Tag Archives: Acoustic

Ruu Campbell Releases Debut Solo Album, Heartsong

From a major label deal with Dreamworks at 15, to two years work with Leftfield, a spell with trance outfit Younger Brother, collaborations with British jazz and electronic collective the Cinematic Orchestra and now his debut solo album, Ruu Campbell has crossed the genre-boundary repeatedly in his fledgling career.

Infused with his natural warmth and spirit, his debut solo record is one that will be loved by any devotee of the bucolic charms of Nick Drake and John Martyn. Already  three tracks from it — The Call, Crossroads and Mathereal — have been featured in NBC’s smash hit series Parenthood while others have been employed for shows on MTV and ABC. The recently completed movie Barking At Trees starring leading British actors Jessica Hynes, Tom Payne and Tommy Flanagan also features The Call.

Ruu Campbell

Ruu Campbell

One day, back when Ruu Campbell was still a reluctant city dweller, his house got robbed. For many, it would have been a moment of physical and emotional trauma. But for Ruu, in the wider scheme of things, all was well. They didn’t steal his guitars.

Such is the unswerving spirit of this captivating English singer-songwriter that as long as he can keep his music and the people he loves close to him, that’s all he needs. Especially since that break-in was one of the catalysts for Campbell and his family to leave the city for the pastoral inspiration of the West country. The result is the album Heartsong and it’s guaranteed to be one of this year’s most delightful acoustic pleasures.

Respected for a varied background that includes his vocal collaborations with Leftfield, a major label adventure and writing and performing with the electronic band Younger Brother, Campbell has reinhabited his acoustic roots to make the album that has always been inside him.

Infused with his natural warmth and spirit and with its gorgeously deft use of guitars, flute, cellos and violins, Heartsong is a record that will be loved by any devotee of the bucolic charms of Nick Drake and John Martyn but with Campbell’s stamp gently embossed on every elegantly-crafted track.

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Introducing…James Abberley

Since releasing his debut album (Some Kind Of Relief) in 2011, James has supported the likes of Xavier Rudd during his Spirit Bird tour, Ash Grunwald and the Boys from The Living End during their Gurgantua tour. In 2014 James released his second record, a five track EP recorded at home by the name of (Boy).

Secret Keeper is the brand new single from James that was recorded in his home studio over the course of a few months.

James Abberley

James Abberley

“It was one of those songs that I just kept coming back to, it came through so simply which made it feel like it was unfinished or missing something. But I have found that some songs work best in their most basic form and Secret Keeper I felt was one of them,” James says of the new single.

Secret Keeper is a song about a close friend of James Abberley’s. One of those people that others always seem to volunteer their deepest secrets and darkest tales to, who is then made to promise that they will never tell another soul for as long as they shall live. And so Secret Keeper was born.

Secret Keeper is a simple folk tune with no intended chorus or song structure, the song builds and evolves much like the secrets that the Secret Keeper holds. One of James’ influences, Laura Marling, uses this same roller coaster type progression in her music, almost as though the song is more of a lifetime recaptured than a traditionally written song. James mellow vocals and honest songwriting is an intriguing and comforting sound which come to a head in his new single, Secret Keeper.

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Pulled Apart By Horses Release Their First Ever Acoustic Video…And Beer

Leeds quartet Pulled Apart By Horses would like to invite you to drink their Blood to celebrate the release of their third album and first ever live acoustic set.

The band have teamed up with the West Yorkshire Revolutions Brewery to concoct their own unique pale ale made with Blood Oranges and Yorkshire Tea.  The beer will be available for a limited time at specialist pubs throughout the UK.

Named after their forthcoming record, Blood will be launched at The Brudenell Social Club on 29 August 2014 with tickets only available to competition winners who post a photo on Twitter and Instagram of them enjoying their favourite drink with the hashtag #PABHsBlood. The best shots will win a pair of tickets to come to the band’s very first acoustic show – over 18’s only.

