The NBT Wonderful Ones 2009 Part 1

Part One

Part Two can be found here:

You can see pictures of Most of the artists mentioned here on our special visual page

And of course HEAR them on the NBT Podcast, talking and singing rare tracks, cool festive ditties and songs not yet released. That goes out on the 21st Dec 09.

2009 was a funny old year. Full of doom and gloom and displays of sadness, some heartfelt, some purely for the camera. Reality music shows increased in viewership and the cynical sad little man that is Mr Cowell even went online  to complain about people daring to vote for Rage Against The Machine to top the Uk charts over Christmas. It would spoil his no talent ‚product‘ hopes and dreams he said..The major music companies kept up their moans and groans and attempts to muzzle independent musicians and websites. They tried to make You Tube take away most of their content hoping to entice browsers back to watching/listening to the 10 artists that they could be bothered to promote, and for every artist they turned ‚‘invisible‘ on the site another Three new exciting acts popped up ! And weirdly after years and years of saying that a big reason for music being so expensive was the artwork and packaging etc.. the price of buying the major label stuff online wasnt really that much cheaper. It was the year of the comeback.. Eminem,  Jennifer Lopez and Robbie Williams, all of whom, thankfully didnt do nearly as well as their owners had hoped. The biggest comeback of course was Michael jackson who had to take the radical step of dying to achieve his years success. His record company took the opportunity to flood the stores with everything he ever made, grinning and slobbering their way to the bank happy in the knowledge they wouldn’t have to waste time promoting or helping any new talent.

But… you know what?

Outside the mainstream, away from the rumble and mumbles, the music just got BETTER.



It stayed honest and it took chances and it captured hearts and minds and souls by the millions.

And NBT remained part of that.

Here, in no particular order, are the Wonderful Ones of 2009.

Darren Gaines and the Key Party 

 The Bar-room Balladeer, the RocknRoll Poet this was the howl heard 20 seconds before closing time and the whispers FELT in bedrooms hours later.

The Key Party in their own words:

      2009 was a year. The Key Party was called “menacing” and “tuneful.” My Blacks Don’t Match was called “a perfect rainy day record for those times when you feel like something a little soulful and sad on your stereo” (Jersey Beat) and the full-length made some top records lists of the year including, of course, Next Big Thing’s. We played some wonderful shows as artist-in-residence for The Gershwin Hotel, Manhattan and had a stripped down version of The Key Party short listed as one of the top live shows of 2009. Our subversive lounge music was dubbed “noir rock”. Lastly we graced our first glossy magazine cover (well our name if not our faces) in a wonderful interview in the Spanish Mag, Ruta 66 (December 2009).Some of my favorite quotes from the year were:

“a poker game between Jim Carroll and Lou Reed, the shock sweetened by jiving horns and vocalist/violinist Sara Syms adding grace to the battle… There is a true sense of urban epic in these songs.” – Next Big Thing

“The band may play in a very stylized genre  – think every noir style ever invented, from Tom Waits to Lou Reed – yet so much of their material is out-of-the-box imaginative.” – Lucid Culture

“a musical mud sluice leading to a bluesy underworld that is as endearing as it is frightening… you get the sense that Darren Gaines was raised in a world where you’d be happy to keep a family of sewer rats as pets, or even friends. Despite the dark and dingy analogies that I’ve been overusing in this opening paragraph, the fact is that, simply put, I love this album.” – itsnothebandihateitstheirfans

“… eleven swaying, jazzy and devilish sounding tracks, which by conclusion you are ready to attend the party again!” – The Fire Note

2010 will be another year. The Monsters! are coming… The primary focus of TKP will be Billboards! (our next PROJECT). We’ve completed two songs including Monsters! which is available as a teaser track on Next Big Thing. Billboards!, intends to be an out of the ordinary release…


Mixing elements of Prog, Folk, Ambient and  even Electronica and Dance, HuDost raged hard, gleefully, against the dying of the light. Making the world glow just a little bit more wherever their music was performed.

HuDost in their own words:

      Oh, to summarize a year…what a strange process. Years are the selection of segments of time that blend into the whole. They, and time for that matter, are the strange encapsulation of human perception of the life process…the measurements of moments of birth, growth and disintegration of form before that which is being observed becomes the material and conceptual basis for newly generated life. With the daily and yearly enshroudments of “time” we lose sight of the whole…an expansive, unidentifiable universe in which time is irrelevant. With that said, 2009 has been a phenomenal year.


We toured for eight months out of the year, performing at a good number of wonderful performing arts centers and festivals (Including headlining NPR’s World Fusion Festival, FloydFest, the Levitt Pavilions, Tim Robbins’ WTF Fest, and many others). In May we released our new album ‘Trapeze’ which was produced by Grammy winner Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan) that was recorded right after I (Moksha Sommer) was diagnosed with a brain tumor and prior to surgery. I have gone through an astounding healing process using music as the primary tool to regain language abilities. Every year is a strangely intriguing mixed brew in a bucket…the question, of course, is whether it is half empty or half full. I have done a census and the members of HuDost think it is definitely half full and getting fuller. After all, we will be touring Germany in 2010!!!

Yang May Ooi

Is a writer and blogger, specialising in cross-cultural issues and social media.

Promotes, discusses, hypes and BELIEVES in the Net. The Blogs the apps, the fads and the innovations, she knows its a brave cool new world and everything she writes spreads the message.

Yang May in her own words:

 The high point of 2009 for me was the publication of my book International Communications Strategy, co-authored with cross-cultural communications expert, Silvia Cambie. The book explores the rise of emerging economies such as India and China, and also the rise of emerging technologies like social media and their impact on global business communications. We spent much of the summer promoting the book with interviews and articles in mainstream media as well as on blogs and podcasts. Writers like musicians have to do the rounds of promotions and publicity, too, and we’ve been finding that making connections through blogs and Twitter has been just as relevant at reaching our target audiences as being profiled in journals and so on.

The lows of the year? I started running earlier in the year and it was frustrating not having enough time to build upon a promising start. I’d got myself fairly fit and then let things slide so I’ve had to huff and puff and claw my way back from flabbiness this autumn! Here’s hoping that I can keep the running up through the winter into a fit and fabulous new year…!

Amchitka 1970

The archive release of the year.

 NBT got to interview Barbara Stowe, the daughter of Greenpeace Founder Irving Stowe and discovered a woman that still believes that through Action  and Belief wrongs can be righted and that the spirits shown all those years ago still exists to this day.

From the Greenpeace Canada website:  ‘’The two-disc CD takes you back to October 16th 1970, when 10,000 people gathered in the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver to hear Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Phil Ochs and support the very first Greenpeace action ever taken – the legendary voyage to Amchitka to protest nuclear bomb testing.’’  

