Friday, 29 April 2016

*NEW SINGLE!* The Fontaines | 'Cold' is the new HOT!

by CA Marshall

Well, as promised in the Starlight Music Chronicles *Exclusive Spotlight Interview* with Hank Fontaine of the Dynamic Brother & Sister band The Fontaines earlier this Spring (click here to read), they delivered! Their newest single 'Cold' has hit mainstream, has already been getting rave reviews, and surely will have FM radio stations clambering to get it on their shows. 

Hank informed me then that the new music would be different than what we have all previously heard with songs like 'Paul Newman', and 'Dusty Springfield' on their first self-titled EP. He also informed me that their next EP 'ii' can be expected to drop in June 2016 and with 'Cold' already out of the Barn gates only days ago, they are off to a high impact running start. 

When you combine Charlotte Fontaine's demure and delicate vocals with Hank's extremely impressive guitar shredding skills in this new number, there can only be magic and that is what this single gives right from the get-go. The song is a high energy burst of awesomeness that will wake anyone up out of a serious mid-day funk. Guaranteed you will listen to it once and think, 'What? What did I just hear?' and listen again. and again. and once more for good measure!

I remember asking Hank what we can expect from the new EP - if it would have a similar vibe to their first one, and he replied, 'I don’t want us to feel boxed in by conventions that already exist. I think where I see us going is a place where we don’t have to resort back to a specific time and place but instead to exist in this time and place in 2016. That is our goal." This is an accomplishment that has been achieved yet again by this completely unique and innovative band that has me monitoring their every new move on all of their social media platforms (see below to connect!). Why? My only answer is, 'Because they are The Fontaines! I would be crazy NOT TO!'

Titles from the 'ii' EP will be:

please, say something
i love you

See them perform 'Cold' Live below:


The Fontaines Social Media Links (Click to follow):

Monday, 25 April 2016

SMC ANNOUNCES *NEW CONTRIBUTOR* | Verena Evelyn Puhm 'The Hollywood Girl'!

by CA Marshall

Once again we have opened the gauntlet of creativity by welcoming in yet another Brilliant and talented contributor to Starlight Music Chronicles! Everyone, please welcome Verena Evelyn Puhm to our amazing team of Contributors!

Verena Evelyn Puhm comes from a very diverse background: known in her circles as ‘The Hollywood Girl', Puhm, originally from Austria, is a young European Actress/Writer/Director. and Producer venturing out into Los Angeles, California and documenting her journey for others abroad who also look to understand the complexity of what it takes to 'make it' in the City of Angels.

Verena will be Vlogging her journey of the life and times of an Actress in the big city on our Screen here on the SMC Website which will be linked to her YouTube channel. She will also continue writing frequently on ‘The Hollywood Girl’ so be sure to subscribe to her blog (Click Here)! In addition, she has also committed to a section of our Online Magazine with frequent features in the magazine. This will give a well rounded perspective from all of our Contributors from all over the globe!

Please check out the introductory video on our NEW PAGE (click here) to see who and what the lovely and talented Verena Puhm is all about.

Welcome to the Starlight Music Chronicles Team Verena!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Prince | SMC Editor's Personal Tribute and Farewell to an Epic Era in Music History

by CA Marshall

I could not write this two days from now when my heart settles down from the shock. I have to write this in the moment while I feel it because I know that the world will feel it with me. I write from the depths of my soul and from experience here....and I know I can't write it later. It has to be now.

Today, Prince has died. 

and even as I sit here writing this, hot tears are rolling down my cheek. This was a man who made the ups and downs of my teenage years very bearable. Without going into it too deeply, let's just say that being an empath and witnessing many of my high school friends pass away way too young by suicide (at least 4), cancer, and motorcycle accidents, tragedy was nothing new to me but it always impacted me greatly, Heartache was always fresh and I absorbed so much at such a young age that no one should ever have to. So it became that music was always my escape and it was a trait I adopted by my parents who listened to the classics: The Beatles, Peter, Paul & Mary, The Mamas and the Papas, list goes on...until the late 70's and 80's when bands or Artists like The Smiths, New Order, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, and Madonna began making their mark in my music catalogue aka: my memory bank. The music of the day was with me during the loss of so many, too many, too young because the songs were written with thought and intention and they brought me to a place of peace in my heart. 

