"A-Sides" kicked off a year ago with three vastly different artists: singer/songwriter J.Aims of J. Aims & the Fever, indie pop rockers An Horse, and NeverShoutNever led by Internet sensation Christofer Drew. The goal for the music series was (and is) to focus on an eclectic mix of performers each time -- from established acts to newbies -- in a very informal way. In essence, the interviews are always real and never rehearsed. The conversational interviews are always preceded by performances that are raw and deeply felt -- whether it's acoustic or plugged in. As I look back, I'm proud of each session I've done, and feel truly blessed to have met such gifted musicians and storytellers.
Since we're coming at a year of A-Sides, I figured I'd celebrate by doing more of the same. This week's artists filmed their sessions with me at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains. Their music is vastly different but similar in that it's not what I'd dub "throwaway" music. In other words, the song stays with you long after it stops playing.
First up is Justin Jones, a DC-based singer/songwriter whose fourth album "Fading Light" just dropped. Like previous work by the musician, the album is full of raw rock tracks with a kinda,sorta country feel going on. Earlier this month, Jones performed "As It Turns Out" off the album, and spoke about it. Like to hear it? Here it go.
A-Sides with Jon Chattman: Justin Jones Performs "As It Turns Out"
Justin Jones Discusses "As It Turns Out"
Bonus Jonas: Justin Jones "Fading Light" Music Video Premiere
Like Jones, Sean Rowe is a talented singer/songwriter with a few albums under his belt - well not literally. Although, it would be news if an artists openly revealed he has actual albums under his belt. Anyway, the Troy, NY native's words are as deep as his voice, and one can get that by watching his performance below. On A-Sides, he performed the track "To Leave Something Behind" about new-found fatherhood which this guy (points to self) relates to big time. The prolific musician, whose album "Magic" came out about a year-and-a-half ago, will release "The Salesman & The Shark" on Aug. 28.
Watch. Listen. Love.
Sean Rowe Performs & Discusses "To Leave Something Behind"
The final act on A-Sides today is something completely different. Saint Motel are a four-man band from the City of Angels whose trippy blend of rock and roll, garage rock, and prog (possibly with some soul) makes it impossible to pigeonhole them into any genre. I'll try anyway. The psych-ish rockers released their debut full-length album "Voyeur" in July, and have been touring all summer long. On A-Sides, they performed "Benny Goodman" off their debut, and it has far less to do with the famed bandleader, and far more on getting funky -- at least for me.
A-Sides with Jon Chattman: Saint Motel Perform & Discuss "Benny Goodman"
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.