club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
American Cancer Society Benefit with Ray Powers, Brian Genovesi, Fetish Noir, Paul McGinty, Megan Pennington, Carrie Collins

Join Club Cafe for a very special show benefitting the American Cancer Society with Ray Powers, Brian Genovesi, Fetish Noir, Paul McGinty, Megan Pennington, Carrie Collins

Join Club Cafe for a very special show benefitting the American Cancer Society with Ray Powers, Brian Genovesi, Fetish Noir, Paul McGinty, Megan Pennington, Carrie Collins

Opus One Comedy Presents LaRoyce Hawkins with John Dick Winters, Hosted by Collin Chamberlin

LaRoyce Hawkins stars as “Officer Kevin Atwater” on NBC's police drama CHICAGO PD. Hawkins, who first originated the role on CHICAGO FIRE, is an accomplished standup comic, spoken-word artist and musician who also recently guest starred on Comedy Central’s SOUTH SIDE. He had a role in the feature film THE EXPRESS, which chronicled the life of Ernie Davis - the first African American to win college football's coveted Heisman Award. On the television side, Hawkins has appeared on MTV’S UNDEREMPLOYED, ABC’S DETROIT 187, and the TBS comedy TYLER PERRY’S HOUSE OF PAYNE. He was also in the pilot for the HBO series BALLERS opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He has appeared on stage in BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, HOODOO LOVE at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, and MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM. Hawkins holds a BFA in acting from Illinois State University.

LaRoyce Hawkins stars as “Officer Kevin Atwater” on NBC's police drama CHICAGO PD. Hawkins, who first originated the role on CHICAGO FIRE, is an accomplished standup comic, spoken-word artist and musician who also recently guest starred on Comedy Central’s SOUTH SIDE. He had a role in the feature film THE EXPRESS, which chronicled the life of Ernie Davis - the first African American to win college football's coveted Heisman Award. On the television side, Hawkins has appeared on MTV’S UNDEREMPLOYED, ABC’S DETROIT 187, and the TBS comedy TYLER PERRY’S HOUSE OF PAYNE. He was also in the pilot for the HBO series BALLERS opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He has appeared on stage in BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, HOODOO LOVE at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, and MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM. Hawkins holds a BFA in acting from Illinois State University.

Fireside Collective with Special Guest Shelf Life String Band

Quickly blazing a name for themselves with their progressive approach to American folk music, Fireside Collective delights listeners with memorable melodies and contemporary songwriting. Formed in the mountain city of Asheville North Carolina, the band plays original songs on stringed instruments, intended for a modern audience. Following the release of their debut album “Shadows and Dreams”, the band hit the road seeking to engage audiences with their energetic live show built on instrumental proficiency, colorful harmonies, and innovative musical arrangements.

Well what do you call it? “Bluegrass, Newgrass, perhaps Progressive folk…” These are some descriptions mandolinist and songwriter Jesse Iaquinto chooses to identify with. “Depending on where you come from and your experience with folk music, you may think we’re very traditional, or on the other hand, consider us a progressive act. We appreciate both ends of the spectrum and may lie on a different end on any given night.” While roots music lies at the core of the Collective’s songs, a willingness to explore the boundaries and present relevant new material remains fundamental. The band burst onto the scene in early 2014 following the release of “Shadows and Dreams.” The album weaves bluegrass, funk, rock, and blues influences into a refreshing representation of modern folk music. From the opening track “Poor Soul” with it’s energetic bluegrass overtones to the closer “Shine the Way Home”, the album takes listeners on a journey through simple love songs to complex themes such as metaphysics and coexistence. The album, recorded in Asheville at Sound Temple Studios, features guest musicians from Asheville’s rich acoustic music scene alongside members of the Fireside Collective. 2017 has been a momentous year for the band as they released their second studio album, "Life Between the Lines." The album helped garner a nomination for an IBMA momentum award for best band. The band has been touring heavily to support the release of their new album with over 120 shows by the end of the summer. Fireside plans to continue touring throughout 2017 and hopes to release another album in the not so distant future. If you revel in the sounds of acoustic instrumentation, enjoy the excitement of energetic live performances, and delight in the creation of original songs, then follow the Fireside Collective as they journey on in their musical endeavors.

Quickly blazing a name for themselves with their progressive approach to American folk music, Fireside Collective delights listeners with memorable melodies and contemporary songwriting. Formed in the mountain city of Asheville North Carolina, the band plays original songs on stringed instruments, intended for a modern audience. Following the release of their debut album “Shadows and Dreams”, the band hit the road seeking to engage audiences with their energetic live show built on instrumental proficiency, colorful harmonies, and innovative musical arrangements.

Well what do you call it? “Bluegrass, Newgrass, perhaps Progressive folk…” These are some descriptions mandolinist and songwriter Jesse Iaquinto chooses to identify with. “Depending on where you come from and your experience with folk music, you may think we’re very traditional, or on the other hand, consider us a progressive act. We appreciate both ends of the spectrum and may lie on a different end on any given night.” While roots music lies at the core of the Collective’s songs, a willingness to explore the boundaries and present relevant new material remains fundamental. The band burst onto the scene in early 2014 following the release of “Shadows and Dreams.” The album weaves bluegrass, funk, rock, and blues influences into a refreshing representation of modern folk music. From the opening track “Poor Soul” with it’s energetic bluegrass overtones to the closer “Shine the Way Home”, the album takes listeners on a journey through simple love songs to complex themes such as metaphysics and coexistence. The album, recorded in Asheville at Sound Temple Studios, features guest musicians from Asheville’s rich acoustic music scene alongside members of the Fireside Collective. 2017 has been a momentous year for the band as they released their second studio album, "Life Between the Lines." The album helped garner a nomination for an IBMA momentum award for best band. The band has been touring heavily to support the release of their new album with over 120 shows by the end of the summer. Fireside plans to continue touring throughout 2017 and hopes to release another album in the not so distant future. If you revel in the sounds of acoustic instrumentation, enjoy the excitement of energetic live performances, and delight in the creation of original songs, then follow the Fireside Collective as they journey on in their musical endeavors.

An Evening With Marcia Ball

Doors will open an hour early at 6pm for extended kitchen service. Come have dinner with us before the show!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doors will open an hour early at 6pm for extended kitchen service. Come have dinner with us before the show!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Brashear backed by Dan Hanczar. Jamie Frey and Tony Bellassai with Special Guest Tom Breiding

Robert Brashear is a singer/songwriter in New York City and former city of Pittsburgh resident. Since returning to performing in 2015, after a long hiatus, Robert as both a solo singer-songwriter and with his "Home(Away) Band, has played all five boros of Manhattan, both coasts of Florida, from Portland in the northwest corner of the country to Lake Worth on the southeast, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Asheville and Berlin, Dublin and Copenhagen and most recently Argentina and Uruguay. He is featured on the just released ep "Hearing Double" by New York City icon, Marie Mazziotti.(https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/mariemazziotti8) His first album "Robert Brashear: Songs. Vol.1" will be released this summer. He recently produced (with Luba Dvorak) "Stay Awhile With Me: the songs of RL Haney," a tribute to one of New York City's "most unique and obscure artists"...(https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/stayawhilewithmethesongs).

Last December he had his first booking at the legendary "Bitter End" and in May begins a monthly first Sunday residency at "Sidewalk Cafe." He has collaborated and participated in a wide range of events and festivals from the "One Day: a Festival" produced by the Work Center of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards of Pontedara, Italy to performance with artist Heide Hatry's "Icons in Ash" to most recently with Guggenheim award winning composer Carman Moore and photographer Jacob Holdt (of "American Pictures" fame) in Copenhagen. Home (Away) has been described as a "floating musical collective" with differing configurations, from general Americana to electric blues. Their first gig was a December 2014 appearance with folk legends Christine Lavin, Suzzy Roche, Lucy Wainwright Roche and Julie Gold. Robert has also done side work with DK and the Joy Machine and violinist Liz Taub as well as an ongoing collaboration with singer-songwriter Steve Blane and the regular collaboration with Hot Glue & the Gun.

Robert Brashear is a singer/songwriter in New York City and former city of Pittsburgh resident. Since returning to performing in 2015, after a long hiatus, Robert as both a solo singer-songwriter and with his "Home(Away) Band, has played all five boros of Manhattan, both coasts of Florida, from Portland in the northwest corner of the country to Lake Worth on the southeast, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Asheville and Berlin, Dublin and Copenhagen and most recently Argentina and Uruguay. He is featured on the just released ep "Hearing Double" by New York City icon, Marie Mazziotti.(https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/mariemazziotti8) His first album "Robert Brashear: Songs. Vol.1" will be released this summer. He recently produced (with Luba Dvorak) "Stay Awhile With Me: the songs of RL Haney," a tribute to one of New York City's "most unique and obscure artists"...(https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/stayawhilewithmethesongs).

Last December he had his first booking at the legendary "Bitter End" and in May begins a monthly first Sunday residency at "Sidewalk Cafe." He has collaborated and participated in a wide range of events and festivals from the "One Day: a Festival" produced by the Work Center of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards of Pontedara, Italy to performance with artist Heide Hatry's "Icons in Ash" to most recently with Guggenheim award winning composer Carman Moore and photographer Jacob Holdt (of "American Pictures" fame) in Copenhagen. Home (Away) has been described as a "floating musical collective" with differing configurations, from general Americana to electric blues. Their first gig was a December 2014 appearance with folk legends Christine Lavin, Suzzy Roche, Lucy Wainwright Roche and Julie Gold. Robert has also done side work with DK and the Joy Machine and violinist Liz Taub as well as an ongoing collaboration with singer-songwriter Steve Blane and the regular collaboration with Hot Glue & the Gun.

(Early Show) Pittsburgh Comedy Festival - Improv & Stand Up Show

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side's City Theatre and Club Cafe.

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side's City Theatre and Club Cafe.

(Late Show) Pittsburgh Comedy Festival - Stand Up Show

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

(Early Show) Pittsburgh Comedy Festival - Improv Show

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

(Late Show) Pittsburgh Comedy Festival - Stand Up Show

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

Pittsburgh Comedy Festival - Workshop

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

(Afternoon Show) Pittsburgh Comedy Festival - Live Podcast Recording

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

(Early Show) Pittsburgh Comedy Festival - Improv Show

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

(Late Show) Pittsburgh Comedy Festival - Stand Up Show

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

The Pittsburgh Comedy Festival brings together stand-ups and improvisers in a five-day celebration of all things funny. Our goals are to show off Pittsburgh on a national level, to make the art of comedy accessible here in Pittsburgh, and to raise up a wide array of perspectives and voices. That means informative workshops, programming for comedians and comedy fans young and old, and best of all, fantastic shows in the intimate settings of the South Side’s City Theatre and Club Cafe.

Efrim Manuel Menuck (of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion) with Special Guests Cloning and Autumn Pool

The much-anticipated 2nd solo album by the founder of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion.


Efrim Manuel Menuck returns with his second album Pissing Stars, the brilliantly intense follow-up to his 2011 solo debut Plays “High Gospel” (CST078) and the first new material with Menuck as central songwriter and vocalist since 2014’s acclaimed Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (CST099) from his chamber-punk-rock band Thee Silver Mt. Zion.

The legendary Montréal-based musician has much-deserved cult status among fans of political punk, post-rock and avant-noise songcraft alike. Menuck celebrates 25 years of unflinching and uncompromising sonic output with Pissing Stars, wherein he launches acerbic darts, impassioned salvos and fragile flowers into gusts of noise-battered song built around pulsing maximalist electronics and drone, composed on modular synthesizer and guitar, shot through with alternately plaintive, chilling, often processed vocals. Pissing Stars is Menuck at his most vulnerable and his most adventurous – with a timely narrative framework that only he could conjure:

PISSING STARS is inspired by the brief romance of american television presenter MARY HART and MOHAMMED KHASHOGGI, the son of a saudi arms dealer. i don’t know how long their union endured, but i remember reading about them when i was a desperate teenager – there was something about their pairing that got caught in my head. i was living in a flooded basement with two other lost kids and a litter of feral kittens. we were all unfed. this strange intersection – the televisual blonde and the rich saudi kid with the murderous father; it got stuck in me like a mystery, like an illumination- this vulgar pairing that was also love. these privileged scions of death and self-alienation, but also love. i’ve carried it in me for 3 decades now, this obscure memory, and i return to it often, tracing its edges like a worn talisman. this record is about the dissolution of their relationship, and the way that certain stubborn lights endure. this record was made in dark corners between 2016 and 2017. a very rough pair of years, shot thru with fatigue, depression, despair, and too many cigarettes and too much booze. but also = the giddiness of enervation, and the strange liberation of being emptied – borne aloft and carried by the drift. the world continues its eternal collapsing, fires everywhere and everything drained of meaning. this record was made in various states of unease, with a brittle heart and a clear intent. like running towards a cliff with 2 swinging knives, roaring with an idiot grin. overcome and overjoyed. this record is about the end of love and the beginning of love. this record is about the dissolution of the state, and all of us trapped beneath, and the way that certain stubborn lights endure. – ExMxMx

Pissing Stars comes in a deluxe 180gram vinyl edition with artworked inner dust sleeve and a killer 12”x18” art poster designed by Menuck, all printed on uncoated papers and boards. Thanks for listening.

The much-anticipated 2nd solo album by the founder of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion.


Efrim Manuel Menuck returns with his second album Pissing Stars, the brilliantly intense follow-up to his 2011 solo debut Plays “High Gospel” (CST078) and the first new material with Menuck as central songwriter and vocalist since 2014’s acclaimed Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (CST099) from his chamber-punk-rock band Thee Silver Mt. Zion.

The legendary Montréal-based musician has much-deserved cult status among fans of political punk, post-rock and avant-noise songcraft alike. Menuck celebrates 25 years of unflinching and uncompromising sonic output with Pissing Stars, wherein he launches acerbic darts, impassioned salvos and fragile flowers into gusts of noise-battered song built around pulsing maximalist electronics and drone, composed on modular synthesizer and guitar, shot through with alternately plaintive, chilling, often processed vocals. Pissing Stars is Menuck at his most vulnerable and his most adventurous – with a timely narrative framework that only he could conjure:

PISSING STARS is inspired by the brief romance of american television presenter MARY HART and MOHAMMED KHASHOGGI, the son of a saudi arms dealer. i don’t know how long their union endured, but i remember reading about them when i was a desperate teenager – there was something about their pairing that got caught in my head. i was living in a flooded basement with two other lost kids and a litter of feral kittens. we were all unfed. this strange intersection – the televisual blonde and the rich saudi kid with the murderous father; it got stuck in me like a mystery, like an illumination- this vulgar pairing that was also love. these privileged scions of death and self-alienation, but also love. i’ve carried it in me for 3 decades now, this obscure memory, and i return to it often, tracing its edges like a worn talisman. this record is about the dissolution of their relationship, and the way that certain stubborn lights endure. this record was made in dark corners between 2016 and 2017. a very rough pair of years, shot thru with fatigue, depression, despair, and too many cigarettes and too much booze. but also = the giddiness of enervation, and the strange liberation of being emptied – borne aloft and carried by the drift. the world continues its eternal collapsing, fires everywhere and everything drained of meaning. this record was made in various states of unease, with a brittle heart and a clear intent. like running towards a cliff with 2 swinging knives, roaring with an idiot grin. overcome and overjoyed. this record is about the end of love and the beginning of love. this record is about the dissolution of the state, and all of us trapped beneath, and the way that certain stubborn lights endure. – ExMxMx

Pissing Stars comes in a deluxe 180gram vinyl edition with artworked inner dust sleeve and a killer 12”x18” art poster designed by Menuck, all printed on uncoated papers and boards. Thanks for listening.

Bay Chamber Players Ensemble presents 'Music That Touches The Heart'

This show highlights arrangements by Gil Bigenho with the ensemble performing classic songs and classical favorites also featuring artist dancer Joanna Abel in Sarasate's "Spanish Dance".

Short intermission and then performances continue with music featuring Keith swan, Chuck Weidrich, Amber Rozel and Gil Bigenho.

This show highlights arrangements by Gil Bigenho with the ensemble performing classic songs and classical favorites also featuring artist dancer Joanna Abel in Sarasate's "Spanish Dance".

Short intermission and then performances continue with music featuring Keith swan, Chuck Weidrich, Amber Rozel and Gil Bigenho.

The Tour House Benefit Featuring Dayshift / The Mondaze / Jenny and the Jags

A Spencer and Jeremy Special (Featuring Spencer Allan Patrick and Jeremy Caywood)

Join Spencer Allan Patrick and Jeremy Caywood at Club Cafe and share in the music the two have been working on. They will be sharing the stage the whole evening, giving new feels to their music. It will be a special evening of friendship! Come share in the merriment and great vibes and the one and only, Club Cafe.

Join Spencer Allan Patrick and Jeremy Caywood at Club Cafe and share in the music the two have been working on. They will be sharing the stage the whole evening, giving new feels to their music. It will be a special evening of friendship! Come share in the merriment and great vibes and the one and only, Club Cafe.

(Early Show) Sawyer Fredericks / JD Eicher

Sawyer Fredericks
Singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks, hailing from his family's farm in central New York State, is fast establishing himself as an authentic original, Americana artist with an old soul. His deep, beyond-his-years lyrics and melodies, raw, soulful vocals, and powerful live performances have attracted an ever growing number of devoted fans of all ages, selling out shows throughout the US.

As a folk/blues singer-songwriter, who cut his teeth at local farmers markets, open mics, and iconic New York venues like Caffe Lena, the Towne Crier Cafe, and The Bitter End, Sawyer seemed an unlikely match for reality tv, but quickly won over broad audiences with his genuine delivery and unique arrangements of classic songs, going on to win season 8 of NBC's The Voice.

Fresh from that whirlwind, Sawyer went forward with the release of his major label debut, A Good Storm, with Republic Records, an impressive blend of soulful Folk, blues, and rock, entirely written or cowritten by Sawyer. His 2016 A Good Storm Tour included 62 shows across the US.
For 2018, Sawyer has once again gone independent, the highly-anticipated Hide Your Ghost sheds the high gloss major label treatment, and stays true to Frederick’s honest and elegantly stripped down style, a self-described “free range folk”, incorporating elements of blues, roots rock, and jazz with live instrumental arrangements throughout.

JD Eicher
“The music that I’m writing and releasing is really mirroring who I am and where I am at that time in my life. It’s easy to perform songs when they’re very true.” So says JD Eicher, the Youngstown, OH-area born and bred musician who is set to release The Middle Distance via Rock Ridge Music on May 6, 2016. “I’m really glad that my career has taken the longer, ‘scenic’ route, because the music I’m writing now has a certain truth to it that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise.”

The Middle Distance marks the first album Eicher will issue since sunsetting JD Eicher & the Goodnights, the moniker used on the trilogy of titles, The Shape of Things, Shifting, and Into Place, released previously. So why put The Goodnights to bed? Eicher explains: “The truth of the matter is, not a whole lot has changed. There will still be a band. But the name shift felt natural with the very personal nature of this new music and the very strong desire to simplify.”

Eicher has noted that the common themes running through his previous three releases are “love, hope, and acceptance.” Common sense would call for speculating whether there is a common thread that ties together the ten songs found on The Middle Distance. “Not a premeditated one,” he is quick to clarify. “I really wanted to just sit down and write the best songs I could, saying what I needed to say at the time. It’s more of a journal entry/diary-type approach this time around.”

With that as a forward, the first chapter of Eicher’s aural journal begins with nearly one minute of U2-ish guitar that sets the sonic table for the album opener, “This Heart,” in which he sings, “All my fears, all my worries, are alive and well inside this heart.” Eicher expounds, “This whole record - and definitely that song – is moodier, and there’s a lot of internal struggle, internal processing. When you hear the song title, ‘This Heart,’ it sounds like it’s gonna be a love song, but it’s really more about coping and figuring out how to get past whatever you’re dealing with in that moment.”

Songwriting and superb singing are at the center of each track on The Middle Distance, exemplified by the lyric line “Maybe we’ve been trained to wash, rinse, and then repeat” and the heavenly falsetto vocals found on “Be Well,” a song which sounds like it would fit perfectly into Death Cab For Cutie’s catalog. An audio oasis to the overall “moodier” sound of the record is refreshingly felt when the soundscape lightens up for the bouncy “The Little Bit,” which musically and lyrically has a Jason Mraz vibe to it, most notably on the playful line, “I didn’t write any lyrics for this part of the song… everybody relax.” Eicher’s songwriting gravitas shines in the more serious selections - “Not Everybody Runs,” a sonic commitment to, well, commitment; “Not Afraid,” in which abstract fears about our dreams not coming true, relationships going wrong, internal struggles and pressures, letting your guard down and being hurt, and failure are all tackled; and “Man of Faith,” in which Eicher espouses the somewhat ambiguous supplication: “And I’m pretty sure my heaven’s just the answer to my questions.”

Far less ambiguous is how much Eicher’s Rust Belt upbringing seeps into, or serves as, the foundation of his songwriting. “I think it definitely affects the music,” he affirms without hesitation, “even in the way I approach touring and my overall work ethic with songwriting and recording. There’s a world-wariness that comes out of this area that gets into the songs. I think there’s a realism that comes out of

this part of the country, too, and I think that gets in there as well.” It’s no wonder that Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has embraced the performer and his music as their own.

With his band, The Goodnights, Eicher’s soaring and graceful pop-rock 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. Virgin America Airlines used one of the band’s songs in the teaser for the airline’s movie, Departure Date. 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.

Now facing a new morning with the added weight of offering up The Middle Distance with just his name on the album cover, does Eicher like the way the shape of things have shifted into place (to borrow a phrase from past album titles), both personally and professionally?

“Yeah, definitely. I do feel a lot more firmly-rooted. I feel like there’s a lot less doubt. I know who I am a lot better than I used to, and a lot of my life is starting to make more sense. I’m married now. We’ve got a house. The real world stuff has come together in a really meaningful way. And my musical life mirrors those sentiments as well. This was the first time I felt comfortable producing a record on my own. I knew how I wanted it to feel, start to finish.”

For those reasons and more, it’s fair to say The Middle Distance is destined to take JD Eicher even farther than where he’s at today. That prospect makes it a near certainty that his steady pace to the top will likely result in him experiencing the musician’s equivalent of a long distance runner’s high.

Sawyer Fredericks
Singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks, hailing from his family's farm in central New York State, is fast establishing himself as an authentic original, Americana artist with an old soul. His deep, beyond-his-years lyrics and melodies, raw, soulful vocals, and powerful live performances have attracted an ever growing number of devoted fans of all ages, selling out shows throughout the US.

As a folk/blues singer-songwriter, who cut his teeth at local farmers markets, open mics, and iconic New York venues like Caffe Lena, the Towne Crier Cafe, and The Bitter End, Sawyer seemed an unlikely match for reality tv, but quickly won over broad audiences with his genuine delivery and unique arrangements of classic songs, going on to win season 8 of NBC's The Voice.

Fresh from that whirlwind, Sawyer went forward with the release of his major label debut, A Good Storm, with Republic Records, an impressive blend of soulful Folk, blues, and rock, entirely written or cowritten by Sawyer. His 2016 A Good Storm Tour included 62 shows across the US.
For 2018, Sawyer has once again gone independent, the highly-anticipated Hide Your Ghost sheds the high gloss major label treatment, and stays true to Frederick’s honest and elegantly stripped down style, a self-described “free range folk”, incorporating elements of blues, roots rock, and jazz with live instrumental arrangements throughout.

JD Eicher
“The music that I’m writing and releasing is really mirroring who I am and where I am at that time in my life. It’s easy to perform songs when they’re very true.” So says JD Eicher, the Youngstown, OH-area born and bred musician who is set to release The Middle Distance via Rock Ridge Music on May 6, 2016. “I’m really glad that my career has taken the longer, ‘scenic’ route, because the music I’m writing now has a certain truth to it that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise.”

The Middle Distance marks the first album Eicher will issue since sunsetting JD Eicher & the Goodnights, the moniker used on the trilogy of titles, The Shape of Things, Shifting, and Into Place, released previously. So why put The Goodnights to bed? Eicher explains: “The truth of the matter is, not a whole lot has changed. There will still be a band. But the name shift felt natural with the very personal nature of this new music and the very strong desire to simplify.”

Eicher has noted that the common themes running through his previous three releases are “love, hope, and acceptance.” Common sense would call for speculating whether there is a common thread that ties together the ten songs found on The Middle Distance. “Not a premeditated one,” he is quick to clarify. “I really wanted to just sit down and write the best songs I could, saying what I needed to say at the time. It’s more of a journal entry/diary-type approach this time around.”

With that as a forward, the first chapter of Eicher’s aural journal begins with nearly one minute of U2-ish guitar that sets the sonic table for the album opener, “This Heart,” in which he sings, “All my fears, all my worries, are alive and well inside this heart.” Eicher expounds, “This whole record - and definitely that song – is moodier, and there’s a lot of internal struggle, internal processing. When you hear the song title, ‘This Heart,’ it sounds like it’s gonna be a love song, but it’s really more about coping and figuring out how to get past whatever you’re dealing with in that moment.”

Songwriting and superb singing are at the center of each track on The Middle Distance, exemplified by the lyric line “Maybe we’ve been trained to wash, rinse, and then repeat” and the heavenly falsetto vocals found on “Be Well,” a song which sounds like it would fit perfectly into Death Cab For Cutie’s catalog. An audio oasis to the overall “moodier” sound of the record is refreshingly felt when the soundscape lightens up for the bouncy “The Little Bit,” which musically and lyrically has a Jason Mraz vibe to it, most notably on the playful line, “I didn’t write any lyrics for this part of the song… everybody relax.” Eicher’s songwriting gravitas shines in the more serious selections - “Not Everybody Runs,” a sonic commitment to, well, commitment; “Not Afraid,” in which abstract fears about our dreams not coming true, relationships going wrong, internal struggles and pressures, letting your guard down and being hurt, and failure are all tackled; and “Man of Faith,” in which Eicher espouses the somewhat ambiguous supplication: “And I’m pretty sure my heaven’s just the answer to my questions.”

Far less ambiguous is how much Eicher’s Rust Belt upbringing seeps into, or serves as, the foundation of his songwriting. “I think it definitely affects the music,” he affirms without hesitation, “even in the way I approach touring and my overall work ethic with songwriting and recording. There’s a world-wariness that comes out of this area that gets into the songs. I think there’s a realism that comes out of

this part of the country, too, and I think that gets in there as well.” It’s no wonder that Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has embraced the performer and his music as their own.

With his band, The Goodnights, Eicher’s soaring and graceful pop-rock 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. Virgin America Airlines used one of the band’s songs in the teaser for the airline’s movie, Departure Date. 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.

Now facing a new morning with the added weight of offering up The Middle Distance with just his name on the album cover, does Eicher like the way the shape of things have shifted into place (to borrow a phrase from past album titles), both personally and professionally?

“Yeah, definitely. I do feel a lot more firmly-rooted. I feel like there’s a lot less doubt. I know who I am a lot better than I used to, and a lot of my life is starting to make more sense. I’m married now. We’ve got a house. The real world stuff has come together in a really meaningful way. And my musical life mirrors those sentiments as well. This was the first time I felt comfortable producing a record on my own. I knew how I wanted it to feel, start to finish.”

For those reasons and more, it’s fair to say The Middle Distance is destined to take JD Eicher even farther than where he’s at today. That prospect makes it a near certainty that his steady pace to the top will likely result in him experiencing the musician’s equivalent of a long distance runner’s high.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy & Race to the Coffin Present Comedy Roulette. Featuring Geoff Tate with Luis Arevalo, Noshod Barrows, Shannon Norman & Hosted by John Dick Winters

Opus One Comedy & Race to the Coffin Present Comedy Roulette. Featuring Geoff Tate with Luis Arevalo, Noshod Barrows, Shannon Norman & Hosted by John Dick Winters

Opus One Comedy & Race to the Coffin Present Comedy Roulette. Featuring Geoff Tate with Luis Arevalo, Noshod Barrows, Shannon Norman & Hosted by John Dick Winters

(Early Show) Dante Romito with Special Guest AE Honick

​Dante Romito is an up and coming instrumental guitarist from Pittsburgh, PA. Growing up, Dante was drawn to the feel good music of the '90's and the guitar playing of Classic Rock. His favorites included Eric Clapton, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and many others.

After spending years playing around town with various acts, Dante retreated to his practice studio to find his own unique voice. Somewhere between the smoothness of Jeff Golub and the soaring melodies of Neil Zaza shines Dante's fresh and uplifting guitar playing. Dante hopes that he can make a difference in the world by contributing positive and inspiring music.

In January, Dante officially released his instrumental rock EP, Dream Cycle. The opening track, Irwin Vibe, was featured on the Tony Kornheiser Show in November 2017. With a full compliment of original songs, and some fun arrangments of familiar songs, Dante is now playing around the Pittsburgh area.

​Dante Romito is an up and coming instrumental guitarist from Pittsburgh, PA. Growing up, Dante was drawn to the feel good music of the '90's and the guitar playing of Classic Rock. His favorites included Eric Clapton, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and many others.

After spending years playing around town with various acts, Dante retreated to his practice studio to find his own unique voice. Somewhere between the smoothness of Jeff Golub and the soaring melodies of Neil Zaza shines Dante's fresh and uplifting guitar playing. Dante hopes that he can make a difference in the world by contributing positive and inspiring music.

In January, Dante officially released his instrumental rock EP, Dream Cycle. The opening track, Irwin Vibe, was featured on the Tony Kornheiser Show in November 2017. With a full compliment of original songs, and some fun arrangments of familiar songs, Dante is now playing around the Pittsburgh area.

(Late Show) LoFi Delphi / Essential Machine / Standard Broadcast

Join LoFi Delphi, Essential Machine, and Standard Broadcast for an evening of power-pop goodness.
Indie pop of a certain brand—the post-emo, melodic stuff, the stuff with sweet riffs and uplifting, singalong choruses—would seem to be the province of the young and yearning. So what becomes of its proponents when they find themselves thirty-something and married? Do they give up and pack it in? Or worse: grow jaded and turn in their amps and keyboards for an acoustic and some minor chords? LoFi Delphi would say it’s not game over just yet, and they present as evidence “Tilt,” a five-song EP released in December 2017.

Bands with a strong ear for rock hooks are largely those the band cites as influences: Foo Fighters, Muse, of course The Beatles. What comes out is often in the sweet spot between the early emo of Rainer Maria and the more contemporary rock vibe of Metric, with undertones of ’80 new wave like New Order and Depeche Mode.

“Tilt” is windows-down music; it’s sing-along-in-the-car music, and it’s not-too-cool-to-feel-it music. Gallagher weaves stories between the hooks; lyrically, the songs carry narratives and imagery. They’re buoyant, but not empty.
The EP’s title track reads as an extended pinball metaphor, and ultimately, perhaps pinball is an extended metaphor for LoFi Delphi. Pinball is a game of skill, an old-school dose of serious fun. It’s an analog pleasure in a digital landscape. And just when it’s starting to look like time is running out, a skilled player can bank on earning a replay—and keep the game alive.

Join LoFi Delphi, Essential Machine, and Standard Broadcast for an evening of power-pop goodness.
Indie pop of a certain brand—the post-emo, melodic stuff, the stuff with sweet riffs and uplifting, singalong choruses—would seem to be the province of the young and yearning. So what becomes of its proponents when they find themselves thirty-something and married? Do they give up and pack it in? Or worse: grow jaded and turn in their amps and keyboards for an acoustic and some minor chords? LoFi Delphi would say it’s not game over just yet, and they present as evidence “Tilt,” a five-song EP released in December 2017.

Bands with a strong ear for rock hooks are largely those the band cites as influences: Foo Fighters, Muse, of course The Beatles. What comes out is often in the sweet spot between the early emo of Rainer Maria and the more contemporary rock vibe of Metric, with undertones of ’80 new wave like New Order and Depeche Mode.

“Tilt” is windows-down music; it’s sing-along-in-the-car music, and it’s not-too-cool-to-feel-it music. Gallagher weaves stories between the hooks; lyrically, the songs carry narratives and imagery. They’re buoyant, but not empty.
The EP’s title track reads as an extended pinball metaphor, and ultimately, perhaps pinball is an extended metaphor for LoFi Delphi. Pinball is a game of skill, an old-school dose of serious fun. It’s an analog pleasure in a digital landscape. And just when it’s starting to look like time is running out, a skilled player can bank on earning a replay—and keep the game alive.

An Evening With Roomful of Blues

For nearly half a century, Roomful of Blues has been delivering its signature blend of swing, rock ‘n’ roll, jump, blues and R&B to euphoric audiences all over the world. Blues Revuesays, “Roomful of Blues is a sheer joy...contagious, finger-popping, head-bopping grooves...the horns blast loud and proud...explosive and electrifying.” The band has earned five Grammy Award nominations and a slew of other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards. Twice, the prestigious DownBeatInternational Critics Poll has selected them as Best Blues Band. With their masterful combination of jumping, horn-heavy blues and R&B, it’s no wonder why the great Count Basie called them “the hottest blues band I’ve ever heard.” Billboardsimply says, “Roomful is so tight and so right.”To commemorate and celebrate their 45thanniversary, the bandhosted a three-day party in March of 2013 at one of their favorite haunts, The Ocean Mist, in Matunuck, Rhode Island. The band blew the doors off the packed club, playing to roaring ovations each night. Happily, the proceedings were recorded and the resulting album, 45 Live, is among Roomful of Blues’ crowning achievements. The album is a lightning-in-a-bottle blowout, showcasing the larger-than-life vocal and instrumental power of the band. 45 Live, produced by bandleader/guitarist Chris Vachon, features fourteen songs (over an hour of music) spanning the entirety of the band’s history. The tracks were carefully chosen by Vachon, who included some of the group’s best known originals, like Dressed Up To Get Messed Up, Turn It On, Turn It Up,and That’s Right!, as well as tunes the band had previously recorded or performed with blues giants Joe Turner (Crawdad Hole), Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson (Somebody’s Got To Go) and Earl King (It All Went Down The Drain). 45 Liveis a flawlessly blended mix of rocking guitar, punching horns, room-filling vocals, serious musicianship and unbridled creativity. The results are a non-stop, hip-shaking party. It’s clear why The New Yorker described a Roomful concert as “thunderous performances that get feet stomping and hands clapping.”Roomful of Blues, according to DownBeatmagazine, “are in a class by themselves.” The band has been led since 1998 by Vachon, who, according to Guitar Player, “burns with explosive solos and a delightfully greasy sense of rhythm.” Roomful of Blues has always maintained its signature sound through great musicianship and a stellar horn section—featuring tenor and alto saxophonist (and clarinetist on 45 Live’s Jambalaya) Rich Lataille, who first joined the band in 1970. Lataille’s masterful playing can evoke either the fat-toned, honking sax of the glory days of early rock or the cool elegance of big band swing jazz.While Roomful of Blues has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world, they have never sounded fresher or stronger than with the current line-up. Along with Vachon and Lataille, the band includes vocalist Phil Pemberton, long-time tenor and baritone saxophonist Mark Earley, trumpeter Doug Woolverton, bassist John Turner, drummer Chris Rivelli and keyboardist Rusty Scott.
Roomful of Blues came together in Westerly, Rhode Island in the late 1960s when guitarist Duke Robillard and keyboardist Al Copley began exploring the swinging, jumping blues, R&B and jazz of the 1940s and 1950s. They added a horn section (including Rich Lataille) in 1970. The band’s ability to ignite a sedate crowd into a dancing frenzy solidified their reputation as the best “little big band” in New England and expanded their following into New York and Washington, D.C. In 1974, they performed with Count Basie, and a few years later legendary songwriter Doc Pomus helped them land their first record deal. In 1977, Roomful of Blues’ self-titled debut album on Island Records (reissued on Hyena Records) brought them to the attention of fans andcritics from coast to coast.Over the years there have been more than fifty Roomful of Blues members, each bringing his or her own unique talent and vision to the mix. Famed alumni include guitarist Ronnie Earl, vocalist Lou Ann Barton, vocalist/harpist Curtis Salgado, saxist/vocalist Greg Piccolo and harpist/vocalist Sugar Ray Norcia. Recording for Rounder Records’ Bullseye Blues and Varrick labels between 1980 and 2001, the band cut nine albums that won them international fame and major rock radio airplay. They’ve gigged with stars ranging from bluesmen B.B. King, Otis Rush and Stevie Ray Vaughan to rockers Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana. The band has performed in cities from coast to coast, and traveled abroad to 22 countries including Lebanon, Poland,Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia.In addition to their band recordings, Roomful of Blues were handpicked by legendary musicians like Jimmy Witherspoon, Jimmy McCracklin, Roy Brown, Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and Earl King to back them on stage and on record. These stars of the 1940s and 1950s blues and R&B scene were the very people who created and inspired the music that Roomful still keeps vital and alive. Roomful recorded albums with Turner, Vinson and King during the 1980s, and all three recordings received Grammy nominations. The Roomful Horns backed many other artists as well, including rocker Pat Benatar on her 1991 album True Love, Canadian star Colin James on his album Colin James and the Little Big Band andStevie Ray Vaughan on his 1984 Live At Carnegie Hallalbum.Since Roomful joined the Alligator Records family in 2003, their popularity has continued to increase. Their first Alligator CD was the Grammy-nominated That’s Right!in 2003, followed by Standing Room Onlyin 2005, Raisin’ A Ruckusin 2008 and Hook, Line & Sinkerin 2010. All four albums received massive amounts of critical and popular praise and kept old and new fans flocking to see them live. Blurt magazine raves, “No group has kept the spirit of early rock and roll alive better than Roomful of Blues. The heat burns red hot...they are pure fun to listen to. They are one of America’s musical treasures.”With 45 Live, Roomful of Blues has fully captured the frenetic energy and musical power oftheir live show. The band will hit the road hard once again, so people can see and hear for themselves why The Chicago Sun-Timessaid, “This is a band on top of its game, sliding easily from big-band jazz-blues to guitar-drenched urban blues...let the party begin.”

For nearly half a century, Roomful of Blues has been delivering its signature blend of swing, rock ‘n’ roll, jump, blues and R&B to euphoric audiences all over the world. Blues Revuesays, “Roomful of Blues is a sheer joy...contagious, finger-popping, head-bopping grooves...the horns blast loud and proud...explosive and electrifying.” The band has earned five Grammy Award nominations and a slew of other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards. Twice, the prestigious DownBeatInternational Critics Poll has selected them as Best Blues Band. With their masterful combination of jumping, horn-heavy blues and R&B, it’s no wonder why the great Count Basie called them “the hottest blues band I’ve ever heard.” Billboardsimply says, “Roomful is so tight and so right.”To commemorate and celebrate their 45thanniversary, the bandhosted a three-day party in March of 2013 at one of their favorite haunts, The Ocean Mist, in Matunuck, Rhode Island. The band blew the doors off the packed club, playing to roaring ovations each night. Happily, the proceedings were recorded and the resulting album, 45 Live, is among Roomful of Blues’ crowning achievements. The album is a lightning-in-a-bottle blowout, showcasing the larger-than-life vocal and instrumental power of the band. 45 Live, produced by bandleader/guitarist Chris Vachon, features fourteen songs (over an hour of music) spanning the entirety of the band’s history. The tracks were carefully chosen by Vachon, who included some of the group’s best known originals, like Dressed Up To Get Messed Up, Turn It On, Turn It Up,and That’s Right!, as well as tunes the band had previously recorded or performed with blues giants Joe Turner (Crawdad Hole), Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson (Somebody’s Got To Go) and Earl King (It All Went Down The Drain). 45 Liveis a flawlessly blended mix of rocking guitar, punching horns, room-filling vocals, serious musicianship and unbridled creativity. The results are a non-stop, hip-shaking party. It’s clear why The New Yorker described a Roomful concert as “thunderous performances that get feet stomping and hands clapping.”Roomful of Blues, according to DownBeatmagazine, “are in a class by themselves.” The band has been led since 1998 by Vachon, who, according to Guitar Player, “burns with explosive solos and a delightfully greasy sense of rhythm.” Roomful of Blues has always maintained its signature sound through great musicianship and a stellar horn section—featuring tenor and alto saxophonist (and clarinetist on 45 Live’s Jambalaya) Rich Lataille, who first joined the band in 1970. Lataille’s masterful playing can evoke either the fat-toned, honking sax of the glory days of early rock or the cool elegance of big band swing jazz.While Roomful of Blues has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world, they have never sounded fresher or stronger than with the current line-up. Along with Vachon and Lataille, the band includes vocalist Phil Pemberton, long-time tenor and baritone saxophonist Mark Earley, trumpeter Doug Woolverton, bassist John Turner, drummer Chris Rivelli and keyboardist Rusty Scott.
Roomful of Blues came together in Westerly, Rhode Island in the late 1960s when guitarist Duke Robillard and keyboardist Al Copley began exploring the swinging, jumping blues, R&B and jazz of the 1940s and 1950s. They added a horn section (including Rich Lataille) in 1970. The band’s ability to ignite a sedate crowd into a dancing frenzy solidified their reputation as the best “little big band” in New England and expanded their following into New York and Washington, D.C. In 1974, they performed with Count Basie, and a few years later legendary songwriter Doc Pomus helped them land their first record deal. In 1977, Roomful of Blues’ self-titled debut album on Island Records (reissued on Hyena Records) brought them to the attention of fans andcritics from coast to coast.Over the years there have been more than fifty Roomful of Blues members, each bringing his or her own unique talent and vision to the mix. Famed alumni include guitarist Ronnie Earl, vocalist Lou Ann Barton, vocalist/harpist Curtis Salgado, saxist/vocalist Greg Piccolo and harpist/vocalist Sugar Ray Norcia. Recording for Rounder Records’ Bullseye Blues and Varrick labels between 1980 and 2001, the band cut nine albums that won them international fame and major rock radio airplay. They’ve gigged with stars ranging from bluesmen B.B. King, Otis Rush and Stevie Ray Vaughan to rockers Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana. The band has performed in cities from coast to coast, and traveled abroad to 22 countries including Lebanon, Poland,Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia.In addition to their band recordings, Roomful of Blues were handpicked by legendary musicians like Jimmy Witherspoon, Jimmy McCracklin, Roy Brown, Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and Earl King to back them on stage and on record. These stars of the 1940s and 1950s blues and R&B scene were the very people who created and inspired the music that Roomful still keeps vital and alive. Roomful recorded albums with Turner, Vinson and King during the 1980s, and all three recordings received Grammy nominations. The Roomful Horns backed many other artists as well, including rocker Pat Benatar on her 1991 album True Love, Canadian star Colin James on his album Colin James and the Little Big Band andStevie Ray Vaughan on his 1984 Live At Carnegie Hallalbum.Since Roomful joined the Alligator Records family in 2003, their popularity has continued to increase. Their first Alligator CD was the Grammy-nominated That’s Right!in 2003, followed by Standing Room Onlyin 2005, Raisin’ A Ruckusin 2008 and Hook, Line & Sinkerin 2010. All four albums received massive amounts of critical and popular praise and kept old and new fans flocking to see them live. Blurt magazine raves, “No group has kept the spirit of early rock and roll alive better than Roomful of Blues. The heat burns red hot...they are pure fun to listen to. They are one of America’s musical treasures.”With 45 Live, Roomful of Blues has fully captured the frenetic energy and musical power oftheir live show. The band will hit the road hard once again, so people can see and hear for themselves why The Chicago Sun-Timessaid, “This is a band on top of its game, sliding easily from big-band jazz-blues to guitar-drenched urban blues...let the party begin.”

(Night 1) The Builders and the Butchers with Special Guest The Hills and The Rivers

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

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

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

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

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

(Early Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Preston Lacy (From MTV's Jackass) with Matt Light

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

Cory Branan with Special Guest Chicago Farmer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Nude Party with Special Guests Boa and SPISH

The Nude Party congealed as one unit in the southern mountain town of Boone, NC in 2013 and gained their namesake very literally. Bonded by isolation, house party debauchery, a religion based on pushing the limits of bad taste, and a precocious predisposition towards the Kinks, the Animals and the Velvets, they have burgeoned into a rock and roll act to be reckoned with. As the hysteria at their local shows steadily increases, so does their reputation with local law enforcement, forcing them daily more to seek employment anywhere but home. While snooping cops seeking to stamp out indiscriminate behavior scour the borders of their homestead the Nude Ranch, the group has prodigally exiled themselves and are staying scarce with a string of self booked tours and one night stands which have linked them up with with such likes as The Growlers, The Oblivians, La Luz, Night Beats, and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.

Their stripped down and bare bone sound, akin to the British Invasion being transplanted back into the Carolina mountains, has so far proven to have been unrecordable... until now. The secret? Sticking to the obvious and going down into a sweaty basement with a few mics, fewer clothes and a revolving door of comrades and goddesses falling by for as long as they can take the heat. Lately the Nudes have even gotten good at playing with their clothes on. However if any audience member feels the need to participate in the spirit of exhibitionism the stakes at the Party will unblinkingly be called and raised.

The Nude Party congealed as one unit in the southern mountain town of Boone, NC in 2013 and gained their namesake very literally. Bonded by isolation, house party debauchery, a religion based on pushing the limits of bad taste, and a precocious predisposition towards the Kinks, the Animals and the Velvets, they have burgeoned into a rock and roll act to be reckoned with. As the hysteria at their local shows steadily increases, so does their reputation with local law enforcement, forcing them daily more to seek employment anywhere but home. While snooping cops seeking to stamp out indiscriminate behavior scour the borders of their homestead the Nude Ranch, the group has prodigally exiled themselves and are staying scarce with a string of self booked tours and one night stands which have linked them up with with such likes as The Growlers, The Oblivians, La Luz, Night Beats, and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.

Their stripped down and bare bone sound, akin to the British Invasion being transplanted back into the Carolina mountains, has so far proven to have been unrecordable... until now. The secret? Sticking to the obvious and going down into a sweaty basement with a few mics, fewer clothes and a revolving door of comrades and goddesses falling by for as long as they can take the heat. Lately the Nudes have even gotten good at playing with their clothes on. However if any audience member feels the need to participate in the spirit of exhibitionism the stakes at the Party will unblinkingly be called and raised.

Slim Cessna's Auto Club with Special Guest The Armadillos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Goddamn Gallows with Special Guests Mower and United Snakes (featuring Chuck Coles of The Creepshow and Jordan and Justin of Gallows Bound)

Spit from the heart of America's Rust Belt, arising from a night of flophouse violence. Drifting across the states, they cemented their sound in Portland, OR and later in Los Angeles, CA, where they lived in abandoned buildings, squatter camps, storage units and shoebox apartments.

In 2007, they left everything behind and spent the next 4 years living out of whatever vehicle would get them to the next town. Building upon their original sound of twanged-out, punk rock gutterbilly (Life of Sin 2004 and Gutterbillyblues 2007), they began picking up stray musicians along the way and adding to their sound; washboard, accordion, mandolin and banjo (Ghost of the Rails 2009 and 7 Devils 2011) creating a sound referred to as "hobocore", "gypsy-punk" or "americana-punk", while never being stuck in any one sound.

Enter 2018 and The Goddamn Gallows have reinvented themselves once again with The Trial. From rockabilly, psychobilly and punk rock, to bluegrass and metal, The Trial infuses disparate sounds into a new strange recipe of seamless genre bending profundities.

Chock full of impromptu antics of the shocking variety and hauntingly eclectic instrumentation, The Goddamn Gallows have made legions of fans with their legendary, live shows.

Spit from the heart of America's Rust Belt, arising from a night of flophouse violence. Drifting across the states, they cemented their sound in Portland, OR and later in Los Angeles, CA, where they lived in abandoned buildings, squatter camps, storage units and shoebox apartments.

In 2007, they left everything behind and spent the next 4 years living out of whatever vehicle would get them to the next town. Building upon their original sound of twanged-out, punk rock gutterbilly (Life of Sin 2004 and Gutterbillyblues 2007), they began picking up stray musicians along the way and adding to their sound; washboard, accordion, mandolin and banjo (Ghost of the Rails 2009 and 7 Devils 2011) creating a sound referred to as "hobocore", "gypsy-punk" or "americana-punk", while never being stuck in any one sound.

Enter 2018 and The Goddamn Gallows have reinvented themselves once again with The Trial. From rockabilly, psychobilly and punk rock, to bluegrass and metal, The Trial infuses disparate sounds into a new strange recipe of seamless genre bending profundities.

Chock full of impromptu antics of the shocking variety and hauntingly eclectic instrumentation, The Goddamn Gallows have made legions of fans with their legendary, live shows.

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

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

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

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

The 5th Annual PennRock Scholarship 2018 Presented by SuperMonkey Recording Co., LLC & Pat DiCesare Productions, LLC.

PennRock Scholarship is an annual showcase to promote and build talent for musicians, by musicians. This is not a “battle of the bands” but a showcasing of the best talent and open to bands residing in Pennsylvania hosted in Pittsburgh, Pa. Industry panel of judges will pick a winner based on the following categories: songwriting, musicianship, live performance, crowd reaction, promotional efforts, and ticket sales.

PennRock Scholarship is an annual showcase to promote and build talent for musicians, by musicians. This is not a “battle of the bands” but a showcasing of the best talent and open to bands residing in Pennsylvania hosted in Pittsburgh, Pa. Industry panel of judges will pick a winner based on the following categories: songwriting, musicianship, live performance, crowd reaction, promotional efforts, and ticket sales.

SOLD OUT - (Early Show) face to face - Acoustic with Special Guest Austin Lucas

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

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

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

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

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

Courtney Marie Andrews with Special Guest Michaela Anne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Josh Rouse with Special Guest Chris Hannigan

“Like a baseball player who quietly hits 30 home runs every year or a golfer who regularly finishes in the Top Ten, Josh Rouse's continued streak of excellence is easy to ignore and maybe even downplay a little” -- Tim Sendra, Allmusic.com

You don’t have to work hard to enjoy Rouse’s music. His songs present themselves to you with an open heart, an innate intelligence and an absolute lack of pretension. They are clear-eyed, empathetic and penetrating. Without pandering, they seek to satisfy both your ear and your understanding. The verses draw you in with telling detail, both musical and thematic, and the choruses lift and deliver. They resolve without seeming overly tidy or pat.

Josh Rouse was born in Nebraska, and following an itinerant upbringing he eventually landed in Nashville where he recorded his debut Dressed Like Nebraska (1998). The album’s acclaim led to tours with Aimee Mann, Mark Etzel and the late Vic Chestnut. The followup- Home (2000)—yielded the song “Directions” which Cameron Crowe used in his film Vanilla Sky.

“Every time I’ve made a record, I’ve tried to make it different from the last one,” says Rouse. “I always became fascinated by a different style of music. But at the end of the day, no matter how eclectic I try to make it, it’s my voice and melodic sensibility that tie things together.”

For his breakthrough album, 1972 (2003), which happens to be the year he was born, Rouse decided to cheer up a bit. Noting that he’d earned a reputation for melancholy, he says, with a laugh, “I figured this is my career, I might as well try to enjoy it.” While the Seventies are often identified with singer-songwriters, Rouse was primarily attracted to the warmer sound of albums back then, as well as the more communal feel of the soul music of that time. The follow up, Nashville (2005) continued the hot streak and expanded his audience further.

After relocating to Valencia, Spain with his wife Paz, Rouse has released a steady stream of high quality songs and albums. Subtitulo (2006) contained the international indie folk hit "Quiet Town". On El Turista (2010) he even experimented with writing and singing some songs in Spanish. In 2014, he won a Goya Award (the Spanish equivalent of an Oscar) for best song for "Do You Really Want To Be In Love," from the film 'La Gran Familia Española.'

His most recent release, The Embers of Time, was one of his strongest—self-described as “my surreal, ex-pat, therapy record.” Charles Pitter astutely noted in Pop Matters. “The critics may long for drama and scandal, but The Embers of Time often demonstrates that a simple life could be for the best.”

“Like a baseball player who quietly hits 30 home runs every year or a golfer who regularly finishes in the Top Ten, Josh Rouse's continued streak of excellence is easy to ignore and maybe even downplay a little” -- Tim Sendra, Allmusic.com

You don’t have to work hard to enjoy Rouse’s music. His songs present themselves to you with an open heart, an innate intelligence and an absolute lack of pretension. They are clear-eyed, empathetic and penetrating. Without pandering, they seek to satisfy both your ear and your understanding. The verses draw you in with telling detail, both musical and thematic, and the choruses lift and deliver. They resolve without seeming overly tidy or pat.

Josh Rouse was born in Nebraska, and following an itinerant upbringing he eventually landed in Nashville where he recorded his debut Dressed Like Nebraska (1998). The album’s acclaim led to tours with Aimee Mann, Mark Etzel and the late Vic Chestnut. The followup- Home (2000)—yielded the song “Directions” which Cameron Crowe used in his film Vanilla Sky.

“Every time I’ve made a record, I’ve tried to make it different from the last one,” says Rouse. “I always became fascinated by a different style of music. But at the end of the day, no matter how eclectic I try to make it, it’s my voice and melodic sensibility that tie things together.”

For his breakthrough album, 1972 (2003), which happens to be the year he was born, Rouse decided to cheer up a bit. Noting that he’d earned a reputation for melancholy, he says, with a laugh, “I figured this is my career, I might as well try to enjoy it.” While the Seventies are often identified with singer-songwriters, Rouse was primarily attracted to the warmer sound of albums back then, as well as the more communal feel of the soul music of that time. The follow up, Nashville (2005) continued the hot streak and expanded his audience further.

After relocating to Valencia, Spain with his wife Paz, Rouse has released a steady stream of high quality songs and albums. Subtitulo (2006) contained the international indie folk hit "Quiet Town". On El Turista (2010) he even experimented with writing and singing some songs in Spanish. In 2014, he won a Goya Award (the Spanish equivalent of an Oscar) for best song for "Do You Really Want To Be In Love," from the film 'La Gran Familia Española.'

His most recent release, The Embers of Time, was one of his strongest—self-described as “my surreal, ex-pat, therapy record.” Charles Pitter astutely noted in Pop Matters. “The critics may long for drama and scandal, but The Embers of Time often demonstrates that a simple life could be for the best.”

Joey Harkum Band (of Pasadena)

Joey Harkum is a singer songwriter hailing from Pasadena, MD. For over a decade, Joey has performed all around the country as the lead singer of the band Pasadena. Joey has a unique way of connecting with his fans through deep, poignant lyrics which tell stories of happiness, love, loss and sadness. Joey is currently embarking on his first solo venture and will be touring the nation performing his own special brand of americana, folk rock.

Joey Harkum is a singer songwriter hailing from Pasadena, MD. For over a decade, Joey has performed all around the country as the lead singer of the band Pasadena. Joey has a unique way of connecting with his fans through deep, poignant lyrics which tell stories of happiness, love, loss and sadness. Joey is currently embarking on his first solo venture and will be touring the nation performing his own special brand of americana, folk rock.

Michael McDermott with Special Guest William Sparks

Michael McDermott’s brand of rock n’ roll brims with the kind of well-honed style and wisdom that can only come from a career on the road and a pedigree in the studio. Effortlessly blending natural folk sensibility, pop hooks, and honest rock, McDermott’s music is as much for the outcast as the congregation. It’s an exploration of the dark corners of life’s journey and it resonates middle class truths through the passionate filter of a kid that grew up on Chicago’s Irish South Side.

If you are a fan of Springsteen, Van Morrison, John Steinbeck, Patti Smith … McDermott’s inspirational rock is in your wheelhouse, waiting late night with a guitar, spare smokes and stories of the American heart.

“McDermott’s music helped me to find a part of myself that wasn’t lost, as I had feared, but only misplaced. That’s why we love the ones who are really good at it, I think: because they give us back ourselves, all dusted and shined up, and they do it with a smile…Michael McDermott is one of the best songwriters in the world and possibly the greatest undiscovered rock & roll talent of the last 20 years” -Stephen King

Michael McDermott’s brand of rock n’ roll brims with the kind of well-honed style and wisdom that can only come from a career on the road and a pedigree in the studio. Effortlessly blending natural folk sensibility, pop hooks, and honest rock, McDermott’s music is as much for the outcast as the congregation. It’s an exploration of the dark corners of life’s journey and it resonates middle class truths through the passionate filter of a kid that grew up on Chicago’s Irish South Side.

If you are a fan of Springsteen, Van Morrison, John Steinbeck, Patti Smith … McDermott’s inspirational rock is in your wheelhouse, waiting late night with a guitar, spare smokes and stories of the American heart.

“McDermott’s music helped me to find a part of myself that wasn’t lost, as I had feared, but only misplaced. That’s why we love the ones who are really good at it, I think: because they give us back ourselves, all dusted and shined up, and they do it with a smile…Michael McDermott is one of the best songwriters in the world and possibly the greatest undiscovered rock & roll talent of the last 20 years” -Stephen King

(Early Show) Tracy Grammer - CD Release Tour with Special Guest T. Mitchell Bell

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

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

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

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

(Late Show) Stainless with Get To The Chopper

Big hair. Big egos. Bigger Rock N' Roll.

Big hair. Big egos. Bigger Rock N' Roll.

(Early Show) Smokin' Section

Smokin' Section is Pittsburgh's premier rock band, bringing you all of the hits of your past since 1993.
Steve Seel – Guitar, Vocals

Steeped in Jimi, Billy Gibbons, Carlos, jazz fusion, and Pete Townshend, Steve brings an original take to classic soul and rock. And the dance never swung so hard. The band’s driving push and harmonic base are Steve’s jumping off point for fiery, melodic solos. Aggressive yet lyrical, or maybe aggressively lyrical. However you see it, you gotta see it. And hear it.



Rick Gercak – Bass, Vocals

Swing low, sweet Fender Jazz bass . . . Rick is the high priest of the low end. The master of the bottom, Rick owns the pulse and shakes some booties. His rhythmic bass playing recalls his youthful days in Puerto Rico. Plus, Rick sold his soul at the crossroads for that god-like voice. And he’s the luckiest guy in the band.



Matthew Kweder – Drums, Vocals

Swing it, baby, swing it. Cuz it don’t mean a thing . . . Matthew rocks so hard, we have to hold him down. The king of groove, he’s always rocking, always smiling. And that damn voice on top of it all! He moves like a butterfly and stings like a bee, that Matthew.



Terry Divelbliss – Keys and Trumpet

Brass and ivory in one solid dude. Whether it’s screaming Motown horn charts, smoky Hammond B3, funky clavinet, or straight-up piano, Terry has it down. The newest member, Terry brings a youthful spirit, stunning good looks, and a love for vintage Oldsmobiles. Four on the floor, but Terry wants more!



Greg Stegman – Sax, Vocals

Stegie turns a sax into a hurricane. A furious onslaught of blue notes and bent phrases. Stegie is cut from the cloth of Clarence and the Motown and Stax legends. His solos are things of beauty -- well-structured, lyrical, and soulful. Stegie makes great jerky, and he really wants to play some Pink Floyd.

Smokin' Section is Pittsburgh's premier rock band, bringing you all of the hits of your past since 1993.
Steve Seel – Guitar, Vocals

Steeped in Jimi, Billy Gibbons, Carlos, jazz fusion, and Pete Townshend, Steve brings an original take to classic soul and rock. And the dance never swung so hard. The band’s driving push and harmonic base are Steve’s jumping off point for fiery, melodic solos. Aggressive yet lyrical, or maybe aggressively lyrical. However you see it, you gotta see it. And hear it.



Rick Gercak – Bass, Vocals

Swing low, sweet Fender Jazz bass . . . Rick is the high priest of the low end. The master of the bottom, Rick owns the pulse and shakes some booties. His rhythmic bass playing recalls his youthful days in Puerto Rico. Plus, Rick sold his soul at the crossroads for that god-like voice. And he’s the luckiest guy in the band.



Matthew Kweder – Drums, Vocals

Swing it, baby, swing it. Cuz it don’t mean a thing . . . Matthew rocks so hard, we have to hold him down. The king of groove, he’s always rocking, always smiling. And that damn voice on top of it all! He moves like a butterfly and stings like a bee, that Matthew.



Terry Divelbliss – Keys and Trumpet

Brass and ivory in one solid dude. Whether it’s screaming Motown horn charts, smoky Hammond B3, funky clavinet, or straight-up piano, Terry has it down. The newest member, Terry brings a youthful spirit, stunning good looks, and a love for vintage Oldsmobiles. Four on the floor, but Terry wants more!



Greg Stegman – Sax, Vocals

Stegie turns a sax into a hurricane. A furious onslaught of blue notes and bent phrases. Stegie is cut from the cloth of Clarence and the Motown and Stax legends. His solos are things of beauty -- well-structured, lyrical, and soulful. Stegie makes great jerky, and he really wants to play some Pink Floyd.

Emma Ruth Rundle with Special Guest Jaye Jayle

It isn’t unusual for artists to glean inspiration from emotional upheaval, transcending pain through a kind of mental osmosis, so that the turmoil in their lives provides the fuel for their artistic fire. Only some, however, lay bare the open nerves of their suffering, inviting the listener to experience raw emotion with them, in real time. By exposing vulnerabilities within themselves so fragile that their music itself somehow embodies their own personal discomfort, they create an auditory experience verging on total catharsis, for artist and audience alike. Emma Ruth Rundle is just such a musician. Her second solo album, Marked for Death, mines feelings of loss, defeat, heartache and self-destructiveness to emerge with the most honest and compelling accomplishment of an already prolific career.

A more adventurous production than 2014’s solo debut Some Heavy Ocean, the eight compositions on Marked for Death, helmed by engineer/co-producer Sonny DiPerri, emphasize dynamics and vocal melodies, variable tuning, and a dense layering and texturing of guitars. Nevertheless, fear and self-doubt linger in the shadows of Rundle’s mind, providing an incessant counterpoint to her ambitious talent and sultry, albeit de-emphasized, allure. As she explains, “There is intentionally nothing to hide behind here, but at the same time I’m terrified of revealing myself.” Clarifying this she continues, “The subject matter is largely about being defeated and shrunken into the base human themes of love and loss. It’s a far cry from high art. It’s very much from the dirt.” Exemplified by the candid, unglamorous cover portrait, the album makes a persuasive argument for its creator’s utter helplessness in the shadow of defeat. And though a potent dose of dark, hypnotic rock every bit as satisfying as her work with Marriages and Red Sparowes, Marked for Death’s most resonant element is Rundle herself, settling-in to her role as singer/songwriter. Her rich voice, alternately jostled and cradled by the sounds conjured from her guitar, feels more present, perhaps even more deliberate, than ever before. Written over the space of a few months holed-up at The Farm, Sargent House’s desert outpost/recording studio outside Los Angeles, the songs on Marked for Death reflect the investigative, occasionally improvised nature of writing and, eventually, recording at the site. The studio’s dirty electricity necessitated going direct for most of the guitar tracks. “Because of the direct input set up,” Rundle explains, “I had a lot more time to get very textural with the electric guitars, so there are many layers.” With unlimited time and space, discovery itself became part of the songwriting process.

Opening track “Marked for Death” stirs quietly at first. Its past-tense treatise on doomed love and the despair of abandonment soon blooms, however, into a cascading murmuration of guitar and strings, its towering, epic presence characteristic of much of Rundle’s work. “Protection”, perhaps not coincidentally, constructs a wall of volume around itself. The flashes of Rundle’s vulnerability and haunting melody of her vocals in turn spark great washes of guitar noise that mushroom into existence like some sonic thunderhead. Dusted with acoustic guitars, “Medusa” spins a churning landscape of reverb and shadow, a broad canvas for the impassioned brushstrokes of her voice, while “Hand of God”, a resolute contemplation on living with shame, incorporates a sleepy kind of blues that flickers momentarily before fading away. “Heaven” and “So, Come” grapple with themes of suffering and yearning for the past, transforming from furtive whispers into overdriven burners, and back again. What begins as the album’s most restrained moment, “Furious Angel”, withers only momentarily from the specter of dying love, the quickening floor toms - present across much of the record - eventually splashing their way through a layer of crystalline cymbals. The dark thrum of stripped-down closing track “Real Big Sky” is accompanied by one of Rundle’s most bittersweet lyrics, and a breathtaking performance. The only song on the album included in its original demo form, its unexpected resolve delivers an abrupt, sobering finish.

Complemented by the timeless, cinematic lens of the album’s production, Marked for Death finds Emma Ruth Rundle emerging as a performer of naked intensity. She shapes vast, evocative landscapes of sound, combining them with lyrics of devastating candor. Self-determination and resiliency, disguised in this case as coming to terms with overwhelming defeat, are key aspects of her personality. Transforming pain into works of great beauty makes her the compelling artist she is.

It isn’t unusual for artists to glean inspiration from emotional upheaval, transcending pain through a kind of mental osmosis, so that the turmoil in their lives provides the fuel for their artistic fire. Only some, however, lay bare the open nerves of their suffering, inviting the listener to experience raw emotion with them, in real time. By exposing vulnerabilities within themselves so fragile that their music itself somehow embodies their own personal discomfort, they create an auditory experience verging on total catharsis, for artist and audience alike. Emma Ruth Rundle is just such a musician. Her second solo album, Marked for Death, mines feelings of loss, defeat, heartache and self-destructiveness to emerge with the most honest and compelling accomplishment of an already prolific career.

A more adventurous production than 2014’s solo debut Some Heavy Ocean, the eight compositions on Marked for Death, helmed by engineer/co-producer Sonny DiPerri, emphasize dynamics and vocal melodies, variable tuning, and a dense layering and texturing of guitars. Nevertheless, fear and self-doubt linger in the shadows of Rundle’s mind, providing an incessant counterpoint to her ambitious talent and sultry, albeit de-emphasized, allure. As she explains, “There is intentionally nothing to hide behind here, but at the same time I’m terrified of revealing myself.” Clarifying this she continues, “The subject matter is largely about being defeated and shrunken into the base human themes of love and loss. It’s a far cry from high art. It’s very much from the dirt.” Exemplified by the candid, unglamorous cover portrait, the album makes a persuasive argument for its creator’s utter helplessness in the shadow of defeat. And though a potent dose of dark, hypnotic rock every bit as satisfying as her work with Marriages and Red Sparowes, Marked for Death’s most resonant element is Rundle herself, settling-in to her role as singer/songwriter. Her rich voice, alternately jostled and cradled by the sounds conjured from her guitar, feels more present, perhaps even more deliberate, than ever before. Written over the space of a few months holed-up at The Farm, Sargent House’s desert outpost/recording studio outside Los Angeles, the songs on Marked for Death reflect the investigative, occasionally improvised nature of writing and, eventually, recording at the site. The studio’s dirty electricity necessitated going direct for most of the guitar tracks. “Because of the direct input set up,” Rundle explains, “I had a lot more time to get very textural with the electric guitars, so there are many layers.” With unlimited time and space, discovery itself became part of the songwriting process.

Opening track “Marked for Death” stirs quietly at first. Its past-tense treatise on doomed love and the despair of abandonment soon blooms, however, into a cascading murmuration of guitar and strings, its towering, epic presence characteristic of much of Rundle’s work. “Protection”, perhaps not coincidentally, constructs a wall of volume around itself. The flashes of Rundle’s vulnerability and haunting melody of her vocals in turn spark great washes of guitar noise that mushroom into existence like some sonic thunderhead. Dusted with acoustic guitars, “Medusa” spins a churning landscape of reverb and shadow, a broad canvas for the impassioned brushstrokes of her voice, while “Hand of God”, a resolute contemplation on living with shame, incorporates a sleepy kind of blues that flickers momentarily before fading away. “Heaven” and “So, Come” grapple with themes of suffering and yearning for the past, transforming from furtive whispers into overdriven burners, and back again. What begins as the album’s most restrained moment, “Furious Angel”, withers only momentarily from the specter of dying love, the quickening floor toms - present across much of the record - eventually splashing their way through a layer of crystalline cymbals. The dark thrum of stripped-down closing track “Real Big Sky” is accompanied by one of Rundle’s most bittersweet lyrics, and a breathtaking performance. The only song on the album included in its original demo form, its unexpected resolve delivers an abrupt, sobering finish.

Complemented by the timeless, cinematic lens of the album’s production, Marked for Death finds Emma Ruth Rundle emerging as a performer of naked intensity. She shapes vast, evocative landscapes of sound, combining them with lyrics of devastating candor. Self-determination and resiliency, disguised in this case as coming to terms with overwhelming defeat, are key aspects of her personality. Transforming pain into works of great beauty makes her the compelling artist she is.

Will Hoge (Band) with Special Guest Ryan Culwell

"I hit a wall," says Will Hoge. "I was doing the best touring of my career and I had a great, steady gig writing songs, but I was falling out of love with being in a band. I didn't have a good answer when I asked myself, ‘Why am I still doing this?' So I walked away. I had to figure out what was next."

For Hoge, what came next was a quest to reclaim the joy and the magic that had drawn him to music in the first place. He let his band go and hit the road for roughly a year of solo shows, crisscrossing the country by himself with just a guitar and a keyboard. He felt rejuvenated by the freedom and began writing material that reenergized him, that made him feel like a kid falling in love with rock and roll all over again. Those songs ignited a dormant flame somewhere deep within Hoge's soul, and now they form the bulk of Anchors, his strongest and most nuanced album to date.

"All the solo work made me fall back in love with the process and really inspired me from a writing perspective," says Hoge. "I was so excited when it was time to record this album because I didn't have any parameters that I had to stay inside anymore. I could reach out to anyone I wanted and put together a band that could play these songs in a way that just felt cool and natural, like we used to do in my garage back when I was a teenager."

Hoge's teenage garage band years were spent in Franklin, TN, but his music career didn't begin in earnest until he moved roughly twenty miles up the road to Nashville. Starting with the release of his acclaimed 2001 debut, Carousel, Hoge established himself as a masterful songwriter and performer as well as a critical favorite, with Rolling Stone comparing him to Bob Seger and John Mellencamp and NPR praising his "sharp, smart, passionate rock ‘n' roll that seems to exist out of time." Hoge built up a loyal fanbase the old fashioned way, maintaining a steady studio output and a relentless touring schedule of more than 200 shows a year, including bills with the likes of My Morning Jacket, the Black Crowes, and Drive-By Truckers, in addition to festival slots from Bonnaroo to Austin City Limits.

Then, in 2012, Hoge found himself suddenly thrust into the spotlight when the Eli Young Band hit #1 on the Billboard Country chart with their recording of his song "Even If It Breaks Your Heart." The single went Platinum, earning Hoge coveted nominations at the CMA, ACM, and GRAMMY Awards, where the track was up for Country Song of the Year. The wider world took notice of what those paying attention to Hoge had known for a decade, and soon he was performing everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry to The Late Show with David Letterman, his music was soundtracking a high-profile Chevy truck campaign, and he'd signed a major publishing deal.

"All of the sudden, people were coming and offering me money to be a songwriter," reflects Hoge. "I hadn't had a regular paycheck in fifteen years at that point, and suddenly I was a ‘paid songwriter.' It was an incredible opportunity, and I did that for four years while I continued to tour and make my own records. I learned a lot of valuable things and wrote some songs that I really loved, but it was a very different kind of writing. I felt like I was working for somebody else."

So, as he's always done throughout his career, Hoge took a gamble on himself and left behind the security and comfort of the familiar in order to pursue the kind of art that moved and inspired him. The result is Anchors, an album that blends elements of literate folk, vintage country, and heartland rock into a passionate, genre-busting masterpiece. Recorded with an all-star band comprised of drummer Jerry Roe (Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Darius Rucker), bassist Dominic Davis (Jack White, Wanda Jackson), and guitarists Brad Rice (Son Volt, Ryan Adams) and Thom Donovan (Lapush, Ruby Amanfu), the album is a prime showcase for Hoge's soaring, gritty vocals, as well as his remarkable gift for crafting complex characters with real emotional depth and plainspoken profundity.

"There's some seeds you plant that never grow," Hoge sings on loping album opener "The Reckoning." It's a beautiful, bittersweet introduction to a record that grapples with the messy challenges of adulthood and takes an unflinching look at the ways in which we persevere (or don't) through hard times. On "This Grand Charade," Hoge paints a portrait of a crumbling marriage going through the motions to keep up appearances, while "Angel's Wings" channels classic country in the search for one more chance to turn things around, and the spare, piano-driven "Cold Night In Santa Fe" laments that "it ain't the knowing that it's over / it's the watching it slip away" that causes the most pain.

Hoge's a happily married man with two kids of his own these days, though, so he knows that time doesn't inherently doom all lovers. "Ain't nothing we can't fix / Ain't no broken trust / Ain't no great divide between the two of us " he sings in harmony with special guest Sheryl Crow on "Little Bit Of Rust.

"I'd always wanted a female vocal for this song because I felt like the ‘we' in the chorus is important," says Hoge. "Nobody fixes a relationship on their own. I felt like it deserved this strong female presence, and Sheryl's just one of the greatest singers I've ever heard. Having her on the track breathed a whole new life into the song, and it's one of my favorite things I've ever done."

While the album has its fair share of heavy moments, Hoge isn't afraid to mine the more optimistic and playful veins of his creativity, too. He lets his mischievous side shine on the lustful "This Ain't An Original Sin," gets romantic on the Traveling Wilburys-esque "Baby's Eyes" (a co-write with Brendan Benson), and reconnects with the innocence and excitement of his early days on "Seventeen," a track inspired by his own kids' exploits in the garage.

"My boys are six and ten, and they started a band with their friend," explains Hoge. "I was sitting around one day during my period of deep doubt, and then I heard these three pre-teens in my damn garage thinking they can save the world with rock and roll. It was amazing. All of the sudden you remember the feeling of going to band practice and playing with your friends and making sure that you've got your jean jacket on just right so you can talk to the girl at the movie theater and try to get her to come to your show. You remember you do it because you love it and it feels right."

That's the notion that carries album closer "Young As We Will Ever Be" into the sunset. It's an ode to the present, to living in the moment, to seeing the splendor in the right now, challenging as it may be. It's easy to get jaded or lose inspiration in this world when the going gets tough, and it's even easier to take the good times for granted, only recognizing them for what they are once they're in the rearview mirror. If there's one takeaway from Anchors, though, it's that hard times come and hard times go, but love and art can sustain you through both if you let them. The road you end up on and the stops you make along the way may not be the ones you'd always imagined, but true happiness belongs to those who learn to find fulfillment in the journey rather than the destination.

"Am I as far as I want to go?" Hoge asks himself out loud. "No. Am I further than I ever imagined being at seventeen? Fuck yeah. There's some beauty in that."

"I hit a wall," says Will Hoge. "I was doing the best touring of my career and I had a great, steady gig writing songs, but I was falling out of love with being in a band. I didn't have a good answer when I asked myself, ‘Why am I still doing this?' So I walked away. I had to figure out what was next."

For Hoge, what came next was a quest to reclaim the joy and the magic that had drawn him to music in the first place. He let his band go and hit the road for roughly a year of solo shows, crisscrossing the country by himself with just a guitar and a keyboard. He felt rejuvenated by the freedom and began writing material that reenergized him, that made him feel like a kid falling in love with rock and roll all over again. Those songs ignited a dormant flame somewhere deep within Hoge's soul, and now they form the bulk of Anchors, his strongest and most nuanced album to date.

"All the solo work made me fall back in love with the process and really inspired me from a writing perspective," says Hoge. "I was so excited when it was time to record this album because I didn't have any parameters that I had to stay inside anymore. I could reach out to anyone I wanted and put together a band that could play these songs in a way that just felt cool and natural, like we used to do in my garage back when I was a teenager."

Hoge's teenage garage band years were spent in Franklin, TN, but his music career didn't begin in earnest until he moved roughly twenty miles up the road to Nashville. Starting with the release of his acclaimed 2001 debut, Carousel, Hoge established himself as a masterful songwriter and performer as well as a critical favorite, with Rolling Stone comparing him to Bob Seger and John Mellencamp and NPR praising his "sharp, smart, passionate rock ‘n' roll that seems to exist out of time." Hoge built up a loyal fanbase the old fashioned way, maintaining a steady studio output and a relentless touring schedule of more than 200 shows a year, including bills with the likes of My Morning Jacket, the Black Crowes, and Drive-By Truckers, in addition to festival slots from Bonnaroo to Austin City Limits.

Then, in 2012, Hoge found himself suddenly thrust into the spotlight when the Eli Young Band hit #1 on the Billboard Country chart with their recording of his song "Even If It Breaks Your Heart." The single went Platinum, earning Hoge coveted nominations at the CMA, ACM, and GRAMMY Awards, where the track was up for Country Song of the Year. The wider world took notice of what those paying attention to Hoge had known for a decade, and soon he was performing everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry to The Late Show with David Letterman, his music was soundtracking a high-profile Chevy truck campaign, and he'd signed a major publishing deal.

"All of the sudden, people were coming and offering me money to be a songwriter," reflects Hoge. "I hadn't had a regular paycheck in fifteen years at that point, and suddenly I was a ‘paid songwriter.' It was an incredible opportunity, and I did that for four years while I continued to tour and make my own records. I learned a lot of valuable things and wrote some songs that I really loved, but it was a very different kind of writing. I felt like I was working for somebody else."

So, as he's always done throughout his career, Hoge took a gamble on himself and left behind the security and comfort of the familiar in order to pursue the kind of art that moved and inspired him. The result is Anchors, an album that blends elements of literate folk, vintage country, and heartland rock into a passionate, genre-busting masterpiece. Recorded with an all-star band comprised of drummer Jerry Roe (Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Darius Rucker), bassist Dominic Davis (Jack White, Wanda Jackson), and guitarists Brad Rice (Son Volt, Ryan Adams) and Thom Donovan (Lapush, Ruby Amanfu), the album is a prime showcase for Hoge's soaring, gritty vocals, as well as his remarkable gift for crafting complex characters with real emotional depth and plainspoken profundity.

"There's some seeds you plant that never grow," Hoge sings on loping album opener "The Reckoning." It's a beautiful, bittersweet introduction to a record that grapples with the messy challenges of adulthood and takes an unflinching look at the ways in which we persevere (or don't) through hard times. On "This Grand Charade," Hoge paints a portrait of a crumbling marriage going through the motions to keep up appearances, while "Angel's Wings" channels classic country in the search for one more chance to turn things around, and the spare, piano-driven "Cold Night In Santa Fe" laments that "it ain't the knowing that it's over / it's the watching it slip away" that causes the most pain.

Hoge's a happily married man with two kids of his own these days, though, so he knows that time doesn't inherently doom all lovers. "Ain't nothing we can't fix / Ain't no broken trust / Ain't no great divide between the two of us " he sings in harmony with special guest Sheryl Crow on "Little Bit Of Rust.

"I'd always wanted a female vocal for this song because I felt like the ‘we' in the chorus is important," says Hoge. "Nobody fixes a relationship on their own. I felt like it deserved this strong female presence, and Sheryl's just one of the greatest singers I've ever heard. Having her on the track breathed a whole new life into the song, and it's one of my favorite things I've ever done."

While the album has its fair share of heavy moments, Hoge isn't afraid to mine the more optimistic and playful veins of his creativity, too. He lets his mischievous side shine on the lustful "This Ain't An Original Sin," gets romantic on the Traveling Wilburys-esque "Baby's Eyes" (a co-write with Brendan Benson), and reconnects with the innocence and excitement of his early days on "Seventeen," a track inspired by his own kids' exploits in the garage.

"My boys are six and ten, and they started a band with their friend," explains Hoge. "I was sitting around one day during my period of deep doubt, and then I heard these three pre-teens in my damn garage thinking they can save the world with rock and roll. It was amazing. All of the sudden you remember the feeling of going to band practice and playing with your friends and making sure that you've got your jean jacket on just right so you can talk to the girl at the movie theater and try to get her to come to your show. You remember you do it because you love it and it feels right."

That's the notion that carries album closer "Young As We Will Ever Be" into the sunset. It's an ode to the present, to living in the moment, to seeing the splendor in the right now, challenging as it may be. It's easy to get jaded or lose inspiration in this world when the going gets tough, and it's even easier to take the good times for granted, only recognizing them for what they are once they're in the rearview mirror. If there's one takeaway from Anchors, though, it's that hard times come and hard times go, but love and art can sustain you through both if you let them. The road you end up on and the stops you make along the way may not be the ones you'd always imagined, but true happiness belongs to those who learn to find fulfillment in the journey rather than the destination.

"Am I as far as I want to go?" Hoge asks himself out loud. "No. Am I further than I ever imagined being at seventeen? Fuck yeah. There's some beauty in that."

Groovin' with the Grove 2 - Official Pre-Party Featuring Andy Frasco & The U.N., Trailheads and Wes Hager of Fletcher's Grove

Averaging 250 shows per year, 10 countries, at least 10,000 hours playing music, countless satisfied fans, and about 1 million beers kicked, the past decade has been nothing short of an odyssey for Andy Frasco & The U.N.
In 2016, this wild musical journey culminated with a three-hour headlining set in front of 15,000 people at Jazz & Blues Festival in Bamberg, Germany. The evening marked a handful of firsts. It would be the first time the band performed its entire catalog during one show, and it would be recorded for their first-ever live CD/DVD—2017’s Songs from the Road: Live in Bamberg. In many ways, Andy had been working towards this evening since he quit his record label job at 19, bought a van with his remaining Bar Mitzvah money, hit the road, and never looked back…
“I always wanted to do a live album,” he exclaims. “I didn’t want to play some cliché venue though. When I started booking shows for the band in Europe, Bamberg was actually the first place that threw us a bone. We decided to take over this town, throw a block party, showcase everything we’ve done, and see if anyone shows up. All of a sudden, the whole town is there. In this last decade, I’ve played every dive bar you can imagine. It was like we finally manifested all of the dreams I’ve had for my entire life.”
Songs from the Road captures the magic inherent in an Andy Frasco show. Throughout the set, the chemistry between the musicians and sonic unpredictability power every second. Among many standouts, the group slowed down “Main Squeeze” from 2014’s Half A Man into a sultry and seductive “Soul Version” highlighted by Andy’s bluesy delivery, hulking keys, and a virtuoso saxophone solo.
“That was the first song I ever wrote as a kid,” he recalls. “It started as a slow ballad, but we sped it up over the years for festivals. We went back to the original incarnation here.”
Elsewhere, the group locks into a show-stopping 20-minute jam during “Struggle” spiraling into drum and guitar battles. Meanwhile, “Smoking Dope n Rock n Roll” and “Stop Fucking Around” incite raucous and rowdy singalongs between crowd surfing to a barrel of wine—you have to see it to believe it. These moments hint at something much bigger for Andy though.
“It made me like I’m not just an entertainer, but I’m becoming a musician,” he admits. “To see all of these Germans who barely speak English singing my songs made me feel like I’m doing something bigger than me. I tell everyone, ‘Whatever’s going on in your life, don’t worry about it. I don’t care how broke or tired you are, let’s just come together and celebrate life.’ If we can get the audience out of their heads for two or three hours, we’ve done our job to make this world happier.”
Stirring up a simmering stew of soul, funk, rock, roots, Americana, and blues, Andy continues to musically intoxicate listeners worldwide. Releasing five independent full-length albums to date, the boys have shared the stage with everyone from Leon Russell, Dr. Dog, Joe Walsh, and Gary Clark, Jr. to Snoop Dog, Galactic, Pepper, Foreigner and more. A festival favorite, they’ve ignited Firefly, SXSW, Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Backwoods Music Festival, Phases of the Moon, and beyond. Along the way, they earned acclaim from Relix, Pollstar, Live for Live Music, SoundFuse, and others in between cracking 2 million cumulative Spotify streams.
As they begin recording album number six with producer David Schools of Widespread Panic, Songs from the Road confidently opens up the next chapter of Andy Frasco & The U.N.
“At the end of the day, I want people to know we’re a band that can entertain, but we write good songs,” he leaves off. “We have fun, but we take this super seriously. We’ve dedicated our lives to this. This is my life destiny to make everyone feel good. That’s my job on this planet for the next thirty or one-hundred years that I’m alive. It’s what I plan on doing.”

Groovin' with the Grove 2 is a weekend music, arts, and camping festival hosted by West Virginia Appalachian jam /rock band Fletcher's Grove. The event is September 28th & 29th at King Knob Presents in Philippi, WV. Tickets and info can be found at GroovinWV.com

Averaging 250 shows per year, 10 countries, at least 10,000 hours playing music, countless satisfied fans, and about 1 million beers kicked, the past decade has been nothing short of an odyssey for Andy Frasco & The U.N.
In 2016, this wild musical journey culminated with a three-hour headlining set in front of 15,000 people at Jazz & Blues Festival in Bamberg, Germany. The evening marked a handful of firsts. It would be the first time the band performed its entire catalog during one show, and it would be recorded for their first-ever live CD/DVD—2017’s Songs from the Road: Live in Bamberg. In many ways, Andy had been working towards this evening since he quit his record label job at 19, bought a van with his remaining Bar Mitzvah money, hit the road, and never looked back…
“I always wanted to do a live album,” he exclaims. “I didn’t want to play some cliché venue though. When I started booking shows for the band in Europe, Bamberg was actually the first place that threw us a bone. We decided to take over this town, throw a block party, showcase everything we’ve done, and see if anyone shows up. All of a sudden, the whole town is there. In this last decade, I’ve played every dive bar you can imagine. It was like we finally manifested all of the dreams I’ve had for my entire life.”
Songs from the Road captures the magic inherent in an Andy Frasco show. Throughout the set, the chemistry between the musicians and sonic unpredictability power every second. Among many standouts, the group slowed down “Main Squeeze” from 2014’s Half A Man into a sultry and seductive “Soul Version” highlighted by Andy’s bluesy delivery, hulking keys, and a virtuoso saxophone solo.
“That was the first song I ever wrote as a kid,” he recalls. “It started as a slow ballad, but we sped it up over the years for festivals. We went back to the original incarnation here.”
Elsewhere, the group locks into a show-stopping 20-minute jam during “Struggle” spiraling into drum and guitar battles. Meanwhile, “Smoking Dope n Rock n Roll” and “Stop Fucking Around” incite raucous and rowdy singalongs between crowd surfing to a barrel of wine—you have to see it to believe it. These moments hint at something much bigger for Andy though.
“It made me like I’m not just an entertainer, but I’m becoming a musician,” he admits. “To see all of these Germans who barely speak English singing my songs made me feel like I’m doing something bigger than me. I tell everyone, ‘Whatever’s going on in your life, don’t worry about it. I don’t care how broke or tired you are, let’s just come together and celebrate life.’ If we can get the audience out of their heads for two or three hours, we’ve done our job to make this world happier.”
Stirring up a simmering stew of soul, funk, rock, roots, Americana, and blues, Andy continues to musically intoxicate listeners worldwide. Releasing five independent full-length albums to date, the boys have shared the stage with everyone from Leon Russell, Dr. Dog, Joe Walsh, and Gary Clark, Jr. to Snoop Dog, Galactic, Pepper, Foreigner and more. A festival favorite, they’ve ignited Firefly, SXSW, Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Backwoods Music Festival, Phases of the Moon, and beyond. Along the way, they earned acclaim from Relix, Pollstar, Live for Live Music, SoundFuse, and others in between cracking 2 million cumulative Spotify streams.
As they begin recording album number six with producer David Schools of Widespread Panic, Songs from the Road confidently opens up the next chapter of Andy Frasco & The U.N.
“At the end of the day, I want people to know we’re a band that can entertain, but we write good songs,” he leaves off. “We have fun, but we take this super seriously. We’ve dedicated our lives to this. This is my life destiny to make everyone feel good. That’s my job on this planet for the next thirty or one-hundred years that I’m alive. It’s what I plan on doing.”

Groovin' with the Grove 2 is a weekend music, arts, and camping festival hosted by West Virginia Appalachian jam /rock band Fletcher's Grove. The event is September 28th & 29th at King Knob Presents in Philippi, WV. Tickets and info can be found at GroovinWV.com

Jesse Denaro presented by The Vault Records

Pittsburgh-based singer/songwriter Jesse Denaro is getting out of his own head with his forthcoming album, "One Day I Will Be Important." After years of trying to write music under the intense pressure that often accompanies attempts to emulate the artistic practices of others, the new record sees Denaro making the music he enjoys – because that's what he loves to do.

Originally from New York, Denaro started touring after graduating from college. He later moved to Pittsburgh where he signed to The Vault Records in 2017. Denaro's authenticity shines through in his tuneful observations of good things falling apart in a mature endeavor that’s sure to foster strong connections with listeners.

It's an itch for genuine, naïve love that begs to be scratched and a reminder that it’s possible to make art that’s optimistic even in despondence. He is versatile performer, singer, songwriter, engineer and producer – his work includes his self-produced album and Chris Jamison of NBC's The Voice, both on The Vault Records's label.

Pittsburgh-based singer/songwriter Jesse Denaro is getting out of his own head with his forthcoming album, "One Day I Will Be Important." After years of trying to write music under the intense pressure that often accompanies attempts to emulate the artistic practices of others, the new record sees Denaro making the music he enjoys – because that's what he loves to do.

Originally from New York, Denaro started touring after graduating from college. He later moved to Pittsburgh where he signed to The Vault Records in 2017. Denaro's authenticity shines through in his tuneful observations of good things falling apart in a mature endeavor that’s sure to foster strong connections with listeners.

It's an itch for genuine, naïve love that begs to be scratched and a reminder that it’s possible to make art that’s optimistic even in despondence. He is versatile performer, singer, songwriter, engineer and producer – his work includes his self-produced album and Chris Jamison of NBC's The Voice, both on The Vault Records's label.

Israel Nash Lifted Tour 2018 with Special Guest Allen Tate (San Fermin) - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Texas’ genre-bending rock ‘n’ roller Israel Nash presents his latest long play, Lifted. It is a modern day hippie-spiritual, a tonic for those needing to put aside the mess of the daily grind. With luscious beds of strings, horns and well adorned towering walls of sound, Lifted finds Nash continuing his tradition of creating a sonic experience of feeling that is at once both vast and intimate - soaring and untamed at times, placid and sincerely personal at others.

Originally from the Ozarks of Missouri, Israel Nash has made his home in Dripping Springs, Texas for the greater part of a decade. There, on his ranch with sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country, the tall, hirsute mountain man
built his own studio; a Quonset hut structure he’s dubbed Plum Creek Sound. The studio became a sanctuary, a creative outlet where Nash reached a meditative state of escapism, which ultimately became the inspiration behind Lifted. The creative process of writing, recording and producing Lifted allowed Nash to leave his own downhearted feelings about the political landscape of the recent elections and the deeper queries of purpose and life that supersede the material world. Nash wrote and recorded Lifted with the intention of achieving a sonic experience that will elevate the listener - that the feeling of peace, love and happiness which saturates the words and music can provide the same escape he achieved while creating the LP.

Being able to finally use Plum Creek Sound to its utmost, Nash incorporated found sounds and field recordings from his Texas ranch to create a setting of the sounds that represent his Hill Country life. Drums played in rain collection tanks, water rushing against the limestone, frogs and crickets in their habitats, and even a curious, yet guarded rattlesnake, all appear throughout the record. Inspired by methods pioneered by John Cage, Nash also randomized sounds and music and rearranged them according to the I Ching (The Book of Changes). Utilizing these recording and tracking techniques help create a sonic and very present picture of Nash’s home and his life. Accompanied by his longtime band, with arrangements by Jesse Chandler (Mercury Rev, Midlake), horns by members of Austin’s cumbia/funk compadre’s Grupo Fantasma, and strings from Kelsey Wilson and Sadie Wolf of indie pop’s Wild Child, Nash, alongside co- producer and engineer Ted Young (Kurt Vile, The Rolling Stones), presents an album that soars as a masterwork of American roots songs, meticulously crafted and gently sprinkled with life meaning and multi-hued rock and psychedelia.

“It’s all about finding, searching for little sparks of inspiration. It may be a sound, a groove, a color, or even an object. Old things are inspiring. Whatever it is, when you find it, it spreads like

a conflagration that is out of your control. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a record or living your life, find these inspirations with a vigil eye and watch them change both you and your world.”

Lifted opens with an extended instrumental introduction, preparing the listener to get comfortable and settle in for the journey ahead, before blossoming into “Rolling On.” It’s a manifesto, a hearty breath of rock goodness, clean air for all that follows. A sing-along anthem of urgency, encouraging one to let go of yesterday and spring from the traps of worry in order to move onward and upward - rolling on, right here and right now.

“It was a simple message to myself, to not get stuck in thinking and the past. It’s too easy for us to worry about pretty much everything. I had been down and low for a bit and really had to sing and write those feelings away, give them to the moment and find a better self in the end.”

What follows is an Americana-bred opus without equal. From the familial harmonies of “Sweet Springs,” recalling the Beach Boys at their most joyous (almost all performed by Nash himself), to the country rock riffage of “Lucky Ones” and “SpiritFalls” conjuring up that much needed healing, to the album ending “Golden Fleeces,” a sunshine laden song offering up sweet relief from those troubles and tying the preceding up with a sense of lightness and much needed joy.

By immersing oneself in Lifted, one can see Nash succeeds in a way that’s exquisite yet spiritually satisfying. Nash welcomes you to join him on his uplifting path - one he’s taken throughout his career, now continuing on a higher, imaginative plane. May your ears be blessed and may your soul be lifted.

Texas’ genre-bending rock ‘n’ roller Israel Nash presents his latest long play, Lifted. It is a modern day hippie-spiritual, a tonic for those needing to put aside the mess of the daily grind. With luscious beds of strings, horns and well adorned towering walls of sound, Lifted finds Nash continuing his tradition of creating a sonic experience of feeling that is at once both vast and intimate - soaring and untamed at times, placid and sincerely personal at others.

Originally from the Ozarks of Missouri, Israel Nash has made his home in Dripping Springs, Texas for the greater part of a decade. There, on his ranch with sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country, the tall, hirsute mountain man
built his own studio; a Quonset hut structure he’s dubbed Plum Creek Sound. The studio became a sanctuary, a creative outlet where Nash reached a meditative state of escapism, which ultimately became the inspiration behind Lifted. The creative process of writing, recording and producing Lifted allowed Nash to leave his own downhearted feelings about the political landscape of the recent elections and the deeper queries of purpose and life that supersede the material world. Nash wrote and recorded Lifted with the intention of achieving a sonic experience that will elevate the listener - that the feeling of peace, love and happiness which saturates the words and music can provide the same escape he achieved while creating the LP.

Being able to finally use Plum Creek Sound to its utmost, Nash incorporated found sounds and field recordings from his Texas ranch to create a setting of the sounds that represent his Hill Country life. Drums played in rain collection tanks, water rushing against the limestone, frogs and crickets in their habitats, and even a curious, yet guarded rattlesnake, all appear throughout the record. Inspired by methods pioneered by John Cage, Nash also randomized sounds and music and rearranged them according to the I Ching (The Book of Changes). Utilizing these recording and tracking techniques help create a sonic and very present picture of Nash’s home and his life. Accompanied by his longtime band, with arrangements by Jesse Chandler (Mercury Rev, Midlake), horns by members of Austin’s cumbia/funk compadre’s Grupo Fantasma, and strings from Kelsey Wilson and Sadie Wolf of indie pop’s Wild Child, Nash, alongside co- producer and engineer Ted Young (Kurt Vile, The Rolling Stones), presents an album that soars as a masterwork of American roots songs, meticulously crafted and gently sprinkled with life meaning and multi-hued rock and psychedelia.

“It’s all about finding, searching for little sparks of inspiration. It may be a sound, a groove, a color, or even an object. Old things are inspiring. Whatever it is, when you find it, it spreads like

a conflagration that is out of your control. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a record or living your life, find these inspirations with a vigil eye and watch them change both you and your world.”

Lifted opens with an extended instrumental introduction, preparing the listener to get comfortable and settle in for the journey ahead, before blossoming into “Rolling On.” It’s a manifesto, a hearty breath of rock goodness, clean air for all that follows. A sing-along anthem of urgency, encouraging one to let go of yesterday and spring from the traps of worry in order to move onward and upward - rolling on, right here and right now.

“It was a simple message to myself, to not get stuck in thinking and the past. It’s too easy for us to worry about pretty much everything. I had been down and low for a bit and really had to sing and write those feelings away, give them to the moment and find a better self in the end.”

What follows is an Americana-bred opus without equal. From the familial harmonies of “Sweet Springs,” recalling the Beach Boys at their most joyous (almost all performed by Nash himself), to the country rock riffage of “Lucky Ones” and “SpiritFalls” conjuring up that much needed healing, to the album ending “Golden Fleeces,” a sunshine laden song offering up sweet relief from those troubles and tying the preceding up with a sense of lightness and much needed joy.

By immersing oneself in Lifted, one can see Nash succeeds in a way that’s exquisite yet spiritually satisfying. Nash welcomes you to join him on his uplifting path - one he’s taken throughout his career, now continuing on a higher, imaginative plane. May your ears be blessed and may your soul be lifted.

(Early Show) Four Songwriters, One River. Featuring Todd Burge, Joe Zelek, Michael Iafrate, Tom Breiding

Four Ohio Valley songwriters share their songs, their stories and their unique backgrounds along the Ohio River.

Todd Burge
"Todd belongs in the company of Peter Stampfel, Todd Snider and Paul Thorn with Roger Miller winking from beyond."
-Larry Groce, Mountain Stage Host

Joe Zelek
A main stage performer at Jamboree in the Hills for the past decade and former Gathering Field drummer, Joe's songs can be heard in Duck Dynasty, The Wahlburgers and other TV outlets.

Micahel Iafrate
Michael's contemplative song-explorations are enriched by his training as a theologian.

Tom Breiding
Tom's music makes apparent distinction between the distant idealization of the working man and the real life of the working man; the distinction between country- and coal country."

Four Ohio Valley songwriters share their songs, their stories and their unique backgrounds along the Ohio River.

Todd Burge
"Todd belongs in the company of Peter Stampfel, Todd Snider and Paul Thorn with Roger Miller winking from beyond."
-Larry Groce, Mountain Stage Host

Joe Zelek
A main stage performer at Jamboree in the Hills for the past decade and former Gathering Field drummer, Joe's songs can be heard in Duck Dynasty, The Wahlburgers and other TV outlets.

Micahel Iafrate
Michael's contemplative song-explorations are enriched by his training as a theologian.

Tom Breiding
Tom's music makes apparent distinction between the distant idealization of the working man and the real life of the working man; the distinction between country- and coal country."

Canceled - The Stray Birds

If The Stray Birds were going to make another album, there was only one way it would happen: together. The idea was at once a challenge, an ultimatum, and a survival mechanism for a band at the crossroads. Write the record collaboratively, or don’t write it at all. The result is ‘Let It Pass,’ their fourth album and most powerful, personal, and cathartic collection yet. The record charts the trio’s tumultuous emotional journey in the years since the release of their acclaimed 2016 album ‘Magic Fire,’ a period which saw de Vitry and fiddler/guitarist/mandolinist/vocalist Oliver Craven end their romantic relationship while choosing to continue their musical one. Along with bassist/banjoist/vocalist Charlie Muench, the pair had to face down an uncertain future and reevaluate what it meant to create art together.

From the lilting “In My Time” and gentle “Light As A Fire” to the gritty “Miles and Miles” and sentimental “If Time Is Not Enough,” change and continuation are frequent themes on the album, but each track boils down in its own way to an act of growth and healing. Album opener “The Bridge” says it all, with the whole band joining in ecstatic three-part harmony to sing, “Meet me on the bridge / We can watch the water / Meet me on the bridge / Water running under.” Like so much of the album, it’s a cry for empathy and compromise that works on a variety of levels: personal, professional, political. The band takes an unflinching look in the mirror with this record, but it’s not hard to zoom out and hear the parallels here with a divided nation similarly navigating its way through a metaphorical maelstrom.

Originally hailing from Lancaster, PA, The Stray Birds first broke out in 2012 with their self-titled/self-released debut, which landed among NPR's Top Ten Folk/Americana Albums of the Year and earned the trio major festival performances everywhere from MerleFest to Scotland's Celtic Connections. They followed it up in 2014 with ‘Best Medicine,’ which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart, and returned two years later with the Larry Campbell-produced ‘Magic Fire,’ which hit #1 and earned an avalanche of critical praise. NPR hailed the band’s “warm harmonies” and “pristine playing,” while Pop Matters heralded the album as “an essential step forward,” and Folk Alley called it “masterfully crafted.”

If The Stray Birds were going to make another album, there was only one way it would happen: together. The idea was at once a challenge, an ultimatum, and a survival mechanism for a band at the crossroads. Write the record collaboratively, or don’t write it at all. The result is ‘Let It Pass,’ their fourth album and most powerful, personal, and cathartic collection yet. The record charts the trio’s tumultuous emotional journey in the years since the release of their acclaimed 2016 album ‘Magic Fire,’ a period which saw de Vitry and fiddler/guitarist/mandolinist/vocalist Oliver Craven end their romantic relationship while choosing to continue their musical one. Along with bassist/banjoist/vocalist Charlie Muench, the pair had to face down an uncertain future and reevaluate what it meant to create art together.

From the lilting “In My Time” and gentle “Light As A Fire” to the gritty “Miles and Miles” and sentimental “If Time Is Not Enough,” change and continuation are frequent themes on the album, but each track boils down in its own way to an act of growth and healing. Album opener “The Bridge” says it all, with the whole band joining in ecstatic three-part harmony to sing, “Meet me on the bridge / We can watch the water / Meet me on the bridge / Water running under.” Like so much of the album, it’s a cry for empathy and compromise that works on a variety of levels: personal, professional, political. The band takes an unflinching look in the mirror with this record, but it’s not hard to zoom out and hear the parallels here with a divided nation similarly navigating its way through a metaphorical maelstrom.

Originally hailing from Lancaster, PA, The Stray Birds first broke out in 2012 with their self-titled/self-released debut, which landed among NPR's Top Ten Folk/Americana Albums of the Year and earned the trio major festival performances everywhere from MerleFest to Scotland's Celtic Connections. They followed it up in 2014 with ‘Best Medicine,’ which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart, and returned two years later with the Larry Campbell-produced ‘Magic Fire,’ which hit #1 and earned an avalanche of critical praise. NPR hailed the band’s “warm harmonies” and “pristine playing,” while Pop Matters heralded the album as “an essential step forward,” and Folk Alley called it “masterfully crafted.”

Valley Queen with Special Guest Skyway Man

VALLEY QUEEN Natalie Carol (vocals/guitar) - Neil Wogensen (bass/vocals) - Shawn Morones (guitar/vocals) - Mike DeLuccia (drums) The full-length debut from Los Angeles-based band Valley Queen, Supergianttakes its title from the most massive and luminous yet fastest-burning stars in the universe. “The song ‘Supergiant’ is about how we’re all made up of the same stuff as stars, and I liked the idea of tying the whole album together with that metaphor,” says Carol. “It takes all the drama you hear on the record—the aggressive, chaotic moments, and the more beautiful or quieter moments—and puts it all into a more galactic perspective.”With the album finished and ready to be released into the world, it’s now easier for Carol to take a step back and be philosophical but there were moments when it almost seemed like Supergiant would never come to light. The first iteration of Valley Queen formed not long after Carol moved to L.A. and crossed paths with Neil Wogensen through the local music scene. With Shawn Morones and drummer Gerry Doot later joining the lineup, the band named themselves Valley Queen in a nod to the region where ancient Egyptians buried their deceased matriarchs. They released the singles “In My Place”and “High Expectations,” as well as 2017 EPDestroyer to widespread critical acclaim. The band also supported artists including Laura Marling and Thao & the Get Down Stay Down on tour. Musically and creatively, they were in a place they never dreamed of. As the band’s profile grew, so did days on the road and time spent away from home. Any touring band will testify to the intensity of togetherness, tight finances, being away from significant others, physical exhaustion, unhealthy diets and habits, etc., but they were doing what they loved and it was resonating with people. The band had found their own magical pocket musically but, ultimately, the strain was too much for Morones and Doot who left the band after years on the road. They were replaced with session musicians and the band continued to win fans and play bigger rooms, but the chemistry that Carol had come to depend on was gone. The growing success earned them a record deal—a dream finally coming to fruition—but Carol was unable to find the creative cohesiveness she knew she needed to make the record. “I wondered how to record the record. I believed in myself but I had also believed in the people around me. I write these songs in solitude but Valley Queen is not my solo project. I thrived in the collaboration. I came back from these new tours feeling creatively depleted, like something important was missing.”Carol knew ultimately what needed to happen. Like a parent knowing what’s best for their child, she understood that Valley Queen was more than lyrics and
sessions musicians. It was about people, chemistry and the relationships that created such a powerful musical force to begin with. “I knew nobody else could record this record with me but our original line up. They had grown into the arrangements, had a personal understanding of what the songs were about.” Doot couldn't rejoin—the strain touring had put on his newborn baby and wife was too much for him to reconsider—and Mike DeLuccia came forward, which was a godsend. Then Carol called Morones. The time on the road had strained their relationship significantly and there was healing that needed to happen. After long discussions and sharing, they all decided it would be worth the risk to try to create this album and tell the story of what had happened. Two months later, Valley Queen was in the studio. Carol reflects, “Recording the album was a transformative experience for the band. It certainly trod the ground of the past, the difficulty and disappointment we had faced. But moving through and completing the project brought with it a sensation that the chapter was over. All of us will always be in process, we will always be learning how to better work with each other and ourselves. But a power was created in actively choosing to meet with that process.”The result is Supergiant, produced by Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast, Fool’s Gold, Nikki Lane, FIDLAR). Not surprisingly, the album emerges with raw production and relentless intensity. It’s a record that could not have been made any other way, each member bringing their own creative force and energy to every song. It’s about self-exploration, not just as an individual, but also as a collective whole. “It can be really painful and isolating to go through something that doesn’t really look like anybody else’s experience but your own,” Carol says in reflecting on Supergiant’s intensity. “But ultimately that’s part of the beautiful orchestration of being alive—instead of trying to go around that experience, you need to go fully into it. I think that’s the only way to get a deeper understanding of who we really are.”

VALLEY QUEEN Natalie Carol (vocals/guitar) - Neil Wogensen (bass/vocals) - Shawn Morones (guitar/vocals) - Mike DeLuccia (drums) The full-length debut from Los Angeles-based band Valley Queen, Supergianttakes its title from the most massive and luminous yet fastest-burning stars in the universe. “The song ‘Supergiant’ is about how we’re all made up of the same stuff as stars, and I liked the idea of tying the whole album together with that metaphor,” says Carol. “It takes all the drama you hear on the record—the aggressive, chaotic moments, and the more beautiful or quieter moments—and puts it all into a more galactic perspective.”With the album finished and ready to be released into the world, it’s now easier for Carol to take a step back and be philosophical but there were moments when it almost seemed like Supergiant would never come to light. The first iteration of Valley Queen formed not long after Carol moved to L.A. and crossed paths with Neil Wogensen through the local music scene. With Shawn Morones and drummer Gerry Doot later joining the lineup, the band named themselves Valley Queen in a nod to the region where ancient Egyptians buried their deceased matriarchs. They released the singles “In My Place”and “High Expectations,” as well as 2017 EPDestroyer to widespread critical acclaim. The band also supported artists including Laura Marling and Thao & the Get Down Stay Down on tour. Musically and creatively, they were in a place they never dreamed of. As the band’s profile grew, so did days on the road and time spent away from home. Any touring band will testify to the intensity of togetherness, tight finances, being away from significant others, physical exhaustion, unhealthy diets and habits, etc., but they were doing what they loved and it was resonating with people. The band had found their own magical pocket musically but, ultimately, the strain was too much for Morones and Doot who left the band after years on the road. They were replaced with session musicians and the band continued to win fans and play bigger rooms, but the chemistry that Carol had come to depend on was gone. The growing success earned them a record deal—a dream finally coming to fruition—but Carol was unable to find the creative cohesiveness she knew she needed to make the record. “I wondered how to record the record. I believed in myself but I had also believed in the people around me. I write these songs in solitude but Valley Queen is not my solo project. I thrived in the collaboration. I came back from these new tours feeling creatively depleted, like something important was missing.”Carol knew ultimately what needed to happen. Like a parent knowing what’s best for their child, she understood that Valley Queen was more than lyrics and
sessions musicians. It was about people, chemistry and the relationships that created such a powerful musical force to begin with. “I knew nobody else could record this record with me but our original line up. They had grown into the arrangements, had a personal understanding of what the songs were about.” Doot couldn't rejoin—the strain touring had put on his newborn baby and wife was too much for him to reconsider—and Mike DeLuccia came forward, which was a godsend. Then Carol called Morones. The time on the road had strained their relationship significantly and there was healing that needed to happen. After long discussions and sharing, they all decided it would be worth the risk to try to create this album and tell the story of what had happened. Two months later, Valley Queen was in the studio. Carol reflects, “Recording the album was a transformative experience for the band. It certainly trod the ground of the past, the difficulty and disappointment we had faced. But moving through and completing the project brought with it a sensation that the chapter was over. All of us will always be in process, we will always be learning how to better work with each other and ourselves. But a power was created in actively choosing to meet with that process.”The result is Supergiant, produced by Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast, Fool’s Gold, Nikki Lane, FIDLAR). Not surprisingly, the album emerges with raw production and relentless intensity. It’s a record that could not have been made any other way, each member bringing their own creative force and energy to every song. It’s about self-exploration, not just as an individual, but also as a collective whole. “It can be really painful and isolating to go through something that doesn’t really look like anybody else’s experience but your own,” Carol says in reflecting on Supergiant’s intensity. “But ultimately that’s part of the beautiful orchestration of being alive—instead of trying to go around that experience, you need to go fully into it. I think that’s the only way to get a deeper understanding of who we really are.”

(Early Show) Gabe Dixon

Gabe Dixon released his sophomore solo album, Turns To Gold, on April 8th, 2016. Produced by Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Third Day), engineered by Devin Vaughan (Marc Broussard), and mastered by Brad Blackwood at Euphonics Mastering (Allison Krauss & Union Station, Luther Dickinson), the LP marks Gabe’s first official collection as an independent artist. Following the release of 2011’s One Spark, the Nashville-based troubadour changed almost everything. He was focused on starting from scratch, and parted ways with his longtime management and record label, Concord Music Group. The one thing that didn’t change was that honest, heartfelt approach to songwriting that countless fans fell in love with when he first emerged in 1999.

Turns To Gold addresses some weighty subjects—mortality, what’s important in life, and the value of love. “In many ways, my new music is about learning how to be in a committed relationship, leave immature ways behind, grow, evolve, and move on from habits that aren’t necessarily who you are anymore,” he says. The album was recorded at The Smoakstack recording studio in Berry Hill, TN with Jano Rix on drums (The Wood Brothers), Viktor Krauss on bass (Lyle Lovett), and Kris Donegan on guitar (Cam). “I wanted to go in with musicians and get performances that were inspiring and inspired, and take it from there. Producer Paul Moak was completely on the same page. We cut everything to analog tape with no click track. What results is an album that feels very natural. Since One Spark I learned to trust myself, and the sound of Turns To Gold is the most representative of who I am. It’s warm, laid-back, acoustic, and live.”

The opener and first single, “Holding Her Freedom,” out now, coasts between a shimmering piano melody, organ swell, guitar rumble, and heavenly vocal performance from Gabe. It also conveys a cinematic narrative. “It’s a story about a woman who has been burned by love, and she’s afraid to let herself be vulnerable and fall in love again,” he explains. “She’s figuratively holding her freedom like a cage. That same ‘freedom’ keeps her trapped and unable to love again.” The album’s second single, “The Way To Love Me,” features Natalie Prass and will be released on February 5th. “Natalie’s voice has the perfect delicate and vulnerable qualities that the song required,” says Gabe. “She recorded it while passing through Nashville to play the Ryman Auditorium, part of a long tour opening for Ryan Adams.”

Throughout his career, many other notable artists have taken note of and supported Gabe’s immense talents. He’s opened for and toured with the likes of Loggins & Messina, Gavin DeGraw and Delta Rae, as well as held side gigs as the keyboardist and vocalist for Paul McCartney, Alison Krause & Union Station, O.A.R. and Supertramp. His songs have received placements on major television shows including Parks and Recreation, Grey’s Anatomy, and Vampire Diaries, and his song “Find My Way” served as the title for the box office hit The Proposal starring Sandra Bullock. Fans have seen him perform twice on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, as well as The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and on festival stages everywhere from Bonnaroo to High Sierra Music Festival. However, it’s with Turns To Gold that listeners will hear Gabe Dixon as he always meant.

Gabe Dixon released his sophomore solo album, Turns To Gold, on April 8th, 2016. Produced by Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Third Day), engineered by Devin Vaughan (Marc Broussard), and mastered by Brad Blackwood at Euphonics Mastering (Allison Krauss & Union Station, Luther Dickinson), the LP marks Gabe’s first official collection as an independent artist. Following the release of 2011’s One Spark, the Nashville-based troubadour changed almost everything. He was focused on starting from scratch, and parted ways with his longtime management and record label, Concord Music Group. The one thing that didn’t change was that honest, heartfelt approach to songwriting that countless fans fell in love with when he first emerged in 1999.

Turns To Gold addresses some weighty subjects—mortality, what’s important in life, and the value of love. “In many ways, my new music is about learning how to be in a committed relationship, leave immature ways behind, grow, evolve, and move on from habits that aren’t necessarily who you are anymore,” he says. The album was recorded at The Smoakstack recording studio in Berry Hill, TN with Jano Rix on drums (The Wood Brothers), Viktor Krauss on bass (Lyle Lovett), and Kris Donegan on guitar (Cam). “I wanted to go in with musicians and get performances that were inspiring and inspired, and take it from there. Producer Paul Moak was completely on the same page. We cut everything to analog tape with no click track. What results is an album that feels very natural. Since One Spark I learned to trust myself, and the sound of Turns To Gold is the most representative of who I am. It’s warm, laid-back, acoustic, and live.”

The opener and first single, “Holding Her Freedom,” out now, coasts between a shimmering piano melody, organ swell, guitar rumble, and heavenly vocal performance from Gabe. It also conveys a cinematic narrative. “It’s a story about a woman who has been burned by love, and she’s afraid to let herself be vulnerable and fall in love again,” he explains. “She’s figuratively holding her freedom like a cage. That same ‘freedom’ keeps her trapped and unable to love again.” The album’s second single, “The Way To Love Me,” features Natalie Prass and will be released on February 5th. “Natalie’s voice has the perfect delicate and vulnerable qualities that the song required,” says Gabe. “She recorded it while passing through Nashville to play the Ryman Auditorium, part of a long tour opening for Ryan Adams.”

Throughout his career, many other notable artists have taken note of and supported Gabe’s immense talents. He’s opened for and toured with the likes of Loggins & Messina, Gavin DeGraw and Delta Rae, as well as held side gigs as the keyboardist and vocalist for Paul McCartney, Alison Krause & Union Station, O.A.R. and Supertramp. His songs have received placements on major television shows including Parks and Recreation, Grey’s Anatomy, and Vampire Diaries, and his song “Find My Way” served as the title for the box office hit The Proposal starring Sandra Bullock. Fans have seen him perform twice on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, as well as The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and on festival stages everywhere from Bonnaroo to High Sierra Music Festival. However, it’s with Turns To Gold that listeners will hear Gabe Dixon as he always meant.

(Late Show) Your Smith (fka Caroline Smith) with Special Guest BAUM

Minneapolis native Your Smith (aka Caroline Smith), relocated to Los Angeles after signing to Pulse Recording (DRAM, Miike Snow, Gallant, et. al). Inspired by the history of Laurel Canyon and moving through a city that’s been immortalized in music throughout the ages, Smith concocted her own sound, bringing together the funk / R&B “Minneapolis Sound” of her roots and the classic songwriting of the LA folk heroes. Your Smith is currently wrapping up her debut EP, produced by Tommy English (BØRNS), Stint (Gallant, Aluna George, NAO), and Nicky Davey (Internet, Syd The Kid), arriving on Neon Gold Records (HAIM, Christine & The Queens, et. al) this spring. She also recently appeared as a featured artist on alt rapper Rejjie Snow’s debut.

Minneapolis native Your Smith (aka Caroline Smith), relocated to Los Angeles after signing to Pulse Recording (DRAM, Miike Snow, Gallant, et. al). Inspired by the history of Laurel Canyon and moving through a city that’s been immortalized in music throughout the ages, Smith concocted her own sound, bringing together the funk / R&B “Minneapolis Sound” of her roots and the classic songwriting of the LA folk heroes. Your Smith is currently wrapping up her debut EP, produced by Tommy English (BØRNS), Stint (Gallant, Aluna George, NAO), and Nicky Davey (Internet, Syd The Kid), arriving on Neon Gold Records (HAIM, Christine & The Queens, et. al) this spring. She also recently appeared as a featured artist on alt rapper Rejjie Snow’s debut.

(Early Show) Adelaide In Autumn with Ten Thousand Dollars Cash and Breaker

Adelaide in Autumn is Pittsburgh's original pop punk 'n roll band. Dave (Percussion), Nick (Vocals, Guitar) and Ryan (Guitar, Vocals, Bass) have played for over half a decade in various bands and genres. With influences rooted in Punk, Alternative, Indie and Metal, Adelaide in Autumn combines unique musicians with style that's ultimately the most catchy and entertaining band in Pittsburgh.

Adelaide in Autumn is Pittsburgh's original pop punk 'n roll band. Dave (Percussion), Nick (Vocals, Guitar) and Ryan (Guitar, Vocals, Bass) have played for over half a decade in various bands and genres. With influences rooted in Punk, Alternative, Indie and Metal, Adelaide in Autumn combines unique musicians with style that's ultimately the most catchy and entertaining band in Pittsburgh.

Jennifer Knapp

Jennifer Knapp is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, author, and advocate. Her impressive history includes selling over one million albums with her first three releases Kansas (debut 1998, Gold-certified), Lay It Down (2000), and The Way I Am (2001). She has earned four Dove Awards and two Grammy nominations. The Kansas-born musician has toured the globe with artists such as Jars of Clay and was featured on the Lilith Fair Tour in 1999 and again in 2010. Knapp has received critical acclaim for her human approach to the divine, with The Los Angeles Times calling her "a rising star" and People Magazine describing her as "an uncommonly literate songwriter."

With a considerable fan base and critical and commercial successes, Knapp walked away from music in 2002 at the height of her career. After a seven-year hiatus she returned in 2010 with a renewed passion for music showcased in her album Letting Go, which debuted at No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 200 Chart. Set Me Free followed in 2014 on Righteous Babe Records in conjunction with a memoir, Facing the Music: My Story, on Howard Books/Simon & Schuster. Her 2017 album Love Comes Back Around, produced by Viktor Krauss, pairs her fearless songwriting and strong, expressive voice with rootsy arrangements.

As the first major artist known by the Christian music world to speak openly about LGBT identity, her unique position has created opportunities for dialogue at churches and universities through her organization Inside Out Faith and on the TEDx stage at University of Nevada.

A true Renaissance woman, Knapp recently completed a master’s degree in theological studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Jennifer Knapp is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, author, and advocate. Her impressive history includes selling over one million albums with her first three releases Kansas (debut 1998, Gold-certified), Lay It Down (2000), and The Way I Am (2001). She has earned four Dove Awards and two Grammy nominations. The Kansas-born musician has toured the globe with artists such as Jars of Clay and was featured on the Lilith Fair Tour in 1999 and again in 2010. Knapp has received critical acclaim for her human approach to the divine, with The Los Angeles Times calling her "a rising star" and People Magazine describing her as "an uncommonly literate songwriter."

With a considerable fan base and critical and commercial successes, Knapp walked away from music in 2002 at the height of her career. After a seven-year hiatus she returned in 2010 with a renewed passion for music showcased in her album Letting Go, which debuted at No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 200 Chart. Set Me Free followed in 2014 on Righteous Babe Records in conjunction with a memoir, Facing the Music: My Story, on Howard Books/Simon & Schuster. Her 2017 album Love Comes Back Around, produced by Viktor Krauss, pairs her fearless songwriting and strong, expressive voice with rootsy arrangements.

As the first major artist known by the Christian music world to speak openly about LGBT identity, her unique position has created opportunities for dialogue at churches and universities through her organization Inside Out Faith and on the TEDx stage at University of Nevada.

A true Renaissance woman, Knapp recently completed a master’s degree in theological studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School.

The Lil Smokies

When people see The Lil Smokies setting up their acoustic instruments, they’re often unprepared for the electric energy they generate. The band captures that same dynamic presence on their new album, Changing Shades, delivering their exceptional songwriting and bluegrass roots with the punch of a rock band.“We wanted to duplicate the energy of our live shows. It’s a perfect mixture of improvisation and composition. The record shows how fearless we’ve become in the last year,” says Andy Dunnigan, lead songwriter, singer and dobro player. They cut Changing Shades in a lighthearted, week-long session at SnowGhost Music in Whitefish, MT with engineer Brett Allen (The Avett Brothers, Kris Kristofferson, Béla Fleck) and co-producer Rob Gordon (Elephant Revival). “It was a breeze,” Dunnigan says. “Rob got us to focus on what makes each song special. We refined and recorded them live, together in one room, just like on stage.”

The first incarnation of The Lil Smokies got together in Missoula, Montana, during the winter of 2009. Through the years, the band transformed and settled into the current lineup – Scott Parker on bass; Jake Simpson on fiddle; Matt Rieger on guitar; Matt Cornette on banjo and Dunnigan on dobro. Previously, the band has won the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Band competition and took home the 2016 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year award. They’ve also wowed fans at the High Sierra, FreshGrass, Telluride Bluegrass, Grey Fox, Del Fest, Floyd Fest and String Summit festivals, to name a few.

When people see The Lil Smokies setting up their acoustic instruments, they’re often unprepared for the electric energy they generate. The band captures that same dynamic presence on their new album, Changing Shades, delivering their exceptional songwriting and bluegrass roots with the punch of a rock band.“We wanted to duplicate the energy of our live shows. It’s a perfect mixture of improvisation and composition. The record shows how fearless we’ve become in the last year,” says Andy Dunnigan, lead songwriter, singer and dobro player. They cut Changing Shades in a lighthearted, week-long session at SnowGhost Music in Whitefish, MT with engineer Brett Allen (The Avett Brothers, Kris Kristofferson, Béla Fleck) and co-producer Rob Gordon (Elephant Revival). “It was a breeze,” Dunnigan says. “Rob got us to focus on what makes each song special. We refined and recorded them live, together in one room, just like on stage.”

The first incarnation of The Lil Smokies got together in Missoula, Montana, during the winter of 2009. Through the years, the band transformed and settled into the current lineup – Scott Parker on bass; Jake Simpson on fiddle; Matt Rieger on guitar; Matt Cornette on banjo and Dunnigan on dobro. Previously, the band has won the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Band competition and took home the 2016 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year award. They’ve also wowed fans at the High Sierra, FreshGrass, Telluride Bluegrass, Grey Fox, Del Fest, Floyd Fest and String Summit festivals, to name a few.

Melodime with Special Guest The Brevet

Melodime is a Virginia-based band with influences in both country and rock that features emotionally charged anthems, piano driven hooks, and energetic guitar solos for a dynamic, organic sound.

Melodime, featuring Brad Rhodes (lead vocals, guitar), Sammy Duis (piano, organ, bass), Tyler Duis (drums), and Jon Wiley (guitar, mandolin, dobro), has performed over 100+ shows annually throughout the continental United States, sharing the stage with such well-known acts as Sam Hunt, Eli Young Band, A Thousand Horses, and Sister Hazel.

The band has also left its mark internationally with performances in Mexico, Canada, and Europe, all while founding and running a charity, ‘Now I Play Along Too,’ which provides musical instruments and lessons to underprivileged children in the DC area, Florida, Nepal, Kenya, and Haiti.

The band is quickly becoming a fan-favorite in the festival scene, playing five consecutive Rock Boat cruises, as well as Musikfest, Herndon Festival, Mile of Music, and other events. In their hometown of Northern Virginia, the group has performed at popular venues such as The State Theatre, 9:30 Club, The Hamilton, and Baltimore Soundstage.

Melodime will be rolling out their new album in 3 EP installments starting with the first single "Song of the Summer" on June 29th.

Melodime is a Virginia-based band with influences in both country and rock that features emotionally charged anthems, piano driven hooks, and energetic guitar solos for a dynamic, organic sound.

Melodime, featuring Brad Rhodes (lead vocals, guitar), Sammy Duis (piano, organ, bass), Tyler Duis (drums), and Jon Wiley (guitar, mandolin, dobro), has performed over 100+ shows annually throughout the continental United States, sharing the stage with such well-known acts as Sam Hunt, Eli Young Band, A Thousand Horses, and Sister Hazel.

The band has also left its mark internationally with performances in Mexico, Canada, and Europe, all while founding and running a charity, ‘Now I Play Along Too,’ which provides musical instruments and lessons to underprivileged children in the DC area, Florida, Nepal, Kenya, and Haiti.

The band is quickly becoming a fan-favorite in the festival scene, playing five consecutive Rock Boat cruises, as well as Musikfest, Herndon Festival, Mile of Music, and other events. In their hometown of Northern Virginia, the group has performed at popular venues such as The State Theatre, 9:30 Club, The Hamilton, and Baltimore Soundstage.

Melodime will be rolling out their new album in 3 EP installments starting with the first single "Song of the Summer" on June 29th.

Seth Walker

Over the past 10 years, Seth Walker has become recognized as one of the most revered modern roots artists in the United States; a three dimensional talent comprised by a gift for combining melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar. His latest studio album, Gotta Get Back, produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers, is yet another masterwork that further expands upon this reputation.

Growing up on a commune in rural North Carolina, the son of classically trained musicians, Seth Walker played cello long before discovering the six-string in his 20s. When his introduction to the blues came via his Uncle Landon Walker, who was both a musician and disc jockey, his fate was forever sealed. Instantaneously, Seth was looking to artists like T-Bone Walker, Snooks Eaglin, and B.B. King as a wellspring of endless inspiration. The rest is history. He's released seven albums between 1997 and 2015; breaking into the Top 20 of the Americana charts and receiving praise from NPR, American Songwriter, No Depression and Blues Revue, among others.

In addition to extensive recording and songwriting pursuits, Seth is consistently touring and performing at venues and festivals around the world. Along with headline shows, he's been invited to open for The Mavericks, The Wood Brothers, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster, among others.

Seth Walker is currently splitting his time between New Orleans and New York City after previously residing in Austin and Nashville. He’s used those experiences wisely, soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places. With a bluesman’s respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for—and successful melding of—contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace. Perhaps Country Standard Time said it best: “If you subscribe to the Big Tent theory of Americana, then Seth Walker –with his blend of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, and a dash country—just might be your poster boy.”

Over the past 10 years, Seth Walker has become recognized as one of the most revered modern roots artists in the United States; a three dimensional talent comprised by a gift for combining melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar. His latest studio album, Gotta Get Back, produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers, is yet another masterwork that further expands upon this reputation.

Growing up on a commune in rural North Carolina, the son of classically trained musicians, Seth Walker played cello long before discovering the six-string in his 20s. When his introduction to the blues came via his Uncle Landon Walker, who was both a musician and disc jockey, his fate was forever sealed. Instantaneously, Seth was looking to artists like T-Bone Walker, Snooks Eaglin, and B.B. King as a wellspring of endless inspiration. The rest is history. He's released seven albums between 1997 and 2015; breaking into the Top 20 of the Americana charts and receiving praise from NPR, American Songwriter, No Depression and Blues Revue, among others.

In addition to extensive recording and songwriting pursuits, Seth is consistently touring and performing at venues and festivals around the world. Along with headline shows, he's been invited to open for The Mavericks, The Wood Brothers, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster, among others.

Seth Walker is currently splitting his time between New Orleans and New York City after previously residing in Austin and Nashville. He’s used those experiences wisely, soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places. With a bluesman’s respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for—and successful melding of—contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace. Perhaps Country Standard Time said it best: “If you subscribe to the Big Tent theory of Americana, then Seth Walker –with his blend of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, and a dash country—just might be your poster boy.”

Great Lake Swimmers

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Great Lake Swimmers. Over seven albums, multiple EPs, live broadcasts, and reissues, the Toronto-based project led by singer-songwriter Tony Dekker has established itself as a beloved indie folk act in their native Canada and beyond. The CBC has called them “a national treasure” while their music has taken them around the world, sharing a sound that is at once familiar and distinct, using the tools of folk music as the starting point to delve deeper.

It’s this contrast and evolution that brings them to their latest release, The Waves, The Wake – a metaphor for the future ahead, and the past trailing behind. Abandoning the acoustic guitar, this new collection of songs sees the group branching out to include new sounds such as harp, lute, pipe organ, woodwinds, congas and marimbas, alongside the more familiar flecks and chimes of the banjo, piano, and 12-string electric guitar. The stunning acoustics of the historic, 145 year old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario lend the atmospheric touch to the album, under the guidance of co-producer Chris Stringer (Union Sound). This record is about the songs, first and foremost, and was made with many of Toronto’s most talented players, including arrangements by Drew Jurecka and electric guitar appearances both atmospheric and spirited by Kevin Kane (Grapes Of Wrath). Long time collaborators Erik Arnesen (banjo, guitar), Bret Higgins (bass), and Josh Van Tassel (percussion) also contribute their considerable musicianship.

“The Talking Wind” opens the album solely with woodwinds and vocals, setting the tone with its scaled back, minimalist approach. Similarly sparse arrangements on “Falling Apart” pair a meditative, layered piano with an appearance by renowned harpist Mary Lattimore alongside Dekker’s haunting, plaintive vocals. Bridging the album to the group’s past work, the lonely jangle of “Alone But Not Alone” is a study in song-craft; “Side Effects” matches lyrical substance to musical motifs with its expressive vibraphone, tempo variations, and vocal effects.

But perhaps the album’s centerpiece is the entirely a cappella “Visions Of A Different World” with its ghostly, longing vocals nakedly bearing its message.

Great Lake Swimmers have twice been nominated for Juno Awards, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize, and won a Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Folk/Roots Artist/Group. They have shared the stage as support for such musical luminaries as Robert Plant, Feist, and Calexico, and have appeared as headliners for many of Canada’s major Folk Music festivals. Their relentless touring schedule and countless live shows have helped them develop devoted fan bases across Canada, the US, Europe, the UK and many points beyond. Mojo dubbed them “Ambient Zen Americana” and Exclaim has described them as a “cherished blend of folk and orchestral indie pop.”

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Great Lake Swimmers. Over seven albums, multiple EPs, live broadcasts, and reissues, the Toronto-based project led by singer-songwriter Tony Dekker has established itself as a beloved indie folk act in their native Canada and beyond. The CBC has called them “a national treasure” while their music has taken them around the world, sharing a sound that is at once familiar and distinct, using the tools of folk music as the starting point to delve deeper.

It’s this contrast and evolution that brings them to their latest release, The Waves, The Wake – a metaphor for the future ahead, and the past trailing behind. Abandoning the acoustic guitar, this new collection of songs sees the group branching out to include new sounds such as harp, lute, pipe organ, woodwinds, congas and marimbas, alongside the more familiar flecks and chimes of the banjo, piano, and 12-string electric guitar. The stunning acoustics of the historic, 145 year old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario lend the atmospheric touch to the album, under the guidance of co-producer Chris Stringer (Union Sound). This record is about the songs, first and foremost, and was made with many of Toronto’s most talented players, including arrangements by Drew Jurecka and electric guitar appearances both atmospheric and spirited by Kevin Kane (Grapes Of Wrath). Long time collaborators Erik Arnesen (banjo, guitar), Bret Higgins (bass), and Josh Van Tassel (percussion) also contribute their considerable musicianship.

“The Talking Wind” opens the album solely with woodwinds and vocals, setting the tone with its scaled back, minimalist approach. Similarly sparse arrangements on “Falling Apart” pair a meditative, layered piano with an appearance by renowned harpist Mary Lattimore alongside Dekker’s haunting, plaintive vocals. Bridging the album to the group’s past work, the lonely jangle of “Alone But Not Alone” is a study in song-craft; “Side Effects” matches lyrical substance to musical motifs with its expressive vibraphone, tempo variations, and vocal effects.

But perhaps the album’s centerpiece is the entirely a cappella “Visions Of A Different World” with its ghostly, longing vocals nakedly bearing its message.

Great Lake Swimmers have twice been nominated for Juno Awards, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize, and won a Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Folk/Roots Artist/Group. They have shared the stage as support for such musical luminaries as Robert Plant, Feist, and Calexico, and have appeared as headliners for many of Canada’s major Folk Music festivals. Their relentless touring schedule and countless live shows have helped them develop devoted fan bases across Canada, the US, Europe, the UK and many points beyond. Mojo dubbed them “Ambient Zen Americana” and Exclaim has described them as a “cherished blend of folk and orchestral indie pop.”

(Early Show) Steve Forbert

"Compromised" is Steve Forbert's newest and from the comparative essay of the disc’s title song,(complete with catchy chorus and signature harmonica solo), to the exasperated advice for "everyman" on the album closer, “Whatever, Man,” Steve Forbert leaves no stone unturned in his exploration of life, love, turmoil and survival.

After years with local bands, Steve Forbert left his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi in his early 20s and headed for the Big Apple in search of recording deals and larger audiences. He started out playing for change at Grand Central Station and hitting every open mic night he could before eventually moving into the club scene at infamous spots like New York City’s CBGB’s. At a time when rootsy rock was fading in favor of punk edged bands such as the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Blondie, Forbert’s folk pop “Romeo’s Tune” hit #11 on the charts and brought him into the international spotlight. Critics and the public embraced his melodic and lyrical styles, a more traditional sound among the post disco punk and rock of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Always following his own instincts, Forbert says, “I’ve never been interested in changing what I do to fit popular style and needs.”

And that’s the motto he has lived by since the release of his debut album, Alive on Arrival, in 1978. Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild recently wrote that “now or then, you would have been hard pressed to find a debut effort that was simultaneously as fresh and accomplished as Alive on Arrival. It was like a great novel by a young author who somehow managed to split the difference between Mark Twain and J. D. Salinger.”

"Compromised" is Steve Forbert's newest and from the comparative essay of the disc’s title song,(complete with catchy chorus and signature harmonica solo), to the exasperated advice for "everyman" on the album closer, “Whatever, Man,” Steve Forbert leaves no stone unturned in his exploration of life, love, turmoil and survival.

After years with local bands, Steve Forbert left his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi in his early 20s and headed for the Big Apple in search of recording deals and larger audiences. He started out playing for change at Grand Central Station and hitting every open mic night he could before eventually moving into the club scene at infamous spots like New York City’s CBGB’s. At a time when rootsy rock was fading in favor of punk edged bands such as the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Blondie, Forbert’s folk pop “Romeo’s Tune” hit #11 on the charts and brought him into the international spotlight. Critics and the public embraced his melodic and lyrical styles, a more traditional sound among the post disco punk and rock of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Always following his own instincts, Forbert says, “I’ve never been interested in changing what I do to fit popular style and needs.”

And that’s the motto he has lived by since the release of his debut album, Alive on Arrival, in 1978. Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild recently wrote that “now or then, you would have been hard pressed to find a debut effort that was simultaneously as fresh and accomplished as Alive on Arrival. It was like a great novel by a young author who somehow managed to split the difference between Mark Twain and J. D. Salinger.”

(Late Show) Bill MacKay with Special Guest Pairdown

Bill MacKay is a highly-regarded guitarist-composer-improviser based in Chicago. His radiant songwriting, and creative and unpredictable approach to the guitar have inspired listeners and musicians across & beyond experimental folk, rock, and avant-garde scenes. He is also a writer, emerging polyglot, activist and visual artist, and has been recording & releasing records, and contributing to those of other musicians, since 2004.
His most recent records Esker (Drag City, 2017), SpiderBeetleBee (Drag City, 2017) his second duo set with Ryley Walker, Altamira (Ears & Eyes, 2015) by his band Darts & Arrows , Bill MacKay plays the songs of John Hulbert (Tompkins Square, 2015) and Rob Frye’s Flux Bikes-Sueñolas (Lake Paradise, 2016) reveal a startling range – from the folk of Appalachia, avant-rock, and blues to gospel, jazz, raga-esque excursions, and western-country modes. Yet out of this diversity, it’s the dynamic way which he ties his interests together that is key to his art.

MacKay currently appears as a solo artist, and in current and ongoing collaborations with partners including Katinka Kleijn (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Sam Wagster (Cairo Gang), LeRoy Bach (Wilco, Five Style), Frank Rosaly (Health & Beauty), Renée Baker, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang (The Blue Lights), Marvin Tate, Ryley Walker, Doug McCombs (Tortiose, Brokeback), Charles Rumback, Haley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux) and Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc).
His records have received praise in reviews by the Chicago Reader, Mojo, The Ear, Uncut, Downbeat, Paste, Pitchfork and New City among other publications. In 2014, he was composer-in-residence at Ragdale Foundation, and awarded an Individual Artist grant by the Illinois Arts Council (IAC).
He has performed with Renee Baker’s Chicago Modern Orchestra (Creative Music Summit – Sunyata: Towards Absolute Emptiness) at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) , produced work on the soundtrack of the film Crying Earth Rise Up (Prairie Dust Films), and took part in Toby Summerfield’s Never Enough Hope recording & record release concert.
In 2016 MacKay played a solo set supporting set support Bonnie Prince Billie / Bitchin’ Bajas on their summer tour, performed at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival with Marvin Tate’s Weight of Rage, performed in a duo with Katinka Kleijn (Chicago Symphony Orchestra) at the Outer Ear festival at Experimental Sound Studios (ESS), appeared at Desert Daze festival in Joshua Tree, California with Ryley Walker, and supported Bill Callahan.
MacKay grew up in Pittsburgh and lived in several cities east and west before settling in Chicago in 1998.

Bill MacKay is a highly-regarded guitarist-composer-improviser based in Chicago. His radiant songwriting, and creative and unpredictable approach to the guitar have inspired listeners and musicians across & beyond experimental folk, rock, and avant-garde scenes. He is also a writer, emerging polyglot, activist and visual artist, and has been recording & releasing records, and contributing to those of other musicians, since 2004.
His most recent records Esker (Drag City, 2017), SpiderBeetleBee (Drag City, 2017) his second duo set with Ryley Walker, Altamira (Ears & Eyes, 2015) by his band Darts & Arrows , Bill MacKay plays the songs of John Hulbert (Tompkins Square, 2015) and Rob Frye’s Flux Bikes-Sueñolas (Lake Paradise, 2016) reveal a startling range – from the folk of Appalachia, avant-rock, and blues to gospel, jazz, raga-esque excursions, and western-country modes. Yet out of this diversity, it’s the dynamic way which he ties his interests together that is key to his art.

MacKay currently appears as a solo artist, and in current and ongoing collaborations with partners including Katinka Kleijn (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Sam Wagster (Cairo Gang), LeRoy Bach (Wilco, Five Style), Frank Rosaly (Health & Beauty), Renée Baker, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang (The Blue Lights), Marvin Tate, Ryley Walker, Doug McCombs (Tortiose, Brokeback), Charles Rumback, Haley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux) and Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc).
His records have received praise in reviews by the Chicago Reader, Mojo, The Ear, Uncut, Downbeat, Paste, Pitchfork and New City among other publications. In 2014, he was composer-in-residence at Ragdale Foundation, and awarded an Individual Artist grant by the Illinois Arts Council (IAC).
He has performed with Renee Baker’s Chicago Modern Orchestra (Creative Music Summit – Sunyata: Towards Absolute Emptiness) at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) , produced work on the soundtrack of the film Crying Earth Rise Up (Prairie Dust Films), and took part in Toby Summerfield’s Never Enough Hope recording & record release concert.
In 2016 MacKay played a solo set supporting set support Bonnie Prince Billie / Bitchin’ Bajas on their summer tour, performed at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival with Marvin Tate’s Weight of Rage, performed in a duo with Katinka Kleijn (Chicago Symphony Orchestra) at the Outer Ear festival at Experimental Sound Studios (ESS), appeared at Desert Daze festival in Joshua Tree, California with Ryley Walker, and supported Bill Callahan.
MacKay grew up in Pittsburgh and lived in several cities east and west before settling in Chicago in 1998.

Electric Six with Special Guests Jeremy & The Harlequins

The Devil has always been there. He is the great outsider, the original iconoclast. He is a conniving little shit and never seems to tire of giving humanity a wedgie or a wet willie just for a laugh. The Devil is capable of taking many forms. He can exist as one being or spread out amongst many. He can present himself as an ordinary man or as a horrific cloven-hoofed beast depending on his mood. Above all else, The Devil lives to corrupt, to adulterate, to defile.





Electric Six has often used The Devil as subject matter for its songs because of that last bit, the part about corruption and adulteration. That’s what Electric Six has been trying to do with its music now for quite some time!!!! We want to corrupt young women….just like The Devil!!! There’s nothing more rewarding than the seduction of a young innocent maiden, forcing her to wear demonic dresses, levitating her towards the great fiery skull and watching her eyes turn black as she gives into evil and becomes the bride of The Devil!!!! That….is why we started this band….to help women realize their potential as sexy evil maidens with eyes reflecting the utter darkness of a corrupted soul.





With its fourteenth studio album Bride of the Devil, Electric Six examines the concepts of evil and corruption, humanity’s various falls from grace, the nine circles of purgatory and of course, the internet itself. Bride of the Devil opens with the thunderous opener “The Opener”, a bombastic celebration of the arena rock Electric Six never got to play. The next two numbers are textbook ear worm guitar pop numbers that deal with debilitating income inequality and nepotism (“Daddy’s Boy”) and the horrors of being forced into a pool of toxic waste by an a rabid Doberman trained to kill (“(It Gets) (A Little) Jumpy”).





And then we get to the title track, a radio anthem, where it all becomes clear that The Devil is a metaphor for Russia and the United States is the young girl who is seduced, corrupted and wedded into a Satanic covenant with the beast.

It’s all there in black and white. The Carrie Underwood-esque lyrics alongside a backdrop of vodka and caviar and backchannels and Seychllian bank accounts. That’s how they did it. They went after our country performers and got the rubes to feel good about being Russian assets. And still, it is the feel- good anthem of the summer.





Finally, the haunting album closer “Worm In the Wood” is Electric Six at its most serious, most tender and emotional. Haunting. Effervescent. Corrupt. Jaundiced. Tired.





So there you have it. Electric Six is back with its fourteenth record and it’s poppy and feel-good, as well as heavy, both sonically and lyrically. Our sound will corrupt you and enslave you as the beautiful demonic bride you know you truly are. Fraulein, take this severed hand with it’s creepy long nails from the beginning of time. To do so is truly thine destiny.





Come see Electric Six on the “Russia, If You’re Listening” tour this fall and into 2019. Bride of the Devil will be released on Metropolis Records
on October 5, 2018 world-wide.

The Devil has always been there. He is the great outsider, the original iconoclast. He is a conniving little shit and never seems to tire of giving humanity a wedgie or a wet willie just for a laugh. The Devil is capable of taking many forms. He can exist as one being or spread out amongst many. He can present himself as an ordinary man or as a horrific cloven-hoofed beast depending on his mood. Above all else, The Devil lives to corrupt, to adulterate, to defile.





Electric Six has often used The Devil as subject matter for its songs because of that last bit, the part about corruption and adulteration. That’s what Electric Six has been trying to do with its music now for quite some time!!!! We want to corrupt young women….just like The Devil!!! There’s nothing more rewarding than the seduction of a young innocent maiden, forcing her to wear demonic dresses, levitating her towards the great fiery skull and watching her eyes turn black as she gives into evil and becomes the bride of The Devil!!!! That….is why we started this band….to help women realize their potential as sexy evil maidens with eyes reflecting the utter darkness of a corrupted soul.





With its fourteenth studio album Bride of the Devil, Electric Six examines the concepts of evil and corruption, humanity’s various falls from grace, the nine circles of purgatory and of course, the internet itself. Bride of the Devil opens with the thunderous opener “The Opener”, a bombastic celebration of the arena rock Electric Six never got to play. The next two numbers are textbook ear worm guitar pop numbers that deal with debilitating income inequality and nepotism (“Daddy’s Boy”) and the horrors of being forced into a pool of toxic waste by an a rabid Doberman trained to kill (“(It Gets) (A Little) Jumpy”).





And then we get to the title track, a radio anthem, where it all becomes clear that The Devil is a metaphor for Russia and the United States is the young girl who is seduced, corrupted and wedded into a Satanic covenant with the beast.

It’s all there in black and white. The Carrie Underwood-esque lyrics alongside a backdrop of vodka and caviar and backchannels and Seychllian bank accounts. That’s how they did it. They went after our country performers and got the rubes to feel good about being Russian assets. And still, it is the feel- good anthem of the summer.





Finally, the haunting album closer “Worm In the Wood” is Electric Six at its most serious, most tender and emotional. Haunting. Effervescent. Corrupt. Jaundiced. Tired.





So there you have it. Electric Six is back with its fourteenth record and it’s poppy and feel-good, as well as heavy, both sonically and lyrically. Our sound will corrupt you and enslave you as the beautiful demonic bride you know you truly are. Fraulein, take this severed hand with it’s creepy long nails from the beginning of time. To do so is truly thine destiny.





Come see Electric Six on the “Russia, If You’re Listening” tour this fall and into 2019. Bride of the Devil will be released on Metropolis Records
on October 5, 2018 world-wide.

The Empty Pockets

Sincerity, pathos and powerhouse vocals. The Empty Pockets’ often cerebral and sometimes playful indie rock sound is built upon a strong foundation of the timeless Americana, Blues, and Soul that came before them. An old-school sensibility showcased by multiple lead singers, rich harmonies, and skilled instrumentalists sets “bandmates Josh Solomon, Erika Brett, Nate Bellon and Danny Rosenthal, members of polished yet rootsy Chicago outfit Empty Pockets” apart (Rolling Stone).

Their journey began with the late, great Buddy Holly. Childhood friends, Solomon (guitar) and Rosenthal (drums), started a band by joining forces with Bellon (bass). Soon after recording an original demo as “Josh & The Empty Pockets,” the new group was featured in a Chicago theatrical production of The Buddy Holly Story, performing as Buddy Holly & The Crickets. There they met singer Brett (keys), who enlisted as the final band member. With more than one distinct voice now delighting their audiences, the band officially became, simply, “The Empty Pockets.” And while writing, traveling and singing together, Solomon and Brett fell in love and married.

Ever since, The Empty Pockets have truly embraced collaboration. Just as The Band famously came into their own behind various frontmen, The Empty Pockets have found comparable footing teaming up with a wide range of legendary artists; Kenny Loggins, Simon Kirke (Bad Company/Free), Al Stewart (“Year of the Cat”), Gary Wright (“Dreamweaver”), and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield/Poco), both as opening act and backing band. The Pockets’ sound has evolved, influenced not only by these remarkable musicians, but also by independent artists and, most importantly, one another. The result is a dynamic musical style uniquely The Empty Pockets’; a surprising yet familiar blend of Folksy Rock ‘n Roll and Midwestern Soul.

"When The Empty Pockets play, they don’t just go through the motions of belting out tunes and revving their guitars to impress you – their performances are offset with a vibrancy and a sort of energetic showmanship so that space and distance don’t matter in the end – rather it’s more of which of their carefully crafted songs will strike a chord within you first" (My Nguyen, AMDEntertainment).

Sincerity, pathos and powerhouse vocals. The Empty Pockets’ often cerebral and sometimes playful indie rock sound is built upon a strong foundation of the timeless Americana, Blues, and Soul that came before them. An old-school sensibility showcased by multiple lead singers, rich harmonies, and skilled instrumentalists sets “bandmates Josh Solomon, Erika Brett, Nate Bellon and Danny Rosenthal, members of polished yet rootsy Chicago outfit Empty Pockets” apart (Rolling Stone).

Their journey began with the late, great Buddy Holly. Childhood friends, Solomon (guitar) and Rosenthal (drums), started a band by joining forces with Bellon (bass). Soon after recording an original demo as “Josh & The Empty Pockets,” the new group was featured in a Chicago theatrical production of The Buddy Holly Story, performing as Buddy Holly & The Crickets. There they met singer Brett (keys), who enlisted as the final band member. With more than one distinct voice now delighting their audiences, the band officially became, simply, “The Empty Pockets.” And while writing, traveling and singing together, Solomon and Brett fell in love and married.

Ever since, The Empty Pockets have truly embraced collaboration. Just as The Band famously came into their own behind various frontmen, The Empty Pockets have found comparable footing teaming up with a wide range of legendary artists; Kenny Loggins, Simon Kirke (Bad Company/Free), Al Stewart (“Year of the Cat”), Gary Wright (“Dreamweaver”), and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield/Poco), both as opening act and backing band. The Pockets’ sound has evolved, influenced not only by these remarkable musicians, but also by independent artists and, most importantly, one another. The result is a dynamic musical style uniquely The Empty Pockets’; a surprising yet familiar blend of Folksy Rock ‘n Roll and Midwestern Soul.

"When The Empty Pockets play, they don’t just go through the motions of belting out tunes and revving their guitars to impress you – their performances are offset with a vibrancy and a sort of energetic showmanship so that space and distance don’t matter in the end – rather it’s more of which of their carefully crafted songs will strike a chord within you first" (My Nguyen, AMDEntertainment).

The Coronas - North American Tour

With five critically-acclaimed albums to their credit and almost a decade spent touring all over the world, The Coronas have earned their place as one of Ireland’s best loved and hardest working bands. The Coronas’ fifth and latest album, TRUST THE WIRE, debuted at #1 on the Irish music chart in its first week of release in the summer of 2017, becoming the band’s first album to reach the top spot. The Coronas--Danny O’Reilly (vocals, guitar), Graham Knox(bass), Conor Egan (drums) and Dave McPhillips (guitar)—previously released four studio albums: HEROES OR GHOSTS (2007), TONY WAS AN EX-CON (2009), CLOSER TO YOU (2011) and THE LONG WAY (2014), the first three via the independent Irish label 3ú Records and the fourth one on Island Records. Returning to the independent route, they released TRUST THE WIRE on their own label imprint, So Far So Good Records.The band, who met while in school and largely grew up together, began their career playing student clubs around Ireland, which they quickly outgrew. Most recently, they sold out Dublin’s Royal Hospital Kilmainham--capacity 15,000--where they played to their largest headline audience. This year they will headline Ireland’s largest indoor concert venue in addition to playing an array of Irish summer festivals, after which they will return to North America. Following two successful recent tours, this time they’ll play larger venues and several high-profile festivals including Chicago’s Lollapalooza.

With five critically-acclaimed albums to their credit and almost a decade spent touring all over the world, The Coronas have earned their place as one of Ireland’s best loved and hardest working bands. The Coronas’ fifth and latest album, TRUST THE WIRE, debuted at #1 on the Irish music chart in its first week of release in the summer of 2017, becoming the band’s first album to reach the top spot. The Coronas--Danny O’Reilly (vocals, guitar), Graham Knox(bass), Conor Egan (drums) and Dave McPhillips (guitar)—previously released four studio albums: HEROES OR GHOSTS (2007), TONY WAS AN EX-CON (2009), CLOSER TO YOU (2011) and THE LONG WAY (2014), the first three via the independent Irish label 3ú Records and the fourth one on Island Records. Returning to the independent route, they released TRUST THE WIRE on their own label imprint, So Far So Good Records.The band, who met while in school and largely grew up together, began their career playing student clubs around Ireland, which they quickly outgrew. Most recently, they sold out Dublin’s Royal Hospital Kilmainham--capacity 15,000--where they played to their largest headline audience. This year they will headline Ireland’s largest indoor concert venue in addition to playing an array of Irish summer festivals, after which they will return to North America. Following two successful recent tours, this time they’ll play larger venues and several high-profile festivals including Chicago’s Lollapalooza.

The Black Lillies

As The Black Lillies reacquainted fans with the band’s new look and sound through a series of videos over the course of 2017, a few questions began to percolate in their minds:
Is a new album in the works? Was this an indication of the band’s new sound? Does Sam Quinn — the band’s bass player, harmony vocalist (with an occasional lead) and a partner in the songwriting duties of frontman Cruz Contreras — own a shirt?
The short answers: Yes; kind of but not really; and … yeah, but he prefers the weather fine enough to go without.
“The Sprinter Sessions” were a series of live videos recorded at stops around the country, from the frozen cityscape of Philadelphia in late winter to the side of a Midwestern backroad with fallow fields stretching to the horizon. In various combinations, the Lillies — Contreras, Quinn, guitarist/songwriter Dustin Schaefer and drummer/songwriter Bowman Townsend — committed themselves to recording a brand new song every week. They weren’t lavishly orchestrated or fully fleshed out; sometimes lyrics had been written mere minutes prior to the broadcast. The songs were performed on acoustic instruments still grimy from shows the night before, and the guys didn’t bother to pick out their finest threads. Quinn, more often than not, played shirtless. Hence the aforementioned question.
“You’re putting songs out there that weren’t finished, weren’t perfectly arranged, and we might barely have been able to perform them,” Contreras says. “We might be tired or hungover, playing them at a truck stop or wherever. It wasn’t glamorous — but it held us accountable to that a rate of productivity that was really important, and it kept our fans up to speed with the evolution of the group — even if a lot of them did offer to send us clothes or food!”
More than anything else, “The Sprinter Sessions” set the stage for “Stranger to Me,” the new album by the Lillies that drops Sept. 28 on Attack Monkey/Thirty Tigers. It’s been a slow roll-out, but the new record is the sound of a band that’s been renewed and reinvigorated, anchored to the traditions that made it so beloved by so many but chiseled down to the bare essentials:
Four men. Four friends. Four artists, each of whom could rightly put out a solo record tomorrow, tied together by a bond to something that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
“Going from a six-piece to a four-piece, it’s given these guys space to shine and grow and evolve, and the chemistry has gotten better,” says Contreras, who in another life was the mandolin-shredding bandleader of Robinella and the CCstringband, once signed to both the Columbia and Dualtone labels. “These guys have become not just sidemen or guns for hire; they’re invested. Their opinions count, and their creativity is as much a part of this record as mine. There are songs that I wrote; that Sam (a veteran of the Americana group The Everybodyfields) wrote; that we wrote in any combination and all of us together.
“It’s pretty simple, when you get down to that romantic notion of having a band. We rehearse together, we travel together, we hang out together because we’re dedicated, and I think the music is really showing that now. For me, it’s been years of learning to set your ego aside, but experience teaches you that you have to.”
Making room for other voices in the band was vital in rekindling Quinn’s creative fires. The winner of the 2006 Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest and a respected solo artist after The Everybodyfields folded, the well had dried up for him back home in Knoxville until a spot opened in The Black Lillies. Working with Contreras, Townsend and then Schaefer, Quinn says, was akin to tossing gasoline on the smoldering embers of his songwriting chops.
“It’s like, when the itch hits, that’s the time to scratch it,” he said. “Office Depot is now my favorite place. I’m always buying paper and pens and destroying them, because I write all the time. Right now, I’m looking at four legal pads, a notebook, a journal and a bunch of stolen hotel paper. It’s a bit of a neurosis, I’m afraid, but I want to be a better writer, and this band is an outlet to become that.”
The Black Lillies were conceived during a particularly emotional period in Contreras’ life. A divorce, a disassembling of his old band and a 9-to-5 job driving a truck left him with days of turbulent thoughts and nights alternating between pen-and-paper and a guitar to put them into some semblance of order. “Whiskey Angel,” released in 2009, was a springboard to a whirlwind career revival, and within two years, the band had notched several national tours, landed on the hot list of countless publications and appeared everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry stage to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Other records — “100 Miles of Wreckage,” “Runaway Freeway Blues,” “Hard to Please” — helped define a sound that was rooted in distinct male-female harmonies, intricate instrumentalism and emotionally charged lyrics that look toward the hope of a new day dawning, regardless of the darkness of broken hearts and bereft spirits.
Around the making of “Hard to Please,” however, the band faced its biggest challenge to date — losing key members, integrating new ones and facing a future that meant changing musical directions. Contreras, however, rose to the challenge, drawing inspiration from some of the titans of the genre in which the Lillies often find themselves categorized: The Eagles and Wilco, just to name a few.
“We think about those favorite records of ours, those masterpiece records, and they’re no filler, all killer,” he says. “We grew up listening to records like that, so we thought, ‘Let’s go for it. Let’s stack it.’ It should be nothing but keepers, and there really shouldn’t be five seconds of, ‘Oh, they didn’t know what to do here.’ Everything should be purposeful.”
When the dust settled, he found himself with the right set of players: Quinn, who won songwriting awards and was once a labelmate of the Avett Brothers during his time in The Everybodyfields; Schaefer, a guitar wizard and a veteran of the Texas alt-country band Mickey and The Motorcars; and Townsend, the youngest member of the band who was brought in on drums in 2005 and has quickly become the group’s veteran anchor.
“Bowman brought that positive attitude, that work ethic, and for me, he’s been the guy,” Contreras says. “When Sam joined the band, we were getting a rock star. This guy’s been around the block, done it all and succeeded. He’s written great songs, played big stages and had the band that will go down in music history as one of the seminal ones in the genre. With Dustin, he had moved to Nashville to pursue a solo career, but when he joined up, we all got along and played well together.
“With all of these guys, we kind of hit the ground running. I think there’s mutual respect there on a creative level — we’re very different personalities, we make very different types of music and have very different writing styles, but we recognize that when we work together, we come up with something new and different that none of us could do on our own.”
Although “Stranger to Me” is a distinct milestone in a career arc that continues to climb, lead-off track “Ten Years” is the bridge to the band’s previous efforts. A gentle country rocker gives Contreras room to croon, and his vocals — reminiscent of a young Randy Travis or Dan Tyminski — demonstrate just how much he’s evolved as a singer since he stepped up to the mic for the first time on “Whiskey Angel.” By track two — “Midnight Stranger” — the guys lasso a classic rock groove in the vein of Bad Company, and listeners will realize that any governor on the throttle of this remodeled machine has been yanked and discarded. By track three — “Weighting,” one of Quinn’s three leads — the Lillies are waist-deep in a maelstrom of new tricks that both dazzle and satisfy.
“This is Sam out of the gate — he wrote all of the lyrics, all of the chords, the entire arrangement,” Contreras says. “It’s a rocker from the beginning, and thanks to Jamie (Candiloro, a veteran producer of Ryan Adams and R.E.M. who shepherded the making of “Stranger to Me” at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, N.C.), it became something more. He’s an engineer, so he can come in and engineer this thing in a way so that it captures the natural intensity of a live Black Lillies performance with the quality of a studio production.
“Jamie forced us to all sing all the vocals at the same time — ‘When you sing together with people, you sing differently than you do alone,’ he would tell us — and before, it would be me singing solo and then the guys adding their voices. For this one, I was singing with Sam and Dustin at the same time, and it became more cohesive, more robust. Bigger.”
For Quinn, moving from the contemplative folk of The Everybodyfields into the bigger, bolder arena of the Lillies has allowed him to tap into a more vigorous style for which his skills are equally adept.
“When I was in my late teens and 20s and early 30s, I was sponge-like absorbed into sad or depressing music, but this is the other side of the spectrum,” he said. “This was making a rock album — having to get yer ya-yas out, using lots of piss, lots of vinegar … just real groovy stuff. And then when Dustin joined up, he was originally hired as a shred guitarist, but what we didn’t know that the secret weapon was, are his wicked high harmony vocals. That was just pivotal, and it kind of changed the name of the game.”
The band wears its influences on its sleeve for every song of the new record. Laurel Canyon breezes blow up dust from the SoCal desert on the Eagles-tinged “Out of the Blue,” Townsend pounds out a methodical rhythm that sets the stage for glorious harmonies on “Don’t Be Afraid,” and “No Other Way” sounds like a distant cousin of Wilco’s “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” with its freight-train hooks, courtesy of Schaefer’s six-string alchemy that manages to lift every song from great to sublime. “Snakes and Telephones,” another lead by Quinn, swirls with psychedelic overtones and torch ballad longing.
“We put 13 songs on it, but we had trouble pairing it down to 13 — and that’s a good problem to have, because we’re already talking about doing a follow-up, acoustic EP of the ones that got cut,” Contreras says. “Will we do it? Who knows. Will Sam be wearing a shirt when we do it? Who knows!
“We just don’t want to be a throwback band. We want what we do to sound new and fresh and modern, and I think even the album cover of ‘Stranger to Me’ represents that. It’s sharp, and it’s smart, and the mountains are a nod to both recording in Asheville and the house we did a lot of the pre-production in, which was this 1960s, modern-nouveaux place that looks like it belongs in the Hollywood Hills. And that ties back into the fact that while there’s a mountain quality to this record, it’s a departure as well.
“We’re venturing out from a pure East Tennessee sound, and hopefully that comes through,” he adds. “Our voices, especially mine and Sam’s, are unique to that region, but production wise, we wanted this to really reflect the direction in which we’re going.”

As The Black Lillies reacquainted fans with the band’s new look and sound through a series of videos over the course of 2017, a few questions began to percolate in their minds:
Is a new album in the works? Was this an indication of the band’s new sound? Does Sam Quinn — the band’s bass player, harmony vocalist (with an occasional lead) and a partner in the songwriting duties of frontman Cruz Contreras — own a shirt?
The short answers: Yes; kind of but not really; and … yeah, but he prefers the weather fine enough to go without.
“The Sprinter Sessions” were a series of live videos recorded at stops around the country, from the frozen cityscape of Philadelphia in late winter to the side of a Midwestern backroad with fallow fields stretching to the horizon. In various combinations, the Lillies — Contreras, Quinn, guitarist/songwriter Dustin Schaefer and drummer/songwriter Bowman Townsend — committed themselves to recording a brand new song every week. They weren’t lavishly orchestrated or fully fleshed out; sometimes lyrics had been written mere minutes prior to the broadcast. The songs were performed on acoustic instruments still grimy from shows the night before, and the guys didn’t bother to pick out their finest threads. Quinn, more often than not, played shirtless. Hence the aforementioned question.
“You’re putting songs out there that weren’t finished, weren’t perfectly arranged, and we might barely have been able to perform them,” Contreras says. “We might be tired or hungover, playing them at a truck stop or wherever. It wasn’t glamorous — but it held us accountable to that a rate of productivity that was really important, and it kept our fans up to speed with the evolution of the group — even if a lot of them did offer to send us clothes or food!”
More than anything else, “The Sprinter Sessions” set the stage for “Stranger to Me,” the new album by the Lillies that drops Sept. 28 on Attack Monkey/Thirty Tigers. It’s been a slow roll-out, but the new record is the sound of a band that’s been renewed and reinvigorated, anchored to the traditions that made it so beloved by so many but chiseled down to the bare essentials:
Four men. Four friends. Four artists, each of whom could rightly put out a solo record tomorrow, tied together by a bond to something that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
“Going from a six-piece to a four-piece, it’s given these guys space to shine and grow and evolve, and the chemistry has gotten better,” says Contreras, who in another life was the mandolin-shredding bandleader of Robinella and the CCstringband, once signed to both the Columbia and Dualtone labels. “These guys have become not just sidemen or guns for hire; they’re invested. Their opinions count, and their creativity is as much a part of this record as mine. There are songs that I wrote; that Sam (a veteran of the Americana group The Everybodyfields) wrote; that we wrote in any combination and all of us together.
“It’s pretty simple, when you get down to that romantic notion of having a band. We rehearse together, we travel together, we hang out together because we’re dedicated, and I think the music is really showing that now. For me, it’s been years of learning to set your ego aside, but experience teaches you that you have to.”
Making room for other voices in the band was vital in rekindling Quinn’s creative fires. The winner of the 2006 Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest and a respected solo artist after The Everybodyfields folded, the well had dried up for him back home in Knoxville until a spot opened in The Black Lillies. Working with Contreras, Townsend and then Schaefer, Quinn says, was akin to tossing gasoline on the smoldering embers of his songwriting chops.
“It’s like, when the itch hits, that’s the time to scratch it,” he said. “Office Depot is now my favorite place. I’m always buying paper and pens and destroying them, because I write all the time. Right now, I’m looking at four legal pads, a notebook, a journal and a bunch of stolen hotel paper. It’s a bit of a neurosis, I’m afraid, but I want to be a better writer, and this band is an outlet to become that.”
The Black Lillies were conceived during a particularly emotional period in Contreras’ life. A divorce, a disassembling of his old band and a 9-to-5 job driving a truck left him with days of turbulent thoughts and nights alternating between pen-and-paper and a guitar to put them into some semblance of order. “Whiskey Angel,” released in 2009, was a springboard to a whirlwind career revival, and within two years, the band had notched several national tours, landed on the hot list of countless publications and appeared everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry stage to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Other records — “100 Miles of Wreckage,” “Runaway Freeway Blues,” “Hard to Please” — helped define a sound that was rooted in distinct male-female harmonies, intricate instrumentalism and emotionally charged lyrics that look toward the hope of a new day dawning, regardless of the darkness of broken hearts and bereft spirits.
Around the making of “Hard to Please,” however, the band faced its biggest challenge to date — losing key members, integrating new ones and facing a future that meant changing musical directions. Contreras, however, rose to the challenge, drawing inspiration from some of the titans of the genre in which the Lillies often find themselves categorized: The Eagles and Wilco, just to name a few.
“We think about those favorite records of ours, those masterpiece records, and they’re no filler, all killer,” he says. “We grew up listening to records like that, so we thought, ‘Let’s go for it. Let’s stack it.’ It should be nothing but keepers, and there really shouldn’t be five seconds of, ‘Oh, they didn’t know what to do here.’ Everything should be purposeful.”
When the dust settled, he found himself with the right set of players: Quinn, who won songwriting awards and was once a labelmate of the Avett Brothers during his time in The Everybodyfields; Schaefer, a guitar wizard and a veteran of the Texas alt-country band Mickey and The Motorcars; and Townsend, the youngest member of the band who was brought in on drums in 2005 and has quickly become the group’s veteran anchor.
“Bowman brought that positive attitude, that work ethic, and for me, he’s been the guy,” Contreras says. “When Sam joined the band, we were getting a rock star. This guy’s been around the block, done it all and succeeded. He’s written great songs, played big stages and had the band that will go down in music history as one of the seminal ones in the genre. With Dustin, he had moved to Nashville to pursue a solo career, but when he joined up, we all got along and played well together.
“With all of these guys, we kind of hit the ground running. I think there’s mutual respect there on a creative level — we’re very different personalities, we make very different types of music and have very different writing styles, but we recognize that when we work together, we come up with something new and different that none of us could do on our own.”
Although “Stranger to Me” is a distinct milestone in a career arc that continues to climb, lead-off track “Ten Years” is the bridge to the band’s previous efforts. A gentle country rocker gives Contreras room to croon, and his vocals — reminiscent of a young Randy Travis or Dan Tyminski — demonstrate just how much he’s evolved as a singer since he stepped up to the mic for the first time on “Whiskey Angel.” By track two — “Midnight Stranger” — the guys lasso a classic rock groove in the vein of Bad Company, and listeners will realize that any governor on the throttle of this remodeled machine has been yanked and discarded. By track three — “Weighting,” one of Quinn’s three leads — the Lillies are waist-deep in a maelstrom of new tricks that both dazzle and satisfy.
“This is Sam out of the gate — he wrote all of the lyrics, all of the chords, the entire arrangement,” Contreras says. “It’s a rocker from the beginning, and thanks to Jamie (Candiloro, a veteran producer of Ryan Adams and R.E.M. who shepherded the making of “Stranger to Me” at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, N.C.), it became something more. He’s an engineer, so he can come in and engineer this thing in a way so that it captures the natural intensity of a live Black Lillies performance with the quality of a studio production.
“Jamie forced us to all sing all the vocals at the same time — ‘When you sing together with people, you sing differently than you do alone,’ he would tell us — and before, it would be me singing solo and then the guys adding their voices. For this one, I was singing with Sam and Dustin at the same time, and it became more cohesive, more robust. Bigger.”
For Quinn, moving from the contemplative folk of The Everybodyfields into the bigger, bolder arena of the Lillies has allowed him to tap into a more vigorous style for which his skills are equally adept.
“When I was in my late teens and 20s and early 30s, I was sponge-like absorbed into sad or depressing music, but this is the other side of the spectrum,” he said. “This was making a rock album — having to get yer ya-yas out, using lots of piss, lots of vinegar … just real groovy stuff. And then when Dustin joined up, he was originally hired as a shred guitarist, but what we didn’t know that the secret weapon was, are his wicked high harmony vocals. That was just pivotal, and it kind of changed the name of the game.”
The band wears its influences on its sleeve for every song of the new record. Laurel Canyon breezes blow up dust from the SoCal desert on the Eagles-tinged “Out of the Blue,” Townsend pounds out a methodical rhythm that sets the stage for glorious harmonies on “Don’t Be Afraid,” and “No Other Way” sounds like a distant cousin of Wilco’s “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” with its freight-train hooks, courtesy of Schaefer’s six-string alchemy that manages to lift every song from great to sublime. “Snakes and Telephones,” another lead by Quinn, swirls with psychedelic overtones and torch ballad longing.
“We put 13 songs on it, but we had trouble pairing it down to 13 — and that’s a good problem to have, because we’re already talking about doing a follow-up, acoustic EP of the ones that got cut,” Contreras says. “Will we do it? Who knows. Will Sam be wearing a shirt when we do it? Who knows!
“We just don’t want to be a throwback band. We want what we do to sound new and fresh and modern, and I think even the album cover of ‘Stranger to Me’ represents that. It’s sharp, and it’s smart, and the mountains are a nod to both recording in Asheville and the house we did a lot of the pre-production in, which was this 1960s, modern-nouveaux place that looks like it belongs in the Hollywood Hills. And that ties back into the fact that while there’s a mountain quality to this record, it’s a departure as well.
“We’re venturing out from a pure East Tennessee sound, and hopefully that comes through,” he adds. “Our voices, especially mine and Sam’s, are unique to that region, but production wise, we wanted this to really reflect the direction in which we’re going.”

TributeFestPgh 9: Old School vs. New School Pop Featuring Tribute Sets of Crosby, Stills and Nash, Elvis Costello, The Killers, Radiohead, Tears for Fears, Steely Dan, Weezer and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

TributeFestPgh 9 is 4 nights of your favorite local musicians joining forces to dress up in character and perform as their favorite bands, all to raise money for Humane Animal Rescue! This year we have 33 bands over 4 nights!

Visit Humane Animal Rescue here:
https://www.humaneanimalrescue.org
---------------------------------------------------------------
Night 3: Old School vs. New School Pop

Crosby, Stills, and Nash - Nathan Zoob + Friends
Elvis Costello - Kevin Koch + Friends
The Killers - Skeye Berry + Friends
Radiohead - Rich Kulbacki + Friends
Tears for Fears - Sun Hound + Friends
Steely Dan - Jesse Prentiss + Friends
Weezer - Beck Gal + Friends
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Action Camp

All shows are 21+, $10, Doors at 7pm

TributeFestPgh 9 is 4 nights of your favorite local musicians joining forces to dress up in character and perform as their favorite bands, all to raise money for Humane Animal Rescue! This year we have 33 bands over 4 nights!

Visit Humane Animal Rescue here:
https://www.humaneanimalrescue.org
---------------------------------------------------------------
Night 3: Old School vs. New School Pop

Crosby, Stills, and Nash - Nathan Zoob + Friends
Elvis Costello - Kevin Koch + Friends
The Killers - Skeye Berry + Friends
Radiohead - Rich Kulbacki + Friends
Tears for Fears - Sun Hound + Friends
Steely Dan - Jesse Prentiss + Friends
Weezer - Beck Gal + Friends
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Action Camp

All shows are 21+, $10, Doors at 7pm

TributeFestPgh 9: Classic Rock Featuring Tribute Sets of Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, David Bowie, Heart, Jefferson Airplane, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and The Who.

TributeFestPgh 9 is 4 nights of your favorite local musicians joining forces to dress up in character and perform as their favorite bands, all to raise money for Humane Animal Rescue! This year we have 33 bands over 4 nights!

Visit Humane Animal Rescue here:
https://www.humaneanimalrescue.org
---------------------------------------------------------------
Night 4: Classic Rock

Blue Oyster Cult - Urns
Cheap Trick - Darren Hammel + Friends
David Bowie - The Gothees
Heart - Katie Simone + Friends
Jefferson Airplane - The Ohm Project
Jethro Tull - Eric George + Friends
Led Zeppelin - Ariana Bigler + Friends
Uriah Heep - Shy Kennedy + Friends
Who - The Bloody Seamen

All shows are 21+, $10, Doors at 7pm

TributeFestPgh 9 is 4 nights of your favorite local musicians joining forces to dress up in character and perform as their favorite bands, all to raise money for Humane Animal Rescue! This year we have 33 bands over 4 nights!

Visit Humane Animal Rescue here:
https://www.humaneanimalrescue.org
---------------------------------------------------------------
Night 4: Classic Rock

Blue Oyster Cult - Urns
Cheap Trick - Darren Hammel + Friends
David Bowie - The Gothees
Heart - Katie Simone + Friends
Jefferson Airplane - The Ohm Project
Jethro Tull - Eric George + Friends
Led Zeppelin - Ariana Bigler + Friends
Uriah Heep - Shy Kennedy + Friends
Who - The Bloody Seamen

All shows are 21+, $10, Doors at 7pm

Matthew Perryman Jones with Special Guest Molly Parden

A performing songwriter by trade, Matthew Perryman Jones is actually a seeker, at heart. With each entry in his discography, his musical and moral compass points toward an artistic horizon he has yet to explore. Sometimes, he turns his gaze to examine his own inner world. Other times, he looks to the inspirations found in the letters Vincent Van Gogh penned to his brother Theo, in the idea of duende as proffered by Federico García Lorca, and in the poetic verses of Sufi poets Hafiz and Rumi.

Of his most recent release, American Songwriter wrote that, “MPJ’s songwriting acumen could easily be used as a musical template to demonstrate how less can be so much more. [He] sounds cinematic and slowly worms its way inside your brain, feasts upon your emotions, and ultimately burrows down into your soul.” It could be said that Matthew makes soul music — not based on how it sounds, but on where it originates and where it resides.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Matthew grew up in Georgia and cut his artistic teeth in the Atlanta music scene before heading north to Nashville. His debut release, Nowhere Else But Here, dropped in 2000, followed by three subsequent albums — Throwing Punches in the Dark (2006), Swallow the Sea (2008), and Land of the Living (2012) — and three additional EPs as well as a handful of singles. Songs from across his catalog have been featured in dozens of film and TV placements, and tours have taken him across the U.S. and abroad to share stages with legends like Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin, as well as the Ten Out of Tenn songwriter collective of which he is a part.

Now, Matthew is gearing up to release his fifth album, alongside producer Josh Kaler, focused on genius loci — the spirit of place. Written across the country throughout 2017, and funded by generous fans contributing to a Pledge Music campaign, the record was finished in early 2018. As he chases the ever-retreating horizon, Jones will stop, listen, and capture when and what the spirit of each place calls out to him.

A performing songwriter by trade, Matthew Perryman Jones is actually a seeker, at heart. With each entry in his discography, his musical and moral compass points toward an artistic horizon he has yet to explore. Sometimes, he turns his gaze to examine his own inner world. Other times, he looks to the inspirations found in the letters Vincent Van Gogh penned to his brother Theo, in the idea of duende as proffered by Federico García Lorca, and in the poetic verses of Sufi poets Hafiz and Rumi.

Of his most recent release, American Songwriter wrote that, “MPJ’s songwriting acumen could easily be used as a musical template to demonstrate how less can be so much more. [He] sounds cinematic and slowly worms its way inside your brain, feasts upon your emotions, and ultimately burrows down into your soul.” It could be said that Matthew makes soul music — not based on how it sounds, but on where it originates and where it resides.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Matthew grew up in Georgia and cut his artistic teeth in the Atlanta music scene before heading north to Nashville. His debut release, Nowhere Else But Here, dropped in 2000, followed by three subsequent albums — Throwing Punches in the Dark (2006), Swallow the Sea (2008), and Land of the Living (2012) — and three additional EPs as well as a handful of singles. Songs from across his catalog have been featured in dozens of film and TV placements, and tours have taken him across the U.S. and abroad to share stages with legends like Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin, as well as the Ten Out of Tenn songwriter collective of which he is a part.

Now, Matthew is gearing up to release his fifth album, alongside producer Josh Kaler, focused on genius loci — the spirit of place. Written across the country throughout 2017, and funded by generous fans contributing to a Pledge Music campaign, the record was finished in early 2018. As he chases the ever-retreating horizon, Jones will stop, listen, and capture when and what the spirit of each place calls out to him.

Albert Cummings

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.


His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, furthered a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting - leading Billboard Magazine to exclaim “This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived”.


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.


His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, furthered a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting - leading Billboard Magazine to exclaim “This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived”.


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


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


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

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

Bill Toms and Hard Rain - 20th Anniversary (featuring The Soulville Horns) with Special Guest Soulful Femme (featuring Stevee Wellons and Cheryl Rinovato)

hile it’s hard to put a finger on any one sound that defines “American music,” the compositions of Bill Toms are as close a template as any. The Pittsburgh native, along with his band Hard Rain, delivers a sound that takes the greatest of America’s most beloved genres and melds them into a poetic representation of the best the country has to offer.

With his ninth full-length studio release, Good For My Soul (street date October 27), Toms channels a foot-stomping, wall-shaking blend of soul, blues, gospel, and rock vibes, all brought together with his lyrical specialty -- stories of everyday men and women doing their best to stay ahead while still managing to keep a dream or two in their heads.

Soaring horns, gritty licks, toe-tapping rhythms, and Toms’ own rough-hewn vocals will draw listeners in, as well as well-deserved comparisons to the greats such as Dr. John, Little Feat, Springsteen, Joe Tex, The Blasters, Otis Redding, and Rufus Thomas.

“The idea of a horn section behind my songs has been something I’ve thought about for a while,” explains Toms. “Albert King, and all the Stax artists come to mind when I think of what true rhythm and blues can do. I wanted a piece of that; creating dynamics, and drama within the song; and fostering the deep emotion that a great horn section can give. The words also needed this place-- in order to be fully interpreted as the representation of ‘my America,’ and the people who make up my small part of this world.”

Good For My Soul was recorded in February 2017 by Oscar-winning composer Rick Witkowski, who also co-produced the set with Will Kimbrough (Rodney Crowell, Todd Snider). Both artists have collaborated with Toms frequently on parts of his earlier catalog.

Toms launched his musical career in 1987 as lead guitarist of Pittsburgh’s legendary band Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers, During that period, he opened for and played with such legendary names as The Band, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. While playing guitar, co-writing, and adding backup vocals for the Houserockers, Toms and the band recorded six studio albums and one live concert album. In 1995, The Houserockers released American Babylon, which was recorded and produced by Springsteen himself.

As a solo artist, Toms has opened for the likes of Buddy Guy, Levon Helm, Marshall Crenshaw, The Kennedys, Steve Forbert, and Ellis Paul. He’s plotting a string of regional east coast dates to support Good For My Soul, as well as a full European tour in 2018.

hile it’s hard to put a finger on any one sound that defines “American music,” the compositions of Bill Toms are as close a template as any. The Pittsburgh native, along with his band Hard Rain, delivers a sound that takes the greatest of America’s most beloved genres and melds them into a poetic representation of the best the country has to offer.

With his ninth full-length studio release, Good For My Soul (street date October 27), Toms channels a foot-stomping, wall-shaking blend of soul, blues, gospel, and rock vibes, all brought together with his lyrical specialty -- stories of everyday men and women doing their best to stay ahead while still managing to keep a dream or two in their heads.

Soaring horns, gritty licks, toe-tapping rhythms, and Toms’ own rough-hewn vocals will draw listeners in, as well as well-deserved comparisons to the greats such as Dr. John, Little Feat, Springsteen, Joe Tex, The Blasters, Otis Redding, and Rufus Thomas.

“The idea of a horn section behind my songs has been something I’ve thought about for a while,” explains Toms. “Albert King, and all the Stax artists come to mind when I think of what true rhythm and blues can do. I wanted a piece of that; creating dynamics, and drama within the song; and fostering the deep emotion that a great horn section can give. The words also needed this place-- in order to be fully interpreted as the representation of ‘my America,’ and the people who make up my small part of this world.”

Good For My Soul was recorded in February 2017 by Oscar-winning composer Rick Witkowski, who also co-produced the set with Will Kimbrough (Rodney Crowell, Todd Snider). Both artists have collaborated with Toms frequently on parts of his earlier catalog.

Toms launched his musical career in 1987 as lead guitarist of Pittsburgh’s legendary band Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers, During that period, he opened for and played with such legendary names as The Band, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. While playing guitar, co-writing, and adding backup vocals for the Houserockers, Toms and the band recorded six studio albums and one live concert album. In 1995, The Houserockers released American Babylon, which was recorded and produced by Springsteen himself.

As a solo artist, Toms has opened for the likes of Buddy Guy, Levon Helm, Marshall Crenshaw, The Kennedys, Steve Forbert, and Ellis Paul. He’s plotting a string of regional east coast dates to support Good For My Soul, as well as a full European tour in 2018.

Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread (Cotton Jones)

Michael Nau returns this year with an expanded full-band lineup now known as The Mighty Thread, comprised of musicians from all over America who have been a part of his touring and recording life over the past few years. “We’ve all played together in various arrangements over the past few years”, says Nau. “We made a record with this core group last year and did a west coast trip at the end of ’17. It was fun and so we want to try and keep it going wherever we can. As such, we’re going to do a string of shows coming up wherein any show listed as “…& the mighty thread” will be full band shows comprised of Will Brown on keys, Benny Yurco on guitar, Graeme Gibson on drums, Robinson Morse & Evan ApRoberts on bass and hopefully get to release some music featuring these bandmates in the near future”.

Michael Nau returns this year with an expanded full-band lineup now known as The Mighty Thread, comprised of musicians from all over America who have been a part of his touring and recording life over the past few years. “We’ve all played together in various arrangements over the past few years”, says Nau. “We made a record with this core group last year and did a west coast trip at the end of ’17. It was fun and so we want to try and keep it going wherever we can. As such, we’re going to do a string of shows coming up wherein any show listed as “…& the mighty thread” will be full band shows comprised of Will Brown on keys, Benny Yurco on guitar, Graeme Gibson on drums, Robinson Morse & Evan ApRoberts on bass and hopefully get to release some music featuring these bandmates in the near future”.

(Early Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Gary Gulman: Must Be Nice!

Originally from Boston, Gary Gulman has been a scholarship college football player, an accountant, and a high school teacher. Now he is one of the most popular touring comics and one of only a handful of comedians to perform on every single late-night talk show. Gary marked his 20-year anniversary in stand-up with the “It’s About Time Tour,” selling out theaters throughout the country. It’s no wonder the New York Times wrote, “Gary is finally being recognized as one of the country’s strongest comedians.”

Gary's TV credits include "Last Comic Standing," "Inside Amy Schumer," and currently on HBO's "Crashing" and HBO's new series "2 Dope Queens." His 3 stand-up specials are streaming now on Netflix and Amazon.

Originally from Boston, Gary Gulman has been a scholarship college football player, an accountant, and a high school teacher. Now he is one of the most popular touring comics and one of only a handful of comedians to perform on every single late-night talk show. Gary marked his 20-year anniversary in stand-up with the “It’s About Time Tour,” selling out theaters throughout the country. It’s no wonder the New York Times wrote, “Gary is finally being recognized as one of the country’s strongest comedians.”

Gary's TV credits include "Last Comic Standing," "Inside Amy Schumer," and currently on HBO's "Crashing" and HBO's new series "2 Dope Queens." His 3 stand-up specials are streaming now on Netflix and Amazon.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Gary Gulman: Must Be Nice!

Originally from Boston, Gary Gulman has been a scholarship college football player, an accountant, and a high school teacher. Now he is one of the most popular touring comics and one of only a handful of comedians to perform on every single late-night talk show. Gary marked his 20-year anniversary in stand-up with the “It’s About Time Tour,” selling out theaters throughout the country. It’s no wonder the New York Times wrote, “Gary is finally being recognized as one of the country’s strongest comedians.”

Gary's TV credits include "Last Comic Standing," "Inside Amy Schumer," and currently on HBO's "Crashing" and HBO's new series "2 Dope Queens." His 3 stand-up specials are streaming now on Netflix and Amazon.

Originally from Boston, Gary Gulman has been a scholarship college football player, an accountant, and a high school teacher. Now he is one of the most popular touring comics and one of only a handful of comedians to perform on every single late-night talk show. Gary marked his 20-year anniversary in stand-up with the “It’s About Time Tour,” selling out theaters throughout the country. It’s no wonder the New York Times wrote, “Gary is finally being recognized as one of the country’s strongest comedians.”

Gary's TV credits include "Last Comic Standing," "Inside Amy Schumer," and currently on HBO's "Crashing" and HBO's new series "2 Dope Queens." His 3 stand-up specials are streaming now on Netflix and Amazon.

Driftwood

When Driftwood released its first full-length album, Rally Day, recorded in their hometown of Binghamton, a unique sound transpired that reflected not only the working-class ethos of an upstate New York town, but a coalescing of identity, influence, and uninhibited musical spirit.

“It’s sometimes tough to keep any sort of focus on style or sound when you have three different songwriters,” guitarist Dan Forsyth conceded. Longtime friend and banjoist Joe Kollar offers, “I consider our sound to be more of an attitude and an approach – the result of all of our influences in a completely open musical forum where the only stipulation is to create it from the heart.” “Really Driftwood is a song based group,” fiddler Claire Byrne added incisively.

And even though they come from different directions, the three founding members – along with bassist Joey Arcuri – tend to end up at the same place.

That unity, as well as the joy derived from playing together, can be heard throughout City Lights. It takes them on a familiar road and serendipitous evolution, replete with folk, old-time, country, punk, and rock, depending on their personal moods and their songs’ needs.

Increased songwriting and close-quarter living on tour manifested strengthened relationships and new energy. “Keeping this kind of touring schedule, we thought of recording albums as a sort of secondary thing and considered ourselves a ‘live’ band. We learn so much on the road and this kind of work has always felt productive,” Forsyth explains.

And while in the past they used the stage to work out arrangements of new songs, for City Lights, they used the studio. “It wasn’t until this last album that we took some time off to learn more about being in the studio. We wanted to take our time and record on our own terms.”

As evidence of their growth and compatibility, both Forsyth and Byrne tag “Skin and Bone” as the head of the album. It’s a Kollar composition that he says “came from a reflection I had of myself and life on the road, in general. It touches on trying to keep perspective, forging ahead, and embracing the future.” Clearly, that’s a state of mind they can all relate to.

The heart of the album, though, is a toss up with Forsyth choosing the romance of “Too Afraid,” Byrne picking the nostalgia of “The Waves,” and Kollar tapping the excitement of the title track. That disparity may be because, in their decade together, the musicians have all undergone monumental life changes. They have come into their own… together. “Generally speaking, there’s a maturity to us now,” Kollar explains. “We have a bit of experience doing what we do and the music reflects that point of view. The song subjects, our playing/singing abilities, our recording abilities, and our relationships have all matured.”

That’s precisely what’s heard in the music. A sharpened band. Skilled songwriters. Down-right masterful instrumentalists. And the sum of their seasons together has only strengthened their fabric. It’s pretty clear in their current songwriting and recordings as well, as Driftwood is now laying the groundwork for an upcoming album set to be released in the Fall of 2018. If history is any indication, it will be another strong step forward for this talented group.

When Driftwood released its first full-length album, Rally Day, recorded in their hometown of Binghamton, a unique sound transpired that reflected not only the working-class ethos of an upstate New York town, but a coalescing of identity, influence, and uninhibited musical spirit.

“It’s sometimes tough to keep any sort of focus on style or sound when you have three different songwriters,” guitarist Dan Forsyth conceded. Longtime friend and banjoist Joe Kollar offers, “I consider our sound to be more of an attitude and an approach – the result of all of our influences in a completely open musical forum where the only stipulation is to create it from the heart.” “Really Driftwood is a song based group,” fiddler Claire Byrne added incisively.

And even though they come from different directions, the three founding members – along with bassist Joey Arcuri – tend to end up at the same place.

That unity, as well as the joy derived from playing together, can be heard throughout City Lights. It takes them on a familiar road and serendipitous evolution, replete with folk, old-time, country, punk, and rock, depending on their personal moods and their songs’ needs.

Increased songwriting and close-quarter living on tour manifested strengthened relationships and new energy. “Keeping this kind of touring schedule, we thought of recording albums as a sort of secondary thing and considered ourselves a ‘live’ band. We learn so much on the road and this kind of work has always felt productive,” Forsyth explains.

And while in the past they used the stage to work out arrangements of new songs, for City Lights, they used the studio. “It wasn’t until this last album that we took some time off to learn more about being in the studio. We wanted to take our time and record on our own terms.”

As evidence of their growth and compatibility, both Forsyth and Byrne tag “Skin and Bone” as the head of the album. It’s a Kollar composition that he says “came from a reflection I had of myself and life on the road, in general. It touches on trying to keep perspective, forging ahead, and embracing the future.” Clearly, that’s a state of mind they can all relate to.

The heart of the album, though, is a toss up with Forsyth choosing the romance of “Too Afraid,” Byrne picking the nostalgia of “The Waves,” and Kollar tapping the excitement of the title track. That disparity may be because, in their decade together, the musicians have all undergone monumental life changes. They have come into their own… together. “Generally speaking, there’s a maturity to us now,” Kollar explains. “We have a bit of experience doing what we do and the music reflects that point of view. The song subjects, our playing/singing abilities, our recording abilities, and our relationships have all matured.”

That’s precisely what’s heard in the music. A sharpened band. Skilled songwriters. Down-right masterful instrumentalists. And the sum of their seasons together has only strengthened their fabric. It’s pretty clear in their current songwriting and recordings as well, as Driftwood is now laying the groundwork for an upcoming album set to be released in the Fall of 2018. If history is any indication, it will be another strong step forward for this talented group.

Joshua Radin with Special Guest Lily Kershaw

Love and the complications surrounding it have long proven to be Joshua Radin's songwriting forte. Though he never intended to be a live performer, there was little choice when the first song he ever wrote, "Winter," was featured on an episode of "Scrubs." The resulting fervor around the song soon led to a record deal, and over the last decade, Radin has toured the world countless times, sold hundreds of thousands of records and topped the iTunes charts, earned raves from Rolling Stone to The Guardian, performed on "The Tonight Show," "Conan," and more, played Ellen DeGeneres' wedding at her personal request, and had his songs featured in more than 150 different films, commercials, and TV shows.

Love and the complications surrounding it have long proven to be Joshua Radin's songwriting forte. Though he never intended to be a live performer, there was little choice when the first song he ever wrote, "Winter," was featured on an episode of "Scrubs." The resulting fervor around the song soon led to a record deal, and over the last decade, Radin has toured the world countless times, sold hundreds of thousands of records and topped the iTunes charts, earned raves from Rolling Stone to The Guardian, performed on "The Tonight Show," "Conan," and more, played Ellen DeGeneres' wedding at her personal request, and had his songs featured in more than 150 different films, commercials, and TV shows.

Tony Lucca

To multiple generations of emerging and established artists, Nashville is nirvana, a music mecca, a fulcrum for serious songwriters who don’t just make music for a living, but for whom music is life. For years now, Tony Lucca has had the energy and spirit of Music City coursing through his veins, a seemingly life-sustaining flow of inspiration that in part served as the lifeblood for the writing, recording and producing of his current self-titled album, the eighth full-length studio set in his notable canon. “When you go into a writing session, you gotta know who you’re writing for… and then you dig in,” says Lucca, who at this stage in his career has become a seasoned songsmith. “I learned a lot right off the bat, because again, doors were flying open for me that would of otherwise stayed shut.”

For Lucca, who was raised in a very large musical family in yet another American music mecca, Detroit, home to Motown, the constant opening of professional doors started when he was very young. But arguably the most divinatory door that’s opened for him was the one he walked through where his sonic sojourn began. “There was definitely this moment that the dream was born as a kid, where my eyes got real wide,” says Lucca. “Walking into a music shop in Detroit when I was probably seven or eight, and just seeing rows and rows of guitars on the walls, and I was like, holy cow, that is awesome. I want all of them.” Though he didn’t get them all, one would do. By the age of 12, his already well-honed musical talent literally began to pay dividends, after earning his first few bucks for a gig at a junior high school dance.

It’s fair to say Lucca has long since stopped chasing his dream of making music, and for some time now has been living his dream. In 1995, following a four-season run as a cast member on The All New Mickey Mouse Club alongside fellow future hit making heavyweights Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, Lucca relocated to Los Angeles where he dove into doing the Hollywood shuffle/auditioning actor thing before deciding to ditch acting in favor of pursuing his true passion. “I think it was definitely 1996 when I realized I had to make it clear for myself, if no one else, what I was going to do and how I was going to channel my energy; what I was gonna focus on and what I was willing to sacrifice it all for, and that was music,” says Lucca. “I literally walked out of an audition thinking I’ve got to have more to say than this. I went home, grabbed a guitar, wrote a song and I knew right away that it was the caliber of song that if I could stick to it and take it this seriously every time, that I’d be the kind of artist I’ve always dreamed I might end up being at some point.”

Now satisfied with the professional road he was on, Lucca began to put some proverbial musical mud on his tires with his 1997 self-released debut album, So Satisfied, followed later that same year by his sophomore set, Strong Words Softly Spoken. Two EPs and a limited series of live CDs (all released through his website tonylucca.com) set the table for the release of his third full-length, 2004’s Shotgun.

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of what many fans and critics concede could be the crown jewel of Lucca’s catalog, the emotive Canyon Songs, a touching 10-track tip of the cap to the legendary Laurel Canyon sound immortalized by master musicians including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne. The album features the standout track “Around the Bend,” which as Lucca recalls was written in a motel room in Nashville. “I went to a liquor store, grabbed a bottle of Tennessee whisky, went back to my motel room, left the door open, grabbed my guitar and just started writing it,” Lucca says. “I remember looking out the door into that southern Tennessee air and just thinking about all the greats that had come through here… and what a pleasure and honor it is to get the opportunity to just grab a bit of that mojo and make it your own, one song at a time.”

So what lies ahead? What is around the bend for Tony Lucca, a man who’s been an actor - making myriad television appearances on popular shows such as Parenthood, The Tonight Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, the Aaron Spelling-produced Malibu Shores, as well as small roles in some independent features? What is the next benchmark for the guy who was tabloid fodder during his years dating actress Keri Russell and a third place finisher on Season 2 of The Voice (which served as a springboard for a series of additional key career milestones, including the signing of a recording contract with Adam Levine’s 222 Records, as well as high profile stints on tour with the likes of Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson and Sara Bareilles, among countless others)? What’s on tap for a man who is now a husband, a father and of course a top tier singer/songwriter? Plenty!

“It’s the 10-year anniversary of Canyon Songs and oddly enough, I’m one of the few artists at my stage of the game who actually owns all of his records; I own the whole catalog,” Lucca says. “Instead of diving back into the next album cycle, I’ve decided to reflect for a minute and promote the larger body of work, to shine more light on Tony Lucca, the songwriter. I’ve got plenty of traveling ahead. In the meantime, I’ll be working on a periodic releasing of deep cuts, B-sides, rarities, and other stuff with the folks at Rock Ridge Music, culminating in a 10-year anniversary vinyl edition of Canyon Songs.”

Tony Lucca has seen more than his fair share of changes in the musical landscape since the release of his 1997 debut, So Satisfied. It would be easy for a far less determined and dedicated artist to be so dissatisfied with, as Pink Floyd dubbed it back in 1975, “the machine,” so as to throw up their hands in defeat. Instead, Lucca has surveyed the landscape and sees a blank canvas, an opportunity to use a wide new palette of colors to paint more musical portraits, while still displaying his past masterpieces in different frames. That is the sign of a true artist.

To multiple generations of emerging and established artists, Nashville is nirvana, a music mecca, a fulcrum for serious songwriters who don’t just make music for a living, but for whom music is life. For years now, Tony Lucca has had the energy and spirit of Music City coursing through his veins, a seemingly life-sustaining flow of inspiration that in part served as the lifeblood for the writing, recording and producing of his current self-titled album, the eighth full-length studio set in his notable canon. “When you go into a writing session, you gotta know who you’re writing for… and then you dig in,” says Lucca, who at this stage in his career has become a seasoned songsmith. “I learned a lot right off the bat, because again, doors were flying open for me that would of otherwise stayed shut.”

For Lucca, who was raised in a very large musical family in yet another American music mecca, Detroit, home to Motown, the constant opening of professional doors started when he was very young. But arguably the most divinatory door that’s opened for him was the one he walked through where his sonic sojourn began. “There was definitely this moment that the dream was born as a kid, where my eyes got real wide,” says Lucca. “Walking into a music shop in Detroit when I was probably seven or eight, and just seeing rows and rows of guitars on the walls, and I was like, holy cow, that is awesome. I want all of them.” Though he didn’t get them all, one would do. By the age of 12, his already well-honed musical talent literally began to pay dividends, after earning his first few bucks for a gig at a junior high school dance.

It’s fair to say Lucca has long since stopped chasing his dream of making music, and for some time now has been living his dream. In 1995, following a four-season run as a cast member on The All New Mickey Mouse Club alongside fellow future hit making heavyweights Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, Lucca relocated to Los Angeles where he dove into doing the Hollywood shuffle/auditioning actor thing before deciding to ditch acting in favor of pursuing his true passion. “I think it was definitely 1996 when I realized I had to make it clear for myself, if no one else, what I was going to do and how I was going to channel my energy; what I was gonna focus on and what I was willing to sacrifice it all for, and that was music,” says Lucca. “I literally walked out of an audition thinking I’ve got to have more to say than this. I went home, grabbed a guitar, wrote a song and I knew right away that it was the caliber of song that if I could stick to it and take it this seriously every time, that I’d be the kind of artist I’ve always dreamed I might end up being at some point.”

Now satisfied with the professional road he was on, Lucca began to put some proverbial musical mud on his tires with his 1997 self-released debut album, So Satisfied, followed later that same year by his sophomore set, Strong Words Softly Spoken. Two EPs and a limited series of live CDs (all released through his website tonylucca.com) set the table for the release of his third full-length, 2004’s Shotgun.

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of what many fans and critics concede could be the crown jewel of Lucca’s catalog, the emotive Canyon Songs, a touching 10-track tip of the cap to the legendary Laurel Canyon sound immortalized by master musicians including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne. The album features the standout track “Around the Bend,” which as Lucca recalls was written in a motel room in Nashville. “I went to a liquor store, grabbed a bottle of Tennessee whisky, went back to my motel room, left the door open, grabbed my guitar and just started writing it,” Lucca says. “I remember looking out the door into that southern Tennessee air and just thinking about all the greats that had come through here… and what a pleasure and honor it is to get the opportunity to just grab a bit of that mojo and make it your own, one song at a time.”

So what lies ahead? What is around the bend for Tony Lucca, a man who’s been an actor - making myriad television appearances on popular shows such as Parenthood, The Tonight Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, the Aaron Spelling-produced Malibu Shores, as well as small roles in some independent features? What is the next benchmark for the guy who was tabloid fodder during his years dating actress Keri Russell and a third place finisher on Season 2 of The Voice (which served as a springboard for a series of additional key career milestones, including the signing of a recording contract with Adam Levine’s 222 Records, as well as high profile stints on tour with the likes of Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson and Sara Bareilles, among countless others)? What’s on tap for a man who is now a husband, a father and of course a top tier singer/songwriter? Plenty!

“It’s the 10-year anniversary of Canyon Songs and oddly enough, I’m one of the few artists at my stage of the game who actually owns all of his records; I own the whole catalog,” Lucca says. “Instead of diving back into the next album cycle, I’ve decided to reflect for a minute and promote the larger body of work, to shine more light on Tony Lucca, the songwriter. I’ve got plenty of traveling ahead. In the meantime, I’ll be working on a periodic releasing of deep cuts, B-sides, rarities, and other stuff with the folks at Rock Ridge Music, culminating in a 10-year anniversary vinyl edition of Canyon Songs.”

Tony Lucca has seen more than his fair share of changes in the musical landscape since the release of his 1997 debut, So Satisfied. It would be easy for a far less determined and dedicated artist to be so dissatisfied with, as Pink Floyd dubbed it back in 1975, “the machine,” so as to throw up their hands in defeat. Instead, Lucca has surveyed the landscape and sees a blank canvas, an opportunity to use a wide new palette of colors to paint more musical portraits, while still displaying his past masterpieces in different frames. That is the sign of a true artist.

(Rescheduled from March 5) Aubrey Logan

Rescheduled from March 5

Aubrey Logan is known throughout the world as the Queen of Sass. She has performed on several national television shows including a stint on American Idol, an appearance on The Goldbergs, Jools Holland and with Pharrell Williams at the Grammy Awards. A recent guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, she's spent the last two years touring around the world with Postmodern Jukebox, where she's featured nightly in front of thousands of fans, have performed in over 150 shows from The Greek Theatre to Radio City Music Hall and has made appearances in over 30 European cities from London to Moscow. To top it all off, she's just completed taping a PBS special with Postmodern Jukebox.

Rescheduled from March 5

Aubrey Logan is known throughout the world as the Queen of Sass. She has performed on several national television shows including a stint on American Idol, an appearance on The Goldbergs, Jools Holland and with Pharrell Williams at the Grammy Awards. A recent guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, she's spent the last two years touring around the world with Postmodern Jukebox, where she's featured nightly in front of thousands of fans, have performed in over 150 shows from The Greek Theatre to Radio City Music Hall and has made appearances in over 30 European cities from London to Moscow. To top it all off, she's just completed taping a PBS special with Postmodern Jukebox.

SOLD OUT - Chuck Ragan with Special Guest Bret Kunash

Chuck Ragan’s bracing new release Till Midnight once again confirms what the iconoclastic singer-songwriter’s fans have known all along: that he’s a deeply compelling songwriter and an effortlessly charismatic performer, as well as a true believer in music’s ability to illuminate and inspire.

Till Midnight‘s ten typically impassioned new Ragan compositions embody the artist’s trademark mix of eloquent lyrical insight and catchy, forceful songcraft. The album’s formidable blend of head and heart is reflected on such new tunes as “Something May Catch Fire,” “Vagabond,” “Non Typical,” “Bedroll Lullaby” and “Wake With You,” on which Ragan applies his distinctively raspy voice and sharp melodic sensibility to vividly expressive tunes that reflect both his early grounding in traditional American music and his deep affinity for rock n’ roll.

“There’s a lot of love songs on this one,” notes Ragan, whose work has always shown a knack for addressing individual concerns as well as societal ones. “I love to write love songs because it’s the most powerful emotion. It’s what grounds us to this Earth and makes us want to fight to make the world a better place.

“I always just try to write from the heart and make the music as genuine as I possibly can,” he continues. “By doing that, I’m usually writing about whatever’s going on in my life. And when you’re living your life by wearing your heart on your sleeve, there’s not a lot to hide behind.”

In a musical life that spans close to three decades, Chuck Ragan has consistently worn his heart on his sleeve, and carved out a musical niche in the process. First with post-hardcore trailblazers Hot Water Music and subsequently on his own, he’s built a large and singularly powerful body of work whose honesty, immediacy and warmth have won the loyalty of a fiercely devoted international fan base that’s supported him through his various musical incarnations.

Till Midnight benefits from sensitive production by multi-instrumentalist and Blind Melon/AWOL Nation member Christopher Thorn, and backup by Ragan’s longstanding combo the Camaraderie—guitarist/pedal steel player Todd Beene, fiddler Jon Gaunt and bassist Joe Ginsberg, plus new drummer David Hidalgo Jr., of Social Distortion and formerly of Suicidal Tendencies, and son of Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo—along with Rami Jaffee of Wallflowers/Foo Fighters fame, Ben Nichols of Lucero, Dave Hause, Jenny O., Chad Price and Jon Snodgrass of Drag the River.

To give Till Midnight an appropriately organic, lived-in feel, Ragan gathered the musicians at his home in Northern California for a week of rehearsal, fishing and preproduction, before road-testing the new material in Europe.

“It was really the first time we all learned and rehearsed the songs as a group and laid everything down together,” Ragan explains. “It made a huge difference for everybody to have time to sit and breathe with these songs and let everything develop naturally. There was a feeling that I set out to capture and the guys there were able to help us capture it.”

Although its birth cycle may have been different, the honesty and urgency that distinguish Till Midnight have been constants in the musical journey that began in Ragan’s early years. After playing in numerous bands in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Ragan teamed with Chris Wollard, Jason Black and George Rebelo, with whom he relocated from Sarasota, FL to Gainesville and formed Hot Water Music. That band quickly emerged as one of the American punk scene’s most distinctive and inventive units, winning a reputation as a riveting live act while releasing such well-received studio albums as Fuel for the Hate Game, Forever and Counting, No Division, A Flight and A Crash, Caution and The New What Next, as well as the live discs Live at the Hardback and Live in Chicago and the compilations Finding the Rhythms, Never Ender and Till the Wheels Fall Off.

Feeling the urge to stretch out creatively, Ragan ventured into a more acoustic approach with the side project Rumbleseat, which released several singles and the album Rumbleseat Is Dead. After Hot Water Music disbanded in 2005, Ragan enthusiastically embraced his new status as solo troubadour, exploring an expanded palette of acoustic and electric textures on the acclaimed albums Feast or Famine, Gold Country and Covering Ground, as well as the stripped-down live set Los Feliz and a series of limited-edition subscription singles released in 2006 and 2007, and later compiled on CD as The Blueprint Sessions.

In 2008, Ragan launched the long-running Revival Tour, a series of collaborative acoustic adventures featuring a diverse assortment of punk, bluegrass and alt-country performers. In addition to Ragan, the Revival Tour, which has visited Britain, Europe, Australia and Scandinavia as well as North America, has featured a broad array of talents, including Anderson Family Bluegrass, Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath, Craig Finn of the Hold Steady, Cory Branan, Ben Kweller, Laura Jane Grace, Jay Malinowski of Bedouin Soundclash, Tim Barry, Austin Lucas, Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids, Jesse Malin, Chris Carrabba, Chris McCaughan, Lucero’s Ben Nichols, Dave Hause, Flogging Molly’s Matt Hensley and Nathan Maxwell, Joey Cape, Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem, Audra Mae, Emily Barker, Dan Andriano of the Alkaline Trio, along with Jenny O, Kevin Seconds, Frank Turner, Rocky Votolato, Jon Snodgrass, Chad Price and Jenny Owen Youngs.

In 2012—the same year that Ragan reunited with Hot Water Music to record their album Exister—the veteran road warrior released his first book, The Road Most Traveled, a collection of insights and anecdotes on the touring life that serves as both a personal memoir and a helpful how-to handbook. He is currently working on a second volume.

As his book makes clear, and as Till Midnight confirms, Ragan takes his musical mission seriously, drawing inspiration and emotional sustenance from the songwriters and music he surrounds himself with, his family and friends along with the close and loyal relationship with his audience.

“The way I see it,” Ragan observes, “we’re faced with tons of inspiration every day. Every step of this life has a way of teaching you something, showing you something, opening your ears and your heart to something. I have all these friends out there, and this community that supports me, who believe in what I’m doing and who believe in the power of music and the power of community.

“It’s a blessing and a privilege to stand on stage and play music for people,” he continues. “I meet so many folks out there, and they’re so hospitable and so kind and say such nice things to me about the songs. The support and the energy that I get from them is what makes it possible for me to keep doing this. And when I’m there and in that moment, it’s important to me to give it back to them as strongly as they’re giving it to me.”

Chuck Ragan’s bracing new release Till Midnight once again confirms what the iconoclastic singer-songwriter’s fans have known all along: that he’s a deeply compelling songwriter and an effortlessly charismatic performer, as well as a true believer in music’s ability to illuminate and inspire.

Till Midnight‘s ten typically impassioned new Ragan compositions embody the artist’s trademark mix of eloquent lyrical insight and catchy, forceful songcraft. The album’s formidable blend of head and heart is reflected on such new tunes as “Something May Catch Fire,” “Vagabond,” “Non Typical,” “Bedroll Lullaby” and “Wake With You,” on which Ragan applies his distinctively raspy voice and sharp melodic sensibility to vividly expressive tunes that reflect both his early grounding in traditional American music and his deep affinity for rock n’ roll.

“There’s a lot of love songs on this one,” notes Ragan, whose work has always shown a knack for addressing individual concerns as well as societal ones. “I love to write love songs because it’s the most powerful emotion. It’s what grounds us to this Earth and makes us want to fight to make the world a better place.

“I always just try to write from the heart and make the music as genuine as I possibly can,” he continues. “By doing that, I’m usually writing about whatever’s going on in my life. And when you’re living your life by wearing your heart on your sleeve, there’s not a lot to hide behind.”

In a musical life that spans close to three decades, Chuck Ragan has consistently worn his heart on his sleeve, and carved out a musical niche in the process. First with post-hardcore trailblazers Hot Water Music and subsequently on his own, he’s built a large and singularly powerful body of work whose honesty, immediacy and warmth have won the loyalty of a fiercely devoted international fan base that’s supported him through his various musical incarnations.

Till Midnight benefits from sensitive production by multi-instrumentalist and Blind Melon/AWOL Nation member Christopher Thorn, and backup by Ragan’s longstanding combo the Camaraderie—guitarist/pedal steel player Todd Beene, fiddler Jon Gaunt and bassist Joe Ginsberg, plus new drummer David Hidalgo Jr., of Social Distortion and formerly of Suicidal Tendencies, and son of Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo—along with Rami Jaffee of Wallflowers/Foo Fighters fame, Ben Nichols of Lucero, Dave Hause, Jenny O., Chad Price and Jon Snodgrass of Drag the River.

To give Till Midnight an appropriately organic, lived-in feel, Ragan gathered the musicians at his home in Northern California for a week of rehearsal, fishing and preproduction, before road-testing the new material in Europe.

“It was really the first time we all learned and rehearsed the songs as a group and laid everything down together,” Ragan explains. “It made a huge difference for everybody to have time to sit and breathe with these songs and let everything develop naturally. There was a feeling that I set out to capture and the guys there were able to help us capture it.”

Although its birth cycle may have been different, the honesty and urgency that distinguish Till Midnight have been constants in the musical journey that began in Ragan’s early years. After playing in numerous bands in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Ragan teamed with Chris Wollard, Jason Black and George Rebelo, with whom he relocated from Sarasota, FL to Gainesville and formed Hot Water Music. That band quickly emerged as one of the American punk scene’s most distinctive and inventive units, winning a reputation as a riveting live act while releasing such well-received studio albums as Fuel for the Hate Game, Forever and Counting, No Division, A Flight and A Crash, Caution and The New What Next, as well as the live discs Live at the Hardback and Live in Chicago and the compilations Finding the Rhythms, Never Ender and Till the Wheels Fall Off.

Feeling the urge to stretch out creatively, Ragan ventured into a more acoustic approach with the side project Rumbleseat, which released several singles and the album Rumbleseat Is Dead. After Hot Water Music disbanded in 2005, Ragan enthusiastically embraced his new status as solo troubadour, exploring an expanded palette of acoustic and electric textures on the acclaimed albums Feast or Famine, Gold Country and Covering Ground, as well as the stripped-down live set Los Feliz and a series of limited-edition subscription singles released in 2006 and 2007, and later compiled on CD as The Blueprint Sessions.

In 2008, Ragan launched the long-running Revival Tour, a series of collaborative acoustic adventures featuring a diverse assortment of punk, bluegrass and alt-country performers. In addition to Ragan, the Revival Tour, which has visited Britain, Europe, Australia and Scandinavia as well as North America, has featured a broad array of talents, including Anderson Family Bluegrass, Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath, Craig Finn of the Hold Steady, Cory Branan, Ben Kweller, Laura Jane Grace, Jay Malinowski of Bedouin Soundclash, Tim Barry, Austin Lucas, Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids, Jesse Malin, Chris Carrabba, Chris McCaughan, Lucero’s Ben Nichols, Dave Hause, Flogging Molly’s Matt Hensley and Nathan Maxwell, Joey Cape, Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem, Audra Mae, Emily Barker, Dan Andriano of the Alkaline Trio, along with Jenny O, Kevin Seconds, Frank Turner, Rocky Votolato, Jon Snodgrass, Chad Price and Jenny Owen Youngs.

In 2012—the same year that Ragan reunited with Hot Water Music to record their album Exister—the veteran road warrior released his first book, The Road Most Traveled, a collection of insights and anecdotes on the touring life that serves as both a personal memoir and a helpful how-to handbook. He is currently working on a second volume.

As his book makes clear, and as Till Midnight confirms, Ragan takes his musical mission seriously, drawing inspiration and emotional sustenance from the songwriters and music he surrounds himself with, his family and friends along with the close and loyal relationship with his audience.

“The way I see it,” Ragan observes, “we’re faced with tons of inspiration every day. Every step of this life has a way of teaching you something, showing you something, opening your ears and your heart to something. I have all these friends out there, and this community that supports me, who believe in what I’m doing and who believe in the power of music and the power of community.

“It’s a blessing and a privilege to stand on stage and play music for people,” he continues. “I meet so many folks out there, and they’re so hospitable and so kind and say such nice things to me about the songs. The support and the energy that I get from them is what makes it possible for me to keep doing this. And when I’m there and in that moment, it’s important to me to give it back to them as strongly as they’re giving it to me.”

Esme Patterson

Denver, CO's Esme Patterson has been making waves all around the country since going solo in 2012 (she was previously in Denver­based Paper Bird). Her voice is smooth and sweet when she wants it to be, and then fully rock and roll when you least expect it. Each of Patterson’s songs listens like an intensely personal diary entry, and you’ll likely find yourself relating to all of them with wide­eyed wonder.

Denver, CO's Esme Patterson has been making waves all around the country since going solo in 2012 (she was previously in Denver­based Paper Bird). Her voice is smooth and sweet when she wants it to be, and then fully rock and roll when you least expect it. Each of Patterson’s songs listens like an intensely personal diary entry, and you’ll likely find yourself relating to all of them with wide­eyed wonder.

(Early Show) Judy Kasper and Mike Rodgers CD Release Party

JUDY KASPER
Born in Pittsburgh, Judy Kasper has been singing music since she was a kid. "I used to steal my brothers guitar and play it! I wanted to learn so bad that I taught myself."

Influenced by some of country music's biggest female legends like Loretta Lynn, her most recent album makes you feel like you are right at home in country music's beginnings. "When I finally came to Nashville and saw all the historic sites and museums where country music began I couldn't help but be moved. Then visiting Loretta's Lynn's Ranch, my heart was so inspired from being surrounded by the treasure's of someone that I admire so much."

Judy does most of writing at her cottage in Meadville, PA. "Being by the lake and in the country just makes me feel right at home. I can relax and sometimes the music just comes to me as soon as I put the guitar in my hands."

At this show Judy will be releasing the follow up to her debut album. “I love the chance to perform at Club Cafe. I can’t wait to share this new music with all of you!”

MIKE RODGERS
The Nashville recording artist and PA native is set to release his third album at the show. “You go through phases with writing - sometimes the music just comes to you and sometimes you have to dig deep. I’m just happy to share some of these songs that I’ve had for a while.”

Written, recorded, and produced in his home studio, Mike released his first new single in three years in January. The song, “She Is the Best” can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and other music sites. Mike has performed at many venues in Nashville including the Bluebird Cafe, Tequila Cowboy, and the Tin Roof..to name a few. He also did a 25 - city National tour in 2016.

“Club Cafe is always a fun place to play. I can’t wait to see family and friends and share this new music with them.”

JUDY KASPER
Born in Pittsburgh, Judy Kasper has been singing music since she was a kid. "I used to steal my brothers guitar and play it! I wanted to learn so bad that I taught myself."

Influenced by some of country music's biggest female legends like Loretta Lynn, her most recent album makes you feel like you are right at home in country music's beginnings. "When I finally came to Nashville and saw all the historic sites and museums where country music began I couldn't help but be moved. Then visiting Loretta's Lynn's Ranch, my heart was so inspired from being surrounded by the treasure's of someone that I admire so much."

Judy does most of writing at her cottage in Meadville, PA. "Being by the lake and in the country just makes me feel right at home. I can relax and sometimes the music just comes to me as soon as I put the guitar in my hands."

At this show Judy will be releasing the follow up to her debut album. “I love the chance to perform at Club Cafe. I can’t wait to share this new music with all of you!”

MIKE RODGERS
The Nashville recording artist and PA native is set to release his third album at the show. “You go through phases with writing - sometimes the music just comes to you and sometimes you have to dig deep. I’m just happy to share some of these songs that I’ve had for a while.”

Written, recorded, and produced in his home studio, Mike released his first new single in three years in January. The song, “She Is the Best” can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and other music sites. Mike has performed at many venues in Nashville including the Bluebird Cafe, Tequila Cowboy, and the Tin Roof..to name a few. He also did a 25 - city National tour in 2016.

“Club Cafe is always a fun place to play. I can’t wait to see family and friends and share this new music with them.”

An Evening With Coco Montoya

“Stratocaster-fueled, fierce slash-and-burn guitar work…dramatic, smoldering Southern soul-rooted intensity. Montoya’s voice is as expressive as his guitar.” –Washington Post

“Montoya is a show-stopper…Heartfelt singing and merciless guitar with a wicked icy burn…he swings like a jazz man and stings like the Iceman, Albert Collins. He is one of the truly gifted blues artists of his generation.” –Living Blues

The old Willie Dixon adage, “blues is truth,” perfectly describes the searing, contemporary blues-rock of
world-renowned guitarist and vocalist COCO MONTOYA. Taught by the “Master of the Telecaster,” Albert Collins, but with a hard-edged sound and style all his own, Montoya mixes his forceful, melodic guitar playing and passionate vocals with memorable songs, delivering the blues’ hardest truths. He earned his status as a master guitarist and soul-powered vocalist through years of paying his dues as a sideman with Collins (first as a drummer) and then with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, before launching his solo career in 1993. Five years of constant touring with Collins and ten years with Mayall turned him into a monster player and dynamic performer. Montoya has released eight solo albums—including three for Alligator between 2000 and 2007—and has played at clubs, concert halls and major festivals all over the world. Guitar Player says Montoya plays “stunning, powerhouse blues with a searing tone, emotional soloing, and energetic, unforced vocals.”

“Stratocaster-fueled, fierce slash-and-burn guitar work…dramatic, smoldering Southern soul-rooted intensity. Montoya’s voice is as expressive as his guitar.” –Washington Post

“Montoya is a show-stopper…Heartfelt singing and merciless guitar with a wicked icy burn…he swings like a jazz man and stings like the Iceman, Albert Collins. He is one of the truly gifted blues artists of his generation.” –Living Blues

The old Willie Dixon adage, “blues is truth,” perfectly describes the searing, contemporary blues-rock of
world-renowned guitarist and vocalist COCO MONTOYA. Taught by the “Master of the Telecaster,” Albert Collins, but with a hard-edged sound and style all his own, Montoya mixes his forceful, melodic guitar playing and passionate vocals with memorable songs, delivering the blues’ hardest truths. He earned his status as a master guitarist and soul-powered vocalist through years of paying his dues as a sideman with Collins (first as a drummer) and then with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, before launching his solo career in 1993. Five years of constant touring with Collins and ten years with Mayall turned him into a monster player and dynamic performer. Montoya has released eight solo albums—including three for Alligator between 2000 and 2007—and has played at clubs, concert halls and major festivals all over the world. Guitar Player says Montoya plays “stunning, powerhouse blues with a searing tone, emotional soloing, and energetic, unforced vocals.”

(Early Show) WDVE and Opus One Comedy Presents Joe Bartnick with Special Guests Andy Picarro, Sean Collier & Hosted by Collin Chamberlin

You’ve heard him on the WDVE and The X and his podcast Puck Off.
You’ve see him on perform on Gotham Live and onstage at The Benedum, The Bynum, The Rex and The Improv.
Now go see him at the Club Café.
One Night Only December 1st
Pittsburgh’s Own Joe Bartnick.

Joe Bartnick was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA where he learned to eat, drink and be funny. He moved to San Francisco and began his career as a standup comic working his way up from performing in coffee shops and laundry mats to play prestigious venues around the world such as The Chicago Theater and The Ryman Auditorium. In Pittsburgh he has played The Benedum, Heinz Hall and The Rex.
Joe moved to Los Angeles and jumped into writing and acting. Joe has written on many television projects including the ESPYS, The NFL on FOX, ‘Snoop After Dark’ and Eddie Griffin’s ‘Going for Broke’. As an actor Joe starred in ‘Dirty Jokes’ the Movie. Joe created and starred (fully clothed) in the Playboy TV series ‘King of Clubs’.
Joe performed a closing set on AXS-TV’s Live at Gotham. Over the years Joe has performed on theater tours Bill Burr, Lisa Lampanelli, Dave Attell, Mitch Hedberg and Lewis Black.
One of Joe’s biggest thrills was roasting Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee on ‘Battleground Earth’. Joe wrote the best- selling book “You Might Be a Douchebag” and collaborated with Don Jamieson on “You Might Be A Metal Head”.
Joe has parlayed his love of hockey into the highly successful podcast ‘Puck Off’ and writes a column for Pro Hockey News.
Joe is a regular guest on the WDVE Morning Show. He can also be heard on The Mark Madden Show and Trib Live Radio.

You’ve heard him on the WDVE and The X and his podcast Puck Off.
You’ve see him on perform on Gotham Live and onstage at The Benedum, The Bynum, The Rex and The Improv.
Now go see him at the Club Café.
One Night Only December 1st
Pittsburgh’s Own Joe Bartnick.

Joe Bartnick was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA where he learned to eat, drink and be funny. He moved to San Francisco and began his career as a standup comic working his way up from performing in coffee shops and laundry mats to play prestigious venues around the world such as The Chicago Theater and The Ryman Auditorium. In Pittsburgh he has played The Benedum, Heinz Hall and The Rex.
Joe moved to Los Angeles and jumped into writing and acting. Joe has written on many television projects including the ESPYS, The NFL on FOX, ‘Snoop After Dark’ and Eddie Griffin’s ‘Going for Broke’. As an actor Joe starred in ‘Dirty Jokes’ the Movie. Joe created and starred (fully clothed) in the Playboy TV series ‘King of Clubs’.
Joe performed a closing set on AXS-TV’s Live at Gotham. Over the years Joe has performed on theater tours Bill Burr, Lisa Lampanelli, Dave Attell, Mitch Hedberg and Lewis Black.
One of Joe’s biggest thrills was roasting Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee on ‘Battleground Earth’. Joe wrote the best- selling book “You Might Be a Douchebag” and collaborated with Don Jamieson on “You Might Be A Metal Head”.
Joe has parlayed his love of hockey into the highly successful podcast ‘Puck Off’ and writes a column for Pro Hockey News.
Joe is a regular guest on the WDVE Morning Show. He can also be heard on The Mark Madden Show and Trib Live Radio.

(Late Show) WDVE and Opus One Comedy Presents Joe Bartnick with Special Guests Andy Picarro, Sean Collier & Hosted by Collin Chamberlin

You’ve heard him on the WDVE and The X and his podcast Puck Off.
You’ve see him on perform on Gotham Live and onstage at The Benedum, The Bynum, The Rex and The Improv.
Now go see him at the Club Café.
One Night Only December 1st
Pittsburgh’s Own Joe Bartnick.

Joe Bartnick was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA where he learned to eat, drink and be funny. He moved to San Francisco and began his career as a standup comic working his way up from performing in coffee shops and laundry mats to play prestigious venues around the world such as The Chicago Theater and The Ryman Auditorium. In Pittsburgh he has played The Benedum, Heinz Hall and The Rex.
Joe moved to Los Angeles and jumped into writing and acting. Joe has written on many television projects including the ESPYS, The NFL on FOX, ‘Snoop After Dark’ and Eddie Griffin’s ‘Going for Broke’. As an actor Joe starred in ‘Dirty Jokes’ the Movie. Joe created and starred (fully clothed) in the Playboy TV series ‘King of Clubs’.
Joe performed a closing set on AXS-TV’s Live at Gotham. Over the years Joe has performed on theater tours Bill Burr, Lisa Lampanelli, Dave Attell, Mitch Hedberg and Lewis Black.
One of Joe’s biggest thrills was roasting Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee on ‘Battleground Earth’. Joe wrote the best- selling book “You Might Be a Douchebag” and collaborated with Don Jamieson on “You Might Be A Metal Head”.
Joe has parlayed his love of hockey into the highly successful podcast ‘Puck Off’ and writes a column for Pro Hockey News.
Joe is a regular guest on the WDVE Morning Show. He can also be heard on The Mark Madden Show and Trib Live Radio.

You’ve heard him on the WDVE and The X and his podcast Puck Off.
You’ve see him on perform on Gotham Live and onstage at The Benedum, The Bynum, The Rex and The Improv.
Now go see him at the Club Café.
One Night Only December 1st
Pittsburgh’s Own Joe Bartnick.

Joe Bartnick was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA where he learned to eat, drink and be funny. He moved to San Francisco and began his career as a standup comic working his way up from performing in coffee shops and laundry mats to play prestigious venues around the world such as The Chicago Theater and The Ryman Auditorium. In Pittsburgh he has played The Benedum, Heinz Hall and The Rex.
Joe moved to Los Angeles and jumped into writing and acting. Joe has written on many television projects including the ESPYS, The NFL on FOX, ‘Snoop After Dark’ and Eddie Griffin’s ‘Going for Broke’. As an actor Joe starred in ‘Dirty Jokes’ the Movie. Joe created and starred (fully clothed) in the Playboy TV series ‘King of Clubs’.
Joe performed a closing set on AXS-TV’s Live at Gotham. Over the years Joe has performed on theater tours Bill Burr, Lisa Lampanelli, Dave Attell, Mitch Hedberg and Lewis Black.
One of Joe’s biggest thrills was roasting Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee on ‘Battleground Earth’. Joe wrote the best- selling book “You Might Be a Douchebag” and collaborated with Don Jamieson on “You Might Be A Metal Head”.
Joe has parlayed his love of hockey into the highly successful podcast ‘Puck Off’ and writes a column for Pro Hockey News.
Joe is a regular guest on the WDVE Morning Show. He can also be heard on The Mark Madden Show and Trib Live Radio.

Gabriel Kahane

The day after the 2016 presidential election, singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane boarded a train at Penn Station and traveled 8,980 miles around the continental U.S. with no phone or internet access, talking to dozens of strangers in an attempt to better understand his country and fellow citizens. The resulting album, Book of Travelers, marks Gabriel’s debut for Nonesuch Records. By turns sprawling and intimate, this collection of songs is at once a prayer for empathy and reconciliation, as well as an unflinching examination of the complex and often troubled history of the United States.

Over the last decade, Kahane has quietly established himself as a songwriter all his own, grafting a deep interest in storytelling to a keen sense of harmony and rhythm. His major label debut, The Ambassador, a study of Los Angeles seen through the lens of ten street addresses, was hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the year’s very best albums”.

Gabriel has collaborated with a diverse array of artists, including Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, Blake Mills, and Chris Thile, the front man of Punch Brothers, for whom Kahane opened forty concerts in the US in 2015 and 2016. As a composer, he has been commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, A Far Cry, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Oregon Symphony, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom he toured in the spring of 2013, performing Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States, an hour-long cycle on texts from the WPA American Guide Series. Other orchestral highlights have included solo appearances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and The Knights, with whom Gabriel recorded his orchestral song cycle Crane Palimpsest, following a performance at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall.

An avid theater Artist, Kahane has appeared twice at the BAM Next Wave Festival, in 2014 with the critically-lauded staged version of The Ambassador, directed by Tony-winner John Tiffany; and returning in 2017 with 8980: Book of Travelers, directed by Daniel Fish. He is also the composer-lyricist of the musical February House, which premiered in 2012 at the Public Theater.

A graduate of Brown University and two-time MacDowell Colony fellow, Gabriel lives in Brooklyn, NY.

The day after the 2016 presidential election, singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane boarded a train at Penn Station and traveled 8,980 miles around the continental U.S. with no phone or internet access, talking to dozens of strangers in an attempt to better understand his country and fellow citizens. The resulting album, Book of Travelers, marks Gabriel’s debut for Nonesuch Records. By turns sprawling and intimate, this collection of songs is at once a prayer for empathy and reconciliation, as well as an unflinching examination of the complex and often troubled history of the United States.

Over the last decade, Kahane has quietly established himself as a songwriter all his own, grafting a deep interest in storytelling to a keen sense of harmony and rhythm. His major label debut, The Ambassador, a study of Los Angeles seen through the lens of ten street addresses, was hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the year’s very best albums”.

Gabriel has collaborated with a diverse array of artists, including Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, Blake Mills, and Chris Thile, the front man of Punch Brothers, for whom Kahane opened forty concerts in the US in 2015 and 2016. As a composer, he has been commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, A Far Cry, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Oregon Symphony, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom he toured in the spring of 2013, performing Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States, an hour-long cycle on texts from the WPA American Guide Series. Other orchestral highlights have included solo appearances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and The Knights, with whom Gabriel recorded his orchestral song cycle Crane Palimpsest, following a performance at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall.

An avid theater Artist, Kahane has appeared twice at the BAM Next Wave Festival, in 2014 with the critically-lauded staged version of The Ambassador, directed by Tony-winner John Tiffany; and returning in 2017 with 8980: Book of Travelers, directed by Daniel Fish. He is also the composer-lyricist of the musical February House, which premiered in 2012 at the Public Theater.

A graduate of Brown University and two-time MacDowell Colony fellow, Gabriel lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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