New Band! New Album!
by Ben Vee
As a DJ, in 2018 I played over 200 sets and 500 hours of blues music or roughly 6,000 songs for listening audiences. On my 24 hour Roadhouse blues stream, I streamed thousands more. Picking the best 66 from my broadcasts was both a labor of love and a huge challenge. The position of the songs on the list is of little consequence...you might list them in a different order or include ones that I didn't. The important thing is that these 66 tunes are a "top shelf" sampling of a vibrant and growing contemporary blues market. Don't let ANYONE tell you that the blues are dead or dying!! I encourage you to turn your friends on to songs on the list and help spread the news that, as Buddy Guy said on his latest album, the blues is alive and well!!
1. Good Good Vibez: Vocals and all instruments: Art Ski
2. Gimme Reggae Music: Vocals: Art Ski, Back Vox: Tinisha Andrews, Laurena Davis, Drums: George "M16" Mussington, Guitars, Bass and Keys: Art Ski
Check out the video: https://youtu.be/y57hTxyW9S4
3. Traffic Jam: Vocals: Daddy Barlo, Back Vox: Tinisha Andrews, Laurena Davis, Drums: George "M16" Mussington, Bass: Bugs Emanuel, Guitars and Keys: Art Ski
4. Nice it up: Vocals: Art Ski & Daddy Barlo, All instruments: Art Ski
5. Happiness is Here: Vocals: Laurena Davis, All instruments: Art Ski except Bass: Sue Williams
Check out the video: https://youtu.be/WVT7pddjFDU
6. Galleon Beach: All instruments: Art Ski except Bass: Bugs Emanuel
7. Babylon Dub: All instruments: Art Ski
8. Paradise: Vocals: Art Ski, Back Vox: Tinisha Andrews, Laurena Davis, Drums: George "M16" Mussington, Bass: Raynard "Shugs" Riley, Guitars and Keys: Art Ski
9. Blue Water: All instruments: Art Ski except Drums: Patrick Conlon, Back Vox: Tinisha Andrews
10. Hey Ay Ay: All instruments: Art Ski except Drums: George "M16" Mussington, Back Vox: Tinisha Andrews, Laurena Davis, Tamara Hayden, Nadeje &Aneek Halperin,
All Songs Written and Produced by Art Ski
Recorded in Antigua W.I. / Harbour Studios and Top of the World Studios / NY USA
It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of another bandmate, in Antigua on December, 27th, 2015.
Winston Sylvester Riley "SHUGZ".
He was a best friend, incredible musician and sweetest human being you could have ever met…thus the name... “SHUGZ”.
Who's Gonna Take Care of Lucille?
This song is a tribute to the "KING of THE BLUES", B.B. King and his beloved guitar, Lucille.
I'm grateful to have met BB a few times over the years and talk with him about her. BB and Lucille...a beautiful love story!
Available on: iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/ppkgnxk
More Critical Acclaim for "Winds of Change"
We were thrilled to read a new review of Winds of Change today. Among his comments, Lucio Cadeddu, editor of TNT-Audio, said:
"Winds of Change is a refreshing bath of acoustic pop, and the 13 tracks it contains flow effortlessly, making your feet stomp uncontrollably and your spirit fly high."
"...this is one of the finest recordings of acoustic pop I've ever come across."
"...there’s a sense of realism that pervades the tracks, as if the band was playing right in front of you."
Read the full review at TNT-Audio.
Published on January 26, 2015
(Art Halperin – guitar, ukulele, vocals; Al Maddy – guitar, ukulele, vocals; Jon Rosenblatt – guitar, mandolin, pedal steel, vocals; Sue Williams – bass, percussion, vocals; Patrick Conlan – drums, percussion; Jared Weintraub – guitar, vocals; Barry Diament – guitar)
Soundkeeper Recordings is trying to make a statement with their engineering technology. The ultimate goal is to capture musicians organically, without the enhancements of multi-tracking or overdubs. In essence, a live performance is being reproduced with “average” volumes directly to stereo. Dynamic compression is not utilized. According to founder Barry Diament (who worked at Atlantic Records), musical balance is achieved by physically moving the instruments and players. Accordingly, acoustic-friendly venues are selected for the artists. The formats include CD-R, DVD-R, 24/96 files-on-disc DVD-R and 24/192 files-on-disc DVD-R. Soundkeeper does not offer downloads.
