club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
Unsane with Special Guests Child Bite and Microwaves

New York City's Unsane assisted in pioneering a more aggressive, less studied version of noise rock, one that blended the scum/art industrial sturm und drang of Foetus, the Swans, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Sonic Youth with a decidedly more straightforward hardcore idiom. While developing the blueprint for noise bands to follow, Unsane cut a remarkable swath through underground music, inspiring a devoted, cult-like following around the globe. As a power trio, Unsane relied upon a hammering, power-press rhythm section, a searing Telecaster howl, and distorted vocals that resembled a chainsaw cutting a steel beam.

Chris Spencer (vocals, guitar), Dave Curran (bass, vocals) and Vincent Signorelli (drums) are responsible for well over 2 decades of aural ruination, with no intention of letting up anytime soon.

The early days of Unsane began in the late '80s. The original incarnation of the band -- Chris Spencer, Pete Shore (bass), and Charles Ondras (drums) -- crawled larvally out of the practice space in 1989 and began playing New York's seediest haunts. It was these graveyard slots at clubs like CBGB's where the band developed and honed their trademark sound and delivered the goods with due intensity and volume. Unsane piqued the interest of numerous small indie labels and began issuing a series of singles and EPs before recording their self-titled debut with Matador Records. Using the photo of a decapitated man lying across train tracks, Unsane's album cover set the tone for the admixture of seething aggression, naked fear, and barely controlled noise chaos contained within. But the band's devastating maelstrom contained more than enough tunefulness and rock propulsion to quite easily surpass its more affected Lower East Side peers.


During 1992, Unsane's daunting schedule was cut devastatingly short by the untimely drug overdose of drummer Charles Ondras. Former Swans and Foetus drummer Vinny Signorelli climbed aboard the swiftly moving train in the fall of 1992 and the band began composing its next album. In the interim, Matador compiled and issued a collection of Unsane's early singles and compilation tracks, appropriately titled Singles: 89-92. It is perhaps Unsane's defining moment. The following year found the band recording its first for Atlantic Records, Total Destruction, a menacing, dark collection of songs driven by Signorelli's hypnotic drumming and Spencer's man-pushed-to-the-edge vocals. More touring followed and Matador released the Peel Sessions disc almost concurrently with Total Destruction.

After being discharged from Atlantic in 1994, Unsane found both a new bass player in Dave Curran and a home for their next album, Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, on the independent noise rock label, Amphetamine Reptile Records. While maintaining the band's signature sound and volume, 1995's Scattered... showed the band opening their rhythmic approach, with most songs inhabiting a more rock-oriented 4/4 pattern, granting the album a more spacious and controlled feel. Scattered... also contained the unlikely MTV hit video for "Scrape," featuring a series of skateboard accidents intercut with footage of the band performing live. Created for 270 dollars, it was ironically named one of MTV's Ten Funniest Videos.

The band toured relentlessly and managed to secure an opening slot with metal behemoths Slayer on one of their North American headlining tours. Shortly after, the trio made another label switch to Relapse Records and began constructing the ironically titled Occupational Hazard. While on a press tour in Europe only a month prior to the disc's release, Spencer was brutally attacked by street thugs and left for dead on the streets of Vienna, Austria. After emergency surgery, he returned to the touring arena. They then released the compilation "Lambhouse", continued to tour and wrote the ballistic urban commentary "Blood Run". After more touring, and some introspection, they proceeded to issue "Visqueen" on Mike Patton's Ipecac label. 2012 sees the band's 7th full length 'Wreck' out on Alternative Tentacles Records.

September 29th 2017 will mark Unsane's realase of 'Sterilize' on Southern Lord Records. Closing a five-year gap since the release of their Wreck LP, UNSANE makes a vicious return with their 8th album, which recalls the most defining elements of the band’s seminal Scattered, Smothered, And Covered, and Occupational Hazard albums, surging with the band’s unrelenting singular sound. Sterilize showcases the group sounding as dense and damaging as ever, and remaining as necessary as ever, nearly three decades since they began.

New York City's Unsane assisted in pioneering a more aggressive, less studied version of noise rock, one that blended the scum/art industrial sturm und drang of Foetus, the Swans, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Sonic Youth with a decidedly more straightforward hardcore idiom. While developing the blueprint for noise bands to follow, Unsane cut a remarkable swath through underground music, inspiring a devoted, cult-like following around the globe. As a power trio, Unsane relied upon a hammering, power-press rhythm section, a searing Telecaster howl, and distorted vocals that resembled a chainsaw cutting a steel beam.

