First Two Weeks Recap

Geoff Wilbur’s Music Blog – The First Two Weeks


I have a few album reviews in-process at the moment, as I fit writing time in among the work I do for my “real” career. As is the case with all of the writers who will be joining me (or, in many cases, rejoining me from my days publishing Geoff Wilbur’s Renegade Newsletter), we can’t write as much as we’d like because we have other responsibilities, as well, and do this because we enjoy it. In any case, I thought I’d recap the eventful first two weeks of the site; hopefully I’ll have a new review or two for you by next weekend.

Since the blog is still new and many of you have probably discovered it partway in, I figure a post with links to each of the initial batch of articles may help you find the posts/bands of interest more easily. I know there was a flurry of them surrounding the website launch, though that has now, obviously, calmed a bit.

The Launch

Obviously, we kicked off with an introductory post.

Though I squeezed in my initial 9-part series in the first week, I launched with the promise that, once established (and once we have some subscribers, which we now do), I’d not publish more than one post per day (and generally, at least initially, much less than that). This is so you can safely subscribe without worrying about an overflowing inbox. (If we ever do gather so many contributors that it’s tough to limit reviews to one a day, I’ll give you plenty of warning, and I’ll still try to space the posts out as much as possible.) And if you’d like to be exposed to great music across all genres, I’d suggest you do. There should be a “subscribe by e-mail” option in the bottom right of your screen when you scroll down, along the right side bar. Or, if you’re on a phone, there’s an option at the bottom of the post. As a subscriber, you won’t have to worry about missing a post announcement on Twitter (or on Facebook which, as we all have been told, doesn’t share posts with everyone who “likes” a page).

My Road Back to Music Journalism (9-part series)

This welcome message was followed by a nine-part series of articles chronicling nine events over the last four years that eventually led me back to writing (and publishing) again after more than a dozen years away, this time in blog format. I’ll add a brief note below each of these links, but know that everyone I wrote about in my nine-part “Road Back” series is a highly-recommended artist. If you want to discover great music, start here.

#1: Milenita – Discovering a New Artist By Picking a CD Out of a Store Rack

More than just the soft jazz vocalist I suspected when picking up this CD, Milenita has pop influence on her tri-lingual (English/Bulgarian/Spanish) CD, Gato.

#2: Van Ghost Discovering a New Band at a Festival

Van Ghost is a fantastic, vocal-driven arena rock band, though with a bit of versatility, as well. As a band, these guys hit my personal rock ‘n roll sweet spot.

#3: Dr Scardo – Discovering a New Album Through Twitter

Dr Scardo’s Dark Dog Days CD is dark, issue-driven pop music. An interesting combination of styles integrated into each other seamlessly. Absolutely worth checking out, as there’s very little else out there comparable.

#4: Sonya Titus – My First Music Review Tweet

Since I began rediscovering new music again a couple years ago, Sonya’s song “Now” was one of the first songs I felt particularly strongly about. If it had been picked up by radio stations, it could have been the song of the summer in 2013. I’ve heard many more of Sonya’s songs since then. It was no fluke; she really is that good.

#5: Marina V – My First CD Purchase Directly from Artist; First House Concert

Marina V is a singer-songwriter with catchy songs, an identifiable voice, and an engaging public persona. I reviewed both her latest, phenomenal CD and the fun house concert in installment #5 of my “Road Back” series.

#6: Next Stop Atlanta – My First International CD Purchase

Rocking pop-punk band Next Stop Atlanta, sadly, doesn’t seem to be performing together anymore, but their music lives on, and some of their songs are my go-to tunes when I need a little raucous energy pick-me-up.

#7: Danielle Miraglia – My First CD Pre-Order

Rocking, catchy blues singer with an original style and an identifiable voice, Danielle Miraglia is local, so I’ve been able to catch her live three times in the past year, but I pre-ordered her CD before the first of those shows, based solely on her impressive previous recordings.

#8: Bridget Davis and the Vikings Kings – Discovering a New Band at a Bar

Though technically similar to my Van Ghost discovery at a music festival, this time I actually spoke with the artist at the event. Unlike the artists at the other live non-festival events I had attended, I had not communicated with (or even known about) Bridget Davis and the Viking Kings before the show. Perhaps the most unique thing about event #8 was that it was the event that finally convinced me to return to writing.

#9: Ilona – Invitation to a Music Industry Showcase

One of the other singers I’ve tweeted extensively about, London-based pop-rock singer Ilona has some powerful vocal chops that rank with the best. And Ilona showcased her amazing voice at her industry showcase in New York. I’m especially glad I got to the New York show since Ilona wasn’t performing when I was in London recently.

