News From Hemifran January 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!

Backtrack Blues Band – Make My Home In Florida

The Backtrack Blues Band is one of Florida’s longest running and most accomplished blues bands. Founded in 1980, the group has performed continuously for way over 30 years. Backtrack’s high energy Chicago style blues with exceptional guitar, harp, and vocals, has made the band a constant on the Florida blues concert, club, and festival scene for soon 4  decades.

The quintet consists of Sonny Charles on harmonica and vocals, Kid Royal on lead guitar and vocals, Little Johnny Walter on rhythm guitar and vocals, Stick Davis on bass, and Joe Bencomo on drums. Backtrack has appeared as an opening act in concert with many legendary blues artists including BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Robert Cray, Johnny Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and many others. The group has also been recognized by the Tampa Bay community as a leader in the blues music arena by garnering 3 Tampa Bay Music Awards as the area’s ’Best Blues Band’.

Together, these guys comprise one of Florida’s best and most accomplished blues bands, and their live show is an original and exciting display of electric blues at its very best. The band’s leader has significant experience in producing top quality blues music shows, having founded and managed the award winning Tampa Bay Blues Festival for over 20 years. More information at Hemifran.

Hion Martell – Trust Me On This One

Hion Martell is a 4 piece band from Sweden. The band has been around with various lineups since 1992. The band’s music is influenced by the british blues rock, american southern rock and 70’s glam rock, as well as giants such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. All boiled down to a distillate that satisfy the most demanding rock’n’roll connoisseur….. More information at Hemifran.

Caroline Wickberg – I´m Not Mad

Caroline Wickberg started writing melodies and lyrics as a child. When she was introduced to the guitar the interest in harmonies started growing, and it is still central in her songwriting today. Her reflective personality has always had the need to phrase itself and be communicated through music.

After a few teenage years of rejecting the guitar she studied music in her early 20’s and discovered country and jazz for the first time. Her dreams of becoming a jazz singer were shattered when she realized the only thing that made her voice sound good was when she sang was her own songs.

Turning her attention towards producing music she continued studying and ended up a sound engineer. Always close to, but at safe distance from the stage. With new 5 song EP ”I’m Not Mad”, she is ready to step out in the light and share her songs.

The EP circles around separation, death, letting go and the confusion and clarity that comes with it. How do you know if you’re finally truly happy, or if you’re farther away from reality, and deeper into the madness of the mind, than ever?

The music surrounding the lyrics has grown from Carolines Wickbergs roots in pop, country and jazz. The playfulness in her earlier work has developed into something darker and sincerer, searching inside herself for answers and inspiration instead of in the world outside. With wonderful help from friend and producer Henrik Alsér, Caroline’s acoustic songs spread out to become little landscapes. More information at Hemifran.

Kyle Carey – The Art Of Forgetting

Possessed of an elegant grace, on ”The Art Of Forgetting” Kyle Carey weaves together resonant threads of Celtic and American roots music into a rich tapestry of acoustic storytelling. Produced by 4 time Grammy winner Dirk Powell, the album unites an all star international cast of musicians, Louisiana’s Sam Broussard on guitar, Scotland’s John McCusker on fiddle, the Netherlands’ Ron Janssen on octave mandolin, Nashville’s Kai Welch on trumpet, Ireland’s Mike McGoldrick on flute, and North Carolina’s Rhiannon Giddens on backing vocals. Powell, one of the world’s leading experts on traditional fiddle and banjo styles, particularly Cajun, lends his particular skills as well.

Carey’s own story is as worldly as her music, raised by her schoolteacher parents first in the Alaskan Bush, where she heard Yup’ik Eskimo spoken as often as she heard English, and then in rural New Hampshire. She studied literature in college, and then travelled to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, on a Fulbright Fellowship to begin her study of the Gaelic language and its music. Carey is one of those scarce as hen’s teeth Irish Americans fluent in the language of her ancestors. More information at Hemifran.

The Lynnes – Heartbreak Song For The Radio

The LYNNeS are Canadian heartbreak poets Lynn Miles and Lynne Hanson. These 2 songwriters are not new to working together, having toured and written songs off and on over the past 10 years, and with Miles having produced 2 of Hanson’s albums, ”River Of Sand” in 2014 and ”7 Deadly Spins” in 2015. For THE LYNNeS songs are what matter the most, and their debut album “Heartbreak Song For The Radio” pairs hauntingly gritty lyrics with tight vocal harmonies.

The duo adopted an old school approach to recording their album, choosing to record to tape and recording all the bed tracks and many of the vocal and acoustic guitar parts live off the floor. Tracks like “Don’t Look Down” and “Dark Waltz” showcase the unmistakable touch of Juno award winning guitarist Kevin Breit (Nora Jones, KD Lang, Rosanne Cash). The infectious “Recipe For Disaster” highlights the songwriting duo’s knack to craft a catchy melody and memorable lyrics, while the radio friendly title track “Heartbreak For The Radio” begs for the listener to hit repeat. The athletic groove of the funky “Halfway To Happy” is a brilliant counterweight to the airy “Blue Tattoo”, which would not be out of place on a Fleetwood Mac album. More information at Hemifran.

Ajay Mathur – Little Boat

Mart Kawaii of ’Flowers In A Gun’ introduces the Grammy nominated singer songwriter Ajay Mathur as ‘a true citizen of the world, born in India, living in Switzerland and creating his own version of americana with Zeppelin-esque guitars, exotic instruments, catchy songwriting and lyrics that speak to the heart’. The best way to describe the thread that runs through the genre bending songs on Ajay Mathur’s newest album ”Little Boat” is ‘resilience’. The songs are inspired by Ajay’s own life experiences and are about growing stronger in the face of adversity, bouncing back after going through tough situations and coming out the other side, stronger and better. ”Little Boat” follows on Ajay’s previous releases of ”A Matter Of Time” in 2011, ”Come See Conquer” in 2013 and the highly successful ”9 To 3” in 2015, that earned him a Grammy nomination in 2017. All of his albums have enjoyed excellent reviews, rankings on the charts and positive acknowledgement in the international media. ”Little Boat” is an emotional roller coaster ride, from the 1st song of this 12 track album right to the very last, and highlights Mathur’s one of a kind approach to songwriting and recording, while promising a unique musical adventure to mature and curious music lovers. More information at Hemifran.

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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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