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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Josh Reichmann Oracle Band Brings Back the Old New Wave

I was catching up on my listening list the other day and I stumbled upon an EP by the Josh Reichmann Oracle Band, a group from Toronto on Paper Bag Records. I put it on for a spin on my turntable (Ha ha, just kidding--who has turntables anymore? Anyone? A show of hands? If you raised your hand, I am in awe of your commitment to old school analog, but anyway..). Now where was I? Oh yes, as I listened to the complex but danceable brew with prominent horns, keys, and Josh's characteristic vocal vibrato, I was taken with their groove and similarity to another band of my youth: Bill Nelson's Red Noise.

Back in the early 80's there was an amazingly creative period where the initial wave of punk had broken on our shores from England, and then a "new wave" of innovation broke through, bringing with it a new electric sound, often synth driven, more melodic and danceable than the hardcore punk movement which preceded it. Listening to Reichmann, I could still be hanging out in the basement spinning vinyl back in 1980.

Here is more on Josh from Paper Bag Records:

Josh Reichmann’s first band, Tangiers, brought a Rock/Post-Punk sound that began a trail of critical acclaim with their first release Hot New Spirits (2003) and spread over two more records (Never Bring You Pleasure, 2004 and The Family Myth, 2005). Tangiers caught the attention of Indie Rock fans across Canada and the US, and earned rave reviews from such notable sources as Pitchfork Media.

Josh returns to music with an entirely new line up of collaborators, now gathering from a pool of soul, early-funk, roots and dark punk influences. Josh Reichmann Oracle Band is a five piece band incorporating heavy saxophone, Stevie Wonder-meets-The Stooges keyboards, soul-style drumming, a live dancer, thick roots bass and Josh as the main songwriter and front man. At the root of these sounds is pure songwriting- timeless, heart wrenching and darkly enchanting.

The EP "Life Is Legal", released in October, is a preview of the full length release due out in March. Based on this teaser, I expect the album to be simply outstanding. Message to Josh: please visit us in North Carolina ya hear!?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Jason Adamo Takes It To the Next Level

Jason Adamo is a soulful musician and composer living in Cary. He has appeared with many different artists while touring the US, including Ben Harper, Martin Sexton, Bryan Adams, Corey Smith, Hootie and the Blowfish, and many more. I asked Jason some questions about his music. Here is what he had to say:

Tell us about your new release, "Sunflower".

"Sunflower" is an EP I put out in September of 2008. It consists of six tracks: "Purple Sky", "Jackie", "Sunflower", "Not Ready", "Miracle", "Purple Sky (Unplugged)".

I was very honored to have some truly amazing musicians lend their talents for this record including:

Robert Sledge (Ben Folds Five, International Orange)
Lars Hartmann (Former touring drummer for Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney and many more)
Josh Preslar (One of Raleigh's premier Blues/Rock Guitarists)
Chris Johnson (Sensational Keyboardist for Raleigh-based band Zegg)
John Briggs (Plays 16 different instruments really well, formerly of Only Midnight)
Jose "Pepe" Bastardes (an amazing violinist)
Fabio Consani (The best harmonica player Ive ever played with by far)
Jake Dean (Newly transplanted singer/songwriter/guitarist from Nashville)
Beverly Kain (world class gospel singer)

The whole CD was recorded between 12/07-4/08 in Morrisville, NC and Miami Florida with "Bongo" John Metcalf behind the controls of Studio 313 (in NC) and Derek Olds at the Miami Sound Lab.

Derek Olds also co-produced the record (Formerly of Only Midnight, he's worked with such artists as Maroon 5 and John Legend.)


5 time grammy winner Carlos Alvarez was kind enough to Master "Sunflower" personally at his Miami Sound Lab!

A lot of love and hard work went into making this record and I was very excited to "release" it back in September.

How did you get your start as a professional?

Well I went full time as a musician back in 2005, but I've been getting paid to play music since right out of High School.

It looks like you have a busy tour schedule ahead. What's the plan with that?

Well, the busy "schedule" you see on my MySpace page are the gigs I've set up and have played mostly these last three years to live as a working musician. These gigs however consist mostly of "Cover Songs". I like to mix in about 6-10 original songs a night during the shows though.

I've played original shows around the country before from New York to LA but have not been able to sustain a livable income off of original music. That is really what I'm shooting for. The dream is really to live off of my original music alone, touring the country and spreading my own songs, but being able to live off of it.

Do you tour with your band? (Lars Egon on drums and Fabio Consani on harmonica)

Lars will play with me at locally based original shows such as The Lincoln Theatre or Local 506. Fabio has joined me for shows in Nashville and New York and beyond as it is cheaper to play those shows as a duo instead of bringing the whole band.

I see Robert Sledge of Ben Folds Five appears on your album. How did you get to work with him?

I know Robert through Jeff Creed, owner of 313 Recording Studio, where I recorded the majority of "Sunflower". Robert was kind enough to play bass on three of the tracks on the record. He's an amazing talent.

Who are your influences as a musician?

Musically? I'm kind of all over the place with some of my musical influences, but they range from artists like Martin Sexton, Damien Rice, and Ben Harper to Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, and Elvis. (There really are too many to list haha) I was pretty sheltered musically growing up, I didn't find out about a lot of great music until my early 20's. But it was kind of like a domino effect when I would research musical heroes of mine, I'd find out who their influences were, and each new artist or group would open up another door to some more great music.

How do you approach writing new music?

I write the lyrics first most of the time, and usually try write a guitar part for a song later on. The creative juices have to be flowing though, this past year I spent most of my free time either recording the new record or trying to put it out. Doing it yourself can be pretty time consuming! I'm excited though now as I've been writing more since the record's release.

You encourage taping at your shows. Has that increased interest in your music?

Well, I'll be totally honest with you, although I'm glad to have anyone and everyone tape one of my live shows, that was a disclaimer that my web master put up on my website that he kinda throws up there for most bands he web-designs for. haha I've had people tape shows of mine in the past, and like I said I welcome it!

Are you looking for a label?

I've sent the EP out to a bunch of labels. It's a lot of work putting a record out on your own. I'd love to have help getting my music out there for sure.

What are your future plans?

Well, I haven't played any big city showcases since the record came out, so I plan on setting up shows in New York and Nashville, possibly out in LA as well. Hopefully playing those sometime in the spring or summer. In June I've been invited to play Rainforestaid09 which will take place down in Costa Rica, so I'm very excited about that. It's kind of just a game of "keep plugging away at it" for now and see what happens. I'm very excited about the possibilities.

Where are you playing locally on this tour?

My next local original showcase is March 7th at the Holly Springs Cultural Center with Mike Garrigan, Chris Titchner, and Stephen Fell Asunder.

Thanks for your time Jason! Much luck to you rockin' the tuniverse.

Thanks alot David! I really appreciate it!