It wasn’t that long ago that Butch Baldassari said, “Keep your eyes and ears peeled for him.” Now four years later, after making noise as a producer, composer, and sideman for nationally touring artists, Nashville based musician Ethan Ballinger is making his vocal debut on the music scene with his second album “Don’t Lose It.” The album features nine beautifully dark and personal songs all of which he wrote, recorded and produced in his own home.
Cheetah Chrome - A Dead Boy's Tale From The Front Lines Of Punk Rock is the no-holds-barred autobiography of Cheetah Chrome, lead guitarist of the Dead Boys, one of the greatest punk bands ever. It’s a tale of success and excess—amazing music, legendary antics, epic drug use, and eventual resurrection—that only a true rock and roller could deliver. As a songwriter Chrome's work has been covered by artists such as Guns n Roses, Pearl Jam and the Beastie Boys. He is now a Record Producer and Artist for Plowboy Records. He lives in Nashville with his wife and son.
Clean, clear, and precise with honestly holding it all together … this is color palette of Pete Mroz’s music. His music is Hot AC, AAA, Americana, or Pop … a love song, blues song, acoustic song, or a roots song … it is all about the soul of the music and sometimes that concept doesn’t fit a genre. Influenced by a wide range of artists like Robert Johnson, The Beatles, Clapton and Sting his music has been compared to artists like Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, and James Taylor … an old soul in a modern world some would say. Born in Indiana and raised in over 13 states he learned at a very young age the rhythm of the road which has served to be a priceless lesson in his life.
Paul Burch, Nashville’s honky-tonk auteur and a writer of unmistakably modern but instantly classic songs, will release his new album, Fevers this fall on Plowboy Records. Backed by his redoubtable band the WPA Ballclub, Fevers reveals the side of Burch heard most often on stage—intense, unbridled, and full of bravado. Produced with multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin (Jack White, Buddy Miller, Third Man Records), Fevers is a riveting and haunting mix of honky tonk, stringband blues, and bop grooves that defies easy categories.
As 2006 arrived, Buzz was the only songwriter credited with cuts by pop icons, the Beatles, Pearl Jam and U2. It started in 1956 when Buzz, then an Inglewood, TN teenager and junior at Isaac Litton High, was given the opportunity to lip-synch "White Christmas" on the Noel Ball Saturday Showcase, a local talent show on WSIX-TV (ABC), then Channel 8. Reluctant to delve into a television musical, Jim Seymore, a fellow art student organizing the show told him, "It'll be fun and there'll be lots of girls there!" His intent has been to be on the other side of the camera, possibly studying film directing in college, but the idea of performing (with girls!) suddenly appealed to Buzz. Musically in those days, rhythm and blues and early Elvis recordings were having their influence on him. Buzz sang in the youth choir at his local church, learning harmonies from his mother, Rosa, an alto.
Country music fans, Norwegian businessmen, buses full of weekend tourists, rainbow chasing dreamers—every day brings an endless stream of visitors to Nashville, Tennessee, seeking an experience unlike anything other cities have to offer. They want to meet a spectacular musician or artist and shake their hand...maybe get an autograph. They long to hear the local stories about their favorite legends or what it's like to be "in the business." They all want to explore American music and have a personal encounter with fame. Each and every day, strolling the hallowed halls of an "unbroken circle" or amid the stars that line the Walk of Fame, ambling among the crowd at large events or anywhere in Nashville where music is a cornerstone, an immensely talented, soft-spoken man in an understated suit and sunglasses stands waiting to greet them with a warm smile and a song. He is David Andersen, the Ambassador of Music City. His mission is to give Nashville's visitors the authentic experience they seek.
“Most of my career,” says Emmylou Harris, “I’ve been a finder of songs, a gatherer of songs, so this showcases, in part, that side of what I do.” All I Intended To Be, its simple but evocative title borrowed from the lyric of a Billy Joe Shaver song, does far more than that. Her first solo album since 2003’s Stumble Into Grace, it is indeed a catalogue of Harris’s many gifts—as an interpreter, as an eloquent composer herself, as an inveterate musical explorer who’s been able to discover, rescue, and/or give new life to many a beautiful but overlooked country, bluegrass or folk tune.
Few voices have the power to cut to the bone like Pam Rose’s. Layer that over her profound songwriting gift and her consummate musicianship on an assortment of instruments, and you begin to get a glimpse of a real artist.
Mary Ann Kennedy and Pam Rose,"KENNEDY ROSE" recorded for and toured with STING in the 90's. The duo also enjoyed success as a songwriting team in Nashville for many years. They met EmmyLou Harris in 1985, and have a musical and personal friendship that continues today.
Annie Crane's music captures you with stories of immigrant grandparents, February ice storms, heartache in snowy Toronto and an industrially sweet Brooklyn love. Robin Aigner's quirky, irreverent and original old-timey/gypsy folk has a loyal following from New York to Nashville, New Hampshire to San Francisco.
Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush doesn’t seem old enough to be a musical legend. And he’s not. But he is. Alternately known as the King of Telluride and the King of Newgrass, Bush has been honored by the Americana Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association.
In 2007, when Mike Farris debuted his critically acclaimed Salvation in Lights, people who'd never heard of the former Screamin' Cheetah Wheelie's frontman, music business people and retailers who thought they'd "heard it all and seen it all," stood with mouths agape, eyes like saucers, aghast at how that sound, that soul, could come from such an unlikely source.
Caitlin Rose is a twenty one year old singer/songwriter from Nashville, TN, who is spending more time recreating the songs of our past than most artists twice her age are able to do. Upon first listen, you might swear you’ve heard Caitlin’s music before. Perhaps in a smoky honky-tonk or a dimly lit dive bar where the waitresses are all named Wanda and the well drinks are only a dollar. Though this would simply be an auditory illusion, your first impression wouldn’t be far from the truth.
Dex Romweber is nothing less than an icon of the American music underground. Pioneering the template for the stripped to-the-essentials guitar/drums duo format in the (should be) world famous psycho-surf-rockabilly-garage-punk combo Flat Duo Jets—so often emulated, so rarely duplicated—Dex continues his resurgence with the new album Is That You In The Blue? With sister Sara on drums, the Dex Romweber Duo is a potent combo that’ll get your leg twitching with the beat and your heart racing -and sometimes breaking- with the feral excitement of music. If it don’t, you might want to consider turning in your “I Heart Rock n Roll” badge. Seriously.
Peter Bradley Adams was one half of the duo "eastmountainsouth" signed by Robbie Robertson (of The Band) to Dreamworks Records in 2002. He has released two solo records ("Gather Up" and "Leavetaking") and is set to release his third, "Traces" this September on Sarathan Records.
Feisty, funny singer/guitar-slinger Scott Miller is not a simple study; he manages the family cattle farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, but he also has a degree in Russian and Soviet Studies from William & Mary and tours the country as an esteemed singer/songwriter.
Jonny Corndawg is a country singer, not a singer-songwriter. Born in Montana, raised in rural Virginia, Corndawg has been touring on his motorcycle since he dropped out of high school in 2001. He’s played shows in every U.S. state, Canada, eleven European countries, Australia, Argentina and India. But you won’t find him on CMT. His music is more in the vein of that obscure, ‘70s gay country that housewives would discover on a Bear Family reissue in twenty years.
Great musicians will always find a way to make good music, but for great musicians to make great music, they must form a bond – one that, more often than not, goes beyond the purely musical to the personal. For The Grascals, that bond has been forged at the intersection of personal friendships, shared professional resumes and an appreciation for the innovative mingling of bluegrass and country music that has been a hallmark of the Nashville scene for more than forty years. As their records prove, The Grascals’ rare musical empathy gives them an unerring ear for just the right touch to illuminate each offering’s deepest spirit - whether they’re digging into one of their original songs or reworking a bluegrass classic or a pop standard.
