The Mystics

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Something In The Air

When one thinks of Psychedelic Rock, they probably don’t think of Barrie, Ontario.  The Mystics are looking to change that.  This hard boiled quintet of serious musicians combine hard hitting southern blues, upbeat funk riffs and ambient sonic space to create a sound that is all their own.  Their influences include the genius of bands like The Doors, Pink Floyd, The Tragically Hip, The Guess Who, and Radiohead and that eclectic mix comes through like a mofo bursting out of your speakers.

The band consists of Thomas Roy on lead guitar, Sean Worster on keyboards/synth, Alex Ruth on bass, Jeremy Hucking on drums and Mob Artist, creator of Sproutwise Media, and the man who brought us another great Mob Artist band, The Noolands, none other than musical savant, Joshua Doerksen on lead vocals and rhythm guitar (but he has changed his name to something more fitting the lead singer of a great band — Joshua Lucas).

Book them now, they WILL blow up.  They are that good.  Don’t get caught sleeping.


Genre

Psychedelic Rock, blues, funk, ambient

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Wilfred Lee

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Discovering the Path of the Artist

In exploring his own artistic journey, Wilfred Lee reaches out to other creatives on their own paths to let them know they are not alone and teaches how the collective understanding of all our experiences can be used to create an essential toolkit for artists filled with methods to dramatically improve their abilities.  Which is why he created the Artists Journey, a social networking hub with the focus on “the ongoing growth and evolution of all artists in all media”.  By sharing his own artistic journey, via Twitch, YouTube or Instagram, he hopes that other artists may benefit and strive to express their True Selves, by constantly evolving their inner development.

Wilfred Lee is a creator.  Toronto, born and raised, he always had a curious passion and immense talent for illustration.  After graduating from Animation Arts, he traveled to South Korea in search of his cultural roots.  During his 10 years there, he began teaching English to all ages while working as a video game concept designer, art teacher, and caricature artist.  He would later express his True Self through performing stand-up comedy all around the South Korean peninsula with Stand Up Seoul and Waygoonies, which led to improv studies with Seoul City Improv, then he ventured into musical production under his pseudonym, “Sugarghost”.  Upon returning to the West, he now continues to perform Improv studies with Second City and has appeared in CBC runaway hit, Kim’s Convenience, as well as various commercials.  He’s met a lot of great people and amazing talents along the way and does what he considers his duty — honouring them by sharing the inspiration he gets along his own journey.

He would love to draw you, or make you laugh, or produce your new favourite song someday.

 

You can follow his official website ‘Artist’s Journey’ where he shares his daily dose of inspiration: 


Genre

Visual Artist, Comedian, Musician

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Sheldon Universe

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Ever-Expanding

Singer, drummer, dancer, musical director… Sheldon Universe is a musical solar system unto himself.  He does it all.  This Toronto-born multi-phenom hails from a large family that is made up of mostly musicians, so, essentially, he was born like this, due to the fact that he was immersed in the entertainment industry from a very young age.

At the tender age of 16, Sheldon was touring as the drummer in his family’s cover band.  That’s where his touring life began, and since then, he has toured with bands of almost every genre, and even was fortunate enough to tour with a Grammy award winner, Theodosii Spassov.

“While many people say go big or go home, Sheldon Universe embodies it.” – Owen Maxwell

After his first break-up, it was discovery of songwriting which got him through the rough patches and on the mend.  He learned to acknowledge the darker psychological traumas of love and longing and paired them with a musical outlet to enlighten and embrace positivity.  Due to his extensive training at some of the best performance schools in North America, he has been afforded many unique opportunities such as a Michael Jackson Tribute, a Fashion Photoshoot Production, and a Michael Jackson “Thriller” flash mob made up of over 300 people with filmmaker Mike Klassen.

His goal is to create joints that are meant to be fun, danceable, therapeutic, and musical all at the same time.

 


Genre

Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Latin, Rock, Country, Jazz, World

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Freeman Dre and The Kitchen Party

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Freeman Cooks up Soul Food in the Kitchen

Toronto’s Parkdale area has a reputation of being a mini-Bohemia den of various talented individuals.  Freeman Dre and the Kitchen Party was born as a jam session in a kitchen in the heart of the notorious neighbourhood.  Through hard work, essentially pure raw talent and their version of the modern folk rock sound, this band has become one of the most exciting live acts in the Toronto area.

“Dark, yet affectionate.”

