Stephan Hogan releasing new music!

image1.PNGNot that long ago, we shared a story about Stephan Hogan, country singer and guitarist from Sacramento, California who made it into the top 5 for Guitar Center’s National Competition – On Stage with Vince Gill. Selected from thousands of entrants, Stephan got to rehearse and play with Vince Gill at The Mint in Los Angeles.

2017 hasn’t slowed down for Stephan. He has been busy recording  his latest EP, “Dangerous Love,” which will release March 17th, in addition to fielding interviews, playing shows and getting ready to join Vince Gill on tour at one of his shows this year. 5397c19dca4babd9016ac51ac3a8499b.jpg

Stephan spent a lot of time writing his next round of songs for the EP with the support of family and friends. As an artist, it’s very easy to mold your songs into what is currently trending, but not necessarily a true representation of your sound. This EP promises to be 100% Stephan Hogan, and we had the pleasure of previewing it before it’s released. Some of our favorite tracks include, “Girls Love Love Songs,” and the title track “Dangerous Love.”

 

To find out more about Stephan’s new EP, please visit his website.

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Katie’s Korner – Spotlight on Braeden Counts

Katie’s Korner showcases primarily new talent. Talent that is unsigned, undiscovered and raw. We search through facebook, vine, YouTube and submissions for tips on some hot new singers out there. This week, we have stumbled upon Braeden Counts who recently covered Florida Georgia Lines “Anything Goes” and posted it on twitter, with awesome feedback from the guys! Check out his twitter page and post.

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Braeden is from Sutherlin, Oregon – a town that hasn’t changed much over the years and one where everyone knows everyone. Even his mom went to the same high school. An accomplished athlete in high school, Braeden soon realized after graduation that he had other talents to be proud of. He picked up the guitar, started teaching himself to play and ended up writing songs. He is currently working with a vocal coach. We had the pleasure of listening to his first song “Shot of You” via YouTube and we have to say we love it! It’s still a work in progress, but this guy definitely has some talent!

Check out his original song below on YouTube and support his journey. We are hoping to see very big things from him in the future.

You can also visit his website for more information

Striking Matches coverage from Cre8tive Reviews!

 

 

 

Cre8tive Reviews recently had the pleasure of working with Country Duo “Striking Matches,” when they stopped by Country Station KJUG to play a few songs for us. They are an amazing new duo who will no doubt make a BIG impression on country music.

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With their T Bone Burnett-produced debut album, guitar-wielding duo Striking Matches creates an unexpected and unique sound that defies easy categorization. The music of Striking Matches—Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis–occupies that sweet spot at the intersection of country, rock and blues, where all of the elements blend to form an authentically raw and rootsy sound that has a timeless and international appeal.

Indeed, their songs including “When the Right One Comes Along” and “Hanging on a Lie” have been featured on ABC’s hit drama series Nashville and recorded by the show’s stars Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen, and attracted an international fan base. Their first performances in London produced sold-out shows and audiences with a deep knowledge of their lyrics, even before the release of their first full album. Their debut self-titled EP was named among iTunes “Best of 2012″ and received national attention from outlets such as NPR, the BBC and The Wall Street Journal.

“The Nashville TV show was definitely a big break for us,” Sarah says. “It was the first time we had any national or international attention. That opened the door to a lot of fans finding us here in the U.S., but even overseas when the show came out in the U.K.,” she says.

Striking Matches is the debut artist on the newly revived label, I.R.S. Nashville, and has toured with Train, Vince Gill, Ashley Monroe and Hunter Hayes.

“Our music is best left up to interpretation, but we hope it represents an amalgamation of everything that has influenced us over the course of our lives, which comes from rock and roll, country and blues, and we fall somewhere in between all of those,” Justin says.

Although their debut album is a perfect fit in the landscape of today’s commercial music, it also stands out from the rest of the pack with its driving rhythms and simple yet artful production that’s designed to showcase the compelling harmonies, honest lyrics and innovative guitar playing. They had a hand in writing all 11 songs on the album, which captures the high energy and spontaneity of their popular live shows.

