Music Cities Series: Peoria, IL

(Photo credit: Keith Cotton) I grew up in Peoria, Illinois; a river town nestled in the heartland of the Midwest. As a kid, I used to be fascinated by the opaque, murky waters of the Illinois River that seemed to cut a path right through the forests and hills where I lived. As I’ve grown older, the pollution and invasive fish species have tempered some of that excitement. But even so, there’s nothing quite like playing to a crowd of thousands of hometown music lovers, on a stage alongside a…

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Features News The Most Important Thing I've Learned 

The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned: Play Every (Interesting) Gig At Least Once

(photo credit: Joe Velz.) When I first started making this music, a manager type friend told me to “play every gig at least once.” At the time, that advice made perfect sense. We were early into the Spotify era. Live shows and college radio were still the only tried and true way to reach fans in other regions/cities. So I’d save up some cash, book a bunch of shows on a short regional tour, rent a van and go. Of course, I didn’t have the cash to promote the shows…

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News Singer/Songwriter 

The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned: I Was Blocking My Own Success

I’ve been on a crazy ride with my creativity bandwagon (and I’m sure I’ve still got a tonne more crazy rides to go!) Being able to make ends meet from my creativity alone has always seemed to evade me. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been knocked back by a label on the reasoning that my sound isn’t “quite right for them.” I’ve tried this and that, but I always seemed to get so far and then not be able to move forward. But why is this? The most…

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Album Reviews News Singer/Songwriter 

Album Review: Jon Fratelli ‘Bright Night Flowers’

Anytime someone mentions Roy Orbison, Tom Waits, and Glenn Campbell, I’m all ears. There’s something to be said when someone lists off influences who just so happen to be prolific, timeless singer-songwriters. Call it street cred, kudos, or just plain old ‘knowing their stuff,’ it definitely gets brownie points in my book. Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and front man of the Fratellis, John Fratelli knows the greats, and it’s evident, especially on his latest record. His second solo record, “Bright Night Flowers” is being released on Friday, Feb. 15 via Cooking…

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Alternative Electronica Features New Discovery News Pop Singer/Songwriter Unsigned Spotlight 

Unsigned Spotlight: Michael Rider (Alternative/Dream Pop)

If you’re looking for an original, genre-bending artist whose music sweeps you off your feet and transports you into their own captivating world, look no other than the dreampop stylings of New York’s own Michael Rider. At times ethereal in combining gorgeous electronic effects with sparkling piano playing, always entrancing with its poetic stories (“It’s three AM in the morning/it’s half past time the hour/monsters roaming free downstairs/skeleton man takes a pill from his pocket/and sits right next to me” from opening track “Wide Awake”) and intimately soothing vocals, Rider’s…

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