Summer could be the most inspirational season in pop music.
Think "Hot Fun in the Summertime" by Sly Stone, "Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey, "Cruel Summer" by Bananarama -- and damn near the entire Beach Boys catalog.
Summer-related themes and references are certainly well-represented in the Nevada-based songs played by NV89, Nevada Public Radio’s music station in Reno.
And station host Dave Hadel knows these songs and the artists who perform them.
Keyser Soze - “The Season”
“It’s the opener from their 2013 release ‘The Remedy.’ The track has a really good summeresque feel that really makes you just wanna go hang out at the beach all day. Really the horn section in the beginning, it really drives the song. The lead singer Jammal Tarkington, he plays the alto sax, accompanied by the other horn section in the band since they’re a sextet. Trumpet and organ in there, following along with the music. The song mentions the long day sun and I think we’re all really holding on to that at this point not wanting the summertime to end.”
“They’ve been around since I believe 1999. They had formed back then. Jammal Tarkington and Rodney Teague put together the band and they’ve had numerous players throughout the time, different drummers and horn players but they’ve been a mainstay for Reno. They’ve shared the stage with bands like Michael Franti, the Whalers, the English Beat, the Skatalites and a lot of other great ska and reggae bands over the years.”
Leather Bound Crooks - “Summer Nights”
“They are a four-piece band. They’ve been playing and writing music together in Las Vegas for a little over eight years now. According to their website, they’re on the hunt for cultured lives and laidback ways.”
“According to their site, they’re going to be releasing the album “Breach.” It says it's by the end of July, which is coming up pretty soon. I hope we’re going to hear that record sometime soon. Looking forward to hearing new tracks from Leather Bound Crooks.”
Kate Cotter – “August”
“She has been singing and performing around Reno for nearly two decades now. I think she is one of the most well-known singer-songwriters in our community. She’s not only played in Reno but toured all around the country as well.”
“It is a very cinematic track… it has, to me, kind of a haunting sound. It has a slow build to it, soft falsetto vocals from Kate, sort of a mystical feeling to it. There are a lot of layers and different moving parts in the song and guitars kind of play off each other with some augmented sounds to make it sound like a sitar is playing and it gives you kind of a middle eastern vibe. When I saw her play this song live, she even had a belly dancer accompanying with her as well.”
Mike Xavier - Sunshine
“He moved out from LA to Vegas a few years ago and has since released four albums, one of them being a live record. He performed at Life is Beautiful this last year and has also opened for artists like KRS-One, Mobb Deep, Ghostface Killah and he’s also worked with a lot of the DJs but now performs with a live band at his shows that really brings up the energy of his performances.”
“He really had kind of a hard start when he was living out in LA. He, at one point, it is really heartbreaking to read about this, but he was homeless living with his very young son in a car until he moved out to Vegas and got back on his feet with the help of family and friends and has since been very philanthropic in the Las Vegas community as well.”
“This track ‘Sunshine’ you would think it would be kind of a summer song but it’s more about having a positive mental attitude and the chorus repeats throughout ‘Hold on for that sunshine,’ which is really great to hear on hip-hop having a great, positive vibe to it.”
Dave Hadel, host, NV89
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