A native of Los Angeles, James Intveld started his career at an early age listening and singing along to his parents' recordings of Hank Williams, Sr., Dean Martin, Lefty Frizzell, and Elvis. During the cow punk movement of the '80s, Intveld was working the same clubs as Dwight Yoakam and Rosie Flores, playing his own brand of rockabilly, and so impressed Town South of Bakersfield producers Pete Anderson and Dusty Wakeman that he was included on the second volume of the compilation series.
From the foothills of Appalachia a new musical combo has appeared; grown from seeds of the folk, blues, and bluegrass found abundant in the Carolinas, yet shaped by the undeniable power of rock and roll. Known as The New Familiars, these five gentlemen combine an amazing passion for harmony with multi-instrumental talent and unusual storytelling abilities.
Characterized as "explosively intoxicating," this Greensboro, NC six-piece can only be described in terms of what has already been defined, for there is no way to narrow them into any perfect genre. Mixing euphonium with banjo, and acoustic guitar with drums, keys, and electric bass, Holy Ghost Tent Revival is an eclectic mix of so many things -- dirty jazz, ragtime, folk, roots country/bluegrass, big band and rock and roll.
Nancy Griffith got an early start on her path to performing and songwriting. At the age of 6 she began to write songs, thinking of it as “part of the process of learning how to play guitar.” While she doesn’t remember many of her earliest songs, she does recall that “the first original song my mother commented on…was a song about Timothy Leary.” Then at the age of 14, when a campfire turn at the Kerrville Folk Festival caught the ear of singer-songwriter Tom Russell, she was on her way. Having recorded 18 albums and performed concerts all over the world, it’s safe to say that she’s never looked back.
From easy-going ballads to fiery, hard-driving instrumentals, it’s no wonder the Josh Williams Band was voted the 2010 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Emerging Artist of the Year.
The journey that brought Shawn from Connecticut to Nashville led him through Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music where the self taught musician learned that formal instruction wasn't in the cards. Several garage bands, a near death experience, and a stretch living and working with special needs kids at the Perkins School for the Blind brought Shawn to the conclusion that if he was to make music his life then he would need to take the plunge and go where music and creativity can permeate an aspiring artists life.
Steve Kimock is an innovator. Not just for his ability to successfully navigate live performances spanning the Summer of Love through the advent of MTV and well into the new electronic-pop revolution. And not just for his gift for leading the live music recording and download revolution with a meticulous dedication to archive and share his live shows for more then twenty years (Macworld, 2005). He is not just an innovator because of his craftsmanship restoring vintage analog equipment and for a completely custom and organic sound (he designed a highly collected edition of Two Rock brand “Kimock Amplifiers” and most recently a custom, ergonomic Scott Walker guitar, in stereo).
So the old story goes, a small-town girl with ambition puts her all into her music, moves to the big city, meets the right people, and finds success. But with Angela Easterling, it was the opposite. She went back to her small town, and in doing so, gained her greatest success yet. What she found in her native Greenville, SC had Roger McGuinn, founder of legendary folk rock group The Byrds, calling her "a bright shining star on the horizon," going on to say "Her gift is so special….brought me back to the time the Byrds recorded Sweetheart of the Rodeo - tradition meets youthful exuberance."
Hardly a purist, he has described the music he and his band, The Beatnecks, make as, "Rock for Roots fans and Roots for Rock fans." In essence: Rock and Roll. There’s nothing new about combining R & B, Rock and Roll, Country, Blues, Pop and Rock. The Rolling Stones and the Beatles proved that it can yield marvelous and diverse results. I said he wasn’t a PURIST. I didn’t say he wasn’t very PICKY about the quality of the music. That includes everything from the sonics of the recordings, the choice of players, the influences he draws on, the songs he chooses to cover, or how attentive he is to the craftsmanship of his own songs.
The term "living legend" gets thrown around quite a bit, but it actually applies to Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Louvin. The magical harmonies and depth of feeling found on Louvin Brothers recordings of the 50's and 60's inspired a new generation of musicians, firmly establishing the Louvins' stature as one of the most influential duos in country music history. In 2006, the Tompkins Square label reached out to Charlie about making his first new studio album in over ten years. They enlisted Mark Nevers, who engineered sessions for many top country artists, and produced Calexico, Lambchop, Candi Staton among others. Guests on the album include Elvis Costello, George Jones, Jeff Tweedy, Will Oldham, Tom T. Hall, Tift Merritt, Marty Stuart, Bobby Bare Sr., David Kilgour, members of Bright Eyes, Lambchop, Clem Snide, Superchunk and more. Louvin enjoyed the experience.
Some careers can be described with a couple of words, but Shawn Camp’s isn’t one of them. A bold and distinctive singer, a songwriter who’s provided material for artists ranging from Garth Brooks and Brooks & Dunn to Ralph Stanley, Del McCoury and Ricky Skaggs, and a multi-instrumentalist who’s played with everyone from Alan Jackson to the Osborne Brothers, his music sprawls across the lines that divide mainstream country, Americana and bluegrass—and if his songs have been recorded by more popular artists, his energetic new CD, Fireball, makes a compelling case that no one can do them better.
Listening to Green on the Vyne is like being reacquainted with an old friend. But how can that be, when the oldest member of the group is just the tender young age of sixteen? This group of old souls is breathing a breath of fresh air into the long-existing world of acoustic and bluegrass music, while staying true to their roots. Green on the Vyne is made up of five, incredibly talented musicians.
Bluegrass, Newgrass, Gospelgrass, Rock N’ Rollgrass…true innovators like John Cowan break boundaries and personify innovation. John’s ability to take audiences on a musical journey through multiple genres has made him one of the most unique vocal artists of his generation.
Since their musical journey began in 1998, Grace, Sophia & Hulda have been covering a lot of ground. In the beginning, the Q's started taking fiddle lessons from Sherry McKenzie (Joey's wife) and later from Joey, learning traditional Texas-style fiddling. From the start, all three sisters demonstrated astonishing talent and determination and a real love of music. Shortly thereafter, the girls began entering fiddle contests and had success early on; winning several State, regional and National fiddle championships.
Grammy nominees Eric Brace & Peter Cooper have created a body of work that reflects their journalistic sensibilities, a love of harmony and wry humor, and their deep respect for the masters they've played with. April 2013 marks the release of Eric Brace & Peter Cooper's third duo record, The Comeback Album, a sparkling set of songs that feature the pair's splendid harmonies and deft storytelling.
"I think Dale Ann Bradley is an awesome singer. It's heart and soul with her." – Ricky Skaggs It's 9 a.m. on a rainy January day in Nashville, five days into 2009. Dale Ann Bradley is coming up the studio steps without a raincoat, carrying a guitar and a folder full of lyrics. She's been on the road for 14 straight days, it's 25 degrees and pouring, but never mind all that. She's been shaping the concept of her new project, the follow-up to her Compass Records debut Catch Tomorrow, for months, and she can't wait to kick off the first song.
The position that Foster enjoys in the country music landscape is remarkable. Mainstream country music and independent Americana tend to occupy separate orbits. Yet for 24 years Foster has thrived in both as a songwriter, recording artist, live performer and producer. His songs--solo, with Foster and Lloyd and recorded by other artists--have topped the country, Texas, Americana, and AAA charts alike. At the same time, he's earned the respect of his peers and a devoted audience as intent on listening as they are eager to dance.