Of course, that’s not surprising, given that both have built a musical foundation on guitar playing and gravitate toward guitar-driven music, such as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, Steely Dan, Patsy Cline, Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins. Justin is known for his fast, intricate playing, while Sarah was influenced by the blues guitarists who strive to make every note count and last. “I have always found Sarah’s guitar playing interesting because it seems to complement mine,” he says.

Both shared the same dream growing up, even though they came from different backgrounds and regions. Justin was raised in Atlanta by parents who work in the medical field. “While they didn’t play any music, they had really great taste in music and that helped set me on a path that I am forever grateful for,” says Justin, who was raised on music such as Sam Cooke, Petula Clark, Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Motown greats.

He began writing songs at age 10 and has been playing guitar as long as he can remember. But he looked like a late bloomer compared to Sarah, who was raised outside of Philadelphia and began playing clarinet in second grade, violin in third grade and guitar in fourth. Her father was a musician who repaired woodwinds and other instruments in a downstairs studio, so she was immersed in music and was influenced by the Dixie Chicks. “They proved to me that a girl can play just like a guy can play,” she says. “They were my inspiration for being a lead guitar player.”

Both decided to pursue their dreams of having a career in music by moving to Nashville. Their paths crossed when both decided to attend Belmont University in 2007 and major in guitar, so they attended the same guitar seminar class and were randomly paired together by their professor early in the semester.

“It was a room full of guys and we were saying, ‘Well, as long as we don’t get the girl, we’ll be all right,” Justin recalls. “They called my name and Sarah’s. I thought, ‘Great. It’s all over now.’ I said, ‘Do you know any blues?’ She pulled out her slide and proceeded to leave everyone’s jaw on the floor, including mine. It was one of those ‘we should do that again’ moments.”

And they did just that. They began performing songs by Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss and Keith Urban, which led to writing together, which resulted in their first public performances at places such as the Bluebird Cafe. While they continued to perform with others, they loved the music they made together most of all. “This was always where we were having the most fun,” he says. “It was the most fulfilling. It was a dynamic of complement that didn’t exist anywhere else.”

Sarah won a scholarship to take a songwriting course at Vanderbilt University, and one of the guest speakers was veteran music executive John Grady. “He sat down, looked at me and said, ‘I know you,’” Sarah says. “The day before, someone had shown him a video we put on YouTube and he liked it. We started talking and got back together the next day. I think it was fate.”

After discussions with several labels, they accepted the offer to be the first artists on I.R.S Nashville. “I don’t know that there is a cooler label that I would want to be a part of,” Justin says. “It has such a history and it feels right.”

The duo was also thrilled when they heard that famed producer T Bone Burnett, who produced their favorite Grammy-winning album Raising Sand by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, wanted to work on their debut project. “The environment in the studio was all vibe,” Sarah says. “It was really relaxed. T Bone has a way of making you feel super important and everything you are doing is right, and if it is not, he will guide you to where it needs to be. He knows how to bring out the very best of us.”

The best includes songs such as “Hanging on a Lie,” which they reinterpret with grit, a distorted mandolin and a mid-song jam session, as well as the organic and honest “Nothing But the Silence,” the guitar-centered “Trouble Is As Trouble Does” and “Make a Liar Out of Me” and groove-oriented “Never Gonna Love Again.”

“We haven’t written our best song yet,” Justin says. “We are so proud and grateful for everything so far, especially this record, and the sky is the limit for us. Creatively, we started writing songs while we were in the studio and especially when we finished. There was no resting. We are still hungry.”

Adds Sarah, “We have more to say and we want to be heard.”

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We definitely liked what we heard, and so did the fans. Tracking on iTunes even showed that in the UK they were #2 for preorders in download sales. They have a unique and great sound, chemistry and are a fresh group looking to take over the airwaves!

