club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
David Berkeley with Special Guest Michael Dawson

Santa Fe-based singer, songwriter, author David Berkeley has been a guest on This American Life, Mountain Stage, World Cafe, CNN, XM Radio's Loft Sessions, WFUV, NPR's Acoustic Cafe and many more. He won the 2015 Kerrville New Folk competition and ASCAP's Johnny Mercer Songwriting Award. Called "a musical poet" by the San Francisco Chronicle, "sensational" by the Philadelphia Inquirer and "spellbinding" by Blurt, critics praise Berkeley's carefully crafted philosophic lyrics and soulful baritone, which at one moment resonates richly only to swoop into a fragile falsetto in the next. Berkeley has shared the stage with Adele, Mumford and Sons, Nickel Creek, Ray Lamontagne, Dido, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright and many more. His latest release is a novel one. He's penned a set of interwoven stories offered in his second book, The Free Brontosaurus, and a batch of accompanying songs on his sixth studio album, Cardboard Boat. The songs are sung from the perspective of each story's main character. His live shows often feature Berkeley reading excerpts from the book and singing the accompanying songs. Fans of Nick Drake, Ryan Adams, Cat Stevens or authors like Miranda July are in for a rare treat.

Santa Fe-based singer, songwriter, author David Berkeley has been a guest on This American Life, Mountain Stage, World Cafe, CNN, XM Radio's Loft Sessions, WFUV, NPR's Acoustic Cafe and many more. He won the 2015 Kerrville New Folk competition and ASCAP's Johnny Mercer Songwriting Award. Called "a musical poet" by the San Francisco Chronicle, "sensational" by the Philadelphia Inquirer and "spellbinding" by Blurt, critics praise Berkeley's carefully crafted philosophic lyrics and soulful baritone, which at one moment resonates richly only to swoop into a fragile falsetto in the next. Berkeley has shared the stage with Adele, Mumford and Sons, Nickel Creek, Ray Lamontagne, Dido, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright and many more. His latest release is a novel one. He's penned a set of interwoven stories offered in his second book, The Free Brontosaurus, and a batch of accompanying songs on his sixth studio album, Cardboard Boat. The songs are sung from the perspective of each story's main character. His live shows often feature Berkeley reading excerpts from the book and singing the accompanying songs. Fans of Nick Drake, Ryan Adams, Cat Stevens or authors like Miranda July are in for a rare treat.

Club Cafe's Monthly Open Stage with Host Bob Banerjee

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

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

This month's host is Bob Banerjee

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

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

This month's host is Bob Banerjee

Tommy Keene with Ivan Julian with Special Guest Steve Morrison and John Young of the Optimists

After a false start four decades ago, Tommy Keene and Ivan Julian are joining forces.

Rock 'n' roll aficionados need no introduction to pop songwriter Tommy Keene and pioneer punk guitarist Ivan Julian. However, what even the most dedicated listener might not know is these two Washington D.C.-area natives need no introduction to each other. In fact, the two were briefly in a band together in New York in 1980. While that partnership was not destined to last, Tommy and Ivan are now about to embark on a dynamite double-bill acoustic tour, playing solo and together.

To get to the roots of this relationship, we have to go all the way back to 1978. Ivan was playing guitar with the seminal New York punk outfit Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Tommy was working in D.C. with the Razz, a legendary local rock ’n’ rock outfit. One night, along with Razz bassist Ted Niceley, Tommy drove up to NYC to see Cheap Trick at the Bottom Line. Arriving to find out that the show had been cancelled, the two headed to Max’s Kansas City, where Ted introduced Tommy to his friend Ivan.

The two hit it off. A couple years later, Tommy was invited to come to New York to join Ivan’s new group, ultimately called the Outsets. Tommy rehearsed and hung out with Ivan in the early part of 1980, taking in the whole New York East Village scene, including such historic haunts as CBGB’s and the Mudd Club.

Tommy, however, was not destined to remain an Outset. Instead, he formed his own group and in the ensuing decades has released acclaimed albums on the Dolphin, Geffen and Matador labels, while occasionally playing sideman for Paul Westerberg and Robert Pollard. Ivan continued the Outsets for a few years, worked with the Clash and Shriekback, and later played extensively with Matthew Sweet before releasing his own solo album in 2011.

Having headed their separate ways at the dawn of the '80s, this current Keene-Julian pairing is, to say the least, an unexpected surprise. But when you also consider that only a short time ago, Ivan fought his way back to good health after nearly succumbing to cancer, then this 10-city tour is nothing short of miraculous.

After a false start four decades ago, Tommy Keene and Ivan Julian are joining forces.

Rock 'n' roll aficionados need no introduction to pop songwriter Tommy Keene and pioneer punk guitarist Ivan Julian. However, what even the most dedicated listener might not know is these two Washington D.C.-area natives need no introduction to each other. In fact, the two were briefly in a band together in New York in 1980. While that partnership was not destined to last, Tommy and Ivan are now about to embark on a dynamite double-bill acoustic tour, playing solo and together.

To get to the roots of this relationship, we have to go all the way back to 1978. Ivan was playing guitar with the seminal New York punk outfit Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Tommy was working in D.C. with the Razz, a legendary local rock ’n’ rock outfit. One night, along with Razz bassist Ted Niceley, Tommy drove up to NYC to see Cheap Trick at the Bottom Line. Arriving to find out that the show had been cancelled, the two headed to Max’s Kansas City, where Ted introduced Tommy to his friend Ivan.

The two hit it off. A couple years later, Tommy was invited to come to New York to join Ivan’s new group, ultimately called the Outsets. Tommy rehearsed and hung out with Ivan in the early part of 1980, taking in the whole New York East Village scene, including such historic haunts as CBGB’s and the Mudd Club.

Tommy, however, was not destined to remain an Outset. Instead, he formed his own group and in the ensuing decades has released acclaimed albums on the Dolphin, Geffen and Matador labels, while occasionally playing sideman for Paul Westerberg and Robert Pollard. Ivan continued the Outsets for a few years, worked with the Clash and Shriekback, and later played extensively with Matthew Sweet before releasing his own solo album in 2011.

Having headed their separate ways at the dawn of the '80s, this current Keene-Julian pairing is, to say the least, an unexpected surprise. But when you also consider that only a short time ago, Ivan fought his way back to good health after nearly succumbing to cancer, then this 10-city tour is nothing short of miraculous.

Vita and the Woolf with Special Guest Anthony Heubel

Vita and the Woolf is the sound of operatic vocals meeting neo-soul synth pop. Driven by the anthemic voice of front woman, Jennifer Pague and supported by the dynamic drumming of Adam Shumski, Vita and the Woolf has been melding cross-genre influences in their powerhouse electronic style since their first EP Fang Song came out in 2014.

The band’s head-turning live show has since grown to reflect both the range of Pague’s vocals and the music’s shape shifting energy.

Originally inspired by the love relationship between novelists Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, the name “Vita and the Woolf” was chosen while Pague was studying abroad in Europe in 2012. Upon returning to the states and going through a variety of line-up changes, the band has since solidified as a collaboration between Pague and Shumski. In the past year this configuration of Vita and the Woolf has been featured on the Urban Outfitters Music Blog, NYLON Magazine, and other regional and national media outlets as the band gears up for their upcoming album release in 2017.
Stay tuned for more info about “TUNNELS”, the band’s new full length record.

Vita and the Woolf recently toured as direct support for Rasputina on a 17-date cross country tour. In addition they have performed at XPoNential Music Festival in 2015 on the same lineup as St. Vincent, My Morning Jacket, and Courtney Barnett. And have opened up for Milk & Bone, Christine Perri & Colbie Caillat, Hamilton Leithauser, and The Parlour Tricks.

Vita and the Woolf is the sound of operatic vocals meeting neo-soul synth pop. Driven by the anthemic voice of front woman, Jennifer Pague and supported by the dynamic drumming of Adam Shumski, Vita and the Woolf has been melding cross-genre influences in their powerhouse electronic style since their first EP Fang Song came out in 2014.

The band’s head-turning live show has since grown to reflect both the range of Pague’s vocals and the music’s shape shifting energy.

Originally inspired by the love relationship between novelists Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, the name “Vita and the Woolf” was chosen while Pague was studying abroad in Europe in 2012. Upon returning to the states and going through a variety of line-up changes, the band has since solidified as a collaboration between Pague and Shumski. In the past year this configuration of Vita and the Woolf has been featured on the Urban Outfitters Music Blog, NYLON Magazine, and other regional and national media outlets as the band gears up for their upcoming album release in 2017.
Stay tuned for more info about “TUNNELS”, the band’s new full length record.

Vita and the Woolf recently toured as direct support for Rasputina on a 17-date cross country tour. In addition they have performed at XPoNential Music Festival in 2015 on the same lineup as St. Vincent, My Morning Jacket, and Courtney Barnett. And have opened up for Milk & Bone, Christine Perri & Colbie Caillat, Hamilton Leithauser, and The Parlour Tricks.

Christopher Mark Jones - 'Incantations' CD Release with Special Guest Mark Williams

Christopher Mark Jones brings The Roots Ensemble (Vince Camut, guitar & pedal steel, Mark Perna, bass and Eric Kurtzrock, drums and vocals) and 13 new songs from his fourth release since 2010—Incantations—back to Club Cafe. Some early returns:

“From the simple country storytelling of “Field of Dreams” to the brooding, bluesy “Fire So Soon,” Christopher uses the palate of American roots music to weave his tales of families, lovers, workers, travel and hope.” Robin Greenstein, songwriter.

“… captivating lyrics, wide-ranging textures and exquisite instrumentation. The tracks incorporate talented accompanists that, like the mix itself, add layers and depth to the recording while still allowing Christopher's voice, lyrics and intricate guitar-playing to shine through.” Larry Berger, Saturday Light Brigade.

“Christopher’s new CD Incantations is filled with the things that make him a Pittsburgh pleasure – comfortable song settings in tight arrangements, brought to life by the Roots Ensemble (Jones and Vince Camut on guitars, pedal steel and banjo, Mark Perna on bass and Mark Weakland on drums and percussion) and several other contributors, all supporting Jones’ voice as husky and warm as carded wool.” Brian Junker, SongSpace

“Christopher Mark Jones is a bonafide storyteller in the mold of the classic folk troubadour. With Greg Brown's pacing and a Lyle Lovett attitude Jones revels in catchy choruses and solid song structure. Case in point is "Lordstown," which deftly follows a rustbelt family through several generations ending in job losses, college debt, and economic insecurity. With "Incantations" Jones lays out a west coast funk inspired groove to underscore a pointed, dark, and self deprecating autobiography of his genealogical and spiritual coming of age as a white male folksinger. With lines such as, "My mother kept her Christmas cards and the titles to our slaves, wrote Pentecostal histories in which we all were saved," Jones both indicts his privilege and bears it like a curse which has him singing "these incantations, revelations to no one," where his "only hope of happiness is to step right off this earth." There is a hopeful romantic streak on this album as well, highlighted by the tender "Field of Dreams." You'd need to have a heart as cold as a January night on Lake Erie to not feel the warmth of these two lovers.” Ben Shannon, songwriter.

Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Mark Williams will bring his passion and rhythm for an opening set.

Christopher Mark Jones brings The Roots Ensemble (Vince Camut, guitar & pedal steel, Mark Perna, bass and Eric Kurtzrock, drums and vocals) and 13 new songs from his fourth release since 2010—Incantations—back to Club Cafe. Some early returns:

“From the simple country storytelling of “Field of Dreams” to the brooding, bluesy “Fire So Soon,” Christopher uses the palate of American roots music to weave his tales of families, lovers, workers, travel and hope.” Robin Greenstein, songwriter.

“… captivating lyrics, wide-ranging textures and exquisite instrumentation. The tracks incorporate talented accompanists that, like the mix itself, add layers and depth to the recording while still allowing Christopher's voice, lyrics and intricate guitar-playing to shine through.” Larry Berger, Saturday Light Brigade.

“Christopher’s new CD Incantations is filled with the things that make him a Pittsburgh pleasure – comfortable song settings in tight arrangements, brought to life by the Roots Ensemble (Jones and Vince Camut on guitars, pedal steel and banjo, Mark Perna on bass and Mark Weakland on drums and percussion) and several other contributors, all supporting Jones’ voice as husky and warm as carded wool.” Brian Junker, SongSpace

“Christopher Mark Jones is a bonafide storyteller in the mold of the classic folk troubadour. With Greg Brown's pacing and a Lyle Lovett attitude Jones revels in catchy choruses and solid song structure. Case in point is "Lordstown," which deftly follows a rustbelt family through several generations ending in job losses, college debt, and economic insecurity. With "Incantations" Jones lays out a west coast funk inspired groove to underscore a pointed, dark, and self deprecating autobiography of his genealogical and spiritual coming of age as a white male folksinger. With lines such as, "My mother kept her Christmas cards and the titles to our slaves, wrote Pentecostal histories in which we all were saved," Jones both indicts his privilege and bears it like a curse which has him singing "these incantations, revelations to no one," where his "only hope of happiness is to step right off this earth." There is a hopeful romantic streak on this album as well, highlighted by the tender "Field of Dreams." You'd need to have a heart as cold as a January night on Lake Erie to not feel the warmth of these two lovers.” Ben Shannon, songwriter.

Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Mark Williams will bring his passion and rhythm for an opening set.

(Early Show) Kinky Friedman's Resurrected Tour

KINKY FRIEDMAN: RESURRECTED
Public Demands More Of Governor Of The Heart Of Texas

Kerrville, Texas - Yep, renowned raconteur and Governor Of The Heart Of Texas Kinky Friedman has been resurrected.  And he's hitting the road to prove it.  The legendary outlaw country singer/songwriter, novelist and Texas Jewboy's latest cd, The Loneliest Man I Ever Met (Avenue A Records/Thirty Tigers), mixing originals with interpretations of the music of his greatest contemporaries, is a hit.  It has received rave reviews across the board, making it Kinky's best and most popular release ever.  Yes, the Kinkster has been resurrected.

The Resurrected Tour tour starts in mid-April and will continue to the middle of May.  Kinky will be performing with his uber sideman, Joe Cirotti.  Kinky's cd producer, Brian Molnar will be opening the show.  Kinkster's long time pal, Brian Kanof, will be auctioning off bottles (first half of the tour only) of Man In Black Tequila (which is co-owned by Brian, Kinky and a third party) to benefit Kinky's award-winning animal rescue group Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch.

Nobody could invent a character quite like Kinky Friedman, the stogie-waving, black-hat-wearing Texas Jewboy singer, storyteller, tequila purveyor, animal rescuer and full-time iconoclast.

But what he hadn't done in 39 years was write brand new songs and record a new studio album around them. Friedman's The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, has to have been one of the longest-awaited follow-ups in recent memory. Not that fans have complained; the continued popularity of tunes such as Sold American, Nashville Casualty and Life and Ride 'Em Jewboy (the Holocaust-referencing song that soothed Nelson Mandela in prison) prove Kinky is that rare talent whose work withstands the test of time. Friedman still delivers those songs - interspersed with his inimitable blend of politically incorrect quips, jokes and tales both tall and true - to appreciative audiences around the world.

And new chapters of Kinky's fable life are just around the corner - literally.  Coming soon from Backbeat Books will be Mary Lou Sullivan's comprehensive Kinky bio (holy cow: 450+ pages!) and a brand new book by Kinky about Bob Dylan, which is not so much a biography as a group of "tales from the Bob."  To top it off, Kinky has nearly a dozen more brand new tunes for a follow up cd.  There are simply more sentiments he needs to express - his own and those of what country music was all about, according to Kinky, before it came "homogenized and trivialized and sanitized."
Railing against such perceived evils - whether cultural, political, social or in any other realm of human experience - is one of Friedman's favorite pastimes, which is why he calls Warren Zevon's My Shit's Fucked Up possibly that album's most important song. The late Zevon wrote it as a commentary on his own failing health, but Friedman finds it a perfect allegory for the current state of world affairs. As a man who has traveled much of the planet, quotes Winston Churchill, and calls two presidents pals, he's in a position to know.

And on tour Kinky will be, traveling from village to village, perhaps proving the truth of resurrection itself, definitely railing against evil.  Upon his return from the road, Kinky will dive into that next cd recording project.  To be titled Zoey, it should be available in late 2017.  "Maybe I'll just have to stick with songwriting," he says, stifling a sigh.

KINKY FRIEDMAN: RESURRECTED
Public Demands More Of Governor Of The Heart Of Texas

Kerrville, Texas - Yep, renowned raconteur and Governor Of The Heart Of Texas Kinky Friedman has been resurrected.  And he's hitting the road to prove it.  The legendary outlaw country singer/songwriter, novelist and Texas Jewboy's latest cd, The Loneliest Man I Ever Met (Avenue A Records/Thirty Tigers), mixing originals with interpretations of the music of his greatest contemporaries, is a hit.  It has received rave reviews across the board, making it Kinky's best and most popular release ever.  Yes, the Kinkster has been resurrected.

The Resurrected Tour tour starts in mid-April and will continue to the middle of May.  Kinky will be performing with his uber sideman, Joe Cirotti.  Kinky's cd producer, Brian Molnar will be opening the show.  Kinkster's long time pal, Brian Kanof, will be auctioning off bottles (first half of the tour only) of Man In Black Tequila (which is co-owned by Brian, Kinky and a third party) to benefit Kinky's award-winning animal rescue group Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch.

Nobody could invent a character quite like Kinky Friedman, the stogie-waving, black-hat-wearing Texas Jewboy singer, storyteller, tequila purveyor, animal rescuer and full-time iconoclast.