The latest release from Soundkeeper is Work Of Art’s Winds Of Change. Recorded at Christ Church in Sparkill, New York, the 13-track DVD features songs by guitarist/vocalist Art Halperin. He is backed by a cadre of guitars and other stringed instruments. The opening title track captures the warmth and pristine resonance of the session. An up-tempo folk/pop song (four line verses and four line chorus) features a lot of guitar and is bathed in glowing backup vocal harmonies. There are different arrangements to take advantage of the talented band. “Tomorrow We Will Never Know” takes on a folk waltz with a nimble mandolin touch at the end. Halperin has an effective reedy tenor (a la Arlo Guthrie), and displays self-assurance and range. On “My Love For You”, there is an eloquent a capella intro before the song adopts some rockabilly vibes. There are usually some unexpected chord changes that make the songs interesting. The harmonic singing style is reminiscent at times of The Everly Brothers, especially on “September Nights”. In the simplified aural landscape, the instrumentation has a lot of texture and nuance. There are guitar echoes and fades with occasional modulation.
There are festive numbers (“Nobody Knows”) that are accessible, but have elements of spontaneity. The guitars have rich tonality and surround the melody on “I’m Not Sure”. Shifting instrumental gears, “Another Day Without You” approximates traditional folk structure with a dynamic opening and accelerating tempo. Jaunty blues infuse “Singing It For You” with a festive vibe in the manner of Eric Bibb or ‘Keb ‘Mo. The New Age context of “Going Vegan” is transformed by a Latin (almost calypso) undercurrent. Everything feels like a live performance. The final cut, “On My Way To You” has an “encore” vibe with its high energy and tempo breaks.
Winds Of Change is fresh and engaging. The core musical sensibility that Work Of Art comprises is palpable in HD. All of the guitars (acoustic, electric, pedal steel and mandolin) emit an inherent glow, like 180-gram vinyl. This is bona fide audiophile recording.
TrackList: Winds Of Change; Tomorrow We Will Never Know; My Love For You; Together; September Nights; Nobody Knows; I’m Not Sure; Another Day Without You; Feeling Of Hope; Going Vegan; Fly To You; Singing It For You; On My Way To You
First review of 2015 / Winds of Change
Written by Nelson Brill from Boston Concert Reviews:
...Equally astounding is Soundkeeper’s exploration of Americana in the pop styles mined in the urbane and bright-hued music of singer, songwriter and gifted musician Art Halperin, and his band Work of Art.
Halperin, (who was the last artist signed by the great John Hammond), is a treasure to behold: his gift for grabbing a pop curve is infinite and his best songs will remain in your head long after their last refrain. The quality of Halperin’s voice, his musical ideas, his lyrical keys and buoyant musical flow remind of the great George Harrison’s own musings on life and love. Just take a listen to “I’m Not Sure” or the title cut from Halperin and Work of Art’s new 2014 recording, Winds of Change [Soundkeeper Records, SR1005) and relish all of the great capacious breeze in Halperin’s pop hooks and the glorious sound of Work of Art swinging behind him.
Here is pop surge at its best: expressive harmonies ebb and flow around acoustic finery as Halperin, Al Maddy, Jon Rosenblatt and Sue Williams stir the magic with their superb guitar and acoustic bass thumps and artistry. “My Love For You” starts out with finger snaps in the quiet leading to a big, airy blast of acoustic attack, capped by Williams’ bubbly bass solo. The spirit of Harrison beckons with “September Nights” sparkling on nylon strings plucked and immersive in a swirling ballad, while Halperin and his compatriots bust out on “Nobody Knows” and “Singing It For You” with exuberant, bluesy gusto. A few cuts (“Together” or “Feeling of Hope”) miss the mark for this author’s taste, usually when things get slower and sugary without the instrumental pizzazz of the effusive Halperin and his band at their best. But when they are burning, there is no stopping the great musical action of these virtuoso musicians. Catch the nimble ukelele twists; the unkempt beauty of Rosenblatt’s pedal steel (on the rollicking “On My Way To You”) and Patrick Conlon’s steady, humming engine of percussion through out (watch out for his resonant drum strikes that will knock you off your chair on the last cut!). Halperin’s vocals are a delight – so winsome and sweet – pushing the propulsion (like on the swirling “Going Vegan”) forward with great pacing and metric groove.
Winds of Change was recorded by Diament at a church in Sparkill, New York and the retrieval of every ambient clue of this marvelous space is on display on this stellar recording. This is an audiophile gem that truly is a masterpiece of recording and production skill. There is no one like Diament and his ability to light up a musical performance to joyful, transfixing results.
It's here! The latest Soundkeeper Recording, Winds of Change by Work of Art.
Once again the season starts for our live gigs in Antigua and St. Barth. Check here for dates and venues: http://www.swordinthestonerecords.com/gig/
The new “Work of Art” album entitled “Winds of Change” is finished and about to be released on Barry Diament’s Soundkeeper Recordings label. As soon as it’s released we’ll let you know. In the meantime here’s some info on the album: http://tinyurl.com/n7sn423
and a ‘behind the scenes’ video:
The new “The Natural Mystics” album is coming along but probably won’t be released until 2015.
The first song completed entitled, “Love 9X” has just been released for download at:
Check out new singles our up on our site:
Check out the new “Work of Art” videos here:
Also check out the new “The Natural Mystics” videos here:
And...'Like' us on Facebook:
Thanks for staying in touch! Love to all from all of us.
New album: "The Natural Mystics (Remastered)" is released on iTunes today. The CD's will be available for purchase early October. This is a remastered version of the original "The Natural Mystics" album, with 3 new bonus tracks.
The first bonus track features Claudette 'CP' Peters singing with Art on a powerful cover version of the the Who's classic song, "Love, Reign O’er Me"
Claudette also sings back up on the new song "I Still Hear Him Singing His Song" (A tribute to the late great Obadiah)
All songs remastered by legendary mastering engineer, Barry Diament. (Barry has mastered albums for Bob Marley & The Wailers, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Pete Townshend, U2, Crosby, Stills & Nash & Young and The Eagles...plus many more)
Check out the new link above called "SINGLES". Our first single is a Soca version of "I Still Hear Him Singing His Song" by Claudette CP Peters
Antigua & Barbuda’s #1 Soca Diva. The 2nd single is a reggae version of the same song, "I Still Hear Him Singing" recorded by "The Natural Mystics" with Claudette singing backups. The 3rd single we will be releasing this month is a cover version of Pete Townshend / The WHO song, "Love Reign O'er Me". This one is a reggae rocker featuring Claudette Peters on vocals along with The Natural Mystics. If all goes well we will put up at least one new single a month. Some 'Singles' are Art (solo or with the band) and others are artists he produced, wrote for, or played with. These are available to buy on iTunes, CD Baby and all the other major digital distributors...click the links to listen and find out more about the Artists and songs. Click the photo to watch video (if there is one)
It’s with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our good friend and band mate, Charlesworth “Obadiah” Sebastian.
He was a talented musician, amazing father, loving husband and a true friend. Obadiah leaves behind seven children – five girls, two boys – and wife, Ambrozine.
We love him and we will miss him deeply.
New CD! New Band! New Gigs! New Site! New Year!
"The Natural Mystics" debut album is completed and available on both CD or MP3 download.
Check out some of the new tunes in the audio player.