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(Late Show) Mike Doughty Plays Soul Coughing's 'Ruby Vroom' 25 Year Anniversary Tour - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Mike Doughty, the singer, songwriter, producer, author and founder of seminal 90’s band Soul
Coughing will be playing their debut LP Ruby Vroom in full across the U.S. in 2019.
Doughty will be joined by a full band on these special dates. While they will be performing Ruby
Vroom in its entirety, in the original sequence, what the audience experiences will be different
each night. “When I was looking for something to do between album cycles I decided to tour
Irresistible Bliss in full” explains Doughty. “It was incredibly fun forcing myself to work within that
structure. The decisions you make when putting together a set list are different from the ones
you make when sequencing a record. This is like performing a single, hour-long piece of music.”
Rather than an exact replication of the studio recording, Doughty plans to use a variety of cues
and hand signals to adjust the performance in real time. “Live we turn into a musical super-
organism. We’re basically doing a real-time remix of the record at each show” tells Doughty. “It
won’t not be a note-for-note performance. I’m very proud of the record we made; it’s the sonic
embodiment of lower Manhattan in the early 1990’s. Yet there’s a whole other version of this
record that lives in my head. I’m extremely excited to see how it evolves night after night.”
Doughty has released 11 solo albums in the 21st Century, including Haughty Melodic and Stellar
Motel, and a memoir, The Book of Drugs (he’s currently writing a second one). He makes
electro tracks under the names UUL and Dubious Luxury; his opera Revelation was staged in
conjunction with WNYC; he’s currently writing songs with Wayne Kramer from the MC5. He
recently posted his 100th weekly new song for his Patreon subscribers. And, finally, he has
three improvised-music bands in Memphis, where he lives: Moticos, Baby Men, and Spooky
Party.

Mike Doughty, the singer, songwriter, producer, author and founder of seminal 90’s band Soul
Coughing will be playing their debut LP Ruby Vroom in full across the U.S. in 2019.
Doughty will be joined by a full band on these special dates. While they will be performing Ruby
Vroom in its entirety, in the original sequence, what the audience experiences will be different
each night. “When I was looking for something to do between album cycles I decided to tour
Irresistible Bliss in full” explains Doughty. “It was incredibly fun forcing myself to work within that
structure. The decisions you make when putting together a set list are different from the ones
you make when sequencing a record. This is like performing a single, hour-long piece of music.”
Rather than an exact replication of the studio recording, Doughty plans to use a variety of cues
and hand signals to adjust the performance in real time. “Live we turn into a musical super-
organism. We’re basically doing a real-time remix of the record at each show” tells Doughty. “It
won’t not be a note-for-note performance. I’m very proud of the record we made; it’s the sonic
embodiment of lower Manhattan in the early 1990’s. Yet there’s a whole other version of this
record that lives in my head. I’m extremely excited to see how it evolves night after night.”
Doughty has released 11 solo albums in the 21st Century, including Haughty Melodic and Stellar
Motel, and a memoir, The Book of Drugs (he’s currently writing a second one). He makes
electro tracks under the names UUL and Dubious Luxury; his opera Revelation was staged in
conjunction with WNYC; he’s currently writing songs with Wayne Kramer from the MC5. He
recently posted his 100th weekly new song for his Patreon subscribers. And, finally, he has
three improvised-music bands in Memphis, where he lives: Moticos, Baby Men, and Spooky
Party.

Jon Pousette-Dart Band

The Pousette-Dart Band, led by Jon Pousette-Dart carved a place in the landscape of American music in the 1970’s. They were a mainstay of album radio, a favorite on the college circuit, and became one of the busiest touring groups in the US working with such acts as The Byrds, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, The Eagles, James Taylor, The J. Geils Band, Eddie Money, Manfred Mann, Jonathan Edwards, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Emmylou Harris, Gary Wright, Robert Palmer, Randy Newman, Journey, Billy Joel, and many more including the now famous Frampton Comes Alive tour, and the progressive Yes Fragile tour ‘ playing arenas from Coast to Coast.

They put out four critically hailed albums for Capitol Records “Pousette-Dart Band,” “Amnesia,” “Pousette-Dart Band 3” and “Never Enough,” and a recent compilation “The Best of Pousette-Dart Band.”

After an absence of several years, Jon reignited his musical career, beginning with a recorded reunion with his old colleagues aptly entitled "It’s About Time.”

The Pousette-Dart Band, led by Jon Pousette-Dart carved a place in the landscape of American music in the 1970’s. They were a mainstay of album radio, a favorite on the college circuit, and became one of the busiest touring groups in the US working with such acts as The Byrds, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, The Eagles, James Taylor, The J. Geils Band, Eddie Money, Manfred Mann, Jonathan Edwards, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Emmylou Harris, Gary Wright, Robert Palmer, Randy Newman, Journey, Billy Joel, and many more including the now famous Frampton Comes Alive tour, and the progressive Yes Fragile tour ‘ playing arenas from Coast to Coast.

They put out four critically hailed albums for Capitol Records “Pousette-Dart Band,” “Amnesia,” “Pousette-Dart Band 3” and “Never Enough,” and a recent compilation “The Best of Pousette-Dart Band.”

