The Alchemystics - Spread Hope, 2011
The Alchemystics blend reggae, politically infused hip-hop, gritty soul, hard-driving rock, and pulsing Jamaican, Cuban and Trinidadian rhythms into a distinctive, original sound. The result is modern-day roots music with global appeal – an alchemy of ancient musical traditions; intricate, intelligent wordplay; deep, driving rhythms; irresistible hooks; and old-school vocal harmonies.
The Barefoot Truth - Carry Us On, 2011
In the small New England town of Mystic, Connecticut, lives Barefoot Truth, an independent band that is quietly creating history. You have never seen them on MTV, nor heard them on a Top 40 FM radio station, but with over 8 million spins on Pandora, Barefoot Truth has quickly become a symbol of independent music success, and just may be ‘the biggest band you’ve never heard of’. Mixing the sounds of folk, rock, jazz, and reggae, with lyrics full of unbridled optimism, the band has crafted a sound that is distinctly Barefoot Truth. Mixing a strong environmental message with the lofty theme of humankind’s interconnectedness on their 2011 studio album ‘Carry Us On’, Barefoot Truth reached #10 on the iTunes Rock Charts.
Breje - Facebook Lover (single), 2012
BREJÉ is a multi-talented, Wpe Music, LLC/Bungalo/Universal Music Group Distribution (UMGD), 17 year old entertainer (singer, dancer, songwriter, recording and performing artist, actor) who has been dedicated to following his dreams since the age of 10. What makes Brejé special is that he knows how to deliver all he has to offer and has the uncanny knack for captivating anyone of any age, male or female, no matter their musical preference.Brejé first tasted the spotlight when he tagged along and appeared onstage with his sisters’ band, IQ, opening for the likes of the Jonas Brothers and others. This paved the way for Brejé to solo and open up for artists Fabulous and Soulja Boy. Brejé’s first record, Twist Wit It, was released in 2008 and this hip-hop song sparked renewed interest in Chubby Checker's dance, "The Twist”. Brejé teamed up with the legendary super producer, Scott Storch, who produced and wrote Glad We Met (Brejé contributed to the lyrics) which, after a 12-week national radio campaign, landed the No. 3 spot on Billboard Hip Hop R&B single sales charts. And lots of personal appearances with some great artists like Neyo, Bow Wow, Soulja Boy, Omarion, Mario, The New Boyz, Ashanti, and J. Holiday, as well as a tribute to Michael Jackson along with the Jackson family. Six Flags and Kellogg’s predicted Breje to be one of the new pop stars in the coming years.May of 2012 Breje released his new video and single “Facebook Lover” that garnered the attention of Top-40-Charts.com, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg Magazine to name a few. “Facebook Lover” created a national buzz as a sure fire hit as a solid track. In addition, the single has a poignant value in that it addresses the subject of Bullying in America in a unique way.” In a follow up story, Breje was paired with Justin Bebeir as “teen stars committed to anti-bullying”. On the heels of Facebook officially opening its stock to the public, Breje’s new single storyline brings Facebook to the center stage as a positive example of how this major social media outlet can be used by kids to communicate. In the Fall of 2012, Breje joined forces with Karen Klein, the 68 Year old bullied bus monitor, and other celebrities, for a national “Anti-Bullying” tour. He is also an International Youth Ambassador for Ivy Child.Org, an organization that teaches kids mindfulness, self-regulation, leadership and resilience, thereby building healthy habits for life.”Brejé’s not just about the music. He loves school, especially reading and math. He has been featured in Scholastic and other magazines and whenever possible, strives to use the spotlight to get the message across to kids that “hard work, determination and education are essential if you want to achieve your dreams.” He also loves competitive sports and video games. Most important and despite his frantic schedule, he remains grounded thanks to the support of his close-knit family and friends. For these and many other reasons, he is a great role model. The kids totally relate to him; the adults adore him.
Carolyn Walker - Resolution, 2013
Violin teacher by day, singer-songwriter by night, Carolyn merges her classical music training with her love of popular music to create songs that are thoughtful and heartfelt.
