Joe Firstman Moves To Rock Ridge
Firstman, a homegrown acoustic rocker who calls Los Angeles home, has made his mark on the road, in the studio and on television over the past decade. Firstman spent the past several years as the leader of the house band on NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly."
While Firstman enjoyed the years in television, he is now embracing his commitment to his own music, both in the studio and on stage. His next album, "El Porto," will be released on Rock Ridge Music in early 2010. Firstman joins Sister Hazel, Benjy Davis Project, Tony Lucca, Andrew Hoover, Ernie Halter and others on the Rock Ridge Music management client roster.
Rock Ridge Music has been heating up the charts in recent months. Sister Hazel's latest album, "Release," came out in August and entered the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at #37, scoring the band their highest chart number for any Sister Hazel album ever: the platinum-certified "Somewhere More Familiar" peaked at #47, while the gold-certified "Fortress" peaked at #63. "Release" also hit #3 on the Billboard Indie Chart and #14 on the Billboard Digital Album Chart. The album went all the way to #1 on the iTunes Rock Chart and #7 on the overall iTunes sales chart.
Labelmate Ernie Halter released his "Ernie Halter: Live" album digitally last week, and the record hit the top 10 among singer-songwriter albums on iTunes. The album includes eleven tracks recorded on tour in 2009 over the course of a month at a number of locations; a brand new track called "Yes I Am" is the only song that has not appeared in a studio version on one of Halter's past albums. "Ernie Halter: Live" offers a mix of solo acoustic and full band performances, with a stand-out being the solo piano version of fan favorite, "Whisper."
Bernie Williams, the acclaimed guitarist and New York Yankees legend, topped the Billboard/Radio & Records Smooth Jazz chart, going to #1 with his song "Go For It." The song comes from Williams' latest album, "Moving Forward," which was released in April on Reform Records/Rock Ridge Music. The four-time World Series Champion and a five-time All Star was joined on the album by a slew of friends, including guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Secada, Dave Koz, The Harlem Boys & Girls Alumni Choir, Famed Yankee announcer Bob Sheppard, and an all-star cast of renowned studio musicians. "Moving Forward" debuted as the #2 Contemporary Jazz album in the country in Billboard.
Rock Ridge Music is entering the special events arena with their debut of Hotel Carolina (www.welcometothehotelcarolina), which will be kicking off its inaugural singer-songwriter-filled extravaganza on September 25th and 26th at The Windjammer in Isle of Palms, SC. With a line-up boasting the very best of touring singer-songwriters on the scene today, fans will get to see all of their favorites on one stage over the course of a weekend. Friday night's musical offerings will include sets by Drew Copeland (of Sister Hazel), Sara Kelley, Keaton Simons, Andrew Hoover, Josh Hoge, Curtis Peoples, and Ernie Halter. Saturday evening will boast performances by Matt Duke, Jay Nash, Sarah Haze, Gareth Asher, Tony Lucca, Benjy Davis Project, and Tyrone Wells. A special all-star jam will rock the stage Saturday afternoon and will include all Hotel Carolina artists plus special guests JT Spangler, Chardy McEwan (of Pat McGee Band), and Roy Jay as well as a few surprises.
Rock Ridge Music's marketing and label divisions have also been busy: they were tapped to execute Internet promotion and New Media Marketing campaigns for priority singer-songwriter projects like Crosby Loggins (Jive Records) and America's Got Talent winner Neal E. Boyd (Decca). The label arm will see releases in September from Connecticut-based singer-songwriter Andrew Hoover, who will release his debut album, "Chances, Stances & Romances," on September 22nd. Eugene, Oregon's genre-bending, multi-platinum-selling Cherry Poppin' Daddies, perhaps best known for their swing hit "Zoot Suit Riot," will be releasing two albums on September 29th: "Susquehanna" and "Skaboy JFK: the Skankin' Hits of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies."
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