May 21, 2015

Featured Track: Mary-Kathryn-Hear My Cry

Mary-Kathryn's vocals and music are a superb blend of new age and world accentuated to perfection with her crystal clear emotive vocals on "Hear My Cry." 

One element compliments the other in equal measure and forms one spiritual healing message. First you hear it, feel it and finally believe it absolutely. This is a stunning work of art in every aspect.

5/5 Stars-Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

Listen Now!

 

More about the track and new album from Mary-Kathryn:
www.mary-kathryn.com

On her fifth album, Wonders in the Deep, Mary-Kathryn blends elements of soft pop, New Age and folk with world music influences as diverse as the continents to create a spiritual amalgam that transcends musical boundaries. Delving deep into the world music realm, Mary-Kathryn paints word pictures on an aural canvas with exotic instrumentation, adroit production, and lyrics that stir the spirit and excite the imagination. But as one Billboard Magazine reviewer so aptly put it, “the most affecting instrument…is Mary-Kathryn’s lovely voice.”

“Hear My Cry,” the opening number of the 10-song album, begins acapella, relying solely on Mary-Kathryn’s fetching vocals to engage the listener, before segueing into driving, rhythmic percussions and understated strings. earthy instrumentation with ethereal vocals to produce a visceral,
vicarious spiritual encounter.

April 30, 2015

20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition Begins




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2015
Email: info@songwriting.net
Website: http://www.songwriting.net


 20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition Begins

Song entries are being accepted for the 20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. Entrants vie for a top prize of $50,000 worth of cash and merchandise. Winning songs will receive radio airplay. 15 different song categories include Pop, Rock/Alt, Folk, R&B, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Instrumental, etc.

USA Songwriting Competition is sponsored by: Sony, D'Addario Strings, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, New Music Weekly, Loggins Promotion, Airplay Access, D'Addario strings, PRS Guitars, Audio-Technica, Full Compass Music Stores, Propellerheads, Presonus, Notion Software, Sonoma Wireworks, IK Multimedia, Alfred Music, Sonicbids and more. 

USA Songwriting Competition has a long history of having winners getting recording and publishing contracts, have their songs placed on the charts as well as having their songs placed on film and television. The 2013 top winner "American Authors" hit #1 on the Billboard Charts and went double platinum, selling over 2 million copies. The 2014 top winners Justine and Kerris Dorsey (pictured) had their winning song "Best Worst Day Ever" placed in a Box Office Hit Movie "Alexander the Terrible..." Starring Jennifer Garner and Steve Carrell.

The top two winners of 2011: Nenna Yvonne and Alexander Cardinale were signed to Interscope Records after their win. The 2007 winner hit Top 10 on the Billboard charts with his winning song. The 2005 Winner of the Country category had his winning song cut by Country Superstar Faith Hill. The 2005 winner of the Pop category was signed by Interscope Records; she went on to hit Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Album charts. Our 2008 winner appeared on David Letterman TV show and was signed to a record label.
 

In it’s landmark 20th year, the 20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition is currently accepting entries from now till May 29, 2015. For more information, visit: http://www.songwriting.net/enter

April 29, 2015

New Age Instrumental Review: Robin Spielberg-Another Time, Another Place

Release Date: April 28, 2015
Label: playMountain Music
Robin Spielberg is known for her lyrical performances spanning the classical, traditional and pop genres. In this album of original compositions, Robin gives us piano solos that light up any dark spaces that may be in your life. Robin is an accomplished artist with over sixteen recordings in her name and she has been included in over forty compilations. Often on tour, she bonds with her audience through her grace and spiritual connectivity. 

“First Dance” is the introductory piece on the album. Like two ribbons winding up from a ballerina’s slipper this song is a whisper of movement across a dance floor. Steady and methodical, the dancer strives to perfect her form. With each failure comes opportunity and the gift of hope. The rich emotive quality of this piece makes it one of my favorites on the album.

“Cherry Blossom” is a breath of fresh air. Spring has showed its face in the crisp morning hours and the buds on the cherry tree awaken. Sweeping piano movements drift like a branch swaying in the wind. Sunlight settles on your face and the sweet promise of a fresh season beckons.

“Whisper in the Wind” at first reminded me of the “Flower Song” from Delibes’ Lakme. A beautiful song, it is interpretive in only the best way a performer can hurl talent into the wind and bring back something artful and dripping with muse. Textured and thought provoking, the piano sequences invoke images of a windswept cliff with the possibilities of a lifetime just waiting for you to make the first leap.

Robin Spielberg is a force to be reckoned with in this album. Swirling watercolors meet introspection and artfulness as her work captures the listener’s imagination at every turn. Another Time, Another Place is an album I listened to again and again not once losing interest. The precision and melodic quality of the work is one hundred percent. There is nothing better than to sit down after a busy day and feel yourself unwind to music of this caliber. Robin Spielberg is an artist I will be watching out for and I may just have to investigate those sixteen albums…
 
5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: First Dance, Cherry Blossom, Whisper in the Wind

Tracks:

01. First Dance
02. Ship to Shore
03. Another Time, Another Place
04. Cherry Blossom
05. The View from Here
06. In My Dreams
07. After All
08. The Time Traveler
09. Candlelight Waltz
10. A Whisper in the Wind
11. O Mio Babbino Caro

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
April 29, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

April 23, 2015

Music Industry Veteran Launches New Music Pre-Production Service For Indie Artists

Boston, MA-April 23, 2015-Long time music industry journalist and webmaster Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck has launched a service to help Indie Artists in the early stages of recording their music.

To date Hannaleck has been involved in three projects with more lining up, from beginning to end in helping artists to create their albums. Tracks are evaluated in their most rudimentary form for the artists. The input is invaluable at the beginning stages all the way to the final mastering and sequencing. 

The process goes through four stages and can last anywhere from 1 to 3 months or longer.

Russ Suereth Commented:  Keith was patient during the initial creation process. I must say that the initial drafts were not great, because I was still trying to find my place within this new space. Keith was there to help guide my focus to an area that listeners were expecting to hear, and once I got on track I was able to take off on my own. Keith helped with a few final thoughts at the end, and also provided thoughtful and detailed descriptions of the tracks. They were very helpful in marketing my music to other people in the industry.

Any artist would benefit from Keith’s insights, experience, and deep knowledge of music and the greater music industry.

Hannaleck currently runs 4 different blogs that concentrate on music, Write A Music Review, Prog Rock Music Talk, New Age Music Reviews and Rate The Tracks. He has been in the music industry for over 16 years and is the founder of the website MuzikReviews.com which went offline last year due to an ownership change. That did not deter the man from carrying on and he continued to be a relevant part of the online music industry contributing music reviews with his staff and posting streaming media and news.

Regarding The Pre-Production Service Hannaleck States-The goal is to provide each artist with an honest assessment of each individual track. A further recommendation for additional instruments or removal of the same helps to make the tracks better in sound and overall texture and presentation. After several iterations of evaluations and short reviews of each track the end result should be a complete album ready for final mastering. My knowledge and connections in the music industry will assist the artist in taking their music to the next level and making recommendations for mastering and publicity.

This Pre-Production service is one that is greatly needed in the highly competitive and at times confusing music industry. Experience, honesty and a straightforward approach is something that is an invaluable resource that any artist seeks. Hannaleck hopes to make this service an integral part of the industry for years to come. All of the sites, social networks and services are available to access on one page at www.muzikman.net

Contact: Keith Hannaleck

April 13, 2015

New Age/Jazz Review: Jeff Oster-Next

Release Date: April 14, 2015
Label: Retso Records

Ever think of what it would sound like if Pink Floyd joined forces with Miles Davis? Well that is the sound of Jeff Oster as people described him over the years. Personally I love both of those artists, they were building blocks to our musical legacy and idolized by generations of listeners. Jeff Oster is an acclaimed trumpet and flugelhorn player that has been bestowed many honors over his career. After giving his new release Next a good listen I can understand why. Somehow he has been able to take jazz, funk, ambient and new age and make it a unique and compelling sound all his own.

As the curtain opens with the title track Oster starts things off in the right way giving the music the direction it needs to capture a listener. Nile Rodgers (Chic) adds his smooth and funky guitar lines to the soothing sounds produced by Jeff’s horn. It just could not have started any better.

As the man says-“If you want to know truly who I am, listen to my horn.” I think that sums it up in one statement and trust me it plays out just like that on Next. Jeff’s flugelhorn and trumpet are brought to the forefront of the music by the talented production hands of Will Ackerman from Imaginary Road Studios. It was mixed by the capable hands of Tom Eaton and then mastered by Bob Ludwig.

The combination of smooth jazz and new age is a compatible marriage of sound and without sounding cliché; it’s like chicken soup for the soul, musically speaking. It’s quite beautiful and picturesque. This music allows you to shape and mold the pictures in your mind’s eye and I can guarantee it will be the most pleasant journey.

“Gardens of Varanasi” invokes a spiritual atmosphere, like an invite to heaven this track leads you down the path to enlightenment. With purpose and direction the music sets you at ease and gives you comfort. What I found interesting was the fact that you don’t have to necessarily be a fan of new age or jazz to find enjoyment with this release. I think the overall presentation has something to offer every one. It was a challenge to choose three key standout tracks because each one was impressive in its own right. My personal tastes were a perfect fit for getting into this album; I love jazz, all kinds and new age as well so it was like putting on my pants every day, it fit.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a delicate and beautiful outreach to that special someone, an invitation to see the other party as they truly are and decide if choosing to be by their side would feel right. If the music has anything to do with that, I am sure the answer would be yes. Everything about the track, the piano, horn, drums and bass invite you in and make you feel right at home, like you belong. In essence all of Jeff Oster’s music is special like that. He has created a masterpiece of instrumental bliss.

Next slides down into your soul like your favorite ice cream on a hot summer day. You feel satisfaction and complete joy. This is relaxation and satisfaction taken to the next level. I am certain this recording will receive its share of attention before the year is through.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Next, Gardens of Varanasi, I Can’t Make You Love Me

Tracks: 
01. Next (feat. Nile Rodgers)  
02. Night Train to Sofia      
03. Gardens of Varanasi      
04. Turn Left At San Pancho      
05. I Can't Make You Love Me      
06. On Mother's Day      
07. Half a Cookie      
08. Ibiza Sunrise      
09. Avenue D  
10. The Mystery of B      
11. Heroes (feat. Jeff Taboloff)      
12. And We Dance

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

April 13, 2015

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

April 6, 2015

New Age/World Review: Russell Suereth-Spiritual Haven

Release Date: March 14, 2015
Label: Haven Tone Records

Russell Suereth is a keyboardist with a focus on New Age and world music. His new album Spiritual Haven is a combination of classic Western instruments blended with some more exotic instruments such as a duduk, guzheng, grand marimba, koto, oud, krin and ethnic frame drums. These sounds are accentuated by the hang drum and woodwind instruments as well as many others. Original compositions range from spiritual reflection to observation of nature in all of its forms.

“Glitter of Light” is a song based on hope in difficult times. Sometimes I think we are led to things when we need them most and after losing a family pet of fourteen years and dealing with the illness of another pet this past week I believe it. “Glimmer” breathes life via percussive elements, woodwinds, synth and keyboard action that was peaceful and reflective. The rhythms and soft vocalizations were both soothing and uplifting, and a nice trip out of my head for a time.

“Notions Astir” begins with a mellow synth experience blended with clanging that reminded me of banging silverware and frenzied housework on a weekday night. It made me smile and be joyful in the basic things of life.

“Red Moon Rising” compelled me with the title of the song and I was not disappointed. Electronic keyboards and synth bring to mind a large red moon rising over the big night sky. Percussive elements add to the anticipation, along with clanging sounds that reminded me of going sky watching with my husband at the cemetery in Yorktown, Virginia. The big dark sky, picnic laid out (clanging silverware sounds again) and a telescope so you don’t miss a thing.

“The Village Breathes” is the last song on the album. Sounds of water, birds in flight, people speaking and a lovely piano sequence make it one of my favorite tracks on the album. This piece has a more distinct sound that brought to mind the movie The Medicine Man and the villagers working and laughing together as they worked. Exotic world music blends with modern sound to create a visual impression of the South American jungle.

Russell Suereth has captured moments in nature and the human psyche with his album Spiritual Haven. The album moves from one song to the next weaving a spell of modern musical design interspersed with exotic elements and textures. This was an enjoyable album for both its rhythms and sentiment.    

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Glimmer of Light, Notions Astir, Red Moon Rising, The Village Breathes

Tracks:
 

01. A Magic Flight
02. Distant Voices
03. Glimmer of Light
04. Night Dances
05. Swirling Spice
06. Nightingale Rushes
07. Notions Astir
08. Sudden Awareness
09. Red Moon Calling
10. Red Moon Rising
11. Realization
12. The Village Breathes

Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
April 4, 2015                         
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews