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Parsonsfield with Special Guest Juvenile Characteristics

“WE is not about you and me or even ‘us,’ the band. It’s about finding our way in the world one day at a time trying to live out each moment until the sun goes down.” Parsonsfield has been through the wringer of ups and downs and decided for the first time since the band’s 2011 conception to take a two-month break from touring to focus solely on recording. The result is WE, a contemplative EP filled with real life struggle and excitement. The album takes us from the joys of childhood discovery to the depression and confusion of a quarter-life crisis, and ends with dancing your way toward the darkness at the end of days.

“Everyone finds themselves searching for this theoretical ‘thing’ that is supposed to make them happy. Whether it’s a relationship or financial comfort, there’s a goal in our minds that once achieved, we’ll be able to start enjoying life,” says singer/songwriter and banjo player Chris Freeman. “Our circumstances, whether we’re rich or poor, are only half of what determines happiness. The rest is our thoughts, habits and connections with other people,” adds songwriter and mandolin player Antonio Alcorn. “WE is an inner journey to appreciate what you have, and to find happiness no matter what your lot in life.”

In a concise five songs, WE captures the band’s maturing sound, winding its way through a full range of emotions. It has as much influence from 90’s rock and 70’s R&B as it does the folk-pop material that fans have come to expect from the western Massachusetts based outfit. The album opens with a forlorn mandolin that grows into the groovy “Light of the City,” a song about profound loneliness in the most crowded place on earth. “Go Find Yourself” captures the fading of childhood excitement as you tumble down a prescribed path toward the rest of your life, realizing it won’t bring you happiness. The song takes a cosmic step back and pleads, “when love comes to find you, don’t run and hide.” The danceable, invigorating “Kick Out The Windows,” written in reaction to Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” is a resonant anthem of defiance and redemption, showcasing Parsonsfield’s enduring vein of passion.

Leading up to the recording of WE, Parsonsfield built a home studio where they retreated to workshop song ideas and experiment with recording techniques. “There were more demos and versions of these songs than any other songs we have written. It was a much more thoughtful process with 90% of our ideas not sticking. Since recording our last album, Blooming Through The Black, we scored a film and wrote instrumental music for the first time, which

opened new horizons for this record.”

When it came time to go into the studio with producer Dan Cardinal (Josh Ritter, The Low Anthem, Darlingside), Parsonsfield had more material than ever before. “Dan challenged us even further to play with sampled drums and more effected sounds giving the music more depth and mood. Although this was our first time working in a traditional recording studio, we didn’t want to lose the space that our demos had. So we made sure that songs like ‘Light of the City’ and ‘Take Me Back’ maintained that minimalism that we fell in love with on our demo.”

WE is the highly anticipated fourth release from Parsonsfield, a quintet praised for making "the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas” (NPR). The band continues to push the boundaries of their harmony- driven grassroots origins creating their own distinctive Americana, integrating pop and bold rock flourishes along the way.

Just remember, WE is not about you and me. Freeman continues, “It’s about struggling with depression and anxiety from living in a divisive world, yet we have so much to be grateful for. It's about being at the crossroads of yesterday's dreams and tomorrow's plans.”

“WE is not about you and me or even ‘us,’ the band. It’s about finding our way in the world one day at a time trying to live out each moment until the sun goes down.” Parsonsfield has been through the wringer of ups and downs and decided for the first time since the band’s 2011 conception to take a two-month break from touring to focus solely on recording. The result is WE, a contemplative EP filled with real life struggle and excitement. The album takes us from the joys of childhood discovery to the depression and confusion of a quarter-life crisis, and ends with dancing your way toward the darkness at the end of days.

“Everyone finds themselves searching for this theoretical ‘thing’ that is supposed to make them happy. Whether it’s a relationship or financial comfort, there’s a goal in our minds that once achieved, we’ll be able to start enjoying life,” says singer/songwriter and banjo player Chris Freeman. “Our circumstances, whether we’re rich or poor, are only half of what determines happiness. The rest is our thoughts, habits and connections with other people,” adds songwriter and mandolin player Antonio Alcorn. “WE is an inner journey to appreciate what you have, and to find happiness no matter what your lot in life.”

In a concise five songs, WE captures the band’s maturing sound, winding its way through a full range of emotions. It has as much influence from 90’s rock and 70’s R&B as it does the folk-pop material that fans have come to expect from the western Massachusetts based outfit. The album opens with a forlorn mandolin that grows into the groovy “Light of the City,” a song about profound loneliness in the most crowded place on earth. “Go Find Yourself” captures the fading of childhood excitement as you tumble down a prescribed path toward the rest of your life, realizing it won’t bring you happiness. The song takes a cosmic step back and pleads, “when love comes to find you, don’t run and hide.” The danceable, invigorating “Kick Out The Windows,” written in reaction to Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” is a resonant anthem of defiance and redemption, showcasing Parsonsfield’s enduring vein of passion.

Leading up to the recording of WE, Parsonsfield built a home studio where they retreated to workshop song ideas and experiment with recording techniques. “There were more demos and versions of these songs than any other songs we have written. It was a much more thoughtful process with 90% of our ideas not sticking. Since recording our last album, Blooming Through The Black, we scored a film and wrote instrumental music for the first time, which

opened new horizons for this record.”

When it came time to go into the studio with producer Dan Cardinal (Josh Ritter, The Low Anthem, Darlingside), Parsonsfield had more material than ever before. “Dan challenged us even further to play with sampled drums and more effected sounds giving the music more depth and mood. Although this was our first time working in a traditional recording studio, we didn’t want to lose the space that our demos had. So we made sure that songs like ‘Light of the City’ and ‘Take Me Back’ maintained that minimalism that we fell in love with on our demo.”

WE is the highly anticipated fourth release from Parsonsfield, a quintet praised for making "the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas” (NPR). The band continues to push the boundaries of their harmony- driven grassroots origins creating their own distinctive Americana, integrating pop and bold rock flourishes along the way.

Just remember, WE is not about you and me. Freeman continues, “It’s about struggling with depression and anxiety from living in a divisive world, yet we have so much to be grateful for. It's about being at the crossroads of yesterday's dreams and tomorrow's plans.”

Missy Raines & The New Hip with Special Guest Sweaty Already String Band

7 Time IBMA Bass Player of the Year, Missy Raines, who has backed greats such as Claire Lynch, Mac Weisman, Kenny Baker, and Peter Rowan, now heads up this quartet with cool grooves that are rich, layered, and lush. Accompanied by guitar, mandolin, and drums, "...Raines launches her well-tended craft off the bluegrass dock into the waters of jazz and folk, holding onto the anchor of bluegrass while pushing steadily at the boundaries of the music that engulfs her." -Country Standard Time. New Frontier, their latest album on Compass Records, features Raines' vocals throughout and has lauded her comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Rosanne Cash. The territory The New Hip covers is broad and the compass is set by Raines, planted right in the center of the stage directing with her bass every bit as much as she's playing it. Missy is currently working on her 3rd album for Compass Records to be released in 2017. This will be Raines' first all-original project.

7 Time IBMA Bass Player of the Year, Missy Raines, who has backed greats such as Claire Lynch, Mac Weisman, Kenny Baker, and Peter Rowan, now heads up this quartet with cool grooves that are rich, layered, and lush. Accompanied by guitar, mandolin, and drums, "...Raines launches her well-tended craft off the bluegrass dock into the waters of jazz and folk, holding onto the anchor of bluegrass while pushing steadily at the boundaries of the music that engulfs her." -Country Standard Time. New Frontier, their latest album on Compass Records, features Raines' vocals throughout and has lauded her comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Rosanne Cash. The territory The New Hip covers is broad and the compass is set by Raines, planted right in the center of the stage directing with her bass every bit as much as she's playing it. Missy is currently working on her 3rd album for Compass Records to be released in 2017. This will be Raines' first all-original project.

(Early Show) JD Eicher with Special Guest Hear Tonight

JD Eicher, the Youngstown, OH-area born and bred musician is set to release his new album (his first under just his name due to the very personal nature of the songs), The Middle Distance, via Rock Ridge Music on May 6, 2016. Eicher went for more of a journal entry/diary-type approach this time around, with the album being moodier, and focusing on a lot of internal struggle. Songwriting and superb singing are at the center of each track on The Middle Distance, with Eicher's Rust Belt upbringing evident as the foundation of his songwriting; Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has also embraced the performer and his music as their own.

With his band, The Goodnights, Eicher's soaring and graceful pop-rownock songcraft garnered favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. Alternative Addiction named the group one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Live, JD Eicher & the Goodnights shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Train, Maroon 5, Hot Chelle Rae, Pete Yorn, Anberlin, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Cartel, Sister Hazel, and Matt Nathanson, among many others.

JD Eicher, the Youngstown, OH-area born and bred musician is set to release his new album (his first under just his name due to the very personal nature of the songs), The Middle Distance, via Rock Ridge Music on May 6, 2016. Eicher went for more of a journal entry/diary-type approach this time around, with the album being moodier, and focusing on a lot of internal struggle. Songwriting and superb singing are at the center of each track on The Middle Distance, with Eicher's Rust Belt upbringing evident as the foundation of his songwriting; Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has also embraced the performer and his music as their own.

With his band, The Goodnights, Eicher's soaring and graceful pop-rownock songcraft garnered favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. Alternative Addiction named the group one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Live, JD Eicher & the Goodnights shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Train, Maroon 5, Hot Chelle Rae, Pete Yorn, Anberlin, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Cartel, Sister Hazel, and Matt Nathanson, among many others.

(Late Show) God Hates Unicorns / Lucid Music / Back Alley Sound

(Early Show) Heather Kropf Band with Special Guest Chris Hannigan

Heather Kropf has been a musician in Pittsburgh for almost two decades, earning acclaim for her evocative singing and songwriting. Trained in classical piano but intuitive in her approach to songwriting, she has charmed audiences with her lush, literate blend of Americana and jazz-influenced pop that captures the complexity of modern life and romance. She recently went to Nashville, enlisted noted producer/multi-instrumentalist Lex Price and a stellar cast of studio musicians, to create her fifth release "Lights" a starkly beautiful album of heart-wrenching pop songs, listed as a best album of 2017 by TribLIVE.

Kropf's honeyed vocals are reminiscent of early influences Suzanne Vega and Joni Mitchell, and her infrequent band shows feature some of Pittsburgh's finest players:

Heather Kropf | Keys, Vocals
Colter Harper | Guitar
Randall Venturini | Bass
Jeff Berman | Drums

with Chris Hannigan, special guest

Heather Kropf has been a musician in Pittsburgh for almost two decades, earning acclaim for her evocative singing and songwriting. Trained in classical piano but intuitive in her approach to songwriting, she has charmed audiences with her lush, literate blend of Americana and jazz-influenced pop that captures the complexity of modern life and romance. She recently went to Nashville, enlisted noted producer/multi-instrumentalist Lex Price and a stellar cast of studio musicians, to create her fifth release "Lights" a starkly beautiful album of heart-wrenching pop songs, listed as a best album of 2017 by TribLIVE.

Kropf's honeyed vocals are reminiscent of early influences Suzanne Vega and Joni Mitchell, and her infrequent band shows feature some of Pittsburgh's finest players:

Heather Kropf | Keys, Vocals
Colter Harper | Guitar
Randall Venturini | Bass
Jeff Berman | Drums

with Chris Hannigan, special guest

(Late Show) Dan Bubien and the Delta Struts / The Boogie Hustlers

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local music featuring Dan Bubien and the Delta Struts / The Boogie Hustlers

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local music featuring Dan Bubien and the Delta Struts / The Boogie Hustlers

Wild Pink / Adam Torres with Special Guest Evan Isaac & Jordan Kaye

Wild Pink
Wild Pink released their debut EP, Good Life, in the Summer of 2015. It was a brief but memorable introduction to the band's brand of introspective indie pop/rock. After numerous tours in support of Good Life the band hunkered down with Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz, Kindling, Sweet John Bloom) to record new songs. What grew from those sessions was actually two new releases. First and foremost, the band's debut LP, slated for release in early 2017 on Tiny Engines. But also, 4 Songs, a supplemental EP out this October, that serves to bridge the gap between releases as the band grows more expansive in their sound and ambitious in their songwriting.

Wild Pink are one of those wonderfully rare bands that sounds instantly familiar upon first listen. Yet trying to draw parallels to their influences or similar bands proves to be incredibly difficult. That remains the same as Wild Pink continue to chart their own unique course. These new songs move at their own intentional pace while the band fleshes their arrangements out further. Yet the songs never suffer, only growing more dynamic and more propulsive with this increased nuance. Wild Pink doesn't lose the warm intimacy that made the band special, it's only enhanced to a greater degree here. These are deeply personal songs about freedom, or lack thereof, about growing up and leaving your youth behind yet still clinging to those sacred scars that we hold dear. Often exercising a stream of conscious lyrical style, Wild Pink has a remarkable way of transporting you to those moments in time where the smallest detail remains etched into your being. There is a sincerity that echoes throughout these songs that is intoxicating and speaks to what makes the band so special. Wild Pink choose the road less traveled and it has served them well.

Adam Torres
Torres’ debut album Nostra Nova was initially self-released in 2006, and over the years grew from being a closely-held, sleeper f favorite in the close-knit music scene of Athens, OH (wherehe lived at the time), to earning “cult classic” status. Upon its 2015 re-release, the album received praise from outlets including The A.V. Club, Stereogum (“a stunner”), VICE (“beautiful, melancholy tunes”), Popmatters, All Music Guide, and Flavorwire, among others. “Alone Together” from Nostra Nova can be streamed here: https://soundcloud.com/adamtorres/alone-together.

Torres and his band – comprised of Thor Harris (of Swans), Aisha Burns, and Dailey Toliver – will head out on a run of U.S. dates in June. Beginning with a Daytrotter session in Davenport, IA on June 2nd, the tour will wind through the midwest and southeast before wrapping up on June 11th in Lafayette, LA. A current itinerary is below.

More information on Torres’ new album will be announced soon.

Wild Pink
Wild Pink released their debut EP, Good Life, in the Summer of 2015. It was a brief but memorable introduction to the band's brand of introspective indie pop/rock. After numerous tours in support of Good Life the band hunkered down with Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz, Kindling, Sweet John Bloom) to record new songs. What grew from those sessions was actually two new releases. First and foremost, the band's debut LP, slated for release in early 2017 on Tiny Engines. But also, 4 Songs, a supplemental EP out this October, that serves to bridge the gap between releases as the band grows more expansive in their sound and ambitious in their songwriting.

Wild Pink are one of those wonderfully rare bands that sounds instantly familiar upon first listen. Yet trying to draw parallels to their influences or similar bands proves to be incredibly difficult. That remains the same as Wild Pink continue to chart their own unique course. These new songs move at their own intentional pace while the band fleshes their arrangements out further. Yet the songs never suffer, only growing more dynamic and more propulsive with this increased nuance. Wild Pink doesn't lose the warm intimacy that made the band special, it's only enhanced to a greater degree here. These are deeply personal songs about freedom, or lack thereof, about growing up and leaving your youth behind yet still clinging to those sacred scars that we hold dear. Often exercising a stream of conscious lyrical style, Wild Pink has a remarkable way of transporting you to those moments in time where the smallest detail remains etched into your being. There is a sincerity that echoes throughout these songs that is intoxicating and speaks to what makes the band so special. Wild Pink choose the road less traveled and it has served them well.

Adam Torres
Torres’ debut album Nostra Nova was initially self-released in 2006, and over the years grew from being a closely-held, sleeper f favorite in the close-knit music scene of Athens, OH (wherehe lived at the time), to earning “cult classic” status. Upon its 2015 re-release, the album received praise from outlets including The A.V. Club, Stereogum (“a stunner”), VICE (“beautiful, melancholy tunes”), Popmatters, All Music Guide, and Flavorwire, among others. “Alone Together” from Nostra Nova can be streamed here: https://soundcloud.com/adamtorres/alone-together.

Torres and his band – comprised of Thor Harris (of Swans), Aisha Burns, and Dailey Toliver – will head out on a run of U.S. dates in June. Beginning with a Daytrotter session in Davenport, IA on June 2nd, the tour will wind through the midwest and southeast before wrapping up on June 11th in Lafayette, LA. A current itinerary is below.

More information on Torres’ new album will be announced soon.

An Evening With Robbie Fulks

Robbie Fulks is a singer, recording artist, instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter. His most recent release, 2017’s Upland Stories, earned year’s-best recognition from NPR and Rolling Stone among many others, as well as two Grammy® nominations, for folk album and American roots song (“Alabama At Night”).

Fulks was born in York, Pennsylvania, and grew up in a half-dozen small towns in southeast Pennsylvania, the North Carolina Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge area of Virginia. After 1980s stints playing with Greg Cahill’s Special Consensus Bluegrass Band and teaching at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, Robbie worked as a staff songwriter on Music Row in Nashville (1993-1998). His early solo work includes the influential early "alternative-country" records Country Love Songs (1996) and South Mouth (1997). His music from the last several years hews mainly to acoustic instrumentation; it returns him in part to his earlier bluegrass days, and extends the boundaries of that tradition with sparely orchestrated reflections on love, the slings of time, and the troubles of common people.

Radio: multiple appearances on WSM’s “Grand Ole Opry,” PRI’s “Whadd’ya Know” and “Prairie Home Companion," NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “Mountain Stage,” and “World Cafe.” TV: PBS’s Austin City Limits; NBC’s Today, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Later with Carson Daly, and 30 Rock. Artists who have covered his songs include Sam Bush, Kelly Hogan, Hiss Golden Messenger, Andrew Bird, Mollie O’Brien, Rosie Flores, John Cowan, and Old 97s. Festivals he’s played include Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Calgary Folk Festival, Bumbershoot, Birmingham City Stages, IBMA, Walnut Valley Festival (Winfield KS), Wakarusa (Lawrence KS), Americanafest (Nashville), Hideout Block Party, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Taste of Chicago, Rhode Island Rhythm and Roots, Whispering Beard, and Pickathon.

Robbie Fulks is a singer, recording artist, instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter. His most recent release, 2017’s Upland Stories, earned year’s-best recognition from NPR and Rolling Stone among many others, as well as two Grammy® nominations, for folk album and American roots song (“Alabama At Night”).

Fulks was born in York, Pennsylvania, and grew up in a half-dozen small towns in southeast Pennsylvania, the North Carolina Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge area of Virginia. After 1980s stints playing with Greg Cahill’s Special Consensus Bluegrass Band and teaching at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, Robbie worked as a staff songwriter on Music Row in Nashville (1993-1998). His early solo work includes the influential early "alternative-country" records Country Love Songs (1996) and South Mouth (1997). His music from the last several years hews mainly to acoustic instrumentation; it returns him in part to his earlier bluegrass days, and extends the boundaries of that tradition with sparely orchestrated reflections on love, the slings of time, and the troubles of common people.

Radio: multiple appearances on WSM’s “Grand Ole Opry,” PRI’s “Whadd’ya Know” and “Prairie Home Companion," NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “Mountain Stage,” and “World Cafe.” TV: PBS’s Austin City Limits; NBC’s Today, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Later with Carson Daly, and 30 Rock. Artists who have covered his songs include Sam Bush, Kelly Hogan, Hiss Golden Messenger, Andrew Bird, Mollie O’Brien, Rosie Flores, John Cowan, and Old 97s. Festivals he’s played include Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Calgary Folk Festival, Bumbershoot, Birmingham City Stages, IBMA, Walnut Valley Festival (Winfield KS), Wakarusa (Lawrence KS), Americanafest (Nashville), Hideout Block Party, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Taste of Chicago, Rhode Island Rhythm and Roots, Whispering Beard, and Pickathon.

Mako - Breathe Tour with Special Guest Night Lights

As the brains and heart behind electronic act Mako, Alex Seaver is single-handedly tackling his next artistic chapter. Previously a duo, alongside former DJ and bandmate Logan Light, Mako now takes on a new life as a solo act, with Seaver serving a multifaceted role as its frontman, sole producer and songwriter and driving creative force. And with the musical reinvention comes a fresh reboot in sound and style via "Breathe," the newest Mako single out Friday, December 8, on Ultra Music.

"Breathe," a velvety stroll through personal emotions and beautiful instrumentation, serves as Seaver's first official single as the newly reimagined Mako. For the track, he takes cues from various sources of inspiration and sonic styles, all the while picking up where Mako last left off on Hourglass, his debut album released December 2016 via Ultra Music. "Breathe" is thus a natural progression for Seaver, one which sees him updating and upgrading the Mako sound via percussion-powered layers, indie rock sentiments, airy electronic influences, heartfelt lyrics and a striking vocal performance from Seaver himself.

Co-produced by Seaver along with producer Scott Bruzenak, the track focuses heavily on its instrumental framework, which is simultaneously rhythmic and groove-laden while at the same time dark and atmospheric-a bittersweet love song, so to speak. "The song is built around a pained style: a personal and soft voice telling an uplifting story," says Seaver of "Breathe." "It's ultimately something that’s powerful and moving, but it doesn’t come without a little bit of pain attached to it as well." The end result is a pop track built on elegance and sophistication and filled with organic sounds and instruments.

With "Breathe" now as his musical reintroduction as Mako, Seaver is bringing the concept to life via a new live show, which he is set to take across North America on a 33-date tour running January-March 2018, including a date in Seaver's home city of San Diego. The original configuration, a four-piece band comprising of Seaver on vocals & keys, a guitarist, a violinist, and a drummer, will showcase the new wave of Mako as a live act, Seaver's first full-fledged tour as a performing unit.

"I started feeling like I couldn't communicate what I needed to communicate musically in a club setting and in that nightlife environment," says Seaver of the inspiration behind the new live Mako show. "I had to switch things up and bring in live musicians. Whenever you take your music to live musicians, they’re not going to play things mathematically. They’re going to play things with a lot of imperfections. You want to create an environment where you make those imperfections exciting, where you can decide something in the moment and have everyone onstage react to it. With the new show, I’m going to dial it up a notch."

Seaver broke into the mainstream as Mako in late 2016 with Hourglass, his debut artist album for Ultra Music. Mixing far-reaching elements from the worlds of pop, indie rock and EDM, Hourglass marked a stark shift in Mako's musical aesthetic, moving away from dance floor fodder and into a more refined approach to electronic-driven pop. In April 2017, Mako released Hourglass: The Remixes, an accompanying remix album via Ultra Records that included reworked versions of the album’s tracks from NOTD, Halcyon, Shades, Attom and many others. Hourglass also included the 2015 breakthrough single "Smoke Filled Room," which soared into pop and dance radio airplay charts via continuous support on SiriusXM's BPM and iHeartRadio's Evolution channels and landed at #1 on the Billboard Dance Airplay chart. Elsewhere, "Beam," Mako's first release, has amassed more than 50 million online views and streams since its release in December 2013. Between remixes and work for others, Mako has also racked up multiple Hype Machine #1s. SiriusXM quickly jumped onboard, anointing the act "the next big thing," and the rest of the electronic musical community followed suit. On the touring front, Mako has played high-profile festivals including Coachella, Lollapalooza, EDC Las Vegas, TomorrowWorld, Electric Forest, Electric Zoo and more, in addition to headlining club tours. To date, Mako counts over 150 million combined streams on Spotify alone and has worked with and remixed the world’s elite EDM artists including Avicii, Steve Angello, Hardwell and many others.

Outside of Mako, Seaver-a skilled, classically trained musician and composer in his own right, as well as a gifted graduate of the lauded Juilliard School in NYC—also spreads his expansive songwriting and production expertise across various multimedia disciplines. In 2015, he began writing original scores and contributing remixes for Riot Games, the world-renowned video game developer and publisher. He officially remixed "Piercing Light," theme song of the global video game, League of Legends, in 2016. Seaver also co-wrote and co-produced "Legends Never Die," the official theme song for the 2017 League of Legends World Championship; he also sang on the Alan Walker remix of the track alongside Against the Current. In November 2017, Seaver performed at the League of Legends Live concert in Beijing, China, in front of 75,000 attendees and millions more online via the event's official livestream. Additionally, Seaver has scored and created original music for independent films, TV series and several commercials.

Seaver's first full length score is for the acclaimed documentary "Soufra," the story or the first woman in Lebanon to have her own food truck. The documentary (from Morgan Spurlock’s team) is currently being screened for award consideration.

Seaver is now on the cusp of a newer, bolder artistic concept for Mako, a direction steering him toward a more authentic sound and a more personal place within. "I'm certainly going through a lot of musical changes," says Seaver of the new Mako configuration. "I needed to disappear into myself for a little bit."

It all now comes together on the new single, "Breathe," and the forthcoming live tour, which cohesively combine all of Seaver's true musical passions: a love of film and orchestral music; a passion for electronic music and songwriting; and an adoration for live bands and live musicians. Collectively, it all feeds back to the Mako sound-past, present and future.

"This year, I'm going through some big personal changes with my relationship to music, and it's all about bringing all those things together into one place," says Seaver of the future of Mako. "I'm not interested in writing the biggest singles and in being a famous person. My musical interests remain in being creatively malleable in all kinds of ways. I'm constantly pushing my own boundaries and pushing the boundaries of what you'd expect from an artist today."

-John Ochoa, November 2017

As the brains and heart behind electronic act Mako, Alex Seaver is single-handedly tackling his next artistic chapter. Previously a duo, alongside former DJ and bandmate Logan Light, Mako now takes on a new life as a solo act, with Seaver serving a multifaceted role as its frontman, sole producer and songwriter and driving creative force. And with the musical reinvention comes a fresh reboot in sound and style via "Breathe," the newest Mako single out Friday, December 8, on Ultra Music.

"Breathe," a velvety stroll through personal emotions and beautiful instrumentation, serves as Seaver's first official single as the newly reimagined Mako. For the track, he takes cues from various sources of inspiration and sonic styles, all the while picking up where Mako last left off on Hourglass, his debut album released December 2016 via Ultra Music. "Breathe" is thus a natural progression for Seaver, one which sees him updating and upgrading the Mako sound via percussion-powered layers, indie rock sentiments, airy electronic influences, heartfelt lyrics and a striking vocal performance from Seaver himself.

Co-produced by Seaver along with producer Scott Bruzenak, the track focuses heavily on its instrumental framework, which is simultaneously rhythmic and groove-laden while at the same time dark and atmospheric-a bittersweet love song, so to speak. "The song is built around a pained style: a personal and soft voice telling an uplifting story," says Seaver of "Breathe." "It's ultimately something that’s powerful and moving, but it doesn’t come without a little bit of pain attached to it as well." The end result is a pop track built on elegance and sophistication and filled with organic sounds and instruments.

With "Breathe" now as his musical reintroduction as Mako, Seaver is bringing the concept to life via a new live show, which he is set to take across North America on a 33-date tour running January-March 2018, including a date in Seaver's home city of San Diego. The original configuration, a four-piece band comprising of Seaver on vocals & keys, a guitarist, a violinist, and a drummer, will showcase the new wave of Mako as a live act, Seaver's first full-fledged tour as a performing unit.

"I started feeling like I couldn't communicate what I needed to communicate musically in a club setting and in that nightlife environment," says Seaver of the inspiration behind the new live Mako show. "I had to switch things up and bring in live musicians. Whenever you take your music to live musicians, they’re not going to play things mathematically. They’re going to play things with a lot of imperfections. You want to create an environment where you make those imperfections exciting, where you can decide something in the moment and have everyone onstage react to it. With the new show, I’m going to dial it up a notch."

Seaver broke into the mainstream as Mako in late 2016 with Hourglass, his debut artist album for Ultra Music. Mixing far-reaching elements from the worlds of pop, indie rock and EDM, Hourglass marked a stark shift in Mako's musical aesthetic, moving away from dance floor fodder and into a more refined approach to electronic-driven pop. In April 2017, Mako released Hourglass: The Remixes, an accompanying remix album via Ultra Records that included reworked versions of the album’s tracks from NOTD, Halcyon, Shades, Attom and many others. Hourglass also included the 2015 breakthrough single "Smoke Filled Room," which soared into pop and dance radio airplay charts via continuous support on SiriusXM's BPM and iHeartRadio's Evolution channels and landed at #1 on the Billboard Dance Airplay chart. Elsewhere, "Beam," Mako's first release, has amassed more than 50 million online views and streams since its release in December 2013. Between remixes and work for others, Mako has also racked up multiple Hype Machine #1s. SiriusXM quickly jumped onboard, anointing the act "the next big thing," and the rest of the electronic musical community followed suit. On the touring front, Mako has played high-profile festivals including Coachella, Lollapalooza, EDC Las Vegas, TomorrowWorld, Electric Forest, Electric Zoo and more, in addition to headlining club tours. To date, Mako counts over 150 million combined streams on Spotify alone and has worked with and remixed the world’s elite EDM artists including Avicii, Steve Angello, Hardwell and many others.

Outside of Mako, Seaver-a skilled, classically trained musician and composer in his own right, as well as a gifted graduate of the lauded Juilliard School in NYC—also spreads his expansive songwriting and production expertise across various multimedia disciplines. In 2015, he began writing original scores and contributing remixes for Riot Games, the world-renowned video game developer and publisher. He officially remixed "Piercing Light," theme song of the global video game, League of Legends, in 2016. Seaver also co-wrote and co-produced "Legends Never Die," the official theme song for the 2017 League of Legends World Championship; he also sang on the Alan Walker remix of the track alongside Against the Current. In November 2017, Seaver performed at the League of Legends Live concert in Beijing, China, in front of 75,000 attendees and millions more online via the event's official livestream. Additionally, Seaver has scored and created original music for independent films, TV series and several commercials.

Seaver's first full length score is for the acclaimed documentary "Soufra," the story or the first woman in Lebanon to have her own food truck. The documentary (from Morgan Spurlock’s team) is currently being screened for award consideration.

Seaver is now on the cusp of a newer, bolder artistic concept for Mako, a direction steering him toward a more authentic sound and a more personal place within. "I'm certainly going through a lot of musical changes," says Seaver of the new Mako configuration. "I needed to disappear into myself for a little bit."

It all now comes together on the new single, "Breathe," and the forthcoming live tour, which cohesively combine all of Seaver's true musical passions: a love of film and orchestral music; a passion for electronic music and songwriting; and an adoration for live bands and live musicians. Collectively, it all feeds back to the Mako sound-past, present and future.

"This year, I'm going through some big personal changes with my relationship to music, and it's all about bringing all those things together into one place," says Seaver of the future of Mako. "I'm not interested in writing the biggest singles and in being a famous person. My musical interests remain in being creatively malleable in all kinds of ways. I'm constantly pushing my own boundaries and pushing the boundaries of what you'd expect from an artist today."

-John Ochoa, November 2017

(Rescheduled from October 14) - Jessica Lea Mayfield with Special Guest Mal Blum and The Blums

All tickets from the original date of October 14 will be honored

"The whole record is about me taking my life back, without really realizing it," she says. "I realized I'm the only person that is going to look out for me. I have to be my main person. No one else."

Jessica Lea Mayfield might make some people uncomfortable with the level of honesty she projects on her forthcoming LP, Sorry Is Gone, but she's not going to apologize – for that, or for anything else on her complex, confessional fourth album. Recorded with producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile, Phosphorescent and Dinosaur Jr.), Sorry Is Gone is a raw document of a woman in progress; one weathering cruel storms but finally able to blame the rain itself for the flood. Written as the truth of her own poisonous marriage unfolded before her eyes, Sorry Is Gone is a record of permission. Permission to create freely, to escape what is no longer safe and to stop bearing responsibility for things done to her, not by her. As Mayfield sings on the title track, "the sorry is gone." Indeed, it is; kicked to the curb with every strum of her guitar.

Written in the years since her last solo LP, Make My Head Sing, in 2014, and her 2015 collaboration with Seth Avett, Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, Sorry Is Gone became the soundtrack to a highly personal and traumatic story. The Ohio-born Mayfield was quietly enduring years of domestic abuse, smiling and touring while she hid a brewing tempest – and the bruises, too. But lyrics don't lie even as bruises fade, and they started to tell the tale of her marriage before she was even able to; songs often dark and dangerous and ready to confront and claim her life. Written primarily on an acoustic baritone guitar – out of necessity at first, in her thin-walled apartment – Mayfield started to process the years of hurt and uncertainty through words and melodies that helped her see the light in the darkness.

Though much of Make My Head Sing was written music-first, Sorry Is Gone began with those lyrics, and, so often, a path forward unfolded itself as the songs formed. "The cold hard truth is you love me too much," she sings on "Meadow," a moody, echoey moment about finally realizing someone's true colors. "The cold hard truth is you couldn't love me enough." It's a brutal line from someone who refuses to be victimized. Evoking the pathos of nineties grunge, the folk confessions of her idol, Smith, and the cool blasé of bands like Luscious Jackson, the tracks that comprise Sorry Is Gone aren't devised to make anyone comfortable but herself – but they are there to help share an emotional journal and a certain kind of healing that can only come through music.

"I have to sing about things and write about things that have happened to me as therapy," says Mayfield, who shaped so many of these songs in the isolation of the small apartment she shared with her husband while their marriage fell apart in her hands – in many ways, those songs pointed to the way out before she could get there herself. "That's what connects me to other music I listen to. I want music to make me feel things. This is my inner dialogue, and my chance to get the last word."

Recorded with Agnello at Water Music and Electric Lady Studios, Mayfield recruited a stellar group of musicians for Sorry Is Gone, including Avett on backing vocals and keys, drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth, Sun Kil Moon), bassist Emil Amos (Grails, Holy Sons), guitarist Cameron Deyell (Sia, Streets of Laredo) and Patrick Damphier (The Mynabirds, Field Days, who produced and played on "Offa My Hands"). Together, they worked to create an ominous take on love, where hope can exist among heartbreak and the end is only as finite as we make it to be. On songs like the title track and "Bum Me Out," Mayfield bends the angelic notes of her voice over off-kilter orchestration, building an environment of warrior-style triumph; on "Safe 2 Connect 2," she takes stock of the digital world to a haunting, acoustic backdrop that gives a subtle ode to her bluegrass roots.

"Been though hell, there's no telling what might happen in my future," she sings. "All I can do is be thankful for each moment that's my own."

Mayfield has paved an unconventional lifestyle – playing in her family's bluegrass band since the age of eight, she didn't have any traditional schooling and released her first album at the age of fifteen, when she was discovered by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Influenced by everything from that mountain sound to the modern garage, Mayfield has been able to come at songwriting from a pure perspective, lead more by her heart than any textbook. It's what makes the tracks of Sorry Is Gone so striking and visceral – there is no filter on the emotions, no rulebook and certainly no excuses for anything she's been through or the candor she fires.

"I'm not going to bite my lip on anything," she says. "If there is one thing I am going to do, it's talk and sing about what I want to. No one is going to manipulate me."

The sorry is gone, once and for all – and Sorry Is Gone is a permission slip for anyone who wants to stop apologizing for others, and start living for themselves.

All tickets from the original date of October 14 will be honored

"The whole record is about me taking my life back, without really realizing it," she says. "I realized I'm the only person that is going to look out for me. I have to be my main person. No one else."

Jessica Lea Mayfield might make some people uncomfortable with the level of honesty she projects on her forthcoming LP, Sorry Is Gone, but she's not going to apologize – for that, or for anything else on her complex, confessional fourth album. Recorded with producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile, Phosphorescent and Dinosaur Jr.), Sorry Is Gone is a raw document of a woman in progress; one weathering cruel storms but finally able to blame the rain itself for the flood. Written as the truth of her own poisonous marriage unfolded before her eyes, Sorry Is Gone is a record of permission. Permission to create freely, to escape what is no longer safe and to stop bearing responsibility for things done to her, not by her. As Mayfield sings on the title track, "the sorry is gone." Indeed, it is; kicked to the curb with every strum of her guitar.

Written in the years since her last solo LP, Make My Head Sing, in 2014, and her 2015 collaboration with Seth Avett, Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, Sorry Is Gone became the soundtrack to a highly personal and traumatic story. The Ohio-born Mayfield was quietly enduring years of domestic abuse, smiling and touring while she hid a brewing tempest – and the bruises, too. But lyrics don't lie even as bruises fade, and they started to tell the tale of her marriage before she was even able to; songs often dark and dangerous and ready to confront and claim her life. Written primarily on an acoustic baritone guitar – out of necessity at first, in her thin-walled apartment – Mayfield started to process the years of hurt and uncertainty through words and melodies that helped her see the light in the darkness.

Though much of Make My Head Sing was written music-first, Sorry Is Gone began with those lyrics, and, so often, a path forward unfolded itself as the songs formed. "The cold hard truth is you love me too much," she sings on "Meadow," a moody, echoey moment about finally realizing someone's true colors. "The cold hard truth is you couldn't love me enough." It's a brutal line from someone who refuses to be victimized. Evoking the pathos of nineties grunge, the folk confessions of her idol, Smith, and the cool blasé of bands like Luscious Jackson, the tracks that comprise Sorry Is Gone aren't devised to make anyone comfortable but herself – but they are there to help share an emotional journal and a certain kind of healing that can only come through music.

"I have to sing about things and write about things that have happened to me as therapy," says Mayfield, who shaped so many of these songs in the isolation of the small apartment she shared with her husband while their marriage fell apart in her hands – in many ways, those songs pointed to the way out before she could get there herself. "That's what connects me to other music I listen to. I want music to make me feel things. This is my inner dialogue, and my chance to get the last word."

Recorded with Agnello at Water Music and Electric Lady Studios, Mayfield recruited a stellar group of musicians for Sorry Is Gone, including Avett on backing vocals and keys, drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth, Sun Kil Moon), bassist Emil Amos (Grails, Holy Sons), guitarist Cameron Deyell (Sia, Streets of Laredo) and Patrick Damphier (The Mynabirds, Field Days, who produced and played on "Offa My Hands"). Together, they worked to create an ominous take on love, where hope can exist among heartbreak and the end is only as finite as we make it to be. On songs like the title track and "Bum Me Out," Mayfield bends the angelic notes of her voice over off-kilter orchestration, building an environment of warrior-style triumph; on "Safe 2 Connect 2," she takes stock of the digital world to a haunting, acoustic backdrop that gives a subtle ode to her bluegrass roots.

"Been though hell, there's no telling what might happen in my future," she sings. "All I can do is be thankful for each moment that's my own."

Mayfield has paved an unconventional lifestyle – playing in her family's bluegrass band since the age of eight, she didn't have any traditional schooling and released her first album at the age of fifteen, when she was discovered by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Influenced by everything from that mountain sound to the modern garage, Mayfield has been able to come at songwriting from a pure perspective, lead more by her heart than any textbook. It's what makes the tracks of Sorry Is Gone so striking and visceral – there is no filter on the emotions, no rulebook and certainly no excuses for anything she's been through or the candor she fires.

"I'm not going to bite my lip on anything," she says. "If there is one thing I am going to do, it's talk and sing about what I want to. No one is going to manipulate me."

The sorry is gone, once and for all – and Sorry Is Gone is a permission slip for anyone who wants to stop apologizing for others, and start living for themselves.

(Early Show) Amy Rigby with Special Guest Lonesome Bob

The Old Guys, Amy Rigby's first solo album in a dozen years, measures the weight of heroes, home; family, friends and time. Philip Roth and Bob Dylan, CD/cassette players, touring, the wisdom of age and Walter White, groupies, Robert Altman, egg creams and mentors are paid tribute. Twelve songs written unmistakably by Amy and recorded by Wreckless Eric in upstate New York, The Old Guys is the sound of a good girl grown up, never giving up.

Amy Rigby has made a life out of writing and singing about life. With bands Last Roundup and the Shams in eighties NYC East Village to her solo debut Diary Of A Mod Housewife out of nineties Williamsburg; through a songwriting career in 2000s Nashville and during the past decade with duo partner Wreckless Eric, she’s released records on visionary independent labels Rounder, Matador, Signature Sounds and reborn Stiff Records as well as her and Eric’s own Southern Domestic Recordings. For the last twenty years she has toured the US, Canada, UK and Europe, appearing on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, World Cafe, Whad’Ya Know, All Things Considered, BBC Radio 6 Music’s Marc Riley Show and Mountain Stage. She lives with Wreckless Eric in the Hudson Valley. Her record “Dancing With Joey Ramone” is a staple of Little Steven’s Underground Garage radio show, and kitchen sink anthem “Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again?” is played in cafes and bars around the country by real life mod housewives and husbands.

The Old Guys will be released February 23, 2018.

The Old Guys, Amy Rigby's first solo album in a dozen years, measures the weight of heroes, home; family, friends and time. Philip Roth and Bob Dylan, CD/cassette players, touring, the wisdom of age and Walter White, groupies, Robert Altman, egg creams and mentors are paid tribute. Twelve songs written unmistakably by Amy and recorded by Wreckless Eric in upstate New York, The Old Guys is the sound of a good girl grown up, never giving up.

Amy Rigby has made a life out of writing and singing about life. With bands Last Roundup and the Shams in eighties NYC East Village to her solo debut Diary Of A Mod Housewife out of nineties Williamsburg; through a songwriting career in 2000s Nashville and during the past decade with duo partner Wreckless Eric, she’s released records on visionary independent labels Rounder, Matador, Signature Sounds and reborn Stiff Records as well as her and Eric’s own Southern Domestic Recordings. For the last twenty years she has toured the US, Canada, UK and Europe, appearing on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, World Cafe, Whad’Ya Know, All Things Considered, BBC Radio 6 Music’s Marc Riley Show and Mountain Stage. She lives with Wreckless Eric in the Hudson Valley. Her record “Dancing With Joey Ramone” is a staple of Little Steven’s Underground Garage radio show, and kitchen sink anthem “Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again?” is played in cafes and bars around the country by real life mod housewives and husbands.

The Old Guys will be released February 23, 2018.

(Late Show) Aris Paul Band CD Release with Special Guest Madeline Rae

Winner of the 2016 WYEP Dos Equis Songwriter Award, Aris Paul and his band, "Aris Paul & The Block Bruisers" are a group of Pittsburgh studio musicians who have come together to mix their favorite elements of alternative, roots, blues, southern rock, funk, and folk into their own guitar-heavy sound. Aris Paul has performed many popular music venues and festivals both locally and throughout the region opening for both Pittsburgh legends and nationally touring icons including Eric Sommer, Davy Knowles, Bill Toms, The Waydown Wanderers, and Raelyn Nelson. "Drive All Night" is Aris Paul's first full length offering showcasing what Aris refers to as, "an upbeat blend of Red-eyed-road music..."

Winner of the 2016 WYEP Dos Equis Songwriter Award, Aris Paul and his band, "Aris Paul & The Block Bruisers" are a group of Pittsburgh studio musicians who have come together to mix their favorite elements of alternative, roots, blues, southern rock, funk, and folk into their own guitar-heavy sound. Aris Paul has performed many popular music venues and festivals both locally and throughout the region opening for both Pittsburgh legends and nationally touring icons including Eric Sommer, Davy Knowles, Bill Toms, The Waydown Wanderers, and Raelyn Nelson. "Drive All Night" is Aris Paul's first full length offering showcasing what Aris refers to as, "an upbeat blend of Red-eyed-road music..."

(Early Show) Matt Aquiline & The Dead End Streets with Special Guest Dayshift

Singer/songwriter Matt Aquiline lived and performed in Washington, DC for nearly two decades, but he has always been of Pittsburgh first and recently returned to his hometown to raise his family and perform his music in the town where it was formed.

