Midweek Muse: A Valley Son - Loose Buttons - Jo Harman - Les Bohem

A Valley Son - In the Low Light of the Late Afternoon.

Background - “In The Low Light of the Late Afternoon", is the newest single from A Valley Son’s debut Sunset Park EP that they’re self-releasing on January 27th. The song tells a cautious tale, and perfectly showcases the bands’ harmony-laden, soulful rock & roll, following on the heels of the EP’s previous singles, “Lights In The Sky” and “Dark Places”.

As a band that is barely a year old, this collection of songs is simply a starting point for A Valley Son (whose name comes from the title of a deep cut from Grandaddy’s catalog), but it’s a strong one. Much like their home base of New York City, the group is an anomaly, comprised of three Southern transplants that grew up on Stax and Motown, and one Yonkers-born Gospel drummer turned bassist.

After seeing a generation of bands seemingly value aesthetics over substance, the four members vowed to make music that strips away all of the unnecessary decoration and puts songwriting, emotion and musicianship back at the forefront, and their debut EP does just that. Their songs aim to invoke a Sunday service as much as it does a barroom, and the stories the songs tell are no less truthful and honest than the playing. Facebook here.

Second time around on Beehive Candy for A Valley Son and another track from their extremely good EP this time we have 'In the Low Light of the Late Afternoon'. Last time we described their EP as a "mixture of alt rock and Americana (via southern rock and everything between!)". Hopefully you will find we were not overstating matters, with this fine new tune to share.


Loose Buttons - Am I The Only Reason?

Background - Loose Buttons release the new track "Am I The Only Reason" followed by their forthcoming EP, Sundays due Feb 24, 2017.

The promising quartet met while playing for different local bands as teens, eventually coming together and releasing their debut EP, Damage Gallery,in 2014. Since then, Loose Buttons have honed in on a blend of new wave and pop that is all their own.

The band comprises of Eric Nizgretsky, Zack Kantor, Manny Silverstein and Adam Holtzberg. Facebook here.

It was a month a go today that we featured Loose Buttons for the first time and the new song 'Am I The Only Reason?' is also deserving of a feature. In December we said "Straight down the line indie rock is taken up a notch or two, with some melodic guitar work and vocals that just draw you in". With the new song things are a little more gentle however the band have a consistently good sound and demonstrate their ability to deliver a fine melody as well.


Jo Harman - When We Were Young.

Background - Award-winning soul and blues singer-songwriter Jo Harman will release her much anticipated second studio album, People We Become, on February 3rd. Recorded in Nashville with producer Fred Mollin (Billy Joel, Joe Cocker, Carly Simon, Jimmy Webb) the album features soul legend Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers) on the first single “When We Were Young.”

Raised in Southwest England, Harman found success on her own terms with her debut, Dirt On My Tongue. The album was released independently in 2013 and supported by a touring schedule that found Harman sharing the stage with icons like Patti Smith, Joan Baez and Sinead O’Connor. Dirt On My Tongue was embraced with particular devotion by the blues community in the U.K., with Harman racking up more than a half-dozen nominations from the British Blues Awards.

People We Become marks the biggest leap of Harman’s career. While a winter storm raged outside, Harman and Mollin holed up inside Nashville’s famed Sound Emporium Studio for three weeks, focusing on a warm sound — full of upright piano, Rhodes, unaffected bursts of electric guitar, and the soulful sweep of Harman’s voice — that contrasted with the town’s snowy weather. The most striking instrument on the album is Harman’s voice, sharpened by her years on the road, and sounding better than ever.

A veteran of the UK festival circuit, Harman released the live album Live at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014. She’ll make her US debut at Joe’s Pub in New York City on March 28. Additional tour dates will be announced soon. Facebook here.

Whether its Blues, Soul or even something with a little hint of Nashville about it, Jo Harman delivers as 'When We Were Young' more than capably demonstrates. Adding Michael McDonald into the equation gives the song some well placed supporting vocals, however I think it fair to say Jo Harman has firmly put her stamp on this track, as her song!


Les Bohem - Fancy Footwork.

Background - Les Bohem was part of the great Los Angeles music scare of the early 1980s.  His band, Gleaming Spires, had a cultish hit with their single, “Are You Ready For the Sex Girls‚” (if you ever saw Revenge of the Nerds, you know it).  At the same time, he was holding down a day job as the bass player with the band Sparks. 

After this burgeoning career in rock and roll stopped burgeoning, he found a job writing screenplays about rock and roll musicians whose careers had stopped burgeoning. But no one makes movies about rock and roll musicians whose careers etc, and so he wrote A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5, The Horror Show, and bits and pieces of several other memorable epics.

Eventually, Twenty Bucks—a movie he wrote based on a 1935 script by his dad, Endre, a screenwriter and producer from the 1920s through the 1970s— was developed in both the Sundance writers and directors labs.  The film earned critical raves and several awards, including an Independent Spirit Award.

Bohem’s other feature film screenwriting credits include Daylight, Dante’s Peak, The Alamo, Kid, Nowhere To Run, and The Darkest Hour. He also wrote and execute produced the mini-series Taken with Steven Spielberg.  Les won an Emmy for Taken, as well as a Television Critics Award and a Saturn award.  He and Taken were also nominated for a Golden Globe and a Writers Guild award   Right now, he's executive producing the first season of Shut Eye, a show that he created. It is set to premiere on Hulu this December.  His short novel, Flight 505, was published by UpperRubberBoot last year, and his short story, “Geister,” is included in Blumhouse Books’ inaugural offering, Book of Horrors. 

Les has never stopped playing music. He's had songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis, Freddy Fender, Steve Gillette, Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde), Alvin (of the Chipmunks), and the awesome Misty Martinez.  He wrote and performs Walk On Well Lighted Streets, the title song for Shut Eye.  He has just finishing recording his first solo album, Moved to Duarte. Facebook here, and Website here.

With twenty one tracks on the album 'Fancy Footwork' is but a small taste of whats to be heard. This is a truly delightful collection of songs, so much so, it enables me to say for the first time this year, if you like the featured song, the album is a must have...