Daily Archives: July 26, 2011

Will Gray – Broke* Documentary – “Introducing Will Gray” [FILM & MUSIC]

Every single aspiring independent artist, band, producer, or musician should pay close attention.  We all know that the music industry has undergone extreme changes, and it continues to change in this current age of transition.  Labels are folding, music is free, and the digital age is upon us.  What do we do?  Can artists still do this, be happy, and support themselves?  All these questions and more are discussed in Will Gray’s Broke* Documentary.  However, Will didn’t just wake up one day and decide to do a documentary about the struggles of emerging artists.  He has been living it for over a decade.  Broke* is about the music industry, and what it takes to thrive as an independent artist or music executive in search of their big break.  The documentary features interviews from industry names like Don Was, John Legend, Isaac Slade from The Fray, Seth Godin, Kelly Clarkson, and many more.  After sifting through 300+ hours of footage and more than 60 interviews, Broke* has been created and directed with perfection.  In fact, the film won the Special Jury Prize at the Nashville Film Festival this spring.  “The film digs beneath the clichés and standard storylines to reveal an industry struggling to find a new identity and an artist who’s simply trying to establish one.”  The question: “Can a new act be “broken”?”

Will Gray is not only a great director for his documentary Broke*, but he is an amazing musician that combines folk and hip-hop to create some truly incredible, fresh, and intelligent music.  His influences range from jazz greats like Miles Davis to pop icons like Michael Jackson.  “Will Gray is an independent Hip-Hop/Americana artist who has shared the stage with acts ranging from Erykah Badu, Twista, and Jurassic 5, to Justin Townes Earle and Los Lonely Boys. His original songs have been licensed by MTV, Ford Motor Co., Warner Bros. Records, Playstation, and Motorola.”  This is music that I feel speaks to everyone musically, and conceptually.  Will Gray released his debut album “Introducing Will Gray” under the production of Grammy Award-winning producer T Bone Burnett.  Check out one of my favorite songs from the album called “Back to the Wall:”

Will Gray may be one of the most influential artists of this generation; not because his music is number one on the charts (although it certainly could be), but because he is grabbing the industry by the horns and showing the world what it takes.  As the industry continues through a transitional period, this film gives an inside look at how music executives, producers, and artists feel about its current and future status.  Will music survive the digital age?  Will true and significant art be able to endure pop culture?  What is the breaking point, if it still exists?  As music continues to thrive upon the feel-good listener, Will Gray’s music explores new musical concepts as well as lyrical concepts untouched by the mainstream.   Please explore what this artist has to offer at willgraymusic.com.  Check out the Broke* Documentary, and buy “Introducing Will Gray.”

By: Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

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Ard Matthews – Fire Within [MUSIC]

Ard Matthews

Durban born, Ard Matthews is an extremely talented acoustic rock singer/songwriter.  Influenced by classic jazz musicians such as Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong, Matthews began playing music as a teenager, after winning a singing contest at the age of twelve. His talent has brought him all over the world, including living abroad in the United States and England.  Although Matthews in currently concentrating on his solo work, he is famous in South Africa for being the lead singer of Just Jinjer.  Recently, Matthews performed at the independent TED conference in Cape Town and is now touring around South Africa.  Listen to Fire Within and check out the work in progress section of his blog.

 

 

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC


Stacy Clark Live at The Walnut Room, Denver, CO [Photos] [Video]

Stacy Clark Live at The Walnut Room, Denver, CO

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play Stacy Clark

Click The Photograph For More Concert Shots!!!!!

Currently Stacy is on tour promoting her album “Connect The Dots”, check to see if she’s coming to your area and show her some love!!!!

Check Her Out!!!!!!

Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Operations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Hoodie Allen – “Leap Year” [FREE DOWNLOAD]

It was a bit under a week ago that we were bumpin’ the most recent Hoodie Allen release, “The Chase Is On”. (If you didn’t catch the video, definitely visit his youtube page and get a glimpse.) Yesterday was the drop of his upcoming mixtape Leap Year which we are glad to present to you as a FREE Download, as we have with all of his content. With the release of a new album, you can guarantee a tour. Have a look here at his tour schedule, to see if he’ll be performing in a city near you. Here is Leap Year!!!

