Friday, 29 January 2010

Free Download Friday #43: Logan

This is a follow up post to Free Download Friday #16: Logan because, once again, Reverbnation and Microsoft are making hundreds of tracks from unsigned bands available for free download.

It's the same deal as before. You get a free download, Microsoft puts a text banner advert across the bottom of the track's graphic and rewards the artists you download. There are also a couple of differences. This time, each week they display what the call Playlist 7 on the front page. The seven are chosen because they were the most popular downloads from a shortlist of fifty contenders published the previous week. However, you can still go to the full list and choose from the 679 available tracks.

The major difference is that now, before you can download a track, you hve to become a fan of Windows on facebook. As a long time Mac user that me gave me pause for thought... but a free download is a free download, so I sucked it up and became a fan!

In one sense I am pleased to see Logan are still there because you can download Something Else which is a cracker of a track. (As before, you cannot easily go directly to the Logan page - you have t use the alphabet of links at the to of the page, go to the Ls and then search for Logan.) However, the downside is that I assume this means they are still unsigned, which seems unbelievable.

There is also a free Logan track on the main Reverbenation site: a live version of When I Get Down.

Once again, there are so many tracks that it s difficult to know what else to recommend. If you recognise any of the artists, let me know if I should check them out.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Rock Radio Win

I have done reasonably well out of Rock Radio competitions in the past although I was scunnered not to get anything out of the recent Rocktober - despite them giving away bucket loads of prizes every day.

However, yesterday I sent in a text and it was announced on air that David Muir was one of the winners of a pair of tickets to see Dommin at a secret gig next Tuesday. My only concern is that I've not had any confirmation yet... I suppose there could be more than one David Muir listening to Rock Radio.

I was aware of the name Dommin and had heard My Heart, Your Hands on the radio but didn't know much about them beyond that, so I've put myself on a crash course, for example by hitting their YouTube channel.

It has to be said, it's not the kind of stuff I usually listen to but I'm enjoying what I'm hearing and I'm really looking forward to the concert. My only concern is that they all look like they're barely out of short trousers. I fear that as a fat, baldy old man, I'll look well out of place!

Any fans of Dommin want to tell me what their best track is? What should I make sure I listen to so that I'm ready to see them live?

Friday, 22 January 2010

Free Download Friday #43: Music for Relief - Haiti Earthquake

The earthquake in Haiti has devastated a country that was not short of troubles to begin with.

Musicians and the music industry, like many others, are doing what they can to help. For example, I heard on the news that the Prime Minister has asked Simon Cowell to put together a Band Aid style single to raise money and the government will waive the VAT charges so that more money can go to where it is needed. Also, over on the Totally Free Music blog, Jeff has posted a link to a charity song from Haitian-American artist Melissa Pierre-Louis and I found a charity download from an organisation called Music for Relief. I was not previously aware of this organisation but apparently it was set up by the band Linkin Park and is:
"dedicated to providing aid to victims of natural disasters and the prevention of such disasters. Since its inception in 2005, Music for Relief has raised over $3 million for victims of multiple disasters across four continents and planted over 810,000 trees to help reduce global warming."
In response to the Haitian earthquake, they have made ten tracks available for free download:

The ideas is that you download the music and then send off a donation. I suspect few people will abuse their trust and take the tracks and run without sending any money but I like that the download is an incentive to give rather than a bribe.

And what an incentive! The first track is, not surprisingly, from Linkin Park and it gets the collection off to a noisy and very Linkin Park start. Also on there is a surprisingly mellow but excellent track from Slash; a jazz/rock epic from the Dave Matthews Band and some Latin pop from Enrique Inglesias. However, for me, the stand out track is a cover of Bowie's Heroes by Peter Gabriel. I have loved Gabriel since his early days with Genesis and he delivers a beautifully vulnerable performance. I put it on repeat!

Use the widget above to preview the tracks but don't forget to go to Music for Relief, download and most importantly, donate!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam

I like to think I know a fair bit about Classic Rock music but admit to knowing less about the Blues (although I'm learning...). I have a friend at work though, Tom, who is extremely knowledgeable about the Blues and Rock. He has a CD, record, video and DVD collection that would put Amazon to shame and he reads more music magazines than I knew were published!

However, recently, I thought I had him beat. Daughter Number One gave me a CD for my Christmas and when we were talking about new stuff we'd been listening to, I started to tell him about this CD, quietly confident that he would not have heard of the artist. The conversation went something like this:
Me: My daughter gave me a great CD at Christmas. She shares a flat with a girl from the Isle of Man whose brother knows this brilliant young Blues guitarist...

Tom: Ah... Davy Knowles. Yes, I really like him. I got his new album last week. It's great. I think he was opening for Gov't Mule on one of their tours...

Me {Thinks}: Curses! He beat me to it again!
If you haven't heard of Mr Knowles, here's a video from his official YouTube channel, where he is jamming with Warren Haynes:

I don't know about you, but I'm impressed that he is doing so well and more than just keeping up with the Magnificent Mr Haynes. More recently he has been supporting Chickenfoot and you can see some YouTube video of him playing with Mr Satriani et al.

When I was first directed to Davy by Daughter Number One, I had a look on the Internet to see what I could find out about him. In doing so, I found a wonderful entry in Wikipedia about his band Back Door Slam. In the opening section, the version of the page at time of writing says: "
Adam joined Back Door Slam for what turned out to be two extensive tours of the US lasting until January 2009, and in doing so, cemented his reputation as a stunning bass player, and gaining widespread admiration of fans and musicians worldwide" {my emphasis}. Then nearer the end of the article, where it details Davy's decision to disband the group and go solo, it says: "Ross Doyle and Adam Jones were told by Knowles during a Christmas break with their families, not to come back to the USA as they were being replaced. Back Door Slams fans have responded negatively to the change in line-up, with many saying that the band has lost its magic without these two talented musicians". {again, my emphasis}. Brilliant, isn't it? Who do you think edited the page? If I were a gambling man, I'd go for Adam's girlfriend. :-)

So what do you think of Mr Knowles? And who would you recommend as an up and coming young Blues artist that I might be able to catch Tom with?

Friday, 15 January 2010

Free Download Friday #42: Seasick Steve

It's difficult to know what to say about Seasick Steve that hasn't already been said. If you were going to write a novel about the life of a fictional Bluesman you'd pretty much come up Steve's life. Undoubtedly, he plays up to that image and his instruments, held together with string and duct tape, can seem a bit of a pose. However, there is no getting away from the passion and talent that shines through whatever he is playing. I suspect that he'd still be doing what he does even if he wasn't getting paid for it.

The last time I mentioned Steve in this blog was in connection with the track Didley Bo that The Times newspaper was giving away and if you haven't heard it, it is well worth watching his performance from the Later with Jools Holland show:

I think he is a stunningly good musician and an extraordinarily brilliant showman to boot. I was pleased therefore to discover he was giving away three live tracks on his official site:
  1. My Donny
  2. Cut My Wings
  3. Cheap
Fill in your name and email address and they'll send you a link to download these three excellent tracks. I really like his studio albums but I think you really have to see/hear him live to appreciate just how great he is.

If you know of anyone else out there that's currently doing the same sort of stuff, please let me know because I'd love to hear them too.

Summary: Go to the Official site and follow the Free Download [3 Track EP] link.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

What a nightmare! I missed it.

I think I did fairly well on the run up to Christmas with free festive music. There was a good mix of different styles with. something for everyone I hope. However I was looking for something a bit heavy - a bit of Christmas Rock or Metal but didn't find any. ...Until this week that is. Typical!

I discovered this week (thanks to catching up with stuff on the Classic Rock website) that Nightmare Records were giving away twenty-five free tracks with "were" being the operative word. It's difficult to tell from the titles of the tracks on offer but I think some at least would have fitted the Christmas bill perfectly. The offer was was reported on plenty of sites but somehow I missed it completely. Bah!

I'm more than a little miffed to have come to the party too late to get the freebie but I'll be keeping an eye on this site and will hopefully catch any future frees downloads in time.

Did you miss any freebies this Christmas?

Friday, 8 January 2010

Free Download Friday #41: Voodoo Six

Voodoo Six are a five piece rock band who have a great noisy guitar sound, a strong drummer and a new vocalist that sounds appropriately rough and rocking. Their début album was described as "The best début album I've heard in years" by no less that Steve Harris from Iron Maiden.

I first heard them on Planet Rock radio station who have been giving them a lot of airplay. I was impressed and very pleased when Planet Rock website gave a link to a free download of one of their tracks: Take The Blame. In exchange for giving them your email address, they'll send you a link to download a belter of a rock track.

A bit more searching about took me to their YouTube channel where you can see and hear more of their stuff, for instance Feed My Soul:

Even better, their Feed My Soul album is available on eMusic. Excellent! It's almost certainly going to be one of my downloads this month.

{Apology: I took a bit of a longer blogging holiday than I intended. Hopefully, I'll be more into the swing of it next week.}