Fearlessly, Poetically Don Beekeeper

Have you ever found someone who says something you meant to say but you couldn’t? Or maybe you were not able to think of saying beforehand? True artists are brave. They are not squeamish to open up a wound and study it in all angles.

For weeks now Don Beekeeper has focused on his writing and posted the audio snippets via his soundcloud. I like this unhurried but passionate side of him. He still writes songs every now and then especially the fantastic cover of The Street OF Laredo.

“Streets of Laredo” a.k.a the “Cowboy’s Lament”, is a famous American cowboy ballad in which a dying cowboy tells his story to a living one. Derived from the English folk song “The Unfortunate Rake“, it has become a folk music standard, and as such has been performed, recorded and adapted numerous times, with many variations. The title refers to the city of Laredo, Texas.-Wikipedia

Don breathes  new life into this traditional song and added his own unique touch.  But this post is not really about his tunes but his lyrical talent. His poetry. I think being a true artist is to be fearless. He reads with such candor that makes you believe what he writes about. I don’t trace a sense of ingratiating self-righteous tone there. He reads and writes from the heart. Have you seen his wordpress page? You better. And read the previous issues too because you can find something there that you can relate too.

To be honest I have followed this guy’s career for more than two years now. He always brings something  different, be it his style of music, his writing or the way he lives his life. It’s his understanding of human frailty or sadness that’s really hard to find these days. Just listen to this poem Let it End

The Messiah of Blues and Gospel : Mark Handley

Handley’s Messiah is his latest album.

Mark Handley is a folk singer who sings about the times we live in. He sings about people in humorous situations. ” Are you nameless, are you blameless, are you shameless and brainless..would you sell your soul just to be famous”-so he sings in Celebrity Russian Roulette. He accompanies his songs with an acoustic guitar and harmonica. He also adds sound effects. There are tracks with a full band like in the bluesy Hallelujah Boulevard. He currently resides in Windsor, Berkshire(UK) and does gigs locally.

One of the tracks you have to listen to is the reggae inspired Peace and Joy. I found myself warming to his tunes right away. He has the gift of telling stories through his verses. His voice is supple and has a wide range.

To keep track of his music and gigs, like him and his band through facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markhandleyboneidols The current line up include: Mark Handley. Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica… Kevin Mee. Drums, Backing Vocals… Matthew Bailey. Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals and  Tony Storey on Bass.

More interesting news can be found through his official site: http://www.markhandley.co.uk/

For press contact: http://cheekypromo.com/CheekyPromo/markhandley/markhandley.html

Jake O’Neal Music: Summa


Jake O'Neal Music

I can’t get this song off my head called Microlove by summa. summa are a duo of singer/songwriter Jake O’Neal and multi-instrumentalist Max Grossman. The title is unique so it is something you can’t ignore. The melody is also nice; coupled with the notable percussion and you have a well-crafted folk pop tune that is sure to stick with you for a long time. His style reminds me a bit of Matthew Jay and Pete Yorn.

Jake O’Neal is an electrical engineer from Boulder, Colorado. Music took his life over at an early age and he credits his dad as a huge influence. He states in his website: “My dad got me hooked  on music from a very early age. In school I sang and played drums/bass/guitar in every music ensemble available – pep band, jazz band, concert band,  choir, musicals, everything! In high school I started songwriting and have been ever since.”

His influences are clear in the tunes of summa and I dub the style as intelligent pop with folk and rock frills. His voice is also pleasant to hear as he glides between falsetto and crooning: a combination which appeals to the easy listening crowd. Listen to more of his music here: http://www.jakeonealmusic.com/Jake_ONeal/EP.html

The official single and music video of Microlove by my duo Summa from Boulder, CO. Lyrics below.
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/SummaMusic
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/SummaBand
Website – http://www.JAKEONEALMUSIC.com

Please subscribe if you enjoy the song 🙂

Microlove … one milionth of the love we share
Could get us through anything including this
I know it’s terrifying
I know it’s not your path
But I have to follow my own
At this crossroads I will say,
Thought it breaks my heart,
I will say
You don’t need to follow me back home
You don’t need to follow me back home
But I’d love if you did
The sunrise silhouetting trees in the southern sky
It’s the time that shows us all our fears
And tears that we shed
I know it’s terrifying
I know it’s not your path
But I have to follow my own
At this crossroads I will say,
Thought it breaks my heart,
I will say
You don’t need to follow me back home
You don’t need to follow me back home
But I’d love if you did
But I’d love if you did
Ya I’d love if you did
Ya I’d love if you did

That Christian D! An Interview.

