club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
(Night 2) The Builders and the Butchers with Special Guest Locks and Dams

Portland-based folk rock band, The Builders and the Butchers, announce their
forthcoming album, The Spark, due out May 19th. The band’s fifth LP will be
released on Badman Recordings Co, which will be their third release with the label.
Their last album was hailed by Consequence of Sound, who said, “The Builders and
the Butchers make records the way the bards used to pass on stories. They’re poetic
and captivating, and do to songwriting what Clint Eastwood does to movies,” and
this new record follows the same, narrative-driven path.
With glowing album and show reviews coming from Pitchfork and The Wall Street
Journal, among others, their brand of folk-rock is best served live. Audiences can
look forward to lively performances, where fourth wall is broken and the audience
is able to participate in call and response sing-a- longs. Sometimes the band will
hand out instruments for fans to play, and they’ll even get down off stage to perform
right on the floor.
The Builders and The Butchers formed in 2005. Ryan Sollee fronts the band, sings
and plays guitar, joined by Willy Kunkle (bass, guitar, vocals, percussion), Justin
Baeir (drums, backup vocals, percussion) and Harvey Tumbleson (mandolin, banjo,
guitar, vocals, percussion). The Portland-based band gained a strong following after
years of playing anywhere and everywhere across the city. They quickly grew to
become one of the most exciting live bands in Portland and throughout the Pacific
Northwest.
The band toured throughout the US and Europe from 2007-2012, playing music
festivals, such as Sasquatch and Lollapalooza, and acting as support for Portugal.
The Man, Heartless Bastards, ‪Amanda Palmer‬ and Murder By Death. To support
their forthcoming release, The Spark, the band will be playing their first US and
European tour in multiple years.
This new album features a wider array of sounds and shorter, hard hitting songs,
while remaining a Builders’ record at heart. The process of creating The Spark was
the longest of any Builders’ record to date. They spent the last five years writing the
music and a year mixing. With several band members living out of state (Justin in
Colorado, Willy in Malta, Harvey in Washington and Ryan and Ray in Portland),
many parts were recorded remotely. Drums and much of the electric guitar were
recorded at Revolver Studios and the rest was laid down piece-by- piece and mixed
by Edgar McCrae at his home studio. Influences for the record range from ‪Tom
Waits‬ to ‪The White Stripes‬.

Portland-based folk rock band, The Builders and the Butchers, announce their
forthcoming album, The Spark, due out May 19th. The band’s fifth LP will be
released on Badman Recordings Co, which will be their third release with the label.
Their last album was hailed by Consequence of Sound, who said, “The Builders and
the Butchers make records the way the bards used to pass on stories. They’re poetic
and captivating, and do to songwriting what Clint Eastwood does to movies,” and
this new record follows the same, narrative-driven path.
With glowing album and show reviews coming from Pitchfork and The Wall Street
Journal, among others, their brand of folk-rock is best served live. Audiences can
look forward to lively performances, where fourth wall is broken and the audience
is able to participate in call and response sing-a- longs. Sometimes the band will
hand out instruments for fans to play, and they’ll even get down off stage to perform
right on the floor.
The Builders and The Butchers formed in 2005. Ryan Sollee fronts the band, sings
and plays guitar, joined by Willy Kunkle (bass, guitar, vocals, percussion), Justin
Baeir (drums, backup vocals, percussion) and Harvey Tumbleson (mandolin, banjo,
guitar, vocals, percussion). The Portland-based band gained a strong following after
years of playing anywhere and everywhere across the city. They quickly grew to
become one of the most exciting live bands in Portland and throughout the Pacific
Northwest.
The band toured throughout the US and Europe from 2007-2012, playing music
festivals, such as Sasquatch and Lollapalooza, and acting as support for Portugal.
The Man, Heartless Bastards, ‪Amanda Palmer‬ and Murder By Death. To support
their forthcoming release, The Spark, the band will be playing their first US and
European tour in multiple years.
This new album features a wider array of sounds and shorter, hard hitting songs,
while remaining a Builders’ record at heart. The process of creating The Spark was
the longest of any Builders’ record to date. They spent the last five years writing the
music and a year mixing. With several band members living out of state (Justin in
Colorado, Willy in Malta, Harvey in Washington and Ryan and Ray in Portland),
many parts were recorded remotely. Drums and much of the electric guitar were
recorded at Revolver Studios and the rest was laid down piece-by- piece and mixed
by Edgar McCrae at his home studio. Influences for the record range from ‪Tom
Waits‬ to ‪The White Stripes‬.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Marcus Cox and Friends with Kevin 'Deekay' Francios, Ed Bailey and Hosted by Paige Polesnak

Cory Branan

ADIOS is Cory Branan’s death record. Not the cheeriest of openings, but like all of Branan’s mercurial work, it’s probably not what you think. As funny and defiant as it is touching and sad, this self-dubbed “loser’s survival kit” doesn’t spare its subjects or the listener.

Not even Branan’s deceased father is let off the hook. In the tender homage “The Vow” he drolly cites his father’s favorite banality “that’s what you get for thinking” as “probably not the best lesson for kids.” For most songwriters that would be the punchline but Branan pushes through words and, in his father’s actions, finds a kind of “genius in the effortless way he just ‘did’.”

Not all the death on ADIOS is literal mortality. “Imogene” is sung from the wreckage of a love that once “poked fun at the pain, stoked the sun in the rain” but ends with the urgent call to “act on the embers, ash won’t remember the way back to fire.”

The trademark lyrical agility is mirrored sonically. Never a genre loyalist, ADIOS finds Branan (much like his musically restless heroes Elvis Costello and Tom Waits) coloring outside the lines in sometimes startling shades of fuzz and twang. While unafraid to play it arrow-straight when called for (“The Vow,” “Equinox,” “Don’t Go”), ADIOS veers wildly from the Buddy Holly-esque rave up “I Only Know” (sung with punk notables Laura Jane Grace and Dave Hause), through the swampy “Walls, MS” to the Costello-like new wave of “Visiting Hours.”

The blistering punk of “Another Nightmare in America” bops along daring listeners to “Look away, look away, move along, nothing to see here” (the song is written from the point of view of a racist killer cop). And as the mourning singer on “Cold Blue Moonlight” shifts from paralysis to panic, the song’s jazzy drone shifts to an almost Sabbath fury. The tonal shifts are always deliberate and not just simple genre hopping; while the turns can be jarring you can trust Branan to take you somewhere unexpected.

The 14-song album was self-produced and recorded in the spring of 2016 at Tweed Studios in Oxford, MS with a tight three piece: Branan on lead vocals and guitar (both electric and acoustic); Robbie Crowell (formerly of Deer Tick) on drums and percussion, keys, and horns; and James “Haggs” Haggerty on bass. Additionally, Amanda Shires contributes on fiddle and vocals, and Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and Dave Hause provide guest vocals.

Cory Branan has four previous full-length releases: The Hell You Say (2002, Madjack Records), 12 Songs (2006, Madjack), Mutt (2012, Bloodshot Records), and The No-Hit Wonder (2014, Bloodshot). His music has received critical praise from the likes of Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Country, NPR All Things Considered, Noisey, Wall Street Journal, Paste Magazine, Oxford American, Consequence of Sound, Southern Living, and many others.

ADIOS is Cory Branan’s death record. Not the cheeriest of openings, but like all of Branan’s mercurial work, it’s probably not what you think. As funny and defiant as it is touching and sad, this self-dubbed “loser’s survival kit” doesn’t spare its subjects or the listener.

Not even Branan’s deceased father is let off the hook. In the tender homage “The Vow” he drolly cites his father’s favorite banality “that’s what you get for thinking” as “probably not the best lesson for kids.” For most songwriters that would be the punchline but Branan pushes through words and, in his father’s actions, finds a kind of “genius in the effortless way he just ‘did’.”

Not all the death on ADIOS is literal mortality. “Imogene” is sung from the wreckage of a love that once “poked fun at the pain, stoked the sun in the rain” but ends with the urgent call to “act on the embers, ash won’t remember the way back to fire.”

The trademark lyrical agility is mirrored sonically. Never a genre loyalist, ADIOS finds Branan (much like his musically restless heroes Elvis Costello and Tom Waits) coloring outside the lines in sometimes startling shades of fuzz and twang. While unafraid to play it arrow-straight when called for (“The Vow,” “Equinox,” “Don’t Go”), ADIOS veers wildly from the Buddy Holly-esque rave up “I Only Know” (sung with punk notables Laura Jane Grace and Dave Hause), through the swampy “Walls, MS” to the Costello-like new wave of “Visiting Hours.”

The blistering punk of “Another Nightmare in America” bops along daring listeners to “Look away, look away, move along, nothing to see here” (the song is written from the point of view of a racist killer cop). And as the mourning singer on “Cold Blue Moonlight” shifts from paralysis to panic, the song’s jazzy drone shifts to an almost Sabbath fury. The tonal shifts are always deliberate and not just simple genre hopping; while the turns can be jarring you can trust Branan to take you somewhere unexpected.

The 14-song album was self-produced and recorded in the spring of 2016 at Tweed Studios in Oxford, MS with a tight three piece: Branan on lead vocals and guitar (both electric and acoustic); Robbie Crowell (formerly of Deer Tick) on drums and percussion, keys, and horns; and James “Haggs” Haggerty on bass. Additionally, Amanda Shires contributes on fiddle and vocals, and Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and Dave Hause provide guest vocals.

Cory Branan has four previous full-length releases: The Hell You Say (2002, Madjack Records), 12 Songs (2006, Madjack), Mutt (2012, Bloodshot Records), and The No-Hit Wonder (2014, Bloodshot). His music has received critical praise from the likes of Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Country, NPR All Things Considered, Noisey, Wall Street Journal, Paste Magazine, Oxford American, Consequence of Sound, Southern Living, and many others.

Slim Cessna's Auto Club with Special Guest The Armadillos

Seminal Gothic-Americana ensemble, Slim Cessna's Auto Club will be re-releasing their fourth album Cipher on June 2. This 2017 re-issue will be a double vinyl LP in a gatefold sleeve and marks the first release of the album on the Auto Club's label, SCACUNINCORPORATED. The band will be playing select MidWest dates this Summer.

Wallace Stenger may have captured the spirit of the west in his 1971 novel Angle of Repose. Jim Thompson surely exposed the lurid underbelly of the Western experience. Cormac McCarthy definitely evoked the conflicted, tortured spirit of small town life on the frontier. William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor informed all of them with a humor and soulfulness. It is that literary tradition that imbues the harrowing and celebratory sound and riveting stories of
Slim Cessna's Auto Club. Throughout its long and illustrious history, it is largely in that realm of
art that the Auto Club reveled and garnered a loyal cult following well beyond the boundaries of
The Queen City of the Plains.

Originally released in 2008, Cipher is the most cohesive SCAC album but also the most mysterious. Cipher is a deliberate puzzle loaded with coded language. The idea that braces are used to straighten crooked humanity provides a structure, but this code rewards effort to unpack the many messages it contains; many more relevant now than ever. Compared to its predecessors, this set of songs sounds more hopeful and expansive, a quality that was always there but this time out the brighter sides of the songwriting were emphasized.

Slim Cessna's Auto Club was originally formed in 1992 in Denver, Colorado by its namesake after he parted ways with The Denver Gentlemen, that grand progenitor of the peculiar strain of Gothic Americana unique to the Mile High City that also featured Jeffrey-Paul and David Eugene Edwards who’d go on to form 16 Horsepower, the latter then founding Wovenhand.

Slim’s longest running collaborators in the Auto Club have been Munly Munly and Lord Dwight Pentacost who’ve contributed both material and affected the ensemble’s stylistic vision. More recently there’ve been greater creative contributions from longtime collaborator Rebecca Vera, drummer Andrew Warner and the inclusion of upright bass player Ian O'Dougherty.

Late last year, the band released a new album after a five-year hiatus The Commandments According to SCAC. The album encompassed both the heady darkness and celebratory intensity with which the group made its name. That charmingly dusky and spare sound breathed with a new color and delicacy of feeling that perhaps sat in the background in times past.

When you get to see the Auto Club live, you'll see an already mighty band reinvigorated by a new spirit of exitement as well as by the fire that has long burned in its collective belly.

Seminal Gothic-Americana ensemble, Slim Cessna's Auto Club will be re-releasing their fourth album Cipher on June 2. This 2017 re-issue will be a double vinyl LP in a gatefold sleeve and marks the first release of the album on the Auto Club's label, SCACUNINCORPORATED. The band will be playing select MidWest dates this Summer.

Wallace Stenger may have captured the spirit of the west in his 1971 novel Angle of Repose. Jim Thompson surely exposed the lurid underbelly of the Western experience. Cormac McCarthy definitely evoked the conflicted, tortured spirit of small town life on the frontier. William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor informed all of them with a humor and soulfulness. It is that literary tradition that imbues the harrowing and celebratory sound and riveting stories of
Slim Cessna's Auto Club. Throughout its long and illustrious history, it is largely in that realm of
art that the Auto Club reveled and garnered a loyal cult following well beyond the boundaries of
The Queen City of the Plains.

Originally released in 2008, Cipher is the most cohesive SCAC album but also the most mysterious. Cipher is a deliberate puzzle loaded with coded language. The idea that braces are used to straighten crooked humanity provides a structure, but this code rewards effort to unpack the many messages it contains; many more relevant now than ever. Compared to its predecessors, this set of songs sounds more hopeful and expansive, a quality that was always there but this time out the brighter sides of the songwriting were emphasized.

Slim Cessna's Auto Club was originally formed in 1992 in Denver, Colorado by its namesake after he parted ways with The Denver Gentlemen, that grand progenitor of the peculiar strain of Gothic Americana unique to the Mile High City that also featured Jeffrey-Paul and David Eugene Edwards who’d go on to form 16 Horsepower, the latter then founding Wovenhand.

Slim’s longest running collaborators in the Auto Club have been Munly Munly and Lord Dwight Pentacost who’ve contributed both material and affected the ensemble’s stylistic vision. More recently there’ve been greater creative contributions from longtime collaborator Rebecca Vera, drummer Andrew Warner and the inclusion of upright bass player Ian O'Dougherty.

Late last year, the band released a new album after a five-year hiatus The Commandments According to SCAC. The album encompassed both the heady darkness and celebratory intensity with which the group made its name. That charmingly dusky and spare sound breathed with a new color and delicacy of feeling that perhaps sat in the background in times past.

When you get to see the Auto Club live, you'll see an already mighty band reinvigorated by a new spirit of exitement as well as by the fire that has long burned in its collective belly.

(Early Show) Roscoe & Etta (Maia Sharp and Anna Schulze) / Bill Deasy - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Named for their cranky old guitars, Los Angeles-based duo Roscoe & Etta – singer/songwriters Maia Sharp and Anna Schulze – will release their self-titled debut September 7. BuzzBands.LA premiered the first single, “Broken Headlights,” and notes “…their voices feel right as rain—the kind that ‘clears the air over Los Angeles,’ as Sharp [and Schulze] sing.”
The album features 11 co-produced original compositions, 10 co-written by the duo and a Sharp co-write with Joey Ryan (The Milk Carton Kids) on “Broken Headlights.” “Joey (with Sara Bareilles) did a beautiful version of “Broken Headlights” a few years ago,” says Sharp. “I was just waiting for the right time to give it another life and this was it. Producing it with Anna helped us uncover the grit to beauty ratio of Roscoe & Etta.” Schulze adds, “The union of organic and inorganic sounds turned out to be a reflection of our complimentary styles.”
Listen: Spotify / iTunes
Roscoe & Etta was recorded at their respective home studios in Los Angeles with Sharp and Schulze playing all instruments except a few performances by special guests Devon Eisenbarger (guitar) on “Play On,” Vanessa Freebairn-Smith (cello) on “Broken Headlights” and “You Already Know,” Fritz Lewak (drums) on four songs, Joshua Grange (pedal steel) on “Come Back Tomorrow,” and David Ryan Harris (wah wah) on “Stupid Pretty Face.”
A fall tour has been confirmed with stops in Nashville, Louisville, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, among many others. In addition, they will open for Edwin McCain September 18, in Greenville, SC. A full list of dates is below.
With seven solo releases and a collaborative project with Art Garfunkel and Buddy Mondlock, the critically acclaimed Sharp is a seasoned songwriter whose songs have been recorded by The Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Keb’ Mo’, Cher, Art Garfunkel, Lizz Wright and others. As a producer, she’s worked with Edwin McCain, Art Garfunkel and Crystal Bowersox. The Los Angeles native has appeared on Mountain Stage, Acoustic Café, World Café, NPR’s All Things Considered as well as CBS Early Show and the Today Show.
A multi-faceted songwriter, artist, and producer, Minnesota native Anna Schulze’s songs have been featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Icarus, Carmelo Anthony’s This is Melo and MTV’s Awkward. Working under producers Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Tegan and Sara, Paramore) and Glen Ballard (Alanis Morrissette, Katy Perry), she learned her way around the studio. Hailed by No Depression as “genuine, dynamic, and insightful,” she’s released five solo albums, the latest Pickford Market garnered raves from NPR’s Morning Edition and MPR’s The Current.
Between them, they have opened for and/or performed with Bonnie Raitt, The Beach Boys, Art Garfunkel, Patty Griffn, Keb’ Mo’, Rodney Crowell, Jonatha Brooke, David Wilcox, The Mavericks, Edwin McCain, Lizz Wright, Richard Thompson, Dar Williams, and Pat Benatar.

Named for their cranky old guitars, Los Angeles-based duo Roscoe & Etta – singer/songwriters Maia Sharp and Anna Schulze – will release their self-titled debut September 7. BuzzBands.LA premiered the first single, “Broken Headlights,” and notes “…their voices feel right as rain—the kind that ‘clears the air over Los Angeles,’ as Sharp [and Schulze] sing.”
The album features 11 co-produced original compositions, 10 co-written by the duo and a Sharp co-write with Joey Ryan (The Milk Carton Kids) on “Broken Headlights.” “Joey (with Sara Bareilles) did a beautiful version of “Broken Headlights” a few years ago,” says Sharp. “I was just waiting for the right time to give it another life and this was it. Producing it with Anna helped us uncover the grit to beauty ratio of Roscoe & Etta.” Schulze adds, “The union of organic and inorganic sounds turned out to be a reflection of our complimentary styles.”
Listen: Spotify / iTunes
Roscoe & Etta was recorded at their respective home studios in Los Angeles with Sharp and Schulze playing all instruments except a few performances by special guests Devon Eisenbarger (guitar) on “Play On,” Vanessa Freebairn-Smith (cello) on “Broken Headlights” and “You Already Know,” Fritz Lewak (drums) on four songs, Joshua Grange (pedal steel) on “Come Back Tomorrow,” and David Ryan Harris (wah wah) on “Stupid Pretty Face.”
A fall tour has been confirmed with stops in Nashville, Louisville, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, among many others. In addition, they will open for Edwin McCain September 18, in Greenville, SC. A full list of dates is below.
With seven solo releases and a collaborative project with Art Garfunkel and Buddy Mondlock, the critically acclaimed Sharp is a seasoned songwriter whose songs have been recorded by The Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Keb’ Mo’, Cher, Art Garfunkel, Lizz Wright and others. As a producer, she’s worked with Edwin McCain, Art Garfunkel and Crystal Bowersox. The Los Angeles native has appeared on Mountain Stage, Acoustic Café, World Café, NPR’s All Things Considered as well as CBS Early Show and the Today Show.
A multi-faceted songwriter, artist, and producer, Minnesota native Anna Schulze’s songs have been featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Icarus, Carmelo Anthony’s This is Melo and MTV’s Awkward. Working under producers Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Tegan and Sara, Paramore) and Glen Ballard (Alanis Morrissette, Katy Perry), she learned her way around the studio. Hailed by No Depression as “genuine, dynamic, and insightful,” she’s released five solo albums, the latest Pickford Market garnered raves from NPR’s Morning Edition and MPR’s The Current.
Between them, they have opened for and/or performed with Bonnie Raitt, The Beach Boys, Art Garfunkel, Patty Griffn, Keb’ Mo’, Rodney Crowell, Jonatha Brooke, David Wilcox, The Mavericks, Edwin McCain, Lizz Wright, Richard Thompson, Dar Williams, and Pat Benatar.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Chrissy Costa's Broad Squad Comedy Show - A Night of Female Comics

SOLD OUT - face to face - Acoustic with Special Guest Austin Lucas

When you think of West Coast punk rock—Hell, when you think of punk rock in general—there aren’t many names more culturally resonant than Face To Face, the melodic-punk group formed by frontman Trever Keith 27 years ago. The band has weathered the shifting sands of punk rock and pop culture more times than anyone can count, and here they are, nearly three decades later, not only still going strong but finding new and exciting ways to keep their band and their fans invigorated.
Case in point: Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions), the brand new full-length from Face To Face, releasing July 27 on Fat Wreck Chords. As its title so handily points out, this is an acoustic record—the first of Face To Face’s career—but the album has more than a few sonic twists and turns, with a career-spanning tracklisting, jumping from 1992’s genre classic Don’t Turn Away to the band’s most recent effort, 2016’s return-to-form Protection. As Keith explains, this was sort of a happy accident.
“During last year’s Econo-Live tour, we included a VIP package for the first time ever,” he begins. “I wanted to do something more than just signing autographs or taking pictures, so we added an acoustic set every night before the show. What came out of that experience was this realization that our songs, when stripped down, had a really cool identity that didn’t exist the way that we play them as a full band, punk-rock style. We started to notice this connection with the people who were watching, and we started thinking, ‘Maybe we should record this.’”
So Keith and his band—longtime bassist Scott Shiflett, drummer Danny Thompson and guitarist Dennis Hill—did just that, booking a studio during an off-day on tour to capture this raw, stripped-down snapshot of their catalog. From there, the band approached Fat about releasing the album, but even though the label was supportive of the project, Keith himself wasn’t happy with the result: He decided to scrap the original sessions and have the band hit the studio once more, this time with more songs and refined arrangements that include guest musicians (including accomplished pedal-steel player Gary Brandin and Dirty Heads percussionist Jon Olazabal) and unique instrumentation such as mandolin, piano and harmonium.
“Anyone familiar with our band knows that one thing our band is, for better or worse, is adventurous, starting back in 1999 with Ignorance Is Bliss,” Keith explains. “We haven’t stayed the path as your stalwart punk-rock band that’s going to keep giving you the same-sounding punk record every time with different song titles.”
While some of Face To Face’s most popular tracks are on Hold Fast, the band’s signature song, “Disconnected,” was actually not a part of the original acoustic sessions.
“The first version of the acoustic record was only eight songs and we needed more material for a full-length record, so we put it to a vote with our fans on Facebook,” Keith says. “As a result of that poll, we added ‘Disconnected’ and ‘Ordinary,’ and they turned out to be some of my favorite arrangements on the record.”
Keith says to expect a different side of the band on their coast-to-coast headlining tour that will begin this July.
“These are acoustic-only shows in different types of venues—some will be seated,” the frontman reveals. “It’s a tour where people can come to the show and kick back and relax a little bit. You won’t have to worry about crowd surfing or a circle pit. It will be a more chilled out experience.”
Of course, since there are only 10 songs on Hold Fast, fans can expect to hear all of them in the set along with some other surprises.
“We might throw in a cover or two, as well as some Ignorance Is Bliss songs,” Keith says. “In fact, we purposely steered clear of Ignorance Is Bliss songs on Hold Fast because I think we might do an entire acoustic version of that album in the future.”
Which brings us to the album title: What exactly does Hold Fast signify?
“We’re a band that isn’t afraid to try new things and stretch out beyond what people define as punk rock. It’s part of our career ethic and something we will never change,” Keith says. “An acoustic record is something we never would have done in 1994 because it wasn’t ‘punk rock’ then, but the world has changed, our supporters have changed, we’ve changed, and the timing just feels right.”

When you think of West Coast punk rock—Hell, when you think of punk rock in general—there aren’t many names more culturally resonant than Face To Face, the melodic-punk group formed by frontman Trever Keith 27 years ago. The band has weathered the shifting sands of punk rock and pop culture more times than anyone can count, and here they are, nearly three decades later, not only still going strong but finding new and exciting ways to keep their band and their fans invigorated.
Case in point: Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions), the brand new full-length from Face To Face, releasing July 27 on Fat Wreck Chords. As its title so handily points out, this is an acoustic record—the first of Face To Face’s career—but the album has more than a few sonic twists and turns, with a career-spanning tracklisting, jumping from 1992’s genre classic Don’t Turn Away to the band’s most recent effort, 2016’s return-to-form Protection. As Keith explains, this was sort of a happy accident.
“During last year’s Econo-Live tour, we included a VIP package for the first time ever,” he begins. “I wanted to do something more than just signing autographs or taking pictures, so we added an acoustic set every night before the show. What came out of that experience was this realization that our songs, when stripped down, had a really cool identity that didn’t exist the way that we play them as a full band, punk-rock style. We started to notice this connection with the people who were watching, and we started thinking, ‘Maybe we should record this.’”
So Keith and his band—longtime bassist Scott Shiflett, drummer Danny Thompson and guitarist Dennis Hill—did just that, booking a studio during an off-day on tour to capture this raw, stripped-down snapshot of their catalog. From there, the band approached Fat about releasing the album, but even though the label was supportive of the project, Keith himself wasn’t happy with the result: He decided to scrap the original sessions and have the band hit the studio once more, this time with more songs and refined arrangements that include guest musicians (including accomplished pedal-steel player Gary Brandin and Dirty Heads percussionist Jon Olazabal) and unique instrumentation such as mandolin, piano and harmonium.
“Anyone familiar with our band knows that one thing our band is, for better or worse, is adventurous, starting back in 1999 with Ignorance Is Bliss,” Keith explains. “We haven’t stayed the path as your stalwart punk-rock band that’s going to keep giving you the same-sounding punk record every time with different song titles.”
While some of Face To Face’s most popular tracks are on Hold Fast, the band’s signature song, “Disconnected,” was actually not a part of the original acoustic sessions.
“The first version of the acoustic record was only eight songs and we needed more material for a full-length record, so we put it to a vote with our fans on Facebook,” Keith says. “As a result of that poll, we added ‘Disconnected’ and ‘Ordinary,’ and they turned out to be some of my favorite arrangements on the record.”
Keith says to expect a different side of the band on their coast-to-coast headlining tour that will begin this July.
“These are acoustic-only shows in different types of venues—some will be seated,” the frontman reveals. “It’s a tour where people can come to the show and kick back and relax a little bit. You won’t have to worry about crowd surfing or a circle pit. It will be a more chilled out experience.”
Of course, since there are only 10 songs on Hold Fast, fans can expect to hear all of them in the set along with some other surprises.
“We might throw in a cover or two, as well as some Ignorance Is Bliss songs,” Keith says. “In fact, we purposely steered clear of Ignorance Is Bliss songs on Hold Fast because I think we might do an entire acoustic version of that album in the future.”
Which brings us to the album title: What exactly does Hold Fast signify?
“We’re a band that isn’t afraid to try new things and stretch out beyond what people define as punk rock. It’s part of our career ethic and something we will never change,” Keith says. “An acoustic record is something we never would have done in 1994 because it wasn’t ‘punk rock’ then, but the world has changed, our supporters have changed, we’ve changed, and the timing just feels right.”

(Late Show) face to face - Acoustic with Special Guest Austin Lucas

When you think of West Coast punk rock—Hell, when you think of punk rock in general—there aren’t many names more culturally resonant than Face To Face, the melodic-punk group formed by frontman Trever Keith 27 years ago. The band has weathered the shifting sands of punk rock and pop culture more times than anyone can count, and here they are, nearly three decades later, not only still going strong but finding new and exciting ways to keep their band and their fans invigorated.
Case in point: Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions), the brand new full-length from Face To Face, releasing July 27 on Fat Wreck Chords. As its title so handily points out, this is an acoustic record—the first of Face To Face’s career—but the album has more than a few sonic twists and turns, with a career-spanning tracklisting, jumping from 1992’s genre classic Don’t Turn Away to the band’s most recent effort, 2016’s return-to-form Protection. As Keith explains, this was sort of a happy accident.
“During last year’s Econo-Live tour, we included a VIP package for the first time ever,” he begins. “I wanted to do something more than just signing autographs or taking pictures, so we added an acoustic set every night before the show. What came out of that experience was this realization that our songs, when stripped down, had a really cool identity that didn’t exist the way that we play them as a full band, punk-rock style. We started to notice this connection with the people who were watching, and we started thinking, ‘Maybe we should record this.’”
So Keith and his band—longtime bassist Scott Shiflett, drummer Danny Thompson and guitarist Dennis Hill—did just that, booking a studio during an off-day on tour to capture this raw, stripped-down snapshot of their catalog. From there, the band approached Fat about releasing the album, but even though the label was supportive of the project, Keith himself wasn’t happy with the result: He decided to scrap the original sessions and have the band hit the studio once more, this time with more songs and refined arrangements that include guest musicians (including accomplished pedal-steel player Gary Brandin and Dirty Heads percussionist Jon Olazabal) and unique instrumentation such as mandolin, piano and harmonium.
“Anyone familiar with our band knows that one thing our band is, for better or worse, is adventurous, starting back in 1999 with Ignorance Is Bliss,” Keith explains. “We haven’t stayed the path as your stalwart punk-rock band that’s going to keep giving you the same-sounding punk record every time with different song titles.”
While some of Face To Face’s most popular tracks are on Hold Fast, the band’s signature song, “Disconnected,” was actually not a part of the original acoustic sessions.
“The first version of the acoustic record was only eight songs and we needed more material for a full-length record, so we put it to a vote with our fans on Facebook,” Keith says. “As a result of that poll, we added ‘Disconnected’ and ‘Ordinary,’ and they turned out to be some of my favorite arrangements on the record.”
Keith says to expect a different side of the band on their coast-to-coast headlining tour that will begin this July.
“These are acoustic-only shows in different types of venues—some will be seated,” the frontman reveals. “It’s a tour where people can come to the show and kick back and relax a little bit. You won’t have to worry about crowd surfing or a circle pit. It will be a more chilled out experience.”
Of course, since there are only 10 songs on Hold Fast, fans can expect to hear all of them in the set along with some other surprises.
“We might throw in a cover or two, as well as some Ignorance Is Bliss songs,” Keith says. “In fact, we purposely steered clear of Ignorance Is Bliss songs on Hold Fast because I think we might do an entire acoustic version of that album in the future.”
Which brings us to the album title: What exactly does Hold Fast signify?
“We’re a band that isn’t afraid to try new things and stretch out beyond what people define as punk rock. It’s part of our career ethic and something we will never change,” Keith says. “An acoustic record is something we never would have done in 1994 because it wasn’t ‘punk rock’ then, but the world has changed, our supporters have changed, we’ve changed, and the timing just feels right.”

When you think of West Coast punk rock—Hell, when you think of punk rock in general—there aren’t many names more culturally resonant than Face To Face, the melodic-punk group formed by frontman Trever Keith 27 years ago. The band has weathered the shifting sands of punk rock and pop culture more times than anyone can count, and here they are, nearly three decades later, not only still going strong but finding new and exciting ways to keep their band and their fans invigorated.
Case in point: Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions), the brand new full-length from Face To Face, releasing July 27 on Fat Wreck Chords. As its title so handily points out, this is an acoustic record—the first of Face To Face’s career—but the album has more than a few sonic twists and turns, with a career-spanning tracklisting, jumping from 1992’s genre classic Don’t Turn Away to the band’s most recent effort, 2016’s return-to-form Protection. As Keith explains, this was sort of a happy accident.
“During last year’s Econo-Live tour, we included a VIP package for the first time ever,” he begins. “I wanted to do something more than just signing autographs or taking pictures, so we added an acoustic set every night before the show. What came out of that experience was this realization that our songs, when stripped down, had a really cool identity that didn’t exist the way that we play them as a full band, punk-rock style. We started to notice this connection with the people who were watching, and we started thinking, ‘Maybe we should record this.’”
So Keith and his band—longtime bassist Scott Shiflett, drummer Danny Thompson and guitarist Dennis Hill—did just that, booking a studio during an off-day on tour to capture this raw, stripped-down snapshot of their catalog. From there, the band approached Fat about releasing the album, but even though the label was supportive of the project, Keith himself wasn’t happy with the result: He decided to scrap the original sessions and have the band hit the studio once more, this time with more songs and refined arrangements that include guest musicians (including accomplished pedal-steel player Gary Brandin and Dirty Heads percussionist Jon Olazabal) and unique instrumentation such as mandolin, piano and harmonium.
“Anyone familiar with our band knows that one thing our band is, for better or worse, is adventurous, starting back in 1999 with Ignorance Is Bliss,” Keith explains. “We haven’t stayed the path as your stalwart punk-rock band that’s going to keep giving you the same-sounding punk record every time with different song titles.”
While some of Face To Face’s most popular tracks are on Hold Fast, the band’s signature song, “Disconnected,” was actually not a part of the original acoustic sessions.
“The first version of the acoustic record was only eight songs and we needed more material for a full-length record, so we put it to a vote with our fans on Facebook,” Keith says. “As a result of that poll, we added ‘Disconnected’ and ‘Ordinary,’ and they turned out to be some of my favorite arrangements on the record.”
Keith says to expect a different side of the band on their coast-to-coast headlining tour that will begin this July.
“These are acoustic-only shows in different types of venues—some will be seated,” the frontman reveals. “It’s a tour where people can come to the show and kick back and relax a little bit. You won’t have to worry about crowd surfing or a circle pit. It will be a more chilled out experience.”
Of course, since there are only 10 songs on Hold Fast, fans can expect to hear all of them in the set along with some other surprises.
“We might throw in a cover or two, as well as some Ignorance Is Bliss songs,” Keith says. “In fact, we purposely steered clear of Ignorance Is Bliss songs on Hold Fast because I think we might do an entire acoustic version of that album in the future.”
Which brings us to the album title: What exactly does Hold Fast signify?
“We’re a band that isn’t afraid to try new things and stretch out beyond what people define as punk rock. It’s part of our career ethic and something we will never change,” Keith says. “An acoustic record is something we never would have done in 1994 because it wasn’t ‘punk rock’ then, but the world has changed, our supporters have changed, we’ve changed, and the timing just feels right.”

Courtney Marie Andrews

Courtney Marie Andrews spent over nine months of 2017 on the road, with multiple trips across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. That’s nothing new for Andrews, though. She’s been touring relentlessly since leaving her Arizona hometown at 16. It’s a life that inspired much of her 2016 breakthrough album, Honest Life. While that album’s themes spoke to the isolation and rootlessness inherent in a life on the road, most of its songs were actually written during an intentional, extended break. The success that followed its release, however, didn’t afford her the same break to write the material for her new album.

Although May Your Kindness Remain was predominately written on the road -- in the van, in hotels, and in the homes of family and friends -- it’s not a road record like its predecessor. That is, it’s not so much inspired by her life on the road so much as it is by the people she’s met along the way. It’s an inward reflection on the connectivity of their stories and her own. “More than anything,” she says, “it got me thinking about my childhood, and the people around me that I’ve known, and the stories that come from my family. It became clear how many people are struggling through the same issues.”

May Your Kindness Remain is full of vivid depictions of complex people and places with all too common struggles. Much of the album deals with the psychological and relational impact of the unrealistic picture of success that is so embedded in modern American culture.

“People are constantly chasing that bigger life. A lot of people are poor in America -- and because of those unattainable goals, they’re also mentally unstable, or sad, or depressed or unfulfilled. A lot of people -- myself included at some point in my life -- are loving somebody through this. That’s sort of the theme of the record: coming to terms with depression and the reality of the world we’re living in. Mental illness is a taboo in this culture -- or not taken seriously. I’ve grown up around it a lot, and sort of feel like I understand it from all sides.”

There are no simple answers in these songs. There’s just an acknowledgement of our shared hardships and a call for empathy. Despite its characters’ burdens, May Your Kindness Remain isn’t downtrodden. There’s a defiance built into its melancholy, a sense that even the most complicated problems are worth facing -- a sentiment that also explains why the album’s music refuses to stay within any rigid sonic boundaries.

While Andrews self-produced Honest Life, she knew this one had to be different. To record May Your Kindness Remain, her restless side took over. “It’s very characteristic to how I work -- I need to be shaken up,” she says. “I was like, ‘I need to change something, and create something different, and push myself in a different direction. I knew I wanted to make a more modern, unique sounding record.”

She found that direction thanks to a bit of serendipity. All at once, she began noticing Mark Howard’s name on several of her favorite records. She was consistently drawn to the resonant depth of the sound and tone in the albums he had done with luminaries like Lucinda Williams,

Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris and Tom Waits. With nothing to lose, her manager messaged him about producing the new record.

The inquiry was a success: months later, Andrews and her band found themselves in a rented house in Los Angeles, overlooking the city’s skyline, making May Your Kindness Remain with Howard at the helm. “I wanted to make a record in L.A.,” she says. “In that house, overlooking a city that epitomizes both America’s diversity and also the commonality of very real struggles against often unrealistic hopes and dreams.”

Andrews recalls Howard saying that he liked “making records that you can live in.” To her, it felt intuitive, natural and spontaneous -- an extension of the songwriting process that went into these songs. Howard, Andrews and the band lived in that house for eight days, barely fitting it in between two tours. As is Howard’s custom, the house was the studio. He brought all the gear, recording everyone in the same room to a live board, live off the floor. “A lot of the record is either the first take or we did just one overdub,” Andrews says. “Nothing’s overthought.” The band set up in a circle, watching each other across the room as they played each song live.

As a result, the album sounds intimate and warm, as if listeners are in the house with them, watching it all unfold. While May Your Kindness Remain is Andrews’ fullest sounding record to date, the songs and her vocals are never eclipsed. “Mark’s really good about stripping the song down to the bones, and asking, ‘Where is the song in this? And how do we make the song come out while still having great instrumentation?’” Andrews recalls.

Still, the album’s arrangements are meticulous. Unlike the predominantly acoustic guitar based Honest Life, May Your Kindness Remain builds around Andrews’ songs with heavy lead guitar (Dillon Warnek) and keys riffs (Daniel Walker, Charles Wicklander). Having played with Andrews for years, the rhythm section (Alex Sabel, bass; William Mapp, drums, percussion) fills the sound as naturally as you’d expect. There was no click track for Mapp, adding to the album’s sentient, live feel.

Every instrument and sound on the album has their proper place, across diverse styles: proud piano ballads (“Rough Around the Edges”); easygoing, country-tinted rock (“Kindness of Strangers”); and biting, sarcastic folk gems (“I’ve Hurt Worse”). Gospel singer C.C. White adds backing vocals throughout, including on the stunning title track, a striking statement of purpose that blooms at the end thanks to layers of soulful harmonies. “When C.C. was singing her parts,” Andrews remembers, “I just laid there on the floor, both comforted and blown away.”

Andrews’ own vocals are notably more powerful and soulful -- especially on the organ-heavy blues number “Border”, with a ragged weariness that honors the immigrant’s resilience in the face of blatant thoughtlessness and racism; and “Took You Up”, a take on accepting love as a simple offering before any illusion of wealth or success. Her vocal performances reflect her recent listening habits, which include Motown and soul, as well as albums by the eclectic rock band Little Feat. They also point to her confidence and growing range as a live vocalist.

“I subconsciously started incorporating more vocal stretching in my songs, just because of how fun that was,” she says. “I’ve always been really inspired by soul singers. I can sing like that -- but I never really had before.”

In the end, May Your Kindness Remain finds Andrews at home in her restlessness, embracing her intuition. It has stretched her vocals, her sound and her songwriting to new depths and produced a brave record -- a record that is unafraid of addressing the complexities of life in order to find common ground and understanding, no matter how divided this world may seem.

Courtney Marie Andrews spent over nine months of 2017 on the road, with multiple trips across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. That’s nothing new for Andrews, though. She’s been touring relentlessly since leaving her Arizona hometown at 16. It’s a life that inspired much of her 2016 breakthrough album, Honest Life. While that album’s themes spoke to the isolation and rootlessness inherent in a life on the road, most of its songs were actually written during an intentional, extended break. The success that followed its release, however, didn’t afford her the same break to write the material for her new album.

Although May Your Kindness Remain was predominately written on the road -- in the van, in hotels, and in the homes of family and friends -- it’s not a road record like its predecessor. That is, it’s not so much inspired by her life on the road so much as it is by the people she’s met along the way. It’s an inward reflection on the connectivity of their stories and her own. “More than anything,” she says, “it got me thinking about my childhood, and the people around me that I’ve known, and the stories that come from my family. It became clear how many people are struggling through the same issues.”

May Your Kindness Remain is full of vivid depictions of complex people and places with all too common struggles. Much of the album deals with the psychological and relational impact of the unrealistic picture of success that is so embedded in modern American culture.

“People are constantly chasing that bigger life. A lot of people are poor in America -- and because of those unattainable goals, they’re also mentally unstable, or sad, or depressed or unfulfilled. A lot of people -- myself included at some point in my life -- are loving somebody through this. That’s sort of the theme of the record: coming to terms with depression and the reality of the world we’re living in. Mental illness is a taboo in this culture -- or not taken seriously. I’ve grown up around it a lot, and sort of feel like I understand it from all sides.”

There are no simple answers in these songs. There’s just an acknowledgement of our shared hardships and a call for empathy. Despite its characters’ burdens, May Your Kindness Remain isn’t downtrodden. There’s a defiance built into its melancholy, a sense that even the most complicated problems are worth facing -- a sentiment that also explains why the album’s music refuses to stay within any rigid sonic boundaries.

While Andrews self-produced Honest Life, she knew this one had to be different. To record May Your Kindness Remain, her restless side took over. “It’s very characteristic to how I work -- I need to be shaken up,” she says. “I was like, ‘I need to change something, and create something different, and push myself in a different direction. I knew I wanted to make a more modern, unique sounding record.”

She found that direction thanks to a bit of serendipity. All at once, she began noticing Mark Howard’s name on several of her favorite records. She was consistently drawn to the resonant depth of the sound and tone in the albums he had done with luminaries like Lucinda Williams,

Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris and Tom Waits. With nothing to lose, her manager messaged him about producing the new record.

The inquiry was a success: months later, Andrews and her band found themselves in a rented house in Los Angeles, overlooking the city’s skyline, making May Your Kindness Remain with Howard at the helm. “I wanted to make a record in L.A.,” she says. “In that house, overlooking a city that epitomizes both America’s diversity and also the commonality of very real struggles against often unrealistic hopes and dreams.”

Andrews recalls Howard saying that he liked “making records that you can live in.” To her, it felt intuitive, natural and spontaneous -- an extension of the songwriting process that went into these songs. Howard, Andrews and the band lived in that house for eight days, barely fitting it in between two tours. As is Howard’s custom, the house was the studio. He brought all the gear, recording everyone in the same room to a live board, live off the floor. “A lot of the record is either the first take or we did just one overdub,” Andrews says. “Nothing’s overthought.” The band set up in a circle, watching each other across the room as they played each song live.

As a result, the album sounds intimate and warm, as if listeners are in the house with them, watching it all unfold. While May Your Kindness Remain is Andrews’ fullest sounding record to date, the songs and her vocals are never eclipsed. “Mark’s really good about stripping the song down to the bones, and asking, ‘Where is the song in this? And how do we make the song come out while still having great instrumentation?’” Andrews recalls.

Still, the album’s arrangements are meticulous. Unlike the predominantly acoustic guitar based Honest Life, May Your Kindness Remain builds around Andrews’ songs with heavy lead guitar (Dillon Warnek) and keys riffs (Daniel Walker, Charles Wicklander). Having played with Andrews for years, the rhythm section (Alex Sabel, bass; William Mapp, drums, percussion) fills the sound as naturally as you’d expect. There was no click track for Mapp, adding to the album’s sentient, live feel.

Every instrument and sound on the album has their proper place, across diverse styles: proud piano ballads (“Rough Around the Edges”); easygoing, country-tinted rock (“Kindness of Strangers”); and biting, sarcastic folk gems (“I’ve Hurt Worse”). Gospel singer C.C. White adds backing vocals throughout, including on the stunning title track, a striking statement of purpose that blooms at the end thanks to layers of soulful harmonies. “When C.C. was singing her parts,” Andrews remembers, “I just laid there on the floor, both comforted and blown away.”

Andrews’ own vocals are notably more powerful and soulful -- especially on the organ-heavy blues number “Border”, with a ragged weariness that honors the immigrant’s resilience in the face of blatant thoughtlessness and racism; and “Took You Up”, a take on accepting love as a simple offering before any illusion of wealth or success. Her vocal performances reflect her recent listening habits, which include Motown and soul, as well as albums by the eclectic rock band Little Feat. They also point to her confidence and growing range as a live vocalist.

“I subconsciously started incorporating more vocal stretching in my songs, just because of how fun that was,” she says. “I’ve always been really inspired by soul singers. I can sing like that -- but I never really had before.”

In the end, May Your Kindness Remain finds Andrews at home in her restlessness, embracing her intuition. It has stretched her vocals, her sound and her songwriting to new depths and produced a brave record -- a record that is unafraid of addressing the complexities of life in order to find common ground and understanding, no matter how divided this world may seem.

(Early Show) Tracy Grammer - CD Release Tour

Called "one of the finest singers and musicians anywhere in folkdom" (Boston Globe) and "a musician and singer of dazzling versatility" (No Depression), Tracy Grammer is among contemporary folk music's most beloved artists. Renowned for her pure voice, deft guitar and violin work, and incantatory storytelling, Grammer has recorded and performed with Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and enjoyed 12 consecutive years as one of folk radio's 50 top-played artists, both solo and in a duo with the late Dave Carter. Her highly-anticipated eleventh release, LOW TIDE (Jan. 2018, Tracy Grammer Music), is the first ever to feature her original songs. Album opener "Hole" was the #1 most-played song on the folk radio charts in February, and the album now sits in the top 5 for its first two months of airplay.

Grammer is currently booking a nationwide album release tour for fall. She is based in Greenfield, Mass.

Called "one of the finest singers and musicians anywhere in folkdom" (Boston Globe) and "a musician and singer of dazzling versatility" (No Depression), Tracy Grammer is among contemporary folk music's most beloved artists. Renowned for her pure voice, deft guitar and violin work, and incantatory storytelling, Grammer has recorded and performed with Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and enjoyed 12 consecutive years as one of folk radio's 50 top-played artists, both solo and in a duo with the late Dave Carter. Her highly-anticipated eleventh release, LOW TIDE (Jan. 2018, Tracy Grammer Music), is the first ever to feature her original songs. Album opener "Hole" was the #1 most-played song on the folk radio charts in February, and the album now sits in the top 5 for its first two months of airplay.

Grammer is currently booking a nationwide album release tour for fall. She is based in Greenfield, Mass.

@clubcafelive

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