Friday, June 12, 2009

Song Fest On Music Row Ramps Up For June Performances

Songwriters of every genre, from the novice to the professional will converge on Music Row for The Nashville SongWriters Festival held every third weekend of June. The 2009 Song Fest is many happenings in one. It's part live music festival, part teaching conference, part business networking opportunity and part gathering of old friends. Tune smiths share their original music on multiple outdoor stages and Open Sing Rings. The jamboree is hosted by this June 19-21.

There will be featured writers strumming their hits and undiscovered songwriters playing new ones. Last year Sony/BMG staff writers, a gang from Warner-Chappell/Ash Street Music and many others you hear every day on the radio, shared their songs. The fest represents the past, present and future of songwriting and welcomes all forms of music. Composers are encouraged to come as they are and find their place in the mix.

There are 7 stages with scheduled performances and impromptu areas for unscheduled Sing Rings. From live video web cast, live Internet radio and DVD recording stage. Everyone who comes to the fest has an opportunity to share their original lyrics, song or music if they are not shy.

Along with the nonstop live music performances there are Pro Instructior classes hosted by music pros who have "been there, done that." Writers can attend all or parts of the Pro Instruction while at the fest. The tutoring is held outdoors on the grass near a shady oak tree.

The celebration also host an Open House on Music Row where participating music related businesses have an "open door" policy to take questions, exchange samples and discuss what part they play in the industry. Recording Studios, Publishers, Song Pluggers, Duplicators, Distributors, Instrument Makers and many other aspects of the music business will be represented. The Open House is a whirlwind of unscheduled meet and greets and an opportunity to run the Row.

Non Performing songwriters are also encouraged to come and collaborate with other writers. Networking and Co-writing is a crucial key to getting cuts. There will also be informational booths and a collaboration tent hosted by "Keeli". There will be a writers table where registered attendees can display their CD's.

There are no set pre qualifications to attend all or parts of the Fest. The festival is not a contest or competition, which makes for a more relaxing atmosphere. The efforts of many caring volunteers and many "Fest Heads" makes this event different. We have feel! The pros were once novices and one day some novices will be pros. Together we inspire and grow in the business of music.

The festival is put on by songwriters for songwriters. "The event does not let money get in the way of people expressing their craft." says festival founder "Popcorn" Robertson. "There is no set registration fee to attend the fest. Participants determine their "Writers Share" by their ability to help be a part of the phenomenon in it's 7th year. Some have, some have not, we all just do the best we can and that's what makes this music magic happen."

Registration is now officially open. Performing and Non performing songwriters, music related business, volunteers and the general public wishing to participate in the June 19-21-2009 activities can visit the website at , Email: or call 615-424-1491 or 931-296-4067 for more info.

CD Release Concert: 'Sangria' By Mariah Parker (Indo Latin Jazz)

CD Release Concert: 'Sangria' by Mariah Parker (Indo Latin Jazz)
Tuesday, August 25, 8 pm
510 Embarcadero West
Oakland, CA 94607
Tix: $15
For more info, call 510-238-9200 or visit

Ancient-Future.Com Records Presents CD Release Concert: 'SANGRIA' with Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Jazz Ensemble

Featuring Mariah Parker (piano, santur), Paul McCandless (woodwinds, horns), Matthew Montfort (guitars), Kash Killion (bass, cello), Mindia Devi Klein (flutes), Duru Demetrius (Latin percussion), Debopriyo Sarkar (tabla), Brian Rice (percussion)

Mariah Parker's debut recording features her original compositions that draw musical inspiration from Brazil, Cuba, Spain, and India. Her Indo Latin Jazz Ensemble accompanies her and includes musicians from the bands Ancient Future, Oregon, Sun Ra, and Herbie Hancock's Headhunters.

"Parker and friends blend the rhythmic syncopations of Latin jazz music with the entrancing, asymmetrical meters of East Indian rhythms resulting in first-class world music. Intriguing melodies that draw musical inspirations from the tempos of Brazil, Cuba, India, and Spain make for an uplifting serene yet passionate musical journey into an ideal world." - LATIN BEAT MAGAZINE

"Dazzling debut.... Parker's subtle and sensuous sounds reflect exotic flavors of India, the Middle East and Latin America." - PALO ALTO DAILY NEWS

"Although entirely instrumental, Sangria speaks. Maybe it's the technical virtuosity abounding in the multiplicity of sounds - in the santur or sarangi, or the tabla or timbales. Maybe it's in the emotive resonance of what's behind the sounds, like the longing of separation in "Between the Lines," where Parker's fingers dance across the keys in precise, measured movements, in graceful arching and sweeping strokes, or in the spectacle of wonder in "Debajo De La Lluvia" or the "Tenth Journey." Whatever it is, Parker's Sangria is a lively, adventurous exploration into a hybrid global identity." - LEO WEEKLY

