club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
Burning Bridges and Opus One Comedy Presents Thai Rivera (Comedy Central) Featuring Matt Light and Ray Zawodni

Thai Rivera will make you uncomfortable in the best way possible. His politically incorrect style of humor has taken the comedy world by storm.

Having moved from Arizona to LA Thai quickly became a fixture and force on the comedy scene. After becoming a favorite and regular at clubs such as the Hollywood Improv and World Famous Laugh Factory he started to travel across the country in the most unlikely of places, redneck bars.

He has performed with some of the biggest name’s in the world of stand up, some of you may recognize him from the Jo Koy Comedy Tour, he has also been featured on Comedy Central’s Live At Gotham and The Logo Network’s One Night Stand up.

While Thai is very proud of who and what he is his disarming style and easy going delivery will put you at ease and there is no doubt that by the end of his set you will understand that Thai is comic who happens to be gay and not a gay comic, or as he would put it “a comic who happens to be a fag and not a fag comic.”

Thai’s comedy has not only taken him across this country but as far away as Austraiia and Thule Greenland where he performed for our troops.

Thai Rivera will make you uncomfortable in the best way possible. His politically incorrect style of humor has taken the comedy world by storm.

Having moved from Arizona to LA Thai quickly became a fixture and force on the comedy scene. After becoming a favorite and regular at clubs such as the Hollywood Improv and World Famous Laugh Factory he started to travel across the country in the most unlikely of places, redneck bars.

He has performed with some of the biggest name’s in the world of stand up, some of you may recognize him from the Jo Koy Comedy Tour, he has also been featured on Comedy Central’s Live At Gotham and The Logo Network’s One Night Stand up.

While Thai is very proud of who and what he is his disarming style and easy going delivery will put you at ease and there is no doubt that by the end of his set you will understand that Thai is comic who happens to be gay and not a gay comic, or as he would put it “a comic who happens to be a fag and not a fag comic.”

Thai’s comedy has not only taken him across this country but as far away as Austraiia and Thule Greenland where he performed for our troops.

The Talbott Brothers with Special Guests Juvenile Characteristics and Jordan McLaughlin

The Talbott Brothers are a Portland based duo composed of brothers Nick and Tyler Talbott. Born and raised in Imperial, a small town in Southwestern Nebraska, they began writing and performing together in the summer of 2012 before relocating to Portland, OR. Forming an alternative blend of folk, rock and blues, The Talbott Brothers creatively combine blood harmonies with storytelling and infectious melodies.

In their latest full-length album, Gray, The Talbott Brothers illustrate the tension between conflicting relationships and the various trials of the human condition. Ear To The Ground Music describes it as, “Equal parts optimistic and captivating, inspiring and hopeful.” Following the album’s release, The Talbott Brothers made their debut at KINK FM’s Skype Live Studio, embarked on a national headlining tour and shared the stage with artists such as Johnnyswim, ZZ Ward and Dead Horses.

In addition to having their music featured in national campaigns such as the Buckle and Tennessee Tourism, The Talbott Brothers are endorsed by Elixir Strings and have joined forces with Sennheiser for product showcase videos and annual performances at The NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA. After playing more than 500 shows and independently releasing 3 albums, The Talbott Brothers’ deep-rooted passion and growing fanbase continue to drive them full steam ahead.

The Talbott Brothers are a Portland based duo composed of brothers Nick and Tyler Talbott. Born and raised in Imperial, a small town in Southwestern Nebraska, they began writing and performing together in the summer of 2012 before relocating to Portland, OR. Forming an alternative blend of folk, rock and blues, The Talbott Brothers creatively combine blood harmonies with storytelling and infectious melodies.

In their latest full-length album, Gray, The Talbott Brothers illustrate the tension between conflicting relationships and the various trials of the human condition. Ear To The Ground Music describes it as, “Equal parts optimistic and captivating, inspiring and hopeful.” Following the album’s release, The Talbott Brothers made their debut at KINK FM’s Skype Live Studio, embarked on a national headlining tour and shared the stage with artists such as Johnnyswim, ZZ Ward and Dead Horses.

In addition to having their music featured in national campaigns such as the Buckle and Tennessee Tourism, The Talbott Brothers are endorsed by Elixir Strings and have joined forces with Sennheiser for product showcase videos and annual performances at The NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA. After playing more than 500 shows and independently releasing 3 albums, The Talbott Brothers’ deep-rooted passion and growing fanbase continue to drive them full steam ahead.

(Early Show) Christmastravaganza Featuring The Dead End Streets, The Moat Rats and Jenny & the Jags - Sponsored by The River's Edge and Benefitting Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation

(Late Show) The Rainbow Ends - 'Live!' Album Recording with Special Guest Flux Capacitor

Joe Grushecky & The House Rockers (Entry includes copy of 'Down the Road A Piece' CD)

Joe Grushecky’s music has stood the test of time. For 30 years publications such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, No Depression, and countless others have hailed him as one of rock & roll’s most talented singer-songwriters.
In 1979 Rolling Stone magazine crowned his band’s, the Iron City Houserockers, first album Love’s So Tough the “debut record of the year.” Acclaimed rock writer Jimmy Guterman, named their second album, Have a Good Time (But Get Out Alive) as one of the 100 Best Rock & Roll Records of all time! Legendary guitarist and Rock Hall of Famer Steve Cropper produced Blood on the Bricks. Rock superstar and Hall of Famer, Bruce Springsteen, produced American Babylon in 1995 and continues to perform with the band and write with Joe including the Grammy winning Code of Silence.
We’re Not Dead Yet, Live in Pittsburgh, Joe’s 14th LP, carries on his tradition of delivering honest and passionate music. This is what Blurt Magazine has to say about the band’s live performances. “Grushecky and the Houserockers performed like they thought they were damn rock stars and, on that night, they were indeed the greatest rock 'n' roll outfit on the planet”

In a world where truth is rare and nothing seems genuine anymore, some things remains constant…there is still real music being made out there. And Joe Grushecky is still making it.

Joe Grushecky’s music has stood the test of time. For 30 years publications such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, No Depression, and countless others have hailed him as one of rock & roll’s most talented singer-songwriters.
In 1979 Rolling Stone magazine crowned his band’s, the Iron City Houserockers, first album Love’s So Tough the “debut record of the year.” Acclaimed rock writer Jimmy Guterman, named their second album, Have a Good Time (But Get Out Alive) as one of the 100 Best Rock & Roll Records of all time! Legendary guitarist and Rock Hall of Famer Steve Cropper produced Blood on the Bricks. Rock superstar and Hall of Famer, Bruce Springsteen, produced American Babylon in 1995 and continues to perform with the band and write with Joe including the Grammy winning Code of Silence.
We’re Not Dead Yet, Live in Pittsburgh, Joe’s 14th LP, carries on his tradition of delivering honest and passionate music. This is what Blurt Magazine has to say about the band’s live performances. “Grushecky and the Houserockers performed like they thought they were damn rock stars and, on that night, they were indeed the greatest rock 'n' roll outfit on the planet”

In a world where truth is rare and nothing seems genuine anymore, some things remains constant…there is still real music being made out there. And Joe Grushecky is still making it.

Stephen Kellogg

Over the last decade, Connecticut native Stephen Kellogg has performed more than 1500 concerts around the world, raised thousands of dollars for causes close to his heart, been named Armed Forces Entertainer of the Year, and penned singles for artists like "American Idol" winner Nick Fradiani and the platinum selling rock band O.A.R. Stephen’s most recent writing work with legendary guitarist Robert Randolph, has led to a 2017 Grammy nomination for "Best Contemporary Blues Record." He's also had his songs covered by international major label acts and released eight albums of his own that have yielded hundreds of thousands of ticket and album sales.
When it comes to performing, CBS radio has called him "the best live act you've never seen" and another writer for No Depression gives him the oddly flattering title "the best songwriter you're not listening to." Filmmaker Peter Harding was so moved by the underground nature of Stephen's story that he made a documentary called "Last Man Standing" which went on to become an Amazon exclusive film. In recent years he’s added speaking to his resume delivering a Tedx Talk on job satisfaction, the key note speech for the prestigious photography summit WRKSHP, and garnering an invitation to speak to the students at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO on the topics of social justice and 'finding your voice.'
While it's true that Kellogg may not currently be a household name to everyone, he has persisted in building a substantial career that has landed him onstage with some of the biggest and best touring bands in the world (Train, Sugarland, Jason Isbell, Sara Bareilles, and Hanson to name a few.) Kellogg's music has found its way onto the Billboard charts and been featured in numerous films and TV shows. His Americana-tinged, folk, pop, and rock stylings can make his sound hard to define, but to his core, this musician and father of four brings heart and incredible energy to everything he does.

Over the last decade, Connecticut native Stephen Kellogg has performed more than 1500 concerts around the world, raised thousands of dollars for causes close to his heart, been named Armed Forces Entertainer of the Year, and penned singles for artists like "American Idol" winner Nick Fradiani and the platinum selling rock band O.A.R. Stephen’s most recent writing work with legendary guitarist Robert Randolph, has led to a 2017 Grammy nomination for "Best Contemporary Blues Record." He's also had his songs covered by international major label acts and released eight albums of his own that have yielded hundreds of thousands of ticket and album sales.
When it comes to performing, CBS radio has called him "the best live act you've never seen" and another writer for No Depression gives him the oddly flattering title "the best songwriter you're not listening to." Filmmaker Peter Harding was so moved by the underground nature of Stephen's story that he made a documentary called "Last Man Standing" which went on to become an Amazon exclusive film. In recent years he’s added speaking to his resume delivering a Tedx Talk on job satisfaction, the key note speech for the prestigious photography summit WRKSHP, and garnering an invitation to speak to the students at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO on the topics of social justice and 'finding your voice.'
While it's true that Kellogg may not currently be a household name to everyone, he has persisted in building a substantial career that has landed him onstage with some of the biggest and best touring bands in the world (Train, Sugarland, Jason Isbell, Sara Bareilles, and Hanson to name a few.) Kellogg's music has found its way onto the Billboard charts and been featured in numerous films and TV shows. His Americana-tinged, folk, pop, and rock stylings can make his sound hard to define, but to his core, this musician and father of four brings heart and incredible energy to everything he does.

Benjamin Cartel / Kris Gruen

Benjamin Cartel

Just-dropped, Flickering Light is the second full-length album from Benjamin Cartel, the Cartel portion of the renowned duo Kaiser Cartel. Co-produced by Cartel and Mike Cohen, the new album features Benjamin Cartel on vocals, guitar and drums; Mike Cohen on guitar; and Kieren Mulvaney on bass.

Cartel’s sound merges a panorama of stylistic influences, including rock, psych folk, dream rock and even a bit of prog rock weaving through some of the tunes. It’s a prismatic sound with shimmering patience and musical wisdom, as if an imperturbable ambiance decided to enfold you.

Flickering Light encompasses ten tracks. “Starlight” provides a dreamy tantalizing tint of sonic colors riding a psych-pop melody. Cartel’s voice is smooth as cream, drifting in sparkling waves, like clouds floating by. “Coast Town” blends alt rock with psychedelic country rock flavors into an emerging wash of sound that’s simultaneously quixotic and a little dangerous.

“The Jungle Eats Everything” exudes a Beatles-esque sensibility on a psych rock melody. A lustrous, wistful guitar gives the tune a potent opalescent sonority. “Save That Number” delivers a bluesy alt rock melody reminiscent of the Kinks, only with jangly Byrds-like guitars and a sensuous bassline. “Summerflame” features wonderful jangly guitars and a cool stylish SoCal soft rock melody. Cartel’s voice is soft and warm and tender. The jangly guitar solo is yummy.

“Sweet Ride” exudes psychedelic folk rock aromas ensconced in tropical fragrant tones. “Tica” provides a pop-flavored folk melody, gentle gleaming colors and Cartel’s delicately understated vocals. It’s a beautiful love song. “Down Now” presents kaleidoscopic jangling guitars riding beneath Cartel’ rasping but sublime vocals, like creamy-smooth peanut butter with bits of chocolate added for crunchy sweetness.

The music video for “Down Now,” directed and produced by Cartel and Matt Clements, is shot in washed out colors, as if with a vintage 8mm movie camera. The musicians arrive outside a building, unpack their instruments and carry them up flights of stairs to the roof, where they play “Down Now.” When the camera pulls back, the density of rooftops is overwhelming; just as the optics are established, the camera zooms to close-ups, providing a feeling of vertiginous dislocation.

“I’m Not The Man You Think I Am” is redolent of the Beatles in tone and inflection. The glistening jangly guitar injects the tune with psychedelic blushes that ramp up the song’s structural flow. The title track rides a pulsing, persistent rock melody. A dirty screaming guitar imbues the tune with a compact energy that’s contagious and effective. The freight train rhythm puffs with glossy, radiant dynamics.

Flickering Light is marvelous. The melodic sheens glow with alluring harmonics, the rhythmic pulses provide magnetic energy and Cartel’s polished voice provides exquisite refined tones. Flickering Light coruscates with lustrous beauty.

Kris Gruen
Kris Gruen writes songs about grownup life infused with a mystic wonder, softening the world’s sharp edges like a glass of exceptionally fine bourbon. Kris grew up steeped in classic records. His Americana influenced new folk is grounded in the tradition of great narrative songwriters like Cat Stevens and Paul Simon and yet Kris’s voice is strikingly current. A New York City native who’s put down roots in Vermont, Kris effortlessly blends sagacious wit and emotional depth.

The new album Coast & Refuge is an album both about and created by partnerships where the sonic and thematic threads feel constant, equally at home in the old townships of Vermont where the new folk-artist lives, as it is in the new frontiers of Scandinavia, and the California coastline where much of it was written. The songs retain folk roots, but bring a contemporary urgency and a big sound. The result draws comparisons to Matthew Perryman Jones, Pete Yorn, Elbow, Griffin House, Ryan Adams, and Peter Bjorn and John; in fact, the latter’s Peter Morén appears on the album as vocalist and co-writer of one of the first singles “Every Day and Night Now.”

Over a four year period Kris worked with LA writer/producers Brad Gordon (Vance Joy, Dan Wilson, The Weepies,) and Justin Gray (Dirty Heads, James Bay & John Legend), Ramin Sakurai (Supreme beings of Leisure), Finnish singer-songwriter Peppina, and LA artist AM. During a seven country European tour in 2015, while supporting Jesse Malin, Kris was led to Stockholm to work with Peter Morén. Gruen also collaborated with filmmaker Melissa Miller-Costanzo on the song “Coming Down Around Me” for her feature film “All These Small Moments” starring Molly Ringwald and Jemima Kirke, which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival this past April. Longtime producer Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields, The Bones of J.R. Jones) produced the track in his Brooklyn based Cottage Sounds studio, as well as The Morén duet and the album closer, “2008,” a beautifully nostalgic ballad co-written with Los Angeles based artists Jim and Sam.

Kris has shared the stage with the likes of The Avett Brothers, Anais Mitchell, Billy Joe Armstrong, and Sean Lennon, and recently supported Alejandro Escovedo on the east coast and just returned from dates in Sweden at the Live at Heart Festival, as well as supporting Jesse Malin and Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) on a few shows in the UK.

Benjamin Cartel

Just-dropped, Flickering Light is the second full-length album from Benjamin Cartel, the Cartel portion of the renowned duo Kaiser Cartel. Co-produced by Cartel and Mike Cohen, the new album features Benjamin Cartel on vocals, guitar and drums; Mike Cohen on guitar; and Kieren Mulvaney on bass.

Cartel’s sound merges a panorama of stylistic influences, including rock, psych folk, dream rock and even a bit of prog rock weaving through some of the tunes. It’s a prismatic sound with shimmering patience and musical wisdom, as if an imperturbable ambiance decided to enfold you.

Flickering Light encompasses ten tracks. “Starlight” provides a dreamy tantalizing tint of sonic colors riding a psych-pop melody. Cartel’s voice is smooth as cream, drifting in sparkling waves, like clouds floating by. “Coast Town” blends alt rock with psychedelic country rock flavors into an emerging wash of sound that’s simultaneously quixotic and a little dangerous.

“The Jungle Eats Everything” exudes a Beatles-esque sensibility on a psych rock melody. A lustrous, wistful guitar gives the tune a potent opalescent sonority. “Save That Number” delivers a bluesy alt rock melody reminiscent of the Kinks, only with jangly Byrds-like guitars and a sensuous bassline. “Summerflame” features wonderful jangly guitars and a cool stylish SoCal soft rock melody. Cartel’s voice is soft and warm and tender. The jangly guitar solo is yummy.

