Tyler Brant mixes his Country skills with Top 40 radio instincts

Tyler Brant is an Oklahoma native with a strong influence from not only Country but many different genres and styles of music He worked in a factory until leaving his home town to serve his country.  It was during his military career that he picked up a guitar and found a calling. One year after beginning his singer-songwriter path that he was nominated for a Georgia music award for “Best Country Male Vocalist”. He later moved to Tennessee to continue his growing momentum, but eventually home came calling and Oklahoma couldn’t be resisted anymore.   Tyler also launched his inaugural international

Beat Maker Mo Beatz releases new album ‘Mo Better Beatz Than Blues’

The producer of hip hop instrumentals known as Mo Beatz has released his latest LP album, Mo Better Beatz Than Blues. The album contains 14 original tracks for an approximate total listening time of 50 minutes. It has been proudly published on his Mo Better Beatz independent record label without the direction of the corporate music industry. A cutting edge hip hop album packed with instrumental grooves, Mo Better Beatz Than Blues from Mo Beatz is a study in hip-hop music making. Nigerian-born Mo Beatz cites as main artistic influences Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie

Awaken Shepherd debuts with emotional Indie Rock Single R.I.P – Watch The Video here!

The alternative rock / alternative metal newcomer Awaken Shepherd’s debut single, ‘RIP’ and its dedicated music clip managed to get under it’s listeners skin with an emotional rock-ballad. The band project brought to life by Werner Jauk, and their first public release combined not only passionate melodies, but told it’s very own personal lyric story at the same time. Rest in Peace or short RIP is the title of the first public release of Werner Jauk’s band project ‘Awaken Shepherd’ and offers a striking first impression for their debut album ‘Into The Light’. The to be released on the 10th

AKASH: “Rooftop Vibes” conjures up an imposing sonic architecture

AKASH is an 18-year-old Indian Hip-Hop/Pop artist from New Jersey who a couple of months back rolled out his 10 track album “Rooftop Vibes”. AKASH penned all the tracks and called in a crew of talented producers including Davincii, DopeBoyzMuzic, and ANS who also contributed his vocals on several of the songs. The entire album was mixed, mastered and engineered by ANS of ANSstudios in New Jersey. “I’m excited for this album because it’s a reflection of not just my life now, but the life I’m striving for,” explained AKASH. “It’s a diary of the various aspects of life that

Busola Martins: “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes – You can hear the passion and her intention

“He turns my life around”, with these words, Busola Martins whets our appetite as we are led with bated breath into her new release “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes.  With her ingenious use of simple questions and quotable phrases, she challenges us on a mid-tempo cliff hanger to re-access our relationship with Jesus. Precisely because Gospel thrives on its spontaneity, it has often traded lyrical sophistication for its immediacy.  This is not so with this track. Saved without being sanctimonious, and heaven-aspiring while remaining down-to-earth, when it comes to conveying ministry within her music, Busola Martins handles the load with passion

Weston Simonis set to release “Yoga Pants” video on Thanksgiving

For those who’re still unfamiliar with Weston Simonis and his wide range of musical styles, this is a very special talent. A native of the Grande Ronde Valley, Weston is difficult to pin down to one or two genres. Some might say he’s all over the place. I say he has the special ability to play Blues, Rock, Funk, Metal, Punk and any progressive thinking crossover music at will. Listening to his award winning album “Moments Of Intoxication” has reminded me that there was a time when you could hear all types of artists on the same radio station. Now

Jay Felicite: “758 Stories 2” features killer hooks and irresistible melodies

When thinking of England as a musical landscape, Dancehall may not be the first genre that pops to mind for people not in the know, but it’s there, under the surface of the streets, the thump of the drum and pop of the bass reverberating into walls, and spilling out under the doorways from dub clubs and roots bars. One of the current underground stars of the UK’s indie circuit is probably Jay Felicite (pronounced; Fay-Lee-See-Tay) is a Saint Lucian born and raised singer, songwriter, sound engineer. The resilient firebrand is making a big noise with the release of his new

Cris Marshall’s music will ensure he hooks as wide an audience as possible

Cris Marshall is an American Country Music Artist raised in a musical home, the small town of Haslet, Texas. He received his first drum set from his father at the age of two and by 8 he was playing his first guitar. In his teens, and alongside his dad, Cris began performing at some of Dallas/Fort Worth’s most well-known music venues. A singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Cris also launched his very own home studio when he was 18, recording artists and bands all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. However his passion for writing and performing never subsided during this time,

Midnight Watchman: “Liquid Universe” – an extremely focused record

A guitarist and keyboard player who began as a street musician in UK before touring the US and then returning home, Andy Jones AKA Midnight Watchman, is a composer and producer of ambient music. Influenced by an extremely wide spectrum of music and musicians, that go from Vangelis to Chopin, ad Ryan Adams to Tycho, Midnight Watchman has released his 12 track instrumental album, entitled “Liquid Universe”. In the hands of a lesser artist, the varying song structures of this album would likely become tiresome, but every one of the album’s twelve tracks is a testament to the Midnight Watchman’s

Joey Britton: “Edmonton Sessions” – fluorescent, acoustic-centric ambient atmospheres

Joey Britton started his journey in music at an early age. He joined the band ISO and played lead guitar helping to launch the Torn and Tethered Album. After ISO, Joey decided to move to California to expand his skills in the music industry while writing, recording, and producing his own records.  “I try to write songs that tell stories, relate to people, so that when you listen to them – you realize you’re not alone,” says Joey Britton. Exploring is an experience not easily replicated. Associated with it is equal parts thrill, anxiety, and apprehension. Exploring a new artist

Close up with Rocker Rick Shaffer

Prolific recording rock artist, Rick Shaffer, is a founding member of the Philadelphia band, The Reds©, whose first self-titled album on A&M records, was produced by David Kershenbaum. It highlighted a blend of Rick Shaffer’s guitar and Bruce Cohen’s keyboards. The album was supported with live appearances with The Police, Joe Jackson, Blondie, The Ramones, The Psychedelic Furs, and Public Image. Shaffer has also done plenty of studio work and features on the Marianne Faithfull album (Island); Hilly Kristal’s, “Mad Mordechai” (Stereo Society); Peter Murphy’s, “Holy Smoke” (Beggars Banquet/BMG); and Marc Almond’s, “Fantastic Star” (Some Bizarre/Mercury); as well as writing, producing and recording, “Looking For Right,” for the film, “Collateral,” directed by Michael Mann. 2017 also marks Rick Shaffer’s eighth solo album, “STOLEN MOMENTS”, which was inspired by the concept that there are no guarantees or promises in life.

  1. Where did the songs on your eighth solo album, “STOLEN MOMENTS” come from, have you been storing them away and waiting for the right moment, or did inspiration suddenly hit you?

Rick Shaffer: All my albums are written in the moment prior or during the current recording. Although the track “Other One” was a lyrical idea kicking around a while. The musical idea of “Other One” was to wrap Neil Young’s “Cortez The Killer” around Television’s “Marquee Moon” guitar atmospherics. The overall song material is written in a stream of consciousness.

  1. You were joined by Teddy Rixon (bass) and Stevie Carlisle (drums) on your new album, how did that affect the writing and recording process, were you in control the whole time, or was it more of a process where everyone left their mark?

Rick Shaffer: The rhythm section rolls with the songs presented, they play what they’re feeling and we take the song and sounds to where the production is realized. Teddy comes from the Bill Wyman / Ronnie Lane school of bass, and Stevie is a Nick Knox / Mo Tucker guy, and both are perfect for this album. We recorded twenty-two tracks and put together the ten that made the most sense continuity wise. Producing the material myself, gives me the freedom to get the tracks just how I imagined them in my head. It’ all about groove, vibes and tones.

  1. Okay, so we’ve discussed how the album was made, but for someone who is sitting on the fence, why should they grab themselves a copy of “STOLEN MOMENTS”?

Rick Shaffer: There’s no sitting on the fence. If you want some raw, aggressive, real rock-n-roll then jump on board. If you’re looking for the over produced, over thought out and, to these ears, boring, corporate projects, I’m not your guy.

  1. We always like to ask which artist and bands influenced you to pick up the electric guitar in the first place and who is inspiring you today?

Rick Shaffer: A bunch of artists, but early Stones, which led to the blues masters like Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo, Fred Mc Dowell and the great Magic Sam. Later the sixties and seventies rockers Bowie / Ronson, Iggy and the Stooges, Free, Lou Reed, and Mitch Ryder. A guy that I’ve been listening to lately is Bo Carter and the Mississippi Sheiks.  I always focus on what I would call the “long game” artists like Link Wray, Van Morrison, Iggy Pop and Muddy Waters, people that continue to keep working on their sound.  The production sound was an interest also, like the Phil Spector Gold Star recordings, Chess Records, Motown and lots of the indie 60’s garage sounds.

  1. Was there a definitive moment when you knew you wanted to be a guitarist?

Rick Shaffer: I think it was more of a cumulative addiction, always tone, hooks and guitar riffs, hearing Keith Richards “Satisfaction,” B.B. King’s “Live at the Regal,” Peter Green’s “English Rose,” and the wonderfully distorted Link Wray’s “Rumble.”

