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The best kept secret in music


"Brent Orndorff's Solo CD"

For me, it has been a pleasure getting to know Brent Orndorff. Brent runs a record company/studio in Terre Haute, IN called Blame Records. I think I identify with him in that he is running a grass roots business related to the music industry; that fact helps me to see a little bit about his world when I listen to his music, or talk to him about different projects. The fact that he has been able to produce a CD with all of the other concerns that he has helps me to know that he’s not a quitter, either. I guess that is why the title of his CD is Never Stop Playing.

I’ve known several individuals that have the same sort of vibe that Brent has; he’s a Midwesterner with a background in playing folk style songs with catchy tunes and clever lyrics His style is very laid back, and sort of moody. His technique as a guitarist isn’t really the focus when you hear him play; the focus is in the song itself. In fact it is encouraging to me to know that a CD can be about the songs, and about an artist doing his/her best to entertain! It’s cool that a CD can be effective at doing so in an industry where typically big bucks and big names are all that anyone pay attention to.

Enough of that already. Let’s get on to the CD!

The CD opens with a small instrumental intro that is kind of cool! It sets the mood for the rest of the journey, for me. This is a collection of very eclectic pieces of music, and the intro serves as a signpost of things to come. The next song is a song entitled “Jesus and the President”; this, and the next few tracks that follow, kind of present the signature sound of Brents playing and his voice. At times, he sounds a bit like Neil Young (although Brent’s voice is much smoother and less nasally); in the lower registers of “I Love You So”, his voice resembles Clapton’s. I guess I think of these songs as Brent’s signature sound because they seem to carry a theme with them; not a story line or anything like that. They are just very similar in style, and they fit very well together on the collection. The vocals sound good, especially on “SnapDragon”, which as a very lush, layered vocal sound.

After the first 5 or so tracks, there are a few diversions from the path. Track 7 is entitled “Happy Song for Andy”, and it sounds kind of like an REM song; very laid-back and moody (contrary to the title); it’s a good song! After that, there is a very lively number recorded with the Johns entitled “In Ten Cities”; this one comes complete with horns and the works! Another instrumental (“Elijah”) transitions us into a song that I think is probably my favorite on the CD, entitled “Watching, Waiting”. The rhythm of the song is very soulful, and the bass line grooves really well. Everything kind of comes together for me on this track! I just like it! Other songs include “From the Sunshine”, another moody-sounding track, “These Rainy Days”, and “See Through”. Another standout track to me is one entitled “A Swim in the Ocean”; this one becomes kind of ethereal and spacey in places. Toward the end, you are steered back to the more familiar sound of Brent’s recording, but not before a driving number recorded with Crooked M called "Black Moon". My only complaint about this one is that it is too short!

As I returned to Brent’s signature sound on the last couple of tracks, I noticed an interesting phenomenon. You realize that his style of songwriting and playing has grown on you! I enjoyed the last two tracks. I think I really enjoy the acoustic playing and his songwriting abilities. There are spots where I wish that the recordings had turned out a little better, but what can you do on a limited budget? I think that this is a very respectable effort by a multi-talented singer/songwriter. If you get the chance, get Never Stop Playing. I’m going to be able to see Brent in July, and I’m looking forward to hearing his stuff live! I hope you’ll get a chance to hear him as well!--Mark Lush,, 6/18/03 *Listen to Brent on MWB RADIO!

"An Evening With Nona"

Very seldom have I come across a band like NONA. I had the chance to see them play live recently and I must admit I was really blown away. Several bands have used electronics (samples, loops) in the past, but NONA does it like no one else has. Their style is near impossible to put into words.
Very tasteful and eclectic music.
Insane yet grounded.
The band's main influences are Beck, Radiohead, Tool, NIN, Talking Heads, Primus, The Beatles, AIR...but all 3 listen to just about any style. "If a song is good, it's good...if it's country, jazz, hiphop, pop or rock" says Jeff W (drummer).
"There are a lot of good bands out there...but not many seem to do what we do." says frontman Brent.
The three do an unbelievable job of communicating what they want during a show. If they want you to feel happy... you will feel happy. If they want you to meditate on will. If they want you to will.
They also communicate very well with eachother while it's on some subsonic level (esp?). They read eachother's improvisations without effort seemingly. A great drum and bass improv jam displayed this ability VERY well. Brent left the stage for a break while Bill and Jeff went at it. Remarkably, this was one of the peaks of the show. I could hardly wrap my mind around what they played...but I know it was great and unlike anything I had ever heard. It's almost like a 4th invisible member is pulling the strings at certain points (which the band smiles with satisfaction about).
I have a gut feeling that this will be one of "those" bands in the future. By this, I mean that many people will wish they had seen them live if they never get to. Take my advice, go see this band NOW! If you can't catch them live...get their CD and listen to it...ALOT. Their recordings are equally as impressive as their live show is.
The trio has only been together for around a year and they put most veterans to shame. Although it should be expected, considering they all truly believe the band was meant to be. After rehearsing for 2 months, NONA got an offer from a label in Los Angeles to record an album. Want to be amazed? They said "no thanks". When I asked why, Brent replied: "L.A. is too far away... and their producers wanted artistic control and there was no guaranteed date for the album we'll do it alone for now." I must respect the band for this. Many bands would sign up in an instant for an opportunity like this. I would imagine that they expect a better offer from another label sometime soon.
I can't say enough about this band...but I have to wrap this up. In my book, NONA gets an A+ all around...get into it.
One last Q & A:
"do you think you'll be rich and famous one day?" - Collin
"I don't know...Maybe...I don't care." - Brent
-Collin Hayes (Statesman) - Indiana Statesman


Brent Orndorff released a solo LP (which essentially led him to Bill and Jeff) in 2003 under his own indie lable - Blame Records. Prior to this he had recorded 4 LPs, an EP and a single in 7 studios (the solo LP was all recorded, mixed and mastered at Blame Records Studio).
Jeff and Bill have played on EPs with a few different bands over the last 10 years. They played together in 2 of the bands prior to NONA being formed.

Recent songs can be found through the links: < BIO also


Feeling a bit camera shy


NONA was formed through a series of crazy coincidences, or destiny...depending on what you are comfortable with. Lead vocalist, Brent travelled to NYC to play in the NY Music Festival (@ Madison Square Garden) and happened to meet 2 musicians from Bloomington, IN...these two musicians eventually played with Bill and Jeff...and then Bill and Jeff met Brent through the 2 musicians..too much to process? The short story is: Brent met Bill and Jeff (who lived within 40 miles)
through meeting 2 other musicians from Indiana in NYC. The band members agree that their band was formed by such odd circumstances that it cannot be coincidence...and the music created through them says the same thing.

Our music, our message and our live shows set us apart from other bands. There are a lot of really good bands out there, but not many are doing what we do.

Collectively, the band has played hundreds of shows over the past 10 years...don't settle for less ...don't be let NONA!