“Sweet Ride” exudes psychedelic folk rock aromas ensconced in tropical fragrant tones. “Tica” provides a pop-flavored folk melody, gentle gleaming colors and Cartel’s delicately understated vocals. It’s a beautiful love song. “Down Now” presents kaleidoscopic jangling guitars riding beneath Cartel’ rasping but sublime vocals, like creamy-smooth peanut butter with bits of chocolate added for crunchy sweetness.

The music video for “Down Now,” directed and produced by Cartel and Matt Clements, is shot in washed out colors, as if with a vintage 8mm movie camera. The musicians arrive outside a building, unpack their instruments and carry them up flights of stairs to the roof, where they play “Down Now.” When the camera pulls back, the density of rooftops is overwhelming; just as the optics are established, the camera zooms to close-ups, providing a feeling of vertiginous dislocation.

“I’m Not The Man You Think I Am” is redolent of the Beatles in tone and inflection. The glistening jangly guitar injects the tune with psychedelic blushes that ramp up the song’s structural flow. The title track rides a pulsing, persistent rock melody. A dirty screaming guitar imbues the tune with a compact energy that’s contagious and effective. The freight train rhythm puffs with glossy, radiant dynamics.

Flickering Light is marvelous. The melodic sheens glow with alluring harmonics, the rhythmic pulses provide magnetic energy and Cartel’s polished voice provides exquisite refined tones. Flickering Light coruscates with lustrous beauty.

Kris Gruen
Kris Gruen writes songs about grownup life infused with a mystic wonder, softening the world’s sharp edges like a glass of exceptionally fine bourbon. Kris grew up steeped in classic records. His Americana influenced new folk is grounded in the tradition of great narrative songwriters like Cat Stevens and Paul Simon and yet Kris’s voice is strikingly current. A New York City native who’s put down roots in Vermont, Kris effortlessly blends sagacious wit and emotional depth.

The new album Coast & Refuge is an album both about and created by partnerships where the sonic and thematic threads feel constant, equally at home in the old townships of Vermont where the new folk-artist lives, as it is in the new frontiers of Scandinavia, and the California coastline where much of it was written. The songs retain folk roots, but bring a contemporary urgency and a big sound. The result draws comparisons to Matthew Perryman Jones, Pete Yorn, Elbow, Griffin House, Ryan Adams, and Peter Bjorn and John; in fact, the latter’s Peter Morén appears on the album as vocalist and co-writer of one of the first singles “Every Day and Night Now.”

Over a four year period Kris worked with LA writer/producers Brad Gordon (Vance Joy, Dan Wilson, The Weepies,) and Justin Gray (Dirty Heads, James Bay & John Legend), Ramin Sakurai (Supreme beings of Leisure), Finnish singer-songwriter Peppina, and LA artist AM. During a seven country European tour in 2015, while supporting Jesse Malin, Kris was led to Stockholm to work with Peter Morén. Gruen also collaborated with filmmaker Melissa Miller-Costanzo on the song “Coming Down Around Me” for her feature film “All These Small Moments” starring Molly Ringwald and Jemima Kirke, which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival this past April. Longtime producer Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields, The Bones of J.R. Jones) produced the track in his Brooklyn based Cottage Sounds studio, as well as The Morén duet and the album closer, “2008,” a beautifully nostalgic ballad co-written with Los Angeles based artists Jim and Sam.

Kris has shared the stage with the likes of The Avett Brothers, Anais Mitchell, Billy Joe Armstrong, and Sean Lennon, and recently supported Alejandro Escovedo on the east coast and just returned from dates in Sweden at the Live at Heart Festival, as well as supporting Jesse Malin and Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) on a few shows in the UK.

Ona with Special Guest Ryan Hoffman and the Pioneers

Ona is an indie-rock band comprised of longtime friends Brad Goodall (keys), Bradley Jenkins (vocals/guitar), Zach Johnston (bass), Max Nolte (drums), and Zack Owens (guitar).

The band formed in late 2013 and are based in Huntington, WV. Ona's debut record 'American Fiction' reached critical success appearing on NPR best of lists, SIRIUS Radio airplay, and a spot on nationally syndicated radio program Mountain Stage.

Ona is an indie-rock band comprised of longtime friends Brad Goodall (keys), Bradley Jenkins (vocals/guitar), Zach Johnston (bass), Max Nolte (drums), and Zack Owens (guitar).

The band formed in late 2013 and are based in Huntington, WV. Ona's debut record 'American Fiction' reached critical success appearing on NPR best of lists, SIRIUS Radio airplay, and a spot on nationally syndicated radio program Mountain Stage.

Dauntless Media presents BE DAUNTLESS Holiday 2018: The Dauntless Records Release Premiere Party

Join us at the Dauntless Media presents BE DAUNTLESS Holiday 2018: The Dauntless Records release listening party for holiday cheer that ranges from R&B, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Trap and more as we celebrate the release of our debut holiday record, “BE DAUNTLESS Holiday 2018.” Enjoy performances from Clara Kent, Aria Jay Music, Deon Raps, Justo Ontario and more surprise guests. Hosted by Dauntless Media founder, Rachael Hardway.

Dauntless Media is an independent artist incubator and creative agency, with offices in Pittsburgh and New York City, whose goal is to bridge the gap between art and commerce.

Join us at the Dauntless Media presents BE DAUNTLESS Holiday 2018: The Dauntless Records release listening party for holiday cheer that ranges from R&B, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Trap and more as we celebrate the release of our debut holiday record, “BE DAUNTLESS Holiday 2018.” Enjoy performances from Clara Kent, Aria Jay Music, Deon Raps, Justo Ontario and more surprise guests. Hosted by Dauntless Media founder, Rachael Hardway.

Dauntless Media is an independent artist incubator and creative agency, with offices in Pittsburgh and New York City, whose goal is to bridge the gap between art and commerce.

(Early Show) Cold Roses - The Music of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals with Special Guest Mean Blue Planets

Cold Roses plays The Music of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. With Special Guest Mean Blue Planets.

Cold Roses plays The Music of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. With Special Guest Mean Blue Planets.

An Evening With Billy Price

2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan's LPs, That's What I'm Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony.

Price’s album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2015. A live recording of the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released in April 2017.

His new album Reckoning, produced by Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios, was released on June 15, 2018 by Vizztone Label Group.

2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan's LPs, That's What I'm Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony.

Price’s album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2015. A live recording of the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released in April 2017.

His new album Reckoning, produced by Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios, was released on June 15, 2018 by Vizztone Label Group.

Bill Deasy's Annual Boxing Day Show

43 minutes. That is all Bill Deasy is asking of you.

43 minutes.

Turn off your phone. Shut the door. Block out the world.

Then...just...listen.


Wheels on road
Roads in moonlight
Moonlight falling on a midnight train

So begins "Timeless Things," the lead-off title track for Bill Deasy's eighth full-length studio record. Anton DeFade's driving bass pumps along beside Jake Hanner's steady kick drum. Rob James' (on loan from The Clarks) signature confectionary guitar work assisted by electric rhythm from newcomer Noah Minarik, laces through, tying the musical tapestry together. All are in support of Bill's voice, his acoustic guitar, and, of course, his words.

Timeless things.

"Every now and then you strike a vein," Deasy says, reflecting on this latest batch of songs. "I didn't even know I was wanting to do a new project, but the songs kept coming, each one seeming to lead to the next."

Nowhere is his intuitive approach to songwriting more prominently displayed than on the record's closing track, "End of the Record Song," which recalls vintage Jackson Browne.

"That one was a real labor of love," Bill notes. "I wrote it over a long weekend and just kept singing it and singing it as the lines slowly appeared."

The song shifts at the midway point from third to first person, a choice Deasy explains holds personal significance.

"The first half of that song is about the character I used to be, wallowing in the sad heartache music of my melancholy youth. Then after the solo section, I find the guts to step out from behind the mask of all the story songs and just be myself. I am wallowing in happiness now. A nice change, for sure."

Though at first the songsmith envisioned recording this new material with his long-time band mates in the Gathering Field, scheduling issues made a solo project the best option. Deasy teamed with local producer Jake Hanner (Donora, Meeting of Important People) and the two set to work.

"We built each song from the ground up," Bill explains. "Jake referenced a rehearsal recording to create simple loops to which I then laid down solo acoustic performances. Once we felt great about those we started layering."

In addition to the studio band mentioned above, guests include singers Maia Sharp, Scott Blasey and Clark Slater. Gathering Field member Dave Brown contributes electric guitar on two tracks as well.

The result is a remarkably natural sounding recording of, perhaps, the strongest songs of Deasy's career.

"We realized as we got deeper into it that something really good was happening," he recalls. "Our job from that point on was just to let it."

********

Bill Deasy has recorded and toured nationally both as a solo artist and with the Gathering Field. Bill has also written for other artists including Martina McBride and Billy Ray Cyrus in addition to collaborating on songs with the likes of Howard Jones, the Clarks, Maia Sharp, Bijou Phillips, One Flew South, Kim Carnes, Odie Blackmon and many others. Bill's recording of "Good Things are Happening," a song he co-wrote on a trip to Nashville, became the long-running theme for Good Morning America on ABC and he appeared in the promo spots, strumming his guitar and singing.

In 2006, Bill added "published author" to his list of accomplishments with the release of Ransom Seaborn which went on to win the Golden Needle Award and is currently being adapted for film. Traveling Clothes followed in 2009 and Ghost Tree in 2010, both delivering generously on the promise of Ransom Seaborn.

Bill was recently included in the book “Pittsburgh Born, Pittsburgh Bred” as one of 500 of the most memorable Pittsburghers from the past 250 years.

43 minutes. That is all Bill Deasy is asking of you.

43 minutes.

Turn off your phone. Shut the door. Block out the world.

Then...just...listen.


Wheels on road
Roads in moonlight
Moonlight falling on a midnight train

So begins "Timeless Things," the lead-off title track for Bill Deasy's eighth full-length studio record. Anton DeFade's driving bass pumps along beside Jake Hanner's steady kick drum. Rob James' (on loan from The Clarks) signature confectionary guitar work assisted by electric rhythm from newcomer Noah Minarik, laces through, tying the musical tapestry together. All are in support of Bill's voice, his acoustic guitar, and, of course, his words.

Timeless things.

"Every now and then you strike a vein," Deasy says, reflecting on this latest batch of songs. "I didn't even know I was wanting to do a new project, but the songs kept coming, each one seeming to lead to the next."

Nowhere is his intuitive approach to songwriting more prominently displayed than on the record's closing track, "End of the Record Song," which recalls vintage Jackson Browne.

"That one was a real labor of love," Bill notes. "I wrote it over a long weekend and just kept singing it and singing it as the lines slowly appeared."

The song shifts at the midway point from third to first person, a choice Deasy explains holds personal significance.

"The first half of that song is about the character I used to be, wallowing in the sad heartache music of my melancholy youth. Then after the solo section, I find the guts to step out from behind the mask of all the story songs and just be myself. I am wallowing in happiness now. A nice change, for sure."

Though at first the songsmith envisioned recording this new material with his long-time band mates in the Gathering Field, scheduling issues made a solo project the best option. Deasy teamed with local producer Jake Hanner (Donora, Meeting of Important People) and the two set to work.

"We built each song from the ground up," Bill explains. "Jake referenced a rehearsal recording to create simple loops to which I then laid down solo acoustic performances. Once we felt great about those we started layering."

In addition to the studio band mentioned above, guests include singers Maia Sharp, Scott Blasey and Clark Slater. Gathering Field member Dave Brown contributes electric guitar on two tracks as well.

The result is a remarkably natural sounding recording of, perhaps, the strongest songs of Deasy's career.

"We realized as we got deeper into it that something really good was happening," he recalls. "Our job from that point on was just to let it."

********

Bill Deasy has recorded and toured nationally both as a solo artist and with the Gathering Field. Bill has also written for other artists including Martina McBride and Billy Ray Cyrus in addition to collaborating on songs with the likes of Howard Jones, the Clarks, Maia Sharp, Bijou Phillips, One Flew South, Kim Carnes, Odie Blackmon and many others. Bill's recording of "Good Things are Happening," a song he co-wrote on a trip to Nashville, became the long-running theme for Good Morning America on ABC and he appeared in the promo spots, strumming his guitar and singing.

In 2006, Bill added "published author" to his list of accomplishments with the release of Ransom Seaborn which went on to win the Golden Needle Award and is currently being adapted for film. Traveling Clothes followed in 2009 and Ghost Tree in 2010, both delivering generously on the promise of Ransom Seaborn.

Bill was recently included in the book “Pittsburgh Born, Pittsburgh Bred” as one of 500 of the most memorable Pittsburghers from the past 250 years.

The Music of R.E.M. with The Reckoning

The premier REM tribute band, dedicated to presenting faithful recreations of the band's entire musical catalog.

The premier REM tribute band, dedicated to presenting faithful recreations of the band's entire musical catalog.

(Early Show) JD Eicher with Special Guest Nick Barilla

JD EICHER

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

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

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

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

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

Far less ambiguous is how much Eicher’s Rust Belt upbringing seeps into, or serves as, the foundation of his songwriting. “I think it definitely affects the music,” he affirms without hesitation, “even in the way I approach touring and my overall work ethic with songwriting and recording. There’s a world-wariness that comes out of this area that gets into the songs. I think there’s a realism that comes out of this part of the country, too, and I think that gets in there as well.” It’s no wonder that Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has embraced the performer and his music as their own.

With his band, The Goodnights, Eicher’s soaring and graceful pop-rock songcraft garnered favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. Alternative Addiction named the group one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Virgin America Airlines used one of the band’s songs in the teaser for the airline’s movie, Departure Date. Live, JD Eicher & the Goodnights shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Train, Maroon 5, Hot Chelle Rae, Pete Yorn, Anberlin, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Cartel, Sister Hazel, and Matt Nathanson, among many others.

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

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

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

JD EICHER

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

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

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

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

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

Far less ambiguous is how much Eicher’s Rust Belt upbringing seeps into, or serves as, the foundation of his songwriting. “I think it definitely affects the music,” he affirms without hesitation, “even in the way I approach touring and my overall work ethic with songwriting and recording. There’s a world-wariness that comes out of this area that gets into the songs. I think there’s a realism that comes out of this part of the country, too, and I think that gets in there as well.” It’s no wonder that Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has embraced the performer and his music as their own.

With his band, The Goodnights, Eicher’s soaring and graceful pop-rock songcraft garnered favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. Alternative Addiction named the group one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Virgin America Airlines used one of the band’s songs in the teaser for the airline’s movie, Departure Date. Live, JD Eicher & the Goodnights shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Train, Maroon 5, Hot Chelle Rae, Pete Yorn, Anberlin, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Cartel, Sister Hazel, and Matt Nathanson, among many others.

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

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

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

(Late Show) Sweet Earth / TrailHeads - Not Quite New Year's Party

(Early Show) Sam Stucky's 5th Day of Christmas with Special Guests Second to Safety and Guy Russo

(Late Show) Demos Papadimas and His Band with Special Guest Mike Swindell

Singer-songwriter Demos Papadimas (guitar/vocals/harmonica/bouzouki) skillfully intertwines American roots music with Mediterranean influences. Based in Northeast Ohio, Papadimas cites among his influences Dylanesque balladry, Leonard Cohen’s latter day touring ensembles, and string-band revivalists such as Old Crow Medicine Show as well as Greek Rembetiko—the “Greek blues.”

Lyrically, this self-described "cynical optimist" infuses glimmers of hope in his often world-weary lyrics. When Papadimas sings, "Somehow I've dodged so many evil eyes, that I ain't got religion is really just a surprise" he shares his sense of bemused wonder. Having lived on both sides of the Atlantic, Papadimas writes meditative travelogues that are often Guthrie-esque ramblings translated from the Dust Bowl to the Euro-Zone, from freight trains to bullet trains, and are perceptive companions to his rootsy musical approach.

Reviewing 2016’s Waiting in No Depression, Jason D. Hamad coined the term “Greco-Americana” for Papadimas’ style, considering it “a musical portmanteau inspired by his own background.” Further discussing Papadimas’ craft, Hamad mentions “wistful, philosophical lyrics” which “continue to generate songs that keep the listener engaged and thinking.”

Papadimas' latest release is titled The "Lucky You" EP and was recorded by Pete Drivere at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown, OH. Critic John Gatta writes, “The musical strengths on the EP can be attributed to Papadimas’ band lineup. Drummer Ralph Rich, a mainstay since 2012, links up with bassist Corey Gray for a solid rhythmic foundation while Caitlin Hedge adds a down-home element on violin and Dave Lynn offers tasty guitar solos and ‘invaluable’ input on arrangements.”

“The lineup has developed into a true collaborative unit,” Papadimas said. “There is a shared understanding among the entire band about the direction of the material.”

Singer-songwriter Demos Papadimas (guitar/vocals/harmonica/bouzouki) skillfully intertwines American roots music with Mediterranean influences. Based in Northeast Ohio, Papadimas cites among his influences Dylanesque balladry, Leonard Cohen’s latter day touring ensembles, and string-band revivalists such as Old Crow Medicine Show as well as Greek Rembetiko—the “Greek blues.”

Lyrically, this self-described "cynical optimist" infuses glimmers of hope in his often world-weary lyrics. When Papadimas sings, "Somehow I've dodged so many evil eyes, that I ain't got religion is really just a surprise" he shares his sense of bemused wonder. Having lived on both sides of the Atlantic, Papadimas writes meditative travelogues that are often Guthrie-esque ramblings translated from the Dust Bowl to the Euro-Zone, from freight trains to bullet trains, and are perceptive companions to his rootsy musical approach.

Reviewing 2016’s Waiting in No Depression, Jason D. Hamad coined the term “Greco-Americana” for Papadimas’ style, considering it “a musical portmanteau inspired by his own background.” Further discussing Papadimas’ craft, Hamad mentions “wistful, philosophical lyrics” which “continue to generate songs that keep the listener engaged and thinking.”

Papadimas' latest release is titled The "Lucky You" EP and was recorded by Pete Drivere at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown, OH. Critic John Gatta writes, “The musical strengths on the EP can be attributed to Papadimas’ band lineup. Drummer Ralph Rich, a mainstay since 2012, links up with bassist Corey Gray for a solid rhythmic foundation while Caitlin Hedge adds a down-home element on violin and Dave Lynn offers tasty guitar solos and ‘invaluable’ input on arrangements.”

“The lineup has developed into a true collaborative unit,” Papadimas said. “There is a shared understanding among the entire band about the direction of the material.”

The Abominable Snow Jam featuring Identity X and Big Atlantic

Identity X is a constantly evolving original modern rock/alternative band based out of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The band pulls influence from the writing style of Incubus blended with the hard rock roots of the 80's metal scene, and progressive stylings of bands like Rush and Coheed & Cambria.

David Toole - Lead Vocals, Guitar : Darin DiNapoli - Backup Vocals, Guitar : Roman Prokopenko - Bass:;
Jonathan Joseph - Keys and Samples : Dave Ardale - Drums

Identity X is a constantly evolving original modern rock/alternative band based out of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The band pulls influence from the writing style of Incubus blended with the hard rock roots of the 80's metal scene, and progressive stylings of bands like Rush and Coheed & Cambria.

David Toole - Lead Vocals, Guitar : Darin DiNapoli - Backup Vocals, Guitar : Roman Prokopenko - Bass:;
Jonathan Joseph - Keys and Samples : Dave Ardale - Drums

An Evening With Jessica Bitsura

Jessica Bitsura is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA. She has been a DIY solo acoustic musician since the age of 14 when she began performing her original songs and covers in restaurants, bars, and wineries. With songs full of feeling, wittiness, and honesty, her musical style is a mix of pop country and singer-songwriter. She is a true believer in speaking the truth and being vulnerable through the songs that she writes, as they are an authentic expression of who she is. While in Pittsburgh, she was actively involved with 91.3 WYEP radio, having been an artist on the first ReImagination compilation CD, a performer at the 40th Anniversary Backstage Bash, and even an intern at the station. In 2016, she moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University and to further her music career. In Nashville, her song “1 Life Stand” was voted by the Nashville Songwriters Association International as one of the top 24 songs of their 2017 Spring Training event.

Most recently, Bitsura has received attention for her song “Dear Neighbor” written in tribute to those affected by the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in October. Having reached over 105,000 views on Facebook, the song has also been featured by WTAE, WPXI, KDKA, and Bubba Show. It even landed her a gig at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Bitsura has already penned several hundred songs and has no plans on stopping. She is incredibly thankful for everyone involved in her journey thus far and can’t wait to see where it takes her next.

Jessica Bitsura is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA. She has been a DIY solo acoustic musician since the age of 14 when she began performing her original songs and covers in restaurants, bars, and wineries. With songs full of feeling, wittiness, and honesty, her musical style is a mix of pop country and singer-songwriter. She is a true believer in speaking the truth and being vulnerable through the songs that she writes, as they are an authentic expression of who she is. While in Pittsburgh, she was actively involved with 91.3 WYEP radio, having been an artist on the first ReImagination compilation CD, a performer at the 40th Anniversary Backstage Bash, and even an intern at the station. In 2016, she moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University and to further her music career. In Nashville, her song “1 Life Stand” was voted by the Nashville Songwriters Association International as one of the top 24 songs of their 2017 Spring Training event.

Most recently, Bitsura has received attention for her song “Dear Neighbor” written in tribute to those affected by the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in October. Having reached over 105,000 views on Facebook, the song has also been featured by WTAE, WPXI, KDKA, and Bubba Show. It even landed her a gig at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Bitsura has already penned several hundred songs and has no plans on stopping. She is incredibly thankful for everyone involved in her journey thus far and can’t wait to see where it takes her next.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents James Phelps, Vanessa St Clair, James J Hamilton, Christina McNeese, Garrett Titlebaum, Helen Wildy, Mike Sasson and Hosted by Cassi Bruno

William Fitzsimmons with Special Guest Jim and Sam

Singer-songwriter and music producer William Fitzsimmons’ latest record, Mission Bell is a chronicling of the tumultuous last year of his life, particularly of the separation from his second wife. An initial version of the album was originally recorded in Fitzsimmons’ home studio in the summer of 2017 but was subsequently abandoned during the course of, and as a result of, the separation.

In 2018 William traveled to Nashville, TN to start recording the album over from square one. Working with producer Adam Landry (Deer Tick, Los Lobos, k.d. Lang, Vanessa Carlton), Fitzsimmons spent a month’s time rebuilding the lost record, with contributions from friends, including Abby Gundersen and Rosie Thomas. The resulting 11-song album tells the story of a decade-long marriage destroyed and eventually rebuilt from the ground up.

The process and the results are both painful and healing, but also respect the complexity of humans, especially at their worst. This is not an exercise in “good-guy, bad-guy” songwriting; rather an attempt to find empathy, even when people are at their most depraved. Mission Bell includes songs about betrayal, but also reconciliation and forgiveness. Choosing to go deeper than mere absolutism and fate, these are stories of people doing their best, but still managing to often destroy each other in the process.

“Having to let go of the first version of this record was incredibly strange and something I’ve never done before. But it was the right thing to do. That record was made at a time when nearly all involved, including myself, were living dishonestly and selfishly and poorly, and it was clear in the results. When I was forced to see the truth of how rotten things had become inside and around me, I deleted every note and every word. My dear friend and manager, Rishon, connected me with producer Adam Landry, and together the two of us spent weeks upon weeks breathing back life into a project that I thought was lost for good. By the time we finished, I felt like I had reclaimed something that was taken from me and I remain terribly proud of this work as a result,” says Fitzsimmons.

Sonically, Mission Bell is Fitzsimmons’ first analog tape-centric album. The sounds are raw, real, and tangible. The familiar comforts of acoustic guitars are present but now joined generously by synthesizers, electric guitars, drum loops and violins. “Cutting to tape was new and honestly rather terrifying to me. There’s no “we’ll fix that in post” kind of shit going on. What you play is what you’re gonna hear on the record. But there’s a specialness you get in a performance when you don’t have a parachute. You either play it like it matters to you or you don’t and I think that comes through so clearly in the recordings.”

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Fitzsimmons currently resides in Nashville, TN.

Singer-songwriter and music producer William Fitzsimmons’ latest record, Mission Bell is a chronicling of the tumultuous last year of his life, particularly of the separation from his second wife. An initial version of the album was originally recorded in Fitzsimmons’ home studio in the summer of 2017 but was subsequently abandoned during the course of, and as a result of, the separation.

In 2018 William traveled to Nashville, TN to start recording the album over from square one. Working with producer Adam Landry (Deer Tick, Los Lobos, k.d. Lang, Vanessa Carlton), Fitzsimmons spent a month’s time rebuilding the lost record, with contributions from friends, including Abby Gundersen and Rosie Thomas. The resulting 11-song album tells the story of a decade-long marriage destroyed and eventually rebuilt from the ground up.

The process and the results are both painful and healing, but also respect the complexity of humans, especially at their worst. This is not an exercise in “good-guy, bad-guy” songwriting; rather an attempt to find empathy, even when people are at their most depraved. Mission Bell includes songs about betrayal, but also reconciliation and forgiveness. Choosing to go deeper than mere absolutism and fate, these are stories of people doing their best, but still managing to often destroy each other in the process.

“Having to let go of the first version of this record was incredibly strange and something I’ve never done before. But it was the right thing to do. That record was made at a time when nearly all involved, including myself, were living dishonestly and selfishly and poorly, and it was clear in the results. When I was forced to see the truth of how rotten things had become inside and around me, I deleted every note and every word. My dear friend and manager, Rishon, connected me with producer Adam Landry, and together the two of us spent weeks upon weeks breathing back life into a project that I thought was lost for good. By the time we finished, I felt like I had reclaimed something that was taken from me and I remain terribly proud of this work as a result,” says Fitzsimmons.

Sonically, Mission Bell is Fitzsimmons’ first analog tape-centric album. The sounds are raw, real, and tangible. The familiar comforts of acoustic guitars are present but now joined generously by synthesizers, electric guitars, drum loops and violins. “Cutting to tape was new and honestly rather terrifying to me. There’s no “we’ll fix that in post” kind of shit going on. What you play is what you’re gonna hear on the record. But there’s a specialness you get in a performance when you don’t have a parachute. You either play it like it matters to you or you don’t and I think that comes through so clearly in the recordings.”

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Fitzsimmons currently resides in Nashville, TN.

Captured Pittsburgh Event

Fore more information please visit:
https://www.facebook.com/capturedpittsburgh

Fore more information please visit:
https://www.facebook.com/capturedpittsburgh

(Early Show) FLY. with Special Guest The Lone Pines

With music that has been described as a collision between The Hives and The Black Keys, FLY. is a fresh take on good old american rock.

What started as a small personal project has blossomed into the hip upbeat sound that is now taking the stage throughout Pittsburgh. On the heels of their debut album She Will Like the Science, FLY. is out to reinvigorate the alt-rock scene in the steel city.

With music that has been described as a collision between The Hives and The Black Keys, FLY. is a fresh take on good old american rock.

What started as a small personal project has blossomed into the hip upbeat sound that is now taking the stage throughout Pittsburgh. On the heels of their debut album She Will Like the Science, FLY. is out to reinvigorate the alt-rock scene in the steel city.

(Late Show) Burning Bridges and Opus One Comedy Presents Stavros Halkias with Special Guest Alex Homyak

Stavros Halkias is a stand-up comedian and co-host of the popular podcast Cum Town. He is also widely known for his body-positive Instagram account.

Stavros has made appearances on Adult Swim, XM Satellite radio, IFC, and the MSG Network, where he wrote and performed on the Emmy nominated, People Talking Sports and Other Stuff. He’s been featured in Tig Notaro’s Bentzen Ball, the New York Comedy Festival, and toured nationally with Wham City Comedy, Tom Papa, and Robert Kelly. He’s very sorry that the word “Cum” was in the first sentence of this biography.

Stavros Halkias is a stand-up comedian and co-host of the popular podcast Cum Town. He is also widely known for his body-positive Instagram account.

Stavros has made appearances on Adult Swim, XM Satellite radio, IFC, and the MSG Network, where he wrote and performed on the Emmy nominated, People Talking Sports and Other Stuff. He’s been featured in Tig Notaro’s Bentzen Ball, the New York Comedy Festival, and toured nationally with Wham City Comedy, Tom Papa, and Robert Kelly. He’s very sorry that the word “Cum” was in the first sentence of this biography.

(Early Show) The Blue-Hots with Ishtar

The Blue-hots is a jazz vocalese and exotica group that draws its material from the mid-century American pop and jazz, along with original material.

The Blue-hots is a jazz vocalese and exotica group that draws its material from the mid-century American pop and jazz, along with original material.

(Late Show) Bryan Vamp

Bryan Vamp is a Singer/Keyboardist who performs original songs in the genre of post-punk.

Bryan Vamp is a Singer/Keyboardist who performs original songs in the genre of post-punk.

Twisted Pine with Special Guests Sweetheart of the Barricades and Southside American

Full of energy and surprise, wit and subtlety, Twisted Pine has quickly become one of the most acclaimed young string bands in the Northeast. Audiences across the US and UK have been drawn to their forthright songwriting, lush harmonies, musical daring, and “charismatic appeal,” to quote Grammy-winner Alison Brown.

In its early days, Twisted Pine hewed pretty close to its bluegrass origins, but over time the quartet has developed a unique, infectious style without limits. Moving beyond the standard verse-chorus-solo structure of traditional string bands, Twisted Pine is a multilayered ensemble that brings the enveloping sound and pop hooks of indie music to an acoustic instrumental setting.

Guitarist Rachel Sumner and fiddler Kathleen Parks share the vocal mic, forming a combination as charming as it is gutsy. Whether switching off leads or blending and bending their voices into unexpected harmonies, these front-women are a commanding presence. On her instrument, Parks is an insatiable risk-taker, seeking out exciting new improvisational territories. Mandolinist Dan Bui is a master of melody and drive, celebrated widely for his dexterous, tasteful picking. And bassist Chris Sartori holds down the low end and a lot more, introducing creative, jazz-inflected cadences that never overwhelm the beat.

But while it’s easy to celebrate each of the band members individually, Twisted Pine isn’t just a collection of talented musicians. It’s a unit that grooves together. Intricate arrangements of swelling, syncopated rhythm and precise instrumental interplay generate something big and vital: a thick landscape of sound built on an organic acoustic foundation. It’s a fitting context for original songs written with equal parts passion and intelligence, adding up to music that lies at the intersection of heartrending and heart-racing.

You’ll find Twisted Pine on stages large and small, entertaining festivals of thousands and intimate rooms alike. Winners of the 2014 Freshgrass band competition and finalists at the 2015 Rockygrass contest, Twisted Pine has played major events from Greyfox to Green River to Glasgow’s Celtic Connections and beyond. “Their live show is already legendary for the band’s unbridled spirit and contagious energy,” says Jim Olsen, president of the innovative folk label Signature Sounds (Lake Street Dive, Crooked Still, Joy Kills Sorrow). It’s no wonder the International Bluegrass Music Association nominated Twisted Pine for its 2015 Momentum Award, which recognizes exceptional up-and-coming acts.

Twisted Pine released its debut album at Green River Festival, July 14, 2017, and will be touring across the United States throughout 2018. Check out Twisted Pine on tour and see why Olsen calls it “the most exciting new roots band to emerge from the New England scene in quite some time.”

Full of energy and surprise, wit and subtlety, Twisted Pine has quickly become one of the most acclaimed young string bands in the Northeast. Audiences across the US and UK have been drawn to their forthright songwriting, lush harmonies, musical daring, and “charismatic appeal,” to quote Grammy-winner Alison Brown.

In its early days, Twisted Pine hewed pretty close to its bluegrass origins, but over time the quartet has developed a unique, infectious style without limits. Moving beyond the standard verse-chorus-solo structure of traditional string bands, Twisted Pine is a multilayered ensemble that brings the enveloping sound and pop hooks of indie music to an acoustic instrumental setting.

Guitarist Rachel Sumner and fiddler Kathleen Parks share the vocal mic, forming a combination as charming as it is gutsy. Whether switching off leads or blending and bending their voices into unexpected harmonies, these front-women are a commanding presence. On her instrument, Parks is an insatiable risk-taker, seeking out exciting new improvisational territories. Mandolinist Dan Bui is a master of melody and drive, celebrated widely for his dexterous, tasteful picking. And bassist Chris Sartori holds down the low end and a lot more, introducing creative, jazz-inflected cadences that never overwhelm the beat.

But while it’s easy to celebrate each of the band members individually, Twisted Pine isn’t just a collection of talented musicians. It’s a unit that grooves together. Intricate arrangements of swelling, syncopated rhythm and precise instrumental interplay generate something big and vital: a thick landscape of sound built on an organic acoustic foundation. It’s a fitting context for original songs written with equal parts passion and intelligence, adding up to music that lies at the intersection of heartrending and heart-racing.

