• 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 August 2018

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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!

Curse Of Lono – As I Feel

Acclaimed London 5 piece Curse Of Lono will release their 2nd album “As I Fell” on August 17th, 2018. Produced by Oli Bayston at Rancho V, a remote desert studio in Joshua Tree, and Flesh & Bone Studios in Hackney, the album is accompanied by a documentary ‘Somewhere In Their Heads’ by Gregg Houston. The 1st single from “As I Fell” is ‘Valentine’, available to stream now. ‘Valentine is about the kind of murderous jealousy that twists you up until you don’t recognise yourself anymore”, says frontman Felix Bechtolsheimer. “The sort of dejection that will make you do things you know you will regret. I think the vocal harmonies floating over the tribal beat, distorted bass and filthy baritone guitar going through a tiny 1950’s Selmer practice amp, really capture that feeling”. More information at Hemifran.

Brad Colerick – Nine Ten Thirthy

Shop Local. It’s a phrase often espoused by chambers of commerce and city officials in support of community businesses. South Pasadena, California, singer songwriter Brad Colerick took it to heart for his latest album, ”Nine Ten Thirty”. The album title is the postal code of the town of 25,000. The CD was a musical barn raising made entirely by Colerick and some very talented neighbors. “I wanted to showcase the great talent I’m surrounded by in this town”, said Colerick, “South Pasadena is a hotbed of wonderfully creative people. And the community really supports the arts”.

Colerick awakened the sleepy town of South Pasadena in 2009 when he launched a weekly Wednesday night acoustic music series called Wine & Song. After playing the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, he decided to pattern the series after the impromptu nights that occur there. Held in the Blue Guitar room at Arroyo Seco Golf Course, Colerick hosts 2 Americana artists each week along with special guests. “I love these Wednesday gatherings”, explained Colerick. “Every show is unique and inspiring. We get a steady stream of outstanding artists touring through town who have heard about the great scene and receptive audiences here in the arroyo. It’s also a great place for me to test drive new songs”. More information at Hemifran.

Nichole Wagner – And The Sky Caught Fire

Emerging americana folk artist Nichole Wagner is set to release her full length debut, ”And The Sky Caught Fire”, on August 24th, 2018. For this album, the Austin based singer songwriter delivers emotionally intense lyrics spiked with hard truths bookended by her soulfully broad, raspy tinged vocals and thoughtful arrangements. “This is unashamedly a relationship record, and all of the songs on it are very honest, though I may have slightly shifted a few very specific details, just to keep from hurting anyone unnecessarily”, confesses the straight shooting Wagner, who not coincidentally grew up obsessing over every heart tangled note of Fleetwood Mac’s ”Rumours”. More information at Hemifran.

Judith Owen – redisCOVERed

For most artists, an album of cover songs is an idea of last resort, a Hail Mary pass when one’s creativity has stalled out or there’s a contract to be fulfilled. But most artists aren’t Judith Owen. This firebrand singer songwriter and pianist is currently riding the wave of a tremendous couple of years. Her previous album “Somebody’s Child” was adored by critics around the world, The Sunday Times UK chose it as one of the best records of 2016 and Analog Planet said that it “sparkles with Owen’s witty energy” and noting that “the songs will stay with you long after the record ends”.

Her live performances, whether as a headliner or as the handpicked opening act for Bryan Ferry’s recent tours of Europe and North America, have been wowing listeners and gaining fans like fellow artist Jackson Browne, who said of Owen’s onstage prowess, “It’s a masterclass on how a show should be done”. More information at Hemifran.

Citizen K – III

The 3rd studio album from Klas Qvist and his Citizen K trademark is called “III”. As expected, “Citizen K III” is the best album yet from this Swedish pop artist. Featuring 13 songs, “III” conjures up an essential blend of catchy 21st century pop and rock vocal tracks balanced by a couple prog pop instrumental tracks that serve as beat group style instrumental interludes in the style of Stackridge or even Speedy Keen. The 2018 CD release of “III” proves that Citizen K is a modern maestro at combining breezy american west coast Brian Wilson and Chad & Jeremy style rock with a spirited blend of UK influenced, Swedish art pop songs. More information at Hemifran.

