The Whiskey Jar Open Mic Night 2 Aug 2022

The Whiskey Jar Open Mic Night 2 Aug 2022

There’s a place where you can listen to music in the heart of Manchester, near Piccadilly Station. That is The Whiskey Jar. Of course, there are other venues but there’s surely something about this place and its organiser. Because there’s a large audience and they listen, even though the venue is a pub. I’m guessing it’s in large part due to Joe “Bagpipes“, the regular host. After all, it has the reputation of being “Manchester’s longest running and best open mic night“. On 2 Aug 2022, The Whiskey Jar Open Mic Night welcomes another lot of talented musicians. I get to hear a subset of them.

Jeorgia Rose

I arrived late, at the end of the third musician’s set.  I will hear later that in effect, I was on time (8.00pm) but the replacement host started early (7.30pm). I felt like a queen for that second 😁 I also later found out the name of that third musician, Jeorgia Rose. You cannot miss her in the crowd. However, it did help that she was directly in my line of sight, sitting virtually opposite me. I speak briefly with her but find out more afterwards. Research tells me she is an 18-year old British country singer. I remembered that I just left some friends who invited me to watch them line dance at the Pride parade this coming 27th of August. This happened after a Dolly cover documentary I watched. I feel country music is after me lol. So I listen to her on Jeorgia Rose Spotify from the popular I will still Remember to the two other offers at the time,

Chris Tavener

Funny musical man Chris Tavener follows. The folk comedian makes us smile and laugh with his brand of music. The acoustics normally so on point is slightly lacking in clarity so it’s hard to properly hear his jokes from the back (probably my fault for being at the back!). He has 3 songs on offer for us. The first one is All I need. The second one is How to truly win at life from his 2022 EP release Easy Ways To Be Happy and the last one Bill Gates was my favourite. I remember catching his set a while ago during a So Far Manchester I attended and reviewed in 2018. It is so good to see and hear him remain the “satirical singer-songwriter, known for his comedic, witty lyrics and a vintage sound”.

They Valleys IG @_the_valleys

A couple of musicians speak to the host. It seems they are going to be next. Spencer Grant is on guitar and vocals. Jeremy (Howling) Webster on harmonica. Their Instagram says they are “a fresh new band consisting of a bunch of friends with musical talents”.  Tonight they are two. From their choice of song cover to their interpretation, I am in. Even the pitch slides could not hide the talent. The karaoke that messed up with Grant’s vocals does not quite matter. To have chosen the very beautiful and traditional Henry Martin as a song shows discernment. Joan Baez  would be proud but would probably have a go at them for spoiling the vocals on karaoke (or is it just me?)! Ain’t No sunshine follows and the voice seems to recover some of its original timbre hitting the pitches. The harmonica was so well played on both pieces, subtly enhancing its tone.

The Valleys at Whiskey Jar Open Mic

Coeur Vaillant

Coeur Vaillant serves us his usual brand of well-constructed songs and infectious melodies on guitar. He has two pieces for this occasion: a “love” song on a bed of 7 sins and a fight song about freedom. The public is conquered. From head voice to falsetto, the public takes the trip with the singer-songwriter. It is not long ago that we were falling in love with Coeur Vaillant’s first single Spring Always Returns. The tireless musician honours his childhood passion, working hard towards his ultimate music dream.

 

Coeur Vaillant at Whiskey Jar Open Mic

 

Robert

In between sets, I meet Robert. Robert is a regular audience member at the Wednesday evening open mic. But he thought he would try out the Tuesday evening open mic that the venue also offers. He explains that he comes to listen and relax. He likes the atmosphere and enjoyed the last set. I tell him the name of the last act is Coeur Vaillant. I try to decipher the enigma of the foreign name and pronunciation. Coeur Vaillant in effect is Valiant Heart in English. There is a backdrop of knight time and day dream right there. I somehow also manage to drop that I’d like to perform here. Yes, you heard it, I basically inserted right there that I too am a musician. I am half-proud to have dropped some self-promotion there, something at which I am execrable. And to mark the following embarrassment I systematically feel (which will no doubt mean no promotion for hours), I’ll move ever so swiftly to the next subject. Robert says the ambiance is different to when Joe leads. The usual host makes sure no one talks during the sets, twitches the knobs to ensure the sound is at its best. Yes the music and its conveyor are king. This host is nice and cool and relaxed.

Before I leave

Robert compliments Coeur Vaillant as the musician returns to his seat. The host then performs. It is not the regular host, known as Joe Bagpipes. Shame, I wanted to finally meet him. This organiser performs what I understand to be Harvest (Neil Young). He follows up with a second song that sounds like a Nick Drake’s cover.