Five Nights in London (5-part series)


Proof that I didn’t spend all my time in London in dimly lit barrooms

I just completed the “My Road Back” series in time for my 6-day, 5-night trip to London. While there, I caught one show each night and blogged about it the next morning. It was an incredible trip, as the London music scene welcomed me more enthusiastically than I could have imagined, leaving me wishing I could stay another week.

Night #1 – Bob Malone at the 100 Club

My week kicked off with a great Bob Malone concert. Bob is the quintessential blues keyboardist and a heck of a songwriter in his own right. Though he plays Boston a couple times each year (and I first wrote about him in 1998), this is the first time I’ve seen Bob perform live. It was a great way to kick off my London series. Openers Amy Eftekhari and Loose Moorings were also a treat.

Night #2 – Blurred Vision at 229, followed by 5 acts at The Bedford

My second night began with a last-minute surprise, as I found myself added to the guest list of Blurred Vision’s London showcase. With an album produced by Terry Brown (Rush) in hand, this Canadian rock band performed an early set before a group of invited guests. Following that set, I headed down to The Bedford for an interestingly formatted evening. Two sets of five acts, each performing two songs per set. The performers were Joel Bailey, Alice Gullick, Velvet Engine, Sherika Sherard, and The Lemmingtons.

Night #3 – Sonya Titus at The Troubadour

This was the first show I added to my itinerary. After a couple years following and tweeting about Sonya’s music (see “Road Back” #4), I was pleased to finally get to see her perform. You can read, of course, about the show in great detail in the article. Her performance was flanked by a pair of other talented vocalists, Saraswati and Bradley.

Night #4 – Tom Lukas at The Distillers

I was having trouble finding a place to go on Friday night. There was a great pop-punk show on the edge of town, but it was going to involve a bus and a couple trains to return. So instead I decided upon The Distillers. More than one top-notch musician I know had played the room, so I wanted to see it. And I checked out singer-songwriter Tom Lukas’ music briefly before deciding that, even though it was a cover song night, I’d like a chance to hear him sing. Turned out to be a particularly friendly crowd that night, and what perhaps seemed like the weakest of my five nights out upfront ended up quite enjoyable.

Night #5 – Bernie Tormé at The Borderline

This show was an immense stroke of good luck. Indeed, while I had the first three nights planned before my arrival, I was in London before I saw a listing for this show. A little web search was all I needed to tell me this was going to be an old-school rock concert featuring a guitar shredder whose name I’m almost ashamed not to have known, given his pedigree. Along with opener Rusty G’s, Bernie Tormé’s gig was a throwback to the concert-caliber club shows I used to cover regularly in my early rock journalist days with hard rock/heavy metal magazine Tough Tracks; this was a great finale to my visit.


I’m working on a few album reviews, still have a little cleanup to do on the website design, and need to reach out to my writers to get them going, too. But I thought that, since the website kicked off with a such a flurry of articles you may have missed some, a recap such as this could help, especially by including hot links to each of the entries.

Also, as I mentioned before, to avoid missing any articles, please do consider signing up to get them via e-mail. There’s a link at the bottom of the right-hand column if you’re online; on your phone, there’s a place to sign up at the bottom of the page.

Cheers, and enjoy!

Welcome to Geoff Wilbur’s Music Blog


Welcome to Geoff Wilbur’s Music Blog. I’ll do my best to introduce myself and my blog in this, my first post.

For more than 13 years, from 1989-2003, I was a widely published music journalist. The last 9 ½ of those years, I was the publisher of Geoff Wilbur’s Renegade Newsletter. Please see the “About the Publisher” page of this blog or read about my writing/publishing background here, on my personal website).

My primary career began to get in the way, and I’ve spent more than 12 years as a “civilian,” outside the music industry. But a little more than four years ago the first event occurred that began my journey back to music journalism, and in the summer of 2013 things really began to accelerate as I started aggressively seeking out great new music (in the couple of hours a month I could devote to it). The first several articles, in fact, will chronicle the sequence of events that brought me back to the fold, complete with reviews of recordings and performances by the great artists involved.