Aquiline began performing in Pittsburgh in the early '90s and recorded his cd, Dice Roll, at Dave World in Ambridge, PA, backed by some of Pittsburgh's best musicians including Whitey Cooper and Sam Klingensmith of Norman Nardini and the Tigers, Joe Marini of Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors and at least 1 Granati brother.

He moved to DC to further other career pursuits, where he formed the band, Kid Goat, which performed in the DC area for ten years and recorded the 2009 cd, These People Aren’t You. Kid Goat disbanded in 2013 and Aquiline returned to Pittsburgh to continue writing and performing his music there.

To help bring his sound home, Aquiline enlisted veterans of the local scene Stefan Rodriguez (Bad Attitude, Full Circle Band, Electriflyers) on Bass, Neil Carr (Scene 14, RockHeart, Gringo Zydeco) on Lead Guitar and Vocals and Bill Maruca (Sandoz, The Pawnbrokers, TheCAUSE, Billy Price) on Keys, and the youthful talents of Evan Cvejkus on Drums and Heather Catley on Vocals and Guitar. Catley and other band members have also begun contributing their own stellar original material to Aquiline's, adding even more dimension to a sound that already married folk, rock, blues, country and a little blue-eyed soul into an Americana sound that is pure Pittsburgh, with skill, authenticity and the kind of depth you develop surviving a few cold Winters.

Singer/songwriter Matt Aquiline lived and performed in Washington, DC for nearly two decades, but he has always been of Pittsburgh first and recently returned to his hometown to raise his family and perform his music in the town where it was formed.

Aquiline began performing in Pittsburgh in the early '90s and recorded his cd, Dice Roll, at Dave World in Ambridge, PA, backed by some of Pittsburgh's best musicians including Whitey Cooper and Sam Klingensmith of Norman Nardini and the Tigers, Joe Marini of Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors and at least 1 Granati brother.

He moved to DC to further other career pursuits, where he formed the band, Kid Goat, which performed in the DC area for ten years and recorded the 2009 cd, These People Aren’t You. Kid Goat disbanded in 2013 and Aquiline returned to Pittsburgh to continue writing and performing his music there.

To help bring his sound home, Aquiline enlisted veterans of the local scene Stefan Rodriguez (Bad Attitude, Full Circle Band, Electriflyers) on Bass, Neil Carr (Scene 14, RockHeart, Gringo Zydeco) on Lead Guitar and Vocals and Bill Maruca (Sandoz, The Pawnbrokers, TheCAUSE, Billy Price) on Keys, and the youthful talents of Evan Cvejkus on Drums and Heather Catley on Vocals and Guitar. Catley and other band members have also begun contributing their own stellar original material to Aquiline's, adding even more dimension to a sound that already married folk, rock, blues, country and a little blue-eyed soul into an Americana sound that is pure Pittsburgh, with skill, authenticity and the kind of depth you develop surviving a few cold Winters.

(Late Show) Charm & Chain / Habatat

Support local music!

Support local music!

Albert Cummings with Special Guest Robin & Bob

Entertaining audiences from his phenomenal guitar work to his incredibly impassioned lyrics and overall songwriting prowess - one thing has certainly become clear about Albert Cummings' music: He is FAR MORE than simply just the guitarist or the bluesman he's often painted as by fans and the media alike. He offers the complete package.

Though undoubtedly a masterful guitar player who burst onto the blues rock scene in the early 2000's and almost immediately began gaining praise in that realm, his latest release "Live at the '62 Center" further portrays not only his versatility as singer/songwriter and live performer but as an artist first and foremost.

This comes to fruition in the true spontaneity and creative spirit of the album, in which he put together a newly formed version of his usual trio that afternoon of the October, 2016 recording. With longtime friend and Grammy Winner Jim Gaines behind the soundboard, what comes through in both sight and sound is an incredible journey into the live performance world and true artistry of one of today's most seasoned musicians.

"His muscular guitar work is simply outstanding. He's a great blues singer as well with passion for the tunes inherent in his full throttle approach." - Rock and Blues Muse on Live at the '62 Center.

Like many greats before him who've been painted into a corner as merely great blues players, or guitar players, or singers - Cummings seeks to rise above these labels and be praised for the devotion to his overall craft as a true musician. In artist terms - he's sought to be known for the overall pallet of his music, rather than one specific color. From greats like Eric Clapton to the more recent stylings of John Mayer, his artistic integrity has allowed him to focus on the big picture, writing songs from the heart rather than catering to his specifics strengths as a singer, guitarist, or bandleader (all of which he does impeccably, however).

His musical journey began when young Albert first picked up a guitar - learning the requisite three chords from his father, but later switched over to banjo at the age of 12 after becoming a bluegrass fan. After hearing the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, he was impressed by the sheer virtuosity of the artist, and following his first chance to see him LIVE while in college in Boston he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

At age 27, as he continued to grow in his newfound passion, he landed on the Northeast blues circuit with his first band Swamp Yankee. Then, in 1998, after walking into a Northeast Blues Society's open jam, Cummings won the right to compete in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge the following year. By 2000, his debut single "The Long Way" was released to rave reviews, and began opening new doors for the artist.

His first big opportunity came in the form of a chance to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section. So taken with Albert's fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003's self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray's passing. Having began his musical journey in part due to Vaughan's inspiration, it seemed Cummings' passion had brought him full-circle.

Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock then caught the attention of Blind Pig Records (Muddy Waters, Jimmy Vivino, Elvin Bishop), which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the all-original release showcased Albert's rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, fully showcasing his well-rounded talents.

Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert's music to a much larger audience. His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, furthered a growing focus and maturity both in Albert's stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting - leading Billboard Magazine to exclaim "This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived".

2008 saw his first live album "Feel So Good", recorded at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts which has hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that's rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, "It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night". Music Connection also called it "one of the best live albums recorded in a long time".

As he continued to grow, playing with the likes of legends from B.B. King (who called dubbed him "a great guitarist"), Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, and many more - Cummings built on not only his all- around songwriting and musicianship but his guitar playing skill as well. Using his knowledge to give back to fellow guitarists wanting to advance in their craft, he released the instructional DVD "Working Man Blues Guitar" in 2011. His next album, 2012's self-released "No Regrets" followed as a return to his true musical roots, poignantly capturing the core of his influences and displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country, and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.

2015's "Someone Like You" was recorded in Southern California with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov't Mule) at the helm. Said Z, "Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. What a blast to watch him jell in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles." One of those musicians was Blind Pig label mate and leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan TV show, Jimmy Vivino, who performs on three cuts.

Now, as he continues writing and performing, relentlessly devoting effort to his craft, Cumming's is ready to continue on his ever expansive musical journey.

Entertaining audiences from his phenomenal guitar work to his incredibly impassioned lyrics and overall songwriting prowess - one thing has certainly become clear about Albert Cummings' music: He is FAR MORE than simply just the guitarist or the bluesman he's often painted as by fans and the media alike. He offers the complete package.

Though undoubtedly a masterful guitar player who burst onto the blues rock scene in the early 2000's and almost immediately began gaining praise in that realm, his latest release "Live at the '62 Center" further portrays not only his versatility as singer/songwriter and live performer but as an artist first and foremost.

This comes to fruition in the true spontaneity and creative spirit of the album, in which he put together a newly formed version of his usual trio that afternoon of the October, 2016 recording. With longtime friend and Grammy Winner Jim Gaines behind the soundboard, what comes through in both sight and sound is an incredible journey into the live performance world and true artistry of one of today's most seasoned musicians.

"His muscular guitar work is simply outstanding. He's a great blues singer as well with passion for the tunes inherent in his full throttle approach." - Rock and Blues Muse on Live at the '62 Center.

Like many greats before him who've been painted into a corner as merely great blues players, or guitar players, or singers - Cummings seeks to rise above these labels and be praised for the devotion to his overall craft as a true musician. In artist terms - he's sought to be known for the overall pallet of his music, rather than one specific color. From greats like Eric Clapton to the more recent stylings of John Mayer, his artistic integrity has allowed him to focus on the big picture, writing songs from the heart rather than catering to his specifics strengths as a singer, guitarist, or bandleader (all of which he does impeccably, however).

His musical journey began when young Albert first picked up a guitar - learning the requisite three chords from his father, but later switched over to banjo at the age of 12 after becoming a bluegrass fan. After hearing the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, he was impressed by the sheer virtuosity of the artist, and following his first chance to see him LIVE while in college in Boston he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

At age 27, as he continued to grow in his newfound passion, he landed on the Northeast blues circuit with his first band Swamp Yankee. Then, in 1998, after walking into a Northeast Blues Society's open jam, Cummings won the right to compete in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge the following year. By 2000, his debut single "The Long Way" was released to rave reviews, and began opening new doors for the artist.

His first big opportunity came in the form of a chance to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section. So taken with Albert's fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003's self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray's passing. Having began his musical journey in part due to Vaughan's inspiration, it seemed Cummings' passion had brought him full-circle.

Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock then caught the attention of Blind Pig Records (Muddy Waters, Jimmy Vivino, Elvin Bishop), which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the all-original release showcased Albert's rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, fully showcasing his well-rounded talents.

Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert's music to a much larger audience. His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, furthered a growing focus and maturity both in Albert's stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting - leading Billboard Magazine to exclaim "This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived".

2008 saw his first live album "Feel So Good", recorded at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts which has hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that's rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, "It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night". Music Connection also called it "one of the best live albums recorded in a long time".

As he continued to grow, playing with the likes of legends from B.B. King (who called dubbed him "a great guitarist"), Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, and many more - Cummings built on not only his all- around songwriting and musicianship but his guitar playing skill as well. Using his knowledge to give back to fellow guitarists wanting to advance in their craft, he released the instructional DVD "Working Man Blues Guitar" in 2011. His next album, 2012's self-released "No Regrets" followed as a return to his true musical roots, poignantly capturing the core of his influences and displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country, and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.

2015's "Someone Like You" was recorded in Southern California with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov't Mule) at the helm. Said Z, "Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. What a blast to watch him jell in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles." One of those musicians was Blind Pig label mate and leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan TV show, Jimmy Vivino, who performs on three cuts.

Now, as he continues writing and performing, relentlessly devoting effort to his craft, Cumming's is ready to continue on his ever expansive musical journey.

Postponed to November 14 - Aubrey Logan

This show has been postponed to November 14, 2018. All tickets honored.

This show has been postponed to November 14, 2018. All tickets honored.

Calliope Songwriters Open Stage at Club Cafe with Featured Performer Jeff Friedlander

No cover! Doors and sign up open at 6:45pm, the event starts at 8pm. All acts and performers welcome.

Club Cafe's monthly open stage has joined forces with Calliope and John Hayes (long time host of the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern's open mic night). All acts and genres are welcome to attend. The open stage will happen the first Tuesday of every month. We are excited to be working with John and Calliope and look forward to this next chapter in our long running, well revered open stage.

No cover! Doors and sign up open at 6:45pm, the event starts at 8pm. All acts and performers welcome.

Club Cafe's monthly open stage has joined forces with Calliope and John Hayes (long time host of the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern's open mic night). All acts and genres are welcome to attend. The open stage will happen the first Tuesday of every month. We are excited to be working with John and Calliope and look forward to this next chapter in our long running, well revered open stage.

Joe Pug with Special Guest Jason Narducy (Bob Mould Band, Split Single, Superchunk)

If the opening notes on Joe Pug’s new LP “Windfall” are a bit disorienting, his fans won’t likely be surprised. The Austin, TX singer songwriter has made a habit of defying expectations so the piano-driven “Bright Beginnings” and the atmospheric rumination of “Great Hosannas” are just further indication that he’s quite comfortable stepping outside of the guy-with-a-guitar trappings of the genre.

His rise has been as improbable as it has been impressive. After dropping out of college and taking on work as a carpenter in Chicago, he got his musical start by providing CDs for his fans to pass along to their friends. This led to a string of sold out shows and a record deal with Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records (Jason Isbell, Billy Joe Shaver). As he toured behind “Messenger” (2010) and The Great Despiser (2012) it was with a band that looked as much like a jazz trio as an Americana band. “I never quite found a live band that captured what I was aiming for until I connected with Greg [Tuohey–electric guitar] and Matt [Schuessler–upright bass]. It was an arrangement that maybe didn’t make a ton of sense on paper but 10 minutes into the first rehearsal I knew this was going to be my band.” The following years would have them on the road for over four hundred shows, including stops at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and The Newport Folk Festival.

The relentless grind of four years of nonstop touring had taken its toll though, and by late 2013 he was ready to call it quits. The tour that fall was a runaway success but his personal and creative lives were a different story. “It was this surreal dichotomy. Everyone kept congratulating me on how well the tour was going, and the mood was probably the best it had ever been on the road. We finally got two hotel rooms in each city instead of one. We’ve got this incredible group of die-hard fans that somehow make each show bigger than our previous trip through town. Meanwhile my relationship was in shambles and creatively I was at a dead end. There was absolutely no joy left in playing music. So we walked off stage after a particular show when I played terribly, and pulled my manager aside in the green room and told him to cancel the rest of the tour dates and that I was essentially through.”

But studio time was already scheduled and deadlines had been set for a new record, so after a few weeks Pug was back to the business of writing songs. “In retrospect, I was in a very unhealthy place. I was sitting in a room with the blinds shut and a notebook, forcing out words that weren’t there and drinking astonishing amounts of bourbon. I was looking at it as a job….as a business obligation, and that is a very slippery slope.” At that point he decided to make good on his promise from the previous tour. The album was put on indefinite hold. “I just needed to start behaving like a human being again. I needed to reconnect with my girlfriend. I needed to eat healthy food. I needed to go enjoy live music as a fan. I really needed to make sure I still loved making music, because I really had my doubts at that point.”

The resulting layoff paid dividends in spades. When Pug set up camp in Lexington KY in 2014 to record, he did so with some of the best songs he has ever written. The agenda was much simpler than previous albums. “The aim on this one was very straightforward. We wanted to capture the music just the way we play it, with minimal production. It was a very back to basics approach because ultimately that’s what I love about music, and that’s what I love about making music. I wanted to record these songs the way they were written and put them out in the world.” The result is a collection of songs that are as close as we’ve gotten to a road map to Pug’s ambitions. He has collected plenty of the requisite Dylan comparisons over his young career but on this record it’s easier to hear the sway of more contemporary influences like Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams and M.Ward.

The theme of resilience plays a central role throughout Windfall. The weary protagonist in “Veteran Fighter” wills his way further down the highway despite the gloom that seems certain to overtake him. “The Measure”, a song inspired in part by Frederic Buechner’s novel Godric, marvels at “every inch of anguish, laid out side by side” but ultimately finds that “All we’ve lost is nothing to what we’ve found.” “I never really write songs with a specific narrative in mind,” Pug explains. “When you’re sort of pushing through a dark period of your life it’s probably inevitable that some of that is going to find its way onto the page. But in the same way, by the time we were in the studio the process had become very effortless and joyful. And hopefully you can hear a lot of that on the record as well.” This duality appears perhaps most overtly in the album-closing stunner “If Still It Can’t Be Found”, which features Pat Sansone of Wilco guesting on mellotron.

If it’s not around this corner it’s around the next
If it’s not beyond this river it’s beyond the next
And if still it can’t be found
It’s prob’ly for the best

As the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well.” Joe Pug didn’t call it quits after all. He’s engaged to be married and still drinks bourbon on occasion. His new album, Windfall, will be released March 10, 2015 on Lightning Rod Records in the US and Loose Music in Europe.

If the opening notes on Joe Pug’s new LP “Windfall” are a bit disorienting, his fans won’t likely be surprised. The Austin, TX singer songwriter has made a habit of defying expectations so the piano-driven “Bright Beginnings” and the atmospheric rumination of “Great Hosannas” are just further indication that he’s quite comfortable stepping outside of the guy-with-a-guitar trappings of the genre.

His rise has been as improbable as it has been impressive. After dropping out of college and taking on work as a carpenter in Chicago, he got his musical start by providing CDs for his fans to pass along to their friends. This led to a string of sold out shows and a record deal with Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records (Jason Isbell, Billy Joe Shaver). As he toured behind “Messenger” (2010) and The Great Despiser (2012) it was with a band that looked as much like a jazz trio as an Americana band. “I never quite found a live band that captured what I was aiming for until I connected with Greg [Tuohey–electric guitar] and Matt [Schuessler–upright bass]. It was an arrangement that maybe didn’t make a ton of sense on paper but 10 minutes into the first rehearsal I knew this was going to be my band.” The following years would have them on the road for over four hundred shows, including stops at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and The Newport Folk Festival.

The relentless grind of four years of nonstop touring had taken its toll though, and by late 2013 he was ready to call it quits. The tour that fall was a runaway success but his personal and creative lives were a different story. “It was this surreal dichotomy. Everyone kept congratulating me on how well the tour was going, and the mood was probably the best it had ever been on the road. We finally got two hotel rooms in each city instead of one. We’ve got this incredible group of die-hard fans that somehow make each show bigger than our previous trip through town. Meanwhile my relationship was in shambles and creatively I was at a dead end. There was absolutely no joy left in playing music. So we walked off stage after a particular show when I played terribly, and pulled my manager aside in the green room and told him to cancel the rest of the tour dates and that I was essentially through.”

But studio time was already scheduled and deadlines had been set for a new record, so after a few weeks Pug was back to the business of writing songs. “In retrospect, I was in a very unhealthy place. I was sitting in a room with the blinds shut and a notebook, forcing out words that weren’t there and drinking astonishing amounts of bourbon. I was looking at it as a job….as a business obligation, and that is a very slippery slope.” At that point he decided to make good on his promise from the previous tour. The album was put on indefinite hold. “I just needed to start behaving like a human being again. I needed to reconnect with my girlfriend. I needed to eat healthy food. I needed to go enjoy live music as a fan. I really needed to make sure I still loved making music, because I really had my doubts at that point.”

The resulting layoff paid dividends in spades. When Pug set up camp in Lexington KY in 2014 to record, he did so with some of the best songs he has ever written. The agenda was much simpler than previous albums. “The aim on this one was very straightforward. We wanted to capture the music just the way we play it, with minimal production. It was a very back to basics approach because ultimately that’s what I love about music, and that’s what I love about making music. I wanted to record these songs the way they were written and put them out in the world.” The result is a collection of songs that are as close as we’ve gotten to a road map to Pug’s ambitions. He has collected plenty of the requisite Dylan comparisons over his young career but on this record it’s easier to hear the sway of more contemporary influences like Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams and M.Ward.

The theme of resilience plays a central role throughout Windfall. The weary protagonist in “Veteran Fighter” wills his way further down the highway despite the gloom that seems certain to overtake him. “The Measure”, a song inspired in part by Frederic Buechner’s novel Godric, marvels at “every inch of anguish, laid out side by side” but ultimately finds that “All we’ve lost is nothing to what we’ve found.” “I never really write songs with a specific narrative in mind,” Pug explains. “When you’re sort of pushing through a dark period of your life it’s probably inevitable that some of that is going to find its way onto the page. But in the same way, by the time we were in the studio the process had become very effortless and joyful. And hopefully you can hear a lot of that on the record as well.” This duality appears perhaps most overtly in the album-closing stunner “If Still It Can’t Be Found”, which features Pat Sansone of Wilco guesting on mellotron.

If it’s not around this corner it’s around the next
If it’s not beyond this river it’s beyond the next
And if still it can’t be found
It’s prob’ly for the best

As the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well.” Joe Pug didn’t call it quits after all. He’s engaged to be married and still drinks bourbon on occasion. His new album, Windfall, will be released March 10, 2015 on Lightning Rod Records in the US and Loose Music in Europe.

Milk & Bone with Special Guest Dizzy

Formed by Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin (both accomplished studio and touring musicians), Milk & Bone is set to release their first album, Little Mourning, in the US on April 21st, on Honeymoon. Made up of electronic textures and layered synths, Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin's sonic universe distinguishes itself from the electro-pop genre thanks to their perfectly-paired vocal colours. Their mesmerizing harmonies look into the darker aspects of love, friendship and lust.
By combining their voices and talents, the two friends create electro-pop melodies that are both dreamy and harrowing. After charming the blogosphere and international media last year with two singles (New York and Coconut Water), the Montreal-based duo then shared the song Pressure, which made its way to Hype Machine top songs list, quickly reaching a million plays.
Milk & Bone's tightly-knit bond, palpable in concert and throughout the album, is a key part of their creative process. Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin wrote in tandem, and their eight songs took shape once they arrived in studio with the help of producer Gabriel Gagnon, who also took part in the mixing, programming and the arrangements.

Formed by Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin (both accomplished studio and touring musicians), Milk & Bone is set to release their first album, Little Mourning, in the US on April 21st, on Honeymoon. Made up of electronic textures and layered synths, Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin's sonic universe distinguishes itself from the electro-pop genre thanks to their perfectly-paired vocal colours. Their mesmerizing harmonies look into the darker aspects of love, friendship and lust.
By combining their voices and talents, the two friends create electro-pop melodies that are both dreamy and harrowing. After charming the blogosphere and international media last year with two singles (New York and Coconut Water), the Montreal-based duo then shared the song Pressure, which made its way to Hype Machine top songs list, quickly reaching a million plays.
Milk & Bone's tightly-knit bond, palpable in concert and throughout the album, is a key part of their creative process. Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin wrote in tandem, and their eight songs took shape once they arrived in studio with the help of producer Gabriel Gagnon, who also took part in the mixing, programming and the arrangements.

(Early Show) *repeat repeat with Special Guest Dinosoul

Mixing the sunny swoon of sixties pop with a dark swirl of Warholian garage rock, *repeat repeat create their own geography, dreaming up songs rooted in the spirit of both coasts. Based in Nashville, TN — where frontman Jared Corder, then-drummer Andy Herrin, and keys/singer Kristyn Corder kicked off the band's career with 2014's Bad Latitude — the band looks beyond the borders of their landlocked hometown and, instead, mix California surf culture and New York street smarts into the same tracklist. They're a blend of bloom, doom, and boom. They're Dick Dale's snot-nosed grandkids.

A self-described family business, *repeat repeat was founded by Jared Corder — a former punk-rock kid raised on the sounds of Bad Religion and Black Flag. The goal was simple: to make edgy, guitar-driven music that nodded to the classic sounds of Jared's California birthplace, complete with hazy harmonies and surf-inspired arrangements. The problem? The group needed a female harmony singer, and nobody seemed to fit the bill. Things changed when the band's producer, Gregory Lattimer (Albert Hammond Jr.), suggested that Jared's wife, Kristyn, sing with the band. The fit was natural. Kristyn had grown up in and around California, listening to '60s legends like the Mamas and the Papas and The Everly Brothers. She quickly completed the band, sharing vocal duties with Jared and serving as the inspiration for much of Bad Latitude — a debut album largely written by Jared during the couple's engagement, filled with songs about love, life, and the promise of new partnerships along the way.

Floral Canyon (their sophomore release) stretches the band's musical envelope, adding depth, drive, and darkness to the sun-baked, surf-tinged pop music that's always been their bedrock. Produced once again by Lattimer, the album tackles modern culture ("Plugged In"), rocky relationships ("Mostly"), religious ideologies ("Speaker Destroyer"), and all points in between. Gluing everything together is the band's melodic, musical attack: equal parts percussive thunder, trembling organ, synth pads, coed harmonies, and wide-ranging guitar parts.

The album's name is a sly salute to California's Laurel Canyon, whose rolling hills were home to some of America's best musicians during the '60s and '70s. The SoCal salute came in handy when *repeat repeat caught the attention of notable Silverlake-based label Dangerbird Records, who agreed to release Floral Canyon in the Fall of 2017. It proved to be a busy year as the band saw the departure of Herrin to pursue other projects, a US & Canadian tour with punk sweethearts, Beach Slang, a sold out show with Neon Trees, and a slew of major festival dates including Forecastle Festival, Firefly and SXSW.

*repeat repeat’s sound is bold, bi-coastal beach pop, at once coolly current and proudly vintage. It's sugar-coated music with a raw, real, rocky center, and unmistakably *repeat repeat.

The band is vegan and share their life with 10 rescue animals including dogs, cats, a very talkative African Grey parrot, and an enormous young ex-racehorse.

They also host a popular bi-monthly podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

-Andrew Leahey

Mixing the sunny swoon of sixties pop with a dark swirl of Warholian garage rock, *repeat repeat create their own geography, dreaming up songs rooted in the spirit of both coasts. Based in Nashville, TN — where frontman Jared Corder, then-drummer Andy Herrin, and keys/singer Kristyn Corder kicked off the band's career with 2014's Bad Latitude — the band looks beyond the borders of their landlocked hometown and, instead, mix California surf culture and New York street smarts into the same tracklist. They're a blend of bloom, doom, and boom. They're Dick Dale's snot-nosed grandkids.

A self-described family business, *repeat repeat was founded by Jared Corder — a former punk-rock kid raised on the sounds of Bad Religion and Black Flag. The goal was simple: to make edgy, guitar-driven music that nodded to the classic sounds of Jared's California birthplace, complete with hazy harmonies and surf-inspired arrangements. The problem? The group needed a female harmony singer, and nobody seemed to fit the bill. Things changed when the band's producer, Gregory Lattimer (Albert Hammond Jr.), suggested that Jared's wife, Kristyn, sing with the band. The fit was natural. Kristyn had grown up in and around California, listening to '60s legends like the Mamas and the Papas and The Everly Brothers. She quickly completed the band, sharing vocal duties with Jared and serving as the inspiration for much of Bad Latitude — a debut album largely written by Jared during the couple's engagement, filled with songs about love, life, and the promise of new partnerships along the way.

Floral Canyon (their sophomore release) stretches the band's musical envelope, adding depth, drive, and darkness to the sun-baked, surf-tinged pop music that's always been their bedrock. Produced once again by Lattimer, the album tackles modern culture ("Plugged In"), rocky relationships ("Mostly"), religious ideologies ("Speaker Destroyer"), and all points in between. Gluing everything together is the band's melodic, musical attack: equal parts percussive thunder, trembling organ, synth pads, coed harmonies, and wide-ranging guitar parts.

The album's name is a sly salute to California's Laurel Canyon, whose rolling hills were home to some of America's best musicians during the '60s and '70s. The SoCal salute came in handy when *repeat repeat caught the attention of notable Silverlake-based label Dangerbird Records, who agreed to release Floral Canyon in the Fall of 2017. It proved to be a busy year as the band saw the departure of Herrin to pursue other projects, a US & Canadian tour with punk sweethearts, Beach Slang, a sold out show with Neon Trees, and a slew of major festival dates including Forecastle Festival, Firefly and SXSW.

*repeat repeat’s sound is bold, bi-coastal beach pop, at once coolly current and proudly vintage. It's sugar-coated music with a raw, real, rocky center, and unmistakably *repeat repeat.

The band is vegan and share their life with 10 rescue animals including dogs, cats, a very talkative African Grey parrot, and an enormous young ex-racehorse.

They also host a popular bi-monthly podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

-Andrew Leahey

(Late Show) Trending Styles, HennyGivenSunday & Opus One Comedy Presents 'Funny Business' with Jason Russ, DJ Spillz and Guests. Hosted by Darius Singleton

An Evening with the Julian Lage Trio (Night 1)

"There's a disarming spirit of generosity in the musicianship of Julian Lage, and a keener sense of judicious withholding. A guitarist with roots tangled up in jazz, folk, classical and country music, he has spent most of his life bathed in a bright, expectant light."

-New York Times

On Modern Lore, Julian Lage's second studio recording with his trio, the composer and guitarist focuses on the groove, building his melodies and solos around the work of the prodigious rhythm section of double bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Modern Lore finds Lage playfully flipping the script he followed on his acclaimed 2016 Mack Avenue debut, Arclight. That album -- produced, like Modern Lore, by Lage's friend and collaborator, the singer-songwriter Jesse Harris -- was his first trio set on electric guitar and found Lage inspired by the sounds and the attitude of the freewheeling, pre-bebop jazz era, when, as he puts it, "country music and jazz and swing were in this weird wild-west period." This time he incorporates the sensibility, if not the outright sound, of early rock and roll, a similarly hybrid form driven by rhythm, personality and a passion for the electric guitar.

"Last time it was specifically a combination of the electric guitar being a lead voice interacting with those pre-bebop songs. I wanted to do a jazz record the way I had always craved to do one," Lage recalls. "Modern Lore is the evolution of that sound, through the lens of original compositions. These pieces are more designed in the image of early rock and roll, early Little Richard, early Bo Diddley, wherein the first measure of music sets the tone for the whole experience. The sound of the band driven by these grooves and the guitar is more of an explosive voice, it bends more; it's more dynamic."

Opening with the exuberant "The Ramble," Lage's set of all-original new material is largely up-tempo, though on tracks like "Atlantic Limited" and "Splendor Riot" the trio adopts a hypnotic, lyrical stride. And, on "Revelry" and "Pantheon," it grows more pensive. Throughout, the beat is concise and steady. Lage's solos are action-packed musical monologues, stuffed with brilliant melodies and off-the-cuff inspiration. The penultimate track, "Earth Science," is an outright scorcher.

"I wanted all the songs on this album to be borne out of a danceable groove, a kind of sensuality, something that felt great even before the guitar was a part of it," Lage explains. "Kenny and Scott have this unique way of transforming these pieces, creating variations that morph into completely new feels. It's kind of kaleidoscopic. With that in place, I wrote melodies that were singable to me."

Lage was already an established guitar virtuoso when at age 27, he picked up the Telecaster for the Arclight sessions. That was, in a sense, a return to his roots: When he was four years old, his dad, a visual artist, had made him a plywood guitar, based on a Fender Esquire he'd traced from a Bruce Springsteen poster. As a young and preternaturally gifted musician, Lage found supporters in such artists as vibraphonist Gary Burton and veteran jazz guitarist Jim Hall, who would become Lage's mentor and friend. Though Hall passed away in 2013, he remains a profound influence on Lage. In fact, Lage first encountered Colley and Wollesen when they were backing Hall at the famed Bay Area jazz club, Yoshi's in Oakland, CA. Since then, Lage has more than fulfilled the promise of his youth, collaborating with a diverse range of fellow artists, including guitarist-singer Chris Eldridge of Punch Brothers, bassist Steve Swallow, and iconic avant-garde composer John Zorn; often appearing with the house band on Prairie Home Companion; and composing for and fronting this trio.

For Modern Lore, the trio cut the tracks at Reservoir Studios in midtown Manhattan. Then Lage brought in keyboardist Tyler Chester from the Blake Mills trio to add some very subtle textures. As Lage notes, "In the most tasteful way, Tyler brought a spirit to everything that really ignites the sonic palette." Tom Schick, Wilco's longtime engineer, mixed the album in Chicago and producer Jesse Harris contributes acoustic guitar on "Whatever You Say, Henry."

Once again, producer Harris was an important editorial voice, both arbiter and cheerleader. Says Lage, "Jesse and I shared a vision and a craving for a body of tunes that focused on directness and the space we could leave. We were adamant about keeping the music in that zone, that warmth and clarity, within which the beat of the song could really thrive. This was our dream for these songs."

"Every time I record with Scott and Kenny, I wish I could do this every day," Lage admits. " The sound I'm craving takes many forms; it can be very restrained or it can be wild and crazy. It kind of depends on the context. With Modern Lore, the music sets the foundation for a mutlitude of directions, all rooted in a kind of sensual narrative."

As one of the most prodigious guitarists of his generation, Lage has long displayed an ability to explore a wide range of sounds, ideas and genres. But what delights him here -- and will, in turn, captivate his listeners -- is the the artful simplicity of Modern Lore.

"There's a disarming spirit of generosity in the musicianship of Julian Lage, and a keener sense of judicious withholding. A guitarist with roots tangled up in jazz, folk, classical and country music, he has spent most of his life bathed in a bright, expectant light."

-New York Times

On Modern Lore, Julian Lage's second studio recording with his trio, the composer and guitarist focuses on the groove, building his melodies and solos around the work of the prodigious rhythm section of double bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Modern Lore finds Lage playfully flipping the script he followed on his acclaimed 2016 Mack Avenue debut, Arclight. That album -- produced, like Modern Lore, by Lage's friend and collaborator, the singer-songwriter Jesse Harris -- was his first trio set on electric guitar and found Lage inspired by the sounds and the attitude of the freewheeling, pre-bebop jazz era, when, as he puts it, "country music and jazz and swing were in this weird wild-west period." This time he incorporates the sensibility, if not the outright sound, of early rock and roll, a similarly hybrid form driven by rhythm, personality and a passion for the electric guitar.

"Last time it was specifically a combination of the electric guitar being a lead voice interacting with those pre-bebop songs. I wanted to do a jazz record the way I had always craved to do one," Lage recalls. "Modern Lore is the evolution of that sound, through the lens of original compositions. These pieces are more designed in the image of early rock and roll, early Little Richard, early Bo Diddley, wherein the first measure of music sets the tone for the whole experience. The sound of the band driven by these grooves and the guitar is more of an explosive voice, it bends more; it's more dynamic."

Opening with the exuberant "The Ramble," Lage's set of all-original new material is largely up-tempo, though on tracks like "Atlantic Limited" and "Splendor Riot" the trio adopts a hypnotic, lyrical stride. And, on "Revelry" and "Pantheon," it grows more pensive. Throughout, the beat is concise and steady. Lage's solos are action-packed musical monologues, stuffed with brilliant melodies and off-the-cuff inspiration. The penultimate track, "Earth Science," is an outright scorcher.

"I wanted all the songs on this album to be borne out of a danceable groove, a kind of sensuality, something that felt great even before the guitar was a part of it," Lage explains. "Kenny and Scott have this unique way of transforming these pieces, creating variations that morph into completely new feels. It's kind of kaleidoscopic. With that in place, I wrote melodies that were singable to me."

Lage was already an established guitar virtuoso when at age 27, he picked up the Telecaster for the Arclight sessions. That was, in a sense, a return to his roots: When he was four years old, his dad, a visual artist, had made him a plywood guitar, based on a Fender Esquire he'd traced from a Bruce Springsteen poster. As a young and preternaturally gifted musician, Lage found supporters in such artists as vibraphonist Gary Burton and veteran jazz guitarist Jim Hall, who would become Lage's mentor and friend. Though Hall passed away in 2013, he remains a profound influence on Lage. In fact, Lage first encountered Colley and Wollesen when they were backing Hall at the famed Bay Area jazz club, Yoshi's in Oakland, CA. Since then, Lage has more than fulfilled the promise of his youth, collaborating with a diverse range of fellow artists, including guitarist-singer Chris Eldridge of Punch Brothers, bassist Steve Swallow, and iconic avant-garde composer John Zorn; often appearing with the house band on Prairie Home Companion; and composing for and fronting this trio.

For Modern Lore, the trio cut the tracks at Reservoir Studios in midtown Manhattan. Then Lage brought in keyboardist Tyler Chester from the Blake Mills trio to add some very subtle textures. As Lage notes, "In the most tasteful way, Tyler brought a spirit to everything that really ignites the sonic palette." Tom Schick, Wilco's longtime engineer, mixed the album in Chicago and producer Jesse Harris contributes acoustic guitar on "Whatever You Say, Henry."

Once again, producer Harris was an important editorial voice, both arbiter and cheerleader. Says Lage, "Jesse and I shared a vision and a craving for a body of tunes that focused on directness and the space we could leave. We were adamant about keeping the music in that zone, that warmth and clarity, within which the beat of the song could really thrive. This was our dream for these songs."

"Every time I record with Scott and Kenny, I wish I could do this every day," Lage admits. " The sound I'm craving takes many forms; it can be very restrained or it can be wild and crazy. It kind of depends on the context. With Modern Lore, the music sets the foundation for a mutlitude of directions, all rooted in a kind of sensual narrative."

As one of the most prodigious guitarists of his generation, Lage has long displayed an ability to explore a wide range of sounds, ideas and genres. But what delights him here -- and will, in turn, captivate his listeners -- is the the artful simplicity of Modern Lore.

An Evening with the Julian Lage Trio (Night 2)

"There's a disarming spirit of generosity in the musicianship of Julian Lage, and a keener sense of judicious withholding. A guitarist with roots tangled up in jazz, folk, classical and country music, he has spent most of his life bathed in a bright, expectant light."

-New York Times

On Modern Lore, Julian Lage's second studio recording with his trio, the composer and guitarist focuses on the groove, building his melodies and solos around the work of the prodigious rhythm section of double bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Modern Lore finds Lage playfully flipping the script he followed on his acclaimed 2016 Mack Avenue debut, Arclight. That album -- produced, like Modern Lore, by Lage's friend and collaborator, the singer-songwriter Jesse Harris -- was his first trio set on electric guitar and found Lage inspired by the sounds and the attitude of the freewheeling, pre-bebop jazz era, when, as he puts it, "country music and jazz and swing were in this weird wild-west period." This time he incorporates the sensibility, if not the outright sound, of early rock and roll, a similarly hybrid form driven by rhythm, personality and a passion for the electric guitar.

"Last time it was specifically a combination of the electric guitar being a lead voice interacting with those pre-bebop songs. I wanted to do a jazz record the way I had always craved to do one," Lage recalls. "Modern Lore is the evolution of that sound, through the lens of original compositions. These pieces are more designed in the image of early rock and roll, early Little Richard, early Bo Diddley, wherein the first measure of music sets the tone for the whole experience. The sound of the band driven by these grooves and the guitar is more of an explosive voice, it bends more; it's more dynamic."

Opening with the exuberant "The Ramble," Lage's set of all-original new material is largely up-tempo, though on tracks like "Atlantic Limited" and "Splendor Riot" the trio adopts a hypnotic, lyrical stride. And, on "Revelry" and "Pantheon," it grows more pensive. Throughout, the beat is concise and steady. Lage's solos are action-packed musical monologues, stuffed with brilliant melodies and off-the-cuff inspiration. The penultimate track, "Earth Science," is an outright scorcher.

"I wanted all the songs on this album to be borne out of a danceable groove, a kind of sensuality, something that felt great even before the guitar was a part of it," Lage explains. "Kenny and Scott have this unique way of transforming these pieces, creating variations that morph into completely new feels. It's kind of kaleidoscopic. With that in place, I wrote melodies that were singable to me."

Lage was already an established guitar virtuoso when at age 27, he picked up the Telecaster for the Arclight sessions. That was, in a sense, a return to his roots: When he was four years old, his dad, a visual artist, had made him a plywood guitar, based on a Fender Esquire he'd traced from a Bruce Springsteen poster. As a young and preternaturally gifted musician, Lage found supporters in such artists as vibraphonist Gary Burton and veteran jazz guitarist Jim Hall, who would become Lage's mentor and friend. Though Hall passed away in 2013, he remains a profound influence on Lage. In fact, Lage first encountered Colley and Wollesen when they were backing Hall at the famed Bay Area jazz club, Yoshi's in Oakland, CA. Since then, Lage has more than fulfilled the promise of his youth, collaborating with a diverse range of fellow artists, including guitarist-singer Chris Eldridge of Punch Brothers, bassist Steve Swallow, and iconic avant-garde composer John Zorn; often appearing with the house band on Prairie Home Companion; and composing for and fronting this trio.

For Modern Lore, the trio cut the tracks at Reservoir Studios in midtown Manhattan. Then Lage brought in keyboardist Tyler Chester from the Blake Mills trio to add some very subtle textures. As Lage notes, "In the most tasteful way, Tyler brought a spirit to everything that really ignites the sonic palette." Tom Schick, Wilco's longtime engineer, mixed the album in Chicago and producer Jesse Harris contributes acoustic guitar on "Whatever You Say, Henry."

Once again, producer Harris was an important editorial voice, both arbiter and cheerleader. Says Lage, "Jesse and I shared a vision and a craving for a body of tunes that focused on directness and the space we could leave. We were adamant about keeping the music in that zone, that warmth and clarity, within which the beat of the song could really thrive. This was our dream for these songs."

"Every time I record with Scott and Kenny, I wish I could do this every day," Lage admits. " The sound I'm craving takes many forms; it can be very restrained or it can be wild and crazy. It kind of depends on the context. With Modern Lore, the music sets the foundation for a mutlitude of directions, all rooted in a kind of sensual narrative."

As one of the most prodigious guitarists of his generation, Lage has long displayed an ability to explore a wide range of sounds, ideas and genres. But what delights him here -- and will, in turn, captivate his listeners -- is the the artful simplicity of Modern Lore.

"There's a disarming spirit of generosity in the musicianship of Julian Lage, and a keener sense of judicious withholding. A guitarist with roots tangled up in jazz, folk, classical and country music, he has spent most of his life bathed in a bright, expectant light."

-New York Times

On Modern Lore, Julian Lage's second studio recording with his trio, the composer and guitarist focuses on the groove, building his melodies and solos around the work of the prodigious rhythm section of double bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Modern Lore finds Lage playfully flipping the script he followed on his acclaimed 2016 Mack Avenue debut, Arclight. That album -- produced, like Modern Lore, by Lage's friend and collaborator, the singer-songwriter Jesse Harris -- was his first trio set on electric guitar and found Lage inspired by the sounds and the attitude of the freewheeling, pre-bebop jazz era, when, as he puts it, "country music and jazz and swing were in this weird wild-west period." This time he incorporates the sensibility, if not the outright sound, of early rock and roll, a similarly hybrid form driven by rhythm, personality and a passion for the electric guitar.

"Last time it was specifically a combination of the electric guitar being a lead voice interacting with those pre-bebop songs. I wanted to do a jazz record the way I had always craved to do one," Lage recalls. "Modern Lore is the evolution of that sound, through the lens of original compositions. These pieces are more designed in the image of early rock and roll, early Little Richard, early Bo Diddley, wherein the first measure of music sets the tone for the whole experience. The sound of the band driven by these grooves and the guitar is more of an explosive voice, it bends more; it's more dynamic."

Opening with the exuberant "The Ramble," Lage's set of all-original new material is largely up-tempo, though on tracks like "Atlantic Limited" and "Splendor Riot" the trio adopts a hypnotic, lyrical stride. And, on "Revelry" and "Pantheon," it grows more pensive. Throughout, the beat is concise and steady. Lage's solos are action-packed musical monologues, stuffed with brilliant melodies and off-the-cuff inspiration. The penultimate track, "Earth Science," is an outright scorcher.

"I wanted all the songs on this album to be borne out of a danceable groove, a kind of sensuality, something that felt great even before the guitar was a part of it," Lage explains. "Kenny and Scott have this unique way of transforming these pieces, creating variations that morph into completely new feels. It's kind of kaleidoscopic. With that in place, I wrote melodies that were singable to me."

Lage was already an established guitar virtuoso when at age 27, he picked up the Telecaster for the Arclight sessions. That was, in a sense, a return to his roots: When he was four years old, his dad, a visual artist, had made him a plywood guitar, based on a Fender Esquire he'd traced from a Bruce Springsteen poster. As a young and preternaturally gifted musician, Lage found supporters in such artists as vibraphonist Gary Burton and veteran jazz guitarist Jim Hall, who would become Lage's mentor and friend. Though Hall passed away in 2013, he remains a profound influence on Lage. In fact, Lage first encountered Colley and Wollesen when they were backing Hall at the famed Bay Area jazz club, Yoshi's in Oakland, CA. Since then, Lage has more than fulfilled the promise of his youth, collaborating with a diverse range of fellow artists, including guitarist-singer Chris Eldridge of Punch Brothers, bassist Steve Swallow, and iconic avant-garde composer John Zorn; often appearing with the house band on Prairie Home Companion; and composing for and fronting this trio.

For Modern Lore, the trio cut the tracks at Reservoir Studios in midtown Manhattan. Then Lage brought in keyboardist Tyler Chester from the Blake Mills trio to add some very subtle textures. As Lage notes, "In the most tasteful way, Tyler brought a spirit to everything that really ignites the sonic palette." Tom Schick, Wilco's longtime engineer, mixed the album in Chicago and producer Jesse Harris contributes acoustic guitar on "Whatever You Say, Henry."

Once again, producer Harris was an important editorial voice, both arbiter and cheerleader. Says Lage, "Jesse and I shared a vision and a craving for a body of tunes that focused on directness and the space we could leave. We were adamant about keeping the music in that zone, that warmth and clarity, within which the beat of the song could really thrive. This was our dream for these songs."

"Every time I record with Scott and Kenny, I wish I could do this every day," Lage admits. " The sound I'm craving takes many forms; it can be very restrained or it can be wild and crazy. It kind of depends on the context. With Modern Lore, the music sets the foundation for a mutlitude of directions, all rooted in a kind of sensual narrative."

As one of the most prodigious guitarists of his generation, Lage has long displayed an ability to explore a wide range of sounds, ideas and genres. But what delights him here -- and will, in turn, captivate his listeners -- is the the artful simplicity of Modern Lore.

Mary Gauthier

New studio album co-written with wounded combat veterans over the last four years via
SongwritingWith:Soldiers.

Every day.

Every single day, which means some days are better and some much worse.

Every day, on average, twenty-two veterans commit suicide. Each year seventy-four hundred current and former members of the United States Armed Services take their own lives.

Every day.

That number does not include drug overdoses or car wrecks or any of the more inventive ways somebody might less obviously choose to die.

It seems trivial to suggest those lives might be saved - healed, even - by a song. By the process of writing a song.

And yet.



And yet there is nothing trivial about Mary Gauthier's tenth album, Rifles and Rosary Beads (Thirty Tigers), all eleven songs co-written with and for wounded veterans. Eleven of the nearly four hundred songs that highly accomplished songwriters have co-written as part of Darden Smith's five-year-old SongwritingWith:Soldiers program.

None of the soldiers who have participated in the program have taken their own lives, and there's nothing trivial about that. Something about writing that song - telling that story - is healing. What Smith calls post-traumatic-growth.

Gauthier's first nine albums presented extraordinary confessional songs, deeply personal,
profoundly emotional pieces ranging from "I Drink," a blunt accounting of addiction, to "March
11, 1962," the day she was born - and relinquished to an orphanage - to "Worthy," in which the singer finally understands she is deserving of love. Maybe that's where the confessional song cycle ends, for she has midwifed these eleven new songs in careful collaboration with
other souls whose struggle is urgent, immediate, and palpable. And none are about her.

Each song on Rifles and Rosary Beads is a gut punch: deceptively simple and emotionally complex. From the opening "Soldiering On" ("What saves you in the battle/Can kill you at home") to "Bullet Holes in the Sky" ("They thank me for my service/And wave their little flags/They genuflect on Sundays/And yes, they'd send us back"), to the abject horror of "Iraq," and its quiet depiction of a female mechanic's rape, each song tells the story of a deeply wounded veteran.
Darrell Scott, returning from one of Smith's first retreats, called and told Mary she needed to participate. "I felt unqualified," she says. "I didn't know anything about the military, I was terrified of fucking it up. I didn't feel I knew how to be in the presence of that much trauma without being afraid. But Darrell knew I could do it. Turns out, I was able to sit with the veterans with a sense of calmness and help them articulate their suffering without fear. I was shocked by that. And I took to it."

It has become a calling. "My job as a songwriter is to find that thing a soul needs to say," Mary says. "Each retreat brings together a dozen or so soldiers and four songwriters, three songs each in two days. We don't have a choice. We have to stay focused, listen carefully, and make sure every veteran gets their own song. And we always do."

"None of the veterans are artists. They don't write songs, they don't know that songs can be used to move trauma. Their understanding of song doesn't include that. For me it's been the whole damn deal. Songwriting saved me. It's what I think the best songs do, help articulate the ineffable, make the invisible visible, creating resonance, so that people, (including the songwriter) don’t feel alone."

The impact of these songs becomes visible quickly, unexpectedly.

Featured in the TV series "Nashville," the Bluebird Cafe now prospers as a tourist destination. The room fills twice a night with people thrilled to be in the presence of real live Nashville songwriters.

Who, in turn, are thrilled to be in the presence of a paying audience that can do nothing to advance their careers, save give a genuine response to their songs.

The gentleman at the next table has handsome white hair and a hundred-dollar casual shirt, and almost certainly had no idea who Mary Gauthier was, nor what her songs might be about, when he came out of the sunlight into the darkened listening room. He knows, now. Thick, manicured fingers cover his face, trying to catch his slow tears. His wife sits close, watches carefully, but knows better than to touch him.

He is not alone in that small audience.

Every day we are touched by the veterans in our lives, whether we know it or not.

Every single day. Even if it's only the guy on Main Street, in the wheelchair, with the flag. Every single day.
And, yes, a song may be the answer.

"Because the results are so dramatic, this could work for other traumas," Mary says. "Trauma is the epidemic. You say opioid, I say trauma epidemic. As an addict, I know addiction is self- medication because of suffering, and beneath that pain is always trauma. Underneath so much of the problems in the world is trauma, it's the central issue humanity is dealing with. We've found something powerful here, that brings hope to people who are hurting. So they know they are not alone."

New studio album co-written with wounded combat veterans over the last four years via
SongwritingWith:Soldiers.

Every day.

Every single day, which means some days are better and some much worse.

Every day, on average, twenty-two veterans commit suicide. Each year seventy-four hundred current and former members of the United States Armed Services take their own lives.

Every day.

That number does not include drug overdoses or car wrecks or any of the more inventive ways somebody might less obviously choose to die.

It seems trivial to suggest those lives might be saved - healed, even - by a song. By the process of writing a song.

And yet.



And yet there is nothing trivial about Mary Gauthier's tenth album, Rifles and Rosary Beads (Thirty Tigers), all eleven songs co-written with and for wounded veterans. Eleven of the nearly four hundred songs that highly accomplished songwriters have co-written as part of Darden Smith's five-year-old SongwritingWith:Soldiers program.

None of the soldiers who have participated in the program have taken their own lives, and there's nothing trivial about that. Something about writing that song - telling that story - is healing. What Smith calls post-traumatic-growth.

Gauthier's first nine albums presented extraordinary confessional songs, deeply personal,
profoundly emotional pieces ranging from "I Drink," a blunt accounting of addiction, to "March
11, 1962," the day she was born - and relinquished to an orphanage - to "Worthy," in which the singer finally understands she is deserving of love. Maybe that's where the confessional song cycle ends, for she has midwifed these eleven new songs in careful collaboration with
other souls whose struggle is urgent, immediate, and palpable. And none are about her.

Each song on Rifles and Rosary Beads is a gut punch: deceptively simple and emotionally complex. From the opening "Soldiering On" ("What saves you in the battle/Can kill you at home") to "Bullet Holes in the Sky" ("They thank me for my service/And wave their little flags/They genuflect on Sundays/And yes, they'd send us back"), to the abject horror of "Iraq," and its quiet depiction of a female mechanic's rape, each song tells the story of a deeply wounded veteran.
Darrell Scott, returning from one of Smith's first retreats, called and told Mary she needed to participate. "I felt unqualified," she says. "I didn't know anything about the military, I was terrified of fucking it up. I didn't feel I knew how to be in the presence of that much trauma without being afraid. But Darrell knew I could do it. Turns out, I was able to sit with the veterans with a sense of calmness and help them articulate their suffering without fear. I was shocked by that. And I took to it."

It has become a calling. "My job as a songwriter is to find that thing a soul needs to say," Mary says. "Each retreat brings together a dozen or so soldiers and four songwriters, three songs each in two days. We don't have a choice. We have to stay focused, listen carefully, and make sure every veteran gets their own song. And we always do."

"None of the veterans are artists. They don't write songs, they don't know that songs can be used to move trauma. Their understanding of song doesn't include that. For me it's been the whole damn deal. Songwriting saved me. It's what I think the best songs do, help articulate the ineffable, make the invisible visible, creating resonance, so that people, (including the songwriter) don’t feel alone."

The impact of these songs becomes visible quickly, unexpectedly.

Featured in the TV series "Nashville," the Bluebird Cafe now prospers as a tourist destination. The room fills twice a night with people thrilled to be in the presence of real live Nashville songwriters.

Who, in turn, are thrilled to be in the presence of a paying audience that can do nothing to advance their careers, save give a genuine response to their songs.

The gentleman at the next table has handsome white hair and a hundred-dollar casual shirt, and almost certainly had no idea who Mary Gauthier was, nor what her songs might be about, when he came out of the sunlight into the darkened listening room. He knows, now. Thick, manicured fingers cover his face, trying to catch his slow tears. His wife sits close, watches carefully, but knows better than to touch him.

He is not alone in that small audience.

Every day we are touched by the veterans in our lives, whether we know it or not.

Every single day. Even if it's only the guy on Main Street, in the wheelchair, with the flag. Every single day.
And, yes, a song may be the answer.

"Because the results are so dramatic, this could work for other traumas," Mary says. "Trauma is the epidemic. You say opioid, I say trauma epidemic. As an addict, I know addiction is self- medication because of suffering, and beneath that pain is always trauma. Underneath so much of the problems in the world is trauma, it's the central issue humanity is dealing with. We've found something powerful here, that brings hope to people who are hurting. So they know they are not alone."

The Steel Wheels

Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are familiar with the traditions of folk music and how a string band is supposed to sound. In fact, they’ve been drawing on those steadfast traditions for more than a decade. Yet, their name also evokes a sense of forward motion, which is clearly reflected in their latest album, Wild As We Came Here.

The Steel Wheels recorded their album in rural Maine, where producer Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter) owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members – Trent Wagler (guitar, banjo), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass) and Jay Lapp (mandolin) – hunkered down for a week and a half to create Wild As We Came Here.

The band’s name is a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage. Their musical style weaves through Americana and bluegrass, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into their recording sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery and perseverance run throughout the collection.

Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are familiar with the traditions of folk music and how a string band is supposed to sound. In fact, they’ve been drawing on those steadfast traditions for more than a decade. Yet, their name also evokes a sense of forward motion, which is clearly reflected in their latest album, Wild As We Came Here.

The Steel Wheels recorded their album in rural Maine, where producer Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter) owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members – Trent Wagler (guitar, banjo), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass) and Jay Lapp (mandolin) – hunkered down for a week and a half to create Wild As We Came Here.

The band’s name is a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage. Their musical style weaves through Americana and bluegrass, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into their recording sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery and perseverance run throughout the collection.

RESCHEDULED FROM JANUARY 12 - Driftwood with Special Guests Arlo Aldo and Sam Stucky

RESCHEDULED FROM JANUARY 12 - ALL TICKETS HONORED


When most people think of upstate New York, they either imagine bucolic landscapes or working-class towns. As natives of Binghamton, the members of Driftwood hail from a working town, but play music rooted in the land, leaning alternately into folk, old-time, country, punk, and rock, depending on their personal moods and their songs’ needs.

“It’s sometimes tough to keep any sort of focus on style or sound when you have three different songwriters,” guitarist Dan Forsyth concedes. “But it also allows us to branch out and explore in ways other bands don’t. Also, I think it’s important, as a band, to ask ourselves ‘Is this a good next step?’ I think everyone is very excited to know that it is.” Describing the Driftwood sound, banjo player Joe Kollar offers, "I consider our sound to be more of an attitude and an approach - the result of all of our influences in a completely open musical forum where the only stipulation is to use bluegrass instruments and create it from the heart."

That's as close to being pinned down as Driftwood ever gets. Such has always been the case for artists blurring and blending genre lines in order to innovate. Yes, they wield old-time instruments, but they do so with a punk-rock ethos. “I do not know much about punk music, but I do know that it gives me a feeling of tearing into something without inhibition,” violinist Claire Byrne says, adding, “Old-time music has the same feeling for me. The music was a release for people living extremely hard lives in harsh conditions. In this way, the two styles of music are very similar: It’s digging in and making a statement. It’s rocking out and feeling totally reborn through the song.”

Driftwood has been digging in and rocking out since their 2005 formation, playing an average of 150 shows a year. “In the beginning, we hit the road constantly with an all-or-nothing attitude,” Forsyth confides. “We were doing it with a lot of passion, but had no thoughts about long-term sustainability. Life outside of the band was minimal. One thing that I think we started to notice was, when you’re always in it, you have no perspective and you start to lose yourself in a weird way.”

As such, gigging and traveling that much can’t help but influence and inform the band, individually and collectively. In the past, they used the stage to work out arrangements of new songs. For City Lights, they used the studio. “Keeping this kind of touring schedule, we have thought of recording albums as a sort of secondary thing and considered ourselves a ‘live’ band. We learn so much on the road and this kind of work has always felt productive,” Forsyth explains. “It wasn’t until this last album that we took some time off to learn more about being in the studio. We wanted to take our time and record on our own terms.”

According to Byrne, their own terms included “taking a step forward with the production and the arrangements.” Kollar tacks “learning” on, for good measure, while Forsyth adds “good songs and bigger arrangements, and sounds than we had not previously achieved.”

RESCHEDULED FROM JANUARY 12 - ALL TICKETS HONORED


When most people think of upstate New York, they either imagine bucolic landscapes or working-class towns. As natives of Binghamton, the members of Driftwood hail from a working town, but play music rooted in the land, leaning alternately into folk, old-time, country, punk, and rock, depending on their personal moods and their songs’ needs.

“It’s sometimes tough to keep any sort of focus on style or sound when you have three different songwriters,” guitarist Dan Forsyth concedes. “But it also allows us to branch out and explore in ways other bands don’t. Also, I think it’s important, as a band, to ask ourselves ‘Is this a good next step?’ I think everyone is very excited to know that it is.” Describing the Driftwood sound, banjo player Joe Kollar offers, "I consider our sound to be more of an attitude and an approach - the result of all of our influences in a completely open musical forum where the only stipulation is to use bluegrass instruments and create it from the heart."

That's as close to being pinned down as Driftwood ever gets. Such has always been the case for artists blurring and blending genre lines in order to innovate. Yes, they wield old-time instruments, but they do so with a punk-rock ethos. “I do not know much about punk music, but I do know that it gives me a feeling of tearing into something without inhibition,” violinist Claire Byrne says, adding, “Old-time music has the same feeling for me. The music was a release for people living extremely hard lives in harsh conditions. In this way, the two styles of music are very similar: It’s digging in and making a statement. It’s rocking out and feeling totally reborn through the song.”

Driftwood has been digging in and rocking out since their 2005 formation, playing an average of 150 shows a year. “In the beginning, we hit the road constantly with an all-or-nothing attitude,” Forsyth confides. “We were doing it with a lot of passion, but had no thoughts about long-term sustainability. Life outside of the band was minimal. One thing that I think we started to notice was, when you’re always in it, you have no perspective and you start to lose yourself in a weird way.”

As such, gigging and traveling that much can’t help but influence and inform the band, individually and collectively. In the past, they used the stage to work out arrangements of new songs. For City Lights, they used the studio. “Keeping this kind of touring schedule, we have thought of recording albums as a sort of secondary thing and considered ourselves a ‘live’ band. We learn so much on the road and this kind of work has always felt productive,” Forsyth explains. “It wasn’t until this last album that we took some time off to learn more about being in the studio. We wanted to take our time and record on our own terms.”

According to Byrne, their own terms included “taking a step forward with the production and the arrangements.” Kollar tacks “learning” on, for good measure, while Forsyth adds “good songs and bigger arrangements, and sounds than we had not previously achieved.”

The Calm Before The Storm - A Night of Irish Traditional Music and Song with Mark Dignam & Friends

Born in Ireland, Mark Dignam grew up in the adventurous North Side Dublin suburb of Finglas, His father was a truck driver, his Mother was a typical Irish housewife of the time, except she sang around the house – a lot.

A noticeable vocal talent led him to dream big and to leave the neighborhood as soon as he possibly could, finding a very cheap (read - no heat!) apartment in an old Georgian tenement in the city center, at the age of 18.

First, busking on city streets for pocket change and exposure, along with his friends, Glen Hansard (The Frames, The Swell Season, Oscar winner for best song for the indie movie - Once), Mic Christopher (The Mary Janes), KIla (Irish Traditional supergroup) among others; they quickly became the darlings of Grafton Street, a well-known center, of Dublin busking,; counting among their audience such luminaries as The Waterboys, Van Morrison, and Sinead O'Connor.

Mark struck out on his own in the nineties, releasing the acclaimed Poetry and Songs From the Wheel in 1995. The album, named a top ten best debut of 1995 by Ireland's Hot Press Magazine, cementing Mark's reputation as a powerful voice on the singer/songwriter circuit.

He's continued to release records, from 1997's In a Time of Overstatement, a stark collection of spiritual and political musings, to 2005's Box Heart Man, chosen as one of WYEP Pittsburgh's top picks for 2005. Mark has been invited to open for, or tour with: The Swell Season, David Gray, Billy Bragg, Joan Armatrading, Richard Thompson, Mike Nichols (of The Alarm) among others...

Born in Ireland, Mark Dignam grew up in the adventurous North Side Dublin suburb of Finglas, His father was a truck driver, his Mother was a typical Irish housewife of the time, except she sang around the house – a lot.

A noticeable vocal talent led him to dream big and to leave the neighborhood as soon as he possibly could, finding a very cheap (read - no heat!) apartment in an old Georgian tenement in the city center, at the age of 18.

First, busking on city streets for pocket change and exposure, along with his friends, Glen Hansard (The Frames, The Swell Season, Oscar winner for best song for the indie movie - Once), Mic Christopher (The Mary Janes), KIla (Irish Traditional supergroup) among others; they quickly became the darlings of Grafton Street, a well-known center, of Dublin busking,; counting among their audience such luminaries as The Waterboys, Van Morrison, and Sinead O'Connor.

Mark struck out on his own in the nineties, releasing the acclaimed Poetry and Songs From the Wheel in 1995. The album, named a top ten best debut of 1995 by Ireland's Hot Press Magazine, cementing Mark's reputation as a powerful voice on the singer/songwriter circuit.

He's continued to release records, from 1997's In a Time of Overstatement, a stark collection of spiritual and political musings, to 2005's Box Heart Man, chosen as one of WYEP Pittsburgh's top picks for 2005. Mark has been invited to open for, or tour with: The Swell Season, David Gray, Billy Bragg, Joan Armatrading, Richard Thompson, Mike Nichols (of The Alarm) among others...

An Evening With Kristin Hersh + Grant-Lee Phillips

Kristin Hersh

After founding her influential artpunk band Throwing Muses in Providence, RI, at the age of 14, Kristin Hersh has spent decades confounding expectations and breaking rules, both hers and others.

From life as the reluctant frontperson for the Muses, to the solo career she swore would never happen, through the founding of an ambitious and altruistic nonprofit, to her recent foray into a successful career as an author, Kristin, now a mother of four, didn't see much of this coming.

Throwing Muses first gained recognition playing on bills with similarly singular artists like the Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. They signed with the highly regarded British indie label 4AD Records the label's first American signing and then to Warner Bros in the U.S. Kristin's solo career spun off in 1994 with the release of Hips and Makers . The CD was widely acclaimed and included "Your Ghost," a duet with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe. This was followed by eight more critically acclaimed and influential solo records. Kristin often plays all instruments on her solo releases, including this year's Wyatt at the Coyote Palace, recorded over a 4 year period, on the island where Kristin grew up. Wyatt at the Coyote Palace is both a book and a 24 song record.
She also heads the power trio, 50FootWave, formed in 2004. All 50FootWave releases are available for download, free of charge and licensed for sharing via Creative Commons. Power + Light is 50FootWave's most successful release: a blistering thirty minute barrage of uninterrupted music.
In 2007 Kristin cofounded the nonprofit Coalition of Artists and StakeHolders (CASH Music). Through CASH, listeners ("Strange Angels") have completely funded Kristin's musical output. CASH has also powered dozens of other artist and label projects and has grown into a widely recognized powerhouse of technical tools that enable commerce, communication and sustainability for artists all open source and free of charge.
In 2013, Throwing Muses returned with their first studio album in 10 years – Purgatory/Paradise – published as a book and CD. The art book is 64pages of lyrics, essays, and photos and includes a 32track CD that was entirely listenersupported, thanks to Kristin's Strange Angels.
Kristin began her writing career with the widely acclaimed Rat Girl (titled Paradoxical Undressing outside of the U.S.) , published by Penguin. Rolling Stone named Rat Girl one of the top ten best rock memoirs ever written. Kristin has brought the stage show all over the world, playing theaters, museums and festivals. Rat Girl was also adapted as an award winning play. Her latest book, Don't Suck, Don't Die , a personal account of her friendship with the late Vic Chesnutt , was a finalist for the American Booksellers Association book of the year and shortlisted for the Pat Conroy Southern book of the year. NPR said of Don't Suck, Don't Die, "Not only one of the best books of the year, but one of the most beautiful rock memoirs ever written."

Grant-Lee Phillips
"I'm drawing on the urgency of the moment," reflects Grant-Lee Phillips. "The things that eat away in the late hours…"

That urgency inspired the headlong rush of Widdershins – available February 23 via Yep Roc – in which Grant-Lee Phillips invests the insight, nuance, and wit that has distinguished his songcraft over the past three decades in a riveting dissection of today's fraught social landscape. Beneath the moment's tumultuous veneer, Phillips uncovers resonances spanning centuries – patterns echoing from the present day to the distant past. Its twelve tracks were cut largely live in the studio with the sharp trio of Phillips (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Jerry Roe (drums), and Lex Price (bass) serving as messengers. Says Phillips, "This moment is explosive, volatile, and heightened. It's important to me that the music reflect that…"

By turns sardonic, provocative, and illuminating, Widdershins (produced by Phillips and mixed by Tucker Martine) delivers its poetic truths through Phillips's peerless melodic sensibilities, carefully balancing intensity and vulnerability. A now seasoned songwriter and performer, with more than two decades' experience first as frontman of the acclaimed Grant Lee Buffalo then as an accomplished solo artist, Phillips awakens comfort and hope by shining light into darker corners. "I hope to express my faith in people, my faith in the good ideas we're capable of, and that regardless of what opposition we face, the fact that we can surmount these things," he concludes. "We can stare them down, laugh at them, belittle them, and drive the darkness back into a hole."

Kristin Hersh

After founding her influential artpunk band Throwing Muses in Providence, RI, at the age of 14, Kristin Hersh has spent decades confounding expectations and breaking rules, both hers and others.

From life as the reluctant frontperson for the Muses, to the solo career she swore would never happen, through the founding of an ambitious and altruistic nonprofit, to her recent foray into a successful career as an author, Kristin, now a mother of four, didn't see much of this coming.

Throwing Muses first gained recognition playing on bills with similarly singular artists like the Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. They signed with the highly regarded British indie label 4AD Records the label's first American signing and then to Warner Bros in the U.S. Kristin's solo career spun off in 1994 with the release of Hips and Makers . The CD was widely acclaimed and included "Your Ghost," a duet with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe. This was followed by eight more critically acclaimed and influential solo records. Kristin often plays all instruments on her solo releases, including this year's Wyatt at the Coyote Palace, recorded over a 4 year period, on the island where Kristin grew up. Wyatt at the Coyote Palace is both a book and a 24 song record.
She also heads the power trio, 50FootWave, formed in 2004. All 50FootWave releases are available for download, free of charge and licensed for sharing via Creative Commons. Power + Light is 50FootWave's most successful release: a blistering thirty minute barrage of uninterrupted music.
In 2007 Kristin cofounded the nonprofit Coalition of Artists and StakeHolders (CASH Music). Through CASH, listeners ("Strange Angels") have completely funded Kristin's musical output. CASH has also powered dozens of other artist and label projects and has grown into a widely recognized powerhouse of technical tools that enable commerce, communication and sustainability for artists all open source and free of charge.
In 2013, Throwing Muses returned with their first studio album in 10 years – Purgatory/Paradise – published as a book and CD. The art book is 64pages of lyrics, essays, and photos and includes a 32track CD that was entirely listenersupported, thanks to Kristin's Strange Angels.
Kristin began her writing career with the widely acclaimed Rat Girl (titled Paradoxical Undressing outside of the U.S.) , published by Penguin. Rolling Stone named Rat Girl one of the top ten best rock memoirs ever written. Kristin has brought the stage show all over the world, playing theaters, museums and festivals. Rat Girl was also adapted as an award winning play. Her latest book, Don't Suck, Don't Die , a personal account of her friendship with the late Vic Chesnutt , was a finalist for the American Booksellers Association book of the year and shortlisted for the Pat Conroy Southern book of the year. NPR said of Don't Suck, Don't Die, "Not only one of the best books of the year, but one of the most beautiful rock memoirs ever written."

Grant-Lee Phillips
"I'm drawing on the urgency of the moment," reflects Grant-Lee Phillips. "The things that eat away in the late hours…"

That urgency inspired the headlong rush of Widdershins – available February 23 via Yep Roc – in which Grant-Lee Phillips invests the insight, nuance, and wit that has distinguished his songcraft over the past three decades in a riveting dissection of today's fraught social landscape. Beneath the moment's tumultuous veneer, Phillips uncovers resonances spanning centuries – patterns echoing from the present day to the distant past. Its twelve tracks were cut largely live in the studio with the sharp trio of Phillips (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Jerry Roe (drums), and Lex Price (bass) serving as messengers. Says Phillips, "This moment is explosive, volatile, and heightened. It's important to me that the music reflect that…"

By turns sardonic, provocative, and illuminating, Widdershins (produced by Phillips and mixed by Tucker Martine) delivers its poetic truths through Phillips's peerless melodic sensibilities, carefully balancing intensity and vulnerability. A now seasoned songwriter and performer, with more than two decades' experience first as frontman of the acclaimed Grant Lee Buffalo then as an accomplished solo artist, Phillips awakens comfort and hope by shining light into darker corners. "I hope to express my faith in people, my faith in the good ideas we're capable of, and that regardless of what opposition we face, the fact that we can surmount these things," he concludes. "We can stare them down, laugh at them, belittle them, and drive the darkness back into a hole."

Head For The Hills with Special Guests The Hills and the Rivers

Potions and Poisons is the fourth album of original music from Head for the Hills, the Colorado based post-modern bluegrass outfit of Adam Kinghorn, Joe Lessard, Matt Loewen and Sam Parks. There’s no reinvention of the wheel here--no computer programmed banjo rolls or digitally arpeggiated fiddle lines. Instead we find Head for the Hills at the peak of their powers of musical alchemy, building little worlds of sound from the detritus of bluegrass, jazz, hip hop, folk and soul. Potions and Poisons is a look at the darker side of love, lust, and life; an examination of our affinity for and aversion to the things that make us fragile but human. Recorded at home in Colorado with the band’s go-to engineer, Aaron Youngberg (Cahalen and Eli, Martha Scanlan, Grant Gordy and Ross Martin), the record features appearances from Bonnie Paine (Elephant Revival) on vocals and washboard, Erin Youngberg (Uncle Earl, FY5) on vocals, and a lush string section. Potions and Poisons is the most Head for the Hills record yet, and in the great tradition of bluegrass (and soul and folk and old time music), it delivers some bitter pills, but the ten new original songs are more than a survey of the human condition. This is reflective but buoyant music, restorative and full of vibrancy.

Head for the Hills prides itself on defying expectation, turning neophytes into converts and genre purists exploratory listeners. Remaining true to the roots of bluegrass while simultaneously looking to it’s future prospects, the band makes music that reaches into jazz, indie rock, hip hop, soul, world and folk to stitch together cutting edge songs that bridge the divide between past and future acoustic music. More than a decade in and after thousands of miles, hundreds of performances, a handful of independently released records, 4 times awarded Best Bluegrass in Colorado, and one new mandolin player--Head for the Hills is at their absolute peak, firing on all cylinders and winning the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere they go.

Head for the Hills have been bringing their music to audiences from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to South by Southwest and a multitude of stages in between--including Summer Camp Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, RockyGrass, DelFest, Northwest String Summit, Blue Ox Music Festival FloydFest, Strawberry Music Festival and many more. The band has been featured on NPR Ideastream and eTown, co-released beers with Odell Brewing Company and Sanitas Brewing, charted on the CMJ Top 200 (Blue Ruin, 2013 and Head for the Hills, 2010), and was featured by CMT – Edge, who said; “Head for the Hills’ Blue Ruin effortlessly matches integrity against innovation.”

Potions and Poisons is the fourth album of original music from Head for the Hills, the Colorado based post-modern bluegrass outfit of Adam Kinghorn, Joe Lessard, Matt Loewen and Sam Parks. There’s no reinvention of the wheel here--no computer programmed banjo rolls or digitally arpeggiated fiddle lines. Instead we find Head for the Hills at the peak of their powers of musical alchemy, building little worlds of sound from the detritus of bluegrass, jazz, hip hop, folk and soul. Potions and Poisons is a look at the darker side of love, lust, and life; an examination of our affinity for and aversion to the things that make us fragile but human. Recorded at home in Colorado with the band’s go-to engineer, Aaron Youngberg (Cahalen and Eli, Martha Scanlan, Grant Gordy and Ross Martin), the record features appearances from Bonnie Paine (Elephant Revival) on vocals and washboard, Erin Youngberg (Uncle Earl, FY5) on vocals, and a lush string section. Potions and Poisons is the most Head for the Hills record yet, and in the great tradition of bluegrass (and soul and folk and old time music), it delivers some bitter pills, but the ten new original songs are more than a survey of the human condition. This is reflective but buoyant music, restorative and full of vibrancy.

Head for the Hills prides itself on defying expectation, turning neophytes into converts and genre purists exploratory listeners. Remaining true to the roots of bluegrass while simultaneously looking to it’s future prospects, the band makes music that reaches into jazz, indie rock, hip hop, soul, world and folk to stitch together cutting edge songs that bridge the divide between past and future acoustic music. More than a decade in and after thousands of miles, hundreds of performances, a handful of independently released records, 4 times awarded Best Bluegrass in Colorado, and one new mandolin player--Head for the Hills is at their absolute peak, firing on all cylinders and winning the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere they go.

Head for the Hills have been bringing their music to audiences from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to South by Southwest and a multitude of stages in between--including Summer Camp Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, RockyGrass, DelFest, Northwest String Summit, Blue Ox Music Festival FloydFest, Strawberry Music Festival and many more. The band has been featured on NPR Ideastream and eTown, co-released beers with Odell Brewing Company and Sanitas Brewing, charted on the CMJ Top 200 (Blue Ruin, 2013 and Head for the Hills, 2010), and was featured by CMT – Edge, who said; “Head for the Hills’ Blue Ruin effortlessly matches integrity against innovation.”

We Are The Weirdos - Live Stories, Told By Women. With Music by DJ KK and Hosted By Jamie Fadden-Cannon

Uncensored, unapologetic and unbreakable. Are you a woman that has a story to tell? As a long time fan of NPR’s the Moth and RISK live, we are proud to create a platform for women and those who identify as women to come and share their stories. There is no particular theme, anything goes!

There will be 15 spots available. Storytellers are chosen randomly from a pool. Each storyteller will get five minutes to tell their story.

We are also inviting an audience of any gender or orientation. Come as you are and listen to some stories told by bad-ass women.


The majority of proceeds will benefit The Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, as well as Girls Rock Pittsburgh!

Uncensored, unapologetic and unbreakable. Are you a woman that has a story to tell? As a long time fan of NPR’s the Moth and RISK live, we are proud to create a platform for women and those who identify as women to come and share their stories. There is no particular theme, anything goes!

There will be 15 spots available. Storytellers are chosen randomly from a pool. Each storyteller will get five minutes to tell their story.

We are also inviting an audience of any gender or orientation. Come as you are and listen to some stories told by bad-ass women.


The majority of proceeds will benefit The Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, as well as Girls Rock Pittsburgh!

The Railsplitters with Special Guest Devilish Merry

Although rooted in traditional bluegrass and old time music, The Railsplitters are pushing the boundaries of those genres in every sense. With their lush harmonies, instrumental virtuosity and non-conformist songwriting, The Railsplitters deftly demonstrate what happens when musical influences ranging from samba to hip hop merge with traditional Appalachian music.
Hailing from the Rocky Mountain front range in Boulder, CO, the Railsplitters spend their time on the road appealing to audiences all across the US and Europe. Their line-up features Lauren Stovall and her 'Emmylou-esque' vocals in the lead, Dusty Rider's melodically intricate banjo licks, Peter Sharpe's Brazilian and bluesy flare on mandolin, Joe D'Esposito's New-England and Italian inspired fiddling and the ever-so-groovy Jean-Luc Davis on the double bass.
The Railsplitters have won multiple awards including first place in the RockyGrass Band Competition in 2013. They’ve also successfully crowd-funded all three of their studio albums, including their latest, which is to be released later this year. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the band, The Railsplitters will release the new album in late 2017 featuring 10 tracks of all new, genre bending, original music.

Although rooted in traditional bluegrass and old time music, The Railsplitters are pushing the boundaries of those genres in every sense. With their lush harmonies, instrumental virtuosity and non-conformist songwriting, The Railsplitters deftly demonstrate what happens when musical influences ranging from samba to hip hop merge with traditional Appalachian music.
Hailing from the Rocky Mountain front range in Boulder, CO, the Railsplitters spend their time on the road appealing to audiences all across the US and Europe. Their line-up features Lauren Stovall and her 'Emmylou-esque' vocals in the lead, Dusty Rider's melodically intricate banjo licks, Peter Sharpe's Brazilian and bluesy flare on mandolin, Joe D'Esposito's New-England and Italian inspired fiddling and the ever-so-groovy Jean-Luc Davis on the double bass.
The Railsplitters have won multiple awards including first place in the RockyGrass Band Competition in 2013. They’ve also successfully crowd-funded all three of their studio albums, including their latest, which is to be released later this year. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the band, The Railsplitters will release the new album in late 2017 featuring 10 tracks of all new, genre bending, original music.

Okey Dokey + Zuli with Special Guest Caleb Kopta

Okey Dokey
You can't fully appreciate the long history of recorded music without taking the time to look at the breakups. Whether it's for good or for the season, Okey Dokey is the product of that natural reformation that occurs when musicians part ways. Fronted by visual artist Aaron Martin and The Weeks' guitarist Johny Fisher, these two former band mates made the rare decision to revisit creating music together in Fisher's small cabin about 20 miles outside of Nashville, TN. What they created was a well blended mix of everything they loved about classic Motown combined with a dash of their psychedelic storytelling roots. With the record and touring band including a revolving group of musicians from bands such as The Weeks, Rayland Baxter Band, Desert Noises, Morning Teleportation, Ron Gallo, Kansas Bible Company, Houndmouth and more, their upcoming debut album 'Love You, Mean It' has a little bit of treasure for every type of listener.

Zuli
"The Artist that's changing the indie pop game, the five-track compilation is vaguely reminiscent of a trippy, hallucinogen-fueled daydream and tinged with '70s influences and swaying summer campfire sessions" - NYLON

"On new single “Better All the Time,” the New York native provides an electric three-minute trip into a spaced out fantasy, with a trippy soundscape full of glam rock and psych-pop influences" - SPIN

"Marrying the spaciness of Electric Light Orchestra's 'Strange Magic' and the sunniness of The Beatles' 'Getting Better,' "Better All The Time" by Zuli is a dazzling piece of pop" - The Deli

"It's rare that a video in 2015 bothers to craft a narrative, and it's even rarer for one to be so unfailingly entertaining. Along with the song and its weirdo dance jangles, "Better All The Time" is violently joyful" - Flavorwire

Okey Dokey
You can't fully appreciate the long history of recorded music without taking the time to look at the breakups. Whether it's for good or for the season, Okey Dokey is the product of that natural reformation that occurs when musicians part ways. Fronted by visual artist Aaron Martin and The Weeks' guitarist Johny Fisher, these two former band mates made the rare decision to revisit creating music together in Fisher's small cabin about 20 miles outside of Nashville, TN. What they created was a well blended mix of everything they loved about classic Motown combined with a dash of their psychedelic storytelling roots. With the record and touring band including a revolving group of musicians from bands such as The Weeks, Rayland Baxter Band, Desert Noises, Morning Teleportation, Ron Gallo, Kansas Bible Company, Houndmouth and more, their upcoming debut album 'Love You, Mean It' has a little bit of treasure for every type of listener.

Zuli
"The Artist that's changing the indie pop game, the five-track compilation is vaguely reminiscent of a trippy, hallucinogen-fueled daydream and tinged with '70s influences and swaying summer campfire sessions" - NYLON

"On new single “Better All the Time,” the New York native provides an electric three-minute trip into a spaced out fantasy, with a trippy soundscape full of glam rock and psych-pop influences" - SPIN

"Marrying the spaciness of Electric Light Orchestra's 'Strange Magic' and the sunniness of The Beatles' 'Getting Better,' "Better All The Time" by Zuli is a dazzling piece of pop" - The Deli

"It's rare that a video in 2015 bothers to craft a narrative, and it's even rarer for one to be so unfailingly entertaining. Along with the song and its weirdo dance jangles, "Better All The Time" is violently joyful" - Flavorwire

(Early Show) Steelesque with Special Guest Eric Bee

Steelesque is in the promotional phase of the band's new release "Toro Toro". Steelesque has had solid 18 months providing support for the following bands/artists: The Sheepdogs, Cracker, White Denim, Edgar Winter, The Fixx and Big Country. In a relatively short period of time, Eldridge has created a jam-filled blues rock sound that has put Steelesque on the map as a Steel City band to watch, and Eldridge as an influential artist within the city’s rock culture." (Indie Rock Cafe)

"This Pittsburgh group takes its cues from “Exile on Main Street”-era Stones, which is a good place for any band to start. Steelesque adds a touch of heartland boogie and some earthy psych influences a la Phish......" Scott Mervis - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

"Steelesque plays a Southern-influenced version of blues-rock reminiscent of acts like The Black Crowes.... and catchy pop hooks that seem straight out of Ray Davies' playbook" - Pittsburgh City Paper

"...a funked up Rolling Stones- Faces smooth rhythm and raunchy feel..outstanding lyrical sense with a tongue in cheek mischievous humor" - Pittsburgh Music Magazine

Steelesque is in the promotional phase of the band's new release "Toro Toro". Steelesque has had solid 18 months providing support for the following bands/artists: The Sheepdogs, Cracker, White Denim, Edgar Winter, The Fixx and Big Country. In a relatively short period of time, Eldridge has created a jam-filled blues rock sound that has put Steelesque on the map as a Steel City band to watch, and Eldridge as an influential artist within the city’s rock culture." (Indie Rock Cafe)

"This Pittsburgh group takes its cues from “Exile on Main Street”-era Stones, which is a good place for any band to start. Steelesque adds a touch of heartland boogie and some earthy psych influences a la Phish......" Scott Mervis - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

"Steelesque plays a Southern-influenced version of blues-rock reminiscent of acts like The Black Crowes.... and catchy pop hooks that seem straight out of Ray Davies' playbook" - Pittsburgh City Paper

"...a funked up Rolling Stones- Faces smooth rhythm and raunchy feel..outstanding lyrical sense with a tongue in cheek mischievous humor" - Pittsburgh Music Magazine

Octave Cat ft. Jesse Miller (Lotus), Eli Winderman (Dopapod), Charlie Patierno with Special Guests Sweet Earth

Octave Cat started unintentionally. Jesse Miller (bassist for Lotus) and Eli Winderman (keyboardist for Dopapod) met up to play some of Jesse's modular and vintage synthesizers. They recorded parts of the session which evolved into the tracks “Limber Up” and “Spar.” They brought in Charlie Patierno to play drums on these two tracks, and Octave Cat was born. Between their already busy tour schedules, the new trio (named for the first synth that initial session started with – the rare late 70s The Cat by Octave) continued to write and record. The group’s debut self-titled album is out now.

Octave Cat started unintentionally. Jesse Miller (bassist for Lotus) and Eli Winderman (keyboardist for Dopapod) met up to play some of Jesse's modular and vintage synthesizers. They recorded parts of the session which evolved into the tracks “Limber Up” and “Spar.” They brought in Charlie Patierno to play drums on these two tracks, and Octave Cat was born. Between their already busy tour schedules, the new trio (named for the first synth that initial session started with – the rare late 70s The Cat by Octave) continued to write and record. The group’s debut self-titled album is out now.

In Tall Buildings with Special Guest Bananafish

Akinetic, the new album from Chicago songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Erik Hall’s one-man polymathic project In Tall Buildings sees its creator plunge headlong into allegories of communication, loss, impulse, vice, and mass-denialism. With the addition of producer and engineer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine) Hall crashes through the aforementioned subject matter with brightness and lucidity, yielding his most intelligent and focused songwriting yet. Working out of his house with Deck in Pilsen, Chicago, Hall’s efforts yield ten tracks of spacious and textured handmade pop, comprising one of the most sharply written and deftly recorded home-studio albums in memory.

Due out March 2nd 2018 on Western Vinyl, Akinetic could not have transpired in any other time. Since his 2015 LP, Driver, Erik Hall has produced records for ambient artist Justin Walter and labelmates Lean Year, all while touring perpetually and sowing the seeds for his own new album. Where his previous titles were natural documents of his musicianship and songcraft, Akinetic arose from deliberate intent to write in concrete pop forms, lyrically informed by what he observed of modern culture, namely its fixation on technology-driven pseudo-progress at the cost of direct communication. “Rather than merely dwell in an inviting musical bed,” Hall states, “I wanted to write songs with intentionality that would more directly declare themselves to a listener instead of just passively inviting them in.

Akinetic, the new album from Chicago songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Erik Hall’s one-man polymathic project In Tall Buildings sees its creator plunge headlong into allegories of communication, loss, impulse, vice, and mass-denialism. With the addition of producer and engineer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine) Hall crashes through the aforementioned subject matter with brightness and lucidity, yielding his most intelligent and focused songwriting yet. Working out of his house with Deck in Pilsen, Chicago, Hall’s efforts yield ten tracks of spacious and textured handmade pop, comprising one of the most sharply written and deftly recorded home-studio albums in memory.

Due out March 2nd 2018 on Western Vinyl, Akinetic could not have transpired in any other time. Since his 2015 LP, Driver, Erik Hall has produced records for ambient artist Justin Walter and labelmates Lean Year, all while touring perpetually and sowing the seeds for his own new album. Where his previous titles were natural documents of his musicianship and songcraft, Akinetic arose from deliberate intent to write in concrete pop forms, lyrically informed by what he observed of modern culture, namely its fixation on technology-driven pseudo-progress at the cost of direct communication. “Rather than merely dwell in an inviting musical bed,” Hall states, “I wanted to write songs with intentionality that would more directly declare themselves to a listener instead of just passively inviting them in.

