One to Watch: Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees

Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, and now native to Nashville, Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees are a talented four piece writing, recording and performing their unique and exciting brand of Southern Americana Groove Rock. Not sure what Southern Americana Groove Rock is? Best check out their storming debut album, Procrastinated Memoirs. It’s good. Real good. These guys have talent in all departments and we reckon Spectra have snapped up a band that has genuine potential to make a lasting impression.

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Headed by a frontman with a personality bigger than his beard, Jacob Needham is talented. His authoritative voice is distinctive and oozes confidence. The Blue Trees are equally gifted, playing with flair, distinction and a degree of unity that belies the fact they’ve only been together for three years. James Tyler Cody is a phenomenal guitarist with fingers faster than Usain Bolt. Ben Trexel’s an experienced bassist who’s not afraid to get down and dirty, and RaShaun Whetstone keeps everything on-point with drum beats that keep better time than a Rolex.

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Procrastinated Memoirs comprises twelve tracks of pure American Rock heaven. Released by the Spectra Music Group earlier this month, it’s diverse and pushes boundaries but maintains a strong sense of cohesion throughout. The album kicks off in style and with a slight twist – the ethereal intro to Traffic puts you at ease and leaves you expecting a ballad. You start to relax…BLAM…the big guns come out. Bass. Drums. Guitar. Snarling vocals. It’s energetic, exhilarating and everything a rock song should be.

Following on is Therapist, which dials things back a notch. Its emotional lyrics paint a picture of conflict and confusion within a relationship that’s teetering on the brink. It’s smart, sincere and proves these guys can actually put pen to paper. Vanilla Salt Black Voodoo brings the noise back – it’s chock full of deep guitar riffs, bass with attitude and twisted lyrics that are perfectly delivered, and Next Words you Say proves just how versatile Needham is as a vocalist. Avalanche is pure, sophisticated and is the kind of track average bands can only dream of writing. It will undoubtedly appeal to a wide audience and underlines the band’s potential to cross genres and build a fan base that stretches far and wide.

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Procrastinated Memoirs comes into its own with the oh-so-catchy Alabama Baby. You’ve probably seen the video – it’s won The Blue Trees a lot of new admirers. The track is the first of several smokin’ hot, Southern stormers that could’ve been laid down at Muscle Shoals. Alabama Baby epitomises fun times, boys & girls, beer and barbeques. Get it on your summertime playlist before you regret it! While you’re there, add Radio too. It’s yet another stand out track in which everyone pulls their weight. It’s got so many elements to it that it could easily fall on its face, but it doesn’t. And just when you think J T Cody’s lightning fretwork has snatched glory, Needham slams home an accomplished rap that totally works.

By this stage we’re thinking things surely can’t get any better. We’ve been worked into a party-ready frenzy and it’s only 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Oh wait…they’ve done it again…Rhythm & Brews comes swaggering along, tipping its hat to Johnny Cash and throwing in some catchy harmonica and banjo twists for good measure. It’s our personal favourite and left us mulling the possibility that Jacob Needham is in fact the bastard love child of Ronnie Van Zant and Mick Jagger. Probably not, but with his range, attitude and tone, he sounds like he could be. These guys rock; Just Dropped In proves it. Dirty, edgy, raw and accented by yet another unbelievable guitar solo.

King without a Crown is a luscious piece of soft Southern rock that starts to wind the party down. It’s classy and well measured without sounding dull, allowing Needham to show a silkier side of his voice. Ol’ Bones is modern rock that steps away from swampland juke joints and into the city with its contemporary, urban sound that is still undeniably rock music. The final track, Say your Prayers, eases you back to reality with a soft landing – the perfect comedown from one of the most exciting albums we’ve heard this year.

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Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees have dropped a bombshell with Procrastinated Memoirs. An incendiary mix of effortless rhythms, raging guitar solos, confident lyrics and a front man who delivers. It’s a must-listen album and we can’t help but think this is the start of something very big indeed.

If you want to get in touch with Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees, contact Bobby Collins, Director of Operations at Spectra Music Group:

bobbycollins@spectramusicgroup.com
(O) 843.628.3555 Ext. 101  –  (F) 843.494.9626  –  http://www.spectramusicgroup.com

Links & Social Media:

http://www.bluetreenation.com/

https://facebook.com/JacobNeedhamandTheBlueTrees

https://youtube.com/user/Jneedham2910

https://instagram.com/blue_tree_nation

Up Close & Personal: Disconnected Genius

Our latest musical heart-to-heart saw us link up with some boys from Down Under; Melbourne to be precise. Disconnected Genius are a three piece playing classic melodic rock with their own distinct lean. While bassist Yuri and drummer Daniel were either surfing, wrestling crocodiles or engaging in some other stereotypical Aussie pastime, we caught up with lead singer, Jamie O’Keefe.

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Hey Jamie, we love the new release but we’ve not seen many titles like that since the days of Captain Beefheart. We’ve got to ask…how the hell did you come up with that one?

Our latest LP is called Nirvikalpa Meow; Nirvikalpa is the highest attainable state of enlightenment espoused by the ancient Vedic saints. Meow was my cat, who died. So it is the highest honour and tribute to her.

Wow, high praise to Meow. I never had the pleasure, but I’m sure she’d be made up by the album. We’re All Watching Everything has lodged itself in my head – are there any tracks on the album that stand out for you?

There’s quite a rigorous quarantine selection and vetting process before songs are even considered for one of our albums, so any song on a Disconnected Genius album is something we think is awesome. I suppose it’s a bit like being asked to choose your favourite child. They all have their thing, that’s why they’re there.

The Disconnected Genius journey has been relatively short so far, but what would you identify as the band’s greatest musical achievement to date?  