Chris Spencer (vocals, guitar), Dave Curran (bass, vocals) and Vincent Signorelli (drums) are responsible for well over 2 decades of aural ruination, with no intention of letting up anytime soon.

The early days of Unsane began in the late '80s. The original incarnation of the band -- Chris Spencer, Pete Shore (bass), and Charles Ondras (drums) -- crawled larvally out of the practice space in 1989 and began playing New York's seediest haunts. It was these graveyard slots at clubs like CBGB's where the band developed and honed their trademark sound and delivered the goods with due intensity and volume. Unsane piqued the interest of numerous small indie labels and began issuing a series of singles and EPs before recording their self-titled debut with Matador Records. Using the photo of a decapitated man lying across train tracks, Unsane's album cover set the tone for the admixture of seething aggression, naked fear, and barely controlled noise chaos contained within. But the band's devastating maelstrom contained more than enough tunefulness and rock propulsion to quite easily surpass its more affected Lower East Side peers.


During 1992, Unsane's daunting schedule was cut devastatingly short by the untimely drug overdose of drummer Charles Ondras. Former Swans and Foetus drummer Vinny Signorelli climbed aboard the swiftly moving train in the fall of 1992 and the band began composing its next album. In the interim, Matador compiled and issued a collection of Unsane's early singles and compilation tracks, appropriately titled Singles: 89-92. It is perhaps Unsane's defining moment. The following year found the band recording its first for Atlantic Records, Total Destruction, a menacing, dark collection of songs driven by Signorelli's hypnotic drumming and Spencer's man-pushed-to-the-edge vocals. More touring followed and Matador released the Peel Sessions disc almost concurrently with Total Destruction.

After being discharged from Atlantic in 1994, Unsane found both a new bass player in Dave Curran and a home for their next album, Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, on the independent noise rock label, Amphetamine Reptile Records. While maintaining the band's signature sound and volume, 1995's Scattered... showed the band opening their rhythmic approach, with most songs inhabiting a more rock-oriented 4/4 pattern, granting the album a more spacious and controlled feel. Scattered... also contained the unlikely MTV hit video for "Scrape," featuring a series of skateboard accidents intercut with footage of the band performing live. Created for 270 dollars, it was ironically named one of MTV's Ten Funniest Videos.

The band toured relentlessly and managed to secure an opening slot with metal behemoths Slayer on one of their North American headlining tours. Shortly after, the trio made another label switch to Relapse Records and began constructing the ironically titled Occupational Hazard. While on a press tour in Europe only a month prior to the disc's release, Spencer was brutally attacked by street thugs and left for dead on the streets of Vienna, Austria. After emergency surgery, he returned to the touring arena. They then released the compilation "Lambhouse", continued to tour and wrote the ballistic urban commentary "Blood Run". After more touring, and some introspection, they proceeded to issue "Visqueen" on Mike Patton's Ipecac label. 2012 sees the band's 7th full length 'Wreck' out on Alternative Tentacles Records.

September 29th 2017 will mark Unsane's realase of 'Sterilize' on Southern Lord Records. Closing a five-year gap since the release of their Wreck LP, UNSANE makes a vicious return with their 8th album, which recalls the most defining elements of the band’s seminal Scattered, Smothered, And Covered, and Occupational Hazard albums, surging with the band’s unrelenting singular sound. Sterilize showcases the group sounding as dense and damaging as ever, and remaining as necessary as ever, nearly three decades since they began.

(Early Show) Women Who Rock Presents Songwriters Night featuring Heather Kropf, Sierra Sellers, Melinda Colaizzi

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Can't Help But Laugh Comedy Show with Marcus Cox, Chrissy Costa, Roni Shanell and Nate Nulph

Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin Altar Boys Featuring Westside Andy on Harmonica with Special Guest The Bo'Hog Brothers

Bringing crowds to their feet at the hardest to please and sophisticated night clubs in the Midwest, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys play traditional blues, straight up with a big dose of passion. With smoking grooves, served up with hot harmonica and smooth stinging guitar they play original songs peppered with nods to Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and the three Kings.

Born and raised on south side of Chicago, the Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After 16 year hitch in the Navy, Chief Raven moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers.

Since 1990 he has opened for B.B King, Gatemouth Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor Band, Junior Wells, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop, Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, William Clarke, Lefty Dizz, Rod Piazza, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Duke Robillard, Jeff Healy, Trampled Underfoot, Mike Zito, Nick Moss, Tommy Castro and numerous others at festivals and at Buddy Guy’s Legends where he has been on rotation as a headliner for 16 years.

Westside Andy is one of the premier harp players to come out of Wisconsin along with Jim Liban, Steve Cohen, Madison Slim, Matthew Skoller and Cadillac Pete Rahn. A long time member of Paul Black's Flip Kings and his own band, The Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band, he's played just about everywhere and with anyone of note in the blues world. He's been with Reverend Raven since leaving his band in 2015.

More modern facts include that Hohner, Inc. lists him as an endorser alongside Rod Piazza, Toots Thielemans, & Corky Siegel, among many other great players.

Andy has shared the stage with James Cotton, Luther Allison, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Charlie Musselwhite, Doobie Brothers, Richie Havens, Muddy Waters, Gary Primich, Jimmy Johnson, Tab Benoit, Hubert Sumlin.

"Andy Linderman is one of my very favorite harp players. His tone and phrasing are tops in my book."
Gary Primich, premier harp player

“Best in the Midwest”
Johnny Rawls

“You guys are the real deal”
Tad Robinson

“They are very, very good. That’s why I keep having them back at my club”
Buddy Guy

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Wisconsin Music Industry (WAMI) award for best blues band in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015. People’s Choice Award in 2006, 2008, 2010.
Voted the Best Blues Band In Milwaukee by The Shepherd Express Reader’s Poll in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
2011 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for Best Blues Band” and “Best Song”
2015 Blues Blast Music Award Award for Best Live CD
2015 Independent Blues Scene Award for Best Live CD
Band features Hohner harmonica endorsee Westside Andy Linderman on harmonica

Bringing crowds to their feet at the hardest to please and sophisticated night clubs in the Midwest, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys play traditional blues, straight up with a big dose of passion. With smoking grooves, served up with hot harmonica and smooth stinging guitar they play original songs peppered with nods to Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and the three Kings.

Born and raised on south side of Chicago, the Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After 16 year hitch in the Navy, Chief Raven moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers.

Since 1990 he has opened for B.B King, Gatemouth Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor Band, Junior Wells, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop, Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, William Clarke, Lefty Dizz, Rod Piazza, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Duke Robillard, Jeff Healy, Trampled Underfoot, Mike Zito, Nick Moss, Tommy Castro and numerous others at festivals and at Buddy Guy’s Legends where he has been on rotation as a headliner for 16 years.

Westside Andy is one of the premier harp players to come out of Wisconsin along with Jim Liban, Steve Cohen, Madison Slim, Matthew Skoller and Cadillac Pete Rahn. A long time member of Paul Black's Flip Kings and his own band, The Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band, he's played just about everywhere and with anyone of note in the blues world. He's been with Reverend Raven since leaving his band in 2015.

More modern facts include that Hohner, Inc. lists him as an endorser alongside Rod Piazza, Toots Thielemans, & Corky Siegel, among many other great players.

Andy has shared the stage with James Cotton, Luther Allison, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Charlie Musselwhite, Doobie Brothers, Richie Havens, Muddy Waters, Gary Primich, Jimmy Johnson, Tab Benoit, Hubert Sumlin.

"Andy Linderman is one of my very favorite harp players. His tone and phrasing are tops in my book."
Gary Primich, premier harp player

“Best in the Midwest”
Johnny Rawls

“You guys are the real deal”
Tad Robinson

“They are very, very good. That’s why I keep having them back at my club”
Buddy Guy

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Wisconsin Music Industry (WAMI) award for best blues band in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015. People’s Choice Award in 2006, 2008, 2010.
Voted the Best Blues Band In Milwaukee by The Shepherd Express Reader’s Poll in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
2011 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for Best Blues Band” and “Best Song”
2015 Blues Blast Music Award Award for Best Live CD
2015 Independent Blues Scene Award for Best Live CD
Band features Hohner harmonica endorsee Westside Andy Linderman on harmonica

Kelsey Waldon with Special Guest The Beagle Brothers

Thinking about country music, Kelsey Waldon muses, "If it's a part of who you are, it's a part of who you are." And country music is very much a part of who she is, a part of who she's always been. The Kentucky singer/songwriter hails from Monkey's Eyebrow, in rural Ballard County where her family put down roots several generations ago. Even so, Waldon's musical tastes reach well beyond those borders, as evidenced on her new release, I've Got a Way.