I am suddenly feeling tired and ill at ease. It’s humid and hot. I realise I need to leave before the end. Shame. It was a nice hour and a half shared with music lovers and music givers. I hear there’s another open mic on Thursdays but this time at a nearby venue, Stage & Radio at 7pm. It will be for another time. Robert will stay as usual until 11pm. But I need to end my night right there, right now. It is outside that I meet the Valleys again and get a lot of information about them. I am outside so I am feeling better. Live is well and truly back and that has made me feel great. But it seems that this whole lockdown thing has made it a little more difficult to be in crowded places for a long time. Or maybe it is the heat and humidity, whichever came first. Either way, I was happy to have been there and to have listened and witnessed some of the great next generation of musicians.

An interview with veteran drummer turned singer-songwriter Chris Poulson

An interview with veteran drummer turned singer-songwriter Chris Poulson

Chris Poulson is a talented singer and songwriter from Burbank, California. A seasoned musician, he has been in the music industry since the mid 1990s. His career progressed quickly to being signed with Fearless Records rock band, Rock Kills Kid as drummer in 2001. Chris found himself touring and sharing the stage with headlining acts. Now focusing on singing and song writing, Chris recently released “Fall Into Pieces,” his debut Solo EP.

A unique musical portrait

1 In Music: What would you say is unique about you and your music?

Chris Poulson [CP]: I would have to say my voice is definitely one that does not blend in with the typical voices you may hear on radio or television. The music I write typically stems from my past experiences, even back to my childhood years. It consists of writing music, melodies, and lyrics that connect and resonate with people from all different ages and backgrounds.

1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?

CP: The first band that really caught me in my feels was Nirvana. It was undeniable how much I loved listening to that band. From Kurt’s raspy singing and the genius behind his lyrics, to Dave Grohl’s hard hitting, straight-forward, and in-the-pocket style of drumming. Nirvana had me hooked! I would then learn as many Nirvana songs on drums and guitar as I possibly could. So, it’s safe to say that the Grunge era definitely shaped me as a musical artist. I then got into Punk Rock and Pop Punk which taught me different elements in music, speed, dynamics, vocal melodies and harmonies… you name it.

I’d say my biggest supporter throughout my musical journey has been my Mother. She is actually the reason why I became a lead singer to begin with. When I was a drummer I would sing backup vocals and sometimes would even sing lead for a song or two while playing the drums… and, I loved it. It wasn’t until years and years into my drumming career that I found out my Mom had developed Thyroid Cancer. My Mom was a singer in her own right, since a very young age and up until she got cancer, then that all got stripped away from her. That devastated her, and devastated me also.

So, I said to myself; “Chris, you have to carry on this voice you were given, not just for you, but for Mom.”

And, from that point on, I became a full-time singer-songwriter and haven’t looked back since.

1 In Music: Wow! So, let’s go back a little. When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?

CP: After High School, I went to a community college where I wanted to study psychology and music theory. I remember sitting in my psych class when I got a voicemail message on my cell from my buddy telling me to call him ASAP. So, I stepped out of the class for a minute to call him up. He explained there was this band that just signed a deal with Fearless Records and they lost their drummer in the middle of their deal. They were in need of a drummer that could learn their songs and finish recording their debut EP set to release on Fearless Records the following year. My friend thought I would be a perfect fit for this.

I knew exactly who Fearless was, and that alone had me so excited, I could barely contain myself. My friend gave me the number of the band’s bass player and told me to call him ASAP. So, I ended up going back inside the classroom, gathered up my belongings and took off back home so that I could get in touch with this band my friend was telling me about. Once I got home I called their bassist who gave me three songs to learn over the span of a week or so. We set-up an audition date, and I was pumped for this. I listened to those three songs day in and day out, drilling them into my head. I even slept with those songs playing over and over in my headphones.

It came down to audition day. I don’t remember being nervous, but I do remember saying to myself, “I want this, I NEED this!” I played those three songs with them like I had been playing with them for years. I even shocked myself. But, I had to prove to myself that I could do it. At the end of the audition, I remember the guitarist/lead singer and bassist stepped out to talk. They came back in minutes later and offered me the gig. That’s when I knew it was time for the big-leagues, and music would become my profession.

More on Chris Poulson – Music habit

1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?

CP: When I was a child, my parents (especially my Mom) loved Country music. So, I was around and listened to Country for many many years up until I reached middle school. Once I hit high school I started listening to Grunge. Then, it went on to Punk Rock and Pop Punk for many years thereafter. When I got a little older, Rock music took precedence over anything else. Now, I listen to a combination of anything. Rock, Alternative and even Pop music are my main go-tos these days. However, I still throw on some Grunge and Pop Punk to take me back to when I first started. I just love music in general, to any style, language, rhythm, beat, you name it.

