Fresh from Cincy: Artists Without Limits (AWOL)

Artists Without Limits Hip Hop From CincinnatiI was fortunate to make contact with a young hip-hop group from Cincinnati several months ago. We were introduced by a client of mine who was a mutual contact; he was starting to book them gigs in the Midwest and wanted me to do PR for them.

They are Artists Without Limits (AWOL), a foursome who have known each other for several years and grown up together making music and developing their skills. The one thing I’m always concerned with when working with new clients is whether or not they are serious about their craft. I want to know that artists are locked in on their careers and mentally invested in the rigors and ups and downs musicians go through.

In Spring of this year, they opened up for Young Dolph in Cleveland and I did my first PR work for them on that show. I mostly wanted to be sure they made the most of the experience, stayed professional, and worked the crowd as much as possible. They did that and then some, and made it clear they wanted more.

Flash forward several months, and they were poised to release their debut video, “Bad Intentions”. Throughout the planning phase, they started showing me that each of them was all-in and ready to put in the work to put an album out the right way. We started working on the video campaign while searching for the right person to bring out their best in the studio, and through their connections, they linked up with Chino Dolla. Chino is Yung Joc’s manager, has a platinum album to his credit, and is one of the sharpest people I’ve come across in the music industry. In addition, they’re working with Noyz Armstrong as a booking agent, which is already paying off: This Saturday and Sunday, December 16 & 17, AWOL is heading to California to play the Rolling Loud Festival, as well as some high-profile afterparties.

Things are just starting to get interesting for all four of them, and our entire team is excited about what the future holds. For now, check out “Bad Intentions”, but stay tuned for their new music in the coming months. You’ll hear about it here first.

Artists Without Limits links

“Bad Intentions” http://smarturl.it/c6bf9n
Website http://www.artistswithoutlimits.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/awolimits
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/awolimits/

We’re back, on 4/20, to bring you something special from 9 Mile Roots

Pre-Orders Start for ‘ReEvolve’; New Album From 9 Mile Roots Out May 19

All Pre-Orders Receive Immediate Download of Lead Single “Drifting”
Pre-sale link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/reevolve/id1225562610

9MiRoots-250

“(9 Mile Roots) is definitely an Irie Magazine favorite.”

9 Mile Roots - Full Band Photo1

Pre-orders are now available for 9 Mile Roots’ new album, ReEvolve, which is set for release on Friday, May 19. All pre-orders will immediately receive a download of “Drifing”, the lead single from the album. In addition to the start album pre-orders, 9 Mile Roots are giving another taste of their new material via a remix in the spirit of 4/20:

“ReEvolve iTunes Pre-Sale Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/reevolve/id1225562610

The video for “Drifting” which recently premiered on ThePier.org, can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdOdy225NZE. Irie Mag also featured a new track from the forthcoming album, including “On The Floor” in their April playlist, saying “This Suburban Roots Reggae band founded in 2009 and based out of the Baltimore / DC metro is definitely an Irie Magazine favorite.” Listen here: http://www.iriemag.com/irie-magazine/world-reggae/04-04/. And look out for the June, 2017 issue of Irie Mag, which will feature 9 Mile Roots on the cover.

9 Mile Roots’ is a dynamic eight-member band that serves up their music with equal doses of bouncy hip-hop flow and definitive rock edge centered around their reggae vibes. Never content to write and record the same types of sounds and songs, the band focused on the evolution of their sound on this release. For those that appreciate cerebral, poetically driven lyrics paired with rich layers of guitars and horns, 9 Mile Roots delivers strongly with their unique blend of music, which they dub Suburban Roots Reggae.

ReEvolve was a long time in the making, because as bassist Josh Behun puts it, “We are always evolving, reinventing ourselves, both as a band and as people. We don’t rush anything when it comes to making music, we only set out to make the songs that we really feel shine the light on who we are at a given time. We feel that ReEvolve is a really good reflection of who we are right now.”

ReEvolve Track Listing
1. Feel
2. Drifting
3. Bad Blood
4. On The Floor
5. The Battle
6. On The Wire
7 Premonition
8. Paper
9. Sun
10. Stand
11. Hands Back Up
12. Volcano

Links
Website http://www.9mileroots.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/9mileroots
Twitter https://twitter.com/9MileRoots
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVjZ7FptmvuSModAHJW2oqA
SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/9-mile-roots

We Were Pirates – “Matter”

WhenWe Were Pirates - Matter We Were Pirates puts out new music it gets me excited for a few different reasons. One is that Mike Boggs, the mastermind of We Were Pirates (WWP), is talented yet completely unassuming–the lack of pretense in his approach is refreshing in this day and age when many artists think that since they can record their sounds and have a social media account that they and their music should somehow be magically famous.