For me, one of the greatest Artists of that time was Prince. 

It is his earlier work that brings back the best of memories and for me, the Purple Rain album was resonated with me through a time where I felt very fragile and uncertain in life. Prince had that quality vibe similar to the aforementioned Artists: and unlike my friends who were slipping away so rapidly, you always knew their music was going to be there and you never imagined them not being on this earth. So for me, today, when I say goodbye to this Music Icon, I am also saying goodbye to an era that, for me, truly was magic.

Life has been so fragile since the start of this year, that it's becoming increasingly painful to wake up each day and read a headline informing me that yet another one of my childhood Music icon's has left this world. I know this is par for the course: we are born, we live and we die. I accept that. But as one of my friends said to me once, 'That dash, that in between life and death stage, that's what we need to make count because we are never really truly prepared for the end.'

We realize our own mortality when this happens (the end)...think of it: for any one of us who 'grew up' influenced in some way by these magical human beings you have probably played their songs on the turntable when you were happy, sad. mad, excited, depressed...(pick an emotion, pick a memory). Back in the day, the only way to listen to their music was to sit by the record player or in the car commuting. We intentionally had to sit and be present to be listening, and it was our experiences that lead us to the turntable too. We listened to hear not to interpret but to allow ourselves to be immersed body and soul into what it was we were hearing and relate it to whatever was happening in our own world at that moment. There were no iPods, Tablets, Smart Phones (only the wealthier families had the Walkman's back then, the majority of us had radio and the turntable. I didn't get one until I was at least 14) so suffice to say, music 'on the go' wasn't as readily available to us like it is now. I am happy for that. There was no such thing as listening to music and multi-tasking. You absorbed. In addition to having to sit and listen, we had to go out and purchase the cassette tape or album with intention and not 'rip it off' for free. Music was valued and we saved our allowances up for that new album and when we got it, it was gold. This is the reason why I became so attached to the music of that era. 

If you, like me, are one of the lucky ones who grow up in the 80's or earlier, you can appreciate what I am about to say next: Our time is now. Our time was then. We don't know when 'Our Time' will be going forward so it goes without saying that we need to live in the moment and be grateful for the little things, circumstances, and events that bring out the best in us always and cherish them. Live with intention. Live with Purpose. Marry that person you said you would. Apologize for the mistakes you made, Forgive someone for theirs. Walk your dog. Smell the flowers. Whatever it is that floats your boat. 

For me, for today, it's sitting down and listening, really listening to the music and being nostalgic. That's my today, my moment. I think you all know what I'll be spinning on the turntable.....

Rest in Peace sir, and thank you for leaving us with your Magic.

Sam Weber | “Shadows in the Road” EP Review

EP Review by Michael McKenna
Nor'easter Entertainment Magazine

Sam Weber is a road dog of a younger breed. A known guitar slinger and record maker of Western Canada, Sam has set his chops loose in his own musical pastures. Hailing from the open skies and minds of North Sanich, Vancouver Island, the 21-year-old singer-songwriter has gone from strength to strength with gigs and EP releases that have caught the imagination of listeners in his home country of Canada and all across the world. This ambitious and masterful debut full-length album is the culmination of years already spent focused on touring and recording. His melodic guitar licks and old soul vocals provide a perfect blend of brilliant songwriting worthy of an artist with years of experience. Most of the tracks were written when he was 15 years old. His music has been described as artful and addictive.

The prestigious Berklee College of Music also saw Weber’s incredible potential, awarding him a summer scholarship when he was just 17. The school went on to award him a full-time scholarship, but Weber’s artistic instincts proved too restless and he returned home to Canada to pursue his song craft.

The “Shadows In The Road” EP is six songs curated by Sam Weber from his debut album, “Shadows In The Road.” This is an album of intense contrasts, emotional entanglement, and mercurial, enthralling arrangements. It plants Sam's evident affection for freedom, fleeting love, rocky mountain desert valleys, and Bruce Springsteen into sonic prose.

The EP opens with, “Right Hearted”, opens with sound that grabs you from the door. The strong acoustic blend of guitar, percussion and piano licks accentuate his awesome pipes. This track has peppy rhythms and has mainstream appeal! “August” is a killer cut! The story line has him telling how he is so lovesick and how he professes his love for his significant partner. His ability to range his vocals stands out here. “Don't Hurt” oozes so much inner heartfelt feeling from Sam. This balladic tune also is single material and would make the ladies swoon.

“Rolling” is a brilliant up-beat piece that exudes so much flavor in the mold of today's Americana combined with a pop sound nicely complimented by excellent guitars. One of my favorites on this effort! “Burn Out” builds from acoustic picking combined with the right amount of percussion that gives this track a full sound. Sam's vocals are piercing and hold the listener captive throughout. The final track, “Something To Say” has a cool back-country flavor that is accented by the slide-guitar parts that stand out very prominently. Once again, Sam gives it up on his powerful vocals. Another of my favorites!

One can hear influences from some of the greats like Bruce Springsteen, Al Stewart and Gordon Lightfoot in Sam Weber's style and projections. This young man is going to make waves in his home country and with the proper promotion, he will kick it worldwide in short order.

This EP is a MUST LISTEN! On the Nor'easter Storm Scale, I give this a FORCE 3! WELL DONE SAM!

Monday, 18 April 2016

*EXCLUSIVE REVIEW | INTERVIEW* Santana “Santana IV” by Mike McKenna

Review By Michael McKenna
Nor'easter Entertainment Magazine

It took them 45 years to do this and now it's here! Santana, originally came together in the summer of 1967 under the watchful eye of the legendary Bill Graham and went on to take Woodstock by storm. The years that followed are now rock history. To make things even better, the original cast from Santana 3, from 1971, are back and reunited on this new effort. Carlos stated, “I called all the original guys and said 'Let's get this thing together and do it'.” Michael Carabello states, “There's nothing like this team of musicians and I relate it to a baseball team, everybody has their position and when we go out and play, it's a very positive thing.” Benny Reitveld said, “This is like a garage band, a bunch of old friends in a garage, but it's on another planet.”

Fronted by multiple Grammy winner, Carlos Santana along with drummer Michael Shrieve, percussionist Michael Carabello, guitarist Neal Schon and vocalist and keyboardist Gregg Rolie, they will be making tidal waves with this new LP. Bassist Benny Rietveld, percussionist Karl Perazzo and special guest vocalist, Ronald Isley, are also on board to complete this All-Star cast of musicians.

With all of the issues fronting us today, Carlos needed to make a lasting statement with his new music and at the insistence of Neil Schoen, it finally has happened. Carlos stated, “It felt like it was the right time for us to partake in this chemistry that Santana is. It's really fun and a lot of joy because there is a lot of appreciation and we deeply value each other.”

This 16-track collection opens with “Yambu” that is a little bit jazzy, funky and Latin flavored all in one neat package. Gregg Rolie's heavy bottom on keys combined with Rietveld's, Santana's and Schon's signature guitar work reverberates and reprises the conga-fired soul that we heard on their 3rd LP. “Shake It” is Latin percussion and guitar heavy and kicks ass right from the door. Carlo's powerful vox dominate! The first single, “Anywhere You Want To Go”, is a monster. This killer cut has already made waves worldwide. The guitar and keyboard solos are banging! “Fillmore East” is an instrumental memoir of the legendary venue that launched many famous acts.

“Love Makes the World Go Round” featuring vocalist, Ronald Isley from the Isley Brothers, takes the listener back in time to the track “Everybody's Everything” from their 1971 LP. Isley's powerful pipes are like a good wine, they got better with time! Rolie's key solo is off the charts! “Freedom In Your Mind” takes you hostage from the first note! Shades of “Oye Como Va!” Neil Schon riffs are powerful and Ronald Isley nails this perfectly. “Choo Choo” features Greg Rolie on vox where he gives it to you low and strong. This track is bound to be one of my favorites on this effort! MASTERFUL!
“All Aboard” takes things down a bit on this touching balladic number that will end up being the wedding dance song of the decade! The deep feeling that oozes from this track is angelic and inspiring. “Suen Os” is a rock-infused jam which has a hypnotic sound that will take hold of the listener and keep them riveted. The verse, 'Let it roll, let it roll' brings that groovy retro flavor to the forefront and one can hears parts of “Caravanserai” here. “Caminando” is a mid-tempo bluesy number that reminds me a bit of the late, great BB King! Carlo's vocals are on point and he gives this so much of that Mississippi/Delta sound.

