Nmbr11: Exciting Americana album now out!

Following their musical dreams with contemplative tunes. An album that speaks our their hearts and souls is now out.

Bluesy and sophisticated Americana rock. That’s Nmbr11 for you. There is something mystical about 11. That’s how many fingers I have and that is also a balance between two figures. I’m one of the lucky few who got to listen to the previews when the album was being made last year. And to see this finally come true is really exciting.
There are 10 solid track in Follow the song. Nmbr11 don’t really depart from the standard lounge tempo although some are faster than the others. The Way I Do is a passionate love song. Not the saccharine ‘oh baby bay I love you ‘ type. But a really descriptive take on seduction and the consummation of that love.
The Wheel describes the moment of total bliss: “ we’ve done our time, there’s only now.” Yeshiva Lex sounds like she is really a belter and she stretches out her pipes in many of this album’s tracks. I think her voice is a combination of vulnerability and strength as she navigates her artistic instincts, whispering in those verses needing nuance and stretching full force in those needing the message to be delivered.
You can hear both of their voices as duets or in the case of Bulhack, as backing vocals. There are spaces to breath in the tracks where instruments can do their thing. Standing Tall is my favorite as it contains that melody that stays in your head. In general, Nmbr11’s Follow the Song has a wide appeal. I hope one day TV producers will pick one of their tunes for a great series. Wouldn’t that be great?
In Bright Star/Wade the Water, Lex sounds like she is channeling Billie Holiday. I also noticed that he has a close alliance with Jazz which compliments Bulhack’s love for classic rock. We Can Do Anything closes this album. In a way this sum’s up the duo’s optimism in conceiving this album. If you like their recordings, I encourage you to catch them live. Witness the raw but sophisticated energy of Nmbr11 in this artfully crafted debut album.

Listen to samples here: http://www.reverbnation.com/q/5irhhd

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Americana, Blues, Roots, Folk, Jazz, Latin, and Rock: Nmbr11

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Several months ago, Nmbr11 ( a duo founded by artists Bernard Bulhack and Yeshiva), announced that they will record their debut album. It looks like the effort is taking shape nicely with the involvement of amazing musicians. According to their bio:

Nmbr11 was born on May 11th 2012 after the two met when they joined a blues project. Their interest in other genres drove them to branch off and create the duo. They were born and raised in South America (Bernard is from Chile and Yeshiva is from Venezuela), and came to live in the US over 13 years ago. Being exposed to many cultures resulted in the rich sound they now deliver in their music. Their hearts, however, are ever so taken by Americana music, which is the style they drift towards when it comes to writing.

Before I Die is their official single and the album Follow the Song will have its official release date on July 11. I am liking what I hear already! Why the number 11? Aha! That is one of the questions that Bernard and Yeshiva will answer when they get the Sphere Music interview. So watch out for that one. The album will be available in various formats including vinyl. So all you vinyl lovers, get ready. This will be a sultry treat to your ears.

Find out more here: http://store.nmbr11.com/Follow_The_Song-Nmbr11_-_Follow_The_Song_-_Full_Album_-_Digital_Download_1_1.html

Also visit: http://www.nmbr11.com/

In the studio.

In the studio.

The Making of Northern Boy

J.P. Kallio

J.P. Kallio

I love reading the blog of singer/songwriter JP Kallio. His insights are lucid. They also define him as an artist. He came from Finland. Now he is the lead man of Dublin based Celtic rock group Sliotar. Aside from that he has a side project called Boneyard Bastards. The music is more punk rock.

Kallio is putting up songs on his soundcloud page. They will be in the upcoming album Northern Boy (Out March 14).  This guy has a remarkable vocal range. His lyrics are introspective and cover a great range of subjects.

His influences include Americana, Punk, Folk, world music. Quite diverse.

Another thing that takes his time is  Photography. He is mostly on the road with his band but when at home, Cooking is also one of his passions. But he balances it out with his love for fitness and living the life to the fullest.

As of this writing I am listening to It Ain’t Easy which is the first track he recorded for the series. It’ s about changes in relationships and fears as we go through life. The sound is superb. I think I can even hear the surface if the sound. An interview is on the way so if you check from time to time you will get the latest update from the making of Northern Boy.

Red, Ripe Apples: Be Frank, Furness by Heyward Howkins

Be Frank, Furness by Heyward Howkins

Like ripe red apples giving off that fresh scent, Be Frank, Furness , the follow-up to the unique The Hale & Hearty by Heyward Howkins is tempting and ravishing. Nogales, the first track, has this pop appeal that searches for that inner child in you to get up and dance. His lyrics are quirky, deep and you have to have a sense of Americana to get into his themes. But it is the music that breaks down any barrier between listeners and this artist. It is a captivating pop/rock sound tinged with the sounds of the 60s, brit pop and folk.

His voice has also attained a new level of confidence. His voice smiles in every track. He is like the jolly philosopher discussing the woes of the human condition in a jostling but playful way. Cut & Coral reminds me a bit of Pulp with its sophisticated crooning vocals. Heyward is not new to magnifying the intensity of laid back arrangements. In Rare Earths his approach to simple percussion lines and odd time signature changes really work. It draws listener to the theme of the song while at the same time, the brief silence or nuance between lines gives you a sense of reflection. Praline Country is another unmistakable radio friendly track. I praise the vocal harmonies because they give the tune this Beach Boys vibe. The title track has that swagger that is infectious.  Lorraine takes me back to the best pop tunes of the late 60s. There is something about the chords that he use in his songs. They give off that bright vibe. Wait to that smile-inducing horn part and you will love this song!

Pundit displays that sheer Americana style. You can’t miss that sparkling harmonica. His verses are wonderful. That guitar part calls to mind 80s New Wave music. The drums are fantastic! Yes I am smiling while writing this review. Brite Kites is another tune that makes use of spare arrangement. Anyone who loves dream pop or shoe-gazer tunes will definitely appreciate what he does. This fact is further enhanced with Sweet Tea Oleander. Flimsy Stock closes the album with its notable simplicity.

Everything about Be Frank, Furness reminds me why it is great to be a music blogger. There are fresh tunes that are going to become timeless.  Heyward Howkins is an international treasure as he continues to serenade this planet with beauty and grace.

http://heywardhowkins.com/
http://heywardhowkins.bandcamp.com

Buy Be Frank, Furness on vinyl here: http://heywardhowkins.bandcamp.com/album/be-frank-furness