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Music Discovery: February 2018

This month’s music discovery comes to you by one our Associate Music Supervisors, Christian Zabala. Our February BrandRadio playlist has been handpicked by our entire music team to set your playlist in the right direction for the New Year.

 

LISTEN TO THIS MONTH’S PLAYLIST >

 

Hello world! I’m Christian and I’m an Associate Music Supervisor at PlayNetwork. For our Music Discovery post, I’ve decided to share some music knowledge with the readers on the nightmares of clearing samples. Let’s go down this rabbit hole together, shall we?! HERE WE GO!!!

When I’m not at work helping our music team get the freshest records out to our clients *wink* – I’m usually at home working on some sort of music project or idea while some rerun of The Flash, The Office, Friends, Modern Family, or late night television is playing in the background. As I stare at my workstation, I sometimes will pull up a folder of some soul samples I found just to see if I can […]

LIGHTS Brings “Little Machines” To PlayNetwork

As part of our PlayLive concert series, we bring exceptional, diverse, artistic talent to the PlayNetwork offices, exposing our Music Supervisors to new and up-and-coming artists from around the globe. Many of these artists are already playing in-store at your favorite retailers, while others are on the horizon of breaking. Much of what we do hinges on music discovery for our brands, turning them into tastemakers for their consumers.

Juno award-winning Canadian artist LIGHTS recently performed cuts from her latest release, “Little Machines”, at our Redmond headquarters. Lights blew onto the electropop scene in 2008 with her hit “Drive My Soul”, and her brand of gleaming, heartfelt pop music has continued to captivate fans around the globe.

“Running With The Boys” opened the set, with the kind of powerful chorus you’d expect to hear chanted in arenas. “Up We Go” showcases Light’s gorgeously fun vocals, only surpassed by her on-stage energy. Much has been said about Light’s road to rediscovery during the writing of “Little Machines” (she shared that the verse for “Muscle […]

Alex Cuba Brings His Latin-Funk-Jazz Fusion Sound to the PlayLive Stage

Cuban-born Alex Cuba is one of those rare singer-songwriters who sings both in English and in Spanish.  Having spent his youth in Artemisa, which was formally part of La Habana Province in Cuba, he started to play the guitar at the tender age of six under the tutelage of his father with a mix of Jazz fusion style and Cuban Soul.  In 1999 he moved to Canada and began making a name for himself playing alongside his twin brother in the duo The Puente’s Brothers while receiving his first acclaim with a Juno nomination.  This of course was the first of many more accolades to follow.

After going solo for the first time in 2004 with his brother helping out in songwriting duties he released his debut record “Humo de Tabaco” (Tabaco Smoke) that included local Canadian Ron Sexsmith as a collaborator.  With their song “Lo Mismo Que Yo” reaching #52 in the UK Singles Chart.  Having since released 3 more records while winning two Juno Awards for “Humo de […]

Kris Orlowski – Local Indie Folk Artist Visits PlayNetwork

If you hang around the Seattle music scene long enough, you are bound to meet local singer-songwriter Kris Orlowski sooner than later. Much to our delight, he and his band recently passed through PlayNetwork  on our PlayLive stage for an intimate performance. It’s easy to see how he has firmly established himself as a familiar face in Seattle’s indie folk circles, and is very well positioned to expand into wider recognition regionally and beyond.

It’s been a joy to see firsthand people’s positive responses to hearing his music played overhead in places like Starbucks or at SeaTac airport. Kris really is a great example of how PlayNetwork connects with a great local musician and everybody benefits: the company, the artist, and the audience. Seeing social media posts from excited fans surprised to hear the music in unexpected places proves that PlayNetwork provides valuable exposure for artists and a valuable service for businesses and brands. And it makes Music Supervision a very fun job to do!

Kris’s most recent project, in collaboration with […]

Dragonette Debuts New Album and Rocks Seattle’s Showbox

PlayLive is excited to present Dragonette, a three piece electro-pop act from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The band’s collaboration with Martin Solveig for the number one dance hit “Hello” helped push them into mainstream in 2010.

Dragonette’s third LP, titled Bodyparts, was released this week on 9/25/12. The album is a lot of fun with some huge beats, memorable melodies, a pop formula, and infectious hand claps.

Dragonette is playing at Showbox at the Market Friday night as part of Decibel Festival, headlining the Decadance showcase with Icona Pop and The Knocks.

Check out the official video for “Let it Go”! [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KsPIJK17uk?rel=0]

Shannon Cook, Music Supervisor PlayNetwork

PlayLive! Gets Rocked By The Stone Foxes

As the week comes to a close, we reflect back on a week that began with a blistering set on the PlayLive stage by Bay Area rockers, The Stone Foxes

Somewhere between blues, rock and country you’ll find The Stone Foxes. This was the first I’d heard of this band and their set was the perfect pick me up for a Monday. The band’s four members (Shannon Koehler, Spence Koehler, Aaron Mort, Avi Vinocur) are long time friends and roommates, and the brotherhood (both literally and figuratively) and ‘knowing’ showed in their performance that was alternately taut and loose with each other.

It’s a bit unorthodox to see the drummer as lead singer, but it perfectly matched the intensity these guys brought to the stage, and when Shannon hopped out from behind the traps and belted out some worthy Chicago blues harp sounds, we knew we were in for a treat. The Stone Foxes are a sure fit for gritty rock and roll (listen to their song “

Gypsy Soul PlayLive Performance Kicks Off Labor Day Weekend!

What better way to start the Labor Day Weekend than with some music? We’re much obliged to take that advice and are happy to welcome Gypsy Soul to the PlayLive  stage, tomorrow, Friday August 31st at 2:00pm.

Gypsy Soul is a California based Celtic soul band led by Cilette Swan and Roman Morykit that sings catchy folk based pop/rock songs.

Their music has aired all over the world and been featured in numerous television shows including Felicity, Roswell, and Providence.

The pair met in Scotland and formed a creative partnership that’s resulted in over ten CDs-including the latest, Grace and Tranquility.

They have been featured as critics Choice and Top Picks in numerous publications including the Seattle Post Intelligencer, LA Times, SF Examiner, Palo Alto Daily News, Bass Player, and Performing Songwriter.

In honor of their 11th CD they are offering a free download of their new song, “Where Did We Go Wrong” available here: http://www.gypsysoul.com/

Click below to view one of their live performances […]

NW Native Vicci Martinez takes the PlayLive Stage!

Tacoma, WA native Vicci Martinez was a singer and musician long before her successful run on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2011. Identifying primarily as a singer/songwriter creating and performing original material, she was admittedly a bit hesitant to jump into the reality TV arena at first. Not wanting to compromise her artistic integrity, Vicci reportedly passed up an early opportunity with American Idol before coming to terms with the realization that the exposure to a massive TV audience is actually a perfectly viable way to launch a career in today’s music industry.

Working closely with Cee Lo Green, Vicci was able to take full advantage of the television platform by ending the show in 3rd place overall. She recently cut her first single “Come Along” with her famous mentor featured on the track. Picking up tons of new fans, industry connections, and adding the weight of a Grammy-winning artist to her debut release on the Universal label (sorry Cee Lo, no pun intended), Vicci Martinez is living her dream. […]

Mates of State on the PlayLive Stage!

Last Friday we hosted an energetic set on the PlayLive stage by the fantastic indie pop duo, Mates of State. Not only have the Mates of State released seven excellent full-length albums over the course of their fourteen year career, a large majority of their creative output was done as a husband/wife team.

The couple, Kori and Jason met in Lawrence, Kansas where they both grew up. Originally playing together in a four-piece rock band, they soon left and headed for California, where they devoted their time to making music as a duo, and creating what would become the Mates of State. Eventually in 2001 the couple got married and had two daughters, Magnolia and June. Since having children, the Mates of States tours have become family affairs, and you can follow their life as family on the road, in Kori’s very entertaining blog titled “Band on the ‘Diaper’ Run”

In addition to being on the road with artists such as Death Cab For Cutie, Spoon, […]

Music Review: Katie Herzig on the PlayLive Stage 5/9

Katie Herzig’s recent performance at PlayNetwork lit up the PlayLive stage,  and many faces in the crowd, with her all-girl ensemble and catchy pop songs. No, she’s not taking a page from Jack White’s playbook; she reconvened with her full band later that night, adding the guys into the mix for their show at the legendary Crocodile in Seattle. We lucky PlayNetworkers were treated to a stripped down, intimate performance of songs from her 2011 full-length album The Waking Sleep and other past projects. Katie and crew played with precision and control, the two guitars and cello combining to create an even and balanced sound that complimented her hushed vocals very well.

Her onstage banter between songs was a highlight of the set. Katie recalled accepting the challenge when called upon to relieve Fergie on a project for a movie soundtrack. The song born of that endeavor is the playful and irreverent “Hey Na Na” and due to complications onstage resulting from a tube amp and […]

Ramona Falls on the PlayLive Stage Today!

Brent Knopf has accrued a lot of overtime at his job. At least from my point of view… I’m thinking about how many hours a week I spend at the office (I’m paid hourly, they cap me at 40). So when I consider doubling my workweek, besides feeling exhausted, I feel amazed to hear Knopf assert in a recent OregonLive article that he spends 80 hours a week or more working on band projects. Even for a prolific and devoted artist, that level of involvement and intense dedication has the potential to result in a serious case of burnout. Apparently not so for Knopf. As one-third of Portland based Menomena, several years ago he decided to branch out with Ramona Falls (because one band is just never enough), a new side project he named after a waterfall near Mt. Hood. Now releasing their second album Prophet, the band is nearing the end of this summer’s West Coast run and will be hitting the road again soon after for […]

Kore Ionz: Reggae Today! On the PlayLive Stage

With the weather being so incredible this past week, a few things come to mind: beaches, cold beer, and reggae. I can’t think of a better band to bless our stage this Wednesday than Kore Ionz. The band’s members seem to be a human melting pot from all walks of life, coming together for the love of reggae and music in general. With the reggae scene in the Northwest being small, Kore Ionz has built a surprisingly large local fan base, representing the genre to the fullest with uplifting melodies and world beats.

[youtube http://youtu.be/nCNOo4e0EwE]

They’ve taken their positive message off the stage as well, making regular appearances at fundraisers, schools, and juvenile detentions centers. The band even donated half the proceeds from their 2008 release Half-Hour Revolution to the Service Board, plus volunteering their time and expertise to Arts Corps (who PlayNetwork has also partnered up with), both Seattle nonprofit that supports youth programs. I, for one feel extremely lucky to live in a city […]

Horse Feathers Fly In For A PlayLive Performance

Horse Feathers is an indie/folk band born in Portland Oregon with a smooth and elegant sound.  Their albums could be strictly instrumental, stripped of vocals, and still be just as enjoyable. With spring upon us, their 2010 release Thistled Spring comes to mind. If I had to choose a soundtrack for the season this would be an excellent choice. The pianos and strings paired with Justin Ringle’s haunting voice in the title track remind me of the changing seasons. And that’s what Horse Feathers does for me, their music paints a picture and instills me with emotion. Their newest release “Cynic’s New Year” is a bit more upbeat than some of their previous work, but is just as melodic and layered. The track “Fit Against the Country” (listen here) is perhaps my favorite, with lyrics like “Nearly every day, we earn a lower wage/ To tell you what we’re made of, or a wage is what we’re paid/ It’s a hard country we’ve made.”, Ringle sings words of […]

French Invasion…Housse de Racket Takes the PlayLive Stage!

Although today’s PlayLive guests, the French Indie Electro-Rock duo Housse de Racket were born and raised over 5000 thousand miles from our PlayLive stage, in a suburb of Chaville (France), the band member’s Pierre Leroux and Victor Le Masne developed and initial friendship over a T-shirt with Seattle ties.  Back in the 90’s the two teens who had previously snubbed each other in passing, sparked up a conversation when a Pearl Jam T-Shirt worn by one of the members, attracted the eye of the other. They began discussing Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain, and the Seattle music scene; a musical kinship which led to a friendship, and eventually a band.

Starting out as in-demand session musicians-for-hire with local bands such as Air and Phoenix, Housse de Racket were first brought to the fore as featured artists on a Maison compilation release; curated by French electronic label, Kitsune. The Maison series featured such artists as Bloc Party, Cut Copy, and Simian Mobile Disco, and also help break such bands as […]

PlayLive Shows This Week: The Front Bottoms & Lost in the Trees

Exciting news from the PlayLive Mainstage… we are gearing up for not one, but TWO excellent performances this week. We will be vacating our desks today and Tuesday to party with The Front Bottoms and Lost in the Trees. Man, work is such a bummer sometimes isn’t it?