Waldon was 13 when her parents divorced and, inspired by the music surrounding her, she started playing guitar as a means to make it through her teen years. Upon her arrival in Music City a few years later, Waldon toiled away 45+ hours a week in a minimum wage job and played gigs in any bar that would let her in the door and on the stage. Once she had a pocket full of songs, she released her debut album in 2014, The Goldmine. The set was met with open arms from both critics and lovers of the kind of country music that she makes -- the kind born in bars and raised in honky-tonks, the kind leaning on pedal steel and driven by Telecaster.

As solid as the effort was, its follow-up isn't just a next step, it's a forward leap. After all, when you're a songwriter, a couple of years can contain a lifetime of lessons. And that wisdom is what seeps through on her sophomore effort which, like The Goldmine, was produced by Michael Rinne. For Waldon, "It's a transition in letting go and also being absolutely comfortable in your own skin."

Indeed, the newfound confidence and compassion with which she inhabits her place in the world comes through loud and clear on original cuts like "All by Myself," "Don't Hurt the Ones (Who've Loved You the Most)," and "Life Moves Slow," as well as her arrangements of Vern and Rex Gosdin's "There Must Be a Someone" and Bill Monroe's "Traveling Down This Lonesome Road.

Perhaps because it was one of the first songs Waldon wrote this go-around,"All By Myself," in particular, stands out as something of a thesis statement for the rest of the album, if not for life, in general. As she explains, "It is not a lecture, or a sermon, or a statement from me. I want it to be a statement for everyone, as a whole: The power is only inside of ourselves."

Because no country record would be complete without a proper kiss-off cut, Waldon scratched out her own entry in that milieu with "You Can Have It." That kind of personal empowerment comes up time and again across I've Got a Way. In "Let's Pretend," that power emerges through the act of focusing on the good and choosing the kind as part of what Waldom describes as "a 'Storms Never Last' mentality" to relationships.

Closing the collection are "Traveling Down This Lonesome Road," which stands as her hard-edged hat tip to Bill Monroe and the music she grew up on, and "The Heartbreak," which shows she can deliver a weeper, to boot. But this isn't the standard woe-is-me fare. Here, too, is a message of empowerment and empathy.

So, how does Waldon turn her messages into the country music that is so much a part of her? "Lay it all out, and sing it from the heart, way down deep," she says. "If you do it that way, you don't need gimmicks."

Thinking about country music, Kelsey Waldon muses, "If it's a part of who you are, it's a part of who you are." And country music is very much a part of who she is, a part of who she's always been. The Kentucky singer/songwriter hails from Monkey's Eyebrow, in rural Ballard County where her family put down roots several generations ago. Even so, Waldon's musical tastes reach well beyond those borders, as evidenced on her new release, I've Got a Way.

Waldon was 13 when her parents divorced and, inspired by the music surrounding her, she started playing guitar as a means to make it through her teen years. Upon her arrival in Music City a few years later, Waldon toiled away 45+ hours a week in a minimum wage job and played gigs in any bar that would let her in the door and on the stage. Once she had a pocket full of songs, she released her debut album in 2014, The Goldmine. The set was met with open arms from both critics and lovers of the kind of country music that she makes -- the kind born in bars and raised in honky-tonks, the kind leaning on pedal steel and driven by Telecaster.

As solid as the effort was, its follow-up isn't just a next step, it's a forward leap. After all, when you're a songwriter, a couple of years can contain a lifetime of lessons. And that wisdom is what seeps through on her sophomore effort which, like The Goldmine, was produced by Michael Rinne. For Waldon, "It's a transition in letting go and also being absolutely comfortable in your own skin."

Indeed, the newfound confidence and compassion with which she inhabits her place in the world comes through loud and clear on original cuts like "All by Myself," "Don't Hurt the Ones (Who've Loved You the Most)," and "Life Moves Slow," as well as her arrangements of Vern and Rex Gosdin's "There Must Be a Someone" and Bill Monroe's "Traveling Down This Lonesome Road.

