Nemo James Releases “The Minstrel”


Nemo James debuts his new release, The Minstrel, to the delight of eager ears. James, who turned his back on a successful career as a session guitarist in London, has shifted the tables to focus on songwriting. Bringing his life experiences into play, he has a unique style that brings to life his acoustic based influenced and his new endeavor, an autobiography titled Just a Few Seconds. James was on hiatus for 12 years before returning to music. His folk-esque sound revives classics such as Cat Stevens with a big of edge.

The Minstrel is filled with captivating tracks; 17 of them to be exact, and each are increasingly stellar. His knack for instrumentation and songwriting shine through within every piece on the album, proving his is definitely a mainstay in the music community. Pieces such as “The Poet,” give a perfect first glimpse into James and the record as a whole, with beautiful lyrics and intricate music that lays as the perfect bed for the song. James talent to captivate folk audiences is a gorgeous thing all on its own, as each piece is laced with a special unique quality. One song that stands out to me that I instantly had on replay is “Dreamer on the Run.” The instrumentation in the song can be described with one word: Stunning. Throughout the record James gets a little bit dark, but it fits the theme like a glove. For those who love a good, solid folk record, this one is definitely worth your time to check out.

Andy Evans Enlightens With Upcoming New Record


Andy Evans writes Americana music with a little dose of heaven on the side. Set to release his upcoming effort, Miracle, due out January 2016, Evans brings a great deal of talent to the table. Drawing from the great current Americana songbook of acts such as Ryan Adams and the Alabama Shakes, Evans brings his own eclectic and unique set of skills and shines above the rest. Tasty guitar riffs and infectious vocals bring the record to life, which is notable in pieces such as the title track, “Miracle.” He brings in a perfect blend of blues and rock, which infuses and flows perfectly throughout each song.

Miracle is full of range which shows an energetic upbeat side, yet there are songs that slows things down like the ballad-esque piece “45.” Evans voice is delightful and filled with emotion, not only making him a great songwriter, but a musician as well. The instrumentation that is presented in the songs are captivating and genuine in sound and in spirit.

Personally one of the most standout tracks for me is “I Wish She Was Mine.” The depth of his spirit and singing in the piece offers a dose of heartbreak and love. This really makes the listener feel like they are getting in the soul and mind of Evans.

Miracle quickly proves to be a record that is a must have for 2016, trust me on this one.

Andy Evans via Facebook:

A Chat with Space Apaches


Space Apaches is one-hell-of an upcoming band that have been making their rounds in the music realm lately. Often described as a ‘psychedelic Eagles with a sense of humor, the band impresses with their latest release, Smokin’ Voyages,  which is out now (and a highly suggested listen I might add!). i had the chance to speak with Andrew from the group, to get inside the heart, soul, and head of Space Apaches.

Watch “Smile”:

How did Space Apaches come together?

We all play on records and do studio work. So we naturally gravitated together. In the Asheville area, though it has a great music scene, the session player circle is not that big. Since I produce a great deal, I used these guys a lot before the Space Apaches thing happened. Everyone likes each other genuinely and I think that is reflected in the tightness in the recordings.

What albums, artists and inspirations stood out to you the most, to form your musical taste and structure?

That is a difficult question as every person is a collection or an aggregate of experiences, musical and otherwise. A band situation compounds that exponentially. For me, (Andrew) I always look for a “real” artist. I’m not into plastic and homogenized or “wanna be” artists, even if they are commercially successful. This is perhaps why one has to look past production and portrayal to get to the essence of an artist. Great albums…Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen), Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd), Venus and Mars (Paul McCartney), Only Visiting this Planet (Larry Norman), Aerosmith (Aerosmith of course!)… There are bunches… Now the Space Apaches is, on the surface, about joy and not taking ourselves too seriously. However, the astute realize that there is substance camouflaged in the music. But to your question, here are some of my big influences were Gordon Lightfoot, Bluesman, John McVey (who I produced a few records for), Jeff Beck, Blue Oyster Cult, Larry Norman…and for this record, the Eagles, Aerosmith and Mason Proffit, which was before my time, but I love the vibe of the music!

Your music is very energetic. How do you take the songs from the studio setting and translate them onto the stage?

Everyone is a seasoned session player, so capturing a great performance is not really a problem in the studio. Plus, the way I’ve designed Sedgwick Studios, we can actually play live and have fantastic sonic separation! We track in the same space on the 3rd level with the amps in the various isolation rooms on the 1st level or in the adjoining “white” room. The 2nd level is a big room used for natural reflective sounds where the band’s sound bleeds into through a special “sound hole.” In this reflective room, we incorporate various distance miking to create sounds that you can’t get from signal processing units.  THUS, we have eye contact and interaction! Just like you would live so that we can react to each other organically. Live, it is more of a jam. I like it looser with more spontaneity. I think that in any setting, the artist must enter as “state” where he or she blocks out everything and totally feels the experience…this normally jacks up the energetic transaction!.

What is the inspiration behind your lyrics, in particular, on the new album, Smokin’ Voyages?

There two key words that pop up all over the record, “Mind” and “Feel” or “Feeling.” These themes both involve consciousness. All we really know is that each of us are feeling sensations and are experiencing something from moment to moment. Our understanding is inherently limited as Descartes pointed out 400 years ago.  The songs on this record play on this topic and range from broad philosophical offerings to day-to-day experiences, such as the news and relationships. However, most of the songs are about the broader context of interpreting life…with suggestions on how each of us has an option of how we choose to experience it. I think we are more than Mind…

How did you choose the name Space Apaches for the band? Was there any specific reasoning or choice behind it?

I think that the name Space Apaches captures the idea of “outlaw consciousness” and energy well! After all, we’re from a distant planet right? You think of folks that contemplate such topics as “spacey” or “out there!” Well, this group IS an outlier! We ARE different and our model is freaking people out with all the health-science and other innovations. The purpose or purposes of the record ARE different. Apaches are depicted as wild and courageous! And that is exactly what we are doing with the use of HEV and other technologies…not only for listening, but even their use in the creative process. Plus, we like a bit of recklessness and aggression when playing!!!! That qualifies you as an Apache!

Musically and in instrumentation, what are your inspirations? What is your method for not only writing a song but for writing an entire record?

I think that the 70s produced some of the best sounding and best produced records. Generally speaking of course, they had warmer sounds, somewhat more thought behind them…and this era produced some incredibly interesting listening! And there was something about vinyl! That is one of the reasons Smokin’ Voyages is in a quality vinyl format! We wanted to provide that experience as well! An LP mindset is different from a singles mindset. There is a beginning, middle material and an end. I try to do that on every record I produce so that a “story via feelings” is created. One of the things I despise in the current recording environment is that all of the songs on so many records have a “sameness” that I find uninteresting. This is due to lack of budget as well as to lazy or inexperienced/unimaginative or non-courageous producers and engineers. Regarding instrumentation for the Space Apaches, again we must look at the Eagles, Aerosmith and Mason Proffit as stylistic influences.

Method of writing the record… Hmmm…. Are you sure you want to know? Of course, I can’t speak for the other Apaches, but here we go…  There are certainly many technical things that I do, but the essence of the feeling is what I start with, always…. Nothing calculated… The feeling is normally linked to an idea or theme… I write the idea down and then go into what I’ll describe here as a “state” where I “let go”… sometimes naturally as I have since I was a boy, but often using proprietary technologies to help me maintain an “in-between” state of consciousness…in-between the waking and sleeping state that is… Ideas tend to be much more fluid in this state. When I do this, more and more substance of the songs comes…  I know you probably think this is weird, but this method has impacted my life far beyond music…materially as well as my overall level of happiness. I am SO grateful to have been introduced to it… Plus, I don’t rush! A song is done only when it is done. And this takes time.

How would you describe the Asheville, NC music scene?

It is bohemian for sure! And there is all kinds of music especially original music! It is one of the reasons I chose to build a studio here! It is a thriving music and art city! Downtown it is like, groovy restaurant, art gallery, groovy clothes shop, art gallery, funky bar, another groovy restaurant…street after street! There’s a musician on every corner it seems… How can you NOT be into music with a scene like that!!! And there are a lot of places to play! Plus, you overdose on green! At least that is what the LA players say to me when they fly in to do a session! The mountain setting provides such inspiration!

At what point in your life, did you know that being a professional musician was something you wanted to achieve and become?

My 2nd cousin, Terry Kirkendall, was a killer, killer drummer (He went on to play with the Derailers and others…) Well, when I was in 7th grade, I went over to his house for a family thing and he and his band (guys with actual mustaches) were rehearsing in the basement. I was blown away! I thought “I gotta do this!” I noticed that the bass only had 4 strings and that you plucked them! I knew for a FACT that I could NEVER play the guitar with 6 strings and chords!!! So I thought “Maybe I could learn to play the bass!”  That was the beginning!

What is coming up next for Space Apaches?

We have 13 cool videos to release for Smokin’ Voyages. Plus we’re going to release some live stuff. We’ll also be exploring more of the synapse-altering technologies as well and how to incorporate them into music and other things! There are some new developments with some of the scientists and researchers that I’d like to be involved with. Just don’t drive when you have a HEV version of a song playing or you might wind up in the ditch! You know you are in trouble when you listen to it and you say to yourself “This isn’t doing anything!” That’s when your guard is down and WHAM! You’re in space!

Mooji Shares “Medley” from “Double Agent”


Mooji is the eclectic alter-ego of respected DJ and producer, Kramnik, as he takes to the music world with a stunning new album titled Double Agent. The record explores elements of acid-jazz, dub, funk and blues, to create a trippy musical experience. Currently Mooji is sharing his new track, “Medley” from the upcoming record, which you can stream and post below.

Double Agent began to take shape after two years of intense evolution, with Mooji proving both ambition and versatility, introducing vocals by blues legends such as Leadbelly, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, as well as Dub pioneer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. The album came to life as Mooji took to the road, producing and recording as he traveled, and drawing visual inspiration from places such as Cuba, Laos, Morocco, Japan or Mongolia, to shape the ‘story’ behind the music. Double Agent also sees the introduction of live session musicians on the likes of guitar, harmonica and trumpets, with Mooji stepping up himself on drums! The result is a more organic and earthy sound, both engaging and eclectic, masterfully bridging the gap between electronic production and live musical virtuosity.

Creating captivating music for both body and soul, Mooji’s Double Agent brings to life the artist’s irrepressible desire to explore and master different musical styles. The metamorphosis from Kramnik to Mooji demonstrates a growing maturity and broadening of this respected artist’s sonic horizons, and offers a tantalizing glimpse of even more musical gems in the road ahead. 2015 is the year of Mooji.

Elessar Thiessen Shares “A Rainy Week In Paradise”


Newcomer to the site today is Elessar Thiessen, an outstanding singer-songwriter who really breaks the mold of the genre. His newest release, A Rainy Week in Paradise, proves to be a perfect reflection of his blues guitar skills, channeling the likes of John Mayer and Jason Mraz.

Hailing from Canada, the cold weather forced young Elessar to often stay inside. During that time he learned how to hone his guitar skills and work on his songwriter. Playing guitar since the impressive age of 8, he offers a unique approach to songwriting which shows on the new record. A Rainy Week in Paradise is filled with honest and inspiring songs, but also touches upon the dark side of life, and the uplifting measures that come about.

Each song on the new album truly outdoes itself. Thiessen’s knack for crafting intricate guitar songs shine through each piece. From the title track, “A Rainy Week in Paradise,” which is as gorgeous as it is uplifting, to the slow and piano laden “I Need a Woman,” Elessar shows his true range as not only a songwriter, but as a musician and record producer as well. Standout tracks also include the dreamy “You Girl,” which feature Alexa Dirks on co-vocals (heavenly!), and the vibrant and quirky “Truth,” which has the making of a Top 40 hit in my opinion.

Elessar Thiessen’s A Rainy Week in Paradise is a pleasant surprise from the norm, and definitely a must have for your Fall listening pleasure.

Listen to Elessar Thiessen “Truth” HERE

Watch the video for “Young Girl” HERE

bitter’s kiss Releases Self-Titled Debut


bitter’s kiss is the moniker of singer-songwriter Chloe Baker who hails from New Jersey. Growing up surrounded by music, she honed and maintained her musical skills, mostly due in part to the influence of her father who had a studio, guitar collection, a band, and was active in musical theater. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree they say, and in this case the saying is definitely right. Over the past several months, Chloe, aka bitter’s kiss, has worked with her father to record and produce a stunning and insightful collection of songs.

The content of the tracks are noteworthy and heartfelt, creating pieces that are not only musically enticing, but deep in subject matter as well. Her new self-titled record, bitter’s kiss, is the result of heartfelt experiences and life experiences, that are perfectly conveyed. Standout track, “The Rope,” was written about her distant cousin who recently committed suicide. Her deeply religious background, and the feeling of importance to be true to herself, help guide the song to the heavenly piece it became.

Each song on the record delivers a prominent story. For example on “Too Far Too Fast” the piece is the feelings of watching her older sister go off to college, and dealing with change. Though Chloe may be young in years, in content and in songwriting, she is far ahead. Taking pages from the book of prominent artists such as Regina Spektor, Nellie McKay and Carol King, it is safe to say that bitter’s kiss is an artist you will be hearing more of, and soon. Be sure to put this one on your radar!

Watch bitter’s kiss “The Rope” Here: