club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
The Iguanas

What if Americana actually encompassed ALL of North America? You'd have the Franco Acadian inflections of Canada, as best exemplified by the accordion, blues and jazz, the only truly indigenous music the US has ever produced, and the lilting grace and fiery passion of the music of Mexico. You'd also have New Orleans' premiere distillers of this continental musical melange, The Iguanas, and their new album Juarez.

Taking their cues from all of the above influences and then some, Juarez, the band's first studio album since 2012's Sin to Sin, redefines the notion of Americana, crossing cultures, styles, eras...and even languages. It's as if Rue Bourbon, Muscle Shoals and Plaza M?xico were all within earshot of each other and The Iguanas were the musical conduit between them. Based out of New Orleans for the past couple of decades save for a short, Katrina imposed exile in Austin the members of the Iguanas have (collectively or individually) played or recorded with everyone from Charlie Rich, Alex Chilton, and Willie DeVille to Emmylou Harris, Allen Toussaint, and Pretty Lights.

Their two decade ride has taken them all over the map musically and geographically, yet the inescapable patina of their hometown infuses every note they play. Through eight studio albums, countless tours and Jazz Fest appearances, and a flood that did its best to take their adopted city with it, it's a testament to the band's endurance that the same four guys that started playing in the early 1990s are still together.

Joe Cabral is philosophical about the band's persistence in the face of challenges that would have felled indeed have felled lesser bands. 'First of all, this is all we know how to do; we're musicians. But more than that, he continues, 'we respect the power of the band as an entity, and each individual in the band steps up to play his part. When it's good, that's really what it's all about.'

Rod Hodges agrees. 'I don't want to get all heady and mystical about this, but it's not really an outward reward we're looking for. We all enjoy playing music, we all get along, and finding a group of people who can say that after all this time is a rare thing.'

What if Americana actually encompassed ALL of North America? You'd have the Franco Acadian inflections of Canada, as best exemplified by the accordion, blues and jazz, the only truly indigenous music the US has ever produced, and the lilting grace and fiery passion of the music of Mexico. You'd also have New Orleans' premiere distillers of this continental musical melange, The Iguanas, and their new album Juarez.

Taking their cues from all of the above influences and then some, Juarez, the band's first studio album since 2012's Sin to Sin, redefines the notion of Americana, crossing cultures, styles, eras...and even languages. It's as if Rue Bourbon, Muscle Shoals and Plaza M?xico were all within earshot of each other and The Iguanas were the musical conduit between them. Based out of New Orleans for the past couple of decades save for a short, Katrina imposed exile in Austin the members of the Iguanas have (collectively or individually) played or recorded with everyone from Charlie Rich, Alex Chilton, and Willie DeVille to Emmylou Harris, Allen Toussaint, and Pretty Lights.

Their two decade ride has taken them all over the map musically and geographically, yet the inescapable patina of their hometown infuses every note they play. Through eight studio albums, countless tours and Jazz Fest appearances, and a flood that did its best to take their adopted city with it, it's a testament to the band's endurance that the same four guys that started playing in the early 1990s are still together.

Joe Cabral is philosophical about the band's persistence in the face of challenges that would have felled indeed have felled lesser bands. 'First of all, this is all we know how to do; we're musicians. But more than that, he continues, 'we respect the power of the band as an entity, and each individual in the band steps up to play his part. When it's good, that's really what it's all about.'

Rod Hodges agrees. 'I don't want to get all heady and mystical about this, but it's not really an outward reward we're looking for. We all enjoy playing music, we all get along, and finding a group of people who can say that after all this time is a rare thing.'

(Early Show) An Evening With Talisk

Barely four years since their formation, Talisk have already stacked up several major awards for their pyrotechnic yet artfully woven sound – including Folk Band of the Year 2017 at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, and a 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award.

Mohsen Amini’s concertina, Hayley Keenan’s fiddle and Graeme Armstrong’s guitar meld seamlessly together to produce a unique force that has taken them to many corners of Europe, throughout the UK on their own headline tours, to Canada, Australia and – from 2018 – the United States. World-leading festival appearances include the Cambridge Folk Festival, Denmark’s Tønder, Celtic Colours in Cape Breton, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, Celtic Connections and Brittany’s Festival Interceltique de Lorient – whilst the trio’s captivating signature has also been recognised by the wider industry, through official showcase selections at both WOMEX 17 and Folk Alliance International 2018.

Whilst their touring history may far bely their years, so to does their unfailing energy and stage presence. With a second album in the pipeline, alongside heavy touring throughout 2018 and beyond, theirs remains a star firmly on the ascent.

Barely four years since their formation, Talisk have already stacked up several major awards for their pyrotechnic yet artfully woven sound – including Folk Band of the Year 2017 at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, and a 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award.

Mohsen Amini’s concertina, Hayley Keenan’s fiddle and Graeme Armstrong’s guitar meld seamlessly together to produce a unique force that has taken them to many corners of Europe, throughout the UK on their own headline tours, to Canada, Australia and – from 2018 – the United States. World-leading festival appearances include the Cambridge Folk Festival, Denmark’s Tønder, Celtic Colours in Cape Breton, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, Celtic Connections and Brittany’s Festival Interceltique de Lorient – whilst the trio’s captivating signature has also been recognised by the wider industry, through official showcase selections at both WOMEX 17 and Folk Alliance International 2018.

Whilst their touring history may far bely their years, so to does their unfailing energy and stage presence. With a second album in the pipeline, alongside heavy touring throughout 2018 and beyond, theirs remains a star firmly on the ascent.

(Early Show) Roscoe & Etta (Maia Sharp & Anna Schulze)

Roscoe & Etta’s self-titled debut release was met with critical acclaim and a Top Ten spot at Triple A Radio with their debut single “Broken Headlights.”

Roscoe and Etta are the cranky old guitars on which Maia Sharp and Anna Schulze wrote their debut album and then their follow up EP, Blessings, Curses, Anchors and Wings scheduled for release in August, 2019

Maia Sharp has had her songs recorded by The Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Keb’ Mo’, Cher, Art Garfunkel, Paul Carrack, Lisa Loeb, Terri Clark and more. She has produced Edwin McCain, Art Garfunkel and American Idol finalist, Crystal Bowersox and co-produced Edwin’s “Walk With You” with Grammy-winning producer Don Was. Through it all, Maia has recorded seven solo releases and one collaborative project with Art Garfunkel and Buddy Mondlock that have each been embraced by press and radio.
At the age of 27, Anna Schulze is a multi-faceted songwriter, artist, and producer who has had her songs featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Icarus, ABC's Station 19, Proven Innocent on Fox, MTV, CBS and more. She has five solo releases, the latest of which, Pickford Market, was featured on Morning Edition, The Current and buzz bands LA and was coined by No Depression Journal as “genuine, dynamic, and insightful.”
Individually or as a duo, Maia and Anna have opened for and/or performed with Bonnie Raitt, The Beach Boys, Art Garfunkel, Patty Griffin, Keb’ Mo’, Rodney Crowell, Jonatha Brooke, David Wilcox, Dispatch, Mt Joy, Wood Brothers, Anderson East, Mondo Cozmo, Scars on 45 and Pat Benatar.

"Maia is making some of the most innovative and soulful music around with songs that are head
and shoulders above the rest. She has become one of my favorite artists…” - Bonnie Raitt

“Anna Schulze is a refreshing update on the singer/songwriter. She plays electric guitar, sings from the heart, and brings energy and passion to the stage. She simmers and shimmers somewhere between power pop and emo rock, and her melodies evoke the great American summer…” - Glen Ballard

Roscoe & Etta’s self-titled debut release was met with critical acclaim and a Top Ten spot at Triple A Radio with their debut single “Broken Headlights.”

Roscoe and Etta are the cranky old guitars on which Maia Sharp and Anna Schulze wrote their debut album and then their follow up EP, Blessings, Curses, Anchors and Wings scheduled for release in August, 2019

Maia Sharp has had her songs recorded by The Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Keb’ Mo’, Cher, Art Garfunkel, Paul Carrack, Lisa Loeb, Terri Clark and more. She has produced Edwin McCain, Art Garfunkel and American Idol finalist, Crystal Bowersox and co-produced Edwin’s “Walk With You” with Grammy-winning producer Don Was. Through it all, Maia has recorded seven solo releases and one collaborative project with Art Garfunkel and Buddy Mondlock that have each been embraced by press and radio.
At the age of 27, Anna Schulze is a multi-faceted songwriter, artist, and producer who has had her songs featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Icarus, ABC's Station 19, Proven Innocent on Fox, MTV, CBS and more. She has five solo releases, the latest of which, Pickford Market, was featured on Morning Edition, The Current and buzz bands LA and was coined by No Depression Journal as “genuine, dynamic, and insightful.”
Individually or as a duo, Maia and Anna have opened for and/or performed with Bonnie Raitt, The Beach Boys, Art Garfunkel, Patty Griffin, Keb’ Mo’, Rodney Crowell, Jonatha Brooke, David Wilcox, Dispatch, Mt Joy, Wood Brothers, Anderson East, Mondo Cozmo, Scars on 45 and Pat Benatar.

"Maia is making some of the most innovative and soulful music around with songs that are head
and shoulders above the rest. She has become one of my favorite artists…” - Bonnie Raitt

“Anna Schulze is a refreshing update on the singer/songwriter. She plays electric guitar, sings from the heart, and brings energy and passion to the stage. She simmers and shimmers somewhere between power pop and emo rock, and her melodies evoke the great American summer…” - Glen Ballard

Parsonsfield

Parsonsfield, praised for making "the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas” (NPR), is a folk-rock outfit known for their rich harmonies, vibrant songwriting and energetic live performances.

Parsonsfield's latest release, WE (2018 Signature Sounds), is contemplative, filled with real life struggle and excitement. The album takes us from the joys of childhood discovery to the depression and confusion of a quarter-life crisis to dancing your way toward the darkness at the end of days. In this collection of songs they push the boundaries of their harmony-driven grassroots origins to create their own distinctive Americana, integrating pop and bold rock flourishes along the way. Produced by Dan Cardinal (Josh Ritter, The Low Anthem, Darlingside), WE captures the band’s maturing sound, having as much influence from 90s rock and 70’s R&B as it does the indie folk material that fans have come to expect.

The band draws their name from the rural Maine town that's home to the Great North Sound Society, the farmhouse-turned-recording-studio of Josh Ritter keyboardist/producer Sam Kassirer. It was there that Parsonsfield cut their outstanding debut, Poor Old Shine (2013 Signature Sounds), which established them as a roots force to be reckoned with. Their rowdy live performances only upped the ante, with The Bluegrass Situation falling for their "fun and frenzy" and No Depression raving that they'll "give you rich five-part harmonies one minute…then rock you over the head with unbearably cool and raucous Celtic rhythms."

They once again called on Kassirer for their follow-up, Blooming Through The Black (2016 Signature Sounds), enlisting his engineering and production ingenuity to help convert an axe factory into a temporary recording studio. American Songwriter says Blooming Through The Black captures “the live energy the band has come to be known for.” WNYC says "Parsonsfield is based in western Massachusetts, but their music draws on the string bands of Appalachia. At least in part. They also like to crank up the amps and pin your ears to the wall.”

Catch them onstage any night and the band’s joy is palpable. They trade instruments, share microphones, and shoot each other big grins. They sing in tight multi-part harmonies, their voices blending like they've been doing this together all their lives. That’s because Parsonsfield is a family band, not by birth but by choice.

Parsonsfield is: Chris Freeman (vocals, banjo, guitar, bass), Antonio Alcorn (vocals, mandolin, banjo, bass), Max Shakun (vocals, guitar, keys, bass), Erik Hischmann (vocals, drums, percussion, bass)

Parsonsfield, praised for making "the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas” (NPR), is a folk-rock outfit known for their rich harmonies, vibrant songwriting and energetic live performances.

Parsonsfield's latest release, WE (2018 Signature Sounds), is contemplative, filled with real life struggle and excitement. The album takes us from the joys of childhood discovery to the depression and confusion of a quarter-life crisis to dancing your way toward the darkness at the end of days. In this collection of songs they push the boundaries of their harmony-driven grassroots origins to create their own distinctive Americana, integrating pop and bold rock flourishes along the way. Produced by Dan Cardinal (Josh Ritter, The Low Anthem, Darlingside), WE captures the band’s maturing sound, having as much influence from 90s rock and 70’s R&B as it does the indie folk material that fans have come to expect.

