J.Dot & KD: “To Whom It May Concern” – Low on frills and rich with introspection!

I noticed that J.Dot makes his best music when he’s rapping about being a responsible man, or when he’s creating something with substance and meaning, as opposed to trying to make contemporary radio hits or battle rhymes (although he is an excellent wordsmith).  This is mostly what happens on his 4 track EP, “To Whom It May Concern”, that narrates the evolution of relationships in its various forms. To put it all in perspective, this sounds like a powerful and mature work. Something tells me J.Dot experienced things that impacted him over the past years and this album is bred

Jack Soundfield: “Shine” – You can dig deep or soar to the shore

By profession Jack Soundfield is an engineer who has travelled around the world. He has lived in Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Besides uncovering the secrets of the globe Jack has a passion for music and experimenting with instruments and sounds.  “Before publishing a song, it is mine alone,” says Soundfield. “After publishing it, anyone can listen to it and decide whether to identify with it, or love it, or both.” Jack, who has been composing music since 2009, recently released his debut album, entitled “Shine”. “I have to admit,” explained Soundfield, “that my girlfriend – a solfège teacher of the

G.H. Hat: “Piano Jam 2 (Ode To Kygo)” – an authentic human expression

Modern acceptance, or lack there of, in electronic music hardly comes as a surprise. Just look back through the history of music and how the 17th century technology spread. Musicians no longer had to master a particular bow technique on the violin or cello in order to play the perfect note – They just had to press a key. Can you imagine the horror of the purists at the time? They probably all thought that the piano was destroying the soul of the music. What it did though was simplify things. It reduced what was really essential and human. People

JaVez: “When I Was Uptown” has the power to captivate audiences

JaVez is a 23 year old Maryland recording artist who sings, raps, produces, and mixes his own music. The self-taught Baltimore area artist has a penchant for Kanye West, Usher, Jay Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chris Brown. He also grew up listening to singers like Brian McKnight and R. Kelly. JaVez plans to one day be a successful CEO of a record label and iconic recording artist. JaVez is the true definition of an artist, he isn’t afraid to be himself and put himself out there. The lyrics alone prove that. Add in some fantastic production and the

HR Live At CBGB’s 1984 – an essential part of alternative music and punk culture

HR is most well known as the lead singer of revolutionary reggae punk rock band Bad Brains. In their day Bad Brains could have been easily mentioned in the same breath as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, such was their greatness. Yet the band has evolved many times in its long history, playing across many genres of music including jazz, hardcore punk, alternative rock and reggae. HR has been making music since 1976 with Bad Brains, and along the way until today, he has been acclaimed for his reckless punk screaming just as much as he has

Callum Crighton: “The Rose” – a strong ear-catching melody

Even while everything I know about my musical taste should violently reject the cheese-camp synth pop and adorable mainstream swoon songs of the 80’s, I’ve enjoyed that music ever since I was first tricked into listening to the smooth, velvety crooning of the Brit pop chart invasion during that period. I can’t really explain why I loved that music so much, I guess for the same reason people eat cheesecake: It’s loaded with sugar, almost unbearably sweet, and probably isn’t the healthiest for you, but goddamn if it doesn’t make you feel so good inside when you eat it up.

Virgil Blue: “Pain Of Loss” – gorgeous washes of sound

Virgil Blue has released his debut EP entitled “Pain Of Loss”. Inspired and influenced by Prince and Sade, Virgil, a multi-instrumentalist who started out making music at the age of six, when he picked up the saxophone, produced much of the music that can be heard on this EP. Virgil who recently moved from the suburbs of Detroit to LA has put together 6 smooth trance-like tracks that that flaunts ambient, RnB and trip-hop flavors. If you’re looking for something atmospheric and hypnotizing, then this recording may be of serious interest to you. Fragile, tender and soulful, Virgil Blue’s voice will

Big Chris: ‘Bad Timing’ – high quality production and seamless transitions

After a successful release of his last single ‘F The World’ in Summer of 2016, UK based RnB artist and producer Big Chris releases his newest album ‘Bad Timing’ available via all major media providers. Recorded by Big Chris and John Robinson at Clique Studios, London and Miami Live, Miami. The album mix was finalized by Mixbytrip at Circle House Miami. Inspirations of The Dream, Mike Posner and R Kelly can be heard throughout. This album has some really original, unique, futuristic cuts on it, as would be expected. Big Chris is a more audacious artist than most in the R&B game right now, because he says what

Shellee Coley: “Story Like This” – a maturity that is mesmerizing!