Guitarist James Brown comments: “The idea of people drinking our Blood (not literally) is so exciting for us. It’s the kind of thing you talk about a lot but never usually happens so because this has become a reality we really want to celebrate it.”

The descision to accompany the ale launch with their first ever acoustic show follows a session they did recently while in The Netherlands, trying their hand at a fully stripped back set up for the first time.

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Sean Rowe To Release New Album, Madman, In September

Acclaimed singer and songwriter Sean Rowe will release his new album Madman on September 9. NPR Music is currently premiering the video for the record’s title track.

On his new record, Rowe, who The Wall Street Journal wrote “…recalls the ecstatic intensity of late-’60s Van Morrison and stark subtlety of late-era Johnny Cash” has created a beautifully primal work. Madman is deliberately, if not defiantly, simple in both arrangement and composition. It is soul music in the purest and most literal sense, hypnotic rhythms, warmly distorted guitars and Rowe’s incredible voice recalling a time, real or imagined, when music and people seemed distinctly more connected.

Rowe has spent much of the last year traveling the country with his guitar, performing in people’s living rooms for a series of house concerts. In a deliberate contradiction to the prevailing expectations of a professional musician, Rowe chose to interact with fans in the most intensely personal manner. This simplification or stripping away of excess is powerfully conveyed in the video for Madman. We see the musician performing in a series of unconventional venues as well as shots of Rowe in nature juxtaposed with images of him in crowded city streets, literally and figuratively walking against the crowd and blazing his own trail.

The sound of Madman is influenced, in large part, by the hypnotic driving guitars of Delta blues. “I was listening to records by R.L. Burnside and John Lee Hooker and others which are basically just guitar and drums and really raw sounding,” Rowe explains. “I was also listening to the early soul records like Otis Redding and Ray Charles. I didn’t want to try and duplicate those sounds, just take aspects of them and make them my own.”

The title track features a rhythmic guitar, lilting piano and melodic bass, punctuated by horns, all of it in the service of Rowe’s incredibly soulful voice. “My singing is definitely more playful on this record,” he says. The record was produced by Sean himself and engineer, Troy Pohl. Rowe says he wanted to strip away much of the production and focus instead on the voice and guitar style he had perfected in theaters, nightclubs and living rooms. “I came to this realisation that the songs don’t have to be structurally heavy to be intense,” he explains. “It’s more about the honesty and emotion behind the delivery. A lot of these songs are pretty simple but I was really thoughtful about that, it was intentional. I wanted to go right to the heart.”

Madman is a record of extraordinary honesty intent on establishing a connection. In its deliberate simplicity there is pure sonic emotion. “I wanted to go right to the heart with this,” he explains. “And sometimes that meant seeing how much we could remove. It helps to have a great recording. But I would rather have great performances and that’s what I was after here. Sometimes when you’re listening to a piece of music you don’t have to think about it, you just feel it. It’s primal and you trust it.”

You can catch Sean Rowe live on the following dates:
Sept 14: Pittsburgh, PA at Club Cafe
Sept 17: Louisville, KY at WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays
Sept 18: Nashville, TN at Third Man Records
Sept 23: Vienna, VA at Jammin Java
Sept 24: Philadelphia at World Cafe Live
Sept 25: NYC at Rockwood: Stage 2
Sept 26: NYC at Rockwood: Stage 3
Oct 1: Northampton, MA at Parlor Room
Oct 2: Providence, RI at Columbus Theatre
Oct 3: Troy, NY: Contemporary Arts Center at Woodside
Oct 4: Woodstock, NY at Colony Cafe

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Introducing…Jesse Macht

Interlaced in Jesse Macht’s melodies are an abundance of stories overflowing with passion, vulnerability, empathy and honesty. On September 23 2014, the Los Angeles born and raised songwriter and singer will independently release his sophomore album, Suitcase Heart, produced by Nashville’s Justin “Uncle” Tockett (Marc Broussard, Eli Teplin). “I completely trust Justin and the artistic space he created with Suitcase Heart,” says Jesse. “He was able to access the sound that I have been hearing in my head for years but couldn’t get out on my own.” The album was recorded at both Zac Brown Band’s Southern Ground Studios in Nashville, TN and Dockside Studios in Lafayette, LA.

Jesse Macht

Jesse Macht

Suitcase Heart is a product of Jesse Macht’s recent participation in ASCAP’s prestigious Lester Sill Songwriters Workshop. The album follows his 2012 debut solo release, Acts of Providence, which validated his switch to a solo career after leaving his former band, Burn Down The Mission. Now, feeling confident and comfortable in his journey, the new album has shown Jesse just how cathartic the recording process can be. Over a year ago, Jesse learned that he had an extra electric impulse in his heart that would turn on when his adrenaline would pump, such as when performing live. A normal heart rate after working out is around 160 BPM and his was at 260. Heart surgery fixed the problem but six weeks later he went through an unexpected breakup. “Both my physical and my figurative heart were recovering from injury,” he says. Abruptly faced with his mortality and sense of direction as a man, Jesse says: “Suitcase Heart was my way of acknowledging the baggage that recently weighed on my heart.”

The album title, as well as the overall intention of each song, explore the idea that we carry our hearts full of the stories of our lives and that we must constantly choose how and with whom we will share the value of what’s inside. “These are songs that, I hope, are generous, honest and optimistic, although anchored in heartbreak,” he says. “Pain is what allows us to be more vulnerable and open and realise we all are fighting our own demons.”

Much like legendary songwriters before him such as Neil Young and Gram Parsons and modern day influences like Dan Wilson, Glen Hansard and Jon Brion, Jesse has proven his aptitude for storytelling. His music has been placed in many television shows and networks as well as commercials, including The Voice, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Giuliana and Bill, Nickelodeon, Cymbalta and the MTV/E! cable catalogue. He’s also had numerous original songs placed in independent films such as James Franco’s Good Time Max and Kevin Nealon’s And They’re Off.

You can catch Jesse Macht live on the following dates:
July 26 – Arlington, TX @ The Chuggin’ Monk
August 7 – New York, NY @ Rockwood III
August 8 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Grape Room
August 17 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Jives Coffee Lounge
More dates TBA soon

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Sean O’Neill Release New Single, Vienna

Australian born, London residing musician Sean O’Neill is a man of many talents, instrumentally to be precise. The singer/songwriter plays the guitar, piano and also the hammond organ.

He has been compared to artists such as Bon Iver, Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens and Ásgeir due to his heartfelt vocals backed by strummed guitar and an eclectic mix of sounds.

Influenced by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, O’Neill is following on from his 2012 EP, readying a debut album which he wrote in his Stoke Newington flat in London.

Inspired by a girl he met on the London Tube, Vienna is a taste of what is to come. Vienna showcases an atmospheric sound that creates a captivating musical landscape, taking listeners out of their own world and into his.

O’Neill’s heartfelt vocals deliver emotion over the instrumentals that are both cinematic and emotive in their own right.

The music has been matched by footage filled with beautiful imagery by director Jonathan Sterkenburg that really sets the scene for Vienna.

The visuals are grained with a vintage feel making the clip personal; as though you are watching your own home movie.

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Calan Mai Releases Video For We’ve Got Love

Aussie indie folk artist Calan Mai has just launched his brand new We’ve Got Love music video.

The track is the first single off his debut EP Days On The Rock Face which will be released digitally worldwide on August 22 through Canvas Sounds/Believe Digital.

The EP was produced by FAIRCHILD & Lyon Apprentice frontman Adam Lyons in a small makeshift studio on the Gold Coast.

The early stages on his live show have included supports for The Phoncurves, Jordan Millar, Patrick James & Playwrite.

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