at www.RARWRITER.com      

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Volume 2 -2017




What happened to the list?

As the CCJ transitions to a model better geared to leverage social networks, we are moving away from our past use of email notification services. If you would like to be added to our internal email distribution, please send your request to Rick@RARWRITER.com.

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ABOUT RAR: For those of you new to this site, "RAR" is Rick Alan Rice, the publisher of the RARWRITER Publishing Group websites. Use this link to visit the RAR music page, which features original music compositions and other.

Use this link to visit Rick Alan Rice's publications page, which features excerpts from novels and other.



Use the RARADIO link to go to our radio page, where you will hear songs you are not likely to hear elsewhere.



"Music Hot Spots"




























Rick Alan Rice (RAR) Literature Page


CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively called ATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliverance is the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.

Elmore Leonard Meets Larry McMurtry

Western Crime Novel











I am offering another novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado, 1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.

It is a ripping good yarn, filled with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950, when the story is set. Richard Padilla has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns. Use this link.



If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves at NOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.




MINKA - Dance Party Manifesto Makers

MINKA is a Philadelphia dance band led by the eccentric Dick Rubin, whose proclivity for nude performing may not be totally right for the times. Still, the band, which has played 100 shows over the last 18 months, has a mission statement: Resist conforming to the routine society wants you to follow. Forge a new path. Tap into your primal nature. Return to the source of true human satisfaction. Embrace paranoia about the technological systems that regulate modern existence. Express yourself without reservation – verbally, artistically, sexually. They have performed with acts including Andrew WK, Protomen, West Philly Orchestra, Escort, Chappo, and Superhuman Happiness. "Born in the Viper Room" was recorded with producer Brian McTear of Miner Street Recordings.

Wild Mountain

"Trust In Fate" (A Celtic Americana Song)

Wild Mountain is a six-piece Americana folk rock band out of Colorado, mixing Celtic-Irish melodies and rhythms with American heartland Bluegrass music. The band had its beginnings in January 2016, when after eighteen years Celtic rock band The Indulgers came to an end and multi – instrumentalist/composer Mike Nile and violinist Renee Fine found themselves looking to start a new band combining the Irish/Celtic music they had been playing with Americana/Bluegrass music. The band very quickly built an initial 28-song catalog of original material, including 14 on their debut album “Greengrass”. That album was recorded at Grapevine Studios in Wheat Ridge, Colorado and was produced by Mike Nile and Neale Heywood (Fleetwood Mac). Prior to his long ride as part of The Indulgers, Nile played with Randy California in the rock band Spirit, so he has been at the high end of the professional spectrum for decades. The Indulgers was a great band, and Wild Mountain is of the same DNA.


Yo No Say Finds a New Way

Yo No Say’s new fie-song EP Inner is a stunning journey. Three years after their fist sprawling fulllength Get Lost, Yo No Say returns to Mobtown studios in Baltimore with producer Sean Mercer. The once purely indie-rock fie piece has stripped down to four band members, and a more focused and modern crossover aesthetic. The resulting sound is that of intention but also an ability to roll with the punches.

“There was a lot changing in our lives during the course of making Inner and I think you can hear it in the album,” says Feldman (lead vocals, songwriter, guitarist). Recording the album was exhilarating, but hard work, and a lot transpired during the sessions. Drums were stolen directly out of drummer Dan Toal’s car mid-recording right outside the studio, and the very next morning he lost part of his fingertip in a woodworking accident. One band member suffered love lost, and the original keyboard player left the band all together.

This chaos only helped to fuel the band’s fie. When you listen to Inner you can hear the tension of change, uncertainty, and personal growth, as the lyrics transition from current to existential. The album twists and turns through electro-pop, indie-rock, and psychedelia, speaking to both the world outside the window and the one inside your head. The EP is to be the fist of a two part release. Inner and eventually Outer will serve as a deep and yet glossy Yin and Yang.

Neosho Synth-Pop

"Time Traveler"

Neosho is the Austin, Texas-based project of Jackson Bennet and Justin Bernard Williams, who have an LP titled Borderline available on Soundcloud and Spotify. Bennet writes the lyrics, sings, and plays bass. Williams plays sax, while both play guitar, synth, and engineer the sampling and sequencing. All together, they make a layered synth pop that likes deeply delayed vocals and could veer toward commercial appeal. We're listening.

The Galaxy Electric

"Tomorrow was Better Yesterday"

This is a well conceived and executed project, that uses vintage film and recording equipment, and deft art direction, to recreate an era you might remember from home movies, and capture a time of more innocent optimism. It is a hot concept executed with cool aplomb, the work of Jen Meller. Meller shot the video on Super 8 film, and recorded the song to 1/4" analog tape to craft that retro feel, with the setting being the site of the 1964 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows Park. The onscreen and musical talent is provided by The Galaxy Electric, of Washington D.C., that is: Jacqueline Caruso - Korg Delta, Mellotron M4000D Mini, Vocals - and Augustus Green - Buchla Music Easel, Bass, Sound Design.

