Matt Buckstein is unmistakably the "Biggest, Bad-Assed Baritone on the planet!

“Singing the way he sang was unexpected for a lot of people who knew him, but it came so easily. A wise man once said “If the shoe fits…” so six foot-four Matt Buckstein started writing songs and singing the way he felt most comfortable. In his wildest dreams, Matt never figured that one day his performances would be watched by over 200 million people, referring of course to his time spent in the American Idol competition. After three years competing in America’s now ubiquitous cultural phenomenon, Matt eventually rose to being ranked in the top 40 out of 110,000 contestants, and because of his popularity, was brought back to perform on the Season 5 finale, the first time in American Idol’s history that someone was asked to return to perform. “I’d love to go back and take one more whack at it,” says Matt. “Even after living through that stress for three years, I’d gladly do it again, but they say I’ve made it too far within the competition. I guess I’ve proven myself, but to me it’s a shame that America didn’t get a chance to vote. I’d have liked to see what they would’ve had to say!”

In a competition of mostly higher-pitched vocalists, Matt also holds the title as the first bass-baritone to ever “rattle the speaker screws” on the American Idol main stage.

Though Matt’s vocal style is unmistakably country, he’s able to legitimately pull off genres that are typically outside the country arena. He and his band “Buckstein” tackle everything from modern country, to rock, R&B and even doo-wop. “Evolution is happening in music everyday, and I want to be a part of it,” Matt enthusiastically proclaims, “Experimentation and thinking outside of the box is how history is made.” He may don a traditional cowboy hat and boots, but no matter what genre, every song Matt sings is uniquely and distinctly “Buckstein.”

Born and raised in Colorado, for much of his young adult life Matt was convinced that he should be an actor. He left Colorado immediately after high school to attend California State University of Fullerton to train as an actor and then eventually moved to LA to make a reach for the silver screen. His time spent in LA was destined to be brief for two reasons. A country boy at heart, Matt found himself constantly at odds with the LA lifestyle and secondly, after getting a taste of a singing career with American Idol, his focus as a performer quickly shifted. He has since moved back home to Colorado to be closer to his family and use his newfound notoriety to launch a musical career for himself.

“I have been beyond fortunate to team up with a group of guys who are this talented,” says Matt of his local band. “Their support of me is overwhelming and inspiring. We’ll climb our mountains just like all the other bands out there, but this has proven to be a magical combination of musicians. We’ll establish the groove, hit our stride, and then… there’s no stopping us.”

For more info go to:

Cecile Hortensia

Born in France, Cecile was pursuing a career in Political Science in Europe. She followed a corporate path but was overwhelmed by her passions for music and poetry. She finally decided to quit her job so that she could embrace the arts on a full-time basis.

After several musical collaborations in France, she migrated to the West and landed in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Influenced by her new environment and the surrounding nature, she refined her sound and shaped her songwriting into her own mother tongue, as well as in the tongue of her newly adopted land. In 2010 she met Oliver Zahm in Phoenix of Electric Lotus Music and together brewed her first album, the American experience of a Gallic Songwriter.

In 2011 she was discovered by We think that you'll find her song writing poetic and her voice, refreshingly unique. Whether she is singing in French or English, we like this young artist a lot and believe that you will too!

Emil Bishaw
Los Angeles, CA — Teen singing sensation Emil has released his long awaited, much anticipated new single, “With My Eyes Closed” and, at the same time, has released on YouTube the song’s video.

Already impacting radio across the nation, “With My Eyes Closed” will be on the Independent Music Network’s “Rocktober” syndicated radio shows for the entire month of October and his video has been selected for IMN’s video spotlight.

“We have been waiting for another hit from Emil,” acknowledged Gary Hendrix, head of the Independent Music Network, the leading network for Indie artists and bands. “It was worth the wait. Last year Emil won the New Music Award for the 2010 New AC Artist of the Year and was nominated for several IMN Awards. With this single, he is finishing the year strong with Award Season around the corner. Emil knows how to deliver.”

Emil made music history earlier this year with his last single when he filmed the first Flash Mob music video for ”You Must of Made Somebody Happy.” Set in the San Jacinto Plaza in El Paso, Texas, the music video was shot completely in one take to be true to the Flash Mob concept. TV crews were there to report the historic event. The single moved rapidly up numerous national charts including New Music Weekly and the Independent Music Network.

