Fresh Pick

Noel – Birmingham, AL


Formerly of the White Oaks, now standing strong in his own right Noel releases his LP 

 ‘I Won’t Answer’

Echoes of Nick Drake linger around the edges of this album while Noel delivers a sound that is distinctively his own.  ’I Won’t Answer’ takes you on a musical journey of emotions that at times leave your heart feeling lost, but then you are gently reminded that there are worse things to speak of, and that you are truly blessed to be lost in love.  - Fresh Independence

Name: Noel 

Age: 98

Where are you writing this: In my breakfast nook. 

Home is where your story begins, please tell us about yours.

I grew up in Brimingham Alabama, middle class, Southern Baptist, public school, suburbia.  Religious upbringing. Birmingham felt like a mediocre, industrial ghost-city when i was growing up but now it is experiencing a whole cultural rebirth that is really cool.  Birmingham seems to be finally developing an identity.

a noel 

How did music find you?

By way of my parents’ record player.  And I would improvise on the piano in empty Sunday school rooms while I waited for my parents to get out of choir practice.  By the age of 14, I was the lead singer of my first rock band, “The Royal Nonesuch.” We recorded an album of ten original songs and sold the cassettes at school.  Our parents had to drive us and our gear to the gigs!

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Paris Carney – Los Angeles

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” Paris Carney sparkling, ebullient and breezy. Inviting you into the brilliant colours of her world through song. A bright light in a sometimes dark industry is always a pleasure and never grows old. “

 - Fresh Independence

Name: Paris Carney

Age: 26

Where are you writing this: In a kitchen in New Jersey 

 Home is where your story begins, please tell us a little about yours.

I grew up in NYC’s Greenwich Village with my two older brothers and my mom and dad. My family is very creative and encouraging so I’ve always felt supported in my dreams and efforts, which is such a gift.


 How would you best describe your musical style?

I like to call it indie electro-pop.


 What was it like growing up in such an artistic family?

It was really inspiring. My childhood was spent going to Blues bars with my mom and older brothers so they could have the chance to jam with some of the greats. I was as young as 8 years old and would drink Shirley Temples and my bedtime lullabies were blues riffs. Our mom was a singer and dad was a commercial jingle writer so I grew up recording things for my dad and singing harmonies, which I love so deeply.

 a paris and reeve

 What is the song writing process like for you?

I’m usually inspired lyrically by a specific situation – I will write down my emotions and then come back to them. Depending on how I’m feeling I might write the whole thing in a sitting or might give an idea to my producer and we will collaborate a bit more.

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Andrew Maxwell Morris – Bookham, England

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Never underestimate the power of music to move the human spirit. To drown yourself in,  find life within and take you to another place and time. A sincere delight to become acquainted with Andrew Maxwell Morris. His album ‘Well Tread Roads’ warms you up, holds you close and makes you feel richer for having encountered it. Each of the 10 songs cradled in the lyrics and melodies so thoughtfully written and steadfastly felt. This album haunts you with the echoes and essence of Neil Young & David Gray whilst inspiring  your heart to surrender all its questions and find its own way home.

‘Well Tread Roads’ a precious little secret buried in the heart of Bookham waiting for its voice to be heard as it trickles from streams of life to fill your cup right full. 

- Fresh Independence



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Name: Andrew Maxwell Morris

Age: 34

Where are you writing this:

 In a tent in Glastonbury, in between playing gigs!

Home is where your story begins, please tell us a little about yours.

 I was born in Melbourne Australia but immigrated with my family to the UK when I was 9. My home is now in a little village in Surrey in the UK called Bookham. It is a beautiful place.

a bookham 

 How did music find you?

I was aged 5 and I was sent to learn the piano. I realized from such an early age that I understood it. I used to get in trouble for memorizing all the music and not looking at the sheet music!


 Best describe your musical style.



Tell us about the inspiration behind your album ‘Well Tread Roads’ and how it came to life.

 I was going through a period of enlightenment about my past, my family and all the things that I thought I understood, I did not. The album flowed from me and the lyrics represented my thoughts and feelings on my life, work and family.

a well 

Which are your favorite lyrics thus far, and please tell us the story behind them.

 “In my mind, when I was a little boy, I had nothing to lose, when nothing was real.” 

- Andrew Maxwell Morris, Well Tread Roads

I think I spent a lot of my childhood distracted and not really appreciating what was going on at home, and this line represents that feeling. 

