2015 Music Reviews



Music Review Archives (since May 2010)




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Matt Kabus


There is an abundance of talented singers, songwriters, musicians and performers in the music scene today. It is rare to find a representation of the total package. Matt Kabus is a rising star with a fresh new sound that embodies the unique confluence of thoughtful lyrics coupled with memorable tunes.
Kabus emerged onto the music scene as a solo performer as well as the lead and founder of the Matt Kabus Band. He has played at Sundance Film festival, The Classical meets Jazz Strings Festival in Steamboat Colorado, opened for Zac Brown, Sister Hazel, Matthew Mayfield and many more. Kabus was recently invited to join UGA in Italy to study theory and songwriting with renown composers. He continues to gain an increasing amount of support after each performance and has built a sizable fan base in the Southeast which continues to grow nationally.
Recently, Kabus won best performance to represent Heineken Beer Inc. at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Also, his original song "Picture Frame" was placed on MTV's 16 & Pregnant (Season 4 Episode 10).
We expect great things to come from this rising Athens/Atlantan star. His plan is to continue to write original music and escalate his performances to venues all over the country in the coming year.

When you listen to Matt's music then you too will come to expect good things to come from this talented artist. Here him on his website.



AEABIA

AEABIA is a singer who takes influences from all genres of music. He is an unsigned artist who also creates fine art prints, poetry, hosts a radio show, makes cartoons & more. Check out our website for more information or if you wish to contact this artist for business inquiries.
AEABIA provides dance music that will get your head nodding and your body moving. AEABIA makes music that will motivate you to move & groove.

There you have it! Aeabia takes you "soaring through the clouds". He is a singer that deserves to be heard. Listen to him on his website.






Tyde Moore



Tyde Moore is releasing their first EP, 'Edifier' which will feature Christian Pop Rock artist, Nathan Brumley. The EP has five songs, including their previously released single 'Shine on Boston (feat. Nathan Brumley)'. The Edifier EP will go under the Christian Rock genre. The entire Edifier EP was written by Tyde Moore and Nathan Brumley.
The theme of the 'Edifier' EP is edification. To edify or be an edifier is to be someone who lifts up people spiritually, but also someone who speaks the truth and uses the truth to build up God's people spiritually. An edifier can be anyone: It could be your pastor, your grandmother, your mother, your brother, your sister, a friend, a stranger or even you. The point is that we all need to choose to be an edifier. I am Edifier, are you?
Tyde Moore are husband and wife Christian songwriters that feature up and coming Christian artists in their music for release. Edifier will feature Nathan Brumley, a Christian Pop Rock artist out of Nashville Tennessee.

I really enjoy listening to "Tyde Moore" and their collaboration with Nathan Brumley. It is truly inspiring. Get inspired yourself and listen to them on ReverbNation.


Christopher Scott and the Imposters


"I just got back from outer space and just met the human race" If that's not an interesting concept then "grits ain't groceries." I think this is an amazing lyric. The tone of voice from the singer is uniquely confident with conviction. There is a Sparkle to the instrumental and a nice flow right away. The captivating vocal went along really well with the instrumental, bringing meaning to some great lyrics. Great energy and rhythm with the guitar in the introduction to the song. Love the space and unfamiliarity metaphor that runs through the song, you don't really know what type of song it's going to be, which is good given the easy to read characteristics of many songs today. The vocalist has a dylanesque sound to his voice. The lyrics are easy to remember, "2 steps forward, 1 step back." I feel another hit.

Take a step forward and take a listen to "Christopher Scott and the Imposters" at ReverbNation.



SassySingz


Award Winning Miami-based Singer/Songwriter SassySingz flaunts powerhouse vocals and highly sought after songwriting skills. In a time when studio produced talent runs rampant, SassySingz represents unquestionable talent. Influenced by artists such as Chaka Khan, Shirley Caesar, Karen Clarke Sears and Gladys Knight, SassySingz seduces the audience with an authentic, captivating R&B sound that true music lovers have come to miss. Her range combined with relatable lyrics and soulful sounds draws listeners into a world of bliss. Performing internationally for audiences of 1,000+ people, SassySingz has opened for celebrities such as Marsha Ambrosius, Bobby V., Elle Varner, Kindred Family Soul and Trina.
As a songwriter, SassySingz has written original music for her projects as well as others. She wrote and produced her first independent single, "True Love" in collaboration with producer DaHaitian Kidd in 2009. To keep the momentum going, she collaborated with DJ Big Ben to produce "Maybach Miami," an ode to her hometown which received significant rotation at local radio stations. Released in 2011, SassySingz executive produced her first mixtape, "The Threat." She has also written the hook for Young Funzy on "Out the Ghetto," and co-written "Going Crazy" with Vulcha Smooth.

Very upbeat and jazzy "Sassy" will get ya movin! Give her a listen on her website.



Sunup


Initially formed as a duo in the early '70's, soon after adding bass, they performed and recorded off and on for 30 years. They performed in smaller clubs, coffeehouses, colleges and concerts, primarily in upstate NY and the New England areas. They opened shows for Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, Eric Anderson, the James Gang, Johnny Winter and others. Sunup also did many live radio shows on WCMF and WGMC.
Throughout the years Sunup enlisted the talents of others, like Dee Carstensen, who is an incredible writer, performer and vocalist, as well as drummer, Benny Grammatico (Ben Gramm), Diane Holmes (another extraordinary vocalist), Jim Tomkinson and many others. The group held no boundaries. It was more about what was needed to communicate the songs more effectively. Sometimes it simply called for a trio and other times it was a 7 or 8 piece group.
In the '80's and '90's the group still had Garry and Kerry, but were then joined by keyboardist, vocalist and friend, Brian Soule and drummer, Phil Lake. After Phil left to record and perform with his jazz-fusion group, John McNeill joined the group, along with acoustic guitarist/singer Sean Gleason.
When one listens to the Saratoga Sunrise album they are getting the combination of three decades of music, friendships and a motif of emotions streaming from the speakers. The music of Sunup remains timeless, as one recording engineer recently stated.

You guys have been around forever and sound really great. (We won't mention there is some upstart band in London by way of Norway that is using your name! Here the real "Sunup" on their website.



DUB-L


Michael Delaney, better known by his stage name Dub-L, is an American record producer, DJ, musician, songwriter and MC.
In 2003, Dub-L released his debut solo album, Dub-L's In Town, following it up in 2004 with his second album, Day of the Mega Beast! It features guest appearances from artists including Rahzel, Professor X, Hangar 18, DJ JS-1 and MF Grimm. Dub-L produced and rapped on his two solo albums.
Dub-L's other work includes the trip hop group The Controls, which he formed with singer Ann Colville in 1998, putting out their debut album the following year. An instrumental version of the album was released in 2012. In 2004, he produced two tracks from MF Doom's second Viktor Vaughn album, Venomous Villain. Dub-L and DJ Cassidy occasionally team up as Cass & Dubs; in 2008, they produced all of O'Neal McKnight's singles, including "Check Your Coat", featuring Greg Nice. Since 2011, he has been independently releasing projects, including the group Monday Morning High, formed with rapper Chase Phoenix.

Very cool and insightful. Not rock and not hip hop it's Dub-L. Take a listen on his website and see for yourself.



Lachi



Lachi is an award nominated BMI singer-songwriter, recording and performing artist, an IMDB-credited composer and a published author. Lachi has worked with award winning producers on multiple projects, has opened for Patti LaBelle and Questlove of The Roots, and has been featured in media such as Oprah Radio, NPR, MTV.com, CBS Radio CW11 and more.
"It's Our Time" by Lachi featuring a award winning collaborators, musicians and producers has been put out by Mixluv Records October 21, 2014 in digital stores everywhere!
From edgy music, to wildly impassioned performances, to tech-collaborations, Lachi continues to rollout consistently high-quality content and enchant listeners with her raw and unapologetic ballsiness and was deemed "Consistently Good" by Computer Music Magazine.

We think that Lachi is kind of edgy too! Listen to her on her website and see what you think.





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Ida LaFontaine

Ida LaFontaine just releases her brand new single 'Anthem'. It follows on from the genuinely quite awesome 'YOLO' which despite being released in January, is STILL giving us LIFE this summer. Regardless though, we’ve been thirsty for new music from this Swedish up-and-comer. And it appears we're now going to be getting it in droves.
'Anthem' is the first of four singles to be taken from her forthcoming EP 'CandyBox', which will come out at the end of November.
This new single is all hand claps, drums beats, anthemic chorus, catchy melodies, and "dum-diddy-dum-de-dum-de-dum-dum". As we all saw, heard, and loved with 'YOLO', Ida doesn't shy away from the whole teen pop thing – what with her being a proud 17 year old and all that. But she does do it it remarkably well. In fact, along with those chaps from The Fooo, she's probably the best teen pop act out there in Scandiland at the moment. As in – a teenager doing music that suits her age. And we want as much sugar coated pop gems from her as possible, before she gets too old for it. And therefore that 'CandyBox' EP title sounds promising.
Ida was born and raised in Stockholm. She is 17 years old and in her second year at Rytmus Music School. She plays both guitar and piano but her main talent is her vocals. Music takes up much of her daily life, but aside from that she dances at SDA (Scandinavian Dance Academy).

If you are young or just young in heart then you will love Ida's music. It is very energetic and "bouncy", just the thing to get you up on your feet and dance! Check her out on her website.



George Kawalek


Singer songwriter George Kawalek has a unique sound - combining genres from American country to classic rock he delivers upbeat songs with a deep lyrical content. He began writing songs at an early age and later went on to begin recording for his debut album, Only If You're With Me, in October 2013.
Only If You're With Me is eclectic in its message; with some songs describing his great love for life and desire to enjoy it, whilst others express his struggle through a difficult season, yet focus on the overriding hope that strengthened and sustained him.
The newly released album features the single "Nothing Like Coming Home", a fun, high energy pop song, destined for radio waves.
The single is closely followed by the upbeat indie rock tune called "Guilty By Association" along with Only If You're With Me" which follows in the lines of bands like U2 and Coldplay.
From indie rock, and pop, to alternative rock, this album has something for everyone.

George has the sound of a good ol' boy from the south. I guess if the Beatles can influence American musicians then the South certainty did influence this Brit! See what we mean and listen to George on his website.




Hannah Bethel

Hannah Bethel grew up on country music and classic rock in the backwoods of Northern Michigan. At a young age, it was apparent that Hannah was a natural entertainer. She sang for anyone who would listen. She loved to make people laugh and think and feel the emotion of the songs. At fourteen she picked up a Squire acoustic guitar that her younger sister had ditched and soon after she was traveling the Upper Midwest, performing original music at fairs, bars, talent shows, coffee houses, shopping malls and country and western shows. Hannah self-released her first record at 17 and the following year she moved to Nashville, Tennessee.
In 2011, Hannah connected with producer, Andy Sheridan, who is currently touring with Hunter Hayes, and the two started work on what would be Hannah's third studio project, "The Freedom EP". This record brings Hannah's catchy, unique sound into full light; traditional country music with a quirky, organic pop twist. "The Freedom EP" sparked worldwide attention and rave reviews for Hannah. She received acclaim from such renowned music industry critics as Robert Oermann, "She has a very cool Appalachian vocal style. The upbeat tune is produced perfectly with plenty of open spaces between the fiddle, dobro and steel lines...The accomplished singing is as impressive as the fact that she wrote or co-wrote all five of the EP's fine songs."
Hannah is an avid writer and co-writer. She has written with some of Nashville's finest songwriters, from big names to newcomers. One of those newcomers is Momentum Label Group artist, Rachele Lynae. Hannah had her first song cut in 2013 with Rachele's sophomoric single, "Fishin' For Something", which received extensive radio play across the US.
Hannah has spent the last year touring the United States, performing shows from Alaska to New Jersey and everywhere in between. Hannah is working on a new record to be released in Summer 2014.
Hannah has recently been named one of CMA Close Up's Who New to Watch in 2014.

This girls got really big talent and will be the next big star out of Nashville. We are really amazed that every country station from Nashville to San Bernardino isn't playing her music as we write this! You just wait and see (but if you can't wait then listen to her now and pick up her songs on her website).

click and listenclick and listen






The brainchild of songwriter, vocalist, and guitar player, Nick Wade, the band was originally conceived back in the early 00's as an acoustic four-piece, playing original music that was likened to REM, and Sting.
Time passed and band members came and went.
In 2012, Nick cemented the relationship with Alan Sleight (lead guitar), Chris Johnson (drums, percussion), and David Eyre (bass) and the sound that Nick had been searching for was finally here.
Chris and David have a long history of performing together due to knowing each other from high school and beyond. They produce a natural groove that has been described as a meld of Gavin Harrison and Chic. Add to this Alan weaving his guitar around Nick's vocals and you have a dynamic sound that is refreshing and easy to listen to.
In late 2013 they set about putting together their debut album. With David producing, mixing and mastering the album, "Blue Skies and Tornados" was born.
"Blue skies and Tornados" was released worldwide digitally on 22nd Sept 2014. Three tracks from the album have featured on prime-time Saturday evening slots on BBC Radio Leeds and the album has been well received fans.

This band is ready for prime time! Great imagery with a more then decent sound. Check them out on their website.



Worldview



Worldview is the alias of Oliver Shaw, an Oxford UK-based songwriter, performer and producer fusing rock, pop and dance sounds with insightful lyrics reminiscent of Elvis Costello or Morrissey and the melodic sensibility of the classic 60's acts. Oliver began playing in bands, including one with Coldplay's bassist-to-be, then spent several years honing a one-man band approach in his studio, writing, singing and playing everything in the manner of Stevie Wonder, early Prince or World Party. He self-released a debut solo album, the relationship-themed War Years, in late 2002, culled from home sessions.
It enjoyed some airplay and praise for the “timeless quality” of the songwriting.
Now largely a studio act, Worldview's new 2014 album Pop Philosophy is a mature reflection on life, loss and mortality in melodic, guitar-led rock songs with elements of electro, folk and funk.

"Worldview" sounds pretty good to us at Music Arts so check him out on Soundcloud, perhaps you'll agree!




Richard Thorne



"Buddy Holly might have sounded something like this if he had migrated to the Village scene in the latter 1960s, as folk music was transforming into folk-rock - in other words into an intelligent, inner-directed, generally acoustic pop." This is how one insightful critic described Richard Thorne and his music when reviewing his CD, "Amalgam" in 2004. Inevitably , the word "quirky" pops up whenever anyone attempts to describe his music, whether it is in the chord progressions, the constantly changing time signatures within a song, in the melodies and lyrics or in his voice. He has always taken a somewhat atypical approach to song writing while still being mindful and influenced by the "masters" of the art of song writing.? Richard was born and raised in Central Upstate NY, and In his younger years, had the good fortune to grow up in a musical household where he was exposed to just about every style of music possible, from classical to jazz, to folk, country, pop, rock and musical theater.
He recorded five songs in various styles this past summer which are avaiable digitally. He is a long time member of ASCAP, and multi recipient of their ASCAP PLUS Awards and a member of the Folk Alliance.

Richard calls his album "A mix of styles/songs". Were not sure if that's the name or indeed just what it is. Take a listen for yourself on his website.



JES

In a world where few have the vision, creativity and will power to carve their own distinct niche JES has excelled in exactly that. One voice and vision that has forged a career path that is often imitated, but rarely equaled. JES' extraordinary voice and passionate songwriting has won her the respect and adoration of both the music fans and industry across the globe, releasing songs with the very cream of the international crop.
JES has launched her epic single, "Sky Stand Still" from the much talked about film,The Principle, which debuted to sold out shows in Chicago over the weekend.
"My main goal for a song is always finding that emotional connection with the audience. I wanted the words to mean something universally and make the melody beautiful so it touches the listener and leaves them feeling something. When writing for a musical theme you have that chance to sum it all up. Music is such an important component to film and I am excited because I think it is a powerful uplifting song that will connect with people and be able to reach a global audience," says JES.

We feel that "Jes" has achieved her goal of "an emotional connection with her audience" as she certainly has connected with us her at Music Arts. Listen for yourself at her website.



