Utah Carol recently released a new smash hit single, "Sugar Cane." This inspiring, thoughtful track captures the essence of flower-child music fused with 80s New Wave. The steady guitar-picking strings and unique vocals overlap in a country-style ballad that is second to none. The band is comprised of Grant Birkenbeuel and JinJa Davis.

Together, they are synonymous with new music that intertwines eclectic pop, folk, and indie genres. The track is as mentally stimulating as it is smooth. This is one of those songs you will love to hear again and again on long road trips with family and friends.

There is an enchanting and lullaby-like vibe to this song with harmonizing melodic vocals. It's almost as if you are floating in the air listening to this beloved ballad. With Western cowboy roots, the band's name is just eye-catching and thought-inspiring. However, the duo is based in Second City, USA -- Chicago, where they produce, arrange, perform, and publish most of their songs.

This fantastic single follows three successful albums from the band: Wonderwheel (1999), Comfort for the Traveler (2002), and Rodeo Queen (2007).

The group is currently working on new tracks for their upcoming EP.

While we anxiously await the new album's arrival, "Sugar Cane" gives you a glimpse into the fantastic music and vocal talents that JinJa and Grant. Give your ears a real treat by clicking on the link below and experience this beautiful track that just captures the heart and soul!

Visit to stream and purchase their three albums.

Meet the artist on their Facebook page for their commentary and updates on upcoming shows and merchandise!

Add Utah Carol to your playlist on Spotify

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If you like sexy and romantic R&B, then this is the album for you. The 7-track album is a non-stop ride through the feel-good experiences of a relationship in the throes of ecstatic romantic love expressed through passionate sexual escapades. The first song "Mood" does just what the title says and sets the mood for the rest of the album. From the opening "Mood" to the closing "Know You Want Me," Lelynd croons about the complexities of break-up and make-up dynamics as he navigates his deep love for his partner even on the days when he may or may not like his partner.

Sonically, the songs are similar. Lelynd grooves over double-timed, mid-tempo instrumentals on most of the album's tracks, allowing one song to flow seamlessly into the next. As each song flows sonically to the next, so do the elements of the romantic love dynamic highlighted in each track also flow one to the next. There is nothing disjointed about this effort. Instead, it feels like a complete body of work with something for every mood. The mid-tempo flow of the tracks ensures the album is as well-suited for a 'turn up' vibe as it is for easy listening designed to make a long and difficult all-nighter go by that much more quickly and smoothly.

"It's Different Now" is conclusively a solid offering from an independent talent who has some musical experiences and experiences under his belt. We can hear and enjoy the growth from his last release to this one. We are excited to hear more from this refreshing talent and highly recommend this latest release.

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Matt Gordon recently released his new album "Black Mirror" to critical acclaim. The popular singer-songwriter follows up -- from his successful 2018 album, "22nd Element" -- with fifteen pulsating R&B tracks showcasing his harmonic vocals. Gordon soars through the sky with his angelic voice, thoughtful lyrics, and captivating music. "Love Somebody" is a smooth, soothing track that oozes romance and pure love at every verse. This evergreen jam sets the tone for the album, including the upbeat 'Good Lovin' -- a song that captures the allure and essence of 80s R&B classics.

"Everything" is a laid-back track with a rhythmic flow that will soothe the soul. Dazzle your earbuds with "Lost" featuring Courtney Benett -- a fantastic collaboration that sends out positive vibes with every listen. This album is a must for old-school and new-school R&B and romantic song lovers. Every track is carefully crafted with its unique charm and delivery. I especially love the love ballad, "I Knew Better" -- a song that melts the heart with Gordon's signature vocals. This superb album offers something for everyone and truly showcases the multi-talented Gordon at his finest.

The toe-tapping, finger-snapping songs on the album will be cherished and enjoyed for years to come. Gordon has put his heart and soul into this production and continues to receive stellar reviews from fans and new listeners alike. With fifteen tracks and 39 minutes of unparalleled musical enjoyment, "Black Mirror" is a must for folks that love new music with an old-school R&B and romantic ballad vibe.

From "Samurai" to "We Need a Change," every track has a unique substance and feel that seamlessly blends in many styles and genres of music. The album also features Maxx Heavyy, Keren Morales, Jakia, and Jayy Maadniss on vocals.

Give your ears and soul a treat by listening to the best of Matt Gordon on his new musical journey and album -- click below!

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Knowing how to read music notation is like having a secret key that unlocks one of three dimensions of the musical language.

The three dimensions are: music reading, technique and interpretation. These dimensions are consecutive and cannot be rearranged when learning a piece of music.

I’ve seen it time and time again when teaching skype guitar lessons online, students want to skip to the third dimension of embodying the piece before even learning the elementary music reading foundation and proper technique for their pieces.

In this blog post I will introduce the 5 essentials of reading music notation and the right hand designations that will prepare you to read and play music on the guitar using the open strings.

5 Essentials Of Reading Guitar Music

These essentials are important as they’ll set you up with a good starting point when learning to play with the right hand. This means that, for the purposes of this example below, we will not be fretting with the left hand. Note that this is only an overview of a much larger and longer teaching.

Essential #1: The Musical Staff

There are five lines and four spaces in the musical staff which tell you where the notes are.

The 5 lines with noteheads (green ovals) spell EGBDF.

The 4 spaces with noteheads (green ovals) spell FACE.

Note: You’ll also see notes that “fall” off the main staff with extra lines. Those are ledger lines and they support extra notes above and below the staff.

Essential #2: The Treble Clef

The treble clef identifies music notation for guitar. This is how you’ll know that a specific piece of music is intended for guitar.

The treble clef can also be used for other instruments as well. For now our focus is on the guitar's usage of the treble clef.

The treble clef anchors on the 2nd line, note G. This is why the treble clef is also known as the G clef.

Essential #3: The Musical Alphabet

The musical alphabet is the first seven letters of the english alphabet, ABCDEFG.

It’s important for you to be able to recite the alphabet forwards (ascending); ABCDEFG, and also backwards (descending); GFEDCBA, in any combination. For example, CBAGFE, FEDCBA, DCBA, ABCDE, DEFGA and so on.

Essential #4: Time Signature

In our example, we are using 4/4 time or common time. Time signature is always indicated at the start next to the treble clef and is not repeated anywhere else unless there is a change in time signature.

The top 4 tells us how many beats are in each measure, and the bottom 4 tells us the value of each beat.

Essential #5: Quarter Note and Quarter Rest

There are different types of note values. For now we’ll focus on the quarter note and quarter rest in 4/4 time signature.

The quarter note and quarter rest have the value of 1 beat according to the 4/4 time signature. A quarter rest is where you’d pause for a duration of 1 beat.

And those are the 5 essentials you need to know when it comes to learning basic music notation and note reading.

Now, I know you're excited to put some of these learnings into action, so let’s take a look how notes on the musical staff correlate to the guitar strings.

How Guitar Strings Correlate To The Musical Staff

This is a diagram for how strings on the guitar correlate to the musical staff.

As you can see string numbers are numbered with the thinnest being string no. 1, to the thickest being string no. 6.

Now that you know how the musical staff correlates to the guitar strings next we can learn about right hand designations that will help you play open strings.

PIMA Right Hand Designations

These are the designations for the right hand fingers and thumb: PIMA

To further explain, the P (thumb) will play the 6th, 5th and 4th strings. The I (index finger) will play the 3rd string. The M (middle finger) will play the 2nd string and the A (ring finger) will play the 1st string.

Playing Open String G With The I Finger

Let’s revisit the four measures of music that we started with at the beginning. You can begin playing with your I (index finger) on the open string G (3rd string) of the guitar.

These 5 musical notation essentials paired with what you’ve learned about how to correlate the guitar strings to the musical staff, will give you a great starting point when learning how to read music notation for the right hand.

When you’ve tried this, reach out and let me know how it went for you. Was it too hard, or was it way too easy? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this lesson.

Happy practicing!

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If you love soulful, jazzy, songs topped with eclectic folk sounds, then you are in luck. Brettina's "Simple Pleasures" is indeed a pleasure to listen to thanks largely to its simplistic yet intricate composition. The contrasting combination works wonders as Brettina's fluttery vocals glide over the instrumentation to convey the message of the song. Brettina's voice and singing somehow remind us of the powerhouse vocalists of yesteryear - the likes of Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, and even the band Sade. Yet, she makes a clear stylistic choice to dial it back and yield to what the song itself is demanding.

The song's message is one of taking the time to notice and appreciate the things that we often overlook while hastily navigating our daily lives. The message is a fitting one for the sound of the song and the story of "Simple Pleasures" is artfully told. As Brettina tells it, 'it's all in a song' and we will recognize that once we open our eyes so we can really see'.

As for the typographical video, the visuals are fitting for the soft and sensual mood of the song. The subtle treatment of soft lighting overlays o a face shot of Brettina simply singing is, if we do say so ourselves, a welcomed simple pleasure. The simple, captioned-style fonts also help to do the song justice.

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From the promo leading to the release of the official video a couple of days ago, Mivviih's new single "Ok" has lived up to the expectations. From the sounds and looks of this release, it is clear that Mivviih is here to stay. Sonically, her sound is reminiscent of a young Beyonce or Kelly Rowland during the heyday of their successful girl group Destiny's child.

While "Ok" does capture the feel-good sounds of R&B from the early 2000s and late 90s, Mivviih has modernized the sound - making her relevant to today's musical landscape. Importantly, there is also the aspect of storytelling that has led to Mivviih's "Ok" being as captivating as it is. The storytelling is clever and the storyline is familiar to R&B fans who are familiar with stories of a self-sabotaging, selfish lover, who simply refuses to do what is necessary to keep the love in a relationship going. In the end, Miviih resolves that 'it's all good' and everything is "Ok" in spite of the fact that their love story was a promising one that simply never came to be.

As for the visuals, the hula hoop earrings, curly hair midriff, and sneakers are familiar staples from some of R&B music's most popular days (yes, namely the 90's and 2000's). Perhaps Miviih is deliberate in trying to bring it back. Deliberate or not, the influence is clear, and Miviih makes it work.

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Feel good vibes is what we all need right now and Brooklyn's own princess and songstress AMBRI delivers at the right time with "Too Early". With its Afro-Carribean beat and smooth vibe, this critically-acclaimed single featuring hip hop artist Kevin AntoniYo is sexy and fun and puts you in a positive mood.

The beat takes you to the Carribean islands and this song is something to dance to. The uplifting sounds and smooth verses blend together perfectly with AMBRI's sultry voice and Kevin's added touch. The video featuring the pair vibes perfectly as she shines a positive light on life, relationships, and storytelling. This track was intended to be upbeat and fun and AMBRI delivers on that.

Many fans and followers who have left R&B music reviews about AMBRI consider her as an underrated artist who deserves more spotlight and attention. She is an artist who relies on her gift of storytelling to share her art that appeals to the masses. She has demonstrated through her music so far that she has the ability to write lyrics and deliver soulful vocals.

AMBRI not only represents a positive direction in her music, but her leadership as a new pioneer in the music industry is also remarkable.


Click the link to Stream "Too Early" & more on all platforms

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The nostalgia of R&B is back with Angelica Vila's new release "Love Too Hard". The song expresses that we can love too hard, feel too much, and look past red flags because we tend to crash in relationships really badly.

The Roc Nation star is experiencing success by repackaging the old 90s and '00s nostalgia of R&B with a sound that is sensual and seductive. The young latina continues to make waves in the industry and helps her listeners navigate love and relationships through her label in the R&B genre. Originally from the Bronx, NY, the singer is trying to enter a space that is badly needed to be filled by R&B singers who bring passion and energy into their music and do not miss a step when it comes to choreography.

The track emanates old school vibes narrating the ugly realities of love and relationships. It conveys what most women would do when they are caught up in a serious relationship, have difficulties and struggles, and are forced to make tough decisions which are sometimes heartbreaking. The R&B singer creatively exhibits the dangers of loving amidst the glaring deception of security and loyalty from the other partner which is evident in the singer's powerful lyrics and emotional expressions in the video.

Vila brings a unique sound that people can relate and vibe to. Many fans believe she is underrated and could be the next Beyonce. With thousands and thousands of views in just days after releasing this track, you can expect more great vibes from this talented artist.


Official audio for Love Too Hard by Angelica Vila
►Download/Stream “Love Too Hard" here:
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Singer songwriter Shatia Nerisse stepped up her game with her new release of "Deep Love". This song expresses fierce love with a beat that could compete with and rival other mainstream artists in the same genre category.

Empowered, snappy and confident, her soprano quality of voice has the vibes of commanding men to take her seriously and rebukes their sleazy ways of being in a relationship. The upbeat of the music implores power of a woman who secures her heart and takes no games in relationships. The lyrics of the song implies no drama when it comes to love, the "you want me then go get it" is what emanates from her idea of relationships.

The song speaks of a direct approach in love. It talks about a woman who has never fallen in love before, but got hooked within the confines of her feelings towards another person. She is willing to ride with him but still, she chooses to be protective about her peace - particularly her heart.

Shatia is one of the pioneering collaborators of the LektroMelodica which produces music that characterizes a musical hybrid of electronic and acoustic instrumentation with a heavy focus on melodic songwriting. Wise released this single as a passion project for her listeners to hear her story and experience her love.

She treats this project as her way to expressing her emotions through music during her journey as a songwriter and artist. This track along with her other songs are now streaming on Spotify and Apple music.


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The succinct 9 track album features his two catchy, radio worthy singles 'You Love Me' and ''Who Is He'. Both tracks quickly gained Raahiim a dedicated following when listeners first heard these jams back in November. The remainder of the artist's album is wildly impressive, boasting melodic emotional ballads like "Millions" and "Twos," as well as dance worthy tracks titled "On You" and "Magic City."

Raahiim certainly seems to know what he was doing when he assembled the team to get this body of work off the ground, too. The songwriter enlisted the assistance of other R&B greats while he worked on the EP, including scoring famed Grammy nominated producer Nineteen85. If you're not familiar with him, he's also based in Toronto and is best known for his work on some of Drake's most popular songs including "Hotline Bling," One Dance," and "Hold on, We're Going Home."

While the album is an incredible work of art. After a quick listen ,it's easy to understand the buzz over his talent -- and the unavoidable comparisons to The Weeknd. Both artists have a sort of melancholy moodiness that keeps listenters on the edge of their seat and coming back for another listen. The powerful lyrics can't be ignored either. For example, consider what Raahiim croons during "Who is He?"

You wear battle scars before we went to war
Like anesthesia, I don't need you, trying to put me under

While " ii Knew it Better" is Raahiim's debut studio album, online whispers indicate this will likely blow up. Stardom may very well be the next step for this Canadian artist.


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