Friday, August 26, 2011

Ellie Holcomb: Magnolia

For those of you who have followed Musicsourced in the past probably know by now that Jamen and I are huge fans of Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors and all they do.  Earlier this week I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Drew's better half, Ellie, had released a brand new solo acoustic EP titled Magnolia.

Ellie wrote Magnolia having been inspired by the book of Psalms, and after listening to the album, one cannot help to feel inspiration and even experience goosebumps. Already having been impressed by her work with Drew and the Neighbors, Magnolia offers a different look into this very talented young artist.

Personally, this past year has thrown a gauntlet of new challenges and hurdles that have sometimes seemed as if I was "treading water" and left me wondering if I would be able to keep my head above water.  It's often music that allows me to escape for a while to gain a different perspective on things and again see the bigger picture that isn't always as clear as it should be.  Ellie's new album is a great example of that.  

I recommend going to Ellie's new website and downloading her album.  You can even do something great by supporting the Mocha Club.  By doing so Ellie is offering a FREE download of her entire EP.  Enjoy !

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Civil Wars: Daytrotter Session

Just a quick update here. The Civil Wars have recorded four tracks with Daytrotter that are now available as a free download. Our site receives a lot of traffic from people searching for free tracks from The Civil Wars so I thought I would link this post to some of their great music.

The Civil Wars are made up of the duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White and they have garnered a lot of attention for their unique vocal blends. The Daytrotter recording session includes music from their debut album "Barton Hollow" as well as a really good take on the song "Disarm" by The Smashing Pumpkins. John and Joy do a fantastic job performing this song. I also really enjoy the piano on their song "C'est La Mort".

For the new listeners out there, you can expect that The Civil Wars will sing to your hopeless romantic side. They do a wonderful job of vocally interacting with each other throughout each song that gives you the sense of the push and pull of a personal relationship. Thanks goes out to both The Civil Wars and the efforts of Daytrotter to bring quality free music to the fans. You can download The Civil Wars session for free by using the Daytrotter link below.

Update: A free DIGITAL BOOKLET for "Barton Hollow" can be downloaded from the Civil Wars band site. The digital booklet includes lyrics for all of the tracks and band photos as well.

The Civil Wars - Daytrotter Session

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Music Device Review: SRS iWOW 3D

Have you ever considered updating your car audio system? If you are a windows down and radio up type of music lover, you may have considered the option of improving your car audio sound. This could possibly include a new audio deck with internal or external amplification as well as upgrading your factory-installed speakers. On several occasions, I have priced out these types of car audio upgrades, but I have never pulled the trigger for obvious reasons. Car audio tech is EXPENSIVE.

My Jeep Grand Cherokee and I have been together for two years now and I have done nothing to improve the audio experience in the car. I've been very proud of myself for not dishing out thousands on car audio tech, but I have still been looking for new solutions to get a better sound. Today I can tell you that I found a new product that has drastically improved my car audio quality at a price equivalent to 10 gallons of gas ($35-$40). If that price point just caught your attention, I will warn you now that this device is only for iPods, iPhones, or iPads. If you're an iLover like me, you're in luck, so read on!

The device is called the SRS iWOW 3D. It's a hardware dongle that fits in between an auxiliary line and your dock connector on your Apple device of choice. The product is made by SRS Labs, which is a leading licensor for audio solutions and software. You will find SRS technology in many of today's HDTVs, cell phones, and car audio units. All you have to do is plug the dongle into your Apple device and your car radio, and the sound improvement might just literally blow you away.

So how does this whiz bang gadget fill up an entire car cabin full of audio? The iWow 3D is designed to restore the digital audio files on your mobile devices to full audio quality playback. Digital audio itself comes in many forms of compression (mainly .mp3 files) so that your songs take up less space and you can store more music on your device. During the compression process, audio data is removed from each track and the quality of your song is reduced. The SRS iWOW 3D detects and restores the missing audio cues to its full featured sound. The added bonus of this product is that there is also a custom application that can be downloaded from the Apple app store that can be used to improve the bass and treble performance in your vehicle.

So in conclusion, the SRS iWOW 3D will restore your digital files to CD quality, as well as improve any song's audio response by giving the treble and bass some extra kick. When I'm driving around town in the Jeep, it sounds like I am travelling in an IMAX movie theater! The audio has more detail and it really makes those stock audio components blast in your car. I have even had some friends ask where I have hidden the sub woofer in my car. That is when I point to the iWOW 3D.

The iWOW dongle is not only made for the car either. It can be used to improve the sound in your headphones, home stereo, or any other sound component that uses an auxiliary-in line. The iWOW app even has an option to customize the audio response for the sound environment you select (headphones, speakers, or car). If you are looking for a literal BANG for your buck, the SRS iWOW 3D is a very nice option.

Here is the SRS iWOW 3D product page.