Born and raised in Western MA, Carolyn draws upon the imagery of the New England landscape to inspire her lyrics, using the turning of the seasons as metaphor for personal change and discovery
Carrie Ferguson - The List of Whales, 2014
Currently based in Northampton, Ferguson’s original songs range from playfully jubilant and quirky, to soaring pop, country-tinged folk and straight up rock. Ferguson’s band, a rotating all-star squad of players from the Pioneer Valley, uses a shifting palette of instruments and voices to create live shows that are joyful affairs, full of humor and warmth, beautifully showcasing her haunting melodies, and smart, gorgeous lyrics.
Cheatcode - Select Start, 2013
For Massachusetts bred lyricist/producer Tone, a.k.a. CHEATCODE, progression in music was gradual. What started as a quest to find dope beats to rap on transformed into a love for production. Digging for samples became an appreciation for the great records of the past. An aspiration for originality evolved into sound design and synthesis manipulations. CHEATCODE releases are the result of an ever expanding love for the process of creating and recording music. Whether appearing as an emcee or producer, the aim is to keep the party moving with a conscience.
Choc'late Allen - So Happy (E-o) (single), 2011
Choc'late Allen (born June 19, 1993) is a child activist who arose to national awareness in early 2007 by engaging in a 5-day fast in an effort to promote the concept of Taking Personal Responsibility for our individual thoughts and actions; in order to treat with social issues plaguing Trinidad and Tobago. In 2008, Allen launched her singing career and 2008-initiative at the 15th annual Rebel Salute concert in Jamaica. Rebel Salute is a positive reggae concert held and formed by the legendary Tony Rebel and Flames Productions. Following this major event, Allen was then invited by Mrs. Rita Marley to be the co-chair of the Africa Unite Youth Symposium and also to perform at the Africa Unite-Smile Jamaica concert. in addition to the continuation of her Taking Personal Responsibility movement, as an activist, she has been visiting several schools in Jamaica; with the support of many UN agencies and other organizations. As an artiste, Choc'late collaborated with Reggae artiste, Queen Ifrica, in a song titled "Friends" which covers both the child and adult vision of friendship. In the summer of 2011, she performed and collaborated with her father, Kurt Allen, and the Alchemystics playing all along the Eastern US.
Cold Duck Complex - Freshwater: Bad Love (mix), 2009
Cold Duck Complex is a method, a means of capturing a moment of intensity, fun, pure excitement—music that makes you feel good, but not simple party music; music that makes you think, but without interrupting the dance party. The marriage of hip-hop lyrics to jazz and funk music, though not unheard of, is a new beast here—placing the instruments on an equal plane with the voice pushes this fusion in a direction that few, if any, have taken before. Equally likely to be exploring the sonic palette of a tin-pan alley standard or an early ‘90s west coast hip-hop groove, this music is created for the sheer joy of experiencing every second of it…no two seconds ever the same, no song played the same way twice. The lyrics and smooth delivery of Platypus Complex is at once thoughtful, witty, deep, and goofy. He possesses a talent that few can emulate, and it belies a wisdom beyond his years. The Cold Duck Trio is a group committed to variety, to exploring all the sounds they can, whether supporting Platypus Complex or stretching out an instrumental tune. Together, the group bridges gaps between seriousness and humor, politics and play, sometimes showcasing more traditional hip-hop, other times trying to blend hip-hop lyrics with more progressive and complex instrumentals.
David Linhart - Gunmen (single), 2009
CREDITS: Jon Siegel played bass as part of our acoustic duo Twiin. I wrote the song, sang and played guitar. Northfire Recording engineered the sound. Yaminette Diaz Linhart filmed and I edited. The public domain stock footage is from Internet Archive.
Moke & Tone - Shot Heard Around the World, 2011
Moke and Tone are the two man hip-hop consortium consisting of the Cali-born, Bronx-bred Mokeout of Hardtimes Records and the Massachusetts based Tone of The Problemaddicts (Mystika Music, LLC); ranked in 2009 as URB.com's "Next 1000".Shot Heard Round The World delicately walks the divide between street and conscious rap, addressing a wide brush stroke of themes that range from the powers of good versus evil, overzealous emcees fighting for position, 911 conspiracy theories, and the call for alarm in this uncertain world. Produced extensively by Mystika Music's in-house production crew Team Genius, Shot Heard Round The World also boasts production from Illmind (50 Cent, Eminem, Little Brother), J Clyde (Young Buck, Heltah Skeltah) and features precision turntablism courtesy of The Problemaddicts own DJ Theory.
