Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jeremiah Freed... Companion, Pt 1

Portland, Maine indie rockers Jeremiah Freed first hit the national music scene back in March of 2002 with their self titled debut album, Jeremiah Freed, which spawned the hit single Again. As it went in the music industry back then, much as it does today, the stars didn't quite align the way they should have for Jeremiah Freed. 2003's Slowburn would mark the final studio album the guys would release for 14 years. A lot has changed in that time, but one thing remains... Jeremiah Freed was and is a force to be reckoned with!

Companion, Part 1, marks the long overdue return of Jeremiah Freed to the world of indie modern/alternative rock. Most of the original band members are back... Joe Smith on vocals, Jake Roche and Nick Goodale on guitar and Matt Cosby on bass are joined by new drummer Andy Cosby. 14 years hasn't diminished the talents of this group one bit. Companion is the type of EP that you wish were at the very least an LP, if not a double live album. As soon as you pop the cd in (yes, kids, there are still those of us who enjoy listening to music that isn't streamed thru our headphones on our phone), there's this build up to track one, Hey Mama, that instantly takes you back to 2002. The sound is still the same, but in a grown up, we've lived our lives but can still do this better than 99% of the bands on radio today vibe. As a biased fan, I can make that statement. Also, as a biased fan, I can tune into our local alternative station and prove that statement to be true.

Bad Feeling is the rousing lead single off of Companion that is sure to catapult this EP to the forefront of the modern rock sound. There are hints of the bands southern rock styling on Hey Mama and I'm on Fire, and for you bluesy rock lovers, Thank You should satisfy you immensely. For my money, though, this entire EP pays me back in spades on one track... Heartbreak Atlanta. Easily the standout track on Companion, this song literally came out of nowhere for me when I first listened to the the EP. Here I am, rocking right along to the first two tracks, then this song hit every single feel that I've been feeling for the last year and a half. It's not every single time out that an artist can hit one out of the park like Jeremiah Freed has with this song. They shouldn't be expected to. But when they do, man, do they ever. Heartbreak Atlanta reminds me of growing up listening to my dad's old vinyl albums and 45s. The popular song was always the A side release. Every once in a while, you'd flip the record and discover a hidden gem on the B side. I'd put this track right up there with Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam, God Only Knows by the Beach Boys or Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. It's that damn good.

But don't take my word for it. Go out, support the band, and buy your copy of Companion, Part 1 today. If you're fortunate enough to live in Maine, you can head to your local Bull Moose music store and pick up your copy there. If not, click here to order it online. For the streaming crowd, hit up Spotify, iTunes and Google Play.

Make sure you follow Jeremiah Freed on Twitter and like them on Facebook, and check out the official Jeremiah Freed website. And if you're one of the lucky ones who got your tickets to their first stage show in 10 years, I'll see you in Portland, Maine at the Portland H.O.M.E. on August 19th.

Support unsigned artists... give indie music a chance.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Twelve Years Driven is going to War

I'm baaaack! And for very good reason. After taking the past year off to recharge, so to speak, I've been lured back from my sabbatical by none other than Twelve Years Driven. You remember them, the hard hitting, badass metal boys from Texas that have made a few appearances here on MY Indie Music Blog? Of course you do. But I'm here today to introduce you to a whole new side of them. The dressed up, even harder hitting side than what you got from Lab Work I & II and Lab Work III. Twelve Years Driven is back, and nastier than ever. They're here to declare war!

War is the latest EP from Houston, TX based hard rock/metal band Twelve Years Driven. Robert Rice (vocals), Larry Gilstrap and Michael MacSherry (guitars), Kris Wood (bass) and Chubbs Malone (drums) have taken a craft that they have proven to be extremely good at and completely blown the cover off it and reinvent themselves as the preeminate metal band in today's music industry.

Press play and Chubbs Malone immediately sets the tone for the entire EP on the opening track Victim, and it doesn't even come close to stopping there. The lead single, Good God Damn, is a direct call to arms against the snowflake generation that's full of keyboard courage. While Rice is spitting venom at them, that signature Kris Wood bass line chimes in with some nasty ass guitar licks from MacSherry and Gilstrap. And that drum line... Lars Ulrich would cream in his jeans after hearing it! (The addition of Chubbs Malone to the lineup was a genius move.)Twelve Years Driven truly doesn't give a good God damn, and I fucking love them for it! Track after track, War sets a new standard for not just the independent music scene, but the entire modern rock/metal genre.

War is about as polished as an independently produced EP can be and then some. The guys spared no expense and brought in music industry veterans Dave Fortman to mix and Ted Jensen to master (at Sterling Sound in NYC). The two have worked with the likes of Alice in Chains, Mudvayne, Slipknot, Seether, Mastodon... the list reads like a who's who of today's mainstream modern rock/metal scene. And the work the the guys put in in the studio is not lost on me. They put 5 of the best tracks I've heard in some time together here and all I can wish for every time I listen to War is that it was a full album. I don't want the music to end. It's that damn good. So I do the next best thing. I hit repeat.

My boy Larry Gilstrap once told me (about their EP Lab Work III) that they had put their best work out there for us. Little did he know what their future had in store for them. If you follow the band on social media, you already know the response that their fans have given War, and for good reason. War is the type of EP that can and should finally flip the script for these guys. It's time for this independent artist to get their time to shine. Even if it means going to War.

War, the new EP by Houston, Texas based Twelve Years Driven, is making the rounds on the internet. You can order a physical copy on cd if that's your flavor by heading over to CDBaby. You can download War on iTunes and Google Play. But my suggestion is to head over to their merch site on While your picking up a cd, you can grab some sweet ass t-shirts, beanies, hats, jewelry. Every purchase you make helps the guys get down to road to the next gig as well as helps them out in the studio. I've done my part, and I'll continue to help them out in any way they need that I can.

Don't forget to check out the official Twelve Years Driven website. While you're there, join their official mailing list to keep informed of all things Twelve Years Driven. Follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

Support unsigned artists. Give indie music a chance.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Taking a break...

It is with heartfelt regret that I post this today. I've decided to step away from the blog for a while. This is something that I've been doing a lot of soul searching over the course of the past year. Regular readers and those who follow me on Twitter have seen the obvious downturn in the number of posts here on MY Indie Music Blog. A funny thing called life seems to have gotten in the way of my best intentions with this blog. What started out as being a bit more "selective" with the artists that I chose to feature has turned into I just don't have the time to commit myself 110% to what I started nearly four years ago. As my daughters get older, I find that I have less and less time to think about the content that I want to present to you. I have never stopped listening to the music and I never will. I have never stopped supporting independent artists and I never will. I have recently signed on with the Indie Music Coalition to be a content contributor for their online monthly music magazine. That will be the one avenue that I have to post about the music that I am so passionate about. It will also allow me to be more selective with the content because I've got one shot per month to get it out to you.

That being said, please continue to seek me out on Twitter, as well as those of you who I am friends with on Facebook. If any of you would like to connect with me there as well, send me a friend request (search for Carlos Gnipp... I'm pretty easy to find there!). And I WILL continue to support independent artists on my Twitter feed, so please continue to search me out there as well (@cgnipp).

Until we meet again here at MY Indie Music Blog, please, please, please continue to support independent artists. Give indie music a chance!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Top Indie Albums/EPs of 2015

Another year is in the books here at MY Indie Music Blog, so that means it's time for my list of the top albums/EPs for 2015. Unlike last year, when I couldn't bring myself to single out just 10 artists, I made a firm commitment to that number this year. Although the number of posts was down this year from years past, that doesn't mean that I wasn't listening! There was a ton of quality work put out by independent artists all over the globe, and I took in as many of them as my ears and wallet could handle.

So without further ado, here is the MY Indie Music Blog top indie albums/EPs of 2015:

10. Jesse W. Johnson - Primal Scream

The lead single and title track, Primal Scream, is one hell of an indicator as to what's in store for you. At only 5 songs, Johnson manages to pack quite a bit into a small package. He runs the gambit from rock to folk to Americana and back again, and never skips a beat. Song after song flows by and before you realize it, you've been listening for an hour or so on repeat. That's an hour or so well spent.

Jesse W. Johnson official website

 9. Ships Have Sailed - Moodswings

Los Angeles alternative pop/rock/electronic duo Ships Have Sailed are making their debut on MY Indie Music Blog. This is a fine example of "just because I haven't featured them doesn't mean I haven't been listening". From the moment I first downloaded Moodswings and hit play, they felt like an act that I've been listening to for years. Catchy pop melodies blend in well with just enough electronica to pull together a nice sound tailor made for a new musical revolution that is indie music.

Ships Have Sailed official website

8. Star-Splitter - Afterglow

Another first timer on the blog is Atlanta electronic duo Star-Splitter and their debut EP Afterglow. Coming in at just 3 songs, this is what happens when an artist gives you more with less. This is the most melodic, hauntingly beautiful 3 songs I've heard this year. You can hit play and let the songs repeat on an endless loop and get lost in the harmony over and over again. This is a very well put together effort and I can not wait to hear what Andi and Torin have up their sleeves for their full length debut.

Star-Splitter official website

 7. Kingdom of Few - Revolution
A long-time favorite of mine here at MY Indie Music Blog, Kingdom of Few hit our earholes with a rock n roll explosion this summer with Revolution, their highly anticipated follow-up to their 2011 debut EP, Ep. The guys have stepped up their game in quite a substantial way. Revolution is as polished an effort as anything offered up by cookie-cutter mainstream acts. Their sound is more refined. This is rock done right.

