Tag Archive: Folk


Ani DiFranco
Binary
Righteous Babe Records

Visit Ani Di Franco at Facebook and iTunes

Ani DiFranco is back! Actually, she never left, but she has just released her nineteenth studio album counting from her 1990 eponymous release. The American singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter has given us “Binary”. It’s a gift to us all who have followed DiFranco. Her confidence has not waned, and musically, the tracks span genres from folk to experimental rock. In signature activist style there’s “Pacifist’s Lament” and looking ahead to the future, the final track, “Deferred Gratification” tells us that “these kids are gonna help us win”.


The Overcoats

Overcoats
Young
Arts & Crafts

Visit The Overcoats at Facebook and iTunes

Overcoats, the singing and songwriting duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell have released their debut album on the Arts & Crafts label. While track-by-track it’s difficult to slot the music into a single genre, you won’t go wrong listening to this mix of indie pop, folk, soul and even jazz. Nicolas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Daughter) and Autre Ne Veut joined the duo in co-production.


Karen Elson

Karen Elson
Double Roses
Hot Records

Visit Karen Elson at Facebook and iTunes

Karen Elson, the British model and musician, has released her second album following a seven year hiatus since the release of “The Ghost Who Walks”. Elson’s “Double Roses” brings to mind the singer-songwriters of Laurel Canyon and the counterculture musicians such as Joni Mitchell and Carole King. The album has numerous highlights, but “Hell and High Water,” “Raven,” and most certainly “Distant Shore” cannot be passed by. This is an album not to be missed.


Beth Orton

Beth Orton
Kidsticks
Anti-

English singer-songwriter, known for mixing elements of folk and electronica, has released a powerful, mercurial ten tracks of her own “folktronica”. Orton seizes technology with a refreshing passion delivering a truely unique sound. It just feels good!

Visit Beth Orton at Facebook and iTunes

Photo by Art Heffron

Photo by Art Heffron

Denver-based Folk-pop songstress Katey Laurel grew up drawing pictures, writing stories, riding horses and playing in the woods in the Colorado mountains. This is the idyllic foundation from which she crafts her life and her music. Katey’s songs range from radio-friendly pop tunes to lush, cinematic songs for film and television. With background in Classical piano and French horn as well as guitar and voice, her artistic roots are both deep and diverse. Laurel draws her musical inspiration as a songwriter from many musical styles including bluegrass, classic rock, alternative, country, and even 80s dance-pop.

Katey has performed hundreds of shows via venues, radio, television stations and festivals in Colorado and around the US, including Hotel Cafe (LA), The Bitter End (NYC), Bluebird Cafe (Nashville), Hard Rock Café Denver and Nashville, Colorado State Fair and the Greeley Stampede. She has built a solid fan base with her unique voice and a satisfying blend of folk and pop, garnering airplay on Triple A and AC radio stations around the country including KALC, KMNT, KBCO, KFMU and KOTO. Most recently she is a Great American Song Contest Top 5 Winner and NPR Mountain Stage NewSong Contest Regional Finalist, and has had two songs in rotation on Starbucks overhead programming.

As a live performer, she has shared the stage with Howie Day, Bill Mallonee, Katie Herzig, Matt Morris, Trevor Hall and others. With her latest album “Periscope” produced by industry veteran Warren Huart (The Fray, Aerosmith), Katey Laurel is now poised to reach an even larger audience in the days ahead. Here’s your chance to get three of her songs free!

Walnut Valley Festival New Song Winner
Tucson Folk Festival National Finalist
Great American Song Contest Finalist
NPR Mountain Stage NewSong Southwest Regional Finalist
Texaco Country Showdown Southwest Regional Finalist
International Songwriting Competition Semi-Finalist

Visit Katie at

Official Website: www.kateylaurel.com
Facebook: Facebook
Twitter Twitter


What’s The Buzz ?


