Artist Review: Scissortail – “So Alone” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Americana-duo Scissortail bring us ambient guitar swells and anthemic vocals with their newest single “So Alone.”

Scissortail, comprised of fellow musicians Seth Patterson and Trey Lockhart, come together to bring us smooth guitars and feel-good vibes with their eclectic Americana sound in this new single, and it’s something that will captivate your soul.

With great use of acoustic melodies and electric textures, both guitar parts compliment the good nature and well controlled vocals that embrace a passionate tone and overall atmosphere throughout the track. It is a simple song that is effective, high spirited and brings their true musicianship factors to the forefront.

The heartfelt lyrics and versatile vocal range really puts a signature touch to this song, and really gets you to sit back and enjoy the facets of two talented musicians coming together to create a solidified chemistry.

Scissortail is definitely a duo that is onto something, and will leave you very eager to hear more as the duo continues to manifest new material. Their unique and multifaceted take on the passionate Americana style is a treat for the soul and something to behold. You’ll be enticed to explore more into what Scissortail has in store.

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Artist Review: Tulga – “Dancing In The Streets” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Blissful and anthemic, Mongolia’s rising recording artist Tulga let’s his voice shine in his newest single “Dancing In The Streets.”

I am always all about a dangerously catchy song with a feel-good vibe. And Tulga gives us exactly that with this single. His well ranged voice is showcased beautifully and conveys lyrical content that tells a very powerful story that grasps at your heartstrings.

But it’s so much more than that. Once the verse starts you can’t help but feel captivated. The uplifting guitar progression sets the perfect tone and opportunity for Tulga to really bring forth a vocal approach that can make this song into an anthem, and turns out – he exceeds the expectations. The vocals are heartfelt, emotional and really expresses his musicianship factors in glistening ways with his subtle vocal tones and mainstream-worthy gift of vocal projection.

Once that chorus hits, it hits home right where the heart is. With beautifully placed upper 3rd harmonies emphasizing every vocal detail, Tulga sings a chorus that couldn’t have been written better, and truly brings this song to life where it can reach your soul and stay with you. A true heartwarming feeling emulates from this chorus and highlights the brilliant songwriting that has gone into it.

And also, who can resist a 2-part harmonized guitar lead. This soft and well placed solo brings even more depth to the song and just makes you feel even warmer as its duration plays out. It’s a genuine surprise and really brings forth an eclectic aura that ties the whole song together. And the production value is right where it needs to be with the perfect mix of all the leads being right out in the forefront to articulate its purpose in the song. It just feels right, and you’ll definitely agree when you take a listen for yourself.

It’s rare a song this good from the Alt/Rock genre comes to the platform. If you’re waiting around for the next artist to bring you a genuinely great song with brilliant songwriting, then stop waiting. Tulga‘s “Dancing In The Streets” will be everything you’re looking for plus so much more.

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Artist Review: Zama Rripa – “American Soul” LP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

With great spirit, good nature, and a whole hearted eclectic sound driving his passion for music forward, Zama Rripa proves with his newest album American Soul that his message is just as powerful as his music.

Zama, emerging from the elite Miami music scene, has been garnering an insatiable street buzz with his indie-folk-americana rock style and free spirited lyrics that are uplifting and warm; yet take a stand at the same time in a positive and protesting way. He has performed all over the world in various bands as well as a solo artist, and his solo effort in American Soul really touches on his experiences, views and adventures into finding one’s journey and purpose.

Each anchor single off this album is very anthemic and has a very vibrant and almost tropical feel at times. With some reggae influences in the mix with a modern folk and americana signature, each track is very eclectic in its structure and timeless in its message.

With smooth acoustic textures and clean guitar layers that blend in with a very rhythmic flow, Zama‘s songwriting structures are very fresh, bold and deliver an authentic feel that is genuine and heartfelt. You can feel the passion that has been put into these tracks, and it really authenticates Zama‘s artistic merit every time each song plays out. There’s no specific formula – he writes and plays what he loves, and that’s what makes a songwriter truly influential.

If there’s one thing I can say about American Soul, it’s that Zama aims to inspire to be inspired. And to truly take in his music for what it really is – inspiring. He’s one of those artists that truly wants to make the world a better place through his music. And American Soul encompasses that with every track.

American Soul officially releases on October 26th and will be available on all digital music retailers and streaming platforms.

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Artist Review: Winston-Salem – “Hell Is A Turnpike” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

It’s rare in today’s music era when you can run into truly well written songs. Songs where the actual songwriting is priority, and an effective showcasing of true musicianship factors are present. One of those rare gems is the Winston-Salem single “Hell Is A Turnpike,” a group from the UK that is really hitting the ground running.

Known for their very charismatic Alt-Americana signature sound, “Hell Is A Turnpike” makes use of great guitar progressions, catchy vocal melodies and a 90’s style songwriting structure that reminds you of Gin Blossoms with Tom Petty singing lead vocals. The guitars blend together beautifully as they interchange between a solid crunch and clean acoustic textures, and really compliments the authentically versatile vocals that are driven by heartfelt lyrics and melody arrangements.

The band encompasses an indie sound but also has elements of today’s modern production value that really gives the band relevance and their own identity. They’re the type of group where when you hear one of their tunes – you know it’s them. They have a style that they can truly call their own and it’s something their fans can identify with, as well as every music fan that discovers them.

Winston-Salem is definitely into something. And “Hell Is A Turnpike” is a great introductory track if it’s your first time hearing them. You’ll definitely be looking forward to their upcoming releases after hearing this track. You’ll be glad we sent you to them.

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Press Release: Airwaves Spectacular – “Out In The Distant Black” EP

Article by: Justyn Brodsky & Broken 8 Records

Back in 2017, we had the joy of hearing Airwaves Spectacular’s debut, self-titled record. It was an album that seemingly came out of nowhere, with the band having formed only a few months before its release. Packed with passion, enthusiasm, and will to create, the band had created a record of alt-pop and modern rock anthems that notched up comparisons to Muse, Evanescence, and the Human League, an impressive start to the young outfit.

A musical trio comprised of Cyrus Keefer, Kayla Rae, and Chris Tolentino, Airwaves Spectacular are now back with a brand new EP, bringing their 80’s influenced sound back into the spotlight with three original tracks and noticeable artistic growth. Titled ‘Out In The Distant Black’, the new EP is three neatly packaged tracks that carry on the spirit of their debut.

Led by opener “Standing Still”, a vibrant pop track that shines through glistening guitar work and an immutable energy, the new EP is clearly here to turn some heads. Second number and title track “Out In The Distant Black” is more atmospheric in nature, building from light tones and constant percussion that drive the song forward while letting the vocals shine in ethereal fashion.

Closing number “Rest Near Stone,” the lead single from the release and arguably the most infectious track, is the one to wait for. It’s an upbeat anthem that ties in the band’s love of pop and forward thinking nature, layering organic compositions with flicking digital flourishes to produce a sound that is quickly becoming their hallmark.

All told, the new EP is a real hidden treasure at the moment, and it’s a release that certainly belies the band’s short time together.

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Artist Review: Von Rodri – “Flower Days” EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

When it comes to enchanting acoustic textures and a Star-like quality voice that is versatile and eclectic, Von Rodri absolutely delivers anthemic sweetness with his EP and anchor single “Flower Days.”

It’s rare that we hear a solid acoustic track anymore. So Von is definitely a fresh breath of much needed air. Resonating a classic acoustic sound with modern day production value, “Flower Days” gives us a series of feel-good moods that we haven’t felt in quite some time.

Playing lightly textured guitar parts with a catchy progression, Von gives a more than worthy vocal performance in his tone and choice of melodies. The song is very crafty and really hovers among many musical eras that accompany great acoustic anthems, and if a solid acoustic track is in your wish list, then look no further. “Flower Days” will capture your spirit and captivate your soul.

The EP is currently available on SoundCloud and recently just became available on Spotify and Apple Music as of September 22nd. Once you get a grasp onto Von Rodri‘s blissful vocals and dynamic songwriting structures, you’ll be in anticipation of what’s to come with his future releases. You’ll be glad you gave this a listen.

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Press Release: The Story Behind Katie Knipp – “Take It With You” Single

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

THE STORY BEHIND “TAKE IT WITH YOU”, RELEASING NOVEMBER 2018

The story behind “Take it With You”:

My name is Katie Knipp and I have been an indie artist for about 20 years.  Out of all my previous projects, this one means the most and has just floored me on so many levels.  It wasn’t too long ago that I wasn’t sure I would be able to perform and release more music, at least the way I wanted to.  I recently had two babies in a row , they’re now 2 and 3, and it was a pretty hard time in the beginning.  During my second pregnancy I got carpal tunnel from the swelling and I wasn’t sure if it would go away.  It was pretty scary because I play guitar and piano as well as teach piano for a living.  I was also silenced for about a year and a half due to the natural demands of my toddler that didn’t want attention taken away from him whenever I tried to practice.  Most days I could hardly sing or play a note.  The best I could do was type lyrics into my phone at 3 in the morning while up with the baby and read articles on how to get the most out of your one minute of practice time.  Since music is who I am, this was a very dark and depressing time for me and it was just last year.

