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Fanatic Promotion

About Fanatic:

Fanatic Promotion was established by Josh Bloom in 1997 as a one-man operation with a passion for building fan-to-fan connections between artists and the media.

Since that time, Fanatic has established a reputation as a taste making and sales driving agency where Josh continues to communicate about the new artists of today that he believes you should be talking about tomorrow.

Read more about Josh and Fanatic here.

Oct 20 '14
David Bronson - Songbird

“There’s something about starting the record with a voice other than mine that I really liked,” says NYC-based songwriter David Bronson of “Songbird,” the lead-off track and first single from his upcoming album Questions (1/13/15, Big Arc Records.) “You would only do that if it’s something special, abnd you’re not going to get more special than Robin Clark.”

Besides being one third of the immortal backgrounds on David Bowie’s landmark “plastic soul” album Young Americans, Clark has lent her talents to recordings and performances by Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Al Green, Bruce Springsteen, and Beyonce, to name a few.

Following up his double-album epic The Long Lost Story, Bronson’s Questions also features Clark’s husband, Carlos Alomar. In addition to more than twenty-five years on Bowie’s most commercially and critically adored work (including co-writing “Fame” with Bowie and John Lennon), Alomar can be heard on records by Iggy Pop, Paul McCartney, and Alicia Keys, among many more.

As it was with The Long Lost Story, production for Questions was handled once again by Lou Reed producer Godfrey Diamond, who is also the man that turned the Alomars on to Bronson’s work. “When I mentioned Young Americans to Godfrey, I didn’t actually expect him to bring in the actual singers from the record!,” Bronson exclaims.

It seems that Alomar were more than happy to be there. “I love intelligent songs. Songs that are worth singing, songs that would stand the test of time,” he says. “When I first heard David, iconic writers came to mind. Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens and dare I say it, even Bowie. Recording Questions was pure joy.”

Oct 16 '14
The March Divide - Given Out

As Emo bands reunite left and right, playing their old songs for nostalgia’s sake, Jared Putnam of the San Antonio-based The March Divide is unapologetically wearing his past on his sleeve, still writing these types of songs, but from an adult perspective.

“I’m finally at a stage in my life where I don’t have to bleed all over the page to write a song,” Putnam says. It seems that, as a songwriter whose previous band The Conversation came up in that tortured musical era, Putnam’s feeling pretty good.

“I was in a good place writing ‘Billions,’” he affirms, speaking of The March Divide’s upcoming sophomore full-length scheduled for release on October 21st, 2014. The new album is the most recent collection to emerge from Putnam’s near-constant level of musical output over the past two years.

The latest single from “Billions” is the all-out pop song “Given Out,” about which Putnam confesses, “We for sure didn’t hold back on that front,” referring to the track’s unabashed accessibility.

"A pop song needs pop lyrics," he continues. "I hung out with a friend recently that I hadn’t seen in a while. It was an opportunity to catch up, but instead, we just got drunk and complained. I thought the whole situation made for a good pop song."

Oct 16 '14
Moonlight Towers - Out Of The Gray

“Simply put, there’s not a hair out of place. Rock-solid barroom pop salvation songs that bypass the moment in favor of something that will never go completely out of style.” – Austin Chronicle

“We just want to make people dance,” is how James Stevens of Austin-based Moonlight Towers summarized the band’s mission upon the release of its “Day Is The New Night” album in 2011.

The record, which included Little Steven Van Zandt’s number nine “Coolest Song In The World” for that year, is now being followed-up by “Heartbeat Overdrive” (Chicken Ranch Records) on November 11th, 2014.

Stevens says the new record “will not totally overwhelm the listener with heavy ‘me, me, me’ deep thought.” It’s a claim that sounds very much like another version of “We just want to make people dance.”

So, he’s saying that this album isn’t heavy? OK, fine.

But, “Heartbeat Overdrive” is, as its title suggests, passionate and strong. So much so that “recommended if you like Springsteen, Petty, and 70’s-era Dylan” is kind of putting it mildly.

This last bit is clear in on the album’s first single “Out of The Gray,” which Stevens explains “was written to chronicle that shitty feeling of watching someone you love go away forever, yet doing your best to pick it all up.”