According to Masika Swain, Associate Editor at the prominent industry trade publication, New Music Weekly, “Emil is one talented teen. And he is back.”

Gary Dean Smith
Gary developed his diverse musical background honestly. His teenage years in the South gave him a healthy dose of The Allman Brothers Band that created the framework. Moving back to his birthplace of Los Angeles at the age of 20, he was fortunate to have a variety of teachers and influences. His biggest influence came by spending time with jazz great, Joe Diorio. Joe taught Gary about musical approach and technique, but Gary says that by simply sitting and having coffee with Joe, he gained an understanding of creative thinking and humility that is impossible to learn from any book.

So spending most of his musical life primarily a blues and jazz-influenced guitarist in Los Angeles, Gary Dean Smith performed, worked and recorded in the L.A. rock collaboration, Force Of Souls. In the studio, Force of Souls enjoyed respected musical icons Ginger Baker, David Lindley and others lending their talents to the first FoS album of original progressive rock songs. More recently, Gary’s tenure with L.A.’s Kari Gaffney Band started a long friendship with Greg Gaffney who encouraged Gary to step out as a singer-songwriter. Gaffney’s friendly urging and persuasion paid off and led Gary to write and release his impressive debut solo CD of original Americana tunes, “No Liquor”.

In 2011, Gary's songwriting began to get more attention. He landed licensing deals for 9 of his original songs with a Florida-based label. 2 more of his songs have been placed in the Rockband video game library. They are "Diana Don't Slow Down" in the Rockband Country library and his soulful "Fair Weather Friend" in the Rockband Blues library. His original tune "Your Gentle Soul" will appear on the Celebrate Recovery album to be released in the fall of 2011.

Global Music For a Global Market

It is hardly surprising that music companies are looking for new and alternative distribution methods. One of the most well known examples was Starbucks using its massive chain of coffee shops to sell CDs from select artists. With the severe decline of record stores, especially independent stores willing to experiment with non-major label releases, companies are getting creative.

Enter Global Journey Records ( Rus Withers Managing Director US. Global Journey started in the UK as a ‘gift music’ company, primarily sold in gift and garden centers. It was an attempt to bring music directly to where consumers were shopping after the closing of the big box record stores. The CDs were various themes such as Celtic, New Age, Relaxation, Inspirational and Native American music that was sold through interactive media displays in the stores.

GJ Tunes US is the American branch of the company headed by Rus Withers, which specializes in distribution through health spas and hotels. In addition, GJ, a collaboration with TK Music Norway, also has distribution through Allegro Media Group and Music Design. The spas and hotels give GJ access to a consumer market that normally would have been untouched. Since a large portion of their catalog is instrumental relaxation or inspirational music, they have found that those markets are a good match. GJ even released a special CD/DVD combo at the most recent International Spa (ISPA) convention in Las Vegas (which caters to the Spa industry) featuring music and videos of relaxation music by Tron Syversen (who is a composer and artist and also part of the company) designed for GJ doesn’t entirely rely on spas and hotels, for example they also sell through more traditional outlets like Barnes & Noble, HMV Canada and many other independent and big box retailers via Allegro Media Group.

Besides selling CDs, GJ has found success through music licensing. The song "Desert Mantra" from Ooramin-Australian Sun Records, by aboriginal music artist David Hudson was used in an episode of the FX series Nip/Tuck. Music from the Thai Sunset CD was licensed to Martha Stewart. Most impressively was the use of Native American music from the CD Eternal Flames for the PC game Civilization V.

Most recently GJ Tunes US has been expanding into a full fledged record label, seeking out new artists to release full length CDs, not just themed compilations and soundtracks. They have an A&R executive, Peter Samuels which handles the UK and Rus Withers who is on a global journey for the best new artists!
Some of the artists added to the roster include a variety of genres, from Dawson James who recently opened for Tab Benoit in Denver to their recently acquired featured artist Tess Henley!

During the writing of this article GJ added two new artists, Fiona Joy Hawkins and Trysette, both from Australia, to their roster, Fiona Joy Hawkins is #1 on Zone Music Reporter for New Age Genre and Trysette is an up and coming Pop star.
While GJ continues to grow, a new area they hope to expand into would be live performances and concerts, for example, with an impressive world talent they could easily put on a tour with their existing roster of talent.

GJ Tunes is a good example of finding success through non-traditional means. Distribution is on very uncertain ground due to recent changes so it is important to measure how consumers are discovering and purchasing new music, regardless of genre. Now that GJ Tunes is expanding into developing and distributing full length artist CDs they are definitely a company to watch.

GJ Artists that are currently being played on include:

Carson Henley
Dawson James
Fiona Joy Hawkins
David Hudson
Tess Henley
Tron Syverson
Wade Buzzard

Jillian Rae
JILLIAN an incredible 14 year old singer and songwriter from Long Island, New York, USA. She has just released her first single, “Just Another Day”. Jillian has been writing lyrics since she was 7 and has been playing the acoustic guitar for two years. She has done musical theater, commercials and modeling but has found singing to be her passion. She loves the organic sound of Sheryl Crow and has the same soulful tone. Her music is upbeat and can make someone who is having a bad day, smile and forget about everything for at least 4 minutes and 2 seconds. Jillian Rae’s sound feeds the soul and spreads positive energy one note at a time.
Jillian attends Cold Spring Harbor High School and has performed at the Huntington Tulip Festival, the Huntington Fall Festival (main stage), the Nick Cannon show at Tanger Outlet, and Strawberry’s Restaurant in Huntington.

Believe 0% of what you hear, 50% of what you see and 100% of what you feel

Ken K.
Ken K is a musician, performer, songwriter and instructor who teaches and performs regularly in the Denver, CO area. His style and sound is raw, personal and real - hovering everywhere between Rock, Americana and Pop - and is woven into his own music as well as the way he plays songs of artists he enjoys.

Primarily a solo performer, he uses a "loop pedal" (referred to as his "band", called "The Ghost Boys") to layer multiple guitar tracks that sound like a full band. Because this is done LIVE and not pre-recorded, every performance is unique and different!

His playlist ranges through time periods and styles, from the soft acoustic ballads to relentless and reckless rocking out of classics and originals. He plays the favorites and gives you a few more!

Ken also occasionally plays with Jeff Norman (bass) and Carl Holz (drums), dubbed the "Thump Brothers" - a rocking trio that will keep you tapping and dancing all night long!

For more info go to:

L.E. Kepple
L.E. Kepple has always been a singer. Since first discovering her voice, there was a song. In the very early days, church and school were the outlet for this natural ability. By 13 she wrote her first song with the aid of a small keyboard on her bedroom floor. At 16 she bought her first acoustic guitar, teaching herself how to play. Soon, L.E. began writing her own music.

At 17 L.E. moved to Studio City, CA where she sharpened her skills with singers, songwriters, acting and vocal coaches. She performed at local L.A. venues, including the Pig N' Whistle on Hollywood Blvd. She has been working with MoHo Productions and has recorded a few original songs with them including "Everything to Me" and "Love in the Air." "Love in the Air" will be featured in an upcoming made for TV movie Gabe the Cupid Dog.

L.E.'s music is about what any teenager would want to write about: love. She states "Not all my songs are actual events that have happened to me, but it's fun to dream." She hopes that people of all ages can relate to her music and dream along with her.

L.E. was a guest on "The Indie 500 Show" on December 8, 2011. You can listen to the show "On Demand" by pasting the link below into your browser:

Then click on the "PLAY" arrow on the December 8 show and enjoy. She truly is something very special!!!

Lexi Lyon
Lexi Lyon is an indie pop singer/songwriter from Denver, Colorado. She is currently a Songwriting Major at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. She's best known for her quirky lyrics and unique voice. You can find her playing at coffee shops, open mics, outdoor venues and festivals all around Colorado, and now, Nashville. Recently she even sang at Red Rocks, along with everybody else in row 16 at a Dispatch concert.
In high school she was named the “Creative Writer” of her graduating class, and was voted the “Most Likely to Win a Grammy” by her peers, all while graduating with “highest academic honors”.
Lexi first started writing when she learned to play guitar at age eleven and she was hooked. She finds her inspiration, like others, in simple, everyday life experiences, such as meeting cute boys at songwriting conventions, sending a best friend off to Australia, or even surviving a zombie apocalypse. Taking full advantage of all that Nashville has to offer, she recently finished recording her first full-length studio album.
The Words I Finally Got Right will finally be available July 16th. Lexi’s writing style ranges from pop to folk with a little jazz thrown in for fun. The newest songs even have a hint of Nashville flavor picked up from her new home away from home.

