Somi: The Lagos Music Salon

The Lagos Music Salon is Somi’s debut on Sony’s OKeh Records and comes after the East African vocalist and songwriter moved from New York to Lagos, Nigeria. Somi, who grew up in Africa and America, drew on the tropical city’s boastful, cosmopolitan, giant spirit to write songs that connect her heart, head and heritage. She weaves a wide range of pop, soul and jazz threads into her music, which reflect her experience as a woman, artist and global citizen.
The Lagos Music Salon
Released: August 5, 2014
Genre: Jazz
All Somi profiles…
Somi says Lagos Music Salon came after taking a big risk.
The Jazz Room
Somi says that she has a found a home in the jazz world.
Four African Women
Somi says Nina Simone inspired this song of women’s lives.
Nigerian Musicians
Somi says Nigerian musicians don’t over-think the music.

The Barr Brothers: Sleeping Operator

The Barr Brothers’ second CD, Sleeping Operator, wonderfully showcases the quartet’s sublime and compelling world-folk sound. The brothers, guitarist Brad, and drummer Andrew, toured for 15 years in The Slip, a top jam band. After moving to Montreal, they met harpist Sarah Page and bassist/pianist Andres Vial, and together have created their quieter and more song-centered ensemble. Sleeping Operator comes after a very creative period where they wrote more than 40 songs, featuring lyrics by Brad Barr and exotic instrumentation. The result is a CD that’s intimate, evocative and at times otherworldly.
Sleeping Operator
Released: October 7, 2014
Genre: Alt-Indie
All The Barr Brothers profiles…
Sleeping Operator
Andrew Barr says their new band offered new musicial possibilities.
Static Orphans
Andrew Barr says the CD’s opening track started as a harp solo.
New Dynamics
Andrew Barr says not overpowering the harp is key to their sound.
African Blues
Andrew Barr says he and Brad grew up listening to African music.
Writing Songs
ndrew Barr says writing songs opened new vistas after The Slip.

Lee Ann Womack: The Way I’m Livin’

Grammy-winner Lee Ann Womack returns to the serious country that defines her with a fantastic new album, The Way I’m Livin’. Womack and Frank Liddell, her husband and the album’s producer, present magnificent renditions of 13 songs by some of America’s most progressive songwriter/artists, including Chris Knight, Mindy Smith, Buddy and Julie Miller, Mando Saenz, Hayes Carll and others. Womack is a spellbinding singer, but what makes this record so special is the depth and emotions she conveys as the songs unfold live in the studio with her wonderful band.
The Way I'm Livin'
Released: September 23, 2014
Genre: Country
All Lee Ann Womack profiles…
Lee Ann & Frank
Lee Ann Womack and Frank Liddell wanted great songs and performances.
The Way I’m Livin’
Lee Ann Womack has always been drawn to songs about imperfect lives.
Chances Are
Lee Ann Womack says she loved this timeless song from its first words.
Lee Ann Womack says she loves singing against wide open spaces.
Same Kind of Different As Me
Lee Ann Womack says people have more in common than they think.

Montell Jordan: Captured

Montell Jordan, the R&B singer-songwriter who had a big string of hits in the 1990s, is now the lead worship pastor at Victory World Church near Atlanta. Among his duties, he leads a fantastic gospel-rock orchestra that has just finished its second album, Covered. Jordan’s musical team takes 10 widely sung gospel songs and presents them their way, with more heart than flash. The results, recorded live at their services, present their worship sound. And what a sound it is.
Released: September 2, 2014
All Montell Jordan profiles…
Musician & Minister
Montell Jordan says he always knew that he was destined to be in the ministry.
Power In Music
Montell Jordan says Gospel and R&B share a certain vulnerability and honesty.
Sound of the House
Montell Jordan says all of Covered was recorded live at Victory World Church.
Capturing Worship
Montell Jordan says the goal was sharing their worship, not just making a CD.
Talented Team
Montell Jordan describes some of the great musicians featured on Covered.

Marco Benevento: Swift

Marco Benevento, one of the best-known keyboard players on the jam-band circuit, has discovered vocals. On Swift, his fifth solo recording, Benevento is releasing his first CD filled with songs featuring his lyrics and singing atop his blend of jazz-electronic colors and grooves. The CD was recorded in Oregon at indie-rock producer Richard Swift’s studio, hence its name. In this audio portrait, Benevento reflects on developing as a vocalist and lyricist, and why there’s no turning back.
Released: September 16, 2014
Genre: Electronic
All Marco Benevento profiles…
Adding Vocals
Marco Benevento says adding vocals has changed how he composes.
Writing Lyrics
Marco Benevento says he sang syllables and then added in the words.
Richard Swift
Marco Benevento says he loved working with producer Richard Swift.
Words or Melodies
Marco Benevento discovered people hear words and music similarly.