1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?

CP: In my personal opinion, it would be the band/artist Silverchair. Daniel Johns is a fantastic singer-songwriter, and Silverchair, as a band, is just crazy good. I’ve had the rare pleasure of seeing them live twice when they came to Los Angeles to play, and I was absolutely blown away. To this day, Silverchair is a huge influence on my song writing,

1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?

CP: First, I do not speak very much for an entire week, keeping my speaking to a minimum. Also, I try not to put myself in places where I need to speak over loud noises, people, etc.
I consume a lot of water and teas. I do not drink any alcohol before a performance, and I try to get plenty of rest.

Life Philosophy

1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

CP: I am an avid long-distance runner. I have been running for over 20 years and I love it. And, I love fixing things around the house, e.g., repainting and repairing things that are broken, etc.

1 In Music: Wow! So, Success to you is…

CP: Being Happy and Enjoying what you do. Sometimes the freedom to do what you want and play what you want isn’t always an option. But,

as long as you’re able to express yourself and be the Real YOU, then happiness is bound to carry through your musical journey.

1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out

CP: I, at times wished I was told that this world isn’t exactly all sunshine and rainbows. It can be pretty tricky and have some surprises that can come out of nowhere, However,

you just have to be aware, expect the unexpected and do your job and do it well to the best of your ability.

And, no-one can deprive you from that.

About “Fall into pieces” and beyond

1 In Music: You are promoting your debut single, Fall into Pieces. Talk to us about how that came about and how it was fashioned.

CP: Right after I put the sticks down and decided that singing and song writing was going to be my main focus. My song, “Fall into Pieces” came to life then and there, following my previous band’s disbandment.

I ended up writing another song to follow called, “Break Free”. I then co-wrote “Joyride” and added that song to the mix. I hit the recording studio shortly after to start my journey as a solo artist.

Putting the sticks down was an important move for me to not only show the world what I have to offer as a singer-songwriter and front man, but to follow what it is I knew I was put on this earth to do.

1 In Music: “Fall into Pieces” is also the title track of your debut EP. Tell us more about that collection of songs.

CP: In May of 2021, I released my debut solo 3-song EP, “Fall into Pieces”. I hoped to evoke a rollercoaster of emotions to listeners. It is almost like getting lost in your own thoughts. For me, it’s like driving through a dark wooded forest and all you see is the road ahead. Oblivious to everything surrounding you.

“Fall into Pieces” represents the EP where the listener can connect from life experience. We have all felt hurt, pain, and sorrow. Yet, life goes on. The title track wraps up the 3-track EP in a way that sparks a little fire inside of you. I worked with producer and engineer, David Julson-Rieley, who also contributed to some of the arrangements, musical components and lyrics to each track.

‘Fall into Pieces’ EP emerged after a long break from the music world. I toyed with the idea for several years of getting back out into the live scene again and doing what it is I love to do.
I suppose releasing the EP gave me the motivation I needed to make that happen. Thanks to it, 2022 is looking bright, and you can definitely expect to see more of me in the coming months, along with a new single coming the Summer of 2022, music videos, press, and much much more.

1 In Music: We were just about to ask you about any upcoming projects?

CP: I am recording a brand new single June of 2022. This song has been under my belt for quite a while, and now it’s time for the world to hear it. I’m also gearing up for music videos to follow, as well as live shows later this Summer.

1 In Music: Thank you for taking this interview with us. Where can we find your music?

CP: You can find my music on basically any online streaming platform. You name it, it’s on there: Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, etc.

https://www.instagram.com/chris__poulson/

 

The Suicide Notes release new EP Trampstamp   

The Suicide Notes release new EP Trampstamp   

UK rock band The Suicide Notes release the exciting new EP Trampstamp. Recorded with Stu Jones at the helm at Woodworm Studios, and mastered by Wildhearts and Professionals producer Dave Draper. The EP is the long awaited follow up to their ‘Pleasures of Despair’ EPs.

“The Suicide Notes ooze gutter-trash rock n’ roll. Low-slung buzzsaw guitars and raw nicotine-soaked vocals, rock ‘n’ roll swagger, and whiskey on the rocks; the illegitimate sons of punk and sleaze, conceived on a bed of red wine, cigarettes, and back alley attitude.”

Born under the bad sign of guttercat rock n’ roll in 2019, the band swiftly secured management and a sponsorship deal with Cloven Hoof Rum before launching two acoustic singles – which have had continuous radio play since their release in July 2019. These were soon followed up with a third well received single ‘Momma Sang The Blues’ and the release of their debut acoustic and electric ‘Pleasures Of Despair’ EPs. These gained rave reviews across the board and the band were No.1 on Only Rock Radio in Spain, and No. 16 across all stations on the Radio Indie Alliance Top 40.
The gig calendar for 2020 was all-but wiped out by the Covid 19 pandemic, but not before the band had garnered stellar reviews for their debut gig at London’s Hope & Anchor, and for performances at the Dublin Castle, Camden’s Unicorn, and Dementia Aware Fest in Wolverhampton. Securing a new management deal with Forge A.M.P and adding the extra sonic assault of second guitarist Danny Gould, the Suicide Notes were widely acknowledged as one of the Day 1 highlights of the rescheduled HRH Sleaze 2021, along with a number of festival appearances, support slots with Last Great Dreamers, Healthy Junkies ans a bunch of headline shows.

2022 sees a return to Hard Rock Hell with a headline appearance at HRH AOR, a support slot with ‘Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band In The World’ Supersuckers, and festival appearances at RoadRage, CC7 XIII Shades of Black, Mayors Fest, and a third Punk n’ Roll Rendezvous, plus a return to multiple Dementia Fest 2021 events.

You can hear their songs on Bandcamp (above) or Spotify (below) and find out more about the band and their sound or follow them on:
Facebook  – www.facebook.com/thesuicidenotesuk
Instagram – @thesuicidenotesband
Twitter – @SuicideNotesUK

Scarlett Siren & The Howlin’ Tramps

Scarlett Siren & The Howlin’ Tramps

Scarlett’s undeniably captivating vocals are often compared to those of Amy Winehouse, while the band provides a solid backdrop of playful melodies, evocative beats and rugged bass lines. Influenced by Psychedelic Rock, Blues and Jazz their music is fuelled by emotional inquiry combined with an unquenchable thirst for a creative output. Their live shows ‘Pink Elephant Cabaret’ involve performances of both circus and burlesque which evoke an atmospheric experience for their audience. Scarlett is also a plus size model who aims to promote empowerment and body positivity. Working alongside Polo Jones they have produced their first EP Cruel Mistress, which went on to receive rave reviews from Jamsphere, Broken 8 Records, and Stereo Stickman. 1 In Mussic meets Scarlett Siren.

1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?

Scarlett Siren: We’ve created a new genre called “psychedelic swing”. We also get referred to as “spooky lounge”. We’re influenced by a lot of traditional swing and jazz, but we also have influences of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd & The Doors.

1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?

Scarlett Siren & The Howlin' TrampsScarlett: My band mates are my biggest support system. They are my best friends. They push me artistically. They are there for me when I’m going through a rough time.

1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?

Scarlett: When I was 3 years old, in the back of my dad’s Honda singing along with him to Rock & Roll music. That was when I realized I wanted to be involved in music forever.

1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?

Scarlett: I listen to a lot of jazz records, a lot of classic rock, folk punk.

1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?

Scarlett: Amy Winehouse. hands down. I wish she lived long enough to put out new records.

1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?

Scarlett: Definitely some breathing exercises. That way I dont have an anxiety attack. Meditation is everything.

1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

Scarlett: I’m a burlesque performer, and a painter.

1 In Music: Success to you is…?: happiness. that’s it.

1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?

Scarlett: a ton of people are gonna tell you your dreams are stupid. Those are not your people.

1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?: I have an EP coming out “The Devil in the Details” January 15th, 2022. You can pre-save our upcoming EP here:  https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/scarlettsirenandthehowlintramps/the-devil-in-the-details. My 4-song EP is a concept EP inspired by the true story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman in the UK to get the death sentence in 1955 for murdering her abusive lover.

1 In Music: Where do we find you music?

Scarlett: You can find our music on Spotify.

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5q6akN1sUPJoGY7ASdmIpb?si=qYe8HEarRyGs5MhL-PV2MA

MADSUN release New single ‘Genesis’ and Debut-EP for early 2022

MADSUN release New single ‘Genesis’ and Debut-EP for early 2022

MADSUN release New single ‘Genesis’ and Debut-EP for early 2022. This vision could be the genesis of this project. Under a post apocalyptic sky, inspired by Blade Runner, Genesis feels dark, gloomy, with a heavy atmosphere, tainted by a cyberpunk wave. After his first prelude Discovery, listened more than 500 000 times on streaming platforms, MADSUN comes up with a new single, first one of his debut EP « You and Me » which will be released early 2022. In these 5 tracks which include Genesis this instrumental introduction, we can feel the original touch of the producer and the importance of textures and patterns in his music, in addition to an orchestration which allows us to bring out our feelings. Genesis has been released October 15th.

https://ditto.fm/madsun-genesis