  1. Do you remember your very first guitar and do you still own it?

Rick Shaffer: My first guitar was purchased from the Sears and Roebuck department store and was an acoustic Silvertone for $25 bucks which led to my first electric “Danelectro Longhorn” like Link Wray played. Unfortunately, I do not own them today.

  1. Your first gig: disaster, success, or long forgotten?

Rick Shaffer: I still remember the noise, the beat and crowd. I loved it and thought this is for me. How good the performance was — I don’t remember any negative crowd response, or being hit with anything, and there was a lot of dancing, so it was a success.

  1. What’s your favorite bit of musical gear in your collection, and what’s the latest addition you’ve made, or are wanting to make?

Rick Shaffer: My 1960’s Framus guitars are favorites, along with my 1961 Supro Ozark.  So it comes down to a few to get the colors and character on each song. The Premier Reverberation unit and the Mahoney Cal Tone fuzz pedal are essentials. Two new important additions on this album are a 1971 Framus “Caravelle” and ‘Embargo” pedal designed by Ant Farm Amplification that’s a take on the original Rangemaster. And I’ve been looking for a Hornby Skewes treble booster.

  1. It may seem like an odd question to ask as you’re still very much in the prime of your career, but what do you look back on as your proudest moment so far?

Rick Shaffer: The work my partner Bruce Cohen and I did working with director Michael Mann, and playing live the original line-up of The Reds on tour with Blondie, Police, The Ramones, and Joe Jackson.

  1. To get back to the album, “STOLEN MOMENTS,” when you aimed to recreate The Stooges “Fun House” production style in the studio, was it because you wanted to sound authentic, or were you trying to avoid an ultra-clean modern production sound?

Rick Shaffer: I didn’t aim for the “Fun House” production, as much as using it for inspiration to my own sound. It came through a bit in the recording process, because generally my production has a heavy lean on distortion and is consistently anything but clean. I think recoding live on a Scully 280 gives that early 70’s sound, and on tracks “Time Stays” and “Call My Name” we switched to a Ampex 4-track for that early Stones / Pretty Things sound. For me, the tracks “All I Want,” “Modern Lie,” “Other One,” “One In Five” and “Danger Awaits” really come the closest to The Stooges “Fun House” sound.

  1. In the UK and Europe music magazines and websites they’re incredibly pessimistic. After another year of declining sales of guitar music, everyone seems ready to proclaim the death of rock?

Rick Shaffer: Fuck em, there will always be rockers. What did that old Neil Young say? “Rock and roll can never die.”

  1. As a great guitarist in your own right, and as a former member of a highly successful act how do you respond when you hear commentators talking that way about guitar-based music?

Rick Shaffer: They’re morons that need something to write about and just show their intelligence, or lack there of.

  1. Is there an artist whose music you love that might surprise our readers?

Rick Shaffer: Sixties artist Laura Nyro, because her lyrics, imagery and intensity is a beautiful thing.

Rick Shaffer

  1. Is there a guitar or bit of equipment you remember being excited about buying in the moment, but now look back and just shake your head?

Rick Shaffer:  That would be a sixties Gibson SG Standard that didn’t have enough bite for me.

  1. In your eyes, what makes a great guitarist?

Rick Shaffer: Tone, memorable riffs and songwriting. Jimi Hendrix is one of the few artists that had the whole package.

  1. Time to annoy our guitar obsessed readers: the best guitar in the world is?

Rick Shaffer: The all purpose Fender Stratocaster . God bless Leo Fender.

  1. What is the best piece of advice regarding the music business that you actually followed so far, and what is the advice you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Rick Shaffer: Play it like you feel it, never give up, block out the noise and write your own material. The worst decision ever was A&M Records insisting The Reds use The William Morris agency to book our live dates. Because it meant firing Ian Copeland, a person we really loved, who was our original booking agent.  A bad moral and business mistake I felt at the time, but didn’t follow through on because of the record label agenda.

  1. How would you personally describe your music, in the length of a Tweet, to someone who has never heard your stuff before?   

Rick Shaffer: I don’t tweet, but I am on Facebook (facebook.com/TheRedsMusic).

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?

Rick Shaffer: Yes, they’re good tools to reach a larger audience, especially to connect with fans. Real talent will emerge in the long run, there has always been “short timers.”

  1. What is the one thing you have never ever been willing, or prepared to do, in your quest to sustain a successful musical career?

Rick Shaffer: Sell out the music for the bucks, or for anybody.

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