News From Hemifran May June 2018

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!

Andrea Van Cleef – Tropic Of Nowhere

Andrea Van Cleef was born in a small town near the northern Italian alps. After spending his post teenage years doing various jobs and playing guitar and bass guitar in different garage punk outfits, he founded his first real band, the dark alt rockers Bogartz. He starts singing because nobody in the band wants to sing, and he hasn’t stopped since.

In 2002 the Bogartz release their debut album, “Honeymoons In The Desert”. It earns rare reviews and a cult status for the band. During the live shows to promote the record, the band gets entangled in major labels net. 3 years are lost in management’s effort to smooth the edges of their music, and at the end of 2005, the Bogartz call it quits. Andrea then releases his 1st EP under the Van Cleef Continental moniker. “8 Shots, 8 Failures”, the EP, is then followed in 2009 by “Red Sisters”, which is released in the USA. The 1st single, the band’s rendition of Mike Oldfield’s “Moonlight Shadow”, is a minor radio hit, and the record earns ecstatic reviews in the national press. The band tours extensively to promote it, playing clubs and important italian open air festivals, sharing the stage with Willard Grant Conspiracy, Dead Meadow and Gaslight Anthem, among many others. More information at Hemifran.

Lincoln Briney – Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound” is Lincoln Briney’s 3rd full length studio recording. When he decided to take on Simon & Garfunkel’s iconic melodies, he wanted to do so in collaboration. For this project he chose the highly respected Chicago based arranger and producer, Paul Langford. Together they’ve reimagined some rare gems from Simon’s canon, most are familiar, some are lesser known. All are infused with a unique modern sensibility and bolstered by Lincoln’s signature close flying vocal harmonies, penned together with Langford. Briney’s delivery, as if singing directly in your ear, will take you back to that distinctive 70’s moment of singers like Kenny Rankin or Michael Franks at their early best. The sound and feeling is fresh, intelligent, direct and uniquely Lincoln.

Long a first call session singer, Briney has worked on recording projects and on the concert stage with Bobby McFerrin, Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer, Jackie & Roy, Leiber & Stoller, Andy Bey, Bill Frisell, Jane Monheit, Mark Murphy, Julie Wilson, and many others. More information at Hemifran.

Bobby Byrnes – Two Sides To This Town

Bobbo Byrnes is not a musician who remains still very long. Between The Fallen Stars, Riddle & The Stars and solo performances, Byrnes plays about 150 shows every year. That being the case, it’s no surprise that from Billerica to Berlin, his songs are born from a life on the road. You need look no farther than “Heart like Mine”, in which he explores the theme by singing about the roads that take him from show to show.

“Two Sides To This Town” is an album that is a product of Byrnes’ busy touring schedule. However not all of the songs are road songs. “Angelia” is a contemplative song, and the one from which the album takes its title. “I named it ‘Two Sides To This Town’ in a sort of admission to the division within the US at the moment, and that I am looking for answers to that division”. 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. More information at Hemifran.

Son Of The Velvet Rat – The Late Show

Son Of The Velvet Rat celebrate the glorious elusiveness and the sweet heartbreak of song by releasing a new live record, “The Late Show”, for their US label Fluff & Gravy/Mint400. A few years ago, Austrian natives Georg Altziebler and Heike Binder set down roots in the Desert community of Joshua Tree,CA. In the last 50 years the desolate town has quietly become an enclave for artists and musicians much like Paris in the 1920’s or Laurel Canyon in the 1960’s.

Their 2017 release, “Dorado”, produced by Joe Henry, featured a mix of high desert musicians and LA stalwarts, as well as guest vocals from brilliant singer songwriter Victoria Williams. The record received rapturous reviews and topped myriad year end critics’ polls. “The Late Show” is a souvenir from their extensive 2017 tour. The album was recorded at three venues, the Rhiz in Vienna, Austria, Scheune in Wredenhagen, Germany and The Studio Venue in beautiful downtown Burbank,CA. More information at Hemifran.

