Music You Should Know Review

The Wait Is Over, Kingdom Keys Are Back With Their Epic New Album ‘Violence & Virtue’

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Kingdom Keys released their epic Beyond What You See EP. It was six flawless songs that showcased the high calibre of talent they had to offer. Quality tracks such as “We Are Kings” and “You Are Not Alone”, resulting in many high profile shows and positive reviews. Sadly, due to reasons outside of music, an unofficial hiatus occurred. However, Sam Jason Cook (vocals, guitar), Daniel Bareford (guitar, vocals), Danny De Ara (guitar), Jay Harrison (bass, vocals) and Simon Benefer (Piano, vocals) are now back! Along with new drummer Tom Hartley.

Before the hiatus, most of the guys were working away on their debut album. Recently, they started adding the finishing touches to their new music. They also brought in producer Lee Batiuk (Deaf Havana, The First) to bring the final pieces together. Kingdom Keys are proud of what they have created with their new album called Violence & Virtue. They say it, “Explores the heavier side of their influences, whilst keeping true to the heartfelt nature of ‘BWYS’. ‘V&V’ is a journey through human emotion, portrayed throughout an album that can bring tears, rouse a call to arms, hit the dance floor and then the mosh pit, all threaded together by Sam’s stellar vocal performances and a band playing out of their skin”. The new chapter of Kingdom Keys is now upon us. 

For fans, there were high expectations due to the calibre of their previous works. Kingdom Keys decided to choose “War” as their first single and opening to Violence & Virtue. It has a lot to say. Its soft build-up is soon joined by the opening lines, “Hello / I know you’re out there / Waiting / For gods among men to decide if we fall / I know you’re out there / Waiting… waiting”. Then the band are unleashed with an explosive sound, previously unheard by them. Its impactful rock energy pulls no punches. Its verses have a familiar feel with the vocals, but the hook is a different animal. Especially when Cook hammers the lines “Oh, it’s never-ending / Are you ready for war”. A start that hints this release will offer something a little different compared to their debut EP.

Their new sound flows into “The Noose”. Not sure if it is Hartley’s addition to the group or a planned change, but the drums are standing out a lot more than before. The track offers another great vocal display by Cook, especially during the hook. As soon as the guitars kick in for “Oath”, it draws the listener in with more of their infectious sound. Even the vocals match the mood. There is something special about this song, which is hard to describe. Maybe it is the catchy chorus or how the band pack a punch with the lines “Be brave and say what you want / Don’t give to take / Your thoughts are yours / Love one another”. Whatever the reason, it results in something which demands attention. 

“Surrender” offers more of their big chorus’ that will make the listener singalong. But, the arrival of “All I Know” offers something different. Its opening changes the pace, especially when the piano comes into play. Even the vocals have changed as Cook adds more emotion to his tone. He does so with the lines, “When it all comes down to violence and virtue / I’m not begging just to lose”. The band feel more controlled, but they do spring into life when the chorus arrives. It offers an impressive balance to the song. Again, showing the depth of sound which the band has to offer. 

Now to the shining beacon from Violence & Virtue, “Book of Wolves”. Personally, it has everything which makes Kingdom Keys sound so good. Its intro is a beautiful combination of piano and strings. Soon, Cook’s delicate tone shares the opening lines, “Heaven called; they want to speak to you / Are you ready for that”. It continues with the band helping to deliver a delicate soundtrack. Then 90 seconds in, the band explode to show off how good they can rock out. Again, Hartley brings the thunder with his drums. 

The pace changes yet again when the guitars and drums dance around each other with some attitude. Then, Cook joins back in with, “Heaven called and they want to speak to everyone / We have taken more than we were told / Deals were signed before / You blame now anyone / Now the hounds are at your door”. Afterwards, everyone steps it up further by adding more power to support their words “Just show / Every deed brings the ends of the Earth / Till you’re worth you own weight in golden cruel words / He’s learning fast – learning fast / Let’s throw him to the wolves”. It’s a rollercoaster of a song that never fails to impress with every listen.

