Wednesday, November 14

Artist Spotlight ★ David Leask ★ ISC 2017 Finalist


Artist Spotlight ★ David Leask ★ ISC 2017 Finalist

"Leask brings to his music a compellingly honest baring of the soul"-
Toronto Star

"Leask writes great songs... I've added him to an amazing group of talent that includes John Prine, Joe Henry and John Hiatt."
-Brandon Sun


Originally from Scotland, David Leask is a born song chaser and a natural storyteller with soulful vocals & great songs. His latest album, “Six in 6/8”, straddles folk, country, roots-rock, Celtic and soul, all wrapped up in his favorite time signature – 6/8. It showcases a cast of 19 incredible musicians recorded by 10 different engineers in 11 different studios in 4 diverse and inspiring locales - Toronto, Montreal, Nashville and Muscle Shoals. Amazingly, 3 of the 6 songs on the album are current semi- finalists in the International Songwriting Competition.




Can you describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence?

A blend of Country/Americana and Celtic soul - songs that try and tell stories of my squinted view of life and what it means to be human.

What's your earliest music-related memory growing up?

Being around the piano with my Grandmother playing and everyone singing.

If you were to cover another band/artist's album, which would you pick and why?

Hard to say.  I have covered a number of tunes over the years and it tends to be because of the song not the artist or the album.  Usually I'm pulled in by how good the song is and how the lyric and melody connects with me .  Two examples of this would be "This Time 'Round" by Darrell Scott and "Stronger Back" by Doug Gill both lesser known singer songwriters that write fantastic songs.

Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process.

Yes, I've been writing for a long time and still revel in the mystery of it all.  It's a bit like hunting but maybe less about the kill - an equal amount of you going hunting for the song and the song also hunting you down.  Many times, it's about waiting and listening and sometimes trying to wrestle the truth to the ground, and at times it can feel a bit like beating yourself up in the process!  It helps to have co-writers in the room to share perspectives and keep watching and listening in your own unique ways until you land on that special common ground that's captured in words and music.

Does anything in particular inspire you to write? What get's your creative juices flowing?

I try to write songs with a depth and emotion that's meaningful to me and seems to have meaning in other people's lives as well - something that contains a kind of universal truth, that has a chance of remaining relevant.  On my latest record "Six in 6/8" the song “Can’t Make It Back Home” tackles the subject of veterans’ PTSD and “When You Think No One Loves You” touches depression and mental health problems and “Caught In The Tide” deals with the stress of staying afloat in turbulent economic times. So I'm not afraid of mining music in places of struggle but I've been told that these same songs are also filled with hope so there's a balance of light and dark that seems to emerge in the stuff I write.

What has been a highlight for you in the past year?  (Either personally or for your music career.)

Releasing  "Six in 6/8" and having people be moved by the songs either at live gigs or after listening to the record.

What 's next? Can you give us a hint for whats to come remainder of 2018 into 2019?

I have another record that is starting to bubble up to the surface and I'm beginning to see a little of what it looks like, so that's cool.  I am also planning to tour Europe in 2019 so I'm very much looking forward to getting a chance to play some of my songs over there.

What do you like more: Performing live or recording in the studio?

I do enjoy the recording and the creative process in the studio but I much prefer the opportunity to be in the moment that live performing allows me.

What are some artists/bands that you're into at the moment? Or any particular song you find yourself listening to over and over?

I just listened to a new song by Stars called "Are You With Me" that I fell in love with.

Any embarrassing on stage moments you'd like to share? C’mon, don’t be shy.

Sorry, not any that I can seem to remember.  There are those moments playing live when you have a brain cramp and forget words or, I use a loop pedal so you hit a clanger right in the middle of this great loop you've built but that's not embarrassing per se, just part of the rough and tumble of live performance and being in the moment.

What's one thing people should know about you?

I am a forced to be heckled with!

What do you enjoy doing outside of music? Does your hobby rejuvenate your creativity?

Walking, which is always good for clearing the head and for creativity.  It's how Sting wrote "Fields Of Gold" and motion can generate e-motion which for me is the essence of a song!

If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?

Thanks for going deep on a dive beyond the surface and meeting me in the music!

David's Links:
http://www.davidleask.com
https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/artist/david-leask/6102071?mt=1&app=music

PopScore Top 10 Songs for Week 45, 2018

Top 10 Songs for Week 45, 2018

2018-11-05 - 2018-11-11


Ba361c2296edc4ae9baa3717fb942305 300
Rumbero Sabroson
Perico Hernandez
Latin
Los Angeles, CA, United States 
Facebook link image Itunes link image Amazon link image

5b42e194e97e8da0f509ee1fdf85dd9a 300
Long Road Home
Midnite Johnny
Blues
Bolton, United Kingdom 
Facebook link image Itunes link image Amazon link image

064ef08d3a9a54816b459e8b124575e4 300
Runaway Bassman
The Heart of Effingham
Country
Effingham, IL, United States 
Itunes link image

912781ae2f91489ce9a3153eb89d8ff0 300
Sentimental Lover
T & T Funkfaktory
Pop
Petersburg, VA, United States 
Twitter link image Itunes link image Amazon link image

1a472cbdc3cbc49f4667f57ded791f52 300
Dreams Yet Unknown
Terry Spence
Folk
CO, United States 

135272b4375ea5f87a4e8341ab8f07a2 300
City Trills
Orlando McAllister
Soul
Brooklyn, NY, United States 

079476743480a91fe7b85e7ef6128a72 300
Are You In There
NeverWake
Metal
Pittsburgh, PA, United States 
Facebook link image Twitter link image Itunes link image Amazon link image

7dcbc914c0875cc765a68fc63e31f731 300
Pompeii:Frozen in time
Michael Wark
Rock
Long Beach Island, NJ, United States 
Twitter link image Myspace link image Itunes link image Amazon link image

5b5a798c6e2bfc9cdd79b52e1e30d230 300
Masquerade Ball
The Aquaerials
Alternative/Alt. Rock
Grand Rapids, MI, United States 
Facebook link image Twitter link image Itunes link image Amazon link image

Thursday, November 8

Artist Spotlight ★ Amanda Blankenship

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text
Meet inspirational singer/songwriter Amanda Blankenship. As one of the recent RadioAirplay.com song contest winners, her music is resonating not only with listeners on internet radio but with the staff here as well!  Amanda lives in Circleville, OH with her husband, Bob and two children, Noah and Madison and their spunky husky mix, Katona. Her desire is for others to step into the dreams and plans that God has put on their lives! She grew up loving music and singing in church with her mom. So it was always a part of her life and a passion that continues to express itself through her songwriting and singing. She is part of the leadership team for Brave Worship, based out of Nashville, TN. And she travels with NOW Women’s Ministry leading worship nights and conferences. 



Can you describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence? 
A sweet vocal with a powerful message

What's your earliest music-related memory growing up? 
Singing with my mom in church. She would play the piano and I would sing. I was always very nervous but still wanted to do it.

If you were to cover another band/artist's album, which would you pick and why? 
That's a hard question. I listen to a variety of music and if you asked me the same question tomorrow, I'd say something different..haha...but today, I'd say MOSAIC, their songs are powerful yet have space. I love that! You should check out their song, Tremble!

Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process. 
Yes, I write my own music. I've been songwriting for about 6 years. I love cowriting. It's a great way to let others strengths make your song better. My songwriting process normally begins with me sitting at a piano. I express an emotion through playing what comes to mind and after I've established a melody, I then begin to hum and listen for the words that I feel correlate with that specific sound. After I've got the idea for where I think the song should go, I will contact other writers and setup a cowrite and finish it. But that is just one way. Sometimes I start with a phrase or thought and then sit at the piano. But my go to method generally begins with a sound first and then words. Here's an awesome songwriter personality test that helped me identify my strengths as a songwriter: https://krissynordhoff.com/test

What was the highlight for you in 2017?
Personal highlight of 2017 was a songwriting trip I took to Scotland with Brave Worship. It was an incredible journey and we wrote 17 songs in the 10 days we were there. We witnessed unparalleled beauty and connected with God in a new and powerful way.

What have you been working on recently? Can you give us a hint for whats to come in 2018?
I  have a couple songs that I've co-written releasing this summer: Clear the Way and When Heaven Fills the Room. I'm very excited about those songs! And then I plan to start work on my next single this fall! Hint: it has something to do with dreaming big. 
What do you like more: Performing live or recording in the studio?
Performing live! I love the interaction with the crowd and the atmosphere when you are singing together.

What are some artists/bands that you're into at the moment? Or any particular song you find yourself listening to over and over?
I'm a huge fan of Sleeping at Last! I listen to his music everyday. Its is genius and beautiful!
Any embarrassing on stage moments you'd like to share? C’mon, don’t be shy.
Haha...I really can't think of any...perhaps I've blocked them out? ;)

What's one thing people should know about you?
I'm on a journey to live out the dreams and passions God has put in my heart.

What do you enjoy doing outside of music? Does your hobby rejuvenate your creativity?
I enjoy painting and traveling. I love to see new places! It definitely creates more opportunities for creative ideas. 

Amanda Blankenship Links:
Website: amandablankenshipmusic.com
New Single: show.co/T09S84T
iTunes Direct Link: itunes.apple.com/us/album/something-beautiful-single/1383101092
Spotify: open.spotify.com/track/6FMf0gD8f1nYHbYi9A7og2?si=vNRtE1k2TgyGicsRgGTW6g
Youtube: youtube.com/channel/UC5lvJ8keqzouNneHS0ftiXw
Instagram: instagram.com/amandablankenshipmusic
Facebook: facebook.com/amandablankenshipmusic
Loop Community: loopcommunity.com/amanda-blankenship-music/something-beautiful
PraiseCharts: praisecharts.com/songs/details/71530/something-beautiful-sheet-music