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pittsburgh, pa
Sean Rowe

Though he grew up in the generally frozen landscape of Troy, New York, Sean Rowe spent many of his formative summers in DeLand, Florida — a small town between Orlando and Daytona Beach — where his father was a residential caretaker at a home for troubled youths. It was there, in a mercifully air-conditioned, mostly unused building filled with donated musical instruments, that Sean taught himself to play drums and then bass. For those who have wondered where his distinctly low and percussive approach to guitar playing comes from, I believe you now have your answer.

During those same years, when he wasn’t listening to heavy metal or building his early musical chops, Sean was in the woods exploring, foraging, and obsessively learning all that he could about the natural world around him. Since then, his fascination with the subject has only grown and through his new web-series, Can I Eat This?, he’s found a means of indulging two of his great passions: music and nature. In each of the forthcoming episodes of Can I Eat This?, Sean will guide a fellow musician on a foraging mission for all manner of wild foods. The two will use their harvest to prepare some tasty creation and end their adventure by performing a cover song together. Look for new episodes this summer!

This year started with a successfully-funded Kickstarter campaign to support the production of Sean’s new full-length album. For this record, he teamed up with longtime producer and friend Troy Pohl, who helmed production on the albums Magic, Madman, Her Songs, and various other EPs. The two traveled to Eau Claire, Wisconsin to team up with producer and multi-instrumentalist Shane Leonard and engineer Brian Joseph at Joseph’s famed Hive Studio. All involved have described the experience as something quite remarkable and Sean is eager to release the finished work later this year.

Over the course of his career, Sean Rowe has recorded five full-length albums and several EPs. His music has been used widely throughout film and television, with notable examples including NBC’s hit dramas The Blacklist and Parenthood. Rowe’s song “To Leave Something Behind” was one of two non-score tracks to be featured in Ben Affleck’s hit 2016 feature film, The Accountant. The song accompanied the film’s final scene and has since received nearly 4.5 million streams on Spotify alone. He tours nearly nonstop and later this year, he’ll return to Europe for two weeks with stops in the U.K., Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Germany.

Though he grew up in the generally frozen landscape of Troy, New York, Sean Rowe spent many of his formative summers in DeLand, Florida — a small town between Orlando and Daytona Beach — where his father was a residential caretaker at a home for troubled youths. It was there, in a mercifully air-conditioned, mostly unused building filled with donated musical instruments, that Sean taught himself to play drums and then bass. For those who have wondered where his distinctly low and percussive approach to guitar playing comes from, I believe you now have your answer.

During those same years, when he wasn’t listening to heavy metal or building his early musical chops, Sean was in the woods exploring, foraging, and obsessively learning all that he could about the natural world around him. Since then, his fascination with the subject has only grown and through his new web-series, Can I Eat This?, he’s found a means of indulging two of his great passions: music and nature. In each of the forthcoming episodes of Can I Eat This?, Sean will guide a fellow musician on a foraging mission for all manner of wild foods. The two will use their harvest to prepare some tasty creation and end their adventure by performing a cover song together. Look for new episodes this summer!

This year started with a successfully-funded Kickstarter campaign to support the production of Sean’s new full-length album. For this record, he teamed up with longtime producer and friend Troy Pohl, who helmed production on the albums Magic, Madman, Her Songs, and various other EPs. The two traveled to Eau Claire, Wisconsin to team up with producer and multi-instrumentalist Shane Leonard and engineer Brian Joseph at Joseph’s famed Hive Studio. All involved have described the experience as something quite remarkable and Sean is eager to release the finished work later this year.

Over the course of his career, Sean Rowe has recorded five full-length albums and several EPs. His music has been used widely throughout film and television, with notable examples including NBC’s hit dramas The Blacklist and Parenthood. Rowe’s song “To Leave Something Behind” was one of two non-score tracks to be featured in Ben Affleck’s hit 2016 feature film, The Accountant. The song accompanied the film’s final scene and has since received nearly 4.5 million streams on Spotify alone. He tours nearly nonstop and later this year, he’ll return to Europe for two weeks with stops in the U.K., Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Germany.

(Early 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.

(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.”

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.

(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

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.

(Early Show) An Evening With The Small Glories

Roots powerhouse duo The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a musical tour-de-force partnership planted on the Canadian Prairies. Thrown together purely by accident for an anniversary show at Winnipeg’s venerable West End Cultural Centre, The Small Glories could almost make you believe in fate.

With a stage banter striking a unique balance between slapstick and sermon, these veteran singer-songwriters have a way of making time disappear, rooms shrink, and audiences feel as they are right there on the stage with the band — writing the songs, living the songs, performing the songs. It’s not uncommon for listeners to find themselves laughing, dancing, crying, or caught up in a good ol’ fashioned sing-along. “We’re folk singers, we try to write stuff that people can relate to,” says the multi-instrumentalist Edwards, whose looming stage presence and penetrating eyes find him the yin to Luft’s petite, snort-laughing yang. The material of a Small Glories concert is welcoming in terms of subject, folk-pop melody and instrumentation — songs of love, loss, and environment, delivered with soaring, interwoven vocals on various combinations of stomping clawhammer banjo, guitar and harmonica. However, a Small Glories performance is really about what happens in-between the songs. “The feedback we get from a lot of audiences is that it’s not just about the music for them,” Luft says. “It’s the whole package.”

On record, The Small Glories take the musical synergy honed from hundreds of shows together, and expand it into a new soundscape amplified by pounding drums and other textural embellishments which only reinforce the magic of Luft and Edwards’ innate chemistry — a chemistry labeled the “Lennon-McCartney syndrome,” by Americana UK, writing, “Some things just work together… to witness a performance by The Small Glories is a rare opportunity to experience that indefinable quality that creates perfection.” But don’t just take a European reviewer’s word for it — the band’s debut album, 2016’s Wondrous Traveler was also praised in Pitchfork by legendary American rock critic Greil Marcus, who wrote, “…in moments (The Small Glories) find the darkening chord change the best bluegrass — from the Stanley Brothers to Be Good Tanyas — has always hidden in the sweet slide of the rhythm, the tiny shift where the person telling the story suddenly understands it.”

It’s this yearning for understanding which finds the band often taking more time to introduce a song than it actually takes to play it. Luft, an original member of harmony sweethearts The Wailin' Jennys and whose parents were folksingers influenced by the great activist Pete Seeger, knows that sometimes a song is all you need to bring people together. But often, it is more. “(Seeger) was the king of uniting people through singing,” Luft says. “There’s so much animosity and divisiveness in our world these days… as artists, part of our job is to somehow create unity.”

The Small Glories duplicate and reinforce each others’ many strengths and yet allow their distinct personalities to shine through, resulting in a live show that is as heartwarming as it is hilarious, as finger-picking proficient as it is relatable, and as Canadian as, well… it’s very Canadian. But that hasn’t stopped them from winning over audiences from Nashville to the Australian outback. Their highly anticipated sophomore album “Assiniboine & the Red” comes out June 28 on Compass/Red House Records.

Roots powerhouse duo The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a musical tour-de-force partnership planted on the Canadian Prairies. Thrown together purely by accident for an anniversary show at Winnipeg’s venerable West End Cultural Centre, The Small Glories could almost make you believe in fate.

With a stage banter striking a unique balance between slapstick and sermon, these veteran singer-songwriters have a way of making time disappear, rooms shrink, and audiences feel as they are right there on the stage with the band — writing the songs, living the songs, performing the songs. It’s not uncommon for listeners to find themselves laughing, dancing, crying, or caught up in a good ol’ fashioned sing-along. “We’re folk singers, we try to write stuff that people can relate to,” says the multi-instrumentalist Edwards, whose looming stage presence and penetrating eyes find him the yin to Luft’s petite, snort-laughing yang. The material of a Small Glories concert is welcoming in terms of subject, folk-pop melody and instrumentation — songs of love, loss, and environment, delivered with soaring, interwoven vocals on various combinations of stomping clawhammer banjo, guitar and harmonica. However, a Small Glories performance is really about what happens in-between the songs. “The feedback we get from a lot of audiences is that it’s not just about the music for them,” Luft says. “It’s the whole package.”

On record, The Small Glories take the musical synergy honed from hundreds of shows together, and expand it into a new soundscape amplified by pounding drums and other textural embellishments which only reinforce the magic of Luft and Edwards’ innate chemistry — a chemistry labeled the “Lennon-McCartney syndrome,” by Americana UK, writing, “Some things just work together… to witness a performance by The Small Glories is a rare opportunity to experience that indefinable quality that creates perfection.” But don’t just take a European reviewer’s word for it — the band’s debut album, 2016’s Wondrous Traveler was also praised in Pitchfork by legendary American rock critic Greil Marcus, who wrote, “…in moments (The Small Glories) find the darkening chord change the best bluegrass — from the Stanley Brothers to Be Good Tanyas — has always hidden in the sweet slide of the rhythm, the tiny shift where the person telling the story suddenly understands it.”

It’s this yearning for understanding which finds the band often taking more time to introduce a song than it actually takes to play it. Luft, an original member of harmony sweethearts The Wailin' Jennys and whose parents were folksingers influenced by the great activist Pete Seeger, knows that sometimes a song is all you need to bring people together. But often, it is more. “(Seeger) was the king of uniting people through singing,” Luft says. “There’s so much animosity and divisiveness in our world these days… as artists, part of our job is to somehow create unity.”

The Small Glories duplicate and reinforce each others’ many strengths and yet allow their distinct personalities to shine through, resulting in a live show that is as heartwarming as it is hilarious, as finger-picking proficient as it is relatable, and as Canadian as, well… it’s very Canadian. But that hasn’t stopped them from winning over audiences from Nashville to the Australian outback. Their highly anticipated sophomore album “Assiniboine & the Red” comes out June 28 on Compass/Red House Records.

@clubcafelive

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