When Pam Daley delivers a song she invites the listener in as she unknowingly reveals pieces of her soul. Her refined, crystal clear vocals are at once intimate and open, as if the words are meant to be shared, but also meant only for you. In years past, Daley sang in rock bands that tended to drown out the subtler colors of her voice. But when she returned to the music that she loved, bluegrass and acoustic country, she had found her way home. *Guest appearance will be made by Pam Daley for PBS special.
Country music fans remember Ulisse from her days when she was signed to Atlantic Records in the early 1990's where she released a critically acclaimed album Trouble at The Door with three singles and two videos. She was also a guest on many national television shows including Hee Haw, Nashville Now, Crook and Chase and NBC's Hot Country Nights.
Christabel and the Jons is a southern swing band based in east Tennessee that blends familiar standards with modern vintage sounding originals. Their music is acoustic and colorful, a blend of Appalachian mountain music and vintage swing. The group saunters and sways together with ease. Lead singer Christa DeCicco steals hearts with her come-hither delivery and charismatic stage performance.
On New Country Blues the Emmitt-Nershi Band has fully realized its potential.With Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon) on mandolin & vocals and Bill Nershi (the String Cheese Incident) on acoustic guitar and vocals, ENB delivers a dynamic blend of bluegrass, newgrass, country and Americana that is sure to excite fans of all those genres and more.
Mountain Heart is the band that has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The band's name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group's creation in 1999. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans both as a result of their superlative musicianship, and more notably, their incomparably exciting live performances.
Chris Volpe’s gentle vocals, padded by long strains on the harmonica, whining pedal steel and warm acoustic guitars, have a nice way of relaying some hard truths on his new disc, Shipwrecked. Shades of Neil Young emerge in the bleak “Afraid of the Dark,” which tackles the weighty issue of environmental pollution and paints a picture of the resulting mess when mankind fails to react responsibly.
With its scintillating contemporary qualities, the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble has been hailed for revitalizing and reshaping a type of ensemble music that enjoyed nationwide popularity at the turn of the 20th century. Through its array of mandolins, mandola, mandocello, violin, guitar and bass, NME commands expressive string colors of kaleidoscopic range and variety.
With their roots based in bluegrass, Celtic, and jazz music, Cherryholmes has stormed to the top of the music world since winning the 2005 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Award for Entertainer of the Year.
Closing in on the quarter-century mark, Donna the Buffalo has developed one of most respected ‘brands’ in the world of touring roots acts, along with a well-deserved reputation for crafting social narratives and danceable grooves without equal. Throughout it’s career the band has traveled millions of miles and spent nearly a quarter of a century performing at the country’s most prestigious festivals and clubs. Their fervent fan base, nicknamed The Herd, follows the band with zeal and has created a unique and supportive community online and at DTB shows across the nation.
THE BELIEVERS have a serious love for old school country music - they can’t help it if they were raised on punk & folk. It was that very love that prompted a move from their hometown of Seattle to their current stomping grounds of Nashville, Tennessee. Founding members Craig Aspen & Cyd Frazzini share a broad scope of influences from The Louvin Brothers to The Clash to Steve Earle to George & Tammy, all coming together to create a Country Soul sound with the urgency of a great rock record and all the intimacy of your favorite Neil Young or Bob Dylan records. Such a sound has earned them praise from the likes of Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale and the BBC2’s Bob Harris who simply declared them “Brilliant.”
Kristi Rose and Fats Kaplin return to Music City Roots for a double celebration. The recent release of Fatsʼ new 2 CD retrospective instrumental album AND the upcoming autumn release of their new duo album “How Many Chances”.
After leading several popular ‘80s cult bands in and around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, Chuck Mead landed on Nashville’s Lower Broadway where he co-founded the famed ‘90s Alternative Country quintet BR549. The band’s seven albums, three Grammy nominations and the Country Music Association Award for Best Overseas Touring Act would build an indelible bridge between authentic American Roots music and millions of fans worldwide. With BR on hiatus, Chuck formed The Hillbilly All-Stars featuring members of The Mavericks, co-produced popular tribute albums to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, guest-lectured at Vanderbilt University, and became a staff writer at one of Nashville’s top song publishers. In 2009, he released his acclaimed solo debut album, Journeyman’s Wager, and toured clubs, concert halls and international Rock, Country and Rockabilly festivals with his band The Grassy Knoll Boys.
At a point in his career where you'd think he'd be charging at full speed toward the next big thing, Tim O'Brien confounded expectations by doing something else: he took time--and plenty of it--to create the next small thing. Chameleon is an intimate project that, in its blend of virtuosity, wit and warmth, is unmistakably his. And this time around, it's literally his alone.
In May 2010, two weeks after a thousand-year flood devastated parts of Nashville, TN, Will Hoge and his band drove 14 hours back home to perform a single song on stage at the historic Ryman Auditorium. He'd been invited to perform the finale of a nationally televised benefit concert stacked with high-profile artists like Keith Urban, Keb Mo and Brad Paisley. But as a native son of Nashville and a true hometown rock star with an extraordinary ability to connect with a crowd, Hoge's powerhouse vocal on "Washed By The Water" proved the perfect climax and well worth the long haul.
A couple of years ago Jason and I were doing a run of dates together through the snowy Midwest. I was road-ragged and he was fresh as a daisy. He'd driven across Alaska not long before and spent six weeks in Sweden and England and Holland before that! We got to talking about farm life and how Jason and his brother grew up feeding the hogs at five in the morningeveryday. "You know," Jason said to me, "My brother and I worked ALL the time. It was incredibly hard work for an adult, let alone a skinny 9 year old boy. It was a never ending cycle feeding the hogs, cleaning out the hog houses (by hand), hauling water and straw, or working the fields.
Those who know Bassist/Composer Viktor Krauss primarily by his supporting roles with Lyle Lovett, Bill Frisell, Jerry Douglas, and scores of others, might be surprised by the eclectic range of the original music on his second recording, aptly entitled II. On the other hand, listeners familiar with Krauss’ remarkable 2004 solo debut, Far From Enough (Nonesuch), and attuned to the finer details of his recording and touring credits—with everyone from Carly Simon, Elvis Costello, John Fogerty, Film Composer - James Newton Howard, and Graham Nash to Chet Atkins, the Chieftains, and Joan Baez—will find II quite consonant with that eclectic track record.
In 1984, singer/songwriter J.D. Souther followed the chart-topping successes of "You're Only Lonely" and the James Taylor duet "Her Town Too" with HOME BY DAWN, an album that Rolling Stone declared his best, with songs that "rank right up there with his forlorn classics 'Run like a Thief' and 'Faithless Love.'"
From the pastoral hills, hollers, shopping malls and interstate highways of Goodlettsville Tennessee, home of Bill Monroe, Bashful Brother Oswald, Stringbean, Grandpa Jones, Keith Whitley and some living country music performers, comes the most entertaining "blast from the past" since Lester Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys. They’re the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band -- five guys and a scrubboard, with roots like wisdom teeth.
In 1969, Tony Joe White brought his brand of Swampy Blues into a Top 10 hit with his song “Polk Salad Annie.” This was followed very shortly in 1970, by Brook Benton’s soulful rendition of White’s timeless “Rainy Night In Georgia.”
Sugarcane Jane's music inspires images of a southern past and gives vibrant proof of the present. Songs like, “Home Nights” weave images of white cotton clothing blowing gently, in rhythm on a warm, balmy southern afternoon. Their sweet tunes trundle you down a dusty, country road in the back of an old truck. You’ll taste sweet blackberries and when the notes fade away, you’ll want more.
It's hard to put a label on a multi-talented artist like Chris Scruggs. The Washington Post aptly described him as "part John Lennon pop and part Milton Brown western swing with a little bit of White Stripes edginess."
