club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
(Early Show) Army Of Optimism

A New Project In The Works :
Brian Stanny - Drums - Vocals
Danielle Dawgiello - Keyboards, Oboe - Vocals
Alphonso Price - Guitar - Vocals
Joe Matucheski - Guitar - Vocals
Barb Winters - Percussion - Vocals
Larry Dawgiello - Bass - Vocals

A New Project In The Works :
Brian Stanny - Drums - Vocals
Danielle Dawgiello - Keyboards, Oboe - Vocals
Alphonso Price - Guitar - Vocals
Joe Matucheski - Guitar - Vocals
Barb Winters - Percussion - Vocals
Larry Dawgiello - Bass - Vocals

(Late Show) Da Funny Team Presents Lillian Cannon, David 'The Frog' Bey, Will Quivers, Darnell 'Nu Skool' Anderson & Hosted By One Eye. Music By DJ Cue.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of comedy.

Da Funny Team Presents Lillian Cannon, David 'The Frog' Bey, Will Quivers, Darnell 'Nu Skool' Anderson & Hosted By One Eye. Music By DJ Cue.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of comedy.

Da Funny Team Presents Lillian Cannon, David 'The Frog' Bey, Will Quivers, Darnell 'Nu Skool' Anderson & Hosted By One Eye. Music By DJ Cue.

Taj Weekes and Adowa with Special Guest Truth and Rites

One basic but incomplete answer is that Taj Weekes is a dreadlocked Rastafarian musician, bred in the Caribbean but shaped by intercontinental life experience. A more significant answer would be that he is a creative, poetic singer-songwriter who fronts a dynamic reggae band named Adowa. And there’s an additional, highly significant answer, just as true as the first two. Taj is an unwavering, energetic humanitarian whose dedication extends beyond his song lyrics into his social activism, an activism that has culminated in his official role with the United Nations as “UNICEF Champion for Children” and his children’s charity, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO).

WHAT DOES TAJ WEEKES HAVE THAT MAKES HIM SPECIAL?
Aside from brains, a heart, and a great smile, he has four acclaimed albums of musically adventurous reggae. A fifth, “Love Herb and Reggae,” is arriving in 2015, to be supported by a year-long tour. Taj is remarkable too in that, although a formidable idealist, he nonetheless maintains an unblinking and sophisticated view of the world. This balance between seeing what is and seeking what should be clearly powers his social activism. It also imbues his songs with a pragmatic, non-judgmental optimism that is not merely unusual in reggae, but almost unique. So what makes Taj Weekes special can be summarized in three words: MUSICIAN. POET. HUMANITARIAN. What makes him astonishing is the easy and unforced harmony among all these facets of his existence.

AND ADOWA….?
Taj Weekes Band

Adowa is a disciplined team of talented musicians from differing cultures and with broad musical influences that backs Taj Weekes live and on recordings. The name salutes the battle of Adowa in 1896, which ensured sovereignty for Ethiopia and proved crucial in the advancement of African independence and pride. Adowa’s specific line-up alternates from time to time, but at a typical gig you might see a bassist from Dominica steeped in soca, a classically trained keyboardist with roots in Barbados, a Jamaican reggae stalwart on drums, a Trinidadian guitarist, and backup singers from yet another island. What’s consistent is that the eclectic styles and tastes of its members ensure a freshness and inventiveness to Adowa’s arrangements. The faces may change, but the excellent musicianship, and the vibe, remain.

One basic but incomplete answer is that Taj Weekes is a dreadlocked Rastafarian musician, bred in the Caribbean but shaped by intercontinental life experience. A more significant answer would be that he is a creative, poetic singer-songwriter who fronts a dynamic reggae band named Adowa. And there’s an additional, highly significant answer, just as true as the first two. Taj is an unwavering, energetic humanitarian whose dedication extends beyond his song lyrics into his social activism, an activism that has culminated in his official role with the United Nations as “UNICEF Champion for Children” and his children’s charity, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO).

WHAT DOES TAJ WEEKES HAVE THAT MAKES HIM SPECIAL?
Aside from brains, a heart, and a great smile, he has four acclaimed albums of musically adventurous reggae. A fifth, “Love Herb and Reggae,” is arriving in 2015, to be supported by a year-long tour. Taj is remarkable too in that, although a formidable idealist, he nonetheless maintains an unblinking and sophisticated view of the world. This balance between seeing what is and seeking what should be clearly powers his social activism. It also imbues his songs with a pragmatic, non-judgmental optimism that is not merely unusual in reggae, but almost unique. So what makes Taj Weekes special can be summarized in three words: MUSICIAN. POET. HUMANITARIAN. What makes him astonishing is the easy and unforced harmony among all these facets of his existence.

AND ADOWA….?
Taj Weekes Band

Adowa is a disciplined team of talented musicians from differing cultures and with broad musical influences that backs Taj Weekes live and on recordings. The name salutes the battle of Adowa in 1896, which ensured sovereignty for Ethiopia and proved crucial in the advancement of African independence and pride. Adowa’s specific line-up alternates from time to time, but at a typical gig you might see a bassist from Dominica steeped in soca, a classically trained keyboardist with roots in Barbados, a Jamaican reggae stalwart on drums, a Trinidadian guitarist, and backup singers from yet another island. What’s consistent is that the eclectic styles and tastes of its members ensure a freshness and inventiveness to Adowa’s arrangements. The faces may change, but the excellent musicianship, and the vibe, remain.

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers with Special Guests Ezra John and Working Breed

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers will make a sprightly young groove doctor out of anyone. With spectacular energy pulsating from every member of the band, the Rainbow Seekers could illuminate the very chambers of Heaven. Lead singer Joe Hertler splashes through lyrical puddles of golden rain, leaving his audience wearing flowery crowns and bubbling smiles. A ride on the Rainbow will take you across the mountains of Motown, through the fjords of folk, over the archipelagos of Americana, and-at last-into a funky firth, where only the fiercest of friendships can be found.

The Rainbow Seekers began their quest beneath the fingertips of songwriter Joe Hertler. Bassist and producer Kevin Pritchard, recently thawed from an extremely rare prehistoric groove glacier, discovered the forlorn Hertler in a twinkling, mysteriously fortuitous place called The Quilted Attic. Alongside legendary glacier-hunter Rick Hale-who would later spend decades forging a drum set from pure, white-hot, ancient stardust to mark the occasion-Pritchard changed the world: He wrangled Hertler into musical collaboration. And the lonely little songsmith, it turned out, was not quite as alone as he seemed: With him came the irresistibly sexy blues guitar prodigy who is now known to the world as Ryan Hoger.

The core of the Rainbow was thereby established, and it didn’t take long for the Rainbow Seekers to continue their expansion. Multi-instrumentalist and notable auxiliary percussion maestro Micah Bracken journeyed from the bowels of Atlantis when he heard tell of the Rainbow, and the earth trembled as saxophonist and all-around bad ass Aaron Stinson descended from Olympus on a golden rainbow of his own. Then came Stinson's little-known winged companion from the Far East, the debonair violist Joshua Barber Holcomb-When he saw the pure, unadulterated joy the Rainbow Seekers sprinkled on every crowd they happened upon, he had no choice but to join them on their quest.

As you'll know if you've seen the band, seeking the proverbial Rainbow is all about the live performance. "The live show is the purpose of the band. This is why we make music. Playing music is a symbiotic process, and without a crowd it is just a bunch of guys jamming," says Hertler. "We believe that performance is not a High Art operation, and that you should do anything you can to ensure that the crowd is having a good time. From piñatas to confetti, to fog, to flowers, to drum solos, to strobe lights, to Thor, to sword battles-literally anything goes."

If you're still reading this, at least one thing is true: The Rainbow Seekers have been waiting for you. If you'll only let them, they will shake the dust from your wildest expectations. They will roar into your life with rapturous frequencies, exuberant tone, and a joyfulness of purpose that has truly become a rare sight on stage. Join them in their celebration, and they will take you on a never-ending journey to a place you'll never be able to describe in words.

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers will make a sprightly young groove doctor out of anyone. With spectacular energy pulsating from every member of the band, the Rainbow Seekers could illuminate the very chambers of Heaven. Lead singer Joe Hertler splashes through lyrical puddles of golden rain, leaving his audience wearing flowery crowns and bubbling smiles. A ride on the Rainbow will take you across the mountains of Motown, through the fjords of folk, over the archipelagos of Americana, and-at last-into a funky firth, where only the fiercest of friendships can be found.

The Rainbow Seekers began their quest beneath the fingertips of songwriter Joe Hertler. Bassist and producer Kevin Pritchard, recently thawed from an extremely rare prehistoric groove glacier, discovered the forlorn Hertler in a twinkling, mysteriously fortuitous place called The Quilted Attic. Alongside legendary glacier-hunter Rick Hale-who would later spend decades forging a drum set from pure, white-hot, ancient stardust to mark the occasion-Pritchard changed the world: He wrangled Hertler into musical collaboration. And the lonely little songsmith, it turned out, was not quite as alone as he seemed: With him came the irresistibly sexy blues guitar prodigy who is now known to the world as Ryan Hoger.

The core of the Rainbow was thereby established, and it didn’t take long for the Rainbow Seekers to continue their expansion. Multi-instrumentalist and notable auxiliary percussion maestro Micah Bracken journeyed from the bowels of Atlantis when he heard tell of the Rainbow, and the earth trembled as saxophonist and all-around bad ass Aaron Stinson descended from Olympus on a golden rainbow of his own. Then came Stinson's little-known winged companion from the Far East, the debonair violist Joshua Barber Holcomb-When he saw the pure, unadulterated joy the Rainbow Seekers sprinkled on every crowd they happened upon, he had no choice but to join them on their quest.

As you'll know if you've seen the band, seeking the proverbial Rainbow is all about the live performance. "The live show is the purpose of the band. This is why we make music. Playing music is a symbiotic process, and without a crowd it is just a bunch of guys jamming," says Hertler. "We believe that performance is not a High Art operation, and that you should do anything you can to ensure that the crowd is having a good time. From piñatas to confetti, to fog, to flowers, to drum solos, to strobe lights, to Thor, to sword battles-literally anything goes."

If you're still reading this, at least one thing is true: The Rainbow Seekers have been waiting for you. If you'll only let them, they will shake the dust from your wildest expectations. They will roar into your life with rapturous frequencies, exuberant tone, and a joyfulness of purpose that has truly become a rare sight on stage. Join them in their celebration, and they will take you on a never-ending journey to a place you'll never be able to describe in words.

The Main Squeeze with Special Guest Shaq Nicholson

Instruments:

Ben "Smiley" Silverstein (keys), Maximillian Newman (guitar), Corey Frye (vocals), Rob Walker (bass), and Reuben Gringrich (drums)

Bio:

The Main Squeeze, with deep musical roots sprouted in the Midwest, have scored their lives at each twist and curve. While starting out as a party band at Indiana University, their forthcoming April 28th release "Without a Sound" illustrates their increasing musical maturity and creativity inspired by their new home in Los Angeles.

If maturity comes with experience, "Without a Sound" reflects this. The Main Squeeze has spent several years building their foundation since being championed by producer Randy Jackson: they have played Red Rocks; shared the stage with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Janes Addiction, Umphrey’s McGee, and Trombone Shorty; and performed at music festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Summer Camp, and High Sierra.

The Main Squeeze is a blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock. They know their sound is "soulful, powerful, and unique" (Newman). Rolling Stone agrees in their recent critique of a live show: "Lead singer Corey Frye’s powerfully soulful vocals forms the foundation of an energetic set."

These underpinnings are important yet The Main Squeeze’s true focus will always be to "strive to reach people" through their beat loving heart in their music. "We are devoted to making great music for people to get lost in and to feel real emotion and love, and also to dance and enjoy life. And it's only just the beginning" (Newman). Billboard believes they have touched on this goal: "Funk runs deep in their DNA. Dare you not to two-step."


The beats on "Without A Sound" are plentiful and it is balanced with emotion, a mix of vocals, and instrumentation of the band. Their vibe is simultaneously timeless and futuristic as they are inspired by the greats, yet have found a way to infuse their own genius into the mix.

The Main Squeeze appeals to your head, heart and body.

Instruments:

Ben "Smiley" Silverstein (keys), Maximillian Newman (guitar), Corey Frye (vocals), Rob Walker (bass), and Reuben Gringrich (drums)

Bio:

The Main Squeeze, with deep musical roots sprouted in the Midwest, have scored their lives at each twist and curve. While starting out as a party band at Indiana University, their forthcoming April 28th release "Without a Sound" illustrates their increasing musical maturity and creativity inspired by their new home in Los Angeles.

If maturity comes with experience, "Without a Sound" reflects this. The Main Squeeze has spent several years building their foundation since being championed by producer Randy Jackson: they have played Red Rocks; shared the stage with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Janes Addiction, Umphrey’s McGee, and Trombone Shorty; and performed at music festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Summer Camp, and High Sierra.

The Main Squeeze is a blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock. They know their sound is "soulful, powerful, and unique" (Newman). Rolling Stone agrees in their recent critique of a live show: "Lead singer Corey Frye’s powerfully soulful vocals forms the foundation of an energetic set."

These underpinnings are important yet The Main Squeeze’s true focus will always be to "strive to reach people" through their beat loving heart in their music. "We are devoted to making great music for people to get lost in and to feel real emotion and love, and also to dance and enjoy life. And it's only just the beginning" (Newman). Billboard believes they have touched on this goal: "Funk runs deep in their DNA. Dare you not to two-step."


The beats on "Without A Sound" are plentiful and it is balanced with emotion, a mix of vocals, and instrumentation of the band. Their vibe is simultaneously timeless and futuristic as they are inspired by the greats, yet have found a way to infuse their own genius into the mix.

The Main Squeeze appeals to your head, heart and body.

(Early Show) Adelaide In Autumn / The Wire Riots / All In Uniform

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local music with Adelaide In Autumn, The Wire Riots and All In Uniform. Tickets $8.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local music with Adelaide In Autumn, The Wire Riots and All In Uniform. Tickets $8.

(Late Show) Race to the Coffin Comedy Presents Comedy Roulette: Roast Battle with Jeff Scheen & Ryan Donahue. Hosted by John Dick Winters.

(Late Show) Race to the Coffin Comedy Presents Comedy Roulette: Roast Battle with Jeff Scheen & Ryan Donahue. Hosted by John Dick Winters. Special guests TBA

(Late Show) Race to the Coffin Comedy Presents Comedy Roulette: Roast Battle with Jeff Scheen & Ryan Donahue. Hosted by John Dick Winters. Special guests TBA

(Early Show) Walker and the Rebellion with Special Guest Lor

Walker and the Rebellion, an original three piece Americana roots rock band; is releasing their second album, "Present out of Balance". This is a raw, driving album representative of their live performances. Foot stomping "Big Coal River", 5/4 time signatures, stand up and yell "Get out of my Way", the band has unearthed something more primitive from americana. Feet on the ground hands in the dirt rock n' roll!

Walker and the Rebellion, an original three piece Americana roots rock band; is releasing their second album, "Present out of Balance". This is a raw, driving album representative of their live performances. Foot stomping "Big Coal River", 5/4 time signatures, stand up and yell "Get out of my Way", the band has unearthed something more primitive from americana. Feet on the ground hands in the dirt rock n' roll!

(Late Show) Easy Roscoe with Jon Worthy and Brahctopus

Easy Roscoe is in your face fun with the affection for replacing the day’s worries with good vibes. Late in November of 2016 they headed into the studio to record a groovy little number, with an arrangement that has a little something for everyone. On the other end of those sessions came Empty Handed. A song that lures you in, pops you into the groove, and keeps you strapped in for the rest of the ride. Empty Handed follows up their EP, Piñata and LP, Keep the Dancin' Dancin' with a more honed and matured over all sound. From the beginning, in the depths of a dingy Nashville apartment complex to present day, the five piece continues to architect their brand of indie pop rock n roll with one goal, make you lose yourself.

The EP, Piñata, was a conduit to Easy Roscoe’s fun atmosphere and catchy story telling lyrics. Their affection for replacing the day’s worries with good vibes shows up throughout the EP on songs like “Green Leather Jacket” and “Roll Baby Roll”. “If you can’t bob your head to this, then you don’t have a head.” This being the whimsical phrase uttered in the control room during the recording of Piñata and a motto that pretty much sums up this second record from Easy Roscoe.

Seemingly by fate, Easy Roscoe formed in a dingy, Nashville apartment complex by chance in 2014. Originally conceived as a singer and two guitar players, they played their good-vibes brand of rock around town acoustically. Gaining a bassist and drummer within their first six months, the band continued to trudge forward, playing as many shows as they could pack in. After a year or so, Easy Roscoe entered the studio to create their first record, Keep the Dancin’ Dancin’ (KDD). In January 2015, the light-hearted, summery, storytelling record was released and set out to spread its good vibes. The Deli Magazine said, “Keep the Dancin' Dancin' is a solid first effort that is going to get some heavy play as we inch towards summer.” and Capsule Reviews said, “The songs all have that feel-good, infectious quality that can brighten up any day and get you…well, you see the CD title!”

The single off KDD, Alright; Regina, received radio play from Lightning 100 and Radio Free Nashville, creating a launching pad that catapulted the band through the summer of 2015, landing them in No Country For New Nashville’s Local Harvest contest. Vying for a spot on the Sound Harvest Music Festival line up, Easy Roscoe won the contest thanks to their increasingly fun energetic show and performed at the Festival in October 2015. Rounding out the year was the conception of their next record, Piñata, where again, their good vibes and good times shine through in a matured, solaced sound, primed to hit the airwaves in June of 2016.

Easy Roscoe is in your face fun with the affection for replacing the day’s worries with good vibes. Late in November of 2016 they headed into the studio to record a groovy little number, with an arrangement that has a little something for everyone. On the other end of those sessions came Empty Handed. A song that lures you in, pops you into the groove, and keeps you strapped in for the rest of the ride. Empty Handed follows up their EP, Piñata and LP, Keep the Dancin' Dancin' with a more honed and matured over all sound. From the beginning, in the depths of a dingy Nashville apartment complex to present day, the five piece continues to architect their brand of indie pop rock n roll with one goal, make you lose yourself.

The EP, Piñata, was a conduit to Easy Roscoe’s fun atmosphere and catchy story telling lyrics. Their affection for replacing the day’s worries with good vibes shows up throughout the EP on songs like “Green Leather Jacket” and “Roll Baby Roll”. “If you can’t bob your head to this, then you don’t have a head.” This being the whimsical phrase uttered in the control room during the recording of Piñata and a motto that pretty much sums up this second record from Easy Roscoe.

Seemingly by fate, Easy Roscoe formed in a dingy, Nashville apartment complex by chance in 2014. Originally conceived as a singer and two guitar players, they played their good-vibes brand of rock around town acoustically. Gaining a bassist and drummer within their first six months, the band continued to trudge forward, playing as many shows as they could pack in. After a year or so, Easy Roscoe entered the studio to create their first record, Keep the Dancin’ Dancin’ (KDD). In January 2015, the light-hearted, summery, storytelling record was released and set out to spread its good vibes. The Deli Magazine said, “Keep the Dancin' Dancin' is a solid first effort that is going to get some heavy play as we inch towards summer.” and Capsule Reviews said, “The songs all have that feel-good, infectious quality that can brighten up any day and get you…well, you see the CD title!”

The single off KDD, Alright; Regina, received radio play from Lightning 100 and Radio Free Nashville, creating a launching pad that catapulted the band through the summer of 2015, landing them in No Country For New Nashville’s Local Harvest contest. Vying for a spot on the Sound Harvest Music Festival line up, Easy Roscoe won the contest thanks to their increasingly fun energetic show and performed at the Festival in October 2015. Rounding out the year was the conception of their next record, Piñata, where again, their good vibes and good times shine through in a matured, solaced sound, primed to hit the airwaves in June of 2016.

Opus One & 91.3 WYEP Present Margaret Glaspy with Special Guest Brooke Annibale

"Emotions and Math" is not simply the name of Margaret Glaspy's new debut album. That expression drills right to the heart of the New York singer-songwriter's proper introduction, a mission statement both artistic and personal.
On its surface, the title track talks about being a touring musician and figuring out how to see your partner, looking at the calendar and calculating how you're going to spend time together. But "Emotions and Math," which ATO Records will release on June 17, also sums up an epiphany she had while making the record.
"In a lot of ways, it's kind of how I operate," says Glaspy. "I've always considered myself a free spirit, someone who goes with the flow, but actually I'm not exactly like that. This record really taught me that I'm super analytical and process-driven. I think they really do go together, emotions and math. Nobody is just one thing."
As introductions go, these 12 songs waste no time in cutting close to the bone. This is a young artist with something to say, one who has found her voice, as both singer and songwriter, after years venturing down a crooked path.
After cutting her teeth in New York and Boston, where she was a touring musician and played in other people's bands, "Emotions and Math" signals an assured new direction for Glaspy.
Glaspy, who's 27 and grew up in Red Bluff, California, self-produced the album, which frames her revealing ruminations in shards of jagged guitar rock. Building on its early buzz - Rolling Stone hailed first single "You and I" for its "hot barbs of electric guitar," and BrooklynVegan declared it a "stomping rocker with a DGAF attitude" - Glaspy prepares for a big year in 2016.
She's a fierce believer in the power of specifics to tell universal truths, to capture emotions we've all felt but don't necessarily hear reflected in pop music. Some truths are uglier than others, but Glaspy never backs down.
Take "You and I," which opens with a sentiment so gripping that Glaspy initially worried it would send the wrong message. "Tonight I'm too turned on to talk about us/ And tomorrow I'll be too turned off/ And won't give a fuck/ About you and I," she sings with a punk sneer that turns up often throughout her debut.
"A lot of the songs are so specific but also feel like they apply to so much of my life," says Glaspy. "I realize more and more on a daily basis that if you're given a microphone to share what you have to say, then I hope to God that I don't encourage some fantasy of what we're supposed to be or how we should live our lives."
Glaspy would rather tell you the truth of the matter. On "Memory Street," she envisions her past as a small town dotted with old relationships and memories both fond and painful: "Why remember all the times I took forever to forget?" She salutes her self-reliance on "Somebody to Anybody," reminding both the listener and herself that, "I don't want to be somebody to anybody// No, I'm good at no one."
The album also showcases Glaspy's finely tuned ear for production. Throughout "Emotions and Math," she keeps the recordings clean and urgent, without an ounce of fat on them. She had plenty of practice; having recorded demos of the album twice at home before eventually ironing out the wrinkles at Sear Sound studios in New York. Glaspy auditioned her players and kept the sessions brisk and loose, running through songs a few times with musicians still reading the charts she had written out. "Everyone was on their toes, waiting for the right moment," she says.
That freewheeling vibe ended up imbuing the songs with the same brittle energy and warm intimacy Glaspy brings to her live performances. In a bit of comic relief, "You Don't Want Me" is a duet with herself, an imagined conversation between an insecure woman and a man who has to reassure her. "You don't want me," Glaspy sings dismissively, countered by her own voice, slightly distorted and pitched lower: "I do/ You are on my mind/ Every night of the week/ Stop being so nave," Glaspy sings.
Told from the perspective of a parent to a child, "Parental Guidance" plumbs the fragile psyche of adolescents. "I think a lot of times kids are pigeonholed as being kids, but at the same time it's the most important years of their lives," Glaspy says. "Our view of ourselves is so paramount, and when it gets messed with at a young age, it's lethal."
The closing "Black Is Blue" is a poetic ode to accepting a reality you never knew. The least autobiographical song on the record, it's the story of a couple who were in love, had a kid, and then broke up. "But from far away, Black Is Blue' is about things you thought were one way but aren't really like that at all," Glaspy says.
"It's taken a minute," she admits, "but I'm so glad that I waited to record my debut. I went through so many different phases before I got to where I am now. It feels like it took 26 years to make this album."

"Emotions and Math" is not simply the name of Margaret Glaspy's new debut album. That expression drills right to the heart of the New York singer-songwriter's proper introduction, a mission statement both artistic and personal.
On its surface, the title track talks about being a touring musician and figuring out how to see your partner, looking at the calendar and calculating how you're going to spend time together. But "Emotions and Math," which ATO Records will release on June 17, also sums up an epiphany she had while making the record.
"In a lot of ways, it's kind of how I operate," says Glaspy. "I've always considered myself a free spirit, someone who goes with the flow, but actually I'm not exactly like that. This record really taught me that I'm super analytical and process-driven. I think they really do go together, emotions and math. Nobody is just one thing."
As introductions go, these 12 songs waste no time in cutting close to the bone. This is a young artist with something to say, one who has found her voice, as both singer and songwriter, after years venturing down a crooked path.
After cutting her teeth in New York and Boston, where she was a touring musician and played in other people's bands, "Emotions and Math" signals an assured new direction for Glaspy.
Glaspy, who's 27 and grew up in Red Bluff, California, self-produced the album, which frames her revealing ruminations in shards of jagged guitar rock. Building on its early buzz - Rolling Stone hailed first single "You and I" for its "hot barbs of electric guitar," and BrooklynVegan declared it a "stomping rocker with a DGAF attitude" - Glaspy prepares for a big year in 2016.
She's a fierce believer in the power of specifics to tell universal truths, to capture emotions we've all felt but don't necessarily hear reflected in pop music. Some truths are uglier than others, but Glaspy never backs down.
Take "You and I," which opens with a sentiment so gripping that Glaspy initially worried it would send the wrong message. "Tonight I'm too turned on to talk about us/ And tomorrow I'll be too turned off/ And won't give a fuck/ About you and I," she sings with a punk sneer that turns up often throughout her debut.
"A lot of the songs are so specific but also feel like they apply to so much of my life," says Glaspy. "I realize more and more on a daily basis that if you're given a microphone to share what you have to say, then I hope to God that I don't encourage some fantasy of what we're supposed to be or how we should live our lives."
Glaspy would rather tell you the truth of the matter. On "Memory Street," she envisions her past as a small town dotted with old relationships and memories both fond and painful: "Why remember all the times I took forever to forget?" She salutes her self-reliance on "Somebody to Anybody," reminding both the listener and herself that, "I don't want to be somebody to anybody// No, I'm good at no one."
The album also showcases Glaspy's finely tuned ear for production. Throughout "Emotions and Math," she keeps the recordings clean and urgent, without an ounce of fat on them. She had plenty of practice; having recorded demos of the album twice at home before eventually ironing out the wrinkles at Sear Sound studios in New York. Glaspy auditioned her players and kept the sessions brisk and loose, running through songs a few times with musicians still reading the charts she had written out. "Everyone was on their toes, waiting for the right moment," she says.
That freewheeling vibe ended up imbuing the songs with the same brittle energy and warm intimacy Glaspy brings to her live performances. In a bit of comic relief, "You Don't Want Me" is a duet with herself, an imagined conversation between an insecure woman and a man who has to reassure her. "You don't want me," Glaspy sings dismissively, countered by her own voice, slightly distorted and pitched lower: "I do/ You are on my mind/ Every night of the week/ Stop being so nave," Glaspy sings.
Told from the perspective of a parent to a child, "Parental Guidance" plumbs the fragile psyche of adolescents. "I think a lot of times kids are pigeonholed as being kids, but at the same time it's the most important years of their lives," Glaspy says. "Our view of ourselves is so paramount, and when it gets messed with at a young age, it's lethal."
The closing "Black Is Blue" is a poetic ode to accepting a reality you never knew. The least autobiographical song on the record, it's the story of a couple who were in love, had a kid, and then broke up. "But from far away, Black Is Blue' is about things you thought were one way but aren't really like that at all," Glaspy says.
"It's taken a minute," she admits, "but I'm so glad that I waited to record my debut. I went through so many different phases before I got to where I am now. It feels like it took 26 years to make this album."

The Steel Wheels with Special Guest Twain

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.

"I think we've always been able to write new songs with different landscapes. However it was really enjoyable for us, creatively and artistically, to depart from the straight-up acoustic sound that we've been known for," says Trent Wagler, who plays guitar and banjo in the band and writes most of the material. "I'm excited to see what happens. There are fans out there who are ready for this and who have been waiting for us to do this."

While on tour supporting Josh Ritter, the band forged a friendship with Sam Kassirer, who plays keyboards for Ritter on tour and has produced a number of his albums. While The Steel Wheels had been considering other producers and maybe recording in Nashville, they chose to follow their instincts all the way to rural Maine, where Kassirer owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members - Wagler, 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.

"It's a gorgeous set-up," Wagler says. "I didn't grow up in a big city and I never made a record in a big city. It's much more my style, and our style as a band, to completely hole up - probably more than we ever have - for 10 full days in Maine. I left the house for a couple of bike rides but I never went to a restaurant or a store the whole time I was there. We ate on site, we slept on site, and we recorded. It was a very immersive experience, top to bottom."

Afternoon hikes amid the fall foliage helped them clear their heads, ensuring that everyone could stay focused on the task at hand - which in retrospect was quite daunting. The Steel Wheels had about 40 original songs stowed away before the sessions. Only two or three had ever been played live and the band had not arranged any of them.

"One of my favorite parts of the process was taking the first couple of days to rehearse and arrange the songs all in one room, with Sam offering his insights," Brubaker says. "We had enough time to really build the songs from the ground up, examining each one to see what elements would best highlight the mood we were trying to capture."

Wild As We Came Here is a significant leap for the band, which started its journey in 2004. Wagler, Dickel, and Brubaker studied at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, about an hour from Charlottesville. (All four members of the band grew up in Mennonite families.) Wagler and Dickel were in a punk/alternative band until acoustic music lured them in.

Wagler soon started crafting songs and learned flat-picking. Dickel took classes on building guitars. They briefly played as a duo before Brubaker joined on fiddle. Lapp eventually came on board after getting to know the band from the local folk circuit. In 2010, following a variety of EPs and LPs, the ensemble officially branded itself as The Steel Wheels, a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress, and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage.

Lapp says, "We found we really enjoyed singing and playing music together and it happened so naturally. To make it even better, everyone listens very well to what the other is playing, making it a total group experience. I've never worked with such a collected and well-spoken group of men, and it makes the experience of touring and performing a pure joy."

Then as now, The Steel Wheels' style weaves through Americana and bluegrass music, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into the 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.

The album begins with "To the Wild," which explores the fascinating and unusual relationship that modern society has with the great outdoors, from exploitation to preservation. Wagler wrote the title track after reading a news story about a desperate man who starts bidding at a land auction - even though he had no way of paying for it - in order to prevent oil and gas companies from destroying the natural beauty of the area.

Meanwhile, the idea behind "Broken Mandolin" was inspired by a few lines from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See, which takes place during World War II. Wagler describes "Take Me to the Ending" as essentially a bluegrass apocalypse - "like a sense of coming out from the bunker and there are still a few people playing fiddle tunes."

Of course, exquisite harmonies remain a strength of the band, shining through on "Sing Me Like a Folk Song." By making a social statement in uncertain times, listeners will want to lend their voices too. More than a decade into The Steel Wheels' career, the simple act of singing together - something that carries them back to their Mennonite heritage - is still incredibly special. The stunning closing track, "Till No One Is Free," provides an elegant ending to the band's most satisfying album yet.

"It was my favorite studio experience from start to finish, by far, of any project we've ever done," Dickel says. "A super-relaxed and experimental vibe coupled with some genre-stretching sounds really did it for me. I think we pushed ourselves much further than previous albums and I think we will push our fans a little too. Both of those are exciting to me."

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.

"I think we've always been able to write new songs with different landscapes. However it was really enjoyable for us, creatively and artistically, to depart from the straight-up acoustic sound that we've been known for," says Trent Wagler, who plays guitar and banjo in the band and writes most of the material. "I'm excited to see what happens. There are fans out there who are ready for this and who have been waiting for us to do this."

While on tour supporting Josh Ritter, the band forged a friendship with Sam Kassirer, who plays keyboards for Ritter on tour and has produced a number of his albums. While The Steel Wheels had been considering other producers and maybe recording in Nashville, they chose to follow their instincts all the way to rural Maine, where Kassirer owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members - Wagler, 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.

"It's a gorgeous set-up," Wagler says. "I didn't grow up in a big city and I never made a record in a big city. It's much more my style, and our style as a band, to completely hole up - probably more than we ever have - for 10 full days in Maine. I left the house for a couple of bike rides but I never went to a restaurant or a store the whole time I was there. We ate on site, we slept on site, and we recorded. It was a very immersive experience, top to bottom."

Afternoon hikes amid the fall foliage helped them clear their heads, ensuring that everyone could stay focused on the task at hand - which in retrospect was quite daunting. The Steel Wheels had about 40 original songs stowed away before the sessions. Only two or three had ever been played live and the band had not arranged any of them.

"One of my favorite parts of the process was taking the first couple of days to rehearse and arrange the songs all in one room, with Sam offering his insights," Brubaker says. "We had enough time to really build the songs from the ground up, examining each one to see what elements would best highlight the mood we were trying to capture."

Wild As We Came Here is a significant leap for the band, which started its journey in 2004. Wagler, Dickel, and Brubaker studied at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, about an hour from Charlottesville. (All four members of the band grew up in Mennonite families.) Wagler and Dickel were in a punk/alternative band until acoustic music lured them in.

Wagler soon started crafting songs and learned flat-picking. Dickel took classes on building guitars. They briefly played as a duo before Brubaker joined on fiddle. Lapp eventually came on board after getting to know the band from the local folk circuit. In 2010, following a variety of EPs and LPs, the ensemble officially branded itself as The Steel Wheels, a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress, and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage.

Lapp says, "We found we really enjoyed singing and playing music together and it happened so naturally. To make it even better, everyone listens very well to what the other is playing, making it a total group experience. I've never worked with such a collected and well-spoken group of men, and it makes the experience of touring and performing a pure joy."

Then as now, The Steel Wheels' style weaves through Americana and bluegrass music, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into the 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.

The album begins with "To the Wild," which explores the fascinating and unusual relationship that modern society has with the great outdoors, from exploitation to preservation. Wagler wrote the title track after reading a news story about a desperate man who starts bidding at a land auction - even though he had no way of paying for it - in order to prevent oil and gas companies from destroying the natural beauty of the area.

Meanwhile, the idea behind "Broken Mandolin" was inspired by a few lines from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See, which takes place during World War II. Wagler describes "Take Me to the Ending" as essentially a bluegrass apocalypse - "like a sense of coming out from the bunker and there are still a few people playing fiddle tunes."

Of course, exquisite harmonies remain a strength of the band, shining through on "Sing Me Like a Folk Song." By making a social statement in uncertain times, listeners will want to lend their voices too. More than a decade into The Steel Wheels' career, the simple act of singing together - something that carries them back to their Mennonite heritage - is still incredibly special. The stunning closing track, "Till No One Is Free," provides an elegant ending to the band's most satisfying album yet.

"It was my favorite studio experience from start to finish, by far, of any project we've ever done," Dickel says. "A super-relaxed and experimental vibe coupled with some genre-stretching sounds really did it for me. I think we pushed ourselves much further than previous albums and I think we will push our fans a little too. Both of those are exciting to me."

Blossoms with Special Guest Wilderado

Blossoms are - Tom Ogden, Charlie Salt, Josh Dewhurst, Joe Donovan and Myles Kellock - a five-piece
band from Stockport. Their eponymous debut album spent two weeks at No.1 in the UK when it was
released in August - the first time a debut album has spent more than one week at No.1 from launch
since 2014. The record, now available in a deluxe format with ten extra tracks, has amassed sales of
almost 100 000 copies.
In testament to the huge success in 2016, Blossoms have been nominated for both 'Best Breakthrough
Act' at the BRIT Awards and 'Best New Act' at the VO5 NME Awards this year. The band will also be
embarking on the 'NME Awards Tour' in March 2017 following sold out tours last September, October
and December. Blossoms will then head to North America for a tour this April as well as appearances at
this year's Coachella Festival in California, Firefly in Delaware and Governor's Ball in New York City.
The band recently announced their biggest headline show to date at Manchester's Castlefield Bowl on
July 8th and will be joined by very special guests The Coral.
"This year's biggest guitar-pop shooting stars…looking like snake-hipped garage rockers from the wrong
side of Scarysex Central… Blossoms leap from their chart-bound Trojan horse as modernist rock heroes"
- NME

Blossoms are - Tom Ogden, Charlie Salt, Josh Dewhurst, Joe Donovan and Myles Kellock - a five-piece
band from Stockport. Their eponymous debut album spent two weeks at No.1 in the UK when it was
released in August - the first time a debut album has spent more than one week at No.1 from launch
since 2014. The record, now available in a deluxe format with ten extra tracks, has amassed sales of
almost 100 000 copies.
In testament to the huge success in 2016, Blossoms have been nominated for both 'Best Breakthrough
Act' at the BRIT Awards and 'Best New Act' at the VO5 NME Awards this year. The band will also be
embarking on the 'NME Awards Tour' in March 2017 following sold out tours last September, October
and December. Blossoms will then head to North America for a tour this April as well as appearances at
this year's Coachella Festival in California, Firefly in Delaware and Governor's Ball in New York City.
The band recently announced their biggest headline show to date at Manchester's Castlefield Bowl on
July 8th and will be joined by very special guests The Coral.
"This year's biggest guitar-pop shooting stars…looking like snake-hipped garage rockers from the wrong
side of Scarysex Central… Blossoms leap from their chart-bound Trojan horse as modernist rock heroes"
- NME

Kolars with Special Guests Amoeba Knievel and Luxury Machine

When it became clear that glam folk act He's My Brother She's My Sister was heading towards a hiatus, band members Rob Kolar and Lauren Brown decided to go off and find their own beat. What they learned from their previous outfit was that even folk fans want to find music that makes them move. That's the dictum that's guided the duo into the creation of KOLARS. As KOLARS, the pair create a kinetic brand of disco-inspired rockabilly they loving dub glam-a-billy. Kolar provides the soaring, fuzzy guitars while Brown pounds and literally stomps the percussion - she actually stands and tap-dances on a bass drum. Far from a gimmicky trick, the clacking feet add familiar moments one might expect from a hi-hat or the clapping of hands. Even without Brown's unique method of performing, the band's sound remains uniquely driving. Take their latest single "One More Thrill". Crafted like a grooving '70s country song carved out of the gleaming vibrations of modern rock, the track pulsates right into your chest. It takes your heart by the hand and leads you to the dance floor, daring you to not feel motivated to dance, shimmy, just escape the mundane. "'One More Thrill' is about someone who wants to break free from the monotony in their life to pursue their dreams," the band tells Consequence of Sound. "The video uses imagery and creatures to symbolize that struggle and the excitement of taking that chance."

When it became clear that glam folk act He's My Brother She's My Sister was heading towards a hiatus, band members Rob Kolar and Lauren Brown decided to go off and find their own beat. What they learned from their previous outfit was that even folk fans want to find music that makes them move. That's the dictum that's guided the duo into the creation of KOLARS. As KOLARS, the pair create a kinetic brand of disco-inspired rockabilly they loving dub glam-a-billy. Kolar provides the soaring, fuzzy guitars while Brown pounds and literally stomps the percussion - she actually stands and tap-dances on a bass drum. Far from a gimmicky trick, the clacking feet add familiar moments one might expect from a hi-hat or the clapping of hands. Even without Brown's unique method of performing, the band's sound remains uniquely driving. Take their latest single "One More Thrill". Crafted like a grooving '70s country song carved out of the gleaming vibrations of modern rock, the track pulsates right into your chest. It takes your heart by the hand and leads you to the dance floor, daring you to not feel motivated to dance, shimmy, just escape the mundane. "'One More Thrill' is about someone who wants to break free from the monotony in their life to pursue their dreams," the band tells Consequence of Sound. "The video uses imagery and creatures to symbolize that struggle and the excitement of taking that chance."

Chillent Album Release Party with Special Guests Manic Soul

Formed as a weekly jam session in the winter of 2015, CHILLENT has quickly established a growing fanbase in their hometown of Pittsburgh, PA that includes lovers of funk, jazz, blues, and world music.

Offering up a hot plate of original compositions, spicy jazz & blues covers, and funky interpretations of Jewish favorites, CHILLENT's unique sound has been described by fans as "klezmer Phish," and "Maceo Parker at a bar mitzvah."

Artist's they've performed with include: Flux Capacitor, G-nome Project, The Clock Reads, Brian Fitzy, Lazer Lloyd, Eig8th Day, Rogers Park, and Simply Tzfat.

Formed as a weekly jam session in the winter of 2015, CHILLENT has quickly established a growing fanbase in their hometown of Pittsburgh, PA that includes lovers of funk, jazz, blues, and world music.

Offering up a hot plate of original compositions, spicy jazz & blues covers, and funky interpretations of Jewish favorites, CHILLENT's unique sound has been described by fans as "klezmer Phish," and "Maceo Parker at a bar mitzvah."

Artist's they've performed with include: Flux Capacitor, G-nome Project, The Clock Reads, Brian Fitzy, Lazer Lloyd, Eig8th Day, Rogers Park, and Simply Tzfat.

(Early Show) L.O.S. with Special Guests Pretty Krissy, LL Mari, Chris Mitchell and Hubbs

Hip-Hop artist L.O.S is currently shaking up the lyrical scene with his clever wordplay, explosive sound, and charismatic style. It doesn’t take much to tell that L.O.S is sticking to his east coast roots and bearing hip-hop on his back. His aim at every moment is to fuse the gap between musicality and lyrical wordplay. With an unstoppable desire to carve a niche for himself within the hip hop community, L.O.S has journeyed across the country as guest performer for acts such as Cassidy, Fabulous, Maino, Jadakiss and more as part of the accomplished rap duo Folkland. Now he’s back focusing on a solo effort with the release of his new single "Phresh Li".

Hip-Hop artist L.O.S is currently shaking up the lyrical scene with his clever wordplay, explosive sound, and charismatic style. It doesn’t take much to tell that L.O.S is sticking to his east coast roots and bearing hip-hop on his back. His aim at every moment is to fuse the gap between musicality and lyrical wordplay. With an unstoppable desire to carve a niche for himself within the hip hop community, L.O.S has journeyed across the country as guest performer for acts such as Cassidy, Fabulous, Maino, Jadakiss and more as part of the accomplished rap duo Folkland. Now he’s back focusing on a solo effort with the release of his new single "Phresh Li".

(Late Show) Funkle Aaron Project with Special Guest Anja Wade

At the start the duo collaboration born from the depths of Pittsburgh open stages, developed a hunger for bigger performances. Following a brief winter break the drum-guitar duo enlisted musicians to collaborate larger themed performances.

The first show featured a two drum set plus percussion, bass, saxophone, guitar lineup. Followed by the band's second show, Funkle Aaron Project presents Bob Marley Night! The reggae music is a large part of the groove and rhythmn, rearranging new standards in the reggae format.
Future Bob Marley Nights will now be monthly.

Currently Funkle Aaron is in the process of recording the first album for the group, collaborating with all original material, and musicians in Pittsburgh, PA.

At the start the duo collaboration born from the depths of Pittsburgh open stages, developed a hunger for bigger performances. Following a brief winter break the drum-guitar duo enlisted musicians to collaborate larger themed performances.

The first show featured a two drum set plus percussion, bass, saxophone, guitar lineup. Followed by the band's second show, Funkle Aaron Project presents Bob Marley Night! The reggae music is a large part of the groove and rhythmn, rearranging new standards in the reggae format.
Future Bob Marley Nights will now be monthly.

Currently Funkle Aaron is in the process of recording the first album for the group, collaborating with all original material, and musicians in Pittsburgh, PA.

An Evening With Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers

"In a better world, Joe Grushecky would live in a mansion down the road from Springsteen's. Instead, this enormous talent spends his days teaching some of western Pennsylvania's most troubled children...Who do you know who has made back-to-back great albums more than 20 years ago, and is doing the same thing now. There's Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, Springsteen, maybe a few more. He's on that level." - Jimmy Guterman, Runaway American Dream: Listening to Bruce Springsteen

Joe Grushecky's music has stood the test of time. For 30 years publications such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, No Depression, and countless others have hailed him as one of rock & roll's most talented singer-songwriters.

Joe's first band, the Iron City Houserockers, were signed to Cleveland International by A&R legend Steve Popovich also responsible for signing Meatloaf and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. ICH released their debut album, "Love's So Tough" in 1979 and began to garner critical acclaim:

In Rolling Stone, Greil Marcus wrote "their debut album is strong, passionate and a little desperate. This is hard rock with force.... I hope they're around for a long, long time."

Mick Ronson, Ian Hunter, and Steve Van Zandt handled the

"In a better world, Joe Grushecky would live in a mansion down the road from Springsteen's. Instead, this enormous talent spends his days teaching some of western Pennsylvania's most troubled children...Who do you know who has made back-to-back great albums more than 20 years ago, and is doing the same thing now. There's Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, Springsteen, maybe a few more. He's on that level." - Jimmy Guterman, Runaway American Dream: Listening to Bruce Springsteen

Joe Grushecky's music has stood the test of time. For 30 years publications such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, No Depression, and countless others have hailed him as one of rock & roll's most talented singer-songwriters.

Joe's first band, the Iron City Houserockers, were signed to Cleveland International by A&R legend Steve Popovich also responsible for signing Meatloaf and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. ICH released their debut album, "Love's So Tough" in 1979 and began to garner critical acclaim:

In Rolling Stone, Greil Marcus wrote "their debut album is strong, passionate and a little desperate. This is hard rock with force.... I hope they're around for a long, long time."

Mick Ronson, Ian Hunter, and Steve Van Zandt handled the

Mephiskapheles with Special Guests INCO FIdO and Latecomer

Mephiskapheles is back in red and black. The band that helped define third-wave ska, then defied critics by exploring even greater possibilities with its darkly original ska fusion, forges ahead with amazing shows and new music now available.

Formed in the East Village of New York City in 1991 by a group of punk rockers/artists/ad guys/jazz musicians, Mephiskapheles played its first show on Long Island. From day one, the band began attracting a diverse, dedicated fan base.

Sold-out NYC gigs led to tours with the Buzzcocks and GWAR, and hits on the Hawaiian Islands Chart with three singles from the band's first album, 1994's God Bless Satan, produced by Bill Laswell.

While touring relentlessly, Mephiskapheles followed-up in 1997 with Maximum Perversion, a jazz-influenced work that didn't take long to be hailed as a classic. A deal in 1999 with Koch Records resulted in the band's hard-hitting, exploratory third album, Might-Ay White-Ay.

Fronted by lead singer Invidious aka the Nubian Nightmare, along with the hottest rhythm section in New York, and the Horns of Hell, Mephiskapheles spreads its evil seed with an ongoing reissue program, epic shows, and new music out now.

See you in Hell.

Mephiskapheles is back in red and black. The band that helped define third-wave ska, then defied critics by exploring even greater possibilities with its darkly original ska fusion, forges ahead with amazing shows and new music now available.

Formed in the East Village of New York City in 1991 by a group of punk rockers/artists/ad guys/jazz musicians, Mephiskapheles played its first show on Long Island. From day one, the band began attracting a diverse, dedicated fan base.

Sold-out NYC gigs led to tours with the Buzzcocks and GWAR, and hits on the Hawaiian Islands Chart with three singles from the band's first album, 1994's God Bless Satan, produced by Bill Laswell.

While touring relentlessly, Mephiskapheles followed-up in 1997 with Maximum Perversion, a jazz-influenced work that didn't take long to be hailed as a classic. A deal in 1999 with Koch Records resulted in the band's hard-hitting, exploratory third album, Might-Ay White-Ay.

Fronted by lead singer Invidious aka the Nubian Nightmare, along with the hottest rhythm section in New York, and the Horns of Hell, Mephiskapheles spreads its evil seed with an ongoing reissue program, epic shows, and new music out now.

See you in Hell.

Bruce Robison with Special Guest Elise Davis

AUSTIN, TEXAS - In regard to the Lone Star State's finest tunesmiths, Bruce Robison lands at the top of the heap. His songwriting turned the heads of some of the industry's biggest artists and took them to the top of the charts (Dixie Chicks' No. 1 version of "Travelin' Soldier," George Strait's recording of "Wrapped" and the beautiful Tim McGraw/Faith Hill rendition of "Angry All The Time," to name a few). While those achievements might be considered the pinnacle of a song writing career to some, Robison has never been one to rest on his laurels. He is always creating.

The last two releases from Robison were as a duo project with wife and acclaimed singer/songwriter, Kelly Willis. Cheaters Game and Our Year were released just over a year apart in 2013 and 2014, respectively, to rave reviews.

After touring extensively to support the duo's releases, Bruce turned his focus toward his other passion project, The Next Waltz, a "virtual social house" of music, videos and interviews spotlighting the artists and songs that make up the pedigree of this generation's cream of the crop. In his studio located just outside of Austin, Robison hosts and records an evolving array of artists who share in his commitment to continue the tradition of collaborative creativity. Everything in Bruce's studio is recorded on analog tape "with no digital shenanigans – just like back when music was good."

From Robison's perspective, that difference - between digital and analog – makes all the difference. In fact it's so important to him, that tag line appears on the liner notes of Bruce's brand new album, Bruce Robison & The Back Porch Band, to be released on April 28. While immersed in the process of capturing some of his favorite songs and artists for The Next Waltz, Robison was inspired to round up his own band and lay down a collection of originals, co-writes and covers to put his personal stamp on. With a list of musician credits that could easily be mistaken for a hall-of-fame roll call, Robison delivers a truly organic listening experience that includes "happy accidents and all kinds of things that just feel real."

Bruce Robison & The Back Porch Band is a "real" nine-track album made up of good-time, light hearted romps ("Rock n' Roll Honky Tonk Ramblin' Man") and wistful, sometimes bittersweet ballads ("Long Time Coming"; "Still Doin' Time"). Even The Who's "Squeezebox" – which Robison calls a "a great country song by some English dudes" - fits perfectly in the mix. Long-time friend, Jack Ingram, appears with Robison on "Paid My Dues," (written by Jason Eady and Micky Braun of Micky and the Motorcars) for a rowdy honky-tonker version. Robison marvels, "The song that I cut with Jack, there's not even one overdub on it. That sounds like a simple thing, but I've never done that in my entire career, where we don't even go in and fix anything."

"Recording the way we do really allows the players to bring their own voices, their own styles, into the music," says Robison. "That's the kind of vibe I'm trying to get back to. I want to let people see how cool this process is and how much it has to do with country music, and how the kind of music that we make is tied to those traditions."

AUSTIN, TEXAS - In regard to the Lone Star State's finest tunesmiths, Bruce Robison lands at the top of the heap. His songwriting turned the heads of some of the industry's biggest artists and took them to the top of the charts (Dixie Chicks' No. 1 version of "Travelin' Soldier," George Strait's recording of "Wrapped" and the beautiful Tim McGraw/Faith Hill rendition of "Angry All The Time," to name a few). While those achievements might be considered the pinnacle of a song writing career to some, Robison has never been one to rest on his laurels. He is always creating.

The last two releases from Robison were as a duo project with wife and acclaimed singer/songwriter, Kelly Willis. Cheaters Game and Our Year were released just over a year apart in 2013 and 2014, respectively, to rave reviews.

After touring extensively to support the duo's releases, Bruce turned his focus toward his other passion project, The Next Waltz, a "virtual social house" of music, videos and interviews spotlighting the artists and songs that make up the pedigree of this generation's cream of the crop. In his studio located just outside of Austin, Robison hosts and records an evolving array of artists who share in his commitment to continue the tradition of collaborative creativity. Everything in Bruce's studio is recorded on analog tape "with no digital shenanigans – just like back when music was good."

From Robison's perspective, that difference - between digital and analog – makes all the difference. In fact it's so important to him, that tag line appears on the liner notes of Bruce's brand new album, Bruce Robison & The Back Porch Band, to be released on April 28. While immersed in the process of capturing some of his favorite songs and artists for The Next Waltz, Robison was inspired to round up his own band and lay down a collection of originals, co-writes and covers to put his personal stamp on. With a list of musician credits that could easily be mistaken for a hall-of-fame roll call, Robison delivers a truly organic listening experience that includes "happy accidents and all kinds of things that just feel real."

Bruce Robison & The Back Porch Band is a "real" nine-track album made up of good-time, light hearted romps ("Rock n' Roll Honky Tonk Ramblin' Man") and wistful, sometimes bittersweet ballads ("Long Time Coming"; "Still Doin' Time"). Even The Who's "Squeezebox" – which Robison calls a "a great country song by some English dudes" - fits perfectly in the mix. Long-time friend, Jack Ingram, appears with Robison on "Paid My Dues," (written by Jason Eady and Micky Braun of Micky and the Motorcars) for a rowdy honky-tonker version. Robison marvels, "The song that I cut with Jack, there's not even one overdub on it. That sounds like a simple thing, but I've never done that in my entire career, where we don't even go in and fix anything."

"Recording the way we do really allows the players to bring their own voices, their own styles, into the music," says Robison. "That's the kind of vibe I'm trying to get back to. I want to let people see how cool this process is and how much it has to do with country music, and how the kind of music that we make is tied to those traditions."

All Them Witches (Night 1) with Special Guest Handsome Jack - Presented by Opus One & WPTS Radio

"Sleeping through the war - this is what we're doing. There are so many terrible things going on in the world and we're just staring at our phones, and we don't see it so we don't care." Having just come in from practicing in the desert, Charles Michael Parks, singer/bassist for All Them Witches, elaborates on the very heavy times in which we all live. Parks and his bandmates - Ben McLeod, Allan Van Cleave and Robby Staebler - are enjoying a brief respite from the endless tour that saw them visit Europe three times in 2016. We've been talking for nearly ten minutes about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, among other things, before we cut through the cosmic fog that surrounds their new album Sleeping Through The War.

"It's tough to get past all the cat videos."

From their earliest days, there has a been a current in All Them Witches' music that has come from outside the continuum of our collective perceptions. On 2013's Lightning at the Door they drew a bigger chalk circle in the center of the crossroads and conjured a haunting occult- blues. On 2015's New West Records debut Dying Surfer Meets His Maker they dove the depths of oceanic canyons and surfaced with a shining psychedelia. Sleeping Through The War is the next step in that progression.

"We write in every way possible," says Parks. "There's no limitations on it, no I'm going to come to it with this song and this is how it's going to go. It's more like stretching your arms out and seeing who can grab what and seeing what fits together from there.

"This is the most I've ever sang on a record, so my writing process was a little bit different than on the other ones. We weren't relying on long, drawn out jam sections we were putting more of a storyline into the songs.

"The songs are catchier, they're faster and there's more singing. Or talking. Or whatever I'm doing."
The result is evidence of the adventure, beauty, and excitement that lies on the other side of the galaxy. The fundamental laws that govern Sleeping Through The War are the same fundamentals that have made ATW a cult favorite - big fuzz, deep grooves, cosmic vision - but the journey through the wormhole has brought something else.

"It's more brain than body," says Parks. "Everybody kind of knows where they are going even if nobody knows where the song is going. We're good at juggling the torch around, making sure everyone gets to play...

"Allan has this really unique approach to playing Rhodes. Robby's drums sound weird in soundcheck he has all of these weird tones but he knows where he's putting them in the mix himself. I have a weird bass tone, but somehow it clicks. We didn't come into it trying to blend our sounds together. That comes from relying on something you already have, relying on something that has its own unique personality."

Years of jamming their way across the country have elevated their performance. Years of interacting with audiences has made their songcraft more responsive. Years of psychic interactions between band members has lead them into a sonic-space headier, more dynamic than any equation could have predicted. In the five years since their formation, over hundreds of performances and thousands of miles travelled, All Them Witches have expanded their corporeality, absorbing ideas both audible and philosophical that push at the thin veil of existence. With three albums that each gained more heft than the one before, All Them Witches has accrued such an immense heaviness that when producer Dave Cobb entered their orbit the very nature of their reality was warped beyond recognition.

"We wrote it in about six days," says guitarist Ben McLeod. "Wherein the past we would have just gone ahead and recorded and written in the studio, we were like nah we're going to do it with Dave, let's be prepared."

"And Eddie Spear, the engineer, he loves doing 8 track records. We obviously didn't make an 8 track record [laughs] but in the back of our minds we were like this guy is gonna think we're a joke if we're doing all of this overdubbing shit. We wanted a record that you could crank. And we wanted girl backup singers."

It might seem like an odd detail - Erin Rae, Caitlin Rose and Tristen add a classic rock flourish, at odds with their earlier catalogs - but it makes sense within the context of the songs and within the context of their career. All Them Witches are at their Ummagumma moment, their Tres Hombres, their Bare Trees. They brought in a mellotron. Their sense of sonic experimentation is so finely honed that even the oddest, toughest moments are warm and relatable.

"We're trying to get to something better - not necessarily just as musicians - but as people," Parks explains. "I've always said that as we change as people, our music changes, that's why we can never make the same records. I can't be in one of those bands. I hope you'll never hear about ‘another predictable album from All Them Witches.' There's no art in that."

Their sound has become so expansive you can her echoes of Dr. John's Gris-Gris and the glacial expanses of Sigur Ros, the fire and brimstone of Appalachian snake charmers and the meditative om of the East. It's the same balance of preparation and improvisation that helped drummer Robby Staebler conjure Sleeping Through The War's vibrant and foreboding cover.

"I'm really into weird, film cameras and that was the original direction of the cover," says Staebler. "Then Ben told me - after working on this for weeks straight, doing all of these layouts, scanning things, looking for old negatives digging things up - he told me ‘Eh, this is kinda boring, dude'. And for 30 seconds I was really fucking pissed.

"But I knew he was right. I knew it wasn't what the record needed and so I just channeled some crazy Chi and the record cover came out. I just stopped thinking about stuff and got out film-negative dyes - for retouching films, it works really great on watercolor paper too - and the rest of it just came together. I found the channel."

Their musicianship is so dialed in, so fluid and adaptable that the most technically complex and sonically detailed passages are fun and fulfilling. All Them Witches are progressing but they have no intention of leaving anyone behind. In a world where so many are distracted and disengaged All Them Witches are seeking to connect on a more visceral, more human level.

"The hardest part was the song "Bruce Lee" - originally the song had this long introduction and not a lot of singing, just a long instrumental," McLeod explains. "And Dave stopped us, had us come into the control room and said, ‘Guys, this is the kind of song that when people hear this they are going to want to listen to the rest of the record. You want people to hear the record and this song is your opportunity.'

"It was weird at first, we were like, but but this is how the song goes with the long intro and stuff. We played with some splices and it ended up being what it is now and I think it is groo-oovy."

Lead single "Bruce Lee" is a perfect distillation of the All Them Witches aesthetic - whirlwind guitars, way out vocals and propulsive rhythms that recall Springsteen's late-night power drives as much as they do Kyuss riding into the blood-red sunset. "Don't Bring Me Coffee" is an aggro blast of anthemic, 120 Minutes-grade powerfuzz, that toys with the power dynamic between the beautiful and the ugly.

"Alabaster" feels like William S. Burroughs intoning to South Bronx breakdancers while the album closer "Internet" sees the band slip so far behind the beat it feels like they've slipped from the grasp of space-time itself. These tracks make the case that the gravity of All Them Witches is warping the space-time in which we all exist and that Sleeping Through The War is the sort of heaviness these weird times demand.

"If everybody would look out for everybody we wouldn't have any problems," says Parks. "If everybody had enough space to breath we wouldn't have any problems...the hardest part is that everybody wants to be happy but nobody knows how to get there."

"Sleeping through the war - this is what we're doing. There are so many terrible things going on in the world and we're just staring at our phones, and we don't see it so we don't care." Having just come in from practicing in the desert, Charles Michael Parks, singer/bassist for All Them Witches, elaborates on the very heavy times in which we all live. Parks and his bandmates - Ben McLeod, Allan Van Cleave and Robby Staebler - are enjoying a brief respite from the endless tour that saw them visit Europe three times in 2016. We've been talking for nearly ten minutes about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, among other things, before we cut through the cosmic fog that surrounds their new album Sleeping Through The War.

"It's tough to get past all the cat videos."

From their earliest days, there has a been a current in All Them Witches' music that has come from outside the continuum of our collective perceptions. On 2013's Lightning at the Door they drew a bigger chalk circle in the center of the crossroads and conjured a haunting occult- blues. On 2015's New West Records debut Dying Surfer Meets His Maker they dove the depths of oceanic canyons and surfaced with a shining psychedelia. Sleeping Through The War is the next step in that progression.

"We write in every way possible," says Parks. "There's no limitations on it, no I'm going to come to it with this song and this is how it's going to go. It's more like stretching your arms out and seeing who can grab what and seeing what fits together from there.

"This is the most I've ever sang on a record, so my writing process was a little bit different than on the other ones. We weren't relying on long, drawn out jam sections we were putting more of a storyline into the songs.

"The songs are catchier, they're faster and there's more singing. Or talking. Or whatever I'm doing."
The result is evidence of the adventure, beauty, and excitement that lies on the other side of the galaxy. The fundamental laws that govern Sleeping Through The War are the same fundamentals that have made ATW a cult favorite - big fuzz, deep grooves, cosmic vision - but the journey through the wormhole has brought something else.

"It's more brain than body," says Parks. "Everybody kind of knows where they are going even if nobody knows where the song is going. We're good at juggling the torch around, making sure everyone gets to play...

"Allan has this really unique approach to playing Rhodes. Robby's drums sound weird in soundcheck he has all of these weird tones but he knows where he's putting them in the mix himself. I have a weird bass tone, but somehow it clicks. We didn't come into it trying to blend our sounds together. That comes from relying on something you already have, relying on something that has its own unique personality."

Years of jamming their way across the country have elevated their performance. Years of interacting with audiences has made their songcraft more responsive. Years of psychic interactions between band members has lead them into a sonic-space headier, more dynamic than any equation could have predicted. In the five years since their formation, over hundreds of performances and thousands of miles travelled, All Them Witches have expanded their corporeality, absorbing ideas both audible and philosophical that push at the thin veil of existence. With three albums that each gained more heft than the one before, All Them Witches has accrued such an immense heaviness that when producer Dave Cobb entered their orbit the very nature of their reality was warped beyond recognition.

"We wrote it in about six days," says guitarist Ben McLeod. "Wherein the past we would have just gone ahead and recorded and written in the studio, we were like nah we're going to do it with Dave, let's be prepared."

"And Eddie Spear, the engineer, he loves doing 8 track records. We obviously didn't make an 8 track record [laughs] but in the back of our minds we were like this guy is gonna think we're a joke if we're doing all of this overdubbing shit. We wanted a record that you could crank. And we wanted girl backup singers."

It might seem like an odd detail - Erin Rae, Caitlin Rose and Tristen add a classic rock flourish, at odds with their earlier catalogs - but it makes sense within the context of the songs and within the context of their career. All Them Witches are at their Ummagumma moment, their Tres Hombres, their Bare Trees. They brought in a mellotron. Their sense of sonic experimentation is so finely honed that even the oddest, toughest moments are warm and relatable.

"We're trying to get to something better - not necessarily just as musicians - but as people," Parks explains. "I've always said that as we change as people, our music changes, that's why we can never make the same records. I can't be in one of those bands. I hope you'll never hear about ‘another predictable album from All Them Witches.' There's no art in that."

Their sound has become so expansive you can her echoes of Dr. John's Gris-Gris and the glacial expanses of Sigur Ros, the fire and brimstone of Appalachian snake charmers and the meditative om of the East. It's the same balance of preparation and improvisation that helped drummer Robby Staebler conjure Sleeping Through The War's vibrant and foreboding cover.

"I'm really into weird, film cameras and that was the original direction of the cover," says Staebler. "Then Ben told me - after working on this for weeks straight, doing all of these layouts, scanning things, looking for old negatives digging things up - he told me ‘Eh, this is kinda boring, dude'. And for 30 seconds I was really fucking pissed.

"But I knew he was right. I knew it wasn't what the record needed and so I just channeled some crazy Chi and the record cover came out. I just stopped thinking about stuff and got out film-negative dyes - for retouching films, it works really great on watercolor paper too - and the rest of it just came together. I found the channel."

Their musicianship is so dialed in, so fluid and adaptable that the most technically complex and sonically detailed passages are fun and fulfilling. All Them Witches are progressing but they have no intention of leaving anyone behind. In a world where so many are distracted and disengaged All Them Witches are seeking to connect on a more visceral, more human level.

"The hardest part was the song "Bruce Lee" - originally the song had this long introduction and not a lot of singing, just a long instrumental," McLeod explains. "And Dave stopped us, had us come into the control room and said, ‘Guys, this is the kind of song that when people hear this they are going to want to listen to the rest of the record. You want people to hear the record and this song is your opportunity.'

"It was weird at first, we were like, but but this is how the song goes with the long intro and stuff. We played with some splices and it ended up being what it is now and I think it is groo-oovy."

Lead single "Bruce Lee" is a perfect distillation of the All Them Witches aesthetic - whirlwind guitars, way out vocals and propulsive rhythms that recall Springsteen's late-night power drives as much as they do Kyuss riding into the blood-red sunset. "Don't Bring Me Coffee" is an aggro blast of anthemic, 120 Minutes-grade powerfuzz, that toys with the power dynamic between the beautiful and the ugly.

"Alabaster" feels like William S. Burroughs intoning to South Bronx breakdancers while the album closer "Internet" sees the band slip so far behind the beat it feels like they've slipped from the grasp of space-time itself. These tracks make the case that the gravity of All Them Witches is warping the space-time in which we all exist and that Sleeping Through The War is the sort of heaviness these weird times demand.

"If everybody would look out for everybody we wouldn't have any problems," says Parks. "If everybody had enough space to breath we wouldn't have any problems...the hardest part is that everybody wants to be happy but nobody knows how to get there."

All Them Witches (Night 2) with Special Guest Handsome Jack - Presented by Opus One & WPTS Radio

"Sleeping through the war - this is what we're doing. There are so many terrible things going on in the world and we're just staring at our phones, and we don't see it so we don't care." Having just come in from practicing in the desert, Charles Michael Parks, singer/bassist for All Them Witches, elaborates on the very heavy times in which we all live. Parks and his bandmates - Ben McLeod, Allan Van Cleave and Robby Staebler - are enjoying a brief respite from the endless tour that saw them visit Europe three times in 2016. We've been talking for nearly ten minutes about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, among other things, before we cut through the cosmic fog that surrounds their new album Sleeping Through The War.

"It's tough to get past all the cat videos."

From their earliest days, there has a been a current in All Them Witches' music that has come from outside the continuum of our collective perceptions. On 2013's Lightning at the Door they drew a bigger chalk circle in the center of the crossroads and conjured a haunting occult- blues. On 2015's New West Records debut Dying Surfer Meets His Maker they dove the depths of oceanic canyons and surfaced with a shining psychedelia. Sleeping Through The War is the next step in that progression.

"We write in every way possible," says Parks. "There's no limitations on it, no I'm going to come to it with this song and this is how it's going to go. It's more like stretching your arms out and seeing who can grab what and seeing what fits together from there.

"This is the most I've ever sang on a record, so my writing process was a little bit different than on the other ones. We weren't relying on long, drawn out jam sections we were putting more of a storyline into the songs.

"The songs are catchier, they're faster and there's more singing. Or talking. Or whatever I'm doing."
The result is evidence of the adventure, beauty, and excitement that lies on the other side of the galaxy. The fundamental laws that govern Sleeping Through The War are the same fundamentals that have made ATW a cult favorite - big fuzz, deep grooves, cosmic vision - but the journey through the wormhole has brought something else.

"It's more brain than body," says Parks. "Everybody kind of knows where they are going even if nobody knows where the song is going. We're good at juggling the torch around, making sure everyone gets to play...

"Allan has this really unique approach to playing Rhodes. Robby's drums sound weird in soundcheck he has all of these weird tones but he knows where he's putting them in the mix himself. I have a weird bass tone, but somehow it clicks. We didn't come into it trying to blend our sounds together. That comes from relying on something you already have, relying on something that has its own unique personality."

Years of jamming their way across the country have elevated their performance. Years of interacting with audiences has made their songcraft more responsive. Years of psychic interactions between band members has lead them into a sonic-space headier, more dynamic than any equation could have predicted. In the five years since their formation, over hundreds of performances and thousands of miles travelled, All Them Witches have expanded their corporeality, absorbing ideas both audible and philosophical that push at the thin veil of existence. With three albums that each gained more heft than the one before, All Them Witches has accrued such an immense heaviness that when producer Dave Cobb entered their orbit the very nature of their reality was warped beyond recognition.

"We wrote it in about six days," says guitarist Ben McLeod. "Wherein the past we would have just gone ahead and recorded and written in the studio, we were like nah we're going to do it with Dave, let's be prepared."

"And Eddie Spear, the engineer, he loves doing 8 track records. We obviously didn't make an 8 track record [laughs] but in the back of our minds we were like this guy is gonna think we're a joke if we're doing all of this overdubbing shit. We wanted a record that you could crank. And we wanted girl backup singers."

It might seem like an odd detail - Erin Rae, Caitlin Rose and Tristen add a classic rock flourish, at odds with their earlier catalogs - but it makes sense within the context of the songs and within the context of their career. All Them Witches are at their Ummagumma moment, their Tres Hombres, their Bare Trees. They brought in a mellotron. Their sense of sonic experimentation is so finely honed that even the oddest, toughest moments are warm and relatable.

"We're trying to get to something better - not necessarily just as musicians - but as people," Parks explains. "I've always said that as we change as people, our music changes, that's why we can never make the same records. I can't be in one of those bands. I hope you'll never hear about ‘another predictable album from All Them Witches.' There's no art in that."

Their sound has become so expansive you can her echoes of Dr. John's Gris-Gris and the glacial expanses of Sigur Ros, the fire and brimstone of Appalachian snake charmers and the meditative om of the East. It's the same balance of preparation and improvisation that helped drummer Robby Staebler conjure Sleeping Through The War's vibrant and foreboding cover.

"I'm really into weird, film cameras and that was the original direction of the cover," says Staebler. "Then Ben told me - after working on this for weeks straight, doing all of these layouts, scanning things, looking for old negatives digging things up - he told me ‘Eh, this is kinda boring, dude'. And for 30 seconds I was really fucking pissed.

"But I knew he was right. I knew it wasn't what the record needed and so I just channeled some crazy Chi and the record cover came out. I just stopped thinking about stuff and got out film-negative dyes - for retouching films, it works really great on watercolor paper too - and the rest of it just came together. I found the channel."

Their musicianship is so dialed in, so fluid and adaptable that the most technically complex and sonically detailed passages are fun and fulfilling. All Them Witches are progressing but they have no intention of leaving anyone behind. In a world where so many are distracted and disengaged All Them Witches are seeking to connect on a more visceral, more human level.

"The hardest part was the song "Bruce Lee" - originally the song had this long introduction and not a lot of singing, just a long instrumental," McLeod explains. "And Dave stopped us, had us come into the control room and said, ‘Guys, this is the kind of song that when people hear this they are going to want to listen to the rest of the record. You want people to hear the record and this song is your opportunity.'

"It was weird at first, we were like, but but this is how the song goes with the long intro and stuff. We played with some splices and it ended up being what it is now and I think it is groo-oovy."

Lead single "Bruce Lee" is a perfect distillation of the All Them Witches aesthetic - whirlwind guitars, way out vocals and propulsive rhythms that recall Springsteen's late-night power drives as much as they do Kyuss riding into the blood-red sunset. "Don't Bring Me Coffee" is an aggro blast of anthemic, 120 Minutes-grade powerfuzz, that toys with the power dynamic between the beautiful and the ugly.

"Alabaster" feels like William S. Burroughs intoning to South Bronx breakdancers while the album closer "Internet" sees the band slip so far behind the beat it feels like they've slipped from the grasp of space-time itself. These tracks make the case that the gravity of All Them Witches is warping the space-time in which we all exist and that Sleeping Through The War is the sort of heaviness these weird times demand.

"If everybody would look out for everybody we wouldn't have any problems," says Parks. "If everybody had enough space to breath we wouldn't have any problems...the hardest part is that everybody wants to be happy but nobody knows how to get there."

"Sleeping through the war - this is what we're doing. There are so many terrible things going on in the world and we're just staring at our phones, and we don't see it so we don't care." Having just come in from practicing in the desert, Charles Michael Parks, singer/bassist for All Them Witches, elaborates on the very heavy times in which we all live. Parks and his bandmates - Ben McLeod, Allan Van Cleave and Robby Staebler - are enjoying a brief respite from the endless tour that saw them visit Europe three times in 2016. We've been talking for nearly ten minutes about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, among other things, before we cut through the cosmic fog that surrounds their new album Sleeping Through The War.

"It's tough to get past all the cat videos."

From their earliest days, there has a been a current in All Them Witches' music that has come from outside the continuum of our collective perceptions. On 2013's Lightning at the Door they drew a bigger chalk circle in the center of the crossroads and conjured a haunting occult- blues. On 2015's New West Records debut Dying Surfer Meets His Maker they dove the depths of oceanic canyons and surfaced with a shining psychedelia. Sleeping Through The War is the next step in that progression.

"We write in every way possible," says Parks. "There's no limitations on it, no I'm going to come to it with this song and this is how it's going to go. It's more like stretching your arms out and seeing who can grab what and seeing what fits together from there.

"This is the most I've ever sang on a record, so my writing process was a little bit different than on the other ones. We weren't relying on long, drawn out jam sections we were putting more of a storyline into the songs.

"The songs are catchier, they're faster and there's more singing. Or talking. Or whatever I'm doing."
The result is evidence of the adventure, beauty, and excitement that lies on the other side of the galaxy. The fundamental laws that govern Sleeping Through The War are the same fundamentals that have made ATW a cult favorite - big fuzz, deep grooves, cosmic vision - but the journey through the wormhole has brought something else.

"It's more brain than body," says Parks. "Everybody kind of knows where they are going even if nobody knows where the song is going. We're good at juggling the torch around, making sure everyone gets to play...

"Allan has this really unique approach to playing Rhodes. Robby's drums sound weird in soundcheck he has all of these weird tones but he knows where he's putting them in the mix himself. I have a weird bass tone, but somehow it clicks. We didn't come into it trying to blend our sounds together. That comes from relying on something you already have, relying on something that has its own unique personality."

Years of jamming their way across the country have elevated their performance. Years of interacting with audiences has made their songcraft more responsive. Years of psychic interactions between band members has lead them into a sonic-space headier, more dynamic than any equation could have predicted. In the five years since their formation, over hundreds of performances and thousands of miles travelled, All Them Witches have expanded their corporeality, absorbing ideas both audible and philosophical that push at the thin veil of existence. With three albums that each gained more heft than the one before, All Them Witches has accrued such an immense heaviness that when producer Dave Cobb entered their orbit the very nature of their reality was warped beyond recognition.

"We wrote it in about six days," says guitarist Ben McLeod. "Wherein the past we would have just gone ahead and recorded and written in the studio, we were like nah we're going to do it with Dave, let's be prepared."

"And Eddie Spear, the engineer, he loves doing 8 track records. We obviously didn't make an 8 track record [laughs] but in the back of our minds we were like this guy is gonna think we're a joke if we're doing all of this overdubbing shit. We wanted a record that you could crank. And we wanted girl backup singers."

It might seem like an odd detail - Erin Rae, Caitlin Rose and Tristen add a classic rock flourish, at odds with their earlier catalogs - but it makes sense within the context of the songs and within the context of their career. All Them Witches are at their Ummagumma moment, their Tres Hombres, their Bare Trees. They brought in a mellotron. Their sense of sonic experimentation is so finely honed that even the oddest, toughest moments are warm and relatable.

"We're trying to get to something better - not necessarily just as musicians - but as people," Parks explains. "I've always said that as we change as people, our music changes, that's why we can never make the same records. I can't be in one of those bands. I hope you'll never hear about ‘another predictable album from All Them Witches.' There's no art in that."

Their sound has become so expansive you can her echoes of Dr. John's Gris-Gris and the glacial expanses of Sigur Ros, the fire and brimstone of Appalachian snake charmers and the meditative om of the East. It's the same balance of preparation and improvisation that helped drummer Robby Staebler conjure Sleeping Through The War's vibrant and foreboding cover.

"I'm really into weird, film cameras and that was the original direction of the cover," says Staebler. "Then Ben told me - after working on this for weeks straight, doing all of these layouts, scanning things, looking for old negatives digging things up - he told me ‘Eh, this is kinda boring, dude'. And for 30 seconds I was really fucking pissed.

"But I knew he was right. I knew it wasn't what the record needed and so I just channeled some crazy Chi and the record cover came out. I just stopped thinking about stuff and got out film-negative dyes - for retouching films, it works really great on watercolor paper too - and the rest of it just came together. I found the channel."

Their musicianship is so dialed in, so fluid and adaptable that the most technically complex and sonically detailed passages are fun and fulfilling. All Them Witches are progressing but they have no intention of leaving anyone behind. In a world where so many are distracted and disengaged All Them Witches are seeking to connect on a more visceral, more human level.

"The hardest part was the song "Bruce Lee" - originally the song had this long introduction and not a lot of singing, just a long instrumental," McLeod explains. "And Dave stopped us, had us come into the control room and said, ‘Guys, this is the kind of song that when people hear this they are going to want to listen to the rest of the record. You want people to hear the record and this song is your opportunity.'

"It was weird at first, we were like, but but this is how the song goes with the long intro and stuff. We played with some splices and it ended up being what it is now and I think it is groo-oovy."

Lead single "Bruce Lee" is a perfect distillation of the All Them Witches aesthetic - whirlwind guitars, way out vocals and propulsive rhythms that recall Springsteen's late-night power drives as much as they do Kyuss riding into the blood-red sunset. "Don't Bring Me Coffee" is an aggro blast of anthemic, 120 Minutes-grade powerfuzz, that toys with the power dynamic between the beautiful and the ugly.

"Alabaster" feels like William S. Burroughs intoning to South Bronx breakdancers while the album closer "Internet" sees the band slip so far behind the beat it feels like they've slipped from the grasp of space-time itself. These tracks make the case that the gravity of All Them Witches is warping the space-time in which we all exist and that Sleeping Through The War is the sort of heaviness these weird times demand.

"If everybody would look out for everybody we wouldn't have any problems," says Parks. "If everybody had enough space to breath we wouldn't have any problems...the hardest part is that everybody wants to be happy but nobody knows how to get there."

Pitch Talks - Behind The Scenes Stories From Sports Media Featuring Joe Block, Rob Rossi, Travis Sawchik, John Perrotto, Rob Biertempfel and Stephen Nesbitt

Pitch Talks is a casual baseball conference for real fans.
Featuring Joe Block, Rob Rossi, Travis Sawchik, John Perrotto, Rob Biertempfel and Stephen Nesbitt

Pitch Talks is a casual baseball conference for real fans.
Featuring Joe Block, Rob Rossi, Travis Sawchik, John Perrotto, Rob Biertempfel and Stephen Nesbitt

The Mulligan Brothers with Special Guest The Armadillos Presented by Opus One and Music Night On Jupiter

The Mulligan Brothers is an Americana Folk-Rock band from Mobile, Alabama. In golfers' terms, a "mulligan" is a second chance, and the band represents a second chance for each member of The Mulligan Brothers. Veterans of other bands, this is where they found the music they always wanted to play.
 
The songwriting and warm, honest, straight-to-the heart voice of lead singer of Ross Newell draws listeners into the group's signature sound, where the harmonies of Greg DeLuca, Ben Leininger and Melody Duncan make the songs soar or haunt from the shadows. De Luca plays drums and Leininger is on the bass. Fiddler Melody Duncan recently joined the band, bringing a female voice and perspective.

The Mulligan Brothers have released two albums, The Mulligan Brothers and Via Portland (recorded in Portland with Grammy-winning producer Steve Berlin) and will soon release a Live from The Netherlands album, recorded during the recent tour that included shows at the famed Paradiso in Amsterdam and a spot on The Ramblin’ Roots Festival in Utrecht. They currently have over three million plays on Spotify, including over 1 million of the song Lay Here.

The band kicked off 2017 with a return to the prestigious 30A Songwriter Festival in Florida, an appearance on Music City Roots Nashville, and return to Ireland for January-February tour dates followed by a spot on Cayamo 2017 - A journey Through Song, a 7 day Roots Music Cruise in the company of such artists as Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle. This is followed by a third appearance at New Orleans Jazz Fest, a 3 week Scandinavian tour and dates all across the U.S

The Mulligan Brothers is an Americana Folk-Rock band from Mobile, Alabama. In golfers' terms, a "mulligan" is a second chance, and the band represents a second chance for each member of The Mulligan Brothers. Veterans of other bands, this is where they found the music they always wanted to play.
 
The songwriting and warm, honest, straight-to-the heart voice of lead singer of Ross Newell draws listeners into the group's signature sound, where the harmonies of Greg DeLuca, Ben Leininger and Melody Duncan make the songs soar or haunt from the shadows. De Luca plays drums and Leininger is on the bass. Fiddler Melody Duncan recently joined the band, bringing a female voice and perspective.

The Mulligan Brothers have released two albums, The Mulligan Brothers and Via Portland (recorded in Portland with Grammy-winning producer Steve Berlin) and will soon release a Live from The Netherlands album, recorded during the recent tour that included shows at the famed Paradiso in Amsterdam and a spot on The Ramblin’ Roots Festival in Utrecht. They currently have over three million plays on Spotify, including over 1 million of the song Lay Here.

The band kicked off 2017 with a return to the prestigious 30A Songwriter Festival in Florida, an appearance on Music City Roots Nashville, and return to Ireland for January-February tour dates followed by a spot on Cayamo 2017 - A journey Through Song, a 7 day Roots Music Cruise in the company of such artists as Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle. This is followed by a third appearance at New Orleans Jazz Fest, a 3 week Scandinavian tour and dates all across the U.S

(Early Show) Joe Zelek Band

A decade or so into chasing songs from rust belt dive bars to huge festival stages to the streets of Music City, the Joe Zelek Band had become a regional success story with songs playing on radio stations across the country.

But struggling with a sense of disconnect from the muse, the Ohio-based singer/songwriter did what any business-savvy musician on the brink of breakthrough success would do: blew the whole damn thing up and went on sabbatical.

Fast forward through a couple years of side projects, feeding chickens, making music for TV shows (Duck Dynasty, The Wahlburgers), assembling a bare bones recoring studio and breathing in inspirational locales from California to Carolina, Zelek is now on the road back to his natural habitat armed with a J-45, gut string banjo, a few Special 20's, one shitty old kick drum, two kindred musical spirits and a collection of tunes that clearly display a renewed intensity and authenticity.

Enter the Alaskan cowboy Carl Besece on harmonica and all manner of stringed instrument with his kinetic, authentic stage presence.

And the wild and wonderful West-by-God-Virginian Scotty Harkness with his 70's-tinged moving bass lines and signature background vocal.

"I started jamming with Carl and Scotty out in the barn and God said it was good."

The result is JZB v2.0...

Song driven, foot stompin’ American music from the Ohio/West Virginia line.

"Joe's music is definitely country, sprinkled with sounds of his native Appalachia. But there's also a bit of a "Rock Star" attitude that filters in giving him a sound all his own." -Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville

A decade or so into chasing songs from rust belt dive bars to huge festival stages to the streets of Music City, the Joe Zelek Band had become a regional success story with songs playing on radio stations across the country.

But struggling with a sense of disconnect from the muse, the Ohio-based singer/songwriter did what any business-savvy musician on the brink of breakthrough success would do: blew the whole damn thing up and went on sabbatical.

Fast forward through a couple years of side projects, feeding chickens, making music for TV shows (Duck Dynasty, The Wahlburgers), assembling a bare bones recoring studio and breathing in inspirational locales from California to Carolina, Zelek is now on the road back to his natural habitat armed with a J-45, gut string banjo, a few Special 20's, one shitty old kick drum, two kindred musical spirits and a collection of tunes that clearly display a renewed intensity and authenticity.

Enter the Alaskan cowboy Carl Besece on harmonica and all manner of stringed instrument with his kinetic, authentic stage presence.

And the wild and wonderful West-by-God-Virginian Scotty Harkness with his 70's-tinged moving bass lines and signature background vocal.

"I started jamming with Carl and Scotty out in the barn and God said it was good."

The result is JZB v2.0...

Song driven, foot stompin’ American music from the Ohio/West Virginia line.

"Joe's music is definitely country, sprinkled with sounds of his native Appalachia. But there's also a bit of a "Rock Star" attitude that filters in giving him a sound all his own." -Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville

(Late Show) What's Missing / After 87 / Curse Words

Local and regional (WV) Punk, ska and rock from What's Missing, After 87 and Curse Words.

Local and regional (WV) Punk, ska and rock from What's Missing, After 87 and Curse Words.

Marshall Crenshaw y Los Straitjackets.

Marshall Crenshaw y Los Straitjackets combines the shared sensibilities of a pop-rock maestro & a band of guitar-wielding masked marauders.

Marshall Crenshaw learned to tune a guitar at age ten and has been making music ever since. His first big break came in 1978 playing the role of John Lennon in "Beatlemania" on Broadway. Over the course of a career that's spanned nearly four decades, 13 albums, Grammy and Golden Globe nominations, film and TV appearances (Buddy Holly in "La Bamba") and thousands of performances, Crenshaw's musical output has maintained a consistent fidelity to the qualities of artfulness, craftsmanship and passion, and his efforts have been rewarded with the devotion of a broad and remarkably loyal fan base.

"Although he was seen as a latter-day Buddy Holly at the outset, he soon proved too talented and original to be anyone but himself." - Trouser Press

Los Straitjackets are the leading practitioners of the lost art of the guitar instrumental. Using the music of The Ventures, The Shadows, Link Wray and Dick Dale as a jumping off point, the band has taken their unique, high energy brand of original rock & roll around the world. Clad in their trademark Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling masks, the "Jackets" have delivered their trademark guitar licks to 16 albums, thousands of concerts and dozens of films and TV shows.

"...novelty is a key ingredient, but it’s elevated by the band's good-natured sincerity and skill." -NPR World Cafe

Marshall Crenshaw y Los Straitjackets combines the shared sensibilities of a pop-rock maestro & a band of guitar-wielding masked marauders.

Marshall Crenshaw learned to tune a guitar at age ten and has been making music ever since. His first big break came in 1978 playing the role of John Lennon in "Beatlemania" on Broadway. Over the course of a career that's spanned nearly four decades, 13 albums, Grammy and Golden Globe nominations, film and TV appearances (Buddy Holly in "La Bamba") and thousands of performances, Crenshaw's musical output has maintained a consistent fidelity to the qualities of artfulness, craftsmanship and passion, and his efforts have been rewarded with the devotion of a broad and remarkably loyal fan base.

"Although he was seen as a latter-day Buddy Holly at the outset, he soon proved too talented and original to be anyone but himself." - Trouser Press

Los Straitjackets are the leading practitioners of the lost art of the guitar instrumental. Using the music of The Ventures, The Shadows, Link Wray and Dick Dale as a jumping off point, the band has taken their unique, high energy brand of original rock & roll around the world. Clad in their trademark Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling masks, the "Jackets" have delivered their trademark guitar licks to 16 albums, thousands of concerts and dozens of films and TV shows.

"...novelty is a key ingredient, but it’s elevated by the band's good-natured sincerity and skill." -NPR World Cafe

Thomas Wynn & The Believers with Special Guests Rosi Golan and Jordan McLaughlin

A combination of blistering rock and southern soul, sibling-led Thomas Wynn and The Believers is a 6-piece fiery ensemble dubbed by Soundboard as "Southern Rock Muscle ~ Soulful Rock n' Blues." Gibson-sponsored from Orlando, Florida, TW&TB is known for their powerful LIVE performances playing the original music circuit and making "believers" wherever they go. The band personifies a new era that truly crosses generations with just really, really, really good music. If you like Tom Petty, The Band, The Black Crowes, CCR & Pink Floyd, you'll love The Believers!

For the sixth consecutive year, Thomas Wynn and The Believers repeatedly reigns as Central Florida's #1 Rock Band. Orlando Weekly's Best of Orlando Readers' Choice again crowned TW&TB as their Rock favorite (plus #1 Folk/Country Band and #2 singer-songwriter accolades for the band's namesake TW.)

Wynn's spirit-moving vocals, passionate lyrics, and emotional delivery are uniquely supported by sister Olivia's engaging and captivating voice and presence. Her strong vocal harmonies (the other lead) and wide-eyed response is the perfect companion to her brother's yearning banshee cries. The duo calls their perfect blend "blood harmonies"; the press calls the tandem thunder "their secret weapon." Backed by an explosive tight band, they've crafted a new vein of rock -- gritty, yet pure uplifting Soul Rock, a mixture of the classics, R&B and gospel -- creating a sound that has an identity of its own.

Georgia Music Hall Of Famer Alan Walden says, "One of the newest, brightest, tightest, smoothest, most energetic bands to ever come through." Reax Music Magazine states "For once, you have a Florida band that is truly Florida. They look like Florida, they sound like Florida - with a touch of Molly Hatchett, The Band, Neil Young, and The Black Crowes. Not fad hipster, not transplant Florida, but Florida Florida. These guys are on the leading edge of creating a new southern rock scene." Best New Bands writes, "They embody everything authentic and raw."

Hailing from a musical family, the siblings are heavily influenced by their father, Tom Wynn, the original drummer of the country-rockers Cowboy, one of Macon-based Capricorn Studio's (Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, Wet Willie) legendary bands from the 1970s. His influence, as well as their faith and church upbringing, undoubtedly shaped their songwriting and musical interests. Their deeply-rooted principles certainly laid the foundation for what the Wynns bring to The Believers' sound.

Their musical history begins with The Wynn Brothers Band (2005-2008) -- the first family endeavor co-led with older brother Jordan ( bass guitar) that also included Papa Wynn on drums. The band released Feel the Good (2006), the title track a signature song still performed today. But when marriages and other separate goals emerged, the Brothers' band became defunct . . . but by mid 2009, a new direction and desire to continue birthed the band as it's known today, with Thomas and Olivia at the helm . . .

Their debut album The Reason (2009), produced by Tony Battaglia, is a strong, well-crafted studio sampling of Wynn's ability as a unique songwriter, the lyrics and vocals captured perfectly; the band's choice to self-produce their sophomoric album, Brothers and Sisters (2012), for some, was a truer representation of the emotion and intensity experienced in their live performances. Believers' classics are found on both recordings.

The current lineup has stabilized and matured with even more cohesiveness over the last two years (albeit harmonica player "Bell" has been a staple since the inception). The band welcomed Dave Wagner (bass) and Ryan Miranda (drums) in 2012 and keyboardist Colin Fei as recently as early 2014. The band has already tracked a third album, set to be released around the new year 2015.

A combination of blistering rock and southern soul, sibling-led Thomas Wynn and The Believers is a 6-piece fiery ensemble dubbed by Soundboard as "Southern Rock Muscle ~ Soulful Rock n' Blues." Gibson-sponsored from Orlando, Florida, TW&TB is known for their powerful LIVE performances playing the original music circuit and making "believers" wherever they go. The band personifies a new era that truly crosses generations with just really, really, really good music. If you like Tom Petty, The Band, The Black Crowes, CCR & Pink Floyd, you'll love The Believers!

For the sixth consecutive year, Thomas Wynn and The Believers repeatedly reigns as Central Florida's #1 Rock Band. Orlando Weekly's Best of Orlando Readers' Choice again crowned TW&TB as their Rock favorite (plus #1 Folk/Country Band and #2 singer-songwriter accolades for the band's namesake TW.)

Wynn's spirit-moving vocals, passionate lyrics, and emotional delivery are uniquely supported by sister Olivia's engaging and captivating voice and presence. Her strong vocal harmonies (the other lead) and wide-eyed response is the perfect companion to her brother's yearning banshee cries. The duo calls their perfect blend "blood harmonies"; the press calls the tandem thunder "their secret weapon." Backed by an explosive tight band, they've crafted a new vein of rock -- gritty, yet pure uplifting Soul Rock, a mixture of the classics, R&B and gospel -- creating a sound that has an identity of its own.

Georgia Music Hall Of Famer Alan Walden says, "One of the newest, brightest, tightest, smoothest, most energetic bands to ever come through." Reax Music Magazine states "For once, you have a Florida band that is truly Florida. They look like Florida, they sound like Florida - with a touch of Molly Hatchett, The Band, Neil Young, and The Black Crowes. Not fad hipster, not transplant Florida, but Florida Florida. These guys are on the leading edge of creating a new southern rock scene." Best New Bands writes, "They embody everything authentic and raw."

Hailing from a musical family, the siblings are heavily influenced by their father, Tom Wynn, the original drummer of the country-rockers Cowboy, one of Macon-based Capricorn Studio's (Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, Wet Willie) legendary bands from the 1970s. His influence, as well as their faith and church upbringing, undoubtedly shaped their songwriting and musical interests. Their deeply-rooted principles certainly laid the foundation for what the Wynns bring to The Believers' sound.

Their musical history begins with The Wynn Brothers Band (2005-2008) -- the first family endeavor co-led with older brother Jordan ( bass guitar) that also included Papa Wynn on drums. The band released Feel the Good (2006), the title track a signature song still performed today. But when marriages and other separate goals emerged, the Brothers' band became defunct . . . but by mid 2009, a new direction and desire to continue birthed the band as it's known today, with Thomas and Olivia at the helm . . .

Their debut album The Reason (2009), produced by Tony Battaglia, is a strong, well-crafted studio sampling of Wynn's ability as a unique songwriter, the lyrics and vocals captured perfectly; the band's choice to self-produce their sophomoric album, Brothers and Sisters (2012), for some, was a truer representation of the emotion and intensity experienced in their live performances. Believers' classics are found on both recordings.

The current lineup has stabilized and matured with even more cohesiveness over the last two years (albeit harmonica player "Bell" has been a staple since the inception). The band welcomed Dave Wagner (bass) and Ryan Miranda (drums) in 2012 and keyboardist Colin Fei as recently as early 2014. The band has already tracked a third album, set to be released around the new year 2015.

Teen Daze + Sam OB

Teen Daze
Teen Daze is the moniker of Vancouver, British Columbia producer Jamison, whose home-recorded atmospheric synth pieces first gained acclaim when he posted them to his Tumblr account. Arcade Sound Ltd. released his debut EP, the summery yet bittersweet Four More Years, in mid-2010. Jamison played 2011's South by Southwest festival and toured Canada before his second EP, A Silent Planet (which was inspired by the time Jamison spent reading C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet during a seven-week stay in the Swiss Alps studying philosophy), arrived on the Waaga label in August 2010. Jamison also did remixes for artists such as Seven Saturdays and issued music with his other project, Two Bicycles. In mid-2011, Jamison recorded Teen Daze's first full-length, All of Us, Together, this time inspired in part by Utopian Visions, a book he discovered in a thrift store. The album was released by Lefse Records the following year; later in 2012, Jamison returned with The Inner Mansions, a more personal set of songs that also featured a cover of Brian Eno's "Always Returning." For 2013's Glacier, the producer opted for a more insular, ambient-inspired sound. Jamison drastically updated his creative process for his next album, traveling to San Francisco to record with John Vanderslice, resulting in the more organic-sounding Morning World. Paper Bag Records released the album in 2015. Jamison then started a new label called FLORA, which issued Teen Daze's Themes for Dying Earth (a return to more ambient pastures) in 2017.

Sam OB
Sam O.B. fka Obey City has a unique energy. This soft-spoken New York native is at once a producer, deejay, label boss, tastemaker and champion of the new-New York underground. He effortless handles each role with zen-like serenity-in a lost tradition of American culture, one may have said ‘suave’.

What started as casual experimentation and beat making for rappers and friends has evolved over the last 10 years into an unrelenting solo passion, resulting in a steady stream of soul-drenched bedroom music that avoids trends in favor of the enduring.

Obey is humble when it comes to just about everything, but his penchant for the sounds of soul, funk and smooth jams has instilled a vibe that has grown up alongside a rapid evolving urban musical landscape. The result is glossy, shifting dance music that seeks the weird, the unrestrained, the cleverly odd.

In the past several years he’s released a pair of sister EPs on the UK label LuckyMe (Champagne and Merlot Sounds), been featured on BBC Radio, toured the US, Japan, Australia and Europe and has begun work on an ambitious solo LP debut. He has continued collaborating with exciting new musicians and vocalists outside of his own solo endeavors.

Teen Daze
Teen Daze is the moniker of Vancouver, British Columbia producer Jamison, whose home-recorded atmospheric synth pieces first gained acclaim when he posted them to his Tumblr account. Arcade Sound Ltd. released his debut EP, the summery yet bittersweet Four More Years, in mid-2010. Jamison played 2011's South by Southwest festival and toured Canada before his second EP, A Silent Planet (which was inspired by the time Jamison spent reading C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet during a seven-week stay in the Swiss Alps studying philosophy), arrived on the Waaga label in August 2010. Jamison also did remixes for artists such as Seven Saturdays and issued music with his other project, Two Bicycles. In mid-2011, Jamison recorded Teen Daze's first full-length, All of Us, Together, this time inspired in part by Utopian Visions, a book he discovered in a thrift store. The album was released by Lefse Records the following year; later in 2012, Jamison returned with The Inner Mansions, a more personal set of songs that also featured a cover of Brian Eno's "Always Returning." For 2013's Glacier, the producer opted for a more insular, ambient-inspired sound. Jamison drastically updated his creative process for his next album, traveling to San Francisco to record with John Vanderslice, resulting in the more organic-sounding Morning World. Paper Bag Records released the album in 2015. Jamison then started a new label called FLORA, which issued Teen Daze's Themes for Dying Earth (a return to more ambient pastures) in 2017.

Sam OB
Sam O.B. fka Obey City has a unique energy. This soft-spoken New York native is at once a producer, deejay, label boss, tastemaker and champion of the new-New York underground. He effortless handles each role with zen-like serenity-in a lost tradition of American culture, one may have said ‘suave’.

What started as casual experimentation and beat making for rappers and friends has evolved over the last 10 years into an unrelenting solo passion, resulting in a steady stream of soul-drenched bedroom music that avoids trends in favor of the enduring.

Obey is humble when it comes to just about everything, but his penchant for the sounds of soul, funk and smooth jams has instilled a vibe that has grown up alongside a rapid evolving urban musical landscape. The result is glossy, shifting dance music that seeks the weird, the unrestrained, the cleverly odd.

In the past several years he’s released a pair of sister EPs on the UK label LuckyMe (Champagne and Merlot Sounds), been featured on BBC Radio, toured the US, Japan, Australia and Europe and has begun work on an ambitious solo LP debut. He has continued collaborating with exciting new musicians and vocalists outside of his own solo endeavors.

Vinyl Sunday with Special Guest Lyndsey Smith & Soul Distribution

Four musicians from three states took a pilgrimage to Tennessee. Magic was made, and the rock gods approved. Vinyl Sunday, a blues-rock band from Nashville Tennessee, has an authentic and unique sound inspired by the Allman Brothers band and the Tedeschi Trucks Band, mixed with ZZ Ward and the Alabama Shakes.

For their second EP "A Broken Record," the band drew inspiration from their rock and blues predecessors to track this four song masterpiece. They live tracked their EP, old school style, on Radar 24 at Tommy's Tracks in Nashville.

Vinyl Sunday has exploded since their inception in 2014, and are gaining momentum. Each member has not only found a creative outlet, but a teammate, and a lifelong friend, which is apparent when you watch them perform. With new songs on the horizon, they look forward to writing their first full length album. Catch Vinyl Sunday on tour this summer in a city near you

Four musicians from three states took a pilgrimage to Tennessee. Magic was made, and the rock gods approved. Vinyl Sunday, a blues-rock band from Nashville Tennessee, has an authentic and unique sound inspired by the Allman Brothers band and the Tedeschi Trucks Band, mixed with ZZ Ward and the Alabama Shakes.

For their second EP "A Broken Record," the band drew inspiration from their rock and blues predecessors to track this four song masterpiece. They live tracked their EP, old school style, on Radar 24 at Tommy's Tracks in Nashville.

Vinyl Sunday has exploded since their inception in 2014, and are gaining momentum. Each member has not only found a creative outlet, but a teammate, and a lifelong friend, which is apparent when you watch them perform. With new songs on the horizon, they look forward to writing their first full length album. Catch Vinyl Sunday on tour this summer in a city near you

BJ Barham - The Great 48 Tour with Special Guest Paul Joseph of Wine and Spirit

B.J. Barham was a long way from home when the tragedy happened.

On November 13, 2015, the singer-songwriter-raised in a small North Carolina town called Reidsville-was in the middle of his fourth European tour with American Aquarium, the rising alt-country act he'd led for nearly a decade. They were in Belgium, less than two hours from Paris, when bad news began to arrive: a series of terrorist attacks, including one in a rock club, had left more than 100 dead. Family members, friends, and the fans American Aquarium had amassed from so many years on the road immediately reached out, making sure the band had been far away.

"The onslaught of text messages, voicemails and everything that came in the next day sparked something in me," Barham remembers. "In the next two days, the entire record was written."

The record he's talking about is Rockingham, Barham's remarkable and intensely personal solo debut. Not long after the wave of well wishes had passed, Barham found himself piecing together composites of people he'd known since childhood, of those folks and places who had impacted his life in fundamental ways. He sang into his cell phone and scribbled in notebooks, stealing away for quiet moments in order to put the melodies and characters floating through his mind into song.

The shock of the moment and the distance from home seemed to give Barham a crucial perspective on the moments and circumstances that had helped shape him. Wolves, American Aquarium's much-lauded 2015 breakthrough, had contained Barham's most honest, vulnerable statements to date. But these songs took the next step, allowing Barham to share stories about those around him. In "O'Lover," he portrays a hard-working farmer forced to make some desperate decisions to support the ones he loves. In "Reidsville," named for the place he'd called his home until relocating to North Carolina's capital, he immortalized beautiful, sweet, doomed souls, stuck in love in the sort of small towns that are disintegrating all across America. You needn't have been to Reidsville to recognize these elegantly written, expertly realized protagonists.

"This is the first record I've ever made that's not autobiographical-it's fictional narrative in a very real place," Barham says. "These songs are human condition stories set in my hometown, Reidsville."

Barham made these songs his new priority. Not long after he returned stateside, he asked Bradley Cook, the musician and mentor who had co-produced Wolves, to hear them. By afternoon's end, they had hatched the plan to make Rockingham. Two months later, on January 31, Barham returned from another American Aquarium tour.

On Monday, he and the band he'd built to record Rockingham-himself, Cook, Cook's brother and multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook, drummer Kyle Keegan, American Aquarium standbys Ryan Johnson and Whit Wright-met for the first time. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they rehearsed. And on Thursday and Friday, they cut all eight songs at Durham's Overdub Lane. They mixed the results over the weekend, between the sold-out hometown shows and various festivities of American Aquarium's annual pilgrimage, Roadtrip to Raleigh. Cialis The whirlwind kept the songs simple and the recordings human, reflecting a reality much bigger and less perfect than the vacuum of a recording studio.

These tunes, after all, didn't need much tampering. Rockingham puts its scenes and scenarios front and center, the beautiful grain and twang of Barham's voice bringing it all to life. He limns lifelong romance and instantaneous tragedy during the paradoxically heartbreaking, heart-mending "Unfortunate Kind" and details the disappointments and dreams of the blue-collar laborer with "American Tobacco Company." With its acoustic guitars and pealing organs, ragged vocals and rugged characters, Rockingham is a stunning, personal portrait of small-town America, easily identifiable and familiar.

For the album's sole autobiographical moment, Barham, now happily married and sober, penned a letter of sound advice and Southern attitude to his daughter-to-be, "Madeline." It's too personal to fall under a roots-rock purview, too singular to be swallowed by a larger situation. Like all of Rockingham, it's not the sound of Barham stepping away from American Aquarium but instead stepping confidently into the thoughts, stories, and feelings of his own thirty years.

"This is just an outlet for a songwriter. It's me being able to do something different. This is like people who love their jobs, picking up hobbies," says Barham, "This is an exercise for myself."

B.J. Barham was a long way from home when the tragedy happened.

On November 13, 2015, the singer-songwriter-raised in a small North Carolina town called Reidsville-was in the middle of his fourth European tour with American Aquarium, the rising alt-country act he'd led for nearly a decade. They were in Belgium, less than two hours from Paris, when bad news began to arrive: a series of terrorist attacks, including one in a rock club, had left more than 100 dead. Family members, friends, and the fans American Aquarium had amassed from so many years on the road immediately reached out, making sure the band had been far away.

"The onslaught of text messages, voicemails and everything that came in the next day sparked something in me," Barham remembers. "In the next two days, the entire record was written."

The record he's talking about is Rockingham, Barham's remarkable and intensely personal solo debut. Not long after the wave of well wishes had passed, Barham found himself piecing together composites of people he'd known since childhood, of those folks and places who had impacted his life in fundamental ways. He sang into his cell phone and scribbled in notebooks, stealing away for quiet moments in order to put the melodies and characters floating through his mind into song.

The shock of the moment and the distance from home seemed to give Barham a crucial perspective on the moments and circumstances that had helped shape him. Wolves, American Aquarium's much-lauded 2015 breakthrough, had contained Barham's most honest, vulnerable statements to date. But these songs took the next step, allowing Barham to share stories about those around him. In "O'Lover," he portrays a hard-working farmer forced to make some desperate decisions to support the ones he loves. In "Reidsville," named for the place he'd called his home until relocating to North Carolina's capital, he immortalized beautiful, sweet, doomed souls, stuck in love in the sort of small towns that are disintegrating all across America. You needn't have been to Reidsville to recognize these elegantly written, expertly realized protagonists.

"This is the first record I've ever made that's not autobiographical-it's fictional narrative in a very real place," Barham says. "These songs are human condition stories set in my hometown, Reidsville."

Barham made these songs his new priority. Not long after he returned stateside, he asked Bradley Cook, the musician and mentor who had co-produced Wolves, to hear them. By afternoon's end, they had hatched the plan to make Rockingham. Two months later, on January 31, Barham returned from another American Aquarium tour.

On Monday, he and the band he'd built to record Rockingham-himself, Cook, Cook's brother and multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook, drummer Kyle Keegan, American Aquarium standbys Ryan Johnson and Whit Wright-met for the first time. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they rehearsed. And on Thursday and Friday, they cut all eight songs at Durham's Overdub Lane. They mixed the results over the weekend, between the sold-out hometown shows and various festivities of American Aquarium's annual pilgrimage, Roadtrip to Raleigh. Cialis The whirlwind kept the songs simple and the recordings human, reflecting a reality much bigger and less perfect than the vacuum of a recording studio.

These tunes, after all, didn't need much tampering. Rockingham puts its scenes and scenarios front and center, the beautiful grain and twang of Barham's voice bringing it all to life. He limns lifelong romance and instantaneous tragedy during the paradoxically heartbreaking, heart-mending "Unfortunate Kind" and details the disappointments and dreams of the blue-collar laborer with "American Tobacco Company." With its acoustic guitars and pealing organs, ragged vocals and rugged characters, Rockingham is a stunning, personal portrait of small-town America, easily identifiable and familiar.

For the album's sole autobiographical moment, Barham, now happily married and sober, penned a letter of sound advice and Southern attitude to his daughter-to-be, "Madeline." It's too personal to fall under a roots-rock purview, too singular to be swallowed by a larger situation. Like all of Rockingham, it's not the sound of Barham stepping away from American Aquarium but instead stepping confidently into the thoughts, stories, and feelings of his own thirty years.

"This is just an outlet for a songwriter. It's me being able to do something different. This is like people who love their jobs, picking up hobbies," says Barham, "This is an exercise for myself."

(Late Show) DVE Comedy Festival Presents The Loaded Stage Hosted by Sean Collier and featuring Jeff Konkle, Aaron Kleiber, Felicia Gillespie, Suzanne Lawrence, Ed Bailey, Day Bracey, John Dick Winters & Alex Stypula

DVE Comedy Festival Presents The Loaded Stage Hosted by Sean Collier and featuring Jeff Konkle, Aaron Kleiber, Felicia Gillespie, Suzanne Lawrence, Ed Bailey, Day Bracey, John Dick Winters & Alex Stypula

DVE Comedy Festival Presents The Loaded Stage Hosted by Sean Collier and featuring Jeff Konkle, Aaron Kleiber, Felicia Gillespie, Suzanne Lawrence, Ed Bailey, Day Bracey, John Dick Winters & Alex Stypula

(Early Show) Mutlu with Special guest J. Trafford

Mutlu is a soulful, singer-songwriter. A Philadelphia native and first-generation American of Turkish descent, Mutlu has already built a substantial fan base in his hometown, while winning widespread praise for his prior releases.

He's collaborated and toured extensively as a support act with legendary duo Daryl Hall & John Oates and holds the distinction of having made the most guest appearances on Daryl Hall's acclaimed, award-winning TV/Internet show "Live From Daryl's House". He's also gained considerable attention for his work with noted singer-songwriter Amos Lee, with whom he's toured extensively as a support act and backup vocalist. He was the support act on the North American leg of Joe Jackson's acclaimed "Rain" tour and has shared stages with the likes of Adele, Katy Perry, John Hiatt, Leon Russell, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Todd Rundgren, Shuggie Otis & many more.

Born Mutlu Onaral, he grew up steeped in Philadelphia's deep R&B traditions, eagerly absorbing the fundamentals of old-school soul music and incorporating it into his own musical persona. His local success led to a recording deal with Manhattan/EMI Records, which released his acclaimed 2008 debut album Livin' It, produced by the late, great T-Bone Wolk, and featuring guest appearances by Daryl Hall, Amos Lee, G. Love and Raheem DeVaughn. His latest release is the Hypnotize EP which he co-produced with songwriter/producer Darius Amendolia.

Mutlu is a soulful, singer-songwriter. A Philadelphia native and first-generation American of Turkish descent, Mutlu has already built a substantial fan base in his hometown, while winning widespread praise for his prior releases.

He's collaborated and toured extensively as a support act with legendary duo Daryl Hall & John Oates and holds the distinction of having made the most guest appearances on Daryl Hall's acclaimed, award-winning TV/Internet show "Live From Daryl's House". He's also gained considerable attention for his work with noted singer-songwriter Amos Lee, with whom he's toured extensively as a support act and backup vocalist. He was the support act on the North American leg of Joe Jackson's acclaimed "Rain" tour and has shared stages with the likes of Adele, Katy Perry, John Hiatt, Leon Russell, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Todd Rundgren, Shuggie Otis & many more.

Born Mutlu Onaral, he grew up steeped in Philadelphia's deep R&B traditions, eagerly absorbing the fundamentals of old-school soul music and incorporating it into his own musical persona. His local success led to a recording deal with Manhattan/EMI Records, which released his acclaimed 2008 debut album Livin' It, produced by the late, great T-Bone Wolk, and featuring guest appearances by Daryl Hall, Amos Lee, G. Love and Raheem DeVaughn. His latest release is the Hypnotize EP which he co-produced with songwriter/producer Darius Amendolia.

(Late Show) The Smokin' Betties Summer Sizzler with Guests Macabre Noir, Lita D'Vargas, Kitt Kavanaugh and Hosted by Lilith DeVille

Smokin' Betties Burlesque Presents: The Smokin' Betties Summer Sizzler
Hosted by: Lilith DeVille
with Guests Macabre Noir, Lita D'Vargas, Kitt Kavanaugh

Smokin' Betties Burlesque Presents: The Smokin' Betties Summer Sizzler
Hosted by: Lilith DeVille
with Guests Macabre Noir, Lita D'Vargas, Kitt Kavanaugh

Halo Circus featuring Allison Iraheta with special guests Ruby Rose Fox and Reckless Order

Halo Circus
Halo Circus is a critically-acclaimed trailblazing bilingual alternative rock band, featuring its star singer
Allison Iraheta. Crafting "anthems for introverts," Iraheta digs deep into dark places and transforms
this anguish into lush, unforgettable melodies. Halo Circus' debut earned instant acclaim, with LA
Magazine declaring, "Allison Iraheta has moved beyond reality TV, forming a group that Duran Duran
bassist John Taylor called 'the best live band in the U.S.A.' Think: dark, anthemic rock with a knack for
soaring hooks." Ireheta was named Best Female Musician of 2016 by the LA Music Critics.

Halo Circus quickly earned a reputation for their impressive live performances, which led to a series of
high profile bookings, including: The Grammys "Women Who Rock Festival At Sea" with Heart,
Emmylou Harris, and other iconic female singers; a four week Friday night residency at the prestigious
Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles; and "Say It Loud! A Night of Cultural Disruption" at the legendary
Troubadour. The band fully crowdsourced their entire 30-city "Follow the Rabbit US Summer Tour",
their song "Band-Aid" was named "Song of the Year" by Popdust and their debut album "Bunny" was
named a "Top Album of 2016" by AXS, Popdust and many more music publications.

Ruby Rose Fox

Ruby Rose Fox, a vocal powerhouse of soul-¬driven, edgy rock 'n' roll, whose voice threatens to knock down the walls of any room in which she performs (alone or with her 8-piece band). Ruby Rose Fox was both the Improper Bostonian magazine's pick for Best Musician of 2015 in the "Boston's Best" issue, and featured on the cover of its 2015 " Music" issue. Ruby also took home the " Best Pop Artist," " Best Female Vocalist," and "Best Songwriter" at the 2015/16 Boston Music Awards, and was named " Female Performer of the Year," by the 2016 New England Music Awards.

The Boston Herald describes Ruby Rose Fox's music as " arty, edgy rock 'n' roll that lets her be Lou Reed and Nico at the same time… [and seems] to come from another scene, another world." Her debut album, "Domestic" was be released in 2016 charted to #8 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. Ruby received a 2017 Boston Foundation grant to make her sophomore album and will be spending much of the year touring the US.

Halo Circus
Halo Circus is a critically-acclaimed trailblazing bilingual alternative rock band, featuring its star singer
Allison Iraheta. Crafting "anthems for introverts," Iraheta digs deep into dark places and transforms
this anguish into lush, unforgettable melodies. Halo Circus' debut earned instant acclaim, with LA
Magazine declaring, "Allison Iraheta has moved beyond reality TV, forming a group that Duran Duran
bassist John Taylor called 'the best live band in the U.S.A.' Think: dark, anthemic rock with a knack for
soaring hooks." Ireheta was named Best Female Musician of 2016 by the LA Music Critics.

Halo Circus quickly earned a reputation for their impressive live performances, which led to a series of
high profile bookings, including: The Grammys "Women Who Rock Festival At Sea" with Heart,
Emmylou Harris, and other iconic female singers; a four week Friday night residency at the prestigious
Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles; and "Say It Loud! A Night of Cultural Disruption" at the legendary
Troubadour. The band fully crowdsourced their entire 30-city "Follow the Rabbit US Summer Tour",
their song "Band-Aid" was named "Song of the Year" by Popdust and their debut album "Bunny" was
named a "Top Album of 2016" by AXS, Popdust and many more music publications.

Ruby Rose Fox

Ruby Rose Fox, a vocal powerhouse of soul-¬driven, edgy rock 'n' roll, whose voice threatens to knock down the walls of any room in which she performs (alone or with her 8-piece band). Ruby Rose Fox was both the Improper Bostonian magazine's pick for Best Musician of 2015 in the "Boston's Best" issue, and featured on the cover of its 2015 " Music" issue. Ruby also took home the " Best Pop Artist," " Best Female Vocalist," and "Best Songwriter" at the 2015/16 Boston Music Awards, and was named " Female Performer of the Year," by the 2016 New England Music Awards.

The Boston Herald describes Ruby Rose Fox's music as " arty, edgy rock 'n' roll that lets her be Lou Reed and Nico at the same time… [and seems] to come from another scene, another world." Her debut album, "Domestic" was be released in 2016 charted to #8 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. Ruby received a 2017 Boston Foundation grant to make her sophomore album and will be spending much of the year touring the US.

Xenia Rubinos

Vocalist and composer Xenia Rubinos crafts movingly powerful songs dipping in and out of genre and structure to create a sound that is fearlessly her own. Xenia's powerhouse vocals are at the center of her music which grows from a wide range of influences from R&B to Hip-Hop to Caribbean rhythms and jazz all delivered with a soulful punk aura. Her debut album 'Magic Trix' was released in 2013 by Ba Da Bing! Records to wide critical acclaim. Pitchfork lauded the radiant singer as "a unique new pop personality" while a profile in The New Yorker described her work as "rhythmically fierce, vocally generous music that slips through the net of any known genre." Xenia's energetic live show and presence echoes some of the larger than life iconic singers she admired as a child including Judy Garland, Nina Simone and La Lupe while her powerhouse vocals recall the pop sensibility of Mariah Carey and soulfulness of Erykah Badu. Touring the US and Europe extensively, she has played more than 150 shows both as a headliner and supporting act for such diverse bands as Man Man, Battles, Coco Rosie, and Deerhoof. Xenia has been hard at work on her follow-up full-length LP, due out Spring 2016

Vocalist and composer Xenia Rubinos crafts movingly powerful songs dipping in and out of genre and structure to create a sound that is fearlessly her own. Xenia's powerhouse vocals are at the center of her music which grows from a wide range of influences from R&B to Hip-Hop to Caribbean rhythms and jazz all delivered with a soulful punk aura. Her debut album 'Magic Trix' was released in 2013 by Ba Da Bing! Records to wide critical acclaim. Pitchfork lauded the radiant singer as "a unique new pop personality" while a profile in The New Yorker described her work as "rhythmically fierce, vocally generous music that slips through the net of any known genre." Xenia's energetic live show and presence echoes some of the larger than life iconic singers she admired as a child including Judy Garland, Nina Simone and La Lupe while her powerhouse vocals recall the pop sensibility of Mariah Carey and soulfulness of Erykah Badu. Touring the US and Europe extensively, she has played more than 150 shows both as a headliner and supporting act for such diverse bands as Man Man, Battles, Coco Rosie, and Deerhoof. Xenia has been hard at work on her follow-up full-length LP, due out Spring 2016

Club Cafe's Monthly Open Stage with Host Ethan of Brahctopus

A free monthly open mic night for all performers. Signup for Performers begins at 7pm. Starving Artist Special from 7pm-8pm featuring half off food, $2 Yuengling Drafts, Free Coffee & Tea. Ages: +21

Club Cafe's open stage is one of Pittsburgh's longest running and most revered open mic events for performers of all genres. Fashioned after some of the high profile and wildly successful open stages in Nashville, New York and LA, Club Cafe's open stage provides artists with the chance to perform on a world renowned stage while fostering a friendly and supportive environment enabling performers to network with their peers, attract new audiences and extend their reach.

This month's host is Ethan from Brahctopus.

A free monthly open mic night for all performers. Signup for Performers begins at 7pm. Starving Artist Special from 7pm-8pm featuring half off food, $2 Yuengling Drafts, Free Coffee & Tea. Ages: +21

Club Cafe's open stage is one of Pittsburgh's longest running and most revered open mic events for performers of all genres. Fashioned after some of the high profile and wildly successful open stages in Nashville, New York and LA, Club Cafe's open stage provides artists with the chance to perform on a world renowned stage while fostering a friendly and supportive environment enabling performers to network with their peers, attract new audiences and extend their reach.

This month's host is Ethan from Brahctopus.

Anne McCue with Special Guest Michael Lindner from 28 North

Bluesy songstress and multi-instrumentalist Anne McCue has released her 6th studio album - Blue Sky Thinkin' . McCue recorded and produced the album alongside Dusty Wakeman (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam) in Los Angeles and Nashville. The album has been mastered by Ray Kennedy in Nashville. The album reunites the band from her critically acclaimed 'Roll' album and allows Anne to explore some of her favourite influences, including Billy Holiday, Charlie Christian, Howlin' Wolf, Memphis Minnie, Astor Piazzola, Peggy Lee, Irving Berlin, Django Reinhardt, Hoagy Carmichael, Bessie Smith...

Bluesy songstress and multi-instrumentalist Anne McCue has released her 6th studio album - Blue Sky Thinkin' . McCue recorded and produced the album alongside Dusty Wakeman (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam) in Los Angeles and Nashville. The album has been mastered by Ray Kennedy in Nashville. The album reunites the band from her critically acclaimed 'Roll' album and allows Anne to explore some of her favourite influences, including Billy Holiday, Charlie Christian, Howlin' Wolf, Memphis Minnie, Astor Piazzola, Peggy Lee, Irving Berlin, Django Reinhardt, Hoagy Carmichael, Bessie Smith...

(Early Show) Cosmic Wind / Dan Getkin and the Twelve Six

Cosmic Wind is Pittsburgh's newest psychedelic rock band, specializing in the harmony-laden vibes of the late 60's and the spacey sounds of 70's. After the breakup of Ball of Flame Shoot Fire, lead singer and guitarist Tim Good moved back from Brooklyn to Pittsburgh to start his dream band, mixing early Pink Floyd, Brother Records-era Beach Boys, Gram Parsons-style country-rock, and anything else they can reimagine through their hazy, groovy sound. Although they're heavily retro-oriented, Cosmic Wind finds new ground in the cross-pollination of multiple classic sounds and styles.

Dan Getkin and the Twelve Six - Dan Getkin fronts a rocking alternative-country group from Pittsburgh, joined by Bill Brandt (guitar), Alex Herd (bass), Eddan Sparks (drums), and Jake Troxell (keys). These are energetic songs, songs with passion, songs that will lift the roof off of the house. With a strong sense of melody, Getkin builds each tune from a stripped-down skeleton into a frenetic rocker. Fans of Ryan Adams, Wilco, and Jackson Browne will appreciate the balance of strong songwriting and enthusiastic live performance.

Cosmic Wind is Pittsburgh's newest psychedelic rock band, specializing in the harmony-laden vibes of the late 60's and the spacey sounds of 70's. After the breakup of Ball of Flame Shoot Fire, lead singer and guitarist Tim Good moved back from Brooklyn to Pittsburgh to start his dream band, mixing early Pink Floyd, Brother Records-era Beach Boys, Gram Parsons-style country-rock, and anything else they can reimagine through their hazy, groovy sound. Although they're heavily retro-oriented, Cosmic Wind finds new ground in the cross-pollination of multiple classic sounds and styles.

Dan Getkin and the Twelve Six - Dan Getkin fronts a rocking alternative-country group from Pittsburgh, joined by Bill Brandt (guitar), Alex Herd (bass), Eddan Sparks (drums), and Jake Troxell (keys). These are energetic songs, songs with passion, songs that will lift the roof off of the house. With a strong sense of melody, Getkin builds each tune from a stripped-down skeleton into a frenetic rocker. Fans of Ryan Adams, Wilco, and Jackson Browne will appreciate the balance of strong songwriting and enthusiastic live performance.

(Late Show) Pet Clinic / Olympic Village / Hearken

Local indie rock from Olympic Village, Pet Clinic and Hearken.

Local indie rock from Olympic Village, Pet Clinic and Hearken.

(Early Show) Evan Isaac / Anthony Heubel / BananaFish

Evan Isaac
Evan brings his songwriting alive on stage with his knack for performing with flare and vulnerability. His songs can go from being raucous to sweet fluidly and with ease.
Evan Isaac has been performing since he was a young teenager in the Pittsburgh area. He also performed in Los Angeles for four years with his band, GoodKids in which he played keyboards and sang. He is twenty-three years old.
He likes his concerts to be intimate exchanges of energy, so come on out let's share a night!

Anthony Heubel
Vocalist from Run Forever playing his new solo project

BananaFish
Featuring Gregg Harding, Singer-Songwriter from Ohio completing first full length CD, "Slumber Party."

Evan Isaac
Evan brings his songwriting alive on stage with his knack for performing with flare and vulnerability. His songs can go from being raucous to sweet fluidly and with ease.
Evan Isaac has been performing since he was a young teenager in the Pittsburgh area. He also performed in Los Angeles for four years with his band, GoodKids in which he played keyboards and sang. He is twenty-three years old.
He likes his concerts to be intimate exchanges of energy, so come on out let's share a night!

Anthony Heubel
Vocalist from Run Forever playing his new solo project

BananaFish
Featuring Gregg Harding, Singer-Songwriter from Ohio completing first full length CD, "Slumber Party."

(Late Show) Lazer Lloyd with Manic Soul

Lazer Lloyd is an electrifying live performer mixing psychedelic roots rock with emotional ballads and down home swamp and country blues. Critics around the world praise Lloyd's musicianship, singing, songwriting and storytelling. Fans are rapidly gathering around the Lazer Lloyd phenomenon stemming from his extensive touring, inspirational shows and intimate live performances posted on social media. His upcoming Spring and Summer 2017 tours are in support of his highly anticipated upcoming release "AMERICA". This year Lloyd was invited to perform at SXSW in response to his viral cigar-box guitar live video of "Burning Thunder" (a chart topper from his 2015 self-titled album) which has over 11,000 comments and over 2 million views (links below). Lazer gave an emotional performance to a sold out crowd in the Old Town School of Folk Music this past March and we are thrilled to bring that show to Club Cafe this July. Lazer Lloyd is touching hearts across the USA - He has several shows benefiting veterans lined up this summer. Major influences include Willy Nelson, BB King, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Jeff Walker, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Cash, Johnny Winter,Wes Montgomery, Ry Cooder, Santana, and Middle Eastern oud

Lazer Lloyd is an electrifying live performer mixing psychedelic roots rock with emotional ballads and down home swamp and country blues. Critics around the world praise Lloyd's musicianship, singing, songwriting and storytelling. Fans are rapidly gathering around the Lazer Lloyd phenomenon stemming from his extensive touring, inspirational shows and intimate live performances posted on social media. His upcoming Spring and Summer 2017 tours are in support of his highly anticipated upcoming release "AMERICA". This year Lloyd was invited to perform at SXSW in response to his viral cigar-box guitar live video of "Burning Thunder" (a chart topper from his 2015 self-titled album) which has over 11,000 comments and over 2 million views (links below). Lazer gave an emotional performance to a sold out crowd in the Old Town School of Folk Music this past March and we are thrilled to bring that show to Club Cafe this July. Lazer Lloyd is touching hearts across the USA - He has several shows benefiting veterans lined up this summer. Major influences include Willy Nelson, BB King, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Jeff Walker, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Cash, Johnny Winter,Wes Montgomery, Ry Cooder, Santana, and Middle Eastern oud

Parsonsfield with Special Guest Juvenile Characteristics

PARSONSFIELD – BLOOMING THROUGH THE BLACK

May 6, 2015: Day One in the abandoned axe factory hadn't gone as planned, so today is the first time the five members of Parsonsfield will actually get to make music here. They'd been looking forward to converting this cavernous industrial space on the banks of the Farmington River in Collinsville, CT, ever since singer/banjo player Chris Freeman, who grew up nearby, brought it to their attention. The idea of recording in such a reverberant, reactive space held great appeal after the past six months spent in Canada exclusively performing their critically acclaimed original songs for 'The Heart Of Robin Hood,' a musical that required them to wear in-ear monitors for eight shows a week in theaters designed to be sonically dead.


They've got their amps and PA plugged in now, and there's a faint layer of sawdust on top of all the gear. It's nothing compared to yesterday, when they opened the doors for the first time and discovered sawdust an inch thick coating every imaginable surface. It was so bad they had to purchase respirators and devote the entire day to sweeping and vacuuming, trying to outwit the neighbor's overzealous guard dog every time they came and went from the building. The whole process left so much dust still floating in the air that every time they take a break, another layer settles back down to earth, but at least they can comfortably breathe now.

Above them, a cyclist crosses the rickety bridge over the river, making a distinctive clatter as the wheels hit a particularly loose plank. It's time to begin 'Blooming Through The Black.'

* * *

Though they call western Massachusetts home, Parsonsfield draws their name from the rural Maine town that's home to the Great North Sound Society, the farmhouse-turned-recording-studio of Josh Ritter keyboardist/producer Sam Kassirer. It was there that they cut their outstanding debut, 'Poor Old Shine,' which established them as a roots force to be reckoned with. The New York Times hailed the band as "boisterously youthful yet deftly sentimental," while Folk Alley dubbed their songs "the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas." Their rowdy live performances only upped the ante, with The Bluegrass Situation falling for their "fun and frenzy" and No Depression raving that they'll "give you rich five-part harmonies one minute, sound like bluegrass on steroids the next, and then rock you over the head with unbearably cool and raucous Celtic rhythms."

It was only natural, then, that they called on Kassirer once again for their follow-up, 'Blooming Through The Black,' enlisting his engineering and production ingenuity to help convert the axe factory into a temporary recording studio. In addition to placing microphones on each instrument, Kassirer set up additional mics throughout the factory just to capture the feel of the enormous space, which itself became another instrument in the band's already-impressive repertoire.

Parsonsfield spent nearly six months writing and rehearsing in the factory, discovering that song ideas that had begun life in Canada radically transformed in their new home. The space demanded understatement and subtlety to balance out the band's exuberance and energy, and by the time they were ready to hit record, they were sitting on a collection chock full of the most infectious, emotionally mature songs of their career.

'Blooming Through The Black' opens with 'Stronger,' a slow-burner that, much like Parsonsfield's career, begins as an acoustic folk number and builds to an electrified tumult. It's a showcase for their instrumental prowess, lyrical chops, and unbridled passion, and it's just the start. The title track—inspired by the sight of the first flowers growing back in the forest fire-charred landscape of Hell Canyon, South Dakota—finds Freeman blending punk energy with earnest sincerity in his delivery, while "Across Your Mind" rides a feel-good groove driven by bassist Harrison Goodale and drummer Erik Hischman, and "Water Through A Mill" ebbs and flows like a solemn hymn on top of Max Shakun's meditative pump organ.

As the band explored the quirks and eccentricities of the factory, unexpected sounds and moments sometimes became permanent fixtures of the songs, but a particularly happy accident occurred outside the studio entirely, when Shakun called mandolin player Antonio Alcorn for help setting up his new record player. Upon dropping the needle somewhere in the middle of a copy of 'Poor Old Shine,' they discovered it was spinning backwards, but the melody coming out of the speakers was perhaps even more of an infectious earworm than it was when played forward. They brought the new riff to the rest of the band, where it morphed into "The Ties That Bind Us," a stand-out foot-stomper and a highlight of their live show.

Catch Parsonsfield onstage any night and the band's joy is palpable. They trade instruments, share microphones, and shoot each other big grins. They sing in tight multi-part harmonies, their voices blending like they've been doing this together all their lives. That's because Parsonsfield is a family band, not by birth but by choice. And with an album this thrilling, it's only a matter of time before you share their same enthusiasm.

Listen closely at the top of "Don't Get Excited" and you'll hear the clatter of a cyclist crossing the rickety bridge over the river. That's the sound of Parsonsfield inviting you into the axe factory. It's time to begin 'Blooming Through The Black.' Good luck not getting excited.

PARSONSFIELD – BLOOMING THROUGH THE BLACK

May 6, 2015: Day One in the abandoned axe factory hadn't gone as planned, so today is the first time the five members of Parsonsfield will actually get to make music here. They'd been looking forward to converting this cavernous industrial space on the banks of the Farmington River in Collinsville, CT, ever since singer/banjo player Chris Freeman, who grew up nearby, brought it to their attention. The idea of recording in such a reverberant, reactive space held great appeal after the past six months spent in Canada exclusively performing their critically acclaimed original songs for 'The Heart Of Robin Hood,' a musical that required them to wear in-ear monitors for eight shows a week in theaters designed to be sonically dead.


They've got their amps and PA plugged in now, and there's a faint layer of sawdust on top of all the gear. It's nothing compared to yesterday, when they opened the doors for the first time and discovered sawdust an inch thick coating every imaginable surface. It was so bad they had to purchase respirators and devote the entire day to sweeping and vacuuming, trying to outwit the neighbor's overzealous guard dog every time they came and went from the building. The whole process left so much dust still floating in the air that every time they take a break, another layer settles back down to earth, but at least they can comfortably breathe now.

Above them, a cyclist crosses the rickety bridge over the river, making a distinctive clatter as the wheels hit a particularly loose plank. It's time to begin 'Blooming Through The Black.'

* * *

Though they call western Massachusetts home, Parsonsfield draws their name from the rural Maine town that's home to the Great North Sound Society, the farmhouse-turned-recording-studio of Josh Ritter keyboardist/producer Sam Kassirer. It was there that they cut their outstanding debut, 'Poor Old Shine,' which established them as a roots force to be reckoned with. The New York Times hailed the band as "boisterously youthful yet deftly sentimental," while Folk Alley dubbed their songs "the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas." Their rowdy live performances only upped the ante, with The Bluegrass Situation falling for their "fun and frenzy" and No Depression raving that they'll "give you rich five-part harmonies one minute, sound like bluegrass on steroids the next, and then rock you over the head with unbearably cool and raucous Celtic rhythms."

It was only natural, then, that they called on Kassirer once again for their follow-up, 'Blooming Through The Black,' enlisting his engineering and production ingenuity to help convert the axe factory into a temporary recording studio. In addition to placing microphones on each instrument, Kassirer set up additional mics throughout the factory just to capture the feel of the enormous space, which itself became another instrument in the band's already-impressive repertoire.

Parsonsfield spent nearly six months writing and rehearsing in the factory, discovering that song ideas that had begun life in Canada radically transformed in their new home. The space demanded understatement and subtlety to balance out the band's exuberance and energy, and by the time they were ready to hit record, they were sitting on a collection chock full of the most infectious, emotionally mature songs of their career.

'Blooming Through The Black' opens with 'Stronger,' a slow-burner that, much like Parsonsfield's career, begins as an acoustic folk number and builds to an electrified tumult. It's a showcase for their instrumental prowess, lyrical chops, and unbridled passion, and it's just the start. The title track—inspired by the sight of the first flowers growing back in the forest fire-charred landscape of Hell Canyon, South Dakota—finds Freeman blending punk energy with earnest sincerity in his delivery, while "Across Your Mind" rides a feel-good groove driven by bassist Harrison Goodale and drummer Erik Hischman, and "Water Through A Mill" ebbs and flows like a solemn hymn on top of Max Shakun's meditative pump organ.

As the band explored the quirks and eccentricities of the factory, unexpected sounds and moments sometimes became permanent fixtures of the songs, but a particularly happy accident occurred outside the studio entirely, when Shakun called mandolin player Antonio Alcorn for help setting up his new record player. Upon dropping the needle somewhere in the middle of a copy of 'Poor Old Shine,' they discovered it was spinning backwards, but the melody coming out of the speakers was perhaps even more of an infectious earworm than it was when played forward. They brought the new riff to the rest of the band, where it morphed into "The Ties That Bind Us," a stand-out foot-stomper and a highlight of their live show.

Catch Parsonsfield onstage any night and the band's joy is palpable. They trade instruments, share microphones, and shoot each other big grins. They sing in tight multi-part harmonies, their voices blending like they've been doing this together all their lives. That's because Parsonsfield is a family band, not by birth but by choice. And with an album this thrilling, it's only a matter of time before you share their same enthusiasm.

Listen closely at the top of "Don't Get Excited" and you'll hear the clatter of a cyclist crossing the rickety bridge over the river. That's the sound of Parsonsfield inviting you into the axe factory. It's time to begin 'Blooming Through The Black.' Good luck not getting excited.

Missy Raines & The New Hip

Missy Raines & the New Hip - Based out of Nashville, TN, Missy Raines is considered to be one of the most respected, popular, and trailblazing figures in bluegrass today. A seven-time winner of the IBMA Bass player of the year award, she has backed greats such as Claire Lynch, Mac Weisman, Kenny Baker, and Peter Rowan. Raines now leads her own innovative and genre-bending band, The New Hip, which is a rich, jazz-tinged combination of her bluegrass roots and thick Americana. With a smoky and seductive alto, Missy Raines, heads up this quartet featuring mandolin, guitars, bass, and percussion. The territory The New Hip covers is broad and the compass is set by Raines, planted center stage, directing with her bass every bit as much as she's playing it. Missy Raines and the New Hip are currently working on their 3rd album for Compass Records, slated to be released in 2017, produced by Allison Brown -- featuring Jack Stargel, John Mailander, and Cody Martin, the sounds are lush, the groove is thick, and the songs memorable.

Missy Raines & the New Hip - Based out of Nashville, TN, Missy Raines is considered to be one of the most respected, popular, and trailblazing figures in bluegrass today. A seven-time winner of the IBMA Bass player of the year award, she has backed greats such as Claire Lynch, Mac Weisman, Kenny Baker, and Peter Rowan. Raines now leads her own innovative and genre-bending band, The New Hip, which is a rich, jazz-tinged combination of her bluegrass roots and thick Americana. With a smoky and seductive alto, Missy Raines, heads up this quartet featuring mandolin, guitars, bass, and percussion. The territory The New Hip covers is broad and the compass is set by Raines, planted center stage, directing with her bass every bit as much as she's playing it. Missy Raines and the New Hip are currently working on their 3rd album for Compass Records, slated to be released in 2017, produced by Allison Brown -- featuring Jack Stargel, John Mailander, and Cody Martin, the sounds are lush, the groove is thick, and the songs memorable.

(Early Show) Thieves and Lovers with A Little Less Human

Thieves and Lovers are a rock band from Pittsburgh, PA by way of sunny, sultry, southern California blending melody and driving guitars.

Thieves and Lovers are a rock band from Pittsburgh, PA by way of sunny, sultry, southern California blending melody and driving guitars.

(Late Show) Scott and Rosanna / Fate McAfee / Jim Yoss of the Ben Davenport Band

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local and regional musicians featuring Scott & Rosanna, Fate McAfee and Jim Yoss of the Ben Davenport Band. Tickets only $7.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local and regional musicians featuring Scott & Rosanna, Fate McAfee and Jim Yoss of the Ben Davenport Band. Tickets only $7.

(Early Show) The Mike Moscato Project

The Mike Moscato Project is all about powerful and passionate music, whether it be original, cover, or tributes to my favorite artists.

Featuring:

Mike Moscato - Lead guitar, vocals
Erin Grace - Lead and backup vocals
Stacey Skirpan - Keyboards, lead and backup vocals
Ron Stone - drums/percussion
Bob Neglio - Bass guitar

The Mike Moscato Project is all about powerful and passionate music, whether it be original, cover, or tributes to my favorite artists.

Featuring:

Mike Moscato - Lead guitar, vocals
Erin Grace - Lead and backup vocals
Stacey Skirpan - Keyboards, lead and backup vocals
Ron Stone - drums/percussion
Bob Neglio - Bass guitar

(Late Show) Quincy Mumford & The Reason Why with Special Guest Brahctopus

AFTER 8 YEARS, 800+ SHOWS, AND FIVE AWARD-WINNING ALBUMS, ASBURY PARK, NJ-BASED 25 YEAR-OLD SINGER/ SONGWRITER, QUINCY MUMFORD, IS SET TO RELEASE HIS WIDELY ANTICIPATED SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM STATE OF MIND, JANUARY OF 2017.

IN THE MAKING OF STATE OF MIND, Quincy took a bold new approach to creating soul music by working with world renowned performer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Michael Ghegan, who has worked with such established and iconic artists such as Justin Timberlake, Elton John and Andrea Bocelli.

Quincy states, “I set out to create a record that would in uence people to love and be loved, to smile, and to spread just a little bit of kindness each day. It takes many to move mountains, and in a world full of possibilities, we must work together as a human race to plant seeds of positivity.” Quincy and Michael released their rst single and songwriting collaboration in January 2016 titled, Helping Hand. This song landed the winning title at The Philadelphia Songwriting Contest.

Quincy released his fth album Its Only Change in July of 2013. Its Only Change was recorded in Nashville, TN with producer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) and features performances from Jerry Roe (K.D. Lang), David Labruyere (John Mayer) and Aubrey Freed (Black Crowes, Sheryl Crow).

Quincy Mumford and his live band The Reason Why are excited to continue their tireless performance schedule. Mumford’s previous tours have found him sharing the stage with acts such as Slightly Stoopid, Rusted Root, moe., Donovan Frankenreiter, Tedeschi Trucks Band and performing at major music festivals like Fire y,
The Gathering of the Vibes, and Muskiest.

Optimistic, charismatic, and undeniably genuine, Quincy’s music possesses the same “feel good” attitude that the young man himself does. This forthcoming album produced by Michael Ghegan, establishes Quincy Mumford as an “Artist to Watch” in 2017.

AFTER 8 YEARS, 800+ SHOWS, AND FIVE AWARD-WINNING ALBUMS, ASBURY PARK, NJ-BASED 25 YEAR-OLD SINGER/ SONGWRITER, QUINCY MUMFORD, IS SET TO RELEASE HIS WIDELY ANTICIPATED SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM STATE OF MIND, JANUARY OF 2017.

IN THE MAKING OF STATE OF MIND, Quincy took a bold new approach to creating soul music by working with world renowned performer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Michael Ghegan, who has worked with such established and iconic artists such as Justin Timberlake, Elton John and Andrea Bocelli.

Quincy states, “I set out to create a record that would in uence people to love and be loved, to smile, and to spread just a little bit of kindness each day. It takes many to move mountains, and in a world full of possibilities, we must work together as a human race to plant seeds of positivity.” Quincy and Michael released their rst single and songwriting collaboration in January 2016 titled, Helping Hand. This song landed the winning title at The Philadelphia Songwriting Contest.

Quincy released his fth album Its Only Change in July of 2013. Its Only Change was recorded in Nashville, TN with producer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) and features performances from Jerry Roe (K.D. Lang), David Labruyere (John Mayer) and Aubrey Freed (Black Crowes, Sheryl Crow).

Quincy Mumford and his live band The Reason Why are excited to continue their tireless performance schedule. Mumford’s previous tours have found him sharing the stage with acts such as Slightly Stoopid, Rusted Root, moe., Donovan Frankenreiter, Tedeschi Trucks Band and performing at major music festivals like Fire y,
The Gathering of the Vibes, and Muskiest.

Optimistic, charismatic, and undeniably genuine, Quincy’s music possesses the same “feel good” attitude that the young man himself does. This forthcoming album produced by Michael Ghegan, establishes Quincy Mumford as an “Artist to Watch” in 2017.

Hamish Anderson

Hamish Anderson: A student of the three Kings (Albert, BB and Freddie), Peter Green and Keith Richards with influences of Jeff Buckley and Tom Petty.

“I started playing guitar when I was 12,” notes Melbourne-raised, LA-based Hamish Anderson. With “Trouble,” the raw, chunky opening cut and title track of his debut full-length studio CD, a couple of things become clear toute de suite: 1) The affable young Australian is intimate with a six-string, and 2) His music belies his youth. This child of the ’90s, raised on his dad’s classic rock vinyl, has roots that go deeper than you’d guess. Much deeper.

“I don’t think I’d ever thought about guitar before listening to the Beatles’ White Album,” he’ll tell you. “Listening to ‘Back in the U.S.S.R.,’ something just clicked; it’s all I’ve thought about since.”

But his roots go deeper still. A student of the three Kings (Albert, B.B., and Freddie), Anderson also admits to following Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jeff Buckley and Tom Petty. He effortlessly namechecks blues legends Robert Johnson, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, and Son House, revealing a love for a genre that predates him by decades. “I think with the blues and rock music it was the honesty of the music and—especially the blues—the relatability of it; everyone experiences the blues.”

Anderson left his homeland in the spring of 2014 to give it a go in America because “the blues and rock is what I connect with, and it’s all from here.” Seeking opportunity, he aimed for the moon and hit the stars; within months this then-23-year-old wunderkind had become the very last artist to open for his hero, B.B. King, and he’d been heralded by guitar slinger Gary Clark Jr. in Revolt.tv as someone to watch under the age of 30.

Since then he’s issued a pair of EPs and a live album, and racked up an impressive array of accomplishments, including a prestigious 2015 Independent Music Award for Best Song—Blues (for “Burn,” from his sophomore EP); profiles in The Huffington Post and in the U.K.’s The Blues Magazine’s 2015 “Future of Blues Music” issue; and opening slots for Robert Cray, Los Lobos, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Wynona Judd, Blues Traveler, and a 12-city run with The Rides (Stephen Stills, Shepherd, and Barry Goldberg).

And now comes Trouble, produced by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ryan Bingham, Wilco, Grace Potter) and recorded predominantly live. “Jim had worked on a lot of albums from the ’90s and 2000s that I really, really love,” Anderson says. “Wildflowers by Tom Petty is, for me, the example of a perfect album. Jim’s the real deal.

“We wanted to do the majority of it live, with very few overdubs—get a really great band together and have it be about the songs, not about spending so much time on how the bass drum sounds. It was capturing, warts and all, the live thing. Rock music and blues music shouldn’t be perfect, and I’m really proud that there’s no Auto-Tune on it, that nothing was done to a click track.”

Decamping to Scott’s LA-area warehouse studio, Anderson was backed by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos on baritone sax; drummers Frederik Bokkenheuser (Ryan Adams), Aaron Sterling (John Mayer), and Johnny Radelat (Gary Clark Jr.); bassists Chris Bruce (Doyle Bramhall II, Meshell Ndegeocello) and Rob Calder (Angus & Julia Stone); and Chris Joyner (Ryan Bingham, Heart) and Jason Borger aka Jerry Borgé (Jonathan Wilson) on keys. The album was mastered by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering in Los Angeles.

A deep collection of standout rock and blues tracks, including “Hold On Me,” “Fire,” “U,” “Working Blues,” “My Sweetheart, You,” and the first single, “Trouble” (which was immediately championed by Spotify and spun on radio stations coast to coast),

Trouble released on October 21st to stellar reviews from Elmore Magazine, Relix Magazine, Rock Cellar Magazine, Premier Guitar and various other music blogs.

Additionally, Yahoo! Music named Hamish in their Top 10 Best New Artists in 2016, KCSN in LA included it as one of the Top 10 Best New Albums in 2016 and Songpickr, a premiere Spotify playlist curator, included Trouble as one of the Top 50 Albums of 2016.

In 2017, Hamish will be performing nine shows during SXSW in Austin, TX and then head back to Australia to open for Vintage Trouble and Mud Morganfield as part of their BluesFest Tour side shows. He will then return to the US to appear at Firefly Music Festival and Mountain Jam in Hunter, NY.

-Jim Nelson, KCSN (LA) Radio Host & Rock Cellar Magazine contributor

Hamish Anderson: A student of the three Kings (Albert, BB and Freddie), Peter Green and Keith Richards with influences of Jeff Buckley and Tom Petty.

“I started playing guitar when I was 12,” notes Melbourne-raised, LA-based Hamish Anderson. With “Trouble,” the raw, chunky opening cut and title track of his debut full-length studio CD, a couple of things become clear toute de suite: 1) The affable young Australian is intimate with a six-string, and 2) His music belies his youth. This child of the ’90s, raised on his dad’s classic rock vinyl, has roots that go deeper than you’d guess. Much deeper.

“I don’t think I’d ever thought about guitar before listening to the Beatles’ White Album,” he’ll tell you. “Listening to ‘Back in the U.S.S.R.,’ something just clicked; it’s all I’ve thought about since.”

But his roots go deeper still. A student of the three Kings (Albert, B.B., and Freddie), Anderson also admits to following Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jeff Buckley and Tom Petty. He effortlessly namechecks blues legends Robert Johnson, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, and Son House, revealing a love for a genre that predates him by decades. “I think with the blues and rock music it was the honesty of the music and—especially the blues—the relatability of it; everyone experiences the blues.”

Anderson left his homeland in the spring of 2014 to give it a go in America because “the blues and rock is what I connect with, and it’s all from here.” Seeking opportunity, he aimed for the moon and hit the stars; within months this then-23-year-old wunderkind had become the very last artist to open for his hero, B.B. King, and he’d been heralded by guitar slinger Gary Clark Jr. in Revolt.tv as someone to watch under the age of 30.

Since then he’s issued a pair of EPs and a live album, and racked up an impressive array of accomplishments, including a prestigious 2015 Independent Music Award for Best Song—Blues (for “Burn,” from his sophomore EP); profiles in The Huffington Post and in the U.K.’s The Blues Magazine’s 2015 “Future of Blues Music” issue; and opening slots for Robert Cray, Los Lobos, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Wynona Judd, Blues Traveler, and a 12-city run with The Rides (Stephen Stills, Shepherd, and Barry Goldberg).

And now comes Trouble, produced by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ryan Bingham, Wilco, Grace Potter) and recorded predominantly live. “Jim had worked on a lot of albums from the ’90s and 2000s that I really, really love,” Anderson says. “Wildflowers by Tom Petty is, for me, the example of a perfect album. Jim’s the real deal.

“We wanted to do the majority of it live, with very few overdubs—get a really great band together and have it be about the songs, not about spending so much time on how the bass drum sounds. It was capturing, warts and all, the live thing. Rock music and blues music shouldn’t be perfect, and I’m really proud that there’s no Auto-Tune on it, that nothing was done to a click track.”

Decamping to Scott’s LA-area warehouse studio, Anderson was backed by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos on baritone sax; drummers Frederik Bokkenheuser (Ryan Adams), Aaron Sterling (John Mayer), and Johnny Radelat (Gary Clark Jr.); bassists Chris Bruce (Doyle Bramhall II, Meshell Ndegeocello) and Rob Calder (Angus & Julia Stone); and Chris Joyner (Ryan Bingham, Heart) and Jason Borger aka Jerry Borgé (Jonathan Wilson) on keys. The album was mastered by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering in Los Angeles.

A deep collection of standout rock and blues tracks, including “Hold On Me,” “Fire,” “U,” “Working Blues,” “My Sweetheart, You,” and the first single, “Trouble” (which was immediately championed by Spotify and spun on radio stations coast to coast),

Trouble released on October 21st to stellar reviews from Elmore Magazine, Relix Magazine, Rock Cellar Magazine, Premier Guitar and various other music blogs.

Additionally, Yahoo! Music named Hamish in their Top 10 Best New Artists in 2016, KCSN in LA included it as one of the Top 10 Best New Albums in 2016 and Songpickr, a premiere Spotify playlist curator, included Trouble as one of the Top 50 Albums of 2016.

In 2017, Hamish will be performing nine shows during SXSW in Austin, TX and then head back to Australia to open for Vintage Trouble and Mud Morganfield as part of their BluesFest Tour side shows. He will then return to the US to appear at Firefly Music Festival and Mountain Jam in Hunter, NY.

-Jim Nelson, KCSN (LA) Radio Host & Rock Cellar Magazine contributor

Bumpin Uglies with Special Guest Keystone Vibe

Bumpin' Uglies was formed by lead singer/guitarist/song-writer Brandon Hardesty in 2008, when he set out to create a sound and an approach that was unique and immediately identifiable. It's the same thing every artist says that they want when they form their band, but Bumpin' Uglies are the rare act that does stand out in every way, making them utterly memorable to everyone the come across. They incorporate many styles into their music, with a major emphasis on ska, reggae and punk. But they don't really care what bucket you want to put them in, either you love ‘em or you don't-it's your choice to join the party or sit outside instead; and It's always more fun in the party.

With two full-length LP's, a live show LP and two EP's under their belt, Bumpin' Uglies prolific studio work is the product of continuous song writing and a desire to keep putting out fresh material for their ever-growing fan base. They achieved national recognition with the release of their 2011 LP "Free Candy", and they have continued to gain momentum with each subsequent release, including "Load in-Load Out" (live show LP), Ninjah Reggae Assassins (LP released in 2013 which reached #1 on iTunes Reggae chart), and EP's "Freak Out Hell Bus" and "Sublime with No One", both released in 2015.

Bumpin' Uglies match their output in the studio with a road-warrior approach to touring that makes it seem as though they rarely come off the road. To date, they have completed 8 national tours, and dozens of regional tours. They have toured as direct support for Ballyhoo! and co-headlined a tour with Bastard Suns, moving effortlessly between punk and reggae crowds who flock to Bumpin' Uglies in equal measures. Their touring dossier is topped off with some major festival experience, including California Roots in 2014, the Rombello Cruise in 2013 and Warped Tour in 2012.

Bumpin' Uglies have proven every existing maxim about hard work paying off in the last several years. Their DIY ethic coupled with their grassroots approach for building a major national fan base makes them the epitome of punk rock, but that description sorely sells their music short. Bold, a bit brash perhaps at times, but Bumpin' Uglies name, their songs and their work ethic get a definite point across: they make music their way, enjoying a freedom that is easy to aspire to, but most difficult to achieve together with success. In this day and age of political correctness and people growing more uptight and offended by the minute, it doesn't take long to realize that Brandon and Bumpin' Uglies "Eff you/can do" attitude makes them stand separate and apart as a band. And their fans love them for it.

Who is Bumpin' Uglies?

Brandon Hardesty – Vocals, Guitar

Dave Wolf – Vocals, Bass

TJ Haslett – Drums

Bumpin' Uglies was formed by lead singer/guitarist/song-writer Brandon Hardesty in 2008, when he set out to create a sound and an approach that was unique and immediately identifiable. It's the same thing every artist says that they want when they form their band, but Bumpin' Uglies are the rare act that does stand out in every way, making them utterly memorable to everyone the come across. They incorporate many styles into their music, with a major emphasis on ska, reggae and punk. But they don't really care what bucket you want to put them in, either you love ‘em or you don't-it's your choice to join the party or sit outside instead; and It's always more fun in the party.

With two full-length LP's, a live show LP and two EP's under their belt, Bumpin' Uglies prolific studio work is the product of continuous song writing and a desire to keep putting out fresh material for their ever-growing fan base. They achieved national recognition with the release of their 2011 LP "Free Candy", and they have continued to gain momentum with each subsequent release, including "Load in-Load Out" (live show LP), Ninjah Reggae Assassins (LP released in 2013 which reached #1 on iTunes Reggae chart), and EP's "Freak Out Hell Bus" and "Sublime with No One", both released in 2015.

Bumpin' Uglies match their output in the studio with a road-warrior approach to touring that makes it seem as though they rarely come off the road. To date, they have completed 8 national tours, and dozens of regional tours. They have toured as direct support for Ballyhoo! and co-headlined a tour with Bastard Suns, moving effortlessly between punk and reggae crowds who flock to Bumpin' Uglies in equal measures. Their touring dossier is topped off with some major festival experience, including California Roots in 2014, the Rombello Cruise in 2013 and Warped Tour in 2012.

Bumpin' Uglies have proven every existing maxim about hard work paying off in the last several years. Their DIY ethic coupled with their grassroots approach for building a major national fan base makes them the epitome of punk rock, but that description sorely sells their music short. Bold, a bit brash perhaps at times, but Bumpin' Uglies name, their songs and their work ethic get a definite point across: they make music their way, enjoying a freedom that is easy to aspire to, but most difficult to achieve together with success. In this day and age of political correctness and people growing more uptight and offended by the minute, it doesn't take long to realize that Brandon and Bumpin' Uglies "Eff you/can do" attitude makes them stand separate and apart as a band. And their fans love them for it.

Who is Bumpin' Uglies?

Brandon Hardesty – Vocals, Guitar

Dave Wolf – Vocals, Bass

TJ Haslett – Drums

(Early Show) JD Eicher with Special Guest Mike Mains

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.

(Early Show) October Rose with Special Guest Kevin Dale

Derek Allan and Leanne Weiss formed the country music duo October Rose in 2016 after years of performing separately as solo artists. The two separately have played across the Eastern half of the United States and opened for a who's who list of top 40 country artists including Dierks Bently, Kenny Rogers, and the Stickers. Derek is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and relocated to New Jersey in early 2016. Leanne has been a Jersey native her whole life and established a strong local following with the support of NYC's only country radio station, NashFM. The duo was honored to perform on America's Morning Show in September of 2016. Their first EP "All In" is expected to be released in 2017 and will be recorded with gold-record producer Chris Badami of Portrait Recording Studios.

Derek Allan and Leanne Weiss formed the country music duo October Rose in 2016 after years of performing separately as solo artists. The two separately have played across the Eastern half of the United States and opened for a who's who list of top 40 country artists including Dierks Bently, Kenny Rogers, and the Stickers. Derek is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and relocated to New Jersey in early 2016. Leanne has been a Jersey native her whole life and established a strong local following with the support of NYC's only country radio station, NashFM. The duo was honored to perform on America's Morning Show in September of 2016. Their first EP "All In" is expected to be released in 2017 and will be recorded with gold-record producer Chris Badami of Portrait Recording Studios.

(Late Show) Airpark (Formerly of The Apache Relay) with Special Guest Herbivore

Airpark makes deconstructed pop music. Inspired by minimalism, melody and groove-heavy percussion, bandmates Michael Ford, Jr. and Ben Ford launched the group in 2016, one year after their previous project, The Apache Relay, quietly called it quits. The Apache Relay had been a large band, staffed with six members and armed with a thick, wall-of-sound approach. With Airpark, the Ford brothers sharpen their focus and scale back their arrangements, focusing on songs that pack a punch with bold, basic ingredients.

Raised in New Orleans, the Fords grew up surrounded by music, from the Crescent City's jazz to the soul of Irma Thomas and Allen Touissant. Later while living in Nashville, the two rekindled the music connection they'd kick-started back home, finding popularity - first in Tennessee, then across the country - as The Apache Relay performed alongside the likes of Jenny Lewis, Mumford & Sons and more. It was a whirlwind period that found the brothers constantly touring, forever moving and steadily swelling their sound to new heights. Michael and Ben move at a deliberately different speed with Airpark, thus finding new musical territory to explore.

Taking their cues from a wide set of influences - the rhythmic world music of Tinariwen and Lijadu Sisters; the production of Air, Damon Albarn, and Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel; the ten-or vocal range of Big Star's Alex Chilton and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, with the occasional pop crooner delivery of Harry Nilsson - the two unveil their new direction with Air-park's debut EP, Early Works, Volume 1. On opening track "All The Time," Michael spins the autobiographical story of a musician who's starting over and swinging for the fences, finally coming to terms with his own ambition. "Now I know I need ittobe ocean-sized," he sings, backed by propulsive percussion, syncopated electric guitar and his brother's harmonies. Else-where, the two ride an abstract, atmospheric groove on "Even If," get nostalgic with "Black Light Blue," and reset the clock during the New Year's Eve breakup anthem "Plenty to Pine For."

It's a sound that targets the feet and the head. It's pop music for thinkers. It's dance music for wallflowers. And with the brothers pulling triple-duty as songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and co-producers, Early Works, Volume 1 - whose March 3, 2017 release arrives courtesy of the Fords' own label, Eugenia Hall Records - is their most forward-thinking project to date, pairing the band's growing ambition with musical chops to match.

Airpark makes deconstructed pop music. Inspired by minimalism, melody and groove-heavy percussion, bandmates Michael Ford, Jr. and Ben Ford launched the group in 2016, one year after their previous project, The Apache Relay, quietly called it quits. The Apache Relay had been a large band, staffed with six members and armed with a thick, wall-of-sound approach. With Airpark, the Ford brothers sharpen their focus and scale back their arrangements, focusing on songs that pack a punch with bold, basic ingredients.

Raised in New Orleans, the Fords grew up surrounded by music, from the Crescent City's jazz to the soul of Irma Thomas and Allen Touissant. Later while living in Nashville, the two rekindled the music connection they'd kick-started back home, finding popularity - first in Tennessee, then across the country - as The Apache Relay performed alongside the likes of Jenny Lewis, Mumford & Sons and more. It was a whirlwind period that found the brothers constantly touring, forever moving and steadily swelling their sound to new heights. Michael and Ben move at a deliberately different speed with Airpark, thus finding new musical territory to explore.

Taking their cues from a wide set of influences - the rhythmic world music of Tinariwen and Lijadu Sisters; the production of Air, Damon Albarn, and Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel; the ten-or vocal range of Big Star's Alex Chilton and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, with the occasional pop crooner delivery of Harry Nilsson - the two unveil their new direction with Air-park's debut EP, Early Works, Volume 1. On opening track "All The Time," Michael spins the autobiographical story of a musician who's starting over and swinging for the fences, finally coming to terms with his own ambition. "Now I know I need ittobe ocean-sized," he sings, backed by propulsive percussion, syncopated electric guitar and his brother's harmonies. Else-where, the two ride an abstract, atmospheric groove on "Even If," get nostalgic with "Black Light Blue," and reset the clock during the New Year's Eve breakup anthem "Plenty to Pine For."

It's a sound that targets the feet and the head. It's pop music for thinkers. It's dance music for wallflowers. And with the brothers pulling triple-duty as songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and co-producers, Early Works, Volume 1 - whose March 3, 2017 release arrives courtesy of the Fords' own label, Eugenia Hall Records - is their most forward-thinking project to date, pairing the band's growing ambition with musical chops to match.

Gaelynn Lea / Ben de la Cour

Gaelynn Lea

Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been bewitching scores of fans with her experimental and
ambient takes on fiddle music, an approach that incorporates her love of traditional tunes, songwriting, poetry and sonic exploration. Her work most recently won NPR Music's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, a competition drawing submissions of original songs from more than 6,000 musicians across the country. Gaelynn Lea has been playing violin for over twenty years, developing an improvisational style all her own. She has performed alongside many notable Minnesota musicians over the years, including Alan Sparhawk, Charlie Parr, and Billy McLaughlin. On March 3, 2016, Gaelynn Lea was named the winner of NPR Music's second-ever Tiny Desk Contest. The video entry of her original song "Someday We'll Linger in the Sun" rose to the top of over 6,100 submissions from around the nation, chosen as the unanimous favorite among the contest's six judges. The very next week, Gaelynn performed a moving Tiny Desk Concert, at which the show's host Bob Boilen said "there was hardly a dry eye."

Gaelynn Lea's musical reach has expanded significantly because of the Tiny Desk Contest. She began a touring nationally in September 2016, and in December 2016 she performed in Europe for the first time as support for Low's Christmas tour. Gaelynn Lea will continue this musical journey well into 2017, touring throughout the US and UK.
In addition to performing, Gaelynn Lea has had a busy year in the recording studio. She released her debut solo album entitled "All the Roads that Lead Us Home" in November 2015. It pays homage to the traditional fiddle tunes and beloved standards that Gaelynn has been playing for over a decade. But of course, there is a twist! Gaelynn used her Memory Man looping pedal to create winding layers of sound underneath these familiar melodies.

She released a version of her Tiny Desk Contest winning track, "Someday We'll Linger in the Sun", on May 5, 2016.
Several months later Gaelynn recorded and released a 6-track EP titled "The Songs We Sing Along the Way", backed by guitarist Al Church. In November 2016, she followed up this EP with a full-length holiday album, "Deepest Darkness, Brightest Dawn", once again accompanied by Al Church.

In addition to performing, Gaelynn also loves to do speaking engagements about disability, overcoming challenges, and the joy of music. She has a congenital disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bones Disease. Gaelynn is a strong voice in the disability community; she uses her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change. In October 2016, Gaelynn was invited to Yale to give a TEDx Talk titled "Disability and Sexuality: Forging Identity in a World that Leaves You Out". Gaelynn Lea believes society must work harder to prioritize accessibility so people with disabilities can participate fully in their communities and use their talents and gifts
without barriers or discrimination.

Ben de la Cour
"Gruff but well-read, quiet but dancing circles on one heel in the kitchen, de la Cour is the enigma, the lone picker, the troubadour, the drifter, the one man band." (The American Music Project)

Ben de la Cour has lived a different kind of life. After growing up in Brooklyn, he set out to see the world as an amateur boxer, bartender, and agricultural worker. He lived in Havana, Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New Orleans before finally settling in Nashville, and it was at Nashville's Greenland Sound that de la Cour recorded the eleven songs of perfectly crafted Americanoir that make up his second album "Midnight in Havana".

"Ben de la Cour's songs are brimming with urgent authenticity. There is thematic hardness and vulnerability throughout, but what distinguishes de la Cour's songs from lesser guitar-and-anguished-vocals hacks is the raw humanity of his delivery and the potency of his way with words." (No Depression)

Influenced by giants such as Townes Van Zandt and Warren Zevon as much as by bands like Slayer, Nick Cave and The Gun Club, Ben de la Cour has somehow managed to meld all of these influences naturally into his Americanoir canon, delivering a uniquely modern, haunting and darkly humorous sound that is all his own. Songs filled with tales of substance abuse, murder and mental illness sit in perfect juxtaposition with playful lightheartedness and an ever-present glimmer of hope. However, upon closer inspection, darkness almost always wins…an unlikely hero, but one that suits de la Cour.

"Ben de la Cour bleeds the songs he sings. Within the understated instrumentation and de la Cour's baritone voice lie stark, haunting songscapes: moody recollections that recount the journey of a life that is not always pretty, but proves better than one of mundane predictability." (Turnstyled, Junkpiled)
In May of 2016, de la Cour was selected as one of six winners of the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival "New Folk" competition.

"Ben de la Cour is a folk musician with the songwriting acumen of a young Nick Cave and the lyrical wisdom of a vitriolic Leonard Cohen. His songs are stark, melancholic and packed with emotion and will send you collectively weak at the knees." (Fresh Deer Meat)

Gaelynn Lea

Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been bewitching scores of fans with her experimental and
ambient takes on fiddle music, an approach that incorporates her love of traditional tunes, songwriting, poetry and sonic exploration. Her work most recently won NPR Music's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, a competition drawing submissions of original songs from more than 6,000 musicians across the country. Gaelynn Lea has been playing violin for over twenty years, developing an improvisational style all her own. She has performed alongside many notable Minnesota musicians over the years, including Alan Sparhawk, Charlie Parr, and Billy McLaughlin. On March 3, 2016, Gaelynn Lea was named the winner of NPR Music's second-ever Tiny Desk Contest. The video entry of her original song "Someday We'll Linger in the Sun" rose to the top of over 6,100 submissions from around the nation, chosen as the unanimous favorite among the contest's six judges. The very next week, Gaelynn performed a moving Tiny Desk Concert, at which the show's host Bob Boilen said "there was hardly a dry eye."

Gaelynn Lea's musical reach has expanded significantly because of the Tiny Desk Contest. She began a touring nationally in September 2016, and in December 2016 she performed in Europe for the first time as support for Low's Christmas tour. Gaelynn Lea will continue this musical journey well into 2017, touring throughout the US and UK.
In addition to performing, Gaelynn Lea has had a busy year in the recording studio. She released her debut solo album entitled "All the Roads that Lead Us Home" in November 2015. It pays homage to the traditional fiddle tunes and beloved standards that Gaelynn has been playing for over a decade. But of course, there is a twist! Gaelynn used her Memory Man looping pedal to create winding layers of sound underneath these familiar melodies.

She released a version of her Tiny Desk Contest winning track, "Someday We'll Linger in the Sun", on May 5, 2016.
Several months later Gaelynn recorded and released a 6-track EP titled "The Songs We Sing Along the Way", backed by guitarist Al Church. In November 2016, she followed up this EP with a full-length holiday album, "Deepest Darkness, Brightest Dawn", once again accompanied by Al Church.

In addition to performing, Gaelynn also loves to do speaking engagements about disability, overcoming challenges, and the joy of music. She has a congenital disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bones Disease. Gaelynn is a strong voice in the disability community; she uses her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change. In October 2016, Gaelynn was invited to Yale to give a TEDx Talk titled "Disability and Sexuality: Forging Identity in a World that Leaves You Out". Gaelynn Lea believes society must work harder to prioritize accessibility so people with disabilities can participate fully in their communities and use their talents and gifts
without barriers or discrimination.

Ben de la Cour
"Gruff but well-read, quiet but dancing circles on one heel in the kitchen, de la Cour is the enigma, the lone picker, the troubadour, the drifter, the one man band." (The American Music Project)

Ben de la Cour has lived a different kind of life. After growing up in Brooklyn, he set out to see the world as an amateur boxer, bartender, and agricultural worker. He lived in Havana, Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New Orleans before finally settling in Nashville, and it was at Nashville's Greenland Sound that de la Cour recorded the eleven songs of perfectly crafted Americanoir that make up his second album "Midnight in Havana".

"Ben de la Cour's songs are brimming with urgent authenticity. There is thematic hardness and vulnerability throughout, but what distinguishes de la Cour's songs from lesser guitar-and-anguished-vocals hacks is the raw humanity of his delivery and the potency of his way with words." (No Depression)

Influenced by giants such as Townes Van Zandt and Warren Zevon as much as by bands like Slayer, Nick Cave and The Gun Club, Ben de la Cour has somehow managed to meld all of these influences naturally into his Americanoir canon, delivering a uniquely modern, haunting and darkly humorous sound that is all his own. Songs filled with tales of substance abuse, murder and mental illness sit in perfect juxtaposition with playful lightheartedness and an ever-present glimmer of hope. However, upon closer inspection, darkness almost always wins…an unlikely hero, but one that suits de la Cour.

"Ben de la Cour bleeds the songs he sings. Within the understated instrumentation and de la Cour's baritone voice lie stark, haunting songscapes: moody recollections that recount the journey of a life that is not always pretty, but proves better than one of mundane predictability." (Turnstyled, Junkpiled)
In May of 2016, de la Cour was selected as one of six winners of the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival "New Folk" competition.

"Ben de la Cour is a folk musician with the songwriting acumen of a young Nick Cave and the lyrical wisdom of a vitriolic Leonard Cohen. His songs are stark, melancholic and packed with emotion and will send you collectively weak at the knees." (Fresh Deer Meat)

An Evening With Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams

Multi-instrumentalist-vocalist Larry Campbell and singer-guitarist Teresa Williams have rocked many a venue, as both center stage performers and invaluable assets to world class acts. A shortlist of artists who've benefited from their talents, live and in studios, reads like a Who's Who of Music Icons: Bob Dylan (Larry spent eight years on the Never Ending Tour), Paul Simon, Little Feat, Hot Tuna, Phil Lesh, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, and, for one miraculous seven-year stretch, Levon Helm. Now, with an eponymous debut album, the couple brings it all back home. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams may have been simmering awhile, but the timing is perfect; the eleven tracks, produced by Campbell, distill everything into a potent, infectious blend of Americana style and timeless soul, offered with a relaxed generosity that can only come from rich experience.

Larry and Teresa's story begins at New York's famed Bottom Line club in the mid 80s; she was singing country, he was playing pedal steel. It was love at first chord. "She was the real deal," native New Yorker Larry says. "None of that Urban Cowboy nonsense. And she was clock-stopping gorgeous. I was smitten." "I'd thought country music players in New York was an oxymoron," says Tennessee-born Teresa. "But he saved my life on that stage. I thanked him for bringing the heavy steel down to play just a few songs, and when we looked into each other's eyes I saw everything he is, the depth of his soul." They married soon after, setting off on their own individual highways, but always circling back to each other. Among other adventures, Teresa originated the role of country music pioneer Sara Carter in the musical Keep On the Sunny Side, and Larry achieved renown as the go-to roots music guy for sessions, tours, and pit bands, the dude who'd mastered a dizzying array of stringed instruments and styles.

The seeds for a duet project were unwittingly planted in their courting days, when Larry and Teresa sang and played with the locals under her great-great grandmother's Tennessee cedar tree, the same one under which they married. (These gatherings continue to this day.) Later, when the duo was song-swapping all night with the band in the back of Bob Dylan's tour bus, Dylan's longtime manager Jeff Kramer told Larry he was crazy not to make hay with what they had as a duo. But their schedules kept the idea on the back burner until 2005, when Levon Helm called. He'd beaten cancer, was invigorated as never before, and was putting together a band for the soon-to-be legendary Midnight Rambles at his barn-studio in Woodstock, NY. He wanted some Campbell-Williams mojo to help make the most of his surprise fourth act. This humble beginning – playing in a barn on a dirt road – inaugurated the greatest musical experience of Larry and Teresa's lives.
Larry became the unflappable leader of the shape-shifting Midnight Ramble Band, earning three Grammys for producing Levon's final three CDs; Teresa, as an indispensable band member, frequently brought the house down. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams is an extension of that time, featuring eight originals and three covers honed on the carpet of Levon's barn, under the gaze of grateful fans. Songs like the Muscle Shoals-inflected CD opener "Surrender to Love," heart-wrenching ballad "Another One More Time," and boot-stomper "Bad Luck Charm," feature the distinctive texture of two entwining voices who've been through a lot together – the good, the bad, and the joyous.

"It was the most pure musical experience I've ever had," Larry says of their time with Levon. "It gave me the template for how to make music for the rest of my life: no egos, no agenda, no petty stuff. I looked forward to every gig I ever did with Levon, I loved doing it, and when it was over I couldn't wait for the next one. I got inspired to write more songs for Teresa and me to sing."
For Teresa, singing in the church-like space at the Midnight Rambles was full circle for her childhood discovery of the magic between an audience and an artist. "I don't remember a time not singing in front of people. I sang in church, at school, everywhere. I didn't know anything about making records. I just knew connection to an audience was everything. While standing onstage Saturday nights at Levon's – musically true north – in that intimate space, I realized: this was my dream, and I'm in it."

When performing at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch in Ohio, Teresa took on Reverend Gary Davis' "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning," infusing the apocalyptic gospel tune with show-stopping, pew-jumping fervor. Her roots as a seventh-generation Mississippi Delta cotton-farm girl rose to the surface.

The song became part of the Midnight Ramble repertoire, and captured on Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, it's a powerful force indeed.

After Levon's 2012 passing, they grieved, celebrated his life, and got to work finishing Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. They had the tunes, and, with drummer (and ace recording engineer) Justin Guip and Ramble Band member Byron Isaacs on bass, they had an ass-kicking, road-worthy band. Additionally, the lovefest of guests on Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams sweetened the pot considerably: Amy Helm's voice melding with Larry and Teresa's on the gorgeous Grateful Dead hymn "Attics Of My Life," Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne's rollicking touch on several tracks, and Levon himself appearing on "You're Running Wild," a tune made famous by the Louvin Brothers, now given an Orbison touch (originally recorded during Levon's Dirt Farmer sessions). Finally, it all dovetailed into place.

With Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, this duo not only brings a lot to the table, they bring the table itself – plus the house, the still, the church, the marriage bed, the sawdust-covered floor, and abiding, unconditional love, all carried in two voices harmonizing across hills, hollers, porches, and fire escapes. Those close harmonies ride atop music made in a mountain refuge, far from the madding crowd, connected to a spirit that lives on in song.

Multi-instrumentalist-vocalist Larry Campbell and singer-guitarist Teresa Williams have rocked many a venue, as both center stage performers and invaluable assets to world class acts. A shortlist of artists who've benefited from their talents, live and in studios, reads like a Who's Who of Music Icons: Bob Dylan (Larry spent eight years on the Never Ending Tour), Paul Simon, Little Feat, Hot Tuna, Phil Lesh, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, and, for one miraculous seven-year stretch, Levon Helm. Now, with an eponymous debut album, the couple brings it all back home. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams may have been simmering awhile, but the timing is perfect; the eleven tracks, produced by Campbell, distill everything into a potent, infectious blend of Americana style and timeless soul, offered with a relaxed generosity that can only come from rich experience.

Larry and Teresa's story begins at New York's famed Bottom Line club in the mid 80s; she was singing country, he was playing pedal steel. It was love at first chord. "She was the real deal," native New Yorker Larry says. "None of that Urban Cowboy nonsense. And she was clock-stopping gorgeous. I was smitten." "I'd thought country music players in New York was an oxymoron," says Tennessee-born Teresa. "But he saved my life on that stage. I thanked him for bringing the heavy steel down to play just a few songs, and when we looked into each other's eyes I saw everything he is, the depth of his soul." They married soon after, setting off on their own individual highways, but always circling back to each other. Among other adventures, Teresa originated the role of country music pioneer Sara Carter in the musical Keep On the Sunny Side, and Larry achieved renown as the go-to roots music guy for sessions, tours, and pit bands, the dude who'd mastered a dizzying array of stringed instruments and styles.

The seeds for a duet project were unwittingly planted in their courting days, when Larry and Teresa sang and played with the locals under her great-great grandmother's Tennessee cedar tree, the same one under which they married. (These gatherings continue to this day.) Later, when the duo was song-swapping all night with the band in the back of Bob Dylan's tour bus, Dylan's longtime manager Jeff Kramer told Larry he was crazy not to make hay with what they had as a duo. But their schedules kept the idea on the back burner until 2005, when Levon Helm called. He'd beaten cancer, was invigorated as never before, and was putting together a band for the soon-to-be legendary Midnight Rambles at his barn-studio in Woodstock, NY. He wanted some Campbell-Williams mojo to help make the most of his surprise fourth act. This humble beginning – playing in a barn on a dirt road – inaugurated the greatest musical experience of Larry and Teresa's lives.
Larry became the unflappable leader of the shape-shifting Midnight Ramble Band, earning three Grammys for producing Levon's final three CDs; Teresa, as an indispensable band member, frequently brought the house down. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams is an extension of that time, featuring eight originals and three covers honed on the carpet of Levon's barn, under the gaze of grateful fans. Songs like the Muscle Shoals-inflected CD opener "Surrender to Love," heart-wrenching ballad "Another One More Time," and boot-stomper "Bad Luck Charm," feature the distinctive texture of two entwining voices who've been through a lot together – the good, the bad, and the joyous.

"It was the most pure musical experience I've ever had," Larry says of their time with Levon. "It gave me the template for how to make music for the rest of my life: no egos, no agenda, no petty stuff. I looked forward to every gig I ever did with Levon, I loved doing it, and when it was over I couldn't wait for the next one. I got inspired to write more songs for Teresa and me to sing."
For Teresa, singing in the church-like space at the Midnight Rambles was full circle for her childhood discovery of the magic between an audience and an artist. "I don't remember a time not singing in front of people. I sang in church, at school, everywhere. I didn't know anything about making records. I just knew connection to an audience was everything. While standing onstage Saturday nights at Levon's – musically true north – in that intimate space, I realized: this was my dream, and I'm in it."

When performing at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch in Ohio, Teresa took on Reverend Gary Davis' "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning," infusing the apocalyptic gospel tune with show-stopping, pew-jumping fervor. Her roots as a seventh-generation Mississippi Delta cotton-farm girl rose to the surface.

The song became part of the Midnight Ramble repertoire, and captured on Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, it's a powerful force indeed.

After Levon's 2012 passing, they grieved, celebrated his life, and got to work finishing Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. They had the tunes, and, with drummer (and ace recording engineer) Justin Guip and Ramble Band member Byron Isaacs on bass, they had an ass-kicking, road-worthy band. Additionally, the lovefest of guests on Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams sweetened the pot considerably: Amy Helm's voice melding with Larry and Teresa's on the gorgeous Grateful Dead hymn "Attics Of My Life," Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne's rollicking touch on several tracks, and Levon himself appearing on "You're Running Wild," a tune made famous by the Louvin Brothers, now given an Orbison touch (originally recorded during Levon's Dirt Farmer sessions). Finally, it all dovetailed into place.

With Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, this duo not only brings a lot to the table, they bring the table itself – plus the house, the still, the church, the marriage bed, the sawdust-covered floor, and abiding, unconditional love, all carried in two voices harmonizing across hills, hollers, porches, and fire escapes. Those close harmonies ride atop music made in a mountain refuge, far from the madding crowd, connected to a spirit that lives on in song.

(Early Show) The Buckle Downs - Album Release Party with Special Guest Donora

Led by powerhouse vocalist, Kiki Brown, The Buckle Downs sound is the culmination of many influences and blended genres, including Rock, Funk, Blues, Soul, and Jazz. Displaying both their technical musicality and uninhibited creativity, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based 6 piece (Vocalist Kiki Brown, Bassist Damien DeTroia, Guitarist Ernie Francestine, Keyboardist Dave Filonuk, Drummer Jonathan Gulden, and Guitarist Jon Henderson) craft a unique sound. Whether live or in studio the band delivers soaring vocal melodies, funky grooves, vintage psychedelic solos, and flavorful piano and organ lines. The band is set to release its first full length album this summer. Stay tuned!

Led by powerhouse vocalist, Kiki Brown, The Buckle Downs sound is the culmination of many influences and blended genres, including Rock, Funk, Blues, Soul, and Jazz. Displaying both their technical musicality and uninhibited creativity, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based 6 piece (Vocalist Kiki Brown, Bassist Damien DeTroia, Guitarist Ernie Francestine, Keyboardist Dave Filonuk, Drummer Jonathan Gulden, and Guitarist Jon Henderson) craft a unique sound. Whether live or in studio the band delivers soaring vocal melodies, funky grooves, vintage psychedelic solos, and flavorful piano and organ lines. The band is set to release its first full length album this summer. Stay tuned!

(Late Show) BobbyrocK (Featuring Justin Brescia from MTV's The Hills), Thoughts In Motion, Tori Leigh

BobbyRock is a two-piece alternative punk rock band hailing from Austin,TX. It's members include guitarist/vocalist Justin 'Bobby' Brescia, as seen on the hit reality MTV show The Hills; and drummer Steele Haspel from the band Phoenix Down.

The punk-alternative-tunes of BobbyRock breach the barriers between seventies and eighties style punk-rock and the formality of main stream hits. The time has come to experience BobbyRock.

BobbyRock is a two-piece alternative punk rock band hailing from Austin,TX. It's members include guitarist/vocalist Justin 'Bobby' Brescia, as seen on the hit reality MTV show The Hills; and drummer Steele Haspel from the band Phoenix Down.

The punk-alternative-tunes of BobbyRock breach the barriers between seventies and eighties style punk-rock and the formality of main stream hits. The time has come to experience BobbyRock.

(Early Show) Matt The Electrician

With 10 self-released CDs to his name, 20 years as an independent touring singer-songwriter under his belt, and 2 new songs written, Matt the Electrician decided to return to the format of his youth. The 45. In early 2015, Matt embarked on what turned out to be a 2-year project, writing, recording and releasing a 45rpm record every 3 to 4 months, using a different backup band for each disc, with the intent of ending up with 6 records/12 songs at the finish. "I grew up with vinyl, but by the time I was releasing music in my 20s, vinyl was dead, and I figured I would never get to hear my songs on a record player. It actually kind of bummed me out. But when vinyl made a comeback, I thought, oh this is great, I can put something out. And I was really drawn to the 45, the 7inch. That was the first recorded music I ever purchased with my own money. I always loved the deliberateness, and the ceremony that playing a 45 requires. You only listen to one song, and then you have to turn the record over, so you can’t really walk away, or do other things, it forces you to focus on the experience of the music entirely."


During the course of the project, Matt worked with 6 different bands, mostly from his hometown of Austin, TX. Bluegrass band, Wood & Wire; Electronic folk artist, Little Brave; Ethereal indie-folk songwriter, Dana Falconberry; Free jazz/folk guitarist and songwriter, Wilson Marks: Husband & wife songwriters and producers, Paul Curreri & Devon Sproule; and Heady alt-folk band, The Deer. "Each band brought their own ideas and vibe to the recording process, and it was such an inspiring experience to soak in all these different sounds and ways of playing music, and it definitely changed the way I was writing throughout the project. And, as it turned out, it even influenced the makeup of my current touring band, which is a vocal-centric trio, featuring Seela, who has sung with me for years, and Little Brave (Stephanie Macias) who I recorded the 2nd record with."


In early May of 2017, the 6th record in the series will be released, recorded with Austin's, The Deer. At the same time, Matt will be releasing a double CD of sorts, including all of the songs from the project, as well as new versions of each of the songs, recorded with his trio. "Over the last 2 years, I've been touring, often with the trio, and singing all of these songs, and the versions are different, and have evolved since the recordings, so I wanted there to be a record of that."

With 10 self-released CDs to his name, 20 years as an independent touring singer-songwriter under his belt, and 2 new songs written, Matt the Electrician decided to return to the format of his youth. The 45. In early 2015, Matt embarked on what turned out to be a 2-year project, writing, recording and releasing a 45rpm record every 3 to 4 months, using a different backup band for each disc, with the intent of ending up with 6 records/12 songs at the finish. "I grew up with vinyl, but by the time I was releasing music in my 20s, vinyl was dead, and I figured I would never get to hear my songs on a record player. It actually kind of bummed me out. But when vinyl made a comeback, I thought, oh this is great, I can put something out. And I was really drawn to the 45, the 7inch. That was the first recorded music I ever purchased with my own money. I always loved the deliberateness, and the ceremony that playing a 45 requires. You only listen to one song, and then you have to turn the record over, so you can’t really walk away, or do other things, it forces you to focus on the experience of the music entirely."


During the course of the project, Matt worked with 6 different bands, mostly from his hometown of Austin, TX. Bluegrass band, Wood & Wire; Electronic folk artist, Little Brave; Ethereal indie-folk songwriter, Dana Falconberry; Free jazz/folk guitarist and songwriter, Wilson Marks: Husband & wife songwriters and producers, Paul Curreri & Devon Sproule; and Heady alt-folk band, The Deer. "Each band brought their own ideas and vibe to the recording process, and it was such an inspiring experience to soak in all these different sounds and ways of playing music, and it definitely changed the way I was writing throughout the project. And, as it turned out, it even influenced the makeup of my current touring band, which is a vocal-centric trio, featuring Seela, who has sung with me for years, and Little Brave (Stephanie Macias) who I recorded the 2nd record with."


In early May of 2017, the 6th record in the series will be released, recorded with Austin's, The Deer. At the same time, Matt will be releasing a double CD of sorts, including all of the songs from the project, as well as new versions of each of the songs, recorded with his trio. "Over the last 2 years, I've been touring, often with the trio, and singing all of these songs, and the versions are different, and have evolved since the recordings, so I wanted there to be a record of that."

Mt. Joy with Special Guest Trevor Sensor

Mt. Joy is an Indie Folk band from Philadelphia, currently recording their first full-length album in Los Angeles, CA.
Matt Quinn (Vocals/Guitar) and Sam Cooper (Guitar) met in high school and started performing songs together in 2005.
After heading off to separate colleges, they continued to bounce song ideas off each other when they could. However, when it became clear music wasn't going to pay the rent, Sam went to law school in Philadelphia and Matt moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music management. In Matt's words, "When I moved to LA I knew I still wanted to write songs, but the realities of life made that dream seem pretty impossible." A year later in early 2016, Sam followed a job opportunity to Los Angeles. While both were working long hours, they began working on music together in their spare time. The pair recorded 4 original songs with producer Caleb Nelson in the spring of 2016 in Caleb's living room. They chose the name "Mt. Joy" as an ode to a mountain in Valley Forge National Park near Sam's childhood home.

After the records were made, the guys were proud of the songs. But, with little hope at ever reaching a large audience, Cooper took a job as a lawyer back in Philadelphia and Quinn enrolled in law school in Los Angeles.

However, that fall, their first single "Astrovan" began taking off on streaming platforms, and Matt and Sam decided to put their other careers on hold. Matt dropped out of law school and Sam left his job to focus full-time on Mt. Joy. Soon after, Michael Byrne (bass), Sotiris Eliopoulos (drums), and Andrew Butler (keys) joined and expanded the duo to a full 5-piece band.

Mt. Joy's folk rock sound can be attributed to some of the band's biggest influences: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, and even contemporaries such as The Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket, and Vampire Weekend. After much debate, Matt and Sam agreed on their all-time favorite record: The Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East 1971.

Mt. Joy's full EP will be out in March.

Mt. Joy is an Indie Folk band from Philadelphia, currently recording their first full-length album in Los Angeles, CA.
Matt Quinn (Vocals/Guitar) and Sam Cooper (Guitar) met in high school and started performing songs together in 2005.
After heading off to separate colleges, they continued to bounce song ideas off each other when they could. However, when it became clear music wasn't going to pay the rent, Sam went to law school in Philadelphia and Matt moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music management. In Matt's words, "When I moved to LA I knew I still wanted to write songs, but the realities of life made that dream seem pretty impossible." A year later in early 2016, Sam followed a job opportunity to Los Angeles. While both were working long hours, they began working on music together in their spare time. The pair recorded 4 original songs with producer Caleb Nelson in the spring of 2016 in Caleb's living room. They chose the name "Mt. Joy" as an ode to a mountain in Valley Forge National Park near Sam's childhood home.

After the records were made, the guys were proud of the songs. But, with little hope at ever reaching a large audience, Cooper took a job as a lawyer back in Philadelphia and Quinn enrolled in law school in Los Angeles.

However, that fall, their first single "Astrovan" began taking off on streaming platforms, and Matt and Sam decided to put their other careers on hold. Matt dropped out of law school and Sam left his job to focus full-time on Mt. Joy. Soon after, Michael Byrne (bass), Sotiris Eliopoulos (drums), and Andrew Butler (keys) joined and expanded the duo to a full 5-piece band.

Mt. Joy's folk rock sound can be attributed to some of the band's biggest influences: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, and even contemporaries such as The Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket, and Vampire Weekend. After much debate, Matt and Sam agreed on their all-time favorite record: The Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East 1971.

Mt. Joy's full EP will be out in March.

Bob Schneider (Full Band Performance) with Special Guest Travis Linville

Bob Schneider has reigned as a de facto king of the Austin music scene for a couple of decades
now, and while no one stays on top forever, the man shows no signs of decay in quality or
creativity. Schneider is the city's genius chameleon, mixing pop, hip-hop, folk and biting humor
with essential melodies and bloody brilliant lyrics. His joys and heartbreaks, laid bare in song,
help us understand our own.

Schneider has been a recording artist for 25 years, putting out his first record ("Party Till You're Dead") in 1991 as frontman for Joe Rockhead, a funk-rock combo in the vein of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That band was followed by his best-known group, Ugly Americans, which toured with the Dave Matthews Band and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Ugly Americans was a kind of alt-rock supergroup, with former members of Cracker, Poi Dog Pondering and Mojo Nixon's band.

Schneider also fronted a full-on funk ensemble that played around Austin in the late 1990s called The Scabs, at the same time he was establishing himself as a solo artist. His first solo project, "Songs Sung and Played on Guitar at the Same Time," came out in 1998, and he's gone on to record an almost inconceivably diverse and eclectic array of songs since then, with his work making it onto the soundtracks of seven major motion pictures (and one indie film).

All told, Schneider has been the singer and main songwriter on nearly 30 studio albums, and he has been named Musician of the Year six times at the Austin Music Awards. Considering the renowned strength of the music scene in Austin, that's saying something. His artistry coupled with his movie-star looks and boyish charm makes it a wonder he's not a household name around the rest of the country the way he is in Austin.
His prodigious musical output is a result of a songwriting challenge group he started 16 years ago while touring. At first, the challenge was to write one song a day, and the people doing the writing were on the tour bus with him. They'd come up with a title each morning and at the end of the day play the songs they came up with for each other.

The pace of the songwriting challenge has eased up substantially since its beginnings, going to one song a week, but the scope of the participation in the group has widened to include a lot of widely known musicians.

"We've had lots of famous folks in the game from time to time, but they usually don't last very long," Schneider says. "The exception would be Jason Mraz, who has been in the game on and off for six or seven years and is one of the most consistent songwriters in the group. Very talented and will always turn a song in. At the end of the day, though, I really only have the group as a motivation to get me to write a song each week. Otherwise, a month might go by without writing anything and that would be a shame."

The past few years, Schneider has grouped the songs he's written in a year under an album title, just to kind of keep track of when they were written. Titles for recent years have included
"Here's the Deal," "The Ever Increasing Need to Succeed," "Into the Great Unknown" and "Mental Problems." This year's theme (and the name of his current concert tour) is "The Practical Guide to Everything."

Schneider has a fantastic website where fans can listen to all of the songs from the three five- song "King Kong Suite" EPs he released last year, with humorous commentary from Schneider himself between songs. The website also has the 10 videos he created for "King Kong" songs using public-domain found footage, including the menacing "Black Mountain" video that culls scenes from Francis Ford Coppola's directorial debut.

The website also offers a chance to stream his regular Monday evening shows at Austin's Saxon Pub.
"The Saxon Pub shows are unique in the fact that I play a lot of material there that I don't play anywhere else," Schneider explains. "New stuff that I wrote that week or in the last few weeks. Really old material that we haven't played in a while. I hardly play any of the stuff that you'll hear on the road, which is a mix of the best of everything. The best new material alongside the best of my last 20 years of writing songs."

...He has an almost Dylanesque reputation for keeping things fresh, with shows so different from one another that for years he [has] recorded every show and…[sold] copies for people to purchase right after the show.

"I play a lot of cities twice a year, and I like the fact that a lot of my fans will come see me play every time I come to town, knowing that I'll be playing material they've never seen me perform and might not ever perform again," Schneider says. "I don't have any of the banter planned either, so that stuff is usually unique to that night as well. It keeps things fresh for me and allows me to play crowd favorites that I've been playing for years, but still makes the whole thing feel new overall for me and hopefully for the audience."

Bob Schneider has reigned as a de facto king of the Austin music scene for a couple of decades
now, and while no one stays on top forever, the man shows no signs of decay in quality or
creativity. Schneider is the city's genius chameleon, mixing pop, hip-hop, folk and biting humor
with essential melodies and bloody brilliant lyrics. His joys and heartbreaks, laid bare in song,
help us understand our own.

Schneider has been a recording artist for 25 years, putting out his first record ("Party Till You're Dead") in 1991 as frontman for Joe Rockhead, a funk-rock combo in the vein of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That band was followed by his best-known group, Ugly Americans, which toured with the Dave Matthews Band and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Ugly Americans was a kind of alt-rock supergroup, with former members of Cracker, Poi Dog Pondering and Mojo Nixon's band.

Schneider also fronted a full-on funk ensemble that played around Austin in the late 1990s called The Scabs, at the same time he was establishing himself as a solo artist. His first solo project, "Songs Sung and Played on Guitar at the Same Time," came out in 1998, and he's gone on to record an almost inconceivably diverse and eclectic array of songs since then, with his work making it onto the soundtracks of seven major motion pictures (and one indie film).

All told, Schneider has been the singer and main songwriter on nearly 30 studio albums, and he has been named Musician of the Year six times at the Austin Music Awards. Considering the renowned strength of the music scene in Austin, that's saying something. His artistry coupled with his movie-star looks and boyish charm makes it a wonder he's not a household name around the rest of the country the way he is in Austin.
His prodigious musical output is a result of a songwriting challenge group he started 16 years ago while touring. At first, the challenge was to write one song a day, and the people doing the writing were on the tour bus with him. They'd come up with a title each morning and at the end of the day play the songs they came up with for each other.

The pace of the songwriting challenge has eased up substantially since its beginnings, going to one song a week, but the scope of the participation in the group has widened to include a lot of widely known musicians.

"We've had lots of famous folks in the game from time to time, but they usually don't last very long," Schneider says. "The exception would be Jason Mraz, who has been in the game on and off for six or seven years and is one of the most consistent songwriters in the group. Very talented and will always turn a song in. At the end of the day, though, I really only have the group as a motivation to get me to write a song each week. Otherwise, a month might go by without writing anything and that would be a shame."

The past few years, Schneider has grouped the songs he's written in a year under an album title, just to kind of keep track of when they were written. Titles for recent years have included
"Here's the Deal," "The Ever Increasing Need to Succeed," "Into the Great Unknown" and "Mental Problems." This year's theme (and the name of his current concert tour) is "The Practical Guide to Everything."

Schneider has a fantastic website where fans can listen to all of the songs from the three five- song "King Kong Suite" EPs he released last year, with humorous commentary from Schneider himself between songs. The website also has the 10 videos he created for "King Kong" songs using public-domain found footage, including the menacing "Black Mountain" video that culls scenes from Francis Ford Coppola's directorial debut.

The website also offers a chance to stream his regular Monday evening shows at Austin's Saxon Pub.
"The Saxon Pub shows are unique in the fact that I play a lot of material there that I don't play anywhere else," Schneider explains. "New stuff that I wrote that week or in the last few weeks. Really old material that we haven't played in a while. I hardly play any of the stuff that you'll hear on the road, which is a mix of the best of everything. The best new material alongside the best of my last 20 years of writing songs."

...He has an almost Dylanesque reputation for keeping things fresh, with shows so different from one another that for years he [has] recorded every show and…[sold] copies for people to purchase right after the show.

"I play a lot of cities twice a year, and I like the fact that a lot of my fans will come see me play every time I come to town, knowing that I'll be playing material they've never seen me perform and might not ever perform again," Schneider says. "I don't have any of the banter planned either, so that stuff is usually unique to that night as well. It keeps things fresh for me and allows me to play crowd favorites that I've been playing for years, but still makes the whole thing feel new overall for me and hopefully for the audience."

Jesse Malin - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

It's been five years since Jesse Malin last released an album, and that only upped the stakes for this one. New York Before the War is a hymn to everything Malin believes in most: respecting your roots, grabbing the future by its throat, and creating a soundtrack for a life filled with meaning. None of those things is easy to do, especially now. In fact, that's what the war in the title is all about: the battle to create and hold onto what's worthwhile even as so many forces, both internal and in the world outside, conspire to sweep it away. At the very top of that list is music.
"I wanted to make a record that encompassed everything I've been through since I started playing hardcore when I was twelve or thirteen," Malin says. Two years ago he had completed an album "out in the country" at White Star Studio near Charlottesville, VA. But then he realized it really wasn't finished. "Late last December, just back from a tour, I found myself sitting in my studio apartment in an old, crooked building that had the words THE WAR boldly painted on its side," Malin says. "In the silence of the holidays, away from family and friends, I found myself questioning everything I believed in. Looking out the window at a broken world where our values, culture and art have become instantly disposable, I felt lost and alienated, but still yearning for something more. Turning to my music, I tried to carve out a place where I could once again exist, and I sat down and wrote the rest of this record."
He ended up with close to forty songs. "I've always been a fan of the album as an art form," Malin says, and New York Before the War is a unified statement. It opens with "The Dreamers," a haunting ballad that nearly became the album's title track. Resting on an elegant piano figure, the song evokes both the alienation and the sense of deep connection that travel can bring. Wherever you are and whomever you meet, "the blood still runs red," Malin sings. That sense of doubleness, that emotional complexity – carving your own path but desperate for connection to a larger community -- runs throughout the album. Darker meditations like "She's So Dangerous" and "Bar Life" nestle next to rockers like "Freeway" (which features a blistering solo by the MC5's Wayne Kramer) and "Turn Up the Mains" (with Alejandro Escovedo on backing vocals).
Even within individual songs a sense of openness and possibility sometimes feels inextricable from the lure of destruction. In "Death Star" a woman gains a wealthy lover who "dresses to the right," but loses her soul. The jauntily upbeat "Bent Up" is about a friend and former band mate who died of a drug overdose. It's a roses-and-thorns kind of thing. The very qualities that make you compelling and creative can spiral you down. And, as with the lure of technology today, things that feel good and make your life seem easier can also destroy you.
"I always thought of music as a lifestyle, a place to exorcise your demons, connect with others and rejoice in the lonely places," Malin says. "Somehow there's a romance and an energy to all of this."
Peter Buck contributes a vintage R.E.M.-style guitar part to "I Would Do It For You," a tale of personal loyalty filled with longing and an aching sense of conviction. "That's my favorite and maybe most honest lyric on the record," Malin says. "It's about someone from your past who tracks you down and needs something from you, and because of your history, you can't say no. I never say what it is – whether it's a crime, drugs, a sexual relationship."
Malin finished New York Before the War at the Magic Shop in Soho and Flux Studios on Avenue A . Players include guitarist Derek Cruz, who co-produced the New York sessions with Malin; bassist Catherine Popper, who has played with Ryan Adams and Jack White; and drummers Randy Schrager (Scissor Sisters) and Paul Garisto, who played on Malin's debut solo album, The Fine Art of Self-Destruction, and with the Psychedelic Furs. Guitarist Don Dilego played on and produced the sessions in Virginia.
"New York Before the War is a metaphor for surviving in an ever-changing, rapidly desensitized world, while trying to find a way to live truly," Malin says. "It's not one particular war, but a global sentiment made for these times. It's a daily battle to keep the human spirit alive. Things are moving fast and forward, and this is my life right now." – Anthony DeCurtis

It's been five years since Jesse Malin last released an album, and that only upped the stakes for this one. New York Before the War is a hymn to everything Malin believes in most: respecting your roots, grabbing the future by its throat, and creating a soundtrack for a life filled with meaning. None of those things is easy to do, especially now. In fact, that's what the war in the title is all about: the battle to create and hold onto what's worthwhile even as so many forces, both internal and in the world outside, conspire to sweep it away. At the very top of that list is music.
"I wanted to make a record that encompassed everything I've been through since I started playing hardcore when I was twelve or thirteen," Malin says. Two years ago he had completed an album "out in the country" at White Star Studio near Charlottesville, VA. But then he realized it really wasn't finished. "Late last December, just back from a tour, I found myself sitting in my studio apartment in an old, crooked building that had the words THE WAR boldly painted on its side," Malin says. "In the silence of the holidays, away from family and friends, I found myself questioning everything I believed in. Looking out the window at a broken world where our values, culture and art have become instantly disposable, I felt lost and alienated, but still yearning for something more. Turning to my music, I tried to carve out a place where I could once again exist, and I sat down and wrote the rest of this record."
He ended up with close to forty songs. "I've always been a fan of the album as an art form," Malin says, and New York Before the War is a unified statement. It opens with "The Dreamers," a haunting ballad that nearly became the album's title track. Resting on an elegant piano figure, the song evokes both the alienation and the sense of deep connection that travel can bring. Wherever you are and whomever you meet, "the blood still runs red," Malin sings. That sense of doubleness, that emotional complexity – carving your own path but desperate for connection to a larger community -- runs throughout the album. Darker meditations like "She's So Dangerous" and "Bar Life" nestle next to rockers like "Freeway" (which features a blistering solo by the MC5's Wayne Kramer) and "Turn Up the Mains" (with Alejandro Escovedo on backing vocals).
Even within individual songs a sense of openness and possibility sometimes feels inextricable from the lure of destruction. In "Death Star" a woman gains a wealthy lover who "dresses to the right," but loses her soul. The jauntily upbeat "Bent Up" is about a friend and former band mate who died of a drug overdose. It's a roses-and-thorns kind of thing. The very qualities that make you compelling and creative can spiral you down. And, as with the lure of technology today, things that feel good and make your life seem easier can also destroy you.
"I always thought of music as a lifestyle, a place to exorcise your demons, connect with others and rejoice in the lonely places," Malin says. "Somehow there's a romance and an energy to all of this."
Peter Buck contributes a vintage R.E.M.-style guitar part to "I Would Do It For You," a tale of personal loyalty filled with longing and an aching sense of conviction. "That's my favorite and maybe most honest lyric on the record," Malin says. "It's about someone from your past who tracks you down and needs something from you, and because of your history, you can't say no. I never say what it is – whether it's a crime, drugs, a sexual relationship."
Malin finished New York Before the War at the Magic Shop in Soho and Flux Studios on Avenue A . Players include guitarist Derek Cruz, who co-produced the New York sessions with Malin; bassist Catherine Popper, who has played with Ryan Adams and Jack White; and drummers Randy Schrager (Scissor Sisters) and Paul Garisto, who played on Malin's debut solo album, The Fine Art of Self-Destruction, and with the Psychedelic Furs. Guitarist Don Dilego played on and produced the sessions in Virginia.
"New York Before the War is a metaphor for surviving in an ever-changing, rapidly desensitized world, while trying to find a way to live truly," Malin says. "It's not one particular war, but a global sentiment made for these times. It's a daily battle to keep the human spirit alive. Things are moving fast and forward, and this is my life right now." – Anthony DeCurtis

(Early Show) Tristen

"Some artists are interested in being complicated, it's almost like they're speaking another language just to the connoisseur of the art," says Tristen. "I have no interest in that. My style is not to be exclusive. It's to be inclusive. I'm trying to be as clear as possible. I've always been interested in the purest form of the idea, so that it can communicate massively."


That theme is at the core of Tristen's music - music that is smart but accessible, meticulously constructed but undeniably infectious.


A native of South Side Chicago turned longtime Nashville resident, Tristen has released two critically acclaimed solo records - 2011's Charlatans at the Garden Gate and 2013's CAVES
- and toured extensively as a member of Jenny Lewis' backing band. The folk-oriented Charlatans earned her praise as "Nashville's best-kept secret" (The Boston Globe), and the more synth-pop-oriented CAVES featured "tales of greed, alienation and heartache, made poignant but never saccharine by their electronically enhanced surroundings" (Nashville Scene).


Tristen has been singing since she could speak, and writing and recording her own songs since she was a teenager. Now an established touring musician with finely tuned chops and a knack for lashing exceptional melodies to her singularly poetic lyrics, she travels with a practiced backing trio of top-notch Nashville sidemen. Together, they bring Tristen's lush, expertly crafted arrangements to life, giving the singer room to brandish her outsized vocals and win audiences with her powerful stage presence - performances that channel the rock 'n' roll eclecticism of David Bowie and the creative prowess of Dolly Parton.


"Performing is my favorite thing to do in the world," she says. "It's like meditation for me. I let go. Ultimately, performing is about the audience, the singer and the band, and the shared experience. And at the center is truth and beauty."


In 2016, Tristen released her first book of poetry, Saturnine, a collection of 18 poems that span from the "green carpet hills by San Francisco" to the "cold hard streets of Chicago" and brim with a kaleidoscope of characters. Her third album, Sneaker Waves, will be released July 7 via Modern Outsider Records.

"Some artists are interested in being complicated, it's almost like they're speaking another language just to the connoisseur of the art," says Tristen. "I have no interest in that. My style is not to be exclusive. It's to be inclusive. I'm trying to be as clear as possible. I've always been interested in the purest form of the idea, so that it can communicate massively."


That theme is at the core of Tristen's music - music that is smart but accessible, meticulously constructed but undeniably infectious.


A native of South Side Chicago turned longtime Nashville resident, Tristen has released two critically acclaimed solo records - 2011's Charlatans at the Garden Gate and 2013's CAVES
- and toured extensively as a member of Jenny Lewis' backing band. The folk-oriented Charlatans earned her praise as "Nashville's best-kept secret" (The Boston Globe), and the more synth-pop-oriented CAVES featured "tales of greed, alienation and heartache, made poignant but never saccharine by their electronically enhanced surroundings" (Nashville Scene).


Tristen has been singing since she could speak, and writing and recording her own songs since she was a teenager. Now an established touring musician with finely tuned chops and a knack for lashing exceptional melodies to her singularly poetic lyrics, she travels with a practiced backing trio of top-notch Nashville sidemen. Together, they bring Tristen's lush, expertly crafted arrangements to life, giving the singer room to brandish her outsized vocals and win audiences with her powerful stage presence - performances that channel the rock 'n' roll eclecticism of David Bowie and the creative prowess of Dolly Parton.


"Performing is my favorite thing to do in the world," she says. "It's like meditation for me. I let go. Ultimately, performing is about the audience, the singer and the band, and the shared experience. And at the center is truth and beauty."


In 2016, Tristen released her first book of poetry, Saturnine, a collection of 18 poems that span from the "green carpet hills by San Francisco" to the "cold hard streets of Chicago" and brim with a kaleidoscope of characters. Her third album, Sneaker Waves, will be released July 7 via Modern Outsider Records.

Two Birds with Nightbeast, Cynimatics and DJ Emo Face

Two Birds is an American Pop Rock band from Pittsburgh, PA formed in 2015.
Paul Menotiades: Vocals/Guitar
Dan Garrighan: Guitar/Vocals
Mikey O'Toole: Bass/Vocals
Pat Dee: Drums


Two Birds is an American Pop Rock band from Pittsburgh, PA formed in 2015.
Paul Menotiades: Vocals/Guitar
Dan Garrighan: Guitar/Vocals
Mikey O'Toole: Bass/Vocals
Pat Dee: Drums


Old Salt Union with Special Guest Nameless In August

Old Salt Union is known for playing music by their own set of rules. While the men who make up the group are not complete rebels, they are certainly focused on exposing people to a purer, more exciting, and more original form of music. Drawing influence from Bill Monroe, Sam Bush and Del McCoury, to jazz great Bill Evans and Composer Danny Elfman, it’s obvious the group has a unique and broad genetic make-up. What makes Old Salt Union special is their ability to further explore the jazz and blues roots of bluegrass in a mature and refreshing manner. With in-depth musical compositions, a catchy hook, and a high- energy metaphorical punch to the gut, they are truly front runners in the new generation of string music.

Established in 2012, Old Salt Union recorded their debut album “Western Skies” just a few months after inception. With the album independently released in March of 2013, and a tour schedule consisting of nearly 200 shows in the coming calendar year, it was clear the boys were on the move. Old Salt Union stretched from coast to coast, exposing both traditional and progressive grass fans to a new, complex, high-energy, St. Louis style string music.

Traveling consistently in 2014-15’ shined light on new inspiration and new subject matter for OSU. The long months on the road provided a new perspective on writing that showed its weary eyes on their second full length release entitled “Bridge.” Released in August of 2014, Bridge acted as both a figurative and literal path home. The album revealed Old Salt Union morphing into the band they were always meant to be. Dramatic chord progressions, thoughtful arrangements, and the constant longing of a familiar bed and a warm home resonated with people all across the nation. Winning both “Best Bluegrass Band” and “Best Country Band” in the Riverfront Times ‘Best of St. Louis’ edition, proved they were still peddling in the right direction. This year of expansion found the boys on grand stages near and far. From appearing at the Bluegrass Underground, Music City Roots, John Hartford Memorial Festival, ROMP, Stagecoach, Freshgrass, and Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Festival, to sharing the stage with Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Travelin’ McCourys, Jeff Austin Band, and Ricky Skaggs, Old Salt Union still felt they had much more to prove.

Their new EP entitled “Cut & Run” was released in March of 2016. A brief, 6-song, glimpse into the new, polished, and well-executed style of Old Salt Union. Finally finding their bearings and learning to weave the genre crossing compositions and heartache infused songwriting in a complete and wrapped package, they are ready to expose the people to what Old Salt Union was always meant to sound and feel like. With 30+ songs on the backburner, a new single produced by Alison Brown, and a full length to be recorded in the winter of 2016, the men of OSU will be touring full time until they settle down to record. The ever-evolving sound of Old Salt Union has always been based on the idea of forward progression. Individually, and as a unit, the music must continue to inspire and move them to a new destination. With the release of the new EP, they have 30+ dates on the calendar and intend on continuing to unveil their sound and energy to any and everyone who will listen. Always confident in their live performances, you certainly mustn’t miss an opportunity to see them live.

Old Salt Union is known for playing music by their own set of rules. While the men who make up the group are not complete rebels, they are certainly focused on exposing people to a purer, more exciting, and more original form of music. Drawing influence from Bill Monroe, Sam Bush and Del McCoury, to jazz great Bill Evans and Composer Danny Elfman, it’s obvious the group has a unique and broad genetic make-up. What makes Old Salt Union special is their ability to further explore the jazz and blues roots of bluegrass in a mature and refreshing manner. With in-depth musical compositions, a catchy hook, and a high- energy metaphorical punch to the gut, they are truly front runners in the new generation of string music.

Established in 2012, Old Salt Union recorded their debut album “Western Skies” just a few months after inception. With the album independently released in March of 2013, and a tour schedule consisting of nearly 200 shows in the coming calendar year, it was clear the boys were on the move. Old Salt Union stretched from coast to coast, exposing both traditional and progressive grass fans to a new, complex, high-energy, St. Louis style string music.

Traveling consistently in 2014-15’ shined light on new inspiration and new subject matter for OSU. The long months on the road provided a new perspective on writing that showed its weary eyes on their second full length release entitled “Bridge.” Released in August of 2014, Bridge acted as both a figurative and literal path home. The album revealed Old Salt Union morphing into the band they were always meant to be. Dramatic chord progressions, thoughtful arrangements, and the constant longing of a familiar bed and a warm home resonated with people all across the nation. Winning both “Best Bluegrass Band” and “Best Country Band” in the Riverfront Times ‘Best of St. Louis’ edition, proved they were still peddling in the right direction. This year of expansion found the boys on grand stages near and far. From appearing at the Bluegrass Underground, Music City Roots, John Hartford Memorial Festival, ROMP, Stagecoach, Freshgrass, and Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Festival, to sharing the stage with Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Travelin’ McCourys, Jeff Austin Band, and Ricky Skaggs, Old Salt Union still felt they had much more to prove.

Their new EP entitled “Cut & Run” was released in March of 2016. A brief, 6-song, glimpse into the new, polished, and well-executed style of Old Salt Union. Finally finding their bearings and learning to weave the genre crossing compositions and heartache infused songwriting in a complete and wrapped package, they are ready to expose the people to what Old Salt Union was always meant to sound and feel like. With 30+ songs on the backburner, a new single produced by Alison Brown, and a full length to be recorded in the winter of 2016, the men of OSU will be touring full time until they settle down to record. The ever-evolving sound of Old Salt Union has always been based on the idea of forward progression. Individually, and as a unit, the music must continue to inspire and move them to a new destination. With the release of the new EP, they have 30+ dates on the calendar and intend on continuing to unveil their sound and energy to any and everyone who will listen. Always confident in their live performances, you certainly mustn’t miss an opportunity to see them live.

(Early Show) Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboy

Jonathan Byrd is a preacher's son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd "one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years."

Multi-instrumentalist Johnny Waken cut his teeth on electric guitar in Pittsburgh with rock legend Norm Nardini, opening for The Blues Brothers Band on their Red, Hot & Blue tour in 1992. On stage and after hours, he jammed with members of Bon Jovi and the legendary Steve Cropper. At the age of 24, Waken left music to pursue primitive skills and through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2000 with an eleven-pound pack. Returning to music years later Johnny joined theatre troupe Paperhand Puppet Intervention, contributing to scores for nine shows and winning 4 Indy Awards for best original music.

Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboy are musical gunslingers, vaudevillian hucksters, and old-fashioned tent revivalists. Between heartbreaking ballads and hell-raising sing-alongs, the Cowboys entertain and get audiences involved in the show.

Jonathan Byrd is a preacher's son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd "one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years."

Multi-instrumentalist Johnny Waken cut his teeth on electric guitar in Pittsburgh with rock legend Norm Nardini, opening for The Blues Brothers Band on their Red, Hot & Blue tour in 1992. On stage and after hours, he jammed with members of Bon Jovi and the legendary Steve Cropper. At the age of 24, Waken left music to pursue primitive skills and through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2000 with an eleven-pound pack. Returning to music years later Johnny joined theatre troupe Paperhand Puppet Intervention, contributing to scores for nine shows and winning 4 Indy Awards for best original music.

Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboy are musical gunslingers, vaudevillian hucksters, and old-fashioned tent revivalists. Between heartbreaking ballads and hell-raising sing-alongs, the Cowboys entertain and get audiences involved in the show.

Nathan Angelo

In the ever-changing landscape of modern pop, Nathan Angelo shines as a refreshing alternative, embracing the classic elements of popular music and celebrating the backbeat of American tradition. As the revival of music in the 60's and 70's brought together the heritage of the Great American songbook, the flair of jazz and heartache of the Delta blues, Angelo integrates these forms into his own music with great ease and delight. For the past decade, Angelo has captivated audiences across the country with his high-spirited live show and captured the imagination of a loyal following through prolific songwriting, independently selling over 40,000 albums along the way.

Angelo's latest full-length album A Matter of Time (Aug 2017) reflects his journey through the life-altering experiences of becoming a father and facing his daughter’s rare, life-threatening metabolic disease. His daughter received a liver transplant in Fall 2016, and Angelo’s latest release A Matter of Time wrestles with the aches of adversity and ultimately celebrates the beauty of life and the hope he has for his daughter. A Matter of Time embraces the soul, classic r&b and piano-pop of some of Angelo’s more prominent influences -- Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Elton John -- while fearlessly venturing into new sonic territory to compete with pop contemporaries like Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake. Alongside his finest songwriting to date, Angelo’s voice resounds as an irrefutable force as he carries listeners to new places unfamiliar to the likes of modern pop music.

In the ever-changing landscape of modern pop, Nathan Angelo shines as a refreshing alternative, embracing the classic elements of popular music and celebrating the backbeat of American tradition. As the revival of music in the 60's and 70's brought together the heritage of the Great American songbook, the flair of jazz and heartache of the Delta blues, Angelo integrates these forms into his own music with great ease and delight. For the past decade, Angelo has captivated audiences across the country with his high-spirited live show and captured the imagination of a loyal following through prolific songwriting, independently selling over 40,000 albums along the way.

Angelo's latest full-length album A Matter of Time (Aug 2017) reflects his journey through the life-altering experiences of becoming a father and facing his daughter’s rare, life-threatening metabolic disease. His daughter received a liver transplant in Fall 2016, and Angelo’s latest release A Matter of Time wrestles with the aches of adversity and ultimately celebrates the beauty of life and the hope he has for his daughter. A Matter of Time embraces the soul, classic r&b and piano-pop of some of Angelo’s more prominent influences -- Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Elton John -- while fearlessly venturing into new sonic territory to compete with pop contemporaries like Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake. Alongside his finest songwriting to date, Angelo’s voice resounds as an irrefutable force as he carries listeners to new places unfamiliar to the likes of modern pop music.

(Early Show) An Evening With Jennifer Knapp

Jennifer Knapp has experienced enough chaos and turmoil in her life that she could write about it on every album. Instead, she made Love Comes Back Around, a collection of songs that focus on what really matters.

Produced by Viktor Krauss, Knapp's latest features 10 compelling new tunes exploring love - but not the easy kind. These are love songs for grown-ups who have come a few miles. "It's not just sex, it's not just physical relationships," Knapp says. "It's hard work. It's loss, it's forgiveness, it's a lot of things wrapped up in one."

Love Comes Back Around pairs her fearless songwriting and strong, expressive voice with rootsy arrangements: there's growling guitar and a snakey beat on opener "Straight Road," subtle horns layered into the background on "Perfect Pardon" and the mournful interplay of piano and acoustic guitar on "Roll Over Me." Knapp's vocals are the centerpiece of the title track, which she says is "a look at the mundane things in our lives, between who makes the bed and who doesn't, and what

makes you miss your partner when she's gone." In other words, the real stuff.

Knapp knows plenty about that. Love Comes Back Around is her sixth album in a music career with two distinct sections. After releasing three contemporary Christian albums in the late '90s and early 2000s, she took a long break from music and moved to Australia before resuming her career in 2009. The following year, she came out as gay and released Letting Go, her first mainstream album. Set Me Free followed in 2014, in conjunction with a memoir, Facing the Music: My Story on Howard Books/Simon & Schuster.

"At this point in my life, I've been in a relationship for well over a decade, I've had a public controversy and had to weather the storm over my sexual orientation in public, I've had to deal with what my faith does or doesn't mean to my music," Knapp says. After all that, she was ready to focus on something else. "I started thinking about a universal approach to what love is, and not just the sappy part."

Knapp's return to music included moving back to Nashville, where she was based earlier in her career. "I've experienced Nashville in two ways," she says. "At the heart of my stardom, so to speak, when things were really busy and I toured a lot, the irony was that even though I made my home here and worked professionally here, I wasn't home enough to enjoy the camaraderie."

This time around, she's home enough to have become part of a creative community. That's how she connected with Krauss: friends of Knapp's who knew the producer's work recommended him. After Knapp listened, she invited Krauss out for ice cream and asked him to work with her on Love Comes Back Around.

"If you don't deliver music that creates the emotional space to dive into the lyrics, a lot of the subtlety is lost, and Viktor really understands that," Knapp says. "He's seen everything and played with everybody and has all these phone numbers, but he's actually really humble and sincere, and that allows an artist like me to have confidence in my own work."

When she's not occupied with music, or doing advocacy work on behalf of LGBTQ people of faith through her Inside Out Faith organization, Knapp is working on a master's degree in theological studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School. It's not what she thought she'd be doing now when she was a young singer first starting out, but life has a way of carving its own unexpected path - and so does love.

"There's something beautiful in all of that," Knapp says. "That's why we call it love. And if it weren't hard sometimes, we wouldn't appreciate the beauty. And if it weren't beautiful, we wouldn't be willing to keep going through the hard parts."

Jennifer Knapp has experienced enough chaos and turmoil in her life that she could write about it on every album. Instead, she made Love Comes Back Around, a collection of songs that focus on what really matters.

Produced by Viktor Krauss, Knapp's latest features 10 compelling new tunes exploring love - but not the easy kind. These are love songs for grown-ups who have come a few miles. "It's not just sex, it's not just physical relationships," Knapp says. "It's hard work. It's loss, it's forgiveness, it's a lot of things wrapped up in one."

Love Comes Back Around pairs her fearless songwriting and strong, expressive voice with rootsy arrangements: there's growling guitar and a snakey beat on opener "Straight Road," subtle horns layered into the background on "Perfect Pardon" and the mournful interplay of piano and acoustic guitar on "Roll Over Me." Knapp's vocals are the centerpiece of the title track, which she says is "a look at the mundane things in our lives, between who makes the bed and who doesn't, and what

makes you miss your partner when she's gone." In other words, the real stuff.

Knapp knows plenty about that. Love Comes Back Around is her sixth album in a music career with two distinct sections. After releasing three contemporary Christian albums in the late '90s and early 2000s, she took a long break from music and moved to Australia before resuming her career in 2009. The following year, she came out as gay and released Letting Go, her first mainstream album. Set Me Free followed in 2014, in conjunction with a memoir, Facing the Music: My Story on Howard Books/Simon & Schuster.

"At this point in my life, I've been in a relationship for well over a decade, I've had a public controversy and had to weather the storm over my sexual orientation in public, I've had to deal with what my faith does or doesn't mean to my music," Knapp says. After all that, she was ready to focus on something else. "I started thinking about a universal approach to what love is, and not just the sappy part."

Knapp's return to music included moving back to Nashville, where she was based earlier in her career. "I've experienced Nashville in two ways," she says. "At the heart of my stardom, so to speak, when things were really busy and I toured a lot, the irony was that even though I made my home here and worked professionally here, I wasn't home enough to enjoy the camaraderie."

This time around, she's home enough to have become part of a creative community. That's how she connected with Krauss: friends of Knapp's who knew the producer's work recommended him. After Knapp listened, she invited Krauss out for ice cream and asked him to work with her on Love Comes Back Around.

"If you don't deliver music that creates the emotional space to dive into the lyrics, a lot of the subtlety is lost, and Viktor really understands that," Knapp says. "He's seen everything and played with everybody and has all these phone numbers, but he's actually really humble and sincere, and that allows an artist like me to have confidence in my own work."

When she's not occupied with music, or doing advocacy work on behalf of LGBTQ people of faith through her Inside Out Faith organization, Knapp is working on a master's degree in theological studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School. It's not what she thought she'd be doing now when she was a young singer first starting out, but life has a way of carving its own unexpected path - and so does love.

"There's something beautiful in all of that," Knapp says. "That's why we call it love. And if it weren't hard sometimes, we wouldn't appreciate the beauty. And if it weren't beautiful, we wouldn't be willing to keep going through the hard parts."

Goran Ivanovic Trio

One of the most versatile, skilled, and curious musicians in Chicago, guitarist Goran Ivanovic has built a career built upon exploration. Born and raised in Croatia, he was in the midst of studying at the prestigious Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria with masters like Elliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch when his parents (his father is a Serb, his mother a Bosnian Croat) were expelled in the late 90s; the family was granted asylum in the US and they settled in Chicago. Since his arrival he's displayed a deep interest in collaboration, steadily expanding his stylistic range well beyond the European classical music and Balkan sounds he was fluently versed in when he arrived. These days his repertoire not only incorporates those disciplines, but jazz and flamenco as well. He's recorded duet albums with the great Pakistani-Chilean jazz guitarist Fareed Haque as well as Greek-American musician Andreas Kapsalis. He's a key member of the quartet Eastern Blok with Matt Ulery, Doug Rosenberg, and Michael Caskey, a combo that deftly surveys the folk music of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Serbia in a distinctly jazz-oriented context, embroidering timeless Balkan melodies and rhythms with sophisticated improvisational gambits. Most recently, Ivanovic released an eponymous trio album with bassist Ulery and percussionist Pete Tashjian where he's achieved a stunning assimilation of his many influences, creating a hybrid all his own. Reviewing the new album for All About Jazz, Budd Kopman wrote, "It is easy to get lost in Ivanovic's technique, especially if one plays (or attempts to play) Classical style guitar, in a jazz style or not." The trio's agility has also been noted. As Jeff Elbel wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, "The trio are recognized for their individual virtuosity, but they show particular excellence as a unit able to stop on a dime and twist gracefully through the trickiest hairpin turns together on local stages."

One of the most versatile, skilled, and curious musicians in Chicago, guitarist Goran Ivanovic has built a career built upon exploration. Born and raised in Croatia, he was in the midst of studying at the prestigious Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria with masters like Elliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch when his parents (his father is a Serb, his mother a Bosnian Croat) were expelled in the late 90s; the family was granted asylum in the US and they settled in Chicago. Since his arrival he's displayed a deep interest in collaboration, steadily expanding his stylistic range well beyond the European classical music and Balkan sounds he was fluently versed in when he arrived. These days his repertoire not only incorporates those disciplines, but jazz and flamenco as well. He's recorded duet albums with the great Pakistani-Chilean jazz guitarist Fareed Haque as well as Greek-American musician Andreas Kapsalis. He's a key member of the quartet Eastern Blok with Matt Ulery, Doug Rosenberg, and Michael Caskey, a combo that deftly surveys the folk music of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Serbia in a distinctly jazz-oriented context, embroidering timeless Balkan melodies and rhythms with sophisticated improvisational gambits. Most recently, Ivanovic released an eponymous trio album with bassist Ulery and percussionist Pete Tashjian where he's achieved a stunning assimilation of his many influences, creating a hybrid all his own. Reviewing the new album for All About Jazz, Budd Kopman wrote, "It is easy to get lost in Ivanovic's technique, especially if one plays (or attempts to play) Classical style guitar, in a jazz style or not." The trio's agility has also been noted. As Jeff Elbel wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, "The trio are recognized for their individual virtuosity, but they show particular excellence as a unit able to stop on a dime and twist gracefully through the trickiest hairpin turns together on local stages."

Adam Torres

In 2006, 20-year-old Adam Torres released his debut album Nostra Nova. The album's 11 songs are idiosyncratic and varied - as are many great songs - with each existing as its own little world. It's influenced by the works of visual artist Adolf Wolfli and C.G. Jung, and it's the sound of Torres making something beautiful. With many truly breathtaking moments throughout, it feels full of promise, and is simultaneously weathered and young. A DIY self-release, Nostra Nova found deep, long-lasting roots within the small Athens, OH community at the time, but didn't resonate farther until much later.
Following its release, Torres went back to college and turned his focus to other interests. But all the while, he never stopped playing music, writing songs, or performing, even while living in Ecuador on and off for two years, teaching English and volunteering in rural villages in the Ecuadorian Andes, among other things. In 2011, Torres moved to Austin, TX and enrolled in graduate school at the University of Texas, and upon finishing, spent two years working for the state of Texas on a project aimed at cleaning the water quality of the Rio Grande River in South Texas.
Having penned more than 100 songs since 2006, he quietly released his first music since Nostra Nova in 2012 through DC cassette-label DZ Tapes, which featured tape-recorded demos made inside the apartments he lived in during his time in Ecuador.
In 2015, Nostra Nova saw a small reissue. Called a "cult classic" by The A.V. Club, the album finally achieved its due, earning additional praise from Stereogum, VICE, Popmatters, All Music Guide, and Flavorwire, which wrote of Torres as, "someone who was, at an early age, able to connect his own odd experiences to the concept of life itself in an almost innate way."
In many respects, that description is a good start at capturing the magic of Torres' music. There's a persisting theme that threads through his own story as well as his forthcoming new LP, Pearls To Swine. Within the cosmos of the album, characters experience a sort of misadventure and persevere, casting light on the way life can lead you down a path that's far from where you wanted to be. Pearls To Swine maps Torres' complicated history as a songwriter and musician: it's the sound of someone who discovered the value in his own devotion to music, and how writing and songs are extensions of his own journey. He embeds his own folklore within his high-lonesome sounding, deeply felt and moving brand of folk music.
Across the album, Torres crafts uniquely cinematic soundscapes, ranging through a thoughtfully languid waltz "Juniper Arms" (inspired by Edward Abbey's iconic book of nature writing Desert Solitaire), and on the evocative, uneasy "Some Beast Will Find You By Name." It wends through the lush, gently undulating "High Lonesome" to the lonely sweep of the Raymond Carver-signaling "Where I'm Calling From," and travels from the foreboding, sinuous "Outlands" to the deceptively buoyant cascade of "Mountain River."
Nature abounds on Pearls To Swine - which also examines the tension of the natural versus the constructed, and survival - filled with imagery of juniper trees, deserts, blood moons, rivers, plains, and big western skies that gives it a distinctively southwestern feel. His style acknowledges the classic singer-songwriter tradition, allowing the rhythm sounds to support the structure of songs, while his affecting falsetto conjures the spirit of traditional vocalists such as John Jacob Niles and Robbie Basho.
Pearls To Swine was recorded over eight days in January at Austin's Cacophony Recorders, which overlooks the Colorado River valley. Working alongside co-producer and mixer Erik Wofford (Bill Callahan, Black Angels, M. Ward, Okkervil River), Torres chose the analog route, recording and mixing directly to tape to allow for more finality and less overthought. This method in turn lends a natural, warm, and almost magical realism atmosphere to the songs - like a high-stakes live show captured in a fantastical setting. The core rhythm was captured live and augmented by a few overdubs, and Torres is joined on the album by the players in his band: Thor Harris (of Swans; on conga drums, vibraphone, and percussion), Aisha Burns (violin), and Dailey Toliver (bass/piano), with drum kit performances by Matthew Shepherd and Rodolfo Villareal III.

In 2006, 20-year-old Adam Torres released his debut album Nostra Nova. The album's 11 songs are idiosyncratic and varied - as are many great songs - with each existing as its own little world. It's influenced by the works of visual artist Adolf Wolfli and C.G. Jung, and it's the sound of Torres making something beautiful. With many truly breathtaking moments throughout, it feels full of promise, and is simultaneously weathered and young. A DIY self-release, Nostra Nova found deep, long-lasting roots within the small Athens, OH community at the time, but didn't resonate farther until much later.
Following its release, Torres went back to college and turned his focus to other interests. But all the while, he never stopped playing music, writing songs, or performing, even while living in Ecuador on and off for two years, teaching English and volunteering in rural villages in the Ecuadorian Andes, among other things. In 2011, Torres moved to Austin, TX and enrolled in graduate school at the University of Texas, and upon finishing, spent two years working for the state of Texas on a project aimed at cleaning the water quality of the Rio Grande River in South Texas.
Having penned more than 100 songs since 2006, he quietly released his first music since Nostra Nova in 2012 through DC cassette-label DZ Tapes, which featured tape-recorded demos made inside the apartments he lived in during his time in Ecuador.
In 2015, Nostra Nova saw a small reissue. Called a "cult classic" by The A.V. Club, the album finally achieved its due, earning additional praise from Stereogum, VICE, Popmatters, All Music Guide, and Flavorwire, which wrote of Torres as, "someone who was, at an early age, able to connect his own odd experiences to the concept of life itself in an almost innate way."
In many respects, that description is a good start at capturing the magic of Torres' music. There's a persisting theme that threads through his own story as well as his forthcoming new LP, Pearls To Swine. Within the cosmos of the album, characters experience a sort of misadventure and persevere, casting light on the way life can lead you down a path that's far from where you wanted to be. Pearls To Swine maps Torres' complicated history as a songwriter and musician: it's the sound of someone who discovered the value in his own devotion to music, and how writing and songs are extensions of his own journey. He embeds his own folklore within his high-lonesome sounding, deeply felt and moving brand of folk music.
Across the album, Torres crafts uniquely cinematic soundscapes, ranging through a thoughtfully languid waltz "Juniper Arms" (inspired by Edward Abbey's iconic book of nature writing Desert Solitaire), and on the evocative, uneasy "Some Beast Will Find You By Name." It wends through the lush, gently undulating "High Lonesome" to the lonely sweep of the Raymond Carver-signaling "Where I'm Calling From," and travels from the foreboding, sinuous "Outlands" to the deceptively buoyant cascade of "Mountain River."
Nature abounds on Pearls To Swine - which also examines the tension of the natural versus the constructed, and survival - filled with imagery of juniper trees, deserts, blood moons, rivers, plains, and big western skies that gives it a distinctively southwestern feel. His style acknowledges the classic singer-songwriter tradition, allowing the rhythm sounds to support the structure of songs, while his affecting falsetto conjures the spirit of traditional vocalists such as John Jacob Niles and Robbie Basho.
Pearls To Swine was recorded over eight days in January at Austin's Cacophony Recorders, which overlooks the Colorado River valley. Working alongside co-producer and mixer Erik Wofford (Bill Callahan, Black Angels, M. Ward, Okkervil River), Torres chose the analog route, recording and mixing directly to tape to allow for more finality and less overthought. This method in turn lends a natural, warm, and almost magical realism atmosphere to the songs - like a high-stakes live show captured in a fantastical setting. The core rhythm was captured live and augmented by a few overdubs, and Torres is joined on the album by the players in his band: Thor Harris (of Swans; on conga drums, vibraphone, and percussion), Aisha Burns (violin), and Dailey Toliver (bass/piano), with drum kit performances by Matthew Shepherd and Rodolfo Villareal III.

Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble

LAETITIA SADIER

Another New Year, and new shapes are forming - if only we are fortunate enough to notice them! As we spin through this world, we are witness to all manner of combinations unfolding before us - familiar arcs and breaking waves alike, upon all of which it is our choice, our chance and our challenge, to possibly ride. Find Me Finding You, the new album from the new organization called the Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, manages to strike new chords while touching familiar keys in the song of life.
From its percolating opening beat, Find Me Finding Youlocates new systems within the sound-universe of Laetitia Sadier. This in itself isn't a surprise - Laetitia has relentlessly followed her music through different dynamics and into a variety of dimensions over the course of four solo albums since 2010 (not to forget her three albums with Monade and the long era of Stereolab) - but the nature of the construction here stands distinctly apart from her recent albums. Laetitia was inspired by a mind's-eye envisaging of geometric forms and their possible permutations. As she sought to replicate the shapes in music, this guided the process of assembly for the album.
Part of the freshness of Find Me Finding You comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. Laetitia recognized the energy of the tracks in their initial form, and sought to preserve their vitality by not retaking too many performances - instead, the rawness in the tracks was retained and refined at the mixing stage, maintaining an edge throughout. When we hear synth lines diving, lifting and drifting, unusual guitar textures, the plucked sound of flat wound bass strings or the bottomless pulsing of bass pedals stepping out of the mix with an exquisite vibrancy, this is the sound of the Source Ensemble.
A key to Laetitia's music is her use of vocal arrangements. Throughout Finding Me Finding You, the shifting accompaniment creates space to bring this element gloriously forward. Arranged by Laetitia with Joe Watson and Jeff Parker making string charts that were subsequently transposed to vocal parts for several songs, richly arranged choirs of voices provide depth along with the thrilling presence of extra breath in the sound. Laetitia's community-politic is well-served by the groups of voices lending support to the machining of the song craft, providing additional uplift to her quintessentially for-ward-facing viewpoint - as well as massed voices from three different countries sharing space in harmony!
Working in collaboration is Laetita's traditions, and a key to this album's view on being free together (it is necessary, prefer-able and right!). The designation of Source Collective implies a new togetherness phase; alongside long-time collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboard and flutes parts played by David Thayer (Little Tornados) were essential contributions, as well as further keys, synths and electronics from Phil M FU and several intense guitar sequences from Mason le Long. Chris A Cummings (aka Marker Starling, Laetitia's favorite composer) graciously wrote "Deep Background" for her. The duet with Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor on "Love Captive" (not to mention Rob Mazurek's distinctive coronet playing!) gives voice to an ideological cornerstone of Find Me Finding You - that, should we be responsible enough to endeavor into a world of basic incomes and open relationships, we would make astonishing strides as a society. These sorts of things can only be done in agreement with others.
Expressing great compassion and expectation with startling immediacy, as well as an abiding belief in an underlying unity that permeates and intimately binds all things and beings, Find Me Finding You combines a rigorous process for music-making with a deeply invested mindset, making captivating music that promises many stimulating spins to come!

LAETITIA SADIER

Another New Year, and new shapes are forming - if only we are fortunate enough to notice them! As we spin through this world, we are witness to all manner of combinations unfolding before us - familiar arcs and breaking waves alike, upon all of which it is our choice, our chance and our challenge, to possibly ride. Find Me Finding You, the new album from the new organization called the Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, manages to strike new chords while touching familiar keys in the song of life.
From its percolating opening beat, Find Me Finding Youlocates new systems within the sound-universe of Laetitia Sadier. This in itself isn't a surprise - Laetitia has relentlessly followed her music through different dynamics and into a variety of dimensions over the course of four solo albums since 2010 (not to forget her three albums with Monade and the long era of Stereolab) - but the nature of the construction here stands distinctly apart from her recent albums. Laetitia was inspired by a mind's-eye envisaging of geometric forms and their possible permutations. As she sought to replicate the shapes in music, this guided the process of assembly for the album.
Part of the freshness of Find Me Finding You comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. Laetitia recognized the energy of the tracks in their initial form, and sought to preserve their vitality by not retaking too many performances - instead, the rawness in the tracks was retained and refined at the mixing stage, maintaining an edge throughout. When we hear synth lines diving, lifting and drifting, unusual guitar textures, the plucked sound of flat wound bass strings or the bottomless pulsing of bass pedals stepping out of the mix with an exquisite vibrancy, this is the sound of the Source Ensemble.
A key to Laetitia's music is her use of vocal arrangements. Throughout Finding Me Finding You, the shifting accompaniment creates space to bring this element gloriously forward. Arranged by Laetitia with Joe Watson and Jeff Parker making string charts that were subsequently transposed to vocal parts for several songs, richly arranged choirs of voices provide depth along with the thrilling presence of extra breath in the sound. Laetitia's community-politic is well-served by the groups of voices lending support to the machining of the song craft, providing additional uplift to her quintessentially for-ward-facing viewpoint - as well as massed voices from three different countries sharing space in harmony!
Working in collaboration is Laetita's traditions, and a key to this album's view on being free together (it is necessary, prefer-able and right!). The designation of Source Collective implies a new togetherness phase; alongside long-time collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboard and flutes parts played by David Thayer (Little Tornados) were essential contributions, as well as further keys, synths and electronics from Phil M FU and several intense guitar sequences from Mason le Long. Chris A Cummings (aka Marker Starling, Laetitia's favorite composer) graciously wrote "Deep Background" for her. The duet with Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor on "Love Captive" (not to mention Rob Mazurek's distinctive coronet playing!) gives voice to an ideological cornerstone of Find Me Finding You - that, should we be responsible enough to endeavor into a world of basic incomes and open relationships, we would make astonishing strides as a society. These sorts of things can only be done in agreement with others.
Expressing great compassion and expectation with startling immediacy, as well as an abiding belief in an underlying unity that permeates and intimately binds all things and beings, Find Me Finding You combines a rigorous process for music-making with a deeply invested mindset, making captivating music that promises many stimulating spins to come!

Erin McKeown with Special Guest The Cabin Project

Erin McKeown is a musician, writer, and producer known internationally for her prolific disregard of stylistic boundaries. Her brash and clever electric guitar playing is something to see. Her singing voice is truly unique – clear, cool, and collected. Over the course of 11 studio albums and thousands of live performances, Erin has developed and refined a distinct and challenging mix of American musical styles. Her latest album is 2017’s MIRRORS BREAK BACK.

"Her operative mood is effortless grace." - LA Weekly

Erin McKeown is a musician, writer, and producer known internationally for her prolific disregard of stylistic boundaries. Her brash and clever electric guitar playing is something to see. Her singing voice is truly unique – clear, cool, and collected. Over the course of 11 studio albums and thousands of live performances, Erin has developed and refined a distinct and challenging mix of American musical styles. Her latest album is 2017’s MIRRORS BREAK BACK.

"Her operative mood is effortless grace." - LA Weekly

The Black Lillies

The Black Lillies are a band for the ages: rich, rootsy tunes performed with as much heart as technical virtuosity. If you ask them, they’ll tell you they play "Tennessee music" - combining strains of swampy Memphis soul and blues with Nashville’s classic country and East Tennessee’s traditional Appalachian style - while Rolling Stone describes it as "country music with a soul-rock infusion, supported by bandleader Cruz Contreras' smart songwriting and tight musicianship." Either way, it’s music that stirs your soul, touches your heart and makes you want to dance.

The band's latest album, Hard to Please, was an immediate critical and radio success, hitting #1 on the Roots Music Report and #4 on the Americana radio charts as well as debuting at #12 on Billboard Heatseekers and #30 on Billboard's Top 200 Country Albums. American Songwriter summed it up as "a soulful mix of upbeat Americana and tender ballads," while Vanity Fair noted that "their sound continues to cross generations and musical genres - country, folk, blues and add in a touch of the Dead, for good measure." And the bar had already been set high by their previous releases: 2013’s Runaway Freeway Blues conquered the Billboard Top 200 country charts and was selected for dozens of "Best of" lists, catching the attention of NPR, CMT, Wall Street Journal, Guitar World, Garden & Gun and more for what Entertainment Weekly calls "strong roots-folk songwriting, sweet harmonies, and charismatic indie spirit," while 2011's 100 Miles of Wreckage won the Independent Music Award for Americana Album of the Year.

Their raucous live show has earned them festival slots and enthralled audiences at venues ranging from Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz Fest and Stagecoach to the legendary Grand Ole Opry. The music is breakneck, brazen and beautiful; sultry soul, honky-tonk heartache, winding jams and flat-out rock'n'roll, tied together with soaring harmonies that "bring back echoes of practically every great male/female duo of the past several decades ... [the sound is] one for the ages, and, one suspects, ages yet to come," according to Glide Magazine.

Make no mistake: when you see The Black Lillies live, you definitely won't be hard to please.

The Black Lillies are a band for the ages: rich, rootsy tunes performed with as much heart as technical virtuosity. If you ask them, they’ll tell you they play "Tennessee music" - combining strains of swampy Memphis soul and blues with Nashville’s classic country and East Tennessee’s traditional Appalachian style - while Rolling Stone describes it as "country music with a soul-rock infusion, supported by bandleader Cruz Contreras' smart songwriting and tight musicianship." Either way, it’s music that stirs your soul, touches your heart and makes you want to dance.

The band's latest album, Hard to Please, was an immediate critical and radio success, hitting #1 on the Roots Music Report and #4 on the Americana radio charts as well as debuting at #12 on Billboard Heatseekers and #30 on Billboard's Top 200 Country Albums. American Songwriter summed it up as "a soulful mix of upbeat Americana and tender ballads," while Vanity Fair noted that "their sound continues to cross generations and musical genres - country, folk, blues and add in a touch of the Dead, for good measure." And the bar had already been set high by their previous releases: 2013’s Runaway Freeway Blues conquered the Billboard Top 200 country charts and was selected for dozens of "Best of" lists, catching the attention of NPR, CMT, Wall Street Journal, Guitar World, Garden & Gun and more for what Entertainment Weekly calls "strong roots-folk songwriting, sweet harmonies, and charismatic indie spirit," while 2011's 100 Miles of Wreckage won the Independent Music Award for Americana Album of the Year.

Their raucous live show has earned them festival slots and enthralled audiences at venues ranging from Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz Fest and Stagecoach to the legendary Grand Ole Opry. The music is breakneck, brazen and beautiful; sultry soul, honky-tonk heartache, winding jams and flat-out rock'n'roll, tied together with soaring harmonies that "bring back echoes of practically every great male/female duo of the past several decades ... [the sound is] one for the ages, and, one suspects, ages yet to come," according to Glide Magazine.

Make no mistake: when you see The Black Lillies live, you definitely won't be hard to please.

(Early Show) Matt Light with Special Guest Ray Zawodni

Mine- Matt Light- one of the hottest comedians in the industry today. - takes
every topic in life and twists them on their head with the perfect mix of charm
and tell-it-like-it-is attitude. Now in remission from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, his
new outlook to make people laugh at life and death, and enjoy the silly
observations of that comes with it, is contagious when he's on stage - as told on the front cover of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Matt has his only monthly comedy show case called "Lights out" at the Pittsburgh Improv, he hosts "Man on the street" for WDVE Morning Show and has performed in front of clubs and colleges across the United States. Matt had a viral video from the Pittsburgh Improv that reached over 3 million views, was featured on Good Morning America and he was just recently named Pittsburgh's Best comedian for the third year in a row by Pittsburgh Magazine.

Mine- Matt Light- one of the hottest comedians in the industry today. - takes
every topic in life and twists them on their head with the perfect mix of charm
and tell-it-like-it-is attitude. Now in remission from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, his
new outlook to make people laugh at life and death, and enjoy the silly
observations of that comes with it, is contagious when he's on stage - as told on the front cover of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Matt has his only monthly comedy show case called "Lights out" at the Pittsburgh Improv, he hosts "Man on the street" for WDVE Morning Show and has performed in front of clubs and colleges across the United States. Matt had a viral video from the Pittsburgh Improv that reached over 3 million views, was featured on Good Morning America and he was just recently named Pittsburgh's Best comedian for the third year in a row by Pittsburgh Magazine.

(Late Show) Ray Zawodni with special guest Matt Light

Pittsburgh native, Ray Zawodni has been called a son, a brother, a lover and a loser but he mostly prefers to be called a stand-up comedian. After finishing his fourth year at West Virginia University, the proud Mountaineer returned to the Steel City to pursue a dream that he has had since he was a small child...but when he realized he was too out of shape to be a superhero, he decided to try comedy instead! Over the past 6 years, he has used his devilishly good looks and boyish charm to entertain audiences all over the east coast. Zawodni is a regular performer at the Pittsburgh Improv and the Arcade Comedy Theater.He also performs at colleges across the region including the University of Pittsburgh, California University of Pennsylvania and his alma mater, WVU.

Pittsburgh native, Ray Zawodni has been called a son, a brother, a lover and a loser but he mostly prefers to be called a stand-up comedian. After finishing his fourth year at West Virginia University, the proud Mountaineer returned to the Steel City to pursue a dream that he has had since he was a small child...but when he realized he was too out of shape to be a superhero, he decided to try comedy instead! Over the past 6 years, he has used his devilishly good looks and boyish charm to entertain audiences all over the east coast. Zawodni is a regular performer at the Pittsburgh Improv and the Arcade Comedy Theater.He also performs at colleges across the region including the University of Pittsburgh, California University of Pennsylvania and his alma mater, WVU.

Wayne 'The Train' Hancock

"Wayne Hancock has more Hank Sr. in him than either I or Hank Williams Jr. He is the real deal." - Hank III
"Hancock, who tosses out a roots mix of old country, roadhouse blues, western dance swing, boogie bop, and straight-up rockabilly, takes what was once old and makes it seem like it's always been and always will be."---allmusic.com
“The country music scene could do with a lot more characters like Wayne, who push the music’s limits while staying truer to its roots than any well-known names associated with the genre today.” – Slug Magazine
Since his stunning debut, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs in 1995, Wayne “The Train” Hancock has been the undisputed king of Juke Joint Swing--that alchemist’s dream of honky-tonk, western swing, blues, Texas rockabilly and big band. Always an anomaly among his country music peers, Wayne’s uncompromising interpretation of the music he loves is in fact what defines him: steeped in traditional but never "retro;" bare bones but bone shaking; hardcore but with a swing. Like the comfortable crackle of a Wurlitzer 45 jukebox, Wayne is the embodiment of genuine, house rocking, hillbilly boogie.

Wayne makes music fit for any road house anywhere. With his unmistakable voice, The Train’s reckless honky-tonk can move the dead. If you see him live (and he is ALWAYS touring), you’ll surely work up some sweat stains on that snazzy Rayon shirt you’re wearing. If you buy his records, you’ll be rolling up your carpets, spreading sawdust on the hardwood, and dancing until the downstairs neighbors are banging their brooms on the ceiling. Call him a throwback if you want, Wayne just wants to ENTERTAIN you, and what's wrong with that?

Wayne's disdain for the slick swill that passes for real deal country is well known. Like he's fond of saying: "Man, I'm like a stab wound in the fabric of country music in Nashville. See that bloodstain slowly spreading? That's me."

Little known fact: Wayne is the only Bloodshot artist to have had their CD taken aboard a space shuttle flight.

"A rare breed of traditionalist, one who imbues his retro obsessions with such high energy and passions that his songs never feel like the museum pieces he's trying desperately to preserve." -AllMusic.com

"Wayne Hancock has more Hank Sr. in him than either I or Hank Williams Jr. He is the real deal." - Hank III
"Hancock, who tosses out a roots mix of old country, roadhouse blues, western dance swing, boogie bop, and straight-up rockabilly, takes what was once old and makes it seem like it's always been and always will be."---allmusic.com
“The country music scene could do with a lot more characters like Wayne, who push the music’s limits while staying truer to its roots than any well-known names associated with the genre today.” – Slug Magazine
Since his stunning debut, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs in 1995, Wayne “The Train” Hancock has been the undisputed king of Juke Joint Swing--that alchemist’s dream of honky-tonk, western swing, blues, Texas rockabilly and big band. Always an anomaly among his country music peers, Wayne’s uncompromising interpretation of the music he loves is in fact what defines him: steeped in traditional but never "retro;" bare bones but bone shaking; hardcore but with a swing. Like the comfortable crackle of a Wurlitzer 45 jukebox, Wayne is the embodiment of genuine, house rocking, hillbilly boogie.

Wayne makes music fit for any road house anywhere. With his unmistakable voice, The Train’s reckless honky-tonk can move the dead. If you see him live (and he is ALWAYS touring), you’ll surely work up some sweat stains on that snazzy Rayon shirt you’re wearing. If you buy his records, you’ll be rolling up your carpets, spreading sawdust on the hardwood, and dancing until the downstairs neighbors are banging their brooms on the ceiling. Call him a throwback if you want, Wayne just wants to ENTERTAIN you, and what's wrong with that?

Wayne's disdain for the slick swill that passes for real deal country is well known. Like he's fond of saying: "Man, I'm like a stab wound in the fabric of country music in Nashville. See that bloodstain slowly spreading? That's me."

Little known fact: Wayne is the only Bloodshot artist to have had their CD taken aboard a space shuttle flight.

"A rare breed of traditionalist, one who imbues his retro obsessions with such high energy and passions that his songs never feel like the museum pieces he's trying desperately to preserve." -AllMusic.com

Bill Toms and Hard Rain (Featuring The Soulville Horns) - 'Good For My Soul' Record Release Concert (Night 1)

Will Kimbrough (producer) 2017:

Bill Toms is a hard working, blue collar, blues guitar playing, soul shouting poet.

He's no stranger to the road, nor is he a stranger to a steel mill. No stranger to his heart, his conscience---you can feel it in these songs.

Hard Rain is not just a brilliant, post-Apocalyptic Bob Dylan song. Hard Rain is Bill Toms' guitar slinging, horn blowing, pure soul back-beat band.

No Hard Rain, no Bill Toms. No Bill Toms, No Hard Rain.

For the second time, I was asked to come help produce a Bill Toms and Hard Rain album at Studio L in Weirton, West Virginia---Rick Witkowski's place. Yeah, that Rick Witkowski from Crack the Sky. Creem Magazine. Yes, I am a rock n roll kid who grew up with Creem Magazine.

The poetry of recording this real deal blue collar soul band in Weirton, WV---where Michael Cimino's epic tragedy "The Deer Hunter" was filmed---cannot be overlooked. Not that we took off into the mountains, got loaded and chased ungulates around---nor chased Meryl Streep around. But in that setting, in mid-Winter, in the wake of the election of Donald J Trump as President of the United States of America—it all seemed poetic to say the least.

Bill Toms will sit you down and strategize a soul song with such sincerity and seriousness---soul music is serious business when it comes to Bill's art, his music, his band. His band consists of some of the most talented musicians in the music world. Phil Brontz on sax, Steve Binsberger on piano and organ, Tom Valentine on bass, Tom Breiding on guitar, and Bernie Herr on the drums. Throw in the Soulville Horns (Steve Graham - trombone, JD Chaison - trumpet) and the rhythm and soul is oozing from the studio.

We compared what we were doing to our favorite Stax Records. To the Willie Mitchell produced Hi Records masterpieces---Al Green, Syl Johnson. To the soul gospel of the Staple Singers. To the east coast soul of the O'Jays, Dyke and the Blazers. We wanted to make sure we did not smooth away the edges---not just rough edges---but the edges of the sound itself. If a guitar was kind of raw and wild---keep that. If the drums sounded like a man trying to beat his way out of the trunk of a '73 Lincoln---keep it. If Bill's voice cracked a little because he was singing so hard and in the moment that he rasped like a rusty cog at US Steel---keep it.

Me, I just tagged along, played rhythm guitar, cheered them on, played some slide guitar, sang some harmonies---and had the time of my life.

The very night I arrived home after that long drive from Weirton, WV to Nashville, my wife and I watched "The Deer Hunter"---if you've seen it, you know it's dark and heavy. But all I could think about was jumping up and down with Bill Toms and Rick Witkowski, making the Marvin Gaye-esque party atmosphere on "Going Back To Memphis" in Rick's basement studio, right there in Weirton, by the rusted out mill.

These are desperate times, indeed. But I'm sad no more. The human spirit lives in us all; but the soul shouting spirit is particularly lively up around Pittsburgh these days, in the soul blues poetry of Mister Bill Toms and his real deal band, Hard Rain.

Will Kimbrough (producer) 2017:

Bill Toms is a hard working, blue collar, blues guitar playing, soul shouting poet.

He's no stranger to the road, nor is he a stranger to a steel mill. No stranger to his heart, his conscience---you can feel it in these songs.

Hard Rain is not just a brilliant, post-Apocalyptic Bob Dylan song. Hard Rain is Bill Toms' guitar slinging, horn blowing, pure soul back-beat band.

No Hard Rain, no Bill Toms. No Bill Toms, No Hard Rain.

For the second time, I was asked to come help produce a Bill Toms and Hard Rain album at Studio L in Weirton, West Virginia---Rick Witkowski's place. Yeah, that Rick Witkowski from Crack the Sky. Creem Magazine. Yes, I am a rock n roll kid who grew up with Creem Magazine.

The poetry of recording this real deal blue collar soul band in Weirton, WV---where Michael Cimino's epic tragedy "The Deer Hunter" was filmed---cannot be overlooked. Not that we took off into the mountains, got loaded and chased ungulates around---nor chased Meryl Streep around. But in that setting, in mid-Winter, in the wake of the election of Donald J Trump as President of the United States of America—it all seemed poetic to say the least.

Bill Toms will sit you down and strategize a soul song with such sincerity and seriousness---soul music is serious business when it comes to Bill's art, his music, his band. His band consists of some of the most talented musicians in the music world. Phil Brontz on sax, Steve Binsberger on piano and organ, Tom Valentine on bass, Tom Breiding on guitar, and Bernie Herr on the drums. Throw in the Soulville Horns (Steve Graham - trombone, JD Chaison - trumpet) and the rhythm and soul is oozing from the studio.

We compared what we were doing to our favorite Stax Records. To the Willie Mitchell produced Hi Records masterpieces---Al Green, Syl Johnson. To the soul gospel of the Staple Singers. To the east coast soul of the O'Jays, Dyke and the Blazers. We wanted to make sure we did not smooth away the edges---not just rough edges---but the edges of the sound itself. If a guitar was kind of raw and wild---keep that. If the drums sounded like a man trying to beat his way out of the trunk of a '73 Lincoln---keep it. If Bill's voice cracked a little because he was singing so hard and in the moment that he rasped like a rusty cog at US Steel---keep it.

Me, I just tagged along, played rhythm guitar, cheered them on, played some slide guitar, sang some harmonies---and had the time of my life.

The very night I arrived home after that long drive from Weirton, WV to Nashville, my wife and I watched "The Deer Hunter"---if you've seen it, you know it's dark and heavy. But all I could think about was jumping up and down with Bill Toms and Rick Witkowski, making the Marvin Gaye-esque party atmosphere on "Going Back To Memphis" in Rick's basement studio, right there in Weirton, by the rusted out mill.

These are desperate times, indeed. But I'm sad no more. The human spirit lives in us all; but the soul shouting spirit is particularly lively up around Pittsburgh these days, in the soul blues poetry of Mister Bill Toms and his real deal band, Hard Rain.

Bill Toms and Hard Rain (Featuring The Soulville Horns) - 'Good For My Soul' Record Release Concert (Night 2)

Will Kimbrough (producer) 2017:

Bill Toms is a hard working, blue collar, blues guitar playing, soul shouting poet.

He's no stranger to the road, nor is he a stranger to a steel mill. No stranger to his heart, his conscience---you can feel it in these songs.

Hard Rain is not just a brilliant, post-Apocalyptic Bob Dylan song. Hard Rain is Bill Toms' guitar slinging, horn blowing, pure soul back-beat band.

No Hard Rain, no Bill Toms. No Bill Toms, No Hard Rain.

For the second time, I was asked to come help produce a Bill Toms and Hard Rain album at Studio L in Weirton, West Virginia---Rick Witkowski's place. Yeah, that Rick Witkowski from Crack the Sky. Creem Magazine. Yes, I am a rock n roll kid who grew up with Creem Magazine.

The poetry of recording this real deal blue collar soul band in Weirton, WV---where Michael Cimino's epic tragedy "The Deer Hunter" was filmed---cannot be overlooked. Not that we took off into the mountains, got loaded and chased ungulates around---nor chased Meryl Streep around. But in that setting, in mid-Winter, in the wake of the election of Donald J Trump as President of the United States of America—it all seemed poetic to say the least.

Bill Toms will sit you down and strategize a soul song with such sincerity and seriousness---soul music is serious business when it comes to Bill's art, his music, his band. His band consists of some of the most talented musicians in the music world. Phil Brontz on sax, Steve Binsberger on piano and organ, Tom Valentine on bass, Tom Breiding on guitar, and Bernie Herr on the drums. Throw in the Soulville Horns (Steve Graham - trombone, JD Chaison - trumpet) and the rhythm and soul is oozing from the studio.

We compared what we were doing to our favorite Stax Records. To the Willie Mitchell produced Hi Records masterpieces---Al Green, Syl Johnson. To the soul gospel of the Staple Singers. To the east coast soul of the O'Jays, Dyke and the Blazers. We wanted to make sure we did not smooth away the edges---not just rough edges---but the edges of the sound itself. If a guitar was kind of raw and wild---keep that. If the drums sounded like a man trying to beat his way out of the trunk of a '73 Lincoln---keep it. If Bill's voice cracked a little because he was singing so hard and in the moment that he rasped like a rusty cog at US Steel---keep it.

Me, I just tagged along, played rhythm guitar, cheered them on, played some slide guitar, sang some harmonies---and had the time of my life.

The very night I arrived home after that long drive from Weirton, WV to Nashville, my wife and I watched "The Deer Hunter"---if you've seen it, you know it's dark and heavy. But all I could think about was jumping up and down with Bill Toms and Rick Witkowski, making the Marvin Gaye-esque party atmosphere on "Going Back To Memphis" in Rick's basement studio, right there in Weirton, by the rusted out mill.

These are desperate times, indeed. But I'm sad no more. The human spirit lives in us all; but the soul shouting spirit is particularly lively up around Pittsburgh these days, in the soul blues poetry of Mister Bill Toms and his real deal band, Hard Rain.

Will Kimbrough (producer) 2017:

Bill Toms is a hard working, blue collar, blues guitar playing, soul shouting poet.

He's no stranger to the road, nor is he a stranger to a steel mill. No stranger to his heart, his conscience---you can feel it in these songs.

Hard Rain is not just a brilliant, post-Apocalyptic Bob Dylan song. Hard Rain is Bill Toms' guitar slinging, horn blowing, pure soul back-beat band.

No Hard Rain, no Bill Toms. No Bill Toms, No Hard Rain.

For the second time, I was asked to come help produce a Bill Toms and Hard Rain album at Studio L in Weirton, West Virginia---Rick Witkowski's place. Yeah, that Rick Witkowski from Crack the Sky. Creem Magazine. Yes, I am a rock n roll kid who grew up with Creem Magazine.

The poetry of recording this real deal blue collar soul band in Weirton, WV---where Michael Cimino's epic tragedy "The Deer Hunter" was filmed---cannot be overlooked. Not that we took off into the mountains, got loaded and chased ungulates around---nor chased Meryl Streep around. But in that setting, in mid-Winter, in the wake of the election of Donald J Trump as President of the United States of America—it all seemed poetic to say the least.

Bill Toms will sit you down and strategize a soul song with such sincerity and seriousness---soul music is serious business when it comes to Bill's art, his music, his band. His band consists of some of the most talented musicians in the music world. Phil Brontz on sax, Steve Binsberger on piano and organ, Tom Valentine on bass, Tom Breiding on guitar, and Bernie Herr on the drums. Throw in the Soulville Horns (Steve Graham - trombone, JD Chaison - trumpet) and the rhythm and soul is oozing from the studio.

We compared what we were doing to our favorite Stax Records. To the Willie Mitchell produced Hi Records masterpieces---Al Green, Syl Johnson. To the soul gospel of the Staple Singers. To the east coast soul of the O'Jays, Dyke and the Blazers. We wanted to make sure we did not smooth away the edges---not just rough edges---but the edges of the sound itself. If a guitar was kind of raw and wild---keep that. If the drums sounded like a man trying to beat his way out of the trunk of a '73 Lincoln---keep it. If Bill's voice cracked a little because he was singing so hard and in the moment that he rasped like a rusty cog at US Steel---keep it.

Me, I just tagged along, played rhythm guitar, cheered them on, played some slide guitar, sang some harmonies---and had the time of my life.

The very night I arrived home after that long drive from Weirton, WV to Nashville, my wife and I watched "The Deer Hunter"---if you've seen it, you know it's dark and heavy. But all I could think about was jumping up and down with Bill Toms and Rick Witkowski, making the Marvin Gaye-esque party atmosphere on "Going Back To Memphis" in Rick's basement studio, right there in Weirton, by the rusted out mill.

These are desperate times, indeed. But I'm sad no more. The human spirit lives in us all; but the soul shouting spirit is particularly lively up around Pittsburgh these days, in the soul blues poetry of Mister Bill Toms and his real deal band, Hard Rain.

Slaid Cleaves

Slaid Cleaves spins stories with a novelist's eye and a poet's heart. Twenty years into his career, the celebrated songwriter's Still Fighting the War spotlights an artist in peak form. Cleaves' seamless new collection delivers vivid snapshots as wildly cinematic as they are carefully chiseled. Dress William Faulkner with faded jeans and a worn six-string for a good idea. "Slaid's a craftsman," says Terri Hendrix, who sings harmony on "Texas Love Song." "He goes about his songs like a woodworker."

Accordingly, Cleaves' earthy narratives stand oak strong. "Men go off to war for a hundred reasons/But they all come home with the same demons," he sings on the album's title track. "Some you can keep at bay for a while/Some will pin you to the floor/You've been home for a couple of years now, buddy/But you're still fighting the war." Few writers frame bruised souls as clearly. Fewer still deliver a punch with such striking immediacy.

"I started ‘Still Fighting the War' four years ago and originally each verse was a separate character," Cleaves explains. "Each verse was about getting swindled. One was about the economy, one was about a returning veteran, one was about a broken-up couple. It was too cumbersome, so I focused in on the soldier. The key that made it all work came as I was talking to my friend and occasional co-writer, Ron Coy. A troubled Vietnam vet buddy of his had recently passed away. Ron said, ‘All this time, it was like he was still fighting the war.' I knew instantly that was the perfect way to summarize the song."

Cleaves delivers equal measures of hope and resignation throughout this 2013 release as life lessons slide subtly through side doors. "Normally when I start writing a new batch, a theme starts to emerge after three or four songs," says Cleaves, who built an unlikely success story from scratch after moving to Austin, Texas, from Maine two decades ago. "This time around I thought, I'm just gonna write where the muse takes me and each song will be its own thing. So I ended up with a CD that has a bit more variety on it compared to my previous releases. Half the songs are about struggle and perseverance and half are all over the place, some tongue-in-cheek stuff, a gospel song, a Texas pride song."

Witness deft wordplay on the latter: "Your wit's as sharp as a prickly pear/The sun shines in your golden hair/Your smile hits me right in the solar plexus," Cleaves sings with a wink in "Texas Love Song." "Skin as soft as early morning rain/Temper like a Gulf Coast hurricane/I love you even more than I love Texas." "Originally, the phrase was ‘I love you almost as much as I love Texas,'" Cleaves says, "because that's about as far as a true proud Texan will go. Then I realized that if I committed the sin of saying ‘I love you even more than I love Texas,' it trips off the tongue better. It was a fun little challenge to come up with so many rhymes for ‘Texas.'"


Of course, Cleaves conquered the task. Longtime fans expect nothing less. After all, Still Fighting the War follows the razor sharp songwriter's undeniable hat trick – Broke Down (2000), Wishbones (2004) and Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away (2009) – that established him as a singular storyteller. His golden key: effortlessly shading dark with light. Cue Cleaves' excellent double-disc Sorrow & Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge for inarguable evidence ("Drinkin' Days," "Wishbones," "Horseshoe Lounge").

"You get a lot of the man behind the lyrics," Hendrix says. "What you see with Slaid is what you get: He doesn't have the eyes of a cynic. He has optimism about him through a realistic gaze and writes with a wise voice." The Kerrville Folk Festival recognized those intangible qualities long ago when Cleaves won its hallowed New Folk award in 1992. He's doubled down ever since with literate story songs exponentially more mature and meaningful.

Consider one other new high water mark. "But they figured it out/And shipped the elbow grease/Down to Mexico/And off to the Chinese," Cleaves sings on the haunting meditation "Rust Belt Fields." "And I learned a little something 'bout how things are/No one remembers your name just for working hard." Childhood friend Rod Picott co-wrote those potent lines - the duo has split pages on several indelible blue-collar vignettes over the years ("Broke Down," "Sinner's Prayer," "Bring It On," "Black T-shirt").

"Slaid is my favorite co-writer," says Picott, who also co-wrote the new album's standout "Welding Burns." "He's a smart writer with a gift for wringing the most out of a melody. Slaid understands that the song has to rule. He's patient and unwavering in his pursuit of the best." Cleaves humbly accepts the praise. "Despite the odds, through persistence and good fortune I've carved out a niche for myself," he says. "You could say I have a ‘Whim of Iron.'"

Slaid Cleaves spins stories with a novelist's eye and a poet's heart. Twenty years into his career, the celebrated songwriter's Still Fighting the War spotlights an artist in peak form. Cleaves' seamless new collection delivers vivid snapshots as wildly cinematic as they are carefully chiseled. Dress William Faulkner with faded jeans and a worn six-string for a good idea. "Slaid's a craftsman," says Terri Hendrix, who sings harmony on "Texas Love Song." "He goes about his songs like a woodworker."

Accordingly, Cleaves' earthy narratives stand oak strong. "Men go off to war for a hundred reasons/But they all come home with the same demons," he sings on the album's title track. "Some you can keep at bay for a while/Some will pin you to the floor/You've been home for a couple of years now, buddy/But you're still fighting the war." Few writers frame bruised souls as clearly. Fewer still deliver a punch with such striking immediacy.

"I started ‘Still Fighting the War' four years ago and originally each verse was a separate character," Cleaves explains. "Each verse was about getting swindled. One was about the economy, one was about a returning veteran, one was about a broken-up couple. It was too cumbersome, so I focused in on the soldier. The key that made it all work came as I was talking to my friend and occasional co-writer, Ron Coy. A troubled Vietnam vet buddy of his had recently passed away. Ron said, ‘All this time, it was like he was still fighting the war.' I knew instantly that was the perfect way to summarize the song."

Cleaves delivers equal measures of hope and resignation throughout this 2013 release as life lessons slide subtly through side doors. "Normally when I start writing a new batch, a theme starts to emerge after three or four songs," says Cleaves, who built an unlikely success story from scratch after moving to Austin, Texas, from Maine two decades ago. "This time around I thought, I'm just gonna write where the muse takes me and each song will be its own thing. So I ended up with a CD that has a bit more variety on it compared to my previous releases. Half the songs are about struggle and perseverance and half are all over the place, some tongue-in-cheek stuff, a gospel song, a Texas pride song."

Witness deft wordplay on the latter: "Your wit's as sharp as a prickly pear/The sun shines in your golden hair/Your smile hits me right in the solar plexus," Cleaves sings with a wink in "Texas Love Song." "Skin as soft as early morning rain/Temper like a Gulf Coast hurricane/I love you even more than I love Texas." "Originally, the phrase was ‘I love you almost as much as I love Texas,'" Cleaves says, "because that's about as far as a true proud Texan will go. Then I realized that if I committed the sin of saying ‘I love you even more than I love Texas,' it trips off the tongue better. It was a fun little challenge to come up with so many rhymes for ‘Texas.'"


Of course, Cleaves conquered the task. Longtime fans expect nothing less. After all, Still Fighting the War follows the razor sharp songwriter's undeniable hat trick – Broke Down (2000), Wishbones (2004) and Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away (2009) – that established him as a singular storyteller. His golden key: effortlessly shading dark with light. Cue Cleaves' excellent double-disc Sorrow & Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge for inarguable evidence ("Drinkin' Days," "Wishbones," "Horseshoe Lounge").

"You get a lot of the man behind the lyrics," Hendrix says. "What you see with Slaid is what you get: He doesn't have the eyes of a cynic. He has optimism about him through a realistic gaze and writes with a wise voice." The Kerrville Folk Festival recognized those intangible qualities long ago when Cleaves won its hallowed New Folk award in 1992. He's doubled down ever since with literate story songs exponentially more mature and meaningful.

Consider one other new high water mark. "But they figured it out/And shipped the elbow grease/Down to Mexico/And off to the Chinese," Cleaves sings on the haunting meditation "Rust Belt Fields." "And I learned a little something 'bout how things are/No one remembers your name just for working hard." Childhood friend Rod Picott co-wrote those potent lines - the duo has split pages on several indelible blue-collar vignettes over the years ("Broke Down," "Sinner's Prayer," "Bring It On," "Black T-shirt").

"Slaid is my favorite co-writer," says Picott, who also co-wrote the new album's standout "Welding Burns." "He's a smart writer with a gift for wringing the most out of a melody. Slaid understands that the song has to rule. He's patient and unwavering in his pursuit of the best." Cleaves humbly accepts the praise. "Despite the odds, through persistence and good fortune I've carved out a niche for myself," he says. "You could say I have a ‘Whim of Iron.'"

Pigpen Theatre Co.

PigPen Theatre Co. began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. Their debut album, "Bremen", was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post's 2012 Grammy preview sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, "The Way I'm Running", in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. In 2015 PigPen released their sophomore album, "Whole Sun", performed at Mumford & Sons' return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival, and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme's "Ricki and the Flash" starring Meryl Streep. They are currently writing their debut children's novel and performing Shakespeare's Pericles directed by Sir Trevor Nunn at Theatre For A New Audience in Brooklyn, NY.

PigPen Theatre Co. began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. Their debut album, "Bremen", was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post's 2012 Grammy preview sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, "The Way I'm Running", in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. In 2015 PigPen released their sophomore album, "Whole Sun", performed at Mumford & Sons' return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival, and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme's "Ricki and the Flash" starring Meryl Streep. They are currently writing their debut children's novel and performing Shakespeare's Pericles directed by Sir Trevor Nunn at Theatre For A New Audience in Brooklyn, NY.

Pigpen Theatre Co.

PigPen Theatre Co. began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. Their debut album, "Bremen", was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post's 2012 Grammy preview sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, "The Way I'm Running", in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. In 2015 PigPen released their sophomore album, "Whole Sun", performed at Mumford & Sons' return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival, and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme's "Ricki and the Flash" starring Meryl Streep. They are currently writing their debut children's novel and performing Shakespeare's Pericles directed by Sir Trevor Nunn at Theatre For A New Audience in Brooklyn, NY.

PigPen Theatre Co. began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. Their debut album, "Bremen", was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post's 2012 Grammy preview sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, "The Way I'm Running", in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. In 2015 PigPen released their sophomore album, "Whole Sun", performed at Mumford & Sons' return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival, and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme's "Ricki and the Flash" starring Meryl Streep. They are currently writing their debut children's novel and performing Shakespeare's Pericles directed by Sir Trevor Nunn at Theatre For A New Audience in Brooklyn, NY.

@clubcafelive

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