April 9th, 2012 by MicheleZ
Singer/songwriter Adam Cohen’s latest release, Like a Man, veers from the style of his previous output, and swims more in the vein of his father’s writing style. Sparse arrangements/ instrumentation, vocal melodies that stray slightly off the path of diatonicism, and emotionally revelatory lyrics are so refreshing compared to his earlier pop hits, like “Cry Ophelia” from his 1998 self-titled album. Cohen’s musical influences range from Randy Newman and Serge Gainsbourg, to Prince and U2. You can hear flecks of Bob Dylan’s and Tom Waits’ songwriting steez in the songs from Cohen’s most recent effort.
The real poet and romantic emerges in mellifluous verses that need no deciphering, but still teem with rhythm and eloquence. He’s not afraid to sing his mind in a way that showcases his simple yet resonant vocal melodies, as well as what’s going on in his head, as demonstrated in the line, “I know the kind of thing that makes you laugh, the way you tilt your head for a photograph. What other guy knows you like that?”
Producer Patrick Leonard recorded Like a Man with the musicians playing together in one room, including Don Was on upright bass, Jennifer Warnes singing harmony, and the Sonus Quartet providing the mellow hum of bowed strings.
Cohen may chip from his father’s block stylistically, but lyrically he is much more hopefully romantic. Lines like “I’ve got a matchbox with your name and your number on it. I’m not gonna wait, no I’m gonna call it. I can picture us tangled, our lips in a lock. These are just thoughts, little matchbox” epitomize his idealism, which is also evident in his gentle guitar riffs.
April 5th, 2012 by Brenda Hillegas
Dr. Kenneth Einhorn wants a cure for diabetes. His son has Type 1 and so do the children of his friend, Dr. Jeremy Jaffe. Together, the doctors put together a great organization called Rockin’ Docs to raise money for JDRF- an organization devoted to researching and finding a cure for juvenile diabetes. After the success of last year’s 1st rock concert, featuring doctors who know how to rock out, the team was contacted by more doctors and more bands wanting to be a part of the cause. Now, in it’s second year, Rockin’ Docs is about to take the stage at the Electric Factory in hopes of raising even more money for JDRF.
BH: Were you musicians first or doctors? I assume musicians…but with all the studying to become a doctor, when did you find the time to rock out?
KE: Yes, both of us were drummers before we entered medical school. Dr. Jeremy Jaffe (my Co-Creator/Chair) was very active playing with his band playing on the Jersey shore music circuit. I played with bands more on the local scene where I grew up in northern New Jersey. One of the premises of starting an event like these stems from the fact that many doctors throughout time have also been accomplished musicians. It’s been hypothesized that playing music provides a creative outlet and diversion for the ordered scientific side that physicians exhibit “on the job.” It’s essential that we have an energy release like this in our lives, or else we’d go crazy!
BH: Tell me about the bands that will be playing the Electric Factory show. Are they all bands you know from being friends with other doctors? Or did other doctors contact you to participate once they heard about Rockin Docs?
KE: We are extremely excited about the bands we have this year- not only from the tremendous talent of each band, but also from the level of enthusiasm and energy they possess. Osler Circle is a Beatles-cover band which include five doctors from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Rose’s Cross is a hard-rockin band (featuring orthopedic surgeon Dr. Guy Lee from Doylestown Hospital and Abington Hospital) and play songs from the 70s to 90s, as well as originals. My band, Amblur, plays tunes predominantly from year 2000 on. Dr. Jaffe’s band, Rightback, is a soulful rock and R&B band playing many of the songs that made them popular along the Jersey shore years ago. We are especially excited to have with us this year Dr. Suzie Brown (cardiologist from Einstein Medical Center) who was named “Best of Philly” for music talent by Philadelphia magazine in 2010. Suzie is a country/folk/rock singer/songwriter and a rising star emerging out of the Philly music scene. For our first event last year, our core was predominantly doctor-musicians we knew and reached out to. With the success of our first show last year, we had the privilege of being contacted by several doctor-musicians, some of which we could not accommodate this year.
BH: How did you and Jaffe meet? I understand you both have children with type 1…did you meet at an event regarding the children, or at work?
KE: As we both spend a good deal of our time in the Abington Memorial Hospital OR, we have know each other several years. I always knew Jeremy had type 1 diabetes himself, but did not realize both of his children had it until I talked with him at length after my youngest son was diagnosed as well. I can tell you that we both came up with pretty much the exact same concept for this event while sitting together at a JDRF annual Gala fundraising event.
BH: What else can be expected at the show beside the awesome bands?
KE: First and foremost, we are fortunate to once again have WMGK’s Andre Gardner back as host and MC for the show. He is fantastic and his enthusiasm is limitless. We may have a few other guest DJ appearances. Also, people will have the opportunity to bid on CD’s autographed by Van Halen and Carlos Santana specifically for this event as well as a special auction item by Merril Reese (the Voice of the Eagles). We’ll have concert T-shirts for sale like last year. All proceeds go to JDRF as we continue the fight against diabetes. Lastly, there will be tables with educational information about JDRF, type 1 diabetes, and diabetes in general.
BH: This is the 2nd annual event you’re doing for JDRF. What other events have you done? What’s coming up?
KE: All of our energy (outside from Medicine, of course) is focused on making Rockin Docs for Diabetes Cure a Philly annual tradition. We have ideas for evolving the concepts of the show in the future, but our undivided efforts are on this year’s event. One thing is for certain, our goal will always be the same- no family should ever have to deal with the pain and anxiety in learning a loved one has developed diabetes. And no one should ever have to carry the heavy burden of this disease throughout their lifetime. By raising money for JDRF towards research for a cure, we know one day our goals will become reality.
Tickets can be purchased in advance or day of the show. All money goes to JDRF.
Sunday, April 29th, 1:30-5:00pm at the Electric Factory.
March 30th, 2012 by Ghost Writer
Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Taylor Fredricks started off as a solo project. He started playing at local coffee shops by thirteen. Since then, Taylor has put together a great band. Their debut was in Battle Creek, Michigan, opening for Parabelle and Pop Evil. As word spread about their outstanding live performance skills, that buzz led to the group supporting Hawthorne Heights at a show in Fort Wayne.
Some of the influences Taylor and his bandmates cite include: Brand New, Protest The Hero, Incubus, The Devil Wears Prada, Vanna, and Chiodos.
They strive to create a unique blend of styles incorporating an acoustic guitar and melodies with rock, hardcore riffs, and adding breakdowns to the mix.
In March of 2011, the Taylor Fredricks band went into Digitracks Recording Studio in Fort Wayne, Indiana to record “..And Then the Hearts Suffered” EP. The album included five tracks to convey a relationship standpoint that everyone can relate with when it comes to topics such as break-ups, and searching for the love of your life. Certainly topics everyone could identify with. Their dramatic music video is also creating a buzz among fans.
You can find that online…
By July 2011, the band had already been building some serious buzz. Their songs “Electricity & Water Don’t Mix” and “Chase Your Happiness, But Leave Your Guilt with Me” were already getting airplay on Fort Wayne’s rock radio station, 989 The Bear.” The EP was also being sold at all three Wooden Nickel locations in Fort Wayne. The group began to receive airplay, press and invitations to perform all over the Midwest.
It’s evident that Taylor Fredricks and his bandmates all share a deep passion and dedication for music. The performance skills that the Taylor Fredricks band display on stage is always energetic and passionate. They always leave the crowd on their feet and chanting the lines to their songs from beginning to end. Taylor Fredricks, clearly worth checking out!
March 29th, 2012 by Ghost Writer
Jennifer Cadence describes her music as “A little pop, a little blues and a lot of sass” and I couldn’t agree more. This outstanding
singer/songwriter is racing up the college radio charts and securing favorable press everywhere she goes.
Jennifer has music in her blood. She was learning to write, sing and perform at a very early age. “A music teacher once told me I’d
have a very successful career as a pop artist. I was pissed.” Cadence had visions of rock stardom, not the life of a bubblegum pop artist.
“My dad was a professional musician and at the time I was in year six of my classical training, I had decided to go rogue and leave the classical community but I wanted to be a rock star not some ‘pop’ singer. It wasn’t until I got over myself that everything just fell into place.”
With a touring history stretching from New York City to Seattle to Los Angeles, Ms. Cadence is making fans from coast-to-coast. Her songs are intelligent and sincere while showcasing her beautiful voice and engaging personality. For fans of Sara Bareilles, Tori Amos and KT Tunstall,
Jennifer Cadence is an artist you should embrace.
March 26th, 2012 by Ghost Writer
The Implants is the brainchild of its only band member, Mike Burns. His knack for creating catchy, straightforward music is constantly evolving. When it comes to producing, mixing, or the laying down of tracks, Burns is the only one involved. He works with funky grooves and simple beats that when combined; create a sound he labels as Electro-Groove Rock.
There are no confusing lyrics and no complicated riffs. “Each song is multi-layered, well thought out, and meticulously produced with hours of fine tuning.” Throughout his 20 years of creating and writing music, Burns has branched out into the world of music production. This has lead to the release of two CDs containing all original songs. His third and latest album is “Generic Genius” was released by The Implants in 2011.
Burns submitted a track to an independent film and within a month, the track “Funky Monkey” was chosen for the movie “I Wish”. Brandella Films is scheduled to release the film in June 2012. “Funky Monkey” will also appear on the soundtrack to be sold at major retailers.
After recently renovating his music production studio, Burns sees the future of The Implants containing even more innovative music that the public is sure to embrace. His blending of technology with old school, pure musical talent is breathtaking. Burns is a writing/producing machine and it will be interesting to see where he takes his supporters on this musical journey.
March 26th, 2012 by MicheleZ
The North Carolina indie alt-folk ensemble Bowerbirds absolutely soared at Johnny Brenda’s Thursday night March 22nd. After an immensely long sound-check following London’s Dry the River, the band started their fairly lengthy and tightly-delivered set in front of a nearly sold out crowd. Comprised of Phil Moore, Beth Tacular and Mark Paulson (and joined by a drummer and a cello player), the band is on tour to promote their latest release, The Clearing. This newest album showcases texturally diverse instrumental layers, introspective and poetic lyrics, and wistfully wispy harmony. The ‘Birds tore it up the other night with intricate guitar-strumming, synergistic singing, and lush cello and violin duets which provided that deliciously gritty bow-to-string depth.
The quintet kicked off the set with “This Year” from their most recent record. It was a nice way to start things off, with some lush 3-4 part harmony, Tacular providing a low hum on accordion (which wasn’t initially coming through in full force), and thumping percussion. “The Yard” picked up the pace and showcased some hopping high-hat and very full harmony between Moore and Tacular, as well as background “ohs” that seemed to hit the ceiling and then some, almost like bird calls. The performance reeled you into Bowerbirds’ mystical world of forests and fresh starts.
“Stitch the “Hem” involved some moving syncopated lines in the keys, richly warm cello, and more of those sweet “ohs” and “oohs” that melded perfectly, so characteristic of the Bowerbirds’ songs. Even from the corner of the upstairs of the venue, standing above and behind the band, everything was coming through more or less clearly. Green and blue disco ball lights swirled in tandem with “Brave World”, which started off with a chime-like ring, ethereal piano chords marking the beat, and ancillary percussion. It was great audio/visual companionship. A slow and somber vocal interlude eventually ramped up to bumping drums, which included a snare rim-smack and a triangle-strike laying flat on the drummer’s floor tom- pretty unique percussion.
Strategically placed toward the end of the set, “Tuck the Darkness In”, the new record’s single, was as beautifully forlorn as it is in the studio- even better because it was right there, in the moment. Tacular said appropriately right before the song, “This is the coziest place.” The bell-like ringing in the keys, like that of a Fender Rhodes, the monumental percussion, Moore’s sorrowful yet realistic lyrics, and that tonally ambiguous cello line that hints at the exotic were nothing short of incendiary. It was rockin’ and melancholy at the same time. Bowerbirds filled that cozy venue with celestial folk-rock that evoked the magic of stories like Where the Wild Things Are, and Stardust.
One of three “encores” that were played right away was “In Our Talons” from Hymns for a Dark Horse. Its sprightly drum grooves, sing-along vocals with background “dee-dees”, and accordion licks infused it with a Celtic sound that made me feel as though I were on a benevolent pirate ship singing sea shanties.
There’s a quote from the aforementioned Neil Gaiman novel Stardust, to veer off track slightly, that nearly encapsulates the Bowerbirds’ performance the other night, and it reads: “The music made [me] think of spaces without limits, of huge crystalline spheres which revolved with unutterable slowness through the vasty halls of the air.”
