ReverbNation Contest 2017 Winner!

It was a very difficult decision to make, among about four thousand great artists we finally selected a band! Thank you to all who have joined us 😀

 

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National Park Radio

National Park Radio singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist Stefan Szabo is an old soul, 30 going on 60. He got married on his 18th birthday, had two daughters by the time he was 21, and didn’t even start to write songs until he was 27. From the first note of his band’s debut album, The Great Divide, it is apparent his music is timeless – it could well have been recorded at any point over the last 100 years, and its subjects are just as eternal – the urge to discover and explore the great wilderness, while remaining true to family, community and an open-minded belief system. It’s about surviving hard times (“I Will Go On,” “Rise Above”), the ups and downs of relationships (“Monochrome,” “The Ground and the Knee”), questioning religious dogma (“Ghost,” “Once Upon a Time”) and sometimes just plain old fun (the old-time voice-through-a-megaphone and kazoo of “The Walking Song”). As for the banjo-and-strings-driven acoustic sound – call it Americana, roots, indie-folk or simply music to get up and dance to – think The Band by way of neo-revivalists Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers, even if Szabo claims not to have really heard any one of them.

“I never listened to this kind of music until I started playing it. I’ve just always had a dream that this was something I could do,” says Szabo, who grew up in the shadow of the Ozark Mountains, in the tiny town of Harrison, Arkansas, and adjacent to the Buffalo National River, dubbed “America’s First National River,” its National Park designation a major factor in his group’s name. Raised by a single mother after his father left home when he was nine months old, Stefan was the second youngest of five brothers growing up pretty much poverty-stricken in a “laid-back, low-income” area. “It was a struggle, but at the same time, a lot of fun, because I had four brothers around me,” he recalls, and that survival quality pervades his music.

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That spirit of persistence comes from that humble upbringing, but the only music Szabo listened to was top 40 radio and alternative Christian rock, while beginning to learn to play guitar when he joined a contemporary worship band while attending youth group.

“No one in my family played music, nor was there a strong music scene in the area. There was no one close by I could learn from,” he says.

In fact, it wasn’t until years later, when he traded in his Fender Stratocaster for a six-string banjo tuned like a guitar that he began playing the kind of music he is playing now with National Park Radio. Working an IT job after putting himself through college, Szabo was a 27-year-old husband and father of two, but it wasn’t enough. He had to cross “The Great Divide” – a song inspired by his trip to the mountains of Colorado — and get to the other side by fulfilling his destiny, not just for his own sake, but for his family.

“There are two different kinds of people,” says Szabo. “There are those who want to climb mountains and see what’s on the other side, and others content with settling in the valley. I realize now I’m the person who wants to climb that mountain.”

Three years ago, six-string banjo in hand, Szabo solicited his brother and some local friends to help him perform some songs he’d written, gradually settling on five, which he recorded and released as an EP online.

Gratified by the response, he wrote more and more songs, the band recorded and released their debut album, The Great Divide, on July 29th, 2016.

“People just responded to it and here we are today,” he says in his aw-shucks humility. “It’s been a crazy few years.”

“I have no idea what genre it is. I just repeat what people tell me. It’s a blend of a bunch of different things.”

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The Great Divide takes its cue from America’s outdoors. It’s about the pioneering spirit it took to explore and discover new land and a new way of life. It explores the problems that come with settling down and adopting a belief system, but also the beauty in joining together to create something more powerful than any one individual.

“Growing up next to the Buffalo National River, we all have a love for camping, canoeing, hiking and swimming,” he says, with the band’s name evoking an old WPA poster logo. Now that he’s put a touring band together – which features banjo player Heath Shatswell and multi-instrumentalist/fiddle player Jon Westover, and bassist Mike Womack – Szabo can’t wait to get out there and perform The Great Divide for fans, old and new.

“That’s my de-stresser,” he insists of playing live, “after dealing with all the struggles of travel and business, I get to sing and make people happy, which feels so good.”

“Thank you…. I guess,” Stefan drawls, giggling, after I tell him he’s wise beyond his years. “I try to consider all angles in my songwriting, even if I’m not always successful. I believe that everybody is equal, everybody has their good reason why they do things. And just because I don’t understand something, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I try to keep that open mind in everything I write.”

“You see, my goal in this whole thing is to make a better life for my family by doing something I love to do,” he explains. “I want to teach my kids you don’t have to conform to what society says about going to college, getting a job, settling down, working for a company for 30 years and retiring. You can follow your passion. I want to make enough money to play music, pay my bills and travel with my family.”

The Great Divide could well lead National Park Radio and Stefan Szabo to that promised land.

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www.nationalparkradio.com

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New Indie Folk [#26] – A Great Mix

A NEW awesome compilation! IMD Mix #26 brings together big names in the Indie Folk scene today:

The Hollow Men / Paul Cook & The Chronicles / Simon Alexander / Lauran Hibberd / David Stone / Dorin Yanni / Will Hawkins / Martha Bailey / Mat Hunsley / Alex Hulme / East Love


 


This time we had the participation of some of the greatest photographers around the globe!
Prottoy HassanCameron StowAllef Vinicius / Mira BozhkoSollersBadder ManaouchWarren Wong / Noah SillimanMathias HerheimJoren AranasChris Greenhow
Check out their photos:


 

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Diamond Thug’s single ‘Eclipsed’

In 2016 the South African band, Diamond Thug, recorded their debut EP with the help of Dave Minehan (The Replacements) and released it to waves of support, Indie Shuffle calling it ‘…a joy to listen to’. After significant support at Spotify in their home country, where they have now had several million plays, and with the wind in their sails, Diamond Thug introduce their music internationally with their upcoming single ‘Eclipsed’, an evocative track that takes influence from the likes of Warpaint, Tame Impala and more.