The Nodd - Baby's First Wars, 2009
Since 2003 The Nodd’s modern roots rock sound and their mission has centered around the distinct songwriting and vocals of Dug, an American born near Philadelphia, PA. Producer Angelo Quaglia, after guest-judging for the international competition Emergenza, met Dug during the final round at The Theatre of the Living Arts after awarding him Best Vocalist of 2004. In 2005, having played on a brief national tour including Philadelphia, St. Louis, Chicago, Memphis, New York and Washington D.C. and earning their reputation for captivating live crowds, Dug felt that The Nodd had new music to make. Through personnel changes within the band and a developing creative relationship with Quaglia, The Nodd set out to capture what would be both a collection of enduring songs and a full album-oriented experience –an increasingly rare endeavor in today’s single-dominated music world. Baby’s First Wars, their first full-length album in five years, was released on Wednesday the 11th of November 2009 – anniversary of the end to World War I.
The Primate Fiasco - Adventures of…, 2013
To a deaf person, they look like a New Orleans dixieland street band. To a blind person, they sound like a rave DJ mashing-up house beats with 60′s folk lyrics. To the police, it’s a busy day on the sidewalk.The Primate Fiasco uses instruments that are loud without electricity, giving them the opportunity to attack at any moment, in any location, with or without permission. No one is safe, not even an elevator or city bus. If The Primate Fiasco sees a dull moment somewhere, they will pop out of the nearest sewer drain or trash can to lead an irresistible dance party.On stage, the sound is different. This band has pioneered what is possible with mindbending harmonies of dual saxes, funky pockets of a hyperactive Sousaphone player and banjo that thinks it’s a Fender Strat. Add lyrics that grab hold of even the most inattentive audience and beats that channel surf like a remote that’s been sat on. The music is always high energy and extremely imaginative. Most importantly, this is fun. People smile from the first beat to the last smoldering ash of what was previously a dance floor.
The Problemaddicts - The First Step, Hurtin' (feat. Masta Ace) 2007
"Reminiscent of the now-defunct Jurassic 5 in their prime" (URB.COM)The Problemaddicts approach Hip Hop with a genre-crossing blend of new school production and old school lyricism. The Massachusetts based six-member crew prides themselves on the ability to kick start any party while also facing the issues of today. Core members consist of Tone, Jason Vorheez, DJ Theory, Force, 1ne Man Sound, and Black Buddha
Ryan Hommel's Optical Shop - A/B (Single), 2014
While most kids were playing cops and robbers, Ryan Hommel was playing Elvis. Now 25, while most of his peers are just graduating college and attempting to find their footing in the workforce, Hommel is already a touring veteran and multi-faceted producer. Coming into his own now, as front-man for his own trio (Ryan Hommel's Optical Shop), Ryan Hommel is going back to his roots. All of them. Bridging the gaps between early Rock’n’Roll and Soul, Jazz and R&B; Ryan Hommel's Optical Shop gives a high-energy show including a dizzying mixture of original and interpreted music both new and old.“Ryan Hommel delivers his beautiful music with a discipline and clarity that allows it to travel straight to your soul.” -Livingston Taylor
The Sage Project, self titled EP, 2013
Seth Glier - Electricity (live in studio) 2015
Speedy Slugs - Taste for Secrets, 2012
The "Chinese Nicki Minaj" debuts her thug-sassy take on electro, dub-step, and hip-hop. Songs about paper-doll sex, insomnia, magic peaches and psychotic babies wrapped in big sexy beats, lush orchestration, and blissed-out street-preacher lyrics. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/speedyslugs
Tha Capital G - Fruit of My Labor, 2013
The Zoo - single (2015)
Tone ft. Kurt Allen & DJ Theory - Dreams (single), 2011
"Most emcees, when they talk about their Dreams, are referring to their conscious goals and aspiration; Tone‘s latest single, however, finds the Massachusetts native (and Moke & Tone co-founder) using the beat as a literal dream diary, connecting the surreal imagery concocted by his unconscious with his personal and professional concerns over a left-of-center beat by Team Genius (with cuts by DJ Theory). Complete with hook vocals by Trinidadian legend Kurt Allen, this joint is just one of many fresh cuts set for inclusion on Tone’s yet-untitled solo debut." - DJBooth.net
Tim Eriksen - Banjo, Fiddle, and Voice, 2012
If aliens from outer space ever want to learn about the music of our planet, Tim Eriksen is the guy they’re going to beam up. He has performed, recorded, studied and/or taught musical styles encompassing hardcore punk, historic American Sacred Harp (a.k.a. shape-note) singing, traditional and “alternative” US folk, ethnic or classical music from Bosnia, the Balkans, Ethiopia, and South India, and the experimental “electro-acoustic” genre. Solo artist and bandleader, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist (Boston Herald: “a haunting, cutting voice”), Tim also writes and plays what he describes as “Northern Roots” songs: “New England music of life and death, not bed and breakfast.”
Tony Lee Thomas — Temet Nosce, 2013
Vorheez - Agoraphobia (single), 2011
Who'da Funk It? - We Take It, We Leave It, We Love It EP, 2012
Whether you want to define their music as arty experimental, funk, alternative rock, punk, ska, klezmer, hip hop, blues, afrobeat, bossa nova, latin, or any other existing genre, one thing can be promised: Who'da Funk It will make you dance. This young group of (almost) all female musicians from Western Massachusetts, goes far beyond their appearance with daring twangs and bangs, belted lyrics, and foot-stomping charisma. They will get couch potatoes to crowd surf and coyotes to howl at the moon. They might even make you smile.
Wise Old Moon - Don’t Look Back (2015)
Young Tricksters — Ripples, 2014
Young Tricksters is a dynamic four-piece explorative rock band from Amherst, MA. Their ability to juxtapose soaring vocal harmonies with heavy, triumphant instrumentation creates an intensely beautiful emotional energy in their music.
Zumbyes - Good Memory Times, 2013
Notoriously dubbed "the most dangerous a cappella group on the planet" by the New York Times, we are the oldest all male continuously running a cappella group at Amherst College. Founded in 1950, the group today boasts a complex and vibrant repertoire. Our performances are most aptly described as "spectacles" for their witty skits, elaborate choreography, strong musical blend and motley performers
Eric Olsson & Kim Zombik - Friendship Blues, 2014
The Gaslight Tinkers — EP, 2014
Northern Fiddle, Afro-pop, Caribbean, Reggae, Funk, and Latin grooves meet traditional. It's the future of the music of the past; it's a live remix; it'll move your feet and intrigue your mind. The band's afro-pop, funk and reggae rhythms create a powerfully danceable sound to elevate traditional New England, Celtic, and Old time tunes and original songs.
Gokh-Bi System - Raptassu (single), 2009
Childhood friends from the Dakar, Senegal hood of Pikine Guinaw Rail—literally “the other side of the tracks” Gokh-Bi System reunite rap with its ancient West African ancestors in a style dubbed “ancient meets urban”. GBS was formed in 1995 by three childhood friends: Mamadou Ndiaye (Emcee), Diasse Pouye (Emcee), and Pape Bathie Pouye (Manager). The three boys were transfixed by the conscious lyrics and powerful messages found in hip hop and began creating their own lyrics against the beat. They started out imitating what they heard on the cassettes,combining English, French, Wolof,into their own flow. Soon freestyle turned into original compositions and the boys from the other side of the tracks added Backa Niang and Sana Ndiaye(ekonting) and christened themselves Gokh-Bi System which means neighborhood system. Gokh-Bi’s positive message, inspired by rap greats from The Last Poets to Chuck D, transform the group’s sound into an uplifting yet hard-hitting African homecoming for hip hop that sounds like The Roots hanging with Baaba Maal. Drummer Colin Jalbert, bassist Reed Sutherland, and Guitarist Greg add modern instrumentation.
Harrison Bankhead - Velvet Blue, 2013
Bassist Harrison Bankhead is an avant-garde-leaning musician with a journeyman's ability to fit within an array of jazz styles from straight-ahead to free jazz. For decades, the bassist has been the bedrock upon which great Chicago jazz has been built. He was the foundation for legendary players like Fred Anderson, Von Freeman, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Malachi Thompson and a collaborator with Nicole Mitchell in the Indigo Trio and Hamid Drake and Ernest Dawkins with the Chicago Trio.
