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Matthew Perryman Jones with Special Guest Molly Parden

A performing songwriter by trade, Matthew Perryman Jones is actually a seeker, at heart. With each entry in his discography, his musical and moral compass points toward an artistic horizon he has yet to explore. Sometimes, he turns his gaze to examine his own inner world. Other times, he looks to the inspirations found in the letters Vincent Van Gogh penned to his brother Theo, in the idea of duende as proffered by Federico García Lorca, and in the poetic verses of Sufi poets Hafiz and Rumi.

Of his most recent release, American Songwriter wrote that, “MPJ’s songwriting acumen could easily be used as a musical template to demonstrate how less can be so much more. [He] sounds cinematic and slowly worms its way inside your brain, feasts upon your emotions, and ultimately burrows down into your soul.” It could be said that Matthew makes soul music — not based on how it sounds, but on where it originates and where it resides.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Matthew grew up in Georgia and cut his artistic teeth in the Atlanta music scene before heading north to Nashville. His debut release, Nowhere Else But Here, dropped in 2000, followed by three subsequent albums — Throwing Punches in the Dark (2006), Swallow the Sea (2008), and Land of the Living (2012) — and three additional EPs as well as a handful of singles. Songs from across his catalog have been featured in dozens of film and TV placements, and tours have taken him across the U.S. and abroad to share stages with legends like Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin, as well as the Ten Out of Tenn songwriter collective of which he is a part.

Now, Matthew is gearing up to release his fifth album, alongside producer Josh Kaler, focused on genius loci — the spirit of place. Written across the country throughout 2017, and funded by generous fans contributing to a Pledge Music campaign, the record was finished in early 2018. As he chases the ever-retreating horizon, Jones will stop, listen, and capture when and what the spirit of each place calls out to him.

A performing songwriter by trade, Matthew Perryman Jones is actually a seeker, at heart. With each entry in his discography, his musical and moral compass points toward an artistic horizon he has yet to explore. Sometimes, he turns his gaze to examine his own inner world. Other times, he looks to the inspirations found in the letters Vincent Van Gogh penned to his brother Theo, in the idea of duende as proffered by Federico García Lorca, and in the poetic verses of Sufi poets Hafiz and Rumi.

Of his most recent release, American Songwriter wrote that, “MPJ’s songwriting acumen could easily be used as a musical template to demonstrate how less can be so much more. [He] sounds cinematic and slowly worms its way inside your brain, feasts upon your emotions, and ultimately burrows down into your soul.” It could be said that Matthew makes soul music — not based on how it sounds, but on where it originates and where it resides.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Matthew grew up in Georgia and cut his artistic teeth in the Atlanta music scene before heading north to Nashville. His debut release, Nowhere Else But Here, dropped in 2000, followed by three subsequent albums — Throwing Punches in the Dark (2006), Swallow the Sea (2008), and Land of the Living (2012) — and three additional EPs as well as a handful of singles. Songs from across his catalog have been featured in dozens of film and TV placements, and tours have taken him across the U.S. and abroad to share stages with legends like Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin, as well as the Ten Out of Tenn songwriter collective of which he is a part.

Now, Matthew is gearing up to release his fifth album, alongside producer Josh Kaler, focused on genius loci — the spirit of place. Written across the country throughout 2017, and funded by generous fans contributing to a Pledge Music campaign, the record was finished in early 2018. As he chases the ever-retreating horizon, Jones will stop, listen, and capture when and what the spirit of each place calls out to him.

An Evening With Jill Sobule

Nostalgia can be wonderful and amazing. It's OK to look back. But then you gotta get the fuck out of there." So says singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, explaining the theme of her new album, Nostalgia Kills.

On Nostalgia Kills(out September 14 on Jill's own Pinko Records), the woman hailed by The New York Timesfor making "grown-up music for an adolescent age" turns her warm wit and poet's eye on herself more than ever before, revisiting moments from throughout her life that made her into the person she is today. It's an especially poignant look back at childhood - "exorcising some junior high school demons," as she puts it.

Looking back is a new experience for Jill Sobule. Ever since she first caught mainstream attention with her 1995 song "I Kissed a Girl" - the first song about same-sex romance ever to crack the Billboard Top 20 (and no relation to the later Katy Perry tune) - she's always pushed forward, exploring new sounds and subject matter with each passing album and refusing to be pigeonholed by her early hits (which also include the ‘90s alt-rock anthem "Supermodel," featured in an iconic scene in the film Clueless).

Along the way, Jill has shared stages with the likes of Billy Bragg, Cyndi Lauper and Warren Zevon, written music for TV and theater, and been a pioneer in the art of crowdfunding, raising so much money for her 2009 album California Yearsthat a then-unknown startup called Kickstarter came to her for advice. She's also been active in numerous social and political causes, performing at prisons as part of Wayne Kramer's Jail Guitar Doors project, playing dates with Lady Parts Justice's "Vagical Mystery Tour," and curating Monster Protest Jams Vol. 1, featuring protest songs by Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, Boots Riley, Amanda Palmer, Jackson Browne and many other great artists - including Jill's own "When They Say We Want Our America Back, What the F#@k Do They Mean?", which traces the history of anti-immigrant sentiment in America.

For Nostalgia Kills, Jill worked with her good friend, Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee, to cull the album's 11 songs from a collection of over 100, representing nearly a decade's worth of material accumulated since the release of California Years. In turning those songs into an album, she received a little extra motivation from an unlikely source.
"I was at an industry party," she recalls. "And I heard this total douche saying, you know, once someone reaches the age of 40, they can't write a good song. And I went up to him and I was like, ‘You don't know me, but you're an idiot.'"
Making it her mission to prove her new nemesis wrong, Jill took the songs into Lee's home studio in Los Angeles with a supporting cast of players that included John Doe (X), Wayne Kramer (The MC5), Petra Haden (That Dog), Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Jellyfish), Robin Eaton (Jill's long time collaborator and co-writer) and Richard Barone (The Bongos). "This was done with a lot of friends," she says. "It was very organic." Many of the final mixes even contain elements of the original demos, recorded with various apps on Jill's iPad.

Right from the jump, Nostalgia Kills proves that this songwriter, despite being a few years north of 40, is still at the peak of her powers. How many artists of any age can write a song like "I Don't Wanna Wake Up," an Old Testament head trip inspired by a bad breakup, the death of a parent, and microdosing mushrooms? Let alone have the nerve to make it their album's opening track?

From there, Nostalgia Kills explores its titular theme through a collection of songs that ponder the past without ever lapsing into easy sentimentality. "I Put My Headphones On," as catchy as anything in Jill's catalog, captures the cozy feeling of tuning out the outside world with a favorite record. "Almost Great" is a ukulele-laced ode to youthful brushes with success and adult battles with procrastination. "Forbidden Thoughts of Youth" is a beautifully rendered portrait of adolescent unrequited love, as Jill looks back at her first gay crush ("an incredible combination of Marcia Brady and future meth-smoking biker chick").

"Headphones" and "Forbidden Thoughts" will be part of #Fuck7thGrade, a one-woman show about "the worst year of my life," andjust the latest of Jill's many forays into theater. Nostalgia Kills features new versions of several of Jill's best songs for the stage: "There's Nothing I Can Do" is a defiant breakup anthem from the off-off-Broadway musical Prozak and the Platypus, sung from the perspective of a rebellious 17-year-old girl. "25 Cents" is from Times Square, a new musical based on the 1980 cult film of the same name - and Jill's own memories of visiting New York City as a teenager, back when the city was still "scary and fascinating and full of junkies." And the gorgeous ballad "Tomorrow Is Breaking My Heart" is one of several original songs Jill wrote for a new adaptation of Yentl, Isaac Bashevis Singer's tale of gender-bending romance later made famous by Barbra Streisand's film adaptation.

There are two versions of "Tomorrow Is Breaking" co-written with long time collaborator on Nostalgia Kills- a mournful duet with John Doe, and a special bonus track version featuring an amateur musician Nicolas Ford, who made a pledge to the Nostalgia KillsKickstarter campaign in which the prize was to sing a duet with Jill. "I decided to do it in a different style with a piano and he kicked ass," she says proudly of Nicholas' crooning accompaniment.

Nostalgia Kills' bonus tracks also include "The Donor Song," on which Jill gives shout-outs to her Kickstarter backers (including Avengersdirector and Buffy the Vampire Slayercreator Joss Whedon, whom Jill calls "my personal lord and savior" because he donated at the highest level), as well as lovely covers of The Stairsteps' soul classic "O-o-h Child" and "Don't Let Us Get Sick," a heartbreakingly beautiful, late-career ballad by Jill's friend and mentor, Warren Zevon, with whom she tour shortly before his death in 2003. "He used to come out during my set to sing ‘I Kissed a Girl' with me," Jill remembers. "He would always wink at me when we would sing ‘They can have their diamonds and we'll have are pearls' to let me know he got the clitoral reference."

For all its graceful, funny and heartbreaking explorations of awkward youth and grown-up regrets, Nostalgia Killsis as of-the-moment as anything in Jill Sobule's catalog. Through her own experiences, she explores issues our society still collectively struggles with (LGBTQ rights, teen mental health, our unhealthy obsession with staying forever young) and gently skewers our tendency to dwell on the past at the expense of addressing the present. As she sings on the title track: "We look at ourselves in a long row of mirrors/We get smaller and smaller with each passing year/We have to keep moving or die."

Nostalgia can be wonderful and amazing. It's OK to look back. But then you gotta get the fuck out of there." So says singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, explaining the theme of her new album, Nostalgia Kills.

On Nostalgia Kills(out September 14 on Jill's own Pinko Records), the woman hailed by The New York Timesfor making "grown-up music for an adolescent age" turns her warm wit and poet's eye on herself more than ever before, revisiting moments from throughout her life that made her into the person she is today. It's an especially poignant look back at childhood - "exorcising some junior high school demons," as she puts it.

Looking back is a new experience for Jill Sobule. Ever since she first caught mainstream attention with her 1995 song "I Kissed a Girl" - the first song about same-sex romance ever to crack the Billboard Top 20 (and no relation to the later Katy Perry tune) - she's always pushed forward, exploring new sounds and subject matter with each passing album and refusing to be pigeonholed by her early hits (which also include the ‘90s alt-rock anthem "Supermodel," featured in an iconic scene in the film Clueless).

Along the way, Jill has shared stages with the likes of Billy Bragg, Cyndi Lauper and Warren Zevon, written music for TV and theater, and been a pioneer in the art of crowdfunding, raising so much money for her 2009 album California Yearsthat a then-unknown startup called Kickstarter came to her for advice. She's also been active in numerous social and political causes, performing at prisons as part of Wayne Kramer's Jail Guitar Doors project, playing dates with Lady Parts Justice's "Vagical Mystery Tour," and curating Monster Protest Jams Vol. 1, featuring protest songs by Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, Boots Riley, Amanda Palmer, Jackson Browne and many other great artists - including Jill's own "When They Say We Want Our America Back, What the F#@k Do They Mean?", which traces the history of anti-immigrant sentiment in America.

For Nostalgia Kills, Jill worked with her good friend, Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee, to cull the album's 11 songs from a collection of over 100, representing nearly a decade's worth of material accumulated since the release of California Years. In turning those songs into an album, she received a little extra motivation from an unlikely source.
"I was at an industry party," she recalls. "And I heard this total douche saying, you know, once someone reaches the age of 40, they can't write a good song. And I went up to him and I was like, ‘You don't know me, but you're an idiot.'"
Making it her mission to prove her new nemesis wrong, Jill took the songs into Lee's home studio in Los Angeles with a supporting cast of players that included John Doe (X), Wayne Kramer (The MC5), Petra Haden (That Dog), Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Jellyfish), Robin Eaton (Jill's long time collaborator and co-writer) and Richard Barone (The Bongos). "This was done with a lot of friends," she says. "It was very organic." Many of the final mixes even contain elements of the original demos, recorded with various apps on Jill's iPad.

Right from the jump, Nostalgia Kills proves that this songwriter, despite being a few years north of 40, is still at the peak of her powers. How many artists of any age can write a song like "I Don't Wanna Wake Up," an Old Testament head trip inspired by a bad breakup, the death of a parent, and microdosing mushrooms? Let alone have the nerve to make it their album's opening track?

From there, Nostalgia Kills explores its titular theme through a collection of songs that ponder the past without ever lapsing into easy sentimentality. "I Put My Headphones On," as catchy as anything in Jill's catalog, captures the cozy feeling of tuning out the outside world with a favorite record. "Almost Great" is a ukulele-laced ode to youthful brushes with success and adult battles with procrastination. "Forbidden Thoughts of Youth" is a beautifully rendered portrait of adolescent unrequited love, as Jill looks back at her first gay crush ("an incredible combination of Marcia Brady and future meth-smoking biker chick").

"Headphones" and "Forbidden Thoughts" will be part of #Fuck7thGrade, a one-woman show about "the worst year of my life," andjust the latest of Jill's many forays into theater. Nostalgia Kills features new versions of several of Jill's best songs for the stage: "There's Nothing I Can Do" is a defiant breakup anthem from the off-off-Broadway musical Prozak and the Platypus, sung from the perspective of a rebellious 17-year-old girl. "25 Cents" is from Times Square, a new musical based on the 1980 cult film of the same name - and Jill's own memories of visiting New York City as a teenager, back when the city was still "scary and fascinating and full of junkies." And the gorgeous ballad "Tomorrow Is Breaking My Heart" is one of several original songs Jill wrote for a new adaptation of Yentl, Isaac Bashevis Singer's tale of gender-bending romance later made famous by Barbra Streisand's film adaptation.

There are two versions of "Tomorrow Is Breaking" co-written with long time collaborator on Nostalgia Kills- a mournful duet with John Doe, and a special bonus track version featuring an amateur musician Nicolas Ford, who made a pledge to the Nostalgia KillsKickstarter campaign in which the prize was to sing a duet with Jill. "I decided to do it in a different style with a piano and he kicked ass," she says proudly of Nicholas' crooning accompaniment.

Nostalgia Kills' bonus tracks also include "The Donor Song," on which Jill gives shout-outs to her Kickstarter backers (including Avengersdirector and Buffy the Vampire Slayercreator Joss Whedon, whom Jill calls "my personal lord and savior" because he donated at the highest level), as well as lovely covers of The Stairsteps' soul classic "O-o-h Child" and "Don't Let Us Get Sick," a heartbreakingly beautiful, late-career ballad by Jill's friend and mentor, Warren Zevon, with whom she tour shortly before his death in 2003. "He used to come out during my set to sing ‘I Kissed a Girl' with me," Jill remembers. "He would always wink at me when we would sing ‘They can have their diamonds and we'll have are pearls' to let me know he got the clitoral reference."

For all its graceful, funny and heartbreaking explorations of awkward youth and grown-up regrets, Nostalgia Killsis as of-the-moment as anything in Jill Sobule's catalog. Through her own experiences, she explores issues our society still collectively struggles with (LGBTQ rights, teen mental health, our unhealthy obsession with staying forever young) and gently skewers our tendency to dwell on the past at the expense of addressing the present. As she sings on the title track: "We look at ourselves in a long row of mirrors/We get smaller and smaller with each passing year/We have to keep moving or die."

An Evening With Albert Cummings

Entertaining audiences from his phenomenal guitar work to his incredibly impassioned lyrics and overall songwriting prowess - one thing has certainly become clear about Albert Cummings’ music: He is FAR MORE than simply just the guitarist or the bluesman he’s often painted as by fans and the media alike. He offers the complete package.


Though undoubtedly a masterful guitar player who burst onto the blues rock scene in the early
2000’s and almost immediately began gaining praise in that realm, his latest release “Live at the ‘62 Center” further portrays not only his versatility as singer/songwriter and live performer but as an artist first and foremost.


This comes to fruition in the true spontaneity and creative spirit of the album, in which he put together a newly formed version of his usual trio that afternoon of the October, 2016 recording. With longtime friend and Grammy Winner Jim Gaines behind the soundboard, what comes through in both sight and sound is an incredible journey into the live performance world and true artistry of one of today’s most seasoned musicians.


“His muscular guitar work is simply outstanding. He’s a great blues singer as well with passion for the tunes inherent in his full throttle approach.” - Rock and Blues Muse on Live at the ‘62
Center


Like many greats before him who’ve been painted into a corner as merely great blues players, or guitar players, or singers - Cummings seeks to rise above these labels and be praised for the devotion to his overall craft as a true musician. In artist terms - he’s sought to be known for the overall pallet of his music, rather than one specific color. From greats like Eric Clapton to
the more recent stylings of John Mayer, his artistic integrity has allowed him to focus on the big picture, writing songs from the heart rather than catering to his specifics strengths as a singer, guitarist, or bandleader (all of which he does impeccably, however).


His musical journey began when young Albert first picked up a guitar - learning the requisite three chords from his father, but later switched over to banjo at the age of 12 after becoming a bluegrass fan. After hearing the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, he was impressed by the sheer virtuosity of the artist, and following his first chance to see him LIVE while in college in Boston he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.


At age 27, as he continued to grow in his newfound passion, he landed on the Northeast blues circuit with his first band Swamp Yankee. Then, in 1998, after walking into a Northeast Blues Society’s open jam, Cummings won the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge the following year. By 2000, his debut single “The Long Way”
was released to rave reviews, and began opening new doors for the artist.


His first big opportunity came in the form of a chance to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray’s passing. Having began his musical journey in part due to Vaughan’s inspiration, it seemed Cummings’ passion had brought him full-circle.


Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock then caught the attention of Blind Pig Records (Muddy Waters, Jimmy Vivino, Elvin Bishop), which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, fully showcasing his well-rounded talents.


Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.


His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, furthered a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting - leading Billboard Magazine to exclaim “This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived”.


2008 saw his first live album “Feel So Good”, recorded at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts which has hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way
that’s rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, “It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night”. Music
Connection also called it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time”.


As he continued to grow, playing with the likes of legends from B.B. King (who called dubbed him “a great guitarist”), Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, and many more - Cummings built on not only his all-around songwriting and musicianship but his guitar playing skill as well. Using his knowledge to give back to fellow guitarists wanting to advance in their craft, he released the instructional DVD “Working Man Blues Guitar” in 2011. His next album, 2012’s self-released “No Regrets” followed as a return to his true musical roots, poignantly capturing the core of his influences and displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country, and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.


2015’s “Someone Like You” was recorded in Southern California with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov’t Mule) at the helm. Said Z, “Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. What a blast to watch him jell in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles.” One of those musicians was Blind Pig label mate and leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan TV show, Jimmy Vivino, who performs on three cuts.

Now, as he continues writing and performing, relentlessly devoting effort to his craft, Cumming’s is ready to continue on his ever expansive musical journey.

Entertaining audiences from his phenomenal guitar work to his incredibly impassioned lyrics and overall songwriting prowess - one thing has certainly become clear about Albert Cummings’ music: He is FAR MORE than simply just the guitarist or the bluesman he’s often painted as by fans and the media alike. He offers the complete package.


Though undoubtedly a masterful guitar player who burst onto the blues rock scene in the early
2000’s and almost immediately began gaining praise in that realm, his latest release “Live at the ‘62 Center” further portrays not only his versatility as singer/songwriter and live performer but as an artist first and foremost.


This comes to fruition in the true spontaneity and creative spirit of the album, in which he put together a newly formed version of his usual trio that afternoon of the October, 2016 recording. With longtime friend and Grammy Winner Jim Gaines behind the soundboard, what comes through in both sight and sound is an incredible journey into the live performance world and true artistry of one of today’s most seasoned musicians.


“His muscular guitar work is simply outstanding. He’s a great blues singer as well with passion for the tunes inherent in his full throttle approach.” - Rock and Blues Muse on Live at the ‘62
Center


Like many greats before him who’ve been painted into a corner as merely great blues players, or guitar players, or singers - Cummings seeks to rise above these labels and be praised for the devotion to his overall craft as a true musician. In artist terms - he’s sought to be known for the overall pallet of his music, rather than one specific color. From greats like Eric Clapton to
the more recent stylings of John Mayer, his artistic integrity has allowed him to focus on the big picture, writing songs from the heart rather than catering to his specifics strengths as a singer, guitarist, or bandleader (all of which he does impeccably, however).


His musical journey began when young Albert first picked up a guitar - learning the requisite three chords from his father, but later switched over to banjo at the age of 12 after becoming a bluegrass fan. After hearing the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, he was impressed by the sheer virtuosity of the artist, and following his first chance to see him LIVE while in college in Boston he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.


At age 27, as he continued to grow in his newfound passion, he landed on the Northeast blues circuit with his first band Swamp Yankee. Then, in 1998, after walking into a Northeast Blues Society’s open jam, Cummings won the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge the following year. By 2000, his debut single “The Long Way”
was released to rave reviews, and began opening new doors for the artist.


His first big opportunity came in the form of a chance to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray’s passing. Having began his musical journey in part due to Vaughan’s inspiration, it seemed Cummings’ passion had brought him full-circle.


Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock then caught the attention of Blind Pig Records (Muddy Waters, Jimmy Vivino, Elvin Bishop), which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, fully showcasing his well-rounded talents.


Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.


His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, furthered a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting - leading Billboard Magazine to exclaim “This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived”.


2008 saw his first live album “Feel So Good”, recorded at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts which has hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way
that’s rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, “It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night”. Music
Connection also called it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time”.


As he continued to grow, playing with the likes of legends from B.B. King (who called dubbed him “a great guitarist”), Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, and many more - Cummings built on not only his all-around songwriting and musicianship but his guitar playing skill as well. Using his knowledge to give back to fellow guitarists wanting to advance in their craft, he released the instructional DVD “Working Man Blues Guitar” in 2011. His next album, 2012’s self-released “No Regrets” followed as a return to his true musical roots, poignantly capturing the core of his influences and displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country, and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.


2015’s “Someone Like You” was recorded in Southern California with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov’t Mule) at the helm. Said Z, “Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. What a blast to watch him jell in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles.” One of those musicians was Blind Pig label mate and leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan TV show, Jimmy Vivino, who performs on three cuts.

Now, as he continues writing and performing, relentlessly devoting effort to his craft, Cumming’s is ready to continue on his ever expansive musical journey.

(Early Show) Opus One and Good Effort Comedy Presents Comedy in the Southside Featuring Tyrel Smithson, Shaun McCarthy, Daniel Ferrere, Ron Renwick and Alex Homyak. Hosted by Matt Parsons

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents James Phelps, Vanessa St Clair, James J Hamilton, Christina McNeese, Mike Sasson, Helen Wildy, Collin Chamberlain and Hosted By Garrett Titlebaum

Bill Toms and Hard Rain - 20th Anniversary (featuring The Soulville Horns) with Special Guest Soulful Femme (featuring Stevee Wellons and Cheryl Rinovato)

hile it’s hard to put a finger on any one sound that defines “American music,” the compositions of Bill Toms are as close a template as any. The Pittsburgh native, along with his band Hard Rain, delivers a sound that takes the greatest of America’s most beloved genres and melds them into a poetic representation of the best the country has to offer.

With his ninth full-length studio release, Good For My Soul (street date October 27), Toms channels a foot-stomping, wall-shaking blend of soul, blues, gospel, and rock vibes, all brought together with his lyrical specialty -- stories of everyday men and women doing their best to stay ahead while still managing to keep a dream or two in their heads.

Soaring horns, gritty licks, toe-tapping rhythms, and Toms’ own rough-hewn vocals will draw listeners in, as well as well-deserved comparisons to the greats such as Dr. John, Little Feat, Springsteen, Joe Tex, The Blasters, Otis Redding, and Rufus Thomas.

“The idea of a horn section behind my songs has been something I’ve thought about for a while,” explains Toms. “Albert King, and all the Stax artists come to mind when I think of what true rhythm and blues can do. I wanted a piece of that; creating dynamics, and drama within the song; and fostering the deep emotion that a great horn section can give. The words also needed this place-- in order to be fully interpreted as the representation of ‘my America,’ and the people who make up my small part of this world.”

Good For My Soul was recorded in February 2017 by Oscar-winning composer Rick Witkowski, who also co-produced the set with Will Kimbrough (Rodney Crowell, Todd Snider). Both artists have collaborated with Toms frequently on parts of his earlier catalog.

Toms launched his musical career in 1987 as lead guitarist of Pittsburgh’s legendary band Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers, During that period, he opened for and played with such legendary names as The Band, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. While playing guitar, co-writing, and adding backup vocals for the Houserockers, Toms and the band recorded six studio albums and one live concert album. In 1995, The Houserockers released American Babylon, which was recorded and produced by Springsteen himself.

As a solo artist, Toms has opened for the likes of Buddy Guy, Levon Helm, Marshall Crenshaw, The Kennedys, Steve Forbert, and Ellis Paul. He’s plotting a string of regional east coast dates to support Good For My Soul, as well as a full European tour in 2018.

hile it’s hard to put a finger on any one sound that defines “American music,” the compositions of Bill Toms are as close a template as any. The Pittsburgh native, along with his band Hard Rain, delivers a sound that takes the greatest of America’s most beloved genres and melds them into a poetic representation of the best the country has to offer.

With his ninth full-length studio release, Good For My Soul (street date October 27), Toms channels a foot-stomping, wall-shaking blend of soul, blues, gospel, and rock vibes, all brought together with his lyrical specialty -- stories of everyday men and women doing their best to stay ahead while still managing to keep a dream or two in their heads.

Soaring horns, gritty licks, toe-tapping rhythms, and Toms’ own rough-hewn vocals will draw listeners in, as well as well-deserved comparisons to the greats such as Dr. John, Little Feat, Springsteen, Joe Tex, The Blasters, Otis Redding, and Rufus Thomas.

“The idea of a horn section behind my songs has been something I’ve thought about for a while,” explains Toms. “Albert King, and all the Stax artists come to mind when I think of what true rhythm and blues can do. I wanted a piece of that; creating dynamics, and drama within the song; and fostering the deep emotion that a great horn section can give. The words also needed this place-- in order to be fully interpreted as the representation of ‘my America,’ and the people who make up my small part of this world.”

Good For My Soul was recorded in February 2017 by Oscar-winning composer Rick Witkowski, who also co-produced the set with Will Kimbrough (Rodney Crowell, Todd Snider). Both artists have collaborated with Toms frequently on parts of his earlier catalog.

Toms launched his musical career in 1987 as lead guitarist of Pittsburgh’s legendary band Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers, During that period, he opened for and played with such legendary names as The Band, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. While playing guitar, co-writing, and adding backup vocals for the Houserockers, Toms and the band recorded six studio albums and one live concert album. In 1995, The Houserockers released American Babylon, which was recorded and produced by Springsteen himself.

As a solo artist, Toms has opened for the likes of Buddy Guy, Levon Helm, Marshall Crenshaw, The Kennedys, Steve Forbert, and Ellis Paul. He’s plotting a string of regional east coast dates to support Good For My Soul, as well as a full European tour in 2018.

Sound of Ceres with Special Guests A Low Rose Trellis and Come Holy Spirit

"There is no one true self. With every choice you make, your story changes. Between the potential and the actual, there exist an infinite number of variations on who you have been.

The mysterious tale of The Twin, the second full-length from Sound of Ceres, exists in myriad permutations, too: a new album, a mesmerizing live show, videos, an Alastair Reynolds short story… and others in-between. Sound of Ceres' creative cohort of authors, composers, and illusionists traveled from a snowy Alpine retreat to the outer limits of deep space to bring you The Twin.

While their 2016 debut Nostalgia for Infinity responded to the hugeness of time and space, now Sound of Ceres explore the strangeness of being just one human outcome amidst an infinitude of possibilities.

The adventure begins with one of the great works of 20th century German literature, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. As Ryan Hover read the tale of Hans Castorp (named for one of the twins of Gemini), whose life as a shipbuilder gets sidetracked by a visit to a rest home in the Swiss Alps, new chords, melodies, and lyrical ideas seized his imagination. Elements from the novel – the snow and isolation of the mountains, echoes of Grimm's Fairy Tales, a fixation with the number seven – took on a new form as the fantastic universe of The Twin took shape.

Karen Hover and Ryan gave voice to early versions of the songs, exploring the sound of words even as they teased out lyrical ideas. Rough sketches were dispatched to band mates Derrick Bozich, Jacob Graham, and Ben Phelan, and then Ryan fashioned their instrumental contributions into new arrangements.

But just as Hans in The Magic Mountain undergoes a great transformation as from the flatlands through the narrow gauge to the Alps, The Twin underwent great changes as it began to travel – in this case, to Iceland.

Ryan, Karen, and Jacob arrived at the Reykjavik studio of producer Alex Somers (Sigur Rós, Julianna Barwick) with the original mixes of what seemed like more-or- less finished songs. And then they went through a different door. Guitars and harpsichords gave way to more analog synthesizers and melodic percussion. As the music's dynamic range grew wider, timbres chilled, and more layers of vocals were woven into the background, a new twin of The Twin emerged.

The Twin opens with the hypnotic "Gemini Scenic," analog keyboards and pulsating drums lifting up Karen's hazy, layered vocals; the intensity ebbs and flows, propelling the listener deeper into the album's mysterious sonic universe. "Mercury's Moods" clicks and hisses like some steam-powered alien machine, while "The Twin" underpins harp glissandi and Ryan's voice with crisp, dry snare hits. Hints of '60s exotica, '70s AM radio, and even symphonic grandeur weave through layers of rippling synths and shifting rhythms. Ideas drawn from the past and future fold together, creating a sound that exists outside any particular time or trend.

In concert, The Twin evolves and changes nightly; no two versions of this immersive audio-visual experience are alike. Lasers and fiber optics pierce the darkness and smoke, creating a web of ever-changing constellations. Stars, circles, and double- helixes dance around the band, bouncing off reflective costumes and outstretched hands. Responding fluidly to each unique environment where they perform, Sound of Ceres transport the audience into the heart of the great cosmos via a mystifying display of lights and effects, coupled with hypnotizing sound.

Just as the various members of Sound of Ceres combine ideas and energies to fashion their magical world, everything they create together – words and music, video, live performance art – interlocks to tell the whole story. And when all the elements align, The Twin unlocks a universe of endless possibilities and infinite outcomes. You'll never experience it the same way twice."

"There is no one true self. With every choice you make, your story changes. Between the potential and the actual, there exist an infinite number of variations on who you have been.

The mysterious tale of The Twin, the second full-length from Sound of Ceres, exists in myriad permutations, too: a new album, a mesmerizing live show, videos, an Alastair Reynolds short story… and others in-between. Sound of Ceres' creative cohort of authors, composers, and illusionists traveled from a snowy Alpine retreat to the outer limits of deep space to bring you The Twin.

While their 2016 debut Nostalgia for Infinity responded to the hugeness of time and space, now Sound of Ceres explore the strangeness of being just one human outcome amidst an infinitude of possibilities.

The adventure begins with one of the great works of 20th century German literature, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. As Ryan Hover read the tale of Hans Castorp (named for one of the twins of Gemini), whose life as a shipbuilder gets sidetracked by a visit to a rest home in the Swiss Alps, new chords, melodies, and lyrical ideas seized his imagination. Elements from the novel – the snow and isolation of the mountains, echoes of Grimm's Fairy Tales, a fixation with the number seven – took on a new form as the fantastic universe of The Twin took shape.

Karen Hover and Ryan gave voice to early versions of the songs, exploring the sound of words even as they teased out lyrical ideas. Rough sketches were dispatched to band mates Derrick Bozich, Jacob Graham, and Ben Phelan, and then Ryan fashioned their instrumental contributions into new arrangements.

But just as Hans in The Magic Mountain undergoes a great transformation as from the flatlands through the narrow gauge to the Alps, The Twin underwent great changes as it began to travel – in this case, to Iceland.

Ryan, Karen, and Jacob arrived at the Reykjavik studio of producer Alex Somers (Sigur Rós, Julianna Barwick) with the original mixes of what seemed like more-or- less finished songs. And then they went through a different door. Guitars and harpsichords gave way to more analog synthesizers and melodic percussion. As the music's dynamic range grew wider, timbres chilled, and more layers of vocals were woven into the background, a new twin of The Twin emerged.

The Twin opens with the hypnotic "Gemini Scenic," analog keyboards and pulsating drums lifting up Karen's hazy, layered vocals; the intensity ebbs and flows, propelling the listener deeper into the album's mysterious sonic universe. "Mercury's Moods" clicks and hisses like some steam-powered alien machine, while "The Twin" underpins harp glissandi and Ryan's voice with crisp, dry snare hits. Hints of '60s exotica, '70s AM radio, and even symphonic grandeur weave through layers of rippling synths and shifting rhythms. Ideas drawn from the past and future fold together, creating a sound that exists outside any particular time or trend.

In concert, The Twin evolves and changes nightly; no two versions of this immersive audio-visual experience are alike. Lasers and fiber optics pierce the darkness and smoke, creating a web of ever-changing constellations. Stars, circles, and double- helixes dance around the band, bouncing off reflective costumes and outstretched hands. Responding fluidly to each unique environment where they perform, Sound of Ceres transport the audience into the heart of the great cosmos via a mystifying display of lights and effects, coupled with hypnotizing sound.

Just as the various members of Sound of Ceres combine ideas and energies to fashion their magical world, everything they create together – words and music, video, live performance art – interlocks to tell the whole story. And when all the elements align, The Twin unlocks a universe of endless possibilities and infinite outcomes. You'll never experience it the same way twice."

James McMurtry with Special Guest Bonnie Whitmore

Legendary tunesmith James McMurtry continues riding waves of universal acclaim for his last offering, Complicated Game. “At a stage where most veteran musicians fall into a groove or rut, McMurtry continues to surprise,” Texas Music magazine noted. “[Complicated Game] is a collection of narratives as sharply observed as any from McMurtry, but with a contemplative depth that comes with maturity.” Indeed, the Austin resident’s latest collection spotlights a singular craftsman as he turns inward (“These Things I've Come to Know,” “You Got to Me”). “The lyrical theme is mostly about relationships,” McMurtry says. “It's also a little about the big old world verses the poor little farmer or fisherman.”

Either way, McMurtry spins his stories with a novelist’s eye (“Long Island Sound”) and a painter's precision (“She Loves Me”). “[McMurtry] takes listeners on a road trip of unprecedented geographic and emotional scope,” No Depression raved of the record. “Lyrically, the album is wise and adventurous, with McMurtry — who’s not prone to autobiographical tales — credibly inhabiting characters from all walks of life.” “[McMurtry] fuses wry, literate observations about the world with the snarl of barroom rock,” National Public Radio echoed. “The result is at times sardonic, subversive and funny, but often vulnerable and always poignant.”

Complicated Game doubles down on the literate storytelling longtime enthusiasts expect. Recall high watermarks past: “Childish Things,” “Choctaw Bingo,” “Peter Pan,” “Levelland,” and “Out Here in the Middle” only begin the list. (Yes, Robert Earl Keen covered those last two, “Levelland” remaining a live staple.) Just Us Kids (2008), which includes fan favorites “Hurricane Party,” “Ruby and Carlos” and “You’d a Thought,” earned a Billboard 200 chart position and some Americana Music Award nominations. Childish Things (2005) scored endless critical praise and spent six full weeks topping the Americana Music Radio chart. In 2006, Childish Things won the Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year; “We Can’t Make It Here” was named the rapidly rising organization’s Song of the Year. The poignant lyrics of McMurtry’s immense catalog still ring true today. In 2011, “We Can’t Make It Here” was cited among The Nation’s “Best Protest Songs Ever.” “’We Can't Make It Here,’” Bob Lefsetz wrote, “has stood the test of time because of its unmitigated truth.”

McMurtry has packed houses with the James McMurtry Band since his successful first album, the John Mellencamp-produced Too Long in the Wasteland (1989). The popular Live in Aught-Three (2004) on Compadre Records, and Live in Europe (2009) both captured the McMurtry band’s extraordinary concert sets.

“I'm tired of the road, but I wouldn't want to be denied access to it,” McMurtry says. “I'm always writing new material one line at a time on the iPhone. I don't know when there will be a new record, but Ross Hogarth will produce it whenever it happens.”

McMurtry tours year round and consistently throws down unparalleled powerhouse performances. The Washington Post notes: “Much attention is paid to James McMurtry’s lyrics and rightfully so: He creates a novel’s worth of emotion and experience in four minutes of blisteringly stark couplets. What gets overlooked, however, is that he's an accomplished rock guitar player ... serious stuff, imparted by a singularly serious band.”

Legendary tunesmith James McMurtry continues riding waves of universal acclaim for his last offering, Complicated Game. “At a stage where most veteran musicians fall into a groove or rut, McMurtry continues to surprise,” Texas Music magazine noted. “[Complicated Game] is a collection of narratives as sharply observed as any from McMurtry, but with a contemplative depth that comes with maturity.” Indeed, the Austin resident’s latest collection spotlights a singular craftsman as he turns inward (“These Things I've Come to Know,” “You Got to Me”). “The lyrical theme is mostly about relationships,” McMurtry says. “It's also a little about the big old world verses the poor little farmer or fisherman.”

Either way, McMurtry spins his stories with a novelist’s eye (“Long Island Sound”) and a painter's precision (“She Loves Me”). “[McMurtry] takes listeners on a road trip of unprecedented geographic and emotional scope,” No Depression raved of the record. “Lyrically, the album is wise and adventurous, with McMurtry — who’s not prone to autobiographical tales — credibly inhabiting characters from all walks of life.” “[McMurtry] fuses wry, literate observations about the world with the snarl of barroom rock,” National Public Radio echoed. “The result is at times sardonic, subversive and funny, but often vulnerable and always poignant.”

Complicated Game doubles down on the literate storytelling longtime enthusiasts expect. Recall high watermarks past: “Childish Things,” “Choctaw Bingo,” “Peter Pan,” “Levelland,” and “Out Here in the Middle” only begin the list. (Yes, Robert Earl Keen covered those last two, “Levelland” remaining a live staple.) Just Us Kids (2008), which includes fan favorites “Hurricane Party,” “Ruby and Carlos” and “You’d a Thought,” earned a Billboard 200 chart position and some Americana Music Award nominations. Childish Things (2005) scored endless critical praise and spent six full weeks topping the Americana Music Radio chart. In 2006, Childish Things won the Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year; “We Can’t Make It Here” was named the rapidly rising organization’s Song of the Year. The poignant lyrics of McMurtry’s immense catalog still ring true today. In 2011, “We Can’t Make It Here” was cited among The Nation’s “Best Protest Songs Ever.” “’We Can't Make It Here,’” Bob Lefsetz wrote, “has stood the test of time because of its unmitigated truth.”

McMurtry has packed houses with the James McMurtry Band since his successful first album, the John Mellencamp-produced Too Long in the Wasteland (1989). The popular Live in Aught-Three (2004) on Compadre Records, and Live in Europe (2009) both captured the McMurtry band’s extraordinary concert sets.

“I'm tired of the road, but I wouldn't want to be denied access to it,” McMurtry says. “I'm always writing new material one line at a time on the iPhone. I don't know when there will be a new record, but Ross Hogarth will produce it whenever it happens.”

McMurtry tours year round and consistently throws down unparalleled powerhouse performances. The Washington Post notes: “Much attention is paid to James McMurtry’s lyrics and rightfully so: He creates a novel’s worth of emotion and experience in four minutes of blisteringly stark couplets. What gets overlooked, however, is that he's an accomplished rock guitar player ... serious stuff, imparted by a singularly serious band.”

Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread (Cotton Jones) with Special Guest Cornelia Murr

Michael Nau returns this year with an expanded full-band lineup now known as The Mighty Thread, comprised of musicians from all over America who have been a part of his touring and recording life over the past few years. “We’ve all played together in various arrangements over the past few years”, says Nau. “We made a record with this core group last year and did a west coast trip at the end of ’17. It was fun and so we want to try and keep it going wherever we can. As such, we’re going to do a string of shows coming up wherein any show listed as “…& the mighty thread” will be full band shows comprised of Will Brown on keys, Benny Yurco on guitar, Graeme Gibson on drums, Robinson Morse & Evan ApRoberts on bass and hopefully get to release some music featuring these bandmates in the near future”.

Michael Nau returns this year with an expanded full-band lineup now known as The Mighty Thread, comprised of musicians from all over America who have been a part of his touring and recording life over the past few years. “We’ve all played together in various arrangements over the past few years”, says Nau. “We made a record with this core group last year and did a west coast trip at the end of ’17. It was fun and so we want to try and keep it going wherever we can. As such, we’re going to do a string of shows coming up wherein any show listed as “…& the mighty thread” will be full band shows comprised of Will Brown on keys, Benny Yurco on guitar, Graeme Gibson on drums, Robinson Morse & Evan ApRoberts on bass and hopefully get to release some music featuring these bandmates in the near future”.

(Early Show) Christopher Mark Jones & The Roots Ensemble with Special Guest Byron Nash

In 2017 Americana songwriter Christopher Mark Jones released Incantations, his fifth album, and the book Smoke On The Meadow: Selected Lyrics 1977-2017. He has been playing and recording since his 1978 Transatlantic Records (UK) release No More Range to Roam. A former pro basketball player and French professor, Christopher spent his early career busking in Paris, touring the UK, Denmark, and Holland, and upon his return to the US, Boston-area clubs. These days he tours regionally from his base in Pittsburgh, but especially enjoys shows with the Roots Ensemble, including Vince Camut on guitar and pedal steel, Eric Kurtzrock on drums and vocals, and Jim Spears on bass.

http://www.christophermarkjones.com.
"Railway Track" https://youtu.be/4nZBmk2DR8g

Byron Nash will select from his repertoire of funk, rock and reggae originals, and break out his flying-V acoustic guitar for a soulful acoustic opening set.

http://byronnash.com/music/.

In 2017 Americana songwriter Christopher Mark Jones released Incantations, his fifth album, and the book Smoke On The Meadow: Selected Lyrics 1977-2017. He has been playing and recording since his 1978 Transatlantic Records (UK) release No More Range to Roam. A former pro basketball player and French professor, Christopher spent his early career busking in Paris, touring the UK, Denmark, and Holland, and upon his return to the US, Boston-area clubs. These days he tours regionally from his base in Pittsburgh, but especially enjoys shows with the Roots Ensemble, including Vince Camut on guitar and pedal steel, Eric Kurtzrock on drums and vocals, and Jim Spears on bass.

http://www.christophermarkjones.com.
"Railway Track" https://youtu.be/4nZBmk2DR8g

Byron Nash will select from his repertoire of funk, rock and reggae originals, and break out his flying-V acoustic guitar for a soulful acoustic opening set.

http://byronnash.com/music/.

@clubcafelive

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