While Boston’s Vance Gilbert is known largely to singer-songwriter circles, to say he draws strictly from the book of Guthrie would be something of a disservice. While his lengthy discography bears many acoustic affairs, there’s a lot of blues in here. Add the fact that Vance got his start as a jazz singer—you can REALLY hear it in his inimitable, vulnerable vocal tones—and you have a unique blend of influences that create something simultaneously familiar and new. While this would be enough for some artists to get by on,Vance also brings significant guitar and lyrical chops to the table. The Boston Globe puts it better than I could, however, when of 2000’s Somerville Live they espoused, “Young songwriters should study this disc the way law students cram for bar exams.”
Turned out that it wasn’t just young songwriters who took note—over the years, Arlo Guthrie and Anita Baker both chose Vance for their support slot on the road, and he spent a year and a half touring in support of the late George Carlin.
Vance’s Nimbit store is a credit to his prolific recording and release schedule—somehow on top of a busy touring schedule, the man has managed to release a dozen albums since kicking off his career as a humble open mic night regular. Well… as humble as one can be when blowing minds. Some are available as digital download, others as CDs, some as both. Noteworthy among them is Side of the Road, a collaboration with fellow Nimbit torchbearer and close friend Ellis Paul.
Billy Walton Band
There was a time when the Jersey Shore represented the best in American entertainment. Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, the Rat Pack, Dick Clark, Chubby Checker… they all made stops on the Jersey Shore. Tony Mart’s was the club Levon Helm was playing when Dylan called. Of course, we all know what happened in Asbury Park. The town, ravaged by riots in the late 60s, became a melting pot of musical experimentation. Late-night jams that ended when the sun came up were the norm. Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny were the two acts that made their way to an international stage from these humble beginnings.
For decades musicians have come and gone, always hoping to make a living and pursue a dream. Billy Walton is no different. Billy’s proving ground was Long Beach Island. Too young to drive around and enter the clubs on his own, Billy was chaperoned from gig to gig by his mom, always up for a jam and looking to learn some tricks. For years Billy spent his time sharpening his skills, developing his stage act until he decided to step up to center stage with the Billy Walton Band.
Billy’s talent was noticed by NJ legend Southside Johnny and was he invited to join the band. This is when Billy began formulating his version of the Jersey Shore sound. On his latest release, Wish For What You Want, Billy brought award-winning producer Tony Braunagel (Eric Burdon, Trampled Under Foot, Phantom Blues Band) into the mix to turn his musical vision into reality. The resulting sound is straight-up bluesy rock, no chaser, that’s a perfect fit for a Saturday night or a long drive.
The Billy Walton Band’s Nimbit store offers four full-length albums and an EP, as well as a four-album combo pack for just $20.
Interested in Nimbit? Sign up for free here.
Our free StudioLive training series has been such a smash that it’s been extended due to popular demand—and this time around, we’re upping the stakes. One attendee at each of these training seminars will receive a free upgrade to Studio One Professional—and a single lucky winner who attends an SAE training in January, February or March of 2015 will be entered to win a StudioLive RM16AI digital mixer! You must be present to win.
SAE Institute branches in New York, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Nashville, San Francisco, and Chicago have free classes coming up on the following dates:
Looks like someone’s getting their Engineering Services access revoked.
[This just in from Art Chaiyasothi, who has set up his new recording studio using PreSonus gear—and only PreSonus gear!]
You’ve proven your status as my target demographic by clicking the link that got you to this blog.
How did I know that? Well, you’re here, and that means you’re an online sort of musician. As such, I thought you’d like to know that Carl recently set up one heckuva handsome PreSonus-branded online storefront over on Amazon.com, where you can shop for all things PreSonus, and no things anybody else.
Click around. Read reviews. Get yourself some new Eris monitors—they, in particular, are killin‘ it over there, with a review score average of 5/5 from no less than 27 reviews.
Of course, if you’re of the old-skool mindset to hear/play with something before you buy it, you can always haul your true-analog butt to a local dealer that won’t deliver your new FireStudio Mobile via drone.
They’re here! the iOne / iTwo interfaces allow you to record multi-track audio to your iPad, and then WIRELESSLY beam your tracks over to your laptop or workstation directly into Studio One via Wifi! How cool is that?
For more on iOne / iTwo, click here.
To call Jen Foster a singer/songwriter and leave it at that would be doing one of Houston’s finest a gross disservice. A complete solo artist in the truest sense of the term, Jen writes and performs her own award-winning music, runs her own record label, provides music for film and TV, and somehow manages to tour to packed houses and festivals all over the country. So far, she’s shared the stage with Melissa Etheridge, Brandi Carlisle, Edwin McCain, and many more. Oh, and she’s also on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International.
Jen’s also a proud believer in music as a force for change, and is the architect behind songwriter series The Writer’s Share, which brought together Richard Marx, Keb’ Mo, Mike Reid, and Chuck Cannon to benefit the TJ Martell Foundation for Cancer, Leukemia, and AIDS. She followed up with the Christmas Time is Here video collaboration project and She4Marriage Equality.
A model Nimbit user as well, Jen’s slinging no fewer than four full-length albums, 11 singles, and a veritable summer collection of fashionable Foster-branded wearables, including beanies, rings, tank tops, t-shirts, bracelets, and—in perhaps a Nimbit merch first—CUSTOM DOG TAGS!
Johnny A. is the torchbearer instrumental guitar rock needs in 2014. One doesn’t have to listen too far into his discography to hear echoes of Duane Eddy and Link Wray alongside his intimidating blues chops—some admittedly big shoes to fill. But with a Blues Artist of the Year Award (2010) and a namesake signature guitar available from some company called “Gibson,” it’s safe to say that Johnny A. is the right guy for the job.
His latest record, the appropriately-titled Driven, might just be the perfect soundtrack for a road trip through the American desert southwest. A solo album in the truest sense, Johnny played all the instruments himself, produced, and mixed! His gritty tones are suitably mixed front-and-center, of course, dialed in with just the right amount of gut and reverb to evoke both danger and beauty in equal measure. Throughout the record, his guitars are balanced with a tastefully diverse array of percussion and horns. And hell, a little pedal steel never hurt anybody.
Johnny’s got one of the slicker Nimbit store designs we’ve featured of late, opting for a more jukeboxy vertical layout instead of the more typical horizontal scroll, wrapped in a palette evocative of Driven‘s cover art. In it, you’ll find no less than five full-length recordings, a handful of singles (including some yuletide classics) T-shirts, autographed posters, and more.
While dUg Pinnick is probably best known for his long-running (fifteen-album) streak with legendary American hard rock/progressive metal band King’s X, he’s also knocked out four solo records and numerous side projects during his sonic career. Equally accomplished as both a bassist and vocalist, dUg’s unmistakeable style explores the arresting contrast of his “gospel-like” voice soaring over the heaviest bass tones around.
The result is an incredibly satisfying contradiction, at least somewhat comparable to salted caramel. Sounds kinda weird on first mention, but then you had some kettle corn one day, and there’s really no going back, is there?Confectionary metaphor aside, what I’m getting at here is that words don’t really do justice to the man or his art. It’s better to just click the link below and give the Pinnick sound a taste for yourself.dUg’s latest solo effort, Naked, is available on his Nimbit store alongside some of his more recent singles. Click here to visit dUg Pinnick’s Nimbit profile.
And when you’re done with that, check out how King’s X has been taking advantage of the StudioLive mixers in this blog post right over here.
Interested in Nimbit? Sign up for free here.
Jazz vocalist/songwriter Thisbe Vos landed in Los Angeles in 2008, following a whirlwind musical career in her native Netherlands that began when she was a mere 17 years of age. L.A. brought Thisbe access to a broader array of jazz musicians suitable to her creative vision, and by 2011 she had assembled a solid band and released Sophistication, a wonderfully restrained slab of old-school cool that adroitly draws from the past without spiraling headlong into nostalgia. “Vintage” audio “quality” of yesteryear is notably, wisely absent, and in its place we find a contemporary sheen that does Thisbe’s voice justice.
A true believer in fan engagement, her 2013 full-length Under Your Spell is a fan-funded endeavor that sees a more broadly diversified array of instrumentation backing her velvet voice. Worth noting is that said instrumentation is both performed and mixed with great discipline, and never distracts from the real star of the show here—voice. While a bigger band is a welcome and natural progression for a sophomore effort, fact is Thisbe’s voice could confidently carry a record a cappella, if asked.
While her namesake dot com name-drops Fitzgerald more than once, one would be remiss to single out Ella as Thisbe’s sole influence—this writer hears a healthy dose of Julie London in there somewhere—an observation I trust Thisbe would be comfortable with.
“Nimbit is the best integrated services platform for musicians that I have found. Having your emails, webstore, promo widgets and fulfillment all working together is invaluable. It is also very reasonably priced,”Thisbe says.
Thisbe’s Nimbit profile keeps things classy and to the point. You can get her recordings as digital downloads or on CD—autographed or vanilla. Wisely, there is no branded apparel to be found, as folks who are into Thisbe Vos are generally too cool to advertise.
If you’re going to be in Los Angeles on June 14, IMSTA FESTA is happening! You’re invited, it’s FREE, and you should click here to register.
If you’re in the neighborhood, and into digital audio, then you should probably stop by. It’s an excellent opportunity to elbow-rub with world-class software manufacturers, and meet some of the great minds behind great software. Networking opportunities abound, and you’ll be surrounded with folks who love software just as much as you do.
Here’s some of the greatness that awaits, copy/pasted from their press release.
Join Justin Spence as we get a visit from Terence Higgins and a few of his friends! The last time we had Terence come by, we broadcast nearly the entire production of “Swamp Grease II.” It remains one of our most-watched PreSonus LIVE episodes of all time.
Alongside Terence, we’ll have producer Wendel Tilly, Erica Falls, and Andy Bourgeois together at the new PreSonus studio to record three full songs for Erica’s new album.
These are world-class players—don’t miss this one!
[This just in from Donyea via YouTube. He’s put together a great video on mixing drums in Studio One that I really thought was worth a look and listen. Have at it! He says he’s got more videos like these brewing, so why not take a second to head over to his channel and subscribe. ]
It’s been a while since you’ve heard about what I’ve been doing. I’ve been doing lots of records, and a good bit of film scoring. All with Studio One of course—Amazing! I’ve posted a video walkthrough of me mixing some live urban funk drums with of Studio One as well—I thought your community might enjoy it.