transformative power of story and song.  With music ranging from gospel, to soul, to blues, to R&B, to pop and Broadway, ALIVE captures a wide spectrum of the total Black experience in sound.”

Here’s a link to the wonderful piece from 60 Minutes.  And here’s a link to the ALIVE website.
What an incredibly inspiring show.  It speaks to the power of people, and the healing and transformative power of music.   How great would it be to see these kinds of productions in more cities in the US?

Performances resume in the spring at the Dempsey Theater in NYC.  I HOPE I get to NYC to see this, and hope you do too!

New Stuff I like: PALACE

I just stumbled upon a band from London called “Palace”.
They’ve got a dreamy, bluesy, alt-rock sound that is all things beautiful, moody and powerful.

Their debut EP ‘Lost In The Night” comes out October 20 on Beatnik Creative.  
In the meantime, check out the the appropriately beautiful video for “Bitter”, directed by Liam Saint- Pierre.
I’ll be watching these guys, can’t wait to hear the EP and see what they do next.  Hey Palace, come play in Los Angeles soon!! 
Hear another great song, “Veins” on Palace’s Soundcloud:

Diggin’ It – ROYAL BLOOD

Do you wanna hear ROCKIN’ riffs that ooze cool?

Shredding guitar with just enough of the blues to stay this side of metal?

Do you wanna feel like the coolest person on Earth while listening to a song? 
If you answered yes to any of the above, you should be listening to ROYAL BLOOD.
In this age of heavily produced EDM, it was so refreshing to experience how powerful some well played guitar and drums can be. From just a couple of guys! 
Testosterone laden riffs fueled with a sensitive side, these two handsome UK boys had me at the first chord last night at The Troubadour.  
Watch a performance of “Little Monster” at Reading:
I love this band and hope to hear a lot more from them in the future!  
Rock on!!  

LUCINDA WILLIAMS @ Way Over Yonder 9/26/14

The Way Over Yonder Fest is happening at the Santa Monica Pier for the second year this weekend.
It’s a unique environment for a festival – at the edge of the sea, cool ocean breezes in the air, volleyball players on the pier below, hard core music fans mixing with tourists and casual observers- and great music on a small, well curated main stage.

Last night, Lucinda Williams performed many songs off her upcoming new album – due 9/30, “Where The Spirit Meets The Bone”.  Pre-order it  HERE.

A talented song writer, her new material continues to support that accolade. She’s a seasoned story teller, and has a “devil may care” command of the stage that’s really fun to watch.
Her voice is equally weathered and powerful. She conveys credibility and experience.  There are a lot of singers that sing about frustration in love and life, but, when it comes from Lucinda, there’s an extra level of “yeah, she knows what she’s talking about”.  Her music combines the blues, country and rock in a seamless way.

Though it’s not a new song, I love “Righteously” – specifically the great line, “Be my lover, don’t play no game, just play me John Coltrane”.  A sentiment shared by lots of ladies, judging by the reaction by the crowd every time she sang it.

Her backing band was also impressive – Stuart Mathis on Guitar, David Sutton on Bass, and Butch Norton behind a huge drum kit.
You can catch her live at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco on October 3, and she’s out with a full tour starting in November.  
See her website for dates: