John-Marc Lucid: “Judas” ft. Fyah Sthar – breathes down-to-earth authenticity

Music is a very powerful and mystical force. It speaks to people on a much deeper level than conversation. It really reaches the soul. With his new track “Judas” ft. Fyah Sthar, John-Marc Lucid hits us with music that indeed does reach our souls, an intriguing melody, piercing lyrics and outstanding musicianship included. The new release by the Texas based Dancehall and Reggae artist is a joint venture with Fyah Sthar, and together they breathe down-to-earth authenticity, making for an airy, buoyant listening experience. Lucid is a creative mind that doesn’t bother about drawers or labels – his music explores

Innocent Bystanders: “Attractive Nuisance” – a roller coaster of emotion and excitement

Based in Kensington and Mission Hills, Innocent Bystanders was founded by musicians who played regularly in various bands in high school and college, who got together to form a band to play fundraising events for a local law school. They perform a wide-range of rock and soul, focused on the music of the 1960s and 1970s. The band is made up of Steve Berenson (Drums), Steve Semeraro (Electric Guitar, Vocals), Kaimi Wenger (Keyboards, Vocals), Jessica LaFave (Saxophone), Ben Nieberg (Acoustic Guitar, Vocals) Kath Rogers (Vocals) and Donny Samporna (Bass guitar). Their “Attractive Nuisance” EP of original music was recorded at

Roger Cole & Paul Barrere: “Let It Go” combines musical inspiration and travelling emotions

Meaningful lyrics, amazing songwriting, superb heart-warming yet angry sound, musical teamwork, everything is so perfect in this track. Such a gorgeous and refined melody and philosophical lyrics is worth being remembered for all of the current generation. The guitarist uses swampy resonating sound so beautifully and the drummer plays simple but tight groove, with every drum fill-in is on the sweet musical spots. The bassist backs up the music stably as the boys sing the vocals with conviction. This is one of my current desert Island #1’s in the Roger Cole & Paul Barrere catalog. Yes, the track “Let It

Markus Scott: “Live Life With No Regrets” – confidence is sky high on this project

Born in New York City, Markus Scott grew up in humble surroundings, and his family were always on the move resulting in him constantly transferring schools. He excelled at reading and writing poetry, before discovering that he could rap when he won a freestyle battle with a signed artist at a house party in Harlem. He soon learned to DJ too, and with his first check from summer youth, Markus went to a pawn shop and brought a laptop. He then brought a DAW, and microphone from Guitar Center and began researching how to mix and edit his vocals. He

Christopher Rapkin: “Focus In” – substance over style!

Composer, arranger, producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer. Christopher Rapkin is many things, including founding member of Digital Composers Guild, and a music industry consultant. During September Rapkin released his 10 track heavy guitar album, entitled “Focus In”. Listening to Rapkin on this album it also becomes clear that he could be known as a great guitar virtuoso and a perfectionist. Christopher is the guitarist who sings and he does it quite well, in my opinion even better than Steve Vai. Also he is a good composer, all of his albums are full of songs of different styles. So he’s the man

Ziggy: “Breathe” – music for a new generation of kids

Zachary Raul Reyes aka Ziggy was born in Arcadia, California, but spent a lot of time moving around since his dad was in military service, ending up in a town in Ohio called Middletown where he spent most of my elementary and high school career. Growing up, music was his life. At 13 he received his first guitar, as a gift from his mom. He took two lessons before teaching himself how to write tabs and understanding harmony. From there Reyes ventured into listening to Hip hop and metal before discovering Dubstep, which represented a complete change of direction. Suddenly

Lynne Taylor Donovan: “Sooner or Later” – a swirling pool of rich technique and tender ability

“Sooner or Later”, the new release by independent Canadian Country songstress, Lynne Taylor Donovan, is the third single from the Nashville sessions that produced her hugely successful Euro-UK #1 hit “Strong One” and the follow-up European #2 hit “Am I Dreaming”. The reigning queen of indie country music has a knack for finding a way into the hearts of her global fan base. “Sooner or Later” has a warm and deep intention, reflecting Donovan’s eloquent and versatile tidings, showcasing her country gravitas, and a swirling pool of rich technique and tender ability. A careful sensory indulgence is heard in the

Odd-Arne Jacobsen: “While I Was Crossing The Bridge” – a gift to the world

Musician, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire, Odd-Arne Jacobsen has worked with most of the leading artists in his home country of Norway, in both theatre and music, and has also presented his craft internationally. He has had his own television show in Russia, as well as a solo concert at the Moscow International Jazz Festival, and has toured the USA, Mexico, Russia, France, China, Kuwait, Scotland, and Japan. In 1990 he undertook a solo concert of his own compositions in New York, becoming the first Norwegian guitar player ever to hold a solo concert in Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Jennifer Hope Releases “My December” for Music for Relief’s One More Light Fund in memory of Chester Bennington

JENNIFER HOPE LAUNCHES DOWNLOAD TO DONATE FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN TO BENEFIT LINKIN PARK’S MUSIC FOR RELIEF CHARITY Singer-Songwriter Jennifer Hope, has released her cover version of Linkin Park’s “My December” to raise awareness, and contributions for Music for Relief’s One More Light Fund in memory of Chester Bennington. The track is available for download until October 27, 2017 at GoFundfMe. A one dollar donation is all that is required to receive a download code, but any additional amount is appreciated and your extended generosity can further help many in their time of need. All donations go to the charity through the

Jordan Everist: “Vacancy” – the perfect soundtrack for anything you can really think of doing

Jordan Everist is a creative from Portland, Oregon. His love of music began when he was 4, but really took off in his high school years. Since then he has been producing music professionally for short films, cartoons, and musicians. He also has had a series of personal projects, where he’s been able to express himself and develop his own voice. Besides music, Jordan has an interest in all things creative, which he shows through his other ventures, writing and animating cartoons, and developing video games. Odds are if you’re reading this review, you’ve heard of Everist’s music before. If

Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins and Symphony X bassist Mike LePond

New Jersey native, best known as bassist for progressive metal giants Symphony X, Mike LePond, now presents his first solo project ever: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, an onslaught of raw and true Heavy Metal in its purest form. His debut self-titled release is a full hour of head-banging riffs, kick ass vocals and epic tales. It is an album that draws influences from the classic heavy bands of the 1980s, all the way to the Viking/Folk metal of today. It was made for metalheads, by metalheads  – a celebration of the power and glory of that which we call…Heavy Metal!

Mike LePond

Mike LePond

How did you come up with the concept and the songs for your debut project; was it all written over a long time, or did you decide upon an idea and then write the music as you went along?

Mike LePond: Throughout my career I had compiled a bunch of random music and lyrics. Over the next 2 years, I matched the lyrics to the music like a jigsaw puzzle. Once all the songs were written, then I began to think about the concept, artwork, etc.

As one of the best rock bass players in the world, do you find that song writing comes naturally to you, or do you consider yourself a musician first, and the writing came about later?

Mike LePond: I always considered myself a songwriter as well as a musician. Since I’ve been a member of Symphony X I haven’t written that much but when it came time to do the solo album, my songwriting skills came right back.

You’ve got some very close friends involved in your recent projects – do you find it’s much easier to perform and to put tracks together with musicians you already have personal relationship with; or do you sometimes seek out that air of freshness that can come from jamming with new musicians?

Mike LePond: I think working with familiar faces and outsiders both have their advantages. Working with Symphony X for 15 years is a comfort zone. I know all the styles my guitarist likes to use and it’s easy to work with. On the other hand, working with other musicians keeps my mind and chops very fresh.

Do you plan to still perform with and be a part of Symphony X even if your solo projects become consolidated adventures?

Mike LePond: No matter how big my solo project gets, I will always be a member of Symphony X.

You’ve played on a lot of different projects during your career – is there anyone you’d love to work with at some point?

Mike LePond: I have done many projects when Symphony X is off the road. There are so many amazing musicians out there these days. I think my dream would be to work with Ritchie Blackmore on some medieval music. He is my favorite guitar player.

Is there any other genre you haven’t yet experimented with that you’d like to explore at some point down the line?

Mike LePond: I have always loved Renaissance/Celtic music. I have incorporated this style into parts of my solo album. It might be nice at some point to collaborate with someone on a whole album in this style. Perhaps with Ritchie Blackmore, hahaha.

Mike LePond

Mike LePond

“Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins” was released through a crowdfunding Project, where the fans contributed for a physical version of album. How was that experience? Due to the low sales of discs that the music business lives would that be an option for the future?

Mike LePond: Crowdfuding was a really great experience for me. These days when record labels are going out of business, I think this a great way for a band to achieve its goals. So it’s the fans now who can in essence become the new record company.

In “Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins” beyond the bass guitar you also recorded the guitars, with Symphony X teammate Michael Romeo, and Metal Mike (Halford, former Sebastian Bach, ex-Testament). How did the idea to invite these axe men for the record come about?

Mike LePond: When it came to the lead guitar playing, I wanted to have the best players I could get in the area where I live. Metal Mike is a close friend and I actually played on his solo CD so he was happy to help. Romeo’s style complimented his style rather nicely.

Also how did the choice of vocalist Alan Tecchio (Hades , former Seven Witches, Watchtower former) come about, and why use programmed drums on the album, could you not find a suitable drummer?

Mike LePond: Alan had the power and melodic ability that I needed. He is a dear close friend. He loved what I was doing and he did an incredible job. I asked Romeo to program drums because of the project’s budget and time issues.

The sound of Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins is so different from your band, Symphony X. it’s more classic metal. How did come the ideas for it?

Mike LePond: Most of the music I write is in the traditional and classic metal styles so the CD was very easy to put together. I wanted to make an 80s style metal album but with orchestration that is used in the modern day. This would create a new and fresh sound.

Who or what was it that originally inspired you to play a musical instrument and what’s your favorite track to perform live?

Mike LePond: At age 13 my dad took me to see KISS. I was so captivated by Gene Simmons that from that day on I wanted to be a rock star. The song that I love to perform live is always changing. As of now my favorite is a track is called “In my Darkest Hour”.

Can you offer any words of wisdom or advice to upcoming musicians and bands who are just starting out, and struggling to reach the wider audiences they dream of?

Mike LePond: The best advice I can give any new band is to keep writing, keep performing and perfecting your craft. Record companies are going out of business left and right so you have to carve your own path. Use social media and crowdfunding sites as much as possible.

You’re recording a brand new album in the very near future – what can we expect from this, and how will it differ from the debut release?

Mike LePond: I am in the process of recording my solo album called second “Pawn and Prophecy”. This album will be in the exact same style as the first one. The title track will be a 21 minute epic. The lead singer will be Alan Tecchio once more.

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