club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
(Early Show) The Road to Memphis Fundraiser with The Matt Barranti Band with Sutton & Barath


The Road to Memphis Fundraiser with The Matt Barranti Band with Sutton & Barath


The Road to Memphis Fundraiser with The Matt Barranti Band with Sutton & Barath

(Late Show) The Monday Blues Revue

The Monday Blues Revue is a Pittsburgh-based band that has been performing their high-energy, eclectic mix of classic and modern blues music in all its forms: Chicago Blues, Texas Blues, Jump Blues, Blues Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and Southern Rock, since 1997.

Their influences include Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bill Withers, The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy
Waters, and anybody that has created music based on America’s own unique musical form - the blues.


The band was formed by Chris Monday (drums, vocals) and his cousin, Tony Watson (guitar, vocals) with the hope of evangelizing the blues in Western Pennsylvania. Tom Altes (bass guitar, vocals) adds his unique musical background and tastes. Dave Baker (harmonica, keyboard, vocals) provides authentic, soulful harmonica and rich piano and Hammond B3 sounds. Chrissy Reynolds (congas, timbales, bongos, vocals) enhances the rhythmic texture with Latin influence. Jim Stamps (guitar, bass guitar, vocals) brings rich experience and versatility to the band.

The Monday Blues Revue is a Pittsburgh-based band that has been performing their high-energy, eclectic mix of classic and modern blues music in all its forms: Chicago Blues, Texas Blues, Jump Blues, Blues Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and Southern Rock, since 1997.

Their influences include Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bill Withers, The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy
Waters, and anybody that has created music based on America’s own unique musical form - the blues.


The band was formed by Chris Monday (drums, vocals) and his cousin, Tony Watson (guitar, vocals) with the hope of evangelizing the blues in Western Pennsylvania. Tom Altes (bass guitar, vocals) adds his unique musical background and tastes. Dave Baker (harmonica, keyboard, vocals) provides authentic, soulful harmonica and rich piano and Hammond B3 sounds. Chrissy Reynolds (congas, timbales, bongos, vocals) enhances the rhythmic texture with Latin influence. Jim Stamps (guitar, bass guitar, vocals) brings rich experience and versatility to the band.

ACA Cycling Banquet

Join the Allegheny Cycling Association for their 2017 Banquet.
Music by DJ Flash, craft beers, cocktails, and food included with ticket purchase. Tix are $10 for ACA Members / $20 for non-members.

Join the Allegheny Cycling Association for their 2017 Banquet.
Music by DJ Flash, craft beers, cocktails, and food included with ticket purchase. Tix are $10 for ACA Members / $20 for non-members.

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers with Special Guest Habatat and Charm & Chain

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers have been waiting for you. If you’ll only let them, they will shake the dust from your wildest expectations. They will roar into your life with rapturous frequencies, exuberant tone, and a joyfulness of purpose that has truly become a rare sight on stage. Join them in their celebration, and they will take you on a never-ending journey to a place you’ll never be able to describe in words. With spectacular energy pulsating from every member of the band, the Rainbow Seekers could illuminate the very chambers of Heaven.

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers have been waiting for you. If you’ll only let them, they will shake the dust from your wildest expectations. They will roar into your life with rapturous frequencies, exuberant tone, and a joyfulness of purpose that has truly become a rare sight on stage. Join them in their celebration, and they will take you on a never-ending journey to a place you’ll never be able to describe in words. With spectacular energy pulsating from every member of the band, the Rainbow Seekers could illuminate the very chambers of Heaven.

(Early Show) Dave Pahanish with Special Guest Willow Hill

Dave Pahanish is a folk rock singer/songwriter/producer from Pittsburgh Pa. His songs have been recorded by numerous artists in the country music genre. Notably, "Without You" was a number one record for Kieth Urban, "Do You Believe Me Now" by Jimmy Wayne went to number one as well as "I Will" which charted at number 12. Toby Kieth took " American Ride" to the number one spot on the charts. "The One That Got Away", was recorded by a number of different performers including Tim McGraw. "Right Back Atcha", was also recorded by McGraw. Colin Raye recorded "Divine Everlasting Love". As a producer, Pahanish coproducer the Jimmy Wayne record "Do You Believe Me Now" which yielded 2 singles and 5 of Daves original tunes. Most recently, Dave just finished producing the George Shingleton record Empty Shot Glass due out this summer. He is currently working with 30 Tigers and is releasing another solo album this summer and plans to tour in support of it.

Dave Pahanish is a folk rock singer/songwriter/producer from Pittsburgh Pa. His songs have been recorded by numerous artists in the country music genre. Notably, "Without You" was a number one record for Kieth Urban, "Do You Believe Me Now" by Jimmy Wayne went to number one as well as "I Will" which charted at number 12. Toby Kieth took " American Ride" to the number one spot on the charts. "The One That Got Away", was recorded by a number of different performers including Tim McGraw. "Right Back Atcha", was also recorded by McGraw. Colin Raye recorded "Divine Everlasting Love". As a producer, Pahanish coproducer the Jimmy Wayne record "Do You Believe Me Now" which yielded 2 singles and 5 of Daves original tunes. Most recently, Dave just finished producing the George Shingleton record Empty Shot Glass due out this summer. He is currently working with 30 Tigers and is releasing another solo album this summer and plans to tour in support of it.

(Late Show) Dinosoul / Zeve / Molehill

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live local and regional indie/folk/psych rock with Dinosoul, Zeve and Molehill.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live local and regional indie/folk/psych rock with Dinosoul, Zeve and Molehill.

(Early Show) Wine and Spirit with Special Guests Hero Jr., and Vit DeBacco

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents LEXFEST III featuring Norlex Belma , Wanjiko Eke, Rashad Bashir, Bob Kitson, Terry Jones, and Felicia Gillespie

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live comedy featuring Norlex Belma's LEXFEST. With Special Guests Wanjiko Eke, Bob Kitson, Rashad Bashir, Terry Jones and Felicia Gillespie.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live comedy featuring Norlex Belma's LEXFEST. With Special Guests Wanjiko Eke, Bob Kitson, Rashad Bashir, Terry Jones and Felicia Gillespie.

Anjroy Album Release Party featuring Leaders of the Shift (NY) and Glo Phase plus Special Guests

Fresh on the scene, we are Anjroy, an original Pittsburgh-based band that is ready to burst. Our music can be difficult to put a label on. Some define it as Electronic, some as Pop, and some weirdo called us a Baroque Boy Band, which makes absolutely no sense at all, especially since not all of us are boys.

Anjroy is:
Jocelyn Rent - vocals
Justin Bechak - keyboards
Steve Palko - synth bass
Andrew Kirk - drums, cowbell

Members of Anjroy, we are all veterans of the music scene in Pittsburgh and further afield. You may remember Jocelyn Rent as the lead vocalist of Omega Love. People who were young-ins before Omega Love (older people) might remember Justin Bechak from 3 Apples High. Steve Palko has long been an indispensable go-to bassist on the Pittsburgh scene, whenever he isn’t touring the country with the circus. And, the power house of the band is Andrew Kirk, who, since returning to Pittsburgh from Nashville, has quickly become an in-demand drummer with his emotionally expressive style. 

Although Anjroy is in its early stages, the connections between the four of us go far back. Over the years, we have developed a tight musical camaraderie through playing in other formats, including wedding bands, jazz groups, boy bands, sing alongs and prison bands. However the music of Anjroy is where we put our heart, and we’re very excited to share it with you. Hope to see you at the next show!

Fresh on the scene, we are Anjroy, an original Pittsburgh-based band that is ready to burst. Our music can be difficult to put a label on. Some define it as Electronic, some as Pop, and some weirdo called us a Baroque Boy Band, which makes absolutely no sense at all, especially since not all of us are boys.

Anjroy is:
Jocelyn Rent - vocals
Justin Bechak - keyboards
Steve Palko - synth bass
Andrew Kirk - drums, cowbell

Members of Anjroy, we are all veterans of the music scene in Pittsburgh and further afield. You may remember Jocelyn Rent as the lead vocalist of Omega Love. People who were young-ins before Omega Love (older people) might remember Justin Bechak from 3 Apples High. Steve Palko has long been an indispensable go-to bassist on the Pittsburgh scene, whenever he isn’t touring the country with the circus. And, the power house of the band is Andrew Kirk, who, since returning to Pittsburgh from Nashville, has quickly become an in-demand drummer with his emotionally expressive style. 

Although Anjroy is in its early stages, the connections between the four of us go far back. Over the years, we have developed a tight musical camaraderie through playing in other formats, including wedding bands, jazz groups, boy bands, sing alongs and prison bands. However the music of Anjroy is where we put our heart, and we’re very excited to share it with you. Hope to see you at the next show!

Pigpen Theatre Co.

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

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

Chad VanGaalen with Special Guest Un Blonde

"Everyone was like, 'What the F? You're going to change your name to Banana Bread?!'"
Many of us are already making arrangements to relocate to Chad VanGaalen's universe. The world as we know it seems to be disintegrating by the minute, so any hint of a means of escape has serious currency. Over the last ten to fifteen years, CVG has been producing living maps in songs, drawings, modified instruments, animations and performances--shifting forms pointing to another world, infinitely more liveable, maybe hidden just under the surface of our own. But until now, the access point has been fairly unknown.
When I first visited Chad's home in Calgary, Alberta, years ago, he was working on plans to build a giant grinning monster head on his roof, which could be seen from the windows of a children's hospital on the hill overlooking. I also recall two young men at a show near the Banff Center for the Arts, calling him out on stage for an art piece he had made there years before: a literal piece of shit in a hot dog bun. This led to Chad and band improvising a new composition on the spot, with the chorus, "Shit In A Hot Dog Bun, Yeah."
Now, a father of two, the spooky-voiced multi-instrumentalist has several hundred releases to his name(s)*, has produced adventurous records and videos for some of the best bands of our time, is working on a feature-length animated science fiction film with companion book, and plays in two bands with his kids (the improvised hardcore punk duo, Crocodile Teeth & The Snugglers, and the live techno band, Banana Bread). At one point, Chad and his daughters conspired to replace the name, "Chad VanGaalen" with "Banana Bread," as his main performing identity.
CVG's blood flows by unrestrained creative impulses. He has never worked in a commercial recording studio. By his hands alone, one line, sound, shape or word leads organically to the next. In 2011, he wanted to score a science fiction film, so he started making one. The first episode of his animated feature, Translated Log of Inhabitants, should be released this year, with a fully illustrated D&D-esque compendium of 150 associated characters.
"It's like Bob and Doug McKenzie in space."
Shrink Dust, his fifth full-length album under his own name, is partially a score to this film, but it's also-in Chad's view-a country record.
Always a fan of esoteric instruments, Chad recently acquired an aluminum pedal steel guitar, and began trying to figure out how to play it: "It took me a month to set it up, and a year to be comfortable recording myself playing this thing." His experiments with this instrument unify the album, along with themes of death, transformation, fear, benign evil, and the eccentricity of love. A newfound affection for The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the sci-fi mysticism of the 1980s graphic novel The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius, were also significant in recent years.
Somehow, with all of its disparate influences and components, Shrink Dust might be one of the most accessible moments in CVG's creative life, simply because it is more apparent than ever how much fun he is having blurring the lines between the vivid worlds of his creation, and the world his audience inhabits. For those who are open to it, Chad's adventures in music and art illuminate a path that is more colorful, playful, and sustainable than those commonly available to us. A path that is, most importantly, always changeable.
You can see and hear his alternate reality through the artifacts he offers up. But as it turns out, the only true access point into Chad VanGaalen's expanding universe is one's own will to create.
Find Chad: He's a monster.
*Gem Clouds, Garbage Island, Black Mold, Dub Tassels, Raw Operator, Inventions of Science
- Bryan Webb

"Everyone was like, 'What the F? You're going to change your name to Banana Bread?!'"
Many of us are already making arrangements to relocate to Chad VanGaalen's universe. The world as we know it seems to be disintegrating by the minute, so any hint of a means of escape has serious currency. Over the last ten to fifteen years, CVG has been producing living maps in songs, drawings, modified instruments, animations and performances--shifting forms pointing to another world, infinitely more liveable, maybe hidden just under the surface of our own. But until now, the access point has been fairly unknown.
When I first visited Chad's home in Calgary, Alberta, years ago, he was working on plans to build a giant grinning monster head on his roof, which could be seen from the windows of a children's hospital on the hill overlooking. I also recall two young men at a show near the Banff Center for the Arts, calling him out on stage for an art piece he had made there years before: a literal piece of shit in a hot dog bun. This led to Chad and band improvising a new composition on the spot, with the chorus, "Shit In A Hot Dog Bun, Yeah."
Now, a father of two, the spooky-voiced multi-instrumentalist has several hundred releases to his name(s)*, has produced adventurous records and videos for some of the best bands of our time, is working on a feature-length animated science fiction film with companion book, and plays in two bands with his kids (the improvised hardcore punk duo, Crocodile Teeth & The Snugglers, and the live techno band, Banana Bread). At one point, Chad and his daughters conspired to replace the name, "Chad VanGaalen" with "Banana Bread," as his main performing identity.
CVG's blood flows by unrestrained creative impulses. He has never worked in a commercial recording studio. By his hands alone, one line, sound, shape or word leads organically to the next. In 2011, he wanted to score a science fiction film, so he started making one. The first episode of his animated feature, Translated Log of Inhabitants, should be released this year, with a fully illustrated D&D-esque compendium of 150 associated characters.
"It's like Bob and Doug McKenzie in space."
Shrink Dust, his fifth full-length album under his own name, is partially a score to this film, but it's also-in Chad's view-a country record.
Always a fan of esoteric instruments, Chad recently acquired an aluminum pedal steel guitar, and began trying to figure out how to play it: "It took me a month to set it up, and a year to be comfortable recording myself playing this thing." His experiments with this instrument unify the album, along with themes of death, transformation, fear, benign evil, and the eccentricity of love. A newfound affection for The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the sci-fi mysticism of the 1980s graphic novel The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius, were also significant in recent years.
Somehow, with all of its disparate influences and components, Shrink Dust might be one of the most accessible moments in CVG's creative life, simply because it is more apparent than ever how much fun he is having blurring the lines between the vivid worlds of his creation, and the world his audience inhabits. For those who are open to it, Chad's adventures in music and art illuminate a path that is more colorful, playful, and sustainable than those commonly available to us. A path that is, most importantly, always changeable.
You can see and hear his alternate reality through the artifacts he offers up. But as it turns out, the only true access point into Chad VanGaalen's expanding universe is one's own will to create.
Find Chad: He's a monster.
*Gem Clouds, Garbage Island, Black Mold, Dub Tassels, Raw Operator, Inventions of Science
- Bryan Webb

QTY with Special Guest Honey

Nothing just happens overnight. QTY might seem like they arrived perfectly formed last October with the release of 'Rodeo' - a bright, joyous indie rock lightning bolt that feels as much of a force of friendship as that detailed in its narrative - but Dan Lardner and Alex Niemetz had been working towards that moment for most of their lives.

"I was always a songwriter," Dan smiles, explaining how he first picked up a guitar at 11 years old and started writing songs "about whatever" with a friend. Later, QTY bassist Peter Baumann would teach him how to play properly and, from there, they started a band.

Alex, meanwhile, was given her uncle's guitar when she was 12, practiced as much as she could and then formed her own band with her best friends. "We took different approaches to music," Dan explains. "I was thinking, 'Guitar's alright, as long as I learn some chords I can do whatever.' Alex took the approach of, 'I should be the best.' And then we met and it was perfect."

A few year later, as two 17-year-olds in New York City, the pair began conversing online and eventually met up in person. They instantly cemented a firm bond that would see them through a myriad of ups, downs and false starts with the band they formed together. It also eventually inspired their aforementioned debut single as QTY, which gained them immediate support and acclaim from the likes of NME, DIY, Paste, Radio 1's Huw Stephens and Australia's Triple J. Just as the lyrics depict finding your person, Alex and Dan found each other. "When I first met Dan, he embodied everything that I wanted in a partner in crime and his lyrics exhibited what I was trying to express musically," Alex explains. "They were like nothing I had ever seen before."

"Having a partner in Alex meant for the first time being able to put my lyrics to the music I had dreamed of one day being able to make, but always was out of reach from my ability," Dan agrees. "Al is my other half and has always been able to come up with and execute the exact right parts in every song. To me, she is what makes the band special. I wouldn't want to keep pursuing music without her by my side."

The early days of QTY couldn't have been more serendipitous. A short trip to San Francisco resulted in demos of three songs, which were recorded over two days. On their return to New York, Dan's then-roommate sent the tracks, including the original version of 'Dress/Undress', to Dirty Hit. A little while later, Dan got a call from an unrecognised British number. "I was like, 'There's too many numbers [in the phone number]' and I threw my phone somewhere," he recalls. Eventually, he answered and the path towards a deal was laid.

QTY's self-titled debut album is both testament to and justification of their perseverance and patience over the years. Recorded over six weeks in London, the band describe the act of making the record as something of a long-held desire. "Every day, just waking up and recording was so cool," says Dan. "Recording an album has always been a lifelong dream."

As is befitting of a band who'd worked tirelessly just to get the opportunity to turn that dream into reality, the duo weren't about to start slacking off in the studio, taking only a couple of days off in the entire time they were overseas. "We had to be in the studio early in the morning, which - as devout night owls - Dan and I were unsure of how we would feel," Alex explains. "But waking up and walking to the studio everyday was one of the best feelings we've ever felt - having that sense of purpose and running off that natural rush was exhilarating."

The album was recorded with former Suede guitarist and erudite producer Bernard Butler. "He was really good and helpful," Alex says. "He would help zero in on stuff. We had never done that or worked with someone like that before." With him at the helm, the duo's songs were brought to life as the gleaming triumphs that inhabit the album. Alex's guitar work mirrors the lyrics on each track perfectly. On 'Cold Nights'' chorus, she slides through notes that are fittingly frosty and glacial. 'Notify Me' features a tumbling melody that's as majestic as it is blistering, while she takes the lead on 'New Beginnings' - the album's penultimate and pensive track - bringing her soft, velvet vocals out of the background to make something soothing and stunning.

As debut albums go, 'QTY' is one of the strongest first steps a new band has released in ages. Each of its 10 tracks feel like a vital shot, from the second the record jumpstarts with 'Rodeo', through gently buzzing soother 'Notify Me' to 'Salvation', which steadily builds to a softly searing end that feels like some kind of heavenly interjection. It continuously references life and living in varying shades of dark and light, and Dan's evocative, storytelling lyrics deal out microscopic close-ups of the minutiae of his and Alex's day-to-day.

'Word For This' details nights that go on forever ("Some things you can count on/I've got a number and the night will end/Sometime, later on, when the couch is a godsend"), while 'Salvation' addresses the anxieties of dealing with the world he inhabits ("Came back from a night in to find myself in the world that I hide from"). The melancholy, '60s girl-group pop of 'Sad Poetic', meanwhile, is a self-deprecating, world-weary lament ("And I heard that time heals all wounds/I never knew that even time could bruise"). Each is shining proof that, what others might consider peripheral mundanities, QTY find the importance, beauty, meaning and - most of all - humanity in.

Fascinated with wordplay and double entendres, Dan's apartment is filled with notebooks that he writes in every day, jotting down lines about whatever's around him or is happening in his life. Those fragments only make it any further if Alex can understand what he's trying to say. "Alex is the smart one," Dan laughs. "So if it makes sense to her then it's okay. Then it can go in a song."

As QTY prepare to bring those specific-but-relatable snapshots to venues and audiences worldwide (live the band's line-up is completed by drummer Alan Yuch), the imminent release of their debut album marks a big achievement for Dan and Alex. "Having an album out has been our dream since day one," Dan says. "I look at it as a document of our lives and time together up until the point of recording it. It will exist out there and you'll be able to hold it in your hands and and pull it out from your collection on your shelf between your copies of 'Ziggy Stardust' and 'American Water' and play it. With this album, I am now more sure then I have ever been that I do, in fact, exist."

Nothing just happens overnight. QTY might seem like they arrived perfectly formed last October with the release of 'Rodeo' - a bright, joyous indie rock lightning bolt that feels as much of a force of friendship as that detailed in its narrative - but Dan Lardner and Alex Niemetz had been working towards that moment for most of their lives.

"I was always a songwriter," Dan smiles, explaining how he first picked up a guitar at 11 years old and started writing songs "about whatever" with a friend. Later, QTY bassist Peter Baumann would teach him how to play properly and, from there, they started a band.

Alex, meanwhile, was given her uncle's guitar when she was 12, practiced as much as she could and then formed her own band with her best friends. "We took different approaches to music," Dan explains. "I was thinking, 'Guitar's alright, as long as I learn some chords I can do whatever.' Alex took the approach of, 'I should be the best.' And then we met and it was perfect."

A few year later, as two 17-year-olds in New York City, the pair began conversing online and eventually met up in person. They instantly cemented a firm bond that would see them through a myriad of ups, downs and false starts with the band they formed together. It also eventually inspired their aforementioned debut single as QTY, which gained them immediate support and acclaim from the likes of NME, DIY, Paste, Radio 1's Huw Stephens and Australia's Triple J. Just as the lyrics depict finding your person, Alex and Dan found each other. "When I first met Dan, he embodied everything that I wanted in a partner in crime and his lyrics exhibited what I was trying to express musically," Alex explains. "They were like nothing I had ever seen before."

"Having a partner in Alex meant for the first time being able to put my lyrics to the music I had dreamed of one day being able to make, but always was out of reach from my ability," Dan agrees. "Al is my other half and has always been able to come up with and execute the exact right parts in every song. To me, she is what makes the band special. I wouldn't want to keep pursuing music without her by my side."

The early days of QTY couldn't have been more serendipitous. A short trip to San Francisco resulted in demos of three songs, which were recorded over two days. On their return to New York, Dan's then-roommate sent the tracks, including the original version of 'Dress/Undress', to Dirty Hit. A little while later, Dan got a call from an unrecognised British number. "I was like, 'There's too many numbers [in the phone number]' and I threw my phone somewhere," he recalls. Eventually, he answered and the path towards a deal was laid.

QTY's self-titled debut album is both testament to and justification of their perseverance and patience over the years. Recorded over six weeks in London, the band describe the act of making the record as something of a long-held desire. "Every day, just waking up and recording was so cool," says Dan. "Recording an album has always been a lifelong dream."

As is befitting of a band who'd worked tirelessly just to get the opportunity to turn that dream into reality, the duo weren't about to start slacking off in the studio, taking only a couple of days off in the entire time they were overseas. "We had to be in the studio early in the morning, which - as devout night owls - Dan and I were unsure of how we would feel," Alex explains. "But waking up and walking to the studio everyday was one of the best feelings we've ever felt - having that sense of purpose and running off that natural rush was exhilarating."

The album was recorded with former Suede guitarist and erudite producer Bernard Butler. "He was really good and helpful," Alex says. "He would help zero in on stuff. We had never done that or worked with someone like that before." With him at the helm, the duo's songs were brought to life as the gleaming triumphs that inhabit the album. Alex's guitar work mirrors the lyrics on each track perfectly. On 'Cold Nights'' chorus, she slides through notes that are fittingly frosty and glacial. 'Notify Me' features a tumbling melody that's as majestic as it is blistering, while she takes the lead on 'New Beginnings' - the album's penultimate and pensive track - bringing her soft, velvet vocals out of the background to make something soothing and stunning.

As debut albums go, 'QTY' is one of the strongest first steps a new band has released in ages. Each of its 10 tracks feel like a vital shot, from the second the record jumpstarts with 'Rodeo', through gently buzzing soother 'Notify Me' to 'Salvation', which steadily builds to a softly searing end that feels like some kind of heavenly interjection. It continuously references life and living in varying shades of dark and light, and Dan's evocative, storytelling lyrics deal out microscopic close-ups of the minutiae of his and Alex's day-to-day.

'Word For This' details nights that go on forever ("Some things you can count on/I've got a number and the night will end/Sometime, later on, when the couch is a godsend"), while 'Salvation' addresses the anxieties of dealing with the world he inhabits ("Came back from a night in to find myself in the world that I hide from"). The melancholy, '60s girl-group pop of 'Sad Poetic', meanwhile, is a self-deprecating, world-weary lament ("And I heard that time heals all wounds/I never knew that even time could bruise"). Each is shining proof that, what others might consider peripheral mundanities, QTY find the importance, beauty, meaning and - most of all - humanity in.

Fascinated with wordplay and double entendres, Dan's apartment is filled with notebooks that he writes in every day, jotting down lines about whatever's around him or is happening in his life. Those fragments only make it any further if Alex can understand what he's trying to say. "Alex is the smart one," Dan laughs. "So if it makes sense to her then it's okay. Then it can go in a song."

As QTY prepare to bring those specific-but-relatable snapshots to venues and audiences worldwide (live the band's line-up is completed by drummer Alan Yuch), the imminent release of their debut album marks a big achievement for Dan and Alex. "Having an album out has been our dream since day one," Dan says. "I look at it as a document of our lives and time together up until the point of recording it. It will exist out there and you'll be able to hold it in your hands and and pull it out from your collection on your shelf between your copies of 'Ziggy Stardust' and 'American Water' and play it. With this album, I am now more sure then I have ever been that I do, in fact, exist."

Dayshift / Sunhound / A-Money and the Downtown City

Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Dayshift embodies the history of hard work and dedication associated with the steel city. Deeply rooted in the family of the service industry, the band strives to stretch the boundaries of genre to provide an energetic yet relaxing atmosphere for those who just got off and those who are still on the clock. CHYPE Rock (that's chill & hype) can be used to describe their sound. Dayshift is a three-piece band comprised of guitar, bass, and drums.

Ryan Caldwell fronts the band with insightful lyrics and ever-evolving guitar technique. Music veteran Josh Clary explores the pocket with his bass prowess and complimentary vocal backing. Westminster jazz drumming student Braden Ball drives the band with his young and energetic, yet wise approach to navigating the kit. Each member is a multi-instrumentalist which provides diverse possibility to each live show.

After less than a year of practicing together, Dayshift took to the studio and recorded their first, self-titled EP at Church Recording Studio in Overbrook. It is available on Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.

Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Dayshift embodies the history of hard work and dedication associated with the steel city. Deeply rooted in the family of the service industry, the band strives to stretch the boundaries of genre to provide an energetic yet relaxing atmosphere for those who just got off and those who are still on the clock. CHYPE Rock (that's chill & hype) can be used to describe their sound. Dayshift is a three-piece band comprised of guitar, bass, and drums.

Ryan Caldwell fronts the band with insightful lyrics and ever-evolving guitar technique. Music veteran Josh Clary explores the pocket with his bass prowess and complimentary vocal backing. Westminster jazz drumming student Braden Ball drives the band with his young and energetic, yet wise approach to navigating the kit. Each member is a multi-instrumentalist which provides diverse possibility to each live show.

After less than a year of practicing together, Dayshift took to the studio and recorded their first, self-titled EP at Church Recording Studio in Overbrook. It is available on Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.

Kris Allen - Somethin' About Christmas Tour 2017 with Special Guest Marie Miller

On New Year's Day in 2013, Kris Allen and his then-pregnant wife Katy were in a head-on collision that left the singer/songwriter/guitarist with a career-threatening shattered wrist. In the two years that followed, he underwent three surgeries, re-learned how to play guitar (despite regaining just 30 percent movement in the damaged wrist), recorded his third album, and toured relentlessly-including a two-month-long stint that started just one week after his accident. The American Idol season 8 winner ultimately retreated from the whirlwind and immersed himself in a songwriting spell that yielded more than 70 new tracks. Culled from that collection of songs, Allen's fourth full-length album Letting You In finds the Nashville-based artist delivering his most intimate and dynamic work to date.

The follow-up to 2014's Horizons, Letting You In builds off the soulful musicality Allen first showcased with his platinum-selling 2009 single "Live Like We're Dying." But with its sophisticated songcraft and vulnerable lyrics, Letting You In reaches a new depth of feeling that infuses each track with undeniable emotional power. "Looking back, I think I tried to put off dealing with my feelings around the accident for as long as I could," says Allen. "But in the past year I've realized how much it all affected me, and that definitely came out in the writing of this album."

Allen recorded in Nashville with producers Konrad Snyder (Mat Kearney, Owl City, Milo Greene), Ian Fitchuk (James Bay, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, Griffin House), and Grammy Award-winner Brown Bannister (Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers, Steven Curtis Chapman) and made a point of exploring both the bright and dark elements of everyday life. "There's almost two different sides to the record," Allen notes. "On one hand you've got these happy love songs, because that's my life-I'm a
happily married guy, everything with my family's really great. But internally I was going through some things and trying to figure out my life, and the rest of the album very much came from that."

The latter category of songs includes "My Time Will Come," whose lyrics reflect on Allen's struggles with self-doubt ("Lately I've been making friends with the doubts in my head/Hanging on every word that they've said"). But with its lilting guitar melodies and soaring vocals, the song ultimately emerges as an anthem of gritty perseverance. On "If We Keep Doing Nothing," Allen offers a poignant look outward. Written in the wake of the mass shooting at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, the song's throwback-soul arrangement of stark guitar tones and stirring organ lines provide a powerful backdrop for a determined meditation on gun violence.

While Letting You In takes on its share of weighty matters, the album radiates a hopeful spirit that's got everything to do with Allen's easy warmth and open-heartedness as a songwriter and vocalist. One of Letting You In's most uplifting tracks, "Way Up High" blends cascading guitar lines, breezy melodies, and slice-of-life storytelling that came to Allen while flying back home after spending days away from his family. "Usually when I'm writing a song I start with the music, but with ‘Way Up High' the lyrics all came to me in poem form," he says. "I just tried to get down all these thoughts that were rolling through my head at the time, in a very stream-of-consciousness sort of way, and it all felt really natural." And among the love songs that make up
much of Letting You In is "Waves," whose gospel-inspired harmonies and spirited piano work perfectly together in capturing the tenderness of Allen's opposites-attract serenade to his wife.

Allen first picked up the guitar at age 13, after spending much of his childhood singing in church in his hometown of Jacksonville, Arkansas. Writing his first song in his late teens, he self-released an album at age 22 and auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol the following year. Several months after his Idol victory Allen put out his self-titled major label debut, with lead single "Live Like We're Dying" climbing to the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition to releasing his sophomore album Thank You Camellia in 2012, he spent the next several years sharing stages with such artists as Maroon 5 and Keith Urban, as well as landing Billboard, Teen Choice and People's Choice Awards nominations.

In the aftermath of his accident, Allen devoted himself to relearning guitar, adjusting his technique to adapt to the lack of movement in his wrist. "At first I thought I'd never be able to play again," he recalls. "But once I got my cast off, I spent more time playing than I ever had in my life. Through all that I realized that I shouldn't take my craft for granted, so I really focused on developing it and becoming even stronger as a guitar player than I ever was before."

Along with rebuilding his guitar skills, Allen revamped his approach to songwriting and soon saw a resurgence in his creativity. "When I've made albums in the past, there've always been other artists and songwriters that I was using as reference points," says Allen, who names Stevie Ray Vaughan and Stevie Wonder among his earliest inspirations. "But this time I shut myself off from all that, and just focused on making music that was completely true to me."

That process proved both thrilling and daunting, but in the end instilled him with a new sense of purpose as an artist. "When I first started making music, it was very much coming from a place of ‘Are people gonna like this?'" he recalls. "But as I was making this album, it really became more about being genuine and writing songs that feel good. My hope is that if those songs mean a lot to me, they'll mean a lot to the people listening, and that they'll get some of that hopeful feeling too."

Not too long after the release of Letting You In, Allen delivered his first full-length Christmas album, Somethin' About Christmas, which is a delightful combination of originals and Christmas classics. Some of the Christmas classics that may ring a bell include "Jingle Bells" (featuring former contestant of "The Voice", Caroline Glaser) and "Winter Wonderland" (featuring Jillian

Edwards), just to name a few. The originals on this album, such as "Somethin' About Christmas Morning" (featuring Gabe Dixon) and "Peace and Happiness", provide a jazzy and joyful feel, which is what Allen was wanting to create. "I genuinely love Christmas music and how it can transport you to such a joyful and fun place," he says. "I think for a lot of people, it is those traditions in Christmas that they love, and I wanted my album "Somethin' About Christmas" to become a new tradition for people to enjoy this time of year." For fans looking to get in the Christmas spirit, Allen has decided to hit the road this winter for a Christmas tour.

On New Year's Day in 2013, Kris Allen and his then-pregnant wife Katy were in a head-on collision that left the singer/songwriter/guitarist with a career-threatening shattered wrist. In the two years that followed, he underwent three surgeries, re-learned how to play guitar (despite regaining just 30 percent movement in the damaged wrist), recorded his third album, and toured relentlessly-including a two-month-long stint that started just one week after his accident. The American Idol season 8 winner ultimately retreated from the whirlwind and immersed himself in a songwriting spell that yielded more than 70 new tracks. Culled from that collection of songs, Allen's fourth full-length album Letting You In finds the Nashville-based artist delivering his most intimate and dynamic work to date.

The follow-up to 2014's Horizons, Letting You In builds off the soulful musicality Allen first showcased with his platinum-selling 2009 single "Live Like We're Dying." But with its sophisticated songcraft and vulnerable lyrics, Letting You In reaches a new depth of feeling that infuses each track with undeniable emotional power. "Looking back, I think I tried to put off dealing with my feelings around the accident for as long as I could," says Allen. "But in the past year I've realized how much it all affected me, and that definitely came out in the writing of this album."

Allen recorded in Nashville with producers Konrad Snyder (Mat Kearney, Owl City, Milo Greene), Ian Fitchuk (James Bay, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, Griffin House), and Grammy Award-winner Brown Bannister (Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers, Steven Curtis Chapman) and made a point of exploring both the bright and dark elements of everyday life. "There's almost two different sides to the record," Allen notes. "On one hand you've got these happy love songs, because that's my life-I'm a
happily married guy, everything with my family's really great. But internally I was going through some things and trying to figure out my life, and the rest of the album very much came from that."

The latter category of songs includes "My Time Will Come," whose lyrics reflect on Allen's struggles with self-doubt ("Lately I've been making friends with the doubts in my head/Hanging on every word that they've said"). But with its lilting guitar melodies and soaring vocals, the song ultimately emerges as an anthem of gritty perseverance. On "If We Keep Doing Nothing," Allen offers a poignant look outward. Written in the wake of the mass shooting at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, the song's throwback-soul arrangement of stark guitar tones and stirring organ lines provide a powerful backdrop for a determined meditation on gun violence.

While Letting You In takes on its share of weighty matters, the album radiates a hopeful spirit that's got everything to do with Allen's easy warmth and open-heartedness as a songwriter and vocalist. One of Letting You In's most uplifting tracks, "Way Up High" blends cascading guitar lines, breezy melodies, and slice-of-life storytelling that came to Allen while flying back home after spending days away from his family. "Usually when I'm writing a song I start with the music, but with ‘Way Up High' the lyrics all came to me in poem form," he says. "I just tried to get down all these thoughts that were rolling through my head at the time, in a very stream-of-consciousness sort of way, and it all felt really natural." And among the love songs that make up
much of Letting You In is "Waves," whose gospel-inspired harmonies and spirited piano work perfectly together in capturing the tenderness of Allen's opposites-attract serenade to his wife.

Allen first picked up the guitar at age 13, after spending much of his childhood singing in church in his hometown of Jacksonville, Arkansas. Writing his first song in his late teens, he self-released an album at age 22 and auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol the following year. Several months after his Idol victory Allen put out his self-titled major label debut, with lead single "Live Like We're Dying" climbing to the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition to releasing his sophomore album Thank You Camellia in 2012, he spent the next several years sharing stages with such artists as Maroon 5 and Keith Urban, as well as landing Billboard, Teen Choice and People's Choice Awards nominations.

In the aftermath of his accident, Allen devoted himself to relearning guitar, adjusting his technique to adapt to the lack of movement in his wrist. "At first I thought I'd never be able to play again," he recalls. "But once I got my cast off, I spent more time playing than I ever had in my life. Through all that I realized that I shouldn't take my craft for granted, so I really focused on developing it and becoming even stronger as a guitar player than I ever was before."

Along with rebuilding his guitar skills, Allen revamped his approach to songwriting and soon saw a resurgence in his creativity. "When I've made albums in the past, there've always been other artists and songwriters that I was using as reference points," says Allen, who names Stevie Ray Vaughan and Stevie Wonder among his earliest inspirations. "But this time I shut myself off from all that, and just focused on making music that was completely true to me."

That process proved both thrilling and daunting, but in the end instilled him with a new sense of purpose as an artist. "When I first started making music, it was very much coming from a place of ‘Are people gonna like this?'" he recalls. "But as I was making this album, it really became more about being genuine and writing songs that feel good. My hope is that if those songs mean a lot to me, they'll mean a lot to the people listening, and that they'll get some of that hopeful feeling too."

Not too long after the release of Letting You In, Allen delivered his first full-length Christmas album, Somethin' About Christmas, which is a delightful combination of originals and Christmas classics. Some of the Christmas classics that may ring a bell include "Jingle Bells" (featuring former contestant of "The Voice", Caroline Glaser) and "Winter Wonderland" (featuring Jillian

Edwards), just to name a few. The originals on this album, such as "Somethin' About Christmas Morning" (featuring Gabe Dixon) and "Peace and Happiness", provide a jazzy and joyful feel, which is what Allen was wanting to create. "I genuinely love Christmas music and how it can transport you to such a joyful and fun place," he says. "I think for a lot of people, it is those traditions in Christmas that they love, and I wanted my album "Somethin' About Christmas" to become a new tradition for people to enjoy this time of year." For fans looking to get in the Christmas spirit, Allen has decided to hit the road this winter for a Christmas tour.

(Early Show) The Optimists

From the swampy basements of western PA come the roots-pop rumblings of The Optimists, four Pittsburgh music-scene lifers who still carry the torch for guitar-based verse/chorus songwriting, the likes of which hasn't been heard around these parts since radios had dials and phones plugged into the wall. They dig for hooks wherever they can find them and try to verbalize ideas in some kind of way that makes some kind of sense. To them, at least. Too young to be hip but too old to die, the Optimists are waging a war for the soul of rock 'n roll and they won't stop till Dorothy surrenders.

From the swampy basements of western PA come the roots-pop rumblings of The Optimists, four Pittsburgh music-scene lifers who still carry the torch for guitar-based verse/chorus songwriting, the likes of which hasn't been heard around these parts since radios had dials and phones plugged into the wall. They dig for hooks wherever they can find them and try to verbalize ideas in some kind of way that makes some kind of sense. To them, at least. Too young to be hip but too old to die, the Optimists are waging a war for the soul of rock 'n roll and they won't stop till Dorothy surrenders.

(Late Show) Matt Aquiline & the Dead End Streets - CD Release Show with Special Guest Tim Vitullo

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

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

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

To help bring his sound home, Aquiline enlisted veterans of the local scene Stefan Rodriguez (Bad Attitude, Full Circle Band, Electriflyers) on Bass, Neil Carr (Scene 14, RockHeart, Gringo Zydeco) on Lead Guitar and Vocals and Bill Maruca (Sandoz, The Pawnbrokers, TheCAUSE, Billy Price) on Keys, and the youthful talents of Evan Cvejkus on Drums and Heather Catley on Vocals and Guitar. Catley and other band members have also begun contributing their own stellar original material to Aquiline's, adding even more dimension to a sound that already married folk, rock, blues, country and a little blue-eyed soul into an Americana sound that is pure Pittsburgh, with skill, authenticity and the kind of depth you develop surviving a few cold Winters.

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

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

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

To help bring his sound home, Aquiline enlisted veterans of the local scene Stefan Rodriguez (Bad Attitude, Full Circle Band, Electriflyers) on Bass, Neil Carr (Scene 14, RockHeart, Gringo Zydeco) on Lead Guitar and Vocals and Bill Maruca (Sandoz, The Pawnbrokers, TheCAUSE, Billy Price) on Keys, and the youthful talents of Evan Cvejkus on Drums and Heather Catley on Vocals and Guitar. Catley and other band members have also begun contributing their own stellar original material to Aquiline's, adding even more dimension to a sound that already married folk, rock, blues, country and a little blue-eyed soul into an Americana sound that is pure Pittsburgh, with skill, authenticity and the kind of depth you develop surviving a few cold Winters.

Matt Pond PA with Special Guests Ricky Lewis and Cold Weather - Presented by 91.3 WYEP & Opus One

All year round, it's still summer. And indie rocker Matt Pond's adventure continues. The brakes are shot, the pickup truck is rusted through and overheating. Everyone is out of their minds.

Matt Pond is not outspoken, but he loves to speak and to be spoken to. To dive into the frigid water of understanding and trust the depth. To write songs that make sense of ridiculous daily dissonance, beautifully failed relationships, of the brilliant miscalculations in an easy whisper. It's that simple: It was all for the experience; it was all for the ride.

At around ninety-five miles an hour, the steering wheel will start to uncontrollably shake in most high-mileage, fifteen-passenger vans. At the same speed and in the same state of mind, it's nearly impossible to navigate the murky world of music. Since its inception in Philadelphia in 1998, Matt Pond PA has traveled a road of perpetual transformation, a shifting cast of copilots and collaborators defining the band's every season.

On August 11, 2017, matt pond PA will release Still Summer, their twelfth full-length album and the second Pond is releasing under his independent label, 131 Records. "It's not about reliving the past," says Pond. "It's about allowing the present to breathe. It's about holding hands with ghosts and then letting go."

On this album Pond features the likes of Laura Stevenson, Laura Burhenn, Caroline Reese and Anya Marina. And of course there's the copilots, Chris Hansen, Shawn Alpay, Mel Guerison and Kyle Kelly-Yahner, right there with him.

Along with Winter Lives, released in December 2016 by 131 Records, Still Summer will be the last album Pond releases as Matt Pond PA. Over time, a new track or take will be added to each - this is the never-ending conclusion of Matt Pond PA's strange musical tour.

There will be more music. Yet the serious ones say summer only lasts so long. Soon there will be different titles, unfamiliar names, unforeseen sounds associated with Matt Pond. As if the beginning and the end were one and the same.

All year round, it's still summer. And indie rocker Matt Pond's adventure continues. The brakes are shot, the pickup truck is rusted through and overheating. Everyone is out of their minds.

Matt Pond is not outspoken, but he loves to speak and to be spoken to. To dive into the frigid water of understanding and trust the depth. To write songs that make sense of ridiculous daily dissonance, beautifully failed relationships, of the brilliant miscalculations in an easy whisper. It's that simple: It was all for the experience; it was all for the ride.

At around ninety-five miles an hour, the steering wheel will start to uncontrollably shake in most high-mileage, fifteen-passenger vans. At the same speed and in the same state of mind, it's nearly impossible to navigate the murky world of music. Since its inception in Philadelphia in 1998, Matt Pond PA has traveled a road of perpetual transformation, a shifting cast of copilots and collaborators defining the band's every season.

On August 11, 2017, matt pond PA will release Still Summer, their twelfth full-length album and the second Pond is releasing under his independent label, 131 Records. "It's not about reliving the past," says Pond. "It's about allowing the present to breathe. It's about holding hands with ghosts and then letting go."

On this album Pond features the likes of Laura Stevenson, Laura Burhenn, Caroline Reese and Anya Marina. And of course there's the copilots, Chris Hansen, Shawn Alpay, Mel Guerison and Kyle Kelly-Yahner, right there with him.

Along with Winter Lives, released in December 2016 by 131 Records, Still Summer will be the last album Pond releases as Matt Pond PA. Over time, a new track or take will be added to each - this is the never-ending conclusion of Matt Pond PA's strange musical tour.

There will be more music. Yet the serious ones say summer only lasts so long. Soon there will be different titles, unfamiliar names, unforeseen sounds associated with Matt Pond. As if the beginning and the end were one and the same.

Calliope Songwriters Open Stage at Club Cafe with Featured Performer Chris Jones

No cover! Doors and sign up open at 7pm, the event starts at 8pm. All acts and performers welcome.

Beginning in November, Club Cafe’s monthly open stage will be joining forces with Calliope and John Hayes (long time host of the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern’s open mic night). All acts and genres are welcome to attend. The open stage will happen the first Tuesday of every month (with the exception of December 2017 which will fall the 2nd Tues of the month). We are excited to be working with John and Calliope and look forward to this next chapter in our long running, well revered open stage.

No cover! Doors and sign up open at 7pm, the event starts at 8pm. All acts and performers welcome.

Beginning in November, Club Cafe’s monthly open stage will be joining forces with Calliope and John Hayes (long time host of the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern’s open mic night). All acts and genres are welcome to attend. The open stage will happen the first Tuesday of every month (with the exception of December 2017 which will fall the 2nd Tues of the month). We are excited to be working with John and Calliope and look forward to this next chapter in our long running, well revered open stage.

Twisted Pine with Special Guests The Hills and the Rivers, and Sweetheart of the Barricades

The phenomenal Boston song machine TWISTED PINE delivers a cabinet of inventions with its self-titled summer of '17 debut release [July 14, 2017] from Signature Sounds Recordings. The all-original album showcases a new force in Americana: four versatile players and singers writing and improvising across forms in bluegrass, folk, funk, jam, and vintage radio pop. With festively unpredictable live shows, Twisted Pine follows Americana masters Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers on a genre-bending, limitless trajectory.

Twisted Pine's album expands on the early life of the ensemble, which formed around a common obsession with the American bluegrass repertoire. The group rose fast in Boston, in the urban incubator of conservatories and Back Bay venues that produced label roster-mates Lake Street Dive and Crooked Still, plus Sarah Jarosz, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Esperanza Spalding, and Annie Clark (St. Vincent). Twisted Pine took an extended residency at the Cantab Lounge, the Mass Ave. dive bar in Cambridge where the raging Northeast bluegrass scene coalesces on Tuesday nights. The players, most of whom were still at Berklee College of Music, built those first set lists with deeply satisfying bluegrass interpretations. They ventured out during school-year summers to play festivals, and won first place in the prestigious band competitions at MASS MoCA's FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival and Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Special. Their resume grew: Joe Val Bluegrass, Green River Festival, Otis Mountain Get Down, RockyGrass (where they were runners up in a wicked sudden death band competition), Musikfest, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Ossipee Valley Music Festival, Celtic Connections (Glasgow), Club Passim's Down Home Up Here Bluegrass Festival, and many more. With a festive, anything's-possible stage presence, Twisted Pine built a reputation for stellar musicianship, string virtuosity, and luminous harmonies, all of which remain their hallmarks.

Twisted Pine evolved into something more than an interpreter of vintage American works; the band began to arrange bluegrass treatments of pop covers like Blondie's "Heart of Glass", and a mashup of Bill Monroe and Vulfpeck - which went viral when Vulf re-posted the video. A certain inventiveness, combined with a compelling and growing list of each player's originals, caught the attention of Signature Sounds.

"As soon as we learned that Signature Sounds was interested, we made a conscious decision to focus on writing and arranging our own original music," said Dan Bui, Twisted Pine mandolinist. "As a group we had never done that, and there was a bit of a growing phase where we were learning how to write together and seeing what came out. There was kind of an unspoken understanding that stylistically it was going to be a bit different, but we never sat down and said we were going to write in any particular style, like we were going to write poppier songs or whatever. What came out was just us finally being able to express ourselves, drawing from all of our musical and personal influences."

The influences on the ensemble are vast - as all four have studied music from childhood, and traveled widely - but the most obvious are these: Dan Bui (mandolin, vocals) is a devotee of virtuoso picking and experimental bluegrass and jazz. Kathleen Parks (fiddle/lead vocals) was raised in a household of Celtic music and jazz, which set deep roots for her insane fiddling, velvet film-noir vocals, and a roving interest in pop song forms. Chris Sartori (bass, vocals), frequently seen around Boston on electric bass in funk, jazz, and R&B settings, is arbiter of the deep pocket and the improvisational grooves. Rachel Sumner (guitar/lead vocals) is a student of the song: an omnibus of British ballads, obscure folk tunes, avant garde orchestral work, and radio pop. Her vocals have the crystalline clarity of Appalachian field recordings.

The excitement of Twisted Pine's live show - Parks and Bui's neo-jazz interplay, Bui and Sartori's funky rhythm section, Sumner and Parks' astral harmonies - comes through in the big pop sound of Twisted Pine, which was co-produced by the band and Dan Cardinal [Josh Ritter, Lori McKenna, Darlingside, Ballroom Thieves] at Dimension Studios.

"Dan Cardinal was able to pick up on our vibe instantly, and really steered us in the right direction," says Dan Bui. "His biggest influence on the album can be heard sonically. Dimension has kind of been a go-to spot for making records in the Boston bluegrass/folk scene lately, but Dan also brings in a wider sonic sensibility that he tastefully put to use on our record. Crunchy Wurlitzer piano, distorted guitar amps, and a swirling Leslie speaker all found their way onto the record. But he was always very thoughtful of what the song needed and was calling for and he provided invaluable advice and feedback throughout the process."

The phenomenal Boston song machine TWISTED PINE delivers a cabinet of inventions with its self-titled summer of '17 debut release [July 14, 2017] from Signature Sounds Recordings. The all-original album showcases a new force in Americana: four versatile players and singers writing and improvising across forms in bluegrass, folk, funk, jam, and vintage radio pop. With festively unpredictable live shows, Twisted Pine follows Americana masters Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers on a genre-bending, limitless trajectory.

Twisted Pine's album expands on the early life of the ensemble, which formed around a common obsession with the American bluegrass repertoire. The group rose fast in Boston, in the urban incubator of conservatories and Back Bay venues that produced label roster-mates Lake Street Dive and Crooked Still, plus Sarah Jarosz, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Esperanza Spalding, and Annie Clark (St. Vincent). Twisted Pine took an extended residency at the Cantab Lounge, the Mass Ave. dive bar in Cambridge where the raging Northeast bluegrass scene coalesces on Tuesday nights. The players, most of whom were still at Berklee College of Music, built those first set lists with deeply satisfying bluegrass interpretations. They ventured out during school-year summers to play festivals, and won first place in the prestigious band competitions at MASS MoCA's FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival and Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Special. Their resume grew: Joe Val Bluegrass, Green River Festival, Otis Mountain Get Down, RockyGrass (where they were runners up in a wicked sudden death band competition), Musikfest, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Ossipee Valley Music Festival, Celtic Connections (Glasgow), Club Passim's Down Home Up Here Bluegrass Festival, and many more. With a festive, anything's-possible stage presence, Twisted Pine built a reputation for stellar musicianship, string virtuosity, and luminous harmonies, all of which remain their hallmarks.

Twisted Pine evolved into something more than an interpreter of vintage American works; the band began to arrange bluegrass treatments of pop covers like Blondie's "Heart of Glass", and a mashup of Bill Monroe and Vulfpeck - which went viral when Vulf re-posted the video. A certain inventiveness, combined with a compelling and growing list of each player's originals, caught the attention of Signature Sounds.

"As soon as we learned that Signature Sounds was interested, we made a conscious decision to focus on writing and arranging our own original music," said Dan Bui, Twisted Pine mandolinist. "As a group we had never done that, and there was a bit of a growing phase where we were learning how to write together and seeing what came out. There was kind of an unspoken understanding that stylistically it was going to be a bit different, but we never sat down and said we were going to write in any particular style, like we were going to write poppier songs or whatever. What came out was just us finally being able to express ourselves, drawing from all of our musical and personal influences."

The influences on the ensemble are vast - as all four have studied music from childhood, and traveled widely - but the most obvious are these: Dan Bui (mandolin, vocals) is a devotee of virtuoso picking and experimental bluegrass and jazz. Kathleen Parks (fiddle/lead vocals) was raised in a household of Celtic music and jazz, which set deep roots for her insane fiddling, velvet film-noir vocals, and a roving interest in pop song forms. Chris Sartori (bass, vocals), frequently seen around Boston on electric bass in funk, jazz, and R&B settings, is arbiter of the deep pocket and the improvisational grooves. Rachel Sumner (guitar/lead vocals) is a student of the song: an omnibus of British ballads, obscure folk tunes, avant garde orchestral work, and radio pop. Her vocals have the crystalline clarity of Appalachian field recordings.

The excitement of Twisted Pine's live show - Parks and Bui's neo-jazz interplay, Bui and Sartori's funky rhythm section, Sumner and Parks' astral harmonies - comes through in the big pop sound of Twisted Pine, which was co-produced by the band and Dan Cardinal [Josh Ritter, Lori McKenna, Darlingside, Ballroom Thieves] at Dimension Studios.

"Dan Cardinal was able to pick up on our vibe instantly, and really steered us in the right direction," says Dan Bui. "His biggest influence on the album can be heard sonically. Dimension has kind of been a go-to spot for making records in the Boston bluegrass/folk scene lately, but Dan also brings in a wider sonic sensibility that he tastefully put to use on our record. Crunchy Wurlitzer piano, distorted guitar amps, and a swirling Leslie speaker all found their way onto the record. But he was always very thoughtful of what the song needed and was calling for and he provided invaluable advice and feedback throughout the process."

Boy Named Banjo with Special Guests Juvenile Characteristics and The Mixus Brothers

Born and raised in Nashville, TN, the original three of Boy Named Banjo consists of members Barton Davies, William Reames, and Willard Logan, all of whom share a love for songwriting, performing, and roots music. The three long-time friends and former high school classmates assembled in 2011 and have built a strong following in the Southeast through both their studio releases and live performances. Since the band's first full-length release in May of 2012 "The Tanglewood Sessions," Boy Named Banjo has added two members: Sam McCullough (drums) and Abe Scott (bass). Though staying true to its acoustic roots, the band's sound has developed tremendously since the "Tanglewood" days, as Willard (greatly influenced by jam band guitarists Trey Anastasio & Jimmy Herring) has taken his electric guitar playing to the next level, while Sam and Abe have provided a solid, yet subtle, Rock foundation. While the band's sound has evolved tremendously, the quality of the songwriting, the hair raising three-part harmonies, the crafty musicianship, and the band's passion for what they do will always be a constant.

Born and raised in Nashville, TN, the original three of Boy Named Banjo consists of members Barton Davies, William Reames, and Willard Logan, all of whom share a love for songwriting, performing, and roots music. The three long-time friends and former high school classmates assembled in 2011 and have built a strong following in the Southeast through both their studio releases and live performances. Since the band's first full-length release in May of 2012 "The Tanglewood Sessions," Boy Named Banjo has added two members: Sam McCullough (drums) and Abe Scott (bass). Though staying true to its acoustic roots, the band's sound has developed tremendously since the "Tanglewood" days, as Willard (greatly influenced by jam band guitarists Trey Anastasio & Jimmy Herring) has taken his electric guitar playing to the next level, while Sam and Abe have provided a solid, yet subtle, Rock foundation. While the band's sound has evolved tremendously, the quality of the songwriting, the hair raising three-part harmonies, the crafty musicianship, and the band's passion for what they do will always be a constant.

(Early Show) Adelaide in Autumn / Flashpoint Run / Jordan McLaughlin

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local music.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local music.

(Late Show) The Stapletons / Jackson Howard

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live music with The Stapletons and Jackson Howard.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of live music with The Stapletons and Jackson Howard.

Red Wanting Blue and The Alternate Routes Quartet - An Unforgettable Night Of Songs & Stories

An Unforgettable Night of Songs & Stories with Eric Hall, Scott Terry, Tim Warren & Eric Donnelly on one stage, collaborating & Celebrating each other's music

An Unforgettable Night of Songs & Stories with Eric Hall, Scott Terry, Tim Warren & Eric Donnelly on one stage, collaborating & Celebrating each other's music

An Evening with Nina Sainato & Friends featuring Eric Granata and Mark Johanson

Singer, songwriter, and pianist Nina Sainato reunites with longtime friends and expert guitarists Eric Granata and Mark Johanson for a night of original music, carefully selected covers, and some holiday classics with a twist. Together, their styles span a variety of genres from pop, to blues, to southern rock. Join us for some of Pittsburgh’s best on stage together, which also may include some surprise specials guests.

Singer, songwriter, and pianist Nina Sainato reunites with longtime friends and expert guitarists Eric Granata and Mark Johanson for a night of original music, carefully selected covers, and some holiday classics with a twist. Together, their styles span a variety of genres from pop, to blues, to southern rock. Join us for some of Pittsburgh’s best on stage together, which also may include some surprise specials guests.

Opus One Comedy Presents Marcus Cox LIVE with Special Guests

Marcus Cox is an upcoming comedian who is headlining, hosting, promoting and performing at comedy venues in the Pittsburgh, Michigan, DMV, New York and Ohio areas. Marcus has appeared in Comedy Festivals including: The Cleveland Comedy Festival 2014 (Cleveland OH) LaughFest 2015, 2016 (Grand Rapids MI). The Memphis Urban Laughs Comedy Festival 2016 (Memphis TN) and The Baltimore Comedy Festival 2017 (Baltimore MD). Also, Marcus has won many competitions in the Northeast Ohio area along with performing at Comedy Clubs such as: The Funny Farm (OH), FunnyStop Comedy Club (OH), Jokers laugh house (PA), and Sulleys Comedy cellar (MD) Opening up for comics such as Steve Sabo, April Brucker and Raymond the Amish comic. He is known for his upbeat, charismatic, and hilarious personality with a love for comedy. Marcus is an advocate cancer supporter and has produced many shows in the benefit of children with cancer and breast cancer victims/ survivors.

Marcus Cox is an upcoming comedian who is headlining, hosting, promoting and performing at comedy venues in the Pittsburgh, Michigan, DMV, New York and Ohio areas. Marcus has appeared in Comedy Festivals including: The Cleveland Comedy Festival 2014 (Cleveland OH) LaughFest 2015, 2016 (Grand Rapids MI). The Memphis Urban Laughs Comedy Festival 2016 (Memphis TN) and The Baltimore Comedy Festival 2017 (Baltimore MD). Also, Marcus has won many competitions in the Northeast Ohio area along with performing at Comedy Clubs such as: The Funny Farm (OH), FunnyStop Comedy Club (OH), Jokers laugh house (PA), and Sulleys Comedy cellar (MD) Opening up for comics such as Steve Sabo, April Brucker and Raymond the Amish comic. He is known for his upbeat, charismatic, and hilarious personality with a love for comedy. Marcus is an advocate cancer supporter and has produced many shows in the benefit of children with cancer and breast cancer victims/ survivors.

(Early Show) Joanna Lowe and the Broken Word with Special Guest Brewer's Row

Joanna Lowe is a spoken word artist, actress & published poet hailing from Pittsburgh with degrees in both theatre and writing. She will be performing with her band the Broken Word. Special guests Brewer's Row.

Joanna Lowe is a spoken word artist, actress & published poet hailing from Pittsburgh with degrees in both theatre and writing. She will be performing with her band the Broken Word. Special guests Brewer's Row.

(Late Show) Ali Spagnola's Power Hour - Drinking Game Concert with Special Guest The Nerd Herders

Come experience the live Drinking Game Concert! Ali Spagnola will be playing her Power Hour Show. They play 60 of your favorite cover songs. All one minute long. Everyone cheers and drinks in between each song. Awesomeness ensues.

Come experience the live Drinking Game Concert! Ali Spagnola will be playing her Power Hour Show. They play 60 of your favorite cover songs. All one minute long. Everyone cheers and drinks in between each song. Awesomeness ensues.

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.

Demos Papadimas And His Band / The Local

Demos Papadimas And His Band

Singer-songwriter Demos Papadimas (guitar/vocals/harmonica/bouzouki) skillfully intertwines American roots music with Mediterranean influences. Based in Northeast Ohio, Papadimas and his band consisting of Ralph Rich (drums), Dave Lynn (electric guitar), Corey Gray (Upright Bass), and Caitlin Hedge (violin) have received considerable attention and created a dedicated following largely through live performances at many of the region's best venues.

Lyrically, this self-described "cynical optimist" infuses glimmers of hope in his often world-weary and wistful 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.

Discussing his influences, Papadimas cites Dylan-esque balladry, Leonard Cohen's most recent touring ensembles, and string-band revivalists such as Old Crow Medicine Show as well as Greek Rembetiko-the "Greek blues."

Papadimas’ latest album, Waiting, was recorded by Pete Drivere at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown, Ohio and features frequent collaborators Al Moss on pedal steel guitar and Chris Leonardi on Hammond B3. The album was released on Record Store Day 2016 and is available on CD, Vinyl, and digital download.

The Local

What do you get when you cross a punk rocker from Belfast, Northern Ireland with a indie-folkster from Pittsburgh? The powerful indie rock ensemble The Local, whose combination of punk rock influences, infused with sweeping operatic arrangements resemble something producer Brian McTear (War on Drugs, Strand of Oaks, Matt Pond PA, Local Natives) lovingly describes as My Bloody Valentine meets Ennio Morricone.

Their story begins near Belfast where Dean Henry formed the short-lived punk band Slate with his younger brother Lee. Proudly wearing their influences on their sleeve, the band drew a large and loyal local following with its stage presence and catchy, driving tunes. It was during this time that he met Jenny, an American living in Northern Ireland, also playing in small town pubs and clubs around the country. She became a supporter of The band, and later, Slate’s unofficial tour manager. “We would load our gear into my Peugeot hatchback and trek all over Northern Ireland playing shows”. The couple married and headed to Pittsburgh, where Jenny was born and raised.

A lifelong music appreciator, Ben Sweet determined to teach himself guitar after a diabetes diagnosis. With an assist from a music theory text, he quickly gained his chops and began writing the lyrically-driven folk songs which formed the basis of his solo act Southside American. His first solo record In Our Keystone State was released in 2013 to critical acclaim and significant local buzz. As Sweet looked to round out Southside’s sound, he added a backing band. A tip from the band’s keyboardist, who worked alongside Jenny Henry, led him to Dean, a skilled percussionist, in the spring of 2014.

It was while playing together in Southside American that Henry and Sweet discovered their mutual affection for bands such as The Jam, The Clash, The Replacements and The Pixies. Sweet encouraged Henry to begin writing his own songs and, in no time, he was churning out one compelling composition after another, all the while his guitar chops increasing dramatically. The two begin writing together and, in no time at all, had put together the songs which form the nucleus of their debut EP Reverie which was recorded with McTear at Miner Street Studio in Philadelphia, and features Jenny Henry on bass and Pat Berkery (The War on Drugs, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!) on drums.

Since returning from the studio, the band has recently added percussionist Stephen Flory and keyboardist Eric Matlock.

A self-described band for adults The Local brings a powerful yet understated sensibility to the stage on diverse tracks such as Reverie, Racing and Fair Play. The Reverie EP is due to be released in the spring of 2018 on Wednesday Records. It was mastered by Paul Hammond.

Demos Papadimas And His Band

Singer-songwriter Demos Papadimas (guitar/vocals/harmonica/bouzouki) skillfully intertwines American roots music with Mediterranean influences. Based in Northeast Ohio, Papadimas and his band consisting of Ralph Rich (drums), Dave Lynn (electric guitar), Corey Gray (Upright Bass), and Caitlin Hedge (violin) have received considerable attention and created a dedicated following largely through live performances at many of the region's best venues.

Lyrically, this self-described "cynical optimist" infuses glimmers of hope in his often world-weary and wistful 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.

Discussing his influences, Papadimas cites Dylan-esque balladry, Leonard Cohen's most recent touring ensembles, and string-band revivalists such as Old Crow Medicine Show as well as Greek Rembetiko-the "Greek blues."

Papadimas’ latest album, Waiting, was recorded by Pete Drivere at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown, Ohio and features frequent collaborators Al Moss on pedal steel guitar and Chris Leonardi on Hammond B3. The album was released on Record Store Day 2016 and is available on CD, Vinyl, and digital download.

The Local

What do you get when you cross a punk rocker from Belfast, Northern Ireland with a indie-folkster from Pittsburgh? The powerful indie rock ensemble The Local, whose combination of punk rock influences, infused with sweeping operatic arrangements resemble something producer Brian McTear (War on Drugs, Strand of Oaks, Matt Pond PA, Local Natives) lovingly describes as My Bloody Valentine meets Ennio Morricone.

Their story begins near Belfast where Dean Henry formed the short-lived punk band Slate with his younger brother Lee. Proudly wearing their influences on their sleeve, the band drew a large and loyal local following with its stage presence and catchy, driving tunes. It was during this time that he met Jenny, an American living in Northern Ireland, also playing in small town pubs and clubs around the country. She became a supporter of The band, and later, Slate’s unofficial tour manager. “We would load our gear into my Peugeot hatchback and trek all over Northern Ireland playing shows”. The couple married and headed to Pittsburgh, where Jenny was born and raised.

A lifelong music appreciator, Ben Sweet determined to teach himself guitar after a diabetes diagnosis. With an assist from a music theory text, he quickly gained his chops and began writing the lyrically-driven folk songs which formed the basis of his solo act Southside American. His first solo record In Our Keystone State was released in 2013 to critical acclaim and significant local buzz. As Sweet looked to round out Southside’s sound, he added a backing band. A tip from the band’s keyboardist, who worked alongside Jenny Henry, led him to Dean, a skilled percussionist, in the spring of 2014.

It was while playing together in Southside American that Henry and Sweet discovered their mutual affection for bands such as The Jam, The Clash, The Replacements and The Pixies. Sweet encouraged Henry to begin writing his own songs and, in no time, he was churning out one compelling composition after another, all the while his guitar chops increasing dramatically. The two begin writing together and, in no time at all, had put together the songs which form the nucleus of their debut EP Reverie which was recorded with McTear at Miner Street Studio in Philadelphia, and features Jenny Henry on bass and Pat Berkery (The War on Drugs, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!) on drums.

Since returning from the studio, the band has recently added percussionist Stephen Flory and keyboardist Eric Matlock.

A self-described band for adults The Local brings a powerful yet understated sensibility to the stage on diverse tracks such as Reverie, Racing and Fair Play. The Reverie EP is due to be released in the spring of 2018 on Wednesday Records. It was mastered by Paul Hammond.

The Music of R.E.M. with The Reckoning (Including The Entire First Album 'Murmur')

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) UPMC Children's Hospital Benefit Featuring Johnny Walylko with special guests Nameless in August and Merrow

(Late Show) Da Funny Team and Opus One Comedy Presents One Eye with Boo Jones, Will Quivers, A Loc and Hosted by Tony Brown

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local comedy presented by Da Funny Team and Opus One Comedy.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local comedy presented by Da Funny Team and Opus One Comedy.

The Commonheart - A Tribute to Daptone Records Featuring the music of Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley - Presented by 102.5 WDVE & Opus One

New Years in PGH! 12/30 - A Special Tribute Set at Club Cafe + 12/31 at Mr Smalls. Two show tickets on sale Friday, the only way into 12/30 (single tickets not avail for 12/30)

New Years in PGH! 12/30 - A Special Tribute Set at Club Cafe + 12/31 at Mr Smalls. Two show tickets on sale Friday, the only way into 12/30 (single tickets not avail for 12/30)

(Early Show) An Evening With Charlie Hunter Trio Featuring Silvana Estrada

With a career spanning 25 years and almost 20 albums, Charlie Hunter consistently ups his game as an innovative writer and bandleader. He has worked with the likes of Norah Jones, Mos Def, John Mayer, D’Angelo and countless others. He is widely considered the authority on the seven and eight - string guitar, and continues to stun audiences with his ability to simultaneously bust out tasty bass parts, melodic leads and swinging rhythms.

Silvana Estrada, a native of Mexico’s southeast, had just started her studies of Jazz at the University of Veracruz and quickly became known throughout the Jazz Studies Centre as a unique triple threat talent: an instrumentalist, playing the Cuatro Venezolano, vocalist and songwriter whose original compositions are a mixture of Latin American sounds and a vocal interpretation that comes from the “son jarocho” tradition of Veracruz.

On a whim after rehearsing one day, Silvana and the band took a road trip to hear one of their heroes; Charlie Hunter was in Mexico City delivering a Master Class at the University. Inspired (and pushed by Alex the drummer) the band waited to meet Charlie whereupon Silvana sang for him on the spot. Charlie was so impressed that he ended up staying in Mexico, calling his sound engineer buddy Chris Finney from New Orleans and together they went to Silvana’s magical hometown in the Southeastern hills of Mexico to record her debut album - Lo Sagrado (The Sacred) that will be released on Charlie’s non - profit 30 Amp Circuit later this month.

After an enormous amount of paperwork (thank you Mister President) and an enormous amount of money (thank you Mister President) Charlie and his teammates were able to get Silvana a one year work visa to take advantage of her music and newfound friends.

Touring in US starts December 6, 2017 and will continue through 2018.

With a career spanning 25 years and almost 20 albums, Charlie Hunter consistently ups his game as an innovative writer and bandleader. He has worked with the likes of Norah Jones, Mos Def, John Mayer, D’Angelo and countless others. He is widely considered the authority on the seven and eight - string guitar, and continues to stun audiences with his ability to simultaneously bust out tasty bass parts, melodic leads and swinging rhythms.

Silvana Estrada, a native of Mexico’s southeast, had just started her studies of Jazz at the University of Veracruz and quickly became known throughout the Jazz Studies Centre as a unique triple threat talent: an instrumentalist, playing the Cuatro Venezolano, vocalist and songwriter whose original compositions are a mixture of Latin American sounds and a vocal interpretation that comes from the “son jarocho” tradition of Veracruz.

On a whim after rehearsing one day, Silvana and the band took a road trip to hear one of their heroes; Charlie Hunter was in Mexico City delivering a Master Class at the University. Inspired (and pushed by Alex the drummer) the band waited to meet Charlie whereupon Silvana sang for him on the spot. Charlie was so impressed that he ended up staying in Mexico, calling his sound engineer buddy Chris Finney from New Orleans and together they went to Silvana’s magical hometown in the Southeastern hills of Mexico to record her debut album - Lo Sagrado (The Sacred) that will be released on Charlie’s non - profit 30 Amp Circuit later this month.

After an enormous amount of paperwork (thank you Mister President) and an enormous amount of money (thank you Mister President) Charlie and his teammates were able to get Silvana a one year work visa to take advantage of her music and newfound friends.

Touring in US starts December 6, 2017 and will continue through 2018.

(Late Show) Jesse Mader - Through the Years: New Year's Eve Album Release Party With Special Guests: Tarra Layne, DJ Climax, Crazie A and JEOH

Jesse Mader - Through the Years: New Year's Eve Album Release Party With Special Guests: Tarra Layne, DJ Climax, Crazie A and JEOH

Jesse Mader - Through the Years: New Year's Eve Album Release Party With Special Guests: Tarra Layne, DJ Climax, Crazie A and JEOH

(Early Show) New Year's Sessions: Pittsburgh Songwriters Ring in the New Year. Featuring Spencer Allan Patrick, Jeremy Caywood, Amy Mmhmm, Kevin Finn and Vit DeBacco.

(Early Show) New Year's Sessions: Pittsburgh Songwriters Ring in the New Year. Featuring Spencer Allan Patrick, Jeremy Caywood, Amy Mmhmm, Kevin Finn, and Vit DeBacco.

(Early Show) New Year's Sessions: Pittsburgh Songwriters Ring in the New Year. Featuring Spencer Allan Patrick, Jeremy Caywood, Amy Mmhmm, Kevin Finn, and Vit DeBacco.

(Late Show) Old Game / Sam Vicari / Brazilian Wax

Join us for an evening of local and regional music with Old Game, Sam Vicari and Brazilian Wax.

Join us for an evening of local and regional music with Old Game, Sam Vicari and Brazilian Wax.

(Early Show) Ferdinand the Bull with Special Guest Her Ladyship

True musicians live and breathe their music, yearning for the opportunity to both actively engage with their audience and cultivate wisdom through the shared human experience. Folk musicians in particular must then reach deeper into their cultural roots, in order to unearth their motivation for creating music, as well as their identity as artists. There is no greater inspiration than the land on which we have made our home. From Atlantic to Pacific, from one-horse town to metropolis, the land (and the people who inhabit it) are catalysts, motivating artists to create and share. Music, like other art forms, seeks to communicate a message. Whether its the story of one’s first love or a song dedicated to a memory of long ago, most musicians seek to express their thoughts and emotions through their craft - seeking personal growth and active listenership on behalf of an audience. Passion is key in the development of a skill, however the most successful musicians all share a common trait, the ability to build a relationship with listeners and play a role in their story.

We are the rolling hills and the vast oceans, the towering mountains and the lush meadows - Artists are America. The freedom to express ideas, opinions, and stories allows us to create without fear and only encourages us to continue our narrative. We are Ferdinand the Bull. The songs are our lexicon. We believe the songs.

True musicians live and breathe their music, yearning for the opportunity to both actively engage with their audience and cultivate wisdom through the shared human experience. Folk musicians in particular must then reach deeper into their cultural roots, in order to unearth their motivation for creating music, as well as their identity as artists. There is no greater inspiration than the land on which we have made our home. From Atlantic to Pacific, from one-horse town to metropolis, the land (and the people who inhabit it) are catalysts, motivating artists to create and share. Music, like other art forms, seeks to communicate a message. Whether its the story of one’s first love or a song dedicated to a memory of long ago, most musicians seek to express their thoughts and emotions through their craft - seeking personal growth and active listenership on behalf of an audience. Passion is key in the development of a skill, however the most successful musicians all share a common trait, the ability to build a relationship with listeners and play a role in their story.

We are the rolling hills and the vast oceans, the towering mountains and the lush meadows - Artists are America. The freedom to express ideas, opinions, and stories allows us to create without fear and only encourages us to continue our narrative. We are Ferdinand the Bull. The songs are our lexicon. We believe the songs.

(Late Show) Ugly Blondes / John Wayne Gretzky Jr.

Join Club Cafe for a local rock show with The Ugly Blondes and John Wayne Gretzky Jr.

Join Club Cafe for a local rock show with The Ugly Blondes and John Wayne Gretzky Jr.

Tyler Hilton & Kate Voegele

Kate Voegele bio:

Hailing from a little suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, Kate Voegele first picked up a guitar at age 15. Influenced by the rock and roll history of the city and her father’s songwriting, she began to pen her own songs from the minute she learned to play her first three chords. Voegele embraced this newfound passion, recording her first EP during her freshman year of high school, and soon after landed gigs alongside artists like Counting Crows and John Mayer. Those shows quickly led to attention from labels in New York and LA, and Kate spent the majority of her high school years diving headfirst into a career in music.

After high school, Voegele decided to attend Ohio’s Miami University, where she quickly found new inspiration, and simultaneously found herself uploading song after song to her MySpace page. Kate managed to get the attention of the social network's founder, Tom Anderson, and just a few weeks later, she became MySpace Records’ first signed artist. In spring of 2007 Voegele finished recording her first full-length record with Marshall Altman in LA and decided to swap her text books in for a tour bus and a year full of shows throughout the US.

Over the next couple of years Voegele toured the country playing hundreds of shows. While traveling through LA, Kate auditioned on a whim and would eventually land the role of Mia Catalano on the CW show, "One Tree Hill." What was supposed to be a two-episode run became a four-season recurrence, and Kate found herself performing eleven of her original songs to millions of viewers over the course of the show. Record sales jumped dramatically after Voegele’s first appearance on the show, and she was subsequently upstreamed to Interscope Records in January of 2008. At this point Kate toured internationally with artists like Natasha Bedingfield and Jordin Sparks. She split her time between the road and the television set, and released a second full-length, "A Fine Mess," in spring of 2009.

After her first two records sold over 500,000 units, Voegele signed with ATO Records in 2011, releasing "Gravity Happens." She spent the next two years continuing to tour the US and Europe, writing new songs from airplane

window seats and ultimately embarking on a new chapter in her life.

In fall of 2013, Voegele moved her home base from LA to Nashville, getting back to her songwriter roots. Being in Music City has given Kate the opportunity to work with writers like Nathan Chapman and Liz Rose, and open up opportunities to work with the country’s best creative talents. In November
’14 Voegele released the "Wild Card" EP, which debuted in the top 10 on the top pop albums chart on iTunes, and received an average of a 5-star review across all major online distribution outlets.

