PreSonus Blog

CBThe music of Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands is the sort that can only begun to be described by listing other styles of music. First, start with old-timey. I could name-drop Gogol Bordello, Jason Webley, The Crow Quill Night Owls, and other carnivalistic freight-train drifters and associated rattletrap ruckus. There’s certainly a horizontal stripe of Burton/Elfman-via-Django Reinhardt-bonkers in there. The band calls their sound “Kaleidophrenic Cabaret,” I call it “a colony of bats drunk on apricot moonshine set loose upon the Stringband Jamboree.”

As you may have now surmised, the best way to really understand their music is to simply listen to Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands. And listen in person, if you get the chance, because this infectious, colorful, high-strung band is all about the live show.

While the Silver Hands are indeed no joke, bandleader Crystal Bright is a force unto herself, a globetrotting multi-instrumentalist with backgrounds in Ethnomusicology and Anthropology. As such, no instrument or singing style is far from her grasp, and many are leveraged on their recordings: accordion, singing saw, piano, concertina, and a Ugandan harp called the adungu are all listed on her sonic CV. I imagine she can also play a bunch more that I’ve never heard of.

Crystal is taking advantage of the complete PreSonus/Nimbit solution. Every song on the latest album, The Absolute Elsewhere, was inspired by and written to a piece of art by Rusty McDonald of DividingME Photography. She pre-released the album on Nimbit, and also used the AudioBox Stereo and Notion 5 while writing for the record. You can download “The Fall of Seraph,” the first single from The Absolute Elsewhere for FREE by clicking here. 

Their Silver Nimbit Store has five CDs available for purchase—in HD, no less, so you’ll really hear the airiness in those washboard solos. There’s also t-shirts, hand-made mugs, a poster, and an innovative USB drive option that includes their entire discography, including artwork and lyrics, no discs required.

Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Glen Phillips

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 2.40.43 PMSanta Barbara, California’s Glen Phillips is probably best known for his work with 90s alt-rockers Toad The Wet Sprocket, whom he formed when he was a mere 15 years old. After a six-album career with TTWS—peppered with mainstream radio hits—the band called it a day in 1998. Since then, Glen has been a prolific solo artist, with no fewer than five records and two Eps to his name available on his Nimbit profile. He’s also collaborated on three other projects: the Mutual Admiration Society, Works Progress Administration, and RemoteTreeChildren.

Toad has enjoyed sporadic reunions and tours since 2006, and Glen has concurrently managed to maintain creative output for both the band and his solo material—atop the aforementioned collaborations. The man stays busy!

Sonically, Phillips’ solo work is quite diverse, including the folky/spacy terraforming concept album Secrets of the New Explorers, the spooky stomp and rootsy snarl of Unlucky 7. Toad fans will find a lot to like here while exploring some new sonic territory—but will have Glen’s familiar voice to guide them along. Dig in, and get a t-shirt while you’re at it. There’s six to choose from.

 

 

 

 


Dana Fuchs

Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Dana Fuchs left her native Orange State for the Big Apple at a spry 19 years of age.PSA02d9

  • Songbook? Check.
  • Dream? Check.
  • Voice? Check.

 

That was twenty years ago, and Dana’s still belting it out. For other artists this could be where the story ends, or at least gets boring. She could be just another songbird with a dream who flew the coop for the Big City, only to be lost in the shuffle.

No. Not this one. Dana’s the rare sort of artist with absolute mastery of her gift. Not only does her voice simply do whatever she wants—but if you’re fortunate enough to be within earshot, you’re going to feel whatever she wants you to.

And it can turn on a dime, too. Dana will be cooking up a batch of heartache one second, and then serve up unbridled joy the next. The sonic equivalent of a Leatherman. I didn’t know a voice could look right through me until I heard hers.

The producer of an off-Broadway production of Janis heard it, too. You can probably guess what that show is about, and what happened next. Janis was a hit, Dana was a hit-within-the-hit, and segued from her off-Broadway show to more shows even farther off-Broadway, and she brought a hell of a rock band with her.

Fast forward hundreds of shows and five albums. The latest from said eponymous band, Songs from the Road, is a live affair recorded (and shot, DVDs available now!) The Highland Ballroom that is an ideal snapshot of not just Dana—but also the band at their collective peak. Featuring Dana’s longtime collaborator Jon Diamond, the band is incredibly tight, providing exactly the sort of anchor that a wild voice needs.

Dana and company’s Nimbit store offers a wide array of great stuff: CDs, downloads, and DVDs of Songs from the Road, t-shirts, autographed 8x10s, and four full-length recordings from Dana’s back-catalog—available autographed or vanilla. Buy how you want: most recordings here are available both as digital download and compact discs, and there’s even a CD/DVD/T-shirt combo pack, appropriately discounted for the completest on a budget.


 

The Dead Milkmen

T2340936he Dead Milkmen are most widely-known to the public through the success of their 80s hits “Bitchin’ Camaro,” and “Punk Rock Girl,” the latter of which features my all-time favorite guitar solo. The Philly foursome’s brand of punk rock is instantly recognizable and completely inimitable, and evocative of a very particular brand of smart-ass. Think back to high school, and you can picture the guy I mean. He sat in the back of the class, needed a haircut, got a B+ in English but barely passed algebra or physics. This is his soundtrack.

He could have gone somewhere if he’d really applied himself. Or he could have joined The Dead Milkmen. They’re essentially a humble bedroom four-tracker project gone horribly correct, with DIY recordings dating back to 1979—though they didn’t form as a “proper” band until 1981. Their 1985 debut, Big Lizard in my Backyard, eschews the templated, humorless hardcore that was climbing the punk-popularity ladder on the east coast at the time of the band’s formation. Where Minor Threat hit like a neutron bomb, The Dead Milkmen chose to hit more like a pie in the face. 30 years and ten albums later, the decision to err on the funny side of life continues to make TDM’s catalog stand apart. Heavy on polka-pogo rhythms, jangly guitars, and enough non-sequitur lyrical snark to fill about 17 bathtubs. Add a dose of surprisingly pretty surf guitar from time to time, and you still probably won’t get the idea. Just listen.

The Dead Milkmen’s Nimbit Store boasts two full-length albums, The King in Yellow (their first release in 16 years at the time of release) and their latest, Pretty Music for Pretty People, as well as a handful of 7-inch compilations, available as digital downloads or good ol’ vinyl—”in a desperate ploy to appeal to the still stubborn vinyl fetishist,” their profile admits with a knowing sneer.

 

Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 2.40.43 PMSanta Barbara, California’s Glen Phillips is probably best known for his work with 90s alt-rockers Toad The Wet Sprocket, whom he formed when he was a mere 15 years old. After a six-album career with TTWS—peppered with mainstream radio hits—the band called it a day in 1998. Since then, Glen has been a prolific solo artist, with no fewer than five records and two Eps to his name available on his Nimbit profile. He’s also collaborated on three other projects: the Mutual Admiration Society, Works Progress Administration, and RemoteTreeChildren.

Toad has enjoyed sporadic reunions and tours since 2006, and Glen has concurrently managed to maintain creative output for both the band and his solo material—atop the aforementioned collaborations. The man stays busy!

Sonically, Phillips’ solo work is quite diverse, including the folky/spacy terraforming concept album Secrets of the New Explorers, the spooky stomp and rootsy snarl of Unlucky 7. Toad fans will find a lot to like here while exploring some new sonic territory—but will have Glen’s familiar voice to guide them along. Dig in, and get a t-shirt while you’re at it. There’s six to choose from.

 

 

 

Category Nimbit | 2 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Dana Fuchs left her native Orange State for the Big Apple at a spry 19 years of age.PSA02d9

  • Songbook? Check.
  • Dream? Check.
  • Voice? Check.

That was twenty years ago, and Dana’s still belting it out. For other artists this could be where the story ends, or at least gets boring. She could be just another songbird with a dream who flew the coop for the Big City, only to be lost in the shuffle.