Melissa Bel
Melissa Bel left a deep impression on those who had the luck to see her perform her debut album in Germany a couple of years ago. For her work, she received wide-spread radio play, performed a whirlwind tour of 14 shows in 16 days and earned coverage in the influential German magazine
"Melodie & Rhythmus".

Quotes and Press:

"One day she could be the follow up to Janis Joplin"
Melodie und Rhythmus. (received a 5/5 rating)

"...what a voice this lady has! She can scratch and scream like a blues lady. She rocks and yearns when she sings her ballads. She reminds of Janis Joplin and Joss Stone".
Landeszeitung Luneburg

"...Blues is rarely an audacious genre: the closer to its roots, the better, and that's exactly what Bel does."
Nicolas Pelletier, Editor/Social Media Strategist at EnMusique Sypatico.

"Totally captivating! I could listen to her for hours...and in fact think that's just what I'll do.:
Hoss Meister,
For her next album, "Distance", this Toronto based Blues Artist pours her heart out into six songs that are expected to bring her name and music into homes across North America and Europe. The album includes "Over and Done With", a resolute "wash your hands of him break-up song" along with a stirring rendition of Bill Withers 1971 Classic, "Ain't No Sunshine". The avenues in sound and emotion explored on this album will resonate with audiences everywhere.

Rachel James
While Rachel has been playing the piano and singing her entire life, she has only recently entered the music scene in Denver and around the world. However, in that short time, her accomplishments are impressive. As a songwriter her tunes are gathering hundreds of thousands of hits on youtube (Catch Me if You Can, Saddle Up, Save Yourself and more) as well as receiving the applause and endorsements of Ryan Tedder, Tyler Ward and Nashville publishers.

As an artist Rachel has grown into a dynamic performer, accomplished producer and has a voice that rivals any current pop artist already get radio play. The Denver music scene has taken notice:

"Rachel James is a force to be reckoned with." - Jeanie Straub, Colorado Music Buzz Magazine

"She's Avril plus maturity and earnestness." - Kiernan Maletsky, Westword Magazine

"I think Rachel James is fresh. She is an amazing talent." - Tyler Ward

"Rachel epitomizes the type of Indie Artist
that we are always on the lookout for. She's
vibrant!" - "Hoss"

As determined as she is flexible, Rachel is thankful about her current situation given her short introduction into the music scene. She is staying true to her original goals, "I just want to write great songs. That's where it starts. I want to exceed people's expectations. I want people to walk away with something when they hear my music." New tunes in hand, Rachel is committed to having her best year yet. With songs already licensed to major television programs and heavy rotation in Triple A radio, Rachel is ready to take it to the next level and can't wait for the opportunity.

Roy Rivers
In addition to having written, performed and recorded many original songs over the years, Roy Rivers in the consummate John Denver Tribute performer! Please stay tuned as we will be playing Roy's music very soon as well as getting him scheduled for some very intimate interviews and performances! You are gonna like this guy a lot! The following clip is something we snagged from Roy's website........

The Bottom Line
If there were a blended drink named The Bottom Line, it would probably mess you up. The Bottom Line (the band, not the mythical beverage) operates on the same premise, but through music. You'll forget where you are, why you were here in the first place, and you'll probably end up eating hashbrowns and a Denver omelette at an IHOP before it's all over.

Blake James provides the band's heart: production, concepts, and lead male vocals. An experienced lyricist and songwriter from past musical projects, Blake takes pleasure in writing hooks and composing beats that don't require thought on the listener's part.

Whitney Ohman is the soul of The Bottom Line, providing lead female vocals and soulful sound that few (if any) pop singers possess. Having an equally long relationship with music and vocals as Blake, Whitney brings passion and pure vocal talent that is unmatched.

If Blake is the heart, and Whitney the soul, DJ Souza is The Bottom Line's adrenal gland, delivering raps and backup vocals. Having experience in writing rather than music, DJ makes up for his inexperience with raw energy.

Seriously, a blended drink may be the best analogy for The Bottom Line's special concoction of pop: a splash of early 2000's punk-pop, a shot of driving guitar riffs, a twist of hip-hop bridges, and chilled to perfection with soulful melodies, all over a healthy mix of electronic beats and catchy hooks.

The Last Flight Out

"They say if you want to get someone’s attention whisper... but when soft-spoken Julia Bryan closes her eyes and lures you in with her simmering intimacy, it’s only a matter of time before the fuse detonates an explosion of genuine goose-bump causing fire and brimstone. The unpretentious blue-eyed, red-haired songstress continually navigates her audience from a controlled burn, to a raging forest fire, and back again to a matchstick flame.