How does the song writing process work for you?

It’s always been a quick process to write – most songs come very quickly and surprisingly the words and music usually arrive at the same time when I sit down to my guitar.

a andrew gutiar


Your most memorable musical moment thus far?

 Playing at Glastonbury and seeing a sea of faces in an audience dance and sing along to songs and feeling the amazing energy that it brings!

Glastonbury 2014 

 David Gray, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Cat Stevens and Ben Harper are listed as your musical influences. Tell us your favorite song from each artist…

 David Gray – This Years Love

 Bob Dylan – Most of the Time

 Neil Young – From Hank to Hendrix 

 Cat Stevens – Peace Train

 Ben Harper – Walk Away 


Does your guitar feel like a part of you?

 Never thought of it like that to be honest but I would say no.

It’s just a means to express my songs, it just happens to be the instrument I find easiest to write on.

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When you are not making music what might we find you doing?

 Doing the gardening! I love being in the garden especially on a nice English summers day.

english garden 


Where would you like music to take you?

 I am happy with where it has taken me so far and I am lucky to have a talent that I can use and hopefully make others happy too. A national UK tour would be nice though I suppose.


What could the world use more of?

People with generous souls and a good music taste!


The greatest book ever written is…

Nevil Shute –  A Town Like Alice.


 My all time favorite movie is…

The Big Lebowski


 The prettiest thing I have ever seen is…

 The English Lake District – stunning, epic and Inspiring.

english lake district 

 Being a lawyer. Elaborate if you will on these two different aspects in your life. How did one intertwine with the other and what does each bring to your life and to each other.

 Yes I am a lawyer, working in the criminal courts by day and doing my music in my spare time. They are very different aspects of my life and are usually kept pretty separate. I find that an aspect of performance and speech is used both playing live and in court. I have also got confidence from my legal work that I take through to my music. The performance aspect is actually quite similar now that I think about it – making legal arguments and jury speeches require an element of vocal performance. 

There are times when work is very demanding and I have to spend less time doing music. There are times when it is the other way round. I could never of been in a place to make the album without the stability of my work. The reality for musicians these days is that two jobs is pretty common! 

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 Aside from communication what is the one thing you can not live without on the road?

 My friends and bandmates, we are like band of brothers now.


 Is there one quote or piece of advice that always stays with you?

 Believe in yourself, or no one else will!


True Love is…

 Knowing that you are safe and with someone who completes you in every way. Like a blanket but a very comfy one!


 What can we look forward to with Andrew Maxwell Morris over the coming year?

 More festival appearances, some gigs in France and more promotional opportunities.


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Dirty Gentlemen- London, England


Some people just like it dirty…


The Dirty Gentlemen have been busily fighting back for the old school and standing defiant against the ‘auto-tune industry’ with their Swamp Pop Soul and New Orleans infused R’n’B. Their concoction of gritty guitar, growling Hammond organs, punching horns, kicking drums and bass, and heartfelt vocals has been reaching the ears of music lovers who can’t help but stomp their feet and keep coming back for more deep fried music. 

How did Dirty Gentlemen come to be?

George (guitar) Jon (keys), Alex ( sax), were all at school together and played blues together. We jammed a lot of cream and john mayall and the bluesbreakers covers. We also joined the school 8 piece soul band which was run by the head of the DT department so sometimes we would rehearse in the woodshop. We played Blues Brothers and Crusaders covers amongst other classics. 

Then George left school and moved to london where he would find ‘Aint Nothin’ But the Blues’ bar and the blues circuit. He used to play guitar backing Phil (vox/sax/harmonica) at the blues jams around town but never really spoke to him because he seemed to be in a league of his own. Paul (bass) and Ivan (drums) were blues bar regulars at the time and certainly the cream of the crop when it came to forming the band. George went to Louisiana with another band called SCOUNDRELS to record our first album. They didn’t come back with too much music but soaked up all the swamp pop and New Orleans Rhythm and Blues. 

On his return George was keen to start another group playing the styles of music he had encountered, of which Early Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson and Fats domino are good examples. By then Jon had left school too, so george and he waited for Alex to finish to start the band. In the meantime George got some gigs with a demo he had put together and started asking people if they wanted to do the gigs. He finally mustered the courage to ask Phil to join The Dirty Gentlemen after watching him do an epic accapella vocal and harmonica sets. 

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