Kendrick Dial - aka Keymon - made his local mark with the Lyrical Groove, who won Best Hip-Hop at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards and Best Hip-Hop Album at the 2014 SDMAs. He also hosted a San Diego soul music radio program in collaboration with Listen Local SD called Spoken Soul Radio Show. Now going by the name Keymon, he just dropped a new single, “Y’all Mad,” written by Dial and produced by Trevle’ of Nefalum. “‘Y’all Mad’ uses hip hop, spoken word, and song to address responses to protests and other forms of resistance by the black community and their allies,” he says. “Using music in this way comes from a long tradition. Singers like Nina Simone, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, and others all made songs in response to current events. [This song] talks about the various ways black people and their allies have protested over the years and how, no matter the method, the responses are often still negative.” A video for the track is streaming online.
Pea Hicks first came to notice with bands like Tit Wrench, as well as his offbeat collaboration with Rob Crow, Optiganally Yours , based around a home organ made in the early ‘70s by the Optigan Corporation, a subsidiary of Mattel toys. Multi-instrumentalist Kenseth Thibideau moved to San Diego in 1998 at the suggestion of the aforementioned Rob Crow, with whom he later toured with Pinback and co-founded Goblin Cock. He’s also played keyboards for Three Mile Pilot, and bass for prog-rockers The Sleeping People, as well as composing music for television and radio commercials. Hicks and Thibideau have made use of the time afforded by the pandemic shutdown to form a new band called Butterflies. Their just-released debut album features 21 original tracks and a cover of “White Lily” by Laurie Anderson. According to the duo, one hundred percent of proceeds from the album - which includes contributions from Marie Haddad and Chris Prescott – will be donated to blue candidates running for the U.S. Senate in 2020.
Trouble in the Wind
“We asked our fans to send in video clips of how they are making it through these hard times with their families,” say country rockers Trouble in the Wind of the video for their song “We’ll Make It Through.” The track is taken from their upcoming album Weird Living, due August 7 and produced by John Reis (Rocket From the Crypt). “John is able to communicate with the individual personalities involved and get the group to perform their best,” says bassist Trevor Mulvey. “He understands the dynamic of the band in the studio setting like a conductor knows the individual sections of an orchestra.” Mixed by Ben Moore at local Singing Serpent studio, it’s their third album on the label run by Lou Niles, In Your Neighborhood Music. The band’s All the Boys EP just earned them a Best Country or Americana trophy at the San Diego Music Awards, which in 2018 named them Artist of the Year. They’ll drop a single for Weird Living’s title track at the end of July.
John Lowery started his career as a singer-songwriter in the mid-’90s while living in Portland, Oregon, and playing with underground alt-rock heroes Hatful of Rain, formed with Dramarama guitarist Mark Englert. At one time, their drummer was Courtney Taylor-Taylor from the Dandy Warhols. Since 2000, Lowery has been releasing increasingly folky and introspective solo albums such as Fancy Car, I’m Going Home, and Epiphany. Among those he’s played or recorded with are Latin jazz guitarist Jeff Linsky, Grammy Award-winning producer John Smith (Nu Shooz), and drummer Tony Snow (Dramarama). He relocated from Portland to Oceanside and then Carlsbad, where he’s been recording and playing around town, honing a style developed from cited inspirations such as Tom Petty, REM, and the Eagles. As a solo artist, he says his lyrics are personal and inspired by his own real-life experiences. A new solo single, “I Love a Woman,” just debuted online, taken from his autobiographical album Lucky Guy.
Me Auld Flower
Irish folk singer Me Auld Flower has lived in San Diego on and off for many years, alternating with his home in County Galway, Ireland. His new single “Get Out of California” and its accompanying video coincided with the release of a limited edition CD, The Vaults of Consciousness. The song was written after arriving home in Ireland after one of his San Diego sojourns. “I’d met a lot of dodgy characters, got myself into some strange situations, and my life had begun to spiral a little bit,” he says. “My relationship at the time had exploded spectacularly and I ended up holed up in a rural country house for my own good with a stray cat I’d just met. Each of us minding the other. I wrote the song on a long summer’s evening, sitting in the upstairs window looking out on the back garden and adjoining churchyard. The sun was setting, the trees were full of birdsong, and the cat, who usually turned tail whenever I picked up the guitar, sat quietly on the windowsill in a kind of unspoken solidarity. It was a really productive and beautiful time in my life, during which I wrote most of the album. A potent remedy to what had passed.”