Returning to Colorado after spending years doing non-profit work in remote parts of Africa, Julia has taken the advice of everyone who has ever heard her perform, and is dedicating herself to her love of creating music. 2009 was the year that audiences finally got to hear what was previously reserved for Julia’s family and friends... her dynamic arrangements, world class songwriting, and a vocal delivery that makes you believe every word and feel every note."

Now for "The Rest of the Story" TLFO came to be....

“Gunny” Jeff Norman has a nickname for everybody. Co-worker “Sweet Pea”, upon discovering Gunny was a songwriter, felt compelled to brag about her “angel-voiced” sister Julia, in time bringing him a homemade CD to serve as proof. “Yeah, yeah, sure...” It had been Gunny’s experience that EVERYBODY has a family member who’s “the best singer on the planet,” and obligingly agreed to give it a quick listen. It wasn’t given much priority, as it was made clear that Julia was singularly devoted to the non-profit work she was currently doing in Uganda, would be away for months if not years, and was in no way interested in the music “biz”... a perspective that Gunny could actually empathize with... any talent is in itself a beautiful thing, but making a business out of one can often defile it, the music industry being the prime example of a heartless “defiler”.

Eventually slipping Sweet Pea’s disc into the CD player for the cursory listen he’d promised, it was immediately obvious to him that there was indeed a very special emotive quality of the voice he was hearing... lilting, and maybe a bit restrained, but with an honest conveyance of the lyrics being sung. It was Gunny’s general opinion that there were tons of passionless “note-perfect” singers out there... and those wanting to show off their vibrato and range more than to communicate a lyric, but this voice was a genuine voice that rang true... and one he could swear he had sometimes heard in his head when songwriting. “Pirating” a copy of the rudimentary CD, he returned the original to Sweet Pea the following day, conceded to her assessment, and two years would pass, during which Sweet Pea and Gunny would venture separate ways.

For the second time in a decade, Gunny and his wife, Marcie, ambled through the doors of the Chili’s restaurant, the thought of a fat burger and Corona sounding especially good to them this summer night. After reaching their assigned seats, the young waitress now dutifully welcoming them to their booth had an eerily familiar presence... something about how her giant blue eyes lit up in sync with her equally oversized smile, and as she turned to fetch their drinks, Marcie and Gunny blurted to each other in unison, “Sweet Pea’s sister!”

As it was still a guess, having never actually seen her, Gunny couldn’t resist doling out small bits of information to confirm their suspicions... “You look like you can sing!” to which the surprised waitress replied, “I do, I do!” The next exchange was similar, with something like “You probably sing with your sisters...” “I DO have sisters!” After a couple more exchanges that would verge on creeping the young waitress out, Gunny confessed that he was both a “fan” and family friend. The waitress, now somewhat relieved, volunteered that she was indeed Sweet Pea’s sister, Julia, now back from her service in Africa. After some more small talk and the conclusion of their meal, Gunny summarily handed Julia his business card on their way out.

Months would pass until Julia would find a use for that card. Sweet Pea was getting married, and very much wanted a favorite song, “Songbird,” to be sung by Julia and her Mom as a part of the ceremony. It was decided that the song could be enhanced with a few “lead” guitar embellishments, and Julia was now calling to see if Gunny could lend a hand with that. Rehearsals were subsequently scheduled and convened as Julia and Gunny surprisingly found themselves bonding both musically and as friends. Their debut performance would be delivered without incident.

After this reasonably successful collaboration, Julia’s overall disdain for the commercial music industry, and her elevated distrust of all involved within it’s tangled web would diminish ever so slightly... just enough so that her next phone call to Gunny would be more intent... “I want to do something with my music,” sounding as if she had rehearsed the sentence dozens of times. A whirlwind of events would follow...

There’s a level of trust that needs to accompany a creative partnership. The 30-year age difference between the two somehow seemed to actually facilitate that. She could use his mentorship, and he, in realizing that distinctive voice he’d heard in his head for all those years, could use her contagious enthusiasm for writing music. The disparity between their ages and backgrounds was oddly proving to be fertile ground, as opposed to the train wreck one would anticipate. It was unexpectedly productive, and their songwriting sessions were devoid of both pre-conceived song structure formulae and peer competitiveness. At the outset, they had agreed that if the song wanted to be five minutes, and thus “too long” for radio, so be it... if there wasn’t an obligatory “bridge” in the song... tough. The songwriting “rules” that had handcuffed Gunny for so many years were just as absent as the stereotypical “I can make you a star, baby” sleaze factor that had plagued Julia in the past.

The music industry typically has no place for fifty-five year old “breaking” artists, and it eagerly consumes younger artists who are blissfully ignorant of the business of music, so it proved to be a mutually beneficial situation for them both. Though solicited by a record label in his late teens, Gunny’s “marketable” years as an artist had vanished over twenty years in the Marines. A bit jaded at this point, he found Julia’s grounded musical aspirations and embracement of a myriad of styles to be refreshing. A collision of classic and modern influences was now happening with each of their song collaborations, and both of their personal stashes of original music were going through a collaborative wringer, successfully emerging only with their mutual approval.

Marcie had already been booking Gunny both in his bands and as a soloist fairly regularly, and now that he and Julia were armed with enough original material to showcase, a “trial run” would be set up at a small coffee shop. The place was packed with well-wishers, friends and family, as Julia nervously mumbled a welcome and tentatively launched into the first song with her guitar unknowingly still unplugged from the sound system. Punctuated by a cacophony of cappuccino machines, cash registers and blenders, their performance was ultimately received with unexpected zeal from a standing room only, albeit “fixed” crowd. After this night, there would be no going back for Julia, as evidenced by her unrelenting grin.

Somehow, through Marcie’s booking savvy, their very next performance, only one month later, would be at one of Denver’s most prestigious venues, The Soiled Dove Underground, opening for a national touring act, Cadillac Sky. Moments before Julia’s name was to be announced and the curtain would open, Julia and Gunny locked eyes in silent bewilderment... “How in the heck did we get here...?” Julia sold several of her demo cd’s that night, the crowd seeming to be just as enthusiastic in their reception for her as they did for the headliner... and she gave her first autograph.

A band was put together, Julia dismissing Gunny’s suggestion that a younger “hipper” band back her up. She had apparently found comfort in being surrounded by “old school” players, and wasn’t concerned about image over music. In return for that decision, she would soon have at her disposal an experienced, veteran band of proven players, and the “Julia Bryan Band” was born, to include present band members, Berklee alumni Carl Holz on the drums, and Marcie on keys.

Two more opportunities would arise for her to open for national acts that year, and the unimaginable happened when Jake Schroeder, front man for the local powerhouse, Opie Gone Bad, called Marcie after seeing Julia perform in a “battle of the bands” at the Denver Hard Rock Cafe... “Would Julia be available to open for them at Red Rocks?” Within eight months Julia would go from experiencing her first coffee house gig to experiencing all the panic and indescribable excitement of looking up from that legendary stage as the 10,000 seats filled to capacity while her voice echoed throughout the towering rock walls.

The five-song homemade demo they had put together was getting national webcast support from Carmen Allgood on the Colorado Wave, and local airplay on 99.5 The Mountain, and KBCO. Requests for interviews were coming from out of state radio stations that somehow had Julia on their play lists. The band was becoming more and more popular at each of their showcases, and it was now a race to record more of the material Julia, Gunny, and co-writer Klaus Peterson had assembled. The small recorder utilized for the demo was no longer an option.

For Gunny, having been weaned on reel to reel tape machines, drudging through a quagmire of unfamiliar digital recording technology would now be required to circumvent the costs of going to a “real” recording studio. Purchasing the requisite “industry standard” recording software, for the next six months he would self-tutor on this new technology, and bulldoze through the recording and mixing of instrumental and vocal tracks, his forefinger married to the “save” command on his newly acquired iMac in fear of wiping it all away with an errant key stroke. Somehow, it all came together, and a cache of over fifty of their songs in various states of completion found its way into the iMac.

The time it takes to develop and promote a “performing act” is massive, and requires a “Hey, look at me!” kind of mentality that even after the year of performing, Julia was never able to get comfortable with. In wanting Gunny and her band mates to get credit for their contributions, she felt a growing self-consciousness about the whole “Julia Bryan Band” persona. Additionally, a performing act is also “required” by the industry to define itself by the following question… “In which category would record stores stock your CD?” Hell, half the fun of writing together for them was switching up from genre to genre… they didn’t need no stinkin’ category…

Ultimately the time required for self-promotion of the Julia Bryan Band, and the creative constraints of being an “act” featuring Julia took its toll on creativity. “The Last Flight Out” would replace The Julia Bryan Band in August of 2011. TLFO would instead be an uncompromising, fenceless band that would place songwriting, publishing, recording and web exposure over performing and pursuit of celebrity. All efforts were re-dedicated towards creating music, and getting it out to the world on CDs, film, television, or through other artists via their publishing company, “Say When! Music”. Their infrequent concerts are solely geared for the adrenaline rush of taking creative chances on stage, as opposed doing a canned show on the way to the next gig.