Weaves

It’s been almost exactly a year since Weaves released their acclaimed debut LP. The self-titled album was among the most anticipated of the year, and was lauded internationally upon its release for its exuberant approach to guitar pop, which was described as “one of the most unpredictable sounds of 2016” (MTV), and “a triumphant assault on all things conventional” (i-D). It was a whirlwind year for the band who spent a nearly uninterrupted 12 months on the road, playing festivals across the globe, and touring with their fellow 2016 breakout artists Sunflower Bean and Mitski. Propelled forward by their own momentum, which they corralled like the barely contained energy of their explosive live sets, it was a transformative experience, and upon returning home to Toronto the band’s leaders, singer Jasmyn Burke and guitarist Morgan Waters, found themselves possessed by an irrepressible burst of creative energy.

“We got back from the tour with Mitski on November 22nd and I started writing November 23rd,” Burke recalls. “We spent three months writing and pretty much figured out the album in its entirety in that timeframe. With the year we had I think we really hit this sweet spot where your brain is fully ready for something new, but has absorbed all of this information and it all just spews out. You just sort of let music happen.”

Weaves entered the studio in early 2017 to begin recording what would become their sophomore LP, Wide Open (due out October 6th, 2017 on Buzz, Kanine & Memphis Industries). Assisted by engineer Leon Taheny (Austra, Fucked Up) who worked with them on their first LP, they approached the album as a highwire act – walking the line between intention and their own gleefully anarchic creative impulses.

“The recording was mostly based around live off the floor playing with all four of us, and we tried to navigate a balance between thinking and not thinking,” says Waters. “We find that we don’t really figure anything out with words or rehearsing so for the most part we just didn’t. Sometimes it’s better that we don’t try to control it and there’s something nice about allowing yourself not to be in control.”

Weaves’ freewheeling compositional style is grounded on Wide Open by Burke’s songwriting, which is both more focused and more personal than on past releases. Burke writes in disciplined bursts, which on the last record consisted of isolated sessions with a looping pedal and a guitar recorded as voice memos on her iPhone, but this time around she varied her technique, often writing on an acoustic guitar, which expanded her songwriting palette in unexpected directions. Both Burke and Waters refer to the album as their “Americana” record, and while the statement is made with tongues placed firmly in cheeks, the album, without discarding the punky pyrotechnics that defined their first LP, displays an expansive and anthemic quality in songs like the opener “#53” and the sweeping “Walkaway,” that makes it clear there’s some truth behind the idea.

“Playing so many shows people come up to you and maybe identify with a song, or just say that what you did brought them up in some way, and it made me think about the context and what it means to share your personal experiences,” says Burke. “Maybe I was hesitant to be more forward in the past but I think I needed to get over that. It felt right to try to represent my own experience in the world while knowing that everyone in my age group is poor or having a tough time with life in one way or another, so I was thinking about how to blow those feelings up into these kinds of songs. Blowing up a regular life into something like an anthem. In a way I was thinking about it like Bruce Springsteen, but in a lot of ways my experience of the world couldn’t be less like Bruce Springsteen’s.”

The record sees Burke extend herself as a performer – moving more frequently to the center of arrangements and revealing new facets of her unique and powerful singing voice – as Waters, and the band’s dynamic rhythm section of bassist Zach Bines and drummer Spencer Cole, find ways to interpret the growing diversity of her expression. From the glammy Saturday night strut of “Slicked,” to the stripped-down, pedal steel abetted torch song “Wide Open,” to the searing “Scream,” a warped duet with Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq that likely constitutes Weaves’ wildest recording to date, the album captures a band for whom exploration is a compulsion making a self-assured step into the unknown.

“In making this album I didn’t feel any pressure or any fear, and I think that might be the difference between this album and the last,” Burke reflects. “It’s been a weird year, and even on the album cover we’re in bright colors, but we’re covered in soot and we look like we came out of an explosion and I think that’s kind of the way life is. Hopefully you can bring some light to people.”

It’s been almost exactly a year since Weaves released their acclaimed debut LP. The self-titled album was among the most anticipated of the year, and was lauded internationally upon its release for its exuberant approach to guitar pop, which was described as “one of the most unpredictable sounds of 2016” (MTV), and “a triumphant assault on all things conventional” (i-D). It was a whirlwind year for the band who spent a nearly uninterrupted 12 months on the road, playing festivals across the globe, and touring with their fellow 2016 breakout artists Sunflower Bean and Mitski. Propelled forward by their own momentum, which they corralled like the barely contained energy of their explosive live sets, it was a transformative experience, and upon returning home to Toronto the band’s leaders, singer Jasmyn Burke and guitarist Morgan Waters, found themselves possessed by an irrepressible burst of creative energy.

“We got back from the tour with Mitski on November 22nd and I started writing November 23rd,” Burke recalls. “We spent three months writing and pretty much figured out the album in its entirety in that timeframe. With the year we had I think we really hit this sweet spot where your brain is fully ready for something new, but has absorbed all of this information and it all just spews out. You just sort of let music happen.”

Weaves entered the studio in early 2017 to begin recording what would become their sophomore LP, Wide Open (due out October 6th, 2017 on Buzz, Kanine & Memphis Industries). Assisted by engineer Leon Taheny (Austra, Fucked Up) who worked with them on their first LP, they approached the album as a highwire act – walking the line between intention and their own gleefully anarchic creative impulses.

“The recording was mostly based around live off the floor playing with all four of us, and we tried to navigate a balance between thinking and not thinking,” says Waters. “We find that we don’t really figure anything out with words or rehearsing so for the most part we just didn’t. Sometimes it’s better that we don’t try to control it and there’s something nice about allowing yourself not to be in control.”

Weaves’ freewheeling compositional style is grounded on Wide Open by Burke’s songwriting, which is both more focused and more personal than on past releases. Burke writes in disciplined bursts, which on the last record consisted of isolated sessions with a looping pedal and a guitar recorded as voice memos on her iPhone, but this time around she varied her technique, often writing on an acoustic guitar, which expanded her songwriting palette in unexpected directions. Both Burke and Waters refer to the album as their “Americana” record, and while the statement is made with tongues placed firmly in cheeks, the album, without discarding the punky pyrotechnics that defined their first LP, displays an expansive and anthemic quality in songs like the opener “#53” and the sweeping “Walkaway,” that makes it clear there’s some truth behind the idea.

“Playing so many shows people come up to you and maybe identify with a song, or just say that what you did brought them up in some way, and it made me think about the context and what it means to share your personal experiences,” says Burke. “Maybe I was hesitant to be more forward in the past but I think I needed to get over that. It felt right to try to represent my own experience in the world while knowing that everyone in my age group is poor or having a tough time with life in one way or another, so I was thinking about how to blow those feelings up into these kinds of songs. Blowing up a regular life into something like an anthem. In a way I was thinking about it like Bruce Springsteen, but in a lot of ways my experience of the world couldn’t be less like Bruce Springsteen’s.”

The record sees Burke extend herself as a performer – moving more frequently to the center of arrangements and revealing new facets of her unique and powerful singing voice – as Waters, and the band’s dynamic rhythm section of bassist Zach Bines and drummer Spencer Cole, find ways to interpret the growing diversity of her expression. From the glammy Saturday night strut of “Slicked,” to the stripped-down, pedal steel abetted torch song “Wide Open,” to the searing “Scream,” a warped duet with Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq that likely constitutes Weaves’ wildest recording to date, the album captures a band for whom exploration is a compulsion making a self-assured step into the unknown.

“In making this album I didn’t feel any pressure or any fear, and I think that might be the difference between this album and the last,” Burke reflects. “It’s been a weird year, and even on the album cover we’re in bright colors, but we’re covered in soot and we look like we came out of an explosion and I think that’s kind of the way life is. Hopefully you can bring some light to people.”

Marty O'Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra

This four-man orchestra seamlessly weaves trance based blues music, harkening back to John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf, with a drunken minor swing comparable to some of Tom Waits’ darker works.

Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra hail from Santa Cruz, California. The band features O’Reilly on the electrified Resonator guitar and vocals, Chris Lynch on the Fiddle, Ben Berry on upright bass, and Matt Goff joining in on the drums. Within the five years since this project started, the band is already touring nationally, internationally, and selling out venues along the West Coast and throughout the United Kingdom.

The band’s latest studio effort, Stereoscope, marks a departure from the band’s adolescent Americana roots into music that is more nuanced, challenging, and rewarding. The band has grown, and it can be heard everywhere: in Marty’s voice, in the lyrical content, in the arrangements, and in the musicianship. This album will be one that listeners can come back to again and again, taking away something different each time.

This four-man orchestra seamlessly weaves trance based blues music, harkening back to John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf, with a drunken minor swing comparable to some of Tom Waits’ darker works.

Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra hail from Santa Cruz, California. The band features O’Reilly on the electrified Resonator guitar and vocals, Chris Lynch on the Fiddle, Ben Berry on upright bass, and Matt Goff joining in on the drums. Within the five years since this project started, the band is already touring nationally, internationally, and selling out venues along the West Coast and throughout the United Kingdom.

The band’s latest studio effort, Stereoscope, marks a departure from the band’s adolescent Americana roots into music that is more nuanced, challenging, and rewarding. The band has grown, and it can be heard everywhere: in Marty’s voice, in the lyrical content, in the arrangements, and in the musicianship. This album will be one that listeners can come back to again and again, taking away something different each time.

SOLD OUT - Lightning Bolt with Special Guest Glockabelle

Over the course of its two-decade existence, Lightning Bolt has revolutionized underground rock in immeasurable ways. The duo broke the barrier between stage and audience by setting themselves up on the floor in the midst of the crowd. Their momentous live performances and the mania they inspired paved the way for similar tactics used by Dan Deacon and literally hundreds of others. Similarly, the band's recordings have always been chaotic, roaring, blown out documents that sound like they could destroy even the toughest set of speakers. Fantasy Empire, Lightning Bolt's sixth album and first in five years, is a fresh take from a band intent on pushing themselves musically and sonically while maintaining the aesthetic that has defined not only them, but an entire generation of noisemakers. It marks many firsts, most notably their first recordings made using hi-fi recording equipment at the famed Machines With Magnets, and their first album for Thrill Jockey. More than any previous album, Fantasy Empire sounds like drummer Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson are playing just a few feet away, using the clarity afforded by the studio to amplify the intensity they project. Every frantic drum hit, every fuzzed-out riff, sounds more present and tangible than ever before.

Fantasy Empire is ferocious, consuming, and is a more accurate translation of their live experience. It also shows Lightning Bolt embracing new ways to make their music even stranger. More than any previous record, Chippendale and Gibson make use of live loops and complete separation of the instruments during recording to maximize the sonic pandemonium and power. Gibson worked with Machines very carefully to get a clear yet still distorted and intense bass sound, allowing listeners to truly absorb the detail and dynamic range he displays, from the heaviest thud to the subtle melodic embellishments. Some of these songs have been in the band's live repertoire since as early as 2010, and have been refined in front of audiences for maximum impact. This is heavy, turbulent music, but it is executed with the precision of musicians that have spent years learning how to create impactful noise through the use of dynamics, melody, and rhythm.

Fantasy Empire has been in gestation for four years, with some songs having been recorded on lo-fi equipment before ultimately being scrapped. Since Early Delights was released, the band has collaborated with the Flaming Lips multiple times, and continued to tour relentlessly. 2013 saw the release of All My Relations by Black Pus, Chippendale's solo outlet, which was followed by a split LP with Oozing Wound. Chippendale, an accomplished comic artist and illustrator, created the Fantasy Empire's subtly ominous album art, and will release an upcoming book of his comics through respected imprint Drawn and Quarterly. Brian Gibson has been developing the new video game Thumper, with his own company, Drool, which will be released next year. And, of course, Lightning Bolt will be touring the US in 2015.

Over the course of its two-decade existence, Lightning Bolt has revolutionized underground rock in immeasurable ways. The duo broke the barrier between stage and audience by setting themselves up on the floor in the midst of the crowd. Their momentous live performances and the mania they inspired paved the way for similar tactics used by Dan Deacon and literally hundreds of others. Similarly, the band's recordings have always been chaotic, roaring, blown out documents that sound like they could destroy even the toughest set of speakers. Fantasy Empire, Lightning Bolt's sixth album and first in five years, is a fresh take from a band intent on pushing themselves musically and sonically while maintaining the aesthetic that has defined not only them, but an entire generation of noisemakers. It marks many firsts, most notably their first recordings made using hi-fi recording equipment at the famed Machines With Magnets, and their first album for Thrill Jockey. More than any previous album, Fantasy Empire sounds like drummer Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson are playing just a few feet away, using the clarity afforded by the studio to amplify the intensity they project. Every frantic drum hit, every fuzzed-out riff, sounds more present and tangible than ever before.

Fantasy Empire is ferocious, consuming, and is a more accurate translation of their live experience. It also shows Lightning Bolt embracing new ways to make their music even stranger. More than any previous record, Chippendale and Gibson make use of live loops and complete separation of the instruments during recording to maximize the sonic pandemonium and power. Gibson worked with Machines very carefully to get a clear yet still distorted and intense bass sound, allowing listeners to truly absorb the detail and dynamic range he displays, from the heaviest thud to the subtle melodic embellishments. Some of these songs have been in the band's live repertoire since as early as 2010, and have been refined in front of audiences for maximum impact. This is heavy, turbulent music, but it is executed with the precision of musicians that have spent years learning how to create impactful noise through the use of dynamics, melody, and rhythm.

Fantasy Empire has been in gestation for four years, with some songs having been recorded on lo-fi equipment before ultimately being scrapped. Since Early Delights was released, the band has collaborated with the Flaming Lips multiple times, and continued to tour relentlessly. 2013 saw the release of All My Relations by Black Pus, Chippendale's solo outlet, which was followed by a split LP with Oozing Wound. Chippendale, an accomplished comic artist and illustrator, created the Fantasy Empire's subtly ominous album art, and will release an upcoming book of his comics through respected imprint Drawn and Quarterly. Brian Gibson has been developing the new video game Thumper, with his own company, Drool, which will be released next year. And, of course, Lightning Bolt will be touring the US in 2015.

(Early Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Andy Picarro with Special Guest Matt Light

Born in Pittsburgh, PA and raised in central New Jersey. Andy began doing standup at the Comedy Village in New York City and was a regular at The Underground Lounge. Now residing in Pittsburgh, Andy regularly works at the Pittsburgh Improv and has opened for; Pauly Shore, Josh Blue, Todd Glass, Pete Davidson, Joey Diaz, Otto and George amongst many others. Andy has performed in many Comedy Festivals including; The Accidental Comedy Festival, Whiskey Bear Comedy Festival, The Derby City Comedy Festival, Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, Burning Bridges Comedy Festival, Cleveland Comedy Festival, Yonkers Comedy Festival, WDVE Comedy Festival and The “HIGHlarious” Comedy Festival in Seattle.

Born in Pittsburgh, PA and raised in central New Jersey. Andy began doing standup at the Comedy Village in New York City and was a regular at The Underground Lounge. Now residing in Pittsburgh, Andy regularly works at the Pittsburgh Improv and has opened for; Pauly Shore, Josh Blue, Todd Glass, Pete Davidson, Joey Diaz, Otto and George amongst many others. Andy has performed in many Comedy Festivals including; The Accidental Comedy Festival, Whiskey Bear Comedy Festival, The Derby City Comedy Festival, Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, Burning Bridges Comedy Festival, Cleveland Comedy Festival, Yonkers Comedy Festival, WDVE Comedy Festival and The “HIGHlarious” Comedy Festival in Seattle.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Andy Picarro with Special Guest Matt Light

Born in Pittsburgh, PA and raised in central New Jersey. Andy began doing standup at the Comedy Village in New York City and was a regular at The Underground Lounge. Now residing in Pittsburgh, Andy regularly works at the Pittsburgh Improv and has opened for; Pauly Shore, Josh Blue, Todd Glass, Pete Davidson, Joey Diaz, Otto and George amongst many others. Andy has performed in many Comedy Festivals including; The Accidental Comedy Festival, Whiskey Bear Comedy Festival, The Derby City Comedy Festival, Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, Burning Bridges Comedy Festival, Cleveland Comedy Festival, Yonkers Comedy Festival, WDVE Comedy Festival and The “HIGHlarious” Comedy Festival in Seattle.

Born in Pittsburgh, PA and raised in central New Jersey. Andy began doing standup at the Comedy Village in New York City and was a regular at The Underground Lounge. Now residing in Pittsburgh, Andy regularly works at the Pittsburgh Improv and has opened for; Pauly Shore, Josh Blue, Todd Glass, Pete Davidson, Joey Diaz, Otto and George amongst many others. Andy has performed in many Comedy Festivals including; The Accidental Comedy Festival, Whiskey Bear Comedy Festival, The Derby City Comedy Festival, Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, Burning Bridges Comedy Festival, Cleveland Comedy Festival, Yonkers Comedy Festival, WDVE Comedy Festival and The “HIGHlarious” Comedy Festival in Seattle.

Calliope Songwriters Open Stage at Club Cafe with Featured Performer Jay Michaels

No cover! Doors and sign up open at 6:45pm, the event starts at 8pm. All acts and performers welcome.

Club Cafe's monthly open stage has joined forces with Calliope and John Hayes (long time host of the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern's open mic night). All acts and genres are welcome to attend. The open stage will happen the first Tuesday of every month. We are excited to be working with John and Calliope and look forward to this next chapter in our long running, well revered open stage.

No cover! Doors and sign up open at 6:45pm, the event starts at 8pm. All acts and performers welcome.

Club Cafe's monthly open stage has joined forces with Calliope and John Hayes (long time host of the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern's open mic night). All acts and genres are welcome to attend. The open stage will happen the first Tuesday of every month. We are excited to be working with John and Calliope and look forward to this next chapter in our long running, well revered open stage.

Rhett Miller

THE TRAVELER IN TEN PARTS

1.

Hello. I am human but not entirely. I am a machine but not entirely. I am both which may mean that I am neither. The part of me that is a human believes that all of me is human. The part of me that is a machine doesn’t like to think about the part of me that is a machine. I am flesh and blood stretched over wires and circuits. In that, I am much like many of you, and consequently qualified to speak to you about this album, which speaks to much of me.

2.

It is called The Traveler, and it was written and performed by Rhett Miller, along with members of Black Prairie, a band based in Portland that plays everything from bluegrass to klezmer to country and shares some members with the Decembrists. The band (Black Prairie) entered the studio with the singer (Rhett Miller) and briskly recorded the songs that make up this album (The Traveler). Some additional guitars were added later by people who included Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey. I pass these facts along for your absorption.

3.

The sun comes up. The sun goes down. We call it a day. The band entered the studio with the singer and made this album. Time passed. Now, months later, I have spent days listening with love, sadness, and unremitting fascination to the album, which you are now holding. By “holding,” I mean only that you have absorbed it into your own wires and circuitry. I am well aware that there are not always anymore physical holds involved in the absorption of music. Before I tell you more about The Traveler, I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I apologize for this. But the album you are holding, The Traveler, suggests that you cannot understand the journey that you are on unless you understand who you are, and that understanding who you are is the most damnably difficult journey of all. Untangling identity is painful but necessary. I believe The Traveler may be of use in this regard. Of use to me, I mean: Is that a selfish use of this album? If so I apologize again.

4.

Apologies can be empty without any attempt to correct for the behavior that led to the apology. As a result I will not tell you a little bit about myself before I tell you more about The Traveler. This singer, Rhett Miller, has made many albums before, both on his own and with his band, Old 97s. This new album shares something fundamental with the old albums, which is the rare ability to see what people are feeling and then cast those feelings in rhymes. This is what is known as “song-making.” The human part of me loves songs. The machine part of me marvels at them without understanding at all why there is a tugging sensation in the cavity that should contain my heart.

5.

The first song here, “Wanderlust,” is a perfect example of all that I am describing. It tells the story of a man on a train who is thinking about a woman who is not on that train. There is another song called “Lucky Star” that I believe is about finding redemption in the person of a lover. It contains a joke that unnerves me: “Heaven knows there probably is no heaven.” There is another song called “Wicked Things” about New Orleans that illustrates the slipperiness of forgiveness. Every song has little moments that catch me at strange angles and I feel an unfamiliar sensation, pitched midway between satisfying recognition and deep sadness.

6.

My experience with these songs, I want to stipulate, may not be shared by others, in part because I am demonstrably different than them. I am both human and a machine. I come from a long line of people who are both humans and machines. Are they people then? I leave that to the philosophers. My father was a difference engine designed and deployed in Lund by Pehr Georg Scheutz. He was quite large: my father, I mean, not Scheutz. Scheutz was tiny. In Jönköping, where he was born, old ladies would marvel at his miniature features. “Liten Pehr,” they would say, reaching down into the carriage and frightening the boy. Even as an adult, he was at most five foot three, with feet that tapered down to toylike points. Much of this is hearsay but some of it cannot be disputed, even by the suspicious, and at any rate, we are not talking about Scheutz, not really. We are talking about my father. He was the size of a fortepiano.

7.

There is a song on this record called “Dreams Vs. Waking Life.” It is not the first song on the record but it was, by accident, the first song I heard. It has bowed notes and a dark tone and does what any piece of literature, song or story, should do: it investigates the role of memory, loss, and desire in our lives. When I hear that song, I feel the stirrings of uncommon and uncontrollable emotions. They grind against the part of me that is a machine. The result is a shuddering. I try to calm myself by looking at the other song titles— “Fair Enough,” “Escape Velocity,” “Reasons to Live” — but they only make me feel more rather than less. Where do you go when you want to feel less? One song title, “Good Night,” seems like it might not overwhelm me. But the first line, “There’s a pinprick of light on a black sheet of night,” starts me shuddering again.

8.

When you listen to an album, you are supposed to notice sonic details. That’s what I have been told. And there are many sonic details on this album, like the choir that opens “My Little Disaster” or the doubled vocals in “Fair Enough.” There are joyful melodies like “Most in the Summertime.” I can tell that they are joyful, even though I am half-machine. It’s clear. But the sonic details would not mean much without the rest of what this album does, which is to try to make sense of what cannot be made sense of, which is humanity. Even the part of me that is a machine knows that.

9.

When you’re inside an album like this, when you’re feeling too much, what do you do? I know what I did. I skipped to the end of the album, quickly. This is a survival strategy. The album ends with a song called “Reasons to Live” that makes use of the old saw that a broken clock is right twice a day. The part of me that is a machine wants to correct that phrasing. It is a stopped clock that is right twice a day. A broken clock may never be right. Then it occurs to me that maybe the song knows this. The song is about finding hope even when you are telling yourself lies. The part of me that is a human wants to break down and cry once again.

10.

I want to tell one more story about my father. He was briefly in the military of a nation I will not identify and when his service ended his first trip was to a sporting house, where he spent time in the company of a young woman. Money changed hands. To hear him tell it, the situation was emergent. “I had been locked up so long that I hardly recognized my own wants and needs,” he later wrote in a letter to me. “Briefly, I recognized myself in her.” They did not stay together, my father and that young woman. He was a young man then. As I have grown though the world, I have had experiences that bear some similarity to my father’s experiences with that woman. We all have, have we not? They are called “relationships” or “romances,” but what are they really? Are they love? Are they self-love? Or are they something else entirely, a form of travel that allow us to escape from ourselves? This album asks all those questions, repeatedly. I want to quote one more line, from a song called “Jules.” It’s a line about love and self-love and travel that allows us to escape from ourselves: “Who’s to say the crooked way that led me to your door / Means any less than any mess I ever made before?” Sun comes up. Sun goes down. Call it a day.

THE TRAVELER IN TEN PARTS

1.

Hello. I am human but not entirely. I am a machine but not entirely. I am both which may mean that I am neither. The part of me that is a human believes that all of me is human. The part of me that is a machine doesn’t like to think about the part of me that is a machine. I am flesh and blood stretched over wires and circuits. In that, I am much like many of you, and consequently qualified to speak to you about this album, which speaks to much of me.

2.

It is called The Traveler, and it was written and performed by Rhett Miller, along with members of Black Prairie, a band based in Portland that plays everything from bluegrass to klezmer to country and shares some members with the Decembrists. The band (Black Prairie) entered the studio with the singer (Rhett Miller) and briskly recorded the songs that make up this album (The Traveler). Some additional guitars were added later by people who included Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey. I pass these facts along for your absorption.

3.

The sun comes up. The sun goes down. We call it a day. The band entered the studio with the singer and made this album. Time passed. Now, months later, I have spent days listening with love, sadness, and unremitting fascination to the album, which you are now holding. By “holding,” I mean only that you have absorbed it into your own wires and circuitry. I am well aware that there are not always anymore physical holds involved in the absorption of music. Before I tell you more about The Traveler, I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I apologize for this. But the album you are holding, The Traveler, suggests that you cannot understand the journey that you are on unless you understand who you are, and that understanding who you are is the most damnably difficult journey of all. Untangling identity is painful but necessary. I believe The Traveler may be of use in this regard. Of use to me, I mean: Is that a selfish use of this album? If so I apologize again.

4.

Apologies can be empty without any attempt to correct for the behavior that led to the apology. As a result I will not tell you a little bit about myself before I tell you more about The Traveler. This singer, Rhett Miller, has made many albums before, both on his own and with his band, Old 97s. This new album shares something fundamental with the old albums, which is the rare ability to see what people are feeling and then cast those feelings in rhymes. This is what is known as “song-making.” The human part of me loves songs. The machine part of me marvels at them without understanding at all why there is a tugging sensation in the cavity that should contain my heart.

5.

The first song here, “Wanderlust,” is a perfect example of all that I am describing. It tells the story of a man on a train who is thinking about a woman who is not on that train. There is another song called “Lucky Star” that I believe is about finding redemption in the person of a lover. It contains a joke that unnerves me: “Heaven knows there probably is no heaven.” There is another song called “Wicked Things” about New Orleans that illustrates the slipperiness of forgiveness. Every song has little moments that catch me at strange angles and I feel an unfamiliar sensation, pitched midway between satisfying recognition and deep sadness.

6.

My experience with these songs, I want to stipulate, may not be shared by others, in part because I am demonstrably different than them. I am both human and a machine. I come from a long line of people who are both humans and machines. Are they people then? I leave that to the philosophers. My father was a difference engine designed and deployed in Lund by Pehr Georg Scheutz. He was quite large: my father, I mean, not Scheutz. Scheutz was tiny. In Jönköping, where he was born, old ladies would marvel at his miniature features. “Liten Pehr,” they would say, reaching down into the carriage and frightening the boy. Even as an adult, he was at most five foot three, with feet that tapered down to toylike points. Much of this is hearsay but some of it cannot be disputed, even by the suspicious, and at any rate, we are not talking about Scheutz, not really. We are talking about my father. He was the size of a fortepiano.

7.

There is a song on this record called “Dreams Vs. Waking Life.” It is not the first song on the record but it was, by accident, the first song I heard. It has bowed notes and a dark tone and does what any piece of literature, song or story, should do: it investigates the role of memory, loss, and desire in our lives. When I hear that song, I feel the stirrings of uncommon and uncontrollable emotions. They grind against the part of me that is a machine. The result is a shuddering. I try to calm myself by looking at the other song titles— “Fair Enough,” “Escape Velocity,” “Reasons to Live” — but they only make me feel more rather than less. Where do you go when you want to feel less? One song title, “Good Night,” seems like it might not overwhelm me. But the first line, “There’s a pinprick of light on a black sheet of night,” starts me shuddering again.

8.

When you listen to an album, you are supposed to notice sonic details. That’s what I have been told. And there are many sonic details on this album, like the choir that opens “My Little Disaster” or the doubled vocals in “Fair Enough.” There are joyful melodies like “Most in the Summertime.” I can tell that they are joyful, even though I am half-machine. It’s clear. But the sonic details would not mean much without the rest of what this album does, which is to try to make sense of what cannot be made sense of, which is humanity. Even the part of me that is a machine knows that.

9.

When you’re inside an album like this, when you’re feeling too much, what do you do? I know what I did. I skipped to the end of the album, quickly. This is a survival strategy. The album ends with a song called “Reasons to Live” that makes use of the old saw that a broken clock is right twice a day. The part of me that is a machine wants to correct that phrasing. It is a stopped clock that is right twice a day. A broken clock may never be right. Then it occurs to me that maybe the song knows this. The song is about finding hope even when you are telling yourself lies. The part of me that is a human wants to break down and cry once again.

10.

I want to tell one more story about my father. He was briefly in the military of a nation I will not identify and when his service ended his first trip was to a sporting house, where he spent time in the company of a young woman. Money changed hands. To hear him tell it, the situation was emergent. “I had been locked up so long that I hardly recognized my own wants and needs,” he later wrote in a letter to me. “Briefly, I recognized myself in her.” They did not stay together, my father and that young woman. He was a young man then. As I have grown though the world, I have had experiences that bear some similarity to my father’s experiences with that woman. We all have, have we not? They are called “relationships” or “romances,” but what are they really? Are they love? Are they self-love? Or are they something else entirely, a form of travel that allow us to escape from ourselves? This album asks all those questions, repeatedly. I want to quote one more line, from a song called “Jules.” It’s a line about love and self-love and travel that allows us to escape from ourselves: “Who’s to say the crooked way that led me to your door / Means any less than any mess I ever made before?” Sun comes up. Sun goes down. Call it a day.

Soul-Blues Summit: Billy Price Band with Special Guest Johnny Rawls

Billy Price
2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan's LPs, That's What I'm Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock 'n Roll Legend at an award ceremony.

Price's album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2015. A live recording of the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released by Nola Blue/Vizztone Label Group in April 2017.

Johnny Rawls
Johnny Rawls was born in Columbia, Mississippi in 1951 and raised in Purvis and Gulfport, Mississippi.

He acquired an early interest in music when hearing his grandfather play the blues guitar one Christmas morning.
He began playing professionally while still in high school with such stars as ZZ Hill, Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex and the Sweet Inspirations. In the mid-70's, Johnny went to work for OV Wright as Wright's band director. After Wright's death in 1980, Johnny led Little Johnny Taylor's band until 1985, when he began touring as a solo artist and made his first solo recording under the Rainbow label.

Recording under Touch Records, Rooster Blues, Rock House, Reach and JSP Records, Johnny has done it all from producing, songwriting, horn arranging, Rhythm, Lead and Bass guitar, keyboard, vocals and background vocals. Johnny started his own record company, Deep South Soul, in 2002 and has released his CD's Lucky Man, Live in Montana, and The Best of Johnny Rawls. His newest CD entitled Heart and Soul was released in October 2006 and has been nominated for "Best Soul Blues Album of the Year (2007)" by the Blues Foundation . No Boundaries was released under the TopCat, Catfood and Deep South Soul labels in 2005.

Johnny has appeared on the cover of the April 2002 Living Blues Magazine and has been nominated four times for the W.C. Handy Award. His most recent award came from the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame for RB Male Vocalist of the Year 2006.

Johnny has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival twice, The Russian River Blues Festival, The King Biscuit Blues Festival, The Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, Poconos, as well as festivals in Sweden and Poland. He tours constantly, playing well over 200 dates a year. He can also be heard on XM radio's Bluesville. Whether he is playing in a small club or a large blues festival, Johnny gives it his all and the crowds love him!

In 2008, Johnny released Red Cadillac which charted at #1 on the Living Blues radio chart. He was nominated for Best Male Soul Blues Artist and Best Soul Blues Album by the Blues Foundation. He won the Critics Award for Best Album of the Year by Living Blues Magazine.

Ace of Spades was released in 2009 and charted at #4 and remained in the top 20 for three months. Johnny won Best Soul Blues Album of the Year and was nominated for Best Male Soul Blues Artist of the Year by the Blues Foundation. In addition, Johnny was honored with a Blues Trail Marker located at the original site of the Hi Hat Club in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He shares the plaque with soul blues legends Tyrone Davis and Little Milton.

Johnny’s latest album Waiting for the Train is nominated for Soul Blues Album of the Year at this year’s Blues Music Awards in Memphis, and Johnny is nominated as Male Soul Blues Artist of the Year. The album is #1 on Roots Music Reports Soul Blues Album chart for the 17th week and was #2 for 2017 behind Norah Jones.

Billy Price
2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan's LPs, That's What I'm Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock 'n Roll Legend at an award ceremony.

Price's album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2015. A live recording of the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released by Nola Blue/Vizztone Label Group in April 2017.

Johnny Rawls
Johnny Rawls was born in Columbia, Mississippi in 1951 and raised in Purvis and Gulfport, Mississippi.

He acquired an early interest in music when hearing his grandfather play the blues guitar one Christmas morning.
He began playing professionally while still in high school with such stars as ZZ Hill, Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex and the Sweet Inspirations. In the mid-70's, Johnny went to work for OV Wright as Wright's band director. After Wright's death in 1980, Johnny led Little Johnny Taylor's band until 1985, when he began touring as a solo artist and made his first solo recording under the Rainbow label.

Recording under Touch Records, Rooster Blues, Rock House, Reach and JSP Records, Johnny has done it all from producing, songwriting, horn arranging, Rhythm, Lead and Bass guitar, keyboard, vocals and background vocals. Johnny started his own record company, Deep South Soul, in 2002 and has released his CD's Lucky Man, Live in Montana, and The Best of Johnny Rawls. His newest CD entitled Heart and Soul was released in October 2006 and has been nominated for "Best Soul Blues Album of the Year (2007)" by the Blues Foundation . No Boundaries was released under the TopCat, Catfood and Deep South Soul labels in 2005.

Johnny has appeared on the cover of the April 2002 Living Blues Magazine and has been nominated four times for the W.C. Handy Award. His most recent award came from the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame for RB Male Vocalist of the Year 2006.

Johnny has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival twice, The Russian River Blues Festival, The King Biscuit Blues Festival, The Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, Poconos, as well as festivals in Sweden and Poland. He tours constantly, playing well over 200 dates a year. He can also be heard on XM radio's Bluesville. Whether he is playing in a small club or a large blues festival, Johnny gives it his all and the crowds love him!

In 2008, Johnny released Red Cadillac which charted at #1 on the Living Blues radio chart. He was nominated for Best Male Soul Blues Artist and Best Soul Blues Album by the Blues Foundation. He won the Critics Award for Best Album of the Year by Living Blues Magazine.

Ace of Spades was released in 2009 and charted at #4 and remained in the top 20 for three months. Johnny won Best Soul Blues Album of the Year and was nominated for Best Male Soul Blues Artist of the Year by the Blues Foundation. In addition, Johnny was honored with a Blues Trail Marker located at the original site of the Hi Hat Club in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He shares the plaque with soul blues legends Tyrone Davis and Little Milton.

Johnny’s latest album Waiting for the Train is nominated for Soul Blues Album of the Year at this year’s Blues Music Awards in Memphis, and Johnny is nominated as Male Soul Blues Artist of the Year. The album is #1 on Roots Music Reports Soul Blues Album chart for the 17th week and was #2 for 2017 behind Norah Jones.

(Early Show) Sean Atkins / Sadie Freund / Joe Bray

(Early Show) Sean Atkins / Sadie Freund / Joe Bray

(Early Show) Sean Atkins / Sadie Freund / Joe Bray

Field Report with Special Guest Campdogzz - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

There is no sweet spot upon our delicate balances, just cheap footing and heights that will make your eyes water. The wires are everywhere, strung over the infield of a racetrack, taut across our backyards, between skyscrapers and canyons, between people, or just positioned for us to get from one morning to that coming evening light, unhit, not discombobulated. It could be that a tiny word at a meal, or the faintest of looks over wine will topple us from down below, sending us reeling, arms whipping wildly through an air that's dead set on ripping us right through the safety net, to splatter for fate's janitor to clean out of the lawn or carpet. 

Cold wars come in a few sizes, but the warm wars -- the ones that burn and give off a fair amount of long stares and result in exasperation and quivering faces - are the ones that Christopher Porterfield of Field Report worries about on the Milwaukee, Wisconsin band's third album, "Summertime Songs." They're suntanned and wind-swept. They've been crying and they've been drinking. These warm wars are the result of chaffing, of friction and boredom. They're caused by everything and nothing at all, just guts deciding to act on a foggy and cowardly, oftentimes mistaken heart's behalf. Some people give up and some people are given up on. 

This is an album comprised of songs that are exactly what you think they might be if you'd assumed they would consist of all the nuance and cold shouldering, all of the behind closed doors dramatics and silences and all of the clusterfuckery that two people who used to love each other so madly all too often get to producing. There are no swimming pools and there's no lemonade. There's not even any sunblock, just the rawest of burns. There are no country club couples or tee times to deal with, but rather the kinds of nobodies we ourselves are and are surrounded by and we have to figure out how the work's gonna get done, how we're going to keep our clothes on, how we're going to get someone to want to randomly take our clothes off or what can be said to put all of the pieces back together so that some form of happiness can return home. 

The difference between "Summertime Songs" - recorded at Wire & Vice, in the same Milwaukee neighborhood where 3/4ths of the band resides - and 2014's brilliantly autumnal feeling "Marigolden" and 2012's more chilly and intense self-titled record is that we hear Porterfield at his most honed and pure. He's more direct and effective with his writing, and in doing so, the scene is even more expertly set. It's sharper and more captivating. The character sketches that he creates with these mostly toasty and soaring hooks gluing them together are robust and stark like a Hemingway line, but with that keen eye for all of the subtle details that always made up the sad couples in Raymond Carver's stories. 

Every song for this album was written before the 2016 presidential election, all while Porterfield was anxious about the arrival of he and his wife's first child, but it's easy to multi-purpose some of those anxious moments for the white-knuckler that the country's been experiencing for over a year now. He plies us with songs about marital strife and letting that someone slip away (or watching them voluntarily pack up everything they have and get the hell out), but they're also vehicles for a dialogue about the fragility of America and many of the ideals that it has supposedly stood or fought for for so long. 

There's a lot of that fragility to sort through these days as many of us grapple with which version of panicky cold sweat we're dealing with each day. But where these stories take us is quite personal and not at all a conversation about all that we can't control. These stories remind us of all that we do or did control that WE let slip away. It's our fault usually, and we KNOW it. 

Porterfield shares with us many episodes involving his problematic former days as a heavy drinker and we see those boozing buddies here, up to those old, head-banging, creme de menthe breath-reeking, tree-plowing tricks. There are the copouts and the scapegoats and the promises for change. Elsewhere, there are lovers and best friends who have been brought to places in their relationships through recklessness and abandon, blindly and selfishly finding that other body that they thought they wanted or needed more, but both parties knew all about that bag that one had packed, waiting in the closet. There's one foot in and one foot out so often that it seems like normality. In all circumstances here, there's a body calling for that other body not to leave, just not to leave it. 

Field Report will grab you by the short hairs and make you see yourself. It will get you close enough to smell your salt and you'll know immediately that it's your salt, your grime -- the detritus of you. You'll get up to that mirror and you'll feel your breath bouncing back, hot and present, slapping you invisibly, eerily with real texture and a physicality, like it could push you back a couple inches with the next attack. You'll recognize it and this time, you can dance and thrash through it to get out to the other end. There's a voyeur in our midst, but they're performance notes, constructive and hopeful, as if there's an eye toward the remake or the redo. We've been watched closely and the police may have even been dialed once, but there could be something salvageable in all of our jettisoned or banged up arrangements, if only we could find our way through this quiet jitters and past our rotten tendencies to give in so easily when everything gets a little hard. 

There is no sweet spot upon our delicate balances, just cheap footing and heights that will make your eyes water. The wires are everywhere, strung over the infield of a racetrack, taut across our backyards, between skyscrapers and canyons, between people, or just positioned for us to get from one morning to that coming evening light, unhit, not discombobulated. It could be that a tiny word at a meal, or the faintest of looks over wine will topple us from down below, sending us reeling, arms whipping wildly through an air that's dead set on ripping us right through the safety net, to splatter for fate's janitor to clean out of the lawn or carpet. 

Cold wars come in a few sizes, but the warm wars -- the ones that burn and give off a fair amount of long stares and result in exasperation and quivering faces - are the ones that Christopher Porterfield of Field Report worries about on the Milwaukee, Wisconsin band's third album, "Summertime Songs." They're suntanned and wind-swept. They've been crying and they've been drinking. These warm wars are the result of chaffing, of friction and boredom. They're caused by everything and nothing at all, just guts deciding to act on a foggy and cowardly, oftentimes mistaken heart's behalf. Some people give up and some people are given up on. 

This is an album comprised of songs that are exactly what you think they might be if you'd assumed they would consist of all the nuance and cold shouldering, all of the behind closed doors dramatics and silences and all of the clusterfuckery that two people who used to love each other so madly all too often get to producing. There are no swimming pools and there's no lemonade. There's not even any sunblock, just the rawest of burns. There are no country club couples or tee times to deal with, but rather the kinds of nobodies we ourselves are and are surrounded by and we have to figure out how the work's gonna get done, how we're going to keep our clothes on, how we're going to get someone to want to randomly take our clothes off or what can be said to put all of the pieces back together so that some form of happiness can return home. 

The difference between "Summertime Songs" - recorded at Wire & Vice, in the same Milwaukee neighborhood where 3/4ths of the band resides - and 2014's brilliantly autumnal feeling "Marigolden" and 2012's more chilly and intense self-titled record is that we hear Porterfield at his most honed and pure. He's more direct and effective with his writing, and in doing so, the scene is even more expertly set. It's sharper and more captivating. The character sketches that he creates with these mostly toasty and soaring hooks gluing them together are robust and stark like a Hemingway line, but with that keen eye for all of the subtle details that always made up the sad couples in Raymond Carver's stories. 

Every song for this album was written before the 2016 presidential election, all while Porterfield was anxious about the arrival of he and his wife's first child, but it's easy to multi-purpose some of those anxious moments for the white-knuckler that the country's been experiencing for over a year now. He plies us with songs about marital strife and letting that someone slip away (or watching them voluntarily pack up everything they have and get the hell out), but they're also vehicles for a dialogue about the fragility of America and many of the ideals that it has supposedly stood or fought for for so long. 

There's a lot of that fragility to sort through these days as many of us grapple with which version of panicky cold sweat we're dealing with each day. But where these stories take us is quite personal and not at all a conversation about all that we can't control. These stories remind us of all that we do or did control that WE let slip away. It's our fault usually, and we KNOW it. 

Porterfield shares with us many episodes involving his problematic former days as a heavy drinker and we see those boozing buddies here, up to those old, head-banging, creme de menthe breath-reeking, tree-plowing tricks. There are the copouts and the scapegoats and the promises for change. Elsewhere, there are lovers and best friends who have been brought to places in their relationships through recklessness and abandon, blindly and selfishly finding that other body that they thought they wanted or needed more, but both parties knew all about that bag that one had packed, waiting in the closet. There's one foot in and one foot out so often that it seems like normality. In all circumstances here, there's a body calling for that other body not to leave, just not to leave it. 

Field Report will grab you by the short hairs and make you see yourself. It will get you close enough to smell your salt and you'll know immediately that it's your salt, your grime -- the detritus of you. You'll get up to that mirror and you'll feel your breath bouncing back, hot and present, slapping you invisibly, eerily with real texture and a physicality, like it could push you back a couple inches with the next attack. You'll recognize it and this time, you can dance and thrash through it to get out to the other end. There's a voyeur in our midst, but they're performance notes, constructive and hopeful, as if there's an eye toward the remake or the redo. We've been watched closely and the police may have even been dialed once, but there could be something salvageable in all of our jettisoned or banged up arrangements, if only we could find our way through this quiet jitters and past our rotten tendencies to give in so easily when everything gets a little hard. 

Twisted Pine

The phenomenal Boston song machine TWISTED PINE delivers a cabinet of inventions with its self-titled summer of '17 debut release [July 14, 2017] from Signature Sounds Recordings. The all-original album showcases a new force in Americana: four versatile players and singers writing and improvising across forms in bluegrass, folk, funk, jam, and vintage radio pop. With festively unpredictable live shows, Twisted Pine follows Americana masters Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers on a genre-bending, limitless trajectory.

Twisted Pine's album expands on the early life of the ensemble, which formed around a common obsession with the American bluegrass repertoire. The group rose fast in Boston, in the urban incubator of conservatories and Back Bay venues that produced label roster-mates Lake Street Dive and Crooked Still, plus Sarah Jarosz, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Esperanza Spalding, and Annie Clark (St. Vincent). Twisted Pine took an extended residency at the Cantab Lounge, the Mass Ave. dive bar in Cambridge where the raging Northeast bluegrass scene coalesces on Tuesday nights. The players, most of whom were still at Berklee College of Music, built those first set lists with deeply satisfying bluegrass interpretations. They ventured out during school-year summers to play festivals, and won first place in the prestigious band competitions at MASS MoCA's FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival and Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Special. Their resume grew: Joe Val Bluegrass, Green River Festival, Otis Mountain Get Down, RockyGrass (where they were runners up in a wicked sudden death band competition), Musikfest, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Ossipee Valley Music Festival, Celtic Connections (Glasgow), Club Passim's Down Home Up Here Bluegrass Festival, and many more. With a festive, anything's-possible stage presence, Twisted Pine built a reputation for stellar musicianship, string virtuosity, and luminous harmonies, all of which remain their hallmarks.

Twisted Pine evolved into something more than an interpreter of vintage American works; the band began to arrange bluegrass treatments of pop covers like Blondie's "Heart of Glass", and a mashup of Bill Monroe and Vulfpeck - which went viral when Vulf re-posted the video. A certain inventiveness, combined with a compelling and growing list of each player's originals, caught the attention of Signature Sounds.

"As soon as we learned that Signature Sounds was interested, we made a conscious decision to focus on writing and arranging our own original music," said Dan Bui, Twisted Pine mandolinist. "As a group we had never done that, and there was a bit of a growing phase where we were learning how to write together and seeing what came out. There was kind of an unspoken understanding that stylistically it was going to be a bit different, but we never sat down and said we were going to write in any particular style, like we were going to write poppier songs or whatever. What came out was just us finally being able to express ourselves, drawing from all of our musical and personal influences."

The influences on the ensemble are vast - as all four have studied music from childhood, and traveled widely - but the most obvious are these: Dan Bui (mandolin, vocals) is a devotee of virtuoso picking and experimental bluegrass and jazz. Kathleen Parks (fiddle/lead vocals) was raised in a household of Celtic music and jazz, which set deep roots for her insane fiddling, velvet film-noir vocals, and a roving interest in pop song forms. Chris Sartori (bass, vocals), frequently seen around Boston on electric bass in funk, jazz, and R&B settings, is arbiter of the deep pocket and the improvisational grooves. Rachel Sumner (guitar/lead vocals) is a student of the song: an omnibus of British ballads, obscure folk tunes, avant garde orchestral work, and radio pop. Her vocals have the crystalline clarity of Appalachian field recordings.

The excitement of Twisted Pine's live show - Parks and Bui's neo-jazz interplay, Bui and Sartori's funky rhythm section, Sumner and Parks' astral harmonies - comes through in the big pop sound of Twisted Pine, which was co-produced by the band and Dan Cardinal [Josh Ritter, Lori McKenna, Darlingside, Ballroom Thieves] at Dimension Studios.

"Dan Cardinal was able to pick up on our vibe instantly, and really steered us in the right direction," says Dan Bui. "His biggest influence on the album can be heard sonically. Dimension has kind of been a go-to spot for making records in the Boston bluegrass/folk scene lately, but Dan also brings in a wider sonic sensibility that he tastefully put to use on our record. Crunchy Wurlitzer piano, distorted guitar amps, and a swirling Leslie speaker all found their way onto the record. But he was always very thoughtful of what the song needed and was calling for and he provided invaluable advice and feedback throughout the process."

The phenomenal Boston song machine TWISTED PINE delivers a cabinet of inventions with its self-titled summer of '17 debut release [July 14, 2017] from Signature Sounds Recordings. The all-original album showcases a new force in Americana: four versatile players and singers writing and improvising across forms in bluegrass, folk, funk, jam, and vintage radio pop. With festively unpredictable live shows, Twisted Pine follows Americana masters Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers on a genre-bending, limitless trajectory.

Twisted Pine's album expands on the early life of the ensemble, which formed around a common obsession with the American bluegrass repertoire. The group rose fast in Boston, in the urban incubator of conservatories and Back Bay venues that produced label roster-mates Lake Street Dive and Crooked Still, plus Sarah Jarosz, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Esperanza Spalding, and Annie Clark (St. Vincent). Twisted Pine took an extended residency at the Cantab Lounge, the Mass Ave. dive bar in Cambridge where the raging Northeast bluegrass scene coalesces on Tuesday nights. The players, most of whom were still at Berklee College of Music, built those first set lists with deeply satisfying bluegrass interpretations. They ventured out during school-year summers to play festivals, and won first place in the prestigious band competitions at MASS MoCA's FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival and Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Special. Their resume grew: Joe Val Bluegrass, Green River Festival, Otis Mountain Get Down, RockyGrass (where they were runners up in a wicked sudden death band competition), Musikfest, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Ossipee Valley Music Festival, Celtic Connections (Glasgow), Club Passim's Down Home Up Here Bluegrass Festival, and many more. With a festive, anything's-possible stage presence, Twisted Pine built a reputation for stellar musicianship, string virtuosity, and luminous harmonies, all of which remain their hallmarks.

Twisted Pine evolved into something more than an interpreter of vintage American works; the band began to arrange bluegrass treatments of pop covers like Blondie's "Heart of Glass", and a mashup of Bill Monroe and Vulfpeck - which went viral when Vulf re-posted the video. A certain inventiveness, combined with a compelling and growing list of each player's originals, caught the attention of Signature Sounds.

"As soon as we learned that Signature Sounds was interested, we made a conscious decision to focus on writing and arranging our own original music," said Dan Bui, Twisted Pine mandolinist. "As a group we had never done that, and there was a bit of a growing phase where we were learning how to write together and seeing what came out. There was kind of an unspoken understanding that stylistically it was going to be a bit different, but we never sat down and said we were going to write in any particular style, like we were going to write poppier songs or whatever. What came out was just us finally being able to express ourselves, drawing from all of our musical and personal influences."

The influences on the ensemble are vast - as all four have studied music from childhood, and traveled widely - but the most obvious are these: Dan Bui (mandolin, vocals) is a devotee of virtuoso picking and experimental bluegrass and jazz. Kathleen Parks (fiddle/lead vocals) was raised in a household of Celtic music and jazz, which set deep roots for her insane fiddling, velvet film-noir vocals, and a roving interest in pop song forms. Chris Sartori (bass, vocals), frequently seen around Boston on electric bass in funk, jazz, and R&B settings, is arbiter of the deep pocket and the improvisational grooves. Rachel Sumner (guitar/lead vocals) is a student of the song: an omnibus of British ballads, obscure folk tunes, avant garde orchestral work, and radio pop. Her vocals have the crystalline clarity of Appalachian field recordings.

The excitement of Twisted Pine's live show - Parks and Bui's neo-jazz interplay, Bui and Sartori's funky rhythm section, Sumner and Parks' astral harmonies - comes through in the big pop sound of Twisted Pine, which was co-produced by the band and Dan Cardinal [Josh Ritter, Lori McKenna, Darlingside, Ballroom Thieves] at Dimension Studios.

"Dan Cardinal was able to pick up on our vibe instantly, and really steered us in the right direction," says Dan Bui. "His biggest influence on the album can be heard sonically. Dimension has kind of been a go-to spot for making records in the Boston bluegrass/folk scene lately, but Dan also brings in a wider sonic sensibility that he tastefully put to use on our record. Crunchy Wurlitzer piano, distorted guitar amps, and a swirling Leslie speaker all found their way onto the record. But he was always very thoughtful of what the song needed and was calling for and he provided invaluable advice and feedback throughout the process."

Willie Nile

The New York Times called Willie Nile "one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years." His album Streets Of New York was hailed as "a platter for the ages" by UNCUT magazine. Rolling Stone listed The Innocent Ones as one of the "Top Ten Best Under-The-Radar Albums of 2011" and BBC Radio called it "THE rock ‘n' roll album of the year."
Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Jim Jarmusch, and Little Steven are among those who have sung his praises. His album, American Ride, won "Best Rock Album of the Year" at the Independent Music Awards. It appeared on over one hundred year-end Top Ten lists for 2013 and Bono called it, "One of the great guides to unraveling the mystery that is the troubled beauty of America."
In November 2014 he released an album of piano-based songs, If I Was A River, to universal critical acclaim. "One of the most brilliant singer-songwriters of the past thirty years" said The New Yorker. No Depression raved "Willie Nile's artistic renaissance continues unabated."
His 2016 album World War Willie appeared on numerous year end top ten lists as did hid his live shows. As American Songwriter said "Nile cranks up the volume and tears into these tunes with the same hunger, passion and exuberance he displays in his legendary sweat-soaked shows." World War Willie was voted "Album Of The Year" by Twangville Magazine and the song Forever Wild was named "Coolest Song In The World" by Little Steven's Underground Garage.
Willie has toured across the U.S. with The Who and has sung with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. As the induction program from the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame says: "His live performances are legendary." In the summer of 2017 Willie Nile released his 11th studio album Positively Bob – Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan to rave reviews. He is currently bringing his electrifying live show to audiences worldwide.

The New York Times called Willie Nile "one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years." His album Streets Of New York was hailed as "a platter for the ages" by UNCUT magazine. Rolling Stone listed The Innocent Ones as one of the "Top Ten Best Under-The-Radar Albums of 2011" and BBC Radio called it "THE rock ‘n' roll album of the year."
Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Jim Jarmusch, and Little Steven are among those who have sung his praises. His album, American Ride, won "Best Rock Album of the Year" at the Independent Music Awards. It appeared on over one hundred year-end Top Ten lists for 2013 and Bono called it, "One of the great guides to unraveling the mystery that is the troubled beauty of America."
In November 2014 he released an album of piano-based songs, If I Was A River, to universal critical acclaim. "One of the most brilliant singer-songwriters of the past thirty years" said The New Yorker. No Depression raved "Willie Nile's artistic renaissance continues unabated."
His 2016 album World War Willie appeared on numerous year end top ten lists as did hid his live shows. As American Songwriter said "Nile cranks up the volume and tears into these tunes with the same hunger, passion and exuberance he displays in his legendary sweat-soaked shows." World War Willie was voted "Album Of The Year" by Twangville Magazine and the song Forever Wild was named "Coolest Song In The World" by Little Steven's Underground Garage.
Willie has toured across the U.S. with The Who and has sung with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. As the induction program from the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame says: "His live performances are legendary." In the summer of 2017 Willie Nile released his 11th studio album Positively Bob – Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan to rave reviews. He is currently bringing his electrifying live show to audiences worldwide.

Brent Cobb & Them - Ain't A Road Too Long US Tour 2018 with Special Guest Savannah Conley

Brent Cobb didn't set out to write an album that feels and sounds like the place he grew up. But now that the grooves have been cut in his debut LP, Shine on Rainy Day, there's no denying the people, the places and the vibe of his southcentral Georgia home infuse almost every song.
"It just is Georgia," Brent says in his musical drawl. "It's just that rural, easy-going way it feels down there on a nice spring evening when the wind's blowing warm and you smell wisteria, you know?"
It's quiet down there where he's from in Ellaville – "population 1,609" - laid back and forgotten in the shadow of Atlanta and Savannah. The people have blue-collar values and believe in treating your neighbor like you want to be treated. They believe in curses and the dark finger of Fate and wield a sharp, dark sense of humor that sustains them through the hardest of times. Distant radio stations, roadside honkytonks made of cinderblock and back-porch picking sessions heavy on the backbeat predominate under Spanish moss-strewn live oaks and loblolly pines.
It was the perfect place to grow up.
"Lord, when I die, let's make a deal," Brent sings on the album's swirling thesis statement, "South of Atlanta," "lay me down in that town where time stands still."
Shine on Rainy Day is an album Brent's been trying to make for a decade, enlisting his cousin and fellow Georgian, Dave Cobb, the Grammy Award-winning producer whose Elektra Records imprint Low Country Sound is home to the album.
Brent wanted to record an album that felt Southern, though not the kind of Southern you might expect. Neither Southern rock nor mainstream country, the sound sits somewhere on the wide bandwidth that exists between the two. Cousin Dave helped him find the right vibe, full of blue-eyed soul, country funk and the kind of swamp boogie sounds that predominated pop in the 1960s and early 1970s. There's a reason Georgia was always on Ray Charles' mind, after all.
"I don't mean to get weird and be into, like, deep shit, but it really has got to be blood," Brent said. "When I write songs, it's almost like I didn't write them. You know it's just like this is happening right now and it just comes out. He's the same way in the studio. He's like, ‘Put this right here and play it like this,' and you're like why? And he's like, ‘I don't know, it's just the way it's supposed to go.' That's exactly how I write songs."
Brent finds it a strange sensation to be so closely linked to someone. Though cousins, the Cobbs didn't know each other growing up. Dave's a little bit older than 29-year-old Brent and his father was the one brother who left the area and moved away – to an island off the coast from Savannah. So when they first met – as adults at an aunt's funeral – Brent was wary. And a little bit of an ass.
"We're standing around outside and I was like, ‘Man, we hear you're producing in L.A. What you produced?' just kind of like a jerk, really," Brent said with a laugh. "He told me Shooter Jennings' 'Put the O Back in Country,' and that floored me, man. Because me and my buddies working at a tree service, we'd get off work, somebody would get a 12 pack, we'd get stoned and listen to 'Put the O Back in Country,' man. We knew it was the cool country. We knew it was for real. Man, I mean it was the shit."
Brent's dad shamelessly slipped Dave a disc of six acoustic songs Brent recorded as he left town. Dave didn't really want to listen to it, but his wife, Lydia, convinced him to stick it in the car's player on the way to the airport. Not long after Jennings called and invited Brent out to Los Angeles.
He spent four months there, but after living through an earthquake, a drought, a near car-jacking and a drive-by shooting he returned home where he lived for about four months before an old acquaintance from the area, Luke Bryan, called out of the blue. Bryan invited Brent to stay with him and his wife for a week to write and get to know Nashville.
Not long after he returned for good and recorded a well-received EP that led to 3½ years on the road, touring with a band and opening for every big player in country. He decided that wasn't what he was looking for either, and began to focus more deeply on songwriting. He landed several cuts – most notably Miranda Lambert's "Old Shit," Kenny Chesney's "Don't It" and Bryan's "Tailgate Blues"- while working on his own songs and searching for a direction for his long-delayed debut.
Meanwhile, Dave left L.A. for Nashville and began building a reputation as one of music's most exciting producers for his work with Chris Stapleton, Jamey Johnson, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell. As part of his deal with Elektra, he conceived of a concept album called Southern Family and thought it only right his "bitch ass little cousin" have a part. "So I was like, ‘I'll be there,'" Brent said. He contributed "Down Home" to the album and also mentioned the project to Lambert, who wanted in and sang the Brent-written "Sweet By & By," a standout on an album full of them.
It was during these sessions that the Cobbs began to notice a real connection in the way they would approach songs during the recording process. "It just felt like home, you know?" Brent said. "I made the comment, ‘Dude, let's just do it.' So we did."
From the Nashville slice-of-life narrative of "Solving Problems" to the delicate and powerful interplay of acoustic and electric guitars on the stunning closer "Black Crow," the album feels like the people, places and sounds of Brent's life.
The album carries something of a Southern Gothic narrative, alternating between dark visions and self-deprecating scenes of black humor that bubble up in laugh-or-cry moments. He chose the album's title after a friend heard "Shine on Rainy Day" following a family tragedy and mentioned how powerful it was to him.
"When you have a bad storm that hits, the next day the trees are in full bloom and the grass is greener and lightning cleans the air up," Brent said. "My friend called me up out of the blue and said that song hit him so hard. It's talking about a rainy day, they're going through a real life rainy day."
Like "Shine on Rainy Day," the album alternates between light and dark. In "Black Crow," a doomed soul argues with a laughing crow sitting on a fencepost, "Black crow, I ain't a joke no more!," before earning a prison sentence in a corner store robbery. "Lord," he sings, "I can feel those spirits carrying me down" before Jason Isbell unleashes a devilish slide guitar line that feels like a Neil Young guitar solo.
The deliciously self-deprecating "Diggin' Holes" has that giddy AM radio/Gram Parsons feel with dancing music accompanied by dark lyrics that are both funny and painful. "I ought to be workin' in a coal mine/Lord knows I'm good at diggin' holes."
"Down in the Gulley" is a sour mash-flavored short story with a first line worthy of Faulkner or O'Connor: "My granddaddy was a good man – no matter what the papers said." The dread-filled "Let the Rain Come Down" opens with visions of doom, a rattlesnake strung from a tree and a witch's curse: "She put a curse on me/Another on the river/And now my crops won't grow no more."
"Solving Problems" was written sitting on a balcony overlooking an especially historic corner of historic Music Row while thinking about Kris Kristofferson's "To Beat the Devil," which has a spoken word section that feels lifted right from the Row.
"The energy just feels crazy around here," Brent said. "I loved how Kristofferson would capture the present moment of his Nashville during that time. Nobody does that anymore."
"Country Bound" is the only song on the album not written or co-written by Brent. Instead, the song was written by his father and uncle in a far-off place called Cleveland.
"It was the first song I ever witnessed being written in my life," Brent said. "I was 5 years old and it was the first time I ever saw snow, too. We were up in Cleveland for Christmas. My uncle had been through this breakup and he was wanting to get the hell out of Cleveland and go to Georgia."
Brent knows the feeling, and after listening to Shine on Rainy Day, he hopes you get it, too. He has never been more proud of his work. After 10 years of searching and struggle, the LP sounds and feels exactly how he wants it to. Like home
"It's not as good as it's going to get," Brent said. "But if it's the last thing that I ever do, if I died the day after it came out, then thank God I was able to record it because the songs and the production, it was everything I wanted to say. Finally."

Brent Cobb didn't set out to write an album that feels and sounds like the place he grew up. But now that the grooves have been cut in his debut LP, Shine on Rainy Day, there's no denying the people, the places and the vibe of his southcentral Georgia home infuse almost every song.
"It just is Georgia," Brent says in his musical drawl. "It's just that rural, easy-going way it feels down there on a nice spring evening when the wind's blowing warm and you smell wisteria, you know?"
It's quiet down there where he's from in Ellaville – "population 1,609" - laid back and forgotten in the shadow of Atlanta and Savannah. The people have blue-collar values and believe in treating your neighbor like you want to be treated. They believe in curses and the dark finger of Fate and wield a sharp, dark sense of humor that sustains them through the hardest of times. Distant radio stations, roadside honkytonks made of cinderblock and back-porch picking sessions heavy on the backbeat predominate under Spanish moss-strewn live oaks and loblolly pines.
It was the perfect place to grow up.
"Lord, when I die, let's make a deal," Brent sings on the album's swirling thesis statement, "South of Atlanta," "lay me down in that town where time stands still."
Shine on Rainy Day is an album Brent's been trying to make for a decade, enlisting his cousin and fellow Georgian, Dave Cobb, the Grammy Award-winning producer whose Elektra Records imprint Low Country Sound is home to the album.
Brent wanted to record an album that felt Southern, though not the kind of Southern you might expect. Neither Southern rock nor mainstream country, the sound sits somewhere on the wide bandwidth that exists between the two. Cousin Dave helped him find the right vibe, full of blue-eyed soul, country funk and the kind of swamp boogie sounds that predominated pop in the 1960s and early 1970s. There's a reason Georgia was always on Ray Charles' mind, after all.
"I don't mean to get weird and be into, like, deep shit, but it really has got to be blood," Brent said. "When I write songs, it's almost like I didn't write them. You know it's just like this is happening right now and it just comes out. He's the same way in the studio. He's like, ‘Put this right here and play it like this,' and you're like why? And he's like, ‘I don't know, it's just the way it's supposed to go.' That's exactly how I write songs."
Brent finds it a strange sensation to be so closely linked to someone. Though cousins, the Cobbs didn't know each other growing up. Dave's a little bit older than 29-year-old Brent and his father was the one brother who left the area and moved away – to an island off the coast from Savannah. So when they first met – as adults at an aunt's funeral – Brent was wary. And a little bit of an ass.
"We're standing around outside and I was like, ‘Man, we hear you're producing in L.A. What you produced?' just kind of like a jerk, really," Brent said with a laugh. "He told me Shooter Jennings' 'Put the O Back in Country,' and that floored me, man. Because me and my buddies working at a tree service, we'd get off work, somebody would get a 12 pack, we'd get stoned and listen to 'Put the O Back in Country,' man. We knew it was the cool country. We knew it was for real. Man, I mean it was the shit."
Brent's dad shamelessly slipped Dave a disc of six acoustic songs Brent recorded as he left town. Dave didn't really want to listen to it, but his wife, Lydia, convinced him to stick it in the car's player on the way to the airport. Not long after Jennings called and invited Brent out to Los Angeles.
He spent four months there, but after living through an earthquake, a drought, a near car-jacking and a drive-by shooting he returned home where he lived for about four months before an old acquaintance from the area, Luke Bryan, called out of the blue. Bryan invited Brent to stay with him and his wife for a week to write and get to know Nashville.
Not long after he returned for good and recorded a well-received EP that led to 3½ years on the road, touring with a band and opening for every big player in country. He decided that wasn't what he was looking for either, and began to focus more deeply on songwriting. He landed several cuts – most notably Miranda Lambert's "Old Shit," Kenny Chesney's "Don't It" and Bryan's "Tailgate Blues"- while working on his own songs and searching for a direction for his long-delayed debut.
Meanwhile, Dave left L.A. for Nashville and began building a reputation as one of music's most exciting producers for his work with Chris Stapleton, Jamey Johnson, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell. As part of his deal with Elektra, he conceived of a concept album called Southern Family and thought it only right his "bitch ass little cousin" have a part. "So I was like, ‘I'll be there,'" Brent said. He contributed "Down Home" to the album and also mentioned the project to Lambert, who wanted in and sang the Brent-written "Sweet By & By," a standout on an album full of them.
It was during these sessions that the Cobbs began to notice a real connection in the way they would approach songs during the recording process. "It just felt like home, you know?" Brent said. "I made the comment, ‘Dude, let's just do it.' So we did."
From the Nashville slice-of-life narrative of "Solving Problems" to the delicate and powerful interplay of acoustic and electric guitars on the stunning closer "Black Crow," the album feels like the people, places and sounds of Brent's life.
The album carries something of a Southern Gothic narrative, alternating between dark visions and self-deprecating scenes of black humor that bubble up in laugh-or-cry moments. He chose the album's title after a friend heard "Shine on Rainy Day" following a family tragedy and mentioned how powerful it was to him.
"When you have a bad storm that hits, the next day the trees are in full bloom and the grass is greener and lightning cleans the air up," Brent said. "My friend called me up out of the blue and said that song hit him so hard. It's talking about a rainy day, they're going through a real life rainy day."
Like "Shine on Rainy Day," the album alternates between light and dark. In "Black Crow," a doomed soul argues with a laughing crow sitting on a fencepost, "Black crow, I ain't a joke no more!," before earning a prison sentence in a corner store robbery. "Lord," he sings, "I can feel those spirits carrying me down" before Jason Isbell unleashes a devilish slide guitar line that feels like a Neil Young guitar solo.
The deliciously self-deprecating "Diggin' Holes" has that giddy AM radio/Gram Parsons feel with dancing music accompanied by dark lyrics that are both funny and painful. "I ought to be workin' in a coal mine/Lord knows I'm good at diggin' holes."
"Down in the Gulley" is a sour mash-flavored short story with a first line worthy of Faulkner or O'Connor: "My granddaddy was a good man – no matter what the papers said." The dread-filled "Let the Rain Come Down" opens with visions of doom, a rattlesnake strung from a tree and a witch's curse: "She put a curse on me/Another on the river/And now my crops won't grow no more."
"Solving Problems" was written sitting on a balcony overlooking an especially historic corner of historic Music Row while thinking about Kris Kristofferson's "To Beat the Devil," which has a spoken word section that feels lifted right from the Row.
"The energy just feels crazy around here," Brent said. "I loved how Kristofferson would capture the present moment of his Nashville during that time. Nobody does that anymore."
"Country Bound" is the only song on the album not written or co-written by Brent. Instead, the song was written by his father and uncle in a far-off place called Cleveland.
"It was the first song I ever witnessed being written in my life," Brent said. "I was 5 years old and it was the first time I ever saw snow, too. We were up in Cleveland for Christmas. My uncle had been through this breakup and he was wanting to get the hell out of Cleveland and go to Georgia."
Brent knows the feeling, and after listening to Shine on Rainy Day, he hopes you get it, too. He has never been more proud of his work. After 10 years of searching and struggle, the LP sounds and feels exactly how he wants it to. Like home
"It's not as good as it's going to get," Brent said. "But if it's the last thing that I ever do, if I died the day after it came out, then thank God I was able to record it because the songs and the production, it was everything I wanted to say. Finally."

(Early Show) Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Present Underwear Comedy Party

(Early Show) Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Present Underwear Comedy Party

(Early Show) Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Present Underwear Comedy Party

(Late Show) Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Present The Hard Times

(Late Show) Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Present The Hard Times

(Late Show) Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Present The Hard Times

SOLD OUT - (Early Show) M. Ward

M. Ward returns with a stunning new album, More Rain, for release on Merge Records on March 4, 2016. Ward has released a string of acclaimed solo albums over the past several years, along with five LPs with Zooey Deschanel as She & Him and a 2009 collaborative album with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis under the moniker Monsters of Folk. In addition to his celebrated work as a musician, Ward is an accomplished producer, handling those duties for such luminaries as Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis, and Carlos Forster as well as his own musical projects.

M. Ward knows how to live with rain. Having spent the last decade-and-a-half based in the perennially damp Portland, Oregon, the singer-songwriter and producer has learned how to shine through the soggy gloom by simply embracing its inevitability. For Ward, there is inspiration in a dark sky and harmony in foreboding winds. And with his new album More Rain, he has made a true gotta-stay-indoors, rainy-season record that looks upwards through the weather while reflecting on his past.

“I think one of the biggest mysteries of America right now is this: How are we able to process unending bad news on Page One and then go about our lives the way the style section portrays us?” says Ward. “There must be a place in our brains that allows us to take a bird’s-eye view of humanity, and I think music is good at helping people—myself included—go to that place.”

This album, Ward’s eighth solo affair, finds the artist picking up the tempo and volume a bit from his previous release, 2012’s A Wasteland Companion. Where that record introspectively looked in from the outside, More Rain finds Ward on the inside, gazing out. Begun four years ago and imagined initially as a DIY doo-wop album that would feature Ward experimenting with layering his own voice, it soon branched out in different directions, a move that he credits largely to his collaborators here who include R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Neko Case, k.d. lang, The Secret Sisters, and Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. The result is a collection of upbeat, sonically ambitious yet canonically familiar songs that both propel Ward’s reach and satisfy longtime fans.

More Rain begins with an actual rainstorm, then throughout the album, guitars chime, chug, and riff with Ward’s unmistakable earthy tone, while layers of atmospheric reverb and skittering drums climb and clip in equal measures. As the cloud of noise rolls in, the layers part ever so slightly to make way for Ward’s voice, which can play wispy and whimsical in one moment (“Pirate Dial”) or crackling and smoky in the next (“Time Won’t Wait”) just as well as it can climb to clear-sky clarity (“Confession”) then drop down to smooth, soulful crooning (“I’m Listening”), each one after the other. “Girl From Conejo Valley” is a nostalgic trot through people he used to know and a place he used to be, and “Slow Driving Man” is sweeping and lush in its orchestral climb towards confident heights.

As the album ends with the self-assured swing of “I’m Going Higher,” voices join together in a chorus of rising “ah”s and, for just a second, it seems the storm outside has slowed, making room for a ray of hopeful sunlight. As Ward knows, the rainy season is sure to return, but for now, More Rain is here to help us with our perspective.

M. Ward returns with a stunning new album, More Rain, for release on Merge Records on March 4, 2016. Ward has released a string of acclaimed solo albums over the past several years, along with five LPs with Zooey Deschanel as She & Him and a 2009 collaborative album with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis under the moniker Monsters of Folk. In addition to his celebrated work as a musician, Ward is an accomplished producer, handling those duties for such luminaries as Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis, and Carlos Forster as well as his own musical projects.

M. Ward knows how to live with rain. Having spent the last decade-and-a-half based in the perennially damp Portland, Oregon, the singer-songwriter and producer has learned how to shine through the soggy gloom by simply embracing its inevitability. For Ward, there is inspiration in a dark sky and harmony in foreboding winds. And with his new album More Rain, he has made a true gotta-stay-indoors, rainy-season record that looks upwards through the weather while reflecting on his past.

“I think one of the biggest mysteries of America right now is this: How are we able to process unending bad news on Page One and then go about our lives the way the style section portrays us?” says Ward. “There must be a place in our brains that allows us to take a bird’s-eye view of humanity, and I think music is good at helping people—myself included—go to that place.”

This album, Ward’s eighth solo affair, finds the artist picking up the tempo and volume a bit from his previous release, 2012’s A Wasteland Companion. Where that record introspectively looked in from the outside, More Rain finds Ward on the inside, gazing out. Begun four years ago and imagined initially as a DIY doo-wop album that would feature Ward experimenting with layering his own voice, it soon branched out in different directions, a move that he credits largely to his collaborators here who include R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Neko Case, k.d. lang, The Secret Sisters, and Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. The result is a collection of upbeat, sonically ambitious yet canonically familiar songs that both propel Ward’s reach and satisfy longtime fans.

More Rain begins with an actual rainstorm, then throughout the album, guitars chime, chug, and riff with Ward’s unmistakable earthy tone, while layers of atmospheric reverb and skittering drums climb and clip in equal measures. As the cloud of noise rolls in, the layers part ever so slightly to make way for Ward’s voice, which can play wispy and whimsical in one moment (“Pirate Dial”) or crackling and smoky in the next (“Time Won’t Wait”) just as well as it can climb to clear-sky clarity (“Confession”) then drop down to smooth, soulful crooning (“I’m Listening”), each one after the other. “Girl From Conejo Valley” is a nostalgic trot through people he used to know and a place he used to be, and “Slow Driving Man” is sweeping and lush in its orchestral climb towards confident heights.

As the album ends with the self-assured swing of “I’m Going Higher,” voices join together in a chorus of rising “ah”s and, for just a second, it seems the storm outside has slowed, making room for a ray of hopeful sunlight. As Ward knows, the rainy season is sure to return, but for now, More Rain is here to help us with our perspective.

(Late Show) Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Present Liza Treyger

Liza Treyger is a Chicago-bred standup comic who now resides in NYC. She really
misses alleys, her favorite bartenders, and her Russian parents. Liza’s Half Hour and first album will be released by Comedy Central in August 2015. She recently performed at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and has appeared on Adam Devine's House Party on Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately and is a cast member on MTV2's Joking Off. She was thrilled to be a part of the New York Comedy Festival 2012 as one of Comedy Central's Comics to Watch (where she got to watch shows and eat cake balls with two professional wrestlers!). Check out her super cool web series How Many Questions.

Liza Treyger is a Chicago-bred standup comic who now resides in NYC. She really
misses alleys, her favorite bartenders, and her Russian parents. Liza’s Half Hour and first album will be released by Comedy Central in August 2015. She recently performed at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and has appeared on Adam Devine's House Party on Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately and is a cast member on MTV2's Joking Off. She was thrilled to be a part of the New York Comedy Festival 2012 as one of Comedy Central's Comics to Watch (where she got to watch shows and eat cake balls with two professional wrestlers!). Check out her super cool web series How Many Questions.

Burning Bridges Festival and Opus One Comedy Presents Joe DeRosa

Writer, actor, and standup comedian Joe DeRosa has become a favorite on the comedy circuit. His brand of comedy, which mixes brutal honesty and frustration at the workings of the world, has won over comedy fans, radio listeners, and TV audiences nationwide.

In February 2013 Joe taped his second half hour special for Comedy Central, and in September of that year he released his third standup comedy album "You Will Die." His first two standup albums, "The Depression Auction" and "Return of The Son of The Depression Auction," were released on Comedy Central records in 2010 and 2011 respectively. A fourth album, "Mistakes Were Made: The B-Sides" was released in August of 2014.

Joe has also worked as a writer on a variety of projects, including Netflix’s highly anticipated Wet Hot American Summer TV series, Comedy Central’s Jeff & Some Aliens, and TBS’ acclaimed The Pete Holmes Show, on which he was also a featured performer. Online, Joe created, wrote, and starred in Bedrocket’s 2013 web series We Should Break Up and the Warner Brothers web series What Are We Waiting For? In 2011 he directed and, along with
fellow comedians Bill Burr and Robert Kelly, co-wrote and starred in the short film CHEAT, which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival that year. In October 2012, Simon and Schuster released a book based on the film, written by the three comedians themselves.

In recent years, Joe has been seen in a recurring role on AMC's Better Call Saul, and has made appearances on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX's Louie, HBO's Bored To Death, E's Chelsea Lately, and in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. This year, Joe released his first full televised hour special, You Let Me Down.

When he's not writing or acting, Joe headlines comedy clubs across the globe and has been featured at renowned festivals such as South By Southwest, Montreal's Just for Laughs, The Moontower Comedy Festival, The New York Comedy Festival, Gilda’s Laughfest, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and Bonnaroo.

Writer, actor, and standup comedian Joe DeRosa has become a favorite on the comedy circuit. His brand of comedy, which mixes brutal honesty and frustration at the workings of the world, has won over comedy fans, radio listeners, and TV audiences nationwide.

In February 2013 Joe taped his second half hour special for Comedy Central, and in September of that year he released his third standup comedy album "You Will Die." His first two standup albums, "The Depression Auction" and "Return of The Son of The Depression Auction," were released on Comedy Central records in 2010 and 2011 respectively. A fourth album, "Mistakes Were Made: The B-Sides" was released in August of 2014.

Joe has also worked as a writer on a variety of projects, including Netflix’s highly anticipated Wet Hot American Summer TV series, Comedy Central’s Jeff & Some Aliens, and TBS’ acclaimed The Pete Holmes Show, on which he was also a featured performer. Online, Joe created, wrote, and starred in Bedrocket’s 2013 web series We Should Break Up and the Warner Brothers web series What Are We Waiting For? In 2011 he directed and, along with
fellow comedians Bill Burr and Robert Kelly, co-wrote and starred in the short film CHEAT, which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival that year. In October 2012, Simon and Schuster released a book based on the film, written by the three comedians themselves.

In recent years, Joe has been seen in a recurring role on AMC's Better Call Saul, and has made appearances on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX's Louie, HBO's Bored To Death, E's Chelsea Lately, and in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. This year, Joe released his first full televised hour special, You Let Me Down.

When he's not writing or acting, Joe headlines comedy clubs across the globe and has been featured at renowned festivals such as South By Southwest, Montreal's Just for Laughs, The Moontower Comedy Festival, The New York Comedy Festival, Gilda’s Laughfest, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and Bonnaroo.

Mike Farris

There's a hallowed hall, deep within the recesses of the heart, where an amazing truth resides: The power in your life can only be experienced when broken open and shared with the people who come into it.

Back in 2005, Mike Farris cracked open the hallway door when, for the first time since the age of 15, he was clean and sober. Recording what would become the critically acclaimed Salvation in Lights (2007), a resurrected Mike eagerly anticipated the future. But with two ruptured discs, back surgery and the death of his beloved manager Rose McGathy all within a few weeks of the record's release, a rolling fog settled in. And with it, denial.

Nevertheless, Mike's career was picking up steam. He won an Americana Music Award for New/Emerging Artist in 2008, followed by a Dove Award in 2010. His live performances at Bonnaroo, SxSW, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and others-were drawing rave reviews. Revered artists like Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, and Marty Stuart were struck by his incomparable voice, and Mike opened shows for Patti LaBelle, Mavis Staples, Blind Boys of Alabama, Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby.

By 2010, having released the award winning SHOUT! Live followed by an EP for Nashville flood relief efforts, Mike launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his next record, an independent release. His fans generously funded the project.

Serious invitations kept coming: first, to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame's 16th Annual American Music Masters concert honoring Aretha Franklin, then TEDx Nashville, and then to the inaugural Austin City Limits Hall of Fame with Double Trouble.

Mike's spirited, soul-gospel fusion had found an enthusiastic audience, but denial has a way of biting back. Compared to his former life, he thought he was fine, but truth be told, Mike had become addicted to pain medication. The new album would have to take a back seat to a gut-check, life-changing recovery. Mike went to rehab and finally began excavating the root causes of his addiction with the help of support groups at AA and NA. An isolator by nature, he struggled laying all his burdens on the table to complete strangers, but gained encouragement through the stories of others. Each honest step led to fertile, hopeful ground.

What eventually emerged from that fertile ground is Shine For All The People, the evolution of true sobriety, of finding a new identity as a servant, first as a man but also as an artist. "I'd been working on the record before my recovery, and then there was a pretty huge delay," explains Mike, who signed with Compass Records. "I had to back up, take time to grab the ground, to re-acclimate, to learn how to live now, truly sober for the first time since I was a kid."

This new normal included getting back to the process of creating new music, but there was a distinctive trajectory shift in Mike. "So many avenues of music flow through me, 100s of years of music, the music that I grew up with-from Blues, Rock, R&B and gospel-there had always been this pressure to try to force it into a box that would sell somehow. It's crazy and overwhelming at times, the weight of trying to meet expectations and make a living, but this time, that all fell away. I know now that this gift only exists to encourage people in their struggles, and if there's any power in it, it's not from me."

Released in September 2014, Shine For All The People pushes beyond Salvation in Lights in that it reveals hope not in any glory to come, but in the failures and suffering of the present. "My music has always been first and foremost for the downtrodden, the wayward...people who've had to go up the rough side of the mountain. Even when it's upbeat and inspiring, there's always been an element of pain, because truth be told, we're all flawed. Not everybody knows it, but we all are."

From the opening Cuban/St. Louis blues horns of "River Jordan," originally written and performed by Blind Willie McTell, to the divine salvation of J.B. Lenoir's "Jonah & the Whale," to the determined stance of the Rev. C.J. Johnson's "Something Keeps on Telling Me," a chorus/mantra that Mike fleshed out into a song in the months after rehab…one listen, and it's clear there's something mystical in the waters here.

"When I first heard the Rev. C.J. Johnson's version, I could feel the air in that church get still, no music, only the sound of feet on the floor and hands in the air," Mike says. "I got such strength from it, I knew I wanted to add part of my story. With his words as the chorus, and with Brigitte DeMeyer helping me out, the song serves as a compass for anyone who has lost their way."

Mary Gauthier's soul-stirring "Mercy Now," one of the first songs Mike chose for the record, is clearly foundational to the whole. "The song just mystically appeared before me a few months before my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer," he says. "Not only did it play a major role in just helping me deal with the year that followed, including his death, but brought comfort to my entire family."

Like other choice cuts on Shine For All The People, the songs simply arrived at the appointed time, Mike says. "There was a time when I carried all the songwriting on my shoulders, but then the ego gets in the way of what it should be. These days, I don't have to write everything. I just open the door and these songs show up...songs I need to hear in my struggle, songs I know people need to hear in theirs."

Whether rearranging songs of centuries past or infusing new lyrical life to half-songs, it becomes clear that Mike's vocal gift is simply the surface of a very deep well. Full-tilt originals include "Real Fine Day," a poetic account of the birth of Christian Blue Sky Farris that features some killer Kenny Vaughn guitar hooks-"easily one of the top three days of my life, that day," Mike says, and "Power of Love," an unforgettable, high-energy soul groove and already an audience favorite.

Shine For All the People, the 2015 Grammy Award winner for Best Roots Gospel album, bears witness to the determination of putting one foot in front of the other and to the power of music to get you there. "I've discovered that falling is a divine thing," Mike adds. "It's part and parcel of being human. The important thing is to keep the faith and keep moving on and on. Daring to be courageous enough to share our deepest burdens with each other is the greatest gift we can give."

There's a hallowed hall, deep within the recesses of the heart, where an amazing truth resides: The power in your life can only be experienced when broken open and shared with the people who come into it.

Back in 2005, Mike Farris cracked open the hallway door when, for the first time since the age of 15, he was clean and sober. Recording what would become the critically acclaimed Salvation in Lights (2007), a resurrected Mike eagerly anticipated the future. But with two ruptured discs, back surgery and the death of his beloved manager Rose McGathy all within a few weeks of the record's release, a rolling fog settled in. And with it, denial.

Nevertheless, Mike's career was picking up steam. He won an Americana Music Award for New/Emerging Artist in 2008, followed by a Dove Award in 2010. His live performances at Bonnaroo, SxSW, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and others-were drawing rave reviews. Revered artists like Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, and Marty Stuart were struck by his incomparable voice, and Mike opened shows for Patti LaBelle, Mavis Staples, Blind Boys of Alabama, Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby.

By 2010, having released the award winning SHOUT! Live followed by an EP for Nashville flood relief efforts, Mike launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his next record, an independent release. His fans generously funded the project.

Serious invitations kept coming: first, to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame's 16th Annual American Music Masters concert honoring Aretha Franklin, then TEDx Nashville, and then to the inaugural Austin City Limits Hall of Fame with Double Trouble.

Mike's spirited, soul-gospel fusion had found an enthusiastic audience, but denial has a way of biting back. Compared to his former life, he thought he was fine, but truth be told, Mike had become addicted to pain medication. The new album would have to take a back seat to a gut-check, life-changing recovery. Mike went to rehab and finally began excavating the root causes of his addiction with the help of support groups at AA and NA. An isolator by nature, he struggled laying all his burdens on the table to complete strangers, but gained encouragement through the stories of others. Each honest step led to fertile, hopeful ground.

What eventually emerged from that fertile ground is Shine For All The People, the evolution of true sobriety, of finding a new identity as a servant, first as a man but also as an artist. "I'd been working on the record before my recovery, and then there was a pretty huge delay," explains Mike, who signed with Compass Records. "I had to back up, take time to grab the ground, to re-acclimate, to learn how to live now, truly sober for the first time since I was a kid."

This new normal included getting back to the process of creating new music, but there was a distinctive trajectory shift in Mike. "So many avenues of music flow through me, 100s of years of music, the music that I grew up with-from Blues, Rock, R&B and gospel-there had always been this pressure to try to force it into a box that would sell somehow. It's crazy and overwhelming at times, the weight of trying to meet expectations and make a living, but this time, that all fell away. I know now that this gift only exists to encourage people in their struggles, and if there's any power in it, it's not from me."