Next comes “Borrowed Time”, which offers more of a pop vibe. Following on is “Eidolon”, which slows the mood back down but packs a punch during the chorus. So far, Kingdom Keys have let their music and vocals steal the spotlight. However, tracks such as “Old Days” highlight they have much more to offer, especially with their lyrics. Its gentle intro lets Cook’s delivery of the opening verse (which is also its chorus) grab the listeners attention. There is something about these words and their emotional delivery. But other moments within the song also show off their lyrical talents. These include “I’ve been a friend to ghosts before / Out on the edge of it all, in the old days / I know what I must do, but I can’t go back to / Loving you, I know, was hell”. 

As we approach the final part of the album, tracks such as “Watch You Go” and “Parable Man” continue to highlight their talent for creating a killer hook. Violence & Virtue opened up with a huge bang, but they chose to close with something a little different. “Loyal Heart” sets the mood with the gentle use of the keys. Then, Cook’s emotional tone delivers the opening lines to perfection with “Oh dear It sounds like an excuse / Or I have I found the rough side of your tongue”. Lyrically, it does not have as much to say, but when it does, it is captivating. Its atmospheric sound is simplistic through the first half of the song, but then the band slowly build up with an energy that would echo to stunning effect through a stadium. Together, the vocals and music intertwine to create something impactful and not so easily forgotten.

Some things are worth the wait. Kingdom Keys new album ‘Violence & Virtue‘ is one of those things.

It is clear to hear why Kingdom Keys are proud of what they have created with Violence & Virtue. It is an album with depth within its songwriting and a sound that is not afraid to mix it up. As much as their debut EP was impressive, this album is something else. Now, press play, enjoy and spread the word!

Music You Should Know

5 Great Indie Rock Songs with Strings and Piano

Even though most would recognize indie rock music as being synonymous with guitar, there are some really great songs out there with strings and piano too. We’ve taken a look at some of the biggest and best indie artists out there and compiled a list of the five greatest indie songs that include plenty of strings and piano. Each one of these pieces incorporates one or both of strings and piano elements into it. Read on to find five great ones that we recommend. 

Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve 

The Verve fit themselves into many different categories over their many years of playing together. Some would consider them rock, while others think of them as grime. Our take on them is that they are an indie rock band based out of England. This song was the lead track on their Urban Hymns studio album which was released in 1997. 

What’s interesting about this song is the opening strings section which is iconic to the track. This piece was actually sampled from a Rolling Stones song, ‘The Last Time’. Because of the use of the strings without permission of all of the parties involved in making the song, there was a bitter dispute which The Verve had to fight to keep their monetary rights to Bittersweet Symphony. It all turned out well and the band now have full ownership and credit for their hit number. 

Bittersweet Symphony was the bands defining track and music video. The strings at the beginning lead you gently into the track and it’s made of a six part sample. It then goes on to add more and more layers of strings and other instruments which brings the whole song together. It truly is a great indie masterpiece that will go down in history. 

Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi 

Let’s come back to today and look at indie legend Lewis Capaldi who is making a huge name for himself all over the world. Many people will recognize Capaldi’s songs for their piano as it’s very much a signature of his indie vibe. The hit song which took the singer songwriter six months to write was penned at his piano. This is what makes it a great indie song for lots of piano playing potential. 

The beauty of ‘Someone You Loved’ is its simplicity. There’s a lot of music out there today that has been overproduced. Which is why there’s something to be said for a song that just heavily features vocals and piano. We’re glad that the star didn’t choose to ditch this song off his album (which was something he was considering) and that we’re left with such a great indie hit. 

Viva La Vida – Coldplay 

Just the first two chords on the strings that open up ‘Viva La Vida’ by Coldplay make the song instantly recognizable. As one of the biggest indie bands out there today, Coldplay nailed the string section with their song and album with the same name. This song was exclusively released on iTunes initially but the song got so much hype and popularity they decided to pen an album after it. 

It’s a little known fact that the song is actually an interpretation of King Louis’s lost last speech before he passed away. It was meant to be written from the perspective of King Louis as he apologizes to his nation and accepts his fate in death. 

Anyone who is a strings player and a fan of indie music will definitely want to bring up the chords for this one. The progression is striking and really grabs your attention, which is why this song is so great. You dive deeper into piano and strings at free sites such as Chordpresso if this is hitting the right chord with you.. 