“Tuck the Darkness In”
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March 19th, 2012 by Brenda Hillegas
Ten years ago, I had big plans to move to New York City and become a writer for Saturday Night Live (I was even going to settle for holding up the cue cards for each episode). On some days, I wanted to bring half my high school friends with me and create the next great American sitcom. On other days I wanted to be a movie critic. But now, ten years later, I’m living on the outskirts of Philadelphia and I’m the editor of this music magazine. When did music become such a big part of my life? When I was 18 (and obviously a big nerd) I could tell you the name of every single movie being released in theatres each Friday. No one could beat me at the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game (actually, I’m still a champ) and I considered the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly to be a pretty big part of my Friday nights. So, how the Hell did I become so involved with live bands and supporting traveling musicians and dancing around at Irish festivals with a beer in my hand? How did all of that become what I now consider to be my top priorities?
I blame Canada. Specifically, The Glengarry Bhoys.
If you’ve ready half the articles I’ve written for Origivation magazine over the past few years, you know how much I love music festivals and bands who drive for hours to come to this area and play two shows, just to drive hours back home at the end of the weekend. You know that my day job comes second to bands like this and I’ll gladly take non-paid days off to spend an extended weekend with my Bhoys and similar bands I’ve discovered over the years.
I found the Bhoys accidentally, in 2002, at a Celtic festival in Lancaster. I was there for the first time, to see someone else, and thought it was an interesting and somewhat strange place to be. With no plans of going back to a festival like that ever, I stumbled upon the Bhoys. And I haven’t left their side since. I’ve returned to that festival and hundreds like it since then to see them and many other friends and musicians I’ve met as a result of getting to know the Bhoys.
The band’s from Ontario and they fuse together a whole bunch of sounds I had rarely heard before. Traditional Scottish, pipes, fiddles, French-Canadian, etc. Who knew I’d love dancing to fiddle tunes, completely sober. After hearing the Bhoys for the first time, I stopped being a music snob and gave every band a chance. Here I am, filled with ten years worth of stories from countless bands, music festivals, concerts, road trips to the middle of nowhere, and late night bar and hotel misadventures. I met one of my best friends, Jane, at a bar in Maryland when we were both there to see the Bhoys and whether those guys are around or not, she’s always my partner in crime. I have fiddle and shamrock tattoos. I’ve spent too much money on digital cameras because I can never find a good one to capture the band in motion. There are a million things that tell the story of me as a result of meeting the Glengarry Bhoys.
Though the line up has changed numerous times over the years, I’ve always remained faithful to Graham and his choice of musicians. Drinking half warm beer and listening to the guys tell a bunch of semi-inappropriate stories in a parking lot this past Saturday night was no different than being in a field in the middle of West Virginia with the band six years ago trying to figure out how to get back to our hotel. Some of the faces may be new, but the atmosphere never changes. The band as a whole has always made me happy and every musician who was able to tour with the Bhoys at some point has never ceased to amaze me. I never thought I’d ever be so obsessed with a bunch of Canadians, fiddles, bagpipes, and just Irish/Scottish music in general. And I never thought all of that would lead me to realizing what I wanted to do with my life- I’m in charge of a music magazine, I love it, and the Bhoys helped me figure that out.
As always, they KICKED ASS this weekend in my home town, Bethlehem, for some St. Paddy’s weekend celebrations. The crowd is a mix of little kids all dressed in green, pressed up against the stage and crazy old men trying to dance with whoever is sitting next to them while trying to balance their Guinness with one hand. There’s never one specific type of crowd at a Bhoys show. Everyone is drawn to them.
Though I’ll beg for them to show up before the fall, The Bhoys will be back in the area this September for Celtic Classic (which is a great festival to check out if you’ve never been to anything like it before). Then they’re doing a week-long tour of Scotland in conjunction with Celtic Classic…and all the fans are invited. So, Bhoys- does this press coverage gain me a free plane ticket? Just think about it and get back to me. I’m obviously not opposed to taking time off and I already have my passport.
The band could be a headliner of a festival with thousands of people in front of them or they could be doing a sit-down acoustic set for a handful of hardcore fans. Either way, a Bhoys’ show is something to anticipate. I don’t care where they are or what venue they are playing at, if it’s in Pennsylvania or any state that touches PA, I’ll be there.
Goodbye hugs and kisses are the worst because the Bhoys don’t tour as much as they used to (it’s a good thing for my credit card) and it’s usually a few months before I know when they’ll be back. I’m fairly certain I’d go crazy if I saw them on a regular basis, though- being one of the only girls around at after parties, I do tend to roll my eyes at them and their conversations a lot! But at the same time, I go crazy without them. They’ve been one of the few constants in my life for the past decade and every time I see them I’m so thankful that I stopped to listen that first time. In a “one thing leads to another” sense, there are A LOT of people and places that wouldn’t have crossed my path if I never met the Bhoys. I am who I am today because I decided they were worth my time.
