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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Artist Review: Terry McMahon Project – “Believe” Single

Review by: Justyn BrodskyBuffalo, NY’s Terry McMahon Project has a sound that brews some of yesterday and today’s artists we’ve all come to know and love, but still puts his own versatile touch to a signature sound the band can call their own.

The band’s leading man, Terry McMahon, has a signature sound reminiscent of artist influences ranging from Staind, Seether, Breaking Benjamin and Pearl Jam. Their modern rock sound is bold, pure, and powerful; driven by powerful, deep and emotional lyrics that really brings the listener to identify with their music from their own personal experiences.

The band’s anchor single “Believe” portrays a perfect example of this. The song’s dark, subtle and rock-infused combination of acoustic textures, edgy guitar riffs, and punchy rhythm section layers the music with a mesmerizing tone and puts their musicianship factors into the forefront that really brings a solidification to their perfectly blended chemistry. It’s a well-executed, multifaceted track that showcase’s Terry‘s vocals most effectively, and is evident throughout the song.

The implementation of the 90s and early 2000s era with today’s modern rock sensibilities makes Terry McMahon Project a standout of their caliber, and a refreshment of musical years many rock listeners miss dearly. Terry and his band gives you a refreshing reminder that brilliantly written music still exists, and that the era of music we all still yearn for is still out there if you look in the right places. You’ll be more than happy that you discovered Terry McMahon.

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Album Review: Austin Colon – “The Path Ahead” LP

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

A lot of artists nowadays tend to put their music out impulsively or recklessly. Usually because of ulterior motives, lack of ambition, or just trying to make a quick buck.

But then there are true artists that enter the studio bound and determined to compose, create, and produce something that is captivating, intelligently crafted, and magically multifaceted. Austin Colon‘s LP The Path Ahead is one of those rare cases.

It’s true, this is a rare gem in this era of fame-hunger and impulsivity. A diamond in the rough, but shines brighter than anything you’ve seen or heard in a long time. The Path Ahead isn’t just an album you hear, it’s an album you feel.

With brilliantly produced tracks that offer up some very dynamic twists and turns, this acoustic-infused Alt/Rock record with a folky feel-good vibe has a vast array of different styles and versatile elements that’ll keep you hooked on every song. Austin‘s range is very fine-tuned and crisp with his vocal delivery, and makes very good use of both lyrical content and the melodies that bring him to the forefront.

Austin definitely had one priority straight — catchy choruses. Each track has a chorus that really uplifts the verses and keeps the flow of every track very effective. With very subtle and ambient piano tracks adding to the overall texture and progression of each song, Austin‘s musicianship factors are showcased very powerfully throughout this entire album, and really gets you to feel the vibe and aura that The Path Ahead brings to the atmosphere.

With a Bob Dylan-like influential vocal execution, we get a great glimpse into Austin‘s authenticity and natural-born talent that emulates from each track. Another key element about this album as a whole is transition; each song flows to the next in a way that reminds you of reading chapters from a book. It tells a story from many angles, hear a very distinctive narrative, but also get a taste of something different in every chapter. In a way, The Path Ahead is more than just an album, it’s a musical masterpiece of literature.

Just like Pearl Jam’s Ten, Incubus’s S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication, Austin Colon‘s The Path Ahead is an album where you never skip over one track, and you can always come back to it and fall in love with these songs all over again. They never get old, and never lose its impact.

If you just discovered The Path Ahead from this article, you’ll be very happy that you did. You can thank us later.

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Artist Review: The Keymakers – “Good For You” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


R&B the way it should be, and a groove that was meant to make you move.

Dynamic duo, The Keymakers, are some very talented voices contributing to the R&B and Hip Hop flow that makes artists like these guys stand out in versatile ways with a signature sound that could easily appease both old school R&B fans, and new sensibilities. A sound that’s integrated in natural production value between the duo with their current buzzing single, “Good For You”. A track of sensuality and a great showcase of both voices honing their craft in order to do their part as a duo with a duality approach. It’s a brilliant mix for any avid listener of the R&B good nature along with the rhyme and flow that beautifully drives this song forward.

There’s many twists and turns in different ways with many different dynamics that The Keymakers succumb to. You can hear many artist influences, but there’s a vibe and natural persona that absolutely puts likability factors in the forefront with the duo. It only takes one listen to really hear the witty edge and nostalgic factors that these two bring to the table, and really bring their own vocal structures and melodic executions right where they can grasp at your heart, ears, and mind. “Good For You” is definitely the song for you. A song with drive, diversity, both indie and mainstream sensibilities, and with the right marketing and getting this song out to the correct people (hint: That’s where WE come in), “Good For You” just might bring some good for The Keymakers future prospects. We can hear the potential loud and clear.



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