club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
That 1 Guy

With an extensive and amazing track record of unique and imaginative performances featuringhis curious instrument and copious amounts of originality, Mike Silverman aka That1Guy has set himself apart as a true one-of-a-kind talent that rivals any other artist currently in the entertainment industry. Averaging 150-200 shows a year all over North America and Canada, he has been a consistent favorite at such festivals as: Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Big Day out, All Good, Bella, High Sierra, Summer Meltdown, Montreal Jazz Festival, and many more. He was also the ʻTap Water Awardʼ winner at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for best musical act. His legendary collaboration and multiple tours with Buckethead as The Frankenstein Brothers has further cemented his virtuoso story as a creative visionary as well.
His innovation continues to soar with the announcement of another tour kicking off in January 2015. Along with his pioneering main instrument, The Magic Pipe, a monstrosity of metal, strings, and electronics, facilitates the dynamic live creation of music and magic in ways only That1Guy can conjure, expect to see magic as well now integrated into the already clever performance. With this addition of incorporating magic seamlessly into his live shows, he has legitimately achieved an all inclusive audio/visual performance unlike anything experienced before. “So much of my music has miraculous qualities to it because itʼs hard to tell whatʼs going on. There are lots of slights of hand and sonic misdirection. It feels like I was meant to do magic”.
Silvermanʼs backstory is very similar to many musicians that have come before him. He grew up a self proclaimed music geek, soaked in the influence of his jazz musician father, and enrolled in San Francisco Conservatory of Music before joining the local jazz scene himself as a sought-after percussive bassist. This is where the similarities end, though, and where That1Guy truly began. “In my case, being a bass player, I just felt very restricted by the instrument itself,” he says. “Iʼve always wanted to sound different and have my own sound. I was headed that way on the bass, but for me to fully realize what I was hearing in my head sonically I was going to have to do it my way”. His influential and innovative double bass style eventually evolved into what we see today as That1Guy and ʻThe Magic Pipeʼ.
As his story continues to develop, Billboard has famously noted, “In the case of Mike Silvermanʼs slamming, futuristic funk act… the normal rules of biology just donʼt apply.”

With an extensive and amazing track record of unique and imaginative performances featuringhis curious instrument and copious amounts of originality, Mike Silverman aka That1Guy has set himself apart as a true one-of-a-kind talent that rivals any other artist currently in the entertainment industry. Averaging 150-200 shows a year all over North America and Canada, he has been a consistent favorite at such festivals as: Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Big Day out, All Good, Bella, High Sierra, Summer Meltdown, Montreal Jazz Festival, and many more. He was also the ʻTap Water Awardʼ winner at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for best musical act. His legendary collaboration and multiple tours with Buckethead as The Frankenstein Brothers has further cemented his virtuoso story as a creative visionary as well.
His innovation continues to soar with the announcement of another tour kicking off in January 2015. Along with his pioneering main instrument, The Magic Pipe, a monstrosity of metal, strings, and electronics, facilitates the dynamic live creation of music and magic in ways only That1Guy can conjure, expect to see magic as well now integrated into the already clever performance. With this addition of incorporating magic seamlessly into his live shows, he has legitimately achieved an all inclusive audio/visual performance unlike anything experienced before. “So much of my music has miraculous qualities to it because itʼs hard to tell whatʼs going on. There are lots of slights of hand and sonic misdirection. It feels like I was meant to do magic”.
Silvermanʼs backstory is very similar to many musicians that have come before him. He grew up a self proclaimed music geek, soaked in the influence of his jazz musician father, and enrolled in San Francisco Conservatory of Music before joining the local jazz scene himself as a sought-after percussive bassist. This is where the similarities end, though, and where That1Guy truly began. “In my case, being a bass player, I just felt very restricted by the instrument itself,” he says. “Iʼve always wanted to sound different and have my own sound. I was headed that way on the bass, but for me to fully realize what I was hearing in my head sonically I was going to have to do it my way”. His influential and innovative double bass style eventually evolved into what we see today as That1Guy and ʻThe Magic Pipeʼ.
As his story continues to develop, Billboard has famously noted, “In the case of Mike Silvermanʼs slamming, futuristic funk act… the normal rules of biology just donʼt apply.”

The Suffers with Special Guest Jeremie Albino

There is a contagious and combustible energy every time the eight-piece wonder-band The Suffers steps on the scene. NPR's Bob Boilen attributes the band's allure to their "Soul, straight from horn to heart." He adds, "This band is on fire when it's in front of an audience...but the intensity of their shows are also captured in the studio." Following The Suffers' electrifying late night TV debut on Letterman in 2015, David Letterman exclaimed, "If you can't do this, get out of the business!" There is something undeniable about The Suffers (whose name is a reference to the 1978 Jamaican film Rockers starring Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Jacob Miller and Burning Spear, among others), that instantly hits home with their audiences. "We make music for all people," says lead vocalist Kam Franklin. "At this point, we've played all over the world and one thing is certain - if the music is good, the people will enjoy it." Since 2011, the H-Town heroes have been on a steady grind and have no plans of stopping. It seems the secret to their success is simple. Keyboardist Patrick Kelly confides, "There is a universal groove in the music that we play," while bass guitarist Adam Castaneda adds, "I don't think any of us are trying to impress anyone with our technical abilities, we just want to make them dance."

Shanachie Entertainment will release The Suffers' highly anticipated label debut Everything Here on July 13, 2018. Guitarist Kevin Bernier says, "Everything Here, as a whole, explores the many aspects of who we are as people through songs. We've had crushes on people, we've had our hearts broken, and we've moved through all the difficult times so that we can experience the joyful moments." The Suffers have got everything you need and there's no need to look further - a heaping dose of soul, a dash of reggae, a splash of jazz, a pinch of salsa, a hint of rock 'n' roll and a dollop of hip hop and funk - and that is just a few ingredients simmering inside their magical Gulf Coast soul. Percussionist Jose Luna says, "The glue that holds us together is our experience. We have all played with so many bands and musicians through the years that we have learned how not to step on each others toes."

Everything Here, a riveting collection of 15 originals that gives props to Houston (there are even cameos from Houston rappers Paul Wall and Bun B), explores the many sides of love, celebrates the virtues of individuality, reminds us of the destruction of Harvey and resilience of the human spirit and declares love for their mothers. All of these themes coalesce into one soulful soundtrack. The band co-produced the album with John Allen Stephens and Zeke Listenbee co-produced on several tracks. Trombonist Michael Razo explains, "One of our goals was to have the songs on the album flow or tie into each other. Like creating an album where you just press play and let it go without having to skip to the next song."

"The Suffers are a contemporary version of the great R&B/funk bands of 70s and 80s...Rufus, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, with a powerful lead vocalist in Kam Franklin and spot-on musicianship that is all too rare these days," says Shanachie Entertainment General Manager, Randall Grass. "They've done a great job of building a base on their own and we at Shanachie are looking forward to taking them to the next level." The Suffers’ drive coupled with their can't lose attitude and serious chops have taken them from their beloved Houston to the world stage (they are the first band to break nationally out of Houston in a long time). Lead singer Kam Franklin has the distinction of being a spokesperson for Houston as she has been tapped by the city to appear in a national tourism advertisement. “It means a lot to me that the city would trust me in such a grand way to represent them,” shares the dynamic singer/songwriter. “Houston has played a huge part in making me who I am and introducing our music to the masses, and for that, we are forever grateful.” The Suffers have played sold out shows in Japan and Latin America, turned out audiences at the Newport Folk Festival and Afropunk Festival and made believers of just about anyone who has experienced their live shows. "We're a testament to teamwork and camaraderie resulting in things working out even when the odds are against a positive outcome," says drummer Nick Zamora. "The wonderful thing about music is that it is ultimate universal communication," reflects trumpeter Jon Durbin.

The Suffers exploded onto the scene in 2015 with their dazzling EP Make Some Room, which was followed by their critically heralded self-titled debut in 2016. The highly anticipated Everything Here is the band’s most bold statement yet. Nick Zamora shares, “We were nervous because we didn’t know how to write an album while devoting so much time to touring and keeping our personal lives together at the same time. We started doing it when we could; on the road, at home, finding inspiration here and there. We wrote about our post-9 to 5 epiphanies, relationships and music that just felt good.” As the album began to morph into creation the band trusted their vision. “I think that the idea has always been to be as honest as we can,” says Patrick Kelly. Kam

Everything Here opens ceremoniously with a smooth and fun-loving head-nod to Houston. Paul Wall jumps on the intro as the background vocals sing, “It might not be that pretty but it looks real good to me. It might not be your favorite city but it’s really got a hold on me.” Kam Franklin says, “Not only does Paul Wall serve as an unofficial ambassador for the city, he is a hard working artist that brought this song the life we thought it was missing!” The effervescently playful “I Think I Love You” follows with blustery horns and bluesy vocals. The song chronicles the moment when the universe throws you a curveball in the way of a new and unexpected love interest. Franklin shares, “This song is about embracing that confidence that comes with not needing to depend on a lover, while still being open to the possibilities of new romance.” “Do Whatever,” the album’s second single, is a song the band nurtured for two years before they finally recorded it. During this evolution, it has come to stand as a sort of anthem for them on living your life on your own terms. It opens with soul-stirring horns, thumping bass lines and Kam laying down the law singing, "Full on disclosure, I'm not here for exposure. I came to have a good time so let me shine...Do whatever feels right, all night, alright, alright!" The driving rhythms and hip-hop tinged “The One About Sace” has some fun chronicling the journey of getting to know someone. With references to Nas and the film “The Five Heartbeats,” Kam asks questions to get to know her love interest better. The hopping Rhodes, skipping melody and fabulous orchestration on “All I Want To Do” reminds us of the virtues of following your heart. The song, which Nick Zamora penned while still in high school, showcases lyrics to live by: “If it don’t taste good, I don’t have to eat it. If it don’t fit well, I don’t have to wear it. And if it ain’t broke I don’t have to fix it.” Everything Here also highlights the tender ballad featuring lush strings and shimmering percussion, “Sure To Remain,” while “Charlotte” breaks down the walls of negativity and features Paul Wall once again. Franklin shares, “The demo for this one was written in Charlotte, NC after a really rough day on the road. A few outsiders tried to break us down with their negativity, but we were not having it. The end result was us holding our heads up high and proceeding to do what we love most: creating smooth music that makes us and the masses happy!”

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August of 2017. Its devastation in many ways are comparable to the effects of Katrina. Despite the media’s dissipating coverage, Houston is still recovering. “After the Storm” is a song that Kam wrote with her friend Lisa E. Harris during Hurricane Harvey. The song features Lyle Divinsky, lead singer for Denver-based funk band, The Motet. The arresting track opens with a percussive heartbeat that stops you in your tracks. Kam explains, “In the days after the storm, the city enforced a mandatory curfew that meant everyone needed to be in their houses by 10pm every night. While visiting Lisa, we lost track of time, and ended up having a mandatory slumber party due to the curfew and ended up writing this song.” The Suffers serve up some sharp-edged funk on the dance-inducing “What You Said,” which is all about communication as the lyrics exclaim “It’s not what you said, its how you said it. It’s not what you did, it’s how you did it!”

The Suffers are family. Spend ten minutes with the band and you know that the ties that bind them go well beyond the music. They are truly a democracy in which every voice is heard and respected and they also love their mamas! On the heart-warming interlude “A Word From Our Mammas,” the band turn the mics on their mothers who are heard confessing their love for their children. The song “Mammas” very well could rival The Intruders seminal tribute to mama’s everywhere. “Bernard’s Interlude” features the baritone of pisces, poet and rapper Bun B. Kam’s idea to feature a few MC’s on the recording was inspired by Kanye West. “I had a vision of getting a bunch of different rappers to do our interludes, similar to what Kanye did on his first few albums with the comedians. Instead of rapping, the vision was to show a different side of their personalities the world hasn’t seen before. For Bun, I knew I wanted him to sing. Bun came in, and killed it on the first take.”

The dub and reggae fueled title track takes us through the travails of a devastating breakup and was penned by Nick Zamora’s brother and former band member Alex, who shared additional guitar duties. The sultry jazz vibes and delightfully unexpected key changes of “You Only Call” serves as a notice to all those who take but don’t give back, while “Won’t Be Here Tomorrow” is a real soul/blues showstopper. Kam Franklin’s raspy and ‘take no prisoners’ vocals tell the story of a woman who has chosen to confront her cheating partner. “It’s a little eerie, but at the same time, it’s empowering,” says Kam. “She knows that he wants to be with her, so the power is in her hands. So, instead of automatically writing him off, she gives him the opportunity to explain why she should stay. This was one of my favorite songs to record on the album due to the fact that we brought in a choir of amazing singers to fill out the song.”

With the release of Everything Here, The Suffers are bound to further endear die-hard fans and make believers of new ones. Jon Durbin says, “I hope our music helps people and that our songs can be healing and inspirational.” Kam Franklin concludes, “We make music for ourselves, but the performances are 100 percent for the people. They are the reason we are on the road. They are the reason we get to eat. They are the reason for what we do. We’d be nothing without them, and it’s something we remind ourselves of every night.”

There is a contagious and combustible energy every time the eight-piece wonder-band The Suffers steps on the scene. NPR's Bob Boilen attributes the band's allure to their "Soul, straight from horn to heart." He adds, "This band is on fire when it's in front of an audience...but the intensity of their shows are also captured in the studio." Following The Suffers' electrifying late night TV debut on Letterman in 2015, David Letterman exclaimed, "If you can't do this, get out of the business!" There is something undeniable about The Suffers (whose name is a reference to the 1978 Jamaican film Rockers starring Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Jacob Miller and Burning Spear, among others), that instantly hits home with their audiences. "We make music for all people," says lead vocalist Kam Franklin. "At this point, we've played all over the world and one thing is certain - if the music is good, the people will enjoy it." Since 2011, the H-Town heroes have been on a steady grind and have no plans of stopping. It seems the secret to their success is simple. Keyboardist Patrick Kelly confides, "There is a universal groove in the music that we play," while bass guitarist Adam Castaneda adds, "I don't think any of us are trying to impress anyone with our technical abilities, we just want to make them dance."

Shanachie Entertainment will release The Suffers' highly anticipated label debut Everything Here on July 13, 2018. Guitarist Kevin Bernier says, "Everything Here, as a whole, explores the many aspects of who we are as people through songs. We've had crushes on people, we've had our hearts broken, and we've moved through all the difficult times so that we can experience the joyful moments." The Suffers have got everything you need and there's no need to look further - a heaping dose of soul, a dash of reggae, a splash of jazz, a pinch of salsa, a hint of rock 'n' roll and a dollop of hip hop and funk - and that is just a few ingredients simmering inside their magical Gulf Coast soul. Percussionist Jose Luna says, "The glue that holds us together is our experience. We have all played with so many bands and musicians through the years that we have learned how not to step on each others toes."

Everything Here, a riveting collection of 15 originals that gives props to Houston (there are even cameos from Houston rappers Paul Wall and Bun B), explores the many sides of love, celebrates the virtues of individuality, reminds us of the destruction of Harvey and resilience of the human spirit and declares love for their mothers. All of these themes coalesce into one soulful soundtrack. The band co-produced the album with John Allen Stephens and Zeke Listenbee co-produced on several tracks. Trombonist Michael Razo explains, "One of our goals was to have the songs on the album flow or tie into each other. Like creating an album where you just press play and let it go without having to skip to the next song."

"The Suffers are a contemporary version of the great R&B/funk bands of 70s and 80s...Rufus, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, with a powerful lead vocalist in Kam Franklin and spot-on musicianship that is all too rare these days," says Shanachie Entertainment General Manager, Randall Grass. "They've done a great job of building a base on their own and we at Shanachie are looking forward to taking them to the next level." The Suffers’ drive coupled with their can't lose attitude and serious chops have taken them from their beloved Houston to the world stage (they are the first band to break nationally out of Houston in a long time). Lead singer Kam Franklin has the distinction of being a spokesperson for Houston as she has been tapped by the city to appear in a national tourism advertisement. “It means a lot to me that the city would trust me in such a grand way to represent them,” shares the dynamic singer/songwriter. “Houston has played a huge part in making me who I am and introducing our music to the masses, and for that, we are forever grateful.” The Suffers have played sold out shows in Japan and Latin America, turned out audiences at the Newport Folk Festival and Afropunk Festival and made believers of just about anyone who has experienced their live shows. "We're a testament to teamwork and camaraderie resulting in things working out even when the odds are against a positive outcome," says drummer Nick Zamora. "The wonderful thing about music is that it is ultimate universal communication," reflects trumpeter Jon Durbin.

The Suffers exploded onto the scene in 2015 with their dazzling EP Make Some Room, which was followed by their critically heralded self-titled debut in 2016. The highly anticipated Everything Here is the band’s most bold statement yet. Nick Zamora shares, “We were nervous because we didn’t know how to write an album while devoting so much time to touring and keeping our personal lives together at the same time. We started doing it when we could; on the road, at home, finding inspiration here and there. We wrote about our post-9 to 5 epiphanies, relationships and music that just felt good.” As the album began to morph into creation the band trusted their vision. “I think that the idea has always been to be as honest as we can,” says Patrick Kelly. Kam

Everything Here opens ceremoniously with a smooth and fun-loving head-nod to Houston. Paul Wall jumps on the intro as the background vocals sing, “It might not be that pretty but it looks real good to me. It might not be your favorite city but it’s really got a hold on me.” Kam Franklin says, “Not only does Paul Wall serve as an unofficial ambassador for the city, he is a hard working artist that brought this song the life we thought it was missing!” The effervescently playful “I Think I Love You” follows with blustery horns and bluesy vocals. The song chronicles the moment when the universe throws you a curveball in the way of a new and unexpected love interest. Franklin shares, “This song is about embracing that confidence that comes with not needing to depend on a lover, while still being open to the possibilities of new romance.” “Do Whatever,” the album’s second single, is a song the band nurtured for two years before they finally recorded it. During this evolution, it has come to stand as a sort of anthem for them on living your life on your own terms. It opens with soul-stirring horns, thumping bass lines and Kam laying down the law singing, "Full on disclosure, I'm not here for exposure. I came to have a good time so let me shine...Do whatever feels right, all night, alright, alright!" The driving rhythms and hip-hop tinged “The One About Sace” has some fun chronicling the journey of getting to know someone. With references to Nas and the film “The Five Heartbeats,” Kam asks questions to get to know her love interest better. The hopping Rhodes, skipping melody and fabulous orchestration on “All I Want To Do” reminds us of the virtues of following your heart. The song, which Nick Zamora penned while still in high school, showcases lyrics to live by: “If it don’t taste good, I don’t have to eat it. If it don’t fit well, I don’t have to wear it. And if it ain’t broke I don’t have to fix it.” Everything Here also highlights the tender ballad featuring lush strings and shimmering percussion, “Sure To Remain,” while “Charlotte” breaks down the walls of negativity and features Paul Wall once again. Franklin shares, “The demo for this one was written in Charlotte, NC after a really rough day on the road. A few outsiders tried to break us down with their negativity, but we were not having it. The end result was us holding our heads up high and proceeding to do what we love most: creating smooth music that makes us and the masses happy!”

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August of 2017. Its devastation in many ways are comparable to the effects of Katrina. Despite the media’s dissipating coverage, Houston is still recovering. “After the Storm” is a song that Kam wrote with her friend Lisa E. Harris during Hurricane Harvey. The song features Lyle Divinsky, lead singer for Denver-based funk band, The Motet. The arresting track opens with a percussive heartbeat that stops you in your tracks. Kam explains, “In the days after the storm, the city enforced a mandatory curfew that meant everyone needed to be in their houses by 10pm every night. While visiting Lisa, we lost track of time, and ended up having a mandatory slumber party due to the curfew and ended up writing this song.” The Suffers serve up some sharp-edged funk on the dance-inducing “What You Said,” which is all about communication as the lyrics exclaim “It’s not what you said, its how you said it. It’s not what you did, it’s how you did it!”

The Suffers are family. Spend ten minutes with the band and you know that the ties that bind them go well beyond the music. They are truly a democracy in which every voice is heard and respected and they also love their mamas! On the heart-warming interlude “A Word From Our Mammas,” the band turn the mics on their mothers who are heard confessing their love for their children. The song “Mammas” very well could rival The Intruders seminal tribute to mama’s everywhere. “Bernard’s Interlude” features the baritone of pisces, poet and rapper Bun B. Kam’s idea to feature a few MC’s on the recording was inspired by Kanye West. “I had a vision of getting a bunch of different rappers to do our interludes, similar to what Kanye did on his first few albums with the comedians. Instead of rapping, the vision was to show a different side of their personalities the world hasn’t seen before. For Bun, I knew I wanted him to sing. Bun came in, and killed it on the first take.”

The dub and reggae fueled title track takes us through the travails of a devastating breakup and was penned by Nick Zamora’s brother and former band member Alex, who shared additional guitar duties. The sultry jazz vibes and delightfully unexpected key changes of “You Only Call” serves as a notice to all those who take but don’t give back, while “Won’t Be Here Tomorrow” is a real soul/blues showstopper. Kam Franklin’s raspy and ‘take no prisoners’ vocals tell the story of a woman who has chosen to confront her cheating partner. “It’s a little eerie, but at the same time, it’s empowering,” says Kam. “She knows that he wants to be with her, so the power is in her hands. So, instead of automatically writing him off, she gives him the opportunity to explain why she should stay. This was one of my favorite songs to record on the album due to the fact that we brought in a choir of amazing singers to fill out the song.”

With the release of Everything Here, The Suffers are bound to further endear die-hard fans and make believers of new ones. Jon Durbin says, “I hope our music helps people and that our songs can be healing and inspirational.” Kam Franklin concludes, “We make music for ourselves, but the performances are 100 percent for the people. They are the reason we are on the road. They are the reason we get to eat. They are the reason for what we do. We’d be nothing without them, and it’s something we remind ourselves of every night.”

Stay Happy and Opus One Comedy present Just Some Regulars Tour feat. Kevin Budkey, Terry Jones, Zako Ryan & Paige Blair

Just Some Regulars Tour features some of the top rising comedians in the country.

This stop of the tour features Kevin Budkey (Who is also celebrating his 26th birthday this night), Terry Jones, Zako Ryan & Paige Blair. The show will also be opened by local comedians Joey Purse, Andreas O'Rourke & a Special Guest!

Kevin Budkey is a comedian currently living in Chicago, IL originally from Pittsburgh, PA. He recently finished the Improv Program at The Second City, and toured with Pauly Shore across the country. Performing at clubs like the Ontario Improv in Ontario, CA, Ice House in Pasadena, CA, Harrisburg Comedy Zone in Harrisburg, PA and the Chicago Improv, in Chicago, IL. He has also performed at the Pittsburgh Improv a few times in 2017, 2016 and for his 3rd performance in 2014.

Terry Jones is a comedian from Pittsburgh, PA who now performs at top clubs and for corporate and college audiences throughout the tri-state area. He has opened for the likes of Eddie Griffin, Hal Sparks, Jo 'Koy, Bert Kreischer, John Witherspoon, Gary Owens and many more. Terry made his television debut on NUVOtv's Stand Up & Deliver after performing at the first annual Cabo Comedy Festival. He is also formerly part of Jim Krenn and The Q Morning Show on Q92.9FM.

Zako Ryan is a "nothing is off limits" comedian rising through the ranks in the Chicago comedy scene. A former military vet, college graduate, and engineer, Zako is now a full-time actor/comedian/producer who can be seen putting on shows all over Chicago and performing all over the country. Most notably Zako is a producer at the Laugh Factory in Chicago and his comedy credits include Zanies, Laugh Factory, The Comedy Bar, Improv, the Memphis Urban Comedy Festival, The World Series of Comedy and the House of Blues.

Paige Blair is a cheerful and upbeat comedian also rising through the ranks in the Chicago comedy scene. Originally from the Chicago area, you can see her passion, derived from the famous city, shine through her comedy. Most notably Paige is a producer at the Laugh Factory in Chicago and her comedy credits include Zanies, Laugh Factory and The Comedy Bar.

Just Some Regulars Tour features some of the top rising comedians in the country.

This stop of the tour features Kevin Budkey (Who is also celebrating his 26th birthday this night), Terry Jones, Zako Ryan & Paige Blair. The show will also be opened by local comedians Joey Purse, Andreas O'Rourke & a Special Guest!

Kevin Budkey is a comedian currently living in Chicago, IL originally from Pittsburgh, PA. He recently finished the Improv Program at The Second City, and toured with Pauly Shore across the country. Performing at clubs like the Ontario Improv in Ontario, CA, Ice House in Pasadena, CA, Harrisburg Comedy Zone in Harrisburg, PA and the Chicago Improv, in Chicago, IL. He has also performed at the Pittsburgh Improv a few times in 2017, 2016 and for his 3rd performance in 2014.

Terry Jones is a comedian from Pittsburgh, PA who now performs at top clubs and for corporate and college audiences throughout the tri-state area. He has opened for the likes of Eddie Griffin, Hal Sparks, Jo 'Koy, Bert Kreischer, John Witherspoon, Gary Owens and many more. Terry made his television debut on NUVOtv's Stand Up & Deliver after performing at the first annual Cabo Comedy Festival. He is also formerly part of Jim Krenn and The Q Morning Show on Q92.9FM.

Zako Ryan is a "nothing is off limits" comedian rising through the ranks in the Chicago comedy scene. A former military vet, college graduate, and engineer, Zako is now a full-time actor/comedian/producer who can be seen putting on shows all over Chicago and performing all over the country. Most notably Zako is a producer at the Laugh Factory in Chicago and his comedy credits include Zanies, Laugh Factory, The Comedy Bar, Improv, the Memphis Urban Comedy Festival, The World Series of Comedy and the House of Blues.

Paige Blair is a cheerful and upbeat comedian also rising through the ranks in the Chicago comedy scene. Originally from the Chicago area, you can see her passion, derived from the famous city, shine through her comedy. Most notably Paige is a producer at the Laugh Factory in Chicago and her comedy credits include Zanies, Laugh Factory and The Comedy Bar.

Bad Bad Hats with Special Guest Essential Machine

Bad Bad Hats is an indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band consists of Kerry Alexander, Chris Hoge, and Connor Davison. Named for a trouble-making character from the Madeline children's books, Bad Bad Hats is defined by a balance of sweet and sour. Their music honors classic pop songwriting, with nods to nineties rock simplicity and pop-punk frivolity. Through it all, Alexander's unflinchingly sincere lyrics cut to the emotional heart of things.

Alexander and Hoge met while attending Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 2012, they formed Bad Bad Hats with friend and bassist Noah Boswell, and began performing around the Twin Cities. That same year, they were signed by Minneapolis label Afternoon Records. Their 2015 debut album Psychic Reader caught the attention of outlets including The New Yorker, NPR, Pitchfork, and Paste. Since the release of Psychic Reader, Bad Bad Hats has toured the U.S. extensively, supporting artists including Margaret Glaspy, Hippo Campus, and Third Eye Blind.

Lightning Round, the band's second full-length album, finds Bad Bad Hats more confident and mature than ever. Producer and collaborator Brett Bullion (who also produced Psychic Reader) encouraged the group to record live in the studio, an approach which pushed the band outside of their comfort zone and lends many songs on the record a loose, organic feel. There is a vulnerability in this (fluttering tape loops, a few wrong notes) and it makes the music on the new album feel as honest and unpredictable as Alexander's lyrics. In this spontaneous environment, Hoge, who is known to play every instrument in the band, delivers some of his most inspired musical performances yet.

As for Alexander, she's still writing love songs, ones that recount with cinematic swell the subtle joy and pain of the everyday. Her vocals are supported by open, breathing arrangements that feature lush keyboard sounds and woody guitar tones. Davison was recruited to play drums on the album and became a full-time member in the process. His drumming and melodic contributions give the new songs a level of nuance not heard in previous releases.

Lightning Round marks the final release with contributions from original member Noah Boswell, who will be leaving the group this fall to pursue a master's degree. Bad Bad Hats continues with Alexander, Hoge, and Davison. They have plans to tour the country this year.

Bad Bad Hats is an indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band consists of Kerry Alexander, Chris Hoge, and Connor Davison. Named for a trouble-making character from the Madeline children's books, Bad Bad Hats is defined by a balance of sweet and sour. Their music honors classic pop songwriting, with nods to nineties rock simplicity and pop-punk frivolity. Through it all, Alexander's unflinchingly sincere lyrics cut to the emotional heart of things.

Alexander and Hoge met while attending Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 2012, they formed Bad Bad Hats with friend and bassist Noah Boswell, and began performing around the Twin Cities. That same year, they were signed by Minneapolis label Afternoon Records. Their 2015 debut album Psychic Reader caught the attention of outlets including The New Yorker, NPR, Pitchfork, and Paste. Since the release of Psychic Reader, Bad Bad Hats has toured the U.S. extensively, supporting artists including Margaret Glaspy, Hippo Campus, and Third Eye Blind.

Lightning Round, the band's second full-length album, finds Bad Bad Hats more confident and mature than ever. Producer and collaborator Brett Bullion (who also produced Psychic Reader) encouraged the group to record live in the studio, an approach which pushed the band outside of their comfort zone and lends many songs on the record a loose, organic feel. There is a vulnerability in this (fluttering tape loops, a few wrong notes) and it makes the music on the new album feel as honest and unpredictable as Alexander's lyrics. In this spontaneous environment, Hoge, who is known to play every instrument in the band, delivers some of his most inspired musical performances yet.

As for Alexander, she's still writing love songs, ones that recount with cinematic swell the subtle joy and pain of the everyday. Her vocals are supported by open, breathing arrangements that feature lush keyboard sounds and woody guitar tones. Davison was recruited to play drums on the album and became a full-time member in the process. His drumming and melodic contributions give the new songs a level of nuance not heard in previous releases.

Lightning Round marks the final release with contributions from original member Noah Boswell, who will be leaving the group this fall to pursue a master's degree. Bad Bad Hats continues with Alexander, Hoge, and Davison. They have plans to tour the country this year.

(Early Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Pete Correale with Special Guest Brian Linsenbigler

Pete Correale is a professional stand up comedian originally from New York. His comedy is reflective of his life and the experiences he’s been through. Being married for almost twenty years and having a young daughter, Pete’s never at a loss for material. With a conversational delivery and disarming regular New York guy attitude, Pete makes you feel like your listening to the funniest guy at a party as opposed to just another comedian on a stage. Combined with top notch writing skills, this has led Pete to the top of the stand up profession.

Pete has performed numerous times on The Tonight Show, Letterman and The Conan O’brien show. As well as filming two of his own one hour television comedy specials. The first special-The Things We Do For Love aired on Comedy Central and was voted by Time Out Magazine as the #2 Comedy special of 2008. His second one hour special debuted on Showtime in 2016 this one titled Let Me Tell Ya. It was filmed at the famous Vic theatre in Chicago and Pete once again delivered a stellar performance. Pete has also released two comedy albums, Give It A Rest in 2010, and his second album Made For Radio which was released in June 2018 and quickly rose to number one on the iTunes comedy charts.

Aside from stand up Pete has used his comedic skills in various other platforms throughout his career. As a writer he’s been hired for several projects, most recently as part of the staff on the CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait which he did for both seasons. He also made a few guest appearances the show playing Larry the fish guy.

Pete was also the co-host on a daily two hour live comedy radio show on SiriusXm titled Unleashed. He did this show with comedian Jim Breuer for four years from 2008 to 2011. And In 2012 Pete began a podcast with comedian Sebastian Maniscalco titled simply enough The Pete and Sebastian show. Starting off with a couple of microphones and an internet connection Pete and Sebastian kept at it and today the show airs every Friday afternoon on Siriusxm the Raw Dog channel before being released as a free podcast episode. Currently up to episode 310 and still going strong, the Pete and Sebastian show is one of the most popular comedy podcasts on air today and the fans have been showing their support in full force most everywhere Pete headlines.

Pete Correale is a professional stand up comedian originally from New York. His comedy is reflective of his life and the experiences he’s been through. Being married for almost twenty years and having a young daughter, Pete’s never at a loss for material. With a conversational delivery and disarming regular New York guy attitude, Pete makes you feel like your listening to the funniest guy at a party as opposed to just another comedian on a stage. Combined with top notch writing skills, this has led Pete to the top of the stand up profession.

Pete has performed numerous times on The Tonight Show, Letterman and The Conan O’brien show. As well as filming two of his own one hour television comedy specials. The first special-The Things We Do For Love aired on Comedy Central and was voted by Time Out Magazine as the #2 Comedy special of 2008. His second one hour special debuted on Showtime in 2016 this one titled Let Me Tell Ya. It was filmed at the famous Vic theatre in Chicago and Pete once again delivered a stellar performance. Pete has also released two comedy albums, Give It A Rest in 2010, and his second album Made For Radio which was released in June 2018 and quickly rose to number one on the iTunes comedy charts.

Aside from stand up Pete has used his comedic skills in various other platforms throughout his career. As a writer he’s been hired for several projects, most recently as part of the staff on the CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait which he did for both seasons. He also made a few guest appearances the show playing Larry the fish guy.

Pete was also the co-host on a daily two hour live comedy radio show on SiriusXm titled Unleashed. He did this show with comedian Jim Breuer for four years from 2008 to 2011. And In 2012 Pete began a podcast with comedian Sebastian Maniscalco titled simply enough The Pete and Sebastian show. Starting off with a couple of microphones and an internet connection Pete and Sebastian kept at it and today the show airs every Friday afternoon on Siriusxm the Raw Dog channel before being released as a free podcast episode. Currently up to episode 310 and still going strong, the Pete and Sebastian show is one of the most popular comedy podcasts on air today and the fans have been showing their support in full force most everywhere Pete headlines.

(Early Show) Adia Victoria with Special Guest Joshua Asante (of Amasa Hines)

At a recent performance, the host made the mistake of introducing Adia Victoria as an Americana artist. Victoria leaned into the microphone with a correction, “Adia Victoria does not sing Americana, Adia Victoria sings the blues.” From there, the artist let her guitar and powerful lyrics speak for her. After a self-released single that drew the attention of Rolling Stone and others, Victoria continued to dazzle and confound with her first studio album, Beyond the Bloodhounds. The album takes its title from a line in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs. Just as Jacobs sought to get beyond the reach of her master’s bloodhounds, Victoria is always reaching beyond the facile notions of what a Black woman artist should look like and sound like.

Instead of following the model of the folks that she saw around her who had been worn down by white supremacy, poverty, and oppression in the rural South Carolina town she grew up in, Victoria set off to shape a life of her own making. She dropped out of school and worked a series of odd jobs. At 18 she went to Paris and then spent time in Brooklyn, Atlanta, and now is based in Nashville. Victoria is a polymath who studied ballet, acting, wrote poetry, before finding a home in the blues. It was when a friend gave Victoria an acoustic guitar that things began to click. “I fell in love with the practice, the discipline of learning. It was the first time in my life that I felt capable of learning and progressing at something.” According to Victoria, this practice was a lifesaver. “I don’t know if I would be alive if I had not found that. Had I not found this outlet of expression. Probably in prison or dead.”

In the wake of Beyond the Bloodhounds, touring, press and enormous expectations a lesser artist would have just rested on her laurels. Instead, Victoria released two short albums that show the immense wingspan of her talent and curiosity. How It Feels is a French-language short album that reimagines French pop classics with a blueswoman’s edge. Victoria returned to her roots with the EP Baby Blues, a trio of classic blues covers that first inspired her.

A mere two years after Beyond the Bloodhounds, Adia Victoria returns with her
second full-length studio album, Silences. After a season of dealing with others trying to define, claim, and name her art and artistry, Victoria went inward. “I found when I went back home that the thing that disturbed me the most was the lack of activity. Having to deal with myself once again on an intimate level.”

Reading and literature helped her find her way back in. The title of the album comes from Tillie Olsen’s Silences, which deals with the myriad ways that the stories of oppressed people’s stories have been silenced over the years, even though they continued to create despite being ignored. “I struggled to write this album in a way that I never had to before. I took for granted I guess my freedom and my alone time and I felt that something had been taken away from me. And I felt like I didn’t have a voice anymore. This album was the therapy that I needed to find that voice that had been silenced.”

We find a voice in full holler on Silences. The listener is thrust into a completely formed world that opens with a twisted creation tale. “Clean,” is reminiscent of the story of the Garden of Eden, but instead of withering under God’s judgement for her shame, our protagonist announces that “First of all / There is no God / Because I killed my God.” This bold act instills in her “The kind of calm I hope to keep.” Any student of stories or life knows that this is can only be the beginning. A calm so deep must be earned along the way.

Silences is at its heart the mythic journey of a woman coming back to herself. “It’s just very much this character is acting out from various oppressions. You’ve been held down, you’ve been smothered, and she reaches her breaking point.” From this departure, the album moves her protagonist out into the world where she meets up with the devil and her own desires for her life in the uptempo rockers “Pacolet Road” and “Different Kind Of Love.” In the next movement, we find a woman daunted and damaged but still resolved. Once we get to “The Needle’s Eye” and “Cry Wolf” she’s gained some well-earned maturity down in the dark of the world. In Silences, Victoria brings the topics of mental illness, drug addiction, sexism, and all the things that try to consume the very lives of women attempting to make a world of their own making to the forefront. The album closes with “Get Lonely,” a plaintive, urgent ballad that our hero could be imploring to “get lonely” with a lover. Or she just as easily could be pleading with this new woman in the mirror that she has found along her journey to be still and marvel at all that she has created and survived.

Just as Victoria has been intentional about creating the kind of life that she wanted to live, she’s done the same thing with her collaborators. The band has changed a lot like Destiny’s Child since the first album, to get the perfect presentation and I think I finally found it. Victoria’s guys are Mason Hickman- Lead Guitar, Jason Harris- Bass, Peter Eddins- Keys, Timothy Beaty aka Knapps- Drums, Chazen Singleton- Horns, and Austin Wilhote aka Willé- Horns. “No. This is the greatest possession that I have. I have a bunch of guys now that I’ve been with and they allow me the ability and the space to command them, to direct them. They have faith in me.”

When it was time to record Silences with Aaron Dessner of The National who has also produced albums for Sharon Van Etten, Frightened Rabbit, Mumford & Sons, Local Natives, and more, Victoria remained hesitant. “I want to let you into my art, but I was so very, very cautious. And I just found that as a human being and as a fellow artist he had the warmth and the understanding and the respect that you don’t come across too often in this industry. He opened his home and his studio to me and my guys and it was like there was no ego. We were just free to experiment and together and we got work done.” With Adia Victoria’s steady hand and fearless vision at the helm, Silences does indeed get work done. Of the recording process, Dessner notes, ““From the very beginning of our collaboration, it was clear to me that Adia’s vision for this album had a cohesive and very particular narrative thread. It was incredibly rewarding to help realize it. The substantive nature of her writing and strength of Adia’s lyrics really guided us through the entire recording process. Every sound and direction, whether subversive, experimental or leaning into a groove, it was all in service of her broader vision and the text. Ultimately, the album is both an incredibly personal narrative of Adia’s journey and a powerful, broader statement of resistance.”

At a recent performance, the host made the mistake of introducing Adia Victoria as an Americana artist. Victoria leaned into the microphone with a correction, “Adia Victoria does not sing Americana, Adia Victoria sings the blues.” From there, the artist let her guitar and powerful lyrics speak for her. After a self-released single that drew the attention of Rolling Stone and others, Victoria continued to dazzle and confound with her first studio album, Beyond the Bloodhounds. The album takes its title from a line in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs. Just as Jacobs sought to get beyond the reach of her master’s bloodhounds, Victoria is always reaching beyond the facile notions of what a Black woman artist should look like and sound like.

Instead of following the model of the folks that she saw around her who had been worn down by white supremacy, poverty, and oppression in the rural South Carolina town she grew up in, Victoria set off to shape a life of her own making. She dropped out of school and worked a series of odd jobs. At 18 she went to Paris and then spent time in Brooklyn, Atlanta, and now is based in Nashville. Victoria is a polymath who studied ballet, acting, wrote poetry, before finding a home in the blues. It was when a friend gave Victoria an acoustic guitar that things began to click. “I fell in love with the practice, the discipline of learning. It was the first time in my life that I felt capable of learning and progressing at something.” According to Victoria, this practice was a lifesaver. “I don’t know if I would be alive if I had not found that. Had I not found this outlet of expression. Probably in prison or dead.”

In the wake of Beyond the Bloodhounds, touring, press and enormous expectations a lesser artist would have just rested on her laurels. Instead, Victoria released two short albums that show the immense wingspan of her talent and curiosity. How It Feels is a French-language short album that reimagines French pop classics with a blueswoman’s edge. Victoria returned to her roots with the EP Baby Blues, a trio of classic blues covers that first inspired her.

A mere two years after Beyond the Bloodhounds, Adia Victoria returns with her
second full-length studio album, Silences. After a season of dealing with others trying to define, claim, and name her art and artistry, Victoria went inward. “I found when I went back home that the thing that disturbed me the most was the lack of activity. Having to deal with myself once again on an intimate level.”

Reading and literature helped her find her way back in. The title of the album comes from Tillie Olsen’s Silences, which deals with the myriad ways that the stories of oppressed people’s stories have been silenced over the years, even though they continued to create despite being ignored. “I struggled to write this album in a way that I never had to before. I took for granted I guess my freedom and my alone time and I felt that something had been taken away from me. And I felt like I didn’t have a voice anymore. This album was the therapy that I needed to find that voice that had been silenced.”

We find a voice in full holler on Silences. The listener is thrust into a completely formed world that opens with a twisted creation tale. “Clean,” is reminiscent of the story of the Garden of Eden, but instead of withering under God’s judgement for her shame, our protagonist announces that “First of all / There is no God / Because I killed my God.” This bold act instills in her “The kind of calm I hope to keep.” Any student of stories or life knows that this is can only be the beginning. A calm so deep must be earned along the way.

Silences is at its heart the mythic journey of a woman coming back to herself. “It’s just very much this character is acting out from various oppressions. You’ve been held down, you’ve been smothered, and she reaches her breaking point.” From this departure, the album moves her protagonist out into the world where she meets up with the devil and her own desires for her life in the uptempo rockers “Pacolet Road” and “Different Kind Of Love.” In the next movement, we find a woman daunted and damaged but still resolved. Once we get to “The Needle’s Eye” and “Cry Wolf” she’s gained some well-earned maturity down in the dark of the world. In Silences, Victoria brings the topics of mental illness, drug addiction, sexism, and all the things that try to consume the very lives of women attempting to make a world of their own making to the forefront. The album closes with “Get Lonely,” a plaintive, urgent ballad that our hero could be imploring to “get lonely” with a lover. Or she just as easily could be pleading with this new woman in the mirror that she has found along her journey to be still and marvel at all that she has created and survived.

Just as Victoria has been intentional about creating the kind of life that she wanted to live, she’s done the same thing with her collaborators. The band has changed a lot like Destiny’s Child since the first album, to get the perfect presentation and I think I finally found it. Victoria’s guys are Mason Hickman- Lead Guitar, Jason Harris- Bass, Peter Eddins- Keys, Timothy Beaty aka Knapps- Drums, Chazen Singleton- Horns, and Austin Wilhote aka Willé- Horns. “No. This is the greatest possession that I have. I have a bunch of guys now that I’ve been with and they allow me the ability and the space to command them, to direct them. They have faith in me.”

When it was time to record Silences with Aaron Dessner of The National who has also produced albums for Sharon Van Etten, Frightened Rabbit, Mumford & Sons, Local Natives, and more, Victoria remained hesitant. “I want to let you into my art, but I was so very, very cautious. And I just found that as a human being and as a fellow artist he had the warmth and the understanding and the respect that you don’t come across too often in this industry. He opened his home and his studio to me and my guys and it was like there was no ego. We were just free to experiment and together and we got work done.” With Adia Victoria’s steady hand and fearless vision at the helm, Silences does indeed get work done. Of the recording process, Dessner notes, ““From the very beginning of our collaboration, it was clear to me that Adia’s vision for this album had a cohesive and very particular narrative thread. It was incredibly rewarding to help realize it. The substantive nature of her writing and strength of Adia’s lyrics really guided us through the entire recording process. Every sound and direction, whether subversive, experimental or leaning into a groove, it was all in service of her broader vision and the text. Ultimately, the album is both an incredibly personal narrative of Adia’s journey and a powerful, broader statement of resistance.”

(Late Show) Smokin' Betties Burlesque Presents: From the Betties, with Love. Featuring Amoxie Villain, Macabre Noir, Eden Ivy, Morigana Regina and Hosted by Lillith Deville

(Late Show) Smokin' Betties Burlesque Presents: From the Betties, with Love. Featuring Amoxie Villain, Macabre Noir, Eden Ivy, Morigana Regina and Hosted by Lillith Deville

(Late Show) Smokin' Betties Burlesque Presents: From the Betties, with Love. Featuring Amoxie Villain, Macabre Noir, Eden Ivy, Morigana Regina and Hosted by Lillith Deville

Someone to Die For Tour featuring LEEDS (Royston Langdon of Spacehog) with Special Guest Johnny Stanec

LEEDS
LEEDS is Royston Langdon, former lead singer of Spacehog, with a name that's a nod to his hometown and an album, Everything's Dandy, that is a culmination of his 24 years in New York, both in its content and its production.

"I've lived here longer than I've lived anywhere on the planet," says Langdon of New York. "I feel like I'm part of the city in a way."

Originally from Leeds, Langdon got his start playing music in the U.K. In 1994, however, he followed his brother Antony to New York and fell for the city immediately. Not long after the move, Spacehog formed. In the fall of 1995, they released the debut album Resident Alien, which spawned the hit single "In the Meantime." Three more albums followed over the next 18 years.