— Sarah Greene, NOW Magazine

 

They call their sound “nostalgic vagabond trickster music”.  It describes their swagger to a tee.  Freeman invokes legends like Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, and Bob Dylan whenever he blesses the microphone.  The Kitchen Party consists of some of the best musicians in the GTA:

Lonny “Lon Tron Silver” Knapp:  Guitar, Mandolin

Derek Downham: Keys

Neil McIntosh: Drums

Joe “Bones” Ernewein: Bass

 


Genre

Folk, Vagabond Romance Music

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Jason Vitelli

 

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Artful Rapture

Blending dramatic arrangements, folk sentiment and audiophile production values, NYC artist Jason Vitelli presents Head Above Tide. On his third full-length release, striking lyrical poetics highlight the suite of 14 songs, which sparkle with musical immediacy, and upon repeated listening, reveal an expansive emotional landscape.

 “These songs coalesced around the idea of facing adversity and overcoming obstacles,” says Jason. “Over the years I’ve resolved my angst and became more sympathetic.” Romantic relationships, family, literature, fantasy and the culture surrounding him have become his personal points of reference in these stories.

What inspires Jason are characters in circumstances far different than his own, yet sharing a common thread of humility. For his song “Labyrinthine,” the pointed lyrics evoke the protagonist in the William Styron novel Sophie’s Choice, with driving string lines and tumultuous rhythm propelling her toward certain oblivion. The call and response harmonies in “Three Marionettes” portray the hardships endured by child refugees in the Second Sudanese Civil War; their oppression a symbol of the boundlessness of human cruelty.  “In a greater sense, none of us can emerge out of any trauma unscathed,” he notes.

“The reason that we love film and art is that they bring us out of ourselves, show us someone else’s reality, and in doing so, allow us to understand ourselves more through the process… As hard as life can be, grace and compassion will always keep our heads about the rising tide.”     

For “The Persecuted,” he references recent history when the New York State Supreme Court validated marriage equality. “When you are going through a difficult moment, it helps to realize that persecuted people, even in the throes of despair, have found ways to overcome their struggles,” he says. With the evocative “Autumn Hymn,” Jason imagines echoes of Charles Ives and the sound of a marching band disappearing into the dusk, a metaphor to mirror the passing parade of life.

Born and raised in the village of Dix Hills, Long Island, Jason recalls his first imaginative instincts as a child. “I was interested in creating something from nothing, and sharing it with other people. I felt like an outsider to some degree; introverted and intrigued by intricacy.” After attending Binghamton University for Music Composition and studying film scoring at NYU, he apprenticed with acclaimed TV composer Gary Pozner and subsequently wrote music for various short films, documentaries and mixed media projects. Soon, however, Jason felt the urge to shift his focus to live performance, opting to reinvent himself as a singer-songwriter.

Read the featured article on our city site Mobtoronto here.


Genre

Art Rock

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Paul Maged

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Rock Resuscitation 

Paul Maged, out of NYC, just dropped his new album “Light Years Away”, that contains a perfect melange of his influences (Green Day, Pearl Jam, Billy Joel, Chris Cornell just to name a few).  The cleverly crafted animated music video for the title track is a must see. Read the review from Mobtoronto here.

In another life Paul performed stand-up and sketch comedy, even appearing in background roles on Saturday Night Live as well as lead and supporting roles in independent films.  He often incorporates his wit into his songwriting.  The track “Light Years Away” is about humankind’s evolution within the universe and the consequences of its actions, but is, at the same time, an ode to loved ones we share our journey with.

 

 


Genre

Rock

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Sluka

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Sluka, hailing from San Diego, has recently released his 11th album, “Colorful Radiation“.  He has been referred to as a “Modern Day Renaissance Man”.  All instruments played on CR were played by him.  Read the featured article on our city site, Mobtreal, here.

Born near Seattle, Christopher Sluka had a multinational upbringing as he was raised all around the world, with his family never spending more than a couple of years in any one place — this life experience is evident in his cosmopolitan musical sound.

Over the years, after building up a large international fanbase, Christopher’s visionary style has developed and matured, yet he remains enigmatic by keeping a focus on creative songwriting, while building an international reputation for his enthralling live performances.

Leaving them wanting more has translated into numerous television appearances, memorable radio interviews, and excellent press reviews, wherever he has travelled and performed.  Besides his uniquely accessible music, Christopher is also a globally renowned visual artist and his surrealistic paintings have graced gallery walls from New York to San Diego, Tokyo to Milan.  He is also an accomplished aircraft pilot.


