Veteran Guitarist, Bassist, Songwriter and Vocalist Mike Skill has made his mark as a co-founding member of The Romantics for the past four decades. Skill recently released his debut solo album, entitled Skill on Friday, October 8, 2021.

Skill’s new album consists of 11 original songs penned by Skill as well as the rocker’s recent remake of “What I Like About You,” the classic party anthem that Skill co-wrote with Romantics bandmate Jimmy Marinos in 1979. The album features Skill on lead and backup vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar and bass along with Brad Elvis (current member of The Romantics) and Kevin Rankin (A Flock of Seagulls) on drums , Mc5’s Wayne Kramer on “67 Riot, Ricky Rat, Guitar, Chloe F. Orwell guest vocals and Patrick Harwood on harmonica.

With The Romantics touring halted during the pandemic, Skill turned to songwriting in his home studio in Portland, Oregon. While sheltering at home, Skill recalls that he “was bursting at the seams with that Detroit energy,” invoking the signature rock sound of his hometown which compelled him to write incessantly. Says the artist,”As I was writing, I couldn’t help reflecting on the Music that came before me, that I grew up with.”

As a result, Skill created several songs about his days as a young, struggling musician in Detroit. On the new Skill…Mike Skill album, “We Got Your Rock ‘n’ Roll” is Skill’s homage to his early years as a rebellious rocker in his hometown.

Also included on the album is Skill’s 2020 single, “‘67 Riot,” that he wrote about the infamous Detroit riots in the 60s. The track features Skill’s idol and fellow Detroit native, guitarist Wayne Kramer, from the legendary Detroit rock band, MC5.

American Songwriter describes “‘67 Riot,” as “on-the-spot reportage of the racial unrest that gripped Detroit in 1967 with the blistering garage rock that inspired the music he has made throughout his career.”

Skill’s reboot of his original 1979 song, “What I Like About You” also marks the rocker’s early songwriting days as a teen in Detroit. He came up with the famous three-chord guitar rhythm in his parents’ backyard before bringing it to his bandmate, drummer Jimmy Marinos, at rehearsal.
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When Acclaimed pop singer and hip hop artist Alicia G was growing up she often found herself listening to Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw nearly as often as she listened to 50 cent and Eminem. But today, the energetic artist is channeling her country roots with her new single “Daisy Duke Two Step,” available on Jan. 19 on Apple Music, Spotify and elsewhere.

The energetic country-flavored new single, which recalls the comely “Dukes of Hazzard” character, blends, country, pop and hip hop with an infectious beat that encourages listeners to dance and revel in the catchy melody and Alicia’s distinctive voice.
“I love pop and hip hop, but I always wanted to record something with a unique country feel,” Alicia G said. “It’s definitely not your dad’s country music, but it’s a great blend of many influences I’ve had, namely from country to rock, pop, rhythm and blues and more – something that I think the fans will love!”

The music video, which is available on YouTube here or at https://youtu.be/UTxp_NAeuKk, features Alicia G performing in cowboy boots and Daisy Duke denim shorts at a barnyard hoe down.

The single was produced by veteran music producer Andrew Lane, whose past work includes such artists as The Backstreet Boys, Miley Cyrus and others. “Daisy Duke Two Step” follows the success of her hit single “It’s Little, But It Jiggles” last fall.

Coming to fame as a teenage beauty queen when she first appeared in the ABC reality series “Wife Swap” in 2008, where Alicia G was asked to portray a bratty teenager in the reality series. But in the backlash from her portrayal, she suffered incessant hate mail and abuse on social media which culminated in physical attacks at school and elsewhere. Despite the suffering, Alicia G persevered and went on to embark on a career in the music industry where despite occasional online hate, she has won over fans with such hits as “Talk to the Hand,” “Pretty Girl,” “Ca$h & Nap” and others in recent years.

Today, Alicia G is an outspoken advocate for children who are bullied and face online hate as well as a staunch supporter of women’s rights and efforts to protect the environment.

Besides her music and activism, Alicia G has joined the live streaming app Bigo Live where she broadcasts a daily show that soon grew her audience to more than 2.7 million fans who tune in nightly to watch her perform, DJ and entertain with her humor, style and boundless energy. To watch Alicia G on Bigo Live, download the app at the Apple Store or Google Play or click here.
For more on Alicia G, visit www.AliciaGWorld.com or follow her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/aliciagworld/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AliciaGWorld.

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Michele opens up about how important gratitude and spirituality has helped overcome some of life’s greatest challenges. Having been happily married for over 30 years, she also gives some great tips on how to maintain the best parts of a relationship. Loving life and those in it are such a visible part of Michele, and I’m grateful to have had her join me on the show to share those insights.