The new Moonlight Towers album “Heartbeat Overdrive” arrives on November 11th, 2014 from Chicken Ranch Records.

Oct 9 '14
Red Wanting Blue - Hallelujah

In the years since vocalist and songwriter Scott Terry formed Red Wanting Blue, the band has gone on to establish itself as a quintessential example of American perseverance and hard work, building an exceedingly loyal fanbase based on non-stop touring, all without any industry support.

Known for making instant fans of the uninitiated with one of the most engaging and passionate live shows on the road today, Red Wanting Blue found even bigger audiences after the release of its 2012 “From The Vanishing Point” album, which landed in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and at #1 for the band’s home region.

Appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, and NPR’s Mountain Stage followed, and while the band continues to reach new and bigger career milestones, Red Wanting Blue is also staying true to its roots. This is evident on the upcoming new album “Little America,” the band’s most personal and promising recording to date.

"Little America" celebrates a community spirit Red Wanting Blue shares with its audience that goes beyond fans who simply give back the passion that comes off the stage. Red Wanting Blue’s hard work is matched by fans who work hard, too. It’s not unexpected for members of this growing legion to take days off of work and cross state lines to follow the band, to learn just-written tunes from wobbly YouTube videos, and to sing every word at every concert.

Just prior to recording “Little America,” Red Wanting Blue wrapped up over two years of touring that brought to the rest of the nation what the band’s long-time followers in the middle of the country already knew about. Packed rooms and sold-out performances throughout the U.S. and Canada proved that Red Wanting Blue wasn’t just a regional phenomenon. It also gave band leader Terry some newfound perspective on his art and his profession.

“There are several reasons why this album is called ‘Little America,’” he explains.

On a white-knuckle drive from Salt Lake City to Denver through a Wyoming snowstorm in the early winter of 2013, the band’s converted mobile home nearly hit a jackknifed tractor-trailer.

“The truck came to a halt just before getting to us,” Terry remembers. “There was debris everywhere and we sat in awe for a moment before we maneuvered around the wreckage and slowly made our way down the mountain. We pulled off at the first truck stop we saw – it happened to be named ‘Little America.’”

"Little America" also represents an ideology that stems from Terry’s childhood.

“As a child, America was the most enormous thing I knew, and as I got older, it became an epic and unconquerable wilderness that I thought I would spend my whole life discovering. My relationship with America has gotten so much more intimate than I ever could have dreamed. It’s ‘Little America,’ like the nickname you can only give to someone after you’ve really gotten to know them.”

Terry also acknowledges the influence of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic song “America” on the album, and his life in general.

“I started playing music to get to see this country through the eyes of a rock n’ roll band,” he says. “‘And we walked off to look for America’ is one of my favorite lyrical images ever. ‘We walked off to look for America?’ But, aren’t we already here? I suppose so, if it’s just a name of a place. But it’s so much more than that.”

Terry continues, “I’m trying to experience the America I romanticized from the lyrics of rock n’ roll songs. I wanted to know what it felt like to ‘pull into Nazareth’ like The Band’s ‘The Weight’ described. ‘On the road again, like a band of gypsies, we go down the highway,’ ‘Baby, we were born to run,’ and on and on and on.”

Terry sums up his connection with these songs and his connection with Red Wanting Blue’s fans this way: “These songs are the soundtrack of my life, and it’s my calling to give that back with the hope of having our songs be the soundtrack of someone else’s.”

Oct 9 '14
Stephen Doster - Arizona

“My name’s on the back of many more records than on the front,” says Austin-based producer, songwriter and guitarist, Stephen Doster. “This new record will only be my fourth as an artist,” he explains of “Arizona,” arriving November 4th via Atticus Records, “And it’s the record I always hoped I would make.”

Doster’s musical story starts in 1982, when he was a young man on top of the world, recording his debut album with James Honeyman-Scott of The Pretenders producing it.

“During the sessions, Jimmy was called back to London to cut a new Pretenders single,” Doster remembers. “He was coming right back to Texas as soon as he was done.”

The rest of the story is a public and sad event in music history. For Doster, it was very personal.

