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Bitchin’ Sauce brothers band

JT Moring, Sugaray Rayford, Cults, L.A. Edwards, Bella Kaye

JT Moring
JT Moring

Originally a duo called Neck and Neck featuring J.T. Moring and Annie Rettic, folk-Americana-blues band Gemini Junction includes members based in Encinitas and Ocean Beach. Moring, who sings and plays banjo, guitar, and percussion, is working on a solo project. “Last month, I went out in the desert and this month I went to Omaha, so I didn’t get much recording done. But I did do a lot of listening to the demos and thinking about arrangements. This week, I’ve been back in the studio and making good progress. I found I needed to re-do two rhythm tracks at better speeds, one faster and one slower. One song, I re-wrote the lyrics to make it fit better as the album opener, and I added one song for the closing number. I think. I’m afraid recording follows the 80-20 rule: you spend the last 80 percent of the time finishing the last 20 percent of the task. We’ll see. The next part is some of the most fun, where I get to add all the bells and whistles - and bouzouki and banjolin? - to make the arrangements sparkle.” Instruments used so far include “lots of acoustic strings, but also the pennywhistle and harmonicas, plus an electric keyboard that has nice organ sounds. I really enjoy playing bass, which I only get to do in the studio.”

Sugaray Rayford

Like many blues and soul singers, Sugaray Rayford got his first taste of music while singing with the choir at the local church. Born in Texas, his family moved to San Diego, where he later ended up playing in bands such as Aunt Kizzy’s Boyz, who competed at the International Blues Competition in Memphis. Eventually going solo, Rayford found himself years between studio sessions and running a blues jam at a nightclub in L.A., where he had relocated and joined the Mannish Boys band. After taking part in all-star jams with everyone from jazz and blues players like Al Kooper to hard rockers such as Slash, he felt inspired enough to begin recording his own albums again. The winner of two Blues Music Awards was recently named the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. He just got back from appearing as a last-minute replacement for blues star Shemekia Copeland at Three Rivers Arts Festival on June 11. The lineup shift was said to be “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Cults

Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin formed Cults after meeting in 2009 at a Willowz concert, when Oblivion was tour manager for that band (featuring Follin’s brother). Their first digital three-song 7 inch released via Bandcamp.com scored a Best New Music rave from the taste-makers at Pitchfork, and their lo-fi sixties surf pop girl-group sound has earned them much acclaim on other music blogs as well. In summer 2010, the duo took filmmaking classes while spending time in NYC. Around the same time, Lily Allen flew them to England to discuss signing them to her new label. Ten years since the release of that first record, the band is planning a deluxe, limited vinyl anniversary edition of their debut. In addition to the previously available 11 tracks, the anniversary edition (due in December) will include three bonus songs from the original recording sessions. Three editions will be made available, limited to 1,000 copies total. The first 250 will be signed on gold color vinyl, a second run of 250 will be signed on black and milky clear color-in-color vinyl, and a third edition of 500 will be on standard black vinyl. Cults will be playing Shaky Knees Music Festival, happening in Atlanta, Georgia on October 22-24.

LA Edwards

Featuring Julian-raised brothers Luke (vocals, guitar), Harry (drums), and Jay Edwards (keys), along with Alex Vo (lead guitar), L.A. Edwards was nominated Best Americana at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards. “The band imparts graceful Laurel Canyon songcraft on groove-driven rock with sun-soaked twang,” according to their press. Their new album Blessings From Home Volume 2, produced by Ryan Hadlock (Lumineers, Vance Joy) at Bear Creek studio in Washington, includes collaborations with local Ron Blair, the bassist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers who produced the 2017 L.A. Edwards album True Blue at his home studio in Carlsbad. The mandolin-laced lead single “Saint Augustine” is streaming online. Volume 1, released in December, scored positive reviews in American Songwriter and The Bluegrass Situation, with the lead track “Trouble” earning over 139,000 streams on Spotify. Both releases were put out by Bitchin’ Music Group, the music label from almond dip Bitchin’ Sauce. Described as “an artist-first independent record label,” it was founded by Luke Edwards and his wife and business partner Starr Edwards. The label has announced plans to sign and develop additional up-and-coming artists across the Americana, country, and rock genres.

Bella Kaye

Teen smartpop singer Bella Kaye addresses the negative effects and illusions of social media on her new single “Highlight Reel,” which drops this week. It’s the first release off an upcoming seven-song concept EP that is described as “focused on the journey of being in a dark place mentally and moving to a place of health and healing.” According to Kaye, “I feel a lot of people use social media to display this perfect image of themselves, which is a distorted version of reality. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of comparison, wishing you were someone else and feeling jealous and not good enough. Learning how to navigate this, feel confident with who you are and understand what’s real and not real is a struggle I think a lot of people face.” Kaye has been busy over the past year, with a single called “Missing You” followed by an ominous take on the Turtles’ classic 1960s track “Happy Together.” Another single called “Empty Promises” dropped in August, followed in October by “Wandering Eyes” and in November by “Cold Hearted Love.”

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JT Moring
JT Moring

Originally a duo called Neck and Neck featuring J.T. Moring and Annie Rettic, folk-Americana-blues band Gemini Junction includes members based in Encinitas and Ocean Beach. Moring, who sings and plays banjo, guitar, and percussion, is working on a solo project. “Last month, I went out in the desert and this month I went to Omaha, so I didn’t get much recording done. But I did do a lot of listening to the demos and thinking about arrangements. This week, I’ve been back in the studio and making good progress. I found I needed to re-do two rhythm tracks at better speeds, one faster and one slower. One song, I re-wrote the lyrics to make it fit better as the album opener, and I added one song for the closing number. I think. I’m afraid recording follows the 80-20 rule: you spend the last 80 percent of the time finishing the last 20 percent of the task. We’ll see. The next part is some of the most fun, where I get to add all the bells and whistles - and bouzouki and banjolin? - to make the arrangements sparkle.” Instruments used so far include “lots of acoustic strings, but also the pennywhistle and harmonicas, plus an electric keyboard that has nice organ sounds. I really enjoy playing bass, which I only get to do in the studio.”

Sugaray Rayford

Like many blues and soul singers, Sugaray Rayford got his first taste of music while singing with the choir at the local church. Born in Texas, his family moved to San Diego, where he later ended up playing in bands such as Aunt Kizzy’s Boyz, who competed at the International Blues Competition in Memphis. Eventually going solo, Rayford found himself years between studio sessions and running a blues jam at a nightclub in L.A., where he had relocated and joined the Mannish Boys band. After taking part in all-star jams with everyone from jazz and blues players like Al Kooper to hard rockers such as Slash, he felt inspired enough to begin recording his own albums again. The winner of two Blues Music Awards was recently named the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. He just got back from appearing as a last-minute replacement for blues star Shemekia Copeland at Three Rivers Arts Festival on June 11. The lineup shift was said to be “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Cults

Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin formed Cults after meeting in 2009 at a Willowz concert, when Oblivion was tour manager for that band (featuring Follin’s brother). Their first digital three-song 7 inch released via Bandcamp.com scored a Best New Music rave from the taste-makers at Pitchfork, and their lo-fi sixties surf pop girl-group sound has earned them much acclaim on other music blogs as well. In summer 2010, the duo took filmmaking classes while spending time in NYC. Around the same time, Lily Allen flew them to England to discuss signing them to her new label. Ten years since the release of that first record, the band is planning a deluxe, limited vinyl anniversary edition of their debut. In addition to the previously available 11 tracks, the anniversary edition (due in December) will include three bonus songs from the original recording sessions. Three editions will be made available, limited to 1,000 copies total. The first 250 will be signed on gold color vinyl, a second run of 250 will be signed on black and milky clear color-in-color vinyl, and a third edition of 500 will be on standard black vinyl. Cults will be playing Shaky Knees Music Festival, happening in Atlanta, Georgia on October 22-24.

LA Edwards

Featuring Julian-raised brothers Luke (vocals, guitar), Harry (drums), and Jay Edwards (keys), along with Alex Vo (lead guitar), L.A. Edwards was nominated Best Americana at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards. “The band imparts graceful Laurel Canyon songcraft on groove-driven rock with sun-soaked twang,” according to their press. Their new album Blessings From Home Volume 2, produced by Ryan Hadlock (Lumineers, Vance Joy) at Bear Creek studio in Washington, includes collaborations with local Ron Blair, the bassist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers who produced the 2017 L.A. Edwards album True Blue at his home studio in Carlsbad. The mandolin-laced lead single “Saint Augustine” is streaming online. Volume 1, released in December, scored positive reviews in American Songwriter and The Bluegrass Situation, with the lead track “Trouble” earning over 139,000 streams on Spotify. Both releases were put out by Bitchin’ Music Group, the music label from almond dip Bitchin’ Sauce. Described as “an artist-first independent record label,” it was founded by Luke Edwards and his wife and business partner Starr Edwards. The label has announced plans to sign and develop additional up-and-coming artists across the Americana, country, and rock genres.

Bella Kaye

Teen smartpop singer Bella Kaye addresses the negative effects and illusions of social media on her new single “Highlight Reel,” which drops this week. It’s the first release off an upcoming seven-song concept EP that is described as “focused on the journey of being in a dark place mentally and moving to a place of health and healing.” According to Kaye, “I feel a lot of people use social media to display this perfect image of themselves, which is a distorted version of reality. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of comparison, wishing you were someone else and feeling jealous and not good enough. Learning how to navigate this, feel confident with who you are and understand what’s real and not real is a struggle I think a lot of people face.” Kaye has been busy over the past year, with a single called “Missing You” followed by an ominous take on the Turtles’ classic 1960s track “Happy Together.” Another single called “Empty Promises” dropped in August, followed in October by “Wandering Eyes” and in November by “Cold Hearted Love.”

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We’re beyond “like.” We’re into addiction here.
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Curve along the sea cliffs of Lower Hermosa
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