No. Not this one. Dana’s the rare sort of artist with absolute mastery of her gift. Not only does her voice simply do whatever she wants—but if you’re fortunate enough to be within earshot, you’re going to feel whatever she wants you to.

And it can turn on a dime, too. Dana will be cooking up a batch of heartache one second, and then serve up unbridled joy the next. The sonic equivalent of a Leatherman. I didn’t know a voice could look right through me until I heard hers.

The producer of an off-Broadway production of Janis heard it, too. You can probably guess what that show is about, and what happened next. Janis was a hit, Dana was a hit-within-the-hit, and segued from her off-Broadway show to more shows even farther off-Broadway, and she brought a hell of a rock band with her.

Fast forward hundreds of shows and five albums. The latest from said eponymous band, Songs from the Road, is a live affair recorded (and shot, DVDs available now!) The Highland Ballroom that is an ideal snapshot of not just Dana—but also the band at their collective peak. Featuring Dana’s longtime collaborator Jon Diamond, the band is incredibly tight, providing exactly the sort of anchor that a wild voice needs.

Dana and company’s Nimbit store offers a wide array of great stuff: CDs, downloads, and DVDs of Songs from the Road, t-shirts, autographed 8x10s, and four full-length recordings from Dana’s back-catalog—available autographed or vanilla. Buy how you want: most recordings here are available both as digital download and compact discs, and there’s even a CD/DVD/T-shirt combo pack, appropriately discounted for the completest on a budget.

Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



T2340936he Dead Milkmen are most widely-known to the public through the success of their 80s hits “Bitchin’ Camaro,” and “Punk Rock Girl,” the latter of which features my all-time favorite guitar solo. The Philly foursome’s brand of punk rock is instantly recognizable and completely inimitable, and evocative of a very particular brand of smart-ass. Think back to high school, and you can picture the guy I mean. He sat in the back of the class, needed a haircut, got a B+ in English but barely passed algebra or physics. This is his soundtrack.

He could have gone somewhere if he’d really applied himself. Or he could have joined The Dead Milkmen. They’re essentially a humble bedroom four-tracker project gone horribly correct, with DIY recordings dating back to 1979—though they didn’t form as a “proper” band until 1981. Their 1985 debut, Big Lizard in my Backyard, eschews the templated, humorless hardcore that was climbing the punk-popularity ladder on the east coast at the time of the band’s formation. Where Minor Threat hit like a neutron bomb, The Dead Milkmen chose to hit more like a pie in the face. 30 years and ten albums later, the decision to err on the funny side of life continues to make TDM’s catalog stand apart. Heavy on polka-pogo rhythms, jangly guitars, and enough non-sequitur lyrical snark to fill about 17 bathtubs. Add a dose of surprisingly pretty surf guitar from time to time, and you still probably won’t get the idea. Just listen.

The Dead Milkmen’s Nimbit Store boasts two full-length albums, The King in Yellow (their first release in 16 years at the time of release) and their latest, Pretty Music for Pretty People, as well as a handful of 7-inch compilations, available as digital downloads or good ol’ vinyl—”in a desperate ploy to appeal to the still stubborn vinyl fetishist,” their profile admits with a knowing sneer.

Category Nimbit | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Travis Meadows:

2340811In an ecologically conscious 2014, it might be less than PC to acknowledge that demons are the most efficient fuel for a songwriter’s fire. But Travis Meadows, who grew up hard in Jackson, Mississippi, probably isn’t too worried about that. Now hailing from Nashville, Meadows has spent the last couple of  decades grabbing his demons by the neck and throwing them into his personal incinerator. Who ya gonna call?