Heather Reichgott - Handel - Suite in B flat, HWV 434, III. Air and Variations, 2013
Iydia & Andrea - Fika, 2013
Recently returned from a rewarding year of studying together in Sweden, lydia & Andrea are eager to share the music they've brought home. They perform an energetic and engaging program of traditional music on fiddle, 5-string fiddle, nyckelharpa, and voice.
Iza Jane - Dirty Hands EP, 2013
Jason Robinson / Anthony Davis - Cerulean Landscape, 2009
We had to wait nine years to have a new recording featuring the collaboration of saxophonist Jason Robinson and pianist Anthony Davis. After two critically acclaimed tracks on Robinson’s 2001 release "Tandem" (Accretions), this new CD is a manifestation of the two musicians’ love for the music of Duke Ellington, for the blues format and, more fundamentally, for the blues song in the way the great composer understood it in "Mood Indigo", "Transbluesency" and "Azure", among other pieces. Of course, what they do with both references isn't literal, but a recreation made in the context of the present creative jazz, a field in which they're indisputable masters. As Robinson himself writes on his liner notes, "if Ellington were to collaborate with science fiction author Samuel R. Delany, one might encounter a cerulean landscape”. Jason Robinson is a confessed experimentalist, either using electronics and/or trying alternative combinations between improvisation and composition. Co-leading the band Cosmologic, playing with the likes of George Lewis, Eugene Chadbourne, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway, or cruising the fields of reggae and rap, he's one of the most intriguing musicians around. A legend of free jazz, Davis became a well respected opera author, with works like "X – The Life and Times of Malcolm X" and "Amistad", he is also widely known for his chamber, choral and symphonic creations. During this time his wonderful piano playing – which for some time was rivaled only by Muhal Richard Abrams – became a secondary focus. "Cerulean Landscape" is his festive comeback as an instrumentalist. This is great and beautifully carved music.
Cerulean Landscape from Jason Robinson on Myspace.
Kurt Allen - When Will It End (single), 2012
Kurt Allen a.k.a. “The Last Badjohn of Calypso” is a Trinidadian Calypso singer and songwriter, best known as being the only Calypsonian crowned International Soca Monarch, National Calypso Monarch and Young King. He was born in the First Capital of Trinidad and Tobago, the village of St Joseph, Maracas. He was the lead singer for the local village Top 40 cover band Afsak (1988-90) and top Soca bands Atlantik (1992-93 & 2000-2001) and Roy Cape All Stars (1990-92 & 1996-2000). Kurt is now the most consistent, relevant and respected Calypsonian of this decade and of his time. Kurt's music is a conversation of raising global consciousness on social issues ranging from politics, religion, gender equality, human and children rights, youth leadership as well as the lighter “feel good” issues that the “Soca” brand of Calypso reflects.Kurt Allen has been a champion activist for cultural and economic cooperation of the West Indies islands. Evidence of Mr. Allen’s dedication to uniting the Caribbean through the Cultural Arts is noted when in 2001 he decided to take a temporary sabbatical from the stage in order to use his experience and knowledge in culture to inspire, educate, promote and encourage the involvement of the Caribbean’s youth in the creative and cultural industries. This birthed the Non-Governmental Organization Caribbean Vizion that advocates for cultural and economic cooperation between Caribbean people and their governments. The organization is also recognized and endorsed by the CARICOM Secretariat and has worked extensively throughout the region with various governments and International Development Agencies. Kurt Allen’s mission via his music is to liberate minds and cause humanity to take personal responsibility for their life and circumstances.The backing track on this song is "Overcome It All" from The Alchemystics 2011 album, "Spread Hope"
Lissa Schneckenburger - Dance, 2013
The traditional music of New England can be as warm and comforting as a winter fire or as potent and exhilarating as a summer thunderstorm. Fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger is a master of both moods, a winsome, sweet-voiced singer who brings new life to old ballads and a skillful, dynamic fiddler who captures the driving rhythm and carefree joy of dance tunes old and new.
The Mary Jane Jones - Shake EP, 2013