Dan Hylton and the Ghostrunners


Minneapolis acoustic indie-rocker and father Dan Hylton's You Will Go to the Moon EP is somehow both a reflection upon his own mortality as well as a hopeful promise of the future he is passing off to his kids. You Will Go to the Moon, the title of which was originally intended to be a whimsical pledge of an otherworldy experience forlisteners, became a somewhat more earnest promise to facing both the outset and the twilight one's own life. Hylton has the propensity for the sort lyrics that, in his words, "make people feel like they just had a conversation with a really good friend".
That songwriting is on full display in You Will Go to the Moon as Hylton explores such themes as the before-mentioned point-counterpoint to Trampled by Turtles' "Alone" ("You Will Never Be Alone"), doubts and fears one experiences in a sleepless night ("Faith, and Lies, and Promises"), and an a meditative recollection of a cast of characters witnessed during alone time at a NE Minneapolis coffee shop ("During Practice, Hers Not Mine").
Hylton, who has an acoustic-driven sound (something like "a slightly offbeat Glen Hansard meets a slightly upbeat Morrissey"), is currently supported by the talented backup team of the Ghostrunners, who accompany him on the latest CD. You Will Go to the Moon was released in 2014 to a capacity crowd at The Acadia in Minneapolis.

As we listen to Dan Hylton and the Ghostrunners "You Will Go To The Moon" when they do go we hope that they take us along! We certainly would have some great entertainment on the way. See what we mean on Dan Hylton's website.

















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Drea Love


Drea Love Drops "Dance With Me" Via Her VEVO Channel!
Drea Love is a powerhouse ATL pop princess! Having amassed almost 100,000 views on her last big hit "Lights Down" Drea Love is back to take over the city once again with "Dance With Me"!
A EDM/radio friendly beat with uplifting lyrics sets this one off with Drea leading a group of dancers on an amazing routine!
Atlanta's newest Pop/R&B artist, Drea Love began with a gospel background as a young child in McComb, MS. Growing up she knew that her love for music would become a career goal. Motivated to become self-sufficient in the music industry, she has recently went from enjoying singing as a hobby to becoming a professional artist. Drea Love has a voice that appeals to the young crowd that enjoys feel good music that makes you dance and music to cater to the heart. Working hard to set herself apart from the rest of the R&B artist in Atlanta, she incorporates a pop style as well as the newest sound "EDM" which is accompanied by hard hitting lyrics and various features.
Currently she is working on the production of the video for “Summer Fun” that will be shot on the sandy beaches of Jamaica and will be released Spring 2014. While she is preparing for that, she is currently working on new music brought to you by Starlight Entertainment, working on several endorsement deals and traveling across the globe on a promotional tour and performances.

Drea sound is original and heartfelt. Listen to her on her website.



Steve Henrichs


Steve Henrichs' quirky pop/jazz style prompted Los Angeles area pianist John Hammond (The Fabulous Baker Boys) to describe his music as "masterful". His collaborator, Eduardo Del Signore, is a former student of the late Brazilian jazz great Moacir Santos. Steve's debut album, Dawn, released in August of 2014, has received airplay in over 100 countries on Internet radio station Jango.
Henrichs works with a select group of musicians whose combined credits include performances with Freddie Hubbard, Danny Elfman, Dr. John, Dionne Warwick, Hans Zimmer, L. Subramanium, Chick Corea, Milton Nascimento and Strunz and Farrah.
Henrichs is currently working on a second album, to be titled Journey, which will be released in 2015.

Great smooth jazz at it's best. See what we mean and listen to Steve on his website.







Ari Hest


Ari Hest started out independently releasing albums in 2000 and played plenty college shows all over the country. In 2004, he was signed to Columbia Records and released "Someone To Tell" as well as "The Break-In" in 2007 on the label.
After a mutual split from Columbia, Ari began "52", a project for which he wrote, recorded, and released a song a week for the entire year of 2008.
He also recorded an EP with Rosi Golan under the band name "The Open Sea" in 2010 which had several songs licensed on shows like Private Practice, One Tree Hill and Hart of Dixie.
Since then, he has released three independent albums - "Sunset Over Hope Street"(2011), "The Fire Plays"(2012) and "Shouts And Whispers"(2014).
Ari's new single "Harvest" is a contemporary pop song about recognizing when you've lost track of what's important in your life and re-centering yourself to let in what really matters. "Harvest" is the first single released from his 2014 Shouts And Whispers album which is generally about letting go of fear, and resolving to find truth.
Having toured with acts like Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega, Judy Collins, Boy, Neil Finn, Declan O'Rourke and Martin Sexton, Ari's holds a strong live performance.
He has also had several songs licensed for shows like: "Bird Never Flies" on Army Wives, "Now" on The Lincoln Lawyer, and "Strangers Again" on Winter Break.