As a relative newcomer to the Northwest music scene, Michele brings breathtaking talent to the table. And though it would be easy to dismiss her as “eye candy”, her true beauty is both inside and out. There may not be a kinder soul on the planet, and those fortunate to enjoy her music in the Portland, Oregon area know how much of a gift she is.

Check out Night Rose (her full band) at https://nightrose.band on February 25, 2022 at 9pm:

Billy Blues Bar and Grill,
7115 NE Hazel Dell Ave,
Vancouver, WA 98665, USA

Also visit Midnight & Moonshine (her duet with Rich Petko) at: https://nightandshine.com.

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Having been the heartbeat for artists such as Liv Warfield, Prince and Stevie Wonder, Portland’s very own Tyrone Hendrix embodies the quintessential trifecta: drummer, composer and producer. The genre-crossing multi instrumentalist will draw you in with his eclectic and innovative style of energetic beats and pulse-pounding percussion, seamlessly blended with elements of funk, jazz and hip hop.

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TOM GRANT, master instrumentalist, talented singer and natural entertainer nimbly walks the line between jazz tradition and modern pop. This soft-spoken Oregon native’s inspired songwriting produces propulsive R&B grooves, infectious melodic hooks, and stylish ballads with equal ease.

He plays jazz piano with the harmonic sophistication and deep sense of swing that only comes from more than four decades on the bandstand. As one of the Pacific Northwest’s most renowned musical artists, Tom Grant’s career achievements reflect his unique ability to embrace the full spectrum of contemporary music.

Tom has appeared on the Jay Leno show and was featured in many of the national music mags as well as in a CNN news spot. He’s also enjoyed large followings in Indonesia and Japan.

Today’s episode featured a private, live performance by the jazz phenom in his studio and a warm conversation about life, what it took to get the international recognition he’s been awarded, and the challenges along the way. We also discuss his talented wife Mary’s prolific talents as an artist, and having to share the world with someone dedicated passionately to their craft.

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Director Douglas Jenkins and cellist Skip vonKuske join All Access Live to discuss the diversely talented ensemble that has taken the Northwest to a new cultural realm.

In the fall of 2006 a group of 9 cellists got on stage at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge to perform western classical music in an informal setting.

Many of the cellists that night thought it would only happen once.

But slowly that one-off event became a second, and a third, cellists joined and left and rejoined the group again, to perform in Portland’s most popular clubs. By 2009 the group had evolved into a nationally-recognized performing, recording and educational group with a revolving cast of cellists. Cello Project (or PCP as their fans affectionately call them) were quickly appearing anywhere and everywhere in North America, from punk rock clubs to symphony halls, from street parties to exclusive private events. By 2010 this self-described horde of cellos were spending more than a quarter of the year touring, featuring a diverse repertoire that quickly ballooned to over 1,000 pieces of music.

Under the artistic direction of Douglas Jenkins, the group grew and evolved, working with an all-star group of cellists in the Pacific Northwest (Skip vonKuske, Diane Chaplin, Nancy Ives, Gideon Freudmann, Kevin Jackson, to name just a few…). The group developed a three-part philosophy that has mostly remained unchanged over the years:

  • To bring the cello places you wouldn’t normally see it (from wild dance parties, to formal symphony halls, to street parties, to Millennium Park in Chicago…).
  • To perform music on the cello you wouldn’t normally associate with the instrument alongside music from the Western Classical Tradition (from Pantera to Taylor Swift to Kanye West to Elliott Smith, alongside Bach, Rossini, and Saint-Saens, to name just a few…).
  • To build bridges between different musical communities through educational, community outreach, and through collaboration with myriad artists, from The Dandy Warhols to Garrison Keillor to Ural Thomas to Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) to Jolie Holland to Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), among many others, and cellists such as Ben Sollee, Maya Beiser and Zoe Keating.

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IGNITER PODCAST:
Hosts (and bandmates and jacks/hacks of many trades) Robert Wynia and Mark Powers have joined forces to bring you IGNITER, a brand new podcast aimed toward sparking your creativity. With suggestions, tactics, special guests, listener feedback, and sheer and utter randomness, Mark and Rob will send you on your day with new tools to increase your creative flow and effectiveness.

ROB WYNIA:
Robert Wynia is a native son of the Western US. Born in Oregon, he has been performing and writing all his life. He has been voted Best Male Performer, Best New Artist, and Performer of the Year in Eugene and Portland, been inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, and has received two preliminary Grammy nominations for his work with his band “Floater.” He has appeared in numerous radio, television and web-based shows and has traveled extensively on tour.