Shellee Coley is a Texas-based singer-songwriter that has released three full length albums. Her current focus is a 5 song book of musical meditations called The Becoming Project that is being released one song or “chapter” at a time by the independent label Red Tree Music Group. Essentially, Shellee has created a unique style that blurs the boundaries between genres and categories. There are recognizable influences from classic songwriters like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Lennon & McCartney and Bob Dylan, as well as from some more current acts. Coley is able to absorb them all, and filter them through her own sensibilities

All Atomic: “? ? ? (Track With No Name)” builds multiple climaxes and movements

All Atomic is an electronic music producer and artist from Bristol, UK. He has just released his debut for indie label Pink Dolphin Music, entitled – “? ? ? (Track With No Name)”. The majority of listeners will agree that this track is perhaps one of the best examples of wickedly detailed and technically rich techno and house out there. If that is a mouth-full, it should be. All Atomic has defined the amazingly intricate form of electronic dance music that weaves clever beats into unusual and unexpected sounds to create a masterpiece of rhythmic movement and audio ecstasy. It’s

Dan Weintraub: “Songs for Beautiful Souls” – a dignified poise and fluency

For Dan Weintraub, music isn’t work – its therapy. And it’s been that way since he started recording and performing in the mid-80s. Raised on everything from punk rock to jazz, he’s opened for Tracy Chapman, played in a country/rockabilly group with Graham Cassano of Blue Pontiac, and spent his college years polishing skills in a Grateful Dead cover band. In 2008 he released his self-titled debut EP – a folk-inspired effort recorded with punk rock royalty Geza X and Paul Roessler; and in 2016 tracked a second EP with Roessler. On January 1st 2016, Weintraub also embarked on his personal challenge of writing 1000 songs in 1000 days. You can track Dan’s progress on his website here.

Janie's Candle

Janie’s Candle

Dan Weintraub’s day job includes teaching history and coaching soccer at a private high school near Dartmouth College in New Hampshire – a role that’s personally fulfilling, but comes with difficult challenges. One of those challenges occurred in late 2016 when tragedy struck the local community. His student Janie Chase Cozzi was killed in a horrendous car accident with four of her friends, including her childhood best friend Mary.

Attempting to find meaning in the tragedy and mend the broken hearts of the community, Weintraub turned to what he knows best: music. He wrote an EP titled “Songs for Beautiful Souls” to honor Janie and her friends. And in summer 2017, he’ll be embarking on a tour of the same name to share their message. “The songs are all about love – how it’s always present, how it’s timeless, and how it guides us when we’re having trouble seeing or believing,” says Weintraub.

The first that struck me about the song “JANIE LIKE NO OTHER” were the heartfelt lyrics which played off against an upbeat jangling rhythm: “It’s a time like no other / tender sorrow and love so fair / we’ll find comfort together / As tears of longing we still share / For Janie like no other.” I was expecting a morbid and sorrowful arrangement, but had completely missed the point. This song, more than being an ode to Janie, is a celebration of her, which became clear in the closing verse: “She’s a child like no other / radiant with eyes so bright / Sparkle girl forever / Help us make it through the night / Janie like no other.”

Dan Weintraub

Dan Weintraub

Weintraub’s songwriting and narratives are superb. His songs transpose emotion into a sonic experience that pulls you in. You’ll find yourself both sympathizing and empathizing with the feelings and experiences Weintraub is describing in these tracks. The ballad I was expecting on the first track, arrived with “BECAUSE LOVE LASTS FOREVER”: “You said Because love lasts forever / We can carry this load / When our hearts heavy aching / There’s Grace still bestowed / Though The dawn’s foggy breaking / And In the mist lurks such pain / Loving e’er we’ll push forward / Again and again.” The song is built with Weintraub’s voice and acoustic guitar as the centerpiece, but there is violin, harp, bass, drums, percussion, keyboards and beautiful harmonies.

“There are times when at 2am I lie awake in bed / I’m staring at the ceiling, so much noise inside my head / The urge to run comes over me, sometimes i think I might / The darkness heavy on my chest / I am terrified, I must confess / But somehow hope I still possess  Light”, is the opening verse to “LIGHT” another upbeat track with sharp electric guitar and a sure-fire Dire Straits feel.

On the very first listen to this EP everything seemed to fit perfectly together. The songs connect to each other in such a unique and subtle fashion, without sounding forced and melodramatic, which can often happen when approaching subject matter such as this. An earnest soul searcher, Weintraub’s melodies are timeless and familiar, yet they land where you least expect them to.

“Songs for Beautiful Souls” is a stunning document of fragile eloquence that glides seamlessly from upbeat ruminations to hushed balladry. Artistic without being pretentious, Dan Weintraub’s craft is anchored in melody and articulate, but simple arrangements that do not abandon the music’s cerebral and emotional core.

With a pure and sincere vocal delivery Weintraub’s lyrics are soaked in heart-on-sleeve honesty and have the tendency to never come off contrived. Hardly have I heard a recording treat the theme of loss with such dignified poise and fluency.

You can follow and catch up with Dan Weintraub and his music at http://www.danweintraubmusic.com and http://www.danweintraubacoustic.com

or grab the songs here https://danweintraub.bandcamp.com/

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