“A friend entered my room about 48 hours after Jimmy left,” Doster says. “Jimmy’s wife Peggy Sue sent him over to tell me that Jimmy had died because she didn’t want me to hear about it on the radio first. He was a great mentor to me and it was a horrific loss for the music world.”

In a funk, Doster put the recordings on hold and headed to Nashville with Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett to play guitar on Griffith’s “Once In A Very Blue Moon” album. It was there that Doster decided to put what he had learned from Honeyman-Scott to use, embarking on a career as a record producer.

Since that time, Doster has helmed over 70 albums by mostly Texas-based acts, while continuing to make a living by writing songs for others and performing hundreds of shows a year. His credits include a who’s who of respected names including Willie Nelson, Dr. John, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joe Cocker, Squeeze, Johnny Lang, Charlie Sexton, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Gatemouth Brown, and Little Feat among many others.

As for players on “Arizona,” let’s just say that a long career in music means a long time spent making musical friends.

“The band members on this record are all veterans and their playing on “Arizona” is off the charts,” Doster says of the crack team he assembled for the album. “They’re all among my favorite players.”

Heard on “Arizona” are Dony Wynn (Robert Palmer, Robert Plant, Dr. John) on drums, George Rieff (Jacob Dylan, Joe Walsh, Dixie Chicks) on bass, and Kevin Lovejoy (Kat Edmonson, John Mayer, Spoon) on piano and keys. Doster also acknowledges rising Austin record producer James Stevens who co-owns local studio EAR with him. “He was a big part of this record.”

Digging into the story behind the new material, Doster says that while “Arizona” may not be a concept record, “There does seem to be a storyline with a beginning and ending. It’s filled with characters in transition looking for a place to land.”

He explains, “There is a woman who keeps appearing throughout who may be the same person. On ‘Arizona’ (the album’s title track and first single) she is younger than on ‘Second Story Balcony,’ perhaps.”

Further into “Arizona,” these characters become less restless and more reflective.

“The closing song ‘Into The Night’ is literally and figuratively the end of the line,” Doster says. “Along the way we have a basketball player (‘Pistol Pete’), a war veteran (‘Throwing The Ball’), and a down on his luck playboy (‘Your Simple Mind’).”

As for the inclusion of “Baby There’s No One Like You,” Doster exclaims “I wanted to cover my own song!” This Doster tune was originally co-written with Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton of Double Trouble, and was first recorded by Dr. John and Willie Nelson for the Double Trouble album “Been A Long Time.”

“That record was largely seen as an unspoken tribute to their friend and bandmate, Stevie Ray Vaughn,” Doster explains. The appearance of the song on “Arizona” offers a glimpse into Doster’s vision of the tune.

As for what even brought Doster back into the studio to make “Arizona,” he supposes that the catalyst was leaving Austin proper with his wife to live by a river in the country.

“It has had quite a cathartic impact on me,” he says of what is literally a new point of view. “There has been a lot of joy and tragedy on my way getting here.”

The results of Doster’s journey to the front of another album cover can be heard when “Arizona” arrives on November 4th via Atticus Records. Doster will tour the UK for a month upon the album’s release, with US dates planned for early 2015. “Arizona”’s title track and first single is streaming now.

Sep 20 '14
The March Divide - I Told You So

“I haven’t been taking everything so seriously, which really helped me to open up,” says Jared Putnam of The March Divide of the new material on “Billions,” the band’s upcoming second album, out October 21st.

Fans of The March Divide will find the new tunes less earnest, but still completely clever. This is evident of the album’s first single “I Told You So,” an uproarious “fuck you” tune about the personal motivation that comes from facing opposition.

“My favorite songs are always old school, messy guitar rock like early REM or Catherine Wheel,” Putnam says of the song. “That’s really what we were going for with this one.”

Sep 16 '14
Tremor Low - Solemn People

Oakland-based trio Tremor Low is currently recording its debut EP, with the single “Solemn People” being the first track to emerge from the sessions.

“All of the bands in our rehearsal complex are doom and death metal bands,” says Tremor Low’s Don Bellinger about the song’s genesis. “So, one day we were caught off guard when we heard someone playing some incredibly new-wave sounding chords.  We were inspired, struck up a friendly conversation, and asked if we could have them.”