MARK POWERS:
A percussion artist/educator and world traveler, Mark Powers has studied, performed and taught throughout North America, as well as in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He has contributed drum set and/or percussion tracks to a number of incredible recording projects, including releases by M. Ward, She & Him, Mbrascatu, Haley Johnsen, Falls, Amanda Richards, King Black Acid, Robert Wynia & The Sound, Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons, Portland Cello Project, Floater, and many others.
Mark has also made music on stage with a diverse list of artists, ranging from Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Devon Evans (of Bob Marley and the Wailers), Clyde Stubblefield, Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Ries, and America’s Polka King- the late Frankie Yankovic, to disco sensations The Afrodisiacs and ’80s nerd-rockers The Spazmatics.
Fun fact: He is also former co-holder of the Guinness World Record for Longest Drum Roll by a Group (shared with Namiah Tribolini, Peter Buxman and Pat Flanigan)!

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Local Heroes Month continues! Join me and the dynamic NW Publicist PR champion Alex Steininger at 5pm today to discuss the evolution in the music scene, both live, online and globally. Alex has worked with countless artists to assist their efforts to be noticed. Topics such as “why should we hire a publicist?”, “what does a record label offer us today?”, “does touring really help?” and more will be discussed.

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More on Alex:
Alex Steininger got his start in music in 1995, writing about both local and national bands for the America Online magazine ChipNet. Making several connections with indie and major record labels, when AOL ceased ChipNet in 1997, Alex Steininger co-founded the online magazine In Music We Trust with life long friend Ryan.

In Music We Trust Magazine soon found an audience with like-minded music fans; In Music We Trust covered all genres, leaving no sound untouched, which resonated well with its readers, especially during the dawn of the world wide web. In Music We Trust managed to gain the attention of Billboard Magazine following it’s launch, which reviewed the website, stating that they were champions of the little guy.

While still doing In Music We Trust Magazine, in 1999 Alex was hired to work at N.A.I.L. Distribution (National Alliance of Independent Labels) heading up their marketing department, working alongside artists and indie labels to coordinate their marketing efforts at retail. That same year, Alex started In Music We Trust PR, and picked up his first two PR clients courtesy of Cavity Search Records: King Black Acid and Helio Sequence. Many other clients followed after.

In 2001, Alex started another chapter in the In Music We Trust empire, launching In Music We Trust Records with the debut solo record from former Crackerbash/Jr. High front man, Sean Croghan. That year also saw Alex move to Burnside Distribution, accepting the title of Marketing Director and Label Liaison, again working alongside artists and labels, and retail stores, to better represent the Burnside catalog at both local and national retail outlets.

In 2003, CD Baby offered Alex the job of Vice President of Business Relations, and Alex moved over to CD Baby.

While Vice President of Business Relations at CD Baby, Alex secured deals with Amazon.com, Ryko Distribution, and Super D, a one-stop distributor, for CD Baby’s catalog. The Ryko Distribution deal saw Alex heading up CD Baby’s umbrella label group, with it’s first release a live album from Reel Big Fish. The Amazon.com deal would make each CD Baby title not available on Amazon at the time available for sale. The Super D deal allowed CD Baby’s clients, who didn’t have distribution deals in place, to stock and special order their titles at retail. All three deals helped with CD Baby’s rapid growth.

After four and a half years at CD Baby, all while still doing In Music We Trust Magazine, PR, and the record label, Alex left CD Baby in 2007 to focus on In Music We Trust full-time. The following year he added another division to In Music We Trust, launching In Music We Trust Management. He hasn’t looked back since.

Now, here we are, nearly twenty years later, and Alex Steininger is still doing In Music We Trust, managing bands, running a national PR firm, and operating his record label. As the name states, Alex trusts in music and is thankful to be involved in helping expose, guide, and create hype for a wide array of artists and bands.

From the episode, here’s the clip of Western Aerial’s “Housewives” performance for Alex’ birthday, complete with his contributions:

The mysterious man behind the camera and pen is one of Portland, Oregon’s most prolific contributors to supporting Oregon music. You’ve seen his unique photography and design work on countless album covers, magazines and publications.

Creator of Buko.net, pioneer contributor to Two Louies Magazine, and undoubtedly one of Portland’s best kept secrets, this ananym has stories for days… we’ll only scratch the surface, but you won’t want to miss his hilarious memories of Portland before it became a hipster hotspot.

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From the “Sunset Strip” of Portland in the 80s to his time with Prince at Paisley Park, Steve has run the gamut of lighting experiences. He’s been stationary with the Portland Trailblazers for 25 years now, but has also experienced relentless road time with Bellator MMA and countless bands. We have a lot of tour and travel stories to chat about!

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