Madison Area Music Association Annual Awards

Madison Area Music Association Annual Awards

Roy Elkins

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins

MAMAs Board President Roy Elkins presenting the Lifetime Achievement Awards with Adam Diertan of Glass Nickel

On June 22nd, The Madison Area Music Association hosted it’s 11th annual awards show. The premier music event in Madison, WI is held each June and recognizes local talent. One hundred percent of the proceeds are used to buy instruments for kids. I have been involved with the The MAMA for 10 years and am so proud to be part of this incredible music community.

Please see the full list of winners at Madison Area Music Awards 2014 Winners.

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins The Jimmys

The MAMAs Board President Roy Elkins with The Jimmys instrumental winners John Wartenweiler – Bass, Darren Sterud – Brass, Roy Elkins, Jimmy Voegeli – Keyboards

The Jimmys, of Monticello, WI were the big winners of the night. They won 6 Madison Area Music Association awards in the Blues Perfomer, Blues Song, Bassist, Brass, Keyboardist and the big one, Artist of the Year. An 8-piece blues band featuring the brilliant keyboard chops of Voegeli, they have garnered worldwide praise for their powerhouse Chicago Blues style. The horn section is simply one of the best ever assembled anywhere. The rhythm section of John Wartenweiler and Mauro Magellan (Georgia Satelittes) is as steady as a metronome and guitarist Perry Weber is the definition how the blues should be played.

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins Sexy Ester

Sexy Ester swept the Alternative categories at the 2014 MAMAs

Sexy Ester, took home 4 awards. They are fronted by the sugar vocals of Lyndsay Evans whose command of the stage brings fans to their feet wherever they play. The band is extremely tight, the songwriting is outstanding and their crowds are getting bigger and bigger with each passing year. As Madison’s envoy in Bandswap, Sexy Ester traveled to Ft. Collins, Colorado last year and brought many new fans into their fold. They dominated the Alternative category winning Song, Album and Performer while adding a win in the Rock Song category with The Hotness.

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins Harmonious Wail

Harmonius Wail swept the Jazz category at the 2014 MAMAs

Harmonius Wail is a contagious mix of gypsy swing and jazz who astonish their listeners with jaw-dropping vocal and instrumental performances. In addition to winning the first ever Best Packaging Award, they swept the Jazz category taking home the Song, Album and Performer trophies. Fronted by the captivating vocals of Maggie Delaney-Potthoff, the remarkable multi-instrumental skills of Sims Delaney-Potthoff and the versatile master bass playing of Jeff Weiss, they are regulars on NPR and many festivals around the world.

Madison Area Music Association Roy Elkins Graminy

Graminy took home 2 instrumentalists, the Classical Song and Performer Awards

The multi-styled Graminy is known for their ability to play just about anything. They took home the awards for Classical Song, Classical Album, Speciality Instrument (Chris Wagoner) and Strings (Mary Gaines.) This group is one of the most well respected ensembles in the Madison area is known for their improvisation skills and rapid changes in their music. Their music is based on ecological themes and it’s not unusual to hear Copland, Gershwin, Celtic, native American and Klezmer selections in their song list. Roy Elkins

Annabel Lee winner of the Female Vocalist, Pop/R & B Album, Electronic Song and Electronic Album at the MAMAs

Another 4 time winner at Sunday’s show was newcomer Annabel Lee. New to the Madison music scene, her style is a fusion of Electronic, R&B and Hip Hop and her stage performance is engaging and energetic. She recently won the Madison Area Music Association’s first ever Battle of the Bands competition earning her the right to perform at the annual show. Clearly a crowd favorite, she won the MAMA awards for Female Vocalist, Pop/R&B Album, Electronic Performer and Electronic Song. She is definitely a young artist to watch.

So much talent, so well deserved.

Madison Area Music Association

Congrats to everyone!

Press & educational links – Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone’s Yellow King

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone‘s Yellow King

Review by Roy Elkins

This is one of those reviews that I am going to struggle writing as I can find almost nothing to improve upon in this song. When a person has so much respect for the two songwriters who wrote it, it is hard to give them constructive input. Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone‘s Yellow King made my day and is why I started Broadjam – to get the opportunity to hear songs like this.

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone Roy Elkins

Donovan Tucker

This is an instrumental that begins with an “outlaw surf” guitar sound reminiscent of Eddy, Orbison, etc. It is played so tastefully that I could have stopped the song at 25 seconds and been completely happy with it. Behind the incredible guitar tone, percussion filled the spaces. A ratchet-like sound, along with some other effects, were strategically placed to support the snare landing on 4 (if you count like I do.) Brilliant use of simple instrumentation to make a great piece of music. I don’t know if I have ever listened to an instrumental ballad that was produced to this level of quality.

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladstone Roy Elkins

Mike Gladstone

The first guitar continues with a beautiful melody until approximately 47 seconds and then a classy flamenco guitar sound enters and tears it up. The feel of the performance and the tone of this guitar sound and performance is inspiring. As I am listening, many guitar gods are going through my head, Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Mark Knopfler, Lee Ritenour, Joe Walsh, Jon McLaughlin, maybe a little Hendrix, etc. One can always tell when a player has put their 10,000 hours in…..because they know when NOT to play. The spaces between the notes in this piece are as strong as the notes that are played. If this is the same person playing both of these parts, I am blown away. This is some of the best and tasteful work I’ve have ever heard.

Ok, now on to the song. This could easily find a place in a film. When one closes their eyes and listens to this, the scenery just flies by in your head. Instrumentals need to invoke an emotion or vision to be good, this does both. This made my personal playlist immediately within one minute and will be heard by many of my friends.

It is so hard to find anything constructive to say when a piece is done this well. So I will preface my comments with, “don’t change a thing.” But I also know that writers of this caliber want that detailed input to make their next project better.

If this was my song, there are just a couple of things that I might consider tweaking (if I was totally bored and didn’t have anything else to do.) 1.) The bridge comes in around 1:32 and a backup up synth pad is behind it. (Sounds like an old M1.) Since the tone of the patch is similar to the frequency range of the guitar, I might play a couple inversions up on the keyboard, or an entire octave. 2.) At 2:13 when the song and melody return to the verse, the ratchet-like sound and guitar are slightly off each other – the first time through I thought it might be distortion. So in a re-mix, I would edit these to begin at same time and bring the percussion slightly down in the mix for that first hit. Again, I emphasize that I find myself digging to really find something that I would improve. I am not sure either of these suggestions would advance the song or it would just sound more appealing to my own ears.

Mike GladstoneDonovan Tucker are both great songwriters on their own. Working together they have produced a home run and certainly captured my attention. Great work to both of these writers and I hope they continue working together.

Donovan Tucker Mike Gladston‘s Yellow King

Additional links & good organizations

Press & educational links Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms

Erwin de Ruiter’s Down By The Sea – by Roy Elkins

Down By The Sea by Erwin de Ruiter, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Review by Roy Elkins

Love the opening of this Erwin de Ruiter Folk Pop song, sounds a little eastern European in herea as well. Love the Folk strings and kick drum intro. Vocalist enters at 11 seconds and is fantastic. A little reminiscent of John Denver. It opens with the hook, “Down By The Sea.” I love the line, “These calm waves soothe my burning soul.” Very thought provoking and melody works well with the lyric.

Choruses and verses are engaging and strong. This is an interesting song as I think the verses and choruses are almost interchangeable. With slight production tweaks, they could easily reverse roles. This means the writer probably has a couple of different hooks working at the same time.

Down By The Sea by Erwin de Ruiter Review by Roy Elkins

Down By The Sea by Erwin de Ruiter

Generally, when a singer sings harmonies over or under their lead vocal, it doesn’t do much for me. Even when it’s technically accurate, most of the time it doesn’t work. In Down By The Sea, the singer pulled it off. In this case, the producer and engineer really did a great job. I understand that this is probably a personal taste comment and others may not hear it the same way.

If it was my song, this is what I would experiment with:

The words “washed him ashore” in the second verse seem forced into a space they don’t really fit. I think the vocalist could re-phrase this and make it work a little better.

Build the bridge a little more. The melody and instrumentation of the bridge is such that maybe the first line is a capella, and then another voice and instrument in the second line and so on. That’s where I thought it was going as soon as it began, but it really didn’t build like I expected it too.

I wish I would have played in this session as it sounds like the performers had a blast doing this song. It really comes through in the mix. Great instrumentation and performances.

Great work! I love this piece and thanks for giving me the opportunity to review it. Down By The Sea by Erwin de Ruiter

Additional links & good organizations

Press & educational links Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms


JD Dohnal – Beatles Without John review by Roy Elkins

JD Dohnal – Beatles without John review by Roy Elkins

If you are a Beatles fan and like country or folk music, there is no better song for you. This song composed by JD Dohnal is one of the best ever posted on Broadjam. Here are my thoughts on this song crafted by an incredibly gifted songwriter. Roy Elkins

Beatles without John Written by JD Dohnal

Review by Roy Elkins


I listen to an average of 30 – 40 songs a day and every once in a while I hear something that I say, “Damn, I wish I would have written that.” This is one of

JD Dohnal Roy Elkins Broadjam

JD Dohnal

those songs. It is brilliantly crafted and I am really curious as to how long it took him to write and complete. My guess is there were many, many iterations of this and lots of trial and error.

The lead character in this story is traveling south and listening to the radio when an all Beatles show comes on the radio. The singer has recently broken up with his significant other and the writer is weaving Beatle titles into his thoughts about the break-up. Generally, when I hear a song like this that encompasses lyrics and/or elements from previous band or event, it is usually tasteless and gimmicky…..and being a Beatles freak, I figured this is just going to be another one of those. I have learned not to have pre-conceived ideas as JD Dohnal nailed it with this song.

The lyric is poignant, the delivery is docile and the supporting chords are sad, but somehow there is still a glimpse of “feel good” as I listen. Although he uses many Beatles titles, they all could be just “regular” lyrics if they weren’t affiliated with the most famous band in history.

A very tasteful production, simple melody, nice movin’ groove with no real bells and whistles. The producer did this justice. It could have been very easy to take this over the top and add Beatle-like sounds, but they let the lyric shine and the instrumentation is in a supportive role….right where it should be.

Although JD Dohnal has written many good songs and I have listened to many of them, this is one of those that define a writer, like Yesterday for McCartney, Imagine for Lennon and Something for Harrison. He may never write a song better than this and many others may never write a song as good as this either.

Additional links & good organizations

Press & educational links Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms