• NOW PLAYING

News From Blind Raccoon & Their Artists

“All My Dues Are Paid” by Frank Bey available worldwide on January 17, 2020

The Southern Gentleman of the Blues releases his eagerly-anticipated sophomore album on Nola Blue Records.

In the follow up to his award-winning 2018 album, Back In Business, Frank Bey powerfully asserts his career status with All My Dues Are Paid.  Co-written with Nola Blue Records label mate Kathy Murray, album producer Kid Andersen and co-producer Rick Estrin, the uptempo title track for his sixth album is a celebration of the unstoppable journey of soul bluesman, Frank Bey.

Recorded at Keeping the Blues Alive Award-winning Greaseland Studios in San Jose, California, Bey is accompanied by an elite group of musicians including multi-Grammy winners Jim Pugh (keyboards) and Jerry Jemmott (bass); multi-Blues Music Award nominee Nancy Wright (saxophone); drummer Derrick D’Mar Martin (Little Richard) and percussionist Vicki Randle (Tonight Show band).  Andersen’s reverence and keen exploitation of Bey’s vocal prowess is evident throughout the 13 selections on the album.  Northwest Music Scene reviewer Rick Bowen observes, “The full breadth of Bey’s artistic and emotional power is brought to bear in the dynamic, showstopping arrangement of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ that builds to a glorious grand finale.”

Born in Millen, Georgia and starting his musical career in gospel at the tender age of four, Frank Bey is a six-time Blues Music Award nominee.  Currently residing in Philadelphia, PA, Bey is a beloved international performer and recording artist.  “Frank Bey – You’re Going To Miss Me,” A feature documentary film about the life and musical journey of Frank Bey, is currently in post-production.  For more information about Frank, his music and the film, visit www.frankbeymusic.com and www.frankbeyfilm.com.

Frank Bey Recording Session At Greaseland

TOMISLAV GOLUBAN – MEMPHIS LIGHT
Label: Spona
Release date: January 10, 2020

Harp musician Tomislav Goluban presents his latest studio album entitled ”Memphis Light” with an expected January, 10, 2020 release date. His 11th studio album, a sequel of sorts to his previous album ”Chicago Rambler,” which made significant impact outside Croatia and reached top positions on various radio charts in the USA, Australia, France and the UK.

Nine of the ten tracks are written by Tomislav and the tenth is the classic ”House of the Rising Sun.” As suggested by the album title, Goluban took a trip to the Home of the Blues to record at Ardent studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Tomislav Goluban (vocals, harp) and his band ”Little Pigeon” are Jeff Jensen (guitar), David Green (drums), Rick Steff (keyboard), Bill Ruffino (bass). Mark Johnson (slide guitar), Vince Johnson (guitar), Franher Joseph, Reba Russell and Daunielle Hill (backing vocals) guested on various cuts.

Album Trailer ~ Recording In Memphis
Andrew Kastner, guitarist with Jack Mack, talking about how the band got involved with Clint Eastwood’s film, “Richard Jewell.”
Jack Mack and the Heart Attack ~  Live From Centennial Park Atlanta, 1996
Street Date ~ December 6, 2019
In May of 2019, Andrew Kastner, the founding member and guitarist for Jack Mack and the Heart Attack received a call from someone named Tim Moore. “I’m looking for someone from Jack Mack and the Heart Attack” Moore asked. “You wouldn’t happen to have any footage of you guys playing at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996?”  Kastner asked why and Moore replied that he was a producer on a new movie directed by Clint Eastwood and they were looking for footage of the band to put in the film.  It so happens that approximately three years ago a friend of Kastner’s told him about a film that Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill were trying to make about the falsely accused guard from the bombing in Centennial Park, Richard Jewell. Kastner called Leonardo’s company on more than one occasion telling them that he was with the band playing on stage the night of the bombing and if they needed any information to call him.  He never did get a call back.

Kastner told Moore that it’s possible that he may still have some footage, but, would need to find it as It had been 23 years since he laid eyes on it. Ironically, a few months before this call, Kastner, who had saved many boxes of tapes and videos from the band’s 40 years, decided they were taking up too much space and probably deteriorating so he threw many of them away. Kastner said he’d call him back and immediately went out to his shed to started digging through the boxes of old tapes and other assorted junk. After 45 minutes of sifting through the dust and spider webs, there they were, four beautiful gray plastic boxes of Sony Beta Cam tapes with “Centennial Park, Atlanta 1996 July 22,24,25 and 26 written on them.” He called Moore back immediately and within 12 hours he and Kastner’s partner in the band, sax player Bill Bergman, and he were sitting with Clint Eastwood, Tim and their team at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank showing them the footage.

Clint and the team were ecstatic. Apparently, they only had a vague idea of what the stage looked like, what the band looked and sounded like, and what the audience looked like and they were going to start shooting in 20 days. One of Clint’s team told Kastner it was like a miracle that you guys walked in with 3 hours of tape and gave him a huge hug.  Kastner and Bergman basically handed them an entire scene and look for the film.

It so happens Kastner also dug up 4-5 digital tapes of the bands performances on those hot July nights in Atlanta and licensed two songs and the footage for the film.  One of the songs is a cover of the Staples Singers hit, “I’ll Take You There” and the other, a Jack Mack original, “I Walked Alone.” The latter was the song they were playing a few seconds before the bomb went off.  When you listen to the end of, “I Walked Alone,” lead singer TC Moses begins to introduce the next song and is cut off by a white noise as the recording abruptly ends.  That white noise is the bomb going off severing the wires to the sound tower and the tape machine.

Holiday Greetings From Michele D’Amour & The Love Dealers
Reminder About Holiday Music on the Digital Platform
Counting Down The Days ~ The Reverend Shawn Amos & The Brotherhood
Recorded live at Outono Códax Festival, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
November 9, 2019 during their recent sold-out Spanish tour

Dudley Taft Live 2019 Satyr Blues Festival – Edge of Insane

December is here With Miss Bix as Album of the Month and Big news for Blues lovers.

New Album of the Month “Miss Bix & The Blues Fix – We Don’t Own The Blues” Hits the Really Heavy Rotation.

 

Big News for Blues lovers.

 

Radio BluesFlac the new Flagship Flac Blues Station has entered Beta Testing and you can all listen when ever you want. We have waited years to be able to stream in FLAC and thanks to all the great Blues PR companies we have more than enough to fill the playlist 24/7/365.

Website is up and running to, slowly.

And we owe it all to Radio Mast for providing the chance to do it.

We are honored to be involved in a very small way with this new venture and looking forward to years of satisfaction with their service.

So how does it work? We play music and you listen. But behind the scenes there is much to do.

Albert of Radio Mast explains it better than I could.

“We’re pleased to announce Ogg FLAC stream hosting is now available from Radio Mast!

With an Ogg FLAC stream, you can finally deliver a perfect audio reproduction to your listeners with zero loss in quality, for the ultimate audiophile listening experience.

Ogg FLAC streams start at just $++/month for +++ listeners, and include all the perks of our standard streams, including global delivery through our CDN, listener statistics, HTTPS streaming, and more.

What is Ogg FLAC?
FLAC is a lossless audio codec that creates a bit-perfect reproduction of your original audio for your listeners, while still being more compact to store or transmit. FLAC is open source, mature, and widely used by music enthusiasts.

Ogg is a container format which packages up the compressed FLAC audio in a format that makes it possible to stream over the internet. Ogg is what makes FLAC streaming possible, so all “FLAC” streams are really “Ogg FLAC” streams.”

Irish Contemporary Singer-Songwriter Siobhán O’Brien Announces Third Full-Length Album “You Can’t Run Out of Love” Out Late January 2020

(New York, NY) November 2019: Conveying honesty and vulnerability, contemporary singer-songwriter Siobhán O’Brien is excited to announce her new album You Can’t Run Out of Love, out late January 2020. Recorded in Austin, Texas, at Cicada Moon Studios, O’Brien worked alongside John Bush (percussionist for Edie Brickell &  New Bohemians) and Matt Hubbard (keyboardist for Edie Brickell &  New Bohemians). Together they brought to life 10 original songs, each documenting important moments in her life since she left Ireland for the US in 2016.

Inspired by great American singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Brandi Carlile,  Sheryl Crow, and Joan Baez, O’Brien creates heartfelt tracks inspired by changes throughout her life. She shows her raw and vulnerable side through her tracks such as “Love Is The Holy Grail,” “Mother,” and “She Hides My Plecs.”

Reflecting on her upcoming album, O’Brien says, “I feel this record is about transitioning, it’s about acceptance, it’s about adventure, it’s about risk-taking. It’s a reminder to me to stay the course. To not give up. The theme is ‘women’ as I co-wrote the title track  ‘You Can’t Run Out Of Love” with Jude Johnstone which is about the modern-day stress and struggles that mothers have to endure and ‘I Stayed Too Long’ is a co-write with  Linda McRae. The last track ‘Mother’ is an apology to my own mother. “She Hides My Plecs” is about my sister. I want this record to bring joy and healing.”

Now, Siobhán O’Brien is excited to share her third studio album, You Can’t Run Out Of Love, with the world on late January 2020. The record will be introduced through her new single and title track “You Can’t Run out Of Love” releasing in November.

Be sure to follow Siobhan O’Brien on social media for exclusives and music updates.

 

 
You Can’t Run Out Of Love
Tracklist…

1. You Can’t Run Out Of Love
2. The King’s Fool
3. Love Is The Holy Grail
4. Give Me Back The Love
5. The Burger Song (2 – 2.15 am)
6. Hold Me In Your Arms (Maybe this too)
7. I Stayed Too Long
8. She Hides My Picks
9. Sanctuary
10. Mother

 

As a fourth-generation Irish musician, music has always been an important part of Siobhan O’Brien’s life. At the age of 16, she threw aside the piano and fiddle, dedicating herself to the guitar. Her musical ambitions grew as she released her original music to the world. Her debut album Mumbo Jumbo Bla Bla, released in 1996, went on to garner praise and national airplay throughout Ireland. In 2008, Siobhan released her album I Grew Up To, which featured famed Irish musician Paddy Moloney of The Chieftans and led to a performance at the Boston Symphony Hall with them the same year.

In 2016, Siobhan O’Brien made the move to America, deciding that was where she wanted to lay down her musical roots. She hit the ground running, opening for artists such as Nick Lowe at the acclaimed Birchmere Music Hall and had been awarded a coveted spot in the Folk-DJ Showcase at North East Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) by Mary Cliff.

Miss Bix & The Blues Fix has the Spotlight Album for December, “We Don’t Own The Blues”

 

I know it’s early in the month to announce Decembers album of the month but as you can see we need to do some work on the promotion material.

 

BIOGRAPHY

LESLIE BIXLER aka MISS BIX aka LESLIE LETVEN has been writing, recording and performing since her early twenties.  Her first international record “Make It Right” was released on Syndrome Records under her maiden name Leslie Letven and did very well in the smooth jazz category, reaching #12 on the charts, and still receiving radio play today. At that time, she was collaborating with her talented husband Bill Bixler of the Wild Blue Band and nightclub.

Moving back to LA, Leslie and Bill produced and self-released “Porcupine,” which she sold at gigs and on CD Baby. After the birth of her son, Leslie turned her attention to children’s music, spending several days a week doing music circles with preschool age children. It was there that she wrote and test-ran several children’s songs which attracted the attention of Dick Van Dyke and Chad Smith (drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), whose child was in her class. She produced two albums “Moon Food” with Dick Van Dyke and “Rhythm Train” with Van Dyke and Chad Smith. She toured with Dick and Chad promoting those albums and received notable press from many celebrities and publications and won a parent’s choice award.

Once her son grew up, Leslie’s yearning for a new musical start led her to Clarksdale Mississippi where she fell seriously in love with the blues, something she had always gravitated towards. Working with co producer collaborator Ralph Carter (former Musical Director with Eddie Money and co-writer of his hit tune ‘Shakin’’) Leslie began writing “We Don’t Own The Blues,” a group of blues-based songs that reflect a new and exciting musical direction: passionate, intense, and sultry.

“Finally Home [Apartment Sessions]” by Cole Ritter And The Night Owls

Enjoyed this video so I thought I would share it with you all.

 

November’s Album of the Month will be….. SEAN POLUK’S “NEVER GOING TO LOSE”

 

A decision taken after much difficulty. So many great albums have been sent to us lately the choice was hard almost cruel.

Why did “NEVER GOING TO LOSE” get it’s nose in front and win the race?

Songs being “Radio Friendly” helped.

Sean is a great guy but then so are the other artists.

You listen to a track from “NEVER GOING TO LOSE” and you think “that’s good”, listen to them all and they all sound good.

Listen to “NEVER GOING TO LOSE” again the songs sound different, you check to see if you are playing correct song, yes you are. There is so much going on during a song that it’s a different song the second,third… play.

Sean makes magic, magic music, that’s how he won the race.

 

Buy Album here

 

 

 

 

Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes – Cypress Grove. This weeks TME.fm Radio Review from Jon Hutchinson

No self respecting guitarist would ever admit they can’t play the blues, the chords are pretty simple, all you have to do is play a 1, 4, 5 progression, when you get to the end, put a little ‘turnaround’ piece in there and hey, you’re playing the blues. You’re not, you’re not playing the blues. You never will. You’re not Rembrandt, you’ve got the same paint, it’s the same canvas, the brush is in your hand… yet you still can’t paint a simple flower that makes you stop and stare in wonder.

Blues music was never popular, let’s not kid ourselves. It’s music born of Mid-Western barns and cheap wooden bars in desperate need of repair. All we have left are fading black and white images and crackling records. It was music made by the poor, mostly lives of solitary wandering to find a gig, or if they were lucky, they got themselves a residency for bed, beer, food and some tips. Some did find a little fame, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson were among the few.

Of course, we have Seasick Steve, making blues mainstream, but let’s not kid ourselves that he isn’t a circus act, he’s popular, funny and engaging, there’s a lot to like about the guy and his music, but he plays in the big top. All this talk about a blues revival misses the point, it never went away, it’s always there in the background like a grandfather watching over all of popular music.
There’s a lot of polished, shiny stuff out there, all its minor faults ironed out by people using technology that would shame a space program. At 3:28 on track 2 Joe, there’s a snare beat that’s 3 milliseconds out, so Joe fixes it, after all, they wouldn’t want to offend anyone. Sometimes it seems there is more debate about mixing a track than there is in politics these days.

There are some of us left who like to hear strings buzzing, slightly mistimed finger strokes – to us it’s like a favourite jacket, it certainly isn’t designed by some high flyer, it wasn’t expensive, a lot of people think it looks aged, wrinkled, uncool, but we love it and wearing it makes us feel good.

Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes is a blues player, at 72 years of age he’s got a lot of history behind him. What is it about musicians that they never retire? Whilst we yearn for the day we finally walk away from the day job and seek a little peace and escape from everything we worked at for 50 years, these guys never give up, there’s always songs to write, another album they want to record, it must be a glorious yet frustrating life to live. Holmes is no exception, the Blue Front cafe, which his sharecropper mother and father opened in 1948, is run now by him. He opens the club every day and most weekends he’ll be there playing his music, often accompanied by friends. 

 

From the opening guitar run of ‘Hard Times’, all the feel, the imperfection, the century or so of history and culture is brought out into the bright sunshine. Holmes’ latest album ‘Cypress Grove’ doesn’t change anything, it’s not a revolution, but who needs one of those when we can sit in our chair and listen to front porch blues?
The title track is just over two minutes long, but packs in echoes of struggle and the desire for release. Played with such feel and ease, there’s a lifetime distilled down to 128 seconds right here. Holmes then ups the tempo for ‘Catfish Blues’ and ‘Going Away Baby’. Shuffling beat backing electric guitar breaks that overflow with distorted punctuation.

The album was produced by The Black Keys Dan Auerbach in Nashville, and his love of the genre and admiration for the work of Holmes is something that is evident throughout. Auerbach has done great work with this.

Little Red Rooster, that blues standard, receives the full band treatment and it is as laid back as it gets. It’s indulgent, of course it is, and so it should be, played in waves of instruments that wash and ebb over hypnotic beat. ‘Gonna Get Old Someday’ returns to punchy guitar with all the beating blues and sorrowful vocals, it’s full of energy but sung with contradictory world weariness. It’s a great example to anyone of Holmes’ work.

‘Train Train’ predictably uses a shuffle pattern to echo the engine on tracks of steel, and there is nothing wrong with that, the link between trains and the blues is almost as old as the genre itself. The train is running down the track, will it bring his baby back? Who knows… all I know is that I enjoyed the ride through this album, and if you get the chance, buy a ticket for yourself.

© Jon Hutchinson 2019

Sound Arts Recording Studio Incorporates New Music Delivery Mechanism For Artists

Americana Folk artist Courtney Hale-Revia among the first to adopt technology

If CDs are going away what will you sell at your live shows? 

Today’s Artists Read the Tea Leaves

CDs are going away and where does that leave merchandise sales at live performances?  Performances are one of the few places where artists can continue to earn a nice living.  Therefore on site music sales are important and making some profit would be nice too.  Brian Baker, President, Sound Arts Recording Studio has a reputation for embracing technologies of the past and getting cozy with new technologies.  He realized that the industry was making a major shift and his insatiable appetite for all things technology kept his eyes on new developments within the music delivery systems market.  Courtney Hale-Revia is an upcoming forward thinking Americana Folk artist that knew going into the Sound Arts Recording Studio that she wanted to present her music in multi-format options such as vinyl for example.  Her train of thought was and remains let audiences decide on what format they wish to take home.  While Brian’s focus was on the technology Courtney’s was on audience appeal.

Shown: Three choices for show sales: Vinyl, Compact Disc, Credit Card USB
However, a third factor comes into play from a business point of view, profitability. With all of this in mind the two of them began to review options together. One option was this rather new device which is a credit card size delivery mechanism that was priced right and would not only hold audio files but Courtney’s video files and PDFs as well.  This would mean that Courtney could add her new video onto the device along with her bio and audio files.  You could actually have two different credit card size options if you wanted to – one with just the audio files on it and a second with both audio and video files on it. Therefore presenting two consumer price points. The bottom line is that a trusting partnership between the studio and the artist allows for crystal clear examinations of a non-stop evolving industry, the music industry.  In this case it worked beautifully.  If you are an independent artist and your CD sales have declined it’s probably not your music just that less and less people are using CD platforms these days.  Auto manufacturers are not even putting CD players in new cars anymore unless you special order one.  Because you need to protect one of the last bastions of profit, income from your live shows, you definitely need delivery options.  Courtney Hale-Revia is an insightful songwriter and she is quite the entrepreneur.  She comes by it honestly as her father has been a
A Unique Delivery Platform

Courtney Hale-Revia is both a forward thinking artist and venue owner.  To the left you can see how she addressed the reverse side of her new credit card size delivery mechanism.

These storage devices can even be blister packed and include custom made messaging on the perimeter of the container including your logo.

life long folk songwriter and artist for as long as she can remember.  As he has shared the beauty of creation and the enjoyment of sharing with his daughter over the years Courtney could not help but fall in love with the process herself.  However, Courtney has taken her foray into music a step further.  She opened a remote listening room back off the beaten path of interstate 10 just south of Beaumont Texas.  Artists and music lovers alike love it.  Her listening room embraces the intimate experience of being up close and personal.  Sort of like when your Dad or Mom or one of your Uncles or Aunts might have performed at home so many years ago.  There’s just something about these settings that sets the soul free.
Brian Baker of Sound Arts Recording Studio Houston Texas

Alexa Rose – Medicine for Living Reviewed by Jon Hutchinson for TME.fm Radio

 

There is fascination in vulnerability, we are beguiled by a stranger who chooses to share their emotions and history, their short story relationships that turned out to be sometimes painful yet deficient chapters in a novel none of us ever seem to finish. We can be beguiled by the stranger who can create beauty from what seems broken.

Alexa Rose takes a paintbrush from her soul and draws broad strokes across yours. Born in the Alleghany Highlands of West Virginia, there is craft and history here, an awareness of those that went before her, rooted in the traditions of folk and storytelling. Alexa holds these values close and sews together fine threads of quiet mastery and confident clarity, adding her own personality to create a unique style. Alexa holds onto the words as she sings them, not wanting to let them go, wringing all the lasting meaning from them, each one a precious piece of endeavour. Frazey Ford is one of the very few others who can do this so well and to such effect.

The subtlety of the musical arrangements throughout this album is something that you immediately notice, it’s not intrusive, it’s not the centre, not what the song is about, it’s a canvas upon which an artist adds the foreground. The opening song, “Borrow your heart”, shows the promise of what is to come, “Can I borrow your heart, I think I lost my own”, the line is so simple, but hides deeper currents of unresolved thoughts. The thing about Rose is that her lyrics throughout the album can seem contradictory, there is a conflict of thoughts which becomes fascinating. There are times when she writes with such feelings of weakness, confronted with the enormity of love that has taken so much of her but is ultimately fruitless, yet other times when realism and optimism is embraced.

The title track “Medicine for living” is at once haunting and torn, “Can I ask you a question, I know you don’t want to hear, but I’m the heirloom at the mercy of the auctioneer, There’s a crack in the finish, but it’s easy to miss, Are you going to love me when it ain’t like this”. It’s the throes of a relationship that is failing, with all its inevitability and feelings of powerlessness.
“That’s the way love is”. This ballad with its minimalist backing leaves Rose’s voice exposed in all its complexity and range and once again the lyrical quality leaves you in no doubt that this is an artist with depth. The song is a search into perpetual disappointment mixed with eternal optimism.

This is such a promising work, a debut album which deserves all the attention it will no doubt receive, we await more, and what a time we have in store watching Alexa Rose develop her music.

© Jon Hutchinson 2019

 

Rick Faris – Debut Album – Release for Pre-sale

The debut album from Rick FarisBreaking In Lonesome, releases to radio and for fan pre-order in advance of its Nov 15, 2019 commercial release. Containing a bulk of new bluegrass originals, and backed by a cast of talent, this long-awaited project showcases Rick’s depth of musicality and solid footprint in the genre.

Rick Faris has consistently wowed me with his powerful vocals and virtuoso mandolin and guitar playing over the last few years with Special Consensus.  He was playing mandolin when I first saw him and I immediately noticed he is a great singer live–suppose it shouldn’t have surprised anyone when he switched to guitar and was just as proficient and nimble.  His range makes him a natural tenor, but his lead singing is convincing and expressive.  And on top of all this, he’s an outstanding luthier, having built a number of great guitars–including those played on this record.  In short, I thought of the guy as the vanguard of younger musicians who are carrying Bluegrass forward.

But now his solo record shows me that he’s put it all together.  Turns out he’s also a thoughtful songwriter.  He wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 12 songs on Breaking in Lonesomeand they run the gamut from Jimmie Rodgers-style jazzy ditties (“Mississippi Steamboat Blues”), straigh-ahead waltzes (“Wrong Done Right”) to contemporary Bluegrass (“If the Kansas River Can”), cool instrumentals (“Stoneman’s Raid”), blazing fast ‘grass (“Breaking in Lonesome”), a spooky traditional gospel song featuring Shawn Lane’s soulful tenor (“Matthew and Mark’s Wisdom”) and a contemporary Bluegrass gospel song (“Faith in Man”).  The lone cover, Aaron Bibelhouser, Thomm Jutz and Milan Miller’s “How Long,” fits right in.  Most of these finely crafted songs feature the rocking core band of Rick on guitar and lead vocals, Justin Moses on banjo and tenor vocal, Eddie Faris on bass and baritone vocal, Laura Orshaw on fiddle, and Harry Clark on mandolin.  “Never is a Long Time” and the swingy “Honeybabe” feature Special C and make it easy to see why this version of the band has been so decorated.

Bluegrass music might be entering its 9th decade, but Breaking in Lonesome proves it’s more vital than ever, and this project is a perfect showcase for one of its truly bright lights“.
-Tim Stafford (Blue Highway)

Fans can pre-order the album at Dark Shadow RecordingiTunes, and wherever fine music is sold on the internet. Streaming services will begin when the album officially releases on Nov 15, 2019.

About the label:

Dark Shadow Recording is a record label and full-service studio run by a musician for musicians in the Bluegrass, Americana and Folk genres. The small-but-mighty roster has been awarded multiple IBMA awards and is a testament to the DSR’s focus on quality over quantity in music and business. More at www.darkshadowrecording.com.