Friday, April 6, 2018

Can You Cover A Song In Just One Week?

Split Sounds, a new music company focussing on innovation and new digital products, has announced the worldwide launch of its first initiative Cover in a Week. Each week, the Cover in a Week team partners with music publishers to hand-select a new song for artists to cover. Artists are tasked with making the most original and entertaining arrangements they possibly can, with the best recordings being selected for potential sync placements in movies, TV shows, ads or playlists.

"With Cover in a Week, we are aiming to connect the dots between unsigned artists and producers, and the publishers representing the greatest songwriters in the world. Film and television producers as well as advertising agencies are continually looking for unique and interesting versions of great songs, and getting a song placed in these can help establish an aspiring artist's career" co-founder Hilton Rosenthal said.

In addition to licensing and sync opportunities, Split Sounds has partnered with The Orchard for global distribution across all online platforms for select Cover in a Week versions.

Split Sounds has been created by father and son duo Hilton and Nick Rosenthal. Hilton has had a distinguished 40-year career in the music space having run international record labels, publishing companies and producing major international artists including work with Paul Simon, Carole King, Johnny Clegg and Harry Belafonte. Nick has been an entrepreneur and product innovator since age 14, and has been featured at South by Southwest and Midem as well as conferences and events in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and Greece. He helped launch AWAL’s Label Services division (later acquired by Kobalt Music Group) and has been a consultant to Coke Music and MTV in the areas of music marketing and digital strategy.

"Covers have become an integral part of the music industry ecosystem, yet they remain fragmented and artists have not yet harnessed their potential. Cover in a Week is the perfect first step for us to begin developing our vision and platform to power the future of the music industry" Nick Rosenthal said.

Cover in a Week is now accepting entries for the first featured song, with many more to come. Artists interested in being part of the challenge can visit to enter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The 60th FYC Album By Various Artists Features Talented Indie Artists That Were On The 1st FYC Grammy Awards® Ballot

Bongo Boy Records releases an double cd album that captures the moment of independent music that were on the 1st Grammy Awards® ballot. The album titled The 60th FYC Album by Various Artists is digitally released today.
Physical albums are available during Grammy® Weekend in New York City and the World.
This album includes music that was indeed on the 1st voting ballot.

Album Available at:
Download at CDBABY:
iTunes, Amazon, MyMusic, KKBox and many others Worldwide including Asia.

M U S I C * R E V I E W
by The Grouch

Hej America!
The other day my friends at Bongo Boy sent me a preview copy of a new double album they are releasing. The name of the album is The 60th FYC Album and features talented Independent Artists were on the 1st Grammy Awards® ballot and is releasing THE 60th FYC album(cd). Talented, indeed, as I scroll through the roster of names on the track list I see some of my personal favorites.

1. Paula Boggs Band - Benediction 4:07 - Man, you have to dig the bass that starts off this track. One would have to be totally devoid of soul to not feel the groove. The piano that comes in is excellent. Paula's band proves that a band can be laid back and still rock! Lest you think the only thing that rocks are the musicians playing instruments, I would be delinquent in my role as a music critic if I did not mention that Paula has a God-given gift with her voice! In other words, she blows my mind.

2. Acoustic Radio - Better Man 3:54 - Next up is Acoustic Radio. This is a County jam that really reminds me of the old Allman Brothers' Band. For those of you have dismissed Country as being the lame music of ‘fly over states', listen to this song and tell me the man cannot sing and the guitar does not rock! Rock it does! Lest we forget, Rock and Roll is, in its essence, a blending of the blues which came from Africa and was changed into the blues in North America and Country which is connected to connected to the immigrants from Scotland and Ireland who settled in Appalachia. The combination of these two genres gave birth to a form of music that changed the world. Coming from the Country side of Rock and Roll, Acoustic Radio greatly contributes to the canon of music we all enjoy.

3. Elise Lebec - Queen of Light 4:36 - Man, I dig that percussion that starts off the track, before what sounds like a violin comes in with the melody. The focus, for me anyway, is on Elise's beautiful voice. Naturally, the players with her play as well as she sings, and I am a sucker for strings played well, but I just cannot get past that voice. Simply put, I feel like I have heard an angel backed by a smoking rhythm section with a violin player who can make the instrument talk. My only complaint is that at just over four and one-half minutes, the song ends too soon.

4. Martha Reich - The River 4:38 - This track starts with some beautiful keyboard work which is accentuated by some very nice strings. Martha's voice is nothing short of sublime. I am not really sure what genre of music this is, so I will simply call in "beautifully played moving music" In other words, if my dentist played Martha's music it would ease my sense of dread each time I visit him. This truly is a very beautiful song.

5. Donna Scott - Carnival 4:31 - Oh yeah, I dig the funky into that leads off with some wicked percussion. Then a jazz piano kicks in and I realize that this is essentially a Jazz piece. Now, in full disclosure, I usually loath Jazz. The reason is simple envy. I am an old Punk rock drummer and as such have difficulty counting beyond four. I cannot put my finger on it, but I am able to see what Donna and her wicked rhythm section is doing. I am actually able to follow this track and I find myself grooving to it. By the end of the song I have the big goofy grin I get when I really like something. When you add Donna's great voice over the band of massive players who are without a doubt enjoying themselves, you end up with a very special song.

6. Big Bone Daddy - All My Time 5:10 - Big Bone Daddy is one of my all time favorite Bongo Boy artists and I am very happy this song is included on this album. You MUST listen to this track. Each time I listen to this track, which is often, I swear it is a cover, but for the life of me I cannot place it. I am reminded of Procol Harum, but I am also reminded of the first music I ever really spent time listening to, that is Motown. Having been raised in Detroit, this was the music that was in the water. Everything out of Detroit has been touched by Motown (Yes, even Nugent lists Motown as a major influence.) and this track would fit right in. I swear this song should have been, (if it wasn't,) in the movie The Big Chill. Excellent work guys. I am emotionally moved each time I listen to this track.

7. Murat Ses - No No More 3:52 - Now, for something completely different. This track is a heavy synth track. Murat Ses is nothing if not energetic. This track is sure to get the dancers and ravers up and moving. She has a good voice and the song does groove. I particularly enjoy the sections of the song in which the bass is accentuated.

8. Maryann - Hips, Lips & Eyes 3:13 - Good God, I dig Country with a sense of humor. The song starts out with a Country vibe, before going into a Jerry Lee Lewis type of 50s Rock and Roll. The old-school horns in the background totally rock! Man, I hope those cats are wearing fedoras and shades. The thing that gets me are the lyrics. Ok, ok, Maryann does indeed sing well, in fact the song would suck if she didn't, but what I really like is this is an old-time seduction manual. I want to hang with Maryann!

9. Laura Ainsworth - The Man I Love Is Gone 4:18 - Man, oh man, what a voice!! Where does Bongo Boy find all of these fantastic female vocalists. This is a Jazz/Blues track that just demands to be played in a smoky underground club at 3:00 AM. But, wait there is more, the horn man is incredible. This is such a subtle groove, the drummer is using brushes, yes brushes! Talk about laid back intensity, this track is blisteringly cool in a 40s pre-Rock and Roll sort of way. Excellent work!!

10. Ricky Persaud Jr. - Reggae Blues 3:36 - Rick, I am a huge fan! For those who don't know Ricky is nothing short of a genius. He is a master of many instruments and I don't even think he has turned 20. This song is no exception. The intro builds into a thundering blast of sound that would make Clapton proud. I swear with those blistering notes, I hear a little Eddie Van Halen influence as well. Then the listener realizes that this is a Reggae song, but the kind of Reggae Carlos Santana would play. Complex, heavy, incorporating horns and spot on - as close to perfection as a recording can get. I really hope to see Ricky in person someday.

11. Maryann - Transparent World 2:57 - Maryann is back, and I am really digging the guitar intro. Those chords rock. Then her voice comes in and BOOM, there it is, ROCK -N- ROLL. The drums are heavy; the man knows how to pound. The guitar just lays down chord after chord in an excellent riff. I am not sure if this is a religious song, but in all honesty, I could not care less. She could be singing Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows for all I care. The music and her voice are incredible. I still want to hang with Maryann!

12. Vikku Vinayakram & The Selvaganesh Family - Guru Stotra ft. Siddhant Bhatia 6:01 - This is an interesting song. As he is not singing in a language I understand, I have no idea what he is singing. I can say that he has a good voice. I dig the percussion. I am reminded of when the Beatles went to India. There is a definite groove here and he seems to be rapping or at least trading licks between his voice and the percussion. Overall, this is a very interesting song.

13. Ingrid Nomad - No Mind 5:10 - We are back to something I am a little more familiar with. This sounds like a Cool Jazz track to me. The sound effects made by the extended cymbal ringing are cool and add to the atmosphere. The players are all very good with the bass and piano dominating the instruments. Ingrid has a magnificent voice that I really enjoy. Overall, this is a very mellow groove and I dig it. In fact, as the piano takes the lead, I am surprised how much I dig this song. I have the same feeling I had the first time I heard Traffic's the Low Spark of High Healed Boys, although the piano in this track is a bit more on the Jazz side, I am still captivated.

1. Frank Piombo - Keep It Movin'4:02 - Album two starts off this a jazzy piece that could have been featured at Studio54 back in the day. The players are all very good and the guitar does open up with a slightly effect-laden solo, before the horn steps up and blows some wicked notes. Then about two minutes fifteen seconds in the band changes tempo slightly in what turns out to be a bridge, before going back into their own version of Jazz Funk. It's cool Frank, you have kept my attention which is difficult to do and, really, I like your song!

2. Maryann - HITF 060617 3:50 - Maryann is back again. Man, this band just does not quit. This time out they are showing that they can play Pop tracks as well. The thing is that this is really good Pop, that could be an earworm. I have come to the conclusion that Maryann is simply a very talented and versatile band whom I really would like to see in person. Any chance you will be in Sweden this summer?

3. Beto Hale - The Only One 4:26 - This is a very sensitive song that is sure to make your girlfriend happy. Musically, there is enough guitar and the bass/drums are locked in, so I think a lot of guys will dig it too. I am reminded of Eddie Money. I remember, my girlfriend saying that Two Tickets to Paradise was so sensitive and beautiful and all I could think was "Yeah, and that guitar rocks."

4. Jordan Green - Take A Ride 2:57 - Jordan Green has scored a major hit with this Country/Pop jam. Jordan has a good voice and the absolute Country backup singers add to the song. Then at about the 1:40 mark Jordan opens up and shows the world what Country Rock guitar sounds like. Overall, this is an excellent jam that I will be listening to in my car as I curve around these mountain roads.

5. Ban Brothers - Tumi Bhorer Paakhi (female) 5:14 - This is another very interesting song, as I do not understand the language in which she is singing. What I do understand is what their stringed instruments are doing. I say stringed instruments, because I am not 100% sure what is being played. It sounds like a guitar, but as this is a type of music I have never heard, it could be some exotic instrument that I am not familiar with. In any case, the strings, the percussion, and her voice all combine to make an interesting, as well as infections song that demands a second listen.

6. Kathryn Shipley - Shine Your Love 3:53 - I dig the old 60s organ combined with the guitar that starts out what seems to be a rocking spiritual. Kathryn has a very good voice and the soulful background singers add to the groove. Man, if this is what Kathryn's church sounds like, sign me up. Growing up Lutheran, I feel ripped-off, our church had sucky music. If we had had music like this I might have paid more attention.

7. Armen Balyan - Fiya 3:01- Well, this is different from the last track, but it is cool nonetheless! Basically, Armen is jamming on a synthesizer while singing all about fire. I think the underlying theme is that life is difficult, but as long as we are here we might as well have fun, just be careful and don't get burned. Overall, Armen, you get an A+ for creativity!

8. Deborah Henriksson - Whisper 3:54 - Deborah, my fellow American-raised Swede, is one of my favorite artists on Bongo Boy. The reason is simple. She has an excellent voice! I could listen to Deborah all day. I really like the subtle lead guitar in the middle of this track, but it is Deborah's voice that is captivating. I defy anyone to this track and tell me it isn't beautiful. (Deborah, how about a fika this summer?)