After an absence of several years, Jon reignited his musical career, beginning with a recorded reunion with his old colleagues aptly entitled "It’s About Time.”

David Wax Museum

Is every record you make a reaction to the one before it? A response to how the previous album was received by critics and fans? Does it fill a hole in the band’s sense of their catalogue, something that you know you can do musically but haven’t captured yet in the studio? I could lay out a coherent explanation about this record on those terms, and it would be valid. We certainly wanted to make a record that leaned more heavily on us as a duo. We loved being in the studio with Carl Broemel that first time to record “Big Sur”, feeling like the process was so collaborative and the atmosphere so warm. We felt the resulting song was authentic in a new way, less dressed up with studio tricks and more about how our voices and instruments blend and live together.
Ultimately, this record feels more like an expression of the mysterious alchemy of the songs, the studio, the producer, the musicians, and the time in our life. There was a lot swirling around behind us in the studio while we recorded Line of Light. Some of it was personal, like Suz coming to terms again with her bipolar diagnosis as it reared its head right before we went back to Nashville for the final 10-day session. She had to wean our 1-year-old son during the recording session because her medication will harm a nursing child. That was looming over us as we finished up the record.

Is every record you make a reaction to the one before it? A response to how the previous album was received by critics and fans? Does it fill a hole in the band’s sense of their catalogue, something that you know you can do musically but haven’t captured yet in the studio? I could lay out a coherent explanation about this record on those terms, and it would be valid. We certainly wanted to make a record that leaned more heavily on us as a duo. We loved being in the studio with Carl Broemel that first time to record “Big Sur”, feeling like the process was so collaborative and the atmosphere so warm. We felt the resulting song was authentic in a new way, less dressed up with studio tricks and more about how our voices and instruments blend and live together.
Ultimately, this record feels more like an expression of the mysterious alchemy of the songs, the studio, the producer, the musicians, and the time in our life. There was a lot swirling around behind us in the studio while we recorded Line of Light. Some of it was personal, like Suz coming to terms again with her bipolar diagnosis as it reared its head right before we went back to Nashville for the final 10-day session. She had to wean our 1-year-old son during the recording session because her medication will harm a nursing child. That was looming over us as we finished up the record.

Rasputina with Special Guest Charming Disaster

Pioneers in the use of cello as the sole instrument within a rock band, Rasputina has been inspiring young string players to commit a number of musical sins since 1996. The group's concept was written as a manifesto, and manifested accordingly by directress Melora Creager as a wily subterfuge for a plot to open audiences to adventure. The funny, the sad, the heavy, the tender-- it can all exist together. Employing elaborate costuming spanning a number of historical periods, Rasputina brings marginalized historical female figures and stories to light in the pop form, using archetypal characters such as Indian princesses, Hawaiian handmaidens and Medieval queens. Melora last performed in Europe with Nirvana, on their final tour in 1994. Over the years, Rasputina has performed/recorded with Marilyn Manson, Porno For Pyros, Cheap Trick, Goo Goo Dolls and many others. Hardened road-dogs, and with more than 7 albums under their belt, Rasputina continues to amaze and amuse.

About ‘UNKNOWN’- the new Rasputina album:
Melora says, “Unknown’ is 14 new songs recorded alone in a dank basement studio. I quite liked it though, that dank basement studio. I didn't feel at all alone. Using only one microphone, the whole album poured out of me in just 3 weeks- writing, recording, the whole thing. “Unknown is a CD only release- non-digital. Why? At one level, this album is about trauma, Melora’s trauma at being hacked- silently and anonymously observed through the Cloud. Conceptually, this album doesn’t exist on the Internet. It’s a real and physical thing. Anyone who purchases it is known to her.

MELORA CREAGER - voice, cello, banjo
Kansas born & raised, she moved to NYC in the 1980’s. Melora received classical music training as a child, but her performance career began with rock bands and East Village drag/performance artists. She founded the alternative/ historical cello ensemble Rasputina in 1991 as a way to meet like-minded girls- girls that wanted to rock out on the cello and wear fine costumery. The sound and visual concepts that began in Creager's Rasputina manifestos presaged and influenced movements and trends such as Modern Victorians, Steampunk, freak-folk, corsetry, and crafting. In 19 recordings, and countless public performances, Creager has led a 20 year exploration in cello amplification, recording, and performance.

LUIS MOJICA- piano, beat-boxing
Luis uses the piano to cast, wild narrative spells. His eyes are that of an androgynous monk with rainbow tentacles. Luis loops words, chants, and sounds through a loop pedal AKA beatboxing, ‘Beat-Boxing Baroque’. Luis brings his musical madness to Rasputina today.

CARPELLA PARVO- cello, voice
Cello-fingers in flight and with the voice of a bird, Carpella is from another country, but keeps it a secret which one. She played on Rasputina's debut album, Thanks for the Ether (1996), then succumbed to the very condition from which she takes her name- carpal tunnel syndrome. Having healed over 20 years, Carpella jubilantly returns to Rasputina in the 21st century.

Pioneers in the use of cello as the sole instrument within a rock band, Rasputina has been inspiring young string players to commit a number of musical sins since 1996. The group's concept was written as a manifesto, and manifested accordingly by directress Melora Creager as a wily subterfuge for a plot to open audiences to adventure. The funny, the sad, the heavy, the tender-- it can all exist together. Employing elaborate costuming spanning a number of historical periods, Rasputina brings marginalized historical female figures and stories to light in the pop form, using archetypal characters such as Indian princesses, Hawaiian handmaidens and Medieval queens. Melora last performed in Europe with Nirvana, on their final tour in 1994. Over the years, Rasputina has performed/recorded with Marilyn Manson, Porno For Pyros, Cheap Trick, Goo Goo Dolls and many others. Hardened road-dogs, and with more than 7 albums under their belt, Rasputina continues to amaze and amuse.

About ‘UNKNOWN’- the new Rasputina album:
Melora says, “Unknown’ is 14 new songs recorded alone in a dank basement studio. I quite liked it though, that dank basement studio. I didn't feel at all alone. Using only one microphone, the whole album poured out of me in just 3 weeks- writing, recording, the whole thing. “Unknown is a CD only release- non-digital. Why? At one level, this album is about trauma, Melora’s trauma at being hacked- silently and anonymously observed through the Cloud. Conceptually, this album doesn’t exist on the Internet. It’s a real and physical thing. Anyone who purchases it is known to her.

MELORA CREAGER - voice, cello, banjo
Kansas born & raised, she moved to NYC in the 1980’s. Melora received classical music training as a child, but her performance career began with rock bands and East Village drag/performance artists. She founded the alternative/ historical cello ensemble Rasputina in 1991 as a way to meet like-minded girls- girls that wanted to rock out on the cello and wear fine costumery. The sound and visual concepts that began in Creager's Rasputina manifestos presaged and influenced movements and trends such as Modern Victorians, Steampunk, freak-folk, corsetry, and crafting. In 19 recordings, and countless public performances, Creager has led a 20 year exploration in cello amplification, recording, and performance.

LUIS MOJICA- piano, beat-boxing
Luis uses the piano to cast, wild narrative spells. His eyes are that of an androgynous monk with rainbow tentacles. Luis loops words, chants, and sounds through a loop pedal AKA beatboxing, ‘Beat-Boxing Baroque’. Luis brings his musical madness to Rasputina today.

CARPELLA PARVO- cello, voice
Cello-fingers in flight and with the voice of a bird, Carpella is from another country, but keeps it a secret which one. She played on Rasputina's debut album, Thanks for the Ether (1996), then succumbed to the very condition from which she takes her name- carpal tunnel syndrome. Having healed over 20 years, Carpella jubilantly returns to Rasputina in the 21st century.

Jon McLaughlin with Special Guest Sawyer

Everything in Jon McLaughlin’s life makes its way into his music, whether he’s conscious of it or not. The artist, raised in Indiana and based in Nashville, brings all of his experiences and beliefs into each song he creates, something that is especially true now that he’s the father of two young girls.

Jon released his debut album, Indiana, in 2007 on Island Def Jam, attracting fans with his heartfelt, hook-laden songwriting and impassioned delivery. He’s released five full-lengths in the twelve years since and revealed a true evolution in both his piano playing and singing. He’s played shows with Billy Joel, Kelly Clarkson and Adele, collaborated with longtime friend Sara Bareilles, co-written with Demi Lovato and even performed at the Academy Awards in 2008.

Jon’s album, Like Us, dropped in October of 2015 via Razor & Tie, and he spent the past few years touring extensively before heading back into his Nashville studio to work on new music. In November of 2018 Jon released his album Angst & Grace which features “Still My Girl” written for his youngest daughter.

Another project started in 2018 is his Dueling Pianos video series. Every episode features a new guest artist and they perform mashups of never been heard arrangements

As with everything he does, Jon’s goal is to create connections. He wants to translate his experiences and ideas into music that reaches fans everywhere. His passion for music and playing is evident in each note he plays.

Everything in Jon McLaughlin’s life makes its way into his music, whether he’s conscious of it or not. The artist, raised in Indiana and based in Nashville, brings all of his experiences and beliefs into each song he creates, something that is especially true now that he’s the father of two young girls.

Jon released his debut album, Indiana, in 2007 on Island Def Jam, attracting fans with his heartfelt, hook-laden songwriting and impassioned delivery. He’s released five full-lengths in the twelve years since and revealed a true evolution in both his piano playing and singing. He’s played shows with Billy Joel, Kelly Clarkson and Adele, collaborated with longtime friend Sara Bareilles, co-written with Demi Lovato and even performed at the Academy Awards in 2008.

Jon’s album, Like Us, dropped in October of 2015 via Razor & Tie, and he spent the past few years touring extensively before heading back into his Nashville studio to work on new music. In November of 2018 Jon released his album Angst & Grace which features “Still My Girl” written for his youngest daughter.

Another project started in 2018 is his Dueling Pianos video series. Every episode features a new guest artist and they perform mashups of never been heard arrangements

As with everything he does, Jon’s goal is to create connections. He wants to translate his experiences and ideas into music that reaches fans everywhere. His passion for music and playing is evident in each note he plays.