Kate released her fifth full-length record, "Live In London", in the fall of 2015. "Live In London" was a released as a thank you to her fans, and included Kate’s cover of "Hallelujah", as well as "When The Stars Go Blue", sung as a duet with Tyler Hilton.

Kate's latest album, "Canyonlands", was released in the fall of 2016.

Tyler Hilton bio:

Tyler Hilton was singing and playing in coffee houses as a 15 year old, when a chance encounter with Los Angeles radio personalities Mark and Brian from KLOS led to multiple appearances on their radio show, live concert dates with the duo, and national exposure. He released his first album independently shortly thereafter, which led to major label interest and eventually signing to Maverick/ Warner Records where he released "The Tracks of Tyler Hilton" which garnered two singles on the Billboard Top 40 charts. While on tour promoting the album, Tyler was cast as his child hood hero Elvis Presley in "Walk the Line" where he worked with T-Bone Burnett on the soundtrack, and for which he received a gold record.

An opportunity to sing on TV's "One Tree Hill," a notorious breeding ground
for new musical talent, led to a series long run, several appearances on MTV's "TRL" with the cast, and a national tour with Gavin DeGraw and Michelle Branch who also sang on the show. Taylor Swift admitted to being a fan, and asked Tyler to star in her music video "Tear Drops on My Guitar" which became a huge crossover hit. The two appeared together live several times and later Tyler appeared via interactive video on her stadium tour. The independent comedy "Charlie Bartlett" followed with Robert Downey Jr. and Anton Yelchin and where Tyler met his wife, Megan Park, who was also in the

film.


Tyler moved to Nashville where he began exploring his family's country roots and made several records with notable producers including Dan Huff, Nathan

Chapman, Matt Serletic, and John Alagia. Sadly, non of these records saw the light of day, as staff and roster upheaval plagued Warner Brother Records,
and eventually led to Tyler's departure from the label. One of these unreleased songs made their way to Joe Cocker, who recorded it on his final album. Tyler then started his own label, Hooptie Tune Records, and released "Forget the Storm" the following year. It became the first record of Tyler's to gain international success and led to several European tours and a new fervent fan base. His follow up, the mellow folky country album "Indian Summer," was recorded live in studio with a bluegrass band including his uncle, Tommy Hilton, on guitar. While recording, Tyler landed a role in Halle Berry's "Extant" on CBS and continued to film the show over the course of its two season run, touring and filming the holiday movie "Christmas on the Bayou" with Randy Travis, Ed Asner, and "One Tree Hill" alum, Hilarie Burton, for which he also recorded the single "One Foot in the Bayou".


Following the end of "Extant," Tyler worked on a pilot for the ABC sitcom, "The Fluffy Shop" alongside Gabriel Iglesias. Tyler is currently based in Los
Angeles, where he’s working on a new album.

Kate Voegele bio:

Hailing from a little suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, Kate Voegele first picked up a guitar at age 15. Influenced by the rock and roll history of the city and her father’s songwriting, she began to pen her own songs from the minute she learned to play her first three chords. Voegele embraced this newfound passion, recording her first EP during her freshman year of high school, and soon after landed gigs alongside artists like Counting Crows and John Mayer. Those shows quickly led to attention from labels in New York and LA, and Kate spent the majority of her high school years diving headfirst into a career in music.

After high school, Voegele decided to attend Ohio’s Miami University, where she quickly found new inspiration, and simultaneously found herself uploading song after song to her MySpace page. Kate managed to get the attention of the social network's founder, Tom Anderson, and just a few weeks later, she became MySpace Records’ first signed artist. In spring of 2007 Voegele finished recording her first full-length record with Marshall Altman in LA and decided to swap her text books in for a tour bus and a year full of shows throughout the US.

Over the next couple of years Voegele toured the country playing hundreds of shows. While traveling through LA, Kate auditioned on a whim and would eventually land the role of Mia Catalano on the CW show, "One Tree Hill." What was supposed to be a two-episode run became a four-season recurrence, and Kate found herself performing eleven of her original songs to millions of viewers over the course of the show. Record sales jumped dramatically after Voegele’s first appearance on the show, and she was subsequently upstreamed to Interscope Records in January of 2008. At this point Kate toured internationally with artists like Natasha Bedingfield and Jordin Sparks. She split her time between the road and the television set, and released a second full-length, "A Fine Mess," in spring of 2009.

After her first two records sold over 500,000 units, Voegele signed with ATO Records in 2011, releasing "Gravity Happens." She spent the next two years continuing to tour the US and Europe, writing new songs from airplane

window seats and ultimately embarking on a new chapter in her life.

In fall of 2013, Voegele moved her home base from LA to Nashville, getting back to her songwriter roots. Being in Music City has given Kate the opportunity to work with writers like Nathan Chapman and Liz Rose, and open up opportunities to work with the country’s best creative talents. In November
’14 Voegele released the "Wild Card" EP, which debuted in the top 10 on the top pop albums chart on iTunes, and received an average of a 5-star review across all major online distribution outlets.

Kate released her fifth full-length record, "Live In London", in the fall of 2015. "Live In London" was a released as a thank you to her fans, and included Kate’s cover of "Hallelujah", as well as "When The Stars Go Blue", sung as a duet with Tyler Hilton.

Kate's latest album, "Canyonlands", was released in the fall of 2016.

Tyler Hilton bio:

Tyler Hilton was singing and playing in coffee houses as a 15 year old, when a chance encounter with Los Angeles radio personalities Mark and Brian from KLOS led to multiple appearances on their radio show, live concert dates with the duo, and national exposure. He released his first album independently shortly thereafter, which led to major label interest and eventually signing to Maverick/ Warner Records where he released "The Tracks of Tyler Hilton" which garnered two singles on the Billboard Top 40 charts. While on tour promoting the album, Tyler was cast as his child hood hero Elvis Presley in "Walk the Line" where he worked with T-Bone Burnett on the soundtrack, and for which he received a gold record.

An opportunity to sing on TV's "One Tree Hill," a notorious breeding ground
for new musical talent, led to a series long run, several appearances on MTV's "TRL" with the cast, and a national tour with Gavin DeGraw and Michelle Branch who also sang on the show. Taylor Swift admitted to being a fan, and asked Tyler to star in her music video "Tear Drops on My Guitar" which became a huge crossover hit. The two appeared together live several times and later Tyler appeared via interactive video on her stadium tour. The independent comedy "Charlie Bartlett" followed with Robert Downey Jr. and Anton Yelchin and where Tyler met his wife, Megan Park, who was also in the

film.


Tyler moved to Nashville where he began exploring his family's country roots and made several records with notable producers including Dan Huff, Nathan

Chapman, Matt Serletic, and John Alagia. Sadly, non of these records saw the light of day, as staff and roster upheaval plagued Warner Brother Records,
and eventually led to Tyler's departure from the label. One of these unreleased songs made their way to Joe Cocker, who recorded it on his final album. Tyler then started his own label, Hooptie Tune Records, and released "Forget the Storm" the following year. It became the first record of Tyler's to gain international success and led to several European tours and a new fervent fan base. His follow up, the mellow folky country album "Indian Summer," was recorded live in studio with a bluegrass band including his uncle, Tommy Hilton, on guitar. While recording, Tyler landed a role in Halle Berry's "Extant" on CBS and continued to film the show over the course of its two season run, touring and filming the holiday movie "Christmas on the Bayou" with Randy Travis, Ed Asner, and "One Tree Hill" alum, Hilarie Burton, for which he also recorded the single "One Foot in the Bayou".


Following the end of "Extant," Tyler worked on a pilot for the ABC sitcom, "The Fluffy Shop" alongside Gabriel Iglesias. Tyler is currently based in Los
Angeles, where he’s working on a new album.

Driftwood

When most people think of upstate New York, they either imagine bucolic landscapes or working-class towns. As natives of Binghamton, the members of Driftwood hail from a working town, but play music rooted in the land, leaning alternately into folk, old-time, country, punk, and rock, depending on their personal moods and their songs’ needs.

“It’s sometimes tough to keep any sort of focus on style or sound when you have three different songwriters,” guitarist Dan Forsyth concedes. “But it also allows us to branch out and explore in ways other bands don’t. Also, I think it’s important, as a band, to ask ourselves ‘Is this a good next step?’ I think everyone is very excited to know that it is.” Describing the Driftwood sound, banjo player Joe Kollar offers, “I consider our sound to be more of an attitude and an approach — the result of all of our influences in a completely open musical forum where the only stipulation is to use bluegrass instruments and create it from the heart.”

That’s as close to being pinned down as Driftwood ever gets. Such has always been the case for artists blurring and blending genre lines in order to innovate. Yes, they wield old-time instruments, but they do so with a punk-rock ethos. “I do not know much about punk music, but I do know that it gives me a feeling of tearing into something without inhibition,” violinist Claire Byrne says, adding, “Old-time music has the same feeling for me. The music was a release for people living extremely hard lives in harsh conditions. In this way, the two styles of music are very similar: It’s digging in and making a statement. It’s rocking out and feeling totally reborn through the song.”

Driftwood has been digging in and rocking out since their 2005 formation, playing an average of 150 shows a year. “In the beginning, we hit the road constantly with an all-or-nothing attitude,” Forsyth confides. “We were doing it with a lot of passion, but had no thoughts about long-term sustainability. Life outside of the band was minimal. One thing that I think we started to notice was, when you’re always in it, you have no perspective and you start to lose yourself in a weird way.”

As such, gigging and traveling that much can’t help but influence and inform the band, individually and collectively. In the past, they used the stage to work out arrangements of new songs. For City Lights, they used the studio. “Keeping this kind of touring schedule, we have thought of recording albums as a sort of secondary thing and considered ourselves a ‘live’ band. We learn so much on the road and this kind of work has always felt productive,” Forsyth explains. “It wasn’t until this last album that we took some time off to learn more about being in the studio. We wanted to take our time and record on our own terms.”

According to Byrne, their own terms included “taking a step forward with the production and the arrangements.” Kollar tacks “learning” on, for good measure, while Forsyth adds “good songs and bigger arrangements, and sounds than we had not previously achieved.”

When most people think of upstate New York, they either imagine bucolic landscapes or working-class towns. As natives of Binghamton, the members of Driftwood hail from a working town, but play music rooted in the land, leaning alternately into folk, old-time, country, punk, and rock, depending on their personal moods and their songs’ needs.

“It’s sometimes tough to keep any sort of focus on style or sound when you have three different songwriters,” guitarist Dan Forsyth concedes. “But it also allows us to branch out and explore in ways other bands don’t. Also, I think it’s important, as a band, to ask ourselves ‘Is this a good next step?’ I think everyone is very excited to know that it is.” Describing the Driftwood sound, banjo player Joe Kollar offers, “I consider our sound to be more of an attitude and an approach — the result of all of our influences in a completely open musical forum where the only stipulation is to use bluegrass instruments and create it from the heart.”

That’s as close to being pinned down as Driftwood ever gets. Such has always been the case for artists blurring and blending genre lines in order to innovate. Yes, they wield old-time instruments, but they do so with a punk-rock ethos. “I do not know much about punk music, but I do know that it gives me a feeling of tearing into something without inhibition,” violinist Claire Byrne says, adding, “Old-time music has the same feeling for me. The music was a release for people living extremely hard lives in harsh conditions. In this way, the two styles of music are very similar: It’s digging in and making a statement. It’s rocking out and feeling totally reborn through the song.”

Driftwood has been digging in and rocking out since their 2005 formation, playing an average of 150 shows a year. “In the beginning, we hit the road constantly with an all-or-nothing attitude,” Forsyth confides. “We were doing it with a lot of passion, but had no thoughts about long-term sustainability. Life outside of the band was minimal. One thing that I think we started to notice was, when you’re always in it, you have no perspective and you start to lose yourself in a weird way.”

As such, gigging and traveling that much can’t help but influence and inform the band, individually and collectively. In the past, they used the stage to work out arrangements of new songs. For City Lights, they used the studio. “Keeping this kind of touring schedule, we have thought of recording albums as a sort of secondary thing and considered ourselves a ‘live’ band. We learn so much on the road and this kind of work has always felt productive,” Forsyth explains. “It wasn’t until this last album that we took some time off to learn more about being in the studio. We wanted to take our time and record on our own terms.”

According to Byrne, their own terms included “taking a step forward with the production and the arrangements.” Kollar tacks “learning” on, for good measure, while Forsyth adds “good songs and bigger arrangements, and sounds than we had not previously achieved.”

(Early Show) Ben Caplan

Inspired in part by Eastern European and Jewish folk traditions, Ben Caplan mixes older musical sensibilities with his own soul, straight from his hairy heart. Lyrically, you’ve not heard the like before. Often edgy and dark, Caplan holds a mirror up to show us our nasty bits, singing about the ugliness and showing us that this darkness is the root of the sublime. His latest album release, Birds with Broken Wings, explodes with sounds both ancient and modern, with more than 30 musicians and even more instruments, combining acoustic sounds from around the world. It was listed on CBC Radio’s 50 Best Canadian Albums of 2015, reached #1 on Earshot’s National Folk/Roots/Blues chart, and was accepted into the Baker & Taylor NPR Discover Songs library. It’s all smoothly blended by the hottest international production team around. It’s uncharted territory, and Caplan’s leading the way.

Inspired in part by Eastern European and Jewish folk traditions, Ben Caplan mixes older musical sensibilities with his own soul, straight from his hairy heart. Lyrically, you’ve not heard the like before. Often edgy and dark, Caplan holds a mirror up to show us our nasty bits, singing about the ugliness and showing us that this darkness is the root of the sublime. His latest album release, Birds with Broken Wings, explodes with sounds both ancient and modern, with more than 30 musicians and even more instruments, combining acoustic sounds from around the world. It was listed on CBC Radio’s 50 Best Canadian Albums of 2015, reached #1 on Earshot’s National Folk/Roots/Blues chart, and was accepted into the Baker & Taylor NPR Discover Songs library. It’s all smoothly blended by the hottest international production team around. It’s uncharted territory, and Caplan’s leading the way.

(Late Show) Hearken / Easy Roscoe / Jon Worthy

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local and regional music.

Join Club Cafe for an evening of local and regional music.

The Last Revel / The Slocan Ramblers

The Last Revel
From the budding music scene of the Upper Midwest comes the cutting edge Front Porch Americana soundscapes of The Last Revel. This powerfully talented trio of multi-instrumentalists from Minneapolis, Minnesota so naturally blends the genres of Folk, Rockabilly, Old Time String-Band and Rock to create a sound that is as equally original as it is timeless. The Last Revel trio utilizes their multi-instrumental abilities to bring the acoustic guitar, upright bass, fiddle, 5-string banjo, harmonica, kick drum and three-part vocal harmonies together to consistently deliver “Bombastic live performances,” as well as delicate and haunting folk ballads.

With their second, self titled, album released in May of 2015, The Last Revel further demonstrates their ability to create rich and delicately textured recorded material with a modern “tip of the hat” to the storied history of American folk music.

The Slocan Ramblers
The Slocan Ramblers are Canada’s young bluegrass band to watch. Rooted in the tradition, fearlessly creative, and possessing a bold, dynamic sound, The Slocans have quickly become a leading light of Canada’s roots music scene, built on their reputation for energetic live shows, impeccable musicianship and their uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan.

This is roots music without pretension, music intended to make you feel something, music to get you moving in a crowded bar. The Slocan Ramblers recorded Coffee Creek the same way they perform on stage: standing up, leaning into the music, and pushing harder and harder for that edge just beyond.

The Last Revel
From the budding music scene of the Upper Midwest comes the cutting edge Front Porch Americana soundscapes of The Last Revel. This powerfully talented trio of multi-instrumentalists from Minneapolis, Minnesota so naturally blends the genres of Folk, Rockabilly, Old Time String-Band and Rock to create a sound that is as equally original as it is timeless. The Last Revel trio utilizes their multi-instrumental abilities to bring the acoustic guitar, upright bass, fiddle, 5-string banjo, harmonica, kick drum and three-part vocal harmonies together to consistently deliver “Bombastic live performances,” as well as delicate and haunting folk ballads.

With their second, self titled, album released in May of 2015, The Last Revel further demonstrates their ability to create rich and delicately textured recorded material with a modern “tip of the hat” to the storied history of American folk music.

The Slocan Ramblers
The Slocan Ramblers are Canada’s young bluegrass band to watch. Rooted in the tradition, fearlessly creative, and possessing a bold, dynamic sound, The Slocans have quickly become a leading light of Canada’s roots music scene, built on their reputation for energetic live shows, impeccable musicianship and their uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan.

This is roots music without pretension, music intended to make you feel something, music to get you moving in a crowded bar. The Slocan Ramblers recorded Coffee Creek the same way they perform on stage: standing up, leaning into the music, and pushing harder and harder for that edge just beyond.

MOVED TO MR. SMALLS THEATRE - An Evening With Spafford

VENUE CHANGE!
Due to overwhelming demand Jan 17 An Evening with Spafford has been moved to Mr. Smalls Theatre! All tickets purchased for the Club Cafe show will be honored.
On Sale Now via: http://bit.ly/0117spafford

VENUE CHANGE!
Due to overwhelming demand Jan 17 An Evening with Spafford has been moved to Mr. Smalls Theatre! All tickets purchased for the Club Cafe show will be honored.
On Sale Now via: http://bit.ly/0117spafford

Dan Bern

"With his acoustic guitar and a batch of witty and insightful songs, Dan Bern is rapidly becoming the voice of a new generation of folk music."
– NPR

"Dan Bern is a throwback, a singer-songwriter who marvels at life's beauty, fragility, and complexity with a fresh, defiantly uncompromising style. In a perfect world, he'd be as beloved as Dylan or Lennon-he's that good!" So wrote Stereophile magazine contributing editor David Sokol for that publication's popular Records To Die For feature several years back.

A remarkably prolific songsmith, Dan has released some two dozen studio albums, EPs, and live recordings since his first acclaimed Sony-distributed CD in 1997. Either fronting the prodigiously talented band Common Rotation or as a solo performer, he is comfortable and convincing, funny and topical, with an unassuming tip of the hat to the spirits Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, the Beatles, and young Bob Dylan-all while sounding thoroughly original and 21st-century. Whether writing about stepping back and appreciating the world around us ("Breathe") or celebrating the venerable voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers ("The Golden Voice of Vin Scully"), Dan's songs are always literary, sometimes funny, and often cinematic. And it's not uncommon at a Dan Bern concert to see and hear fans unabashedly singing along to one song after another with no prompting
from the stage.

Dan Bern recordings have featured a host of artists ranging from Ani DiFranco to Emmylou Harris, and he's devoted entire albums to baseball (Doubleheader), politics (My Country II), and little kids (2 Feet Tall). His singular songwriting has led to stints working on such projects as the Judd Apatow features Walk Hard-the Dewey Cox Story (starring John C. Reilly) and Get Him to the Greek (starring Russell Brand). His songs have appeared in numerous TV shows, and he recently penned the theme song for the Amazon cartoon The Stinky and Dirty Show.

Dan's new full-length studio album, Hoody, is due in early 2015. The album was recorded primarily in Los Angeles at Pehrspace in the Echo Park neighborhood. Featuring one of his most engaging and eclectic collections of songs, with support from Common Rotation, Hoody digs deeply into Dan's affinity for country, rock, and folk with a punch and poignancy rarely heard these days. And his voice has never sounded richer and more powerful. The record has a warm, organic feel, with the band usually performing together in the same room, at the same time. Beside Dan, who plays acoustic and electric guitars and some harmonica, musicians on the album include Adam Busch (drums, harmonica), Jordan Katz (trumpet, banjo), Eric Kufs (lap steel, vocals), Johnny Flaugher (bass), Eben Grace (guitar), and George Sluppick and Tripp Beam (drums). And Hoody was co-produced by Dan with his old friend Greg Prestopino, whose long list of credits includes co-writing Matthew Wilder's ubiquitous Top 5 hit, "Break My Stride" from 1983. Says Dan, "The way we recorded the stuff was a bit rough in spots, and Greg was able to massage it really well."

Hoody is filled with highlights and surprises, including "Lifeline," a stunning up-tempo country-rocker. The song, which soberly celebrates resiliency, features guest vocals by original Old Crow Medicine Show member Willie Watson and Common Rotation lap-steel guitarist Eric Kufs, who co-wrote the song with Dan. And somehow Dan holds one particularly challenging note for 20 seconds toward the end of the song. Like the thoughtful "Turn on a Dime," "Lifeline" would sound awfully good on progressive-country radio.

As would "Merle, Hank & Johnny," which not only pays homage to those country icons but to Buck Owens, Jimmie Rodgers, and George Jones (and is as loving an ode as his tip of the hat to Vin Scully on 2012's Drifter). The song is powerfully autobiographical, capped off with the sentiment that no matter what music his young daughter ultimately listens to, she's sure to hear Haggard and Williams and Cash as she grows up.

Speaking of Dan's little one, Lulu (who chipped in a few chirps on 2 Feet Tall) has a short but charming three letter cameo (singing "JFK") on "Waffle House," a hilarious live showstopper delineating one of the true dividing lines in modern-day America: "Red states got the Waffle House, blue states don't." On Hoody, the song barely clocks in at a minute-and-a-half, but Dan packs a lot into it. Another gem on Hoody is the harder rocking "Welcome," a three-minute indictment of our modern-day information overload. With an infectious melody belying the song's powerfully topical message, Dan poses the question, "What's in your wallet, and which side are you on?" On a lighter note, there's a charmingly spirited take on Johnny Cash's novel 1976 country chart-topper, "One Piece at a Time." The album closes with one of Dan's loveliest songs ever. "Sky"- with the timelessness that graces "Soul," the brilliant closing song on 2003's Fleeting Days-is a heartbreakingly beautiful love song, not just to a true love, but to life itself. "Long as I can see the sky…nothing can bring me down."

Reflecting on Hoody, Dan confides, "I feel it's a really strong record. I think it's got a lot of elements-old folk, classic country, British Invasion-but it all holds together. It's the culmination of what I've been aiming at for a long time, and also a jumping off point for everything I'm aiming to do next. I feel like the right radio stations could find a lot here to work with. I was aiming high and knew what I was after, and with a great team was able to achieve it. I hope people will hear it."

Hoody is fresh and contemporary, and certainly deserves to be heard… a lot. Dan is clearly standing on the shoulders of giants as he observes the world around him and puts all the bustle and the craziness into perspective. He's a songwriter's songwriter and a lyrical genius with a huge, optimistic heart, as anyone who's heard his songs can attest to. (Who else could write songs as diverse and pithy as "The Fifth Beatle," "Osama in Obamaland," and "Year-By-Year Home Run Totals of Barry Bonds"?)

Like we said, Dan Bern is a throwback to the days of exemplary songs and extraordinary songwriters. He's one of the very best, and we sure could use more of his kind these days.

"With his acoustic guitar and a batch of witty and insightful songs, Dan Bern is rapidly becoming the voice of a new generation of folk music."
– NPR

"Dan Bern is a throwback, a singer-songwriter who marvels at life's beauty, fragility, and complexity with a fresh, defiantly uncompromising style. In a perfect world, he'd be as beloved as Dylan or Lennon-he's that good!" So wrote Stereophile magazine contributing editor David Sokol for that publication's popular Records To Die For feature several years back.

A remarkably prolific songsmith, Dan has released some two dozen studio albums, EPs, and live recordings since his first acclaimed Sony-distributed CD in 1997. Either fronting the prodigiously talented band Common Rotation or as a solo performer, he is comfortable and convincing, funny and topical, with an unassuming tip of the hat to the spirits Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, the Beatles, and young Bob Dylan-all while sounding thoroughly original and 21st-century. Whether writing about stepping back and appreciating the world around us ("Breathe") or celebrating the venerable voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers ("The Golden Voice of Vin Scully"), Dan's songs are always literary, sometimes funny, and often cinematic. And it's not uncommon at a Dan Bern concert to see and hear fans unabashedly singing along to one song after another with no prompting
from the stage.

Dan Bern recordings have featured a host of artists ranging from Ani DiFranco to Emmylou Harris, and he's devoted entire albums to baseball (Doubleheader), politics (My Country II), and little kids (2 Feet Tall). His singular songwriting has led to stints working on such projects as the Judd Apatow features Walk Hard-the Dewey Cox Story (starring John C. Reilly) and Get Him to the Greek (starring Russell Brand). His songs have appeared in numerous TV shows, and he recently penned the theme song for the Amazon cartoon The Stinky and Dirty Show.

Dan's new full-length studio album, Hoody, is due in early 2015. The album was recorded primarily in Los Angeles at Pehrspace in the Echo Park neighborhood. Featuring one of his most engaging and eclectic collections of songs, with support from Common Rotation, Hoody digs deeply into Dan's affinity for country, rock, and folk with a punch and poignancy rarely heard these days. And his voice has never sounded richer and more powerful. The record has a warm, organic feel, with the band usually performing together in the same room, at the same time. Beside Dan, who plays acoustic and electric guitars and some harmonica, musicians on the album include Adam Busch (drums, harmonica), Jordan Katz (trumpet, banjo), Eric Kufs (lap steel, vocals), Johnny Flaugher (bass), Eben Grace (guitar), and George Sluppick and Tripp Beam (drums). And Hoody was co-produced by Dan with his old friend Greg Prestopino, whose long list of credits includes co-writing Matthew Wilder's ubiquitous Top 5 hit, "Break My Stride" from 1983. Says Dan, "The way we recorded the stuff was a bit rough in spots, and Greg was able to massage it really well."

