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Today I am reviewing songs sent my way by Brandon Schott. Brandon was kind enough to let me interview him for Some Kind Of Muffin before. From that interview you would know that Schott has battled cancer and is currently in remission so the two charities discussed here hit close to home for him.  First up are two songs for the Songs For Aidan project. You can find out more at http://www.live-the-proof.com/songs-for-aidan.html, but let me share some selected quotes.

Aidan’s particular type of cancer requires him to spend a lot of time in the hospital. He has to be admitted to Children’s hospital every two weeks to receive his chemotherapy. He has two day admissions which aren’t that bad and five day admissions which are difficult for him. Near the end of those five day stays, he gets pretty homesick and just generally sad.

We had an idea for a project that might lift his spirits. We’ve created a YouTube channel called “Songs For Aidan” and I was hoping that we could get musicians / artists from all over to offer a little personal word or two of encouragement and play a song for him. When he’s stuck in the hospital and feeling down, we can show him the videos so he can see just how many people are pulling for him and really there’s nothing cooler than having someone play and sing a song just for you.

The Youtube channel can be found here.

To lend additional support Brandon Schott and Jim Boggia are offering two songs as part of Songs For Aidan. They are available as a CD or digital download and can both be found at the Live The Proof Link above. Jim Boggia’s song “Live The Proof” is a great acoustic offering. The song has minimal production and deceptively simple instrumentation. There are small bits of percussion and keyboard that add a lot, but are kept low in the mix. Boggia’s voice is immediate and personable. The lyrics are all about action and reaction and the choices we make based on our circumstances and are intelligently written and fit with Songs For Aidan beautifully. Brandon Schott’s “Turning Toward The Sun” is similarly themed; it discusses chance and how we react. It is a much more atmospheric number. I would use the term “expansive.” It stretches out and envelopes you. Again, there is minimal instrumentation and it is used to great effect.

Schott’s other release “You Take My Breath Away” is also a double single and it benefits The Benjamin Center in Santa Monica, CA. To learn more about what went into this project I recommend checking out the Popdose interview with him which also has additional info on how the Songs For Aidan project happened. The song “You Take My Breath Away” features piano and pedal steel guitar played by Portland’s own Tucker Jackson. It is a beautiful song full of imagery  and emotion. Listening to the lyrics I was transported to a “sweet sacred place” and could see everything unfold before me. The second song, “Now”, is wonderfully layered vocal harmonies without lyrics, though I am sure I hear the word “now” right around the :35 mark.

All of the songs are well done. They sound great and are not throw aways for charity; they are well-crafted pieces and I highly recommend listening to them and then BUYING them. All of the proceeds go to great causes. I reposting the pertinent links below as well to make sure it is easy for you to find. Please, please, please give a listen and consider helping out.

http://www.live-the-proof.com/songs-for-aidan.html

http://goldenstatemusic.bandcamp.com/album/you-take-my-breath-away

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