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Category Archives: indie folk

Re-introducing Daniel hales, and the frost heaves and their new release Contrariwise

Hello friends, I hope that the new year has found you all well and managing to keep warm if you have been affected by the polar vortex.  I apologize for my extended absence. I have been rather busy with my own musical endeavors and certain things have been neglected.  This blog being one of those things.  However, I promise to get back into the swing of things and get new, local, undiscovered talent your way. That being said let’s get to it……….

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Back in December 2012 I introduced you to Daniel Hales and the frost heaves from Massachusetts.  Well, they have been busy working on a new release and it is here that we pick up their story.  They ran a successful crowd funding campaign to help bring their latest project to fruition.

This project was to take the poetry of Lewis Carroll and set it to music.  This is a fitting marriage of the arts as Lewis Carroll was known for his word play, fantasy and literary nonsense long before our own beloved Dr. Suess.  Daniel Hales and the frost heaves are musically eclectic with smart lyricism so it works. Their latest release “Contrariwise” consists of the poems of Lewis Carroll’s from” Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” as well as “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There”.  The title song combines both verse from Carroll with the chorus by Daniel Hales and  “(Push them into the) Wishing Well” is drawn strictly from Hales himself. I guess you could say it hails from Hales.

The adventure begins with “Jabberwocky” and continues on from there telling a story along the way.  The music is seamlessly fused into the writings of Carroll and it all makes sense. Well, as much sense as a Lewis Carroll poem can.  The tone of the poem sets the tone for the music going from excited (Jabberwocky) gentle (A Secret Kept) firm (Speak Roughly) and so on.

One of my favorites in “Contrariwise” is the title song itself.  The chorus reflects upon doing different tasks “peek past the scenery”, “pet the Cheshire Cat” but if you are to do any of these things do it “contrary, contrariwise”.  The poems set to music keep you as the listener engaged.  Daniel Hales and the frost heaves know when to turn it up a little and when to lull you further into the story.  “(Push them into the) Wishing Well” provides a nice little reprieve from the absurdity of Carroll’s words but let’s not get carried away, we are on a journey here and the lyrics while modern still maintain some absurdity to them.  Because the whole concept is brilliant “it’s time to surprise them, push them in and baptize them, it’s time to surprise them, push them into the wishing well”.

The journey begins to wrap up with “Queen Alice” and ends with “But a Dream”.  The last song is ethereal and you feel as if you may be waking up from an unsuspecting nap under the summer sky. You feel groggy, confused, and refreshed all at the same time.  You stretch and contemplate your next journey.  I hope that some of you out there will be willing to take this particular journey as it is worthwhile.

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To buy the album or find out more about Daniel hales and the frost heaves check out their website

www.thefrostheaves.com 

There is a little Alice in Wonderland visual surprise if you hurry there. Just beware of the Jabberwock.  

Find some videos of them on you tube as well.

The frost heaves are: James Lowe: bass , Ivan Ussach: drums & percussion and Anna Wetherby: viola

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50 States of Talent continues in The Empire State with Chris J. Connolly

This installment in the 50 States of Talent comes to us from The Empire State.  Though originally from Staffordshire, UK long distance love brought Chris to the US.  Love is what is bound to happen when you give this guy a thorough listen.CHirsC

In the UK, Chris got his start as a teen playing drums in a harder Joy Division- esqe alternative band that is still around.  However, Chris has a softer side and began writing songs while still in his teens.  This softer side is evident in his music.  The songs and vocals are artistically intricate and simple at the same time.  I get a Thom Yorke and Vance Joy feel vocally.

Most of Chris’ music is strictly acoustic but is easily transferable to a full band.  Don’t let the term acoustic fool you.  There is an edge and a crisp rawness in his guitar playing when he needs it to accent his lyrics, so perhaps unplugged may be a better description.

On his self released ep aptly titled EPII Chris offers up an array of tasty compositions.  One of my favorites would be the opening track “Black Swan”. This song opens the door to what awaits you on the rest of the release and has catchy phrasing. Musically it plays with both his edgier and softer acoustic sides. In the softer acoustic songs Chris explores his innermost thoughts.  He translates those feelings into beautiful songs like “American Accent”, “Ferry to Rosslare” and “Colder”.    While many of the songs are acoustically driven Chris gives you a taste of what the possibilities are when he gets a band behind him on “Beaten Up Road” and “Fight At the End”.  While not available for purchase on ITunes, Chris will gladly send out upon request his EP. I EP11highly recommend this.  However, there is a single available for purchase on ITunes it is called Factory just search Chris Connolly to find it  or click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/factory-single/id570747201

Chris has a lovely website (https://chrisjconnolly.bandpage.com/ )  with links to Facebook and SoundCloud pages Included on the website are lots of fun doodles and thought-provoking photos and his songs , which I encourage you to share with your friends.  He has made sharing easy thru Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Chris also has a few videos if you would like to watch him though they are relatively generic.  He also has some performance videos on YouTube.

Give this guy a listen. If you are in Long Island and see him playing at a local coffee shop stop in, say “hi” grab a cup and enjoy the music.

Happy listening!!

-NotHaydn

 

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50 States of Talent brings me back to Michigan for Dog & Panther

dog and pantherThis week I found myself back in Michigan, north of Detroit to be geographically specific. I had the pleasure of having a chat with John Katona of Dog & Panther. They are truly a gem. Dog & Panther do not self promote, play shows (except for one) and they carry no aspirations of rock stardom. They create music for the absolute pleasure that it gives them and they are generous enough to share this pleasure with us.

Dog & Panther started for fun when John and Ian Sigmon were making some music for the short films they had been creating. They showed their project to their friends and the music took center stage. However, one of their friends wasn’t too impressed with John and Ian’s singing abilities so he asked if he could give it a go. Enter Ben Vrazo on vocals. The three continued to hang out making music and before they knew it they had enough material to put together an album. They released “What Happened” three years ago and it got such a good response from friends that they just kept making music. They followed “What Happened” with a single called “Giant Hands”. Watch the making of Giant Hands here:http://youtu.be/2gYe4twqz2Q

Dog & Panther take their time calling themselves a band. All of the sounds they create come from their surroundings as well as traditional instruments. This is one of the reasons they don’t play shows at the local club. There is such complexity in the structure of the songs that recreating this in a live situation requires much preparation and many extra hands. If you check them out on YouTube you will find their video clips and see them collecting and creating sounds in various aisles in the supermarket. http://youtu.be/u6w74q9nc3s

Their sound is easily compared to Bon Iver, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, lyrically I can even see a similarity with Minus the Bear. Even with all these comparisons their sound is still their own. Watching the few videos of them creating their sounds and the artwork that graces their albums you can easily sense that they possess a maturity and a depth that a lot of local musicians do not.

Their latest release titled “Our Bodies” was released earlier this year. It follows the same formula D&P cd cover. The sounds are at times haunting and ethereal, drawing you as the listener in. The pauses give you time to catch your breath before you dive in for more. The sounds move you, the lyrics touch you and the phrasing adds additional subtleties to the already complex instrumentation.

While they are not big on self promotion they are easily found on YouTube for a few videos. They do have a Facebook page that I suggest checking out and they are available to listen to on SoundCloud or Bandcamp All of these links are easily followed from the webpage they created to link it all together http://dogandpanther.com/ Don’t expect to find too much personal info on these guys. They tend to remain a bit of a mystery and that kinda adds to the quality of the sound because it isn’t about them it is about the music.

They can also be found on ITunes if you want to add them to your library.

Happy listening!

-NotHaydn

 

 

 

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Tony Tedesco & Full Fathom 5

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Tony Tedesco & Full Fathom 5 waste no time getting to the point of things musically. They mix acoustic folk and bluegrass along with lyrics best suited to country music storytelling.

The music is generally soft and gentle compared to Tony’s gruff vocals. His voice is well-travelled like many good story tellers. His ability to deliver his lyrics in a delicate manner is a pleasure to listen to.

The music makes a great backdrop for sailors of old or a dusty saloon in Deadwood. It works on many different levels for the blue-collar guy. This is working mans music. In today’s world of digital beats and fresh faced singer songwriters it is refreshing to see and hear someone who actually has been around the block once or twice.

Tony (guitar and vocals) backs himself with a motley bunch called Full Fathom 5 (Gorgo Beach- mandolin, Sean David Cunningham- violin, Audrey Kate Geiger- vocals, Matthew Lott- accordion, tenor sax, toy piano, Mike Noordzy- upright, contra alto clarinet, Michael Scotto – drums). A talented group of musicians who provide the backdrop for Tony’s lyrics. Audrey’s vocal add an old fashioned charm to the whole sound.

Just listening to music I am reminded of Dan Zanes and the music that he puts out and the “off the beaten path” vibe that he conveys. It is all here on the debut album by Tony Tedesco & Full Fathom 5 available for download here: http://tonytedesco.bandcamp.com/ Download the whole album or just your favorite song or two. Lyrics are provided so you can easily read along and perhaps find your own meaning to the song.

After listening to the debut album a few times through I find it hard to believe that this is unsigned talent. The music is enjoyable and earthy. It is sure to leave you with a full belly feeling.

Give him a listen, give your ears something refreshing to relax to.

-NotHaydn

 

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Follow up on the 51st State and Stuart Newman

As I promised, a follow up is in order. What better way to get through the summer than with some new music?avatars-000035976694-ivu6s9-t200x200 Especially some music from an artist that provides some nice mellow rock perfect for sitting around the campfire or hanging on the porch with friends enjoying some summer cocktails.

Stuart provides just such a back drop with his new single “The Whiskey”. Reminiscent of some XTC and Love and Rockets this single just starts, wham- vocals. I actually thought I may have missed something the way vocals are looped on the intro. Those first few seconds threw me but once I got into the song and the lyrics all was good. There is a lot going on in the lyrics and that is what I like about Stuart and his style.

The song contains some memorable lyrics, and is catchy enough to find yourself humming along to or in my case singing along to. “Every man’s castle needs a moat” is one such phrase that sticks with you. Overall, this song is built with a solid foundation and is lyrically smart. If you are one who likes to delve into a song and the lyrics than this song will satisfy your cranial needs. Stuart is definitely an artist to keep your eyes and ears on if mellower rock is your thing. I look forward to more from Stuart in the coming months and will keep you updated on his progress.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer and why not add some Stuart Newman to your summer music rotation?

Here is a link to make it easy for you https://soundcloud.com/stuarttnewman

And if you haven’t already done so check out some of his other tracks, you will find some Radiohead influence, intelligent songwriting and pleasantly mellow guitars.

There are also some videos and such out there if you want to see Stuart in action. I believe I found a few previously with a quick google search.

Enjoy!!!!

– NotHaydn

 

 

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Follow up on Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves

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So you liked what Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves had to offer?  A Travelling Wilbury’s motley sort of bunch that wants nothing more to deliver a good time to all even those of you who feel rhythmically challenged. Their folksy alternative sound, their artistically smart lyrics, Daniel’s soul patch?

If you liked all of that or are just into supporting local acts then let’s give them a hand.  They are currently working on a third release. And if you are like me, can’t wait to see just exactly what they are up to.  Then let’s help them reach their goal.  Throw them a few bucks if ya can. If you would like to help them on their latest recording endeavor follow this link.  They will be grateful for your support as all the local guys I feature are.

 

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/contrariwise-songs-from-alice-in-wonderland-through-the-looking-glass

 

 

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50 States of Talent continues next week with……..

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Now really, would I give it away that easily?  Of course not.  Let’s just say I found some good stuff while travelling about Washington State.

Now to sort them all out and get something for your ears to feast on next week.

If you like adult alternative that puts a pep in your step you won’t want to miss this weeks installment.

As always, if you know a local unsigned band that is a favorite of yours, let me know.  Lets make them a favorite of the unlocals.

 

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