To learn more about Striking Matches and to purchase their music, please visit their OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

 

The Swon Brothers didn’t need to wait until Later On to rock the Tulare Outlet Center

The Swon Brothers brought strong vocals, original songs, and energy to a large crowd that gathered, despite the heat at the Tulare Outlet Center. As if it couldn’t get any hotter, 106.7 KJUG FM hosted the concert and the guys rocked the crowd. They played some classic hits from their time on the tv show The Voice and their current single “Later On.” They also sang “Danny’s Song,” “Turn the Page”, “I can’t tell you why”, and “Drift Away.” Their vocals were strong, and the guys sounded confident, and even better than they did on The Voice. The guys had a great time sharing stories from their time on the show, and interacted with fans young and old.

The Swon Brothers (Zach and Colton) first hit the national radar charming fans with their incredible sibling harmonies and fun-loving personalities as finalists on Team Blake in Season 4 of NBC’s The Voice. Newly signed to the Arista Nashville record label, the brothers returned to The Voice in December of 2013 to perform “Later On,” the first taste of the Muskogee, OK, natives’ upcoming album, helmed by producer Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans). The journey marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the history of the Swons, who had the ambition to take their first swing at a record deal when they were only 9 and 11 years old, asking their parents to stop in Nashville so they could audition at record labels on their way to a family vacation in Florida. Recently honored with the Rising Star award by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, The Swon Brothers are currently writing and securing songs for their major-label debut album, coming in 2014.

 To take a listen to their album which comes out later this year please visit this link.

Or visit their Official website

Scotty McCreery rocks Hanford for 106.7 KJUG’s Summer Concert Series!

106.7 KJUG kicked off their Summer Concert Series with the first of three free shows in Hanford Civic Park, in Hanford Ca.  American Idol winner  Scotty McCreery sang his heart out to the crowd.  His fans were very excited to come to the show from all over the state to Hanford Civic Park. Some fans even put their chairs out as early as 6am so they had the best seat in the house.
We got to meet up with Scotty before the show, and  talked about the experience he had on American Idol.  He said it was definitely an interesting start on Idol, and as the weeks went by he wanted to sing his style of music but Idol wasn’t sure if it was the right for the show. Well, we definitely think it was the right fit for Scotty and his fans from Idol agree and voted him all the way to the win!
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We looked out to see all of his 8,000 fans that came to support his music. When he took the stage he did not disappoint them. He started rock’n some classic songs and then some from his current CD “See You Tonight” like “Carolina Eyes”, “The Dash”, “Forget To Forget You” and” Get Gone With Out You.”  These were some of the songs that were a great surprise and his fans enjoyed hearing.
The show was acoustic and it showcased his voice and the magic that makes Scotty a great singer with captivating charm. We are looking forward to many great songs by Scotty McCreery down the road.
To learn more about Scotty and his music, please visit his Official Website.

Lindsay Ell and Leah Turner rock Exeter, CA for 106.7 KJUG’s Summer Concert Series

(Credit: PBreski)

(Credit: PBreski)

Whoever said that country music is dominated by men, must not have made it to see these ladies. Cre8tive Reviews caught the amazing shows of Lindsay Ell and Leah Turner at a recent summer concert series hosted by 106.7 KJUG. The concert was a free event, held in Exeter, California where they opened for Eric Paslay.
We started out with Lindsey Ell a guitar phenom. She started playing at the age of two.  She entertained the crowd with her amazing guitar playing and a great voice. “Don’t Take Me Home” & “Trippin On Us” where crowd favorites. Check out that purple guitar! To listen to Lindsay’s Music please visit her Official Website.
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We were excited to see Leah Turner!  If you remember we spotlighted her earlier this year. We meet up with Leah and we were in for a great show. She started out singing “Make your move”, then followed with “Take the keys”, “Mamas Cowboys”, “Blessed”, “Sharp dressed man”, “Sticks and stones” her current single “Pull me back”, “Cowboy” and she ended up with “The Finger”. A very upbeat song about that one guy that you need to kick to the curb and give him that ring back from your finger. She joked maybe another finger too. Hmmm…I could think of a few people deserving of just such a thing.  To listen to Leah’s music please visit her Official Website.
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Leah Turner