“Blues Magic” kicks things up a few notches on this instrumental that espouses Carlo's roots from his early days. The guitar work is spot on and touches the ear with sheer perfection. “Echizo” is beyond description, it's that good! “Leave Me Alone” is another killer cut. This should make programmers soil their shorts in a heartbeat! This track is ready for mainstream radio! This is the equivalent of “Evil Ways.”

“You and I” is a guitar-driven instrumental with just the right touches. The solos go back to the 2nd LP where those long riffs were the norm. “Come As You Are” will make the top of the charts on Latino based radio. This fun-filled track makes one just want to dance their ass off! The final track, “Forgiveness” is a seven-minute workout that can be described as a spaced-out artsy track in the mold of what Pink Floyd did in their heyday. The guitars take one to a place where they have never been before. The lyrics are totally out of the box cool.

In closing, Carlos Santana said, “You take people's attention from whatever they though was important and then the sound resonance and vibration makes them feel what's really important in their lives and what's important in your life is to value yourself from the point that there is a lot of wisdom and grace in you....get ready to partake in something that is supremely delicious. I look forward to giving the people of Allentown a show they will remember..”

I would have to say that this is the BEST that I have ever heard this awesome collection of musicians sound. The creativity, talents and mind-blowing sounds that emanate from this effort are mesmerizing and warrant exceptional kudos.

This LP is a MUST LISTEN and MUST BUY! On the Nor'easter Storm Scale, I give this my highest rating, a FORCE 5! WELL 


Santana Social Media Links:

Friday, 15 April 2016

SMC Announces *NEW PODCAST RADIO SHOW* Ft. Ty the Voice Guy April 15th, 2016 Webpage Launch!

By CA Marshall

Today is the day – the day Starlight Music Chronicles (SMC) makes their own history with the launch of the NEW Starlight (podcast) Radio platform to the website! Almost a year ago when the website originally launched there have been many strides and accomplishments such as the launch of our online magazine October 29th, 2015, alignment with three nonprofit Organizations that we support, and the introduction of Starlight Film with Actor and Producer Parris Williams. It was only a matter of time that the demands by fans to SMC would want a multi-media site showcasing our brilliant Contributors penchant for exceptionally written pieces, Art, and photography.

Today, we officially announce the addition of Ty Anderson, known as Ty the Voice Guy to many. Ty is the Host of the Starlight Radio component of our website and will be Hosting two half hour shows to begin with commencing April 29th, 2016. We will be posting announcements on our Calendar on the Website for show times and dates as well as social media blasts on our Facebook Page and Twitter platforms.

So let’s delve a little further....Who is Ty the Voice Guy? We took to asking and here’s what he told us:

“When I was growing up "back in the day", the one thing I looked forward to was Saturday morning cartoons. I found that I could mimic the characters and make my family and friends laugh. That was my first exposure to character voices.

As I got older, my influences grew with me. Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Saturday Night Live, and SCTV were outrageous, improvisational and full of characters that have led me down the road to what I am striving for today...professional Voice actor.
After High School, I ventured to Montana and attended May Tech, majoring in Radio Broadcasting. Shortly after graduation, I worked at various radio stations as an on-air personality, from Talk to Rock, Anywhere I could get my name out there.
I returned to the Seattle-Tacoma area searching out better opportunities.
My work includes live call-ins and spots for local and out of state radio, a vocal re-recording of a movie for a college final project, indie films as an actor and voice actor and continue to keep my voice work moving forward.
Currently, I am taking any voice work I can get...and loving it. I am available for, but not limited to, VO's, Commercials, Video Games, Animation, Audiobooks and Promos.”

So there you have it! Ty comes to us with an extensive background in Radio Broadcasting and has already proven to be a class act on our Pilot Episode (click here) launched on April 7th, 2016 as well as featuring his 'Skill' for a few brilliant promo spots on our YouTube channel where he has impersonated the late Alan Rickman, Bobcat Goldthwait, Sir Elton John, and now, Casey Kasem. We are certain will be yet another brilliant star in the SMC crown!