Hoody is filled with highlights and surprises, including "Lifeline," a stunning up-tempo country-rocker. The song, which soberly celebrates resiliency, features guest vocals by original Old Crow Medicine Show member Willie Watson and Common Rotation lap-steel guitarist Eric Kufs, who co-wrote the song with Dan. And somehow Dan holds one particularly challenging note for 20 seconds toward the end of the song. Like the thoughtful "Turn on a Dime," "Lifeline" would sound awfully good on progressive-country radio.

As would "Merle, Hank & Johnny," which not only pays homage to those country icons but to Buck Owens, Jimmie Rodgers, and George Jones (and is as loving an ode as his tip of the hat to Vin Scully on 2012's Drifter). The song is powerfully autobiographical, capped off with the sentiment that no matter what music his young daughter ultimately listens to, she's sure to hear Haggard and Williams and Cash as she grows up.

Speaking of Dan's little one, Lulu (who chipped in a few chirps on 2 Feet Tall) has a short but charming three letter cameo (singing "JFK") on "Waffle House," a hilarious live showstopper delineating one of the true dividing lines in modern-day America: "Red states got the Waffle House, blue states don't." On Hoody, the song barely clocks in at a minute-and-a-half, but Dan packs a lot into it. Another gem on Hoody is the harder rocking "Welcome," a three-minute indictment of our modern-day information overload. With an infectious melody belying the song's powerfully topical message, Dan poses the question, "What's in your wallet, and which side are you on?" On a lighter note, there's a charmingly spirited take on Johnny Cash's novel 1976 country chart-topper, "One Piece at a Time." The album closes with one of Dan's loveliest songs ever. "Sky"- with the timelessness that graces "Soul," the brilliant closing song on 2003's Fleeting Days-is a heartbreakingly beautiful love song, not just to a true love, but to life itself. "Long as I can see the sky…nothing can bring me down."

Reflecting on Hoody, Dan confides, "I feel it's a really strong record. I think it's got a lot of elements-old folk, classic country, British Invasion-but it all holds together. It's the culmination of what I've been aiming at for a long time, and also a jumping off point for everything I'm aiming to do next. I feel like the right radio stations could find a lot here to work with. I was aiming high and knew what I was after, and with a great team was able to achieve it. I hope people will hear it."

Hoody is fresh and contemporary, and certainly deserves to be heard… a lot. Dan is clearly standing on the shoulders of giants as he observes the world around him and puts all the bustle and the craziness into perspective. He's a songwriter's songwriter and a lyrical genius with a huge, optimistic heart, as anyone who's heard his songs can attest to. (Who else could write songs as diverse and pithy as "The Fifth Beatle," "Osama in Obamaland," and "Year-By-Year Home Run Totals of Barry Bonds"?)

Like we said, Dan Bern is a throwback to the days of exemplary songs and extraordinary songwriters. He's one of the very best, and we sure could use more of his kind these days.

(Early Show) An Evening With Richard Shindell

Originally from New York, now dividing his time between Buenos Aires, Argentina and New York’s Hudson Valley, Richard Shindell is a writer whose songs paint pictures, tell stories, juxtapose ideas and images, inhabit characters, vividly evoking entire worlds along the way and expanding our sense of just what it is a song may be.
From his first record, Sparrow’s Point (1992) to his current release, Careless (September 2016), Shindell has explored the possibilities offered by this most elastic and variable of cultural confections: the song. The path that led him to songwriting was both circuitous and direct.
Taking up the guitar at the age of eight, he listened but imagined that composing a song was out of the question. After college and a nine month stint in a Zen Buddhist community in Upstate New York, he headed to Europe with his guitar, finding something not approaching a livelihood performing in the Paris Metro, where he discovered “I loved the acoustics in those tunnels, but only when they were empty.”

Originally from New York, now dividing his time between Buenos Aires, Argentina and New York’s Hudson Valley, Richard Shindell is a writer whose songs paint pictures, tell stories, juxtapose ideas and images, inhabit characters, vividly evoking entire worlds along the way and expanding our sense of just what it is a song may be.
From his first record, Sparrow’s Point (1992) to his current release, Careless (September 2016), Shindell has explored the possibilities offered by this most elastic and variable of cultural confections: the song. The path that led him to songwriting was both circuitous and direct.
Taking up the guitar at the age of eight, he listened but imagined that composing a song was out of the question. After college and a nine month stint in a Zen Buddhist community in Upstate New York, he headed to Europe with his guitar, finding something not approaching a livelihood performing in the Paris Metro, where he discovered “I loved the acoustics in those tunnels, but only when they were empty.”

Howie Day

Howie Day’s emotionally resonant lyrics and inventive melodies have earned him both critical praise and a legion of devoted fans. He is known for his energetic, heartfelt shows, where he connects with audiences through the strength of his songwriting and his quirky sense of humor. Day’s warm tenor voice “soars into fluttering, high registers, but also grates with real, pleading grit,” as one critic put it. After sales of over a million records and two Top 10 hits, Day is back on the road in support of his new studio album, Lanterns.

A native of Bangor, Maine, Day began playing piano at age five and guitar at age 12. By 15, he was writing his own songs and performing across New England. Shortly after graduating high school, Day became a fixture at college coffeehouses across the U.S. He wrote, financed and released his first effort, Australia, which was named Best Debut Album at the 2001 Boston Music Awards. The Boston Globe called Day “gorgeously seasoned, far beyond his years” with “a brave, beautiful singing voice.” During his relentless touring schedule, Day began experimenting with effects pedals and loop-sampling techniques as he performed, layering live percussion with vocal harmonies and guitar parts to become a veritable one-man band. He went on to sell over 30,000 copies of Australia as he navigated the independent music scene and continued to hone his craft.

After signing with Epic Records, Day released his major-label debut, Stop All The World Now, and hit the road to support it. The constant promotion paid off: Stop was certified gold in the U.S. and spawned two Top 10 radio hits: “She Says” and the platinum single “Collide.” After three subsequent years of intense worldwide touring, Day moved to Los Angeles and returned to the studio. His next release, Sound the Alarm, built on the emotionally complex spirit of its predecessor and delved into Day’s journey from indie wunderkind to platinum-selling artist. Its lead single, “Be There,” became a staple at modern AC radio.

After parting ways with Epic and relocating to New York City in 2010, Day released the Ceasefire EP on his own label, Daze. Over the next two years, as a reenergized Day toured North America, Australia and Asia, new songs began to emerge and evolve. His fourth full-length album, Lanterns, was recorded in Boston with producer and longtime friend Mike Denneen. Awash with a warm musicality and unique instrumentation, the album also features guest vocals from Aimee Mann. Lanterns was released in April 2015.

Howie Day’s emotionally resonant lyrics and inventive melodies have earned him both critical praise and a legion of devoted fans. He is known for his energetic, heartfelt shows, where he connects with audiences through the strength of his songwriting and his quirky sense of humor. Day’s warm tenor voice “soars into fluttering, high registers, but also grates with real, pleading grit,” as one critic put it. After sales of over a million records and two Top 10 hits, Day is back on the road in support of his new studio album, Lanterns.

A native of Bangor, Maine, Day began playing piano at age five and guitar at age 12. By 15, he was writing his own songs and performing across New England. Shortly after graduating high school, Day became a fixture at college coffeehouses across the U.S. He wrote, financed and released his first effort, Australia, which was named Best Debut Album at the 2001 Boston Music Awards. The Boston Globe called Day “gorgeously seasoned, far beyond his years” with “a brave, beautiful singing voice.” During his relentless touring schedule, Day began experimenting with effects pedals and loop-sampling techniques as he performed, layering live percussion with vocal harmonies and guitar parts to become a veritable one-man band. He went on to sell over 30,000 copies of Australia as he navigated the independent music scene and continued to hone his craft.

After signing with Epic Records, Day released his major-label debut, Stop All The World Now, and hit the road to support it. The constant promotion paid off: Stop was certified gold in the U.S. and spawned two Top 10 radio hits: “She Says” and the platinum single “Collide.” After three subsequent years of intense worldwide touring, Day moved to Los Angeles and returned to the studio. His next release, Sound the Alarm, built on the emotionally complex spirit of its predecessor and delved into Day’s journey from indie wunderkind to platinum-selling artist. Its lead single, “Be There,” became a staple at modern AC radio.

After parting ways with Epic and relocating to New York City in 2010, Day released the Ceasefire EP on his own label, Daze. Over the next two years, as a reenergized Day toured North America, Australia and Asia, new songs began to emerge and evolve. His fourth full-length album, Lanterns, was recorded in Boston with producer and longtime friend Mike Denneen. Awash with a warm musicality and unique instrumentation, the album also features guest vocals from Aimee Mann. Lanterns was released in April 2015.

(Early Show) WYEP Exclusive Member Show with Los Lobos - Presented by 91.3fm WYEP and Opus One

"We're a Mexican American band, and no word describes America like immigrant. Most of us are children of immigrants, so it's perhaps natural that the songs we create celebrate America in this way." So says Louie Perez, the "poet laureate" and primary wordsmith of Los Lobos, when describing the songs on the band's new album, Gates of Gold.

The stories on Gates of Gold are snapshots of experiences that Perez and his band mates have had, based on where they are emotionally and how they respond to evolving life circumstances. "We live out loud most of the time and share our life this way, but then there are more intrinsic things that happen, and our songs are part of the way we react to them. We sit down and basically tell people what has happened. We certainly didn't start this project with aspirations to create the musical equivalent to great American literary works."

After celebrating their 40th anniversary with the cleverly titled 2013 live album Disconnected In New York City, the hard working, constantly touring band – David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin – leaps headfirst into their fifth decade with an invitation to join them as they open fresh and exciting new Gates of Gold, their first full length studio album since 2010's Tin Can Trust (a Grammy nominee for Best Americana Album) and second with Savoy/429 Records.

The dynamic songwriting, deeply poetic lyrics, thoughtful romantic and spiritual themes and eclectic blend of styles on the 11 track collection has resulted in an American saga in the rich literary tradition of legendary authors John Steinbeck and William Faulkner. Yet true to form, these typically humble musical wolves started in on the project without any grand vision or musical roadmap. Over 30 years after Los Lobos' major label breakthrough How Will The Wolf Survive? - their 1984 album that ranks #30 on Rolling Stones list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s – their main challenge when they get off the road and head back into the studio is, as Berlin says, "trying not to do stuff we've already done. To a certain extent, we are always drawing from the same multi-faceted paint box, and we sound like what we sound like. We're proud of what we feel is an honest body of work. We just want to keep finding new ways to say things."

In the band's early recording days - those years just before and after "La Bamba," their worldwide crossover hit from the 1987 film which reached #1 on the U.S. and UK singles chart - they prepared for album recording sessions with top producers like T-Bone Burnett with pre-production that included multiple rehearsals and "outlining" what the project was going to be. The more spontaneous approach to writing and recording that they took on their 1992 Mitchell Froom co-produced set Kiko still exists today; Rosas says, "When I listen to our catalog, doing things more spontaneously in the studio has led to some of our best work." Unlike many bands that write, gather and catalog material between studio releases, Los Lobos prefers to create their magic on the fly when they decide it's time to record. Perez says, "We never come in with a cache of 20 songs. Our thing is to write as we're recording. It's like starting with a blank canvass every time."

The journey to Gates of Gold began with Hidalgo bringing in a batch of ideas, outlines and chord progressions with no lyrics. As he and Perez began fleshing things out, developing grooves, melodies and lyrical themes, Hidalgo, his son, drummer David, Jr. and bassist Lozano began tracking those tunes. The collection opens with the reflective, mid-tempo rocker "Made To Break Your Heart," featuring female vocalist Syd Straw, whose vibe was partially inspired by Hidalgo's love for Manassas, the early 70s blues-country-rock band created by Stephen Stills. The moody, atmospheric rocker "When We Were Free," whose lyrics of what Berlin calls "beautiful melancholy memories" are underscored with the increasing drama of booming drums and distorted electric guitars. Filled with hypnotic sound effects and cool vocal and guitar distortion (created via an eight track analog Cascam cassette recorder!), the soulful, reflective "There I Go" touches on the universal search for what Perez calls "something meaningful, though we're not always sure what it is."

Further Hidalgo/Perez collaborations include "Too Small Heart," a raw and raucous nod to both Los Lobos garage band roots and the wild abandon of Jimi Hendrix; the easy grooving folk-rocker "Song of the Sun," which taps into the elements of life (water, fire, earth) and creation myths while touching on the way we choose to live in the present; the slow burning blues/rocker "Magdalena," inspired by the Biblical Mary Magdalene and visions of flowing robes; and the folk-influenced, image rich rocker title track "Gates of Gold," whose lyrical abstractions allow for multiple earthly and spiritual interpretations.

Perez says, "When I first started listening to the original demo Dave had, the music spoke to me of rural America. The impression the lyrics give could refer to the afterlife, i.e. the "pearly gates," but I also was thinking about the immigrant experience, the promise of a new life as one travels across borders, all the thoughts a person making that daring move might have connected to the dream of what America is. Our parents all wondered what lay beyond those gates. On a personal level, it's a reflection of where my band mates and I are in our lives. We're all over 60 now and looking towards the horizon at our own mortality. We think often about what we've contributed and what's left. I don't know who the protagonist of the song is, but he's looking at those gates from a distance because what lies beyond is a mystery."

As Hidalgo and Perez began collaborating on their songs, Rosas, as per his trademark "lone wolf" songwriting approach, took his basic tracks to his home studio to complete the handful of tunes that flesh out the set. The singer, guitarist and mandolin player's pieces include the raucous and bluesy, garage band fired jam "Mis-Treater Boogie Blues," the swampy folk-rock blues lament "I Believed You So" and the swaying, sensual Latin Cumbia-styled "Poquito Para Aqui." The sole cover on Gates of Gold is the other Spanish language tune, "La Tumba," an accordion laced folk piece connected to the Mexican Norteno tradition (related to polka and corrodes) whose theme, says Perez, is very dark, "about following your lover to the tomb." It's very familiar to fans as a frequent staple of Los Lobos' live performances.

Back in 2003, when Los Lobos was celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their humble beginnings as a garage band in East L.A., Rolling Stone summed up their distinctive, diverse, freewheeling fusion of rock, blues, soul and Mexican folk music: "This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together…to see how far it can take them." Originally called Los Lobos del Este (de Los Angeles), a play on a popular norteno band called Los Lobos del Norte, the group originally came together from three separate units. Lead vocalist/guitarist Hidalgo, whose arsenal includes accordion, percussion, bass, keyboards, melodic, drums, violin and banjo, met Perez at Garfield High in East LA and started a garage band. Rosas, who had his own group, and Lozano launched a power trio. "But we all hung out because we were friends and making music was just the natural progression of things," says Perez, the band's drummer. "Like if you hang around a barbershop long enough, you're going to get a haircut."

Berlin is Los Lobos' saxophonist, flutist and harmonica player who met the band while still with seminal L.A. rockers The Blasters. He joined the group after performing on and co-producing (with T-Bone Burnett) their breakthrough 1983 EP …And A Time To Dance. Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy winning band (Best Mexican American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded How Will the Wolf Survive? Although the album's name and title song were inspired by a National Geographic article about real life wolves in the wild, the band saw obvious parallels with their struggle to gain mainstream rock success while maintaining their Mexican roots.

Perez, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music "the soundtrack of the barrio." Three decades, two more Grammys, the global success of "La Bamba" and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well -- and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. They don't get in the studio as often as they did a few decades ago – Tin Can Trustcame four years after their previous album of all originals, The Town and the City – but when they do, the results are every bit as culturally rich, musically rocking and lyrically provocative as they were back in the day.

"It's not always the easiest thing finding time away from our touring schedule and families to find time to make an album," says Berlin, "but recording Gates of Gold, I have to say it's great to be back in the proverbial saddle again. It reminds us of the fun we have had making new music over the years, and it's nice to have the opportunity to create something of value."

Perez adds, "I find that the most interesting part of songwriting and tracking a new album is the differential between the way a song sounds to you at 2 a.m. and the way it may hit you when it's 11 a.m. and it reaches the light of day. We may love it just as much or we may realize we can do better. It's always a process of discovering more about ourselves and the music we love to make. It's not always easy getting started again, but I love that moment in the process when the songs start to take on their own life and we can let the kid, so to speak, run out onto the street and start figuring things out for himself. The way songs reveal themselves to us during these periods of writing and recording is my favorite part of the Los Lobos recording experience."
Louie Perez - Drums, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
Steve Berlin - Saxophone, Percussion, Flute, Midsax, Harmonica, Melodica
Cesar Rosas - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
Conrad Lozano - Bass, Guitarron, Vocals
David Hidalgo - Vocals, Guitar, Accordion, Percussion, Bass, Keyboards, Melodica, Drums, Violin, Banjo
Enrique "Bugs" Gonzalez - Drums/Percussion

"We're a Mexican American band, and no word describes America like immigrant. Most of us are children of immigrants, so it's perhaps natural that the songs we create celebrate America in this way." So says Louie Perez, the "poet laureate" and primary wordsmith of Los Lobos, when describing the songs on the band's new album, Gates of Gold.

The stories on Gates of Gold are snapshots of experiences that Perez and his band mates have had, based on where they are emotionally and how they respond to evolving life circumstances. "We live out loud most of the time and share our life this way, but then there are more intrinsic things that happen, and our songs are part of the way we react to them. We sit down and basically tell people what has happened. We certainly didn't start this project with aspirations to create the musical equivalent to great American literary works."

After celebrating their 40th anniversary with the cleverly titled 2013 live album Disconnected In New York City, the hard working, constantly touring band – David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin – leaps headfirst into their fifth decade with an invitation to join them as they open fresh and exciting new Gates of Gold, their first full length studio album since 2010's Tin Can Trust (a Grammy nominee for Best Americana Album) and second with Savoy/429 Records.

The dynamic songwriting, deeply poetic lyrics, thoughtful romantic and spiritual themes and eclectic blend of styles on the 11 track collection has resulted in an American saga in the rich literary tradition of legendary authors John Steinbeck and William Faulkner. Yet true to form, these typically humble musical wolves started in on the project without any grand vision or musical roadmap. Over 30 years after Los Lobos' major label breakthrough How Will The Wolf Survive? - their 1984 album that ranks #30 on Rolling Stones list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s – their main challenge when they get off the road and head back into the studio is, as Berlin says, "trying not to do stuff we've already done. To a certain extent, we are always drawing from the same multi-faceted paint box, and we sound like what we sound like. We're proud of what we feel is an honest body of work. We just want to keep finding new ways to say things."

In the band's early recording days - those years just before and after "La Bamba," their worldwide crossover hit from the 1987 film which reached #1 on the U.S. and UK singles chart - they prepared for album recording sessions with top producers like T-Bone Burnett with pre-production that included multiple rehearsals and "outlining" what the project was going to be. The more spontaneous approach to writing and recording that they took on their 1992 Mitchell Froom co-produced set Kiko still exists today; Rosas says, "When I listen to our catalog, doing things more spontaneously in the studio has led to some of our best work." Unlike many bands that write, gather and catalog material between studio releases, Los Lobos prefers to create their magic on the fly when they decide it's time to record. Perez says, "We never come in with a cache of 20 songs. Our thing is to write as we're recording. It's like starting with a blank canvass every time."

The journey to Gates of Gold began with Hidalgo bringing in a batch of ideas, outlines and chord progressions with no lyrics. As he and Perez began fleshing things out, developing grooves, melodies and lyrical themes, Hidalgo, his son, drummer David, Jr. and bassist Lozano began tracking those tunes. The collection opens with the reflective, mid-tempo rocker "Made To Break Your Heart," featuring female vocalist Syd Straw, whose vibe was partially inspired by Hidalgo's love for Manassas, the early 70s blues-country-rock band created by Stephen Stills. The moody, atmospheric rocker "When We Were Free," whose lyrics of what Berlin calls "beautiful melancholy memories" are underscored with the increasing drama of booming drums and distorted electric guitars. Filled with hypnotic sound effects and cool vocal and guitar distortion (created via an eight track analog Cascam cassette recorder!), the soulful, reflective "There I Go" touches on the universal search for what Perez calls "something meaningful, though we're not always sure what it is."

Further Hidalgo/Perez collaborations include "Too Small Heart," a raw and raucous nod to both Los Lobos garage band roots and the wild abandon of Jimi Hendrix; the easy grooving folk-rocker "Song of the Sun," which taps into the elements of life (water, fire, earth) and creation myths while touching on the way we choose to live in the present; the slow burning blues/rocker "Magdalena," inspired by the Biblical Mary Magdalene and visions of flowing robes; and the folk-influenced, image rich rocker title track "Gates of Gold," whose lyrical abstractions allow for multiple earthly and spiritual interpretations.

Perez says, "When I first started listening to the original demo Dave had, the music spoke to me of rural America. The impression the lyrics give could refer to the afterlife, i.e. the "pearly gates," but I also was thinking about the immigrant experience, the promise of a new life as one travels across borders, all the thoughts a person making that daring move might have connected to the dream of what America is. Our parents all wondered what lay beyond those gates. On a personal level, it's a reflection of where my band mates and I are in our lives. We're all over 60 now and looking towards the horizon at our own mortality. We think often about what we've contributed and what's left. I don't know who the protagonist of the song is, but he's looking at those gates from a distance because what lies beyond is a mystery."

As Hidalgo and Perez began collaborating on their songs, Rosas, as per his trademark "lone wolf" songwriting approach, took his basic tracks to his home studio to complete the handful of tunes that flesh out the set. The singer, guitarist and mandolin player's pieces include the raucous and bluesy, garage band fired jam "Mis-Treater Boogie Blues," the swampy folk-rock blues lament "I Believed You So" and the swaying, sensual Latin Cumbia-styled "Poquito Para Aqui." The sole cover on Gates of Gold is the other Spanish language tune, "La Tumba," an accordion laced folk piece connected to the Mexican Norteno tradition (related to polka and corrodes) whose theme, says Perez, is very dark, "about following your lover to the tomb." It's very familiar to fans as a frequent staple of Los Lobos' live performances.

Back in 2003, when Los Lobos was celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their humble beginnings as a garage band in East L.A., Rolling Stone summed up their distinctive, diverse, freewheeling fusion of rock, blues, soul and Mexican folk music: "This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together…to see how far it can take them." Originally called Los Lobos del Este (de Los Angeles), a play on a popular norteno band called Los Lobos del Norte, the group originally came together from three separate units. Lead vocalist/guitarist Hidalgo, whose arsenal includes accordion, percussion, bass, keyboards, melodic, drums, violin and banjo, met Perez at Garfield High in East LA and started a garage band. Rosas, who had his own group, and Lozano launched a power trio. "But we all hung out because we were friends and making music was just the natural progression of things," says Perez, the band's drummer. "Like if you hang around a barbershop long enough, you're going to get a haircut."

Berlin is Los Lobos' saxophonist, flutist and harmonica player who met the band while still with seminal L.A. rockers The Blasters. He joined the group after performing on and co-producing (with T-Bone Burnett) their breakthrough 1983 EP …And A Time To Dance. Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy winning band (Best Mexican American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded How Will the Wolf Survive? Although the album's name and title song were inspired by a National Geographic article about real life wolves in the wild, the band saw obvious parallels with their struggle to gain mainstream rock success while maintaining their Mexican roots.

Perez, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music "the soundtrack of the barrio." Three decades, two more Grammys, the global success of "La Bamba" and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well -- and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. They don't get in the studio as often as they did a few decades ago – Tin Can Trustcame four years after their previous album of all originals, The Town and the City – but when they do, the results are every bit as culturally rich, musically rocking and lyrically provocative as they were back in the day.

"It's not always the easiest thing finding time away from our touring schedule and families to find time to make an album," says Berlin, "but recording Gates of Gold, I have to say it's great to be back in the proverbial saddle again. It reminds us of the fun we have had making new music over the years, and it's nice to have the opportunity to create something of value."

Perez adds, "I find that the most interesting part of songwriting and tracking a new album is the differential between the way a song sounds to you at 2 a.m. and the way it may hit you when it's 11 a.m. and it reaches the light of day. We may love it just as much or we may realize we can do better. It's always a process of discovering more about ourselves and the music we love to make. It's not always easy getting started again, but I love that moment in the process when the songs start to take on their own life and we can let the kid, so to speak, run out onto the street and start figuring things out for himself. The way songs reveal themselves to us during these periods of writing and recording is my favorite part of the Los Lobos recording experience."
Louie Perez - Drums, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
Steve Berlin - Saxophone, Percussion, Flute, Midsax, Harmonica, Melodica
Cesar Rosas - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
Conrad Lozano - Bass, Guitarron, Vocals
David Hidalgo - Vocals, Guitar, Accordion, Percussion, Bass, Keyboards, Melodica, Drums, Violin, Banjo
Enrique "Bugs" Gonzalez - Drums/Percussion

(Late Show) Los Lobos - Presented by 91.3fm WYEP and Opus One

"We're a Mexican American band, and no word describes America like immigrant. Most of us are children of immigrants, so it's perhaps natural that the songs we create celebrate America in this way." So says Louie Perez, the "poet laureate" and primary wordsmith of Los Lobos, when describing the songs on the band's new album, Gates of Gold.

The stories on Gates of Gold are snapshots of experiences that Perez and his band mates have had, based on where they are emotionally and how they respond to evolving life circumstances. "We live out loud most of the time and share our life this way, but then there are more intrinsic things that happen, and our songs are part of the way we react to them. We sit down and basically tell people what has happened. We certainly didn't start this project with aspirations to create the musical equivalent to great American literary works."

After celebrating their 40th anniversary with the cleverly titled 2013 live album Disconnected In New York City, the hard working, constantly touring band – David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin – leaps headfirst into their fifth decade with an invitation to join them as they open fresh and exciting new Gates of Gold, their first full length studio album since 2010's Tin Can Trust (a Grammy nominee for Best Americana Album) and second with Savoy/429 Records.

The dynamic songwriting, deeply poetic lyrics, thoughtful romantic and spiritual themes and eclectic blend of styles on the 11 track collection has resulted in an American saga in the rich literary tradition of legendary authors John Steinbeck and William Faulkner. Yet true to form, these typically humble musical wolves started in on the project without any grand vision or musical roadmap. Over 30 years after Los Lobos' major label breakthrough How Will The Wolf Survive? - their 1984 album that ranks #30 on Rolling Stones list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s – their main challenge when they get off the road and head back into the studio is, as Berlin says, "trying not to do stuff we've already done. To a certain extent, we are always drawing from the same multi-faceted paint box, and we sound like what we sound like. We're proud of what we feel is an honest body of work. We just want to keep finding new ways to say things."

In the band's early recording days - those years just before and after "La Bamba," their worldwide crossover hit from the 1987 film which reached #1 on the U.S. and UK singles chart - they prepared for album recording sessions with top producers like T-Bone Burnett with pre-production that included multiple rehearsals and "outlining" what the project was going to be. The more spontaneous approach to writing and recording that they took on their 1992 Mitchell Froom co-produced set Kiko still exists today; Rosas says, "When I listen to our catalog, doing things more spontaneously in the studio has led to some of our best work." Unlike many bands that write, gather and catalog material between studio releases, Los Lobos prefers to create their magic on the fly when they decide it's time to record. Perez says, "We never come in with a cache of 20 songs. Our thing is to write as we're recording. It's like starting with a blank canvass every time."

The journey to Gates of Gold began with Hidalgo bringing in a batch of ideas, outlines and chord progressions with no lyrics. As he and Perez began fleshing things out, developing grooves, melodies and lyrical themes, Hidalgo, his son, drummer David, Jr. and bassist Lozano began tracking those tunes. The collection opens with the reflective, mid-tempo rocker "Made To Break Your Heart," featuring female vocalist Syd Straw, whose vibe was partially inspired by Hidalgo's love for Manassas, the early 70s blues-country-rock band created by Stephen Stills. The moody, atmospheric rocker "When We Were Free," whose lyrics of what Berlin calls "beautiful melancholy memories" are underscored with the increasing drama of booming drums and distorted electric guitars. Filled with hypnotic sound effects and cool vocal and guitar distortion (created via an eight track analog Cascam cassette recorder!), the soulful, reflective "There I Go" touches on the universal search for what Perez calls "something meaningful, though we're not always sure what it is."

Further Hidalgo/Perez collaborations include "Too Small Heart," a raw and raucous nod to both Los Lobos garage band roots and the wild abandon of Jimi Hendrix; the easy grooving folk-rocker "Song of the Sun," which taps into the elements of life (water, fire, earth) and creation myths while touching on the way we choose to live in the present; the slow burning blues/rocker "Magdalena," inspired by the Biblical Mary Magdalene and visions of flowing robes; and the folk-influenced, image rich rocker title track "Gates of Gold," whose lyrical abstractions allow for multiple earthly and spiritual interpretations.

Perez says, "When I first started listening to the original demo Dave had, the music spoke to me of rural America. The impression the lyrics give could refer to the afterlife, i.e. the "pearly gates," but I also was thinking about the immigrant experience, the promise of a new life as one travels across borders, all the thoughts a person making that daring move might have connected to the dream of what America is. Our parents all wondered what lay beyond those gates. On a personal level, it's a reflection of where my band mates and I are in our lives. We're all over 60 now and looking towards the horizon at our own mortality. We think often about what we've contributed and what's left. I don't know who the protagonist of the song is, but he's looking at those gates from a distance because what lies beyond is a mystery."

As Hidalgo and Perez began collaborating on their songs, Rosas, as per his trademark "lone wolf" songwriting approach, took his basic tracks to his home studio to complete the handful of tunes that flesh out the set. The singer, guitarist and mandolin player's pieces include the raucous and bluesy, garage band fired jam "Mis-Treater Boogie Blues," the swampy folk-rock blues lament "I Believed You So" and the swaying, sensual Latin Cumbia-styled "Poquito Para Aqui." The sole cover on Gates of Gold is the other Spanish language tune, "La Tumba," an accordion laced folk piece connected to the Mexican Norteno tradition (related to polka and corrodes) whose theme, says Perez, is very dark, "about following your lover to the tomb." It's very familiar to fans as a frequent staple of Los Lobos' live performances.

Back in 2003, when Los Lobos was celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their humble beginnings as a garage band in East L.A., Rolling Stone summed up their distinctive, diverse, freewheeling fusion of rock, blues, soul and Mexican folk music: "This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together…to see how far it can take them." Originally called Los Lobos del Este (de Los Angeles), a play on a popular norteno band called Los Lobos del Norte, the group originally came together from three separate units. Lead vocalist/guitarist Hidalgo, whose arsenal includes accordion, percussion, bass, keyboards, melodic, drums, violin and banjo, met Perez at Garfield High in East LA and started a garage band. Rosas, who had his own group, and Lozano launched a power trio. "But we all hung out because we were friends and making music was just the natural progression of things," says Perez, the band's drummer. "Like if you hang around a barbershop long enough, you're going to get a haircut."

Berlin is Los Lobos' saxophonist, flutist and harmonica player who met the band while still with seminal L.A. rockers The Blasters. He joined the group after performing on and co-producing (with T-Bone Burnett) their breakthrough 1983 EP …And A Time To Dance. Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy winning band (Best Mexican American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded How Will the Wolf Survive? Although the album's name and title song were inspired by a National Geographic article about real life wolves in the wild, the band saw obvious parallels with their struggle to gain mainstream rock success while maintaining their Mexican roots.

Perez, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music "the soundtrack of the barrio." Three decades, two more Grammys, the global success of "La Bamba" and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well -- and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. They don't get in the studio as often as they did a few decades ago – Tin Can Trustcame four years after their previous album of all originals, The Town and the City – but when they do, the results are every bit as culturally rich, musically rocking and lyrically provocative as they were back in the day.

"It's not always the easiest thing finding time away from our touring schedule and families to find time to make an album," says Berlin, "but recording Gates of Gold, I have to say it's great to be back in the proverbial saddle again. It reminds us of the fun we have had making new music over the years, and it's nice to have the opportunity to create something of value."

Perez adds, "I find that the most interesting part of songwriting and tracking a new album is the differential between the way a song sounds to you at 2 a.m. and the way it may hit you when it's 11 a.m. and it reaches the light of day. We may love it just as much or we may realize we can do better. It's always a process of discovering more about ourselves and the music we love to make. It's not always easy getting started again, but I love that moment in the process when the songs start to take on their own life and we can let the kid, so to speak, run out onto the street and start figuring things out for himself. The way songs reveal themselves to us during these periods of writing and recording is my favorite part of the Los Lobos recording experience."
Louie Perez - Drums, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
Steve Berlin - Saxophone, Percussion, Flute, Midsax, Harmonica, Melodica
Cesar Rosas - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
Conrad Lozano - Bass, Guitarron, Vocals
David Hidalgo - Vocals, Guitar, Accordion, Percussion, Bass, Keyboards, Melodica, Drums, Violin, Banjo
Enrique "Bugs" Gonzalez - Drums/Percussion

"We're a Mexican American band, and no word describes America like immigrant. Most of us are children of immigrants, so it's perhaps natural that the songs we create celebrate America in this way." So says Louie Perez, the "poet laureate" and primary wordsmith of Los Lobos, when describing the songs on the band's new album, Gates of Gold.

The stories on Gates of Gold are snapshots of experiences that Perez and his band mates have had, based on where they are emotionally and how they respond to evolving life circumstances. "We live out loud most of the time and share our life this way, but then there are more intrinsic things that happen, and our songs are part of the way we react to them. We sit down and basically tell people what has happened. We certainly didn't start this project with aspirations to create the musical equivalent to great American literary works."

After celebrating their 40th anniversary with the cleverly titled 2013 live album Disconnected In New York City, the hard working, constantly touring band – David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin – leaps headfirst into their fifth decade with an invitation to join them as they open fresh and exciting new Gates of Gold, their first full length studio album since 2010's Tin Can Trust (a Grammy nominee for Best Americana Album) and second with Savoy/429 Records.

The dynamic songwriting, deeply poetic lyrics, thoughtful romantic and spiritual themes and eclectic blend of styles on the 11 track collection has resulted in an American saga in the rich literary tradition of legendary authors John Steinbeck and William Faulkner. Yet true to form, these typically humble musical wolves started in on the project without any grand vision or musical roadmap. Over 30 years after Los Lobos' major label breakthrough How Will The Wolf Survive? - their 1984 album that ranks #30 on Rolling Stones list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s – their main challenge when they get off the road and head back into the studio is, as Berlin says, "trying not to do stuff we've already done. To a certain extent, we are always drawing from the same multi-faceted paint box, and we sound like what we sound like. We're proud of what we feel is an honest body of work. We just want to keep finding new ways to say things."

In the band's early recording days - those years just before and after "La Bamba," their worldwide crossover hit from the 1987 film which reached #1 on the U.S. and UK singles chart - they prepared for album recording sessions with top producers like T-Bone Burnett with pre-production that included multiple rehearsals and "outlining" what the project was going to be. The more spontaneous approach to writing and recording that they took on their 1992 Mitchell Froom co-produced set Kiko still exists today; Rosas says, "When I listen to our catalog, doing things more spontaneously in the studio has led to some of our best work." Unlike many bands that write, gather and catalog material between studio releases, Los Lobos prefers to create their magic on the fly when they decide it's time to record. Perez says, "We never come in with a cache of 20 songs. Our thing is to write as we're recording. It's like starting with a blank canvass every time."

The journey to Gates of Gold began with Hidalgo bringing in a batch of ideas, outlines and chord progressions with no lyrics. As he and Perez began fleshing things out, developing grooves, melodies and lyrical themes, Hidalgo, his son, drummer David, Jr. and bassist Lozano began tracking those tunes. The collection opens with the reflective, mid-tempo rocker "Made To Break Your Heart," featuring female vocalist Syd Straw, whose vibe was partially inspired by Hidalgo's love for Manassas, the early 70s blues-country-rock band created by Stephen Stills. The moody, atmospheric rocker "When We Were Free," whose lyrics of what Berlin calls "beautiful melancholy memories" are underscored with the increasing drama of booming drums and distorted electric guitars. Filled with hypnotic sound effects and cool vocal and guitar distortion (created via an eight track analog Cascam cassette recorder!), the soulful, reflective "There I Go" touches on the universal search for what Perez calls "something meaningful, though we're not always sure what it is."

Further Hidalgo/Perez collaborations include "Too Small Heart," a raw and raucous nod to both Los Lobos garage band roots and the wild abandon of Jimi Hendrix; the easy grooving folk-rocker "Song of the Sun," which taps into the elements of life (water, fire, earth) and creation myths while touching on the way we choose to live in the present; the slow burning blues/rocker "Magdalena," inspired by the Biblical Mary Magdalene and visions of flowing robes; and the folk-influenced, image rich rocker title track "Gates of Gold," whose lyrical abstractions allow for multiple earthly and spiritual interpretations.

Perez says, "When I first started listening to the original demo Dave had, the music spoke to me of rural America. The impression the lyrics give could refer to the afterlife, i.e. the "pearly gates," but I also was thinking about the immigrant experience, the promise of a new life as one travels across borders, all the thoughts a person making that daring move might have connected to the dream of what America is. Our parents all wondered what lay beyond those gates. On a personal level, it's a reflection of where my band mates and I are in our lives. We're all over 60 now and looking towards the horizon at our own mortality. We think often about what we've contributed and what's left. I don't know who the protagonist of the song is, but he's looking at those gates from a distance because what lies beyond is a mystery."

As Hidalgo and Perez began collaborating on their songs, Rosas, as per his trademark "lone wolf" songwriting approach, took his basic tracks to his home studio to complete the handful of tunes that flesh out the set. The singer, guitarist and mandolin player's pieces include the raucous and bluesy, garage band fired jam "Mis-Treater Boogie Blues," the swampy folk-rock blues lament "I Believed You So" and the swaying, sensual Latin Cumbia-styled "Poquito Para Aqui." The sole cover on Gates of Gold is the other Spanish language tune, "La Tumba," an accordion laced folk piece connected to the Mexican Norteno tradition (related to polka and corrodes) whose theme, says Perez, is very dark, "about following your lover to the tomb." It's very familiar to fans as a frequent staple of Los Lobos' live performances.

Back in 2003, when Los Lobos was celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their humble beginnings as a garage band in East L.A., Rolling Stone summed up their distinctive, diverse, freewheeling fusion of rock, blues, soul and Mexican folk music: "This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together…to see how far it can take them." Originally called Los Lobos del Este (de Los Angeles), a play on a popular norteno band called Los Lobos del Norte, the group originally came together from three separate units. Lead vocalist/guitarist Hidalgo, whose arsenal includes accordion, percussion, bass, keyboards, melodic, drums, violin and banjo, met Perez at Garfield High in East LA and started a garage band. Rosas, who had his own group, and Lozano launched a power trio. "But we all hung out because we were friends and making music was just the natural progression of things," says Perez, the band's drummer. "Like if you hang around a barbershop long enough, you're going to get a haircut."

Berlin is Los Lobos' saxophonist, flutist and harmonica player who met the band while still with seminal L.A. rockers The Blasters. He joined the group after performing on and co-producing (with T-Bone Burnett) their breakthrough 1983 EP …And A Time To Dance. Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy winning band (Best Mexican American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded How Will the Wolf Survive? Although the album's name and title song were inspired by a National Geographic article about real life wolves in the wild, the band saw obvious parallels with their struggle to gain mainstream rock success while maintaining their Mexican roots.

Perez, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music "the soundtrack of the barrio." Three decades, two more Grammys, the global success of "La Bamba" and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well -- and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. They don't get in the studio as often as they did a few decades ago – Tin Can Trustcame four years after their previous album of all originals, The Town and the City – but when they do, the results are every bit as culturally rich, musically rocking and lyrically provocative as they were back in the day.

"It's not always the easiest thing finding time away from our touring schedule and families to find time to make an album," says Berlin, "but recording Gates of Gold, I have to say it's great to be back in the proverbial saddle again. It reminds us of the fun we have had making new music over the years, and it's nice to have the opportunity to create something of value."

Perez adds, "I find that the most interesting part of songwriting and tracking a new album is the differential between the way a song sounds to you at 2 a.m. and the way it may hit you when it's 11 a.m. and it reaches the light of day. We may love it just as much or we may realize we can do better. It's always a process of discovering more about ourselves and the music we love to make. It's not always easy getting started again, but I love that moment in the process when the songs start to take on their own life and we can let the kid, so to speak, run out onto the street and start figuring things out for himself. The way songs reveal themselves to us during these periods of writing and recording is my favorite part of the Los Lobos recording experience."
Louie Perez - Drums, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
Steve Berlin - Saxophone, Percussion, Flute, Midsax, Harmonica, Melodica
Cesar Rosas - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
Conrad Lozano - Bass, Guitarron, Vocals
David Hidalgo - Vocals, Guitar, Accordion, Percussion, Bass, Keyboards, Melodica, Drums, Violin, Banjo
Enrique "Bugs" Gonzalez - Drums/Percussion

(Early Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Greg Warren

Greg Warren, most recently seen on "The Late Late Show" and "Comedy Central Presents" has built a strong fan base with an act inspired by his Midwestern upbringing. His CDs, "Running Out of Time" (2013) and "One Star Wonder" (2009) hit #3 and #6 respectively in iTunes Top Comedy Albums. An honest mix of self-deprecation, frustration and an arsenal of lifelike characters highlight Greg's colorful perspective. Greg attracts a diverse audience spectrum, having performed as a "Coming to the Stage" finalist on BET and on Country Music Television's "Comedy Stage." He is also a favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom radio show, which led to touring theaters across the country with The Bob & Tom All Stars Comedy Tour. He appeared in the independent film "23 Minutes to Sunrise," and will be featured in the upcoming film "Marshall The Miracle Dog" with Matthew Settle, Lauren Holly and Shannon Elizabeth.

Greg Warren, most recently seen on "The Late Late Show" and "Comedy Central Presents" has built a strong fan base with an act inspired by his Midwestern upbringing. His CDs, "Running Out of Time" (2013) and "One Star Wonder" (2009) hit #3 and #6 respectively in iTunes Top Comedy Albums. An honest mix of self-deprecation, frustration and an arsenal of lifelike characters highlight Greg's colorful perspective. Greg attracts a diverse audience spectrum, having performed as a "Coming to the Stage" finalist on BET and on Country Music Television's "Comedy Stage." He is also a favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom radio show, which led to touring theaters across the country with The Bob & Tom All Stars Comedy Tour. He appeared in the independent film "23 Minutes to Sunrise," and will be featured in the upcoming film "Marshall The Miracle Dog" with Matthew Settle, Lauren Holly and Shannon Elizabeth.

(Late Show) Opus One Comedy Presents Greg Warren

Greg Warren, most recently seen on "The Late Late Show" and "Comedy Central Presents" has built a strong fan base with an act inspired by his Midwestern upbringing. His CDs, "Running Out of Time" (2013) and "One Star Wonder" (2009) hit #3 and #6 respectively in iTunes Top Comedy Albums. An honest mix of self-deprecation, frustration and an arsenal of lifelike characters highlight Greg's colorful perspective. Greg attracts a diverse audience spectrum, having performed as a "Coming to the Stage" finalist on BET and on Country Music Television's "Comedy Stage." He is also a favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom radio show, which led to touring theaters across the country with The Bob & Tom All Stars Comedy Tour. He appeared in the independent film "23 Minutes to Sunrise," and will be featured in the upcoming film "Marshall The Miracle Dog" with Matthew Settle, Lauren Holly and Shannon Elizabeth.

Greg Warren, most recently seen on "The Late Late Show" and "Comedy Central Presents" has built a strong fan base with an act inspired by his Midwestern upbringing. His CDs, "Running Out of Time" (2013) and "One Star Wonder" (2009) hit #3 and #6 respectively in iTunes Top Comedy Albums. An honest mix of self-deprecation, frustration and an arsenal of lifelike characters highlight Greg's colorful perspective. Greg attracts a diverse audience spectrum, having performed as a "Coming to the Stage" finalist on BET and on Country Music Television's "Comedy Stage." He is also a favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom radio show, which led to touring theaters across the country with The Bob & Tom All Stars Comedy Tour. He appeared in the independent film "23 Minutes to Sunrise," and will be featured in the upcoming film "Marshall The Miracle Dog" with Matthew Settle, Lauren Holly and Shannon Elizabeth.

Kuinka

The name Kuinka (coo-WINK-uh) comes from the Finnish for “how”; how does a band bristling with spirited creativity continue to evolve artistically and challenge themselves while staying true to their own roots? For Kuinka, the answer comes in the form of letting go: a joyful acquiescence to their cumulative love of songwriting and shared experience, regardless of genre or instrumentation. Brothers Zach and Nathan Hamer, along with Miranda Zickler and Jillian Walker, came together in 2014 to form a unique breed of string band; one proudly defiant of preconceived notions of what fits under the label 'Americana'.
Their 2014 debut The Wild North, which propelled the band out of the woods and on to stages across the country, was followed by their 2016 breakout LP The Heartland. Both albums were recorded at the famed Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, WA (Fleet Foxes, Metric), and led to featured performances at dozens of festivals and several successful national headlining tours.
Home from touring The Heartland, all four found themselves in the midst of major life changes both as people and as artists; moving out of the house they‘d shared for the previous two years to new cities and broadening the total palette from which they draw as musicians. After fleshing out new songs in rehearsal, the band headed to a studio near Portland, OR with the trusted ears of longtime producer Jerry Streeter (Brandi Carlile, The Lumineers). The quartet was joined in the studio with their touring wizard of the woodwinds John Benefiel who handled clarinet and saxophone.
The songs on their forthcoming release Stay Up Late ring with the vibrancy of exploration and discovery. “We’ve spent our time as a band in pursuit of a unique sound that captures our energy and essence” says Zickler. “We’d love for our music to be a soundtrack to adventure. Our biggest goal as a collective is to fight the trend of apathy -- to infuse everything we do with a sense of joy, and to affect positive change in the world to the best of our ability.”

The name Kuinka (coo-WINK-uh) comes from the Finnish for “how”; how does a band bristling with spirited creativity continue to evolve artistically and challenge themselves while staying true to their own roots? For Kuinka, the answer comes in the form of letting go: a joyful acquiescence to their cumulative love of songwriting and shared experience, regardless of genre or instrumentation. Brothers Zach and Nathan Hamer, along with Miranda Zickler and Jillian Walker, came together in 2014 to form a unique breed of string band; one proudly defiant of preconceived notions of what fits under the label 'Americana'.
Their 2014 debut The Wild North, which propelled the band out of the woods and on to stages across the country, was followed by their 2016 breakout LP The Heartland. Both albums were recorded at the famed Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, WA (Fleet Foxes, Metric), and led to featured performances at dozens of festivals and several successful national headlining tours.
Home from touring The Heartland, all four found themselves in the midst of major life changes both as people and as artists; moving out of the house they‘d shared for the previous two years to new cities and broadening the total palette from which they draw as musicians. After fleshing out new songs in rehearsal, the band headed to a studio near Portland, OR with the trusted ears of longtime producer Jerry Streeter (Brandi Carlile, The Lumineers). The quartet was joined in the studio with their touring wizard of the woodwinds John Benefiel who handled clarinet and saxophone.
The songs on their forthcoming release Stay Up Late ring with the vibrancy of exploration and discovery. “We’ve spent our time as a band in pursuit of a unique sound that captures our energy and essence” says Zickler. “We’d love for our music to be a soundtrack to adventure. Our biggest goal as a collective is to fight the trend of apathy -- to infuse everything we do with a sense of joy, and to affect positive change in the world to the best of our ability.”

Marco Benevento

For more than a decade pianist Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive body of work. His studio albums and live performances set forth a vision that connects the dots in the vast space between LCD Soundsystem and Leon Russell, pulsating with dance rock energy, but with smart, earthy songwriting to match. It has led to numerous high profile appearances, ranging from Carnegie Hall to Pickathon, Mountain Jam to Treefort Festival, while headlining shows coast to coast.

Marco Benevento’s latest studio LP, The Story of Fred Short, and its companion live re-lease, The Woodstock Sessions, is some of his finest and most adventurous work to date—a maestro making “bold indie rock” says Brooklyn Vegan, while the LA Times raves, “Benevento continues to straighten his twisted sound into the guise of an indie-rock singer-songwriter, harnessing his inventive sonic palette into rewardingly bite-size pop songs that touch on disco and soul.” Honing his psych rock and late night dance party sensibilities, the recordings find the pianist citing everything from Harry Nilsson, Manu Chau and Gorillaz as inspiration.

As anybody who’s seen Marco Benevento perform can attest, with eyes closed, smile wide across his face and fingers free-flowing across the keys, he’s a satellite to the muse. With a devout and growing fan-base, Benevento is an artist whose story is only beginning to unfold.

For more than a decade pianist Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive body of work. His studio albums and live performances set forth a vision that connects the dots in the vast space between LCD Soundsystem and Leon Russell, pulsating with dance rock energy, but with smart, earthy songwriting to match. It has led to numerous high profile appearances, ranging from Carnegie Hall to Pickathon, Mountain Jam to Treefort Festival, while headlining shows coast to coast.

Marco Benevento’s latest studio LP, The Story of Fred Short, and its companion live re-lease, The Woodstock Sessions, is some of his finest and most adventurous work to date—a maestro making “bold indie rock” says Brooklyn Vegan, while the LA Times raves, “Benevento continues to straighten his twisted sound into the guise of an indie-rock singer-songwriter, harnessing his inventive sonic palette into rewardingly bite-size pop songs that touch on disco and soul.” Honing his psych rock and late night dance party sensibilities, the recordings find the pianist citing everything from Harry Nilsson, Manu Chau and Gorillaz as inspiration.

As anybody who’s seen Marco Benevento perform can attest, with eyes closed, smile wide across his face and fingers free-flowing across the keys, he’s a satellite to the muse. With a devout and growing fan-base, Benevento is an artist whose story is only beginning to unfold.

The Builders and the Butchers with Special Guest Locks & Dams

ortland-based folk rock band, The Builders and the Butchers, announce their forthcoming album, The Spark, due out May 19th. The band’s fifth LP will be released on Badman Recordings Co, which will be their third release with the label.
Their last album was hailed by Consequence of Sound, who said, “The Builders and the Butchers make records the way the bards used to pass on stories. They’re poetic and captivating, and do to songwriting what Clint Eastwood does to movies,” and this new record follows the same, narrative-driven path.

With glowing album and show reviews coming from Pitchfork and The Wall Street Journal, among others, their brand of folk-rock is best served live. Audiences can look forward to lively performances, where fourth wall is broken and the audience is able to participate in call and response sing-a-longs. Sometimes the band will hand out instruments for fans to play, and they’ll even get down off stage to perform right on the floor.

The Builders and The Butchers formed in 2005. Ryan Sollee fronts the band, sings and plays guitar, joined by Willy Kunkle (bass, guitar, vocals, percussion), Justin Baeir (drums, backup vocals, percussion) and Harvey Tumbleson (mandolin, banjo, guitar, vocals, percussion). The Portland-based band gained a strong following after years of playing anywhere and everywhere across the city. They quickly grew to become one of the most exciting live bands in Portland and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The band toured throughout the US and Europe from 2007-2012, playing music festivals, such as Sasquatch and Lollapalooza, and acting as support for Portugal. The Man, Heartless Bastards, ‪Amanda Palmer‬ and Murder By Death. To support their forthcoming release, The Spark, the band will be playing their first US and European tour in multiple years.

This new album features a wider array of sounds and shorter, hard hitting songs, while remaining a Builders’ record at heart. The process of creating The Spark was the longest of any Builders’ record to date. They spent the last five years writing the music and a year mixing. With several band members living out of state (Justin in Colorado, Willy in Malta, Harvey in Washington and Ryan and Ray in Portland), many parts were recorded remotely. Drums and much of the electric guitar were recorded at Revolver Studios and the rest was laid down piece-by-piece and mixed by Edgar McCrae at his home studio. Influences for the record range from ‪Tom Waits‬ to ‪The White Stripes‬.

ortland-based folk rock band, The Builders and the Butchers, announce their forthcoming album, The Spark, due out May 19th. The band’s fifth LP will be released on Badman Recordings Co, which will be their third release with the label.
Their last album was hailed by Consequence of Sound, who said, “The Builders and the Butchers make records the way the bards used to pass on stories. They’re poetic and captivating, and do to songwriting what Clint Eastwood does to movies,” and this new record follows the same, narrative-driven path.

With glowing album and show reviews coming from Pitchfork and The Wall Street Journal, among others, their brand of folk-rock is best served live. Audiences can look forward to lively performances, where fourth wall is broken and the audience is able to participate in call and response sing-a-longs. Sometimes the band will hand out instruments for fans to play, and they’ll even get down off stage to perform right on the floor.

The Builders and The Butchers formed in 2005. Ryan Sollee fronts the band, sings and plays guitar, joined by Willy Kunkle (bass, guitar, vocals, percussion), Justin Baeir (drums, backup vocals, percussion) and Harvey Tumbleson (mandolin, banjo, guitar, vocals, percussion). The Portland-based band gained a strong following after years of playing anywhere and everywhere across the city. They quickly grew to become one of the most exciting live bands in Portland and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The band toured throughout the US and Europe from 2007-2012, playing music festivals, such as Sasquatch and Lollapalooza, and acting as support for Portugal. The Man, Heartless Bastards, ‪Amanda Palmer‬ and Murder By Death. To support their forthcoming release, The Spark, the band will be playing their first US and European tour in multiple years.

This new album features a wider array of sounds and shorter, hard hitting songs, while remaining a Builders’ record at heart. The process of creating The Spark was the longest of any Builders’ record to date. They spent the last five years writing the music and a year mixing. With several band members living out of state (Justin in Colorado, Willy in Malta, Harvey in Washington and Ryan and Ray in Portland), many parts were recorded remotely. Drums and much of the electric guitar were recorded at Revolver Studios and the rest was laid down piece-by-piece and mixed by Edgar McCrae at his home studio. Influences for the record range from ‪Tom Waits‬ to ‪The White Stripes‬.

Elliott Brood

Elliott BROOD is a three-piece Folk Rock Alt Country band based in Hamilton, Canada. Their brand of fuzzed-up roots music has always made for a captivating, and frenetic live performance. That energy has always translated onto the band's five previous critically acclaimed records. In 2013 the band won a Juno Award for their World War One inspired album "Days Into Years". Over the course of their career they have been nominated for a total of five Juno awards. In 2009 they were shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and in 2012 the band found themselves nominated for a Genie Award for their original song "West End Sky" that was featured in the film "Grown Up Movie Star". Their style has been called everything from 'blackgrass' to 'death country,' but those descriptions don't capture the transcendent heights of their unique approach to roots music. Fall 2017 will see the band release their sixth full-length studio album "Ghost Gardens" via Paper Bag Records.
The title "Ghost Gardens" alludes to a phenomenon whereby the perennial gardens of houses and buildings having been abandoned or forgotten for years or even decades, continue to grow and reappear year after year, despite their original caretakers' absence.
Elliott Brood's "Ghost Gardens" began with the rediscovery of lost demo songs from a decade and a half earlier, the beginning of the bands career to be exact. The misplaced hard drive had long been forgotten in a garage, just sitting dormant in an old suitcase. The recordings were demos and rough pencil sketches of song lyrics and melody ideas. Not often in life does a band get to step back in time to rediscover their lost younger selves and get to amend or alter that existence, in an odd way this is the band rediscovering their former selves while simultaneously being years wiser both musically and lyrically.

Elliott BROOD is a three-piece Folk Rock Alt Country band based in Hamilton, Canada. Their brand of fuzzed-up roots music has always made for a captivating, and frenetic live performance. That energy has always translated onto the band's five previous critically acclaimed records. In 2013 the band won a Juno Award for their World War One inspired album "Days Into Years". Over the course of their career they have been nominated for a total of five Juno awards. In 2009 they were shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and in 2012 the band found themselves nominated for a Genie Award for their original song "West End Sky" that was featured in the film "Grown Up Movie Star". Their style has been called everything from 'blackgrass' to 'death country,' but those descriptions don't capture the transcendent heights of their unique approach to roots music. Fall 2017 will see the band release their sixth full-length studio album "Ghost Gardens" via Paper Bag Records.
The title "Ghost Gardens" alludes to a phenomenon whereby the perennial gardens of houses and buildings having been abandoned or forgotten for years or even decades, continue to grow and reappear year after year, despite their original caretakers' absence.
Elliott Brood's "Ghost Gardens" began with the rediscovery of lost demo songs from a decade and a half earlier, the beginning of the bands career to be exact. The misplaced hard drive had long been forgotten in a garage, just sitting dormant in an old suitcase. The recordings were demos and rough pencil sketches of song lyrics and melody ideas. Not often in life does a band get to step back in time to rediscover their lost younger selves and get to amend or alter that existence, in an odd way this is the band rediscovering their former selves while simultaneously being years wiser both musically and lyrically.

(Early Show) An Evening With Griffin House

It is a true, and nowadays rare, musician who writes lyrics so vulnerable and authentic that an audience is irrevocably captured by the powerful experience of sharing the journey. An album that is essentially an autobiographical account of personal mistakes, change, and growth, offers listeners a chance to reflect on their own experiences and connect with another’s story.

With Griffin House’s upcoming album, So On And So Forth, it is clear the artist digs deep and offers up his narrative after much reflection. House is now a young family man and artist who is choosing sobriety and celebrating the path to his success, through songs which share his perspective on how people remember the past with rose-colored glasses, how we grow up and realize what we deeply need, and how we must find happiness in ourselves in the present.

“The record has a lot to do with recognizing the ego in one’s self and letting it die. It can feel like your whole identity is being wiped away, and you don’t even know who you are anymore. For the person singing these songs, holding on to one’s own individuality in order to remain special or important in the world has started to became far less important than being content with being a good, decent, and loving person. But old habits die hard,” adds House.

The project was tracked last summer at Lakehouse Recording Studios, in Asbury Park, New Jersey. House’s ties to Asbury Park go all the back to 2004, when he was invited to tour with Patti Scialfa. His first show in the boardwalk town was opening a show for Scialfa at the Paramount Theatre. It was there that Griffin met her husband, Bruce Springsteen, and all the wonderful characters in their crew and band. Those memories and experiences made returning to Asbury Park over a decade later to record So On And So Forth feel like a full circle moment in his career.

House recorded the essentially live project with no click track and very little overdubbing. Lakehouse owner, Jon Leidersdorff, helped assemble the band. Prior to walking into the studio, House had never met the musicians and had no idea how the songs would turn out. He adds, “The experience ended up being one of the most fun and positive of my career. The process was stress-free and freeing.” The resulting album reflects this journey -- a leap of faith with triumphant results.

Recording and performing for over a decade, House has toured with Ron Sexsmith, Patti Scialfa, Josh Ritter, John Mellencamp, Mat Kearney, and The Cranberries. He received early critical acclaim on the CBS Sunday Morning, and his songs have since been featured in countless films and television shows such as One Tree Hill, Army Wives, and Brothers and Sisters. He has also appeared on Late Night with Craig Ferguson. Most recently, CNN Newsroom invited House to perform “Paris Calling,” from So On and So Forth, live on the air, and the song has been picked up by radio prior to being serviced. House has released ten albums and continues to headline his own national tours. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Jane and their two daughters.

It is a true, and nowadays rare, musician who writes lyrics so vulnerable and authentic that an audience is irrevocably captured by the powerful experience of sharing the journey. An album that is essentially an autobiographical account of personal mistakes, change, and growth, offers listeners a chance to reflect on their own experiences and connect with another’s story.

With Griffin House’s upcoming album, So On And So Forth, it is clear the artist digs deep and offers up his narrative after much reflection. House is now a young family man and artist who is choosing sobriety and celebrating the path to his success, through songs which share his perspective on how people remember the past with rose-colored glasses, how we grow up and realize what we deeply need, and how we must find happiness in ourselves in the present.

“The record has a lot to do with recognizing the ego in one’s self and letting it die. It can feel like your whole identity is being wiped away, and you don’t even know who you are anymore. For the person singing these songs, holding on to one’s own individuality in order to remain special or important in the world has started to became far less important than being content with being a good, decent, and loving person. But old habits die hard,” adds House.

The project was tracked last summer at Lakehouse Recording Studios, in Asbury Park, New Jersey. House’s ties to Asbury Park go all the back to 2004, when he was invited to tour with Patti Scialfa. His first show in the boardwalk town was opening a show for Scialfa at the Paramount Theatre. It was there that Griffin met her husband, Bruce Springsteen, and all the wonderful characters in their crew and band. Those memories and experiences made returning to Asbury Park over a decade later to record So On And So Forth feel like a full circle moment in his career.

House recorded the essentially live project with no click track and very little overdubbing. Lakehouse owner, Jon Leidersdorff, helped assemble the band. Prior to walking into the studio, House had never met the musicians and had no idea how the songs would turn out. He adds, “The experience ended up being one of the most fun and positive of my career. The process was stress-free and freeing.” The resulting album reflects this journey -- a leap of faith with triumphant results.

Recording and performing for over a decade, House has toured with Ron Sexsmith, Patti Scialfa, Josh Ritter, John Mellencamp, Mat Kearney, and The Cranberries. He received early critical acclaim on the CBS Sunday Morning, and his songs have since been featured in countless films and television shows such as One Tree Hill, Army Wives, and Brothers and Sisters. He has also appeared on Late Night with Craig Ferguson. Most recently, CNN Newsroom invited House to perform “Paris Calling,” from So On and So Forth, live on the air, and the song has been picked up by radio prior to being serviced. House has released ten albums and continues to headline his own national tours. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Jane and their two daughters.

Missy Raines & The New Hip

7 Time IBMA Bass Player of the Year, Missy Raines, who has backed greats such as Claire Lynch, Mac Weisman, Kenny Baker, and Peter Rowan, now heads up this quartet with cool grooves that are rich, layered, and lush. Accompanied by guitar, mandolin, and drums, "...Raines launches her well-tended craft off the bluegrass dock into the waters of jazz and folk, holding onto the anchor of bluegrass while pushing steadily at the boundaries of the music that engulfs her." -Country Standard Time. New Frontier, their latest album on Compass Records, features Raines' vocals throughout and has lauded her comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Rosanne Cash. The territory The New Hip covers is broad and the compass is set by Raines, planted right in the center of the stage directing with her bass every bit as much as she's playing it. Missy is currently working on her 3rd album for Compass Records to be released in 2017. This will be Raines' first all-original project.

7 Time IBMA Bass Player of the Year, Missy Raines, who has backed greats such as Claire Lynch, Mac Weisman, Kenny Baker, and Peter Rowan, now heads up this quartet with cool grooves that are rich, layered, and lush. Accompanied by guitar, mandolin, and drums, "...Raines launches her well-tended craft off the bluegrass dock into the waters of jazz and folk, holding onto the anchor of bluegrass while pushing steadily at the boundaries of the music that engulfs her." -Country Standard Time. New Frontier, their latest album on Compass Records, features Raines' vocals throughout and has lauded her comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Rosanne Cash. The territory The New Hip covers is broad and the compass is set by Raines, planted right in the center of the stage directing with her bass every bit as much as she's playing it. Missy is currently working on her 3rd album for Compass Records to be released in 2017. This will be Raines' first all-original project.

(Rescheduled from October 14) - Jessica Lea Mayfield with Special Guest TBA

All tickets from the original date of October 14 will be honored

"The whole record is about me taking my life back, without really realizing it," she says. "I realized I'm the only person that is going to look out for me. I have to be my main person. No one else."

Jessica Lea Mayfield might make some people uncomfortable with the level of honesty she projects on her forthcoming LP, Sorry Is Gone, but she's not going to apologize – for that, or for anything else on her complex, confessional fourth album. Recorded with producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile, Phosphorescent and Dinosaur Jr.), Sorry Is Gone is a raw document of a woman in progress; one weathering cruel storms but finally able to blame the rain itself for the flood. Written as the truth of her own poisonous marriage unfolded before her eyes, Sorry Is Gone is a record of permission. Permission to create freely, to escape what is no longer safe and to stop bearing responsibility for things done to her, not by her. As Mayfield sings on the title track, "the sorry is gone." Indeed, it is; kicked to the curb with every strum of her guitar.

Written in the years since her last solo LP, Make My Head Sing, in 2014, and her 2015 collaboration with Seth Avett, Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, Sorry Is Gone became the soundtrack to a highly personal and traumatic story. The Ohio-born Mayfield was quietly enduring years of domestic abuse, smiling and touring while she hid a brewing tempest – and the bruises, too. But lyrics don't lie even as bruises fade, and they started to tell the tale of her marriage before she was even able to; songs often dark and dangerous and ready to confront and claim her life. Written primarily on an acoustic baritone guitar – out of necessity at first, in her thin-walled apartment – Mayfield started to process the years of hurt and uncertainty through words and melodies that helped her see the light in the darkness.

Though much of Make My Head Sing was written music-first, Sorry Is Gone began with those lyrics, and, so often, a path forward unfolded itself as the songs formed. "The cold hard truth is you love me too much," she sings on "Meadow," a moody, echoey moment about finally realizing someone's true colors. "The cold hard truth is you couldn't love me enough." It's a brutal line from someone who refuses to be victimized. Evoking the pathos of nineties grunge, the folk confessions of her idol, Smith, and the cool blasé of bands like Luscious Jackson, the tracks that comprise Sorry Is Gone aren't devised to make anyone comfortable but herself – but they are there to help share an emotional journal and a certain kind of healing that can only come through music.

"I have to sing about things and write about things that have happened to me as therapy," says Mayfield, who shaped so many of these songs in the isolation of the small apartment she shared with her husband while their marriage fell apart in her hands – in many ways, those songs pointed to the way out before she could get there herself. "That's what connects me to other music I listen to. I want music to make me feel things. This is my inner dialogue, and my chance to get the last word."

Recorded with Agnello at Water Music and Electric Lady Studios, Mayfield recruited a stellar group of musicians for Sorry Is Gone, including Avett on backing vocals and keys, drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth, Sun Kil Moon), bassist Emil Amos (Grails, Holy Sons), guitarist Cameron Deyell (Sia, Streets of Laredo) and Patrick Damphier (The Mynabirds, Field Days, who produced and played on "Offa My Hands"). Together, they worked to create an ominous take on love, where hope can exist among heartbreak and the end is only as finite as we make it to be. On songs like the title track and "Bum Me Out," Mayfield bends the angelic notes of her voice over off-kilter orchestration, building an environment of warrior-style triumph; on "Safe 2 Connect 2," she takes stock of the digital world to a haunting, acoustic backdrop that gives a subtle ode to her bluegrass roots.

"Been though hell, there's no telling what might happen in my future," she sings. "All I can do is be thankful for each moment that's my own."

Mayfield has paved an unconventional lifestyle – playing in her family's bluegrass band since the age of eight, she didn't have any traditional schooling and released her first album at the age of fifteen, when she was discovered by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Influenced by everything from that mountain sound to the modern garage, Mayfield has been able to come at songwriting from a pure perspective, lead more by her heart than any textbook. It's what makes the tracks of Sorry Is Gone so striking and visceral – there is no filter on the emotions, no rulebook and certainly no excuses for anything she's been through or the candor she fires.

"I'm not going to bite my lip on anything," she says. "If there is one thing I am going to do, it's talk and sing about what I want to. No one is going to manipulate me."

The sorry is gone, once and for all – and Sorry Is Gone is a permission slip for anyone who wants to stop apologizing for others, and start living for themselves.

All tickets from the original date of October 14 will be honored

"The whole record is about me taking my life back, without really realizing it," she says. "I realized I'm the only person that is going to look out for me. I have to be my main person. No one else."

Jessica Lea Mayfield might make some people uncomfortable with the level of honesty she projects on her forthcoming LP, Sorry Is Gone, but she's not going to apologize – for that, or for anything else on her complex, confessional fourth album. Recorded with producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile, Phosphorescent and Dinosaur Jr.), Sorry Is Gone is a raw document of a woman in progress; one weathering cruel storms but finally able to blame the rain itself for the flood. Written as the truth of her own poisonous marriage unfolded before her eyes, Sorry Is Gone is a record of permission. Permission to create freely, to escape what is no longer safe and to stop bearing responsibility for things done to her, not by her. As Mayfield sings on the title track, "the sorry is gone." Indeed, it is; kicked to the curb with every strum of her guitar.

Written in the years since her last solo LP, Make My Head Sing, in 2014, and her 2015 collaboration with Seth Avett, Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, Sorry Is Gone became the soundtrack to a highly personal and traumatic story. The Ohio-born Mayfield was quietly enduring years of domestic abuse, smiling and touring while she hid a brewing tempest – and the bruises, too. But lyrics don't lie even as bruises fade, and they started to tell the tale of her marriage before she was even able to; songs often dark and dangerous and ready to confront and claim her life. Written primarily on an acoustic baritone guitar – out of necessity at first, in her thin-walled apartment – Mayfield started to process the years of hurt and uncertainty through words and melodies that helped her see the light in the darkness.

Though much of Make My Head Sing was written music-first, Sorry Is Gone began with those lyrics, and, so often, a path forward unfolded itself as the songs formed. "The cold hard truth is you love me too much," she sings on "Meadow," a moody, echoey moment about finally realizing someone's true colors. "The cold hard truth is you couldn't love me enough." It's a brutal line from someone who refuses to be victimized. Evoking the pathos of nineties grunge, the folk confessions of her idol, Smith, and the cool blasé of bands like Luscious Jackson, the tracks that comprise Sorry Is Gone aren't devised to make anyone comfortable but herself – but they are there to help share an emotional journal and a certain kind of healing that can only come through music.

"I have to sing about things and write about things that have happened to me as therapy," says Mayfield, who shaped so many of these songs in the isolation of the small apartment she shared with her husband while their marriage fell apart in her hands – in many ways, those songs pointed to the way out before she could get there herself. "That's what connects me to other music I listen to. I want music to make me feel things. This is my inner dialogue, and my chance to get the last word."

Recorded with Agnello at Water Music and Electric Lady Studios, Mayfield recruited a stellar group of musicians for Sorry Is Gone, including Avett on backing vocals and keys, drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth, Sun Kil Moon), bassist Emil Amos (Grails, Holy Sons), guitarist Cameron Deyell (Sia, Streets of Laredo) and Patrick Damphier (The Mynabirds, Field Days, who produced and played on "Offa My Hands"). Together, they worked to create an ominous take on love, where hope can exist among heartbreak and the end is only as finite as we make it to be. On songs like the title track and "Bum Me Out," Mayfield bends the angelic notes of her voice over off-kilter orchestration, building an environment of warrior-style triumph; on "Safe 2 Connect 2," she takes stock of the digital world to a haunting, acoustic backdrop that gives a subtle ode to her bluegrass roots.

"Been though hell, there's no telling what might happen in my future," she sings. "All I can do is be thankful for each moment that's my own."

Mayfield has paved an unconventional lifestyle – playing in her family's bluegrass band since the age of eight, she didn't have any traditional schooling and released her first album at the age of fifteen, when she was discovered by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Influenced by everything from that mountain sound to the modern garage, Mayfield has been able to come at songwriting from a pure perspective, lead more by her heart than any textbook. It's what makes the tracks of Sorry Is Gone so striking and visceral – there is no filter on the emotions, no rulebook and certainly no excuses for anything she's been through or the candor she fires.

"I'm not going to bite my lip on anything," she says. "If there is one thing I am going to do, it's talk and sing about what I want to. No one is going to manipulate me."

The sorry is gone, once and for all – and Sorry Is Gone is a permission slip for anyone who wants to stop apologizing for others, and start living for themselves.

Albert Cummings

"The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin' band, and that's exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does[…]. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places." – Guitar Edge Magazine

Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. He has played with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy. Taken with Albert's fire and passion bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton, of the band Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section, volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003's self-released From the Heart. B.B. King dubbed Cummings "a great guitarist."

"a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix. – Bluesprint Magazine

Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal.


Someone Like You, the latest album from master guitarist, master builder, and fan favorite Albert Cummings, marks his return to noted roots label Blind Pig Records.

The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. In his late teens he encountered the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. Soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. In 1998 he walked into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, which led to Cummings' winning the right to compete in the Blues Foundation's 1999 International Blues Challenge. The following year Albert released his debut recording, The Long Way. Bluesprint magazine said it was "a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix."

That in turn opened up an opportunity for him to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section. So taken with Albert's fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003's self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray's passing. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King dubbed Cummings "a great guitarist."

Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the album rocks hard from start to finish. The all-original release showcased Albert's rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, leading Guitar One to exclaim, "He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone."

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

His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, betrays a growing focus and maturity both in Albert's stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting. From the punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard's blue collar standard "Working Man Blues" to the deeply emotive ballad "Last Dance" that closes the disc, Albert's songs are always concise and direct, driven by his uniquely muscular yet polished guitar wizardry. Billboard said, "This recording is the calling card of a blues star who has arrived. Cummings' guitar work is sizzling. This is one of the top blues albums of 2006."

In 2008 Albert recorded his first live album, Feel So Good, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the historic Colonial Theatre, a 95-year-old "little jewel box" – that's what James Taylor calls it – that's hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that's rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, "It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night."

Albert and his band responded with a blistering set of great originals and killer covers of Zeppelin, Little Feat and Muddy Waters tunes. With producer Jim Gaines again at the controls and Albert's incredible display of guitar virtuosity and deep emotion, this is one live performance that is bound to become a blues rock classic.

Guitar Edge magazine said, "The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin' band, and that's exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does on his new Feel So Good. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places."

Music Connection called it "one of the best live albums recorded in a long time" and Blurt added, "Cummings' first live album provides the perfect showcase for the fiery guitarist's axe-handling skills and enormous onstage charisma."

In 2011 Albert released an instructional DVD for the Hal Leonard Corporation entitled Working Man Blues Guitar. Cummings' next CD, No Regrets, was self-released in 2012. It was a return to his true musical roots for the six-string virtuoso, poignantly capturing the core of his influences, displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.

For his newest recording, Someone Like You, Albert chose to record in Southern California with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov't Mule) at the helm. Said Z, "Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. What a blast to watch him jell in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles." One of those musicians was Blind Pig label mate and leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan TV show, Jimmy Vivino, who performs on three cuts. Cummings said, "I'm tremendously excited about this CD and the team of people that will be working this record. It was such a pleasure to also work with David Z and Jimmy Vivino and so exciting to share their excitement about the potential this record has."

"The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin' band, and that's exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does[…]. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places." – Guitar Edge Magazine

Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. He has played with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy. Taken with Albert's fire and passion bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton, of the band Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section, volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003's self-released From the Heart. B.B. King dubbed Cummings "a great guitarist."

"a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix. – Bluesprint Magazine

Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal.


Someone Like You, the latest album from master guitarist, master builder, and fan favorite Albert Cummings, marks his return to noted roots label Blind Pig Records.

The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. In his late teens he encountered the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. Soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. In 1998 he walked into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, which led to Cummings' winning the right to compete in the Blues Foundation's 1999 International Blues Challenge. The following year Albert released his debut recording, The Long Way. Bluesprint magazine said it was "a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix."

That in turn opened up an opportunity for him to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section. So taken with Albert's fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003's self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray's passing. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King dubbed Cummings "a great guitarist."

Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the album rocks hard from start to finish. The all-original release showcased Albert's rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, leading Guitar One to exclaim, "He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone."

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

His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, betrays a growing focus and maturity both in Albert's stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting. From the punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard's blue collar standard "Working Man Blues" to the deeply emotive ballad "Last Dance" that closes the disc, Albert's songs are always concise and direct, driven by his uniquely muscular yet polished guitar wizardry. Billboard said, "This recording is the calling card of a blues star who has arrived. Cummings' guitar work is sizzling. This is one of the top blues albums of 2006."

In 2008 Albert recorded his first live album, Feel So Good, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the historic Colonial Theatre, a 95-year-old "little jewel box" – that's what James Taylor calls it – that's hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that's rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, "It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night."

Albert and his band responded with a blistering set of great originals and killer covers of Zeppelin, Little Feat and Muddy Waters tunes. With producer Jim Gaines again at the controls and Albert's incredible display of guitar virtuosity and deep emotion, this is one live performance that is bound to become a blues rock classic.

Guitar Edge magazine said, "The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin' band, and that's exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does on his new Feel So Good. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places."

Music Connection called it "one of the best live albums recorded in a long time" and Blurt added, "Cummings' first live album provides the perfect showcase for the fiery guitarist's axe-handling skills and enormous onstage charisma."

In 2011 Albert released an instructional DVD for the Hal Leonard Corporation entitled Working Man Blues Guitar. Cummings' next CD, No Regrets, was self-released in 2012. It was a return to his true musical roots for the six-string virtuoso, poignantly capturing the core of his influences, displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.

For his newest recording, Someone Like You, Albert chose to record in Southern California with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov't Mule) at the helm. Said Z, "Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. What a blast to watch him jell in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles." One of those musicians was Blind Pig label mate and leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan TV show, Jimmy Vivino, who performs on three cuts. Cummings said, "I'm tremendously excited about this CD and the team of people that will be working this record. It was such a pleasure to also work with David Z and Jimmy Vivino and so exciting to share their excitement about the potential this record has."

Milk & Bone

Formed by Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin (both accomplished studio and touring musicians), Milk & Bone is set to release their first album, Little Mourning, in the US on April 21st, on Honeymoon. Made up of electronic textures and layered synths, Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin's sonic universe distinguishes itself from the electro-pop genre thanks to their perfectly-paired vocal colours. Their mesmerizing harmonies look into the darker aspects of love, friendship and lust.
By combining their voices and talents, the two friends create electro-pop melodies that are both dreamy and harrowing. After charming the blogosphere and international media last year with two singles (New York and Coconut Water), the Montreal-based duo then shared the song Pressure, which made its way to Hype Machine top songs list, quickly reaching a million plays.
Milk & Bone's tightly-knit bond, palpable in concert and throughout the album, is a key part of their creative process. Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin wrote in tandem, and their eight songs took shape once they arrived in studio with the help of producer Gabriel Gagnon, who also took part in the mixing, programming and the arrangements.

Formed by Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin (both accomplished studio and touring musicians), Milk & Bone is set to release their first album, Little Mourning, in the US on April 21st, on Honeymoon. Made up of electronic textures and layered synths, Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin's sonic universe distinguishes itself from the electro-pop genre thanks to their perfectly-paired vocal colours. Their mesmerizing harmonies look into the darker aspects of love, friendship and lust.
By combining their voices and talents, the two friends create electro-pop melodies that are both dreamy and harrowing. After charming the blogosphere and international media last year with two singles (New York and Coconut Water), the Montreal-based duo then shared the song Pressure, which made its way to Hype Machine top songs list, quickly reaching a million plays.
Milk & Bone's tightly-knit bond, palpable in concert and throughout the album, is a key part of their creative process. Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin wrote in tandem, and their eight songs took shape once they arrived in studio with the help of producer Gabriel Gagnon, who also took part in the mixing, programming and the arrangements.

Mary Gauthier

New studio album co-written with wounded combat veterans over the last four years via
SongwritingWith:Soldiers.

Every day.

Every single day, which means some days are better and some much worse.

Every day, on average, twenty-two veterans commit suicide. Each year seventy-four hundred current and former members of the United States Armed Services take their own lives.

Every day.

That number does not include drug overdoses or car wrecks or any of the more inventive ways somebody might less obviously choose to die.

It seems trivial to suggest those lives might be saved - healed, even - by a song. By the process of writing a song.

And yet.



And yet there is nothing trivial about Mary Gauthier's tenth album, Rifles and Rosary Beads (Thirty Tigers), all eleven songs co-written with and for wounded veterans. Eleven of the nearly four hundred songs that highly accomplished songwriters have co-written as part of Darden Smith's five-year-old SongwritingWith:Soldiers program.

None of the soldiers who have participated in the program have taken their own lives, and there's nothing trivial about that. Something about writing that song - telling that story - is healing. What Smith calls post-traumatic-growth.

Gauthier's first nine albums presented extraordinary confessional songs, deeply personal,
profoundly emotional pieces ranging from "I Drink," a blunt accounting of addiction, to "March
11, 1962," the day she was born - and relinquished to an orphanage - to "Worthy," in which the singer finally understands she is deserving of love. Maybe that's where the confessional song cycle ends, for she has midwifed these eleven new songs in careful collaboration with
other souls whose struggle is urgent, immediate, and palpable. And none are about her.

Each song on Rifles and Rosary Beads is a gut punch: deceptively simple and emotionally complex. From the opening "Soldiering On" ("What saves you in the battle/Can kill you at home") to "Bullet Holes in the Sky" ("They thank me for my service/And wave their little flags/They genuflect on Sundays/And yes, they'd send us back"), to the abject horror of "Iraq," and its quiet depiction of a female mechanic's rape, each song tells the story of a deeply wounded veteran.
Darrell Scott, returning from one of Smith's first retreats, called and told Mary she needed to participate. "I felt unqualified," she says. "I didn't know anything about the military, I was terrified of fucking it up. I didn't feel I knew how to be in the presence of that much trauma without being afraid. But Darrell knew I could do it. Turns out, I was able to sit with the veterans with a sense of calmness and help them articulate their suffering without fear. I was shocked by that. And I took to it."

It has become a calling. "My job as a songwriter is to find that thing a soul needs to say," Mary says. "Each retreat brings together a dozen or so soldiers and four songwriters, three songs each in two days. We don't have a choice. We have to stay focused, listen carefully, and make sure every veteran gets their own song. And we always do."

"None of the veterans are artists. They don't write songs, they don't know that songs can be used to move trauma. Their understanding of song doesn't include that. For me it's been the whole damn deal. Songwriting saved me. It's what I think the best songs do, help articulate the ineffable, make the invisible visible, creating resonance, so that people, (including the songwriter) don’t feel alone."

The impact of these songs becomes visible quickly, unexpectedly.

Featured in the TV series "Nashville," the Bluebird Cafe now prospers as a tourist destination. The room fills twice a night with people thrilled to be in the presence of real live Nashville songwriters.

Who, in turn, are thrilled to be in the presence of a paying audience that can do nothing to advance their careers, save give a genuine response to their songs.

The gentleman at the next table has handsome white hair and a hundred-dollar casual shirt, and almost certainly had no idea who Mary Gauthier was, nor what her songs might be about, when he came out of the sunlight into the darkened listening room. He knows, now. Thick, manicured fingers cover his face, trying to catch his slow tears. His wife sits close, watches carefully, but knows better than to touch him.

He is not alone in that small audience.

Every day we are touched by the veterans in our lives, whether we know it or not.

Every single day. Even if it's only the guy on Main Street, in the wheelchair, with the flag. Every single day.
And, yes, a song may be the answer.

"Because the results are so dramatic, this could work for other traumas," Mary says. "Trauma is the epidemic. You say opioid, I say trauma epidemic. As an addict, I know addiction is self- medication because of suffering, and beneath that pain is always trauma. Underneath so much of the problems in the world is trauma, it's the central issue humanity is dealing with. We've found something powerful here, that brings hope to people who are hurting. So they know they are not alone."

New studio album co-written with wounded combat veterans over the last four years via
SongwritingWith:Soldiers.

Every day.

Every single day, which means some days are better and some much worse.

Every day, on average, twenty-two veterans commit suicide. Each year seventy-four hundred current and former members of the United States Armed Services take their own lives.

Every day.

That number does not include drug overdoses or car wrecks or any of the more inventive ways somebody might less obviously choose to die.

It seems trivial to suggest those lives might be saved - healed, even - by a song. By the process of writing a song.

And yet.



And yet there is nothing trivial about Mary Gauthier's tenth album, Rifles and Rosary Beads (Thirty Tigers), all eleven songs co-written with and for wounded veterans. Eleven of the nearly four hundred songs that highly accomplished songwriters have co-written as part of Darden Smith's five-year-old SongwritingWith:Soldiers program.

None of the soldiers who have participated in the program have taken their own lives, and there's nothing trivial about that. Something about writing that song - telling that story - is healing. What Smith calls post-traumatic-growth.

Gauthier's first nine albums presented extraordinary confessional songs, deeply personal,
profoundly emotional pieces ranging from "I Drink," a blunt accounting of addiction, to "March
11, 1962," the day she was born - and relinquished to an orphanage - to "Worthy," in which the singer finally understands she is deserving of love. Maybe that's where the confessional song cycle ends, for she has midwifed these eleven new songs in careful collaboration with
other souls whose struggle is urgent, immediate, and palpable. And none are about her.

Each song on Rifles and Rosary Beads is a gut punch: deceptively simple and emotionally complex. From the opening "Soldiering On" ("What saves you in the battle/Can kill you at home") to "Bullet Holes in the Sky" ("They thank me for my service/And wave their little flags/They genuflect on Sundays/And yes, they'd send us back"), to the abject horror of "Iraq," and its quiet depiction of a female mechanic's rape, each song tells the story of a deeply wounded veteran.
Darrell Scott, returning from one of Smith's first retreats, called and told Mary she needed to participate. "I felt unqualified," she says. "I didn't know anything about the military, I was terrified of fucking it up. I didn't feel I knew how to be in the presence of that much trauma without being afraid. But Darrell knew I could do it. Turns out, I was able to sit with the veterans with a sense of calmness and help them articulate their suffering without fear. I was shocked by that. And I took to it."

It has become a calling. "My job as a songwriter is to find that thing a soul needs to say," Mary says. "Each retreat brings together a dozen or so soldiers and four songwriters, three songs each in two days. We don't have a choice. We have to stay focused, listen carefully, and make sure every veteran gets their own song. And we always do."

"None of the veterans are artists. They don't write songs, they don't know that songs can be used to move trauma. Their understanding of song doesn't include that. For me it's been the whole damn deal. Songwriting saved me. It's what I think the best songs do, help articulate the ineffable, make the invisible visible, creating resonance, so that people, (including the songwriter) don’t feel alone."

The impact of these songs becomes visible quickly, unexpectedly.

Featured in the TV series "Nashville," the Bluebird Cafe now prospers as a tourist destination. The room fills twice a night with people thrilled to be in the presence of real live Nashville songwriters.

Who, in turn, are thrilled to be in the presence of a paying audience that can do nothing to advance their careers, save give a genuine response to their songs.

The gentleman at the next table has handsome white hair and a hundred-dollar casual shirt, and almost certainly had no idea who Mary Gauthier was, nor what her songs might be about, when he came out of the sunlight into the darkened listening room. He knows, now. Thick, manicured fingers cover his face, trying to catch his slow tears. His wife sits close, watches carefully, but knows better than to touch him.

He is not alone in that small audience.

Every day we are touched by the veterans in our lives, whether we know it or not.

Every single day. Even if it's only the guy on Main Street, in the wheelchair, with the flag. Every single day.
And, yes, a song may be the answer.

"Because the results are so dramatic, this could work for other traumas," Mary says. "Trauma is the epidemic. You say opioid, I say trauma epidemic. As an addict, I know addiction is self- medication because of suffering, and beneath that pain is always trauma. Underneath so much of the problems in the world is trauma, it's the central issue humanity is dealing with. We've found something powerful here, that brings hope to people who are hurting. So they know they are not alone."

Brent Cobb & Them - Ain't A Road Too Long US Tour 2018

Brent Cobb didn't set out to write an album that feels and sounds like the place he grew up. But now that the grooves have been cut in his debut LP, Shine on Rainy Day, there's no denying the people, the places and the vibe of his southcentral Georgia home infuse almost every song.
"It just is Georgia," Brent says in his musical drawl. "It's just that rural, easy-going way it feels down there on a nice spring evening when the wind's blowing warm and you smell wisteria, you know?"
It's quiet down there where he's from in Ellaville – "population 1,609" - laid back and forgotten in the shadow of Atlanta and Savannah. The people have blue-collar values and believe in treating your neighbor like you want to be treated. They believe in curses and the dark finger of Fate and wield a sharp, dark sense of humor that sustains them through the hardest of times. Distant radio stations, roadside honkytonks made of cinderblock and back-porch picking sessions heavy on the backbeat predominate under Spanish moss-strewn live oaks and loblolly pines.
It was the perfect place to grow up.
"Lord, when I die, let's make a deal," Brent sings on the album's swirling thesis statement, "South of Atlanta," "lay me down in that town where time stands still."
Shine on Rainy Day is an album Brent's been trying to make for a decade, enlisting his cousin and fellow Georgian, Dave Cobb, the Grammy Award-winning producer whose Elektra Records imprint Low Country Sound is home to the album.
Brent wanted to record an album that felt Southern, though not the kind of Southern you might expect. Neither Southern rock nor mainstream country, the sound sits somewhere on the wide bandwidth that exists between the two. Cousin Dave helped him find the right vibe, full of blue-eyed soul, country funk and the kind of swamp boogie sounds that predominated pop in the 1960s and early 1970s. There's a reason Georgia was always on Ray Charles' mind, after all.
"I don't mean to get weird and be into, like, deep shit, but it really has got to be blood," Brent said. "When I write songs, it's almost like I didn't write them. You know it's just like this is happening right now and it just comes out. He's the same way in the studio. He's like, ‘Put this right here and play it like this,' and you're like why? And he's like, ‘I don't know, it's just the way it's supposed to go.' That's exactly how I write songs."
Brent finds it a strange sensation to be so closely linked to someone. Though cousins, the Cobbs didn't know each other growing up. Dave's a little bit older than 29-year-old Brent and his father was the one brother who left the area and moved away – to an island off the coast from Savannah. So when they first met – as adults at an aunt's funeral – Brent was wary. And a little bit of an ass.
"We're standing around outside and I was like, ‘Man, we hear you're producing in L.A. What you produced?' just kind of like a jerk, really," Brent said with a laugh. "He told me Shooter Jennings' 'Put the O Back in Country,' and that floored me, man. Because me and my buddies working at a tree service, we'd get off work, somebody would get a 12 pack, we'd get stoned and listen to 'Put the O Back in Country,' man. We knew it was the cool country. We knew it was for real. Man, I mean it was the shit."
Brent's dad shamelessly slipped Dave a disc of six acoustic songs Brent recorded as he left town. Dave didn't really want to listen to it, but his wife, Lydia, convinced him to stick it in the car's player on the way to the airport. Not long after Jennings called and invited Brent out to Los Angeles.
He spent four months there, but after living through an earthquake, a drought, a near car-jacking and a drive-by shooting he returned home where he lived for about four months before an old acquaintance from the area, Luke Bryan, called out of the blue. Bryan invited Brent to stay with him and his wife for a week to write and get to know Nashville.
Not long after he returned for good and recorded a well-received EP that led to 3½ years on the road, touring with a band and opening for every big player in country. He decided that wasn't what he was looking for either, and began to focus more deeply on songwriting. He landed several cuts – most notably Miranda Lambert's "Old Shit," Kenny Chesney's "Don't It" and Bryan's "Tailgate Blues"- while working on his own songs and searching for a direction for his long-delayed debut.
Meanwhile, Dave left L.A. for Nashville and began building a reputation as one of music's most exciting producers for his work with Chris Stapleton, Jamey Johnson, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell. As part of his deal with Elektra, he conceived of a concept album called Southern Family and thought it only right his "bitch ass little cousin" have a part. "So I was like, ‘I'll be there,'" Brent said. He contributed "Down Home" to the album and also mentioned the project to Lambert, who wanted in and sang the Brent-written "Sweet By & By," a standout on an album full of them.
It was during these sessions that the Cobbs began to notice a real connection in the way they would approach songs during the recording process. "It just felt like home, you know?" Brent said. "I made the comment, ‘Dude, let's just do it.' So we did."
From the Nashville slice-of-life narrative of "Solving Problems" to the delicate and powerful interplay of acoustic and electric guitars on the stunning closer "Black Crow," the album feels like the people, places and sounds of Brent's life.
The album carries something of a Southern Gothic narrative, alternating between dark visions and self-deprecating scenes of black humor that bubble up in laugh-or-cry moments. He chose the album's title after a friend heard "Shine on Rainy Day" following a family tragedy and mentioned how powerful it was to him.
"When you have a bad storm that hits, the next day the trees are in full bloom and the grass is greener and lightning cleans the air up," Brent said. "My friend called me up out of the blue and said that song hit him so hard. It's talking about a rainy day, they're going through a real life rainy day."
Like "Shine on Rainy Day," the album alternates between light and dark. In "Black Crow," a doomed soul argues with a laughing crow sitting on a fencepost, "Black crow, I ain't a joke no more!," before earning a prison sentence in a corner store robbery. "Lord," he sings, "I can feel those spirits carrying me down" before Jason Isbell unleashes a devilish slide guitar line that feels like a Neil Young guitar solo.
The deliciously self-deprecating "Diggin' Holes" has that giddy AM radio/Gram Parsons feel with dancing music accompanied by dark lyrics that are both funny and painful. "I ought to be workin' in a coal mine/Lord knows I'm good at diggin' holes."
"Down in the Gulley" is a sour mash-flavored short story with a first line worthy of Faulkner or O'Connor: "My granddaddy was a good man – no matter what the papers said." The dread-filled "Let the Rain Come Down" opens with visions of doom, a rattlesnake strung from a tree and a witch's curse: "She put a curse on me/Another on the river/And now my crops won't grow no more."
"Solving Problems" was written sitting on a balcony overlooking an especially historic corner of historic Music Row while thinking about Kris Kristofferson's "To Beat the Devil," which has a spoken word section that feels lifted right from the Row.
"The energy just feels crazy around here," Brent said. "I loved how Kristofferson would capture the present moment of his Nashville during that time. Nobody does that anymore."
"Country Bound" is the only song on the album not written or co-written by Brent. Instead, the song was written by his father and uncle in a far-off place called Cleveland.
"It was the first song I ever witnessed being written in my life," Brent said. "I was 5 years old and it was the first time I ever saw snow, too. We were up in Cleveland for Christmas. My uncle had been through this breakup and he was wanting to get the hell out of Cleveland and go to Georgia."
Brent knows the feeling, and after listening to Shine on Rainy Day, he hopes you get it, too. He has never been more proud of his work. After 10 years of searching and struggle, the LP sounds and feels exactly how he wants it to. Like home
"It's not as good as it's going to get," Brent said. "But if it's the last thing that I ever do, if I died the day after it came out, then thank God I was able to record it because the songs and the production, it was everything I wanted to say. Finally."

Brent Cobb didn't set out to write an album that feels and sounds like the place he grew up. But now that the grooves have been cut in his debut LP, Shine on Rainy Day, there's no denying the people, the places and the vibe of his southcentral Georgia home infuse almost every song.
"It just is Georgia," Brent says in his musical drawl. "It's just that rural, easy-going way it feels down there on a nice spring evening when the wind's blowing warm and you smell wisteria, you know?"
It's quiet down there where he's from in Ellaville – "population 1,609" - laid back and forgotten in the shadow of Atlanta and Savannah. The people have blue-collar values and believe in treating your neighbor like you want to be treated. They believe in curses and the dark finger of Fate and wield a sharp, dark sense of humor that sustains them through the hardest of times. Distant radio stations, roadside honkytonks made of cinderblock and back-porch picking sessions heavy on the backbeat predominate under Spanish moss-strewn live oaks and loblolly pines.
It was the perfect place to grow up.
"Lord, when I die, let's make a deal," Brent sings on the album's swirling thesis statement, "South of Atlanta," "lay me down in that town where time stands still."
Shine on Rainy Day is an album Brent's been trying to make for a decade, enlisting his cousin and fellow Georgian, Dave Cobb, the Grammy Award-winning producer whose Elektra Records imprint Low Country Sound is home to the album.
Brent wanted to record an album that felt Southern, though not the kind of Southern you might expect. Neither Southern rock nor mainstream country, the sound sits somewhere on the wide bandwidth that exists between the two. Cousin Dave helped him find the right vibe, full of blue-eyed soul, country funk and the kind of swamp boogie sounds that predominated pop in the 1960s and early 1970s. There's a reason Georgia was always on Ray Charles' mind, after all.
"I don't mean to get weird and be into, like, deep shit, but it really has got to be blood," Brent said. "When I write songs, it's almost like I didn't write them. You know it's just like this is happening right now and it just comes out. He's the same way in the studio. He's like, ‘Put this right here and play it like this,' and you're like why? And he's like, ‘I don't know, it's just the way it's supposed to go.' That's exactly how I write songs."
Brent finds it a strange sensation to be so closely linked to someone. Though cousins, the Cobbs didn't know each other growing up. Dave's a little bit older than 29-year-old Brent and his father was the one brother who left the area and moved away – to an island off the coast from Savannah. So when they first met – as adults at an aunt's funeral – Brent was wary. And a little bit of an ass.
"We're standing around outside and I was like, ‘Man, we hear you're producing in L.A. What you produced?' just kind of like a jerk, really," Brent said with a laugh. "He told me Shooter Jennings' 'Put the O Back in Country,' and that floored me, man. Because me and my buddies working at a tree service, we'd get off work, somebody would get a 12 pack, we'd get stoned and listen to 'Put the O Back in Country,' man. We knew it was the cool country. We knew it was for real. Man, I mean it was the shit."
Brent's dad shamelessly slipped Dave a disc of six acoustic songs Brent recorded as he left town. Dave didn't really want to listen to it, but his wife, Lydia, convinced him to stick it in the car's player on the way to the airport. Not long after Jennings called and invited Brent out to Los Angeles.
He spent four months there, but after living through an earthquake, a drought, a near car-jacking and a drive-by shooting he returned home where he lived for about four months before an old acquaintance from the area, Luke Bryan, called out of the blue. Bryan invited Brent to stay with him and his wife for a week to write and get to know Nashville.
Not long after he returned for good and recorded a well-received EP that led to 3½ years on the road, touring with a band and opening for every big player in country. He decided that wasn't what he was looking for either, and began to focus more deeply on songwriting. He landed several cuts – most notably Miranda Lambert's "Old Shit," Kenny Chesney's "Don't It" and Bryan's "Tailgate Blues"- while working on his own songs and searching for a direction for his long-delayed debut.
Meanwhile, Dave left L.A. for Nashville and began building a reputation as one of music's most exciting producers for his work with Chris Stapleton, Jamey Johnson, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell. As part of his deal with Elektra, he conceived of a concept album called Southern Family and thought it only right his "bitch ass little cousin" have a part. "So I was like, ‘I'll be there,'" Brent said. He contributed "Down Home" to the album and also mentioned the project to Lambert, who wanted in and sang the Brent-written "Sweet By & By," a standout on an album full of them.
It was during these sessions that the Cobbs began to notice a real connection in the way they would approach songs during the recording process. "It just felt like home, you know?" Brent said. "I made the comment, ‘Dude, let's just do it.' So we did."
From the Nashville slice-of-life narrative of "Solving Problems" to the delicate and powerful interplay of acoustic and electric guitars on the stunning closer "Black Crow," the album feels like the people, places and sounds of Brent's life.
The album carries something of a Southern Gothic narrative, alternating between dark visions and self-deprecating scenes of black humor that bubble up in laugh-or-cry moments. He chose the album's title after a friend heard "Shine on Rainy Day" following a family tragedy and mentioned how powerful it was to him.
"When you have a bad storm that hits, the next day the trees are in full bloom and the grass is greener and lightning cleans the air up," Brent said. "My friend called me up out of the blue and said that song hit him so hard. It's talking about a rainy day, they're going through a real life rainy day."
Like "Shine on Rainy Day," the album alternates between light and dark. In "Black Crow," a doomed soul argues with a laughing crow sitting on a fencepost, "Black crow, I ain't a joke no more!," before earning a prison sentence in a corner store robbery. "Lord," he sings, "I can feel those spirits carrying me down" before Jason Isbell unleashes a devilish slide guitar line that feels like a Neil Young guitar solo.
The deliciously self-deprecating "Diggin' Holes" has that giddy AM radio/Gram Parsons feel with dancing music accompanied by dark lyrics that are both funny and painful. "I ought to be workin' in a coal mine/Lord knows I'm good at diggin' holes."
"Down in the Gulley" is a sour mash-flavored short story with a first line worthy of Faulkner or O'Connor: "My granddaddy was a good man – no matter what the papers said." The dread-filled "Let the Rain Come Down" opens with visions of doom, a rattlesnake strung from a tree and a witch's curse: "She put a curse on me/Another on the river/And now my crops won't grow no more."
"Solving Problems" was written sitting on a balcony overlooking an especially historic corner of historic Music Row while thinking about Kris Kristofferson's "To Beat the Devil," which has a spoken word section that feels lifted right from the Row.
"The energy just feels crazy around here," Brent said. "I loved how Kristofferson would capture the present moment of his Nashville during that time. Nobody does that anymore."
"Country Bound" is the only song on the album not written or co-written by Brent. Instead, the song was written by his father and uncle in a far-off place called Cleveland.
"It was the first song I ever witnessed being written in my life," Brent said. "I was 5 years old and it was the first time I ever saw snow, too. We were up in Cleveland for Christmas. My uncle had been through this breakup and he was wanting to get the hell out of Cleveland and go to Georgia."
Brent knows the feeling, and after listening to Shine on Rainy Day, he hopes you get it, too. He has never been more proud of his work. After 10 years of searching and struggle, the LP sounds and feels exactly how he wants it to. Like home
"It's not as good as it's going to get," Brent said. "But if it's the last thing that I ever do, if I died the day after it came out, then thank God I was able to record it because the songs and the production, it was everything I wanted to say. Finally."

@clubcafelive

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