2016 Music Reviews

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New teen pop artist Neeko who recently debuted his brand new music video entitled “Born to Love You” on Vevo, has now reached 100,000 views and counting via YouTube.
In recent times, numerous trailblazers call London home. The country boasts a musical lineage that includes some of music's brightest stars such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Sam Smith to name a few. Hailing from the small England suburban town of Walthamstow, Neeko plans to uphold that tradition of artistic innovation and bringing on a new wave of pop music. His single "Born to Love You," is an up tempo record with catchy hooks that has everyone singing to the tune. The video tells a story of him day dreaming over a manikin he sees in a nearby store that comes to life in his wild imagination. The video shows a fun side to the new artist that is sure to get everyone loving him.

Listen to Neeko on his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialNeekoMusic/videos

Let's Wait

Boston based Electro Pop band Let's Wait came into existence during the winter of 2012-13 when Alexis Desjardins (Synthesizer), Mike Ward (Synthesizer/Guitar) and Matt Relstab (Bass) began a musical collaborating after the demise of their former band. Later joined by vocalist Tashi Pique and aided by an arsenal of vintage drum machine sounds the group began composing a collection of songs that would lay the foundation for the EP "Hiding in Your Fantasy". The initial vision was to create catchy, uniqu electronic compositions that felt organic and performance based. Emphasis was placed on textural synthesizer arrangements and expressive electronic drums that were playfully reminiscent of 1980s era Synth-Pop, New Wave and Post Disco.
The first single "Shadows" is a fun, upbeat, electro-pop track that builds up with layered, lush synths. intense dynamic vocals, and hook lines right up to the chorus that keeps you coming back for more.
"The single tells a story of how suppressed or neglected aspects of one's personality can mysteriously re-emerge in the form of pain, passion of inspiration." the band explains. Hiding In Your Fantasy E.P. was released in mid November 2014 and is available on several digital platforms along with physical CD's for purchase at live shows.

Creative lively and a unique sound. Listen to "Let's Wait" on their YouTube channel.

Donald Wiles/Anthony Williams

Dennis Wiles operates Wood 'n' Nickle Productions & Publishing Company in Chicago. Since 2008, we have dedicated our efforts to creating 'Music For The Mature Listener'... no obscene, profane, or offensive lyrics. Our genres include Smooth Jazz, R&B/Soul, and Blues. Also milti-instrumentalist.
Donald Wiles attended The Columbia School of Broadcasting and accompanied Artists such as Albertina Walker, James Cleveland, Little Richard, and Vicki Winan. Currently Music Director for Wood 'n' Nickle Productions & Publishing Company, a Record Label operating in Chicago.
Anthony Williams was an original member of Music/Vocal Group 'Charisma' as a Bassist and Vocalist. He is currently touring with The Christland Singers of Chicago.

Cool soft jazz that is good to listen to on a romantic night. Check them out on their YouTube Channel.

Royal Kona Coffee

Katie Belle Akin


"Katie's mature voice earned her an amazing 23,500 veiws on her cover song "Counting Stars" made popular by One Republic putting her 3rd on The Beat100 chart ,April 2013. Amy Reed, Beat100 World Wide Chart."
Atlanta native Katie Belle Akin releases new single titled "Georgia Moon." Katie's song is being featured on Backyard Country program which can be heard on Saturday evenings on Country Radio station 949TheBull. The song has been picked up by stations in Detroit, Miami and Texas to list just a few.
This tender song evokes emotions from the listener and transports you to a summer night date. The string instruments used in the production; banjo, mandolin and fiddle; carry you through the melody backed up by a modern bass beat. Katie's ethereal vocals with lingering harmonies will make one remember another time and place and oh so romantic. Unlike story songs found in alot of country music today the departure to a more poetry driven song is refreshing and mezmerizing. The second verse is artistically song by Katie " we'll carve our names in an old oak tree..." with heart touching vocals. The fiddle and banjo continue the serene melody providing the bridge. As the song comes to an end the final notes linger in the air and make you hit replay." Nexus Entertainment, Sam Vincent, April 5th 2015.

