Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Release - Bonfire John and the Majestic Springs Band (TMRecords)

Bonfire John and The Majestic Springs Band started as a solo project by singer songwriter, Owen Yonce in the winter months of 2010. Since that time, Yonce has worked hard to establish himself in the local music scene of Carmel, Indiana where his band originates. Yonce is independently releasing his first album, “Makin’ The Most” with the help of recording engineer and founder of Tree Machine Records, Zack Anselm.

"I was cornered and trapped by a raging bull after a full day of fishing with my buddy, Owen Yonce, front man for the Majestic Springs Band. Not a typical day for me, but common practice for our good friend Bonfire John," says Anslem. "This wasn't just a big cow either, this was a thousand pound beast circling us at high speeds and taunting us with flaring nostrils and stomping feet as we were pushed back to the edge of a dock on a mucky lake at the farm. Luckily we dodged that bullet and stayed dry, and the next day Yonce was off on a trek across the country to rock climb, hike, explore canyons, and make familiar the rural landscapes that can sometimes be overshadowed in this modern America. He's truly a man who knows how to 'make the most,' the title of his first LP release with the band."

Yonce and Anselm spent two long months recording, mixing and creating music to finish “Makin’ The Most” by the beginning of the summer of 2011. With the help of Tree Machine Records, Yonce is playing local venues and starting to branch out to more national venues as well. Yonce intends to have the bands first cd release show at local music store Indy CD & Vinyl. The band will also be playing an upcoming show at Emerson theatre in Indianapolis in early August, 2011.

"The album turned out to be everything we anticipated and more. It's got an indie folk pop rock sound (at least that's the best way I can classify it) and has the feel of an early Modest Mouse album or maybe the recording style of a Pavement album. When he gets back from his trip touring begins, so get ready!

Yonce has tentatively planned a tour of the Midwest to kick off no later than August of 2012.

Other members include Brian McGowan on guitar, Jack Sullivan on bass, and Taylor Riner on drums.

A few sample tracks from "Making The Most" can be heard on the band's bandcamp site and on our site here,

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

British Rapper PW - The New Kid On The Block

Throughout time the British music industry has hosted a stream of teen idols – acts that appeal to the popular 13-19 market. And with the UK urban scene thriving right now, it makes sense for this to apply here too.

Step forward PW. With Chipmunk now a veteran of the game at the – ahem – ripe old age of 20, this 18-year-old from, Edmonton North London is primed to smoothly slide into this spot.

Hailing from the same ends as Chipmunk and another one of his faves Wretch 32, PW, whose stage
moniker comes from his childhood nickname ‘Peewee’ – ‘I shortened it as I don’t think it would
have been cool for me to use that as my rap name, do you?’, started rhyming at the age of 14,
literally ‘behind the bike sheds’ at lunch and break times.

He then took some time out, before returning to it in college.

"I decided to pick it up again due to the inspiration from the area I grew up in,’ he says. ‘I saw the likes of Wretch 32, Marvell and Chipmunk, who actually went to my college, doing their thing. And then one of my close family friends is a co-manager at Chip’s label Always Recordings, so it was just being around the industry in one way or another."

So does he feel like he could have the younger generation on lock? The urban music scene, unlike
in previous years is large enough to accommodate several acts and it is always wise to identify a particular niche within that market. How does PW’s swag lend to this?

‘I wouldn’t use any elaborate terms to describe my style,’ he says matter-of-factly, ‘I would just say it is just young and fresh, as a young person coming up. I know good music, and my sound and lyrics are inspirational and full of motivation. I like to make feel-good music.’

So what’s P’s (real name Akheim Allen) master-plan for his inevitable UK chart domination?

"I am aware of the acts around me, but I am not hardcore studying what everyone else is doing
to use that as my template,’ he explains. ‘Even though I am brush shoulders with a lot of up-and-coming artists and artists period, I am just myself. I know if I do that to the best of my ability no one can top that. My best is my only competition."

Right now PW, who is currently independent, is warming up to really go hard in the industry with a series of school and club appearances and freestyles posted on YouTube, including one laid over Jay-Z’s DOA blogged by BBC Radio 1xtra and Universal A&R - Dj Semtex and a few other key taste making bloggers .

He also recently recorded the Summer-vibed Sensible, which documents a conversation between P
and a young lady about the direction of their relationship.