Be sure to watch for upcoming announcements about our first show airing on Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 and in the meantime, check out the new page and all of its features - there are some great things to come! Welcome to the Starlight Music Chronicles family Ty!


Social Media Links for Ty the Voice Guy (Click to view):


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Paul Simon “Wristband” *Single Review* by Michael McKenna

Single Review by Michael McKenna

This iconic singer, songwriter and musician has returned in a big way with a brand new LP that is due to drop worldwide in June 3, 2016. “Stranger To Stranger” will be his 13th solo studio album and will be backed by a North American tour supporting the new album with nearly 40 shows slated across the United States and Canada.

The new LP was produced by Simon and his longtime musical partner Roy Halee. In a statement Simon described the LP, saying, "It's about getting you to actually hear something in a new way. It's about making music that sounds old and new at the same time; music with a sense of mystery."

“Stranger to Stranger” stems from experimental origins, including sessions channeling 20th century composer and theorist Harry Partch who made custom instruments in microtonal tunings, while working with a group of Flamenco musicians and Italian electronic dance music artist Clap! Clap!

"Sound is the theme of this album as much as it's about the subjects of the individual songs. If people get that, I'll be pleased," Simon continued. "The right song at the right time can live for generations. A beautiful sound, well that's forever."

The first single, “Wristband” opens with a stand-up bass and effects from young children in the background in the mold of “Me & Julio...” in that signature Simon fashion. The lyrics talk about a gentleman who has to have a wristband in order to get through the door so he can see Simon's show. Now that is something I can relate to!

The Flaminco influence as well as some soft EDM percussions carry on throughout this fun-sounding effort and have the listener toe-tapping from start to finish.

Tracks on the LP will include:

1.The Werewolf
2. Wristband
3. The Clock
4. Street Angel
5. Stranger to Stranger
6. In a Parade
7. Proof of Love
8. In the Garden of Edie
9. The Riverbank
10. Cool Papa Bell
11. Insomniac’s Lullaby

I look forward to hearing the rest of this LP from this Hall of Famer that has been a long time coming. MOR/CHR radio will grab this in a heartbeat! WELL DONE!

Monday, 11 April 2016


Single review by Michael McKenna
Nor'easter Entertainment Magazine

Lights (born Valerie Anne Poxleitner; April 11, 1987) is an Award-Winning Canadian musician, singer, and songwriter. She is well-known north of the border for her three EP's, “The Listening” from 2009, “Siberia” from 2011 and her Award-Winning LP, “Little Machines” in 2014. It is from the latter that she has released the new all-acoustic single, “Meteorite.”

“Midnight Machines”, the acoustic follow-up to “Little Machines”, released on April 8, 2016 and is from here, that this single is generated. This LP promises to be in a mold that is just a bit different for the singer. It is to be an orchestral-like mix of tracks off of the album. There will be 8 tracks from “Little Machines”, as well as two brand new tracks never heard before.

Valerie's powerful pipes are front and center and are nicely enhanced by the mild and laid-back orchestral accompaniment. This is a welcome change of pace and shows this writer her flexibility to recompose a song into a more mild manner. Her vocals remind me of a Sinead O' Conner in this acoustic flavored track. This is not her first foray into acoustic tunes as she released an acoustic version of "Cactus in the Valley" featuring Owl City as a single in the UK in 2013. I see this as Lights broadening her musical repertoire to cover both sides of the spectrum. It is very refreshing to see an established artist be able to be this flexible in their projections. KUDOS!


Latest single from If I’m Honest gives fans another glimpse of remarkable new album

 NASHVILLE, TN – (April 11, 2016) – Country music superstar Blake Shelton is releasing new single “Savior’s Shadow” this week, sharing one of his most deeply personal songs while giving fans another peek at his forthcoming new Warner Bros. Records/Warner Music Nashville album If I’m Honest due May 20.

“Savior’s Shadow” hit Shelton in a flash of unexpected inspiration and he quickly enlisted veteran Nashville songwriters Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall to help him flesh out the idea. The song, available now at iTunes and on streaming services, is as close to “The Voice” star’s heart as any he’s shared with fans before.

"At a very dark time in my life last year I dreamed the first verse of this song,” Shelton said. “I woke up and immediately wrote it down. Now, looking back, I know it was God’s way of telling me that he's here and things are gonna be OK."

The spare, simple song is carried along on a solemn pedal steel line and builds to strings as Shelton shares the emotions he felt during a difficult time in his life. The response to the song has been strong and positive, and gives another look at the much-anticipated If I’m Honest, an album Shelton believes is special.

Fans reacted immediately to news of the release, sending first single “Came Here to Forget” into the Top 20 upon debut. The video for the song debuted in conjunction with the season premiere of Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch.”

Shelton’s in the midst of his 10th season as a coach on The Voice with fellow stars Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams. He’s also looking forward to the career-spanning exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story, which opens May 27, will examine the star’s road to success, from his childhood to his move to Nashville as a teen, and from his multi-platinum recording breakthrough to becoming a national celebrity. A range of artifacts, including stage wear, instruments, song manuscripts, photos and personal items will help tell the story of Shelton’s struggles and triumphs.

For the latest news and information, be sure to follow Shelton on Twitter @blakeshelton and stay tuned to

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Lumineers “Cleopatra” LP Review - Way Over The Top!

LP Review by Michael McKenna
via Nor'easter Entertainment Magazine

The Lumineers are one of the unique success stories of the past few years. A down-to-earth independent Americana trio hailing from Denver, their banging anthem “Ho Hey” took the world by storm in 2012, followed by a second #1 single “Stubborn Love” and their third charting single “Submarines”, all carrying them on a journey from the Grammy's, to the top of the charts, to the Hunger Games, all in a short period of time.

Their self-titled debut album became a multi-million seller as they stormed stages around the world and legions of new fans fell in love with the emotional and philosophical range of their pointed, lyrical songwriting. Now, at long last, they are back with their second album, Cleopatra, a collection of such depth and texture it affirms The Lumineers as a band in for the long haul, with a growing canon of songs that stand comparison with the best America has to offer.

The Lumineers consist of Wesley Schultz on vocals & guitar and Jeremiah Fraites on drums & piano. They are joined by the renowned cellist and backing vocalist Neyla Pekarek. “Cleopatra”, is the culmination of three years of non-stop touring, six months of secluded writing in a small house in Denver, and two months of recording in the rural isolation of Woodstock. “I think the old fashioned way is the honest way,” says soft spoken singer Wesley. “We wanted to take our time, strip it right back to its raw and honest essentials, and make an album we believe in.”

This 10-track CD opens with “Sleep On the Floor” which grabs one right from the first note. The lyrics relate to the ups and downs of ones daily life and are powerfully projected by Wesley in a very hypnotic fashion. “Ophelia” takes you to the core of very deep feelings. Jeremiah's piano work sets the pace for this entire piece. The title track, “Cleopatra” features Wesley's picking on his signature Guild guitar and his telling vocals. The timeless Lumineers sound permeates throughout this wonderful tune.

“Gun Song” is about Wesley's father and the gun he found laying in a drawer after he passed away. This pulsating composition will raise your blood pressure and take one to another place immediately. “Angela” takes me back to a day when music told a story that had a deep, heartfelt meaning. This track will hold you captive! One of my favorite tracks on this LP! “In The Light” is an Americana monster, hands down! The projection is so smooth and makes one want to hit replay numerous times! The acoustic guitar just talks and is so fluid!

“Gale Song” reminds me of some of the greats from the good old days in the way this song is performed. Ballads are where an artist is defined and the feelings they give to their listeners. “Long Way From Home” tells of a personal journey that one takes from their youth to adulthood. This track is finely detailed in every sense and is accentuated by tender guitar picking. “Sick In The Head” tells a poignant story of those who were there and now are gone. Touching! The final track, “My Eyes” is so powerfully expressed and touches the listener in places we thought no longer existed. This song will give you goosebumps in short order. I replayed this track numerous times to get that deep feeling that exudes from it.

I can honestly say that this effort goes 'way over the top' and will be Platinum in its first month of existence. This IS the best I have heard from The Lumineers and will be a staple in my catalog for many years to come. BRAVO!!

This LP is a MUST LISTEN and MUST BUY! On the Nor'easter Storm Scale, I give this my highest rating, a FORCE 5!! WELL DONE!!