We can't say that this multi-talented amazing lady's voice and music are something special. No wait. We can say that because it is true! Listen for yourself on CD Baby.

Christine Storm

Christine Storm immediately commands attention. With a robust voice, penetrating delivery, and bluesy sense of heart, she confidently captivates on her forthcoming full-length debut album. Be forewarned. There's a seductive and soulful Storm gathering on the horizon right now in Reno, NV and it's about to consume listeners everywhere.
Listeners will undoubtedly move when they hear her first single "Shoulda Coulda Woulda." A simmering and sharp anthem, the track showcases her vocal prowess and knack for a vivid story.
"It's about a woman who catches her guy cheating," she explains. "The right move would be to get rid of him. It's another touchy subject because we, as women, tend to put our heads in the sand. We don't want to face this. In the video, the protagonist only wants to remember the good times, so she takes him back. She tells her girlfriends, 'I just had to let him in to see what he had to say. One thing led to another, and now we're back together.' It captures those ups and downs of a turbulent relationship."
Then, there's the slinky and sexed-up 'Quench Your Soul," which illuminates another end of the spectrum for Christine. "The song essentially says, 'I'll turn your spark back on and make you feel sexy again,'" she elaborates.
"Raining Frogs" from the album directly draws attention to the looming issue of bullying. At the same time, she promotes awareness with her Jam for Joy Charity, which raises money for victims of bullying as well as for at risk students. 2015 saw the foundation host its first concert at LA Style Fashion Week in downtown Los Angeles.
Majoring in theater at the University of Idaho, the singer and songwriter began honing her chops early on. She went on to front the band Mansion with longtime collaborator Jerry Spikula and led countless international cabaret tours. These jaunts would land all over the world from Las Vegas to Greece, placing Christine in front of elite audiences that included power players from all over the world.

Christine is so talented that she makes us shiver in our boots. Just lovely I say. Listen to her on her YouTube Channel.

Jay Smith Group

Jay Smith has performed with dozens of groups all over the US and Europe in a wide range of music from bebop and jazz fusion to latin rock and funk.
He has worked or opened up for groups and musicians as Carl Saunders, Poncho Sanchez, Jeff Coffin, Allan Holdsworth, Malo, Ozomatli, Clayton Cameron, Kelulu, Mento Buru, The Fresno Philharmonic, David Baron Stevens, Andre Bush, Mike Dana,Velorio, Zambra, and Patrick Contreras to name a few.
His current projects include Mento Buru which was voted best band of 2012 by Bakersfield Magazine and The Jay Smith Trio/Group which features a variety of players including Cesareo Garasa, Jay Jay Hicks, Fernando Montoya, Therese Muller and Patrick Contreras.

This very spirited jazz group is excitement in sound.

Listen to them on their YouTube Channel.

The C.R. Ecker Band

The C.R. Ecker Band, since its inception in 2011, has earned twenty major awards for its distinct sound, created by songwriter Charles Ecker and supported by producers Michael Stanton in Los Angeles and Stacy Hogan in Nashville.
At a time when so much in country sounds the same, this band is making its moves to chart new ground with songs like "Green Eyes," "A Lotta' Love," "My White Collar" and "I Believe in You," all aimed at getting people to develop a renewed interest in country music.
It has earned the distinction of being named to the Starliner's Europe Hall of Fame, one of the first ten inductees into the Renegade Radio Nashville "New Faces of Country" and recipient of "Song of the Year" awards at Hollywood Music in Media and L.A. Music Awards, the latter two consider precursers to Grammy attention.
Additionally, it was named "Country Band of the Year" at Independent Music Network and received the Silver Award for band of the year at Independent Country Music Association.

An outstanding collection of pure country. Check'em out on their YouTube Channel.

Amanda Easton

Amanda Easton is a soulful pop/rock artist and session singer who has released two self-penned albums and an EP. Two of her singles appearing in the top 10 of the independent Aussie charts. Her music videos and live performances have graced Aussie television screens including 'MTV'.
She has performed in prestigious venus throughout Australia from the Entertainment Centre to 5 Star Hotels, major clubs and regular appearances at the iconic Basement at Circular Quay and the Taronga Zoo Twilight Series. She has also done stints in Japan, Bali, Malaysia, Noumea as well as toured throughout Europe.
Her rich, soaring vocals have seen her perform for the who's who of Australian corporations and twice at the ARIA Awards. She's appeared onstage as backing vocalist for some of Australia's best loved musical legends including Glenn Shorrock, Powderfinger, Marcia Hines, James Reyne and Vanessa Amarosi and has been on national and international tours with multi-platinum artists Richard Clapton and Wendy Matthews.

We agree that Amanda does have a rich and vibrant sound but don't take our word listen for yourself on her YouTube Page.

The Big Lyon at the
San Diego Wild Animal Park
reads Music Arts Monthly and Catagorically agrees; it's Roarin!

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Robin J. Kroupa

Robin is a singer/songwriter, guitar and bass player. Her musical stylings are: singer/songwriter to melodic rock/pop, with a sophisticated adult contemporary feel; creating a style all her own.
She has been singing, writing and performed in rock and fusion bands over the years, throughout the Chicagoland area and California, as well as combining her talents in singer/songwriting collaborations. She is now back to her solo roots.
Her song, 'Code of Silence', from her last release - 'Pure Liquid', was the closing credits feature song for an independent film, called Save Me, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and 6 other film festivals in 2008, and had a limited release throughout the US. She has now completed in the Chicagoland area at her Pure Liquid Studios, the long awaited full album, On The Wake of a Dream, available now!

And Robin is original and gifted with a voice that grabs the spirit within and resonates with pure joy.

Nick Moss

There's always been something rambunctious about Nick Moss. While other artists settle into a genre, Nick has always been about discovering new sonic territory, new textures and new musical frontiers. His recording career spans decades and his albums are staples at blues radio worldwide, and are now in rotation at stations with jam and rock formats. All this would leave most artists satisfied to stick with a niche. However, Nick's pursuit of sound comes from a restless, innovative and constant search for music that evokes a physical and emotional response. It's not just chords and progressions and songs that make up Nick's music mentality, but his desire to elevate an audience; to evoke a feeling of euphoric energy between performer and listener; to capture sound as well as sensation.
Whether it's blistering blues or Allman influenced rock or an apt social commentary set to brilliant music, Nick Moss continues to meld influences and reach into the unknown and experiment with the sounds he finds. And for Nick, it's not all about his own musical journey. It's always his desire from his place onstage, to pass along the passion and love of his craft to those who come to see him play. "It's about the experience," he says. "A shared love of music and being elevated and enlightened by sound."

Not the Allman Brothers and not Marshall Tucker, I know It's the "Nick Moss Band"! Listen to their country pop on their YouTube Channel.

Leslie Diamond

With the release of her self titled EP, Leslie Diamond brings old and new together by (combining a roots rock feel with country and indie pop accents, all while her soulful vocals create addicting melodies, and her rock drive shines for radio friendly choruses. The first single "If I Failed To Mention" is a country pop song that grows rich with layered instrumentation as the song builds to its heartfelt chorus.
"If I Failed To Mention" was written when I was first married, which was an exciting time, but not an easy time. There was (conflict as) we were getting used to sharing our worlds. We did work through it and it was all worth it for the love that we still have now." explains the songwriter of her single. Although the single says plenty for any good pop (country) song, to get a good understanding of where Leslie was coming from during the creation of this record, it must be heard in its entirety.
Leslie started singing in church from a very young age. She's been writing songs and singing since then. After a number of years (of traveling and) performing in the theater, she ran into musician friends in New York and began recording music. Soon after she met Tony Tino, a bass player, when she joined in with his cover band at a live show uptown one night. From there they formed the rest of the band and she's been playing venues downtown NYC ever since, as well as the acclaimed NY Songwriter's Circle.
Leslie has performed on National and International tours of RENT, and along with performers such as Gary Cherone of Extreme at the Barn Theater.
The EP is available now on most digital outlets and she is planning a summer/fall tour.

Leslie is right on the money with her lyrics and clean sound. Listen to her and have your heart captured. Her YouTube Channel satisfies.

Debbie Wiliams

Debbie Williams released her debut EP on Sept. 18th along with a FREE concert at New York City's premier destination for authentic Texas Barbecue and Country/American Roots music, HILL COUNTRY BARBECUE MARKET.
The 7 track debut EP For This War and for This Home reflects the power of Celine Dion with the tone of Shania Twain, and the sass of Alanis Morissette. Recorded in the heart of Brooklyn, NY at Wescott Studios with producer Bryan Wescott Smith.
This EP features tracks like "Unknown Entity" described as "authentic americana/bluegrass," by Sweet Rosie Music, and "Fight for Peace," a song of hope for a younger generation, referred to as "bad-ass" by Will Griggs, Executive Licensing Director of Songs 4 Screens and past Marketing Consultant for Warner Brothers Records.
Her newest release "Kissing Booth" officially releases April 28th on iTunes! This new single is more pop and more like something you'd hear on a Taylor Swift album. It's perfect for radio and will get you dancing in your seat once that catchy chorus hits!
Originally an artist from Rochester, NY, Debbie Williams has been performing around the world since the age of eight. Her vocal qualities are inspired by Jennifer Nettles and Stevie Nicks with the writing styles of Kacey Musgraves and Holly Williams.

Debbie sure sounds sweet to us. We hope to hear more of her in the future. Until then you can hear her on her YouTube Channel.

Jodee Lewis

A native of the Missouri Ozarks, Jodee Lewis was raised on folk songs and honky-tonk, and her music reflects the best of both worlds. The Chicago Tribune says she is "a singer-songwriter whose outsized talent is as big as her voice," and calls her first album,Whiskey Halo, an "impressive solo debut".
Already this year, her single from the album, In The End, was chosen as the first place winner in the 16th annual Great American Songwriting Contest. Another single from the album, From A Bottle, took runner-up in the 2014 International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA) in the country category. Whiskey Halo has also been nominated for country album of the year in the 14th annual Independent Music Awards (IMA).
She explores the themes of loss, heartache, and ultimately, finding hope and beauty during moments of challenge. Considered a true storyteller, Lewis uses music to connect with listeners through shared emotion and honesty. The Chicago Tribune says "With her gentle twang and crystalline soprano, she invests her songs with a palpable ache that recalls country thrush Lee Ann Womack".

Jodee is a busy woman who is a real pleasure to listen to. Catch her on her YouTube channel.

Wayne O and WeeGee

Wayne O (wayne Olivieri) a New Jersey veteran rocker who has performed with some of the biggest Rock greats in the world including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi , Eddie Brigati and many many more...
Recording and performing over the years with various bands such as The Rockids, Olivier's Twist and Oliver Wilde, Wayne is now consentrating on writing and recording.
Wayne has recorded his second release with Wayne O and WeeGee "She's My Girl" on his own Oneway Records.
In studio with long time friends and fellow bandmates (over the years) is Dan Caruso, Recording, producing and covering drums,bass, piano arrangements and Trombone.
Gar Francis (the Doughboys, Gar Francis Band,Plainfield Slim and fellow Rockid) on acustic and electric guitars, Organ and helpping (As always) with arrangements and producing.
On horns is Michael Squillace....who Wayne became friends with when sharing the stage with Little Jimmy and the Starlites (a show band that they both do pick up work for.) Michael added so much to the record with the Tenor,Alto sax and clarinet and a fresh voice to the conversation if you will.
"She's My Girl "is a fun, kind of novelty /country rock song that will make you want to bob your head and have a beer or two...
then maybe get you on the dance floor...

Wow just plain snappy and fun to listen to. The arrangements and beat are right out of the 60's pop. Listen to "She's My Girl" and get nostalgic on their YouTube Channel.

Mi Mayior

Mi Mayor a male pop/latin group from the Bronx NY with 4 new songs on there re-released album.
They were on a promotional internet tour to share our music with Radio, Dj's and meet new fans with, "I'll be there for you" on itunes. Obviously gleened from Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting For You". Together with 12 more songs and featuring a #FATJOE single "SIN TI" which should be out soon.

