Perhaps the title of this post could use further explanation.
Ten years ago, I wrote for a website called Muses Muse. I reviewed independently produced CDs by bands and singer/songwriters. The CDs people sent me ran the gamut from completely amateurish to, “Christ, why aren’t these guys signed?” In fact, the number of very talented artists out there who were, and still are, struggling for recognition, is kind of depressing. It reminds me of the quote attributed to Hunter S. Thompson: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”
That being said, I’m pleased to report that not only do I have fond memories of listening to the music of the five artists I present below, but that according to my research, they’re all still active in the music business or at least have a substantial online presence with music still available for purchase. Maybe they haven’t become household names – but at least they haven’t become casualties. If you’re tired of the radio and want to hear some cool new sounds, try these artists out for size.
BILL COLGATE is an example of how certain formats–such as the weather-beaten singer/songwriter who speaks up for Everyman–are still relevant if done well. Since I reviewed his CD “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth”, he has independently produced two more records, and currently performs in and around his native Toronto under the name “Bill Colgate and the Urbane Guerillas.”
SHARON EDRY, now known as Sharon Goldman, breaks a lot of the stereotypes that people may have of the female singer-songwriter. Independent without being militant, honest without being emotional, flirty without being cheap, her songs are among those rare ones that work the first time but also show staying power. Here is my original review.
FRANK EMERSON will likely never have his songs featured on “Teen Mom” or “Say Yes to the Dress”, but that doesn’t mean he’s not worth a listen. Part Troubadour, part Irish tenor, part storyteller, Emerson keeps traditional music alive, performing regularly throughout the Southeast. Here is my original review of his CD.
PRIME TIME SUBLIME, also known as the Prime Time Sublime Community Orchestra (stylized as tPsCO), is a nice antidote for any listeners who feel as if they’ve heard it all. Their mix of virtually every form of music known to man doesn’t always work, but it’s very entertaining. Part John Zorn, part They Might Be Giants, part King Crimson, part Plastic Ono Band, part John Cage, tPsCO hasn’t released any new material since 2005, but since they still have a large online presence and their recordings are still available, they have been included on this list. I mean, how can I not acknowledge the genius of a band who has a song called “Hannibal Lechter’s BBQ”? Here is my original review.
CHRIS YURCHUCK describes his music as “country songs for non-country folks”, referring to the fact that while his music has a country feel, it also shows the influences of the top-40 and classic rock on which he grew up. The universal appeal of Yurchuck’s music is evident in his having achieved placements on a wide variety of TV shows. Here is my original review of his CD.
My other Muses Muse reviews – favorable and unfavorable – can be seen here.