The band draws their name from the rural Maine town that's home to the Great North Sound Society, the farmhouse-turned-recording-studio of Josh Ritter keyboardist/producer Sam Kassirer. It was there that Parsonsfield cut their outstanding debut, Poor Old Shine (2013 Signature Sounds), which established them as a roots force to be reckoned with. Their rowdy live performances only upped the ante, with The Bluegrass Situation falling for their "fun and frenzy" and No Depression raving that they'll "give you rich five-part harmonies one minute…then rock you over the head with unbearably cool and raucous Celtic rhythms."

They once again called on Kassirer for their follow-up, Blooming Through The Black (2016 Signature Sounds), enlisting his engineering and production ingenuity to help convert an axe factory into a temporary recording studio. American Songwriter says Blooming Through The Black captures “the live energy the band has come to be known for.” WNYC says "Parsonsfield is based in western Massachusetts, but their music draws on the string bands of Appalachia. At least in part. They also like to crank up the amps and pin your ears to the wall.”

Catch them onstage any night and the band’s joy is palpable. They trade instruments, share microphones, and shoot each other big grins. They sing in tight multi-part harmonies, their voices blending like they've been doing this together all their lives. That’s because Parsonsfield is a family band, not by birth but by choice.

Parsonsfield is: Chris Freeman (vocals, banjo, guitar, bass), Antonio Alcorn (vocals, mandolin, banjo, bass), Max Shakun (vocals, guitar, keys, bass), Erik Hischmann (vocals, drums, percussion, bass)

Kellie Loder with Special Guest Ferdinand the Bull

There is something truly extraordinary about Juno Award–nominee Kellie Loder.

It’s there in her immensely poignant lyrics, which are set against dazzling, melodic folk/pop. And it’s there in the singer/songwriter’s electrifying live shows which simultaneously inspire profound emotion in listeners while cracking them up with sparkling anecdotes.

If Loder isn’t breaking your heart, she’s splitting your sides.

Those contrasting yet somehow complementary sensibilities doubtless stem from Loder’s native Newfoundland and Labrador, a rugged and remote place steeped in storytelling tradition and where comedy and tragedy are twin markers for successfully navigating life, a point documented by legions of legendary artists from the region.

Loder is poised to ascend those rarefied ranks. For proof, witness her brilliant and emotive third album, Benefit of the Doubt, which elevates whatever subject Loder happens to be highlighting, from intoxicating love (the mesmerizing ballad "Playground") to the exquisite pain of growing apart (the downcast "Boxes," already a radio hit and winner of the 2017 MusicNL Video of The Year Award).

Whatever the theme, each song on Benefit of the Doubt soars on Loder’s skilful piano, guitar, and especially on her radiantly soulful voice. That Loder also co-produced eight of Benefit of the Doubt’s 10 original tracks “makes me feel more connected to this project than any other I've done before,” she confirms.

“To some degree all these songs came relatively easy because I knew what I wanted to say."

Indeed, the scope and skill of the songs on Benefit of the Doubt also handily demonstrate why Loder is fast-emerging as a sought-after songwriter both at home and Stateside among marquee collaborators including — but not limited to — Justin Gray (John Legend, Mariah Carey, Amy Winehouse), Ari Rhodes (Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Michelle Treacy), and acclaimed fellow Newfoundlanders Damhnait Doyle and Jerry Stamp.

Anyone who has heard Loder or watched her perform knows one thing is certain: she is a towering talent about to explode on the world stage.

“With this album, I really want to get people talking,” she adds, specifically citing the song “Molded Like a Monster.” Cut in Los Angeles with Justin Gray (who produced the track at his studio), the arresting lyric-driven “Molded” questions our tendency to judge others, often about things beyond people’s control, like gender or even occupation.

“That song kind of fell into my lap as I was driving in St. John’s,” Loder explains. “I had just seen the movie American Sniper which I found very powerful. There were so many different kinds of people in that movie and none of them got to choose who they were, to choose their mold. They were just born into it. I was in the bathtub of my parents’ house, of all places, when the chorus came to me, and than it was done!"

