Angela Perry’s New Album is Beyond Beautiful

Angela Perry’s music shares the strength, heartache and joys of living life. Her melodies are invigorated with energy and honesty and her lyrics are beautifully crafted and meticulously written to be as open as possible. Her soulful voice takes her music to a higher lever as you can not only hear her passion for her craft, but for the meaning behind each song as well. Her songwriting gives a new perspective to the typical themes of nature and matters of the heart that we all know and love.

Angela newest folk and country rock album, 21 Dayz, boasts 9 stunning songs that showcase her Shania Twain and Bonnie Rait-esque vocals and her Joni Mitchell and James Taylor-like songwriting. She meticulously wrote each song to be as open and no-nonsense as possible. She doesn’t sugar-coat through any topics. For example, her song “Sister Cry” is about the disturbing amount of women who are murdered and go missing just for being their authentic selves. In fact, indigenous women are 10x more likely to get murdered or go missing. The lyrics of this song is juxtaposed with the more upbeat melody, implying our blind eye towards this. “’Sister Cry’ was written from the victim’s perspective as a plea to all of us ‘who look the other way.’ The word WHY in the song asks a question that can not seem to be answered not only by the victims but by us.  They are crying for all who too blinded to see,” shares Angela.

Her song “Sunflower Child,” by far one of her best, is about strength, hope, and positivity. The sunflower is a resilient and adaptable flower as it can grow in any environment. She recently released the video for this song and dedicated it to the Ukrainian refugees. The song is about perseverance and standing tall against adversity, like a sunflower.

“Fallen” is another song that stands out. It’s more acoustic than the rest and represents everyone who has fallen from grace due to a decision they made. It hurts now, but time heals all wounds. The melody is both haunting and a little melancholic, though you can hear the hope in her voice as the song progresses. “The song was written underneath 150 year old cottonwood trees where the idea of time is so different from what we as humans feel,” shares Angela. “In the scheme of time, we are nothing more than just a speck and sometimes when we fail to see how things we view as significant are not. This song…reminds all of us that we are human and have human frailties and frustrations.”

Listen to the full album here:

Find Angela Perry via:

Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // TikTok // Spotify // Soundcloud

The Lyric Video of Michael Gutierrez-May’s Folk Single, “Imaginary Tomato,” is Wonderfully Stylized

The rising indie folk singer/songwriter, Michael Gutierrez-May, has been working to help the underground folk music scene for almost 30 years. While he’s promoted shows, booked coffeehouses, and supported underground artists, unfortunately, he didn’t do enough to support his own songwriting endeavors. But in 2009, he decided enough was enough and started focusing on his music.

He just debuted his lyric video for his much loved song “Imaginary Tomato” from his latest album, Drifting to the Right. The song has a Bruce Springsteen style in both Michael’s vocals and guitar style, but there’s also a hint of Johnny Cash in the style and storytelling. Michael utilizes his background as a mental health therepist to inform his songwriting, especially “Imaginary Tomato.”

“‘Imaginary Tomato’ is a fun video created by Kat Reinhert about political ranting on the home front,” says Michael. He takes on his own frustrations on the political standing of the United States and his anger towards the former President. The lyric video is quite animated. The lyrics are guided by a tomato, but the tomato is telling the story to the viewer. It dances around the screen, guiding your eyes to the words and direction the words go. It’s the most telling lyric video I’ve ever seen.

Watch here:

The song is “inspired by current events with the added thought not to take oneself too seriously,” shares Michael. “This song came quickly, not long after the tomato idea emerged from my subconscious. The message of the song is to embrace tolerance and openness, keep hope alive and also not to be afraid of throwing tomatoes at repressive authorities.”

Find and connect with Michael Gutierrez-May via:

Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // Spotify // Soundcloud

Craig Norris Byrd Premieres His Debut Solo Album, ‘Remissions’

Craig Norris Byrd has no problem writing songs about the trials and tribulations that life throws at us. The folk-rock singer/songwriter takes the personal and makes it relatable with his conceptual music and lyrics. His debut album, Remissions, gives us a look at his passions and values. The 10 track album is heavy with a cathartic artistic statement where he purges his pain and struggle into his music. “I am not so interested in publicizing what I have done, but I am interested in sharing where this album comes from,” shares Craig . “This album is a personal statement I had to get out of the way before I could move on.”

Remissions pulls from many different folk traditions, and harkens us to the likes of Paul Simon and a little bit like Johnny Cash. It was solely composed, arranged, and produced by Byrd, but features a bevy of ace musicians supporting his fine songcraft. 

The songs on the album take on darker themes. His song “Your Bud” is about his father’s descent into dementia and how he never got to fix their relationship. “He died with much regret and never got the chance to meet my two sons,” Craig shares. “His mental acuity steadily diminished and he met his death in a hospital when he woke up from back surgery and did not know who he was and what was going on. He was unrestrained and proceeded to tear out his sustenance and medication tubing and get up to try and leave. This resulted in physical trauma from which he never recovered.” He sings “And I was wrong to let the pain I went through/keep us so far apart until just now,” trying to grapple and cope with the memory of his father. 

Not every song is as heavy as “Your Bud” and “Gina Rides a Tiger,” a song about his sister’s death by breast cancer. He also has a few love songs, like “Consuelo,” which is sung entirely in Spanish and dedicated to his wife. It even has a bit of Latin influence in the way he plays guitar. The song “Merge” is a conceptual take on love going beyond the physical and thinking more about the emotional and mental aspects.

Listen to Remissions:

Needless to say, each song is vulnerable, raw, and poetic. What separates Craig from the pack is his openness and love for what he does. He writes music with a meaning, hoping to affect the lives of others in a positive way.

Find more on Craig Norris Byrd via:

Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // TikTok // Spotify // Soundcloud 

Aspen Jacobsen is the Rising Folk and Americana Artist to Watch For

Aspen Jacobsen is the rising Americana-Folk singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who’s connection with her guitar and lyrics marry to make her stories tangible. “When I write a song, I start with a feeling—my main goal is to have a strong emotional exchange with the audience through my music,” she shares. The award-winning artist is an empathic and thought-provoking lyricist with a flair for many time-honored roots music traditions, while also out to make these sounds more palatable and resonant for her generation.

She just released her newest single “Shouldn’t Give A Damn,” a country inspired folk song reminiscent of Kacey Musgraves. In this song, she tackles the topic of toxic relationships, singing “And you don’t even know who I am/You just take and take everything that you can/And I shouldn’t give a damn.” The song starting out with a slow fade in mirrors the way a toxic relationship is at first, not terribly noticeable yet you eventually notice as it becomes louder. Aspen’s lyrics are thought-provoking and honest. You can hear her relationship with her music, her guitar almost being an extension of her psyche.

Listen to “Shouldn’t Give a Damn” here:

She learned how traditional art forms can be used as tools to strengthen intuition and self-understanding after years of performing at festivals and learning from the other experienced musicians. She became more self-aware, that her songwriting can be more than a personal coping mechanism but also can strengthen social empathy and help people better understand each other’s emotions. “I wish to help traditional arts live on through my music, thus making an impact on the generations who follow,” says Aspen. “I recognize how small impacts made through music, storytelling, conversations, art, and even the sharing of a smile can make big changes.”

You can find Aspen Jacobsen via:
Website // Instagram // Facebook // YouTube // Spotify // Soundcloud

Aspen Jacobsen, the Up and Coming Folk and Country Talent Has Set Performance Dates Throughout Michigan

(Detroit, MI) January 27, 2022 – Ahead of her newest country inspired release, country and folk singer/songwriter Aspen Jacobsen announces her upcoming performances in 2022. “When I write a song, I start with a feeling—my main goal is to have a strong emotional exchange with the audience through my music,” shares Aspen. Not only is she a gifted guitar player, but she’s an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist who also plays bass, mandolin, piano, keyboard, and ukulele. She contributes these skills as an accompanist and arranger for other people’s songs. 

Although the year has just begun, Aspen has already been booked for multiple shows for 2022.  In February, she will be one of several singer-songwriters featured in the 2nd Annual Interlochen Singers & Songwriters showcase at the Traverse City Opera House, Traverse City Michigan. She is also one of six Interlochen singer-songwriting students that were selected to tour the Midwest together this spring between March 12th and 20th. The details haven’t been announced yet but will be posted on Aspen’s website before the tour. This summer, she will also be headlining her own show at the Trinity House Theatre on June 4th in Livonia Michigan and will be one of several musicians highlighted in Singers in the Round at The Parliament Room at Otus Supply in Ferndale, Michigan. She will also be playing some of Michigan’s most popular music festivals including No-East’r Music and Art Festival (6/10-12), Buttermilk Jamboree (6/17-19), and the Wheatland Music Festival (9/11-13).

Her new single, “Shouldn’t Give A Damn,” out now, is her take on toxic relationships in a modern country style, similar to Kacey Musgraves and an early Taylor Swift. The song will also be reimagined as a separate acoustic single later this year, featuring producer Dominic Davis on upright bass. “Shouldn’t Give a Damn” is the second release from Aspen’s 2022 limited-edition CD that is available for purchase on her website aspenjacobsen.com/music. She is only publishing 500 of these CDs and is personally signing and numbering each of them. For $40 fans will receive a CD while supporting her musical endeavors! These signed, limited edition CDs are planned to ship in August. 

Aspen Jacobsen’s Americana, Folk, and Country sounds are not one typically heard with artists as young as Aspen. She hopes to carry the traditions of this genre while also making it more palatable with her generation. 

Aspen previously explored musical theater, professional acting and opera, and these formative experiences may account for her polished onstage demeanor. She has played major music festivals in Michigan including Arts Beats and Eats; Wheatland Music Festival; Earthworks Harvest Gathering; Ann Arbor Summer Festival; and the Buttermilk Jamboree. She has also been invited to perform as an opener at premier Michigan listening rooms such as The Ark, 20 Front Street, Trinity House, and the Grand Rapids Listening Room. In 2019, Aspen was the youngest singer-songwriter to ever be featured in the Radio DJ Showcase at the Folk Alliance Region Midwest annual conference. 

Where and When You Can See Apsen This Year:
2/3/22 2nd Annual Interlochen Singers & Songwriters at Traverse City Opera House, Traverse City, Michigan
3/12 to 3/20/22 Interlochen Singer-Songwriters Midwest Tour (details will be announced on Aspen’s website)
6/4/2022 Aspen Jacobsen @ Trinity House Theatre, Livonia, Michigan
6/11/22 No-East’r Music and Art Festival, Mio, Michigan
6/18/22 Buttermilk Jamboree, Circle Pines Center, Delton, Michigan
7/12/22 The Parliament Room at Otus Supply Singers in the Round, Ferndale, Michigan
9/10/22 Wheatland Music Festival, Remus, Michigan

As she prepares, she’s also writing new music amidst her bustling life as a 17 year old musician, balancing school, recording sessions, rehearsals, and applying to colleges. “Sometimes I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and see guitar string marks ingrained on my face,” she quips. “But I know who I am, and I know what path I’m on. Every time I perform, I pour out my heart and soul and I feel my purpose.”

More About Aspen Jacobsen
At just 9 years of age, Aspen found her purpose while busking for tips with a little red ukulele. Since then, the prodigiously gifted musician has earned awards and scholarships; has actively released EPs and singles; and she has performed at a variety of well-respected venues and festivals. Today, Aspen furthers a variety of Americana styles through a series of personal and purposeful singles.

Her story exudes classic Americana mysticism. Aspen bought a guitar purchased from busking, and, although she had your typical parents-mandated piano lessons previously, she immediately took to playing roots music on stringed instruments like it was fated. “I have no idea where it came from—something just clicked within me,” she says. She learned the basics by ear—a method that works for her today—and, at the age of 10, began songwriting. Soon after, Aspen was performing at listening rooms and festivals and was awarded multiple scholarships for her astounding musicality. 

To date, Aspen has released two critically acclaimed EPs, and her songs have garnered prime recognition and nominations from such prominent songwriting competitions as the Independent Music Awards; Alternative Country Best Song Category; Blues & Roots Radio’s Song Contest; and International Songwriting Competition’s Teen Category. Aspen was awarded a scholarship to attend the Singer-Songwriter program at the Interlochen Arts Academy, one of the most prestigious boarding fine arts high schools in the United States.  Most recently, Aspen has the distinction of being one of six singer-songwriter finalists in the YoungArts 2022 program, a competition which receives more than 7000 applications per year.  She also holds sponsorships with Fishman, Reunion Blues gig bags and instrument cases, and Shubb Capos.

As of late, Aspen has been recording in Nashville and consistently releasing new songs which feature personal perspectives on social issues. The first single in this new project of songs is “Damned Dynasty,” a smoldering dose of indie-folk with tasteful melodic blues-guitar licks, an ear-worm vocal motif, and vocals that veer from honeyed low-tones to soaring high-tones. The minimalist production here leaves ample room to soak in Aspen’s insights on faith and religion. Her first verse is viscerally thought-provoking.

Aspen tells stories like a country artist and speaks her mind like a folk musician. Her personal and progressive original songs recall the approach of Joni Mitchell, and Ani DiFranco—two artists steeped in music history but not bound to it.


Aspen Jacobsen: Website // Instagram // Facebook // YouTube // Spotify // Soundcloud

Album Review: Javelin – ‘Canyon Candy’

While Canyon Candy is a far cry from the hip-hop electro Javelin has bestowed upon us previously, it’s not something to miss. Inspired by the rolling tumble weeds and red clay encrusted jeans of the Wild West this brief album brings back snippets of that the Frontier used to be.  Word is that this is the future soundtrack of an upcoming epic of the same name, directed by Mike Anderson.  Previous fans of Javelin may be turned off by this album, it’s not electronically inclined and if anything, sounds vintage.  However, Javelin’s master-sampling and melody-making skills were not missed.  The album maintained a melodic sway the whole time, with twangy steel guitars and wavering vocals in replacement of synthesizers and funk samples.  With most of the songs finishing between one and a half to two and a half minutes, one of this album’s qualities is certainly brevity.  As soon as one song begins it suddenly seems to end, sometimes a bit too quickly.  The use of samples in tracks such as “Strawberry Roan” and “Trembler” creates an authentic western sound, and adds to the overall reminiscent feel of the album.  At the same time, tracks like “Colorado Trail,” and even “Strawberry Roan,” incorporate a little more of the beat that Javelin is known for.  Javelin incorporated some western instruments too, I’m pretty sure I detected a steel guitar, and did I hear a jaw harp in “Love Gulch?”  Standouts on this short album are “Estavez,” “Colorado Trail,” and “Streets of Laredo.”  If you’re a Javelin fan who is open to an album unlike any of its predecessors, pick this album up.  You’ll be amazed by their versatility and willingness to experiment. Available April 16th, 2011.