New York Electric Piano

"Party On"

This video here is from the Jazz project New York Electric Piano (NYEP), who began in 2003 and whose 2004 release New York Electric Piano cracked the top 20 of the CMJ Jazz Chart. They followed that record with the War Oracle, adding vocals for the first time. In 2009 they expanded to a sextet for King Mystery which received heavy radio airplay, and then to an octet for 2011's Keys To the City, which spent a month in Top Ten of the CMJ Jazz Chart. With Black Hole in One they've returned to the original trio format, Richard Hammond, electric bass, joining original members Pat Daugherty, piano, and Aaron Comess, drums, but they are working on another 8-piece release in 2018. This is a seasoned outfit of talented musicians who explore musical idioms with dexterity and challenge the listener to open their minds to new sounds and ideas.


"I Wish I Missed You"

Dutch-American songwriter Kramies, who lives in Colorado but is signed to an Australian label, travelled to Shankill Castle, Ireland to write new songs for his upcoming album. Along with his critically acclaimed EP “The Wooden Heart”, produced by Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) & Todd Tobias (Guided by Voices), Kramies has worked and performed with known artists such as Grandaddy, Clexico, and Spiritualized. His style has been described as haunting and romantic, with an aura of dreams and fairy tales, striking a balance between whimsy and melancholia, which sound like Colorado circa 1971. In Ireland, dream-folklore artist Kramies, resided in an old castle and immersed himself in the beautiful landscapes of his surroundings. While writing, he created a selection of B-side songs alongside songs for a new album. A few of these B-sides were demoed in this historic castle while using simple equipment to capture the ancient environment. Kramies' new single "I Wish I Missed You" is one of these songs.


Beto Hale

"Closer to You"

Beto Hale is a Mexico City native, a Bruno Mars type of story who started playing drums as a child, was recruited to tour as a keyboardist with the popular teen-pop singing group Timbiriche. (as a replacement for Aureo Baqueiro, who had turned producer of Latin Pop albums), and was later educated at the Berklee College of Music, from which he now holds an M.A.  It seems somewhat odd that with that background Beto Hale should come across as so remarkably American. He sounds more like Tom Petty than Julio Iglesias.

Louise Goffin

"Revenge (featuring Skylar Gudasz)"

Louise Goffin is a New York City songwriter with a strong provenance, the daughter of pop songwriting legends Garry Goffin and Carole King, who decades ago were married and cranking out Brill Building hits, apparently including the now 57-year old Louise. She was participating in a March  2017 tribute concert, held in Los Angeles to raise funds for the non-profit Wild Honey Foundation, where she met North Carolina-based singer/songwriter Skylar Gudasz. The two hit if off in a collaborative way and the above is part of their output. In a mere day, they wrote and recorded “Revenge,” a glam-swirled pop gem that is wrapped with dark intrigue. Goffin’s keyboard and bass lines nicely enrich Gudasz’s original guitar riff that inspired the song. The two trade off on singing the verses and blend their voices in lovely harmonies that mask the ominous tale lurking within the lyrics. “Revenge” is set for release October 20 on Goffin’s own Majority of One Records.

Oak House

"Cut that Out"

Georgia-based Oak House does a variation on the lost footage theme, except that in this story what is found is their spacey cassette tape. The trio of frontman and guitarist Gresham Cash, drummer Wes Gregory and bassist Connor Sabula formed in Athens in the winter of 2014. From their websiter - "Since, they've grown a reputation for their violent, high energy shows and strikingly inventive sound. Oak House plays a heavy synthesis of melodic indie rock, psychedelic, experimental and grunge, though Cash finds most of his inspiration for songwriting in classical, jazz, Eastern melody and contemporary, minimal instrumental music. Their sound is cinematic, sweeping and immensely moving with droning, frenetic guitars, decaying synth, fragmented, dark piano and pulsing, immersive rhythms."

Tyler Stafford

"Turn Around"

Tyler Stafford is a Reno, Nevada-based singer-songwriter who Jeff Pilliod, our eyes in Reno, brought to the attention of this site, and glad he did. Stafford is a natural in the folk-rock mold, highly emotive, sensitive, and authentic. He has a wonderful guitar technique that is mirrored by his flowing melodic structures, and it is really effective. I like this guy. He gets compared to acoustic John Mayer and to James Taylor, but he really reminds me more of Ben Gibbard with his straight-forward, honest approach and lyrical phrasing. Stafford has been around for awhile, and his first studio album, “On a String,” released in the Fall of 2011, won him a spot on the list of the Reno Gazette Journal’s Top Albums of 2011, and an invitation to play at the annual Americana Music Festival in Virginia City in the Summer of 2012.



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Copyright © February, 2019 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)