Read the interview here:

Dizzy Gotheca  

   Electronica that dares to dance dirty and dance seductive, sometimes playing at being angels, sometimes hi-lighting the devils within themselves this Brisbane group made some truly beautiful music this year.

Dizzy Gotheca in their own words:

  In September we released our second EP ‘A Little Closer To The Truth’ which we are really proud of. Scene Magazine describes the EP as ‘a journey of love, hope and evocative electronica bliss’. This avante pop electronica exploration features tracks we worked on with esteemed local producers Lawrence English, Joe Panetta and Wernher Pramschufer. It features the QSong nominated track ‘Little Beat’, the infectious and gritty dance/pop of 313 and the ethereal hymn Sky Over Israel.

I (Heidi) also organised a fashion show which we played at. It featured the amazing avante garde designer ‘Athan Jon’ collaborating with visual artist Anthony Jigalin and body painters, as well as beautiful summer dresses from my sister’s label ‘Mariposa’, and some other great bands and DJs. Our Anthony (Smith) organised ‘Holes and Poles’, a Brisbane queer band fest… Anth also made our first hand made home made video clip which we filmed (with a camcorder) on beautiful Bribie Island (see We got to play some great shows, including at the Hangar which is an awesome underground venue here in Brissie as well as Brisbane’s second Fete de la Musique.

in 2010:
We are doing a little DIY tour down the east coast of Australia early in March. We might make it to Japan and Europe at the end of 2010. We will be writing lots of new songs for sure – we held off writing much new stuff until our EP  came out. You can also expect more hand made videos and podcasts ! 🙂 We will be putting our first LP album together…hopefully! Hopefully the muses and gods of inspiration will be helping us.


And so we boogie back to the garage, raw poprock nuggets for the 1st decade of the new century, looking back jumping forward.

The Thromboes in their own words:

Well, here it is the closing of another year. The Tromboes CD, “She’s Like A British Car” came out this spring and for that reason 2009 was a productive year. The Thromboes are: Dave Powers , bass guitar; Bongo LaHair on drums, and Larry Levy on vocals and guitars. The CD was my first attempt at vocals so in a sense it was my coming out. I have to say that singing was the most fun I’ve had musically in years since I had no idea what the end result would be. I winged it! My lyrics were the driving force.

As always, Dave Powers, who I have had the honor and pleasure of working with on three Swiv-o-matic CD’s and three Histrioniks cd’s was keeping up the bottom end with his superb bass playing and musical ideas. Cat Levy put down harmonies on three of the songs. She was the lead singer on all three Histrionik CD’s as well and along with Dave are the most creative artists I’ve ever worked with. So again, 2009 was a productive year for me.I am planning another CD due out next year that will either be another Histrioniks CD or another Thromboes CD. Perhaps, you the NBT audience, can weigh in. Write to me at either myspace with any ideas or suggestions.

Until then, a happy and healthy holiday season to all and best of luck with your musical endeavors. A special thanks to Martin for all his efforts and support. Without you my friend, none of this would ever be possible. You rock!



 Izzie Voodoo  

    Spiky glam slightly gothic flirty industrial very dance floor.. the ingredients never stop sliding into this Popfantastic audio concoction.

Izzie Voodoo in her own words:

       ‘2009 has been an up -the- scales affair beginning with the welcome addition of Sarah Bird’s second vocals to iZZiE Voodoo’s  live outfit. Sarah has brought yet another superb dimension to the Voodoo stage performance with her exotic (towering!) lively stage presence which adds to the verve, determination and excellence of our trio. With careful rehearsal this has now become tight and vibrant, enhanced even further by our new permanent backdrop of projected visuals, directed by bass player, Lawrence. This has bought us a well earned live reputation- the kind that generates requests for several last minute gigs in a  week  at different venues , in between our schedule.

February brought a surprise when the organisers of ‘Song of the Year 2009’ demanded ‘Control Freak’, a song which was still in the studio, should be  nominated into the final rounds.

Deuce Management have been helping promote my studio material and ‘Control Freak is now finished with preparations  being made for it’s release in early 2010, backed by ‘some weird video or other’. The rest of the year will follow, with a  string of new singles rather than an album and many more  gigs which are to be confirmed including an appearance at the Electronica venue at the Whitby Goth Festival. We are very excited- and so should you be!’

All Day Sucker

Harmonies and sun drenched power pop, glossy cinematic tall tales, with shiny wry coating this was an all day, all night party for the intelligent.

All Day Sucker in their own words:

 2009 started off predictably with New Years Day and never really took off from there. The characters were two dimensional and never transcended their roles to make for any long lasting or meaningful impression. Although the plot took many unexpected twists and turns there was no real pay off. The story was ripe for high drama, true human emotion and true spiritual poignancy, however it became too self aware and settled for cliches and mundanity. Still, it did set itself up beautifully for a triumphant sequel in 2010 that could potentially make sense of the entire opus and exalt the entire story into a masterpiece to be reveled for all time.

Detroit Rebellion

This complicated simple stuff…This sparse set of minimal tunes took on the big subjects, love , hate and work and quietly became one of NBT’s most loved recordings of the year.

 Detroit Rebellion in his own words:

 “2009 was a year of reinvention for me.

I returned to playing music while reinventing my relationship to it… as well as the way I play
it. I went back to my earliest memories to begin again. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done

I am looking forward to 2010.

By returning to the past, I’ve got a new outlook on the future. I am excited about the idea of
writing new songs that incorporate a bit more ofwhere I’m going than where I’ve been i.e. future

 D-Mitch and Spoonfull

It was always a pleasure to get good rap music sent my way, and ‘’Keep The Change’’ was a collection of the very best, using hip hop as a mere starting point and venturing into folk and soul and late night trip hop.

 D-Mitch and Spoonfull in their own words:

2009 was a huge year for us.  We started working on our debut full length, “Keep the Change,” in March and focused all of our efforts on its release throughout the summer.  After putting out the record on October 31st, we took some time to promote individual songs online and perform a handful of local shows.  In 2010 we plan to promote the new record, play some local gigs, and release several individual tracks online for free.  We are also looking to tour Europe for roughly a week sometime in late spring if possible.  All in all, it was a great year and we look forward to what 2010 has to offer.  Thanks to Martin and NBT for allowing us to be a part of this fantastic podcast!

 Memphis Reigns and Hypoetical                                                                                                               

 Staying in the hip hop genre for now, another collective who transcended borders and barriers, the Mind Mechanics of the Skeleton Crew Diaries arrived full of unforgettable hooks and shiver inducing urban pop tunes. An instant classic.