But what he hadn't done in 39 years was write brand new songs and record a new studio album around them. Friedman's The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, has to have been one of the longest-awaited follow-ups in recent memory. Not that fans have complained; the continued popularity of tunes such as Sold American, Nashville Casualty and Life and Ride 'Em Jewboy (the Holocaust-referencing song that soothed Nelson Mandela in prison) prove Kinky is that rare talent whose work withstands the test of time. Friedman still delivers those songs - interspersed with his inimitable blend of politically incorrect quips, jokes and tales both tall and true - to appreciative audiences around the world.

And new chapters of Kinky's fable life are just around the corner - literally.  Coming soon from Backbeat Books will be Mary Lou Sullivan's comprehensive Kinky bio (holy cow: 450+ pages!) and a brand new book by Kinky about Bob Dylan, which is not so much a biography as a group of "tales from the Bob."  To top it off, Kinky has nearly a dozen more brand new tunes for a follow up cd.  There are simply more sentiments he needs to express - his own and those of what country music was all about, according to Kinky, before it came "homogenized and trivialized and sanitized."
Railing against such perceived evils - whether cultural, political, social or in any other realm of human experience - is one of Friedman's favorite pastimes, which is why he calls Warren Zevon's My Shit's Fucked Up possibly that album's most important song. The late Zevon wrote it as a commentary on his own failing health, but Friedman finds it a perfect allegory for the current state of world affairs. As a man who has traveled much of the planet, quotes Winston Churchill, and calls two presidents pals, he's in a position to know.

And on tour Kinky will be, traveling from village to village, perhaps proving the truth of resurrection itself, definitely railing against evil.  Upon his return from the road, Kinky will dive into that next cd recording project.  To be titled Zoey, it should be available in late 2017.  "Maybe I'll just have to stick with songwriting," he says, stifling a sigh.

(Late Show) Steeltown Horns with Special Guest Gene Stovall

"The Steeltown Horns band is Pittsburgh's premier instrumental funk band playing powerful original and classic funky instrumentals, and featuring a truly all star lineup. The eight piece band is fronted by the three man international touring horn section The Steeltown Horns: Reggie Watkins - trombone, Rick Matt - saxophone, and JD Chaisson - trumpet. The group also features many of the areas most talented musicians including iconic drummer Poogie Bell. The other members are Anton Defade - bass, Anthony Ambroso - guitar, Justin Bechak - Keys, and David Glover - percussion. The band made a big splash on the Pittsburgh scene when they formed in 2016 and played the official Feastival afterparty, several well attended shows at The Rex Theater, and finishing off the year at First Night Pittsburgh in Downtown Pittsburgh. The group has recently hit the studio and is currently producing their first studio EP."

"The Steeltown Horns band is Pittsburgh's premier instrumental funk band playing powerful original and classic funky instrumentals, and featuring a truly all star lineup. The eight piece band is fronted by the three man international touring horn section The Steeltown Horns: Reggie Watkins - trombone, Rick Matt - saxophone, and JD Chaisson - trumpet. The group also features many of the areas most talented musicians including iconic drummer Poogie Bell. The other members are Anton Defade - bass, Anthony Ambroso - guitar, Justin Bechak - Keys, and David Glover - percussion. The band made a big splash on the Pittsburgh scene when they formed in 2016 and played the official Feastival afterparty, several well attended shows at The Rex Theater, and finishing off the year at First Night Pittsburgh in Downtown Pittsburgh. The group has recently hit the studio and is currently producing their first studio EP."

Acid Mothers Temple with Special Guests BABYLON - Presented by Opus One & WPTS Radio

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Formed in 1995 by Makoto Kawabata at the same time as the Acid Mothers Temple Soul Collective. The group released its debut album in 1997 on PSF Records (Japan), and it was selected as one of the year's best albums in the The Wire magazine (UK). In 1998 the group played their first tours of the US and Europe. Since then the group has released a huge number of albums on labels from many different countries. As of 2017, the group has released around 80 albums. Every year since 1998, they have toured extensively in the US and Europe, and more recently have started performing around Asia and in Japan too.
The group has performed in collaboration with many musicians including psychedelic originators Gong and Guru Guru, Simeon (Silver Apples), Nik Turner (Hawkwind), and the Occitanian trad sinder Rosina de Peira. Japanese collaborators have included Afrirampo, Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins), Maso Yamazaki (Masonna), Seiichi Yamamoto (Boredoms), Jun Kuriyama (The Ox), and many others.
To begin with the group had a floating line-up with contributions from many members of the AMT Soul Collective. But as tours became more frequent, the group began to coalesce around a core touring line-up. Other bands were created with Acid Mothers Temple as part of their name (AMT & The Cosmic Inferno, AMT SWR, AMT & The Space Paranoid, Acid Mothers Gong, Acid Mothers Guru Guru, etc.), but AMT & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. has continued to function as the mothership and main lineage for all our activities.
In 2016, 21 years since the group's founding, there was a major shift in the line-up and "Next Generation" was added to the name. We now view the first 20 years as chapter one in our story, and we are now turning the page to start chapter two. The current touring line-up is: Makoto Kawabata (the sole original member), Hiroshi Higashi, Mitsuko☆Tabata, Nani Satoshima, and S/T.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Formed in 1995 by Makoto Kawabata at the same time as the Acid Mothers Temple Soul Collective. The group released its debut album in 1997 on PSF Records (Japan), and it was selected as one of the year's best albums in the The Wire magazine (UK). In 1998 the group played their first tours of the US and Europe. Since then the group has released a huge number of albums on labels from many different countries. As of 2017, the group has released around 80 albums. Every year since 1998, they have toured extensively in the US and Europe, and more recently have started performing around Asia and in Japan too.
The group has performed in collaboration with many musicians including psychedelic originators Gong and Guru Guru, Simeon (Silver Apples), Nik Turner (Hawkwind), and the Occitanian trad sinder Rosina de Peira. Japanese collaborators have included Afrirampo, Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins), Maso Yamazaki (Masonna), Seiichi Yamamoto (Boredoms), Jun Kuriyama (The Ox), and many others.
To begin with the group had a floating line-up with contributions from many members of the AMT Soul Collective. But as tours became more frequent, the group began to coalesce around a core touring line-up. Other bands were created with Acid Mothers Temple as part of their name (AMT & The Cosmic Inferno, AMT SWR, AMT & The Space Paranoid, Acid Mothers Gong, Acid Mothers Guru Guru, etc.), but AMT & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. has continued to function as the mothership and main lineage for all our activities.
In 2016, 21 years since the group's founding, there was a major shift in the line-up and "Next Generation" was added to the name. We now view the first 20 years as chapter one in our story, and we are now turning the page to start chapter two. The current touring line-up is: Makoto Kawabata (the sole original member), Hiroshi Higashi, Mitsuko☆Tabata, Nani Satoshima, and S/T.

Dave Alvin & The Guilty Ones

Dave Alvin, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and self-described “barroom guitarist," is widely considered to be one of the pivotal founders of the current Americana music scene. A fourth generation Californian, Dave Alvin grew up in Downey, California as the local landscape quickly evolved from orange groves and dairy farms to tract homes and freeways.

Since forming the highly influential roots rock/R+B band The Blasters, with his brother Phil in 1979, and throughout his long and critically acclaimed solo career, Dave Alvin has mixed his varied musical and literary influences into his own unique, updated version of traditional American music. Combining elements of blues, folk, R+B, rockabilly, Bakersfield country and garage rock and roll with lyrical inspiration from local writers and poets like Raymond Chandler, Gerald Locklin and Charles Bukowski, Alvin says that his songs are "just like California. A big, messy melting pot."

Dave Alvin's songs have been recorded by a who's who of contemporary roots artists from Los Lobos, Little Milton, Robert Earl Keen, Marshal Crenshaw and Joe Ely to Dwight Yoakam, James McMurtry, Buckwheat Zydeco, Alejandro Escovedo and X. His songs have also been featured in many movies and television shows including Justified, The Sopranos, True Blood, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Crybaby, Miss Congeniality and From Dusk To Dawn.

Dave Alvin, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and self-described “barroom guitarist," is widely considered to be one of the pivotal founders of the current Americana music scene. A fourth generation Californian, Dave Alvin grew up in Downey, California as the local landscape quickly evolved from orange groves and dairy farms to tract homes and freeways.

Since forming the highly influential roots rock/R+B band The Blasters, with his brother Phil in 1979, and throughout his long and critically acclaimed solo career, Dave Alvin has mixed his varied musical and literary influences into his own unique, updated version of traditional American music. Combining elements of blues, folk, R+B, rockabilly, Bakersfield country and garage rock and roll with lyrical inspiration from local writers and poets like Raymond Chandler, Gerald Locklin and Charles Bukowski, Alvin says that his songs are "just like California. A big, messy melting pot."

Dave Alvin's songs have been recorded by a who's who of contemporary roots artists from Los Lobos, Little Milton, Robert Earl Keen, Marshal Crenshaw and Joe Ely to Dwight Yoakam, James McMurtry, Buckwheat Zydeco, Alejandro Escovedo and X. His songs have also been featured in many movies and television shows including Justified, The Sopranos, True Blood, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Crybaby, Miss Congeniality and From Dusk To Dawn.

Maybird with Shana Falana and Zeve

Maybird was born in the summer of 2013 when singer/songwriter Josh Netsky performed at a small concert in the woods of upstate New York called the Stone Mill gathering. It was there that serendipity brought Netsky and his brother (drummer) Adam Netsky together with long-time guitarist Sam Snyder and new addition Kurt Johnson – and things clicked.

Mostly recorded in the basement studio at the Stone Mill, as well as various apartments in the Rochester area, their debut ‘Turning Into Water’ EP paints a picture of the sonic array that resulted from that night. The track ‘Big Sun Explosion’ was discovered by Danger Mouse and released on his label 30th Century Record’s first compilation in late 2015. The EP’s release followed shortly after. Currently, the band is recording a follow up LP and exploring some new sounds.

Maybird was born in the summer of 2013 when singer/songwriter Josh Netsky performed at a small concert in the woods of upstate New York called the Stone Mill gathering. It was there that serendipity brought Netsky and his brother (drummer) Adam Netsky together with long-time guitarist Sam Snyder and new addition Kurt Johnson – and things clicked.

Mostly recorded in the basement studio at the Stone Mill, as well as various apartments in the Rochester area, their debut ‘Turning Into Water’ EP paints a picture of the sonic array that resulted from that night. The track ‘Big Sun Explosion’ was discovered by Danger Mouse and released on his label 30th Century Record’s first compilation in late 2015. The EP’s release followed shortly after. Currently, the band is recording a follow up LP and exploring some new sounds.

Parker McKay with Special Guest Frank Vieira

Parker McKay
Northeast native Parker McKay is a soul-bearing, country pop/rock singer-songwriter. Influenced by everyone from Sheryl Crow to Aerosmith to Shania Twain, her career got its official start after Parker attracted the attention of booking giant Live Nation. Now Nashville-based, she released her debut, self-titled EP in August 2016 - some of which co-written with up-and-comer Lucie Silvas. In November 2016, the video for the first single "Rolling Stone" premiered exclusively with Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Country. Parker’s currently in the studio recording new material for her upcoming project, due out later this year.

Parker press quote - "rootsy, heartland version of new wave rock with a feather-soft vocal delivery" -Rolling Stone

Frank Vieira

It's hard to tell whether Frank Vieira found country music, or whether country found him, but there's no denying it's a perfect fit.
Born on Valentine's Day, 1990, in Schenectady, N.Y., Frank has put his heart into everything he's ever done. As he climbs his way up the country music ladder, you can hear the passion in his voice and see it in his face when he performs, from the heartfelt, " I’m Right Here," to the everyman anthem, "Fill it Up." Songs that have lead to performances with national acts Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Marshall Tucker Band, Leon Russell, Craig Campbell, High Valley, and others. Frank's sophomore EP set to release in June reflects maturity as a songwriter and performer.
Maybe everyone should have seen this passion for country music coming, since Frank's perfect day has always included a fishing pole and a large mouth bass. But for 18 years, that passion took a backseat to different dreams. Since his first years of grade school, he played competitive football, hockey and baseball -- sports that would carry him through high school. Before he picked up his first guitar, he was a promising young quarterback and a hockey player who would go on to be a three-time high school all-star and play a year at the junior level.
However, senior year at Vestal High School -- and one class -- started to change everything. Kevin LaDue's guitar-making course was just too cool to pass up. Frank loved the idea of building his own guitar, piece-by-piece, one class session at a time. This wasn't a kit, this was hand craftsmanship right down to the finish, carefully monitored by LaDue, who had conducted this class for years. And by spring, Frank -- and each of his classmates -- had built an honest-to-goodness acoustic guitar, one that couldn't have sounded more perfect.
Frank describes it this way: "A little left of center, would describe my path into music. I grew up with no interest, no desire, to ever do anything musically, until my senior year In high school, where we were offered an elective to build an acoustic guitar ... I took the class, fell in love with the guitar, and haven't put it down since."

Parker McKay
Northeast native Parker McKay is a soul-bearing, country pop/rock singer-songwriter. Influenced by everyone from Sheryl Crow to Aerosmith to Shania Twain, her career got its official start after Parker attracted the attention of booking giant Live Nation. Now Nashville-based, she released her debut, self-titled EP in August 2016 - some of which co-written with up-and-comer Lucie Silvas. In November 2016, the video for the first single "Rolling Stone" premiered exclusively with Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Country. Parker’s currently in the studio recording new material for her upcoming project, due out later this year.

Parker press quote - "rootsy, heartland version of new wave rock with a feather-soft vocal delivery" -Rolling Stone

Frank Vieira

It's hard to tell whether Frank Vieira found country music, or whether country found him, but there's no denying it's a perfect fit.
Born on Valentine's Day, 1990, in Schenectady, N.Y., Frank has put his heart into everything he's ever done. As he climbs his way up the country music ladder, you can hear the passion in his voice and see it in his face when he performs, from the heartfelt, " I’m Right Here," to the everyman anthem, "Fill it Up." Songs that have lead to performances with national acts Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Marshall Tucker Band, Leon Russell, Craig Campbell, High Valley, and others. Frank's sophomore EP set to release in June reflects maturity as a songwriter and performer.
Maybe everyone should have seen this passion for country music coming, since Frank's perfect day has always included a fishing pole and a large mouth bass. But for 18 years, that passion took a backseat to different dreams. Since his first years of grade school, he played competitive football, hockey and baseball -- sports that would carry him through high school. Before he picked up his first guitar, he was a promising young quarterback and a hockey player who would go on to be a three-time high school all-star and play a year at the junior level.
However, senior year at Vestal High School -- and one class -- started to change everything. Kevin LaDue's guitar-making course was just too cool to pass up. Frank loved the idea of building his own guitar, piece-by-piece, one class session at a time. This wasn't a kit, this was hand craftsmanship right down to the finish, carefully monitored by LaDue, who had conducted this class for years. And by spring, Frank -- and each of his classmates -- had built an honest-to-goodness acoustic guitar, one that couldn't have sounded more perfect.
Frank describes it this way: "A little left of center, would describe my path into music. I grew up with no interest, no desire, to ever do anything musically, until my senior year In high school, where we were offered an elective to build an acoustic guitar ... I took the class, fell in love with the guitar, and haven't put it down since."

The Whistles & The Bells with Special Guests Ryan Hoffman & Bindley Hardware Co.

"I wanted to make a record that sounded like some great cosmic dinner party," explains Bryan Simpson (aka The Whistles & the Bells) of his sophomore LP fittingly dubbed Modern Plagues. "Not a gross, homogenized one where people bludgeon their intellect with one-sided conversation but more of a 'if you could invite four people from history over for dinner who would it be?' kind of shindig. Where some strange collection of human heavyweights sit around discussing the odd pilgrimage that is life. I wanted to sonically interpret what a cosmic intersection of such varied DNA might sound like. Except fast forward the evening past the pretense and the niceties of the appetizer course and push record as the party polishes off the last drop of an encore bottle of wine."

Modern Plagues' 11 expansive tracks find singer / songwriter / producer / multi-instrumentalist Simpson delivering eye-opening lyrical insights and audacious verbal imagery, while displaying a freewheeling sonic sensibility that draws inspiration from a bottomless well of genres and textures. Collaborations with The Raconteurs' Brendan Benson resulted in such out-of-the-box tunes as "Harry Potter," "Small Time Criminals," and "Zombie Heartz," where Simpson's revealing lyrics and richly compelling soundscapes mix to create a singular, personally-charged vision of organized chaos. This extends to remarkably candid tracks like "Year of the Freakout" and "Playing God" when Simpson's satirical observations call into question how we all cope with the turbulent times in which we live; and, more introspectively, to songs such as "Good Drugs" and "Highlight Reel" that sonically grasp, and for that matter, celebrate the fragility and ferocity of man. As the album culminates with the funky, almost playful, apocalyptic closer "40 Years," Modern Plagues leaves no deadly sin untouched, no false idol unexposed.

"I wanted to make an immediate record, one that people would get from the first listen," asserts the Nashville-based Fort Worth native. "I was dead set on not making some kind of 'ninja' record, where the enjoyable bloodletting doesn't begin until the fourth listen when it sneaks up out of nowhere and cuts your throat. I wanted to make something more forthright, more honest. I've made records that are slower to blossom, and some of my favorite records are like that. But I wanted this one to jump out and make its point. I want listeners to be able to imagine and feel the spirit of a night where the air is thick with cigar smoke and opinions, brazen jokes and deep truths. With the whimsical, the mundane, and the transcendent all sharing the same bed of nails."

Simpson's route to Modern Plagues has been an unconventional one. Prior to launching The Whistles & the Bells, he had already won substantial success as a bluegrass mandolinist, serving a seven-year, three-album stint with the acclaimed progressive-bluegrass quartet Cadillac Sky. That group was broad-minded enough to collaborate with both bluegrass icon Ricky Skaggs and the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, which eventually led to an in-demand spot on Mumford and Sons' 2010 North American Tour. Meanwhile, Simpson also carved out a lucrative sideline as a mainstream country songwriter, composing hit tunes for the likes of Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and George Strait.

With those achievements under his belt, a long-gestating musical and spiritual awakening pushed Simpson in a more iconoclastic direction, resulting in The Whistles & the Bells' independently released self-titled 2014 debut. That album chronicled the artist's bold reassessment of his personal and creative choices, and struck a responsive chord with those fortunate enough to hear it, winning acclaim from such notable outlets as Rolling Stone and American Songwriter.

"I don't necessarily feel like this is me, but it's a portion of me that I'm willing to unveil and explore, "Simpson notes. "I could say, 'Go listen to that Bryan Simpson record,' but that idea is just confusing to me. I don't know what Bryan Simpson sounds like, but I'm starting to understand what The Whistles & the Bells sounds like. It's more of an idea than an identity, and I had to get to a certain point in my life where I had the keys to unlock that vault."

The Whistles & The Bells' debut effort won an impressive amount of attention for an indie release, leading to Simpson's current deal with New West Records, which gave the first album a national release and set the stage for Modern Plagues.

"The first record was about spiritual transformation, and about me coming to a place of recognition of my own humanity and a better understanding of my place in the universe," Simpson says. "And as much as it has liberated me elsewhere in my life, perhaps the greatest tangible increase has been creatively. I know the record that I probably should have made. The sophomore record that would have been a much easier transition for everybody involved. But we kept asking ourselves: what record CAN we make?! If there's a sound or an idea we hear, why not chase it? I want to continue to stir up conversations within myself, and within the people who listen to the music."

For Modern Plagues, Simpson collaborated with co-producer/engineer Eddie Spear (Judah & the Lion, Lake Street Dive, Rival Sons), and a crew of like-minded players, including his longtime cohort and former Cadillac Sky member Matt Menefee. In addition to co-writing "Year of the Freakout," Menefee plays banjo, electric guitar, synthesizer, piano and mandocello on the album. Also contributing to the sessions are rising singer/songwriters Brooke Waggoner and Phoebe Cryar, who trade co-lead vocals with Simpson on "Supadope." Many of the album's players will join Simpson when he takes Modern Plagues on the road.

"My cosmic dinner party might have ultimately turned out a little more like a muggy Saturday night in Coney Island with Soren Kierkegaard and Malcolm Muggeridge eating hot dogs and nervously climbing in for a second ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl only to exit 40 minutes later the best kind of woozy." Simpson divulges while reflecting upon the finished work. "But this record is where I openly embrace the weirdness of my existence. Eleven songs, till death do us part. Hope it does something to ya."

"I wanted to make a record that sounded like some great cosmic dinner party," explains Bryan Simpson (aka The Whistles & the Bells) of his sophomore LP fittingly dubbed Modern Plagues. "Not a gross, homogenized one where people bludgeon their intellect with one-sided conversation but more of a 'if you could invite four people from history over for dinner who would it be?' kind of shindig. Where some strange collection of human heavyweights sit around discussing the odd pilgrimage that is life. I wanted to sonically interpret what a cosmic intersection of such varied DNA might sound like. Except fast forward the evening past the pretense and the niceties of the appetizer course and push record as the party polishes off the last drop of an encore bottle of wine."

Modern Plagues' 11 expansive tracks find singer / songwriter / producer / multi-instrumentalist Simpson delivering eye-opening lyrical insights and audacious verbal imagery, while displaying a freewheeling sonic sensibility that draws inspiration from a bottomless well of genres and textures. Collaborations with The Raconteurs' Brendan Benson resulted in such out-of-the-box tunes as "Harry Potter," "Small Time Criminals," and "Zombie Heartz," where Simpson's revealing lyrics and richly compelling soundscapes mix to create a singular, personally-charged vision of organized chaos. This extends to remarkably candid tracks like "Year of the Freakout" and "Playing God" when Simpson's satirical observations call into question how we all cope with the turbulent times in which we live; and, more introspectively, to songs such as "Good Drugs" and "Highlight Reel" that sonically grasp, and for that matter, celebrate the fragility and ferocity of man. As the album culminates with the funky, almost playful, apocalyptic closer "40 Years," Modern Plagues leaves no deadly sin untouched, no false idol unexposed.

"I wanted to make an immediate record, one that people would get from the first listen," asserts the Nashville-based Fort Worth native. "I was dead set on not making some kind of 'ninja' record, where the enjoyable bloodletting doesn't begin until the fourth listen when it sneaks up out of nowhere and cuts your throat. I wanted to make something more forthright, more honest. I've made records that are slower to blossom, and some of my favorite records are like that. But I wanted this one to jump out and make its point. I want listeners to be able to imagine and feel the spirit of a night where the air is thick with cigar smoke and opinions, brazen jokes and deep truths. With the whimsical, the mundane, and the transcendent all sharing the same bed of nails."

Simpson's route to Modern Plagues has been an unconventional one. Prior to launching The Whistles & the Bells, he had already won substantial success as a bluegrass mandolinist, serving a seven-year, three-album stint with the acclaimed progressive-bluegrass quartet Cadillac Sky. That group was broad-minded enough to collaborate with both bluegrass icon Ricky Skaggs and the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, which eventually led to an in-demand spot on Mumford and Sons' 2010 North American Tour. Meanwhile, Simpson also carved out a lucrative sideline as a mainstream country songwriter, composing hit tunes for the likes of Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and George Strait.

With those achievements under his belt, a long-gestating musical and spiritual awakening pushed Simpson in a more iconoclastic direction, resulting in The Whistles & the Bells' independently released self-titled 2014 debut. That album chronicled the artist's bold reassessment of his personal and creative choices, and struck a responsive chord with those fortunate enough to hear it, winning acclaim from such notable outlets as Rolling Stone and American Songwriter.

"I don't necessarily feel like this is me, but it's a portion of me that I'm willing to unveil and explore, "Simpson notes. "I could say, 'Go listen to that Bryan Simpson record,' but that idea is just confusing to me. I don't know what Bryan Simpson sounds like, but I'm starting to understand what The Whistles & the Bells sounds like. It's more of an idea than an identity, and I had to get to a certain point in my life where I had the keys to unlock that vault."

The Whistles & The Bells' debut effort won an impressive amount of attention for an indie release, leading to Simpson's current deal with New West Records, which gave the first album a national release and set the stage for Modern Plagues.

"The first record was about spiritual transformation, and about me coming to a place of recognition of my own humanity and a better understanding of my place in the universe," Simpson says. "And as much as it has liberated me elsewhere in my life, perhaps the greatest tangible increase has been creatively. I know the record that I probably should have made. The sophomore record that would have been a much easier transition for everybody involved. But we kept asking ourselves: what record CAN we make?! If there's a sound or an idea we hear, why not chase it? I want to continue to stir up conversations within myself, and within the people who listen to the music."

For Modern Plagues, Simpson collaborated with co-producer/engineer Eddie Spear (Judah & the Lion, Lake Street Dive, Rival Sons), and a crew of like-minded players, including his longtime cohort and former Cadillac Sky member Matt Menefee. In addition to co-writing "Year of the Freakout," Menefee plays banjo, electric guitar, synthesizer, piano and mandocello on the album. Also contributing to the sessions are rising singer/songwriters Brooke Waggoner and Phoebe Cryar, who trade co-lead vocals with Simpson on "Supadope." Many of the album's players will join Simpson when he takes Modern Plagues on the road.

"My cosmic dinner party might have ultimately turned out a little more like a muggy Saturday night in Coney Island with Soren Kierkegaard and Malcolm Muggeridge eating hot dogs and nervously climbing in for a second ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl only to exit 40 minutes later the best kind of woozy." Simpson divulges while reflecting upon the finished work. "But this record is where I openly embrace the weirdness of my existence. Eleven songs, till death do us part. Hope it does something to ya."

The Pittsburgh Air Sex Championships

The Air Sex Championships is an event that routinely sells out shows all over the country. It's a comedy show that appeals to the voyeur in all of us. It's a competition where the audience is invested in the outcome. It's a safe, respectful, and thought-provoking show about how awesome sex is.

Air Sex was born in 2008 at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. Once comedian Chris Trew (Comedy Central, America’s Got Talent) discovered Air Sex, he immediately transformed from a casual competitor to the show's host/producer, giving the show a unique format, flavor, and creating a cheap, spectacular touring live experience.

The show itself is simple - roughly a dozen competitors pretend to make love onstage with a partner who isn't there while a panel of comedians/sex experts/celebrities judge their performances. The judges choose three people (sometimes four in the case of a tie) to move on to the final round. Then all three must perform to mystery songs and a winner is chosen by the audience’s cheers. No nudity, no physical contact with another person onstage.

A non-traditional concept for any live-performance or music venue, the Air Sex World Championships quickly became one of the hottest tickets in whatever town it rolled through. People of all ages (over 21 of course), genders, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientations signed up, cobbled together embarrassing or hilarious routines, and people's minds were blown.

As the brand built and spread, more and more fans started taking the competition seriously, crafting elaborate costumes and choreographed routines – some are silly and bizarre and others feel like you're watching an extremely intimate, private moment that you shouldn't be seeing. Yet, because anyone can compete (karaoke-style), sometimes a drunk, rowdy onlooker hops up onstage and blows all of the well-practiced competition out of the water. And that's what makes Air Sex so fun, enigmatic, and unpredictable.

The Air Sex Championships is an event that routinely sells out shows all over the country. It's a comedy show that appeals to the voyeur in all of us. It's a competition where the audience is invested in the outcome. It's a safe, respectful, and thought-provoking show about how awesome sex is.

Air Sex was born in 2008 at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. Once comedian Chris Trew (Comedy Central, America’s Got Talent) discovered Air Sex, he immediately transformed from a casual competitor to the show's host/producer, giving the show a unique format, flavor, and creating a cheap, spectacular touring live experience.

The show itself is simple - roughly a dozen competitors pretend to make love onstage with a partner who isn't there while a panel of comedians/sex experts/celebrities judge their performances. The judges choose three people (sometimes four in the case of a tie) to move on to the final round. Then all three must perform to mystery songs and a winner is chosen by the audience’s cheers. No nudity, no physical contact with another person onstage.

A non-traditional concept for any live-performance or music venue, the Air Sex World Championships quickly became one of the hottest tickets in whatever town it rolled through. People of all ages (over 21 of course), genders, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientations signed up, cobbled together embarrassing or hilarious routines, and people's minds were blown.

As the brand built and spread, more and more fans started taking the competition seriously, crafting elaborate costumes and choreographed routines – some are silly and bizarre and others feel like you're watching an extremely intimate, private moment that you shouldn't be seeing. Yet, because anyone can compete (karaoke-style), sometimes a drunk, rowdy onlooker hops up onstage and blows all of the well-practiced competition out of the water. And that's what makes Air Sex so fun, enigmatic, and unpredictable.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah With Special Guest Laura Gibson

Like previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah records, The Tourist nods to Ounsworth's musical heroes-a group that includes artists such as John Cale, Robert Wyatt, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. However, this album also shows a natural progression from previous records. "Better Off" and "The Vanity Of Trying" are lush, keyboard-augmented songs, while "A Chance To Cure" and "Ambulance Chaser" are rhythmically askew, and the sighing "Loose Ends" is delicate, acoustic-based folk-rock.

The Tourist emerged from a period where Ounsworth was doing a lot of intense soul-searching, and processing personal events that irrevocably shaped his life and future. But although most of these songs came together during this time of reflection, he considers the record to be cathartic-an exhale of sorts, rather than a collection of songs where he was indulging in self-pity or letting things stagnate or fester.

Appropriately, The Tourist's lyrics reflect how complex upheaval can be ("We can beat around this bush together/Sometimes it's all I think of/Other times I can forget") and explore the imperfect nature of blame ("The car left the road and was found without its mirrors/You play the victim/And I'll play the blind man"). Other songs try to make sense of the present time ("Now that the past is on fire/How can I look around and find I can't remember who I was") or employ clever wordplay- "Black cat let's not split hairs/I'm tethered to the weather/I assure I don't care about no lucky streak"-for effect.

Ounsworth spent about a week recording The Tourist at Dr. Dog's Philadelphia-based studio with a drummer and bassist. After that, he and engineer Nick Krill spent a few months "tidying things up" and recording additional embellishments: backup vocals, keyboards, guitars and more percussion. That gives The Tourist more of a band feel than the last album, and contributes to why the record possesses a musical lightness. The dreamy opening track "The Pilot" especially has a lilting edge, courtesy of Smiths-reminiscent acoustic guitars strums and Ounsworth's hiccupping, conspiratorial vocals.

The Tourist was then mixed by Dave Fridmann, who also worked on two previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah albums, 2007's Some Loud Thunder and 2014's Only Run. Ounsworth says he and Fridmann are on the same musical wavelength, which makes their long-time working relationship an anchor of sorts. "Dave and I don't necessarily stick with what's easiest which is fine and anxiety-inducing, in a good way," he says. "He challenges me to do something a little bit different."

"I am a relatively solitary person and seem to work best alone," he says. "I do count on others to help the project as the process of making and releasing an album moves forward, but if it doesn't match what I have in mind, it's hard for me to really be there for it. I guess this is one reason why the project has been independent all this time. Trust me, I understand that thinking this way is both an asset and a liability."

However, this stubborn independence also reflects Ounsworth's commitment to musical integrity. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's career arc is all about building on previous successes while staying true to a core artistic vision. And although The Tourist may have emerged from challenging times, it reflects Ounsworth's uncanny ability to move forward, no matter what the circumstances.

"I'd rather not say that it was a dark time, but it was a difficult time in my life-among the most difficult," he says. "But I needed and need to try to let it go. And this is how I let things go. Though it's the same for any album-this one probably more than the others.

"But I have to try to do something each time that's new and engaging for me," he adds. "I mean, I could very well just write songs the way they were early on. But I don't think that people would appreciate listening to someone just going through the motions. We have to build something to last, rather than just build it because it looks good at the moment."

– Annie Zeleski

Like previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah records, The Tourist nods to Ounsworth's musical heroes-a group that includes artists such as John Cale, Robert Wyatt, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. However, this album also shows a natural progression from previous records. "Better Off" and "The Vanity Of Trying" are lush, keyboard-augmented songs, while "A Chance To Cure" and "Ambulance Chaser" are rhythmically askew, and the sighing "Loose Ends" is delicate, acoustic-based folk-rock.

The Tourist emerged from a period where Ounsworth was doing a lot of intense soul-searching, and processing personal events that irrevocably shaped his life and future. But although most of these songs came together during this time of reflection, he considers the record to be cathartic-an exhale of sorts, rather than a collection of songs where he was indulging in self-pity or letting things stagnate or fester.

Appropriately, The Tourist's lyrics reflect how complex upheaval can be ("We can beat around this bush together/Sometimes it's all I think of/Other times I can forget") and explore the imperfect nature of blame ("The car left the road and was found without its mirrors/You play the victim/And I'll play the blind man"). Other songs try to make sense of the present time ("Now that the past is on fire/How can I look around and find I can't remember who I was") or employ clever wordplay- "Black cat let's not split hairs/I'm tethered to the weather/I assure I don't care about no lucky streak"-for effect.

Ounsworth spent about a week recording The Tourist at Dr. Dog's Philadelphia-based studio with a drummer and bassist. After that, he and engineer Nick Krill spent a few months "tidying things up" and recording additional embellishments: backup vocals, keyboards, guitars and more percussion. That gives The Tourist more of a band feel than the last album, and contributes to why the record possesses a musical lightness. The dreamy opening track "The Pilot" especially has a lilting edge, courtesy of Smiths-reminiscent acoustic guitars strums and Ounsworth's hiccupping, conspiratorial vocals.

The Tourist was then mixed by Dave Fridmann, who also worked on two previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah albums, 2007's Some Loud Thunder and 2014's Only Run. Ounsworth says he and Fridmann are on the same musical wavelength, which makes their long-time working relationship an anchor of sorts. "Dave and I don't necessarily stick with what's easiest which is fine and anxiety-inducing, in a good way," he says. "He challenges me to do something a little bit different."

"I am a relatively solitary person and seem to work best alone," he says. "I do count on others to help the project as the process of making and releasing an album moves forward, but if it doesn't match what I have in mind, it's hard for me to really be there for it. I guess this is one reason why the project has been independent all this time. Trust me, I understand that thinking this way is both an asset and a liability."

However, this stubborn independence also reflects Ounsworth's commitment to musical integrity. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's career arc is all about building on previous successes while staying true to a core artistic vision. And although The Tourist may have emerged from challenging times, it reflects Ounsworth's uncanny ability to move forward, no matter what the circumstances.

"I'd rather not say that it was a dark time, but it was a difficult time in my life-among the most difficult," he says. "But I needed and need to try to let it go. And this is how I let things go. Though it's the same for any album-this one probably more than the others.

"But I have to try to do something each time that's new and engaging for me," he adds. "I mean, I could very well just write songs the way they were early on. But I don't think that people would appreciate listening to someone just going through the motions. We have to build something to last, rather than just build it because it looks good at the moment."

– Annie Zeleski

(Early Show) Nick Barilla with Special Guest Hannah Jenkins

Blending a soulful sound with bright pop-piano sty lings, Nick Barilla brings an inspiring and uplifting experience to every stage he performs on. His passion shines through his outgoing personality, and his genuine likeability connects with audiences of all ages. Barilla sings about love, life, and heartbreak, often stemming from personal experiences, and aims to stay true to himself. Uniquely marketable and relatable, Nick Barilla seeks to influence the future of live music one song at a time.

Blending a soulful sound with bright pop-piano sty lings, Nick Barilla brings an inspiring and uplifting experience to every stage he performs on. His passion shines through his outgoing personality, and his genuine likeability connects with audiences of all ages. Barilla sings about love, life, and heartbreak, often stemming from personal experiences, and aims to stay true to himself. Uniquely marketable and relatable, Nick Barilla seeks to influence the future of live music one song at a time.

(Late Show) Opus One and Puzzlepax Present Lex Fest I featuring Matt Pavich, Christina Galston, Mike Sasson, Ossia Dwyer, Alex Homyak and Hosted By Norlex Belma

Join Club Cafe, Opus One and Puzzlepax for a night of comedy. Lex Fest I featuring Matt Pavich, Chirstina Galston, Alex Homyak, Ossia Dwyer, Mike Sasson and Hosted By Norlex Belma

Join Club Cafe, Opus One and Puzzlepax for a night of comedy. Lex Fest I featuring Matt Pavich, Chirstina Galston, Alex Homyak, Ossia Dwyer, Mike Sasson and Hosted By Norlex Belma

Rocki Boulis - Release Party/Performance with Special Guest Harrison Wayne

Rocki Boulis is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been singing since the age of three and started realizing around eleven that she wanted to use her talents to seek a career in the music business. Her sound is a R&B/Pop type of vibe and her inspirations musically include Tori Kelly, Christina Aguleria, Jazmine Sullivan, Beyonce, and Jess Glynne. Rocki also enjoys acting, and has been in multiple musicals and commercials. She planned to major in musical theater after graduating in 2013, but decided to take time off school to pursue her music career. She has played in multiple venues around her home town and competed in a few singing competitions.

Rocki Boulis is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been singing since the age of three and started realizing around eleven that she wanted to use her talents to seek a career in the music business. Her sound is a R&B/Pop type of vibe and her inspirations musically include Tori Kelly, Christina Aguleria, Jazmine Sullivan, Beyonce, and Jess Glynne. Rocki also enjoys acting, and has been in multiple musicals and commercials. She planned to major in musical theater after graduating in 2013, but decided to take time off school to pursue her music career. She has played in multiple venues around her home town and competed in a few singing competitions.

Delta Saints with Special Guest Some Kind of Animal

Among rock 'n' roll's many mistresses and muses, California remains one of the most enigmatic, enduring, and enchanting. The Golden State's allure can notably be attributed to the intoxicating melodic excess of the Eagles' "Hotel California" and the finger-picked pensiveness of Led Zeppelin's "Going To California," to name a few.

The West Coast's influence courses throughout The Delta Saints' 2017 full-length album, Monte Vista. Irresistible lead single "California" snaps from a vintage synth swell into a rough-n-tumble guitar riff and bluesy howl. It's an anthem for throwing caution to the wind, skipping town and setting out to find something more. "California has always been a sort of haven for the band both physically and emotionally," says front man Ben Ringel. "We've got a home base at our guitarist Dylan's grandmother's house in La Jolla on Monte Vista Street. That's where the album title comes from. When we wrote the song, we were in the middle of a dismal Nashville winter. We were all feeling the need to escape the cold, but also had this drive that had been building up over the previous year to really push ourselves beyond where we were. I think we all felt a bit stagnate, and 'California' is about us getting up and actually doing something about it."

The Nashville-based quintet—Ben Ringel [vocals & guitar], Dylan Fitch [guitar], David Supica [bass], Vincent "Footz" Williams [drums], and Nate Kremer [keyboards]—craft raw and visceral rock music with psychedelic flares, fuzzed-out guitar riffs, arresting drum patterns and blues tendencies over the course of 10 tracks produced by Third Man Records alum Eddie Spear [Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Chris Stapleton]. It's the triumphant culmination of a long journey comprised of ceaseless touring in the United States and Europe and fan favorite records such as the crowd-funded Death Letter Jubilee in 2013 and 2015's Bones. The latter yielded "Sometimes I Worry," which landed a prominent placement on the most recent season of Showtime's Shameless. It also spiritually set the stage for Monte Vista, an album brimming with a restless spirit and coming-of-age ruminations on life, love, self-discovery and the world at large.

"We started working on the new music shortly after we finished Bones, which was an incredibly transitional record for us," Dylan recalls. "We switched gears from primarily being a foot-stomping bayou blues band into the psychedelic and indie rock realms. We pivoted from harmonica to keyboard. It's a little less roots. And now we're independent again after being on a label. Through the whole process, we had this need to continue writing. There was a lot of stuff going on in the world and a lot to be inspired by, whether it was losing artists such as David Bowie and Prince or the political climate. So, we came up with ideas throughout 2016."

During this time, the band found that their songwriting was evolving as well. Sharper hooks and bigger melodies took shape, invigorating The Delta Saints' sound with a jolt that makes each one soar to new heights. Drawing a heavier energy from Alice In Chains and Rage Against The Machine, a succinct delivery courtesy of The Kinks, Oasis, and Kasabian, and a cinematic expanse a la Pink Floyd and Radiohead, The Delta Saints fell into a groove that finally felt right. They seamlessly began to create undeniable rock songs with Spear at the helm.

"In the past, we wrote the music first and then put the choruses down afterwards," elaborates Dylan. "With Monte Vista, we started the opposite way. We came up with the lyrics and the choruses first. Figuring out what we wanted to say was the initial goal."

"Bones was way more focused on instrumentation," says David. "With these songs, we would show Eddie a jam, and he'd be like, 'That's cool, but I don't care. There are no fucking words!' He wouldn't listen to anything until it had a melody. That forced us out of our comfort zone and established a new system. Ed had a major impact on the album."

The Delta Saints recorded the entire record in just six days at Sound Emporium in Nashville. As a result, a palpable energy carries the music.

"Sun God" blazes with bright bombast as Ben chants, "I am the Sun God. Come take it from me." It's about the conflict that comes with generations giving way to the next; a poignant snapshot into modern day politics. "In Your Head," is a swaggering tune accented with pops of playful, drowsy synths, an adrenaline-spiked chorus and raucous vocals telling the story of an early morning cab ride back to the hotel after a long night out. Inspired by Alabama Shakes, the rollicking "Burning Wheels" ends with a Celesta solo. Throughout the record, the band enriches its sonic backdrop with a 1969 Moogerfoogerkeyboard and delay.

"It's the exact delay you hear over Dark Side of the Moon," Dylan beams. "As soon as you put any instrument, vocal, guitar, or keyboard through it, it takes you to 'Us And Them.' We found some great places to incorporate the sound."

"Space Man" is a tribute to the late David Bowie. An acoustic guitar starts off with Dylan and Nate coming in from out in the atmosphere, before Footz and Ben fade in to fly the ship. "This was one of those really magical moments, when a song just pours out onto the page, and you have to just try to get it all down. Bowie is undeniable. A musical force." says Ringel. The song shows a softer side of the band, but builds until you feel the boosters kick in on the chorus.

Monte Vista concludes with the haunting harmonies of "Two Days," illuminating Ben's vivid lyricism. "I had a stretch where I didn't leave home for a few days, and I started to lose it," the front man admits. "On top of it all, my wife was out of town, so I just stayed in the house and got lost in my head for a little too long. She returned and pulled me back to reality, fed me vegetables, and made me step out into the sun. The song is about needing that person to pull you out sometimes, when you get too deep down in the rabbit hole."

The band proudly continues a rock 'n' roll legacy for Nashville. "While it obviously is the heart of contemporary Christian and Country music, the city has a really incredible rock scene," adds David. "Between Jack White, Black Keys, and Kings Of Leon, I'd argue that the biggest rock stars of today live in this town. I've personally felt a lot of support from the community."

Now, The Delta Saints are ready to bring Monte Vista to listeners everywhere as they hit the road for another marathon of touring.

"I hope that listeners hear the story in the record and can relate to it in their own way," Ben concludes.

"I'd love for people to listen to this record and replay it the way I did when I first heard Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon," Dylan leaves off. "I hope we're able to set the bar for what rock music can be right now."

Among rock 'n' roll's many mistresses and muses, California remains one of the most enigmatic, enduring, and enchanting. The Golden State's allure can notably be attributed to the intoxicating melodic excess of the Eagles' "Hotel California" and the finger-picked pensiveness of Led Zeppelin's "Going To California," to name a few.

The West Coast's influence courses throughout The Delta Saints' 2017 full-length album, Monte Vista. Irresistible lead single "California" snaps from a vintage synth swell into a rough-n-tumble guitar riff and bluesy howl. It's an anthem for throwing caution to the wind, skipping town and setting out to find something more. "California has always been a sort of haven for the band both physically and emotionally," says front man Ben Ringel. "We've got a home base at our guitarist Dylan's grandmother's house in La Jolla on Monte Vista Street. That's where the album title comes from. When we wrote the song, we were in the middle of a dismal Nashville winter. We were all feeling the need to escape the cold, but also had this drive that had been building up over the previous year to really push ourselves beyond where we were. I think we all felt a bit stagnate, and 'California' is about us getting up and actually doing something about it."

The Nashville-based quintet—Ben Ringel [vocals & guitar], Dylan Fitch [guitar], David Supica [bass], Vincent "Footz" Williams [drums], and Nate Kremer [keyboards]—craft raw and visceral rock music with psychedelic flares, fuzzed-out guitar riffs, arresting drum patterns and blues tendencies over the course of 10 tracks produced by Third Man Records alum Eddie Spear [Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Chris Stapleton]. It's the triumphant culmination of a long journey comprised of ceaseless touring in the United States and Europe and fan favorite records such as the crowd-funded Death Letter Jubilee in 2013 and 2015's Bones. The latter yielded "Sometimes I Worry," which landed a prominent placement on the most recent season of Showtime's Shameless. It also spiritually set the stage for Monte Vista, an album brimming with a restless spirit and coming-of-age ruminations on life, love, self-discovery and the world at large.

"We started working on the new music shortly after we finished Bones, which was an incredibly transitional record for us," Dylan recalls. "We switched gears from primarily being a foot-stomping bayou blues band into the psychedelic and indie rock realms. We pivoted from harmonica to keyboard. It's a little less roots. And now we're independent again after being on a label. Through the whole process, we had this need to continue writing. There was a lot of stuff going on in the world and a lot to be inspired by, whether it was losing artists such as David Bowie and Prince or the political climate. So, we came up with ideas throughout 2016."

During this time, the band found that their songwriting was evolving as well. Sharper hooks and bigger melodies took shape, invigorating The Delta Saints' sound with a jolt that makes each one soar to new heights. Drawing a heavier energy from Alice In Chains and Rage Against The Machine, a succinct delivery courtesy of The Kinks, Oasis, and Kasabian, and a cinematic expanse a la Pink Floyd and Radiohead, The Delta Saints fell into a groove that finally felt right. They seamlessly began to create undeniable rock songs with Spear at the helm.

"In the past, we wrote the music first and then put the choruses down afterwards," elaborates Dylan. "With Monte Vista, we started the opposite way. We came up with the lyrics and the choruses first. Figuring out what we wanted to say was the initial goal."

"Bones was way more focused on instrumentation," says David. "With these songs, we would show Eddie a jam, and he'd be like, 'That's cool, but I don't care. There are no fucking words!' He wouldn't listen to anything until it had a melody. That forced us out of our comfort zone and established a new system. Ed had a major impact on the album."

The Delta Saints recorded the entire record in just six days at Sound Emporium in Nashville. As a result, a palpable energy carries the music.

"Sun God" blazes with bright bombast as Ben chants, "I am the Sun God. Come take it from me." It's about the conflict that comes with generations giving way to the next; a poignant snapshot into modern day politics. "In Your Head," is a swaggering tune accented with pops of playful, drowsy synths, an adrenaline-spiked chorus and raucous vocals telling the story of an early morning cab ride back to the hotel after a long night out. Inspired by Alabama Shakes, the rollicking "Burning Wheels" ends with a Celesta solo. Throughout the record, the band enriches its sonic backdrop with a 1969 Moogerfoogerkeyboard and delay.

"It's the exact delay you hear over Dark Side of the Moon," Dylan beams. "As soon as you put any instrument, vocal, guitar, or keyboard through it, it takes you to 'Us And Them.' We found some great places to incorporate the sound."

"Space Man" is a tribute to the late David Bowie. An acoustic guitar starts off with Dylan and Nate coming in from out in the atmosphere, before Footz and Ben fade in to fly the ship. "This was one of those really magical moments, when a song just pours out onto the page, and you have to just try to get it all down. Bowie is undeniable. A musical force." says Ringel. The song shows a softer side of the band, but builds until you feel the boosters kick in on the chorus.

Monte Vista concludes with the haunting harmonies of "Two Days," illuminating Ben's vivid lyricism. "I had a stretch where I didn't leave home for a few days, and I started to lose it," the front man admits. "On top of it all, my wife was out of town, so I just stayed in the house and got lost in my head for a little too long. She returned and pulled me back to reality, fed me vegetables, and made me step out into the sun. The song is about needing that person to pull you out sometimes, when you get too deep down in the rabbit hole."

The band proudly continues a rock 'n' roll legacy for Nashville. "While it obviously is the heart of contemporary Christian and Country music, the city has a really incredible rock scene," adds David. "Between Jack White, Black Keys, and Kings Of Leon, I'd argue that the biggest rock stars of today live in this town. I've personally felt a lot of support from the community."

Now, The Delta Saints are ready to bring Monte Vista to listeners everywhere as they hit the road for another marathon of touring.

"I hope that listeners hear the story in the record and can relate to it in their own way," Ben concludes.

"I'd love for people to listen to this record and replay it the way I did when I first heard Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon," Dylan leaves off. "I hope we're able to set the bar for what rock music can be right now."

Shawn James with Special Guest Douglas Lowell Blevins

Born in 1986 in the south side of Chicago, Shawn James had a hardworking, kind mother and a gambling, abusive, drunk father. He grew up singing in church and was drawn to the emotional and ethereal power that music could have over people. It was there that he found his escape and learned how to harness his unique, soulful voice.

Shawn now lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas and plays a mix of haunting folk and hard-hitting soulful blues. You might catch him playing on the street in the rain some night, with his band the Shapeshifters, or just find him performing an intimate set for friends at a house show. No matter where you see him, just make sure you have your eyes and ears open, his performance will be one you won't forget.

All of Shawn's recordings, solo and with his band can be found on Bandcamp.

Born in 1986 in the south side of Chicago, Shawn James had a hardworking, kind mother and a gambling, abusive, drunk father. He grew up singing in church and was drawn to the emotional and ethereal power that music could have over people. It was there that he found his escape and learned how to harness his unique, soulful voice.

Shawn now lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas and plays a mix of haunting folk and hard-hitting soulful blues. You might catch him playing on the street in the rain some night, with his band the Shapeshifters, or just find him performing an intimate set for friends at a house show. No matter where you see him, just make sure you have your eyes and ears open, his performance will be one you won't forget.

All of Shawn's recordings, solo and with his band can be found on Bandcamp.

Seth Walker with Special Guest Crystal Lee Morgan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Evening With Ellis Paul

"Despite his success and sense of history, Mr. Paul remains an artist with his eye on the future and an interest in discovering the transformative potential in his music." - The New York Times

Some artists document their lives through their music. Others chronicle their times. It’s a rare artist who can do both, telling their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define their era overall. Woody Guthrie comes to mind, and so does Bob Dylan. Bruce Springsteen certainly as well. Yet few others, for whatever genius they may possess, can relate their own history to the history experienced by those who find that common bond, be it in a coming of age, living through the same realities or sharing similar experiences.

Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters.Though some may refer to him as a folksinger, he is more, for lack of a better word, a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing. The exhilaration of the open road. A ​celebration of heroes.​ ​The hope for redemption. Descriptions of those things that are both near and dear. The sharing of love..., intimate, passionate and enduring.

These are the scenarios that emerge from Ellis Paul’s new album, Chasing Beauty, a set of songs which detail, in typical Paul fashion, stories of people and places that reflect larger truths about us all. “Kick Out the Lights (Johnny Cash)” pays tribute to that fearless American icon name-checked in its title. “Plastic Soldier” offers homage to a wounded soldier returning from Afghanistan. A real-life barnstorming pilot takes the spotlight in “Jimmie Angel’s Flying Circus,” while iconic Boston blue collar musician Dennis Brennan takes the focus in “Waiting on a Break.” Even the Empire State Building and the Boston Red Sox get their due, via “Empire State” and “UK Girl (Boston Calling),” respectively.

In reality, these stories are a continuation of tales Paul has told for more than a quarter century, over the expanse of nineteen albums, numerous critical kudos (15 Boston Music Awards alone), inclusion in several movie soundtracks, and stages he’s headlined both near and far. “I’ve got a car with over 4​75​,000 miles on it, and it's my third road vehicle,​” Paul declares. “I’ve been doing 200 shows a year for over twenty years. There isn’t a town in the country where I won’t find a friend. I’m a nomad. And I’m gonna write and play until I’m gone.”

No doubt he will. Still, it’s somewhat ironic that Paul gravitated towards this bigger world of intent and expression given that the place Paul considers his hometown these days isn’t New York or Nashville, or Boston or Austin or ​Charlottesville, VA. where he lives, but rather Presque Isle, Maine, a tiny enclave surrounded by three rivers. Not surprisingly, the name translates to “almost an island.” Presque Isle shares a vanishing tradition with many small towns these days, where family farms are giving way to industrializ​ation​ ​and giant corporations, and earning a livelihood from the land is no longer the simple option it once was. Nevertheless, it’s still a haven for traditional values and for people as real and authentic as the soil they once tilled. If there’s one grace left to cling to, it’s the grace of nature’s beauty, sealed off by the surrounding mountains and fields.

Likewise, his geographical origins also couldn’t have been further from the world at large. He was born in the dead of winter in the small town of Fort Kent, Maine, a place nestled right up next to the Canadian border. He came from humble origins, a family of potato farmers who could count among their forebears a veteran of the battle of Gettysburg, whose heroism on that field of honor earned him the 140 acres of Maine farmland that his descendants would continue to sow. It was the place that taught Paul the meaning of hard work and self-reliance, and the values that accompany as much drive and determination any individual could muster.

As a boy, Paul found his escape in athletics, working out as a runner and testing his mettle in the open spaces near his home. He became a star competitor, and enjoyed the advantage of traveling throughout the nation after being given opportunities to compete. Along the way, he saw more of the country than most people do in a lifetime. “I was lucky to be able to travel for competitions all over the U.S. and to see places I once could only dream of,” he recalls. “The Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles, the endless plains of Texas, the Kansas prairie, the Rocky Mountain in Wyoming. Every trip was funded by a hat the town passed around on my behalf, and it never came back empty.” When Paul finished second in a nationwide track competition, he was met at the airport by the high school marching band and a fire engine with spinning lights that drove him in triumph through town. In an expression of hometown pride, the mayor handed him the key to the city.

​No one ever told Paul he had to follow in his family’s tradition. He was a dreamer after all, and he had seen enough of America to know there was more out there than his little town could ever offer. Consequently, his ambitions were never destined to stay bottled up for long. He would write, paint, play trumpet and sing in the school choir. “I never had anyone tell me I had to be a farmer,” Paul insists. “I had plenty of people telling me how my hard work and talent ​c​ould take me places​. T​hat’s enough to get you dreaming, And enough to make you believe those dreams are within reach.”

Indeed, Paul found those dreams were within his reach, at least in terms of his imagination. However​ their pursuit would take him far from home. His first destination was Boston College, courtesy of a ​​track​ scholarship. Yet as Paul describes it, his athletic endeavors, combined with his academic responsibilities, served to rob him of his creativity. It was only after he suffered a knee injury which forced him to take a year off that he rebounded with a new form of expression, made possible when his girlfriend’s sister gave him a secondhand guitar. “A mysterious, lustful partnership with the instrument followed,” Paul concedes. “It became a marriage, a friendship, a lifelong bond that only comes when you find that one thing that becomes an extension of yourself. I played for hours, choosing to write ​my own original ​​songs and sing instead of studying, socializing or exploring what the Boston streets could offer after hours.”

After graduation, Paul did find time to explore those paths, while taking opportunities to indulge his creative ambitions. Working as a teacher and social worker with inner city children by day and pursuing the possibilities offered by Boston’s fertile music scene at night, he gained prominence in local coffeehouses and open mic nights. It was the same circuit that opened the door for other like-minded artists of the day, and in turn, gave Paul exposure to such creative contemporaries as Shawn Colvin, Dar Williams, Patty Larkin, John Gorka, Catie Curtis, and Bill Morrissey. It also helped him win a Boston Underground Songwriting competition and placement on a Windham Hill Records singer/songwriter compilation, bringing him his first hint of national exposure at the same time.

The major tipping point in his career came with the opportunity to open for Bill Morrissey, one of New England’s most prominent folk artists. Paul would repeatedly ask Morrissey about his own influences and seek his advice on who he ought to listen to. “You know, that’s a very smart thing to do,” Morrissey muses. “It helped set him apart. A lot of young singers I meet are not curious about what went on before; they just say, ‘I want to sing another song about my life.’ Paul has a sense of roots, of connectedness to the whole history of folk music; he sees the thread that runs through all the generations of this music.”

It was mutual admiration that caused Paul to ask Morrissey to produce his first full album, 1993‘s Say ​Something. It was released on Black Wolf Records, the label he founded with ​Ralph​ Jaccodine, the man who would become his manager. “​Ralph was fulfilling a dream to get into the music business,” Paul recalls. “Starting with a folk singer isn’t a rocket​ launch, but we got off the ground. We started a label and began a lifelong​, DIY​ ​partnership and have been​ ​in the trenches​ for over 20 years.​”

Paul also became infatuated with the music of Woody Guthrie, drawn to Woody’s social consciousness and the humanitarian streak that ran through his work. He even had a tattoo of Guthrie imprinted on his right shoulder, referring to it as “a badge of who he ​was.” His commitment to Guthrie’s legacy eventually led to his inclusion in a ten day celebration of Woody’s work held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in September 1996, an event that included such notables as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, the Indigo Girls and Ani DiFranco and which was presided over by Guthrie’s daughter Nora. Later, when Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma hosted the first Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in July, 1998, Paul was tapped as one of the headliners. He has since made this an annual part of his touring schedule,​ garnering the honor of being named an honorary citizen of Okemah in the process. The connection with Guthrie continued into the new millennium when Nora Guthrie invited him to put music to a set of her father’s lyrics. He later participated in the “Ribbon of Highway” tour, a communal salute featuring such luminaries as Arlo Guthrie, Marty Stuart, Ramblin’ Jack Ellott, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark and Janis Ian, among others. ​

There’s likely no greater evidence of how Guthrie’s insights and humanity have rubbed off on Paul than in this particularly telling tribute from Nora Guthrie. "A singer songwriter is only as good as the times he reflects,”she said in praising Paul. “In times like these, when so many nuts are running the show, it's comforting to know that Ellis Paul is actually holding our sanity on his own stage! Wise, tender, brilliant and biting, Ellis is one of our best human compasses, marking in melodies and poems where we've been and where we might go if we so choose to. Personally Ellis, I'm goin' where you're goin'!​"​

Where Paul is “goin’” is to practically every place a microphone beckons and a crowd of the folk faithful awaits. He’s become a staple at the Newport Folk Festival, ​played Carnegie hall, and venues from Alaska to Miami, Paris and London. In addition to his 19 albums released on the Rounder and Black Wolf record labels, his music has appeared on dozens of distinguished compilations. A ​Film/​DVD entitled ​3000 Miles​​ -- part concert film, part documentary, part instructional video -- provides a further prospective on both the man and his music. He’s also released a pair of children’s albums, earning him honors from the Parent’s Choice Foundation ​for both.​ ​H​is latest, ​"​The Hero In You​" has been turned into a​ picture book, detailing the lives of great American heroes​.​ Ellis' literate, evocative and insightful writings are further showcased in a book of poetry and short stories entitled “Notes from the Road,​" already in it's third pressing. ​

It’s no wonder then that recently Paul received ​a ​prestigious​ honor: an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Maine, which also asked him to ​write the school's ​a​lma ​mater a​s well as ​deliver its commencement address in May 2014.

Happily, his music has been shared with a wider audience as well, through commercials, documentaries, TV shows and in the soundtracks of several blockbuster films, among them three by the Farrelly Brothers -- “Hall Pass” (starring Owen Wilson and Alyssa Milano), “Me, Myself, & Irene” (starring Jim Carrey) and “Shallow Hal” (starring Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow). Peter Farrelly summed up the sentiments of all those who have come to know and appreciate Paul’s music by referring to him as “a national treasure.”

Not surprisingly, Paul’s consistently been heralded by others as well. ​O​ne writer noted “that it reminds you how much we need storytellers back in pop music -- storytellers with empathy, fine eyes and an understanding that even though we live in a soulless, indifferent would, out music doesn’t have to reflect our culture." ​Another reviewer was even more pointed. “Ellis Paul is one of the best singer/songwriters of his generation,” she commented. “And for many of us he is the face of contemporary folk music. Few are as smart, as literate, as poetic as Paul. I cannot think of another artist on the acoustic music scene is better loved by fans, or more respected by his contemporaries.”

Indeed, he is all that, and in a very real sense, even more. He’s an observer, a philosopher, and an astute storyteller who shares with his listeners the life lessons he’s learned, and in turn, life lessons they ought to heed as well. By affirming and defining who he is, Ellis Paul affirms and uncovers the essence of us all.

-- Lee Zimmerman (writer/reviewer for American Songwriter, No Depression, New Times, Country Standard Time, Blurt, Relix, and M Music and Musicians​)​

"Despite his success and sense of history, Mr. Paul remains an artist with his eye on the future and an interest in discovering the transformative potential in his music." - The New York Times

Some artists document their lives through their music. Others chronicle their times. It’s a rare artist who can do both, telling their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define their era overall. Woody Guthrie comes to mind, and so does Bob Dylan. Bruce Springsteen certainly as well. Yet few others, for whatever genius they may possess, can relate their own history to the history experienced by those who find that common bond, be it in a coming of age, living through the same realities or sharing similar experiences.

Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters.Though some may refer to him as a folksinger, he is more, for lack of a better word, a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing. The exhilaration of the open road. A ​celebration of heroes.​ ​The hope for redemption. Descriptions of those things that are both near and dear. The sharing of love..., intimate, passionate and enduring.

These are the scenarios that emerge from Ellis Paul’s new album, Chasing Beauty, a set of songs which detail, in typical Paul fashion, stories of people and places that reflect larger truths about us all. “Kick Out the Lights (Johnny Cash)” pays tribute to that fearless American icon name-checked in its title. “Plastic Soldier” offers homage to a wounded soldier returning from Afghanistan. A real-life barnstorming pilot takes the spotlight in “Jimmie Angel’s Flying Circus,” while iconic Boston blue collar musician Dennis Brennan takes the focus in “Waiting on a Break.” Even the Empire State Building and the Boston Red Sox get their due, via “Empire State” and “UK Girl (Boston Calling),” respectively.

In reality, these stories are a continuation of tales Paul has told for more than a quarter century, over the expanse of nineteen albums, numerous critical kudos (15 Boston Music Awards alone), inclusion in several movie soundtracks, and stages he’s headlined both near and far. “I’ve got a car with over 4​75​,000 miles on it, and it's my third road vehicle,​” Paul declares. “I’ve been doing 200 shows a year for over twenty years. There isn’t a town in the country where I won’t find a friend. I’m a nomad. And I’m gonna write and play until I’m gone.”

No doubt he will. Still, it’s somewhat ironic that Paul gravitated towards this bigger world of intent and expression given that the place Paul considers his hometown these days isn’t New York or Nashville, or Boston or Austin or ​Charlottesville, VA. where he lives, but rather Presque Isle, Maine, a tiny enclave surrounded by three rivers. Not surprisingly, the name translates to “almost an island.” Presque Isle shares a vanishing tradition with many small towns these days, where family farms are giving way to industrializ​ation​ ​and giant corporations, and earning a livelihood from the land is no longer the simple option it once was. Nevertheless, it’s still a haven for traditional values and for people as real and authentic as the soil they once tilled. If there’s one grace left to cling to, it’s the grace of nature’s beauty, sealed off by the surrounding mountains and fields.

Likewise, his geographical origins also couldn’t have been further from the world at large. He was born in the dead of winter in the small town of Fort Kent, Maine, a place nestled right up next to the Canadian border. He came from humble origins, a family of potato farmers who could count among their forebears a veteran of the battle of Gettysburg, whose heroism on that field of honor earned him the 140 acres of Maine farmland that his descendants would continue to sow. It was the place that taught Paul the meaning of hard work and self-reliance, and the values that accompany as much drive and determination any individual could muster.

As a boy, Paul found his escape in athletics, working out as a runner and testing his mettle in the open spaces near his home. He became a star competitor, and enjoyed the advantage of traveling throughout the nation after being given opportunities to compete. Along the way, he saw more of the country than most people do in a lifetime. “I was lucky to be able to travel for competitions all over the U.S. and to see places I once could only dream of,” he recalls. “The Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles, the endless plains of Texas, the Kansas prairie, the Rocky Mountain in Wyoming. Every trip was funded by a hat the town passed around on my behalf, and it never came back empty.” When Paul finished second in a nationwide track competition, he was met at the airport by the high school marching band and a fire engine with spinning lights that drove him in triumph through town. In an expression of hometown pride, the mayor handed him the key to the city.

​No one ever told Paul he had to follow in his family’s tradition. He was a dreamer after all, and he had seen enough of America to know there was more out there than his little town could ever offer. Consequently, his ambitions were never destined to stay bottled up for long. He would write, paint, play trumpet and sing in the school choir. “I never had anyone tell me I had to be a farmer,” Paul insists. “I had plenty of people telling me how my hard work and talent ​c​ould take me places​. T​hat’s enough to get you dreaming, And enough to make you believe those dreams are within reach.”

Indeed, Paul found those dreams were within his reach, at least in terms of his imagination. However​ their pursuit would take him far from home. His first destination was Boston College, courtesy of a ​​track​ scholarship. Yet as Paul describes it, his athletic endeavors, combined with his academic responsibilities, served to rob him of his creativity. It was only after he suffered a knee injury which forced him to take a year off that he rebounded with a new form of expression, made possible when his girlfriend’s sister gave him a secondhand guitar. “A mysterious, lustful partnership with the instrument followed,” Paul concedes. “It became a marriage, a friendship, a lifelong bond that only comes when you find that one thing that becomes an extension of yourself. I played for hours, choosing to write ​my own original ​​songs and sing instead of studying, socializing or exploring what the Boston streets could offer after hours.”

After graduation, Paul did find time to explore those paths, while taking opportunities to indulge his creative ambitions. Working as a teacher and social worker with inner city children by day and pursuing the possibilities offered by Boston’s fertile music scene at night, he gained prominence in local coffeehouses and open mic nights. It was the same circuit that opened the door for other like-minded artists of the day, and in turn, gave Paul exposure to such creative contemporaries as Shawn Colvin, Dar Williams, Patty Larkin, John Gorka, Catie Curtis, and Bill Morrissey. It also helped him win a Boston Underground Songwriting competition and placement on a Windham Hill Records singer/songwriter compilation, bringing him his first hint of national exposure at the same time.

The major tipping point in his career came with the opportunity to open for Bill Morrissey, one of New England’s most prominent folk artists. Paul would repeatedly ask Morrissey about his own influences and seek his advice on who he ought to listen to. “You know, that’s a very smart thing to do,” Morrissey muses. “It helped set him apart. A lot of young singers I meet are not curious about what went on before; they just say, ‘I want to sing another song about my life.’ Paul has a sense of roots, of connectedness to the whole history of folk music; he sees the thread that runs through all the generations of this music.”

It was mutual admiration that caused Paul to ask Morrissey to produce his first full album, 1993‘s Say ​Something. It was released on Black Wolf Records, the label he founded with ​Ralph​ Jaccodine, the man who would become his manager. “​Ralph was fulfilling a dream to get into the music business,” Paul recalls. “Starting with a folk singer isn’t a rocket​ launch, but we got off the ground. We started a label and began a lifelong​, DIY​ ​partnership and have been​ ​in the trenches​ for over 20 years.​”

Paul also became infatuated with the music of Woody Guthrie, drawn to Woody’s social consciousness and the humanitarian streak that ran through his work. He even had a tattoo of Guthrie imprinted on his right shoulder, referring to it as “a badge of who he ​was.” His commitment to Guthrie’s legacy eventually led to his inclusion in a ten day celebration of Woody’s work held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in September 1996, an event that included such notables as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, the Indigo Girls and Ani DiFranco and which was presided over by Guthrie’s daughter Nora. Later, when Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma hosted the first Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in July, 1998, Paul was tapped as one of the headliners. He has since made this an annual part of his touring schedule,​ garnering the honor of being named an honorary citizen of Okemah in the process. The connection with Guthrie continued into the new millennium when Nora Guthrie invited him to put music to a set of her father’s lyrics. He later participated in the “Ribbon of Highway” tour, a communal salute featuring such luminaries as Arlo Guthrie, Marty Stuart, Ramblin’ Jack Ellott, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark and Janis Ian, among others. ​

There’s likely no greater evidence of how Guthrie’s insights and humanity have rubbed off on Paul than in this particularly telling tribute from Nora Guthrie. "A singer songwriter is only as good as the times he reflects,”she said in praising Paul. “In times like these, when so many nuts are running the show, it's comforting to know that Ellis Paul is actually holding our sanity on his own stage! Wise, tender, brilliant and biting, Ellis is one of our best human compasses, marking in melodies and poems where we've been and where we might go if we so choose to. Personally Ellis, I'm goin' where you're goin'!​"​

Where Paul is “goin’” is to practically every place a microphone beckons and a crowd of the folk faithful awaits. He’s become a staple at the Newport Folk Festival, ​played Carnegie hall, and venues from Alaska to Miami, Paris and London. In addition to his 19 albums released on the Rounder and Black Wolf record labels, his music has appeared on dozens of distinguished compilations. A ​Film/​DVD entitled ​3000 Miles​​ -- part concert film, part documentary, part instructional video -- provides a further prospective on both the man and his music. He’s also released a pair of children’s albums, earning him honors from the Parent’s Choice Foundation ​for both.​ ​H​is latest, ​"​The Hero In You​" has been turned into a​ picture book, detailing the lives of great American heroes​.​ Ellis' literate, evocative and insightful writings are further showcased in a book of poetry and short stories entitled “Notes from the Road,​" already in it's third pressing. ​

It’s no wonder then that recently Paul received ​a ​prestigious​ honor: an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Maine, which also asked him to ​write the school's ​a​lma ​mater a​s well as ​deliver its commencement address in May 2014.

Happily, his music has been shared with a wider audience as well, through commercials, documentaries, TV shows and in the soundtracks of several blockbuster films, among them three by the Farrelly Brothers -- “Hall Pass” (starring Owen Wilson and Alyssa Milano), “Me, Myself, & Irene” (starring Jim Carrey) and “Shallow Hal” (starring Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow). Peter Farrelly summed up the sentiments of all those who have come to know and appreciate Paul’s music by referring to him as “a national treasure.”

Not surprisingly, Paul’s consistently been heralded by others as well. ​O​ne writer noted “that it reminds you how much we need storytellers back in pop music -- storytellers with empathy, fine eyes and an understanding that even though we live in a soulless, indifferent would, out music doesn’t have to reflect our culture." ​Another reviewer was even more pointed. “Ellis Paul is one of the best singer/songwriters of his generation,” she commented. “And for many of us he is the face of contemporary folk music. Few are as smart, as literate, as poetic as Paul. I cannot think of another artist on the acoustic music scene is better loved by fans, or more respected by his contemporaries.”

Indeed, he is all that, and in a very real sense, even more. He’s an observer, a philosopher, and an astute storyteller who shares with his listeners the life lessons he’s learned, and in turn, life lessons they ought to heed as well. By affirming and defining who he is, Ellis Paul affirms and uncovers the essence of us all.

-- Lee Zimmerman (writer/reviewer for American Songwriter, No Depression, New Times, Country Standard Time, Blurt, Relix, and M Music and Musicians​)​

(Early Show) Charlie Parr with Special Guest Chicago Farmer

An easily confused and very shy individual, Charlie Parr has been traveling around singing his songs ever since leaving Austin Minnesota in the 1980's in search of Spider John Koerner, whom he found about 100 miles north at the Viking Bar one Sunday night. The experience changed his life, made him more or less unemployable, and brings us to now: 13 recordings, 250 shows a year or more, 200,000 miles on a well broke in Kia, and a nasty fear of heights. Resonator fueled folk songs from Duluth Minnesota

An easily confused and very shy individual, Charlie Parr has been traveling around singing his songs ever since leaving Austin Minnesota in the 1980's in search of Spider John Koerner, whom he found about 100 miles north at the Viking Bar one Sunday night. The experience changed his life, made him more or less unemployable, and brings us to now: 13 recordings, 250 shows a year or more, 200,000 miles on a well broke in Kia, and a nasty fear of heights. Resonator fueled folk songs from Duluth Minnesota

(Late Show) Jackson Howard with Aris Paul

Distinguished by interesting and intricate acoustic guitar and floating vocals with a touch of blue-eyed soul, Jackson Howard’s songs grab your ears and your soul in captivating ways. In an age when lyrics are losing their importance, Jackson puts the poetry back into songwriting while remaining universally relatable.
In April of 2014, Jackson released his first EP A Place to Cross to a packed house at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis a few days after making his first television appearance on Fox2 News. Over the next year he gained momentum locally performing several times a week throughout the greater St. Louis area. That July, Jackson went back to the studio to begin work on his first full length album “About Life”, released on January 2nd 2015 at Off Broadway in St. Louis as well as at an East Coast release at Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center in Pennsylvania.
In the summer of 2015, a song from About Life caught the attention of Grammy-nominated producer Billy Smiley. By September the two were recording a new album at Dark Horse Studios in Franklin, TN. The album (set to be released in the spring of 2017) boasts the talents of Johnathan Crone, Daniel O’Lannerghty, Andre DiMuzio, Jared Kneale (drums – Kacey Musgraves, Ben Rector); sound engineering by Billy Whittington (Amy Grant), Ritchie Biggs (Civil Wars, Lone Below), and Billy Smiley (White Heart, Newsboys), and production by Billy Smiley.

Distinguished by interesting and intricate acoustic guitar and floating vocals with a touch of blue-eyed soul, Jackson Howard’s songs grab your ears and your soul in captivating ways. In an age when lyrics are losing their importance, Jackson puts the poetry back into songwriting while remaining universally relatable.
In April of 2014, Jackson released his first EP A Place to Cross to a packed house at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis a few days after making his first television appearance on Fox2 News. Over the next year he gained momentum locally performing several times a week throughout the greater St. Louis area. That July, Jackson went back to the studio to begin work on his first full length album “About Life”, released on January 2nd 2015 at Off Broadway in St. Louis as well as at an East Coast release at Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center in Pennsylvania.
In the summer of 2015, a song from About Life caught the attention of Grammy-nominated producer Billy Smiley. By September the two were recording a new album at Dark Horse Studios in Franklin, TN. The album (set to be released in the spring of 2017) boasts the talents of Johnathan Crone, Daniel O’Lannerghty, Andre DiMuzio, Jared Kneale (drums – Kacey Musgraves, Ben Rector); sound engineering by Billy Whittington (Amy Grant), Ritchie Biggs (Civil Wars, Lone Below), and Billy Smiley (White Heart, Newsboys), and production by Billy Smiley.

(Early Show) Overcoats with Special Guest Yoke Lore

Overcoats is the New York-based female duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell. Their debut album YOUNG captures a sound rich in minimalism and melody: songs of connection and tension, on the depths of love and challenges of family. 

Overcoats' music draws strength from vulnerability, finding light through darkness, and the catharsis of simple, honest songwriting. YOUNG is about a transformation: the passage into womanhood, sung through the shared experience of two best friends.

On their first single "Hold Me Close," Hana and JJ's melodies are purity in unison, providing two distinct but entwined perspectives on the complexity of love. In their words, "the song is about finding solace in the present when the future and past seem impossible to understand. It's about loneliness and disillusionment that we can feel in relationships, and how we must persevere anyway in hopes of finding the beauty in love."

Elion and Mitchell were drawn to each other when they first met in 2011, finding connection in their diverse love of music and an immediate closeness that verges on sisterhood. Their meeting was transformative emotionally as well as creatively. Both halves of Overcoats describe the first time hearing each other sing as an epiphany: the harmony of their voices leading to personal, individual discovery. This bond forms the foundation of Overcoats, and it fills the ecosystem of YOUNG with its stunning sound and sentiment.

Album opener "Father" unfurls in clouds of three-dimensional sound: a cathedral of echo over waves of delay and the din of incidental noise. There is a rare resonance in Overcoats evident from these opening tones: between their separate (but inseparable) voices, flawlessly intuitive performance, and sublime musical production. Their harmonies slide from brassy to silken with elegant ease, floating over muted rhythms wrapped in lush swells of synthesizers.

YOUNG was written by Overcoats and co-produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Daughter, The War On Drugs, Dirty Projectors, Cass McCombs) and experimental R&B artist Autre Ne Veut, with additional production from Myles Avery and mixing by Ben Baptie (Lapsley, Lianne La Havas, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson).

Their palette is stealth and simple electronics, with traces of folk, pop, and bluegrass embedded within. Like a spectrum from Sylvan Esso to Simon & Garfunkel, Overcoats creates music deeply rooted in emotion, and guided by the search for its innate expression through voice and electronics. Songs that began as bedroom creations flourished into rich but restrained productions, with careful craft illuminating the nuance of Overcoats' unique songwriting.

On YOUNG, Overcoats creates music of mutual empowerment, at once synthetic and organic, wistful and uplifting, triumphant and subdued.

"The Fog" is a bay of lonesome, oscillating synth chords: its boundaries defined by the reflection of echoic finger snaps. Elion and Mitchell find clarity through a lovers' haze, their stoic verses liberated by resounding chorus: Freedom is when I'm without you / When the fog lifts I'm the only one I see.

"Leave The Light On" layers looped and transposed vocals over thumping two-step 808 and punctuations of club-ready brass. Showing the true breadth of influence, songs like "Little Memory" and "Smaller Than My Mother" are laced with gospel and jazz, strands woven in with Vernhes' and Autre Ne Veut's natural touch.

YOUNG has a clear, vertical ambience that lets the topical vibration of the music shine through. This is the arrival of a magical collaboration: a rare unification of two hearts under one imagination. Elion and Mitchell are bound by absolute belief in one another, and the confidence that every creation is compelled by shared purpose.

Like its arc of transformation, from "Father" to album closer "Mother," Overcoats captures the notion that we are the intersections of our parents' greatest fantasies and biggest follies. YOUNG is a startlingly wise portrayal of these complexities: of love, on inspiration, and the legacy of family.

Overcoats is the New York-based female duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell. Their debut album YOUNG captures a sound rich in minimalism and melody: songs of connection and tension, on the depths of love and challenges of family. 

Overcoats' music draws strength from vulnerability, finding light through darkness, and the catharsis of simple, honest songwriting. YOUNG is about a transformation: the passage into womanhood, sung through the shared experience of two best friends.

On their first single "Hold Me Close," Hana and JJ's melodies are purity in unison, providing two distinct but entwined perspectives on the complexity of love. In their words, "the song is about finding solace in the present when the future and past seem impossible to understand. It's about loneliness and disillusionment that we can feel in relationships, and how we must persevere anyway in hopes of finding the beauty in love."

Elion and Mitchell were drawn to each other when they first met in 2011, finding connection in their diverse love of music and an immediate closeness that verges on sisterhood. Their meeting was transformative emotionally as well as creatively. Both halves of Overcoats describe the first time hearing each other sing as an epiphany: the harmony of their voices leading to personal, individual discovery. This bond forms the foundation of Overcoats, and it fills the ecosystem of YOUNG with its stunning sound and sentiment.

Album opener "Father" unfurls in clouds of three-dimensional sound: a cathedral of echo over waves of delay and the din of incidental noise. There is a rare resonance in Overcoats evident from these opening tones: between their separate (but inseparable) voices, flawlessly intuitive performance, and sublime musical production. Their harmonies slide from brassy to silken with elegant ease, floating over muted rhythms wrapped in lush swells of synthesizers.

YOUNG was written by Overcoats and co-produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Daughter, The War On Drugs, Dirty Projectors, Cass McCombs) and experimental R&B artist Autre Ne Veut, with additional production from Myles Avery and mixing by Ben Baptie (Lapsley, Lianne La Havas, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson).

Their palette is stealth and simple electronics, with traces of folk, pop, and bluegrass embedded within. Like a spectrum from Sylvan Esso to Simon & Garfunkel, Overcoats creates music deeply rooted in emotion, and guided by the search for its innate expression through voice and electronics. Songs that began as bedroom creations flourished into rich but restrained productions, with careful craft illuminating the nuance of Overcoats' unique songwriting.

On YOUNG, Overcoats creates music of mutual empowerment, at once synthetic and organic, wistful and uplifting, triumphant and subdued.

"The Fog" is a bay of lonesome, oscillating synth chords: its boundaries defined by the reflection of echoic finger snaps. Elion and Mitchell find clarity through a lovers' haze, their stoic verses liberated by resounding chorus: Freedom is when I'm without you / When the fog lifts I'm the only one I see.

"Leave The Light On" layers looped and transposed vocals over thumping two-step 808 and punctuations of club-ready brass. Showing the true breadth of influence, songs like "Little Memory" and "Smaller Than My Mother" are laced with gospel and jazz, strands woven in with Vernhes' and Autre Ne Veut's natural touch.

YOUNG has a clear, vertical ambience that lets the topical vibration of the music shine through. This is the arrival of a magical collaboration: a rare unification of two hearts under one imagination. Elion and Mitchell are bound by absolute belief in one another, and the confidence that every creation is compelled by shared purpose.

Like its arc of transformation, from "Father" to album closer "Mother," Overcoats captures the notion that we are the intersections of our parents' greatest fantasies and biggest follies. YOUNG is a startlingly wise portrayal of these complexities: of love, on inspiration, and the legacy of family.

(Late Show) The Lovely Cur / Cape Cod / Gary Smith

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local music featuring The Lovely Cur, Cape Cod and Gary Smith. Tickets only $7.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local music featuring The Lovely Cur, Cape Cod and Gary Smith. Tickets only $7.

The Family Crest with Special Guest Trevor Sensor

From the onset, Liam McCormick, the mastermind behind The Family Crest, knew that Beneath the Brine was an audacious project. But so is The Family Crest itself.

The brainchild of McCormick, The Family Crest was started as a recording project in 2009 with co-founder John Seeterlin (bass). "We were in another band and had become disillusioned about what that band had become about," explains McCormick. "Everyone wanted to be rock stars at the expense of the music. John and I were actually planning on leaving music at that point because we wanted something that in ten years we could be proud of."

Instead of leaving music, they set out to reinvent how it could be created, starting The Family Crest. "We always liked making music with people -- getting a bunch of people together and singing. So we put ads everywhere," says McCormick. "We posted on Craigslist and emailed old friends from school." The outcome was greater than the original duo imagined, with 80 people credited on the first recording the band produced. From that a band emerged, at the urging of the guest musicians, who wanted to hear the songs performed live. "We've worked with a lot of conservatory students as well as people who just sing in the shower," McCormick adds. "It became a lot about giving these people a chance to express themselves without being locked into a commitment."

Now a seven-piece core band, boasting over 400 "Extended Family" members, The Family Crest will release Beneath the Brine in February 2014 on Tender Loving Empire. Just with its previous recordings, the San Francisco band set out to capture a plethora of instruments -- including bassoon, vibraphone and French horn -- in unique places, such as living rooms, churches and cafes across the West Coast.

Following on the heels of last summer's The Headwinds EP (which earned fans in WXPN and Paste), Beneath the Brine shows that McCormick's ambition was well placed. The expansive breadth of arrangements - from dark, classical romanticism ("Beneath the Brine") to horn-laden sounds akin to the Roaring 20s ("Howl") -- are complemented by the incredible range of McCormick's voice. Beneath the Brine also showcases The Family Crest's ability to infuse pop into complex arrangements, with songs like "Love Don't Go" and "The World." The album is a sweeping soundscape befitting the oceanic theme of the title and what SPIN notes as "ambition wide enough to swallow you whole."

It has also proven The Family Crest's belief that anyone can be musical when given the opportunity. "We live in a very disconnected age," notes Laura Bergmann (flute/keys), "so it's a really special experience to have a recording session in a cafe that's open to the public and to sing next to people you've never met before, doing something together that's tangible and very meaningful."

"When I listen to the record," adds McCormick, "it's like listening to the last two years of my life. All of my best friends that I've met are in one place, together."

From the onset, Liam McCormick, the mastermind behind The Family Crest, knew that Beneath the Brine was an audacious project. But so is The Family Crest itself.

The brainchild of McCormick, The Family Crest was started as a recording project in 2009 with co-founder John Seeterlin (bass). "We were in another band and had become disillusioned about what that band had become about," explains McCormick. "Everyone wanted to be rock stars at the expense of the music. John and I were actually planning on leaving music at that point because we wanted something that in ten years we could be proud of."

Instead of leaving music, they set out to reinvent how it could be created, starting The Family Crest. "We always liked making music with people -- getting a bunch of people together and singing. So we put ads everywhere," says McCormick. "We posted on Craigslist and emailed old friends from school." The outcome was greater than the original duo imagined, with 80 people credited on the first recording the band produced. From that a band emerged, at the urging of the guest musicians, who wanted to hear the songs performed live. "We've worked with a lot of conservatory students as well as people who just sing in the shower," McCormick adds. "It became a lot about giving these people a chance to express themselves without being locked into a commitment."

Now a seven-piece core band, boasting over 400 "Extended Family" members, The Family Crest will release Beneath the Brine in February 2014 on Tender Loving Empire. Just with its previous recordings, the San Francisco band set out to capture a plethora of instruments -- including bassoon, vibraphone and French horn -- in unique places, such as living rooms, churches and cafes across the West Coast.

Following on the heels of last summer's The Headwinds EP (which earned fans in WXPN and Paste), Beneath the Brine shows that McCormick's ambition was well placed. The expansive breadth of arrangements - from dark, classical romanticism ("Beneath the Brine") to horn-laden sounds akin to the Roaring 20s ("Howl") -- are complemented by the incredible range of McCormick's voice. Beneath the Brine also showcases The Family Crest's ability to infuse pop into complex arrangements, with songs like "Love Don't Go" and "The World." The album is a sweeping soundscape befitting the oceanic theme of the title and what SPIN notes as "ambition wide enough to swallow you whole."

It has also proven The Family Crest's belief that anyone can be musical when given the opportunity. "We live in a very disconnected age," notes Laura Bergmann (flute/keys), "so it's a really special experience to have a recording session in a cafe that's open to the public and to sing next to people you've never met before, doing something together that's tangible and very meaningful."

"When I listen to the record," adds McCormick, "it's like listening to the last two years of my life. All of my best friends that I've met are in one place, together."

Andy Shauf with Special Guest Julia Jacklin

Andy Shauf is a storyteller, a singer of heartbreak and regrets, isolation and loneliness, reflecting his prairie surroundings in Regina, Canada. Meticulously written over four years, Shauf’s The Bearer of Bad News is a warm and welcoming album, bathed in weathered piano, dampened drums, softly-strummed guitars and clarinet, which lends its unique timbre to frequently brighten – or hauntingly underscore – the songs’ darker undercurrents. Fans of Elliott Smith, Nick Drake and Harry Nilsson, take note.

Andy Shauf is a storyteller, a singer of heartbreak and regrets, isolation and loneliness, reflecting his prairie surroundings in Regina, Canada. Meticulously written over four years, Shauf’s The Bearer of Bad News is a warm and welcoming album, bathed in weathered piano, dampened drums, softly-strummed guitars and clarinet, which lends its unique timbre to frequently brighten – or hauntingly underscore – the songs’ darker undercurrents. Fans of Elliott Smith, Nick Drake and Harry Nilsson, take note.

Leif Vollebekk - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

"A friend told me it was Saturn returns and that may be true. I was about to turn thirty and I knew that if I didn’t change direction I was going to end up exactly where I was headed."

At the end of Leif Vollebekk’s twenties, his own songs didn’t sound right. He had spent an entire year on the road, playing almost 100 shows, but every night his favourite moment came only right at the end, covering a song by Ray Charles or Townes Van Zandt. Every time he got home from tour he took a hot shower and lay still under a window, listening to Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, feeling saved, wondering why his own music didn’t give him that. Why the songs he had written himself always felt like so much work.

He booked himself a secret show. One night only at a Montreal dive bar – not to play his own songs but other people’s. Leif found a rhythm section and they rehearsed once. Then midnight unspooled. Leif called it the most fun he had ever had playing music: Ray Charles and Tom Waits over a locked groove; Bob Dylan and Kendrick Lamar over a slow pulse. The light was dark blue and purple.

It was time, Leif understood, to make a dark blue and purple record. An album of locked groove and slow pulse, heavy as a fever. And the lesson he learned from singing all those other people’s songs was that none of those other artists seemed worried about anything except laying down their own souls, flat out. “I used to think, ‘This will be kinda like a Neil Young song,’ ‘This will be kinda like a Bob Dylan song,’” he recalled. “I kinda ran out of people to imitate. And then there was just me.”

His first new song came to him on his bicycle. He wasn’t thinking, wasn’t trying, but the rhythm, the chords, the melody – it all just fluttered up. He tried at first to let it go: the song was wasn’t meticulous enough, it wasn’t studied or conceived. The next morning it still came back to him, incontestable. “I told myself, ‘You’re never saying ‘no’ to a song ever again,’” Leif said. “I realized I had been saying ‘no’ to a lot of songs, over the years.” Twin Solitude is what happened when Leif stopped saying no. The songs started coming so fast: fully formed, impossible. “Vancouver Time” took 15 minutes; “Telluride” took less. It was as if the songs were waiting for him. Instead of obsessing about the details of recording, “I just showed up to the studio and went, ‘Let’s see what happens.’”

What happened was, they got it: “Big Sky Country” and its patient, coasting tranquility, “Into the Ether”, which rides to reverie with the Brooklyn string duo Chargaux. There’s “East of Eden”, an interpolation of Gillian Welch, which doesn’t seem like it ever ought to end. For a beautiful album, Twin Solitude is deceptively brave, filled with unexpected refrains. “When the cards get stuck together / so hard to pull them apart,” Leif sings, “I think your face is showing.” Then: “Ain’t the first time that it’s snowing.”

Yet in its heart, above all, Twin Solitude is a gesture back to Leif’s long nights under a pink moon, when a record was the only thing that could keep him company. Besides a wink to Hugh MacLennan’s novel Two Solitudes, this is the unlonely loneliness of the album’s title. “It isn’t a record I made for other people – it’s the one I made for myself,” Leif said. “It’s the album I wish I could have put on.”

Listen to it in a rental car in cold weather, with the windows all rolled up. Listen to it laying by an open window. Listen to it all the way through, alone. “By the time the last notes die away, all that’s left should be you,” Leif told me. “And I’ll be somewhere else. And that’s Twin Solitude.”

"A friend told me it was Saturn returns and that may be true. I was about to turn thirty and I knew that if I didn’t change direction I was going to end up exactly where I was headed."

At the end of Leif Vollebekk’s twenties, his own songs didn’t sound right. He had spent an entire year on the road, playing almost 100 shows, but every night his favourite moment came only right at the end, covering a song by Ray Charles or Townes Van Zandt. Every time he got home from tour he took a hot shower and lay still under a window, listening to Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, feeling saved, wondering why his own music didn’t give him that. Why the songs he had written himself always felt like so much work.

He booked himself a secret show. One night only at a Montreal dive bar – not to play his own songs but other people’s. Leif found a rhythm section and they rehearsed once. Then midnight unspooled. Leif called it the most fun he had ever had playing music: Ray Charles and Tom Waits over a locked groove; Bob Dylan and Kendrick Lamar over a slow pulse. The light was dark blue and purple.

It was time, Leif understood, to make a dark blue and purple record. An album of locked groove and slow pulse, heavy as a fever. And the lesson he learned from singing all those other people’s songs was that none of those other artists seemed worried about anything except laying down their own souls, flat out. “I used to think, ‘This will be kinda like a Neil Young song,’ ‘This will be kinda like a Bob Dylan song,’” he recalled. “I kinda ran out of people to imitate. And then there was just me.”

His first new song came to him on his bicycle. He wasn’t thinking, wasn’t trying, but the rhythm, the chords, the melody – it all just fluttered up. He tried at first to let it go: the song was wasn’t meticulous enough, it wasn’t studied or conceived. The next morning it still came back to him, incontestable. “I told myself, ‘You’re never saying ‘no’ to a song ever again,’” Leif said. “I realized I had been saying ‘no’ to a lot of songs, over the years.” Twin Solitude is what happened when Leif stopped saying no. The songs started coming so fast: fully formed, impossible. “Vancouver Time” took 15 minutes; “Telluride” took less. It was as if the songs were waiting for him. Instead of obsessing about the details of recording, “I just showed up to the studio and went, ‘Let’s see what happens.’”

What happened was, they got it: “Big Sky Country” and its patient, coasting tranquility, “Into the Ether”, which rides to reverie with the Brooklyn string duo Chargaux. There’s “East of Eden”, an interpolation of Gillian Welch, which doesn’t seem like it ever ought to end. For a beautiful album, Twin Solitude is deceptively brave, filled with unexpected refrains. “When the cards get stuck together / so hard to pull them apart,” Leif sings, “I think your face is showing.” Then: “Ain’t the first time that it’s snowing.”

Yet in its heart, above all, Twin Solitude is a gesture back to Leif’s long nights under a pink moon, when a record was the only thing that could keep him company. Besides a wink to Hugh MacLennan’s novel Two Solitudes, this is the unlonely loneliness of the album’s title. “It isn’t a record I made for other people – it’s the one I made for myself,” Leif said. “It’s the album I wish I could have put on.”

Listen to it in a rental car in cold weather, with the windows all rolled up. Listen to it laying by an open window. Listen to it all the way through, alone. “By the time the last notes die away, all that’s left should be you,” Leif told me. “And I’ll be somewhere else. And that’s Twin Solitude.”

Angaleena Presley with Special Guest Joe Zelek

Wrangled
 
If "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"/"Butterfield 8"-era Elizabeth Taylor and David Lynch had a baby, and Wanda Jackson was her babysitter, the result would be Angaleena Presley. Strong as jalapeno juice, capable of standing down a twister and a drunk redneck on a tilt, she maintains a reverence for songs, unvarnished truth, be who you are dignity and a brazen sense of "oh, yeah."
           
With Wrangled, the ebony haired songwriter from Beauty, Kentucky ups the bar on her critically acclaimed American Middle Class by sharpening her focus, widening her range and finding metaphors and doppelgangers for feminism, the music business and the unseen underclass who's just trying to get by. But as thrilling as that is, Wrangled also opens a portal into a new kind of country: textural, trippy, frozen in time, urgent, tranquil, but then raw punk and rural.
           
"You have three minutes to change someone's mood or life," begins the woman who co-produced this record with multi-instrumentalist Oran Thornton, pragmatically. "You really only have so many words, and you have to make them count. My heart is open all the time, and I have a sensory disorder: I see things, hear things, feel things most people miss - and it all goes in there.
 
"When I make my work tapes, I'm trying to capture those moods. I'll come up with percussion parts banging on a skillet, just to give it a vibe, I shook a pill bottle on a track, built a loop that's a cigarette lighter. You start there, and then hire geniuses and tell ‘em there are no rules? It's like unicorns pooping rainbows everywhere - and guzzling beer!"

Certainly plugging in Keith Gattis ("those guitar parts are like the devil coming out of the bowels of Hell; he plays wrong notes on purpose"), Mark Knopfler vet Glenn Whorf on bass, steel player Russ Pahl (deemed "a sonic innovator" by Premiere Guitar), Eric Church drummer Craig Wright, with help from bluegrass stalwart Shawn Camp, featured vocalist Morgane Stapleton, John Prine bassist David Jacques and former Wallflower drummer Fred Eltringham is a good place to start.

For while Presley's lyrics are carefully turned narratives of tiny movies, she knows her words are only as potent as the musicians supporting her songs.
 
Laughing, she admits, "I'm 40. I've got nothing to lose. I've been in every nook and cranny of this business, and I want to be in this business the way that I am. There's a vision and a sound that I have in my head, and that's what I'm going to get… When we started mixing, I said, ‘I want this mixed like a Tom Petty record.' When the mixes came in, there was a guitar way over here (on the left) and there was steel over there (the other side of the sonicscape)."
           
It makes perfect sense. With a sultry, sulky sensuousness, Presley conjures an unsentimental vision of how one becomes warped by the expectations fed to youngsters in the record business with  "Dreams Don't Come True," written and sung with her fellow Pistol Annies Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe; the loping yearn to fit in "Outlaw," or the cocktail elegance satiny stroll of preacher seduction "Only Blood" that turns into a classic Scotts-Irish death ballad.  For Presley, it's not just about shining a light on inconvenient truths, it's also about music that's as sophisticated as the nuances in the stories she tells.
           
Whether it's putting a fake mean girl on notice in the sugary acoustic shuffle "Bless My Heart," with the greatest Dollyism - "I know you ain't that blonde, so don't you play dumb with me" - this side of Parton, confessing "I'd rather eat dirt than bake another prize-winning cherry pie" in "Wrangled" or reminding herself things are often less dire than they seem on the Guy Clark co-written and recitated "Cheer Up Little Darling:" with the admonition "It feels like a tight spot, but it's just a loose end," Presley exudes a grace that matches every situation. Even the blaring wawa inflected snarl of "Country," with a solid free rap by Yelawolf, rings with clarity and truth.
           
"What I do is open doors and make it okay to start conversations about hard things," offers the woman who loves Etta James, Nina Simone and Loretta Lynn. "My son is in jail, or on pills… My daughter's a meth whore… Because it happens, and it's a shame, but it's not a shame. It's life."
           
Raised in a town with one stop light, where coal put food on the table and clothes on the backs of the locals, the girl "groomed to be popular" by her teacher mother watched opportunity fade, work dry up and people recede. She understands how things can go wrong for good people - and she brings it
           
With the young knocked up girl realizing nobody wants "the mother to be" in the sleek take on "High School," or the feathery drift that captures weightlessness of chasing the dream at the margins of "Groundswell," Wrangled looks at tight places with kindness and brutal clarity. Even the high pressure "marry up" mother in the lurching, serrated guitar stomp "Mama I Tried" is given brutality and hilarity as Presley confesses, "I painted up my face like some rodeo clown/I choked on cheap perfume as I spread myself around/ I strutted my stuff at every juke joint in town."
           
"I try not to pigeonhole myself: I want this (record) to be music someone at Berklee would listen to, or my father sitting on the front porch, eating squirrel gravy. And no, I didn't set out to be this edgy, renegade person, but I don't know how to do it the other way. And I've spent hours rotting away in writers' appointments getting at nothing - that's not for me."
           
Taking her cues from firebrands Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton who co-wrote "Only Blood," Jason Isbell and even Brandy Clark, Presley would rather protect the music and write songs that genuinely matter. Maybe in part from her standing Wednesday writing appointment with Guy Clark - "He made me a better person, a person who didn't tolerate bullshit" - or maybe it's just that she's lived life without a safety net and understands.
           
"I've been divorced, broke and didn't know what to do. I've stared that down, thought, ‘Well, I could just knock that iron over, burn it all down and catch the house on fire.' But songs save my life all the time, both hearing and writing them - and so I wrote, ‘Housewife's Prayer,' and I just kept going."
           
Keeping going is a key for Presley, who co-wrote the resiliency kiss-off and anthem that swings like the Rat Pack in full rut "Good Girl Down" with Wanda Jackson. Somewhere between early Peggy Lee and sultry Keely Smith, it's equal parts distilling Jackson's experience, honoring her own struggles and admitting that the love of the music is bigger than boys or business or anything else.
           
"It's interesting to hear her perspective of when she came up, and what stands out is nothing's really changed that much about being fair. But here's a woman who changed everything, who dated Elvis Presley, and she's still going!  When we wrote, she was all done up; she apologized for being late, saying ‘I took a little tumble coming off the plane…' And up close, you could see she'd really had a fall. When I suggested maybe we postpone, she said, ‘You can't keep a good girl down…' and I knew we had to write that."
           
Real life. In songs … with players who want to explore the possibilities. For the woman who identifies as a feminist, it's a pretty simple equation. "I'm a feminist who fights with love, a kill ‘em with kindness person - but also a kill ‘em with honesty. The most powerful weapon we have is honesty and vulnerability: showing your weakness and your truth is the greatest weapon we have."
           
For Wrangled, a dark record buoyed by great levity, Presley has done just that. All of the women are smart and savvy, real about their emotions and willing to lay it out there. After being told by several Music Row business types they "love what you do," but her songs were "unpitchable" for today's country, the feisty Betty Page evoker doubled down.
           
"This isn't about girl power, but everyone having a fair chance," she decries. "I want a world where some little girl can wake up and still be Loretta Lynn. There are dudes in my hometown and (what's on country radio) those are their anthems. I wouldn't take that away from them for anything. But there are those girls in those town who need anthems, truth, songs they can live in - and where are they going to get them?"
           
Presley pauses for a moment, leans in, then conspiratorially winks. "You know, women're only getting better and stronger. And all of this? It's only making us grow."
           
Like her songs, with a smile, Angaleena Presley has laid it all down. Nothing more needs to be said. All we have to do is listen.

Wrangled
 
If "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"/"Butterfield 8"-era Elizabeth Taylor and David Lynch had a baby, and Wanda Jackson was her babysitter, the result would be Angaleena Presley. Strong as jalapeno juice, capable of standing down a twister and a drunk redneck on a tilt, she maintains a reverence for songs, unvarnished truth, be who you are dignity and a brazen sense of "oh, yeah."
           
With Wrangled, the ebony haired songwriter from Beauty, Kentucky ups the bar on her critically acclaimed American Middle Class by sharpening her focus, widening her range and finding metaphors and doppelgangers for feminism, the music business and the unseen underclass who's just trying to get by. But as thrilling as that is, Wrangled also opens a portal into a new kind of country: textural, trippy, frozen in time, urgent, tranquil, but then raw punk and rural.
           
"You have three minutes to change someone's mood or life," begins the woman who co-produced this record with multi-instrumentalist Oran Thornton, pragmatically. "You really only have so many words, and you have to make them count. My heart is open all the time, and I have a sensory disorder: I see things, hear things, feel things most people miss - and it all goes in there.
 
"When I make my work tapes, I'm trying to capture those moods. I'll come up with percussion parts banging on a skillet, just to give it a vibe, I shook a pill bottle on a track, built a loop that's a cigarette lighter. You start there, and then hire geniuses and tell ‘em there are no rules? It's like unicorns pooping rainbows everywhere - and guzzling beer!"

Certainly plugging in Keith Gattis ("those guitar parts are like the devil coming out of the bowels of Hell; he plays wrong notes on purpose"), Mark Knopfler vet Glenn Whorf on bass, steel player Russ Pahl (deemed "a sonic innovator" by Premiere Guitar), Eric Church drummer Craig Wright, with help from bluegrass stalwart Shawn Camp, featured vocalist Morgane Stapleton, John Prine bassist David Jacques and former Wallflower drummer Fred Eltringham is a good place to start.

For while Presley's lyrics are carefully turned narratives of tiny movies, she knows her words are only as potent as the musicians supporting her songs.
 
Laughing, she admits, "I'm 40. I've got nothing to lose. I've been in every nook and cranny of this business, and I want to be in this business the way that I am. There's a vision and a sound that I have in my head, and that's what I'm going to get… When we started mixing, I said, ‘I want this mixed like a Tom Petty record.' When the mixes came in, there was a guitar way over here (on the left) and there was steel over there (the other side of the sonicscape)."
           
It makes perfect sense. With a sultry, sulky sensuousness, Presley conjures an unsentimental vision of how one becomes warped by the expectations fed to youngsters in the record business with  "Dreams Don't Come True," written and sung with her fellow Pistol Annies Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe; the loping yearn to fit in "Outlaw," or the cocktail elegance satiny stroll of preacher seduction "Only Blood" that turns into a classic Scotts-Irish death ballad.  For Presley, it's not just about shining a light on inconvenient truths, it's also about music that's as sophisticated as the nuances in the stories she tells.
           
Whether it's putting a fake mean girl on notice in the sugary acoustic shuffle "Bless My Heart," with the greatest Dollyism - "I know you ain't that blonde, so don't you play dumb with me" - this side of Parton, confessing "I'd rather eat dirt than bake another prize-winning cherry pie" in "Wrangled" or reminding herself things are often less dire than they seem on the Guy Clark co-written and recitated "Cheer Up Little Darling:" with the admonition "It feels like a tight spot, but it's just a loose end," Presley exudes a grace that matches every situation. Even the blaring wawa inflected snarl of "Country," with a solid free rap by Yelawolf, rings with clarity and truth.
           
"What I do is open doors and make it okay to start conversations about hard things," offers the woman who loves Etta James, Nina Simone and Loretta Lynn. "My son is in jail, or on pills… My daughter's a meth whore… Because it happens, and it's a shame, but it's not a shame. It's life."
           
