News From Hemifran August 2016

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!


Jaime Michaels – Once Upon Different Time

Right on schedule, Jaime Michaels is poised to release his 10th album in the past 20 years. This one is called “Once Upon A Different Time”, with all songs written by Jaime, and mostly new tunes, with a couple of re-recorded favorites. Once again Jono Manson is the producer, their 9th project together, with the bulk of the recording tracked and mixed at Kitchen Sink Studio in beautiful downtown Chupadero, New Mexico. Jaime was joined in the studio by his regular team of players, guitarist Ben Wright, bassist Josh Martin and drummer Mark Clark. They are joined by special guests including keyboardist Jason Crosby (Phil Lesh, Bob Weir), singers David Berkeley and Melissa Greener, mandolinist John Egenes, banjo player Sam Armstrong Zickefoos, Char Rothschild (Round Mountain), bassist Justin Bransford and NYC sax man Craig Dryer, with Jono sittin’ in on guitar and vocals. More information at Hemifran.


Kaurna Cronin – Southern Loss

Kaurna Cronin is a wandering storyteller. As part of a new breed of Australian artists he is constantly redeveloping the way music is written and shared globally. With grand storytelling, folk jams and a lyrical sincerity beyond his years, Cronin’s unique folk blend and moving performances have been capturing audiences throughout Europe and Australia, establishing this young singer songwriter as an international sensation. The new album ”Southern Loss” is described by Kaurna as ’a homage to a land I call home’. The entire album is set deep in Australian surroundings. It was recorded in a hand built studio in the hills of Adelaide, Kaurna’s hometown, collaborating with artists Tom Kneebone, Kiah Gossner, David Resce and many more. The first single ”Passion Parade” reveals the story of a young woman who leaves her small regional settlement in search for a love and a life amongst a city. A city she would never fully understand. More information at Hemifran.


Ray Goren – S.T.

Ray Goren is an explosive live performer who has been playing all around the United States. Chicago Sun Times music critic Thomas Conner wrote after Ray’s performance opening night on the main stage for the 2013 Chicago Blues Festival, “Ray Goren stepped up Thursday night and ripped out a guitar solo that would have made some hairs fall out of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s soul patch”, After seeing Ray open for BB King in Monterey, reviewer Jason Debord wrote, “Ray is a real phenomenon, and you sit there not believing what you are seeing and hearing. It was really one of the most unbelievable moments I’ve experienced at any concert. Amazing”. Ray has shared the stage with BB King, Leon Russell, Robby Krieger, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Alice Cooper and Eric Gales, to name just a few. More information at Hemifran.


Rami and the Whale – S.T.

Rami & The Whale is the solo project of Swedish singer songwriter Rasmus Blomqvist. His music is the hybrid of serene Scandinavian autumns and the laments of songwriters such as Townes van Zandt, Joni Mitchell and Jackson C Frank. There is relatively little known about Rasmus Blomqvist’s early life. Upon interviewing some of his nearest friends they say that he was one of nine or six brothers in a family that travelled in a bus in Eastern Europe. His father’s collection of vinyls, ranging from Bach to Evert Taube seeped into his youngster brain and later in his early teens, when the CD replaced the LP, there appeared in the Blomqvist home a Simon & Garfunkel collection that would have to be replaced as the first copy was outworn. There is also some word that Rasmus took piano lessons, went to acting school and bought his first guitar in a cereal shop. Today, whenever Rasmus is not performing, he leads a secluded life in western Värmland. When asked why he prefers to live so far out of the way of everything, he solemnly replies, ”the countryside is the place of the spirit”. More information at Hemifran.


Carrington MacDuffie – Crush On You

Carrington MacDuffie is not your typical Americana singer songwriter, she is an Award winning voice actor, a spoken word performer and a widely published poet. Her music embodies a passion for language and sound, shaped by her carefree spirit and the richness of her alto voice. While comparisons have been made to americana folk singer songwriters, such as Neko Case, Patty Griffin, and Lucinda Williams, and her live performances have been described as ‘alt cabaret’ and compared to Nina Hagen and Laurie Anderson, perhaps Middle Tennessee Music best grasped MacDuffie’s lighthearted warmth and infectious charm when they described her as a ‘female Jimmy Buffet’. More information at Hemifran.


The Coal Porters – No. 6

The Coal Porters started playing acoustic music around 2002 in London when ex-Long Ryder Sid Griffin decided to turn away from electric music. Since then, the band’s unique combination of folk, indie, bluegrass and celtic music has paved the way for a number of new acts in this new genre. In fact, the Coal Porters claim to be the world’s first ‘alt-bluegrass’ act, given as they take old themes and melodies and soup them up for the 21st century and an expanded listening audience. The band has demonstrated the power of fiddle, mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar and doghouse bass when matched with sweet harmonies and strong melodies and taken this sound around the world. The Coal Porters have wowed audiences at numerous UK and European arts centers, done no less than 4 US tours and performed to tens of thousands at festivals such as Glastonbury, HebCelt, Stagecoach (USA), Larmer Tree, Didmarton, LaRoche (France), Cork Midsummer Fest (Eire), Wombwell, Down On The Farm (Norway) and Hultsfred (Sweden). More information at Hemifran.


Sue Sergel – Beneath The Willow Tree

Sue Sergel, born a stone’s throw from Penny Lane in Liverpool, but a Gothenburger for many years, has a solid reputation on the Swedish blues scene. With her expressive musicality, Sue became one of Sweden’s foremost blues voices and interpreters in the 80’s and 90’s. A favorite of the critics, she has performed with many established names and sung all kinds of blues, from heavy electric Chicago blues to classic piano. More information at Hemifran.


Someday Jacob – It Might Take A While

On their 2nd album, Bremen based band Someday Jacob combine the golden longing of California in the 70’s with the quiet romance of North Germany. The album was done with recording legends Vance Powell and Richard Dodd. Let the others do the running, this is not about being the fastest, the next big thing, or the flavour of the month. The new album of singer and guitarist Joern Schlueter and his band is a counterpoint to all that’s hasty or rushed. It stands against the panic of missing out and the fear to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. “Well seasoned countryside egg yoke”, says Stefan Reichmann, CEO of well respected German indie label Haldern Pop, about the record. “Songs like deep valleys, mysterious and beautiful”, says Ralf Schroeter, manager of star singer Philipp Poisel (and now manager of Someday Jacob, too). “Truly wonderful music”, says Vance Powell, four times Grammy winner and legendary producer from Nashville. He mixed the record. More information at Hemifran.


Keegan McInroe – Uncouth Pilgrims

Keegan McInroe is a Texas singer songwriter. Weaving threads from old country, old blues and folk together with his own unique voice and perspective, McInroe creates an original tapestry of American roots music, earthy and lyric driven. For over a decade, mr McInroe has performed and rambled extensively across Texas, the US and Europe. He has shared the stage with Leon Russell, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Willis Alan Ramsey, Carolyn Wonderland, Phosphorescent, Ian Moore, Eric McFadden, Otis Taylor and many more. The new album “Uncouth Pilgrims” takes it’s inspiration largely from the observations, adventures, and misadventures, particularly in regards to romance, of McInroe’s last 3 years of European touring. The pilgrims encountered over the course of these 14 tracks are therefore not of a spiritual nature, but of a decidedly romantic one, uncouth in their often enthusiastic, yet destructive tendency of leaving those whom they sought out to venerate in worse shape than they found them. More information at Hemifran.


The Flyin´A´s – You Drive Me Crazy

The husband and wife duo of Hilary and Stuart Adamson, better known as The Flyin’ As, are on the cusp of releasing their 3rd independent album, “You Drive Me Crazy”. As a top-shelf complement to the pair’s engaging, fun and funny, contagiously enjoyable live shows, “You Drive Me Crazy” is right on the money. “We love songwriting and performing”, says Stuart. “We want to draw people in and make them want more”. More information at Hemifran.


Jim Wurster – No Joke

Created, produced, and supported by Florida talent, Jim Wurster’s 16th album of original music, ‘No Joke’, mines the territory that has become familiar to his American and European fans. Government gone astray, love, both dark and seductive, and lives lost too soon, are topics that have dominated his prolific songwriting career. While his signature vocals croon of passion, hurt, and resolve, his words speak volumes on the state of politics, the state of relationships and the state of mind of the inscrutable Wurster. Jim’s new studio album, ‘No Joke’, was the result of musician Vinnie Fontana’s long time admiration for Wurster as an original artist. Vinnie, a renowned r’n’b player in his own right, had toured with The Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, Timmy Thomas, and also spent a year on the road with Sly Stone. More information at Hemifran.


Mia Rose Lynne – Follow Me Moon

Often likened to artists such as Alison Krauss, Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin, Mia Rose Lynne writes and sings from a place of sincerity and simplicity. Roots music has always been in Lynne’s heart. A northern California native, she grew up singing harmonies in the family western swing band and fell asleep in the Winnebago on summer nights to the sounds of campsite jamming at bluegrass festivals. More information at Hemifran.


Sonny Axell – Kickback

Sonny Axel is a pianist and singer born 1982 in St Etienne, France, to musician parents. He showed great interest in music from a very young age, starting piano lessons at the age of 5, and then attending the National Conservatoire Primary School. It is indeed a rare thing that a child, younger than 10, shows such interest in jazz, boogie and getting albums by Erroll Garner, Duke Ellington, and even Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind & Fire, to be played in his bedroom. The Director of the Conservatoire advised Sonny’s parents for him to also attend jazz lessons at the adjacent music school, creating a precedent as later on the 2 institutions would combine. He took a few singing classes, but finally decided to self-teach, whilst accompanying himself on the piano. More information at Hemifran.


Rivers Of England – Astrophysics Saved My Life

Rivers of England are a folk-rock band from the West of England, fronted by the considerable talents of singer-songwriter Rob Spalding. Their luscious debut album Of Trivial and Gargantuan was released in 2014:  “…a strong and accomplished debut that gently drifts its unhurried way into the psyche, and its tender, sweet sounds seem to have arrived perfectly timed for the summer festival season.”  – Ian Fildes, Americana-UK  “…a fine and original example of song writing…the music of Rivers Of England unleashes class and spontaneity…full of beautiful compositions…few can boast such versatility and poetic coherence.” – Gianfranco Marmoro, Ondarock (Italy). Throughout the new album Astrophysics Saved My Life, Spalding continues to engage the listener with his unique approach to songwriting. Themes range from the highly personal to the universal – the inner self to the outer cosmos – the emotional to the scientific. More information at Hemifran.


Don Conoscenti – Anastasia

Once a die-hard rocker, Don Conoscenti is one of the most respected musicians and acclaimed songwriters in acoustic music. He is also a seasoned studio pro working as producer, composer and multi-instrumental session player in an array of musical scenarios. His live performances are a soulful fusion of styles blended from his experience playing rock, jazz, blues, folk, funk and country. More information at Hemifran.


Michael Hearne & Shake Russell – Only As Strong As Your Dreams

This first release by this powerhouse duo manages to surpass the high expectations generated by their successful individual careers and extensive recorded catalog, providing a journey from deep dreams to happy times in the sunlight. More information at Hemifran.


Shake Russell – Little Bright Band of Light

Recently inducted into the Texas Songwriting Legends Hall of Fame, Shake’s 2016 release gives ample reasons why. His is a gentle, perceptive and often humorous songwriting and singing voice help us know and celebrate why it’s worth being alive. More information at Hemifran.


Michael Hearne – Red River Dreams

With a golden voice, a uniquely expressive and impressive command of the acoustic guitar, and a lifetime of writing songs about life in the great Southwest, Michael Hearne’s 2016 release provides a rich ride through a varied and beautiful landscape. More information at Hemifran.

Architecture of Fire CD Cover

The Rifters – Architecture Of A Fire

This third Rifters studio album features all original music, with the band’s signature danceable acoustic sound, with themes that seem to group themselves around life’s journey, set in the Rifters native landscape of the high Southwest. More information at Hemifran.


Simon Hudson Band – Earthman

Simon Hudson is a singer-songwriter of depth and experience. His influences range from roots to world to pop, plus an eclectic dose of folk and soul. His background includes African and Latin percussion, multi-instrumental performance across a wide variety of genres, and stage acting and musicals. He has a Bachelor of Music (songwriting), and has won multiple songwriting awards. In his live show, he mixes soulful and funky originals with upbeat and irresistible world-music covers which are guaranteed to get the dance floor bumping. More information at Hemifran.

About the author

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.