New single “Telescope” is a handy snapshot of Loder at her most persuasive. Written with several others and also cut in Los Angeles with Gray (the balance of Benefit of the Doubt was recorded in St. John’s with co-producers Ian Foster and Daniel Adams), the propulsive, super-catchy “Telescope” is a knock-kneed love song for the ages, framing Loder’s vivid lyrics with an almost conversational vocal delivery.

Despite her love of performing — at which she is exceptionally gifted, gliding effortlessly between keyboard and guitar while enthralling audiences with those priceless, above-mentioned anecdotes — Loder admits, “I really, really want to be a songwriter who is sought-after, someone people line up for months to write with. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Loder is building on a sterling CV that already includes penning music for an IMAX Trailer for the film "Superpower Dogs", tour operators Ocean Quest Adventures, and being covered by rising star Rachel Cousins, among others.

“Co-writing for me is like showing up at someone’s house to paint a picture but they have different colours than I have,” she says. “There is another perspective to see, and I think co-writing makes songs even better".

“Someone once told me that songs are never finished,” Loder says. “At some point, you just have to stop because there are so many ways you can go about creating a song. For me a song is finished when it feels right; when I have painted the picture, said what I wanted to say the way I want to say it. And that’s how this album feels to me. It feels… complete.”

There is something truly extraordinary about Juno Award–nominee Kellie Loder.

It’s there in her immensely poignant lyrics, which are set against dazzling, melodic folk/pop. And it’s there in the singer/songwriter’s electrifying live shows which simultaneously inspire profound emotion in listeners while cracking them up with sparkling anecdotes.

If Loder isn’t breaking your heart, she’s splitting your sides.

Those contrasting yet somehow complementary sensibilities doubtless stem from Loder’s native Newfoundland and Labrador, a rugged and remote place steeped in storytelling tradition and where comedy and tragedy are twin markers for successfully navigating life, a point documented by legions of legendary artists from the region.

Loder is poised to ascend those rarefied ranks. For proof, witness her brilliant and emotive third album, Benefit of the Doubt, which elevates whatever subject Loder happens to be highlighting, from intoxicating love (the mesmerizing ballad "Playground") to the exquisite pain of growing apart (the downcast "Boxes," already a radio hit and winner of the 2017 MusicNL Video of The Year Award).

Whatever the theme, each song on Benefit of the Doubt soars on Loder’s skilful piano, guitar, and especially on her radiantly soulful voice. That Loder also co-produced eight of Benefit of the Doubt’s 10 original tracks “makes me feel more connected to this project than any other I've done before,” she confirms.

“To some degree all these songs came relatively easy because I knew what I wanted to say."

Indeed, the scope and skill of the songs on Benefit of the Doubt also handily demonstrate why Loder is fast-emerging as a sought-after songwriter both at home and Stateside among marquee collaborators including — but not limited to — Justin Gray (John Legend, Mariah Carey, Amy Winehouse), Ari Rhodes (Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Michelle Treacy), and acclaimed fellow Newfoundlanders Damhnait Doyle and Jerry Stamp.

Anyone who has heard Loder or watched her perform knows one thing is certain: she is a towering talent about to explode on the world stage.

“With this album, I really want to get people talking,” she adds, specifically citing the song “Molded Like a Monster.” Cut in Los Angeles with Justin Gray (who produced the track at his studio), the arresting lyric-driven “Molded” questions our tendency to judge others, often about things beyond people’s control, like gender or even occupation.

“That song kind of fell into my lap as I was driving in St. John’s,” Loder explains. “I had just seen the movie American Sniper which I found very powerful. There were so many different kinds of people in that movie and none of them got to choose who they were, to choose their mold. They were just born into it. I was in the bathtub of my parents’ house, of all places, when the chorus came to me, and than it was done!"

New single “Telescope” is a handy snapshot of Loder at her most persuasive. Written with several others and also cut in Los Angeles with Gray (the balance of Benefit of the Doubt was recorded in St. John’s with co-producers Ian Foster and Daniel Adams), the propulsive, super-catchy “Telescope” is a knock-kneed love song for the ages, framing Loder’s vivid lyrics with an almost conversational vocal delivery.

