WTMD is listener-supported radio from the campus of Towson University.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Julian Velard Does It Alone

First Thursday alum Julian Velard returns to WTMD for a special in-studio performance on Morning Sessions at 9 a.m. Friday.  

Velard's piano pop single "Do It Alone" celebrates the freedom of getting out of a failed romance. But it can also be read as his musical mantra.
"If I were to describe my music to anybody, it's kind of like a birthday party for one," he says. "I'm like that sad kid in the corner with his birthday hat and his cake; he's having a good time, but he's lonely!"
Last year Velard ducked out of the major label party early, leaving EMI without releasing an album. His independent "major label" debut, The Planeteer, arrived a few months later on his own terms.

The album's self-effacing piano pop garnered a CD of the Week feature earlier this year--and proved that Velard can certainly do it alone. Brass sections add a bit of showy flair to some tracks. And a a toe-tapping rhythm invokes the pizzazz of contemporaries, such as Jamie Cullum or Harry Connick Jr., while adding a New York state of mind. 

Julian Velard opens for Marc Broussard at Rams Head Tavern on June 16 and 17.

Honey Island Swamp Band's Mix Tape

Although environmental disasters may pummel the Gulf Coast, they can never eclipse the joyous music of New Orleans.

Honey Island Swamp Band formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when veteran New Orleans musicians Chris Mule and Aaron Wilkinson found themselves displaced in San Francisco.

Now based back in the Crescent City, the band is touring in support of its new album Good To You. Mule and Wilkinson stopped by the studio to showcase some of their favorite songs and celebrate the resilient spirit of their hometown.

The mixtape incorporates many aspects of New Orleans' musical fabric, featuring songs from Dr. John, Lee Dorsey, and Taj Mahal. They also play Earl King's "Let The Good Times Roll," which Mule says, "sums up what New Orleans music is all about."

The New Orleans sprit even extends across the pond. Mule and Wilkinson wrap things up with a block of classic British rock n' roll, with songs from George Harrison, The Faces and the Rolling Stones.

"You can't have a show about rock n' roll without the Rolling Stones," Mule says before previewing “All Down the Line,” a track from the recently re-released Exile on Main Street. "If you are in a car while this is on, try not to speed."

Check out The Honey Island Swamp Band's mix tape tonight at 8 p.m.

Honey Island Swamp Band performs at the Federal Hill Jazz and Blues Festival on Sunday, June 6.