9. Kama Ruby - Treasure Island 4:09 - This is another mellow song with a tremendous female vocalist out front. If I were Bongo Boy, I would seriously consider sending out Mandy, Deborah, Kama, Queen Sheba and your other fantastic female artists out on the road for a "Voices from Heaven" tour. Kama, too, has an excellent voice and I will be listening to this track many times.

10. The Two Tens - Keeping Hope Alive 3:10 - BOOM this track hits you square in the face right from the start. I really like good Pop/Punk and this, folks, is exactly what this music is. The music is far from complex, but it is played so incredibly well. Their singer has the perfect voice for this type of music and the band is very tight! I cannot help but think that these guys are really enjoying themselves. Their live shows must be incredibly energetic and a lot of fun!

11. Maryann - Life - "Thank You" 2:46 - Maryann, I am really becoming a huge fan! The bass intro is ultracool. The vocals are gritty and emotionally intense. This could be, quite easily, the best song Maryann has on the album. Excellent work!

12. Shea Welsh - Slowly Falling ft. Michelle Coltrane 4:52 - Very nice guitar work starts out the song. Then the vocals come in and I am thinking Bongo Boy should add another act to the "Voices from Heaven" tour. The band is laying down a mellow groove with enough flash to keep everyone interested between verses. All in all, this is a good song, by a group of talented players and a woman who can really sing.

13. Kala Ramnath & Ojas Adhiya - Om Namah Shivaya 9:06 - I am reminded of the Beatles in India again as this track starts. It is definitely interesting and the drone in the background keeps my attention. Then a funky beat is laid down by the percussionist and I find myself trying to figure out what he is doing. This song does groove, and I think it would groove much more if I were in Colorado now…

So, folks what is the bottom line? Simple, this double album is more than worth the purchase price. Bongo Boy Records is capturing the moment that talented Independent Artists were on the 1st Grammy Awards® ballot and is releasing THE 60th FYC album(cd). This album includes only music that was indeed on the 1st voting ballot.

The term "GRAMMY Week" or "GRAMMY Weekend" is solely for the purpose of informing you of the time of the promotions.
Bongo Boy Records is not connected to or affiliated with the GRAMMY Awards® and has no influence over the selection of GRAMMY Award® nominees or winners. Bongo Boy Records is an independent record label.

Sonz Of Thunder UK Champion A Message Of Unity On New Single "London City Anthem"

Music Video:

A message of solidarity and unity, this track and it's creators choose to take a view of their city which is inclusive and optimistic. Like so much of the best Reggae and Dancehall music, "London City Anthem" was inspired by challenging times. Written in response to the recent terror attacks at the London Bridge and Finsbury Park, "London City Anthem" is a song born of darkness which encourages audiences to reach for the light.

Natives of Northwestern London, brothers Shane and Dean Brown are inspired to create socially conscious music which moves bodies and generates thoughtful dialogue around important themes guiding our modern society. Choosing Reggae, Dancehall, Hip-Hop, RnB and Gospel as their creative tools, the brothers create music which inspires hearts and minds to see the opportunity in the world around them.

The Sonz of Thunder UK have a history of drawing inspiration from socially charged and politically challenging times. Following the death of South African President Nelson Mandela, the brothers Brown knew they had to write a song which would celebrate his life.

The musical production and video treatment for their track "Mandela" is considered a creative high point for the group. From the unique sound effects to the uplifting messages of unity and solidarity, "Mandela" is a vibrant musical celebration of the life of one of the most heroic individuals of all times. Nelson Mandela left an enduring legacy of freedom and opportunity on our world and the Sonz of Thunder UK have been able to champion this history and distill it into rhythmic dancehall inspired package.

Released on New River Sound Music, "London City Anthem" is a pulsing tribute to one of the world's most important cities. Building on past successes such as "Mandela" and "More to Life", "London City Anthem" promises a bright future for Sonz of UK Thunder and the city they love so much. Be sure to check out timely lyrics and bouncing island vibes of Sonz of Thunder UK's new single "London City Anthem"!