The result is a school of gritty, haunted country rock that harkens back to a time before mainstream country went paradoxically digital. Travis’ three offerings on Nimbit are more about spit than polish, and in era where “wild” songbirds are getting their chirps Auto-Tuned, a little bit of Meadows straight-shooting is just the rooster-cry CM needs right now. While his repertoire leans heavily on emotive ballads that may belie his 5-o’clock shadow/sunglasses after dark image, there’s also a weighty darkness in creepers like “Good Country People” that offer a stirring window to another side of Travis’ soul. His lyrical content is deeply personal, acknowledging his win over cancer, the loss of his leg, and victories over a few different kinds of bottles. Heartstrings tugged hard enough to snap.

Travis was decorated in 2001 with ASCAP’s Christian Music Award, and has landed eight Top 20 singles in the Contemporary Christian genre. He’s also found success in lending his songs to other performers, including the title track of Dierks Bentley’s latest album, Riser. He’s also a staff writer at Universal. Writing collaborators include Lynard Skynyrd, Lee Ann Womack, and Jake Owen, and Adam Brand. He’s the subject of a recent feature in Rolling Stone as Nashville’s Hottest Songwriter, and is featured in this duet with Jake Owen,”What We Ain’t Got.”

Travis has cherry-picked a fine lineup of session players to round out these records; highlights include some excellent flourishes of organ and pedal steel on “Play with Fire” from My Life 101. Said additions enhance the record in a manner that’s not over-the-top or distracting from what’s important here: the stories. That said, critical listeners will not overlook the caliber of these performances. There’s not really any showboating here, but they’re strong enough to make a listener think “I’ll never be good enough to play that.” Not to say that Travis’ chops as a guitars and vocalist couldn’t carry these records alone—they can—and on more restrained tracks (“Lonely Like This,”) they do. Dusty without the rusty.

My Life 101 concludes with one of the more stirring renditions of “Amazing Grace” that I’ve heard in a long time, a suitable counterpoint to some of the rough-and-tumble ruckus of the previous tracks.

Travis’ Nimbit profile boasts not only three full-length albums and his tour schedule, but also four live performance videos—something that we don’t see enough of on these profiles, so take note!


Suzy Bogguss:

doorwayWhile a formidable country songwriter and arranger in her own right, Suzy Bogguss’ voice is the centerpiece of her sonic offering. Anyone who’s heard it once will immediately recognize it on a subsequent listen—heartfelt and pitch-perfect, with just a touch of lonesome smoke. Suzy’s been in the game a while, now, having scored a string of top ten singles in the 90s, including “Outbound Plane,” “Drive South,” “Hey Cinderella,” “Letting Go” and, most notably, “Aces,” The title track of her platinum-selling 1991 album. All told, three of her albums have raked in gold album status, and to date she’s moved a total of three million copies and taken home awards from the CMA, ACM, and the Grammys.

She’s not one to hang up her hat on such accomplishments—nowadays, Suzy plays a lot of shows, and somehow finds the time to run her own label, Loyal Dutchess—which has allowed her complete creative freedom and ownership of her material. Her latest full-length, Lucky, illustrates the benefits of having set out on her own. Lucky finds Suzy reinterpreting classics from none other than Merle Haggard. The admittedly sparse, acoustic instrumentation allows Suzy’s aforementioned voice—and the stories it tells—to drive the entire record. And as anyone who’s listened to Merle Haggard knows, the story is what matters most.

Suzy’s Nimbit store is packed with no fewer than nine full-length records, including a Christmas album and a greatest hits compilation. She’s also taking advantage of the platform’s Calendar feature, and from the looks of things she’s pretty booked up through late April. If she rolls through your town, she is not to be missed.


Dave Coffin:

2323158Dave Coffin‘s involvement in the music biz started when he was very young, potentially even prenatal—he was born into a supportive family who raised him in an environment rife with classical music, and you know what they say about kids who hear Mozart while in the womb.

As Dave grew up a little, his aptitude for music was clear, and said supportive family encouraged his musical leanings by buying him a strat for his ninth birthday. Despite having been raised on the classics, Dave found himself drawn more toward mohawks than powdered wigs, and wound up cutting his musical teeth on punk rock.

While his parents may not have been able to sway him from Green Day, Dave Matthews (yes, that Dave Matthews) did. After hearing the siren song of DMB, Coffin cashed in the strat and amp for a Martin, and the rest is history. He wrote and recorded acoustically for six years before pulling up stakes from Maine and shipping up to Boston for college, where he majored in Ellis Paul with a minor in Patty Griffin.

Dave’s Nimbit store offers two four-song EPs and the 2010 full-length, The King is Dead. The Dave is alive, fortunately, and so are many of his session-player friends, who joined him in the studio to make their mark on Dead, and it sounds great as a result. Dave’s earnest performance, songs, and sincerity probably helped a lot, too. Give it a close listen, and you may well be able to hear a streak of politically-charged punk rock attitude here—buried quietly somewhere in the songwriter’s heart, and no longer worn on a safety-pinned sleeve.

 


Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



2340811In an ecologically conscious 2014, it might be less than PC to acknowledge that demons are the most efficient fuel for a songwriter’s fire. But Travis Meadows, who grew up hard in Jackson, Mississippi, probably isn’t too worried about that. Now hailing from Nashville, Meadows has spent the last couple of  decades grabbing his demons by the neck and throwing them into his personal incinerator. Who ya gonna call?

The result is a school of gritty, haunted country rock that harkens back to a time before mainstream country went paradoxically digital. Travis’ three offerings on Nimbit are more about spit than polish, and in era where “wild” songbirds are getting their chirps Auto-Tuned, a little bit of Meadows straight-shooting is just the rooster-cry CM needs right now. While his repertoire leans heavily on emotive ballads that may belie his 5-o’clock shadow/sunglasses after dark image, there’s also a weighty darkness in creepers like “Good Country People” that offer a stirring window to another side of Travis’ soul. His lyrical content is deeply personal, acknowledging his win over cancer, the loss of his leg, and victories over a few different kinds of bottles. Heartstrings tugged hard enough to snap.

Travis was decorated in 2001 with ASCAP’s Christian Music Award, and has landed eight Top 20 singles in the Contemporary Christian genre. He’s also found success in lending his songs to other performers, including the title track of Dierks Bentley’s latest album, Riser. He’s also a staff writer at Universal. Writing collaborators include Lynard Skynyrd, Lee Ann Womack, and Jake Owen, and Adam Brand. He’s the subject of a recent feature in Rolling Stone as Nashville’s Hottest Songwriter, and is featured in this duet with Jake Owen,”What We Ain’t Got.”

Travis has cherry-picked a fine lineup of session players to round out these records; highlights include some excellent flourishes of organ and pedal steel on “Play with Fire” from My Life 101. Said additions enhance the record in a manner that’s not over-the-top or distracting from what’s important here: the stories. That said, critical listeners will not overlook the caliber of these performances. There’s not really any showboating here, but they’re strong enough to make a listener think “I’ll never be good enough to play that.” Not to say that Travis’ chops as a guitars and vocalist couldn’t carry these records alone—they can—and on more restrained tracks (“Lonely Like This,”) they do. Dusty without the rusty.

My Life 101 concludes with one of the more stirring renditions of “Amazing Grace” that I’ve heard in a long time, a suitable counterpoint to some of the rough-and-tumble ruckus of the previous tracks.

Travis’ Nimbit profile boasts not only three full-length albums and his tour schedule, but also four live performance videos—something that we don’t see enough of on these profiles, so take note!

Category Nimbit | 5 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



doorwayWhile a formidable country songwriter and arranger in her own right, Suzy Bogguss’ voice is the centerpiece of her sonic offering. Anyone who’s heard it once will immediately recognize it on a subsequent listen—heartfelt and pitch-perfect, with just a touch of lonesome smoke. Suzy’s been in the game a while, now, having scored a string of top ten singles in the 90s, including “Outbound Plane,” “Drive South,” “Hey Cinderella,” “Letting Go” and, most notably, “Aces,” The title track of her platinum-selling 1991 album. All told, three of her albums have raked in gold album status, and to date she’s moved a total of three million copies and taken home awards from the CMA, ACM, and the Grammys.