Genre

Rock

Website

www.sluka.com

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Matt Townsend

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Drifting Through Dreams

A little over a year ago, North Carolina’s Matt Townsend released the first installment of a two-part EP series, entitled “The Drifter and the Dream (Part 1)” featuring some of North Carolina’s finest indie folk musicians.

The album, produced by Michael Selverne at Echo Recording Studios, draws on influences from American Folk, 60’s rock and pop, American indie rock, and ambient music.  Read the featured article on our city site, MobCalgary, here.

“…Like Bruce Springsteen and Woodie Guthrie before him, Townsend channels in elements of folk, rock, and roots to create a great sound that doubles as a magnifying glass on his country’s pulse.” – LORDS of DOGWOOD

With his unique voice and his world-weary insight, Matt Townsend delivers his music with a side of American Pie.  His main influences are Bob Dylan, Neutral Milk Hotel, Neil Young and many others of that ilk.  Despite his recording and touring, Matt is also the founder of Eternal Mind Records, a new arts collective and record label located in Asheville, NC.

Matt was recently tapped to record with the Asheville Symphony for their latest release, The Asheville Symphony Sessions.  His contribution, “For Now, We Are”, was arranged by Michael Bearden (Neil Young, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga).


Genre

Folk

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Eric Anders

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Folk Rebellion

Californian singer-songwriter, Eric Anders, released his ten-song anti-Trump album, Eleven Nine, in the Spring of 2017.  He also just released his new EP, Recoveries.   He is donating all of the album proceeds from Eleven Nine to Lambda Legal.  True money-where-your-mouth-is activism at it’s best.

Eric got into writing and recording songs in his late thirties and then tried to make up for lost time by releasing four critically acclaimed CDs in four years:  Not At One (2003), Songs For Wayward Days (2004), More Regrets (2005), and Tethered to the Ground (2006).  After taking a five year break to get married and have a few children, he released Remains In Me (2011) followed by Big World Abide:  The Best of Eric Anders (2016).

Whereas Eric’s early releases were all recorded in Los Angeles, Eric’s later work would all be recorded in Seattle.  In 2006, Eric and his producer/guitarist, Matt Brown presented their cover of the Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun” to the song’s writer Gordon Gano.  Music critic, Mark Wilson, called the cover “astounding” stating that “With some approved lyric tweaking, Anders’ slowed-down, ethereal take turns the song from an 80’s party anthem to a tale of romantic exhaustion and resignation.”

In addition to Eric’s songs being heard on radio all over the world, his song “So Wrong” from Tethered to the Ground was used in the 2007 Michael Schroeder film, Man In the Chair, starring Academy Award, Christopher Plummer.  Eric was inspired by Michael Apted’s 1992 documentary, Incident at Oglala, to write the politically charged songs about Native American’s history of oppression in the U.S.

On 11/9/2016, a day that will live in infamy, Eric, now an established family man in his fifties, knew he had to take a break from promoting Big World Abide and get to work on some new songs to make his third political CD:  an anti-Trump ten song LP, which he decided to name Eleven Nine after that day and in reference to that other cataclysmic day for America, 9/11.  Read the featured article on our city site, MobAngeles, here.

 


Genre

Folk

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Danii Roundtree

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Danii Roundtree has got next.  But that’s because she is an appreciator of those who came before.  Special souls like Andra Day, Amy Winehouse, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu & Billy Holiday.  She’s been honing her craft for years, but now, with her debut single, “Crave”, she’s not just knocking on the door, she’s kicking it down to let you know that She is Here.

“Crave” is the first single off of her debut album “Memoirs” set to drop Summer 17.  The smart move would be to get on this now before everyone else does.  Trust me, it feels good to tell everyone you knew who Adele was a full year before the world did.  You don’t want to miss this boat.

 

In her own words,

‘Memoirs’ is an album written from true life events.  We all have that one love story that ends before it starts.  And I just so happen to be a singer/songwriter who documents through song.  This album is literally a collection of my memoirs…. The sound has a throwback feel that is Jazz-oriented with Funk and Soul elements…”

Danii, a former American Idol and Miss USA Pageant contestant, will be performing at the end of the month on the Next Generation Stage at the 40th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival (attended by 120k patrons) along with her band, The Retro Rebels.


Genre

Soul

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