Kingdom of Few on Reverbnation

6. Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets - London Can Take It

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the Americana sound, and Alaska native Chris Watkins hits all the marks with London Can Take It. This album easily takes top prize for the "not yet featured on this blog" album of the year (if one such prize existed!). I will be righting that wrong soon and get a full length feature up on this newly discovered (to me) talent. I've already begun to check out other offerings by Watkins and only get more excited by the prospect of having his music in my life. He really is an exceptional talent that I can not believe hasn't been discovered by the mainstream. Oh well, their loss is our forever win!

Chris Watkins/Drunk Poets on Soundcloud

5. Message to Venus - Victims & Villains

No strangers to MY Indie Music Blog, Message to Venus made a HUGE statement this year with the release of their highly anticipated full-length debut album Victims & Villains. To say that this is the future of modern rock music is somewhat of an understatement. This is the savior of the genre. Message to Venus put everything they had and then some into a stellar effort. Hard hitting, huge stadium worthy guitar riffs and some of the hardest hitting percusions around wound together tightly by one of the premier frontmen in rock music today, Message to Venus has laid down the gauntlet on today's rock genre. The challenge is now there for the major label acts to try to keep up!

Message to Venus official website

 4. Twelve Years Driven - Twelve Years Driven

 Twelve Years Driven proved that it's never good enough to rest on your own laurels. The guys have taken the old adage of "stepping up their game" to an entirely new level. From the second that you hit play, the band is already at full throttle with Devil's Way and you just know you're in for something special. This four song EP is the best thing going on in the world of metal music right now. Period. There isn't a single artist played on mainstream radio that I'd take over this band right now. These guys are peaking at the right time. I see 2016 being their year!

Twelve Years Driven official website

 3. Featurette - Crave, Volume 1 & 2

 Playing in two distinct volumes, Crave is best described by lead vocalist Lexie Jay as "(a) ‘featurette’ - like a mini movie - so we’ve written the songs to express that story and really help the listener feel what the girl is going through. The first vol. is rather dark (craving passion, lust, destruction - the wild side), and then the second is the resolution (craving love, respect, resolution, self acceptance)..."
I've found that it's nearly impossible to get the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Lexie out of my head. The passion and emotion in the vocals are about as real as they come. What FEATURETTE has done is written a cohesively perfect album that brings back storytelling. There's depth and meaning to every word being sung. It flows perfectly from track to track to tell a distinct story of love and lust from the dark beginnings of Broken to the resolute finisher Procession.

FEATURETTE official website

2. When Particles Collide - This Town

WPC recently celebrated their 5th year together as a band. It's been roughly 4 and a half years of that time that I've been a fan. I've had the pleasure of driving all over Maine and New Hampshire to see them play and have gotten to know Sasha and Chris over the years. I was even in attendance with my daughters when they got married a few summers ago in Bangor. It's their hometown that's on full display on This Town and is a fitting tribute to the town and people who made them what they became as both a band and as individuals. For those who were there and lived these songs, This Town is a tribute to lost lives. Having heard these songs played out on numerous ocassions live, I know first hand the raw emotion and honest truths behind the lyrics. There isn't a harder working duo in the music industry today, and soon, the whole world is going to know what I already do.

When Particles Collide official website

 1. Chaser Eight - Chaser Eight/Naked

2015 was the year of Chaser Eight for me. Having featured them on this blog on multiple ocassions and cutting my teeth with the Chaser Eight live experience, the release of Chaser Eight and the companion EP Chaser Eight Naked, was the turning point in my love affair with this band. There aren't many acts out there, mainstream or indie, that transfer their energy from the studio to the stage as flawlessly as Chaser Eight does. Their artistry is pure and genuine and you never feel put off by the disappointment that what you listened to at home isn't what you heard when you saw them live. I'd even be willing to go out on a limb to say that the live product is a step above the recorded product. And THAT is saying a lot. 2016 promises to deliver more of what I've come to know and love from this band as they have already slated new single releases beginning this month and continuing into March. This is a great time to be a #Crazy8, and I take pride in being the biggest one of all!

Chaser Eight official website 

Support independent artists... give indie music a chance.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Jessica Meuse

Country radio, it's time that you took notice of some of the up-and-coming independent artists that are about the take over your airwaves. Today's country radio definitely isn't your parent's country radio. There is quite a bit of pop in today's country, as well as (GASP!) rap. No matter which side of the fence you straddle in this debate, you can not deny the immense talent pool that country radio has to cull from.Tonight's featured artist is one such talent.

Hailing from Slapout, Alabama, USA, Jessica Meuse is a veteran of reality singing competitions, having performed on NBC's The Voice in 2012, and finishing 4th on the 13th season of Fox's American Idol. It was during her stint on Idol that she made show history by being the only contestant to date to perform an original song during live competition. By the time Meuse hit the Idol stage, I had already given up on reality singing competitions. One can only stand to hear the same songs sung season after season by a different set of competitors for so long. However, when the buzz about her performance of her original song Blue-Eyed Lie hit my radar, I was instantly intrigued. When I found Lie, I was not disappointed!

After hearing this song, I wasn't immediately convinced that country radio was in her future. While there is a strong hint of southern rock to the tune, it's her personality that comes out that screams that she's a pop star in the making. Maybe someone along the lines of a modern day Bonnie Raitt was on the verge of being unleashed to shake up mainstream radio. I had my fingers and toes crossed for this! Alas, as she's moved forward working on her upcoming debut EP, she's begun to find her country voice. And I'm okay with that. While she's been working hard on that EP, she's given us quite a few country covers that show what direction she's gone. Based on what I've been hearing, her future is all but a lock as the next big thing on country radio!

There's a level of vulnerability to her voice that let's her emotions flow freely while holding onto that rock n roll edge that has endeared her to her followers, known as the Meuse Mafia. While I'm no industry expert, I'm something even better... a fan, and from what I see and hear from Jessica Meuse, she has that "it" factor that so many try so hard to manufacturer, but for her, it just comes naturally. And for fans of country music, be it pop or traditional, Jessica Meuse is here to bridge that gap and take the genre to a whole new level!

Head over to the official Jessica Meuse website to stay up to date on the progress of her debut EP, including the release of her upcoming single Rio Grande. Follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook, and head over to her Soundcloud page to check out some of the coolest cover tunes around!

And as always, check back here on MY Indie Music Blog for all new happenings with Jessica Meuse.

Support independent artists... give indie music a chance.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Lukas Rossi "Hello" Adele Cover (Rock Version)

Okay, now that we've gotten the introduction of Lukas Rossi to MY Indie Music Blog out of the way, let's get down to it, shall we?

A little over three weeks ago, Rossi released a video on YouTube of his rock version of Adele's new hit single, Hello. As a general rule, I am not a fan of cover songs. There are some indie acts that I've seen over the years who aspire to be nothing more than a cover band, and that's fine. Most, if not all of them, are very good at what they do. It takes one hell of a cover song to get me excited. I'd rather see today's independent artist spending their efforts on their music, which is what we're here for.

That being said, check out what has me excited these days...

Ladies and gentlemen, this is unfuckingbelieveable. Hands down, this is the absolute best cover of this song out there today. Had Adele never recorded this and it somehow fell into the lap of one Lukas Rossi and he recorded this... holy fuck! In just over three weeks time (and as of the writing of this post), the video has garnered an astonishing 526,467 views! That's almost unheard of for an independent artist on YouTube. There's a huge amount of buzz surrounding this cover as well, and it could become even louder with your help.

I'd love nothing more than to see this video eclipse the 1 million view mark. To make that happen, Rossi needs all of you to watch the video. Don't just watch it here, head over to his YouTube channel, hit subscribe and press play. After you've become addicted to it (like I have), hit play again. Then again. And while you're repeatedly hitting play, share it with everyone you know and ask them to watch and share it. This is what rock n roll dreams are made of. Let's help one of the brightest indie stars around shine even brighter!

Support independent artists... give indie music a chance.

Lukas Rossi

Tonight is the long overdue introduction of one of the most ridiculously talented independent artists in modern rock music.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada native Lukas Rossi has been on the music scene since 1992. My introduction to Lukas was in 2006 when he was a contestant on the CBS reality singing competition Rockstar Supernova. I'll be the first to admit that he wasn't my favorite to win. That distinction went to another artist who has been prominently featured on this very blog (can you guess who it is?), but that doesn't mean that I wasn't instantly a fan of his. I've followed his impressive career for nearly 10 years now thanks to that show, and tonight, you get to experience Lukas Rossi for yourself!

Over the years, Rossi has amassed one hell of an impressive collection of music for us to indulge our souls in. From fronting bands such as Cleavage, Rockstar Supernova, Stars Down, Switchblade Glory and most recently, Halo Method, to his solo material, you have one of the most accomplished independent artists in the world.

This is just a small sampling of what is Lukas Rossi. With one of the most powerfully expressive and unique voices in rock music today, it won't take much longer before the world is again taken over by the sound that's here to save rock n roll.

Make sure you head over to the official Lukas Rossi website for all things Lukas Rossi. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook. Subscribe to his YouTube channel and look for his music on all of the major music streaming services and on iTunes.

And as always, check back here at MY Indie Music Blog for all things Lukas Rossi.

Support independent artists... give indie music a chance.