Article first published as Music Device Review: SRS iWOW 3D on Blogcritics.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Serialbox Presents - David Ramirez

Well David Ramirez has done it again by finding another way to freely release music to the fans. This time he has been featured as a part of a live music video project from SerialBox Presents. This project is all about recording live music cuts from some seriously good artists in an alternative form (not the CD version). This means live raw music professionally video taped and recorded for music fans. I'm going to have to feature their work with some other artists on here because they have worked with some of my favorite artists. You can get a head start on me by checking out the SerialBox Presents website.

Now we have covered the music of David Ramirez twice before and I am personally a big fan of this guys music.  I have never had the opportunity to see him live, but I have seen a few of his other music videos. Ramirez in my opinion is more than just a musical talent. The guy has a knack for not just singing you a song, but he can pull you in to the experience of the lyrics until you feel it. I think if I ever heard David Ramirez sing a song about a heart attack, my heart would start pounding, my head would feel light, and I would be on the verge of dialing 911. Read an excerpt from another persons experience of hearing David play live and watch his SerialBox feature video below.

"From the corner of the room, I see David walk up on stage carrying his guitar. He plugged in, put his beer down by the mic stand, and started playing over the chatter and clinking beer bottles. And that is when something truly special happened. By the end of the first verse, half of the room was silent. By the end of the first chorus, the entire room. By the end of the first song, the bartenders stopped serving drinks because the entire bar was on their feet and had moved in towards the stage. Every head was turned, every conversation halted, every eye on him."

The best part of this project for the fans is that the recorded music is available for free download. Like I said, I will have to feature more music from the SerialBox Presents sessions because they produce fantastic work and they record some really incredible music talents. You can download four free tracks from David Ramirez that was recorded during this session on his website, or by using the widget below. Also below you will find a link to the David Ramirez page on the SerialBox site where they post interview questions and give the credits for the video. Fantastic work.

SerialBox Presents: David Ramirez

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Amazon Music - Get Your Free Music Fix

There are times when I get the urge to hear something new, but then I have no idea what kind of music I am in the mood to listen to. This is when I turn to the wonderful services of As most of you probably know, Amazon has tons of free music. So much free music I can't get to it all. But I like to occasionally cruise through the top free albums and the top free song downloads.

Free Amazon MP3 Albums
Free Amazon MP3 Songs

I found a lot of good music today so I wanted to share some of the free albums with you. Since there were so many, I figured I would break it down by genre and then comment on my favorites. Everyone should be able to find something they like from this list.

Rock - Fearless Records Summer Sampler '11

I love me a good rock sampler. Because solid rock music is a great soundtrack to the summertime. The Fearless release is about half modern rock and half screamo. Now I am not a fan of screamo but I did find several songs on this sampler that deserve some play. "Blackout" by Breathe Carolina features a cool electronic sound that cuts out the audio during the chorus to create an actual "black out" vibe. Other tracks I like are from artists Every Avenue, Sparks the Rescue, Amely, and one of my favorites Go Radio.

Indie Pop - 23 This Year: The Sub Pop Amazon Sampler

So many different sounds coming off of this sampler. It's definitely a free download to check out. I love how the song "Helplessness Blues" by the Fleet Foxes builds throughout the song. I love the words to the chorus of "Lost in My Mind" by The Head and the Heart. I love the acoustic guitar on "Not Enough" by J Mascis.

Soul/Funk/R&B - Ubiquity 2011 Summer Sampler

Everyone could use some solid Soul/Funk in their lives. Several songs sound familiar on this sampler but I have no idea where I may have heard them. All of the these songs really have a solid sound. My favorite beats are provided by the artists PPP, Radio Citizen, Orgone, and Nomo And Shawn Lee.

Sleep Music - Native American Flute Lullabies

Go ahead and call me crazy on this one. I myself almost laughed when I read the title of this free Amazon album. But seriously, take a moment to giggle and then check out a few of these songs. If I was a person that had trouble getting sleep or trying to relax I would love this compilation of songs. They of course feature a Native American flute, but each track also features the sound of nature. Most of the nature sounds create a backdrop like you are camping out in woods in the middle of the night. Perfect soundtrack for bedtime. That's if you are used to the woods and not the waves!

Electronic / 80's - Stockholm Belongs To Us - A Labrador Records Compilation

This album was probably the hardest to categorize. Most of the songs carry an electronic vibe and reminds me of some sort of 80's hits album. My favorite track is the first on this album titled "Heaven's Fire" by The Radio Dept. It has a great vibe and backbeat and I really dig the use of the audio soundbyte at the beginning of the song. Other tracks I liked were "Would You Say Stop?", "Jesus, Walk With Me", and the winner for the best title award "I Love You, You Imbecile" by Pelle Carlberg.

Artist Sampler A Home for Singer Songwriters
The Artist Sampler Mishara & Friends

If you want to hear the next songs that might be featured on your favorite TV shows this fall, these albums would be a good place to start. The singer/songwriter genre dominates today's TV shows and leaves everyone wondering "Who sings that song?!?!". You will look pretty impressive to your friends if you could name it without using Shazzam on your iPhone. Favorite songs off these albums are all of the songs by Peter Bradley Adams and Colin Devlin. I also like the song "Seed In The Ground" by Jason Spooner.

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