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Ira Blonder
Franklin, TN, United States
Ira Blonder is the Managing Partner of Sound Kitchen Studios (www.soundkitchen.com)and The Blonder Group, LLC (www.blondergroup.com)
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jeremiah Cosner at the Sound Kitchen

Live Preview: Catching up with pop/rocker Jeremiah Cosner; opens for Brent James and the Contraband at Indianapolis’ Rathskeller on Friday night

With the release of a four-song EP of original songs called Hold Steady in December of 2010, Indiana’s Jeremiah Cosner was able to leap forward musically with an album recorded at the Sound Kitchen in Nashville, Tennessee, and filled of robust-sounding Black Crowes/Rolling Stones/Faces rock.
Hoosier-based Cosner has shed his band, and has been playing solo shows. And maybe the only thing between some deserved notice by American rock fans here in Indiana is more gigs.
His opening slot at the Rathskeller on Friday night with the Nashville-via-Michigan rock/pop of Brent James and the Contraband is a good match, pairing him with James, whose Moment of Silence album rocks with a Train/Why Store sound.

“I am amped about showcasing (with) Brent James & the Contraband,” he says, noting it’s a reunion of sorts for him and the band. “The lead guitar player (Mike P.) for the band produced and played lead on Hold Steady. I gave him the nickname “The Wizard.”

The 2007 IU School of Music grad says he has been writing for a new record (or two), contributed a charity song called “Reflection in the Water”, the songs have been used in a movie called “The Big Idea”, and Cosner has a wild idea to build a studio in a trailer.

Rockforward: When have you been writing new music?
Jeremiah Cosner: All day, every day. I now have enough material for three to four full length records. Acoustic and organic is my favorite way to write, and I am excited to record the new material.
Rockforward: Hold Steady has a Stones-like vibe. How have those four songs helped your career? 

JC: The Hold Steady EP was recorded in Nashville at the Sound Kitchen. I have found releasing singles via iTunes is beneficial. “Money Maker” and “Lipstick & Cigarettes” have both been spun on the radio locally.  Recently, I have written (music) for the Children’s Leukemia Foundation. Doing this type of work and writing has allowed me to become an affiliate with SESAC and start my own publishing company, Baby Blue Café.

Rockforward: How has Indy been treating you?  What are the differences you feel and see when you venture outside the Indy to play?

JC: Indy is great (but) traveling is hands down my favorite thing to do, so anytime I get the chance to play in another city I take full advantage. Nashville is my favorite place to play simply because the city is a melting pot of anything that has to do with music and has allowed for my network to grow tremendously. When I venture out of Indy I realize how many other events and organizations are built around working with independent performing artists to gain exposure. I was fortunate enough to get involved with Music City Circus (in Nashville) and showcased with other talented artists at Nashville’s 12th and Porter. That gig led to meeting and greeting new friends who introduced me to the Sound Kitchen to record Hold Steady.

Rockforward: How have you been touring? Band or solo?
JC: I have not toured with a full band since 2010. Traveling as a solo act is more rewarding and easier as I journey out. I have a revolving door of very talented musicians who lend a helping hand when I need it. All of us share one musical influence: 70′s rock and artists like Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, and the Rolling Stones.

Rockforward: What have you been listening to? What bands should we all turn up to 11?
JC: Recently I have been listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive, Elvis Costello, and The Marshall Tucker Band. But anymore, I get a kick out of finding Tom Jones records or some good Neil Young. Current bands that flip my switch are The Alabama Shakes, Kasabian, and The Band of Skulls.
Rockforward: Future plans that we’d find interesting?

JC: A few talented people and I have plans to build a studio within a Streamline Trailer that will sit on a few acres of land down south. This is where we want to be as creative as possible and pump out songs, movies, ideas, and other productions. Keep an eye out for a new bluesy rock record I plan on cutting by the end of 2012.

VIDEO: Jeremiah Cosner and the Concrete Sailors

VIDEO: Brent James and the Contraband

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Satellite radio favorites Charm City Devils bringing take on folk staple to Flint, MI.

Charm City Devils

Satellite radio favorites Charm City Devils bringing take on folk staple to Flint, MI.

These days, Charm City Devils are learning the effect that satellite radio actually has on record sales.
The Baltimore hard rock band recently released its take on the American folk song "Man of Constant Sorrow," which has received major airplay on Sirius/XM stations like Octane.

"They've been in the forefront of the airplay with that and I think it's part of the sales nationally, especially where there isn't a traditional or terrestrial rock station," said lead singer John Allen, a former drummer with the band SR-71.

"We're looking at sales reports and we're going, 'Why are we selling this and that in record stores in Cape Girardeau, Mo., or Paducah, Ky.? It's all grouped into one category. Maybe there's terrestrial station down there playing it, but we're unaware of it. It's perhaps the reach of satellite. It's phenomenal. It's so great."

The choice was easy to cover "Man of Constant Sorrow," which was revived thanks to the George Clooney film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

"That song, written in its original form over 100 years ago, it's stood the test of time," Allen said. "It's definitely a ringing endorsement to learn how to craft a song and do it well if you can."
Through its popularity, Allen learned there's no set path to have success in the music business, as far as what channels a band must choose.

"One thing that'll ring true -- it's as true 100 years ago as it was now -- if you write a song that connects with other human beings that is what is going to really stand the test of time," he said. "That's what's going to help you have success."

The song appears on Charm City Devils' sophomore album "Sins," which hits stores on July 31. It was recorded with the band -- which also includes Vic Karrera (guitar), Anthony Arambula (bass) Nick Kay (guitar) and Jason Heiser (drums) -- at Sound Kitchen Studios in Franklin, Tenn. "Sins" was produced by Grammy-winning knob-turner Skidd Mills, whose influence is far reaching.

"When we started this record, we really wanted to expand our horizons on all fronts if we could," he said. "We wanted to improve the songwriting. We wanted to improve the playing, t he musicianship. We wanted to do better lyrics, everything, all encompassing. We wanted it to sound better than the first record. We wanted it to sound sonically bigger.

"I think he did a really great job in achieving those goals. Of course we bit off a lot. We were attempting to not stay the same. We didn't want to stay stagnant with what we did on the last record. It's up to the public to decide whether we achieved it or not. But we feel really good about what we did collectively here."

So far, so good. The WWE picked up its track "Unstoppable" as the theme song to its June 17 pay-per-view "No Way Out." Allen admitted he isn't a fan of wrestling or sports in general as he has tunnel vision for music. But he thinks he understands how the WWE can help his career.

"I have fans that are just like, 'John, you don't understand. This is huge. This is going to take you to another level.' That's really exciting. That's fantastic. I know they have diehard fans and hopefully they'll be some transfer over to that. 

We were very excited when we heard they were using it when they were mentioning the pay-per-view special, like, two weeks ago and our song was under the bed. Our Twitter account lit up, our Facebook account lit up."

Allen himself lights up at the very mention of playing The Machine Shop in Flint with Aranda and Theory of a Deadman on Monday, July 16. Allen -- whose former band SR-71 wrote "1985," a song made famous by Bowling for Soup -- has never visited The Machine Shop but has heard great things about it.

"Everybody that I mention The Machine Shop to, they say, 'Oh, you're going to love that room,'" Allen said.

"I love Michigan audiences, anyway. I've had the pleasure of playing the Intersection in Grand Rapids, played Pontiac, played DTE Energy Music Theatre. I played St. Andrew's. I'm familiar. It seems that people in Michigan love rock music. 

They love to come out and support live music. It's very cool."

Charm City Devils and Aranda open for Theory of a Deadman
7 p.m. Monday, July 16
The Machine Shop, 3539 S. Dort Highway, Flint
The show is sold out.
Etix.com or (810) 715-2650