Shamus Dark - Trouble in Paradise - Album Review

Shamus Dark - Trouble In Paradise

In a world filled with independent musicians and artists, Shamus Dark shines above the rest.  His new album "Trouble In Paradise" bolsters that statement.  12 songs written by some of the greatest songwriters of the 20th Century have been skilfully and masterfully covered by Shamus.  His interpretation of the songs are just sublime.  With his soulful and silky jazz voice, he commands each song and are a pleasure to the ear.  Bear in mind, I was never a fan of Jazz, but my mind has been changed and my musical palate has had a re-education… long overdue.

The time, effort, dedication and understanding that has gone into each track clearly comes across when you listen to the album.  "Trust In Me", the classic track from the Disney movie "The Jungle Book" stands out for me.  It has been completely broken down and re-arranged, and it blew my mind when I heard it first.  The rest of the album is the same.

"Skylark" is another track that lifts the album.  A great vocal, great orchestration and production.  For an independent production, this album really should be a number one chart hit.

If you go to www.shamusdark.com you can hear a preview of the album as well as watching some of the great music videos that accompany it.

Buy the album and by doing so, you will be supporting fantastic, new, independent music.  If you don't buy the album, you will be doing your ears a massive disservice! 

When I played some tracks on my radio show on Radio Pure Gently, the listeners loved them and wanted more.

Micky Dodds - www.radiopuregently.com

Micky's Spotify Rant

6th November, 2013.

Micky's Spotify Rant

So, yesterday evening, there I was checking my Facebook page and what pops up?  Spotify recommends for you... Eminem's new album.  I thought to myself, why would they recommend that rubbish to me?  I use Spotify on a regular basis searching out new music, mainly from original independent artists, but, I have NEVER gone out of my way to look for Eminem or actually played any of his tracks.

I got angry then, because I knew why they recommended him to me.  The reason?  His record company had probably paid Spotify quite a large amount of money to promote him and give him top billing.  I thought to myself, why do they not promote unknown bands and artists in the same manner and give them a break, who in my mind are more musically talented and credible than Eminem? (I just think he narrates fast over someone elses musical samples.)

I decided to vent my anger by way of a reply to the Spotify post.

"Dear Spotify... I remember a time when you promoted new, original and independent music and artists. (At that time you were new and needed to build your catalogue.) Now, you promote this crap. Over-paid, talentless artists who have paid you probably quite a lot, (or rather, their record companies have paid you quite a lot) of money to get top promotional billing and you never actively showcase unknown, more talented people who actually make good music. Why? (We know the answer is.... the money...)

The music industry has just fallen apart. Unless an act/artist/musician has BIG bucks behind them, they will never stand a chance. The days of A&R are long gone, but I think as a "responsible" outlet for music, would it not make sense to just pick out new, independent artists and give them some exposure? Try something innovative. Capture people's imagination by encouraging them to listen to something new, something different to the usual Payloa rubbish that you showcase. Become the "new" A&R!

The Spotify model when it first came out had a lot of promise, but it's turned out to become the major record labels "bitch".

Ok, it's a great money spinner for you, but, if you step back a bit and try and promote more independent music, you will probably make a lot more money, and the music industry will start producing good music in the future.

The "Recommended for you.." statement is null and void. How about... "Something new, independent and original for you..."

I am not angry.... just disappointed. Help the industry... stop kissing the big record company executives arses! By all means, take their money, but use it to be innovative."

I should have finished the reply with "...much love!"

What gets me angry is, when Spotify first started out, the major record companies didn't want a bit of them.  They didn't regard their model as viable and actually were dead set against it.  Spotify had to turn to independent bands and artists and use their music to build up their initial catalogue.  After a while, people started to catch on to Spotify and it was only at that point the major record labels recognised the value of the model to them.  That's when the big money ruined Spotify.  Spotify took their money and ran, leaving behind the "unknowns".  That is the bit that makes me angry. 

Now, somebody replied to my post saying... "I would say they are doing just fine and spotify is a tool to find your own new music you can't expect to be spoon fed it."  My reply... "Unfortunately, we are being spoon fed what the well financed record companies want us to see. Sure, we can all look for and find new music on Spotify on our own, but, what's wrong giving those acts who would never have that kind of financial backing for top billing a bit of the same promotion every now and again? Make it an even playing field."

What do you think?  Have I got it wrong?  Has Spotify sold out to "The Man" and the dollar signs have shone too bright?  Maybe I am just a grumpy old man!


Micky "The M.D." Dodds

Micky "The M.D." Dodds

Micky Dodds is from Armagh in Northern Ireland. Micky is an electronic music composer and graphic designer. Micky is a member of the band "Page-R" alongside Rob Puricelli (the inspiration and reason behind Radio Pure Gently). https://soundcloud.com/page-r

He also records under the guise of "Aysyne". https://soundcloud.com/aysyne http://aysyne.bandcamp.com/

His favourite food is cheese, which is also his favourite kind of music.