"I want people to know that I can rhyme before I really put out any official material," he assesses.

In the meantime PW is keeping his eyes locked straight up towards the sky, which he sees us having no limits. "I’ve seen what the likes of Tinie Tempah have done in the space of under a year. Obviously I know it has taken a lot of work and dedication to reach that point, but knowing I have both those qualities makes me believe I can have it all."

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Island Soul - July 29 - August 1, 2011

This year's Caribbean-flavoured Island Soul festival at Harbourfront Centre features local and international musicians whose works embody a spirit of resistance that ignites social consciousness, with such acts as the nine-member rapso band 3Canal, from Trinidad and Tobago. They come with an excitingly energetic conscious music informed by the spirit of soca, calypso and kaiso (commonly describes as “the power of the word in the rhythm of the word”).

Other acts include:

Plenty Jump-Up Riddims! : Panman Pat and Jeff Walcott
Friday, July 29, 6 p.m. (Ann Tindal Park)
Come and enjoy our weekly Longo’s Friday Picnic as Panman Pat and Jeff Walcott bring the rhythmic sounds of the Caribbean to life on their traveling steelpan drums! Bring your own percussion instrument and join in.

Friday, July 29, 9 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
3Canal are recording artists from Trinidad & Tobago who perform rapso music.
Rapso is conscious music that is more of a philosophy and stance rather than an identifiable musical signature. It has been termed “the power of the word in the rhythm of the word,” “the poetry of calypso” and “the consciousness of soca.”

Pan Rootz: From Skin to Steelpan
Saturday, July 30, 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone Tent)
Pan Rootz: From Skin to Steelpan is a popular workshop with Joy Lapps of Drum Artz Canada that provides children with a hands-on experience of the steelpan, iron instruments and skin drums. Participants discover first-hand the amazing sounds of each of these instruments and learn a brief history of the musical evolution from skin to steel.

Elaine Lil’ Bit Shepherd
Saturday, July 30, 8 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Elaine Lil’ Bit Shepherd is a strong, young female voice in a reggae world dominated by men. Shepard’s song “Likkle But Mi Tallawah” is the 2011 JUNO Award winner for Reggae Recording of the Year.

Treasure Isle Sounds featuring Natty B and Friends
Saturday, July 30, 9 (Redpath Stage)
Treasure Isle located in Toronto's "Little Jamaica" neighborhood is the city's one-stop shop for the best reggae music of our times. Natty B’s hugely influential Zion Train show with Bigga (on CHRY 105.5 FM) sits on the pulse of the reggae music scene and the Rastafarian community. Each weekly program features the freshest selections of reggae music interspersed with vital commentary from the community.

Saturday, July 30, 9:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Jamaica-born, Canada-based reggae musician Steele’s first taste of success came with his recording of Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky” and then “Silhouette,” his cover of the late Dennis Brown’s anthem (Steele’s breakthrough song). Former lead singer of the band Tatix, Steele has been described as dynamic and sensational, with the versatility and range that defies restriction to any one genre.

Evin Lake
Sunday, July 31, 8 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Evin Lake (Kevin Clarke) comes from a long line of culturally-conscious reggae vocalists and ventured into the world of music from a very early age. The Port Antonio, Jamaica native grew up with an affinity for R&B and lover’s rock reggae being drawn primarily to the sounds of Teddy Pendergrass, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Dennis Brown and Sanchez. This performance is Evin Lake’s Canadian debut.

Sunday July 31, 9:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Mutabaruka has established himself as both a literary and musical giant, both in Jamaica and abroad, and is arguably one of Jamaica’s most respected wordsmiths, dub poets and broadcasters. His poems have given voice to a nation and helped forge an entirely new genre of music, dub/rhythm poetry. Revolutionary, fiery, scathing, and stinging, Mutabaruka's words are as potent on paper as they are on CD and live on stage.

Calypso Buds on the Maple Tree
Monday, August 1, 2 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Calypso Buds on the Maple Tree is a children’s showcase that features Canadian youngsters dedicated to promoting Caribbean calypso traditions.

Panatics Steelband Network
Monday, August 1, 4 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
The Panatics Steelband Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of pan music in Ontario. There is a distinctive family orientation to this steelband, with a large portion of its membership consisting of parents and their children.

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