Posts Tagged ‘Country’


The Ohio quartet Phillip Fox Band have been quickly gaining attention for their unique style of music, country fried rock n roll. They seamlessly blend classic rock and old country and fuse it with a modern twist. What you are treated to,  are songs that not only rock but are emotionally driven and create a solid connection with the listener through story telling songs all the while you are feeding your rock n roll soul.

They currently have their debut full length album Heartland set for a September 2nd release. Heartland takes you on a musical journey full of hope, loss, love and truth. In a time where the musical industry can stifle a band’s creativity, Phillip Fox Band rose about it all by creating and completing their album fully funded by their fans through a Kickstarter campaign. Phillip Fox explains, “I think the whole Kickstarter thing, particularly with our fans voting essentially with their money and saying, ‘No we want this music’… The fact that we are able to put that out, we feel very blessed to be able to do it.

The album has it all, catchy melodies, smoking guitars, bluesy riffs,  powerful and captivating vocals, heartfelt songs that stir emotions as well as invite you to make Heartland the soundtrack of your life. Check out a live video promo for Phillip Fox Band:

We had the opportunity to chat with vocalist/guitarist Phillip Fox as they are currently touring. We are pleased to bring that interview to you here:

* * * * * *

MJP: Thank you for taking the time out to talk with us here at Music Junkie Press. We are very excited about the album release next month of Heartland.

Phillip: Awesome, we are too!

MJP: You have to tell us, even the title has some great personal meaning to it. Can you explain a little bit about Heartland?

Phillip: Ya, I mean. We spend a lot of time on the road, there are those places where just feel like home and then there is also nothing like coming off the road and being back at home. The Midwest for us, that is where we chose to live. We could have moved to New York or Nashville but, we chose to stay here in the Midwest and travel from out of there. Every time we come back, we felt like that song Heartland just really captured more than any other tune on the record, where we were as a band and stuff.

MJP: We know that the album is set to release on the 2nd of the September but you are also having an album release party on the 5th. I am sure you are excited to finally get it out there and into the hands of your fans.

Phillip: Ya, we are very excited about that and it has been a long time coming.

MJP: It is interesting because your music has it’s own style. It has been dubbed Country Fried Rock n Roll, which is great and you bring a lot of energy and emotion to your songs. For someone who has never seen the Phillip Fox Band perform live, what can you tell them to expect?

Phillip: I mean a solid show, excellent musicianship, and we give a 110% every time we get up on stage. I mean we love what we do and that I think is more evident to people when we get up on stage. We are doing what we want to do, we are doing what we love to do, we are playing the music that we want to play. Having all those things align for a band just doesn’t happen very often so I think that people recognize that what they are seeing, is something that is very rare. I mean stylistically, we kind of blend this old country, southern rock with a modern twist to it. Again it is just something that they are just not going to see very often.


MJP: You mention that you bring a lot of energy to the stage. Do you have any preshow rituals before you hit the stage?

Phillip: Ha, Not anything that is not regular, aside from just getting on stage and getting comfortable up there. There is a lot of times where you have driven for like 6 hours, we have been working the whole time on the road while we are getting to the show and just taking the moment to clear your head and let everything else that happened for the day go away and forget about what is going to happen tomorrow.  To really center in what is going to happen right now on the stage right now. The nights that we have the opportunity to do that, are I know, that we can feel the difference for sure.

MJP: The album, it not only rocks but you also bring great emotionally driven songs to the forefront, Can you tell us a little bit about the song, Don’t Forget Me?

Phillip: Ya, I wrote that song a few years ago. I had a buddy of mine was overseas, this was at the time, when a lot of guys that were in like the National Guard or had been staged stateside and then got sent over to the Middle East. And several different friends, one of them either he went overseas and within six months, he posted on Facebook  that  his wife and he were getting a divorce, another good friend of mine from College, she had two young kids with her husband, he went over and was killed, like in the first week from getting over there. So she was like immediately widowed with two babies. And it was just one of those moments where it was like, Man, I feel this story needs to be told. When I talked with some of my friends that were over there and I mean the biggest thing that they wanted, which was to not be forgotten. Because that was the hardest thing, you know they are so far away, the time shift is so different, it is expensive to call or  to find the time to with family and  with six months of that and it is easy to forget.

MJP: Beautiful track, very well written and truly one of my favorites. Then you have the rockin track of I’d be Running Too. That rocks. How about that one?

Phillip: We had a lead guitar player for a minute who always seemed to be getting himself in trouble and that song is loosely based off his antics.

MJP: Classic! I love it. Now this album was completely put together by yourselves and  funded by a Kickstarter campaign. You guys took the bulls by the horn and did it your way with your awesome fans. How does that feel to have accomplished all that on your own and have the full control over the album process.