Trevor Hall [Photos] [New Music]

Trevor Hall Live at The Mile High Music Fest, Denver, CO

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play Trevor Hall

Click The Pic for More Concert Shots!!!!

Check out the album teaser for Trevor Hall’s new album dropping August 23 titled “Everything Everytime Everywhere”

Check Him Out!!!

Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Operations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers “Rare Bird Alert” [NEW MUSIC]

It’s summer time and I’m completely obsessed with bluegrass music.  Two things that don’t really have anything to do with each other, but in my own little weirdly wired brain they go hand in hand perfectly.  This is outdoor music.  It’s acoustic.  It can happen anywhere and sound fantastic.  Add arguably the greatest comedian of all time turned banjo virtuoso Steve Martin into the mix and you have something very interesting on your hands.   High quality bluegrass licks with a hint of comedy.  Just like summer and bluegrass they seem to mix just fine.  Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers have recently released a full length record called “Rare Bird Alert.”  Get ready for a good ole’ fashion barnstormer.

Rare Bird Alert – Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

Steve Martin plays banjo on all the tracks.  Although he limits himself to minimal singing the Steep Canyon Ranger’s more than make up for it.  After the instrumental opener in “Rare Bird Alert” this record moves into some great tracks featuring multi harmonies and a special featured guest.  See if you can recognize his voice.

Best Love – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (Feat. ?)

This is not a comedy record at all as you can see.  This is good ole fashion blue grass ass kickin’.  Honestly I worked for like 13 hours straight today and went home and all I wanted was a drink.  As I started to listen to this record more to prep for the blog my brain kept saying “go to the bathtub, make moonshine… it’s not a dumb idea”.  Whiskey was a much better choice than making my own moonshine, but I guess great music makes you think of doing wierd stuff from time to time.  Anyway, I just finished Steve Martin’s biography “Born Standing Up” which in part inspired me to look into his music more.  The banjo has been a part of Steve’s vaudeville/ variety act since very early on in his career.

He’s an amazingly accomplished banjo player and he reaches out on this record and shreds… yes I said shreds on the banjo.

Northern Island – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

Now don’t me wrong I don’t think Steve Martin would put out a comedyless product.  There are awesome little gems in here for comedy lovers as well.  Funny little lyrics and an ending that I’ll get to later.  One hilarious little song is called “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs”.  The song is a hymnal with Steve featured on vocals.  It’s pretty hilarious and has become one of my favorite tracks of many on this CD.

Atheists Don’t Have No Songs – Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

We all know the man is multitalented, that’s never been a debate and this music isn’t that far of a reach for the comedic and now musical genius of Steve Martin, but there’s just a sense of professionalism that comes through even more on this record than in Steve’s larger body of work.  It’s a pleasure to hear him use bluegrass as a vehicle for comedy and music.  It’s an amazing record.  Well at least I thought it was an amazing record…

Then I go to the last track.  The last track on “Rare Bird Alert” is called “King Tut”.  For Steve Martin fans out there this tune is all too familiar.  Back in his SNL and arena (yes arena) standup tour days he performed this song as a sketch and it has gone down in history has one of the greatest SNL sketches ever.

King Tut” is a novelty song performed by Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons (actually members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). It was released as a single in 1978, sold over a million copies, and reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Martin previewed the song in a live performance during the April 22, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live. The song was also included on Martin’s album “A Wild and Crazy Guy.”

King Tut – Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

This record is awesome.  It’s available everywhere and Steve and the Steep Canyon Rangers are currently on tour HERE.  They are playing San Diego on 8/18.  No LA dates are announced yet, but he has been know to pop in down at the Largo from time to time and play some banjo and tell some jokes.  I’m so happy I got to write about Steve Martin.  He is one of my comedic idols and the guys pretty much dominates everything he sets his mind to.  Enjoy this CD and if you don’t like bluegrass I’m sorry, but you can go take a hike.  Oh and by the way.  The guy singing on that track earlier was Paul McCartney,  no big deal.

Jubilation Day – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

TopCast RUNDOWN (7/17 – 7/24) [PODCAST]