Released in September 2014, Shine For All The People pushes beyond Salvation in Lights in that it reveals hope not in any glory to come, but in the failures and suffering of the present. "My music has always been first and foremost for the downtrodden, the wayward...people who've had to go up the rough side of the mountain. Even when it's upbeat and inspiring, there's always been an element of pain, because truth be told, we're all flawed. Not everybody knows it, but we all are."

From the opening Cuban/St. Louis blues horns of "River Jordan," originally written and performed by Blind Willie McTell, to the divine salvation of J.B. Lenoir's "Jonah & the Whale," to the determined stance of the Rev. C.J. Johnson's "Something Keeps on Telling Me," a chorus/mantra that Mike fleshed out into a song in the months after rehab…one listen, and it's clear there's something mystical in the waters here.

"When I first heard the Rev. C.J. Johnson's version, I could feel the air in that church get still, no music, only the sound of feet on the floor and hands in the air," Mike says. "I got such strength from it, I knew I wanted to add part of my story. With his words as the chorus, and with Brigitte DeMeyer helping me out, the song serves as a compass for anyone who has lost their way."

Mary Gauthier's soul-stirring "Mercy Now," one of the first songs Mike chose for the record, is clearly foundational to the whole. "The song just mystically appeared before me a few months before my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer," he says. "Not only did it play a major role in just helping me deal with the year that followed, including his death, but brought comfort to my entire family."

Like other choice cuts on Shine For All The People, the songs simply arrived at the appointed time, Mike says. "There was a time when I carried all the songwriting on my shoulders, but then the ego gets in the way of what it should be. These days, I don't have to write everything. I just open the door and these songs show up...songs I need to hear in my struggle, songs I know people need to hear in theirs."

Whether rearranging songs of centuries past or infusing new lyrical life to half-songs, it becomes clear that Mike's vocal gift is simply the surface of a very deep well. Full-tilt originals include "Real Fine Day," a poetic account of the birth of Christian Blue Sky Farris that features some killer Kenny Vaughn guitar hooks-"easily one of the top three days of my life, that day," Mike says, and "Power of Love," an unforgettable, high-energy soul groove and already an audience favorite.

Shine For All the People, the 2015 Grammy Award winner for Best Roots Gospel album, bears witness to the determination of putting one foot in front of the other and to the power of music to get you there. "I've discovered that falling is a divine thing," Mike adds. "It's part and parcel of being human. The important thing is to keep the faith and keep moving on and on. Daring to be courageous enough to share our deepest burdens with each other is the greatest gift we can give."

Mountain Heart

Mountain Heart is the band that has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The band’s name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group’s creation. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans both as a result of their superlative musicianship and just as notably, their incendiary live performances.

Mountain Heart or members have been nominated for Grammy’s, ACM, CMA awards. The band has also been nominated for and won multiple IBMA’s. They have appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry in excess of 130 times, and have shared the stage with acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley to Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain Stringband, The Punch Brothers, Levon Helm, John Fogerty and many more.

Mountain Heart’s musical virtuosity – the band is comprised of top call studio pros at every position, unmatched energy, and a keen sense of entertainment dynamics have helped them to forge a highly unique sound and stage show which appeals to an ever-growing variety of musical tastes. From large outdoor Folk music, Americana, Jam and Bluegrass festivals, to sold-out shows opening for Southern Rock icons like The Marshall Tucker Band, The Tedeshi Trucks Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mountain Heart always makes an undeniable connection with an audience. This rare combination makes Mountain Heart one of the more versatile musical acts ever assembled.

Throughout the band’s storied history, members past and present have dedicated their time, talent, and creativity to the group, leading to their hard earned reputation as one of the most exciting and unforgettable live shows anywhere in the world. With a new team in place, Mountain Heart is beyond excited for this new beginning and journey ahead.

Mountain Heart is the band that has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The band’s name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group’s creation. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans both as a result of their superlative musicianship and just as notably, their incendiary live performances.

Mountain Heart or members have been nominated for Grammy’s, ACM, CMA awards. The band has also been nominated for and won multiple IBMA’s. They have appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry in excess of 130 times, and have shared the stage with acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley to Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain Stringband, The Punch Brothers, Levon Helm, John Fogerty and many more.

Mountain Heart’s musical virtuosity – the band is comprised of top call studio pros at every position, unmatched energy, and a keen sense of entertainment dynamics have helped them to forge a highly unique sound and stage show which appeals to an ever-growing variety of musical tastes. From large outdoor Folk music, Americana, Jam and Bluegrass festivals, to sold-out shows opening for Southern Rock icons like The Marshall Tucker Band, The Tedeshi Trucks Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mountain Heart always makes an undeniable connection with an audience. This rare combination makes Mountain Heart one of the more versatile musical acts ever assembled.

Throughout the band’s storied history, members past and present have dedicated their time, talent, and creativity to the group, leading to their hard earned reputation as one of the most exciting and unforgettable live shows anywhere in the world. With a new team in place, Mountain Heart is beyond excited for this new beginning and journey ahead.

An Evening With David Lindley

*Tickets on sale January 26*

Multi-instrumentalist David Lindley performs music that redefines the word "eclectic." Lindley, well known for his many years as the featured accompanist with Jackson Browne, and leader of his own band El Rayo-X, has long championed the concept of world music. The David Lindley electro-acoustic performance effortlessly combines American folk, blues, and bluegrass traditions with elements from African,Arabic, Asian, Celtic, Malagasy, and Turkish musical sources. Lindley incorporates an incredible array of stringed instruments including but not limited to Kona and Weissenborn Hawaiian lap steel guitar, Turkish saz and chumbus, Middle Eastern oud, and Irish bouzouki. The eye-poppingly clad "Mr. Dave's" uncanny vocal mimicry and demented sense of humor make his onstage banter a highlight of the show.

David Lindley grew up in southern California, first taking up the banjo as a teenager, and subsequently winning the annual Topanga canyon banjo and fiddle contest five times as he explored the American folk music tradition. between 1967 and 1971 Lindley founded and lead what must now be seen as the first world music rock band, the Kaleidoscope. In 1971, Mr. Dave joined forces with Jackson Browne,serving as Jackson’s most significant musical co-conspirator until 1981. In 1979, Lindley had begun working with old friend Ry Cooder on 'Bop Till you Drop' and 'The Long Riders' sound track, a musical collaboration that lasts to this day, and has spawned many recording projects and several world tours as an acoustic duo.

In 1981, Lindley created his own remarkable Band El Rayo-X, which integrated American roots music and world beat with a heavy reggae influence. 'El Rayo-X', 'Win This Record' and 'Very Greasy', as well as a live e.p. During this period he also came forth with a solo album,'Mr. Dave'.

Lindley and guitarist Henry Kaiser went to Madagascar for two weeks in 1991 and recorded six albums of indigenous Malagasy music (including two collaborative cd's, 'A World Out of Time' volumes one and two on Shanachie) which proved to have a major impact on the world music scene, both for the quality of the Grammy nominated music recorded, and the fair and ethical way the Malagasy musicians were dealt with. Throughout this long and distinguished career, Lindley has been one of Hollywood’s most in demand session musicians, lending his skills to the recorded works of Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby and Nash, Warren Zevon, and many others.

In 1990 a chance meeting of Lindley and Jordanian born percussionist Hani Naser led to an impromptu jam and an instant decision that “we should take this on the road.” David and Hani toured the world for the following six years. The duo recorded two self-released "Official Bootleg" compact discs, 'Live in Tokyo Playing Real Good' and 'Live All Over the Place Playing Even Better' on Pleemhead Audio.

At his expansive and eclectic live performances David Lindley consistently gives one of the most unique concert experiences available to adventuresome music listeners.

*Tickets on sale January 26*

Multi-instrumentalist David Lindley performs music that redefines the word "eclectic." Lindley, well known for his many years as the featured accompanist with Jackson Browne, and leader of his own band El Rayo-X, has long championed the concept of world music. The David Lindley electro-acoustic performance effortlessly combines American folk, blues, and bluegrass traditions with elements from African,Arabic, Asian, Celtic, Malagasy, and Turkish musical sources. Lindley incorporates an incredible array of stringed instruments including but not limited to Kona and Weissenborn Hawaiian lap steel guitar, Turkish saz and chumbus, Middle Eastern oud, and Irish bouzouki. The eye-poppingly clad "Mr. Dave's" uncanny vocal mimicry and demented sense of humor make his onstage banter a highlight of the show.

David Lindley grew up in southern California, first taking up the banjo as a teenager, and subsequently winning the annual Topanga canyon banjo and fiddle contest five times as he explored the American folk music tradition. between 1967 and 1971 Lindley founded and lead what must now be seen as the first world music rock band, the Kaleidoscope. In 1971, Mr. Dave joined forces with Jackson Browne,serving as Jackson’s most significant musical co-conspirator until 1981. In 1979, Lindley had begun working with old friend Ry Cooder on 'Bop Till you Drop' and 'The Long Riders' sound track, a musical collaboration that lasts to this day, and has spawned many recording projects and several world tours as an acoustic duo.

In 1981, Lindley created his own remarkable Band El Rayo-X, which integrated American roots music and world beat with a heavy reggae influence. 'El Rayo-X', 'Win This Record' and 'Very Greasy', as well as a live e.p. During this period he also came forth with a solo album,'Mr. Dave'.

Lindley and guitarist Henry Kaiser went to Madagascar for two weeks in 1991 and recorded six albums of indigenous Malagasy music (including two collaborative cd's, 'A World Out of Time' volumes one and two on Shanachie) which proved to have a major impact on the world music scene, both for the quality of the Grammy nominated music recorded, and the fair and ethical way the Malagasy musicians were dealt with. Throughout this long and distinguished career, Lindley has been one of Hollywood’s most in demand session musicians, lending his skills to the recorded works of Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby and Nash, Warren Zevon, and many others.

In 1990 a chance meeting of Lindley and Jordanian born percussionist Hani Naser led to an impromptu jam and an instant decision that “we should take this on the road.” David and Hani toured the world for the following six years. The duo recorded two self-released "Official Bootleg" compact discs, 'Live in Tokyo Playing Real Good' and 'Live All Over the Place Playing Even Better' on Pleemhead Audio.

At his expansive and eclectic live performances David Lindley consistently gives one of the most unique concert experiences available to adventuresome music listeners.

Tyrone Wells with Special Guest Gabe Dixon

Tyrone Wells still sort of chuckles to himself when he thinks about the fact that making music is his “job." He has been at this “job" for well over a decade, and is just now beginning to shake off the discomfort and stress of the days when he had a real job (TJ Maxx - lead of the ladies department in Spokane, WA). As far as jobs go, Tyrone feels like he has won the lottery (in regards to his present “job”). He loves to create music. He loves to perform. He is a husband, and a father of 3 daughters. He has four sisters, so he feels right at home being completely outnumbered by the ladies in his present household (and also when he was the lead of the ladies dept at TJ Maxx). He believes that Jesus is for real. He’s writing this bio. He’s referring to himself in the third person. He knows that this bio has a ring of sarcasm, but he is dead serious. He feels extremely grateful. He jokes around, but he has worked very hard at making music his “job." He has spent countless hours writing, recording, playing live, and traveling to play live again. He has spent time away from his beloved family to make this thing a reality. He has never really experienced much radio success, so his fans have been gained the old fashioned way, by pouring his heart out on a stage, and by word of mouth. He feels certain that he will make music until his dying day, as it is not only gratifying for him to create, but also therapeutic and necessary. He can’t believe you’re still reading this… if you are still reading this, he wants to thank you for taking the time to do so, and for supporting what he does. He knows it would be impossible without you

Tyrone Wells still sort of chuckles to himself when he thinks about the fact that making music is his “job." He has been at this “job" for well over a decade, and is just now beginning to shake off the discomfort and stress of the days when he had a real job (TJ Maxx - lead of the ladies department in Spokane, WA). As far as jobs go, Tyrone feels like he has won the lottery (in regards to his present “job”). He loves to create music. He loves to perform. He is a husband, and a father of 3 daughters. He has four sisters, so he feels right at home being completely outnumbered by the ladies in his present household (and also when he was the lead of the ladies dept at TJ Maxx). He believes that Jesus is for real. He’s writing this bio. He’s referring to himself in the third person. He knows that this bio has a ring of sarcasm, but he is dead serious. He feels extremely grateful. He jokes around, but he has worked very hard at making music his “job." He has spent countless hours writing, recording, playing live, and traveling to play live again. He has spent time away from his beloved family to make this thing a reality. He has never really experienced much radio success, so his fans have been gained the old fashioned way, by pouring his heart out on a stage, and by word of mouth. He feels certain that he will make music until his dying day, as it is not only gratifying for him to create, but also therapeutic and necessary. He can’t believe you’re still reading this… if you are still reading this, he wants to thank you for taking the time to do so, and for supporting what he does. He knows it would be impossible without you

(Early Show) Kim Richey with Special Guest Bill Deasy - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Those artists who find themselves stuck in the deepest of ruts two decades into their careers could learn a thing or two from veteran singer-songwriter Kim Richey. She’s never been afraid to go where the inspiration is.

Two-time Grammy-nominated Kim is a storyteller; a weaver of emotions and a tugger of heartstrings. Tender, poetic and aching with life’s truths, Kim’s songs transport you to her world, where words paint pictures and melodies touch the soul. And then there’s her voice. Pure, arresting and honest, it makes you take notice; Kim has the kind of voice where if emotions were ribbons, they’d be streaming in rainbow colours from your iPod.

Early on, the Zanesville, Ohio native thrived on the progressive side of mainstream country, her albums (1995’s Kim Richey, 1997’s Bittersweet and 1999’s Glimmer, all on Mercury) showcasing twang-pop sensibilities, a rich, rounded vocal tone and effortlessly sophisticated songwriting that other discerning performers - Radney Foster, Trisha Yearwood and Pam Tillis to name a few - coveted for their own recordings.

In the years since, Kim has made her subtly psychedelic album Rise (Lost Highway) in Los Angeles with producer Bill Bottrell, flown to London to enlist the help of Giles Martin and emerging with the crisply orchestrated Chinese Boxes (Vanguard) and turned to her East Nashville-based bandleader and frequent co-writer Neilson Hubbard to conjure the earthy indie-pop feel of Wreck Your Wheels (Lojinx/Thirty Tigers) and to complete her latest masterpiece of smart, sensual understatement Thorn In My Heart (Lojinx/Yep Roc).

The array of top-tier guests on the album include Jason Isbell, Wilco’s Pat Sansone, My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel, Will Kimbrough and Yearwood, who was, for the first time, returning the harmony-singing favor. And the dozen songs themselves show that Richey’s still dreaming up fetching melodies that arc and bend in unexpected ways, and still discovering fresh angles from which to articulate matters of the heart.

Those artists who find themselves stuck in the deepest of ruts two decades into their careers could learn a thing or two from veteran singer-songwriter Kim Richey. She’s never been afraid to go where the inspiration is.

Two-time Grammy-nominated Kim is a storyteller; a weaver of emotions and a tugger of heartstrings. Tender, poetic and aching with life’s truths, Kim’s songs transport you to her world, where words paint pictures and melodies touch the soul. And then there’s her voice. Pure, arresting and honest, it makes you take notice; Kim has the kind of voice where if emotions were ribbons, they’d be streaming in rainbow colours from your iPod.

Early on, the Zanesville, Ohio native thrived on the progressive side of mainstream country, her albums (1995’s Kim Richey, 1997’s Bittersweet and 1999’s Glimmer, all on Mercury) showcasing twang-pop sensibilities, a rich, rounded vocal tone and effortlessly sophisticated songwriting that other discerning performers - Radney Foster, Trisha Yearwood and Pam Tillis to name a few - coveted for their own recordings.

In the years since, Kim has made her subtly psychedelic album Rise (Lost Highway) in Los Angeles with producer Bill Bottrell, flown to London to enlist the help of Giles Martin and emerging with the crisply orchestrated Chinese Boxes (Vanguard) and turned to her East Nashville-based bandleader and frequent co-writer Neilson Hubbard to conjure the earthy indie-pop feel of Wreck Your Wheels (Lojinx/Thirty Tigers) and to complete her latest masterpiece of smart, sensual understatement Thorn In My Heart (Lojinx/Yep Roc).

The array of top-tier guests on the album include Jason Isbell, Wilco’s Pat Sansone, My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel, Will Kimbrough and Yearwood, who was, for the first time, returning the harmony-singing favor. And the dozen songs themselves show that Richey’s still dreaming up fetching melodies that arc and bend in unexpected ways, and still discovering fresh angles from which to articulate matters of the heart.

(Late Show) Grand Prismatic ('Thoughts In Translation' Album Release Party) with Special Guest Bikini Islands

Join Club Cafe for Grand Prismatic's Album Release Party.

Join Club Cafe for Grand Prismatic's Album Release Party.

(Early Show) Chris Barron (of Spin Doctors)

Chris Barron is best known as the lead singer for the Grammy nominated band, Spin Doctors, who sold like, fifty-two gazillion records or something. They were on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and opened for the Rolling Stones (or vice versa). Chris Barron cooks a mean meatloaf, wrote the songs, "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes" both of which went to Billboard’s top five, he likes kids and dogs, and keeps his gold and platinum records in his bathroom.

Chris plays nifty chords on an old Gibson to masterfully crafted songs that are poignant yet wistful and funny.

Chris Barron is best known as the lead singer for the Grammy nominated band, Spin Doctors, who sold like, fifty-two gazillion records or something. They were on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and opened for the Rolling Stones (or vice versa). Chris Barron cooks a mean meatloaf, wrote the songs, "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes" both of which went to Billboard’s top five, he likes kids and dogs, and keeps his gold and platinum records in his bathroom.

Chris plays nifty chords on an old Gibson to masterfully crafted songs that are poignant yet wistful and funny.

Trout Steak Revival

Ever since winning the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Trout Steak Revival has quickly become a quintessential Colorado band. The band won an Emmy Award for a soundtrack they contributed to a Rocky Mountain PBS. They’ve collaborated with school children in mentoring programs in Denver and Steamboat Springs. Their music is featured on Bank of Colorado's radio and television advertisements. Most recently, Westword named them Denver’s Best Bluegrass Band, and they were nominated as a Momentum Band of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Ever since winning the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Trout Steak Revival has quickly become a quintessential Colorado band. The band won an Emmy Award for a soundtrack they contributed to a Rocky Mountain PBS. They’ve collaborated with school children in mentoring programs in Denver and Steamboat Springs. Their music is featured on Bank of Colorado's radio and television advertisements. Most recently, Westword named them Denver’s Best Bluegrass Band, and they were nominated as a Momentum Band of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

(Early Show) The Local / Radio Lark

What do you get when you cross a punk rocker from Belfast, Northern Ireland with a indie-folkster from Pittsburgh? The powerful indie rock ensemble The Local, whose combination of punk rock influences, infused with sweeping operatic arrangements resemble something producer Brian McTear (War on Drugs, Strand of Oaks, Matt Pond PA, Local Natives) lovingly describes as My Bloody Valentine meets Ennio Morricone.

Their story begins near Belfast where Dean Henry formed the short-lived punk band Slate with his younger brother Lee. Proudly wearing their influences on their sleeve, the band drew a large and loyal local following with its stage presence and catchy, driving tunes. It was during this time that he met Jenny, an American living in Northern Ireland, also playing in small town pubs and clubs around the country. She became a supporter of The band, and later, Slate’s unofficial tour manager. “We would load our gear into my Peugeot hatchback and trek all over Northern Ireland playing shows”. The couple married and headed to Pittsburgh, where Jenny was born and raised.

A lifelong music appreciator, Ben Sweet determined to teach himself guitar after a diabetes diagnosis. With an assist from a music theory text, he quickly gained his chops and began writing the lyrically-driven folk songs which formed the basis of his solo act Southside American. His first solo record In Our Keystone State was released in 2013 to critical acclaim and significant local buzz. As Sweet looked to round out Southside’s sound, he added a backing band. A tip from the band’s keyboardist, who worked alongside Jenny Henry, led him to Dean, a skilled percussionist, in the spring of 2014.

It was while playing together in Southside American that Henry and Sweet discovered their mutual affection for bands such as The Jam, The Clash, The Replacements and The Pixies. Sweet encouraged Henry to begin writing his own songs and, in no time, he was churning out one compelling composition after another, all the while his guitar chops increasing dramatically. The two begin writing together and, in no time at all, had put together the songs which form the nucleus of their debut EP Reverie which was recorded with McTear at Miner Street Studio in Philadelphia, and features Jenny Henry on bass and Pat Berkery (The War on Drugs, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!) on drums.

Since returning from the studio, the band has recently added keyboardist Eric Matlock.

A self-described band for adults The Local brings a powerful yet understated sensibility to the stage on diverse tracks such as Reverie, Racing and Fair Play. The Reverie EP is due to be released in the spring of 2018 on Wednesday Records. It was mastered by Paul Hammond.

What do you get when you cross a punk rocker from Belfast, Northern Ireland with a indie-folkster from Pittsburgh? The powerful indie rock ensemble The Local, whose combination of punk rock influences, infused with sweeping operatic arrangements resemble something producer Brian McTear (War on Drugs, Strand of Oaks, Matt Pond PA, Local Natives) lovingly describes as My Bloody Valentine meets Ennio Morricone.

Their story begins near Belfast where Dean Henry formed the short-lived punk band Slate with his younger brother Lee. Proudly wearing their influences on their sleeve, the band drew a large and loyal local following with its stage presence and catchy, driving tunes. It was during this time that he met Jenny, an American living in Northern Ireland, also playing in small town pubs and clubs around the country. She became a supporter of The band, and later, Slate’s unofficial tour manager. “We would load our gear into my Peugeot hatchback and trek all over Northern Ireland playing shows”. The couple married and headed to Pittsburgh, where Jenny was born and raised.

A lifelong music appreciator, Ben Sweet determined to teach himself guitar after a diabetes diagnosis. With an assist from a music theory text, he quickly gained his chops and began writing the lyrically-driven folk songs which formed the basis of his solo act Southside American. His first solo record In Our Keystone State was released in 2013 to critical acclaim and significant local buzz. As Sweet looked to round out Southside’s sound, he added a backing band. A tip from the band’s keyboardist, who worked alongside Jenny Henry, led him to Dean, a skilled percussionist, in the spring of 2014.

It was while playing together in Southside American that Henry and Sweet discovered their mutual affection for bands such as The Jam, The Clash, The Replacements and The Pixies. Sweet encouraged Henry to begin writing his own songs and, in no time, he was churning out one compelling composition after another, all the while his guitar chops increasing dramatically. The two begin writing together and, in no time at all, had put together the songs which form the nucleus of their debut EP Reverie which was recorded with McTear at Miner Street Studio in Philadelphia, and features Jenny Henry on bass and Pat Berkery (The War on Drugs, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!) on drums.

Since returning from the studio, the band has recently added keyboardist Eric Matlock.

A self-described band for adults The Local brings a powerful yet understated sensibility to the stage on diverse tracks such as Reverie, Racing and Fair Play. The Reverie EP is due to be released in the spring of 2018 on Wednesday Records. It was mastered by Paul Hammond.

(Late Show) Joe Jack Talcum (Dead Milkmen) with Special Guest Coolzey

Joe Jack Talcum (Dead Milkmen)
Anthony Joseph "Joe" Genaro (born October 15, 1962 in Wagontown, Pennsylvania) is an American musician and songwriter, best known as the guitarist and co-lead vocalist for the punk rock group The Dead Milkmen. Currently residing in Philadelphia, Genaro has performed with a number of punk and indie rock groups, most recently including The Low Budgets, and is also a solo artist. He is of Italian heritage.

Coolzey
Golden era hip-hop roots planted in black Iowa dirt and tempered by 90s alternative era rock influence yields a juxtaposition of the dark, horrific nature of life paired with a slapstick and comedic view of the world, allowing for a wide, unpredictable arsenal of material ranging from soul-spilling indie bedroom rock to wise-cracking battle rap and on to radio pop.

Coolzey stepped into the public eye around 2005 with a demo album and a series of exploratory DIY tours with rapper/comedian and friend Schaffer the Darklord. Interest spread quickly and Coolzey found himself touring alongside hip-hop legends from Brand Nubian and Jurassic 5 as well as punk rock heroes like Dead Milkmen. Coolzey’s first album ‘The Honey’ was released in 2010 and second official full-length ‘Hit Factory’ in 2013. In these albums as well as in a number of EPs, collaborations and side projects, he finds his niche as a songwriter, navigating hip-hop, rock, punk and pop in the spirit of genre defying influences such as Ween, Beck, The Beastie Boys and Outkast.

Coolzey’s love for multiple genres can also be evidenced in his record label Public School Records, which curates music from the classic hip-hop of Bru Lei to the art pop of Belly Belt.

Joe Jack Talcum (Dead Milkmen)
Anthony Joseph "Joe" Genaro (born October 15, 1962 in Wagontown, Pennsylvania) is an American musician and songwriter, best known as the guitarist and co-lead vocalist for the punk rock group The Dead Milkmen. Currently residing in Philadelphia, Genaro has performed with a number of punk and indie rock groups, most recently including The Low Budgets, and is also a solo artist. He is of Italian heritage.

Coolzey
Golden era hip-hop roots planted in black Iowa dirt and tempered by 90s alternative era rock influence yields a juxtaposition of the dark, horrific nature of life paired with a slapstick and comedic view of the world, allowing for a wide, unpredictable arsenal of material ranging from soul-spilling indie bedroom rock to wise-cracking battle rap and on to radio pop.

Coolzey stepped into the public eye around 2005 with a demo album and a series of exploratory DIY tours with rapper/comedian and friend Schaffer the Darklord. Interest spread quickly and Coolzey found himself touring alongside hip-hop legends from Brand Nubian and Jurassic 5 as well as punk rock heroes like Dead Milkmen. Coolzey’s first album ‘The Honey’ was released in 2010 and second official full-length ‘Hit Factory’ in 2013. In these albums as well as in a number of EPs, collaborations and side projects, he finds his niche as a songwriter, navigating hip-hop, rock, punk and pop in the spirit of genre defying influences such as Ween, Beck, The Beastie Boys and Outkast.

Coolzey’s love for multiple genres can also be evidenced in his record label Public School Records, which curates music from the classic hip-hop of Bru Lei to the art pop of Belly Belt.

Kelley Stoltz

Extra fine songwriter and longtime bedroom-pop auteur Kelley Stoltz delivers on the promise so many of his records slyly hint at. Que Aura is the platonic ideal of a Kelley Stoltz record, which is a very exciting thing indeed. Stoltz embraces his best synth-pop tendencies, with this incredibly self-assured set of tender tunes, combining in his own hangdog fashion both a disco-lit abandon and the attendant post-party sighs of dread and remorse.

Great songs come out of Stoltz at an alarming rate on any given day but this particular collection is some of his most effortlessly catchy stuff yet. Ennui under the disco lights suits him very well-there’s a hearty sip of Pulp-ian white Brit shimmy with a wink, a dash of Fleetwood Mac’s cynically professional late '70s sheen, and even a spritz or two of Echo and The Bunnymen, which should surprise no one who’s noticed Stoltz has been playing guitar with McCulloch and Company for the past year or so. This record cements Stoltz's place in the power-pop pantheon where he belongs, right between Dwight Twilley and Martin Newell. Let the Hall of Fame know!

Extra fine songwriter and longtime bedroom-pop auteur Kelley Stoltz delivers on the promise so many of his records slyly hint at. Que Aura is the platonic ideal of a Kelley Stoltz record, which is a very exciting thing indeed. Stoltz embraces his best synth-pop tendencies, with this incredibly self-assured set of tender tunes, combining in his own hangdog fashion both a disco-lit abandon and the attendant post-party sighs of dread and remorse.

Great songs come out of Stoltz at an alarming rate on any given day but this particular collection is some of his most effortlessly catchy stuff yet. Ennui under the disco lights suits him very well-there’s a hearty sip of Pulp-ian white Brit shimmy with a wink, a dash of Fleetwood Mac’s cynically professional late '70s sheen, and even a spritz or two of Echo and The Bunnymen, which should surprise no one who’s noticed Stoltz has been playing guitar with McCulloch and Company for the past year or so. This record cements Stoltz's place in the power-pop pantheon where he belongs, right between Dwight Twilley and Martin Newell. Let the Hall of Fame know!

Dead Horses

At fifteen, Dead Horses frontwoman Sarah Vos' world turned upside down. Raised in a strict, fundamentalist home, Vos lost everything when she and her family were expelled from the rural Wisconsin church where her father had long served as pastor. What happened next is the story of Dead Horses' stunning new album, 'My Mother the Moon," a record full of trauma and triumph, despair and hope, pain and resilience.

Blending elements of traditional roots with contemporary indie folk, the album is both familiar and unexpected, unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of modern American life, yet optimistic in its unshakable faith in brighter days to come. Earthy and organic, Vos' songs often reveal themselves to be exercises in empathy and outreach; she writes not only to find meaning in the struggles she's endured, but also to embrace kindred souls on their own personal journeys of self-discovery. As much as the album is a reckoning with the past and everything she witnessed growing up (mental illness, poverty, addiction, and violence), it's also an effort to shape the future, to build a community based around art and love and beauty and acceptance, a community to replace the one she was so brusquely robbed of as a child.

'My Mother the Moon' is Dead Horses' third album, and it follows hot on the heels of their acclaimed 2016 release, 'Cartoon Moon,' which Wisconsin Public Radio called “equally beautiful and effortless." That record prompted the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to declare Dead Horses a Band To Watch and earned them honors for "Best Album," "Best Americana/Bluegrass Artist," and "Best Female Vocalist" at the 2017 WAMI Awards. American Songwriter called Vos “a compelling vocalist…who carries every tune with her husky, deeply emotional tone that feels lived in and real," while No Depression hailed her songwriting as “beautiful and fresh." With a fleshed out touring lineup, the group logged countless miles, sharing bills along the way with Trampled by Turtles, Mandolin Orange, and Elephant Revival in addition to making festival appearances from Bristol Rhythm and Roots to WinterWonderGrass.

At fifteen, Dead Horses frontwoman Sarah Vos' world turned upside down. Raised in a strict, fundamentalist home, Vos lost everything when she and her family were expelled from the rural Wisconsin church where her father had long served as pastor. What happened next is the story of Dead Horses' stunning new album, 'My Mother the Moon," a record full of trauma and triumph, despair and hope, pain and resilience.

Blending elements of traditional roots with contemporary indie folk, the album is both familiar and unexpected, unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of modern American life, yet optimistic in its unshakable faith in brighter days to come. Earthy and organic, Vos' songs often reveal themselves to be exercises in empathy and outreach; she writes not only to find meaning in the struggles she's endured, but also to embrace kindred souls on their own personal journeys of self-discovery. As much as the album is a reckoning with the past and everything she witnessed growing up (mental illness, poverty, addiction, and violence), it's also an effort to shape the future, to build a community based around art and love and beauty and acceptance, a community to replace the one she was so brusquely robbed of as a child.

'My Mother the Moon' is Dead Horses' third album, and it follows hot on the heels of their acclaimed 2016 release, 'Cartoon Moon,' which Wisconsin Public Radio called “equally beautiful and effortless." That record prompted the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to declare Dead Horses a Band To Watch and earned them honors for "Best Album," "Best Americana/Bluegrass Artist," and "Best Female Vocalist" at the 2017 WAMI Awards. American Songwriter called Vos “a compelling vocalist…who carries every tune with her husky, deeply emotional tone that feels lived in and real," while No Depression hailed her songwriting as “beautiful and fresh." With a fleshed out touring lineup, the group logged countless miles, sharing bills along the way with Trampled by Turtles, Mandolin Orange, and Elephant Revival in addition to making festival appearances from Bristol Rhythm and Roots to WinterWonderGrass.

Bill Toms and Hard Rain (featuring The Soulville Horns) and Terraplane Records Presents The 'Live' Recording. Come and be part of this CD which will be released in 2019.

Bill Toms and Hard Rain (featuring The Soulville Horns) and Terraplane Records Presents The "Live" Recording. Come and be part of this CD which will be released in 2019.

Bill Toms and Hard Rain (featuring The Soulville Horns) and Terraplane Records Presents The "Live" Recording. Come and be part of this CD which will be released in 2019.

The Weeks with Special Guest Becca Mancari

Rowdy, Raucous, Longhair Mississippi Glam Rock.

That's the sound of Easy, The Week's long-awaited followup to their breakthrough album, Dear Bo Jackson. Recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis - a place filled with the ghosts (and gear) of the Replacements, ZZ Top, and Big Star, all of whom traveled to Ardent to create their own landmark albums - Easy finds The Weeks doubling down on a mix of groove, grit, and guitars. It's swaggering and sharply-focused, shining new light on a band of brothers who, although still in their mid-20s, have already logged a decade's worth of sweaty gigs together.

If Easy bears resemblance to the raw, rowdy attitude of the The Weeks' live show, it's because the album was written at the end of a busy, five-year period that found the group rarely leaving the road.

"We moved to Nashville in 2010," remembers frontman Cyle Barnes, who formed the band in Jackson, Mississippi, with his three longtime bandmates: drummer (and twin brother) Cain Barnes, guitarist Sam Williams, and bass player Damien Bone. "We spent
2011 to 2015 touring. November 2015 was the first time we ever spent an entire month in Nashville."

Those years on the road were eye-opening for The Weeks, all of whom were just teen- agers when they began playing together in 2006. By their early 20s, the guys were tour- ing Europe with Kings of Leon, promoting the newly-released Dear Bo Jackson in front of 20,000 people each night. Back in America, The Weeks continued playing their own club shows, too. The experience taught them how to bridge the gap between arena shows and smaller gigs. In short, it taught them how to be themselves, no matter the audience.

Appropriately, Easy consolidates the band's strengths. While the songs on 2013's Dear Bo Jackson were thick with horn arrangements, strings, and guest appearances, Easy is a leaner, louder beast. The Weeks began working on its 11 tracks after returning home from a long tour and taking some time to rest, reflect, and regroup. Newly ener- gized, they began writing songs at Sam and Damien's home in Nashville, with Cyle and Williams splitting the bulk of the songwriting duties. The whole process relied on col- laboration, with the full band fleshing out the newer songs.

"Everyone would come to the house, make food, hang out, and play music 'til four in the morning," Williams remembers. "We wrote 25 songs, then picked our favorites for the final tracklist.
Easy is driving and direct, captured in punchy sound by producer Paul Ebersold. The goal was to clear out any unnecessary clutter, focusing instead on The Weeks' biggest strengths: the elastic power of Cyle's voice, capable of a crooning drawl one minute and a roof-raising howl the next; the range of Sam's guitar playing, from Motown-influenced chord stabs to garage-rock blasts of sound; and the interlocking rhythms of Damien and Cain. They threw some curveballs into the mix, too, riding a lovely, lazy, organ-heavy groove on the southern soul song "Hands on the Radio" and punctuating songs like
"Ike" with a small horn section. Along the way, they made good use the studio's vintage gear, finding room on a handful of songs for Elvis Presley's microphone, Big Star's
snare drum, the "Green Onions" organ from Booker T. & the M.G.'s.

"We said, 'If we can do this song in five chords, let's do it,'" says Sam. "That way, when- ever the curveballs do happen, they mean a lot. We focused on the songs first, and then we added stuff, as long as it didn't harm the energy or the groove. We wanted to pick
our moments better."

Inspired by the real-life characters, places, and stories The Weeks encountered on tour, Easy is a record about where the band has been, as well as a sign of where they're go- ing. "I wanted the stories to be real - a little dark, maybe - but I wanted them to be redeeming, too," says Cyle, who began turning the stories into proper songs once the tour ended. He tossed some personal tales into the mix, too, with songs like the auto- biographical "Gold Doesn't Rust" focusing on the joy of plugging in, tuning up and rock- ing out.

"We just wanted to make a rock record," adds Damnien, shrugging his shoulders at the simplicity of it all. The Weeks earned their road warrior credentials years ago, but they've never defined their ambition - or the wide range of their abilities - this clearly before.

And speaking of simple…what's the deal with that album title?

"We called it Easy because every time I make music with these guys, it's easy," says Cain, who has spent more than a third of his life as a member of The Weeks. "It feels good. But the other side of it is, there's nothing easy about being in a band. There's nothing easy about staying together for 10 years and still wanting to make music. We have the hardest and easiest job on the planet. But it works for us."

Rowdy, Raucous, Longhair Mississippi Glam Rock.

That's the sound of Easy, The Week's long-awaited followup to their breakthrough album, Dear Bo Jackson. Recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis - a place filled with the ghosts (and gear) of the Replacements, ZZ Top, and Big Star, all of whom traveled to Ardent to create their own landmark albums - Easy finds The Weeks doubling down on a mix of groove, grit, and guitars. It's swaggering and sharply-focused, shining new light on a band of brothers who, although still in their mid-20s, have already logged a decade's worth of sweaty gigs together.

If Easy bears resemblance to the raw, rowdy attitude of the The Weeks' live show, it's because the album was written at the end of a busy, five-year period that found the group rarely leaving the road.

"We moved to Nashville in 2010," remembers frontman Cyle Barnes, who formed the band in Jackson, Mississippi, with his three longtime bandmates: drummer (and twin brother) Cain Barnes, guitarist Sam Williams, and bass player Damien Bone. "We spent
2011 to 2015 touring. November 2015 was the first time we ever spent an entire month in Nashville."

Those years on the road were eye-opening for The Weeks, all of whom were just teen- agers when they began playing together in 2006. By their early 20s, the guys were tour- ing Europe with Kings of Leon, promoting the newly-released Dear Bo Jackson in front of 20,000 people each night. Back in America, The Weeks continued playing their own club shows, too. The experience taught them how to bridge the gap between arena shows and smaller gigs. In short, it taught them how to be themselves, no matter the audience.

Appropriately, Easy consolidates the band's strengths. While the songs on 2013's Dear Bo Jackson were thick with horn arrangements, strings, and guest appearances, Easy is a leaner, louder beast. The Weeks began working on its 11 tracks after returning home from a long tour and taking some time to rest, reflect, and regroup. Newly ener- gized, they began writing songs at Sam and Damien's home in Nashville, with Cyle and Williams splitting the bulk of the songwriting duties. The whole process relied on col- laboration, with the full band fleshing out the newer songs.

"Everyone would come to the house, make food, hang out, and play music 'til four in the morning," Williams remembers. "We wrote 25 songs, then picked our favorites for the final tracklist.
Easy is driving and direct, captured in punchy sound by producer Paul Ebersold. The goal was to clear out any unnecessary clutter, focusing instead on The Weeks' biggest strengths: the elastic power of Cyle's voice, capable of a crooning drawl one minute and a roof-raising howl the next; the range of Sam's guitar playing, from Motown-influenced chord stabs to garage-rock blasts of sound; and the interlocking rhythms of Damien and Cain. They threw some curveballs into the mix, too, riding a lovely, lazy, organ-heavy groove on the southern soul song "Hands on the Radio" and punctuating songs like
"Ike" with a small horn section. Along the way, they made good use the studio's vintage gear, finding room on a handful of songs for Elvis Presley's microphone, Big Star's
snare drum, the "Green Onions" organ from Booker T. & the M.G.'s.

"We said, 'If we can do this song in five chords, let's do it,'" says Sam. "That way, when- ever the curveballs do happen, they mean a lot. We focused on the songs first, and then we added stuff, as long as it didn't harm the energy or the groove. We wanted to pick
our moments better."

Inspired by the real-life characters, places, and stories The Weeks encountered on tour, Easy is a record about where the band has been, as well as a sign of where they're go- ing. "I wanted the stories to be real - a little dark, maybe - but I wanted them to be redeeming, too," says Cyle, who began turning the stories into proper songs once the tour ended. He tossed some personal tales into the mix, too, with songs like the auto- biographical "Gold Doesn't Rust" focusing on the joy of plugging in, tuning up and rock- ing out.

"We just wanted to make a rock record," adds Damnien, shrugging his shoulders at the simplicity of it all. The Weeks earned their road warrior credentials years ago, but they've never defined their ambition - or the wide range of their abilities - this clearly before.

And speaking of simple…what's the deal with that album title?

"We called it Easy because every time I make music with these guys, it's easy," says Cain, who has spent more than a third of his life as a member of The Weeks. "It feels good. But the other side of it is, there's nothing easy about being in a band. There's nothing easy about staying together for 10 years and still wanting to make music. We have the hardest and easiest job on the planet. But it works for us."

Glen Phillips

Glen Phillips has always been a courageous and inviting songwriter. During his years as lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket, the band’s elegant folk/pop sound and his honest, introspective lyrics helped them forge a close bond with their fans. Since starting his solo career, Phillips has pared his music down to its emotional core, concentrating on the simple truths of love and relationships, with a profound spiritual understanding.


Swallowed by the New takes on life’s difficult transitions and delivers some of the Phillips' most vulnerable songs. “I made this album during the dissolution of a 23 year marriage, Phillips says. “A major chapter of my life was coming to a close, and I discovered early on that I had to work hard to
get through the transition with compassion and clarity. These songs were a big part of that process.”


The album was recorded in May of 2015 with producer/bass player Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams), Jay Bellerose (drums), Chris Bruce (guitar), Jebin Bruni (keys) and Ruby Amanfu (vocals). The sparse arrangements are centered on Phillips’ vocals and acoustic guitar.


Shimmering electric guitar accents drift through a curtain of sighing strings on Go, a ballad that bids a poignant farewell to a lover at the end of a relationship.
“And though I want you close / This light can only glow / To

warn you far away from shore / Saying I love you, now go,”


Leaving Oldtown has the feel of a classic pop ballad, with a string section and piano supporting a poignant vocal, as Phillips describes a man, “hollow as a sparrow bone,” packing up his belongings as winter approaches.


The Easy Ones focuses on the importance of staying present when it’s not easy or simple, but necessary. Joined in harmony with his 13-year daughter, Phillips says:
“You can’t just love the easy ones / You’ve got to let them in / When you’d rather just run.”


Amnesty is a gentle rocker, with twang-heavy guitars, a funky back beat and elegant string accents, it chronicles a long journey of searching for understanding and safe harbor. “I’m here to catch some kind of spark / In every face I see / And offer amnesty.”


Held Up suggests a gospel tune being chanted by a chain gang. The stomping drumbeat and jubilant handclaps
support a vocal that faces the scales of judgment; in balance between self-recrimination and salvation.
“Brother you ain’t so broken / Sister you ain’t so small / Everybody goes together / Or nobody goes at all.”


The folk hymn Grief and Praise was inspired by writer Martin Prechtel who maintains that “grief is praising those things we love and have lost, and praise is grieving those things we love and will lose”. It sums up the philosophy of the record in no uncertain terms:
“For all that you love will be taken some day / By the angel of death or the servants of change / In a floodwater tide without rancor or rage / So sing loud while you're able / In grief and
in praise”


Swallowed by the New is full of the inviting melodies that

have always marked Phillips’ work, while his singing reaches a new degree of intimacy and immediacy. The arrangements hint at country, soul, folk, rock and classic pop, without ever sounding derivative. The emotions may be raw, but they are guided by Phillips’ steady vocals towards healing and renewal.