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis  

Oasis, of course, had to appear on this list as the biggest indie rock band of all time from England. The band where known for their inclusion of piano in almost all of their songs as well as their strong chord progressions. The Beatles were a huge influence for this band and their influence is strongly felt in this song. The piano intro was actually taken from Imagine by John Lennon and was built on for use throughout the piece.

The song is very heavy in the key of C but then has a slightly sharp pitch to it thanks to the standard concert tuning involved. Guitar players will often go to Wonderwall as their first indie hit, and for piano players, Don’t Look Back In Anger is definitely the song to choose. The chords are relatively easy, and you can hear Lennon’s influences throughout the piece. You may also be interested in listening to more of Oasis’s back catalogue because piano is something there is lots of in their indie offerings. 

Somewhere Only We Know – Keane 

Another band that goes hand in hand with the indie moment and lots of piano is Keane. In their hit song ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ the piano is featured heavily throughout the piece. The song was even covered by Lily Allen who used just strings instead of piano, so the music is easily translated onto both instruments. 

The song itself describes a secret place where a couple in love can feel truly happily and openly express their feelings when they feel like they’re drifting away from each other. It’s an idea that a lot of people can relate too, and the song writer said he took his influence from Heroes by David Bowie. The bridge of the song is great and it’s a brilliant tune to master on the piano. 

It’s rare for a band to release their first song to such rave reviews, but this one was the gem in the crown for the artists. It massively boosted their album sales and made their music popular in both the UK and overseas. Nowadays, the piece is still used in many tv shows and films which shows how timeless it truly is. 


So, there you have it – the top five indie rock songs with more piano and strings than you could shake a stick at. Do you have any more songs that feature these heavily? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to share this article with others that wish to explore piano and strings in indie rock music. Happy listening!

Music You Should Know Review

New Single From Foley Is Better Than Chocolates, “Better Than Love”

After topping the charts as #10 for NZ Albums and earning a nomination for the APRA Silver Scroll Award for outstanding song writing, dynamic pop group Foley is ready to take on the world. Their latest single, “Better Than Love,” uses smooth female vocals mixed with mellow electric guitar to create a melting soundscape. This track is the last sneak peek at their upcoming EP, Vacation.

Loving The Idea Of Love

Listeners may groan their way through another Valentine season, but this group makes it more bearable with their unflinching honesty. Foley is well-known for their lyricism, and “Better Than Love” does fans proud. It addresses the idea of falling in love with the act of loving rather than with a single person. Female lead Ash Wallace croons, “Can you stay as my crush, ‘cause the thought of you is better than love.” The group admits that sometimes undying love can be a drag in comparison to the shallow butterflies of liking someone you hardly know.

Foley honors the idealization of love we often have when meeting someone new before we discover their flaws and shortcomings. Rather than shaming human nature and implying people prefer shallow relationships, the track emphasizes the beauty of simplicity and the attraction of mystery.

Foley Brings The Funk

Contrary to the gentle dreaminess that builds “Better Than Love,” Foley is the artist you play when you want to dance. They layer delicate vocals between a slapping bassline and unique electronic samples. Their previous EP, On My Conscience, is filled with elements of disco and coquettish attitude. It was well received in New Zealand circles well beyond their home in Auckland.

Before you go, watch Foley’s stripped-down version of “So Personal” to prep you for the release of Vacation on March 12th.

Love the groove? Check out our recent articles about other funky artists, like Martha Wash and Half Cashed House Band.

Music You Should Know Review

VOLK Unleash Their New Single ‘Welcome to Cashville’

It is hard to believe it has been a few years since VOLK released their epic EP Average American Band. Since then, Chris Lowe (vocals, guitar) and Eleot Reich (vocals, drums) have spent most of their time on the road having fun with their music. While they have been touring, they have had the pleasure to open for the likes of Charley Crockett, Diarrhea Planet, Hillbilly Casino and Lincoln Durham.