Perhaps because it was one of the first songs Waldon wrote this go-around,"All By Myself," in particular, stands out as something of a thesis statement for the rest of the album, if not for life, in general. As she explains, "It is not a lecture, or a sermon, or a statement from me. I want it to be a statement for everyone, as a whole: The power is only inside of ourselves."

Because no country record would be complete without a proper kiss-off cut, Waldon scratched out her own entry in that milieu with "You Can Have It." That kind of personal empowerment comes up time and again across I've Got a Way. In "Let's Pretend," that power emerges through the act of focusing on the good and choosing the kind as part of what Waldom describes as "a 'Storms Never Last' mentality" to relationships.

Closing the collection are "Traveling Down This Lonesome Road," which stands as her hard-edged hat tip to Bill Monroe and the music she grew up on, and "The Heartbreak," which shows she can deliver a weeper, to boot. But this isn't the standard woe-is-me fare. Here, too, is a message of empowerment and empathy.

So, how does Waldon turn her messages into the country music that is so much a part of her? "Lay it all out, and sing it from the heart, way down deep," she says. "If you do it that way, you don't need gimmicks."

Mobley with Special Guest Johnny Walylko

Cutting vocals in the woods behind his college dorm. Mixing in the backseat of a sedan. Sneaking into the music department after hours to teach himself to play new instruments (and sneaking out before the faculty arrived in the morning). From the start, Mobley's work has been marked by solitude, ingenuity, and a drive that could only be called obsessive. Whether you experience his music on record or at one of his live shows (on stage, he's electric), the passion is palpable. Mobley grew up all over the world, from the Spanish Mediterranean to the California coast. Perhaps it's because of this itinerant childhood that he finds it so hard to sit still.
Over the last few years, he's composed dozens of pieces for stage and television, played 150+ national tour dates (with the likes of JUNGLE, Mutemath, & Wavves and at festivals like Savannah Stopover and Float Fest), and recorded (then scrapped) two whole albums in pursuit of the songs that would become his forthcoming full-length debut, Fresh Lies. The album, on which Mobley plays every instrument, defies easy classification, drawing liberally (often simultaneously) from indie rock, R&B, and pop sensibilities. He's equally at home on a playlist next to The Weeknd and TV on the Radio alike, while his electronic, dub-dabbling production style calls to mind the intricate work of artists like James Blake and Thom Yorke.

Cutting vocals in the woods behind his college dorm. Mixing in the backseat of a sedan. Sneaking into the music department after hours to teach himself to play new instruments (and sneaking out before the faculty arrived in the morning). From the start, Mobley's work has been marked by solitude, ingenuity, and a drive that could only be called obsessive. Whether you experience his music on record or at one of his live shows (on stage, he's electric), the passion is palpable. Mobley grew up all over the world, from the Spanish Mediterranean to the California coast. Perhaps it's because of this itinerant childhood that he finds it so hard to sit still.
Over the last few years, he's composed dozens of pieces for stage and television, played 150+ national tour dates (with the likes of JUNGLE, Mutemath, & Wavves and at festivals like Savannah Stopover and Float Fest), and recorded (then scrapped) two whole albums in pursuit of the songs that would become his forthcoming full-length debut, Fresh Lies. The album, on which Mobley plays every instrument, defies easy classification, drawing liberally (often simultaneously) from indie rock, R&B, and pop sensibilities. He's equally at home on a playlist next to The Weeknd and TV on the Radio alike, while his electronic, dub-dabbling production style calls to mind the intricate work of artists like James Blake and Thom Yorke.

Charlie Parr with Special Guest Dan Petrich

Fans who have been following Charlie Parr through his previous 13 full-length albums and decades of nonstop touring already know that the Duluth-based songwriter has a way of carving a path straight to the gut. On his newest record, Dog, however, he seems to be digging deeper and hitting those nerves quicker than ever before.
"I want my son to have this when I'm gone," Charlie sings not 10 seconds into the opening song on Dog, "Hobo." His voice sounds weary but insistent, his accompaniment sparse and sorrowful. By the second line, the listener has no choice but to be transported on a journey through the burrows of his troubled mind, following him through shadowy twists and turns as he searches for a way out.
It turns out Charlie's been grappling with quite a bit over these past few years. As he prepares to release his new album on Red House Records this fall, he's just as candid about discussing his experiences in
person as he is while singing on the heat-rending Dog.
"I had some really, really bad depression problems over the last couple years," Charlie explains. "I've been trying to get fit, trying not to drink so much, trying not to do the rock 'n' roll guy thing. And then I got depressed. Really depressed. And to me, depression feels like there's me, and then there's this kind of hazy fog of rancid jello all around me, that you can't feel your way out of. And then there's this really, really horrible third thing, this impulsive thing, that doesn't feel like it's me or my depression. It feels like it's coming from outside somewhere. And it's the thing that comes on you all of a sudden, and it's the voice of suicide, it's the voice of ‘quit.'"