Phillip: You know, right now it is exhausting. (laughs) But when we get a chance to stop and think about it and know that we were able to put out a record that is 100% us. A record that if we were on a label, wouldn’t be able to be the same record. The song selection would probably have had to be a little different, we wouldn’t have been able to get as creative, I don’t think as we would with the song palette. A song like Nothing Worse than the Weak would not have been able to be on that record. SO knowing that we are able to put that out there and that our fans supported us and they wanted this music, ya, it is encouraging and it gives us hope, that maybe we can do this our way and make a go of it.

MJP: With the changes in the music industry within the last 15 years, what is something that you would like to see change?

Phillip: Well, I would love to be able to see artists express themselves in meaningful ways and not just record a song that they know is gonna sell. I mean, that doesn’t just go for like the big named Top 40 artists. A lot of guys we know, that are slinging it in the trenches with us on the road, they are facing those same challenges. DO I record this song that I really, it means a lot to me and I believe in or do I record this song that I did a co-write with these three dudes that are published down in Nashville, that I know might get more traction and might get me noticed. You know? I think the whole Kickstarter thing, particularly with our fans voting essentially with their money and saying, ‘No we want this music’. Some of them may or may not listen to the radio, I know we get a lot of our fans that are just fed up with everything they are fed from the media machines. And they want something that is real, something tangible, and that has some investment in it and that is a little risky. The fact that we are able to put that out, we feel very blessed to be able to do it.

MJP: Your fans also feel a part of the whole process and it includes them and they feel they are also keeping the spirit of music alive as well. Now, you guys have been busy touring. You have had a lot of shows this summer and are on tour right now, what has been the highlight for you so far on your tour?

Phillip: Man, that is a good questions. Headlining Bike Week was really sweet. Ya, there was a lot of energy there. We played on the Jaegermeister stage and it just grew. They were just solid. They had everything, it sounded good, it felt good, the lights were great. That was a great night. The Buckle UP Fest in Cincinnati was a really cool festival. Unfortunately, it rained almost the entire day we were there but you know seeing the people out in front of the stage with their umbrellas and stuff, that were there to see us, that was encouraging. It was awesome.

MJP: You have shows playing all the way to September. What do you have planned after that?

Phillip: So in October we go back to playing a lot of the clubs, the circuit in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. We are going to be down in Texas in early November, we are down in Houston and then from that point, we will see how the record is picking up and where that is hitting and hopefully that will open up some more markets for us.



MJP: We are hoping you come out to the West Coast and bring your energy to us.

Phillip: We would love to! Love to! Just gotta figure out how to drive across the country and make that happen.

MJP: We are looking forward to the album release on Sept 2nd and lastly, is there anything you would like to share to our audience?

Phillip: You know I would say, Listen to the music, give it a song or two. We don’t, we are not one of those bands that say hey we are cool, or we are fashionable or sexy, so you will like our music. If you like the music, you will like the music. If you don’t like it, there is a lot of other music out there but I say if they listen to the first three tracks of the record and they don’t dig, at least they gave it a shot. But I am pretty sure they are gonna like what they hear.

MJP: I do too! That is a certainty. Thanks for talking with us here and have safe travels. Everyone stay tuned for Heartland set to release on September 2nd.

Phillip: Thank you very much.

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So do yourself a favor, mark your calendars to pick up the new album, Heartland on September 2nd and check the following tour dates and see if the Phillip Fox Band will be coming to a venue near you. Make sure to visit their social media sites and stay connected to be up to date on their latest news.

~ Marisol

Tour Dates: 

  • 8-25-14 in Put In Bay, OH at The Boathouse (duo)
  • 8-26-14 in Put In Bay, OH at The Boathouse (duo)
  • 8-27-14 in Put In Bay, OH at The Boathouse (duo)
  • 8-28-14 in Dayton, OH at Hollywood Casino
  • 8-29-14 in Brownsburg, IN at B-Squared
  • 8-30-14 in Bowling Green, OH at Grumpy Dave’s
  • 8-31-14 in Akron, OH at Upper Deck
  • 9-05-14 in Columbus, OH at Skullys (CD Release Show)
  • 9-06-14 in Cleveland, OH at Around The Corner (CD Release Show)
  • 9-07-14 in Mantua, OH at Mantua Potato Festival
  • 9-10-14 in Westerville, OH at Jimmy V’s (duo)
  • 9-11-14 in Wapakoneta, OH at Route 33 (CD Release Show)
  • 9-12-14 in Medina, OH at Thirsty Cowboys (CD Release Show)
  • 9-13-14 in Auburn Hills, MI at Toby Keith’s (I Love This Bar)

Information & Links:



Jessie Payo, the diminutive soul singer with a larger than life voice has come home to LA, but more important, she has arrived.  After more than a decade of recording, training, touring  and singing with superstars like Melissa Etheridge, Jessie has found her county sound, and she created country magic at the Hotel Café in Hollywood Friday night. It’s no wonder her twitter handle is @payoetemusic.

