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One of the nice things about doing a weekly radio show is that I get the opportunity to hear new music before it’s released. Back in February, while seeing Ego Alien perform at Dobbs, Ted gave me a copy of Ego Alien’s newest EP. (BTW, Ego Alien’s live show is something to see!)
Ted is Ted Bunch, guitarist, vocalist and writer for Ego Alien. The EP in question is their new release simply called Ego Alien. The EP includes 4 songs: Lines, Little Miss Panic Button, Green Means Go, Big Bluey Dawn. I had high hopes for the EP as I had already been a fan of Ego Alien’s music since the release of their debut EP “Crawl on the Edge”. They have also been a staple on my Philly AIMS Radio Show. (Sunday’s, 8 PM to 10 PM on http://www.rockbandomradio.com)
Ego Alien is a power trio consisting of Ted on guitar and vocals, Chris Kusmanick on bass, and for now, a Drummer by committee. (Hopefully the drummer spot will be filled permanently soon). As fate would have it, Ted is also an impressive drummer and he is the one playing on the EP, unfortunately his clone is not available for live performance.
The music, to me, is representative of the 90’s sound with an updated twist. The EP is full of catchy hooks, power chord drive and booming bass and drums. Standouts for me are “Lines”, with its prominent slide guitar and “Green Means Go”, which after one listen will be stuck in your head for hours. The remaining tracks are just as good and fit well together as an EP, seamlessly grabbing the listener and keeping them enthralled. After one listen I let it run through again as I wanted to hear more. Hopefully the next release will have a few more tracks.
Along with making good music, Ego Alien front man Ted Bunch is a great supporter of the Philly Area local music scene, you will often see him at other bands shows, right up front, cheering loud. To top it off Ted is a great guy, we need more people like Ted in the Philly scene.
Ego Alien has a number of shows coming up to support the new EP and you can get more information about the band and get their music at their sites below. I will be playing the entire EP on my Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 Philly AIMS Radio Show (starting at 8PM EST on http://www.rockbandomradio.com) to promote Ego Alien’s March 24th show at Shady Katie’s in Somerdale, NJ so browse on in.
Ego Alien website: http://www.thirstyrecords.com/thirsty-artists/ego-alien/
Pick up the CD for a mere $5.00 – http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/egoalien1
Check out Philly AIMS radio shows on http://www.rockbandomradio.com
The podcast for shows:
2/22/2015 – Featured band E. Joseph https://www.facebook.com/pages/E-Joseph-the-Phantom-Heart/59765111577
3/1/2015 – (Radio Show Fernando) Featured band: Psykodelik Vampyres https://www.facebook.com/PsykodelikVampyres
Can be found here:
Not sure why I’ve waited all these month to post this, but I’ve been doing a Philly AIMS radio show since September of 2014 on http://www.rockbandomradio.com. The show highlights the independent music of the Philadelphia area, past and present. I also play artists from other areas of the world but the main focus is Philadelphia Area unsigned.
The show is loosely formatted and off-the-cuff and it’s my little way to expose our great Philly original music to a wider audience.
The show is every Sunday night, from 8PM to 10PM Eastern standard time. Often times I will feature one particular bands music if they have an important show or release new material but generally I try to shove as much music as I can into two hours. I also play music from all genres.
The station I broadcast on is Rock Bandom Radio, http://www.rockbandomradio.com they play 24 hours a day and have a slew of shows with live presenters so you should tune in throughout the day. Also there is a chat app on the rockbandomradio.com site so make sure you join me during the show to chat with fans, band members and others.
If you are a Philly area original artist or band contact me and i will play your music too. If you are already being played make sure you keep me up to date with live shows and other news.
You can listen to past shows at Mixcraft – https://www.mixcloud.com/jayregan/
There are many expressions that relate to discovery, “even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes” or is it “blind nut finds a squirrel sometimes” whatever. So when I went to Connie’s Ric Rack one evening, a lot later than I expected to arrive, I was pleasantly surprised to “discover” the band playing the closing set that August 15th, 2014 evening was something special.
You’ve all have either been the closing act or have stayed long enough to see the closing act occasionally. It’s a tough spot, especially if you are from out-of-town. Usually the end of the night thins out and people are either tired or maybe a bit drunk. I was neither, maybe a bit tired, so I settled in with a fresh beer and watched the closing band.
In this case the band was Fight the Fear, a 4 (or is it 5)piece band from Connecticut playing, what I think, was there first Philly show. They attacked their set with professionalism, all the members were thoroughly engaged, and super, super tight. I noticed right away they had something special going on and soon after the room noticed the same thing. People who were merely hanging out or sitting at the bar and even those hanging out outside, slowly migrated to the front of the stage where Fight the Fear lured the crowd into their music. Head rocking, dancing, and cheering ensued!
The music is complex, yet hooky, and Gabrielle, the lead vocalist and keyboardist, ties everything together with poignant lyrics, awesome phrasing and melody and great keyboard work as well. Their bass player Andrew and drummer Jaco form a tight background that allows guitarist Alex and Gabrielle to weave in and out creating interesting texture and ambience. The band later clarified that when they tour they bring along a second guitarist to help fill out the sound, so when I saw them they were a 5 piece.
One thing that really stood out for me was the clarity and pitch of Gabrielle’s voice, top-notch for a live performance. The other was the playing of bassist Andrew, who has serious chops. The instrumentation was not overbearing with each member controlling stage volumes so everything could be heard and appreciated.
The band has had a lot of local area success back home and has toured regionally. They expect a return to the Philly area sometime in November.
Please take a moment to check out their sites and don’t miss seeing Fight the Fear Live, one of the best live performances I have seen in a long time. Their 6 track CD, Antique Electric, is available at their website and I have featured tracks from the band on my Philly Area Independent Music Scene radio show on www.rockbandomradio.com (Tuesday evenings, 9:00 PM to 11 PM, EST)
A few months back I first heard the name Jiggley Jones on an advert for a gig he was playing at Shady Katie’s , I thought to myself that’s an interesting name. I really didn’t follow-up on his music at that time as I was in the process of final mixing of my CD, but promised I would get around to it. A few months passed and I was checking out the site Your Local Note (www.yourlocalnote.com) and I came across a vidcast (video and broadcast interview) of Jiggley Jones discussing his new CD “a mountain, a struggle, a tunnel, a light” and I immediately felt a kinship for the way he approaches his music and his easy-going demeanor.
I contact jiggle to express my interest in reviewing his CD and he sent it out straight away. The CD includes 6 songs and is on the Lamon Records label. A word I kept hearing describing Jiggley’s sound is country, now that is a genre of music I really don’t have a great understanding of, but I do like a lot of artist who are considered country artists.
In listing to Jiggley’s songs I realized soon, that his songs didn’t fit in the same category as a song like “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”, which is refreshing. I really don’t think of this as country music, I think it can be label Americana as it is a mixture of many styles, rock, country, blue grass, folk, easy listening, all which I feel are styles of music Jiggley grew up on and appreciates.
I found the songs deep, meaningful and full of emotion, with well thought out lyrical content and highlighted by Jiggley’s strong vocals. The production and instrumentation are top notch and the songs have recognizable hooks that leave impressions on the listener.
For me, the highlight of the CD was the song Look What I Found, I learned from Jiggley’s interview on Your Local Note that it is about his wife and I really liked the pace and feel of the track. I believe anyone who listens to the CD will find something they like and understand.
You can learn more about Jiggley Jones at his website www.jiggleyjones.com
It only took one listen to Kenny Fame’s song Rejoyce for me to sense a special artist. As I listened to more of Kenny’s music I realized that Rejoce was only the tip of the iceberg, as he had a catalog of impressive music. The songs are a mix genre of trip-hop, funk, ska, R&B, dance, soul, and rock, an interesting blend of sounds that take you on an interesting musical journey. It’s tough to tie Kenny down to one particular feel, but it’s all great.
Kenny calls Harlem, NY home, but his music spreads out over many medium and I first heard him on my local Philly Internet radio where his music is a staple. I’m impressed by Kenny’s dedication to growing his career and you can find him and his music all over the normal social media sites. Does this guy ever sleep?
I was shocked to learn that Kenny is new to music as he comes from the spoken word side of performing. Kenny has been involved in some interesting things before music. Including, poetry, writing, modeling, dancing, play write, and now add singer songwriting. A true Renaissance man, Kenny recently was the keynote speaker at the International Symposium of Diplomacy in the USA, held in Washington DC, Baltimore and New York City earlier this year.
I’ve had the pleasure of performing alongside Kenny, opening for him at shows during the summer and backing him on percussion a couple of times. He brings a dynamic to the live stage that plays credit to the original recordings even when the instrumentation is scaled down to just acoustic guitar. Kenny has a unique vocal style that knits his songs together, when you hear it you know it’s a K*Fame song. His lyrics are insightful and touching and you can tell that they come straight from his heart.
Kenny will be playing August 13th at the Branded Saloon in Brooklyn, NY where I have the honor of opening for him, along with new Philadelphia area singer-songwriter John Heffren.
Here are excerpts from a recent interview I did with Kenny.
Are you originally from New York?
No I’m not but I did grow up in NYC; but I am from New Jersey; but NYC has always felt more like home.
How long have you been there if not?
I’ve been here most of my life because my father had a business here; which is how I grew up here. When he came to work, we had to go with him.
What’s your music background?
I grew up studying piano but I didn’t really take to it because it felt forced. I have long fingers so my mother was told by everybody, that she should get me into piano. I did it but because that was what my mother wanted, not because I wanted to do it. I grew up doing recitals & felt like a dweeb LOL.
I began writing songs at the age of 8. The first song I wrote at 8 years old was “A Change of Seasons”; which was on both of my albums. I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote it, so I never told anybody about it because; I assumed I was doing something wrong, because it came so naturally to me.
Once I went to college I majored in English, with a concentration in Creative writing (Fiction, Playwriting, Journalism, Screenwriting, & of course Poetry). In 2010 I became an internationally published poet (I was the most published poet in the world in 2012); an I also became an award winning writer in 2010 by winning the “National Black Writers Conference” as a poet (among many others) and at this point I knew that I must have been doing something right.
How long have you been playing?
I have incredible stage fright yet I’ve always been on the stage. It always hoped it would help me overcome this stage fright. The piano recitals I did as a kid; several of them, has helped.
What were your musical influences growing up?
As a kid I loved Broadway. It was my first love & I was blessed to have a dad that had a business in NYC that got free tickets to every show.
What do you listen to now?
I am more into classic artist now & some newer ones, I love jazz artist John Steven’s Band, Carol King, The Carpenter’s – the clarity in Karen Carpenter’s voice is timeless, Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Chicago (I love Peter Cetara’s voice), Laura Nyro my favorite record right now is Laura Nyro’s “Gonna Take A Miracle” the sound of Philadelphia & NYC colliding. The harmonies of Patti Labelle, Laura Nyro & the rest of Labelle: Nona & Sarah. That is my favorite record right now. I listen whenever I want to be inspired. As a songwriter Laura Nyro is my inspiration & also Nona Hendix from Labelle; but as a Black man Sam Cooke is my inspiration & oh that voice; I Love Dionne Warwick’s & Cissy Houston (Whitney’s moms) voices too; those Drinkard Singers (Whitney Houston’s musical family).
How often do you perform?
I don’t perform a lot. It’s always been hard finding musicians.
What kind of venues?
Any place that I can find.
As a solo artist, it is easier for you to work different types of smaller venues?
I’m not sure. It’s always hard in NYC to know what works & what doesn’t. You kind of go with the flow & hope that they’ll call you (venue’s).
What would you offer by way of advice to young musicians, who are just starting out?
Don’t focus on celebrity, focus on reality: music is a JOB just like any other & you may not ever get rich doing it.
What inspires you to write?
Living, every day is a different story & every day is a different song.
In closing, are there any future plans you can share at this time, or anything you’d really like to say?
My future plans are to continue growing as an artist. I would be writing something every day, whether I had a career or not. It’s truly inspiring to know that somebody might possibly be listening too. – We are Kenny!