An Evening With Marcia Ball

“Rollicking, playful, good-time blues and intimate, reflective balladry…her songs ring with emotional depth” – Rolling Stone

“A welcome ray of sunshine…Ball is a killer pianist, a great singer and songwriter. Potent blues, sweet zydeco, soulful, fast and furious Texas boogie…heartfelt, powerful and righteous” – Billboard

“Fifty years have passed in a flash,” says Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist, songwriter and vocalist MARCIA BALL of her long and storied career. Ball, the 2018 Texas State Musician Of The Year, has won worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world. With each new release, her reputation as a profoundly soulful singer, a boundlessly talented pianist and a courageous, inventive songwriter continues to grow. Her love of the road has led to years of soul-satisfying performances at festivals, concert halls and clubs. The New York Times says, “Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time.” The Houston Chronicle says simply, “She’s as perfect as an artist can be.”

With her new album, Shine Bright, Ball set out to, in her words, “Make the best Marcia Ball record I could make.” In doing so, she has put together the most musically substantial, hopeful and uplifting set of songs of her five-decade career. Produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and recorded in Texas and Louisiana, Shine Bright contains twelve songs (including nine originals), ranging from the title track’s rousing appeal for public and private acts of courage to the upbeat call to action of Pots And Pans, a song inspired by renowned Texas political writer and humorist Molly Ivins. From the humorous advice of Life Of The Party to the poignantly optimistic World Full Of Love, the intensity of Ball’s conviction never wavers while, simultaneously, the fun never stops. Shine Bright is exactly the album Ball set out to make. “It is a ridiculously hopeful, cheerful record,” she says, in light of some of the album’s more serious subject matter. The secret, according to Ball “is to set the political songs to a good dance beat.”

Born in Orange, Texas in 1949 to a family whose female members all played piano, Ball grew up in the small town of Vinton, Louisiana, right across the border from Texas. She began taking piano lessons at age five, playing old Tin Pan Alley and popular music tunes from her grandmother’s collection. But it wasn’t until she was 13 that Marcia discovered the power of soul music. One day in New Orleans in 1962, she sat amazed as Irma Thomas delivered the most spirited and moving performance the young teenager had ever seen. A few years later she attended Louisiana State University, where she played some of her very first gigs with a blues-based rock band called Gum.

In 1970, Ball set out for San Francisco. Her car broke down in Austin, and while waiting for repairs she fell in love with the city and decided to stay. It wasn’t long before she was performing in local clubs with a progressive country band called Freda And The Firedogs, while beginning to sharpen her songwriting skills. It was around this time that she delved deeply into the music of the great New Orleans piano players, especially Professor Longhair. “Once I found out about Professor Longhair,” recalls Ball, “I knew I had found my direction.”

When Freda And The Firedogs broke up in 1974, Ball launched her solo career, playing clubs around Austin, Houston and Louisiana. She signed with Capitol Records in 1978, debuting with the country-rock album Circuit Queen. Creating and honing her own sound, she released six critically acclaimed titles on the Rounder label during the 1980s and 1990s. In 1990, Ball-collaborating with Angela Strehli and Lou Ann Barton-recorded the hugely successful Dreams Come True on the Antone’s label. At the end of 1997, Marcia finished work on a similar “three divas of the blues” project for Rounder, this time in the distinguished company of Tracy Nelson and her longtime inspiration, Irma Thomas. The CD, Sing It!, was released in 1998 and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Marcia Ball has appeared many times on national television over the years, including the PBS special In Performance At The White House along with B.B. King and Della Reese, Austin City Limits and HBO’s Treme. She performed in Piano Blues, the film directed by Clint Eastwood included in Martin Scorsese’s The Blues series which aired on PBS television nationwide in 2003. Marcia also appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman with The New Orleans Social Club, where she not only reached millions of people, but also helped to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, she had a role in the independent film Angels Sing starring Harry Connick, Jr., Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson. In 2017 she performed on NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas, live from The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Ball joined Alligator in 2001 with the release of the critically acclaimed Presumed Innocent. The CD won the 2002 Blues Music Award for Blues Album Of The Year. Her follow-up, So Many Rivers, was nominated for a Grammy Award, and won the 2004 Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year as well as the coveted Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year award. Her next release, Live! Down The Road, released in 2005, also garnered a Grammy nomination, as did 2008’s Peace, Love & BBQ (the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart). 2010’s Grammy-nominated Roadside Attractions and 2014’s The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man successfully grew her fan base even further. Altogether she holds ten Blues Music Awards, ten Living Blues Awards, and five Grammy Award nominations. She has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast Music Hall Of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame. The Texas State legislature named her the official 2018 Texas State Musician. As her hometown Austin Chronicle says, “What’s not to like about Marcia Ball?”

Since joining Alligator, Ball has blossomed as a songwriter. Each album has been filled with fresh, original songs, never more so than on Shine Bright. Ball easily draws her listeners deep into her music with instantly memorable melodies and imaginative imagery. Her songs paint vibrant musical pictures richly detailed with recognizable characters, regional flavors, universal themes and colorful scenes, both real and imagined. Living Blues declares, “Her originals sound like timeless classics and southern soul masterpieces that no one else can imitate.”