Despite her love of performing — at which she is exceptionally gifted, gliding effortlessly between keyboard and guitar while enthralling audiences with those priceless, above-mentioned anecdotes — Loder admits, “I really, really want to be a songwriter who is sought-after, someone people line up for months to write with. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Loder is building on a sterling CV that already includes penning music for an IMAX Trailer for the film "Superpower Dogs", tour operators Ocean Quest Adventures, and being covered by rising star Rachel Cousins, among others.

“Co-writing for me is like showing up at someone’s house to paint a picture but they have different colours than I have,” she says. “There is another perspective to see, and I think co-writing makes songs even better".

“Someone once told me that songs are never finished,” Loder says. “At some point, you just have to stop because there are so many ways you can go about creating a song. For me a song is finished when it feels right; when I have painted the picture, said what I wanted to say the way I want to say it. And that’s how this album feels to me. It feels… complete.”

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with Special Guest Danielle Durack

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) Mark Browning (CD Release Show for 'Out from Nowhere')

I was raised a military brat and saw the world at an early age. The lifestyle must have stuck because, after dropping out of college which I found far too regimented, I really drifted around. I hiked the Amazon and the Andes, pruned apple trees in the Catskills, drove combine in the wheat fields of Washington, painted houses in Key West, drove truck in New York City, and used my early background in biology to land a job training sea lions at the Pittsburgh Zoo. You might say I worked my way through the alphabet, but it was more like I was a songwriter moonlighting as an apple pruner or zookeeper than the other way around.

I was a founding member of the band Sandoz which was signed to Relix Records in New York and played a ton of gigs mostly in the Pittsburgh area. Since then I’ve been doing more traveling, particularly out west, and that led to a lot of the songs that are going to be on my new CD, Out from Nowhere.

A lot of what I write about are real people and things I witness while I travel—I shoot for authenticity and to make the songs bigger than me. My roots are in folk and blues, and my influences include singer songwriters such as Dylan, Tom Waits, Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, and Jackson Browne, but everything I listen to finds its way into my music.

I was raised a military brat and saw the world at an early age. The lifestyle must have stuck because, after dropping out of college which I found far too regimented, I really drifted around. I hiked the Amazon and the Andes, pruned apple trees in the Catskills, drove combine in the wheat fields of Washington, painted houses in Key West, drove truck in New York City, and used my early background in biology to land a job training sea lions at the Pittsburgh Zoo. You might say I worked my way through the alphabet, but it was more like I was a songwriter moonlighting as an apple pruner or zookeeper than the other way around.

I was a founding member of the band Sandoz which was signed to Relix Records in New York and played a ton of gigs mostly in the Pittsburgh area. Since then I’ve been doing more traveling, particularly out west, and that led to a lot of the songs that are going to be on my new CD, Out from Nowhere.

A lot of what I write about are real people and things I witness while I travel—I shoot for authenticity and to make the songs bigger than me. My roots are in folk and blues, and my influences include singer songwriters such as Dylan, Tom Waits, Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, and Jackson Browne, but everything I listen to finds its way into my music.

Bonneville

Bonneville is a 1970s era Rock-n-Roll tribute band. Its members are Paul Skowron (lead vocals, harp), Ron Marks (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Guzman (bass guitar, vocals) and Mark Allen (drums). Veteran musicians with international credentials, our lineup, are literally children of the '70s who cut their teeth performing rock music. Bonneville doesn't merely imitate this genre, but recreates the sonic passion that made 1970’s rock concerts so exciting and timeless.

Marks (who is a member of the metal band, Celtic Frost) grew up during the '70s listening to multiple music genres, but hard rock was (and still is) his favorite. “Collecting magazines featuring my favorite bands (pre-internet) and dreaming of going to concerts and actually seeing them onstage filled my hours.” Being a full-time musician has led Marks down many roads performing everything from Country, Death Metal, Goth, Industrial, and even a run with '60s 'peace and love' Pop music. It's always been 1970s hard rock tugging at his sleeve, which inspired Marks to form Bonneville.

“After a massive and lengthy search we've finally realized our live line up.” Marks recruited Paul Skowron, who has been in national acts including Noisy Mama (Atco), as well as numerous Pittsburgh/Youngstown based bands. With no digital enhancements, every note sung and played is authentic and passionate; and because of the professional standards set for this project, Bonneville, is motivated and capable of realizing its greater national potential.

