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Folk/Rock Pop Singer-Songwriters
“…his music marries perfectly realized power-pop sensibility to skilled, literary writing chops.” -CD Universe
One of the finest and most singular voices in the singer-songwriter genre, Freedy Johnston has been doing things his own way for over 20 years. With his latest release, Rain On the City, Johnston is sounding better than ever, garnering the now-usual rave reviews from critics and fans.
“Johnston’s songs… have a directness that complements Johnston’s singular gift for metaphors.” -L.A. Times
Johnston grew up in Kinsley, Kansas, a town too small to have a music shop or even a record store. He bought his first guitar through the mail when he was 16, and had to drive over 30 miles to buy any records. This life was a far cry from the life of a working musician, but this scene also taught Johnston lessons that would permeate his lyrics and music: themes of loss, tough luck, and bad timing.
“…exquisitely unsettling folk-rock” -Spin
Freedy relocated to New York and quickly made a name for himself, with songs often praised for their literary quality that also resonated on a gut level. His second record, Can You Fly, was universally praised. Rolling Stone and Spin hailed Can You Fly as a masterpiece, and Robert Christgau called it “a perfect album.” This success led to a major label singing, which produced This Perfect World. The record served to showcase Johnston’s increasing sophistication and range as a songwriter, and it also included his breakthrough hit, “Bad Reputation.”
While ensuing releases saw notable critical acclaim, Johnston didn’t replicate the commercial success of “Bad Reputation.” After taking a break from songwriting, he released his first album in 8 years, Rain On the City, in 2010. Pitchfork, the Los Angeles Times and others praised the album, calling it one of the most assured efforts of Johnston’s career.
“Alison Scott’s third album is her most formative to date – the kind of recording that shows how this singer/pianist from the western burbs can inject ample amounts of Southern soul and muddy grit into her music.” -Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune
Out of this fertile music scene comes a vocalist who is reminding people what pop and soul music is all about. Alison Scott has a one in a million voice and remarkable songwriting skills, and is making believers out of everyone who hears her. Her live DVD, “Live at the Dakota,” was recorded here in May 2009 and released in September.
Alison’s third album, Chinese Whispers, was released in September 2010 to a packed house at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. The album is her most diverse to date: a mix of pop, rock, R&B, and a little taste of hip-hop; all sewn together with soul. Again in tow is Scott’s polished band, and it showcases her lush, amazing voice like never before.
“…nothing short of an Americana masterpiece.” -St. Cloud Times, naming Kevin Bowe’s new album “Natchez Trace” the best album of 2012
Kevin Bowe is a writer/producer whose songs have sold over 12 million units in the last few years. He got his start in the Minneapolis music scene, and after being discovered at a club gig by uberproducer David Z (Prince, Fine Young Cannibals, Big Head Todd), Kevin began writing for other artists. His first cut (“Riverside” on Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s Warner Bros. debut “Ledbetter Heights”) went gold and led to a major publishing deal. Kevin became the first writer signed by legends Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in over twenty years.
Kevin was the first out of towner to hear a 13 year old blues prodigy named “Kid” Jonny Lang in Fargo, ND. Bowe invited Lang to Minneapolis and a partnership started that resulted in two platinum albums on A&M Records, including the top 5 single/video “Breakin’ Me”. In 2005 Kevin became the lead guitarist for Paul Westerberg & His Only Friends on their US tour.
Kevin’s first solo album in years, Natchez Trace, was released in 2012 to unanimously positive reviews.