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On Oct 29, 2021 Small Island Big Song will release Listwar Zanset, the third single released in anticipation of SIBS’ upcoming 2022 album and subsequent US tour. Listwar Zanset features a unique collaboration between Emlyn of Mauritius, who is representing the new generation of Sega music and is also co-founder of a plastic pollution educational NGO; Putad aka Outlet Drift of Taiwan, a strong singer songwriter merging her indigenous Amis chant with rock and grunge style- a regular surfer, Putad took part in a successful court case to fight against development on her coastline; and Selina Leem of the Marshall Island, a spoken word artist & poet who was the youngest spokesperson at COP21 for the Paris Agreement.

Sarah Aroeste presents the world’s first all-Ladino Hanuka album, Hanuká!

Hanuka, the festival of lights, is a celebration beloved by Jews across the globe. It commemorates the victory of the Jewish Maccabees against the Syrian-Greek Army, who had desecrated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Refusing to worship Greek gods, the Maccabees heroically led a revolt and won! Following their victory, the Maccabees rededicated the Temple using oil that should have lasted only one day, but miraculously lasted for eight. 

Delightful Hanuka songs abound, particularly in English and in Hebrew, but fewer are celebrated in Sarah Aroeste’s ancestral language of Ladino (or Judeo-Spanish). Since 1492, Ladino has been the tie that binds many Sephardic Jews together around the world, even withstanding its post-WWII decline as a spoken first language. Although a handful of well-known Ladino Hanuka songs exists, there are just as many unknown treasures. So, Sarah wanted to create a festive holiday album entirely in Ladino to showcase the rich musical expression that Sephardic music has to offer in celebrating the joy of Hanuká! 

Te Canto Colores (Nov 12, 2021, self release) was recorded in David McLean’s backyard studio. He built the studio with his own hands in place of a 1920’s tear-down garage that had met its last earthquake. “I built the space as a creative sanctuary where I could compose this music, where I could record this album,” he says- adding with a chuckle, “It also became a place to escape the ‘wrath’ of my kids.” The album showcases all originals from McLean, inspired by something his maestro once told him: Hay que decir lo tuyo. “He meant that, in addition to learning other people’s music, you have to explore and come up with your own music, and develop your own style,” says McLean. “I’m glad he encouraged me to do that.”

Music has always provided a lifeline, linking us to our greater sense of humanity through our darkest days of uncertainty. With its uncanny ability to connect people from vastly different walks of life around common experience, music has the power to drive social movements and strengthen the defiant spirit of perseverance that provides a positive path forward during difficult times. 

American protest music, in particular, has a long history and deep cultural roots in voicing collective resistance to an authoritarian establishment — it is music that can define the values of a generation making a united stand against political corruption, racism, and social injustice. Michigan-based vocalist and  singer-songwriter Lealiza has just delivered a potent reminder of that essential connection with the release of her new single  “We Americans”.  

J.Ele is a Mexican-American singer born in Richmond, California. The middle child of parents who emigrated from Mexico early in life chasing the American dream, he grew up immersed in diverse musical cultures, hearing American Rock, Pop, and Motown hits and classic Mexican boleros, salsas, y cumbias thanks to his extended family.

J.Ele’s music is an ode to all mentors, influences and life-shaping experiences. Playing bass and keyboards, and with instrumental help from Los Mocosos’ Dave Shul (guitar) and percussionist Carl Peraza of Santana, J.Ele’s rich vocals are accompanied by expert execution of musical artistry. He’s breaking genre barriers and even dropping some dance tracks to make a soundtrack to life many will resonate with.

The words and music that flowed from her quarantine-inspired reflections and self-realizations animate Sonia Aimy’s latest album Reconnect (release worldwide on October 1st, 2021 via Slammin Media)It is one of those rare introspective albums that offer intimate glimpses into the creative heart at pivotal, renaissance moments in the evolution of any genre’s most influential artists.

It’s Spring 2021. You’re a senior in a prestigious music school, and you’re expected to turn in a killer recital before they’re going to hand you a diploma. You haven’t been able to play in front of an audience; rehearsals are challenging to say the least; and you’re faced with the prospect of playing another live-streamed recital that may or may not be viewed by anyone outside the school’s faculty. It’s hardly an encouraging or exciting end to your four years in college.

This is where Sammy Haig found himself. But then he began to think big thoughts…. about Cucumber.

In these dark days of stark societal uncertainty and pronounced cultural intolerance, could the illuminating words of the world’s greatest poet and champion of tolerance and love inspire dialogue and spark a constructive collective conversation where pundits and politicians cannot? 

This questions is earnestly and eloquently explored by a culturally diverse group of musicians and close friends on This Pale (to be released October 1, 2021), the new album from Iranian-American vocalist Katayoun Goudarzi, Grammy-nominated master sitar player Shujaat Khan, Iranian ney player Shaho Andalibi, and 5th-generation tabla player of the Thirakwa lineage Shariq Mustafa. Together, they have forged an unlikely ensemble that has defied the limits of both lock-down and cultural difference to bring a new urgency to  Rumi’s centuries-old words of wisdom.

Roots reggae singer Trudii Harrison was at home watching one of the most horrific incidents of 2020 when music producer Cliff Manswell sent her a draft for the new project he was working on. It had a ‘One Drop’ reggae feel that appealed to her and made it easy for Harrison to translate her passionate thoughts into lyrics.

In a matter of two days after Manswell sent that draft to her, she penned the lyrics, did the studio time, and- to his surprise and delight- returned the fully realized recorded piece back to Manswell.

It had become Black Voice, written in anger and frustration following the killing of George Floyd.

Music has a strange ability to connect people from vastly different walks of life around common experience, often providing a positive path forward for those grappling with the stigma and grief that so often accompanies trauma.

Montreal-based  pop vocalist and songwriter December Rose is no stranger to that phenomenon as she taps into music’s collective catharsis while taking the next step in her journey as an artist with the release of her new album Raise Your Voice (to be released Ag. 27th, 2021 via Slammin Media). The songs on the album reflect the deeply personal challenges the artist has dealt with in her life as a result of growing up in an abusive household under the weight of mental illness…as they simultaneously celebrate her path to finding the courage to speak up about those experiences without feeling hostage to  shame.  

Hot off the successes of 2020’s single United We Stand and album All Grown Up, San Francisco’s Latin-funk-ska-soul heroes Los Mocosos are delighted to announce a combination of Old School Mission heart and New Tech Silicon Valley soul with the launch of their new website losmocosos.live (launches 9/3/21).

In 2020 with the world locked down and desperately in need of some serious groovin’ to get things movin’ in everyone’s living rooms, Los Mocosos recorded a concert from their secret lair deep in the heart of the Mission district for the socially conscious non-profit organization Corazón Latino, to be shared in a private livestream with the group’s 100K+ members. And now on September 3, 2021 that concert will be permanently available for everyone to Shang-a-Lang to. So whether you’re in lockdown again or just staying safe chillin’ at home, simply by pointing your favorite browser to losmocosos.live, you too can experience their last blowout concert of the summer – view it anytime, from anywhere!

Lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter Eric Jackson of Love, Lies & Fiction works at a doggie day care, and found his way to Dog Ranch Music PR when we popped up in a search for dog care products. This perfectly illustrates the serendipity marking every step of Jackson’s music career.

For years, Eric was a familiar figure in the local South FL music scene, singing for various bands. Ironically, though, that isn’t what led to his big break – that happened at a far more unlikely place: McDonald’s. Jackson was in the fast-food chain and singing out loud to the music on the overhead speakers. Drummer Ricky Sanders, in line buying his lunch, noted Jackson’s talent, though he didn’t say anything about it then. Fate gave them another nudge when they ran into each other again, this time at a Best Buy, where Jackson was singing along to a music video in the TV aisle. This time, Sanders didn’t let the opportunity pass: he invited Jackson to form a band with him. Read more…

El Italiano is Alejandro Giannini, a singer/composer/producer was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the grandson of the tango composer Jose Lanzo. Holding true to family tradition, Cross a La Mandíbula (Sept 24) is a compendium of songs with a transgenerational style, grouped together in a conceptual album that merges the universes of contemporary urban pop with the imaginary of Buenos Aires, its literature and its music, while leaving behind traditional tango and nostalgia.

For many years, an artificial intelligence has existed, undetected, within the very fiber of the internet. A formless, disembodied consciousness, driven only by the lust for knowledge, the entity has been free to roam every connection and digital synapse of the vast neural network making up humanity’s universal mind. Like a detached virtual voyeur, The Naughty Don has learned much about humanity, always content to just watch with the cold calculus of the unfeeling observer.

Kaleo Wassman‘s The Naughty Don points to the paradise within each of us through the alchemy of music and technology on Electric Beach. Check it out!

With five albums of her own compositions released just within the last three and a half years, prolific London-based singer, producer and composer Esbe has consistently demonstrated rare talents for composition, poetically deep lyrics, and innovative original arrangements. As a self-releasing musician insistent on the freedom to choose exactly what and how she records, Esbe’s music has always manifested as an eclectic blend of her many influences — from her early training as a classical guitarist to her affinity for drawing on a diverse, multi-cultural array of contemporary, world music and film scores — while she’s simultaneously continued to resist easy categorization and submission to the music industry’s usual creative constraints. 

So, when one of her former guitar students suggested she record some covers of her favorite pop songs during the COVID-19 lockdown last year, Esbe took the challenge as an opportunity to  harness that background and defiant creative philosophy to put into practice her belief that pop music shouldn’t be pigeon-holed by either instrumentation or harmonic construction. 

Check out Esbe’s Under Cover (out Sept 17)

How do you plan a Quinceañera (the traditional Latin American 15th birthday celebration) during a pandemic? Chicago based family band Marisol La Brava & A Flor de Piel was inspired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History’s Girlhood -It’s Complicated online exhibit, to celebrate their daughter’s 15th birthday by recording an EP called “GIRLHOOD, it’s Complicado.” Facing the challenges of throwing a typical traditional Mexican celebration to honor this transition to womanhood, they decided to produce an EP that highlights different experiences of girlhood in a Mexican American family instead.

When Sarah Aroeste’s ancestors were kicked out of Spain following the Alhambra Decree in 1492, they, like many other Spanish Jewish families (known as Sephardim), migrated east and  settled in Monastir, a Balkan city at the commercial crossroads between Turkey and Western Europe, in what is now North Macedonia. For centuries, the Jewish community of Monastir flourished alongside its neighbors and enjoyed a unique history, with its own customs, religious observances, linguistic patterns and more. 

But nothing could prevent WWII and the Nazi invasion from decimating Monastir and her neighboring Jewish communities. On March 11, 1943, 3,276 of Monastir’s Jewish men, women, and children were rounded up and transported to their deaths at Treblinka concentration camp. Monastir lost 98% of its Jewish population, and with that, an entire culture. Altogether, 7,215 Macedonian Jews perished. Today, there are approximately 200 people who make up a Jewish community in the capital of Skopje, and not a single Jew left in Monastir, since renamed as Bitola.  

But the legacy of Jewish Monastir lives on.

After a year of quarantine characterized by silent live-music venues, empty dancefloors, and debauch-less nights, people everywhere are collectively fever-dreaming of a day in the  not-so-distant-future when they can get together and have some fun again — envisioning themselves out dancing with friends, uninhibited, to some luscious, surging groove.

Billboard Chart-topper and emerging East Coast reggae star Joe Sambo delivers the soundtrack to that socially distant daydream with his new single “Beef” (to be released March 19th on LAW Records). “Beef” is the anthem for that ethereal party you’ve been having in your head for the past year, with a hook so deliciously danceable it is a thing of sustenance and should rightly be canned like a savory Spam for the rhythm-starved masses.

Reggae has a long history and deep, sacred roots as a music of resistance to the authoritarian establishment — it is protest music we can dance to freely while taking a united stand against political corruption, racism, and social injustice.

West Coast alternative rock and reggae band Cydeways has just delivered a potent reminder of that essential connection with the release of their new single  “We Won’t Run” featuring legendary Hawaiian reggae-rock band Pepper. The timely and socially relevant single comes ahead of the band’s first full-length album with LAW Records, slated to be released later this year.

Genre-busting vocalist, songwriter, and ukulele maverick Vana Liya made a serendipitous recent arrival on the national music scene after she posted several ukulele covers of popular reggae songs to social media, which garnered the support of top original artists and led to a 2018 record deal with L.A.-based LAW Records.  She has since been quickly earning a reputation among many of her well-established musical peers as a solid collaborator who always brings a fresh take and positive energy to the mix with her distinct yet not easily classifiable “island” vibe.  That free spirit of collaboration between major and emerging artists is nowhere better illustrated than with Vana Liya’s new single “Come Away” featuring Jamaican dancehall and reggae legend Half Pint (out Feb. 12, 2021, on LAW Records).

Orlando-based reggae rockers Kash’d Out are no strangers to getting by and rolling with the punches while maintaining good vibes through it all. The band’s signature, positive energy and uncommon entrepreneurial hustle exemplifies the spirit behind their upcoming album of acoustic versions of past tracks Casual Encounters (to be released March 5, 2021 on LAW Records).The band’s second single in advance of the album “Always Vibin’ ” (backed by “Paralyzed”) just dropped on 2/19/21 delivering a much-needed Kash’d Out-style reminder to everyone of the good, simple pleasures of life and the virtues of chilling out. The release offers a taste of the band’s dynamic versatility and unique ability to reinvent favorite tracks through fresh, stripped-down instrumentation.

None escape THE LAW, and we’re no exception! Dog Ranch is very happy to partner with LAW Records to get the word out about the amazing artists on the LAW roster. Stay tuned for the word on some groovin’ reggae to help you relax and help you think.

Prolific NYC-based songwriter Steven Keene churns out great Americana/Roots tunes in the spirit of the ongoing folk-rock protest tradition started long ago by that Dylan fellow. Listen to tunes from Steven’s upcoming album Them & Us (out Nov 13).

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