Just recording two studio LP’s is the greatest achievement in my opinion but in terms of awards and chart placings we’ve had dozens of songs do really well in different Indie Radio Charts. We’re also proud of the fact a song of ours called Sadness is a Primary Color from our first record, Dogs Chasing Fairy Tales, was nominated for a Golden Kayak Award, which is an Indie Music People thing run by Scott Stambaugh.

From what we’ve heard, Disconnected Genius tick the boxes for both music and lyrics. What’s more important to you guys when you’re writing your songs?

Good question. Music, because that’s what makes it music, but it does pay to have good lyrics.  I find it’s a bit like if you imagine the music to be a diamond, but you’ve got to sand the diamond down to get it into shape and in that sanding process suitable lyrics usually seem to appear.  A good Rorschach test is to ask yourself: if there were no words, would it be a good song? And vice versa: if there was no music would the words stack up as poetry?

So give us some insight into the musicians who may have inspired you. What was the first album you bought and do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

The first album I bought was (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. Still happy with that, got off on the right foot there.  I was about nine or ten and listened to it all night and fell asleep with it still on, it was magical. In regard to musical guilty pleasures, I don’t think there’s such a thing. If it’s good and you like it, who and where it’s from matters not in the context of what’s seen to be “cool”.  Take Nickelback for example. They made it big because they wrote one of the best songs of the last 50 years in How you Remind Me.  Sure they’ve kept releasing the same song for the last 20 years but at least they’re famous for a reason.

But you know, music from Flashdance I love: What a Feeling and all that. Some of Kelly Clarksons stuff is pretty cool and I still pump Hanson’s MMM Bop, too.

So how do you see the future of your music? Any plans to mix things up in search of sonic evolution? 

In our opinion, the evolution of style is not really a consciously motivated thing, it just happens naturally, but we’re working on our 3rd album as we speak.  Already we’ve got some pumping tunes that we feel are raising the bar to a whole new level, so we’re unbelievably excited about it!

It’ll be time to celebrate once that’s all wrapped up! Out of interest, do Disconnected Genius have a bona fide party animal on board?!

That’s definitely Yuri!  He’s been running this annual Christmas party for fourteen years. He’s practically the Australian Van Wilder!

If you’ve not checked out Disconnected Genius yet, take a look at the links below. They’re top guys, so take the time to follow them on social media, download the album and keep in touch for news about their fast approaching third LP.

 

Listen to Disconnected Genius:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/48IaPhobTv2FxcfxOODDZ2

Deezer: http://www.deezer.com/search/disconnected%20genius

Find Disconnected Genius:

Site: http://www.disconnectedgenius.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/disconnectedgenius

Instagram: http://instagram/disconneted_genius

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Zen_Rockstar

YouTube: smarturl.it/dg_youtube

ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/disconnectedgenius

 

Under the Radar: Blue Helix

Rock music has always fought for the underdog. Real music for real people; graduates of the school of hard knocks. Overcoming adversity and proving the haters wrong has fuelled the creative fire burning within hundreds of memorable rock songs, giving listeners hope, motivation and the opportunity to mosh their socks off.

Blue Helix are the latest in a long line of rockers using their music to help good overpower evil. Their latest track, Anti-social Butterfly, is a hard-hitting anti-bullying anthem that delivers its message with style, energy and refinement.  Some tracks with a moral focus can come across gimmicky and insincere. Not this one. It works. Blue Helix have delivered a track that has the potential to rival Shinedown’s unimaginatively titled 2012 anti-bullying smash, Bully. The reason Anti-social Butterfly works is simple. It’s not hollow. It’s based on lead singer Sami Chofhi’s very personal experiences as a victim of bullying. Who’s laughing now Sami?!

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Blue Helix formed in 2008 and are based in Seattle but also have roots in South America. Drummer Marco is pure-bred Brazilian and Sami is half Brazilian, half American. The Seattle sound subtly resonates in the music the make, as do aspects of some of their major influences, such as Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. They’re polished but have an unmistakeable raw edge and originality that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Anti-social Butterfly is the perfect intro to a thumping grungy rock band that has huge worldwide potential. The track is vibrant and energetic from the outset, with tight percussion, fierce guitar licks and Sami’s standout vocals. Fans of their last hit, the melodic rock ballad Aliens, will be impressed by this upbeat offering that showcases their diversity.

Music video lovers will fall instantly in love with Blue Helix. This band understands the importance of providing a visual spectacular to accompany their music and the results are memorable. Aliens won a number of music video awards and was lauded for its lush camera work and spectacular CGI panoramas that fit the track perfectly. Anti-social Butterfly abandons the fantasy vistas, opting for gritty realism that complements the lyrics to a tee. It’s fantastic to see an up-coming group delivering the full package and it seems inevitable that more awards are on the horizon.

So hats off to Blue Helix, kicking sand back in the face of bullies, thugs and haters right across the world. What better way to get your message across than through a truly storming piece of rock music.

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Track Blue Helix by subscribing to the Urban Antenna blog and checking them out on social media:

Website http://bluehelixmusic.com

EPK http://artistecard.com/bluehelix

Spotify https://play.spotify.com/artist/4Y6skLOx7JZILeOgcDdTyW

Deezer https://www.deezer.com/us/artist/393508

Pandora http://www.pandora.com/blue-helix

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tale-of-two-halves/id921512905

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BlueHelixMusic/

Twitter https://twitter.com/bluehelixmusic

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/BlueHelixTV

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bluehelixmusic/

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/bluehelix-music

Reverbnation http://www.reverbnation.com/bluehelix

BandCamp https://bluehelixmusic.bandcamp.com/