chicago

From Our Open Blog: Derek Porter

Derek Porter is an Illinois-bred, Chicago based songwriter, musician and producer following in the footsteps of his father, Bruce, a pianist and songwriter of 30+ years. Derek's songs are his craft - he writes for all the groups in the Piercing Music collective. These songs span genres, including folk, rockabilly and pop. His upcoming solo album, Strangers, Vol. 1, makes the softer sounds of his past work its focus. The album is a quick, satisfying listen, which will segue into Vol. 2, to be released in the near future.

   

Closed Sessions

Just as many label across the country and around the world struggle and search for new and inventive ways to survive in a digital world, a collection of talented Chicago music professional may have solved the problem. Rubyhornet's Closed Sessions label may very well be at the forefront of a new movement in the digital music age. With each of the Closed Sessions founders having years of experience in their respective fields, they combined their expertise in Audio Engineering (Mike Kolar who is chief engineer and owner of Chicago’s SoundScape Studios), Media Technology (Omar Solis) and Viral Media (DJ RTC EIC of Rubyhornet.com and also a renowned DJ who has performed and worked hand in hand with numerous labels and artists) to create a one-stop shop that caters to everything an artist requires to create compelling music. It is a fascinating concept, but these men have taken it beyond concept and created Closed Sessions: Vol. 1.

When a participating artist comes to Chicago, they are taken to SoundScape Studios with RubyHornet.com’s full video team and the studio is equipped and catered to fit their individual needs. Once comfortable, they are able to cycle through the Closed Sessions catalog and pick the beat of their choice. Once they have chosen their beat, they are left to do what they do, make great music. It allows the emcee to expand their sound while enjoying the safety and structure of the Closed Session experience. The sessions are photographed and videotaped.

Since conducting the first Closed Session with New Orleans’ recording artist Curren$y, artists such as Amanda Diva, Kidz In The Hall, Tanya Morgan, U-N-I, Bun B, Donnis, Rhymefest, Skyzoo, Big Pooh, and many others have participated. The label recently released a single created with Emilio Rojas called "Helluva Year" and the video above explains the process. The first Closed Sessions EP, presented and mixed by DJ RTC, will be released in March 2nd and will contain nine songs. The collection will be distributed digitally as a free download. Below are the first two tracks they have released from the ep. Welcome to the future of music.

   

Lobisomem EP out Today

The latest effort from Brad Loving (aka Lobisomem), Brightest Solids EP, was released today via Tall Corn. The above video was created by Brad for the track “Dhegiha Group”. The video was made by stringing together 2,513 photographs he took with his digital camera. The video was shot in one continuous take.

   

White Flowers

I can’t believe it is almost March and everything is still covered in snow. Here is a video from Kristin Ronne that really captures the feel of Chicago right now.

   

CD Review: The Right Now

Coming March 3rd the soulful collective known as The Right Now will release their debut album Carry Me Home. Lead by the powerful voice of Stefanie Berecz, The Right Now play pure funk and soul without apologies. It’s clear this large band, Brendan O'Connell; guitar, keys, & vocals, Chris Corsale; guitar, Jonathon Edwards; baritone sax, Jim Schram; tenor sax, John Smillie; drums, and Greg Nergaard; bass, feels like family. In fact Stefanie’s daughter goes on the road with band consistently, and the band wouldn’t have it any other way. In the album’s title track was written by Brendan for Stefanie’s daughter Angelene.

The are so many highlights on this album for the soul music fan, but my favorite has to be the steady stomp of “ Ain’t Going Back”. It seems to be the perfect mix of sultry vocal, gospel choir backing, and a steady walking groove. “How many years I wasted try to reach my peak…, I’m coming on quick so get out of my way”, Stefanie says it clearly. This band has arrived and their power will be felt.

The Right Now is celebrating the release of Carry Me Home on March 19th at Lincoln Hall.