The duo has been quietly working on new material. Now they are ready to release their first single taken from their upcoming album Cashville. “Welcome to Cashville” is described by the band as “pops the modern music industry square in the face; it’s intentionally over-the-top, fuzzed-out, and bitingly sarcastic. The song rips open with VOLK’s label head harping for gratuitous record sales but quickly accelerates into ZZ/DC driving riffs and thunderous four-on-the-floor beats. The lyrics pay homage to previous middle-finger-in-the-air Rock anthems such as Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take it, while injecting Country-styled wit that cuts like Waylon Jennings’ Are You Sure Hank Done it this Way”.

Watch the Video for “Welcome to Cashville”

“Welcome to Cashville” does not mess about as it bursts into life as soon as you press play. It is like they have released a caged beast. Longtime fans will notice this has a more ferocious type of sound. Usually, they infuse rock n’ roll with blues and Americana. Not this time around, as they have unleashed their inner rock animals with dirty riffs and thunderous drums. 

With the attitude they are projecting with their sound, they need the right words and vocals to match. Let’s talk about the lyrics first as the opening lines reflect a similar story shared by many independent rock musicians. They paint the scene with “It was another gray day in that city of Play / You know them swampies got their heads up the back way. We took our drums and guitar to a damn techno bar / Them kids these days don’t dig swing and sway. Barman said, Excuse me Ma’am, can’t bring that crap around / We traded rock n’ roll for all night DJ’s”.

VOLK are not pulling any punches with ‘Welcome to Cashville’

When the lines “Ooh hoo, Well it’s just like Davey Crockett said / Ooh hoo, You go to hell babe, I’m going to Texas!” we get a sassy vocal delivery by Reich. She has always sounded great throughout previous releases, but this is her at her best. Throughout, there is a playful manner to her tone. It is as if she is enjoying every moment. However, she is not afraid to pack a punch with her voice when required. Talking about vocals with attitude, wait for Lowe’s moment as the song comes to a close. 

“Welcome to Cashville” is a different kind of animal from VOLK. It makes you wonder what Chris Lowe and Eleot Reich have cooked up with their upcoming album Cashville. It is safe to say when it is set free, the world will know about it!

Music You Should Know Premiere Review

“Lick It Up” From Sundae Crush

– photo by JP Martin

80’s movies have a special place in my heart. And among them, is the movie Heathers. So when I saw that Sundae Crush was referencing this iconic film in their newest music video, I was ecstatic. Lick It Up recreates the tension filled climactic ending of the movie (which I won’t spoil for those who have not seen). Directed by Trixxxy Poodle, the video was also shot at her house and edited by Izaac Mellow.

“I’m so glad I got to lyrically write about Heathers, it’s one of my favorite movies. It was really fun filming this video at Trixxxy’s house, she really made it wacky and fun throwing things on us. I’ve never been covered in sprinkles on my face before, and I can’t say it’s a great physical sensation. Definitely fits with the song though.” 

More About Sundae Crush:

Sundae Crush is a rainbow, daydream band writing songs to crush modern ideas of romance which can be toxic and unhealthy. The daydream started with Jena Pyle (vocals, guitar, flute) and is brought into reality with Emily Harris (guitar, vocals), Daniel Shapiro (drums, vocals), and Izaac Mellow (bass, vocals). The band pairs experimentation with groovy, heartfelt pop to tint your vision to a rosy hue. They’re releasing their first full length album Fall 2020.

Sundae Crush has appeared on KEXP’s Audioasis and has shared the stage with Frankie Cosmos, Winter, and Peach Kelli Pop.

The music video is off of the band’s forthcoming debut album A Real Sensation out via Donut Sounds Record Co. on November 27th. Dedicated to singer / songwriter Pyle’s therapist of five years, Sundae Crush works out damage by tuning up and turning listeners on to sweet and sour anthems like “Sensation” (already premiered by KEXP), “Kiss 2 Death,” and “Lick it Up.”

Even with these deep themes, they play for a party we’re all living out on a rainbow colored planet of fun stoner pop. Out on November 27th, make sure you tune into their newest release, and then throw on Heathers, for old time’s sake.