She was booked to come on at 9 pm and while she was setting up the crowd poured in,  They were here for her. And she did not disappoint them.  For almost an hour, she rocked, seduced, mesmerized and united with a full house, demonstrating the  maturity and the self confidence of an experienced entertainer.  She brought us her own brand of gut-tightening, head bobbing  very personal country. Frankly, I had more fun listening to her at Hotel Café than I did at the Wynonna & the Big Noise concert at Century City.


Jessie opened with her heart rending “ I will Die Alone”,  which sailed through the room with her soul-piercing voice and a driving rhythm like a modern day  “Ghost Riders”. She painted  the picture of the little girl in saddle shoes who now sees that Because I was born with desert fire /Driven by my one desire/traded all I had for the great unknown/A bleeding heart I don’t possess and when I’m finally laid to rest/I will die alone. We knew were in in the presence of a musical magician.

And then the magician became a  human, a diminutive woman in a green dress laughing and joking with her fans about being a leprechaun.  After she introduced her very solid country band  she shifted the tempo and the mood with “She will Love Again”, complete with southern twang, pedal steel accents and a story set squarely in the country form: When she was young she took her chances/The queen of hearts to Every man/But her luck ran out with her one true lover.  As with everything she sings, she brought in a touch of soul, a touch of blues and a touch of angel.

Two songs later, after the familiar “Hands Together”, she cut loose with “Caleb Meyer” and had the audience singing along with her.  They were energized! Then, like the sophisticated show woman she is, she took that energy and poured it into the Patsy Cline song “Crazy”, with  Hotel Café resident guitarist Zane Chaney.  The effect was heart-stopping.  You could hear people whisper, “that is so beautiful” as she sang.

She kept the energy going with new songs  “Come Clean”, “Dance Real Close”, and  favorites  from her Down the Mountain album, “Heaven Help Me” and Your love Don’t Look Like Mine”.   And, again like the consummate show woman,  she saved the best for last. She belted out a new song, “Smoking Gun”,  a country rock earworm that literally had people clapping and dancing and shouting for more.

Not every song Jessie Payo sang Friday night was a Billboard top 25 hit, but several were, especially “I Will Die Alone” and “Smoking Gun”.  Jessie had a lot to say and in taking 11 songs to say it, some songs were blow-the-roof-off highlights and others were serious – and not so serious – conversations with her audience.  But her show at Hotel Café said clearly that she has arrived; Jessie Payo has the experience, the maturity, the talent and the magic to be who she is and succeed because she is true to herself.  A little more focus, a little more discipline and a lot more songs will carry her to top…it’s all there inside of her and much of it came out Friday night.  Fortunately, she knows that that and told me after the show she is plunging back into song writing, building up the inventory to support solo shows in the larger venues she needs to accommodate her outsized talent. When she does, I will be there, front and center to bask in the magic.


By Patrick O’Heffernan. Host, Music FridayLive!

Jessie Payo

Down the Mountain available at the website, iTunes and Soundcloud



Jessie Payo brings her high level blues talent to country and it works

arguably the best country EP by a woman available today”

 By Patrick O’Heffernan


Jessie Payo has literally grown up before my ears.  I first discovered her when she was fifteen through a blues site.  She was playing in small venues and recording CD’s which her mom would ship out from their house. I have every one of her albums – I bought them by mail as they came out and even talked with her mom on the phone once to see if I could catch her act in Northern California (no such luck).

In the years since then, Jessie has been a very busy lady, going to Berklee College of Music in Boston, acting in films and television, joining the Jupiter Rising band and then leaving it to strike out on her own as a country singer.  She has been recording, touring and opening for or singing with artists like  Melissa Ethridge, The Black Eyed Peas, Jason Mraz, Lauryn Hill and  Etta James. She is back in Los Angeles, singing country, the kind of music she is really comfortable with, and her recent EP,  Down the Mountain, demonstrates why sonicbirds said she’s emerging as one of the most gifted artists in the modern music scene.  As far as I am concerned she has emerged and gifted is an understatement

Down the Mountain Is the solid country Jessie is comfortable with, but because of her huge talent in blues, rock, soul and even rap, she makes it her own and  the result is infectiously unique.  Every song on Down the Mountain is a gem – addictive, commanding, honest – and in some cases painful because to some extent they come from her life.

The album opens with “Goodbye Yesterday” with a hard-riding beat reminiscent of  “Ghost Riders in the Sky” while Jessie’s stunning voice weaves a tale of breakdown and redemption.  Her poetic lines,

 Dimes by the dozen /Harder have I fallen
These days/Life lost its luster will I recover
I’m circling the drain

tells a story – maybe her story – that we have all faced. The juxtaposition of the fast strum and percussion with the melodic flowing  of the lyrics is something only Payo can achieve.
jessi. mike hand jeans300sq

Downshifting to “Your Love Don’t Look Like Mine”  Jessie cuts to the heart of so many relationships and so many men who don’t know themselves and damage they do to the  women who love them. Sung in a sweet ballad voice with simple guitar backing and muted violin, Jessie paints a picture, not of  traumatic heartbreak, but of slow dissolution in the emptiness of being separately together.

You held your silence/Three long years

I’ve been in hiding/swallowed my tears

Playing in your house/Could be your wife

How come your love don’t look like mine

The combination of those lyrics and that voice just stops you dead, makes you think, remember,  and wonder again about the lyrics in her previous song, “ Goodbye Yesterday”. Perhaps the lines You ask me to pack me things, then you say you wanna marry me/But it’s just too late, give deeper meaning to the emotions behind “Goodbye Yesterday”.

“Heaven Help Me”  touches country themes – whisky, faith, pedal steel guitar – but the lyrical poetry and the jazzy clapstick percussion tell you that this is something larger, more profound.  You won’t find lines like Love is all that matters/I can’t stand to be alone/I’m at the bottom of a wishing well in your average country song.  Once again, Payo effortlessly weaves a tale of loss and redemption in a country mode but with a sophistication and power few in the country world can touch. When delivered with a voice that spans multiple octaves and is precisely controlled without sounding like it, “Heaven Help Me” has all the earmarks of a hit on any Billboard chart.

The last two songs on the EP, “She Will Love Again” followed by “ I Will Die Alone” are counterpoints, two ends of a story that is and isn’t Jessie’s story.  But they are presented with a musical finesse and emotional kick that can only come from her personal involvement, to some degree, in the tales she tells.

“I will Die Alone” ends the EP and is my personal favorite.  Jessie brings her blues voice to the foreground  and twists your gut – literally, making sounds that tighten your stomach muscles. If you close your eyes her  minor guitar chords and golden voce can immerse you in a world of night and foreboding and strength and resignation. It is so strong you can see the music.

 Standing in the dead of night/gazing by the firelight /beneath the silver stars and moon of gold

A shadow a silhouette/to every soul I’ve met/The memories I can’t forget have grown so cold

jessi stage bw 

That song follows the optimism of “She Will Love Again” in which she tells us, and maybe herself, with a down to earth country twang and strumming guitars that

 She don’t care about the weather/Leaving footprints in the sand

Even though her heart is broken/Darling you will love again


Which song is true?  Which song is her? Why did she end with “I will Die Alone”?  It doesn’t matter.  Down the Mountain embraces us like a bear and like a lover – irresistible, desirable, frightening.  It is complex and deep,  but in the end a simple story lyrically told. Whatever Jessie Payo does, whether it is acting or dancing or country or blues, she does it at a very high level. Down the Mountain is  arguably the best country EP by a woman available today.

If you are in Southern California don’t miss the opportunity to see her live at the Hotel Café 8/15/14 in Hollywood.

Patrick O’Heffernan, Host Music Friday

Down the Mountain

EP by Jessie Payo

soundcloud, iTunes, Googleplay


Photo Credit: Jeff Hann

Photo Credit: Jeff Hann

Mustered Courage is a four piece modern bluegrass band from Melbourne, Australia. They might have the fundamentals of bluegrass, but they have definitely given the genre a facelift with their unique style and sound. Dubbed newgrass, they have brought an alternative edge to the bluegrass scene and have been energizing crowds across the country with their big harmonies and sweet pickings. It would be too limiting to categorize this band as bluegrass because their modern sound blends in everything form country, alternative, and rock. There is something for everyone to enjoy and connect with.

Band Members:

  • Nick Keeling: Vocals/Banjo
  • Julian Abrahams: Vocals/ Guitar
  • Josh Bridges: Vocals/ Bass
  • Paddy Montgomery: Mandolin/Vocals

Mustered Courage have recently released their sophomore album, Powerlines and whether you are a bluegrass aficionado or searching for that new music to add to your playlist, this is the album for you. The songs will take you on a musical journey and it starts right off with the energetic upbeat track of Standing By Your Side. You will find yourself immediately toe tapping as a smile comes across your face as you are excited for this new album.

Album Cover

Cruel Alibis is an amazing song with emotionally driven lyrics that starts off with a sweet serenade style and then picks up to the addition of the picking that has a voice of its own, creating emotions with each note.

Behind the Bullet has a nice country intro and the powerful vocals are really highlighted as they create a Southern style swagger. It has a dynamic string picking solo that gets you fully charged as the rhythm is gliding through your body. Another great song is the track Rosa featuring Kasey Chambers and her voice brings a great warm welcoming tone to the storytelling tale. The heartwarming song, My Hometown swirls a nostalgic air as it has you longing for a return to home, the place where your heart truly lies.

Allegheny takes it up a notch and gets you fully charged with the fierce string picking intro. Once again the strings take on their own emotion and voice which I find captivating. It really will have you in awe on this track as you revel in the precision and meticulous craft of their musicianship.

Towin the Chain is the highlight of the vocals of this band as they deliver a soul touching tale a-capella style that is powerful and impressive. The harmonies just grab a hold of you. Southern Style is just like it sounds a true ode to southern style and you can feel the charm come to life in this song.

