Music Friday Live

Frutas: Sin Color’s debut album set to rocket to the top.

August 22, 2017

Patrick O’Heffernan (Hollywood) You can always tell when an artist or band is going to rocket to the to the top.  They collect an award or two before their first release, draw big crowds when they play locally, and have an overflow audience for the album release party.  Sin Color – the duo of Crisia Regalado and David Aquino – has done all of that and something else – their debut album, Frutas,  is more than debut – it is ready now for prime time.  Not bad for two kids who just turned 20. Frutas is a tour de force of musical craftsmanship and sheer talent.  Each of its ten songs is a gem – there is no filler here. Crisia’s opera-trained voice soars and swoops and soothes, supported by David’s superb guitar chops and the backing of Latin Grammy-nominated accordion mistress Gloria Estrada, the great border blues duo The Dank Band, and the percussion genius of Buyepongo, all guided by top producer Eugene Toale.  For artists so young to assemble such a highly regarded group of artists and [Read More]

Music Friday Live

Jackie Venson Live at Strange Brew hits you in the gut where real blues belong.

August 14, 2017

    Patrick O’Heffernan (Los Angeles) Austin-born and still Texas-based Jackie Venson is a Berklee College of music trained-blues rock guitarist – not a common combination –   who blows the roof off every venue she plays in.  Trained in classical piano, Venson has multi-instrumental chops plus a voice that can drip with emotion or belt with blues.  She picked up the guitar shortly after graduating from Berklee and made the giant leap from classical music to raw and gritty blues and the rest is history.   A new page in that history is the release of her latest album,  Jackie Venson Live at Strange Brew.  This is a knock out blues  triumph. Put on your headphones, clear your schedule because Jackie Venson Live at Strange Brew will hit you in the gut where real blues belongs.   Venson has always been a standout in the blues world, not only because she has a voice that goes from delicate and seductive to in-your-face-with-the-pain-of-the-blues, but because her guitar playing achieves a level of precision at the top [Read More]

Interview

Interview. No Small Children: mild-mannered teachers by day, tear-your-face-off alt. rockers by night.

August 7, 2017

  Patrick O’Heffernan (Los Angeles) No Small Children is a band like no other.  Born on an elementary school playground in the spring of 2012, the trio are school teachers by day and a phenomenally successful hard rock band by night.  And they move very fast.  Three months after deciding to use their recess breaks as band practice time they had an EP out, countless shows behind them and an East Coast tour booked.  Plus, their remake of the classic Ghostbusters theme song was released by RCA records and is featured in the new Ghostbusters movie. And the band’s original song, ‘Big Steps‘, is featured in the Netflix series, Santa Clarita Diet.  They  released their third album, Hold Tight, I’m Flying, in 2015 and singles have flowed steadily since then.  Their live shows are insanely animated and can exhaust both the audience and the band. Fortunately, they were not too exhausted to talk with me before heading off on a national tour.   Patrick.  When I saw you live  you were insanely fun and so wonderfully over the top.  How did that happen? Were you always this [Read More]

Concerts

Gaby Moreno and Caloncho create a magical night at Grand Performances 2017

June 22, 2017

  Patrick O’Heffernan LOS ANGELES. Gaby Moreno and  Caloncho created a magical night Saturday at Grand Performances in California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.  About 2000 people filled the two-level sunken plaza,  facing a sparkling pond in front of the expansive stage, backed by dancing water spouts and skyscrapers sporting the projected Grand Performances logo.  Lights twinkled all around, families opened picnic baskets or  queued up at the restaurants surrounding the Plaza and the bars in the Plaza.  They settled into chairs or brought their own while the sun went down, auguring the arrival of música especial.   Accompanied by urban sound effects, Caloncho and his band filtered on stage, plugged in and took their positions.  The party was on as the Sonoran-born, Guadalajara-based singer songwriter kicked it off with his soothing summer night anthems of soft tempos and Latin indie-dream pop, animated by a very active trombone/keyboard player who added not only notes, but humor.  At one point, the fans’ heroine, Guatemalan-born LA-based Latin Grammy winner Gaby Moreno joined Caloncho, eliciting applause so loud [Read More]

Concerts

Shouting “Hep Hep”  Parlor Social blows the roof off at The Mint with neo ragtime. By Patrick O’Heffernan

June 20, 2017

    LOS ANGELES  The Mint LA was packed shoulder to shoulder when Dessy Di Lauro, resplendent in a brilliant white dinner jacket and her red hair exploding out from beneath a black skullcap took the microphone and called out to the audience, “Are You all ready to have some fun?”  As “Yeah!” echoed around the venue, she and husband piano player-accordionist, Ric’key Pageot  danced in a tight circle on the stage leading the audience in clapping, finger-snapping and singing their signature song “Let Me Hear You Say Hep Hep” . The party was on and the room was lovin’ it.   The band was opening for New Orleans-based Big Sam’s Funky Nation, whose horn-led, jazz rock rhythms kept the momentum going as part of the Hunnypot Live Music night at the Mint.   Max Nickou opened the evening, warming up the growing crowd with sky-high guitar chops and solid rock with a twist.   Proving again why Parlor Social is the undeniably best live act in Los Angeles if not the nation, their “Feathered Fro-hawk- Futuristic-Art-Deco-Centric-Harlem-Renaissance-Hep-Music” [Read More]

Music Friday Live

Kris Angelis is melodic, hypnotic and addictive in the new Heartbreak is Contagious EP. By Patrick O’Heffernan

June 9, 2017

  (Los Angeles)  I have been listening to Kris Anglis’ new EP, Heartbreak is Contagious over and over since I recently had her on my radio show, partly because I can’t stop and partly because every time I listen I hear something musically and emotionally new.  As with all things Angelis, Heartbreak is Contagious is melodic, hypnotic, and dense with addictive emotion.   Three of songs on the EP explore the pain of the love’s demise; the fourth is fun, funny, and foot-tapping but actually a cathartic part of the EP’s soulful narrative. Only Angelis could pull that off —  perfectly blending pain and heartbreak with laughter and catharsis in the same EP. Heartbreak is Contagious was written with and produced by Morgan Taylor Reid and Alexander Cardinale. The album follows her earlier The Left Atrium, in that it makes you feel what an emotionally defective heart feels like with stunning poetic lines like I swear there was a time /when you belonged to me/But I’m a two-way heart/ On a one way street.  Even deeper than the writing [Read More]

Concerts

Athena’s back and she brought her friends for one of LA’s best musical nights. By Patrick O’Heffernan

June 8, 2017

    (Los Angeles) Back from a triumphant tour in New York, the Greek-British goddess of song, Athena Andreadis, celebrated returning to her adopted home of Los Angles with a sprawling 18-song set at Genghis Cohen’s concert room featuring songs from her album and contributions by a brace of great musician friends. Backed by Deron Johnson on keyboard, Michael Ward on guitar, and Jimmy Paxton on drums – all stars in their own right – Athena was in a lively mood as she danced, bounced, laughed and crooned through the evening, carrying a very happy standing room only crowd with her. Joining her over the performance were Warner-Chappell blue-eyed soul singer Conner Pledger, Angela Parrish –  known to millions from her song “Another Day of Sun,”  which opened the Oscar-winning film musical La La Land, folk-singer Sarah Melson whose music is familiar to fans of Grey’s Anatomy and other TV series, and singer/songwriter Joy Autumn who recently released the Sunny Lemonade album about her move to LA from Washington State. Dressed in black silk shorts and top, [Read More]