Bonneville shows feature music from rock legends Aerosmith, Sweet, Montrose, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Faces, Nazareth, Uriah Heep, The Who, Foreigner, Van Halen, Mountain, Blackfoot, Ted Nugent, Queen, Elton John, Black Sabbath, Free, KISS, David Bowie, Steve Miller Band, AC/DC, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Eagles, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Alice Cooper, Foghat, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more.

Bonneville is a 1970s era Rock-n-Roll tribute band. Its members are Paul Skowron (lead vocals, harp), Ron Marks (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Guzman (bass guitar, vocals) and Mark Allen (drums). Veteran musicians with international credentials, our lineup, are literally children of the '70s who cut their teeth performing rock music. Bonneville doesn't merely imitate this genre, but recreates the sonic passion that made 1970’s rock concerts so exciting and timeless.

Marks (who is a member of the metal band, Celtic Frost) grew up during the '70s listening to multiple music genres, but hard rock was (and still is) his favorite. “Collecting magazines featuring my favorite bands (pre-internet) and dreaming of going to concerts and actually seeing them onstage filled my hours.” Being a full-time musician has led Marks down many roads performing everything from Country, Death Metal, Goth, Industrial, and even a run with '60s 'peace and love' Pop music. It's always been 1970s hard rock tugging at his sleeve, which inspired Marks to form Bonneville.

“After a massive and lengthy search we've finally realized our live line up.” Marks recruited Paul Skowron, who has been in national acts including Noisy Mama (Atco), as well as numerous Pittsburgh/Youngstown based bands. With no digital enhancements, every note sung and played is authentic and passionate; and because of the professional standards set for this project, Bonneville, is motivated and capable of realizing its greater national potential.

Bonneville shows feature music from rock legends Aerosmith, Sweet, Montrose, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Faces, Nazareth, Uriah Heep, The Who, Foreigner, Van Halen, Mountain, Blackfoot, Ted Nugent, Queen, Elton John, Black Sabbath, Free, KISS, David Bowie, Steve Miller Band, AC/DC, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Eagles, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Alice Cooper, Foghat, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more.

(Early Show) The Living Street 'It Won't Last' Album Release Show

The Living Street is an indie-folk duo who goes outside the box, trickling their way into a variety of different genres like pop, rock, alt-country, etc. Nick and Edward have been writing and performing music together for over a decade!

The Living Street is an indie-folk duo who goes outside the box, trickling their way into a variety of different genres like pop, rock, alt-country, etc. Nick and Edward have been writing and performing music together for over a decade!

(Early Show) XY Evolution

Mark Byars, Kevin McCarthy, Jon Clements and Kevin Hollinger have been playing together since December of 2017. The combination of style and experience creates a one-of-a-kind night out where you're sure to hear music that you know. With songs from all over the last 6 decades, XY Evolution provides quality entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

Kevin, Kevin, and Jon played together prior to Mark joining the group in late 2017. In just about three months of working together, XY Evolution started turning heads from the first gig together at Sunny Jim's Tavern. With a mix of heavy rock 'n roll and sweet, powerful soul, there is nothing out there that compares to XY Evolution.

XY Evolution is currently working on creating original content to share with the world as well. If you have a need for live entertainment for any occasion, look no further than XY Evolution. Click the contact tab to send the band a direct message or inquiry.

Mark Byars, Kevin McCarthy, Jon Clements and Kevin Hollinger have been playing together since December of 2017. The combination of style and experience creates a one-of-a-kind night out where you're sure to hear music that you know. With songs from all over the last 6 decades, XY Evolution provides quality entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

Kevin, Kevin, and Jon played together prior to Mark joining the group in late 2017. In just about three months of working together, XY Evolution started turning heads from the first gig together at Sunny Jim's Tavern. With a mix of heavy rock 'n roll and sweet, powerful soul, there is nothing out there that compares to XY Evolution.

XY Evolution is currently working on creating original content to share with the world as well. If you have a need for live entertainment for any occasion, look no further than XY Evolution. Click the contact tab to send the band a direct message or inquiry.

@clubcafelive

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