The title track Powerlines is sure to stand out and it has a very alternative edge to it. The song brings to the forefront, the versatility of this band and it could easily be the track that draws non-bluegrass listeners into the wonderful world of Mustered Courage. It  has an Americana folk feel as the vocals and lyrics wrap around you to make that emotional connection.

Go To Hell has a high energy beat track and you can’t help but feel charged. Its rhythm enters you and is like a rush of adrenaline to your soul. The strings are spectacular on this track and will have you in admiration of their picking. The vocals have a great rough rawness that is the perfect edge to this song.


Miss My Ways is another one of my favorite tracks as the vocals bring depth to the well written lyrics that are emotionally driven and soulful. It has a catchy chorus that blends so well with the strings.  Old Steam Train has a big country sound with a honkytonk vibe. When you listen to it, you can almost picture yourself rockin on the front porch as you reminisce about train adventures of the past, thirsting for a new ride.

The final track Still Shinin is the perfect finale to this album. It has true fusion of traditional bluegrass with modern flair. It might be the last song on the album but it has a mighty large sound. Just enough to have you press replay on the album and start your love affair with Mustered Courage all over again.

You can pick up the album on iTunes, Amazon, or the physical copy through Make sure to also visit their social media sites and stay up to date on their latest news. Mustered Courage are currently on tour in the US so visit their Tour Page and make sure to get yourself to a show. I think they have a couple Northern California performance so we will see if we can bring you some coverage or an interview.

~ Marisol

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Aug 05 SMITH’S OLDE BAR Atlanta, GA
Aug 06 The Beatnik New Orleans, LA
Aug 07 Dosey Doe w/ Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen The Woodlands, TX
Aug 08 Lamberts Austin, TX
Aug 09 The Foundry Bar Dallas, TX
Aug 12 The Hotel Cafe Los Angeles, CA
Aug 13 Hotel Utah San Francisco, CA
Aug 14 Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Reno, NV
Aug 15 Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Reno, NV
Aug 16 Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Reno, NV
Aug 17 House Concert Santa Rosa, CA
Aug 18 The Crepe Place Santa Cruz, CA
Aug 22 Mississippi Studios Portland, OR
Aug 23 Sirens Tavern Port Townsend, WA
Aug 24 Tractor Tavern Seattle, WA
Aug 27 Revolution Brewing Paonia, CO
Aug 28 Pickin’ in the Park Paonia, CO
Aug 29 Lost Lake Lounge Denver, CO
Aug 30 Steve’s Guitars Carbondale, CO
Sep 03 The Cabooze Minneapolis, MN
Sep 04 Vangarde Arts Sioux City, IA
Sep 05 Shangri~La Fest Clarks Grove, MN
Sep 07 The Tonic Room Chicago, IL
Sep 10 Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill Grand Rapids, MI
Sep 12 Thunderbird Cafe Pittsburgh, PA
Sep 13 Triumph Brewing Co New Hope, PA
Sep 18 Sugarlands Distilling Gatlinburg, TN
Sep 19 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol, TN
Sep 20 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol, TN
Sep 21 AMA Sounds Australia Farewell Bash Nashville, TN
Sep 22 Whiskey Jam @ Loser’s Nashville, TN
Sep 24 The Boulevard Tavern Charleston, WV
Sep 25 The Purple Fiddle Thomas, WV
Sep 26 The Dock At Water Chillicothe, OH
Sep 27 Midpoint Music Festival Cincinnati, OH
Sep 30 Tir Na Nog Raleigh, NC
Sep 30 The Lincoln Theater (IBMA Bluegrass Ramble) Raleigh, NC
Oct 01 Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom (IBMA Bluegrass Ramble) Raleigh, NC
Oct 03 Wide Open Bluegrass Festival Raleigh, NC
Oct 03 California Bluegrass Association Showcase


Information & Links: 


by Patrick O’Heffernan, Host, Music FridayLive!

Billy Kay is one of the most interesting and talented artists ever to appear on MUSIC FRIDAY LIVE!.  A Long Island -born country western singer/songwriter who arrived in Tennessee by way of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Veterans Administration.  His Music is down-home solid country with a bit of rock, a taste of blues and a lot of soul.  He tells stories that are real with music that really  sticks to you. And , if that was not enough, he has published a new book on music marketing– his second – while he tours and records.

Kay donates his earnings to homeless vets, even though he is a homeless vet himself. No wonder Wynonna Judd tweeted “Ooooh Billy” about his music.  His new EP,  Bellmore, definitely deserves and “Ooooh” Billy for quality.


This 9-song EP ranges from classic somebody-done somebody-wrong songs in solid country mode, to modern blues and even a brush with 50’s style rock and roll.  But at its heart, Bellmore is Billy Kay doing what he does superbly, honest country music. In this case, he was having so much fun, and his lifestyle keeps the costs down enough, that he decided to give it away – you can stream or download it from his website, or get a copy when you donate to the RockCANRoll charity link in his website.

