club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
(Early Show) Kim Richey with Special Guest Bill Deasy - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

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.

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.

(Late Show) Grand Prismatic ('Thoughts In Translation' Album Release Party) with Special Guest Bikini Islands

Join Club Cafe for Grand Prismatic's Album Release Party.

Join Club Cafe for Grand Prismatic's Album Release Party.

(Early Show) Chris Barron (of Spin Doctors) with Special Guest The Wreckids

Chris Barron is best known as the lead singer for the Grammy nominated band, Spin Doctors, who sold like, fifty-two gazillion records or something. They were on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and opened for the Rolling Stones (or vice versa). Chris Barron cooks a mean meatloaf, wrote the songs, "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes" both of which went to Billboard’s top five, he likes kids and dogs, and keeps his gold and platinum records in his bathroom.

Chris plays nifty chords on an old Gibson to masterfully crafted songs that are poignant yet wistful and funny.

Chris Barron is best known as the lead singer for the Grammy nominated band, Spin Doctors, who sold like, fifty-two gazillion records or something. They were on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and opened for the Rolling Stones (or vice versa). Chris Barron cooks a mean meatloaf, wrote the songs, "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes" both of which went to Billboard’s top five, he likes kids and dogs, and keeps his gold and platinum records in his bathroom.

Chris plays nifty chords on an old Gibson to masterfully crafted songs that are poignant yet wistful and funny.

(Late Show) Smokin' Betties Burlesque Presents: Spring Teasings. Featuring Amoxie Villain, Clea Cutthroat, Hakan and Hosted By Lilith De Ville

Smokin' Betties Burlesque Presents: Spring Teasings. Featuring Amoxie Villain, Clea Cutthroat, Hakan and Hosted By Lilith De Ville

Smokin' Betties Burlesque Presents: Spring Teasings. Featuring Amoxie Villain, Clea Cutthroat, Hakan and Hosted By Lilith De Ville

Trout Steak Revival with Special Guest Striped Maple Hollow

Ever since winning the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Trout Steak Revival has quickly become a quintessential Colorado band. The band won an Emmy Award for a soundtrack they contributed to a Rocky Mountain PBS. They’ve collaborated with school children in mentoring programs in Denver and Steamboat Springs. Their music is featured on Bank of Colorado's radio and television advertisements. Most recently, Westword named them Denver’s Best Bluegrass Band, and they were nominated as a Momentum Band of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Ever since winning the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Trout Steak Revival has quickly become a quintessential Colorado band. The band won an Emmy Award for a soundtrack they contributed to a Rocky Mountain PBS. They’ve collaborated with school children in mentoring programs in Denver and Steamboat Springs. Their music is featured on Bank of Colorado's radio and television advertisements. Most recently, Westword named them Denver’s Best Bluegrass Band, and they were nominated as a Momentum Band of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Nina Nesbitt with Special Guest Whitney Woerz

“I've grown up. I feel like that's the main thing.” The Nina Nesbitt of 2017 is not like the Nina Nesbitt of 2013, the one who arrived as if from nowhere in 2012 and scored a UK top 15 album with Peroxide in early 2014. The heartfelt, easily relatable lyrics remain, as evidenced on the multi-layered, story-telling pop of new single, The Moments I'm Missing, which was written and produced solely by Nesbitt. That character-filled voice remains, as does the razor-sharpe eye for acute lyrical observations and nagging, ear-worm melodies. What's new is a desire to inject her music with more obvious pop influences, an area she dived headlong into last year on the excellent, one-off single Chewing Gum. While the first album zipped past in a flash, things falling into place at an alarming speed almost outside of her control, this new Nina Nesbitt, now 22, is in charge of everything. All of it. An independent artist in all variations of that phrase, this is the sound of a singer-songwriter comfortable in their own skin. “I'm so proud of this album,” she beams. “If it does well then great, obviously, but I feel like I've made the record I've always wanted to make.”

Born in a little village outside Edinburgh, Nesbitt's musical education was a long and constantly evolving one. Fully immersed in chart pop thanks to her Swedish mother – think lots of ABBA, Britney, Christina, Whitney – that was then mixed later with the more outré leanings of her father, specifically Brian Eno. Closeted in her little village, it took her friends to break her out of a fairly dark early obsession. “My friend at school told me to stop listening to Basshunter and start listening to Nirvana, so she introduced me to the rock world,” she laughs. Later, after moving to London, her musical horizons were exploded more and more. “I really got into R&B all of a sudden, and I just love how Lauryn Hill, Bryson Tiller and Kehlani communicate things about their life. It's like I know who they are when I'm listening to their songs. So I wanted to represent that in my music too.”

But we're getting ahead of ourselves, because music wasn't always her only passion. Despite learning to play various instruments, Nesbitt was also a rhythmic gymnast training to go to the Olympics. “I feel like that is where a lot of my drive has come from, because I wanted to be the best,” she explains. “I was so passionate about it. I ended up being in the Scottish team and training for the Commonwealth Games. I stopped because I'd gone as far as I could. Then music was the next thing.” Rhythmic gymnastics was also joined on the sidelines by the flute, an instrument that's hard to make look cool, especially when there are boys around. At 15, having learned the guitar, a new inspiration arrived. “I remember being 15 and hearing Taylor Swift's song 15 and being like 'oh my God', it's a girl with a guitar writing her own songs,” she says. “I wanted to do that! I don't come from a musical background or a wealthy background, so I needed to find a way of getting out there and that thing of writing your own songs felt affordable and doable.”