Phillips started Toad the Wet Sprocket in 1986, when he was still in high school. He was as surprised as anyone when
their low-key folk rock landed them on the pop charts. When the band members decided to go their separate ways, Phillips began a solo career with Abulum followed by Winter Pays for Summer, Mr. Lemons and Secrets of the New Explorers. Always open to new projects and unlikely collaborations, he’s toured and recorded with Works Progress Administration, a band that included members of Nickel Creek, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Elvis Costello’s Attractions; Mutual Admiration Society with Nickel Creek; Remote Tree Children, an experimental project with John Askew and Plover, with Neilson Hubbard and Garrison Starr.


His acoustic duo tour to support Swallowed by the New
starts in October and will continue through the spring of
2017. “I enjoy the spontaneity of acoustic performance, where I can take the show wherever it needs to go and follow the lead of an audience instead of following a set list.
There’s more talking, more stories, and more of a loose feel. The subject matter is on the serious side, but I feel like the perspective is ultimately positive. Life is about changes, no matter how we may try and pretend otherwise. This album is all about learning how to face change.”

Glen Phillips has always been a courageous and inviting songwriter. During his years as lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket, the band’s elegant folk/pop sound and his honest, introspective lyrics helped them forge a close bond with their fans. Since starting his solo career, Phillips has pared his music down to its emotional core, concentrating on the simple truths of love and relationships, with a profound spiritual understanding.


Swallowed by the New takes on life’s difficult transitions and delivers some of the Phillips' most vulnerable songs. “I made this album during the dissolution of a 23 year marriage, Phillips says. “A major chapter of my life was coming to a close, and I discovered early on that I had to work hard to
get through the transition with compassion and clarity. These songs were a big part of that process.”


The album was recorded in May of 2015 with producer/bass player Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams), Jay Bellerose (drums), Chris Bruce (guitar), Jebin Bruni (keys) and Ruby Amanfu (vocals). The sparse arrangements are centered on Phillips’ vocals and acoustic guitar.


Shimmering electric guitar accents drift through a curtain of sighing strings on Go, a ballad that bids a poignant farewell to a lover at the end of a relationship.
“And though I want you close / This light can only glow / To

warn you far away from shore / Saying I love you, now go,”


Leaving Oldtown has the feel of a classic pop ballad, with a string section and piano supporting a poignant vocal, as Phillips describes a man, “hollow as a sparrow bone,” packing up his belongings as winter approaches.


The Easy Ones focuses on the importance of staying present when it’s not easy or simple, but necessary. Joined in harmony with his 13-year daughter, Phillips says:
“You can’t just love the easy ones / You’ve got to let them in / When you’d rather just run.”


Amnesty is a gentle rocker, with twang-heavy guitars, a funky back beat and elegant string accents, it chronicles a long journey of searching for understanding and safe harbor. “I’m here to catch some kind of spark / In every face I see / And offer amnesty.”


Held Up suggests a gospel tune being chanted by a chain gang. The stomping drumbeat and jubilant handclaps
support a vocal that faces the scales of judgment; in balance between self-recrimination and salvation.
“Brother you ain’t so broken / Sister you ain’t so small / Everybody goes together / Or nobody goes at all.”


The folk hymn Grief and Praise was inspired by writer Martin Prechtel who maintains that “grief is praising those things we love and have lost, and praise is grieving those things we love and will lose”. It sums up the philosophy of the record in no uncertain terms:
“For all that you love will be taken some day / By the angel of death or the servants of change / In a floodwater tide without rancor or rage / So sing loud while you're able / In grief and
in praise”


Swallowed by the New is full of the inviting melodies that

have always marked Phillips’ work, while his singing reaches a new degree of intimacy and immediacy. The arrangements hint at country, soul, folk, rock and classic pop, without ever sounding derivative. The emotions may be raw, but they are guided by Phillips’ steady vocals towards healing and renewal.




Phillips started Toad the Wet Sprocket in 1986, when he was still in high school. He was as surprised as anyone when
their low-key folk rock landed them on the pop charts. When the band members decided to go their separate ways, Phillips began a solo career with Abulum followed by Winter Pays for Summer, Mr. Lemons and Secrets of the New Explorers. Always open to new projects and unlikely collaborations, he’s toured and recorded with Works Progress Administration, a band that included members of Nickel Creek, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Elvis Costello’s Attractions; Mutual Admiration Society with Nickel Creek; Remote Tree Children, an experimental project with John Askew and Plover, with Neilson Hubbard and Garrison Starr.


His acoustic duo tour to support Swallowed by the New
starts in October and will continue through the spring of
2017. “I enjoy the spontaneity of acoustic performance, where I can take the show wherever it needs to go and follow the lead of an audience instead of following a set list.
There’s more talking, more stories, and more of a loose feel. The subject matter is on the serious side, but I feel like the perspective is ultimately positive. Life is about changes, no matter how we may try and pretend otherwise. This album is all about learning how to face change.”

Project/Object - The Music Of Frank Zappa with Napoleon Murphy Brock & Denny Walley

Project/Object - The Music Of Frank Zappa feat. Napoleon Murphy Brock and Denny Walley

Project/Object is the longest continually touring alumni-based Zappa tribute band in the world. For nearly twenty five years they have toured and performed Zappa music with more of his bandmates than anyone other than Zappa himself. Project/Object tours of the USA, Canada & Europe have paved the way for a rich variety of excellent, contemporary Zappa tribute acts.



Project/Object is the band that brought most of the currently touring Zappa alumni out of retirement and onto the road. To date, almost twenty musicians, from every era of Zappa’s history, have performed with Project/Object. The band is back on the road with a short tour that reunites old bandmates Napoleon Murphy Brock & Denny Walley. The setlist features material that they performed on tour together with Frank, as well as Zappa classics and faves from other albums they did with him.



Napoleon Murphy Brock, the frontman for Zappa’s early seventies bands, first appeared on the breakthrough album Apostrophe (‘), then handled lead vocals and sax for the incredibly popular Roxy and Elsewhere. His vocals on One Size Fits All are legendary, and he appeared with Denny Walley on the iconic Bongo Fury, which documents Zappa’s 1975 collaborative tour with his old friend Captain Beefheart. Brock went on to tour with fellow Zappa alum George Duke, and with Duke reached new heights in the hugely popular George Duke Band. Napoleon later provided harmony vocals for Sheik Yerbouti, one of Zappa’s biggest selling albums. He also appears on Thingfish and You Can’t Do That Onstage Anymore - Helsinki.



Denny Walley, a key member of Zappa’s mid 70s and early 80s tours, is the band member that goes back the furthest with Frank - they met during the 8th grade! Denny brought his incendiary slide guitar work to many Zappa tours and albums, splitting time as Captain Beefheart’s slide guitarist as well. Denny appears on what is arguably Beefheart’s greatest work: Bat Chain Puller, and on Zappa favorites like Joe’s Garage and You Are What You Is. Denny not only performed with Zappa on SNL a few times, but later became a set-builder for the show!

Project/Object - The Music Of Frank Zappa with Napoleon Murphy Brock & Denny Walley

Project/Object - The Music Of Frank Zappa feat. Napoleon Murphy Brock and Denny Walley

Project/Object is the longest continually touring alumni-based Zappa tribute band in the world. For nearly twenty five years they have toured and performed Zappa music with more of his bandmates than anyone other than Zappa himself. Project/Object tours of the USA, Canada & Europe have paved the way for a rich variety of excellent, contemporary Zappa tribute acts.



Project/Object is the band that brought most of the currently touring Zappa alumni out of retirement and onto the road. To date, almost twenty musicians, from every era of Zappa’s history, have performed with Project/Object. The band is back on the road with a short tour that reunites old bandmates Napoleon Murphy Brock & Denny Walley. The setlist features material that they performed on tour together with Frank, as well as Zappa classics and faves from other albums they did with him.



Napoleon Murphy Brock, the frontman for Zappa’s early seventies bands, first appeared on the breakthrough album Apostrophe (‘), then handled lead vocals and sax for the incredibly popular Roxy and Elsewhere. His vocals on One Size Fits All are legendary, and he appeared with Denny Walley on the iconic Bongo Fury, which documents Zappa’s 1975 collaborative tour with his old friend Captain Beefheart. Brock went on to tour with fellow Zappa alum George Duke, and with Duke reached new heights in the hugely popular George Duke Band. Napoleon later provided harmony vocals for Sheik Yerbouti, one of Zappa’s biggest selling albums. He also appears on Thingfish and You Can’t Do That Onstage Anymore - Helsinki.



Denny Walley, a key member of Zappa’s mid 70s and early 80s tours, is the band member that goes back the furthest with Frank - they met during the 8th grade! Denny brought his incendiary slide guitar work to many Zappa tours and albums, splitting time as Captain Beefheart’s slide guitarist as well. Denny appears on what is arguably Beefheart’s greatest work: Bat Chain Puller, and on Zappa favorites like Joe’s Garage and You Are What You Is. Denny not only performed with Zappa on SNL a few times, but later became a set-builder for the show!

Project/Object - The Music Of Frank Zappa with Napoleon Murphy Brock & Denny Walley

Patrick Sweany

Patrick Sweany likes the spaces in between.

On a given night (or on a given album) he'll swing through blues, folk, soul, bluegrass, maybe some classic 50s rock, or a punk speedball. He's a musical omnivore, devouring every popular music sound of the last 70 years, and mixing 'em all together seamlessly into his own stew. Yet, the one thing that most people notice about Patrick isn't his ability to copy - it's his authenticity. Like his heroes, artists like Bobby "Blue" Bland, Doug Sahm, Joe Tex, Patrick somehow manages to blend all of these influences into something all his own.

It's no wonder that as a kid he immersed himself in his dad's extensive record collection: 60s folk, vintage country, soul, and, of course, blues. Patrick spent hours teaching himself to fingerpick along to Leadbelly, Lightnin' Hopkins, and other folk-blues giants.

In his late teens, Patrick began playing the clubs and coffeehouses around Kent, OH. He quickly gained a reputation for the intricate country blues style he was developing: part Piedmont picking, part Delta slide - with an equally impressive deep, smooth vocal style.

But Patrick wouldn't stay in the acoustic world for long. His love of 50s era soul and rock fused with the adrenaline-soaked garage punk revival happening throughout the Rust Belt pushed him to form a band.

After 7 critically acclaimed records (two produced by longtime collaborator Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys), Patrick has expanded his touring radius to 49 states and Europe. He's played premiere festivals (Newport Folk Fest, Merlefest, Montreal Jazz Fest, Telluride Blues & Brews) and supported international acts such as The Black Keys, The Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Wood Brothers, Hot Tuna, and others on tour.

His forthcoming record, Ancient Noise, comes out in Spring 2018. It was recordedat historic Sam Phillips Recording by acclaimed producer/engineer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margot Price) and features an all-star backing band: Ken Coomer on drums (ex-Wilco), Ted Pecchio on bass (Doyle Bramhall II, Susan Tedeschi), and the legendary Charles Hodges on keys (Al Green). Ancient Noise is a great amalgam of Sweany's evolving sounds, from the gritty blues of the openers "Old Time Ways" and "Up & Down," to the piano-based ballad "Country Loving." "We also added a lot more funk to this record," says Sweany. "There's a definite nod to the Deep South 70s sound of Allen Toussaint productions and Little Feat jams."

Patrick Sweany likes the spaces in between.

On a given night (or on a given album) he'll swing through blues, folk, soul, bluegrass, maybe some classic 50s rock, or a punk speedball. He's a musical omnivore, devouring every popular music sound of the last 70 years, and mixing 'em all together seamlessly into his own stew. Yet, the one thing that most people notice about Patrick isn't his ability to copy - it's his authenticity. Like his heroes, artists like Bobby "Blue" Bland, Doug Sahm, Joe Tex, Patrick somehow manages to blend all of these influences into something all his own.

It's no wonder that as a kid he immersed himself in his dad's extensive record collection: 60s folk, vintage country, soul, and, of course, blues. Patrick spent hours teaching himself to fingerpick along to Leadbelly, Lightnin' Hopkins, and other folk-blues giants.

In his late teens, Patrick began playing the clubs and coffeehouses around Kent, OH. He quickly gained a reputation for the intricate country blues style he was developing: part Piedmont picking, part Delta slide - with an equally impressive deep, smooth vocal style.

But Patrick wouldn't stay in the acoustic world for long. His love of 50s era soul and rock fused with the adrenaline-soaked garage punk revival happening throughout the Rust Belt pushed him to form a band.

After 7 critically acclaimed records (two produced by longtime collaborator Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys), Patrick has expanded his touring radius to 49 states and Europe. He's played premiere festivals (Newport Folk Fest, Merlefest, Montreal Jazz Fest, Telluride Blues & Brews) and supported international acts such as The Black Keys, The Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Wood Brothers, Hot Tuna, and others on tour.

His forthcoming record, Ancient Noise, comes out in Spring 2018. It was recordedat historic Sam Phillips Recording by acclaimed producer/engineer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margot Price) and features an all-star backing band: Ken Coomer on drums (ex-Wilco), Ted Pecchio on bass (Doyle Bramhall II, Susan Tedeschi), and the legendary Charles Hodges on keys (Al Green). Ancient Noise is a great amalgam of Sweany's evolving sounds, from the gritty blues of the openers "Old Time Ways" and "Up & Down," to the piano-based ballad "Country Loving." "We also added a lot more funk to this record," says Sweany. "There's a definite nod to the Deep South 70s sound of Allen Toussaint productions and Little Feat jams."

(Early Show) The Damaged Pies - Last One Out Shuts the Lights 30th Anniversary Show Benefiting WhyHunger

Since its' inception, Damaged Pies has played and recorded at some of the most legendary venues in world. From CBGB's in New York City to the Whisky a-go-go in L.A., from Liverpool's Cavern to Sun Studio in Memphis to Trident Studios in London, from Farm Aid Eve in Hershey to The Surf Ballroom in Iowa, from Damaged Pies Day in Pittsburgh to Toronto to Philly, from Athens to Boston, from Wrigley Field to Three Rivers Stadium from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to the Wheeling Jamboree to Nashville and all points in between, Damaged Pies has been one of rock and roll's most durable and well-traveled acts.

Damaged Pies/ Steve Bodner has also been honored with the Jefferson Award for Public Service. The Damaged Pies current single to benefit WhyHUnger's Artists Against Hunger and Poverty is entitled Same Circus, Different Town and features David Hentschel (Elton John, Genesis) and covert art by Bernie Taupin (Elton John).

The Damaged Pies new album, The Stars on a Summer’s Night, is available now on Amazon, I-Tunes, CD Baby and Spotify and features cover art, And Blue by Bernie Taupin. One of the tracks, We Must Learn to Live Together features the words of Civil Rights Leader and Georgia State Representative John Lewis.

Musicians for Hunger Relief's new song, Louder Than Concorde features Rock and Roll Legends Adam Marsland (The Beach Boys, Wilson Phillips), Spooner Oldham (Aretha Franklin, Crosby Stills, Nash and Young, Percy Sledge) and Caleb Quaye (Elton John, Hall and Oates).

Damaged Pies has opened for former Beatle Pete Best, Marshall Crenshaw, Alejandro Escovedo, Pegi Young (Neil’s wife), James McCartney, The Atomic Punks, Peter Case, former Eagle Don Felder, Peter Mulvey, John Hall (Orleans) Wayne “The Train” Hancock and Jen Chapin.

Damaged Pies is a member of WhyHunger's Artists Against Hunger & Poverty, The Recording Academy, Pittsburgh Legends Awards and ASCAP. Damaged Pies also founded Pittsburgh Musicians for Hunger Relief. The Damaged Pies Steve Bodner is also a District Advocate for The Recording Academy/ The Grammys.
Damaged Pies movie Same Circus, Different Town is available on You Tube.

Since its' inception, Damaged Pies has played and recorded at some of the most legendary venues in world. From CBGB's in New York City to the Whisky a-go-go in L.A., from Liverpool's Cavern to Sun Studio in Memphis to Trident Studios in London, from Farm Aid Eve in Hershey to The Surf Ballroom in Iowa, from Damaged Pies Day in Pittsburgh to Toronto to Philly, from Athens to Boston, from Wrigley Field to Three Rivers Stadium from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to the Wheeling Jamboree to Nashville and all points in between, Damaged Pies has been one of rock and roll's most durable and well-traveled acts.

Damaged Pies/ Steve Bodner has also been honored with the Jefferson Award for Public Service. The Damaged Pies current single to benefit WhyHUnger's Artists Against Hunger and Poverty is entitled Same Circus, Different Town and features David Hentschel (Elton John, Genesis) and covert art by Bernie Taupin (Elton John).

The Damaged Pies new album, The Stars on a Summer’s Night, is available now on Amazon, I-Tunes, CD Baby and Spotify and features cover art, And Blue by Bernie Taupin. One of the tracks, We Must Learn to Live Together features the words of Civil Rights Leader and Georgia State Representative John Lewis.

Musicians for Hunger Relief's new song, Louder Than Concorde features Rock and Roll Legends Adam Marsland (The Beach Boys, Wilson Phillips), Spooner Oldham (Aretha Franklin, Crosby Stills, Nash and Young, Percy Sledge) and Caleb Quaye (Elton John, Hall and Oates).

Damaged Pies has opened for former Beatle Pete Best, Marshall Crenshaw, Alejandro Escovedo, Pegi Young (Neil’s wife), James McCartney, The Atomic Punks, Peter Case, former Eagle Don Felder, Peter Mulvey, John Hall (Orleans) Wayne “The Train” Hancock and Jen Chapin.

Damaged Pies is a member of WhyHunger's Artists Against Hunger & Poverty, The Recording Academy, Pittsburgh Legends Awards and ASCAP. Damaged Pies also founded Pittsburgh Musicians for Hunger Relief. The Damaged Pies Steve Bodner is also a District Advocate for The Recording Academy/ The Grammys.
Damaged Pies movie Same Circus, Different Town is available on You Tube.

Mipso

Chapel Hill’s indie Americana quartet Mipso – Jacob Sharp (mandolin, vocals), Wood Robinson (bass, vocals), Joseph Terrell (guitar, vocals), and Libby Rodenbough (fiddle, vocals) – release their fifth album, Edges Run, on April 6th, 2018 via a newly inked record deal with AntiFragile Music. Influenced by the contradiction of its progressive home and the surrounding rural southern landscapes, Mipso has been hailed as “hewing surprisingly close to gospel and folk while still sounding modern and secular”(Acoustic Guitar) and was recently recognized by Rolling Stone as an “ Artist You Need to Know.” The band brings a distinctly unique sound – full of wistful beauty, hopeful undercurrents, and panoramic soundscapes. Venturing ever-further from its string-band pedigree to discover a broader Americana where classic folk-rock and modern alt-country sounds mingle easily with Appalachian tradition, Mipso’s music is lush and forward moving, with lyrics that sear and salve in turn. Look for Mipso on tour this spring in support of their new release, Edges Run.

Chapel Hill’s indie Americana quartet Mipso – Jacob Sharp (mandolin, vocals), Wood Robinson (bass, vocals), Joseph Terrell (guitar, vocals), and Libby Rodenbough (fiddle, vocals) – release their fifth album, Edges Run, on April 6th, 2018 via a newly inked record deal with AntiFragile Music. Influenced by the contradiction of its progressive home and the surrounding rural southern landscapes, Mipso has been hailed as “hewing surprisingly close to gospel and folk while still sounding modern and secular”(Acoustic Guitar) and was recently recognized by Rolling Stone as an “ Artist You Need to Know.” The band brings a distinctly unique sound – full of wistful beauty, hopeful undercurrents, and panoramic soundscapes. Venturing ever-further from its string-band pedigree to discover a broader Americana where classic folk-rock and modern alt-country sounds mingle easily with Appalachian tradition, Mipso’s music is lush and forward moving, with lyrics that sear and salve in turn. Look for Mipso on tour this spring in support of their new release, Edges Run.

An Evening With Chris Smither

Born in Miami, during World War II, Chris Smither grew up in New Orleans where he first started playing music as a child. The son of a Tulane University professor, he was taught the rudiments of instrumentation by his uncle on his mother’s ukulele. “Uncle Howard,” Smither says, “showed me that if you knew three chords, you could play a lot of the songs you heard on the radio. And if you knew four chords, you could pretty much rule the world.” With that bit of knowledge under his belt, he was hooked. “I’d loved acoustic music – specifically the blues – ever since I first heard Lightnin’ Hopkins’ Blues In My Bottle album. I couldn’t believe the sound Hopkins got. At first I thought it was two guys playing guitar. My style, to a degree, came out of trying to imitate that sound I heard.”

In his early twenties, Smither turned his back on his anthropology studies and headed to Boston at the urging of legendary folk singer Eric von Schmidt. It was the mid-’60s and acoustic music thrived in the streets and coffeehouses there. Smither forged lifelong friendships with many musicians, including Bonnie Raitt who went on to record his songs, “Love You Like A Man” and “I Feel the Same. (Their friendship has endured as their career paths intertwined over the years.) What quickly evolved from his New Orleans and Cambridge musical experiences is his enduring, singular guitar sound – a beat-driven finger-picking, strongly influenced by the playing of Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins, layered over the ever-present backbeat of his rhythmic, tapping feet (always mic’d in performance).

Smither’s first albums, I’m A Stranger, Too! (1971) and Don’t It Drag On (1972) were released on Poppy Records, home of kindred spirit Townes Van Zandt. By the time Smither recorded his third album, Honeysuckle Dog with Lowell George and Dr. John helping out, United Artists had absorbed Poppy and ultimately dropped much of their roster, including Smither. Smither made his next record in 1985, when the spare It Ain’t Easy on Adelphi Records marked his return to the studio.

By the early ’90s, Smither’s steady nationwide touring and regular release of consistently acclaimed albums cemented his reputation as one of the finest acoustic musicians in the country. His 1991 album, Another Way to Find You, was recorded live in front of an in-studio audience with no overdubs or second takes. This would be the first of two albums with Flying Fish Records. His next recording, Happier Blue, was embraced by Triple A radio and received the NAIRD (now AFIM) award as Best Folk Recording of 1993. Up On The Lowdown (1995) marked the first of a trio of albums to be recorded with producer Stephen Bruton at The Hit Shack in Austin and his first of five albums with roots label HighTone Records. Up On the Lowdown rode the crest of the newly formed Americana radio format wave and sparked considerable interest abroad. A tour of Australia with Dave Alvin and extensive solo touring in Europe led to an expanding global interest in Smither. His song, “I Am the Ride,” from this album inspired the independent film, The Ride, for which Smither also composed the original score.

In early 1997 Smither released Small Revelations. It climbed the Americana and Triple A radio charts and led to concert dates with B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Nanci Griffith, and the hugely successful, original Monsters of Folk’ tour with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dave Alvin and Tom Russell. Small Revelations also generated several film projects for Smither. Emmylou Harris recorded his song, “Slow Surprise,” for the The Horse Whisperer soundtrack on MCA. And his recording of “Hold On” was used in the indie feature film Love From Ground Zero. Smither also shared insight into his guitar style and technique on two instructional DVDs, available from Homespun Video.

His CD, Drive You Home Again (1999), garnered four-stars from Rolling Stone. And with it, Smither continued to tour world-wide. Shortly after, in 2000, Smither released his one-man-tour-de-force, Live As I’ll Ever Be. Recorded in-concert at various clubs and concert halls in California, Dublin, Galway, Boston, and Washington DC, it has proven to be a fan favorite, capturing Smither at what he loves to do: performing in front of an audience.

Train Home (2003) was Smither’s last record for HighTone and his first with producer David Goodrich. Over a six-week period, basic tracks for Train Home were recorded in the relaxed environment of Smither’s home near Boston. Working with new session musicians, the record is simultaneously sparse and assured. Bonnie Raitt graciously provided backing vocals and slide guitar on Smither’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row.” And Smither’s “Seems So Real” from the CD earned a Folk Alliance Award as “Song of the Year.”

In 2005, jazz great Diana Krall covered “Love Me Like A Man,” introducing what is now a blues standard to a whole world of jazz fans. Shortly after, Smither’s song “Slow Surprise” was included in the independent film, Brother’s Shadow. In addition, Smither narrated a two-CD audio book recording of “Will Rogers’ Greatest Hits.” Continuing to expand his creative horizon, Smither was invited to contribute an essay to Sixty Things to Do When You Turn Sixty, a 2006 collection of essays by American luminaries on reaching that milestone. In 2009, Melville House published Amplified, a book featuring 16 short stories by notable American performing songwriters. Smither’s story Leroy Purcell about a touring musician’s encounter with a Texas State Patrolman leads off the collection.

With the release of his 12th recording Leave The Light On (2006) on his own imprint, Mighty Albert, Smither began a new label relationship with the renowned acoustic and modern folk label, Signature Sounds. For the recording, Smither reunited with producer David Goodrich and session musicians Mike Piehl, Lou Ulrich and Anita Suhanin. As an added treat, Smither invited good friend and Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist, Tim O’Brien, along with rising American roots stars, Ollabelle, to add their distinctive talents on several tracks. Smither followed this with Time Stands Still (2009), his most stripped down recording in some time, working with just two accompanists after the same trio had played a rare band performance – a non-solo setup required in order to play a Netherlands festival.

About the recording Smither says, “We’re the only three guys on this record, and most of the songs only have three parts going on. We had a freewheeling feeling at that festival gig, and we managed to make a lot of that same feeling happen in this record.” In 2011 Smither put out two fan projects: a collection of live tracks from newly discovered concert recordings from the 1980s-1990s titled Lost and Found and the rollicking EP, What I Learned in School, on which Smither covered six classic rock and roll songs.

Smither followed these fan-projects with Hundred Dollar Valentine (2012), a ★★★★★ (MOJO) studio record of all Smither-penned songs. With longtime producer David “Goody” Goodrich at the helm, this collection sported Smither’s trademark acoustic guitar sound and evocative sonic textures meshed with spare, brilliant songs, delivered in a bone-wise, hard-won voice.

In 2014 Smither released Still on the Levee (2014) – a double-CD retrospective. Recorded in New Orleans at the Music Shed, this career-spanning project features fresh new takes on 24 iconic songs from his vast career and some very special guests including the legendary Allen Toussaint and Loudon Wainwright III.

The coffee table –style book Chris Smither Lyrics 1966-2012 and Signature Sounds’ Link of Chain – an all-star tribute record including a stellar list of artists offering their takes on some Smither favorites including Josh Ritter, Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Tim O’Brien, Patty Larkin, and many others were fan-favorite accompaniments to the retrospective CD .

In March 2018, Smither released his eighteenth record, Call Me Lucky (Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert) once again teaming up with producer and multi-instrumentalist David Goodrich. Also joined by Billy Conway (Morphine) and Matt Lorenz (The Suitcase Junket), Smither recorded eight new originals along with some very special and surprising covers at the Blue Rock studios in the Texas hills in June 2017.

The new records continues what As Acoustic Guitar magazine wrote that, Smither sings about “the big things – life, love, loss – in a penetrating and poetic yet unpretentious way.”

Born in Miami, during World War II, Chris Smither grew up in New Orleans where he first started playing music as a child. The son of a Tulane University professor, he was taught the rudiments of instrumentation by his uncle on his mother’s ukulele. “Uncle Howard,” Smither says, “showed me that if you knew three chords, you could play a lot of the songs you heard on the radio. And if you knew four chords, you could pretty much rule the world.” With that bit of knowledge under his belt, he was hooked. “I’d loved acoustic music – specifically the blues – ever since I first heard Lightnin’ Hopkins’ Blues In My Bottle album. I couldn’t believe the sound Hopkins got. At first I thought it was two guys playing guitar. My style, to a degree, came out of trying to imitate that sound I heard.”

In his early twenties, Smither turned his back on his anthropology studies and headed to Boston at the urging of legendary folk singer Eric von Schmidt. It was the mid-’60s and acoustic music thrived in the streets and coffeehouses there. Smither forged lifelong friendships with many musicians, including Bonnie Raitt who went on to record his songs, “Love You Like A Man” and “I Feel the Same. (Their friendship has endured as their career paths intertwined over the years.) What quickly evolved from his New Orleans and Cambridge musical experiences is his enduring, singular guitar sound – a beat-driven finger-picking, strongly influenced by the playing of Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins, layered over the ever-present backbeat of his rhythmic, tapping feet (always mic’d in performance).

Smither’s first albums, I’m A Stranger, Too! (1971) and Don’t It Drag On (1972) were released on Poppy Records, home of kindred spirit Townes Van Zandt. By the time Smither recorded his third album, Honeysuckle Dog with Lowell George and Dr. John helping out, United Artists had absorbed Poppy and ultimately dropped much of their roster, including Smither. Smither made his next record in 1985, when the spare It Ain’t Easy on Adelphi Records marked his return to the studio.

By the early ’90s, Smither’s steady nationwide touring and regular release of consistently acclaimed albums cemented his reputation as one of the finest acoustic musicians in the country. His 1991 album, Another Way to Find You, was recorded live in front of an in-studio audience with no overdubs or second takes. This would be the first of two albums with Flying Fish Records. His next recording, Happier Blue, was embraced by Triple A radio and received the NAIRD (now AFIM) award as Best Folk Recording of 1993. Up On The Lowdown (1995) marked the first of a trio of albums to be recorded with producer Stephen Bruton at The Hit Shack in Austin and his first of five albums with roots label HighTone Records. Up On the Lowdown rode the crest of the newly formed Americana radio format wave and sparked considerable interest abroad. A tour of Australia with Dave Alvin and extensive solo touring in Europe led to an expanding global interest in Smither. His song, “I Am the Ride,” from this album inspired the independent film, The Ride, for which Smither also composed the original score.

In early 1997 Smither released Small Revelations. It climbed the Americana and Triple A radio charts and led to concert dates with B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Nanci Griffith, and the hugely successful, original Monsters of Folk’ tour with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dave Alvin and Tom Russell. Small Revelations also generated several film projects for Smither. Emmylou Harris recorded his song, “Slow Surprise,” for the The Horse Whisperer soundtrack on MCA. And his recording of “Hold On” was used in the indie feature film Love From Ground Zero. Smither also shared insight into his guitar style and technique on two instructional DVDs, available from Homespun Video.

His CD, Drive You Home Again (1999), garnered four-stars from Rolling Stone. And with it, Smither continued to tour world-wide. Shortly after, in 2000, Smither released his one-man-tour-de-force, Live As I’ll Ever Be. Recorded in-concert at various clubs and concert halls in California, Dublin, Galway, Boston, and Washington DC, it has proven to be a fan favorite, capturing Smither at what he loves to do: performing in front of an audience.

Train Home (2003) was Smither’s last record for HighTone and his first with producer David Goodrich. Over a six-week period, basic tracks for Train Home were recorded in the relaxed environment of Smither’s home near Boston. Working with new session musicians, the record is simultaneously sparse and assured. Bonnie Raitt graciously provided backing vocals and slide guitar on Smither’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row.” And Smither’s “Seems So Real” from the CD earned a Folk Alliance Award as “Song of the Year.”

In 2005, jazz great Diana Krall covered “Love Me Like A Man,” introducing what is now a blues standard to a whole world of jazz fans. Shortly after, Smither’s song “Slow Surprise” was included in the independent film, Brother’s Shadow. In addition, Smither narrated a two-CD audio book recording of “Will Rogers’ Greatest Hits.” Continuing to expand his creative horizon, Smither was invited to contribute an essay to Sixty Things to Do When You Turn Sixty, a 2006 collection of essays by American luminaries on reaching that milestone. In 2009, Melville House published Amplified, a book featuring 16 short stories by notable American performing songwriters. Smither’s story Leroy Purcell about a touring musician’s encounter with a Texas State Patrolman leads off the collection.

With the release of his 12th recording Leave The Light On (2006) on his own imprint, Mighty Albert, Smither began a new label relationship with the renowned acoustic and modern folk label, Signature Sounds. For the recording, Smither reunited with producer David Goodrich and session musicians Mike Piehl, Lou Ulrich and Anita Suhanin. As an added treat, Smither invited good friend and Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist, Tim O’Brien, along with rising American roots stars, Ollabelle, to add their distinctive talents on several tracks. Smither followed this with Time Stands Still (2009), his most stripped down recording in some time, working with just two accompanists after the same trio had played a rare band performance – a non-solo setup required in order to play a Netherlands festival.

About the recording Smither says, “We’re the only three guys on this record, and most of the songs only have three parts going on. We had a freewheeling feeling at that festival gig, and we managed to make a lot of that same feeling happen in this record.” In 2011 Smither put out two fan projects: a collection of live tracks from newly discovered concert recordings from the 1980s-1990s titled Lost and Found and the rollicking EP, What I Learned in School, on which Smither covered six classic rock and roll songs.

Smither followed these fan-projects with Hundred Dollar Valentine (2012), a ★★★★★ (MOJO) studio record of all Smither-penned songs. With longtime producer David “Goody” Goodrich at the helm, this collection sported Smither’s trademark acoustic guitar sound and evocative sonic textures meshed with spare, brilliant songs, delivered in a bone-wise, hard-won voice.

In 2014 Smither released Still on the Levee (2014) – a double-CD retrospective. Recorded in New Orleans at the Music Shed, this career-spanning project features fresh new takes on 24 iconic songs from his vast career and some very special guests including the legendary Allen Toussaint and Loudon Wainwright III.

The coffee table –style book Chris Smither Lyrics 1966-2012 and Signature Sounds’ Link of Chain – an all-star tribute record including a stellar list of artists offering their takes on some Smither favorites including Josh Ritter, Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Tim O’Brien, Patty Larkin, and many others were fan-favorite accompaniments to the retrospective CD .

In March 2018, Smither released his eighteenth record, Call Me Lucky (Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert) once again teaming up with producer and multi-instrumentalist David Goodrich. Also joined by Billy Conway (Morphine) and Matt Lorenz (The Suitcase Junket), Smither recorded eight new originals along with some very special and surprising covers at the Blue Rock studios in the Texas hills in June 2017.

The new records continues what As Acoustic Guitar magazine wrote that, Smither sings about “the big things – life, love, loss – in a penetrating and poetic yet unpretentious way.”

Matthew Logan Vasquez

Matthew Logan Vasquez is feeling optimistic.

That's not necessarily apparent the first time you spin his new full-length solo album. Each track on Matthew Logan Does What He Wants feels urgent and intense. Impatient landlords, financial woes and other frustrations fan the agitation embedded in the opening track, "Same." Isolation darkens the brooding images of "From Behind The Glass." Death takes a bow on "The Fighter." Vasquez can't help but juxtapose the celebration of "Fatherhood" with a lament that "we ain't got the money to pay the hospital." The music enhances this impression. As fans of his work with Delta Spirit and Middle Brother know well, Vasquez knows how to fuse passion and poetry in his writing and then ignite this volatile mix with extraordinarily expressive singing. In this sense he stands as a peer and a worthy successor to those who influenced him as an up-and-coming artist - Neil Young, Kurt Cobain, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed and others often mentioned, none of them known for their upbeat, sunny lyrics. With the 2016 release Solicitor Returns. "That last record had a sarcastic, darker tone. The new one is just as hard-hitting and wide-ranging but with a more positive message." This becomes clearer when you replay Does What He Wants and listen more carefully. On the surface, "Tall Man" unfolds as a journey into self-destruction. But at the end, the subject of the story is repeating "I know I can change," each time with escalating emotion as brought to life in Vasquez's searing vocal. "Bad things happen in the song," he acknowledges. "But it all leads to an epiphany. And that is positive. The truth rarely comes to you in an easy way - not unless you're a wiser person than I am. "My point is that life is a struggle," Vasquez continues. "But how can you have optimism and hope if you don't have something negative? Context is what makes it meaningful." For Vasquez, context involves drawing from dramatically different settings. Growing up in Texas and along the California coast, hunkering down for years in Brooklyn as he finessed his music in a more pressurized urban context and then heading back to Austin to put all the pieces together, he took note of the differences and similarities these places offered. During much of that time he channeled his experiences into Delta Spirit, whose albums inspired critics to laud the band as "restless and defiant" (Paste), its music infused by "waves of measured ferocity" (Uncut) and "significant depth" (Austin Chronicle). Vasquez was actually in the process of writing for a projected upcoming Delta Spirit project early last year when he began to think that it might be more appropriate to focus instead on his next solo effort. "I was imagining a new Delta Spirit album as I was writing," he says. "But I began to realize that's not exactly where I'm at right now. The band isn't broken up but it's not coming back right now. I started to feel like Rhett Miller, who had to go away from the Old 97s for a while so he could get tap into his creativity and come back to the band in a new and healthy way." To keep his path clear and work on his own terms, Vasquez built a studio in his home for this past year - a trailer parked about an hour west of Austin. Here, in Texas Hill Country, surrounded by evergreen oak trees, he wrote and recorded basic tracks and then brought in singer Kam Franklin from The Suffers and Shakey Graves drummer Christopher Booshada to add parts as needed. For backup vocals and string parts, he worked long-distance via sound files with the Parkington Sisters, who he performed with during a Middle Brother set at last year's Newport Folk Festival. "They performed a miracle, giving me a 3-D depth that makes the tracks they appear on jump out of the speakers," he insists. In final form, Does What He Wants is like a hall of mirrors, each capturing a different image of one self-aware and restlessly creative individual. The pure finger-picked acoustic guitar that sets up vivid stories on "The Informant" and "Tall Man," the retro textures of "Headed West" (which, Vasquez points out, were actually played on real strings by the Parkingtons), the lofting melody that evokes Roy Orbison ("the greatest singer in the history of singers," Vasquez opines), the waterfall of harmonies in "The Fighter" - This music is diverse yet unified, which of course was a priority for its author. And, in the end, it turns out to feel pretty optimistic after all - a perfect statement for these times and possibly for some time to come.

Matthew Logan Vasquez is feeling optimistic.

That's not necessarily apparent the first time you spin his new full-length solo album. Each track on Matthew Logan Does What He Wants feels urgent and intense. Impatient landlords, financial woes and other frustrations fan the agitation embedded in the opening track, "Same." Isolation darkens the brooding images of "From Behind The Glass." Death takes a bow on "The Fighter." Vasquez can't help but juxtapose the celebration of "Fatherhood" with a lament that "we ain't got the money to pay the hospital." The music enhances this impression. As fans of his work with Delta Spirit and Middle Brother know well, Vasquez knows how to fuse passion and poetry in his writing and then ignite this volatile mix with extraordinarily expressive singing. In this sense he stands as a peer and a worthy successor to those who influenced him as an up-and-coming artist - Neil Young, Kurt Cobain, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed and others often mentioned, none of them known for their upbeat, sunny lyrics. With the 2016 release Solicitor Returns. "That last record had a sarcastic, darker tone. The new one is just as hard-hitting and wide-ranging but with a more positive message." This becomes clearer when you replay Does What He Wants and listen more carefully. On the surface, "Tall Man" unfolds as a journey into self-destruction. But at the end, the subject of the story is repeating "I know I can change," each time with escalating emotion as brought to life in Vasquez's searing vocal. "Bad things happen in the song," he acknowledges. "But it all leads to an epiphany. And that is positive. The truth rarely comes to you in an easy way - not unless you're a wiser person than I am. "My point is that life is a struggle," Vasquez continues. "But how can you have optimism and hope if you don't have something negative? Context is what makes it meaningful." For Vasquez, context involves drawing from dramatically different settings. Growing up in Texas and along the California coast, hunkering down for years in Brooklyn as he finessed his music in a more pressurized urban context and then heading back to Austin to put all the pieces together, he took note of the differences and similarities these places offered. During much of that time he channeled his experiences into Delta Spirit, whose albums inspired critics to laud the band as "restless and defiant" (Paste), its music infused by "waves of measured ferocity" (Uncut) and "significant depth" (Austin Chronicle). Vasquez was actually in the process of writing for a projected upcoming Delta Spirit project early last year when he began to think that it might be more appropriate to focus instead on his next solo effort. "I was imagining a new Delta Spirit album as I was writing," he says. "But I began to realize that's not exactly where I'm at right now. The band isn't broken up but it's not coming back right now. I started to feel like Rhett Miller, who had to go away from the Old 97s for a while so he could get tap into his creativity and come back to the band in a new and healthy way." To keep his path clear and work on his own terms, Vasquez built a studio in his home for this past year - a trailer parked about an hour west of Austin. Here, in Texas Hill Country, surrounded by evergreen oak trees, he wrote and recorded basic tracks and then brought in singer Kam Franklin from The Suffers and Shakey Graves drummer Christopher Booshada to add parts as needed. For backup vocals and string parts, he worked long-distance via sound files with the Parkington Sisters, who he performed with during a Middle Brother set at last year's Newport Folk Festival. "They performed a miracle, giving me a 3-D depth that makes the tracks they appear on jump out of the speakers," he insists. In final form, Does What He Wants is like a hall of mirrors, each capturing a different image of one self-aware and restlessly creative individual. The pure finger-picked acoustic guitar that sets up vivid stories on "The Informant" and "Tall Man," the retro textures of "Headed West" (which, Vasquez points out, were actually played on real strings by the Parkingtons), the lofting melody that evokes Roy Orbison ("the greatest singer in the history of singers," Vasquez opines), the waterfall of harmonies in "The Fighter" - This music is diverse yet unified, which of course was a priority for its author. And, in the end, it turns out to feel pretty optimistic after all - a perfect statement for these times and possibly for some time to come.

(Early Show) Caitlin Canty

Caitlin Canty is an American singer/songwriter whose music carves a line through folk, blues, and country ballads. Her voice was called “casually devastating” by the San Francisco Chronicle and NPR Music describes her songs as having a “haunting urgency.”

Motel Bouquet, Canty’s third record, features ten original songs that hold her darkly radiant voice firmly in the spotlight. Produced by Grammy-nominated Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) and recorded live over three days in Nashville, the album boasts a band of some of finest musicians in roots music, including fiddler Stuart Duncan and vocalist Aoife O’Donovan. Rolling Stone hails Motel Bouquet as “dreamy and daring” with “poetic lyrics and haunting melodies.”

Since the release of her critically-acclaimed Reckless Skyline in 2015, Canty has put thousands of miles on her songs, circling through the U.S. and Europe. She warmed up stages for The Milk Carton Kids and Gregory Alan Isakov and recorded with longtime collaborators Darlingside and with Down Like Silver, her duo with Peter Bradley Adams. She won the Troubadour songwriting competition at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and her song, “Get Up,” was nominated for Song of the Year in the Folk Alliance International Music Awards. Canty’s original recordings have recently appeared on CBS’s Code Black and on the Netflix original series House of Cards.

Raised in small-town Vermont, the daughter of a school teacher and a house painter, Canty earned her degree in biology in the Berkshires and subsequently moved to New York City. She spent her days in the city working as an environmental sustainability consultant and her nights making music at Lower East Side music halls and bars. In 2009, she quit her job and set out to make music full time. In 2015, she packed up her house plants and her 1939 Recording King guitar and drove to Nashville, TN, which she now calls home.

Caitlin Canty is an American singer/songwriter whose music carves a line through folk, blues, and country ballads. Her voice was called “casually devastating” by the San Francisco Chronicle and NPR Music describes her songs as having a “haunting urgency.”

Motel Bouquet, Canty’s third record, features ten original songs that hold her darkly radiant voice firmly in the spotlight. Produced by Grammy-nominated Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) and recorded live over three days in Nashville, the album boasts a band of some of finest musicians in roots music, including fiddler Stuart Duncan and vocalist Aoife O’Donovan. Rolling Stone hails Motel Bouquet as “dreamy and daring” with “poetic lyrics and haunting melodies.”

Since the release of her critically-acclaimed Reckless Skyline in 2015, Canty has put thousands of miles on her songs, circling through the U.S. and Europe. She warmed up stages for The Milk Carton Kids and Gregory Alan Isakov and recorded with longtime collaborators Darlingside and with Down Like Silver, her duo with Peter Bradley Adams. She won the Troubadour songwriting competition at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and her song, “Get Up,” was nominated for Song of the Year in the Folk Alliance International Music Awards. Canty’s original recordings have recently appeared on CBS’s Code Black and on the Netflix original series House of Cards.

Raised in small-town Vermont, the daughter of a school teacher and a house painter, Canty earned her degree in biology in the Berkshires and subsequently moved to New York City. She spent her days in the city working as an environmental sustainability consultant and her nights making music at Lower East Side music halls and bars. In 2009, she quit her job and set out to make music full time. In 2015, she packed up her house plants and her 1939 Recording King guitar and drove to Nashville, TN, which she now calls home.

(Late Show) Danielle Nicole

For Immediate Release – "I'm definitely taking more chances now," Danielle Nicole says of Cry No More, her second solo album and the follow-up to her widely acclaimed 2015 solo debut Wolf Den. "I grew up playing the blues, and the blues is still a big part of what I do. But now I'm reaching out more and trying different things. It still sounds like me, but I'm stretching out a lot more than I have previously."

Indeed, while Wolf Den served as a powerful intro to the young singer-bassist-songwriter's funky, blues-steeped songcraft, Cry No More, set for release on February 23rd, 2018 via Concord Records, takes the artist into fresh new creative territory, delivering 14 emotion-charged new songs whose rootsy musical edge is matched by their air of hard-won personal experience.

Danielle Nicole's expansive approach yields deeply compelling musical results throughout Cry No More. With seasoned veteran Tony Braunagel (Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Burdon) producing, such heartfelt, groove-intensive new tunes as "Crawl," "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore," the Bill Withers-penned "Hot Spell" and the heart-tugging title track find Danielle cutting loose and focusing on the storytelling and character-development aspects of her songwriting.

"I wanted to open up more about myself, and I think it shows in the songs," Danielle asserts. "I thought really hard about the stories I wanted to tell in these songs. I really dug into my personal experience, and worked to be more open and expose more of myself than I have in the past.

"There's a song there about my father, 'Bobby,' who passed away a long time ago," she continues. "That was a big one for me, because I'd never gone there before. And I've had lots of changes going on in my life, so the title track, 'Cry No More,' is about moving on and letting go, and about getting over things and moving past them. There are a lot of songs on this album about moving on, although that wasn't a conscious direction. Every song is a different story, and every song has a purpose and a perspective."

While Danielle wrote or co-wrote nine of Cry No More's 14 songs, the seductive "Hot Spell" was given to Danielle by its author, long-retired R&B legend Bill Withers. Withers was a surprise visitor to the album's recording sessions at L.A.'s Ultratone Studios, and was so impressed with Danielle's singing that he dug into his archives and offered her the song, which he wrote back in the '70s, but which had gone unrecorded since then.

"Bill is one of my all-time musical heroes," Danielle notes. "We played him a couple of the songs we'd been working on, and he said 'Come on, let's go out to my car for a minute.' So we were hanging out in his SUV, and he's shuffling through his glovebox and he pulls out this disc and says 'I've got this song; it's a bit risqué, but if you don't mind, I'll play it for you.' It was this demo that he'd done, with his daughter doing the vocals. It was real moody and had a great groove, and it was Bill all the way. He told me that if I liked it, I was welcome to record it."

She didn't have to be told twice. "There was a section on the demo where Bill's scatting where the guitar solo would be. We asked him to do that on my version, but he's retired, so he respectfully declined to sing on it. So I sang the scat line and harmonized to it, in his honor. He dug it!"

Danielle enlisted an old friend, Braunagel, who also produced the last two albums by her old family band, Trampled Under Foot, to record the album. The pair's longstanding creative rapport is apparent throughout Cry No More, on which Braunagel co-wrote five songs with Danielle.

"I really wanted to work with Tony on this record, because I knew that he would get the best out of me," Danielle explains. "We've really developed a great working relationship and we write together really well, and I knew that Tony could help me develop these stories into songs.

"This whole record was like a dream come true," she adds. "I got to do the songs I wanted to do, work with the producer I wanted to work with, and record in the studio I wanted to record in. It was really cool how everything fell into place. All of the songs were what I wanted them to be, and all of the players were perfect for the songs. Every aspect of this album, from the birth of the songs to the mastering, was really free and organic."

In addition to Danielle on bass, producer Braunagel on drums and longtime Bonnie Raitt guitarist Johnnie Lee Schell (who also engineered the sessions), Cry No More features appearances by such notable guitarists as Kenny Wayne Shepherd (on "Save Me"), Luther Dickinson (on "Just Can't Keep From Crying"), Walter Trout (on "Burnin' for You"), Sonny Landreth (on "I'm Going Home"), Danielle's touring guitarist Brandon Miller (on "Baby Eyes"), and her brother and former bandmate Nick Schnebelen (on "Crawl").

The musical expertise and emotional depth of Cry No More reflect of a lifetime's worth of music-making. Born Danielle Nicole Schnebelen, Danielle comes from a long line of singers and musicians, and showed an affinity for singing almost from birth. Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, she performed in public for the first time at the age of 12, singing Koko Taylor's "Never Trust a Man" as part of a Blues for Schools program at her elementary school. In her early teens, she began singing in local coffeehouses and at open mic events, often jamming with her parents at clubs that would allow minors. At 16, she became lead singer in her father's band, Little Eva and the Works. In 1999, she started her own band, Fresh Brew, with some older local musicians. Fresh Brew performed for four years and represented Kansas City in the prestigious International Blues Challenge.

It was during this time that Danielle and her brothers Nick and Kris launched a family band, Trampled Under Foot, relocating to Philadelphia in the process. To maintain the family concept, Danielle learned to play bass, eventually mastering the instrument. Trampled Under Foot traveled the world and recorded several self-released albums, building a sizable national fan base through years of nonstop roadwork. For their 2013 album Badlands, produced by Braunagel, Trampled Under Foot moved to the Telarc label, a division of Concord Music Group. Badlands debuted at #1 on Billboard's Blues Chart.

As Trampled Under Foot wound down after an eventful 13-year run, Danielle formed her own band and signed with Concord Records, releasing a self-titled EP and the Anders Osborne-produced album Wolf Den in 2015. Those releases established Danielle as a formidable solo artist and bandleader.

"I learned a lot from the last album," Danielle states. "It was the first time I was writing and recording and choosing all of the material on my own, which was a big thing for me. I had been in a band with my brothers for 13 years, but it's a whole different thing when it's your name that's on the line. That aspect feels a lot more comfortable now, and I can make decisions without worrying about what everybody else will think."

Nicole's distinctive, inventive bass work—which resulted in her becoming the first woman to win the Blues Foundation's 2014 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist, Bass—is the product of years of intensive roadwork. Although she had no experience with the instrument when she became Trampled Under Foot's bassist, now she can't imagine life without it.

"Playing the bass definitely influences the way I sing, the way I write and the way I approach music," she says. "As I've progressed more, the bass lines have been getting a lot more intricate. It's still a challenge to sing while playing bass, because it's very rare that the bass line and the vocal go together. I still get tripped up sometimes, but at this point I'd never give up the bass.

"When I started doing my solo thing," she continues, "someone asked me if I was gonna hire a bass player. No, of course not! I originally picked up the bass to keep Trampled Under Foot a family band, but I really fell in love with it. It was a huge challenge, and it still is. But I really love being part of the groove and getting to sing on top of that. I had learned some stuff on acoustic guitar before I started playing bass, but I never really felt connected to it the way I do with the bass. It's empowering, walking onto a stage full of grown men who can play their asses off, and it's 'OK, I'm gonna play this bass, we're gonna do this, and it's gonna rock.'"

With Cry No More marking a substantial creative step forward, Danielle Nicole is ready to reap her musical destiny.

"I think that it's a good time for the kind of thing I'm doing," she states. "From my years of playing blues festivals, I've seen that younger and younger audiences are getting into the blues. I think that people want to hear authentic music again."

For Immediate Release – "I'm definitely taking more chances now," Danielle Nicole says of Cry No More, her second solo album and the follow-up to her widely acclaimed 2015 solo debut Wolf Den. "I grew up playing the blues, and the blues is still a big part of what I do. But now I'm reaching out more and trying different things. It still sounds like me, but I'm stretching out a lot more than I have previously."

Indeed, while Wolf Den served as a powerful intro to the young singer-bassist-songwriter's funky, blues-steeped songcraft, Cry No More, set for release on February 23rd, 2018 via Concord Records, takes the artist into fresh new creative territory, delivering 14 emotion-charged new songs whose rootsy musical edge is matched by their air of hard-won personal experience.

Danielle Nicole's expansive approach yields deeply compelling musical results throughout Cry No More. With seasoned veteran Tony Braunagel (Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Burdon) producing, such heartfelt, groove-intensive new tunes as "Crawl," "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore," the Bill Withers-penned "Hot Spell" and the heart-tugging title track find Danielle cutting loose and focusing on the storytelling and character-development aspects of her songwriting.

"I wanted to open up more about myself, and I think it shows in the songs," Danielle asserts. "I thought really hard about the stories I wanted to tell in these songs. I really dug into my personal experience, and worked to be more open and expose more of myself than I have in the past.

"There's a song there about my father, 'Bobby,' who passed away a long time ago," she continues. "That was a big one for me, because I'd never gone there before. And I've had lots of changes going on in my life, so the title track, 'Cry No More,' is about moving on and letting go, and about getting over things and moving past them. There are a lot of songs on this album about moving on, although that wasn't a conscious direction. Every song is a different story, and every song has a purpose and a perspective."

While Danielle wrote or co-wrote nine of Cry No More's 14 songs, the seductive "Hot Spell" was given to Danielle by its author, long-retired R&B legend Bill Withers. Withers was a surprise visitor to the album's recording sessions at L.A.'s Ultratone Studios, and was so impressed with Danielle's singing that he dug into his archives and offered her the song, which he wrote back in the '70s, but which had gone unrecorded since then.

"Bill is one of my all-time musical heroes," Danielle notes. "We played him a couple of the songs we'd been working on, and he said 'Come on, let's go out to my car for a minute.' So we were hanging out in his SUV, and he's shuffling through his glovebox and he pulls out this disc and says 'I've got this song; it's a bit risqué, but if you don't mind, I'll play it for you.' It was this demo that he'd done, with his daughter doing the vocals. It was real moody and had a great groove, and it was Bill all the way. He told me that if I liked it, I was welcome to record it."

She didn't have to be told twice. "There was a section on the demo where Bill's scatting where the guitar solo would be. We asked him to do that on my version, but he's retired, so he respectfully declined to sing on it. So I sang the scat line and harmonized to it, in his honor. He dug it!"

Danielle enlisted an old friend, Braunagel, who also produced the last two albums by her old family band, Trampled Under Foot, to record the album. The pair's longstanding creative rapport is apparent throughout Cry No More, on which Braunagel co-wrote five songs with Danielle.

"I really wanted to work with Tony on this record, because I knew that he would get the best out of me," Danielle explains. "We've really developed a great working relationship and we write together really well, and I knew that Tony could help me develop these stories into songs.

"This whole record was like a dream come true," she adds. "I got to do the songs I wanted to do, work with the producer I wanted to work with, and record in the studio I wanted to record in. It was really cool how everything fell into place. All of the songs were what I wanted them to be, and all of the players were perfect for the songs. Every aspect of this album, from the birth of the songs to the mastering, was really free and organic."

In addition to Danielle on bass, producer Braunagel on drums and longtime Bonnie Raitt guitarist Johnnie Lee Schell (who also engineered the sessions), Cry No More features appearances by such notable guitarists as Kenny Wayne Shepherd (on "Save Me"), Luther Dickinson (on "Just Can't Keep From Crying"), Walter Trout (on "Burnin' for You"), Sonny Landreth (on "I'm Going Home"), Danielle's touring guitarist Brandon Miller (on "Baby Eyes"), and her brother and former bandmate Nick Schnebelen (on "Crawl").

The musical expertise and emotional depth of Cry No More reflect of a lifetime's worth of music-making. Born Danielle Nicole Schnebelen, Danielle comes from a long line of singers and musicians, and showed an affinity for singing almost from birth. Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, she performed in public for the first time at the age of 12, singing Koko Taylor's "Never Trust a Man" as part of a Blues for Schools program at her elementary school. In her early teens, she began singing in local coffeehouses and at open mic events, often jamming with her parents at clubs that would allow minors. At 16, she became lead singer in her father's band, Little Eva and the Works. In 1999, she started her own band, Fresh Brew, with some older local musicians. Fresh Brew performed for four years and represented Kansas City in the prestigious International Blues Challenge.

It was during this time that Danielle and her brothers Nick and Kris launched a family band, Trampled Under Foot, relocating to Philadelphia in the process. To maintain the family concept, Danielle learned to play bass, eventually mastering the instrument. Trampled Under Foot traveled the world and recorded several self-released albums, building a sizable national fan base through years of nonstop roadwork. For their 2013 album Badlands, produced by Braunagel, Trampled Under Foot moved to the Telarc label, a division of Concord Music Group. Badlands debuted at #1 on Billboard's Blues Chart.

As Trampled Under Foot wound down after an eventful 13-year run, Danielle formed her own band and signed with Concord Records, releasing a self-titled EP and the Anders Osborne-produced album Wolf Den in 2015. Those releases established Danielle as a formidable solo artist and bandleader.

"I learned a lot from the last album," Danielle states. "It was the first time I was writing and recording and choosing all of the material on my own, which was a big thing for me. I had been in a band with my brothers for 13 years, but it's a whole different thing when it's your name that's on the line. That aspect feels a lot more comfortable now, and I can make decisions without worrying about what everybody else will think."

Nicole's distinctive, inventive bass work—which resulted in her becoming the first woman to win the Blues Foundation's 2014 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist, Bass—is the product of years of intensive roadwork. Although she had no experience with the instrument when she became Trampled Under Foot's bassist, now she can't imagine life without it.

"Playing the bass definitely influences the way I sing, the way I write and the way I approach music," she says. "As I've progressed more, the bass lines have been getting a lot more intricate. It's still a challenge to sing while playing bass, because it's very rare that the bass line and the vocal go together. I still get tripped up sometimes, but at this point I'd never give up the bass.

"When I started doing my solo thing," she continues, "someone asked me if I was gonna hire a bass player. No, of course not! I originally picked up the bass to keep Trampled Under Foot a family band, but I really fell in love with it. It was a huge challenge, and it still is. But I really love being part of the groove and getting to sing on top of that. I had learned some stuff on acoustic guitar before I started playing bass, but I never really felt connected to it the way I do with the bass. It's empowering, walking onto a stage full of grown men who can play their asses off, and it's 'OK, I'm gonna play this bass, we're gonna do this, and it's gonna rock.'"

With Cry No More marking a substantial creative step forward, Danielle Nicole is ready to reap her musical destiny.

"I think that it's a good time for the kind of thing I'm doing," she states. "From my years of playing blues festivals, I've seen that younger and younger audiences are getting into the blues. I think that people want to hear authentic music again."

Suuns with Special Guest Facs

"This record is definitely looser than our last one," says Suuns singer/guitarist Ben Shemie. "It's not as clinical. There's more swagger."
You can hear this freedom flowing through the 11 tracks on Felt, from Look No Further's dramatically loping, surrender-to-the-soil skeletal rock - "Our minimalist overture," notes Shemie - to the climactic bleep 'n' bliss-out of pocket symphony Materials, which finds his vocoder-treated voice floating deliriously amid cavernous inner space. It's both a continuation and rebirth, the Montreal quartet returning to beloved local facility Breakglass Studios (where they cut their first two albums with Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes) but this time recording themselves at their own pace, over five fertile sessions spanning several months. A simultaneous stretching out and honing in, mixed to audiophile perfection by St Vincent producer John Congleton (helmer of Suuns' previous full-length Hold/Still), who flew up especially from Dallas to deploy his award-winning skills in situ.

While maintaining a pleasing economy - the closest thing to a ‘jam' here is an otherworldly two-minute instrumental, aptly titled Moonbeams - the informality of self-production has enabled Suuns to explore bright new vistas. "It was different and exciting," declares drummer Liam O'Neill. "In the past there was a more concerted effort on my part to drum in a controlled and genre-specific way. Self-consciously approaching things stylistically. Us doing it ourselves, that process was like a very receptive, limitless workshop to just try out ideas."

Hence the hypnotic future-pop percolations of X-ALT, where guitarist Joseph Yarmush's delicate precision is engulfed by squalls of giddy saxophone. Or the way Watch You, Watch Me's organic/synthetic rush builds and and builds atop O'Neill's elevatory rhythm and the ecstatic, Harmonia-meets-Game Boy patterns unleashed by electronics mastermind Max Henry. As befits a band who cite Andy Stott and My Bloody Valentine as touchstones yet don't sound like either, Suuns have always seamlessly blended the programmed and played. Never mere fusionists, it's now pointless trying to decode their sonic signature as ‘dance music that rocks' or vice versa.

Eschewing presets, Henry devised fresh sounds for each song while also becoming a default musical director, orchestrating patches and oscillations. Quietly enthusing about "freaky post-techno" and Frank Ocean's use of space, he's among your more modest studio desk jockeys: "Yeah, I sat in the control room while the others played - hitting ‘record' and ‘stop'. It also gave me the flexibility to move parts around and play with effects. I do have a sweet tooth for pop music. So if there's a more straightforward option on the table, I tend to push for it. Of course, interesting pop music isn't always about being straightforward, so it's a good thing I don't always get my way."

Said sweetness is amplified by Ben Shemie's newfound vocal range and buoyant melodies, showcased in such wholly unexpected delights as the yearning lilt of Make It Real and sax-smoothed Peace And Love, which sincerely comes on like a post-punk Sade. There's a previously unheard confidence to the singer and lyricist, perhaps best exemplified by centre-piece Control, where his hushed tones are complemented by a bilingual voice musing on dreams and reality, sampled from an old Montreal social art project.

"The sample of that man speaking has a serendipitous story behind it. It's a bit of audio I copied from a series of interviews of people living on the streets of Montreal called The Dream Listener. It was recorded by an artist 10 years ago at the St-James Drop-In Center to raise money for the clinic and asked them to talk about their dreams. I always thought it was a compelling sample, but didn't realize until after we used it that the man in the recording was a family friend, a respected poet, whose struggled with mental illness. It makes the song the true centre piece of the album."

Suuns are proud of their roots in Canada's most socialist province, whilst not sounding quite like anything else the city has produced. "Conditions are great for musicians, but not so much if you want to be a high powered investment banker," laughs Ben. "If I could compare Montreal to anywhere I'd say it's kind of like Berlin, in the sense that there isn't a huge industry, so there isn't that much money. Plus you have to speak French if you want a career, so that stops too many people moving here. It's gentrifying at a slower rate than other cities."

Quebecois natives Shemie and Yarmush founded the group just over a decade ago, the latter having moved to Montreal from a nearby village: "Ben's from the city but I grew up in the mountains - in the forest with nothing!" The only member not to be formally schooled in jazz, guitarist Yarmush studied photography and utilized his visual training to help realize Shemie's novel concept for the eye-catching album artwork.

"I was at a barbecue last summer and there were balloons everywhere," recalls the singer. "I like this idea of pressure, resistance, and pushing against something just before it brakes. And there is something strangely subversive about a finger pushing into a balloon. It seemed to fit the vibe of the record we were making. We made plaster casts of our hands, going for a non-denominational statue vibe. Joe came up with the colour scheme, the sickly green background, and shot the whole cover in an hour."

It's a suitably outré image for Felt, which breaks with Suuns' earlier darkness for a more optimistic ambience. The record's playful atmosphere is echoed by its double meaning title. "Some people might think of the material," muses Ben. "I like that that could be misconstrued. Also it's to have felt and not to feel - a little introspective, but that feeling's in the past."

"This record is definitely looser than our last one," says Suuns singer/guitarist Ben Shemie. "It's not as clinical. There's more swagger."
You can hear this freedom flowing through the 11 tracks on Felt, from Look No Further's dramatically loping, surrender-to-the-soil skeletal rock - "Our minimalist overture," notes Shemie - to the climactic bleep 'n' bliss-out of pocket symphony Materials, which finds his vocoder-treated voice floating deliriously amid cavernous inner space. It's both a continuation and rebirth, the Montreal quartet returning to beloved local facility Breakglass Studios (where they cut their first two albums with Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes) but this time recording themselves at their own pace, over five fertile sessions spanning several months. A simultaneous stretching out and honing in, mixed to audiophile perfection by St Vincent producer John Congleton (helmer of Suuns' previous full-length Hold/Still), who flew up especially from Dallas to deploy his award-winning skills in situ.

While maintaining a pleasing economy - the closest thing to a ‘jam' here is an otherworldly two-minute instrumental, aptly titled Moonbeams - the informality of self-production has enabled Suuns to explore bright new vistas. "It was different and exciting," declares drummer Liam O'Neill. "In the past there was a more concerted effort on my part to drum in a controlled and genre-specific way. Self-consciously approaching things stylistically. Us doing it ourselves, that process was like a very receptive, limitless workshop to just try out ideas."

Hence the hypnotic future-pop percolations of X-ALT, where guitarist Joseph Yarmush's delicate precision is engulfed by squalls of giddy saxophone. Or the way Watch You, Watch Me's organic/synthetic rush builds and and builds atop O'Neill's elevatory rhythm and the ecstatic, Harmonia-meets-Game Boy patterns unleashed by electronics mastermind Max Henry. As befits a band who cite Andy Stott and My Bloody Valentine as touchstones yet don't sound like either, Suuns have always seamlessly blended the programmed and played. Never mere fusionists, it's now pointless trying to decode their sonic signature as ‘dance music that rocks' or vice versa.

Eschewing presets, Henry devised fresh sounds for each song while also becoming a default musical director, orchestrating patches and oscillations. Quietly enthusing about "freaky post-techno" and Frank Ocean's use of space, he's among your more modest studio desk jockeys: "Yeah, I sat in the control room while the others played - hitting ‘record' and ‘stop'. It also gave me the flexibility to move parts around and play with effects. I do have a sweet tooth for pop music. So if there's a more straightforward option on the table, I tend to push for it. Of course, interesting pop music isn't always about being straightforward, so it's a good thing I don't always get my way."

Said sweetness is amplified by Ben Shemie's newfound vocal range and buoyant melodies, showcased in such wholly unexpected delights as the yearning lilt of Make It Real and sax-smoothed Peace And Love, which sincerely comes on like a post-punk Sade. There's a previously unheard confidence to the singer and lyricist, perhaps best exemplified by centre-piece Control, where his hushed tones are complemented by a bilingual voice musing on dreams and reality, sampled from an old Montreal social art project.

"The sample of that man speaking has a serendipitous story behind it. It's a bit of audio I copied from a series of interviews of people living on the streets of Montreal called The Dream Listener. It was recorded by an artist 10 years ago at the St-James Drop-In Center to raise money for the clinic and asked them to talk about their dreams. I always thought it was a compelling sample, but didn't realize until after we used it that the man in the recording was a family friend, a respected poet, whose struggled with mental illness. It makes the song the true centre piece of the album."

Suuns are proud of their roots in Canada's most socialist province, whilst not sounding quite like anything else the city has produced. "Conditions are great for musicians, but not so much if you want to be a high powered investment banker," laughs Ben. "If I could compare Montreal to anywhere I'd say it's kind of like Berlin, in the sense that there isn't a huge industry, so there isn't that much money. Plus you have to speak French if you want a career, so that stops too many people moving here. It's gentrifying at a slower rate than other cities."

Quebecois natives Shemie and Yarmush founded the group just over a decade ago, the latter having moved to Montreal from a nearby village: "Ben's from the city but I grew up in the mountains - in the forest with nothing!" The only member not to be formally schooled in jazz, guitarist Yarmush studied photography and utilized his visual training to help realize Shemie's novel concept for the eye-catching album artwork.

"I was at a barbecue last summer and there were balloons everywhere," recalls the singer. "I like this idea of pressure, resistance, and pushing against something just before it brakes. And there is something strangely subversive about a finger pushing into a balloon. It seemed to fit the vibe of the record we were making. We made plaster casts of our hands, going for a non-denominational statue vibe. Joe came up with the colour scheme, the sickly green background, and shot the whole cover in an hour."

It's a suitably outré image for Felt, which breaks with Suuns' earlier darkness for a more optimistic ambience. The record's playful atmosphere is echoed by its double meaning title. "Some people might think of the material," muses Ben. "I like that that could be misconstrued. Also it's to have felt and not to feel - a little introspective, but that feeling's in the past."

Bruno Major

There's nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. Last year, Bruno Major set himself a task: to record and release one song a month for 12 months. Four weeks to take a song from an idea in his head to a finished product and have it out there for people to listen to and enjoy, every month, for a year. People had made albums in less time, he reasoned, how hard could it be?

"When I first said that I was going to do it most people said, ‘Nice one…that's never going to happen.'" Major recalls with a laugh. "A lot of people thought it was overly aspirational: it probably was."

What's impressive is not so much that he managed to pull it off, more that the challenge produced such a remarkable collection of songs. That within the time frame of a month, Major could produce such fully-realised, beautiful and inventive songs and then repeat the trick the following month, twelve times over.

"With a traditional album, there exists the concept of an album track...I haven't had that luxury because once a month I have to release a song and every song has to be a single. There's no room for a piano interlude. Each one had to be something that I could stand behind and say: ‘Hey, this is my next single, it's coming out, I've worked on it all month, I hope you like it.' It forced me to make sure the standard was at a certain level."

Not only did every song hit its mark, but listening to the fruits of Major's labour in the order he created them, you're given an experience that doesn't really have a precedent in music. Tracing a line from the blissful future soul and skittering beats of Wouldn't Mean A Thing through Home's delicate folk to Cold Blood's pulsating electronica, you're treated to a dozen snapshots of an artist at a specific moment in time. You can hear him grow, develop and move through the different emotional states of a year in a way that a traditional album simply wouldn't be able to offer. You can hear how he moved from the minimalism and sub bass warmth of There's Little Left to the jazz-flecked finger picking and layered harmonies of Second Time in just a few weeks and how the latter's dreamlike infatuation slowly faded into the bittersweet kiss-off of Fair-Weather Friend like the changing of the seasons.

"Albums are generally recorded within a smaller time frame and that helps lend them an identity as a whole and gives the tracks a feeling that they're siblings sonically," Major notes. "The big challenge for me has been to make sure there's a link through all of these songs because I've changed as a musician over the year. Listening to 'Wouldn't Mean A Thing' now, I think the sound I have developed with my co producer Phairo has become more developed. If I were to redo the whole thing now, there are elements of every song I would change, but that's part of the charm of them. I like that there's a little journey."

Having initially worked as a session guitarist, Major moved down from Northampton to London and, inspired by the energy of the city, became obsessed with songwriting. Honing his craft writing for other artists while all the time formulating his own musical style; an impossible to pigeonhole blend of sounds that can draw upon anything from James Blake and D'Angelo to Chet Baker and Nick Drake to create its own, uniquely intoxicating aura. It wasn't until a chance psychoactive revelation last year, however, that he struck upon the idea that would give him the perfect means to realise it.

"Whilst I was in Los Angeles I smoked DMT and had this mad epiphany where I saw how the universe works in perfect geometric patterns and synchronised cycles. I wanted to release a song every month, because that's the length of cycle of the moon," he recalls.

By his own admission, Major may have underestimated the task. A song like the Just The Same's touchingly devoted piano pop may have fallen into place one evening in all of 20 minutes, recorded the following day and then sent off to be mastered, but elsewhere there were weeks of fraught panic, scrapped ideas, stumbling blocks, pressure and looming deadlines where having a life outside of the challenge he'd set himself was a distant memory.

"It's definitely been tough, but it's also been wonderful," he reflects. "My life has been Groundhog Day for a year. I'd finish each month with a show and have a couple of nights of partying and then I'd start the next tune, work towards that, release it, over and over. It's been kind of comforting. In a way, I'm not looking forward to that ending."

He's probably earned a few days off to be fair. While he does, the rest of us can sit back and enjoy the music the last year of Bruno Major's life has produced.

There's nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. Last year, Bruno Major set himself a task: to record and release one song a month for 12 months. Four weeks to take a song from an idea in his head to a finished product and have it out there for people to listen to and enjoy, every month, for a year. People had made albums in less time, he reasoned, how hard could it be?

"When I first said that I was going to do it most people said, ‘Nice one…that's never going to happen.'" Major recalls with a laugh. "A lot of people thought it was overly aspirational: it probably was."

What's impressive is not so much that he managed to pull it off, more that the challenge produced such a remarkable collection of songs. That within the time frame of a month, Major could produce such fully-realised, beautiful and inventive songs and then repeat the trick the following month, twelve times over.

"With a traditional album, there exists the concept of an album track...I haven't had that luxury because once a month I have to release a song and every song has to be a single. There's no room for a piano interlude. Each one had to be something that I could stand behind and say: ‘Hey, this is my next single, it's coming out, I've worked on it all month, I hope you like it.' It forced me to make sure the standard was at a certain level."

Not only did every song hit its mark, but listening to the fruits of Major's labour in the order he created them, you're given an experience that doesn't really have a precedent in music. Tracing a line from the blissful future soul and skittering beats of Wouldn't Mean A Thing through Home's delicate folk to Cold Blood's pulsating electronica, you're treated to a dozen snapshots of an artist at a specific moment in time. You can hear him grow, develop and move through the different emotional states of a year in a way that a traditional album simply wouldn't be able to offer. You can hear how he moved from the minimalism and sub bass warmth of There's Little Left to the jazz-flecked finger picking and layered harmonies of Second Time in just a few weeks and how the latter's dreamlike infatuation slowly faded into the bittersweet kiss-off of Fair-Weather Friend like the changing of the seasons.

"Albums are generally recorded within a smaller time frame and that helps lend them an identity as a whole and gives the tracks a feeling that they're siblings sonically," Major notes. "The big challenge for me has been to make sure there's a link through all of these songs because I've changed as a musician over the year. Listening to 'Wouldn't Mean A Thing' now, I think the sound I have developed with my co producer Phairo has become more developed. If I were to redo the whole thing now, there are elements of every song I would change, but that's part of the charm of them. I like that there's a little journey."

Having initially worked as a session guitarist, Major moved down from Northampton to London and, inspired by the energy of the city, became obsessed with songwriting. Honing his craft writing for other artists while all the time formulating his own musical style; an impossible to pigeonhole blend of sounds that can draw upon anything from James Blake and D'Angelo to Chet Baker and Nick Drake to create its own, uniquely intoxicating aura. It wasn't until a chance psychoactive revelation last year, however, that he struck upon the idea that would give him the perfect means to realise it.

"Whilst I was in Los Angeles I smoked DMT and had this mad epiphany where I saw how the universe works in perfect geometric patterns and synchronised cycles. I wanted to release a song every month, because that's the length of cycle of the moon," he recalls.

By his own admission, Major may have underestimated the task. A song like the Just The Same's touchingly devoted piano pop may have fallen into place one evening in all of 20 minutes, recorded the following day and then sent off to be mastered, but elsewhere there were weeks of fraught panic, scrapped ideas, stumbling blocks, pressure and looming deadlines where having a life outside of the challenge he'd set himself was a distant memory.

"It's definitely been tough, but it's also been wonderful," he reflects. "My life has been Groundhog Day for a year. I'd finish each month with a show and have a couple of nights of partying and then I'd start the next tune, work towards that, release it, over and over. It's been kind of comforting. In a way, I'm not looking forward to that ending."

He's probably earned a few days off to be fair. While he does, the rest of us can sit back and enjoy the music the last year of Bruno Major's life has produced.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Zach Miller and the Pump Slam Mafia Featuring Karl Prohaska, Terry Jones, Matt Light, and Guests

Bangin in the game since '03, Zach has found himself in 2018, host/booker of over 2500 stand up shows in 7 years, Host/Producer of the cult smash webseries Burn Booth, Host/Producer of the Stand up series Sex, Drugs & Jokes AND still finds time to handle biz with wifey from time to time.


Back home for rare Pittsburgh shows, Zach will host an event of non stop laughs Start to Finish!

Bring extra Undies.

Bangin in the game since '03, Zach has found himself in 2018, host/booker of over 2500 stand up shows in 7 years, Host/Producer of the cult smash webseries Burn Booth, Host/Producer of the Stand up series Sex, Drugs & Jokes AND still finds time to handle biz with wifey from time to time.


Back home for rare Pittsburgh shows, Zach will host an event of non stop laughs Start to Finish!

Bring extra Undies.

(Early Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Zach Miller and the Pump Slam Mafia Featuring Karl Prohaska, Terry Jones, Matt Light, and Guests

Bangin in the game since '03, Zach has found himself in 2018, host/booker of over 2500 stand up shows in 7 years, Host/Producer of the cult smash webseries Burn Booth, Host/Producer of the Stand up series Sex, Drugs & Jokes AND still finds time to handle biz with wifey from time to time.

Bangin in the game since '03, Zach has found himself in 2018, host/booker of over 2500 stand up shows in 7 years, Host/Producer of the cult smash webseries Burn Booth, Host/Producer of the Stand up series Sex, Drugs & Jokes AND still finds time to handle biz with wifey from time to time.

The Iguanas

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

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

Their two decade ride has taken them all over the map musically and geographically, yet the inescapable patina of their hometown infuses every note they play. Through eight studio albums, countless tours and Jazz Fest appearances, and a flood that did its best to take their adopted city with it, it's a testament to the band's endurance that the same four guys that started playing in the early 1990s are still together. Joe Cabral is philosophical about the band's persistence in the face of challenges that would have felled indeed have felled lesser bands. "First of all, this is all we know how to do; we're musicians. But more than that," he continues, "we respect the power of the band as an entity, and each individual in the band steps up to play his part. When it's good, that's really what it's all about."

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

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

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

Their two decade ride has taken them all over the map musically and geographically, yet the inescapable patina of their hometown infuses every note they play. Through eight studio albums, countless tours and Jazz Fest appearances, and a flood that did its best to take their adopted city with it, it's a testament to the band's endurance that the same four guys that started playing in the early 1990s are still together. Joe Cabral is philosophical about the band's persistence in the face of challenges that would have felled indeed have felled lesser bands. "First of all, this is all we know how to do; we're musicians. But more than that," he continues, "we respect the power of the band as an entity, and each individual in the band steps up to play his part. When it's good, that's really what it's all about."

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

Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore

On Stage Together!

Roots music legends, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, have been friends for 30 years, but only recently realized they had never played music with each other before. So in 2017, Grammy winner Alvin and Grammy nominee Gilmore, decided to hit the highway to swap songs, tell stories, and share their life experiences.

Though Texas born Gilmore was twice named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone, and California native Alvin first came to fame in the hard rocking rhythm and blues band The Blasters, they discovered that their musical roots in old blues and folk music are exactly the same. In these spontaneous shows, audiences enjoyed classic original compositions from the two, and also songs from a wide spectrum of songwriters and styles - from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Young Bloods.

Mutually energized and inspired by these performances, Dave and Jimmie agreed to hit the road again in 2018…this time with a full band and some new stories to share.

On Stage Together!

Roots music legends, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, have been friends for 30 years, but only recently realized they had never played music with each other before. So in 2017, Grammy winner Alvin and Grammy nominee Gilmore, decided to hit the highway to swap songs, tell stories, and share their life experiences.

Though Texas born Gilmore was twice named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone, and California native Alvin first came to fame in the hard rocking rhythm and blues band The Blasters, they discovered that their musical roots in old blues and folk music are exactly the same. In these spontaneous shows, audiences enjoyed classic original compositions from the two, and also songs from a wide spectrum of songwriters and styles - from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Young Bloods.

Mutually energized and inspired by these performances, Dave and Jimmie agreed to hit the road again in 2018…this time with a full band and some new stories to share.

An Evening With Slaid Cleaves

Now twenty-five years into his storied career, Cleaves' songwriting has never been more potent than on his new album Ghost on the Car Radio, out June 23.

The characters in Slaid Cleaves' songs live in unglamorous reality. They work dead-end jobs, they run out of money, they grow old, they hold on to each other (or not), and they die. With an eye for the beauty in everyday life, he tells their stories, bringing a bit of empathy to their uncaring world.

On "Take Home Pay," co-written with longtime friend Rod Picott, Cleaves sings from the perspective of an aging manual laborer, fighting looming regret and sadness with stubborn resiliency (and opioid use).

"On my way down to the pawn shop
A couple hundred is all I need
If I have to, I’ll hit the blood bank
I’m bone dry but I can always bleed

I got some Oxy to keep me moving
It slowly takes some things away
The only thing I was scared of losing
She packed up and left today"
-"TAKE HOME PAY"

"As befits the times we live in, there's a heavy dose of disappointment and disillusion here," he says. But somehow, through the worst of it, optimism remains, as if to say, "Yeah, things are pretty bad out there. But there's still some good stuff if you know where to look."

One place his characters find solace is with each other. Traditional love songs are not often found on a Slaid Cleaves record. Here he approaches the subject less as a romantic gesture, and more as a world-weary appreciation of the one who's seen you through thick and thin, as in the song "So Good to Me."

"Times were tough but we were tougher
Slings and arrows we did suffer
Scars, we’ve got a few, but who has not

Words of love and words of anger
Times of peace and times of danger
Never take for granted what we've got"
- "SO GOOD TO ME"

Described as "terse, clear and heartfelt" (NPR Fresh Air), his songs speak to timeless truths. "I'm not an innovator. I'm more of a keeper of the flame," he says.

"Songs are so accessible. You don't need an education to fully appreciate them, you don't need a lot of leisure time to spend on them, you don't need to learn the language of song. We seem to be born with it," Cleaves explains. "With no preparation at all, they can bring you to tears in a matter of seconds. I remember being three or four and getting a lump in my throat when I heard Hank Williams sing."

Now in his fifties, Cleaves admits that it's sometimes hard to stay inspired. "I do become jaded," he says. "I wonder that, at this point in my career, I've had no real national success. No impact on the culture, as my heroes had. The music that I love just doesn't seem relevant to mainstream culture. But then, I have no interest in what mainstream culture offers either."

"But those feelings are always quickly overcome by gratitude," he explains. "I'm making a living as a musician, and making a meaningful connection with people - what could be better than that?"

Ghost on the Car Radio is Cleaves' first release since 2013's Still Fighting the War, which was praised as "one of the year's best albums" by American Songwriter and "carefully crafted...songs about the struggles of the heart in hard times" by the Wall Street Journal. The New York Daily News called his music "a treasure hidden in plain sight," while the Austin Chronicle declared, "there are few contemporaries that compare. He's become a master craftsman on the order of Guy Clark and John Prine."

Cleaves will hit the road this summer and fall in support of the album. For updated tour dates, visit slaidcleaves.com/tour

Now twenty-five years into his storied career, Cleaves' songwriting has never been more potent than on his new album Ghost on the Car Radio, out June 23.

The characters in Slaid Cleaves' songs live in unglamorous reality. They work dead-end jobs, they run out of money, they grow old, they hold on to each other (or not), and they die. With an eye for the beauty in everyday life, he tells their stories, bringing a bit of empathy to their uncaring world.

On "Take Home Pay," co-written with longtime friend Rod Picott, Cleaves sings from the perspective of an aging manual laborer, fighting looming regret and sadness with stubborn resiliency (and opioid use).

"On my way down to the pawn shop
A couple hundred is all I need
If I have to, I’ll hit the blood bank
I’m bone dry but I can always bleed

I got some Oxy to keep me moving
It slowly takes some things away
The only thing I was scared of losing
She packed up and left today"
-"TAKE HOME PAY"

"As befits the times we live in, there's a heavy dose of disappointment and disillusion here," he says. But somehow, through the worst of it, optimism remains, as if to say, "Yeah, things are pretty bad out there. But there's still some good stuff if you know where to look."

One place his characters find solace is with each other. Traditional love songs are not often found on a Slaid Cleaves record. Here he approaches the subject less as a romantic gesture, and more as a world-weary appreciation of the one who's seen you through thick and thin, as in the song "So Good to Me."

"Times were tough but we were tougher
Slings and arrows we did suffer
Scars, we’ve got a few, but who has not

Words of love and words of anger
Times of peace and times of danger
Never take for granted what we've got"
- "SO GOOD TO ME"

Described as "terse, clear and heartfelt" (NPR Fresh Air), his songs speak to timeless truths. "I'm not an innovator. I'm more of a keeper of the flame," he says.

"Songs are so accessible. You don't need an education to fully appreciate them, you don't need a lot of leisure time to spend on them, you don't need to learn the language of song. We seem to be born with it," Cleaves explains. "With no preparation at all, they can bring you to tears in a matter of seconds. I remember being three or four and getting a lump in my throat when I heard Hank Williams sing."

Now in his fifties, Cleaves admits that it's sometimes hard to stay inspired. "I do become jaded," he says. "I wonder that, at this point in my career, I've had no real national success. No impact on the culture, as my heroes had. The music that I love just doesn't seem relevant to mainstream culture. But then, I have no interest in what mainstream culture offers either."

"But those feelings are always quickly overcome by gratitude," he explains. "I'm making a living as a musician, and making a meaningful connection with people - what could be better than that?"

Ghost on the Car Radio is Cleaves' first release since 2013's Still Fighting the War, which was praised as "one of the year's best albums" by American Songwriter and "carefully crafted...songs about the struggles of the heart in hard times" by the Wall Street Journal. The New York Daily News called his music "a treasure hidden in plain sight," while the Austin Chronicle declared, "there are few contemporaries that compare. He's become a master craftsman on the order of Guy Clark and John Prine."

Cleaves will hit the road this summer and fall in support of the album. For updated tour dates, visit slaidcleaves.com/tour

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.

(Rescheduled from March 5) Aubrey Logan

Rescheduled from March 5

Aubrey Logan is known throughout the world as the Queen of Sass. She has performed on several national television shows including a stint on American Idol, an appearance on The Goldbergs, Jools Holland and with Pharrell Williams at the Grammy Awards. A recent guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, she's spent the last two years touring around the world with Postmodern Jukebox, where she's featured nightly in front of thousands of fans, have performed in over 150 shows from The Greek Theatre to Radio City Music Hall and has made appearances in over 30 European cities from London to Moscow. To top it all off, she's just completed taping a PBS special with Postmodern Jukebox.

Rescheduled from March 5

Aubrey Logan is known throughout the world as the Queen of Sass. She has performed on several national television shows including a stint on American Idol, an appearance on The Goldbergs, Jools Holland and with Pharrell Williams at the Grammy Awards. A recent guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, she's spent the last two years touring around the world with Postmodern Jukebox, where she's featured nightly in front of thousands of fans, have performed in over 150 shows from The Greek Theatre to Radio City Music Hall and has made appearances in over 30 European cities from London to Moscow. To top it all off, she's just completed taping a PBS special with Postmodern Jukebox.

@clubcafelive

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