• West Coast Music

    As the name indicates West Coast Music has its origin on the American West Coast. The music emphasizes melody, harmonies and arrangements, and the vocal and instrumental performances are always with great skill and of high quality. The music is often performed by pop/rock artists from the American West Coast, but is in no way limited to any geografical area.

News From Hemifran March 2017

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Hemifrån is an independent A&R, promotion and marketing company, based in the heart of Sweden, specializing in, what they call, “gut music” – The kind of music that you can feel in your gut, no matter what. Hemifran is promoting a lot of singer-songwriter, westcoast-pop, country, AOR and more. Here are featured some of their latest news – it is not all west coast, but dig into it!

Hometown Marie – Wild Side

Hometown Marie is a band from a small town called Mariestad in Sweden. The band started up around 3 years ago by singer songwriter Oskar Östman and drummer Simon Peterson. Hometown Marie has not been lazy during these 3 years. They’ve been of doing a lot at home in Sweden, but during their 1st year as a band they have been off to Glasgow and London playing venues, and after 2 years they traveled all the way to Nashville to write songs, play and meeting people. During 2016 Hometown Marie did over 30 shows in Sweden, released a new EP called “Wild Side”, and also returned to Nashville for some more networking and playing. Their music is described as very wide, with influences from old to new rock, with a big touch of country. More information at Hemifran.

Eric Lundgren – Door Dwellers

Erik Lundgren has made music for 2 decades and his albums have had many different moods and even genres over the years, but one thing is always apparent, he is always rooted in nature, heavily inspired by the Scandinavian wilderness. Growing up in a small town in Sweden, surrounded by forests, he often spent his time writing lyrics and music alone in the woods. Back in 2009 he lived in Japan where he spent a great deal of time soaking the Japanese culture and surroundings, it lead to the album ”One For The Road”, an album he released for free, which received over 100.000 downloads. More information at Hemifran.

Bobby Byrnes – Motel Americana

As a member of the Fallen Stars, Bobbo Byrnes has long proven himself as a key voice on the international americana scene. On his new solo album, “Motel Americana”, the singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist continues to successfully explore roots rock and alt country, focusing on the slightly quieter and more nuanced regions of americana. Bobbo, pronounced like Bobby, but with an o at the end, sang and played the guitars, mandolin, pedal steel, b3 organ and dumpster, yes, there’s a recorded dumpster on one of the tracks, and had help along the way from Tracy Byrnes (The Fallen Stars) on bass and vocals, Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters and Wallflowers) B3 organ on ”I May Never Know”, Ben Riddle (Riddle & The Stars) on backing vocals and Brandon Allen (The Fallen Stars) on drums. Staying true to form, the album has both pedal steel guitar and guitar feedback. It’s northern country rock, more Westerberg than Skynyrd. More information at Hemifran.

Lathouwers & Barbier – No Time For Rock´n Roll

Walter Lathouwers and Bart Barbier. Opposites by look, complementary musical. There is no better way to describe this Belgium based singer songwriter duo. Walter started playing guitar at age 8. As a self taught singer songwriter he sang and played wherever he could. Through the influence of the bands of the early 70’s, he evolved as a musician with a broad interest in blues, pop and rock. Bart started playing classical guitar at age 7. In his teens he discovered the electric guitar and sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Richie Blackmore, which were the first main influences. In 1996 he joined the ‘De Til, Music Univerity’ in Antwerp. Afterwards he became a guitar teacher and, occasionally, a session guitarist. They started writing music together in 2015. Very early on they realised that this process was going far too smooth and in the fall of 2015 they deceided their music needed a platform. So the acoustic experience was born and a first try out gig was planned for Febuary 2016. The reactions were so positive that in the next weeks, new gigs were flying in. A few months later they composed more than enough songs to fill a complete album, and the plans for their 1st full album were born. More information at Hemifran.

People vs Larsen – Loving Losing

People vs Larsen has offered an innovative voice in the indie and blues music scenes in New York since 2012 and have established themselves as one of the best live bands in New York City. Emanating from a wide breath of influence centered around the blues, People vs Larsen delivers a musical experience which infuses blues, rock, jazz and indie music, and gives audiences a powerful, soulful and uplifting experience. Tom Larsen, guitar and vocals, Spencer Murphy, bass, and Jordan Rose, drums, released their debut self titled record in the fall of 2012, and are releasing their 2nd album “Loving Losing” in early 2017. “Loving Losing” features the addition of renowned Crosby Stills & Nash organist Todd Caldwell, and showcases the breadth of Tom Larsen’s compositional and arranging prowess, from the massive, orchestral arrangement of Feist’s ”Limit To Your Love”, to the gritty, hard charging blues rock groove of ”One More Time”, from the funk infused brass sounds of ”Big Leg Woman”, to the poignant, lush colors and counter lines of ”When I Call You”, or haunting, virtuosic intimacy of the acoustic tracks such as ”Big Brass Bed”, ”Loving Losing” is a truly complete record from start to finish. More information at Hemifran.

Angus Crowne – Angus Crowne and The Family Jewels

Angus Crowne has been performing since his early teens, and is an accomplished author, screenwriter, playwright, theatrical producer, and concert producer, who has worked with Queen, Boy George, Fatboy Slim, Spacehog, Paul Oakenfold, Chris Thompson and many more. When asked in a recent interview how Angus Crowne & The Family Jewels materialized, he stated “As we start to get older, especially in our late 40’s, society seems to want you to slow down and let the youth have their turn. I say bullshit, I still have a lot to say”. About ukebilly punk, “It’s a new genre, mine, my music is ultimately about honesty and truth, and if I get to piss a few people off along the way, then my work here is done”. About the self titled debut album, “It’s about where I am in my life right now, it’s about getting older, wiser, but at times feeling frustrated and bitter, the message in all the songs on the album aren’t too difficult to figure out, some are tongue in cheek, some are hard, but all of the songs are me, and that has made working on them very special”. More information at Hemifran.

Urban Desert Cabaret – Shadow Of A Ghost

Urban Desert Cabaret is the musical project of Joe City Garcia. It is a place where Joe City creates and plays music that breaths the great American Southwest. From his youth in Northern New Mexico, and throughout a stretch of time in Los Angeles and the California desert, Joe has been playing everything from Tex Mex folk to garage phychedelia to punk rock. In the mid 90’s, along with a few other notable musical pilgrims, he became part of an early Joshua Tree, CA, music scene that revolved around Fred Drake’s groundbreaking Rancho de la Luna Recording Studio, recently featured in the Foo Fighters ’Sonic Highways’ HBO series. During that period, Joe was introduced to L.A. author, journalist and performer, Rubén Martínez, who invited him to co-write and record music for a theatrical project called Border Ballad. Subsequently they toured and performed in New York, Boston, Washington DC Los Angeles, Northern California and other places in between. More information at Hemifran.

Steve Mednick – Root Of The Sun

Welcome to ’Root Of The Sun’, my 12th CD. Work on this began in 2013 and was completed in 2015. It was placed on the backburner when the circumstances of life brought me ’Never Mind The Rain’. I wish I could remember when and where I stumbled across the term ’Root Of The Sun’, however, I do know that Pat Manfredo’s remarkable photo on the cover captured its essence. She has a great eye, don’t you think? As always I am and will remain eternally grateful to my collaborators in the studio including most eminently my good friend and producer Eddie Seville, who heroically breathes life into these songs. I have learned that the presentation of music requires a great ear, vivid imagination, technical prowess, shared vision and lucky accidents. After 9 years of collaboration it is evident that Eddie brings that, and so much more to this process. Eddie and our other multi-instrumental musical genius, Karl Allweier, are all over this work and I am ever indebted to them. These songs had time to marinate since they sat in the studio for a long time. They came to me in their own time and waited patiently for me to bring them to you. I hope you will agree that it was worth the wait. There are a lot of songs and I’ll just say a few words. In the end, you’ll be the judge.” ~ Steve Mednick. More information at Hemifran.

Steve Mednick – The Ceremony Of Innocence

“The Ceremony Of Innocence” is the 1st CD since my 12th and the 1 before my 14th, which will be called ’Following The Thunder’. Can you tell by the sentence structure that I am trying to avoid something? I guess I don’t want to call it my 13th, although, I just did. The truth is that I am not superstitious, but my mother was, and I suppose this reticence to state the obvious is homage to her fixation with that number. On the other hand, this 4th volume of my ’Problems In Democracy’ series of CD’s is about an election with a result that was not predicted, predictable, anticipated or, in the end, welcome by the voters of my country. So, if my mother were here, she would probably say, ’you see that number is a bad omen’. Is there such a thing as a good omen? Whatever the case, the CD was held up until after the election because something inside of me said, ’who knows what will happen?’~ Steve Mednick. And it did. More information at Hemifran.

Scott Smith – Down To Memphis

See info at The Sum Of Life. More information at Hemifran.

Scott Smith – The Sum Of Life

If ever a song summed up America’s state of mind in 2016, it’s Scott Smith’s piano stomping rocker “The World Is Strange”. Aiming to convey the overall concept of his infectious debut album ”The Sum Of Life” in its cover art, the Bay Area based americana, country and blues influenced singer and songwriter hit upon a piercing lyric on that track, “The Lord’s gone away, he ain’t comin’ back, he’s on his way to Vegas in a new Cadillac”. So on the album cover, the almighty, silver hair and beard whipping in the breeze, rolls carefree on the I-15, about to pass by a hitchhiking Smith, as if to say, “You’ve lived it, you’re a rocker, write some songs, you figure it out”. Over the course of the acoustic instrumental title track and the spirited mix of 10 edgy rockers and soulful ballads that follow, he does just that, with, to paraphrase the Beatles, a little help from his legendary Bay Area musical friends. Smith first tapped David LaFlamme, a virtuoso classical and rock violinist, who was the founder of the iconic San Francisco band It’s A Beautiful Day. LaFlamme put his signature sound on the free flowing acoustic instrumental opening title track, the uplifting and encouraging old school country and americana tune “Bad Dreams” and “The Best Gift. Smith also invited Nina Gerber, who became famous for playing with the late folk artist Kate Wolf, to play acoustic guitar on the title track. Nina Gerber also plays electric slide guitar on “Over It Soon” and ”Messing With Reality”. Mitch Woods plays boogie woogie piano on “The World Is Strange” and the rollicking anthem “Payday”. Also featured are Tommy Tutone drummer Vic Carberry, pianist and keyboardist Giovanni Imbesi, who has played with Yanni and Andy Summers. More information at Hemifran.

Mark Ripp & The Confessors – Under The Circumstances

I‘m a singer songwriter in the americana genre. My start was in the coffee houses of Toronto, some 35 years ago. Those folk beginnings we’re followed by a 10 year run as front man and writer for Canadian roots rockers The Bel-Vistas. The last couple of decades have been spent raising a family and pursuing music as a solo artist. I work away in my home studio now and am sometimes involved in recording and producing for others. My brand new release is called “Under The Circumstances”, and is a musical journey through the often unwieldy lives we lead. Influences are many, but the ones who set the bar high for me, then and now, include, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Van Morrison and Nick Lowe. If you’re a fan of thoughtful, melodic, roots based song writing I encourage you to have a listen. For the most part I perform as a solo acoustic act, and when all stars align I have a wonderful band called The Confessors who make me look good.” ~ Mark Ripp. More information at Hemifran.

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – This Is The Life I Choose

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion have been gigging and recording together since February 2012, it’s been a very fertile and productive time, with ‘This Is The Life I Choose’ being the band’s 4th studio album, all of which are full of potent and diverse original songs. Add to this two live albums and it is obvious that the musical chemistry and drive of songwriters Zoe and Rob will not let the band stagnate for a moment. The individual CV’s of the 4 musicians is second to none on the British music scene. Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion have made a name and reputation for consummate musicianship, stylish delivery, and a deep rooted, rich and diverse musical vocabulary. More information at Hemifran.

Husky Tones – Who Will I Turn To Now?

Husky Tones’ punk blues style favours the common rawness, simplicity and emotion shared between the punk and blues genres. Live it is delivered by the unique set up of a female drummer and singer Victoria Bourne and guitarist Chris Harper. Their approach to punk blues mirrors what they love as audience members, inventive, individual and fully aware of tradition, without being a slave to it. African and punk drumming patterns as a basis, fuzz boxes, guitar through guitar and bass amp this is how the Husky Tones create their full sound. Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Time For A Change’ in 2015 they have been making new friends and fans performing around the UK and songs from the album have been played on national and international radio. They have built a reputation for intense live shows performing at places such as London’s 100 Club and Blues Kitchen, Brighton’s Latest Bar, The Fleece in Bristol and national UK festivals. More information at Hemifran.

Son Of The Velvet Rat – Dorado

Son Of The Velvet Rat celebrates the release of their 6th album, ”Dorado”, a golden treasure of desert inspired tracks produced by the critically acclaimed songwriter and producer, Joe Henry. The album debuted internationally on February 17th, 2017, with a dual release by Fluff & Gravy (CD + vinyl) and Mint 400 (digital distribution).“’Dorado’ was recorded quickly over just a few days, and it had to be. The songs as deft pieces of writing had already been well considered, but their articulation needed to be urgent for the mystery at the heart of them to spark and fizz with real time revelation. Georg and Heike, the husband and wife duo from Austria who are lock and key to Son Of The Velvet Rat, both closing the circle of their shared intention, and springing it open, seem invariably to embody the purest constructs of americana. The voices you hear from this album hover like strobing waves rising from a ribbon of heated black road, and that is precisely how they entered my world, as an apparition both unmistakable and untouchable, other worldly, yet utterly familiar. I sometimes believe that as sprawling and confused as our national character has become, it requires a foreigner to actually make sense and whole cloth of its particular alchemy, to see it clearly, as if from the fire tower high above us.“ ~ Joe Henry, producer. More information at Hemifran.

Cary Morin – Cradle To The Grave

Roots based singer and fingerstyle guitarist Cary Morin announces an April 7th, 2017, release date for his 4th CD, ”Cradle To The Grave”. Recorded and engineered by Richard Werdes at Studio Underground in Ft Collins, CO, the new album completes a 3 album project of acoustic recordings by Cary Morin, who’s been acclaimed as ’one of the best acoustic pickers on the scene today’. On ”Cradle To The Grave”, Cary Morin brings together the great musical traditions of America and beyond like no other artist. These recordings provide a timeline of his songwriting and guitar work spanning 2014 to 2017. The lyrics range from blues to folk, and sometimes shine a light on his native american heritage and small town life in America. At times, the collection conveys the simplicity of a single chord to complex fingerstyle guitar. “The goal was to create a sort of triptych of my solo fingerstyle journey, one that demonstrates the evolution of my progression with songwriting, finger picking, and the use of open tunings”, says Morin. “Cradle To The Grave is a culmination of my musical efforts as a soloist thus far”. More information at Hemifran.

About admin

Good music enriches your life. At BLUE DESERT we are passionate about this particular yet wide-ranging style of music we call West Coast Music. This site is a modest tribute to the music and the performing artists, who through the (many) years have given us - and continue to give us - endless hours of musical enjoyment. As long-time fans we want to share our enthusiasm, experiences and views with fellow connoisseurs as well as curious newcomers. If we can do our bit to help promote this great music and all the gifted artist – well, then we have succeeded.

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