Music You Should Know Review

‘Songs for Gentle Souls’ The Stunning Debut Album By The Far North

Earlier in the year, The Far North released their debut single “This House is Ours”. It was clear to hear how Lee Wylding (Vocals/Guitar) and Andie Packer (Drums) have taken influences from music from the ’60s and ’70s. As a result, their focus is around the art of storytelling. To accompany this, they have chosen an American soundtrack. It received deserved praise and saw it receive airplay from radio stations in the UK and globally. It included airing on BBC 6 Music (Chris Hawkins), Regional BBC, and Liverpool Live 247 (Billy Butler).

“This House is Ours”, and the follow-up single “Runaway” offer a taster from their new album Songs for Gentle Souls. Wylding describes the new release as “Little vignettes about love, loss, hope and sometimes leaving the past behind and starting fresh with those who mean the most to you. It was written over the course of the last two years. We hope we’ve captured a nostalgic vibe via early Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young through a fresh sound to the present day”. 

He says the band’s ethos is “To go back to a traditional way of crafting songs. Where every lyric is wrought out, every drum beat and guitar line is played from the heart. In turn, making the songs meaningful and of value.  We wanted to make an album which can be played in full at once, rather than just cherry-picking the best songs and releasing ten singles. This approach isn’t something at the forefront of popular music in 2020”. Now, Songs for Gentle Souls is available for the world to hear. 

The opening two tracks of Songs for Gentle Souls were the singles “Runaway” and “This House Is Ours”. Not only does it give the fans a familiar welcome, but it also perfectly demonstrates their talents. Both offer a warm Americana sound that has charm and highlights their storytelling qualities. Out of the two, it is “Runaway” which captures the most attention. It is clear to hear this duo’s influences at work as it is all about the story and its delivery. A great example of this is during the chorus as they both combine to deliver the lines “Runaway with me / we can do the things we do / Cos we are so beautiful / Runaway with me / let the people stop and stare / Cos I don’t really care”.

Following on are “Branches” and “When We Were Young”, which fans of The Fireflies will recognise. Wylding and Packer have reworked these songs from their former band to create more magic for this album. As much as the quality of music has been high so far, “Branches” is the first track to stand out from the rest. It offers a slower pace with its country vibe and offers the listener something different.

With everything stripped back, it lets Wylding create a special moment with his delivery of this story. The lyrics have so much to say and do so with detail. An example of this is the lyrics “If I find a cure, for what makes me weak / Absolve the fear inside, and let me sleep / If you lose me, to the soil I go / Being me back to life and hold me close”. It is a beautiful tale from beginning to end. 

When “Compass Pointing” arrives, it offers something different to those before it. Instantly the acoustic guitar with supporting clap/stomp sound draws in the listener. With the mood set, Wylding comes in with the lines “Crash crash crash on the water / My lungs fill as I gasp for air / Round round round the torrent flows”. It all comes together to create more of a radio-friendly vibe. This would be a great entry point for new fans. Next comes “My Heart” which slows things back down with some great work on the guitar. Yet again, the softer tone lets the vocals steal the limelight.

As the album continues, it showcases more of The Far North’s compelling storytelling qualities with songs such as “Stronger Together” and “Grace”. Sandwiched in between is the sublime “Sleep Tight Songbird”. It is difficult not to be impressed by the balance of warmth and honest emotion to Wylding’s vocals. It gently flows effortlessly throughout, which his emotive tone is enhanced further by the addition of strings. 

From the opening lines to “1994” there is something about the vocal tone which feels different to those prior. The delivery of the words has more of a personal quality. Maybe the old friend in the story is someone special to them. It is highlighted during “When I was a boy, I had a friend / I saw him today, it’s been 20 years / As we hugged each other, we said we’re like brothers / And I know yes I know, it only feels like yesterday”. The use of strings and the piano enhance the emotional atmosphere which Wylding projects with his voice. All of these elements intertwine to create yet another outstanding track from this release.

The Far North’s ‘Songs for Gentle Souls’ has an irresistible charm to storytelling

Closing the album comes “Gentle Souls”. It is yet another beautiful moment which is thanks to more delicate vocals as well as sublime use of a gentle guitar and piano. Again, their songwriting stands out, especially with its chorus. It feels simplistic in its message “This is a song for gentle souls like me and you / We’ve got the love / We’ve got the light / To see us through”. However, like Songs for Gentle Souls as a whole has proven, it is all about the delivery. As the album finishes, it leaves the listener wanting more. A sign that The Far North has created something special.

Music You Should Know Review


For some musicians, 2020 has been a slow year for their work. However, this is not the case for Jack J Hutchinson. So far, he has released a lockdown album called Who Feeds The Lockdown? It features a selection of tracks from various projects and says “This is essentially the setlist that audiences would have seen us play live over the summer festival season”. Not only that, but he has also released Three Bootlegs Live Album from shows at Esquires (Bedford), Leo’s Red Lion (Gravesend) and HRB Festival.

Hutchinson is not planning to slow down either, as he is currently working on his next studio album The Hammer Falls. To get the world ready for it, he has released the track “World On Fire”, co-written with bandmates Lazarus Michaelides (bass) and Felipe Amorim (drums). He says “We wrote and recorded World On Fire in the middle of a remote forest in Brazil. It had an incredible vibe that pushed us to try new things. I actually slept on the floor of the studio whilst I was there to really soak it up. It was an incredible time”.

What does this new track have to offer? Straight away, the opening riffs show the “World On Fire” means business. His guitar has a mean streak about it with Hutchinson’s vocals having a growl-like feel to its tone. They are used to add bite to the opening lines “Just like the seasons that keep on turning / You cut a hole right into my heart / Like the fuel to my fire, it’s burning / And tears me down right back to start”.

The vocals soften with the arrival of the chorus. Less power means the lines “Set the world on fire / Light the fuse that lies within / Set the world on fire / Let’s rip it up and start again” have more of an impact. As the song progresses, the change of moods between the hook and verse is captivating to hear. 

Speaking about captivating, his guitar solo during the instrumental break is sublime. The music slows down and sets the stage for Hutchinson’s guitar skills to steal the spotlight. He plays in a naturally flowing manner that is hypnotic. As the song comes to a close, he uses the chorus to bring things to an end.

Jack J Hutchinson and his guitar are not messing about with ‘World on Fire’

“World On Fire” is yet another fantastic showing of the musical talents of Jack J Hutchinson. Not only because of his trademark guitar skills, but his lyrical and vocals too. Hopefully, it is not too long before he offers another single, or better still the new album. Why may you ask? Because you need more by this talented musician.

Featured Music You Should Know

Artist To Watch In 2020, November Edition: Alison Reynolds

Greetings once again, music lovers! Now that we’re well into November, it would be nice if we could travel someplace warm. Well, I have good news for you: we’re headed out to the southwestern United States, where we will be getting to know singer and multi-instrumentalist Alison Reynolds!

Alison has been making music pretty much her entire life. More recently, she’s released 6 albums over the last 12 years, including 4 CDs of all-original music. Currently Alison’s been doing a lot of online shows and recording new material. In 2017 she was nominated for Best Americana Song in the New Mexico Music Awards.

Alison Reynolds describes her music as “very eclectic but, I suppose my dominant style and genre is Americana (that’s the genre you use when you can’t really fit yourself into a genre 🙂 ). The cover songs I do range from John Fogarty to Eddie Vedder, Stevie Nicks to early Bob Dylan. My song writing ranges from very folky to harder hitting country/rock/blues.”

Alison also has a great many musical influences. While in high school, she was “heavily influenced by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, etc.. Then in the 70’s, Bonnie Raitt was one of my favorites along with bands like The Doors, Crosby, Stills, Nash and, Young, Django Reinhardt, Eric Clapton, Cat Stevens and so many more! Got to see a lot of them live while I lived in Toronto.”

(Wait, Toronto? I thought we were in the American Southwest!)

Well, you know that old country song, “I’ve Been Everywhere?”

Well, that pretty much describes Alison. She’s lived in Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and yes, Canada! But now  Alison and her husband reside in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she enjoys the rugged, picturesque mountains. She does confess that she enjoyed living in Flagstaff (Arizona) and Toronto the most. As she recalls: “I lived in Toronto in the 70’s during the peak of the coffeehouse music era. It was a very accessible city; you didn’t need a car to get around and there was a ton of live music happening!”