My favorite is “Turn the Radio Louder” a happy upbeat tempo sad country tale with twangy guitar and pedal steel about a girl who dumped him hearing one of his songs on the radio. “Ready, Set, Gone” is a country story about a woman who has had enough and is…gone.  The music is classic as is the story and both are unforgettable – you just can’t get them out of your mind.  “Honestly”, played with an echo and a hint of 50’s rock is a twist on a typical tale  – she wants to know how he feels. Instead of running away, the man in the song (presumably Billy) discovers that he is hopelessly in love with he and proposes – a happy ending song.


Kay ads diversity and range with “Lady” – a 6 minute “power ballad” as he calls it, which to me is  gut-wrenching acid blues. “Southern Girl” returns to its country home and is just what it sounds like:  an up tempo classic country paean to a southern girl who dumped him (they met later and became friends and she sat in on the recording of the song, with much laughter and smiles).

The entire album is just plain fun, great music, great stories, every one of them worth an “Ooooh Billy”.  Wynonna was right about Billy Kay.

Patrick O’Heffernan

Host,  Music Friday Live!


Bellmore by Billy Kay

Available for free download at iTunes,



Marshall Dane

Just yesterday we told you about Canadian country rocker Marshall Dane hitting the No. 1 spot onthe Roots Music Report for Pop Country Album, you can read more here.   Today we wanted to tell you about the music video which Marshall just released for Alcohol Abuse.  The video was premiered last night at a World Premiere party held in Ontario, Canada at the same spot it was filmed at. Filmed at Dirty Dog Saloon, the “Alcohol Abuse” video was produced by The Field, based in Toronto. Since opening its doors in 2007, The Field has garnered much acclaim for its work, racking up over 75 Much Music Video Awards nominations, along with numerous Juno and Canadian Country Music Association nods. You can check it out here:


Marshall currently has his single Alcohol Abuse  at #2 on the Pop Country Singles chart, behind Luke Bryan’s “Play It Again.” The song, written by Kim Williams and Billy Yates, comes in ahead of releases by Hayes, Paslay, Big and Rich and David Nail, among others. Marshall Dane is based in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada.  He is a four-time CMAO Nominee, having been nominated for Best Male and Best Album in both 2013 and 2014.  He will be performing at the May CMAO Awards ceremony.  Dane will release his “Alcohol Abuse” Official Music Video on April 17th, at Dirty Dog Saloon in Hamilton, Ontario.  We will update when the official music video is up for you you to check out.

Marshall Dane

You can head over to to Itunes here and pick up his album One of These Days. Make sure to visit his social media sites and stay up to date on his latest news.

~ Marisol

Information & Links:


We want to congratulate Canadian country rocker Marshall Dane on his album One of These Days topping at number one on the Roots Music Report for Pop Country Album! The album was directed by Dan Brodbeck and has been gaining a lot of attention. Other artists in the top 5 include Hunter Hayes, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry and Eric Paslay.  The album is nominated for Album of the Year at the 2014 Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) Awards.

Marshall currently has his single Alcohol Abuse  at #2 on the Pop Country Singles chart, behind Luke Bryan’s “Play It Again.” The song, written by Kim Williams and Billy Yates, comes in ahead of releases by Hayes, Paslay, Big and Rich and David Nail, among others. Marshall Dane is based in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada.  He is a four-time CMAO Nominee, having been nominated for Best Male and Best Album in both 2013 and 2014.  He will be performing at the May CMAO Awards ceremony.  Dane will release his “Alcohol Abuse” Official Music Video on April 17th, at Dirty Dog Saloon in Hamilton, Ontario.  We will update when the official music video is up for you you to check out.

Marshall Dane

Marshall Dane‘s vocals are definitely amazing, he has such passion in his song. You can’t help but be engaged with his country style yet teased with his rock side. You can check him out here in a video that features his song “One of These Days”


You can head over to to Itunes here and pick up his album One of These Days. Make sure to visit his social media sites and stay up to date on his latest news.

~ Marisol

Information & Links:

James Otto

James Otto

Today our Bottle Rock Napa Featured Artist is James Otto. Today I wanted to feature country artist, James Otto. I love James’ vocals. As many of you know I don’t listen to country that often. I guess it can best be explained by the following meme:

James Otto

James has such an amazing voice, he can take you from flirty, seductive, spiritual, comforting, and fun just by the range of his tones. He currently has his third album out, Shake What God Gave Ya and it is a collection of songs that highlight his powerful vocals and brings to the forefront, his heart of soul. The album is a journey of exploration of country-soul and one of my favorites on it is Soldiers & Jesus. The emotionally stirring lyrics are captivating and will feed your soul.  In regards to his latest album James explains,  “As much as there’s all these different fractures of country music these days—you have pop country, rock country, traditional country, alt-country, and all these things in between—I don’t know why country-soul couldn’t exist right alongside it all.” Shake What God Gave Ya is such a blast, spanning the spectrum from rump-shaking motivationals to pure romance, that even if Otto were country music’s sole soul man, that’d be genre enough.