It’s important, as a music lover (and that’s everyone), to listen. If someone hands you a CD and tells you that you’d probably like it, check it out. If whatever music player website you use offers suggestions, click on them. When someone on the street or at a show gives you their demo, pop it in on the ride home. Always spend a few minutes checking out the new artist section of iTunes, the local music store, or whatever magazines you read. Never turn down a song. It could actually shape who you are.
I love you Bhoys. Come back soon. I need a nap first, though. This weekend was rough.
March 15th, 2012 by Ghost Writer
After releasing two albums in Portuguese, Brazil-based singer-songwriter Henrikee released his first album in English.
Inspiration for the songs on Searching Greatness came from dreams. Henrikee then had to translate those experiences into English.
It was a challenge, but one he met with intensity and passion. Henrikee handled everything on his new CD, from writing to producing
In addition to his own original music career, Henrikee produces other outstanding artists and even completed a soundtrack for a short film.
Henrikee has spent time in LA and has built up fans in Brazil and the United States. His music has earned favorable reviews from the press
and support from the radio community. His songs are sincere and come from the heart. Henrikee is an artist with a bright future and is poised
to continuing making new fans around the world.
March 7th, 2012 by Ghost Writer
Eclectic and passionate inspirational singer/songwriter/entertainer, Kenneith Perrin, just released his latest EP entitled “Life Adventure”.
This album finds Perrin effortlessly creating songs that easily flow as a mini-soundtrack commenting on the daily challenges that life brings us.
Kenneith’s musical roots consist of R&B, dance, gospel, and new wave music. “Growing up, I loved watching reruns of Soul Train, American
Bandstand and Solid Gold. Those shows introduced me to great songs by great artists.”
While earning his law degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Kenneith tapped into songwriting. “I’d be in class struggling to concentrate, because I would hear these melodies. Inevitably, I would furiously write them down while hurriedly excusing myself from class.”
It’s those early tunes that would lead to many new musical adventures including being a two time ASCAP PLUS Award Winner and performing internationally in Germany, The Czech Republic and across the United States.
Live entertaining is a cornerstone of Perrin’s music career. While respectively residing on both the west and east coasts, his worldwide 2012 tour will cover birthday parties, churches, civic clubs, coffee houses, corporate functions, festivals and American Veterans lodges. The unique inspirational pop/R&B stylings of his songs appeal to a variety of music lovers.
The “Life Adventure” EP is the first in a collection series. Other musical forays to follow include special selections of inspirational jazz, gospel, and rock. The collection series promises to deliver many innovative tunes exemplifying a fresh fine collection of Perrin’s vocal, songwriting, and performing abilities.
March 1st, 2012 by Ghost Writer
Since 2006, Steevan Mars has been on the NYC/NJ original music scene as a solo acoustic performer. His music is a melodic blend of acoustic pop, rock and Americana. He’s released two EPs, one of which was produced by Tim Quick (guitarist on Broadway’s Rock of Ages, Lion King and Spider-Man). Steevan’s music falls into the vein of guitar-driven alternative-pop, produced with a full band.
The core of the songwriting is of the acoustic singer-songwriter variety with influences ranging from Neil Young to Ryan Adams. This is what the Steevan Mars Band brings to the live circuit, forgoing loudness for melodic harmonies thanks to the vocal support of Joanna Quick (yes, wife of Tim), and trading electric guitars for electric cello. The songs have a whole new feeling live and the band is introducing new songs (written by Steve) every night. A good song can be played many different ways and Steevan Mars delivers Beatle-esque melodies with catchy hooks and emotional lyrics – stripped down to their original acoustic form.
Not one for ambiguity, Steve writes meaningful, heartfelt lyrics that are intended to be a shared experience with the audience – poetry with a universal message: love, loss, loneliness, hope, hurt – we’re all in this together. Steevan has performed at legendary NYC venues including The Bitter End and Kenny’s Castaways, along with the iconic Jersey-based Blues and Folk institution, The Stanhope House.
Steevan will be performing in Philadelphia on Friday March 9th at Tin Angel with Ian McGlynn and Katie Barbato also on the bill.