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Ages 21+ / Our legendary, award-winning open mic features singer-songwriters, comedians, marimba players, storytellers—you never know who's gonna show up!
Ages 21+ / Jared has been playing and writing songs since an early age with the focus being on Country, Folk, and Rock n Roll for the majority of that time. He sticks to the soul and roots of Honky Tonk Country Music, which have unfortunately been forgotten in the shadow of the mainstream/corporate version of "Country Music." Primarily being a writer, vocalist, and rhythm guitarist, Jared incorporates the talents of many other accomplished and enthusiastic musicians to give his songs the drive and style he aims for, especially at live performances. The band name and line-up may change from gig to gig, but he also has recently been working hard with steel guitarist David Rhodes Brown and bassist Marc Hoffman on a project entitled "Lonesome Jared and The Heart Attacks." Jared tries to deliver the best Honky Tonk style that he knows how, and will also soon be working on some Bluegrass projects. Jared was born on July 3rd, 1987 and calls the Kentucky/Ohio/Indiana tri-state area home.
Ages 21+ / Cincinnati's own original Gypsy Jazz band.
Ages 18+ / The word “Americana” gets tossed around rather loosely these days; it can mean anything from a hipster with a recently-discovered acoustic guitar to a decades-long denizen of the Grand Ole Opry. But when you set aside the Johnny-come-rootly types from the real deal, it’s a sure bet that you’re going to stray into Iguana territory. Based out of New Orleans for the past couple of decades – save for a short, Katrina-imposed exile in Austin – the Iguanas define a sound of Americana that crosses cultures, styles, eras… and even languages.
Their latest album, Sin to Sin, is their first studio recording since 2008’s If You Should Ever Fall on Hard Times, and its release coincides with their appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
“The title for the new album,” says sax player/vocalist Joe Cabral, “comes from one of the tracks we cut during the sessions that didn’t make it onto the record.” At this point, the band’s guitarist and vocalist Rod Hodges picks up the trail. “It’s a line from a tune called ‘Blues for Juarez,’” he says, “that goes, ‘We rode the back roads from sin to sin.’”
The Iguanas’ two-decade road may not exactly have driven them from sin to sin, but it’s taken them all over the map, both figuratively and literally. While bassist René Coman is the only member of the band who is a native of the Crescent City, a languid swampiness so deeply suffuses their sound that you can almost smell the peanut shells on the floor. But there’s far more depth to it than the N’Awlins patina that rests, sometimes lightly, sometimes heavily, on anything the city touches. It’s almost as if the Iguanas dragged sand up from Juarez and mud from the Mississippi Delta, threw them both into the white-hot crucible of rock, and built their foundation from there, with drummer Doug Garrison anchoring their sound deep in the groove.
“Spanish was spoken around the house when I was growing up,” says Cabral, “but I was listening to all kinds of stuff: Herb Alpert, Boots Randolph, country music, rock, polkas… The area of south Omaha where I grew up was the classic American blue collar ethnic melting pot of Irish, Italians, Poles, Mexican-Americans, who all sort of brought these pieces into the mix.”
“How could we not wind up in New Orleans?” asks Rod Hodges, a little rhetorically. “I mean, at Tipitina’s they might have Doug Sahm one night and Fela Kuti the next.” And sure enough, even on their first album (The Iguanas, Margaritaville/MCA 1993), the band was comfortable planting Allen Toussaint’s oft-covered “Fortune Teller” cheek-by-jowl with cumbia master Celso Piña’s “Por Mi Camino (Along My Way),” leading Entertainment Weekly to conclude, “never have accordions and saxophones been so much in love.” People echoed that sentiment in their review of Nuevo Boogaloo (Margaritaville/MCA 1994), saying “any group that can turn on a dime from a gorgeous R&B ballad like "Somebody Help Me" to the steamy tropical funk of "La Tentación" is clearly here to stay.
And stay they have, through half a dozen studio albums, countless tours and JazzFest appearances, and a flood that did its best to take their adopted city with it. It’s a testament to the band’s longevity and endurance that they’re still configured pretty much the way they were 20 years ago, while their onetime label, MCA, has gone the way of mousse-abused coiffures and Hammer pants.
Joe Cabral is pretty philosophical about the band’s persistence in the face of challenges that would have felled – indeed, have felled – lesser bands. “First of all, this is all we know how to do; we’re musicians. But more than that,” he continues, “we respect the power of the band as an entity, and each individual in the band steps up to play his part. When it’s good, that’s really what it’s all about.
Rod Hodges agrees. “I don’t want to get all heady and mystical about this, but it’s not really an outward reward we’re looking for. We still all enjoy playing music, we all get along, and finding a group of people who can say that after all this time is a pretty rare thing.”
Ages 18+ / Those Crosstown Rivals represent a zeal for life: Celebrate what really matters, forget about tomorrow and have a good damn time today. No matter what faces them, they will never stop believing in what they do. Give them a choice to ‘make it big’ or play in a dirty old basement; and they’ll pick filling up a garbage can with empty beer cans and whiskey bottles on any weeknight. Their music tells all. It is a means to find good in the terrible, to shake your fists against all that we can overcome.
Ages 21+ / The Story So Far…
My parents met at a dance on the 8th and were married a year and a half later on the 8th. I was born at home on the 8th, in what became my bedroom a few years later. We lived in northern Kentucky, directly across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. My dad was a mechanic, but by my first birthday started driving an 18 wheeler over the road. His routes were mainly in the Midwest, and I spent a considerable portion of my childhood on the road, cramped in his old cabover International, listening to the CB crackle, roadhouse jukeboxes, and occasional street jams. I mainly lived at my parent’s home in Kentucky, where I skipped school as often as humanly possible and skateboarded. I also lived with my grandparents in a small cabin on Lake Huron. It stood on an island with no roads, bridges, ferries, or general store. Mainland was a fifteen minute boat ride, weather permitting. I fished for salmon and explored as much of the Great Lakes as I could reach in my dad’s 14-foot sailboat.
My grandmother, grandfather and father were all dead before I turned 20, all having died on the 8th. My parents knew each other 30 years to the day. My grandfather died on 8-8-88. He was 88 years old.
I became obsessed with music and after a year of harassing my parents, finally got my first guitar on my 8th birthday. It was a red electric, a Strat knock-off. I immediately wrote a song called “You Light Me Up Like Spray Paint on a Strike-Anywhere Match, Baby.”
I stepped onstage for the first time shortly after moving to Ypsilanti, Michigan. It was a speakeasy-type bar with hot lights, and the audience wanted blues. The first song I played was with a slide on an acoustic guitar tuned in open G; a Robert Johnson cover. I’d been taught by Shari Kane. They applauded. I was hooked.
Music took me from Kentucky to Michigan to Los Angeles to Austin, Texas. I got to meet and collaborate with many of my heroes along the way including Philip Sayce of The Jeff Healey Band and Melissa Ethridge. Constantly challenged and inspired by Philip’s beautifully intense guitar style, we became jam buddies and co-performers. “Hank is a naturally gifted musician and a wonderful human being, whose talents shine brightly when he takes the stage. When he sings and plays his guitar, he lights up a room and leaves audiences charged up and wanting more.” – Philip Sayce. I also studied guitar with Stuart Ziff, lead guitarist of WAR!
I drove around the country so much that I wore a hole in my steering wheel, right where my palm rests. While visiting Arizona, I became involved in a songwriting contest hosted by producer Mike Latanzi (Wyclef Jean, Steve Vai, Jewel, and many more). I made it to the last round of a two-week selection process and Latanzi requested that I stay in the area to record with him. During one visit to my grandparent’s cabin, while strolling the rocky shores, skipping stones, and looking out at the water, my curiosity got the better of me and I applied for my Merchant Marine Document.
I spent a short jaunt on a line barge on the Ohio River, running between Paducah and Pittsburg. By 2008 I landed a job on a Great Lakes freighter, a 678-foot ore carrier built in Lorain, Ohio in 1949. I worked as a deckhand and relief wheelsman. I spent five years on the boats, documented over 600 days at sea, and was on board in 2011 to see the largest Lake Michigan wave ever recorded by the National Weather Service. My first year we hauled just shy of 3 million tons of cargo over more than 57,000 miles.
I’ve played all over the states of Kentucky, Michigan and Arizona, as well as in Denver, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, Asheville, and Gainesville, to name a few towns, and over a hundred gigs in Austin, Texas.
In 2009 I wrote a song called “Snakes in the Shed.” It won me the girl I wrote it about. The following year she took me to the Kerrville Folk Festival, where the music and the audience’s approach to listening blew me away. Upon walking up to my first late night campsite showcase, I made a comment out loud to my friend as we took a seat and was immediately shushed by several audience members. Though embarrassed, I thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen. We all shut up and listened….to the Love Leighs.
In deciding to take a stage name, I used my my father and grandfather’s first and middle: Henry Erwin, Jr. and Sr. Dad went by Hank, grandpa went by Erwin or “Er,” by those who knew him best.
February 2014 saw the release of my first full length album, Million Miles. The first release show was in my hometown of Newport, KY. The night of the show a wicked snow storm dumped several inches in the hours leading up to showtime. The roads were barely navigable and I thought no one would come. The place was packed. It felt amazing.
I’m always learning how to take things to the next level, be it the songwriting, the show, the business. I love it all.
Don’t be a stranger. Drop me a line, ask me a question. I may ask one back.
Ages 18+ / “A whipcracker of a voice … Songs describing rumpuses, stalkers and sexual predators are delivered with oodles of energy….dangerously rocking” –
“Imelda May’s time to shine has come, as she delivers a sophomore album that oozes musical brilliance…one of the strongest and most eclectic albums of the year.” – Clash
“Can Imelda conquer the world? There’s no May about it.” – News Of The World
The rise and rise of Imelda May has been unstoppable since the release of her album, “Mayhem” last year in the UK. Already hugely popular in Ireland (with a triple platinum album under her belt) the release of Mayhem in the UK has set her on the same path here.
2010 saw Imelda release the now gold certified album “Mayhem” on Decca Records, perform at The Grammy Awards with Jeff Beck as well as touring the US with him, play an extensive festival circuit both at home and abroad - including a storming Glastonbury performance; as well as winning Best Breakthrough Artist at the Classic Rock Awards. So far 2011 has proved just as exciting, if not more so: “Mayhem” once again climbed the album chart hitting the top ten - peaking at number seven in February, Imelda has appeared on several prime time TV shows including The Graham Norton Show and she has completed a headline tour of the UK including a night at The Roundhouse with special guest Jeff Beck.
Born in The Liberties, Dublin, Imelda is the youngest of five siblings and was the most susceptible to the various influences from her older brothers and sisters, which she could hear constantly through the walls of their two bedroom house. There was folk, the obligatory chart pop, and then there was Elvis. “My brother was a mad Elvis fan, and I found a tape in his room with Elvis, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. I thought the music was fantastic.” By the age of nine Imelda had fallen in love with rockabilly and the blues – singing along at home and recording herself with a plastic Fisher Price tape recorder! “I started singing in a church with my sister Maria when I was four and I’ve been singing pretty much ever since. There was no stage school or musical colleges – just variety club competitions – but I was determined as I love singing so much.”
Imelda began performing in clubs when she was 16 years old and had the honour of being occasionally barred from her own shows at Dublin’s Bruxelles club for being underage. “I got really obsessed about going to those clubs even though I was way too young to be allowed in. The security guards would turn a blind eye because they knew I was just there for the music. I used to stand at the side of the stage, hoping to get asked up to join a jam session, writing the keys on my arm so I knew what to sing.”
After fifteen years of singing in other peoples bands Imelda finally took the plunge and set up her own band in 2006. Acclaimed guitarist (and also Imelda’s husband) Darrel Higham took the role of lead guitarist, although Imelda was unsure at the beginning if it was the best idea. “History doesn’t bode well for married couples in bands – look at Ike and Tina Turner, Sonny and Cher, but we tried it and it worked out great. Life and the band is all one mish mash, but we do get time together as husband and wife and time apart – it just works.” The band recorded their previous album, “Love Tattoo” independently and only expected to sell a few hundred copies at gigs, but one Jools Holland performance later and the album had sold triple platinum in Ireland.
The current album, “Mayhem” released last year on Decca Records has Imelda’s trademark rockabilly sound but it’s lyrics are firmly set in the here and now. “I’m always observing people so my songs are an amalgamation of my own life and watching the craziness out of the window. The title track came to me after leaving a gig at 3am and seeing two guys having a fight and a girl standing there crying. It happens in every town on a Friday or Saturday night. – Mayhem!” Another of the album tracks, “Kentish Town Waltz” was re-recorded as a duet with the legendary Lou Reed for release as a single last year. The bittersweet love song lends itself well to the duet format while Reed’s gravelly tones sit perfectly with Imelda’s powerful yet playful voice. Describing the song Imelda says, “We were badly broke and the bailiffs were knocking on the door but we were mad about each other so we got through it.”
Ages 18+ / Puppet Slam Brought to you by the Cincinnati Puppetry Guild
Nate Brown: The emcee of the evening, Nate Brown has been playing with puppets for as far back as he can remember. Nate honed his puppetry skills at the O'Neill National Puppetry Conference under the guidance of many world renowned puppeteers. In 2012 Nate performed Baby Bear on The Sesame Street float in The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Nate currently performs in Cleveland.
Linda Mason: Cincinnati Puppetry Guild President, Linda Mason started performing professionally at age 14. She has performed at Cincinnati Music Hall, Aronoff Center and has written educational puppet programs for The Cincinnati Health Department, Louisville Orchestra in addition to performing countless Fire Safety programs for The American Red Cross. She takes great joy in performing whether its with Marionette, Hand or Rod Puppets.
Christine Langford: Christine Langford is a practicing artist and an elementary Art Instructor in Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati, and her Master of Arts degree in Art Education from the College of Mount St. Joseph. She moved from Indianapolis to Cincinnati in 1986. Her hats, abstract drawings and paintings have been exhibited in local galleries and shops since 1996. However, her recent artistic endeavors are in the area of Shadow Puppetry. As in her drawings and paintings, the mystery of light and shadow, along with the magic of transformation are ongoing themes.
Terrence Burke: Terrence Burke is the puppeteer behind Wump Mucket Puppets. His interest in puppetry began as a child growing up in Massachusetts in the 1960's watching Sesame Street, Kukla Fran & Ollie, and other classic puppet shows on television. Terrence takes a DiY (Do It Yourself) approach towards his puppet creations to design, build, write, and perform his puppet shows for children and their families in Greater Cincinnati since 2010. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife and children and is a member of the Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild and Puppeteers of America. More information at www.WumpMucketPuppets.com
Ryan Moore: Ryan Moore is a puppet builder and performer out of Mason, OH. He began creating puppets when his daughter was one year-old after he noticed that she was trying to “climb inside the TV to interact with the Muppets.” Ryan was first interested in Muppet-like puppetry but his interests in the art are expanding into other forms of puppetry. Ryan has performed at numerous venues and events, including churches, festivals, fund-raisers, and National Day of Puppetry. Ryan lives in Mason with his wife, Meagan, and their children, Owen and Addison. He runs and agency that provides care for people with mental retardation, works as an aid in a local nursing home, and is a full-time nursing student. Ryan has recently built puppets for a web-series and continues to create and sell new characters as time allows. This will mark his first performance in months since taking a hiatus to focus on school and his family. Ryan is a member of the Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild and is the Guild News writer for their website, www.CincinnatiPuppetryGuild.com.
Ages 21+ / WolfCryer is the adopted moniker of singer/songwriter Matt Baumann (born in St. Louis Missouri).
A former classical and jazz musician, Matt quit 20 years of playing the saxophone to teach himself the 4-string (so-called plectrum) banjo and start again as a folk musician.
WolfCryer is a one-man show on banjo, vocals, harmonica, and guitar; he writes his own personal, often very dark songs.
His first self-titled E.P was recorded during the summer months of 2011 and was released in June of 2012.
Ages 21+ / Join us for the honky tonk stylings of Straw Boss from 9 to midnight.
Ages 21+ / Our legendary, award-winning open mic features singer-songwriters, comedians, marimba players, storytellers—you never know who's gonna show up!
Ages 21+ / From the "potential Album of the Year" stack, singer/songwriter John Moreland from Tulsa, OK offers up 10 new long, deep looks into the sorrowful and second-guessing soul of an emotion-swept male, assembled under the title In The Throws from the Last Chance Records. "I heard truth is what songs are for. Nobody gives a damn about songs anymore…" is the line that people are quoting to both exemplify Moreland's wordsmith skills, and to throw back in his face as fallacy as critics and fans alike line up to herald Moreland's In The Throes songwriting effort.
If John Moreland was a boxer, he'd be a bruiser, a punnisher. No fancy footwork, no bobbing and weaving here. Every single line John Moreland throws out is like a lyrical haymaker meant to score an empathic knockout punch right between the eyes. Even the most emotionally-fraught songwriters tend to give you a short breath somewhere from the morose moments, but not Moreland. He is relentless in how he unburdens his soul without any worry of exposing his vulnerabilities, or how the emotional fortitude of the listener will handle such despondency delivered with such honesty.
In The Throes builds from a sparse acoustic footing, with some light country elements floating just above the surface in a classic Americana songwriter approach. This allows the listener to focus on the lyrics, and for the lyrics to come alive in the open space. At the same time, Moreland doesn't get so enamored with his own stories to ignore the music and melody. The song "Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore" makes great use of a steel guitar hook that rises to compliment the song's vision. One of the album's anchors, "Break My Heart Sweetly," features the quietest, most distant piano strokes possible, like the sound of tears tickling the cheek. Moreland also shows a great sense of timing, especially in the acoustic-only "3:59 AM" where he holds the song back at points until you feel the full weight of the moment before moving on, while also showing off his solid guitar picking skills.
john-moreland-in-the-throesBut the poetry embedded in In The Throes is what has this project incredibly buzzed. One line after another, John Moreland charms you with incredible depth, and a use of perspective that seems to relate so intimately with your personal narrative. The songs both tell a story, and deliver lines that can be taken autonomously and still have deep meaning. This is a songwriters album if there ever was one.
The worry about In The Throes is that it only works in mournful grays, delivered in the slow-to-mid tempo. You can put together a great album of songs, and that is what John Moreland has done here. But that doesn't mean you have a great album. To accomplish this you need some more spice and texture, or a truly original concept. This is the way you keep the ear engaged and give those songs that "nobody cares about anymore" a wider audience. The recordings and songs all work well but never reach outside Moreland's comfort zone, never really convey a sense of hope to help reset the palette.
But beyond a deeper vision for the album or something to spice it up, In The Throes still belongs in the company of the year's best simply from the strength of its songs, even if there's a few other projects just above it in a strong field. In times gone by, an album like this would have been pilfered by bigger names looking for top shelf songs to cut. Now it's relegated to entertaining the ears of a privileged few. But albums of the caliber of In The Throes tend to go far in opening new doors.
Does anybody give a damn about songs anymore? When taking a wide perspective of the popular music landscape, this generalization is certainly true. And with an album like In The Throes, it shows why this loss of focus on artistry by the masses is so unfortunate.
Two guns up.
All Ages / “The Yugos”
In Winter of 2009 two brothers in northern Kentucky, Jordin and Christian Gough, started a band that (if you like; Back to the Future, 80's new wave, or just feeling good) you will love. Setting the stage for a band full of multi-instrumentalists, Jackson Deal joined and The Yugos were born, setting immediately to writing and recording their first short collection of work, appropriately titled "Y.E.P."
2011 saw the release of their self-titled debut full-length on their own Best Friends Records, which followed much anticipation and was met with even more acclaim. In 2012 they elicited the bass/guitar magic of friend, Jeremy Graham and crushed any thought of a "sophomore slump" in 2013 with the fantastic follow-up full-length, "Life is Awesome, and Then You Live Forever."
The Yugos have spent their career so far growing a very loyal following of not only fans, but real friends, with their admirable D.I.Y. spirit, super high energy live show, and ever-positive vibrations. Cincinnati is lucky to call this group their own.
In December of 2013 Justin Skaggs, Sam Iles, Joey McCoy, and Casey Cavanaugh.
started their poppy, melodic, brainchild to explore new avenues of creativity.
They sing about important things and stupid things.
They will make you dance, while making you think about life.
They hail from Hebron, Ky. and they call themselves "PIONEER".
“Daniel In Stereo”
Daniel In Stereo is the solo project for Daniel Chimusoro. A lot of the time he is accompanied by the awesome Dan Crowe on drums
After issuing popular singles and a well-recieved EP under the moniker Dark Colour, singer/songwriter Randall Rigdon debuted Dark Colour's full-length album Prisoner in 2013 to international recognition, with singles “Be Your Man”, “Burn It Down”, “Can’t Stop”, and “The Games Are Killing Us” receiving airplay across the world, including Air France Radio, WNKU, and WRFL.
After a much-talked about event hosting and performing the final moments of the 2014 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, Dark Colour immediately transformed into a full band, acquiring Coleman Williams, Joesph Sparough, and Sean Kelley, becoming local favorites and opening for national acts such as Coin, Bad Veins, and WHY?
Ages 18+ / You’ve heard our name, you’ve seen our records, our t-shirts and our stickers. We’re probably the favorite band of someone you know and yet maybe we’re still a mystery to you. Well my friend, that’s okay, you’re at the right place to get to know the greatest rock-n-roll band in the world, The Supersuckers.
And the next time you see the ‘Supersuckers’ name, whether it’s in the record store, online somewhere, or on the marquee at your local rock club, know that there’s some quality, honest, ass-kicking, hard working individuals behind it all trying to make your life a little better through the “Evil Powers Of Rock-n-Roll” (and the occasional detour into the country music, of course) and we’d love nothing better than to have you there with us as! Just remember to wear clean underwear, because we’re gonna rock your pants right off of you.
- Eddie Spaghetti, Rock Guy
Ages 21+ / Join us for the honky tonk stylings of Straw Boss from 9 to midnight.
Ages 21+ / Our legendary, award-winning open mic features singer-songwriters, comedians, marimba players, storytellers—you never know who's gonna show up!
All Ages / United Nations is a frantic and frenetic hardcore/punk band.
Originally rumored to be a project founded by veterans from Thursday and more, United Nations' existence and subsequent recordings have been cloaked in confusion since their rumored inception. On the heels of the release of their debut full length on the Eyeball label in 2008, the United Nations Organization (UNO) shut down the band's pages on Social networking sites worldwide. The band was also forced to alter their debut album's cover, sighting retail stores refusal to carry the title with controversial artwork. This informational blackout further added to the aura of mystery surrounding the band, allowing them to grow stronger amidst the chaos.
2010 brings the release of "Never Mind The Bombings, Here's Your Six Figures", the second alleged release from the band. "Nevermind..." is a spastic and violent four song explosion that brings to mind the bygone days of the mid-1990's "screamo" sub-genre. A poignant musical missile meant to sink today's safe and predictable musical establishment.
Ages 18+ / Cedric Burnside is the grandson of North Mississippi hill country blues legend, R.L. Burnside. He has won Blues Drummer of the Year three times. Cedric has teamed up with guitar virtuoso, Trenton Ayers, to create the Cedric Burnside Project.
The Cedric Burnside Project is the collaboration between Cedric Burnside and Trenton Ayers, both hailing from the hill country of North Mississippi. Cedric provides lead vocals, as well as guitar and drums. Trenton is CBP's lead guitar player and provides back-up vocals. The two come together to create a sound that is at once, both traditional blues and new-school funk.
Ages 18+ / The Gallery's hook-laden rock songs combine a mix of mainstream appeal and professionalism with indie cred and likeability. Their brand of guitar-driven, southern-infused pop rock blurs the lines between authenticity and commerciality, producing songs that are refined and disarmingly catchy. A subtly biting guitar sound, simple, road-worn lyricism and consistently sharp musicianship transform their tracks into instantly memorable pop gems you don't want out of your head.
All Ages / “This is our Back In Black!“ The man who says this is called Blaine Cartwright, vocalist and guitarist of American rock band Nashville Pussy. Cartwright is referring to the latest Pussy album Up The Dosage, a recording consisting of 13 fast-paced, sharp songs (plus two bonus tracks) which impress with their homogeneity and stylistic complexity. Up The Dosage takes up seamlessly where the 2009 Pussy release From Hell To Texas left off and goes even further. Blaine Cartwright is rightly proud of and unmistakably happy about the new material: “None of the previous Nashville Pussy albums has been as diverse and at the same time consistent. Everything sounds even bigger and better, yet raw and authentic through and through.
The new album was produced by Nashville Pussy and sound engineer Brian Pulito at the Microsonic Studios in Lexington, Kentucky, a place where the band, despite their limited budget, found ideal conditions for a focussed and inspired recording process. “It was clear from the beginning that the album would have to be cut with very little money because the ZZ Top tour cost us lots of dollars,” Cartwright confesses. “Luckily, Shinedown producer Rick Beato is a close friend of Nashville Pussy. Rick was so enthusiastic about the new material that he spontaneously decided to remix the album for us. That’s why Up The Dosage sounds so contemporary and powerful, with phat guitars and a production which sounds brilliant in every respect.”
Cartwright is referring to classy rock tracks such as the opener ‘Everybody’s Fault But Mine’, with a wonderfully ironic title which reflects that sense of humour which is so typical of Nashville Pussy. Next comes Cartwright’s personal fave ‘Rub It To Death’, a raw number with unashamed Motörhead references. Also typical of Nashville Pussy is the title track which takes no prisoners from the first note, unfolding a thoroughly unrefined attitude through the driving bass.
But there is also a number of surprising moments on Up The Dosage: the country rock song ‘Hooray For Cocaine, Hooray For Tennessee’, featuring dobro and mandolin, and ‘Till The Meat Falls Off The Bone’, which dates back to the seventies. Cartwright: “Somehow it’s turned into a kind of Aerosmith-meets-Pussy track. In the beginning I wasn’t sure whether we wanted to release it, but in a very special way it fits really well on the album.” ‘White And Loud’, penned by guitarist Ruyter Suys, with its doom-laden Black Sabbath flair also deserves a mention. By the way: Ruyter Suys and Blaine Cartwright continue to be the backbone of Nashville Pussy, supported by drummer Jeremy Thompson and – since 2011 – bassist Bonnie Buitrago, who joined the Pussy fold after Karen Cuda had left the band on friendly terms.
And another name which should be mentioned in connection with Up The Dosage is that of Eddie Spaghetti: the Supersuckers bassist has been one of Cartwright’s best pals since their joint European tour in spring 2009 and helped with the new songs: “Eddie came to my home in Atlanta to work on the material with me. He co-authored three songs and helped me with the right arrangements on the rest of the tracks. I can’t thank him enough for his assistance.”
Nashville Pussy came together in 1996. Ever since, the band has been performing a strenuous
annual gig marathon, touring with acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Reverend Horton Heat or ZZ Top and played Festivals like Wacken Open Air. Even Albums such as Let Them Eat Pussy (1998), High As Hell (2000), Say Something Nasty (2002) or From Hell To Texas (2009) have caused an international stir, and their single release ´Fried Chicken And Coffee` earned the band a Grammy nomination in the late Nineties in the category ´Best Metal Performance`.
Ages 21+ / The CBGB (Colin, Bonnie, Graham, Band) is a full band collaboration of Austin singer/songwriters Colin Gilmore, Bonnie Whitmore and Graham Weber. Like the iconic NYC rock club the shares the band’s initials; this band is a musical community of like-minded artists and friends who have, toured and recorded together in various combinations. The CBGBand is a reflection of the singer/songwriter, country-rock that is the essence of this one-of-a-kind music and a good way to pay homage to their name sake of CBGBs.
Colin Gilmore is a Texas songwriter with an Americana pop rock sound. Son of Texas music icon Jimmy Dale Gilmore of the flatlanders; Colin developed his own unique song writing style that draws from a variety of influences ranging from Buddy Holly to Townes Van Zandt to The Clash. His solo albums have won fans across the world and critical acclaim, including 4-star reviews in Mojo and Uncut.
Bonnie Whitmore not only provides her voice and songs to CBGBands, but will be do what she does best on bass. This Denton, TX native began playing bass at age 8 in her father’s family band with her sister Eleanor Whitmore. After spending some time playing and touring as bassist and backup vocalist for the likes of Hayes Carll, Justin Townes Earle and Mando Saenz, Bonnie took it back home to Texas to release her last two solo records Embers to Ashes and There I go Again. Both have garnered considerable critical praise. Bonnie was named as an up-and-coming artist to watch by both Austin Monthly Magazine and Paste.
Graham Weber is a singer-songwriter who hails from Texas by way of Ohio. In the 9 years since moving “sight unseen” to Austin, TX, Graham has staked his claim as one of the area’s finest singer-songwriters. He quickly became highly respected by peers and fans “in the know” on the strength of both his live performances and his exceptional solo albums. His 2011 solo record Women was name to several “best of” lists by Austin Chronicle music critics. Graham is released his latest solo record Faded Photos in May of 2014 to critical acclaim from Austin Chronicle, Austin Monthly Magazine, Lone Star Music Magazine, & http://www.cmtedge.com to date.
The CBGB will also feature guest instrumentalists and is anchored by drummer Matt Winegarder who has worked in both Colin’s and Bonnie’s solo projects and played with Graham in the rock band So Long, Problems. The band strives to focus on the songwriting and infusing it with the groove and energy that comes from having a full band--a creative collective of friends and colleagues.
Ages 18+ / Bluegrass crowd-pleasers, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road recently released their self-titled cd, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, their highly anticipated album with Pinecastle Records. Their previous release, Back To My Roots, achieved commercial and critical success, charting on Bluegrass Music Profiles TOP 30 SINGLES, and TOP 10 ALBUM Chart and reaching #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited Charts.
The band’s distinct sound and old time flair can be attributed to the bluegrass-rich area of North Carolina from which they hail and borrow their name. As the founding member and band leader for Carolina Road, Lorraine Jordan’s showmanship and chemistry with the audience makes the group one of the most popular bands among bluegrass fans today. Lorraine, who has garnered two IBMA Awards, has fronted Carolina Road for over a decade and has eleven national recordings to her credit. The band has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in bluegrass. Carolina Road plays worldwide and headlines two National Bluegrass festivals, Christmas in the Smokies and Cherokee. They have hosted the Canadian Bluegrass Awards, toured Europe and played twelve Bluegrass cruises. Carolina Road’s performance is a traditional sound with a fresh approach which includes invigorating instrumentals, smooth blending vocals, and all the energy that you can stand.
Ages 21+ / Kyle English found success after departing from the traditional path trodden by many artists. After spending time performing in and out of bands over the years, Kyle decided to place more focus on a solo career. Since setting out on his own, he has been able to hone his craft; ﬁnding a voice and style that, upon hearing it, is easily identiﬁed as his own. He is constantly performing and writing in order to craft songs that are heartfelt and catchy.
After having spent a number of years playing locally in Cincinnati, and writing his own material, Kyle independently released the Indian Summer EP and Innovitory Live EP. These releases and the subsequent videos offered a number of other professional opportunities. His single, "Sophia" has been placed in rotation on ClassX Radio (88.9 Cincinnati and online at classxradio.com). The strength of this single also led to a featured review in NKY Live Magazine, which calls his release, "fresh...with a red hot melody". Other songs on the album gain acclaim for their "sophisticated lyric base" and "folk guitar flare".
Kyle is currently in the studio finishing work on his new 13 song album. This album will continue to expand on the style that fans are familiar with, yet reflect a growth in both writing and production. Kyle is also fortunate enough to continue working with some of the best musicians Cincinnati has to offer.
Ages 21+ / Whole House Event
A music/artist/comedy festival benefitting Operation Hope, assisting the homeless and homeless veterans of Cincinnati and Northern KY
Featuring 13 bands and 10 comedians on three stages with MC Big Daddy Walker and a special acoustic performance by Deidrich Jones of The Cliftones.
Come and join us for UNITYFEST 2014. This all day event will consist of multiple bands, musicians, MC's, artists and comedians from all walks of life. We will have food, art, jewelry and merchandise booths on site. This eclectic festival will raise awareness of he homeless epidemic here in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky as well as raise money to assist our project in getting our brothers and sisters off of the streets. Many simply need a second chance. Come have some fun, support your local businesses an artist and help us change lives while we do it. From Rock to Rap, from Blues to Acoustic as well as a few laughs along the way. REMEMBER: They don't need COINS, they need CHANGE!
ATTENTION FB FRIENDS, FAMILY AND OPERATION: H.O.P.E. SUPPORTERS: Here is the lineup for our fundraiser musical festival at The Southgate House Revival on August 16th 2014:
Special Guest Performance: Deidrich Jones of the Cliftones playing an all acoustic, up close and personal performance to kick off the festival.
We will have comedians playing in between sets and conversions for your entertainment. This show is going top be amazing. Thank you all for your support and unwaivering commitment to help others. Together we can make a difference. Remember, these people don't want coins, they want CHANGE!
Shoot Out The Lights
Tony Godsey Band
Governor of Crunk
Adrian Bsoul Hall (B.Soul)
Main MC and DJ
Big Daddy Walker
Ages 21+ / Join us for the honky tonk stylings of Straw Boss from 9 to midnight.
Ages 18+ /
"[Kim Richey] would rule the charts in a land where Marshall Crenshaw was king, Aimee Mann queen, and the The Beatles never put out another record after Revolver.” Steve Horowitz, popmatters.com
"Richey entices you with sad and unembellished music that reveals an original spirit - and then she ensnares you for keeps by making you consider all the noiseless sensations that no songs can ever contain." Timothy White, Billboard Magazine
Those artists who find themselves stuck in the deepest of ruts two decades into their careers could learn a thing or two from veteran singer-songwriter Kim Richey. She’s never been afraid to go where the inspiration is.
Two-time Grammy-nominated Kim is a storyteller; a weaver of emotions and a tugger of heartstrings. Tender, poetic and aching with life’s truths, Kim’s songs transport you to her world, where words paint pictures and melodies touch the soul. And then there’s her voice. Pure, arresting and honest, it makes you take notice; Kim has the kind of voice where if emotions were ribbons, they’d be streaming in rainbow colours from your iPod.
Early on, the Zanesville, Ohio native thrived on the progressive side of mainstream country, her albums (1995’s Kim Richey, 1997’s Bittersweet and 1999’s Glimmer, all on Mercury) showcasing twang-pop sensibilities, a rich, rounded vocal tone and effortlessly sophisticated songwriting that other discerning performers - Radney Foster, Trisha Yearwood and Pam Tillis to name a few - coveted for their own recordings.
In the years since, Kim has made her subtly psychedelic album Rise (Lost Highway) in Los Angeles with producer Bill Bottrell, flown to London to enlist the help of Giles Martin and emerging with the crisply orchestrated Chinese Boxes (Vanguard) and turned to her East Nashville-based bandleader and frequent co-writer Neilson Hubbard to conjure the earthy indie-pop feel of Wreck Your Wheels (Lojinx/Thirty Tigers) and to complete her latest masterpiece of smart, sensual understatement Thorn In My Heart (Lojinx/Yep Roc).
The array of top-tier guests on the album include Jason Isbell, Wilco’s Pat Sansone, My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel, Will Kimbrough and Yearwood, who was, for the first time, returning the harmony-singing favor. And the dozen songs themselves show that Richey’s still dreaming up fetching melodies that arc and bend in unexpected ways, and still discovering fresh angles from which to articulate matters of the heart.
Ages 18+ / The ghosts of the past don’t always live in crumbling houses or dusky, frigid landscapes. Sometimes they exist in broad daylight, haunting white sand beaches. Dwelling beneath the canopies of palms that clutter the shorelines of coastal towns. Sometimes their singing is drowned-out by the crashing of waves, sometimes their volume is deafening.
Palm Ghosts are sun-damaged American Music from Philadelphia. After the dissolution of longtime band, Grammar Debate, in the summer of 2010, songwriter Joseph Lekkas took a self-imposed hiatus from writing and performing music. For the better part of three years, he lived overcome with daily anxieties, barely leaving his house, a prisoner to a constant sense of fight or flight. Through the help of close friends and family, meditation and talk therapy, he was able to regain his joy for living. He found that translating his thoughts and feelings into song was not only therapeutic, but necessary to his survival. Four years later he re-emerged with a set of songs he self-recorded with the help of a few longtime collaborators. These are those songs.
Self produced and recorded in a warehouse in an old industrial section of the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia during one of the most brutal winters in the city’s history. Palm Ghosts is a collection of songs documenting life’s contrasts, where darkness thrives in broad daylight, sadness rings through major chords and desolation greets you with a smile. The songs reverberate with desperation and heartbreak, yet glimmer with a delicate sheen of optimism and hope. Much like the radiant end of a long, frigid winter.
Ages 21+ / Imagine a perfect blend of Nashville and Vaudeville, incorporating sensibilities from Music City with Radio City, and you'll find the dynamic female-fronted Americana group, Grace Adele & The Grand Band. With a distinct vintage style, Grace Adele sets her stage with traditional American roots drawn from classic country, western swing, bluegrass, folk, and contemporary indie rock.
A native of Ohio, Grace Adele originally had her heart set on becoming a Rockette after years of classical training in ballet. Traveling between her hometown in Columbus to New York for auditions at Radio City Music Hall exhausted precious resources. The time she was at home, Grace Adele spent much of her time singing, eventually cuing a move to Music City. With the help of Keenan Wade, she assembled The Grand Band, a string band consisting of violin, double bass, guitar, and mandolin.
The Grand Sessions is Grace Adele's Nashville debut CD produced by Grammy-winning engineer/producer, Phil Harris. The ten-track recording features guest appearances by Chris Scruggs, Buddy Spicher, David Mayfield, and Ketch Secor.
With well over 100 tour dates a year, Grace Adele charms audiences from Columbus to Knoxville, Nashville to Asheville and many points between and beyond. Her original tunes and instrumental talent converge with comedic grace as she's a master kazoo player, and blends percussive tap dance into her live show.
"There is something both charming and disarming about Grace Adele."
Ages 18+ / Although Springfield, OH native Griffin House didn’t begin playing guitar and writing songs until he was 18, the power of his music struck an emotional connection with audiences immediately. The athletic gifted House shocked his family by turning down a golf scholarship to focus on a new path making music. “Sports were really a big part of me and how I grew up,” he says. “So deciding not to take that scholarship was a turning point for me in choosing a new path for myself, a new life making music.” There were some issues to deal with first, however – he couldn’t play the guitar he’d bought from and friend, nor had he ever written a song.
“I took a couple of guitar lessons and got so frustrated that one day I kicked the strings off my guitar,” he recalls with a laugh. “It sat there for about a year, but I took it to school (at Miami of Ohio) with me and made up my mind I was gonna learn how to play. One night I picked up my guitar and wandered around campus till I could barely keep my eyes open, trying to play this one chord over and over. Finally, around 4 a.m., my hand got used to it and I formed my first G chord.”
Not long afterward, he wrote his first song for the high school sweetheart with whom he’d parted ways after graduation. When she came for a visit, House played it for her, and it brought her to tears. “Then I was hooked,” he says, “I thought, ‘Oh, man, if I can make people cry, I’m gonna keep doing this. I’m gonna make as many people cry as I can!’” After laughing at the memory, he puts the experience in perspective: “What I was drawn to was the power of the song, how it could affect people emotionally.”
The epiphany caused the neophyte’s creative juices to bubble over, and he got really good really fast. After graduating, he joined some of his buddies who’d moved to Nashville, and started doing solo gigs at the bottoms of bills in local clubs. Within months, he was headlining, surprising himself at his rapid development. “I was working in a gift shop downtown for $6.50 an hour,” he remembers, “and four months later I was flying to L.A. and New York for meetings with record labels.”
House signed with Nettwerk and banged out his first CD with his band in five days, before moving from Nashville to Cincinnati. He spent most of the subsequent three years on the road, while also finding time to record several “direct-to-fan” releases, a pair of EPs (House of David Vol. 1 & 2) and the 2006 digital release Homecoming.
He didn’t fully understand at first, but writing and recording these songs about his “own issues” was the best sort of help he could possibly offer others, friends and strangers alike. His intelligent and heart-felt lyrics and melodies in such songs as “The Guy Who Says Goodbye to You Is Out of His Mind” and “Better Than Love” have garnered commercial and critical acclaim alike. From being featured on the CBS Sunday Morning Show, to touring with the likes of John Mellencamp and the Cranberries, House continues to gain national recognition and currently is headlining his own tour across the U.S.
All Ages / Old City
Starting out as a solo electronic project of long-time Cincinnati music alum Sammy McKee (view-finder, Charlston Entry, Bitter Airplane, and Kaptain), Old City has quickly grown into a dynamic, live trio in the sonic vein of Poster Children, Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth. You will also hear hints of Wussy, Guided by Voices, Polvo and even Lou Reed in Sammy's melodic delivery. The band currently consists of McKee on guitar and vocals AND Dave Cupp (Man Halen, Caterpillar Tracks) on drums. Robyn Roth (Knife the Symphony, Theraphosa) AND Gabriel Molnar (Sometimes, Little Lights, 1000 Arms) have played a key role in the band's transition from solo act to solid group and informed many of the moods and melodies with their unique approach to the bass guitar.
Old City has released three EPs and a live album as a band (download from bandcamp) and have recorded their first full-length LP to be released on random-colored vinyl on August 23, 2014.
"The thing that Black Owls does infinitely well is mash their British Invasion/Punk influences into a thick paste and apply it in broad trowel strokes to their distinctly Midwestern presentation, crafting a sound that is both maddeningly familiar and strikingly original. Dig: A parallel-earth Ian Hunter is born in Detroit and forms a garage-band Mott the Hoople after seeing Mitch Ryder and Iggy Pop, and still manages to obsess over Dylan and Bowie."
R. Ring is Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery. It is voices, guitars and keys. It is sparse, chaotic, abrasive and lulling, often within the same song. It is new. It is, at the very least, a stark departure from the music they make in their other bands (Kelley with The Breeders and Mike with Ampline.)
They are currently putting finishing touches on recordings for a 7” single due out on Misra Records.
Kelley lives in Dayton, Ohio. Mike lives in Dayton, Kentucky.
kp - baritone ukulele, sequencer, live looping
Comedy band consisting of two celestial beings, a kitten, and a handful of instruments producing funky fresh tunes that ooze swag and radiate sunshine
Ages 18+ / Stand-up comic Jamie Kilstein (Citizen Radio)'s new hour long rant about everything evil.
"Watching Jamie reminds me of why I got into comedy. It is like watching a combination of George Carlin and Bill Hicks"--JANEANE GAROFALO
"There are few truly insightful, passionate and hysterically funny political comedians around, and even fewer coming out of the States. New Yorker Jamie Kilstein is a shining light probing into the murkier corners of the religious right and corrupt politics of his homeland. Funny and penetrating, heâ€™s taken Bill Hicksâ€™ baton and run with it."--TIME OUT LONDON
"Jamie Kilstein is one of the funniest and smartest humans on the planet: his rocket-powered wit leaves you gasping - for more: sheer brilliance."--World famous Philosopher and Professor A.C Grayling
"Jamie Kilstein is at once irresistibly endearing and wonderfully audacious. Watching his work is like going to cuddle a puppy and having it hump your leg. But funnier."--Tim Minchin
"If you liked Bill Hicks... If you think comedy should be about something more than just froth and banter... If you want to hear someone standing-up for freedom of speech and smacking religious bigotry and political stupidity squarely in the face... then this hugely talented American is the guy for you."--Time Out Critics' Choice
Ages 21+ / For the past few years Jim Casto and Dr. Hue have been assembling periodically to create and perform music together. Their sound is a mixture of Folk, Singer-songwriter, and rock, with a slight hint of country. Jim Casto is a singer-songwriter from Cincinnati, deriving much of his musical influence from time spent with songwriters a-like in Northeastern Ohio. Looking to branch out into diverse musical stylings, he enlisted the help of local Rock n' Roll band, Dr. Hue. These talented young musicians help bring a depth to Casto's songs. This collaboration is currently in the process of recording an album.
Recent accomplishments include performing at Cincinnati's MidPoint Music Festival in 2013; as well as other various local venues including the Southgate House Revival and Rhinegeist Brewery. Our song "Carolina" was selected by American Songwriter Magazine for featured daily artist, which I have attached a link for in the "other" websites section.
Ages 18+ / Andrew Combs is a songwriter, guitarist, and singer who lives in Nashville. Originally from Dallas, Combs is inspired by the great tradition of Texas songwriting exemplified by Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Mickey Newbury.
Following the success of the 2010 EP Tennessee Time, Coin Records released the 7-inch single “Big Bad Love” in May 2012 and Combs’ debut full-length album, Worried Man, on October 30, 2012.
The new album caps off a busy year for Combs who signed as a staff writer with Razor & Tie Music Publishing in July 2012. Combs was also tapped to play the 2012 Americana Music Association festival and has played and toured with Shovels & Rope, Jonny Corndawg, Caitlin Rose, Houndmouth, Robert Ellis, and Jason Isbell.
While Tennessee Time displayed a decidedly Nashville sound, Worried Man draws on a folk-rock sound galvanized by the reemergence of authentic American music coming from bands like L.A.’s Dawes. The album was co-produced by Mike Odmark and features guest appearances from Caitlin Rose and Nikki Lane, along with the core band of Jeremy Fetzer, Spencer Cullum, Jr., Michael Rinne, Micah Hulscher, and Jon Radford.
Equal parts rough-and-ready Chicago blues, Planet Waves-era Dylan, and vintage Nashville folk, Combs’ live show has often been described as Merle Haggard’s stripped-down country rock meets the tightly wound garage punk of Detroit’s The MC5. In short, they call it “country soul swag,” and you should too.
Combs is also part of a Nashville renaissance in country-folk music that stems from the slicked-up rural country gems of Justin Townes Earle and the close-knit indie folk-rock of Caitlin Rose. Searching through this puzzle you might also find an answer to why Jack White operates a ‘50s-inspired record shop and recording studio in Nashville and why the city has a buzzing punk scene. Maybe you’d even stumble into Combs and his band getting wild and fuzzy at a house party. Or maybe you’ll see Combs solo—on stage and alone as all hell—singing songs that have prompted middle-aged women to ask him, “Are you gonna be alright?”
Well, the Texas lad is just fine, thank you, and we think you’ll agree when you hear more of the sounds that are coming out of this East Nashville hotbed of dusty country soul, done up right.
Ages 21+ / Join us for the honky tonk stylings of Straw Boss from 9 to midnight.
Ages 18+ / Born in Seattle in 1998 at the tender age of intent, Unwed Sailor is helmed by Oklahoma-born songwriter Johnathon Ford. The basis for the instrumental project came into being while Ford was still writing with Seattle luminaries Roadside Monument. Pulling towards a bass guitar-oriented sound, the songs he had begun to craft did not fully feel right for Roadside Monument, thus the unbeknownst predestined forming of Unwed Sailor. Not aiming for Unwed Sailor to fall into the regular confines of a typical band, Ford's ever evolving cast and crew has been tirelessly composed over the years of good friends and company. Throughout the past decade, Unwed Sailor has shared the stage with the likes of Pedro the Lion, Mary Timony, Low, The Danielson Famile, Sufjan Stevens, Early Day Miners, Minus the Bear, The Advantage, The Starlight Mints, Battles, Mates of State, and Beach House(just to name a few....). The band has since been relocated and based out of cities across the United States, including Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C., Jackson MS, Little Rock, AR, and most recently Lawrence, KS. With numerous tours in the U.S. and Europe, the band has traveled almost as much as it has evolved.
From their 1998 debut EP release, Firecracker (featuring Dave Bazan from Pedro the Lion, and Casey Wescott from Fleet Foxes, The Vogue & Seldom) to their 2001 full length release The Faithful Anchor (engineered by Dan Burton of Early Day Miners), the band strived to create side door studies into the pictures behind sound, while opening multiple avenues in the creation of reflective, legitimate, sometimes-instrumental music. In 2002, these studies also produced two short film soundtracks for independent film maker Chris Bennett - Stateless (a musical collaboration with Early Day Miners), and For Jonathan, a multi-genre compilation featuring artists as varied as The Album Leaf and Mikael Jorgensen to Jessica Bailiff and Her Space Holiday.
In 2003, the shape of Unwed Sailor changed dramatically as the sound became less a standard suite of instrumental rock songs, developing instead into a full scale storybook tale presented through classical baroque and nursery rhyme melodies, overlayed with organic/toy like percussion. The resulting album was recorded and released as The Marionette and the Music Box; music set to tell the painted "story-book" story of a lonely little marionette in search of a cherished, lost music box. With this change in musical direction, Unwed Sailor composed pieces just as suited for concert halls as they were the hot, impassioned stages of dark night clubs.
In 2006 the band introduced two brand new recordings with Dan Burton (Early Day Miners) once again behind the soundboard, the ambient/Eno-esque EP Circles, and the atmospheric and brooding full length The White Ox. hese two releases ushered Unwed Sailor's sound into a dark, minimalistic world of Native American imagery, and soothing meditative moods.
These releases were supported by national tours with Me Without You, Murder By Death, and The Appleseed Cast, as well as an extensive 5 week tour throughout Europe.
In 2008, Unwed Sailor combined its instrumental rock roots, with the experimental/ambient sounds from its recent previous releases to create Little Wars. Little Wars features energetic and highly melodic instrumental rock songs, gently colored with layered synth keyboards and percussion. The album moves along steadily with danceable rhythms, melodic distortion, and delicate ambience. Little Wars is truly a unique, progressive, and challenging addition to instrumental music.
Unwed Sailor has continued to tour throughout 2008, sharing dates with This Will Destroy You, and Sybris. More touring is planned for the fall of 2008 in the U.S. and Europe.
Ages 18+ / “I’ll just close my eyes/Live in my dream” “Out of My Head”
The name Desert Noises—like many of the band’s songs on their debut full-length 27 Ways—came out of a dream that popped into front-man Kyle Henderson’s head while sleeping. “I just woke up and wrote it down on a piece of paper,” says the 24-year-old, who used it for the band he’d first formed with his brother and a friend in the Provo/Orem, Utah, area, after leaving his promising job as a business analyst for a multi-million-dollar skin care company, and a wife, behind.
Joined by fellow twenty-something cohorts in bassist Tyler Osmond (yes, those Osmonds), guitar-shredder Patrick Boyer and drummer Brennan Allen, the foursome set out in a van three years ago and haven’t stopped since. 27 Ways is being released on L.A-based indie label SQE Music.
Recorded in the magical Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, Texas, on the banks of the Rio Grande with producer Nick Jodoin [Black Rebel Motorcycle Club], the album turns those experiences into songs which detail 27 Ways of breaking away from Mormon family and friends to undergo their own mission—touring in a rock ‘n’ roll band.
“We’ve distanced ourselves from the religion,” explains Henderson, “but not the people, nor the community. That’s basically our families and everyone we know.”
Ironically, considering the band’s name, the album opens with the sound of waves crashing on the ocean, incorporating influences in beat-oriented soul and R&B as well as classic psychedelic rock (Led Zeppelin is a big touchstone), often in the same song. Check out the choppy rhythms in the opener, “Grandma Looks,” which shares a name with Tyler’s Tumblr blog, morphing into a lilting Grateful Dead jam. There are also nods to Mumford & Sons-style folk in the marital strife of “Mice in the Kitchen,” as well as acoustic delta blues in Boyer’s slide guitar stylings on the album- (and often live set-) closing gospel plaint, “Dime in My Pocket.” The album sports a pair of set-piece anthems in “Keys on the Table” and the wide-screen “Angels,” with its telling lyric, “I feel the weight of the world in change.” Brendan Allen’s tribal percussion plays a huge role in “Follow You Out,” Osmond’s undulating bass underlines the burning sexual desire of “Shiver,” while Boyer’s rumbling guitars and a big bottom characterize “Run Through the Woods.” With its grinding, acid-rock feel, “Elephant’s Bed” channels both the current (Aussie band Tame Impala) and the past (Neil Young’s Buffalo Springfield stint), with “What the World Made,” a song about hitting rock-bottom, sporting a loping, country-rock vibe not that far removed from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Henderson, whose mom was a piano teacher, didn’t pick up the guitar until he was a high school senior, but he soon made up for lost time, taking off from listening to Zeppelin, Modest Mouse and Bob Dylan to writing and playing his own songs.
“Older music is all we really listen to,” says Henderson. “Those melodies are so simple, but profound, soulful and timeless. And that’s what our music aspires to…to never get old.”
Osmond, who had been performing with his famous family since the age of two, got his first bass at 12, explains that the songs for the new album were all written and road-tested live while the band was on tour.
“This is what we always wanted to do,” Tyler explains. “Find four other dudes willing to work as hard as one another toward the same goal. That’s rare in and of itself, especially when you have to sit in a van together 12 hours a day. But we’re all brothers now.”
“I don’t know how we found each other,” says Henderson of his fellow bandmates. “We knew each other from playing around the area, and then it kind of got out of control from there. We didn’t really choose to be in this band. The band chose us.”
Indeed, there’s a sense of fate and destiny in Desert Noises that comes across in the band’s commitment to keep the flame burning.
“We don’t think too much about the future,” says Henderson about the group’s long-range goals. “You don’t want to disappoint yourself by setting goals you can’t achieve. I think it’s better to just let it flow and take its course.”
The constant roadwork, including high-visibility gigs at the Austin City Limits Festival and LouFest in St.Louis, have led the band to learn more about the outside world, and at the same time appreciate where they came from.
“It gave us great faith in humanity,” says Tyler. “Growing up in Utah, everyone has the same mentality. Seeing how many good people there really are out there has been eye-opening. We sleep on the floors of fans we met that night.”
At the same time, Henderson has learned to co-exist in his own world, returning to his wife, while still being able to follow those dreams that keep coming to him.
“Yeah, there are ‘27 Ways’ to get out of town today,” he jokes. “The hardest part is choosing one of them. There are so many things you can do to get out of bed in the morning…but there are times you just want to stay under the covers all day.”
With the way Desert Noises’ career is progressing, that doesn’t seem to be an option.
“I’d like to be doing this until I’m in my 80s,” laughs Tyler. “To my grave. We all see the potential. It’s fun and it’s good.”
“I want to know what it’s like/to light this thing on fire,” sings Henderson in “Mice in the Kitchen.”
Sure sounds like Desert Noises have done just that on 27 Ways.
Ages 21+ / Since forming the band in 2009, the Dinosaur Truckers have toured extensively all over Europe and gained the reputation of a definite can't miss live band. Whether they play at blazing speed or temporarily slow it down for a somber ballad, they're not the ones to sing about sweet country sunshine but offer up the pure, uncut, unadulterated form – potent and dangerous and not for the faint of heart. Although rooted deep in American music, the Dinosaur Truckers certainly aren't just yet another folk act. This four piece band merges a wide range of styles: From fast-paced bluegrass to country, punk, rockabilly and at times even mariachi impact, they display tremendous breadth of sound and influence and deliver with giant energy.
All Ages / "So what does Mad Anthony play exactly? From its volume and breakneck vigor, it’s Punk, pure and simple, but there is so much more at work here. Vocalist/guitarist Ringo Jones is like Iggy Pop channeling the spirit of Mississippi John Hurt in a Dead Boys tribute, screaming until the veins in his neck stand out like bridge cable under his skin. When Jones and guitarist/vocalist Adam Flaig start trading riffs, there’s a galloping rhythm that suggests Dave Alvin in his seminal Blasters days with a live power line down his trousers. And the rhythm section of power bassist Dave Markey and new drummer Marc Sherlock is thunder personified... If you see the name Mad Anthony on a telephone pole, get the information and get there. It will change you." (MPMF Bio)
Ages 18+ / Pluto Revolts was conceived in early 2008, a time that marked a period of significant reawakening for Cincinnati, Ohio vocalist/songwriter Benjamin James. Up to that point, James spent a decade writing music for his previous 4-piece band, an experience which also afforded him the opportunity to perform as a touring musician in clubs as far away as Japan, and as high-profile as the Warped Tour, before he even graduated high school. But unfortunately, even with an eventual major-label contract (Maverick Records), and a soon-to-follow full-length album with a platinum producer, the path that once seemed so promising was beginning to reveal its pitfalls. James realized the music he'd worked so hard to create for the group was wrought with artistic compromises in the end. Worst of all, the group's final album was destined for release-date-limbo; bound for nothing more than to collect dust on a shelf, because of the same bureaucratic worst-case-scenarios every musician prays will not happen to them. James was understandably frustrated, but not yet prepared to let the failure of that group's journey deter him from his individual dream. He decided to reboot, and funnel the energy into an entirely new project, one that would appeal to the instincts he was previously forced to ignore. This time, he would be equipped with assets most new artists lack: experience, humility, purpose, and a brand new surge of determination. Even down to the name itself signifying “rebirth,” with Pluto Revolts, James set out to shed his proverbial old skin and reveal a rawer, more distinct version of himself.
The result of that initial effort was an entirely self-produced debut EP called Suffer No Delusions, comprised of five songs showcasing a variety of influences from pop to electronic and alternative rock. The eclectic EP included songs such as “Numb” and “Control Freak,” which showcased previously untapped honesty and vulnerability from the songwriter - while the title track, “Suffer No Delusions,” showcased the scope of his vision and the wide landscape of genre-combining styles this project was free to explore. Additionally, the EP was released only weeks after completion, and initially only available as a free download from his website, which at the time, was a stark contrast from the industry-standard “waiting game” he'd just left behind. James' mission in releasing the music in such a manner was to build a stronger, more visceral relationship with his fans.
Fast forward nearly two years and Pluto Revolts' second release, an even broader and more experimental EP simply titled, Collisions, hit iTunes in April 2010. James claims the gap between the two albums can simply be attributed to exploring various other styles of music, and styles of recording. James was unsatisfied with the results of nearly every demo that accumulated between EPs - mostly acoustic songs, and songs recorded with his live band members. So by the Fall of 2009, James scrapped everything and, once again, went back the drawing board. The song titled “Closure” soon emerged, with a more unconventional pop sound, and inspired the production of his first-ever music video, which he also co-directed. Quick to follow were the finishing touches to 5 more songs that accompanied the single and rounded out the EP. By early 2011, remix artists from around the globe – from Texas and Canada, all the way to South Africa, Israel and Europe - had put their own spin on “Closure,” which led to the release of a compilation entitled Feast Your Appetite: The Closure Remixes, as yet another free download via his website/Bandcamp. The music video for "Closure" was also picked up for FUSE Networks "On Demand" music video broadcasting service.
Now armed with a consistent group of players, James has spent the past few years building the strength of Pluto Revolts' live show, to the point where the band is now consistently headlining shows at many of the areas most reputable venues and coveted stages, including The Southgate House and Madison Theater. In 2012, a new single "Lightning" was released online via exclusive partnership with Cincymusic.com, and has since been broadcast on local FM stations WEBN, ClassX, theproject, and the short lived Cincy Rock 94.5. The band has earned the reputation from CincyMusic.com as "one of the most dedicated artists in the Cincinnati music scene", and ended the 2013 concert season with an appearance at Fountain Square for Cincy Beerfest. James has since been hard at work in the studio again, preparing for a release of several singles, and potentially another album in the Summer of 2014. While James isn't sure exactly what musical avenues his songs have yet to explore, he's happy to continue pushing himself and his band-mates to the limits of their abilities, and challenging himself with their upcoming release and live performances. He's committed to constantly learning from his experiences and from the artists that inspire him, and to also bring his fans music that, if nothing else, is a true, unadulterated portrait of himself.
Ages 21+ / Joe’s fingerstyle acoustic guitar playing and vocals transcend genre and style, viscerally connecting with music lovers of widely diverging tastes. His live performance can bring a room full of loud distracted drinkers to a hushed silence, hanging on every note. The music primarily consists of Joe’s own arrangements of traditional American folk songs, with a dose of early rural blues and an occasional dash of Celtic flavor as well. The end product is truly unique.
Joe does not attempt to “authentically” replicate old-time music. Nor does he try to modernize the old songs to make them appeal to contemporary commercial tastes. Rather, after years of absorbing and internalizing traditional folk music, the songs flow out as natural self-expression. The result is an individual artistic statement that injects new life and energy into the folk tradition, keeping the heritage alive and growing.
Ages 18+ / The Blasters exemplify the best traditions of American Music, performing with passion and honesty that for over three decades has won the hearts and souls of fans worldwide. Composed of founding members vocalist-guitarist Phil Alvin, drummer Bill Bateman and bassist John Bazz with Keith Wyatt on guitar, they carry on a hard-won legacy as one of the most recognizable and credible bands in American Music.
Their influences range from the likes of George Jones and Carl Perkins to Ike Turner, Howlin' Wolf, James Brown and Big Joe Turner, all blending into a sound that ignores the lines between Rock & Roll, Country, Blues and Rockabilly.
"Fun On Saturday Night" (Rip Cat Records) is the Blasters' sixth and latest studio album, featuring twelve tracks that extend the band's legacy of classic recordings. Fronted by Phil Alvin's powerful vocals, the band follows through with spontaneity, power and grit that make their live performances into experiences not to be missed.
Ages 21+ / Join us for the honky tonk stylings of Straw Boss from 9 to midnight.
Ages 18+ / “I had an ‘aunt’ my cousins and I thought was a witch,” Ruby the RabbitFoot explains, her South Georgia drawl lagging after a long day at work. “So I think I’m connected to that world. Even though shit seems to always hit the fan, I feel like a lucky charm.”
So explains Ruby’s adopted surname: homage to that taxidermied appendage of some poor carrot-hunter dyed an ungodly shade of pink and attached to a faux gold keychain so young kids in despair can have something to wish upon. The truck stop talisman easily found at any of the many highway oases along the roads that lead Saint Simons Island, Georgia. Ruby grew up there in “a little brick house by the marsh.”
“We were a household of hippies. I was influenced to look to nature for answers. I didn’t grow up Protestant or Catholic or anything like that. I grew up believing in magic and that’s kind of like teaching someone about faith. Accepting that it’s not all up to you.”
Art and music was also in the family. Her grandfather was a singer; a “crooner turned farmer.” The aforementioned ‘aunt’ was a well-to-do erotic novelist. So when Ruby wasn’t building bonfires or raising Dalmatians or exploring Okefenokee Swamp with her cousins and brother, she was singing and painting. Around the age of 13, she picked up a guitar and started writing songs of her own. Five years later, Ruby was under the lights at an open mic night, riding the buzz of performing live. Nevertheless, her visual talents prevailed and she soon found herself in college as an art student. But art school never seemed to fit. Ruby bounced around from college to college, writing and recording at home throughout the whole ordeal.
“Eventually, I decided that I wanted to spend all of my time making music.”
Those songs developed into No Weight, No Chain, an excellent debut of buoyant folk and pop, which Ruby recorded with the help of label mate and fellow Athenian, Nate Nelson. Despite the album’s regional success, she still wasn’t sold on her chosen path.
“Pretty soon I learned that you can’t run from it,” Ruby recalls. “That’s New As Dew; a culmination of songs written during time when I accepted the life of an artist.”
New As Dew is a brilliant addition to the RabbitFoot canon. Humid grooves, glittering guitars, barnacle- sharp piano melodies, and Ruby’s deft turn of phrase make for an intoxicating elixir. One that is undoubtedly inspired by the bohemian trials of Athens, but which also indirectly invokes the swamps and shorelines of her youth. Credit Nelson again for the diverse production. “The Shelf” roars wide-open, while “Infinity” sees Ruby swathed in a quilt of kudzu and Spanish moss. The title track finds her brimming with swagger; talk singing atop a skittering combination of steady rhythm and syncopated guitar riff. “Misery” draws on the calypso-folk of No Weight, No Chain’s ear worm, “Do Me Right.” The soaring coda of “Ring Around” brings it all to a close, cool air whipping through the driver’s side window as Ruby races the sunrise up Prince Avenue.
Don’t be fooled; this RabbitFoot is riding on talent, not luck.
Ages 18+ / Kelley McRae
In the last 2 years and a half years, the Kelley McRae duo has played over 300 shows coast to coast and traveled over 75,000 miles in their VW van. Along the way Kelley encountered the people and places that inspired the songs on her new album, BRIGHTER THAN THE BLUES. Kelley’s brand of heartfelt Americana has found impressive fans: Paste Magazine gave her four stars, and WNYC’s ‘Soundcheck’ named her performance one of the years best. Kelley performs as an acoustic duo with her husband Matt, and they have performed at such venues as The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, The Red Clay Theatre in Atlanta, and The Living Room in NYC. Previously residing in NYC, the duo is currently writing and recording new material in a cabin in the Nantahala Forest of North Carolina.
Kelly Fine and Chris Robinson have been captivating audiences in the Mid-West region for the past three years. Their soaring harmonies have silenced and tamed crowds of varying textures. Focused musicianship shines in every element of their songwriting. Young Heirlooms' name articulates their style and take on their fusioned genre. Young alludes to the modern spin on the traditional sound of folk music. Heirlooms are items or ideologies handed down from generation to generation. Young Heirlooms' music has a sound that is handed down from a bygone era, loved for its history, but remains in a new contemporary setting. A mixture of pop-folk and americana songwriting begin to describe the unique style of Young Heirlooms.
"I love it when I happen upon an unplanned supergem. That occurred at The Know Theatre’s smaller stage, where I wandered in on The Young Heirlooms’ music. From Dayton, singer/songwriter Kelly Fine is fantastic. Backed by mandolin, guitar, horns and bass, this six-piece was effortlessly bleeding out catchy, tight songs that were touching and definitely ear-grabbing. It seemed like they were having a hell of a lot of fun, and the vocals were amazing. No fancy clothes or gimmicks here, just pure talent, and I was absolutely taken with them. They gave the vibe of creative, natural artists who gelled completely. Hey, this Folk Pop symphony of sounds just worked. I would definitely buy the CD." - C.A. MACCONNELL, CityBeat
Ages 21+ / When Ben Daniels decided he was going to be a musician, it was more than a career choice. A natural poet, this young songwriter went to school on Bob Dylan, Robert Johnson, and Jack White, among others. His lyrics speak directly to a younger generation that hears, sees, and thinks about the very things he’s writing. From their opening song to the finale of their set, the Ben Daniels Band cuts through with their originality, musicianship, and a sound that spans Americana, Blues, Jazz, and Rock.
Throughout years of touring, BDB has played notable venues in Michigan such as the The Ark, The Blind Pig, and the Magic Bag, and have toured to New York City, Washington D.C., and Nashville . As a solo artist, Ben has stepped on the stage in Austin, TX at the Cactus Cafe, as well as The Barns at Wolf Trap. The son of actor Jeff Daniels, he has quietly monitored what it takes to live life as an artist. Beyond a passed down talent, the Ben Daniels Band believes in hard work, perseverance, and creatively challenging themselves and their audience.
With Tommy Reifel on bass, George Merkel on guitar, Wesley Fritzemeier on drums and mandolin, and singer/songwriter Amanda Merte on vocals, BDB’s live show never fails to take over the venue. Their songs become anthems with arrangements that pull people inside their sound. With five CDs under their belts – Coming From The C, Checkin’ In To The Michigan Inn, Can’t You See, The Mountain Home EP, the dual album & movie release Old Gold and their most recent release, Roll – the Ben Daniels Band has grown to be a formidable group that sounds pleasantly familiar, yet unforgettably unique.
All Ages / The Legendary Shack Shakers’ hell-for-leather roadshow has earned quite a name for itself with its unique brand of Southern Gothic that is all-at-once irreverent, revisionist, dangerous, and fun. Led by their wildly charismatic, rail-thin frontman/blues-harpist, J.D. Wilkes, the Shack Shakers are a four-man wrecking crew from the South whose explosive interpretations of the blues, punk, rock and country have made fans, critics and legions of potential converts into true believers. With the recent addition of former Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison (Hank III/Tomahawk) and drumming wunderkind, Brett Whitacre, the Legendary Shack Shakers have quickly become known for providing some of the best entertainment (live or otherwise) that you can get for your hard earned money.
Ages 21+ / G.S. Harper, an independent singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born and raised in San Angelo, Texas where he taught himself to play guitar at the age of 12. He began playing live at the age of 14 and everything since then has been what he calls a long and crazy ride. One that's not going to stop any time soon.
For the last 16 years, Harper has called Cleveland, Ohio home. Its gritty, hardworking, rust belt attitude gives depth to his songwriting and has proven to be a good match for his Texas roots.
Harper has played all over the United States, in small corner pubs and major arenas. He performs his original work and works as a freelance guitarist and bassist, working with bands and solo artists, from local independent musicians to national touring artists.
Work on his fourth release, Sixteen Winters, wrapped up this spring. Harper will begin touring in September.
Ages 18+ / About
Chords For Chiari is a benefit concert.
To spread awareness and raise money to support the ongoing research of a largely unknown condition known as Chiari Malformation.
Chiari Malformation is a largely unheard of brain malformation where the
base of the cerebellum extends down into the spinal canal blocking the flow of fluid to the brain. This can cause several symptoms such as extreme chronic headaches, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, and trouble breathing.
Ages 18+ / Michael Moeller is a Singer/Songwriter out of Southwest Ohio. Playing music, writing songs, and most importantly, performing for people is what he does best. He does not sing for fame, he sings for feeling. The songs he writes deal with Life, Love, Loss and everything in between. At 24, with a decade of playing, writing and performing under his belt, the sky is the limit.
All Ages / Circa Survive, the progressive 5-piece rock band from Doylestown, Pennsylvania self-produced their fourth album Violent Waves at Studio 4 in suburban Philadelphia. For the release, the band developed a new method of self-releasing their records, having previously recorded for Equal Vision and Atlantic Records and sold a half-million albums in the process. Circa Survive has always prided themselves on the extraordinary relationship they have with their fans - this new release model allows them to push the self-release paradigm one step further.
"Collectively we've run the gamut from working with really small DIY labels to big indies all the way to a major label," noted guitarist Colin Frangicetto. "The band has learned a ton from each of those experiences and at this point feel confident in our ability to successfully produce, release and promote a record on our own. There's really nothing more satisfying to us then bringing our vision to the world in this way."
Hailed as a remarkably visceral live act since their foundation, Circa Survive began their career with a genre-bending debut in 2005 entitled Juturna. Written and recorded before the band had ever performed a live show together, Juturna showcased the band's raw energy with "Act Appalled," and future-fans were introduced to Circa Survive through glistening tracks "The Great Golden Baby" and "In Fear and Faith."
In 2007, the band followed-up with an acclaimed sophomore album, On Letting Go, which brought the brand into another realm of success. "The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is in the Dose" and "In The Morning and Amazing" highlighted the band's strength as musicians and songwriters and poised them to be one of the most respected bands in rock music.
After nearly two years of non-stop touring with Coheed and Cambria, Thrice, and more including jaw-dropping performances at such varied music festivals as Coachella and Bamboozle, the band needed a much-deserved break.
Emerging after months of writing sessions and major life experiences, Circa Survive teamed with producer David Bottrill (Tool, Muse, King Crimson) and signed with major label Atlantic Records to release Blue Sky Noise in April 2010. The album debuted at #11 on the Billboard Top 200.
Two years later - with no record label or traditional distribution outlet - Violent Waves debuted at #15. Charged with the lead track "Birth of the Economic Hit Man" clocking in at over 7-minutes in length, vocalist Anthony Green proclaims "we've become everything we criticize" shunning the safe and traditional and introducing fans to the next chapter of Circa Survive history. The statement is pretty clear — Circa Survive are showing no signs of slowing down, and with their rabid core fanbase willing to follow them into the unknown... anything is possible.
Circa Survive is: Anthony Green (vocals), Colin Frangicetto (guitar), Brendan Ekstrom (guitar), Nick Beard (bass), Steve Clifford (drums).
All Ages / I moved to Fullerton, California on December 1st, 2012. I moved for many reasons. I was sick of Ohio weather, I was tired of the life I was living, I was sick of bussing tables and ducking the landlord because my rent was way overdue.
The main reason I moved, though, is that I was invited to come live at Burger Records. You can't really pass an invitation like that up.
One night, in December of 2012, I decided to start working on the next Gap Dream record. I had been loosely speaking with Bobby Harlow about possibly recording and producing this record. I have a lot of respect for Bobby, discovering his music in 2010 when Lee from Burger Records came to Cleveland, Ohio on the Burger Caravan of Stars tour. That night, I was introduced to a band Bobby is in called Conspiracy of Owls. This would also be my first introduction to Burger Records. This night would change my life forever.
Like I said, Bobby and I were loosely talking about doing this new Gap Dream album together. Apparently, I had made up my mind that he had no choice and he actually didn't realize this until he heard me say it on an episode of BRGRTV. He called me the next day.
"Send me some demos and we'll record this in a studio!!! You need to sound like you do live!!!," Bobby said on the phone. I sent him some demos, then he said: "These aren't demos!!! Just record like you do and send me the tracks. I'll mix it and we'll produce it together!!! WE NEED TO PRESERVE YOUR SOUND!!!"
I told Lee and Sean that I was going to be working with Bobby. They were stoked. It came up that I needed new equipment though. Sean said, "Whatever you need." He didn't even flinch when the cashier told him the price. Burger has my back.
Bobby liked how I did the drums. They sounded kinda real but had a mechanical aspect. They were sequenced drum samples being played by a heartless computer. I tried very hard to hide them on the first record. I was embarrassed of using a computer to record.
"Sounds like CAN!!!" That's what Bobby said. I like CAN.
The songs started to sound different from the first batch. I'd record them using my old method, but I had a better microphone this time and a better interface for my computer. I didn't have to use the built-in mic on my laptop for the vocals any longer and the new interface allowed me to capture the guitar parts better. I could finally lose the reverb.
"Sounds like Fripp & Eno!!!" That's what Bobby said. I really like Fripp & Eno.
I'd record the songs here at Burger and send them to Bobby over the Internet. They'd come back grittier and stronger. More focused, but also more fucked up. They were darker reflections of themselves. It was like suddenly stumbling upon a version of myself that grew up in an alternate universe. We referred to this process as "putting them in the Pet Sematary."
We were definitely not preserving any sort of previously existing sound. We were making a new sound for Gap Dream. The tempos are faster. The synths are louder. The drum machine is up-front and relentless. The rhythms are full of life, strict, and very apparent. I've wanted to make a record like this my whole life.
"Sounds like fucking Moroder!!!" That's what Bobby said. I love Moroder.
From December of 2012 to April of 2013, I made a new Gap Dream album with Bobby Harlow from The GO and Conspiracy of Owls. I made this album in a dark storage unit that's filled with new and used LPs. I broke a glitter lamp in there once and now there's glitter all over the floor. I still find pieces of glitter on myself periodically. I made this album at Burger Records. The album is titled Shine Your Light. It comes out on Burger Records on 11/12/13. It has a holographic cover with artwork by M. Wartella. I want it to do well.
I hope you can dig. ;)
From his apartment in The Tenderloin, David Speck languidly jams out a soundtrack to the happily half-wasted lives of a San Franciscan generation. Effortlessly stacking his hazy vibes sky high, the debut album What Would You Say? released on Mexican Summer was a glorious mix of post-Cure pop rubbing up against West Coast boogie, surfguitars and Krautrock grooves, all with the intimacy of a house party performance.
Having left Daniel Gottlieb of Altered Zones pondering whether Part Time is "the unintentionally great project of a poster-adoring musician away from the day job", Speck's warm, half-dissolved home production modestly betrays the brilliant song writing evident throughout his record. Sharing the sensibilities and musicianship of the 80s generation that so obviously inspires him, Part Time instead wraps it in something bright, earnest and - well, we don't often say this, but - really sexy.
The angular funk and twang, synth twinkles and keyboard brass, cowbells and relaxed vocals therefore easily become something new and perfectly placed. It's the buzz of local bars full of beautiful, every-day people, steadily getting more drunk and in love as the night slides by. It's karaoke booths and fizzing neon signs, bare legs and denim, cigarettes, Polaroids and spilled beer bottles. But more than anything, it's the blurry memories of the night before and waking up next to someone outrageously hot.
All Ages / S. Carey's chosen musical expression is a hugely beatific, restorative panorama of beauty – perfect given how landscape and the wonder of nature inspire much of Carey's imagery. His new album Range of Light – the follow–up to his 2010 debut All We Grow – takes its title from the name that 19th century naturalist John Muir – Carey's hero – gave to California's Sierra Nevada, and follows suit with a dazzling array of musical light and shade, drawn from Carey's love of jazz, modern classical and Americana. Like a weathered mountain range changing shadow form and color, or the ebb and flow of a river's current, his music is simultaneously restful and rhythmic, complex and simple, and always evolving.
"My music has specific connections to nature and place, my surroundings, and my experiences," says Carey. "I travelled the Sierra Nevada area many times as a boy, fishing small mountain streams, hiking to the top of 'half dome', exploring the Redwood groves at Wawona, in awe of the Yosemite Valley. The term, 'Range of Light', to me, denotes the spectrum of light and dark a person can have in their life – peaks and valleys of happiness, sorrow, challenges and growth – for me most recently and more specifically: marriage, having a baby, and maintaining a spiritual connection to nature, place, friends and family as an adult."
While he studied classical percussion and piano at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire, Carey imbibed rhythmic minimalists such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Immediately after graduating in 2007, he caught wind that Eau Claire resident Justin Vernon was forming a band to take his For Emma, Forever Ago opus on the road. Carey learnt the drum and vocal parts for the album, rehearsed with Vernon, and has been a mainstay of the Bon Iver live band ever since.
While on tour with Bon Iver, Carey developed his own song writing ambitions, and after many less than frequent recording sessions between tours, released All We Grow in 2010. Those nine songs sat between a folk/modern classical hybrid and rarefied jazz climes. Carey's warm melodic nuances, reflected in the lush folds of his singing, added to the mutable percussive syncopations of his instrumentation.
Range of Light incorporates elements of his previous work, but also amplifies Carey's percussive proclivities, and is altogether more developed than its predecessors, with more input on the performance and even composition side from the band of musicians and best friends he assembled originally to bring All We Grow to life in the live setting. "There were times during recording sessions when there were three percussionists, all with different styles and fortes, playing at once, adding different textures."
From the flurry of violins over a circular rhythm in 'Crown The Pines' and the beautiful cries of 'Alpenglow', to the pensive depths of songs like 'Fire–scene' and 'The Dome', Range of Light is a still life of an artist in this particular stage of his life; a stage that has been met with the highest of peaks and the lowest of depths all within the range each of us treads through.
There are many kind of stitches: seams to secure sleeves into armholes... sutures closing wounds and deep incisions... loops or crosses of embroidery floss... a sudden pain in the side. Stitches, the new album from Califone, touches on all these definitions, its episodes of discomfort and healing rendered with exquisite beauty and craftsmanship.
Intimate timbres—garage sale drum machines, slack guitar strings, hushed vocals—offset the album's cinematic inclinations. The listener moves through a landscape of Old Testament blood and guts, spaghetti Western deserts and Southwestern horizons, zeroing in on emotions and images that cannot be glanced over. Motes of dust dance briefly in afternoon sunlight.
"This is the only record I've made in my life where none of the work was done in Chicago," says Califone's Tim Rutili. The writing and recording began in Southern California, then continued in Arizona and Texas. "Those dry landscapes and beaches and hills and shopping malls all made it into the music," he acknowledges. Uniquely homespun elements are interwoven into the songs, too, including sounds Rutili recorded in his backyard during rainfall and while driving in his car.
Brass, pedal steel, and strings color in the edges and outlines songs like "Frosted Tips," "We Are A Payphone," "Moonbath.brainsalt.a.holy.fool" and "Moses," yet Stitches is no Ennio Morricone-meets-Cecil B. DeMille pastiche. Gritty electronics, the mesmerizing thrumming of tablas, and eerie keyboards also pepper these ten new selections. A cartographer could spend lifetimes mapping the terrain of Stitches.
Archetypes and mythological figures rub shoulders with bruised civilians throughout this odyssey. Though Rutili is not a religious man, episodes from the Bible in particular kept entering his psyche as he wrote. "I'm fascinated with why some stories and characters resonate and last for thousands of years, and are so easily transposed onto all our lives and rites of passage, no matter how absurd or surreal they are."
Rutili has not been idle in the years since the release of Califone's critically acclaimed 2009 album All of My Friends Are Funeral Singers. He wrote scripts and painted and collaborated on the music for several films, including the score for the 2012 documentary Beauty Is Embarrassing and the Starz TV series BOSS. He lost a few band members and stopped all Califone activity for about a year. "Then one day I woke up and started writing songs again."
At first he churned out a lot of songs that didn't make the cut. He kept moving. The larger themes that would eventually reach fruition on Stitches began to emerge. "During this process, I started to really look at myself and find a clearer, more honest voice," he reveals. "I forced myself to write as much as possible. I allowed myself to be crabby and vulnerable as much as I could stand it... and slowly the songs got better."
Eventually Rutili commenced recording with Griffin Rodriguez in Los Angeles, Michael Krassner in Phoenix, and Craig Ross in Austin, along with a raft of guest musicians. "We treated each song as its own particular planet. Bringing in different people and recording in different places helped bring some tension to the whole thing. I wanted this to be a more schizophrenic record, stitching together conflicting textures and feels." Rutili's old Red Red Meat colleague Tim Hurley stayed with him for a few months and they recorded together for the first time since Califone's eponymous 1998 debut EP.
In some regards, Stitches harks back to those earliest days of Califone. There was more home recording, and musicians came and went as the songs dictated. "It was a much more solitary process, and that freed me up to feel less self-conscious about singing and writing more personal lyrics." Yet the ultimate outcome sounds like the work of an artist reborn. "I tried to keep the songs visual and poetic, but it was more important to allow myself to feel and be vulnerable and not hide in the music," Rutili says. "Instead of writing from my balls and brain, this time I wrote from the nerves, skin, and heart."
Stitches—the word and the album—can mean different things to many people. Your own interpretations are welcomed and encouraged.
All Ages / Some day in the not too distant future, America will dip its corners deeper into the ocean, the waves ever grinding at its shores as tectonic plates shift and sink. The effect of melting icecaps on the beaches of her native Long Island is one of the triggers for Laura Stevenson’s worrying mind, as she struggles with the overwhelming notions of an infinite universe and the imminence of her own death. Obsessive musings on these subjects has led her to describe herself as an “unfunny Woody Allen,” though friends and fans might disagree, finding plenty of humor in her introspective and self-deprecating nature. The repetition of these existential questions is the driving force behind Wheel, an album brimming with life and death in the desperate search for what keeps us turning in the face of doubt, an exercise in coming to terms with the overwhelming beauty that can be found in the lack of an answer.
Laura Stevenson was born and raised on Long Island into a family of mariners and music makers. She spent many of her younger days on the sugar barges of NY harbor with her father and uncles, who all made their living on the water, at one time running one of the largest fleets on the Hudson. Meanwhile, her mother’s parents were successful musicians; Harry Simeone, the composer and choral arranger responsible for such works as “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and Margaret McCravy (stage name McCrae), a singer from South Carolina who got her start accompanying her elder siblings “The McCravy Brothers,” a harmonious gospel folk duo, before continuing on her own to record and tour with bandleader Benny Goodman. Armed with her grandfather’s love for modernist dissonance, a genetic predisposition for harmony, and with her sea legs firmly planted in the traditions of American folk singing, Stevenson began creating melodies at a very young age. “My mom would find me in my room, looking out the window, out at the street, singing by myself, sometimes crying,” she laughs, “I was a weird kid.”
At around five Stevenson began playing piano by ear, and at that point her mother decided lessons were a sound investment for the young musician. In High School between going to punk shows every weekend, she spent her afternoons singing in four different choral groups, exploring a growing love for acapella. “Big time nerd stuff,” as she recalls, lamenting that there wasn’t a show like Glee around to validate her when she was in the thick of it. Hundreds of hours of extra-curricular singing combined with a natural talent has no doubt paid dividends when it comes to Stevenson’s powerful vocals. The confidence and precision with which she unabashedly sings out on record and on stage stands in sharp contrast with the reflective uncertainty and isolation that comes through in her lyrics.
Laura Stevenson - Look
Though Stevenson began writing classically on piano early on, it wasn’t until her late teens that she taught herself how to fingerpick the guitar, aspiring to have the quickness and intricacy of her “guitar god,” Dolly Parton. The new instrument opened up a window of creativity and Stevenson soon began writing songs heavily influenced by the writers her father had raised her on, such as Neil Young, Gram Parsons, and Carole King, while also drawing inspiration from music that she discovered on her own like Leonard Cohen, and Jeff Mangum. Meanwhile, leaving her comfort zone, Stevenson started playing in friends’ bands in and around Long Island, a time that she says, “taught me how to be on tour, how to give and take with other musicians, and not be afraid of my own ideas.” With a new found confidence and a solid and supportive community of creative people behind her, Stevenson moved to Brooklyn in her early 20s and soon started performing her own material, loosely assembling a backing band of friends from other projects. In 2010, she released her bare-bones full-length debut simply entitled, A Record, which she quickly followed the year after with Sit Resist, the first solid document of her work playing with a full band. Those two albums and a healthy amount of touring brought Stevenson a dedicated fan base, drawn to her voice, her words, and her relatable down-to-earth persona.
While writing the 13 songs that make-up her newest record, Wheel, Stevenson sought to understand her place within the frame of time, nature, and among those that she loves. With her words, a careful twine of prose and humor, Stevenson manages to expose the nagging contradictions that make life so terrifying but also so worth living, how it is possible to simultaneously feel both fear and joy, the bitter aftertaste of something so beautiful it makes you sick. Themes of passage, the cycle of the moon, the seasons, and love’s ever-shifting states of dependence, are all interwoven throughout Wheel as songs ebb and flow from her band’s crashing walls of distortion and pounding drums, to sweet string-led overtures, to moments where it is just Stevenson and a guitar.
In recording Wheel, Stevenson decided to up the production value, steering away from the lo-fi approach of her previous two albums. Forcing herself to fully give-in to the recording process, and relinquish some of creative control she enlisted producer, Kevin McMahon, someone whose work she respected immensely and who would, as she put it, “be the perfect set of ears for these songs.” She also brought in Rob Moose on violin and Kelly Pratt to play brass, adding their own layers of depth to the band’s full arrangements. Despite the move to sleeker production, Wheel retains its organic nature, relying primarily on the resonance of acoustic instruments and the electricity of simply over-driven amplifiers, with its most synthetic moment coming from a Roland organ, an unconscious decision that Stevenson explains as her and her band’s way of “being real, relying on each other’s energy to keep time and just playing the songs like human beings, flaws and all.”
Ages 21+ / Mr. the Kid is a collective of musicians committed to celebrating the freedom and art of making music together. Formed in Bellevue, KY in the summer of 2007, the trio of Mike Swain (drums), Shane McMullen (bass), and Jon Divita (keys) distilled a unique sound from a ridiculously wide range of musical backgrounds and tastes. After early experiments with adding a guitarist and gigging with various guest horn players, the group expanded in early 2011 with the addition of Rob Mulhauser on trumpet (acoustic and electric) and flugelhorn.
Considering the voracious musical appetites of the band members it’s no surprise that Mr. the Kid’s music is a varied affair. Relatively straightforward funk and jazz is broken up by hard-edged progressive rock, wild flights of improvisation, reggae, Latin, psychedelic rock, afro-beat, and atmospheric noise. The result is a visceral sound that entertains, challenges, and surprises in equal abundance.
Ages 21+ / All Proceeds Go To One Way Farm Childrens Home.
Hosted by: The Cincinnati Beard Barons.
Be There And Have Hair
Ages 18+ / After nearly a decade of supporting some of Canada’s most talented artists, from Deric Ruttan to Imaginary Cities, the Landreth brothers are finally embarking on a project uniquely their own. “We’re finally at a place and a time where we feel like we can contribute something of value that’s going to stand up with the great music that our peers are making.” says Dave. Joey contributes: “After watching these incredibly talented artists that we work with bleed and sweat into their music you can’t help but start to covet that sense of ownership and creation. We wanted to make something that is ours.” They are currently in pre-production for their debut album as The Bros. Landreth, scheduled to be released in February of 2013. Murray Pulver (2009 CCMA producer of the year, Tara Oram, Doc Walker, Crash Test Dummies) will be producing the inaugural release to be recorded at Unity Gain Studios in Manitoba. 2013 will be a big year for the brothers as they re-introduce themselves as a cohesive unit to the music scene that they already know so well.
Born to a musical family, both sons took to the craft early and quickly. Joey played the guitar before he could speak and Dave experimented with every instrument in the house before eventually settling comfortably on his Dad’s old bass guitar. Their father, much respected songwriter and side-man, Wallace Landreth, was an institution in his own right in the Winnipeg music scene where the boys were raised and began to pay their own dues. Wally toured the continent as a musician and developed a wealth of experience that he would pass on to his two young sons. Almost prophetically, Joey in his early teenage years followed in his father’s footsteps as a working freelance musician. He was touring across the country and playing nightclubs while he was still finishing high school. In no time Joey quickly amassed a star-studded resumé. He has since toured and recorded with One More Girl, The Wyrd Sisters, Dallas Smith, Deric Ruttan, Steve Bell, and most recently with Juno and CCMA winners, Doc Walker. Meanwhile, his older brother Dave took a similar approach and set to work developing a reputation for his simple and solid bass playing. He’s extensively toured North America, Europe, and Australia with such Canadian talent as Romi Mayes, Chris Carmichael, “Big Dave” McLean, Ridley Bent, and currently is the bass player for indie-pop group, Imaginary Cities. To complete the band The Bros. have called on drummer and long-time musical cohort: Ryan “Rhino” Voth. A child-hood friend, he’s grown up playing and working with both Landreths, together and separate, in an innumerable combination of musical outings. Some of his most notable credits as a side man include Del Barber, Daniel ROA, Oh My Darling, The New Lightweights, and Fred Penner.
All three hail from the sprawling southern Manitoba prairies and they are fiercely proud to call Winnipeg home. “We’re at the epicenter of this great artistic hub, smack dab in the middle of the coldest place in the known universe.” Dave playfully exaggerates. “We have to write and play just to stay warm half the year... It becomes a creative incubator – a survival technique!” The end result of these exercises in self-preservation are The Bros. Landreth’s songs. They are alt-country road maps that are sometimes auto-biographical – hinting at the fallout of a life as a touring musician, and occasionally fictional – exploring melancholy themes of love gone bad, love gone worse, and the repercussions of being smitten with a stripper. Their record offers a wide variety of music. “Greenhouse” is a dark ballad sung from the perspective of a suicide victim that offers a hint of hope for the lover that was left behind. “Can’t Help Myself” contrasts the serious tone as a playful and catchy shuffle. It showcases the band’s ferocious musicianship, deep pocket, and puts a special emphasis on Joey’s uniquely expressive guitar playing. He describes the character that the poppy, harmony-laden “Tappin’ on the Glass” is inspired by: “Do you remember Looney Tunes? There was that character, Elmyra? She was always harassing her pet fish, constantly tapping on it’s bowl saying ‘Hello little fishy!’ Well, that song is about the fish…” Another track – and a nod to the archetypes of country music – “Runaway Train” serves as a cautionary tale, warning would-be suitors of the dangers of falling for the protagonist.
Ultimately, the tapestry of diverse influence that makes up their musical pedigree never stands in the way of the most important element:
Their songs speak for themselves.
They unravel unselfconsciously, like an old sweater. Worn in, not worn out.
The Bros. Landreth will be out on the road in 2013, investing their own blood and sweat in support of their much anticipated first release.
Ages 18+ / Bio by: Tres Shannon, Capricorn - Voodoo Doughnuts / X-Ray Cafe (Portland, OR)
Just seeing how this works and it;s GREAT. I love exclamation points, and this wonderful OLYMPIA typewriter does not have one, I know that Im gunna be using plenty of EXCLAMATION to describe a groovy little band outta Portland, called THE DANDY WARHOLS! (i found it)
Anyway, I was first aware of the DANDIES round 1993 or 4. It was a a heady time then, GRunge was breaking bad, I was booking an all ages club called the X-Ray cafe, and pretty much at the end of my rope when it came to booking "an alternative" band. You mean bass, drums, guitar…verse, chorus, verse, chorus? whoo hoo… It was just becoming kinda a sausage, unsexy, loud, macho boy, aggressive kind of scene/sound there, for a bit. Not to say that there weren8t some great loud unsexy bands that I enjoyed or booked but you get the picture…
So I heard about Courtney Taylor's new band called THE DANDY WARHOLS. I heard that they had that youngster/cutie pie, Zia in it who was just about ready to start hustlin' cigarettes for camel. For me at least, this mysterious guitar fellow, Pete (where did he come from, anyway?) I also knew Eric their original drummer from various nights on the town. I heard of these folks b4 I'd "heard" them… Nakedness, fucking, drugs, bike rides, motorcycle rides, cult like, were they associated with that Partridge Family Manson thing that was around then? who knew? I just know they were talked about with the sort of "you had to be there, oh my god! One long jam, Zia took her shirt off! oh my god!" kind of way.
I got to know Courtney a bit better over the late 90's and early oughts. Still so cool and being able to back THAT up, with whatever that means.
You either get it or you don't. Courtney GETS IT! I really did and still do love just sitting and listening to him talk about his band, the scene, art, wine, famous people, not famous people, my mom, really anything. I always think that you gotta bring THE WHOLE SHAKER of salt when you belly up to Courtney, but it's always been fascinating and enlightening.
They were making the scene round PORTLAND, but became INTERNATIONAL stars after someone across the pond had the foresight to use their music for commercials, films, jingles and whatever else happened. You just catch lightning in a bottle sometime (don't I know it) and you just ride that wave or lighting or whatever. Try not to question it too much and hope you are equipped to handle it. Fortunately for the WORLD The DANDY WARHOLS were equipped to handle that with grace, style, a bit of humility (not too much of that though, Rockstars shouldn't be too humble) but never losing touch with their friends back home.
We loved to hear the tales of the festivals and the people that they met. David Bowie, Keith Richards, Parker Posey, John Taylor, shit, I don't know all the famous people thy have met, befriended, or collaborated with, but it's an impressive list. I mean, I got to go to the PLAYBOY MANSION with them to watch them play a pro pot party. To be able to to witness in person, how smooth and effortless they looked and sounded on the red carpet. They were fantastic! Zia, in particular, speaking to Danish television about how important it is to be a great mother and still being able to take cannabis in a fun responsible manner, without it coming off like a stoned mom. She was so elegant and perfect. I love Zia!
I just got done listening to THE DANDY WARHOLS first LIVE Album EVER! It's titled [13 Tales From Urban Bohemia] LIVE at the Wonder Ballroom. The driver of the car was particularly impressed on how it sounds like a LIVE record, which is GREAT, but then we discussed how some live records sound shitty but are awesome and classic live albums. The Stones' "Liver Than You'll Ever Be", The Kinks' "Live 65" and to an extent The Kinks' "One For The Road" is. TONS of crowd, barely any instruments or vocals coming strong but screaming more than singing. Hi pitched or just some assorted screams and sing-alongs.
I really liked how The Dandies didn't restyle the record. It's a slow creeper classic of early ought tunes. Don't fuck with it, and they didn't. I like the stony songs better on the Live record, and the rockers just sound great. I love how Courtney draws out "Horse Sized Piiiiiiils" Have fun getting reacquainted with a classic.
I am in Denver, Colorado as I type this and got down with some nice legalities while being driven around a rental car. It's been on low, medium and high volume. It's soothing, sing alongy, and just weird. It8s a fun record….end
Anyway back to my lil' buddies The Dandy Warhols, the people…
Fuckin' FATHEAD! That guy! Talk about a fellow that he and I get along with one another. Something about the two of us together, and hilarity can and will breakout. How cool is it that Courtney recruits the best singing beautiful haired grooviest drummer ever. AND they are RELATED!!?! THAT was a great move. Like getting Jabbar from the Bucks to the Lakers! What can you say? The people love him. He is one talented muthafucka. Nice move Mr. Taylor that was a good move……
Anyway, I just got a text from the reigning Spelling Bee champ in Portland, Zia McCabe, wondering if I was chicken or Veggie for the dinner (i'm her date) I chose chicken and am pleased to have the champion on my arm! (or I'm on HER arm, shit these are crazy times) I guess knowing and listening to The Dandy Warhols is just THAT… always knowing ya got best, smartest, prettiest, funny, sexy, stoniest, friendly, and everybody wants to be around girl/boy on your arm, on the red carpet, getting your picture taken, and know that your entrance and exit will be perfect! Well done, Dandies! I'm so glad to know you, listen to your music, and knowing full well that wonderful circle you have made. (I love circles) No more bohemia, bohemia now…you dig? Oh yeah, I loved their appearance on Regis a few years ago… Smoke it! Youtube THAT SHIT.
- TRES SHANNON, CAPRICORN - Voodoo Doughnuts / X-Ray Café
- Tres booked the Dandys first live show. January 27th 1994 at the X-Ray cafe portland, OR.
Typed in Denver, Colorado 1/15, 2014
I would like to thank Damon and whoever lent me their OLYMPIC typewriter on such short notice. Thank you. 2 phone calls and a typewriter was delivered to me. How cool! DANDIES RULE OK.
Ages 18+ / Sundy Best crafts music that re-imagines timeless classic rock of the ‘70s and ‘80s – think the Eagles and the smart, whiskey-voiced lyrics of Tom Petty and Bob Seger. With Nick on guitar and Kris on cajon, Sundy Best takes that sound, modernizes it in their own unique way by borrowing hints of country and bluegrass, to make it personal. Offstage, the pair are lifelong friends, college athletes and dog-lovers; onstage the musical duo delivers something wholly fresh and original, blending their best influences with personal music histories.
“We set out to do this,” says Kris. “We write our songs, play and sing; it’s what we’ve done, it’s what we’ll do. We want to create something that will stand the test of time, like Seger or the Eagles. We don’t really have a standard genre. If people want to call us country, let them. But with Bring Up the Sun, you’ll get a really good sense of what we’re doing in our style of country music, and it’s got ‘70s classic rock sounds, with a little pop, rock, and bluegrass.”
Sundy Best began as a high energy Lexington, Kentucky bar act. As kids coming up together in Eastern Kentucky, they played music in church and formed their own band in high school.
“Growing up, my earliest memories are of my dad playing and singing, and listening to records with him,” says Kris. He played drums along with Dad, and the cajon remains his instrument – part of what gives Sundy Best its distinctive sound. All songs on Bring Up The Sun were recorded using cajon, no drums or cymbals.
Nick recalls his mom playing piano. By first grade, he took piano lessons too, though practicing wasn’t his thing. “I remember my whole family played bluegrass at the holidays. I was shy growing up; I didn’t try to sing much.” Eventually, guitar became his love.
Both athletes, Nick headed to Pikeville College for football, while Kris played basketball at Centre College in Danville.
English major Kris read Twain and Melville when not on the basketball court; Nick started strumming guitar in bars. When his favorite football coach, a fellow musician, left the school, he gave Nick a parting gift – a real passion for live music.
“He introduced me to the bar and pool hall scene in Johnson City. The musicians I met inspired me, I found myself writing music. My life took a new direction.” He’d play football on a Saturday afternoon, then head to an off-campus bar and play for four more hours.
After college, Nick contacted his old friend Kris about buying some drums. He didn’t have any to sell, but Kris offered to come play drums with Nick and another musician. They jammed all night, revived a friendship and drank a few cold ones; the next evening they played their first gig.
In August 2010, Nick moved to Lexington with Kris. The pair played patios while working for the cable company.
November 2010 brought a life-changing performance at Redmon’s, the Lexington live music bar venue. There they coined the name “Sundy Best,” honed their performance skills and wrote music, as their incredibly enthusiastic fan base began to materialize.
In the three years since, they’ve grown powerfully, defining their sound with solid lyrics and the powerful beats of throwback ‘70s rock influence. Now Sundy Best has a dedicated grassroots following from Lexington to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and beyond.
In just a few short years, the long time friends have sold thousands of their self-released debut Door Without A Screen, which included a late 2013 re-release that pulled down nearly 5000 tracks in one week, played over 150 dates a year, have thousands of social media friends and have started the “kinfolk movement.” A movement that swiftly became the moniker for the growing number of fans that have amassed over the past several years. “Our fan base is solid and growing daily. They are part of our family and that is how we want it to be,” says Sundy Best.
They take pride in their original material. “I think we’re going to make the best music we possibly can, genuine music from where the heart is, and see where we go from there,” says Kris. “We’re childhood friends, we grew up together making music, we still do it, and, you know, we’re pretty down to earth.”
“Everything we’ve written is a true story,” adds Nick. “We are who we say we are. Our music is the real thing; it’s autobiography. We’re not trying to fit into a category or write the generic pickups-and-sweet-tea songs. Our music is real, it’s honest, and we’re trying to make something that’s relevant and influence others. “
Ages 21+ / Led by the sultry vocals of Rachael Yanni and cerebral songwriting of Cody Hall, Traveling Broke and Out of Gas gives their audience a meaningful and sometimes surreal experience that reportedly leaves the listener inspired, excited, surprised, and sometimes just downright perplexed, but almost always wanting more
Originally formed as a husband and wife duo that traveled the country playing for strangers on street corners, living rooms, and campfires, Traveling Broke and Out of Gas, now with four band members, has an ever changing folk/blues/rock/country style and sound that has been appropriately labeled 'Bastard Americana'. As a touring band, Traveling Broke keeps the attention of their fans with a wide variety of original songs filled with instrumental diversity and lyrical magic. During a live performance you will see band members trade instruments or pick up a new one in the middle of the set; it all becomes part of the show. In February 2013, Rachael and Cody welcomed a baby boy, Thomas, who has been enjoying the excitement of the road since 5 months of age.
With dozens of original songs, three full length albums, and national and regional tours under their belt, Traveling Broke and Out of Gas is not slowing down anytime soon. Look out for them in your town, because they are coming; be it in a coffee house, dive bar, stadium, concert hall, or street corner.
Traveling Broke and Out of Gas hits the road for three months in February 2014 with baby Thomas in tow, and a tour bus which has been newly converted from a school bus and is fueled by used veggie oil. Dubbed "Cry Baby Tour 2014", the tour will take the band down South and out West.
Ages 18+ / THE MIDWESTERN HELL RIDE PRESENTS: Jughead's 60th Birthday Bash
SS-20 (JUGHEADS 60th B-Day & the return of Pete Sturdevant)
New Regrets (fettering Ed Pittman of Toxic Reasons)
Ages 18+ / "Simo's new self-titled full-length is such a glorious piece of rocking blues in the tradition of Hendrix, Michael Bloomfield and other guitar-crazy heroes of the distant past." - Edd Hurt
They say that rock is dead. Fans lament the loss of breath-taking musicianship and a sound that explodes with heart and soul. Fortunately, there is a beacon of light that can be found in the burgeoning Nashville rock scene and that is the band SIMO. SIMO is rooted in the blues-rock power trios of the late '60s and their undeniable talent and swagger will lead rock into the next decade and beyond. The three young men of SIMO fuse the improvisational brilliance of jazz, the gritty power of rock, and the soulfulness of blues to create a transcendent live experience. Their set lists, songs, and solos change every night and there is an energy in the air that keeps the audience wondering, "What's going to happen next?"
During the past three years, the band has built a name for itself on the touring circuit by performing at music festivals including Mountain Jam, Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, and Bonnaroo. The audiences that have been lucky enough to see SIMO play live have been mesmerized by their technical ability and song crafting prowess that pays tribute to so many of the band's musical influences.
SIMO is virtuoso guitarist J.D. Simo, Frank Swart on bass, and Adam Abrashoff on drums. Born in the shadow of Wrigley Field, J.D. took up the guitar at an early age and obsessively studied the recorded works of his musical forefathers. Realizing at age 15 that music would be his life, he dropped out of school, hit the road, and has never looked back. His journey led him to Nashville where, in a desperate attempt to pay rent and eat, he gathered up his guitar and headed down to Lower Broadway. Playing for tips on the street, he eventually caught the eye of Don Kelley of the renowned Don Kelley Band at Robert's Western World. Linking up with Kelley and cranking out country-western classics for the honky tonk crowd, J.D. routinely dropped jaws as he unleashed his blues-soaked take on the country favorites. It didn't take long until his name was on the lips of every discerning music aficionado in town.
Boston native Frank Swart has an impressive list of credits as a bassist, producer, and co-writer for artists like Morphine, Patty Griffin, and Norah Jones. Born and bred in Akron, OH, drummer Adam Abrashoff began his musical journey playing with noted Akron blues musicians Dan Auerbach, Pat Sweany, and Mike Lenz. Thereafter, he moved to Nashville and has built a rock solid reputation as a session player. Together, these three master musicians conjure a sorcerous sound that assaults your senses in the best way possible and always leaves you wanting more.
Shaking off the demise of CDs, SIMO harkens back to the days when bands built followings not online, but night after night, show after show, on stage. And one thing is for certain...after you see SIMO live you will want to see them again (and again), and will frantically check your local listings to see when they're coming back to your town.
Ages 21+ / Royal Holland is a singer-songwriter from Cincinnati, Ohio, playing original indie synth-folk songs about love and loss since early 2014. He’s desperate to create elaborate, visceral, truthful musical stories in every new song. He wants us all to feel beautiful and free.
"One of the best rock lyricists in town" - Mike Breen, CityBeat
"Has a manifest talent for crafting memorable riffs" - Joe Hemmerling, Tiny Mix Tapes
"There's simply not a bad song in the bunch" - Nick Hill, Seeing Other People
All Ages / Atlanta’s favorite sons Black Lips have announced the impending release of their first full length in three years, Underneath the Rainbow, March 18th on longtime label Vice Records. Recorded at a variety of locations over the course of 2013, the twelve songs boast a stable of studio collaborators whose pedigree speaks to how much the band has grown and sonically matured over the course of their 15 year long career. After letters to incarcerated studio legend Phil Spector to produce went unanswered the band convened at Dunham Studios in New York to record initial tracks with Dap Kingsmusic director Tommy Brenneck (Cee Lo, Charles Bradley). The group then decamped to Nashville to record several songs with Patrick Carney of The Black Keys producing, finally rounding out the album with a couple of songs co-produced with lifetime Lips recording collaborator, Ed Rawls. The resultant collection was mixed by Grammy winner Jimmy Douglass (Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Björk) and features artwork shot by legendary photographer
Mick Rock (David Bowie, Queen, Lou Reed).
Since the release of 2011’s Arabia Mountain, which landed Black Lips on the cover of SPIN among many other distinctions, the band have been a live fixture worldwide, including festival appearances at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Primavera, All Tomorrows Parties, Austin City Limits, as well as positioning themselves as international music diplomats via tours in Thailand, Turkey, Australia, and a highly ambitious, ground-breaking tour of the Middle East (which was the subject of an NPR All Things Considered piece as well as a feature length documentary Kids Like You & Me). Additionally the band is currently collaborating with French brand APRIL77 on a line of denim jackets set to launch Spring of 2014, and have interesting plans involving fragrances in the works. The tour schedule for the new album will be characteristically extensive. Full dates to be announced soon.
Ages 18+ / At seven lines and a tight 19 words, the definitive Slaid Cleaves bio — written with humble but poetic economy by the artist himself — neatly sums up everything you really need to know about the man:
Slaid Cleaves. Grew up in Maine. Lives in Texas. Writes songs. Makes Records. Travels around. Tries to be good.
Granted, there's a whole lot of story and details that can be shoehorned in there to pad and flesh it out. This year's bounty comes baring the admittedly foreboding title of Everything You Love Will be Taken Away, but fans of the Austin-based singer-songwriter needn't fear: Everything you love about the man's singular voice and music is still very much . There's been some notable changes made, all in the name of artistic growth, but rest assured: all that living, writing songs, making records, traveling around and trying to be good has, par for his course, made Slaid Cleaves even better.
All Ages / The use of video and camera equipment, including cell phones, is strictly prohibited at this show.
An Evening with TERRY BOZZIO
North American Tour 2014
Drum legend Terry Bozzio presents a solo musical performance on the world´s largest tuned drum and percussion set
Terry Bozzio celebrates the 50th anniversary of his first drum lesson with "An Evening With Terry Bozzio" coast-to-coast North American tour. During the course of this tour, Terry Bozzio will hit over 40 cities from San Diego to Jacksonville to Montreal to Vancouver to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. This will be a night of solo drumming and include compositions from throughout his career, as well as improvisation. It is by no means a clinic or a workshop. Enjoy an intimate evening of Terry Bozzio and his monster sculpture of a drum kit together for the first time in seated venues across North America.
TERRY BOZZIO - An Evening of Solo Drum Music
"TERRY BOZZIO - An Evening of Solo Drum Music" is a unique, intense, dynamic, spiritualistic, melodic, orchestral, atmospheric, and musical performance on the largest tuned drum & percussion set in the world. Unless you have seen Terry, you have no idea what you are in for. Bozzio is an enigmatic, evocative, and engaging musician whose instrument just happens to be the drums. Terry Bozzio is able to accompany himself with bass note patterns and, at the same time, melodically solo on top with highly developed coordination skills to express a complete musical statement on the drum set alone. Drawing from jazz, classical, & ethnic percussion styles from around the world, Terry Bozzio is "a storyteller," able to weave a hypnotic spell over audiences and enthrall them with an eclectic experience filled with contrast, variety, intimacy, excitement, & passion.
Terry has had tremendous success with his last two Terry Bozzio solo drum performance tours in Europe (2012 included his headline show a the Jazz Festival Frankfurt – the oldest jazz festival in the world – and 2013 which included sold out performances in Sweden, Germany, Eastern Europe, and France). Please note that this is not a bombastic 2 hour drum solo. This is MUSIC on drums, “an evening with Terry Bozzio.” In most of Bozzio’s works, he accompanies himself with bass lines while soloing over it melodically on the tuned toms. There is space, classical forms & structures, ambient electronic loops, and atmospheric percussion effects, as well as some exciting & fiery drumming that brings audiences to their feet!
Terry Bozzio Biography: http://terrybozzio.com/biography/
Ages 18+ / http://www.reverbnation.com/andrataylor http://www.reverbnation.com/natedodge Promoting their 2014 Fall Record Releases Andra Taylor and Nate Dodge are singer/songwriters from Philadelphia, PA. In 2012 they sold everything and set out on tour. Taylor and Dodge form a fiery and energetic duo, merging her Indie/Americana with his Progressive/Alternative and collaborating on each other's tunes. Touring the country with Taylor's beloved dog, Snoop, you can catch Andra Taylor & Nate Dodge, coming soon to a town near you!
WolfCryer is the adopted moniker of singer/songwriter Matt Baumann (born in St. Louis Missouri). A former classical and jazz musician, Matt quit 20 years of playing the saxophone to teach himself the 4-string (so-called plectrum) banjo and start again as a folk musician. WolfCryer is a one-man show on banjo, vocals, harmonica, and guitar; he writes his own personal, often very dark songs. His first self-titled E.P was recorded during the summer months of 2011 and was released in June of 2012.
Jeff "JCK" Klemm is musician/producer based out of Northeast Ohio best known for his work as MAID MYRIAD's frontman and guitarist in the now defunct VIA LOTUS. He has performed his music all over the country many times over embarking on several national tours. Implementing DIY ethics and attitude from growing up in the Akron, OH punk scene, he handles all of the booking, recording and promotion for his projects.
Ages 21+ / Their lyrics fall on the ear as gently as a snowflake upon a frozen river, yet their sound impales your sole and takes control of you body. The banjo tings, Dobro twangs, the guitar takes the lead, the fiddle sings a lullaby and all while the mandolin and standup bass keep expert time. One could label the Hocking River String Band as bluegrass, with standard song structures and break formats, and could easily guess that many of the band members have rock and roll roots, but to define them as anything other than a "Great Live Band" would be simultaneously painting them into a corner and selling them short. Two years in existence and now two full length albums in, Hocking River has established themselves as a serious player in Ohio's ever growing roots scene. That being said, the truth remains that on any given weekend you are as likely to find them playing music around a campfire in the Hocking Hills as you are to see them on stage in Columbus or points beyond. A band that never takes themselves too seriously, with Skillful instrumentals, powerful songwriting, and performances that allow the concert goer to loose their selves in joy...
...this is the Hocking River String Band.
Ages 18+ / Waylon Speed was created by Noah Crowther, Reverend Chad Hammaker, Kelly Ravin and Justin Crowther after playing together at a local honky-tonk in Burlington, Vermont. Three days and one practice later, Waylon Speed was born. By instilling each band members individual musical influence, they have created a genre all of it’s own. Named after the Rev. Chad Hammaker’s son, Waylon, the band is a family owned and operated enterprise. Waylon Speed will be releasing their second full-length record Kin on April 29th, 2014 followed by a full national tour. They have offered support for large-name outfits. Waylon Speed is not influenced by mainstream music. They write, release and distribute their music independently.
All Ages / Cloud Nothings was founded in a Cleveland basement, the one-man recording project of Dylan Baldi, an unassuming, then 18-year-old student of song with a breathtaking ear for melody. Prolific from the start, Baldi's early work was rough but immediate: crudely recorded, spring-loaded spasms of Buzzcocks-informed pop that quickly found an online following among the lo-fi-inclined. When an opportunity presented itself to open a small show in Brooklyn, Baldi abandoned a still-in-progress final project to be there. The gamble paid off — he's been touring ever since, using every available break to write and record more.
In 2010, Carpark unveiled Turning On, a retrospective introduction that combined early 7? singles and the full-length debut (a limited release on cassette and vinyl) from which it took its name. The following year, Cloud Nothings made its proper Carpark debut with a thrilling self-titled LP that found Baldi in a studio for the first time, shedding the many layers of hiss and distortion that had once obscured (or enhanced) his every sugary hook. What followed was an unexpected breakthrough, 2012?s Attack on Memory, an album that very loudly (with the help of producer Steve Albini) announced the arrival of Cloud Nothings as the sound of more than just Baldi: Caustic and gargantuan, it marked the first time our young hero wrote with and for his longtime touring band, drummer Jayson Gerycz, bassist TJ Duke and since departed guitarist Joe Boyer. Touring intensified, rock critics slobbered, and the ceiling was raised considerably.
Enter yet another first: the highly-anticipated follow-up. Here and Nowhere Else is the sound of Baldi further realizing his potential not just as a collaborative bandleader but a singer as well. The sometimes frightening interplay that galvanized its predecessor is refined here, Baldi's cyclonic guitar parts and Gerycz's seismic drumwork more tightly clenched and nuanced than they've ever been before. It's an album every bit as ferocious as what we've recently come to expect — only smarter.
Ages 18+ / If you’ve seen David Mayfield perform with The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Jessica Lea Mayfield, or at Bonnaroo, you’ve caught the charisma, the heart, and the comedy, and it’s likely you’ll come back for more. The David Mayfield Parade’s April 1 release “Good Man Down” begs for that same repeated enjoyment.
With eclectic, cinematic songs that stir up images of the old West and urban cityscapes, the 12-track album feels like a game changer for a singer-songwriter, band leader, and Grammy nominated producer who stepped out of the sideman shadows with his 2011 solo debut “The Parade.” He likens “Good Man Down” to “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Like “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” his first album was lighthearted and fun with nods to the past. His second is darker, creepier, more bizarre and outrageous.
He made “The Parade” without knowing if anyone would hear it, but the stakes for a follow-up were raised when his Kickstarter campaign more than doubled his initial goal of $18,000.
With a successful crowd funding campaign raising expectations, Mayfield felt it was time to take chances musically and delve into more adventurous production while tapping into his bluegrass roots. While anchored in descriptive songwriting with beautiful instrumentation including strings and horns, “Good Man Down” throws its listeners numerous musical curveballs. As producer he didn’t rein in his weirder musical tendencies. Just like his lively sometimes comical live shows, “Good Man Down” illustrates a lot of character without seeming contrived.
“Good Man Down” features notable guests Seth Avett, Mayfield’s bluegrass hero Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and country star Dierks Bentley who duets with Mayfield on Marty Stuart’s “Tempted.” Bentley remembered Mayfield from seeing his family’s bluegrass band play long before the former was a country star. That’s the thing. Mayfield isn’t easy to forget.
Ages 21+ / Bones, Jug, Xylophone, kazoos, steel pan resonator guitar, banjo, double bass, drums, all sorts of noise makers. These are just some of the instruments we play around with at our shows. The group began with the dream of throwing an energetic party with acoustic instruments, a high quality, clearly audible musical experience that could be had on street corners, on the beach, in living rooms, or amplified in a club.
We started with some old xylophone rags, featuring Cody Jensen, and have since built a large repertoire of originals and covers, old and new. As old as Leroy Carr's "Barrelhouse Women", Memphis Jugband’s “Sugar Puddin’”, and the classic "Salty Dog Blues," and as new as the Beastie Boys' "Girls," Bone Thugs N Harmony’s “Crossroads,” and Abigail Washburn's "Divine Bell." We are highly influenced by jugbands and string bands, both new and old. We also perform calypso tunes featuring Tim Berg on steel pan, Mississippi John Hurt tunes featuring the guitar work of JP Goguen, and a slew of bluegrass standards and not-so-standards. With our extensive collection of instruments, our large spectrum of influences, and our quirky and thoughtful songwriting we embark on our journey of creating a new sound to share with all who will lend an ear.
We pride ourselves on being seriously silly, it’s a commitment to fun. We want to party. We want, we want to party. With you. And your friends. And other people that neither of us know. We're hoping we can all dance till we fall down, sing till our voices cannot be found, and smile till our faces fall off. Bones.
All Ages / If there's one thing that can be said about Bremerton stalwarts MxPx, it's that the perils of being career musicians will never outweigh the joy they've found in truly doing what they love, because no matter how many pitfalls are thrown in their path, "There is a song in there somewhere," says lead vocalist/bassist Mike Herrera. Plans Within Plans, the trio's ninth studio record, was released in 2012.
MxPx had not released a full-length album in five years (2007's Secret Weapon), and through those times, the band had endured their fair share of tribulations. Whether it was identity theft, credit card fraud, outrunning muggers in foreign countries, constant van breakdowns, accumulating debt in an attempt to fund tours — the list could go on.
The result of these struggles is Plans Within Plans, a two-decade career coming to grips not only with aging as a band, but also the harsh reality that they are still on a steep upward climb toward their collective goals. Always sharing an endearing commonality with their diehard fans, the album has its throwback moments while still managing to employ a few surprises.
All Ages / mewithoutYou
Catch For Us The Foxes 10 Year Anniversary Tour
with special guests: The Appleseed Cast and Hop Along
Those who have followed mewithoutYou’s music in recent years will likely see their new, self-released Ten Stories as a return to old form. Their previous record, It’s All Crazy!, etc. had been a drastic and intentional departure. Aaron Weiss’ manic, unorthodox hollering was nowhere to be found, deliberately giving way to a more conventional melodic vocal approach. The explosive, schizophrenic drumming and swarthy, tempestuous low end (Rickie Mazzotta and Greg Jehanian, respectively) were accordingly subdued, relegated largely to keeping basic time. Chris Kleinberg had jumped ship for med school, leaving Mike Weiss reluctantly alone on electric guitar, feeling like a session player embellishing his little brother’s folk songs, no longer part of a coherent unit.
In short, due largely to their singer’s creative wanderlust, the band had entirely forsaken whatever they’d become; in an effort to spurn the familiar, they had grown unrecognizable, alienating no shortage of fans in the process. Those fans, and whoever has come to miss what was most distinct about mewithoutYou, will welcome Ten Stories as the rightful follow-up to their 2006 release, Brother/Sister, and 2004’s Catch for Us the Foxes. To be sure, the band hasn’t altogether renounced the psychedelic-rustic-pop elements of It’s All Crazy!; rather, they have renounced the scrupulous control inherent to its renunciation. Simply put, they seem to have let go of the steering wheel, and are back to writing music, well, ‘naturally.’
“They’re not quite children’s songs,” vocalist Aaron Weiss explains, “with not quite coherent storylines, but there is an overarching and kind of child-like narrative: a circus train crashes in 19th century Montana. Some animals escape, others stay in their cages. The traveling menagerie re-rails, stays its course, and struggles to fill in the missing attractions. Meanwhile, freed from institutionalized life, the rice-cake rabbit takes to a peripatetic fortune teller, the monastic walrus is tempted by a hedonistic owl, a fish falls for an eggplant. Other songs describe a contemplative Fox’s prophetic dream, a starving Bear’s vision of a martyred saint, and an indecisive Peacock & gnostic Tiger learning the virtues of megalomania from an ego-annihilated Potter Wasp.”
This bizarre, character-heavy lyrical approach let the band revisit their perennial leitmotifs of romantic disaster & quasi-mystical speculation, without the self-pity/indulgence of direct autobiography. Reflecting recent, devastating personal losses, practically every song addresses our inevitable dying, apparently easier to face when projected onto anthropomorphic animals. This zoological ventriloquist act allows them to explore abstract philosophical themes and draw on finespun literary sources with a profound goofiness that deflates whatever danger of pretentiousness. The story-teller elements are obscure enough to avoid the short-lived rock opera aesthetic, leaving most plot details and potential moralizing to the imagination; and this without succumbing to insincerity/irony, overt relativism, or outright nonsense.
The ever-odd Daniel Smith’s production and veteran Brad Wood’s mixing combine to improve upon the best sonic elements of the band’s past releases. Musically, Ten Stories is a mix of the brazen noisiness, hypnotic soundscapes, and derelict shouting of their old songs, the dead-level melody and extravagant orchestration of recent years, and a newfound reliance on ethereal harmonies, courtesy en masse of female guest vocalists (most notably, Paramore’s Hayley Williams). Whimsically morbid as an Edward Gorey alphabet, simultaneously self-abnegating and -aggrandizing, defying simplistic musical or intellectual categorization, mewithoutYou’s new collection of songs is the fabulously vivid outgrowth of an ongoing religious and irreverent eclecticism, a ‘decade-plus narcissistic scramble for artistic affirmation’ (their words), and the even longer-running and peculiar friendship of four not-so-younggentlemen from nowhere in particular, apparently at the height of their mutual affection.
mewithoutYou’s 17-ton grease-powered bus — the ornately-chipped, floral-painted, “mental hospital on wheels” — will once again, according to the band, “hem and haw its way across the country this summer, punctuated no doubt by near-daily breakdowns, makeshift repairs, newborn babies, manic depressive episodes, and desperate attempts by all parties involved to separate [them]selves from separation itself.”
Ages 21+ / BULLETVILLE is a straight-up Country music offshoot of Magnolia Mountain that features MM's Mark, Renee, and Jeff, joined by some of the finest musicians in the area. The band plays a combination of Mark's original songs and a great selection of classic country covers by the likes of Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Gram Parsons, and more. Bulletville "is as country as country once was, bypassing the focus group-tested formula spoon fed to today’s commercial masses and served straight up. These songs are meant to be heard amidst both neon bar room glow and a barren moonlit road." (Bucket Full of Nails).
The band made its live debut in November 2012, and is now gigging around the greater Cincinnati area. Check the GIGS page for upcoming Bulletville shows, and be sure to "Like" the Bulletville Facebook Page for even more current updates.
Bulletville served as the backing band for Mark's solo album, Four Chords and a Lie, released in July 2013. A full-length Bulletville album is in the works for 2014, with The Afghan Whigs' John Curley set to produce.
With songs both traditional and original, and a sound that's at once as comfortable as old jeans and as fresh as a new blade of grass, Bill Bynum & Co. is a band that’s easy to love and hard to quit. The band’s core of guitar, pedal steel, fiddle, bass and harmony vocals can lean into country, veer toward bluegrass, or take listeners on a unique journey through Bill’s original songs.
All Ages / http://www.xambassadors.com/
For X Ambassadors, an unshakable sense of brotherhood has long shaped the sound and spirit of the band. Growing up in small-town upstate New York, frontman Sam Harris, his brother Casey, and childhood friend Noah Feldshuh bonded over an obsessive love for punk, rock & roll, soul, and hip-hop that defied the conventions of their peer group. Forming their first band in middle school, the three channeled their infatuation with artists as eclectic as The Stooges and The Staple Singers into a string of musical projects that sharply clashed with their local scene's favoring of folk and country. After graduating high school and decamping to New York City in search of a greater music community, the Harris brothers and Noah joined up with L.A.-raised drummer Adam Levin—a move that helped X Ambassadors solidify their sound into a groove-fueled take on alt-pop, and ultimately land a deal with KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records.
Produced in collaboration with KIDinaKORNER founder Alex Da Kid, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds and friend Dan Stringer, X Ambassadors' new EP Love Songs Drug Songs finds the Brooklyn-based foursome building off their singular chemistry to create a collection of songs both stylish and soulful. "They're bringing together alternative and R&B in a way I've never heard before, and at the core of that are these great songs with so much authenticity," says Alex, a Grammy-winning producer hailed for his work with heavyweights like Dr. Dre and Nicki Minaj. "The music comes from a very real place," he continues, "and it's made even more powerful by the deep connection that they have as a band."
Throughout Love Songs Drug Songs, X Ambassadors weave elegant melodies and sweetly smooth vocals into taut arrangements powered by percussion. From the Afro-pop-inspired beats of "Unconsolable" to the fuzzed-out stomp of the title track to the slinky groove of "Stranger," the heady rhythms at the heart of the EP endlessly mesmerize but never overshadow X Ambassadors' graceful musicianship. Still, even on the EP's breezier tracks—such as the shimmering, harmony-kissed "Down With Me"—X Ambassadors flaunt their finely honed pop sensibilities while radiating a raw intensity and darkly moody emotionalism.
For X Ambassadors, the passionately charged pop heard all over Love Songs Drug Songs is the product of a lifetime of sonic exploration. Born into a highly musical family (Mom was a jazz and cabaret singer, Dad once aspired to be a country songwriter), Sam and Casey each began playing instruments before the age of ten. While Casey discovered his love for piano at seven, Sam (who "started singing as soon as I could speak") moved from drums to guitar to piano to bass to saxophone throughout his childhood. In junior high, Sam prompted Noah (his best friend since the first day of kindergarten) to learn guitar so that the two could start a group. "Casey eventually started playing with us too, and ever since then I've only been in bands with the two of them," Sam notes.
In 2006, the three moved from Ithaca to New York City so that Sam and Noah could attend the New School while Casey worked as a piano tuner. Within the first month of college Sam and Noah met Adam in the freshman dorms, learned he was a drummer, and slipped a demo under his door in a successful attempt to lure him into the band. With the lineup complete (Sam on vocals and guitar, Noah on lead guitar, Casey on keyboards, Adam on drums), X Ambassadors began playing local gigs and writing material for their debut album. Then, just before the band was scheduled to begin recording, a lifelong medical condition left Casey in urgent need of a kidney transplant. With both his brother and mother (who volunteered one of her kidneys) recuperating from the transplant, Sam began working on a new batch of songs, including a fierce yet tender ballad that would emerge as the title track on X Ambassadors' debut.
Released in early 2012, Litost soon caught the ear of the program director for Norfolk, Virginia-based radio station 96x. After hearing "Litost" on a friend's Spotify playlist, the PD threw the song into heavy rotation and quickly drew a rabid response from listeners. Beating out heavy-hitters like fun. and Of Monsters and Men, "Litost" ended up emerging as 96x's number-one song of 2012. In the meantime, X Ambassadors began opening for the likes of the Lumineers and Imagine Dragons, as well as scoring slots on the lineups of such festivals as Lollapalooza.
To expand their sound on Love Songs Drug Songs, X Ambassadors deepened the collaborative dynamic that's long been essential to their strength as a band. "To me one of the most magical things about making music is taking a song idea to a group of people and letting them tear it apart and build something entirely new," says Sam, who serves as X Ambassadors' chief songwriter. "I strongly believe that you discover so much more about the song in other people's hands than you ever would on your own." And during the recording of Love Songs Drug Songs, he adds, involving Reynolds and Alex Da Kid in that process yielded more than its share of sublime surprises. On "Stranger," for example, Reynolds encouraged Sam to adopt "this straight-up R&B, Prince-y, Michael Jackson-y kind of vibe" in his vocal work. "Dan was like, 'You've got the voice, don't hold back, just go for it'—which I wasn't expecting at all, but the way it worked out was so cool," Sam recalls.
Not only fuel for their creative spirit, X Ambassadors' commitment to collaboration reflects an unfailing belief in the unifying power of music. Noting that the band's small-town beginnings infinitely inform their output, Sam points out that "all those middle-school dances where they played Ginuwine and Ol' Dirty Bastard and all different kids would just come together and dance" have proved to be one of his most formative musical experiences. "It's always been my goal to make music that's unique and personal and completely true to who we are, but in a way that's got a very communal feeling to it, that can be shared with everyone," he says. "If a song's melodies can feel perfectly formed but also natural, where you're feeling it so much that everyone else can't help but feel it too, then that's just beautiful."
With his rich, rasping vocals and penchant for darkly passionate songwriting, British singer/guitarist Jamie N Commons delivers a gritty brand of rock & roll that instantly transports any listener to another era. Already counting Elvis Costello among his fans and the UK press drawing comparisons to Nick Cave, the 24-year-old songwriter is now deepening his sound and further warping time by teaming up with Alex Da Kid (the Grammy-winning producer best known for his work with hip-hop game-changers like Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Nicki Minaj). Newly signed to Alex's KIDinaKORNER , a label under Interscope Records that is also home to Imagine Dragons and Skylar Grey, Commons is gearing up to release an EP and full-length album that wield heady beats and boldly inventive grooves to create an entirely fresh style of blues-drenched rock.
On the six-track EP Rumble And Sway, Commons serves up a selection of songs that veer from stompy retro-soul to moody ballads to fiery, fuzzed-out pop. Like his full-length debut (due out later in 2013), Rumble And Sway finds Commons backed by the four-piece band he assembled while attending Goldsmiths College in London. The follow-up to Commons's 2011 debut The Baron (an EP nominated for the BBC Sound Poll of 2012), Rumble And Sway also features leading-edge production from Alex Da Kid, as well as heavy-hitters like Eg White (Florence + the Machine, Adele) and Eliot James (The Futureheads, Bloc Party).
For Commons, a fierce love for the blues at the heart of his high-powered rock began at a very early age. Born in Bristol but raised in Chicago, Commons accompanied his music-obsessed father to Allman Brothers Band and Neil Young concerts when he was a little kid. At 10, the back-to-back releases of Moby's gospel-infused Play and the Americana-tinged O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack prompted Commons to delve more deeply into the roots of rock music. By the time he was 15, Commons had scored his own guitar and started teaching himself to play. "I learned guitar the way most people do—just sitting in my bedroom for hours, copying Jimi Hendrix riffs," he recalls. "After a while I was coming up with my own riffs, which probably sounded exactly like Jimi Hendrix at first but eventually took on their own sound."
After several stints in high-school punk bands, Commons headed to Goldsmiths and soon became fascinated with British folk troubadours like Nick Drake and John Martyn and Delta blues legends like Mississippi John Hurt. While at school he put together a band and began playing shows at local dive bars, taking on a rigorous gigging schedule that quickly led him to land a publishing deal. "We did things the old-fashioned way when it came to our live shows, which means we just kept on playing and playing and gradually the venues got bigger and bigger," Commons notes.
In December 2011, on the way to see Coldplay in Newcastle, Alex Da Kid ended up on a train with several representatives from Commons's publishers. "They played me Jamie's music and I fell in love with it right away," says Alex. "He's making rock and roll that's in an entirely different space from anything else out there, and he's got this amazing voice that can completely transform whatever he sings." Upon returning from Newcastle, Alex met with Commons in a pub and—about a month later—flew him out to Los Angeles so the two could hole up in the studio and start making music together.
Once in the studio, the duo plunged into the process of dreaming up a genre-bending new sound that would capture Commons's raw, wild energy while weaving in some of the larger-than-life elements of Alex's artistry as a hip-hop producer. "Alex would make beats and I'd come up with song ideas, and pretty soon we started speaking the same language and figuring out how to make it all come together," says Commons. "What we ended up creating is a really varied, eclectic batch of songs that gives you the feeling of skipping through genres and maybe even skipping through time."
Kicking off with the lead single and title track, Rumble And Sway comes on full throttle with a strutty, smoldering, horn-soaked rave-up that offers the perfect intro to Commons's unforgettably masterful vocals. Another fast-driving powerhouse, "Worth Your While" merges a fat, fuzzy groove with scorching guitar riffs and vocal work that alternates from lustful growling to Motown-esque harmonies. Both "Wash Me In The Water" (an anguished, gospel-inspired number) and "Have A Little Faith" (a piano-laced plea built on bright, crisp beats) blend midtempo rhythms with soul-stirring lyrics about pain and redemption, while "Caroline" emerges as a dreamy, lovesick ballad intensified by sorrowful strings. And on the slow-building and stormy "The Preacher," Commons mines his British folk influences for a downright bone-chilling epic about an evangelical preacher who murdered his own wife.
Despite charting new musical territory throughout Rumble And Sway, Commons retains the same rugged spirit that's instilled his songwriting and performance since he first claimed boundary-pushing artists like Tom Waits, JJ Cale, and Johnny Cash as his heroes. "The swampy, bluesy rock and roll stuff is always the first place I go when I'm writing a song," he says. "But at the same time, it's important to me to create something new and different to put out into the world." For Commons, the formula of straight-from-the-gut songwriting and slick, stylish production allows him to both expand his creativity and fill a highly crucial void in today's pop scene. "Right now there's plenty of music that's got a huge, loud, punchy sound," he says. "When you bring in that blues element, the music takes on a heaviness and rawness that's harder to come by but incredibly powerful."
Ages 21+ / Bootleg Rider is a five piece band playing original Rock and Roll for folks who love good songs and a little variation. Rider cuts a wide swath across the musical landscape, from Folk to searing Rock, and with three guitars they cover a lot of ground no matter what road they're ridin' down...Bootleg Rider plays music with meaning, with passion and feeling...Songs that'll make you cry, songs that'll make you swing, and songs that'll make you scream. Ride On
Ages 18+ / “Have you read the Odyssey? I haven’t read that book in years,
How he killed off all her lovers, then he burst into tears.”– Sons of Bill, “Bad Dancer”
“The most arresting band I’ve heard in years.” — Garden and Gun
Bill Wilson is from central Virginia. He is professor emeritus of philosophical theology and southern literature at the University of Virginia; a singer, songwriter, and a father of six. His three eldest sons, along with long-time musical compadres Seth Green and Todd Wellons, started a rock band upon their return to Virginia, and they called it Sons of Bill.
Having been voted the best band in Charlottesville for the last 4 years running, Sons of Bill grew beyond being just Charlottesville’s best kept secret in 2012 with their third full-length album, Sirens. Produced by fellow Virginian David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven) the album debuted #12 on Billboard among new artists and garnered the band its first taste of critical acclaim for its mix of introspective lyricism and rock-and-roll bravado. As one writer put it– “It’s like southern gothic arena rock… it somehow manages to be fatalistic and triumphant at the same time.” With a live show known to evolve from acoustic ballads into sweaty stage dives, Sons of Bill has always kept a grueling tour schedule on both sides of the Atlantic, sharing the stage with artists ranging from My Morning Jacket to the Drive-By Truckers and playing coveted slots at Bonnaroo, ACL Fest, and SXSW.
Ages 18+ / The sound of the award-winning group Town Mountain can best be described as traditional bluegrass, albeit with a rough-hewn side to it that is not too slick or glossy. They are a band of the here-and-now, yet they have a groove that is based on the bluesy and swinging sounds explored by the first generation of bluegrass pioneers of the last century. With the success of their latest album, Leave The Bottle, the word is out with some of their best reviews yet.
“Thank god that Town Mountain are around to blow a hole in all the genre-juggling games of which music writers like myself are so fond,” said Devon Leger, of Ed Helms’ The Bluegrass Situation. “They play bluegrass. Period. They play it hard, they play it fast, and they play it like their fingers are bleeding and their picks are breaking.”
“Phil Barker’s ‘Lawdog’ sounds like an unearthed classic, and the group’s tight harmonies alone make this record a treat for any bluegrass fan,” said Juli Thanki of Engine 145, the 2011 IBMA Print Media Person of the Year award winner.
David Morris of Bluegrass Today adds more praise, “The songs are new and mostly written by band members, but they sound like they could have come from the exciting early days of bluegrass…..The band sounds the part – tight picking and comfortable harmonies that aren’t overdubbed to soulless perfection. And the songs sound the part, too – murder ballads, endless highways, a nod to bluegrass’ Celtic roots and even a tip of the hat to a moonshiner.”
Riding on the momentum of Leave the Bottle, Town Mountain came away from the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass convention with a couple of IBMA Momentum Awards in had for “Band of the Year” and lead singer Robert Greer for “Vocalist of the Year”. Town Mountain includes Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Rob Parks on bass. The band plans on recording a new album in 2014.
Town Mountain was formed out of the fertile music scene of Asheville, located in the mountains of western North Carolina. After recording their first two albums, Town Mountain signed with Pinecastle Records label. That led to a pair of acclaimed recordings with 2011’s Steady Operator as well as Leave The Bottle. Both projects were produced by Mike Bub, a recipient of five IBMA Bass Player of the Year awards as well as many other IBMA honors won during his time with the Del McCoury Band.
The members of Town Mountain have thought long and hard about their cultivated roots music groove. The group has focused on the goal of creating a unique sound and brand while still giving a nod and a wink to the traditional side of the bluegrass genre.
“I feel like we’re closer to original bluegrass than a lot of bands out there today,” says Langlais. “I listened to a radio show recently that featured Ricky Skaggs and he flat-out said that Bill Monroe influenced rock and roll. He said that folks like Elvis and Carl Perkins and those guys were looking up to Bill Monroe. So, I feel like our band has a lot of that influence as well, of the blues and early rock. If you go back and listen to Monroe pre-Chuck Berry, those are Chuck Berry licks. A lot of music in the 1940s and 50s was so over-lapping. It is easy to put genre labels on it today, 60 years later. But to be honest, it was all so new and it was influencing each other at the same time.”
Ages 21+ / If he’s being honest, even a dyed-in-the wool country singer can’t pretend his record collection is pure. For every George Jones LP on the shelf, there’s another by Big Star, Wilco, or A.A. Bondy. The members of Nashville, Tennessee’s Runner of the Woods believe this is a beautiful thing.
Their debut album, “Thirsty Valley”, is countrygaze that’s road trip-ready. With punchy guitars and odes to wide open spaces, it’s the ideal companion to a spur-of-the moment escape to the great outdoors.
Front man Nick Beaudoing previously led NYC’s Cajun honky-tonkers, the Doc Marshalls. Over the course of three releases, the band evolved from Bakersfield shuffles and Acadian barnburners to jagged, glimmering folk. The pedal steel was still king, but now it blared from a low-watt amp with a brash fuzz tone.
“Thirsty Valley” is the sort of record a man makes when love has gone good but something else is still missing. It’s the thousand-yard stare that accompanies boozy recollections of perfect northern lakes or some girl you used to know.
Runner of the Woods are still keen to pack the dance floor whenever duty calls. A train shuffle beat or Gary Stewart-style weeper are never far away. But they also love it when people lay back and listen. Either way, you’re going to feel better.
All Ages / The World's #1 Instrumental Combo team up with roots-music legend Deke Dickerson. They will be playing material from their brand new album "Los Straitjackets: Deke Dickerson Sings The Instrumental Hits" but expect plenty of surf-honky tonk- rockabilly-garage madness as these twang-masters join forces for the most entertaining show you'll see all year.
When it comes to delivering high-energy rock and roll instrumental music, no one equals the finesse, power and perseverance of Grammy-nominated Los Straitjackets. It’s been 20 years since the Nashville-bred band first dressed in their easily recognizable attire of Lucha Libre masks. Since then the group has toured around the world, released 11 studio albums, finding to time to record and tour with El Vez, Dave Alvin, The Reverend Horton Heat, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Big Sandy-- to name just a few.
Deke Dickerson has kept the flame alive for real rock & roll, since he was the frontman for Missouri's legendary Untamed Youth. Since then every project (including his The Dave and Deke Combo, The Go Nuts, Blind Rage and Violence) Deke pursues has brought his unparalleled musicianship and flair for entertainment to the forefront. He has collaborated with many of his heroes including Duane Eddy, Larry Collins of The Collins Kids, Randy Fuller (of the Bobby Fuller Four) and The Trashmen. His work as bandleader at the Ponderosa Stomp and ringmaster of the Guitar Geek festivals, and as an author have helped keep the spotlight shown on the first generations of rock & rollers.
All Ages / If you’re familiar with The Coathangers then you probably know the Atlanta group’s premise. The story goes that four young women decided to start a band for the sole purpose of being able to hang out and play parties. They weren’t going to let the fact that none of them knew how to play any instruments get in the way of their having a good time. The backstory certainly added to the charm of early songs like “Nestle In My Boobies” and “Stop Stomp Stompin’”—songs that resided somewhere between no-wave’s caustic stabs of dissonance and garage rock’s primal minimalism. In the seven years since their formation, The Coathangers have released a slew of records and toured across North America and Europe countless times. The persistence of such a casual endeavor is a testament to the infectious quality of their songs and the electric nature of their unruly live show.
Suck My Shirt is the The Coathangers’ fourth full-length. The title refers to an incident involving the salvaging of spilled tequila during the recording session for the album. While the title implies that little has changed with regards to the band’s celebratory mission statement, even just a cursory listen of their latest album demonstrates that there have indeed been changes in The Coathangers’ camp. First off, the quartet was reduced to a trio for the latest record, with keyboardist Bebe Coathanger (Candice Jones) stepping down from her duties. But the absence of keyboards isn’t nearly as noticeable of a difference as the band’s refined songwriting approach. Refinement is an attribute we expect to see in any group that has a career spanning more than a couple of years, but the extent to which The Coathangers have honed their trade with each successive album dwarfs most bands’ maturation. This isn’t to say that The Coathangers have polished their sound; the group once again worked with Ed Rawls and Justin McNeight and The Living Room to attain the same production values of their Larceny & Old Lace album and their recent slew of split 7”s. Rather, the refinement can be heard in the quality of the songs themselves. While the band retains the alluring spontaneity and happy accidents of their early releases, the trio’s current work sounds far more deliberate and locked-in than anything they’ve done in the past.
“It’s a balance between overthinking and just going for it,” guitarist Crook Kid Coathanger (Julia Kugel) says of their songwriting strategy. It’s a duality immediately apparent with the album opener “Follow Me”. It’s a classic Coathangers tune with the raspy vocals of Rusty Coathanger (Stephanie Luke) belted out over the signature grimy rock laid down by Crook Kid and bassist Minnie Coathanger (Meredith Franco). But the chorus opens into one of the most accessible hooks in the band’s canon, just before segueing into the next verse with a squall of violent dissonant guitar. From there the band launches into “Shut Up”, a title that harkens back to the brash sass of their first record. The song still has its spikey guitar riffs and shouted chorus, but here The Coathangers sound less like a jubilant version of Huggy Bear and more like the art-pop of late-era Minutemen. Dedicated Coathangers fans will recognize the re-worked versions of “Merry Go Round”, “Smother”, “Adderall”, and “Derek’s Song” from their run of limited edition split 7”s, and hearing them in the context of the album shows that these tracks weren’t merely isolated examples of the band’s more sophisticated side, but were actually demonstrative of the group’s increasing capacity for nestling solid melodic hooks and rock heft into their repertoire. By the time the band wraps up the album with the humble pop perfection of “Drive”, it’s hard to believe this was the band that garnered their reputation with raucous bombasts like “Don’t Touch My Shit”.
“Ultimately, every album is a snapshot of who we were at the time,” says Crook Kid. And while that might mean that The Coathangers in 2014 don’t feel compelled to chronicle the youthful piss and vinegar that yielded the Teenage Jesus & The Jerks-esque spasms of their debut album, it’s exciting to hear the output of the band as they explore the range of their temperaments with a broader musical palette at their disposal. Suck My Shirt is available on LP, CD, and digital formats on March 18th 2014 via Suicide Squeeze Records.
Ages 21+ / With nearly a decade behind a Nashville honky tonk bar and countless nights playing solo shows on the road under her belt, Samantha Harlow has plenty of stories to tell. A true raconteur, Harlow's storytelling is marked by mild exaggerations, tongue-in-cheek declarations, and sweeping truths about being a strong woman making her way in the world.
Backed by a steel guitar and twangy riffs, Harlow shares tales of heartbreaks past and present - and, more importantly, her resolve to move past them. She's a country artist, to be sure, but not in the folksy, teary-eyed connotation of the title. Fueled by strong and pragmatic Midwestern roots, Harlow's lyrics are equal parts heartbreak and pulling oneself up by the straps on a pair of boots. Previous albums (Boxcars and Other Obsolete Dreams, Love Letters) have detailed her childhood memories of broken family bonds and lofty dreams torn down by the reality of divorce and blue-collar woes. But on her latest cut (Give and Take), Harlow turns over a new leaf - both lyrically and musically. With a faster tempo driven by an electric guitar, songs like 'Kerosene' and 'The Way It Goes' are more about moving on from disappointment than they are about heartbreak itself.
Inspired by spending several months on the road in 2012 and 2013, Harlow isn't dwelling on broken dreams any longer. On Give and Take, the country singer has started dreaming up new goals and moving forward one step at a time.
"2012 began some big changes in my life, and the music that I wrote around that time is a reflection of that. Lots of growth, both comfortable and uncomfortable," she adds. "Now that I'm on the other side, I can tell that I needed it. That's the beauty of being both creative and pragmatic. Everything can be repurposed and used for something better. Even shitty feelings."
In the past, Harlow has verged on letting her heartache define herself as a songwriter and musician. But this time around, the Minnesota native turned to producer Dave Coleman, her band members (Mike Shannon, Sam LoCascio, Wes Burkhart, and Simon Roper), and Nashville talents Max Griffin and Eamon McLaughlin to put a new spin on her most recent life lessons. This level of teamwork resulted in definitive country songs like 'Shame on Me' and 'Carry Me Away.' Give and Take offers up the kind of sound and poignant lyrics that keep true country fans spinning classics like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, and newcomer Kacey Musgraves. Just add Harlow to the list.
"I am blessed enough to have some of the best up-and-coming musicians in Nashville rehearsing with me every week. Week in, week out; in lean times and in flush," Harlow says. "What amazes me most is how different we all are, in both taste and personality. But when we come together as a unit it's nothing less than pure magic. They hear things in the songs that I don't, and they make me comfortable enough to let them take what I began and guide it on to completion. Then it becomes ours. This album is ours."
Ages 18+ / Forty years into his storied career, Garland Jeffreys is enjoying the kind of creative second wind most artists can only hope for the first time around, earning a swarm of critical accolades and experiencing his most prolific stretch in decades. 'Truth Serum,' his second album in two years, is a cri de cœur, a stripped-down tone poem from an artist taking his rightful and hard-earned place in the musical pantheon.
More than a dozen years had passed without an American album from Jeffreys when he came roaring back into the spotlight with 2011's 'The King of In Between.' Hailed by NPR as “as good a classic roots rock record as you’re going to hear from anybody," the record—which featured an appearance by old pal Lou Reed—earned raves from The New Yorker to USA Today and led to a performance on Letterman, as well as appearances onstage with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Levon Helm. The experience fueled a creative revitalization for the rocker, whose ebullient, late-stage creative energy colors every note of 'Truth Serum.'
“The record is a kind of Rorschach, the boiled down essence of where I am today at seventy,” says Jeffreys. Sung with the most relaxed, assured delivery of his career, the lyrics express a seasoned, hard-won acceptance balanced with an unflagging sense of optimism, while the music merges blues, rock, reggae, and folk into an infectious concoction distinctly his own.
Written on guitar and demoed into a portable cassette player, the songs came in an endless avalanche at home and on the road. Preparing for new studio sessions meant listening to roughly 75 unlabeled cassette tapes and whittling down more than 50 tracks into a lean, muscular, and politically charged 10-song collection. “We had to buy a cassette player with a counter on it in order to track the songs," remembers Jeffreys, who's always preferred the compression and ragged feel of the tapes for his solo demos. "The guy at the store was amazed anyone would want such an antiquated machine. A couple of days later we bought another one in case they decide to stop making them.”
The process was an excavation, and "just like the last record, only when reviewing the songs as a whole album did I see a connection," he explains. "I’ve always been something of an idealist, and that runs through a lot of the songs here." "I was thinkin’ about the human race/And wishin’ we could reconcile/Live and let live is it too much to ask/Or would you rather it fall apart," he sings on the R&B-inflected "Any Rain," while "Colorblind Love" is a prescient reminder why the New York Times once dubbed him "the voice of multi-ethnic New York."
Growing up biracial in the outer boroughs lent Jeffreys a unique perspective, and his explorations of race, prejudice, and love earned him a reputation as a socially conscious urban poet with a keen eye for detail and immense lyrical power. He released a string of acclaimed albums and hit songs in the 1970's and 1980’s, including "Wild In The Streets" and "R.O.C.K.," collaborated with everyone from John Cale and Dr. John to Stan Getz and Sonny Rollins, and was one of the first Americans to record in Kingston, Jamaica. A testament to both the broad appeal and durability of his music, his songs have been covered by hardcore punk legends The Circle Jerks and neo-folkies Vetiver alike.
“I guess I’ve always been longing for brotherhood, harmony, justice, and been discouraged by how rarely that happens in the world," Jeffreys says. "Those obsessions, the imagery, the things I care most about were all captured on the cassettes over these past two years.”
Working with the same core of musicians from 'The King of In Between'—including Steve Jordan and Larry Campbell, along with Zev Katz, Duke Levine and Brian Mitchell—Jeffreys set about capturing the immediacy, intimacy, and joyful energy of those demos in the studio. The band gathered around the hearth of the cassette player in Andy Taub's Brooklyn Recording, learning the tunes by ear and cutting many of them live in one take with raw vocals. There was a freewheeling energy to the sessions and an open door, which resulted in unplanned guest appearances by friends like acclaimed singer/songwriter James Maddock (who along with Campbell provided production support) and vocalist Cindy Mizelle. Art Baron, the last horn player Duke Ellington ever hired, joined the band for the reggae-inflected "Dragons to Slay," and Taub even stepped out from behind the console mid-song to join the band for an impromptu glockenspiel part.
The result is an album that stands among Jeffreys' very finest, combining the wisdom and perspective that can only come from age and experience with the passion and grit that have made him "one of the city's rock and roll treasures" (New Yorker). The record is a call to arms, a reflection on the world we live in and a vision of the world we owe it to ourselves to pursue. It's the unvarnished declaration of a man whose time has come.
Ages 18+ / New York quartet The Dig have been building some buzz from their first two full-lengths of ’80s shoegaze-inspired rock. It’s a Cure-meets-T. Rex sound that utilizes dark keyboards, with enough reverb to drown Robert Smith. You & I marks the band’s third release in two years (following last year’s full-length, Midnight Flowers, and their first 2013 EP, Tired Hearts), those sets comprising an impressive sum of 21 consistently nocturnal and sedated songs." - Consequence of Sound
The Dig’s sound has been developing ever since the band’s two singers Emile Mosseri and David Baldwin started making music together when they were eleven years old. After meeting California native Erick Eiser, the three songwriters have been writing tunes and playing in different bands together since they were in high school. Mark Demiglio (drums) moved to New York from Texas to join the band following the recording of “Midnight Flowers.
Ages 18+ / The daughter of country music legends June Carter Cash and Carl Smith, and granddaughter of "Mother" Maybelle Carter of the original Carter Family, Carlene Carter started her own career in the late 1970s, recording acclaimed country rock albums with the best of the new-wave rock musicians in England, then hit the U.S. country charts in the early 1990s with her Grammy nominated I Fell In Love album, and the international hit single "Every Little Thing."
She is back again with a tribute to the timeless music of her historic family that is being called a triumph, a masterpiece, and the album of her life. But while she is now referred to as an "Americana legend," she simply calls herself a Carter Girl.
Ages 18+ / Jason Dennie grew up around acoustic music. The sound of acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo were pretty common and familiar to his ears by the time he actually had an interest in playing anything himself. Guitar was what he chose and while early influences could be named; Tony Rice, Doc Watson, Stephen Stills and Neil Young, the music that would come from him would always be a unique combination of everything he’d heard.
His main references were from the Bluegrass world, after all, that’s what most of his family played. He had a direct link to the heart of Bluegrass with his Grandfather being good friends with the man who had ‘started it all’ Mr. Bill Monroe, and an Uncle who filled the role of banjo player for Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys in the early 70′s. Jason can remember time spent at many Bluegrass festivals as a child and the sounds of Tony Rice’s guitar and distinct voice filling the house…to this day Tony Rice is still his father’s favorite guitarist.
After a couple of years of learning his way around the instrument, he discovered Leo Kottke and probably had the same reaction alot of people have…”all of that sound, feel, and emotion coming from one guitar… can that be done?” ‘Instrumental’ music was already coming out of his fingers…’ songs without words’ everyone would say. But realizing it was an art that could stand on it’s own was a huge revelation and since then a constantly developing journey of what can be said through music coming out of one guitar.
At the time his first cd was released, COLLECTION OF SOUNDS, Jason had begun collaborating with other musicians, in more of a supportive role as a lead guitarist, and was developing another side of his playing. From soft and subtle accompaniment to all out blues or bluegrass oriented jams ….it could all be described as acoustic or folk music to a degree. It led to a lengthy partnership with Noah Hunt for 4 years. Noah is now the lead vocalist for blues phenom Kenny Wayne Shephard, but the two did not split ways before recording an album together. LONG BLACK TRAIN was a great effort to capture what Noah and Jason did so well together in their performances and continues to be a ‘best kept secret album.’
Although Jason continues to explore the possibilities of duo and trio outfits, he is primarily known as a ‘solo acoustic guitarist.’ Really the only description that fits because the music isn’t all fingerstyle guitar, or flatpicking…it isn’t all folk (as we know it to be), and uses ideas that reach out into jazz, blues, bluegrass, celtic, rock & roll, and country to create a unique and energetic voice on acoustic guitar.
In 1999 Jason left Cincinnati, OH to head north for Ann Arbor, MI. Before leaving town, he had remained on the lists of the Best Releases of the Year for several years with his solo cds and the album he did with Noah Hunt (Long Black Train) and won 3 consecutive CAMMY AWARDS for BEST FOLK/BLUEGRASS INSTRUMENTALIST from 1997-1999.
The move north proved to be a good decision for many reasons. Not long after arriving in Ann Arbor, Jason made his way to St. Augustine, FL and won the Gamble Rogers Fingerstyle Championship and also competed for the first time at the National Championships in Winfield, KS.
Based on the local scene in and around Ann Arbor, he?s been able to spend a great deal of time teaching and playing more traditional music, focusing on some of the bluegrass roots he?s grown up with, and also getting to involve these aspects and instruments (banjo, fiddle, mandolin, etc.) with his original acoustic music. Of course there is also a handful of dedicated fingerstyle students as well and students have come as far as 4-5 hours to have a 2 hour workshop with Jason going over inspiration, technique and bits of theory regarding the guitar and music in general.
Ages 18+ / As cliché as it may be, absence makes the heart grow fonder couldn't be a more genuine statement for singer/songwriter Sarah Borges as she embarks on her next musical adventure, the release of her new album, "Radio Sweetheart." After a year away from pouring her heart and soul into her music, penning her emotions into powerful lyrics, and leaving it all on the stage during rivetinglive shows, her love for her craft grew that much stronger.
"After seven years, the Broken Singles had run its course. It was an amicable breakup. After a year, it hit me like a ton of bricks - I didn't have to stop doing music," says Borges, who under the name Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles released four critically-acclaimed records (with Blue Corn Music and Sugarhill Records), toured nonstop, and drew praise from the most elitist of music scribes from Rolling Stone, The New York Times, USA Today, Creative Loafing, The Boston Globe, and others.
Among the supporters were Rolling Stone magazine, which described the artist as "friendly pop–rock with bits of twang, rockabilly, and '50 pop"; and The New York Times who described her as "a modern-minded honky-tonker with a retro streak." Paste magazine hits the nail on the head when they wrote, "she has all the good parts of Sheryl Crow's sound without the L.A. pop suckdom."
This time out, the singer/songwriter/guitarist took the more daunting, yet more courageous, route of going it alone. "It's scary and freeing at the same time to do a record where I don't have anyone to answer to but myself. A big driving force for this record was to find myself again and remind myself how much I love music after being away from it. I had felt this sense of loss and didn't realize how integral music was to me," says Borges, who began her musical journey in musical theater at Emerson College before making a name for herself in the vibrant rock scene of Boston.
The born in Taunton, Mass.-born artist got a boost of confidence when she ran a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for "Radio Sweetheart." "I needed $10,000 to make the record and we ended up raising $16,000 in one month. I couldn't believe it. Donations would come in and there'd be $1,000 from someone I didn't know, and donations from China. Holy cow! It was heartwarming and it gave me my confidence back," says Borges, who is newly signed to Booneville, Kentucky-based Lonesome Day Records, home to her frequent touring mates Girls Guns and Glory.
Having a few of her musical heroes in her corner for "Radio Sweetheart" worked wonders to get her musical mojo back as well. The 10-track album was cut at Woolly Mammoth Sound, which is owned by Dave Minehan, singer/guitarist of Boston rock legends the Neighborhoods. Steve Berlin, who played saxophone and keyboards with Los Lobos for 30 years, produced the record.
"They were so encouragingevery step of the way, especially with my guitar playing - making sure it was loud in the mix and making me realize I've really grown as a guitar player," she says. "I think, as a singer, I've learned to convey emotions through my voice better. And, I'm just not insecure anymore. I own what I say in my songs even if it's silly."
While Borges says that the record isn't really autobiographical, it does explore many of the little nooks and crannies of her personality. "I think others have similar nooks and crannies they can relate to. 'Start Again' is a good expression of where I am in my life right now. It might not be totally autobiographical, but there are elements of that and of the idea of a fresh start - 'crying over lost time,' and the wish that 'the road that was long and hard would be short and silver.'"
Another standout track is "The Waiting and the Worry," which includes a clever nod to one of Borges' favorite bands, NRBQ. "I'm a huge fan of NRBQ and we sort of checked a chord from their song, 'Ridin' in My Car.' So it was an honor to have their piano player Terry Adams play on it. When I'm writing songs I always like to think of how it'll play live and this is one I really like to perform. It makes people happy. Lyrically, it tells the story of a girl driving in the car, listening to music, and thinking about a boy," she says.
Known for delivering memorable live performances, the artist strives to capture that live feel on the record and succeeds most on "Record on Repeat." "This is the closest to the live show out of the all of the songs. It has lots of energy. I went over to Ryan Hedgecock's house when I was out in L.A. one night. His band, Lone Justice, was instrumental in mixing punk and country, and I am so enamored of them and him. We drank some tequila and ended up writing this song that's just a vignette of a rock and roll; fast girl and guy get together in a burst of flames, personified in the record they can't stop listening to. It was a really fun and natural writing experience," she says.
"Girl With a Bow" represents another side to Borges. "Lyrically, it's pretty quirky. It tells a story, which I try to do in every song instead of just writing a lot of 'ooh babies.' It's about what if you found a ribbon on the sidewalk - did it once tie up some beautiful letters or maybe it belonged to a girl and she wore it in her hair and what that would mean from the finder's perspective. There's a sense of romantic nostalgia that I find so endearing," says Borges.
The record also includes one cover, "Heavy Dreams" by Lloyd Price (a wise and welcomed suggestion by Berlin) and the title track, "Radio Sweetheart," a song she wrote just out of college that never had a place on a record until now. "'Radio Sweetheart' is about unrequited love and I used the metaphor of how on the radio there is this voice that you can hear, but you can't see or get them to do what you want. I titled the album "Radio Sweetheart" out of hopefulness about this record. I decided to call myself the radio sweetheart in hope that it comes true," she admits.
"I'm really proud of this record. It's so gratifying and it was important to me to do what I love and I'm not going to stop again. I don't care how it does; its something I had to do to make myself feel like a whole person again and I think there is a song on here for everyone. It doesn't feel like a new me, but it feels like the old me is finally back," she explains.
- See more at: http://www.sarahborges.com/bio/#sthash.WCCCwjhd.dpuf
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