These are all the songs I’ve chosen for this month’s contest. I know thousands of independent musicians who are deserving of having their songs in this dang deal. So narrowing my picks down to just a few is always the hardest part of my month. Oh well. Such is life.
This song is off the latest — and very special — CD from The Art Gomperz Band featuring Jenna Mammina. The album “A Different Story To Tell” is a tribute to the singer/songwriter Bev Hahn who played with the band for many years. Bev wrote most of the songs on the CD, and her friend Jenna has brought them to life for her. (“There was no one on the planet that could be considered Bev’s musical soul mates as much as Jenna,” band member Dan Geib says on Art Gomperz website.) I am just now learning about this cool little, eclectic “collective” of musicians (the bands website says they’ve had so many different people play with them over the years that the group sometimes feels more like a “musicians club” than a band — and, Tony Kinsel, you might be interested to know that no one named Art is currently listed as being in the band), and I never had the pleasure of knowing Bev. But, I’m very glad they’ve come into my life! Picking just one song out of the several that Dan Geib submitted to the station has been a tough call, so I hope you dear listener won’t just stop with this song. Spend a little time on their website, and I’m certain you’ll be glad you did.
Yeah, we’re trying again with this guy, dang it! Carl Lafitte — leader of his band RC and the Pirates — has been in this contest several times before but has never had much dang luck gettin’ your love, er, votes. I don’t understand that though. I love this guy’s unique style of Texas Blues, and I’ll keep puttin’ him back in the contest even if ya’ll keep ignorin’ him, dang it! (One of the reasons why Carl has trouble getting votes is that he’s more into tourin’ around playin’ live gigs than he is into hanging out on MySpace and such. Oh the horrors! As far as I know his iTunes page is his only presence on the web. Call me crazy, but I don’t think a person’s music should be judge by his or her dang website. So Carl will always have a place on HossTheBoss.com. Oh yeah, rumor is, Carl really is a direct decendant of the Red Eye Carl Lafitte, the legendary — non Somalian — pirate.)
Clark Rossi – Difference between a fiddle & Violin
This is a funny little song from my friend from Hebbronville, Texas who traveled all the way to my little studio a few weeks ago to bring live acoustic music back to HossTheBoss.com. During that show, I promised to put one Clark’s recently recorded (and not necessarily finished) songs in the April contest, so hear it is. Clark has only relatively recently started playing music with any seriousness, and he already has dozens — maybe even hundreds — of uplifting original songs in the little song book that he carries around. This is one of his funnier songs, but I guarantee that just about everything you hear from him will end up making you smile in one way or another. Check him out on MySpace. Oh yeah, check out his son, too. Pake Rossi is starting to make a few waves among the kids on the Texas music scene these days.
Joe G is yet another guy out in LA that I’ve found doing some un-LA-like music. When he sent me this song, I listened to it and was surprised as heck to check out his MySpace page and see Hollywood listed as his hometown. I guess I need to stop thinking in terms of geographical stereotypes. I’m discovering every week via this site that they’re not at all reliable.
Larry Dry – Back on Track
Larry made a decent run in last month’s contest but barely missed the Top 10. So I’m giving him another shot right away. I love the way Larry introduced this song to me when he sent it to me via email a few weeks back: “Hoss, I hope you enjoy this tribute to the hard working waitress who told me to follow her away into the night. I forget her name, but I am sure you have met her before.” Check him out on MySpace. (Larry tells me he has been making a point to actually try to befriend all his “friends” on MySpace, Facebook, etc. I admire that attitude a lot.)
Lawrence Faschner (and his brother George) – Angel Without Wings
Lawrence and his brother aren’t actually musicians on this song. They wrote the dang thing. Lawrence is a mild mannered hospital security guard by day, and he spends his leisure time writing songs that he hires Nashville studios to record anonymously. Just about every time he comes up with a new song, Lawrence sends me a copy, and many of them have ended up on this show over the years. I really admire Lawrence’s dedication to his hobby, and I’m glad to know that his brother occasionally joins him in his creativity. This touching song has just been waiting to be written for about as long as people have been doing country music. All kiddin’ aside, Steve Goodman, I think THIS may be the perfect song. Lawrence doesn’t seem to be overly serious about making money with the songs he writes, so if you like his stuff, I hope you’ll find away to support him in another way. Currently one of his other ventures is to sell watches via eBay. He says you can just look him up with the name “larryswatches.”
Misti Payne – Early Mornin’ Lovin’
Misti lives in Sylacauga, Alabama (if I just say on my show she’s from Alabama, I hope you understand why) and has been playing music the way it’s meant to be played — in churches, at family gatherings and even in the hospital during her mother-in-law’s fight with colon cancer – for most of her life. Like so many other people we play on HossTheBoss.com, Misty’s friends and family encouraged her strongly to try making a living with her music not long ago, and she her first CD (along with some good gigs on radio and at joints all around her local area) is the result. As she’s been sharing her music with DJs from all over, this song that I’ve chosen seems to be the one that has gotten the most attention, she says, but I can testify that the others she’s recorded are just as meaningful and nice — in all the ways that music is supposed to be. Make sure you check out Misti on MySpace.
Paul Carrella – Drifter
Paul needs no introduction to regular listeners to this show. So, for the all the newcomers, I’ll just direct you to his MySpace page. This is one of the songs we played during our last show of March when Paul was finishing up his stint as a guest DJ. It’s more proof (as we learn regularly through this show) that Texans and Brits have a lot in common after all.
This cool little band from Columbia, South Carolina bills itself on MySpace as “Rock-n-Roll for those with pop sensibilities.” Nice description. Because my other picks are all kind of “country” sounding this month, I picked this one out of the bunch that they sent me, mostly for the sake of building a decent blend for once. (Regular listeners to the show will testify that I rarely worry much about things like that — I’ve been known to toss blues, jazz, gospel, folk and some hard rock all in one big musical salad together – but this month I decided, just for grins, to try being like every other radio programmer in the world for once. Conformity is not always bad, I guess.) These guys do some stuff that’s definitely a little wilder, and the musicianship is very impressive on everything I’ve heard from them. The thing I really like about this band is that it’s not afraid to be tough and honest with its lyrics, and this song is a great example of that. This song — like several they have on MySpace — is one that I would classify as “important” — something the world, absolutely, needs to hear!
Tori Allen – Divorcionism
Okay… I admit that about the only “genre” that doesn’t get much (okay, any) airtime on HossTheBoss.com is “classical,” but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a great respect for people who know and appreciate that stuff. (In fact, when my office stereo is not playing HossTheBoss.com, it’s often tuned to the Corpus Christi classical music station which I support with a monthly donation.) So that’s why I’m always thrilled to come across people like Tori, who are well grounded in the classics. Amazing music — no matter what “genre” they end up doing — is nearly always the result. Tori is a teenager who lives in Round Rock, Texas and is very active in her school’s orchestra program. And, accordingly, it’s clear that she is very serious and passionate about her music (even though the stuff she has recorded outside of school might not be exactly in keeping with the traditions of Beethoven, Bach and all the rest). Tori sent me a number of songs to pick from for the station (most of which you can hear on her MySpace page), and this one impressed me most — like the Postcard Fiction song – because of its tough and honest lyrics. This is another “important” song, and it’s refreshing to hear it coming from a charming and talented teenager. You just don’t get stuff like that every day. Check Tori out on MySpace.
See My Previous Picks