You’ll find Twisted Pine on stages large and small, entertaining festivals of thousands and intimate rooms alike. Winners of the 2014 Freshgrass band competition and finalists at the 2015 Rockygrass contest, Twisted Pine has played major events from Greyfox to Green River to Glasgow’s Celtic Connections and beyond. “Their live show is already legendary for the band’s unbridled spirit and contagious energy,” says Jim Olsen, president of the innovative folk label Signature Sounds (Lake Street Dive, Crooked Still, Joy Kills Sorrow). It’s no wonder the International Bluegrass Music Association nominated Twisted Pine for its 2015 Momentum Award, which recognizes exceptional up-and-coming acts.

Twisted Pine released its debut album at Green River Festival, July 14, 2017, and will be touring across the United States throughout 2018. Check out Twisted Pine on tour and see why Olsen calls it “the most exciting new roots band to emerge from the New England scene in quite some time.”

Charly Bliss

WHO IS CHARLY BLISS?
If it’s true that listening to just the right record at just the right moment can psychically transport you to some other time and place, then Charly Bliss—an NYC band responsible for having crafted some of the finest guitar-crunched power pop this side of an old Weezer record with a blue cover—can pretty much turn any space into an adult-friendly version of your old teenage bedroom, a candy-scented safe space for extreme fits of happiness and angsty teen-level explosions of romantic ennui.

Though Charly Bliss has been a band for over half a decade, the path that led to their first full-length record, Guppy, has been anything but straightforward. As the story goes, the band officially started when frontwoman Eva Hendricks and guitarist Spencer Fox, both just 15, crossed paths at a Tokyo Police Club show in New York City, but the ties within the band go much deeper than that. “It’s kind of insane and hilarious,” says Eva, “Sam is my older brother, so obviously we’ve known each other our whole lives, but all of us have been connected to each other since we were little kids. Dan Shure and I dated when we were in our early teens and he and Spencer went to summer camp together. Dan and I broke up years ago, but eventually he’ d become our bass player. The reason we all get along so well has to do with the fact we share this ridiculous history. We are all deeply embedded in each other’s lives.”

After spending years playing shows in and around New York City, the band eventually released an EP (2014’s Soft Serve) and scored opening gigs for the likes of Glass Animals, Darwin Deez, Tokyo Police Club, Sleater-Kinney, as well as a touring spot for their own musical forebears, Veruca Salt. Even though the band had amassed a sizable fanbase and a reputation as a truly formidable live act, the goal of making a full-length record proved to be a fraught series of false-starts. Given their propensity for making hooky, ebullient pop songs, the band often felt out of step with what was happening around them in Brooklyn. (“We weren’t weird in the right ways,” says Sam). They eventually set about recording an album on their own—and then recording it twice—before figuring out what had been staring them in the face the entire time. “We basically had to come to terms with the fact that we are, at heart, a pop band,” recalls Spencer. “Before, it was always trying to decide which of the songs would be more ‘rock’ and which would be more poppy, but we eventually realized we needed to meet in the middle, we had to create an ecosystem where our loud, messy rock sounds could co-exist with these super catchy melodies and pop hooks. It was really about realizing what we’re best at as a band.”

The ten tracks that make up Guppy, Charly Bliss’ sparkling full-length debut, show the band embracing all of their strengths—a combination of ripping guitars and irrepressible pop hooks, all delivered with the hyper-enthusiasm of a middle school cafeteria food fight. That every track is loaded front-to-back with sing/shout-worthy lyrics and earworm melodies is a testament to the band's commitment to the art form of pop songwriting. Opening track “Percolator” sets the tone—all power riffs and yo-yo-ing melodies playing against Hendricks’ acrobatic vocals, which veer from gentle coo to an emphatic squeal:

I’m gonna die in the getaway car! I would try but it sounds too hard! It's a vibe that carries throughout Guppy, a record that shares an undeniable kinship with 90’s alt-rockers like Letters to Cleo and That Dog—bands that balanced melodicism, sugary vocals, and overdriven guitar turned up to 11. It’s an aesthetic that Charly Bliss both embraces and improves upon in tracks like “Ruby” (“We actually wrote the guitar solo by sitting in a circle and passing the guitar around, each of us adding our own notes,” says Fox) and “Glitter”, the record’s first single. “I wanted to make a song about being romantically involved with someone who makes you kind of hate yourself because they are so much like you,” says Hendricks, “A fun song about complicated self-loathing that you could also dance around your bedroom to—that kind of sums us up as a band, actually.”

“Pop music can actually be very subversive,” she continues. “The lyrics that I'm most proud of on the record are me existing both in and out of this overgrown teenybopper feeling—feeling like everything I was going through was the most extreme thing that had ever happened to anyone ever. The songs are often about being totally in the throes of this stuff, but also being able to step out of it and make fun of myself. It’s possible to write songs that really get at all of these dark feelings while also just being really fun to sing and dance to. You can be serious and also sing about peeing while jumping on a trampoline.”


Guppy is a record that doesn’t so much seek to reinvent the pop wheel so much as gleefully refine it. “People forget sometimes that expressing joy is just as important as examining despair,” says Shure. “People need joy, especially right now. We’re all about writing tight pop songs, but also giving people this super enthusiastic release. These songs are kind of the sound of expressing something that you can’t really contain. These are songs you play really loudly when you need to freak out.”

WHO IS CHARLY BLISS?
If it’s true that listening to just the right record at just the right moment can psychically transport you to some other time and place, then Charly Bliss—an NYC band responsible for having crafted some of the finest guitar-crunched power pop this side of an old Weezer record with a blue cover—can pretty much turn any space into an adult-friendly version of your old teenage bedroom, a candy-scented safe space for extreme fits of happiness and angsty teen-level explosions of romantic ennui.

Though Charly Bliss has been a band for over half a decade, the path that led to their first full-length record, Guppy, has been anything but straightforward. As the story goes, the band officially started when frontwoman Eva Hendricks and guitarist Spencer Fox, both just 15, crossed paths at a Tokyo Police Club show in New York City, but the ties within the band go much deeper than that. “It’s kind of insane and hilarious,” says Eva, “Sam is my older brother, so obviously we’ve known each other our whole lives, but all of us have been connected to each other since we were little kids. Dan Shure and I dated when we were in our early teens and he and Spencer went to summer camp together. Dan and I broke up years ago, but eventually he’ d become our bass player. The reason we all get along so well has to do with the fact we share this ridiculous history. We are all deeply embedded in each other’s lives.”

After spending years playing shows in and around New York City, the band eventually released an EP (2014’s Soft Serve) and scored opening gigs for the likes of Glass Animals, Darwin Deez, Tokyo Police Club, Sleater-Kinney, as well as a touring spot for their own musical forebears, Veruca Salt. Even though the band had amassed a sizable fanbase and a reputation as a truly formidable live act, the goal of making a full-length record proved to be a fraught series of false-starts. Given their propensity for making hooky, ebullient pop songs, the band often felt out of step with what was happening around them in Brooklyn. (“We weren’t weird in the right ways,” says Sam). They eventually set about recording an album on their own—and then recording it twice—before figuring out what had been staring them in the face the entire time. “We basically had to come to terms with the fact that we are, at heart, a pop band,” recalls Spencer. “Before, it was always trying to decide which of the songs would be more ‘rock’ and which would be more poppy, but we eventually realized we needed to meet in the middle, we had to create an ecosystem where our loud, messy rock sounds could co-exist with these super catchy melodies and pop hooks. It was really about realizing what we’re best at as a band.”

The ten tracks that make up Guppy, Charly Bliss’ sparkling full-length debut, show the band embracing all of their strengths—a combination of ripping guitars and irrepressible pop hooks, all delivered with the hyper-enthusiasm of a middle school cafeteria food fight. That every track is loaded front-to-back with sing/shout-worthy lyrics and earworm melodies is a testament to the band's commitment to the art form of pop songwriting. Opening track “Percolator” sets the tone—all power riffs and yo-yo-ing melodies playing against Hendricks’ acrobatic vocals, which veer from gentle coo to an emphatic squeal:

I’m gonna die in the getaway car! I would try but it sounds too hard! It's a vibe that carries throughout Guppy, a record that shares an undeniable kinship with 90’s alt-rockers like Letters to Cleo and That Dog—bands that balanced melodicism, sugary vocals, and overdriven guitar turned up to 11. It’s an aesthetic that Charly Bliss both embraces and improves upon in tracks like “Ruby” (“We actually wrote the guitar solo by sitting in a circle and passing the guitar around, each of us adding our own notes,” says Fox) and “Glitter”, the record’s first single. “I wanted to make a song about being romantically involved with someone who makes you kind of hate yourself because they are so much like you,” says Hendricks, “A fun song about complicated self-loathing that you could also dance around your bedroom to—that kind of sums us up as a band, actually.”

“Pop music can actually be very subversive,” she continues. “The lyrics that I'm most proud of on the record are me existing both in and out of this overgrown teenybopper feeling—feeling like everything I was going through was the most extreme thing that had ever happened to anyone ever. The songs are often about being totally in the throes of this stuff, but also being able to step out of it and make fun of myself. It’s possible to write songs that really get at all of these dark feelings while also just being really fun to sing and dance to. You can be serious and also sing about peeing while jumping on a trampoline.”


Guppy is a record that doesn’t so much seek to reinvent the pop wheel so much as gleefully refine it. “People forget sometimes that expressing joy is just as important as examining despair,” says Shure. “People need joy, especially right now. We’re all about writing tight pop songs, but also giving people this super enthusiastic release. These songs are kind of the sound of expressing something that you can’t really contain. These are songs you play really loudly when you need to freak out.”

(Late Show) Moonspeaker 'Gravity' Album Release Show with Special Guest Two Coins Trio

Moonspeaker is a Pittsburgh based ‘pop-folk fantasy’ band with evocative lyrics and rich harmonies carried by vibrant violin melodies and eclectic rhythms. Their debut album, Gravity, is set to be released on Jan 18, 2019.

Moonspeaker is a Pittsburgh based ‘pop-folk fantasy’ band with evocative lyrics and rich harmonies carried by vibrant violin melodies and eclectic rhythms. Their debut album, Gravity, is set to be released on Jan 18, 2019.

Paul Luc (Full Band Performance) with Special Guest Nik Westman

Paul Luc
From the outside, Paul Luc’s story is seemingly normal. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he started playing guitar and joined a garage band in high school; from there, he attended a small college just south of the city, studied economics, and got a business job in healthcare. On the weekends, he'd play local shows, write music, and even put out his first album. But after years of working a grueling 9-5, Luc woke up one day, tired, bored, and unhappy with his situation -- and without a plan, quit corporate America. Since then, he’s harnessed his full energy toward making music. He’s toured throughout the country and caught the ear of the Americana world. As he gears up to release his third album, Paul Luc’s story has rapidly grown into one with an authentic sound and relatable message for the masses.

Luc’s love for music dates back to early childhood, when he found his parent’s record collection at age five, “I'd sit there with big, olive green headphones on, spiral cord plugged into the stereo, just caught up in the sounds.” Those early influences aren’t hard to hear in his music; traces of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, John Lennon, The Band, and Elton John are uniquely weaved throughout his melodies. And by elementary school, he'd gained a brand new perspective of music from mentor and well-known jazz saxophonist Don Aliquo. “He would pick up things quicker, and you could see he had talent,” Aliquo says, “It was very evident to me he had talent over and above most of the kids in the class.” Luc studied trumpet under Aliquo for years, before eventually finding guitar in high school and touring regionally with his rock band, Simon. But Aliquo’s support, the skill set he learned, and the importance of music were things that would never leave Luc, along with his myriad of influences.

In 2014, Luc came in full force with the release of his second full-length album, Tried & True. The ten-track album caught the attention of major, mainstream radio station WDVE, who championed the record and played it on heavy rotation. The album showcased Luc’s ability to merge upbeat rhythms with brutally-honest and relatable lyrics. When he was ready to start his newest project, Bad Seed, Luc turned to Dave Hidek, the same Pittsburgh producer that helped him the attain the folk rock sound in Tried & True. But this time around, the duo wanted to attempt the unknown; they formulated a plan to travel to Nashville, TN, and decided to recruit musicians that they'd never met, much less worked with. “I had this sort of romantic idea. I’d see photos of songwriters and musicians on a studio floor together, no computers, just doing things in that moment, which is probably what made the records that a lot of us idolize so great,” Luc says, “So I got this idea that I wanted to get acquaintances or strangers together and just do that.”

Recorded at Welcome to 1979 Studios, Luc might've gambled -- but didn’t place his bets on just anyone. The lineup of Nashville badasses featured on Bad Seed includes bassist Cameron Carrus, drummer Paul Griffith (John Prine, Jason Isbell, k.d. lang), backing vocals from Leah Blevins, and pianist Jefferson Crow and guitar/pedal steel player Laur “Lil’ Joe” Joamets, both part of Sturgill Simpson’s band from the iconic 2016 album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. And while his studio lineup turned out to be a recruitment of some of Music City’s most valued players, Luc was working on a tight timeline and budget, “We had no rehearsal time, we didn’t rehearse at all actually,” he says, “So we decided to record to tape, it gives you less options to change things. It forces you to make decisions.”

But even with an abundance of unknown variables, Bad Seed found its way. “It would either work or it wouldn’t. Luckily, it really did. We all clicked and worked things out take-by-take.” It’s impossible to ignore that Bad Seed was fated for success, not only because of Luc taking a chance on the setup, but also his ability to organically build songs. While in the studio, Joamets even dubbed his songwriting ‘healing’ which Luc hopes to achieve with Bad Seed, “I try to write about personal experience, and people usually relate in their own unexpected ways. There’s something beautiful about music and the unpredictable ways it connects people.” And if anything, that’s what Bad Seed is -- proof that even out of the unknown, something beautiful can surface.

Nik Westman
Nik Has released 3 LP's since 2010 under the name "Central Plains" His Stories are personal and relatable. His Music is driven by Guitar and Vocals. Central Plains Music has been described as Twangy Indie Rock. Reviews have compared Central Plains to the likes of Stephen Malkmus, Neil Young, Modest Mouse and Galaxy 500. Nik grew up in Sweden, Los Angeles and spent his College years in Pittsburgh before moving to Brooklyn in 2011 where he currently resides with his wife Deirdre.

Paul Luc
From the outside, Paul Luc’s story is seemingly normal. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he started playing guitar and joined a garage band in high school; from there, he attended a small college just south of the city, studied economics, and got a business job in healthcare. On the weekends, he'd play local shows, write music, and even put out his first album. But after years of working a grueling 9-5, Luc woke up one day, tired, bored, and unhappy with his situation -- and without a plan, quit corporate America. Since then, he’s harnessed his full energy toward making music. He’s toured throughout the country and caught the ear of the Americana world. As he gears up to release his third album, Paul Luc’s story has rapidly grown into one with an authentic sound and relatable message for the masses.

Luc’s love for music dates back to early childhood, when he found his parent’s record collection at age five, “I'd sit there with big, olive green headphones on, spiral cord plugged into the stereo, just caught up in the sounds.” Those early influences aren’t hard to hear in his music; traces of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, John Lennon, The Band, and Elton John are uniquely weaved throughout his melodies. And by elementary school, he'd gained a brand new perspective of music from mentor and well-known jazz saxophonist Don Aliquo. “He would pick up things quicker, and you could see he had talent,” Aliquo says, “It was very evident to me he had talent over and above most of the kids in the class.” Luc studied trumpet under Aliquo for years, before eventually finding guitar in high school and touring regionally with his rock band, Simon. But Aliquo’s support, the skill set he learned, and the importance of music were things that would never leave Luc, along with his myriad of influences.

In 2014, Luc came in full force with the release of his second full-length album, Tried & True. The ten-track album caught the attention of major, mainstream radio station WDVE, who championed the record and played it on heavy rotation. The album showcased Luc’s ability to merge upbeat rhythms with brutally-honest and relatable lyrics. When he was ready to start his newest project, Bad Seed, Luc turned to Dave Hidek, the same Pittsburgh producer that helped him the attain the folk rock sound in Tried & True. But this time around, the duo wanted to attempt the unknown; they formulated a plan to travel to Nashville, TN, and decided to recruit musicians that they'd never met, much less worked with. “I had this sort of romantic idea. I’d see photos of songwriters and musicians on a studio floor together, no computers, just doing things in that moment, which is probably what made the records that a lot of us idolize so great,” Luc says, “So I got this idea that I wanted to get acquaintances or strangers together and just do that.”

Recorded at Welcome to 1979 Studios, Luc might've gambled -- but didn’t place his bets on just anyone. The lineup of Nashville badasses featured on Bad Seed includes bassist Cameron Carrus, drummer Paul Griffith (John Prine, Jason Isbell, k.d. lang), backing vocals from Leah Blevins, and pianist Jefferson Crow and guitar/pedal steel player Laur “Lil’ Joe” Joamets, both part of Sturgill Simpson’s band from the iconic 2016 album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. And while his studio lineup turned out to be a recruitment of some of Music City’s most valued players, Luc was working on a tight timeline and budget, “We had no rehearsal time, we didn’t rehearse at all actually,” he says, “So we decided to record to tape, it gives you less options to change things. It forces you to make decisions.”

But even with an abundance of unknown variables, Bad Seed found its way. “It would either work or it wouldn’t. Luckily, it really did. We all clicked and worked things out take-by-take.” It’s impossible to ignore that Bad Seed was fated for success, not only because of Luc taking a chance on the setup, but also his ability to organically build songs. While in the studio, Joamets even dubbed his songwriting ‘healing’ which Luc hopes to achieve with Bad Seed, “I try to write about personal experience, and people usually relate in their own unexpected ways. There’s something beautiful about music and the unpredictable ways it connects people.” And if anything, that’s what Bad Seed is -- proof that even out of the unknown, something beautiful can surface.

Nik Westman
Nik Has released 3 LP's since 2010 under the name "Central Plains" His Stories are personal and relatable. His Music is driven by Guitar and Vocals. Central Plains Music has been described as Twangy Indie Rock. Reviews have compared Central Plains to the likes of Stephen Malkmus, Neil Young, Modest Mouse and Galaxy 500. Nik grew up in Sweden, Los Angeles and spent his College years in Pittsburgh before moving to Brooklyn in 2011 where he currently resides with his wife Deirdre.

Helene Augustine / Bitter Whiskers / Elliot Sheedy

Helene Augustine is the musical project for the visual artist Jenn Meridian, based in Pittsburgh. These are like queer prayers - the best form to express the never-ending rhyme/devotion that inhabits my being. Tragedy and miracle expressed as heartbreak and devotion. All of it. My version of ecstatic poetry. I began this practice with a Casio keyboard and have now graduated to a Yamaha P45 digital piano. Using very basic chord structures for accompaniment, Helene Augustine performs with the borrowed/inherited name of my great great-aunt who died in 1901 at the age of 18 in Austin, TX.

Helene Augustine is the musical project for the visual artist Jenn Meridian, based in Pittsburgh. These are like queer prayers - the best form to express the never-ending rhyme/devotion that inhabits my being. Tragedy and miracle expressed as heartbreak and devotion. All of it. My version of ecstatic poetry. I began this practice with a Casio keyboard and have now graduated to a Yamaha P45 digital piano. Using very basic chord structures for accompaniment, Helene Augustine performs with the borrowed/inherited name of my great great-aunt who died in 1901 at the age of 18 in Austin, TX.

Wayne 'The Train' Hancock

Since his stunning debut, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs in 1995, Wayne “The Train” Hancock has been the undisputed king of Juke Joint Swing - that alchemist’s dream of honky-tonk, western swing, blues, Texas rockabilly and big band. Always an anomaly among his country music peers, Wayne’s uncompromising interpretation of the music he loves is in fact what defines him: steeped in traditional but never "retro;" bare bones but bone shaking; hardcore but with a swing. Like the comfortable crackle of a Wurlitzer 45 jukebox, Wayne is the embodiment of genuine, house rocking, hillbilly boogie. Wayne makes music fit for any road house anywhere. With his unmistakable voice, The Train’s reckless honky-tonk can move the dead. If you see him live (and he is ALWAYS touring), you’ll surely work up some sweat stains on that snazzy Rayon shirt you’re wearing. If you buy his records, you’ll be rolling up your carpets, spreading sawdust on the hardwood floor, and dancing until the downstairs neighbors are banging their brooms on the ceiling. Call him a throwback if you want, but all Wayne Hancock wants to do, is simply ENTERTAIN you, and what's wrong with that?

Since his stunning debut, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs in 1995, Wayne “The Train” Hancock has been the undisputed king of Juke Joint Swing - that alchemist’s dream of honky-tonk, western swing, blues, Texas rockabilly and big band. Always an anomaly among his country music peers, Wayne’s uncompromising interpretation of the music he loves is in fact what defines him: steeped in traditional but never "retro;" bare bones but bone shaking; hardcore but with a swing. Like the comfortable crackle of a Wurlitzer 45 jukebox, Wayne is the embodiment of genuine, house rocking, hillbilly boogie. Wayne makes music fit for any road house anywhere. With his unmistakable voice, The Train’s reckless honky-tonk can move the dead. If you see him live (and he is ALWAYS touring), you’ll surely work up some sweat stains on that snazzy Rayon shirt you’re wearing. If you buy his records, you’ll be rolling up your carpets, spreading sawdust on the hardwood floor, and dancing until the downstairs neighbors are banging their brooms on the ceiling. Call him a throwback if you want, but all Wayne Hancock wants to do, is simply ENTERTAIN you, and what's wrong with that?

Hey Monea!

Hey Monea are:

Dan Monea – vocalist, guitarist, shark fisherman, foodie

Nate Monea – vocalist, drummer, MacGyverer, skeptic

Stephen Fernandez – vocalist, bassist, herboligist, shaman



Hey Monea have always been driven by a healthy sense of wanderlust – a deep desire to see the world, try new things, and to challenge the limits of what is possible. This band of tender-hearted rascals has been bonded by three albums, years of touring and recording, with a deep love of music and desire to bring people together. They’ve played festivals all over the world including Hard Rock Calling in London (Bruce Springsteen / Lady Antebellum), The Rock Boat (Sister Hazel / Barenaked Ladies), 311 Cruise, and even a performance on Guam. In addition to traditional touring, the band travels annually to Guatemala with an organization called The Music Is Love Exchange for a week of service work and performances at schools and hospitals.



“We love what we do, and we love being on the road. Connecting with people from every corner of the world through music brings real joy to us. Everybody has a story, and we want to hear that. And we want to share ours,” says Dan Monea. The band performs constantly, either touring nationally or playing bar gigs to pay bills.



Hey Monea’s pop-leaning rock music centers around emotionality and their soaring harmonies aim directly at the heart of the human spirit. Dan and Nate were raised Jehovah’s Witnesses and it was their family’s decision to leave that community that set the boys on a path toward pursuing deeper connection points. Every tour stop is an opportunity to meet people, be of service, an effort to build bonds with their audience. The band refers to their extended community as their “ghetto family”, and the family reunion takes place every September in downtown Canton at the band’s own Little C Music Festival, now in its third year. "We've spent quite a few years traveling, meeting new people, and having amazing experiences at every stop. Along the way we've made so many friends who are incredibly talented, and have something unique and inspiring to offer. Little C is our way of bringing all those friends to Canton to show them the little corner of the earth we call home, and to show all of our friends here in Canton the cast of characters we've met out there on the road,” offers Nate Monea. This year’s event will take place September 14 and 15 in partnership with the Canton Flea, ArtsInStark, VisitCanton, and several additional local sponsors.



The band’s new single, “Push And Pull” is available now.

Hey Monea are:

Dan Monea – vocalist, guitarist, shark fisherman, foodie

Nate Monea – vocalist, drummer, MacGyverer, skeptic

Stephen Fernandez – vocalist, bassist, herboligist, shaman



Hey Monea have always been driven by a healthy sense of wanderlust – a deep desire to see the world, try new things, and to challenge the limits of what is possible. This band of tender-hearted rascals has been bonded by three albums, years of touring and recording, with a deep love of music and desire to bring people together. They’ve played festivals all over the world including Hard Rock Calling in London (Bruce Springsteen / Lady Antebellum), The Rock Boat (Sister Hazel / Barenaked Ladies), 311 Cruise, and even a performance on Guam. In addition to traditional touring, the band travels annually to Guatemala with an organization called The Music Is Love Exchange for a week of service work and performances at schools and hospitals.



“We love what we do, and we love being on the road. Connecting with people from every corner of the world through music brings real joy to us. Everybody has a story, and we want to hear that. And we want to share ours,” says Dan Monea. The band performs constantly, either touring nationally or playing bar gigs to pay bills.



Hey Monea’s pop-leaning rock music centers around emotionality and their soaring harmonies aim directly at the heart of the human spirit. Dan and Nate were raised Jehovah’s Witnesses and it was their family’s decision to leave that community that set the boys on a path toward pursuing deeper connection points. Every tour stop is an opportunity to meet people, be of service, an effort to build bonds with their audience. The band refers to their extended community as their “ghetto family”, and the family reunion takes place every September in downtown Canton at the band’s own Little C Music Festival, now in its third year. "We've spent quite a few years traveling, meeting new people, and having amazing experiences at every stop. Along the way we've made so many friends who are incredibly talented, and have something unique and inspiring to offer. Little C is our way of bringing all those friends to Canton to show them the little corner of the earth we call home, and to show all of our friends here in Canton the cast of characters we've met out there on the road,” offers Nate Monea. This year’s event will take place September 14 and 15 in partnership with the Canton Flea, ArtsInStark, VisitCanton, and several additional local sponsors.



The band’s new single, “Push And Pull” is available now.

The Steel Wheels with Special Guest Luke Zacherl

Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are familiar with the traditions of folk music and how a string band is supposed to sound. In fact, they’ve been drawing on those steadfast traditions for more than a decade. Yet, their name also evokes a sense of forward motion, which is clearly reflected in their latest album, Wild As We Came Here. The Steel Wheels recorded their album in rural Maine, where producer Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter) owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members – Trent Wagler (guitar, banjo), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass) and Jay Lapp (mandolin) – hunkered down for a week and a half to create Wild As We Came Here. The band’s name is a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage. Their musical style weaves through Americana and bluegrass, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into their recording sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery and perseverance run throughout the collection.

Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are familiar with the traditions of folk music and how a string band is supposed to sound. In fact, they’ve been drawing on those steadfast traditions for more than a decade. Yet, their name also evokes a sense of forward motion, which is clearly reflected in their latest album, Wild As We Came Here. The Steel Wheels recorded their album in rural Maine, where producer Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter) owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members – Trent Wagler (guitar, banjo), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass) and Jay Lapp (mandolin) – hunkered down for a week and a half to create Wild As We Came Here. The band’s name is a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage. Their musical style weaves through Americana and bluegrass, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into their recording sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery and perseverance run throughout the collection.

(Early Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Greg Warren

Greg Warren, most recently seen on “ Late Night with Seth Meyers”, "The Late Late Show on CBS" and “Last Comic Standing” " has built a strong fan base with an act inspired by his Midwestern upbringing. His CDs, “Fish Sandwich” (2017) "Running Out of Time" (Sept 2013) and "One Star Wonder" (June 2009) hit #1, #3 and #6 respectively on the iTunes Comedy charts. Self-deprecation, frustration and an arsenal of lifelike characters highlight Greg's colorful perspective.

Greg attracts a diverse audience, having performed on BET’s "Coming to the Stage", Country Music Television's "Comedy Stage" and Comedy Central’s “Comedy Central Presents”. He is a favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom radio show. He toured theaters across the country with The Bob & Tom All Stars Comedy Tour.

Greg Warren, most recently seen on “ Late Night with Seth Meyers”, "The Late Late Show on CBS" and “Last Comic Standing” " has built a strong fan base with an act inspired by his Midwestern upbringing. His CDs, “Fish Sandwich” (2017) "Running Out of Time" (Sept 2013) and "One Star Wonder" (June 2009) hit #1, #3 and #6 respectively on the iTunes Comedy charts. Self-deprecation, frustration and an arsenal of lifelike characters highlight Greg's colorful perspective.

Greg attracts a diverse audience, having performed on BET’s "Coming to the Stage", Country Music Television's "Comedy Stage" and Comedy Central’s “Comedy Central Presents”. He is a favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom radio show. He toured theaters across the country with The Bob & Tom All Stars Comedy Tour.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Greg Warren

Greg Warren, most recently seen on “ Late Night with Seth Meyers”, "The Late Late Show on CBS" and “Last Comic Standing” " has built a strong fan base with an act inspired by his Midwestern upbringing. His CDs, “Fish Sandwich” (2017) "Running Out of Time" (Sept 2013) and "One Star Wonder" (June 2009) hit #1, #3 and #6 respectively on the iTunes Comedy charts. Self-deprecation, frustration and an arsenal of lifelike characters highlight Greg's colorful perspective.

Greg attracts a diverse audience, having performed on BET’s "Coming to the Stage", Country Music Television's "Comedy Stage" and Comedy Central’s “Comedy Central Presents”. He is a favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom radio show. He toured theaters across the country with The Bob & Tom All Stars Comedy Tour.

Greg Warren, most recently seen on “ Late Night with Seth Meyers”, "The Late Late Show on CBS" and “Last Comic Standing” " has built a strong fan base with an act inspired by his Midwestern upbringing. His CDs, “Fish Sandwich” (2017) "Running Out of Time" (Sept 2013) and "One Star Wonder" (June 2009) hit #1, #3 and #6 respectively on the iTunes Comedy charts. Self-deprecation, frustration and an arsenal of lifelike characters highlight Greg's colorful perspective.

Greg attracts a diverse audience, having performed on BET’s "Coming to the Stage", Country Music Television's "Comedy Stage" and Comedy Central’s “Comedy Central Presents”. He is a favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom radio show. He toured theaters across the country with The Bob & Tom All Stars Comedy Tour.

Hot Club of Cowtown

Adapted from “The Chemistry and Magic of Hot Club of Cowtown” by Terry Roland, No Depression, January 14, 2015

Since 1998, the Western swing-gypsy jazz trio Hot Club of Cowtown has traveled the world bringing their own brand of magical musical chemistry to audiences far and wide. Along with Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin are equal partners in this original marriage of gypsy-jazz-inspired by the music of Django Reinhardt — which accounts for the “Hot Club” portion of their name — with the hoedowns, traditional tunes, and Western swing-inspired music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, represented in the “Cowtown” of their name. They have created a legacy of the preservation of musical traditions that have often been overlooked by the mainstream and alternative music worlds. Even Americana and roots enthusiasts have only scratched surface of the multitude of musicians, past and present, who continue to inspire the Hot Club of Cowtown.

“This music may be more prevalent now than fifteen years ago,” says James. “I don’t think as much of this was going on when we first got together–the seamless blending of Western swing tunes and hot jazz standards a la Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli.” While the merging of gypsy jazz with Western swing sounds natural when listening to Hot Club of Cowtown, in the beginning the fusion of the two styles seemed more unorthodox than it does now. “We just have always listened to old recordings and get inspired by that endless trove of astonishing performances. Mixing these genres together has always just been such a natural fit. Over the years other ‘hot club’ bands come and go but I guess generally we may be the most visible touring Western swing power trio out there.”


The band has a long list of accomplishments since their first album, Swingin’ Stampede, first appeared in 1998 on HighTone records. Most notably, they are marking their 20th anniversary during the 2017-2018 touring season. They have released nine studio albums and they are among the youngest members ever to have been inducted inot the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. A considerable accomplishment for a band that have migrated their way from New England and the Midwest by way of New York City. They have most recently been named Western Swing Group of the year in 2015 at the Ameripolitan Music Awards (a new genre created by Dale Watson to recognize roots-influenced bands). In 2015 James won for Western Swing Female as well. The band has also represented the U.S. State Department as Musical Ambassadors over the past several years to places as diverse as Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, the Republic of Georgia, and the Sultanate of Oman. Their festival appearances have been as diverse as they’ve been numerous including jazz, bluegrass and country festivals throughout the UK, Europe, Japan, Australia and North America.

In 2004 the Hot Club of Cowtown gained a special fan in Bob Dylan when they were invited to open a month-long tour of minor leaue ballparks with Dylan and Willie Nelson. James sat in with Dylan’s band often on that tour and the following year James was hired to play briefly in Dylan’s touring band — the first dedicated female instrumentalist to join his road band since Scarlet Rivera some 30 years before.

Hot Club has maintained an on-again, off-again relationship over the years, which appears to be more about career choices than personal differences. When asked about the brief times the band has not been touring or recording, James says, “It’s like Brokeback Mountain — ‘I just can’t quit you!’” she laughs. “Some bands are maybe more studio bands, or other bands are really more about songwriting. We came together as instrumentalists who love to jam and play, and we really are at our very best as a live band. To me it’s as almost as though the instruments have gathered us together to sing and play their music. Like the songs conjure us and we gather together and deliver them.”

Indeed, when seeing the trio perform, hearing them on studio or live records, there is a sense of something beyond them individually–and beyond their years–taking over through this music that has lasted through the years. “At the end of the day, it’s fun to get up on stage when you’re with your A game,” James says. “If you don’t have a great show, great people up on stage together who you believe in, it’s hard to get up on stage. To do this thing we are truly thrilled by, as a band together, this is what makes us go. That there is a demand for us, for this little Western swing trio, to continue to tour, play, record, travel, it truly is a great gift. We’ve been together a long time and continue to share something unique and mysterious that continues to develop. As the saying goes, the harder you work, the luckier you get. For me it’s like this magical tree that we nurture and feed and in return it gives us shade, fruit and joy over the years.”


EARLY HISTORY:
The Hot Club of Cowtown was born when Whit Smith, a reformed rock-and-roller living in New York City, started getting into Django Reinhardt and early Bob Wills recordings while working at Tower Records and playing in bands in the early 1990s. “As a guitar player, he was really getting into these guys I had never heard of–George Barnes, Tiny Moore, Thumbs Carllile, Hank Garland, Django Reinhardt, Oscar Aleman, Eddie Lang. Whit would make me these cassette recording of these guys in their various bands and I would listen to them religiously and couldn’t even tell the difference between country and jazzy guitar and rhythm in those tunes” says James. “It all blended together. Even the violin soloists–people like Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti, Johnny Gimble, Stephane Grappelli, Hugh and Karl Farr, Louis Tierney and Keith Coleman from the Bob Wills band–were hard for me to differentiate at first. They all sounded so inspired, romantic, squirrely, virtuosic. It didn’t matter what they were soloing over, the melodic ideas just killed me. And they eventually took over my life!”

Smith is a native New Englander who was born to folk music-loving parents. From childhood, he internalized a daily life of practicing and performing music. “My mom and dad used to sing and play folk music every night after my dad got home from work. Every weekend my dad would spend hours sitting in front of the record player figuring out rural tunes by Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt,” Smith explains. “Then he was really big into Manitas De Plata and flamenco guitar.” While in his early 20s, Smith moved to New York City where, for 15 years, his music took shape and found a home in the foundation his father had built during his impressionable years.

During his early years in New York, Smith studied jazz guitar, a little classical piano, and the intricacies of vocal harmony and chordal voicings. It was his apprenticeship with guitarist Richard Lieberson that defined his own musical approach. Lieberson taught Smith traditional jazz forms along with traditional country guitar. Like his father’s way of absorbing folk and blues guitar patterns, Smith began from that early blueprint and applied the same discipline and imagination to the study of country and jazz guitar.

By 1994, Smith had begun applying his new-found knowledge to weekly shows in the city leading a revolving 13-piece Western swing orchestra called the Western Caravan. The group played hoedowns, country tunes, Western swing and jazz standards with fiddles and steel guitar. Around this time he answered an ad put in the music section of the Village Voice by Elana James, who was looking to join a band on the side as she was working in publishing in the city. When the two finally got together to play a unique partnership began.

Time went by and eventually first James and then Smith left New York City for points west. In 1997 they relocated to San Diego, found their first bass player, and began playing as at farmers markets, parks, and cafes for tips. After a year in San Diego they were inspired to move to Austin, where Western swing was part of the natural order of things, and a town where living as a musician was known to be possible and even desirable.

Different bass players came and went over the early years, but with the addition of upright bassist Jake Erwin in 2000, the trio had found its stride. The youngest member of the band, Erwin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, very near to Cain’s Ballroom, the home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. He was drawn to the bass instrument and roots music in general during childhood. He specializes in slap bass–a New Orleans jazz approach and is equal to the task of skillfully playing his instrument and contributing to the vocal textures of the trio.

Elana James was raised in Kansas. She started out as a Suziki-method Classical musician when she began playing violin at age four after hearing her mom playing violin around the house. “We all have our individual influences,” she says. “My background is Classical music, though I have always been interested in folk and traditional music. But when I first started playing roots music, I was surprised how many people considered this ‘retro.’ To me, Aaron Copeland was modern! I was used to Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Brahms. It has taken me a long time to get used to that notion that these songs or this style is considered “old.” I guess you can consider it old in the same sense that a fine cheese from France is ‘old’ or the baguette is ‘old’ but you eat it every day! Is steak ‘retro’ because man has eaten it for millioins of years? For me great music is always contemporary. This idea that so many people thought of Bob Wills’s music as old music was weird. He and the sound of his band has always been more contemporary, more alive and inspired to me, than tons of stuff being performed and recorded right now.”

The Hot Club of Cowtown has performed throughout the world over the past two decades as Musical Ambassadors for the US State Department, as music festival headliners, and touring with other artists. Highlights include US State Department tours to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Algeria, the Republic of Georgia, and the Sultanate of Oman, tours with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Gatemouth Brown, Dan Hicks, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Robert Earl Keen, the Avett Brothers, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, and may others. Recent career highlights include the Rochester International Jazz Festival, A Midsummer Night’s Swing at Lincoln Center in New York, the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival in Bristol, Tennessee, and the Red Ants Pants Festival in White Sulphur Springs, Montana.

* * *
“This trio’s stylistic genesis–as well as title–stems from the realization that the great heritage of strings (guitars and violins) originates mutually with the Manouche gypsies of France and the no-less virtuosic hillbilly pickers and fiddlers of Oklahoma and Texas….Together for over 15 years and a dozen albums, the threesome of high-heeled violinist Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin showed from the beginning that jazz and country music could exist together on the same page, a highly commendable achievement if ever there was one.”
– Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal

“Hot Club of Cowtown swung light and tight, like tumbleweeds made of velvet.”
– Live Review, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Frank De Blase, Rochester City Paper, June 2017

“[James’s] inventive violin style can still conjure up the unique image of Bob Wills strolling through Tin Pan Alley.”
– Sean Daly, JazzTimes

“As instrumentally and vocally tight as any band out there working in any genre today….three skilled musicians who can seemingly just tune up and play, something that’s becoming increasingly rare these days.”
– Rick Moore, American Songwriter, 2011

Adapted from “The Chemistry and Magic of Hot Club of Cowtown” by Terry Roland, No Depression, January 14, 2015

Since 1998, the Western swing-gypsy jazz trio Hot Club of Cowtown has traveled the world bringing their own brand of magical musical chemistry to audiences far and wide. Along with Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin are equal partners in this original marriage of gypsy-jazz-inspired by the music of Django Reinhardt — which accounts for the “Hot Club” portion of their name — with the hoedowns, traditional tunes, and Western swing-inspired music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, represented in the “Cowtown” of their name. They have created a legacy of the preservation of musical traditions that have often been overlooked by the mainstream and alternative music worlds. Even Americana and roots enthusiasts have only scratched surface of the multitude of musicians, past and present, who continue to inspire the Hot Club of Cowtown.

“This music may be more prevalent now than fifteen years ago,” says James. “I don’t think as much of this was going on when we first got together–the seamless blending of Western swing tunes and hot jazz standards a la Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli.” While the merging of gypsy jazz with Western swing sounds natural when listening to Hot Club of Cowtown, in the beginning the fusion of the two styles seemed more unorthodox than it does now. “We just have always listened to old recordings and get inspired by that endless trove of astonishing performances. Mixing these genres together has always just been such a natural fit. Over the years other ‘hot club’ bands come and go but I guess generally we may be the most visible touring Western swing power trio out there.”


The band has a long list of accomplishments since their first album, Swingin’ Stampede, first appeared in 1998 on HighTone records. Most notably, they are marking their 20th anniversary during the 2017-2018 touring season. They have released nine studio albums and they are among the youngest members ever to have been inducted inot the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. A considerable accomplishment for a band that have migrated their way from New England and the Midwest by way of New York City. They have most recently been named Western Swing Group of the year in 2015 at the Ameripolitan Music Awards (a new genre created by Dale Watson to recognize roots-influenced bands). In 2015 James won for Western Swing Female as well. The band has also represented the U.S. State Department as Musical Ambassadors over the past several years to places as diverse as Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, the Republic of Georgia, and the Sultanate of Oman. Their festival appearances have been as diverse as they’ve been numerous including jazz, bluegrass and country festivals throughout the UK, Europe, Japan, Australia and North America.

In 2004 the Hot Club of Cowtown gained a special fan in Bob Dylan when they were invited to open a month-long tour of minor leaue ballparks with Dylan and Willie Nelson. James sat in with Dylan’s band often on that tour and the following year James was hired to play briefly in Dylan’s touring band — the first dedicated female instrumentalist to join his road band since Scarlet Rivera some 30 years before.

Hot Club has maintained an on-again, off-again relationship over the years, which appears to be more about career choices than personal differences. When asked about the brief times the band has not been touring or recording, James says, “It’s like Brokeback Mountain — ‘I just can’t quit you!’” she laughs. “Some bands are maybe more studio bands, or other bands are really more about songwriting. We came together as instrumentalists who love to jam and play, and we really are at our very best as a live band. To me it’s as almost as though the instruments have gathered us together to sing and play their music. Like the songs conjure us and we gather together and deliver them.”

Indeed, when seeing the trio perform, hearing them on studio or live records, there is a sense of something beyond them individually–and beyond their years–taking over through this music that has lasted through the years. “At the end of the day, it’s fun to get up on stage when you’re with your A game,” James says. “If you don’t have a great show, great people up on stage together who you believe in, it’s hard to get up on stage. To do this thing we are truly thrilled by, as a band together, this is what makes us go. That there is a demand for us, for this little Western swing trio, to continue to tour, play, record, travel, it truly is a great gift. We’ve been together a long time and continue to share something unique and mysterious that continues to develop. As the saying goes, the harder you work, the luckier you get. For me it’s like this magical tree that we nurture and feed and in return it gives us shade, fruit and joy over the years.”


EARLY HISTORY:
The Hot Club of Cowtown was born when Whit Smith, a reformed rock-and-roller living in New York City, started getting into Django Reinhardt and early Bob Wills recordings while working at Tower Records and playing in bands in the early 1990s. “As a guitar player, he was really getting into these guys I had never heard of–George Barnes, Tiny Moore, Thumbs Carllile, Hank Garland, Django Reinhardt, Oscar Aleman, Eddie Lang. Whit would make me these cassette recording of these guys in their various bands and I would listen to them religiously and couldn’t even tell the difference between country and jazzy guitar and rhythm in those tunes” says James. “It all blended together. Even the violin soloists–people like Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti, Johnny Gimble, Stephane Grappelli, Hugh and Karl Farr, Louis Tierney and Keith Coleman from the Bob Wills band–were hard for me to differentiate at first. They all sounded so inspired, romantic, squirrely, virtuosic. It didn’t matter what they were soloing over, the melodic ideas just killed me. And they eventually took over my life!”

Smith is a native New Englander who was born to folk music-loving parents. From childhood, he internalized a daily life of practicing and performing music. “My mom and dad used to sing and play folk music every night after my dad got home from work. Every weekend my dad would spend hours sitting in front of the record player figuring out rural tunes by Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt,” Smith explains. “Then he was really big into Manitas De Plata and flamenco guitar.” While in his early 20s, Smith moved to New York City where, for 15 years, his music took shape and found a home in the foundation his father had built during his impressionable years.

During his early years in New York, Smith studied jazz guitar, a little classical piano, and the intricacies of vocal harmony and chordal voicings. It was his apprenticeship with guitarist Richard Lieberson that defined his own musical approach. Lieberson taught Smith traditional jazz forms along with traditional country guitar. Like his father’s way of absorbing folk and blues guitar patterns, Smith began from that early blueprint and applied the same discipline and imagination to the study of country and jazz guitar.

By 1994, Smith had begun applying his new-found knowledge to weekly shows in the city leading a revolving 13-piece Western swing orchestra called the Western Caravan. The group played hoedowns, country tunes, Western swing and jazz standards with fiddles and steel guitar. Around this time he answered an ad put in the music section of the Village Voice by Elana James, who was looking to join a band on the side as she was working in publishing in the city. When the two finally got together to play a unique partnership began.

Time went by and eventually first James and then Smith left New York City for points west. In 1997 they relocated to San Diego, found their first bass player, and began playing as at farmers markets, parks, and cafes for tips. After a year in San Diego they were inspired to move to Austin, where Western swing was part of the natural order of things, and a town where living as a musician was known to be possible and even desirable.

Different bass players came and went over the early years, but with the addition of upright bassist Jake Erwin in 2000, the trio had found its stride. The youngest member of the band, Erwin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, very near to Cain’s Ballroom, the home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. He was drawn to the bass instrument and roots music in general during childhood. He specializes in slap bass–a New Orleans jazz approach and is equal to the task of skillfully playing his instrument and contributing to the vocal textures of the trio.

Elana James was raised in Kansas. She started out as a Suziki-method Classical musician when she began playing violin at age four after hearing her mom playing violin around the house. “We all have our individual influences,” she says. “My background is Classical music, though I have always been interested in folk and traditional music. But when I first started playing roots music, I was surprised how many people considered this ‘retro.’ To me, Aaron Copeland was modern! I was used to Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Brahms. It has taken me a long time to get used to that notion that these songs or this style is considered “old.” I guess you can consider it old in the same sense that a fine cheese from France is ‘old’ or the baguette is ‘old’ but you eat it every day! Is steak ‘retro’ because man has eaten it for millioins of years? For me great music is always contemporary. This idea that so many people thought of Bob Wills’s music as old music was weird. He and the sound of his band has always been more contemporary, more alive and inspired to me, than tons of stuff being performed and recorded right now.”

The Hot Club of Cowtown has performed throughout the world over the past two decades as Musical Ambassadors for the US State Department, as music festival headliners, and touring with other artists. Highlights include US State Department tours to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Algeria, the Republic of Georgia, and the Sultanate of Oman, tours with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Gatemouth Brown, Dan Hicks, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Robert Earl Keen, the Avett Brothers, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, and may others. Recent career highlights include the Rochester International Jazz Festival, A Midsummer Night’s Swing at Lincoln Center in New York, the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival in Bristol, Tennessee, and the Red Ants Pants Festival in White Sulphur Springs, Montana.

* * *
“This trio’s stylistic genesis–as well as title–stems from the realization that the great heritage of strings (guitars and violins) originates mutually with the Manouche gypsies of France and the no-less virtuosic hillbilly pickers and fiddlers of Oklahoma and Texas….Together for over 15 years and a dozen albums, the threesome of high-heeled violinist Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin showed from the beginning that jazz and country music could exist together on the same page, a highly commendable achievement if ever there was one.”
– Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal

“Hot Club of Cowtown swung light and tight, like tumbleweeds made of velvet.”
– Live Review, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Frank De Blase, Rochester City Paper, June 2017

“[James’s] inventive violin style can still conjure up the unique image of Bob Wills strolling through Tin Pan Alley.”
– Sean Daly, JazzTimes

“As instrumentally and vocally tight as any band out there working in any genre today….three skilled musicians who can seemingly just tune up and play, something that’s becoming increasingly rare these days.”
– Rick Moore, American Songwriter, 2011

The Brook & The Bluff

Established in Birmingham, AL, The Brook & The Bluff is a four-man band that consists of frontman Joseph Settine, drummer John Canada, guitarist Alec Bolton and bassist Fred Lankford.

The guys have quickly become recognized for their evocative blend of instrumental talent and vocal harmony. These elements are readily apparent in the band's debut track, “Masks.” Having initially gained momentum via Spotify, the song has helped spur the band forward in their musical pursuits.

The group's first year as a full band has been widely successful. From charting on Spotify's US and Canada Viral 50 Playlists, performing at the NAMM shows in both Nashville and Anaheim, and selling out shows in Atlanta, Birmingham, Huntsville, Nashville and Opelika, the band has had an exhilarating first year.

Originally an acoustic duo, Alec and Joseph started turning heads in local venues with clean vocals and expert guitar work. John noticed the talent and potential of the duo and offered to play drums and sing with the guys. Soon after, he officially joined the group, expanding their sound with driving rhythm and an added voice. The trio instantly locked in and have been playing together ever since. With their new bassist Fred Lankford, The Brook and The Bluff relocated to Nashville in 2018.

Established in Birmingham, AL, The Brook & The Bluff is a four-man band that consists of frontman Joseph Settine, drummer John Canada, guitarist Alec Bolton and bassist Fred Lankford.

The guys have quickly become recognized for their evocative blend of instrumental talent and vocal harmony. These elements are readily apparent in the band's debut track, “Masks.” Having initially gained momentum via Spotify, the song has helped spur the band forward in their musical pursuits.

The group's first year as a full band has been widely successful. From charting on Spotify's US and Canada Viral 50 Playlists, performing at the NAMM shows in both Nashville and Anaheim, and selling out shows in Atlanta, Birmingham, Huntsville, Nashville and Opelika, the band has had an exhilarating first year.

Originally an acoustic duo, Alec and Joseph started turning heads in local venues with clean vocals and expert guitar work. John noticed the talent and potential of the duo and offered to play drums and sing with the guys. Soon after, he officially joined the group, expanding their sound with driving rhythm and an added voice. The trio instantly locked in and have been playing together ever since. With their new bassist Fred Lankford, The Brook and The Bluff relocated to Nashville in 2018.

Motherfolk with Special Guest Stay Outside

MOTHERFOLK HAS BEEN REVERED AS "THE BEST BAND EVER" BY ALMOST ALL OF ITS CURRENT MEMBERS. WHAT STARTED IN 2014 AS A WRITING PROJECT BETWEEN TWO COLLEGE FRIENDS HAS GROWN INTO A PHENOMENON THAT HAS CAPTURED THE HEARTS AND SOULS OF DOZENS OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD.
WITH TWO FULL LENGTHS AND A FEW SINGLES UNDER THEIR BELT, MOTHERFOLK HAS TOURED HEAVILY ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND HAS MADE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES WITH THEIR HIGH-ENERGY PERFORMANCE. CURRENTLY IN 2018, THEY CONTINUE TO TOUR REGULARLY AND ARE SPENDING THE TIME IN BETWEEN IN THE STUDIO WORKING ON WHAT'S NEXT.

DON'T SLEEP ON THIS BAND, SLEEP ON A BED.

MOTHERFOLK HAS BEEN REVERED AS "THE BEST BAND EVER" BY ALMOST ALL OF ITS CURRENT MEMBERS. WHAT STARTED IN 2014 AS A WRITING PROJECT BETWEEN TWO COLLEGE FRIENDS HAS GROWN INTO A PHENOMENON THAT HAS CAPTURED THE HEARTS AND SOULS OF DOZENS OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD.
WITH TWO FULL LENGTHS AND A FEW SINGLES UNDER THEIR BELT, MOTHERFOLK HAS TOURED HEAVILY ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND HAS MADE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES WITH THEIR HIGH-ENERGY PERFORMANCE. CURRENTLY IN 2018, THEY CONTINUE TO TOUR REGULARLY AND ARE SPENDING THE TIME IN BETWEEN IN THE STUDIO WORKING ON WHAT'S NEXT.

DON'T SLEEP ON THIS BAND, SLEEP ON A BED.

(Early Show) Pittsburgh Songwriters Showcase Featuring Nathan Zoob, Tim Vitullo, Aris Paul, Gary Prisby, Samantha Sears

Talented singer-songwriters performing acoustic sets of original music at venues throughout the Pittsburgh area. Showcases include established artists working out new material, local bands performing acoustic sets, newcomers looking for exposure, and regional acts passing through town. These relaxed and intimate shows are a great way for music lovers to enjoy their favorite local artists and discover new and emerging talent. It’s also a great networking and promotion opportunity for local artists.

Talented singer-songwriters performing acoustic sets of original music at venues throughout the Pittsburgh area. Showcases include established artists working out new material, local bands performing acoustic sets, newcomers looking for exposure, and regional acts passing through town. These relaxed and intimate shows are a great way for music lovers to enjoy their favorite local artists and discover new and emerging talent. It’s also a great networking and promotion opportunity for local artists.

The Brother Brothers

Their sound is striking and undeniably captivating. Often leaning towards the darker, moody elements of Appalachian folk, and bluegrass traditions, their songs are laden with near perfect sibling harmonies or unison singing, compelling writing, and imaginative arrangements. They tour as an acoustic duo: David on cello and guitar, and Adam on the 5-string fiddle. With individual storied music careers under their belts, the brothers have finally teamed up to bring their experiences together.

They Released their EP Tugboats in January 2017 and are planning to release their follow up full length album in early 2018.

“The Brother Brothers have been in this together for life, and their familial connection comes through in the music, harkening back to some of the greatest family harmonies ever made. They approach their poignant and often charming songs with an almost startling sense of ease, and the tight harmonies are enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. Their ability to pull the listener into their quietly energetic musical journey is a joy to behold. I can’t wait to be out on the road with Adam & David and hear their heart wrenching songs and spot on harmonies night after night!” -Sarah Jarosz

"They're the real deal. They know old-time two part harmony from the inside, and that fraternal resonance is there to be clearly heard." -Mark Simos (Allison Krauss, Del McCoury)

Their sound is striking and undeniably captivating. Often leaning towards the darker, moody elements of Appalachian folk, and bluegrass traditions, their songs are laden with near perfect sibling harmonies or unison singing, compelling writing, and imaginative arrangements. They tour as an acoustic duo: David on cello and guitar, and Adam on the 5-string fiddle. With individual storied music careers under their belts, the brothers have finally teamed up to bring their experiences together.

They Released their EP Tugboats in January 2017 and are planning to release their follow up full length album in early 2018.

“The Brother Brothers have been in this together for life, and their familial connection comes through in the music, harkening back to some of the greatest family harmonies ever made. They approach their poignant and often charming songs with an almost startling sense of ease, and the tight harmonies are enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. Their ability to pull the listener into their quietly energetic musical journey is a joy to behold. I can’t wait to be out on the road with Adam & David and hear their heart wrenching songs and spot on harmonies night after night!” -Sarah Jarosz

"They're the real deal. They know old-time two part harmony from the inside, and that fraternal resonance is there to be clearly heard." -Mark Simos (Allison Krauss, Del McCoury)

Frank Vignola's Hot Jazz Guitar Trio (featuring Vinny Raniolo and Gary Mazzaroppi)

Frank Vignola’s Hot Jazz Guitar Trio featuring Vinny Raniolo and Gary Mazzaroppi are some of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. Hear a wide repertoire of unique fresh arrangements as this astounding trio covers works from Beethoven, Bach to Paul Simon and Frank Zappa as only they can!

Frank Vignola, born December 30th, 1965, is one of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignole to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List: for the Wall Street Journal. Vignola’s jaw- dropping technique explains why the new York Times deemed him “one of the brightest stars of the guitar”.

With over 1000 engagements in the last five years alone, Frank Vignola has become one of the most popular and sought after guitarists on the international music scene. His dynamic genre-spanning music has brought him to 14 countries on three continents – and still growing – performing in some of the world’s most illustrious venues, including the Sydney Opera House in Australia, Carnegie Hall, The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, New York’s Lincoln Center and the world’s oldest indoor concert hall, Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy.

Often featured on National Public Radio, Frank Vignola has also become a familiar figure on Public Television, featured previously on three popular shows, including the heavily programmed Tommy Emmanuel and Friends. His own PBS special, “Four Generations of Guitar” produced by Peter Berkow, premieres in the 2015 season as part of the forthcoming 13 episode series “Music Gone Public”, where they will be joined by special guests, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Craven and Tommy Emmanuel.

Vignola has recorded over 30 CD’s, 7 DVD’s and has been a guest on hundreds of recordings. Vignola has written over 18 music books for Mel Bay Publications. He has also produced 15 full length video teaching courses for TrueFire for all levels. His on-line One on One private lessons and workshop courses continue to thrive with hundreds of enrolled students. He conducts clinics, masterclasses and workshops at Music Universities across the globe, most recently coaching guitar ensembles at The Juilliard School of Music in New York City.

Frank Vignola’s Hot Jazz Guitar Trio featuring Vinny Raniolo and Gary Mazzaroppi are some of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. Hear a wide repertoire of unique fresh arrangements as this astounding trio covers works from Beethoven, Bach to Paul Simon and Frank Zappa as only they can!

Frank Vignola, born December 30th, 1965, is one of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignole to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List: for the Wall Street Journal. Vignola’s jaw- dropping technique explains why the new York Times deemed him “one of the brightest stars of the guitar”.

With over 1000 engagements in the last five years alone, Frank Vignola has become one of the most popular and sought after guitarists on the international music scene. His dynamic genre-spanning music has brought him to 14 countries on three continents – and still growing – performing in some of the world’s most illustrious venues, including the Sydney Opera House in Australia, Carnegie Hall, The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, New York’s Lincoln Center and the world’s oldest indoor concert hall, Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy.

Often featured on National Public Radio, Frank Vignola has also become a familiar figure on Public Television, featured previously on three popular shows, including the heavily programmed Tommy Emmanuel and Friends. His own PBS special, “Four Generations of Guitar” produced by Peter Berkow, premieres in the 2015 season as part of the forthcoming 13 episode series “Music Gone Public”, where they will be joined by special guests, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Craven and Tommy Emmanuel.

Vignola has recorded over 30 CD’s, 7 DVD’s and has been a guest on hundreds of recordings. Vignola has written over 18 music books for Mel Bay Publications. He has also produced 15 full length video teaching courses for TrueFire for all levels. His on-line One on One private lessons and workshop courses continue to thrive with hundreds of enrolled students. He conducts clinics, masterclasses and workshops at Music Universities across the globe, most recently coaching guitar ensembles at The Juilliard School of Music in New York City.

Mo Lowda & The Humble

Known for their progressive song writing and energetic live performances, Mo Lowda & The Humble's beginnings were in the beer-soaked basements of Philadelphia. Following the release of their first full length album in 2013, the trio, consisting of Jordan Caiola, Shane Woods, and Nate Matulis began playing venues throughout the city. After experiencing the high of multiple sold out hometown shows, Mo Lowda took their act on the road and began consistently touring the country. Their 2016 sophomore release, 'Act Accordingly', was a short and sweet embodiment of the band's natural progression; refining their already formidable sound. Following that release, Jeff Lucci stepped in as the new bassist, bringing his unique songwriting and tasteful use of effects pedals into the mix. On the heels of playing over 100 shows nationwide in 2017, Mo Lowda is set for a full US tour In 2018, in support of their upcoming Full-Length entitled "Creatures".

Known for their progressive song writing and energetic live performances, Mo Lowda & The Humble's beginnings were in the beer-soaked basements of Philadelphia. Following the release of their first full length album in 2013, the trio, consisting of Jordan Caiola, Shane Woods, and Nate Matulis began playing venues throughout the city. After experiencing the high of multiple sold out hometown shows, Mo Lowda took their act on the road and began consistently touring the country. Their 2016 sophomore release, 'Act Accordingly', was a short and sweet embodiment of the band's natural progression; refining their already formidable sound. Following that release, Jeff Lucci stepped in as the new bassist, bringing his unique songwriting and tasteful use of effects pedals into the mix. On the heels of playing over 100 shows nationwide in 2017, Mo Lowda is set for a full US tour In 2018, in support of their upcoming Full-Length entitled "Creatures".

Erin Rae / Andrew Combs

Andrew Combs
Andrew Combs, a Dallas native now living near the same Nashville airport immortalized in the opening sequence of Robert Altman’s country music odyssey, is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and heir to that 1975 film’s idea of the Nashville troubadour as a kind of musical monk. Here in the twenty-first century whorl of digital narcissism, where identity can feel like a 24/7 social media soft-shoe performance, Combs makes music that does battle with the unsubtle. Like the pioneering color photographer William Eggleston, he sees the everyday and the commonplace as the surest paths to transcendence, and he understands intuitively that what is most obvious is often studded with the sacred.

On his EP, 5 Covers & A Song (New West Records), Combs showcases songs that have had an impact on him at different points in his life. Songs by The Strokes and Radiohead are a nostalgic look back at teenage self discovery, while Loudon Wainwright III’s “4 x 10” represents a more current perspective, reflecting on his life now as a husband and father.

“4 x 10 sparked the initial idea to record a collection of covers,” says Combs. “Jordan Lehning (producer) and I had a bonding moment over this tune and how perfect we thought it was. In fact, we even thought of doing the whole EP of just Loudon songs. In my opinion he is one of the few writers who can cover the territory of familial relationships in such a shrewd and comfortable manner.

“I wanted at least a couple of these tunes on the EP to be nostalgic for me,” Combs continues. “I was a huge fan of The Strokes’ two first records when I was in high school. My friends and I used to dress like them — I had a white belt and white chucks I’d rock every day! I actually have Radiohead to thank for getting me into music. I remember the exact moment when my friend passed me a burned CD of Amnesiac in history class one day. I was probably 14. It was my first Radiohead record, and I worked back in their catalog from there, loving everything I heard. They still mean a lot to me as a band. Everything they do pushes into new territory — music, lyrics, artwork, etc… “

The idea for the EP evolved as a setting to recognize some of his favorite songwriters. “We all know that Blake Mills is a tremendous guitar player, but it’s his knack for songwriting and arranging that keeps me coming back to his records. Lucinda is the queen of songwriting in my book. No one else can portray a picture like her. She’s up there with Tom Waits, Townes and Guy Clark when it comes to words. I wanted a love song on the EP — something that came from a feeling of adoration. It’s a simple bed of music that her words dance on, but the build of the tune helps portray the yearning for someone. I couldn’t be happier with this version. I’d like to think Lucinda would enjoy it as well.”

The final track on the album, “Expectations,” is the sole original song on the EP. “This is a tune Sarah Siskind and I came up with on a rainy afternoon here in Nashville. We got to talking about relationships. I remember repeating a quote from a friend, saying, “you only get what you expect,” meaning that if you have expectations about someone close to you, positive or negative, they most likely will come true in your mind.”

Erin Rae
Erin Rae, whose genre-fusing mix of traditional folk and indie-rock has landed her collaborations with artists like Margo Price and Andrew Combs—not to mention critical acclaim from some of the world’s top music media, including Rolling Stone, NPR, and the BBC—is finally stepping out into the spotlight with her new album Putting On Airs. The album is out June 8, 2018 on Single Lock Records.

Buoying the release is Rae’s reputation as an enthralling live performer, which has earned her the respect of Nashville peers and music notables alike, including Grammy Award winner John Paul White, who has signed her to his Florence, Alabama-based label, Single Lock Records. Rae joins a Single Lock roster that includes Nicole Atkins, St. Paul And The Broken Bones, and White himself, who said “When I first heard Erin’s compelling voice, I knew nothing about her. It was live, with no intro (she was opening for friends of mine), and I was instantly transfixed. I couldn’t wait to engage, and that’s something I very seldom feel, much less do. I was thrilled to find out her personality was as engaging as her voice and songs, and that she was looking for a home. I couldn’t be happier to be hitching our wagons together.”

Gifted with the unique ability to fuse musical genres and influences to craft songs that feels fresh and wholly her own, with Putting On Airs, Rae has thrown down a direct challenge to the stereotype of what a Southern singer should be. Both musically and lyrically, she strikes a fiercely independent chord, proudly releasing a deeply personal record that reflects her own experience and upbringing in Tennessee, including the prejudices and injustices that she witnessed as a child that continue to impact her life to this day, including her personal struggle to understand her own sexuality. According to Rae, "this album was born out of a need to do some healing work in my personal life, in order to address some fears and patterns of mine to allow my true feelings to come to the surface."

Recorded in the dead of winter at The Refuge, a historic former Franciscan monastery-turned-creative space on Wisconsin’s Fox River, the isolated environment created the perfect setting for Erin and her bandmates to track these genre-busting songs, using the chapel and other unique spaces within the cavernous building to explore new sonic boundaries, all while continuing to showcase Erin’s trademark vocals and the song-serving restraint first heard on her critically-acclaimed 2015 debut album, Soon Enough (engineered and produced by Anderson East and Mike Rinne).

The unique sound of the record is inspired by the innovative 1960s European production techniques from artists like the Beatles and Francoise Hardy, paired alongside the restraint and minimalism of modern artists like Wilco and Richard Hawley, bridging the sonic gap between classic songwriting and a modern indie-rock ethos. The album was co-produced by engineer Dan Knobler (Rodney Crowell, Tift Merritt) and multi-instrumentalist Jerry Bernhardt. Dominic Billett also served an integral role in the collective that worked together to create the album’s innovative and varied sonic pallet, providing the perfect soundscape for Erin’s soothing vocals, bathing everything in the warmth and purity that has become her trademark sound.

Andrew Combs
Andrew Combs, a Dallas native now living near the same Nashville airport immortalized in the opening sequence of Robert Altman’s country music odyssey, is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and heir to that 1975 film’s idea of the Nashville troubadour as a kind of musical monk. Here in the twenty-first century whorl of digital narcissism, where identity can feel like a 24/7 social media soft-shoe performance, Combs makes music that does battle with the unsubtle. Like the pioneering color photographer William Eggleston, he sees the everyday and the commonplace as the surest paths to transcendence, and he understands intuitively that what is most obvious is often studded with the sacred.

On his EP, 5 Covers & A Song (New West Records), Combs showcases songs that have had an impact on him at different points in his life. Songs by The Strokes and Radiohead are a nostalgic look back at teenage self discovery, while Loudon Wainwright III’s “4 x 10” represents a more current perspective, reflecting on his life now as a husband and father.

