Sunday, June 17, 2012

Liz Lawrence

Liz Lawrence is an acoustic singer/songwriter from London, England. Starting in the punk rock and ska scene, she has been able to show an edgy style to her music. 

She describes her music as, “bittersweet, romantic, melodic, honest, homemade and sentimental.” 

“I like to think I take the strength and emotion from the high octane records I grew myself up on and use that energy on stage,” Lawrence said.

Performing live has been the most enjoyable experience in her career, according to Lawrence.

“I love the studio process and the intricacies, I love production and arrangement and the control, but the product is totally different to what you get taking the song at face value and playing live,” Lawrence said. “On the tight-rope or the trapeze, live performance leaves nowhere to hide, it heightens your senses, it’s exhilarating and difficult and you will never play or see the same show twice.”

Lawrence’s latest album, “Bedroom Hero,” focuses on song writing. 

“I wanted to express the feelings of excitement, sacrifice and fragility that songwriters subject themselves to in order to create something important to people,” Lawrence said. “The album is personal but also universally aimed at the heart of the listener through the emotions of my 18- and 19-year-old self.”

Lawrence has been letting her music take her to new places.

“I’m just enjoying playing and writing at the moment and working out the plan for the album release too,” Lawrence said.

Her debut album was released on March 30th in the Republic of Ireland.


Bison is a seven piece alternative folk band from Chesapeake, Va. that has been focused on American history.

“We try to be forward thinking in our music while holding to some traditional roots,” lead singer and songwriter Benjamin Hardesty said. “Since the bison is an iconic symbol of this time period, I just latch on to it as a name for the band.”

“We call (our music) Mountain-Top Chamber music,” Hardesty said. “It combines alternative folk sounds with classical sensibilities.”

The band has been influenced by movie scores, old bluegrass, Allison Kraus with Union Station, Borodin’s String Quartets and Fleet Foxes.

With seven members in the band, each member has been able to give their own touch to the music.

“The sound, though guided by me, is definitely a blend of what each member brings to the mix,” Hardesty said. “We knew when we added the strings that we wanted them to maintain the classical feel that came with their training.”

Bison’s album, Quill was released in September of 2011, focusing on its live performances.

“We had been playing locally and gaining a following,” Hardesty said. “At every show people were asking for recorded music. We knew we wanted to capture our live sound. Switzerland was recorded in one take with the violin added the second day. It is very fulfilling when we are told that our album sounds like our live show.”

Live or in the studio, Bison has unique sound that many people will enjoy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Eric Lives Here

Eric Lives Here is an unsigned pop rock band from Appleton, WI, who formed at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI, in 2006, consisting of Mike Thiel as songwriter and singer, Bill Glasheen on bass, and John Menn on drums.

“The band kind of started on a whim,” Thiel said. “I was working on some songs with my guitarist, Chris Schmitz, in my dorm room with the door open and a girl walked past and said, ‘Hey that sounds really good! I’m throwing an event in the dorms on Friday. Would you guys like to play?’ I looked at Chris and we were like, ‘Yeah, I think we can put a band together by then.’”

After that, the band made its first EP, called “Misplaced Mistakes,” and started performing. Eric Lives Here writes its music based off real life experiences.

After college, the band members started to go in different directions, but Thiel decided to continue to pursue music.

“I worked with a lot of musicians in Wisconsin and out-of-state, trying to rekindle that chemistry the band had, but besides a few glimpses of hope, it just wasn’t happening,” Thiel said. 

Thiel met with a friend who was a producer in California in 2011 and had the chance to start again.

“After a few more flights out to California, we eventually created ‘The Night is Young’ album, which we turned around pretty quickly, releasing it in December 2011. Being able to bring the band off of hiatus filled this massive void I’d been feeling for the prior two years,” Thiel said.

“The Night is Young” was a combination of songs written in Los Angeles and previous songs.

“I wrote the lyrics, drummed the songs and sang the songs, while my guitarist/producer Bruce Lawrence created the guitar and bass melodies,” Thiel said. 

“I can’t say I’ve never written from direct experience, but most of my music is written from a culmination of experiences,” Thiel said.  “I also find myself observing other people’s situations and writing about that. It’s really just about living life.”

In the future, the band hopes its music is heard by the public and enjoyed.

“I think for most musicians, the goal is always to get as many people to hear your music as possible,” Thiel said. “Whether that’s signing to a major label, getting on a TV show or playing 365 gigs a year is up to the musician. For me, playing live is a great way to express this music and radio play certainly wouldn’t hurt in today’s market.”