Now, with Shine Bright, Ball’s new, aggressively hopeful songs are energized by Steve Berlin’s inventive and exciting production, creating electrifying music that is daring, inspired, poignant and timely. The Boston Globe calls Ball “a compelling storyteller” who plays “an irresistible, celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana swamp rock and smoldering Texas blues.”

Of course, Ball will bring the party on the road, playing her new songs and old favorites for fans around the globe. “I still love the feel of the wheels rolling,” she says, “and the energy in a room full of people ready to go wherever it is we take them.” With both her new album and her legendary live performances, Marcia Ball will shine a light into the darkness, making the world a brighter place one song at a time.

“Rollicking, playful, good-time blues and intimate, reflective balladry…her songs ring with emotional depth” – Rolling Stone

“A welcome ray of sunshine…Ball is a killer pianist, a great singer and songwriter. Potent blues, sweet zydeco, soulful, fast and furious Texas boogie…heartfelt, powerful and righteous” – Billboard

“Fifty years have passed in a flash,” says Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist, songwriter and vocalist MARCIA BALL of her long and storied career. Ball, the 2018 Texas State Musician Of The Year, has won worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world. With each new release, her reputation as a profoundly soulful singer, a boundlessly talented pianist and a courageous, inventive songwriter continues to grow. Her love of the road has led to years of soul-satisfying performances at festivals, concert halls and clubs. The New York Times says, “Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time.” The Houston Chronicle says simply, “She’s as perfect as an artist can be.”

With her new album, Shine Bright, Ball set out to, in her words, “Make the best Marcia Ball record I could make.” In doing so, she has put together the most musically substantial, hopeful and uplifting set of songs of her five-decade career. Produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and recorded in Texas and Louisiana, Shine Bright contains twelve songs (including nine originals), ranging from the title track’s rousing appeal for public and private acts of courage to the upbeat call to action of Pots And Pans, a song inspired by renowned Texas political writer and humorist Molly Ivins. From the humorous advice of Life Of The Party to the poignantly optimistic World Full Of Love, the intensity of Ball’s conviction never wavers while, simultaneously, the fun never stops. Shine Bright is exactly the album Ball set out to make. “It is a ridiculously hopeful, cheerful record,” she says, in light of some of the album’s more serious subject matter. The secret, according to Ball “is to set the political songs to a good dance beat.”

Born in Orange, Texas in 1949 to a family whose female members all played piano, Ball grew up in the small town of Vinton, Louisiana, right across the border from Texas. She began taking piano lessons at age five, playing old Tin Pan Alley and popular music tunes from her grandmother’s collection. But it wasn’t until she was 13 that Marcia discovered the power of soul music. One day in New Orleans in 1962, she sat amazed as Irma Thomas delivered the most spirited and moving performance the young teenager had ever seen. A few years later she attended Louisiana State University, where she played some of her very first gigs with a blues-based rock band called Gum.

In 1970, Ball set out for San Francisco. Her car broke down in Austin, and while waiting for repairs she fell in love with the city and decided to stay. It wasn’t long before she was performing in local clubs with a progressive country band called Freda And The Firedogs, while beginning to sharpen her songwriting skills. It was around this time that she delved deeply into the music of the great New Orleans piano players, especially Professor Longhair. “Once I found out about Professor Longhair,” recalls Ball, “I knew I had found my direction.”

When Freda And The Firedogs broke up in 1974, Ball launched her solo career, playing clubs around Austin, Houston and Louisiana. She signed with Capitol Records in 1978, debuting with the country-rock album Circuit Queen. Creating and honing her own sound, she released six critically acclaimed titles on the Rounder label during the 1980s and 1990s. In 1990, Ball-collaborating with Angela Strehli and Lou Ann Barton-recorded the hugely successful Dreams Come True on the Antone’s label. At the end of 1997, Marcia finished work on a similar “three divas of the blues” project for Rounder, this time in the distinguished company of Tracy Nelson and her longtime inspiration, Irma Thomas. The CD, Sing It!, was released in 1998 and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Marcia Ball has appeared many times on national television over the years, including the PBS special In Performance At The White House along with B.B. King and Della Reese, Austin City Limits and HBO’s Treme. She performed in Piano Blues, the film directed by Clint Eastwood included in Martin Scorsese’s The Blues series which aired on PBS television nationwide in 2003. Marcia also appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman with The New Orleans Social Club, where she not only reached millions of people, but also helped to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, she had a role in the independent film Angels Sing starring Harry Connick, Jr., Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson. In 2017 she performed on NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas, live from The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Ball joined Alligator in 2001 with the release of the critically acclaimed Presumed Innocent. The CD won the 2002 Blues Music Award for Blues Album Of The Year. Her follow-up, So Many Rivers, was nominated for a Grammy Award, and won the 2004 Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year as well as the coveted Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year award. Her next release, Live! Down The Road, released in 2005, also garnered a Grammy nomination, as did 2008’s Peace, Love & BBQ (the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart). 2010’s Grammy-nominated Roadside Attractions and 2014’s The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man successfully grew her fan base even further. Altogether she holds ten Blues Music Awards, ten Living Blues Awards, and five Grammy Award nominations. She has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast Music Hall Of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame. The Texas State legislature named her the official 2018 Texas State Musician. As her hometown Austin Chronicle says, “What’s not to like about Marcia Ball?”

Since joining Alligator, Ball has blossomed as a songwriter. Each album has been filled with fresh, original songs, never more so than on Shine Bright. Ball easily draws her listeners deep into her music with instantly memorable melodies and imaginative imagery. Her songs paint vibrant musical pictures richly detailed with recognizable characters, regional flavors, universal themes and colorful scenes, both real and imagined. Living Blues declares, “Her originals sound like timeless classics and southern soul masterpieces that no one else can imitate.”

Now, with Shine Bright, Ball’s new, aggressively hopeful songs are energized by Steve Berlin’s inventive and exciting production, creating electrifying music that is daring, inspired, poignant and timely. The Boston Globe calls Ball “a compelling storyteller” who plays “an irresistible, celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana swamp rock and smoldering Texas blues.”

Of course, Ball will bring the party on the road, playing her new songs and old favorites for fans around the globe. “I still love the feel of the wheels rolling,” she says, “and the energy in a room full of people ready to go wherever it is we take them.” With both her new album and her legendary live performances, Marcia Ball will shine a light into the darkness, making the world a brighter place one song at a time.

Marco Benevento with Special Guest The Mattson 2

It’s impossible not to hear freedom and excitement coursing through the veins of Marco Benevento’s new studio album, ‘Let It Slide.’ Produced by Leon Michels (The Arcs, Lee Fields), the record introduces a gritty, soulful edge to Benevento’s brand of high-octane keyboard wizardry—an uptempo, uplifting sound he playfully describes as “hot dance piano rock.” For all Benevento’s virtuosity on the keys though, the songs here are driven primarily by intoxicating grooves, with spare drums and minimalist bass lines underpinning infectious, intentionally lo-fi vocal hooks. The resulting vibe is a timeless one, filtering elements of vintage R&B and soul through modern indie rock and pop sensibilities and peppering it with the kind of adventurous improvisation that Benevento’s come to be celebrated for worldwide.

Acceptance is a recurring theme on the record, and Benevento’s songs often find themselves recognizing that contentment can come only once you’ve freed yourself from the chains of desire and regret. Upon close listen, one can find Benevento’s own personal philosophies subconsciously bubbling up throughout the songs. “You’ll feel better, I’ll just say / When you finally let it go,” he sings on the funky “Say It’s All The Same,” which features vocal contributions from bandmate Karina Rykman. The hazy “Solid Gold” celebrates the simple joy of being in the moment with someone you love, while the Lennon-esque “Lorraine” (co-written with Simone Felice) grapples with loss and change, and the anthemic “Send It On A Rocket” contemplates loneliness and connection.

Dubbed “one of the most talented keys players of our time” by CBS Radio, Benevento’s released six critically acclaimed solo albums over the last decade, performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall and Newport Jazz to Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and worked in the studio and on the road with the likes of Richard Swift (The Shins, The Arcs), Jon Brion (Spoon, Aimee Mann), A.C. Newman (The New Pornographers), and Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Lumineers) among others. “It’s safe to say that no one sees the keyboard quite like Marco Benevento’s genre-blind mashup of indie rock, jazz and skewed improvisation,” the LA Times raved, while NPR said he combines “the thrust of rock, the questing of jazz and the experimental ecstasy of jam,” and Rolling Stone praised “the textures and colors available in his keyboards and arsenal of manipulated pedals and effects,” along with his “deceptively rich, catchy melodies and straight-ahead grooves.”

It’s impossible not to hear freedom and excitement coursing through the veins of Marco Benevento’s new studio album, ‘Let It Slide.’ Produced by Leon Michels (The Arcs, Lee Fields), the record introduces a gritty, soulful edge to Benevento’s brand of high-octane keyboard wizardry—an uptempo, uplifting sound he playfully describes as “hot dance piano rock.” For all Benevento’s virtuosity on the keys though, the songs here are driven primarily by intoxicating grooves, with spare drums and minimalist bass lines underpinning infectious, intentionally lo-fi vocal hooks. The resulting vibe is a timeless one, filtering elements of vintage R&B and soul through modern indie rock and pop sensibilities and peppering it with the kind of adventurous improvisation that Benevento’s come to be celebrated for worldwide.

Acceptance is a recurring theme on the record, and Benevento’s songs often find themselves recognizing that contentment can come only once you’ve freed yourself from the chains of desire and regret. Upon close listen, one can find Benevento’s own personal philosophies subconsciously bubbling up throughout the songs. “You’ll feel better, I’ll just say / When you finally let it go,” he sings on the funky “Say It’s All The Same,” which features vocal contributions from bandmate Karina Rykman. The hazy “Solid Gold” celebrates the simple joy of being in the moment with someone you love, while the Lennon-esque “Lorraine” (co-written with Simone Felice) grapples with loss and change, and the anthemic “Send It On A Rocket” contemplates loneliness and connection.