“Blues and Shoes” is the first offering out of the TLFO chute and is garnering a healthy amount of radio play and enjoying enough sales to produce their next EP in May of 2012. The plan is to launch one every six months, each EP having a genre personality of its own. Recently songs off of both “Blues and Shoes” and Julia’s first demo have been put in contention for film/TV use and coincidentally, Jeff “Classic” Popka, one of the first DJs to become enamored with Julia’s voice enough to request an on-air interview, now runs “Indie On Air!” the digital distribution label to which TLFO signed with in December.

TLFO will surely continue to evolve, with Gunny now sharing some of the vocal duties at Julia’s request, but for Julia and Gunny, it’s about accepting the consequences of sticking with what you love to do and tossing out the rest. Looking back, the significance of coincidences that lead up to their unlikely partnership is not lost on either of them. It’s all a little more strange when considering that Julia was employed at Chili’s for only a very short time, and was one of twelve servers available to potentially wait on Gunny and Marcie, patrons for only the second time in ten years… Grand plan? Maybe, but neither of them make more of it than what it’s been up to now... a fun ride, and a second chance to re-dedicate themselves to what they were both about to surrender... a love of creating music.

Tim Merkel
Originally from Rochester, NY, Tim Merkel has been playing Acoustic guitar for over 35 years. He prefers more intimate, acoustic venues where people go to listen. Classically trained at the Chicago Musical College in the late 70’s, Tim gravitated to the folk roots of Chicago’s Old Town and many suburban folk venues faithful to acoustic live music. He moved to Boulder in 2009 to pursue a career in music inspired by the mountains.

A prolific songwriter, Tim also covers his influencers such as Dylan, Taylor, Prine, Gorka, Young, CSN& Young, Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Lucy Kaplansky, The Indigo Girls, The Beatles and a host of classic rockers. He also enjoys Voice Over and theater acting, and has years of experience teaching beginner guitar for strong fundamentals, but mostly loves to perform.

Website from Chicago and being “Boulderized”
Reach Tim for bookings on his cell 815 526-2017
Mailing address
PO Box 20293
Boulder, CO 80308

Valen Rhodes
Valen Rhodes began singing at the age of three inspired first by her mother who loved music and sang gospel hymns and classics to Valen and her siblings. In her early teen years, Valen started entering in local talent contests and winning first place.

When Valen was 16, on a dare she sent a demo of her singing to Geffen Records in Los Angeles. After a few weeks Valen decided to call Geffen Records; it was Dec. 25, Christmas Day—no one calls a record company on Christmas Day! But, being new to the business, Valen did and as fate would have it, Mr. Geffen himself was expecting an important call and had his calls routed directly to his home (if memory serves correctly as to how he, Mr. David Geffen wound up answering the phone that day). He actually knew about the demo Valen had sent, (this meant a lot in itself considering the amount of demos he probably listened to daily) and he was nice enough to actually give his critique of the demo. Of course that was back in the day when record labels were more open. Well, at 16, Valen's vocal style was still emerging; and while Valen wasn't signed to Geffen Records, Mr. Geffen was gracious enough to suggest more development of her vocal style. Now that's a great story!!

In less than eight weeks on internet / subscription radio, the Valen Rhodes track Cherish has gained over 10,700 likes and fans. Valen has scheduled interviews
on subscrition and free internet radio stations and is poised to enter into the commercial arena with the help of great companies like Loggins Promotions
who scored the Cherish track with a Four Star rating. Valen's track Cherish and mystery Pop track entitled All Night Long scored a 7.4 Star rating with Hit Song Science scoring, see for reference.

Valen's scheduled to release another rumored hot track entitled
"How Can I Say, I Don't Love You" in mid June! Which again will be released on the Rare Art Records Label, stay tuned.

From Rare Art Records, " The Small Label that Listens "

For more info and to purchase Valen's new song, go to: