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Showing posts from 2017

Video Spotlight: I Dreamed a Dream by Chase Holfelder

Chase Holfelder was a fairly recent discovery for me and when I was looking around for Les Mis covers and saw that he'd done this one, I was immediately intrigued. If you're not familiar with Chase, I did a video spotlight on him last month that you can read here. But he does a series on his YouTube channel where he takes songs that were originally done in a major key and puts them into a minor key. It's so interesting to hear how different this can make a song sound. Chase takes it one step farther and changes up the instrumentation. I think it's probably safe to say that you've never heard "I Dreamed a Dream" like this before!
Check it out.

Video Spotlight: Bring Him Home by 7th Ave

We continue my Les Misérables celebration with an offering from one of my new favorite groups, 7th Ave. I've written about them before and undoubtedly will continue to do so as I have really enjoyed everything I've seen from them so far.  When I was coming up with the Les Mis related videos that I wanted to highlight, this was a pretty obvious choice and when you watch it you'll see why. It's an a cappella rendition of "Bring Him Home" and that's all I'm going to say about it for now. This cover features Kelley Jakle (the blonde one) who made the decision to leave the group earlier this year to pursue other projects. I don't think I've written about them since it was announced that she was leaving. She has a beautiful voice and I'm happy that 7th Ave introduced me to her. I wish her the best moving forward, along with the remaining members of 7th Ave. They've done some covers with some guest artists that have been great. I'm excit…

Video Spotlight: Les Miserables Medley by Lindsey Stirling

When I decided that it was time to get back to writing my blog, I decided that I wanted to focus a little more of musical theater. It's something that I've loved for a really long time. I remember going to see shows with my family at a relatively young age and seeing musicals is one of my favorite things. Last year, I dedicated an entire week to The Phantom of the Opera. Last month, I did a write-up about one of my new favorite shows Something Rotten and now? Now I've decided to dedicate the next few posts to Les Misérables.

Les Misérables was the first musical that I ever truly loved. There'd been shows I'd seen and liked, but there was something so special about Les Mis. The first time I saw it was at the lovely National Theater in Washington, D.C. with a group from my school when I was in 7th grade. I remember sitting up in the balcony and being completely mesmerized by the show. I ended up getting both the CD and the VHS - yes, the VHS - of the 10th Anniversary …

Album Review: Timeless by Home Free

I would say that this became one of the albums I've anticipated the most, not just speaking of 2017 but in general. Why you ask? Because it's Home Free for starters and if you're new here, I love these guys a lot. They have become one of my all time favorite groups and the reason why should become apparent once you listen to them. 
Seriously, I know a lot of the people who read this are reading it because they already love them. I'm hoping that this might inspire those of you who haven't heard them yet to hop of the Home Free bandwagon. They've released music videos for a few of the songs and I'll be including those in the post, so you don't even have to leave the post to hear them if you haven't. The videos are all great so let me go ahead and say that you're welcome ahead of time.
The other reason I've been anticipating this album? Because it's the first non-holiday album that they've released with their newest member Adam Chance.…

Video Spotlight: Sam Tsui

I first found out about Sam Tsui from a collaboration that he did with one of my favorite male singers, Peter Hollens. As it turned out, some of my friends are also fans of Sam's and there was a point where I kept seeing people post some of his videos. So finally I decided to go check out his YouTube channel. Turns out, he has all kinds of great covers on there and even some originals. I liked him and knew it was only a mattered of time before I wrote about him. 
The only trouble was picking which video to write about first. There were a bunch of strong contenders and it's safe to assume that all of those will get a spotlight at some point down the road. But it was hard to pick. The obvious solution was just to do a video spotlight on Sam himself.

We'll be talking about five of his videos. Starting with the first one I saw.

Album Review: Road Less Traveled by Lauren Alaina

This album came out back in January, but I found myself listening to it the other day and wondered why I didn't review it. Better a few months late than never, right? Lauren Alaina is quickly becoming one of my favorites. She's one that I can't help but root for; I want to see her do well. Her first album came out over five years ago - really, probably closer to six years by now. She was still a teenager then. It's been interesting watching her mature and develop as an artist in the space between these two albums.

There's so many situations where someone will experience some level of fame as a teenager - in Lauren's case, she was on the tenth season of American Idol - and they'll get to a point where they start become almost obsessed with proving that they aren't a kid anymore. Often in ways that involve them turning their backs on the young fans who made them famous in the first place. Ironically, in these cases, all they really end up showcasing is ju…

Video Spotlight: Chase Holfelder

I'm going to be honest and admit that the singer that I'm featuring today is a bit outside of what I usually listen to. I suppose if you had to classify these songs, they'd fall under the category of alternative rock. I think. Whatever you want to call it, it's not a style I listen to all that often. It happens every once in a while, as evidenced by this post. But it's a bit out of my wheelhouse, so to speak. That said, I always enjoy when I end up liking something that I wouldn't expect myself to like. It kind of surprises me how much I enjoy these songs and I don't mean that in an insulting way. They're just so different from the other things I listen to most of the time. 
I first heard of Chase Holfelder via a tweet I saw from Chris Rupp where he mentioned liking the first cover on the list and included the link. I like Chris a lot and was intrigued to check out the video. Whoa. It's a song that I grew up listening to, a song from one of my favo…

Album Review: Moon Songs: Lullabies for Baby and Parent by The Hound + The Fox

I'm pretty sure that this is the first lullabies album I've ever gotten. I don't have any children of my own, but this appealed for me for two reasons. The first being that it's be The Hound + The Fox and I've come to really like them. If you don't know, The Hound + The Fox is the husband and wife duo of McKenzie and Reilly Zamber. I did a video spotlight on them earlier this year which you can find here, if you're interested. When they announced that this album was coming, I knew that I'd be getting it. 
The other reason this album appealed to me is that as some of you reading this might know, I struggle with anxiety. Music can be such an important tool in helping to deal with certain things like anxiety. And a lullabies album seems like a good way to go as you expect the songs to be calming. Plus it's The Hound + The Fox and they make beautiful music. This album is no exception to that.
So how about we look at each track by itself? It's worth…

Album Review: Deep Cuts by Kenny Foster

One of the great things about living in Nashville is all of the writer's rounds that take place around town. I'm sure that you can find writer's rounds in other towns too, but it seems like they happen all over the place and all the time here. There's so many venues to be found throughout venues and more seem to pop up all the time. I first saw Kenny Foster when I went to see country trio Steel Union at Belcourt Taps one night last year. They had some of their friends come up to do a couple of songs as the night went on and Kenny was one of them. I saw him again a few months later at a writer's round.

Truth be told, sometimes writer's rounds can be kind of hit and miss. You find songwriters of all kinds and skill levels. There's some who maybe aren't ready to do a round just yet. But sometimes you find a gem. It's times like that when you realize just how special Nashville is. And I'd place Kenny Foster in that category. He's personable and …

Video Spotlight: ACA Top 10 Disney Hero Songs by VoicePlay featuring J. None

Layne with his beatbox and soaring high Earl notes Slick runs by Eli with Geoff's super low tones Counting down music we all like to sing ACA Top 10's are my favorite things
Broadway with Tony, Chris Rupp singing country Video games, rapping and summer pop medleys Now Disney with J. None makes me shout yippee ACA Top 10's are my favorite things

That's right. The men of VoicePlay are back with a brand new ACA Top 10! It's been over a year since the last one and I'll admit that I was getting a little concerned since it's been so long. I love everything they do, but their ACA Top 10's really are my favorite. I'm going to bet that I'm not alone in feeling that way. But if there's one thing I should have drilled in my head after this year, it's that the men of VoicePlay always come through for their fans. Not only do we get the pleasure of an ACA Top 10, we got what has probably been their most requested kind of ACA Top 10. What is that you ask? Wel…

EP Review: Steel Union by Steel Union

I was so happy when I heard that Steel Union was finally releasing an EP! If you've never heard of Steel Union, they're a fairly new country trio comprised of Rachel Potter, Donny Fallgatter and Josh Matheny. And they are wonderful.
I have written about them before and there's one member that I've written about a few times on here: Rachel Potter. She's become one of my favorite female singers and once you hear her sing, you'll know why that is. She has such a great Broadway quality voice which works considering that she's actually performed on Broadway. She released a great album back in 2015 called Not So Black and White and you can find my review of that here. It was one of my favorite albums of 2015 and I still listen to it pretty often. 
That said, as much as I like her solo stuff I am absolutely loving Steel Union. Donny Fallgatter has a great country voice while Josh Matheny brings some raspiness into the trio which I like. He's also the steel pl…

Spotlight on: Something Rotten

"It's a musical, a musical, and nothing's as amazing as a musical." 
Yep. One of my favorite things to do is going to see a musical. I love them so much and have been lucky in that I've gotten to see quite a few of them. I've enjoyed pretty much all of the musicals I've seen, but there's a few that stand out above the rest. These are the shows that I will always want to see whenever they happen to come around, no matter how many times I've seen them already. I think everyone who loves musicals has some that fall into that category.
They're the shows that you love above all others. For me, these shows include Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and The Lion King. And now another musical has joined that list. That show is, of course, Something Rotten. I got to see it back at the end of June and I absolutely loved it. I had a feeling that it would be good, but it completely surpassed my expectations. I can't remember the last time I …

Albums Worth Owning: It's All About to Change by Travis Tritt

A while back I was listening to one of my playlists, on shuffle as is often the case, when "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'" by Travis Tritt and featuring Marty Stuart came on. I couldn't remember the last time I had heard it, but I found myself singing along with it. The song seemed to stay with me over the next couple of days. It just kept getting stuck in my head. Finally, I decided I needed to go back and listen to the album it's on. 
I don't know about anyone else, but I don't listen to albums in their entirety as often as I probably should. Listening to this one got me thinking about how I need to start making a habit of going back and listening to older albums every now and then. That got me thinking about how in this culture, everyone is always looking for the next big thing. The next hit. The next superstar.  That's not always a bad thing. There's certainly new artists I'm excited about and there's some albums coming out that I'…

New look, new content and a new introduction

Hello and welcome, everyone! After what I considered to be a pretty successful writing year last year, this year I found myself taking a completely unplanned hiatus from writing. There were months where I didn't write anything. Then when I did start writing again, it wasn't for here. But I've recently renewed my commitment to my blog and thought that it wouldn't hurt to do a brand new introduction post. To go along with the new look. I was ready for a change.

But first, the basics. My name is Kim and I'm originally from Washington, D.C. but currently reside in Nashville, TN which I absolutely love. I grew up listening to a variety of music and it's always been one of the most important things in my life. This blog started off as a strictly country music blog, but a couple of years ago I decided to change my focus. There'll still be plenty of country music talked about on here, but these days? I write about whatever music related things I like, regardless of…

Arthritis Awareness: Music Therapy, Part 7

Welcome to the newest installment of my Music Therapy series. Arthritis Awareness Month is coming to a close and I couldn't let it end without doing another one of these. This one is going to be a bit different from the others. See, sometimes you need to listen to encouraging songs and other times you need to cry it out for the more emotional songs. But you know what? Sometimes what you really need is to listen to something that makes you want to move. This month has been a tough one, but I've noticed that I've been gravitating more towards those kinds of songs. The ones that make me want to dance. The songs that are just plain fun. Sometimes that's enough to pull you out of a funk or at the very least lift your spirits for a bit.

There are so many songs I could have picked and it's safe to say they'll be other installments of this series that include more of them. This time I decided to narrow it down to YouTube artists. The next time I'll be focusing more…

Video Spotlight: The Hound + The Fox

Usually when I do a video spotlight I'll pick one video to highlight, but I'm changing it up a bit. Because here's the thing: it was my love of the music video that first inspired me to start this blog. There are so many great music videos out there with new ones coming out all the time. I don't think I'll ever be able to get to them all. But in an effort to be able to talk about more of them, I've decided that they'll be times when I put the spotlight on a specific artist instead of a single video. Each one of these will include five of their videos.

The idea first came about when I determined that my next post would feature The Hound + The Fox. The only problem was that I couldn't pick which video of theirs to talk about. And so a new series, if you'd call it that, was born. There'll still be video spotlights that focus on one video and one video alone, but this'll allow me to get to more of them. Plus I think it's a good way to introd…

Video Spotlight: Blue Ain't Your Color by Home Free

Hear ye, hear ye! Home Free has released their first video of 2017 and boy, is it a great one. The men of Home Free took a couple of well-deserved months off and now they're back at it. Back on the road and back with new music. One of the best things about supporting Home Free and other acts like them is seeing which direction they go next. Today's video is their version of the Keith Urban hit "Blue Ain't Your Color". If this video is any indication, Home Fries are in for a wonderful year!

Check it out.

Video Spotlight: Shape of You / No Diggity mashup by VoicePlay featuring Matthew Darren

As I write this, Middle Tennessee is expecting what could be a terrible storm in a few hours. I'm not a fan of terrible storms, but that's okay. It'll be okay. I mention this because VoicePlay has just released a brand new video. What can that possibly have to do with storms? Well, if you know your Norse mythology you know that Thor is considered the god of thunder. What does VoicePlay have to do with Norse mythology? Well, their new video is a mashup of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" and Blackstreet's "No Diggity". It features our fabulous foursome with special guest Matthew Darren. Otherwise known as Harmony Thor.

No, I did not come up with that myself. It won't take too long to figure out how he got that name. Just watch the video. Hopefully he doesn't mind it because I'm pretty sure he's stuck with it now. In any event, I have Thor on the brain. So this impending storm seems rather appropriate. 
As for the mashup? Meh, it's…

Arthritis Awareness: Music Therapy, Part 6

I figured out pretty early on that the only way I could make this series work is if I was completely honest about what I struggle with myself. So before I get to the songs that I've chosen to feature in this installment, I'm going to tell you a little about what's been going on with me this year. As some of you know, I have rheumatoid arthritis and was first inspired to start this series during arthritis awareness month (May) last year. The first post wouldn't end up going up until June. The best laid plans and all that. I decided to keep it tied to arthritis awareness, but really, the goal behind this series is to use music to try to encourage anyone going through a tough time. Whether they also have rheumatoid arthritis or not.

It's been over a month since I last posted. 2017 has been a tough year in regards to my health. My rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has spun completely out of control and I was without a rheumatologist for a few months. My pain levels have been s…

Video Spotlight: Scars to Your Beautiful and All Time Low by VoicePlay featuring J.None

That moment when you were going to finish up a post about someone else, but end up writing about VoicePlay instead. Such is the life of a certified VoicePlayaholic. Of course, if they stopped putting out such great content, I wouldn't want to keep writing about them. But who am I kidding? It's VoicePlay. That's not going to happen. Alas, I have no choice but to keep promoting them to the best of my ability. I'd be a sorry excuse for a VoicePlayaholic if I didn't. That other post I was going to work on will get finished at some point. Today, however, it's all about VoicePlay and their wonderful new video.
Truth be told, I was actually pretty anxious about this video. Not this video specifically. We didn't know this was coming until right before it came. So, no, that anxiety had nothing to do with this mashup and everything to do with the fact that it is the first VoicePlay video filmed in 2017. The first one filmed since they announced that Tony had left th…

Arthritis Awareness: Music Therapy, part 5 - Beauty and Self-image

It's been way too long since I've gotten up a new post in my Music Therapy series and I thought it might be a good idea to go with a theme this time. Namely, beauty and self-image. In this society, it's so easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that we have to look a certain way. To think that if we don't fit in, if we don't look that way, that there's something wrong with us. We might feel insecure. We may feel ugly and unwanted and unlovable. This can lead us down some dangerous paths if we aren't careful.

The way I see it, even the most secure of us need some reassurancesometimes. Maybe we don't fit into what Hollywood considers beautiful. That's okay. Maybe we've been picked on and made to feel worthless because of the way we look. That's not okay, but you know what the good news is? Our worth does not come from other people. As a Christian, I believe that our worth is given to us by God. We are beautiful because we're His creati…

Video Spotlight: Still Alive by VoicePlay

2017 is off to quite a start, I must say. There's good news and not-so-great news. The good news is that if you're a male who sings in the baritone/tenor 2 range and have dreamed about being in VoicePlay, well, you just might be in luck.

I imagine that most of the people who come across this have already heard and those of you who haven't can probably guess. The not-so-great news is that that means that someone has left. If you've been paying attention over the last year, it shouldn't be too hard to guess who. Here's their announcement.


Tony is no longer with VoicePlay. It's funny because this was obviously coming and yet the news still managed to hit like a ton of bricks. I was going to write this a couple of days ago, but decided to wait until I got myself in a better frame of mind. This more or less cause a tidal wave of feels. I've cried. I've been upset. I've cussed. I've prayed. I've said goodbye, shook my fist and asked God …

My Favorite Musical Discoveries of 2016

In a perfect world, I would have gotten this up while it was still 2016. Alas, the world is not perfect and neither am I. But you know what? That's okay. I still wanted to do this because I wanted to give these acts some love. There are four total and they're all acts that I wrote about in 2016 to surprising success. You never really know how something will be received, especially when writing about someone new. And especially when it's someone you're really excited about. So the fact that the posts about these four did well makes me very happy. 
As the title states, these are my four favorite musical discoveries of 2016. If you know me, you know that one of my favorite things is coming across more acts to love. As if I don't love enough already. Honestly, it's never enough. Not with all the time I spend listening to music. How about we get to it?