By this point she'd already started uploading covers to YouTube, chiefly to work out if she could actually sing, a baptism of fire that showed an early resolve. “I used to be like 'do I have a good voice?' and my mum would say 'you've got a unique tone',” she cackles. “So I never knew if I was good or not, but I loved singing so much. I basically recorded these videos because I thought strangers would give me an honest opinion and that way I could work out if I was good or not. So I didn't tell anyone about it.” Having already started songwriting aged 10 (her first song was called Dreams Become Reality), she'd also started accumulating a collection of her own recordings, which came in handy when a chance meeting with Ed Sheeran in 2011 after a gig lead to an impromptu performance and an offer to support him at Shepherd's Bush Empire and several dates across Europe. Still unsigned, a cover of an Example song then lead to a support slot on his arena tour, which was then followed by an appearance on the Radio One playlist. Having signed to Island, the Nesbitt tornado was now in motion, taking in more playlist appearances, more live shows, more Top 40 singles, more acclaim.

When the dust settled and the album was out, however, Nesbitt was ready to move on. Chewing Gum was the sound of her breaking out of her comfort zone and indulging fully her love of pop, a move that was embraced by her fans but one that felt a little too alien. While proud of the song, it symbolised the breakdown of her relationship with Island and kickstarted her move away from being an artist and embracing songwriting for others. It was a move that reignited her passion for music, lifted her confidence back up after the label split and eventually lead to the creation of The Moments I'm Missing. The pop album she'd been making, and that Chewing Gum was meant to be on, may have been scrapped but the process of its creation has its positives, chiefly her learning production for herself. As I said, always fully in control. “Production is expensive and I didn't want to have to rely on anyone else for my own career,” she says. “I wanted to do it myself. I've got this little studio at home and I just sit for hours and hours learning. I want to be able to do it all by myself if I have to. I want to always be able to put music out.”

With songs cut by various artists (including one song currently being kept on hold by one of the biggest megastars in the world), Nesbitt's keen to carry on with the songwriting for others. But the passion for her own project is firmly back, kickstarted by the creation of the beautiful, fully biographical The Moments I'm Missing, a swirling combination of delicate piano lament and robust, intricately programmed beats that features LA singer Goody Grace. “I went home from a session for someone else and I wanted to write a song nobody else could sing but me. I wanted to write a song that's just about my life,” she says, referring to these new songs accurately as “suburban pop”. I loved how rappers or R&B artists talked about their lives and I wanted to find the singer-songwriter version of that. When my career took off it all happened so fast and I couldn't always take it all in. But now I've had a lot of time to look back and see what was amazing and what was shit. It's not about missing as in longing; it's about the moments I'm missing from my brain. It's about recollecting.”

Elsewhere there's the gloriously biting The Best You Had (“it's crazy that you're moving on so fast, but baby it's okay if I am still the best you had” runs the chorus), a low-key, R&B-tinged tale of love gone sour written and produced with newcomer Jordan Riley (upcoming producer LostBoy has also worked on various songs across the album). “It's a personal thing because I've definitely felt like that but I had a conversation with a friend who was gutted her ex had moved on but she was like 'as long as I was better then that's fine'. She really hit the nail on the head. So I made it into a little poem. Once I started working on it in the studio the whole thing came to me in about 30 minutes.” Then there's Somebody Special, perhaps the best example of the bridge between the old and new. Written in Nashville with Dan Muckala and Brianna Kennedy, it's a love song but “not too mushy” and sounds like a global smash, all slowly percolating verses and a chorus you want to live inside.

In a music industry that often doesn't give you second chances, or time to settle into the artist you want to be, Nina Nesbitt's found a way to not only make it work, but make it work for her. Rather than rush into making an album for the sake of it, she waited for the inspiration to strike and let it slowly take shape organically. “With an album I feel like it's parallel to my life in a way – I was just trying to find out what I liked and what I was good at,” she says succinctly. What she's good at is being an artist, but one that's fully in control, i.e. the very best kind.

“I've grown up. I feel like that's the main thing.” The Nina Nesbitt of 2017 is not like the Nina Nesbitt of 2013, the one who arrived as if from nowhere in 2012 and scored a UK top 15 album with Peroxide in early 2014. The heartfelt, easily relatable lyrics remain, as evidenced on the multi-layered, story-telling pop of new single, The Moments I'm Missing, which was written and produced solely by Nesbitt. That character-filled voice remains, as does the razor-sharpe eye for acute lyrical observations and nagging, ear-worm melodies. What's new is a desire to inject her music with more obvious pop influences, an area she dived headlong into last year on the excellent, one-off single Chewing Gum. While the first album zipped past in a flash, things falling into place at an alarming speed almost outside of her control, this new Nina Nesbitt, now 22, is in charge of everything. All of it. An independent artist in all variations of that phrase, this is the sound of a singer-songwriter comfortable in their own skin. “I'm so proud of this album,” she beams. “If it does well then great, obviously, but I feel like I've made the record I've always wanted to make.”

Born in a little village outside Edinburgh, Nesbitt's musical education was a long and constantly evolving one. Fully immersed in chart pop thanks to her Swedish mother – think lots of ABBA, Britney, Christina, Whitney – that was then mixed later with the more outré leanings of her father, specifically Brian Eno. Closeted in her little village, it took her friends to break her out of a fairly dark early obsession. “My friend at school told me to stop listening to Basshunter and start listening to Nirvana, so she introduced me to the rock world,” she laughs. Later, after moving to London, her musical horizons were exploded more and more. “I really got into R&B all of a sudden, and I just love how Lauryn Hill, Bryson Tiller and Kehlani communicate things about their life. It's like I know who they are when I'm listening to their songs. So I wanted to represent that in my music too.”

But we're getting ahead of ourselves, because music wasn't always her only passion. Despite learning to play various instruments, Nesbitt was also a rhythmic gymnast training to go to the Olympics. “I feel like that is where a lot of my drive has come from, because I wanted to be the best,” she explains. “I was so passionate about it. I ended up being in the Scottish team and training for the Commonwealth Games. I stopped because I'd gone as far as I could. Then music was the next thing.” Rhythmic gymnastics was also joined on the sidelines by the flute, an instrument that's hard to make look cool, especially when there are boys around. At 15, having learned the guitar, a new inspiration arrived. “I remember being 15 and hearing Taylor Swift's song 15 and being like 'oh my God', it's a girl with a guitar writing her own songs,” she says. “I wanted to do that! I don't come from a musical background or a wealthy background, so I needed to find a way of getting out there and that thing of writing your own songs felt affordable and doable.”

By this point she'd already started uploading covers to YouTube, chiefly to work out if she could actually sing, a baptism of fire that showed an early resolve. “I used to be like 'do I have a good voice?' and my mum would say 'you've got a unique tone',” she cackles. “So I never knew if I was good or not, but I loved singing so much. I basically recorded these videos because I thought strangers would give me an honest opinion and that way I could work out if I was good or not. So I didn't tell anyone about it.” Having already started songwriting aged 10 (her first song was called Dreams Become Reality), she'd also started accumulating a collection of her own recordings, which came in handy when a chance meeting with Ed Sheeran in 2011 after a gig lead to an impromptu performance and an offer to support him at Shepherd's Bush Empire and several dates across Europe. Still unsigned, a cover of an Example song then lead to a support slot on his arena tour, which was then followed by an appearance on the Radio One playlist. Having signed to Island, the Nesbitt tornado was now in motion, taking in more playlist appearances, more live shows, more Top 40 singles, more acclaim.

When the dust settled and the album was out, however, Nesbitt was ready to move on. Chewing Gum was the sound of her breaking out of her comfort zone and indulging fully her love of pop, a move that was embraced by her fans but one that felt a little too alien. While proud of the song, it symbolised the breakdown of her relationship with Island and kickstarted her move away from being an artist and embracing songwriting for others. It was a move that reignited her passion for music, lifted her confidence back up after the label split and eventually lead to the creation of The Moments I'm Missing. The pop album she'd been making, and that Chewing Gum was meant to be on, may have been scrapped but the process of its creation has its positives, chiefly her learning production for herself. As I said, always fully in control. “Production is expensive and I didn't want to have to rely on anyone else for my own career,” she says. “I wanted to do it myself. I've got this little studio at home and I just sit for hours and hours learning. I want to be able to do it all by myself if I have to. I want to always be able to put music out.”

With songs cut by various artists (including one song currently being kept on hold by one of the biggest megastars in the world), Nesbitt's keen to carry on with the songwriting for others. But the passion for her own project is firmly back, kickstarted by the creation of the beautiful, fully biographical The Moments I'm Missing, a swirling combination of delicate piano lament and robust, intricately programmed beats that features LA singer Goody Grace. “I went home from a session for someone else and I wanted to write a song nobody else could sing but me. I wanted to write a song that's just about my life,” she says, referring to these new songs accurately as “suburban pop”. I loved how rappers or R&B artists talked about their lives and I wanted to find the singer-songwriter version of that. When my career took off it all happened so fast and I couldn't always take it all in. But now I've had a lot of time to look back and see what was amazing and what was shit. It's not about missing as in longing; it's about the moments I'm missing from my brain. It's about recollecting.”

Elsewhere there's the gloriously biting The Best You Had (“it's crazy that you're moving on so fast, but baby it's okay if I am still the best you had” runs the chorus), a low-key, R&B-tinged tale of love gone sour written and produced with newcomer Jordan Riley (upcoming producer LostBoy has also worked on various songs across the album). “It's a personal thing because I've definitely felt like that but I had a conversation with a friend who was gutted her ex had moved on but she was like 'as long as I was better then that's fine'. She really hit the nail on the head. So I made it into a little poem. Once I started working on it in the studio the whole thing came to me in about 30 minutes.” Then there's Somebody Special, perhaps the best example of the bridge between the old and new. Written in Nashville with Dan Muckala and Brianna Kennedy, it's a love song but “not too mushy” and sounds like a global smash, all slowly percolating verses and a chorus you want to live inside.

In a music industry that often doesn't give you second chances, or time to settle into the artist you want to be, Nina Nesbitt's found a way to not only make it work, but make it work for her. Rather than rush into making an album for the sake of it, she waited for the inspiration to strike and let it slowly take shape organically. “With an album I feel like it's parallel to my life in a way – I was just trying to find out what I liked and what I was good at,” she says succinctly. What she's good at is being an artist, but one that's fully in control, i.e. the very best kind.

Blackfoot Gypsies with Special Guest Daddy Long Legs

The Blackfoot Gypsies have unleashed a set of original roadhouse rockin' tunes with To the Top, on Plowboy Records. The Nashville, Tennessee based powerhouse quartet demonstrate raucous energy and soul on this collection delivering their take on white-knuckled rock'n'roll.

Across the 15 tracks of To the Top, the Blackfoot Gypsies fuse their influences -- swamp blues cool, downhome hillbilly funk and homegrown punk panache -- into a lean, mean machine invoking such classic musical malcontents as the Rolling Stones, the Faces and Mott the Hoople, while sparking and spitting 21st-century fire. It's the type of record that could only come from a band that learned to rock the old-fashioned way -- one sweaty, full-throttle live performance at a time.

The band's brew of rock, hillbilly and blues began in 2010 when Oregon native, guitarist and singer Matthew Paige moved to Nashville and hooked up with drummer and Music City native Zach Murphy. The pair wanted to form a full band, but the urge to rock could not wait.

"We were doing just what we wanted to do," Paige says, "but making enough noise to fill out the sound was a challenge. I started playing through two amps to make the most sound."

The pair spent the next two years building a reputation through raucous live performances and two self-released EPs, Blackfoot Gypsies (2010) and Dandee Cheeseball (2011), and their first LP, On the Loose (2012). Hard touring followed the album's release as the duo bashed across the US through hard-won club dates. After three years, they were ready to expand their sound.

"There's really only so much you can do with a two-piece," Murphy says. "You have to do everything in extreme. I think we were too much for some people -- just a violent onslaught of noise."

They soon completed their expanded line-up when bass player Dylan Whitlow and harmonica master extraordinaire Ollie Dogg arrived within weeks of each other. Whitlow, a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania native and a veteran of several Nashville rock bands, had crossed paths with Paige and Murphy before, but Nashville native Ollie Dogg was new to the rock 'n' roll scene. He was a longtime veteran of Nashville's blues community and a regular at many blues jams, but joining a band full time was a new experience.

"My cousin told me about the band," Ollie Dogg says. "I met them a couple of weeks later, and played with them. They just told me to be loose. That's how I like to play, loose -- just take it and make it work. I've been playing with them ever since."

With the line-up complete, they entered the studio and laid down ten tracks of butt-shakin' country-blues rock. Released in April 2015 by Plowboy Records, Handle It delivered a mix of juke joint blues, front porch pickin' and snotty-nosed rock 'n' roll, positioning the group as inheritors of a fine pedigree, from Bo Diddley to the Black Crowes. Long nights tearing up the road followed as the band shared bills with the Alabama Shakes, Drivin' N' Cryin', the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Trampled by Turtles and many others. They toured throughout the US and wowed European audiences on their first international tour.

After sharpening their sound through hundreds of live performances, the band headed for Electric Kite Studio in Madison, Tennessee. Working with engineer Matt Stager and armed with 15 original tunes, the Blackfoot Gypsies self- produced their new album, To the Top. They also recruited some notable musical assistance from some of Nashville's finest musicians, including backup vocals from red-hot country queen Margo Price, Spencer Cullum, Jr. (Steelism) on steel guitar, Micah Hulscher on piano, Alexis Saski on background vocals, Taylor Powell and Shannon Pollard assisting on drums, and Paul Thacker, Diego Vasquez and Joe Hunter supplying horn section support. The album was mixed by Joe Funderburk at Creative Workshop.

To the Top wastes no time making it perfectly clear that the Blackfoot Gypsies are locked and loaded to rock. The album opens with a powerful statement of purpose in a trio of pedal-to-the-metal rockers. "I'm So Blue," "Everybody's Watching" and "Promise to Keep" all roar with an explosive energy worthy of the early ' 70s Rolling Stones or the Faces, while demonstrating that the Blackfoot Gypsies wear their inspirations on their sleeves without falling into the trap of pointless imitation.

The band slows things down a bit with "Potatoes and Whiskey," a rough -- cut slice of honky-tonk featuring Margo Price on backing vocals. Next they hop on a sanctified express train for the balling-the-jack anthem "I Had a Vision," followed by the Big Easy groove of "Back to New Orleans," a song perfect for second-line dancing anytime or anyplace.

Hitting their stride midway through the record, the Blackfoot Gypsies alternate rockers ("Lying Through Your Teeth," "I Wanna Be Famous," "She Was Mine" and "Warning") with songs demonstrating the band's versatility, with the hillbilly swing of "Velvet Low Down Blues," the Dylan-esque country ruckus of "Woman Woman" and the sublime juke joint jam of "I Got the Blues."

Wrapping up with the primal kick and Bo Diddley beat of "Gypsy Queen" and the lightly glam-seasoned back-to-basics haymaker "Why Should I Cry," the disc is a complex and masterful blend of rock, blues and hillbilly stomp sure to please the most discriminating palate and send the most reluctant feet to the dance floor.

The Blackfoot Gypsies have unleashed a set of original roadhouse rockin' tunes with To the Top, on Plowboy Records. The Nashville, Tennessee based powerhouse quartet demonstrate raucous energy and soul on this collection delivering their take on white-knuckled rock'n'roll.

Across the 15 tracks of To the Top, the Blackfoot Gypsies fuse their influences -- swamp blues cool, downhome hillbilly funk and homegrown punk panache -- into a lean, mean machine invoking such classic musical malcontents as the Rolling Stones, the Faces and Mott the Hoople, while sparking and spitting 21st-century fire. It's the type of record that could only come from a band that learned to rock the old-fashioned way -- one sweaty, full-throttle live performance at a time.

The band's brew of rock, hillbilly and blues began in 2010 when Oregon native, guitarist and singer Matthew Paige moved to Nashville and hooked up with drummer and Music City native Zach Murphy. The pair wanted to form a full band, but the urge to rock could not wait.

"We were doing just what we wanted to do," Paige says, "but making enough noise to fill out the sound was a challenge. I started playing through two amps to make the most sound."

The pair spent the next two years building a reputation through raucous live performances and two self-released EPs, Blackfoot Gypsies (2010) and Dandee Cheeseball (2011), and their first LP, On the Loose (2012). Hard touring followed the album's release as the duo bashed across the US through hard-won club dates. After three years, they were ready to expand their sound.

"There's really only so much you can do with a two-piece," Murphy says. "You have to do everything in extreme. I think we were too much for some people -- just a violent onslaught of noise."

They soon completed their expanded line-up when bass player Dylan Whitlow and harmonica master extraordinaire Ollie Dogg arrived within weeks of each other. Whitlow, a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania native and a veteran of several Nashville rock bands, had crossed paths with Paige and Murphy before, but Nashville native Ollie Dogg was new to the rock 'n' roll scene. He was a longtime veteran of Nashville's blues community and a regular at many blues jams, but joining a band full time was a new experience.

"My cousin told me about the band," Ollie Dogg says. "I met them a couple of weeks later, and played with them. They just told me to be loose. That's how I like to play, loose -- just take it and make it work. I've been playing with them ever since."

With the line-up complete, they entered the studio and laid down ten tracks of butt-shakin' country-blues rock. Released in April 2015 by Plowboy Records, Handle It delivered a mix of juke joint blues, front porch pickin' and snotty-nosed rock 'n' roll, positioning the group as inheritors of a fine pedigree, from Bo Diddley to the Black Crowes. Long nights tearing up the road followed as the band shared bills with the Alabama Shakes, Drivin' N' Cryin', the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Trampled by Turtles and many others. They toured throughout the US and wowed European audiences on their first international tour.

After sharpening their sound through hundreds of live performances, the band headed for Electric Kite Studio in Madison, Tennessee. Working with engineer Matt Stager and armed with 15 original tunes, the Blackfoot Gypsies self- produced their new album, To the Top. They also recruited some notable musical assistance from some of Nashville's finest musicians, including backup vocals from red-hot country queen Margo Price, Spencer Cullum, Jr. (Steelism) on steel guitar, Micah Hulscher on piano, Alexis Saski on background vocals, Taylor Powell and Shannon Pollard assisting on drums, and Paul Thacker, Diego Vasquez and Joe Hunter supplying horn section support. The album was mixed by Joe Funderburk at Creative Workshop.

To the Top wastes no time making it perfectly clear that the Blackfoot Gypsies are locked and loaded to rock. The album opens with a powerful statement of purpose in a trio of pedal-to-the-metal rockers. "I'm So Blue," "Everybody's Watching" and "Promise to Keep" all roar with an explosive energy worthy of the early ' 70s Rolling Stones or the Faces, while demonstrating that the Blackfoot Gypsies wear their inspirations on their sleeves without falling into the trap of pointless imitation.

The band slows things down a bit with "Potatoes and Whiskey," a rough -- cut slice of honky-tonk featuring Margo Price on backing vocals. Next they hop on a sanctified express train for the balling-the-jack anthem "I Had a Vision," followed by the Big Easy groove of "Back to New Orleans," a song perfect for second-line dancing anytime or anyplace.

Hitting their stride midway through the record, the Blackfoot Gypsies alternate rockers ("Lying Through Your Teeth," "I Wanna Be Famous," "She Was Mine" and "Warning") with songs demonstrating the band's versatility, with the hillbilly swing of "Velvet Low Down Blues," the Dylan-esque country ruckus of "Woman Woman" and the sublime juke joint jam of "I Got the Blues."

Wrapping up with the primal kick and Bo Diddley beat of "Gypsy Queen" and the lightly glam-seasoned back-to-basics haymaker "Why Should I Cry," the disc is a complex and masterful blend of rock, blues and hillbilly stomp sure to please the most discriminating palate and send the most reluctant feet to the dance floor.

Ghost of Paul Revere / Boy Named Banjo

Ghost of Paul Revere
"We grew up listening to Radiohead and the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd," says Griffin Sherry, guitarist/singer in The Ghost Of Paul Revere. "Everyone assumed we were a bluegrass band because we were playing these traditional instruments, but we weren’t writing traditional music. We were just writing songs with the instruments we had."

The result is a sound that the Portland, Maine-based band describes as "holler folk," not because it involves a lot of hollering, per se, but because it invokes the rich communal tradition of field hollers, with their call-and-response melodies, sing-along hooks, and densely layered harmonies. That sense of musical camaraderie is essential to everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, and nowhere is it more evident than their sophomore album, ''Monarch.'

The album builds on the success of the band's 2014 debut full-length, 'Believe,' and their 2015 EP, 'Field Notes Vol. 1,' which was recorded primarily in a single day at Converse's Rubber Tracks studio in Boston. The session was part of a prize package presented by the iconic Newport Folk Festival, which had invited the band to perform at the storied Rhode Island musical gathering earlier that year as part of a lineup featuring everyone from James Taylor and Jason Isbell to The Lone Bellow and Bela Fleck.

"The Monday before Newport we got a message saying to pack our bags and come on down," remembers Sherry. "We hadn't played much outside of Maine or started opening for any big acts yet at that point, and it was a hugely inspiring moment."

Word began to spread about the rowdy pickers from the north. The Boston Globe raved that they "create the type of music for which festivals are made," while No Depression said they "prove that superior roots music can come from anywhere," and Dispatch Magazine wrote that they possess not only "the chops, but the heart to reach their audience and leave an undeniable impression." Hitting listeners straight in the feelings has been the band's M.O. since its inception in 2011, and they've used their powerful stage show to convert the masses at every stop along their long and winding journey, which has included shared stages with artists like The Avett Brothers, The Travelin' McCourys, Brown Bird, The Revivalists, the Infamous Stringdusters, and more. The band sold out Port City Music Hall, Stone Mountain Arts Center, and the Strand Theater multiple times, won Best In Maine at the New England Music Awards, and capped off 2015 with an electrifying headline performance on New Year's Eve at Portland's State Theatre in front of 1,600 enraptured fans.

When it came time to record, 'Monarch,' though, the band knew they wanted to push the sonic envelope beyond the live-in-the-studio setup that had guided their previous efforts.

"Every other record has just been the three of us in a room with microphones until we got a take we liked," explains Sherry. "We approached this one differently. It was the first time we did a lot of arranging and writing in the studio. We decided we'd worry about learning how to present the songs live after we'd recorded everything instead of the other way around."

"It enabled us to get a lot more adventurous with our ideas," adds bassist/singer Sean McCarthy. "We wanted to do something new and explore where we could take the sound while still staying true to who we are."

The album opens with "Little Bird," a playful, infectious foot -stomper that blends blues and soul and roots and perfectly reflects the communal, inviting nature of the band's music.

Banjo player Max Davis takes over the songwriting and lead vocal duties for "Avalanche," an emotional anthem featuring one of the album's most lush arrangements along with driving drums from special guest Tony McNaboe (Ray LaMontagne, Rustic Overtones), while "King's Road" finds the band expanding their sonic palette to include strings and electric guitar, and "Honey Please" channels 60's R&B and Motown through old-school folk instrumentation. At the core of everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, though, are their powerful, stop-you-dead-in -your-tracks harmonies. On songs like "Wild Child," "Welcome Home," and "Need Somebody," the band conjures up whole worlds of shimmering sonic beauty in the blending of their voices.

"The album follows this arc where it starts very bright-eyed and optimistic and then hits a turning point where it gets really dark," says Sherry, "like a relationship that starts beautifully and then grows sour. As we started to build the record and expand the sound, it had a place sonically and emotionally.”

By the end of the record, the song cycle reveals that traveling through the darkness is in fact a necessary step for positive growth. 'Monarch' closer "Chrysalides" evokes the imagery of metamorphosis, a transformation that represents rebirth and new beginnings.

"It's about what happens in that moment of metamorphosis and change," says Davis. "I was interested in combining different words into a new term that could capture that feeling, so 'Chrysalides' is a play on chrysalis. This was one of the first times that I allowed myself to bite into and really take advantage of that space in the writing."

If there's one takeaway from 'Monarch,' it's that change is inevitable. Lovers, families, friends, instruments, sounds; they all transform with time. The key to thriving and surviving in a challenging world is to embrace those transformations, to accept them not as endings but as fresh starts. What comes next? Only time can tell. One thing's for sure, though: by opening their hearts and souls with such artistic grace and humility, The Ghost of Paul Revere have created a rich, rewarding, passionate community, one that they can count on to join them for every step of the remarkable journey that lies ahead.

Boy Named Banjo

Boy named banjo is a Americana-roots band from Nashville, TN

Boy Named Banjo is creating a lot of buzz in the americana and country scenes east of the Mississippi. the nashville natives founded the group in 2011, realeasing their first album The Tanglewood Sessions at the age of 18. the group has since released its sophomore record, Long Story Short (2014), and an EP, lost on main (2015). bnb took the stage at Bonnaro0 in 2015, which led to a nomination for "Best local Band (Nashville)" By The Tennesseean.

Ghost of Paul Revere
"We grew up listening to Radiohead and the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd," says Griffin Sherry, guitarist/singer in The Ghost Of Paul Revere. "Everyone assumed we were a bluegrass band because we were playing these traditional instruments, but we weren’t writing traditional music. We were just writing songs with the instruments we had."

The result is a sound that the Portland, Maine-based band describes as "holler folk," not because it involves a lot of hollering, per se, but because it invokes the rich communal tradition of field hollers, with their call-and-response melodies, sing-along hooks, and densely layered harmonies. That sense of musical camaraderie is essential to everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, and nowhere is it more evident than their sophomore album, ''Monarch.'

The album builds on the success of the band's 2014 debut full-length, 'Believe,' and their 2015 EP, 'Field Notes Vol. 1,' which was recorded primarily in a single day at Converse's Rubber Tracks studio in Boston. The session was part of a prize package presented by the iconic Newport Folk Festival, which had invited the band to perform at the storied Rhode Island musical gathering earlier that year as part of a lineup featuring everyone from James Taylor and Jason Isbell to The Lone Bellow and Bela Fleck.

"The Monday before Newport we got a message saying to pack our bags and come on down," remembers Sherry. "We hadn't played much outside of Maine or started opening for any big acts yet at that point, and it was a hugely inspiring moment."

Word began to spread about the rowdy pickers from the north. The Boston Globe raved that they "create the type of music for which festivals are made," while No Depression said they "prove that superior roots music can come from anywhere," and Dispatch Magazine wrote that they possess not only "the chops, but the heart to reach their audience and leave an undeniable impression." Hitting listeners straight in the feelings has been the band's M.O. since its inception in 2011, and they've used their powerful stage show to convert the masses at every stop along their long and winding journey, which has included shared stages with artists like The Avett Brothers, The Travelin' McCourys, Brown Bird, The Revivalists, the Infamous Stringdusters, and more. The band sold out Port City Music Hall, Stone Mountain Arts Center, and the Strand Theater multiple times, won Best In Maine at the New England Music Awards, and capped off 2015 with an electrifying headline performance on New Year's Eve at Portland's State Theatre in front of 1,600 enraptured fans.

When it came time to record, 'Monarch,' though, the band knew they wanted to push the sonic envelope beyond the live-in-the-studio setup that had guided their previous efforts.

"Every other record has just been the three of us in a room with microphones until we got a take we liked," explains Sherry. "We approached this one differently. It was the first time we did a lot of arranging and writing in the studio. We decided we'd worry about learning how to present the songs live after we'd recorded everything instead of the other way around."

"It enabled us to get a lot more adventurous with our ideas," adds bassist/singer Sean McCarthy. "We wanted to do something new and explore where we could take the sound while still staying true to who we are."

The album opens with "Little Bird," a playful, infectious foot -stomper that blends blues and soul and roots and perfectly reflects the communal, inviting nature of the band's music.

Banjo player Max Davis takes over the songwriting and lead vocal duties for "Avalanche," an emotional anthem featuring one of the album's most lush arrangements along with driving drums from special guest Tony McNaboe (Ray LaMontagne, Rustic Overtones), while "King's Road" finds the band expanding their sonic palette to include strings and electric guitar, and "Honey Please" channels 60's R&B and Motown through old-school folk instrumentation. At the core of everything The Ghost of Paul Revere does, though, are their powerful, stop-you-dead-in -your-tracks harmonies. On songs like "Wild Child," "Welcome Home," and "Need Somebody," the band conjures up whole worlds of shimmering sonic beauty in the blending of their voices.

"The album follows this arc where it starts very bright-eyed and optimistic and then hits a turning point where it gets really dark," says Sherry, "like a relationship that starts beautifully and then grows sour. As we started to build the record and expand the sound, it had a place sonically and emotionally.”

By the end of the record, the song cycle reveals that traveling through the darkness is in fact a necessary step for positive growth. 'Monarch' closer "Chrysalides" evokes the imagery of metamorphosis, a transformation that represents rebirth and new beginnings.

"It's about what happens in that moment of metamorphosis and change," says Davis. "I was interested in combining different words into a new term that could capture that feeling, so 'Chrysalides' is a play on chrysalis. This was one of the first times that I allowed myself to bite into and really take advantage of that space in the writing."

If there's one takeaway from 'Monarch,' it's that change is inevitable. Lovers, families, friends, instruments, sounds; they all transform with time. The key to thriving and surviving in a challenging world is to embrace those transformations, to accept them not as endings but as fresh starts. What comes next? Only time can tell. One thing's for sure, though: by opening their hearts and souls with such artistic grace and humility, The Ghost of Paul Revere have created a rich, rewarding, passionate community, one that they can count on to join them for every step of the remarkable journey that lies ahead.

Boy Named Banjo

Boy named banjo is a Americana-roots band from Nashville, TN

Boy Named Banjo is creating a lot of buzz in the americana and country scenes east of the Mississippi. the nashville natives founded the group in 2011, realeasing their first album The Tanglewood Sessions at the age of 18. the group has since released its sophomore record, Long Story Short (2014), and an EP, lost on main (2015). bnb took the stage at Bonnaro0 in 2015, which led to a nomination for "Best local Band (Nashville)" By The Tennesseean.

Curtis McMurtry / Bindley Hardware Co.

Curtis McMurtry writes songs about villains that believe they are victims. Influenced by Fiona Apple, Billy Strayhorn and Leonard Cohen, Curtis' music combines sinister lyrics with lush, unconventional arrangements. His first solo album Respectable Enemy was released in August 2014, and drew comparisons to Calexico and John Fullbright. His sophomore album The Hornet's Nest was released in February 2017, and continues to garner critical acclaim. Curtis' music has been featured on NPR's Weekend Edition, and his song "Wrong Inflection" was included in the soundtrack for comedian Tig Notaro's Amazon Prime series One Mississippi.



Curtis was born and raised in Austin, Texas and grew up listening to local musicians Warren Hood, Ephraim Owens, Seela, and his father, James McMurtry. Curtis studied music composition and ethnomusicology in college, primarily writing contemporary chamber music for banjo and strings. After graduation, Curtis moved to Nashville to sharpen his songwriting by co-writing with elder statesmen including Fred Koller and Guy Clark. He has since moved back to Austin where he performs as a quartet with cellist Diana Burgess (of Mother Falcon), upright bassist Taylor Turner (of Magia Negra) and trumpeter Nathan Calzada.

Bindley Hardware Co. is a rust-belt Americana band from Pittsburgh, PA. They draw influence from classic country, folk and modern alt-country, as well as from the original Bindley Hardware Co., its namesake hardware store owned and operated by frontman Jon's family during Pittsburgh’s industrial boom in the early 20th century. "To be able to make music or have any kind of creative endeavor that identifies where you’re from is really important. [...] Things in Pittsburgh inspire me every day. The Bindley Hardware Co. has such a rich history and I’m kind of making it my own," Bindley said.

Curtis McMurtry writes songs about villains that believe they are victims. Influenced by Fiona Apple, Billy Strayhorn and Leonard Cohen, Curtis' music combines sinister lyrics with lush, unconventional arrangements. His first solo album Respectable Enemy was released in August 2014, and drew comparisons to Calexico and John Fullbright. His sophomore album The Hornet's Nest was released in February 2017, and continues to garner critical acclaim. Curtis' music has been featured on NPR's Weekend Edition, and his song "Wrong Inflection" was included in the soundtrack for comedian Tig Notaro's Amazon Prime series One Mississippi.



Curtis was born and raised in Austin, Texas and grew up listening to local musicians Warren Hood, Ephraim Owens, Seela, and his father, James McMurtry. Curtis studied music composition and ethnomusicology in college, primarily writing contemporary chamber music for banjo and strings. After graduation, Curtis moved to Nashville to sharpen his songwriting by co-writing with elder statesmen including Fred Koller and Guy Clark. He has since moved back to Austin where he performs as a quartet with cellist Diana Burgess (of Mother Falcon), upright bassist Taylor Turner (of Magia Negra) and trumpeter Nathan Calzada.

Bindley Hardware Co. is a rust-belt Americana band from Pittsburgh, PA. They draw influence from classic country, folk and modern alt-country, as well as from the original Bindley Hardware Co., its namesake hardware store owned and operated by frontman Jon's family during Pittsburgh’s industrial boom in the early 20th century. "To be able to make music or have any kind of creative endeavor that identifies where you’re from is really important. [...] Things in Pittsburgh inspire me every day. The Bindley Hardware Co. has such a rich history and I’m kind of making it my own," Bindley said.

(Early Show) The Local / Radio Lark

What do you get when you cross a punk rocker from Belfast, Northern Ireland with a indie-folkster from Pittsburgh? The powerful indie rock ensemble The Local, whose combination of punk rock influences, infused with sweeping operatic arrangements resemble something producer Brian McTear (War on Drugs, Strand of Oaks, Matt Pond PA, Local Natives) lovingly describes as My Bloody Valentine meets Ennio Morricone.

Their story begins near Belfast where Dean Henry formed the short-lived punk band Slate with his younger brother Lee. Proudly wearing their influences on their sleeve, the band drew a large and loyal local following with its stage presence and catchy, driving tunes. It was during this time that he met Jenny, an American living in Northern Ireland, also playing in small town pubs and clubs around the country. She became a supporter of The band, and later, Slate’s unofficial tour manager. “We would load our gear into my Peugeot hatchback and trek all over Northern Ireland playing shows”. The couple married and headed to Pittsburgh, where Jenny was born and raised.

A lifelong music appreciator, Ben Sweet determined to teach himself guitar after a diabetes diagnosis. With an assist from a music theory text, he quickly gained his chops and began writing the lyrically-driven folk songs which formed the basis of his solo act Southside American. His first solo record In Our Keystone State was released in 2013 to critical acclaim and significant local buzz. As Sweet looked to round out Southside’s sound, he added a backing band. A tip from the band’s keyboardist, who worked alongside Jenny Henry, led him to Dean, a skilled percussionist, in the spring of 2014.

It was while playing together in Southside American that Henry and Sweet discovered their mutual affection for bands such as The Jam, The Clash, The Replacements and The Pixies. Sweet encouraged Henry to begin writing his own songs and, in no time, he was churning out one compelling composition after another, all the while his guitar chops increasing dramatically. The two begin writing together and, in no time at all, had put together the songs which form the nucleus of their debut EP Reverie which was recorded with McTear at Miner Street Studio in Philadelphia, and features Jenny Henry on bass and Pat Berkery (The War on Drugs, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!) on drums.

Since returning from the studio, the band has recently added keyboardist Eric Matlock.

A self-described band for adults The Local brings a powerful yet understated sensibility to the stage on diverse tracks such as Reverie, Racing and Fair Play. The Reverie EP is due to be released in the spring of 2018 on Wednesday Records. It was mastered by Paul Hammond.

What do you get when you cross a punk rocker from Belfast, Northern Ireland with a indie-folkster from Pittsburgh? The powerful indie rock ensemble The Local, whose combination of punk rock influences, infused with sweeping operatic arrangements resemble something producer Brian McTear (War on Drugs, Strand of Oaks, Matt Pond PA, Local Natives) lovingly describes as My Bloody Valentine meets Ennio Morricone.

Their story begins near Belfast where Dean Henry formed the short-lived punk band Slate with his younger brother Lee. Proudly wearing their influences on their sleeve, the band drew a large and loyal local following with its stage presence and catchy, driving tunes. It was during this time that he met Jenny, an American living in Northern Ireland, also playing in small town pubs and clubs around the country. She became a supporter of The band, and later, Slate’s unofficial tour manager. “We would load our gear into my Peugeot hatchback and trek all over Northern Ireland playing shows”. The couple married and headed to Pittsburgh, where Jenny was born and raised.

A lifelong music appreciator, Ben Sweet determined to teach himself guitar after a diabetes diagnosis. With an assist from a music theory text, he quickly gained his chops and began writing the lyrically-driven folk songs which formed the basis of his solo act Southside American. His first solo record In Our Keystone State was released in 2013 to critical acclaim and significant local buzz. As Sweet looked to round out Southside’s sound, he added a backing band. A tip from the band’s keyboardist, who worked alongside Jenny Henry, led him to Dean, a skilled percussionist, in the spring of 2014.

It was while playing together in Southside American that Henry and Sweet discovered their mutual affection for bands such as The Jam, The Clash, The Replacements and The Pixies. Sweet encouraged Henry to begin writing his own songs and, in no time, he was churning out one compelling composition after another, all the while his guitar chops increasing dramatically. The two begin writing together and, in no time at all, had put together the songs which form the nucleus of their debut EP Reverie which was recorded with McTear at Miner Street Studio in Philadelphia, and features Jenny Henry on bass and Pat Berkery (The War on Drugs, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!) on drums.

Since returning from the studio, the band has recently added keyboardist Eric Matlock.

A self-described band for adults The Local brings a powerful yet understated sensibility to the stage on diverse tracks such as Reverie, Racing and Fair Play. The Reverie EP is due to be released in the spring of 2018 on Wednesday Records. It was mastered by Paul Hammond.

@clubcafelive

56-58 South 12th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203 (In Pittsburgh’s Historic South Side)