"Parker brings a wide variety of influences to Sangria, ranging from Indian and Middle Eastern music to Afro-Cuban salsa and Brazilian samba. She obviously appreciates the Eastern-influenced spirituality and mysticism of John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, and Lonnie Liston Smith, but her composing also contains elements of everyone from Pat Metheny to Chick Corea.... Parker, of course, didn't invent the idea of world jazz, but she keeps it moving forward... demonstrating that the fusion of jazz and world music still has plenty of possibilities after all these years -- and a global perspective serves Parker well throughout the rewarding Sangria." - ALL MUSIC GUIDE

"This collection of eight original instrumentals by Mariah Parker is just one of many examples of the infusion of East Indian music into Western music, but to my ears one of the most successful." - AUDIOPHILE AUDITION

Mariah Parker (composer and multi-instrumentalist), while completing her degree in music at UC Santa Cruz, worked with ethnomusicologist Fred Lieberman and Mickey Hart on the "Planet Drum" project. She has performed in the US and Europe, and worked with many musicians of note including composer Pauline Oliveros, the late Dumisani Maraire (renowned composer from Zimbabwe) and others. She has studied with jazz great Art Lande and Latin jazz pianist extraordinaire Rebeca MaulĪ¹on, and performs regularly with the trend-setting world music group Ancient Future.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bethany & Rufus To Perform The Rivertowns Jazz & Blues Festival

Cello & vocal, roots duo Bethany & Rufus will perform The Rivertowns Jazz and Blues Festival this Saturday, June 13th at Beczak Environmental Education Center in Yonkers, New York. Taking place from 2:30-7:30pm the festival's celebration of sustainable community features an incredible line-up of musicians including Bethany & Rufus, the Mandingo Ambassadors, and Hazmat Modine.

The Rivertowns Jazz and Blues Festival is an all-ages festival, sponsored by the Beczak Environmental Education Center and Global Exchange. It is a fundraiser for Afya Foundation of America, which collects hospital supplies that are no longer wanted by NYC-area hospitals and ships them to communities in Haiti and countries throughout Africa.

2ND ANNUAL RIVERTOWNS JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL Saturday, June 13th, 2:30-7:30 pm - Bethany & Rufus - The Mandingo Ambassadors - Hazmat Modine Tickets:

Beczak Environmental Education Center 35 Alexander Street Yonkers, New York 10701 Telephone: 914-377-1900 Google Map:


"Unbelievable!" is the word most used by audiences when first hearing Bethany & Rufus whose cello and voice duo breaks new musical ground, sliding with seamless ease between groove, jazz and a gritty, unvarnished approach to traditional folk music. With its often exuberant and sometimes achingly sad songs, their debut CD, "900 MILES" blends Bethany Yarrow's hauntingly beautiful yet explosively powerful voice with the mind-blowing, genre-bending cello playing of Rufus Cappadocia, pushing the boundaries of American roots music far into unexpected territory where intense groove meets sweet, heartbreaking soul.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Budha Releases Debut, "Intro To Budha" On iTunes June 9, 2009

Swagga Jonez Fka "Budha" is releasing his much anticipated debut album "Intro to Budha" as the independent label, Off Da Trill Records, makes it globally available through iTunes on June 9, 2009.

Growing up in Gainesville and South Dallas, TX, Budha echoes the life he's experienced in his music. Budha says "I am a universal artist; I'm comfortable in many suits. I can go from down south crunk to conscious songs." This is apparent on the album, from the hard-beats and lyrics of "Focus" to the smooth R&B realisms of life in "When You Come Around".

After working with some of the best in the industry, most notably; E 40, Bun B of UGK, Too Short, Money B of Digital Underground, Lil Jon, and Sam Bostic (producer of Tupac Shakur's Heavy in the Game from "Me Against the World" album ), the time has come for Budha to release the much anticipated "Intro to Budha". Budha chose to start an indie label for the release of his debut album. He feels that his label would allow him to control the message that best portrays the image that he wants to present to the world. There are rumblings that Budha is the next sensation in the rap world as evident by his song writing ability and collaborations in the music industry.

You can also check-out Budha with Big Daddy Kane, Bonecrusher and E 40 in the indie film "Deadly Heist" as the character Mac Henry. He is also featured on E 40's gold selling album Ghetto Report Card on the song "Yee" with the artist Too Short (produced by Lil Jon)

Visit iTunes on June 9, 2009 to preview and purchase the new album "Intro to Budha".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jim Flynn Rentals Supports Entire New York Music/TV And Movie Industries

Jim Flynn Rentals has had an enormously busy first half of the year as it continues its tradition of supplying the very best gear to some of the top music recording, landmark institutions, and live performances for television and theatre in New York City and beyond.

We will be taking a closer look at some of these projects over the next few weeks, but it seems that renowned International TV man - Fritz Lang (The MTV VMA's, Grammy's, Miss Universe, Miss USA, President Obama's Inauguration ceremony with Jazz at Lincoln Center) has been as busy as the JFR boys - who he calls upon whenever he has an event - and this month, he's had a lot - including the use of the New York Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium for the "Celebrity Apprentice Finale".

As ever, Jim Flynn Rentals were right there with Fritz with a compact Pro-Tools system with a range of gear including extra support for both Fritz and the All Mobile video truck. Erik Woltersdorf at Jim Flynn Rentals tells us that Fritz has his own-specified Pro Tools rig and built by JFR that is ready to fly anywhere in the world at a moments notice, even into the occasional war zone!

Similarly, our old (and everyone else's) friends - Sesame Street - have been working with Roger Stauss over at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York where they have hosted and recorded such guests as : First Lady Michelle Obama, LL Cool J, Sheryl Crow, Brian Williams, and Canadian singer songwriter Fiest, while Jim Flynn Rentals supplies Roger with his normal full Pro Tools Rig.

Erik says: "I keep it assembled, tech'd, and ready to roll for Sesame Street. These rigs are like the Air Force One of the audio world. When you get to the status of a Fritz Lang or a Roger Stauss you can have a rig fueled, oiled and calibrated and it's ready to roll."

In the world of recording, there are a few "MAJOR" new projects being worked on in the city that never sleeps, but we can't tell you who they are, except to say that the world's most successful female recording artist seems to be starting work on a new album while one of the world's biggest bands are in town to work on a comic-book based Broadway show (!) Of course - all call on Jim Flynn Rentals to get their gear-thing on.

We just can't tell you who or what. Or where. Or anything...!! However, we can tell you that the gear is massive and the hours long and a little strange. JIM IS THE KEEPER OF MANY SECRETS....

Avatar Studios are a frequent customer of Jim Flynn Rentals, and they like to keep their clients private, which we respect, but the sheer amount of mics, cables, converters and speakers being sent over by Jim Flynn Rentals almost weekly, says to us that SOMETHING big is going on there!

Legacy Studios have been host to that lady we spoke of who seems to be getting busier on the recording front with JFR supplying guitars, speakers, keys and mixers for the jam session that seems to be in progress there.

Legacy have also been hosting Lawrence Manchester - recording engineer for just about every decent soundtrack you can think of in the past few years - as he tackles the music for Tuxedo Films "Taking Woodstock" in front of his favorite Jim Flynn supplied JBL's.

The movie is helmed by Ang Lee.

Lastly (for us here) has been having his regular recording dance-party at Legacy with JFR trucking over a Korg Oasys Keyboard, as well as a Moog Little Phatty Keyboard.

Over at Chung King, Jim Flynn Rentals have also been dipping into their VAST itinerary of keyboards of every size, shape and decade, with everything from a Dave Smith PolyEvolver to a Moog analog synth among a lot of other gear being supplied to acts like Kid Cudi, Leslie Ryan, Gorillaz, Estelle and CAT STEVENS!

Yup, seems that Yusef is back, or gone - or whatever..

Wyclef Jean's Platinum Studios always hosts top R+B, rap and reggae artists and this month is no exception. Jim Flynn Rentals have been sending over trucks and crew almost daily for artists such as LL Cool J (mics, guitars, basses) and Maxwell (Pro-Tools)

Upstate based Firehouse Productions - one of the US's premier event staging/production companies have been calling Jim Flynn Rentals for projects as wide as "Robin Hood Foundation fundraiser" at the Javits Convention Center (JFR supplied 360 systems, boards and speakers) and "Survivor Finale" at the Ed Sullivan Theater (mixing boards, mics, speakers)

Also in television this year we had the Survivor Finale with Michael Abbott (Grammy Audio Co-ordinator & independent mixer) using a Jim Flynn Rentals recording rig including the Tascam X-48 for the iso mix and the Yamaha DM-2000 for the band mix along with the Cedars DNS-1000 to round out the package.

Talking of TV, Jim Flynn are always in deep with Good Morning America (this week - Ciara played the early morning show with JFR supplying what seems to be a complete store of gear that included a Tascam X-48 hard disc 48 channel recording workstation as well as a serious array of mics to accommodate the band.

Jimmy Fallon has his particular needs for his audio - always using a JFR supplied JBL 5.1 system with Lawrence Manchester at the helm, to the joy of his television audience who hear the comic's voice coming from all angles! The show sounds huge with his house band "The Roots"!

And, of course, JFR take seriously the "truthiness" of the broadcast business with The Colbert Report bringing in ANOTHER truck load of gear with stuff that includes a Yamaha M7CL-48 Digital Mixer, and MY- 16AT Adat Expansion Cards in preparation for Mr. Colbert's trip to entertain our troops in Iraq.