THE FRONT BOTTOMS – Monday, March 26th

“We kinda thought we were a punk band but then we’d play on bills with real punk bands and we’d be like ‘Whoa, were not punks. What the hell are we?” – The Front Bottoms

With that quote from The Front Bottom’s drummer Mathew Uychich, it’s pretty clear that his band is simultaneously defying labels while searching for a defining identity. The fact that Mathew is also listed as the band’s official bullhorn player further supports that claim. The Front Bottoms have been tearing up the New Jersey (Bergen County, to be exact) DIY scene for some time now with their catchy brand of pop-punk. Their songs are irreverent, playful and above all thoroughly […]

Eric Hutchinson Takes The Stage At PlayNetwork

Eric Hutchinson, acclaimed Singer/Songwriter will be gracing the PlayLive stage tomorrow (2/7)! Eric’s folk and jazz-inflected Pop-Rock is said to be somewhere between “Jeff Buckley and John Mayer”, and he’s been called, “one of the most talented singer-songwriters that Boston has to offer”, drawing comparisons to Jason Mraz, Stevie Wonder, Ben Folds, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, and Billy Joel; many of which Eric cites as influences.

In 2004, Eric’s debut album That Could’ve Gone Better caught the attention of Maverick Records which had previously broken artists such as Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch, but just as Eric’s major label debut was set to release, the label was shut down. Eric spent the better part of 2 years extracting himself from the contract before returning to his own label and releasing a tongue-in-cheek titled live EP Before I Sold Out, followed by his second studio album 2007’s Sounds Like This, which caught the attention of celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. After a single blog post by Hilton back in 2007, Sounds Like […]

Jessie Baylin and The Watson Twins visit the PlayLive Stage This Thursday!

PlayNetwork is excited to welcome Nashville based singer/songwriter Jessie Baylin to our stage this Thursday! She will be joined by The Watson Twins, who contributed to Baylin’s new album and are currently supporting her on tour.

Jessie Baylin set out to make a record that sounded timeless and was clearly inspired her musical heroes, but with songs clearly rooted in the present. A truly committed artist, she wasn’t afraid to take the longer and harder road to achieve the best possible result. Baylin recorded her new album Little Spark on analog tape, forgoing the modern day luxuries of digital multi-tracking. Without the ability to punch in or easily make edits, this method of recording requires one perfect take from start to finish. In a recent NPR interview she admits the process “was really exhausting sometimes. But I think it makes a difference, because there’s a performance on there.”

All of us at PlayNetwork are looking forward to being treated to another performance, this time in person. Check […]

Kickin’ Up Our Heels This Friday! Jim Lauderdale Comes To The PlayLive Stage.

Among Nashville’s “A” list of songwriters there is  2 time Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale who will be performing on our PlayLive stage this Friday. Jim recorded his first album in 1986, and has since released 19 studio albums. Among his accolades: 2010 Grammy nominee for “Could We Get Any Closer” / 2008 Grammy winner for the “Bluegrass Diaries” / 2002 Grammy winner for “Lost in the Lonseome Pines”.

In addition to his prolific recording career, Lauderdale has also held a tremendous influence on the Country music world and is the songwriter behind dozens of country music’s biggest hits including Patty Loveless’ ‘You Don’t Seem to Miss Me,’ Mark Chesnutt’s ‘Gonna Get a Life,’ Gary Allen‘s ‘Forever and a day,’ and several George Strait tunes, including ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’.

Jim’s unique sense of melody and song writing ability has helped forge a sound that is truly his own.  Stuart Munro of the Boston Globe writes of Lauderdale who is equally known for his bluegrass talent, “…Add Lauderdale’s terrific musical stylings, the twangy […]

Heather’s Top 10 Albums of 2011

We hope you’re enjoying your holidays! As we reflect back on 2011, our second installment of ‘bests’ n music as seen by PlayNetwork’s Music Superivisor’s brings up Music Supervisor, Heather Thueringer’s Top 10 Albums of 2011. Without further ado…

10. Ellie Goulding – Lights

PlayNetwork was fortunate to host a PlayLive event featuring Ellie Goulding just weeks before she was tapped to play the Royal wedding and Saturday Night Live.  She did a great set on our mainstage and was as nice as could be.  Listening to her album Lights, it’s easy to see why she was one of the top-selling British artists in 2010.

Watch Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” Video…

[youtube  http://youtu.be/0NKUpo_xKyQ]

9.  Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting

I was lucky enough to catch Jamie Woon at South By Southwest and he was fantastic!  His whole album is great and I would highly encourage seeing him live if you can!  You will not be disappointed.