Simply a wonderful sound. Can't get enough of Ari's music as it conjures up deep emotions. We probably have heard him before and didn't know who we were listening to. Go listen to him now on his website.



Zarko


"Writing a song is a special kind of self searching, you have to reach deep into yourself and be able to share with people what you cant say", Zarko.
Aspiring singer/songwriter Zarko, made his debut in 2013 with "Chasing Dreams" published in partnership with Tate Music Group.
The first single "Offering my song" was a success and Zarko received Fame Music Contest award, an audio production scholarship at the SAE Institute.
Grew up with the dream of becoming a songwriter and started playing guitar when he was 10 years old.
Educated as a classical guitarist, but decided to try his luck with the rock'n'roll after high school, performing with various bands.
It took awhile before Zarko decided to pursue solo career.
His influences vary from Don McLean, Jackson Browne, Springsteen up to Richard Marx, Bryan Adams and Keith Urban.
Zarko studied filmmaking school and is very passionate about film production, freelancing as video editor on various documentary and TV projects. Zarko is always in search of opportunities in the world of film & music.

Zarko is really worth a listen. Check him out on his website.




War Poets

War Poets are back with their newest EP - Hot and Cold: American Relationships, released by Rock The Cause Records, a non-profit record label based in their hometown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rock The Cause is dedicated to creating community involvement through concerts, workshops and music releases, and over the past 8 years Rock the Cause has helped to create thousands of new volunteers as well as financial support for organizations like Children's Cancer Research Fund, MusiCares and others.
Hot and Cold: American Relationships, comes out on November 4, 2014 with a portion of proceeds going to work to find a cure for Cystic-Fibrosis.
"I really wanted to be on this label," Says Rex Haberman, War Poets lead singer. "Their ethos and the difference they make for community is in perfect alignment with our mission as artists."
War Poets draw on Americana, pop, and rock to achieve an aesthetic that's refined but rootsy. The group has a unique band structure built around a core duo of Haberman as the primary singer-songwriter and guitarist, and bassist-vocalist, and contributing songwriter, Jenny Case as the musical director. The two keep an ongoing artistic dialogue with creative advisor Matt Kirkwold who also contributes songs to War Poets. Previous to War Poets, Haberman had recorded and released three albums, and Case has led her own band, and played in many cover bands. Currently, she is the executive director of She Rock She Rock Foundation.
When forming War Poets, Haberman made a socially conscious decision to build the band around a female singer-bassist. "I have a strong opinion about the status of women in music because I find it a really male-dominated world," he reveals. When he expressed the idea of forging a female/male artistic alliance to creative advisor Matt Kirkwold (Haberman and Kirkwold have been friends and collaborators for 15 years) Kirkwold suggested Case. "We work together like we're on a mission," Haberman explains. "Jenny has high standards. She's a perfectionist in the studio and really pushes the band's performances.

War Poets has good ethos in their philanthropy but they shine in their music. "They deliver song after song and put a smile in your heart." - Marcus Walton, Editor. Listen for yourself on their website.



BERNIE JOURNEY


Bernie Journey, born Bernard David Journey in Cleveland, Ohio was raised within earshot of great rock 'n' roll. Local radio introduced him to some of his favorite artists at an early age, including Elton John, Lionel Richie, and Donna Summer. Each artist possessed a distinctive style, making an indelible impression on Bernie. Primarily a painter while in school, Journey's focus began to change after being introduced to a new wave of mainstream dance-pop artists that were played on heavy rotation on MTV. Madonna, George Michael and Prince were among his new favorites. They presented him with a style he could run with, and he soon began supplementing his painting with piano lessons. Bernie found making music more challenging than visual arts, but as a singer songwriter he identified a creative outlet in which he could express himself openly.
In May 2013, Bernie Journey rose up to the #1 spot on the New York City Dance charts for ReverbNation.com, all the while, maintaining a top ten position since 2011. No small feat considering the competition in the Big Apple. He also rose to #5 Nationally and #14 Globally on the same charts.

Bernie sounds a lot like Boy George and we mean that as a compliment as that style of music is a forever favorite. Take a listen to Bernie on his website.














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