Then there's "The Daily Show" and more on that next month, where we'll also be taking a closer look at Sir George Martin's Wildheart Group, the aforementioned American Museum of Natural History, Artist (the painting kind!) Christopher Rahn's new exhibition at The Guggenheim, the new soundtrack for Mel Gibson's "Edge of Darkness" and.... just what the heck was an EMPTY case as a rented item for the workstation manufacturer Euphonix doing at Yankee Stadium?

We intend to find out about all of this and much more - stay tuned!

In the meantime, for much more on Jim Flynn Rentals

Please visit:

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Review of Kotodama's "See You Tonight" (Rock/Pop)

"See You Tonight", by Kotodama is the classic story of lost love, an almost universal experience that has inspired countless artists throughout history. Whenever there is love, there must be expression. Art is summoned to express love, and music is perhaps the most used artistic medium for expression. Emotivism - a theory based on the idea that moral judgments express our feelings - makes us think whether a sad song is meant to make us feel sad, or whether a love song can only be understood if the listener has felt love in his life.

Buy music from Kotadama

The truth is, "See You Tonight", a not too loud rock ballad with a sweet, melodic line, "spoke" to a lot of people already, and it’s making its way to the top and the band is evolving in the rock/pop music world. After listening to the song, one can be reminded of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir album, while the smooth voice of the lead singer and the way he approaches higher notes is reminiscent of James Blunt. West Coast Songwriting Competition (US) has given "See You Tonight" an honorable mention. In addition, last month KISS FM, New York, has contacted Kotadama, to congratulate the band for having the top song request at the station. Kotadama is clearly a group on the rise, so keep open eyes and more importantly, open ears, for this group is definitely going places.

-- Review by Marios Papasavvas

RasMG Joins Indie Artist Jimmy Mancus On Debut Album

Springbrook, Pennsylvania, June 2, 2009 - Springbrook, PA independent artist Jimmy Mancus has never been one to adhere to the unwritten rules of the singer/songwriter genre. Foregoing the copy-cat, soft-rock that floods today's scene, Mancus brings an eclectic blend of styles and sounds to the table with his soon-to-be-released, new album, "Move Down".

The album's 14 tracks, encompassing elements of rock, pop, surf, indie, funk, reggae and hip-hop, come together to create a record that can be called anything but your "run-of-the-mill, singer/songwriter album." Keeping the commercially-popular ballads to a minimum, Mancus's songs explore a multitude of topics (examples include the rock-driven "Cinnamon", a track dealing with the dangers and temptations of addiction; "Come Join the Tea Party", a seven-minute, cliff-notes-like version of "Alice in Wonderland"; and "The King", a playful, folk/rock number chronicling a fictitious ruler's life-long search for love). However, in addition to his unique lyrics and guitar style, Mancus had an Ace up his sleeve, one that would ultimately help to solidify his singular sound.

Straight from the LBC, RasMG/"Field" Marshall Goodman, DJ and songwriter for the multi-platinum selling band SUBLIME and the star-studded reggae outfit, Long Beach Dub All-Stars, brought the signature flavor of Southern California's dub/hip-hop scene to Mancus's new album. Goodman, one of music's finest DJ/turntablists, layed down dynamic scratch work on three tracks, "Sugar", "Orange Everwood" and the album's first single "Give It Up". The result is a fusion of sounds that hearkens back to the days of SUBLIME and their songs like, "What I Got" and "Smoke Two Joints".

"Move Down" was produced by Clyde Rosencrance, who also serves as the album's primary electric/lead player. Other key players include Lenny Mecca on bass guitar, Eli Hludzik on drums, Matt Nakoa on keys/piano and Tom Borthwick on hammond organ.

"Move Down" will be released on August 4, 2009. The album will be available thru Mancus's official website and all major online retailers like itunes, and cdbaby.

For additional news, information, music and downloads, visit Jimmy Mancus's website at:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

MP3 of DJ Islander's house remix of Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual"

Download Free MP3 of "It's Not Unusual" by DJ Islander

"'It's Not Unusual," by DJ Islander, is an example of electronica music at its highest level. The song gains a lot of steam well before the lyrics come in, but the interesting sample works well with the background beat. This tune is an interesting listen since it is 100% electronica, which requires one computer and no instruments. It also has a simple but effective structure that never really deviates too far from the initial beat, but there are certainly noticeable transitions. DJ Islander makes extraordinary music that combines progressive, house, techno, and trance music all together. With his latest release, the Quebec-based DJ shows that he is both a musician, and a creative sound master."
-- Review By Nicholas Guida

The Press Is Buzzing Over "Love Kills" by This Is A Shakedown!