Kate Campbell – Damn Sure Blue

Kate Campbell is a southern singer songwriter who writes and sings memorable folk songs infused with undercurrents of delta blues, folk, pop, and country that originate from a musical landscape spanning the less travelled back roads from Nashville to Muscle Shoals to Memphis. Over the course of 20+ years since her acclaimed debut album ”Songs From The Levee”, she has resisted the temptation to follow musical trends but instead chooses to set the pace for her unique musical journey clearly palpable in her latest release ”Damn Sure Blue”, a heartfelt collection of tunes that pays a respectful nod of admiration to ’The Man In Black’ and reverberates with the soulful sounds of award winning americana guitar whiz and producer Will Kimbrough. More information at Hemifran.

Bodinrocker – Eye To Eye

Eye To Eye” is the brand new studio album by Swedish rocker Anders Bodin, a.k.a Bodinrocker. This is his 4th album. He is known for his straightforward rock, combining tasty guitar riffs with crystal clear melodies. This new album recorded at various places in Gothenburg has been co-produced by Anders Bodin and Lars Ekberg. Along with Bodin, guitars and vocals, and Ekberg, keyboards, the performing musicians are Klas Anderhell, drums, and Stefan Deland, bass, who also are the rhythm section in Sven Ingvars, a classic Swedish band. There are also guest appearances by his nephew Gabriel Ekberg on guitar, Hasse Johnzon on slide guitar and mandolin and singer songwriter Mårten Lärka on backing vocals. More information at Hemifran.

Andrew Sheppard – Steady Your Aim

Singer songwriter Andrew Sheppard grew up in Hailey, Idaho, in an extended musical family, his mother was always playing and singing in rock and blues bands. As a kid Andrew was always at his moms rehearsals and live shows, drawing in the music as a constant. Sheppard was playing bass in punk rock bands in high school and by the age of 19, he picked up the guitar and started writing his own songs. 10 years later, he is poised to release his sophomore album, ”Steady Your Aim”.

”Steady Your Aim” is a concept record, a musical journey in which every song was methodically thought out to fit the record.  An analog recording, it is a cinematic dreamscape narrative that is richly layered with the pedal steel, piano, cello, wurlitzer and b3 organ. All of their parts are gently tucked in which leaves the listener wondering just what it is they are actually hearing. “We used traditional sounding instruments to create a new sound”, said Sheppard. “For example, we used cello on this record because I wanted a deep sound that didn’t come from anything electric or synthetic.  Instead of being a lead instrument we used it as a texture tool giving the songs a more rich and real feel”. Produced by Sheppard, Eric Loomis and Wes Walsworth, both of whom play guitar on the album, ”Steady Your Aim” was recorded at Ivy Hall Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. John Mayfield at Mayfield Mastering mastered the record. More information at Hemifran.

The Refusers – Disobey

The Refusers’ incendiary new album, fueled by the insanity of the Trump era, social injustice, congressional corruption and the gap between the haves and have nots, is an epic call to refuse to accept the messed up way things are, fight back and yes, “Disobey”. The Refusers drive their manifesto with some kick ass rock and roll that commands our attention. The band of top flight musicians includes Michael Belkin, guitars, songs, lead vocals, keyboardists Eric Robert, who has performed with Keb’ Mo’, Joe Doria, who contributes a powerhouse b3 organ solo on “Eruption”, drummer Brendan Hill from Blues Traveler and bassist, vocalist Steve Newton. More information at Hemifran.

Low Lily – 10,000 Days Like These

Start with excellently matched vocals, add some world class playing, sprinkle with raised off grid americana and you get Low Lily. Flynn’s deft flatpicking on guitar and mandolin and Lissa’s virtuosic fiddle playing are grounded by Liz’s percussive rhythm guitar playing, the sounds of which combine joyously in this stunning ensemble. With a vocal blend that has been dubbed ’outstanding’ and ’meticulous’, Low Lily’s cohesive sound comes naturally for musicians whose lives have been entwined on the road and onstage for almost 2 decades. Setting down roots in Brattleboro, Vermont, the band has crafted a signature sound which they have shared with enthusiastic audiences throughout North America and the UK, garnering 2 #1 songs on international folk radio and 2 New England Music Award nominations. More information at Hemifran.

Brett Perkins & The Pawnshop Preachers – Double/Single

Brett Perkins & The Pawnshop Preachers ”Double/Single” delivers a double dose of high energy americana. ”You can take the american out of the United States, but you can’t take the United States out of the americans. Thus, Brett Perkins still sounds to an extent that he is a child of Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino and not least Hank Williams.” So wrote Danish reviewer Henning Hoeg in his 5 star recommendation of The Pawnshop Preachers 2017 release.

The Preachers new ”Double/Single” will no doubt add Cab Calloway and Jerry Lee Lewis to the bands musical heritage, from the distinct swing sound of ‘Everything’s Turnin’ Around’, to the straight ahead, piano pounding rock’n’roll of ‘Yes, Yes, Yes (Honey, Take Off That Dress)’. The band is releasing the 2 tracks in advance of a new full length album planned for a spring 2019 release. More information at Hemifran.

George Lilly And The Half-Fast Allstarz – Thinkin´About You Baby

George Lilly has been playing professionally since 1961. Playing with local rock’n’roll bands near his childhood home on Cape Cod, then from Pennsylvania to Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky during his college years then on to New York and the New England area.

During the 70’s and 80’s he ran Northern Studios, a successful recording studio in the Boston area, where artists ranging from jazz greats, like Jaki Byard, to pop Icons, The Cars, recorded. He also engineered live broadcasts for 50 000 watt radio station WBCN from the great jazz and blues venue Paul’s Mall in Boston where he got to work with the likes of Muddy Waters, Sun Ra, Tom Scott, Taj Mahal and other greats. At the same time George continued to perform around the New England area and appeared on shows with Chuck Berry, James Cotton, The Band, Johnny Winter, Irma Thomas, Paul Butterfield, Lonnie Mack, Zachary Richard and many, many others. More information at Hemifran.

Jennifer Maidman – Dreamland

The album was recorded largely in Woodstock, Upstate New York, and features an all star band with Annie Whitehead (Elvis Costello, Dr John, Eric Clapton) on trombone and baritone horn, David Torn (David Bowie, K D Laing, David Sylvian) on guitar and loops, and Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Indigo Girls, Hall & Oates) on drums and percussion. There are guest contributions from Paul Brady, Sam Brown, Gary Dyson, Mitt Gamon, Dakota Lane, Danny Lane, Sally Ann Triplett, Phil Saatchi and Robert Wyatt, and from the original Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Helen Liebman, Peter Mc Gowan, Geoffrey Richardson, Steve Fletcher and Liam Genockey.  The record was engineered by Matthew Cullen, Pete Caigan and Adam Armstrong in Woodstock (assisted by Joseph Quigly)  and Mike Thorne at Rim Shot in the UK. More information at the artists site.

Lisa Mednick Powell – Blue Book

Lisa Mednick Powell writes songs that take you on a winding road straight to the heart of the matter. Her voice is unadorned, but it suits the songs, and her profound poetry is drenched in rich soundtracks.The music wraps around sinuous lyrics and gives them credence. In that regard, Lisa’s new album is true to Lisa’s previous two releases. “Artifacts of Love” and “Semaphore” were hailed with words that give a glimpse into her new album, Blue Book: “Artifacts of Love, Mednick’s 1994 debut album, earned praise as a dark, swirling gumbo (Utne Reader) marked by artful songcraft that is steeped in the Americana of the Band… (Rolling Stone).” More information at the artists site.

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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