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What the Family Means to Me

I’ve always been lucky enough to have a lot (I mean a lot) of family surrounding me, to help me up when I’m down, to make my light shine a little brighter because they’re in my life, to bring a smile, a tear, and a touch to my heart and move me in a way only family can.

Pranam 3

When I first joined the fish pond and David said “welcome to the family” I was touched, but I’ll admit, I didn’t think I was part of a “family”. My world has changed. In a short few weeks, I’ve not only realized that, yes, this is in fact a family; it is that and so much more.

How many times can you say you’ve met someone who cares just because they can? Loves just because they know others need love?

That is what I’ve seen, and it is at the heart of every musician in the Fish Pond. We welcome any musician and music lover with open arms, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find that almost anything you “expect” when you join is far from what you can actually achieve when you “dive in”.

I’m a musician, with love at the heart of everything I do. I can’t describe how joyfully overwhelmed I am every day I see family members post new music, collaborate, comment, and share their love and support; and it’s just because everyone has the same intention at heart. LOVE for music and for their fellow musicians. It is not an option in this family, but a necessity, and the only way to truly breathe is through the notes of our shared song.

What is most unique about what David has shared with us all, is that there is no pressure or constraint on what you can share, there is no right or wrong; only love, family, music and support. And it’s amazing to me that I’ve been lucky enough to stumble into such a wonderful place.

by Pranam Bai Richter, Head of Global Publicity, The Fish Pond

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10th Avenue – Don’t Know

Before reading the rest of this review, I should warn you; I am a huge fan of the pop/punk genre. 10th Avenue, a three piece out of Saskatchewan, Canada, delivers everything I love about the style in this effort from their album, ‘Weiners’.

10th Avenue

From the first riff, I’m right back into my own influences of Green Day’s ‘1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hour’, which I was listening to back in 1991 when I was out playing the same style live. I ate it up at the time, and I love this track. It’s under-produced, as a song like this really needs to be.

The verse is simply, riffy, and it’s impossible – at least for me – to stop myself air guitar-ing along to it. The guitar is well executed, and the chord progression is catchy. Sorry, but I’m right back in the moment, pogo-ing on stage and right there with these boys.

But wait – what’s that in the chorus – they’ve introduced some Little Richard-style piano into the mix. And you know what, driving and deliberately discordant, it really works in this case. It fills out the second half of the chorus just enough.

“Is this the end or just the start?
Did I break of fix your heart?”

The essential solo is once again just as it should be. These lads have studied the genre, and they’re really natural at it.

“I don’t know what I’ve done
I don’t know where I’m from
I don’t hear anything you say”

There’s no doubt this is a feel-good track, albeit nihilistic, but very well put together. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from 10th Avenue down the stretch.

Visit 10th Avenue’s profile and listen to ‘I Don’t Know’ here.

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Alexis Barreto – Hey You

I review and hear a lot of great music, proudly representing our fish pond family. Alexis Barreto’s debut single, ‘Hey You’, is no exception; a brand new talent with international roots in Switzerland and the US, she has a pure and distinctive vocal, and this is a catchy and sweet song which is bound to do well.

Alexis Barreto

Well produced from the start, the guitar sounds beautiful. It’s hinting at a Nashville-style production, but as the drums come in, I soon had this down as more of a clever pop song, which borrows all of its best elements from a country sound. The sentiment is friendly, like an embrace, from the first line:

“Everyday we’re faced with the opportunity to say ‘hey’ to somebody new”

Truly this young lady’s voice, under the direction of the great David Barreto (an excellent musician in his own right), is something new. It’s simple, it’s pleasing to listen to, and the melody fits it perfectly. The thought that kept running through my mind; that I’d like to hear the unplugged version, with just an old Martin mahogany-body acoustic guitar, and Alexis’ beautiful, simple, and innocent vocal.

“Hey you, where you coming from?
Hey you, where you going to?”

For the axe-nut, there are some beautiful lead guitar licks after the first chorus, and once again I tip my hat to the production; this was really worth doing well, the experience of the people engineering in studio shines through, and pays off.

As the instrumentals gear down toward the end of the song;

“Hey you, I know you’re suffering
Hey you, I feel the same way to
Let me help you through the pain into the light
There I’ll stay till the very end
There’ll be others waiting to say;”

At this point, I LOVE the bold 4 second gap

“‘Hey you’”

It’s a well-written and well-performed song. Alexis carries it off well, the lyric is worth listening to, and the vocal has just enough effect on it to make this a very listenable effort, and as I would expect, it’s doing well in the US online charts.

“Hey You” is written by Gina Marie Gordon/ Wayne Edwards/ David Barreto for Elizabeth Easler who spent 9 months in and out of the hospital. Part of the proceeds for “Hey You” will go to help terminally ill patients and their loved ones who need medical supplies/ medical costs/equipment/ transportation/ meals.

Congratulations, Alexis, we’re glad to have you in the family and we look forward to much more to come in 2013.

Visit Alexis’s profile and listen to ‘Hey You’ here.

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Haikaa – Everything I Know About Love

The best way to describe Haikaa is as a true artist; an accomplished author, and an amazing singer/songwriter, we’re so glad to count her as part of our global family. Like so many others in the Fish Pond, Haikaa has truly global roots to draw from, and a worldview which is peaceful, all encapsulating, and respectful.

HaikaaMusic

It feels somehow right to be writing this review, and listening to really solid international music from our family while cruising at 38,000 feet above Hudson Bay on the way to Europe. The wonderful thing about a family of musicians like the Fish Pond, is that there are so many references from others to discover new family members. I thank Mr. Joel Heslop, DJ with Museboat Radio, and musician from Swansea-based band Mr. Spoon, for ‘liking’ Haikaa on Facebook. And there it was. A connection, a positive conversation, and happily a very accomplished new family member we can all learn from.

‘Everything I Know About Love’ starts in a really interesting way, prefacing the main riff with a lovely plain percussive intro and whispered vocal, a shadow of the lyric from the first verse; as a guitarist myself, I loved hearing that beautiful palm-muted acoustic guitar fading in and introducing the melody. What sounds like a Fender Strat, metallic, fulsome, and reverby, plays over it; and so to Haikaa’s vocal.

“You’ve read on books, you’ve seen it
on movies
And things;
About a beautiful kingdom
A princess
A prince;
I can tell our story’s not the same,
Can we say our destiny is to blame”

It’s a build from verse to verse, very “expensive” sounding instrumentals, perfectly performed and captured. The underlying guitar picking and chords are intuitive and quite a joy in themselves.

Then the unbelievable happens. A couple of lines leading out of the verse, then it happens; the hook quite unexpectedly washes over you like a huge warm wave. Goodness me, that chorus is…well, it’s just…unreal. Absolutely beautiful:

“Everything I know about love
I’m sure we’re really meant to be;
Everything I know about love
I’m sure this is it, if you let it be”

For me, this is an almost perfect popular song. Evocative and punchy – the lyrical theme is simple and lovely – it has a great guitar sound throughout, acoustic and electric, and Haikaa’s vocal is naturally fitting; it soars. The way the production has been put together is polished, as it deserves. It’s simply a Work of Art, as is the title of her 2011 album.

We’re very honored to welcome Haikaa to our family in 2013, and we look forward to much more of her music to come.

Visit Haikaa’s profile and listen to ‘Everything I Know About Love’ here.

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Welcome Back Fish Pond Family

Welcome to the exciting relaunch of the global musicians fish pond community site!

We are a growing family of musicians and artists bringing you talent from all around the world. Since our beginning in April of 2011 we’ve grown to 168+ musicians in 28 countries and we’re extremely excited about what is in store for 2013! Here at the fish pond, family comes first, music comes from the heart and we always put our best songs forward.
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Los Marty: But It’s All In Spanish……

So for my very first assignment as a writer for the Global Musician’s Fish Pond, I got to write an article about a band from Mexico. Their name is Los Marty and their lyrics are all in Spanish. Now, I may know a lot of languages, but Spanish is not one of them. Stubborn as I am, I thought to myself, maybe I should research them just a little bit, read their bio, learn more about them. And so I did. It was all in Spanish.
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Animal Flag: Truth in Lyrics

Animal Flag is the solo project of Matt Politoski, a singer/ songwriter/ producer extraordinaire from New York. Matt is a student at the Berklee College of Music, and just finished up a tour throughout the eastern United States. Matt’s ability to write the truth in an interesting and heartfelt manner is easily noted in his latest album, “Everything Will Be Okay”, and especially in the song “The Management of Grief”.
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Colin Crighton: Fishin’ in the Swamp

Today the Fish Pond takes a visit to the swamp, where we find bluesman Colin Crighton and his album “A Stones Throw from Nowhere”. The title says it all, musically it’s lovely to listen to, taking you to a rocking chair somewhere on a stoop in Louisiana, the vocals haunting, harmonized, and faraway over a thick and muddy slide guitar sound. Who would have thought that this lad from “oop north” in my homeland would give us such a convincing swamp blues work.
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Natania – Cherry Love

Natania Lalwani is a great ambassador for the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, which she graduated in September. 20 years young, and with roots in Mumbai, India, Natania joined the Pond in October 2012, in line with her birthday and the release of her brand new single, ‘Cherry Love’. If I were to use one word to sum this effort up, it would be “strong”.
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