Fast forward to this year.  In January I finally stopped breast feeding which allowed more flexibility in getting the chance to perform again.  My parents moved closer and were therefore able to help babysit while I practiced.  When I got back onstage as a solo act everything changed.  It changed because my attitude was different. My love for music had been tested and I couldn’t be more grateful now for ANY time I get to play.  I started writing songs from a more natural state of just pure love and they come easily to me now.  I’m no longer trying to prove myself because there’s only one me out there.  Nobody sounds like me.  With the luck and help of Scott at SBL (who also provided harmony vocals on a track), I was able to do a mini tour opening for Robert Cray, as well as opened for The James Hunter Six, and also my idol, Jon Cleary.  Ben Nieves, owner of The Recording Place and Piano Store, and his partner in crime, Chris Horton, came to one of my local shows in Sacramento.  It was there we quickly decided to team up and make the best record we could.  These songs were brought to life by the band I have always wanted to play with.  Neil Campisano on drums, Zack Proteau, on bass and tuba (he owns Octupus Audio and plays with Cover Me Badd), Brett Vaughnrechtfertig on guitar, he leads a killer band called The Mindful, and some extras on a tune with Chet Chwalik on trumpet and Al Bent on trombone.  When I first rehearsed with the rhythm section, it was such a weight off of my shoulders.  Finally, I found some guys that got it.  They brought the songs to life.  We were all listening to each other instead of playing over each other.   Now I am getting these mixes from Chris that bring the out the songs even more than I thought possible.  So, we make a great team.  After my ears, Ben adds his production touches as well and we’re a trifecta of success!  This record goes from psycho to mardi gras and all the feels in between.

So, I have a goal.  I want to be the first woman in my position to still get on the Billboard charts, get onto commercial radio, not just college and internet radio, sell a million units, get songs placed on TV shows and movies, without being gone 200 days a year on tour.  I still want to be able to raise my boys, perform whenever I can, because I LOVE performing, but also be present for my family.  I believe all of this can be accomplished if the product is good enough, and it is.  We’re so oversaturated with highlight reals of people on social media, fake music, fake art, and this is something real and refreshing to grasp onto.  Real musicians playing real instruments on songs written by a woman as real as it gets.  Mother.  Wife.  Piano teacher. Soon to be chart topper inspiring millions of other people around the globe.  You can join me in support of this goal by making sure to purchase this record either during the month of October Presale, or the first week it is released on November 7th.  When I can sell a bunch of units in this short amount of time, bells and whistles go off to the proper companies that can assist in ways that I can’t.  For 20 years, I’ve been wearing all the hats.  Now I’m asking for some help.  Thanks for reading.

Blues Americana artist Katie Knipp has been on a passionate musical journey her entire life. Always in choir, she was drawn to the piano at the age of 15. Since there was no piano at home, she began teaching herself on every lunch break during high school in the choir room. Beginning college, Katie believed it would be practical to major in medicine. Singing in a choir rendition of Mozart’s Requiem changed her future path. The haunting beauty of the music made tears roll down her face, and she knew that, in order to follow her heart, she would dedicate herself and her studies to music. Attending U.C. Santa Cruz, Katie enjoyed the calm, serene new environment. Driven to continually grow, she taught herself guitar on the beaches of California’s coast. “The waves would drown out any mistakes I made, so that I wouldn’t be embarrassed by wrong notes,” says Katie. As she dug deeper into her music major, it became clear to Katie that she also wanted to write her own material. Witness to a gruesome on-campus suicide on her 21st birthday, she decide she needed a change of scenery; she transferred to Cal State Hayward, where she would earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Music with an emphasis in vocal performance. The dark experience of the suicide, however, would stay with her, and became one of many events that helped mold her writing into the gutsy, soul-on-a-platter type material. To date, Katie has released four studio albums, a DVD, and played hundreds of venues throughout California. Sacramento News and Review nominated her for Best Blues Artist in Sacramento in 2017.  Readers of The Northbay Bohemian voted her band “Number One Band in Marin County” for two consecutive years. Currently laying down roots in Sacramento, Katie has worldwide radio support, has opened for such acts as Robert Cray, The James Hunter Six, Jon Cleary, The Doobie Brothers, Tim Reynolds and Tommy Castro, and shared the stage as a back up singer for Barry Manilow. Her music can be found on iTunes, many other digital mediums, as well as retail cds on http://www.katieknipp.com. Katie unflinchingly maintains the goal of being a viable force in the music world. Her success is largely based upon her willingness to take risks, diversify her format and learn from collaboration with others. Katie performs in several formats, from solo to full band. Equipped with a powerful voice, Katie also plays piano, guitar, dobro and harmonica. Her hard work has shaped her into a mature artist, focusing on the organic, free elements that reach people the most.  Currently in the studio with her 5th album to be released in the fall of 2018, she is also busy raising her two toddler boys as well as teaching piano and voice lessons in Rocklin, California.

KATIE KNIPP QUICK BIO

Northern California Blues Americana Siren Katie Knipp is equipped with powerful vocals and plays a variety of instruments from boogie woogie piano to slide guitar, to honest harmonica laden stories in between.  Her raw solo act captures audiences hearts from her first notes.  Currently in the studio with her 5th album to be released November of 2018, her sound has been compared to Bonnie Raitt, Joss Stone, Beth Hart, and what the late Taz Digregorio of the Charlie Daniels band once said, “Dylan in a Dress!”

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