Cory Branan: The No-Hit Wonder

Cory Branan is a fantastic songwriter who should be better known than he is. That circumstance is partly behind the title of his fourth CD, The No-Hit Wonder, which also celebrates other unsung artists, the fantastic women in his life, and other songs whose lyrics are almost mini-fables. Branan is backed by a who’s who of great Nashville players who add punch, spice, moodiness and verve to his strong vocals. He gets better and better with each recording.
The No-Hit Wonder
Released: August 19, 2014
Genre: Folk
All Cory Branan profiles…
Cory Branan says he wanted this CD to be timeless and universal.
C’mon Shadow
Cory Branan says he tries to put memorable stories into his songs.
The No-Hit Wonder
Cory Branan says great musicians everywhere inspired this song.
You Make Me
Cory Branan says wonderful women, like his wife, inspire him.
All I Got And Gone
Cory Branan says this song helped him channel real grief.

Hamilton Leithauser: Black Hours

After more than a decade as the acclaimed frontman for The Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser has recorded his first solo recording, Black Hours. The CD showcases his magnificent voice in an array of settings ranging moody minimal night music to more raucous 1970s-inspired rock. Throughout, Leithauser sings with great dynamism and nuance in songs that pair moody lyrics and uplifting melodies.
Black Hours
Released: June 3, 2014
Genre: Alt-Indie
All Hamilton Leithauser profiles…
New Sound
Hamilton Leithauser says he wanted to create a new sound and musical identity.
5 A.M.
Hamilton Leithauser says he started making quiet vocal album, but that changed.
I Don’t Need You Anymore
Hamilton Leithauser says what he really loves about dark lyrics with light feels.
The Smallest Splinter
Hamilton Leithauser says the record’s finale may be the CD’s darkest song.
The Silent Orchestra
Hamilton Leithauser says this song may be his favorite on his new solo CD.

Bryan Andrew Wilson: The One Percent

Singers-songwriter-preacher Bryan Andrew Wilson’s fifth solo project, The One Percent, is his most ambitious offering yet. Born into a musical family and singing with Gospel stars since age 10, Wilson blends a mix of modern soul, funk and Gospel styles with infectious arrangements and personal lyrics. This passionate and vibrant CD is a testament to Gospel’s enduring power and growth.
The One Percent
Released: June 17, 2014
Genre: Rock
All Bryan Andrew Wilson profiles…
Bryan Wilson says the CD shows how much he has grown musically.
Love Songs
Bryan Wilson says the love of God is different from the love of a partner.
Bryan Wilson says he and his band learned to really play at their church.
Bryan Wilson says producer-singer Ted Winn pushed him to do his best.

Bryan Popin: You Can Make It

Bryan Popin is a wonderfully talented gospel singer, songwriter and bandleader whose newest record, You Can Make It, is inspired and inspiring. Popin, a concert pianist in his youth, has written and produced with/for such artists as Chaka Khan, *NSYNC, Justin Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, Richard Marx, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Martha Munizzi and many others, as well as composed for theatre and film. On You Can Make It, he has made a record showing how musically diverse today’s gospel can be. Poppin is joined by some of gospel’s great modern vocalists, including Tamela Mann and Martha Munizzi.
You Can Make It
Released: October 22, 2013
Genre: Roots
All Bryan Popin profiles…
You Can Make It
Bryan Popin says his team wanted to make a musically diverse gospel recording.
Life’s Roller Coaster
Bryan Popin says the latest recording came after some very hard personal times.
Good News Songs
Bryan Popin says his songs focus on the positive because faith changed his life.
Thank You Jesus
Bryan Popin recounts how this song spontaneousy appeared in a studio session.
Bryan Popin tells how the great singer Tamela Mann became part of the record.

Nathan East: Nathan East

Nathan East has played, performed or recorded with everyone from Toto, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to Eric Clapton, Beyonce, Andrea Bocelli, Daft Punk and the renowned jazz quartet Fourplay. But East is more than an exceptional bass player. He’s a noted band leader and musical director with a career spanning decades. In this self-titled first CD of a planned two-volume set, East shares some of his boundary-breaking musical world. Listeners can hear a master musician whose fingers, hands, head and heart have shaped so many popular songs and sounds.
Nathan East
Released: March 25, 2014
Genre: Jazz
All Nathan East profiles…
Nathan East
Nathan East wanted to share glimpses of his musical life on his first solo CD.
Nathan East says his playing has always blended musical influences and genres.
Nathan East says that powerful musical personalities reflect the artist’s character.
America The Beautiful
Nathan East says he and producer Chris Gero wanted to offer a distinct version.
Nathan East recalls the wonder of recording with his 13-year-old son on piano.