Watch Jamie Woon’s “Night Air” Video…

[youtube http://youtu.be/EL0pTo9Z_XU]

8.  Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes

[…]

Caveman Visits the PlayLive Stage

Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Caveman is currently sound checking on our PlayLive stage for what is sure to be a unique and intimate acoustic performance! They’ll be performing songs from their wonderfully ambitious full-length debut album CoCo Beware, a release that got them on Stereogums’s 40 Best Bands of 2011 earlier this year! Visit the bands official website and find them on Facebook and Twitter for music and tour dates.

Below you can check out a performance of the opening track of Coco Beware, “A Country’s King Of Dreams”, recorded live on KEXP at the Ace Hotel in New York during CMJ 2011.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBJr2V1qZOE&w=560&h=315]

Mack Attack!

Macklemore that is…

This Thursday we’ll be welcoming Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis, our first hip-hop gig, to the PlayLive series. This is a fitting genre debut to our concert series. You see, Macklemore (aka Ben Haggerty) has been labeled somewhat of a hometown hero in the Seattle area. With songs that hit close to home like “The Town”, and “My oh My” performed on opening day 2011 for Seattle Mariners’ fans during a tribute to Hall of Fame Broadcaster Dave Niehaus, it’s really no surprise.  Even other local faves Death Cab For Cutie serve up props.

Here’s Macklemore’s official video for “The Town”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIBdAdnTqqo]

The only people that seem to be more passionate about his music than he is (if even possible) are his fans, proven recently at Seattle’s arts and music festival Bumbershoot where he performed at Key Arena in front of 13,000 screaming fans.  You can catch a short clip of the opening of his performance (more footage from […]

PlayNetwork Welcomes Paul Kelly to the PlayLive Stage!

Today we’re excited to welcome internationally acclaimed musician Paul Kelly as our next PlayLive guest!

Paul Kelly has recorded seventeen studio albums as well as several film soundtracks and live albums, in an influential career spanning more than thirty years.

Also a celebrated author, his memoir, How to Make Gravy, (born of a 2004, 4-night concert series in which he recanted stories in-between the 100 songs he performed) was short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in the non-fiction category in May of 2011, and in July it was named co-winner of ‘Biography of the Year’ at the Australian Book Industry Awards.

Should be a great show! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter for pics!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Sl0jXAOG1M]

Blake Kirpes, Associate Music Supervisor PlayNetwork

Pop Rocks! Matthew Sweet Comes to PlayNetwork!

We’re pretty stoked to have power-pop rocker Mathew Sweet as our guest this Monday, August 22nd for our next PlayLive series event!

The hard working veteran is gearing up for the release of his new album “‘Modern Art” slated to drop September 28th  (check out the debut song “She Walks the Night” here), and is about to tour in support of the 20th Anniversary of the release of his 1991 album “Girlfriend”. You can see tour dates on his website: www.matthewsweet.com and follow him on Twitter.

Sweet’s career since the mid-80’s has given us over 15 commercial album releases, and includes collaboration with the likes of Michael Stipe, Susanna Hoffs, and Pete Droge,  but is probably best known for the title track to his album “Girlfriend”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYOt9_5v1cA&feature=player_embedded#!]

 

He’s also lent his talents to TV and film (remember when he was the bassist for Ming Tea from the first Austin Powers movie?)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1w85qMqIjs]

 

And for some added fun, here’s a link to his appearance on

Imelda May (and Fridays) Rule!

This is sure to be a kick-ass Friday…

Dublin born artist Imelda May and her renowned band of hepcats are bringing their unique Rockabilly Revival sound to our PlayLive stage this Friday. Imelda May’s current world tour (follow her tour blog here) has included stops on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno as well as Conan! You can follow Imelda May on Twitter (@ImeldaOfficial) or see what they’re up to on Facebook. Also, be sure to check out the official video for the title track off Imelda’s new album “Mayhem”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxj5wlXY9No]

Blake Kirpes, Associate Music Supervisor PlayNetwork

Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter

PlayNetwork’s most recent PlayLive guests, Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, just released their wonderful new album, Marble Son! Their intimate PlayLive set featured new tracks from Marble Son, as well as past material spanning back four albums to their 2002 debut (Reckless Burning).

Below you can check out the official video version of a song featured in their PlayLive performance called, “Air Is Thin” (From their 2007 release, Like Love Lust & The Open Halls of the Soul).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZdZnhV1EUk]

Pictures from their performance can be found in our PlayLive photo album. For more info be sure to check out the bands’ Facebook page, as well as follow Jesse’s new Twitter account @JesseSykes

Blake Kirpes, Associate Music Supervisor PlayNetwork

One eskimO’s “Amazing” Now On Palladia!

