By DC Music Editor Benjamin New
In Independent’s Day part 1 we talked about the background of events leading up to the need for recording artists to be sovereign and freelance. I highly recommend reading the background before proceeding. In part 2 we will look at a few independent artists from various backgrounds. These people are all doing musically vibrant work in different genres.
Q: What would you have if you were to clone J.S. Bach twice ?
A: A pair of Re-Bachs.
Stanard Ridgeway - California- Stan’s one of the most unique singer/songwriters I know of. Truly a pioneer and an American original. Stan Ridgway's musical career began in the late seventies as part of a soundtrack company to create music for low-budget horror films. Stan served as the conceptualist leader of the band “Wall of Voodoo” who successfully blended art rock with L.A. style punk. Stan’s solo albums all have a wonderful sense of style and a fresh way of storytelling. His vocal style is completely original and the music always interesting and innovative.
Stan has been an outspoken critic of the music business for many years. His solo efforts all contain a slightly-skewed camera angle and cinematic imagery. His sublime stories have an underlying sardonic wit that is uncommon to say the least.
Video from the Francis Ford Coppolla film "RUMBLEFISH" a soundtrack collaboration with Stewart Copeland "DON'T BOX ME IN" (Can you spot Tom Waits?)
Stan’s Cds are available on CD BABY.
Aug 10 2007 8:00P Magic Bag FERNDALE, MI.
Aug 11 2007 8:00P Double Door CHICAGO ILL
Aug 12 2007 8:00P Shank Hall MILWAUKEE WI
Aug 13 2007 8:00P Varsity Theater MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Aug 17 2007 8:00P Neurolux Club BOISE, ID
Aug 18 2007 8:00P Triple Door SEATTLE, WA
Aug 19 2007 8:00P Mississippi Studios PORTLAND, OR
"Knife And Fork"
Here is a live video of Stan's appearance in Philadelphia last week!
Daniel Raven Valdes - New Mexico- Valdes' personal spiritual views can be found in his work, in the magnificent flutes he builds and plays , the music he writes and performs, and the beautifully detailed pictures that incorporate acrylic painting, airbrush layering and etching "I love to share my spirit journey, coming up from nowhere," said Valdes, who is 60. "I was creative and intellectual when I left home at sixteen, but I had low self-esteem. I didn't become an artist until I was almost thirty. I never finished school. I tell young people to finish school. Some of them have low self-esteem, and they come to me. I tell them you might not need to become a painter. If you want an answer, you don't need to spend a lot of money on a therapist. You need to spend more time in the mountains, with Mother Earth. Then, you'll get an answer." His CD “Romancing The Spirit” features lush meticulous arrangements guaranteed to elevate you to a higher realm of awareness.
It features some magnificent wooden flute playing , but I think the music itself is really sophisticated and quite unique. You might say it is grounded in a synthesis of new age and native musics, but it is far more than either of those genres suggest. Valdes was abused as a child . "It's scary to face those things, but you need to know that you’re a good person, and to forgive. The raven is a good spirit to take you into a dark space, to help you come out of it. I took on the spirit of the raven, because I was having some bad thoughts. I said 'I have to go to the mountains,' and I said to the raven to release these bad thoughts." Valdes, whose ancestors are from the Ute and Apache nations says “The animals are our teachers. They were here before we were. Because of European thinking, they look at an animal with a totally different perspective than Native peoples.
Take the werewolf stories, made up to create fear in people. But, we see that they are very intelligent, that they live in a family structure. The animal taught us to hunt. But, if you go far enough back in European culture, they lived once like the Native people do, but they lost it sooner. If we're not too careful, we'll lose it, too."
If your in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by all means stop in his gallery “Father Sky Mother Earth” He’ll brew the best cup of coffee in the “City Different” for you and engage in some friendly conversation. You can purchase his superb hand crafted native flutes, beautiful paintings and prints or pick up a copy of his excellent CD. I did!
Contact Daniel Raven Valdes. Father Sky - Mother Earth Gallery. 124 Galisteo, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501. Telephone: (505) 988-5118 , D L Valdes. Email, email@example.com.
Don't be shy about contacting any independent artists as they welcome the opportunity to converse with potential fans. And this is sometimes the only way to purchase their music.
The Herb Moore Trio - New Jersey - The Herb Moore trio consists of Herb Moore on Guitar, Terry Dougherty on String Bass and vocals, and Rachel Husta providing vocals. Their new CD also features Barry Miles on piano, Brian Betz on additional guitar, and Harry Himles on drums.
What makes this Jazz trio a standout aside from virtuous musicianship is the willingness to take an unconventional approach to tone and material. An evening with the Herb Moore Trio will likely yeild some expected standards but Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck might be mingled in as well. If you visit Cape May, N.J. , stop by the Ebbit Room in The Virginia Hotel, you’ll enjoy some fine music served by the Herb Moore trio and the food is as the New York Times suggests in it’s review "Superb, Creatively prepared dishes" and "Memorable". Their latest CD, Circle of Friends is an excellent jazz outing that is impeccably executed and superbly recorded. John Mulhearn ( who co-engineered one of my recordings in the late 80s, the “Macchu Picchu” LP on Europadisk.) did a fantastic job of capturing the remarkable performances of the players and mixing the disk perfectly.
The songs included are:
My Favorite Things
East of the Sun
Days of Wine and Roses
Good Morning Heartache
Song for My Father
To purchase a A Circle of Friends email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Herb’s studio credits include the soundtrack to the Emmy award winning PBS documentary "The Turtle Stone" as well as countless TV and radio ads. He is the author of the book "Axis Correlation: a Modern Guide to Tonal Colors" and is the originator of the Dorian Blues concept of Jazz Improvisation.
At the tender age of 16, Terry began playing in the South Jersey area in 1975. Working with the legendary Bear and Big Red (an experience he no doubt is still recovering from) and many others. For over 25 years Terry has pursued his love for music playing many instruments before finding a personal connection in the acoustic bass.
Rachel’s stylistic versatility is rare among vocalists. She is equally adept at singing jazz, country, pop or opera. Rachel has performed at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City. Her voice on the new CD is warm and smooth.
And she is adept at singing chromatic intervals perfectly in pitch. This CD is a winner.
John Palermo - NewYork / New Jersey - John is a rarity. I have had the extreme pleasure of working with John on a number of projects through the years. John is an excellent percussionist and arguably one of the best recording engineers in the business. John’s signature sound can be heard on recordings by The Rolling Stones, Hall & Oates, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Deborah Harry, AC/DC, The Clash and numerous other major artists. Fans of “Exile On Mainstreet” are already familiar with his sound engineering artistry. ( I always attributed the unique sound on this album in no small way to John.) However the reason we are talking about him in this article is that in recent years John has focused his impressive musical talent on finger style guitar and has emerged triumphantly as one of the genre’s true geniuses. His superb CD “ Music From Dismal Swamp” is anything but dismal.
I simply can not recommend this CD enough. It opens with an arrangement of Moby Grape’s 8:05 which alone is reason enough to purchase this CD. It’s followed by an eclectic mix of traditional Celtic songs, country blues, original music, and jazz stylings.
This CD should appeal to anyone, but if you’re a guitar fan you simply must have this CD. (or download it from itunes). The country blues songs are technical feats worthy of a nod from Chet Atkins. I kid you not. ( I’m hoping to catch up with John for an interview here in Considerable Sounds soon). Download John's music at mp3.com.
“PHD”- Atlanta, Georgia- What can I say about a group of musicians that cite their influences as “the Minutemen, the Residents, TFUL 282, Flap, DQE, Gringo Star, Anna Kramer, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Shel Silverstein, Faces, The Country Teasers, Bon Vivants, King Congregation, Animus Disober, Syd Barrett, Taraf de Haidouks, the Fall, Gang Of Four, Polvo, Alice Cooper, Erik Satie, The Monks, Lay Down Mains, The Wayne Williams, Jude Stevens, Rush, Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorius, Sly And The Family Stone”? I like them. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing a number of recordings from Justin Hughes who plays guitar and found qualities to like about every era of his career.