Dubbed “one of the most talented keys players of our time” by CBS Radio, Benevento’s released six critically acclaimed solo albums over the last decade, performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall and Newport Jazz to Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and worked in the studio and on the road with the likes of Richard Swift (The Shins, The Arcs), Jon Brion (Spoon, Aimee Mann), A.C. Newman (The New Pornographers), and Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Lumineers) among others. “It’s safe to say that no one sees the keyboard quite like Marco Benevento’s genre-blind mashup of indie rock, jazz and skewed improvisation,” the LA Times raved, while NPR said he combines “the thrust of rock, the questing of jazz and the experimental ecstasy of jam,” and Rolling Stone praised “the textures and colors available in his keyboards and arsenal of manipulated pedals and effects,” along with his “deceptively rich, catchy melodies and straight-ahead grooves.”

(Early Show) Jim Avett with Special Guest Dan Zlotnick

Jim Avett of Concord, North Carolina, is the son of a Methodist minister and a classical pianist who grew up in a home full of love and music, a home where he learned the importance of hard work and honest living. He and his wife instilled these same values in their children, tempered with a lot of fun, and of course, music. Jim’s guitar was an ever present instrument, and there was always singing.

As much as he enjoyed writing and performing music, Jim put his family first and spent 35 years running his welding company, building bridges along much of the east coast in order to provide for them. After retiring from welding, he returned to music and recorded Jim Avett and Family, a collection of gospel music, with his children, Bonnie, Scott and Seth in 2008. Soon after, in 2010, he released Tribes, a collection of original tunes ranging from soulful love ballads like the title track to the more lighthearted, "Fight with a Bottle of Booze". In Second Chance, Jim’s latest offering, the influences of classic country and early rock and roll are apparent. Once again, he draws on life experiences to write songs about love ("Pictures in the Attic"), boyhood memories, ("Willard"), and loss ("Holy Ground").

You can find Jim performing in listening rooms and at festivals from the Southeast to New England. His shows are a combination of beloved country tunes, his original ballads, and the stories he tells to introduce them. Once comes away from a Jim Avett performance with the feeling that this is an honest man sharing his life and his love of music. It’s like spending the evening on the front porch singing and talking with a good friend.

Jim Avett of Concord, North Carolina, is the son of a Methodist minister and a classical pianist who grew up in a home full of love and music, a home where he learned the importance of hard work and honest living. He and his wife instilled these same values in their children, tempered with a lot of fun, and of course, music. Jim’s guitar was an ever present instrument, and there was always singing.

As much as he enjoyed writing and performing music, Jim put his family first and spent 35 years running his welding company, building bridges along much of the east coast in order to provide for them. After retiring from welding, he returned to music and recorded Jim Avett and Family, a collection of gospel music, with his children, Bonnie, Scott and Seth in 2008. Soon after, in 2010, he released Tribes, a collection of original tunes ranging from soulful love ballads like the title track to the more lighthearted, "Fight with a Bottle of Booze". In Second Chance, Jim’s latest offering, the influences of classic country and early rock and roll are apparent. Once again, he draws on life experiences to write songs about love ("Pictures in the Attic"), boyhood memories, ("Willard"), and loss ("Holy Ground").

You can find Jim performing in listening rooms and at festivals from the Southeast to New England. His shows are a combination of beloved country tunes, his original ballads, and the stories he tells to introduce them. Once comes away from a Jim Avett performance with the feeling that this is an honest man sharing his life and his love of music. It’s like spending the evening on the front porch singing and talking with a good friend.

The Dip with Special Guest Erin & The Wildfire - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Hailing from Seattle, The Dip is an electrifying seven-piece ensemble that melds vintage rhythm and blues and modern pop with 60s soul, tapped by KEXP as “one of the most exciting and joyous acts to emerge in recent years”. The group quickly gained notoriety throughout the Pacific Northwest for their eminently danceable live shows that feature vocals from frontman Tom Eddy (Beat Connection), an effortlessly deep pocket, and the melodies of the “The Honeynut Horns”. Hard-hitting but sensitive, The Dip harkens back to the deep soul roots of decades past while sounding undeniably relevant. The band's 2015 self-titled debut, recorded to tape at Avast! Studios, propelled them to notable appearances at Sasquatch! Music Festival, High Sierra Music Fest, Summer Meltdown, and Capitol Hill Block Party and built anticipation for their 2016 release, Won’t Be Coming Back (EP). Now, the band prepares to arrive on the national stage with their second LP, The Dip Delivers. There’s a certain alchemy to The Dip that unites music fans of all ages and backgrounds and leaves everyone smiling ear to ear.

Hailing from Seattle, The Dip is an electrifying seven-piece ensemble that melds vintage rhythm and blues and modern pop with 60s soul, tapped by KEXP as “one of the most exciting and joyous acts to emerge in recent years”. The group quickly gained notoriety throughout the Pacific Northwest for their eminently danceable live shows that feature vocals from frontman Tom Eddy (Beat Connection), an effortlessly deep pocket, and the melodies of the “The Honeynut Horns”. Hard-hitting but sensitive, The Dip harkens back to the deep soul roots of decades past while sounding undeniably relevant. The band's 2015 self-titled debut, recorded to tape at Avast! Studios, propelled them to notable appearances at Sasquatch! Music Festival, High Sierra Music Fest, Summer Meltdown, and Capitol Hill Block Party and built anticipation for their 2016 release, Won’t Be Coming Back (EP). Now, the band prepares to arrive on the national stage with their second LP, The Dip Delivers. There’s a certain alchemy to The Dip that unites music fans of all ages and backgrounds and leaves everyone smiling ear to ear.