James really brings a life to country and you can feel the influence of rhythm and blues in several of his songs. He really creates such an energetic and positive environment through his songs.  I am very excited to catch James Otto perform since his music is full of depth and layers, yet it is always uplifting. These days, we all could use more uplifting songs and smiles in our lives and James is there to bring them to us with his gift of music.  

Music:  Shake What God Gave Ya Latest Album which is available on Itunes here:

Songs to Check out: These Are The Good Ole Days available on Sunset Man 


Bottle Rock Napa Set: June 1, 2014   

Check him out and make sure to visit his social media sites for the latest news. Also mark your calendars for the weekend of May 30- June 1st for the Bottle Rock Napa. You can get more details about the festival and pick up your tickets at  You can check out below all the bands that have been announced and there are still more to come. Stay tuned for a new band featured each day for Bottle Rock Napa.


~ Marisol

Information & Links:



Oak Street Blues

Yes, that is right I called it alternative, country, rock and I might add even hints of electronic, blues and pop. That is exactly what you get from Southern California band, Oak Street Blues.The band was founded by Chris Hall, and with his 15 year history with several bands from a variety of genres, he brought together his influences to create their own unique sound that reminds me of a cross between Tom Petty and Wilco.

Oak Street Blues is Chris Hall on Lead Guitar/Singer, Stephanie Sheer on  Keyboards/Vocals, Jenny Arias on Bass and Alejandra Arellano on Drums. When they come together and perform you are guaranteed an energetic, lively and unpredictable time but hence you will always have fun! You may even catch sight of a Pumpkin, Penguin, Spaceman or Mr. Frog.

“Sometimes it’s nice to just get away from your daily life to enjoy a fun-filled concert setting that will make you laugh and jump around,” says Oak Street Blues guitarist/lead singer Chris Hall. “Rock ’n‘ roll comes to life at our shows. We will definitely entertain you.”

Their latest EP, Calico, is currently available through all major digital retail outlets in addition to the band’s official website  We will see if we can bring you an interview with Chris and find out more about Oak Street Blues. 

For now, make sure to visit their social media sites and pick up their EP Calico.

~ Marisol

Information & Links:

Music Friday Live Patrick O'Heffernan

Music Friday Live
Patrick O’Heffernan

We are pleased to share with you Patrick O’Heffernan’s interview with country star Billy Kay from his Music Friday Live show on

Billy Kay

Billy Kay


(conducted on air 1.10.14.  download at

Of all the country singers – no, of all the singers – we have had on Music Friday Live!, none has a story as interesting as our next guest.  And few write and sing music as well as he does.  And very, very few link their music to their life and their values as tightly as he does.  Billy Kay is a Long Island-born country western singer songwriter who arrived in Tennessee by way of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Veterans Administration.  (More on that later.)

Billy Kay’s music is solid country –  it tells stories of hurt and joy and women and life while it moves your feet, tickles your brain and stabs your heart.  Whether he is singing about the excitement of being embraced by a beautiful woman or the pain of being left by her,  his songs are earworms – they stay with you and end up on the top of your playlist. Best of all, everything he does, from his own homeless lifestyle to his tours and music, help other people.  I was fortunate enough to catch him between recording sessions and touring for a chat on Music Friday Live!

(The following is an abbreviated transcript of the on air interview conducted 1.10.14.  download the full audio  at

First check out Billy Kay‘s awesome video for his song Ready, Set, Gone:


Patrick. Billy, there are so many things to talk about with you it is hard to know where to start, but since this is a music program, let’s start with the music – let’s start with where the music started – age 5 with an accordion, is that right?

Billy.  Yes.  I come from a large Italian family and they all played some kind of instrument and on any given day, there were a hundred goombas (NY-area slang for Italian) in the basement for a wedding or a confirmation – any excuse for music.  Or we just sat out on the back patio and my dad played “Your Cheating heart” and other songs from their generation until I got old enough to leave. To be honest, that is what I do now, just like my dad did.  He had the crowd going, Aunt Kittie was singing uncle Louie was on the guitar Uncle James was on drums.

Patrick. And you switched to a guitar at age 7 because you understood that accordions were not great instruments for picking up women.

Billy. Just think about that…an accordion.  When will that come in handy.  Guy Lombardo is probably the only many who made it work.

Patrick. In that song you talk about a girl who left you and moved to Stone Mountain Georgia – about as Southern as you can get with its mountainside carving of Robert E. Lee –  and you wound up by chance living within a mile of her – did you ever get a chance to sing this song to her?

Billy. Don’t get me started on that one, dude.  We booked a recording studio about 4 miles from her house, my brother drove up from Savannah to sing backup vocals and she was late!  It took us about 2 hours to record the vocals and get them corrected and all that was left was the  “oohs” and “ahs”.  You got to be kidding me.

Patrick. You have said that when you sing that song, you hear a Beach Boys like wall of harmony in your head, instead of the three-part harmony in the song?  Can you explain that – is the song different from the song that you wrote?

Billy.  What I hear and what we record are sometimes two different things.  I like a wall of harmonies like Phil Spector used to do.  When I write a country song I tell the producer that here’s what I want – usually I say like the Eagles because they are 4-part harmony.  Here’s a country song. Make believe the Eagles recorded, four vocal tracks.  And then they say  it will sound too Eagle-ish we will give  you three vocals.  So I do it with three tracks.  If you listen to that song, it sounds like it is happy and upbeat, but I am really giving Debbie (the Stone Mountain girl who was late for the recording) a hard time. All of my songs have a little twist – they sound happy but the words say something different.

Patrick. Billy another song on the album about a woman is Ready. Set. Gone., but the context is much different. It is an incredibly powerful song that I understand that it was inspired by a woman who came into your studio…can you tell us the story?

Billy. Yes.  It is based on a real woman.  She was a stunning blond and she came in three days in a row with sunglasses on and I assumed she had been out late partying three nights in a row..  Then on the third day I saw that she had a black eye.  So we went out to the pool and she told me that her boyfriend just beat her all the time.  That didn’t make any sense to me – you don’t hit a woman.  So that night I sat down and wrote the saddest thing I could write and decided I can’t do anything with this.  So I moved it around so it doesn’t sound horrible and gave it an up-tempo dance beat so no one would cry over it.  It is about her and hopefully people will get the message that you don’t hit women.

Patrick.  I am very happy you brought attention to this problem and I think you did it the right way.

Billy.  I donate all the proceeds from that song to a battered women’s shelter in Las Vegas.  They invited me to the shelter.  It was a powerful experience…there were even kids there.  So they get those proceeds 100% perpetually.  They need it more than I do.

Patrick.  With stories like that, I understand why you donate proceeds from your album and merch sales and tours to shelters and organizations that care for battered women, but you go even further.  You live in a homeless shelter despite a successful music career, a huge website, a prolific twitter feed, and your songs on about every online music know in the universe.  Why?

Billy. The IRS seized my asserts and claimed that I had a son, which I don’t, and I was never married and divorced, which is untrue, and many other things that were wrong, and that I owed back taxes.  My Congressman said he couldn’t fight the IRS but since I was veteran, he would get me benefits.  One branch of the government took everything and another one is giving it back to me a little at a time.

Patrick. So you are now living in a homeless shelter. What is that like – do you have roommates?  What do they think of your music and  your career?

Billy. It depends.  I move around a lot.  I was in a shelter in Nashville which had a 7 pm curfew.  With a straight face I told them “hello – I play music where would you like me to play where the bar closes at 7 pm.– And, apparently all homeless veterans are ex-addicts and alcoholics so the VA won’t let you work anywhere where alcohol is served – like in a bar, where I play.  Even the bowling alley served alcohol …we couldn’t go to the bowling alley.  So they said we have this place in middle Tennessee in the middle of nowhere.  You can go down there.  I did and they have a curfew and rules but don’t enforce them.  But if I am gone for three days – like when I play in Alabama – I have to pee in a cup for a test before I can get back in.

Patrick. You are offering your Bellmore EP for a donation to RockCANRoll.  Tell us about RockCANRoll and why you support it?

Billy.  It is a great organization.  They have name bring acts like ZZ Top and Melissa Etheridge and Willie Nelson.  You go to their concerts and you donate can goods.  I can’t play the bog concerts in Madison Square because I am out here in the middle of Tennessee but I offered them that I would give my EP to anyone who donated and they said yes!.  So go to my website, and donate to rockCANroll. When you donate I get a notice and will mail you an autographed CD – US only.

Patrick.  One of our listeners wants to know if you play in homeless shelters.

Billy.  Well I live in a homeless shelter, so YES!.  Seriously, we were at a homeless shelter in Lexington, South Carolina  filming the video for When You hold Me Tight and a lady loaned up a classic Bentley Car and my model for the video was Misses South Carolina.  So we showed up at this shelter in a  Bentley with models and cameras and 50 guys in rags came out to greet us.  It was a scene and they weren’t convinced I lived in a shelter too. The only time anyone pulled up to a shelter in a Bentley.

Patrick.  Another listener wants to know if music helps you and others who are homeless?

Billy. Seriously, I don’t drink or do drugs so everything I write gets me through whatever girl is dumping me this week.  All my songs start off personal and then go from there.  I get email from people I don’t know who say a song inspired them or helped them get through something bad.  That’s why I do this.

Patrick.  And we are glad you do.  Thanks for being with us today on Music Friday Live!

Patrick O’Heffernan

Host, Music Friday Live!

Albums:  Country for a Cause. Ready…Set…Gone.  Bellmore EP.

Available at


That was an awesome interview!! Billy’s most recent song, Read…Set…Gone, is the #1 download in Las Vegas and South Carolina and is getting national attention as part of his fundraising for battered women shelters.  We can’t wait to bring you more of Patrick’s in depth interviews from Music Friday Live so stay tuned.  You can check out more on his website at

Enjoy, Marisol