After that, the blog will settle into a mix of reviews and interviews, as well as, perhaps, some other music-related articles. I’ve received requests from some of my old Geoff Wilbur’s Renegade Newsletter writers, as well as others in the industry (either as musicians or on the business side) about writing for the blog. Indeed, I’ll write but also serve as publisher/editor, with regular contributing bloggers (and maybe the occasional guest blogger). In that respect, this will be like any other publication. The difference is that most of us have other “day job” obligations, so there will be no deadlines. This first week, as I roll out my “road back to music journalism” series, I will post one or two posts a day. But the blog doesn’t have any subscribers yet, so I don’t yet worry about overfilling anyone’s mailbox. At the conclusion of the “road back” series, I plan no more than one blog post per day (quite possibly zero on most days), so feel free to subscribe without worrying about being inundated with e-mails.

Since this will be an after-hours and weekend project for those of us involved, and because it won’t be a money-making venture (at least, unless you, my readers, make it a wild success and force my hand), there won’t be much promotion of Geoff Wilbur’s Music Blog. Therefore, I’m not sure how large our readership will be. But after more than a decade away from music journalism, I’ll be banking on the reputation I have with the music industry and music scene veterans familiar with my writing career and with the many years I published Geoff Wilbur’s Renegade Newsletter. I’ll hold Geoff Wilbur’s Music Blog to the same level of integrity. Therefore, I figure even if I don’t get a lot of hits, the reviews and interviews will at least be something from a respected source the bands we cover can link to, even if they’re nothing more than that. But I promise those of you who subscribe to or read this blog will be treated to coverage of some outstanding music. And like I said, hopefully a much larger following will discover this blog and turn to it as a resource for discovering great music.

For Bands and Publicists

For those of you looking for coverage in this blog, I suggest you reach out to me and my writers, but be patient. Since we all have other “day jobs,” we don’t have as much time to discover new music as we’d like. So please, suggest a song or two we can find online, and we’ll try to find time to listen and get in touch with you if we’d like a full collection of your songs to review. At that point, you can send a larger collection to us via e-mail (or send a dropbox link to our e-mail) or, if you prefer, you can send physical product – you can discuss that with the particular writer – and unless we’re surprised that we aren’t impressed, we’ll probably review you. Unlike Geoff Wilbur’s Renegade Newsletter back in the day, which strove to review every physical recording we received in a descriptive manner (allowing readers to decide if they wanted to further check out the music), we’ll probably just write about our favorites on the blog. I’ll leave up to each writer, of course, the level to which something must rise in their opinions before they review it. Even so, our goal will be to describe the music so you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to further check it out.

And if I or any of my writers fail to get back to you when you reach out to us, please cut us some slack. I’ve been unable to keep up with the musicians who’ve started following me on twitter when I was just a former music journalist; I can only imagine I’ll fall even farther behind now that I’m writing again. So if you don’t hear from us, give us a month and try again. And be kind. We’re just people with other day jobs and outside lives doing this because we love it, even though we really don’t have enough time.

Do We Cover Your Style of Music? Yes, We Probably Do

We plan to cover every style of music. In my years as a music journalist, I covered all styles of music and learned to enjoy the very best of just about every style in the process. My other writers may have broader or narrower focuses. We’ll assemble a page with writer bios that will attempt to address this. Or you can just look for writers whose reviews you’ve enjoyed in their prior Geoff Wilbur’s Music Blog entries.

As an aside to bands, this is also the reason we request you include band/artist bios and clippings (or links to them) when you send us material for review. Often, if a journalist is having trouble getting started on a review, he or she will turn to that material to jump-start the thought process. Sometimes the journalist will agree with what’s written and begin to hear those elements; other times it will spark a thought process about how he or she hears something different from what is suggested in the press material. In either case, it’s a helpful tool. Please do include that with your submissions.

For Industry Executives and Music Fans

Our goal is share some great music with you. Some of it will be unsigned and independent. (A majority of what I’ve discovered lately has been.) Some of it will be performers with record deals. We hope industry execs read our blog to discover great undiscovered music. We hope fans will read our blog to discover great music, period. As was the case with my publication many, many years ago, the goal will be to describe the music and allow you to decide. We’ll include links to help you sample the music online. And we hope you’ll enjoy reading the blog as much as we’ll enjoy writing it.


During the last decade-plus, I had set aside music journalism because of other obligations. This, however, seems like a way I will reasonably be able to resume that journey. I look forward to it.

So welcome to Geoff Wilbur’s Music Blog. Of course, a lot of the material in this introductory post will be duplicated and/or adapted for some of the informational pages elsewhere on this website. Don’t be surprised if you notice. And…

Rock on, everyone!

Geoff Wilbur, Your Intrepid Blog Publisher