Fruit Bats with Special Guest Skyway Man - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

When Fruit Bats announced its new album and signing to Merge Records late last year, singer/songwriter Eric D. Johnson did so by “Getting in a Van Again.” The 15-minute mockumentary presented a surrealist view of the music industry, while teasing the very real themes explored on Gold Past Life—due out June 21, 2019.

“I know I said I’d be around this year, but here I am getting in a van again.”

Gold Past Life marks both an end and a beginning. It’s the end of an unintentional thematic trilogy of records that began with 2014’s EDJ (a solo record by name, but a Fruit Bats release in spirit) and hit an emotional peak with 2016’s Absolute Loser. They encompassed years of loss, displacement, and the persistent, low-level anxiety of the current political climate. They were written in the wake of friends who left these earthly confines and families that could have been.

“I wrote music to comfort myself,” says Eric D. Johnson of those times. “It was a soothing balm.”

But these salves, these songs on Gold Past Life, also represent new beginnings—the journeys that await after making it through troubled times.

In fact, the notion of getting in a van to move on—literally and metaphorically—is exactly what Gold Past Life is all about. It’s about rejecting notions of idealized nostalgia (“Gold Past Life”) and the process of grounding oneself in the present, both geographically (“A Lingering Love,” “Ocean”) and spiritually (“Drawn Away”).

That spiritual sense of place is particularly important to Johnson, who has always been fascinated by dreams and the subconscious stories they can tell. “Some of these songs are directed at specific people, some at amalgams of people, and lots at myself, or the subconscious version of myself—that version like how they say you’re every single character in your dreams,” he says. “Even the artwork represents the notion that we’re all the characters in our dreams. Here’s me looking at you: I’m a deer on a beach looking you dead in the eye and licking my lips.”

Even as he works through these journeys, Johnson’s falsetto still shines atop the bopping folk-rock of Gold Past Life. The new record also features more keyboard influences and a range of guests including Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore, Vampire Weekend), Neal Casal (Circles Around the Sun), Trevor Beld Jimenez and Tim Ramsey (Parting Lines), Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), and more. It also sees his working relationship with producer and engineer Thom Monahan (Neko Case, Peter Bjorn & John, Devendra Banhart) hit its stride.

According to Johnson, “Fruit Bats has been a cult band for a long time.” With Gold Past Life, he hopes to bring more immediacy to the music and share positivity, hope, and motivation to keep on keepin’ on with a wider audience.

“Fruit Bats makes existential make-out music,” he describes with a chuckle. “But you’re also welcome to dive into it deeper if you want. Good pop music should be sublime like that.”

When Fruit Bats announced its new album and signing to Merge Records late last year, singer/songwriter Eric D. Johnson did so by “Getting in a Van Again.” The 15-minute mockumentary presented a surrealist view of the music industry, while teasing the very real themes explored on Gold Past Life—due out June 21, 2019.

“I know I said I’d be around this year, but here I am getting in a van again.”

Gold Past Life marks both an end and a beginning. It’s the end of an unintentional thematic trilogy of records that began with 2014’s EDJ (a solo record by name, but a Fruit Bats release in spirit) and hit an emotional peak with 2016’s Absolute Loser. They encompassed years of loss, displacement, and the persistent, low-level anxiety of the current political climate. They were written in the wake of friends who left these earthly confines and families that could have been.

“I wrote music to comfort myself,” says Eric D. Johnson of those times. “It was a soothing balm.”

But these salves, these songs on Gold Past Life, also represent new beginnings—the journeys that await after making it through troubled times.

In fact, the notion of getting in a van to move on—literally and metaphorically—is exactly what Gold Past Life is all about. It’s about rejecting notions of idealized nostalgia (“Gold Past Life”) and the process of grounding oneself in the present, both geographically (“A Lingering Love,” “Ocean”) and spiritually (“Drawn Away”).

That spiritual sense of place is particularly important to Johnson, who has always been fascinated by dreams and the subconscious stories they can tell. “Some of these songs are directed at specific people, some at amalgams of people, and lots at myself, or the subconscious version of myself—that version like how they say you’re every single character in your dreams,” he says. “Even the artwork represents the notion that we’re all the characters in our dreams. Here’s me looking at you: I’m a deer on a beach looking you dead in the eye and licking my lips.”

Even as he works through these journeys, Johnson’s falsetto still shines atop the bopping folk-rock of Gold Past Life. The new record also features more keyboard influences and a range of guests including Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore, Vampire Weekend), Neal Casal (Circles Around the Sun), Trevor Beld Jimenez and Tim Ramsey (Parting Lines), Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), and more. It also sees his working relationship with producer and engineer Thom Monahan (Neko Case, Peter Bjorn & John, Devendra Banhart) hit its stride.

According to Johnson, “Fruit Bats has been a cult band for a long time.” With Gold Past Life, he hopes to bring more immediacy to the music and share positivity, hope, and motivation to keep on keepin’ on with a wider audience.

“Fruit Bats makes existential make-out music,” he describes with a chuckle. “But you’re also welcome to dive into it deeper if you want. Good pop music should be sublime like that.”

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