 In their own words:

Very successful year for myself as an individual and the Mind Mechanics Crew. 2009 re-sparked my love for music. It resulted in the recording of the Skeleton Crew Diaries with D-Mitch and the Allied Forces EP with MC Piloophaz from France and long time partner in rhymes, hypoetical.

After such a long hiatus, it felt good to get back into studio.

2010 should bring many good things. My solo, The Frog Hill Legend is near completion and work onthe Mind Mechanics 2 album has begun.

Thank you to all the fans who kept our music alive.  Happy holidays to all!

~Memphis Reigns


Been a great year for me in all aspects of life, especially creatively. Despite getting a pink slip,

I was able to re-route my path to music and focus on the arts again. I was glad to put out some

new works and collaborate with others who share the same passion for music. 2010 should be an even better year for me and especially the Mind Mechanics crew as we chip away at finishing a second full length LP. Nonetheless, I can’t thank all the fans/listeners enough for their continued support because when it comes down to it, we wouldn’t exist if there weren’t folks out there who listened to the music.  Happy new year to everyone!


The Lotos Nile/NBT Special Podcast

I was thrilled to host a show of extra-ordinary artists and bands, all part of the Media and Marketing Promotion Company that is Lotos Nile. Founder Kissy Black shares her thoughts with us and many great tunes played.


The Artists Featured:


Crooked Still



Meet Crooked Still, the hot young alternative bluegrass group on a mission to bend the boundaries of traditional music. The unlikely combination of banjo, cello, and double-bass drives this low lonesome band, whose captivating vocals and high-wire solos have enraptured audiences all over North America and Ireland since 2001.

Four very unique musical personalities merge to form Crooked Still. Aoife O’Donovan’s refined, sultry vocals float over Rushad Eggleston’s rumbling cello riffs, Dr. Gregory Liszt’s futuristic four-finger banjo rolls and Corey DiMario’s pulsing bass lines. The resulting acoustic fusion can warp a traditional American tune to the brink of unrecognizability without sacrificing the authenticity of the original sources. “It’s almost like we’re going back and making imaginary history,” says Eggleston, whose versatile cello style has already sparked a revolution among young cellists. “What if the 1920s Appalachian musicians could’ve heard the music we hear now?”

  Hop High, the debut album from Crooked Still, was released at the prestigious Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in July, 2004 and was the top-selling CD at the festival that year.

Following the success of this first festival appearance, Crooked Still has appeared at concert halls, nightclubs, coffeehouses, and festivals in twenty-three states and several different countries. This grassroots endeavor frequently lands Hop High among the top ten best-selling CD’s at the online independent megastore CD Baby.

Although being an unsigned band has afforded Crooked Still the maximum creative freedom, when the president of Signature Sounds Recordings came knocking, Crooked Still listened. With a roster that includes such diverse acts as indie-rocker Josh Ritter, contemporary songwriter Lori McKenna, and old-timey folk jammers The Mammals, Signature Sounds was a perfect fit, simultaneously progressive and down-to-earth.


Angel Band


Jen Schonwald came to Angel Band as a veteran of the Phildelphia folk scene and as singer/guitarist with the popular group “Full Frontal Folk”.


A gritty and powerful singer, Jen had been performing since the age of twelve and Angel Band offered just the right situation to showcase her wonderfully unique talent.


Newest member, Kathleen Weber, was born into a musical family, where she developed a deep appreciation for all genres of music. Having participated in numerous choirs, bands and acoustic groups for over 20 years, Kathleen has developed vocal abilities that perfectly compliment Angel Band.


She has performed with the likes of Moravian Women’s choir, singer songwriter Steven Kelly of the Lehigh Valley, and most recently with Los Manatees of the Philadelphia area. The youngest member of the group brings a musical maturity that completes the rich harmonic texture that is the Angel Band trademark.


Nancy Josephson has a long and varied musical pedigree.  As a vocalist and bass player she did stints with the Buffalo Gals, David Bromberg Band, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Rowan and Fiddle Fever.  Nancy was also a vocalist with the legendary Chicago Gospel Choir, The Annettes.  After a long absence from the “official” music scene, she returns with both voice and attitude to anchor this extraordinary group.


Suzy Bogguss


Like most explorers, Suzy offers no apologies for chasing her muse wherever it leads her. She’s always listened to her head and her heart when picking music for her albums. She’s guided by a desire to be true to herself while communicating with her audience. 

She says, “What I’m really trying to do is make music that people like. That’s why I started playing in bars in the fi rst place. That’s why I listened to people when they told me I should sing another person’s songs. I believed them. We were talking to each other. We were communicating. That’s what’s so great about the Internet now. It’s what we used to do with artist co-ops and mailing lists only now you can reach millions of music fans instead of hundreds.”

Connecting with her audience has been a fundamental part of her career since she graduated from Illinois State University with an art degree and began touring the coffeehouse and club circuit. 

After five years crisscrossing the country in a camper truck, Bogguss landed in Nashville and immersedherself in the creative community. She found like-minded writers who believed in songs with style and substance. Her big break came when a talent scout from Capitol Records saw her perform at Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s theme park in East Tennessee’s Smokey Mountains. A tape of her music that she sold at the park got into the hands of a label executive and three weeks later she was signed. 

 Her strong, supple voice and straightforward style were a clarion call for country fans looking for music with meaning. Songs like “Aces,” “Drive South,” “Someday Soon,” “Outbound Plane” and “Letting Go” soon took her to the top of the country music charts. Along the way she won raves from critics and her peers in all genres. She won the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1992 and album of the Year Award in 1994, ASCAP country and pop awards for her songwriting, and in 2005 a Grammy for her contribution to the Best Folk Album, Beautiful Dreamer, the Songs of Stephen Foster.

Holly Long

Holly’s songs have received numerous feature film and TV placements including NBC’s Passions, the soundtracks for Warner Bros.’ films Winning London and Our Lips are Sealed, and multiple CD compilations including Live On: Songs of Love, Hope and Inspiration (A benefit CD to aid the American Red Cross Relief efforts helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita) and Girls Night Out: Life & Love, that have graced the shelves of TARGET and other major retail outlets.

Since then, Holly has given birth to her two children, a beautiful girl named Josephine and sweet baby boy, Truman. Fittingly, Jo provided much of the inspiration for Holly’s third project and well-received second CD Every Little Seam released in 2004. Truman has also since been instrumental in molding Holly’s ever-changing creative and musical voice.

Continuing the journey of being a mom and an artist brought Holly to write and record her third full length album, Leaving Kansas, under the careful musical direction of her Manager, Producer and dear friend, Anthony J.W. Benson. For this project Benson enlisted an experienced production team to help capture the organic feel, emotion and intimacy that would best highlight Holly’s beautiful voice and skillful songwriting. With the new team in place, including renowned recording engineer Ian Terry (David Bowie, Diana Krall, Leonard Cohen) and mastering wiz Dominick Maita (Fall Out Boy, Jewel, Curtis Stigers), the results, arguably, reflect the best of Holly Long as a performer and songwriter to date.

Holly happily resides in Venice, CA with her husband and children and continues to wrangle the butterfly muse. Through therapy, yoga, and a little help from her friends, Holly performs with love and gratefulness.

Band Of Heathens

 One thing is for certain, what the Heathens do now sounds and feels more like a band. It’s something you can experience while watching Live at Antone’s on DVD. They shine on new tunes like “Rehab Facility” and “Blood In The Water.” Songs like the raucous “Jenny Was A Keeper” and the dripping with soul “Bumblebee,” – both of which appeared on their first effort Live At Momo’s – possess a different fire. Adding to the proceedings on keyboards and accordion is Chip Dolan.


The entire performance at Antone’s, thirteen songs of the Heathens at a new peak, is intercut on the DVD with interview segments that show the band’s droll sense of humor. In addition, an ‘Extras’ section includes a glimpse at the not so glamorous life on the road, as well as three songs recorded at their home base Momo’s and a collection of delightful photographs presented as a slideshow.

The Heathens ever expanding fan base will be pleased to know that they have just wrapped up recording their first studio disc, with renowned Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard in the producer’s chair, and special guests Patty Griffin, Gurf Morlix and Stephen Bruton making appearances. A release in the first part of 2008 is planned.


For now however, the band will continue to tour throughout Texas and into the West, with gigs in Colorado and New Mexico scheduled for early next year, bringing their unique brand of Texas twang and country soul to anyone who is curious.  In the meantime, Live At Antone’s loudly proclaims this is a band and this is what Austin‘s Best New Band sounds like


Caroline Herring


Caroline Herring digs deep—deep into the rich soil of American roots music for her sound, and deep into the recesses of her own consciousness for her themes. The musically understated, psychologically intense songs of this Atlanta-based Mississippi native ponder the eternal verities while probing the complex nature of contemporary existence; she delivers them in a fine-grained alto replete with the residue of hard-earned insight.

On Lantana, her beautiful and eloquent third album (Signature Sounds), Herring fills the listener’s heart with hope one moment and sends a chill down the spine the next. This pivotal album, which documents a personal and artistic crossroads for its author, cements her status as a truth teller, and no matter how bitter or disturbing the story leading to the truth may be, she approaches it clear-eyed and straight-on, getting down to the nub of it with quiet tenacity. No wonder fellow artist Dar Williams, who co-headlined a European tour with Herring in 2006, described her as “the elusive ‘real thing.’”

Since emerging out of the Austin scene earlier in this decade, Herring has beguiled the critics and accumulated an international following with her provocative outpourings. Her subject matter is firmly grounded in the rural South; “Mississippi’s dense history and the shackles of its past are vividly present in Herring’s songs,” noted Craig Havihurst in the Tennessean. As a onetime folklore scholar Herring also draws on her knowledge of traditional music and culture as a way of contextualizing her personal narrative, thus bringing a dimension of timelessness and universality to the work. “I’ve learned a lot from academics and all the artists I’ve worked with,” she says, “but I do try to write from my own experience, as a poet would approach her work, rather than as an academic. Though I admire all sorts of traditional art forms, I would never call myself a traditional artist.”


Stoll Vaughan

Vaughan is an intuitive chronicler of modern-day America and its people. His songs are informed and enriched by the places he’s seen and the people he’s met since hitting the road at sixteen to pursue a career as working musician. His fierce attention to detail and an ongoing commitment to refining the craft of his songwriting have made him one of the most heralded of America‘s new breed of song poets. The results have lead to countless accolades and the opportunity to tour with John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Def Leppard and Journey.

His latest album, Love Like A Mule, received nearly universal critical acclaim and landed in the Top 10 of the AMA (Americana Music Association) Chart. As a road warrior, Vaughan has traveled the country in support of his albums and as an explorer of the human heart. His wandering spirit leads him to the doorway of many opportunities and his fearless explorations allow him to step through them. It’s led to some fascinating opportunities.

In fact, he’s been on tour this past year with Marty Stuart, one of the finest, most respected musicians working in any genre of music. The experience both informed and inspired Vaughan to push his own musicianship to higher levels.

Jeff Black

Washed in the spirit and built on simple truths, his songs are ambitious epics performed with brawny passion. Irony does not reside here; Black’s compositions ring out with the unadorned truth of the moment they were conceived. His desire to dig deeper, to cut to the marrow is another hallmark of Black’s writing. He knows the world is painted in more subtle shades than black and white, so he writes songs with a painter’s eye for nuance and detail. His songs delve into complex emotional territory with a simplicity that often belies the craft that goes into their making.

As anyone who’s seen his moving, funny, and unpredictable concerts already knows, He never plays the same show twice. pulling from his commercial catalog Birmingham Road Arista 1998 Honey And Salt Blue Rose 2003, B-Sides And Confessions Volume One Dualtone 2003,” and the new music on Tin Lily, he responds to the moment. And to whatever voodoo is floating through the air shared by a unique collection of people on any given night with the stories and songs that transcend the role of a singer/songwriter and his instrument. What makes a Jeff Black record or show exciting is that, as a listener, you know the singer is there not to perform for you, but to take you on a journey with him.



Magical Drama


An interview with singer/songwriter Sheri Miller who has just completed an EP of thought provoking/soulscratching tunes called ‘Mantra’

 NBT: In your bio:  you talk about listening to your mom singing Opera, and your uncle playing you tapes full of music from artists like Etta James, Diamanda Galas and Gypsy music. Now that is highly dramatic, very emotional and often even scary music. Do you think some of that wonderful drama has snuck its way into your own songwriting?

 Sheri: Oh definitely.  I love edgy, dark, magical drama- I’ve always been fascinated by the witches, monsters and “criminals” in fairytales, as I always feel a bit of compassion towards their situation (Hansel and Gretel was my favourite fairytale). I love embodying characters in songs and falling into that alternate dimension of being while performing.  Diamanda Galas is an incredible dramatic artist who sings in eerie high registers, is not afraid to offend “untouchable” taboo subjects like religion and government, and is a bit of a mystical shaman of sorts. I love her bravery. Etta James is pure guts, heart, and crimson roses with thorns.  Her soul and bluesy-ness has rubbed off on me, I’m pretty sure. Or so I hope!  