Where they miss the point, Boggs totally gets it. He makes the music that he likes, keeps the songwriting tight and puts it all together in a cohesive package. The lack of posturing, irony and whining gets two big thumbs up from this old-school music lover; it’s what also makes me respect him as an artist and musician. The good ones never need to resort to millenial-esque self-infatuation, they realize that the product will either be good enough to stand on its own, or it won’t.

For those unfamiliar with WWP, Boggs is the singular musician behind the band, recording every part of the songs he writes himself. On Matter, Boggs brings indie rock and synth-pop sounds together neatly, hearkening back to a warm and gauzy 80’s feel that smartly pulls off sounding familiar and new at the same time. Not sure what I mean? Try this on for size: when Hollywood gets around to remaking the brat pack movies (Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, etc), they need look no further than Matter for the soundtrack.

That’s not to say that the strength of this album is limited to pure nostalgia and throwback goodness. For those that like the lyrics in the music they enjoy to have meaning–true, real-life meaning, not insipid catchphrases that pander to the disengaged and simple-minded, Matter delivers strongly in that way. It’s not so much that Boggs weaves ornate tales or comes across too intellectually for some, but it’s the straightforward honesty in his lyrics that grab my attention and hold it there. There is something very refreshing about the reflective nature of the songs on Matter, which I wish more musicians would pay attention to. Truly no single song can solve the woes of our planet, but when real, honest lyrics cut through the mindless clutter surrounding our everyday lives to make us really think, that is when a musician becomes an artist. In my opinion, Boggs was already there with We Were Pirates. Matter just solidifies that feeling, and it makes me relieved to know that Boggs and We Were Pirates exist.

Give Matter a listen to hear what I am talking about. No need to give me credit when you feel these songs in your gut, wondering what personal tempests led Boggs to create them. They’ll make you pause and think, and the album is solid all throughout, cutting through the clutter and noise that make up so much new music to clearly stand out.

Get Matter for yourself:
iTunes: http://apple.co/1QuRrVH
Spotify: http://spoti.fi/219XSlV
Physical CD: http://bit.ly/1SlAEZP

Bumpin’ Uglies new EP has best title ever: Sublime With No One

BU-SublimewNoOneYeah, they went there with that title. Aren’t you glad they did? I am, because they just set the reggae/punk/rock scene back closer to a state of normalcy than it’s been in a loooong time.

If you listen to Bumpin’ Uglies enough, several things will hit you, perhaps unexpectedly to the uninitiated. First will likely be but that name! You may ask yourself, do they take themselves seriously? Is it a gimmick? What type of characters make up this band? Second will be the direct and from-the-gut lyrics lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Brandon Hardesty throws down. Third will be the characteristic humor and charm you find in him and his band, realizing that they make grooves that are immediately recognizable, memorable and loveable. Which I suspect is exactly how Brandon wants it.

Stream Sublime With No One  on Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/album/0r8mVEt4LpixMYsrI5Ml8X

That’s not saying that Brandon doesn’t take his music seriously; he certainly does, however he holds nothing back in poking fun at himself and life in general, but it comes out right when it’s the true words boiling out. It’s just Brandon and Bumpin’ Uglies. See the final track title and lyrics for what I mean.

So it came as no surprise when Brandon contacted me to ask my thoughts about naming the next Bumpin’ Uglies release Sublime with No One. In my opinion there is no other band out there that could do something like this and have it make complete sense other than Bumpin’ Uglies. There will never be another Brad Nowell, we will never have Sublime again, especially the brutally honest and at times gut wrenching lyrics. It is something Brandon shares with the late legend, and it’s something that I applaud. Be who you are, be true, and own it. Brandon has never tried to be anything he’s not, nor has his music ever veered into places that were of questionable intent. In an age where everyone is becoming hypersensitive to words and speech they deem un-PC, Brandon flips them all the proverbial bird. And for that I am grateful.

Irreverence? Check. Humor? Check. Honesty? Check. Integrity? Check. Five new tracks of punky-reggae-dirty-rock-ska goodness from Bumpin’ Uglies? Yes please. These guys are slowly yet steadily developing legend status, mark these words: They are never going away. Sublime With No One just proves that they’ll never change, and obviously they’ll never sell out and try to be something other than Bumpin’ Uglies. Not many bands can say that…hell, not a lot of people can even say that.

Brandon and Bumpin’ Uglies approach is decidedly old school in a new school world. No pretense, no made up facade, no over-inflated sense of self-importance from them, ever. There was only one Sublime, and it should be said that there is only one Bumpin’ Uglies.

Sublime With No One track list:

  1. Warning
  2. Social Ladders
  3. Nostalgia
  4. Maturity
  5. Fuck It

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/bumpinugliesmusic

http://bumpinugliesmusic.com/