(Late Show) Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Present The Hard Times
(Late Show) Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Present The Hard Times
M. Ward returns with a stunning new album, More Rain, for release on Merge Records on March 4, 2016. Ward has released a string of acclaimed solo albums over the past several years, along with five LPs with Zooey Deschanel as She & Him and a 2009 collaborative album with My Morning Jackets Jim James and Bright Eyes Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis under the moniker Monsters of Folk. In addition to his celebrated work as a musician, Ward is an accomplished producer, handling those duties for such luminaries as Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis, and Carlos Forster as well as his own musical projects.
M. Ward knows how to live with rain. Having spent the last decade-and-a-half based in the perennially damp Portland, Oregon, the singer-songwriter and producer has learned how to shine through the soggy gloom by simply embracing its inevitability. For Ward, there is inspiration in a dark sky and harmony in foreboding winds. And with his new album More Rain, he has made a true gotta-stay-indoors, rainy-season record that looks upwards through the weather while reflecting on his past.
I think one of the biggest mysteries of America right now is this: How are we able to process unending bad news on Page One and then go about our lives the way the style section portrays us? says Ward. There must be a place in our brains that allows us to take a birds-eye view of humanity, and I think music is good at helping peoplemyself includedgo to that place.
This album, Wards eighth solo affair, finds the artist picking up the tempo and volume a bit from his previous release, 2012s A Wasteland Companion. Where that record introspectively looked in from the outside, More Rain finds Ward on the inside, gazing out. Begun four years ago and imagined initially as a DIY doo-wop album that would feature Ward experimenting with layering his own voice, it soon branched out in different directions, a move that he credits largely to his collaborators here who include R.E.M.s Peter Buck, Neko Case, k.d. lang, The Secret Sisters, and Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. The result is a collection of upbeat, sonically ambitious yet canonically familiar songs that both propel Wards reach and satisfy longtime fans.
More Rain begins with an actual rainstorm, then throughout the album, guitars chime, chug, and riff with Wards unmistakable earthy tone, while layers of atmospheric reverb and skittering drums climb and clip in equal measures. As the cloud of noise rolls in, the layers part ever so slightly to make way for Wards voice, which can play wispy and whimsical in one moment (Pirate Dial) or crackling and smoky in the next (Time Wont Wait) just as well as it can climb to clear-sky clarity (Confession) then drop down to smooth, soulful crooning (Im Listening), each one after the other. Girl From Conejo Valley is a nostalgic trot through people he used to know and a place he used to be, and Slow Driving Man is sweeping and lush in its orchestral climb towards confident heights.
As the album ends with the self-assured swing of Im Going Higher, voices join together in a chorus of rising ahs and, for just a second, it seems the storm outside has slowed, making room for a ray of hopeful sunlight. As Ward knows, the rainy season is sure to return, but for now, More Rain is here to help us with our perspective.
Liza Treyger is a Chicago-bred standup comic who now resides in NYC. She really
misses alleys, her favorite bartenders, and her Russian parents. Lizas Half Hour and first album will be released by Comedy Central in August 2015. She recently performed at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and has appeared on Adam Devine's House Party on Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately and is a cast member on MTV2's Joking Off. She was thrilled to be a part of the New York Comedy Festival 2012 as one of Comedy Central's Comics to Watch (where she got to watch shows and eat cake balls with two professional wrestlers!). Check out her super cool web series How Many Questions.
Writer, actor, and standup comedian Joe DeRosa has become a favorite on the comedy circuit. His brand of comedy, which mixes brutal honesty and frustration at the workings of the world, has won over comedy fans, radio listeners, and TV audiences nationwide.
In February 2013 Joe taped his second half hour special for Comedy Central, and in September of that year he released his third standup comedy album "You Will Die." His first two standup albums, "The Depression Auction" and "Return of The Son of The Depression Auction," were released on Comedy Central records in 2010 and 2011 respectively. A fourth album, "Mistakes Were Made: The B-Sides" was released in August of 2014.
Joe has also worked as a writer on a variety of projects, including Netflixs highly anticipated Wet Hot American Summer TV series, Comedy Centrals Jeff & Some Aliens, and TBS acclaimed The Pete Holmes Show, on which he was also a featured performer. Online, Joe created, wrote, and starred in Bedrockets 2013 web series We Should Break Up and the Warner Brothers web series What Are We Waiting For? In 2011 he directed and, along with
fellow comedians Bill Burr and Robert Kelly, co-wrote and starred in the short film CHEAT, which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival that year. In October 2012, Simon and Schuster released a book based on the film, written by the three comedians themselves.
In recent years, Joe has been seen in a recurring role on AMC's Better Call Saul, and has made appearances on Comedy Centrals Inside Amy Schumer, FX's Louie, HBO's Bored To Death, E's Chelsea Lately, and in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. This year, Joe released his first full televised hour special, You Let Me Down.
When he's not writing or acting, Joe headlines comedy clubs across the globe and has been featured at renowned festivals such as South By Southwest, Montreal's Just for Laughs, The Moontower Comedy Festival, The New York Comedy Festival, Gildas Laughfest, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and Bonnaroo.
There's a hallowed hall, deep within the recesses of the heart, where an amazing truth resides: The power in your life can only be experienced when broken open and shared with the people who come into it.
Back in 2005, Mike Farris cracked open the hallway door when, for the first time since the age of 15, he was clean and sober. Recording what would become the critically acclaimed Salvation in Lights (2007), a resurrected Mike eagerly anticipated the future. But with two ruptured discs, back surgery and the death of his beloved manager Rose McGathy all within a few weeks of the record's release, a rolling fog settled in. And with it, denial.
Nevertheless, Mike's career was picking up steam. He won an Americana Music Award for New/Emerging Artist in 2008, followed by a Dove Award in 2010. His live performances at Bonnaroo, SxSW, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and others-were drawing rave reviews. Revered artists like Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, and Marty Stuart were struck by his incomparable voice, and Mike opened shows for Patti LaBelle, Mavis Staples, Blind Boys of Alabama, Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby.
By 2010, having released the award winning SHOUT! Live followed by an EP for Nashville flood relief efforts, Mike launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his next record, an independent release. His fans generously funded the project.
Serious invitations kept coming: first, to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame's 16th Annual American Music Masters concert honoring Aretha Franklin, then TEDx Nashville, and then to the inaugural Austin City Limits Hall of Fame with Double Trouble.
Mike's spirited, soul-gospel fusion had found an enthusiastic audience, but denial has a way of biting back. Compared to his former life, he thought he was fine, but truth be told, Mike had become addicted to pain medication. The new album would have to take a back seat to a gut-check, life-changing recovery. Mike went to rehab and finally began excavating the root causes of his addiction with the help of support groups at AA and NA. An isolator by nature, he struggled laying all his burdens on the table to complete strangers, but gained encouragement through the stories of others. Each honest step led to fertile, hopeful ground.
What eventually emerged from that fertile ground is Shine For All The People, the evolution of true sobriety, of finding a new identity as a servant, first as a man but also as an artist. "I'd been working on the record before my recovery, and then there was a pretty huge delay," explains Mike, who signed with Compass Records. "I had to back up, take time to grab the ground, to re-acclimate, to learn how to live now, truly sober for the first time since I was a kid."
This new normal included getting back to the process of creating new music, but there was a distinctive trajectory shift in Mike. "So many avenues of music flow through me, 100s of years of music, the music that I grew up with-from Blues, Rock, R&B and gospel-there had always been this pressure to try to force it into a box that would sell somehow. It's crazy and overwhelming at times, the weight of trying to meet expectations and make a living, but this time, that all fell away. I know now that this gift only exists to encourage people in their struggles, and if there's any power in it, it's not from me."
Released in September 2014, Shine For All The People pushes beyond Salvation in Lights in that it reveals hope not in any glory to come, but in the failures and suffering of the present. "My music has always been first and foremost for the downtrodden, the wayward...people who've had to go up the rough side of the mountain. Even when it's upbeat and inspiring, there's always been an element of pain, because truth be told, we're all flawed. Not everybody knows it, but we all are."
From the opening Cuban/St. Louis blues horns of "River Jordan," originally written and performed by Blind Willie McTell, to the divine salvation of J.B. Lenoir's "Jonah & the Whale," to the determined stance of the Rev. C.J. Johnson's "Something Keeps on Telling Me," a chorus/mantra that Mike fleshed out into a song in the months after rehab one listen, and it's clear there's something mystical in the waters here.
"When I first heard the Rev. C.J. Johnson's version, I could feel the air in that church get still, no music, only the sound of feet on the floor and hands in the air," Mike says. "I got such strength from it, I knew I wanted to add part of my story. With his words as the chorus, and with Brigitte DeMeyer helping me out, the song serves as a compass for anyone who has lost their way."
Mary Gauthier's soul-stirring "Mercy Now," one of the first songs Mike chose for the record, is clearly foundational to the whole. "The song just mystically appeared before me a few months before my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer," he says. "Not only did it play a major role in just helping me deal with the year that followed, including his death, but brought comfort to my entire family."
Like other choice cuts on Shine For All The People, the songs simply arrived at the appointed time, Mike says. "There was a time when I carried all the songwriting on my shoulders, but then the ego gets in the way of what it should be. These days, I don't have to write everything. I just open the door and these songs show up...songs I need to hear in my struggle, songs I know people need to hear in theirs."
Whether rearranging songs of centuries past or infusing new lyrical life to half-songs, it becomes clear that Mike's vocal gift is simply the surface of a very deep well. Full-tilt originals include "Real Fine Day," a poetic account of the birth of Christian Blue Sky Farris that features some killer Kenny Vaughn guitar hooks-"easily one of the top three days of my life, that day," Mike says, and "Power of Love," an unforgettable, high-energy soul groove and already an audience favorite.
Shine For All the People, the 2015 Grammy Award winner for Best Roots Gospel album, bears witness to the determination of putting one foot in front of the other and to the power of music to get you there. "I've discovered that falling is a divine thing," Mike adds. "It's part and parcel of being human. The important thing is to keep the faith and keep moving on and on. Daring to be courageous enough to share our deepest burdens with each other is the greatest gift we can give."
Mountain Heart is the band that has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The bands name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the groups creation. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans both as a result of their superlative musicianship and just as notably, their incendiary live performances.
Mountain Heart or members have been nominated for Grammys, ACM, CMA awards. The band has also been nominated for and won multiple IBMAs. They have appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry in excess of 130 times, and have shared the stage with acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley to Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain Stringband, The Punch Brothers, Levon Helm, John Fogerty and many more.
Mountain Hearts musical virtuosity the band is comprised of top call studio pros at every position, unmatched energy, and a keen sense of entertainment dynamics have helped them to forge a highly unique sound and stage show which appeals to an ever-growing variety of musical tastes. From large outdoor Folk music, Americana, Jam and Bluegrass festivals, to sold-out shows opening for Southern Rock icons like The Marshall Tucker Band, The Tedeshi Trucks Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mountain Heart always makes an undeniable connection with an audience. This rare combination makes Mountain Heart one of the more versatile musical acts ever assembled.
Throughout the bands storied history, members past and present have dedicated their time, talent, and creativity to the group, leading to their hard earned reputation as one of the most exciting and unforgettable live shows anywhere in the world. With a new team in place, Mountain Heart is beyond excited for this new beginning and journey ahead.
*Tickets on sale January 26*
Multi-instrumentalist David Lindley performs music that redefines the word "eclectic." Lindley, well known for his many years as the featured accompanist with Jackson Browne, and leader of his own band El Rayo-X, has long championed the concept of world music. The David Lindley electro-acoustic performance effortlessly combines American folk, blues, and bluegrass traditions with elements from African,Arabic, Asian, Celtic, Malagasy, and Turkish musical sources. Lindley incorporates an incredible array of stringed instruments including but not limited to Kona and Weissenborn Hawaiian lap steel guitar, Turkish saz and chumbus, Middle Eastern oud, and Irish bouzouki. The eye-poppingly clad "Mr. Dave's" uncanny vocal mimicry and demented sense of humor make his onstage banter a highlight of the show.
David Lindley grew up in southern California, first taking up the banjo as a teenager, and subsequently winning the annual Topanga canyon banjo and fiddle contest five times as he explored the American folk music tradition. between 1967 and 1971 Lindley founded and lead what must now be seen as the first world music rock band, the Kaleidoscope. In 1971, Mr. Dave joined forces with Jackson Browne,serving as Jacksons most significant musical co-conspirator until 1981. In 1979, Lindley had begun working with old friend Ry Cooder on 'Bop Till you Drop' and 'The Long Riders' sound track, a musical collaboration that lasts to this day, and has spawned many recording projects and several world tours as an acoustic duo.
In 1981, Lindley created his own remarkable Band El Rayo-X, which integrated American roots music and world beat with a heavy reggae influence. 'El Rayo-X', 'Win This Record' and 'Very Greasy', as well as a live e.p. During this period he also came forth with a solo album,'Mr. Dave'.
Lindley and guitarist Henry Kaiser went to Madagascar for two weeks in 1991 and recorded six albums of indigenous Malagasy music (including two collaborative cd's, 'A World Out of Time' volumes one and two on Shanachie) which proved to have a major impact on the world music scene, both for the quality of the Grammy nominated music recorded, and the fair and ethical way the Malagasy musicians were dealt with. Throughout this long and distinguished career, Lindley has been one of Hollywoods most in demand session musicians, lending his skills to the recorded works of Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby and Nash, Warren Zevon, and many others.
In 1990 a chance meeting of Lindley and Jordanian born percussionist Hani Naser led to an impromptu jam and an instant decision that we should take this on the road. David and Hani toured the world for the following six years. The duo recorded two self-released "Official Bootleg" compact discs, 'Live in Tokyo Playing Real Good' and 'Live All Over the Place Playing Even Better' on Pleemhead Audio.
At his expansive and eclectic live performances David Lindley consistently gives one of the most unique concert experiences available to adventuresome music listeners.
Tyrone Wells still sort of chuckles to himself when he thinks about the fact that making music is his job." He has been at this job" for well over a decade, and is just now beginning to shake off the discomfort and stress of the days when he had a real job (TJ Maxx - lead of the ladies department in Spokane, WA). As far as jobs go, Tyrone feels like he has won the lottery (in regards to his present job). He loves to create music. He loves to perform. He is a husband, and a father of 3 daughters. He has four sisters, so he feels right at home being completely outnumbered by the ladies in his present household (and also when he was the lead of the ladies dept at TJ Maxx). He believes that Jesus is for real. Hes writing this bio. Hes referring to himself in the third person. He knows that this bio has a ring of sarcasm, but he is dead serious. He feels extremely grateful. He jokes around, but he has worked very hard at making music his job." He has spent countless hours writing, recording, playing live, and traveling to play live again. He has spent time away from his beloved family to make this thing a reality. He has never really experienced much radio success, so his fans have been gained the old fashioned way, by pouring his heart out on a stage, and by word of mouth. He feels certain that he will make music until his dying day, as it is not only gratifying for him to create, but also therapeutic and necessary. He cant believe youre still reading this if you are still reading this, he wants to thank you for taking the time to do so, and for supporting what he does. He knows it would be impossible without you
Those artists who find themselves stuck in the deepest of ruts two decades into their careers could learn a thing or two from veteran singer-songwriter Kim Richey. Shes never been afraid to go where the inspiration is.
Two-time Grammy-nominated Kim is a storyteller; a weaver of emotions and a tugger of heartstrings. Tender, poetic and aching with lifes truths, Kims songs transport you to her world, where words paint pictures and melodies touch the soul. And then theres her voice. Pure, arresting and honest, it makes you take notice; Kim has the kind of voice where if emotions were ribbons, theyd be streaming in rainbow colours from your iPod.
Early on, the Zanesville, Ohio native thrived on the progressive side of mainstream country, her albums (1995s Kim Richey, 1997s Bittersweet and 1999s Glimmer, all on Mercury) showcasing twang-pop sensibilities, a rich, rounded vocal tone and effortlessly sophisticated songwriting that other discerning performers - Radney Foster, Trisha Yearwood and Pam Tillis to name a few - coveted for their own recordings.
In the years since, Kim has made her subtly psychedelic album Rise (Lost Highway) in Los Angeles with producer Bill Bottrell, flown to London to enlist the help of Giles Martin and emerging with the crisply orchestrated Chinese Boxes (Vanguard) and turned to her East Nashville-based bandleader and frequent co-writer Neilson Hubbard to conjure the earthy indie-pop feel of Wreck Your Wheels (Lojinx/Thirty Tigers) and to complete her latest masterpiece of smart, sensual understatement Thorn In My Heart (Lojinx/Yep Roc).
The array of top-tier guests on the album include Jason Isbell, Wilcos Pat Sansone, My Morning Jackets Carl Broemel, Will Kimbrough and Yearwood, who was, for the first time, returning the harmony-singing favor. And the dozen songs themselves show that Richeys still dreaming up fetching melodies that arc and bend in unexpected ways, and still discovering fresh angles from which to articulate matters of the heart.
Join Club Cafe for Grand Prismatic's Album Release Party.
56-58 South 12th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203 (In Pittsburgh’s Historic South Side)