NBT: Who is more ‘You’ the strange almost calm internal of a Margaret Atwood or the thrilling but sad self-destructiveness of a Charles Bukowski?

 Sheri: Human beings are complex, diamond-faceted creatures, so I’d have to say both.  I do have strange calm-ness at times, Margaret Atwood in a way, when I’m really in touch with myself, and connected.  But I must admit I do have a sadder, more self-destructive side too- a tortured artist or self-saboteur, the Charles Bukowski side if you will. I think everyone has a saboteur in themselves-  not myself exclusively- but I try my best to watch myself all the time, so the murderous saboteur doesn’t pull me into the sewers of self-loathing, so easily. How did this conversation get so deep?  Jesus Christ!!

 NBT: If you wanted to, you could play somewhere almost every night of the week, when starting out how important was playing gigs to your development as a songwriter?

 Sheri: Huge!! Playing gigs and open mics completely sculpts you as a songwriter and artist.  I played open mics constantly in the beginning, and booked shows anywhere that would have me.  If you’re a player, you play, that’s what I say.  Play on, playa, in the words of Blackstreet.

 NBT: Joni Mitchell, quoted earlier this year, said ‘To be called a confessional writer is repugnant to me’ what are your thoughts on this. How personal do your lyrics get, or are they all ‘stories?’

 Sheri: Well, Joni Mitchell, I think, is maybe one of the best musical artists that’s ever lived, so it’s interesting to hear her viewpoint.  I know what she means by the “repugnance” of the term confessional writer. As writers we combine imagination, vision, life experience, and the world we walk through into our stories. Confessional seems so one-dimensional to me.  My lyrics are extremely personal while still being “stories.”

 NBT: Which of your own songs still thrills you after playing it a thousand times and why?

 Sheri:  Well, all of my songs can be thrilling after playing them a thousand times, if I can get into my headspace and character the moment I first wrote the song.  That’s where the emotional connection and the thrill lies.  Connection=thrilling. 

NBT:  I believe the future of an independent artist is very much linked with a good internet presence and a great deal of playing live OR Is the internet dumbing down, perhaps even killing traditional forms of popular music and business (as the major labels would have us think) or is it an attractive and viable way to get noticed. What do YOU believe is the way forward for an artist such as yourself in this 2008 world?

 Sheri:  Wow. Provocative questions!  Well, I’ve been known to have slight psychic tendencies, but the future is unknown and exciting and a tabula rasa for artists!  I believe we’re creating the future now- there’s no more dress rehearsals. I think having a great Internet presence is huge for artists now, and I’m constantly working on that myself.  The Internet is amazing in that it’s unlimited and you can connect with billions of people.  Who knows one day it may even me inter-planetary.  (I watched X-Files last night, so that’s my extra-terrestrial side talking).

If you’re an artist or songwriter, trying to create art in 2008, here’s my advice- make something honest and authentic- that is true for you.  Then put it out in as many places as you can on the internet- starting with Myspace, Facebook, etc. and going from there.  More than ever before, you can be as weird and bold and daring and artistic as you want, and create your own musical world!  Go for it!

 Sheri can be heard sharing songs and thoughts on this weeks NBT Podcast


If you’d like to check out Sheri’s brand new CD, “Mantra” to buy as an album or download, please go to , iTunes or For more info on Sheri, please go to or 

BEAT360 podcast in association with NBT

Ollie Hammett

Photo (c) and of Ollie Hammett

All the info and links you will ever need. All the details about the Incredible Artists featured on this very special episode of the NBT podcast. Compiled by Oliver Hammett Creative Director of Beat 360 Studios  About BEAT360 Beat360 is a music studio and production company based in central Manhattan, New York, home of multi platinum music producer & mixer Mark Saunders. Mark has played an instrumental role in producing some of the classic albums of the last 20 years including Neneh Cherry Raw like sushi, The Cure Wish, Tricky Maxinquaye & most recently Shiny Toy guns “We’re are Pilots “ which has just been nominated for a Grammy at the 2008 50th award ceremony. 

Our focus at Beat360 is on developing, producing, mixing & mastering the best music out there and our debut podcast showcases some of the talent we have had the privilege of being associated with.  

REEQ mixing & Mastering

 Recently we setup REEQ – a unique, mixing & mastering company aimed at providing first class solutions to independent artists/producers & labels at cost effective rates. Check out for more information & to listen to example work.

The So So Glos – 

The So So Glos are a band of three brothers who have played since the womb & were joined by good friend Matt Elkin in 2007. Growing up in and around NYC they were raised on their parents CBGB golden era record collection. They developed a sound that has been described as both retro & fresh. This organic rock & roll never disregards the past but holds true the future. With politically charged poetry sung over fun, brash, swagger rock & roll, their music has a sense of vitality that demands your attention. They have just released their debut, self titled album mixed by multi platinum producer Mark Saunders & they’re currently travelling the country on their first DIY north American tour. They won’t stop until everyone is a believer. 


Kerowack – Kerowack, musical alchemists Dan Gerber & Saul Good, first appeared on the scene when London’s now defunct Rip Records released their debut single ‘Dirty Bumf’ in 2005, which went on to receive heavy rotation on BBC Radio One and was featured in many mixes including Darren Emerson’s Underwater Episode 4 & Mylo’s Essential Mix. Since then, Kerowack have communed with the London acid revival, DJ’ing and performing their live show in intimate neo-rave clubs around the world, consisting of sham pyrotechnics, Russian fuzzpedals and Victorian-era synthesizers. With a handful of releases & remixes along the way, Kerowack’s first multi-track release, titled ‘The First EP’, features collaborations with Milly Blue, chanteuse for the Basement Jaxx, and Doc Brown, postmodern lyrical poet and live MC for Mark Ronson. ‘The First EP’ is a true cross-Atlantic sonic smorgasbord, recorded at Arbutus Street Studios in London and Orchard Streetdrchard Street Studios in New York City. 

Santogold –

 If you haven’t heard of Santogold yet it’s about time that you did. She’s written with Lily Allen and Mark Ronson and has been compared to MIA and Karen O. She is a college-educated singer-songwriter and producer, whose singles Creator/LES Artistes and LES artistes are released together.Her Myspace site describes her as a basement rock and Bananarama-soundclash artist, which is a wild combination but pretty accurate. She’s an American lady doing an almost tribal-dancehall-electro-grime-punk-ragga fling. Creator/LES Artistes uses haunting, shrieking voice and electric whines with wonderful shifts of tone throughout aided by Freq Nasty’s sublime rhythm section. Simultaneously she has a slight old school humour to her, it’s reminiscent of the routes and roots of the most innovative Missy Elliott material. It’s very exciting to be so close to something so rare and so new. The suspenseful escalating drama of the single is her lyrical and sonic manifesto, and hopefully the world will listen up Mark Saunders

    is a multi-platinum, English record producer who has worked with some of the most influential artists and writers of the 21th century.. His unique understanding of rock music, electronic dance floor etiquette and everything in between has meant his career has been remarkably diverse. Mark relocated to New York a decade ago and currently works from his state of the art facility overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
 In 1985, Mark got his first engineering credit on David Bowie & Mick Jagger’s “Dancing In The Street” . A year later, he became a freelance engineer and was discovered by Rhythm King, a label at the forefront of the British dance music. Working on a couple of Bomb The Bass mixes led to the band’s founder, Tim Simenon, asking Mark to co-produce Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance” .

 The success of “Buffalo Stance” and Neneh’s “Raw Like Sushi” album resulted in a flood of pop/dance work for acts including Erasure, Depeche Mode, Lisa Stansfield & Yazz. Robert Smith from The Cure also used Mark’s radio friendly mixing skils to mix all singles from the album Disintegration. One of these, “Lovesong” is The Cure’s higest charting single, reaching #2 in the Billboard Top 100.

The Cure mixes broadened the musical horizons for him. Work with Ian McCulloch, The Mission (UK), The Farm, The Heart Throbs, Texas & The Sugarcubes followed. More work with The Cure on the albums “Wish” and “Mixed Up” would later lead to a Cure fan, Tricky, asking Mark to co-produce, program and mix most of his critically acclaimed debut album “Maxinquaye”. This in turn led to Tricky fans, Cyndi Lauper, John Lydon, David Byrne and Cathy Dennis hiring Mark to work on their albums. In the late nineties, Mark took a step back from the record business to spend more time with his family. Still in music though, he side stepped into writing and producing music for TV advertising. Some of his work in this area can be seen at Mark still made time for a few mixes for David Byrne, Marilyn Manson, Erasure, Jim White and The Mavis’s.
 In 2003, Mark upgraded the Beat360 monitoring to a 5.1 speaker system and took on the challenge of mixing music in surround and loves working in this format. He has already remixed 5.1 tracks for David Byrne, The Cure, Marilyn Manson and Japanese modern classical composer Izumi Kuremoto.

Now Mark is back making records again and has recently mixed an album for the Atlantic Records band Love Arcade and is currently co-producing and mixing an album for LA band Shiny Toy Guns.

Shiny Toy guns –

 Synth pop band Shiny Toy Guns first surfaced on a 7″ single on the Positivenergy label. Produced by synth player and bass guitarist Jeremy Dawsonthe group also includes Carah Faye on vocals, Gregori Chad Petreeon bass, and Mikey Martin on drums.The group’s follow-up, ”We Are Pilots” surfaced in 2005 and was met with critical acclaim. Extensive touring and networking on various Internet social websites helped the band develop a loyal fan base, and the group signed a contract to Universal Records.

The group then appeared performing ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ on Redline Records’ 2006 Electro Goth Tribute to Prince, a compilation also featuring actress/supermodel Rebecca Romijn rather inexplicably performing “Darling Nikki.”

 Discordinated – Out of all the bands on the scene I have to say YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THESE GUYS! Discordinated in my opinion are the greatest new band around. You other bands may be wonderful and I love you all but Discordinated are the ones who set the standards everyone will have to keep up with. What makes them so good? Great songs that you can actually remember, tight playing and the mere presence of the singer Brad. You know in the film “Velvet Goldmine” where Oscar Wilde’s broach is passed on to the next rock messiah (Iggy, Bowie)? Well Brad has got the broach! The man is the best performer I have seen since Peaches.  ——————————————————————————————————-      Tasha Tilberg Just talking to Tasha Tilberg over the phone, you would never know that she’s probably the most beautiful person on the face of the earth. Talking to Tasha, you get the impression that nothing could be less interesting to her than, for example, the fact that she has been on the cover of W magazine (yes, W). She’s been in campaigns for Balenciaga and Lagerfeld and I’m on the phone with her after she’s just walked the Milan runways, but she doesn’t mention her modeling even once.Talking to Tasha, it’s clear that what’s interesting to her is her music. She gets worked up, as though she can’t say enough. She says that if everyone left her alone, she would just hole up and write songs. She’s been playing music her whole life — played the tuba in grade school and is a self-described “good bass girl.”

Her influences? Everyone from the Dead Kennedys and the Misfits to the Grateful Dead. Then she says, “Don’t write this, but,” and tells me something I’m not going to write. Then I ask her to describe her music. She says, “It’s like a cross between PJ Harvey and Tom Waits. I sound like her, but I wish I were him. I’m totally obsessive about my music, a complete perfectionist.”Her music name is Fox Glove . . . which is her favorite flower. According to, foxglove is “perhaps the handsomest of our indigenous plants.” With its tall and stately spikes of flowers, foxglove is almost as beautiful as Tasha. But its loveliness, like hers, is deceptive. In our beauty-obsessed culture, you can forget that there is more to beauty than meets the eye. For example, foxglove can be poisonous. Symptoms include dizziness, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and delirium or hallucinations. So, I’m just saying, next time you see a pretty girl, take heed. And remember, there is more to beauty than meets the fucking eye. 
Periel Aschenbrand        

Donnan Linkz –  Thoughtful honest rap from

New York. One to watch.

  ——————————————————————————————————- The Bidding war  

The Bidding War means many things to many different people. It began with a common passion for creating great music and has transformed into a cause for the people. With peace, love, and respect for all things living, The Bidding War has become a movement to change the world we live in for the better. Through socially conscious concepts and lyrics, The Bidding War cuts through the clutter and reaches to the core of what needs to be said. Their electronic sound echoes many great bands form the past, and pulsing rhythm and prodigious guitars riffs lead the way into an untapped future. The Bidding War consists of two old friends and an ever changing cast of musicians. The core members, Andrew Martin and Aston Teague, met in college over 7 years ago and began writing together immediately. Over time and a few solo projects later, the two joined once again to bypass the mundane and write (create/make) history. The Bidding War has just begun and only shows signs of acceleration. Stay tuned…

   Lizard King Records/Martin Heath King Records is an independent, full-service record company based in London and New York”. Lizard King’s philosophy reflects the growing connection between the U.S and UK music communities. It is transatlantic in outlook. Founded in 2002, the label has produced records by The Go, Donderevo, Clear Static and The Killers (Lizard King’s second release).

Martin Heath started Rhythm King, the first fully electronic record label, in 1986 with Daniel Miller of Mute Records. In just four years the label achieved more than 40 top ten singles. In 1989, Heath established the software company Renegade Software and was awarded the Sega Game of the Year. Heath joined the board of BMG

in 1995 after the company bought Rhythm King. The same year, he became the Managing Director of Arista Records in the UK

The NBT Music Columns : Banter Records


All Promotions should be this good, this quietly funny and all the music on independent labels should be this brilliant. Go to their site and check out this great stuff.

Technically, Banter Records started in 1989 when they planned to release The Greatest Album of All Time, the title of Chuck Norris’ collection of ballads, showtunes and Christmas carols.  However, the label collapsed before things had begun when Norris landed a role in the greatest film of all time, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection.  Later that year, the owners of Banter Records decided to base the fate of the label on one agreement.  On July 17th, 1989, Matt Halverson, Tyler Stover, and Caleb Morairty, stood atop their duplex in Bakersfield, CA, just past midnight, prepared to jump.

“If we want to continue this label, if we want to make something amazing, we have to prove to ourselves that we’re in this for life – together!” said Caleb, raising his fist to the sky.

The sincerity in his eyes was evident to Tyler, but he looked down to the grass below and remembered that he forgot to water the lawn that morning, and the hard ground would make for a hard fall. “I don’t know about this, Caleb.  I mean, it’s only about seven feet, but what if we get hurt?”

” – Yeah, I don’t know about this either,” chimed in Matt. “I mean, what’s this gonna prove?  It’s not even far down and it has nothing to do – .”
” – We have to prove it to ourselves that we can make things happen,” said Caleb. “I mean we can’t finish Chuck’s record, I know that’s in the past, but that was going to be amazing!  We have to recognize that we may never make something, or almost make something, as good ever again.”

Matt raised an eyebrow and said, “Well, I was never really into that thing, I just though Chuck was kinda cool, but I’m sure we can make something better.”“Maybe we can make an EP out of the tracks we have,” followed Tyler. “I bet Chuck would like that.”“And besides, jumping makes no sense.  It’s literally seven feet down.  I mean if we actually walked to the apex,” said Matt, pointing to the crest of the roof, “it’s probably about ten feet from there.  I guess that would make more sense,” he said, still confused by the purpose of jumping.“Yeah, I don’t know why we’re really up here.  I guess I was just being dramatic.”

“Good,” said Tyler. “I really didn’t want to jump,” he said.Caleb smiled and looked to the sky, realizing that it was still possible to make something great, something that the world would love, and what he hoped would one day change the world. “Yeah, let’s make Chuck Norris’ EP.  We don’t just owe it to Chuck, and not just the world, but we owe it to ourselves.”Matt raised another eyebrow, glanced over to Tyler, whom was eagely nodding in agreement, and replied, “Okay.  I’m in.”“Yessss!” they shouted in unison as they conducted a three-way high-five.

“But let’s wait a decade or so,” said Matt.  And, without any questions, they all agreed.In 2004, with the spiritual support of Chuck Norris, the label re-launched.  After over a decade of soul-searching, dead-end jobs, and jaundice, their musical tastes had abandoned showtunes and Christmas carols.

  Unfortunately, they never released Chuck Norris’ EP.  However, their first release, Clock Work Army’s A Catalyst for Change EP, was met with much critical praise and was hailed as, “The effing best EP ever!” by Andy Dick.  Emily Neveu’s voice is haunting and captivating, one the will garner much more praise from her new album, which will be released under the name Calico Horse in early 2008.  Pall Jenkins of Black Heart Procession produced the album and it’s gonna be a scorcher!  Banter Records also released The Antiques’ debut full-length Nicknames and Natives later in 2005.

  On October 2nd, 2007, Banter will release Boddicker’s Big Lionhearted and the Gallant Man, which was produced by Brian Deck, mastermind behind Modest Mouse’s and Iron & Wine’s best records.  In 2008, the label will release The Antiques’ second album, Cicadas, which was produced by Scott Solter (Mountain Goats, Okkervil River, John Vanderslice).  It sounds like the music made by the lovechild of Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and James Mercer (The Shins).  Joey Barro of The Antiques has been recording a solo album with Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips and Jackie Greene.  Plans to release that record are being……..planned.  Last, but certainly not least, is the solo work of producer Brian Deck (Califone, Red Red Meat).  He is an expert in the art of audio judo and he will sonically kick your ass.For more (accurate) information, please visit Records Loves You.


The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)

trevar.jpgThis is the First in a series of guest blogs written by Trevor Dye of Ariel Publicity  

An aggressive cheerleader for independent musicians, Ariel Publicity built its reputation by working primarily with indie artists. They give back to the independent music community by educating artists through their website, and Ariel has been honored to speak at music conferences such as SXSW, NEMO, and The PMC.Trevor joined the staff of Ariel Publicity at a time when a momentous shift was beginning to take shape. The forward-thinking innovation of digital, paperless publicity brought the adventure of the unknown; a unique quality that has been exhausted in many of today’s thoroughly defined professions. Trevor’s role is constantly expanding as the company grows exponentially. Presently, he handles a majority of the CyberPR operations. Sharing in Ariel’s vision regarding the Internet’s revolutionary power on the music industry led to a newfound passion, opening the door to limitless possibilities.

To balance such demanding work Trevor remains in the pursuit of leisure. Despite growing up in a landlocked state, he quickly became hooked to the tranquility of spending a warm summers day tearing through waves on his surfboard. Who says the East Coast doesn’t have surf? Trevor is also an enthusiast of self-expression. Spending countless days lost in a world of canvas and vibrant acrylic paints. Only to be paralleled by his love for the majesty of writing. Currently, he moonlights as a writer for the print publications Free Magazine and US1 Magazine, as well as several online music magazines.
  The Blog Versus All

By Trevor Dye

 An interview with a cool blogger, and a look at the debate between new and traditional media

“There’s really a lot to be said about a group effort,” says Vu Nguyen.  If the Blogosphere is the professional-amateur journalist collective, then We Heart Music should be considered a unique sub-collective within the collective.  More a music loving commune than a writing staff, the 22 bloggers that supply the ever-so-fresh content for We Heart Music do so out of pure love.

The team element sets WHM apart from the popular trend of uber-snobby, niche-centric blogs, as Nguyen – the creator of WHM – explains, “We all bring in our own music tastes so we’re not tied down to any particular genre. “

  He continues, “I think this is really important because I’ve often seen music blogs that are really only one point of view to a very niche audience.”  The writers are constantly interacting with one another, giving a certain charm to the blog.

