club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
Motherfolk with Special Guests Caleb Kopta and Jesse Denaro

In a contemporary independent music scene inundated with up and coming bands, it takes a unique outfit to break through that noise. A truly exceptional group must exhibit authenticity, raw talent, and electrifying chemistry. This, of course, means there are very few of them. Motherfolk, formed in 2013, is certainly one of those most unique and dynamic acts.

Motherfolk began as a collaborative effort between Nathan Dickerson and Bobby Paver, two college friends with a penchant for writing songs with one another. In the first year of the project, the two songwriters made frequent trips to Nashville to record their first endeavor. In 2014, their eponymous debut album showcased the duo’s musical prowess through a genre-bending collection of elegantly crafted songs.

Since then, Joel Call, Ethan Wescott, Karlie Dickerson, and Clayton Allender have joined Motherfolk’s ranks, and the band has made a name for themselves touring all across the nation. The outfit’s high-energy live performances have won over audiences from coast to coast, and their infectious musical persona has become one of the most exciting rising success stories in the indie scene.

In 2016, Motherfolk released their highly anticipated sophomore effort, Fold. Clocking in with eleven compelling tracks, the album further defines the band as an act that effortlessly melds a slew of influences together to manifest their sound into a splendidly cohesive, original pursuit. From surreal, introspective jaunts to foot-stomping, anthemic rock and roll, Fold stood as tall as one of the most exciting records of 2016 and 2017.
“Motherfolk finds its way through a blend of genres by holding tight to their raw talents.” – Billboard

"[M]emorable, hauntingly gorgeous…the band has never been stronger." - Ghettoblaster

Building on the strength of their radio, press, and touring campaign in 2017, Motherfolk will continue to play dates around the US before hitting the studio to work on what’s to come in 2018!

In a contemporary independent music scene inundated with up and coming bands, it takes a unique outfit to break through that noise. A truly exceptional group must exhibit authenticity, raw talent, and electrifying chemistry. This, of course, means there are very few of them. Motherfolk, formed in 2013, is certainly one of those most unique and dynamic acts.

Motherfolk began as a collaborative effort between Nathan Dickerson and Bobby Paver, two college friends with a penchant for writing songs with one another. In the first year of the project, the two songwriters made frequent trips to Nashville to record their first endeavor. In 2014, their eponymous debut album showcased the duo’s musical prowess through a genre-bending collection of elegantly crafted songs.

Since then, Joel Call, Ethan Wescott, Karlie Dickerson, and Clayton Allender have joined Motherfolk’s ranks, and the band has made a name for themselves touring all across the nation. The outfit’s high-energy live performances have won over audiences from coast to coast, and their infectious musical persona has become one of the most exciting rising success stories in the indie scene.

In 2016, Motherfolk released their highly anticipated sophomore effort, Fold. Clocking in with eleven compelling tracks, the album further defines the band as an act that effortlessly melds a slew of influences together to manifest their sound into a splendidly cohesive, original pursuit. From surreal, introspective jaunts to foot-stomping, anthemic rock and roll, Fold stood as tall as one of the most exciting records of 2016 and 2017.
“Motherfolk finds its way through a blend of genres by holding tight to their raw talents.” – Billboard

"[M]emorable, hauntingly gorgeous…the band has never been stronger." - Ghettoblaster

Building on the strength of their radio, press, and touring campaign in 2017, Motherfolk will continue to play dates around the US before hitting the studio to work on what’s to come in 2018!

SOLD OUT - Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore (Backed by The Guilty Ones) with Special Guest Dead Rock West

On Stage Together!

Roots music legends, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, have been friends for 30 years, but only recently realized they had never played music with each other before. So in 2017, Grammy winner Alvin and Grammy nominee Gilmore, decided to hit the highway to swap songs, tell stories, and share their life experiences.

Though Texas born Gilmore was twice named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone, and California native Alvin first came to fame in the hard rocking rhythm and blues band The Blasters, they discovered that their musical roots in old blues and folk music are exactly the same. In these spontaneous shows, audiences enjoyed classic original compositions from the two, and also songs from a wide spectrum of songwriters and styles - from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Young Bloods.

Mutually energized and inspired by these performances, Dave and Jimmie agreed to hit the road again in 2018…this time with a full band and some new stories to share.

On Stage Together!

Roots music legends, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, have been friends for 30 years, but only recently realized they had never played music with each other before. So in 2017, Grammy winner Alvin and Grammy nominee Gilmore, decided to hit the highway to swap songs, tell stories, and share their life experiences.

Though Texas born Gilmore was twice named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone, and California native Alvin first came to fame in the hard rocking rhythm and blues band The Blasters, they discovered that their musical roots in old blues and folk music are exactly the same. In these spontaneous shows, audiences enjoyed classic original compositions from the two, and also songs from a wide spectrum of songwriters and styles - from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Young Bloods.

Mutually energized and inspired by these performances, Dave and Jimmie agreed to hit the road again in 2018…this time with a full band and some new stories to share.

Tracyanne & Danny (Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura and Danny Coughlan from Crybaby) with Special Guest Lomelda

Tracyanne & Danny is a new collaborative project between singer-songwriters Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura) and Danny Coughlan (Crybaby).

Tracyanne hails from Glasgow, Scotland. London-born Danny is based in Bristol, England.

Their paths first crossed in 2013 when introduced by mutual music industry pals. Tracyanne dug Danny’s Crybaby album (released on Helium Records) and invited him to open some Camera Obscura shows in the UK.

Mutual artistic respect led to the swapping of song ideas, but tentative plans to work together were set aside while Camera Obscura wrote, recorded, released, and promoted their fifth album Desire Lines.

Following the death of Camera Obscura’s Carey Lander, all band activity stopped. Time passed.

Tracyanne and Danny revisited the idea of collaborating.

A pool of songs were honed and crafted. On the suggestion of their manager (and Teenage Fanclub drummer) Francis Macdonald, they recorded at Clashnarrow, a studio in Helmsdale in the highlands of Scotland owned by the esteemed Edwyn Collins.

Sessions took place throughout 2016 and 2017. Edwyn co-produced along with engineer and multi-instrumentalist Sean Read (Dexys).

They had the use of Edwyn’s vintage gear (including the guitar pedal which features on his global hit “A Girl Like You”) as they invoked a range of shared influences: The Roches, Dion, Lou Reed, The Flamingos, Serge Gainsbourg, Santo & Johnny, and The Style Council.

Edywn pops up with a guest vocal on first single “Alabama,” an intentionally “joyous” tribute to Tracyanne’s late friend and band mate Carey Lander.

Tracyanne & Danny is not a diverting curio or a wee stop on the road to someplace else. It is a shared artistic aesthetic, forged over time. They have figured out how to fit round each other and work together, creating a rewarding musical synergy. There will be more songs.

Meanwhile, they are looking forward to releasing and promoting the first fruits of their labors with live shows throughout UK, Europe, North America, and beyond.

Tracyanne & Danny is a new collaborative project between singer-songwriters Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura) and Danny Coughlan (Crybaby).

Tracyanne hails from Glasgow, Scotland. London-born Danny is based in Bristol, England.

Their paths first crossed in 2013 when introduced by mutual music industry pals. Tracyanne dug Danny’s Crybaby album (released on Helium Records) and invited him to open some Camera Obscura shows in the UK.

Mutual artistic respect led to the swapping of song ideas, but tentative plans to work together were set aside while Camera Obscura wrote, recorded, released, and promoted their fifth album Desire Lines.

Following the death of Camera Obscura’s Carey Lander, all band activity stopped. Time passed.

Tracyanne and Danny revisited the idea of collaborating.

A pool of songs were honed and crafted. On the suggestion of their manager (and Teenage Fanclub drummer) Francis Macdonald, they recorded at Clashnarrow, a studio in Helmsdale in the highlands of Scotland owned by the esteemed Edwyn Collins.

Sessions took place throughout 2016 and 2017. Edwyn co-produced along with engineer and multi-instrumentalist Sean Read (Dexys).

They had the use of Edwyn’s vintage gear (including the guitar pedal which features on his global hit “A Girl Like You”) as they invoked a range of shared influences: The Roches, Dion, Lou Reed, The Flamingos, Serge Gainsbourg, Santo & Johnny, and The Style Council.

Edywn pops up with a guest vocal on first single “Alabama,” an intentionally “joyous” tribute to Tracyanne’s late friend and band mate Carey Lander.

Tracyanne & Danny is not a diverting curio or a wee stop on the road to someplace else. It is a shared artistic aesthetic, forged over time. They have figured out how to fit round each other and work together, creating a rewarding musical synergy. There will be more songs.

Meanwhile, they are looking forward to releasing and promoting the first fruits of their labors with live shows throughout UK, Europe, North America, and beyond.

Davina & The Vagabonds with Special Guest Robin & Bob

DAVINA SOWERS AND THE VAGABONDS have created a stir on the national music scene with their high-energy live shows, level A musicianship, sharp-dressed professionalism, and Sowers’ commanding stage presence. With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band is converting audiences one show at a time, from Vancouver to Miami and across Europe. In 2011 Davina released her first full length, all original album Black Cloud . It was named one of the 10 best releases of the year by the Minneapolis Star & Tribune and awarded 4 ½ stars from Downbeat Magazine. Their next release in 2014, Sunshine, hit number 13 in the Billboard Blues Chart and led them to landing a performance on the hit BBC2 show, Later with Jools Holland.

DATV’s shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages. Davina’s voice and stage presence defy category in a different way. Davina has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, but comparisons don’t suffice: Sowers is a true original.

Bringing you 100 years of American music and Davina’s originals, which lend themselves to the American Songbook, the band brings edgy nostalgia to older generations and fresh new music to younger ears. This rollicking quintet is held together by Sowers’ keyboard playing, with acoustic bass, drums, and a spicy trumpet and trombone horn section. The group’s focused, clean sound and emphasis on acoustic instruments is novel to both blues and jazz worlds, and sets the show closer to New Orleans than to Chicago. This has set the Vagabonds apart at festivals in Thunder Bay, Ontario; Sighisoara, Romania; Sierre, Switzerland; Kemi, Finland; the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival ( in 2014 was asked back to play their main stage in 2014, Vache de Blues in France, and North Sea Jazz Festival. Catch this one-of-a-kind live show while they are in town!

DAVINA SOWERS AND THE VAGABONDS have created a stir on the national music scene with their high-energy live shows, level A musicianship, sharp-dressed professionalism, and Sowers’ commanding stage presence. With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band is converting audiences one show at a time, from Vancouver to Miami and across Europe. In 2011 Davina released her first full length, all original album Black Cloud . It was named one of the 10 best releases of the year by the Minneapolis Star & Tribune and awarded 4 ½ stars from Downbeat Magazine. Their next release in 2014, Sunshine, hit number 13 in the Billboard Blues Chart and led them to landing a performance on the hit BBC2 show, Later with Jools Holland.

DATV’s shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages. Davina’s voice and stage presence defy category in a different way. Davina has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, but comparisons don’t suffice: Sowers is a true original.

Bringing you 100 years of American music and Davina’s originals, which lend themselves to the American Songbook, the band brings edgy nostalgia to older generations and fresh new music to younger ears. This rollicking quintet is held together by Sowers’ keyboard playing, with acoustic bass, drums, and a spicy trumpet and trombone horn section. The group’s focused, clean sound and emphasis on acoustic instruments is novel to both blues and jazz worlds, and sets the show closer to New Orleans than to Chicago. This has set the Vagabonds apart at festivals in Thunder Bay, Ontario; Sighisoara, Romania; Sierre, Switzerland; Kemi, Finland; the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival ( in 2014 was asked back to play their main stage in 2014, Vache de Blues in France, and North Sea Jazz Festival. Catch this one-of-a-kind live show while they are in town!

Seth Tiven (Dumptruck) with Special Guest Hank the Businessman


Veteran singer/songwriter guitarist Seth Tiven is spotlighting his talents with a new self-produced CD, fittingly titled Solitude. Purely by coincidence, Rykodisc recently released a collection of some of Dumptruck’s best music titled Haul of Fame, covering several decades of Tiven’s music career.

Co-founder of the ‘80s college radio darlings, Dumptruck, Tiven got his start playing music in the New Haven and Boston indie-rock scene. His first band, Saucers, included drummer Mark Mulcahy, who went on to be singer of the now-defunct Miracle Legion, and bass player, Craig Bell, who had previously been in the Cleveland proto-punk band Rocket From the Tombs, which spawned the legendary punk group the Dead Boys and art-punk pioneers Pere Ubu.

Tiven was born and raised in Connecticut. He received his bachelor’s of arts in music in 1980 from Wesleyan University in Middletown. In 1981 he moved to Boston, and in 1983 formed Dumptruck with Kirk Swan. Mulcahy was the band’s first drummer. Dumptruck performed and recorded in Boston for eight years, often featured on college radio stations and garnering favorable reviews. In 1984 the band released D is for Dumptruck. Positively Dumptruck followed in 1986. After a year of extensive touring in support of Positively Dumptruck, Swan left the band and moved to L.A. to pursue a solo career. The following year saw the release of the band’s bestselling effort, For the Country. While touring in support of the record, a bitter legal dispute between the band and its former record label began to brew. The band would later defeat the suit, but the litigation kept Dumptruck from signing a major label deal. Dumptruck was left idling until the band eventually fell apart in 1991.

That year, Tiven moved to Austin. “I got sick of winter,” he says. In Austin, Tiven and his ex-wife, violinist Amy Farris, played as a husband-wife duo. He also played in a variety of bands, including Blind Willie’s Johnson with singer/guitarist Mick Buck and Jean Caffeine’s All-Night Truckstop. In 1995, Tiven reconstituted Dumptruck from his Austin headquarters with a local lineup. The resurrected Dumptruck released three more albums. The first, Days of Fear, was originally recorded in 1991 in Boston, and was finally released in 1995 by Unclean Records. Meanwhile, Tiven subsidized his music career by working in the high-tech industry.

In the making for three years, Solitude features old songs Dumptruck had tried, “but they didn’t fit the Dumptruck mold exactly,” Tiven says. Half way through recording the self-released Solitude, Tiven decided the project felt more like a solo recording than a band record. All basic tracks were done in the studio, but all overdubs were recorded by Tiven in different locations. The resulting songs have a more carefree quality without losing the edginess that defined Dumptruck. ‘Believe,’ ‘Salad Days’ and ‘Some Brighter Days’ were approached differently with fresh ideas. Swan sang backing vocals on those songs and on a lot of the new material. Old and new songs feature guest players on certain tracks. Ian McLagan of Faces/Small Faces fame plays piano and organ on three songs. Jimmy Ryan of Boston’s Blood Oranges added mandolin tracks to several songs. Tiven brought in Austin clarinetist Ben Saffer to bring a different flavor to several tracks. “I approached Solitude with less of a preconceived notion about what things should sound like,” Tiven says.

In 2004 a SXSW showcase brought Swan and Tiven together again. That led to another reunion gig with Swan in Lawrence, Kansas, the following year. When playing with Swan, Tiven says, he was reminded that the two create the essence of Dumptruck. The band lives on when Swan and Tiven collaborate. The two recorded basic tracks for a new CD in March 2007, and hope to finish it by the end of the year. “That lineup and dynamics is more of what Dumptruck is,” Tiven says.


Veteran singer/songwriter guitarist Seth Tiven is spotlighting his talents with a new self-produced CD, fittingly titled Solitude. Purely by coincidence, Rykodisc recently released a collection of some of Dumptruck’s best music titled Haul of Fame, covering several decades of Tiven’s music career.

Co-founder of the ‘80s college radio darlings, Dumptruck, Tiven got his start playing music in the New Haven and Boston indie-rock scene. His first band, Saucers, included drummer Mark Mulcahy, who went on to be singer of the now-defunct Miracle Legion, and bass player, Craig Bell, who had previously been in the Cleveland proto-punk band Rocket From the Tombs, which spawned the legendary punk group the Dead Boys and art-punk pioneers Pere Ubu.

Tiven was born and raised in Connecticut. He received his bachelor’s of arts in music in 1980 from Wesleyan University in Middletown. In 1981 he moved to Boston, and in 1983 formed Dumptruck with Kirk Swan. Mulcahy was the band’s first drummer. Dumptruck performed and recorded in Boston for eight years, often featured on college radio stations and garnering favorable reviews. In 1984 the band released D is for Dumptruck. Positively Dumptruck followed in 1986. After a year of extensive touring in support of Positively Dumptruck, Swan left the band and moved to L.A. to pursue a solo career. The following year saw the release of the band’s bestselling effort, For the Country. While touring in support of the record, a bitter legal dispute between the band and its former record label began to brew. The band would later defeat the suit, but the litigation kept Dumptruck from signing a major label deal. Dumptruck was left idling until the band eventually fell apart in 1991.

That year, Tiven moved to Austin. “I got sick of winter,” he says. In Austin, Tiven and his ex-wife, violinist Amy Farris, played as a husband-wife duo. He also played in a variety of bands, including Blind Willie’s Johnson with singer/guitarist Mick Buck and Jean Caffeine’s All-Night Truckstop. In 1995, Tiven reconstituted Dumptruck from his Austin headquarters with a local lineup. The resurrected Dumptruck released three more albums. The first, Days of Fear, was originally recorded in 1991 in Boston, and was finally released in 1995 by Unclean Records. Meanwhile, Tiven subsidized his music career by working in the high-tech industry.

In the making for three years, Solitude features old songs Dumptruck had tried, “but they didn’t fit the Dumptruck mold exactly,” Tiven says. Half way through recording the self-released Solitude, Tiven decided the project felt more like a solo recording than a band record. All basic tracks were done in the studio, but all overdubs were recorded by Tiven in different locations. The resulting songs have a more carefree quality without losing the edginess that defined Dumptruck. ‘Believe,’ ‘Salad Days’ and ‘Some Brighter Days’ were approached differently with fresh ideas. Swan sang backing vocals on those songs and on a lot of the new material. Old and new songs feature guest players on certain tracks. Ian McLagan of Faces/Small Faces fame plays piano and organ on three songs. Jimmy Ryan of Boston’s Blood Oranges added mandolin tracks to several songs. Tiven brought in Austin clarinetist Ben Saffer to bring a different flavor to several tracks. “I approached Solitude with less of a preconceived notion about what things should sound like,” Tiven says.

In 2004 a SXSW showcase brought Swan and Tiven together again. That led to another reunion gig with Swan in Lawrence, Kansas, the following year. When playing with Swan, Tiven says, he was reminded that the two create the essence of Dumptruck. The band lives on when Swan and Tiven collaborate. The two recorded basic tracks for a new CD in March 2007, and hope to finish it by the end of the year. “That lineup and dynamics is more of what Dumptruck is,” Tiven says.

Kuinka with Special Guests Ryan Hoffman and the Pioneers and The Living Street

Described by NPR Music as joyous folk pop, Kuinka "laces modern folk and Americana with an electronic jolt, waltzing along the grooved edges of dream-pop, synth-pop, and Brooklyn’s mid-aughts guitar-rock revival" (Vanyaland). Their genre-defying music features several different lead singers, four-part harmony, and eclectic instrumentation including cello, banjo, synthesizers, ukulele and electronic percussion. For all of their sonic experimentation, the Seattle quartet's songs and live shows are linked by an infectious energy that remains present in everything they do. Their new EP Stay Up Late is available now on Spotify, iTunes, and at www.kuinkatheband.com.

"Kuinka crafts songs that are engaging and original with a proper amount of established canon and innovation. Stories are laced through the lyrics, there are celebrations as well as lamentations—there is synth and cello! It is such a wonderful thing to hear a sound you've adored for so long ameliorated like this, with nothing missing, only new possibilities added to the mix." -Paste Music & Daytrotter

"Seraphic vocals bookended by ukulele, cello, and heavy percussion will leave you feeling giddy and glad to be alive." -The Stranger

Described by NPR Music as joyous folk pop, Kuinka "laces modern folk and Americana with an electronic jolt, waltzing along the grooved edges of dream-pop, synth-pop, and Brooklyn’s mid-aughts guitar-rock revival" (Vanyaland). Their genre-defying music features several different lead singers, four-part harmony, and eclectic instrumentation including cello, banjo, synthesizers, ukulele and electronic percussion. For all of their sonic experimentation, the Seattle quartet's songs and live shows are linked by an infectious energy that remains present in everything they do. Their new EP Stay Up Late is available now on Spotify, iTunes, and at www.kuinkatheband.com.

"Kuinka crafts songs that are engaging and original with a proper amount of established canon and innovation. Stories are laced through the lyrics, there are celebrations as well as lamentations—there is synth and cello! It is such a wonderful thing to hear a sound you've adored for so long ameliorated like this, with nothing missing, only new possibilities added to the mix." -Paste Music & Daytrotter

"Seraphic vocals bookended by ukulele, cello, and heavy percussion will leave you feeling giddy and glad to be alive." -The Stranger

(Late Show) The Rainbow Ends (CD Release Show) with Voodoo Circuit and B.B. Guns. Hosted by Alonna Breisch.

The Rainbow Ends is an instrumental Guitar Trio Based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Rainbow Ends is an instrumental Guitar Trio Based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

(Early Show) Nick Barilla / Marie Miller with Special Guest John Hollier

Nick Barilla
While social media numbers and blue verification check marks might define success for some; the pursuit of happiness and inspiring other’s to do what they love describe Nick Barilla’s blueprint for success in a constantly changing music industry. Since turning his passion for music into a career in 2016, his soulful-pop sounds and honest lyric writing have been positively influencing audiences all over the country. He has shared the stage with a list of artists that include: Aaron Carter, Howie Day, American Idol winners Kris Allen and Lee Dewyze, as well as Elliot Yamin, Kina Grannis and more! In addition, his original music has received commercial song placement on AT&T Sports Network in consecutive years for the Pittsburgh Pirates; as well as other radio stations and media outlets both locally and nationally. Never straying from his humble beginnings, his relatable stories and soulful sounds have continued to inspire people from all walks of life no matter what stage he is performing on!

Marie Miller
When Marie Miller writes a song, she does what all gifted writers do: She looks at her life and into her heart to make sure what she creates comes from real emotion and experience.
She also does something none of peers likely do: she searches through classic literature, whether it be Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy or Homer. There, she finds parallels for what she wants to say, channels that inspiration into her lyrics and comes up with something unique: Music that’s immediate and timeless, driven by feelings all listeners can relate to yet infused with a perspective that transcends the present.

“I have a song called ‘Story’ on my new album,” she explains, referencing Letterbox, scheduled for release in the spring of 2017 on Curb Records. “It brings in a lot of epic characters: Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights, Hector’s wife Andromache from The Iliad. I’ve always loved epic stories — Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment — because they’re filled with relationships that are super serious and dramatic. Sometimes I feel like I’m right there in the midst of them.”

Yet Letterbox is no droning lecture on literature. It’s a celebration of freedom. Miller has paid plenty of dues to get to the point where she feels she can write what she wants how she wants to, and sing without constraint. Still young, she has survived years in the music business. She impacted initially with the infectious, “You’re Not Alone.” More than 115,000 downloaded that single on Amazon. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars featured her second single, “6’2,” in 2014.

That’s a success story for sure, one that Miller is grateful to have had. Still, she realized that this was only the first of many steps she needed to take to achieve her goals.

Much more than literature feeds into Miller’s unfettered performance on Letterbox. First and most enduring is the foundation she received from being born into a family that loved and performed music. They gravitated toward bluegrass and cultivated Marie’s obvious talent through lessons with banjo virtuoso Murphy Henry. Around age 12 she began singing with her family and later with her sister as a duo, appearing at churches, festivals, community picnics and, every Saturday, on the porch of the winery her father and a partner had opened in rural Virginia, across the road from the Miller family home.

Miller also began writing songs when she was about 12 years old. “The first one I started performing was an original melody and lyrics based on a poem I’d read in Lord of the Rings,” she says, with a grin. “I was really into American music at the time — the kind of music you’d hear in a Ken Burns documentary, the people’s music, the storytelling of bluegrass and Irish music. I was attracted initially to the New Grass artists, like Nickel Creek and Alison Krauss and mainly Chris Thile. She pauses and then laughs, a little embarrassed. “I was actually 100 percent certain when I was 14 that Chris Thile and I were going to get married someday.” Miller then found herself diving into the lyrics and melodies from the likes of The Eagles to Stevie Wonder to modern hitmaker Sara Bareilles. This wide range of influences impacted her music making when she signed with Curb Records in Nashville at the age of 16 where she fulfilled her dream to write songs. “I began my life as a traveling musician then,” she says. “I love performing, but it was so uncomfortable to be 16 or 17 and have everybody telling me what to do. I remember one time five people criticized what I was wearing. When you’re 17 years old you’re uncomfortable with yourself already, so to have a bunch of old people talk to you about your clothes, it was just really weird.”

Discouraged, Miller returned to Virginia. She took time off from music, went to college for a while, but kept practicing and writing. With a new confidence, she eventually went back to Nashville. Before long she had made her mark in music. And from there, we come to this pivotal moment in her story.

Working with producers Eric Rosse (Sara Bareillis, Tory Amos) and Chad Copelin, Miller moved decisively into a new creative milieu with Letterbox. Begin with the title. “It’s from the Beatles’ song ‘Across the Universe,’” she points out, and then sings the John Lennon lyric: “Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letterbox.”

Why do these words speak to her? “I still write letters to my friends and to my grandparents and to my boyfriends … when I have them,” she says, smiling. “I’ve discovered that sometimes, when you want to say something, you just can’t. It’s too awkward. So Letterbox is about how I love to write letters but it’s also radically relational, about friendships, parents, a child or romance. It’s about how we affect each other as people.”

Miller describes the songs on Letterbox as “almost literal letters to people in my life. ‘Glitter Gold,’ ‘Boardwalk’ and ‘Angeline’ are like letters you leave on someone’s doorstep — teenage, broken-heart messages. ‘More’ is a letter that you never sent. ’Stones You Throw’ is about how the world feels ripples from every little thing we say or do, whether we like it or not. We live constantly in the ripples of other people’s actions, whether they’re from love or hatred.”

The album’s exultant first single, “This Side of Paradise,” which Miller describes as “hopeful and daring” … the promise to wait, in the language of many a folk song, for “the day that I see my own true love again” on “Lonely Ends” … compelling imagery, vocals that whisper and soar, from a lover “Lost at Sea” … Every moment on Letterbox rings true and lingers afterwards, like a memory or a passage from a favorite book.

This is the true Marie Miller, breathing in all that life has to offer and crafting it with her own sense of hope, wonder and enchantment.

And, in case you’re wondering, “Now, if people tell me what to wear or what to say, I just totally ignore them.”

She laughs out loud. It feels good to be free. It feels good to share that freedom through music. With Letterbox, we savor it all, as if delivered to us alone, from a friend not so far away.

Nick Barilla
While social media numbers and blue verification check marks might define success for some; the pursuit of happiness and inspiring other’s to do what they love describe Nick Barilla’s blueprint for success in a constantly changing music industry. Since turning his passion for music into a career in 2016, his soulful-pop sounds and honest lyric writing have been positively influencing audiences all over the country. He has shared the stage with a list of artists that include: Aaron Carter, Howie Day, American Idol winners Kris Allen and Lee Dewyze, as well as Elliot Yamin, Kina Grannis and more! In addition, his original music has received commercial song placement on AT&T Sports Network in consecutive years for the Pittsburgh Pirates; as well as other radio stations and media outlets both locally and nationally. Never straying from his humble beginnings, his relatable stories and soulful sounds have continued to inspire people from all walks of life no matter what stage he is performing on!

Marie Miller
When Marie Miller writes a song, she does what all gifted writers do: She looks at her life and into her heart to make sure what she creates comes from real emotion and experience.
She also does something none of peers likely do: she searches through classic literature, whether it be Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy or Homer. There, she finds parallels for what she wants to say, channels that inspiration into her lyrics and comes up with something unique: Music that’s immediate and timeless, driven by feelings all listeners can relate to yet infused with a perspective that transcends the present.

“I have a song called ‘Story’ on my new album,” she explains, referencing Letterbox, scheduled for release in the spring of 2017 on Curb Records. “It brings in a lot of epic characters: Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights, Hector’s wife Andromache from The Iliad. I’ve always loved epic stories — Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment — because they’re filled with relationships that are super serious and dramatic. Sometimes I feel like I’m right there in the midst of them.”

Yet Letterbox is no droning lecture on literature. It’s a celebration of freedom. Miller has paid plenty of dues to get to the point where she feels she can write what she wants how she wants to, and sing without constraint. Still young, she has survived years in the music business. She impacted initially with the infectious, “You’re Not Alone.” More than 115,000 downloaded that single on Amazon. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars featured her second single, “6’2,” in 2014.

That’s a success story for sure, one that Miller is grateful to have had. Still, she realized that this was only the first of many steps she needed to take to achieve her goals.

Much more than literature feeds into Miller’s unfettered performance on Letterbox. First and most enduring is the foundation she received from being born into a family that loved and performed music. They gravitated toward bluegrass and cultivated Marie’s obvious talent through lessons with banjo virtuoso Murphy Henry. Around age 12 she began singing with her family and later with her sister as a duo, appearing at churches, festivals, community picnics and, every Saturday, on the porch of the winery her father and a partner had opened in rural Virginia, across the road from the Miller family home.

Miller also began writing songs when she was about 12 years old. “The first one I started performing was an original melody and lyrics based on a poem I’d read in Lord of the Rings,” she says, with a grin. “I was really into American music at the time — the kind of music you’d hear in a Ken Burns documentary, the people’s music, the storytelling of bluegrass and Irish music. I was attracted initially to the New Grass artists, like Nickel Creek and Alison Krauss and mainly Chris Thile. She pauses and then laughs, a little embarrassed. “I was actually 100 percent certain when I was 14 that Chris Thile and I were going to get married someday.” Miller then found herself diving into the lyrics and melodies from the likes of The Eagles to Stevie Wonder to modern hitmaker Sara Bareilles. This wide range of influences impacted her music making when she signed with Curb Records in Nashville at the age of 16 where she fulfilled her dream to write songs. “I began my life as a traveling musician then,” she says. “I love performing, but it was so uncomfortable to be 16 or 17 and have everybody telling me what to do. I remember one time five people criticized what I was wearing. When you’re 17 years old you’re uncomfortable with yourself already, so to have a bunch of old people talk to you about your clothes, it was just really weird.”

Discouraged, Miller returned to Virginia. She took time off from music, went to college for a while, but kept practicing and writing. With a new confidence, she eventually went back to Nashville. Before long she had made her mark in music. And from there, we come to this pivotal moment in her story.

Working with producers Eric Rosse (Sara Bareillis, Tory Amos) and Chad Copelin, Miller moved decisively into a new creative milieu with Letterbox. Begin with the title. “It’s from the Beatles’ song ‘Across the Universe,’” she points out, and then sings the John Lennon lyric: “Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letterbox.”

Why do these words speak to her? “I still write letters to my friends and to my grandparents and to my boyfriends … when I have them,” she says, smiling. “I’ve discovered that sometimes, when you want to say something, you just can’t. It’s too awkward. So Letterbox is about how I love to write letters but it’s also radically relational, about friendships, parents, a child or romance. It’s about how we affect each other as people.”

Miller describes the songs on Letterbox as “almost literal letters to people in my life. ‘Glitter Gold,’ ‘Boardwalk’ and ‘Angeline’ are like letters you leave on someone’s doorstep — teenage, broken-heart messages. ‘More’ is a letter that you never sent. ’Stones You Throw’ is about how the world feels ripples from every little thing we say or do, whether we like it or not. We live constantly in the ripples of other people’s actions, whether they’re from love or hatred.”

The album’s exultant first single, “This Side of Paradise,” which Miller describes as “hopeful and daring” … the promise to wait, in the language of many a folk song, for “the day that I see my own true love again” on “Lonely Ends” … compelling imagery, vocals that whisper and soar, from a lover “Lost at Sea” … Every moment on Letterbox rings true and lingers afterwards, like a memory or a passage from a favorite book.

This is the true Marie Miller, breathing in all that life has to offer and crafting it with her own sense of hope, wonder and enchantment.

And, in case you’re wondering, “Now, if people tell me what to wear or what to say, I just totally ignore them.”

She laughs out loud. It feels good to be free. It feels good to share that freedom through music. With Letterbox, we savor it all, as if delivered to us alone, from a friend not so far away.

(Late Show) Antz Marching - A Tribute to Dave Matthews

Celebrate we will.....” Antz Marching was formed when a gathering of like-minded musicians came together with the hopes of recreating the essence of a Dave Matthews Band live performance. Antz Marching is comprised of 6 members, each of which has been involved in the professional musical scene for the majority of their career. Serving as veterans of the local Pittsburgh music scene, Antz Marching provide Dave Matthews fans a live experience, channeling the music, energy, passion and artistry of the original band.
Additionally, Antz Marching includes an acoustic duo set mirroring the intimate and enchanting ambience of Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. The acoustic set of Antz Marching features Matthew’s unconventional chord changes and inspiring lyrics performed by guitarist/singer Vee Sharma, and violinist Heather Pinson interprets the fast and furious musicianship of Tim Reynolds. The duet is a must see event, and welcomes all to “celebrate we will.”

Celebrate we will.....” Antz Marching was formed when a gathering of like-minded musicians came together with the hopes of recreating the essence of a Dave Matthews Band live performance. Antz Marching is comprised of 6 members, each of which has been involved in the professional musical scene for the majority of their career. Serving as veterans of the local Pittsburgh music scene, Antz Marching provide Dave Matthews fans a live experience, channeling the music, energy, passion and artistry of the original band.
Additionally, Antz Marching includes an acoustic duo set mirroring the intimate and enchanting ambience of Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. The acoustic set of Antz Marching features Matthew’s unconventional chord changes and inspiring lyrics performed by guitarist/singer Vee Sharma, and violinist Heather Pinson interprets the fast and furious musicianship of Tim Reynolds. The duet is a must see event, and welcomes all to “celebrate we will.”

Kinky Friedman's Circus of Life Tour with Special Guest Brian Molnar

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

KINKY FRIEDMAN'S CIRCUS OF LIFE TOUR
The Kinkster Walks The Highwire With Release Of His All New CD

(Austin) At long last, Kinky Friedman’s second musical act begins. With the proclamation that it “is what music was, before it came homogenized, trivialized and sanitized,” Kinky is dropping his first all new cd of original tunes in four decades. Called Circus Of Life, it presents a side of Kinky that few would have suspected in the halcyon days of the Texas Jewboys, laying perhaps legit claim to the title, “The Leonard Cohen of Texas.”

And on July 3rd, he will be releasing it on his own terms and on his own Echo Hill Records label. A monster summer tour will follow in June, July, and August. Yep, Kinky is finally doing it his way. Harking to his early years, he has chosen to ignore the Nashville ethos, that all must be concertedly “radio friendly,” sweetened, and over-produced. What he and producer Brian Molnar have delivered is simply one of the most beautiful albums of this year or any other. The first single, Autographs In The Rain (Song To Willie) is already in heavy rotation on SiriusXM Outlaw Country, and there are at least four more top shelf A sides.

Speaking of Brian Molnar, he will be touring as Kinky’s opening act for most, if not all shows, promoting his new cd, Within Blue, also on the Echo Hill Records imprint. Kinky and Brian have worked a number of tours together and now deliver a seamless performance, opener to headliner.

It started with a call from Willie (Nelson, of course), who asked Kinky what he was doing at that moment. Kinky answered truthfully that he was watching Matlock, the old TV chestnut, to which Willie replied, “That is a sure sign of depression, Kinky. Turn Matlock off and start writing.”

Kinky did just that and started writing the songs he hadn’t written or even contemplated for decades, tunes like Jesus In Pajamas, Me And My Guitar, and A Dog Named Freedom. After writing several songs, Kinky called Willie to let him know how successful his advice had been. When Kinky asked Willie how he was doing, Willie replied, “A little up, a little down. By the way Kinky, what channel is Matlock on?” The Circus Of Life, by way of Matlock. Via Willie.

With Joe Cirotti on multiple instruments, and Mickey Raphael, Augie Meyers, Original Jewboy Little Jewford, Clay Meyers and Jim Beal providing amazing grace notes, not a single track on the album fails to reach its very high mark. Kinky may “just have to stick with songwriting” after all. To verify this, he’s taking it on the road, for one of the longest, most comprehensive tours of his storied career. After flash mob-style appearances in Galveston, Houston and Nacogdoches, TX, the Circus Of Life Tour begins in earnest in Pittsburgh, and rumor has it that it will continue on forever. Yes, the second act has begun. May it never end.

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

KINKY FRIEDMAN'S CIRCUS OF LIFE TOUR
The Kinkster Walks The Highwire With Release Of His All New CD

(Austin) At long last, Kinky Friedman’s second musical act begins. With the proclamation that it “is what music was, before it came homogenized, trivialized and sanitized,” Kinky is dropping his first all new cd of original tunes in four decades. Called Circus Of Life, it presents a side of Kinky that few would have suspected in the halcyon days of the Texas Jewboys, laying perhaps legit claim to the title, “The Leonard Cohen of Texas.”

And on July 3rd, he will be releasing it on his own terms and on his own Echo Hill Records label. A monster summer tour will follow in June, July, and August. Yep, Kinky is finally doing it his way. Harking to his early years, he has chosen to ignore the Nashville ethos, that all must be concertedly “radio friendly,” sweetened, and over-produced. What he and producer Brian Molnar have delivered is simply one of the most beautiful albums of this year or any other. The first single, Autographs In The Rain (Song To Willie) is already in heavy rotation on SiriusXM Outlaw Country, and there are at least four more top shelf A sides.

Speaking of Brian Molnar, he will be touring as Kinky’s opening act for most, if not all shows, promoting his new cd, Within Blue, also on the Echo Hill Records imprint. Kinky and Brian have worked a number of tours together and now deliver a seamless performance, opener to headliner.

It started with a call from Willie (Nelson, of course), who asked Kinky what he was doing at that moment. Kinky answered truthfully that he was watching Matlock, the old TV chestnut, to which Willie replied, “That is a sure sign of depression, Kinky. Turn Matlock off and start writing.”

Kinky did just that and started writing the songs he hadn’t written or even contemplated for decades, tunes like Jesus In Pajamas, Me And My Guitar, and A Dog Named Freedom. After writing several songs, Kinky called Willie to let him know how successful his advice had been. When Kinky asked Willie how he was doing, Willie replied, “A little up, a little down. By the way Kinky, what channel is Matlock on?” The Circus Of Life, by way of Matlock. Via Willie.

With Joe Cirotti on multiple instruments, and Mickey Raphael, Augie Meyers, Original Jewboy Little Jewford, Clay Meyers and Jim Beal providing amazing grace notes, not a single track on the album fails to reach its very high mark. Kinky may “just have to stick with songwriting” after all. To verify this, he’s taking it on the road, for one of the longest, most comprehensive tours of his storied career. After flash mob-style appearances in Galveston, Houston and Nacogdoches, TX, the Circus Of Life Tour begins in earnest in Pittsburgh, and rumor has it that it will continue on forever. Yes, the second act has begun. May it never end.

Dan Baird & Homemade Sin with Special Guest Bill Toms and Hard Rain

Dan Baird is a singer-songwriter, musician and producer best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist from the chart-topping 80’s rock band The Georgia Satellites. Baird formed The Georgia Satellites in 1980 and the group ultimately released the self-titled debut Georgia Satellites on Elektra. Their most successful release; the album featured the track "Keep Your Hands to Yourself” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went into heavy rotation on MTV.

Baird left the band in 1990 to pursue a solo career and released his first solo album, Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired, in October 1992. "I Love You Period”, a single from the album, charted and peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. A follow up single "The One I Am" charted and peaked at #13 on Billboard's "Album Rock Tracks” chart.

In 2005, Baird began touring and recording with his band, Homemade Sin which today features two ex-members of The Georgia Satellites, Baird and drummer Mauro Magellan, along with bassist Micke Nilsson and guitarist Warner E. Hodges (of Jason & the Scorchers).

Known for their blazing high-energy live shows, Homemade Sin performs a mixture of Baird's solo material in addition to the hits and fan favorites from his years with the Georgia Satellites. The band has built a solid name and touring history across the UK and Europe.

Dan Baird is a singer-songwriter, musician and producer best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist from the chart-topping 80’s rock band The Georgia Satellites. Baird formed The Georgia Satellites in 1980 and the group ultimately released the self-titled debut Georgia Satellites on Elektra. Their most successful release; the album featured the track "Keep Your Hands to Yourself” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went into heavy rotation on MTV.

Baird left the band in 1990 to pursue a solo career and released his first solo album, Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired, in October 1992. "I Love You Period”, a single from the album, charted and peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. A follow up single "The One I Am" charted and peaked at #13 on Billboard's "Album Rock Tracks” chart.

In 2005, Baird began touring and recording with his band, Homemade Sin which today features two ex-members of The Georgia Satellites, Baird and drummer Mauro Magellan, along with bassist Micke Nilsson and guitarist Warner E. Hodges (of Jason & the Scorchers).

Known for their blazing high-energy live shows, Homemade Sin performs a mixture of Baird's solo material in addition to the hits and fan favorites from his years with the Georgia Satellites. The band has built a solid name and touring history across the UK and Europe.

(Early Show) Sterling Waltz / Alan Getto / Morgan Erina

(Late Show) Da Funny Team and Opus One Comedy Present Boo Jones, Izzy Rhue, One Eye & Host Marcus Cox

The Felice Brothers with Special Guest Twain - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

The Felice Brothers' new album Life in the Dark, due June 24 on Yep Roc, is classic American music. At once plainspoken and deeply literate, the band's latest features nine new songs that capture the hopes and fears, the yearning and resignation, of a rootless, restless nation at a time of change.

Life in the Dark also coincides with The Felice Brothers' 10th anniversary as a band. Hailed by the AV Club for a sound at once "timeless, yet tossed-off," they've released plenty of music over the past decade, often on their own without a record label, but the new album is the fullest realization yet of the band's DIY tendencies. Self-produced by the musicians and engineered by James Felice (who also contributed accordion, keyboards and vocals), the Felice Brothers made Life in the Dark themselves in a garage on a farm in upstate New York, observed only by audience of poultry.

"The recording is definitely rough around the edges and cheap," James Felice says, laughing. "It was liberating and really cool to do. It allowed us to untether ourselves from anything and just make music."

Because of makeshift studio set-up, the music they made was necessarily stripped down, emphasizing acoustic instruments and spacious arrangements on songs that showcase the sound of a band playing together live, with echoes in the music of Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine and rural blues.

"We tried to make it as simple and folk-based as possible, because we were working with limited resources," singer and guitarist Ian Felice says. "We wanted to take all the frills out and make it just meat and potatoes."

Still, there are hints of seasoning: among the folk and blues touchstones, the band took a certain inspiration from Neil Young and the Meat Puppets, too. Ian Felice says he was trying to channel the spirit of Meat Puppets II on opener "Aerosol Ball" - "They played kind of weird, freaky folk music, so there's a connection there," he says - while James Felice says listening to Neil Young's Tonight's the Night was like getting permission to make Life in the Dark.

"If you listen to that record, it's fucking crazy," he says. "We listened to that to know that what we were doing was legal and had precedent. If Neil Young could make a record that sounds like that, we can make a record that sounds like this."

He's referring to the wild, whirling accordion and big, loose rhythm on "Aerosol Ball," mournful glimmers of electric guitar and fiddle on "Triumph '73" and the ramshackle, blues-rock feel of "Plunder," full of grainy lead guitars, blasts of organ and a shout-along chorus inspired by the rhythm of Shakespeare's "Double, double toil and trouble" incantation in Macbeth. Though The Felice Brothers often share songwriting duties, the band gravitated toward Ian Felice's songs for Life in the Dark.

Along with Shakespeare and the Meat Puppets, Ian Felice absorbed the essence of writers from Anne Sexton to Anne Frank, Raymond Carver to Dr. Seuss, on tunes with clear, if unintentional, political undertones. "It's just what was going on when I was writing the songs," Ian Felice says. "It's a pretty politically charged climate right now." To say the least.

The singer's characters on "Aerosol Ball" exist in a dystopian culture bought, and ruled, by corporations; while "Jack at the Asylum" catalogs cultural ills including climate change, economic inequality and the numbing aspects of televised warfare, themes that recur again on "Plunder." He wrote the title track after re-reading The Diary of a Young Girl, the journal that Frank kept while in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. "The idea of living in a dark attic unable to fully grasp what is going on in your life and feeling powerless to change it seemed like a relevant metaphor for me at the time," Ian Felice says.

Elsewhere, he offers his own interpretation of classic American archetypes: "Triumph '73" follows a young man on the cusp of adulthood desperate to ride his motorcycle away from the life changes overtaking him, while the ballad "Diamond Bell" tells the story of a folk heroine gunslinger in the vein of Pretty Boy Floyd or Jesse James, and the hapless, lovestruck kid she ensnares. "It's part-love song, part-adventure story, part-tragedy, told in the Mexican folk tradition of singing about bandits," Ian Felice says. "I think it's one of the most straight-ahead narratives I've written."

The band, spent about a month recording Life in the Dark in the late winter of 2015. James Felice learned engineering on the fly - "I literally had a book, like, ‘Where do you put the mic? How do you mic the kick drum?'" he says - and the band managed to nail most of the tunes within a few takes.

"There wasn't too much agonizing, just the joy of playing music," James Felice says. "We had an audience of chickens, and an audience of each other, and we were just really enjoying making it."

The resulting album is more than just classic American music - it's a parable for modern America.

The Felice Brothers' new album Life in the Dark, due June 24 on Yep Roc, is classic American music. At once plainspoken and deeply literate, the band's latest features nine new songs that capture the hopes and fears, the yearning and resignation, of a rootless, restless nation at a time of change.

Life in the Dark also coincides with The Felice Brothers' 10th anniversary as a band. Hailed by the AV Club for a sound at once "timeless, yet tossed-off," they've released plenty of music over the past decade, often on their own without a record label, but the new album is the fullest realization yet of the band's DIY tendencies. Self-produced by the musicians and engineered by James Felice (who also contributed accordion, keyboards and vocals), the Felice Brothers made Life in the Dark themselves in a garage on a farm in upstate New York, observed only by audience of poultry.

"The recording is definitely rough around the edges and cheap," James Felice says, laughing. "It was liberating and really cool to do. It allowed us to untether ourselves from anything and just make music."

Because of makeshift studio set-up, the music they made was necessarily stripped down, emphasizing acoustic instruments and spacious arrangements on songs that showcase the sound of a band playing together live, with echoes in the music of Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine and rural blues.

"We tried to make it as simple and folk-based as possible, because we were working with limited resources," singer and guitarist Ian Felice says. "We wanted to take all the frills out and make it just meat and potatoes."

Still, there are hints of seasoning: among the folk and blues touchstones, the band took a certain inspiration from Neil Young and the Meat Puppets, too. Ian Felice says he was trying to channel the spirit of Meat Puppets II on opener "Aerosol Ball" - "They played kind of weird, freaky folk music, so there's a connection there," he says - while James Felice says listening to Neil Young's Tonight's the Night was like getting permission to make Life in the Dark.

"If you listen to that record, it's fucking crazy," he says. "We listened to that to know that what we were doing was legal and had precedent. If Neil Young could make a record that sounds like that, we can make a record that sounds like this."

He's referring to the wild, whirling accordion and big, loose rhythm on "Aerosol Ball," mournful glimmers of electric guitar and fiddle on "Triumph '73" and the ramshackle, blues-rock feel of "Plunder," full of grainy lead guitars, blasts of organ and a shout-along chorus inspired by the rhythm of Shakespeare's "Double, double toil and trouble" incantation in Macbeth. Though The Felice Brothers often share songwriting duties, the band gravitated toward Ian Felice's songs for Life in the Dark.

Along with Shakespeare and the Meat Puppets, Ian Felice absorbed the essence of writers from Anne Sexton to Anne Frank, Raymond Carver to Dr. Seuss, on tunes with clear, if unintentional, political undertones. "It's just what was going on when I was writing the songs," Ian Felice says. "It's a pretty politically charged climate right now." To say the least.

The singer's characters on "Aerosol Ball" exist in a dystopian culture bought, and ruled, by corporations; while "Jack at the Asylum" catalogs cultural ills including climate change, economic inequality and the numbing aspects of televised warfare, themes that recur again on "Plunder." He wrote the title track after re-reading The Diary of a Young Girl, the journal that Frank kept while in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. "The idea of living in a dark attic unable to fully grasp what is going on in your life and feeling powerless to change it seemed like a relevant metaphor for me at the time," Ian Felice says.

Elsewhere, he offers his own interpretation of classic American archetypes: "Triumph '73" follows a young man on the cusp of adulthood desperate to ride his motorcycle away from the life changes overtaking him, while the ballad "Diamond Bell" tells the story of a folk heroine gunslinger in the vein of Pretty Boy Floyd or Jesse James, and the hapless, lovestruck kid she ensnares. "It's part-love song, part-adventure story, part-tragedy, told in the Mexican folk tradition of singing about bandits," Ian Felice says. "I think it's one of the most straight-ahead narratives I've written."

The band, spent about a month recording Life in the Dark in the late winter of 2015. James Felice learned engineering on the fly - "I literally had a book, like, ‘Where do you put the mic? How do you mic the kick drum?'" he says - and the band managed to nail most of the tunes within a few takes.

"There wasn't too much agonizing, just the joy of playing music," James Felice says. "We had an audience of chickens, and an audience of each other, and we were just really enjoying making it."

The resulting album is more than just classic American music - it's a parable for modern America.

Anthony Picone with Tim Vitullo and RC Allison

Anthony grew up and played music in the suburbs of New York City. He began playing the guitar at the age of 11 and started performing in bars and nightclubs by the age of 18. He shortly began playing in some of the most popular venues in New York City such as CBGB's, The Bitter End, Kenny's Castaway,Cafe Wah, Contenental and many more. For 8 years he played in one of the biggest bands in New Jersey, The Benjamins. In 2007 The Benjamins released an indie album with national distribution on Koch Music and have appeared on National TV and radio. They opened up for such acts as Cheap Trick, The Goo Goo Dolls,Third Eye Blind and more.



In 2011, he decided to quit his band and move from Hoboken NJ to Key West Florida to embark on a solo career as a musician and songwriter. The laid back lifestyle, sunshine and diverse music scene has had a huge influence on his writing. His music which is a fusion of Rock, Americana, Folk and Pop is often referred to as "Keys Rock"



In addition to engineering and producing, Anthony performs all of the vocals and most of the instruments on his recordings. Shortly after the release of his debut solo album "The Highest I've Ever Been" he was booked as an opening act for legendary rock bands such as Kansas, 38 Special and Blue Oyster Cult. Anthony continues to tour to support his music throughout the country.



Filmmaking has always been Anthony's second passion. In 2010 he wrote and directed a feature film "Long Road Home" and has since directed an independent television pilot and several music videos. He is currently writing several screen plays, television shows and documentaries



You can hear Anthony's music in regular rotation on some of the biggest FM radio stations in South Florida including Sun 103.1 FM, The Wail 99.5 FM and Pirate Radio 101.7 as well as WRSU Rutgers Radio NJ 88.7 FM

Anthony grew up and played music in the suburbs of New York City. He began playing the guitar at the age of 11 and started performing in bars and nightclubs by the age of 18. He shortly began playing in some of the most popular venues in New York City such as CBGB's, The Bitter End, Kenny's Castaway,Cafe Wah, Contenental and many more. For 8 years he played in one of the biggest bands in New Jersey, The Benjamins. In 2007 The Benjamins released an indie album with national distribution on Koch Music and have appeared on National TV and radio. They opened up for such acts as Cheap Trick, The Goo Goo Dolls,Third Eye Blind and more.



In 2011, he decided to quit his band and move from Hoboken NJ to Key West Florida to embark on a solo career as a musician and songwriter. The laid back lifestyle, sunshine and diverse music scene has had a huge influence on his writing. His music which is a fusion of Rock, Americana, Folk and Pop is often referred to as "Keys Rock"



In addition to engineering and producing, Anthony performs all of the vocals and most of the instruments on his recordings. Shortly after the release of his debut solo album "The Highest I've Ever Been" he was booked as an opening act for legendary rock bands such as Kansas, 38 Special and Blue Oyster Cult. Anthony continues to tour to support his music throughout the country.



Filmmaking has always been Anthony's second passion. In 2010 he wrote and directed a feature film "Long Road Home" and has since directed an independent television pilot and several music videos. He is currently writing several screen plays, television shows and documentaries



You can hear Anthony's music in regular rotation on some of the biggest FM radio stations in South Florida including Sun 103.1 FM, The Wail 99.5 FM and Pirate Radio 101.7 as well as WRSU Rutgers Radio NJ 88.7 FM

The Social Animals with Special Guest Jordan McLaughlin (Full Band Performance)

The Social Animals are a full time, van-living young band. They speak through elegantly sarcastic, thoughtful lyrics with memorable melodies splattered across a canvas of indie rock instrumentation. They don't do backflips at their live shows or slide across their knees into guitar solos. Instead, they play their music passionately and honestly, carrying both the intensity to move feet and the delicacy to keep them still. Between songs, their dry commentary on the status of their lives and the world around them appeals to the type of person who, perhaps, spends time actually reading through a band bio.

Releasing their debut EP, "Formative Years" in late summer of 2016, The Social Animals have laid a sturdy foundation for the character and direction of the band. Songs like "Let Me Go" marry the grittiness of an honest band cramped in a Chevy Express with the pop sensibility of Tom Petty. "I Guess In America" offers a tongue-in-cheek outlook on the process of dealing with personal sadness under the seemingly comfortable umbrella of the U.S., and the privileges (or lack thereof) that come with it.

Unlike the shaky uneasiness of their V8 engine, these boys show no signs of stopping. Climbing from the gurgling depths of Wal-Mart parking lots and rattling beer cans, the band sits calmly atop the rubble with a full-length album in their back pocket. Recorded almost completely live at Modest Mouse's "Ice Cream Party Studios," the album is poised to make 2017 the most promising year of the band's career. Produced with help from Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick), the album, coined "Early Twenties," builds upon the groundwork of "Formative Years" and takes the band to new places both physically and sonically.

Dedric Clark: Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar.

Tony Petersen: Harmony Vocals, Electric Guitar, Banjo.

Roger Whittet: Harmony Vocals, Bass.

Boyd Smith: Drums.

The Social Animals are a full time, van-living young band. They speak through elegantly sarcastic, thoughtful lyrics with memorable melodies splattered across a canvas of indie rock instrumentation. They don't do backflips at their live shows or slide across their knees into guitar solos. Instead, they play their music passionately and honestly, carrying both the intensity to move feet and the delicacy to keep them still. Between songs, their dry commentary on the status of their lives and the world around them appeals to the type of person who, perhaps, spends time actually reading through a band bio.

Releasing their debut EP, "Formative Years" in late summer of 2016, The Social Animals have laid a sturdy foundation for the character and direction of the band. Songs like "Let Me Go" marry the grittiness of an honest band cramped in a Chevy Express with the pop sensibility of Tom Petty. "I Guess In America" offers a tongue-in-cheek outlook on the process of dealing with personal sadness under the seemingly comfortable umbrella of the U.S., and the privileges (or lack thereof) that come with it.

Unlike the shaky uneasiness of their V8 engine, these boys show no signs of stopping. Climbing from the gurgling depths of Wal-Mart parking lots and rattling beer cans, the band sits calmly atop the rubble with a full-length album in their back pocket. Recorded almost completely live at Modest Mouse's "Ice Cream Party Studios," the album is poised to make 2017 the most promising year of the band's career. Produced with help from Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick), the album, coined "Early Twenties," builds upon the groundwork of "Formative Years" and takes the band to new places both physically and sonically.

Dedric Clark: Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar.

Tony Petersen: Harmony Vocals, Electric Guitar, Banjo.

Roger Whittet: Harmony Vocals, Bass.

Boyd Smith: Drums.

Banditos with Special Guests The Maplewaves

Originally from Birmingham, AL, Banditos is a group – more like a gang, actually – of six 20 somethings, nowadays operating out of Nashville, close to, and simultaneously very far away from, the gleaming towers and industry hustle of Lower Broad and Music Row.

With the rugged power of a flashy Super Chief locomotive, the Banditos’s self-titled debut album bodaciously appropriates elements of ’60s blues-fused acid rock, ZZ Top’s jangly boogie, garage punk scuzz a la Burger Records, the Drive-By Truckers’ yawp, the populist choogle of CCR, Slim Harpo’s hip shake baby groove, gut bucket Fat Possum hill country mojo and the Georgia Motherf**king Satellites. From backwoods bluegrass, to slinky nods to Muscle Shoals soul and unexpected bits of doo-wop sweetness, the Banditos recall many, but sound like no one but themselves.

The members of the band first met playing in various punk and rock ‘n’ roll projects around Birmingham at D.I.Y., all-ages venues. In 2010, singer/guitarist Corey Parsons and singer/banjo player Stephen Pierce began busking around town, and were soon asked to perform at their favorite local bar. Without a full band they invited friends Randy Wade (drums), Jeffrey Salter (guitar), and Mary Beth Richardson (vocals) to join them.

Salter and Wade studied together at music school learning classical/jazz techniques, while Richardson’s background was mostly singing in church choirs. After some apprehension from Richardson about taking the stage with an unrehearsed band, a last-minute trip to New Orleans with the group (which resulted in a stolen hotel Bible inscribed with the band’s lyrics) seemed to cure a case of the cold feet. The ensuing performance was raw and electric, and an ecstatic crowd response further cemented the members’ convictions to become a full band. The addition of bassist Danny Vines made the group complete.

The members soon moved into a house together in Birmingham and after repeated tours through Nashville decided to move the band there instead, where the music scene was bigger and more diverse. The sextet has since developed their unique and airtight sound, culminated through several years of enduring friendships and a roaddog touring schedule that has, at their count, numbered over 700 shows in the last three years.

Their selt-titled debut full-length album is layered with as much grime as it is with pinpoint songwriting and feverish technical savvy. Each song wafts new dynamics into a streamlined stylistic roots, punk and rock ‘n’ roll jet stream, the variations heard evidently through the vocal baton passing and wrenching harmonies of Parsons, Richardson, and Pierce. Each vocalist, as with each performer in the band, is given the spotlight during the course of the album’s 12 songs. And at its core, Banditos is a unified coalescence of six bright beams of light, a spiritual collaboration between friends with a singular musical vision.

Originally from Birmingham, AL, Banditos is a group – more like a gang, actually – of six 20 somethings, nowadays operating out of Nashville, close to, and simultaneously very far away from, the gleaming towers and industry hustle of Lower Broad and Music Row.

With the rugged power of a flashy Super Chief locomotive, the Banditos’s self-titled debut album bodaciously appropriates elements of ’60s blues-fused acid rock, ZZ Top’s jangly boogie, garage punk scuzz a la Burger Records, the Drive-By Truckers’ yawp, the populist choogle of CCR, Slim Harpo’s hip shake baby groove, gut bucket Fat Possum hill country mojo and the Georgia Motherf**king Satellites. From backwoods bluegrass, to slinky nods to Muscle Shoals soul and unexpected bits of doo-wop sweetness, the Banditos recall many, but sound like no one but themselves.

The members of the band first met playing in various punk and rock ‘n’ roll projects around Birmingham at D.I.Y., all-ages venues. In 2010, singer/guitarist Corey Parsons and singer/banjo player Stephen Pierce began busking around town, and were soon asked to perform at their favorite local bar. Without a full band they invited friends Randy Wade (drums), Jeffrey Salter (guitar), and Mary Beth Richardson (vocals) to join them.

Salter and Wade studied together at music school learning classical/jazz techniques, while Richardson’s background was mostly singing in church choirs. After some apprehension from Richardson about taking the stage with an unrehearsed band, a last-minute trip to New Orleans with the group (which resulted in a stolen hotel Bible inscribed with the band’s lyrics) seemed to cure a case of the cold feet. The ensuing performance was raw and electric, and an ecstatic crowd response further cemented the members’ convictions to become a full band. The addition of bassist Danny Vines made the group complete.

The members soon moved into a house together in Birmingham and after repeated tours through Nashville decided to move the band there instead, where the music scene was bigger and more diverse. The sextet has since developed their unique and airtight sound, culminated through several years of enduring friendships and a roaddog touring schedule that has, at their count, numbered over 700 shows in the last three years.

Their selt-titled debut full-length album is layered with as much grime as it is with pinpoint songwriting and feverish technical savvy. Each song wafts new dynamics into a streamlined stylistic roots, punk and rock ‘n’ roll jet stream, the variations heard evidently through the vocal baton passing and wrenching harmonies of Parsons, Richardson, and Pierce. Each vocalist, as with each performer in the band, is given the spotlight during the course of the album’s 12 songs. And at its core, Banditos is a unified coalescence of six bright beams of light, a spiritual collaboration between friends with a singular musical vision.

Unsane with Special Guests Child Bite and Microwaves

New York City's Unsane assisted in pioneering a more aggressive, less studied version of noise rock, one that blended the scum/art industrial sturm und drang of Foetus, the Swans, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Sonic Youth with a decidedly more straightforward hardcore idiom. While developing the blueprint for noise bands to follow, Unsane cut a remarkable swath through underground music, inspiring a devoted, cult-like following around the globe. As a power trio, Unsane relied upon a hammering, power-press rhythm section, a searing Telecaster howl, and distorted vocals that resembled a chainsaw cutting a steel beam.

Chris Spencer (vocals, guitar), Dave Curran (bass, vocals) and Vincent Signorelli (drums) are responsible for well over 2 decades of aural ruination, with no intention of letting up anytime soon.

The early days of Unsane began in the late '80s. The original incarnation of the band -- Chris Spencer, Pete Shore (bass), and Charles Ondras (drums) -- crawled larvally out of the practice space in 1989 and began playing New York's seediest haunts. It was these graveyard slots at clubs like CBGB's where the band developed and honed their trademark sound and delivered the goods with due intensity and volume. Unsane piqued the interest of numerous small indie labels and began issuing a series of singles and EPs before recording their self-titled debut with Matador Records. Using the photo of a decapitated man lying across train tracks, Unsane's album cover set the tone for the admixture of seething aggression, naked fear, and barely controlled noise chaos contained within. But the band's devastating maelstrom contained more than enough tunefulness and rock propulsion to quite easily surpass its more affected Lower East Side peers.


During 1992, Unsane's daunting schedule was cut devastatingly short by the untimely drug overdose of drummer Charles Ondras. Former Swans and Foetus drummer Vinny Signorelli climbed aboard the swiftly moving train in the fall of 1992 and the band began composing its next album. In the interim, Matador compiled and issued a collection of Unsane's early singles and compilation tracks, appropriately titled Singles: 89-92. It is perhaps Unsane's defining moment. The following year found the band recording its first for Atlantic Records, Total Destruction, a menacing, dark collection of songs driven by Signorelli's hypnotic drumming and Spencer's man-pushed-to-the-edge vocals. More touring followed and Matador released the Peel Sessions disc almost concurrently with Total Destruction.

After being discharged from Atlantic in 1994, Unsane found both a new bass player in Dave Curran and a home for their next album, Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, on the independent noise rock label, Amphetamine Reptile Records. While maintaining the band's signature sound and volume, 1995's Scattered... showed the band opening their rhythmic approach, with most songs inhabiting a more rock-oriented 4/4 pattern, granting the album a more spacious and controlled feel. Scattered... also contained the unlikely MTV hit video for "Scrape," featuring a series of skateboard accidents intercut with footage of the band performing live. Created for 270 dollars, it was ironically named one of MTV's Ten Funniest Videos.

The band toured relentlessly and managed to secure an opening slot with metal behemoths Slayer on one of their North American headlining tours. Shortly after, the trio made another label switch to Relapse Records and began constructing the ironically titled Occupational Hazard. While on a press tour in Europe only a month prior to the disc's release, Spencer was brutally attacked by street thugs and left for dead on the streets of Vienna, Austria. After emergency surgery, he returned to the touring arena. They then released the compilation "Lambhouse", continued to tour and wrote the ballistic urban commentary "Blood Run". After more touring, and some introspection, they proceeded to issue "Visqueen" on Mike Patton's Ipecac label. 2012 sees the band's 7th full length 'Wreck' out on Alternative Tentacles Records.

September 29th 2017 will mark Unsane's realase of 'Sterilize' on Southern Lord Records. Closing a five-year gap since the release of their Wreck LP, UNSANE makes a vicious return with their 8th album, which recalls the most defining elements of the band’s seminal Scattered, Smothered, And Covered, and Occupational Hazard albums, surging with the band’s unrelenting singular sound. Sterilize showcases the group sounding as dense and damaging as ever, and remaining as necessary as ever, nearly three decades since they began.

New York City's Unsane assisted in pioneering a more aggressive, less studied version of noise rock, one that blended the scum/art industrial sturm und drang of Foetus, the Swans, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Sonic Youth with a decidedly more straightforward hardcore idiom. While developing the blueprint for noise bands to follow, Unsane cut a remarkable swath through underground music, inspiring a devoted, cult-like following around the globe. As a power trio, Unsane relied upon a hammering, power-press rhythm section, a searing Telecaster howl, and distorted vocals that resembled a chainsaw cutting a steel beam.

Chris Spencer (vocals, guitar), Dave Curran (bass, vocals) and Vincent Signorelli (drums) are responsible for well over 2 decades of aural ruination, with no intention of letting up anytime soon.

The early days of Unsane began in the late '80s. The original incarnation of the band -- Chris Spencer, Pete Shore (bass), and Charles Ondras (drums) -- crawled larvally out of the practice space in 1989 and began playing New York's seediest haunts. It was these graveyard slots at clubs like CBGB's where the band developed and honed their trademark sound and delivered the goods with due intensity and volume. Unsane piqued the interest of numerous small indie labels and began issuing a series of singles and EPs before recording their self-titled debut with Matador Records. Using the photo of a decapitated man lying across train tracks, Unsane's album cover set the tone for the admixture of seething aggression, naked fear, and barely controlled noise chaos contained within. But the band's devastating maelstrom contained more than enough tunefulness and rock propulsion to quite easily surpass its more affected Lower East Side peers.


During 1992, Unsane's daunting schedule was cut devastatingly short by the untimely drug overdose of drummer Charles Ondras. Former Swans and Foetus drummer Vinny Signorelli climbed aboard the swiftly moving train in the fall of 1992 and the band began composing its next album. In the interim, Matador compiled and issued a collection of Unsane's early singles and compilation tracks, appropriately titled Singles: 89-92. It is perhaps Unsane's defining moment. The following year found the band recording its first for Atlantic Records, Total Destruction, a menacing, dark collection of songs driven by Signorelli's hypnotic drumming and Spencer's man-pushed-to-the-edge vocals. More touring followed and Matador released the Peel Sessions disc almost concurrently with Total Destruction.

After being discharged from Atlantic in 1994, Unsane found both a new bass player in Dave Curran and a home for their next album, Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, on the independent noise rock label, Amphetamine Reptile Records. While maintaining the band's signature sound and volume, 1995's Scattered... showed the band opening their rhythmic approach, with most songs inhabiting a more rock-oriented 4/4 pattern, granting the album a more spacious and controlled feel. Scattered... also contained the unlikely MTV hit video for "Scrape," featuring a series of skateboard accidents intercut with footage of the band performing live. Created for 270 dollars, it was ironically named one of MTV's Ten Funniest Videos.

The band toured relentlessly and managed to secure an opening slot with metal behemoths Slayer on one of their North American headlining tours. Shortly after, the trio made another label switch to Relapse Records and began constructing the ironically titled Occupational Hazard. While on a press tour in Europe only a month prior to the disc's release, Spencer was brutally attacked by street thugs and left for dead on the streets of Vienna, Austria. After emergency surgery, he returned to the touring arena. They then released the compilation "Lambhouse", continued to tour and wrote the ballistic urban commentary "Blood Run". After more touring, and some introspection, they proceeded to issue "Visqueen" on Mike Patton's Ipecac label. 2012 sees the band's 7th full length 'Wreck' out on Alternative Tentacles Records.

September 29th 2017 will mark Unsane's realase of 'Sterilize' on Southern Lord Records. Closing a five-year gap since the release of their Wreck LP, UNSANE makes a vicious return with their 8th album, which recalls the most defining elements of the band’s seminal Scattered, Smothered, And Covered, and Occupational Hazard albums, surging with the band’s unrelenting singular sound. Sterilize showcases the group sounding as dense and damaging as ever, and remaining as necessary as ever, nearly three decades since they began.

(Early Show) Women Who Rock Presents Songwriters Night featuring Heather Kropf, Sierra Sellers, Melinda Colaizzi

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Can't Help But Laugh Comedy Show with Marcus Cox, Chrissy Costa, Roni Shanell and Nate Nulph

Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin Altar Boys Featuring Westside Andy on Harmonica with Special Guest The Bo'Hog Brothers

Bringing crowds to their feet at the hardest to please and sophisticated night clubs in the Midwest, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys play traditional blues, straight up with a big dose of passion. With smoking grooves, served up with hot harmonica and smooth stinging guitar they play original songs peppered with nods to Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and the three Kings.

Born and raised on south side of Chicago, the Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After 16 year hitch in the Navy, Chief Raven moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers.

Since 1990 he has opened for B.B King, Gatemouth Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor Band, Junior Wells, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop, Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, William Clarke, Lefty Dizz, Rod Piazza, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Duke Robillard, Jeff Healy, Trampled Underfoot, Mike Zito, Nick Moss, Tommy Castro and numerous others at festivals and at Buddy Guy’s Legends where he has been on rotation as a headliner for 16 years.

Westside Andy is one of the premier harp players to come out of Wisconsin along with Jim Liban, Steve Cohen, Madison Slim, Matthew Skoller and Cadillac Pete Rahn. A long time member of Paul Black's Flip Kings and his own band, The Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band, he's played just about everywhere and with anyone of note in the blues world. He's been with Reverend Raven since leaving his band in 2015.

More modern facts include that Hohner, Inc. lists him as an endorser alongside Rod Piazza, Toots Thielemans, & Corky Siegel, among many other great players.

Andy has shared the stage with James Cotton, Luther Allison, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Charlie Musselwhite, Doobie Brothers, Richie Havens, Muddy Waters, Gary Primich, Jimmy Johnson, Tab Benoit, Hubert Sumlin.

"Andy Linderman is one of my very favorite harp players. His tone and phrasing are tops in my book."
Gary Primich, premier harp player

“Best in the Midwest”
Johnny Rawls

“You guys are the real deal”
Tad Robinson

“They are very, very good. That’s why I keep having them back at my club”
Buddy Guy

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Wisconsin Music Industry (WAMI) award for best blues band in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015. People’s Choice Award in 2006, 2008, 2010.
Voted the Best Blues Band In Milwaukee by The Shepherd Express Reader’s Poll in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
2011 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for Best Blues Band” and “Best Song”
2015 Blues Blast Music Award Award for Best Live CD
2015 Independent Blues Scene Award for Best Live CD
Band features Hohner harmonica endorsee Westside Andy Linderman on harmonica

Bringing crowds to their feet at the hardest to please and sophisticated night clubs in the Midwest, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys play traditional blues, straight up with a big dose of passion. With smoking grooves, served up with hot harmonica and smooth stinging guitar they play original songs peppered with nods to Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and the three Kings.

Born and raised on south side of Chicago, the Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After 16 year hitch in the Navy, Chief Raven moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers.

Since 1990 he has opened for B.B King, Gatemouth Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor Band, Junior Wells, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop, Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, William Clarke, Lefty Dizz, Rod Piazza, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Duke Robillard, Jeff Healy, Trampled Underfoot, Mike Zito, Nick Moss, Tommy Castro and numerous others at festivals and at Buddy Guy’s Legends where he has been on rotation as a headliner for 16 years.

Westside Andy is one of the premier harp players to come out of Wisconsin along with Jim Liban, Steve Cohen, Madison Slim, Matthew Skoller and Cadillac Pete Rahn. A long time member of Paul Black's Flip Kings and his own band, The Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band, he's played just about everywhere and with anyone of note in the blues world. He's been with Reverend Raven since leaving his band in 2015.

More modern facts include that Hohner, Inc. lists him as an endorser alongside Rod Piazza, Toots Thielemans, & Corky Siegel, among many other great players.

Andy has shared the stage with James Cotton, Luther Allison, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Charlie Musselwhite, Doobie Brothers, Richie Havens, Muddy Waters, Gary Primich, Jimmy Johnson, Tab Benoit, Hubert Sumlin.

"Andy Linderman is one of my very favorite harp players. His tone and phrasing are tops in my book."
Gary Primich, premier harp player

“Best in the Midwest”
Johnny Rawls

“You guys are the real deal”
Tad Robinson

“They are very, very good. That’s why I keep having them back at my club”
Buddy Guy

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Wisconsin Music Industry (WAMI) award for best blues band in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015. People’s Choice Award in 2006, 2008, 2010.
Voted the Best Blues Band In Milwaukee by The Shepherd Express Reader’s Poll in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
2011 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee for Best Blues Band” and “Best Song”
2015 Blues Blast Music Award Award for Best Live CD
2015 Independent Blues Scene Award for Best Live CD
Band features Hohner harmonica endorsee Westside Andy Linderman on harmonica

Kelsey Waldon with Special Guest The Beagle Brothers

Thinking about country music, Kelsey Waldon muses, "If it's a part of who you are, it's a part of who you are." And country music is very much a part of who she is, a part of who she's always been. The Kentucky singer/songwriter hails from Monkey's Eyebrow, in rural Ballard County where her family put down roots several generations ago. Even so, Waldon's musical tastes reach well beyond those borders, as evidenced on her new release, I've Got a Way.

Waldon was 13 when her parents divorced and, inspired by the music surrounding her, she started playing guitar as a means to make it through her teen years. Upon her arrival in Music City a few years later, Waldon toiled away 45+ hours a week in a minimum wage job and played gigs in any bar that would let her in the door and on the stage. Once she had a pocket full of songs, she released her debut album in 2014, The Goldmine. The set was met with open arms from both critics and lovers of the kind of country music that she makes -- the kind born in bars and raised in honky-tonks, the kind leaning on pedal steel and driven by Telecaster.

As solid as the effort was, its follow-up isn't just a next step, it's a forward leap. After all, when you're a songwriter, a couple of years can contain a lifetime of lessons. And that wisdom is what seeps through on her sophomore effort which, like The Goldmine, was produced by Michael Rinne. For Waldon, "It's a transition in letting go and also being absolutely comfortable in your own skin."

Indeed, the newfound confidence and compassion with which she inhabits her place in the world comes through loud and clear on original cuts like "All by Myself," "Don't Hurt the Ones (Who've Loved You the Most)," and "Life Moves Slow," as well as her arrangements of Vern and Rex Gosdin's "There Must Be a Someone" and Bill Monroe's "Traveling Down This Lonesome Road.

Perhaps because it was one of the first songs Waldon wrote this go-around,"All By Myself," in particular, stands out as something of a thesis statement for the rest of the album, if not for life, in general. As she explains, "It is not a lecture, or a sermon, or a statement from me. I want it to be a statement for everyone, as a whole: The power is only inside of ourselves."

Because no country record would be complete without a proper kiss-off cut, Waldon scratched out her own entry in that milieu with "You Can Have It." That kind of personal empowerment comes up time and again across I've Got a Way. In "Let's Pretend," that power emerges through the act of focusing on the good and choosing the kind as part of what Waldom describes as "a 'Storms Never Last' mentality" to relationships.

Closing the collection are "Traveling Down This Lonesome Road," which stands as her hard-edged hat tip to Bill Monroe and the music she grew up on, and "The Heartbreak," which shows she can deliver a weeper, to boot. But this isn't the standard woe-is-me fare. Here, too, is a message of empowerment and empathy.

So, how does Waldon turn her messages into the country music that is so much a part of her? "Lay it all out, and sing it from the heart, way down deep," she says. "If you do it that way, you don't need gimmicks."

Thinking about country music, Kelsey Waldon muses, "If it's a part of who you are, it's a part of who you are." And country music is very much a part of who she is, a part of who she's always been. The Kentucky singer/songwriter hails from Monkey's Eyebrow, in rural Ballard County where her family put down roots several generations ago. Even so, Waldon's musical tastes reach well beyond those borders, as evidenced on her new release, I've Got a Way.

Waldon was 13 when her parents divorced and, inspired by the music surrounding her, she started playing guitar as a means to make it through her teen years. Upon her arrival in Music City a few years later, Waldon toiled away 45+ hours a week in a minimum wage job and played gigs in any bar that would let her in the door and on the stage. Once she had a pocket full of songs, she released her debut album in 2014, The Goldmine. The set was met with open arms from both critics and lovers of the kind of country music that she makes -- the kind born in bars and raised in honky-tonks, the kind leaning on pedal steel and driven by Telecaster.

As solid as the effort was, its follow-up isn't just a next step, it's a forward leap. After all, when you're a songwriter, a couple of years can contain a lifetime of lessons. And that wisdom is what seeps through on her sophomore effort which, like The Goldmine, was produced by Michael Rinne. For Waldon, "It's a transition in letting go and also being absolutely comfortable in your own skin."

Indeed, the newfound confidence and compassion with which she inhabits her place in the world comes through loud and clear on original cuts like "All by Myself," "Don't Hurt the Ones (Who've Loved You the Most)," and "Life Moves Slow," as well as her arrangements of Vern and Rex Gosdin's "There Must Be a Someone" and Bill Monroe's "Traveling Down This Lonesome Road.

Perhaps because it was one of the first songs Waldon wrote this go-around,"All By Myself," in particular, stands out as something of a thesis statement for the rest of the album, if not for life, in general. As she explains, "It is not a lecture, or a sermon, or a statement from me. I want it to be a statement for everyone, as a whole: The power is only inside of ourselves."

Because no country record would be complete without a proper kiss-off cut, Waldon scratched out her own entry in that milieu with "You Can Have It." That kind of personal empowerment comes up time and again across I've Got a Way. In "Let's Pretend," that power emerges through the act of focusing on the good and choosing the kind as part of what Waldom describes as "a 'Storms Never Last' mentality" to relationships.

Closing the collection are "Traveling Down This Lonesome Road," which stands as her hard-edged hat tip to Bill Monroe and the music she grew up on, and "The Heartbreak," which shows she can deliver a weeper, to boot. But this isn't the standard woe-is-me fare. Here, too, is a message of empowerment and empathy.

So, how does Waldon turn her messages into the country music that is so much a part of her? "Lay it all out, and sing it from the heart, way down deep," she says. "If you do it that way, you don't need gimmicks."

Mobley with Special Guest Johnny Walylko

Cutting vocals in the woods behind his college dorm. Mixing in the backseat of a sedan. Sneaking into the music department after hours to teach himself to play new instruments (and sneaking out before the faculty arrived in the morning). From the start, Mobley's work has been marked by solitude, ingenuity, and a drive that could only be called obsessive. Whether you experience his music on record or at one of his live shows (on stage, he's electric), the passion is palpable. Mobley grew up all over the world, from the Spanish Mediterranean to the California coast. Perhaps it's because of this itinerant childhood that he finds it so hard to sit still.
Over the last few years, he's composed dozens of pieces for stage and television, played 150+ national tour dates (with the likes of JUNGLE, Mutemath, & Wavves and at festivals like Savannah Stopover and Float Fest), and recorded (then scrapped) two whole albums in pursuit of the songs that would become his forthcoming full-length debut, Fresh Lies. The album, on which Mobley plays every instrument, defies easy classification, drawing liberally (often simultaneously) from indie rock, R&B, and pop sensibilities. He's equally at home on a playlist next to The Weeknd and TV on the Radio alike, while his electronic, dub-dabbling production style calls to mind the intricate work of artists like James Blake and Thom Yorke.

Cutting vocals in the woods behind his college dorm. Mixing in the backseat of a sedan. Sneaking into the music department after hours to teach himself to play new instruments (and sneaking out before the faculty arrived in the morning). From the start, Mobley's work has been marked by solitude, ingenuity, and a drive that could only be called obsessive. Whether you experience his music on record or at one of his live shows (on stage, he's electric), the passion is palpable. Mobley grew up all over the world, from the Spanish Mediterranean to the California coast. Perhaps it's because of this itinerant childhood that he finds it so hard to sit still.
Over the last few years, he's composed dozens of pieces for stage and television, played 150+ national tour dates (with the likes of JUNGLE, Mutemath, & Wavves and at festivals like Savannah Stopover and Float Fest), and recorded (then scrapped) two whole albums in pursuit of the songs that would become his forthcoming full-length debut, Fresh Lies. The album, on which Mobley plays every instrument, defies easy classification, drawing liberally (often simultaneously) from indie rock, R&B, and pop sensibilities. He's equally at home on a playlist next to The Weeknd and TV on the Radio alike, while his electronic, dub-dabbling production style calls to mind the intricate work of artists like James Blake and Thom Yorke.

Charlie Parr with Special Guest Dan Petrich

Fans who have been following Charlie Parr through his previous 13 full-length albums and decades of nonstop touring already know that the Duluth-based songwriter has a way of carving a path straight to the gut. On his newest record, Dog, however, he seems to be digging deeper and hitting those nerves quicker than ever before.
"I want my son to have this when I'm gone," Charlie sings not 10 seconds into the opening song on Dog, "Hobo." His voice sounds weary but insistent, his accompaniment sparse and sorrowful. By the second line, the listener has no choice but to be transported on a journey through the burrows of his troubled mind, following him through shadowy twists and turns as he searches for a way out.
It turns out Charlie's been grappling with quite a bit over these past few years. As he prepares to release his new album on Red House Records this fall, he's just as candid about discussing his experiences in
person as he is while singing on the heat-rending Dog.
"I had some really, really bad depression problems over the last couple years," Charlie explains. "I've been trying to get fit, trying not to drink so much, trying not to do the rock 'n' roll guy thing. And then I got depressed. Really depressed. And to me, depression feels like there's me, and then there's this kind of hazy fog of rancid jello all around me, that you can't feel your way out of. And then there's this really, really horrible third thing, this impulsive thing, that doesn't feel like it's me or my depression. It feels like it's coming from outside somewhere. And it's the thing that comes on you all of a sudden, and it's the voice of suicide, it's the voice of ‘quit.'"

"These songs have all kind of come out of that. Especially songs like ‘Salt Water' and ‘Dog,' they really came heavily out of just being depressed, and having to say something about it."

Sometimes I'm alright
Other times it's hard to tell
Like finding light in the bottom of the darkest well
- "Sometimes I'm Alright"
In the album's quieter moments, Charlie confronts these issues head-on, using only an acoustic guitar or banjo to light the way. But the incredible thing about Dog is that it digs into dark matter and contemplates serious topics like mental illness and mortality while embracing a pulse of persistence and forward motion; throughout the album, more and more musicians seem to be joining in the fray as the tempo builds, keeping the overall vibe upbeat.
"I was going to do it completely solo," Charlie says. "I was going to go to this barn in Wisconsin, sit there and play my songs. And I was practicing them and I thought, this is devastating. These songs are hard to
hear in this format. I would never be able to listen to them again. And then my friend Tom Herbers, he
saw something was wrong. We talked, booked time at Creation" Audio, and made a plan to flesh out the album with a backing band.

So Charlie called on some longtime friends who he's collaborated with throughout his career: the experimental folk artist Jeff Mitchell, percussionist Mikkel Beckman, harmonica player Dave Hundreiser, and bassist Liz Draper, who traded her typical upright bass in for an electric at Charlie's request. The group found an instant chemistry in the studio, capturing some of the tracks on the first take.
"I wrote all the lyrics on these giant pieces of paper, and I had highlighters, and I assigned them each a color. I was going to be super organized," Charlie remembers. "And then we started playing, and all of a
sudden none of that even mattered. These stupid highlighters, the pieces of paper - I should have just
trusted in the beginning that these friends would know how to take care of my songs."
You claim the bed lifted up off the floor
Well, how do you know I'm not as good as you are? A soul is a soul is a soul is a soul
- "Dog"
In the album's more raucous moments, Charlie turns from contemplating his inner struggles to examining his connection to other living creatures. The album's title track, "Dog," and the blistering "Another Dog" were inspired by some of the lessons he's learned from his own pet, and wondering about the way dogs interact with humans and the outside world.
"I have a dog, her name is Ruby but I call her Ruben, and we go for these long, crazy, chaotic walks," Charlie says. "Because I decided a long time ago that I get along really well with this dog, and I was
taking her for walks, and she wanted to go this way, and I wanted to go that way. And then I thought, why
are we going to go this way and not that way? Maybe I should be the one getting walked. Maybe I'll learn something. So I follow the dog."

Despite the album's darker moments, the listener is left hearing Charlie in a more optimistic and defiant headspace, reflecting on how far he's come - and how content he is to accept that some things are simply unknowable.

Fans who have been following Charlie Parr through his previous 13 full-length albums and decades of nonstop touring already know that the Duluth-based songwriter has a way of carving a path straight to the gut. On his newest record, Dog, however, he seems to be digging deeper and hitting those nerves quicker than ever before.
"I want my son to have this when I'm gone," Charlie sings not 10 seconds into the opening song on Dog, "Hobo." His voice sounds weary but insistent, his accompaniment sparse and sorrowful. By the second line, the listener has no choice but to be transported on a journey through the burrows of his troubled mind, following him through shadowy twists and turns as he searches for a way out.
It turns out Charlie's been grappling with quite a bit over these past few years. As he prepares to release his new album on Red House Records this fall, he's just as candid about discussing his experiences in
person as he is while singing on the heat-rending Dog.
"I had some really, really bad depression problems over the last couple years," Charlie explains. "I've been trying to get fit, trying not to drink so much, trying not to do the rock 'n' roll guy thing. And then I got depressed. Really depressed. And to me, depression feels like there's me, and then there's this kind of hazy fog of rancid jello all around me, that you can't feel your way out of. And then there's this really, really horrible third thing, this impulsive thing, that doesn't feel like it's me or my depression. It feels like it's coming from outside somewhere. And it's the thing that comes on you all of a sudden, and it's the voice of suicide, it's the voice of ‘quit.'"

"These songs have all kind of come out of that. Especially songs like ‘Salt Water' and ‘Dog,' they really came heavily out of just being depressed, and having to say something about it."

Sometimes I'm alright
Other times it's hard to tell
Like finding light in the bottom of the darkest well
- "Sometimes I'm Alright"
In the album's quieter moments, Charlie confronts these issues head-on, using only an acoustic guitar or banjo to light the way. But the incredible thing about Dog is that it digs into dark matter and contemplates serious topics like mental illness and mortality while embracing a pulse of persistence and forward motion; throughout the album, more and more musicians seem to be joining in the fray as the tempo builds, keeping the overall vibe upbeat.
"I was going to do it completely solo," Charlie says. "I was going to go to this barn in Wisconsin, sit there and play my songs. And I was practicing them and I thought, this is devastating. These songs are hard to
hear in this format. I would never be able to listen to them again. And then my friend Tom Herbers, he
saw something was wrong. We talked, booked time at Creation" Audio, and made a plan to flesh out the album with a backing band.

So Charlie called on some longtime friends who he's collaborated with throughout his career: the experimental folk artist Jeff Mitchell, percussionist Mikkel Beckman, harmonica player Dave Hundreiser, and bassist Liz Draper, who traded her typical upright bass in for an electric at Charlie's request. The group found an instant chemistry in the studio, capturing some of the tracks on the first take.
"I wrote all the lyrics on these giant pieces of paper, and I had highlighters, and I assigned them each a color. I was going to be super organized," Charlie remembers. "And then we started playing, and all of a
sudden none of that even mattered. These stupid highlighters, the pieces of paper - I should have just
trusted in the beginning that these friends would know how to take care of my songs."
You claim the bed lifted up off the floor
Well, how do you know I'm not as good as you are? A soul is a soul is a soul is a soul
- "Dog"
In the album's more raucous moments, Charlie turns from contemplating his inner struggles to examining his connection to other living creatures. The album's title track, "Dog," and the blistering "Another Dog" were inspired by some of the lessons he's learned from his own pet, and wondering about the way dogs interact with humans and the outside world.
"I have a dog, her name is Ruby but I call her Ruben, and we go for these long, crazy, chaotic walks," Charlie says. "Because I decided a long time ago that I get along really well with this dog, and I was
taking her for walks, and she wanted to go this way, and I wanted to go that way. And then I thought, why
are we going to go this way and not that way? Maybe I should be the one getting walked. Maybe I'll learn something. So I follow the dog."

Despite the album's darker moments, the listener is left hearing Charlie in a more optimistic and defiant headspace, reflecting on how far he's come - and how content he is to accept that some things are simply unknowable.

(Early Show) Eilen Jewell - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Eilen Jewell laughs when told her label’s president called her a musicologist. But she confirms she and her husband and bandmate, Jason Beek, have a passion for studying American music.

“We really love to uncover the past. It’s almost like digging for buried treasure,” she says. “For me, that’s where music is at. I like all kinds of music as long as there’s the word early in front of it.”

For her new album, Down Hearted Blues, releasing Sept. 22, 2017, on Signature Sounds, they unearthed 12 vintage gems written or made famous by an array of artists both renowned and obscure, from Willie Dixon and Memphis Minnie to Charles Sheffield and Betty James. Then, like expert stonecutters, they chiseled them into exciting new shapes and forms, honoring history while breathing new life into each discovery.

Eilen Jewell laughs when told her label’s president called her a musicologist. But she confirms she and her husband and bandmate, Jason Beek, have a passion for studying American music.

“We really love to uncover the past. It’s almost like digging for buried treasure,” she says. “For me, that’s where music is at. I like all kinds of music as long as there’s the word early in front of it.”

For her new album, Down Hearted Blues, releasing Sept. 22, 2017, on Signature Sounds, they unearthed 12 vintage gems written or made famous by an array of artists both renowned and obscure, from Willie Dixon and Memphis Minnie to Charles Sheffield and Betty James. Then, like expert stonecutters, they chiseled them into exciting new shapes and forms, honoring history while breathing new life into each discovery.

(Late Show) Turnpike Gardens with Special Guest NORM

Combining equal parts tight, high-energy musicianship and dynamic songwriting, Turnpike Gardens is an up-and-coming rock band from Pittsburgh, PA. The band draws its influences from rock acts of late 60s and early 70s as well as early 90s alternative rock.

Turnpike Gardens consists of three high school friends, bassist Nick Funyak, guitarist Evan Mulgrave and drummer James Conley, a trio with more than a decade of shared musical history, and features vocalist Heather Polvinale, whose brash, powerful voice carries shades of Grace Slick and Fiona Apple.

In their short history, Turnpike Gardens has already created a reputation for packing local venues such as The Smiling Moose, Mr.Smalls, Club Cafe while delivering dynamic, energetic performances. The band has played a number of shows with touring acts and local mainstays such as The Semi-Supervillains and There You Are. Their debut, self-titled LP has received a warm reception from numerous online radio stations, and local radio appearances include regular turns on 105.9 the X and a live session in the WDVE Coffeehouse with Randy Baumann and the DVE Morning Show.

The band is currently writing and recording its follow-up LP to 2015's self-titled release and continues to play live sets in support of the first album.

Combining equal parts tight, high-energy musicianship and dynamic songwriting, Turnpike Gardens is an up-and-coming rock band from Pittsburgh, PA. The band draws its influences from rock acts of late 60s and early 70s as well as early 90s alternative rock.

Turnpike Gardens consists of three high school friends, bassist Nick Funyak, guitarist Evan Mulgrave and drummer James Conley, a trio with more than a decade of shared musical history, and features vocalist Heather Polvinale, whose brash, powerful voice carries shades of Grace Slick and Fiona Apple.

In their short history, Turnpike Gardens has already created a reputation for packing local venues such as The Smiling Moose, Mr.Smalls, Club Cafe while delivering dynamic, energetic performances. The band has played a number of shows with touring acts and local mainstays such as The Semi-Supervillains and There You Are. Their debut, self-titled LP has received a warm reception from numerous online radio stations, and local radio appearances include regular turns on 105.9 the X and a live session in the WDVE Coffeehouse with Randy Baumann and the DVE Morning Show.

The band is currently writing and recording its follow-up LP to 2015's self-titled release and continues to play live sets in support of the first album.

(Early Show) Cordovas

Cordovas are Joe Firstman, Lucca Soria, Jon Loyd, Toby Weaver and Graham Spillman. Out of Madison, TN, Cordovas’ sound is based in harmony, song, and musicianship. Firstman released two albums on Atlantic Records in the early 2000s, including the acclaimed “War of Women.” “Baby Genius,” 24-year-old songsmith, Des Moines’ Lucca Soria, sings and plays guitar. The keyboardist, Jon Loyd, is an original Cordova from Macon, GA. Loyd’s high notes and piano style make the sound unforgettable and recognizable. His musical genius is well known in Nashville circles. Redondo Beach, California’s Graham Spillman is on drums. The 25-year-old Berklee College of Music dropout also sings and pens tunes for the group. Toby Weaver, also an original Cordova and American Folk music aficionado, plays guitar and sings. The band spent the past winter on the Baja in Mexico writing and demoing songs for their latest album produced by two-time Grammy nominee Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids.

Cordovas are Joe Firstman, Lucca Soria, Jon Loyd, Toby Weaver and Graham Spillman. Out of Madison, TN, Cordovas’ sound is based in harmony, song, and musicianship. Firstman released two albums on Atlantic Records in the early 2000s, including the acclaimed “War of Women.” “Baby Genius,” 24-year-old songsmith, Des Moines’ Lucca Soria, sings and plays guitar. The keyboardist, Jon Loyd, is an original Cordova from Macon, GA. Loyd’s high notes and piano style make the sound unforgettable and recognizable. His musical genius is well known in Nashville circles. Redondo Beach, California’s Graham Spillman is on drums. The 25-year-old Berklee College of Music dropout also sings and pens tunes for the group. Toby Weaver, also an original Cordova and American Folk music aficionado, plays guitar and sings. The band spent the past winter on the Baja in Mexico writing and demoing songs for their latest album produced by two-time Grammy nominee Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids.

(Late Show) Ugly Blondes / Whiskey Pilot / Jakethehawk

Howlin Rain with Very Special guest Mountain Movers and Mapache

Since their debut in 2006, Oakland, California’s Howlin Rain has seen as many highs, lows, and wild adventures as any great American rock band. Led by singer/guitarist/lead howler Ethan Miller (co-founder of blistering psych rockers Comets On Fire), they’ve performed to worldwide audiences, enlisted a megastar producer and label, moved on from said megastar producer and label, and ultimately embraced a DIY spirit.
With their new LP The Alligator Bride, Miller’s merry band of pranksters deliver their fifth full-length set of swampy, ragged, and unapologetic rock ’n roll. “The guiding principle for The Alligator Bride was to create ‘Neal Cassady Rock,’” says Miller. “Which is to say, high energy, good-times adventure music, driving the hippie bus, shirtless and stoned, up for four days straight, and extremely fuzzy around the edges.” It’s their first release on Silver Current Records, the artist-run label owned by Miller, who carefully oversees all curation, recording, graphic design, and distribution.

The Alligator Bride is gleefully indebted to classic rock formations such as the Grateful Dead’s Europe ‘72, Mountain Bus’ 1974 burner Sundance, and Free’s masterpiece of atmospheric, minimalist blues, 1969’s Fire and Water. But there’s a wider context to the Rain. At any given moment, Miller pivots between several projects, each a different facet of his sun-scorched California vision. From the pastoral psych jams of his celebrated Sub Pop band Heron Oblivion, to the scuzz punk freakouts of Feral Ohms, to the sprawling, analog ambience of The Odyssey Cult, to his various books of poetry, Miller cuts a renaissance figure in madman’s garb, howling at the moon and cranking out handmade masterpieces.

Which brings us back to Howlin Rain’s latest. Tracked over three days by Eric “King Riff” Bauer at the Mansion in San Francisco, The Alligator Bride is the sound of a full band playing live to tape, cutting the material in first and second takes. (It also marks the second installment in the band’s Mansion trilogy. First was 2016’s Mansion Songs, a less raucous affair, with the gentle touch of Espers/Heron Oblivion’s Meg Baird on vocals, among other contributors.) Miller attributes the magic to the vibe of the Mansion studio, the same space that gave birth to modern garage-psych classics by Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, and Mikal Cronin. “Because it has the word ‘mansion’ in it, people are like, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize it wasn’t an actual mansion.’” says Miller. “It’s a basement in Chinatown. It’s a mansion of the mind. It’s a creative castle. It’s not a literal, San Francisco mansion.”

From the first notes of opening track “Rainbow Trout,” Miller’s guitar choogles out an inescapable riff, a sly reference to the sky spirits of Norman Greenbaum and ZZ Top. The riff – that riff! – unabashedly grounds The Alligator Bride in the classics, but reaches for the stars. Daniel Cervantes’ bottleneck slide guitar eases into place along with Miller’s tuneful-yet-ravaged lead vocals, followed by Jeff McElroy’s bass and Justin Smith’s charging drums. Title track “Alligator Bride” soon crashes the gates like Crazy Horse in all their ragged glory, telling a carnivalesque tale of American splendor, a parade of creatures across time and space. And final track “Coming Down” slow-burns its way through eight minutes of indestructible twin guitars, blazing to a heroic, acid-damaged finish.

“We’re in a vortex of futuristic events,” ruminates Miller. “At this present moment, we can still remember the way the train whistle sounded in the middle of the night, rolling through the dark on the ​outskirts of town. An old America before we walked on the moon, before TV, cell phones, and the internet. The song (and perhaps the entire album) ‘Alligator Bride’ is about standing in the eye of that tornado of time – between the past and the present – in America.” It’s a fitting vision for the band: torn between eras, an epic perspective on what’s come before and what lies ahead, woven into a cosmic tapestry of riffs, rhymes, and resonant frequencies.

Since their debut in 2006, Oakland, California’s Howlin Rain has seen as many highs, lows, and wild adventures as any great American rock band. Led by singer/guitarist/lead howler Ethan Miller (co-founder of blistering psych rockers Comets On Fire), they’ve performed to worldwide audiences, enlisted a megastar producer and label, moved on from said megastar producer and label, and ultimately embraced a DIY spirit.
With their new LP The Alligator Bride, Miller’s merry band of pranksters deliver their fifth full-length set of swampy, ragged, and unapologetic rock ’n roll. “The guiding principle for The Alligator Bride was to create ‘Neal Cassady Rock,’” says Miller. “Which is to say, high energy, good-times adventure music, driving the hippie bus, shirtless and stoned, up for four days straight, and extremely fuzzy around the edges.” It’s their first release on Silver Current Records, the artist-run label owned by Miller, who carefully oversees all curation, recording, graphic design, and distribution.

The Alligator Bride is gleefully indebted to classic rock formations such as the Grateful Dead’s Europe ‘72, Mountain Bus’ 1974 burner Sundance, and Free’s masterpiece of atmospheric, minimalist blues, 1969’s Fire and Water. But there’s a wider context to the Rain. At any given moment, Miller pivots between several projects, each a different facet of his sun-scorched California vision. From the pastoral psych jams of his celebrated Sub Pop band Heron Oblivion, to the scuzz punk freakouts of Feral Ohms, to the sprawling, analog ambience of The Odyssey Cult, to his various books of poetry, Miller cuts a renaissance figure in madman’s garb, howling at the moon and cranking out handmade masterpieces.

Which brings us back to Howlin Rain’s latest. Tracked over three days by Eric “King Riff” Bauer at the Mansion in San Francisco, The Alligator Bride is the sound of a full band playing live to tape, cutting the material in first and second takes. (It also marks the second installment in the band’s Mansion trilogy. First was 2016’s Mansion Songs, a less raucous affair, with the gentle touch of Espers/Heron Oblivion’s Meg Baird on vocals, among other contributors.) Miller attributes the magic to the vibe of the Mansion studio, the same space that gave birth to modern garage-psych classics by Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, and Mikal Cronin. “Because it has the word ‘mansion’ in it, people are like, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize it wasn’t an actual mansion.’” says Miller. “It’s a basement in Chinatown. It’s a mansion of the mind. It’s a creative castle. It’s not a literal, San Francisco mansion.”

From the first notes of opening track “Rainbow Trout,” Miller’s guitar choogles out an inescapable riff, a sly reference to the sky spirits of Norman Greenbaum and ZZ Top. The riff – that riff! – unabashedly grounds The Alligator Bride in the classics, but reaches for the stars. Daniel Cervantes’ bottleneck slide guitar eases into place along with Miller’s tuneful-yet-ravaged lead vocals, followed by Jeff McElroy’s bass and Justin Smith’s charging drums. Title track “Alligator Bride” soon crashes the gates like Crazy Horse in all their ragged glory, telling a carnivalesque tale of American splendor, a parade of creatures across time and space. And final track “Coming Down” slow-burns its way through eight minutes of indestructible twin guitars, blazing to a heroic, acid-damaged finish.

“We’re in a vortex of futuristic events,” ruminates Miller. “At this present moment, we can still remember the way the train whistle sounded in the middle of the night, rolling through the dark on the ​outskirts of town. An old America before we walked on the moon, before TV, cell phones, and the internet. The song (and perhaps the entire album) ‘Alligator Bride’ is about standing in the eye of that tornado of time – between the past and the present – in America.” It’s a fitting vision for the band: torn between eras, an epic perspective on what’s come before and what lies ahead, woven into a cosmic tapestry of riffs, rhymes, and resonant frequencies.

An Evening With Slaid Cleaves

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

Now twenty-five years into his storied career, Cleaves' songwriting has never been more potent than on his new album Ghost on the Car Radio, out June 23.

The characters in Slaid Cleaves' songs live in unglamorous reality. They work dead-end jobs, they run out of money, they grow old, they hold on to each other (or not), and they die. With an eye for the beauty in everyday life, he tells their stories, bringing a bit of empathy to their uncaring world.

On "Take Home Pay," co-written with longtime friend Rod Picott, Cleaves sings from the perspective of an aging manual laborer, fighting looming regret and sadness with stubborn resiliency (and opioid use).

"On my way down to the pawn shop
A couple hundred is all I need
If I have to, I’ll hit the blood bank
I’m bone dry but I can always bleed

I got some Oxy to keep me moving
It slowly takes some things away
The only thing I was scared of losing
She packed up and left today"
-"TAKE HOME PAY"

"As befits the times we live in, there's a heavy dose of disappointment and disillusion here," he says. But somehow, through the worst of it, optimism remains, as if to say, "Yeah, things are pretty bad out there. But there's still some good stuff if you know where to look."

One place his characters find solace is with each other. Traditional love songs are not often found on a Slaid Cleaves record. Here he approaches the subject less as a romantic gesture, and more as a world-weary appreciation of the one who's seen you through thick and thin, as in the song "So Good to Me."

"Times were tough but we were tougher
Slings and arrows we did suffer
Scars, we’ve got a few, but who has not

Words of love and words of anger
Times of peace and times of danger
Never take for granted what we've got"
- "SO GOOD TO ME"

Described as "terse, clear and heartfelt" (NPR Fresh Air), his songs speak to timeless truths. "I'm not an innovator. I'm more of a keeper of the flame," he says.

"Songs are so accessible. You don't need an education to fully appreciate them, you don't need a lot of leisure time to spend on them, you don't need to learn the language of song. We seem to be born with it," Cleaves explains. "With no preparation at all, they can bring you to tears in a matter of seconds. I remember being three or four and getting a lump in my throat when I heard Hank Williams sing."

Now in his fifties, Cleaves admits that it's sometimes hard to stay inspired. "I do become jaded," he says. "I wonder that, at this point in my career, I've had no real national success. No impact on the culture, as my heroes had. The music that I love just doesn't seem relevant to mainstream culture. But then, I have no interest in what mainstream culture offers either."

"But those feelings are always quickly overcome by gratitude," he explains. "I'm making a living as a musician, and making a meaningful connection with people - what could be better than that?"

Ghost on the Car Radio is Cleaves' first release since 2013's Still Fighting the War, which was praised as "one of the year's best albums" by American Songwriter and "carefully crafted...songs about the struggles of the heart in hard times" by the Wall Street Journal. The New York Daily News called his music "a treasure hidden in plain sight," while the Austin Chronicle declared, "there are few contemporaries that compare. He's become a master craftsman on the order of Guy Clark and John Prine."

Cleaves will hit the road this summer and fall in support of the album. For updated tour dates, visit slaidcleaves.com/tour

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

Now twenty-five years into his storied career, Cleaves' songwriting has never been more potent than on his new album Ghost on the Car Radio, out June 23.

The characters in Slaid Cleaves' songs live in unglamorous reality. They work dead-end jobs, they run out of money, they grow old, they hold on to each other (or not), and they die. With an eye for the beauty in everyday life, he tells their stories, bringing a bit of empathy to their uncaring world.

On "Take Home Pay," co-written with longtime friend Rod Picott, Cleaves sings from the perspective of an aging manual laborer, fighting looming regret and sadness with stubborn resiliency (and opioid use).

"On my way down to the pawn shop
A couple hundred is all I need
If I have to, I’ll hit the blood bank
I’m bone dry but I can always bleed

I got some Oxy to keep me moving
It slowly takes some things away
The only thing I was scared of losing
She packed up and left today"
-"TAKE HOME PAY"

"As befits the times we live in, there's a heavy dose of disappointment and disillusion here," he says. But somehow, through the worst of it, optimism remains, as if to say, "Yeah, things are pretty bad out there. But there's still some good stuff if you know where to look."

One place his characters find solace is with each other. Traditional love songs are not often found on a Slaid Cleaves record. Here he approaches the subject less as a romantic gesture, and more as a world-weary appreciation of the one who's seen you through thick and thin, as in the song "So Good to Me."

"Times were tough but we were tougher
Slings and arrows we did suffer
Scars, we’ve got a few, but who has not

Words of love and words of anger
Times of peace and times of danger
Never take for granted what we've got"
- "SO GOOD TO ME"

Described as "terse, clear and heartfelt" (NPR Fresh Air), his songs speak to timeless truths. "I'm not an innovator. I'm more of a keeper of the flame," he says.

"Songs are so accessible. You don't need an education to fully appreciate them, you don't need a lot of leisure time to spend on them, you don't need to learn the language of song. We seem to be born with it," Cleaves explains. "With no preparation at all, they can bring you to tears in a matter of seconds. I remember being three or four and getting a lump in my throat when I heard Hank Williams sing."

Now in his fifties, Cleaves admits that it's sometimes hard to stay inspired. "I do become jaded," he says. "I wonder that, at this point in my career, I've had no real national success. No impact on the culture, as my heroes had. The music that I love just doesn't seem relevant to mainstream culture. But then, I have no interest in what mainstream culture offers either."

"But those feelings are always quickly overcome by gratitude," he explains. "I'm making a living as a musician, and making a meaningful connection with people - what could be better than that?"

Ghost on the Car Radio is Cleaves' first release since 2013's Still Fighting the War, which was praised as "one of the year's best albums" by American Songwriter and "carefully crafted...songs about the struggles of the heart in hard times" by the Wall Street Journal. The New York Daily News called his music "a treasure hidden in plain sight," while the Austin Chronicle declared, "there are few contemporaries that compare. He's become a master craftsman on the order of Guy Clark and John Prine."

Cleaves will hit the road this summer and fall in support of the album. For updated tour dates, visit slaidcleaves.com/tour

Lucy Dacus with Special Guest Deau Eyes- Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Lucy Dacus is done thinking small. Two years after her 2016 debut, No Burden, won her unanimous acclaim as one of rock's most promising new voices, Dacus returns on March 2 with Historian, a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent. It finds her unafraid to take on the big questions — the life-or-death reckonings, and the ones that just feel that way. It's a record full of bracing realizations, tearful declarations and moments of hard-won peace, expressed in lyrics that feel destined for countless yearbook quotes and first tattoos.

"This is the album I needed to make," says Dacus, who views Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician. "Everything after this is a bonus."

She emphasizes that she does not take her newfound platform as a touring musician for granted. "I have this job where I get to talk to people I don't know every night," she remembers thinking on the long van rides across America to support No Burden. Realizing that she would have a dramatically expanded audience for her second album, she felt an urgent call to make something worthwhile: "The next record should be the thing that's most important to say."

The past year, with its electoral disasters and other assorted heartbreaks, has been a rough one for many of us, Dacus included. She found solace in crafting a thoughtful narrative arc for Historian, writing a concept album about cautious optimism in the face of adversity, with thematic links between songs that reveal themselves on repeat listens. "It starts out dark and ends hopeful, but it gets darker in between; it goes to the deepest, darkest, place and then breaks," she explains. "What I'm trying to say throughout the album is that hope survives, even in the face of the worst stuff."

Dacus and her band recorded the album in Nashville last March, re-teaming with No Burden producer Collin Pastore, and mixed it a few months later with A-list studio wizard John Congleton. The sound they created, with substantial input from multi-instrumentalist and live guitarist Jacob Blizard, is far richer and fuller than the debut — an outward flowering of dynamic, living, breathing rock and roll. Dacus' remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers.

The album opens with a striking three-track run. First comes "Night Shift," the only breakup song Dacus has ever written: "In five years I hope the songs feel like covers, dedicated to new lovers," she memorably declares. Next is the catchy, upbeat first single "Addictions," inspired in part by the dislocated feeling of life on the road and the lure of familiarity ("I’m just calling cause I’m used to it/And you’ll pick up cause you’re not a quitter…"), followed by "The Shell," a reflection on (and embrace of) creative burnout. There's nothing tentative about this opening sequence. Right away, it's clear that Dacus is on a new level of truth-telling and melodic grace.

Another key highlight is track five, "Yours & Mine" — "the centerpiece where the whole album hinges in on itself," Dacus says. Using a call-and-response format, she wrestles with the question of how best to participate in a community broken by injustice and fear while staying true to what one believes is right. "It's about realizing your power as a person, and deciding to do the less safe but ultimately more powerful move, which is to move physically forward — show up and march — and move forward politically," says Dacus, who began writing the song during the 2015 Baltimore Uprising against systemic racism.

Historian closes with two stunning songs: "Pillar of Truth," a heartfelt tribute to Dacus' late grandmother, and "Historians," which sums up the album's complex lessons about loss. "From the first song to 'Pillar of Truth,' the message is: You can't avoid these things, so accept them. There's ways to go about it with grace and gratefulness," she says. "Then 'Historians' says that even if you can say that, there's still fear, and loss is terrifying. You still love things, so it's going to hurt. But dark isn't bad. It's good to know that.”

Lucy Dacus is done thinking small. Two years after her 2016 debut, No Burden, won her unanimous acclaim as one of rock's most promising new voices, Dacus returns on March 2 with Historian, a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent. It finds her unafraid to take on the big questions — the life-or-death reckonings, and the ones that just feel that way. It's a record full of bracing realizations, tearful declarations and moments of hard-won peace, expressed in lyrics that feel destined for countless yearbook quotes and first tattoos.

"This is the album I needed to make," says Dacus, who views Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician. "Everything after this is a bonus."

She emphasizes that she does not take her newfound platform as a touring musician for granted. "I have this job where I get to talk to people I don't know every night," she remembers thinking on the long van rides across America to support No Burden. Realizing that she would have a dramatically expanded audience for her second album, she felt an urgent call to make something worthwhile: "The next record should be the thing that's most important to say."

The past year, with its electoral disasters and other assorted heartbreaks, has been a rough one for many of us, Dacus included. She found solace in crafting a thoughtful narrative arc for Historian, writing a concept album about cautious optimism in the face of adversity, with thematic links between songs that reveal themselves on repeat listens. "It starts out dark and ends hopeful, but it gets darker in between; it goes to the deepest, darkest, place and then breaks," she explains. "What I'm trying to say throughout the album is that hope survives, even in the face of the worst stuff."

Dacus and her band recorded the album in Nashville last March, re-teaming with No Burden producer Collin Pastore, and mixed it a few months later with A-list studio wizard John Congleton. The sound they created, with substantial input from multi-instrumentalist and live guitarist Jacob Blizard, is far richer and fuller than the debut — an outward flowering of dynamic, living, breathing rock and roll. Dacus' remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers.

The album opens with a striking three-track run. First comes "Night Shift," the only breakup song Dacus has ever written: "In five years I hope the songs feel like covers, dedicated to new lovers," she memorably declares. Next is the catchy, upbeat first single "Addictions," inspired in part by the dislocated feeling of life on the road and the lure of familiarity ("I’m just calling cause I’m used to it/And you’ll pick up cause you’re not a quitter…"), followed by "The Shell," a reflection on (and embrace of) creative burnout. There's nothing tentative about this opening sequence. Right away, it's clear that Dacus is on a new level of truth-telling and melodic grace.

Another key highlight is track five, "Yours & Mine" — "the centerpiece where the whole album hinges in on itself," Dacus says. Using a call-and-response format, she wrestles with the question of how best to participate in a community broken by injustice and fear while staying true to what one believes is right. "It's about realizing your power as a person, and deciding to do the less safe but ultimately more powerful move, which is to move physically forward — show up and march — and move forward politically," says Dacus, who began writing the song during the 2015 Baltimore Uprising against systemic racism.

Historian closes with two stunning songs: "Pillar of Truth," a heartfelt tribute to Dacus' late grandmother, and "Historians," which sums up the album's complex lessons about loss. "From the first song to 'Pillar of Truth,' the message is: You can't avoid these things, so accept them. There's ways to go about it with grace and gratefulness," she says. "Then 'Historians' says that even if you can say that, there's still fear, and loss is terrifying. You still love things, so it's going to hurt. But dark isn't bad. It's good to know that.”

Chillent (Live Recording) with Special Guest Tim Vitullo

Since 2015, Chillent's one of a kind "soul stew" of Jewish-flavored funk, rock, jazz, and blues has heated up Pittsburgh's favorite venues, festivals, and airwaves.

​Chillent's generous helpings of original compositions, deep covers, and funky interpretations of Jewish classics have fans comparing their live performances to "klezmer Phish," and "Maceo Parker at a bar mitzvah."

Since 2015, Chillent's one of a kind "soul stew" of Jewish-flavored funk, rock, jazz, and blues has heated up Pittsburgh's favorite venues, festivals, and airwaves.

​Chillent's generous helpings of original compositions, deep covers, and funky interpretations of Jewish classics have fans comparing their live performances to "klezmer Phish," and "Maceo Parker at a bar mitzvah."

Opus One Comedy Presents April Richardson - Trivial Moonlight Tour with Special Guests Chip Pope, Felicia Gillespie and Hosted by Sean Collier

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, I moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college (later than most people do). Growing up, I was always obsessed with comedy & was always, as the expression goes, the "class clown." I never realized you could get paid for being obnoxious & disruptive until I moved to L.A. and got a job on E!'s hit show Chelsea Lately — Hollywood dreams, they do come true!

Since Chelsea Lately ended, I have toured with Dana Gould and Chris Hardwick & have appeared several times on Comedy Central's hit show @midnight (you can see the highlights here). I currently co-host the weekly show Almost Genius on TruTV with my friend Chris Fairbanks.

I've also published my own photocopied zine since the age of 14, and have kept a blog since 1997. I used to work for MTV & regularly contributed pop-culture pieces like these ones right here. ("Well yeah, I guess it's obvious — I also like to write.")

What else am I supposed to brag about here? I created & hosted the popular Go Bayside podcast for nearly two years. I make pretty good mixtapes. I think being able to make ends meet by doing comedy & comedy-related things is really wonderful & enjoyable & I feel very lucky. (And did I mention I made lord of the underworld Glenn Danzig laugh once? As far as I know, this qualifies me for a Nobel Prize nomination.)

And because dorks like me enjoy reading this sort of stuff on other people's sites, here are some of my influences: BOB ODENKIRK, Millie De Chirico, Billy Bragg, Paul F. Tompkins, Steve Martin, Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer, Brian Regan, Bill Hicks, David Cross, Colin Quinn, Tom & Jerry, Kids in the Hall, French & Saunders, Eddie Murphy (I saw Raw when I was like, 8, after my grandparents had gone to bed and left HBO on), late '80s-early '90s Saturday Night Live, Clarissa from Clarissa Explains it All, Christopher Guest, Janeane Garofalo, Mike Judge, The State, those MTV promos from the early '90s with Donal Logue as a gross cab driver, both Wayne's World movies, Professor Harold Hill from the 1962 film The Music Man (for confidence), Bugs Bunny, John Waters, Sassy magazine, Zack Morris, & tons more.

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, I moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college (later than most people do). Growing up, I was always obsessed with comedy & was always, as the expression goes, the "class clown." I never realized you could get paid for being obnoxious & disruptive until I moved to L.A. and got a job on E!'s hit show Chelsea Lately — Hollywood dreams, they do come true!

Since Chelsea Lately ended, I have toured with Dana Gould and Chris Hardwick & have appeared several times on Comedy Central's hit show @midnight (you can see the highlights here). I currently co-host the weekly show Almost Genius on TruTV with my friend Chris Fairbanks.

I've also published my own photocopied zine since the age of 14, and have kept a blog since 1997. I used to work for MTV & regularly contributed pop-culture pieces like these ones right here. ("Well yeah, I guess it's obvious — I also like to write.")

What else am I supposed to brag about here? I created & hosted the popular Go Bayside podcast for nearly two years. I make pretty good mixtapes. I think being able to make ends meet by doing comedy & comedy-related things is really wonderful & enjoyable & I feel very lucky. (And did I mention I made lord of the underworld Glenn Danzig laugh once? As far as I know, this qualifies me for a Nobel Prize nomination.)

And because dorks like me enjoy reading this sort of stuff on other people's sites, here are some of my influences: BOB ODENKIRK, Millie De Chirico, Billy Bragg, Paul F. Tompkins, Steve Martin, Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer, Brian Regan, Bill Hicks, David Cross, Colin Quinn, Tom & Jerry, Kids in the Hall, French & Saunders, Eddie Murphy (I saw Raw when I was like, 8, after my grandparents had gone to bed and left HBO on), late '80s-early '90s Saturday Night Live, Clarissa from Clarissa Explains it All, Christopher Guest, Janeane Garofalo, Mike Judge, The State, those MTV promos from the early '90s with Donal Logue as a gross cab driver, both Wayne's World movies, Professor Harold Hill from the 1962 film The Music Man (for confidence), Bugs Bunny, John Waters, Sassy magazine, Zack Morris, & tons more.

Kath Bloom with Special Guest Pairdown

For fans of the song and how to feel it. Kath Bloom (USA) is some kind of legend. She comes from a special place where country, blues and folk are made beautifully translucent and emotive. She has a special gift – her voice is delicate and tender, yet retains that raw emotion and hard worn truths that allows each sung word to be felt.

The more you hear of Kath Bloom, the more you notice it’s not just the arresting voice, but the power of the songwriting. “Beautiful” is the typical response—the kind of beauty that comes from truth, musical and the deeply lyrical. There are no good comparisons, but if you like the deep well of Emmylou Harris, the more poignant lyrics of Lou Reed, the joy of Maher Shalal Hash Baz or even Joni Mitchell, you're kinda in the right zone. In reality, she’s simply Kath Bloom: horse whisperer, vocalist, mum, songwriter and a beautiful person.

Her albums recorded with Loren Mazzacane Connors in the 70′s/80′s are rare things, full of songs that float and melt into the ether. Impossibly beautiful and hard to find on LP, but check the reissues from a few years ago . In the 90′s Kath’s music was famously featured in Richard Linklater’s film Before Sunrise. Since then she has been busy writing and recording to great acclaim. Two new albums in the last few years and she and her songs where also honoured on a tribute album featuring Bill Callahan, Scout Niblett and Mark Kozelek.

For fans of the song and how to feel it. Kath Bloom (USA) is some kind of legend. She comes from a special place where country, blues and folk are made beautifully translucent and emotive. She has a special gift – her voice is delicate and tender, yet retains that raw emotion and hard worn truths that allows each sung word to be felt.

The more you hear of Kath Bloom, the more you notice it’s not just the arresting voice, but the power of the songwriting. “Beautiful” is the typical response—the kind of beauty that comes from truth, musical and the deeply lyrical. There are no good comparisons, but if you like the deep well of Emmylou Harris, the more poignant lyrics of Lou Reed, the joy of Maher Shalal Hash Baz or even Joni Mitchell, you're kinda in the right zone. In reality, she’s simply Kath Bloom: horse whisperer, vocalist, mum, songwriter and a beautiful person.

Her albums recorded with Loren Mazzacane Connors in the 70′s/80′s are rare things, full of songs that float and melt into the ether. Impossibly beautiful and hard to find on LP, but check the reissues from a few years ago . In the 90′s Kath’s music was famously featured in Richard Linklater’s film Before Sunrise. Since then she has been busy writing and recording to great acclaim. Two new albums in the last few years and she and her songs where also honoured on a tribute album featuring Bill Callahan, Scout Niblett and Mark Kozelek.

BAERD with Guy Russo and Jeremy Colbert

Recorded in May 2017 in the mountain town of Hope, Idaho, Baerd’s new album Crete seems an aural testament to the hillsides in which its songs were conceived. Steeped in elusive but firm folk sensibilities, it sees the Boston-based band expanding in depth, both thematically and melodically, beyond their previous releases.

Lead single and title track Crete is no exception, proffering a tectonic, ever-building incursion into tangled introspection in its self-contained pursuit of esotericism. Written largely while camping in South Dakota, “Crete” – based conceptually off the Greek myth of King Minos and the labyrinth in which he hid his shame – sees singer/songwriter Isaiah Beard discussing his penchant for rationalizing the irrational: hiding complex emotions during stressful situations using walls of outward intellectualism.

Beneath intricate folk-prog arrangements and surging harmonic movements that bring to mind baroque-pop iterations of Fleet Foxes or Tallest Man on Earth, Beard uses “Crete” to regard himself reflexively, examining the past to envision a future in which he need no longer construct mazes of “intellectual bullshit” to hide his feelings.

Ultimately, It serves as a reminder. Beard hopes that Crete, suffused with folk stylings as it is, can help listeners connect honestly with their feelings – like it does for him. “I hope people can get lost – and found – in it,” he says.

Recorded in May 2017 in the mountain town of Hope, Idaho, Baerd’s new album Crete seems an aural testament to the hillsides in which its songs were conceived. Steeped in elusive but firm folk sensibilities, it sees the Boston-based band expanding in depth, both thematically and melodically, beyond their previous releases.

Lead single and title track Crete is no exception, proffering a tectonic, ever-building incursion into tangled introspection in its self-contained pursuit of esotericism. Written largely while camping in South Dakota, “Crete” – based conceptually off the Greek myth of King Minos and the labyrinth in which he hid his shame – sees singer/songwriter Isaiah Beard discussing his penchant for rationalizing the irrational: hiding complex emotions during stressful situations using walls of outward intellectualism.

Beneath intricate folk-prog arrangements and surging harmonic movements that bring to mind baroque-pop iterations of Fleet Foxes or Tallest Man on Earth, Beard uses “Crete” to regard himself reflexively, examining the past to envision a future in which he need no longer construct mazes of “intellectual bullshit” to hide his feelings.

Ultimately, It serves as a reminder. Beard hopes that Crete, suffused with folk stylings as it is, can help listeners connect honestly with their feelings – like it does for him. “I hope people can get lost – and found – in it,” he says.

(Early Show) An Evening with Jason Walker

Jason Walker grew up in Pittsburgh, singing in church choirs and then in local R&B and Blues bands. He first shined on the national spotlight with a winning performance on TV’s Its Show Time at the Apollo.
Following his TV debut, he moved to New York City and was quickly signed to dance music icon Junior Vasquez's, label, JVM, where he recorded two albums, “This Is My Life” and “Flexible,” garnering three Top 10 Billboard hits (“My Life,” “No More,” and “Movin’ On”), two Billboard #1s (“Foolish Mind Games” and “Set It Free”) Jason and Tony Moran first met through Junior Vasquez when Vasquez
commissioned Tony Moran to remix “Set It Free.” Jason would go on to receive 2 IDMA (International Dance Music Award) nominations including one for Best Breakthrough Dance Artist.
In 2010, Walker released his third full-length album “Leave It All Behind” independently, landing his seventh Top 20 Billboard Dance hit. His eighth release, “Raise Your Hands,” climbed to #17 on the Billboard charts. He followed with “Beat Don’t Stop” (a song that peaked at #5 on Billboard), “Tell It To My Heart” (an explosive re-imagining of Taylor Dayne’s pop classic, produced by Bimbo Jones, that hit #10 on Billboard), “So Happy” and “Say Yes” (his third and forth Billboard #1s).
To support their newly released single “I’m in Love with You,” Tan Man Music has commissioned remixes from some of the top names in dance music, including Rosabel, Moto Blanco, Sted E and Hybrid Heights, Mike Cruz, Tommer Mizrahi, Strobe, Dinaire and Bissen, Boris, and more.
Moran and Walker also re-enlisted videographer Karl Giant, the director of the “So
Happy” and “Say Yes” music videos. Giant, in turn, brought in artist Randy Polumbo,
whose work has exhibited at the Bass Museum in Miami, Art Basel Miami Beach,
Burning Man and Coachella, as well as a few World champion and Olympic ice skaters, to create a visual work of art for “I’m in Love with You.”

Jason Walker grew up in Pittsburgh, singing in church choirs and then in local R&B and Blues bands. He first shined on the national spotlight with a winning performance on TV’s Its Show Time at the Apollo.
Following his TV debut, he moved to New York City and was quickly signed to dance music icon Junior Vasquez's, label, JVM, where he recorded two albums, “This Is My Life” and “Flexible,” garnering three Top 10 Billboard hits (“My Life,” “No More,” and “Movin’ On”), two Billboard #1s (“Foolish Mind Games” and “Set It Free”) Jason and Tony Moran first met through Junior Vasquez when Vasquez
commissioned Tony Moran to remix “Set It Free.” Jason would go on to receive 2 IDMA (International Dance Music Award) nominations including one for Best Breakthrough Dance Artist.
In 2010, Walker released his third full-length album “Leave It All Behind” independently, landing his seventh Top 20 Billboard Dance hit. His eighth release, “Raise Your Hands,” climbed to #17 on the Billboard charts. He followed with “Beat Don’t Stop” (a song that peaked at #5 on Billboard), “Tell It To My Heart” (an explosive re-imagining of Taylor Dayne’s pop classic, produced by Bimbo Jones, that hit #10 on Billboard), “So Happy” and “Say Yes” (his third and forth Billboard #1s).
To support their newly released single “I’m in Love with You,” Tan Man Music has commissioned remixes from some of the top names in dance music, including Rosabel, Moto Blanco, Sted E and Hybrid Heights, Mike Cruz, Tommer Mizrahi, Strobe, Dinaire and Bissen, Boris, and more.
Moran and Walker also re-enlisted videographer Karl Giant, the director of the “So
Happy” and “Say Yes” music videos. Giant, in turn, brought in artist Randy Polumbo,
whose work has exhibited at the Bass Museum in Miami, Art Basel Miami Beach,
Burning Man and Coachella, as well as a few World champion and Olympic ice skaters, to create a visual work of art for “I’m in Love with You.”

JD Wilkes with The Legendary Shack Shakers Unplugged with Special Guest Zack Keim

The Legendary Shack Shakers’ hell-for-leather roadshow has earned quite a name for itself with its unique brand of Southern Gothic that is all-at-once irreverent, revisionist, dangerous, and fun. Led by their charismatic, rail-thin frontman and blues-harpist JD Wilkes, the Shack Shakers are a four-man wrecking crew from the South whose explosive interpretations of the blues, punk, rock and country have made fans, critics and legions of potential converts into true believers.

After taking more than a year off to work on other projects (including JD Wilkes's book "Barn Dances & Jamborees Across Kentucky"), the band is re-mobilizing in the fall of 2014 much to the excitement of many a Shack Shaker fanatic. Despite the group’s time off, their reputation for intensity has stuck with them. On stage, JD has been compared to the likes of Iggy Pop, David Byrne, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The Nashville Scene named Wilkes “the best frontman in Nashville” in 2002, while former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra has called JD “the last great Rock and Roll frontman.” Having joined the band in early 2012, garage blues guitar player Rod Hamdallah--who also lends his prowess to Wilkes's side project ‘JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers'--is back in the Shack Shakers’ lineup. The rhythm section is rounded out with Brett Whitacre on drums and Mark Robertson thumping out the upright bass.

Although not legendary upon being named, the band has grown into its reputation the last several years due to their heavy tour schedule, six critically acclaimed studio albums, and songs that have been featured on television shows such as HBO’s True Blood. Past tour mates and fans include Reverend Horton Heat, Rancid, The Black Keys, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, and Hank Williams III. Robert Plant is also a noted Legendary Shack Shakers fan, and picked the band to open for him on his 2005 tour of Europe. Plant named the band's third album Believe as one of his favorite records of 2005. The list of esteemed admirers goes on to include horror novelist Stephen King, who listed “CB Song” as among his iPod’s Top Five in a 2008 Entertainment Weekly article. Such a wealth of devoted fans over the years has only added to the mystique that the Legendary Shack Shakers possess, carrying them down the road toward new creative pursuits and barn-shaking tunes.

The Legendary Shack Shakers’ hell-for-leather roadshow has earned quite a name for itself with its unique brand of Southern Gothic that is all-at-once irreverent, revisionist, dangerous, and fun. Led by their charismatic, rail-thin frontman and blues-harpist JD Wilkes, the Shack Shakers are a four-man wrecking crew from the South whose explosive interpretations of the blues, punk, rock and country have made fans, critics and legions of potential converts into true believers.

After taking more than a year off to work on other projects (including JD Wilkes's book "Barn Dances & Jamborees Across Kentucky"), the band is re-mobilizing in the fall of 2014 much to the excitement of many a Shack Shaker fanatic. Despite the group’s time off, their reputation for intensity has stuck with them. On stage, JD has been compared to the likes of Iggy Pop, David Byrne, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The Nashville Scene named Wilkes “the best frontman in Nashville” in 2002, while former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra has called JD “the last great Rock and Roll frontman.” Having joined the band in early 2012, garage blues guitar player Rod Hamdallah--who also lends his prowess to Wilkes's side project ‘JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers'--is back in the Shack Shakers’ lineup. The rhythm section is rounded out with Brett Whitacre on drums and Mark Robertson thumping out the upright bass.

Although not legendary upon being named, the band has grown into its reputation the last several years due to their heavy tour schedule, six critically acclaimed studio albums, and songs that have been featured on television shows such as HBO’s True Blood. Past tour mates and fans include Reverend Horton Heat, Rancid, The Black Keys, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, and Hank Williams III. Robert Plant is also a noted Legendary Shack Shakers fan, and picked the band to open for him on his 2005 tour of Europe. Plant named the band's third album Believe as one of his favorite records of 2005. The list of esteemed admirers goes on to include horror novelist Stephen King, who listed “CB Song” as among his iPod’s Top Five in a 2008 Entertainment Weekly article. Such a wealth of devoted fans over the years has only added to the mystique that the Legendary Shack Shakers possess, carrying them down the road toward new creative pursuits and barn-shaking tunes.

An Evening With Buckwheat Zydeco Jr. & Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band

THE LEGENDARY ILS SONT PARTIS BAND
featuring BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO JR.

"Keeping the legacy of BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO Alive"
One of the best bands in America.
– The New York Times

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO was the preeminent ambassador of Louisiana's zydeco music. If you’ve gotten into zydeco music, or felt its influence, or watched the world celebrate this great aspect of Louisiana culture over the past 30+ years it’s likely been because of Buckwheat Zydeco and his Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band. No other zydeco artist has come close to selling as many records or exposing the music to more people around the world. Buckwheat Zydeco and his Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band has played many major music festivals around the world, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Summerfest, San Diego Street Scene, Bumbershoot, Montreaux Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival and countless others.

On September 24,2016 Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. passed away when he lost his battle with cancer.
Stanley "BUCKWHEAT" Dural, Jr. was the fearless leader of the Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band. The BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2009, and capped it with the release of the Grammy Award-winning Alligator CD, Lay Your Burden Down. In February of 2010 the album won for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. Buckwheat Zydeco had been nominated four previous times in three different categories. This was the band’s first Grammy win. The Legendary Ils Sont Partis band members have appeared with Buck on shows such as David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Conan Obrien, Carson Daily, CNN, The Today Show, MTV, NBC News, CBS Morning News and many others. The band has performed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, both President Clinton’s Inaugurals, and also with the Boston Pops to name a few special events.

Taking what he learned from his father over the past three decades,
Sir Reginald Master Dural is leading the Legendary Il SONT PARTIS BAND- and keeping the Buckwheat Zydeco legacy alive. Sir Reginald will assume the role of the lead vocalist, accordion player and keyboardist. Along side him is his father’s long time friend Bassist and Musical Director of 33 years, Lee Allen Zeno. The other Il Sont Partis band members who performed with Buckwheat Zydeco for a quarter century or more includes Drummer Kevin Menard, Rub Board Mathew Roberts and Trumpeter Curtis Watson. Also joining the band, Buck’s long time friend Louisiana legend and Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Guitarist Paul "Lil Buck" Senegal.

THE LEGENDARY ILS SONT PARTIS BAND
featuring BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO JR.

"Keeping the legacy of BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO Alive"
One of the best bands in America.
– The New York Times

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO was the preeminent ambassador of Louisiana's zydeco music. If you’ve gotten into zydeco music, or felt its influence, or watched the world celebrate this great aspect of Louisiana culture over the past 30+ years it’s likely been because of Buckwheat Zydeco and his Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band. No other zydeco artist has come close to selling as many records or exposing the music to more people around the world. Buckwheat Zydeco and his Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band has played many major music festivals around the world, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Summerfest, San Diego Street Scene, Bumbershoot, Montreaux Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival and countless others.

On September 24,2016 Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. passed away when he lost his battle with cancer.
Stanley "BUCKWHEAT" Dural, Jr. was the fearless leader of the Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band. The BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2009, and capped it with the release of the Grammy Award-winning Alligator CD, Lay Your Burden Down. In February of 2010 the album won for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. Buckwheat Zydeco had been nominated four previous times in three different categories. This was the band’s first Grammy win. The Legendary Ils Sont Partis band members have appeared with Buck on shows such as David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Conan Obrien, Carson Daily, CNN, The Today Show, MTV, NBC News, CBS Morning News and many others. The band has performed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, both President Clinton’s Inaugurals, and also with the Boston Pops to name a few special events.

Taking what he learned from his father over the past three decades,
Sir Reginald Master Dural is leading the Legendary Il SONT PARTIS BAND- and keeping the Buckwheat Zydeco legacy alive. Sir Reginald will assume the role of the lead vocalist, accordion player and keyboardist. Along side him is his father’s long time friend Bassist and Musical Director of 33 years, Lee Allen Zeno. The other Il Sont Partis band members who performed with Buckwheat Zydeco for a quarter century or more includes Drummer Kevin Menard, Rub Board Mathew Roberts and Trumpeter Curtis Watson. Also joining the band, Buck’s long time friend Louisiana legend and Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Guitarist Paul "Lil Buck" Senegal.

Calliope Songwriters Meeting

Meet fellow musicians, collaborate on songs with others and refine your songwriting techniques with the help of a group environment. Open to all interested in attending even if you do not wish to participate, and open to all skill levels.

Meet fellow musicians, collaborate on songs with others and refine your songwriting techniques with the help of a group environment. Open to all interested in attending even if you do not wish to participate, and open to all skill levels.

Eric Sommer

Singer/songwriter Eric Sommer is an unbelievable intersection of improbable influences and experiences channeled into an amazingly diverse catalog and a résumé that reads more like a musical adventure novel than a series of career bullet points.
Sommer emerged from the Boston music scene in the ’80s with a vengeance, a Folk guitarist with a percussive, open-tuning style adapted from the likes of David Bromberg, Steve Howe, Townes Van Zandt and Brit Folk legend Davy Graham. But Boston was also a hotbed of New Wave, Power Pop and Punk at that point, and Sommer absorbed those influences as well, creating a Byrdsian jangle sound that earned him opening slots for national touring acts and regular bookings at the renowned Paradise Theatre.
Sommer eventually relocated to Europe where he scored tours with Bram Tchaikovsky, Wreckless Eric and Nick Lowe, calling Denmark and the Netherlands home for awhile. After honing his personal songwriting style and playing every conceivable club on the European circuit, Sommer returned to Boston homeless and broke.
Living on the streets and in abandoned squats, Sommer played every available open mic and picked up guitar tips from David Landau and Gary Burton/Steve Howe sideman Mick Goodrick, which led to the formation of a trio called The Atomics, which offered up an American version of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Nick Lowe during its run. While The Atomics opened for the Dead Kennedys and Gang of Four and became one of Boston’s best local New Wave outfits, Sommer was finding constant inspiration in the works of Jeff Beck, Pat Martino, Joe Pass and Charlie Christian.
With The Atomics’ dissolution, Sommer’s wanderlust took him to New York, Atlanta and finally the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where he founded the Georgetown Film Festival and embarked on a phase of independent film scoring. Since then, Sommer has been a troubadour with no fixed address, playing well over 250 gigs a year and slowing down just long enough to record a handful of brilliant albums, including Rainy Day Karma with his band, Solar Flares, and his latest solo effort, Brooklyn Bolero.
If there’s any lingering doubt about Sommer’s supernatural versatility, consider that he’s opened for Old 97’s, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins, Bluegrass icon Jerry Douglas, Mates of State, Dr. John, Leon Redbone and Built to Spill, to name a few - and Dead Kennedy’s, Mission to Burma, Gang of Four, and Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric and Brahm Tchaikovsky...
Whether in band or one-man form (which nakedly showcases his amazing acoustic Blues guitar stylings), Sommer is a living history of contemporary music and a musical force of nature.

Singer/songwriter Eric Sommer is an unbelievable intersection of improbable influences and experiences channeled into an amazingly diverse catalog and a résumé that reads more like a musical adventure novel than a series of career bullet points.
Sommer emerged from the Boston music scene in the ’80s with a vengeance, a Folk guitarist with a percussive, open-tuning style adapted from the likes of David Bromberg, Steve Howe, Townes Van Zandt and Brit Folk legend Davy Graham. But Boston was also a hotbed of New Wave, Power Pop and Punk at that point, and Sommer absorbed those influences as well, creating a Byrdsian jangle sound that earned him opening slots for national touring acts and regular bookings at the renowned Paradise Theatre.
Sommer eventually relocated to Europe where he scored tours with Bram Tchaikovsky, Wreckless Eric and Nick Lowe, calling Denmark and the Netherlands home for awhile. After honing his personal songwriting style and playing every conceivable club on the European circuit, Sommer returned to Boston homeless and broke.
Living on the streets and in abandoned squats, Sommer played every available open mic and picked up guitar tips from David Landau and Gary Burton/Steve Howe sideman Mick Goodrick, which led to the formation of a trio called The Atomics, which offered up an American version of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Nick Lowe during its run. While The Atomics opened for the Dead Kennedys and Gang of Four and became one of Boston’s best local New Wave outfits, Sommer was finding constant inspiration in the works of Jeff Beck, Pat Martino, Joe Pass and Charlie Christian.
With The Atomics’ dissolution, Sommer’s wanderlust took him to New York, Atlanta and finally the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where he founded the Georgetown Film Festival and embarked on a phase of independent film scoring. Since then, Sommer has been a troubadour with no fixed address, playing well over 250 gigs a year and slowing down just long enough to record a handful of brilliant albums, including Rainy Day Karma with his band, Solar Flares, and his latest solo effort, Brooklyn Bolero.
If there’s any lingering doubt about Sommer’s supernatural versatility, consider that he’s opened for Old 97’s, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins, Bluegrass icon Jerry Douglas, Mates of State, Dr. John, Leon Redbone and Built to Spill, to name a few - and Dead Kennedy’s, Mission to Burma, Gang of Four, and Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric and Brahm Tchaikovsky...
Whether in band or one-man form (which nakedly showcases his amazing acoustic Blues guitar stylings), Sommer is a living history of contemporary music and a musical force of nature.

Jim Avett with Special Guest Dan Zlotnick Presented by Opus One & PromoWest North Shore

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ferdinand the Bull Album Release 'Painting Over Pictures' w/ Bindley Hardware Co. and Max Somerville (of Wreck Loose)

(Early Show) The Suitcase Junket with Special Guest Zak Trojano

From the salvaged sounds of American juke joints, back porches, honky tonks and rock clubs, The Suitcase Junket conjures an entirely new sound in this essential rock collection, Pile Driver. The Suitcase Junket is Matt Lorenz: artist, tinkerer, swamp yankee, one man band. His is the road worn voice rising over the grind of a tube amped dumpster guitar, with wild double pitches of throat singing. From The Suitcase Junket's penchant for thrift and ingenuity comes this full length album his debut at Signature Sounds of original rock anthems, mountain ballads, blues manifestos and dance hall festivity, played on instruments built of broken bottles, twisted forks, dried bones, gas cans, shoes, saw blades, a toy keyboard, and an overhead compartment’s worth of luggage.

From the salvaged sounds of American juke joints, back porches, honky tonks and rock clubs, The Suitcase Junket conjures an entirely new sound in this essential rock collection, Pile Driver. The Suitcase Junket is Matt Lorenz: artist, tinkerer, swamp yankee, one man band. His is the road worn voice rising over the grind of a tube amped dumpster guitar, with wild double pitches of throat singing. From The Suitcase Junket's penchant for thrift and ingenuity comes this full length album his debut at Signature Sounds of original rock anthems, mountain ballads, blues manifestos and dance hall festivity, played on instruments built of broken bottles, twisted forks, dried bones, gas cans, shoes, saw blades, a toy keyboard, and an overhead compartment’s worth of luggage.

(Late Show) Campdogzz

Campdogzz are dialed into the bleak, spirited heart of the industrial Midwest. The Chicago-based fivepiece
band harbors driving rhythms, insistent dual guitars set in intriguing arrangements, and the
haunting, evocative voice of Tulsa, OK-native Jess Price. Her melodies take on the shape of a storm
making its way in -- and out just as soon. There’s a feeling of electricity, of winds shifting, a magical mix of
both comfort and unease.
In Rounds, Campdogzz’s sophomore album, was written partially in Chicago but mostly throughout the
Southwest as Price and guitarist/vocalist Mike Russell traveled, post-tour, in the schoolbus that used to
serve as their band van. Engulfed by desert, this starkness -- like Price’s native Oklahoma -- couldn’t help
but seep into the songs. It was a period of collective change for the band as relationships began and
ended, people moved and planted new roots. Everyone experienced some sort of massive life shift and
the album serves as a reflection of that period, of growth and patience.
Price, who moved to Chicago to become a filmmaker, has spent her life writing songs. She never
considered pursuing music, however, until her introduction to Russell and Nick Enderle (guitar, synth)
while filming a documentary on their previous band, Suns. While Price is the main songwriter, Russell has
been equally integral to the band from the start, shaping the sound and contributing a song completely of
his own on each album. Campdogzz’s self-released 2015 debut album Riders in the Hills of Dying
Heaven was the brainchild of solely the pair and came together quickly, but In Rounds represents a shift
in their creative process. The new album is a more collaborative and intentional effort, written over a
couple of years and recorded in 2017 in Chicago. Like its predecessor, In Rounds is self-produced, but
this time with production assistance from engineer Nick Poplio.
Campdogzz have earned a devoted following in Chicago and the surrounding Midwest, with a solid lineup
featuring Price (vocals, guitar, organ), Russell (guitar, backing vocals), Enderle (guitar, synth), Andrew
Rolfsen (bass), and Chris Dye (drums). In addition to their own headlining shows and a recent tour with
Field Report, the band has opened for Big Thief, Sam Evian, Ohmme, and more. They were recently
seen in the first season of the Netflix series “Easy,” while Riders in the Hills of Dying Heaven has been
streamed more than two million times. With In Rounds, Campdogzz usher us into the dusty windstorm of
a melodic midwest -- aching with yearning and regret -- their hymns offering solace on the long road away
from home.

Campdogzz are dialed into the bleak, spirited heart of the industrial Midwest. The Chicago-based fivepiece
band harbors driving rhythms, insistent dual guitars set in intriguing arrangements, and the
haunting, evocative voice of Tulsa, OK-native Jess Price. Her melodies take on the shape of a storm
making its way in -- and out just as soon. There’s a feeling of electricity, of winds shifting, a magical mix of
both comfort and unease.
In Rounds, Campdogzz’s sophomore album, was written partially in Chicago but mostly throughout the
Southwest as Price and guitarist/vocalist Mike Russell traveled, post-tour, in the schoolbus that used to
serve as their band van. Engulfed by desert, this starkness -- like Price’s native Oklahoma -- couldn’t help
but seep into the songs. It was a period of collective change for the band as relationships began and
ended, people moved and planted new roots. Everyone experienced some sort of massive life shift and
the album serves as a reflection of that period, of growth and patience.
Price, who moved to Chicago to become a filmmaker, has spent her life writing songs. She never
considered pursuing music, however, until her introduction to Russell and Nick Enderle (guitar, synth)
while filming a documentary on their previous band, Suns. While Price is the main songwriter, Russell has
been equally integral to the band from the start, shaping the sound and contributing a song completely of
his own on each album. Campdogzz’s self-released 2015 debut album Riders in the Hills of Dying
Heaven was the brainchild of solely the pair and came together quickly, but In Rounds represents a shift
in their creative process. The new album is a more collaborative and intentional effort, written over a
couple of years and recorded in 2017 in Chicago. Like its predecessor, In Rounds is self-produced, but
this time with production assistance from engineer Nick Poplio.
Campdogzz have earned a devoted following in Chicago and the surrounding Midwest, with a solid lineup
featuring Price (vocals, guitar, organ), Russell (guitar, backing vocals), Enderle (guitar, synth), Andrew
Rolfsen (bass), and Chris Dye (drums). In addition to their own headlining shows and a recent tour with
Field Report, the band has opened for Big Thief, Sam Evian, Ohmme, and more. They were recently
seen in the first season of the Netflix series “Easy,” while Riders in the Hills of Dying Heaven has been
streamed more than two million times. With In Rounds, Campdogzz usher us into the dusty windstorm of
a melodic midwest -- aching with yearning and regret -- their hymns offering solace on the long road away
from home.

Joan of Arc with Special Guest B Boys

Twenty years now there’s been this thing, our band, Joan of Arc. Sometimes we forget about it and let it fizzle out for a year while we tend to our lives. Sometimes we cling to it for a year and wake up surprised and exhausted every day for months on end, given walking tours of old Italian towns, browsing dreary British pedestrian malls or barefooted organic grocers on the Pacific coast. We know how lucky we are.
The less we feel like a band—the more we can continue to be a band, but escape that feeling of doing all those shitty, corny things expected of bands—the truer to ourselves we feel. And you all know it, everyone knows it even if everyone has to bury it to get on with their day-to-day: the truer to ourselves we feel, the better everything gets. We have shifted shapes and modified our approaches quite a number of times in the course of twenty years. And we’ve done so always aiming to stay true to ourselves at that moment, by instinct and with conscious intent. This time, it took us a long time to figure out how to start back up. We threw away a lot of songs and started over, over and over.

But here’s the thing: We are getting better at being ourselves. So many of the postures of youth just fall away with time. Most bands break up by that point, or become caricatures of their younger selves. Because money is tricky, or I should say, it comes to be that energy is tricky to muster after all of it goes into the basics of sustaining yourself.

Every day, at some point, it occurs to me that Richard Brautigan killed himself at the age that I am now. But I got this community of weirdo collaborators to lean on that he never had.

We’ve never had an audience that gets any validation of its coolness through liking us. We’ve mangled, juxtaposed, and collaged too many elements for that social contract. But we trust each other.

This time, finally, we trusted each other enough to throw all the songs away, to even throw away every preconceived idea about which one of us should take position at which instrument. We hit Record and played, and our collective tastes emerged. And they, our tastes in the moment, were the only standards in all the expanse of the stupefying and beautiful unknown universe, that we regarded as relevant in the least.

- Tim Kinsella

Twenty years now there’s been this thing, our band, Joan of Arc. Sometimes we forget about it and let it fizzle out for a year while we tend to our lives. Sometimes we cling to it for a year and wake up surprised and exhausted every day for months on end, given walking tours of old Italian towns, browsing dreary British pedestrian malls or barefooted organic grocers on the Pacific coast. We know how lucky we are.
The less we feel like a band—the more we can continue to be a band, but escape that feeling of doing all those shitty, corny things expected of bands—the truer to ourselves we feel. And you all know it, everyone knows it even if everyone has to bury it to get on with their day-to-day: the truer to ourselves we feel, the better everything gets. We have shifted shapes and modified our approaches quite a number of times in the course of twenty years. And we’ve done so always aiming to stay true to ourselves at that moment, by instinct and with conscious intent. This time, it took us a long time to figure out how to start back up. We threw away a lot of songs and started over, over and over.

But here’s the thing: We are getting better at being ourselves. So many of the postures of youth just fall away with time. Most bands break up by that point, or become caricatures of their younger selves. Because money is tricky, or I should say, it comes to be that energy is tricky to muster after all of it goes into the basics of sustaining yourself.

Every day, at some point, it occurs to me that Richard Brautigan killed himself at the age that I am now. But I got this community of weirdo collaborators to lean on that he never had.

We’ve never had an audience that gets any validation of its coolness through liking us. We’ve mangled, juxtaposed, and collaged too many elements for that social contract. But we trust each other.

This time, finally, we trusted each other enough to throw all the songs away, to even throw away every preconceived idea about which one of us should take position at which instrument. We hit Record and played, and our collective tastes emerged. And they, our tastes in the moment, were the only standards in all the expanse of the stupefying and beautiful unknown universe, that we regarded as relevant in the least.

- Tim Kinsella

Jack Broadbent with Special Guest Tim Vitullo

Hailed as “The new master of the slide guitar” by the Montreux Jazz Festival and “The real thang” by the legendary Bootsy Collins, Jack Broadbent has spent the past year wowing international audiences with his unique blend of virtuosic acoustic and slide guitar, and poignant folk and blues inspired vocals.

Born and raised in rural England, Jack grew up listening to artists such as John Lee Hooker, Peter Green, Robert Johnson, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, to name a few. These legends of rock, blues, roots and folk influenced Jack’s distinctive song writing, singing and performance style, which have a depth and heart that defies strict musical genres. Jack‘s performances exude a warmth, humour and energy that has electrified audiences worldwide.

Following a string of successful shows opening for legendary artists, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Hallyday, Robben Ford, and Tony Joe White, Jack headlined his own whirlwind international tour, playing sold out shows for music lovers in Europe, New Zealand, Japan, the US and Canada. 2017 will be a big year for Jack as he works on a new album and continues touring internationally.

With three full length albums under his belt, tens of millions of YouTube views and a devoted army of fans, this young musician’s career is going full throttle.

Don’t miss the unforgettable musical experience that is Jack Broadbent live.

Hailed as “The new master of the slide guitar” by the Montreux Jazz Festival and “The real thang” by the legendary Bootsy Collins, Jack Broadbent has spent the past year wowing international audiences with his unique blend of virtuosic acoustic and slide guitar, and poignant folk and blues inspired vocals.

Born and raised in rural England, Jack grew up listening to artists such as John Lee Hooker, Peter Green, Robert Johnson, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, to name a few. These legends of rock, blues, roots and folk influenced Jack’s distinctive song writing, singing and performance style, which have a depth and heart that defies strict musical genres. Jack‘s performances exude a warmth, humour and energy that has electrified audiences worldwide.

Following a string of successful shows opening for legendary artists, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Hallyday, Robben Ford, and Tony Joe White, Jack headlined his own whirlwind international tour, playing sold out shows for music lovers in Europe, New Zealand, Japan, the US and Canada. 2017 will be a big year for Jack as he works on a new album and continues touring internationally.

With three full length albums under his belt, tens of millions of YouTube views and a devoted army of fans, this young musician’s career is going full throttle.

Don’t miss the unforgettable musical experience that is Jack Broadbent live.

Nicole Atkins with Special Guest Ruby Boots - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

To borrow a phrase from heaven’s new poet laureate, Leonard Cohen, Nicole Atkins was “born with the gift of a golden voice.” But somewhere along the way she misplaced it. Goodnight Rhonda Lee is the story of Nicole finding her voice, and how, in doing so, she went a little crazy.

Great Art is born of struggle and Nicole was struggling. The problem was that she felt nothing. Her fans responded to her performances with the same fervor they always had, but Nicole felt nothing. Her new husband loved her and doted on her, but she felt nothing. She traced it back to her drinking and decided to try to learn to live without booze. But that first day of sobriety brought with it an unexpected additional test — Nicole’s dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. This Jersey girl, whose big voice was tethered to a big heart, and whose reaction to the mundane setbacks of everyday life had always been equally overblown, suddenly faced a real problem. “It toughened me up,” she says.

And the songs started to come. Little bursts of therapeutic creativity. Thorny feelings transubstantiated into melodies. Beginning with “Listen Up,” a wake-up call to a lucky girl who hadn’t realized how lucky she’d been, Nicole started to find her redemption in these songs. They rang true in a way no songs ever had before. They came from a deep, vulnerable place. If Nicole had been living an unexamined life, she wasn’t anymore.

She needed her newfound toughness though, as in the midst of all this turmoil, she prepared to move from her native Asbury Park to Nashville. Having spent more than a decade as the de facto queen of Asbury, Nicole was finally leaving the warm, but often stifling confines of her hometown. During one of her final nights before the exodus, a song came to her in a dream. “I Love Living Here Even When I Don’t” summed up the complicated feelings she experienced as she said goodbye to the only real home she’d ever known.

In Nashville, Nicole’s once hectic life was very different. Left home alone as her tour manager husband plied his trade out on the road, Nicole found herself writing songs that examined “feelings of separation and being scared of new surroundings.” In particular, the songs “Sleepwalking” and “Darkness Falls” echo like ghosts through an empty house.

Unsurprisingly, her sobriety faltered. She drifted in and out of it. Nicole knew the wagon was good for her, but she had a hard time staying focused on what was good for her. As it went on however, the clarity of those sober days started to shine through. And she was able to string them together in longer stretches. For the first time, she was able to offer a shoulder for others to lean on, rather than always being the one in need of a shoulder. It helped that she had to be strong for herself in order to be strong for her dad. Much of what she was feeling was painful, but it beat the hell out of feeling nothing.

She reconnected with her old friend Chris Isaak who encouraged her, in the midst of all the soul-searching and soul-baring, to write songs that emphasized the one trait that most sets her apart from the mere mortals of the industry, telling her, “Atkins, you have a very special thing in your voice that a lot of people can’t or don’t do. You need to stop shying away from that thing and let people hear it.” To that end, the two of them collaborated on Goodnight Rhonda Lee‘s standout track, the instant classic, “A Little Crazy.”

Great Art is a journey — and Nicole Atkins traveled quite a distance to bring us Goodnight Rhonda Lee. As Nicole explains it, “This record came to me at a time of deep transition. Some days were good, some not so good. What I did gain, though, from starting to make some changes and going inward, and putting it out on the table, was a joy in what I do again. Joy in the process and a newfound confidence that I don’t think I’ve ever had until now. The album title, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, also came from those feelings. Rhonda Lee was kind of my alias for bad behavior, and it was time to put that persona to bed.“

The direction in which these songs were headed was obvious. Nicole’s voice had always recalled a classic vinyl collection. She is the heir to the legacy of “Roy Orbison, Lee Hazelwood, Sinatra, Aretha, Carole King, Candi Staton.” She is untethered to decade or movement or the whim of the hipster elite.

In order to capture the timelessness she sought, Nicole enlisted a modern day Wrecking Crew: Niles City Sound in Fort Worth, TX, who had just risen to national acclaim as Leon Bridges‘ secret weapon. “We spoke the same language. We wanted to make something classic, something that had an atmosphere and a mood of romance and triumph and strength and soul.” The album was recorded in five days, live to tape. The album that Nicole and the boys came up with in those five days, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, is nothing less than Great Art and a quantum leap forward for Nicole Atkins who, no matter how much she grows up, will always be a little crazy.

To borrow a phrase from heaven’s new poet laureate, Leonard Cohen, Nicole Atkins was “born with the gift of a golden voice.” But somewhere along the way she misplaced it. Goodnight Rhonda Lee is the story of Nicole finding her voice, and how, in doing so, she went a little crazy.

Great Art is born of struggle and Nicole was struggling. The problem was that she felt nothing. Her fans responded to her performances with the same fervor they always had, but Nicole felt nothing. Her new husband loved her and doted on her, but she felt nothing. She traced it back to her drinking and decided to try to learn to live without booze. But that first day of sobriety brought with it an unexpected additional test — Nicole’s dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. This Jersey girl, whose big voice was tethered to a big heart, and whose reaction to the mundane setbacks of everyday life had always been equally overblown, suddenly faced a real problem. “It toughened me up,” she says.

And the songs started to come. Little bursts of therapeutic creativity. Thorny feelings transubstantiated into melodies. Beginning with “Listen Up,” a wake-up call to a lucky girl who hadn’t realized how lucky she’d been, Nicole started to find her redemption in these songs. They rang true in a way no songs ever had before. They came from a deep, vulnerable place. If Nicole had been living an unexamined life, she wasn’t anymore.

She needed her newfound toughness though, as in the midst of all this turmoil, she prepared to move from her native Asbury Park to Nashville. Having spent more than a decade as the de facto queen of Asbury, Nicole was finally leaving the warm, but often stifling confines of her hometown. During one of her final nights before the exodus, a song came to her in a dream. “I Love Living Here Even When I Don’t” summed up the complicated feelings she experienced as she said goodbye to the only real home she’d ever known.

In Nashville, Nicole’s once hectic life was very different. Left home alone as her tour manager husband plied his trade out on the road, Nicole found herself writing songs that examined “feelings of separation and being scared of new surroundings.” In particular, the songs “Sleepwalking” and “Darkness Falls” echo like ghosts through an empty house.

Unsurprisingly, her sobriety faltered. She drifted in and out of it. Nicole knew the wagon was good for her, but she had a hard time staying focused on what was good for her. As it went on however, the clarity of those sober days started to shine through. And she was able to string them together in longer stretches. For the first time, she was able to offer a shoulder for others to lean on, rather than always being the one in need of a shoulder. It helped that she had to be strong for herself in order to be strong for her dad. Much of what she was feeling was painful, but it beat the hell out of feeling nothing.

She reconnected with her old friend Chris Isaak who encouraged her, in the midst of all the soul-searching and soul-baring, to write songs that emphasized the one trait that most sets her apart from the mere mortals of the industry, telling her, “Atkins, you have a very special thing in your voice that a lot of people can’t or don’t do. You need to stop shying away from that thing and let people hear it.” To that end, the two of them collaborated on Goodnight Rhonda Lee‘s standout track, the instant classic, “A Little Crazy.”

Great Art is a journey — and Nicole Atkins traveled quite a distance to bring us Goodnight Rhonda Lee. As Nicole explains it, “This record came to me at a time of deep transition. Some days were good, some not so good. What I did gain, though, from starting to make some changes and going inward, and putting it out on the table, was a joy in what I do again. Joy in the process and a newfound confidence that I don’t think I’ve ever had until now. The album title, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, also came from those feelings. Rhonda Lee was kind of my alias for bad behavior, and it was time to put that persona to bed.“

The direction in which these songs were headed was obvious. Nicole’s voice had always recalled a classic vinyl collection. She is the heir to the legacy of “Roy Orbison, Lee Hazelwood, Sinatra, Aretha, Carole King, Candi Staton.” She is untethered to decade or movement or the whim of the hipster elite.

In order to capture the timelessness she sought, Nicole enlisted a modern day Wrecking Crew: Niles City Sound in Fort Worth, TX, who had just risen to national acclaim as Leon Bridges‘ secret weapon. “We spoke the same language. We wanted to make something classic, something that had an atmosphere and a mood of romance and triumph and strength and soul.” The album was recorded in five days, live to tape. The album that Nicole and the boys came up with in those five days, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, is nothing less than Great Art and a quantum leap forward for Nicole Atkins who, no matter how much she grows up, will always be a little crazy.

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

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

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.

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.

Efrim Manuel Menuck (of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion)

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.

(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.

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.

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

Cory Branan

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.

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.

(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

SOLD OUT - 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

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.

(Early Show) Tracy Grammer - CD Release Tour

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.

(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.

Will Hoge (Band)

"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."

Israel Nash Lifted Tour 2018 - 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.

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.”

(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.

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.

(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.

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.

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.

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.

(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.

(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.”

(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.”

@clubcafelive

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