The end product is a bleakly romantic song which channels equal parts Morrissey and Cormac McCarthy. “Solemn People” is the culmination of a year-long songwriting experiment that has seen Tremor Low mature from a group of guys that met on the internet and into a band with a broad emotional range.

Sep 15 '14
Andrew St. James - Tapes

"I wrote ‘Tapes’ right about the time we finished (the debut album) ‘Doldrums,’" explains 19-year-old singer-songwriter Andrew St. James of the first song taken from his upcoming sophomore release, "The Shakes".  "This is perhaps why the song has that same gritty, home spun sound."

St. James continues, “At its surface, the song is about falling in love and letting it happen before the self-protection sets in, snuffing it all out.”

Having had some time to sit with the tune in the year since it was composed, St. James says he’s been able to sort it out a little more than that.

"I see now that ‘Tapes’ is perhaps an expression that with less comes more, the direct belief that in truth we have nothing to live up to except the inevitable peace of death."  Referring to the recurring theme of "the chapel" within the song ("For the chapel I see in you"), St. James explains that the chapel is a real place that represents this idea.

"It’s a small, stained glass chapel that stands on the edge of the coastal forest, with a clear view of the Pacific Ocean. Anyone who steps inside of it is consumed by silence. The highway can not be heard through its walls. It has always been a place of peace, a place of solitude and simplicity."

St. James continues, saying, “In a world where everything is sold, and nothing held sacred, this place seems removed from it all. It represents the beauty in simplicity and the relief found in being forgotten for a while. Perhaps it is only our responsibility to diverge from the the systematic organized norm and truly experience what we can with the modest time we are given,” he concludes. “Just a thought.”

Sep 12 '14
Negativland - Right Might

RIGHT MIGHT, a selection from Negativland’s new double album “It’s All In Your Head,” is a goofy riff on imperialism (and minimalism), war mongering, and intolerance. But what is the origin of the “found sound” voices used to make it?

Years ago, Negativland was contacted by an insider at the Disney corporation who had access to the entire audio archives of Disneyland and Disney World. He was a fan of the group’s work, and asked us if we wanted anything from the Disney audio archive.

"Hell, yes!" Negativland replied. "Send along anything from Disney attractions that are long gone, or any audio out-takes, bloopers, background sounds, music cues, etc." Soon, the group received a custom-made set of almost 100 CD-R’s, an unbelievable treasure trove of great material – all completely unheard by the outside world – for Negativland to pick from.

One of the tracks was the raw and un-edited recording sessions for “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln”, an attraction that Disney first opened in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair, and was later moved to Main Street in Disneyland in 1965.

"Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" famously became known as the world’s first Audio-Animatronic robot, and what Negativland had on its hands was a recording of actor Royal Dano, the voice talent for the Lincoln robot, heard being directed and cued by the producer of the recording session for the attraction.

Negativland took that never-meant-to-be-heard session and severely re-edited it into what you now hear on RIGHT MIGHT.

Sep 4 '14
Salme Dahlstrom - Love + Shine

"Relentlessly hooky and ridiculously accessible." - Entertainment Weekly

The Wall Street Journal dubbed musician Salme Dahlstrom a “music licensing queen” when, like Moby before her, she managed to license every track from her 2008 album The Acid Cowgirl Audio Trade to various corporations and television programs.

At the time, Dahlstrom, who produces, performs, edits, and mixes all of her tracks herself, was not only just getting noticed, she was just getting started. “C’mon Y’All,” one of catchiest numbers on an album of catchy numbers, eventually received prominent placements in major ad campaigns for CoverGirl, Suave, and Kellogg’s that ran on primetime network television for months.

While managing what inevitably became a highly successful licensing business, Dahlstrom continued to do the work that got her there, and will now release “Pop Propaganda Volume 2: Retro Funk Soul Junction” on September 16th, 2014. Entertainment Weekly recently premiered the first single “Pop Ur Heart Out,” with Huffington Post picking up the remix.

Next up is the single “Love + Shine”.

"I had the title first," Dahlstrom explains. "It was going to be a love song, but I wanted to write that age old story from a new perspective."  She continues, "So I stepped forth as a cocky, wide-eyed optimist with the opening line, ‘As a self appointed expert on the politics of love…’ It’s a new character, at least for me!"