(Late Show) School of Athens Ugly Sweater Show with Special Guest SaVenger
2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan's LPs, That's What I'm Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock n Roll Legend at an award ceremony.
Prices album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2015. A live recording of the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released in April 2017.
His new album Reckoning, produced by Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios, was released on June 15, 2018 by Vizztone Label Group.
43 minutes. That is all Bill Deasy is asking of you.
Turn off your phone. Shut the door. Block out the world.
Wheels on road
Roads in moonlight
Moonlight falling on a midnight train
So begins "Timeless Things," the lead-off title track for Bill Deasy's eighth full-length studio record. Anton DeFade's driving bass pumps along beside Jake Hanner's steady kick drum. Rob James' (on loan from The Clarks) signature confectionary guitar work assisted by electric rhythm from newcomer Noah Minarik, laces through, tying the musical tapestry together. All are in support of Bill's voice, his acoustic guitar, and, of course, his words.
"Every now and then you strike a vein," Deasy says, reflecting on this latest batch of songs. "I didn't even know I was wanting to do a new project, but the songs kept coming, each one seeming to lead to the next."
Nowhere is his intuitive approach to songwriting more prominently displayed than on the record's closing track, "End of the Record Song," which recalls vintage Jackson Browne.
"That one was a real labor of love," Bill notes. "I wrote it over a long weekend and just kept singing it and singing it as the lines slowly appeared."
The song shifts at the midway point from third to first person, a choice Deasy explains holds personal significance.
"The first half of that song is about the character I used to be, wallowing in the sad heartache music of my melancholy youth. Then after the solo section, I find the guts to step out from behind the mask of all the story songs and just be myself. I am wallowing in happiness now. A nice change, for sure."
Though at first the songsmith envisioned recording this new material with his long-time band mates in the Gathering Field, scheduling issues made a solo project the best option. Deasy teamed with local producer Jake Hanner (Donora, Meeting of Important People) and the two set to work.
"We built each song from the ground up," Bill explains. "Jake referenced a rehearsal recording to create simple loops to which I then laid down solo acoustic performances. Once we felt great about those we started layering."
In addition to the studio band mentioned above, guests include singers Maia Sharp, Scott Blasey and Clark Slater. Gathering Field member Dave Brown contributes electric guitar on two tracks as well.
The result is a remarkably natural sounding recording of, perhaps, the strongest songs of Deasy's career.
"We realized as we got deeper into it that something really good was happening," he recalls. "Our job from that point on was just to let it."
Bill Deasy has recorded and toured nationally both as a solo artist and with the Gathering Field. Bill has also written for other artists including Martina McBride and Billy Ray Cyrus in addition to collaborating on songs with the likes of Howard Jones, the Clarks, Maia Sharp, Bijou Phillips, One Flew South, Kim Carnes, Odie Blackmon and many others. Bill's recording of "Good Things are Happening," a song he co-wrote on a trip to Nashville, became the long-running theme for Good Morning America on ABC and he appeared in the promo spots, strumming his guitar and singing.
In 2006, Bill added "published author" to his list of accomplishments with the release of Ransom Seaborn which went on to win the Golden Needle Award and is currently being adapted for film. Traveling Clothes followed in 2009 and Ghost Tree in 2010, both delivering generously on the promise of Ransom Seaborn.
Bill was recently included in the book Pittsburgh Born, Pittsburgh Bred as one of 500 of the most memorable Pittsburghers from the past 250 years.
The premier REM tribute band, dedicated to presenting faithful recreations of the band's entire musical catalog.
The music that Im writing and releasing is really mirroring who I am and where I am at that time in my life. Its easy to perform songs when theyre very true. So says JD Eicher, the Youngstown, OH-area born and bred musician who is set to release The Middle Distance via Rock Ridge Music on May 6, 2016. Im really glad that my career has taken the longer, scenic route, because the music Im writing now has a certain truth to it that Im not sure I would have found otherwise.
The Middle Distance marks the first album Eicher will issue since sunsetting JD Eicher & the Goodnights, the moniker used on the trilogy of titles, The Shape of Things, Shifting, and Into Place, released previously. So why put The Goodnights to bed? Eicher explains: The truth of the matter is, not a whole lot has changed. There will still be a band. But the name shift felt natural with the very personal nature of this new music and the very strong desire to simplify.
Eicher has noted that the common themes running through his previous three releases are love, hope, and acceptance. Common sense would call for speculating whether there is a common thread that ties together the ten songs found on The Middle Distance. Not a premeditated one, he is quick to clarify. I really wanted to just sit down and write the best songs I could, saying what I needed to say at the time. Its more of a journal entry/diary-type approach this time around.
With that as a forward, the first chapter of Eichers aural journal begins with nearly one minute of U2-ish guitar that sets the sonic table for the album opener, This Heart, in which he sings, All my fears, all my worries, are alive and well inside this heart. Eicher expounds, This whole record - and definitely that song is moodier, and theres a lot of internal struggle, internal processing. When you hear the song title, This Heart, it sounds like its gonna be a love song, but its really more about coping and figuring out how to get past whatever youre dealing with in that moment.
Songwriting and superb singing are at the center of each track on The Middle Distance, exemplified by the lyric line Maybe weve been trained to wash, rinse, and then repeat and the heavenly falsetto vocals found on Be Well, a song which sounds like it would fit perfectly into Death Cab For Cuties catalog. An audio oasis to the overall moodier sound of the record is refreshingly felt when the soundscape lightens up for the bouncy The Little Bit, which musically and lyrically has a Jason Mraz vibe to it, most notably on the playful line, I didnt write any lyrics for this part of the song everybody relax. Eichers songwriting gravitas shines in the more serious selections - Not Everybody Runs, a sonic commitment to, well, commitment; Not Afraid, in which abstract fears about our dreams not coming true, relationships going wrong, internal struggles and pressures, letting your guard down and being hurt, and failure are all tackled; and Man of Faith, in which Eicher espouses the somewhat ambiguous supplication: And Im pretty sure my heavens just the answer to my questions.
Far less ambiguous is how much Eichers Rust Belt upbringing seeps into, or serves as, the foundation of his songwriting. I think it definitely affects the music, he affirms without hesitation, even in the way I approach touring and my overall work ethic with songwriting and recording. Theres a world-wariness that comes out of this area that gets into the songs. I think theres a realism that comes out of this part of the country, too, and I think that gets in there as well. Its no wonder that Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has embraced the performer and his music as their own.
With his band, The Goodnights, Eichers soaring and graceful pop-rock songcraft garnered favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. Alternative Addiction named the group one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Virgin America Airlines used one of the bands songs in the teaser for the airlines movie, Departure Date. Live, JD Eicher & the Goodnights shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Train, Maroon 5, Hot Chelle Rae, Pete Yorn, Anberlin, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Cartel, Sister Hazel, and Matt Nathanson, among many others.
Now facing a new morning with the added weight of offering up The Middle Distance with just his name on the album cover, does Eicher like the way the shape of things have shifted into place (to borrow a phrase from past album titles), both personally and professionally?
Yeah, definitely. I do feel a lot more firmly-rooted. I feel like theres a lot less doubt. I know who I am a lot better than I used to, and a lot of my life is starting to make more sense. Im married now. Weve got a house. The real world stuff has come together in a really meaningful way. And my musical life mirrors those sentiments as well. This was the first time I felt comfortable producing a record on my own. I knew how I wanted it to feel, start to finish.
For those reasons and more, its fair to say The Middle Distance is destined to take JD Eicher even farther than where hes at today. That prospect makes it a near certainty that his steady pace to the top will likely result in him experiencing the musicians equivalent of a long distance runners high.
Singer-songwriter Demos Papadimas (guitar/vocals/harmonica/bouzouki) skillfully intertwines American roots music with Mediterranean influences. Based in Northeast Ohio, Papadimas cites among his influences Dylanesque balladry, Leonard Cohens latter day touring ensembles, and string-band revivalists such as Old Crow Medicine Show as well as Greek Rembetikothe Greek blues.
Lyrically, this self-described "cynical optimist" infuses glimmers of hope in his often world-weary lyrics. When Papadimas sings, "Somehow I've dodged so many evil eyes, that I ain't got religion is really just a surprise" he shares his sense of bemused wonder. Having lived on both sides of the Atlantic, Papadimas writes meditative travelogues that are often Guthrie-esque ramblings translated from the Dust Bowl to the Euro-Zone, from freight trains to bullet trains, and are perceptive companions to his rootsy musical approach.
Reviewing 2016s Waiting in No Depression, Jason D. Hamad coined the term Greco-Americana for Papadimas style, considering it a musical portmanteau inspired by his own background. Further discussing Papadimas craft, Hamad mentions wistful, philosophical lyrics which continue to generate songs that keep the listener engaged and thinking.
Papadimas' latest release is titled The "Lucky You" EP and was recorded by Pete Drivere at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown, OH. Critic John Gatta writes, The musical strengths on the EP can be attributed to Papadimas band lineup. Drummer Ralph Rich, a mainstay since 2012, links up with bassist Corey Gray for a solid rhythmic foundation while Caitlin Hedge adds a down-home element on violin and Dave Lynn offers tasty guitar solos and invaluable input on arrangements.
The lineup has developed into a true collaborative unit, Papadimas said. There is a shared understanding among the entire band about the direction of the material.
Identity X is a constantly evolving original modern rock/alternative band based out of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The band pulls influence from the writing style of Incubus blended with the hard rock roots of the 80's metal scene, and progressive stylings of bands like Rush and Coheed & Cambria.
David Toole - Lead Vocals, Guitar : Darin DiNapoli - Backup Vocals, Guitar : Roman Prokopenko - Bass:;
Jonathan Joseph - Keys and Samples : Dave Ardale - Drums
Jessica Bitsura is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA. She has been a DIY solo acoustic musician since the age of 14 when she began performing her original songs and covers in restaurants, bars, and wineries. With songs full of feeling, wittiness, and honesty, her musical style is a mix of pop country and singer-songwriter. She is a true believer in speaking the truth and being vulnerable through the songs that she writes, as they are an authentic expression of who she is. While in Pittsburgh, she was actively involved with 91.3 WYEP radio, having been an artist on the first ReImagination compilation CD, a performer at the 40th Anniversary Backstage Bash, and even an intern at the station. In 2016, she moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University and to further her music career. In Nashville, her song 1 Life Stand was voted by the Nashville Songwriters Association International as one of the top 24 songs of their 2017 Spring Training event.
Most recently, Bitsura has received attention for her song Dear Neighbor written in tribute to those affected by the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in October. Having reached over 105,000 views on Facebook, the song has also been featured by WTAE, WPXI, KDKA, and Bubba Show. It even landed her a gig at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Bitsura has already penned several hundred songs and has no plans on stopping. She is incredibly thankful for everyone involved in her journey thus far and cant wait to see where it takes her next.
56-58 South 12th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203 (In Pittsburgh’s Historic South Side)