Previous Artist Introductions

It’s been said that “life is too short to listen to bad music”. It’s our pleasure to help you save time by discovering quality songs and their creators.

Once again this go-round, we’re focused pretty heavily on solo singer/songwriters. And we think you’ll agree that there’s some pretty special talent represented here:

First up is Colin McGrath, a Brooklyn-based artist who graduated from Ohio’s Oberlin College and who NPR described as an “intinerant folk orchestrator”. Appealing melodies. Tasteful arrangements. We’re pleased to be able to share two tracks from his sophomore album, Yellow Brick Man: Surprise Me and Walls

The Robbie Boyd Band, based in the UK, offers up a fresh take on Russia’s “next-door neighbor” with the very catchy Oh Alaska, from their album What Are You Waiting For?

Arkansas-based Rod Clemmons may have been born blind, but he’s had no trouble locating his musical groove…and he’s more than willing to share it with you. We dare you…just TRY to keep your toe from tapping as you indulge in I Love My Music…from his album What’s Up? It’s Me

Justin Levinson hails from Burlington, Vermont and honed his craft at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. He’s offering up a delightful duet with Liz Longley called I Was So Wrong (check out the cute video on YouTube, by the way!) from the Justin Levinson & The Valcours album This Side of Me, This Side of You.

NYC-based Lauren Edman‘s voice is the first thing that catches you. Beautiful tone, range and control. But let the words and melodies work their magic on you as well. From her album It’s Always the Quiet One, we think you’ll enjoy This Is It.

Darryl Gregory is a producer as well as an artist, with his own Sandy Hook, CT-based facility (Blue Cave Studios). We’re pleased to share his tastefully-arranged duet (with Francine Wheeler) called What About Love, from his album Big Texas Sky.

Nashville-based songstress Alona Raevska may speak four languages (Russian, Ukrainian, English, and French) and be the proud possesor of a Masters degree in Information Analysis, but somehow she’s also found a way to craft a burgeoning career as a pop singer with her album Conversations With My Soul. Check out the pop ballad Part Of Me.

Chicago-based Vintage Blue is an energetic pop-rock band featuring hooky melodies and slick vocal harmonies. About the song Just Breathe, from their album Strike The Mics, says the band’s Ben Bassett: “Instead of focusing on a specific relationship, or idea about love, this song was truly about letting things fall into place,” he says. “Most of the time in today’s society we all want to force the issue, and this song is about stepping back and taking a breath, and trusting that things will work.”

Markeisha Ensley hails originally from Colorado…but has relocated to The Big Apple to pursue her musical dream. She’s off to a great start…having won the 2011 Abe Olman Scholarship Award for Excellence in Songwriting from the Songwriters Hall of Fame/Songwriters Guild of America. She’s been described as a cross between Alicia Keys and Anita Baker. From her EP Talk To Me, we’re glad to be able to present her song Maybe.

And finally, meet Ed Hale. Or re-meet him. He was originally introduced to the world at age 17 as Eddie Darling. In the intervening years, he has crafted a career as both a solo artist and as frontman for Ed Hale and The Transcendence. From his album Ballad On Third Avenue, check out I Walk Alone.

Jimmy Robinson is the 12-string wizard of New Orleans. His latest release, Guitarworks, is brilliant. The writing, the recording, the arrangements, the production, the vocals, the instrumentals…everything: “top of the heap”. (OK, You Make Me Crazy is amazing in its own way but indeed…it made us crazy). Mastery of the guitar and the heart of an artist is evident throughout Guitarworks. Jimmy’s rendition of Little Wing is superb as is Hurt. In the midst of this virtuosity, what intrigued us most what seems to be the just-below-the-surface subtext. What energizes the incandescent intensity of this music? Not that anyone but the artist can say, but it brings to mind music’s ability to express the things that don’t fit into words. Relationships fail (Can’t Stop DrinkingEverything Must GoYou Make Me Crazy). We come up short with one another (HurtRiver of Tears). The high-energy instrumentals speak with an energy that transcends language. In the midst of brokenness art brings its own kind of redemption. When Jimmy works his guitar that’s what we hear. We’re pleased to present two tracks from the album: Morning and Colin Brown

Celtic music is characterized by its beautiful (almost hypnotic) melodies. Guitarist Anton Emery masterfully communicates this mystic sense of melody with just two hands and six strings. Based in Oregon, Anton performs at various sessions in Portland’s Celtic music scene. We’re pleased that he’s brought us three beautiful tracks to share with you from his new album Noone LassesCloonagroe ReelInion Ni Scannlain and O’Carolan’s Receipt

The musical adventures of Canadian guitarist Dean Wolfe began as a child. He took up the piano at a young age, but soon directed his talents to the guitar. Even from a young age he was creating his own music. He has toured professionally and currently heads up the Dean Wolfe Band. Along with the band and his singer/songwriter music, Dean performs fingerstyle acoustic guitar music. You’ll enjoy the tune he’s sharing with us: The Fish Are Jumping (Canadian River)

Rob Chiavelli is a fingerstyle guitarist who has lived on both coasts – raised in Westchester County, New York and living in southern California since 1991. At an early age Rob began to explore the guitar on his own. With a natural aversion to barre chords, he began experimenting with alternate tunings. This lead to an exploration of partial capos – even pulling out the o’Dremmel to modify a capo beyond what is commercially available. The result of all this experimenting and exploring: a batch of fine, fresh tunes, slightly raw but ready for listening. From his new album, Glean, we’re proud to present: Jasper and CarnelianSegue and Soul’s Rest

Miika Warsell (aka Aural Night) hails from Finland, and has studied music theory, music history, orchestration, classical composition and MIDI composition for several years. He’s brought us two songs to share: A Very Kind Fairy and Jubilant

Stan O’Daffer is a composer working in multiple genres…classical, jazz, film scores, prog rock and more. He’s sharing one of his solo piano songs with us. It’s called Shadows.

Gabriele Tosi is an Italian pianist with a degree in classical piano from the Conservatory of Pesaro. He’s shared the title song from his album Andromeda.

Doug Hammer is a graduate of Boston’s famed Berklee School of Music with myriad musical credits for albums, jingles, film soundtracks and more…and he’s just released a new double album called Travels…with 39 songs! He’s brought us 3 of them to share with you. Indulge yourself in Back In Your Arms, Jonathan’s Song and the title cut, Travels

Arlen Roth is an accomplished guitarist, writer and teacher. In addition to touring with the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Brian Setzer, James Taylor and Duane Eddy…he produced the Hot Licks guitar instruction series, and (a bit of trivia here) wrote and played all of Ralph Macchio’s guitar parts in the 1986 feature film Crossroads. We’re pleased to be able to present two superb electric guitar instrumentals from Arlen’s new album All Tricked Out!: In The Heart Of This Town and She Said, She Said

Colin McGrath is a NYC-based singer/songwriter…so his songs usually include lyrics…but we’re pleased to present an instrumental piece here called South 2nd St. Serenade, from his album Yellow Brick Man. It’s been described as “ambient and emotional with a classical sense of order and melody and a Wilco-esque, post-modern sense of adventurous textures, treatments, and sounds”. Gotta hear that, right?

The Wee Trio is also based in New York City, featuring vibes, bass and drums. Check out their cool rendition of 1984, from their album Ashes To Ashes – A David Bowie Intraspective.

The Frank Herzberg Trio hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil…and features bass, drums and piano. Dive deep into Too Much, Charlie…from their album Handmade.

And, finally, electronic artist Rob Astor hails from Michigan. He’s extremely prolific…averaging 2-3 albums a year for the past several years. From his album Beyond Marstropolis, give a listen to Get Vertical!

Eric Garcia has written an album of songs for his mother called Songs For Shifra: “My mom had a profound effect on me, teaching me about art, introducing me to many artists, taking me to galleries and analyzing paintings. When she developed dementia, she reached a point where we couldn’t talk anymore, so I would go and play guitar for her and kiss her forehead. She liked that – still does. She played these songs for me when I was young, and now I do it for her.” You’ll enjoy the sweet groove of Johnny’s Blues.

Kelly Carpenter has an interesting story. He wrote his first song at the age of 5, but grew up to pursue a more traditional career in computer programming. However, he never stopped working with on his passion. In the Nineties, he wrote a popular worship song called Draw Me Closer that, to this day, is sung by vast numbers of people around the world each week and was recorded by Michael W. Smith and John Tesh, among others. A repetitive-motion injury finally forced him to stop his full-time programming gig. And since then, he has pursued music full-time. From his latest album, Passages, check out Summer Rain.

Alex Chudnovsky was born in Russia, but his family fled in 1978 with the intention of moving to America. They got as far as Austria only to change plans and decided on Israel as their new home. But tensions there led them to move again, and after illegally crossing the Mediterranean, they ended up in Australia. At the age of 17, his brother bought a guitar and, drawn by his love of heavy metal music, he began to learn to play. Over time, his interest shifted to classical guitar, and eventually to composing his own music. His second album is called Renaissance Of Life, and we’re pleased to be able to share the title track, as well as A Touch Of Serenity.

Bill Furner is a professional tile contractor who loves to play, record, arrange and perform fingerstyle on both classical and steel-string guitar. He’s had one song posted here previously, and is returning with another called Joy Of Rings.

Berklee College of Music grad Todd Clouser is an impressive young guitarist and bandleader whose music draws from retro grooves, rock and modern jazz. The song, Curtis, from his album A Love Electric, features a sassy, brassy soulful groove framing his guitar lead.

Mojo Mancini is comprised of five in-demand studio/live players John Leventhal, Shawn Pelton, Rick DePofi, Brian Mitchell and Conrad Korsch. A funky, hot groove married with technical instrumental proficiency…we’re please to present Carbulator, from their self-titled debut album.

The Cal Payne Project features the aforementioned Cal on sax, with Steve Crumption on bass, Michael Burke on guitars, Jerome Korman on keys and Mark Manczuk on drums. The featured song, Cruise Control, features a sweet blend of sax and electric guitar leads, and brings some solid rock paint textures on jazz groove canvas.

Cady Finlayson is a NYC-based Irish fidller who enjoys stretching the boundaries and exposing her music to wider audiences. When she met French guitarist Vita Tanga, she saw an opportunity to do just that. They began experimenting with some different sounds…including electric guitar with various pedal enhancements. The result was exciting enough that they decided it was time to push the record button! We’re very pleased to be able to share with your two songs from their collaborative effort Electric Green: Foggy Dew and Itchy Fingers

Sokoband is a jazz fusion trio from the Charlottesville, VA area with nearly 20 years of history under their belts. Tight musical performances and a strong melodic hook infuse their song Coast to Coast with a fun, sweet energy. It’s from their new self-titled album.

Luke Parkin blends various musical genres into his compositions…and he refers to the results as “classitronic” music. From his latest album, EST. MMIX, we’re presenting The Gathering Storm, with a moody groove that sounds like it could fit comfortably into the soundtrack of a modern movie Western.

Marcel Tiemensma is a classical guitarist from The Netherlands who has been performing for over 20 years throughout Europe, as well as the United States. We’re pleased to be able to share two very different pieces with you this time. From the album Sandcastles (inspired by his travels to Hawaii), the haunting sounds of Sunset. Then, from his most recent release, King David’s Way II, his joyous rendition of the classic church hymn Holy Holy Holy.

When I hear music described as minimalist or ambient, I usually run the other way. Too often, this music consists of weak musical ideas repeated ad infinitum. So I didn’t expect much when I switched on Ludovico Einaudi’s music. But I was more than pleasantly surprised! Minimalist it may be, but the basic musical ideas are just lovely, and the creative arrangements really bring it to life. Enjoy three songs from his Nightbook album: Indaco, Lady Labyrinth and Reverie.

I loved the description of Michael Bellar and the AS-IS Ensemble as “a highly excitable, improvisationally eclectic, alt-jazz group”. That really does give you a clue of what you’re in for. As with most jazz entities, the musicianship is top-notch, but the arrangements are tighter, more energetic and more accessible than most of the jazz I run across these days…almost as if they are on a mission, and are determined to take you along. From their album Turned On Turned Up, they’re sharing two pieces: All Things Rabbit and Fur Turban.

The Jason Parker Quartet calls their music “modern traditional jazz” and they are offering up this fresh take the jazz sound with the song Bashert from their album No More, No Less.

Saxophonist Charley Langer brings a sweet touch on the song Gray Skies, from his album Never The Same. And don’t miss the very tasty guitar solo starting @3:50.

Speaking of guitar, Larry Kinder of Larken Productions has a new album of his acoustic guitar creations called Castaway. He’s brought us the title cut to share with you.

Ann Sweeten creates some beautiful piano music…something in the space between new age and romantic piano. From her album Just This Side Of Spring, you can lose yourself in the Light From A Narrow Window.

And finally, Ray Jozwiak has a creative, eclectic piano style he refers to as “gonzo piano”. From the album For The Ride, he’s sharing two songs: Meteors and Mother Chi.

OK…so when asked about my favorite styles of music, KLEZMER isn’t usually near the top of the list. But, then again, I just heard The Alexandria Kleztet…and these guys (and a lady) from the D.C area turned my head. It definitely has “that klezmer feel” mixed in there…but it’s way more musically interesting than any klezmer I’ve heard before. And I suspect you’ll feel the same! The Kleztet is Seth Kibel (woodwinds), Helen Hausmann (violin), Tim Jarvis (percussion) and Scott Harlan (bass). Their new album is Peace, Love and Coffee…and they brought us two tunes to share with you: Bad Coffee (Builds Character) and Harmelodica Theory.

And as long as I’m in a confessional mode…I don’t tend to care a lot for most improvisational jazz, either. I like music that feels like it’s going someplace. But…once again, my preconceptions are shaken…by Sunna Gunnlaugs. For a lady from ICELAND who plays jazz piano, this is very warm music indeed…and there’s a significant “purposeful” quality to it. The instrumental performances are clear and confident…substantive rather than showy…and you truly do feel like you’re on a journey as you listen. Her latest album is Mindful, and she’s offered us the title track to share with you.

Grigor Iliev hails from Bulgaria and didn’t start to pursue music until his mid-teens…first on guitar, then discovering the piano. While his full-time occupation is computer science, his not-so-secret side passion is his modern classical piano compositions. He’s sharing a beautiful piece with us called The Lonely Ballerina.

The National Guitar Workshop features instruction by some truly amazing players. And you’d better be prepared for a master-class in the Blues before downloading Mr. H’s Blues, performed by Harry Jacobson. It just gets sweeter as it goes on…so be sure not to just file it away for later reference. Don’t miss the section between about 3 and 4.5 minutes in.

Cincinnati’s Kelly Richey Band is fronted by a flaming-red-haired woman who plays a flaming blues guitar…and no, it’s not Bonnie Raitt. You’ll love her blues-rock guitar chops, honed over more than 20 years of live playing. From the album Speechless, check out Is There Any Reason and Only The Bird Knows.

At only 21 years of age, Ólafur Arnalds is Iceland’s latest export. Having already sold out The Barbican Hall in London, toured major European festivals and opened for Sigur Rós on their most recent European tour…the future seems bright for this extraordinary talent. Arnalds’ music can only be described as achingly beautiful. He creates a world of delicate symphonic compositions. His music scales the heights perfected by the romantics. Yet by mixing strings and piano with loops and edgy beats it remains equally engaging to the contemporary ear. Check out 3055 and Ljósið from his self-titled album.

El Patapsco is an instrumental rock band from Baltimore, MD…influenced by the usual suspects like Link Wray, Dick Dale and the Ventures as well as contemporary instrumental bands like Man or Astroman, Laika and the Cosmonauts and The Shadowy Men from a Shadowy Planet. That being said, you can hear plenty of punk, reggae, rockabilly and jazz in their songs. They are also big fans of TV and film scores of all eras and often tinker around with Mancini and Morricone tunes as well as more modern stuff such as the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme. They’ve brought us the title song from their L.R.D.G. album (Long Range Desert Group).

Wacky Southern Current is Marco Cervellin from Italy who, with a little help from his friend Gianni Garbo, recorded these songs at a farmer’s country house and this calm of the surrounding rural scenery had a lasting effect on the songs. Ageless Calm in Times of War contains references to diverse music genres, but also contemporary ambient sounds. They’ve brought us Watercolour.

Our latest addition is Morning Has Broken by Nat Kerr, who performed this song on The Piano Guy series on PBS. He’s one of Memphis’ hottest and most well-known keyboard players, and accompanies blues singer, Barbara Blue, during weekly performances at Silky O’Sullivans on world-famous Beale Street in Memphis. The song itself was a popular church hymn which has appeared in hymnbooks for many years…but was also recorded by Cat Stevens in 1971, becoming a top 10 pop hit in the U.S. in 1972.

Craig Burdette hails from the San Francisco bay area, and counts amongst his musical influences George Winston, Jim Brickman, Burt Bacharach and Stephen Sondheim. So you’d expect strong melodies and musical accessibility, and that’s precisely what he delivers! He’s brought us two songs to share with you from his Recollections album: Chorale and Kevin & Alisha.

From another part of the world, UK-based artist Rich Batsford offers up two pieces as well, from his new album, Valentine Court. His diverse musical influences include choral vocal music, jazz and classical, plus his background as lead singer and songwriter in a couple of guitar-based rock bands. From his new album, Valentine Court, enjoy Gudonya and Namaste.

Kendra Springer hasn’t released her first album yet, but she’s certainly churning out some beautiful music nonetheless…and it’s only a matter of time before an album will be a fait accompli. In the meantime, you can download two lovely songs here, and more from her web site. She cites musical influences as varied as Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Glenn Miller, Kenny G, and Jim Brickman. But she’s birthed a musical style all her own. Discover it with Angela and Angels To Guard You.

Tim Neumark isn’t new to our site, but selections from his new album, Influence, are! It includes tracks dedicated to people and places that have inspired his music. Pieces were written for a former teacher, his wife, church congregations, his parents…and even a dog. Two tracks are for his favorite composer, Antonin Dvorak, using familiar themes of Dvorak’s music. These pieces range from contemplative to energetic, from classical to contemporary. He’s sharing two songs with us this time: On My Way and Thurman.

A native New Yorker, Jane Leslie began studying piano at age six, with a talent and love of music that eventually led to piano studies at the Juilliard School, where she earned a Masters degree…as well as a Doctoral degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Jane’s first album, Dreamsongs was birthed from an unusual experience in which a beautiful new melody appeared to her in a dream: “…a vivid dream with a melody that I could not forget.” Her latest album, Southampton Sunset, is a mix of diverse styles which include upbeat pieces, dramatic ballads, gentle new-age sounds, and soft jazz. And she’s brought us one song from each album: Dreamsongs and Joy.

Tom Van Dorn is a primarily self-taught musician who started with guitar and piano in his early teens. In time, he began composing his own songs on both instruments, although more recently focusing on acoustic piano compositions. His album, A Perfect Day, was created in an unplanned setting with nearly the complete collection of songs recorded straight through in one late-night session without a thought or care about making a recording that would later be sold. This total lack of recording pressure is clearly evident from the very first notes as the music simply flows effortlessly in a mellifluous, soothing way that leaves no doubt that this is one gifted and soulful musician. He’s sharing two songs with us: A Perfect Day and The Music Box.

Rob Fisher is a solo piano artist with emphasis on extemporaneous and impromptu performance and recordings. He was trained in classical piano, but has pulled in influences from reggae, rock, folk, blues, progressive and new age. His album is called Piano Extempore (extempore meaning “in the moment and without preparation”). And he’s brought us two songs to share with you: It Goes By and Pacific’s Edge.

Inner Version is a UK-based project featuring modern solo piano music incorporate many different influences. Some of those cited include Rachmaninoff, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Bach, Debussy, Miles Davis, Donald Fagen/Steely Dan, Aphex Twins, Ennio Morricone and Henry Mancini. If you think that sounds eclectic, you’d be right. Check out the two adventurous tunes they’re sharing with us here: Cambric Clouds and Midnight Rain.

Dirk Schreurs has composed and arranged over 250 tunes, many of which have found their way not only to the performing stage but also to the realm of radio and television around Western Europe. Next to playing the acoustic piano and electro-acoustic vintage keyboards, he also likes to operate analog synthesizers and modules. Since 1994 Dirk has been a professor of music, teaching piano/keyboards, improvisation theory, ensemble, and jazz methodology at the Jazz Department of the Brussels Royal Conservatory of Music. Nowadays you can find him at jazz clubs, theaters and on festival stages sitting in with The Roman Korolik Group, Chromatic Banana, Scora, and his own trio called DS3. He’s brought us a selection from his Extemporizations album, Extemporizations 4.

For over 26 years, Dave Powers has been a vital part of the Columbus, Ohio music scene as a pianist, keyboardist, and vocalist. Considered one of the most successful musicians in the local spectrum, he manages to win over the hearts of all who hear him perform. Dave performed his rendition of the popular church hymn Be Thou My Vision as part of the popular TV series The Piano Guy, and they’ve brought us this piece to share with you. You’ll find it on the Music 4 page. Alicia Bessette has recently released a new album called Orchard. It’s been several years since her last release, but you’ll be very glad that she’s back. She’s brought us the lovely Semuhenna to share with you. You’ll find it on the Music 1 page. Jeff Herge has been composing New Age music for performance for over 20 years. He’s received a lot of awards and positive reviews. But this is the first time he’s appeared on our site. From his debut, eponymous album, he’s brought us two songs: Autumn Snow and Rain Drops.

Jennifer Haines made a nice little splash on the world stage earlier this year when her music was selected by the staff of The New Yorker for a video they posted to YouTube which went big-time viral…to the tune of about 3 million views in a matter of just a few days. Which one? It was security camera footage of a guy who was stuck in an elevator in a New York skyscraper for 41 HOURS. Jennifer’s music must have made for the perfect soundtrack…because a ton of people came to her web site and bought albums as a result! But, not content to rest on her laurels, she’s recently released a brand new album…this time, beautiful solo piano treatments of old church hymns called Blessed Assurance: Solo Piano Hymns. For those who didn’t grow up in the church, you may be unaware that church hymns have given us some of the most majestic and timeless melodies ever heard by human ears. Jen has brought us two tracks to offer as free downloads: Blessed Assurance and O The Deep Deep Love of Jesus.

Keith Wiley counts as his influences classical masters Beethoven and Chopin, Brahms and Rachmaninoff…soundtrack wizards John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith…but also progressive electronic trance. More neoclassical than New Age, his music is infused with passion ranging from the calm to the near-furious. From his Solo Piano album, he’s brought us Train of Thought.

Doug Hammer was called to music at a very early age. His parents noticed this (at age three) and he began private piano lessons at the age of six. He had some great teachers in contemporary and classical styles of music. He began composing songs (mainly pop) while in high school. He went to Berklee College of Music on a partial scholarship and studied songwriting, commercial arranging, and jazz. Doug has always enjoyed the recording and production process and (along with this graphic designer wife) decided to open his own project studio and production company, Dreamworld Productions and Design. They moved to Lynn, MA and opened a studio in 2000 which included a new Schimmel Concert Grand piano. Doug has worked on a variety of projects such as CD’s, jingles, soundtracks for film, TV, and radio, music for corporate events, and so on. He was composing his own music during this time as well. At the end of 2007, his solo piano album, Solace, was finally released. From that album, he’s sharing 3 songs with us: A Dream I Once Lived In, Flying High and In The Fields. You’ll find Doug’s music on the Music 2 page.

Since infancy, music has had a powerful effect on Kathryn Toyama. Her mother says that she could always rely on beautiful music to stop her crying… that she’d become quiet and calm when the music reached her ears. Beginning piano lessons at age 9, Kathryn already wanted to weave her own melody with the notes and found it difficult to respect the confines of time signatures. Her mother found a concert pianist who was grooming students for classical piano competition, and Kathryn suddenly became a serious student trying to catch up to those already so accomplished. While today she is thankful for the rigorous scale work, at the time…with the constant pressure to place in competitions, she lost the desire to play and stopped at age 16. After many years of healing transitions and life lessons, she finally returned to the piano for catharsis…with a renewed spiritual awakening and the digital era now offering musicians new freedoms. Most important to her as an artist now is no longer technique, but depth of soul. Kathryn has brought us two songs, Prayer for Peace (from her album, Hope for Harmony…and The Smell of Rain (from a forthcoming release).

As an established and respected recording artist, Steven C. has impressively sold well over 2 million records throughout his beloved canon of music, which includes the popular CD Chasing Grace (American Gramaphone), and a best selling series of nature-themed CDs with the acclaimed NorthSound Label. Classically trained and gifted with a keen ear and sensibility for all styles of music, Steven began his musical education with perfunctory piano lessons at home that many burgeoning artist endure… eventually perfecting his craft and distinctive style at respected Hamline University, where he earned a BA in music and had the good fortune of studying extensively with the late jazz legend Manfredo Fest. Steven is sharing two songs with us, Meeting of the Souls and Play With My Heart, from his album Signature.

I first met Richard Douglas Trowbridge Souther in 1975, when he was part of A Band Called David…who toured the country as the backup band for Christian rockers Barry McGuire and The Second Chaper of Acts (often accompanied by legendary guitarist Phil Keaggy). He was an in-demand session musician as well, and a pioneer in new age instrumental music (both solo piano and synth-driven). He performed and recorded under two different names…Richard Souther and Douglas Trowbridge…in order to connect with two different markets, recording for the Meadowlark/Sparrow and MCA/Narada labels. Now he’s reintegrated his split musical personalties to some degree, and uses his complete given name…and he’s sharing with us two beautiful solo piano compositions from his Memories of Twilight album: She’s Like The Circle and Mississippi Tears.

Tim Neumark was born and raised on the Mid-Atlantic coast, spending much of his youth in Frostburg, Maryland. In his childhood and early adulthood his foremost passion was athletics, and he participated in baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, and track. He also developed a taste for classical and new age music in his teenage years, but it wasn’t until his later high school years that he discovered his talent for the piano. As he began to teach himself to play in college, he continued to excel at sports and won scholarships and acclaim for his athletic talent. After college, he moved to Maryland to take a job in computers, which allowed him to travel the country, playing every piano he could find, and writing new music whenever he could. There he met his future wife, Monica, who was attending the University of Maryland. He began to play the piano at her church, in her house, and eventually, he even played the prelude at their wedding. Tim says his musical inspiration comes from his feelings and thoughts about the world and people around him. He’s brought us two songs from his first album, Biography, which you’ll find on the Piano 4 page. And if you especially enjoy Tim’s music, check out a couple more of his pieces on our free Christmas music site, Feels Like Christmas.

Joseph Akins is an accomplished recording artist, pianist, keyboardist, composer, producer and educator. He has produced numerous CDs, composed for film and helped others accomplish the same through education. As a teen, he played keyboards and saxophone in his father’s country-rock band that regularly performed in Tennessee. Joseph says “I remember standing on the stage when I was about twelve years old knowing that music would always be a part of my life”. Joseph went on to record and tour with local rock bands. He attended college from ages 19 until 27 earning two Bachelor degrees and a Master’s degree in music. During these years, he acquired a new passion for jazz. In 2000, Joseph turned to teaching higher education full-time with an invitation from the prestigious Department of Recording Industry at Middle Tennessee State University, the largest music recording program in the world. And in 2006, he completed a doctorate in education. Today, Joseph is an award-winning educator at MTSU and writes, performs and promotes his original music. He’s brought us the title song from his latest piano album, Masterpeace.

Martin Horn cites influences as diverse as Debussy, Clara Ponty, George Winston, David Nevue and Yanni. As to inspiration, “Half of my inspiration comes from the people around me. Deeply feeling their troubles and joys presents me with the responsibility to comfort and offer praise in song and word. If the words can not be spoken, then the music takes me over. If I don’t hear music, then the written word will bring comfort. The other half of inspiration is the pure joy of standing in God’s wilderness surrounded by only the creation of the Lord.” Martin shares two songs with us from his album First Flight.

Linda Seeley is an accomplished musician. She began taking lessons at age 9, and within a year, she decided that she wanted to become a piano teacher when she grew up…a dream fulfilled after she received her degree in Music Education from UW-Milwaukee. She currently teaches more that sixty students at the Lakeshore Conservatory and at her home. She’s been writing melodies of her own for most of her life and finally released her first album in 1999. Linda loves outdoor activities and draws much of her musical inspiration from being out in nature. She’s sharing two songs with us: “Serenity” and “Sunflower”.

Long Island resident Jennifer Haines returns to the spotlight here on FSP…this time with two songs from her latest album, Thoughts & Dreams. Check out “Flurries” and the title track, “Thoughts and Dreams”.

Natasha Miren has absorbed a lot of influences for a young lady of 19. She was born in Switzerland to a Dutch father and Filipina mother. At 9 years of age, she expressed an interest in piano lessons. She was taught by ear and later found it almost impossible to pick up note-reading, often cheating her way through her piano homework by playing along with CDs instead. She also plays guitar (classical, steel-string and Stratocaster). Natasha has lived in the Philippines and the Netherlands…and she’s currently in her first year at the London School of Economics. She’s also racked up quite a few YouTube views for some of her video clips. You’ll find her lovely solo piano piece, “October”.

Curt Siffert has an interesting story as well: When he was 10 years old, his family moved from the East Coast to Colorado. Piano lessons were a help in that adjustment period for him. In his words, “Each new piece I learned about became a mystery that needed to be solved. Grieg’s Notturno, Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu, Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto – they all fueled my progress.” He continued to develop musically over the years, venturing into jazz, a cappella, MIDI composition and film scoring. After settling in Portland, he acquired a piano of his own and began composing and improvsing…a lot.The Piano Musings page on his site features raw recordings of solo piano improvisations – usually made up on the spot, with new ones added every few days or weeks. We’re presenting a couple of them here: “Slow Rain” and “An Elusive Sweetness”.

Michele McLaughlin was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was drawn to piano music from early childhood and would play her favorite songs by ear for friends and family. Michele took piano lessons for a very short period of time, but quit when the lessons took the fun out of playing. Shortly afterwards, when she was 8 years old, she was introduced to the music of George Winston and was instantly moved and inspired by his remarkable talent and style. She would listen to his music, and then play his songs by ear. It was during this time that she began composing and recording her own songs. A few years have passed since then, and Michele now has 8 albums of her piano music in release. She’s sharing two songs with us: “I Love You (2005)” and “Celtic Christmas”.

Thad Fiscella is based in the Hannibal, Missouri area (boyhood home of Mark Twain!) with his wife and 3 children. He began piano and percussion lessons at the age of 11. Early on, he enjoyed writing simple melodies and playing them. But over time, as both his playing and composition increased in sophistication, he found that he enjoyed playing his own music rather than just something others had written. His composition was heavily influenced by Debussy and Beethoven as well as the music of the late classical and romantic period. Currently his listening tastes run more toward new age piano, and his writing has moved more in that direction as well. His blend of classical and contemporary piano is relaxing and meditative…and has been described as a perfect blend of heartfelt simplicity and musical technique – enjoyable for any occasion, and yet intricate enough to hear and feel new ambiences with each listening. He’s brought us two songs: “Mother’s Devotion” and “Remember Me”.

Solomon Keal is a solo pianist from Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania. In addition to his piano artistry, he teaches piano (specializing in non-traditional lessons which cover piano basics, music theory, composition, and improvisation), and has a diploma in Recording Engineering from the Audio Institute of America. Solomon was like most kids when he started taking piano lessons…he didn’t enjoy it very much…and throughout his 6 years of formal lessons, he certainly would never have envisioned his future as a piano composer and performer. But, over the years, he found himself drawn back to the keyboard again and again. Today, he writes about 6 piano pieces per year, and has released several albums. He’s offering us downloads of two beautiful pieces: Sweet Dreams and Wellesley’s Waterfall.

The lovely Jennifer Haines returns as well…this time offering us a couple of sweet holiday treats, from her new album Christmas Magic. You’ll find her beautiful renditions of Carol of the Bells and O Little Town of Bethlehem.

David Nevue was one of the original artists to appear on this site when it started a few years back. He’s gone on to record several new albums, as well as to begin a delightful solo piano-based internet radio station called Whisperings. He’s brought us two cuts from two of his most recent albums: “Sweet Dreams & Starlight” and “It Is Well With My Soul”.

Louis Landon’s rich musical legacy included stints playing with John Hall (Orleans), Rupert Holmes (“Pina Colada”) and for Mikhail Baryshnikov. He says that his personal mission in life is to create a more emotional world by creating and performing music from the heart, and he offers us “Peaceful”.

Carolyn Downie is a classical and jazz pianist, composer and teacher. Her album Waves at Bathsheba offers original solo piano works blending lyricism and impressionism with polytonality, expressionism and improvisation. She is sharing her tune “Scenic Pathways (’94)”.

And finally, Azimuth is a bit of an anomaly on a solo piano site…a collaboration. Paul Gentry and Rhesa Siregar wrote the music, and their melodies were arranged and performed through the golden fingers of Ed Goldfarb, who has among his other credits, a Gold record and production work on the Apocalypse Now score. You’ll find “Oceanfront” and “One Thing”.

As a composer, Joshua Rich is adventurous and dynamic. As a pianist, he’s textured and fluid. He also composes custom scores, and has served as music director for many gala events, featuring several well-known celebrities, such as Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line, The Sting), Senator Hillary Clinton, Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show), Sinbad, and Peter Ustinov (Harry Potter). For these happenings, Joshua has been responsible for putting together children’s choirs, conducting orchestras, arranging pieces for singers, and hiring musicians. He’s provided us with four pieces from his latest solo piano album, Rain. Check out Kelsey, Rain, Sunrise and Waterfall.

Born into a musical family, Loren DiGiorgi began playing piano at age three and started composing music when he was seven. The youngest of four, Loren remembers hearing music constantly from as early as he can remember. His older brothers all played piano and his father was a violin player who later in life began hand-carving violins and cellos of his own. Born with perfect pitch, Loren’s love affair with the piano began at this early age and has continued to this day. He began taking formal piano training when he was eight years old and studied mainly classical until he graduated from high school. During this time, his love for the classical masters such as Bach and Chopin blossomed. While baroque was his favorite music period at this point in his life, he also was keenly interested in what was going on musically in the modern era. After high school, Loren briefly attended Dana School of Music and Berklee College of Music. Today he composes and performs regularly and is also a piano tuner-technician. He is currently working on music for a new CD to be released in late 2006. Check out The Last Hinterland.

Laura Sullivan grew up on a farm with spectacular views of both Mt. Lassen and Mt Shasta in the Northern California Ishi Wilderness. Her clear and memorable themes evoke deep emotions and expose a contemporary, freshness which at the same time suggests roots born of classical music. Kathy Parsons of Solo Piano Publications writes: “A strong and passionate pianist, Laura Sullivan brings a distinctive new voice to contemporary piano.” Her appreciation for our environment blossomed in the wilderness setting where she grew up and continues to influence and inspire her compositions to this day. In her first appearance on this site, Laura has brought us two beautiful pieces from her Piano Solos album: “Claire de Lune” and “Hope for the Sun”

Legendary composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein called him “a pianist with a marvelous touch”. He personally credits influences as diverse as Keith Emerson, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. He has scored music for Court TV, numerous TV pilots, and has appeared on both NBC-TV’s Today in New York, and CBS-TV’s Early Show. But who is this masked man? Once again we welcome Bernard Weinstock, who offers two more pieces from his album Evening – Piano Solos: “February Afternoon” and “One Last Time”

Thomas James hails from the Bay Area of Northern California. He has said that his songs “are curious creations… and if people like them, I am glad I can pass on something that has given me happiness. A lot of my music has come through when my times needed to hear it. And they helped, so… I hope that others too, will enjoy them.” Thomas is happy to share what he calls “the silent loudness” heard only by him through two songs from his collection An Elevator Ride: “15 Years” and “A Simple Sadness Goodbye”.

Greg Maroney has been a long-time participant here, and he serves up a beautiful playful piece from his latest album, Wind Chimes. It’s called “Mountain Snow”. As someone once said of his music, “you will find yourself reminiscing, smiling, waltzing and dreaming.”

Chuck Brown has released his latest disc, Incandescence. And he brings us three pieces, each reflecting a different mood…from the driving rhythm of “Majoring in the Minors” to the delicate, yet powerful melody of “Sweetness & Light”. As a side note, the tasty string arrangment on the latter piece was provided by Stephen Bashaw, another artist on this site.

Timothy Davey has been playing piano for 35 years, 25 of them in public. He has worked as a solo performer and in a multitude of bands in Adelaide, South Australia where he is a much sought-after keyboard player. He credits his interest in solo piano to hearing solo guitarist Leo Kottke in his teens, but has also admired the style of other solo guitarists including Dan Crary and Doc Watson. His favorite style of music, he says, is jazz-bluegrass or ‘Newgrass’ music. Among keyboard players, he admires Fats Waller, Chick Corea, and Philip Aaberg and among other musicians: Mike Marshall, Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer.Timothy’s music has been described as ‘non-pedestrian’, ‘challenging’, ‘a sub-genre’, ‘brimming with creativity’, ‘highly accessible’, ‘refreshing & awe-inspiring’ and as having a ‘casual elegance’. He’s just released his second collection of original piano solos, Scenes from the Neighbourhood, and offers us two of his songs as an introduction to the disc. Check out those two pieces on the Music Downloads page, and when you have a few moments, stop by his web site to learn more about him and his music.

As an artist, Jeff Bjorck believes music in its purest form is sometimes the closest thing to art. Not surprisingly, his solo acoustic piano compositions paint a gallery of musical images suitable for framing. These original works interweave delicacy with intensity, combine musical notes with the space between them, and create moving pictures that move the emotions. Dr. Bjorck is somewhat of an expert on emotions. As a clinical psychologist, researcher, and professor at Fuller Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology, his multifaceted vocation typifies his ongoing passion for a Renaissance man’s approach to life. Jeff has released his new CD, Impressions in Black and White, and he’s sent us a couple selections from the album for free download. You’ll find Feather’s Flight and Sun Shower on the Music Downloads page. And be sure to visit Jeff’s Pure Piano web site to read more and learn more about his music.

Louis Falligant confirms something we’ve observed for years: “the worse the weather, the better the fingerstyle guitarist.” Need proof? Leo Kottke (Minnesota), Don Ross (Canada), and the list goes on. Based in Janesville, WI… Louis was inspired by Andy McKee and other amazing Candyrat artists. After exploring the world of tapping and tunings for a year, he was able to score a few hours of studio time. The result is a delightful mix of melodious solo guitar music. Check out the three tracks we’ve posted. This will brighten your day regardless of current weather conditions. You’ll find Four Lights, Love Hate and October.

We’re also presenting a new song by Peter Janson. Here’s what one member our staff said: “The first time I heard Peter Janson’s music was while driving home on a cold, February night. “Dancing Beneath the Stars” was as warm and welcoming as the glow of firelight seen through the front windows of home. With one guitar Peter captures beauty, passion, motion and magic, all dancing together under a star-filled canopy. His flawless technique is used to create lyrical melodies that are completely captivating. A friend once told me, “if a person can write a piece a music that makes someone smile, laugh or cry, that is something of value.” Peter has indeed accomplished something of great value. His music draws from a deep well; fresh water, un-rushed, uncluttered, gently flowing.” You’ll find Binnacle, from the album Compass Rose.

Active as a musician since early childhood, Terry Lynn Tschaekofske has performed in numerous rock and blues bands in Utah and Northern California. As a private teacher, he has given thousands of lessons to eager students. He’s recently released his debut solo album, Illusions, and he’s brought us two songs to share with you: Who Was She and The Other Side of Paradise.

New Orleans is known for good food and great music. Jimmy Robinson is a talented musician doing his part to make sure that acoustic guitar has a prominent place in that musical gumbo. His music is expansive, melodic and full of rich 6- and 12-string harmonies. With a lightning pick and a supple wrist, Jimmy draws fiery melodies and thunderous rhythms from his musical tinderbox. Over half of the tracks on his solo effort, Vibrating Strings, are instrumental. The vocal tracks will be especially pleasing to listeners who enjoy Jackson Browne. Two of the tracks are covers. Jimmy does a great job with Zep’s Kashmir, but the show stopper is The Wind Cries Mary. This is a visionary arrangement of Jimi’s classic done with acoustic guitar and a brass section. Yes, this one sounds like New Orleans: smooth, easy and tasty. Jimmy is also part of the fusion jazz group known as Twangorama. If it turns out that Frank Zappa faked his death and moved to New Orleans to concentrate on guitar based instrumental music, we know what group he is part of. Wonderfully intense, mind stretching music. He’s brought us 3 songs to share with you: Big Blue, Brian O’Neal and Hammers.

Part of what makes us human is the ability to recognize and create beauty. Even more amazing is to watch how beauty can emerge from tragedy. The music of Andres Godoy is beautiful. It almost certainly would not have this same sense of joyful beauty had it not been for “the accident”. Here is the riddle: how does beauty emerge from ashes and joy from heartache? The thing that could have crushed the artist instead drives him to new levels of creativity and perception. Andres has quite a story. You can visit his website to find out more. In one sense…it has everything to do with his music. In another sense, nothing at all. One might contend that Andres’ music was resident deep in his heart when an unfortunate turn of events nearly sealed it there. Instead of allowing the gift to be buried…he dug deep, turning an underground lake into a bubbling spring. La Rida o el Send, is a wonderful collection of guitar-based songs, some solo guitar, some with vocals and a light sprinkling of additional instrumentation. Our grasp of Spanish is such that we only catch a word or two of the vocal songs, yet the quality of his voice serves to invite, rather than exclude the listener. The quality, production and musicianship of the recording are excellent. There is a fragility and strength that makes this music completely engaging.

Don Alder would be easy to pick out in a crowd. He would be the fellow with three hands…or at least, that’s what one would expect after listening to his guitar playing. On his Cool Tunes Compilation disc Don gives a tip of the hat to various friends and influences. He has the ability to tap into the essence of his heroes while maintaining his own fingerprint. In his writing (musical as well as liner notes) there is a largeness of heart. This music isn’t about tricks and flash. It’s about processing and communicating life. There is thoughtfulness and joy, as the people and events that have touched Don are transformation into sound. That same sense comes across in his, Take the Train, Eh project (that Canadian sense of humor must be caused by the weather – learn to laugh or go insane!) We didn’t receive and liner notes with this disc but the songs speak for themselves. DRDR (DonRossDonRoss) kicks off this collection with a nod to fingerstyle wiz Don Ross. It shares the same sense of melodic groove that our favorite Ewok is known for. On It’s Only Goodbye, Don exhibits a wonderful sense of lyricism. The melody and bass line twine from the guitar in a way that is almost organic. Don is a great technician with a heart for groove, melody and people. It shines through.

Ivan Granata is a musical adventurer. You can hear it.  It’s in the tunings and tappings. It’s in the melodies and rhythms. It’s in the playful fretboard finger dance. In the space of one song he can gracefully move back and forth from Celtic reels to classical melodies to contemporary tapping.  Hold on to your hat and enjoy the ride!

John Morgan is an acoustic guitarist living in central Ohio. Unencumbered by fame or fortune, he is pursuing the musical dream: performing, teaching, writing and recording. His latest CD, Motionography, is about movement: flight, swimming, dancing – places: the moon, oceans, stars; and communication: the non-verbal, solo guitar type of communication. What is the sound of Motionography? What is the sound of one guitar playing, fingers dancing, sounds splashing, sonic canvas, air art, here–gone, wooden heart made flesh, steel strings spring to life? What is the sound of one guitar laughing, of joy bouncing, strengthening, calling, inviting to the dance? What is the sound of one guitar moving, across the star field accompanied by dancers, singers, swimmers, writing rhythm, resonating life? What is the sound of movement, motion, ocean? What is the sounding of one guitar? Motionography.

Music is one of the great cross-cultural meeting places. The musical history of the United States is one of styles continually meeting and merging. But what happens when longstanding European traditions collide? What might happen if the classical beauty of Italy encountered the melodic passion of Ireland? It would certainly take a book to document the possibilities. Until that book is written, you can listen to the music of Giacomo Fiore. Born in Genova, Italy, Giacomo discovered the guitar at a young age and was able to study with Armando Corsi, one of Genova’s (and Italy’s) most talented acoustic guitarists. Along the way he picked up a love and appreciation of Celtic music…and has woven the two together in a very fresh and exciting way. Currently Giacomo is in Nashville, expanding his musical world even further. Give a listen to this gifted young guitarist. Who knows what good things the future will hold for this talented finger-stylist?

In the mid-1800’s several of the most notable touring guitarists were Italian. Mauro Giuliani and Matteo Carcassi were highly respected performers and teachers whose contributions to the understanding of the guitar are still having a significant impact on guitarists today. Even better to find that this rich musical heritage is still expanding! Nicola Boschetti is a wonderful Italian fingerstyle player whose melodic lyricism makes nylon strings sparkle. Yes, this site has “solo guitar” as part of its name but it would be better to describe Nicola’s music as solo guitars. The three tracks posted here are duets – both parts played by Nicola. With one guitar he creates an expansive, shimmering, harmonic pallet. With the other he floats and soars. Picture a perfect day on the Mediterranean shore. A light breeze is blowing, gentle waves rolling, sea birds gliding in a cloudless sky. Gracefully they dive into crystal blue water. Nicola Boschetti’s music is the soundtrack.

There’s a bounce and wink in Bill Dutcher’s playing. The bounce is a playful engagement with the listener. Like, hey isn’t that a key change about half way through “Knuckle Buster” but, wait a second…he went down, not up (like most every key change you’ve ever heard). The wink is an unexpected turn of a phrase, an unexpected harmony. It’s the drawing together of influences as divergent as Native American culture and Irish melody, showing how they fit and handing us the results on a silver platter. “Solo Guitar” is full of captivating melodies played with a skillful touch. Great stuff. Take a listen.

One of the alluring elements of solo acoustic guitar playing is the ability to create music that is simultaneously simple and complex. There’s a way of weaving threads of melody with long strands of harmony to produce a delightful musical tapestry; easy on the ears, refreshing to the heart. That’s exactly what Buzz Turner has accomplished on “Finally Home”. These original fingerstyle instrumentals are present-day descendants of ancient Celtic melodies. This wonderful collection speaks – without words – the timeless tale of the traveler’s longing for hearth and home. It’s the simplicity and complexity of life told through six strings.

Kevin Hiatt grew up in Kansas City, attended the Conservatory of Music and later earned a doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Miami. He has written over 80 works of music including chamber music, electronic music and orchestral pieces. In 1996 Hiatt returned to playing steel string guitar. He performs on six, seven and twelve string guitars employing a variety of altered tunings and unconventional techniques. His appreciation of and influence by Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges and Preston Reed are evident on his latest release, Strange Ships on a Blue Horizon. Check out three cuts from that release.

Some people use the guitar as a fragile folk instrument to conjure up pastoral scenes – birds singing, bees buzzing. Patrick Woods raises his guitar like a steel rod in a lightning storm, drawing down bolts out of the creative blue. Playing six and ten string guitars Patrick demonstrates that tapping can be used in a way that is melodic and harmonic as well as rhythmic. Words to describe Power Fields: passionate, dynamic, energetic, pulsating. Check out the groove laid down by this one-man band.

There is something wonderful about a great melody unrushed. It’s the strong sense that every note counts, that every note has something to say. Listening to Doug Young play is hearing the importance of each note – full, rich tones, following and flowing, not crowding or bumping. Listening to Doug is hearing the guitar sing. Not only does Doug have an ear for melody he has an eye for beautiful, well constructed guitars. A brief tour of his website will reward you with a look of some gorgeous instruments. Great melody, great playing, great instruments – an altogether winning combination!

The sound of an acoustic guitar well-played is beautiful… seductively so., and those who learn to play guitar have a special talent that speaks a universal language. Actually, the sound can be so enjoyable that at times guitarists may forget about that little detail called melody. Fortunately, Bill Hammond is a melody man. “Speechless” is a thoughtful and lyrical collection that is as much about song as it is sound. Each tune is crafted with something for the heart as well as the ears. Click over to the Music page to hear wordless songs brought to life through wood and steel.

Brian Henke is an impressionistic painter who has chosen sound rather than color to express his heart. The “Nature of Light” is a wonderfully textured collection of solo guitar magic conjuring up sights as well as sounds.  This music speaks of big sky vistas, fiery sunsets, water flowing/falling and other grand-scale nature phenomena. But beyond what we see, this is a study of the light that surrounds and illuminates those wonders that surround us. Brian has created a musical prism that splits the white light of day into its multi-colored spectrum. Dare we call this a concept album? Seems a tall order for one guy with a guitar. But the focusing of sound waves to explore light waves seems like a great concept to me.  And check out his web site to find out more.

If you are looking for some funky, high-energy acoustic guitar music check out Nathan Montgomery. He made it to the regionals in Guitar Center’s Guitarmegeddon competition. Anytime we see an acoustic guy going toe-to-toe with the heavy metal guys and succeeding, we have to grin.  Nathan can more than “hold his own” in any gathering of guitarists. But he isn’t just a hot guitarist. If you want to see something cool and crazy, visit his web site and look at the video page. Check out the “Quarter To”. You’ll see Nathan playing keyboard…and bass. Yes, at the same time. Definitely “cool and crazy!”  Oh, and about that guitar playing…cool and funky, a great groove.

There are many wonderful things you can find in Canada like trees and… hmmm, OK, mostly trees. There are many wonderful musicians you can find in Canada. Folks who know what to do with those trees once they are made into guitars.  The list includes fingerstyle masters Don Ross, Bruce Cockburn and Bob Evans (the Winfield fingerstyle winner, not the restaurant). Add one more name: Jay Calder.  His CD “Breakfast with Barnabas,” is an inspired collection of fingerstyle and melodic prowess.  The three songs we’ve posted here are a small sample of the energy and passion that Jay brings to this project. The challenge of instrumental music is to capture something of the world we live in, distill it and present it in a way that others can understand. Jay answers the challenge by expressing truth, beauty, creativity and encouragement – all without saying a word. The listener with an open heart will hear and understand – this is the good stuff. And be sure to check out his web site to find out more about the man, his music and the inspiration behind it.

When you go to John Ford’s website you’ll be treated to some great original folky, bluesy, Americana songs; most with lyrics supported by John’s skillful fingerstyle playing. Fortunately for us he has written and recorded a couple of very tasty instrumental tunes. “New River” flows and sparkles with a musical current that makes you glad to be floating down that stream. “The Inverse Curve” bounces like a box of puppies on fresh country morning. Compared to some of the other folks on this site John describes himself as “more of a primitive player who’s been playing long enough to know where to mash my fingers down on the right spots to make the noises I like.”  That’s a jolly bit of self-deprecation but indeed he does know where to mash those fingers down and we think you’ll enjoy hearing where they land.

Steve Davison has captured the sound of his music and displayed it for both the eye and the ear. The artwork on the sleeve depicts a long, unbroken shoreline – natural and expansive, like the sound of his guitars.  Most of the pictures on his website are bright and sunny like his melodies. Yet, there is a touch of foggy mystery on the site and in the sound that invites us to explore the land “of wood and water”. By the way, Steve has great finger picking technique.  He seamlessly blends classical and Travis styles, making the strings – six or twelve of ‘em at a time – dance.  These songs without words are “end of the day” observations from a skilled musical story teller. Be sure to visit his web site for more info.

Another recent addition to our site is the music of Peter Janson. Here’s what one member our staff said: “The first time I heard Peter Janson’s music was while driving home on a cold, February night. “Dancing Beneath the Stars” was as warm and welcoming as the glow of firelight seen through the front windows of home.  With one guitar Peter captures beauty, passion, motion and magic, all dancing together under a star-filled canopy.  His flawless technique is used to create lyrical melodies that are completely captivating. A friend once told me, “if a person can write a piece a music that makes someone smile, laugh or cry, that is something of value.” Peter has indeed accomplished something of great value.  His music draws from a deep well; fresh water, un-rushed, uncluttered, gently flowing.”

Listening to Ken Bonfield play guitar is stepping into a sonic paradise – rich, melodic and masterful. Thoughtful music that exudes peaceful confidence avoids needless flash and embraces the listener. Every note speaks. Add bass or violin and the palette expands seamlessly. This is acoustic music for the spirit. Not surprisingly, Ken is a multifaceted musician: composer, performer and educator. His music has been featured on NPR, PBS, ABC TV, FOX TV and can be heard on radio stations around the world. Ken has recorded two Living Room Concerts for Public Radio International’s Echoes. Stop by his web site and have a look/listen.

Muriel Anderson is recognized internationally as one of the premier guitarists of our day (notice that’s not limited to “one of the premier female guitarists of our day”).  Through her constant travels she has proven to be a wonderful ambassador and educator for this instrument we love.  Her flawless technique and passion for music have opened hearts and doors around the world.  In these cuts we get a sample of her beautiful nylon string technique as well as her ability as an arranger (“Nola”).  This music is music that transports.

Listening to Ken Bonfield play guitar is stepping into a sonic paradise – rich, melodic and masterful.  Thoughtful music that exudes peaceful confidence avoids needless flash and embraces the listener.  Every note speaks.  Add bass or violin and the palette expands seamlessly. This is acoustic music for the spirit.  Not surprisingly Ken is a multifaceted musician: composer, performer and educator.  His music has been featured on NPR, PBS, ABC TV, FOX TV and can be heard on radio stations around the world. Ken has recorded two Living Room Concerts for Public Radio International’s “Echoes”.

Liz Queler & Seth Farber have released an album called The Edna Project…original music set to the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay, and began with a book given to Liz by Seth’s mother a few years ago. We’re pleased to be able to share the song: The Return From Town

Ethan Hanson is a gifted singer-songwriter who hails from Fayetteville, North Carolina. You will most definitely enjoy the two songs he’s sharing: Mary Go Round and Your Way Home (Above The Weather)

Charity Chapman has been writing songs for many years, and has experienced great success with having her songs placed on shows such as X Factor and Ugly Betty. After suffering a near-death experience related to pregnancies with her two children, her life was saved by discovery of an experimental drug. After a 5-year break, she’s back to making music and appreciating her life. She’s sharing two songs here: In My Room and One Plus One.

Matt Andersen is from a small blue-collar village called called Perth-Andover in New Brunswick. Surrounded by music his whole life, he too up tuba, then trumpet, then guitar…playing classic rock and Top 40 in pub bands. But then…he discovered the blues. His latest album, Coal Mining Blues, deals with the hardships of the working man. And we’re pleased to present the title track from the album.

Ryan Michaels’ family ran a musical instrument store in the San Francisco Bay Area when he was growing up, but he moved to Nashville and The Ryan Michaels Band was recently nominated for both “Best Pop/Rock Band” and “Best Live Rock Performers” in the Nashville Independent Music Association (NIMA) Awards. From their album Life Is For The Living, check out: A Side Of Me

SJ Tucker is a creative, adventurous songwriter hailing originally from Arkansas. You can hear vast musical influences flowing through her music, but she’s forged a compelling sound all her own. From her album Mischief, we’re pleased to present two terrific songs: Neptune and the very witty Salad of Doom.

Originally from Hong Kong…California-based songstress Jane Lui brings together lush vocals and finely-honed pop sensibilities, resulting in some wonderfully accessible music. We’re pleased to be able to share Illusionist Boy from her album Goodnight Company.

Massachusetts-based Jamie Kent crafts and performs sophisticated tunes with apparent effortlessness. As a musician trying to make his way in the new world of music, he’s formed The Collective…a new model allowing fans to pledge their support in return for exclusive access to cuts of his music and the opportunity to help direct his career decisions. From his album, Neoteny, we’re pleased to present Ama San.

Irish singer-songwriter Simon Fagan specializes in Americana music with big arrangements, and we’re delighted to be able to share a perfect example with the absolutely lovely (and nearly-10-minute) Time To Go, from his album Outside Looking In.

Originally from Texas…San Francisco-based Billy Schafer intially tackled the drums, but eventually shifted to guitar and began writing his own material. From his album First To Believe, we’re presenting the lilting My Mona Lisa (The One).

And finally, New Hampshire’s Martin England tells his worldwise musical stories with a guitar in the tradition of Steve Earle and Johnny Cash. From his new album Razed and Reconstructed, we’re pleased to be sharing a sobering tidbit of musical wisdom: Do What The Man With The Gun Says

Sometimes, singer/songwriters slip into highly-derivative ruts. They might have great lyrics, but they sort of slough-off when it comes to creating music to support the words. In that regard, Zach Maxwell was a really nice surprise. He brings a lot of soul and passion to his music, and he doesn’t sound like anyone else we’ve heard lately. From his collection Silent Beat – EP, you’ll want to check out I Wanna Meet and When I Rise.

How many 17-year-old musical powerhouses have you encountered in your life? Well, Larzz Principato isn’t like most kids his age. And he’s clearly out to prove that with his band Show Me The Skyline. They may not be the deepest, most original songwriters you’ve ever heard…but what they ARE delivering is a top-notch, highly-polished sound that’s scratching the itch of their target demographic. And that makes Larzz and the boys worth keeping an eye on. You’ll be seriously impressed with the song May from the album Rumor Has It.

When you think of punchy indie rock, you think Portugal…right? Well, you just might after you’ve heard The Doups. They’ve been garnering notice in band competitions and showcases since their formation 3 years ago, and have been writing and recording as well. Take a listen to their track Now I’m Going.

One of the main goals of good songwriting is to create a sound that people can relate to…but that they still find surprising enough to be interesting. Michael Behm has been hammering out a career as a songwriter and performer for many years. He’s continually making new connections with his music and finding new fans who appreciate his finely-honed, melodic songwriting. From his self-titled album, enjoy Where I Belong.

Jensen Keets grew up loving great songs from strong songwriters like Elton John and Billy Joel, and struggled to decide which of her two passions to pursue professionally: music or fashion design. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology and recording her first (self-titled) album, she’s still determined to make a go of both! So, keep an eye out for her own fashion line someday…but in the meantime, we think you’ll appreciate her song Me World.

Chad Hollister‘s sweet, smooth and jazzy song Change (from his recent self-titled album) cries out…in the gentlest way possible…for folks to break out of their ruts and let fly with a fresh new take on things. Go ahead…take the first step…by grabbing the tune!

The music of Maree McRae fills the ears and the heart alike. Her warm, mature vocals bring to life a solid collection of songs on her two albums. We’re pleased to be able to share two songs with you…one from each album: Let Go from her new album Urgency, and I Won’t Settle For Less, the title cut from her first album.

Adam Stokes has just released his second album as well. It’s called October Sky, and you can download the song Night From Day.

Jeff Krantz has travelled an unusual path these last 2-3 years. Feeling trapped in a 9-5 desk job, he dreamed of making his living doing something with his music…at that time, little more than a hobby. It wasn’t long before he was being mentioned by Billboard and Newsweek…not to mention receiving a letter of encouragement from the legendary Cat Stevens, who had heard some of his early demos. He built an audience of 10,000+ on Second Life under the pseudonym Hep Shepard, streaming 200 performances from his New York loft. Coming up? A “virtual” tour…10 countries in 6 weeks, with a zero carbon footprint! You’ll enjoy Landmine, from his new album The Last One To Know.

Corey Smith specializes in tight, incisive lyrics delivered with an energetic musical hook. From his latest album, Keeping Up With The Joneses, you a good example (“love is a compass, it’ll turn you around…a hundred-eighty degrees, the arc of a rainbow”) with Arc Of A Rainbow.

David Homyk is a New York-based singer, writer and producer who has worked with some pretty big names in the music business. But based on the hooky pop sounds of It’s So Easy Now, from his album True Story, he might well be poised to stir up some waves of his own.

Also from New York, Shayna Zaid & The Catch offer up an infectious toe-tapper of a song about “b-e-a-u-tee-ful” Bonita from their eponymous EP.

Richmond, VA-based alt rockers One Friend have brought us their energetic tune Marquees to share with you.

David Wilcox is a bit of a legend in the world of singer-songwriters. Sort of an artist’s artist. He’s been around for a very long time, turning out great song after great song. His easy way with an acoustic guitar and his smooth vocals are a great vehicle for the very human quality of his songwriting. It’s a real treat to be able to present 3 songs from his album, Open Hand. Sit back and enjoy David’s masterful music with Modern World, Open Hand and Red Eye.

It’s a delight to hear musicians who are comfortable in their own skin. And JJ Soul Band (hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland) are a perfect example of such comfort. We liked them so much that we’re bringing you FOUR of their songs. Their smooth, soulful jazz will remind one (at times) of a gentler, less angry Steely Dan. But, in contrast, JJ Soul’s husky voice feels much more at home in the lead vocal role than Donald Fagen’s ever did. At The Mall, Front Page News, Getting Colder By The Year and I’ve Been Had Again, from their album Bright Lights.

Tulsa’s Stars Go Dim is another of those indie bands that deserves to be heard by a wider audience. The songwriting by Joey Avalos is more than capable, and their sound features standout lead vocals by Chris Cleveland. From the album Love Gone Mad, they’re sharing 3 songs with us: Get Over It, Love Gone Mad and Come Around.

Nick Daugherty will inevitably be compared to Jason Mraz, but there’s always more room in the world for quality pop music with a soulful, jazzy flair. Nick’s songwriting is substantive, and his vocals are a great fit for his appealing persona. From the album Movin’ Higher, enjoy the title track and Staring At The Sun.

Songwriters on a mission can often come off as pretentious and downright irritating, but Brant Christopher doesn’t let the message hamper the music. His personal passion for ending global slavery has provided a solid incubator for quality songwriting, and his vocal prowess and top-notch production provide a great frame for the jewel of his message. From the album, Climb, you’ll want to hear Criminal and Shoes for Margaret.

If you’re into labels, you’re likely to find the UK-based band In Isolation filed under Post Punk/New Wave (which may not sound appealing to you personally). All we know is that their song The Wrong Girl is great stuff. Check it out!

New Yorkers Christian Yorke, Mark Mangold, Jonny Cragg and Jordan Brooks created their band The Radiants just a couple years ago, but they’ve already crafted a solid, accessible sound. And we’re able to share with you their tune Say You Will from their album The Radiant 1.

Virginia’s Emmet Swimming features an easy alt-rock sound that will not only have you listening, but wanting to hear what else they’ve done. And there’s plenty to discover from this band with 7 albums under their belt. From their Bathing in the New Economy, check out Don’t Call Her.

While Iowa may not be the first place that comes to my when thinking of hotbeds of musical activity, The Nadas just might challenge your preconceptions in that regard. Their music isn’t easily stuffed into a category and dismissed. Their musical energy and creative arrangements will draw you in, while their solid songwriting will keep you listening. Satisfying stuff. From their album Almanac, check out the songs Long Goodbye and Wrecking Ball.

Straight outta Orlando, Megaphone is brimming with energy. Punchy guitars, slick vocals and solid hooks (a la Foo Fighters) drive their sound. From their album, Exit Silent Mode, they’ve brought us Write It Down to share with you.

Chris Kirby is one of those guy who just “gets it”. From the beginning of one of his tunes, you know you’re gonna like this. Great groove, sassy soulful vocals, infectious hooks and perfect production values. We’re very proud to introduce to this gifted artist with a tune from his new album Vampire Hotel. It’s called Lift This Fog.

And speaking of “getting it”…where has all the great good-time rock gone? Well, it appears that Loomis and The Lust has been keeping at least some of it for themselves out in Santa Barbara. Fortunately, they seem ready to spring it on the world! Their new album, Nagasha, is just a 5-song EP…but every single cut is just dripping with celebratory energy and hooks that just won’t let you go…but won’t let you sit still, either. Enjoy the “primal” tune Bright Red Chords.

Stephen Luke knocked around music for years, but eventually life dragged him away…including the often mundane (but rewarding) task of raising a family. It took a significant hand injury to refocus him musically. He cut two tendons in his index finger while opening a box, the repair of which required surgery and months of therapy. And, wouldn’t you know it…the therapist recommended that he pick up the guitar again to help speed the functional healing of his left hand. Enter another of our Cincinnati-based featured artists…Kelly Richey (see below), who “…took me from pitiful to powerful in six months. It lit a fire. I couldn’t stop playing and started writing songs again.” Kelly then agreed to produce his first album, No Man’s Land…and you can hear that reignited passion in the bluesy tune, Long Way From Home.

Singer-songwriter Lisa Bianco brings us a resilient ballad about holding on thru the hard times, called Sideways. It’s from her new album, Post Data, which she says addresses “the new and constantly evolving relationship between people and a data-saturated world, searching for the personal connection that breathes life into humanity…and music”.

Roy Genauer is the songwriting force behind Assembly Of Dust, and as is the case with virtually all truly interesting music, it’s the songwriting that sets the band’s music apart. But they didn’t stop there, bringing in musical guests as diverse as Richie Havens, Mike Gordon (Phish), Martin Sexton, Bela Fleck and fretboard master Jerry Douglas. As you listen, you’re going to love the fact that we’re able to present three songs from this talented band, from their new album Some Assembly Required: Arc Of The Sun, Leadbelly and The Second Song.

Roy Jay spins a hopeful tale of a man launching off in a new direction in his life with the sprawling 8-minute epic, California Grey…from his album, Lucky Guy.

Aman(da) Walther and Shei(la) Carabine met in high school music class and decided to combine their voices and songwriting talents (not to mention their names) to form Dala. They have an interesting gift for word pictures…for example: “She wears her body like a lifetime achievement…it fills the silence when she doesn’t know the words…”. Acoustic guitars, lush vocals and airy arrangements are the foundation upon which they build their brand of fresh folk/pop. We’re privileged to offer three songs from their album Everyone Is Someone: Anywhere Under The Moon, Levi Blues and Lonely Girl.

While Eastern Canada is not generally thought of as a hotbed of country music, hell hath no fury like a husband scorned…and The Divorcees are living proof. Yes, they’ve got fiery vocals and solid instrumental chops, but what sets this band apart is the truly interesting songwriting. And, you’ll be happy to hear that we’re able to present three songs from their album Last Of The Free Men: After The Storm Is Gone, Letter On The Window and Mining Man.

Brad Hammonds built his early musical reputation on his guitar prowess as part of the duo Brazz Tree, no doubt inspiring many to take up guitar lessons for beginners. But while those chops are fully on display, he’s added some creative melodic approaches and jazz sensibilities, plus an almost hypnotic vocal style to create quite the musical stew on Through It All, from the album of the same name.

Jennings came to focus on music in an unusual way. After the death of her mother, her father (a former musician) gave her a choice: go thru therapy to deal with the grief…or record an album. Her choice might be somewhat obvious, as she brings her fresh vocal delivery and a pop/electronica groove to Falling Higher, from her album Femtastic.

It’s not often that you hear someone say, “That girl can flat play the guitar!”. But as blues legend Albert King told Kelly Richey when she found herself on stage with him some 20 years ago, “That guitar is like a gun: if you pick it up, you better mean to use it.” Kelly clearly took those words to heart, and has continued to develop her growling blues-rock stylings over the years and something approaching a dozen albums. She’s sharing two songs with us: Talks All Over Town from the Eyes Of A Woman album, and Now You Need Me from Sending Me Angels. [

Doug Folkins brings his rootsy musical sensibilities to his story of longing, featuring Italy (the country) and Emily (the girl)…and you just know he’s planning to stay there for as long as it takes for her to show up…watching the flow of city life pass by him as he scans the crowds for her face. It’s a story well-told. The song is called Streets Of Rome, and it’s from his self-titled album.

It’s funny how some people’s lives come to be defined by a single event…at least, in the public perception. Think Monica Lewinsky or Linda Tripp. Believe it or not, they probably lead full, interesting lives…but as far of most of us are concerned, we think, “isn’t she the one who…?”. So it is, to some degree, with Lori Lieberman. She’s been a respected singer-songwriter for several decades now, but one event has come to define her life in the public consciousness: She visited an L.A. club nearly 40 years ago and saw a young Don McLean (American Pie) in concert, and was deeply moved. She wrote a poem about the experience, which grew into a song which she recorded on one of her early albums. Her performance didn’t connect with the public-at-large for whatever reason…but another by Roberta Flack did…in fact, becoming one of the signature songs of the Seventies. And Killing Me Softly With His Song was picked up 20 years later by The Fugees, becoming the top-selling single of 1996. The same song has been recorded by acts as diverse as Englebert Humperdinck, Tori Amos, Perry Como, The Jackson 5, Alicia Keys, Frank Sinatra and Luther Vandross. Great song, right? Well, it all started with Lori…and we’re delighted that she’s enabling us to share the song wtih you (a newly-recorded version), as well as He Needs You…from her new album, Gun Metal Sky.

The Pimps of Joytime are one of those bands that leave you satisfied, but at the same time, wanting more. Incredibly infectious rhythms and grooves borrow liberally from multiple musical genres, including latin, hip-hop and jazz. From their debut album, High Steppin’, they’ve brought us two songs to share with you: Bonita and Joytime Radio.

Chris Huff is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer specializing in hooky retro-pop songs that combine different genres. From his album Death and Texas, he’s sharing his song For The Trees.

Ju-Taun (pronounced zha–táwn) hails from South Jersey. Jake and James Evans, Peter Garcia and Samoeun Cheng offer up an exuberant, richly-orchestrated fusion of vintage soul and R&B. From their upcoming album Love Changes Things, they’re sharing their song Go Slow with us.

8 Ball Aitken hails from Far North Queensland in Australia, where he spent his adolescence as a farm laborer on a banana plantation. As a hard-partying 19-year-old, it was a conversation with an Aboriginal elder that caused him to rethink his path and rechannel his energy into a more constructive lifestyle. Pouring himself into his music, he’s emerged on the world stage with a hard-driving alt-country sound. From his album Rebel With A Cause, he’s sharing two songs with us: Cyclone Country and Yellow Moon.

Jessie Murphy In The Woods is a trio that combines indie pop with dark humor and classical sensibilities, consisting of Marcia Webb (flute, pan pipes, and clarinet, Wurlitzer electric piano, vocals), Amy Stratton (horn, flute, vocals, percussion), and Jessie Murphy (lead vocals, acoustic guitar). All are accomplished musicians in their own right…together, they create unique soulful stylings. There’s an infectious joy in the new album, Eight Belles, that sweeps the listener in its wake. By turns ethereal, mystical, spiritual and haunting, the NYC-based trio plays with a sense of wonder and discovery that makes them one of 2009’s singular new acts to watch. Check out New York City Lights.

We’re excited to introduce you to Butterfly Boucher (pronounced BOW-chur), a lovely young Aussie lass (now Nashville-based) who’s just released her album, Scary Fragile. She’s previously toured with Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan, so she’s not exactly new to the scene…but you’re definitely going to want to hear her song, Gun For A Tongue.

Over the past 5 years, Alexi Murdoch’s music has been quietly engaging a fast-growing audience across the globe. After the unprecedented indie success of a first home-spun EP in 2003, which ultimately sold over 50,000 copies, Murdoch released the critically acclaimed debut album Time Without Consequence through his own label in 2006. Rolling Stone quickly named Murdoch one of that year’s “10 Artists to Watch,” while Interview lauded his “ability to directly communicate a wellspring of deep emotion”. While his songs have been featured in such films as Gone Baby Gone and Garden State, as well as the trailer for Academy Award-nominated foreign film Paradise Now, his work on Away We Go represents the first instance where Murdoch is the primary musical voice of an entire film. A total of eight of Murdoch’s songs are featured in Away We Go which opens, fittingly, with All My Days, also the opening track from Time Without Consequence. The song has also been used in its entirety in the movie’s theatrical trailer, which is already creating a buzz about the film’s music.

Jars of Clay has quite an extensive history as a band. Believe it or not, it’s been 13 years since the two-time Grammy winners first emerged on the national stage with their big hit, Flood. You’ll want to check out the title song from their new digital EP, Closer.

Bruce Holmes sings with an easy comfort…as if he’s already been there and he doesn’t have anything left to prove. His lovely folk melodies accompany his simple messages of home and love and family…the stuff of life. He’s brought us 3 songs from his latest album, Life’s An Intelligence Test: Angels, Shine and We Were A Family, as well as the title track.

Tom Fox hails from the UK, and he’s one of those artists that leave you scratching your head and wondering, “Why don’t more people know about this guy?”. His stuff is far better than most of the junk cluttering up the radio airwaves these days. His melodies and arrangments are fresh and smart, and his vocals are impeccable. Really sweet grooves right out of the gate on every cut. You’ll find three of his songs here: Lady Lady, Replay and Through the Passing of the Years.

Charlie’s Root Fusion hails from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We were treated to an evening of their music recently and enjoyed their energy and superb chops as they presented their unique blend of Swamp Boogie, Chicago Blues, Memphis Blues and Rockabilly. We had a feeling you might enjoy some as well. Fortunately, they’ve given us their kind permission to share with you their tune, Hard-Pushin’ Papa.

Jeff Wofford is one of those renaissance men you hear about from time to time. Author, blogger, dad, game designer, seminary student…and yes, musician.

He wrote and produced a nice batch of songs some years back, and then set the whole thing aside to pursue other stuff that he felt was more important for the time being. Lucky for us, he’s still willing to share them with those who want to listen. We’ve posted “Londontown” and “Trouble” on this site and two others over on our sister site, ChristianMPFree.com. We’re betting that you’ll enjoy these. Great hooks, solid production and some interesting retro musical influences flowing throughout.

There’s no album to buy, no merch to push, no nothing. But, if you like these songs as much as we do, be sure to drop by Jeff’s web site and let him know. You’ll the downloads on our MP3 Music Downloads page.

Two new songs this time, from two energetic young bands:

Slippin Digits is based in Wooster, Ohio…and they’re serving up an angry modern rock breakup song they’ve titled “Salsa”, adorned with some tasty layered harmonies.

And from upstate New York, meet SKooBER, formed in late ’05 by Tawni Bates and Andrew Weaver. Their song, “Now What Do We Do?” offers a solid power-pop beat with a tip of the hat to 60s pop sensibilities. It’s a toe-tapper.

So…where is this free music of which we speak? On the Music page, of course! 🙂

You’re going to be very impressed with Olly Hite!

His musical stylings have been described as “David Gray meets Mozart”…and that seems as as fair a description as any to start.

From the south coast of England, Olly has played and composed since he was young.  He spent his high school years and early twenties playing in a piano rock band called Urban Swallow.  However, he has always written ballads, and after the independent film “Ordinary Monday” selected Olly to write the soundtrack in 2003, he decided to concentrate on writing and recording his own piano ballads, which eventually would become his first self-release “In Everyone”.  In the past 2 years, he also met Shelley Payne, who composed the string arrangements on his album.  Olly is looking to tour England and possibly the US in support of his new album.  He has a wife, Amy, and a young daughter, Willow Rose.

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