Lazy Afternoon – Everytime Water

Lazy Afternoon has regrouped and are now putting out a single with 2 songs from their forthcoming album. Cristina Säfsten has taken up the lead vocals together with Bo Ahlbertz. It’s still the same ’good mood americana’, but more varied, with 2 lead singers and even some duets. Maria Nordseth, from Poeta Magica, is also in the band, on backing vocals and percussion. Those 2 new members are lifting the band even higher and their great harmonies are becoming alomost like a trademark. Lead track from the new single, ”Everytime”, is sung by Cristina in an acoustic style, and ”Second Water” is a duet between Cristina and Bo Ahlbertz with a good grove. The band has now settled in this new configuration and will continue spreading their happy message throughout the world. More information at Hemifran.

Tom Peterson – Black Hills Gold

Anyone who has ever heard a Tom Peterson song recognizes immediately that this is a songwriter’s songwriter, a master wordsmith who is worthy of every accolade the creative community bestows. A native of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who has spent a good part of his life there, Tom’s career trajectory hasn’t led to widespread name recognition, yet, but his talent is true, his writing is world class and his audience is loyal.

While living in Taipei, Taiwan, where his dad was stationed, Tom received his first record player at the age of 4 and Elvis Presley records set him on his life path. Tom was intrigued by the names in small print under the song title, the songwriters. He has been writing songs ever since. More information at Hemifran.

Mike Spine – Forage & Clean Volume I & II

Mike Spine is a critically acclaimed Seattle born and Seattle and Europe based musician, known for his captivating live performances, intelligent songwriting and support of humanitarian issues. He has played 100’s of shows in 5 continents since 1995 and has received press and radio airplay throughout the US, Europe, UK and Asia.

”Forage & Glean, Volumes I & II”, is the 10th full length studio album for Mike Spine. It is a 32 track double album, an anthology containing the best of Mike’s songwriting and recordings from the last 2 decades. More information at Hemifran.

Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus – The Hard Part Of Flying

“Patton has improbably deepened and broadened his art. For his new album with his wife and longtime musical partner Sherry Brokus, The Great Unknown, Patton has crafted 10 new songs that do more than explain himself to his listeners; these songs explain those listeners to themselves.” Geoffrey Himes, Washington Post music writer.

“Patton & Brokus’ new all-acoustic CD puts the spotlight on Jim Patton’s lovingly crafted tales of working class heroes and losers, life’s simple pleasures and the longing for something more. We know the characters in these songs, and we’re pulling for them.” – Jeff Talmadge. More information at Hemifran.

Nico Rivers & The Black Grass – Tiny Death

After releasing 3 self produced EPs, Nico Rivers has put together his first full length album backened by the Black Grass. Recorded in a log house, “Tiny Death” touches on themes of existence, transformation and the cyclical nature of the universe. One of the only known constants in the universe is transformation. All that exists has been and will someday be something else. “Tiny Death” is meditation on this notion. More information at Hemifran.

David Gerald – N2U

David Gerald, the son of Rural Mississippi born and raised parents, grew up to the sounds of the blues and r’n’b music in his hometown, Detroit. He’s the youngest of 11 children, 6 of whom were born and partly raised in Mississippi. “Because segregation and racial discrimination were so bad in Mississippi at the time, my dad moved the family north to Detroit when he was 33, so we’d have a better chance at the American dream”.

Gerald, whose dynamic, blues infused rock and soul hybrid has been captivating audiences across the country for over a decade, grew up to the sounds of the blues, r’n’b and rock’n’roll in his hometown of Detroit. He started playing guitar at 14, influenced by Prince and 80’s rock guitarists. More information at Hemifran.

AFT (Annika Fehling Trio) – In The Universe

A.F.T.  is a new trio containing of some of Gotland’s (SE) finest musicians and songwriters. The response of the tours A.F.T. has done so far, in Sweden  Denmark and Germany, has been overwhelming. Strong stage presence, a rich  musical experience with lots of groove to the deep and moving lyrics of Annika Fehling’s songs, and light and love flowing from the music makes the concerts magical  and unforgettable. 

Annika Fehling is a touring Swedish singer, songwriter, composer, artist, event producer, guest teacher and consultant, living on the magical island of Gotland in Sweden.  Currently touring with the Annika Fehling Trio, A.F.T. , as well as  as a solo artist, and with Glimra, she has played in over 17 countries to date, released 12 albums, and produced over 200 shows, festivals and events working with over 500 artists from the whole world. 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.