  “We all read each others posts and react to them, say if I make a post about a band called The Rocks, then someone might come after me with something about The Stones.” The staff, big enough to field two 11-man football squads, keeps the blog fresh each day for little incentive beyond a few free CD’s.

  Scrolling through a few of the 500 plus posts on the site, I felt the charm of a free flowing and untainted love of music that seems forgotten in a blogging world invaded by Google AdWords and Amazon Affiliate sales.

  But Vu wouldn’t have it any other way, “There’s a line you cross when you start doing it for money, and that motive can take precedent over the content. I didn’t want that for We Heart Music.”

 “Now, with blogging we are seeing the inherent value and contribution that so many regular people have, not just in music but a variety of other interests,” states Jessica, one of the WHM contributors.

  Social media tools are emerging as a voice for the masses, creating a shift in the concept of “credibility of information.”  Jessica expands on this change, “(blogging) is pure information as it exists in reality and not something that has been cultivated, censured, or changed. It has given people a voice and given listeners a chance to choose which kind of information they want.”

  As a freelance writer, Vu has personally experienced the drawbacks of traditional media.  “I recently wrote a small piece for a newspaper and what I wrote and what they published were different.”

  He elaborated that the changes were more related to the length of the article rather than content, but the obvious limitations remain.    All of this raises an interesting question; which is more credible, traditional media or blogging?  Mark Cuban, the malcontent NBA owner and a Maverick in his own regard, is an active blogger.  On his blog, Blog Maverick, he posted an article titled Blogging vs. Traditional Media – This time its personal.”  His opinions favor forward thinking Internet media, with an emphasis on media, as Cuban writes, “A blog is media. Its a platform to communicate that can reach anyone within reach of an Internet connection.”

  Later in the post, Cuban brings up an interesting point that echoes the sentiments of Nguyen, “There is a cost vs. time vs. interest vs. access series of constraints that determines who your audience is, how you reach them and what they expect of you. Over time, that has evolved our media into very defined roles.”  The more credibility blogging gains, the more vying for our attention becomes a competition.  On a post on’s weblog, Jason Kottke discusses a bet between Dave Winer of Scripting News and Martin Nisenholtz of the New York Times over which media source, blogging or the NY Times, would have more authority by 2007.

   Kottke writes, “I decided to see how well each side is doing by checking the results for the top news stories of 2005. Eight news stories were selected and an appropriate Google keyword search was chosen for each one of them.”  The results were surprising.  In six of the eight searches Kottke performed, a blog entry ranked higher on Google than the corresponding story from the New York Times.   The irony is that most people were initially hesitant to trust blogs.   Bloggers were initially considered to be nothing more than average people writing on any topic regardless of their level of authority on the subject.

  I’m not sure when the shift occurred, probably around the same time people started throwing around the Web 2.0 moniker, but now bloggers are credible.  At the same time, insiders are continually exposing the reality of newspapers and major media.  For example, in his collection of essays Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs, Chuck Klosterman devotes an entire chapter to describing the hurried nature of life as a journalist.  His message: deadlines are ultimately the major factor in shaping most stories. Yet, we’re so trained to consume mass media that we rarely wonder if a journalist’s source was the best available or merely the only one available.  It’s hard to deny the sense of purity that comes with bloggers, as they aren’t affected by the same deadlines or corporate motives. I can’t say for certain which I trust more.  After all I assume most bloggers derive their information from the Associated Press or some other mainstream source.

    Click here to check out more from Vu and the We Heart Music crew, including an interview with yours truly on the latest WHM Podcast. Click here to check out Blog Maverick for more uber-intersting posts from my favorite NBA owner.   Read the full Blogging Versus Traditional Media Article on Kottke’s Weblog, or read about the Long Bet.      


glenn braceMy mother told me the second she handed me this little tiny tin guitar that was blue and clunky, my eyes lit up and I never let it out of my site.      I was 3.Music had grabbed me very early and permeated every thing I did from then on in. My school years were filled with a rampant succession of bands and practicing till my fingers ached, and if I left my hand in my pocket to long it smelled like a foot because of the calluses. ( grins)But I was getting better. I guess competition between my friends who played fueled my determination to be better at my craft and I dreamed of touring and making GAJILLIONS of dollars as a result. I was a lanky moth hurtling toward an unsteady future that my parents took every opportunity to talk me out of.  I can remember being 13 and getting my first electric guitar and powerful 5 watt practice amp, and thinking about a name for what I would do. My last name being Brace I kept thinking “BRACE YOURSELF” and still may end up using that for the tour I do in the USA and Canada in 2008.I was looking at my hand holding the neck of the guitar and it hit me EMBRACED MUSIC. That’s it. I didn’t think any more about it till I registered the name as my business and had released two CD’s under it.Technology being what it is today it has allowed a guy like me and several thousand other musicians around the globe to create from home and record at home. We no longer have to get down on our hands and knee’s and beg to have a record deal and use a really fancy recording studio. We can do it ourselves. No dead line. No pressure. The only pressure we have is the pressure we apply to ourselves and our level of professional integrity that goes into the music.  So when you have a product what happens? Well for starters you sell it at gig’s to keep the wife happy and bring in some dollars for the duplicating costs that can be expensive. What is the reward from all of that? Having some one who has bought your CD come to a gig and sit up close and listen to you play and you watch them sing the song with you. That’s incredible. Then you know they actually took the time to listen and take in what you had to say. How cool is that!?! In my travels from being a Brick layer, Type Setter, Steel Mill Worker and Photographer I have always …..ALWAYS come back to music. It’s always been there for me. My guitar has been a great friend, confidant, mistress and some one I could dream out loud with since I was nine years old. I want to thank Martin and NEXTBIGTHING for playing my songs and letting you hear how much I love doing……just that…….playing my guitar. The internet has brought the whole world into mine and your houses and computers for you to relish the delicious plethora of different styles and taste’s that music has to offer. It’s a fantastic tool and I intend to use it for all its worth. (grins) In the coming years I can see myself creating music from home, touring and teaching people how to get the most out of their guitars and photography. I have reached a wonderful time in my life when I can LET EVERYTHING I LOVE, BE EVERYTHING I DO. That’s the key good people, find something you love and be really good at it , then its not a “job” it’s a passion.If you would like to see some of my web sites then follow the address’s listed here. I have written a novel and started writing my second one and have four CD’s to my credit of original material and continue to draw of what life has to offer from the way this crazy world is going. Love to hear from you soon so join any of my sites and stay in touch, be   well and happy. Yours Respectfully and Sincerely  Glenn Brace In AustraliaVIVA INDEPENDENT MUSIC!!!!