Story & Song
Guests & where you can hear us
We have had guests on the show such as multi-gold winning and multi-platinum wining songwriter, Bobby Keel. Hit song writer, Barbara Cloyd, to many award-winning writers and performers from across the pond. Such as David Schweitzer, who composes scores for Magor documentaries and films. To songwriters from The Netherlands, Belgium and South Africa. It has been an incredible experience to meet people from so many different places. To listen to their music and hear them tell their stories. Stay tuned, we are just getting started. We have some great surprises coming up!
If you scroll down, you will see a brief writeup on each guest we have had on the show.
You can hear us on any of the above platforms. Just choose one and click on it. Or if there is a specific show you want to hear there is a player underneath the writeup of that show right on this page.
Ideas for a song can come from anywhere. There are the obvious ones: love songs, heartache songs, drinking songs, party songs. There are plenty of songs about politics or the environment or specific causes. Then there are less obvious inspirations like a favorite car model or even a favorite food. Songs have been written about historical figures, fictional characters, long lost pets, and even imaginary friends. The sources for ideas are as vast as your imagination.
In this episode of Story & Song, we have Qrian here to talk about her new song, Boss. The inspiration? You guessed it. The song is about a boss she once had on a job. Anyone who has been out there in the working world has at least one boss in their past that they are happy to be rid of. We’ve all had to work for that one person who seemed to take pleasure in making things as difficult as possible. That’s what this song is all about.
Through the course of the episode, we also get to know a little about Qrian herself and where her name came from. She talks about her songwriting process, her past in Korea and England, and her hopes for her musical future.
Once again, Story & Song is turning the spotlight on a shiny new talent. Enjoy the show!
By Jesse Bryan
The Silva Lining Band
We’ve got a special episode of Story & Song this time around. As we have only done rarely in the past, we’re playing two songs.
Our guest is just that good!
I’m talking about the Silva Lining Band, partly from Portugal and partly from England. They are a swinging jazz band with huge regional vibes carrying the listener home to beautiful Portugal even when the lyrics are English. What a magnificent mix of sounds!
Here to talk about all this is Luno, Tiago, and Catarina. There’s a lot to cover. We get into the history of the band and its members, the meaning of the band’s name, projects both future and past. So much to unfold in a single episode. Who knows? We might have to do another show in the future just to fit it all in!
This has never been my kind of music and that should tell you something. For a band like this to capture the attention and imagination of a metal-head like me is quite an accomplishment. You’ll know what I mean when you hear it.
First up is Lisboa, a song featuring Catarina on vocals. Next is Let Yourself Be Free, with Tiago taking the lead. Showcasing these two songs shines a light on the diversity of this band. Able to invoke different moods at will, the Silva Lining Band is a force to behold. I’m blown away by this band and I know you will be as well. Enjoy the show!
By Jesse Bryan
When I was in my early- to mid-twenties I went through a period where all I wanted to listen to was music which would make me feel lighter, happier, more in tune with the spirit of life. I listened to everything from Carlos Nakai to Yanni, Christopher Franke to Kitaro. I felt enveloped by these magical instrumental sounds. Today, Story & Song has introduced me to another great composer.
Alf Jetzer is spun from the same cloth as these other 'Master of Music' who so inspired me all those years ago. Listening to his music just makes me feel good. It makes me happy. It washes away my cares of the day and frees my soul for more important things.
In this episode, the spotlight is on his song, Soul Birds. I absolutely love it. But really, there’s so much more. Listen to the show, enjoy the song, and then go looking for more. Alf Jetzer has a number of pieces just like this one, all equally mesmerizing, all magnificently mood-altering. I really can’t say enough about this music. I’m a fan.
So, check out the episode. Yes, there’s a bit of a language barrier, but it’s not bad. Alf is easily understood; his English is more than up to the task. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and I’m sure you will too. It’s my immense pleasure to introduce Alf Jetzer!
By Jesse Bryan
Dian Sheng has had quite the journey. Growing up in China, then finding himself in England, learning to speak with a decided London accent mixed with the Chinese gives him a speaking voice both unique and delightfully clear and easy on the ears. And that’s just the way the man talks!
In this episode of Story & Song, it’s all about the way he sings. He’s got something both familiar and new. His music is clearly suitable for the radio, ready to blast out of your car speakers on those long drives. Frankly, he’s better than most of what I hear these days on the radio. But he’s also entirely his own creature, gently drifting through his notes, carrying the listener along with him as he tells his story.
Dian Sheng’s song, The Way Before, is a brilliantly written story told through song. It resonates with a melancholic sense of longing and hits the listener right in the tender spots. I won’t mention any names but there are some great singers living at the top of the pop charts recently who wish they were are as good as Dian Sheng.
Once again, Susan delivers the best new talent on Story & Song. This episode is another solid hit. A great interview with a great singer/songwriter. This is Dian Sheng. Enjoy!
By Jesse Bryan
Ashlyn & Scarlett Sullivan
Two teenage girls from Mississippi join the show and wow us with their manners. (So rare these days.) But even more impressive is their music.
No, they aren’t a band. No, they don’t sing together. We are talking about Ashlyn and Scarlett Sullivan, two sisters who are each doing their own thing. It just happens that they both have picked music as their respective things, and we are all the more fortunate for that.
13-year-old Ashlyn is a little shy and it’s 15-year-old Scarlett who does most of the talking. But they both shine the brightest when they sing. First up is Scarlett’s song, Iron Shield. Then, later in the show, we get to hear Ashlyn’s song, Hide And Seek. Both are absolutely amazing. Such beautiful voices, these two girls have!
Their dad, Spencer, joins in on the conversation as well, making the whole thing a real family affair. (No song from dad, alas.) But it’s all about the girls and the music they make. Big things are coming from these two. As they each grow and evolve their music, we’ll see each of them come up with more and more individual sounds and styles. Already, they each have their own unique and personal voices.
Ashlyn and Scarlett Sullivan are two musicians you are going to want to keep an eye on. It’s shining stars like these two young ladies which make the future so bright for all of us.
By Jesse Bryan
Mack Holland, must be doing something right. Record labels do not approach random artists and ask them to come on down and make a record. It just doesn’t work that way. Ever!
But it worked that way for him. Sure, he did send out some lyrics. But he sent them to someone in California. It was a recording studio in Nashville which contacted him out of the blue. Suddenly, his recording career was off and running with a song titled Your Love Is A Thrill.
In this episode of Story & Song, Mack is here to talk about his journey and his latest song, Lord I Thank You. It’s a deep dive into his own Christian beliefs, an inspirational song filled with hope and joy. Mack’s faith is his driving motivation, and it shows clearly in this beautiful song.
In this show, we get to hear about Mack’s interests, his travels, and his writing. From love songs to inspirational Christian songs to poetry, his writing covers a wide variety of subjects and styles. And it’s all discussed right here in this episode of Story & Song.
So, kick back and get to know Mack Holland. You’re going to like what you hear.
By Jesse Bryan
Martin Kuiper has been in the music business for a long time. If you haven’t heard of him, it’s because he’s spent most of that time behind the scenes. FaceCulture is an amazing phenomenon on YouTube, an extravaganza of talent from across the varied universe of musical genres. For twenty years, Martin has been pulling in musicians from all over the world to interview on his show. It’s grown over the years, so much so that he has had to employ others to handle some of the interviews. Business is booming!
Now, he’s embarking on a new adventure. After spending decades talking to the ones who make the music, Martin Kuiper has joined their ranks. His new song, Emotion Dealer, is a smooth, jazzy song with fantastic lyrics.
In this episode of Story & Song, Susan talks to Martin about his music and Martin shares his thoughts on writing and song construction. He also talks about his own interview techniques and his many other interests. He’s really a fascinating person and he shines in this episode.
His journey to becoming a musician after carving out a career for himself interviewing other musicians has been an exciting one, allowing him to meet some of the biggest names in the industry. And now his name is counted among them.
Since hearing this interview, I’ve been checking out some of his other music. He is consistently good. It’s always exciting to discover something new and I’m going to be keeping an eye on this music man from the Netherlands. I can’t wait to hear what’s next.
By Jesse Bryan
What is Limberlost? What on earth could the word mean? Is it some foreign language? Is it some strange combination of words? Maybe it’s just something someone made up, a non-word that sounds clever.
Or maybe it’s a kick-ass rock band with a really great name. A name that comes with a story. A name that carries a message. You’ll have to listen to the show to find out.
That’s who Susan is talking to in this episode of Story & Song. Brittany and Mike are on the line to discuss their latest song, Give It To Me. It’s a real rocker, which makes sense when you consider what kind of band Limberlost is. They are the kind of band that shares stages with Daughtry, Drowning Pool, Scott Stapp, and a host of other heavy hitters. And if that’s not enough, you can legendary guitar god, Yngwie Malmsteen, to the list of rockers this band rubs elbows with. Yes,
Limberlost plays for keeps. When this band takes the stage, the audience is in for a hell of a show. And their studio tracks are works of art. They know how to blast a song with razor edges, but there’s also something ethereal about their sound. It’s magical, or maybe supernatural. And best of all, they are putting something out there that the world needs today more than ever: positive energy.