She’s not one to hang up her hat on such accomplishments—nowadays, Suzy plays a lot of shows, and somehow finds the time to run her own label, Loyal Dutchess—which has allowed her complete creative freedom and ownership of her material. Her latest full-length, Lucky, illustrates the benefits of having set out on her own. Lucky finds Suzy reinterpreting classics from none other than Merle Haggard. The admittedly sparse, acoustic instrumentation allows Suzy’s aforementioned voice—and the stories it tells—to drive the entire record. And as anyone who’s listened to Merle Haggard knows, the story is what matters most.

Suzy’s Nimbit store is packed with no fewer than nine full-length records, including a Christmas album and a greatest hits compilation. She’s also taking advantage of the platform’s Calendar feature, and from the looks of things she’s pretty booked up through late April. If she rolls through your town, she is not to be missed.

Category Nimbit | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



ColdWavesLiveWell, Mark Williams is back from Chicago, and is pleased to report that The Cold Waves music festival was a smashing success. The show was attended by nearly 2,000 people, and thousands of dollars were raised for Hope for the Day, a non-profit movement dedicated to utilizing music and the arts as a defense mechanism to suicide.

Mark recorded the entire show via the new StudioLive RM32AI, and the recordings have been mixed and polished by Jason Novak and sound great. They’re now available for purchase on Nimbit! All told, there are 12 full sets to choose from, broken down by artist, and there’s also a compilation CD featuring songs from all involved, and Cold Waves t-shirts up for grabs. You can also click here to get the 4-song Cold Waves sampler promo, absolutely free! Proceeds from the Nimbit sales of the show’s recordings will also be going to benefit Hope for the Day. These are exclusive, can’t-get-‘em-anywhere-else-not-even-Bitorrent tracks! You can get any track for $0.99, the price for a band’s entire performance is relative to the length of their set, but is always a better deal than buying each track individually.

The lineup was a great mix of stalwart lifers like Front 242 and Die Krupps, and new blood like the Author and Punisher and Youth Code. The full roster includes:

  • Die Krupps
  • Front 242
  • Surachai
  • Caustic
  • Author & Punisher
  • Cyanotic
  • Acumen Nation
  • Cocksure
  • Youth Coda
  • SMP
  • Aaimon
  • Fear Factory

We’re not done with Cold Waves just yet, by the way. We’re in the process of editing together the whopping 60 gigs of video Mark brought back from Chicago, which includes interviews, live performances, and I imagine a surprise or two. Stay tuned!

 

Category Nimbit | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



image002International Sales Director of Mystery Mark Williams just got back from an incredibly successful trip to Chicago, where he and Martin Atkins hosted a PreSonus Riff to Release clinic focusing on production in Studio One and Nimbit, and followed it up by attending—and recording—the Cold Waves Music Festival, which included Front 242, Fear Factory, Die Krupps, and many more stalwart ambassadors of rivethead culture. More on that in this blog post.

The three-hour Riff-to-Release clinic at SAE Chicago boasted standing-room-only attendance—every chair was taken, and folks who didn’t show up early wound up sitting and standing in the aisles. In a flash of brilliance, SAE streamed video of the presentation into a networked room nearby to accomodate the spillover.

Longime PreSonus forum big dawg and bacon enthusiast Johnny Geib of Home Studio Trainer, presented with Mark on the Studio One portion of the presentation. Blake Novia, a student at SAE, recorded vocals into Studio One, and Johnny and Mark produced, mixed, mastered, and released the recording on Nimbit, all within the span of the presentation.

Don’t believe me? You can get the track here: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/blakenovia1.

Each audience member walked away with a Studio One Artist license and a 90-day Nimbit premium account. Thanks to all who came out and helped make this happen—we should really do this again sometime.

Mark shot a LOT of video on this trip—you’ll find it popping up on PreSonus’ blog and social media platforms sooner than later.

image003

Category StudioLive RM Series | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ryan Roullard