We’ve got some great news to kick off the week!  One eskimO’s video for “Amazing,” which was shot originally for one of our PlayLive sessions, has just been added to Palladia, the music-centric high definition television channel. Keep your eyes peeled for it on the channel’s video rotation so you can see it in all of its hi-def glory!

Congrats to the band!  We’re honored our PlayLive session video was chosen to be the song’s official music video and if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out “Amazing”:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2w3MM8htP8]

SXSW 2011 – Day Three

As I stare into my iPhone to collect my thoughts…and with 4 shots of espresso coursing through my veins…I am now aware that already almost 48 hours have passed since my last post. But considering the massive scale of this production, and total success yesterday of our maurices Small Town Sound showcase at Speakeasy and our Girls Rock Showcase at Cedar Street, it was worth the delay. The venue was packed. Audri & Aaron’s SXSWdebut, literally, brought more than a few folks on the floor to tears. Sick of Sarah and Vanity Theft absolutely blew the roof off. And the Bangles were amazing, rocked it, and brought it all home to a sold out house!

AND… We shot an interview and PlayLive live performance with Sir Bob Geldof at Austin City Limits. You have no idea how cool this was. Indescribable!

AND…We shot an interview with Moby from 28 floors high overlooking Austin at night…and then captured him DJ’ing to a packed house. Brilliant!

AND FINALLY…We had […]

I’ve Fallen for Chrissie Hynde all over again!

How cool is my job? Today I came in and worked like I normally do, but then at 3:45, instead of yawning and looking at what meeting was next up on my calendar, I got to stroll a few feet to check out a live show! Just being in the business we’re in, I’ve been able to check out a few bands, like Minus the Bear and Fun, but today is a special double-header featuring Susan Cowsill and J.P., Chrissie and the Fairground Boys (that’s Chrissie Hynde’s new band in case you hadn’t heard!). How amazing is this … a true icon and some fantastic musicians! To prepare for this historic day, our video & production crews transformed part of our nondescript, office-park building into a bonafide mini-club complete with black curtains, bright lights, camera equipment, a small stage, and adoring fans! PlayNetwork employees and guests have already been treated to a set by Susan Cowsill and her band. On the road from New Orleans, Susan’s […]

Great Songs, Pure Vocals, Impeccable Harmonies & Innovation Fusions of 2009, by Jeff H.

For me, it’s always about great songs, pure vocals, impeccable harmonies and innovative fusions of genres that touch me. In 2009, here’s how my choices breakdown:

Pure Vocals/Great Songs

David Mallett’s latest (just out) “Alright Now” is full of the honest poetry and impeccable songwriting that has touched people for over three decades now. This time out, my instant faves are the Mark Knopfler/Dylanesque ‘Ten Men’, the Obama-campaign inspired, ‘North Meets South’ and an ode to his daughter called, ‘Beautiful’.

Mindy Smith released her fourth CD this year called, “Stupid Love”. Her powerful, pure emotional vocals are remarkable here and the songwriting, as always, is at a higher level than most of her contemporaries. What’s different about this new CD is a move to make the production a little more poppy, less sparse. It works great from my standpoint, with help from folks like Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Thad Cockrell, Leigh Nash and Daniel Tashian, it still feels like a Mindy Smith album, just a little more […]

The PlayLive Music Series: Eric Bibb

Legendary Folk/Blues Singer-Songwriter, Eric Bibb, performed for the PlayNetwork staff, family and friends on Friday afternoon, July 10th. Literally born into the folk and blues tradition, his father, Leon, a trained singer who sang in musical theatre, made a name for himself as part of the 1960’s New York folk scene. His uncle was the world famous jazz pianist and composer John Lewis, of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Family friends included Pete Seeger, Odetta, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins and actor/singer/activist Paul Robeson, Eric’s godfather.  He grew up in New York, but has spent most of his adult life living overseas, including long stints in Sweden, Paris and currently, Helsinki, Finland. He is truly a citizen of the world and a great ambassador of a powerful blues-folk-gospel tradition.  His voice is remarkable, his live performances are inspiring and his songwriting is well-crafted and honest.

He performed a five song set for us and three of the video performnaces are featured here, including:

Pockets, from his current Telarc Release, Get Onboard…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3Wg2vd3QD0]

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