News From Hemifran November 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!

vinny

Vinny Fazzari – Live Life Long

Vinny Fazzari is an award winning American singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He was raised off the Southern California coast on an island in a little tiny village called Avalon. This is where his love for music began.

He started out playing drums at age 4, then switched to guitar when his mother turned him onto one of her favorite groups, The Beatles. By age 9 Vinny started writing and putting together rock bands playing his Gibson Melody Maker given to him by his uncle who had been teaching Vinny guitar. At 14 he was back to playing drums but this time professionally at a famous hotspot called The Waikiki. Vinny gained invaluable stage experience learning from these older guys who had already been doing this for most of their lives. Vinny wasn’t actually allowed to be in the club it being a 21 and older establishment, so whenever the band took a break, Vinny exited the building through a door behind the drum kit, sitting out on the curb of the sidewalk till he was called in for the next set. 

Vinny made a name for himself after moving off the island in Venice Beach where he owned and operated his own professional recording studio in Santa Monica. He engineered and produced bands and solo artists and worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Jesse Ed Davis, John Trudell, Earth Wind and Fire, Jeff Berlin, Steve Smith of Journey to name several known names.  But Vinny’s was and has always been first and foremost a singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, musicologist. His friend Lee Curreri heard a tape of some of his songs and immediately introduced him to a manager who absolutely loved Vinny’s music and took him under his wing. He sent Vinny to Europe to pursue his live performance musical career. Based in Amsterdam, Vinny toured throughout parts of Europe.

While in The Netherlands, Vinny caught word that he had been nominated for an award at the Los Angeles Music Awards. So he headed back to LA to possibly redeem his prize. Well to his surprise he won for best international solo artist of the year at the red carpet event.. More information at Hemifran.

Curse Of Lono – S.T.

Curse Of Lono announce the release of debut self titled EP on October 14th, 2016, plus they will be embarking on their first UK tour this autumn with Texan roots rockers Uncle Lucius. Curse Of Lono was formed in London in 2015 by singer songwriter Felix Bechtolsheimer following the breakup of British roots pioneers Hey Negrita. “We released 4 records with Hey Negrita, toured all over the world, played at more festivals than I can remember, and had a great time doing it, but there was a growing sense that it was time for something new. Then I bumped into my old friend Oli Bayston from the band Boxed In, who was producing albums for Domino and Nettwerk, as well as working on a solo album. He was involved in a completely different scene, obsessed with Krautrock and Radiohead, which really opened my eyes to new ways of writing and recording”. More information at Hemifran.

jeffboortz1 jeffboortz2

Jeff Boortz – Half the Time

Jeff Boortz – Every Other Night

On ”Every Other Night”, Jeff Boortz’ 4th album, the singer songwriter returned to Nashville, TN, to record at Brian ’Brain’ Harrison’s Rendering Plant studio. The sessions, as Boortz describes them, were relaxed and full of laughter and camaraderie. Returning to the fold was longtime friend, guitarist, John Jackson, who played his usual role of musical director. “John has always had a knack for taking the songs and adding the right touches and colors”, explains Boortz, “he probably honed that skill from years spent playing with the likes of Bob Dylan and Lucinda Williams, to name a few”. The rest of the Nashville session band included Bryan Owings on drums, and Ron Eoff on bass guitar.

The easy going atmosphere, however, did not prevent a determined Boortz, on these 10 new songs, from dealing with the heartfelt subject matter of the material. Sparse arrangements were encouraged to mirror the emotional directness of Boortz’ tunes, an examination of a tortured love affair that lingered on for two years.

“Everything was written as it happened”, explains Boortz, “there was a lot of pain but that’s a reality in everyone’s lives at times”. Here the pain shines through on the atmospheric drone of leadoff track, ”Here Comes Love”, as well as the haunting beauty of the title track.

“In your eyes I see, who I want to be, every other night”, laments Boortz, amidst a backdrop of rolling acoustic chords and dreamy fiddle runs. Not to fret, the album also plays up the fun and exciting side of those rollercoaster relationships we know all too well.

”Walk With Me”, a roll kicking, sexy rockabilly number, would be right at home on a Bo Diddley record. There is also the glam rock stomp of ”Mess With Love”, a real walk on the wild side of risky love, the rush of seizing the moment, before you’re burned by the fire. More information at Hemifran.

Travis Green – A Little Too Late

Travis Green is a conductor, a musician, a singer songwriter who takes you back to the days when music was a familiar feeling you tapped your feet to and tuned your heart to like a clock. With his highly anticipated release, “A Little Too Late”, Travis reveals a little bit of his soul and shares stories of family and love lost within a blanket of country and rock and roll. Almost gone are the days of the conductor, a true band leader who directs his band with pure feeling, derived from the relentless study of music. The result is a treat for crowds as he leads those sharing the stage with a undeniable charisma and a smooth voice not to be forgotten. Travis Green was born and raised in Austin, TX. At the young age of 27 he has obtained a wealth of musical knowledge that pours out to his audiences through each performance. More information at Hemifran.

alexander

Glenn Alexander & Shadowland – S.T.

Glenn Alexander is a guitarist, composer and vocalist. Currently touring the world as a guitarist and member of the legendary Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, he has received extensive airplay and critical acclaim from around the world on his recordings ”Stretch” (Half Track 1984), ”Glenn Alexander” (Chase Music Group 1987), ”The Connection” (Shanachie 1992), ”Rainbow’s Revenge” (Shanachie 1993), ”Oria” (Palmetto 1996), ”The Coalition” (Midlantic/Fractal 2004), ”Northern Lights” (Scott Healy-Glenn Alexander Quartet, Blue Dog 2011).

He has played everywhere from bars to theatres, to concert halls, to stadiums and live on both radio and television. He has performed and or recorded with some of the biggest names in music, including, Chico Hamilton, L Shankar, Jan Hammer & The Mahavishnu Project, The Max Weinberg 7 (Late Night with Conan O’Brien), Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Randy Brecker, Bruce Springsteen, Levon Helm, Elvis Costello & AllenToussaint, Tom Scott, Brenda Russell, Regina Bell, Liza Minnelli, Manolo Badrena (Weather Report), Dave LaRue and T Lavitz (The Dixie Dregs), Deniece Williams, Bill Champlin, Little Sammy Davis, Darlene Love, Gary US Bonds, Jon Bon Jovi and many, many others. More information at Hemifran.

jonoma jonomb

Jono Manson – The Slight Variations

Jono Manson – On The Other Side

Jono Manson formed his first band at the age of 7 and began playing professionally in his early teens, in the dirty 1970’s dive bars of his native New York City. He has since performed everywhere from Max’s Kansas City to Madison Square Garden, and with everyone from Pete Seeger to Joan Osborne to Bo Diddley, and the list goes on. His songs have been recorded by Grammy-winners and have been featured in major motion pictures, and on network television. He has produced albums for rock stars and local heroes, American Idol finalists, folksingers, Italian singer songwriters and Pakistani sufi rockers.

His new album “The Slight Variations” marks the next chapter in his storied career. “The album ties the many threads of my experience together”, says Manson. “The material spans a wide range of styles and it plays like a capsule history of my musical and life experience, from my early days as a bar band rocker in New York City, to my life as a songwriter and father in New Mexico. Some of the musicians are more recent associations, such as members of Colorado’s Brothers Keeper, while others are guys I’ve been working with for many years, like guitarist Kevin Trainor, Jason Crosby on keyboards and violin, and Chris Barron from the Spin Doctors, who co-wrote 2 of the songs”. This album comes on the heels of his late 2015 release “Angels On the Other Side”, which showcases yet another stellar selection of songs, culled from years worth of travel, experience and collaboration. “Angels” also features an impressive cast of players, including members of Shurman from Austin, TX, Blues Traveler’s John Popper on harmonica, Carlo Aonzo on mandolin, and David Berkeley on harmony vocals.

Manson continues to collaborate with a wide range of artists and as a member of an array of side projects. He also owns and operates The Kitchen Sink recording studio in his adopted home of Santa Fe, where he has twice been named ’Producer Of The Year’ by the New Mexico Music Awards. More information at Hemifran.

briancullman

Brian Cullman – New Year´s Eve

Brian Cullman has been a rock music Zelig, going back to his teenage years hanging out with Lillian Roxon and her friend Danny Fields, back when he was playing host to Iggy, Nico and the like. While still in school, he spent a summer in London where his clique included Nick Drake, Sandy Denny and John Martyn. Years later, he’d play with Robert Quine, Mark Knopfler and Vernon Reid, record a single with Giorgio Gomelsky, producer of The Yardbirds, lead the band OK Savant, and travel to Morocco with Bill Laswell to record ”The Master Musicians Of Jajouka”. Brian has been there and back, and he’s documented it all in award winning journalism for Creem, Crawdaddy, Musician, Rolling Stone, Spin, The Paris Review, and others, but the real stories are in his songs. 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.