If you are a rocker, this is your band. You are going to love Limberlost.
By Jesse Bryan
Story & Song 48 is a fun one. The band is Sunset Radio, the song is The Hardest Time, and we’re talking to Adam, the lead singer. The topics of discussion run all over the place! David Bowie, Elton John, and Bruse Springsteen all enter into the conversation. Susan and Adam talk about song construction, the evolution of music and genres, and the use of technology in the making of music. It’s all here.
Sunset Radio is a band which has gone through its own evolution over the years. As Adam says in the interview, they started out with more of a punk sound, heavy on the guitars. Today, they have a more current and relevant sound. Their music is rock, but it’s got an availability about it that opens the band to pop fans as well. The band has an accessible sound which will appeal to a wide variety of listeners.
One thing that stood out for me in this conversation was the different writing styles out there. Some songs are so specific in their storytelling that the listener can really only hear the message the writer was trying to convey. And then there are songs which lend themselves to interpretation. There are merits to both styles of writing, as discussed in this episode.
A lot is covered in this one. And Adam’s speaking voice is as easy on the ears as his singing voice, making the listening experience that much better. Enjoy the show!
By Jesse Bryan
In this episode of Story & Song, Susan is talking to Iain MacDonald, another brilliant star in the Scottish rock pantheon. A fixture in the music scene for a long time, he’s worked with Rak Records, Polydor Records, and Bocu Music, among others. He’s written lyrics, composed pop and dance tracks, and performed at live events. One of his songs, Me and My Foolish Heart, for the band, Johnny Hates Jazz, won him a gold record.
His latest project has taken him back to his roots. He’s making his own music, doing it all his way, and taking it on the road. Better yet, he’s taking it to the studio, so we can all listen in!
We’ve got two songs for you in this episode. First, we play Salamander Sky, a beautiful piece about climate change. Pay attention to the lyrics. It’s good one. Next up is the song he came on the show for, It’s My Dream. This song is what Iain calls a “lad’s” song. It’s about a guy who fantasizes about a girl. So yeah, it’s a song for the guys. But only on the surface. It’s really a song about having a dream and going after it. And that’s something anyone can relate to.
Iain MacDonald is a fascinating character. His talk with Susan is fun and interesting. This is another great episode that you don’t want to miss.
In this episode, we’ve got a fantastic new band from New Jersey! But are they new? Actually, they’ve been around for quite a while. Their first album came out back in 2006. The album was so strong that they have been able to tour on it all this time. But at long last, fans rejoice! There is a second album!
We’re talking about LongRoad, and we’ve got Ted and Pete on the line to talk to Susan all about the new album, Faith In Greater Things?. Ok, that last bit wasn’t a question. That’s the name of the album. Kind of makes you think. Are they asking you if you’ve got faith in greater things? Are they suggesting that faith in greater things is inherently questionable? Who knows? You’ll have to listen to the entire album if you want the answer to that.
Their first single from this new gem is called Breathe, and it’s a keeper. You’ll want to download this one into your music library, for sure.
Now, I know I said they are from New Jersey, and you might be expecting some kind of signature Jersey sound. It’s there, but that’s not all that’s there. The members of LongRoad all have different musical tastes and backgrounds, and they bring each of their unique styles to bear when creating music. The result is a sound at once familiar and completely new.
Once again, it’s my pleasure and privilege to be part of this show. Susan introduces me, time and again, to music I likely never would have found on my own. These guys are good. They’ve got a great sound and an energetic vibe that really gets the blood pumping. We’ve had music from all over the world showcased on Story & Song. What we’ve got here is good old American rock n’ roll. I’m lovin it!
It’s time for another episode of Story & Song. This one is our 45th, and we’ve got something special for you. She goes by the name of Zarah, and she’s a dynamo. She’s opened for The Goo Goo Dolls, hosted TV shows, and written a novel. Her life has been one non-stop action movie and she’s here to tell us all a little about the ride.
First, let’s take a look at the book! We’ve never had a guest with a novel before. Zarah’s novel is called Diamonds Are For Cocktails and it’s a fast-paced thriller steeped in glamour and intrigue. Toss in wealthy aristocrats, a diamond heiress, and a serial killer, and you’ve got an absolute thrill-ride of a novel.
But this is Story & Song, and it’s the music that you’ve tuned in for. Zarah’s song, What Have We Become, is something special. Brimming with social and societal awareness, it’s a real rocker. Zarah’s raspy vocals rip through the lyrics, bringing them to vibrant life. And what lyrics they are! Pay attention to this song; it’s a good one!
Episode 45 of Story & Song is an episode you don’t want to miss. Zarah is an accomplished performer, one you want to know about. So, sit back and enjoy the show!
By Jesse Bryan
This episode is a little different from all the ones before. This one is more a straight interview than a conversation. Susan asks questions and our guest answers them. There was a language barrier which made a casual conversation a rather daunting task. But rest assured, the result is another great show.
Our guest on Story & Song this time around is Athena, a vocal powerhouse with a wonderful message. Her entire interview is inspirational, from start to finish. And then there’s her new song, Glory to Freedom. It’s all about doing what needs to be done to achieve that which you desire. It may take sacrifice, it may require hard work, but what it should never take is a loss of dignity for the sake of just fitting in with the crowd.
Stand above it all!
Athena, for all that English is not her native language, is a remarkable speaker. She has a lot to say, and she says it with grace and conviction. She knows how to get her point across. This song is just one weapon in her arsenal. But what a weapon it is!
With a voice filled with power and clarity, she belts out her lyrics for all the world to hear. This is an anthem if ever there was one. Viva ma Libertad!
By Jesse Bryan
Trance music. What is it? It’s a music with a rich history. Trance music started all the way back in the 1980s! It was a bit of an underground sound back then, heard only in clubs in between dance tracks. But gradually, he genre gained in popularity.
Now, a new subgenre has emerged; Vocal Trance. It’s Trance music with vocals; usually mezzo soprano or soprano female vocals. If you haven’t heard this form of music, you are in for a treat.
Lars Vinter and Rasmus Vang met years ago and discovered that they had very similar tastes in music. It wasn’t long before they came to the conclusion that they needed to start making music together. Enter, Dicosis!
The two men formed the group, Dicosis, and have been making some of the most fascinating music together. In this episode of Story & Song, we get to hear the musical masterpiece, Walking on Water. The song is driven by the incredible energy of the music and the amazing vocals of Crooked Bangs. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before and if you are not familiar with this genre, it’s going to be a major new musical experience for you too.
Sit back and enjoy the conversation. Lars and Rasmus are both instantly likable people, very personable and friendly. You’ll love them both right from the start. And then, there’s the music!
This episode was a real treat for me, introducing me to an entire genre with which I was completely unfamiliar. And now, what can I say? I’m a fan! So, check out Dicosis!
By Jesse Bryan
Nic Andrea & The Verdict
I don’t know how Susan keeps finding these amazing talents, but this episode of Story & Song is yet another gem. This time around, she’s got Nic Andrea from Nic Anrea & the Verdict on the show. This band is fresh and energetic enough to be popular with the younger crowd but also hip enough to be popular with the generation that knows what it means to be hip!
With songs like Fist to the Sky, they’ve got a pulse-pumping classic pop/jazz vibe that really gets the listener moving and grooving. Some of their other songs have a bluesy feel that gets into the listener’s bones and sometimes they slip into a classic rock jam that just makes you feel good. What all their songs have in common is amazing listenability. No matter how much you hear, you always want more.
Nic Andrea is a practicing attorney, landing big cases and winning big for his clients. That’s what he does. He wins big, in the courtroom and in the studio. One thing that helps in any courtroom is personality. It’s great to have facts on your side, but if you can’t sell them to the judge, you can’t win the case. Nic’s big, winning personality shines through in every single one of his songs. But you be the judge. Check out his conversation with Susan and listen to his music. You’re only going to be able to offer up one verdict. Nic Andrea & the Verdict is a winner!
By Jesse Bryan
This episode of Story & Song takes us all to Italy with Piqued Jacks! They are an internationally known alt/rock band with a sound all their own. Really, it’s like nothing I’ve heard before. It’s rock, it’s pop, it’s funky magic mega-musical mayhem! This stuff has a groove that you’ve just gotta hear to believe.
The songs that these guys put together are addictive. It comes at you like a psychedelic drug delivered on a fluorescent needle. It glows. It resonates. It slams into your senses and makes your cells get up and dance. The vocals are spot-on, the drum beat steady and pervasive, the guitar rollercoaster wild, and the bass heavy and deep. You can feel this music in your bones.
This is fun stuff. Their latest single, Like An Animal, is a thrill ride that compels you to play it again and again. I couldn’t get enough of it. I’ve probably played the video a dozen times, caught up in the exuberance of the music and the sheer joy expressed by the visuals. And then, finally, I was able to drag myself away long enough to explore their other songs. Wow!
This band is consistently wonderful. There are no weak links. There’s no filler material. Every song is a work of art, a masterpiece, and a joy to listen to. If you’re not familiar with this band, you need to fix that immediately. They’ve been featured in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair; they’ve performed at music festivals all over the world; their videos get tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of hits. Piqued Jacks is a band you absolutely need to know about.
Check out the show now and get to know this amazing band. This is an episode you don’t want to miss.
By Jesse Bryan
If you ask people where the best rock bands come from, you’re likely to get a list
of countries like Britain or the USA. Germany might make the list. Sweden may
come up. But you don’t often hear Australia mentioned. And that’s just a crime.
Australia has been contributing major talents to the rock industry for decades.
INXS came from Australia. Midnight Oil, Silverchair, Airbourne, Jet; all came from
Australia. And you may have heard of a little band called AC/DC. Australia is a
rock n’ roll breeding ground.
And now Australia has given us another gift. Mario Vayne is a rock legend in the
making. He’s really someone to watch out for. His song, Baby, is everything rock is
supposed to be. It’s energetic, catchy, and a whole lot of fun.
This is the kind of music I live for. It’s virulent, pulsing with life, thrumming with
energy. It’s insistent, demanding to be heard. The vocals are spot-on, reminiscent
of those huge arena bands of the 80s, but also fresh and new. Mario Vayne is
delivering a magical rock vibe that has been absent from the genre for far too
long. This is rock perfection. Enjoy!
By Jesse Bryan
Elisabeth Kaplan is quite the accomplished musician. She’s written catchy jingles
for commercial spots, theme songs for movies, pop songs for herself and others,
and even music for a book promotion. Her music ranges from happy and peppy to
dark and eerie. (I’m particularly fond of a piece called Tea Party. It gives me chills.)
Among the films she has supplied music for is an Oscar nominated movie titled
Watu Wote: All of Us. The theme song, also called Watu Wote, is amazing. The
music is mesmerizing, the vocals haunting. The language of the song is Swahili,
but you don’t need to know the language to appreciate this music; it transcends
In this episode of Story & Song, Elisabeth shares her newest song, a joyful piece
called Music Everywhere. She sings it herself and the song really makes the
listener want to get up and move. Dance! Jump around! Whatever; just move.
The music demands it. The song is such a delightful pleasure, a pop diamond
waiting to be found. So really, what’s stopping you? Go find it!
By Jesse Bryan
In this episode of Story & Song, we’re bringing in another American band. Joshua
Doty is with Susan today to talk about his band, Cemetery Sun. These guys are
producing some great music and doing it their way. Don’t try to stick them in a
comfortable little box; they won’t fit.
Cemetery Sun transcends genre. Yeah, there’s rock in there. Rock that hits like a
punch to the gut and shakes you to the core. But after their music knocks you on
your ass, it gives you a little kiss on the cheek with its tender pop melodies. And
just when you think they’ve softened up, there’s a thread of hip hop weaving
through it all, telling you to watch out; something’s coming!
Cemetery Sun is a three-piece band consisting of Jashua Doty, Matt Scarpelli, and
Elliot Polokoff but they sound like a much bigger band with a much bigger sound
than three guys should be able to pull off. There’s just so much going on in their
music.Joshua talks to Susan about the band’s history, where they all came from and how
they met. He talks about the state of the music industry today and how it’s
changed over the years and decades.
We get to hear about the live shows versus
the studio recordings and why both are invaluable. This episode is what Story &
Song was meant to be; something to learn from. The show is both entertaining
and informative. So hit “play” and get to it!
Sometimes, when I’m listening to a country station on the radio, I find
myself wondering what happened to country music! I’ll hear songs and sounds
that seem like they would be better suited to an R&B station or a pop station. And
I suppose that’s good to a point. Country music is ever evolving and it’s
embracing other genres. But what if you just want good old country music?
Todd Barrow is making genuine country music. It’s real. It’s American. Hell,
it’s from Texas! This is what country music is supposed to sound like. It makes you
want to stand up and salute. That’s what country music is about, and no other
genre really gives you that feeling. Mixing new genres into country may broaden
the horizons, so to speak, but it also dilutes the down-home feel that makes
country music what it is.
With songs like My Girl Crush and Best of Me, Todd Barrow delivers the
goods. He takes us back to the country and invites us to settle in and enjoy the
sounds of America. He’s got a stellar voice and a great band. He’s got the lyrics.
When you listen to his music, you get the whole package. And that package is
wrapped up in red, white, and blue paper.
We have guests on this show from all over the world and we love them all.
But when you’re talking about country music, you’re talking about the USA. So sit
back, relax, and get to know Todd Barrow.
By Jesse Bryan
On the show today are Susann Offenmüller, Malizia Manni , and Maxima
Manni, members of an exciting new band. The group is rounded out by a fourth
member, Saeed Habibzadeh, composer extraordinaire. Together, these four make
We’re talking about Avalight, an incredible band with an unbelievable
sound. Their song, Ocean of Infinity, has an ethereal groove, both relaxing and
invigorating at once. It’s a beautiful song that is like nothing I’ve heard before.
And the wonder of this song is, by no means, a fluke. All of their music has this
Susann, Malizia, and Maxima are truly delightful and a pleasure to listen to.
In this episode we hear a little about who they are, where they’re from, and how
they came to do what they do. And, because it’s Story & Song, we also get to hear
how this particular song came to be. It’s actually a true story!
These four amazing people have created something wonderful, something
magical, something unique. It’s always such a joy to discover music like this and
that’s why you listen to this show. Story & Song is always bringing incredible
music like this to your attention. This episode is another one to remember. You’re
going to be impressed by these young ladies and their music. I know I am!
By Jessie Bryan
MCCOY x Eileen - GAGA 4 Love
MCCOY x Eileen is a rare act, indeed. They are a retro-techno-dance foursome
with an incredible beat and amazing vocals. And to create this hybrid sound,
people from both sides of the globe had to get involved.
The resulting music is so lively that it makes you want to jump up and move to the
music. As it says in their song, GAGA 4 Love, “Life is a party, God is the DJ.” It truly
does feel as if some external force is moving through the rhythm of this song,
pulling you into its warm embrace.
Talking with Susan in this edition of Story & Song is Tom da Suns, from Germany.
He’s a charming man with a wonderful story telling manner. The conversation is
an absolute delight to listen to. He covers all the bases; telling us who the
members of the group are, who produced it all, where everyone is from, how it all
came together. And that’s what this show is all about.
So far, there’s just the one song, but more are on the way. I can’t wait to hear
them. This show has broadened my musical horizons in so many ways. I never
knew I loved this kind of music until I heard MCCOY x Eileen. But now I know and
I’m hooked. This is good stuff!
We’ve got a fun one today. These guys are so full of energy that it infuses
the entire show. In this episode, Susan is talking to The Coltons, a hot new band
out of Manchester, England. Their song, Babylon, is just the kind of music I
regularly turn to when I need to rock out and bang my head a little. It’s really my
kind of music.
The Coltons are made up of four longtime friends named William, Harrison,
Brandon, and James. Their music has aspects of 90’s metal mixed with early
2000’s alternative and a heavy dose of today’s more modern metal scene, all
blended seamlessly into a sound that is at once familiar and entirely fresh. Just
when the rock stations on my radio convince me that rock is dead, along comes a
band like The Coltons to remind me that the best music is found online. It’s not
rock that’s dead; it’s radio. I am so happy that Susan has this band on her show. I
really needed to hear this!
If you’re a metal head like me, or if you just like to rock now and then,
you’re going to love these guys. They’ve got that polished sound that it takes
most bands years to achieve. They sound like they’ve been playing together
decades. They really are that good.
So, enough of this. Stop reading and start listening. The Coltons aren’t just
metal, they are gold.
By Jesse Bryan
Story & Song isn’t just a podcast about random musicians. There’s a point
to it. The goal is, of course, to let songwriters talk about their stories, what went
into their songs, and how they got their songs out into the world. But the deeper
meaning, the more important message, is that people can actually make a living
with music. You can live your life on your own terms without having to be a
superstar rock god. These are the musicians we like to showcase here.
Stevie Williams is a perfect example of this. He decided a long time ago
that music was all he really wanted to do with his life. Of course, he’s had to take
odd jobs along the way, but every step has always been leading in the same
direction; toward his music.
Today, he is living the dream. A glance at his website shows that he is
booked from January to December. That’s how it’s done!
But it doesn’t come easy. When Stevie Williams decided that music had to
be his life, he had to make his life music. On his new song, Rosie, he did all the
writing. He played lead guitar, bass guitar, and percussion. He mixed, produced,
and mastered the song. He even put together a video. And that’s just one song.
This is how he does everything!
Stevie Williams is living proof that music can work for you if you are willing
to work for music. Of course, it also helps if you have talent. Stevie Williams is
overflowing with talent, and more importantly, skill. (They aren’t the same thing.)
Check out his videos on YouTube and you’ll see what I’m talking about. All his
songs are fantastic, easy to listen to, not the typical jarring sounds prevalent in so
much music today. He’s found a sound that is uniquely his and he’s making a
living with it.
This guy is the inspiration for all aspiring musicians. He’s the one.
It’s New York City in the 1980s. There’s a band crashing through the
music scene like a tsunami. Rushing from club to club, stage to stage, and
pulling everyone it touches into its elemental grasp. The band is The
Mosquitos, and though they only lasted for a brief magical time, the effects
of their presence can be felt throughout the decades!
They were retro before retro was even a word. While the decade was pumping out
cookie-cutter hair bands, each of which sounded exactly like the next,
The Mosquitos dared to do something different. They played rock & roll
with a classic sound reminiscent of the Beatles and with the same
frenetic energy. They produced one album, a true treasure, but they
were never a studio band. The Mosquitos were all about the live shows.
And their fans loved them for it.
Bands come and go; some are remembered and some fade into
oblivion. In every case, it’s the fans who determine what the fate of a band
will be. The fans of The Mosquitos are a cut above the rest. You might even
call them obsessive! As the years marched steadily forward, the fans never
wavered in their love of this band. And it’s the fans who are responsible for
bringing them back.
For years, fans have been trading old cassette tapes. “Hey, did you
hear this one?” “Dude, remember when they played at this place?” “Wow, I
didn’t even know there was a recorded version of this song!” And now,
through the miracle of digital mastering, all that incredible music is
available in one place.
This Then Are The Mosquitos is a double CD, inspired by
the vision of two fans, Blair Buscareno and Bill Jones.
They gave life to this project. The CD compilation manages to contain
all the magic that was The Mosquitos.
You don’t have to be a fan of The Mosquitos to feel the vibe of this
new album. You just have to be a fan of music. But if rock n’ roll courses
through your blood the way it does through mine, this collection is going to
hit you like a flaming arrow to the skull. It’s going to blow you away.
You think you’re ready for it? Better put your rock n’ roll pants on,
boys and girls!
By Jesse Bryan
Video: Park Avenue Video, NYC- David Deegan and Ellen Shapiro Skehan
Kool Kat Musik
I want to tell you about a guy who calls himself BFA Flexx. I’ve rarely come
across a man who is more self-aware. This guy knows who he is, where he’s from,
and where he wants to go. Best of all, he is able to communicate through his
music, transfer his own identity into his lyrics, and inspire those who hear him to
slow down for a moment and just think and feel.
In this episode of Story & Song, we highlight his new song, Fly & Flow. BFA
Flexx’s vocals are so smooth and the beat is so uplifting that you may just sit back
and let it all flow over you. But don’t do that! Pay attention to the lyrics. Really
listen. This song matters.
We all have obstacles in life. We all have trials and travails. Sometimes we
encounter bumps in the road and sometimes we encounter mountains. But
obstacles can be overcome. That’s what this song is about. BFA Flexx has had
plenty of mountains in his way, but he’s managed to climb high enough to shout
this message to the world. “If I can do it, so can you!”
That’s really the point of this song. We all have challenges but challenges
are there so that we can overcome them. And just when you think you’re all alone
in the world, that your challenges are insurmountable, that’s when you hear a
song like this one and you realize that someone else has been right where you are
now. You’re not alone. We’re all in this together.
BFA FLexx is an artist you’re going to want to keep track of. Subscribe to his
YouTube page or follow him on Spotify or SoundCloud. Trust me on this one;
there’s a lot of great music coming from this man, and you want to hear it all.
By Jesse Bryan
A very long time ago, I was given a book of science fiction short stories, all written
by Russian writers. The stories were all fantastic, but what really jumped out at
me was the feeling of “other” that permeated them. It was nothing that I could
put my finger on, nothing I could nail down to specifics, but they were obviously
not written by the western writers I was familiar with. Writers are influenced by
their surroundings; their imaginations are influenced by their personal histories.
Different countries produce writers with different perspectives.
Music is the same. Nicky New York is from Finland. His music is delightful,
refreshing, and not at all like anything I’ve ever heard before. In this episode of
Story & Song we are showcasing two of his songs, first Spaceship, and then Silent
Words. Listening to these two tracks is like dining on foreign cuisine; unexpected
flavors rise to the surface and give the whole thing an exotic zest.
Hearing these two songs drove me straight to his YouTube page to listen to the
rest of the album. I’m sure anyone checking out this podcast will be drawn to do
likewise. The music really is that good. I’m particularly fond of track number
three. (Check it out, you’ll get it.)
Nicky New York is really something new, something special. Kick back and settle
in, enjoy the show. You’re in for a rare treat, a taste of something new and
unexpected. You’re gonna love it!
By Jesse Bryan
This episode of Story & Song is a little different. Our guest is not only a
singer/songwriter; he’s also a bit of a philosopher!
Coming to us from beautiful Portugal is Fritz Kahn of Fritz Kahn and the
Miracles. Pay attention, folks. This guy has some insightful things to say. He's
really got a wonderful view of life and we’d all be well advised to follow his lead.
Humorous, deep, impactful; that’s how I’d describe this episode of the
show. Fritz really is a rare bird. There’s a nobility, even a gravitas, that he exudes
without even trying. In fact, listening to him talk, I get the feeling he’s not even
aware of it. But it’s there.
His songs, The Meaning of Life and Believe are both little snippets of the
wisdom that can be found in this man.
Does it sound like I’m impressed? I hope so, because I am. I’m older than
Fritz but he is everything I want to be when I grow up!
The two songs played in this episode are both ballads and both beautifully
inspiring. Believe me when I tell you, once you’ve heard these songs, you’re going
to be looking up all his other work as well. It’s all pure delight.
You’re going to love this one. I know I do.
By Jesse Bryan
John Tomaino is bringing something wonderful to the world of music. He’s got a
fresh sound that pulls the listener in and holds them. He’s got great lyrics with
something to say. No bubblegum pop music from this guy! His songs are about
I’m not a young guy anymore. I’ve heard a tremendous amount of music over the
course of my life, so many great songs with great lyrics, so many awesome sounds
coming at me. This is something else. This is something new.
There’s a sonic blast of fresh air coming out of this man’s music. We’ve got two of
his songs for you in this episode of Story & Song. First up is Emergency, a song
urging us all to stop procrastinating and to have the strength to move forward, to
do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. And next, we have The Wolf
of Lonely Street, a fascinating song about depression; fascinating because the
song personifies depression and speaks from depression’s point of view. This one
is intense, folks!
There’s a lot going on inside John Tomaino’s head. He’s an artist, crafting his
songs meticulously, as if each word is a brush stroke on canvas. If that’s difficult to
believe, consider that he’s attracted the attention of no less a luminary than Sir
There are singer/songwriters, and then there’s John Tomaino. You’ll know what
I’m talking about once you’ve listened to the show.
So, what are you waiting for?
Stop reading and hit that ‘play’ button!
By Jesse Bryan
In this episode of Story & Song, Susan takes on the indefinable. That’s right,
the two guests on this episode can’t be pigeonholed. Are they rock? Are they
country? Are they pop?
Joe and Angie Finley are The Swansons, a musical duo with a sound all
their own. In fact, their music is so far beyond any single genre that they have
been pegged to open for bands ranging from country to rock to reggae and
everything in between! They are universal. But when fans are struggling to find
the words to describe Joe and Angie, one word can always be relied upon.
The Swansons’ music pulses with energy. Every word, every beat, thrums
with a vibrance that is addictive. As each song ends, the next is already chomping
at the bit and when the last song plays, the first song is calling out to be played
And it’s not just the music. It’s the people themselves. You can hear it in
this episode. There is passion here, a dedication to what they do and a joy in
doing it that carries the listener along with them. Their path to this point in their
lives hasn’t always been easy. There have been tragedies along the way, sacrifices
made, obstacles overcome. But the one thing that remains constant is this
It’s that spirit of vitality that permeates their song, We All Fall Down. A
song with such a title could tell how we all have something in common because
we all stumble. And such a song would be great. But the focus of this song isn’t
the falling, it’s the getting back up! And that makes the song even better. That’s
the kind of hopefulness that informs their every move.
The future is wide open for The Swansons. We can’t wait to see what they
By Jesse Bryan
Bobso Architect featuring Youssef Dinar
When I was a young man, I had a friend who introduced me to Reggae. It grew on
me very quickly and I recall being particularly fond of Black Uhuru. In the 90s, I
found artists like Papa Winnie and Shabba Ranks. I went on to find Matisyahu and
Wycleff Jean. And add to the mix a few oddities like Willie Nelson or Sinéad
O'Connor who both, inexplicably, released Reggae albums. To say that Reggae is a
very expansive genre is truly an understatement.
Bobso Architect and Youssef Dinar have inherited a vast and wondrous legacy
with their entry into this magnificent world of Reggae. Their song, Rendez-vous
stands tall alongside the great songs of all those Reggae masters who came
But I write of these two men from a Reggae perspective and, honestly, there is
more to their music than that. Bobso and Youssef draw upon influences from a
multitude of genres, creating something that is at once recognizable as Reggae
and, at the same time, completely unique and new. As they assert in their
conversation with Susan, it’s not about genre, it’s just about music. Anything
Judge for yourself. Listen to the show, enjoy the flow of the conversation, and
then kick back and groove to the smooth vibes of their music. You’re going to love it.
Click on SamanthaMoonMusic.Com
Someone told me a long time ago to be myself because no one could do it better
than I could. So, I took the job and I’ve given it my best shot. And that’s what the
song, Divine Being, is all about. It’s a powerful message that Samantha Moon
delivers beautifully. Be yourself. Don’t follow along blindly with the crowd; be
your own guide through life.
In this episode we get to hear Samantha Moon tell her story and the story of her
music. It’s a good story, uplifting even when she peaks of some sad times. Those
sad times lead to another song, I Love You, about her sister. But this song, like the
first, is an inspiration.
Samantha Moon is an inspirational storyteller. That’s who you’ll find behind the
music. She has a gift for singing, a gift for writing, but her biggest gift of all is the
ability to inspire. She writes and sings the songs we would all like to write and
sing, if only we could. She may think she’s writing these songs for herself, from
her own experiences and her own needs, but she’s actually doing what she does
for all of us. Her music touches. It reaches inside. It inspires.
By Jessie Bryan
Rob DeFriese is one of the great ones. His songs run the gamut from rock to pop
to folk and embrace every emotion along the way. They can be hopeful, angry,
inspiring, sad. You name it, and it's somewhere in his catalog. The one thing that holds
all his music together is the quality of each song. They are all great!
Susan and I have been following Rob for several years. We appreciate his writing.
He pours himself into each one. Heart and soul, they resonate with truth. These
songs are real. They speak to us all because we have all felt the things they talk
Turn This Ship Around is featured here and it’s the perfect introduction to Rob’s
music. We’ve all had to start over from time to time, some of us more than
others, and that’s what this song is all about. It’s about getting your feet back on
solid ground and finding a new direction. It’s a good song to know and understand
because, if you have never had to start from scratch, you most certainly will
someday. It happens to everyone. It’s a necessary step in life.
Another reason to pay close attention to this episode of Story & Song is that Rob
is truly an inspiration to all aspiring musicians. He’s living his life through music. It
pays his bills, takes him places, enfolds all his experiences. Rob is what a musician
is supposed to be. Even those things in his life that have nothing to do with music
are subject to be written about in a song!
I’m hesitant to say that any particular episode is my favorite because that implies
that there must also be a least favorite, and that’s just not the case. I love all of
these shows. But yeah, this one is special. So, sit back, kick your feet up, and enjoy.
Please check out more of Rob's music, videos and tour info at : www.robdefriese.com
All the way from Austria, we’ve got Kayla Kristen on the show. Her song, Hey
Boy, is so full of energy it just blows the listener away! On the show with her is
Raeme Brown, lyricist extraordinaire.
Together, these two have created something very special. Wait till you hear it.
Seriously, it’s a rare hybrid, this song. It is solidly in the pop genre, with Kayla’s
vocals bringing a nicely sharpened rock edge to the choruses. But what’s that in
the background? Is that a banjo? How on earth did bluegrass work its way into
This song, for me, is a dream come true. I can recall wishing, all the way back in
the 1980s, that someone would take a standard genre and mix it up with an
instrument that wouldn’t seem to belong. What about a country song with a
bodhrán, or a heavy metal song with a French horn? Or hey, how about a pop song with
a banjo! I’ve heard many attempts at this over the years, but this is the first time it all
came together so magnificently.
This is Kayla’s first single and there are going to be many more to come. Once again,
Susan is tapping into the newest talent in the world of music. Here’s a career that’s just
getting started and you, the listeners, are getting in on the ground floor. There’s nowhere
to go but up!
By Jesse Bryan
Chris Kamstra has what it takes. His new song, You Say You Love Me, is all the
proof anyone needs. It’s a beautiful song presented with a beautiful voice and it’s
such a pleasure to be hearing it so early in what promises to be an explosive
I’d say Chris is going places but he’s already a bit of a globe trotter. Originally from
South Africa, he’s been calling Dubai home for some while now. This conversation
was called in from the UK. He’s been all over Europe, as a matter of fact. He’s also
been to the USA. He really gets around.
But now he’s got a new way to travel. His music is going to go everywhere! The
first song of his that I heard was recorded on his cell phone and even that one was
wonderful. Now he’s gone into the studio to record his latest song, and the result
is nothing less than spectacular. I’m hooked. I’m a fan.
It’s not just the music, however. Listening to him talk, you can’t help but feel like
you’d want this guy for a best friend. He’s genuinely decent and down to earth.
The way he talks about his family tells you all you need to know; he’s one of the
So, sit back and enjoy the show. And don’t forget that you heard him here first!
By Jesse Bryan
Szandra is back! This is a special episode of Story & Song. It marks the first
time we’ve had a returning guest. One of the goals of the show is to
constantly bring new and varied stories and perspectives, but sometimes
we find someone who is just so pleasant and interesting that we can’t resist
bringing them back. Szandra is one such.
First of all, she’s only fifteen years old. Fifteen was a special year for me,
personally, so I instantly feel a tiny bit connected when I listen to this
conversation. But as magical as it was for me, fifteen is really working
wonders for Szandra.
Well, ok, the truth is that Szandra is working wonders with fifteen. She’s
the one in charge. At this young age, she’s taking the world by force, never
relenting, always moving forward. In an industry filled to the top with
competition, Szandra is carving out a space for herself and making people
take notice. The last time she was here, we heard a beautiful seasonal song.
This time, she’s bringing us a new song called Lie Again. Just like before, the
song is a perfect foil for her vocals. She truly shines when she sings. And
this time, she shines three times brighter because she’s bringing us this
song in three different languages! Yes, Szandra speaks three languages
fluently and is able to craft songs in all three.
This young lady is a force of nature. Nobody should be allowed to have this
much talent! Keep your eyes on Szandra. She’s going to fly pretty high!
By Jesse Bryan
Here comes Eliyanah with her song, Everything We Know, to remind us all of
those relationships we’ve had in the past. You know the ones we’re talking about.
You thought they would last forever, and in a way, they truly have. Some people
leave an indelible mark on us, one which we carry like a tattoo forever.
But as Eliyanah and Susan discuss, that’s not such a bad thing. The people we
allow into our lives change us in both big and small ways. In that respect, even if a
relationship fails, it does stay with us for the rest of our lives.
Susan and Eliyanah talk about this in such a casual and friendly manner, as if they
aren’t dealing with such a weighty topic. Eliyanah’s song is like that. It takes on
this heavy subject and does so with such a light and tender touch. As Susan says
right at the beginning of the show, this is one of those songs you can listen to over
and over again.
Songs like this are pervasive. I can tell you that, for me personally, I often don’t
even know what I’m listening to at first. When I first heard this song, I just let it
wash over me, the beat, the melody, and Eliyanah’s beautiful voice. I liked it
before I actually understood what it was about. But then, like a bolt out of the
blue, it hit me. I didn’t just understand the song, I felt it on a cellular level. It was
telling me a story about myself, one that I’d lived plenty of times before.
The song appears in the middle of this episode and then we have a special treat at
the end. There’s another song! Love Burned Out is a perfect complement to
Everything We Know. In both songs, Eliyanah takes the topic of lost love and
juxtaposes it against a peppy and upbeat melody. It’s brilliant. And Eliyanah does
By Jesse Bryan
PETER LAWRENCE GRAY
Music is a funny thing. It can vibrate with a passing moment, there and then gone;
or it can be timeless, remembered long after those first listeners are long
forgotten. It’s that second kind of music that Peter Lawrence Gray devotes his time and
By listening to the music of the past, he escapes, even if only briefly, from the
hustle and hurry of today’s world. We all know the world is a very tense place
these days and, as Peter explains, while past decades had their own share of
madness and anxiety, the music from those times mostly report on the good
things. So, listening to those songs can transport us to a magical part of a chosen
time period, the part where everything was beautiful. That’s the power of music.
Peter is an instrumental part of that magic. He records those grand old timeless
tunes and brings them to a new generation. He is able to take an old song, sing it
in the style it was meant to be sung in originally, and still manage to make it fresh
With his cover of You’re Only Lonely, he brings back a beautiful song about
feeling, well, lonely. But it’s not a sad song at all. It’s not even a lonely song. It’s a
reassuring song. “There’s nothin wrong with you, I get lonely too.” We all get
lonely. So why not be lonely together?
This is the kind of music that attracts Peter Lawrence Gray. Songs from a simpler time.
Songs that take us back to better days. And he’s kind enough to take us all along
By Jesse Bryan
We’ve all seen those movies. You know the ones. A young girl with big dreams
packs a suitcase, grabs her guitar, and heads off to the big city. In the end, she
finds success and then the scene fades to black as the credits roll. It’s the
standard story for all those hope-filled movies about the world of music and the
people who want to live in it.
The problem, of course, is that life isn’t a movie script. Or is it?
Natalie Clark is the living incarnation of the girl in all those movies. She quite
literally packed up a suitcase, grabbed her guitar, and moved to the big city. Of
course, in her case, that meant moving from Glasgow, Scotland, all the way to Los
Now, here she is, telling the parts of the story that we never see in those movies.
In this episode of Story & Song, Natalie tells of the years of struggle, the unpaid
open mic nights, the gradual increase in recognition, and finally, her signing with a
Her story is fascinating in a way that those movies can never be. She’s the real
thing. She’s got talent coming out of her pores! She writes her own songs and
sings them beautifully. From songs like Weakness through to More Than A
Mountain and on to her latest single, How High, her voice rings out and her lyrics
Natalie Clark is a woman on the go who’s paid her dues. It may have taken her a
little while to reach the top, but bit by bit, she made it happen and now she’s
ready to roll. And with a spirit like hers, she’s going to roll all the way to wherever
she wants to be!
By Jesse Bryan
Listen to Natalie On Spotify
Check out more of Malissa's music on Spotify
Malissa Whitehouse is a story still in the making. She’s already accomplished
more than most people even dream of. Her songs have seen the spotlight on the
British versions of The Voice and X-Factor. She’s been a member of a girl band.
She’s had her songs in movies, even! She’s worked in music in one way or another
all her life. And somehow, she’s managed to fit the whole “mom” thing in there
But she’s not even close to being finished. In fact, it could be argued that she is
just getting started! Some recent adventures and encounters have led to her
hosting a new show and recording her own songs. She’s really on a roll now!
What I find most interesting about this episode, and what I think is the part
listeners should take to heart; is how she’s come upon the successes in her life
and career. It does seem to have a lot to do with good luck. But that’s because
Malissa knows how to put herself in the right places and situations, how to make
people notice her, how to reach out and take what she wants. While it looks like
she’s the luckiest woman to ever live, the truth is that luck has had nothing at all
to do with her success. It’s all due to tenacity!
Malissa tells her story with grace and humor. It’s a joy to listen to her. But more
importantly, it’s a learning experience. Aspiring musicians need to pay close
attention to stories like hers. And that’s really the whole point of this podcast. I
hope you get as much value out of Susan’s conversation with this force of nature
that is Malissa Whitehouse as I did.
By Jesse Bryan
With special thanks to Radio Pluggers
Story & Song 16 is here. I feel like we should be throwing the show a sweet
sixteen party, or something. But forget the party; we’ve got something much
better. We’ve got Shining Phoenix!
Susan’s guest on this show is a bit of a rocker! As I’ve said before, one of the
things I love about writing for this podcast is that I am always being exposed to
music outside of my comfort zone. But it’s refreshing when a guest comes along
who is making exactly the kind of music I already love.
Rise From The Ashes is the first single released by Shining Phoenix, the latest
musical force to rise out of Switzerland. The timing is perfect. Swiss rock is having
a bit of a revival of late, with new bands drawing attention from all over the
world. The source of Switzerland’s musical magic comes from it’s location.
Wedges between France, Germany, and Italy, Swiss culture influences and is
influenced by their close neighbors. The entire region is a cultural potpourri,
blending all those flavors and creating something wonderful.
Shining Phoenix is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. If you aren’t
familiar with rock from that part of the world, you’re in for a treat. It’s a
wonderfully energetic sound that we’ve lost in the USA. The vocals are superb
and the band has a crisp classic sound. It’s rock the way rock is supposed to
As for Shining Phoenix herself, her conversation with Susan is packed full of
personal details. She takes on a wild ride beginning with horses and hooves, then
moving on to eating disorders before slipping into astrology. And, finally, we hear
about her song. And it all comes together magnificently.
This is a woman who was born to front a rock band. She’s been through the
grinder of life and come out standing tall. Truly like a phoenix.
By Jesse Bryan
Out Of the Ashes
Where The Warriors Kneel is the latest single from UK based band, Out Of The
Ashes. Here to tell us all about the new song, and a whole lot more, is Penny
Lyon! Trust me when I tell you, this lady has a way with words. What a fun
episode this one turned out to be.
It’s fun being the resident “fly on the wall.” I get to hear everything first and most
of the time, no one even knows I’m listening in! (I suppose there’s something a
little voyeuristic about it, really.) But I do have a really great time sitting in my
corner and taking in the show. It’s always such a pleasure.
And that brings me to Penny. She truly is a pleasure. I found myself laughing along
with her more than I think I’ve laughed with any of the other guests thus far. In
fact, I found the entire conversation between her and Susan so incredibly
delightful that I began to wonder if the music could possibly live up to the
entertainment level of the conversation I was hearing.
The way she described her childhood attempts to play the violin, her insistence
later that the vegetables in her garden were surely a more valuable use of her
time than music could possibly be, and the way she described God as being “not
prepared” to give her a specific answer to one of her questions; all this had me
laughing so hard that it was actually a little painful. There was no way the music
could tickle my fancy the way her stories did.
And then we got to the music. Wow! It begins with a steady, rhythmic
hammering, as of feet stomping and hands clapping. Then a good old-fashioned
gospel organ slides in next to a bass guitar and you can already feel the music
worming past your ears, through your skull, and into your brain. And finally, about
35 seconds into the song, Penny’s perfect vocals cruise in and you are instantly
transported to another world. This is what gospel is supposed to sound like!
This was new music to me.
I’d never heard Out Of The Ashes before and had no
idea what to expect. Now I know that I need to hear more from this talented
group of musicians. And so do you!
By Jesse Bryan
Listen to the interview below or on one of the streaming platforms above.
Their latest Single is available now on YouTube and Spotify
Click below to like them on YouTube
Show #14 features singer/songwriter Felicia Catharina from The Netherlands.
She is our guest through our sponsor, Radio Pluggers
Susan’s guest this time around is the incredibly charming and talented,
Felicia Catharina. Hailing from the Netherlands, Felicia not only speaks and sings
English flawlessly, but she is also able to write her own lyrics in what is, for her, a
foreign tongue! I can’t imagine doing that myself.
Through the conversation with Susan, we really get to know this
remarkable young lady. At one point she actually laughs nervously and says, “I’m
so sorry. I’m so bad at explaining.” What makes this comment so funny is that she
really explains herself and her musical motivations better than a great many long-
time professional musicians. She is well-spoken and concise. Her word choice is
considered and precise. And this skill with words also manifests in her music.
Her songs are wonderful. Her vocals are superb. The music crosses genres,
encompassing multiple styles and forms. She’s a dynamo, charging onto the music
scene like she owns the ground it is built on.
I’ve mentioned before that the thing I love most about working with Susan
on Story & Song is the many new musical talents I am exposed to with each new
show. Felicia Catharina is yet another example of this. I doubt I would have ever
encountered her on my own. Left to my own devices, I’ll turn to heavy metal or
hard rock 90% of the time. The remaining 10% is composed of folk music,
and various instrumental bits and pieces. But thanks to Story & Song, I
have broadened my musical horizons.
There are two of Felicia’s songs played in this episode. First, we hear
Control, and then, at the end of the episode, we hear Big City. I love them both! It
goes without saying that I had to go and check out some of her other songs. They
are easy to find. Her music is readily accessible. So far, I’ve enjoyed each and every
song I’ve heard. Felicia Catharina definitely has a new fan in me.
By Jesse Bryan
Angel & Co. and Michael Meszaros are our guest from Radio Pluggers. Check them out!
Marcello from Angel & Co.
It’s time again for another edition of Story & Song! This time, we’ve got three
guests on the show, all with very different sounds. But oddly, they all do have
something in common; they are all peaceful, restful, calming
And that’s something the world needs desperately these days!
First up is Marcello, from Angel And Co. The band is actually something more
than a mere band. It’s a project. It’s a collaboration of artists from all around the
world. Different musicians contribute to different songs, adding their own
personal touches and making each song thoroughly unique. Marcello, a
singer/songwriter, is our introduction to this fascinating collection of talent. Their
latest song, Time Flies, is a beautiful ballad, easy on the ears and so soothing.
Listening to this song makes me want to release all my worries and just enjoy the
moment because, as the song says, time flies. But, just as importantly, the song
reminds us that when things are going bad for us, that this too shall pass.
Next, we get to hear Nowhere But Here II, from Brian Ligon. There was a time,
back in the 90s, when all I listened to was instrumental music. Brian really takes
me back. But don’t let me mislead you; his music is entirely new and fresh. It’s
music for its time. After hearing this track, I had to go exploring and I’ve fallen for
all of his music. It’s the kind of sound that gets into your head and forces you to
listen. When songs have lyrics, we tend to only hear those words and miss much
of the music behind them. But when there are no lyrics, we take in the full sound
of the music, every instrument, every note and tone.
And finally, we hear Michael Meszaros and his song, Come To Me. This soft-
spoken man has a powerful message and he proclaims it joyfully. He’s a Christian
first, a musician second. But his music is informed by his beliefs and his lyrics are
masterfully written. His voice, when he sings, is so gentle and caring. And he
never misses a note! He’s a perfect pop-artist and his music would easily fit into
any pop radio playlist. But it’s the message that matters most. It’s a message of
love and life and light. It’s a message everyone needs to hear. So lay down your
worries and woes and listen to this interview with Michael.
By Jesse Bryan
Episode 12! With us this time is Maisha C. from Canada, and she’s got a
song that really has a special message. Her song, Crying In The Dark, is about
those times when we are going through something, whether it be a family issue
or a romantic issue or any of a million other of life’s traumas, and we just don’t
know how to express ourselves. We’ve all been there; we’ve all felt that inability
to expose our feelings to others. Maisha C has written a song which will speak to
that part of us, that inner self left alone to cry in the dark.
Also with us is Eclipseye, calling in from London. We played his song in the last
episode but weren’t able to do the interview. But now, Susan has connected with
him, and he’s on the show! He’s not what I expected, judging by his music. He’s
bigger and brighter, like a comet blazing across the sky. His song, Whap Clatter, is
so intense, so in-your-face, and so topical. Written before Russia’s mad attack on
Ukraine, his song predicts almost exactly what is happening in that country now.
It’s a song everyone needs to listen closely to.
Both guests on this episode talk at some length about the inspirations for their
writing, the stories behind the songs. Both also get into the methods, the
mindsets, the structure of their music. This is a very informative episode and not
one to be missed. So, check it out!
ECLIPSYE comes to us from Radio Pluggers
This Show was sponsored by Radio Pluggers
You know what I love the most about this podcast? It’s the variety! I can’t write
these little bits that I write if I don’t actually listen to the show. And I genuinely
enjoy the show. Through it, I am exposed to all kinds of music, some of which I
would never have found on my own. I grew up listening to heavy metal, and that’s
still my comfort zone. But then I tune in to Story & Song and I’m hit with
something so far from my usual stomping grounds. That’s what happened with
this show. It’s a Hip Hop extravaganza!
Henry Coffin comes to us from New York City. He comes across as an easy-going
dad with lots of wisdom to impart. Then we listen to his song, Harlem Night, and
we hear a smooth beat slide into play with Henry’s lyrics hammering at our
consciousness! It’s a wild ride from beginning to end. Simply outstanding!
Then, from Ohio, we visit with King Tut the Don. His song, Bust Down, is another
smooth ride. It’s easy to listen to, laid back and relaxed. This is a man who has
been doing this for a while, and it shows, both in his music and in his speech. He’s
comfortable with himself and his music. I’m loving it!
Between the two interviews is another song by Eclipseye, all the way from
London! We don’t get to hear from him, alas, but we have his music. His song,
Whap Clatter, is a brutal stab at warmongering, a cautionary tale, and a warning.
All three of these songs are absolutely incredible. And best of all, we get to hear
from Henry Coffin and King Tun the Don about what goes on behind the scenes,
what goes into the making of such songs. I’ve never been a huge fan of this kind
of music, and yet, this is one of my favorite episodes to date. I’m hooked. I’m a fan!
By Jesse Bryan
Whap Clatter from internationally renowned rap artist Eclipseye
Our 10th Show is sponsored by Radio Pluggers
Another great show! Szandra Mayer joins us from pretty much all over the place. Yes, she’s been everywhere.
Only fifteen years old, and she’s been around the world. Truly an adventurer. But what really matters is the music. Szandra can sing!
What a voice! She’s here to share a Christmas song called Everybody Is Here To Give. Now, it’s true that Christmas has come and gone,
but it’s also true that music is timeless. So, tune in and check her out. This song is priceless.
Also with us is Pierre de Frebourg, all the way from France. And to prove that music is an international language,
while his music is French, those of us who don’t speak the language can still enjoy it.
That’s how good Pierre is! And he’s got something to say with his music, too.
His song, La Forêt Brûle,(The Forest is Burning) is a commentary on the world around us and what we have done to it.
It’s so good to know that people all around the world are making such significant pieces of music.
This is a song we all need to pay attention to!
Two great guests, one with a lifetime of experience and the other just starting out in life. Both with something to say; something to add to the collective human experience. What are we without music? I don’t know that answer to that, but fortunately, we have remarkable people like Szandra and Pierre making sure that we’ll never have to find out.
By Jessy Bryan
Isn’t it nice when you have the opportunity to do things you really enjoy doing?
Writing these little pieces for Story & Song is like that for me. It’s not a job. It’s a
pleasure. I get to listen in while the shows are being created and I’m exposed to
all kinds of great music. I love doing this!
This episode is no exception. First up is JC and the Juke Rockers. Now, these guys
aren’t exactly new to me. I’ve been following Rob DeFriese for quite some time
as a solo artist, and he and JC (John Chavez) go way back.
Toss Matt Indes' drums into the mix and the result is one hell of a band
What a sound these guys are making!
Straight on blues that really kicks. Their song, A Woman Like You, is
just absolutely awesome. It doesn’t just slip into your ear; it breaks down the door!
It rocks! This is what the blues are all about.
Next up is Sean Graham from the band, ActionRec. Coming to us all the way from
Dublin, Ireland, he’s bringing the heat with a hauntingly beautiful song called I
Don’t Want To Love You. It’s almost ghostly in the ethereal softness of Sean’s
vocals. If you’ve heard some of ActionRec’s other music, this will be both familiar
and entirely new to you. There’s a lot of flexibility in this band and there’s a whole
lot more to come. I can hardly wait!
You can find both JC and the Juke Rockers at thejukerockers.com and ActionRec
at actionrec.com and you can also check out robdefriesse.com to see some of
Rob’s solo music. And there you have three gateways to musical heaven. Enjoy!
By Jesse Bryan
Sean Graham of ActionRec
Sean comes to us from...
Show #8This episode of Story & Song was sponsored by Radio Pluggers
Stagecoach Performing Artists
In this episode of Story and Song, we’ve got two great guests for you.
Following up the Christmas episode, we’ve got something special. First, a mission
to improve the world. And then, a mission to improve the self.
We start with Eiley Tatlow and a song thirty years in the making. Her
mission? To raise awareness of the plight of African elephants. They are vanishing
at a truly terrifying rate. Her song, Under African Skies, focuses the listener’s
attention on one of the most magnificent of God’s creatures. And because this is
Story and Song, we also get to hear all about the writing process: the original
inspiration for the song, the changes that were made over the course of time, the
search for just the right voices to give the song life. It’s a fascinating tale, one that
is sure to inspire song writers everywhere.
Next, we talk to Gift Zion. And what a gift she is! Gift’s mission is to raise
awareness for ourselves. We can all use a little improvement and Gift’s message is
clear. Ask God for help. Her song, Crown King, is a celebration of grace.
Her story is a testimonial, and her song is her way of shouting it to the world. It’s a beautiful
song, filled with love for us all and awe at the greatness of God. It’s meant to be a
harbinger of joy and a clarion call to all of God’s children.
These two guests make for a magical episode. Listen in and take note.
There’s gold in here.
Another great show brought to us by Radio Pluggers
It’s the holiday season! So, we decided to do a special Christmas Show.
We’ve got two new Christmas songs to share and, as usual, we’re talking about
what went into the making of the music. The stories behind the songs.
Once again, we are taking the show to Europe. First stop is the Netherlands
where we meet up with Nance Dance and JJ of the band, Incspot. Such a delightful
couple. They’ve created a techno Christmas song full of hope for the future. It’s
right there in the title of the song! “May Christmas Bring A Happier New Year”
The wonderful Dutch couple spoke of their own plans for the future, which
definitely includes more music! They also spoke of the past, their varied and
eclectic musical backgrounds, their influences upon each other, and their
inspirations for the beautiful new Christmas song. It was a great conversation, full
of great inside info!
From the Netherlands, we crossed the North Sea to Britain and spoke to
David Schweitzer. His new Christmas song, Last Christmas With Dad, is a bit of a
tear-jerker, but in the most beautiful fashion. Anyone who has ever lost a parent
can instantly relate to this song. What makes the song so wonderful is that it’s not
just another song designed to pull on the heart strings. It’s more about the fond
memories than the pain of the loss, and the tears it tugs out are nostalgic rather
The conversation with David touched on so many topics! His resumé is
packed to the gills. He’s scored movies, documentaries, TV shows. How he had
the time to write such a beautiful Christmas song shall remain forever a mystery.
The man is just too busy! And he’s charming. Seriously, the guy is just fun to listen
to. One guy shouldn’t be so good at everything and still remain so likable. But
David does it.
Story and Song’s Christmas show is really a good one, not to be missed.
Both conversations are fun and delightful and full of great information. And best
of all, they are full of holiday cheer.
So, here’s to the guests and here’s to the listeners. May you all have a
wonderful holiday season, full of joy, this year and every year!
By Jesse Bryan
This will be the last show that gets aired this year. Although, we are like elves, we're always working. We want to thank all of the iHeart, Spreaker, Amazon, Google and all of the other streaming platforms for sharing us with the world. Also, every single one of our guests, everyone involved with the show, people who have helped by sponsoring us. Including our most active sponsor, Radio Pluggers. (If you like being interviewed and you want a lot more opportunities, click on the link.) We are thankful to all of you. Have a wonderful New Year and all the best for 2023
Show #6 Eric LaBossiere of Hello Fiasco
Time for another episode of Story and Song! And this one might just be my
favorite so far. In fact, when Susan told me who the next guest was, I just about
lost my mind. You see, my son turned me onto Eric LaBossiere and his band a little
over a year ago. A kid at school had been the one to bring them to my son’s
attention. Of course, things were a little different then. The band was called The
Mailman’s Children and it had fewer members than this new incarnation.
The Mailman’s Children consisted of Eric LaBossiere, Joel Couture, and Joel
Perreault. The new band, with a bigger sound, has added Ivan Burke and Guy
Abraham to the lineup. So, are you curious about the new band?
It’s called Hello Fiasco! It’s got all that made me love the previous band and
a whole lot of new stuff to warm up to. Plus, I will now be able to mention them
to my son. (It’s always nice when I manage to find something really cool before he
finds it himself.)
Now, I don’t want to imply that Hello Fiasco is just more of the same old
same old. The band does contain members of the previous band, but Hello Fiasco
is a whole nother animal. More mature and more experienced, but still retaining a
sense of humor, Hello Fiasco is the band we’ve all been looking for. I think Eric
LaBossiere could probably adjust his voice to fit any genre he chose. It’s got a
realness to it, a solid humanness that grounds the band. There’s no screaming, no
gimmicky super lows, no warbling trills. It’s just a good masculine voice backed by
a superlative band creating a seamlessly perfect sound that draws in the listener.
They make it appear effortless.
Hello Fiasco, is something different, something new, something unlike all
the bubble gum garbage I hear on the radio these days. It’s nice to have a new
favorite band. I’ll definitely be downloading all their songs to my library.
By Jesse Bryan
Show #5 Uplifting the World Through Music
This wonderful, international show has been sponsored by 'Radio Pluggers '
Another top-notch show curtesy of 'Radio Pluggers'
Here we are with Story & Song number 5! What a show this one turned out
to be. The word: eclectic doesn't do it justice. This is the longest episode yet.
And it's no wonder; Susan Gabrielle packed this one with musicians from around
the world and from so many genres. First, there is John Reilly and Lewis Nitikman
from two different locations in Europe bringing a classic rock flavor into the
current musical dishes being served up on radio these days.
Then along comes Mr.
Martin from the Netherlands with a happy pop tune with hints of reggae. Next up
is Zeynep Maden from Turkey. She brings a smooth taste of 80s Sade with
perhaps a light dash of Celine Dion to the table. Then comes Telaport from
the USA with a jaunty piece you can dance to, a touch of techno with an energetic
pace. And to top it all off, there is Justina calling in from England with a
delightfully self-empowering R&B track.
What a smorgasbord of music. There’s something here for every taste. This
is what makes music so much fun; it comes in every color, flavor, shape, and size!
It’s a universal language that we can all share. So, sit back and take it all in. This
episode is packed to the top and spilling over the sides!
John Reilly and Lewis Nitikman
Our resident "Fly-on-the-wall" Jesse Bryan's take on Saturday's recording
Here we are with show number four, and it was a globe trotter! First, Manu Chevalier, from France, called
in from Germany. Then, Rafaela Cabreja, from Dominican Republic, called in from the USA. And
finally, Berneen Cereska, from South Africa, called in from Quatar. What a mix of music!
I sat in my corner and listened to the show progress and was blown away. Everyone had
such wonderful stories to tell. Manu was the most technical, speaking of the mechanics of
creating a song. Rafaela talked of her musical journey and emphasized the importance of seizing
a moment and being willing to take a chance. And then came Berneen, speaking of how people
of all races, nationalities, ethnicities, and whatever else you can think of that might divide us, all
come together during the World Cup; everyone is there for the same reason, to watch the
Really, everyone was so upbeat on this show. I came away feeling a little high on life, which has been a rarity these days.
The world needs more of this kind of thing. We need Manu, Rafaela, and Berneen filling the world with their songs.
If there is a single message to this show, it’s that we all need to go out and have some fun, find someone to love, and get along with everyone.
Show #3 Jo O'Meara and Michael Cates
Story & Song #3. What a show! Two guests on this one, and what great
guests they are! First, Jo O’Meara graced the show with her presence. All the way
from London, England, she came via Zoom to share some time with us. And then,
along came Michael Cates, calling in from the USA!
These two amazing talents couldn’t be more different. She’s a singer and
he’s a saxophone player. She’s pop with a hint of country and he’s concrete jazz.
But both are at the top of their game and doing things their way.
Jo O’Meara got her first big musical break with a band called S Club 7 in
1999. She broke out on her own in 2004 with her first solo album, Relentless.
American country music fans may be familiar with a song by Rascal Flats called
What Hurts The Most, but Jo sang it before they did!
While Jo was joining up with S Club 7, that same year saw Michael Cates
landing a gig on the hit TV hit, Ally McBeal. He was the saxophonist in the band
at the Martini Bar, a position he held for five seasons until the final episode of the
immensely popular series. Since then, Michael has worked with some of the best
vocalists in the world and recorded three solo albums of his own.
Getting the chance to sit in the room while Susan chatted with these two
wonders was such a pleasure. Rainbow’s End, from Jo O’Meara, is a personal
favorite of mine and I’m really grooving on Pulso Nocturno from Michael Cates;
it’s got a funky sound to it that really hits me in the right way. I was enthralled as
Jo and Michael spoke of their lives and their work. But then, that’s what Story &
Song is all about, right?
So, what’s new with these two? Well, Jo O’Meara has just released a
wonderful cover of Michael Jackson’s Thriller to raise awareness for The Great
Ormond Street Hospital charity. Michael Cates, as I already mentioned, has a
brand new album out called, 'New Lives'
So, check out the podcast to hear more music from Jo and Michael. As for
the two songs I mentioned, Rainbow’s End and Pulso Nocturno, those are two
treasures you’ll have to go find for yourself. Between the four tracks in the
podcast and my two picks, you’ll have a good idea of what these two are all
about, musically speaking.
Both of these talented guests came to us courtesy of Radio Pluggers in London, England
Show #2 Barbara Cloyd
I had such a nice talk with Barbara Cloyd. I'm a talker but not much of a writer. So, here is Jesse Bryan's take on it...
4104 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, Tennessee. It’s an address every song writer
should know. This is where you can find The Bluebird Café, a magical place where
talent goes to be honed, polished, and discovered. And one of the most important
people in the world of songwriting can be found here, hosting the Monday Open Mic
Nights! Her name is Barbara Cloyd, and I had the pleasure of listening in
on her conversation with Susan Gabrielle from 'Story & Song'.
Wow! So many great stories! Barbara has been doing this for a while. She’s
seen some truly great talents get their start at the Bluebird. Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney,
Dierks Bently are just a few names on that list. Barbara was
there for all of them.
She’s written songs of her own, as well. One such was sung by the
incredible Lorrie Morgan. It was the heart wrenching classic, “I Guess You Had To
Be There.” It was a big hit for Lorrie Morgan, and it remains my personal favorite
of all of her work. And she has Barbara Cloyd to thank for it!
Barbara also offers a song writing workshop where she teaches the ins and
outs of the craft. And it is a craft, make no mistake. You can’t just scribble out a
few words that rhyme and call it a song.
She also gives these young hopefuls a chance to perform for actual publishers. In the end,
it's really the publishers that give the song a "yay" or a "nay". So, any advice from them is priceless.
In Barbara’s world, songs mean
something, they tell stories, they are thoughtfully put together. That’s what real
songs are. That’s what makes songs stand the test of time.
Barbara is the real deal. She’s so genuine and personable and relatable. You
meet her once and immediately feel like you’ve known her forever. Some people
are just that way. It’s a gift, and one that she’s got an abundance of. Listening to
her and Susan talking about the industry and its twists and turns felt like being
home and listening to my family talking about our own ups and downs. It was that
comfortable an atmosphere.
If you are new to Nashville and dream of being a songwriter. Or if you are here on vacation
The Bluebird Café is where you want to be, and Barbara Cloyd is the woman you want to know.
. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Show #1- Bobby Keel
For upcoming events and more information about Bobby go to:
his facebook page HERE
Staff writer, Jesse Bryan wrote the following:
I’ve met Bobby Keel. And let me tell you, it’s a pleasure to beat all others. We’re talking about a guy with
a sense of humor as wide as the Grand Canyon and talent that runs as deep as the Mariana Trench. A
guy who brightens up any room he enters, just by being himself. But you know what I mean.
Wait. Did you just ask, “Who is Bobby Keel?” You’re pulling my leg, right? You know who I’m talking
about. The guy who has 14 Gold records to his name. Even better, the guy who has 12 Platinum records!
The guy who wrote songs for Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr, Merle Haggard, David Allan Coe, Travis
Tritt, and a whole heap of other legends. The guy who toured with Confederate Railroad, Lynyrd
Skynyrd, and Hank. Come on, you know who I’m talking about! He’s the founding member of The
Ballistic Pintos, for Heaven’s sake!
When it comes to legends, Bobby Keel is the real deal. A true-blue, all-American member of country
music royalty. And for all that, he’s about as down to earth as it is possible to get.
I got to spend some time with Bobby at Niko Recording Studio while he
spoke at some length to Susan Gabrielle. It was truly an event. Bobby is an ebullient bundle of humor,
personality, and above all, talent. He’s a man who’s doing what he was born to do, and he’s been doing it
since he was 17. (I don’t want to be a tattletale, but that was a good bit of a while ago!) It’s not every
day that I get to have so much fun. Bobby has a way of making people feel like they’ve been friends
forever. I was instantly at ease in his presence.
It was a day I won’t forget. A day with a legend. But more than that, it was a day with a new friend.
Because everyone is Bobby Keel’s friend once they meet him. You can’t help yourself. You meet the
man, you like him. It’s just the way it is. It’s Bobby Keel.