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Since their formation, Diamond Thug have continually evolved, always striving to create a unique sound that’s stay true to their perspective. Their music glides through dream-pop, skittish, off-kilter electronica & psychedelic-rock, creating cosmic-influenced ethereal soundscapes, which swirl below Chantel’s haunting, yet beautiful melodies. The pursuit of an authentic & honest sound has earned the band various honours in international competitions such as Culture Collide’s pick to perform at SXSW 2017, as well as Converse’s Music Global Takeover and the attention of Grammy Award winner Darryl Torr, who had this to say about the band: “When listening to Diamond Thug, you are taken on a journey. It’s the effortless vocals, supported by a solid band, that tips you over the edge & pulls you through into their world. It’s rare to find a voice that can execute such interesting melodies so effortlessly as well as a band that leaves space for the vocals to shine, yet are able to maintain musical integrity.”

Listen to their new single ‘Eclipsed’ below:

 

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www.diamondthug.com

 


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Lorrèn

Soul, jazz and with a touch of pop, that describes Lorrèn.

After the release of the singles ‘The Game of Love’ and ‘Struggle’ Lorrèn released her debut CD ‘Shades of Blue’ during a sold out concert in the North Sea Jazz Club. With this CD Lorrèn has toured several venues and festivals such as Paradiso, Haarlem Jazz and many other stages. In 2015 she was also named ‘Radio 2 Talent’.

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Now, Lorrèn has released her second album ‘Land of Possibilities‘ . She will start a new tour with a release party in the SugarFactory on the 14 of april.

“This debut proves that the young talent is ready to compete with the big boys.”- De Telegraaf

Play ‘In the Now’ bellow:

 

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Forever Son Releases ‘Crumb Kitchen’

Forever Son is the project of Melbourne based singer-songwriter and guitarist Jack Robbins. Drawing inspiration from Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Daniel Rossen and Fleet Foxes, Forever Son’s sound is raw and free flowing with a splash of reverb.

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Tracks imbue dreamy, coffee-fuelled mornings without the restraint of calculated thought. As for Forever Son’s rich, honey-soaked voice, The Band Review describes it as, “somewhere on a spectrum consisting of Jeff Buckley, Donovan and Devendra Banhart”.

Forever Son’s new Album “10 Months” is due for release in mid-2017.

Listen to ‘Crumb Kitchen’ on IMD:

 

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Jack Skuller and The Skullers

The Skullers play their blues-soaked brand of modern rock and roll with a down-to-the-bone rockabilly soul. Hook-filled original tunes written by singer/songwriter/guitarist Jack Skuller could share a playlist with such bands as Black Keys, London Souls or the UK’s Hidden Charms. Live shows prove the band is just as comfortable covering a Little Walters blues swamp as they are playing classic punk from Richard Hell.

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Frontman Jack Skuller’s songwriting and musicianship was recognized by the Songwriters Hall of Fame who awarded him the 2014 Holly Prize in tribute to the legacy of Buddy Holly. Jack’s 7” single debut at age 14 on indie label Bar/None Records set the stage for an authentic rock and roll teen life. Radio Disney took notice and sponsored a 15 city tour. Press paid attention as well with stories in the New York Post, Time Out New York, The Deli NYC, Teen Vogue and American Songwriter which said “It’s analog, vintage, and cool, but with a sincerity missing from a lot of the ironic throwback recordings of the hipster sphere. We sense a lot of potential in this budding songwriter.”

Jack Skuller’s past few solo singles on Mint 400 Records have received regular rotation on college radio. It’s only a matter of time before The Skullers become college radio staples.

The Skullers enter the studio this spring with four time GRAMMY nominated producer Joel Hamilton to record a debut EP planned for release on indie label Mint 400 Records in September 2017. Hamilton has worked with the Black Keys, Highly Suspect, Pretty Lights and Tom Waits among many others.

 

 


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HustleCake Talks About Khalid’s Video Production

Check out our interview with HustleCake, about Khalid’s video production, “Location”
(IMD Interview | March 2017)

LA-based production company, HustleCake, was created in 2015 by Film Director Alex Di Marco. Co-founded by Executive Producers, Tiara Parker and Ken Ashton.
We’re all about creating with new brands and artists.

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Our company specializes in music video and commercial production. Our work has been featured across the spectrum (MTV, BET, Disney, etc) collectively amassing over 100’s of millions of views.

HustleCake: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

 



Khalid – “Location”

Official Video:

◆ Get Khalid’s debut album ‘American Teen’ featuring “Let’s Go”, “Saved”, and the hit single “Location”: Apple Music | Amazon Music | Google Play | Listen on Spotify

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Indie Music Dimension is a global stage for new-music, daily posts and hundreds of really talented artists released. Check out our Playlists: YouTube | Soundcloud | Spotify

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