MIGHTY QUINN & THE OAKLAND RONIN: With Dylan references, throwing stars, political diatribe and plenty of punk tude, this set is here to exclaim that punk is alive and well, maybe even more fueled by times that some of the young are none to happy with. This is the sound of the suburbs that’s coming to be coming out of isolated, pissed off bedrooms for sure.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Los Angeles, CA (October 22, 2018) – When listeners first hear the new JENNIFER SARAN single “LET THE WAVES WASH OVER ME (SONG FOR CHRISTINE),” they will be transported by the singer’s elegant and gorgeous phrasing over producer and co-writer Narada Michael Walden’s impeccably lush bed of jazz-blues instrumentation. But as Saran points out, a second listen reveals the dramatic intention behind her lyrics. There is a message that she wants to convey to the public, and its time is “now.”
“My agenda for the song is very simple: I want people to vote,” she says. “This upcoming mid-term election is so crucial on so many levels, but it’s especially important for women. I want to grab people’s hearts with the beauty of the music, but when they listen again, they’ll hear the words and they’ll understand what I’m saying. Please vote. Please take action. It’s within your power to change things.”
Saran was inspired to write “Let the Waves Wash Over Me (Song for Christine)” during a phone conversation with her daughter, Anjali, in which they discussed how disgusted they were over the recent Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, and the appalling treatment of Christine Blasey Ford. As Saran recalls, “I said to Anjali, ‘I just wish there was something I could do.’ And she said, ‘There is something you can do, Mum. You can write a song.’ The minute she said that, I felt this incredible energy and said, ‘You’re right.’”
Seizing upon the concept, Saran wrote a set of lyrics and sent them to Narada Michael Walden, with whom she’s collaborated on a number of albums over the years (the two are putting the finishing touches on a new record set for 2019). When the multiple Grammy and Emmy–winning producer read the words, he wrote a stirring melody to accompany them and sent the music back to Saran. “I kept listening to what Narada wrote, and that helped me to refine my lyrics to better fit the rhyme to his melody,” she says. “That was all I needed to complete the song. We’ve always worked so well together in that way.”
When writing the words “I fought him off / I cried out, no one came / I live with the shame,” Saran channeled the striking testimony of Dr. Ford. “For me, Christine has become such a symbol of confronting sexual abuse,” she says. “She had to tell her story to make a point. People don’t speak up because they’re ashamed, or they think that nobody will believe them. So I found myself thinking about Christine in my lyrics. I tried to put myself in her place.”
For his part, Walden says that he was profoundly moved by Saran’s message. “I’m a heart person,” he says. “When I read her lyrics – ‘It’s time for a change / vote them out, in my name / let the waves wash over me’ – I was hit right in the chest. Jenn has an incredible talent for expressing herself. She knows what she wants to say, and she puts her feelings down on paper in an eloquent and unfiltered way. I was knocked out by the stunning beauty of her words.”
At his own Tarpan Studios in San Rafael, California, Walden recorded bass, drums and keyboards by himself. Other musicians on the track include guitarist Jim Reitzel and percussionist James Henry, with horns provided by Rich Armstrong and Daniel Casares. Saran flew in to record her vocals on a Sunday night, and a day later they were finished. “Narada and I work very quickly and efficiently because we share a chemistry,” she observes. “He’s a brilliant and fabulous collaborator, and when we lock into an idea, the music just takes flight.”
Walden agrees, saying, “That’s what happens with the best songs – they come to you quickly because the passion and emotions are undeniable.” He draws a parallel between “Let the Waves Over Me (Song for Christine)” and some of the protest music that was prevalent during the ‘60s and early ‘70s. “Musicians were writing about civil rights, taking what Dr. King was talking about and lending their voices to the cause,” he says. “Or they were speaking out the same way that Muhammad Ali did about the Vietnam War. Here we are in 2018, and we have a different situation, but it’s as important. We have to empower ourselves, and it’s crucial everybody speaks out, including artists.”
Saran is wasting no time in getting “Let the Waves Over Me (Song for Christine)” out to the public. “If they’re going to rush through confirmation hearings, dismissing women as ‘less than,’ there’s nothing wrong with us rushing out a song,” she states. “I want radio stations playing it for people when they’re on their way to work. I would love to see people on talk shows discussing it. I embrace anybody who wants to take this message to the people.”
Although the song might strike some as being political, Saran insists that it’s not a matter of choosing between Democrats or Republicans. “It’s just about doing what is right,” she says. “My mother raised me as a single mother, and she instilled certain values in me. So this song is for her, it’s for Christine, for my daughter, and it’s for all women out there – mothers, daughters, sisters and wives.
“I’ll say it again,” she concludes. “This is all about voting. When I saw those hearings, I said, ‘This is not the country of my forefathers. This is not the America that people fought for. This is crazy time.’ But we can change that if we really want to. I’m hoping that, in my own way, I can help bring about some change for the good of everyone.”
Kingston, Jamaica – On March 30th, 2018, international recording artist I-Octane released his anticipated and long awaited third full length “Love & Life” debuting at #3 on the Reggae Billboard Chart.
The latter was followed by a memorable intercontinental promotional tour that included joining twice GRAMMY nominated J-Boog on selected California dates. Indeed it has been a personal journey for I-Octane who candidly admits that the album is the soundtrack of his life. Speaking on his GRAMMY submission to the recording academy and why he should be considered, the crooner stated “A nomination would mean a lot, I’ve been doing this for more than a decade with ups and down just like anyone else, no matter who you are, life is peaks and valley. So for me, a GRAMMY would reward that path. My hard work, my sacrifices. I guess an acknowledgement. It would also solidify my brand, it’s icing on a cake”
The recording artist further explained “This was an independent project, it bridges dancehall and reggae. It is different side of me. I, as I-Octane am not a one dimensional artist and this album shows the growth and the prospective of my mind where i am today. I think fans of music appreciate and can relate to at least one song“”This album means the world to me. I am the overall producer, from by business and enterprising sides, to invest back in your career, in lament terms, I spent my money on this album because I believed in it. I would love the recording academy to know that its not just about words and melody, but the person that is Byiome. I have done a lot of self sacrificed that is not about money or popularity. this is the soundtrack of my existence. it molded me in a better person.”
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at 4:00 PMUpdated Oct 24, 2018 at 4:00 PM
When he was notified that he’d been selected for the Stockton Arts Commission’s Career Achievement Award, singer-songwriter Dirk Hamilton had a range of reactions.
“It means I’m old.”
“There’s probably a lot of mad musicians because they didn’t get it.”
And more thoughtfully, “This is really cool. Stockton really is my hometown.”
Even though he grew up in Sacramento and came to Stockton to start his senior year at Lincoln High School, Hamilton considers himself a Stocktonian.
“I’ve always been in touch with a bunch of people from Stockton that I met here mostly in school,” Hamilton said. “I’m only in touch with one person in Sacramento where I spent all those years, my whole childhood. It’s mystical.”
Or mystifying or maybe just Stockton’s good fortune, because the city is tattooed on Hamilton’s heart.
He calls it “my hometown.”
It’s where he made the best friend of his life, the late Waldo Holt. It’s where he returned after he was burned out by the Los Angeles music scene, where he’d recorded four albums for ABC and Epic Records between 1976 and 1980. It’s where he went to work counseling troubled youth before rediscovering his love of music.
Bass player Eric Westphal, drummer Peter Hackett and guitar player Gary Roda were the local musicians who backed his second incarnation as a singer, and the band is getting back together again after 30 years, performing Nov. 2 and 3 in 8 p.m. shows at the Blackwater.
First up, though, is Saturday’s STAR Awards.
“I’m very flattered and honored,” Hamilton said. “No other city ever gave me anything.”
Maybe because he never connected to another city as he did to Stockton, although there are many cities in Italy, where he’s performed every year for 30 years, that welcome him as a native son.
“One of the first times I went to Europe, I spent a lot of time in Germany, Austria, England, all kinds of places,” Hamilton said. “The last place I went was to Italy. It felt like Stockton. I got off the train and there’s an Italian guy there to pick me up to start doing my gigs. In a couple hours I felt like this is my place, these are my people. I feel at home with Italians, how they roll.”
They’re loyal fans, too, which is why he continues to trek there every year.
Hamilton still keeps up a heavy touring schedule, playing whatever strikes him on any given night. His manager urges him to play his old music, but he prefers newer songs, especially since he’s now writing with his son, Chavis, a recent graduate of Berklee’s School of Music in Boston.
“He’s a better natural musician; he passed me musically,” Hamilton said. “He’s got a good melodic sense. He writes a different way.”
Hamilton writes most of the lyrics, although Chavis occasionally contributes.
Chavis came up with the line, “When window shades start leaking dawn,” and Hamilton added “And all your good friends are stolen and gone,” creating a song about a heroin addict.
It’s dark, but sometimes life is dark, and Hamilton isn’t afraid to confront anything.
For years he’s written about the need to take care of Mother Earth and one song he wrote, about the Sandy Hook school shooting, was so emotional he couldn’t perform it in public because he broke down at the words, “20 baby souls.”
Taking risks is what made Hamilton the musician he is, from leaving L.A. and record deals to reigniting his career on his terms.
It’s a career that’s lasted into a fifth decade, and one Stockton is now celebrating.
Reviews roundup – Dynazty vs. Perfect Line vs. Kimia Penton vs. Armored Theory
DYNAZTY Firesign AFM Records
Album number six from Swedish melodic rockers Dynazty and as I have a penchant for eighties styled misspellings I’ve always had a soft spot for them. They’ve never really broken away from the pack but with singer Nils Molin now doubling up with Amaranthe this could be their chance for some much needed attention.
Fortunately they’ve got a very good album to go with it. I’m not going to lie. It’s fairly standard Scandi melodic rock with the obligatory nods to the eighties but they do it very well. ‘Breathe With Me’, the opening number, is ridiculously catchy and gets your attention from the off with some good guitars and an instantly memorable hook. They toughen up a bot on ‘In The Arms of A Devil’, which is as close as they’re likely…
For my 975th review, I am proud to present the album Alice Street Sessions byEric Westphal. His music has already been well established by his work with the group James Blond, and Alice Street Sessions is a welcomed re-release and allows us to revisit Eric’s debut solo offering originally released in 2001, re-mastered and re-released June 2018 on the IAC Records label. This twelve song album features such great tracks as Harmony, Another Time Another Place, Follow My Heart, Janine, Footsteps and much more. I enjoyed this album from start to finish and is an album I will listen to over and over again. This album was well written, recorded, performed and produced. This re-issue is also available on 180-gram vinyl in addition to CD and digital downloads from Amazon, CD Baby, Itunes, IAC Records, and many other outlets.
Album Review / Article by Joseph Timmons: IndiePulse Music Magazine
Live At The Palms, the latest offering from Dirk Hamilton Band was a very difficult album to review, in fact, I have rewritten this review 9 separate times, and still wonder if I did the artist and his band a justice…..
Fact is, how can you put into words every emotion, every memory, every dream and feeling the music by this masterful artist and his companions have created, and performed live in front of people that are, by far, some of the luckiest persons in the world for being part of an event that was a once in a lifetime performance.
The Dirk Hamilton Band is Dirk Hamilton on Harmonica, Acoustic Guitar and Vocals, which are shared by Don Evans, whom plays Electric Guitar and Eric Westphal…