Rob Benedict and Louden Swain

Louden Swain

Rob Benedict - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Michael Borja - Bass & Vocals
Billy Moran - Guitars & Vocals
Stephen Norton - Drums & Vocals

 

Prior to their newest album Sky Alive, Louden Swain’s 2012 album Eskimo had solidified their reign as indie darlings in the Los Angeles music scene. The release of Eskimo - the band’s 4th studio record - yielded a year marked by an American and European tour, and included instant classic shows in New York, London, Chicago and Berlin. While videos for the singles “Eskimo” and “Gamma Ray” posted impressive numbers on YouTube, the song “Worlds Collide” was featured in the CW series “Supernatural”. Indie Rock Café said about the album “With that kind of talent helping them out, it’s nearly impossible not to end up with some great tracks”.

The four friends and longtime bandmates had a lot to be excited about. Lead singer Rob Benedict, bass player Mike Borja and drummer Stephen Norton started the band in 1997. Early on the music catered to the time - they were a Green Day-esque garage rock band. The new millennium added influences from Wilco and My Morning Jacket. But their core purpose never changed—make music that you enjoy. With the addition of lead guitar player Billy Moran in 2005, they were finally able to not only make the music the wanted to, but with a new layer of sound that matched the epic visions they were hearing in their head. Those epic visions manifested themselves in A Brand New Hurt (2007) and Eskimo.
But 2013 brought a new challenge that they would have to overcome. In October, lead singer Benedict (also an actor with an impressive resume including “Waiting...”, “Kicking and Screaming”, “Supernatural”, and “Felicity” to name a few) unexpectedly suffered an ischemic stroke, caused by a tear in his carotid artery. This unlikely occurrence put not only Rob’s future, but also the band’s, in question. But Rob started making a surprisingly quick recovery, fueled by practices with the band. At first he could play but had a hard time enunciating lyrics, but they kept on. “It was the one thing I could do that felt good, and was good for me.” said Benedict. By January 2014, he was back to full health, much to the amazement of the doctors. His “therapy” had produced 16 new Louden Swain songs that were ready to record.

The result is Sky Alive - Louden Swain’s 5th full length album – a 12 song symphony of pain and triumph. It is an album about not only surviving but also re-connecting with life. The band has never sounded so full and passionate. The album is the closest yet to capturing the energy and pulse of their live shows. As always, the lyrics have that biting wit, catchy choruses, and instantly memorable melodies which have become the Louden Swain signature. The band produced Sky Alive themselves, and the finishing touches were added by mixer Jon Kaplan (Parachute, Augustana, Gavin DeGraw) and mastering by Gavin Lurssen (Bruno Mars, Queens of the Stone Age, Sheryl Crow).

Their music is available on Itunes and Amazon.


Briana Buckmaster

Briana Buckmaster is an actor, singer and voice over performer originally hailing from Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. She attended the prestigious Grant MacEwan University where she received her diploma in Theatre Arts. Continuing to perform on stages across North America she also began cutting her teeth in the improv world working with renowned theatre companies including the Canadian Comedy Award winning Die Nasty. Briana is an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award winner for numerous productions she has performed with Teatro La Quindicina (with whom she is currently a core company member). Her writing credits include the sell-out hit play Tunnels of Little Chicago which toured across Western Canada, and Lady Fartlek Productions- a series of comedic shorts written, directed, and starring fellow comedic actresses. Briana resides in Vancouver Canada with her husband and daughter where she continues to study her craft and regularly appear on stage and in television. She can be seen as the recurring character Sheriff Donna on the CW Network's long running series Supernatural.


Gil McKinney

 

Gil McKinney was born on February 5, 1979 in Houston, Texas, USA as Mark Gilbert McKinney. He is an actor and writer, known for Once Upon a Time, Supernatural  and Friday Night Lights.

 


Left on Laurel featuring Michael Rosenbaum

 

I’ve had a guitar since I graduated from college. My grandparents bought me one when I stayed with them in the summers in the Catskill Mountains for like $20 and I started playing. In college, my friend Tom, who is also in the band, he had a guitar and was taking lessons so I started asking him to show me chords. I’d flip the guitar over because I’m left handed and he said I couldn’t do it that way, but I just had him show me anyway and I’d play it backwards. I should have gotten my hands on a left handed guitar, but I didn’t, so I play the guitar backwards. It’s really confusing to a lot of people, amazing to some people, and it’s just because I’m lazy as fuck and never chose to learn differently.

 

I love music. I have always loved music. When it comes to 70s and 80s music I don’t think many people, besides Jimmy Kimmel, have the knowledge that I do. I like a lot of cheesy – some call it yacht rock – 80s music, but that’s the way it goes!

 

Ultimately I would write songs and play them for my friends occasionally but I was always really nervous about it. The stand up comedy and music things happened at the same time. I always fear playing in front of a bunch of people because I’m not a trained musician or singer and I’ve never done stand up comedy, well I did both of those things in December of 2016 and it was a very stressful time in my life. And it still is! My close friends Rob Danson, Tom Lally, Kent Irwin, Carl McDowell are in the band. Carl had never played bass until we started playing together. Kent had really never played drums, and I never really sang except for my own shit to myself or for a couple of people like my grandparents. Lally was scared shitless of playing in front of anyone except me! Then there is Rob Danson who is the musician of the group. He is a great lead guitarist, he’s musically competent, he was in many bands, so having him is the glue that really keeps us together. He still tunes Carl’s guitar for gods sake…and he’ll tune mine when we are on tour in Germany this summer.

 

We started playing covers but they just didn’t sound good. Kent, our drummer, was stoned one night (which is not uncommon) said, “Dude, lets just play our own shit. Lets jam!” The one thing I think I’m good at, I’m not good at many things, but I am good at coming up with songs. I’ll play chords, tell everyone what the changes are and I’ll start making up lyrics on the spot and then go back and write a song and come back together and we will have a song. That’s ultimately how we do it. We’ve been playing that way for about a year.

 

Jason Manns, a great musician (look him up), who is a good friend of mine said “Hey, I’m playing at the Troubadour…would you guys play 3 songs and open for me?” Scared shitless, I fought it, didn’t want to do it, we were a jam band calling ourselves Shit Sandwich who played in my basement! Finally agreed to it and the band learned 3 songs that I’d written and we worked on them and all came together and rehearsed the shit out of it, and….we KILLED it! We had a great night. My assistant Jess actually sang back up and she killed it. It was just a great night! So then asshole Jason Manns says, “Hey, come to Germany and go on tour with me.” Fuck!!!! He asked us to learn 8-10 songs and he’ll open for us and we will all play in Germany in 3 cities in July and thats what we did. We are now The Sandwich, not Shit Sandwich, and The Sandwich keeps on keeping on.  The goal is to keep playing and share our music by recording some songs, place them in shows or movies, and keep on.

 



Jason Manns and Band

 As a singer/songwriter Jason has released his debut album in 2006 and not only plays in the US but has toured Europe multiple times. His original songs are placed in TV Shows in the US, one of those being theTV Hit-Series Supernatural.

As an actor he had leading roles in Indiefilms like "Cake" and character roles in films like "Rock Slyde". As a producer Jason has worked on various short films.

Jason resides in Los Angeles.

He released his second album "Soul", which he describes like that: "I am really excited about this album, there are some definite experiments on there that I'm curious to see how they go over. There are, of course,plenty of songs that sound like what most people would think of as "JasonManns songs" but there are a couple, maybe a few, that don't really sound like that... and I really like them! It's not a crazy departure. It's not electronic, no vocal, dance music or anything, but there is one rock song on there that is pretty fun, and kinda dark, and there's one with kind of an R&B influence... like I said, experimental!”

His next album "Move" was released in 2013 and is also a great success!

In December 2014, Jason released a Christmas Album with wonderful guest appearances of actors from Supernatural like Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Rob Benedict and Richard Speight jr.. The associated release party for this album was held at the King King in Hollywood and was live streamed on Stageit with over 5000 viewers. The proceeds went to Random Acts, a charity organization of Misha Collins.

His music is available on Itunes, Amazon and cdbaby.


Paul Carella

Paul is a Scottish singer/songwriter. Self taught, Paul learned his trade as a musician playing in the pubs and clubs of Glasgow before moving to London in 2009 to further his music career. Since then Paul has released a second studio album, which was followed by a 10 date tour in Nashville, Tennessee. That was followed by a UK tour in which Paul supported Alan Price (The Animals) and award winning L.A singer/songwriter Steve Carlson. Paul has also worked with Alabama 3 and The Steve Cradock Band. Over the last 4 years, Paul's music has been played on independent radio stations in the UK and the US.

Since a young age, Paul has shown a hunger for music. Finding his first idol at the age of 4 in Elvis Presley, singing along and following Elvis, move for move in his parents living room. That hunger was stifled for many years by a crippling shyness, that Paul eventually broke through and became the outgoing person he is today. Finding other influence in artists such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen and most recently Glen Hansard, Paul has matured into an artist of the people, writing songs about day to day life, relationships, hardships, topics that the people can really relate to.
Paul signed with music management, Downtown Artists in 2013.

He’s playing shows in UK, Scotland and Germany since he joined The Final Wish and Hayden Lee at their gig in Germany in November 2014.

 

You can buy his album “Carella” and the new EP “Dead Town” on Itunes and Amazon.

 


Hayden Lee

Hayden Lee is a Charlotte-based singer/songwriter whose edgy guitars and beguiling melodies create a sound different than any other alternative rock/pop artists currently out there. He has played at various venues in the Charlotte and Washington, D.C. areas over the last 8 years playing a mix of cover music and original songs both as a solo artist and with bands.

Starting in early high school watching his band, Bottom's Dream, play guitar and sing while he played drums, Hayden Lee began learning guitar and writing music. He played acoustic at several college events and was in Stairwells, an all-male a capella singing group, which helped hone his confidence as a singer and a performer.

Hayden began playing with Teaser, a cover band in Washington D.C, after college, where they introduced many of their original works into the sets. After moving to the Charlotte, NC area, Hayden began playing at several venues acoustically and continued to write music in pursuit of eventually releasing an album. In 2007 he teamed up with producer and guitarist, Ron B. Smoov, and drummer, Clayton “ClayFunk” Turnage, to produce his debut album, “House of the Lonely Souls”. This album combines driving guitars and head-bopping beats with melodic harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics. This mixture produces a sound that traverses the different music genres from alternative rock/pop to some funk and R&B.

Recently he has been to Germany with The Final Wish for a gig in November 2014 and he is playing in Charlotte, NC now and then.

You can buy his album “House of the Lonely Souls” and the new EP “Unplugged and Unaltered(ish)” on Itunes, Amazon and cdbaby.