Nathan Blake Lynn brings together the deep traditions of bluegrass and country music. His songs define his childhood days running through the backwaters of Western Kentucky, his long nights hauling cars across the country, and his love for honky-tonk nightlife. A writer of historical fiction, Lynn sheds new light on forgotten storyies from the Deep South to the High North.
“Tomi Fujiyama” is Japan’s first lady of Country music. In 1951, a young Tomi switched from performing traditional Japanese songs for small Japanese audiences, to performing Country for the American soldiers on Army and Navy bases across Japan. After recording 21 singles and 5 albums for Columbia Records she was brought to Las Vegas to play a backbreaking 7-days- a-week, 4-shows-a-night contract at the Mint Hotel.
With their first ever performance having taken place at London's Raindance Film Festival, (after JD premiered his critically acclaimed southern-music documentary "Seven Signs"), The DIRT DAUBERS have proven themselves to be multi-media moguls. Add to that the tag of "radio darlings", since the band has graced the stages of such fine programs as the Red Barn Radio Show, The Blue Plate Special and Music City Roots, broadcast over Nashville's legendary WSM-AM, "The Air Castle of the South!"
When looking for expressive and uncommon sounds, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, Dan Seals, Hank Williams, Jr., Iris Dement and Glen Campbell all turned to the evocative sound of Gove Scrivenor’s autoharp. When Gove released early albums on Flying Fish Records, his friends, Doc Watson, John Hartford, Marty Stuart, Buddy Emmons...all lined up to contribute to his recordings.
Bluegrass worthy of being blasted out of the windows of a Plymouth Barracuda with 451 Hemi engine. Metal and jazz like freakouts done acoustically. Arising out of the ashes of Scroat Belly, the Lip's live shows were the stuff of legend. They whipped crowds into a sweaty frenzy—Jeff hunched over his homemade, gas-tank bass "The Stitchgiver," Kirk breaking guitar strings by the dozen and changing them fast enough to ensure himself a place on any NASCAR pit crew, Wayne scorching his fire-proofed mandolin, and Eric, looking the part of a Civil War re-enactor, doing things to a banjo that Eddie Van Halen wishes he’d thought of.
With the release of Old Photograph, on Rural Rhythm Records, multi-instrumentalist Randy Kohrs has also arrived as a first-rate vocalist, songwriter and producer. With a 2008 Grammy win for producing, engineering, mixing, singing harmony, and playing on Americana icon Jim Lauderdale’s latest, The Bluegrass Diaries, he has now solidified his standing as one of the strongest all-around musical forces coming up on the Nashville scene.
Sometimes it really is all about location, location, location. Kenny Brown was not only blessed with talent, he was born in the backyard of some of Mississippi’s best bluesmen. Although R.L. Burnside is fond of calling Kenny Brown his adopted son, it is really the sadly under-recorded north Mississippi bluesman Joe Callicott who was the first musician to take Kenny under his wing.
Shannon McNally was born and raised on Long Island, New York but has spent most of her adult life traveling and living all over North America. After graduating college with a degree in Religious Anthropology she followed Los Lobos out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. She quickly signed with Perry Watts-Russell to Capitol Records/ EMI.
A magnificent cross-cultural river of sound Afrissippi was born in 2002, over a jam session in Oxford, Mississippi, at the home of the legendary R.L. Burnside between Senegalese Fulani griot Guelel Kumba and Burnside apprentice Eric Deaton. The similarities between Kumba’s traditional Senegalese melodies and north Mississippi hill country blues were immediately apparent and thrilling, and so the journey began.
The late Memphis producer Jim Dickinson once called Jimbo Mathus “the singing voice of Huck Finn.” Outside the South, Mathus is likely known as the ringleader of the hyper-ragtime outfit Squirrel Nut Zippers. In his native Mississippi and throughout the South, however, Mathus is the prolific songwriter of born-in-the-bone Southern music, the torchbearer for Deep South mythology and culture. Think Delta highways, bowling-pin Budweisers and “innerplanetary honky-tonk” for the masses.
Born on a tobacco farm in London, Ky., in 1959, and raised in E. Gary, Indiana, Darrell was part of a musical family. His father Wayne, a steelworker by trade but a songwriter in his heart, moved his clan to Southern California when Darrell was 11. Soon Darrell and brothers Denny, Dale, Don, and David were part of their dad’s band, getting on-the-job training in country music as they played its hits on the stages of roadhouses and taverns as far north as Alaska.
Songs about the devil and whiskey aren't just for adults now. The Supple Station Trio sound like they've been playing bluegrass together for years. The trio consists of Don Chambliss, fresh out of high school, Taylor Brashears and Carter Brallier, still seniors in high school here in Nashville.
Like their pseudo-sister role models, the Davis Sisters, the Sweetback Sisters sing country songs in close, surrogate-sister harmony and matching dresses. Their repertoire combines several of the Sisters' passions -- country music from before they were born and new interpretations of those traditions -- to create a fresh take on what it means to be country.
Rebecca Pronsky was just eight years old when she began singing professionally. Rebecca studied voice with a local rock singer who had a weekly gig at the Bitter End in Manhattan. One night she invited Rebecca, then a third-grader, to sing at the club. The crowd loved her, and not surprisingly she immediately felt enamored with performing. Fast-forward past the wonder years and there she was- a full-fledged teen singer-songwriter. Pronsky had picked up the guitar and had begun to write her very own songs.
John Joseph McCauley III, was born and grew up in Providence, RI. Self-taught on drums, guitar, piano, and pedal steel, McCauley's music shows the mixed flavours of the pop, rock, blues, and country influences he brings to his music adds complexity and depth to his tunes.
With 10 artist albums to his credit, WILL KIMBROUGH has released five solo recordings and five albums as a founding member of DADDY, the bis-quits, and Will and the Bushmen. Dubbed an "Alien" performer as a way to explain his masterful performance on the guitar, Will was recognized in 2004 as the "Instrumentalist of the Year" by the Americana Music Association. His songs have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Little Feat, Jack Ingram, Todd Snider and others. His new full-length album – WINGS (Due out Feb. 23!) - features songs that invite the listener to comprehend the universe with a modern introspective eye. Exploring themes surrounding the conflict between family and career, love and work, parents and children, the music is based in classic folk rock, with touches of atmospheric guitar, cello, saxophone, trumpet, banjo, Hammond organ.
Yet it also doesn’t do his subject real justice, because Amber Digby’s singing touches the heart, not just of anyone who appreciatse a traditional country song, but of anyone who’s ever known heartbreak, happiness, regret, loneliness—or just the compelling desire to get out on the dance floor for a night of fun. And the fact is, with each passing month and year, as she enjoys growing airplay and tours farther and farther from her home in Texas, Amber Digby and her music are reaching out to more and more and more of those hearts.
“I wonder if 'for a good time call The Hot Seats' is written on every bathroom wall in Richmond, Virginia . . . The band has taken its raw talent and honed and crafted it precisely to sound easy and effortless.” - Rochester City Paper
In some very real ways, God Don’t Never Change is Ashley Cleveland’s first gospel record. Yes, the new record is Ashley’s eighth full-length project. Yes, she’s been plying her trade in the ephemeral corner of the music world called “Christian music” pretty much from the get-go, crafting earthy songs with a heavenly message for nearly two decades. And yes, she’s even recorded an entire album of hymns, 2005’s Men & Angels Say.
