Art of the Song / Standing "O" Podcast (general)

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is Canadian singer/songwriter Terra Lightfoot.

“a roots rocker with a powerful voice and a bad-ass Gibson SG that she plays with consummate ease… she could be your new rock ‘n’ roll hero. Drawing from rock, soul and blues, [Terra Lightfoot] is a monster talent that will be gracing the world’s largest festival stages in no time.” – PopMatters

With New Mistakes, Canada’s Terra Lightfoot offers up something rare: the kind of genuine document that can only come from a road-tested breed of songwriter and performer. Shot through with the guitarist-vocalist’s powerful, bluesy soul, vivid lyrics and ferocious six-string virtuosity, it’s an unforgettable outing.

From the ground-shaking stomp of “Paradise” and wild-eyed energy of “Pinball King” that open the set to the psychedelic, gospel-tinged album closer “Lonesome Eyes,” the steeltown native’s third record distills her masterful talent to its electrifying essence. 

Produced by Gus van Go and Werner F (Arkells, Sam Roberts Band, Wintersleep), New Mistakes is a heady journey. As poignant as it is rollicking and vulnerable as it is rowdy, it cruises long and sometimes lonesome highways that lead everywhere from brokedown dive bars and endless prairie skies to mountain ranges and the Mojave Desert.

Built around Lightfoot’s killer live band — Maury LaFoy (bass), Joel Haynes (drums) and Jeff Heisholt (keyboards) — the session impresses on all counts. It’s Lightfoot’s hungriest and most raw album to date, able to mesmerize with graceful melodies one moment, and step into the ring to deliver a hurricane of hooks or a heart-wrenching chorus the next. Lifted by bright waves of organ and classic roots-rock vibe, “Ruthless” nails that lethal dynamic, slowly building a story of deep connection fraught by distance, until letting loose its knockout crescendo.
 
Lightfoot’s stunning, soulful voice powers her emotional wallops, laid low as a gentle whisper over the swirling finger-picking of “You Get High,” or belted out with nuclear swagger over the rock ’n’ soul grooves of “Hold You,” battling things out with a righteous Jake Clemons sax solo during its climax.
 
And the only forces that can go toe-to-toe with Lightfoot’s vocal prowess are her guitar chops. “Slick Back Kid” is a bluesy scorcher, barreling forward with monster riffs, dappled with hits of slide guitar work from guest vocalist Oliver Wood. “Stars Over Dakota” lays down blistering ‘70s grooves between feral blasts of overdrive as Lightfoot howls across the American midwest to someone she can’t stop thinking about. “Drifter” reflects on love long past, with her emotive guitar playing saying what the lyrics cannot.
 
That’s not to say she’s a tentative wordsmith. Lightfoot’s evolution into a potent songwriter might be captured best on the poignant “Norma Gale”. The tune tells the real life story of its namesake’s battle to make it as a songwriter and bass player in the colourful world of ‘70s country music, fighting to pursue her passion while raising her son alone and touring non-stop. It’s easy to hear why Gale’s story would resonate with Lightfoot: As tried and true road-dogs, they’re kindred spirits, both driven by a creative force they’d be willing to let tear them apart if it had to. And sometimes it does. But, as Lightfoot wails in the song’s transcendent finish—though the trek so far has been long and treacherous, and isn’t likely to let up—“I knew I had to keep on going.” That’s how she got here, after all.
 
It’s Lightfoot’s relentless commitment to the cause that made this album possible: racking up endless, hard-earned miles, forging and letting go of relationships, and seeking out every sliver of truth in a life on the road that is anything but easy to navigate. It’s an odyssey without a map to guide the way, filled with infinite missteps. But if they all sound as wild and beautiful as this, let’s hope Terra Lightfoot never stops making New Mistakes.

http://terralightfoot.com 

https://www.standingoproject.com/interview/terra-lightfoot-podcast/

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

Direct download: Terra_Lightfoot_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am MDT

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is Lee Harvey Osmond.

"Allow us to draw attention to the new slab by the eminent and hirsute Steeltown reprobate, Lee Harvey Osmond, aka Tom Wilson aka one of three Rodeo Kings, aka that large, melodic growling man from the former Junkhouse.

Beautiful Scars is the third solo album from Tom Wilson’s Lee Harvey Osmond and follows two albums, A Quiet Evil and The Folk Sinner which were previously longlisted for the Polaris Prize and nominated for a Juno. In addition to releasing another album, Tom Wilson has recently signed a deal with Random House for the publishing of his first book. Lee Harvey Osmond heads for Canada’s West Coast for a string of dates with Colin James beginning on March 24.

Produced by Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) in the intimacy of his Toronto Roncesvalle studio, the humanity of the album is like the warmth of blood that rushes to the cut: a sudden alive jolt in the middle of peril and uncertainty; a suspension of possibility that anything can happen next. Redolent with swooning horns and guitars that bob and weave, Lee Harvey Osmond’s voice - forever the hallmark of his sound which spans over three decades of work - sounds, here, like a warm hand to the forehead, an arm on the arm of the stricken, a comforting growl at the heart of a screaming world. At once evoking Howlin’ Wolf, Mike Scott and Roy Loney, Beautiful Scars bends and twists and stretches and squeezes Lee Harvey Osmond’s deep baritone - the producer treating it as if caged in a transistor radio, bathed in echo from above, or sunk in the muck of distortion.

The strength of the songs notwithstanding, Beautiful Scars is a fascinating vocal journey to rank among the great sonic Canadian records of our time. Through the truncheon swing of “Loser For Your Love” to the haunting balladry of “Come And Go” to the morose beauty of “How Does It Feel” to the exotic fusion of the album’s penultimate track, “Black Spruce,” Beautiful Scars journeys between the quiet, smouldering, raging, moving, and sad. Lyrically, Lee Harvey Osmond reflects on the mistakes of the singer’s past with the resigned perspective of someone coming through the other side.

A song like “Hey, Hey, Hey”, featuring a thrilling slide guitar piece by Aaron Goldstein (Elliot BROOD, City And Colour, Cowboy Junkies) describes two lovers caught in the throes of personal despair, their “dreams turned to rust,” their lives waiting until “the morning comes and sweeps us both away.” Lee Harvey Osmond sings: “The world is fucked up. And so are you and I.” It defines an album, and a songwriter, bereft of any choices other than to keep moving for fear of sinking into the mire of a dark past."

http://leeharveyosmond.com 

https://www.standingoproject.com/artist/leeharveyosmond/ 

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

Direct download: Lee_Harvey_Osmond_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is San Francisco based singer/songwriter Scott Mickelson.

Through a career that spanned five full-length releases with his band Fat Opie, a struggle with a long-term illness and a career as a fine artist, Scott Mickelson has persevered. Now, with his debut solo release Mickelson Flickering, he delivers his most critically acclaimed work. Mickelson is singing the stories of those living their lives in contemporary America, as fragmented as it is. Flickering is on the 2015 Grammy Ballot in two categories, “Best Folk Album” and “Best Roots Music Performance”. 

Appearances include NPR Radio, Jimmy Lloyd Show (NBC), Huffington Post, CBS Morning Show, Glide Magazine, PopMatters, TheBayBridged, Alternative Press Magazine and a Folk Alliance Showcase. Other accolades include winning a national band search sponsored by MTV/7-Up with a prize of $15,000 and a song in the feature film Along The Way. When not touring, Mickelson produces artists from his Bay Area studio.

Mickelson has opened for acts that include Matt Nathanson, Larry Campbell (Grammy producer), Jim Lauderdale (Grammy artist), Griffin House, Nick Lowe, Dr. John, Smashmouth, Jonathan Richman, Peter Case andRob Hotchkiss (Grammy artist).

http://www.mickelsonmusic.com

https://www.standingoproject.com/artist/mickelson/ 

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

Direct download: Scott_Mickelson_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am MDT

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is New Mexico based singer/songwriter Russell James Pyle.

Russell James Pyle was born into a Pennsylvanian family steeped in musical tradition. With parents who were a trumpet player and classical pianist, respectively, and a grandfather who commanded big bands with his horn during the 1940s and 50s, the groundwork for a career in music was laid. He was playing piano by age six, trumpet by age ten, before settling into the guitar after he found his great-grandfather’s broken ukulele in the attic, repaired it with fishing line, and plucked out a major scale. Songwriting followed at age 14, and those songs were horrible. He immersed himself in the punk and hardcore scenes of Richmond, VA and Lancaster, PA, playing in a myriad of different bands that were pretty awful. Towards the end of high school, Russell discovered traditional singer-songwriters and began almost a decade of honing his songwriting skills.
 
Russell migrated to Albuquerque, New Mexico when he was 26, and quickly formed The Porter Draw and it was with this band that Russell gained experience and sharpened his abilities. The Porter Draw was in a lot of ways an amalgam of Russell’s influences: the punk energy of his youth mixed in equal parts with the country songwriters he fell in love with in his early 20s. “Punk and hardcore really speak to the anger that comes along with adolescence, country music relates to the existentialism of adulthood,” Russell remarked in a radio interview in 2013. After releasing five albums with The Porter Draw, Russell and the band parted ways in April, 2016. 
 
In May, 2016, Russell released his debut solo album, “Rise”. Backed by a talented young lineup of Albuquerque musicians, Rise creates the sound of the desert where it was born. Influenced as much by Brian Eno and U2 as by Texas troubadours, Rise creates an uplifting mood amidst honest songs about struggle. Delivered in a trademark vibrato rasp and accompanied by an ethereal folk soundtrack, Russell's songs are poems and calls to action.
 
In September 2016, Russell was selected by the National Parks Arts Foundation as the centennial artist-in-resident at Big Bend National Park. Russell is passionate about our national park service and the outdoors in general and this shows throughout his music and social media presence. “I can relate to struggle more than any other experience. There is a lot of struggle in the natural world and I draw inspiration, hope and healing from it,” Russell stated in an interview in 2016. Not only drawn to environmental activism, Russell incorporates principles of ecopsychology, or healing mental health through interaction with nature into his songwriting. Russell has done extensive academic work on ecopsychology and ecowellness and continues to write about the topic on his blog, The River’s Bend.
 
Russell is an avid outdoors enthusiast and tours the country living out of his 2005 Honda Element. Between shows he is often found exploring streams with his fly rod, or hiking trails. He released a new EP, Seasons in December, 2016.
 
 

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

Direct download: Russell_James_Pyle_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:45pm MDT

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is pop singer/songwriter Noah Parker.

With a powerful creative vision and unique sound, Noah Parker will soon become a leading force on the contemporary pop landscape. Songs like the kinetic pop of “Fight The Feeling” and the effortlessly romantic “Tomorrow’s Too Late” display the singer-songwriter’s natural gift for melodic style and emotive energy, synthesizing classic songcraft, studio invention, and timeless pop smarts.

https://www.noahparkermusic.com

https://www.standingoproject.com/interview/noah-parker-podcast/

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

 

Direct download: Noah_Parker_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm MDT

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is Los Angeles-based artist Reverend Shawn Amos.

The Reverend Shawn Amos is a Los Angeles-based, chart-toping bluesman ready to turn any venue into a 1960s' Chicago blues club. His foot-stomping, harp-wailing performances, like tent revivals of yore, energize the faithful, and convert the wayward to the Rev's message of booty-shakin', deeply joyful blues.

The Rev came up in the 1970s Los Angeles, at the feet of musical legends like Marvin Gaye and Quincy Jones, as well as all manner of Hollywood street folk. The son go music agent-turned entrepreneur, Wally "Famous" Amos, and R&B nightclub singer, Shirlee May, Shawn found music early, and has worked within it his entire adult life. His rich career as a producer includes overseeing new music and retrospectives from R&B blues legends Solomon Burke, John Lee Hooker, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and scores of other legacy acts.

http://www.shawnamos.com 

https://www.standingoproject.com/interview/rev-shawn-amos-podcast/

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

Direct download: Rev_Shawn_Amos_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:15pm MDT

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Mid-Week Coffee Break is Standing 'O' singer/songwriter/storyteller extraordinaire Kray Van Kirk.

Kray Van Kirk is a singer-songwriter delivering performances that the Borderline Folk Club in New York called "...what every singer-songwriter should aspire to." At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where many shows receive only a handful of audience members due to the sheer volume of available performances, his room was sold out, leaving folks sitting on the stairs and a Fringe reviewer to write "the Alaskan singer-songwriter, in his Edinburgh debut, was not the reason I arrived early, but certainly why I stayed late".

Kray walked away from his first stint in graduate school to tour and live in his van, booking shows from pay phones on the side of the road in the early 1990's. He had two self-released albums, "The Captain and the Lady' and 'Contrary Visions', when he stopped touring for a number of years when he found himself a single parent - he went back to graduate school, got his PhD, and settled down to hold the day job and raise his daughter. He continued to refine his songwriting and fly out to play shows when possible.

After two decades in remote Alaska, he recently relocated to northern California to concentrate on writing and playing music. All of his songs wait patiently on his website, ready to march their way across the world like little digital penguins, leaving no footprints in the snow.

https://www.standingoproject.com/artist/kray-van-kirk/ 

https://www.krayvankirk.com 

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

Direct download: Kray_Van_Kirk_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:32pm MDT

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Mid-Week Coffee Break is Los Angeles-based badass singer/songwriter Ali Handal.

Moved early on by wise and resilient women, singer/songwriter Ali Handal wore out the Tapestry album. As a cat-obsessed six-year-old (some things never change), Ali honored her initial musical heroine by naming her very first kitten “Carole.” Over the years, the sweet melodies and lyrics penned by musical sages King, Dylan, Lennon and McCartney captivated her. She had an epiphany when, as a teenager, she heard Led Zeppelin for the first time. Completely mesmerized by Jimmy Page’s seductive guitar riffs, Ali quit her piano lessons to pick up the guitar.

Now based in Los Angeles, Ali unleashes sultry, groove-filled songs upon live audiences, setting the stage ablaze with fiery guitar passages and soulful lyrics delivered by her powerhouse voice. She holds her own among the ranks of fierce female performing songwriters like ani difranco and formidable guitarists such as Jimmy Page. Music Connection magazine describes her as “earthy, natural, real and loaded with talent…a singer/songwriter with something to say… a gifted artist who brings insight and intelligence to her art.” When asked about her music and stage presence, fans simply say “badass.”

Ali’s songs have been featured in numerous films and hit shows like Sex and the City, Dawson’s Creek and iCarly. She’s toured Australia, Japan and beyond, provided backing vocals for Neil Young, and shared the stage with songwriting legend Paul Williams as his featured vocalist. Also a published author, Ali penned Guitar for Girls (Hal Leonard), an exceptional guitar method book & CD brimming with advice for aspiring female musicians, as well as encouraging quotes and remarkable songs from female songwriters in all genres.

Ali's fourth full-length album, released by Red Parlor Records, is a collection of songs embodying the strength and sense of humor necessary to thrive as a woman in the 21st century. Cheeky songs like “I Love My Pussy.cat” and “Thank God For Birth Control” tap into her natural sass, while others, including “You Get What You Settle For” and “Better Man,” are chock full of an older sister’s tough love and the wisdom Ali has gained as she’s evolved as an artist and a woman.

https://www.standingoproject.com/artist/ali-handal/ 

http://alihandal.com 

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

 

Direct download: Ali_Handal_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am MDT

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is Austin-based band Band of Heathens who just released their album Duende.

Duende, the title of The Band of Heathens’ fifth studio album (and eighth overall), marks their tenth anniversary as a group, and it certainly applies to its overall theme about the collective search for connection and communion in a technology-fueled world increasingly splintered, distracted and lonely. As band co-founder Ed Jurdi, who first learned of the term, explains, “It’s the essence of the artist,” or as partner Gordy Quist says, “It’s a word we don’t have an equivalent for in English, Artistically, that’s where we tried to set the bar, to do what this band does best.”

Indeed, Duende lives up to those high ideals, a stylistically diverse effort that takes a leap beyond their last, more acoustic, introspective effort, 2013’s Sunday Morning Record, with an eclectic batch of material that shows where The Band of Heathens has been, but more importantly, where they are going.

There are high-energy rockers like the Keith Richards-Chuck Berry guitars and barrelhouse piano in “Trouble Came Early” as well as the Grateful Dead-by-way-of J.J. Cale Oklahoma boogie in “Keys to the Kingdom,” The Band-meets-New Orleans honky-tonk blues of “Sugar Queen,” the British Invasion harmonies laced through “Deep Is Love,” the south-of-the-border flavor of “Road Dust Wheels” and the New Riders pedal steel country twang of “Green Grass of California,” an ode to the more potent strains of sensimilla on the dispensary shelf and a fervent plea to “legalize it.” Duende also touches on some of The Band of Heathens’ favorite topics, from the sacrifices of a life lived on the road (“All I’m Asking”) to the limits of materialism (“Keys to the Kingdom”), social media absorption (“Cracking the Code”), and a moving depiction of Mexican immigration in an age of increased discrimination (“Road Dust Wheels”).

 

https://www.bandofheathens.com

https://www.standingoproject.com/interview/band-of-heathens-podcast/

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

 

Direct download: Band_of_Heathens_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:19pm MDT

Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is singer/songwriter Kimberly Haynes who just released her album Awaken Me: Songs from the Heart of a Seeker. Accompanying her is her producer & talented musician himself Vito Gregoli

 

Kindled by an awareness of divine guidance and conscious connection with spirit, singer/songwriter Kimberly Haynes’ debut album “Awaken Me,” brings forth an uplifting invitation to discover a sacred space deep within the heart. The spectrum of her eclectic and enlightening vocal performance evokes both the tenderness of a mother’s touch and the ancient feminine power of a tribal priestess singing her truth. The essence of New Age is felt within the harmonious dance between world music, folk, soft pop and Americana in this masterful production of 11 devotional songs cultivated by accomplished producer and multi-instrumentalist David Vito Gregoli.


While the style and feel of the songs reflect Kimberly’s greatest musical influences such as Shawn Colvin, Joni Mitchell, Alison Krauss and Sarah Mc Lachlan, her music harmoniously weaves inspirational heart-felt lyrics into a rich tapestry of world instruments to create poetic reflections born of a life of tremendous trials and blessed tribulations. “Having risen from my own ashes multiple times, it is my mission to carry music of the heart into the world. My life and my music are richer and deeper than they would have been without the challenges I have overcome, and my songs are a reflection of my journey to wholeness” she conveys.

https://www.standingoproject.com/artist/kimberlyhaynes/ 

http://www.musicmedicinewoman.com

https://www.standingoproject.com/artist/davidvitogregoli 

http://www.dharmapalarecords.com 

The STANDING 'O' PROJECT is about fair trade music streaming--excellent musicians and exceptional fans taking over the music business. You're invited to find good, new, non-commercial music in a venue that lets musicians have an actual revenue stream. Come and connect with artists on a whole new level. Support musicians with an unheard of 50/50 split of proceeds. And gain access to rare music, video and interview content. You can be part of this revolutionary community and matter to the music at www.standingoproject.com

Direct download: Kimberly_Haynes_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57pm MDT