club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
Parker McKay with Special Guest Frank Vieira

Parker McKay
Northeast native Parker McKay is a soul-bearing, country pop/rock singer-songwriter. Influenced by everyone from Sheryl Crow to Aerosmith to Shania Twain, her career got its official start after Parker attracted the attention of booking giant Live Nation. Now Nashville-based, she released her debut, self-titled EP in August 2016 - some of which co-written with up-and-comer Lucie Silvas. In November 2016, the video for the first single "Rolling Stone" premiered exclusively with Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Country. Parker’s currently in the studio recording new material for her upcoming project, due out later this year.

Parker press quote - "rootsy, heartland version of new wave rock with a feather-soft vocal delivery" -Rolling Stone

Frank Vieira

It's hard to tell whether Frank Vieira found country music, or whether country found him, but there's no denying it's a perfect fit.
Born on Valentine's Day, 1990, in Schenectady, N.Y., Frank has put his heart into everything he's ever done. As he climbs his way up the country music ladder, you can hear the passion in his voice and see it in his face when he performs, from the heartfelt, " I’m Right Here," to the everyman anthem, "Fill it Up." Songs that have lead to performances with national acts Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Marshall Tucker Band, Leon Russell, Craig Campbell, High Valley, and others. Frank's sophomore EP set to release in June reflects maturity as a songwriter and performer.
Maybe everyone should have seen this passion for country music coming, since Frank's perfect day has always included a fishing pole and a large mouth bass. But for 18 years, that passion took a backseat to different dreams. Since his first years of grade school, he played competitive football, hockey and baseball -- sports that would carry him through high school. Before he picked up his first guitar, he was a promising young quarterback and a hockey player who would go on to be a three-time high school all-star and play a year at the junior level.
However, senior year at Vestal High School -- and one class -- started to change everything. Kevin LaDue's guitar-making course was just too cool to pass up. Frank loved the idea of building his own guitar, piece-by-piece, one class session at a time. This wasn't a kit, this was hand craftsmanship right down to the finish, carefully monitored by LaDue, who had conducted this class for years. And by spring, Frank -- and each of his classmates -- had built an honest-to-goodness acoustic guitar, one that couldn't have sounded more perfect.
Frank describes it this way: "A little left of center, would describe my path into music. I grew up with no interest, no desire, to ever do anything musically, until my senior year In high school, where we were offered an elective to build an acoustic guitar ... I took the class, fell in love with the guitar, and haven't put it down since."

Parker McKay
Northeast native Parker McKay is a soul-bearing, country pop/rock singer-songwriter. Influenced by everyone from Sheryl Crow to Aerosmith to Shania Twain, her career got its official start after Parker attracted the attention of booking giant Live Nation. Now Nashville-based, she released her debut, self-titled EP in August 2016 - some of which co-written with up-and-comer Lucie Silvas. In November 2016, the video for the first single "Rolling Stone" premiered exclusively with Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Country. Parker’s currently in the studio recording new material for her upcoming project, due out later this year.

Parker press quote - "rootsy, heartland version of new wave rock with a feather-soft vocal delivery" -Rolling Stone

Frank Vieira

It's hard to tell whether Frank Vieira found country music, or whether country found him, but there's no denying it's a perfect fit.
Born on Valentine's Day, 1990, in Schenectady, N.Y., Frank has put his heart into everything he's ever done. As he climbs his way up the country music ladder, you can hear the passion in his voice and see it in his face when he performs, from the heartfelt, " I’m Right Here," to the everyman anthem, "Fill it Up." Songs that have lead to performances with national acts Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Marshall Tucker Band, Leon Russell, Craig Campbell, High Valley, and others. Frank's sophomore EP set to release in June reflects maturity as a songwriter and performer.
Maybe everyone should have seen this passion for country music coming, since Frank's perfect day has always included a fishing pole and a large mouth bass. But for 18 years, that passion took a backseat to different dreams. Since his first years of grade school, he played competitive football, hockey and baseball -- sports that would carry him through high school. Before he picked up his first guitar, he was a promising young quarterback and a hockey player who would go on to be a three-time high school all-star and play a year at the junior level.
However, senior year at Vestal High School -- and one class -- started to change everything. Kevin LaDue's guitar-making course was just too cool to pass up. Frank loved the idea of building his own guitar, piece-by-piece, one class session at a time. This wasn't a kit, this was hand craftsmanship right down to the finish, carefully monitored by LaDue, who had conducted this class for years. And by spring, Frank -- and each of his classmates -- had built an honest-to-goodness acoustic guitar, one that couldn't have sounded more perfect.
Frank describes it this way: "A little left of center, would describe my path into music. I grew up with no interest, no desire, to ever do anything musically, until my senior year In high school, where we were offered an elective to build an acoustic guitar ... I took the class, fell in love with the guitar, and haven't put it down since."

The Whistles & The Bells with Special Guests Ryan Hoffman & Bindley Hardware Co.

"I wanted to make a record that sounded like some great cosmic dinner party," explains Bryan Simpson (aka The Whistles & the Bells) of his sophomore LP fittingly dubbed Modern Plagues. "Not a gross, homogenized one where people bludgeon their intellect with one-sided conversation but more of a 'if you could invite four people from history over for dinner who would it be?' kind of shindig. Where some strange collection of human heavyweights sit around discussing the odd pilgrimage that is life. I wanted to sonically interpret what a cosmic intersection of such varied DNA might sound like. Except fast forward the evening past the pretense and the niceties of the appetizer course and push record as the party polishes off the last drop of an encore bottle of wine."

Modern Plagues' 11 expansive tracks find singer / songwriter / producer / multi-instrumentalist Simpson delivering eye-opening lyrical insights and audacious verbal imagery, while displaying a freewheeling sonic sensibility that draws inspiration from a bottomless well of genres and textures. Collaborations with The Raconteurs' Brendan Benson resulted in such out-of-the-box tunes as "Harry Potter," "Small Time Criminals," and "Zombie Heartz," where Simpson's revealing lyrics and richly compelling soundscapes mix to create a singular, personally-charged vision of organized chaos. This extends to remarkably candid tracks like "Year of the Freakout" and "Playing God" when Simpson's satirical observations call into question how we all cope with the turbulent times in which we live; and, more introspectively, to songs such as "Good Drugs" and "Highlight Reel" that sonically grasp, and for that matter, celebrate the fragility and ferocity of man. As the album culminates with the funky, almost playful, apocalyptic closer "40 Years," Modern Plagues leaves no deadly sin untouched, no false idol unexposed.

"I wanted to make an immediate record, one that people would get from the first listen," asserts the Nashville-based Fort Worth native. "I was dead set on not making some kind of 'ninja' record, where the enjoyable bloodletting doesn't begin until the fourth listen when it sneaks up out of nowhere and cuts your throat. I wanted to make something more forthright, more honest. I've made records that are slower to blossom, and some of my favorite records are like that. But I wanted this one to jump out and make its point. I want listeners to be able to imagine and feel the spirit of a night where the air is thick with cigar smoke and opinions, brazen jokes and deep truths. With the whimsical, the mundane, and the transcendent all sharing the same bed of nails."

Simpson's route to Modern Plagues has been an unconventional one. Prior to launching The Whistles & the Bells, he had already won substantial success as a bluegrass mandolinist, serving a seven-year, three-album stint with the acclaimed progressive-bluegrass quartet Cadillac Sky. That group was broad-minded enough to collaborate with both bluegrass icon Ricky Skaggs and the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, which eventually led to an in-demand spot on Mumford and Sons' 2010 North American Tour. Meanwhile, Simpson also carved out a lucrative sideline as a mainstream country songwriter, composing hit tunes for the likes of Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and George Strait.

With those achievements under his belt, a long-gestating musical and spiritual awakening pushed Simpson in a more iconoclastic direction, resulting in The Whistles & the Bells' independently released self-titled 2014 debut. That album chronicled the artist's bold reassessment of his personal and creative choices, and struck a responsive chord with those fortunate enough to hear it, winning acclaim from such notable outlets as Rolling Stone and American Songwriter.

"I don't necessarily feel like this is me, but it's a portion of me that I'm willing to unveil and explore, "Simpson notes. "I could say, 'Go listen to that Bryan Simpson record,' but that idea is just confusing to me. I don't know what Bryan Simpson sounds like, but I'm starting to understand what The Whistles & the Bells sounds like. It's more of an idea than an identity, and I had to get to a certain point in my life where I had the keys to unlock that vault."

The Whistles & The Bells' debut effort won an impressive amount of attention for an indie release, leading to Simpson's current deal with New West Records, which gave the first album a national release and set the stage for Modern Plagues.

"The first record was about spiritual transformation, and about me coming to a place of recognition of my own humanity and a better understanding of my place in the universe," Simpson says. "And as much as it has liberated me elsewhere in my life, perhaps the greatest tangible increase has been creatively. I know the record that I probably should have made. The sophomore record that would have been a much easier transition for everybody involved. But we kept asking ourselves: what record CAN we make?! If there's a sound or an idea we hear, why not chase it? I want to continue to stir up conversations within myself, and within the people who listen to the music."

For Modern Plagues, Simpson collaborated with co-producer/engineer Eddie Spear (Judah & the Lion, Lake Street Dive, Rival Sons), and a crew of like-minded players, including his longtime cohort and former Cadillac Sky member Matt Menefee. In addition to co-writing "Year of the Freakout," Menefee plays banjo, electric guitar, synthesizer, piano and mandocello on the album. Also contributing to the sessions are rising singer/songwriters Brooke Waggoner and Phoebe Cryar, who trade co-lead vocals with Simpson on "Supadope." Many of the album's players will join Simpson when he takes Modern Plagues on the road.

"My cosmic dinner party might have ultimately turned out a little more like a muggy Saturday night in Coney Island with Soren Kierkegaard and Malcolm Muggeridge eating hot dogs and nervously climbing in for a second ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl only to exit 40 minutes later the best kind of woozy." Simpson divulges while reflecting upon the finished work. "But this record is where I openly embrace the weirdness of my existence. Eleven songs, till death do us part. Hope it does something to ya."

"I wanted to make a record that sounded like some great cosmic dinner party," explains Bryan Simpson (aka The Whistles & the Bells) of his sophomore LP fittingly dubbed Modern Plagues. "Not a gross, homogenized one where people bludgeon their intellect with one-sided conversation but more of a 'if you could invite four people from history over for dinner who would it be?' kind of shindig. Where some strange collection of human heavyweights sit around discussing the odd pilgrimage that is life. I wanted to sonically interpret what a cosmic intersection of such varied DNA might sound like. Except fast forward the evening past the pretense and the niceties of the appetizer course and push record as the party polishes off the last drop of an encore bottle of wine."

Modern Plagues' 11 expansive tracks find singer / songwriter / producer / multi-instrumentalist Simpson delivering eye-opening lyrical insights and audacious verbal imagery, while displaying a freewheeling sonic sensibility that draws inspiration from a bottomless well of genres and textures. Collaborations with The Raconteurs' Brendan Benson resulted in such out-of-the-box tunes as "Harry Potter," "Small Time Criminals," and "Zombie Heartz," where Simpson's revealing lyrics and richly compelling soundscapes mix to create a singular, personally-charged vision of organized chaos. This extends to remarkably candid tracks like "Year of the Freakout" and "Playing God" when Simpson's satirical observations call into question how we all cope with the turbulent times in which we live; and, more introspectively, to songs such as "Good Drugs" and "Highlight Reel" that sonically grasp, and for that matter, celebrate the fragility and ferocity of man. As the album culminates with the funky, almost playful, apocalyptic closer "40 Years," Modern Plagues leaves no deadly sin untouched, no false idol unexposed.

"I wanted to make an immediate record, one that people would get from the first listen," asserts the Nashville-based Fort Worth native. "I was dead set on not making some kind of 'ninja' record, where the enjoyable bloodletting doesn't begin until the fourth listen when it sneaks up out of nowhere and cuts your throat. I wanted to make something more forthright, more honest. I've made records that are slower to blossom, and some of my favorite records are like that. But I wanted this one to jump out and make its point. I want listeners to be able to imagine and feel the spirit of a night where the air is thick with cigar smoke and opinions, brazen jokes and deep truths. With the whimsical, the mundane, and the transcendent all sharing the same bed of nails."

Simpson's route to Modern Plagues has been an unconventional one. Prior to launching The Whistles & the Bells, he had already won substantial success as a bluegrass mandolinist, serving a seven-year, three-album stint with the acclaimed progressive-bluegrass quartet Cadillac Sky. That group was broad-minded enough to collaborate with both bluegrass icon Ricky Skaggs and the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, which eventually led to an in-demand spot on Mumford and Sons' 2010 North American Tour. Meanwhile, Simpson also carved out a lucrative sideline as a mainstream country songwriter, composing hit tunes for the likes of Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and George Strait.

With those achievements under his belt, a long-gestating musical and spiritual awakening pushed Simpson in a more iconoclastic direction, resulting in The Whistles & the Bells' independently released self-titled 2014 debut. That album chronicled the artist's bold reassessment of his personal and creative choices, and struck a responsive chord with those fortunate enough to hear it, winning acclaim from such notable outlets as Rolling Stone and American Songwriter.

"I don't necessarily feel like this is me, but it's a portion of me that I'm willing to unveil and explore, "Simpson notes. "I could say, 'Go listen to that Bryan Simpson record,' but that idea is just confusing to me. I don't know what Bryan Simpson sounds like, but I'm starting to understand what The Whistles & the Bells sounds like. It's more of an idea than an identity, and I had to get to a certain point in my life where I had the keys to unlock that vault."

The Whistles & The Bells' debut effort won an impressive amount of attention for an indie release, leading to Simpson's current deal with New West Records, which gave the first album a national release and set the stage for Modern Plagues.

"The first record was about spiritual transformation, and about me coming to a place of recognition of my own humanity and a better understanding of my place in the universe," Simpson says. "And as much as it has liberated me elsewhere in my life, perhaps the greatest tangible increase has been creatively. I know the record that I probably should have made. The sophomore record that would have been a much easier transition for everybody involved. But we kept asking ourselves: what record CAN we make?! If there's a sound or an idea we hear, why not chase it? I want to continue to stir up conversations within myself, and within the people who listen to the music."

For Modern Plagues, Simpson collaborated with co-producer/engineer Eddie Spear (Judah & the Lion, Lake Street Dive, Rival Sons), and a crew of like-minded players, including his longtime cohort and former Cadillac Sky member Matt Menefee. In addition to co-writing "Year of the Freakout," Menefee plays banjo, electric guitar, synthesizer, piano and mandocello on the album. Also contributing to the sessions are rising singer/songwriters Brooke Waggoner and Phoebe Cryar, who trade co-lead vocals with Simpson on "Supadope." Many of the album's players will join Simpson when he takes Modern Plagues on the road.

"My cosmic dinner party might have ultimately turned out a little more like a muggy Saturday night in Coney Island with Soren Kierkegaard and Malcolm Muggeridge eating hot dogs and nervously climbing in for a second ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl only to exit 40 minutes later the best kind of woozy." Simpson divulges while reflecting upon the finished work. "But this record is where I openly embrace the weirdness of my existence. Eleven songs, till death do us part. Hope it does something to ya."

The Pittsburgh Air Sex Championships

The Air Sex Championships is an event that routinely sells out shows all over the country. It's a comedy show that appeals to the voyeur in all of us. It's a competition where the audience is invested in the outcome. It's a safe, respectful, and thought-provoking show about how awesome sex is.

Air Sex was born in 2008 at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. Once comedian Chris Trew (Comedy Central, America’s Got Talent) discovered Air Sex, he immediately transformed from a casual competitor to the show's host/producer, giving the show a unique format, flavor, and creating a cheap, spectacular touring live experience.

The show itself is simple - roughly a dozen competitors pretend to make love onstage with a partner who isn't there while a panel of comedians/sex experts/celebrities judge their performances. The judges choose three people (sometimes four in the case of a tie) to move on to the final round. Then all three must perform to mystery songs and a winner is chosen by the audience’s cheers. No nudity, no physical contact with another person onstage.

A non-traditional concept for any live-performance or music venue, the Air Sex World Championships quickly became one of the hottest tickets in whatever town it rolled through. People of all ages (over 21 of course), genders, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientations signed up, cobbled together embarrassing or hilarious routines, and people's minds were blown.

As the brand built and spread, more and more fans started taking the competition seriously, crafting elaborate costumes and choreographed routines – some are silly and bizarre and others feel like you're watching an extremely intimate, private moment that you shouldn't be seeing. Yet, because anyone can compete (karaoke-style), sometimes a drunk, rowdy onlooker hops up onstage and blows all of the well-practiced competition out of the water. And that's what makes Air Sex so fun, enigmatic, and unpredictable.

The Air Sex Championships is an event that routinely sells out shows all over the country. It's a comedy show that appeals to the voyeur in all of us. It's a competition where the audience is invested in the outcome. It's a safe, respectful, and thought-provoking show about how awesome sex is.

Air Sex was born in 2008 at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. Once comedian Chris Trew (Comedy Central, America’s Got Talent) discovered Air Sex, he immediately transformed from a casual competitor to the show's host/producer, giving the show a unique format, flavor, and creating a cheap, spectacular touring live experience.

The show itself is simple - roughly a dozen competitors pretend to make love onstage with a partner who isn't there while a panel of comedians/sex experts/celebrities judge their performances. The judges choose three people (sometimes four in the case of a tie) to move on to the final round. Then all three must perform to mystery songs and a winner is chosen by the audience’s cheers. No nudity, no physical contact with another person onstage.

A non-traditional concept for any live-performance or music venue, the Air Sex World Championships quickly became one of the hottest tickets in whatever town it rolled through. People of all ages (over 21 of course), genders, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientations signed up, cobbled together embarrassing or hilarious routines, and people's minds were blown.

As the brand built and spread, more and more fans started taking the competition seriously, crafting elaborate costumes and choreographed routines – some are silly and bizarre and others feel like you're watching an extremely intimate, private moment that you shouldn't be seeing. Yet, because anyone can compete (karaoke-style), sometimes a drunk, rowdy onlooker hops up onstage and blows all of the well-practiced competition out of the water. And that's what makes Air Sex so fun, enigmatic, and unpredictable.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah With Special Guest Laura Gibson

Like previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah records, The Tourist nods to Ounsworth's musical heroes-a group that includes artists such as John Cale, Robert Wyatt, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. However, this album also shows a natural progression from previous records. "Better Off" and "The Vanity Of Trying" are lush, keyboard-augmented songs, while "A Chance To Cure" and "Ambulance Chaser" are rhythmically askew, and the sighing "Loose Ends" is delicate, acoustic-based folk-rock.

The Tourist emerged from a period where Ounsworth was doing a lot of intense soul-searching, and processing personal events that irrevocably shaped his life and future. But although most of these songs came together during this time of reflection, he considers the record to be cathartic-an exhale of sorts, rather than a collection of songs where he was indulging in self-pity or letting things stagnate or fester.

Appropriately, The Tourist's lyrics reflect how complex upheaval can be ("We can beat around this bush together/Sometimes it's all I think of/Other times I can forget") and explore the imperfect nature of blame ("The car left the road and was found without its mirrors/You play the victim/And I'll play the blind man"). Other songs try to make sense of the present time ("Now that the past is on fire/How can I look around and find I can't remember who I was") or employ clever wordplay- "Black cat let's not split hairs/I'm tethered to the weather/I assure I don't care about no lucky streak"-for effect.

Ounsworth spent about a week recording The Tourist at Dr. Dog's Philadelphia-based studio with a drummer and bassist. After that, he and engineer Nick Krill spent a few months "tidying things up" and recording additional embellishments: backup vocals, keyboards, guitars and more percussion. That gives The Tourist more of a band feel than the last album, and contributes to why the record possesses a musical lightness. The dreamy opening track "The Pilot" especially has a lilting edge, courtesy of Smiths-reminiscent acoustic guitars strums and Ounsworth's hiccupping, conspiratorial vocals.

The Tourist was then mixed by Dave Fridmann, who also worked on two previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah albums, 2007's Some Loud Thunder and 2014's Only Run. Ounsworth says he and Fridmann are on the same musical wavelength, which makes their long-time working relationship an anchor of sorts. "Dave and I don't necessarily stick with what's easiest which is fine and anxiety-inducing, in a good way," he says. "He challenges me to do something a little bit different."

"I am a relatively solitary person and seem to work best alone," he says. "I do count on others to help the project as the process of making and releasing an album moves forward, but if it doesn't match what I have in mind, it's hard for me to really be there for it. I guess this is one reason why the project has been independent all this time. Trust me, I understand that thinking this way is both an asset and a liability."

However, this stubborn independence also reflects Ounsworth's commitment to musical integrity. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's career arc is all about building on previous successes while staying true to a core artistic vision. And although The Tourist may have emerged from challenging times, it reflects Ounsworth's uncanny ability to move forward, no matter what the circumstances.

"I'd rather not say that it was a dark time, but it was a difficult time in my life-among the most difficult," he says. "But I needed and need to try to let it go. And this is how I let things go. Though it's the same for any album-this one probably more than the others.

"But I have to try to do something each time that's new and engaging for me," he adds. "I mean, I could very well just write songs the way they were early on. But I don't think that people would appreciate listening to someone just going through the motions. We have to build something to last, rather than just build it because it looks good at the moment."

– Annie Zeleski

Like previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah records, The Tourist nods to Ounsworth's musical heroes-a group that includes artists such as John Cale, Robert Wyatt, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. However, this album also shows a natural progression from previous records. "Better Off" and "The Vanity Of Trying" are lush, keyboard-augmented songs, while "A Chance To Cure" and "Ambulance Chaser" are rhythmically askew, and the sighing "Loose Ends" is delicate, acoustic-based folk-rock.

The Tourist emerged from a period where Ounsworth was doing a lot of intense soul-searching, and processing personal events that irrevocably shaped his life and future. But although most of these songs came together during this time of reflection, he considers the record to be cathartic-an exhale of sorts, rather than a collection of songs where he was indulging in self-pity or letting things stagnate or fester.

Appropriately, The Tourist's lyrics reflect how complex upheaval can be ("We can beat around this bush together/Sometimes it's all I think of/Other times I can forget") and explore the imperfect nature of blame ("The car left the road and was found without its mirrors/You play the victim/And I'll play the blind man"). Other songs try to make sense of the present time ("Now that the past is on fire/How can I look around and find I can't remember who I was") or employ clever wordplay- "Black cat let's not split hairs/I'm tethered to the weather/I assure I don't care about no lucky streak"-for effect.

Ounsworth spent about a week recording The Tourist at Dr. Dog's Philadelphia-based studio with a drummer and bassist. After that, he and engineer Nick Krill spent a few months "tidying things up" and recording additional embellishments: backup vocals, keyboards, guitars and more percussion. That gives The Tourist more of a band feel than the last album, and contributes to why the record possesses a musical lightness. The dreamy opening track "The Pilot" especially has a lilting edge, courtesy of Smiths-reminiscent acoustic guitars strums and Ounsworth's hiccupping, conspiratorial vocals.

The Tourist was then mixed by Dave Fridmann, who also worked on two previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah albums, 2007's Some Loud Thunder and 2014's Only Run. Ounsworth says he and Fridmann are on the same musical wavelength, which makes their long-time working relationship an anchor of sorts. "Dave and I don't necessarily stick with what's easiest which is fine and anxiety-inducing, in a good way," he says. "He challenges me to do something a little bit different."

"I am a relatively solitary person and seem to work best alone," he says. "I do count on others to help the project as the process of making and releasing an album moves forward, but if it doesn't match what I have in mind, it's hard for me to really be there for it. I guess this is one reason why the project has been independent all this time. Trust me, I understand that thinking this way is both an asset and a liability."

However, this stubborn independence also reflects Ounsworth's commitment to musical integrity. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's career arc is all about building on previous successes while staying true to a core artistic vision. And although The Tourist may have emerged from challenging times, it reflects Ounsworth's uncanny ability to move forward, no matter what the circumstances.

"I'd rather not say that it was a dark time, but it was a difficult time in my life-among the most difficult," he says. "But I needed and need to try to let it go. And this is how I let things go. Though it's the same for any album-this one probably more than the others.

"But I have to try to do something each time that's new and engaging for me," he adds. "I mean, I could very well just write songs the way they were early on. But I don't think that people would appreciate listening to someone just going through the motions. We have to build something to last, rather than just build it because it looks good at the moment."

– Annie Zeleski

(Early Show) Nick Barilla with Special Guest Hannah Jenkins

Blending a soulful sound with bright pop-piano sty lings, Nick Barilla brings an inspiring and uplifting experience to every stage he performs on. His passion shines through his outgoing personality, and his genuine likeability connects with audiences of all ages. Barilla sings about love, life, and heartbreak, often stemming from personal experiences, and aims to stay true to himself. Uniquely marketable and relatable, Nick Barilla seeks to influence the future of live music one song at a time.

Blending a soulful sound with bright pop-piano sty lings, Nick Barilla brings an inspiring and uplifting experience to every stage he performs on. His passion shines through his outgoing personality, and his genuine likeability connects with audiences of all ages. Barilla sings about love, life, and heartbreak, often stemming from personal experiences, and aims to stay true to himself. Uniquely marketable and relatable, Nick Barilla seeks to influence the future of live music one song at a time.

(Late Show) Opus One and Puzzlepax Present Lex Fest I featuring Matt Pavich, Christina Galston, Mike Sasson, Ossia Dwyer, Alex Homyak and Hosted By Norlex Belma

Join Club Cafe, Opus One and Puzzlepax for a night of comedy. Lex Fest I featuring Matt Pavich, Chirstina Galston, Alex Homyak, Ossia Dwyer, Mike Sasson and Hosted By Norlex Belma

Join Club Cafe, Opus One and Puzzlepax for a night of comedy. Lex Fest I featuring Matt Pavich, Chirstina Galston, Alex Homyak, Ossia Dwyer, Mike Sasson and Hosted By Norlex Belma

Rocki Boulis - Release Party/Performance with Special Guest Harrison Wayne

Rocki Boulis is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been singing since the age of three and started realizing around eleven that she wanted to use her talents to seek a career in the music business. Her sound is a R&B/Pop type of vibe and her inspirations musically include Tori Kelly, Christina Aguleria, Jazmine Sullivan, Beyonce, and Jess Glynne. Rocki also enjoys acting, and has been in multiple musicals and commercials. She planned to major in musical theater after graduating in 2013, but decided to take time off school to pursue her music career. She has played in multiple venues around her home town and competed in a few singing competitions.

Rocki Boulis is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been singing since the age of three and started realizing around eleven that she wanted to use her talents to seek a career in the music business. Her sound is a R&B/Pop type of vibe and her inspirations musically include Tori Kelly, Christina Aguleria, Jazmine Sullivan, Beyonce, and Jess Glynne. Rocki also enjoys acting, and has been in multiple musicals and commercials. She planned to major in musical theater after graduating in 2013, but decided to take time off school to pursue her music career. She has played in multiple venues around her home town and competed in a few singing competitions.

Delta Saints with Special Guest Some Kind of Animal

Among rock 'n' roll's many mistresses and muses, California remains one of the most enigmatic, enduring, and enchanting. The Golden State's allure can notably be attributed to the intoxicating melodic excess of the Eagles' "Hotel California" and the finger-picked pensiveness of Led Zeppelin's "Going To California," to name a few.

The West Coast's influence courses throughout The Delta Saints' 2017 full-length album, Monte Vista. Irresistible lead single "California" snaps from a vintage synth swell into a rough-n-tumble guitar riff and bluesy howl. It's an anthem for throwing caution to the wind, skipping town and setting out to find something more. "California has always been a sort of haven for the band both physically and emotionally," says front man Ben Ringel. "We've got a home base at our guitarist Dylan's grandmother's house in La Jolla on Monte Vista Street. That's where the album title comes from. When we wrote the song, we were in the middle of a dismal Nashville winter. We were all feeling the need to escape the cold, but also had this drive that had been building up over the previous year to really push ourselves beyond where we were. I think we all felt a bit stagnate, and 'California' is about us getting up and actually doing something about it."

The Nashville-based quintet—Ben Ringel [vocals & guitar], Dylan Fitch [guitar], David Supica [bass], Vincent "Footz" Williams [drums], and Nate Kremer [keyboards]—craft raw and visceral rock music with psychedelic flares, fuzzed-out guitar riffs, arresting drum patterns and blues tendencies over the course of 10 tracks produced by Third Man Records alum Eddie Spear [Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Chris Stapleton]. It's the triumphant culmination of a long journey comprised of ceaseless touring in the United States and Europe and fan favorite records such as the crowd-funded Death Letter Jubilee in 2013 and 2015's Bones. The latter yielded "Sometimes I Worry," which landed a prominent placement on the most recent season of Showtime's Shameless. It also spiritually set the stage for Monte Vista, an album brimming with a restless spirit and coming-of-age ruminations on life, love, self-discovery and the world at large.

"We started working on the new music shortly after we finished Bones, which was an incredibly transitional record for us," Dylan recalls. "We switched gears from primarily being a foot-stomping bayou blues band into the psychedelic and indie rock realms. We pivoted from harmonica to keyboard. It's a little less roots. And now we're independent again after being on a label. Through the whole process, we had this need to continue writing. There was a lot of stuff going on in the world and a lot to be inspired by, whether it was losing artists such as David Bowie and Prince or the political climate. So, we came up with ideas throughout 2016."

During this time, the band found that their songwriting was evolving as well. Sharper hooks and bigger melodies took shape, invigorating The Delta Saints' sound with a jolt that makes each one soar to new heights. Drawing a heavier energy from Alice In Chains and Rage Against The Machine, a succinct delivery courtesy of The Kinks, Oasis, and Kasabian, and a cinematic expanse a la Pink Floyd and Radiohead, The Delta Saints fell into a groove that finally felt right. They seamlessly began to create undeniable rock songs with Spear at the helm.

"In the past, we wrote the music first and then put the choruses down afterwards," elaborates Dylan. "With Monte Vista, we started the opposite way. We came up with the lyrics and the choruses first. Figuring out what we wanted to say was the initial goal."

"Bones was way more focused on instrumentation," says David. "With these songs, we would show Eddie a jam, and he'd be like, 'That's cool, but I don't care. There are no fucking words!' He wouldn't listen to anything until it had a melody. That forced us out of our comfort zone and established a new system. Ed had a major impact on the album."

The Delta Saints recorded the entire record in just six days at Sound Emporium in Nashville. As a result, a palpable energy carries the music.

"Sun God" blazes with bright bombast as Ben chants, "I am the Sun God. Come take it from me." It's about the conflict that comes with generations giving way to the next; a poignant snapshot into modern day politics. "In Your Head," is a swaggering tune accented with pops of playful, drowsy synths, an adrenaline-spiked chorus and raucous vocals telling the story of an early morning cab ride back to the hotel after a long night out. Inspired by Alabama Shakes, the rollicking "Burning Wheels" ends with a Celesta solo. Throughout the record, the band enriches its sonic backdrop with a 1969 Moogerfoogerkeyboard and delay.

"It's the exact delay you hear over Dark Side of the Moon," Dylan beams. "As soon as you put any instrument, vocal, guitar, or keyboard through it, it takes you to 'Us And Them.' We found some great places to incorporate the sound."

"Space Man" is a tribute to the late David Bowie. An acoustic guitar starts off with Dylan and Nate coming in from out in the atmosphere, before Footz and Ben fade in to fly the ship. "This was one of those really magical moments, when a song just pours out onto the page, and you have to just try to get it all down. Bowie is undeniable. A musical force." says Ringel. The song shows a softer side of the band, but builds until you feel the boosters kick in on the chorus.

Monte Vista concludes with the haunting harmonies of "Two Days," illuminating Ben's vivid lyricism. "I had a stretch where I didn't leave home for a few days, and I started to lose it," the front man admits. "On top of it all, my wife was out of town, so I just stayed in the house and got lost in my head for a little too long. She returned and pulled me back to reality, fed me vegetables, and made me step out into the sun. The song is about needing that person to pull you out sometimes, when you get too deep down in the rabbit hole."

The band proudly continues a rock 'n' roll legacy for Nashville. "While it obviously is the heart of contemporary Christian and Country music, the city has a really incredible rock scene," adds David. "Between Jack White, Black Keys, and Kings Of Leon, I'd argue that the biggest rock stars of today live in this town. I've personally felt a lot of support from the community."

Now, The Delta Saints are ready to bring Monte Vista to listeners everywhere as they hit the road for another marathon of touring.

"I hope that listeners hear the story in the record and can relate to it in their own way," Ben concludes.

"I'd love for people to listen to this record and replay it the way I did when I first heard Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon," Dylan leaves off. "I hope we're able to set the bar for what rock music can be right now."

Among rock 'n' roll's many mistresses and muses, California remains one of the most enigmatic, enduring, and enchanting. The Golden State's allure can notably be attributed to the intoxicating melodic excess of the Eagles' "Hotel California" and the finger-picked pensiveness of Led Zeppelin's "Going To California," to name a few.

The West Coast's influence courses throughout The Delta Saints' 2017 full-length album, Monte Vista. Irresistible lead single "California" snaps from a vintage synth swell into a rough-n-tumble guitar riff and bluesy howl. It's an anthem for throwing caution to the wind, skipping town and setting out to find something more. "California has always been a sort of haven for the band both physically and emotionally," says front man Ben Ringel. "We've got a home base at our guitarist Dylan's grandmother's house in La Jolla on Monte Vista Street. That's where the album title comes from. When we wrote the song, we were in the middle of a dismal Nashville winter. We were all feeling the need to escape the cold, but also had this drive that had been building up over the previous year to really push ourselves beyond where we were. I think we all felt a bit stagnate, and 'California' is about us getting up and actually doing something about it."

The Nashville-based quintet—Ben Ringel [vocals & guitar], Dylan Fitch [guitar], David Supica [bass], Vincent "Footz" Williams [drums], and Nate Kremer [keyboards]—craft raw and visceral rock music with psychedelic flares, fuzzed-out guitar riffs, arresting drum patterns and blues tendencies over the course of 10 tracks produced by Third Man Records alum Eddie Spear [Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Chris Stapleton]. It's the triumphant culmination of a long journey comprised of ceaseless touring in the United States and Europe and fan favorite records such as the crowd-funded Death Letter Jubilee in 2013 and 2015's Bones. The latter yielded "Sometimes I Worry," which landed a prominent placement on the most recent season of Showtime's Shameless. It also spiritually set the stage for Monte Vista, an album brimming with a restless spirit and coming-of-age ruminations on life, love, self-discovery and the world at large.

"We started working on the new music shortly after we finished Bones, which was an incredibly transitional record for us," Dylan recalls. "We switched gears from primarily being a foot-stomping bayou blues band into the psychedelic and indie rock realms. We pivoted from harmonica to keyboard. It's a little less roots. And now we're independent again after being on a label. Through the whole process, we had this need to continue writing. There was a lot of stuff going on in the world and a lot to be inspired by, whether it was losing artists such as David Bowie and Prince or the political climate. So, we came up with ideas throughout 2016."

During this time, the band found that their songwriting was evolving as well. Sharper hooks and bigger melodies took shape, invigorating The Delta Saints' sound with a jolt that makes each one soar to new heights. Drawing a heavier energy from Alice In Chains and Rage Against The Machine, a succinct delivery courtesy of The Kinks, Oasis, and Kasabian, and a cinematic expanse a la Pink Floyd and Radiohead, The Delta Saints fell into a groove that finally felt right. They seamlessly began to create undeniable rock songs with Spear at the helm.

"In the past, we wrote the music first and then put the choruses down afterwards," elaborates Dylan. "With Monte Vista, we started the opposite way. We came up with the lyrics and the choruses first. Figuring out what we wanted to say was the initial goal."

"Bones was way more focused on instrumentation," says David. "With these songs, we would show Eddie a jam, and he'd be like, 'That's cool, but I don't care. There are no fucking words!' He wouldn't listen to anything until it had a melody. That forced us out of our comfort zone and established a new system. Ed had a major impact on the album."

The Delta Saints recorded the entire record in just six days at Sound Emporium in Nashville. As a result, a palpable energy carries the music.

"Sun God" blazes with bright bombast as Ben chants, "I am the Sun God. Come take it from me." It's about the conflict that comes with generations giving way to the next; a poignant snapshot into modern day politics. "In Your Head," is a swaggering tune accented with pops of playful, drowsy synths, an adrenaline-spiked chorus and raucous vocals telling the story of an early morning cab ride back to the hotel after a long night out. Inspired by Alabama Shakes, the rollicking "Burning Wheels" ends with a Celesta solo. Throughout the record, the band enriches its sonic backdrop with a 1969 Moogerfoogerkeyboard and delay.

"It's the exact delay you hear over Dark Side of the Moon," Dylan beams. "As soon as you put any instrument, vocal, guitar, or keyboard through it, it takes you to 'Us And Them.' We found some great places to incorporate the sound."

"Space Man" is a tribute to the late David Bowie. An acoustic guitar starts off with Dylan and Nate coming in from out in the atmosphere, before Footz and Ben fade in to fly the ship. "This was one of those really magical moments, when a song just pours out onto the page, and you have to just try to get it all down. Bowie is undeniable. A musical force." says Ringel. The song shows a softer side of the band, but builds until you feel the boosters kick in on the chorus.

Monte Vista concludes with the haunting harmonies of "Two Days," illuminating Ben's vivid lyricism. "I had a stretch where I didn't leave home for a few days, and I started to lose it," the front man admits. "On top of it all, my wife was out of town, so I just stayed in the house and got lost in my head for a little too long. She returned and pulled me back to reality, fed me vegetables, and made me step out into the sun. The song is about needing that person to pull you out sometimes, when you get too deep down in the rabbit hole."

The band proudly continues a rock 'n' roll legacy for Nashville. "While it obviously is the heart of contemporary Christian and Country music, the city has a really incredible rock scene," adds David. "Between Jack White, Black Keys, and Kings Of Leon, I'd argue that the biggest rock stars of today live in this town. I've personally felt a lot of support from the community."

Now, The Delta Saints are ready to bring Monte Vista to listeners everywhere as they hit the road for another marathon of touring.

"I hope that listeners hear the story in the record and can relate to it in their own way," Ben concludes.

"I'd love for people to listen to this record and replay it the way I did when I first heard Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon," Dylan leaves off. "I hope we're able to set the bar for what rock music can be right now."

Shawn James with Special Guest Douglas Lowell Blevins

Born in 1986 in the south side of Chicago, Shawn James had a hardworking, kind mother and a gambling, abusive, drunk father. He grew up singing in church and was drawn to the emotional and ethereal power that music could have over people. It was there that he found his escape and learned how to harness his unique, soulful voice.

Shawn now lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas and plays a mix of haunting folk and hard-hitting soulful blues. You might catch him playing on the street in the rain some night, with his band the Shapeshifters, or just find him performing an intimate set for friends at a house show. No matter where you see him, just make sure you have your eyes and ears open, his performance will be one you won't forget.

All of Shawn's recordings, solo and with his band can be found on Bandcamp.

Born in 1986 in the south side of Chicago, Shawn James had a hardworking, kind mother and a gambling, abusive, drunk father. He grew up singing in church and was drawn to the emotional and ethereal power that music could have over people. It was there that he found his escape and learned how to harness his unique, soulful voice.

Shawn now lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas and plays a mix of haunting folk and hard-hitting soulful blues. You might catch him playing on the street in the rain some night, with his band the Shapeshifters, or just find him performing an intimate set for friends at a house show. No matter where you see him, just make sure you have your eyes and ears open, his performance will be one you won't forget.

All of Shawn's recordings, solo and with his band can be found on Bandcamp.

Seth Walker with Special Guest Crystal Lee Morgan

Over the past 10 years, Seth Walker has become recognized as one of the most revered modern roots artists in the United States; a three dimensional talent comprised by a gift for combining melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar. His latest studio album, Gotta Get Back, produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers, is yet another masterwork that further expands upon this reputation.

Growing up on a commune in rural North Carolina, the son of classically trained musicians, Seth Walker played cello long before discovering the six-string in his 20s. When his introduction to the blues came via his Uncle Landon Walker, who was both a musician and disc jockey, his fate was forever sealed. Instantaneously, Seth was looking to artists like T-Bone Walker, Snooks Eaglin, and B.B. King as a wellspring of endless inspiration. The rest is history. He's released seven albums between 1997 and 2015; breaking into the Top 20 of the Americana charts and receiving praise from NPR, American Songwriter, No Depression and Blues Revue, among others.

In addition to extensive recording and songwriting pursuits, Seth is consistently touring and performing at venues and festivals around the world. Along with headline shows, he's been invited to open for The Mavericks, The Wood Brothers, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster, among others.

Seth Walker is currently splitting his time between New Orleans and New York City after previously residing in Austin and Nashville. He's used those experiences wisely, soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places. With a bluesman's respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for-and successful melding of-contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace. Perhaps Country Standard Time said it best: "If you subscribe to the Big Tent theory of Americana, then Seth Walker –with his blend of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, and a dash country-just might be your poster boy."

Over the past 10 years, Seth Walker has become recognized as one of the most revered modern roots artists in the United States; a three dimensional talent comprised by a gift for combining melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar. His latest studio album, Gotta Get Back, produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers, is yet another masterwork that further expands upon this reputation.

Growing up on a commune in rural North Carolina, the son of classically trained musicians, Seth Walker played cello long before discovering the six-string in his 20s. When his introduction to the blues came via his Uncle Landon Walker, who was both a musician and disc jockey, his fate was forever sealed. Instantaneously, Seth was looking to artists like T-Bone Walker, Snooks Eaglin, and B.B. King as a wellspring of endless inspiration. The rest is history. He's released seven albums between 1997 and 2015; breaking into the Top 20 of the Americana charts and receiving praise from NPR, American Songwriter, No Depression and Blues Revue, among others.

In addition to extensive recording and songwriting pursuits, Seth is consistently touring and performing at venues and festivals around the world. Along with headline shows, he's been invited to open for The Mavericks, The Wood Brothers, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster, among others.

Seth Walker is currently splitting his time between New Orleans and New York City after previously residing in Austin and Nashville. He's used those experiences wisely, soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places. With a bluesman's respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for-and successful melding of-contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace. Perhaps Country Standard Time said it best: "If you subscribe to the Big Tent theory of Americana, then Seth Walker –with his blend of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, and a dash country-just might be your poster boy."

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