The Vespers are one of those lucky young bands that have built an extensive underground following simply through word of mouth and heavy touring. The band is uniquely made up of two sibling duos; the Cryar sisters, and the Jones brothers. The four have distinguished their sound with an arsenal of acoustic instruments and harmonies only siblings can create. Their showmanship generates a roller coaster of sight, sound, and emotion and their inherent chemistry and instrumental versatility continues to set them apart.
What possesses a young person in 2010 to pick up an acoustic guitar and write a song? One reason is certainly the eternal desire to find the ideal lover, although the inherent failure in doing so remains an equally powerful motivator. This is how life’s hardest lessons are learned, and after the shock, anger, sorrow, bitterness, and fear subside, what we are left with is wisdom.
Just in case the title alone wasn’t a dead give away, Amanda Shires’ Down Fell the Doves is not a record for the faint of heart, faith or spirit. Not that anyone who heard her last album would have expected such. Carrying Lighting, the critically acclaimed 2011 breakthrough that put Shires on the map as one of Americana music’s most arresting new voices (and Texas Music magazine’s 2011 Artist of the Year), was a kudzu-tangled web of frayed heartstrings and combustible desire that revealed the one-time “little fiddle player from Lubbock” to be a grown woman unafraid to “get wrecked in love” and dish out the same with keen poetic insight and unnervingly mature, femme-fatale conviction. But as striking as Lightning was, Down Fell the Doves (Shires’ debut for Lightning Rod Records) is where the gloves really come off.
The duo is comprised of Stephen Mougin (Sam Bush Band) and Ned Luberecki (Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.)Ned Luberecki and Stephen Mougin present a marvelous contrast in almost every way...and the combination works!
Tools for the Soul is Danny Flowers’ stunning Brash Music label debut- and only his third album in 25 years. At that rate, the 58-year-old developing artist- his own typically self-deprecating description- should have enough material for a box set right around his 100th birthday. Clearly, the awe-inspiring guitar guru, soulful singer and hit songwriter is not cruising in the fast lane, or racing in reckless fashion to snag fame’s temporal brass ring. Instead, the album’s eleven introspective and provocative compositions reveal a soul-searching journey colored by loss and gain, pain and joy. It is a journey that digs deep inside, reaches out to fellow travelers with selfless generosity, and arrives at a blessed state of grace.
David Ball was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, growing up in a family where everyone played an instrument. Starting out on guitar, he eventually gravitated to bass fiddle. David joined childhood friends Walter Hyatt and Champ Hood in Uncle Walt’s band and subsequently relocated to another fertile landscape, Austin, Texas. “All kinds of great music were being made in Texas.” In the mid 1980’s, a publishing deal brought David to Nashville.
Larry Stephenson began his musical career while in his early teens when he and his father, Ed Stephenson formed Larry Stephenson & The New Grass in Larry's hometown of King George, Virginia. Honing his God-given talents, he began professionally with Bill Harrell & The Virginians during January, 1979, playing mandolin and singing high lead and tenor. In June, 1983, he moved to a similar role as a member of The Bluegrass Cardinals, remaining until October, 1988, when he organized THE LARRY STEPHENSON BAND while still residing in Virginia in February 1989.
If you’ve ever wondered how Chip Taylor, the songwriter whose hits include “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning” and whose songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Peggy Lee, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, and the Hollies wound up pursuing a career as a country performer, don’t worry. With the release of his latest album, Yonkers NY, he takes you back to the start of his life and explains it in a collection of songs with the patented Chip Taylor charm and grace.
Born in Whitehaven, Tennessee, alongside Highway 61 which brought a generation of bluesmen north from the Mississippi delta to Memphis, Jack Clement played a crucial part in bringing rock 'n' roll music to the rest of the world. During a career of treading thin lines between folk singers, polka bands, outlaw songwriters, and the commercial countrypolitan music industry, this visionary maverick combined song publishing, music and film production, a record company and recording studios decades before the current trend of international conglomeration. He still runs a pared-down empire from his house, The Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa. "I thought that a recording studio was the worst place in the world to make a record, so I built this studio at home 30 years ago," he says. "Now everyone wants one!"
The guys in the Band of Heathens are fond of saying they became a unit by accident. But that’s like saying the Big Bang was an accident. Unplanned, maybe, but hardly random. One might even argue that a kind of destiny was involved. The merger of singer/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist and Colin Brooks, with bassist Seth Whitney and drummer John Chipman, from their respective solo careers and bands may not be akin to a cosmic explosion, but their new album, One Foot in the Ether, offers irrefutable evidence that they were meant to be together — and have evolved into a solid entity worthy of the comparisons they receive to the Black Crowes, the Band and Little Feat.
"Original", "innovative", "fearless", "ambitious", "propulsive", "a marvel of emotion and razor sharp focus"....these are the words of those that have had a chance to hear the sound that for the past several years has been reverberating out of Texas from one of American music's most compelling bands, Cadillac Sky. Their music has been coined everything from "experimental acoustic music" to "psychobilly bluegrass" but they themselves, simply hope they just make "good" music. With an admitted dose of naivety, they simply choose to believe that there should be only two categories in which music should be placed: good and bad. "We try to make music we believe in and would like to listen to".
Pokey LaFarge is a musician, songwriter, bandleader, entertainer, innovator and preservationist, whose well-rounded arsenal of talents has placed him at the forefront of American music. Over the last decade, Pokey has won the hearts of music lovers across the globe with his creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing, all while writing songs that ring true and fine in both spirit and sound. His music transcends the confines of genre, continually challenging the notion that tradition-bearers fail to push musical boundaries. Cleverly striding between numerous forms of traditional American music, Pokey has crafted a genre all his own, marked in its accessible ingenuity.
In an unlikely matrimony between singer/songwriter and bluegrass band, The Apache Relay are creating a strikingly fresh blend of progressive bluegrass and Americana/folk music. Playing together for under a year, the group is planning on releasing their debut LP 1988, produced by Doug Williams (The Avett Brothers “The Gleam”, “Second Gleam”, “Four Thieves Gone” and “Mignonette”) in late August.
“A lot of people think every singer is someone’s puppet,” explains Maura O’Connell from her home in Nashville. “That they are not fully invested in the song – that they are at the whim of a producer or a songwriter or a band. Singing has been denigrated like that for too long.” Widely acclaimed throughout her career as a vocalist and interpreter of utmost grace and insight, O’Connell’s latest album is a defiant, boldly undiluted statement on art of singing. Naked With Friends consists of thirteen tracks of singing – and nothing more – and is decisive evidence that singing is more than enough.
An internationally recognized musician with a wide-reaching and loyal fan base, banjoist Alison Brown first came to national prominence when she was asked by Alison Krauss to join her band Union Station in 1989. Brown had already made a name for herself prior to that by performing extensively with fiddler Stuart Duncan, amongst others and an occasional pick-up session, which included Vince Gill, Byron Berline, John Hickman and others.
The Chapmans continue to enlarge their fan base to include Americana, bluegrass and acoustic country genres. Albeit a young band, they have been touring professionally for almost two decades, while fans and peers alike have nominated and honored them with numerous awards for their songwriting, instrumental, vocal and entertaining talents. Having played thousands of shows, they’ve evolved into a band with a great artistic formula which reaches any size and aged audience, crossing several genres of music.
Shannon Quinn is the latest young musician making her mark on Canada through performance. At 20 years of age, Shannon Quinn is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, dancer and composer. Having been performing with her father Tony for 12 years, she has been featured among many successful recording artists, and in turn has become one herself. She was born and raised in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia; a place full of musical talent.
BIG DADDY LOVE brings a natural blend of grass, roots and rock to the emerging North Carolina music scene. With fiery vocals, sweet-sugary harmonies, authentic song-craft, and undeniable musicianship, the quintet delivers high-energy performances comprised of their own brand of good-time music. It is the startling power of these live shows that resonate with their audience. Genuine and intensely personal lyrics captivate and connect. Be captivated. Get connected. Feel the love.