Christian D

So who is Christian D? What makes this singer/songwriter totally magnetic in terms of music and presentation? Well, a lot of things actually but I will just state the obvious. He’s got the attitude that will make you want to listen what he says or what he sings about. Lyrically and musically, he’s compelling. And he lives to the occasion as he is our featured artist along with this interview. Check this out and spread the vibes!

I listened to all your releases and you have a signature sound along with that big voice. Where did you get all that combination?

Any signature sound is probably half by design, and half dumb luck.  As far as the basic songwriting goes, I have to take most of the blame for that. The sound of the recordings has a lot to do with the guys in the band at the time.
 The big voice? Basically, I’m just loud, I guess. Probably helped years of trying to hear myself in bad monitors in clubs. I’m just trying to use what I got- there isn’t much pretty in there but there’s a lot of loud. I believe in exploiting my limitations.
Several EPs and one album. What’s cooking for you this year in terms of music and live performance?
I’m working on a live album right now, that be about 14 songs probably, mostly our stuff with a few covers. Once that’s done I’ll be trying to get some more singles out. Probably a couple more solo things which will be a little different and some Hangovers stuff which will be more trashy rock.
Live performances? I’ve got a few coming up, basically I try to say yes to anything that remotely makes sense to do.
Why did you choose to use just Christian D and not Christian DeArmond?
It’s easier to stick on a poster, for one thing… &  it’s just kinda stuck over the years. I’ve considered going shorter and just using Christian.
I love vampire movies and literature.What inspired you to write Vampire Rocker?
That had a lot to do with once hearing Keith Richards described as having a vampire-like lifestyle, and the movie Near Dark. I loved the image of them tearing around in cars and slapping tinfoil over the windows at sunrise while they’re exposed skin started to burn.
 Neither of which has much to do with the lyrics, but those things were definitely inspirational.
I know you can be choosy in terms of bands you listen to. So what’s your latest pick this week? Please give me your top 5 albums.
“Choosy” is probably a polite word for what I am….I’m the kind of guy that will listen to the same album or artist  for three days straight. Lately it’s been a lot of Nick Cave, as is my usual. Just saw his show here in Toronto and it was phenomenal. He’s one of my favourite artists of all time.
Top five albums ( this month at least) would be Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- Henry’s Dream and Your Funeral My Trial, The Cramps- Stay Sick, Tom Waits- Glitter and Doom, the collection of Tom Tales at the end of that is hilarious, and The Stooges -Fun House.
Those albums would all make my top 20 any day of the year.
How do you get your ideas into songs? Do they just come out of an impulse or do you work on the creativity part?
That depends on the song really. Sometimes they come so quickly it’s like they write themselves. “Shimmy Shorts” went like that, I think it was done in about 15 minutes. Others I’ll work on for a  day and be  satisfied. And some I can’t even tell you because they are constructed really slowly over months and months. I might just have a nice line in a notebook, and slowly add to it as the ideas come. The longest thing ever was Vampire Rocker. I wrote the lyrics in the 90’s and it never got done until Brendan Bauer came up with the guitar riff in 2008. Thankfully it usually goes a lot quicker than that!
Years ago I used to write a lot more by improvisation, lyrics flying out of all night jam sessions, and anything good enough to remember for a day or so  would go in the song.  There’s no single method for me,  really.
       So where can fans buy your music?
iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, some solo stuff is on CD Baby- all the usual places. Probably the best thing is to start at the website http://christiand.ca/discography and just find the link to however you prefer to buy stuff. The first Hangovers full-length is available for mail order as well.
Let’s talk about social network. I know it is a case to case basis and you choose what works for you. So what works for you? Twitter? Facebook or YouTube? And why?
Mmmm, I’m on all three. All musicians hear that we have to “do”  social media  all the time. I kind of distrust that whole thing. I’m not really interested, nor very good at, marketing and sales. I just like talking to, and listening to  interesting people and I’ll occasionally mention what I’m putting out there musically. Though a lot of the time I just fling out whatever crap is on my mind  that day. Lines from unwritten songs, dialogue from books I’ll never write, raves about guitar pedals…Twitter is probably the most fun to me. It’s short and sharp and you can take in a lot of information really quickly.
 How do you deal with destructive criticism?
Ignore it. Though I probably get less of that than you might think.
 I’m really chasing down particular sounds and ideas  and trying to make music that I’d want to hear. It ain’t for everyone.  Sometimes it ain’t even for me. I’m still trying to write a song where I hear it and think “Goddamn, that’s really great.” Hasn’t happened yet.
 What’s the best musical advice you got that works for you again and again?
Keep trying. That’s the most important thing.
Well there you have it folks. Now you get to know the real Christian D. Follow his twitter, buy his albums and spread the words of love, awesomeness and music!