Natalie Gelman Photo Credit: Brent Florence

Natalie Gelman Photo Credit: Brent Florence

Natalie Gelman is widely recognized for her tireless cross-country travel and performances. She’s just released a new album, “Streetlamp Musician” with producers Charlie Midnight (James Brown) and Mark Needham (The Killers). The album is reflective, titled after a song she wrote about street performing and watching New York City change over time.

She was raised in the West Village, NYC, an area of the city considered as “off the grid” and noted for having been home to artists and writers dating back to the 1800s. Living amongst songwriting greats, Natalie came to know artists and true bohemians. She borrowed a friend’s guitar at 16 and started writing songs on it immediately and began busking on subway platforms.

Natalie has been compared to Sheryl Crow, Jewel and Joni Mitchell. She writes honest, heartfelt songs addressing current affairs and revealing parts of her inner self.

Yes, our friend, the troubadour, Natalie Gelman, is back at Sundance. The activities surrounding the Sundance Film Festival and Park City, Utah could do no better than to feature this New York born and raised singer. We’ve been following Natalie for sometime now and we had the privilege of interviewing her for the HorizonVU Music Blog last October http://blog.horizonvumusic.com/?p=7543 .

It was much to our pleasant surprise to learn that on Thursday, Natalie was a featured guest with Jenn Hardmann on KSL-TV, the NBC-affiliated television station in Salt Lake City. We’re really excited to pass along the clip to you. Natalie sings her original song “Lion” with all the energy we have come to know and enjoy!

If you’re at the Sundance Film Festival, catch Natalie’s live performances at NY Loves Film Lounge, 545 Main Street, (Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday) and Koffeehouse Show at Flanagan’s (Tuesday), 438 Mainstreet, Park City.

Visit Natalie at
http://www.NatalieGelman.com
http://www.Myspace.com/NatalieGelman
http://www.Youtube.com/NatalieGelman
http://www.Twitter.com/NatalieGelman


Gareth Dylan Smith aka Dr. Drums

Gareth Dylan Smith

Gareth Dylan Smith IS Dr. Drums, and in addition to his own blogging, he’s agreed to join us on the HorizonVU Music Blog and SHOP. Drawing from his teaching, and most definitely, his experience as a heavy duty rocker and drummer of the band “The Eruptors” http://www.eruptors.com/ Gareth is going to bring us great VUs and reVUs in keeping with HorizonVU Music’s focus on women in rock, alternative and folk.



Rachael Travers is a folk singer from London, England. There are plenty of these, and they seem to be especially prevalent at the moment, following the collective decision of mainstream media to focus their gaze for a season on ‘nu-folk’. However, against a backdrop of Marlings, Mumfords and Staves, what sets Travers apart in this nebulous UK ‘scene’ is her voice – a uniquely beguiling instrument in which she combines the purity of Alison Krauss, the playful agility of Dolly Parton and a heart-wrenching emotional palette approaching the depth of Jeff Buckley. With lyrics that are direct and suggest a youthful naiveté, Travers visits some deeply personal spaces in her music; her songs are strength and tenderness, conversation and introspection, confidence and uncertainty. She reels in her listeners, addressing all of the songs to ‘you’, with memorable original melodies She tends to perform either alone with her guitar, or accompanied by a band that includes banjo, mandolin, double bass, drums, and harmony vocals reminiscent of Emmy-Lou Harris with Gram Parsons. I attended a performance in the spring of this year where Travers showcased new material at a songwriters’ circle in North West London. The songs were disarmingly honest, her performance powerful, and the entire audience wrapt, spellbound.

With live shows being rare (a delicacy not to be missed) and often announced at short notice, a selection of Travers’ music is available on her 2011 Ivy Road EP. Wearing her heart on her sleeve, Travers disrobes emotionally on this touchingly intimate clutch of songs that take the listener on a journey through an undulating landscape of love. On the opening track, ‘Forgive Me’, she sings of love unattainable, and leaves us ‘clenching on to the night, with nowhere else to go’. She declares frustration at God, whom she later rejects completely in the final song when she sings ‘I don’t believe in God no more, I’m sorry to say’. The title track is a soothing, beautiful and impassioned reminder to a companion about a path taking him or her to where ‘you’re loving again’. ‘All I ask’ sees Travers at her breathiest and most needy, and also her most defiant, in a song of unrequited love in which she ultimately confesses in the poignant final line that ‘all my world would fall apart, if you weren’t in my heart’. On ‘You are the One’ she is upbeat and feisty, angry over more unrequited love. She dismisses her would-be suitor, admitting nonetheless that ‘I dream of your hand for me to hold’. It is on this cut that she sounds most like Dolly Parton, showcasing a Nashville finesse that few of her contemporaries pull off with such alacrity. The final song, ‘No More’, features Travers’ voice at its most intimate. A slow crescendo, this might be the cream of the crop. It is a plea for autonomy and some space of her own; her pure, crystal voice soars high into the distance, away from her suffocating, controlling lover.

Travers tells listeners that ‘all I ask is for your love’. You can start by accessing most of the songs from Ivy Road here: http://soundcloud.com/rachaeltravers, where Rachael Travers sings of her heart.

www.Garethdylansmith.com
www.YouTube.com/garethdylansmith
http://independent.academia.edu/GarethDylanSmith


What’s The Buzz ?


Andrea Soler is a genuine gypsy. Music is her life and she lives it with a nod to the cultural tradition of the troubadour, travelling the world, singing songs, telling tales and lifting spirits with a beguiling, bohemian flare and an authentic joie de vivre. Her music is nomadic too, wandering the realms of indie folk, jazz, roots and world music. With touches of calypso, flamenco, reggae and more, Andrea intuitively blends a myriad of global influences to create music with universal appeal.

Hey there friends!

It is with great pleasure that we present to you our brand new
film clip for Daydreamer! Created on a $20 budget, this is our
first home made clip, and it couldn’t have happened without so
many people involved!

Directed by Nora Savona
Lighting and Effects – Tim Tonkin
Extra Lighting – Jim Spriggs
Edited by James Ross, Goba and Andrea Soler
Special Thanks to – The Nimbin Bush Theatre, NORPA, Tropical
Fruits, Vinnies, James Ross, Shay Henderson, Elvis Callaghan,
Angus Graham, and all our friends, family and fans who came along
to help make this clip so special!

Hope you enjoy it, and we’d love to hear what you think!

Much love,

Andrea x x

Daydreamer is now on iTunes!

You can visit Andrea at www.andreasoler.com
www.reverbnation.com/andreasolermusic
www.horizonvumusic.com

Andrea Soler is an Australian singer songwriter with compelling vocals and insightful lyrics who has just recently toured the UK summer festivals including Isle Of Wight, Larmer Tree and the Sunrise Festival. Musically inspired by the passionate joie de vivre of her French ancestry she exudes a distinctly European influenced sound, yet maintaining her own take on indie folk. Likening herself and her music to the old ways of gypsies and travelers; expect a swathe of moods and emotion from Andrea’s soulful live performances.

Andrea, it’s really a pleasure to meet you and to be part of your journey! We know a bit about you from earlier talks and your bio, but tell us a bit about your musical path and how has your career has developed.

AS: When I was 18, I went to the Woodford Folk Festival here in Australia. I’ll never forget the feeling I had watching band after band blow me away. I knew then, one day I would play that festival, all I wanted was to be a musician! So, I then bought a guitar and started playing and writing songs. I went busking on the streets with my sister. After recording a home made demo, I decided to try my luck overseas and bought a one way ticket to Paris. I ended up living there for over a year and played in bars in Montmatre and even Fete De La Musique in 2007! I then went to the UK where I was then sponsored to record my first EP ‘Better in The Sunshine’ at The Sonic Kitchen Studios. I played festivals such as the Larmer Tree, Isle of Wight and Sunrise Festival, UK. I got on so well with my producer that I went on to record my debut album ‘Earth On An Axis’ with him as well. Since coming back to Australia I achieved my dream of performing at many festivals and lastyear I played at the Woodford Folk Festival, the place that kick started my musical career!

