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Hears the Diff: Artists You Need to Know About

What’s in a band name? You tell us after you see the 4 bands/people that we’re highlighting this week. Also, what’s going on Down Under? We sense a pattern, and you will too. Check out this week’s picks.

Chet Faker, aka Nick Murphy, is a bad dude, but in a good way. This Australian singer burst on the scene with his cover of Blackstreet‘s “No Diggity,” which if you have not heard it is as funk-fueled cool as you’re gonna get. In 2014, when Built on Glass, his debut studio album was released it exploded in Australia. It’s as good as it gets from the standpoint of: You’re in a dimly lit club, the vibe is right, the scenery is on point, the drinks are flowing with the conversation and Chet Faker is in your ear. Go get his music. You can find it a little bit more about him here.


You should listen to this Australian cat just based on his stage name: Dope Lemon aka Angus Stone. You know when you hear a song, and you make a mental note that what you heard was good and you need to find out who sang it. This is generally when we all press the Shazam app but anyway, we digress. How about when you hear another song, you Shazam it and you learn that it is the same artist from before? How about a third and fourth time? That’s this dude. If you’re into the Blues and Roots scene, he’s your guy. Different sound than most, has interesting lyrics and you’ll make friends when people hear you playing his music. Your entry points are the songs, Uptown Folks and Stonecutters. Marinade is a good one too.

Band names are weird. Not that we’re telling you anything you don’t already know but take this band, their name is Palace. What does that mean? Anyway, let’s not go down that rabbit hole. For starters, Palace is an Alt Rock and blues group from London. Start with the song Live Well. and from there just listen to the melodies, the guitars, and the piano. It’s easy on the ears and you could probably paint your whole house with them on in the background!

And last but not least, the most interesting band name to date. We give you, Bootleg Rascal, but don’t let the name fool you. They are legit and evolving fast. Here’s an example. You’re building a playlist, you add the first song and then the second. the third, and the fourth. Next thing you know you’ve just added the whole disc as a playlist. That’s what’s happening here. Especially with their 2021 release Sloppy Seconds. Start there and then check out their 2014 EP Psychotica. From a trending standpoint, they are, wait for it, from Australia! Music type you ask? To quote the group when asked how they would describe their music to their grandma?

“Good fun stuff you can bop along to while you’re baking a fresh batch of brownies.”

Now go getum!

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Artists You Need to Know About

At our weekly staff meetings, one of our favorite things to do is to talk about new music obviously, but we also like to one-up each other on 1) who we’ve found, artist-wise, and 2) who or what we are listening to. One and two are musically exclusive. Now that you know, let’s look at who you need to KNOW about.

First up is Samantha Fish from Kansas City, Missouri and she absolutely shreds. Coupled with her unique voice, her rock-n-blues riffs suit her like her Fender Telecaster does. Perfectly. You can thank us later.

Next up we got a buttery smooth R&B group out of Auckland, New Zealand named LEISURE. When do you listen to LEISURE? When downtime is the right time and you need a couple of tunes to get your mind right. They’ve been around since 2015 and frankly, their stuff is on point in the right setting. You decide.

The first time we heard the Riess Brothers‘ song Momentum, we were curious. You know, you’re in a bar and you’re having a conversation and one ear is devoted to the person you’re talking to and the other is trained to the music, and all of a sudden you’re like, “what am I hearing?” That’s what happened. Who were these guys? Who is this? who? Where are they from? Yea that’s these guys. They are legit talented and from St. Petersberg, Florida. Pick your poison: rock, blues, jam, funk, and reggae.

How can you not love Logan Rex. and Artikal Sound System? Between her unique voice and this tight-ass band’s ability to fuse old-school reggae with new music risk-taking, you’re in for a treat. Not that we’re focusing on the state of Florida (they’re from South Florida) but you’d have a good weekend if you caught the Ries Brothers and A.S.S. at the same venue. We’ll work on making that happen.

So to truly appreciate these groups, you have to give them an honest listen, not just one album. That being said, let’s add one more to your homework list. These guys had me after I saw the name of the band, it just fits. The name? The Cold Stares. Actually, the double take, as in, “who are these guys,” happened after hearing the song, In the Night-Time, off of the album, Heavy Shoes. They have it. Great guitars, tight sound, blues-rock, everything you want, Boom.

That’s it. Go get ’em.

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The 2017 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

One of the rites of spring, is the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  Click the link to find out who’s playing this year. Who are we looking forward to? Leon Bridges, Amos Lee, Jon Cleary, Marc Broussard, Dave & Tim, Dumpstaphunk, Tab Benoit and Galactic to name a few. Do yourself a favor, pick a weekend and check it out. Did we mention the food?


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Hiromi in Concert-Review

What can we say about Hiromi Uehara? She’s not exactly easy to put into words. To define her the way humans define things, we could say she’s a Jazz pianist virtuoso and composer from Japan—But that’s just scratching the surface. Not even, really. More like ‘tickling’ the surface. See using the term ‘Jazz’ loosely, just as one should when talking about this particular genre. Her music transcends most people’s notion of what Jazz is as she blends hints of classical, pop, rock, and everything but the kitchen sink into a maelstrom of passion, emotion, and absolute purpose. Hiromi herself can’t even define her own music. You know what? Just watch this YouTube video of a live studio recording and then get back to this.

Watched it? Good. Now you have an idea why DownBeat magazine calls her and her group “one of the most exciting groups working in any genre today.”

Having been a devout fan of Hiromi since her 3rd studio album, Spiral, I finally had the opportunity to see her perform live with contrabassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips at Bailey Hall in Ft. Lauderdale recently. As part of their world tour for her 10th studio album, Spark, she lit a fire among us all with the ‘extremeness’ that is Hiromi.

Opening with the title and debut track off of Spark, the trio immediately set the tone for the rest of the night. I wasn’t sure, going into it, whether they would just play from Spark or if they’d mix it up a bit with earlier tunes. In their one-and-a-half-hour set, I would say about half of what they played came from Spark, and the rest were from the previous albums. They strayed well off the beaten path too; each song was imbued with plenty of improv and new compositional ideas, which I was happy to hear.

As intense and powerful as her studio albums are, I have to admit I was worried the ‘real thing’ wouldn’t live up. Oh, how wrong I was… If you want an idea of how intense her playing was, she broke a piano string during their opening song. A freaking piano string. How do you even do that? When they were cutting off the broken string afterward, Hiromi admitted she broke one during their sound check before the show, too.


Perhaps one of the most unique qualities of Hiromi, is that for as intense and powerful as her playing is on those crazy, fast tempo songs strewn with time signature changes; her slower, softer songs are just as intense with emotion. Not many artists can pull off such dynamism, and it’s what sets her apart. This was exemplified that night during her solo performance of Wake Up And Dream—A beautiful song seemingly lost in reverie itself.

Let’s not forget about her incredible bandmates. As a bass guitarist myself, I usually lend a critical ear to other bass players’ performances. Anthony Jackson has an interesting style that’s hard to pinpoint. Perhaps the sell copy for their 9th studio album, Alive describes his playing best when they say his “flowing, glow-in-the-dark bass lines beautifully buoy and support Hiromi’s ingenious and impassioned improvisations.”

Then we have the drummer… Suffice it to say, Simon Phillips is a madman—In every sense of the word. Hiding behind his massive drum kit, Phillips matched Hiromi’s intensity and fervor with his own crazy and intelligent style. He played what must have been a 10-minute drum solo during What Will Be, Will Be which would make anybody’s jaw drop. I honestly don’t know how the man played an hour-and-a-half straight the way he played. Truly your money’s worth right there alone.

Bailey Hall provided one of those intimate settings where you almost feel as if you were sitting in on a band practice or recording session. It was perfect for this three-piece ensemble. The crowd consisted of a wide range of individuals. Being on a college campus, there were a lot of young fans, as well as many of the old jazz cats checking out the scene. What I love most of these sorts of performances is that the fans are always respectful to the performers and to each other. It was like we were all a part of this ride together. And when we got off, we had all shared some sacred bond. Perhaps it’s also telling of the state that Jazz is in today. A few of us ‘survivors’ are keeping the torch lit by supporting artists and supporting each other. It’s a byproduct of the almost underground nature that Jazz finds itself in today.

All-in-all, Hiromi, Jackson, and Phillips put their entire selves into this performance. That much was abundantly clear. Because you could feel it. You could feel their energy and their bond with each other resonate and ensnare the unsuspecting audience. This concert will perhaps remain as one of the most memorable performances I will ever experience.

Closing with a line from Hiromi herself, “Life is full of continuous sparks. It can be anything that you can feel passionate about, but when that huge spark happens, the story begins.”



Ryan Brady

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Music is Air

My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require. ~Edward Elgar

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Music is the Divine

“I love the way music inside a car makes you feel invisible; if you play the stereo at max volume, it’s almost like the other people can’t see into your vehicle. It tints your windows, somehow.”
― Chuck Klosterman

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Music Changes Lives

Music evolution change. Three things constant in life.  The lyrics from Branford Marsalis’ experimental band BuckShot Lefonque’s song of the same name, will be the inaugural post for Howzitsound’s rebirth.

Music evolution change
Sometimes the common makes it sound strange
Add a little this, take out a little that
Then you’ll come up with jazz called rap
Where it’s at, bring it back
Because it is an ill format
Once upon a time not long ago
When all the cats went to hear Satchmo blow
Groovin’ at a tempo fast or slow
Jazz was at a new plateau ready to grow
Also developing ways to make dough
Although we always heard no when at a show
The Klan couldn’t keep the man from makin’ mo’
Better blues, kinda confused here’s the news
These grooves is better than your blue suede shoes
Some G’s are fake and some will make moves
I prove jazz gone up another level
Real without making a deal with the devil
And so, I’m about to let the world know
That bebop and skattin’ was an old school flow
Callaway was a dope MC, you didn’t know?
Now that the years gone by some will try
Try to make that hip hop and jazz thing die
When it was skat before it was rap, Yo it was fly
Now it brings tears to the eye, oh my
I didn’t hear that back in the days
I wonder why
Ennie, meenie, minie, mo
Let’s pick a song
Let’s make it long and add the rap to make it strong
And if it’s wrong, then I’ll chill and let it stop
If not, then I’ll bust chops to get props
To make sure jazz and hip hop is at the tip top
But wait, we must cross roads to get it straight
in rhyme there’s a thin line between love and hate
Some state rap will never make it out the gate
But I’m here to cause a debate and contemplate
Why jazz and hip hop is considered second rate
But what’ the use, if I proceed to break it loose
There’s always an excuse why the rapper gets abuse
Don’t wanna tangle because the angle is obtuse
Same kinda cas that was facin’ the juice
My tongue can get necks hung, where’s the noose
My hypotenuse was to make rap fun
But what I done has put the soldier on the run
From sun to sun carryin’ weight that weights a ton
Convinced without a gun
Forget the fame of your name they need someone
to blame
For murder one
Chorus (5x)
Because it is an ill format

Read more: Buckshot Lefonque – Music Evolution Lyrics | MetroLyrics


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