“4 x 10 sparked the initial idea to record a collection of covers,” says Combs. “Jordan Lehning (producer) and I had a bonding moment over this tune and how perfect we thought it was. In fact, we even thought of doing the whole EP of just Loudon songs. In my opinion he is one of the few writers who can cover the territory of familial relationships in such a shrewd and comfortable manner.

“I wanted at least a couple of these tunes on the EP to be nostalgic for me,” Combs continues. “I was a huge fan of The Strokes’ two first records when I was in high school. My friends and I used to dress like them — I had a white belt and white chucks I’d rock every day! I actually have Radiohead to thank for getting me into music. I remember the exact moment when my friend passed me a burned CD of Amnesiac in history class one day. I was probably 14. It was my first Radiohead record, and I worked back in their catalog from there, loving everything I heard. They still mean a lot to me as a band. Everything they do pushes into new territory — music, lyrics, artwork, etc… “

The idea for the EP evolved as a setting to recognize some of his favorite songwriters. “We all know that Blake Mills is a tremendous guitar player, but it’s his knack for songwriting and arranging that keeps me coming back to his records. Lucinda is the queen of songwriting in my book. No one else can portray a picture like her. She’s up there with Tom Waits, Townes and Guy Clark when it comes to words. I wanted a love song on the EP — something that came from a feeling of adoration. It’s a simple bed of music that her words dance on, but the build of the tune helps portray the yearning for someone. I couldn’t be happier with this version. I’d like to think Lucinda would enjoy it as well.”

The final track on the album, “Expectations,” is the sole original song on the EP. “This is a tune Sarah Siskind and I came up with on a rainy afternoon here in Nashville. We got to talking about relationships. I remember repeating a quote from a friend, saying, “you only get what you expect,” meaning that if you have expectations about someone close to you, positive or negative, they most likely will come true in your mind.”

Erin Rae
Erin Rae, whose genre-fusing mix of traditional folk and indie-rock has landed her collaborations with artists like Margo Price and Andrew Combs—not to mention critical acclaim from some of the world’s top music media, including Rolling Stone, NPR, and the BBC—is finally stepping out into the spotlight with her new album Putting On Airs. The album is out June 8, 2018 on Single Lock Records.

Buoying the release is Rae’s reputation as an enthralling live performer, which has earned her the respect of Nashville peers and music notables alike, including Grammy Award winner John Paul White, who has signed her to his Florence, Alabama-based label, Single Lock Records. Rae joins a Single Lock roster that includes Nicole Atkins, St. Paul And The Broken Bones, and White himself, who said “When I first heard Erin’s compelling voice, I knew nothing about her. It was live, with no intro (she was opening for friends of mine), and I was instantly transfixed. I couldn’t wait to engage, and that’s something I very seldom feel, much less do. I was thrilled to find out her personality was as engaging as her voice and songs, and that she was looking for a home. I couldn’t be happier to be hitching our wagons together.”

Gifted with the unique ability to fuse musical genres and influences to craft songs that feels fresh and wholly her own, with Putting On Airs, Rae has thrown down a direct challenge to the stereotype of what a Southern singer should be. Both musically and lyrically, she strikes a fiercely independent chord, proudly releasing a deeply personal record that reflects her own experience and upbringing in Tennessee, including the prejudices and injustices that she witnessed as a child that continue to impact her life to this day, including her personal struggle to understand her own sexuality. According to Rae, "this album was born out of a need to do some healing work in my personal life, in order to address some fears and patterns of mine to allow my true feelings to come to the surface."

Recorded in the dead of winter at The Refuge, a historic former Franciscan monastery-turned-creative space on Wisconsin’s Fox River, the isolated environment created the perfect setting for Erin and her bandmates to track these genre-busting songs, using the chapel and other unique spaces within the cavernous building to explore new sonic boundaries, all while continuing to showcase Erin’s trademark vocals and the song-serving restraint first heard on her critically-acclaimed 2015 debut album, Soon Enough (engineered and produced by Anderson East and Mike Rinne).

The unique sound of the record is inspired by the innovative 1960s European production techniques from artists like the Beatles and Francoise Hardy, paired alongside the restraint and minimalism of modern artists like Wilco and Richard Hawley, bridging the sonic gap between classic songwriting and a modern indie-rock ethos. The album was co-produced by engineer Dan Knobler (Rodney Crowell, Tift Merritt) and multi-instrumentalist Jerry Bernhardt. Dominic Billett also served an integral role in the collective that worked together to create the album’s innovative and varied sonic pallet, providing the perfect soundscape for Erin’s soothing vocals, bathing everything in the warmth and purity that has become her trademark sound.

(Early Show) An Evening With Andy McKee

Andy McKee is among the world’s finest acoustic guitarists. His youthful energy and attention to song structure and melodic content elevates him above the rest. He entertains both the eye and the ear as he magically transforms the steel string guitar into a full orchestra via his use of altered tunings, tapping, partial capos, percussive hits and a signature two-handed technique.

McKee’s crossover success has helped him to achieve millions upon millions of YouTube viewers, underscoring his emergence as one of today’s most unique and influential artists. He has been featured as a cover story in both Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the U.S. and Acoustic Magazine in the UK, and is also the figurehead of the unique Guitar Masters tours. McKee’s tour dates have taken him through Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, including tours with legendary acts including Prince and Dream Theater.

Live performances of Andy’s have become a point of fascination with his loyal followers. So, in late 2015, Andy decided it was time to release a live album. Featuring tracks from his entire catalog, Live Book was recorded live in December 2015 at The Melting Point in Athens, GA, the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, GA, and Workplay in Birmingham, AL. McKee went through the recordings from all three shows and selected the finest takes of each set. Reflecting on the song choices, he looks to provide current fans the chance to relive their favorite shows, and hopes that he can showcase the energy he creates for those who haven’t been able to attend a show and new fans alike.

“I’ve always wanted to do a live album; for quite a few years I’ve felt it’s something that has been missing from my collection of releases,” says McKee. “This album will feature some of my YouTube hits like ‘Drifting’ and ‘Rylynn’, some songs from my 2014 EP Mythmaker, and a cover of a Michael Hedges song called ‘Because It’s There’ played on harp guitar that I haven’t released yet.”

McKee is the first artist to be signed CGP Sounds, the record label founded by fellow guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.

“I’m honored to be a part of his label. I heard Tommy 15 years ago at a festival in Kansas and was blown away by his playing and performing, and I still am,” Mckee stated. “To be the first person on his label is surreal, and I’m excited and proud to be a part of it.”

Live Book released worldwide on April 22. The album, McKee’s first live record, was released through CGP Sounds. In support of the new album, McKee is now embarking on “The Next Chapter Tour” throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Andy McKee is among the world’s finest acoustic guitarists. His youthful energy and attention to song structure and melodic content elevates him above the rest. He entertains both the eye and the ear as he magically transforms the steel string guitar into a full orchestra via his use of altered tunings, tapping, partial capos, percussive hits and a signature two-handed technique.

McKee’s crossover success has helped him to achieve millions upon millions of YouTube viewers, underscoring his emergence as one of today’s most unique and influential artists. He has been featured as a cover story in both Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the U.S. and Acoustic Magazine in the UK, and is also the figurehead of the unique Guitar Masters tours. McKee’s tour dates have taken him through Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, including tours with legendary acts including Prince and Dream Theater.

Live performances of Andy’s have become a point of fascination with his loyal followers. So, in late 2015, Andy decided it was time to release a live album. Featuring tracks from his entire catalog, Live Book was recorded live in December 2015 at The Melting Point in Athens, GA, the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, GA, and Workplay in Birmingham, AL. McKee went through the recordings from all three shows and selected the finest takes of each set. Reflecting on the song choices, he looks to provide current fans the chance to relive their favorite shows, and hopes that he can showcase the energy he creates for those who haven’t been able to attend a show and new fans alike.

“I’ve always wanted to do a live album; for quite a few years I’ve felt it’s something that has been missing from my collection of releases,” says McKee. “This album will feature some of my YouTube hits like ‘Drifting’ and ‘Rylynn’, some songs from my 2014 EP Mythmaker, and a cover of a Michael Hedges song called ‘Because It’s There’ played on harp guitar that I haven’t released yet.”

McKee is the first artist to be signed CGP Sounds, the record label founded by fellow guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.

“I’m honored to be a part of his label. I heard Tommy 15 years ago at a festival in Kansas and was blown away by his playing and performing, and I still am,” Mckee stated. “To be the first person on his label is surreal, and I’m excited and proud to be a part of it.”

Live Book released worldwide on April 22. The album, McKee’s first live record, was released through CGP Sounds. In support of the new album, McKee is now embarking on “The Next Chapter Tour” throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States.

(Late Show) Hunty Lytes

Singer/Songwriter Hunty Lytes has been composing songs for a decade. His words and musical strategy echo out to the people and inspire many. In 2017, Hunter released his debut EP titled "Tempus" which focused on the four seasons and their overlying presence in our lives.



Hunty's biggest influences in music are the Grateful Dead, Paul Simon, Elton John, Jackson Browne, and Tom Petty just to name a few. He uses those influences in his own works and also tries to build off of them to invent some sort of new sound.



Hunty Lytes has released five total projects, all of which are very unique in their own right. He writes about his own personal live and the lives of the people he views in his community and around the world.

Singer/Songwriter Hunty Lytes has been composing songs for a decade. His words and musical strategy echo out to the people and inspire many. In 2017, Hunter released his debut EP titled "Tempus" which focused on the four seasons and their overlying presence in our lives.



Hunty's biggest influences in music are the Grateful Dead, Paul Simon, Elton John, Jackson Browne, and Tom Petty just to name a few. He uses those influences in his own works and also tries to build off of them to invent some sort of new sound.



Hunty Lytes has released five total projects, all of which are very unique in their own right. He writes about his own personal live and the lives of the people he views in his community and around the world.

(Early Show) Chuck Prophet (Solo)

Chuck Prophet describes his new album ‘Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins’ as a “California Noir,” an album inspired partly by the mysterious death of rocker Bobby Fuller in LA in 1966. “California has always represented the Golden Dream, and it’s the tension between romance and reality that lurks underneath the surface in all noir films and paperbacks, and that connects these songs.

Gritty and jangly, Chuck’s album features 13 original works that explore doomed love, loneliness and fast-paced violence via Chuck’s muscular songwriting craft. They include songs about Fuller, the death of David Bowie, and the killing of a San Francisco security guard named Alex Nieto that drew international headlines as “Death By Gentrification.”

‘Bobby Fuller’ finds Chuck coming full circle. He cut the album to tape at Hyde Street Studio in San Francisco, which also happens to be the same studio where Prophet did his very first recording session, while still in high school. Chuck brought out his ’64 Stratocaster for the sessions, conjuring a sound that Jonathan Richman once described as “gasoline in the sand, like a motorcycle at a hot dog stand.” He’s backed by The Mission Express, a band featuring his wife Stephanie Finch (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Kevin White (bass), Vicente Rodriguez (drums, vocals) and James DePrato (guitar).

Lead single “Bad Year For Rock and Roll” is a timely homage to rock greats lost in 2016: “The Thin White Duke took a final bow / there’s one more star in the heavens now/I’m all dressed up in a mohair suit / watching Peter Sellers thinking of you.” “Jesus Was A Social Drinker” starts as a punchy mid-tempo rocker with clanking cowbell before unfurling into an explosive, psychedelic coda. “Alex Nieto” is what Chuck refers to as his first protest song. It’s “an homage to a good man who should still be alive,” says Chuck.

Chuck Prophet describes his new album ‘Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins’ as a “California Noir,” an album inspired partly by the mysterious death of rocker Bobby Fuller in LA in 1966. “California has always represented the Golden Dream, and it’s the tension between romance and reality that lurks underneath the surface in all noir films and paperbacks, and that connects these songs.

Gritty and jangly, Chuck’s album features 13 original works that explore doomed love, loneliness and fast-paced violence via Chuck’s muscular songwriting craft. They include songs about Fuller, the death of David Bowie, and the killing of a San Francisco security guard named Alex Nieto that drew international headlines as “Death By Gentrification.”

‘Bobby Fuller’ finds Chuck coming full circle. He cut the album to tape at Hyde Street Studio in San Francisco, which also happens to be the same studio where Prophet did his very first recording session, while still in high school. Chuck brought out his ’64 Stratocaster for the sessions, conjuring a sound that Jonathan Richman once described as “gasoline in the sand, like a motorcycle at a hot dog stand.” He’s backed by The Mission Express, a band featuring his wife Stephanie Finch (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Kevin White (bass), Vicente Rodriguez (drums, vocals) and James DePrato (guitar).

Lead single “Bad Year For Rock and Roll” is a timely homage to rock greats lost in 2016: “The Thin White Duke took a final bow / there’s one more star in the heavens now/I’m all dressed up in a mohair suit / watching Peter Sellers thinking of you.” “Jesus Was A Social Drinker” starts as a punchy mid-tempo rocker with clanking cowbell before unfurling into an explosive, psychedelic coda. “Alex Nieto” is what Chuck refers to as his first protest song. It’s “an homage to a good man who should still be alive,” says Chuck.

(Late Show) Frances Luke Accord with Special Guest November Blue

Frances Luke Accord are an independent Chicago-based duo hailing originally from South Bend, Indiana. Both dedicated multi-instrumentalists and meticulous songwriters, Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers distinguish their music with genre fluidity, buttery harmonies and acoustic ensembles. Although prevailingly a modern folk band, FLA sip copious inspiration from Americana, jazz, soul, and rock.

Since forming during their senior year at the University of Notre Dame, Frances Luke Accord's approach to music has marked a boundless evolution. In December of 2012 the duo released their first record, Kandote, a not-for-profit, intercultural collaboration with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir of Kkindu, Uganda — an endeavor that continues to support the primary education and musical aspirations of the choir. Bringing their world/folk sound to Chicago in the summer of 2013, the duo quickly garnered local and regional attention for their captivating live performances and stunning self-produced releases, including the Queen for Me EP (April 2014), Live @ Strobe (April 2015), and, most notably, their debut full-length album, Fluke (May 2016).

Fluke, FLA's pseudo-self-titled introduction to a national audience, is a self-produced vocal tour-de-force that leaps quickly and definitively into the canopy of contemporary art. It is dreamlike and philosophical, haunting and whimsical. Its melodies evoke a noir film, a Spanish folktale, an enigmatic egoeye. However you pin it, something in the music is turning heads. Whether evidenced by their invitation to perform on NPR's Mountain Stage Radio Show with Larry Groce, tours with Darlingside and Anaïs Mitchell, official showcase at Folk Alliance International's 2017 Conference, or the $16K Kickstarter that funded Fluke, Frances Luke Accord's compositions take the listener by the ear, pull the rug from beneath her feet, and leave her deliciously airborne. Listen.

Frances Luke Accord are an independent Chicago-based duo hailing originally from South Bend, Indiana. Both dedicated multi-instrumentalists and meticulous songwriters, Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers distinguish their music with genre fluidity, buttery harmonies and acoustic ensembles. Although prevailingly a modern folk band, FLA sip copious inspiration from Americana, jazz, soul, and rock.

Since forming during their senior year at the University of Notre Dame, Frances Luke Accord's approach to music has marked a boundless evolution. In December of 2012 the duo released their first record, Kandote, a not-for-profit, intercultural collaboration with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir of Kkindu, Uganda — an endeavor that continues to support the primary education and musical aspirations of the choir. Bringing their world/folk sound to Chicago in the summer of 2013, the duo quickly garnered local and regional attention for their captivating live performances and stunning self-produced releases, including the Queen for Me EP (April 2014), Live @ Strobe (April 2015), and, most notably, their debut full-length album, Fluke (May 2016).

Fluke, FLA's pseudo-self-titled introduction to a national audience, is a self-produced vocal tour-de-force that leaps quickly and definitively into the canopy of contemporary art. It is dreamlike and philosophical, haunting and whimsical. Its melodies evoke a noir film, a Spanish folktale, an enigmatic egoeye. However you pin it, something in the music is turning heads. Whether evidenced by their invitation to perform on NPR's Mountain Stage Radio Show with Larry Groce, tours with Darlingside and Anaïs Mitchell, official showcase at Folk Alliance International's 2017 Conference, or the $16K Kickstarter that funded Fluke, Frances Luke Accord's compositions take the listener by the ear, pull the rug from beneath her feet, and leave her deliciously airborne. Listen.

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

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

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

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

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.”

Tyler Hilton

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)

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

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)

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.

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.

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.

(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


(Early Show) Lowland Hum

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.

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

Hayes Carll - 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.

Lady Lamb

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.

@clubcafelive

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