December, 2017

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - December 15, 2017

Contemporary folk artist Tia Gostelow tops off what has been a hugely successful year with the announcement of her own independent record label “Lovely Records”. Following on from recent signings with Anti Fragile records outside Australia and New Zealand and a world wide publishing deal with NativeTounge the announcement of Lovely Records will complete the team, providing a platform for Tia to locally release her debut album in 2018 and eventually sign some of her favourite upcoming acts.

“Releasing my first album on my own independent record label, Lovely Records is a dream! I’ve always known that when I started releasing music that I wanted to be as independent as possible for my first album release and have just been waiting to turn 18 to make it official! I’m really grateful for the support and guidance from my team and the incredible support from Arts Queensland and Australia Council for the Arts who have allowed me to fund the recording of my debut album and release it through Lovely Records. I’ m excited for the future of Lovely Records and I hope that it might one day become a label that supports and nurtures other young emerging regional artists in the future.” – Tia Gosteow

To celebrate the announcement Tia Gostelow will be running a competition over summer with the winner receiving an invite to join her at the launch party for Lovely Records in Mackay in March 2018. The prize will also include flights to Mackay from anywhere in Australia and one nights accommodation. Every entrant will also receive a download of Tia’s unreleased track “Giants”.

To enter just SHAZAM Tia’s latest single “Hunger” and follow the prompts.  

Catch Tia Performing in January with more dates to be announced:
20 Jan – Neighbourhood Sessions, Townsville, QLD
21 Jan – KCs Bar & Grill, Airlie Beach, QLD

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Posted in Accessories, Christmas Ideas, Gear    //    Post Date - December 14, 2017

Ernie Ball’s all in one tool kit is perfect for cleaning, maintaining and keeping your instrument in perfect playing condition. Change strings, set intonation, adjust the action, check string height and more. Tool kit includes Microfiber Polish Cloth, Wonder Wipes, Heavy Duty String Cutter, Peg Winder, 6-in-1 Screwdriver, Ruler, and…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - December 14, 2017

Award Winning British Saxophonist and Broadcaster YolanDa Brown announces first national Australian tour as part of her 10 year anniversary celebrations.
YolanDa Brown is the UK’s leading female saxophonist with a flourishing career, known for seamlessly blending jazz, reggae, and soul. She has toured with Diana Krall, The Temptations, Billy Ocean, and collaborated with artists such as Reggae Legend Bob Marley’s son Julian and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

March 2018 sees YolanDa Brown return to Australia, this time for a National Tour. YolanDa commented:
“I fell in love with Australia, last time I was here and I just had to come back to see more of the beautiful country and this time I am there for the entire month of March. The audiences were so warm and the reception was mind blowing… who knows, I might just move to Australia after my tour.”

Her stunning sophomore album Love Politics War was released to critical acclaim in 2017 and went straight to No.1 in the UK Jazz Charts. The new album features special guests Bill Laurance (from multiple Grammy winners Snarky Puppy), Grammy Award Winner Jon Cleary, Floacist, from Grammy winning UK group Floetry, Dame Evelyn Glennie (3 x Grammy winning percussionist), Trumpeter Keyon Harrold, Soul man Raheem DeVaughn and Casey Benjamin from the Grammy Winning Robert Glasper band.

YolanDa commented: “I wanted to create an album that reflected the current state of the world with its political tensions and its numerous uprisings and protests – with the underlying message that love conquers all.”
Love Politics War follows the success of her debut album April Showers and May Flowers, which debuted at No.1 on the Jazz charts. Her latest 2016 / 17 tour saw her perform at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Barbican for the London Jazz Festival, special guest on Billy Ocean’s Tour and made her Australian debut in Melbourne Australia.

YolanDa is currently writing a series of children’s books as well as having a burgeoning parallel career as a broadcaster for TV and radio. She recently interviewed Grammy Winner Gregory Porter for Channel 5 and presented a live broadcast for BBC 4 featuring Australian Trumpeter James Morrison and American Soul singer Dianne Reeves.

She has been selected as a celebrity ambassador for many charities including the Prince’s Trust and Children and the Arts and was recently appointed as Chair of Trustees of “Youth Music”. She has also been invited to meet the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace. YolanDa studied to PhD level and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by the University of East London.


Thursday 8 March – Street Theatre, Canberra ACT
Sunday 11 March – Port Fairy Folk Festival
Monday 12 March – Port Fairy Folk Festival
Thursday 15 March – Lizottes, Newcastle NSW
Friday 16 March – The Basement, Sydney NSW
Saturday 17 March – Doo Bop, Brisbane QLD
Sunday 18 March – Doo Bop, Brisbane QLD
Monday 19 March – Birds Basement, Melbourne VIC
Friday 23 March Brids Basement, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 24th March – Birds Basement, Melbourne VIC

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - December 14, 2017

Ever wondered what a live playback engineer does? LA-based, Perth-raised, music producer-engineer and general tech-nerd Steve Wilk is one of the best in the business. In his time working in the Los Angeles studio scene, Wilk has been involved in recording projects for Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, actress-singer Kat Graham and…

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Posted in Artist Profiles, Artists    //    Post Date - December 14, 2017

The story has been told many times of how Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero, the Mexican guitar duo were unearthed over a decade ago while busking on the streets of Dublin, Ireland. The discovery led to a globally successful recording and performing career fueled by the pair’s unique brand of…

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Posted in Christmas Ideas, Gear, Pedals    //    Post Date - December 10, 2017

Since its introduction in 1977, the Ernie Ball Volume Pedal has been the leading choice for musicians across the globe. The Ernie Ball 40th Anniversary VP Pedal features a luxurious limited edition slate black chassis with updated graphics for a striking appearance both on and off stage. A redesigned ultra…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - December 8, 2017

Sterling Ball, John Ferraro & Jim Cox will be releasing The Mutual Admiration Society on January, 19 2018 via Mascot Label Group.  The record features an array of incredible guests which include Steve Lukather (Toto), Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, Kansas), John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Albert Lee, Jay Graydon and Steve Vai.

The seeds of the The Mutual Admiration Society were planted a long time ago, back in 1972 to be precise. A young Sterling Ball, was introduced to the sound of Albert Lee by his father, Ernie Ball. It was during his time in Country Rock band Head, Hands & Feet, who were opening for Jethro Tull at a local show, and Ball went to see them two nights in a row and then for a third successive night at Hollywood’s Whiskey A Go. He was hooked, they met the next day and developed a life-long friendship.

Sterling and John Ferraro went to school together from junior high on, and when they were in high school, they started playing music together. After graduation, Sterling joined a very small Ernie Ball Company (and later became CEO of Ernie Ball Music Man), while John went on to College at Long Beach State where he met Jim Cox.

Fast forward to 1983 when they formed Biff Baby’s All Stars – a loose and fun collective that toured the world for 30 years. Sterling wanted to start a band to play the Southern California club scene. He was always the bass player but loved playing guitar. This band was going to be his chance to play guitar, and once he called John to introduce the idea, he was in.  Jim wasn’t far behind.  He then asked his brother Sherwood who was an LA session singer and voice over artist. He also roped in his friend Freebo to play bass. He told Albert about it and Albert said, “I want to play in it.”  So, it was back to playing bass for Sterling.

A 45 min jam of “Radar Love” at Sterling’s 30th Birthday party was enough to convince Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, Kansas, Flying Colors) whilst a music and BBQ bonding session with John Petrucci (Dream Theater) added him to the long list of stellar collaborators. Sterling and Steve Lukather became close through mutual friend and master producer, guitarist, and writer, Jay Graydon.  Other players would come visit would end up sitting in at gigs, Steve Vai joined them during a show for the Casey Lee Ball Foundation – a non-profit organization to raise money for pediatric kidney research.

John Petrucci (Dream Theater) was thinking of joining the Ernie Ball Music Man roster. John came to San Luis Obispo and they met at Sterling’s house for one of his barbecue parties. They talked guitars, and stayed up late listening to everyone from Buddy Emmons to Ted Greene.

One-day Sterling called John and said, “Let’s make a record together, just you and I.”  It was a good intention, but The Mutual Admiration Society ended up being the end result.  The album was recorded at Gordon Rustvold’s Broken Prop Studio in Fountain Valley California; produced by Ball, Ferraro, Cox, Engineered by Bill Evans, tracked by Gordon Rustvold, mixed by Rich Mouser and mastered by Robert Vosgien.

Steve Morse heard a song and pretty much asked if he could participate. You don’t say “no” to Steve Morse if he wants to play on a record. The result? The Dobie Gray classic “The In Crowd.” Morse offers; “Sterling and I have known each other for over 30 years. I’ve always enjoyed playing with Jimmy, John, and him. This was a project that I really wanted to jump into after I heard it. After listening to the great groove on In Crowd, I asked if I could add some guitar to that. Luckily, they agreed!  I approached it as if we were playing a show together; when John brings down the band with a certain type of snare hit, I tried to imagine us at a little club somewhere having a blast. This is a fun record, and we all got to hear the whole thing together, laughing and smiling the whole time.”

Then, Lukather heard Steve played and wanted to play on a track. He recorded the Delta Blues “Baby, Please Don’t Go” at 12-time Grammy Nominated producer, Jay Graydon’s Garden Rake studio.

Steve Vai heard the tracks and asked if we would consider cutting an old favorite track of his from his youth, “Sugar Shack”. “I can count on one crippled hand the amount of times I actually asked someone if I can play on their record and this was one of them. When Sterling gave me the green light and asked what song I would like his excellent combo to work up, the song that came to mind was the old 1963 hit by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs, ‘Sugar Shack’. For some reason, that song was huge for me when I was 4 years old, and it stuck! My goal with the melody was to try and retain the innocence and charm of the original.”

Albert saw a picture from the sessions on Facebook from the road and sent a message, “I hope there is room for me!” and so Buck Owens’ “Crying Time” and Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Looking” came together.

John Petrucci was concerned with what he would play. “When I heard a few of the early recordings Sterling had done for this album and how much fun my brothers-in-shred were having playing on it, I just knew I had to be a part things; and therefore, was so thrilled when he said, ‘Of course! ” Petrucci said.

Continuing he adds; “Truth is, I really wasn’t sure what tune to do and the fact that Sterling was paying homage to music that he grew up with and had such special meaning to him, it was a bit intimidating trying to pick a song to play on. That’s why I was so happy when Sterling (knowing I was a huge Disnerd) suggested playing a Disney song together. I thought it was the perfect idea! In keeping with the spirit of the album’s classic song selections, we decided that a medley of tunes from a couple of 1940’s animated Disney movies and some old-school Disneyland / Disney World theme park songs would make for the ultimate guitar-powered walk down ‘Main Street USA.”

Other classics such as Sonny Boy Williamsons’ “Checkin’ Up On My Baby”, Roy Heads’ “Treat Her Right” (which features in the Commitments), Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee” [aka Memphis] and The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” all get the Mutual Admiration Society’s formidable treatment.

What was supposed to be a record by a drummer and bassist/guitarist turned into the Mutual Admiration Society.  An unintended celebration of up to forty years of friends making music together.

Mascot Label Group is proud to announce a new and exciting alliance with guitar legend Steve Vai’s Favored Nations Records label.  This strategic partnership is a reflection of the synergy created by the respect that Vai’s Favored Nations has garnered as one of the record industry’s leading boutique guitar oriented recording label, and the strength offered by Mascot Label Group as one of the bigger and still growing independent purveyors of recorded music in the world.
Steve Vai will continue to spearhead his label’s artists and repertoire department, but Favored Nations Entertainment will now benefit from the advantages of Mascot’s well-established business structure, which will provide strong marketing, publicity, and distribution on a worldwide basis.

Pre-Order Here:

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PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 and AudioBox 96 Studio Recording Kit

Posted in Christmas Ideas, Gear, Sound (PA, mixer, mics, recording)    //    Post Date - December 8, 2017

PreSonus is shipping its compact new AudioBox USB® 96 audio/MIDI recording interface, which makes recording at up to 24-bit, 96 kHz a breeze. Bus-powered and built to travel, the AudioBox USB 96 offers two front-panel combo mic/instrument inputs—ideal for singer/songwriters, podcasters, and guitar or guitar-bass collaborations. Simply connect a couple…

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PreSonus Eris E3.5 Speakers Ideal for Gaming and Home Video Production

Posted in Christmas Ideas, Gear, Sound (PA, mixer, mics, recording)    //    Post Date - December 8, 2017

Ideal for gaming and home video production, PreSonus® Eris® E3.5 two-way active media reference monitor speakers employ much the same technology as the company’s larger Eris-series studio reference monitors to deliver studio-quality sound, with a smooth and accurate frequency response. Yet they’re compact enough to fit almost anywhere. The weave…

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Posted in Blog, Christmas Ideas    //    Post Date - December 7, 2017

Music and fitness? Apparently it’s now a thing courtesy of Pete Murray and Benny Owen. The pair have recently announced their unprecedented joint venture Music and Movement Escapes, a four night exclusive wellness retreat, with a unique focus on fitness, wellbeing and the joys of music. The first retreat (which includes a beach front gig on Valentine’s Day) will take place from Monday February 12 to Friday February 16, 2018, and will be held at the enviable 5 star Byron Bay resort, Elements of Byron Resort and Spa.

The first ever retreat of its kind, Music and Movement Escapes is a truly unique opportunity for visitors to relax and have some fun, while also working out and learning about health and wellbeing. Plus – it’s an exciting chance for music lovers to learn a little something from one of Australia’s most loved artists, Pete Murray. The package is all inclusive: 5 star accommodation at Elements of Byron Bay, return airport transfers, exquisite gourmet meals with all breakfasts and two sunset dinners provided, private beachfront gig with Pete Murray, two training sessions with Pete (and a host of sessions with Benny). There will also be a surfing lesson, beachfront training and yoga sessions, an introductory workshop on healthy lifestyles and more. Guests will also have the opportunity to upgrade to a VIP experience, which includes a unique inside look into Pete Murray’s recording studio with an exclusive listen to original album sessions and an open Q&A to discuss the creation of songs from his repertoire.

Pete and Benny are two good friends who have long been linked by their mutual love of music and fitness. They wanted to create an experience based on fun, as Benny explains, “Pete and I have been training in the gym, and we’ve known each other for years – we first met on the road at festivals. I had the thought: ‘Imagine if you could create a retreat scenario where you had someone like Pete rock up, train with his fans, have an exclusive gig, get some healthy lifestyle tips and hang out in a five star resort?’ Everyone wants to be fitter and healthier these days, so why not do it in a fun way?” Pete agrees, saying, “This is meant to be fun. It’s about understanding how to be healthy, gaining some fitness, enjoying yourself and enjoying some music all at the same time.”

Pete Murray has had a mammoth 2017, touring his top 3 ARIA-charting album Camacho nationally for the greater part of the year – and he’s showing no signs of slowing. Music and Movement Escapes is a way for Pete to combine his passion for music and fitness, while also creating a generous opportunity for his fans to gain insight into his lifestyle. Pete enthuses, “This is very unique experience that no one has been offered before. People can come and train with me, train as hard or as easy as you want, really be apart of what I’m doing. This is something that people don’t get at a show, most of the time people don’t even get to meet you – whereas here is the chance to hang out and spend time with me as well as see an intimate show.”

Benny Owen has been on a real journey of his own in terms of his health and fitness. He’s a veteran of the music world, which saw him on the road with the likes of Wheatus and Ash Grunwald, but it’s the last five years that have been pivotal for Benny. Over the rock n roll lifestyle, he chose exercise, health and fitness to shape his body and mind – and as a result, shed a whooping 45kg, and is now a personal trainer and author of Switch to Slim. Benny is extremely passionate about Music and Movement Escapes, saying, “Music and Movement is about sharing fitness and music with like-minded people in beautiful places. Happy, healthy fun with some of the world’s brightest stars in an incredibly exclusive location…I wanted to create something that was different, something that people would remember forever.”

The first ever Music and Movement Escapes retreat will take place from Monday February 12 to Friday February 16, 2018 at Elements of Byron Bay. Tickets are available from

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