Normally I publish my Twenty to Watch list in early January. However, between judging and compiling the LA Music Critic Awards, and five days of NAMM, I’ve been just a little busy. So now, without further delay, here’s my list of the indie artists to watch in 2013:
Jason Adamo Band – JAB was the winner of the LA Music Critic Awards Best EP. Based in my home state of North Carolina, this band is a mixture of Bruce Springsteen meets The Doobie Brothers. They performed rousing sets at WitZend in Venice Beach and at the NAMM Show this past week, and are poised to truly take off in 2013.
Bess – This young 19 year old singer songwriter has taken the east coast by storm since moving to Atlanta last year. She was nominated for an LA Music Critic Award for Best Single. Already a member of NARAS (sponsors of the Grammy), she has been collaborating with famous songwriters and featured in many showcases. I expect her to burst forth in 2013.
Steve Carlson – Carlson has been playing LA for a few years now, but with the release of his newest CD, Different Town (winner of the Best Male category of the LA Music Critic Awards), and an upcoming documentary about making that CD, he is poised to truly explode in 2013.
David and Devine – With a sound like Billy Joel meets Aretha Franklin meets the Tower of Power, this dynamic duo of Dave Yaden and Candace Devine are ready to fly in 2013. They played to an exuberant crowd at the NAMM Show, and had quite a few people bobbing along with the beat. With a powerhouse manager (John Malta, former manager of Pat Benatar), radio airplay and some upcoming hit songs, D&D should be a household name by this time next year.
Jamey Geston – This young lady is only 14, but already has an endorsement from Daisy Rock Girl Guitars and performed solo on the Main Stage at the NAMM Show, where such acts as Tower of Power, Legends of Rock and California Transit Authority also played. She is garnering local press and the endorsements of fellow musicians such as Kenny Metcalf, also know as Elton, the Early Years. If she continues to grow as she has this past year, she has the skills to be a mega star.
Sam Grow – Another east coast native (Baltimore), Grow recently completed a tour with Justin Bieber’s friend, Ernie Halter. He was also nominated for Best Male in the LA Music Critic Awards. With his infectious sound, he is poised to take on the world in 2013.
Kristy Hanson – Hanson had a busy 2012, and looks to have an even busier 2013. Her song Welcome me Home, was selected to be the new theme song for the City of West Hollywood. In addition, another of Hanson’s songs was selected as a winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, which enabled her to perform at this year’s NAMM Show.
Harper Blynn – HB has turned a series of residencies at the Hotel Cafe and a friendship with Sara Bareilles into a promising career. Their shows almost always sell out, even when they’re just appearing to help out one of the many charity event benefit concerts. These boys are heading for the big time in 2013.
Justin Hopkins – His battle with Tony Vincent on NBC’s The Voice was legendary. His tour with Tony Lucca was divine. His latest CD, a live album entitled This Could Happen Anywhere was nominated for Best Live CD at the LA Music Critic Awards. Hopkins is on the verge of something big in 2013.
Kari Kimmel – This young mom is becoming one of the go-to artists for great songs for television and movies. Her song Black is featured in the upcoming movie Beautiful Creatures. Despite the tough personal time she’s going through now, I believe that 2013 will be her biggest year yet.
We’ll be back with part 2 soon.