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!


Matt Woosey – Wildest Dream

Matt Woosey’s refreshing musical song writing and playing style combines acoustic blues, folk and rock conveyed with an accomplished vocal delivery which has been defined as The Woosey Blues. His ability to combine originality with a broad musical knowledge has gained him praise from sources as varied as Paul Jones (BBC2), Tom Robinson (BBC 6 Music).

Matt’s song writing focuses strongly on combining the meaning and message of the lyrics with the composition and atmosphere of the music. His catalogue covers a wide spectrum delivering a powerful blend of tracks spanning 7 albums. With tours in Europe, South Africa and Australia he has expanded his fan base and so far, in 2014, has appeared on the Paul Jones Blues show on BBC 2 with his EP ‘Hook, Line & Sinker’. A simultaneous broadcast of the EP’s title track on 39 BBC local radio stations and numerous media interviews have raised Matt’s profile significantly. Matt appears solo, as a duo with Dave Small (percussionist and singer) and as ‘The Matt Woosey Band’. More information at Hemifran.


King Of The Tramps – Joyful Noise

“Joyful Noise” is the 3rd release from roots-rockers King Of The Tramps. The album “Good People” was released in 2011 and “Wicked Mountain” followed in 2013. “Joyful Noise” contains 9 original songs, from bluesy rockers and gritty ballads to foot stomping rock gospel. The King Of The Tramps sound has been described as ‘whiskey gospel’.

The songs were developed and recorded over a 6 month period from November 2013 through April 2014 in a recording studio and rehearsal space in a 1923 former public school building in Auburn, IA. By practicing and recording in the same space, the musicians were able to record everything capture the vibe of the best takes. This relaxed atmosphere allowed for more creative experimentation, like sending the kick drum sound through and 1940’s tape recorder into the gymnasium on the song “War”. The gym was also used to record vocals, also, for a natural reverb sound. More information at Hemifran.


Brant Croucher – Blanco County Lights

In late December, 2014, Texas-based singer-songwriter Brant Croucher releases “Blanco County Lights”, a new full-length album produced by Jack Saunders at White Cat Studios, Houston, Texas. The 11-track CD is an ambitious representation of Croucher’s vast musical interests and influences, dancing seamlessly through folk-inspired acoustic songs, swampy groove-driven tunes, toe-tapping country numbers, and a pair of thoughtful, piano-driven ballads.

Honesty and a genuine, no-frills approach are two defining characteristics of Brant Croucher’s songs, and way of life in general. Equally comfortable performing with a full band, from honky-tonks to the festival stage, or simply as a troubadour, with only a guitar or piano and a story, Croucher works to create venue-specific sets to make the most out of each show he plays. More information at Hemifran.


Naama Kates – Souled

Critically acclaimed singer-composer-actor Naama Kates will soon release her 3rd album, “Souled”, on December 30th, 2014. On the new album, Kates reunites with award-winning producer Cyrus Melchor, who also produced her first album, “The Unexamined Life”. The new album, “Souled”, is an ethereal reflection on life, love and longing in Los Angeles. The thoughtful lyrics showcase Kates’ sultry voice and genre-bending arrangements. “Souled” was recorded at Mount Cyanide Studio in Atwater Village and at engineer Scott Fraser’s studio in Mount Washington, in Los Angeles. Her 1st single off the album, the hip-hop infused “Waves”, has already been hand-selected by the taste makers at Los Angeles-based radio station, KCRW, and is playing on the Garth Trinidad Show.

“Souled” finds Melchor incorporating more electronic elements into Kates’ continually evolving sound. Her smoky vocal styling’s draw comparisons to Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Norah Jones, Regina Spektor and Tori Amos, and yet her sound remains uniquely her own. The subject matter on the album was inspired by everyday life – from frustrations with the City of Los Angeles’ Parking Violations Bureau to the political upheaval in the Ukraine, to Kates’ search for her missing cat (who is safely back home). Additional collaborators on “Souled” include Joseph Harvey on cello, guitarist GE Stinson, Danny Levin on horns, drummer Rich West, and engineer Scott Fraser. More information at Hemifran.