More recently, Langdon has worked on the industry side of music, using his own experiences to help up-and-coming artists. Yet, he remained a musician at heart. Langdon kept his new work fairly private, telling only a few people as he built a new collection of songs

The evolution of Everything's Dandy began two years ago, after Langdon's son moved to London. The changes in Langdon's own life, as well as the changes in the city that has been his home for so long, sparked new ideas.

"They put up these new shops," says Langdon of the urban landscape of New York. "Still, the memory of the kind of experience of that thing remains." He sees a connection between waves of gentrification diminishing the city's creative spirit and his "experience of loss and also growth." In his songs, Langdon writes of this not necessarily with nostalgia in mind, but with a sense of "awe" at how life moves forward.

By fall of 2017, Langdon was ready to solidify those ideas in the studio. He enlisted Bryce Goggin to produce and engineer Everything's Dandy. The two have known each other since Langdon's early days in New York, when he interned at the recording studio where Goggin was head engineer. While Langdon played many of the instruments himself on the album, he enlisted a few longtime friends to play on select cuts, including drummer Parker Kindred (Jeff Buckley) and multi-instrumentalist Timo Ellis (Yoko Ono, Joan as Police Woman). The song "Your Day Will Come" was co-written by Langdon and Rich Robinson of Black Crowes. "What Became of the People" is a songwriting collaboration between Langdon and his brother Antony, who also shot two videos for the album.

Everything's Dandy is set for release on May 4 on vinyl and digital formats.


LEEDS
LEEDS is Royston Langdon, former lead singer of Spacehog, with a name that's a nod to his hometown and an album, Everything's Dandy, that is a culmination of his 24 years in New York, both in its content and its production.

"I've lived here longer than I've lived anywhere on the planet," says Langdon of New York. "I feel like I'm part of the city in a way."

Originally from Leeds, Langdon got his start playing music in the U.K. In 1994, however, he followed his brother Antony to New York and fell for the city immediately. Not long after the move, Spacehog formed. In the fall of 1995, they released the debut album Resident Alien, which spawned the hit single "In the Meantime." Three more albums followed over the next 18 years.

More recently, Langdon has worked on the industry side of music, using his own experiences to help up-and-coming artists. Yet, he remained a musician at heart. Langdon kept his new work fairly private, telling only a few people as he built a new collection of songs

The evolution of Everything's Dandy began two years ago, after Langdon's son moved to London. The changes in Langdon's own life, as well as the changes in the city that has been his home for so long, sparked new ideas.

"They put up these new shops," says Langdon of the urban landscape of New York. "Still, the memory of the kind of experience of that thing remains." He sees a connection between waves of gentrification diminishing the city's creative spirit and his "experience of loss and also growth." In his songs, Langdon writes of this not necessarily with nostalgia in mind, but with a sense of "awe" at how life moves forward.

By fall of 2017, Langdon was ready to solidify those ideas in the studio. He enlisted Bryce Goggin to produce and engineer Everything's Dandy. The two have known each other since Langdon's early days in New York, when he interned at the recording studio where Goggin was head engineer. While Langdon played many of the instruments himself on the album, he enlisted a few longtime friends to play on select cuts, including drummer Parker Kindred (Jeff Buckley) and multi-instrumentalist Timo Ellis (Yoko Ono, Joan as Police Woman). The song "Your Day Will Come" was co-written by Langdon and Rich Robinson of Black Crowes. "What Became of the People" is a songwriting collaboration between Langdon and his brother Antony, who also shot two videos for the album.

Everything's Dandy is set for release on May 4 on vinyl and digital formats.


Jontavious Willis with Special Guest Jagtime Millionaire

Every generation or so a young bluesman bursts onto the scene. Someone who sends a jolt through blues lovers. Someone who has mastered the craft for sure, but who also has the blues deep down in his heart and soul.

At the age of 21, bluesman JONTAVIOUS WILLIS may be the one.

“That’s my Wonderboy, the Wunderkind,” Taj Mahal said after inviting Jontavious to play on stage in 2015. “He’s a great new voice of the twenty-first century in the acoustic blues. I just love the way he plays.”

“When I heard him play I said to myself: this is how the blues, as I know it, is going to stay alive,” said Paul Oscher.

“Only a few like him emerge every decade or so, when even the most hard core blues fans realize immediately that this is the real deal,” writes Frank Matheis in Living Blues Magazine.

Hailing from Greenville, Ga., Jontavious grew up singing gospel music at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with his grandfather. At the age of 14, he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man” and was hooked. That’s when he set his course on the blues. All types — Delta, Piedmont, Texas, gospel. As a fingerpicker, flat-picker and slide player. On guitar, harmonica, banjo and cigar box.

And four years later he was playing on Taj Mahal’s stage.

Currently Jontavious is finishing his studies at Columbus State University, majoring in sociology. But on most weekends you can find him playing a small house show, up on the main stage or posting music videos for his friends and fans around the world.

Every generation or so a young bluesman bursts onto the scene. Someone who sends a jolt through blues lovers. Someone who has mastered the craft for sure, but who also has the blues deep down in his heart and soul.

At the age of 21, bluesman JONTAVIOUS WILLIS may be the one.

“That’s my Wonderboy, the Wunderkind,” Taj Mahal said after inviting Jontavious to play on stage in 2015. “He’s a great new voice of the twenty-first century in the acoustic blues. I just love the way he plays.”

“When I heard him play I said to myself: this is how the blues, as I know it, is going to stay alive,” said Paul Oscher.

“Only a few like him emerge every decade or so, when even the most hard core blues fans realize immediately that this is the real deal,” writes Frank Matheis in Living Blues Magazine.

Hailing from Greenville, Ga., Jontavious grew up singing gospel music at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with his grandfather. At the age of 14, he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man” and was hooked. That’s when he set his course on the blues. All types — Delta, Piedmont, Texas, gospel. As a fingerpicker, flat-picker and slide player. On guitar, harmonica, banjo and cigar box.

And four years later he was playing on Taj Mahal’s stage.

Currently Jontavious is finishing his studies at Columbus State University, majoring in sociology. But on most weekends you can find him playing a small house show, up on the main stage or posting music videos for his friends and fans around the world.

Tyler Hilton with Special Guest Kicking Sunrise

A musician and actor, Tyler Hilton has accomplished a lot in his career so far. As a teenager, he released two Top 40 singles. He starred alongside Taylor Swift in her video for "Teardrops on my Guitar." He played the role of one of his musical idols, Elvis Presley, in the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic 'Walk the Line,' and co-starred with Robert Downey Jr. in the acclaimed indie film 'Charlie Bartlett.' He may be most known for his musical role on the show 'One Tree Hill,' which earned him a devoted fan base around the world. His new album 'City On Fire,' out January 18th 2019, comes from a much more personal place for the California native, who grew up in a family of musicians and songwriters and spent much of his childhood performing and jamming alongside of them. Steeped in country, blues, folk and rock traditions, the album captures the loose, organic musical style that runs in Hilton’s blood. Hilton remembers trying to explain that style to producers in Nashville as a young songwriter. "I’d play them my favorite records; Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Townes Van Zandt, Weezer’s ‘Pinkerton,’" he says. “I’d just get blank stares like, ‘So...are you rock, pop, blues, country...?’ And the answer was always, ‘Yes, all that.’” It may not have been the easy answer they were looking for, but as Hilton explains, “there’s a common denominator in all of that music to me. Maybe it’s a feeling of adventure, or rebellion, or just hearing real people,” he says. “Whatever it is, that’s what my feelings sound like, and that’s what the music that comes out of me sounds like.” Hilton recorded the album both in California with bandmate and childhood family friend, Jaco Caraco, as well as in Tennessee with his former roommate and another longtime collaborator, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum. Hilton and Caraco had started recording what was supposed to be a side project for film and TV soundtracks in their spare time. Hilton was on hiatus from filming a pilot for CMT, and Caraco was on break from touring in Miley Cyrus’ band. It was during this time that Kelley called Hilton about working together as well. "I knew this was rare, to have both of my favorite collaborators available at the same time. It just hit me, this is way more than a side project." That collaborative spirit is in Hilton’s songwriting DNA. He’s written with Taylor Swift and Michelle Branch, co-wrote on Joe Cocker’s final studio album and is currently in the studio working on new music with Billy Ray Cyrus. For Hilton’s new album, the title track and first single, "City On Fire," was written around the 2016 election, a period where Hilton found himself listening to a lot of traditional folk songs and western movie scores. "It was strange and comforting to listen to that music during a time of so much change. Everything seemed to be changing," he recalls. "And then a good friend of mine from high school passed away, and all of my friends came together. I sang some songs, we cried, but mostly we were just left numb and blinking. A lot happened really fast." "'City On Fire' came out of me really quickly," he explains. "It was kind of like a dream I should have had, but instead the images came out as a song, a fully formed murder ballad. It was
eerie, but I think it painted the picture just right. It really felt like the city was on fire and a lot was being lost very quickly." The accompanying music video was directed by Hilton's wife, Megan Park, who is most recognizable for her work as an actress ('Secret Life of the American Teenager,' 'Central Intelligence') but has recently made waves directing music videos for Billie Eilish, Alina Baraz, Blackbear, and Gucci Mane. For the video, Park teamed with production company PRETTYBIRD, the studio behind videos for Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and Rihanna's “We Found Love," and choreographer Andrew Winghart (‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ Lorde's 'Melodrama' tour, Kahlid's 2018 tour). Tyler will showcase the new music from his album, “City On Fire,” on a February and March tour of the U.S. 'City On Fire' will be released on January 18th, 2019 from Hilton's label, Hooptie Tune Records.

A musician and actor, Tyler Hilton has accomplished a lot in his career so far. As a teenager, he released two Top 40 singles. He starred alongside Taylor Swift in her video for "Teardrops on my Guitar." He played the role of one of his musical idols, Elvis Presley, in the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic 'Walk the Line,' and co-starred with Robert Downey Jr. in the acclaimed indie film 'Charlie Bartlett.' He may be most known for his musical role on the show 'One Tree Hill,' which earned him a devoted fan base around the world. His new album 'City On Fire,' out January 18th 2019, comes from a much more personal place for the California native, who grew up in a family of musicians and songwriters and spent much of his childhood performing and jamming alongside of them. Steeped in country, blues, folk and rock traditions, the album captures the loose, organic musical style that runs in Hilton’s blood. Hilton remembers trying to explain that style to producers in Nashville as a young songwriter. "I’d play them my favorite records; Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Townes Van Zandt, Weezer’s ‘Pinkerton,’" he says. “I’d just get blank stares like, ‘So...are you rock, pop, blues, country...?’ And the answer was always, ‘Yes, all that.’” It may not have been the easy answer they were looking for, but as Hilton explains, “there’s a common denominator in all of that music to me. Maybe it’s a feeling of adventure, or rebellion, or just hearing real people,” he says. “Whatever it is, that’s what my feelings sound like, and that’s what the music that comes out of me sounds like.” Hilton recorded the album both in California with bandmate and childhood family friend, Jaco Caraco, as well as in Tennessee with his former roommate and another longtime collaborator, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum. Hilton and Caraco had started recording what was supposed to be a side project for film and TV soundtracks in their spare time. Hilton was on hiatus from filming a pilot for CMT, and Caraco was on break from touring in Miley Cyrus’ band. It was during this time that Kelley called Hilton about working together as well. "I knew this was rare, to have both of my favorite collaborators available at the same time. It just hit me, this is way more than a side project." That collaborative spirit is in Hilton’s songwriting DNA. He’s written with Taylor Swift and Michelle Branch, co-wrote on Joe Cocker’s final studio album and is currently in the studio working on new music with Billy Ray Cyrus. For Hilton’s new album, the title track and first single, "City On Fire," was written around the 2016 election, a period where Hilton found himself listening to a lot of traditional folk songs and western movie scores. "It was strange and comforting to listen to that music during a time of so much change. Everything seemed to be changing," he recalls. "And then a good friend of mine from high school passed away, and all of my friends came together. I sang some songs, we cried, but mostly we were just left numb and blinking. A lot happened really fast." "'City On Fire' came out of me really quickly," he explains. "It was kind of like a dream I should have had, but instead the images came out as a song, a fully formed murder ballad. It was
eerie, but I think it painted the picture just right. It really felt like the city was on fire and a lot was being lost very quickly." The accompanying music video was directed by Hilton's wife, Megan Park, who is most recognizable for her work as an actress ('Secret Life of the American Teenager,' 'Central Intelligence') but has recently made waves directing music videos for Billie Eilish, Alina Baraz, Blackbear, and Gucci Mane. For the video, Park teamed with production company PRETTYBIRD, the studio behind videos for Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and Rihanna's “We Found Love," and choreographer Andrew Winghart (‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ Lorde's 'Melodrama' tour, Kahlid's 2018 tour). Tyler will showcase the new music from his album, “City On Fire,” on a February and March tour of the U.S. 'City On Fire' will be released on January 18th, 2019 from Hilton's label, Hooptie Tune Records.

Bob Schneider (Solo) with Special Guest the Empty Pockets

One of Austin’s most celebrated musicians, Bob Schneider, is set to release his new album, ​Blood and Bones​ – his 7th studio album since his 2001 solo debut ​Lonelyland​ – on June 8th via his Shockorama Records imprint. ​Blood and Bones​ captures Schneider at a unique, and distinct, place. “Most of the songs are about this phase of my life,” he admits. “I’m re-married, I have a 2-year-old baby daughter who was born over two months premature because my wife had life threatening preeclampsia. So dealing with that traumatic event while getting older and looking at death in a realistic, matter of fact way, experiencing the most joy I’ve ever experienced along with feelings of utter despondency in a way that would have been impossible to experience earlier in my life, all comes out in the songs. My relationship with my wife is the longest committed relationship I’ve ever been in, so there was a lot of unchartered territory there to write about.”

The songs on ​Blood and Bones​ reflect this. Recorded quickly with producer Dwight Baker, who has worked with Schneider on 6 of his previous releases, the album highlights the chemistry that Schneider and his backing band of Austin’s very best musicians have developed while relentlessly playing live, most notably at the monthly residency Schneider has held at Austin’s Saxon Pub for the last 19 years. “I didn’t want to overthink the songs,” Schneider says. “I really respect Dwight’s ability to make great calls when it comes to what works and isn’t working when we are recording the songs. I felt pretty good about the quality of the songwriting, so I figured that would come through in the end if we just went in and played them the way I do live.”

While the performance and production are stellar, the songwriting finds Schneider in a particularly reflective mode. Sure, there are live favorites like “Make Drugs Get Money” and “Texaco” that will get even the most reserved crowds dancing. But more often the album finds Schneider reflecting on marriage, parenthood, and mortality. “I wish I could make you see how wonderful everything is most of the time, but I’m only blood and bones,” he sings on the title track, a meditation on the beauty and the limits of marriage. Later, on “Easy,” he tells his daughter “it’s always been a scary thing to do, to let my heart fall down into the endless blue, but it’s easy with you.” Through it all, there is a clear sense of mortality, of just how fleeting all of this is. “The hours and days stack up in the mirror,” he sings on “Hours and Days”. “We’re just snowmen waiting for the summer” he sings on “Snowmen”, before adding “we can’t bring them back, can’t bring nothing back.”

One thing Schneider has excelled at in his career is bringing audiences back. Though he has received little national press or major label support, he has managed to become one of the biggest acts in Austin, if not in Texas. His fans, who often discover him from being brought to his shows by their friends, are fiercely loyal. Many have attended dozens or even hundreds of shows. Thanks to these fans, Schneider has won more Austin Music Awards than any other musician, including Best Songwriter, Best Musician, and Best Male Vocals, rounding in at 54 total awards to date.

In retrospect, it appears inevitable that Bob Schneider would become an artist. He was born in Michigan and raised in Germany, where his father pursued a career as a professional opera singer. As a boy, Schneider studied piano and guitar, often performing at family parties and backing his father on drums at nightclubs throughout his youth in Germany and Texas. He went on to study art – his other primary passion and avocation – at the University of Texas El Paso, before moving to Austin and establishing himself as a musician. He performs relentlessly, creates new music compulsively, writes poetry, and regularly shows his visual art in galleries around Austin. With ​Blood and Bones​, Schneider further cements his reputation as one of the most versatile, inventive, and engaging songwriters working today.

One of Austin’s most celebrated musicians, Bob Schneider, is set to release his new album, ​Blood and Bones​ – his 7th studio album since his 2001 solo debut ​Lonelyland​ – on June 8th via his Shockorama Records imprint. ​Blood and Bones​ captures Schneider at a unique, and distinct, place. “Most of the songs are about this phase of my life,” he admits. “I’m re-married, I have a 2-year-old baby daughter who was born over two months premature because my wife had life threatening preeclampsia. So dealing with that traumatic event while getting older and looking at death in a realistic, matter of fact way, experiencing the most joy I’ve ever experienced along with feelings of utter despondency in a way that would have been impossible to experience earlier in my life, all comes out in the songs. My relationship with my wife is the longest committed relationship I’ve ever been in, so there was a lot of unchartered territory there to write about.”

The songs on ​Blood and Bones​ reflect this. Recorded quickly with producer Dwight Baker, who has worked with Schneider on 6 of his previous releases, the album highlights the chemistry that Schneider and his backing band of Austin’s very best musicians have developed while relentlessly playing live, most notably at the monthly residency Schneider has held at Austin’s Saxon Pub for the last 19 years. “I didn’t want to overthink the songs,” Schneider says. “I really respect Dwight’s ability to make great calls when it comes to what works and isn’t working when we are recording the songs. I felt pretty good about the quality of the songwriting, so I figured that would come through in the end if we just went in and played them the way I do live.”

While the performance and production are stellar, the songwriting finds Schneider in a particularly reflective mode. Sure, there are live favorites like “Make Drugs Get Money” and “Texaco” that will get even the most reserved crowds dancing. But more often the album finds Schneider reflecting on marriage, parenthood, and mortality. “I wish I could make you see how wonderful everything is most of the time, but I’m only blood and bones,” he sings on the title track, a meditation on the beauty and the limits of marriage. Later, on “Easy,” he tells his daughter “it’s always been a scary thing to do, to let my heart fall down into the endless blue, but it’s easy with you.” Through it all, there is a clear sense of mortality, of just how fleeting all of this is. “The hours and days stack up in the mirror,” he sings on “Hours and Days”. “We’re just snowmen waiting for the summer” he sings on “Snowmen”, before adding “we can’t bring them back, can’t bring nothing back.”

One thing Schneider has excelled at in his career is bringing audiences back. Though he has received little national press or major label support, he has managed to become one of the biggest acts in Austin, if not in Texas. His fans, who often discover him from being brought to his shows by their friends, are fiercely loyal. Many have attended dozens or even hundreds of shows. Thanks to these fans, Schneider has won more Austin Music Awards than any other musician, including Best Songwriter, Best Musician, and Best Male Vocals, rounding in at 54 total awards to date.

In retrospect, it appears inevitable that Bob Schneider would become an artist. He was born in Michigan and raised in Germany, where his father pursued a career as a professional opera singer. As a boy, Schneider studied piano and guitar, often performing at family parties and backing his father on drums at nightclubs throughout his youth in Germany and Texas. He went on to study art – his other primary passion and avocation – at the University of Texas El Paso, before moving to Austin and establishing himself as a musician. He performs relentlessly, creates new music compulsively, writes poetry, and regularly shows his visual art in galleries around Austin. With ​Blood and Bones​, Schneider further cements his reputation as one of the most versatile, inventive, and engaging songwriters working today.

The Tossers with Special Guests Braddock Brothers and Isaac Salamander (of The Hills and the Rivers)

The south side of Chicago has a tough working class reputation, it’s also known for one of the largest populations of Irish people this side of the Emerald Isle. So it’s not entirely incongruous that a hard luck kid from the south side of town would choose to play traditional Irish folk music in pubs around the neighborhood. At 18, Anthony (T.) Duggins, was doing just that – playing pub favorites and covers of greats like Christy Moore, and Ewan MacColl. Before long his brother and his best friends were playing the original songs he had written as well, and so became The Tossers. The name was taken from an old slang term used for worthless British coins in Sean O’Casey’s play The Plough and the Stars. The coins became useless after the southern Irish Free State won independence from Britain, and started to print it’s own currency. The term tosser has since come to mean wanker, or it’s American equivalent, jag off.

The south side of Chicago has a tough working class reputation, it’s also known for one of the largest populations of Irish people this side of the Emerald Isle. So it’s not entirely incongruous that a hard luck kid from the south side of town would choose to play traditional Irish folk music in pubs around the neighborhood. At 18, Anthony (T.) Duggins, was doing just that – playing pub favorites and covers of greats like Christy Moore, and Ewan MacColl. Before long his brother and his best friends were playing the original songs he had written as well, and so became The Tossers. The name was taken from an old slang term used for worthless British coins in Sean O’Casey’s play The Plough and the Stars. The coins became useless after the southern Irish Free State won independence from Britain, and started to print it’s own currency. The term tosser has since come to mean wanker, or it’s American equivalent, jag off.

(Early Show) Chris Trapper (Of the Push Stars) with Special Guest Bea

Chris Trapper is a storyteller. With his soulful, honeyed tenor, sly humor and an uncanny knack for melody, Chris has traveled the world over, performing to a dedicated and ever growing fan base with nothing but his guitar and his songs. Raised on Prine and Kristofferson, Trapper's first foray in the music industry was as frontman of the critically acclaimed alt-rock band The Push Stars (Capitol Records). Over the past decade, Chris has become a modern day acoustic troubadour, performing over 150 dates a year as a headliner and sharing the stage with the likes of Colin Hay, Martin Sexton and even John Prine himself.

The New York Times has called his work “classic pop perfection.”

The new CD SYMPHONIES OF DIRT & DUST is a collection of 12 songs written and performed by Chris Trapper and Produced by Jason Meeker at Silver Top Studios, Boston, MA. Guest musicians include Dan McLoughlin of The Push Stars on bass and NYC singer/songwriter Amy Fairchild on harmonies.

"I have to mention Jason, the producer of Symphonies of Dirt & Dust. He is my old friend, who not only worked the clubs in rock bands but also worked for Geffen records in their heyday, so he has a good sense of the music business as a whole. What I love about Jason is that he is absolutely obsessed with his craft and getting songs right.

Every record tells a story. For me, much more than gimmicks, my albums are like diary entries, or truthful accounts of where I'm at in life. I suppose that might be the same for most songwriters, but in the spectrum of the music business, it's still an animal that's nearly extinct." Chris Trapper

Chris has toured North America and the UK with multi platinum songwriter COLIN HAY.

In the Spring of 2013 Chris performed a duet with his songwriting idol JOHN PRINE at the Portsmouth Songwriter Festival.

“It’s an incredibly rare musician, particularly in the world of popular music, who is able to forge a career based on quiet dignity and steadfast integrity.” The Buffalo News

A prolific songwriter, Chris has garnered several high profile film placements including There's Something About Mary (Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz), The Devil Wears Prada (Meryl Streep), Say It Isn’t So (Heather Graham) Gun Shy (Sandra Bullock, Liam Neeson) and most recently, Some Kind of Beautiful *Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek) as well as significant television placements including All My Children, Women's Murder Club, Malcolm In The Middle, a coveted placement in George Clooney's final episode of ER, the theme song for WB Networks dramedy Pepper Dennis and a cameo on-screen appearance with the show's star, Rebecca Romjin.

Chris has written 7 songs with/for Canadian band GREAT BIG SEA, including their #1 single "Sea Of No Cares" from the certified-platinum Sea Of No Cares CD. Great Big Sea covered Trapper's song "Everything Shines” and their version served as the debut single off their certified-gold Road Rage CD album. Chris’ songwriting collaborations with Great Big Sea earned him two prestigious SOCAN awards. Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty and Antigone Rising have performed other notable versions of Trapper's songs.

Trapper’s live show is a favorite among fans of alt–acoustic music. His on–stage persona is warm and inclusive, his organic understanding of classic pop melody, infectious. Audience members seem to particularly appreciate the lighthearted moments with the ukulele.

Chris Trapper is a storyteller. With his soulful, honeyed tenor, sly humor and an uncanny knack for melody, Chris has traveled the world over, performing to a dedicated and ever growing fan base with nothing but his guitar and his songs. Raised on Prine and Kristofferson, Trapper's first foray in the music industry was as frontman of the critically acclaimed alt-rock band The Push Stars (Capitol Records). Over the past decade, Chris has become a modern day acoustic troubadour, performing over 150 dates a year as a headliner and sharing the stage with the likes of Colin Hay, Martin Sexton and even John Prine himself.

The New York Times has called his work “classic pop perfection.”

The new CD SYMPHONIES OF DIRT & DUST is a collection of 12 songs written and performed by Chris Trapper and Produced by Jason Meeker at Silver Top Studios, Boston, MA. Guest musicians include Dan McLoughlin of The Push Stars on bass and NYC singer/songwriter Amy Fairchild on harmonies.

"I have to mention Jason, the producer of Symphonies of Dirt & Dust. He is my old friend, who not only worked the clubs in rock bands but also worked for Geffen records in their heyday, so he has a good sense of the music business as a whole. What I love about Jason is that he is absolutely obsessed with his craft and getting songs right.

Every record tells a story. For me, much more than gimmicks, my albums are like diary entries, or truthful accounts of where I'm at in life. I suppose that might be the same for most songwriters, but in the spectrum of the music business, it's still an animal that's nearly extinct." Chris Trapper

Chris has toured North America and the UK with multi platinum songwriter COLIN HAY.

In the Spring of 2013 Chris performed a duet with his songwriting idol JOHN PRINE at the Portsmouth Songwriter Festival.

“It’s an incredibly rare musician, particularly in the world of popular music, who is able to forge a career based on quiet dignity and steadfast integrity.” The Buffalo News

A prolific songwriter, Chris has garnered several high profile film placements including There's Something About Mary (Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz), The Devil Wears Prada (Meryl Streep), Say It Isn’t So (Heather Graham) Gun Shy (Sandra Bullock, Liam Neeson) and most recently, Some Kind of Beautiful *Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek) as well as significant television placements including All My Children, Women's Murder Club, Malcolm In The Middle, a coveted placement in George Clooney's final episode of ER, the theme song for WB Networks dramedy Pepper Dennis and a cameo on-screen appearance with the show's star, Rebecca Romjin.

Chris has written 7 songs with/for Canadian band GREAT BIG SEA, including their #1 single "Sea Of No Cares" from the certified-platinum Sea Of No Cares CD. Great Big Sea covered Trapper's song "Everything Shines” and their version served as the debut single off their certified-gold Road Rage CD album. Chris’ songwriting collaborations with Great Big Sea earned him two prestigious SOCAN awards. Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty and Antigone Rising have performed other notable versions of Trapper's songs.

Trapper’s live show is a favorite among fans of alt–acoustic music. His on–stage persona is warm and inclusive, his organic understanding of classic pop melody, infectious. Audience members seem to particularly appreciate the lighthearted moments with the ukulele.

(Late Show) Charlie Wheeler Band with Special Guests Dizzy Woosh

Northern PA’s rock trio, the Charlie Wheeler Band, delivers rippin’ guitar jams that make their bad-ass live shows a high energy experience where fans party hard all night long. The band’s hard-driving, blue-collar soul music is reminiscent of the Black Crowes and The Allman Brothers Band, coupled with the blunt force of Pearl Jam. With lyrics that can at times be light, heavy, deep, and even funny, the band’s songs tell stories of life, love, and living life on the edge.

Hailing from a small town called Ridgway, PA, the Charlie Wheeler Band exudes a toughness that can only be cultivated in the working class environs from which they’ve emerged. Powered by the rhythm section of Rad Akers on Drums (Big Leg Emma) and Dave Fink on Bass (That Dog In Egypt), Charlie Wheeler describes the band as a “song first” type of band. Fans and critics alike appreciate the band’s balance of sharp songwriting, engaging vocals and skilled musicianship. With songwriting that is entertaining, even a little irreverent at times, the Charlie Wheeler Band never disappoints with a powerhouse show and sick guitar jams.

While expansive, improvisational jamming is a key component to their live show, their third album Rewind is a solid group of structured songs which allow Wheeler to tear into his vocal and lead guitar work with reckless, pent up hostility. Raves Lou Lombardi of Blue Rock Review, “While Charlie is a great guitarist and vocalist, what really makes Rewind work is the songwriting. Strip away the crushing rhythm section, smoking guitar work, snarling vocals, and we are left with a set of very beautiful and touching songs.” Michael Greenblatt of the Aquarian Weekly said of the album that he was excited to “find some good rock ‘n’ roll again after almost giving up!” The summer of 2016 promises a new release and touring up and down the East Coast and into the Midwest.

Northern PA’s rock trio, the Charlie Wheeler Band, delivers rippin’ guitar jams that make their bad-ass live shows a high energy experience where fans party hard all night long. The band’s hard-driving, blue-collar soul music is reminiscent of the Black Crowes and The Allman Brothers Band, coupled with the blunt force of Pearl Jam. With lyrics that can at times be light, heavy, deep, and even funny, the band’s songs tell stories of life, love, and living life on the edge.

Hailing from a small town called Ridgway, PA, the Charlie Wheeler Band exudes a toughness that can only be cultivated in the working class environs from which they’ve emerged. Powered by the rhythm section of Rad Akers on Drums (Big Leg Emma) and Dave Fink on Bass (That Dog In Egypt), Charlie Wheeler describes the band as a “song first” type of band. Fans and critics alike appreciate the band’s balance of sharp songwriting, engaging vocals and skilled musicianship. With songwriting that is entertaining, even a little irreverent at times, the Charlie Wheeler Band never disappoints with a powerhouse show and sick guitar jams.

While expansive, improvisational jamming is a key component to their live show, their third album Rewind is a solid group of structured songs which allow Wheeler to tear into his vocal and lead guitar work with reckless, pent up hostility. Raves Lou Lombardi of Blue Rock Review, “While Charlie is a great guitarist and vocalist, what really makes Rewind work is the songwriting. Strip away the crushing rhythm section, smoking guitar work, snarling vocals, and we are left with a set of very beautiful and touching songs.” Michael Greenblatt of the Aquarian Weekly said of the album that he was excited to “find some good rock ‘n’ roll again after almost giving up!” The summer of 2016 promises a new release and touring up and down the East Coast and into the Midwest.

Upstate with Special Guest Nameless In August

For Upstate, the last few years have been a time of profound exploration and self-discovery. As the band knocked off milestone after milestone on the road, their sound, their lineup, and even their name all underwent dramatic metamorphoses. Challenging andthrilling all at once, those changes have finally culminated in the sextet’s dazzling new album, a collection that showcases both their remarkable growth and their adventurous blend of folk, R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock and roll.

Recorded primarily over six days at the Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, NY, ‘Healing’ is the band’s first release with new member Allison Olender, their first with four contributing songwriters, and their first since shortening their name from Upstate Rubdown. It’s also their firstproject to be produced by Wood Brothers percussionist Jano Rix, who helped the group embrace their transformation and lean in to their unique lineup without sacrificing any of the gorgeous harmonies, eclectic arrangements, and unforgettable performances that have defined the band since their earliest days.

Upstate first emerged from New York’s Hudson Valley in 2015 with their critically acclaimed debut, ‘A Remedy.’ The Poughkeepsie Journalraved that the group “need[s] nothing more than their voices to channel rhythm and stoke your emotions,” while Chronogramhailed their “infectiously sunny organic stew,” and The Altcalled them “toe-tapping, contagious, and fun.” The album earned the band festival performances from Mountain Jam to FreshGrass, as well as a slew of national headline dates and support slots with everyone from The Felice Brothers and Phox to Marco Benevento and Cory Henry.

Upstate is:
Melanie Glenn, Mary Kenney, Allison Olender -Vocals
Harry D'Agostino -Bass
Ryan Chappell -Mandolin
Dean Mahoney -Cajón

For Upstate, the last few years have been a time of profound exploration and self-discovery. As the band knocked off milestone after milestone on the road, their sound, their lineup, and even their name all underwent dramatic metamorphoses. Challenging andthrilling all at once, those changes have finally culminated in the sextet’s dazzling new album, a collection that showcases both their remarkable growth and their adventurous blend of folk, R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock and roll.

Recorded primarily over six days at the Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, NY, ‘Healing’ is the band’s first release with new member Allison Olender, their first with four contributing songwriters, and their first since shortening their name from Upstate Rubdown. It’s also their firstproject to be produced by Wood Brothers percussionist Jano Rix, who helped the group embrace their transformation and lean in to their unique lineup without sacrificing any of the gorgeous harmonies, eclectic arrangements, and unforgettable performances that have defined the band since their earliest days.

Upstate first emerged from New York’s Hudson Valley in 2015 with their critically acclaimed debut, ‘A Remedy.’ The Poughkeepsie Journalraved that the group “need[s] nothing more than their voices to channel rhythm and stoke your emotions,” while Chronogramhailed their “infectiously sunny organic stew,” and The Altcalled them “toe-tapping, contagious, and fun.” The album earned the band festival performances from Mountain Jam to FreshGrass, as well as a slew of national headline dates and support slots with everyone from The Felice Brothers and Phox to Marco Benevento and Cory Henry.

Upstate is:
Melanie Glenn, Mary Kenney, Allison Olender -Vocals
Harry D'Agostino -Bass
Ryan Chappell -Mandolin
Dean Mahoney -Cajón

Dentist with Special Guest Cape Cod & War Street

Dentist comes from the oceanfront urban landscape of Asbury Park, New Jersey. Their sound combines the freedom of the beach atmosphere and the urgency of the city into a fuzzed out, surf punk-tinged brand of indie pop with hooks and infectious melodies to spare. The ethereal vocals of Emily Bornemann are countered by the sometimes aggressive, but always addictive sounds of the rest of the band.



The band released their self-titled debut album in 2014, which Pandora described as “a deliriously infectious collection of fuzzy, California-styled, indie pop jangle and sun dappled garage rock crunch.” They released their sophomore album, Ceilings, June 2016 via Asbury Park’s Little Dickman Records, which was critically acclaimed, and received press in media such as Noisey and Stereogum. Their single “Meet You There (In Delaware) was also selected for Spotifys Fresh Finds playlist, and chosen as one of Daytrotter’s top 100 songs of 2016.



Dentist has toured extensively in the US and has shared the stage with a variety of national acts, including JEFF the Brotherhood, Laura Stevenson, Television, Screaming Females, Ringo Deathstarr, Mrs. Magician, and more

Dentist comes from the oceanfront urban landscape of Asbury Park, New Jersey. Their sound combines the freedom of the beach atmosphere and the urgency of the city into a fuzzed out, surf punk-tinged brand of indie pop with hooks and infectious melodies to spare. The ethereal vocals of Emily Bornemann are countered by the sometimes aggressive, but always addictive sounds of the rest of the band.



The band released their self-titled debut album in 2014, which Pandora described as “a deliriously infectious collection of fuzzy, California-styled, indie pop jangle and sun dappled garage rock crunch.” They released their sophomore album, Ceilings, June 2016 via Asbury Park’s Little Dickman Records, which was critically acclaimed, and received press in media such as Noisey and Stereogum. Their single “Meet You There (In Delaware) was also selected for Spotifys Fresh Finds playlist, and chosen as one of Daytrotter’s top 100 songs of 2016.



Dentist has toured extensively in the US and has shared the stage with a variety of national acts, including JEFF the Brotherhood, Laura Stevenson, Television, Screaming Females, Ringo Deathstarr, Mrs. Magician, and more

The Love Language with Special Guests Orange Mammoth and Iron & Rope

Based originally in North Carolina and now in Los Angeles, The Love Language was formed in Raleigh in 2008 by singer-songwriter Stuart McLamb. The band features a rotating cast of talented musicians who never fail to impress. McLamb has established his band as an extroverted community art project made by responsible citizens of a loosely packed scene who know that he will match whatever they contribute.

You may not be able to see the gorgeous landscapes behind Baby Grand, Stuart McLamb’s fourth record as The Love Language, but they’re so essential to the picture you’ll feel them in every note. Started in, of all places, a cavernous Virginia hammock factory, fragmentary demos came alive when splashed by sunshine during a move across the country to California, where the album was completed. “It was something just about being in a new city, and a new light,” McLamb says, “and reopening the sessions, and this demo that I thought was a throwaway, suddenly I’m really feeling it….” You can hear the freedom kick in when the backwoods country shuffle of “Castle in the Sky” explodes into a full-on aughts anthem, equal parts outstretched arms and pumped fists.

Yet so much lies in the shadows behind these tracks: other states, other lives, other dreams, other relationships—fogged over, perhaps, but there nonetheless. Yes, Baby Grand has its share of breakup songs—nobody writes those better than McLamb—but this time, even as something is being mourned, something else is being worked through; as lovers have been left behind, so have places and a time in life. Listen as the heartbreak and yearning
of “New Amsterdam” come crashing down into the beautiful stasis of “Southern Doldrums” (the former was inspired by Cyndi Lauper and Joy Division, McLamb claims, while the latter draws upon John Cale’s meditative solo records), or as the beautiful lift of the startling sequence of songs that make up Baby Grand’s propulsive midsection gives way to a moody instrumental called “Rain/Delay,” a collection of distant plinks and plonks struggling to assemble themselves into melody. “I’ve embraced the idea that getting murky is what the band is,” says McLamb of the various assemblies of players and the various genre in uences that have fueled The Love Language at different points in time. “I love bands like the Ramones that have one thing that really works, and I love a good restaurant that serves one really good dish. But I get bored… I want this album to showcase different types of pop songwriting and structures.” The song “Juiceboxx” is what you’d get if Mick Jagger crooned his “Emotional Rescue” falsetto over a backing track by the Style Council, and “Let Your Hair Down” impressively suggests what “Caroline, No” might have sounded like if only it had been written by George Michael.

But it’s the finale that sends Baby Grand into the stratosphere. With Raleigh in his rearview, McLamb dusts off the ’60s throwback sounds of The Love Language’s 2009 self-titled debut, which are all over the flat-out-perfect “Independence Day.” And somewhere around New Orleans, he resuscitates those irresistible singalong melodies from 2010’s Libraries on “Paraty,” the lovely paean to a South American town he never managed to visit. Maybe it’s Austin, or Phoenix, that finds him slipping into the sleek suit of ’80s synths that underlay 2013’s Ruby Red—“Shared Spaces” should be listened to on a boat while wearing a skinny tie and shoes without socks—but then the wide-open vista of the California desert opens up before him, sunny and flat and full of promise, and that’s “Glassy.” It’s gotta be close to the best thing McLamb has ever written, and it culminates this alternately ruminative and riotous record on, fittingly, a note of re ection: “We’ll be riding out this losing streak,” he sings, “and they say the tides are rising / It took
a long time to get us where we can’t come back…” You can’t leave something behind without starting something new, and the inverse of that proposition is just as true: when you stand on the Pacific coast, squinting into the sunset, there’s an entire country at your back, unseen but ever-present, and it stays with you forever.

Based originally in North Carolina and now in Los Angeles, The Love Language was formed in Raleigh in 2008 by singer-songwriter Stuart McLamb. The band features a rotating cast of talented musicians who never fail to impress. McLamb has established his band as an extroverted community art project made by responsible citizens of a loosely packed scene who know that he will match whatever they contribute.

You may not be able to see the gorgeous landscapes behind Baby Grand, Stuart McLamb’s fourth record as The Love Language, but they’re so essential to the picture you’ll feel them in every note. Started in, of all places, a cavernous Virginia hammock factory, fragmentary demos came alive when splashed by sunshine during a move across the country to California, where the album was completed. “It was something just about being in a new city, and a new light,” McLamb says, “and reopening the sessions, and this demo that I thought was a throwaway, suddenly I’m really feeling it….” You can hear the freedom kick in when the backwoods country shuffle of “Castle in the Sky” explodes into a full-on aughts anthem, equal parts outstretched arms and pumped fists.

Yet so much lies in the shadows behind these tracks: other states, other lives, other dreams, other relationships—fogged over, perhaps, but there nonetheless. Yes, Baby Grand has its share of breakup songs—nobody writes those better than McLamb—but this time, even as something is being mourned, something else is being worked through; as lovers have been left behind, so have places and a time in life. Listen as the heartbreak and yearning
of “New Amsterdam” come crashing down into the beautiful stasis of “Southern Doldrums” (the former was inspired by Cyndi Lauper and Joy Division, McLamb claims, while the latter draws upon John Cale’s meditative solo records), or as the beautiful lift of the startling sequence of songs that make up Baby Grand’s propulsive midsection gives way to a moody instrumental called “Rain/Delay,” a collection of distant plinks and plonks struggling to assemble themselves into melody. “I’ve embraced the idea that getting murky is what the band is,” says McLamb of the various assemblies of players and the various genre in uences that have fueled The Love Language at different points in time. “I love bands like the Ramones that have one thing that really works, and I love a good restaurant that serves one really good dish. But I get bored… I want this album to showcase different types of pop songwriting and structures.” The song “Juiceboxx” is what you’d get if Mick Jagger crooned his “Emotional Rescue” falsetto over a backing track by the Style Council, and “Let Your Hair Down” impressively suggests what “Caroline, No” might have sounded like if only it had been written by George Michael.

But it’s the finale that sends Baby Grand into the stratosphere. With Raleigh in his rearview, McLamb dusts off the ’60s throwback sounds of The Love Language’s 2009 self-titled debut, which are all over the flat-out-perfect “Independence Day.” And somewhere around New Orleans, he resuscitates those irresistible singalong melodies from 2010’s Libraries on “Paraty,” the lovely paean to a South American town he never managed to visit. Maybe it’s Austin, or Phoenix, that finds him slipping into the sleek suit of ’80s synths that underlay 2013’s Ruby Red—“Shared Spaces” should be listened to on a boat while wearing a skinny tie and shoes without socks—but then the wide-open vista of the California desert opens up before him, sunny and flat and full of promise, and that’s “Glassy.” It’s gotta be close to the best thing McLamb has ever written, and it culminates this alternately ruminative and riotous record on, fittingly, a note of re ection: “We’ll be riding out this losing streak,” he sings, “and they say the tides are rising / It took
a long time to get us where we can’t come back…” You can’t leave something behind without starting something new, and the inverse of that proposition is just as true: when you stand on the Pacific coast, squinting into the sunset, there’s an entire country at your back, unseen but ever-present, and it stays with you forever.

(Early Show) Dante Romito / Isaac Merz

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

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

In 2018, Dante officially released his instrumental rock EP, Dream Cycle. The opening track, Irwin Vibe, was featured on the Tony Kornheiser Show in November 2017.

Isaac Merz
Isaac Merz prides himself on his unique style that he has developed from scratch. Born with one hand, Isaac started to teach himself how to play the guitar at age 11. By taping a pick to his left arm, Isaac plays with a passion and rhythm that is second to none. Fearlessly singing from his heart, Isaac will draw you in with melodies and well timed lyrics. Isaac's mission: becoming the very best singer songwriter he can be and helping others see that passion and inspriation can conquer any limitations. Reemerging in the Pittsburgh music scene after living and playing in New York City. Isaac is quickly becoming a must see act local act. Currently working on his second Full Length Album that he plans on releasing early summer 2019. He is proudly working with new musicians to add and fortify his sound and vision.

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

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

In 2018, Dante officially released his instrumental rock EP, Dream Cycle. The opening track, Irwin Vibe, was featured on the Tony Kornheiser Show in November 2017.

Isaac Merz
Isaac Merz prides himself on his unique style that he has developed from scratch. Born with one hand, Isaac started to teach himself how to play the guitar at age 11. By taping a pick to his left arm, Isaac plays with a passion and rhythm that is second to none. Fearlessly singing from his heart, Isaac will draw you in with melodies and well timed lyrics. Isaac's mission: becoming the very best singer songwriter he can be and helping others see that passion and inspriation can conquer any limitations. Reemerging in the Pittsburgh music scene after living and playing in New York City. Isaac is quickly becoming a must see act local act. Currently working on his second Full Length Album that he plans on releasing early summer 2019. He is proudly working with new musicians to add and fortify his sound and vision.

(Late Show) Dalton & The Sheriffs'

The one constant in Dalton & the Sheriffs’ remarkable rise from three-hour sets in the barrooms of Boston, to national stages such as CMA Fest, is the band’s authenticity.

Brian Scully (vocals/acoustic guitar), Jon Silva (lead guitar), James Zaner (drums), Sam Bouve (bass) and Ryan Jackson (keys/guitars) rip through shows with frenetic energy, perhaps best described as country music, tinged with Americana heartland vibes, and played with a bar-friendly edge-of-punk rowdiness. Everyone sings along. The patrons are as much a part of the show as the band itself. The result is a live band that manages to make every show -- from small clubs to the largest of festivals -- feel a little like a reunion of like-minded souls at their favorite local bar.
Their debut live album, After the Parade, cracked four Billboard Country and Heatseeker charts in 2018, and a newly recorded album is on the way. Always good for a draw, Dalton & The Sheriffs have been chosen to open for artists such as Sam Hunt, Lee Brice and Old Dominion, and the band has earned their own fervent headline following throughout New England. In addition to packing them in at prestigious venues like Paradise Rock Club and the House of Blues, Dalton and the Sheriffs quickly sold out four sets in one fall Nashville weekend, and 2019 will see this tremendous live band expand their fan base coast to coast.

The one constant in Dalton & the Sheriffs’ remarkable rise from three-hour sets in the barrooms of Boston, to national stages such as CMA Fest, is the band’s authenticity.

Brian Scully (vocals/acoustic guitar), Jon Silva (lead guitar), James Zaner (drums), Sam Bouve (bass) and Ryan Jackson (keys/guitars) rip through shows with frenetic energy, perhaps best described as country music, tinged with Americana heartland vibes, and played with a bar-friendly edge-of-punk rowdiness. Everyone sings along. The patrons are as much a part of the show as the band itself. The result is a live band that manages to make every show -- from small clubs to the largest of festivals -- feel a little like a reunion of like-minded souls at their favorite local bar.
Their debut live album, After the Parade, cracked four Billboard Country and Heatseeker charts in 2018, and a newly recorded album is on the way. Always good for a draw, Dalton & The Sheriffs have been chosen to open for artists such as Sam Hunt, Lee Brice and Old Dominion, and the band has earned their own fervent headline following throughout New England. In addition to packing them in at prestigious venues like Paradise Rock Club and the House of Blues, Dalton and the Sheriffs quickly sold out four sets in one fall Nashville weekend, and 2019 will see this tremendous live band expand their fan base coast to coast.

Peter Case with Special Guest Zack Keim

Three-time Grammy nominee, Peter Case’s work sets the bar for authenticity, passion and imagination and spans a number of genres, including folk, blues, and rock. Raised in Buffalo, NY, Case came to the Bay area in 1973 and worked as a street musician and played in the seminal power pop group The Nerves, before moving to Los Angeles to form the Plimsouls, landing a deal with Geffen Records.

The Plimsouls achieved success with the hit single “A Million Miles Away,” which landed them a role in the movie Valley Girl, as the band performing during the club scenes. Case’s 1986 solo Geffen Record debut revealed deep roots in folk and blues, and earned him his first Grammy nomination for the song “Old Blue Car” as well as the Number 1 spot on the NY Time’s 1986 Best CDs list. Six CDs later, Case earned another nomination for Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, a remarkable collection of songs that features Case’s voice and a single guitar. It’s clear that Case is a major talent on the Americana troubadour landscape.

Case’s 2010 CD, Wig!, emphasized the rock and blues side of Case’s repertoire, while 2007’s Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John demonstrates what Case can do with just his voice and a guitar. With or without a backing band, Case delivers his songs with both intense passion and introspective nuance.

Three-time Grammy nominee, Peter Case’s work sets the bar for authenticity, passion and imagination and spans a number of genres, including folk, blues, and rock. Raised in Buffalo, NY, Case came to the Bay area in 1973 and worked as a street musician and played in the seminal power pop group The Nerves, before moving to Los Angeles to form the Plimsouls, landing a deal with Geffen Records.

The Plimsouls achieved success with the hit single “A Million Miles Away,” which landed them a role in the movie Valley Girl, as the band performing during the club scenes. Case’s 1986 solo Geffen Record debut revealed deep roots in folk and blues, and earned him his first Grammy nomination for the song “Old Blue Car” as well as the Number 1 spot on the NY Time’s 1986 Best CDs list. Six CDs later, Case earned another nomination for Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, a remarkable collection of songs that features Case’s voice and a single guitar. It’s clear that Case is a major talent on the Americana troubadour landscape.

Case’s 2010 CD, Wig!, emphasized the rock and blues side of Case’s repertoire, while 2007’s Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John demonstrates what Case can do with just his voice and a guitar. With or without a backing band, Case delivers his songs with both intense passion and introspective nuance.

The Trongone Band with Special Guest Justin Wade & Bobby Thompson Duo of the JWB

Hailing from Richmond, VA, The Trongone Band is touring in support of their 2017 debut album, “Keys to the House”, released on Harmonized Records. With a sound that Paste Magazine likens to the “freak-outs of My Morning Jacket with the Muscle Shoals-inspired Leslie speakers and The Band’s narrative storytelling”, The Trongone Band is turning heads and making an impact on the Southern Rock ‘n’ Soul and Americana scenes.

Formed by brothers Andrew and Johnny Trongone with father John Sr on bass, The Trongone Band (tron-GO-knee) has grown from a family affair to a full on touring machine with the addition of keyboardist Ben “Wolfe” White and bassist Chip Hale. In the words of Live for Live Music, “the quartet has come together to create an old-school and all-in-the-family sound reminiscent of The Allman Brothers while still keeping it fresh with their cutting edge original compositions that also infuse funk and blues into the mix.”

Keeping with the homegrown vibe, the band nestled into the woods outside of RVA, tapping into Montrose Recording’s Flickinger console, one of only seven remaining in the world. Known as the console that revolutionized the recording industry in the 60s & 70s, the Flickinger provided the warm sounds that turned into “Keys to the House” and brought to life what MusicFestNews described as “imagery of boxcar drifters, rolling hills and dirt roads that are easy to close your eyes and get lost in”.

Summer and Fall of 2017 saw The Trongone Band taking “Keys to the House” on the road while touring in support of stalwarts including Umphrey’s McGee, Reckless Kelly, American Aquarium and Cris Jacobs. Having graced the stages of Virginia’s Roosterwalk and FloydFest, Tennessee’s Riverbend Music Festival, The Allman Brothers’ Peach Festival in Pennsylvania, Atlanta’s Sweetwater 420 Fest and Macon’s “Big House Presents Summer Jam”, the band is primed for a busy 2018 festival season and their first full European Tour. This four-piece ensemble may not all be related, but with a chemistry so emphatically discernible, it's fair to call them brothers.

Hailing from Richmond, VA, The Trongone Band is touring in support of their 2017 debut album, “Keys to the House”, released on Harmonized Records. With a sound that Paste Magazine likens to the “freak-outs of My Morning Jacket with the Muscle Shoals-inspired Leslie speakers and The Band’s narrative storytelling”, The Trongone Band is turning heads and making an impact on the Southern Rock ‘n’ Soul and Americana scenes.

Formed by brothers Andrew and Johnny Trongone with father John Sr on bass, The Trongone Band (tron-GO-knee) has grown from a family affair to a full on touring machine with the addition of keyboardist Ben “Wolfe” White and bassist Chip Hale. In the words of Live for Live Music, “the quartet has come together to create an old-school and all-in-the-family sound reminiscent of The Allman Brothers while still keeping it fresh with their cutting edge original compositions that also infuse funk and blues into the mix.”

Keeping with the homegrown vibe, the band nestled into the woods outside of RVA, tapping into Montrose Recording’s Flickinger console, one of only seven remaining in the world. Known as the console that revolutionized the recording industry in the 60s & 70s, the Flickinger provided the warm sounds that turned into “Keys to the House” and brought to life what MusicFestNews described as “imagery of boxcar drifters, rolling hills and dirt roads that are easy to close your eyes and get lost in”.

Summer and Fall of 2017 saw The Trongone Band taking “Keys to the House” on the road while touring in support of stalwarts including Umphrey’s McGee, Reckless Kelly, American Aquarium and Cris Jacobs. Having graced the stages of Virginia’s Roosterwalk and FloydFest, Tennessee’s Riverbend Music Festival, The Allman Brothers’ Peach Festival in Pennsylvania, Atlanta’s Sweetwater 420 Fest and Macon’s “Big House Presents Summer Jam”, the band is primed for a busy 2018 festival season and their first full European Tour. This four-piece ensemble may not all be related, but with a chemistry so emphatically discernible, it's fair to call them brothers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Early Show) Sikes & The New Violence / Suavity's Mouthpiece / Standard Broadcast

(Late Show) Goldcastle / God Hates Unicorns / Doors In the Labyrinth

Amy Lavere & Will Sexton

Amy Lavere
A burgeoning star, Amy LaVere is becoming renowned worldwide for her songwriting, bass playing, and vocals. She sings with a sweet, haunting voice that can turn on a dime from innocent to lusty (“Norah Jones with an added Cyndi Lauper element” — Mojo Magazine; “Spookiness suits her” — New York Times). Whether playing as a duo with her husband Will Sexton or with retro-country sensation Motel Mirrors, she’s an inventive, thoughtful singer-songwriter who has crowds throughout the US and Europe smitten.
Music fans first discovered this “sweet soprano” on This World is Not My Home in 2005, but it was her Jim Dickinson-produced breakout albumAnchors & Anvils two years later that put Amy LaVere on the map.

The success of Anchors & Anvils drew the attention of the UK market, and soon Amy was invited to perform on the BBC’s “Later with Jools Holland” – the appearance introduced her to an international audience, and to Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Jamie Cullum), who she’d later team with to produce Stranger Me (Archer Records).

Spin called the 2011 release “the break-up album of the year,” Paste said it was “among the year’s best,” and it earned a first listen feature from NPR’s All Things Considered. She followed it in 2014 with another critical smash: Runaway’s Diary, a concept album based on her own experience as a teenage runaway, produced by Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars). American Songwritercalled it “boundary pushing… heartfelt, reflective, challenging and consistently compelling.” NPR Music’s Robert Christgau said it was her best yet.

Her most recent release, Hallelujah I’m A Dreamer (Archer Records, 2015), was a surprise for fans just nine months after Runaway’s Diary, recorded with LaVere’s husband and noted guitarist Will Sexton. On Hallelujah, Amy and Will capture the immediacy of the live show they developed on the road together, reveling in a more stripped-down sound and celebrating the freedoms and limitations that come with it in stunning form. No Depression said simply: “pure bliss.”

In addition to her solo records and a tireless touring schedule, Amy enjoys collaborating with other artists. In 2012 she joined an all-star collaboration called The Wandering, composed of Amy, Luther Dickinson, Shannon McNally, Sharde Thomas and Valerie June. They released Go On Now, You Can’t Stay Here (Songs Of The South, 2012) to critical acclaim and sold out shows.

In the afterglow of The Wandering, Amy and Shannon McNally hit the road together and released an EP titled Chasing the Ghost, The Rehearsal Sessions (Archer Records, 2012) which featured songs from both artists recorded live during rehearsals for the tour.

Amy next paired up with noted rocker John Paul Keith to create Motel Mirrors. Their styles clearly complemented one another, which made for magic on stage and in the recording studio. Their eponymous vinyl EP release was named one of the “10 Essential Albums of 2013” by No Depression.

Although she’s a singer and songwriter first, Amy is also an actress. In 2005 she was cast in the role of Wanda Jackson in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line (Twentieth Century Fox). Since she has appeared in a variety of independent and studio productions: Black Snake Moan (Paramount, 2006), $5 Cover (MTV, 2009), Woman’s Picture (2011) The Romance of Loneliness (2012) and most recently with Grace Zabriski in Only Child (2015).

In 2017 Amy is keeping a busy tour schedule and writing songs for a new album to be recorded later in the year. Watch for a new Motel Mirrors album to be released on Last Chance Records in the spring of 2017.

Will Sexton
Will Sexton, whose writing credits range from work with Waylon Jennings and Stephen Stills to Joe Ely and Bill Carter, is shaped by the unique diversity of the Austin music scene. Fate and his own sheer talent placed him on stage with local legends before he’d lived out his first decade. Will and his big brother, Charlie, started playing together at the Continental Club when Will was 9 and Charlie was 11. Many of the sounds of his childhood still resonate in his current work. Will received early success in Austin and was signed by MCA at age 16. He has survived in the tough Austin music scene by playing gigs with a variety of notable artists. It is never unusual to go out to catch a show featuring an Austin singer/songwriter and see Will onstage.

Will’s credits as producer and songwriter range from collaborations with Waylon Jennings to psychedelic pioneer Roky Erikson to Steve Earle and punk legend Johnny Thunders. Will has written for MCA and Almo Irving and recorded for MCA, A&M, and Zoo Entertainment. Will was in the New Folk Underground with David Baerwald, which resulted in the co-produced (w/ David Kitay) Lost Highway release Here Comes the New Folk Underground. Will names Terry Allen and Sheryl Crow hitmaker David Baerwald among his favorite writing partners. 2009 marked the completion of new production credits, including Randy Weeks’ Going My Way, and Ruby James’ CD, Happy Now, co-produced with his brother Charlie Sexton. Will also enjoys performing with Charlie Faye, Sahara Smith, and Shannon McNally.

Will has amassed an impressive collection of songs over the years, releasing his first independent album, Scenes From Nowhere, in 2001, which received a four-star review and was honored in the Top 5 Releases of 2001 by the Austin American-Statesman. Bus Stop Gossip, a previously unreleased recording from 2004, was unearthed and released in 2009 and was followed up by Move the Balance in 2010.

Things came to a temporary halt in December 2009 when Will suffered a mild stroke. Though he had a remarkable recovery, he was unable to remember much of the music he had written and played almost daily as a working musician. For him to be unable to connect with those songs mentally since the stroke was a setback few musicians could even imagine. The Austin music community has always been known for taking care of its own and came out in full force for a music benefit in honor of one of Austin’s golden sons to raise money for Will’s living expenses and medical bills.

While Will was working through the recovery process, Move The Balance was released two months later without much notice and to very little fanfare. This is an album not to be overlooked. It includes eleven new songs recorded by Mark Hallman and Andre Moran in twenty-two hours at Congress House studios in South Austin. Musicians on the CD include Will Sexton on vocals, guitar and bass, Mike Thompson on piano, guitar and trombone, Bukka Allen on B3 and accordion, Dony Wynn on drums and percussion, Ray Bonneville on harmonica, and Bill Carter on additional bass. Additional guest vocals were provided by Mark Hallman, Ruby “Red” James, Charlie Faye and Nöelle Hampton.

Amy Lavere
A burgeoning star, Amy LaVere is becoming renowned worldwide for her songwriting, bass playing, and vocals. She sings with a sweet, haunting voice that can turn on a dime from innocent to lusty (“Norah Jones with an added Cyndi Lauper element” — Mojo Magazine; “Spookiness suits her” — New York Times). Whether playing as a duo with her husband Will Sexton or with retro-country sensation Motel Mirrors, she’s an inventive, thoughtful singer-songwriter who has crowds throughout the US and Europe smitten.
Music fans first discovered this “sweet soprano” on This World is Not My Home in 2005, but it was her Jim Dickinson-produced breakout albumAnchors & Anvils two years later that put Amy LaVere on the map.

The success of Anchors & Anvils drew the attention of the UK market, and soon Amy was invited to perform on the BBC’s “Later with Jools Holland” – the appearance introduced her to an international audience, and to Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Jamie Cullum), who she’d later team with to produce Stranger Me (Archer Records).

Spin called the 2011 release “the break-up album of the year,” Paste said it was “among the year’s best,” and it earned a first listen feature from NPR’s All Things Considered. She followed it in 2014 with another critical smash: Runaway’s Diary, a concept album based on her own experience as a teenage runaway, produced by Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars). American Songwritercalled it “boundary pushing… heartfelt, reflective, challenging and consistently compelling.” NPR Music’s Robert Christgau said it was her best yet.

Her most recent release, Hallelujah I’m A Dreamer (Archer Records, 2015), was a surprise for fans just nine months after Runaway’s Diary, recorded with LaVere’s husband and noted guitarist Will Sexton. On Hallelujah, Amy and Will capture the immediacy of the live show they developed on the road together, reveling in a more stripped-down sound and celebrating the freedoms and limitations that come with it in stunning form. No Depression said simply: “pure bliss.”

In addition to her solo records and a tireless touring schedule, Amy enjoys collaborating with other artists. In 2012 she joined an all-star collaboration called The Wandering, composed of Amy, Luther Dickinson, Shannon McNally, Sharde Thomas and Valerie June. They released Go On Now, You Can’t Stay Here (Songs Of The South, 2012) to critical acclaim and sold out shows.

In the afterglow of The Wandering, Amy and Shannon McNally hit the road together and released an EP titled Chasing the Ghost, The Rehearsal Sessions (Archer Records, 2012) which featured songs from both artists recorded live during rehearsals for the tour.

Amy next paired up with noted rocker John Paul Keith to create Motel Mirrors. Their styles clearly complemented one another, which made for magic on stage and in the recording studio. Their eponymous vinyl EP release was named one of the “10 Essential Albums of 2013” by No Depression.

Although she’s a singer and songwriter first, Amy is also an actress. In 2005 she was cast in the role of Wanda Jackson in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line (Twentieth Century Fox). Since she has appeared in a variety of independent and studio productions: Black Snake Moan (Paramount, 2006), $5 Cover (MTV, 2009), Woman’s Picture (2011) The Romance of Loneliness (2012) and most recently with Grace Zabriski in Only Child (2015).

In 2017 Amy is keeping a busy tour schedule and writing songs for a new album to be recorded later in the year. Watch for a new Motel Mirrors album to be released on Last Chance Records in the spring of 2017.

Will Sexton
Will Sexton, whose writing credits range from work with Waylon Jennings and Stephen Stills to Joe Ely and Bill Carter, is shaped by the unique diversity of the Austin music scene. Fate and his own sheer talent placed him on stage with local legends before he’d lived out his first decade. Will and his big brother, Charlie, started playing together at the Continental Club when Will was 9 and Charlie was 11. Many of the sounds of his childhood still resonate in his current work. Will received early success in Austin and was signed by MCA at age 16. He has survived in the tough Austin music scene by playing gigs with a variety of notable artists. It is never unusual to go out to catch a show featuring an Austin singer/songwriter and see Will onstage.

Will’s credits as producer and songwriter range from collaborations with Waylon Jennings to psychedelic pioneer Roky Erikson to Steve Earle and punk legend Johnny Thunders. Will has written for MCA and Almo Irving and recorded for MCA, A&M, and Zoo Entertainment. Will was in the New Folk Underground with David Baerwald, which resulted in the co-produced (w/ David Kitay) Lost Highway release Here Comes the New Folk Underground. Will names Terry Allen and Sheryl Crow hitmaker David Baerwald among his favorite writing partners. 2009 marked the completion of new production credits, including Randy Weeks’ Going My Way, and Ruby James’ CD, Happy Now, co-produced with his brother Charlie Sexton. Will also enjoys performing with Charlie Faye, Sahara Smith, and Shannon McNally.

Will has amassed an impressive collection of songs over the years, releasing his first independent album, Scenes From Nowhere, in 2001, which received a four-star review and was honored in the Top 5 Releases of 2001 by the Austin American-Statesman. Bus Stop Gossip, a previously unreleased recording from 2004, was unearthed and released in 2009 and was followed up by Move the Balance in 2010.

Things came to a temporary halt in December 2009 when Will suffered a mild stroke. Though he had a remarkable recovery, he was unable to remember much of the music he had written and played almost daily as a working musician. For him to be unable to connect with those songs mentally since the stroke was a setback few musicians could even imagine. The Austin music community has always been known for taking care of its own and came out in full force for a music benefit in honor of one of Austin’s golden sons to raise money for Will’s living expenses and medical bills.

While Will was working through the recovery process, Move The Balance was released two months later without much notice and to very little fanfare. This is an album not to be overlooked. It includes eleven new songs recorded by Mark Hallman and Andre Moran in twenty-two hours at Congress House studios in South Austin. Musicians on the CD include Will Sexton on vocals, guitar and bass, Mike Thompson on piano, guitar and trombone, Bukka Allen on B3 and accordion, Dony Wynn on drums and percussion, Ray Bonneville on harmonica, and Bill Carter on additional bass. Additional guest vocals were provided by Mark Hallman, Ruby “Red” James, Charlie Faye and Nöelle Hampton.

Bailen with Special Guest The Rad Trads

BAILEN’s gorgeous harmonies, striking arrangements and evocative songwriting springs from a very deep well. Growing up in NYC, the siblings, David, Daniel (twins!) and Julia Bailen were raised by their professional orchestral musician parents, and the young trio immersed themselves in a record collection that included Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Carole King and The Band. Their amazing three-part harmonies have been compared to The Staves and Fleet Foxes, however, on their debut album, Thrilled To Be Here, BAILEN have created something all their own. Produced by GRAMMY-Award winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Manchester Orchestra, The War on Drugs), BAILEN’s shiny gleam and meticulous songcraft combine with the group’s unusual self-awareness, musicality and bite.

Named one of Sofar Sounds’ Artists to Watch in 2018, BAILEN has toured or collaborated with The Lone Bellow, Amos Lee and Joseph, among many others. Modern, melodic and soulful, BAILEN is twisting pop music in new directions, an undeniable, and welcome new arrival.

BAILEN’s gorgeous harmonies, striking arrangements and evocative songwriting springs from a very deep well. Growing up in NYC, the siblings, David, Daniel (twins!) and Julia Bailen were raised by their professional orchestral musician parents, and the young trio immersed themselves in a record collection that included Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Carole King and The Band. Their amazing three-part harmonies have been compared to The Staves and Fleet Foxes, however, on their debut album, Thrilled To Be Here, BAILEN have created something all their own. Produced by GRAMMY-Award winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Manchester Orchestra, The War on Drugs), BAILEN’s shiny gleam and meticulous songcraft combine with the group’s unusual self-awareness, musicality and bite.

Named one of Sofar Sounds’ Artists to Watch in 2018, BAILEN has toured or collaborated with The Lone Bellow, Amos Lee and Joseph, among many others. Modern, melodic and soulful, BAILEN is twisting pop music in new directions, an undeniable, and welcome new arrival.

***SOLD OUT*** Paul Thorn with Special Guest Alice Drinks the Kool Aid

Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured the young Elvis generations before, Paul Thorn has rambled down back roads, battled four-time world champion boxer Roberto Duran on national television, signed with and been dropped by a major label, performed on stages with Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Sting, and John Prine among many others, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet relatable music of our time. With 20 years of writing, touring, and entertaining under his belt, he shows no sign of slowing down with his new record, Don’t Let the Devil Ride, breaking genre barriers and topping charts, putting a new twist on his already-entertaining live show.

Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured the young Elvis generations before, Paul Thorn has rambled down back roads, battled four-time world champion boxer Roberto Duran on national television, signed with and been dropped by a major label, performed on stages with Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Sting, and John Prine among many others, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet relatable music of our time. With 20 years of writing, touring, and entertaining under his belt, he shows no sign of slowing down with his new record, Don’t Let the Devil Ride, breaking genre barriers and topping charts, putting a new twist on his already-entertaining live show.

***SOLD OUT*** (Late Show) Burning Bridges and Opus One Comedy Present The Boogie Monster with Kyle Kinane & Dave Stone

(Early Show) Burning Bridges and Opus One Comedy Present Todd Barry - Stand Up

New York City-based comedian and actor Todd Barry is widely recognized for his roles as the bongo-playing "Third Conchord" on HBO's Flight of the Conchords and Mickey Rourke's deli boss in 2009 Oscar winner The Wrestler, and renowned throughout the entertainment industry for his nuanced, measured, and thoroughly original approach to stand-up. Drawing audience members in with his deadpan self-deprecation and ability to pile punchline upon punchline, his decidedly low-key stage persona belies a deeply intelligent, often biting, occasionally absurdist worldview, one lauded by discerning fans who seek a fresh yet honest update to traditional observation and social commentary.

Boasting multiple stand-up appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and two Comedy Central Presents specials, and his latest one hour Comedy Central special Super Crazy. Todd's resume also includes such hit TV shows as Louie, Delocated, Bored to Death, Tim and Eric, Chappelle's Show, Sex and the City, and even Sesame Street. Among his additional feature-film highlights are Todd Phillips's Road Trip, Louis CK's Pootie Tang, and Mitch Hedberg's Los Enchiladas. You can see him soon at Sigourney Weaver's right hand man in Amy Heckerling's Vamps, and as Paul Rudd's co-worker in David Wain's Wanderlust. Internationally he has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival, the Vancouver International Comedy Festival, and Kilkenny, Ireland's Cat Laughs Festival.

Todd has been heard on both The Howard Stern Show and The Bob & Tom Show, and his albums Medium Energy, Falling Off the Bone, and From Heaven are available from Comedy Central Records, Amazon and iTunes. He has earned the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival's Jury Award, praise from Ricky Gervais as one of the best comedians of 2009, and accolades from The Onion's A.V. Club, which declared Medium Energy one of the best comedy albums of the decade.

Todd was the subject of a recent New York Times Arts section cover story, which referred to him as a "master of standup" and noted "when it comes to live performance, few comics are more consistently funny."

In April 2013 the Todd Barry Podcast debuted. It reached #1 on the iT

"Comedy savants revere this Conan and Letterman veteran's hushed, singsong sarcasm." – Entertainment Weekly
"Piercing, blinding, slaying, violating wit." – NPR

"Infuses his observational comedy with a wonderfully individual disdain." – The Times of London

"He doesn't suffer fools, and fortunately for his comedy his definition of ‘fool' doesn't discriminate." – Pitchfork.com

"Acerbic wit, deadpan delivery and wickedly smart punchlines." – Time Out New York

"Barry is so beautifully arid he is positively parched." – London Evening Standard

"The success lies with the delivery, and in his ability to seamlessly merge ad-libbed material with his prepared schtick." – The Age, Melbourne


New York City-based comedian and actor Todd Barry is widely recognized for his roles as the bongo-playing "Third Conchord" on HBO's Flight of the Conchords and Mickey Rourke's deli boss in 2009 Oscar winner The Wrestler, and renowned throughout the entertainment industry for his nuanced, measured, and thoroughly original approach to stand-up. Drawing audience members in with his deadpan self-deprecation and ability to pile punchline upon punchline, his decidedly low-key stage persona belies a deeply intelligent, often biting, occasionally absurdist worldview, one lauded by discerning fans who seek a fresh yet honest update to traditional observation and social commentary.

Boasting multiple stand-up appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and two Comedy Central Presents specials, and his latest one hour Comedy Central special Super Crazy. Todd's resume also includes such hit TV shows as Louie, Delocated, Bored to Death, Tim and Eric, Chappelle's Show, Sex and the City, and even Sesame Street. Among his additional feature-film highlights are Todd Phillips's Road Trip, Louis CK's Pootie Tang, and Mitch Hedberg's Los Enchiladas. You can see him soon at Sigourney Weaver's right hand man in Amy Heckerling's Vamps, and as Paul Rudd's co-worker in David Wain's Wanderlust. Internationally he has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival, the Vancouver International Comedy Festival, and Kilkenny, Ireland's Cat Laughs Festival.

Todd has been heard on both The Howard Stern Show and The Bob & Tom Show, and his albums Medium Energy, Falling Off the Bone, and From Heaven are available from Comedy Central Records, Amazon and iTunes. He has earned the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival's Jury Award, praise from Ricky Gervais as one of the best comedians of 2009, and accolades from The Onion's A.V. Club, which declared Medium Energy one of the best comedy albums of the decade.

Todd was the subject of a recent New York Times Arts section cover story, which referred to him as a "master of standup" and noted "when it comes to live performance, few comics are more consistently funny."

In April 2013 the Todd Barry Podcast debuted. It reached #1 on the iT

"Comedy savants revere this Conan and Letterman veteran's hushed, singsong sarcasm." – Entertainment Weekly
"Piercing, blinding, slaying, violating wit." – NPR

"Infuses his observational comedy with a wonderfully individual disdain." – The Times of London

"He doesn't suffer fools, and fortunately for his comedy his definition of ‘fool' doesn't discriminate." – Pitchfork.com

"Acerbic wit, deadpan delivery and wickedly smart punchlines." – Time Out New York

"Barry is so beautifully arid he is positively parched." – London Evening Standard

"The success lies with the delivery, and in his ability to seamlessly merge ad-libbed material with his prepared schtick." – The Age, Melbourne


(Late Show) Burning Bridges and Opus One Comedy Present Todd Barry - Crowd Work

New York City-based comedian and actor Todd Barry is widely recognized for his roles as the bongo-playing "Third Conchord" on HBO's Flight of the Conchords and Mickey Rourke's deli boss in 2009 Oscar winner The Wrestler, and renowned throughout the entertainment industry for his nuanced, measured, and thoroughly original approach to stand-up. Drawing audience members in with his deadpan self-deprecation and ability to pile punchline upon punchline, his decidedly low-key stage persona belies a deeply intelligent, often biting, occasionally absurdist worldview, one lauded by discerning fans who seek a fresh yet honest update to traditional observation and social commentary.

Boasting multiple stand-up appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and two Comedy Central Presents specials, and his latest one hour Comedy Central special Super Crazy. Todd's resume also includes such hit TV shows as Louie, Delocated, Bored to Death, Tim and Eric, Chappelle's Show, Sex and the City, and even Sesame Street. Among his additional feature-film highlights are Todd Phillips's Road Trip, Louis CK's Pootie Tang, and Mitch Hedberg's Los Enchiladas. You can see him soon at Sigourney Weaver's right hand man in Amy Heckerling's Vamps, and as Paul Rudd's co-worker in David Wain's Wanderlust. Internationally he has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival, the Vancouver International Comedy Festival, and Kilkenny, Ireland's Cat Laughs Festival.

Todd has been heard on both The Howard Stern Show and The Bob & Tom Show, and his albums Medium Energy, Falling Off the Bone, and From Heaven are available from Comedy Central Records, Amazon and iTunes. He has earned the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival's Jury Award, praise from Ricky Gervais as one of the best comedians of 2009, and accolades from The Onion's A.V. Club, which declared Medium Energy one of the best comedy albums of the decade.

Todd was the subject of a recent New York Times Arts section cover story, which referred to him as a "master of standup" and noted "when it comes to live performance, few comics are more consistently funny."

In April 2013 the Todd Barry Podcast debuted. It reached #1 on the iT

"Comedy savants revere this Conan and Letterman veteran's hushed, singsong sarcasm." – Entertainment Weekly
"Piercing, blinding, slaying, violating wit." – NPR

"Infuses his observational comedy with a wonderfully individual disdain." – The Times of London

"He doesn't suffer fools, and fortunately for his comedy his definition of ‘fool' doesn't discriminate." – Pitchfork.com

"Acerbic wit, deadpan delivery and wickedly smart punchlines." – Time Out New York

"Barry is so beautifully arid he is positively parched." – London Evening Standard

"The success lies with the delivery, and in his ability to seamlessly merge ad-libbed material with his prepared schtick." – The Age, Melbourne


New York City-based comedian and actor Todd Barry is widely recognized for his roles as the bongo-playing "Third Conchord" on HBO's Flight of the Conchords and Mickey Rourke's deli boss in 2009 Oscar winner The Wrestler, and renowned throughout the entertainment industry for his nuanced, measured, and thoroughly original approach to stand-up. Drawing audience members in with his deadpan self-deprecation and ability to pile punchline upon punchline, his decidedly low-key stage persona belies a deeply intelligent, often biting, occasionally absurdist worldview, one lauded by discerning fans who seek a fresh yet honest update to traditional observation and social commentary.

Boasting multiple stand-up appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and two Comedy Central Presents specials, and his latest one hour Comedy Central special Super Crazy. Todd's resume also includes such hit TV shows as Louie, Delocated, Bored to Death, Tim and Eric, Chappelle's Show, Sex and the City, and even Sesame Street. Among his additional feature-film highlights are Todd Phillips's Road Trip, Louis CK's Pootie Tang, and Mitch Hedberg's Los Enchiladas. You can see him soon at Sigourney Weaver's right hand man in Amy Heckerling's Vamps, and as Paul Rudd's co-worker in David Wain's Wanderlust. Internationally he has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival, the Vancouver International Comedy Festival, and Kilkenny, Ireland's Cat Laughs Festival.

Todd has been heard on both The Howard Stern Show and The Bob & Tom Show, and his albums Medium Energy, Falling Off the Bone, and From Heaven are available from Comedy Central Records, Amazon and iTunes. He has earned the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival's Jury Award, praise from Ricky Gervais as one of the best comedians of 2009, and accolades from The Onion's A.V. Club, which declared Medium Energy one of the best comedy albums of the decade.

Todd was the subject of a recent New York Times Arts section cover story, which referred to him as a "master of standup" and noted "when it comes to live performance, few comics are more consistently funny."

In April 2013 the Todd Barry Podcast debuted. It reached #1 on the iT

"Comedy savants revere this Conan and Letterman veteran's hushed, singsong sarcasm." – Entertainment Weekly
"Piercing, blinding, slaying, violating wit." – NPR

"Infuses his observational comedy with a wonderfully individual disdain." – The Times of London

"He doesn't suffer fools, and fortunately for his comedy his definition of ‘fool' doesn't discriminate." – Pitchfork.com

"Acerbic wit, deadpan delivery and wickedly smart punchlines." – Time Out New York

"Barry is so beautifully arid he is positively parched." – London Evening Standard

"The success lies with the delivery, and in his ability to seamlessly merge ad-libbed material with his prepared schtick." – The Age, Melbourne


Tony MacAlpine 'The Electric Illusionist' Tour Featuring Special Guests Jacky Vincent and Lonero - Presented by Opus One & Iron City Rocks

The name Tony MacAlpine is synonymous with modern musical virtuosity. Whether performing as a solo artist, band member, session player, touring hired-gun, or as a producer, Tony MacAlpine continues to prove that he truly is one of rock’s most amazing and versatile musicians. He incorporates classical, jazz and fusion influences into the hard rock/metal genre on both guitar and keyboards.

In his 28 year career he has produced, written and arranged eleven solo instrumental studio albums. Tony has also released four albums with his jazz-fusion band CAB, three albums with his progressive rock band Planet X, and a number of other band projects. In addition, MacAlpine has contributed both guitar and keyboards to a long list of records by other artists.

Tony was born and raised in Springfield Massachusetts, and in his early years was a classically trained pianist and violinist. He began his musical education at age 5 as a piano major at the Springfield Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the direction of Marion Jensen for twelve years. Tony furthered his studies at HARTT College under the tutelage of Professor Raymond Hanson at the University of Hartford, Connecticut.

At age 12, Tony picked up the guitar. He was later “discovered” in the pages of Guitar Player magazine by Mike Varney in 1984, and soon became a leading figure in the neoclassical guitar virtuoso movement of the mid to late 80s. MacAlpine was possibly the first new rock guitar instrumental artist of the 80s to break 100,000 units in the USA. His debut album Edge Of Insanity (1986) and sophomore release Maximum Security (1987) are cited by countless guitarists as major influences. Tony performed guitar and keyboards on Edge Of Insanity (with Billy Sheehan on bass and Steve Smith on drums), and all instruments (with the exception of drums by Deen Castronovo and Atma Anur) on Maximum Security, highlighting his musical dexterity.

MacAlpine continued his extraordinary output into the 90s, with critically acclaimed releases Freedom to Fly (1992), Madness (1993), Premonition (1994) and Evolution (1995), which all remain among his discography’s best sellers.

In the late 90s, Tony joined forces with Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Billy Idol) and Virgil Donati (Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth) to form progressive rock band Planet X, regularly touring
Europe and South America. In 1999, bassist Bunny Brunel (Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock) tapped MacAlpine to join his jazz-fusion band CAB, along with drummer Dennis Chambers (John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana) and keyboardists Brian Auger (Tony Williams, Jimi Hendrix) and Patrice Rushen (GRAMMY-Awards Musical Director). This lead to the release of their self-titled album in 2000, and their GRAMMY-nominated CAB2 album in 2001. Two further CAB albums followed and the band toured the world, particularly Europe, Asia and Russia.

Shortly after, Tony was invited to join the band of fellow guitar virtuoso Steve Vai (along with Billy Sheehan on bass) where he played both guitar and keyboards, often doubling Vai’s formidable leads on both instruments. Tony performed and toured the world with Vai for seven years, playing to hundreds of thousands of people, and appearing on the certified double-platinum DVD Live At The Astoria, London, along with the G3’03 Live In Denver and G3 Live In Tokyo DVDs.

In 2006, Shrapnel Records celebrated Tony’s 20 year career with Collection – The Shrapnel Years – an album containing some of his hottest musical moments — comprised of aggressive rock and fusion compositions which highlight Tony’s incredible technique and melodic flair. These tracks contain standout performances by some of the greatest musicians in progressive music, including drummers Steve Smith and Deen Castronovo as well as bassists Billy Sheehan and Tony Franklin and other world class players.

In 2007, Tony was the featured guitarist for French pop legend Michel Polnareff’s highly successful comeback tour in France, playing to over half a million people during the tour’s three month run. A special performance of this event was televised across France. He also appeared in the 2008 award-winning motion picture Crazy: The Hank Garland Story making a cameo as Wes Montgomery.

In 2011, Tony made a highly anticipated return to solo work, with his self-titled album Tony MacAlpine released in the USA and Europe on June 21. It features 12 blistering tracks of MacAlpine on 7 and 8-stringed guitars, keyboards, bass and programming, along with appearances from drum legends Virgil Donati and Marco Minnemann. The album garnered widespread critical acclaim – Premier Guitar magazine calling it one of the best instrumental records of 2011.

In 2012, Tony joined forces with Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Winery Dogs), Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big) and Derek Sherinian (Billy Idol, Joe Bonamassa) to form the super group PSMS. The band toured Europe and Asia and released the live CD, Blu-ray/DVD Live In Tokyo.

In 2015, Tony released Concrete Gardens, featuring Brazilian drum icon Aquiles Priester (Primal Fear, Hangar, Angra), bassist Pete Griffin (Zappa Plays Zappa, Dethklok, Shining) and a guest appearance by Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Conquering Dystopia, Nevermore). The album included an accompanying DVD and EMGtv web series featuring Tony and band (Aquiles Priester, Pete Griffin, and guitarist Nili Brosh) performing the album live in the studio.

Unfortunately, shortly after the subsequent US tour, Tony was diagnosed with colon cancer, and was forced to cancel tours of Europe, Asia and Australia, and immediately undergo treatment. In a double blow, Tony’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer around the same time. In December 2015, his fellow musicians banded together for “A Benefit for Tony MacAlpine” at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, featuring performances from Steve Vai, Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Derek Sherinian, John 5, Zakk Wylde, Paul Gilbert, Nuno Bettencourt, Tom Morello, Richie Kotzen, and hosted by Eddie Trunk. The show also combined with an auction featuring items donated from a who’s who of rock royalty.

In the later stages of Tony’s recovery in 2016, he supported Steve Vai on the west coast run of the Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Tour; and performed dates in France as the guitarist in Michel Polnareff‘s band.

On September 1, Tony released his 12th solo album Death of Roses. The 7-track album is the first of a 2-part release, and features Hungarian drum sensation Gergo Borlai, and Pete Griffin returns on bass. His North American tour in support of the album kicks off on September 1. Innovative Venezuelan 14 & 16-string guitarist Felix Martin will be supporting on all dates.

Tony endorses Ibanez guitars, Hughes & Kettner amplifiers, EMG pickups, Ernie Ball strings, Source Audio pedal, and Roland keyboards.

Tony likes motorcycles. He lives in Pasadena, CA.

The name Tony MacAlpine is synonymous with modern musical virtuosity. Whether performing as a solo artist, band member, session player, touring hired-gun, or as a producer, Tony MacAlpine continues to prove that he truly is one of rock’s most amazing and versatile musicians. He incorporates classical, jazz and fusion influences into the hard rock/metal genre on both guitar and keyboards.

In his 28 year career he has produced, written and arranged eleven solo instrumental studio albums. Tony has also released four albums with his jazz-fusion band CAB, three albums with his progressive rock band Planet X, and a number of other band projects. In addition, MacAlpine has contributed both guitar and keyboards to a long list of records by other artists.

Tony was born and raised in Springfield Massachusetts, and in his early years was a classically trained pianist and violinist. He began his musical education at age 5 as a piano major at the Springfield Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the direction of Marion Jensen for twelve years. Tony furthered his studies at HARTT College under the tutelage of Professor Raymond Hanson at the University of Hartford, Connecticut.

At age 12, Tony picked up the guitar. He was later “discovered” in the pages of Guitar Player magazine by Mike Varney in 1984, and soon became a leading figure in the neoclassical guitar virtuoso movement of the mid to late 80s. MacAlpine was possibly the first new rock guitar instrumental artist of the 80s to break 100,000 units in the USA. His debut album Edge Of Insanity (1986) and sophomore release Maximum Security (1987) are cited by countless guitarists as major influences. Tony performed guitar and keyboards on Edge Of Insanity (with Billy Sheehan on bass and Steve Smith on drums), and all instruments (with the exception of drums by Deen Castronovo and Atma Anur) on Maximum Security, highlighting his musical dexterity.

MacAlpine continued his extraordinary output into the 90s, with critically acclaimed releases Freedom to Fly (1992), Madness (1993), Premonition (1994) and Evolution (1995), which all remain among his discography’s best sellers.

In the late 90s, Tony joined forces with Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Billy Idol) and Virgil Donati (Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth) to form progressive rock band Planet X, regularly touring
Europe and South America. In 1999, bassist Bunny Brunel (Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock) tapped MacAlpine to join his jazz-fusion band CAB, along with drummer Dennis Chambers (John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana) and keyboardists Brian Auger (Tony Williams, Jimi Hendrix) and Patrice Rushen (GRAMMY-Awards Musical Director). This lead to the release of their self-titled album in 2000, and their GRAMMY-nominated CAB2 album in 2001. Two further CAB albums followed and the band toured the world, particularly Europe, Asia and Russia.

Shortly after, Tony was invited to join the band of fellow guitar virtuoso Steve Vai (along with Billy Sheehan on bass) where he played both guitar and keyboards, often doubling Vai’s formidable leads on both instruments. Tony performed and toured the world with Vai for seven years, playing to hundreds of thousands of people, and appearing on the certified double-platinum DVD Live At The Astoria, London, along with the G3’03 Live In Denver and G3 Live In Tokyo DVDs.

In 2006, Shrapnel Records celebrated Tony’s 20 year career with Collection – The Shrapnel Years – an album containing some of his hottest musical moments — comprised of aggressive rock and fusion compositions which highlight Tony’s incredible technique and melodic flair. These tracks contain standout performances by some of the greatest musicians in progressive music, including drummers Steve Smith and Deen Castronovo as well as bassists Billy Sheehan and Tony Franklin and other world class players.

In 2007, Tony was the featured guitarist for French pop legend Michel Polnareff’s highly successful comeback tour in France, playing to over half a million people during the tour’s three month run. A special performance of this event was televised across France. He also appeared in the 2008 award-winning motion picture Crazy: The Hank Garland Story making a cameo as Wes Montgomery.

In 2011, Tony made a highly anticipated return to solo work, with his self-titled album Tony MacAlpine released in the USA and Europe on June 21. It features 12 blistering tracks of MacAlpine on 7 and 8-stringed guitars, keyboards, bass and programming, along with appearances from drum legends Virgil Donati and Marco Minnemann. The album garnered widespread critical acclaim – Premier Guitar magazine calling it one of the best instrumental records of 2011.

In 2012, Tony joined forces with Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Winery Dogs), Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big) and Derek Sherinian (Billy Idol, Joe Bonamassa) to form the super group PSMS. The band toured Europe and Asia and released the live CD, Blu-ray/DVD Live In Tokyo.

In 2015, Tony released Concrete Gardens, featuring Brazilian drum icon Aquiles Priester (Primal Fear, Hangar, Angra), bassist Pete Griffin (Zappa Plays Zappa, Dethklok, Shining) and a guest appearance by Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Conquering Dystopia, Nevermore). The album included an accompanying DVD and EMGtv web series featuring Tony and band (Aquiles Priester, Pete Griffin, and guitarist Nili Brosh) performing the album live in the studio.

Unfortunately, shortly after the subsequent US tour, Tony was diagnosed with colon cancer, and was forced to cancel tours of Europe, Asia and Australia, and immediately undergo treatment. In a double blow, Tony’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer around the same time. In December 2015, his fellow musicians banded together for “A Benefit for Tony MacAlpine” at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, featuring performances from Steve Vai, Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Derek Sherinian, John 5, Zakk Wylde, Paul Gilbert, Nuno Bettencourt, Tom Morello, Richie Kotzen, and hosted by Eddie Trunk. The show also combined with an auction featuring items donated from a who’s who of rock royalty.

In the later stages of Tony’s recovery in 2016, he supported Steve Vai on the west coast run of the Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Tour; and performed dates in France as the guitarist in Michel Polnareff‘s band.

On September 1, Tony released his 12th solo album Death of Roses. The 7-track album is the first of a 2-part release, and features Hungarian drum sensation Gergo Borlai, and Pete Griffin returns on bass. His North American tour in support of the album kicks off on September 1. Innovative Venezuelan 14 & 16-string guitarist Felix Martin will be supporting on all dates.

Tony endorses Ibanez guitars, Hughes & Kettner amplifiers, EMG pickups, Ernie Ball strings, Source Audio pedal, and Roland keyboards.

Tony likes motorcycles. He lives in Pasadena, CA.

Mike and the Moonpies with Special Guest Jim Yoss

Blue collar honky tonk heroes from Austin Texas. The working man's working band.
"Steak Night at the Prairie Rose" was recently listed at #17 on Rolling Stone’s Best Country/Americana Albums of 2018

Blue collar honky tonk heroes from Austin Texas. The working man's working band.
"Steak Night at the Prairie Rose" was recently listed at #17 on Rolling Stone’s Best Country/Americana Albums of 2018

Plague Vendor

Time as a band breeds experience, yielding commitment to a cause and cementing a career path. This is something Plague Vendor has learned. The foursome, who emerged from a practice space in Whittier, CA in 2009, started by playing endless live shows around Southern California, filling everywhere from backyard parties to clubs to festivals with their raucous, formidable music. At the heart of every show, no matter the venue, was sincere energy and spirit, always resulting in a snarling, frenetic performance. The shows stacked up, accumulating every year, and eventually birthed Plague Vendor’s 2014 debut album Free To Eat, a dark, thrashing collection that clocked in at less than twenty minutes.

But the album, brash and aptly terse, was just an appetizer to the main course. The band’s sophomore effort, Bloodsweat, vastly expands on the sonic territory explored in their debut. Recorded over the course of two weeks in April of 2015 with producer and engineer Stuart Sikes (The Walkmen, Cat Power, Modest Mouse), the album takes a natural approach to Plague Vendor’s music. The musicians aimed to capture each track in as few takes as possible, avoiding many overdubs and embracing the same minimal production they bring to their live performances. Nearly all of the eleven songs on Bloodsweat were heavily road-tested, imagined and re-imagined live before ever making it into the studio.

From opening number “Anchor To Ankles” to closer “Got It Bad,” Bloodsweat reveals a purposeful narrative arc, taking the listener through songs that veer rapidly from aggressive thrash to melodic introspection. Together, the songs recount the last few years of the musicians’ lives, revealing the sacrifices they’ve made and the dedication they’ve embraced to become the band they’ve become. “Jezebel,” the disc’s flagship single, exemplifies the style Plague Vendor has dubbed “voodoo punk” a dance-fueled rock aesthetic tinged with shadowy darkness. The band’s influences, which range from At the Drive-In to Liars to The Cramps, are apparent but not overly obvious throughout.

Plague Vendor’s live show has shifted as they’ve developed these new songs, too. They’ve swapped out shock value for raw vulnerability onstage and the four musicians aim to create the most sound and the most intensity with the least possible utility and equipment. Palpable tension comes from the sense that anything could happen, but mostly Plague Vendor is interested in simplicity and the sort of expressive nakedness that can come from stripping everything away. It’s clear the band has sacrificed their formative don’t-give-a-fuck punk attitude for sincerity and gratitude, acknowledging the fans who’ve helped them arrive here now.

Bloodsweat invokes its own name as it unfurls, its songs edged with a sense of danger and vulnerability. It’s the product of a band who have traveled far and whose travels have committed them even further to themselves. As you hear it, as its songs surge outward, it announces: This is who Plague Vendor is now.

Plague Vendor is:

Brandon Blaine – Vocals
Luke Perine – Drums
Michael Perez – Bass
Jay Rogers – Guitar

Time as a band breeds experience, yielding commitment to a cause and cementing a career path. This is something Plague Vendor has learned. The foursome, who emerged from a practice space in Whittier, CA in 2009, started by playing endless live shows around Southern California, filling everywhere from backyard parties to clubs to festivals with their raucous, formidable music. At the heart of every show, no matter the venue, was sincere energy and spirit, always resulting in a snarling, frenetic performance. The shows stacked up, accumulating every year, and eventually birthed Plague Vendor’s 2014 debut album Free To Eat, a dark, thrashing collection that clocked in at less than twenty minutes.

But the album, brash and aptly terse, was just an appetizer to the main course. The band’s sophomore effort, Bloodsweat, vastly expands on the sonic territory explored in their debut. Recorded over the course of two weeks in April of 2015 with producer and engineer Stuart Sikes (The Walkmen, Cat Power, Modest Mouse), the album takes a natural approach to Plague Vendor’s music. The musicians aimed to capture each track in as few takes as possible, avoiding many overdubs and embracing the same minimal production they bring to their live performances. Nearly all of the eleven songs on Bloodsweat were heavily road-tested, imagined and re-imagined live before ever making it into the studio.

From opening number “Anchor To Ankles” to closer “Got It Bad,” Bloodsweat reveals a purposeful narrative arc, taking the listener through songs that veer rapidly from aggressive thrash to melodic introspection. Together, the songs recount the last few years of the musicians’ lives, revealing the sacrifices they’ve made and the dedication they’ve embraced to become the band they’ve become. “Jezebel,” the disc’s flagship single, exemplifies the style Plague Vendor has dubbed “voodoo punk” a dance-fueled rock aesthetic tinged with shadowy darkness. The band’s influences, which range from At the Drive-In to Liars to The Cramps, are apparent but not overly obvious throughout.

Plague Vendor’s live show has shifted as they’ve developed these new songs, too. They’ve swapped out shock value for raw vulnerability onstage and the four musicians aim to create the most sound and the most intensity with the least possible utility and equipment. Palpable tension comes from the sense that anything could happen, but mostly Plague Vendor is interested in simplicity and the sort of expressive nakedness that can come from stripping everything away. It’s clear the band has sacrificed their formative don’t-give-a-fuck punk attitude for sincerity and gratitude, acknowledging the fans who’ve helped them arrive here now.

Bloodsweat invokes its own name as it unfurls, its songs edged with a sense of danger and vulnerability. It’s the product of a band who have traveled far and whose travels have committed them even further to themselves. As you hear it, as its songs surge outward, it announces: This is who Plague Vendor is now.

Plague Vendor is:

Brandon Blaine – Vocals
Luke Perine – Drums
Michael Perez – Bass
Jay Rogers – Guitar

Daniel Donato

Instrumentalists bear the burden of communicating musical ideas without the aid of lyrics or storytelling proper. For many years, that’s how 2018 Americana Award nominee Daniel Donato operated as the guitarist for Nashville acts like The Wild Feathers, Paul Cauthen and The Don Kelley Band.
From age 14, Donato has developed his brand of crisp, soulful, on-the-edge telecaster picking under bar lights, honing his skills and proving his mettle within the city’s prominent live music scene. All the while, a growing love of songwriting mirrored the pace of his ever-improving guitar chops.
Now, a short three years after his departure from Kelley’s classic country outfit, the 23-year-old is signed to WME as an artist with a docket of jam-ready country and bluegrass songs. Backed by his three-piece “Cosmic Country Band” ¬¬– cosmic country is a catch-all term for experimental roots music, often assisted by electronic sounds – Donato stands at the frontier of his career with characteristic intrepidity, no longer bounded by the expressive limitations of his instrument.
His strident voice and explorative songwriting carry his music into new territory, offering bold ideas to his fan base while staying true to what drew them to him in the first place: a palpable love of music delivered through excelled craft. With one eye on the night’s gig and another on the ages, Donato is continuing his journey down country music’s long and winding road, leaving no stone unturned.

Instrumentalists bear the burden of communicating musical ideas without the aid of lyrics or storytelling proper. For many years, that’s how 2018 Americana Award nominee Daniel Donato operated as the guitarist for Nashville acts like The Wild Feathers, Paul Cauthen and The Don Kelley Band.
From age 14, Donato has developed his brand of crisp, soulful, on-the-edge telecaster picking under bar lights, honing his skills and proving his mettle within the city’s prominent live music scene. All the while, a growing love of songwriting mirrored the pace of his ever-improving guitar chops.
Now, a short three years after his departure from Kelley’s classic country outfit, the 23-year-old is signed to WME as an artist with a docket of jam-ready country and bluegrass songs. Backed by his three-piece “Cosmic Country Band” ¬¬– cosmic country is a catch-all term for experimental roots music, often assisted by electronic sounds – Donato stands at the frontier of his career with characteristic intrepidity, no longer bounded by the expressive limitations of his instrument.
His strident voice and explorative songwriting carry his music into new territory, offering bold ideas to his fan base while staying true to what drew them to him in the first place: a palpable love of music delivered through excelled craft. With one eye on the night’s gig and another on the ages, Donato is continuing his journey down country music’s long and winding road, leaving no stone unturned.

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band with Special Guest Smokey Bellows

2019 BMA Award Nominee The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band are the greatest country-blues band in the world. Led by Reverend Peyton, who most consider to be the premier finger picker playing today. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy, country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. Now The Big Damn Band is back with an explosive new record and world tour. Reverend Peyton's guitar work on the new record Poor Until Payday is phenomenal and howls the blues. Poor Until Payday is a bluesy ode to the blue collar - working class and it delvers in spades!

2019 BMA Award Nominee The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band are the greatest country-blues band in the world. Led by Reverend Peyton, who most consider to be the premier finger picker playing today. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy, country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. Now The Big Damn Band is back with an explosive new record and world tour. Reverend Peyton's guitar work on the new record Poor Until Payday is phenomenal and howls the blues. Poor Until Payday is a bluesy ode to the blue collar - working class and it delvers in spades!

(Early Show) Lowland Hum with Special Guest Anna Tivel

Lowland Hum is wife and husband team Lauren and Daniel Goans. Together they invite their listeners to share in the space of vulnerable intimacy they have formed over years of steady collaboration. In the live setting, the duo offers an immersive experience of thoughtful songcraft interspersed with audience interaction and extemporaneous songs about the day's happenings. Their recordings take listeners on a journey through relatable, imagistic poetry exploring themes of memory, longing, confession and identity, and drawing attention to often unnoticed resonances of the everyday.

Daniel and Lauren are a prolific, two-person creative factory basing their operation in Charlottesville, Virginia. They write, arrange and produce all of their own music, and have honed a cohesive design aesthetic to match the hushed simplicity of their sound.

The duo's beginning starts with Daniel, a songwriter, performer and producer from North Carolina. Daniel and Lauren’s creative worlds first collided one hot, Greensboro summer in 2010 when Daniel asked Lauren to design the album art for a solo record he was working on. Having once heard Lauren singing to herself at a party, he eventually coaxed her into singing some harmonies on that same album. This was Lauren's first experience with recording. Previously, her performance experience consisted of her middle and high school chorus classes, which, in her own words, provided her with a strong connection to melody and harmony in a context that was well-suited to her shy disposition.

Initially, Lauren performed with Daniel, singing harmonies on songs he had written, but within a year or so, the two began cowriting and arranging virtually all of the material together. Lowland Hum formed officially in 2012, a few months after the two were married and their collaboration deepened. In the years following the release of their critically acclaimed debut Native Air (2013), the duo has tirelessly toured the country, spending more time on the road than at home. In 2014 they followed up their debut with Four Sisters, a conceptual EP and video series, and then, in 2015, they released their eponymous sophomore full-length album, garnering a slew of praise, including an NPR First Listen. Lowland Hum has performed in diverse settings all over the country ranging from folk festivals, art museums and theaters to living rooms and gardens. During their time off the road, Daniel produces albums for other bands.

Lauren's background in visual art asserts itself in the duo's collaboration significantly. She has created all of the band's artwork and design as well as several transportable installation pieces that served as additions to the band’s live performances. She is also responsible for an impressive collection of music videos often using found footage from public domain archives. Over the years, Lauren has designed five editions of handmade lyric books that the duo passes out to audiences so they can read along and interact more deeply with the lyrical content of their songs if they so choose.

Lowland Hum's songs have been described as poetic and evocative, and their arrangements minimal, hushed and dynamic. They continue to attract a growing body of listeners around the world. Daniel and Lauren spent the summer of 2016 creating their third full-length album in a friend's attic. The album, Thin, came out on February 10, 2017, and is their "deepest collaboration to date" according to the band. They completed a nationwide headline tour, sharing the stage with the likes of Josh Ritter, Jesca Hoop and Penny and Sparrow along the way. After playing a handful of festivals last summer, the band embarked on a nationwide tour supporting Penny and Sparrow followed directly by a five week European tour.

In the first months of 2018, Lowland Hum toured the US supporting The Oh Hellos and released a compilation EP of recordings from the first two years of the bands existence. Between tours in the summer and fall, the band will complete the recording of their fifth full length LP, to be released in early 2019.

Lowland Hum is wife and husband team Lauren and Daniel Goans. Together they invite their listeners to share in the space of vulnerable intimacy they have formed over years of steady collaboration. In the live setting, the duo offers an immersive experience of thoughtful songcraft interspersed with audience interaction and extemporaneous songs about the day's happenings. Their recordings take listeners on a journey through relatable, imagistic poetry exploring themes of memory, longing, confession and identity, and drawing attention to often unnoticed resonances of the everyday.

Daniel and Lauren are a prolific, two-person creative factory basing their operation in Charlottesville, Virginia. They write, arrange and produce all of their own music, and have honed a cohesive design aesthetic to match the hushed simplicity of their sound.

The duo's beginning starts with Daniel, a songwriter, performer and producer from North Carolina. Daniel and Lauren’s creative worlds first collided one hot, Greensboro summer in 2010 when Daniel asked Lauren to design the album art for a solo record he was working on. Having once heard Lauren singing to herself at a party, he eventually coaxed her into singing some harmonies on that same album. This was Lauren's first experience with recording. Previously, her performance experience consisted of her middle and high school chorus classes, which, in her own words, provided her with a strong connection to melody and harmony in a context that was well-suited to her shy disposition.

Initially, Lauren performed with Daniel, singing harmonies on songs he had written, but within a year or so, the two began cowriting and arranging virtually all of the material together. Lowland Hum formed officially in 2012, a few months after the two were married and their collaboration deepened. In the years following the release of their critically acclaimed debut Native Air (2013), the duo has tirelessly toured the country, spending more time on the road than at home. In 2014 they followed up their debut with Four Sisters, a conceptual EP and video series, and then, in 2015, they released their eponymous sophomore full-length album, garnering a slew of praise, including an NPR First Listen. Lowland Hum has performed in diverse settings all over the country ranging from folk festivals, art museums and theaters to living rooms and gardens. During their time off the road, Daniel produces albums for other bands.

Lauren's background in visual art asserts itself in the duo's collaboration significantly. She has created all of the band's artwork and design as well as several transportable installation pieces that served as additions to the band’s live performances. She is also responsible for an impressive collection of music videos often using found footage from public domain archives. Over the years, Lauren has designed five editions of handmade lyric books that the duo passes out to audiences so they can read along and interact more deeply with the lyrical content of their songs if they so choose.

Lowland Hum's songs have been described as poetic and evocative, and their arrangements minimal, hushed and dynamic. They continue to attract a growing body of listeners around the world. Daniel and Lauren spent the summer of 2016 creating their third full-length album in a friend's attic. The album, Thin, came out on February 10, 2017, and is their "deepest collaboration to date" according to the band. They completed a nationwide headline tour, sharing the stage with the likes of Josh Ritter, Jesca Hoop and Penny and Sparrow along the way. After playing a handful of festivals last summer, the band embarked on a nationwide tour supporting Penny and Sparrow followed directly by a five week European tour.

In the first months of 2018, Lowland Hum toured the US supporting The Oh Hellos and released a compilation EP of recordings from the first two years of the bands existence. Between tours in the summer and fall, the band will complete the recording of their fifth full length LP, to be released in early 2019.

(Late Show) Garage Space Featuring Playgrounds and Bad Friend Ben

Garage Space is a group of musicians from McKeesport Pennsylvania. The sound is a mixture of rockabilly, surf, folk, with punk and hardcore undertones.

Garage Space is a group of musicians from McKeesport Pennsylvania. The sound is a mixture of rockabilly, surf, folk, with punk and hardcore undertones.

Bill Toms & Hard Rain 'Live' CD Release Show with Special Guest Jimbo Jackson

Bill Toms
“Bill Toms is a poet, a soul-shouter and guitar slinger with one foot in the gutter and an eye on the heavens above. And man, does he front a great rock n' soul band!” - Will Kimbrough/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Publicity: Mike Farley/Michael J. Media Group/608-848-9707/ mike@michaeljmedia.com

DISCOGRAPHY

With Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers:
“Rock and Real” - Rounder Records, 1989
“Swimming with the Sharks” - Rounder Records, 1991
“End of the Century” - Razor and Tie, 1992
“American Babylon”- Razor and Tie, 1995
“Coming Home” - Big Star, 1997
“Down the Road Apiece, Live” - Schoolhouse Records, 1999
“True Companion” – Schoolhouse Records, 2003

With Bill Toms and Hard Rain:
“Paradise Avenue” - Schoolhouse Records, 1997
“My Own Eyes” - Moondog Records, 1999
“This Old World” - Moondog/Schoolhouse Records, 2001
“The West End Kid” – Moondog Records, 2005
“Spirits, Chaos, and a Troubadour Soul’ – AmeriSon Records, 2008
“Live at Moondogs: Another Moonlight Mystery” – AmeriSon Records, 2009
"Memphis" - Terraplane Records, 2011
"Deep In The Shadows" - Terraplane Records, 2015

"Good For My Soul" - Terraplane Records, 2017

Bill Toms Solo:
“One Lonesome Moment” - Out of the Rain Records, 2002

Bill Toms
“Bill Toms is a poet, a soul-shouter and guitar slinger with one foot in the gutter and an eye on the heavens above. And man, does he front a great rock n' soul band!” - Will Kimbrough/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Publicity: Mike Farley/Michael J. Media Group/608-848-9707/ mike@michaeljmedia.com

DISCOGRAPHY

With Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers:
“Rock and Real” - Rounder Records, 1989
“Swimming with the Sharks” - Rounder Records, 1991
“End of the Century” - Razor and Tie, 1992
“American Babylon”- Razor and Tie, 1995
“Coming Home” - Big Star, 1997
“Down the Road Apiece, Live” - Schoolhouse Records, 1999
“True Companion” – Schoolhouse Records, 2003

With Bill Toms and Hard Rain:
“Paradise Avenue” - Schoolhouse Records, 1997
“My Own Eyes” - Moondog Records, 1999
“This Old World” - Moondog/Schoolhouse Records, 2001
“The West End Kid” – Moondog Records, 2005
“Spirits, Chaos, and a Troubadour Soul’ – AmeriSon Records, 2008
“Live at Moondogs: Another Moonlight Mystery” – AmeriSon Records, 2009
"Memphis" - Terraplane Records, 2011
"Deep In The Shadows" - Terraplane Records, 2015

"Good For My Soul" - Terraplane Records, 2017

Bill Toms Solo:
“One Lonesome Moment” - Out of the Rain Records, 2002

Jared & The Mill with Special Guest The Harmaleighs

We’re 5 best friends from AZ. We love the desert, we love our city, its people, and we love each other. We love long drives, early mornings, late nights, dive bars, carne asada Tacos at 3 am, dirty jokes, and asking each other what we think about things. We’re just as likely to get down on Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan as we are Van Halen, and Kendrick Lamar. We love dogs, we love our van, we love playing together, and we love you – it’s true. For the past few years, we’ve pretty much always been on tour, hitting the road on our own, with fellow bands, and have been lucky enough to open for a few heroes. From living rooms and basement clubs, to theaters and arenas, we just love playing shows, and being on the road.

Our fans are our greatest priority – we love them, we really do, and we do our best to insure them that we can’t do this without them. Our message is one of acceptance, not in a circle sitting kum-baya bullshit way, but in a way of acknowledging that we all have shit we regret, we all have passions and opinions, and it’s up to all of us to filter through our flaws and our regrets to find ourselves and love one another. Don’t judge other people, and care about everybody, like EVERYBODY everybody. Our shows are rowdy, you’ll break down your walls and realize you’re not in this alone. We hope you come to a show, make our songs a part of your story, and live the best fucking life you can.

Cheers,

Jared & The Mill

We’re 5 best friends from AZ. We love the desert, we love our city, its people, and we love each other. We love long drives, early mornings, late nights, dive bars, carne asada Tacos at 3 am, dirty jokes, and asking each other what we think about things. We’re just as likely to get down on Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan as we are Van Halen, and Kendrick Lamar. We love dogs, we love our van, we love playing together, and we love you – it’s true. For the past few years, we’ve pretty much always been on tour, hitting the road on our own, with fellow bands, and have been lucky enough to open for a few heroes. From living rooms and basement clubs, to theaters and arenas, we just love playing shows, and being on the road.

Our fans are our greatest priority – we love them, we really do, and we do our best to insure them that we can’t do this without them. Our message is one of acceptance, not in a circle sitting kum-baya bullshit way, but in a way of acknowledging that we all have shit we regret, we all have passions and opinions, and it’s up to all of us to filter through our flaws and our regrets to find ourselves and love one another. Don’t judge other people, and care about everybody, like EVERYBODY everybody. Our shows are rowdy, you’ll break down your walls and realize you’re not in this alone. We hope you come to a show, make our songs a part of your story, and live the best fucking life you can.

Cheers,

Jared & The Mill

BRONCHO - Bad Behavior Tour

Stick your head out the window and sniff the air: there’s a blizzard of badness brewing, and it’s not blowing over anytime soon. Sure, the political leaders, bullies, and other villains of various venoms are dominating the headlines, but these days the list of troublemakers extends well beyond the usual suspects.

From their home base in the Heartland, Tulsa, Oklahoma’s BRONCHO have a unique vantage point from which to survey the sins. Churning out thoughtful, nuanced rock and roll with an art school spirit and a punk rock heart since 2010, the band’s fourth album, Bad Behavior, finds them leaning into their strengths for their strongest effort yet. Following the catchy, playful vibe of previous albums Can’t Get Past the Lips (2011) and Just Enough Hip to Be Woman (2014), as well as the deliberate sonic intent of 2016’s sludgy, moodier art piece Double Vanity, the new record reveals BRONCHO’s fly-on-the-crumbling-wall vision of our moral climate, complete with a reenergized, accessible sound and the charmingly sardonic, smiling-while-sneering delivery of singer and bandleader Ryan Lindsey.

“It’s a reflection of the current world: everybody’s been acting badly over the last few years so we made a record about it,” Lindsey says. “There are multiple ways of portraying something as ‘bad,’ and there are moments of self- reflection throughout the record as though we could be talking about ourselves—but not necessarily. It’s observational, like we’re looking through muddy binoculars from a distance. It’s a blurry mirror image of the times from where we sit.”

Lindsey (vocals/guitar) and the band—Nathan Price (drums), Ben King (guitar), and Penny Pitchlynn (bass)—are a tight unit who have seen their songs featured at influential TV and radio and have toured the U.S. and Europe, including arenas with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, The Growlers, Portugal.The Man, and Cage The Elephant. In the gritty warehouse district of Downtown Tulsa they have carved out a physical place for themselves, an industrial blank space where BRONCHO can experiment with sounds, performance, visuals, and more. It’s where they recorded Bad Behavior with producer Chad Copelin in the first half of 2018, a controlled process that allowed them to work at their own pace and by their own standards, almost like a secret club.

Bad Behavior slinks and purrs with a sense of lascivious flirtation. Lindsey sings with a mischievous twinkle in his voice, peppering his verses with suggestive uh-ohs and ahhs and at times barely pushing out his words to the point
of whispering. Lines like “You caught me in the weekend/You caught me with your boyfriend” (“Weekend”) and “I got a thing for your mother/I got a thing to teach your father” (“Family Values”) match the primal pulse of the songs’ moods and vibes, and their pop sensibilities create a world where T. Rex, Tom Petty, The Cars, and The
Strokes collide. “Keep It in Line” chimes along to a driving, pepped-up beat and serves as both the album’s catchiest moment and its closest swerve toward ethical commentary, as Lindsey’s narrator demands to be reminded of his place in the world while attempting to submit to his misgivings. The result is less an act of penance and more of honest reproach, an ultimate judgment that is matched in its directness only by the following track, “Sandman,” an overt yearning for pleasure that Lindsey calls the band’s answer to The Chordettes classic “Mr. Sandman.”

The record is filled with references to religion, sin, drugs, vice, and scandal bubbling just under the surface. It’s a palette familiar to anyone who has ever turned on the evening news, which Lindsey admits was a huge influence on him. “Through the writing process I watched a lot of CNN, and man there’s a lot of bad behavior there,” he says. “Not to mention that there’s a company making money off of people watching their depiction of it all. From an entertainer’s standpoint I get what they’re doing, calling everything ‘breaking news’ and keeping people glued, but taking up that kind of space can’t be good for society. Although it’s pretty fun to watch.”

Can all this unsavory activity exist without taking sides? Lindsey holds tight to his role as a relayer and is comfortable with leaving it to the audience to cast their own lot. “We’re assuming that everybody is coming from a

certain set of values, but ultimately that’s impossible,” he says. “There’s a lot of people who think a certain way about the world and aren’t as shocked by these things. Maybe we’re simply trying to start the conversation. The best news is just a report of what’s going on, without bias. This record is a non-biased, non-profit reporting on what’s going on in the world. Part of it’s an exploration in solving those problems, on a personal level and ultimately on a cultural level.”

Bad Behavior represents a picture of a band that have crushed their own commercial expectations and are doing what they want to do at their own pace. They’ve cleaned the slate and quietly made a return with urgent, bonafide pop songs. If you want to catch a whiff of Bad Behavior, simply stick your head out the window and breathe.

Stick your head out the window and sniff the air: there’s a blizzard of badness brewing, and it’s not blowing over anytime soon. Sure, the political leaders, bullies, and other villains of various venoms are dominating the headlines, but these days the list of troublemakers extends well beyond the usual suspects.

From their home base in the Heartland, Tulsa, Oklahoma’s BRONCHO have a unique vantage point from which to survey the sins. Churning out thoughtful, nuanced rock and roll with an art school spirit and a punk rock heart since 2010, the band’s fourth album, Bad Behavior, finds them leaning into their strengths for their strongest effort yet. Following the catchy, playful vibe of previous albums Can’t Get Past the Lips (2011) and Just Enough Hip to Be Woman (2014), as well as the deliberate sonic intent of 2016’s sludgy, moodier art piece Double Vanity, the new record reveals BRONCHO’s fly-on-the-crumbling-wall vision of our moral climate, complete with a reenergized, accessible sound and the charmingly sardonic, smiling-while-sneering delivery of singer and bandleader Ryan Lindsey.

“It’s a reflection of the current world: everybody’s been acting badly over the last few years so we made a record about it,” Lindsey says. “There are multiple ways of portraying something as ‘bad,’ and there are moments of self- reflection throughout the record as though we could be talking about ourselves—but not necessarily. It’s observational, like we’re looking through muddy binoculars from a distance. It’s a blurry mirror image of the times from where we sit.”

Lindsey (vocals/guitar) and the band—Nathan Price (drums), Ben King (guitar), and Penny Pitchlynn (bass)—are a tight unit who have seen their songs featured at influential TV and radio and have toured the U.S. and Europe, including arenas with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, The Growlers, Portugal.The Man, and Cage The Elephant. In the gritty warehouse district of Downtown Tulsa they have carved out a physical place for themselves, an industrial blank space where BRONCHO can experiment with sounds, performance, visuals, and more. It’s where they recorded Bad Behavior with producer Chad Copelin in the first half of 2018, a controlled process that allowed them to work at their own pace and by their own standards, almost like a secret club.

Bad Behavior slinks and purrs with a sense of lascivious flirtation. Lindsey sings with a mischievous twinkle in his voice, peppering his verses with suggestive uh-ohs and ahhs and at times barely pushing out his words to the point
of whispering. Lines like “You caught me in the weekend/You caught me with your boyfriend” (“Weekend”) and “I got a thing for your mother/I got a thing to teach your father” (“Family Values”) match the primal pulse of the songs’ moods and vibes, and their pop sensibilities create a world where T. Rex, Tom Petty, The Cars, and The
Strokes collide. “Keep It in Line” chimes along to a driving, pepped-up beat and serves as both the album’s catchiest moment and its closest swerve toward ethical commentary, as Lindsey’s narrator demands to be reminded of his place in the world while attempting to submit to his misgivings. The result is less an act of penance and more of honest reproach, an ultimate judgment that is matched in its directness only by the following track, “Sandman,” an overt yearning for pleasure that Lindsey calls the band’s answer to The Chordettes classic “Mr. Sandman.”

The record is filled with references to religion, sin, drugs, vice, and scandal bubbling just under the surface. It’s a palette familiar to anyone who has ever turned on the evening news, which Lindsey admits was a huge influence on him. “Through the writing process I watched a lot of CNN, and man there’s a lot of bad behavior there,” he says. “Not to mention that there’s a company making money off of people watching their depiction of it all. From an entertainer’s standpoint I get what they’re doing, calling everything ‘breaking news’ and keeping people glued, but taking up that kind of space can’t be good for society. Although it’s pretty fun to watch.”

Can all this unsavory activity exist without taking sides? Lindsey holds tight to his role as a relayer and is comfortable with leaving it to the audience to cast their own lot. “We’re assuming that everybody is coming from a

certain set of values, but ultimately that’s impossible,” he says. “There’s a lot of people who think a certain way about the world and aren’t as shocked by these things. Maybe we’re simply trying to start the conversation. The best news is just a report of what’s going on, without bias. This record is a non-biased, non-profit reporting on what’s going on in the world. Part of it’s an exploration in solving those problems, on a personal level and ultimately on a cultural level.”

Bad Behavior represents a picture of a band that have crushed their own commercial expectations and are doing what they want to do at their own pace. They’ve cleaned the slate and quietly made a return with urgent, bonafide pop songs. If you want to catch a whiff of Bad Behavior, simply stick your head out the window and breathe.

Slow Caves

Indie rock band, Slow Caves, formed in Fort Collins, Colorado. Consisting ofDanish-American brothers Jakob and Oliver Mueller and their childhood friend DavidDugan, the band solidified in 2014 after a decade of high school bands came to anend. After cutting their teeth in the Denver music scene, the band garnered attentionfrom Old Flame Records and subsequently released the EP, Desert Minded in 2017.The following year they released a double A side picture disc (Poser/Rover). The bandspent the last two years touring extensively, highlighted by performances at SXSW,Velorama and Treefort Music Fest. They have opened for national acts such as ThirdEye Blind, Cake, Rooney, DIIV, Cold War Kids, The Kills, and Modest Mouse. Aftersharpening their live show on the road, the band entered the studio with legendaryrecord producer, Chris “Frenchie” Smith. Recorded at The Bubble in Austin, TX, SlowCaves will release their debut album, “Falling” on Old Flame Records in the spring of2019.

Indie rock band, Slow Caves, formed in Fort Collins, Colorado. Consisting ofDanish-American brothers Jakob and Oliver Mueller and their childhood friend DavidDugan, the band solidified in 2014 after a decade of high school bands came to anend. After cutting their teeth in the Denver music scene, the band garnered attentionfrom Old Flame Records and subsequently released the EP, Desert Minded in 2017.The following year they released a double A side picture disc (Poser/Rover). The bandspent the last two years touring extensively, highlighted by performances at SXSW,Velorama and Treefort Music Fest. They have opened for national acts such as ThirdEye Blind, Cake, Rooney, DIIV, Cold War Kids, The Kills, and Modest Mouse. Aftersharpening their live show on the road, the band entered the studio with legendaryrecord producer, Chris “Frenchie” Smith. Recorded at The Bubble in Austin, TX, SlowCaves will release their debut album, “Falling” on Old Flame Records in the spring of2019.

Willie Nile

Nile's gem-filled catalog encompasses blazing rock ’n’ roll, thoughtful folk-rock, intimate acoustic balladry and even an album of Bob Dylan covers. And while it’s hard to think of many recording artists who are doing some of their best work this far into their careers, Nile continues to seek out new creative challenges and conquer new musical territory. He’s amassed an enthusiastic international fan base along the way that includes such admirers as Bruce Springsteen, with whom he's guested onstage on several occasions, and Pete Townshend, who personally requested him as the opening act on the Who’s historic 1980 U.S. tour. The list of avowed Nile fans also includes Bono, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Jim Jarmusch, Little Steven and Lucinda Williams, who once remarked, “Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I'd be opening up for him instead of him for me.”

That kind of positive feedback, along with the loyalty of his fans, helps to keep Nile going. With more rounds of domestic and international touring planned and a feature documentary film about Nile in the works, he’s looking forward to taking his new material on the road.

“Venues will have to have the fire department on hand when we come to town because we’re planning on burning every place down when we play,” he says. “I refuse to let these suckers kill my buzz. I want to bring some positive energy to the party. It’s all well and good to raise some hell when there's good cause, but at the end of the day I believe in the restorative power and potential in music to bring things to another level. I want to bring some hope to the party, and hopefully some beauty, along with the fire and brimstone.”

Discography:
Willie Nile, 1980
Golden Down, 1981
Places I Have Never Been, 1991
Hard Times in America, 1992
Live in Central Park, 1997
Beautiful Wreck of the World, 1999
Streets of New York, 2006
Live at the Turning Point, 2007
Live From the Streets of New York, 2008
House of a Thousand Guitars, 2009
The Innocent Ones, 2010
Live: Hard Times in the U.K., 2011
American Ride, 2013
If I Was a River, 2014
The Bottom Line Archive Live, 2015
World War Willie, 2016
Positively Bob: Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan, 2017
Children of Paradise, 2018

Nile's gem-filled catalog encompasses blazing rock ’n’ roll, thoughtful folk-rock, intimate acoustic balladry and even an album of Bob Dylan covers. And while it’s hard to think of many recording artists who are doing some of their best work this far into their careers, Nile continues to seek out new creative challenges and conquer new musical territory. He’s amassed an enthusiastic international fan base along the way that includes such admirers as Bruce Springsteen, with whom he's guested onstage on several occasions, and Pete Townshend, who personally requested him as the opening act on the Who’s historic 1980 U.S. tour. The list of avowed Nile fans also includes Bono, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Jim Jarmusch, Little Steven and Lucinda Williams, who once remarked, “Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I'd be opening up for him instead of him for me.”

That kind of positive feedback, along with the loyalty of his fans, helps to keep Nile going. With more rounds of domestic and international touring planned and a feature documentary film about Nile in the works, he’s looking forward to taking his new material on the road.

“Venues will have to have the fire department on hand when we come to town because we’re planning on burning every place down when we play,” he says. “I refuse to let these suckers kill my buzz. I want to bring some positive energy to the party. It’s all well and good to raise some hell when there's good cause, but at the end of the day I believe in the restorative power and potential in music to bring things to another level. I want to bring some hope to the party, and hopefully some beauty, along with the fire and brimstone.”

Discography:
Willie Nile, 1980
Golden Down, 1981
Places I Have Never Been, 1991
Hard Times in America, 1992
Live in Central Park, 1997
Beautiful Wreck of the World, 1999
Streets of New York, 2006
Live at the Turning Point, 2007
Live From the Streets of New York, 2008
House of a Thousand Guitars, 2009
The Innocent Ones, 2010
Live: Hard Times in the U.K., 2011
American Ride, 2013
If I Was a River, 2014
The Bottom Line Archive Live, 2015
World War Willie, 2016
Positively Bob: Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan, 2017
Children of Paradise, 2018

Gauche with Special Guest Pearie Sol

Washington D.C’s Gauche is an anti-capitalist, anti-racist feminist jam band. Nearly mechanically crisp percussion offers a foil to idiosyncratic organ, fluid bass lines, and truly inspired guitar figures. The trio of Mary Jane Regalado, Daniele Yandel, and Jason Barnett form the core of the band who play with a rotating casts of friends and collaborators such Perry Fustero, Laurie Spector, Adrienne Berry, Jhon Grewell, Shawn Durham, and Don Godwin to list just a few. Their debut EP was released on Sister Polygon Records in 2015, then reissued on vinyl by Danger Records in 2017. Their music redefines the position of women, appearing as an ode to beauty and feminine energy. A manifesto in the form of mythology; each song a new myth, a new possibility for existence within alienating and consumerist society, like a new religion, Goddess Worship.

The band has plans to release their debut LP in 2019.

Washington D.C’s Gauche is an anti-capitalist, anti-racist feminist jam band. Nearly mechanically crisp percussion offers a foil to idiosyncratic organ, fluid bass lines, and truly inspired guitar figures. The trio of Mary Jane Regalado, Daniele Yandel, and Jason Barnett form the core of the band who play with a rotating casts of friends and collaborators such Perry Fustero, Laurie Spector, Adrienne Berry, Jhon Grewell, Shawn Durham, and Don Godwin to list just a few. Their debut EP was released on Sister Polygon Records in 2015, then reissued on vinyl by Danger Records in 2017. Their music redefines the position of women, appearing as an ode to beauty and feminine energy. A manifesto in the form of mythology; each song a new myth, a new possibility for existence within alienating and consumerist society, like a new religion, Goddess Worship.

The band has plans to release their debut LP in 2019.

(Early Show) SOLD OUT - Hayes Carll with Special Guest Ben Dickey - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

What It Is

The chorus to the title track on the new Hayes Carll album, What It Is, is a manifesto.

What it was is gone forever / What it could be God only knows.
What it is is right here in front of me / and I’m not letting go.

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks.

With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Hayes Carll’s list of accomplishments is long. His third album, 2008’s Trouble In Mind, earned him an Americana Music Association Award for Song of the Year (for “She Left Me for Jesus”). The follow-up, KMAG YOYO was the most played album on the Americana Chart in 2011 and spawned covers by artists as varied as Hard Working Americans and Lee Ann Womack, whose version of “Chances Are” garnered Carll a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. 2016’s Lovers and Leavers swept the Austin Music Awards, and was his fourth record in a row to reach #1 on the Americana Airplay chart. Kelly Willis and Kenny Chesney have chosen to record his songs and his television appearances include The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits, and Later w/Jools Holland. Carll is the rare artist who can rock a packed dancehall one night and hold a listening room at rapt attention the next.

“Repeating myself creatively would ultimately leave me empty. Covering new ground, exploring, and taking chances gives me juice and keeps me interested.”

He knew he wanted to find the next level. On What It Is, he clearly has.

It wasn’t necessarily easy to get there. Carll’s last release, 2016’s Lovers and Leavers was an artistic and commercial risk — a bold move which eschewed the tempo and humor of much of his previous work. The record revealed a more serious singer-songwriter dealing with more serious subjects — divorce, new love in the middle of life, parenting, the worth of work. What It Is finds him now on the other side, revived and happy, but resolute — no longer under the impression that any of it comes for free.

“I want to dig in so this life doesn’t just pass me by. The more engaged I am the more meaning it all has. I want that to be reflected in the work.”

And meaning there is. Carll sings “but I try because I want to,” on the album’s opening track, “None’Ya.” He’s not looking back lamenting love lost, rather, finding joy and purpose in the one he’s got and hanging on to the woman who sometimes leaves him delightedly scratching his head. “If I May Be So Bold,” finds him standing on similar ground — lyrically taking on the challenge of participating fully in life rather than discontentedly letting life happen.

Bold enough to not surrender bold enough to give a damn
Bold enough to keep on going or to stay right where I am
There’s a whole world out there waiting full of stories to be told
I’ll heed the call and tell’em all if I may be so bold

There’s no wishy washy here and he’s not on the sidelines. In fact, he’s neck-deep in life. On the rambunctious, fiddle-punctuated, “Times Like These,” he laments political division in America while delivering a rapid-fire plea to “do my labor, love my girl, and help my neighbor, while keeping all my joie de vivre.” Carll’s signature cleverness and aptitude for so-personal-you-might-miss-it political commentary is as strong as ever. The stark, “Fragile Men,” co-written with singer-songwriter Lolo, uses humor and dripping sarcasm to examine his gender’s resistance to change in less than three minutes of string-laden, almost Jacques Brel invoking drama. It’s new musical territory for Carll, and the result is powerful. His voice is strong and resonant on these songs, and it’s thrilling to hear him use it with a new authority. He is alternately commanding and tender, yet always soulful.

Carll returned to trusted producer Brad Jones (producer of 2008’s Trouble in Mind and 2011’s KMAG YOYO) and Alex the Great Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, to record What It Is, and recruited singer-songwriter, author, and fiancee Allison Moorer as co-producer. The production is adventurous while keeping the focus on the singer and his songs and providing a path for him to go where he wants to go. Where that is, is forward.

That’s evident in the songwriting. Carll continues to hone his singular voice, but is also a flexible co-writer. Matraca Berg, Charlie Mars, Adam Landry, and Moorer have co-writing credits here, but it was Moorer’s inspiration that provided the largest impact.

“On the songwriting front she’s just a pro. She helps me cut through the noise and she does it with wit and style.”

Carll’s own wit and style has never been more evident. Whether it’s with the put-you-in-picture detail of, “Beautiful Thing,” the not quite sheepish enough, dude-esque defense of dishonesty in, “Things You Don’t Wanna Know,” or the strong as a tree trunk declaration of love on, “I Will Stay,” he displays an increasing command of his poetic lexicon.

Writers most often wrestle with experience and expectations, either romanticizing the past or telling us how good it’s going to be when they get where they’re going. What It Is is a record that is rooted solidly in the present, revealing an artist in the emotional and intellectual here and now.

What It Is

The chorus to the title track on the new Hayes Carll album, What It Is, is a manifesto.

What it was is gone forever / What it could be God only knows.
What it is is right here in front of me / and I’m not letting go.

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks.

With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Hayes Carll’s list of accomplishments is long. His third album, 2008’s Trouble In Mind, earned him an Americana Music Association Award for Song of the Year (for “She Left Me for Jesus”). The follow-up, KMAG YOYO was the most played album on the Americana Chart in 2011 and spawned covers by artists as varied as Hard Working Americans and Lee Ann Womack, whose version of “Chances Are” garnered Carll a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. 2016’s Lovers and Leavers swept the Austin Music Awards, and was his fourth record in a row to reach #1 on the Americana Airplay chart. Kelly Willis and Kenny Chesney have chosen to record his songs and his television appearances include The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits, and Later w/Jools Holland. Carll is the rare artist who can rock a packed dancehall one night and hold a listening room at rapt attention the next.

“Repeating myself creatively would ultimately leave me empty. Covering new ground, exploring, and taking chances gives me juice and keeps me interested.”

He knew he wanted to find the next level. On What It Is, he clearly has.

It wasn’t necessarily easy to get there. Carll’s last release, 2016’s Lovers and Leavers was an artistic and commercial risk — a bold move which eschewed the tempo and humor of much of his previous work. The record revealed a more serious singer-songwriter dealing with more serious subjects — divorce, new love in the middle of life, parenting, the worth of work. What It Is finds him now on the other side, revived and happy, but resolute — no longer under the impression that any of it comes for free.

“I want to dig in so this life doesn’t just pass me by. The more engaged I am the more meaning it all has. I want that to be reflected in the work.”

And meaning there is. Carll sings “but I try because I want to,” on the album’s opening track, “None’Ya.” He’s not looking back lamenting love lost, rather, finding joy and purpose in the one he’s got and hanging on to the woman who sometimes leaves him delightedly scratching his head. “If I May Be So Bold,” finds him standing on similar ground — lyrically taking on the challenge of participating fully in life rather than discontentedly letting life happen.

Bold enough to not surrender bold enough to give a damn
Bold enough to keep on going or to stay right where I am
There’s a whole world out there waiting full of stories to be told
I’ll heed the call and tell’em all if I may be so bold

There’s no wishy washy here and he’s not on the sidelines. In fact, he’s neck-deep in life. On the rambunctious, fiddle-punctuated, “Times Like These,” he laments political division in America while delivering a rapid-fire plea to “do my labor, love my girl, and help my neighbor, while keeping all my joie de vivre.” Carll’s signature cleverness and aptitude for so-personal-you-might-miss-it political commentary is as strong as ever. The stark, “Fragile Men,” co-written with singer-songwriter Lolo, uses humor and dripping sarcasm to examine his gender’s resistance to change in less than three minutes of string-laden, almost Jacques Brel invoking drama. It’s new musical territory for Carll, and the result is powerful. His voice is strong and resonant on these songs, and it’s thrilling to hear him use it with a new authority. He is alternately commanding and tender, yet always soulful.

Carll returned to trusted producer Brad Jones (producer of 2008’s Trouble in Mind and 2011’s KMAG YOYO) and Alex the Great Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, to record What It Is, and recruited singer-songwriter, author, and fiancee Allison Moorer as co-producer. The production is adventurous while keeping the focus on the singer and his songs and providing a path for him to go where he wants to go. Where that is, is forward.

That’s evident in the songwriting. Carll continues to hone his singular voice, but is also a flexible co-writer. Matraca Berg, Charlie Mars, Adam Landry, and Moorer have co-writing credits here, but it was Moorer’s inspiration that provided the largest impact.

“On the songwriting front she’s just a pro. She helps me cut through the noise and she does it with wit and style.”

Carll’s own wit and style has never been more evident. Whether it’s with the put-you-in-picture detail of, “Beautiful Thing,” the not quite sheepish enough, dude-esque defense of dishonesty in, “Things You Don’t Wanna Know,” or the strong as a tree trunk declaration of love on, “I Will Stay,” he displays an increasing command of his poetic lexicon.

Writers most often wrestle with experience and expectations, either romanticizing the past or telling us how good it’s going to be when they get where they’re going. What It Is is a record that is rooted solidly in the present, revealing an artist in the emotional and intellectual here and now.

(Late Show) Hayes Carll with Special Guest Ben Dickey- Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

What It Is

The chorus to the title track on the new Hayes Carll album, What It Is, is a manifesto.

What it was is gone forever / What it could be God only knows.
What it is is right here in front of me / and I’m not letting go.

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks.

With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Hayes Carll’s list of accomplishments is long. His third album, 2008’s Trouble In Mind, earned him an Americana Music Association Award for Song of the Year (for “She Left Me for Jesus”). The follow-up, KMAG YOYO was the most played album on the Americana Chart in 2011 and spawned covers by artists as varied as Hard Working Americans and Lee Ann Womack, whose version of “Chances Are” garnered Carll a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. 2016’s Lovers and Leavers swept the Austin Music Awards, and was his fourth record in a row to reach #1 on the Americana Airplay chart. Kelly Willis and Kenny Chesney have chosen to record his songs and his television appearances include The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits, and Later w/Jools Holland. Carll is the rare artist who can rock a packed dancehall one night and hold a listening room at rapt attention the next.

“Repeating myself creatively would ultimately leave me empty. Covering new ground, exploring, and taking chances gives me juice and keeps me interested.”

He knew he wanted to find the next level. On What It Is, he clearly has.

It wasn’t necessarily easy to get there. Carll’s last release, 2016’s Lovers and Leavers was an artistic and commercial risk — a bold move which eschewed the tempo and humor of much of his previous work. The record revealed a more serious singer-songwriter dealing with more serious subjects — divorce, new love in the middle of life, parenting, the worth of work. What It Is finds him now on the other side, revived and happy, but resolute — no longer under the impression that any of it comes for free.

“I want to dig in so this life doesn’t just pass me by. The more engaged I am the more meaning it all has. I want that to be reflected in the work.”

And meaning there is. Carll sings “but I try because I want to,” on the album’s opening track, “None’Ya.” He’s not looking back lamenting love lost, rather, finding joy and purpose in the one he’s got and hanging on to the woman who sometimes leaves him delightedly scratching his head. “If I May Be So Bold,” finds him standing on similar ground — lyrically taking on the challenge of participating fully in life rather than discontentedly letting life happen.

Bold enough to not surrender bold enough to give a damn
Bold enough to keep on going or to stay right where I am
There’s a whole world out there waiting full of stories to be told
I’ll heed the call and tell’em all if I may be so bold

There’s no wishy washy here and he’s not on the sidelines. In fact, he’s neck-deep in life. On the rambunctious, fiddle-punctuated, “Times Like These,” he laments political division in America while delivering a rapid-fire plea to “do my labor, love my girl, and help my neighbor, while keeping all my joie de vivre.” Carll’s signature cleverness and aptitude for so-personal-you-might-miss-it political commentary is as strong as ever. The stark, “Fragile Men,” co-written with singer-songwriter Lolo, uses humor and dripping sarcasm to examine his gender’s resistance to change in less than three minutes of string-laden, almost Jacques Brel invoking drama. It’s new musical territory for Carll, and the result is powerful. His voice is strong and resonant on these songs, and it’s thrilling to hear him use it with a new authority. He is alternately commanding and tender, yet always soulful.

Carll returned to trusted producer Brad Jones (producer of 2008’s Trouble in Mind and 2011’s KMAG YOYO) and Alex the Great Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, to record What It Is, and recruited singer-songwriter, author, and fiancee Allison Moorer as co-producer. The production is adventurous while keeping the focus on the singer and his songs and providing a path for him to go where he wants to go. Where that is, is forward.

That’s evident in the songwriting. Carll continues to hone his singular voice, but is also a flexible co-writer. Matraca Berg, Charlie Mars, Adam Landry, and Moorer have co-writing credits here, but it was Moorer’s inspiration that provided the largest impact.

“On the songwriting front she’s just a pro. She helps me cut through the noise and she does it with wit and style.”

Carll’s own wit and style has never been more evident. Whether it’s with the put-you-in-picture detail of, “Beautiful Thing,” the not quite sheepish enough, dude-esque defense of dishonesty in, “Things You Don’t Wanna Know,” or the strong as a tree trunk declaration of love on, “I Will Stay,” he displays an increasing command of his poetic lexicon.

Writers most often wrestle with experience and expectations, either romanticizing the past or telling us how good it’s going to be when they get where they’re going. What It Is is a record that is rooted solidly in the present, revealing an artist in the emotional and intellectual here and now.

What It Is

The chorus to the title track on the new Hayes Carll album, What It Is, is a manifesto.

What it was is gone forever / What it could be God only knows.
What it is is right here in front of me / and I’m not letting go.

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks.

With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Hayes Carll’s list of accomplishments is long. His third album, 2008’s Trouble In Mind, earned him an Americana Music Association Award for Song of the Year (for “She Left Me for Jesus”). The follow-up, KMAG YOYO was the most played album on the Americana Chart in 2011 and spawned covers by artists as varied as Hard Working Americans and Lee Ann Womack, whose version of “Chances Are” garnered Carll a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. 2016’s Lovers and Leavers swept the Austin Music Awards, and was his fourth record in a row to reach #1 on the Americana Airplay chart. Kelly Willis and Kenny Chesney have chosen to record his songs and his television appearances include The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits, and Later w/Jools Holland. Carll is the rare artist who can rock a packed dancehall one night and hold a listening room at rapt attention the next.

“Repeating myself creatively would ultimately leave me empty. Covering new ground, exploring, and taking chances gives me juice and keeps me interested.”

He knew he wanted to find the next level. On What It Is, he clearly has.

It wasn’t necessarily easy to get there. Carll’s last release, 2016’s Lovers and Leavers was an artistic and commercial risk — a bold move which eschewed the tempo and humor of much of his previous work. The record revealed a more serious singer-songwriter dealing with more serious subjects — divorce, new love in the middle of life, parenting, the worth of work. What It Is finds him now on the other side, revived and happy, but resolute — no longer under the impression that any of it comes for free.

“I want to dig in so this life doesn’t just pass me by. The more engaged I am the more meaning it all has. I want that to be reflected in the work.”

And meaning there is. Carll sings “but I try because I want to,” on the album’s opening track, “None’Ya.” He’s not looking back lamenting love lost, rather, finding joy and purpose in the one he’s got and hanging on to the woman who sometimes leaves him delightedly scratching his head. “If I May Be So Bold,” finds him standing on similar ground — lyrically taking on the challenge of participating fully in life rather than discontentedly letting life happen.

Bold enough to not surrender bold enough to give a damn
Bold enough to keep on going or to stay right where I am
There’s a whole world out there waiting full of stories to be told
I’ll heed the call and tell’em all if I may be so bold

There’s no wishy washy here and he’s not on the sidelines. In fact, he’s neck-deep in life. On the rambunctious, fiddle-punctuated, “Times Like These,” he laments political division in America while delivering a rapid-fire plea to “do my labor, love my girl, and help my neighbor, while keeping all my joie de vivre.” Carll’s signature cleverness and aptitude for so-personal-you-might-miss-it political commentary is as strong as ever. The stark, “Fragile Men,” co-written with singer-songwriter Lolo, uses humor and dripping sarcasm to examine his gender’s resistance to change in less than three minutes of string-laden, almost Jacques Brel invoking drama. It’s new musical territory for Carll, and the result is powerful. His voice is strong and resonant on these songs, and it’s thrilling to hear him use it with a new authority. He is alternately commanding and tender, yet always soulful.

Carll returned to trusted producer Brad Jones (producer of 2008’s Trouble in Mind and 2011’s KMAG YOYO) and Alex the Great Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, to record What It Is, and recruited singer-songwriter, author, and fiancee Allison Moorer as co-producer. The production is adventurous while keeping the focus on the singer and his songs and providing a path for him to go where he wants to go. Where that is, is forward.

That’s evident in the songwriting. Carll continues to hone his singular voice, but is also a flexible co-writer. Matraca Berg, Charlie Mars, Adam Landry, and Moorer have co-writing credits here, but it was Moorer’s inspiration that provided the largest impact.

“On the songwriting front she’s just a pro. She helps me cut through the noise and she does it with wit and style.”

Carll’s own wit and style has never been more evident. Whether it’s with the put-you-in-picture detail of, “Beautiful Thing,” the not quite sheepish enough, dude-esque defense of dishonesty in, “Things You Don’t Wanna Know,” or the strong as a tree trunk declaration of love on, “I Will Stay,” he displays an increasing command of his poetic lexicon.

Writers most often wrestle with experience and expectations, either romanticizing the past or telling us how good it’s going to be when they get where they’re going. What It Is is a record that is rooted solidly in the present, revealing an artist in the emotional and intellectual here and now.

(Early Show) Kim Richey with Special Guest Jordie Lane

Edgeland moves roots singer/subtle excavator of the human condition Kim Richey through the topography of the life lived by a woman committed to following her music. Flinching over hurting another, knowing the ways of the road, seeking higher ground and accepting the fact everyone’s truth isn’t a white picket fence, she continues defying labels as she defines the thinking person’s life.

“Right now, my stuff is all in storage,” she says of her state of constant motion. “I’ve lived in a lot of different places – different countries even. It’s a little overwhelming, keeping track of stuff, but it’s been an amazing trip because music has taken me places I never dreamed.

“I’m the same way with writing. Even when I’ve finished a record, or am in the middle of recording, I’m writing. Writing songs is what I do; it’s how I connect with the world.”

That sense of motion infuses Edgeland with immediacy. From the Buck Owens/Don Rich opening notes of “Red Line,” the dusky blond sweeps listeners up in her whirl. If “Red Line” is a missed train and a moment of immersion in the station, “The Get Together” shimmers with a Laurel Canyon lushness and ease in the awkward (that evokes J.D. Souther’s post-romantic midtempos) and “Can’t Seem To Let You Go” owns the ‘60s Merseybeat pop luxury of the Seekers or Dusty Springfield in Memphis. Demonstrating a facility for slipping in and out of oeuvres and emotions, this – in many ways — culminates her passage through music.

Kim Richey is a traveller, after all. Musically, physically, emotionally. Not merely restless or rootless, it’s who she is. Willing to follow where the music leads, she’s landed in Los Angeles, Nashville, London, working with a who’s who of producers – Richard Bennett, Hugh Padgham, Bill Bottrell, Angelo, Giles Martin. She’s attracted a coterie of top-shelf genre-definers — Jason Isbell, Trisha Yearwood, Chuck Prophet, My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel, Wilco’s Pat Sansone – for her critically-lauded projects. She has also sung on records for Ryan Adams, Shawn Colvin, Isbell, and Rodney Crowell.

Part of what draws them to the dusky honey of her crystalline alto is the way she writes: to and from the soul, never flinching from the conflicts and crushing moments, yet always finding dignity and resilience. Her arc of the human heart is true. True enough that over the years, Richey’s been both Grammy nominated. Nominated for Yearwood’s truculently groove-country “Baby, I Lied,” she also co-wrote Radney Foster’s #1 “Nobody Wins.”

“Harlan Howard said – and maybe I’ve taken it too much to heart, ‘It’s always more believable if you sing it in the first person.’ And when I sit down to write, if it’s something I’m going to sing, I want it to be what I want it to be. I don’t really settle, which may make me a little hard to write with. But I have to be able to stand up and sing it night after night, and I can’t if I don’t really believe it.”

Those standards made Glimmer one of TIME’s Top Records of 1999 and Rise named People’s Best Alt-Country Record of 2002. Even when singing from the point of view of a guy working on a barge going up and down the Ohio River in “Dear John,” her aim is true. As she says of the man refusing to read the letter that ends his romance, “because if I don’t read your letter, then it’s not over. Sometimes these songs are specific and personal, but it’s also true in ways that reflect so many other people’s experience, too.”

Sometimes Richey channels profound truths. Sometimes she embraces breezy freedom. “Leavin’ Song,” a rambler’s shuffle, is more about tasting the world than exiting a bad situation. As its chorus offers, “This ain’t no leaving song, you ain’t done nothing wrong” over an electric banjo and Resonator guitar, Richey finds the sweet spot in exulting for just being alive.

Once again, Richey has drawn a multitude of collaborators who rival her own singular voice. Veteran journeymen artist/writers Chuck Prophet, Maendo Sanz, Mike Henderson (Steeldrivers), Bill Deasy (the Gathering Field), Pat McLaughlin (John Prine) and Al Anderson (NRBQ), plus Aussies Jenny Queen and Harry Hokey co-sign on these musical polaroids from the going, the leaving, and the pausing.

“I’ll be doing an interview, and people will say, ‘You co-write a lot…’,” she marvels, “like it’s a bad thing. But it’s inspiring to me, and takes me in other directions, to other places. The people I write with are funny, and smart, and a blast to hang out with, but they’re also really good writers in their own right. Nobody’s pandering or chasing ‘a hit,’ we’re all just trying to get to the best possible song.”

Whether growing up, owning and relinquishing high times in the sleek “Chase Wild Horses,” echoed in the ether-lite, percussive folk “High Time,” then jettisoned on the smoky acceptance of her own flawed inability to be in a romance on the Western-tinged on “I Tried,” the woman from Ohio makes our natural selves both exotic and homey.

Richey enlisted producer Brad Jones, known for Over the Rhine, Josh Rouse, Butterfly Boucher, Hayes Carll and Marshall Crenshaw, in crafting an adult album that evokes and provokes musically. “I wasn’t sure at first if we’d be a good combo because he has such strong opinions, and I do, too. But it was (laughter) the easiest record I’ve ever made. He has really different ideas, and it’s nice to have somebody push you in a direction you might not have gone – and have them respect your opinion, too. I really loved working with Brad.””

With three different tracking bands, Edgeland is a who’s who of Nashville’s roots players: beyond co-writers, steel player Dan Dugmore, drummer Jerry Roe, multi-instrumentalist Sansone, guitarist/various stringed thing players Doug Lancio and Dan Cohen, string arranger Chris Carmichael and Robin Hitchcock all contribute to the bewitchery.

“So many of these guys produce and make records on their own,” she marvels. “I’m open to collaboration, too. These songs wouldn’t sound the way they do without these players.”

The noir-slink of “Pin A Rose,” a cautionary told-you-so tale of domestic abuse’s repeat cycles, the neo-madrigal “Not for Money or Love,” inspired by the father Richey lost at 2, and the Mellotron-tinged austerity of “Black Trees,” finished after a few years gestation during a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts Colony and expanded to consider a refugee’s fortunes, all seek and explore. Here melody reinforces words, feelings, even interpersonal dynamics. Simplicity – as executed – breaks complicated things into evocative clouds that seep into the listeners unconscious.

“It’s a lot easier to say something in a song than in a conversation,” allows the easy-going grown-up. “And it’s not all about me, but the people in the songs. Even the stuff you leave out says something, so you’re creating on so many layers. And sometimes I don’t know where it comes from, just some other place.”

Listening to “Whistle On Occasion,” the Everly-esque closer duet with Prophet, Richey owns one’s place in the world. Here, there, going or gone, that’s all anyone can ask.

– Holly Gleason

Edgeland moves roots singer/subtle excavator of the human condition Kim Richey through the topography of the life lived by a woman committed to following her music. Flinching over hurting another, knowing the ways of the road, seeking higher ground and accepting the fact everyone’s truth isn’t a white picket fence, she continues defying labels as she defines the thinking person’s life.

“Right now, my stuff is all in storage,” she says of her state of constant motion. “I’ve lived in a lot of different places – different countries even. It’s a little overwhelming, keeping track of stuff, but it’s been an amazing trip because music has taken me places I never dreamed.

“I’m the same way with writing. Even when I’ve finished a record, or am in the middle of recording, I’m writing. Writing songs is what I do; it’s how I connect with the world.”

That sense of motion infuses Edgeland with immediacy. From the Buck Owens/Don Rich opening notes of “Red Line,” the dusky blond sweeps listeners up in her whirl. If “Red Line” is a missed train and a moment of immersion in the station, “The Get Together” shimmers with a Laurel Canyon lushness and ease in the awkward (that evokes J.D. Souther’s post-romantic midtempos) and “Can’t Seem To Let You Go” owns the ‘60s Merseybeat pop luxury of the Seekers or Dusty Springfield in Memphis. Demonstrating a facility for slipping in and out of oeuvres and emotions, this – in many ways — culminates her passage through music.

Kim Richey is a traveller, after all. Musically, physically, emotionally. Not merely restless or rootless, it’s who she is. Willing to follow where the music leads, she’s landed in Los Angeles, Nashville, London, working with a who’s who of producers – Richard Bennett, Hugh Padgham, Bill Bottrell, Angelo, Giles Martin. She’s attracted a coterie of top-shelf genre-definers — Jason Isbell, Trisha Yearwood, Chuck Prophet, My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel, Wilco’s Pat Sansone – for her critically-lauded projects. She has also sung on records for Ryan Adams, Shawn Colvin, Isbell, and Rodney Crowell.

Part of what draws them to the dusky honey of her crystalline alto is the way she writes: to and from the soul, never flinching from the conflicts and crushing moments, yet always finding dignity and resilience. Her arc of the human heart is true. True enough that over the years, Richey’s been both Grammy nominated. Nominated for Yearwood’s truculently groove-country “Baby, I Lied,” she also co-wrote Radney Foster’s #1 “Nobody Wins.”

“Harlan Howard said – and maybe I’ve taken it too much to heart, ‘It’s always more believable if you sing it in the first person.’ And when I sit down to write, if it’s something I’m going to sing, I want it to be what I want it to be. I don’t really settle, which may make me a little hard to write with. But I have to be able to stand up and sing it night after night, and I can’t if I don’t really believe it.”

Those standards made Glimmer one of TIME’s Top Records of 1999 and Rise named People’s Best Alt-Country Record of 2002. Even when singing from the point of view of a guy working on a barge going up and down the Ohio River in “Dear John,” her aim is true. As she says of the man refusing to read the letter that ends his romance, “because if I don’t read your letter, then it’s not over. Sometimes these songs are specific and personal, but it’s also true in ways that reflect so many other people’s experience, too.”

Sometimes Richey channels profound truths. Sometimes she embraces breezy freedom. “Leavin’ Song,” a rambler’s shuffle, is more about tasting the world than exiting a bad situation. As its chorus offers, “This ain’t no leaving song, you ain’t done nothing wrong” over an electric banjo and Resonator guitar, Richey finds the sweet spot in exulting for just being alive.

Once again, Richey has drawn a multitude of collaborators who rival her own singular voice. Veteran journeymen artist/writers Chuck Prophet, Maendo Sanz, Mike Henderson (Steeldrivers), Bill Deasy (the Gathering Field), Pat McLaughlin (John Prine) and Al Anderson (NRBQ), plus Aussies Jenny Queen and Harry Hokey co-sign on these musical polaroids from the going, the leaving, and the pausing.

“I’ll be doing an interview, and people will say, ‘You co-write a lot…’,” she marvels, “like it’s a bad thing. But it’s inspiring to me, and takes me in other directions, to other places. The people I write with are funny, and smart, and a blast to hang out with, but they’re also really good writers in their own right. Nobody’s pandering or chasing ‘a hit,’ we’re all just trying to get to the best possible song.”

Whether growing up, owning and relinquishing high times in the sleek “Chase Wild Horses,” echoed in the ether-lite, percussive folk “High Time,” then jettisoned on the smoky acceptance of her own flawed inability to be in a romance on the Western-tinged on “I Tried,” the woman from Ohio makes our natural selves both exotic and homey.

Richey enlisted producer Brad Jones, known for Over the Rhine, Josh Rouse, Butterfly Boucher, Hayes Carll and Marshall Crenshaw, in crafting an adult album that evokes and provokes musically. “I wasn’t sure at first if we’d be a good combo because he has such strong opinions, and I do, too. But it was (laughter) the easiest record I’ve ever made. He has really different ideas, and it’s nice to have somebody push you in a direction you might not have gone – and have them respect your opinion, too. I really loved working with Brad.””

With three different tracking bands, Edgeland is a who’s who of Nashville’s roots players: beyond co-writers, steel player Dan Dugmore, drummer Jerry Roe, multi-instrumentalist Sansone, guitarist/various stringed thing players Doug Lancio and Dan Cohen, string arranger Chris Carmichael and Robin Hitchcock all contribute to the bewitchery.

“So many of these guys produce and make records on their own,” she marvels. “I’m open to collaboration, too. These songs wouldn’t sound the way they do without these players.”

The noir-slink of “Pin A Rose,” a cautionary told-you-so tale of domestic abuse’s repeat cycles, the neo-madrigal “Not for Money or Love,” inspired by the father Richey lost at 2, and the Mellotron-tinged austerity of “Black Trees,” finished after a few years gestation during a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts Colony and expanded to consider a refugee’s fortunes, all seek and explore. Here melody reinforces words, feelings, even interpersonal dynamics. Simplicity – as executed – breaks complicated things into evocative clouds that seep into the listeners unconscious.

“It’s a lot easier to say something in a song than in a conversation,” allows the easy-going grown-up. “And it’s not all about me, but the people in the songs. Even the stuff you leave out says something, so you’re creating on so many layers. And sometimes I don’t know where it comes from, just some other place.”

Listening to “Whistle On Occasion,” the Everly-esque closer duet with Prophet, Richey owns one’s place in the world. Here, there, going or gone, that’s all anyone can ask.

– Holly Gleason

(Late Show) King Buffalo with Special Guest Pet Clinic

Formed by three long-standing members of the blooming Rochester, NY rock scene, King Buffalo gathered in September of 2013 to start working on a new musical collaboration in a heavy rock vein. Their efforts spawned a demo release and several splits and one-offs which, coupled with their impressive live show, quickly gained them an international audience.

Nearly exactly three years after their formation, written during and out of jam sessions, (King Buffalo released Orion)… nine tracks that are texturally rich and oozing with psychedelic goodness, yet honed and driving in the next blink of an eye. Lush, shimmering melodies á la Dead Meadow and free-flowing grooves… with the full force of fuzzed-out stoner rock riffs, all coinciding organically. Impressively, King Buffalo’s focus extends beyond composition and into the technical realm; Orion was recorded entirely by the band in the very same rehearsal room that played host to the songs’ creation.” – Sludgelord

“The question of how… heavy psych upstart trio King Buffalo will follow-up their debut full-length, Orion, is answered in the form of the three-track Repeater EP. In the year-plus since the album’s first, (self-)release in 2016, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson signed to Stickman Records and oversaw an official issue of the record and have toured Stateside with All Them Witches and in Europe alongside labelmates Elder, and the EP brings three new cuts that represent the first new music they’ve produced following this productive time.

It is 24 minutes of material, and more than 13 of that resides within the opening title-track (also the longest of the set; immediate points), but in terms of flow and conveying a sense of how their progression is unfolding, Repeater feels like the first chapter in a larger story more than a standalone offering. That is to say, the vibe is more mini-album than single-song showcase for throwaways or “extras” from a recording session.

Part of that may of course owe to the fluidity in King Buffalo‘s approach overall, which was certainly a factor on Orion and just as certainly hasn’t at all been diminished by the stretches of time they’ve spent on the road, but there’s a perceptible resounding in the molten aspects of “Repeater,” “Too Little too Late” and “Centurion” that underlines the purposefulness with which King Buffalo engage such an open feel in what they do. Jamming is a crucial part of it at their foundation, but as far out as they go, their chemistry is put to use in servicing a song, even in something as vast as “Repeater” itself, which is their longest single track to-date.

I don’t know and won’t try to speculate where King Buffalo might go with their sophomore full-length when the time comes for it, how they might continue to grow, what they might push toward in terms of arrangements or execution or general sound, but Repeater finds them brimming with confidence both as individuals and as a unit, and their songwriting here hits a new level of craftsmanship that only raises one’s hopes even after such an impressive debut long-player. The question isn’t so much whether King Buffalo are prepared for their next step as it is whether their audience is ready to realize the special moment playing out in front of them.” – The Obelisk

Formed by three long-standing members of the blooming Rochester, NY rock scene, King Buffalo gathered in September of 2013 to start working on a new musical collaboration in a heavy rock vein. Their efforts spawned a demo release and several splits and one-offs which, coupled with their impressive live show, quickly gained them an international audience.

Nearly exactly three years after their formation, written during and out of jam sessions, (King Buffalo released Orion)… nine tracks that are texturally rich and oozing with psychedelic goodness, yet honed and driving in the next blink of an eye. Lush, shimmering melodies á la Dead Meadow and free-flowing grooves… with the full force of fuzzed-out stoner rock riffs, all coinciding organically. Impressively, King Buffalo’s focus extends beyond composition and into the technical realm; Orion was recorded entirely by the band in the very same rehearsal room that played host to the songs’ creation.” – Sludgelord

“The question of how… heavy psych upstart trio King Buffalo will follow-up their debut full-length, Orion, is answered in the form of the three-track Repeater EP. In the year-plus since the album’s first, (self-)release in 2016, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson signed to Stickman Records and oversaw an official issue of the record and have toured Stateside with All Them Witches and in Europe alongside labelmates Elder, and the EP brings three new cuts that represent the first new music they’ve produced following this productive time.

It is 24 minutes of material, and more than 13 of that resides within the opening title-track (also the longest of the set; immediate points), but in terms of flow and conveying a sense of how their progression is unfolding, Repeater feels like the first chapter in a larger story more than a standalone offering. That is to say, the vibe is more mini-album than single-song showcase for throwaways or “extras” from a recording session.

Part of that may of course owe to the fluidity in King Buffalo‘s approach overall, which was certainly a factor on Orion and just as certainly hasn’t at all been diminished by the stretches of time they’ve spent on the road, but there’s a perceptible resounding in the molten aspects of “Repeater,” “Too Little too Late” and “Centurion” that underlines the purposefulness with which King Buffalo engage such an open feel in what they do. Jamming is a crucial part of it at their foundation, but as far out as they go, their chemistry is put to use in servicing a song, even in something as vast as “Repeater” itself, which is their longest single track to-date.

I don’t know and won’t try to speculate where King Buffalo might go with their sophomore full-length when the time comes for it, how they might continue to grow, what they might push toward in terms of arrangements or execution or general sound, but Repeater finds them brimming with confidence both as individuals and as a unit, and their songwriting here hits a new level of craftsmanship that only raises one’s hopes even after such an impressive debut long-player. The question isn’t so much whether King Buffalo are prepared for their next step as it is whether their audience is ready to realize the special moment playing out in front of them.” – The Obelisk

Opus One Comedy Presents Steve Hofstetter with Special Guests Brett Druck and Jarret Berenstein

One of YouTube's most popular comics with over 100 million views, Steve Hofstetter is also the host of Finding Babe Ruth on FS1. Hofstetter was the host and executive producer of season one of Laughs (FOX) and he has been on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and E! True Hollywood Story, Comics Unleashed, Comedy All-Stars, Quite Frankly, White Boyz in the Hood, Countdown, and more. Now is your chance to find out what the fuss is about during this no-holds-barred stand-up performance, featuring some of his unfiltered observations about life.

One of YouTube's most popular comics with over 100 million views, Steve Hofstetter is also the host of Finding Babe Ruth on FS1. Hofstetter was the host and executive producer of season one of Laughs (FOX) and he has been on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and E! True Hollywood Story, Comics Unleashed, Comedy All-Stars, Quite Frankly, White Boyz in the Hood, Countdown, and more. Now is your chance to find out what the fuss is about during this no-holds-barred stand-up performance, featuring some of his unfiltered observations about life.

The Cactus Blossoms - Presented by Opus One and 91.3 WYEP

Blood Harmony. Whether it’s The Beach Boys, Bee Gees or First Aid Kit, that sibling vocal blend is the secret sauce in some of the most spine-tingling moments in popular music. The Cactus Blossoms – Minneapolis-based brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey – offer compelling evidence that this tradition is alive and well, with a deceptively unadorned musical approach that offers “creative turns of phrase, gorgeous harmonies, and an ageless sound” (NPR All Things Considered), not to mention spine tingles aplenty. Their 2016 debut You’re Dreaming, a stunning and transporting collection of original songs, earned high praise from Rolling Stone and Vice Noisey, tour stints with Kacey Musgraves and Lucius, and a perfectly cast performance on the third season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Now their unlikely rise continues with new album Easy Way, to be released on their own label Walkie Talkie Records.

While many bands would have been content to stick with the winning formula of their debut, the Blossoms refused to repeat themselves. If You’re Dreaming celebrated their vintage country and rock influences, Easy Way reveals a songwriting style that has changed, evolved, and gotten more modern. Dan Auerbach, another artist who knows from bedrock influences, co-wrote two songs on the album. “Dan’s love for songwriting was inspiring, just the kick in the pants we needed to start writing again after being on the road,” says Page.

The brothers’ decision to produce the new album themselves no doubt led to the new sound. “We wanted the freedom to experiment with our own weird ideas,” says Jack, “We used to joke that the working title album should be Expensive Demos.” As they crisscrossed the nation on tour, the brothers would stop through Alex Hall’s Reliable Recorders studio in Chicago to chase the new sound they were after. The result joins together what would otherwise be distant corners of the American songbook. Both the traditional twang of Chicago pedal steel guitarist Joel Paterson (Devil in a Woodpile, The Western Elstons) and the primal wail of free jazz saxophonist Michael Lewis (Bon Iver, Andrew Bird) are at home on the album. Just as they did with their debut, the brothers found a voice all their own.

Blood Harmony. Whether it’s The Beach Boys, Bee Gees or First Aid Kit, that sibling vocal blend is the secret sauce in some of the most spine-tingling moments in popular music. The Cactus Blossoms – Minneapolis-based brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey – offer compelling evidence that this tradition is alive and well, with a deceptively unadorned musical approach that offers “creative turns of phrase, gorgeous harmonies, and an ageless sound” (NPR All Things Considered), not to mention spine tingles aplenty. Their 2016 debut You’re Dreaming, a stunning and transporting collection of original songs, earned high praise from Rolling Stone and Vice Noisey, tour stints with Kacey Musgraves and Lucius, and a perfectly cast performance on the third season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Now their unlikely rise continues with new album Easy Way, to be released on their own label Walkie Talkie Records.

While many bands would have been content to stick with the winning formula of their debut, the Blossoms refused to repeat themselves. If You’re Dreaming celebrated their vintage country and rock influences, Easy Way reveals a songwriting style that has changed, evolved, and gotten more modern. Dan Auerbach, another artist who knows from bedrock influences, co-wrote two songs on the album. “Dan’s love for songwriting was inspiring, just the kick in the pants we needed to start writing again after being on the road,” says Page.

The brothers’ decision to produce the new album themselves no doubt led to the new sound. “We wanted the freedom to experiment with our own weird ideas,” says Jack, “We used to joke that the working title album should be Expensive Demos.” As they crisscrossed the nation on tour, the brothers would stop through Alex Hall’s Reliable Recorders studio in Chicago to chase the new sound they were after. The result joins together what would otherwise be distant corners of the American songbook. Both the traditional twang of Chicago pedal steel guitarist Joel Paterson (Devil in a Woodpile, The Western Elstons) and the primal wail of free jazz saxophonist Michael Lewis (Bon Iver, Andrew Bird) are at home on the album. Just as they did with their debut, the brothers found a voice all their own.

Tow'rs

Every story begins somewhere. Ours began in the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona. We were originally a group of strangers who found each other through a deep love for music & story telling. Over the years we have become a family, writing not just our music together, but our lives. Our sights are set on being students of story with one another and loving people through our craft.

Through our music, we explore the questions that haunt us, the pain that marks us, and the hope that redefines everything for us. We invite you into the conversation, build with us, find your place at the table.

About our new album - “Grey Fidelity”
The grey inconclusive nature of life felt paralyzing at times this year. In the midst of liminal spaces, fidelity was a reoccurring hope where there weren’t conclusions. And though we often operated out of a grey area of knowledge, it became an ongoing observation that fidelity to hope seemed more important than having answers. Fidelity to our marriages seemed more important than being right or getting our way. Fidelity to vulnerability seemed more important than protecting ourselves from the inevitable pain of community. Fidelity to social justice and human rights seemed more important than protecting our image or privilege.

Our hope for these songs is to invite you not into certainty, but into devotion to hope. A place we tried to operate in despite not being able to know or see the full outcome of that devotion.

These are the poems of our year of “Grey Fidelity”.

Every story begins somewhere. Ours began in the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona. We were originally a group of strangers who found each other through a deep love for music & story telling. Over the years we have become a family, writing not just our music together, but our lives. Our sights are set on being students of story with one another and loving people through our craft.

Through our music, we explore the questions that haunt us, the pain that marks us, and the hope that redefines everything for us. We invite you into the conversation, build with us, find your place at the table.

About our new album - “Grey Fidelity”
The grey inconclusive nature of life felt paralyzing at times this year. In the midst of liminal spaces, fidelity was a reoccurring hope where there weren’t conclusions. And though we often operated out of a grey area of knowledge, it became an ongoing observation that fidelity to hope seemed more important than having answers. Fidelity to our marriages seemed more important than being right or getting our way. Fidelity to vulnerability seemed more important than protecting ourselves from the inevitable pain of community. Fidelity to social justice and human rights seemed more important than protecting our image or privilege.

Our hope for these songs is to invite you not into certainty, but into devotion to hope. A place we tried to operate in despite not being able to know or see the full outcome of that devotion.

These are the poems of our year of “Grey Fidelity”.

Carsie Blanton

Buck Up, the new studio album from singer and songwriter Carsie Blanton, due out February 15 2019, opens with a siren. The warning – or call to (dis)arms – segues into the first notes of “Twister.” Finger snaps alone accompany Blanton’s smoky vocals, before piano, upright bass, cello, trumpet, and drums join the proceedings. You’re immediately drawn in to her riveting tale of natural – and erotic – disaster. Brimming with catchy hooks, sensual vocals, and lyrics boasting a gift for rhyme and meter, Buck Up is Blanton’s melodic mandate for survival following the 2016 presidential election: passion, lust, and humor. “There are two themes on this record,” says Blanton of Buck Up’s ten electrifying tracks. “One is the feeling of catastrophe happening in American politics, and the other is this feeling of personal catastrophe”: when you fall for “That Boy,” for example, a reckless wild child, the type who populate her life and imagination. Though Buck Up may be “basically about being depressed,” according to Blanton, “if there’s not a sense of humor or playfulness, I don’t want to listen to it. Music is about play.”

Over the past dozen years, Blanton has been making music that personifies play. Her work has been called “impeccably catchy” by critic Robert Christgau, with musician John Oates admiring her songs’ “sly wit and urbane imagery” that remind him of Cole Porter. She’s toured across America and Europe sharing stages with Madeleine Peyroux, The Weepies and others. Though based in New Orleans since 2012, the self-described “proud socialist” has been on the road since her teens. As a child in tiny Luray, Virginia, she began playing piano at 6 and learned guitar at 13. The budding songwriter’s life was forever changed when her grandpa sent her a batch of jazz recordings for her thirteenth birthday. “Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong – that’s when it started for me,” Blanton says of the gift two decades ago that remains “the most inspiring to me as a songwriter and a singer. I’d started performing and he wanted to make sure my musical education was well rounded.” She was deeply smitten with Holiday’s recording of Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is the Ocean”: “I just love him,” she says of the composer, “and Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart. They’re all masters of music and words.” Such influences would surface as Blanton began crafting her own witty lyrics and using jazz phrasing in her vocals.

Blanton left the Blue Ridge mountains an angst-ridden 16-year-old and began living within an artistic community in Eugene, Oregon, until she was 20. There, guitar in hand, “I realized by being creative, I could be a happier person and take care of myself,” she says. After more travels, she settled in Philadelphia, where she worked at a nonprofit while recording her first album. She left her job to make music her life and has never looked back. By the time she was 23, she was touring solo and as an opener for such artists as the Wood Brothers. Vocalist/guitarist Oliver Wood, an early mentor who produced a previous Blanton album, lends his distinctive fingerpicking and vocals to Buck Up’s exuberant title track.

Since locating to New Orleans, Blanton has “become more prolific as a songwriter,” she says. “There’s something about the spirit of the city. It’s very musical but also very dark with a lot of pathos.” Her last release, 2016’s So Ferocious, documented her love affair with the city, and the Big Easy vibe imbues her new album. Sequestered in her NOLA home, she wrote the first song for Buck Up, “Bed,” in November 2016: “I’m not gonna get out of bed today/I’ve tried to do it but what can I say/Every time I turn on the news it’s a kick to the head/Why don’t you wake me up when the president’s dead.” “That song shook loose a lot of feelings I had about the political landscape and growing up in America,” Blanton reports. “If I can write one song that really captures the feeling of a project, then the rest come more easily.” In fact, bed imagery trickles throughout the album’s tracks.

For the recording, Blanton returned to the south Jersey studio of guitarist Pete Donnelly (the Figgs, Graham Parker), who coproduced Buck Up with Blanton. Joining them was her longtime bassist and sometime co-writer Joe Plowman, keyboardist Patrick Firth, and drummer Nicholas Falk.

While her lyrics grapple with some dark subject matter, Blanton’s engaging, captivating vocals are relaxed and flirty on “Jacket,” her ode to the female gaze and masturbation. She sounds wistful and sweet on the strings-and-accordion-accented “Harbor,” and sex-drenched on “Desire,” “an apocalyptic love story,” one of her favorite genres, she says. “Lust and passion and romantic energy are a beautiful, joyful source of pleasure in life,” says Blanton, “but also a source for heartache and devastation. It reminds you of how short life is, so it feels very connected to death and mortality to me. One of my major inspirations as a songwriter is feeling the erotic connection. When I get connected to the erotic force, I feel so turned on by life and also hooked up to death at the same point.” Song ideas flow when she “goes out there and looks for some sexy young man who’s a mess – that’s the muse that works for me. That’s where I get my mojo.” In addition to songcraft, her erotic life inspired her to invent “a sexy card game, The F’ing Truth,” says Blanton, intended for “people who f’ and tell” and deemed a “f’ing blast” by sex columnist Dan Savage.

Blanton’s thing for bad boys can bring moody moments to her songs, but her cheeky takedown of male hipsters adds lighthearted fun to Buck Up. The upbeat “Mustache,” a co- write with Plowman, asks, “why’d you have to grow that mustache,” while its sonics, complete with calliope-sounding keys, is her homage to another musical favorite, The Supremes.

The heart of the album, says Blanton, resides within the pop-rock anthem, “American Kid.” Its hummable tune camouflages Blanton’s downhearted lyrics detailing disillusionment that comes with the realization that “we done them wrong”: “It’s my journey from being a standard liberal moderate to being really radicalized and losing my belief in American capitalism. I want to connect with this feeling of ‘we can be compassionate and we can change what we’re doing and not take it lying down.’”

At the crossroads of nihilism and determination – the former described in the harrowing “Battle” (“I know I won’t survive the battle in my heart”) – Blanton chooses to “Buck Up,” which closes the album with mirth. “Buck Up” is a “rallying cry,” says Blanton. “Enough with the sadness and wallowing about America. We have to get people together to make change, even though it’s daunting.” Paraphrasing Tom Waits, she quips, “I hope this album will help to improve the quality of our suffering.” And with a feisty nod to the work of another hero, John Prine, she coos, “Make ‘em laugh if you can’t lick ‘em.”

Buck Up, the new studio album from singer and songwriter Carsie Blanton, due out February 15 2019, opens with a siren. The warning – or call to (dis)arms – segues into the first notes of “Twister.” Finger snaps alone accompany Blanton’s smoky vocals, before piano, upright bass, cello, trumpet, and drums join the proceedings. You’re immediately drawn in to her riveting tale of natural – and erotic – disaster. Brimming with catchy hooks, sensual vocals, and lyrics boasting a gift for rhyme and meter, Buck Up is Blanton’s melodic mandate for survival following the 2016 presidential election: passion, lust, and humor. “There are two themes on this record,” says Blanton of Buck Up’s ten electrifying tracks. “One is the feeling of catastrophe happening in American politics, and the other is this feeling of personal catastrophe”: when you fall for “That Boy,” for example, a reckless wild child, the type who populate her life and imagination. Though Buck Up may be “basically about being depressed,” according to Blanton, “if there’s not a sense of humor or playfulness, I don’t want to listen to it. Music is about play.”

Over the past dozen years, Blanton has been making music that personifies play. Her work has been called “impeccably catchy” by critic Robert Christgau, with musician John Oates admiring her songs’ “sly wit and urbane imagery” that remind him of Cole Porter. She’s toured across America and Europe sharing stages with Madeleine Peyroux, The Weepies and others. Though based in New Orleans since 2012, the self-described “proud socialist” has been on the road since her teens. As a child in tiny Luray, Virginia, she began playing piano at 6 and learned guitar at 13. The budding songwriter’s life was forever changed when her grandpa sent her a batch of jazz recordings for her thirteenth birthday. “Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong – that’s when it started for me,” Blanton says of the gift two decades ago that remains “the most inspiring to me as a songwriter and a singer. I’d started performing and he wanted to make sure my musical education was well rounded.” She was deeply smitten with Holiday’s recording of Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is the Ocean”: “I just love him,” she says of the composer, “and Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart. They’re all masters of music and words.” Such influences would surface as Blanton began crafting her own witty lyrics and using jazz phrasing in her vocals.

Blanton left the Blue Ridge mountains an angst-ridden 16-year-old and began living within an artistic community in Eugene, Oregon, until she was 20. There, guitar in hand, “I realized by being creative, I could be a happier person and take care of myself,” she says. After more travels, she settled in Philadelphia, where she worked at a nonprofit while recording her first album. She left her job to make music her life and has never looked back. By the time she was 23, she was touring solo and as an opener for such artists as the Wood Brothers. Vocalist/guitarist Oliver Wood, an early mentor who produced a previous Blanton album, lends his distinctive fingerpicking and vocals to Buck Up’s exuberant title track.

Since locating to New Orleans, Blanton has “become more prolific as a songwriter,” she says. “There’s something about the spirit of the city. It’s very musical but also very dark with a lot of pathos.” Her last release, 2016’s So Ferocious, documented her love affair with the city, and the Big Easy vibe imbues her new album. Sequestered in her NOLA home, she wrote the first song for Buck Up, “Bed,” in November 2016: “I’m not gonna get out of bed today/I’ve tried to do it but what can I say/Every time I turn on the news it’s a kick to the head/Why don’t you wake me up when the president’s dead.” “That song shook loose a lot of feelings I had about the political landscape and growing up in America,” Blanton reports. “If I can write one song that really captures the feeling of a project, then the rest come more easily.” In fact, bed imagery trickles throughout the album’s tracks.

For the recording, Blanton returned to the south Jersey studio of guitarist Pete Donnelly (the Figgs, Graham Parker), who coproduced Buck Up with Blanton. Joining them was her longtime bassist and sometime co-writer Joe Plowman, keyboardist Patrick Firth, and drummer Nicholas Falk.

While her lyrics grapple with some dark subject matter, Blanton’s engaging, captivating vocals are relaxed and flirty on “Jacket,” her ode to the female gaze and masturbation. She sounds wistful and sweet on the strings-and-accordion-accented “Harbor,” and sex-drenched on “Desire,” “an apocalyptic love story,” one of her favorite genres, she says. “Lust and passion and romantic energy are a beautiful, joyful source of pleasure in life,” says Blanton, “but also a source for heartache and devastation. It reminds you of how short life is, so it feels very connected to death and mortality to me. One of my major inspirations as a songwriter is feeling the erotic connection. When I get connected to the erotic force, I feel so turned on by life and also hooked up to death at the same point.” Song ideas flow when she “goes out there and looks for some sexy young man who’s a mess – that’s the muse that works for me. That’s where I get my mojo.” In addition to songcraft, her erotic life inspired her to invent “a sexy card game, The F’ing Truth,” says Blanton, intended for “people who f’ and tell” and deemed a “f’ing blast” by sex columnist Dan Savage.

Blanton’s thing for bad boys can bring moody moments to her songs, but her cheeky takedown of male hipsters adds lighthearted fun to Buck Up. The upbeat “Mustache,” a co- write with Plowman, asks, “why’d you have to grow that mustache,” while its sonics, complete with calliope-sounding keys, is her homage to another musical favorite, The Supremes.

The heart of the album, says Blanton, resides within the pop-rock anthem, “American Kid.” Its hummable tune camouflages Blanton’s downhearted lyrics detailing disillusionment that comes with the realization that “we done them wrong”: “It’s my journey from being a standard liberal moderate to being really radicalized and losing my belief in American capitalism. I want to connect with this feeling of ‘we can be compassionate and we can change what we’re doing and not take it lying down.’”

At the crossroads of nihilism and determination – the former described in the harrowing “Battle” (“I know I won’t survive the battle in my heart”) – Blanton chooses to “Buck Up,” which closes the album with mirth. “Buck Up” is a “rallying cry,” says Blanton. “Enough with the sadness and wallowing about America. We have to get people together to make change, even though it’s daunting.” Paraphrasing Tom Waits, she quips, “I hope this album will help to improve the quality of our suffering.” And with a feisty nod to the work of another hero, John Prine, she coos, “Make ‘em laugh if you can’t lick ‘em.”

Lady Lamb with Special Guests Renata Zeiguer and Alex Schaaf - Presented by Opus One & WPTS Radio

To many, Lady Lamb (aka Aly Spaltro) is an enigma. Her songs are at once intimate and unbridled– both deeply personal and existentially contemplative. Spaltro is a fearless performer who can command a pitch-black stage with nothing more than her voice. Yet, when the band bursts in and the lights come up, what began as a demonstration of restraint shifts seamlessly into an emphatic snarl.



It was in Spaltro’s home state of Maine that she first found her voice among thousands of films in the independent rental store where she worked the closing shift. After hours, Spaltro would create songs completely uninhibited by musical conventions, learning to play and sing as she hit record. A handful of these songs were carefully curated and fully arranged for her debut studio album, Ripely Pine (Ba Da Bing! Records).



On her newest work, After, Spaltro explores dualities further – giving equal attention to both the internal and external, the before and after. Her most palpable fears and memories are on display here, with a familiar vulnerability even more direct than her last effort. These new works – which found Spaltro co-producing with her Ripely Pine partner Nadim Issa – are sonically vibrant, with an assertive use of grit and brightness. Thematically, they provide direct insight into Spaltro’s rumination on mortality, family, friendships, and leaving home. Where Ripely Pinesometimes lacked in personal narrative and directness is where After shines. The last line on After encompasses the self-assurance of the work as a whole, stating “I know where I come from.” This theme is constant throughout the album.

To many, Lady Lamb (aka Aly Spaltro) is an enigma. Her songs are at once intimate and unbridled– both deeply personal and existentially contemplative. Spaltro is a fearless performer who can command a pitch-black stage with nothing more than her voice. Yet, when the band bursts in and the lights come up, what began as a demonstration of restraint shifts seamlessly into an emphatic snarl.



It was in Spaltro’s home state of Maine that she first found her voice among thousands of films in the independent rental store where she worked the closing shift. After hours, Spaltro would create songs completely uninhibited by musical conventions, learning to play and sing as she hit record. A handful of these songs were carefully curated and fully arranged for her debut studio album, Ripely Pine (Ba Da Bing! Records).



On her newest work, After, Spaltro explores dualities further – giving equal attention to both the internal and external, the before and after. Her most palpable fears and memories are on display here, with a familiar vulnerability even more direct than her last effort. These new works – which found Spaltro co-producing with her Ripely Pine partner Nadim Issa – are sonically vibrant, with an assertive use of grit and brightness. Thematically, they provide direct insight into Spaltro’s rumination on mortality, family, friendships, and leaving home. Where Ripely Pinesometimes lacked in personal narrative and directness is where After shines. The last line on After encompasses the self-assurance of the work as a whole, stating “I know where I come from.” This theme is constant throughout the album.

SUSTO with Special Guests Illiterate Light and Frances Cone

Every pair of tickets for this show includes either digital download or CD copy of SUSTO’s new album, Ever Since I Lost My Mind. You will receive an email with more details about this offer approximately 7 days after your purchase.

Mobility has always helped define America. Don't settle for where you start. Find a new town, new coast, or new state of mind -- then make it yours. "We export this idea of getting in your car and going somewhere, trying to find something new, bouncing around," says Justin Osborne. "We live in some strange, crazy times. There is a sense of darkness. But I'm crisscrossing the country, and people are good and fun. There is a lot of beauty everywhere. I think not forgetting that is important."

Osborne is home in Charleston, South Carolina, reflecting on the personal journey and cultural climate that have led to Ever Since I Lost My Mind, the third record and label debut for his acclaimed project SUSTO. The album is a resounding triumph: a mix of new partnerships and collaborations with old friends, all anchored by Osborne's perceptive songs that explore connection, loss, and transience -- and the pain and joy each brings.

"Ever Since I Lost My Mind is very personal. This collection of songs came together over the course of a couple of years, and they all represent different moments," he says. "It felt cathartic writing all of them, and they were also all fun in different ways."

With a rock-rooted sound that doesn't shy away from radio-ready hooks, SUSTO keeps listeners engaged by refusing to occupy an easily defined space. Produced by Ian Fitchuck (Kacey Musgraves, Ruston Kelly) and featuring key input from Osborne's longtime creative sounding board Wolfgang Zimmerman, Ever Since I Lost My Mind defiantly experiments with synth embellishments, Latin heart, guileless folk, and more. Osborne's mellow vocals comfort without losing the ability to surprise -- delicate croons, growls, and occasional screams take turns.

Osborne wrote his first songs as a 14-year-old in small town South Carolina, sneaking time with his late grandfather's parlor guitar that his parents had actually forbidden him and his three rowdy brothers to touch. "So I'd go steal it out of my dad's closet whenever they were out of the house," he recalls. "It only had like three strings on it. I remember figuring out how to do barre chords, and I wrote a three-chord song about a girl I liked." Drawn to music and supported by parents who just hadn't wanted their boys to break a family heirloom, Osborne played in bands throughout high school, military school, and college.

But SUSTO didn't begin until Osborne thought he was walking away from music for good. Burned out after years of self-booking, self-management, and a relentless grind, he had played a farewell show with his then-band and was prepping for a move to Cuba. He set up an online home for SUSTO as a holding tank for demos he couldn't quite bear to toss.

When Osborne moved to Havana as part of a study abroad opportunity, he thought he was abandoning music for anthropology. But the Cuban musicians and artists he befriended had other ideas. They were among the first to see that SUSTO -- and the music that would ultimately fuel it -- captured him too well to remain an afterthought. Re-energized, he returned to the States half a year later and recorded SUSTO's first album. Just after the release of the band's self-titled debut album, Osborne faced a clear choice. "It was a weird moment. I just had to finally quit keeping one foot out of music and dive in. So, I got knuckle tattoos and haven't stopped trying to make this work since then," he says with a laugh. SUSTO's acclaimed sophomore album & I'm Fine Today made it even more clear that music and Osborne were meant to be.

In Latin American cultures, the word susto describes an intense fear understood as a condition of the soul -- an ongoing, spiritual panic attack. All of the letters of susto also appear in Osborne's full name. "SUSTO was this combination of phonetics and meaning -- it felt like me, like a name for myself," he says. "I chose the name SUSTO for the project because the meaning behind the word -- that deep fright -- was something I was experiencing, and songwriting felt like it was helping me cure it by helping me to process what was happening. Personally, it was a time of so many powerful transitions: abandoning my religion, losing touch with my family, and just having a general sense of being lost, without direction."

That nod to transition reverberates loudly throughout Ever Since I Lost My Mind. While SUSTO began as a band and still benefits from collaboration with peers, the new record also positions the project finally and firmly as what it's really always been: Osborne's vision. "I come from a background of being in bands, so it's hard for me to be comfortable taking complete control," he says. "Even being the only person in a promo photo was a hard thing for me to get used to. It's taken years for me to realize what SUSTO should be -- what it really is."

"Homeboy" kicks off the album. Osborne contemplates friends moving on from Charleston over jaunty acoustic guitar that evokes exploratory rambling before heavier electric guitar adds gravity to all the leaving. He didn't want loved ones to go, but then realized that in many ways -- even though Charleston remains home base -- he'd already left. "The whole album deals with these pulling-apart decisions -- not in a negative or a positive way, but in a reflective way," he says.

Sauntering "If I Was" is a lighthearted stroll through different identities and aspirations, followed by the optimistic yearning of "Weather Balloons," buoyed by punchy percussion and keys. Driving "Last Century" revels in timeless bonds revealed by details: "I can see you in the driveway, smiling, licking your left front tooth," he sings.

"Livin' in America" extols beloved U.S. cities and finding the right people in them. It's a self- aware ode, both gently sarcastic and totally sincere -- a timely love letter to a country whose defining quality today is often turmoil. Stripped down "Cocaine" skulks through dark corners, while "No Way Out" lounges in captivity that Osborne has no urge to escape. Gorgeous album closer "Off You" is bright and honest, an intimate moment of clarity mid-transition.

One of Osborne's favorite tracks, "Manual Transmission," was written on a cold day on tour in Norway when he was hounded by homesickness. He plays lead guitar on the track and relished the opportunity to express himself via aching strings in addition to words. "Esta Bien" soars sweetly and entirely in Spanish. "House of the Blue Green Buddha" is a love song that lands because of its whimsical specificity -- details from the home and closeness Osborne and his wife share.

The title track is a stunner: sad but hopeful, content but restless, nostalgic but progressive -- a beautiful encapsulation of the push and pull that shapes the entire record. Osborne's experiences with psychedelics also play a role, both in "Ever Since I Lost My Mind" and the album as a whole. Warned as a child that drugs would make him lose his mind, he now believes in the freedom and self-discovery that can come with letting go in various ways. He is also convinced that some people from his past think he's insane. "They think I'm a crazy hippie, and really, in a lot of ways, I guess I am," he says with a smile. "I feel more loving and more understanding."

That acceptance of himself and others may be SUSTO's defining trait. "I can lose my mind on stage sometimes -- I will break down and cry or have to keep myself from doing it," Osborne says. "I think about my grandad's guitar, all the bands I've been in, and just seeing these people responding to and connecting with the songs..." He trails off before grinning again and adding, "I just feel so incredibly lucky."

Every pair of tickets for this show includes either digital download or CD copy of SUSTO’s new album, Ever Since I Lost My Mind. You will receive an email with more details about this offer approximately 7 days after your purchase.

Mobility has always helped define America. Don't settle for where you start. Find a new town, new coast, or new state of mind -- then make it yours. "We export this idea of getting in your car and going somewhere, trying to find something new, bouncing around," says Justin Osborne. "We live in some strange, crazy times. There is a sense of darkness. But I'm crisscrossing the country, and people are good and fun. There is a lot of beauty everywhere. I think not forgetting that is important."

Osborne is home in Charleston, South Carolina, reflecting on the personal journey and cultural climate that have led to Ever Since I Lost My Mind, the third record and label debut for his acclaimed project SUSTO. The album is a resounding triumph: a mix of new partnerships and collaborations with old friends, all anchored by Osborne's perceptive songs that explore connection, loss, and transience -- and the pain and joy each brings.

"Ever Since I Lost My Mind is very personal. This collection of songs came together over the course of a couple of years, and they all represent different moments," he says. "It felt cathartic writing all of them, and they were also all fun in different ways."

With a rock-rooted sound that doesn't shy away from radio-ready hooks, SUSTO keeps listeners engaged by refusing to occupy an easily defined space. Produced by Ian Fitchuck (Kacey Musgraves, Ruston Kelly) and featuring key input from Osborne's longtime creative sounding board Wolfgang Zimmerman, Ever Since I Lost My Mind defiantly experiments with synth embellishments, Latin heart, guileless folk, and more. Osborne's mellow vocals comfort without losing the ability to surprise -- delicate croons, growls, and occasional screams take turns.

Osborne wrote his first songs as a 14-year-old in small town South Carolina, sneaking time with his late grandfather's parlor guitar that his parents had actually forbidden him and his three rowdy brothers to touch. "So I'd go steal it out of my dad's closet whenever they were out of the house," he recalls. "It only had like three strings on it. I remember figuring out how to do barre chords, and I wrote a three-chord song about a girl I liked." Drawn to music and supported by parents who just hadn't wanted their boys to break a family heirloom, Osborne played in bands throughout high school, military school, and college.

But SUSTO didn't begin until Osborne thought he was walking away from music for good. Burned out after years of self-booking, self-management, and a relentless grind, he had played a farewell show with his then-band and was prepping for a move to Cuba. He set up an online home for SUSTO as a holding tank for demos he couldn't quite bear to toss.

When Osborne moved to Havana as part of a study abroad opportunity, he thought he was abandoning music for anthropology. But the Cuban musicians and artists he befriended had other ideas. They were among the first to see that SUSTO -- and the music that would ultimately fuel it -- captured him too well to remain an afterthought. Re-energized, he returned to the States half a year later and recorded SUSTO's first album. Just after the release of the band's self-titled debut album, Osborne faced a clear choice. "It was a weird moment. I just had to finally quit keeping one foot out of music and dive in. So, I got knuckle tattoos and haven't stopped trying to make this work since then," he says with a laugh. SUSTO's acclaimed sophomore album & I'm Fine Today made it even more clear that music and Osborne were meant to be.

In Latin American cultures, the word susto describes an intense fear understood as a condition of the soul -- an ongoing, spiritual panic attack. All of the letters of susto also appear in Osborne's full name. "SUSTO was this combination of phonetics and meaning -- it felt like me, like a name for myself," he says. "I chose the name SUSTO for the project because the meaning behind the word -- that deep fright -- was something I was experiencing, and songwriting felt like it was helping me cure it by helping me to process what was happening. Personally, it was a time of so many powerful transitions: abandoning my religion, losing touch with my family, and just having a general sense of being lost, without direction."

That nod to transition reverberates loudly throughout Ever Since I Lost My Mind. While SUSTO began as a band and still benefits from collaboration with peers, the new record also positions the project finally and firmly as what it's really always been: Osborne's vision. "I come from a background of being in bands, so it's hard for me to be comfortable taking complete control," he says. "Even being the only person in a promo photo was a hard thing for me to get used to. It's taken years for me to realize what SUSTO should be -- what it really is."

"Homeboy" kicks off the album. Osborne contemplates friends moving on from Charleston over jaunty acoustic guitar that evokes exploratory rambling before heavier electric guitar adds gravity to all the leaving. He didn't want loved ones to go, but then realized that in many ways -- even though Charleston remains home base -- he'd already left. "The whole album deals with these pulling-apart decisions -- not in a negative or a positive way, but in a reflective way," he says.

Sauntering "If I Was" is a lighthearted stroll through different identities and aspirations, followed by the optimistic yearning of "Weather Balloons," buoyed by punchy percussion and keys. Driving "Last Century" revels in timeless bonds revealed by details: "I can see you in the driveway, smiling, licking your left front tooth," he sings.

"Livin' in America" extols beloved U.S. cities and finding the right people in them. It's a self- aware ode, both gently sarcastic and totally sincere -- a timely love letter to a country whose defining quality today is often turmoil. Stripped down "Cocaine" skulks through dark corners, while "No Way Out" lounges in captivity that Osborne has no urge to escape. Gorgeous album closer "Off You" is bright and honest, an intimate moment of clarity mid-transition.

One of Osborne's favorite tracks, "Manual Transmission," was written on a cold day on tour in Norway when he was hounded by homesickness. He plays lead guitar on the track and relished the opportunity to express himself via aching strings in addition to words. "Esta Bien" soars sweetly and entirely in Spanish. "House of the Blue Green Buddha" is a love song that lands because of its whimsical specificity -- details from the home and closeness Osborne and his wife share.

The title track is a stunner: sad but hopeful, content but restless, nostalgic but progressive -- a beautiful encapsulation of the push and pull that shapes the entire record. Osborne's experiences with psychedelics also play a role, both in "Ever Since I Lost My Mind" and the album as a whole. Warned as a child that drugs would make him lose his mind, he now believes in the freedom and self-discovery that can come with letting go in various ways. He is also convinced that some people from his past think he's insane. "They think I'm a crazy hippie, and really, in a lot of ways, I guess I am," he says with a smile. "I feel more loving and more understanding."

That acceptance of himself and others may be SUSTO's defining trait. "I can lose my mind on stage sometimes -- I will break down and cry or have to keep myself from doing it," Osborne says. "I think about my grandad's guitar, all the bands I've been in, and just seeing these people responding to and connecting with the songs..." He trails off before grinning again and adding, "I just feel so incredibly lucky."

Carbon Leaf - Hindsight's 2019 Look Past the Future Tour

Blending rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana traditions into a high-energy style the group calls ether-electrified porch music, the Virginia quintet’s poetic songs are brought to life with acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, penny whistle, pedal steel, accordion and rich vocal harmony. Carbon Leaf writes, records and produces it’s music independently from their studio in Richmond, VA, and has performed over 2,400 lives shows across 17 albums in their long career. The group’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans.

Blending rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana traditions into a high-energy style the group calls ether-electrified porch music, the Virginia quintet’s poetic songs are brought to life with acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, penny whistle, pedal steel, accordion and rich vocal harmony. Carbon Leaf writes, records and produces it’s music independently from their studio in Richmond, VA, and has performed over 2,400 lives shows across 17 albums in their long career. The group’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans.

Life In Vacuum

Math rock. Noise rock. Post punk or post hardcore. You could use any combination of
those terms and dozens more to describe Life in Vacuum, though more accurately, you
could just say, “undiluted urgency in audio form.”

The Toronto-based trio delivers an explosive, high-energy brand of aggressive
rock that laces merciless but musical melodies and passionate vocals with rhythms
seemingly spit out by an angry calculator. The result is many things: compelling,
hypnotic, menacing, but most of all, undeniably magnetic. Look no further than the
band’s latest LP, All You Can Quit, for proof.

Brothers Ross and Sasha Chornyy never played music together in their native
Ukraine, though that changed upon immigrating to Canada in 2004. The pair – Ross on
drums and Sasha on guitar and vocals – formed a band that was admittedly far removed
from Life in Vacuum’s perfectly calculated chaos; then, they were introduced to acts like
At the Drive-In, The Mars Volta, and Refused, and everything changed.

All You Can Quit is the first offering to feature current bassist Geoff Albrecht, and
the group’s chemistry is outright combustible. The album’s 11 tracks showcase the
pinnacle of Life in Vacuum’s dynamic sound to date, shifting seamlessly from raw
aggression to intricate and ethereal delicacy – always musical, always awesome.

Life in Vacuum have toured rigorously in their time together, bringing their highenergy, piss-and-vinegar performances everywhere possible – from raucous house shows in sweaty Toronto basements to tours throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America.

They’ve shared stages with the likes of MeWithoutYou, PUP, and Metz and performed at
high-profile events at SXSW, The Fest, NXNE, and Canadian Music Week.
The swarm of people that care is swelling by the day, and All You Can Quit is
sure to push the band to an entirely new plateau. Describe Life in Vacuum however you
like; just don’t ignore the impactful and unparalleled aural experience so uniquely their
own.

Math rock. Noise rock. Post punk or post hardcore. You could use any combination of
those terms and dozens more to describe Life in Vacuum, though more accurately, you
could just say, “undiluted urgency in audio form.”

The Toronto-based trio delivers an explosive, high-energy brand of aggressive
rock that laces merciless but musical melodies and passionate vocals with rhythms
seemingly spit out by an angry calculator. The result is many things: compelling,
hypnotic, menacing, but most of all, undeniably magnetic. Look no further than the
band’s latest LP, All You Can Quit, for proof.

Brothers Ross and Sasha Chornyy never played music together in their native
Ukraine, though that changed upon immigrating to Canada in 2004. The pair – Ross on
drums and Sasha on guitar and vocals – formed a band that was admittedly far removed
from Life in Vacuum’s perfectly calculated chaos; then, they were introduced to acts like
At the Drive-In, The Mars Volta, and Refused, and everything changed.

All You Can Quit is the first offering to feature current bassist Geoff Albrecht, and
the group’s chemistry is outright combustible. The album’s 11 tracks showcase the
pinnacle of Life in Vacuum’s dynamic sound to date, shifting seamlessly from raw
aggression to intricate and ethereal delicacy – always musical, always awesome.

Life in Vacuum have toured rigorously in their time together, bringing their highenergy, piss-and-vinegar performances everywhere possible – from raucous house shows in sweaty Toronto basements to tours throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America.

They’ve shared stages with the likes of MeWithoutYou, PUP, and Metz and performed at
high-profile events at SXSW, The Fest, NXNE, and Canadian Music Week.
The swarm of people that care is swelling by the day, and All You Can Quit is
sure to push the band to an entirely new plateau. Describe Life in Vacuum however you
like; just don’t ignore the impactful and unparalleled aural experience so uniquely their
own.

(Early Show) Jenna Nicholls with Special Guest Angela Autumn

Oozing with heart-filled, innocent indie rock, Jenna Nicholls’ second album The Blooming Hour entrances listeners with its charming vocals backed by lovely piano and guitar. This solo artist, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, brings hints of jazz, bluegrass, and folk into her sound, making it memorable. The unhurried tracks prove appealing due to their gentle, serene sound and soulful lyrics. Though all are filled with childlike innocence, each precious track brings something new to the table.

The album starts off on the right foot with its best track, “The Getaway.” Soft and melodic, her innocent voice blends beautifully with the sun-shiny sound of the ukulele. The song gives an earthy feel, similar to springtime in a field of flowers. A few tracks later, “Be Kind to My Mistakes” proves Jenna Nicholls’ ability to cover a song and have it live up to the original. Unhurried, the mellow Kate Bush cover features hushed, careful vocals that beg and plea. Featured in ABC’s television series BostonMed, “All the While” brings guitar and twinkling piano together with Jenna Nicholls’ swoony voice to provide a slow, reflective track with quick changes of notes. “Just How Much,” another charming track on the album uses a waltz rhythm and loving lyrics to portray “just how much” she loves someone. The piano tinks along merrily in the background, pairing wonderfully with her innocent vocals. Full of sass and an old-timey feel, “Sassy Miss Lassie” shows a fun and playful side of the artist. The track is unlike any other track on the album, but somehow still ties into the overall sound.

Calling New York City her home, Jenna Nicholls takes her indie rock genre by storm, incorporating other genres such as jazz, bluegrass, and folk in her music. The Blooming Hour, her second album, released in May of this year. Despite the vast number of indie artists trying to break into the scene, this artist has began making a name for herself. Having been featured on an ABC television series, Jenna Nicholls shows that she is an artist to watch.

By: Valerie Cox 99.1 FM WIUX

Oozing with heart-filled, innocent indie rock, Jenna Nicholls’ second album The Blooming Hour entrances listeners with its charming vocals backed by lovely piano and guitar. This solo artist, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, brings hints of jazz, bluegrass, and folk into her sound, making it memorable. The unhurried tracks prove appealing due to their gentle, serene sound and soulful lyrics. Though all are filled with childlike innocence, each precious track brings something new to the table.

The album starts off on the right foot with its best track, “The Getaway.” Soft and melodic, her innocent voice blends beautifully with the sun-shiny sound of the ukulele. The song gives an earthy feel, similar to springtime in a field of flowers. A few tracks later, “Be Kind to My Mistakes” proves Jenna Nicholls’ ability to cover a song and have it live up to the original. Unhurried, the mellow Kate Bush cover features hushed, careful vocals that beg and plea. Featured in ABC’s television series BostonMed, “All the While” brings guitar and twinkling piano together with Jenna Nicholls’ swoony voice to provide a slow, reflective track with quick changes of notes. “Just How Much,” another charming track on the album uses a waltz rhythm and loving lyrics to portray “just how much” she loves someone. The piano tinks along merrily in the background, pairing wonderfully with her innocent vocals. Full of sass and an old-timey feel, “Sassy Miss Lassie” shows a fun and playful side of the artist. The track is unlike any other track on the album, but somehow still ties into the overall sound.

Calling New York City her home, Jenna Nicholls takes her indie rock genre by storm, incorporating other genres such as jazz, bluegrass, and folk in her music. The Blooming Hour, her second album, released in May of this year. Despite the vast number of indie artists trying to break into the scene, this artist has began making a name for herself. Having been featured on an ABC television series, Jenna Nicholls shows that she is an artist to watch.

By: Valerie Cox 99.1 FM WIUX

Wishbone Ash - Presented by Opus One & Iron City Rocks

In the ramp-up to Wishbone Ash's 50th anniversary, the band is celebrating its 49th year in characteristic fashion: with an extended tour. Dubbed XLIX (49 in Roman numerals), the tour began in October 2018 in the UK, followed by dates in Europe and, in Spring 2019, comes to North America. Longtime fans and new converts alike will revel in the group’s signature twin-guitar mastery and powerhouse rhythm section as they present classics spanning their career.
The US leg of the XLIX Tour will revisit some of the band's favorite venues as well as new ones from the Eastern seaboard to the Rocky Mountains.
“We always look forward to meeting old friends and fans alike on our annual Midwest and East Coast tours,” says founding member Andy Powell. “American audiences are so supportive and enthusiastic!”
Formed in 1969 in London, England, Wishbone Ash is one of the most influential guitar bands in the history of rock. True road warriors, each year they log around 30,000 miles, roughly equivalent to circumnavigating the earth.
Mark Abrahams, the group's newest member, has been trading licks with Powell for two years. Right out of the gate, Abrahams earned rave reviews from critics and fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Longtime rhythm section Bob Skeat on bass and Joe Crabtree on drums continue to provide the solid groove that is their hallmark.
By 1969, The Beatles, the blues boom and psychedelia had made their impact on classic rock, and the creative possibilities were infinite. Pioneering the use of twin lead guitars, Wishbone Ash jumped on board the burgeoning progressive rock scene. Taking full advantage of the fertile musical environment, they produced a distinctive brand of melodic rock.
Inspired equally by British folk traditions, American jazz and R&B, the group played to public and critical acclaim. Power and melody have made the Ash a hard act to follow, while they are currently being discovered by new generations of loyal rock fans.
Through the years the band has delved into various musical genres, from folk, blues and jazz to pedal-to-the-metal rock and electronica. Whatever the style, Wishbone Ash’s signature is the distinctive twin-melodic lead guitar interplay that has influenced such bands as Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Iron Maiden and, more recently, Opeth.
The quintessential road band, Wishbone Ash has gained worldwide recognition based firmly on a regime of relentless touring.
“The band basically lives together year-round on the road, so we have a very strong level of communication that translates in our performances and recordings,” says Powell. “We’ve come to an era where the industry has to pigeonhole a band as Classic Rock, Prog Rock, Heritage Rock and so on. The truth is that we have always kept our options open and always relied on the musicianship of the players to lead the way. It’s fun to be stylistically diverse and this has, in its way, contributed to our longevity.”
Wishbone Ash has to its credit 24 original studio recordings, 11 live albums and five live DVDs along with a DVD rockumentary (“This is Wishbone Ash”). Released April 2018, “The Vintage Years” 30-disc box set, three-and-a-half years in the making, is a special collection dedicated to the band's output from 1970 to 1991, including all 16 studio albums, three live albums, eight previously unreleased live shows from 1973 to 1980, a 156-page coffee-table hardcover book and an assortment of memorabilia.
Also now available is the fifth Roadworks CD, “Live in Sacramento,” recorded on the 2018 North American tour; and the first official re-releases in decades of “Twin Barrels Burning” from 1982 and “Raw to the Bone” from 1985, plus definitive editions with all-new 2017 re-masters.
In 2015, Powell released his musical memoir, “Eyes Wide Open: True Tales of a Wishbone Ash Warrior,” co-written with renowned Irish music journalist Colin Harper and available in Kindle and Apple iBook formats.
“It’s quite an undertaking to put 46 years of being a touring musician in this one band into book form,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of changes in the music business and the world in general, as you can imagine.”
There is no other rock band in history that has done more with the twin guitar concept than Wishbone Ash. Be sure to catch them on the XLIX US Tour in April-May 2019, and stay tuned for the 50th anniversary tour in 2020!

In the ramp-up to Wishbone Ash's 50th anniversary, the band is celebrating its 49th year in characteristic fashion: with an extended tour. Dubbed XLIX (49 in Roman numerals), the tour began in October 2018 in the UK, followed by dates in Europe and, in Spring 2019, comes to North America. Longtime fans and new converts alike will revel in the group’s signature twin-guitar mastery and powerhouse rhythm section as they present classics spanning their career.
The US leg of the XLIX Tour will revisit some of the band's favorite venues as well as new ones from the Eastern seaboard to the Rocky Mountains.
“We always look forward to meeting old friends and fans alike on our annual Midwest and East Coast tours,” says founding member Andy Powell. “American audiences are so supportive and enthusiastic!”
Formed in 1969 in London, England, Wishbone Ash is one of the most influential guitar bands in the history of rock. True road warriors, each year they log around 30,000 miles, roughly equivalent to circumnavigating the earth.
Mark Abrahams, the group's newest member, has been trading licks with Powell for two years. Right out of the gate, Abrahams earned rave reviews from critics and fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Longtime rhythm section Bob Skeat on bass and Joe Crabtree on drums continue to provide the solid groove that is their hallmark.
By 1969, The Beatles, the blues boom and psychedelia had made their impact on classic rock, and the creative possibilities were infinite. Pioneering the use of twin lead guitars, Wishbone Ash jumped on board the burgeoning progressive rock scene. Taking full advantage of the fertile musical environment, they produced a distinctive brand of melodic rock.
Inspired equally by British folk traditions, American jazz and R&B, the group played to public and critical acclaim. Power and melody have made the Ash a hard act to follow, while they are currently being discovered by new generations of loyal rock fans.
Through the years the band has delved into various musical genres, from folk, blues and jazz to pedal-to-the-metal rock and electronica. Whatever the style, Wishbone Ash’s signature is the distinctive twin-melodic lead guitar interplay that has influenced such bands as Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Iron Maiden and, more recently, Opeth.
The quintessential road band, Wishbone Ash has gained worldwide recognition based firmly on a regime of relentless touring.
“The band basically lives together year-round on the road, so we have a very strong level of communication that translates in our performances and recordings,” says Powell. “We’ve come to an era where the industry has to pigeonhole a band as Classic Rock, Prog Rock, Heritage Rock and so on. The truth is that we have always kept our options open and always relied on the musicianship of the players to lead the way. It’s fun to be stylistically diverse and this has, in its way, contributed to our longevity.”
Wishbone Ash has to its credit 24 original studio recordings, 11 live albums and five live DVDs along with a DVD rockumentary (“This is Wishbone Ash”). Released April 2018, “The Vintage Years” 30-disc box set, three-and-a-half years in the making, is a special collection dedicated to the band's output from 1970 to 1991, including all 16 studio albums, three live albums, eight previously unreleased live shows from 1973 to 1980, a 156-page coffee-table hardcover book and an assortment of memorabilia.
Also now available is the fifth Roadworks CD, “Live in Sacramento,” recorded on the 2018 North American tour; and the first official re-releases in decades of “Twin Barrels Burning” from 1982 and “Raw to the Bone” from 1985, plus definitive editions with all-new 2017 re-masters.
In 2015, Powell released his musical memoir, “Eyes Wide Open: True Tales of a Wishbone Ash Warrior,” co-written with renowned Irish music journalist Colin Harper and available in Kindle and Apple iBook formats.
“It’s quite an undertaking to put 46 years of being a touring musician in this one band into book form,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of changes in the music business and the world in general, as you can imagine.”
There is no other rock band in history that has done more with the twin guitar concept than Wishbone Ash. Be sure to catch them on the XLIX US Tour in April-May 2019, and stay tuned for the 50th anniversary tour in 2020!

Bobby Long

Songwriting has always been a soul-baring exercise for British singer-songwriter Bobby Long. From the dark themes of his earliest work through to the thought-provoking subject matter he has traversed since then, his body of work is at its core captivating and emotionally raw. Whether mining the depths of despair and alienation or exploring spirituality, apathy and even more mundane topics like love and passion, his songs are word pictures that transfix and transport.

For his fourth album, Sultans, Long has chosen a somewhat different approach, from conceptualization through the recording process itself. Rather than working within the confines of a producer’s tight schedule, he chose to work with multi-instrumentalist and close friend Jack Dawson, with whom he had toured and collaborated on the 2012 EP The Backing Singer, and they took their time. “Usually with other producers I have worked with, we would meet just before recording. The relationship blossoms just as we record and work together, and by the end, we are really close. With this album, working with Jack especially, the friendship was already so deep, and there isn't another musician I have played with as much as Jack, so everything was intertwined.”

As a result, Sultans as a whole is unlike Long’s three previous releases, A WINTER TALE (2011), WISHBONE (2013) and ODE TO THINKING (2015), beginning with the songwriting and preparation. “I started writing the songs a year before and did a lot more pre-production than usual,” he explains. “When I write, I usually just record my vocals and guitar, but this time I ended up using drum loops, played bass lines and spent a long time working on guitar parts and harmonies. I usually don't go into too much detail because I would want whoever played bass or drums to come up with something naturally, but this time, I really wanted to work on the greater detail. When it came time to record, Jack (the producer) and Dave Lindsay (sound engineer) were incredibly respectful of the demos I had concocted. They honoured the originals and advanced them. Dave, who played drums on the album, actually liked some of the drum loops so much that he copied some of the fills. His drumming is a really important part of the album. It sets the tone and drives us forward.”

The trio recorded at Lindsay’s Country Club Studio in Brooklyn over a one year period. “We became a little band during the recording,” says Long. “I played guitar and sang, Dave played drums and Jack played bass. We basically recorded those parts as a band live. We would jam songs out and work things out. We then built the song up by adding parts and using other musicians/magicians to play different instruments. Having the record based around the natural feel of a live performance really added a human element to the album and set the earthy feel, which I really felt was important. As much as I wanted to experiment and feel the freedom to add anything and everything, we all felt it was incredibly important to stay true to our own playing and build from there. Just like the Beatles would have done.”

The Beatles actually loomed large in this project according to Long. “Me and Jack are massive Beatles fans and other bands like ELO and other psychedelic music really was a huge factor in our approach,” he explains. .”We would set up each day to do a new song, play it through a bunch, smoke, drink and then attack it. The results were always so varied and dynamic. It was a very liberating feeling. We made playlists and spoke about different techniques used on albums we loved from the 60s to present day. Nothing was off the table. No music was too weird or too un-cool.

“When you write a song, you always have the greater picture in your head. Your imagination runs over the tracks, and the songs take on all sorts of forms. The sounds of this record are the closest to my imaginings that I’ve ever come before, and this record is without doubt the closest I’ve come to matching what is in my head. Ironically, it came through working with a great friend of mine and feeling free to experiment because of our closeness before we went in the studio.”

Sultans takes its name from the first and last tracks on the album—essentially “Sultans Part 1” and “Sultans Part 2.” “It was a song that was originally just drums, ukulele and a sample that Jack gravitated towards,” Bobby explains. “I feel it sets the tone for the entire album and ends it quite nicely as well. We were obviously inspired by Sgt. Pepper when coming up with the idea of the same start and end point. It gives the album a concept, and although the songs are quite similar, there are differences in dynamics and playfulness.

“Also, vocally this album was different for me. I was really inspired by John Lennon’s vocals and the rawness he would get, especially on early Beatles records or his solo stuff. Letting emotion get in the way and kind of showing my true colours. I wanted to be brave, especially on the deeply personal songs so I just left it all out there.”

The songs that embody the album are varied in subject matter, some mining universal themes Long has touched on since the beginning like love and death, while other topics can be found on the 6PM news on a daily basis. “Some of the songs are from the standpoint of watching from the outside and putting myself in that situation,” he explains. “Being displaced and trying to understand others in certain situations creates patience and brotherhood not only in a song, but in real life. I think I wrote these songs with greater imagination. I was feeling a lot of frustration towards religion and religious establishments for one thing. I didn't understand the depth of my frustration until I noticed the same issues arising again and again. My wife was expecting our first child during most of the making of the album, and my son was born pretty much right as we finished. Maybe that had something to do with certain frustrations—I don't know. I do know that the lyrical content of the songs came from my experiences throughout my life, rather than just from the year before recording it like usual. I suppose my outlook has changed, but my writing is always in some sort of evolutionary stage. At the moment, I’m just harboring ideas. In the past, I’d write a song a day. I’m always changing it up.”

If you’re looking for some truth,
you’ve lost it,
get saved,
take the furthest thing that you can’t prove,
believe it,
you’re spared,
or try to make some sense of it all
from “Mazerati”
Bobby Long was born in Wigan, near Manchester in Northern England and moved with his family when he was two years old to the town of Calne in the countryside of southwest England known where he grew up. Dyslexic as a kid, his learning disability kept him from fully expressing the thoughts in his head until an observant teacher introduced him to the poetry of Dylan Thomas and suddenly the world of literature was his playground. His musical parents provided a constant flow of music in the house, from the Beatles to Bob Dylan to the blues, but he resisted the music bug until he was 16 when he was given a guitar and began writing songs.

At 18, he enrolled at London Metropolitan University where he studied sound and media for film (another passion) and became a regular on the local open mic circuit. Often playing five shows a week, he worked at developing his own unique guitar style and learned how to sing while showcasing his original songs. There he also fell in with a tightly-knit community of fellow musicians and actors who would become his close circle of friends. Among them was musician Marcus Foster, with whom he wrote a song called “Let Me Sign,” and soon-to-be movie star Robert Pattinson, who would sing their song in the 2008 blockbuster film Twilight.

The notoriety surrounding the film gave him the opportunity to come play his music in America, and he essentially never left, settling in New York City as home base for his life and career. Long headlines his own shows and has supported major artists, among them Steve Winwood, Iron & Wine, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Brett Dennen, as well as playing high profile festivals like Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, the Dave Matthews Caravan, Bamboozle and England’s venerable Glastonbury Festival.

In between albums, he channels his writing skills into poetry and has now published two volumes of his work, Losing My Brotherhood (2012) and Losing My Misery (2016). For Losing My Misery he also created the original illustrations. “I feel like a better songwriter after I write poetry,” he says. As for another book, he says, “I have a few things I’m stuck with or half way through. Sometimes you’ve got to wait for a bit of inspiration or timing.”

Sultans represents Bobby Long’s continuation of his commitment to creating music that both challenges and entertains. “It’s about the whole body of work for me. It’s all part of the greater. I don’t think you can define anyone by one album. I certainly cannot. The good, bad, successful, underappreciated--it doesn’t matter. It’s about expressing yourself and feeling better for it. I want to do many more albums…no matter what.”

Songwriting has always been a soul-baring exercise for British singer-songwriter Bobby Long. From the dark themes of his earliest work through to the thought-provoking subject matter he has traversed since then, his body of work is at its core captivating and emotionally raw. Whether mining the depths of despair and alienation or exploring spirituality, apathy and even more mundane topics like love and passion, his songs are word pictures that transfix and transport.

For his fourth album, Sultans, Long has chosen a somewhat different approach, from conceptualization through the recording process itself. Rather than working within the confines of a producer’s tight schedule, he chose to work with multi-instrumentalist and close friend Jack Dawson, with whom he had toured and collaborated on the 2012 EP The Backing Singer, and they took their time. “Usually with other producers I have worked with, we would meet just before recording. The relationship blossoms just as we record and work together, and by the end, we are really close. With this album, working with Jack especially, the friendship was already so deep, and there isn't another musician I have played with as much as Jack, so everything was intertwined.”

As a result, Sultans as a whole is unlike Long’s three previous releases, A WINTER TALE (2011), WISHBONE (2013) and ODE TO THINKING (2015), beginning with the songwriting and preparation. “I started writing the songs a year before and did a lot more pre-production than usual,” he explains. “When I write, I usually just record my vocals and guitar, but this time I ended up using drum loops, played bass lines and spent a long time working on guitar parts and harmonies. I usually don't go into too much detail because I would want whoever played bass or drums to come up with something naturally, but this time, I really wanted to work on the greater detail. When it came time to record, Jack (the producer) and Dave Lindsay (sound engineer) were incredibly respectful of the demos I had concocted. They honoured the originals and advanced them. Dave, who played drums on the album, actually liked some of the drum loops so much that he copied some of the fills. His drumming is a really important part of the album. It sets the tone and drives us forward.”

The trio recorded at Lindsay’s Country Club Studio in Brooklyn over a one year period. “We became a little band during the recording,” says Long. “I played guitar and sang, Dave played drums and Jack played bass. We basically recorded those parts as a band live. We would jam songs out and work things out. We then built the song up by adding parts and using other musicians/magicians to play different instruments. Having the record based around the natural feel of a live performance really added a human element to the album and set the earthy feel, which I really felt was important. As much as I wanted to experiment and feel the freedom to add anything and everything, we all felt it was incredibly important to stay true to our own playing and build from there. Just like the Beatles would have done.”

The Beatles actually loomed large in this project according to Long. “Me and Jack are massive Beatles fans and other bands like ELO and other psychedelic music really was a huge factor in our approach,” he explains. .”We would set up each day to do a new song, play it through a bunch, smoke, drink and then attack it. The results were always so varied and dynamic. It was a very liberating feeling. We made playlists and spoke about different techniques used on albums we loved from the 60s to present day. Nothing was off the table. No music was too weird or too un-cool.

“When you write a song, you always have the greater picture in your head. Your imagination runs over the tracks, and the songs take on all sorts of forms. The sounds of this record are the closest to my imaginings that I’ve ever come before, and this record is without doubt the closest I’ve come to matching what is in my head. Ironically, it came through working with a great friend of mine and feeling free to experiment because of our closeness before we went in the studio.”

Sultans takes its name from the first and last tracks on the album—essentially “Sultans Part 1” and “Sultans Part 2.” “It was a song that was originally just drums, ukulele and a sample that Jack gravitated towards,” Bobby explains. “I feel it sets the tone for the entire album and ends it quite nicely as well. We were obviously inspired by Sgt. Pepper when coming up with the idea of the same start and end point. It gives the album a concept, and although the songs are quite similar, there are differences in dynamics and playfulness.

“Also, vocally this album was different for me. I was really inspired by John Lennon’s vocals and the rawness he would get, especially on early Beatles records or his solo stuff. Letting emotion get in the way and kind of showing my true colours. I wanted to be brave, especially on the deeply personal songs so I just left it all out there.”

The songs that embody the album are varied in subject matter, some mining universal themes Long has touched on since the beginning like love and death, while other topics can be found on the 6PM news on a daily basis. “Some of the songs are from the standpoint of watching from the outside and putting myself in that situation,” he explains. “Being displaced and trying to understand others in certain situations creates patience and brotherhood not only in a song, but in real life. I think I wrote these songs with greater imagination. I was feeling a lot of frustration towards religion and religious establishments for one thing. I didn't understand the depth of my frustration until I noticed the same issues arising again and again. My wife was expecting our first child during most of the making of the album, and my son was born pretty much right as we finished. Maybe that had something to do with certain frustrations—I don't know. I do know that the lyrical content of the songs came from my experiences throughout my life, rather than just from the year before recording it like usual. I suppose my outlook has changed, but my writing is always in some sort of evolutionary stage. At the moment, I’m just harboring ideas. In the past, I’d write a song a day. I’m always changing it up.”

If you’re looking for some truth,
you’ve lost it,
get saved,
take the furthest thing that you can’t prove,
believe it,
you’re spared,
or try to make some sense of it all
from “Mazerati”
Bobby Long was born in Wigan, near Manchester in Northern England and moved with his family when he was two years old to the town of Calne in the countryside of southwest England known where he grew up. Dyslexic as a kid, his learning disability kept him from fully expressing the thoughts in his head until an observant teacher introduced him to the poetry of Dylan Thomas and suddenly the world of literature was his playground. His musical parents provided a constant flow of music in the house, from the Beatles to Bob Dylan to the blues, but he resisted the music bug until he was 16 when he was given a guitar and began writing songs.

At 18, he enrolled at London Metropolitan University where he studied sound and media for film (another passion) and became a regular on the local open mic circuit. Often playing five shows a week, he worked at developing his own unique guitar style and learned how to sing while showcasing his original songs. There he also fell in with a tightly-knit community of fellow musicians and actors who would become his close circle of friends. Among them was musician Marcus Foster, with whom he wrote a song called “Let Me Sign,” and soon-to-be movie star Robert Pattinson, who would sing their song in the 2008 blockbuster film Twilight.

The notoriety surrounding the film gave him the opportunity to come play his music in America, and he essentially never left, settling in New York City as home base for his life and career. Long headlines his own shows and has supported major artists, among them Steve Winwood, Iron & Wine, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Brett Dennen, as well as playing high profile festivals like Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, the Dave Matthews Caravan, Bamboozle and England’s venerable Glastonbury Festival.

In between albums, he channels his writing skills into poetry and has now published two volumes of his work, Losing My Brotherhood (2012) and Losing My Misery (2016). For Losing My Misery he also created the original illustrations. “I feel like a better songwriter after I write poetry,” he says. As for another book, he says, “I have a few things I’m stuck with or half way through. Sometimes you’ve got to wait for a bit of inspiration or timing.”

Sultans represents Bobby Long’s continuation of his commitment to creating music that both challenges and entertains. “It’s about the whole body of work for me. It’s all part of the greater. I don’t think you can define anyone by one album. I certainly cannot. The good, bad, successful, underappreciated--it doesn’t matter. It’s about expressing yourself and feeling better for it. I want to do many more albums…no matter what.”

Tyler Ramsey

As the naturalist John Muir wrote, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” It is for this reason that musician Tyler Ramsey goes into the woods when he is writing, and why he and his wife have settled on a plot of land many miles outside of the nearest city of Asheville, North Carolina, to raise their young daughter. For Ramsey, living deliberately and with a little space, removed from distractions and the allure of needless consumption, is how he feels most creative and at ease. And while writing For the Morning, his first album since 2011’s The Valley Wind, Ramsey tapped into that insulated world where imagination flourishes and sounds for mining are plentiful to create his most realized and regal work yet.

The Ramsey home is surrounded by mountains, fields, and trees, and a small river winds through it all. Wild animals live in the family’s forest, paying daily visits to sing their own songs. Ramsey’s hand-built music studio affords him a shelter from the cacophony or a chance to join the chorus, depending on whether or not he has the windows open. The things he does at home are the things he sings about in his songs—neither costumed nor fabricated—and in keeping with his deliberate existence, he clarifies that his lifestyle is not a badge to be worn but simply his preference.

“Spending my time here in North Carolina, swimming in the stream and walking around in the woods, it’s part of my character as a musician,” Ramsey says. “We live out in the country, I built my own studio. Out here, you have the ability to take your time and work on things slowly and comfortably. These are reasons why the music I make sounds like it does.”

For the Morning is filled with instrumentation connecting the listener to this setting: radiant acoustic piano and stark, dexterous guitar fingerpicking; lilting, poignant pedal steel and gentle, babbling beats that mosey rather than rush. We are transplanted to Ramsey’s woods even before any words can take us there. But, as he reveals, the process that brought the album to life wasn’t just one sunny stroll in the pines—a newborn baby and a professional musician’s touring schedule create their own challenges. So, it was up to Ramsey to find a balance, and he learned to take advantage of any fleeting moments of stillness whenever possible, while also using his time on the road as its own form of inspiration.

He wrote what would become the first song for the record just after the birth of his daughter. As a way of keeping her calm during the long nights he would wear her on his chest in a baby carrier while playing piano, and the gentle, rhythmic chords would lull her to sleep. Of course, the family rooster, Pip, did not help matters, but such is life in the wild. Despite his exhaustion, a melody and words came to Ramsey quickly, written abstractly about coming to terms with his own sleeplessness, and he called the song “For the Morning.”

“I’d never been a morning person, but I became one because I had to,” he says. “Our daughter was up all the time, and our rooster starts crying at 4:30 in the morning. It’s just our world now, everything starts before the sun comes up. But that shift in my life created a song I was happy with, and the other songs came pretty quickly after that.”

While at home on the musician’s equivalent of paternity leave, Ramsey took to the woods whenever possible, finding inspiration in his familiars as well as in his footsteps. Carrying a notebook and humming guitar lines into a recorder, he worked the songs out viscerally in nature before returning to his studio to record home demos. And oftentimes, once there, his playing would transcendentally transport him back to where he’d been. “I do find the rhythm of walking helpful for working out song ideas, and the only thing anywhere close to the meditative aspect of hiking for me is playing acoustic guitar,” he says. “I can sit and play guitar for a couple hours, or go for a hike, and take myself to another world. Some of the images from these songs are visual cues that turn into parts of stories I’m trying to tell. When I’m singing them on tour, I have that visual in my head; it gets attached to the piece and never really separates.”

But for as much as he prefers to spend his time at home, his past decade was spent largely away from it. As guitarist for and co-writer with the rock group Band of Horses, Ramsey found himself on the road constantly, forced to make temporary shelters inside of hotel rooms and bus bunks. After ten years with the band it was time for a change, and Ramsey seized the opportunity to pour all of his creative energy into his solo work. It became natural, then, for some of his new material to explore that dynamic of being away and creating a respite wherever possible.

“Parts of this record were written on the road, back and forth and on airplanes and in hotels while traveling,” he says. “Some of it comes from the endless touring and that feeling you get after a while of not knowing where you are, and longing for your home and child.” The song “A Dream of Home” is a product of that perspective. On a day off during a Horses tour, Ramsey holed himself up in a hotel room outside of Nashville and began writing about that familiar tug of greener grass on the other side, wondering if following every musician’s dream of touring the world to play for huge audiences was actually all it was cracked up to be. “A lot of people see the touring life as glamorous, but there are plenty of times where it’s hard to keep up. It becomes difficult to miss your family that much, and you want to be around your newborn child rather than sitting in a room ten hours away while knowing you won’t be home for three more weeks.”

And so, following his exit from the band and free to follow his own music full-time, Ramsey took an album’s worth of demo songs to La La Land studios in Louisville, Kentucky, where he, studio engineer Kevin Ratterman, and Ramsey’s longtime friend Seth Kauffman, the crack session and touring musician (Jim James, Lana Del Rey, Ray LaMontagne) who fronts the North Carolina band Floating Action, set out to record. The trio fulfilled the majority of all sonic duties during this tracking phase, with Ramsey’s demos serving as blueprints as they pieced songs together during the first weeklong session. Ramsey, Ratterman, and Kauffman would return to the studio again for another shorter period to flesh out those recordings, and one final day in friend and former Band of Horses bandmate Bill Reynolds’s Nashville studio finished the job. The process was complemented by spots from several guest musicians, including Joan Shelley, Thad Cockrell, and Molly Parden singing harmony on various songs, the pedal steel player Russ Paul contributing several solos, and Gareth Liddiard from The Drones on guitar. “I’ve learned through the years that calling the right person for the right part is so important,” Ramsey says. “While I love picking up an instrument I don’t know how to play, bringing in someone who really knows how to play it can make something far cooler happen. The guests filled these songs out perfectly.”

For the Morning comes together seamlessly as a cohesive work from a master songwriter and musician. “Breaking A Heart” joins the aforementioned “Dream of Home” as a standout, with sublime piano chords and beautiful guitar playing urged along by upbeat drum tracks, Ramsey’s pristine vocals left hanging in the air like mist. The lament of the former tune is one not uncommon in Ramsey’s work, and he notes that many of his favorite songs—his own or by others—are dotted with sadness. “I do gravitate toward sad music, and heartbreak is a part of the songs I write,” he says. “Writing a song is this huge emotional release and it can be very intense. There’s a lot of melancholy in what I do.”

“Firewood” is one such number, a somber song written in suites with a heaviness that gradually lifts as it moves through its parts. Written on guitar, it came out of what was an instrumental piece before Ramsey found its vocal pieces and story while in Ratterman’s studio. “It’s a heavy, dark song with a positive twist at the end,” Ramsey says. “It comes from that feeling of winter and things falling apart and trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The song took on a different energy when the trio played it in the studio, and in turn branched out to become the instrumental song “Darkest Clouds,” which precedes “Firewood” on the album. “I always like to have a long instrumental piece and then a song to come in as its companion,” he says. “It can create a cool arc and is an interesting way to tie an album together.”

And yet, bright moments and Ramsey’s optimistic outlook abound. “White Coat” is a shining example of the way Ramsey uses visual imagery from his walks in the woods to write. The specific place he mentions in the song (“You went out across the river to lay down in the sunlight where it filters through the pines”) is an exact spot on his land where he sat while writing it. The song highlights Ramsey’s skill as a fingerpicker and creates space for his haunting voice to climb higher and higher. Elsewhere, “Evening Country” is an updated, country music version of the song “Evening Kitchen” he wrote for the Band of Horses album Infinite Arms and swings with gorgeous harmonies and pedal steel. “For the Morning” ends the album like a sweet, soothing lullaby, transporting the listener—and, as we know, the singer—to a peaceful place of beauty and sanctuary.

For Ramsey, the receiver of far more than that for which he has sought, that space is not some rented respite, nor some transient fabrication. It is home, and it is perfect.

As the naturalist John Muir wrote, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” It is for this reason that musician Tyler Ramsey goes into the woods when he is writing, and why he and his wife have settled on a plot of land many miles outside of the nearest city of Asheville, North Carolina, to raise their young daughter. For Ramsey, living deliberately and with a little space, removed from distractions and the allure of needless consumption, is how he feels most creative and at ease. And while writing For the Morning, his first album since 2011’s The Valley Wind, Ramsey tapped into that insulated world where imagination flourishes and sounds for mining are plentiful to create his most realized and regal work yet.

The Ramsey home is surrounded by mountains, fields, and trees, and a small river winds through it all. Wild animals live in the family’s forest, paying daily visits to sing their own songs. Ramsey’s hand-built music studio affords him a shelter from the cacophony or a chance to join the chorus, depending on whether or not he has the windows open. The things he does at home are the things he sings about in his songs—neither costumed nor fabricated—and in keeping with his deliberate existence, he clarifies that his lifestyle is not a badge to be worn but simply his preference.

“Spending my time here in North Carolina, swimming in the stream and walking around in the woods, it’s part of my character as a musician,” Ramsey says. “We live out in the country, I built my own studio. Out here, you have the ability to take your time and work on things slowly and comfortably. These are reasons why the music I make sounds like it does.”

For the Morning is filled with instrumentation connecting the listener to this setting: radiant acoustic piano and stark, dexterous guitar fingerpicking; lilting, poignant pedal steel and gentle, babbling beats that mosey rather than rush. We are transplanted to Ramsey’s woods even before any words can take us there. But, as he reveals, the process that brought the album to life wasn’t just one sunny stroll in the pines—a newborn baby and a professional musician’s touring schedule create their own challenges. So, it was up to Ramsey to find a balance, and he learned to take advantage of any fleeting moments of stillness whenever possible, while also using his time on the road as its own form of inspiration.

He wrote what would become the first song for the record just after the birth of his daughter. As a way of keeping her calm during the long nights he would wear her on his chest in a baby carrier while playing piano, and the gentle, rhythmic chords would lull her to sleep. Of course, the family rooster, Pip, did not help matters, but such is life in the wild. Despite his exhaustion, a melody and words came to Ramsey quickly, written abstractly about coming to terms with his own sleeplessness, and he called the song “For the Morning.”

“I’d never been a morning person, but I became one because I had to,” he says. “Our daughter was up all the time, and our rooster starts crying at 4:30 in the morning. It’s just our world now, everything starts before the sun comes up. But that shift in my life created a song I was happy with, and the other songs came pretty quickly after that.”

While at home on the musician’s equivalent of paternity leave, Ramsey took to the woods whenever possible, finding inspiration in his familiars as well as in his footsteps. Carrying a notebook and humming guitar lines into a recorder, he worked the songs out viscerally in nature before returning to his studio to record home demos. And oftentimes, once there, his playing would transcendentally transport him back to where he’d been. “I do find the rhythm of walking helpful for working out song ideas, and the only thing anywhere close to the meditative aspect of hiking for me is playing acoustic guitar,” he says. “I can sit and play guitar for a couple hours, or go for a hike, and take myself to another world. Some of the images from these songs are visual cues that turn into parts of stories I’m trying to tell. When I’m singing them on tour, I have that visual in my head; it gets attached to the piece and never really separates.”

But for as much as he prefers to spend his time at home, his past decade was spent largely away from it. As guitarist for and co-writer with the rock group Band of Horses, Ramsey found himself on the road constantly, forced to make temporary shelters inside of hotel rooms and bus bunks. After ten years with the band it was time for a change, and Ramsey seized the opportunity to pour all of his creative energy into his solo work. It became natural, then, for some of his new material to explore that dynamic of being away and creating a respite wherever possible.

“Parts of this record were written on the road, back and forth and on airplanes and in hotels while traveling,” he says. “Some of it comes from the endless touring and that feeling you get after a while of not knowing where you are, and longing for your home and child.” The song “A Dream of Home” is a product of that perspective. On a day off during a Horses tour, Ramsey holed himself up in a hotel room outside of Nashville and began writing about that familiar tug of greener grass on the other side, wondering if following every musician’s dream of touring the world to play for huge audiences was actually all it was cracked up to be. “A lot of people see the touring life as glamorous, but there are plenty of times where it’s hard to keep up. It becomes difficult to miss your family that much, and you want to be around your newborn child rather than sitting in a room ten hours away while knowing you won’t be home for three more weeks.”

And so, following his exit from the band and free to follow his own music full-time, Ramsey took an album’s worth of demo songs to La La Land studios in Louisville, Kentucky, where he, studio engineer Kevin Ratterman, and Ramsey’s longtime friend Seth Kauffman, the crack session and touring musician (Jim James, Lana Del Rey, Ray LaMontagne) who fronts the North Carolina band Floating Action, set out to record. The trio fulfilled the majority of all sonic duties during this tracking phase, with Ramsey’s demos serving as blueprints as they pieced songs together during the first weeklong session. Ramsey, Ratterman, and Kauffman would return to the studio again for another shorter period to flesh out those recordings, and one final day in friend and former Band of Horses bandmate Bill Reynolds’s Nashville studio finished the job. The process was complemented by spots from several guest musicians, including Joan Shelley, Thad Cockrell, and Molly Parden singing harmony on various songs, the pedal steel player Russ Paul contributing several solos, and Gareth Liddiard from The Drones on guitar. “I’ve learned through the years that calling the right person for the right part is so important,” Ramsey says. “While I love picking up an instrument I don’t know how to play, bringing in someone who really knows how to play it can make something far cooler happen. The guests filled these songs out perfectly.”

For the Morning comes together seamlessly as a cohesive work from a master songwriter and musician. “Breaking A Heart” joins the aforementioned “Dream of Home” as a standout, with sublime piano chords and beautiful guitar playing urged along by upbeat drum tracks, Ramsey’s pristine vocals left hanging in the air like mist. The lament of the former tune is one not uncommon in Ramsey’s work, and he notes that many of his favorite songs—his own or by others—are dotted with sadness. “I do gravitate toward sad music, and heartbreak is a part of the songs I write,” he says. “Writing a song is this huge emotional release and it can be very intense. There’s a lot of melancholy in what I do.”

“Firewood” is one such number, a somber song written in suites with a heaviness that gradually lifts as it moves through its parts. Written on guitar, it came out of what was an instrumental piece before Ramsey found its vocal pieces and story while in Ratterman’s studio. “It’s a heavy, dark song with a positive twist at the end,” Ramsey says. “It comes from that feeling of winter and things falling apart and trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The song took on a different energy when the trio played it in the studio, and in turn branched out to become the instrumental song “Darkest Clouds,” which precedes “Firewood” on the album. “I always like to have a long instrumental piece and then a song to come in as its companion,” he says. “It can create a cool arc and is an interesting way to tie an album together.”

And yet, bright moments and Ramsey’s optimistic outlook abound. “White Coat” is a shining example of the way Ramsey uses visual imagery from his walks in the woods to write. The specific place he mentions in the song (“You went out across the river to lay down in the sunlight where it filters through the pines”) is an exact spot on his land where he sat while writing it. The song highlights Ramsey’s skill as a fingerpicker and creates space for his haunting voice to climb higher and higher. Elsewhere, “Evening Country” is an updated, country music version of the song “Evening Kitchen” he wrote for the Band of Horses album Infinite Arms and swings with gorgeous harmonies and pedal steel. “For the Morning” ends the album like a sweet, soothing lullaby, transporting the listener—and, as we know, the singer—to a peaceful place of beauty and sanctuary.

For Ramsey, the receiver of far more than that for which he has sought, that space is not some rented respite, nor some transient fabrication. It is home, and it is perfect.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Let Me Break You Up: An Anti-Dating Game Show Hosted By Carly Ann Filbin

Let's be honest, love doesn't exist, couples suck, and Valentine's Day is bullshit. Join your bitter host Carly Ann Filbin as she tests real life couples to see if they are meant to be together (they aren't). The couple with the least amount of points at the end of the night will have to break-up because we all die alone anyway and what's the point of anything really? It'll be FUN!

Let's be honest, love doesn't exist, couples suck, and Valentine's Day is bullshit. Join your bitter host Carly Ann Filbin as she tests real life couples to see if they are meant to be together (they aren't). The couple with the least amount of points at the end of the night will have to break-up because we all die alone anyway and what's the point of anything really? It'll be FUN!

Dinosoul / Mister Moon / Balloon Ride Fantasy / Flower Crown

Ray Bonneville

Acclaimed raconteur Ray Bonneville strips his bluesy Americana to its essentials and steeps it in the humid grooves of the South, creating a compelling poetry of hard living and deep feeling. His ninth release, At King Electric, delivers more than his trademark grit and groove. Rich guitar and harmonica lines resonate over spare but spunky rhythms, while Bonneville’s deep, evocative voice confesses life’s harsh realities. Whether performing solo or fronting a band, playing electric or acoustic guitar, Bonneville allows space between notes that adds potency to every chord, lick, and lyric. Often called a “song and groove man,” he began writing his own music after two decades working as a studio musician, playing rowdy rooms with blues bands, and living hard. He’s since released nine albums, won Canada’s Juno award and other prestigious honors, earned wide critical acclaim, and garnered an enthusiastic following in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Acclaimed raconteur Ray Bonneville strips his bluesy Americana to its essentials and steeps it in the humid grooves of the South, creating a compelling poetry of hard living and deep feeling. His ninth release, At King Electric, delivers more than his trademark grit and groove. Rich guitar and harmonica lines resonate over spare but spunky rhythms, while Bonneville’s deep, evocative voice confesses life’s harsh realities. Whether performing solo or fronting a band, playing electric or acoustic guitar, Bonneville allows space between notes that adds potency to every chord, lick, and lyric. Often called a “song and groove man,” he began writing his own music after two decades working as a studio musician, playing rowdy rooms with blues bands, and living hard. He’s since released nine albums, won Canada’s Juno award and other prestigious honors, earned wide critical acclaim, and garnered an enthusiastic following in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

William Matheny

It’s fitting that William Matheny has chosen to honor the 15th anniversary of Centro-matic’s tour de force album Love You Just the Same on his new 7-inch: The 2003 full-length from Will Johnson’s four-piece was one of the most acclaimed releases from Misra Records’ first five years, and Matheny has emerged as one of the label’s standard-bearers as it enters closes in on the end of its second decade.

The tribute takes the form of a cover of “Flashes and Cables,” the now-classic from Love You, on the A-side of Matheny’s single. Matheny’s spin is, like so many memorable covers, faithful to the original up to a point—he chose to keep the dramatic shifts in dynamics and picked up the pace only a pinch—but diverges just enough to make it distinct. Gone is Johnson’s martial drumbeat in favor of Matheny’s Spector-informed, lazy swung backbeat. In lieu of Centro-matic’s slow disintegration and off-kilter keys, we get a triumphant guitar solo worthy of J. Mascis as the song winds down. Quality songwriting isn’t threatened by interpretation, and in this new interpretation you’re bound to glimpse aspects of Johnson’s song you overlooked before.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt when the interpreter is a top-notch songwriter as well: Matheny, on the heels of 2017’s Strange Constellations LP and last spring’s EP “Moon Over Kenova,” is a breakout voice in country-rock, and keeps on proving it. The B-side of the new single, “Christian Name,” manages to turn variations on a theme into three or four distinct hooks, any one of which would have been enough for most songsmiths to hang their hat on. Tom Petty is in there somewhere beneath the world-weary country-rock exterior, but so is the dark-tinged bluesy folk of Lucinda Williams.

For some, Matheny’s tribute to Centro-matic will represent a nostalgic trip; for others it may be an entrée into the music of both Misra mainstays. The thing is, either way, it’s a pair of tracks worthy of play on repeat: Two gems with equal parts twang and tremolo, clever riffs and thoughtful words, delivered with deceptive ease.

- Andy Mulkerin

It’s fitting that William Matheny has chosen to honor the 15th anniversary of Centro-matic’s tour de force album Love You Just the Same on his new 7-inch: The 2003 full-length from Will Johnson’s four-piece was one of the most acclaimed releases from Misra Records’ first five years, and Matheny has emerged as one of the label’s standard-bearers as it enters closes in on the end of its second decade.

The tribute takes the form of a cover of “Flashes and Cables,” the now-classic from Love You, on the A-side of Matheny’s single. Matheny’s spin is, like so many memorable covers, faithful to the original up to a point—he chose to keep the dramatic shifts in dynamics and picked up the pace only a pinch—but diverges just enough to make it distinct. Gone is Johnson’s martial drumbeat in favor of Matheny’s Spector-informed, lazy swung backbeat. In lieu of Centro-matic’s slow disintegration and off-kilter keys, we get a triumphant guitar solo worthy of J. Mascis as the song winds down. Quality songwriting isn’t threatened by interpretation, and in this new interpretation you’re bound to glimpse aspects of Johnson’s song you overlooked before.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt when the interpreter is a top-notch songwriter as well: Matheny, on the heels of 2017’s Strange Constellations LP and last spring’s EP “Moon Over Kenova,” is a breakout voice in country-rock, and keeps on proving it. The B-side of the new single, “Christian Name,” manages to turn variations on a theme into three or four distinct hooks, any one of which would have been enough for most songsmiths to hang their hat on. Tom Petty is in there somewhere beneath the world-weary country-rock exterior, but so is the dark-tinged bluesy folk of Lucinda Williams.

For some, Matheny’s tribute to Centro-matic will represent a nostalgic trip; for others it may be an entrée into the music of both Misra mainstays. The thing is, either way, it’s a pair of tracks worthy of play on repeat: Two gems with equal parts twang and tremolo, clever riffs and thoughtful words, delivered with deceptive ease.

- Andy Mulkerin

SASAMI

If you’ve ever drafted an overly long text to someone and decided against sending it, then you’ll probably hear something of yourself in SASAMI, out March 2019 on Domino. “It’s a mix of a diary and a collection of letters, written but never sent, to people I’ve been intimately involved with in one way or another,” explains Los Angeles songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sasami Ashworth, aka SASAMI, who wrote the album’s ten tautly melodic rock tracks over the course of a year on tour, playing keys and guitar with Cherry Glazerr. “Ok, maybe they’re more like over-dramatic drafts of texts that you compose in the Notes section of your iPhone, but either way, they come from a place of getting something off my chest.” In an Instagram post announcing the release of “Callous,” a haunting ballad chronicling the disintegration of a relationship over wrenching guitar wails, she sums up the inspiration behind her engrossingly confessional debut more bluntly: “Everyone I fucked and who fucked me last year.”

Originating as a string of demos she recorded straight to her iPad on tour, the songs poured out of Ashworth in stream-of-consciousness fashion, tracking the thrills, disappointments, and non-starters of a year spent newly single and on the road. In many ways, though, they were the culmination of decades of hard work. After a studying piano as a child, she picked up the French horn in middle school, and has been playing music pretty much every day since—first as a long-time conservatory kid with her sights on a career as a classical French horn player, and later as an elementary school music teacher, running around a classroom, making up songs and dances, and directing rag-tag orchestras full of glockenspiels and bongos.

Where studying classical music and jazz had been an exercise in creating note-perfect renditions of other people’s music, teaching, quite literally, required her to improvise. “You have to juggle so many skills when you teach,” she says. “You have to be a musician and a babysitter and a clown—and secretly be teaching. “If you can keep like 30 kids with tambourines entertained, [doing it for] a room full of drunk adults at a rock show is nothing.”

It didn’t take long for Ashworth to start dipping her toe into pop music. A growing obsession with the noisy catharsis of post-punk and shoegaze and nights out with her brother Joo-Joo, a veteran of the Los Angeles indie rock scene who plays in the band Froth, led her to playing synth and guitar in the group Dirt Dress. In the past half-decade, she’s worn basically every hat that a working musician can wear, scoring films and commercials, producing for and playing on other people’s albums, and doing string, horn, and vocal arrangements for artists like Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing, and Vagabon.

But it wasn’t until March of 2017, about midway-through a two-and-a-half year stint recording and touring with Cherry Glazerr, that she felt the urge to sit down and write songs of her own. “I had just ended a year and a half relationship— a pretty serious relationship, that came right after another serious relationship,” she says. “It was just like a beginning of a new life cycle in a lot of ways—the beginning of my new single life, and also constantly being on tour, and being in this band all the time. And so I felt like I needed to write. I was just super emotional.”

At first, she viewed writing songs mostly as an opportunity to sharpen her guitar skills. Eventually, since she was on tour most of the time, she decided to forgo rent on an apartment and use the money to pay for studio time whenever she was back in Los Angeles, figuring that she might as well learn her way around an analog studio. Though the material she was working on was deeply personal, the record that would emerge from those sessions—co-produced by Joo Joo and Studio 22’s Thomas Dolas, who also engineered and mixed SASAMI—is largely the sound of Ashworth having fun in the studio with her friends. Devendra Banhart and Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur make appearances as “male back-up vocalists,” and Joo Joo—her professed “guitar hero”—and Froth bandmate Cameron Allen fill in guitar and drums, respectively. “Adult Contemporary,” a spacey reverie reflecting the existential uncertainty of our current moment, features an all-star crew of badass Los Angeles women, including French singer-songwriter and actress Soko on vocals, Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy on guitar, Alvvays drummer Sheridan Riley on drums, and Anna Butters on electric and standup bass.

SASAMI is the sound of Ashworth reveling in the warmth and magic of analog recording— experimenting with different guitar tones and amplifier placements, embracing the imperfections that arise when you record on a 16-track and reconstruing them as strengths. Her years studying music theory and classical performance shine through in the tiny details that pepper SASAMI at every turn—from the sly bending of a guitar note on opener “I Was a Window,” to the expressive pause before the instrumental breakdown on “Pacify My Heart.” Unlike your typical four-chord rock songs, her colorful arrangements draw from a classical technique called voice leading, where the different elements of a song (from voice, to keys, to bass) form distinct, interweaving melodic lines.

Just like her notoriously irreverent stage banter, Ashworth says her relationship to music, and to playing instruments, “comes from a place of love and playfulness and joy”—and it’s something you can hear at every moment of SASAMI, even as the emotional journey it traces veers into more introspective territory. “Jealousy,” a smoky, minor-key number with a sinister choir of chirpy back-up vocals, celebrates the freedom of living life on your own terms as a single person, even as it makes those around you uncomfortable. “Free,” a softly strummed duet with Devendra Banhart, captures the pain of finally feeling ready to open up to someone new, only to discover that they aren’t on the same page. “Not the Time,” an open-road rocker with crunchy shoegaze guitars and sweeping synths, explores the bittersweet feeling of realizing that your love for someone is reciprocated, even if the timing and geography don’t add up. “It's not the time or place for us,” she sings in her wispy alto. “But you said that you would save some space for us.”

If SASAMI tells a story, it’s one about the surprising ways that one’s relationships—with lovers, with friends, with oneself—can shift in a single year. And it’s one that doesn’t really have a solid conclusion or takeaway—other than the realization “that your status of being in a relationship or not doesn’t actually define whether you feel whole,” as Sasami describes it. “It's about whether you feel grounded or not. Whether you feel at peace or not.”

It’s inspiring to hear a woman who spent years playing other people’s music finally tell her own story. And it’s a feeling she says she wants to pay forward, just as her students and so many women in her life—like recent tourmates Mitski, Snail Mail, and Japanese Breakfast—have empowered her. Which is another way of saying that even in its saddest moments, SASAMI will put a little bounce in your step. Extra points if you decide to put on a clown costume and dance around in the street, as Ashworth does is the video for "Not the Time."

If you’ve ever drafted an overly long text to someone and decided against sending it, then you’ll probably hear something of yourself in SASAMI, out March 2019 on Domino. “It’s a mix of a diary and a collection of letters, written but never sent, to people I’ve been intimately involved with in one way or another,” explains Los Angeles songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sasami Ashworth, aka SASAMI, who wrote the album’s ten tautly melodic rock tracks over the course of a year on tour, playing keys and guitar with Cherry Glazerr. “Ok, maybe they’re more like over-dramatic drafts of texts that you compose in the Notes section of your iPhone, but either way, they come from a place of getting something off my chest.” In an Instagram post announcing the release of “Callous,” a haunting ballad chronicling the disintegration of a relationship over wrenching guitar wails, she sums up the inspiration behind her engrossingly confessional debut more bluntly: “Everyone I fucked and who fucked me last year.”

Originating as a string of demos she recorded straight to her iPad on tour, the songs poured out of Ashworth in stream-of-consciousness fashion, tracking the thrills, disappointments, and non-starters of a year spent newly single and on the road. In many ways, though, they were the culmination of decades of hard work. After a studying piano as a child, she picked up the French horn in middle school, and has been playing music pretty much every day since—first as a long-time conservatory kid with her sights on a career as a classical French horn player, and later as an elementary school music teacher, running around a classroom, making up songs and dances, and directing rag-tag orchestras full of glockenspiels and bongos.

Where studying classical music and jazz had been an exercise in creating note-perfect renditions of other people’s music, teaching, quite literally, required her to improvise. “You have to juggle so many skills when you teach,” she says. “You have to be a musician and a babysitter and a clown—and secretly be teaching. “If you can keep like 30 kids with tambourines entertained, [doing it for] a room full of drunk adults at a rock show is nothing.”

It didn’t take long for Ashworth to start dipping her toe into pop music. A growing obsession with the noisy catharsis of post-punk and shoegaze and nights out with her brother Joo-Joo, a veteran of the Los Angeles indie rock scene who plays in the band Froth, led her to playing synth and guitar in the group Dirt Dress. In the past half-decade, she’s worn basically every hat that a working musician can wear, scoring films and commercials, producing for and playing on other people’s albums, and doing string, horn, and vocal arrangements for artists like Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing, and Vagabon.

But it wasn’t until March of 2017, about midway-through a two-and-a-half year stint recording and touring with Cherry Glazerr, that she felt the urge to sit down and write songs of her own. “I had just ended a year and a half relationship— a pretty serious relationship, that came right after another serious relationship,” she says. “It was just like a beginning of a new life cycle in a lot of ways—the beginning of my new single life, and also constantly being on tour, and being in this band all the time. And so I felt like I needed to write. I was just super emotional.”

At first, she viewed writing songs mostly as an opportunity to sharpen her guitar skills. Eventually, since she was on tour most of the time, she decided to forgo rent on an apartment and use the money to pay for studio time whenever she was back in Los Angeles, figuring that she might as well learn her way around an analog studio. Though the material she was working on was deeply personal, the record that would emerge from those sessions—co-produced by Joo Joo and Studio 22’s Thomas Dolas, who also engineered and mixed SASAMI—is largely the sound of Ashworth having fun in the studio with her friends. Devendra Banhart and Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur make appearances as “male back-up vocalists,” and Joo Joo—her professed “guitar hero”—and Froth bandmate Cameron Allen fill in guitar and drums, respectively. “Adult Contemporary,” a spacey reverie reflecting the existential uncertainty of our current moment, features an all-star crew of badass Los Angeles women, including French singer-songwriter and actress Soko on vocals, Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy on guitar, Alvvays drummer Sheridan Riley on drums, and Anna Butters on electric and standup bass.

SASAMI is the sound of Ashworth reveling in the warmth and magic of analog recording— experimenting with different guitar tones and amplifier placements, embracing the imperfections that arise when you record on a 16-track and reconstruing them as strengths. Her years studying music theory and classical performance shine through in the tiny details that pepper SASAMI at every turn—from the sly bending of a guitar note on opener “I Was a Window,” to the expressive pause before the instrumental breakdown on “Pacify My Heart.” Unlike your typical four-chord rock songs, her colorful arrangements draw from a classical technique called voice leading, where the different elements of a song (from voice, to keys, to bass) form distinct, interweaving melodic lines.

Just like her notoriously irreverent stage banter, Ashworth says her relationship to music, and to playing instruments, “comes from a place of love and playfulness and joy”—and it’s something you can hear at every moment of SASAMI, even as the emotional journey it traces veers into more introspective territory. “Jealousy,” a smoky, minor-key number with a sinister choir of chirpy back-up vocals, celebrates the freedom of living life on your own terms as a single person, even as it makes those around you uncomfortable. “Free,” a softly strummed duet with Devendra Banhart, captures the pain of finally feeling ready to open up to someone new, only to discover that they aren’t on the same page. “Not the Time,” an open-road rocker with crunchy shoegaze guitars and sweeping synths, explores the bittersweet feeling of realizing that your love for someone is reciprocated, even if the timing and geography don’t add up. “It's not the time or place for us,” she sings in her wispy alto. “But you said that you would save some space for us.”

If SASAMI tells a story, it’s one about the surprising ways that one’s relationships—with lovers, with friends, with oneself—can shift in a single year. And it’s one that doesn’t really have a solid conclusion or takeaway—other than the realization “that your status of being in a relationship or not doesn’t actually define whether you feel whole,” as Sasami describes it. “It's about whether you feel grounded or not. Whether you feel at peace or not.”

It’s inspiring to hear a woman who spent years playing other people’s music finally tell her own story. And it’s a feeling she says she wants to pay forward, just as her students and so many women in her life—like recent tourmates Mitski, Snail Mail, and Japanese Breakfast—have empowered her. Which is another way of saying that even in its saddest moments, SASAMI will put a little bounce in your step. Extra points if you decide to put on a clown costume and dance around in the street, as Ashworth does is the video for "Not the Time."

The Felice Brothers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strand of Oaks with Special Guest Apex Manor - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

“When I was writing these songs, every day I would walk on the beach and I was completely alone and overwhelmed by fear...but then I realized how there really aren’t any rules for who you are, who you’ll become, or who you think you need to be. Eraserlandis just that. It’s death to ego, and rebirth to anything or anyone you want to be.” In December 2017, Tim Showalter was uncertain about his next record and the shape it would eventually take. With no new songs writtenand lacking any clear vision,he wasunprepared for the message he would receive from his friend Carl Broemel, the conversation that would follow, and the album that would become Eraserland.Leading off with standout track “Weird Ways” and hispowerful declaration of“I don’t feel it anymore,” EraserlandtracesShowalter’s evolution from apprehension to creative awakening, carving out a new and compelling future for Strand of Oaks."This project seemed to just fall together naturally,” said Broemel, guitarist for My Morning Jacket. “I felt drawn to Tim’s positive energy and his albums...I threw it out there that I’d be happy to help in any way I could with the record." Broemel quickly reignited Showalter's interest in what would become Strand of Oaks’ sixth full-length studio release, and within 24 hours, My Morning Jacket members Patrick Hallahan(drums), Bo Koster(keys), and Tom Blankenship(bass)were also on board.Revived by the support of Broemel and his bandmates, Showalter felt thepressure to deliver songs worthy of musicians he had admired long before and after a 2015 Oaks/MMJ tour. So in February 2018, hespent two weeks alone in Wildwood, New Jersey writing and demoing all of the songs that would eventually comprise Eraserland.And in April, he went into the studio to record with Kevin Ratterman at La La Land Studios in Louisville, Kentucky, and with Broemel, Hallahan, Koster, and Blankenship as his band. Jason Isbell also contributed his Hendrix-esqueguitar work to Eraserland, while singer/songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle provided gorgeous vocals. Every song was recorded live, with all musicians playing together in one room and working to bring Showalter’s ideas to fruition. “I remember sitting next to Tim and Kevin listening to the final mixes with tears rolling down my cheeks,” said Hallahan. “From start to finish, this one came from the heart.”Each song on Eraserlandsustains an openness and sensitivity that is enthralling, bolstered by the exceptional musicians there to realize it and rekindle Showalter’s passion for music-making. The album finds Showalter successfully channeling the full spectrum of sounds within the Strand of Oaks discography, from fast, synthy tracks like “Hyperspace Blues” to epic burner “Visions, the gorgeous ballad “Keys,” and his devastating acoustic performance on “Wild and Willing.”But Eraserland also has moments of pure, upbeat exuberance, most notably on“Ruby,” a rollicking, understated anthem driven by buoyant piano and one of Showalter’s most infectious melodies to date.Isbell’s magnificentshredding is showcasedon “Moon Landing,” Eraserland’s preeminent off-the-wall groove, while thealbum’s title trackfinds Showalter resurrectinghis long-dormant alter ego Pope Killdragon for a striking, synth-laden duet with Rundle. But in many ways, “Forever Chords” is the definitive track on Showalter’s magnum opus, and the manifestation of everything he hoped to achieve on this record and for Strand of Oaks as a whole.“When I finished writing ‘Forever Chords,’ I felt like this is either the last song I ever need to write, or the
rebirthof Strand of Oaks.” Poignant and heart-rending, “Forever Chords” gradually buildstoward an emotional release rooted in our own universal fears about mortality, personal legacy, and music as asaving force.But it’s that firstEraserlandline, “I don’t feel it anymore,” that sets a stunning precedent for the most affecting and fully-formed album Strand of Oaks has ever released. Because despite whatever doubts or reservations Showalter had going into the process, he crafted a series of songs so perfectly matched to the musicians supporting it, and so emboldened by his own doubts and insecurities, that the result is glittering, powerful, and impassioned, a moving rock and roll saga that feelssubstantial and deeply satisfying, vulnerable and self-assured.

“When I was writing these songs, every day I would walk on the beach and I was completely alone and overwhelmed by fear...but then I realized how there really aren’t any rules for who you are, who you’ll become, or who you think you need to be. Eraserlandis just that. It’s death to ego, and rebirth to anything or anyone you want to be.” In December 2017, Tim Showalter was uncertain about his next record and the shape it would eventually take. With no new songs writtenand lacking any clear vision,he wasunprepared for the message he would receive from his friend Carl Broemel, the conversation that would follow, and the album that would become Eraserland.Leading off with standout track “Weird Ways” and hispowerful declaration of“I don’t feel it anymore,” EraserlandtracesShowalter’s evolution from apprehension to creative awakening, carving out a new and compelling future for Strand of Oaks."This project seemed to just fall together naturally,” said Broemel, guitarist for My Morning Jacket. “I felt drawn to Tim’s positive energy and his albums...I threw it out there that I’d be happy to help in any way I could with the record." Broemel quickly reignited Showalter's interest in what would become Strand of Oaks’ sixth full-length studio release, and within 24 hours, My Morning Jacket members Patrick Hallahan(drums), Bo Koster(keys), and Tom Blankenship(bass)were also on board.Revived by the support of Broemel and his bandmates, Showalter felt thepressure to deliver songs worthy of musicians he had admired long before and after a 2015 Oaks/MMJ tour. So in February 2018, hespent two weeks alone in Wildwood, New Jersey writing and demoing all of the songs that would eventually comprise Eraserland.And in April, he went into the studio to record with Kevin Ratterman at La La Land Studios in Louisville, Kentucky, and with Broemel, Hallahan, Koster, and Blankenship as his band. Jason Isbell also contributed his Hendrix-esqueguitar work to Eraserland, while singer/songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle provided gorgeous vocals. Every song was recorded live, with all musicians playing together in one room and working to bring Showalter’s ideas to fruition. “I remember sitting next to Tim and Kevin listening to the final mixes with tears rolling down my cheeks,” said Hallahan. “From start to finish, this one came from the heart.”Each song on Eraserlandsustains an openness and sensitivity that is enthralling, bolstered by the exceptional musicians there to realize it and rekindle Showalter’s passion for music-making. The album finds Showalter successfully channeling the full spectrum of sounds within the Strand of Oaks discography, from fast, synthy tracks like “Hyperspace Blues” to epic burner “Visions, the gorgeous ballad “Keys,” and his devastating acoustic performance on “Wild and Willing.”But Eraserland also has moments of pure, upbeat exuberance, most notably on“Ruby,” a rollicking, understated anthem driven by buoyant piano and one of Showalter’s most infectious melodies to date.Isbell’s magnificentshredding is showcasedon “Moon Landing,” Eraserland’s preeminent off-the-wall groove, while thealbum’s title trackfinds Showalter resurrectinghis long-dormant alter ego Pope Killdragon for a striking, synth-laden duet with Rundle. But in many ways, “Forever Chords” is the definitive track on Showalter’s magnum opus, and the manifestation of everything he hoped to achieve on this record and for Strand of Oaks as a whole.“When I finished writing ‘Forever Chords,’ I felt like this is either the last song I ever need to write, or the
rebirthof Strand of Oaks.” Poignant and heart-rending, “Forever Chords” gradually buildstoward an emotional release rooted in our own universal fears about mortality, personal legacy, and music as asaving force.But it’s that firstEraserlandline, “I don’t feel it anymore,” that sets a stunning precedent for the most affecting and fully-formed album Strand of Oaks has ever released. Because despite whatever doubts or reservations Showalter had going into the process, he crafted a series of songs so perfectly matched to the musicians supporting it, and so emboldened by his own doubts and insecurities, that the result is glittering, powerful, and impassioned, a moving rock and roll saga that feelssubstantial and deeply satisfying, vulnerable and self-assured.

Ruby Boots / INDIANOLA

Ruby Boots
At 14 years old, Ruby Boots -- real name Bex Chilcott -- left a conflicted home in Perth, Western Australia to do grueling work on pearling boats, and she hasn't stopped migrating since. Her nomadic streak has taken her around the world, and eventually to Nashville, TN.

Don't Talk About It charts this drifter's odyssey, tattered passport in hand. Behind her commanding and versatile voice, sharp guitar playing, and adept songwriting, Ruby Boots confidently maneuvers past the whirlwinds life has tossed on her occasionally lost highway. It's an album of hope, breakthrough, and handling the unknown challenges around the next bend.

The roads taken, the miles traveled and the voices heard during Ruby's life's trek resonate throughout Don't Talk About It. Informed as much by the wide-open landscapes of her homeland as the intimate writing circles of Nashville, the album may range far and wide but always maintains a firm sense of place. Echoes of first wave UK power pop and jangly punk intersect with the every(wo)man indie and pop-inflected muscle of Best Coast. Classic rock touchstones from T. Rex to the girl-group-wall-of-sound to personal hero Tom Petty meld with a weary poet's eye recalling Hope Sandoval.

On her Bloodshot Records debut, Ruby continues to map out a polished-yet-fearless, bare-knuckled self, previously hinted at on her last album, Solitude. In 2016, Ruby met with Lone Star state-bred studio wizards The Texas Gentlemen and the album's eventual producer Beau Bedford. The group had stopped off in Nashville on their way to back Kris Kristofferson at Newport Folk Festival and a mutual admiration society quickly coalesced. The collective pulled a handful of songs from the 40 she had waiting and began recording at their Dallas-based studio Modern Electric Sound Recorders.

The album rips right open with "It's So Cruel," strutting through the door with dual harmonic, bawdy, fuzzed-out guitars, reminiscent of a glammy, '70s southern-rock-soaked Queens of the Stone Age. It all captures the meteoric emotional flares of an adulterous relationship destined to fail. The Gentlemen spell a Stetson-hat wearing Wrecking Crew as they lay down dusty gothic vibes in the Nikki Lane co-written "I'll Make It Through," building towards a crescendoing, persevering, bright chorus. (Lane also sings background vocals on the album's title track.) On "Believe in Heaven," doo-wop beats, dark choral echoes, and a plucked string section lead into ZZ Top full-bodied rawk riffage.

But the most defining of tones come through in spirit, when on the a capella "I Am A Woman" Ruby reaches towering vocal peaks, shredding raw, putting it all out there.The song could be a traditional spiritual, as she belts: "I am a believer / Standing strong by your side / I'm the hand to hold onto / When it's too hard to try... I am a woman / Do you know what that means / You lay it all on the line / When you lay down with me."

Of the song Chilcott says, "'I Am a Woman' was conjured up amid recent events where men have spoken about, and treated women's bodies, the way no man, or woman, should. This kind of treatment toward another human being makes every nerve in my body scream. These kinds of incidents are so ingrained in our culture and are swept under the carpet at every turn -- it needs to change. As tempting as it was to just write an angry tirade I wanted to respond with integrity, so I sat with my feelings and this song emerged as a celebration of women and womanhood, of our strength and our vulnerability, all we encompass and our inner beauty, countering ignorance and vulgarity with honesty and pride and without being exclusionary to any man or woman. My hope is that we come together on this long drawn out journey. The song is the backbone to the album for me."

Don't Talk About It smoulders with a fighting spirit and pulls influence and experience -- both musically, emotionally, and beyond -- from many pins in the map, but is 10 songs harbored in the singularity that is Ruby Boots.

The album has garnered praise from Rolling Stone, Noisey, Wide Open Country, Chicago Reader, No Depression, and more.

Since the release of Don't Talk About It, Ruby Boots has performed at Willie Nelson's Luck Reunion, Stagecoach Festival, Bonnaroo, and The Long Road Festival in the UK, as well as toured with Langhorne Slim, Nikki Lane, Nicole Atkins, Ben Miller Band, and Low Cut Connie.

Indianola

"I have an almost religious belief that Mississippi is the birthplace of rock 'n' roll," says Owen Beverly, who named his
band Indianola after the small but influential delta town in his home state that produced blues artists like Albert King,
Little Arthur Duncan and B.B. King.

"It's so important to the evolution of modern rock and pop music. I think the first rock 'n' roll song ever recorded was
'That's All Right' by Arthur Crudup, who was from Forest, Mississippi, before another Mississippi boy named Elvis did
a rendition that changed the world," he says. "I can't think of any songwriters who aren't influenced by Mississippi
music, whether they know it or not."

Now based in Nashville, the Jackson native finds it more important than ever to represent those roots. One listen to
Indianola's debut full-length album, due out this fall, and it's obvious that the pressures of making it in the country
music capital haven't swayed his approach. "It's always better to be the black sheep than to get lost in the herd," he
says.

Beginning with the arena-ready anthem "1960s," Beverly wears his vintage influences on his sleeve, acknowledging
the musical past while planting the song firmly in the present with searing guitars and pounding drums.
Songs like "Want Me Back" and "Too Good To Be True" put Beverly's powerful, swooning vocals in the spotlight with
nods to artists like Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, and The Everly Brothers that nonetheless feel current.
"There's a novelty in digging up the past that feels like excavation. You end up being a filter for everything you dig."
he says. "I think using those vintage elements but throwing in some modern edge gives the recordings dimension. If
you just make music that sounds like it was written and recorded forty years ago, it turns into a period piece. So I just
try to be honest with myself, draw on all of those influences, and put them together in a way that makes them my
own."

Beverly teamed up with Michael Trent of Shovels & Rope to produce Indianola's previous EP release, 'Zero.' For the
new album, he traveled to South Carolina to record at the band's studio. Trent can be heard singing harmonies on
“Mid Century Modern.”

Indianola will showcase new music on the road this summer and fall, including dates with Shovels & Rope, Butch
Walker, and The Watson Twins. For updated list of tour dates, visit: indianolamusic.com

Ruby Boots
At 14 years old, Ruby Boots -- real name Bex Chilcott -- left a conflicted home in Perth, Western Australia to do grueling work on pearling boats, and she hasn't stopped migrating since. Her nomadic streak has taken her around the world, and eventually to Nashville, TN.

Don't Talk About It charts this drifter's odyssey, tattered passport in hand. Behind her commanding and versatile voice, sharp guitar playing, and adept songwriting, Ruby Boots confidently maneuvers past the whirlwinds life has tossed on her occasionally lost highway. It's an album of hope, breakthrough, and handling the unknown challenges around the next bend.

The roads taken, the miles traveled and the voices heard during Ruby's life's trek resonate throughout Don't Talk About It. Informed as much by the wide-open landscapes of her homeland as the intimate writing circles of Nashville, the album may range far and wide but always maintains a firm sense of place. Echoes of first wave UK power pop and jangly punk intersect with the every(wo)man indie and pop-inflected muscle of Best Coast. Classic rock touchstones from T. Rex to the girl-group-wall-of-sound to personal hero Tom Petty meld with a weary poet's eye recalling Hope Sandoval.

On her Bloodshot Records debut, Ruby continues to map out a polished-yet-fearless, bare-knuckled self, previously hinted at on her last album, Solitude. In 2016, Ruby met with Lone Star state-bred studio wizards The Texas Gentlemen and the album's eventual producer Beau Bedford. The group had stopped off in Nashville on their way to back Kris Kristofferson at Newport Folk Festival and a mutual admiration society quickly coalesced. The collective pulled a handful of songs from the 40 she had waiting and began recording at their Dallas-based studio Modern Electric Sound Recorders.

The album rips right open with "It's So Cruel," strutting through the door with dual harmonic, bawdy, fuzzed-out guitars, reminiscent of a glammy, '70s southern-rock-soaked Queens of the Stone Age. It all captures the meteoric emotional flares of an adulterous relationship destined to fail. The Gentlemen spell a Stetson-hat wearing Wrecking Crew as they lay down dusty gothic vibes in the Nikki Lane co-written "I'll Make It Through," building towards a crescendoing, persevering, bright chorus. (Lane also sings background vocals on the album's title track.) On "Believe in Heaven," doo-wop beats, dark choral echoes, and a plucked string section lead into ZZ Top full-bodied rawk riffage.

But the most defining of tones come through in spirit, when on the a capella "I Am A Woman" Ruby reaches towering vocal peaks, shredding raw, putting it all out there.The song could be a traditional spiritual, as she belts: "I am a believer / Standing strong by your side / I'm the hand to hold onto / When it's too hard to try... I am a woman / Do you know what that means / You lay it all on the line / When you lay down with me."

Of the song Chilcott says, "'I Am a Woman' was conjured up amid recent events where men have spoken about, and treated women's bodies, the way no man, or woman, should. This kind of treatment toward another human being makes every nerve in my body scream. These kinds of incidents are so ingrained in our culture and are swept under the carpet at every turn -- it needs to change. As tempting as it was to just write an angry tirade I wanted to respond with integrity, so I sat with my feelings and this song emerged as a celebration of women and womanhood, of our strength and our vulnerability, all we encompass and our inner beauty, countering ignorance and vulgarity with honesty and pride and without being exclusionary to any man or woman. My hope is that we come together on this long drawn out journey. The song is the backbone to the album for me."

Don't Talk About It smoulders with a fighting spirit and pulls influence and experience -- both musically, emotionally, and beyond -- from many pins in the map, but is 10 songs harbored in the singularity that is Ruby Boots.

The album has garnered praise from Rolling Stone, Noisey, Wide Open Country, Chicago Reader, No Depression, and more.

Since the release of Don't Talk About It, Ruby Boots has performed at Willie Nelson's Luck Reunion, Stagecoach Festival, Bonnaroo, and The Long Road Festival in the UK, as well as toured with Langhorne Slim, Nikki Lane, Nicole Atkins, Ben Miller Band, and Low Cut Connie.

Indianola

"I have an almost religious belief that Mississippi is the birthplace of rock 'n' roll," says Owen Beverly, who named his
band Indianola after the small but influential delta town in his home state that produced blues artists like Albert King,
Little Arthur Duncan and B.B. King.

"It's so important to the evolution of modern rock and pop music. I think the first rock 'n' roll song ever recorded was
'That's All Right' by Arthur Crudup, who was from Forest, Mississippi, before another Mississippi boy named Elvis did
a rendition that changed the world," he says. "I can't think of any songwriters who aren't influenced by Mississippi
music, whether they know it or not."

Now based in Nashville, the Jackson native finds it more important than ever to represent those roots. One listen to
Indianola's debut full-length album, due out this fall, and it's obvious that the pressures of making it in the country
music capital haven't swayed his approach. "It's always better to be the black sheep than to get lost in the herd," he
says.

Beginning with the arena-ready anthem "1960s," Beverly wears his vintage influences on his sleeve, acknowledging
the musical past while planting the song firmly in the present with searing guitars and pounding drums.
Songs like "Want Me Back" and "Too Good To Be True" put Beverly's powerful, swooning vocals in the spotlight with
nods to artists like Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, and The Everly Brothers that nonetheless feel current.
"There's a novelty in digging up the past that feels like excavation. You end up being a filter for everything you dig."
he says. "I think using those vintage elements but throwing in some modern edge gives the recordings dimension. If
you just make music that sounds like it was written and recorded forty years ago, it turns into a period piece. So I just
try to be honest with myself, draw on all of those influences, and put them together in a way that makes them my
own."

Beverly teamed up with Michael Trent of Shovels & Rope to produce Indianola's previous EP release, 'Zero.' For the
new album, he traveled to South Carolina to record at the band's studio. Trent can be heard singing harmonies on
“Mid Century Modern.”

Indianola will showcase new music on the road this summer and fall, including dates with Shovels & Rope, Butch
Walker, and The Watson Twins. For updated list of tour dates, visit: indianolamusic.com

Brooke Annibale (Full Band Performance) - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP

Singer-songwriter/guitarist Brooke Annibale sheds a bit of her indie-acoustic skin on her newest record Hold to The Light--a pop-progressive album that offers a fusion of textured electronic and traditional (guitar, strings, keys) instrumentation with songs bearing Brooke’s keen, soulful lyricism. Produced by Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive) the record features the contributions of seasoned artists Sam Kassirer on Keys; Zachariah Hickman (Ray Lamontagne) on Bass; Josh Kaufman (The National) on accompanying guitars; Sean Trischka (Molly Tuttle, Oh Pep!) on Drums; and Matt Douglas (Sylvan Esso, Mountain Goats) on Woodwinds.

Hold to The Light is an exciting evolution in Brooke’s career as a musician. Her creative roots run deep with family connected to music--her maternal grandfather founded a music store, selling instruments and sound equipment, which continues to operate today in Pittsburgh, PA. Brooke began playing guitar at 14 and since then her passion for making and performing music has taken her all over the country. She released her first full-length record, Silence Worth Breaking in 2011, produced at The Smoakstack in Nashville, followed by 2013’s EP Words in Your Eyes and 2015’s The Simple Fear.

On the road, Brooke has recently been on tour opening for Josh Ritter, Margaret Glaspy, Chadwick Stokes, Great Lake Swimmers, Jesca Hoop, Iron & Wine, Rufus Wainwright, Aoife O’Donovan, The Handsome Family and others. Her songs have been featured on Sirius XM radio in addition to being placed in multiple TV shows including Grey's Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, Hart of Dixie, Vampire Diaries and more.

Brooke’s Club Cafe performance will feature Mark Ramsey on keys, Seth Pierson on bass, and Dan Harding on drums

Singer-songwriter/guitarist Brooke Annibale sheds a bit of her indie-acoustic skin on her newest record Hold to The Light--a pop-progressive album that offers a fusion of textured electronic and traditional (guitar, strings, keys) instrumentation with songs bearing Brooke’s keen, soulful lyricism. Produced by Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive) the record features the contributions of seasoned artists Sam Kassirer on Keys; Zachariah Hickman (Ray Lamontagne) on Bass; Josh Kaufman (The National) on accompanying guitars; Sean Trischka (Molly Tuttle, Oh Pep!) on Drums; and Matt Douglas (Sylvan Esso, Mountain Goats) on Woodwinds.

Hold to The Light is an exciting evolution in Brooke’s career as a musician. Her creative roots run deep with family connected to music--her maternal grandfather founded a music store, selling instruments and sound equipment, which continues to operate today in Pittsburgh, PA. Brooke began playing guitar at 14 and since then her passion for making and performing music has taken her all over the country. She released her first full-length record, Silence Worth Breaking in 2011, produced at The Smoakstack in Nashville, followed by 2013’s EP Words in Your Eyes and 2015’s The Simple Fear.

On the road, Brooke has recently been on tour opening for Josh Ritter, Margaret Glaspy, Chadwick Stokes, Great Lake Swimmers, Jesca Hoop, Iron & Wine, Rufus Wainwright, Aoife O’Donovan, The Handsome Family and others. Her songs have been featured on Sirius XM radio in addition to being placed in multiple TV shows including Grey's Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, Hart of Dixie, Vampire Diaries and more.

Brooke’s Club Cafe performance will feature Mark Ramsey on keys, Seth Pierson on bass, and Dan Harding on drums

(Early Show) The Suitcase Junket with Special Guest Ali McGuirk

The latest album from The Suitcase Junket, Mean Dog, Trampoline is populated by characters in various states of reverie: leaning on jukeboxes, loitering on dance floors, lying on the bottoms of empty swimming pools in the sun. Despite being deeply attuned to the chaos of the world, singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Matt Lorenz imbues those moments with joyful wonder, an endless infatuation with life’s most subtle mysteries. And as its songs alight on everything from Joan Jett to moonshine to runaway kites, Mean Dog, Trampoline makes an undeniable case for infinite curiosity as a potent antidote to jadedness and despair.

Produced by Steve Berlin (Jackie Greene, Rickie Lee Jones, Leo Kottke) of Los Lobos, Mean Dog, Trampoline marks a deliberate departure from the self-recorded, homespun approach of The Suitcase Junket’s previous efforts. In creating the album, Lorenz pulled from a fantastically patchwork sonic palette, shaping his songs with elements of jangly folk, fuzzed-out blues, oddly textured psych-rock. Engineered by Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz) and mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White, Houndmouth), Mean Dog, Trampoline rightly preserves The Suitcase Junket’s unkempt vitality, but ultimately emerges as his most powerfully direct album so far.

"I’ve been blessed in my career as a producer to have worked with some remarkable artists, but I have never worked with anyone quite like Matt Lorenz / The Suitcase Junket. Besides making the complexity of everything he does look effortless, he’s a truly gifted singer and and amazing songwriter. We had a blast making this record and I’m anxious to share it with the world."
--
Steve Berlin

The latest album from The Suitcase Junket, Mean Dog, Trampoline is populated by characters in various states of reverie: leaning on jukeboxes, loitering on dance floors, lying on the bottoms of empty swimming pools in the sun. Despite being deeply attuned to the chaos of the world, singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Matt Lorenz imbues those moments with joyful wonder, an endless infatuation with life’s most subtle mysteries. And as its songs alight on everything from Joan Jett to moonshine to runaway kites, Mean Dog, Trampoline makes an undeniable case for infinite curiosity as a potent antidote to jadedness and despair.

Produced by Steve Berlin (Jackie Greene, Rickie Lee Jones, Leo Kottke) of Los Lobos, Mean Dog, Trampoline marks a deliberate departure from the self-recorded, homespun approach of The Suitcase Junket’s previous efforts. In creating the album, Lorenz pulled from a fantastically patchwork sonic palette, shaping his songs with elements of jangly folk, fuzzed-out blues, oddly textured psych-rock. Engineered by Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz) and mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White, Houndmouth), Mean Dog, Trampoline rightly preserves The Suitcase Junket’s unkempt vitality, but ultimately emerges as his most powerfully direct album so far.

"I’ve been blessed in my career as a producer to have worked with some remarkable artists, but I have never worked with anyone quite like Matt Lorenz / The Suitcase Junket. Besides making the complexity of everything he does look effortless, he’s a truly gifted singer and and amazing songwriter. We had a blast making this record and I’m anxious to share it with the world."
--
Steve Berlin

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Mr. Steve & His Traveling Band of Alcoholic Farm Animals with Steve Swanson. Featuring Tim Wolf & Hosted by Matt Liller and Special Guests.

Comedian Steve Swanson brings his eclectic comedy show to Club Cafe.

Comedian Steve Swanson brings his eclectic comedy show to Club Cafe.

Tacocat with Special Guest Sammi Lanzetta

One of the weirdest things humans do is to classify half of all humans as niche. As though women’s shit isn’t real shit-as though menses and horses and being internet-harassed aren’t as interesting as beer-farts and monster trucks and doing the harassing. That’s why Tacocat is radical: not because a female-driven band is some baffling novelty, but because they’re a group making art about experiences in which gender is both foregrounded and neutralized. This isn’t lady stuff, it’s people stuff. It’s normal. It’s nothing and everything. It’s life.

The four actual best friends-Emily Nokes (vocals, tambourine), Eric Randall (guitar), Lelah Maupin (drums), and Bree McKenna (bass)-came together in their teens and early baby twenties and coalesced into a band eight years ago, and you can feel that they’ve built both their lives, and their sound, together. Hanging out with Tacocat and listening to Tacocat are remarkably similar experiences, like the best party you’ve ever been to, where, instead of jostling for social position, everyone just wants to eat candy and talk about Sassy Magazine, sci-fi, cultural dynamic shifts, and bad experiences with men.

Tacocat’s third studio album, Lost Time (an X-Files reference, doy), is their first with producer Erik Blood. “I would describe him generally as a beautiful wizard,” Nokes said, “who, in our opinion, took the album to the next level. Wizard level.” Blood’s sounds are wide and expansive, bringing a fullness to the band’s familiar sparkling snarl. The Tacocat of Lost Time are triumphantly youthful but also plainspoken and wise, as catchy as they are substantive. “Men Explain Things to Me” eviscerates male condescension with sarcastic surf guitar. On “The Internet,” they swat away trolls with an imperiousness so satisfying you want to transmogrify it into a sheetcake and devour it: “Your place is so low/Human mosquito.”

One of feminism’s biggest hurdles has always been that it isn’t allowed to be fun. Tacocat gives that notion precisely the credence that it deserves, ignoring it altogether and making fun, funny, unselfconscious pop songs about the shit they’re genuinely obsessing or groaning over: Plan B, night swimming, high school horse girls (“they know the different breeds of all their favorite steeds!”), the bridge-and-tunnel bros who turn their neighborhood into a toilet every weekend. And, eight years in, Tacocat have built something bigger than themselves. They’ve fostered a feminist punk scene in Seattle so fertile it’s going national and rendering the notion of the “girl band” even more laughable than it already was. There are no “girl bands” in Seattle anymore. There are just bands and everyone else. “Women,” Nokes jokes. “They’re just like us!”

-Lindy West

One of the weirdest things humans do is to classify half of all humans as niche. As though women’s shit isn’t real shit-as though menses and horses and being internet-harassed aren’t as interesting as beer-farts and monster trucks and doing the harassing. That’s why Tacocat is radical: not because a female-driven band is some baffling novelty, but because they’re a group making art about experiences in which gender is both foregrounded and neutralized. This isn’t lady stuff, it’s people stuff. It’s normal. It’s nothing and everything. It’s life.

The four actual best friends-Emily Nokes (vocals, tambourine), Eric Randall (guitar), Lelah Maupin (drums), and Bree McKenna (bass)-came together in their teens and early baby twenties and coalesced into a band eight years ago, and you can feel that they’ve built both their lives, and their sound, together. Hanging out with Tacocat and listening to Tacocat are remarkably similar experiences, like the best party you’ve ever been to, where, instead of jostling for social position, everyone just wants to eat candy and talk about Sassy Magazine, sci-fi, cultural dynamic shifts, and bad experiences with men.

Tacocat’s third studio album, Lost Time (an X-Files reference, doy), is their first with producer Erik Blood. “I would describe him generally as a beautiful wizard,” Nokes said, “who, in our opinion, took the album to the next level. Wizard level.” Blood’s sounds are wide and expansive, bringing a fullness to the band’s familiar sparkling snarl. The Tacocat of Lost Time are triumphantly youthful but also plainspoken and wise, as catchy as they are substantive. “Men Explain Things to Me” eviscerates male condescension with sarcastic surf guitar. On “The Internet,” they swat away trolls with an imperiousness so satisfying you want to transmogrify it into a sheetcake and devour it: “Your place is so low/Human mosquito.”

One of feminism’s biggest hurdles has always been that it isn’t allowed to be fun. Tacocat gives that notion precisely the credence that it deserves, ignoring it altogether and making fun, funny, unselfconscious pop songs about the shit they’re genuinely obsessing or groaning over: Plan B, night swimming, high school horse girls (“they know the different breeds of all their favorite steeds!”), the bridge-and-tunnel bros who turn their neighborhood into a toilet every weekend. And, eight years in, Tacocat have built something bigger than themselves. They’ve fostered a feminist punk scene in Seattle so fertile it’s going national and rendering the notion of the “girl band” even more laughable than it already was. There are no “girl bands” in Seattle anymore. There are just bands and everyone else. “Women,” Nokes jokes. “They’re just like us!”

-Lindy West

Run River North

When they first formed in 2011, LA-based band Run River North dubbed themselves Monsters Calling Home. Eight years later, the trio of Alex Hwang (guitar/vocals), Daniel Chae (guitar/vocals) and Sally Kang (keys/vocals) have returned to the name — this time as the title of their upcoming EP, “Monsters Calling Home: Part One,” out in May 2019.
A celebratory effort ushering in a new era for the band, after having recently evolved from a sextet to a trio, “Monsters Calling Home: Part One” is about finding hope in transition, discovering your voice in a sea of doubt, and deciding to dance despite sadness. “It’s learning to trust your own voice regardless of whatever's happening outside of you,” Chae says.
Since the departure of three founding band members in 2016, Run River North have fought to reclaim their identity and their sound. With that came a reckoning: The trio were steadfast on returning to their roots and rebranding again as Monsters Calling Home as a way to separate themselves from the personnel changes. Instead, the EP’s title — and the music within it — became the vehicle to move past the anger and hurt feelings. “Having to go through three breakups, it was a shitty time,” Hwang says. “I just stopped wanting to write songs that were angry. It’s a good emotion to go through but if that’s what you’re left with that’s not a healthy place to be. The songs on the EP are more representative of how do you find hope and how do you find joy even if you have a right to feel angry. How can you find a reason to dance even when everyone is telling you it’s not the right time to dance?”
Not just an Asian-American band or a group that relies on a set sonic formula, the EP continues to expand upon the band’s prior folk-leaning backbone. On lead single “Hands Up,” the band is at their most bombastic. The result of a co-writing collaboration with Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi of Grouplove — the duo’s first of such sessions — “Hands Up” pairs an earworm-y chorus with a front-and-center guitar melody, a second voice among Hwang’s lead bellow. Overall, the group utilizes more drum programming, dreamy synth, and dynamic production — a more expansive sonic palette.
“Monsters Calling Home: Part One” is bookended by brother-sister songs “Casina” and “Casino.” A song with roots in the band’s days as a six-piece, “Casino” was written as the group’s former members began to phase out. A wistful and rustic intro builds into a walloping chorus: “I’m stuck in this casino / not much left for me.” It’s a song which serves as catharsis when reckoning with the forces that hold us down, a song inspired by Hwang’s mother’s cancer diagnosis. “At the time it was this big middle finger to cancer or anything you felt was giving an absolute statement to people’s lives,” he says.
“Casina,” on the other hand, was borne out of a late-night studio session between Chae, Kang and their producer, Miro Markie. Aiming to re-work “Casino,” “they handed me a microphone and they were like, ‘Try singing,’” Kang remembers. Her take on the song’s chorus added an air of whimsy balancing Hwang’s belt. The pair ping-pong verses and lines, creating a push-pull of dizzying tension. “I think this may be the first song that we don’t have a lead vocalist in a song,” Chae says. “When Sally wrote her part on this song it was the first time we thought this might be something. That’s the moment I can point to that was really exciting for this EP. It’s a linchpin for this EP.
With the energy of “Casina” — and Kang finding her voice — in mind, Run River North move forward as a true collaborative effort unthwarted by ego and pretense. No longer held back by fear or discontent, Run River North persevered through pain and came out on the other side victorious wearing a newfound confidence. “It became about who is in the band,” Hwang says, “and now it feels like Sally, Daniel, and me being very comfortable in our own skin.”

When they first formed in 2011, LA-based band Run River North dubbed themselves Monsters Calling Home. Eight years later, the trio of Alex Hwang (guitar/vocals), Daniel Chae (guitar/vocals) and Sally Kang (keys/vocals) have returned to the name — this time as the title of their upcoming EP, “Monsters Calling Home: Part One,” out in May 2019.
A celebratory effort ushering in a new era for the band, after having recently evolved from a sextet to a trio, “Monsters Calling Home: Part One” is about finding hope in transition, discovering your voice in a sea of doubt, and deciding to dance despite sadness. “It’s learning to trust your own voice regardless of whatever's happening outside of you,” Chae says.
Since the departure of three founding band members in 2016, Run River North have fought to reclaim their identity and their sound. With that came a reckoning: The trio were steadfast on returning to their roots and rebranding again as Monsters Calling Home as a way to separate themselves from the personnel changes. Instead, the EP’s title — and the music within it — became the vehicle to move past the anger and hurt feelings. “Having to go through three breakups, it was a shitty time,” Hwang says. “I just stopped wanting to write songs that were angry. It’s a good emotion to go through but if that’s what you’re left with that’s not a healthy place to be. The songs on the EP are more representative of how do you find hope and how do you find joy even if you have a right to feel angry. How can you find a reason to dance even when everyone is telling you it’s not the right time to dance?”
Not just an Asian-American band or a group that relies on a set sonic formula, the EP continues to expand upon the band’s prior folk-leaning backbone. On lead single “Hands Up,” the band is at their most bombastic. The result of a co-writing collaboration with Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi of Grouplove — the duo’s first of such sessions — “Hands Up” pairs an earworm-y chorus with a front-and-center guitar melody, a second voice among Hwang’s lead bellow. Overall, the group utilizes more drum programming, dreamy synth, and dynamic production — a more expansive sonic palette.
“Monsters Calling Home: Part One” is bookended by brother-sister songs “Casina” and “Casino.” A song with roots in the band’s days as a six-piece, “Casino” was written as the group’s former members began to phase out. A wistful and rustic intro builds into a walloping chorus: “I’m stuck in this casino / not much left for me.” It’s a song which serves as catharsis when reckoning with the forces that hold us down, a song inspired by Hwang’s mother’s cancer diagnosis. “At the time it was this big middle finger to cancer or anything you felt was giving an absolute statement to people’s lives,” he says.
“Casina,” on the other hand, was borne out of a late-night studio session between Chae, Kang and their producer, Miro Markie. Aiming to re-work “Casino,” “they handed me a microphone and they were like, ‘Try singing,’” Kang remembers. Her take on the song’s chorus added an air of whimsy balancing Hwang’s belt. The pair ping-pong verses and lines, creating a push-pull of dizzying tension. “I think this may be the first song that we don’t have a lead vocalist in a song,” Chae says. “When Sally wrote her part on this song it was the first time we thought this might be something. That’s the moment I can point to that was really exciting for this EP. It’s a linchpin for this EP.
With the energy of “Casina” — and Kang finding her voice — in mind, Run River North move forward as a true collaborative effort unthwarted by ego and pretense. No longer held back by fear or discontent, Run River North persevered through pain and came out on the other side victorious wearing a newfound confidence. “It became about who is in the band,” Hwang says, “and now it feels like Sally, Daniel, and me being very comfortable in our own skin.”

Skinny Lister

As music fans we’re only ever given fragments of lives well lived, and we scrabble vicariously through them. Skinny Lister, though, have really given us as much as they can since 2009, passing the growing flagon of their experiences with every album and tour. They’ve led an endless parade gathering fans old and new, from the respected folk circuit to the riotous Download Festival, igniting pogoing mosh-pits at each. Over the past ten years they’ve travelled from rain-soaked London to the vast arteries of the USA, upgrading from narrow boat to Salty Dog Cruise, played huge tours across Europe and North America with Frank Turner, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly as well as headlining themselves across festivals, sweatboxes and ever-larger venues.

After three albums taking confident steps into an ever larger world, their fourth offering, The Story Is... (produced and mixed by Barny Barnicott – Arctic Monkeys, The Enemy, The Temper Trap) takes the tales of the everyday, the minutiae of our lives, and turns them into potent pop that rings oh so true.

“The stories have been getting more and more personal as the albums have gone on,” says Daniel Heptinstall (vocals, guitar, lead songwriter) “It always helps when you sing a song for it to have some truth. They’re the words that get sung back to us the loudest.” This sentiment is running through the latest album like diesel. Lorna sings on the hyped-up ‘My Life, My Architecture’ that “all this is my achievement, all cracks have life in between them, I live this adventure”. Dan even sings about “turning blood into diamonds”, crafting his own happenings into the last few years of classic Skinny Lister songs on ‘Any Resemblance To Actual Persons, Living Or Dead, Is Purely Coincidental’. Using storytelling truths, Skinny Lister’s anthology of experiences is being told and retold every night, with every spin of a record or stream of a song. Their world expands as their songs are shared.

The Story Is… finds fables in vastly contrasting true stories. Of an arsonist setting fire to the flat below Dan’s (‘Artist Arsonist’), of the sheer annoyance felt when accidentally filling a diesel van with unleaded (‘Diesel Vehicle’) - both songs laced with insight into everyone’s feelings. Even when the songs are outside of the band’s personal experience, they are still inspired by close connections. ‘38 Minutes’ came from a friend’s Facebook post about receiving the Hawaiian ballistic missile alert in early 2018, while ‘Stop & Breathe’ is a plea to everyone to take time out when they can, based on a good friend talking after a friend sadly departed due to suicide.

Musically, the band has also scoured volumes of texture and tone. Though songs like ‘Rattle & Roar’ and ‘Sometimes So It Goes’ will be familiar to anyone who’s loved the band’s three previous albums, Forge & Flagon, Down on Deptford Broadway and The Devil, the Heart & the Fight, the band has explored a lexicon of their tastes. ‘The Shining’ takes on Blondie’s new wave disco, giving Lorna Thomas (vocals) the spotlight. Lorna takes the reins on two of the most energising songs – ‘My Life, My Architecture’ and ‘My Distraction’ – and brings her unmistakable vitality to the album. ‘38 Minutes’ spins like a top with the urgency of an impending doom, backing ‘ooohs’ like sirens, and an electric pace as if they’re outrunning the clock. They’ve turned every melodic instinct up and, along with the hooks and lyrical reality Dan has drawn, it’s a deep dip into the encyclopaedic sound of which the band are capable.

“The first album was very rooted in the folk tradition,” says Dan. “But when we wrote Down on Deptford Broadway, we were doing songs like ‘Trouble on Oxford Street’ and ‘Cathy’ and we felt at the time we were straying too far from our folk roots. Now at a show they’re some of the highlights of a set”. In that vein, the new songs move even further away from their folk origins while crossing into new territory for the band. But you will be bouncing to the spring loaded ‘My Distraction’, clapping along with the Jam-like ‘Cause for Chorus’ or skanking to the ska-jangle of ‘Second Amendment’ by the next time you see them – they are potent bursts of melodic adrenaline.

And so the torrent of touring continues for Skinny Lister in 2019, leading cross-continental parties of willing devotees, audiences getting larger as people from all walks of life and several generations – young and old, children and parents – sing, dance and cheer. These songs, stories and passionate live performances, charm and thrill a huge spectrum of gig-goers from the folk aficionado and the indie experts to the riff-addled metal fans and the furious punk kids.

The Story Is… this time, that Skinny Lister are opening their lives up more than ever before, allowing us all in and giving everyone a space to express sheer joy, relate hard to the lines that strike a chord in us, and throw ourselves into living with abandon and hope, with happiness and excitement, with stories enough to fill several lifetimes.


As music fans we’re only ever given fragments of lives well lived, and we scrabble vicariously through them. Skinny Lister, though, have really given us as much as they can since 2009, passing the growing flagon of their experiences with every album and tour. They’ve led an endless parade gathering fans old and new, from the respected folk circuit to the riotous Download Festival, igniting pogoing mosh-pits at each. Over the past ten years they’ve travelled from rain-soaked London to the vast arteries of the USA, upgrading from narrow boat to Salty Dog Cruise, played huge tours across Europe and North America with Frank Turner, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly as well as headlining themselves across festivals, sweatboxes and ever-larger venues.

After three albums taking confident steps into an ever larger world, their fourth offering, The Story Is... (produced and mixed by Barny Barnicott – Arctic Monkeys, The Enemy, The Temper Trap) takes the tales of the everyday, the minutiae of our lives, and turns them into potent pop that rings oh so true.

“The stories have been getting more and more personal as the albums have gone on,” says Daniel Heptinstall (vocals, guitar, lead songwriter) “It always helps when you sing a song for it to have some truth. They’re the words that get sung back to us the loudest.” This sentiment is running through the latest album like diesel. Lorna sings on the hyped-up ‘My Life, My Architecture’ that “all this is my achievement, all cracks have life in between them, I live this adventure”. Dan even sings about “turning blood into diamonds”, crafting his own happenings into the last few years of classic Skinny Lister songs on ‘Any Resemblance To Actual Persons, Living Or Dead, Is Purely Coincidental’. Using storytelling truths, Skinny Lister’s anthology of experiences is being told and retold every night, with every spin of a record or stream of a song. Their world expands as their songs are shared.

The Story Is… finds fables in vastly contrasting true stories. Of an arsonist setting fire to the flat below Dan’s (‘Artist Arsonist’), of the sheer annoyance felt when accidentally filling a diesel van with unleaded (‘Diesel Vehicle’) - both songs laced with insight into everyone’s feelings. Even when the songs are outside of the band’s personal experience, they are still inspired by close connections. ‘38 Minutes’ came from a friend’s Facebook post about receiving the Hawaiian ballistic missile alert in early 2018, while ‘Stop & Breathe’ is a plea to everyone to take time out when they can, based on a good friend talking after a friend sadly departed due to suicide.

Musically, the band has also scoured volumes of texture and tone. Though songs like ‘Rattle & Roar’ and ‘Sometimes So It Goes’ will be familiar to anyone who’s loved the band’s three previous albums, Forge & Flagon, Down on Deptford Broadway and The Devil, the Heart & the Fight, the band has explored a lexicon of their tastes. ‘The Shining’ takes on Blondie’s new wave disco, giving Lorna Thomas (vocals) the spotlight. Lorna takes the reins on two of the most energising songs – ‘My Life, My Architecture’ and ‘My Distraction’ – and brings her unmistakable vitality to the album. ‘38 Minutes’ spins like a top with the urgency of an impending doom, backing ‘ooohs’ like sirens, and an electric pace as if they’re outrunning the clock. They’ve turned every melodic instinct up and, along with the hooks and lyrical reality Dan has drawn, it’s a deep dip into the encyclopaedic sound of which the band are capable.

“The first album was very rooted in the folk tradition,” says Dan. “But when we wrote Down on Deptford Broadway, we were doing songs like ‘Trouble on Oxford Street’ and ‘Cathy’ and we felt at the time we were straying too far from our folk roots. Now at a show they’re some of the highlights of a set”. In that vein, the new songs move even further away from their folk origins while crossing into new territory for the band. But you will be bouncing to the spring loaded ‘My Distraction’, clapping along with the Jam-like ‘Cause for Chorus’ or skanking to the ska-jangle of ‘Second Amendment’ by the next time you see them – they are potent bursts of melodic adrenaline.

And so the torrent of touring continues for Skinny Lister in 2019, leading cross-continental parties of willing devotees, audiences getting larger as people from all walks of life and several generations – young and old, children and parents – sing, dance and cheer. These songs, stories and passionate live performances, charm and thrill a huge spectrum of gig-goers from the folk aficionado and the indie experts to the riff-addled metal fans and the furious punk kids.

The Story Is… this time, that Skinny Lister are opening their lives up more than ever before, allowing us all in and giving everyone a space to express sheer joy, relate hard to the lines that strike a chord in us, and throw ourselves into living with abandon and hope, with happiness and excitement, with stories enough to fill several lifetimes.


The Tennessee Queens Tour 2019: LOLO & Garrison Starr

LOLO
From Jackson, TN, LOLO is a show-stopping singer who has "so much music flowing through [her] that it fills two people" (Associated Press). She has proven herself a venerable songwriter, from penning hits for Panic! At The Disco’s recent #1 blockbuster album to writing a New York Times raved about off-Broadway musical, “Songbird” — a perfect segue from LOLO's past role as the originator of Ilse in the critically-acclaimed smash musical “Spring Awakening.” Her album, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit, is a come-to-Jesus moment for the songstress who moved back to Tennessee after exploring her path on the stages of New York and time in London - a literal reflection of LOLO's journey on the road back home, which paints the picture of a woman who is finally able to shine and be her true self. With a daring and emotionally charged voice, her music evokes a hot southern night – rough around the edges but with a velvety quality that soothes the soul.

Garrison Starr
Garrison Starr is a singer, songwriter and record producer based in Los Angeles. Her latest musical release, "What If There Is No Destination" was released June 2017. Starr has released 15 albums as a solo artist.

Known for her vibrant and impassioned live performances, Starr’s shows have been described as “marrying pop smarts and Americana grit with a voice of remarkable power and clarity”(gomemphis.com 2012).

Starr is a full time songwriter in Los Angeles whose songs have been featured on numerous TV shows and commercials. She regularly collaborates with various artists on projects and has found great success writing for TV and film.

In 2016, Starr collaborated with long time friend, Margaret Cho, and produced “American Myth.” Starr also co-wrote, played guitar and sang on the record. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the Comedy category.

Garrison's love for truth-telling, good whiskey and human connection has made her a darling of the singer-songwriter world.

She continues to tour the U.S. and Europe.

LOLO
From Jackson, TN, LOLO is a show-stopping singer who has "so much music flowing through [her] that it fills two people" (Associated Press). She has proven herself a venerable songwriter, from penning hits for Panic! At The Disco’s recent #1 blockbuster album to writing a New York Times raved about off-Broadway musical, “Songbird” — a perfect segue from LOLO's past role as the originator of Ilse in the critically-acclaimed smash musical “Spring Awakening.” Her album, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit, is a come-to-Jesus moment for the songstress who moved back to Tennessee after exploring her path on the stages of New York and time in London - a literal reflection of LOLO's journey on the road back home, which paints the picture of a woman who is finally able to shine and be her true self. With a daring and emotionally charged voice, her music evokes a hot southern night – rough around the edges but with a velvety quality that soothes the soul.

Garrison Starr
Garrison Starr is a singer, songwriter and record producer based in Los Angeles. Her latest musical release, "What If There Is No Destination" was released June 2017. Starr has released 15 albums as a solo artist.

Known for her vibrant and impassioned live performances, Starr’s shows have been described as “marrying pop smarts and Americana grit with a voice of remarkable power and clarity”(gomemphis.com 2012).

Starr is a full time songwriter in Los Angeles whose songs have been featured on numerous TV shows and commercials. She regularly collaborates with various artists on projects and has found great success writing for TV and film.

In 2016, Starr collaborated with long time friend, Margaret Cho, and produced “American Myth.” Starr also co-wrote, played guitar and sang on the record. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the Comedy category.

Garrison's love for truth-telling, good whiskey and human connection has made her a darling of the singer-songwriter world.

She continues to tour the U.S. and Europe.

(Early Show) Vance Gilbert

Vance Gilbert’s BaD Dog Buffet

Can something be wry, aching, hysterical, evocative, provocative, fun, beautifully sung, and consummately played all at once? Can it?

That’d be Vance Gilbert and his transcendent new album “BaD Dog Buffet”.

With the generous assistance from a varied list of super-respected guests—including Celtic harpist/singer Aine Minogue, bluegrass boys Darol Anger and Joe Walsh Jr., jazz sax player Grace Kelly, country rock hero Roy Sludge, and guitar mainstay Kevin Barry—this talented man’s musical truth plays out shamelessly on BaD Dog Buffet.

Fully funded by his fans, the record has so far received raves reviews based solely on the material folks knew would be on it Those who know and love Vance have already enjoyed the life-loving capitulation of “God Bless Everyone,” the seething rocker “Nothing from You,” and the tonguein-cheek, happy break-up song, “Out the Way We Came In. “First Ring” is a Vance classic, a banjo love story rooted in folk whimsy, while “Kiss the Bad Boys” sounds like what would happen if Bootsy Collins and Bruce Springsteen were trapped in an elevator and ended up writing a song together. “Unfamiliar Moon,” which some may know as Vance’s signature song—a tune that landed him in the second round of auditions of TV’s “America’s Got Talent”—is revisited here in a pared down version with Anger on fiddle.

Like all great artists, Vance truly happens live. In fact he developed his reputation with his jawdropping, diverse, funny, devastating, and gorgeous live performances. Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, the late George Carlin have all requested Vance to be added to their bills.

Vance exploded onto the scene in the early 90’s, with buzz spreading quickly. Who was this multicultural arts teacher knocking them dead at open mics? After opening Shawn Colvin’s 1992 Fat City tour, he took much of America by storm and by surprise. “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener,” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from the Colvin tour.

Vance followed with three acclaimed albums for the Rounder/Philo label—Edgewise (1994), Fugitives (1995), and Shaking Off Gravity (1998). Then, Somerville Live (2000), was lionized by the Boston Globe as the disc “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams,” and New York’s Town and Village called One Thru Fourteen (2002), “lively, eclectic, electrifying and transcending.”

Gilbert then released a duo album with his friend Ellis Paul, entitled Side Of The Road (2003). The Boston Globe described it as “the songwriter’s most compelling work; literate, heartfelt, rippling…emotionally resonant.” The Globe placed the album on its Top 10 list that year.

Gilbert only continued on with three more albums, Angels, Castles, Covers (2006) displaying his vocal virtuosity, with sounds of Motown, the R&B of Al Green, and classic Joni Mitchell. Up On Rockfield (2008) just after a year and a half as support for George Carlin, and Old White Men.

Which brings us full circle to BaD Dog Buffet, the latest in a growing, glowing oeuvre and an evocative catalog created by a cornerstone acoustic artist.

Vance Gilbert’s BaD Dog Buffet

Can something be wry, aching, hysterical, evocative, provocative, fun, beautifully sung, and consummately played all at once? Can it?

That’d be Vance Gilbert and his transcendent new album “BaD Dog Buffet”.

With the generous assistance from a varied list of super-respected guests—including Celtic harpist/singer Aine Minogue, bluegrass boys Darol Anger and Joe Walsh Jr., jazz sax player Grace Kelly, country rock hero Roy Sludge, and guitar mainstay Kevin Barry—this talented man’s musical truth plays out shamelessly on BaD Dog Buffet.

Fully funded by his fans, the record has so far received raves reviews based solely on the material folks knew would be on it Those who know and love Vance have already enjoyed the life-loving capitulation of “God Bless Everyone,” the seething rocker “Nothing from You,” and the tonguein-cheek, happy break-up song, “Out the Way We Came In. “First Ring” is a Vance classic, a banjo love story rooted in folk whimsy, while “Kiss the Bad Boys” sounds like what would happen if Bootsy Collins and Bruce Springsteen were trapped in an elevator and ended up writing a song together. “Unfamiliar Moon,” which some may know as Vance’s signature song—a tune that landed him in the second round of auditions of TV’s “America’s Got Talent”—is revisited here in a pared down version with Anger on fiddle.

Like all great artists, Vance truly happens live. In fact he developed his reputation with his jawdropping, diverse, funny, devastating, and gorgeous live performances. Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, the late George Carlin have all requested Vance to be added to their bills.

Vance exploded onto the scene in the early 90’s, with buzz spreading quickly. Who was this multicultural arts teacher knocking them dead at open mics? After opening Shawn Colvin’s 1992 Fat City tour, he took much of America by storm and by surprise. “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener,” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from the Colvin tour.

Vance followed with three acclaimed albums for the Rounder/Philo label—Edgewise (1994), Fugitives (1995), and Shaking Off Gravity (1998). Then, Somerville Live (2000), was lionized by the Boston Globe as the disc “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams,” and New York’s Town and Village called One Thru Fourteen (2002), “lively, eclectic, electrifying and transcending.”

Gilbert then released a duo album with his friend Ellis Paul, entitled Side Of The Road (2003). The Boston Globe described it as “the songwriter’s most compelling work; literate, heartfelt, rippling…emotionally resonant.” The Globe placed the album on its Top 10 list that year.

Gilbert only continued on with three more albums, Angels, Castles, Covers (2006) displaying his vocal virtuosity, with sounds of Motown, the R&B of Al Green, and classic Joni Mitchell. Up On Rockfield (2008) just after a year and a half as support for George Carlin, and Old White Men.

Which brings us full circle to BaD Dog Buffet, the latest in a growing, glowing oeuvre and an evocative catalog created by a cornerstone acoustic artist.

Spencer Krug (of Moonface/Wolf Parade)

After fifteen years of writing and performing with projects like Wolf Parade,Sunset Rubdown, Moonface, Swan Lake, and Frog eyes, this prolific artist has finallydecided to release and tour the music he makes under his own name - Spencer Krug.First gaining attention in the mid 2000s as co-leader of Montreal's rock’n’roll WolfParade, then soon after as the voice and mind behind the chaotic Sunset Rubdown,Krug eventually used the now defunct Moonface as an outlet for his more experimentaland sporadic solo material. And while he still writes and sings for the recentlyreactivated Wolf Parade, there remains in him a need to express something lessrock-oriented, something more quiet and strange and introverted. So, returning to hisfirst and favorite instrument, the piano, Krug has ventured back into his own fantasticworld of pseudo-classical balladeering; poetic lyricism laced with twisted pop sensibilityand jazz mimicry. Using this template, he now releases his solo work, and tours avariety of new songs as well as those from older projects, as Spencer Krug.

After fifteen years of writing and performing with projects like Wolf Parade,Sunset Rubdown, Moonface, Swan Lake, and Frog eyes, this prolific artist has finallydecided to release and tour the music he makes under his own name - Spencer Krug.First gaining attention in the mid 2000s as co-leader of Montreal's rock’n’roll WolfParade, then soon after as the voice and mind behind the chaotic Sunset Rubdown,Krug eventually used the now defunct Moonface as an outlet for his more experimentaland sporadic solo material. And while he still writes and sings for the recentlyreactivated Wolf Parade, there remains in him a need to express something lessrock-oriented, something more quiet and strange and introverted. So, returning to hisfirst and favorite instrument, the piano, Krug has ventured back into his own fantasticworld of pseudo-classical balladeering; poetic lyricism laced with twisted pop sensibilityand jazz mimicry. Using this template, he now releases his solo work, and tours avariety of new songs as well as those from older projects, as Spencer Krug.

Eilen Jewell

Eilen Jewell laughs when told her label’s president called her a musicologist. But she confirms she and her husband and bandmate, Jason Beek, have a passion for studying American music. “We really love to uncover the past. It’s almost like digging for buried treasure,” she says. “For me, that’s where music is at. I like all kinds of music as long as there’s the word early in front of it.”

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

Eilen Jewell laughs when told her label’s president called her a musicologist. But she confirms she and her husband and bandmate, Jason Beek, have a passion for studying American music. “We really love to uncover the past. It’s almost like digging for buried treasure,” she says. “For me, that’s where music is at. I like all kinds of music as long as there’s the word early in front of it.”

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

Drugdealer

“All anyone wants to be is what they can.”

In an era when networked access to information is nearly universal and wearing influences on your sleeve is normalized, it often feels like everything’s been done. Which begs the questions: What’s the point of creating? Does the world need another still life of fruit? Another film about love? Does the world need another melody?

On Raw Honey, his second album as Drugdealer, Michael Collins colors these existential conundrums with lush arrangements, memetic melodies, and a vulnerable tunefulness that tries to make sense of self-doubt and connected loneliness in our shared simulacra.

Collins, who never played an instrument, let alone received musical training in any formal capacity, began experimenting with sounds in 2009 after traversing the US on freight trains. After a few years crafting abstract sampledelia, he decided to forgo his experimental exercises in favor of teaching himself how to write the traditional song. In doing so, he made the decision to approach songwriting from the perspective of a listener, rather than a “musician.”

In 2013, Collins headed west and enmeshed himself in the Los Angeles underground scene. It was then that he began collaborating with players in the orbit of Ariel Pink, slowly over time crafting what would become Drugdealer’s debut album, The End of Comedy, a collection of sunlit songs as indebted to Laurel Canyon psych pop as it is Bacharian orchestration.

Raw Honey continues where The End of Comedy left off, with Collins once again leading an ace crew of collaborators to coalesce the spirit of Drugdealer’s classically modern pop. Built on the foundation of a creative partnership between Collins, Sasha Winn (vocals) and Shags Chamberlain (bass, production), Drugdealer is more a collective than band. Raw Honey features contributions of Josh Da Costa (drums), Jackson MacIntosh (guitar), Danny Garcia (guitar), Michael Long (lead guitar), and Benjamin Schwab (backing vocals, guitar, organ, piano, wurlitzer), as well as guest vocalists like country balladeer Dougie Poole (“Wild Motion”), Harley Hill-Richmond (“Lonely”), and frequent collaborator Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) whose dulcet tones sing low before soaring on “Honey,” a track as silky as the nectar itself.

Throughout Raw Honey, Collins and crew display their influences as a new tapestry, one woven with the recycled fibers from thousands of tapestries that have colored our collective listening histories. As evidenced throughout Raw Honey, Collins has an ear for penning numbers that would sound as at home on Classic Rock radio as they would at Zebulon in Los Angeles, where any of the contributors to Raw Honey could, perhaps, be found on any night of the week, on stage, or in the audience supporting another Angelino’s modern pop aspirations.

Rather than hiding behind a curtain or casually sidestepping AOR tropes, Raw Honey adheres to a modern kind of creation — one that cultivates influences and espouses reverence. An honest totem, Raw Honey isn’t tangled up in social norms, with Collins prefering to air his self-doubt as a northern star to guide like-minded people wherever they need to go.

Drugdealer’s Raw Honey will be released on April 19, 2019 via Mexican Summer.

“All anyone wants to be is what they can.”

In an era when networked access to information is nearly universal and wearing influences on your sleeve is normalized, it often feels like everything’s been done. Which begs the questions: What’s the point of creating? Does the world need another still life of fruit? Another film about love? Does the world need another melody?

On Raw Honey, his second album as Drugdealer, Michael Collins colors these existential conundrums with lush arrangements, memetic melodies, and a vulnerable tunefulness that tries to make sense of self-doubt and connected loneliness in our shared simulacra.

Collins, who never played an instrument, let alone received musical training in any formal capacity, began experimenting with sounds in 2009 after traversing the US on freight trains. After a few years crafting abstract sampledelia, he decided to forgo his experimental exercises in favor of teaching himself how to write the traditional song. In doing so, he made the decision to approach songwriting from the perspective of a listener, rather than a “musician.”

In 2013, Collins headed west and enmeshed himself in the Los Angeles underground scene. It was then that he began collaborating with players in the orbit of Ariel Pink, slowly over time crafting what would become Drugdealer’s debut album, The End of Comedy, a collection of sunlit songs as indebted to Laurel Canyon psych pop as it is Bacharian orchestration.

Raw Honey continues where The End of Comedy left off, with Collins once again leading an ace crew of collaborators to coalesce the spirit of Drugdealer’s classically modern pop. Built on the foundation of a creative partnership between Collins, Sasha Winn (vocals) and Shags Chamberlain (bass, production), Drugdealer is more a collective than band. Raw Honey features contributions of Josh Da Costa (drums), Jackson MacIntosh (guitar), Danny Garcia (guitar), Michael Long (lead guitar), and Benjamin Schwab (backing vocals, guitar, organ, piano, wurlitzer), as well as guest vocalists like country balladeer Dougie Poole (“Wild Motion”), Harley Hill-Richmond (“Lonely”), and frequent collaborator Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) whose dulcet tones sing low before soaring on “Honey,” a track as silky as the nectar itself.

Throughout Raw Honey, Collins and crew display their influences as a new tapestry, one woven with the recycled fibers from thousands of tapestries that have colored our collective listening histories. As evidenced throughout Raw Honey, Collins has an ear for penning numbers that would sound as at home on Classic Rock radio as they would at Zebulon in Los Angeles, where any of the contributors to Raw Honey could, perhaps, be found on any night of the week, on stage, or in the audience supporting another Angelino’s modern pop aspirations.

Rather than hiding behind a curtain or casually sidestepping AOR tropes, Raw Honey adheres to a modern kind of creation — one that cultivates influences and espouses reverence. An honest totem, Raw Honey isn’t tangled up in social norms, with Collins prefering to air his self-doubt as a northern star to guide like-minded people wherever they need to go.

Drugdealer’s Raw Honey will be released on April 19, 2019 via Mexican Summer.

@clubcafelive

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