(That does sound pretty cool )

In The Beginning…

Alison’s primary instrument is actually the cello, interestingly enough, which she began playing in 4th grade. Actually she ended up majoring in cello performance in college! She credits her college teacher as having the biggest influence on her career. Prior to college, Alison taught herself baritone ukulele and guitar. Nowadays she also plays mandolin and a little bit of flute.

Alison told me: “I think I’ve always known that I’d be a professional musician. From the time I started playing baritone ukulele I knew I’d be playing for a long time. Started playing professionally with my first music partner, Pat Watson pretty much right out of High School. I have been playing instruments for over 50 years (yes, I am old!) Professionally, I’ve played in many different bands off and on for around 45 years. . . and still counting!“

Professional Career

Alison Reynolds has had quite the memorable musical journey up to this point. As she recounts: “The very first album I released was in the 70’s with a band called Mirth, entitled “First Borne”. That was in Canada. When I returned to the states in the early 80’s, I played with several bands but, ended up taking a break from music to raise my children. I returned to music around 12 years ago and have since recorded 6 albums. One, called “Dreaming” was with my cello quartet, La Cella Bella. It has some covers and several original pieces on it. We also put out a Christmas Cd called “Christmas and other Joyful Tunes”. After the quartet fizzled out, I went solo and started singing and writing songs again and have put out 4 Cd’s of original music and 1 of cover songs.”

“I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t do music!” – Alison Reynolds

Alison has also done quite a bit of touring. Earlier I mentioned her first musical partner Pat Watson. Alison and Pat connected up with a guy named David James Bowen and that’s how their band Mirth (also mentioned above) got started. Alison goes on to say: “We grew to a 5-piece band and toured constantly all through Ontario, Quebec and Halifax. At one point I gave up my apartment, put my things in storage and just toured, staying with friends when we had the odd time off! Those were in my much younger days and the only real downside was being a single female on the road all the time.”

Alison also adds: “The absolute coolest gig I ever had was playing at the Ottawa Opera House with my first music partner. We opened for Gino Vanelli and played to a packed house of around 3,000 people!” Alison also considers this experience to be the highlight of her career so far.

Fun Times For Alison Reynolds

Alison provided me with a couple anecdotes from her Canadian touring days that I thought were worth sharing:

“The most embarrassing moment for me was when my band, Mirth, was playing at a venue in Toronto. We had taken a break and a fellow came up to me and asked if he could play my cello. I’m not really keen on having someone I don’t know play my instrument so I told him no, politely of course! He sat down and a friend came up to me and said, “do you know who that was?” uhm, “no”, she said that’s one of the cellists in Electric Light Orchestra!” they had played a concert down the street from where we were playing. Totally embarrassed, I went up to him and fell all over myself apologizing and asked him to PLEASE play my cello! He was very nice and understanding and did play a bit!”

She also recalled one other particularly funny moment: “The funniest thing that ever happened was when Pat and I played at low to medium security prisons in Canada. They were great gigs; the inmates were very polite and appreciative. Pat and I played a variety of instruments and usually started off with both of us playing guitar and finally moving to our piano/cello songs. At one prison (all men, obviously) I sat down to play cello and from the back of the auditorium came a voice saying, “Man, I wish I was a cello!” the whole place cracked up and I’m sure my face turned a very dark red!”

Fun Facts

Alison has 2 grown children, one residing in California and the other in Las Cruces. When she isn’t making music, Alison volunteers for a cat rescue and adoption facility. She does admit that “I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t do music!” Alison also enjoys a good black bean burger and a nicely aged Scotch—but not necessarily at the same time. Her favorite movie is The Princess Bride.


Knowledge Knuggets

Alison has the following words of wisdom for the readers: “The music business has changed so much since I first started so many years ago. I think now, in the cyber age, one MUST be patient and very persistent. Don’t stop, don’t give up, stay the course and you will be rewarded. Fame and fortune are NOT the rewards, rather it’s the satisfaction that you are doing what you love and loving what you do.”

(Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Right?)

Here’s where you can connect with Alison Reynolds:

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