When the music industry as we once knew it took a turn for the worse and left artists scrambling to reinvent how they promoted, toured, recorded and released music, one of the more interesting results to come out of the chaos has been the rise of house concerts. A house concert is exactly what it sounds like, a full-fledged performance by an artist in someone’s private home. Once thought to be a rather desperate — if not downright creepy — proposition for an artist, the house concert has turned into a legitimate venue for artists, especially in the singer/songwriter...Read More
Author: Chris Jay
Colin Hay’s career is a rarity. As the singer and chief songwriter for Men at Work, the Australian band that burst onto the scene in 1982 with a debut album that spawned two iconic mega hits (“Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?”), he and his bandmates looked to be poised for massive and long-term success. The band, however, seemed to fall apart just as quickly as its members became stars. Before the decade was over, Hay was left without a band, major label or even a fan base. What he did next — pre-Internet no less —...Read More
If you were to ask which Ventura County-based artist right now tours the most, whether across the country or the world, it is without a doubt Night Demon. The trio literally trot the globe as the new ambassadors of a bygone era of heavy metal that still has a passionate underground following, in particular throughout Europe. It’s with their latest release, Darkness Remains, however, that the band’s songwriting is on par with their noted musicianship and blistering live shows. Darkness Remains has what many metal releases fall short on: production value. Every riff-shredding, epic drum-filled, powerful, vocal-driven song about...Read More
Kirk Mann bears a physical resemblance to the late, great Harry Chapin and that’s of note because if Chapin were still alive today, “Johnny,” the opening track on his new EP, East Wind, would be something Chapin would have written. An interesting and thought-provoking, character-driven story, it’s by far the release’s standout track. The other songs, however, go in a different direction. While they are still in the Americana, folk, singer/songwriter world, there’s an undoubtedly hippie feeling, at least lyrically, with verses about nature complete with lines like “ecstasy and no confusion, breaking free of all illusion.” “Sleep” is...Read More
While the Rubicon Theatre is primarily known for theatrical productions, music was the focus last week as the Music for Changing Times festival descended on the intimate theater. The event was presented by Music2Life and featured a host of activities throughout the week, including readings of the Rubicon’s upcoming play-in-progress, The Folk Rock Project (performed by The Lonesome Travelers, pictured), a songwriting class and showcase, a national songwriting competition concert and an awards ceremony that saw Joel Levin, Justine Bennett, Robert Quindaro and C.h.a.d. the Change take home honors. The closing-night benefit concert included a diverse selection of artists...Read More
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