"These songs have all kind of come out of that. Especially songs like ‘Salt Water' and ‘Dog,' they really came heavily out of just being depressed, and having to say something about it."

Sometimes I'm alright
Other times it's hard to tell
Like finding light in the bottom of the darkest well
- "Sometimes I'm Alright"
In the album's quieter moments, Charlie confronts these issues head-on, using only an acoustic guitar or banjo to light the way. But the incredible thing about Dog is that it digs into dark matter and contemplates serious topics like mental illness and mortality while embracing a pulse of persistence and forward motion; throughout the album, more and more musicians seem to be joining in the fray as the tempo builds, keeping the overall vibe upbeat.
"I was going to do it completely solo," Charlie says. "I was going to go to this barn in Wisconsin, sit there and play my songs. And I was practicing them and I thought, this is devastating. These songs are hard to
hear in this format. I would never be able to listen to them again. And then my friend Tom Herbers, he
saw something was wrong. We talked, booked time at Creation" Audio, and made a plan to flesh out the album with a backing band.

So Charlie called on some longtime friends who he's collaborated with throughout his career: the experimental folk artist Jeff Mitchell, percussionist Mikkel Beckman, harmonica player Dave Hundreiser, and bassist Liz Draper, who traded her typical upright bass in for an electric at Charlie's request. The group found an instant chemistry in the studio, capturing some of the tracks on the first take.
"I wrote all the lyrics on these giant pieces of paper, and I had highlighters, and I assigned them each a color. I was going to be super organized," Charlie remembers. "And then we started playing, and all of a
sudden none of that even mattered. These stupid highlighters, the pieces of paper - I should have just
trusted in the beginning that these friends would know how to take care of my songs."
You claim the bed lifted up off the floor
Well, how do you know I'm not as good as you are? A soul is a soul is a soul is a soul
- "Dog"
In the album's more raucous moments, Charlie turns from contemplating his inner struggles to examining his connection to other living creatures. The album's title track, "Dog," and the blistering "Another Dog" were inspired by some of the lessons he's learned from his own pet, and wondering about the way dogs interact with humans and the outside world.
"I have a dog, her name is Ruby but I call her Ruben, and we go for these long, crazy, chaotic walks," Charlie says. "Because I decided a long time ago that I get along really well with this dog, and I was
taking her for walks, and she wanted to go this way, and I wanted to go that way. And then I thought, why
are we going to go this way and not that way? Maybe I should be the one getting walked. Maybe I'll learn something. So I follow the dog."

Despite the album's darker moments, the listener is left hearing Charlie in a more optimistic and defiant headspace, reflecting on how far he's come - and how content he is to accept that some things are simply unknowable.

Fans who have been following Charlie Parr through his previous 13 full-length albums and decades of nonstop touring already know that the Duluth-based songwriter has a way of carving a path straight to the gut. On his newest record, Dog, however, he seems to be digging deeper and hitting those nerves quicker than ever before.
"I want my son to have this when I'm gone," Charlie sings not 10 seconds into the opening song on Dog, "Hobo." His voice sounds weary but insistent, his accompaniment sparse and sorrowful. By the second line, the listener has no choice but to be transported on a journey through the burrows of his troubled mind, following him through shadowy twists and turns as he searches for a way out.
It turns out Charlie's been grappling with quite a bit over these past few years. As he prepares to release his new album on Red House Records this fall, he's just as candid about discussing his experiences in
person as he is while singing on the heat-rending Dog.
"I had some really, really bad depression problems over the last couple years," Charlie explains. "I've been trying to get fit, trying not to drink so much, trying not to do the rock 'n' roll guy thing. And then I got depressed. Really depressed. And to me, depression feels like there's me, and then there's this kind of hazy fog of rancid jello all around me, that you can't feel your way out of. And then there's this really, really horrible third thing, this impulsive thing, that doesn't feel like it's me or my depression. It feels like it's coming from outside somewhere. And it's the thing that comes on you all of a sudden, and it's the voice of suicide, it's the voice of ‘quit.'"

"These songs have all kind of come out of that. Especially songs like ‘Salt Water' and ‘Dog,' they really came heavily out of just being depressed, and having to say something about it."

Sometimes I'm alright
Other times it's hard to tell
Like finding light in the bottom of the darkest well
- "Sometimes I'm Alright"
In the album's quieter moments, Charlie confronts these issues head-on, using only an acoustic guitar or banjo to light the way. But the incredible thing about Dog is that it digs into dark matter and contemplates serious topics like mental illness and mortality while embracing a pulse of persistence and forward motion; throughout the album, more and more musicians seem to be joining in the fray as the tempo builds, keeping the overall vibe upbeat.
"I was going to do it completely solo," Charlie says. "I was going to go to this barn in Wisconsin, sit there and play my songs. And I was practicing them and I thought, this is devastating. These songs are hard to
hear in this format. I would never be able to listen to them again. And then my friend Tom Herbers, he
saw something was wrong. We talked, booked time at Creation" Audio, and made a plan to flesh out the album with a backing band.

So Charlie called on some longtime friends who he's collaborated with throughout his career: the experimental folk artist Jeff Mitchell, percussionist Mikkel Beckman, harmonica player Dave Hundreiser, and bassist Liz Draper, who traded her typical upright bass in for an electric at Charlie's request. The group found an instant chemistry in the studio, capturing some of the tracks on the first take.
"I wrote all the lyrics on these giant pieces of paper, and I had highlighters, and I assigned them each a color. I was going to be super organized," Charlie remembers. "And then we started playing, and all of a
sudden none of that even mattered. These stupid highlighters, the pieces of paper - I should have just
trusted in the beginning that these friends would know how to take care of my songs."
You claim the bed lifted up off the floor
Well, how do you know I'm not as good as you are? A soul is a soul is a soul is a soul
- "Dog"
In the album's more raucous moments, Charlie turns from contemplating his inner struggles to examining his connection to other living creatures. The album's title track, "Dog," and the blistering "Another Dog" were inspired by some of the lessons he's learned from his own pet, and wondering about the way dogs interact with humans and the outside world.
"I have a dog, her name is Ruby but I call her Ruben, and we go for these long, crazy, chaotic walks," Charlie says. "Because I decided a long time ago that I get along really well with this dog, and I was
taking her for walks, and she wanted to go this way, and I wanted to go that way. And then I thought, why
are we going to go this way and not that way? Maybe I should be the one getting walked. Maybe I'll learn something. So I follow the dog."

Despite the album's darker moments, the listener is left hearing Charlie in a more optimistic and defiant headspace, reflecting on how far he's come - and how content he is to accept that some things are simply unknowable.

(Early Show) Eilen Jewell - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Eilen Jewell laughs when told her label’s president called her a musicologist. But she confirms she and her husband and bandmate, Jason Beek, have a passion for studying American music.

“We really love to uncover the past. It’s almost like digging for buried treasure,” she says. “For me, that’s where music is at. I like all kinds of music as long as there’s the word early in front of it.”

For her new album, Down Hearted Blues, releasing Sept. 22, 2017, on Signature Sounds, they unearthed 12 vintage gems written or made famous by an array of artists both renowned and obscure, from Willie Dixon and Memphis Minnie to Charles Sheffield and Betty James. Then, like expert stonecutters, they chiseled them into exciting new shapes and forms, honoring history while breathing new life into each discovery.

Eilen Jewell laughs when told her label’s president called her a musicologist. But she confirms she and her husband and bandmate, Jason Beek, have a passion for studying American music.

“We really love to uncover the past. It’s almost like digging for buried treasure,” she says. “For me, that’s where music is at. I like all kinds of music as long as there’s the word early in front of it.”

For her new album, Down Hearted Blues, releasing Sept. 22, 2017, on Signature Sounds, they unearthed 12 vintage gems written or made famous by an array of artists both renowned and obscure, from Willie Dixon and Memphis Minnie to Charles Sheffield and Betty James. Then, like expert stonecutters, they chiseled them into exciting new shapes and forms, honoring history while breathing new life into each discovery.