Raised in a town with one stop light, where coal put food on the table and clothes on the backs of the locals, the girl "groomed to be popular" by her teacher mother watched opportunity fade, work dry up and people recede. She understands how things can go wrong for good people - and she brings it
           
With the young knocked up girl realizing nobody wants "the mother to be" in the sleek take on "High School," or the feathery drift that captures weightlessness of chasing the dream at the margins of "Groundswell," Wrangled looks at tight places with kindness and brutal clarity. Even the high pressure "marry up" mother in the lurching, serrated guitar stomp "Mama I Tried" is given brutality and hilarity as Presley confesses, "I painted up my face like some rodeo clown/I choked on cheap perfume as I spread myself around/ I strutted my stuff at every juke joint in town."
           
"I try not to pigeonhole myself: I want this (record) to be music someone at Berklee would listen to, or my father sitting on the front porch, eating squirrel gravy. And no, I didn't set out to be this edgy, renegade person, but I don't know how to do it the other way. And I've spent hours rotting away in writers' appointments getting at nothing - that's not for me."
           
Taking her cues from firebrands Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton who co-wrote "Only Blood," Jason Isbell and even Brandy Clark, Presley would rather protect the music and write songs that genuinely matter. Maybe in part from her standing Wednesday writing appointment with Guy Clark - "He made me a better person, a person who didn't tolerate bullshit" - or maybe it's just that she's lived life without a safety net and understands.
           
"I've been divorced, broke and didn't know what to do. I've stared that down, thought, ‘Well, I could just knock that iron over, burn it all down and catch the house on fire.' But songs save my life all the time, both hearing and writing them - and so I wrote, ‘Housewife's Prayer,' and I just kept going."
           
Keeping going is a key for Presley, who co-wrote the resiliency kiss-off and anthem that swings like the Rat Pack in full rut "Good Girl Down" with Wanda Jackson. Somewhere between early Peggy Lee and sultry Keely Smith, it's equal parts distilling Jackson's experience, honoring her own struggles and admitting that the love of the music is bigger than boys or business or anything else.
           
"It's interesting to hear her perspective of when she came up, and what stands out is nothing's really changed that much about being fair. But here's a woman who changed everything, who dated Elvis Presley, and she's still going!  When we wrote, she was all done up; she apologized for being late, saying ‘I took a little tumble coming off the plane…' And up close, you could see she'd really had a fall. When I suggested maybe we postpone, she said, ‘You can't keep a good girl down…' and I knew we had to write that."
           
Real life. In songs … with players who want to explore the possibilities. For the woman who identifies as a feminist, it's a pretty simple equation. "I'm a feminist who fights with love, a kill ‘em with kindness person - but also a kill ‘em with honesty. The most powerful weapon we have is honesty and vulnerability: showing your weakness and your truth is the greatest weapon we have."
           
For Wrangled, a dark record buoyed by great levity, Presley has done just that. All of the women are smart and savvy, real about their emotions and willing to lay it out there. After being told by several Music Row business types they "love what you do," but her songs were "unpitchable" for today's country, the feisty Betty Page evoker doubled down.
           
"This isn't about girl power, but everyone having a fair chance," she decries. "I want a world where some little girl can wake up and still be Loretta Lynn. There are dudes in my hometown and (what's on country radio) those are their anthems. I wouldn't take that away from them for anything. But there are those girls in those town who need anthems, truth, songs they can live in - and where are they going to get them?"
           
Presley pauses for a moment, leans in, then conspiratorially winks. "You know, women're only getting better and stronger. And all of this? It's only making us grow."
           
Like her songs, with a smile, Angaleena Presley has laid it all down. Nothing more needs to be said. All we have to do is listen.

SZLACHETKA with Special Guest Jack's Shadow

SZLACHETKA (pronounced SLA-HET-KA) draws your gaze back to a simpler time when music was less about stylized production and more about its experiential nature. His songwriting finds inspiration in the threads that connect us, weaving a tapestry of familiar moments that pay homage to the past while leaning into a future that promises both wonder and grace. Now based in Nashville, SZLACHETKA grew up in New England and began his career as the frontman for the acclaimed roots-rock band, The Northstar Session, with whom he recorded five albums and appeared in the second season of TV’s “Parenthood”. After nearly a decade of touring he left the band and struck out on his own, releasing his first solo album in 2014, “Waits for a Storm to Find”.
SZLACHETKA is a prolific songwriter who relishes the interplay of collaborative writing and the serendipitous connections that materialize on the road. Over the last year he has written with Jamie Kent, Jamie Wyatt, Austin Hanks (ZZ Top), Kevin Savigar (Rod Stewart, Kelsea Ballerini), Paul Freeman, Jeff Silbar (Wind Beneath My Wings), Wyatt Durrette (Zac Brown Band), Scott Underwood (TRAIN), Katelyn Clampett, Matt Brown, and Andrew Leahey.
SZLACHETKA’s sophomore album, “Heart of my Hometown” is set for release in the summer of 2017.

SZLACHETKA (pronounced SLA-HET-KA) draws your gaze back to a simpler time when music was less about stylized production and more about its experiential nature. His songwriting finds inspiration in the threads that connect us, weaving a tapestry of familiar moments that pay homage to the past while leaning into a future that promises both wonder and grace. Now based in Nashville, SZLACHETKA grew up in New England and began his career as the frontman for the acclaimed roots-rock band, The Northstar Session, with whom he recorded five albums and appeared in the second season of TV’s “Parenthood”. After nearly a decade of touring he left the band and struck out on his own, releasing his first solo album in 2014, “Waits for a Storm to Find”.
SZLACHETKA is a prolific songwriter who relishes the interplay of collaborative writing and the serendipitous connections that materialize on the road. Over the last year he has written with Jamie Kent, Jamie Wyatt, Austin Hanks (ZZ Top), Kevin Savigar (Rod Stewart, Kelsea Ballerini), Paul Freeman, Jeff Silbar (Wind Beneath My Wings), Wyatt Durrette (Zac Brown Band), Scott Underwood (TRAIN), Katelyn Clampett, Matt Brown, and Andrew Leahey.
SZLACHETKA’s sophomore album, “Heart of my Hometown” is set for release in the summer of 2017.

(Early Show) Avi Diamond with Morgan Erina

Avi Diamond is a singer-songwriter based in Pittsburgh, PA. Although her musical foundation was in jazz voice at Duquesne University, Avi is inspired by a wide variety of musical styles and draws inspiration from artists ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Radiohead and more recently Brandi Carlile and Gillian Welch.

Avi has performed at venues all over Pittsburgh and has been featured on WYEP’s Local 91.3 segment. She released the Wolfmother EP on February 3. This project takes inspiration from acoustic folk, samba, rock, and jazz. The change in styles and themes in her music were influenced by an 8 month Music Therapy internship that Avi completed in the Catskill mountains of New York.

Avi Diamond is a singer-songwriter based in Pittsburgh, PA. Although her musical foundation was in jazz voice at Duquesne University, Avi is inspired by a wide variety of musical styles and draws inspiration from artists ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Radiohead and more recently Brandi Carlile and Gillian Welch.

Avi has performed at venues all over Pittsburgh and has been featured on WYEP’s Local 91.3 segment. She released the Wolfmother EP on February 3. This project takes inspiration from acoustic folk, samba, rock, and jazz. The change in styles and themes in her music were influenced by an 8 month Music Therapy internship that Avi completed in the Catskill mountains of New York.

(Late Show) L.S. Hellebore / Multiverse Theory / Spellcaster

Join Club Cafe for local rock featuring L.S. Hellebore, Multiverse Theory and Spellcaster. Support local music. $5 advance, $7 at door.

Join Club Cafe for local rock featuring L.S. Hellebore, Multiverse Theory and Spellcaster. Support local music. $5 advance, $7 at door.

(Early Show) Matt Aquiline & the Dead End Streets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Late Show) Marc Reisman and the Strong Way Band Album Release Show Featuring The Steeltown Horns with Tony Resch

Marc first established an international reputation as a fiery, high energy harmonica player and performer in Pittsburgh's legendary Iron City Houserockers. Post-Houserockers, he's gone on to play and record with musicians of many different musical styles. Now comes STRONG WAY - his first album of original songs, most of them co-written with another Pittsburgh music legend, Kurt Resch, and it features Marc on lead vocals, as well as harmonica. The album is an eclectic sendup of the many different styles of music Marc's played over the years - rock, pop, reggae, blues and R&B. As always, Marc brings the emotional depth and intensity for which he's known to his songwriting and singing. Marc called on some of the PIttsburgh area's best musicians to playl ont he album and several will be playing the album release show including Kurt Resch, Rick Witkowski and the Steeltown Horns.

Marc first established an international reputation as a fiery, high energy harmonica player and performer in Pittsburgh's legendary Iron City Houserockers. Post-Houserockers, he's gone on to play and record with musicians of many different musical styles. Now comes STRONG WAY - his first album of original songs, most of them co-written with another Pittsburgh music legend, Kurt Resch, and it features Marc on lead vocals, as well as harmonica. The album is an eclectic sendup of the many different styles of music Marc's played over the years - rock, pop, reggae, blues and R&B. As always, Marc brings the emotional depth and intensity for which he's known to his songwriting and singing. Marc called on some of the PIttsburgh area's best musicians to playl ont he album and several will be playing the album release show including Kurt Resch, Rick Witkowski and the Steeltown Horns.

Chastity Brown with Special Guest Hannah Jenkins

Now based in Minnesota but with roots in the Deep South, Chastity has the "ability to distill Southern blues and plaintive North Country prairie influences into expansive, alluring folk songs" (The Current). She is a powerful new voice with the ability to warm, comfort and challenge. She's been hailed by NPR, CMT, American Songwriter, The London Times, and Paste Magazine as a songwriter to watch and has appeared on UK television on Later... with Jools Holland.

Chastity, whose mother grew up in a large Irish family in Boston and whose father was an African-American jazz/blues musician, was born in the north-easterly state of New Hampshire, and moved down to Union City in Tennessee when she was seven years old. Growing up near Memphis, she became transfixed by roots music from an early age. When she first began writing music, she struggled with this influence as she was not exposed to many soul musicians writing "folk" music.

Growing up in a full Gospel church was where Chastity found her voice and passion, but after being kicked out of seminary college for having a same-sex relationship -- she was studying to be a worship leader -- she found her voice as a songwriter.

As a woman of color, she's as influenced by authors as musicians. she says, "I have always memorialized the civil rights movement, the heroines and heroes that arose to sing the songs, write the rousing speeches, sit at the counters, mobilize in the streets. That with their actions and simply just the way they lived they would declare that black lives are sacred, are beautiful, that they matter."

"It's because of these reasons that I write for and from the marginalized experience," Chastity says. "For the truly triumphant spirit that's been through some shit, and has fought her/his way through it to maintain a sense of dignity and peace of mind. I write from the cultural influence and the perspective of being a bi-racial woman; of being just as much one thing as I am the other. I write from the feeling of being within yet apart."

Now based in Minnesota but with roots in the Deep South, Chastity has the "ability to distill Southern blues and plaintive North Country prairie influences into expansive, alluring folk songs" (The Current). She is a powerful new voice with the ability to warm, comfort and challenge. She's been hailed by NPR, CMT, American Songwriter, The London Times, and Paste Magazine as a songwriter to watch and has appeared on UK television on Later... with Jools Holland.

Chastity, whose mother grew up in a large Irish family in Boston and whose father was an African-American jazz/blues musician, was born in the north-easterly state of New Hampshire, and moved down to Union City in Tennessee when she was seven years old. Growing up near Memphis, she became transfixed by roots music from an early age. When she first began writing music, she struggled with this influence as she was not exposed to many soul musicians writing "folk" music.

Growing up in a full Gospel church was where Chastity found her voice and passion, but after being kicked out of seminary college for having a same-sex relationship -- she was studying to be a worship leader -- she found her voice as a songwriter.

As a woman of color, she's as influenced by authors as musicians. she says, "I have always memorialized the civil rights movement, the heroines and heroes that arose to sing the songs, write the rousing speeches, sit at the counters, mobilize in the streets. That with their actions and simply just the way they lived they would declare that black lives are sacred, are beautiful, that they matter."

"It's because of these reasons that I write for and from the marginalized experience," Chastity says. "For the truly triumphant spirit that's been through some shit, and has fought her/his way through it to maintain a sense of dignity and peace of mind. I write from the cultural influence and the perspective of being a bi-racial woman; of being just as much one thing as I am the other. I write from the feeling of being within yet apart."

G-Nome Project with Special Guests Brahctopus and The Rainbow Ends

G-Nome Project is Israel’s premier Livetronica band. Formed in September 2012, G-Nome Project is rapidly building one of the most loyal fan bases in the country, packing venues to capacity in their home city, Jerusalem, and expanding rapidly to the heart of the artistic scene in Israel’s center in greater Tel Aviv. The band is comprised from a super group of four nationally renowned musicians – Zechariah Reich, Chemy Soibelman, Shlomo Langer and Eyal Salomon – who each bring a distinctive flavor to the dynamic electro-funk palate of this Jerusalem-based quartet. G-Nome Project is the product of their longstanding musical vision to form an ensemble focused heavily on improvisation while blending elements of electronica, dance, and funk into progressive original compositions – a style that has been coined “Grilled Cheese Funk at its finest.” Fans of many colors flock to the band’s shows for the music, good vibes, and hardcore dancing that exemplify the character of the G-Nome community.

G-Nome Project is Israel’s premier Livetronica band. Formed in September 2012, G-Nome Project is rapidly building one of the most loyal fan bases in the country, packing venues to capacity in their home city, Jerusalem, and expanding rapidly to the heart of the artistic scene in Israel’s center in greater Tel Aviv. The band is comprised from a super group of four nationally renowned musicians – Zechariah Reich, Chemy Soibelman, Shlomo Langer and Eyal Salomon – who each bring a distinctive flavor to the dynamic electro-funk palate of this Jerusalem-based quartet. G-Nome Project is the product of their longstanding musical vision to form an ensemble focused heavily on improvisation while blending elements of electronica, dance, and funk into progressive original compositions – a style that has been coined “Grilled Cheese Funk at its finest.” Fans of many colors flock to the band’s shows for the music, good vibes, and hardcore dancing that exemplify the character of the G-Nome community.

Club Cafe's Monthly Open Stage with Hosts Mike Mizia (guitar/voice) and Riccardo Randellini (Percussion) From The New World Trio

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

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

This month's hosts are Hosts Mike Mizia (guitar/voice) and Riccardo Randellini (Percussion) From The New World Trio

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

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

This month's hosts are Hosts Mike Mizia (guitar/voice) and Riccardo Randellini (Percussion) From The New World Trio

(Early Show) Blue Clutch / The Megan Pennington Trio / Sarah Halter

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live local music with Blue Clutch, The Megan Pennington Trio and Sarah Halter. Tickets only $7.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live local music with Blue Clutch, The Megan Pennington Trio and Sarah Halter. Tickets only $7.

(Early Show) Army Of Optimism

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

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

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

Join Club Cafe for an evening of comedy.

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

Join Club Cafe for an evening of comedy.

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

Taj Weekes and Adowa

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

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

AND ADOWA….?
Taj Weekes Band

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

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

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

AND ADOWA….?
Taj Weekes Band

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Main Squeeze with Special Guest Shaq Nicholson

Instruments:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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


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

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

Instruments:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Late Show) Easy Roscoe with Jon Worthy and Brahctopus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Steel Wheels

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

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

While on tour supporting Josh Ritter, the band forged a friendship with Sam Kassirer, who plays keyboards for Ritter on tour and has produced a number of his albums. While The Steel Wheels had been considering other producers and maybe recording in Nashville, they chose to follow their instincts all the way to rural Maine, where Kassirer owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members - Wagler, Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass), and Jay Lapp (mandolin) - hunkered down for a week and a half to create Wild As We Came Here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then as now, The Steel Wheels' style weaves through Americana and bluegrass music, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into the sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery and perseverance run throughout the collection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

While on tour supporting Josh Ritter, the band forged a friendship with Sam Kassirer, who plays keyboards for Ritter on tour and has produced a number of his albums. While The Steel Wheels had been considering other producers and maybe recording in Nashville, they chose to follow their instincts all the way to rural Maine, where Kassirer owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members - Wagler, Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass), and Jay Lapp (mandolin) - hunkered down for a week and a half to create Wild As We Came Here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then as now, The Steel Wheels' style weaves through Americana and bluegrass music, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into the sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery and perseverance run throughout the collection.

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

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

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

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

Kolars with Special Guest Luxury Machine

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

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

Chillent Album Release Party with Special Guests Manic Soul

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Early Show) L.O.S. with Special Guests

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

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

An Evening With Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mephiskapheles with Special Guests INCO FIdO and Latecomer

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

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

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

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

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

See you in Hell.

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

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

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

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

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

See you in Hell.

Bruce Robison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marshall Crenshaw y Los Straitjackets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teen Daze + Sam OB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vinyl Sunday with Special Guest Lyndsey Smith & Soul Distribution

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

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

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

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

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

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

BJ Barham - The Great 48 Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Early Show) Mutlu

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xenia Rubinos

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

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

Missy Raines & The New Hip

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

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

(Late Show) Airpark (Formerly of The Apache Relay)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Early Show) Matt The Electrician

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


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


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

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


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


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

Mt. Joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old Salt Union with Special Guest Nameless In August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slaid Cleaves

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Pigpen Theatre Co.

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

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

Pigpen Theatre Co.

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

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

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