Is there anybody who has really helped you along you path, Do you have a mentor?

AS: I am very lucky to say that I have had so many people help me along the way. My biggest mentor is Alan ‘Big Al’ Hill. He was the incredibly brilliant man who produced my first two records. He believed in me and taught me so much about the recording process, about music and about life. He truly was an incredible man, a world class musician (played bass for Jack Dejonette – Miles Davis’s drummer, produced for Shirley Bassey & many more). Sadly, Al passed away a couple of years ago, is greatly missed today by so many people around the world. I still count him as my biggest mentor. I always think – what would make Al proud?

What’s next for you? What’s coming up for you live and recorded?

AS: I have just finished recording my brand new EP called Daydreamer. I’m going to be launching it here in Australia at the beginning of June, and then embarking on a twelve week tour through the UK and Europe! I’ve booked 18 shows already which includes four festivals in the UK. We’ll also be making a documentary about this tour to inspire independent musicians to manage themselves and book their own international tours. I am very excitied about this trip, especially to return to Paris!

Do tells us a bit about your latest album.

AS: Daydreamer is a five track EP. It’s a collection of songs I’ve written on the ukulele. A lady once said to me that you can’t write a sad song on the ukulele. Well, one day I was sitting at home and wrote a song called ‘Heart Break Floor’. It’s about my first heart break. At least I can prove to the lady you can write a sad song on the ukuele! Then there’s ‘Love at First Sight’ which is a true story about a guy who was lost, walked into a cafe to ask for directions and fell in love with the girl behind the counter, and there’s Daydreamer which is the title track. It’s a song to remind people how important it is to believe in their dreams. Lonesome Traveller is a haunting tune, and The Palmreader is a song about.. well, I guess you’ll just have to hear it and find out!

It’s hard to believe that anyone would have the nerve to break your heart! Let’s take a few minutes out to let everybody in on what’s going on as we watch “Daydreamer EP”

We work with a lot of young emerging artists. Can you share a certain moment in your career – good or bad – that’s kept you moving on?

AS: I think I’ll share a good and a bad if that’s ok? The bad moment was when I lost one of my best friends and producer Big Al. He means so much to me. He always assured me along the way. Gave me advice, feedback about my songs and made me laugh too! He brought out the best in me, and I’ll never forget all that he did for me.

A good moment – I think it was just recently, when I walked onto the stage to play at last years’ Woodford Folk Festival! It had been myAndrea Soler_010 dream for over ten years to play at this festival. I had to pinch myself a couple of times to realise that I was literally living the dream. It taught me to never give up on my dream, keep working hard, and enjoy the journey!

I always like to ask our guests about personal heros, so here goes…who is your hero? Why?

AS:There are so many people that inspire me. When I read the biography of Edith Piaf, I felt so inspired by her zest for life and for everything she achieved from her humble beginnings as a homeless girl on the streets of Paris. Then there’s Joni MItchell who got Polio at the age of 8 and started singing to get better. She is another woman who overcame obstacles in her life and achieved her dreams. I think another of my heroes would be Sally Dastey. She is an Australian singer and is such a beautiful person and gives her whole heart to her audience. I like artists that give their all.

I have to tell you, that my colleagues here at HorizonVU Music are not to wild about that question (they’ve heard me ask it so many times), but I think you saved me…we’re all Joni Mitchell fans! Andrea, again, thanks so much for your time and we look forward to going live in September. We’ll be posting your gigs!