(Late Show) Turnpike Gardens with Special Guest NORM

Combining equal parts tight, high-energy musicianship and dynamic songwriting, Turnpike Gardens is an up-and-coming rock band from Pittsburgh, PA. The band draws its influences from rock acts of late 60s and early 70s as well as early 90s alternative rock.

Turnpike Gardens consists of three high school friends, bassist Nick Funyak, guitarist Evan Mulgrave and drummer James Conley, a trio with more than a decade of shared musical history, and features vocalist Heather Polvinale, whose brash, powerful voice carries shades of Grace Slick and Fiona Apple.

In their short history, Turnpike Gardens has already created a reputation for packing local venues such as The Smiling Moose, Mr.Smalls, Club Cafe while delivering dynamic, energetic performances. The band has played a number of shows with touring acts and local mainstays such as The Semi-Supervillains and There You Are. Their debut, self-titled LP has received a warm reception from numerous online radio stations, and local radio appearances include regular turns on 105.9 the X and a live session in the WDVE Coffeehouse with Randy Baumann and the DVE Morning Show.

The band is currently writing and recording its follow-up LP to 2015's self-titled release and continues to play live sets in support of the first album.

Combining equal parts tight, high-energy musicianship and dynamic songwriting, Turnpike Gardens is an up-and-coming rock band from Pittsburgh, PA. The band draws its influences from rock acts of late 60s and early 70s as well as early 90s alternative rock.

Turnpike Gardens consists of three high school friends, bassist Nick Funyak, guitarist Evan Mulgrave and drummer James Conley, a trio with more than a decade of shared musical history, and features vocalist Heather Polvinale, whose brash, powerful voice carries shades of Grace Slick and Fiona Apple.

In their short history, Turnpike Gardens has already created a reputation for packing local venues such as The Smiling Moose, Mr.Smalls, Club Cafe while delivering dynamic, energetic performances. The band has played a number of shows with touring acts and local mainstays such as The Semi-Supervillains and There You Are. Their debut, self-titled LP has received a warm reception from numerous online radio stations, and local radio appearances include regular turns on 105.9 the X and a live session in the WDVE Coffeehouse with Randy Baumann and the DVE Morning Show.

The band is currently writing and recording its follow-up LP to 2015's self-titled release and continues to play live sets in support of the first album.

(Early Show) Cordovas

Cordovas are Joe Firstman, Lucca Soria, Jon Loyd, Toby Weaver and Graham Spillman. Out of Madison, TN, Cordovas’ sound is based in harmony, song, and musicianship. Firstman released two albums on Atlantic Records in the early 2000s, including the acclaimed “War of Women.” “Baby Genius,” 24-year-old songsmith, Des Moines’ Lucca Soria, sings and plays guitar. The keyboardist, Jon Loyd, is an original Cordova from Macon, GA. Loyd’s high notes and piano style make the sound unforgettable and recognizable. His musical genius is well known in Nashville circles. Redondo Beach, California’s Graham Spillman is on drums. The 25-year-old Berklee College of Music dropout also sings and pens tunes for the group. Toby Weaver, also an original Cordova and American Folk music aficionado, plays guitar and sings. The band spent the past winter on the Baja in Mexico writing and demoing songs for their latest album produced by two-time Grammy nominee Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids.

Cordovas are Joe Firstman, Lucca Soria, Jon Loyd, Toby Weaver and Graham Spillman. Out of Madison, TN, Cordovas’ sound is based in harmony, song, and musicianship. Firstman released two albums on Atlantic Records in the early 2000s, including the acclaimed “War of Women.” “Baby Genius,” 24-year-old songsmith, Des Moines’ Lucca Soria, sings and plays guitar. The keyboardist, Jon Loyd, is an original Cordova from Macon, GA. Loyd’s high notes and piano style make the sound unforgettable and recognizable. His musical genius is well known in Nashville circles. Redondo Beach, California’s Graham Spillman is on drums. The 25-year-old Berklee College of Music dropout also sings and pens tunes for the group. Toby Weaver, also an original Cordova and American Folk music aficionado, plays guitar and sings. The band spent the past winter on the Baja in Mexico writing and demoing songs for their latest album produced by two-time Grammy nominee Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids.

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