Their newest CD is “ Where Eagles Fly”
It includes :
1. Happy Can
2. Shopping Cart Matador
3. The Iceman
5. Old Ladies Night
7. El Pepe
9. Tennessee Coastline
10. It's Still Tomorrow
11. Where Eagles Fly
12. I Hope You Have Fun
13. The Grand Seraglio
PHD is comprised of Jeff Patch, Justin Hughes, and Marshall Dandar.
In the words of adventurous drummer Jeff Patch “PHD. Eight years, three band names (Ladies Night. The Rattler), 40 songs, 75 seconds worth of band fights (cumulative). Many roads must be traveled at once. By boat. Bass, drums, guitar and vocals are the ever changing puzzle pieces. An orchestra of kaleidoscopes and hotdogs. You can never know the ingredients, nor can you examine their ever changing shapes.”
This is interesting bold music that I recommend investigating further. It is punk but sophisticated on another level. I don’t know what’s in the water in Georgia that spawns bands that balance retro-primitive with futuristic and cool simultaneously. But there appears to be no shortage. PHD songs are available for download at their myspace location. Also check for live appearances there.
Sue G Wilkinson - also of Atlanta (Should I move there? Is there a real music scene burgeoning? Sue, do you want another guitarist/keyboardist?) who I featured in Considerable Sounds before is a major talent who is also working independently. Here is a recent Video of her beautiful song “All Fall Down” shot by DC’s illustriously multi -talented editor on location. Enjoy!
Visit Sue’s homepage for news and information. And again Sue’s excellent recording is available at CD Baby. I can not recommend it highly enough! Sue is a remarkable visionary songwriter, a formidable pianist, and one of the finest singers I have ever heard. What is not to love?
Independent music is a little harder to find and know about. It takes some effort on the listener’s part to even become aware of it. But the rewards are incalculable. I’d be somewhat amiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to mention another excellent independent band. They are from New Jersey and are called the Mighty Parrot Band.
(Of course I’m somewhat prejudiced as I am a member).
The Radio Free Europa CD is a faux pirate radio broadcast
The Radio Free Europa CD is a faux pirate radio broadcast
But I think you’ll enjoy the CD Radio Free Europa. And you can look into the background, lyrics and such at mightyparrot.com. At The Shore magazine says - “Remarkable memorable songs impeccably recorded. Be prepared to move your feet! This CD is quite a likable experience the 1st time you hear it and will grow on you even more with repeated listening. The Mighty Parrot Band has been a Jersey Shore Favorite for 12 years or more. They have a world beat - Key West sort of vibe, but are really unique. Some Virtuoso guitar playing from Ben New on many cuts make this a standout!” Bernadette Hayes in SHOUT magazine described the CD as "Carefree party music with a deep creative twist." The Mighty Parrot Band features David Benson on guitars, harmonica, and vocals, Kelly May On Guitars and vocals, Mike Biglin on drums and vocals,
"Face" (Steve Fuchs - formerly of the Pacific Orchestra) on Bass, and yours truly on Guitars, Keys, vocals and anything nearby I can bang on.
This just in, The band has a following in Poland, appearing in the popular polish site “Inertia” and the music site MELOPL. Other sites that have downloads of Radio Free Europa include:
The Mighty Parrot Band is also on ZuKool which is a fascinating way to introduce yourself to new music using artificial intelligence. Usually quite effective. From their website-
"ZuKool is committed to enabling users to easily and quickly find information that is highly relevant to their individual tastes and requirements. ZuKool's adaptive search technologies - advanced AI search and recommendation technologies based on an individual's own preferences - empower users by putting them at the center of the information universe and in control. ZuKool is headquartered in Berkeley, California, with its R&D team currently based in Tokyo."The Mighty Parrot Band attracts a large crowd every Friday night at the renown N.J. hot spot, the Tuckahoe Inn for it’s outdoor concerts. You find them appearing weekly at Urie’s Waterfront in Wildwood N.J. as well. Come on over!
Chungas Revenge take 2?
As the acclaimed French Playwright
Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort said
“Nature never said to me:
Do not be poor; still less did she say: Be rich;
her cry to me was always: Be independent.”
Duly Consider and Considerable Sounds are TM of this publication and are subject to liabilities thereof