Big Med Playlist for The Big One | Margaret’s Daughter – Halo

Winding down this evening with a great acoustic cut from Margaret’s Daughter with ‘Halo’ captured live on their 2011 summer tour in Cape Town, South Africa. Elegant guitar work interwoven with beautiful and inviting vocals – this track has such a wonderful groove to it and is great way to end a peaceful Easter Sunday spent hanging out at home with my family.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, Margaret had a daughter. She called her Adri-Mari, or Ami for short. Fast forward a couple of years and Ami has established herself as one of South Africa’s top singer-songwriters. Together with multi-instrumentalist and indie producer, Etienne Ghyoot, they are the Margaret’s Daughter duo that fans have come to know and love.

Over the years, Ami and Etienne have paid their dues by performing literally hundreds of shows. They’ve shared the stage with most of South Africa’s top artists, played many major festivals and have even performed internationally (Mexico, England, Spain, Mozambique). Several of their songs have been play-listed on commercial and community stations countrywide.

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Big Med Playlist for The Big One | Workin’ On Fire – Compelled to Rebel

Gritty in the way Green Day used to be oh so long ago.. these kids [trust me, they’re just kids] are crafting some really good songs, displaying some honest intensity on-stage, and generally enjoying the whole process. Adding ‘Compelled to Rebel’ by Workin’ On Fire to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One. 

This teen (12th-Graders) alternative rock, power trio, played their first gig August 1, 2009 at The Venue. Since then they’ve recorded three CDs (EP: Exit; LP/Album: Mike Smith; LP/Album: Metaphoria). With over 150 gigs together (including in Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA) this 2011 Boise’s Got Talent Grand Champion has headlined at the CenturyLink Arena (formerly Qwest) and is a regular at the Knitting Factory Concert House. In the media they’ve been featured on TV: on Channel 7 (KTVB) and FOX 12 News; and in print in: the Idaho Statesman (front page; favorable M. Deeds CD review), the Ontario, Oregon Argus Observer (front page), the Emmett Messenger-Index (front page), and the Boise Weekly. Additionally, The X and The River radio stations have covered them. They have performed for one of their now raving fans, Chef Duff Goldman (Food Network: Ace of Cakes and Sugar High), played with All Time Low, and opened for Middle Class Rut.

AUSTIN WILLIAMSON: Band co-founder and the lead: guitarist, vocalist, and writer, Austin is a singer-songwriter whose passion, since picking up the guitar (classically trained), at age six is music. One of the top all-around high school guitarists in the Pacific Northwest, Austin began being noticed at age 13, first for his guitar play when pulled on stage by Tommy Castro and Kenny Neal (BB King R&B Champ) and also that same year for recording a Dunlop Crybaby guitar foot pedal video demo in his bedroom and receiving hundreds of thousands of ‘hits’ on YouTube for its creativity. In 9th grade he won first prize in the ArtsWest Guitar-off (with a perfect score) and recorded his first original scratch-track that same year. A committed poet and lyricist, Austin is currently enrolled at the Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA), simultaneous to his high school studies.

ZACH BONAMINIO: Zach is a self-taught drummer and co-founder of Workin’ On Fire. A grade school friend of Austin’s, Zach is an avid biker, photographer and snowboarder (Bonaminio Sausage family). He is currently a music theory student, and many of the band’s photos are his handiwork. Zach is known to play gigs with a broken arm (broken from snowboarding, of course).

PETER MAGUIRE: Peter is a thoroughbred slap bassist who also contributes backing vocals for Workin’ On Fire. Known to tinker on the drums and keyboard, Peter is also the 2011 5A state track and field 110 hurdles State Champion (also a varsity letterman in soccer). Interestingly, Peter’s grandfather (Walt Maguire) was the E.V.P. for London Records, with his famed production including ‘Monster Mash’ and the signing of ZZ-Top.

Austin Williamson – Lead Vocals/ Lead Guitar
Zach Bonaminio – Drums/ Percussion
Peter Maguire – Backup Vocals/ Bass

1) EP (Exit)
2) LP (Mike Smith)
3) New album (Metaphoria)

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Big Med Playlist for The Big One | The Particles – Taken Away

With one of the most unexpected breaks I’ve ever heard in the midst of a hard rocking song, this is ‘Taken Away’ by UK-based The Particles. This song is an epic rock almost opera in an easy-to-digest condensed format that smacks of a wholly original world meets metal sound. The imagery on the video is a mindblowing sci-fi fantasy ride and feels a bit like a trailer for a feature-length movie begging to be made.’Taken Away’ moves fast, hits hard and will leave you wanting to hear more from this very original band.

Ash – Producer, Lead singer
Nayla – Singer, Song Writer
Sabrina – Singer
Avesta – composer, Gítar

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Big Med Playlist for The Big One | The Ballroom Thieves – Loose Lips

It’s funny. Of all the versions of this song, it is one of the earliest vids that caught my ears’ attention.  Here’s ‘Loose Lips’ performed by two-thirds of The Ballroom Thieves – Martin Earley & Devin Mauch captured live in a livingroom somewhere in time. The Ballroom Thieves now includes Rachel Gawell on vocals and cello further enhancing an interesting indie folk sound that reminds me of Ten Toes Up.