Katie Garibaldi – Follow Your Heart

With her 7th full-length album newly released, and a brand new endorsement deal with Breedlove Stringed Instruments, who worked with the support of Two Old Hippies to build her a new custom guitar, Katie Garibaldi has proven to be an artist with staying power. Based in the golden city San Francisco, this determined and enthusiastic singer-songwriter is an avid national touring performer who has acquired a devoted fan base, due in large part to her engaging live shows, and personal connection to her listeners through her music. She sings with an emotional nearness that, in combination with her melodic and catchy songs and her soulful and expressive vocals, captures her audience wherever she performs. While she’s been compared to household names such as Sheryl Crow, Jewel and Taylor Swift, Katie has a characteristic musical style wherein her equally pop- and country-tinged folk-rock gives her a distinct and edgy sound — Americana with sparkling memorable melodies.

Her new album, “Follow Your Heart”, was recorded at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Recording Studios in San Francisco, CA, and engineered by Ian Pellicci. The foundation of the band consists of Katie Garibaldi on vocals and acoustic guitar (as well as being the songwriter and producer), Memphis-based Kevin Blair on electric and upright acoustic bass, and Bay Area local Todd Richardson on drums and percussion. Magik Magik Orchestra also makes an appearance on this recording, which features Michelle Kwon (The Delphi Trio) on cello and Philip Brezina (Brothers Comatose) on violin. Katie had the opportunity to co-write and arrange the string parts with Magik Magik artistic director, Minna Choi. More notable players include Max Butler [pedal steel, mandolin, ukulele], Sylvain Carton [flute, clarinets, saxophones], Henry Hung [trumpet, trombone], Matt Blackett [electric guitar], and Shawn Shaffer [harmonica]. “Follow Your Heart” consists of 13 new tracks, which include her most personal recorded songs to date, and all seem to reflect back to her simple yet powerful message of the importance of having the conviction to follow your heart. More information at Hemifran.


Eric Schwartz – The Better Man

Award-winning musical satirist and songwriter Eric Schwartz has been playing music and comedy venues nationally for 15 years (The Improv, The Comedy Store, The Bottom Line). He has composed for and performed in various Satiristas shows spearheaded by Paul Provenza, as well as “The Bad Boys Of Comedy” with Bobby Slayton, Jim Norton et al. His songs have been sung by Ronny Cox, Holly Near and Van Dyke Parks.

Schwartz is possibly the only artist in the history of the world to get raves from Gloria Steinem and Hustler Magazine, Eric’s songs go from the political to the profane, sometimes both (see the International Songwriting Competition’s best comedy song of the year, “Clinton Got A Blowjob”). More information at Hemifran.


Annie Keating – Make Believing

Annie Keating and her bandmates recorded the new ”Make Believing” album at Atomic Sound, a beautiful studio housed in a Fire House in Red Hook Brooklyn. The majority of the album was recorded live in one weekend with the band (Trina Hamlin on harmonica, vocals and percussion, Chris Tarrow on guitars and steel, Chris Benelli on drums and Jason Mercer on bass and the occasional banjo lick). The tracks were laid down in 3 days, with minimal overdubbing to follow in another short session with the Abrams Brothers (adding some tasty mandolin, fiddle and acoustic guitar parts to round things out) and Matt Keating (with a few brilliant touches of organ and piano in just the right spots). The album was co-produced by Keating and Jason Mercer (her long time collaborator, producer and bass player). Mercer, a Canadian musician who also tours with Ron Sexsmith, was a member of the alternative rock band the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir in the 80’s and 90’s and then toured and recorded for years with Ani DiFranco. More information at Hemifran.


Miriam Jones – Between Green & Gone

So how exactly does a Vancouver native and song-writing prodigy arrive in leafy Oxford via Canada, Papua New Guinea and Nashville?

Miriam Jones, born in Vancouver the year her parents emigrated from Atlanta, then lived in Calgary, Alberta until she was seven. Even at this early age, Miriam was smitten by English accents and her strongest and most contented memories are of visits to the public library where she was often found listening to the soundtrack of the 1968 “Oliver” film drama. Over the years Miriam kept her passion for musical theatre and rather than being a traditional music fan flitting from new trend to new trend and building a formidable record collection, she tended to latch on to just a handful of songs or albums, and then spend the next few years listening to nothing else. Outbursts of ‘Come What May’ from “Moulin Rouge” were frequent, embarrassing and took years to subside. More information at Hemifran.


Kelley Hunt – The Beautiful Bones

Kelley Hunt’s new album, ”The Beautiful Bones”, offers a dozen superbly crafted songs that blend timeless music with a contemporary perspective – drawing a bead on modern life with grace, humor and gravity through the earthy poetry of her lyrics. Those songs are buoyed by a performing style that balances Hunt’s virtuosity with the down-home gospel, soul and r’n’b that’s part of her DNA.

The title track is a perfect example of Hunt’s art, with its shimmering guitar and B-3 organ providing a gorgeously textured canvas for her haunting, soulful voice. And its storyline is an equally deep illustration of her multi-faceted writing, celebrating both the joy of life and its impermanence, while quietly reminding that the earth is a delicate and mortal place that must be tended to flourish. More information at Hemifran.


Almaz Yebio – Down To Earth

Swedish singer Almaz Yebio has a new album out. Expanded trio performs singer-songwriter-classics with earthy gospel and blues flavour. ”Down to Earth”, a collection of songs from Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon alongside some originals inspired by them.

”There are so many great songs out there! From different eras and places. In different styles. My curiosity has taken me into exploring the groove of jazz, the strength of gospel, eclectic composers from Brazil, melancholy in Scandinavian folk songs and the catharsis of free improvisation. But right under my nose I find LPs with thumbprints still there from my childhood. Simon & Garfunkel and Genesis to name a few. Teenage memories with soundtracks from Paul Simon’s or Peter Gabriel’s solo projects. They’re composers, lyricists and performers a generation before me, whose music deeply affected popular music of today. And they’re still going strong”. More information at Hemifran.


Mats Ingvarsson´s – Hope

Mats Ingvarsson is a bass player/composer/producer who has acquired his musical overview from the driver seat next to the drummer in many and diverse contexts. He has played funk och soul with Grand Clinic, Soul Quality Quartet, Damn, Timbuktu and others. Jazz with Geri Allen trio, Anders Bergcrantz, Almaz Yebio, Fredrik Kronkvist 4 and others. Brazil, afro and world with A Bossa Elétrica, Simone Moreno, Sofi Hellborg, Sousou & Maher Cisssoko, Tania Naranjo Latin Trio and others.

Here he has gathered an electric quartet to inject some “Hope”. His deep roots in soul and funk as well as love for acoustic jazz has led him to collect some originals and pair them with a few covers to make an eclectic album. There are guest appearances from hornplayers and Mats sings on some tracks when the quartet isn’t shining on its own. More information at Hemifran.


Matt Townsend & The Wonder Of The World – Hope

Matt Townsend & The Wonder Of The World formed in 2014 with the creation of singer-songwriter Matt Townsend’s debut LP “Matt Townsend & The Wonder Of The World” on Eternal Mind Records.

Matt Townsend began writing songs in secret around 2008 for no purpose other than to satisfy an insatiable need to write them. Though the songs seemingly appeared out of nothing, in the years since he has written hundreds of compositions and began performing in 2010. Initially busking on the streets of Burlington, VT, and playing local coffeehouses, he soon began gracing the stages of clubs and venues around the Burlington area. His first solo EP “What Light Shall Be” was released in November 2012. He has since performed on stages in Vermont, Boston, Ireland, Western North Carolina and more.

Drawing influence from the songwriting wells of Bob Dylan, Neutral Milk Hotel, Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, William Blake and many, many more, Townsend’s songs “connect universally while remaining personally vulnerable”. More information at Hemifran.


ShAnnie – Blame It On The Moon

A duo comprised of Shan Kowert & Annie Acton. They formed in 2005 and released their debut CD in 2007, which received a nomination for Vocal Duo at the 2008 Texas Music Awards. With the 2nd release, their 2011 CD “The Station” produced by John Inmon, which won ShAnnie ’Vocal Duo Of The Year’ and John Inmon ’Producer Of The Year”. ShAnnie says they are “humbled and honored in knowing that their passion is getting such positive feedback”.

“Eclectic Americana Folk with Celtic and Spanish undertones”, that’s what some are saying about the music of ShAnnie. Their voices are clean and soothing, and the music is beautifully accompanied by 6 or 12 string acoustic guitars and sometimes a piano. ShAnnie’s music is soulful, lyrical and mesmerizing. Annie will capture your eyes with her dramatic fervor for each and every song. Someone once said, “Annie, when you sing, I believe”.

Meanwhile, Shan is crosspicking the guitar strings with ease and enthusiasm. Whether it is Annie or Shan taking the lead vocal, the other voice is floating around in harmony. It is a fact, the chemistry of these two people will not only lure you in, but keep you wanting more. More information at Hemifran.

By Published On: december 28, 2014Categories: In Focus, Miscellaneous

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About the Author: Kbremer

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.