Good vocals and quality of sound so hear for yourself on their Facebook Page.

Steve Law Band

We've just finished our new CD "Old Oak Tree". It is set for a September 2014 release. It is seven unique and different songs that highlight the the talents of each band member.
Steve Law Band "Old Oak Tree" is light, crisp and clean. It is impossible not to tap your foot or feel some warmth when you listen.Steve Law has had "all this music" stored up for years, just building up. Now it is just pouring out. Mainly it is what he can create with a guitar and his voice. According to Steve, "going into the studio and playing with all kinds of unbelievable musicians is like laying down the best paint on a new canvas". Working with the audio painting is the opportunity to create in the world what he is thinking in his head.
Steve started learning guitar and cello in elementary and middle school. By the time he had reached high school he dropped the cello which was a "serious mistake" according to Steve. There is not a richer or fuller sound than that of the cello. When he looks back on his decision to quit playing cello it is something that he genuinely regrets. Since the guitar was easier to carry around, he stuck with that. He has been continuing to learn how to play the guitar since that time.
Steve Law Band's EP "Balance" was released in October of 2011.

The Steve Law Band is just the ticket if you want to hear pure country inspiration with soul. Laid back with clean guitar work and unique original vocals. You must give these guys a listen on their YouTube Channel.

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Oliver Silvan

I was born and raised in zug, Switzerland and still live there till this date. I've been playing the drums since I am 5 years old. I also learned to play the Saxophone and the Piano. I got into digital producing while attending a performance prgramm at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

Oliver is a ray of "sunshine" listen for yourself on his YouTube Channel.

Cody Joe Hodges

Music has inspired every part of Cody Joe Hodges' life. From his high school days of listening to classic country and the dorms of Texas A&M, to the US Army and singing competitions across the country, Cody Joe finally landed in Nashville. The artist signed with Lamon Records in June of 2014 and is set to record his first EP at the end of the summer.
Cody Joe started playing music at an early age, but it wasn’t until his senior year of high school that he became serious about songwriting. Inspired by George Strait, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, Cody Joe wrote his first song, "Daddy's Dream", his freshman year of college.
After graduation and a stint in Nashville to make contacts in the music business, Cody joined the US Army. He joined the vocal ensemble "Harmony in Motion," based out of Fort Carson, Colorado, and began traveling across America playing large entertainment venues. Upon his discharge, his dad proposed a career in the power line business as a lineman. He joined the energy field in 2010, allowing him to dedicate spare time to music and giving him plenty of new inspiration.
"I try to put a positive message in every song," says Cody. “There is a lot of negative in this world, and when people listen to music, whether it is to escape or to be entertained, my goal is to put a grin on your face and a smile in your heart."

We think Cody's music is pretty amazing. He has a style that is his own and a future that is bright as the country stars! Listen to Cody on his YouTube Channel.

guy grogan

It's a fairly common story, up to a point--malcontent growing up in the 80s becomes spellbound by the electric guitar. Lives and breathes rock music of all shapes and sizes. Devoted to his bands throughout high school and college. Music is his life, his entire identity. Wants to make it big like only one could in the pre-internet era of the music industry.
Despite his staunch reluctance to grow up, "real life" takes hold and the Fenders are put to rest in the far reaches of a dusty coat closet. A musical identity crisis ensues (to compensate, he starts painting and writing). He doesn't know what music to like. What he used to like all seems like childs play now. He gets into jazz, but isn't good enough to play it, so he simply becomes an admirer of those who do and did. 10 years go by. Jobs, kids, house, marriage--the usual. The musician gradually becomes a ghost.
Then something happens. A long overdue life changing event. The subject of which is too personal, too emotionally and psychically exhaustive to go into here. But, as a result, the Fenders are exhumed. Ideas he had rattling around in his mind 10 years earlier resurface and start to emerge as songs. He is given a four track. He needs some bass so he gets one and becomes a bass player. Needs drums so starts drumming, needs lyrics so starts writing, needs vocals, a recording engineer, and so on. He starts to become what he, even his previous life as an aspiring musician, never thought he'd be: a songwriter. A songmaker, really.
That was 5 years ago. He has not stopped since. He has 6 albums to his name (admittedly of varying production quality) and he doesn't even know how many songs, 40...50. He writes and records all the time. Music is his life again. He hopes you enjoy what he has done so far.

Guy DON'T STOP! We really like what you do and you should keep it up! See if you agree by visiting Guy's BandCamp Page.

Emily Kate Boyd

Emily Kate Boyd is an Americana, rock, folk, blues, and country music singer and songwriter. As a performing artist, she's a poet and storyteller, making her live performance an original and deeply heartfelt experience. Emily creates threads of Americana that draw inspiration from the Appalachian traditions, Jazz and Gypsy Blues.
A woman of the world, her hometown is Chattanooga, Tennessee, though Emily splits residency with adopted home of Buenos Aires, Argentina where she is currently expanding her independent label, ARCA Records. Her latest release, “In the Woods”, includes sessions recorded in Atlanta Georgia, Floyd Virginia and Buenos Aires with local musicians in each of those cities.

We would love her just to stay here in America. Such talent and great songs. Hear her on her website.


Sarantos Releases His Most Powerful Singer And Songwriter Piece "What If I Never See You Again" Which He Wrote After His Father's Death As He Struggled To Cope & Recover.
Death is a very traumatic time for everyone involved. When a parent passes away, the grieving process begins. Does it ever end though? Although the memories of your parents stay with you forever, probably one of the questions that most lingers is if you will ever see them again. This touching melody makes that the central theme. While there is no other well-known song written specifically about this concept, it seems like a topic that has been experienced by many.
The grieving process comes and goes. However, whether people are religious or not, they will naturally wonder if they will see their parents again in some way or another. It seems that it is common for humans to ask this question after the death of a parent. This will also probably bring to the forefront new questions about the complexity of our planet and maybe our deliberate designer who not only created the universe but also helps sustain it today. Eventually, the question becomes does God really exist. Is there really a heaven? Will I see my dead parent again - in heaven or elsewhere?? What will happen to me after I pass away? The questions will come. Unfortunately, no one will answer them definitively for you.

Usually we don't cover an artist more then once but in the case of Sarantos we love to hear what is next from this amazing artist. You may too so listen for yourself on his Youtube Channel.

James V Cockerham

Atlanta African American composer, James Vinson Cockerham, grew up in Wilkesboro, NC. His mother was a domestic worker for three generations of judges and the towns newspaper publisher. His father worked for Southern Railway. He was fourth of six children.
Cockerham began his musical training in the third grade. His learning continued in the Lincoln Heights Elementary and High School Band and Chorus. James learned to play keyboard instruments. When he was young, his family could not afford piano lessons, so he borrowed music books from his cousins and taught himself to read them. He played by ear and directed his first choir when he was in the seventh grade. His oldest brother and sister moved to New York and they would bring jazz and gospel albums home when they visited. He was in middle school when he learned to play gospel and jazz. His older brother, Harry, allowed him to tag along as they played the Top 40, R&B, blues and jazz music from the 1960s and 1970s in clubs.
Instrumental jazz trumpeter, Keyon Harrold; Coloratura soprano, Arietha Lockhart; and Deacon Herman Pate are featured on Cockerham’s latest 2015 work, Be Still and Know, a CD with traditional orchestral arrangements of some of Cockerham's favorite hymns. James says, "I love the hymns of the church. These melodies have been around for centuries and they are just as beautiful today as they were yesterday."
James received a Master's Certificate in Orchestration for Film and TV from Berklee College of Music in Boston at the young age of sixty-five. Most of his recordings are gospel music. However, after forty-five years in the music industry, he will soon release a series of single projects to broaden his audience. Some of the new song titles are: How Do You Hate in the Name of Love; Thank You for the Rain; Different Kinds; This is My House; and Memories of Yesterday.

This jazz master is one of the greats! "Be Still and Know" the title of one of his albums must shurly come from the Indian Spiritualist J.Krisnamurti. (correct me if I am wrong). There is more music to come from James V. Cockerham. Listen.

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