The band released an EP in January 2012 entitled The Devil & The Deep (produced by Mike Davidson). They’ve been playing shows in the New England area for two years and have one national tour under their belts.

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Big Med Playlist for The Big One | Randy Vera – CFA

Holy crap. It’s the second coming of Eno & Byrne with Tom Verlaine riding shotgun. Boston-based Randy Vera’s hallucinogenic ‘CFA’ is the latest add to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One and this tune will most assuredly carry you through any parts of your next shift that threaten occasional bouts of weirdness. Extremely well-produced and creatively chaotic, ‘CFA’ is a wild romp. Turn it up & enjoy the ride.

Randy Vera is currently recording with 12-time AIAA Gold and Platinum Producer Anthony J. Resta (Twilight Films Soundtrack, Elton John, Collective Soul). His style is influenced by a Masters in Philosophy from Boston College, and his music training from the Longy School at Harvard Square. Writing in the Folk, RnB, Rock, and Jazz genres, Randy has released 4 full-length albums, and his songs receive regular radio play on WMFO FM and WZBC FM in Boston. His music has also been featured on ESPN and PBS (WGBH) TV productions, and more.

Randy Vera’s song “Bug Dialogue” is being featured in a film about surfing. In 2001, he was recognized by his college friend Paul Stanton in his film “On the Line” (Miramax), where he was the inspiration for one of the main characters portrayed by none other than N’ Sync’s Joey Fatone.

“Through music, and being around this small entertainment community in Boston, I got lucky and was booked in the Mark Wahlberg film “The Fighter.” I was only paid background, I literally held a door in a shot, but thanks to Mark Wahlberg and Boston Casting, I had an awesome experience, and have worked on a bunch more films. I worked on Mark Wahlberg’s new film “Ted,” in a bigger role, due out 2013, and have made innroads with Music Directors. It’s there that I got the best advice on production and writing music for film.

“I have three daughters. They are my life. I have over 150 songs now, and more poems than I care to count. I try to get better at music every day. I gig two nights a week around Boston these days. I’m the Musician in Residence at a venue called “The Snug” in Hingham, MA. I’ve been playing every Wednesday night at the Snug for three years now, keeping sharp. I’m greatful I get to do what I love.”

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Big Med Playlist for The Big One | Chris Cosby – Southern Youth

A delightfully engaging slice of alt country life in this add to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One with Chris Cosby’s ‘Southern Youth.’  “In the absence of a demanding grace…. I love this town and I love your face… and it won’t last long …you’re here then you’re gone….unless you roll the dice.”

Chris Cosby is a singer/songwriter from Richmond, Virginia who has just completed his debut full length album entitled “Southern Youth.” Having been born and raised in the South, he has sought to find his voice by going back to his roots. Southern Youth blends the heartfelt storytelling heard in country folk music with the raw emotion found in British alternative rock.

With his first album, Chris is attempting to reach listeners on an international level. After having already played concerts along the east coast, Chris has gone from performing with internationally-known rock band The Whigs to performing alongside the likes of Maroon 5 and Stone Temple Pilots at Musikfest 2011 in Bethlehem, PA.

In a culture of music where genres and styles are blending more and more, Chris Cosby’s songwriting is a perfect fit in the ever diminishing gap between pop, rock, and folk.

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Big Med Playlist for The Big One | Dan McCormick – Coney Island Girl

Dan McCormick’s words in ‘Coney Island Girl’ are stand-alone gorgeous. This song is masterful on multiple levels – the understated vocals allow the listener the mental space to weave imagery around the music. I’ve never been to Coney Island however Dan McCormick’s song allowed me to visit with my own memories of beaches, surf, and the tapestry of life on the summer sea shore. The video is a keeper with sparse shots that are a perfect companion to this song. Bravo!

His debut CD “Broadway Lights” is now available on iTunes. This thirteen song collection calls to mind the days when singer-songwriters topped the charts with character-driven lyrics and memorable melodies.

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Big Med Playlist for The Big One | Paul Cook and The Chronicles – Six Places

Adding ‘Six Places’ by Paul Cook and The Chronicles this Sunday morning. A beautifully-crafted song that sounds like it might have come out of another era altogether with shades of Simon & Garfunkel and maybe even a few ghost whispers of The Mamas & The Papas.

In late 2009 singer-songwriter Paul Cook began cataloguing stories. Drawing on other people’s experiences and made whole with his own, 2011 saw the first airing of these chronicles (‘Six Places’).

Tipping a hat to contemporary acts like Cass McCombs and Kurt Vile and inspired by the melodic hit of early 70s Paul Simon and the acerbic attack of ‘Blood On The Tracks’ era Dylan, Cook’s heartbroken odes are are anything but garden variety.

Newly completed debut album ‘Volume 1′ was Produced/Mixed by Julian Simmons (Guillemots, Midlake) with Paul Cook, and represents the opening salvo in a four volume sequence of long players due out over the course of the next 24 months.

Early radio support has come from the likes of BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and XFM, (including a live session on the Dermot O’Leary Show on BBC R2).

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