Visit Andrea Soler at www.andreasoler.com
www.reverbnation.com/andreasolermusic
www.myspace.com/andreasoler
www.horizonvumusic.com

Maria Brodskaya

Maria Brodskaya

Recently, we had the pleasure of being  introduced to Maria Brodskaya. Maria is a singer, songwriter, pianist and violinist, as well as an actress and photo model.

She was born into a musical family Belgorod, Russia.  At age four Maria began studying music, playing the violin and piano. By the age of seven she began writing music. With her first two songs she earned her first composer award at the famous Ukrainian contest “Young composers” in Kiev. Maria has won many contests as a singer and songwriter. She has performed in Moscow (Russia), Kiev (Ukraine), Berlin (Germany), Copenhagen (Danmark), Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Maria’s  debute album “Apple-Moon” is now available. The CD brings to the fore a blend of pop, soul, slavic folk, jazz and ambient music. It unites the modern and ancient musical traditions. East and West.

So, tell us a bit more about your background and your introduction to music?

MB: I was born in Russia, in a small town Belgorod, in a family of professional musicians – my father was a composer and a pianist, and my mother is a concertmaster and music teacher. When I was six I entered The Special Musical Schoolfor Gifted Children, affiliated with the Conservatory, that was a border school in Kharkov (Ukraine), and five days a week I was living there, because that was the nearest special music school. Then when I finished it ahead of time, cum laude, I entered the Conservatory in two departments – violin and piano. And then, after my studying there for two years, I moved to Moscow and entered the Russian Academy of Music as a singer and songwriter. And I graduated from there cum laude too:) So, now I’m in Moscow. And actually, when they ask me about my nationality and etc – I always answer: “no matter where I am from and where I am know – I consider myself a person without age and nationality, and I’m just a human creature of this world and a citizen of the Earth planet:)

Once you had your focus on music, how did you begin your journey towards becoming a professional ?

MB: Well, actually, apart from my musical education, that was starting when I was four – I began studying music, playing the violin and piano in a music school in my home town before the special music school – I’ve been participated in many contests and festivals, starting from the age of 7. By this age – of seven – I began writing music and, with my first two songs, I won my first composer award in the “Young Composers Contest” in Kiev (that is the capital of Ukraine). Then I’ve had a lot of different awards as a singer and songwriter, and also as a composer of instrumental music. And also I have a lot of performances as an artist-violinist of a chamber and symphony orchestra. And at the age of 16 – when I was a student of the Conservatory – I had my first jazz quartet and sang jazz in club with them. And then, when I came to Moscow I organized my acoustic jazz quartet. Its name was ‘Soft-M”. We played jazz in Moscow jazz clubs, and I performed as a vocalist, violinist, arranger and art director simultaneously. But the last few years I’m focused on my own original music, and I’m working in the studio, writing a lot and recording my albums. I have some performances in Moscow clubs and some events – I play the piano and sing my jazz-folk songs in English, Russian and Ukrainian languages, and I even have a song in Hebrew. And this April I had two concerts in Buenos-Aires with my both programs – from my first album “Apple-Moon” and with my jazz-folk program that I’m singing and playing the piano. But still great part of my time now I devote to my working in the studio. And now I’m recording my new album – my second album in English.

Who were your earliest sources of inspiration?

MB: Well, there was a lot of different music sounding in my parents place. And my first names from my childhood, that have formed my musical world outlook and taste and inspired me were: Diana Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Billie Holiday. And then – who became my gurus more: Bob James, Bill Evance, Pat Metheny, Shirley Horn, Sting, Seal, Sade.

In the classical music I can emphasize my lovely great and important names for my musical life: Sergei Rachmaninov and Claude Debussy.

And also one of the spring of inspiration for me is Ukrainian Folk Music.

Tell us about your travels and exposure to international audiences?

I haven’t had a lot of international performances yet. I recorded my debut album in English in 2011, and my second album in English is getting ready very soon. But I had a few performances in Berlin, and with my new album “Apple-Moon” two concerts in Buenos Aires, that were very successful, and audience was very kind, and people were coming up to me and asking me for my album. And though I have never been to America yet – I’m just getting ready to come -, now I receive a lot of letters from my fans – most of them are Americans and English people, who has listened to my album on Internet, iTunes and on Radio, and they write me how they love my music, and how much they are waiting for my concerts in their countries. So, now I’m doing my best to come to develop and realize myself in the US. Because that is my main professional goal for now, and also my dream.

Let’s take a few minutes to watch your video “Empire of Music”.

Your CD “Apple Moon” is available on iTunes and Amazon (as well as SHOP HorizonVU Music). Give us some background on the album…what’s the message?

MB: Well, this is my real debut album, that is the mix of pop, soul, slavic folk, jazz and ambient music. And the idea of the music in this album was to unite different musical traditions – East and West. I wanted to make the modern music, but to save in it the tones of the slavic folk music with its great history. And telling about some background of this album I’d like to start from the name – “Apple-Moon”, and there is a short funny story:

I didn’t have any name for the album, but I had a few songs for it. But suddenly… – the new song is born via iPad – it was created and arranged on iPad..:)  And this song became the “key-song” and also brought the tittle for the album: because of I love Apple, I love apples, and I love moon – so, the name has come: “Apple-Moon”!

And the interesting thing more is this key-song – “Apple-Moon” is based on the world known old Ukrainian song “Shchedrik” or “Carol of the Bels” – it’s English version of this song. The sense of this song has a big magic, as well as all of the slavic folk music has. And as for the lyrics in this album – I can say they are the mix too: I was trying to compile some kind of the slavic folk poetry images and the magical sense, figurative style, strong emotion of love, drama and tenderness. I wanted to make the songs soft and dramatic one and the same time, emotional and deep, magical and sexy. And I hope I did that, because now people tell me about these things in my music:)

And by the way, I have to say, that here in this album I’m acting not only as a singer and songwriter, but also as a piano-and-violin-player, and also as an author of the arrangements of some songs.

And now “Apple-Moon” airs on different radio stations in the US and UK. And by the way, here in this album I’m acting not only as a singer and songwriter, but also as a piano-and-violin-player, and also as an author of the arrangements of some songs.

What’s is Maria’s plan for 2012? What should our readers be looking for as far as Maria is concerned?

MB: Well, first, now I’m finishing my second English album, that will be very interesting, beautiful and strong music. Something new, I guess. I don’t like any kind of copy-cats in music and in arts on the whole. I really think the most important and interesting thing that artist can do and have to do in their arts is to express their own inner world in their doings.  And that is the only thing that the creative work is for.

Second, my main goal is to realize and develop myself in the US, now I’m preparing a lot of different papers to get american visa, and hope very much to get it as soon as my new album is ready. So, I will have two recorded albums in my hands – that are my original music and lyrics. And that will be my completed concert program. And more over, there is two hundred songs in my composer baggage, and by this moment thirty songs from them are in English. So, I’m also planning to record not only the second, but also the third album in this year, at least.

I’m planning to come to the US with God’s help, create a band there, and of course I hope to have the touting through the US, and realize all my skills and creative ideas on the stage, in my music and my performance. I hope to get a serious contract with the label, maybe major – I know I can be a very good asset:))  Of course, I am setting the goal and have a big hope to win Grammies as an interesting artist with interesting music – these are  grerat goals and aspirations for any musician. I am not the sort of girl who is going to give up, I’m intending to keep fighting for my dreams and for myself, for my right to be heard and realized in this world, and I’m going to win that!

Maria, we appreciate you time and we certainly wish you all the very best  going forward.  Maria’s album is available on iTunes and Amazon (directly and through SHOP HorizonVU Music). Let’s talk again soon!

Visit Maria Brodskaya at 

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