Jill Andrews has been a musician all her life: from her first original tune in kindergarten – a ditty about the letter P – to the stage at Fillmore East. And this year, the heart-stopping voice and June-apple face of the everybodyfield’s embarks on an exciting new solo project. Jill picked up a guitar for the first time when she was 19 and a camp counselor in East Tennessee. Armed with only three chords, she had all she needed to create deep and soulful songs with lonesome melodies and haunting lyrics.
Ricky and Micol Davis, shortly after marrying in 1994, began their musical life together at an open mic night in Knoxville, Tennessee. Their latest CD, Heaven & Earth, has made waves across Americana and Roots Rock Radio stations worldwide. It debuted at #2, behind Kris Kristofferson, on the EuroAmericana Charts for November of 2009.
18 South's music is created by a wide array of influences. The organic and earthy quality of their sound rings with overtones of Blues, Bluegrass, Jazz and Gospel that lends itself perfectly to their stripped down acoustic approach that is truly "Americana". The Band members resume's read like a Encyclopedia of Musical History and once you see them live you'll know why they are individually some the most well respected musicians on the scene today.
Whether you are looking for a hit song, a cool guitar groove, a great record production or a top entertainer, Gary Nicholson is your "go-to" guy in Music City, U.S.A. A 2006 nominee for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Nicholson has had more than 350 of his songs recorded, has won 26 ASCAP songwriting awards and is responsible for more than a dozen major hits. Unlike most tunesmiths, he is not bound by musical genre. His songs routinely top the country hit parade. But rock bands, blues artists, folk stars and bluegrass acts have also embraced him as a songwriter.
“The first time I heard Seth Walker at a small club in Nashville I was impressed like I haven't been impressed in 30 years, with performance, presence, and great songs.” - Delbert McClinton It would seem to those previously unfamiliar with Seth Walker that he emerged practically overnight as one of the fastest rising stars in blues and roots music. Prior to his recent move to Nashville, the 37year old singer and guitarist hung his hat in Austin for 15 years and has been finetuning his songwriting and soulful croon since his late teens.
Barry and Holly Tashian are established touring musicians and duet singers based out of Nashville. They have written songs for Kenny Rogers, Solomon Burke, Ty England, Daniel O’Donnell and others, and recorded with Emmylou Harris, Tom Paxton, Nancy Griffith and Iris DeMent.
Marshall Chapman is an American singer-songwriter-author who was born and raised in Spartanburg, S.C. For the past 40 years, she's mostly lived in Nashville. To date she has released 12 critically acclaimed albums, and Emmylou Harris, Joe Cocker, Irma Thomas and John Hiatt are just a few who’ve recorded her songs. Over the years, she’s toured extensively on her own and opened for everybody from the Ramones to John Prine. This summer she’ll be inducted into the Spartanburg Music Trail, the town’s open-air hall of fame (http://spartanburgmusictrail.com/), along with David Ball, the Sparkletones and Buck Trent. Chapman is a contributing editor to Garden & Gun and Nashville Arts Magazine. She has also written for The Oxford American, Southern Living, W, Performing Songwriter, and The Bob Edwards Show (Sirius/XM). But “music,” she says, “is my first and last love.”
Minton Sparks is a wildly original poet, performance artist, novelist, teacher, and essayist born in a Tennessee college town and raised among her Southern family in and around Arkansas. She earned degrees from the University of the South and Vanderbilt University. Her appearances range from the prestigious Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival all the way to the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center in New York City.
"Everything Red Molly sings is delivered with tick-tight arrangements, crystalline vocals, and caramel harmonies. But what is most striking is the ardor they bring to everything they do, whether snuggling into the sweet parochialism of an old spiritual, or the gritty pathos of a Gillian Welch tune. They come on less like stars strutting for their minions than pals sharing their favorite songs. In the friendly world of the coffeehouse, that remains a starmaking quality." -Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe
“Harpeth Rising, warm, honest and true music by four exquisite musicians.” Peter van Zeijl, Folk en Zo Harpeth Rising met at Indiana University, each individually pursuing degrees in classical performance. Four years later they all graduated, still entirely enmeshed in the classical world. Then, one beautiful summer weekend in June of 2006, a trip to a bluegrass festival inspired Jordana and Rebecca to take a big chance. Rebecca took up the banjo for the very first time, and she and Jordana hit the road. They busked their way across the western United States and ended up in Hawaii (in a round-about sorta way.)
On the new DUTCHMAN’s CURVE (Deadbeet Records, April 13, 2010) album, David Olney continues to cultivate his own Great American Songbook featuring his multi-dimensional character studies with unparalleled perspective. The prolific singer-songwriter has become known worldwide for his intense live performances - especially with multi-instrumentalist SERGIO WEBB - as well as his intelligent compositions as recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury, Tim O'Brien, Dale Ann Bradley, Ann Rabson and others. In 2009, David became a published author with "A Sign From God" featured in the release of “Amplified: Fiction From Leading Alt-Country, Indy Rock, Blues and Folk Musicians” (Melville House). In late 2009, David launched his UStream.tv “Hear & Now” 30-minute live, interactive weekly broadcast in addition to posting videos of his stellar interpretations of classic poetry on YouTube. 2009 also heralded David’s release of “Ol' Diz: A Musical Baseball Story” about Hall Of Fame St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dizzy Dean. "In the tradition of Johnny Cash and Tom Waits, Olney has become a pioneer of the Americana music scene." -- The San Francisco Chronicle
I’m not a welder, at least not in the typical sense of the trade. But my daddy is, by way of 2300 hours of training that certified him, courtesy of the Atlanta Federal penitentiary. I myself couldn’t put a rod in the thingamajig. And heavy equipment makes me nervous. But I do tend to fuse things, confuse things, sometimes with sparks, sometimes like a lava melt, sometimes backed by a tank of compressed air ready to blow, sometimes quiet as a slow leak.
Jon Byrd lived his formative years in small town America in the piney woods of south Alabama, one county over from the birthplace of legendary country artist Hank Williams. When Jon was eight years old, his dad was diagnosed with TB and began singing Jimmie Rogers' "TB Blues" around the house. That same year Jon saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, and his obsession with the musical tension between country and rock was born. The very next year he was conscripted into the drum corps of his tiny school's marching band and played Booker T. and the MG's "Green Onions" while the majorettes held the cymbals and danced. There was no turning back.
Over the course of twenty years of writing, recording and touring, Kevin Gordon has built an impressively consistent catalog of songs, a critically acclaimed stack of albums, and a reputation for dynamic live performances that make first-time listeners life-long fans. He is currently completing his next full-length album, to be released later this year. Among the new material is a 7-minute piece titled “Colfax”. The song has already generated some great press.
In 1998, I was living with a couple of guys in a rundown little house back in my hometown of Newnan, Georgia. I worked at a bar and grill during the day and would set up and play there on the weekends--sometimes by myself, sometimes with a little blues trio. We'd do lots of J.J. Cale, Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf...some Dylan, Willie Nelson. Anything really. Things were kind of on cruise control for me then. I worked, came home, and wrote songs or played guitar. I didn't really hang out with a lot of people. I pretty much kept to myself. Even on the nights that we were playing, I'd go outside between sets and just walk up and down the sidewalk. Music wasn't my only friend, but in those days it was probably my closest.
“I’ve always considered myself an outsider as far as the music industry goes,” Dana Cooper says. “I focused on a grassroots career by making albums I liked and that I took to people by playing live. Now that’s what everyone says is the new music model, that you build a sustaining career by playing live and sticking to your own vision. If that’s the case, then I figure I’m ahead of the game, because I’ve been doing it that way for more than 30 years.” With his newest release, The Conjurer Cooper strikes a powerful balance between a lived-in, natural artistry and a passionate desire to speak one’s truth. Finding that balance between craft and art takes experience, and this is where Cooper’s lifelong commitment to his work shows: Having started performing more than 40 years ago at age 16, he owns an expert craftsman’s skilled hand and a dedicated artist’s constant desire to tap deeper into his own experience.
When F. Scott Fitzgerald issued his classic conclusion that ‘There are no second acts in American lives,' he failed to envision the career of legendary Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard. A willing conspirator in the late seventies Cosmic Cowboy revolt that ushered in the mythical Outlaw era, Hubbard was a catalyst in the cultural upheaval that led to the peaceful coexistence of Lone Star music enthusiasts who comprised each end of the social and political spectrum of that troubled time. In the stellar company of iconic colleagues like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Doug Sahm and Jerry Jeff Walker, Ray Wylie Hubbard was an architect of the musical legacy that continues to inspire subsequent generations of up-and-coming Texas talent.
The Two Man Gentlemen Band’s original brand of raucous, retro vaudevillian swing is fast becoming an underground sensation. Three short years ago, The Gentlemen were playing marathon sets for tips in New York City’s parks and subways. These days, they traverse the country incessantly, playing hundreds of shows per year for legions of dedicated fans and even catching the attention of big-names like Bob Dylan & Willie Nelson, for whom The Gents opened a handful of shows last summer.
Monte Montgomery has taken the acoustic guitar beyond anyone's expectations. With his amazing fretwork, unique combination finger and pick style playing through trailblazing "chordal" thoroughfares often baffling even the most accomplished players. While Monte remains a huge enigma in the guitar universe, his legendary reputation has spread like wildfire since he appeared on Austin City Limits. In 2004 Monte was named on Guitar Player Magazine's list of "Top 50 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time" and in 2005 he was featured the Covers of "Frets" and "Acoustic Guitar" magazines. Countless articles have been written about Monte describing him "The Evel Knievel of Guitar", "Six Strings Attached To Dynamite", "The Answer To The Fermi Paradox" and "The Acoustic Shred Master" just to name a few. Monte's fretwork has become the benchmark for acoustic guitar players. "An American Original", there is no doubt Monte Montgomery is destined to become An American Legend.
If Phil Lee was as good at knife-throwing as he is at songwriting he would be on the David Letterman show three times a week. He may very well be that good at it – he practices enough - but listening to any one of his excellent CDs, including this new one, has great rewards and fewer risks - at least for the audience. Phil has never feared, personally or lyrically, to scamper out on a limb with a gleam in his eye and a hacksaw in his hand. Sometimes a club owner or promoter will “suggest” that certain of his songs might ruffle a local feather or two but danged if he won’t have those very birds squarely in his corner before the night is done. Charm, guts and great material can get you a long way. Like Wile E. Coyote, he has a knack for recovering from the most explosive circumstances but unlike that hapless canine he usually ends up on top and grinning. This has been of immense help in his previous incarnations as a truck driver, roadie, huckster and bon vivant. Phil Lee likes to say that “at a hundred, my age, weight and IQ have all averaged out.” Maybe so but if that’s true he’s sure getting maximum output in all three areas. He writes constantly, eats a sensible diet and, peripatetic as hell, he won’t hesitate to haul out of his Nashville habitations in his pickup for a gig in Wisconsin on a Friday, cannonball from there to Missouri on Saturday and hit Indiana on Sunday - after church of course.
Rob Ickes : A Northern California native, Rob Ickes moved to Nashville in 1992 and joined Blue Highway, the highly esteemed bluegrass band, as a founding member in 1994. He is recognized as one of the most innovative Dobro players on the scene today, contributing signature technique and greatly expanding the boundaries of the instrument's sonic and stylistic territory. He won the International Bluegrass Music Association's Dobro Player of the Year award for a record-setting eleventh time in 2009; IBMA notes that he is the most awarded instrumentalist in the history of the IBMA awards. Robinella : Robinella’s career began with a sort of luck that rarely comes to most artists within their lifetime. What started out as a simple husband-and-wife duo fresh out of college quickly grew to a full-fledged band that blended Bluegrass, Country and Jazz. The combination of Robinella's honey-sweet vocals with violin, mandolin, bass, drums and piano captivated audiences, thus creating the ever popular Robinella & the CC Stringband.
Doug & Telisha Williams live right in the middle of the places others only write about. A place where old time religion, superstition, run down bars, gravel parking lots and boarded up factories all mingle together. Their most recent release, “Ghost of the Knoxville Girl”, received wide critical acclaim, and spent 15 weeks in the Americana Music Association Top 40 Radio Chart. Quick wit and a Southern drawl make every show different from the last, while fearless delivery and stunning honesty make every show personal.
Peter Karp : Peter Karp is a gifted American troubadour, a master songsmith with an art for spinning true-to-life emotions, humor, and candor. With an upbringing that was equal parts southern Alabama and the swamps of New Jersey, Karp's music is fueled by the Yankee-Rebel juxtaposition. Sue Foley: Sue Foley is considered to be one of the finest blues/roots artists working today. Born to a working class family Sue spent her early childhood moving from Canadian town to town with her mother. At 16 she embarked on her professional career. By 21 she was living in Austin TX and recording for legendary blues label Antone's Records.
Born in the rumbling cab of a stone truck and aged in the oak of Tennessee’s smoky night haunts, The Black Lillies have come to the forefront of the Americana scene in little more than a year. Founded by multi instrumentalist and vocalist Cruz Contreras (co-founder of Robinella and the CCstringband), The Black Lillies have created their own unique brand of country, roots, rock and blues via Appalachia. The group, formed in 2008, also includes bassist Taylor Coker, electric guitar and pedal steel whiz Tom Pryor (the everybodyfields), and drummer Jamie Cook (the everybodyfields). Trisha Gene Brady rounds out the lineup with Southern charm and smoky vocals.
The Dixie Bee-Liners are an American bluegrass band formed in New York City in 2002 by Buddy Woodward and Brandi Hart, and the band members currently reside in Bristol, Va., and Nashville, Tenn. Their music has been bluegrass, Americana, alt-country, folk, and “Bible Belt Noir”.
At a KingBilly show, you’ll experience something completely different—a blend of high, lonesome bluegrass harmonies, bluesy lap steel and banjo and the country equivalent of AC/DC power riffs. It’s all fused into a seamless whole as tight and dynamic as the Blue Angels in flight. The five band members are equally adept at pickin’ and writin’; like deep-sea anglers, they throw back the good tunes and only keep the great ones. KingBilly can and will play just about anything, as long as it’s good. To a man who knows his pickers, these guys are lively, inquisitive and engaging. To the fairer sex, hot, fun, and one heck of a live show. KingBilly is determined to forge an innovative path to success while maintaining the integrity of the music.
Known for blazing innovative trails with the release of several past projects, the white-hot foursome known as Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers is at it again with the web-only release of Glow In The Dark, a spectacularly sparkling live recording taped at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, New Jersey in 2008. The project concept debuted February 2, 2009, and continues for 14 weeks at the band's website - www.azpeacemakers.com, where fans can hear and watch an entire live show that captures the true spirit and vigor of RCPM. A new song (audio and video) debuts each of the 14 weeks.
As both an artist and a person, Tommy Womack has been called everything from “Tom Lehrer with a Telecaster” to “Nashville’s best loved musical eccentric,” and he might blushingly, but proudly, accept both titles. That’s because separating Womack the man and Womack the artist is impossible, as they’re both the same guy. An award-winning recording artist and a published author, Womack writes songs as honest as anything Hank Williams or Steve Earle ever recorded, and has attracted the attention of the national press while accumulating a loyal following.
Slide guitarist and singer-songwriter David Jacobs-Strain grew up in Oregon, far from Mississippi, but found his first musical home in the Delta blues. “I’ve always been drawn to the dark stuff,” David says. This young roots musician channels age-old wisdom and heartache with such energy and passion that you can’t help but feel good, even about feeling bad.
It's a commonplace that crises create opportunities, but the principle was thoroughly—and successfully—tested by Alaska-‐ by-‐way-‐of-‐Nashville's Bearfoot last year, when original members Angela Oudean and Jason Norris found themselves presiding over a prolonged period of shifting personnel. Yet the cliché proved true in the end when the pair recruited Todd Grebe, another Alaska-‐to-‐Nashville transplant, Nora Jane Struthers, a rising young singer/songwriter and one of her bandmates, P. J. George, to create a renewed ensemble full of energy and creativity. And now, with the release of American Story (available Sept 27), the group's latest effort for Compass Records, it's plain to see that the crisis was little more than a blessing in disguise.
Having grown tired of both the hippies and incessant rain of Portland, Oregon, Jessica now lives in sunny Nashville, TN. After fronting her own Honky Tonk and Americana band for the past number of years in the Northwest, she has found herself tracing her musical roots back to the mountain and classic country mecca that is Tennessee.
The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band consists of dyed-in-the wool traditional players with over 100 years of combined live gigging experience. Joining guitarist Peter Rowan are Jody Stecher, mandolin; Keith Little, banjo; and Paul Knight, bass. The ensemble has graced the stages of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Grey Fox, Merlefest, Rothbury and numerous other festivals, entertaining audiences with original songs executed in vibrant harmony
Stephen Simmons was raised in the small town of Woodbury, Tennessee. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father held a factory job. In his family, they were the first generation that didn’t work the farm. As a songwriter, Stephen’s vision has grown to entail more than just reflections of rural America. The songs on his new recording, Girls, deal with existential realities that are familiar to country and city dwellers alike: redemption, heartbreak, hangovers and the loneliness of the road. Like Stephen’s previous records, The Superstore, Last Call, Drink Ring Jesus, Something In Between, and The Blame’s On U.S. (which were compared to everyone from Johnny Cash to Ryan Adams), Girls combines virtuosic songcraft and musicianship with unparalleled artistic honesty.
Blue-eyed soul grass. Hipbilly. Funky bluegrass fusion. These words have been used to describe Dread Clampitt. With clever and heartfelt lyrics, Dread combines humor and a realistic outlook of the world with the sounds of bluegrass, rock & roll, blues, jazz and some Louisiana Bayou funk.
Sam Quinn is stepping out in front with some new tunes, fresh faces and maybe even a new pair of brown pants. In an effort to keep the the good times rolling in a gleefully depressing way, Sam Quinn brings you his latest incarnation of Honest American Music, The Japan Ten.
Brigitte DeMeyer was already one of the most discussed artists in the Americana movement. Her work stirred accolades in national media. She was tapped to open shows for Marc Cohn, Dan Fogelberg – and Bob Dylan. She wrote songs as weavers thread tapestries, her most vivid colors being a Southern feel, a churchy soulfulness in her vocals, and a way with words that bore comparison to literature as easily as to the best contemporary lyrics.
Soulful singer Con Hunley was born and raised in Fountain City in the Smoky Mountain foothills of East Tennessee. One of six children, Con had music in his life from birth. His first entrance into the music world was singing gospel songs at church with his family. Con was overjoyed when his parents bought him a used "Stella" guitar for Christmas when he was nine years old. His parents taught him basic chords (G,C,D,A) and some simple songs. "I was 10 or 12 years old before I realized that everybody didn't know how to play the guitar and sing, because everybody in my family did. On Saturday nights, we'd all pick and sing. On Sundays, we'd go to church and sing. That's what everybody did, including aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents."
Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line are a traveling Carnival of acoustic Americana. The high energy, Nashville-based quintet perform Struthers’ original story-songs with tight, three-part harmonies, fiddle, claw-hammer banjo, acoustic guitar, bass, and drums. Struthers was catapulted into the spotlight when she lead her band to a blue ribbon at the prestigious 2010 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition (previous winners include Nickel Creek and The Dixie Chicks) and now her group is touring heavily in support of their April 16 release, Carnival. Struthers’ songs are as steeped in American history, and as well crafted, as the beautiful vintage dresses she wears on stage.
He trick-or-treated at Liberace’s house, planned a two-day stay in Amsterdam that ended a month later with him escaping the city under the cover of darkness, and was Bob Hope’s favorite altar boy. Alone, these anecdotes go well with a fistful of peanuts at a cocktail party. But on top of these add that this person also co-wrote the longest-running song on the Billboard Top 100, had a debut solo album that earned three and a half stars in Rolling Stone, and was awarded the title of “San Diego’s Most Influential Artist of the Decade” at the San Diego Music Awards. What you end up with is one of the most engaging, twisted, and prolific songwriters of our time - Steve Poltz.
With the release of HALCYON TIMES, Jason & The Scorchers have accomplished an extremely rare feat: almost 30 years into their career they have made a rock ‘n’ roll record every bit as dynamic and mind-blowing as their vintage work. Very few rock bands can make this claim. Jason & The Scorchers can, they should, and they do.The band’s story essentially starts in the late 1970s. Warner E. Hodges, the son of country musicians Blanche and Ed Hodges, was living in Nashville after his dad’s retirement from the military. Warner had played drums as a boy for his parents’ USO bands. He knew country music inside out. However, as a teenage rebel, he got hooked on early AC/DC and the first wave of punk rockers, waving that flag with high-decibel pride. In Nashville’s schmaltzy country pop atmosphere of that time, he stood out like a pig in a perfume shop. He played in punk and rock bands with his friends Perry Baggs and Jeff Johnson, two other tough street rockers in a genteel Southern town. They made a lot of noise but were essentially ignored outside of Nashville’s tiny rock community.
Brandi Carlile's third album, Give Up The Ghost, unveils her talents in their truest form. After two albums and non-stop touring, she has let her guard down and offers her most candid recording to date. If the phrase "give up the ghost" most often refers to death or dying, it can also be used to describe the passing of stages in life, of transformation.
A jewel of Southern music, Randall Bramblett shines on his latest release, The Bright Spots, due out May 14 on New West Records. Fresh off the inclusion of one of his songs on Bonnie Raitt’s Grammy-winning album Slipstream, he has put together a masterful recording soaked with the soulful feel that has defined his music and that of his Southern contemporaries like Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes. From Howlin’ Wolf to Ray Charles and “dark Motown” influences, sitar samples, gospel strains and even a snippet of water-splashing pygmies, The Bright Spots mixes diverse elements that dovetail into Randall’s finest album yet.
The Drunk Uncles were founded five years ago by Mike McGill and Jeff Barbra, but only filled out its full lineup nine months ago. Having assembled a well-versed but eclectic crew with a similar appreciation for country music pioneers, the group has set out to revive the tunes that inspired them and contribute new songs in the same style.
Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack both boast amazing underground resumes. Kimbrough (2005 Americana Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year) and Womack (Two-time winner of the Nashville Scene Best Song Award) first came together in 1992 in the bis-quits, who made one impressive guitar-fest record for John Prine's Oh-Boy! label. They discovered a musical and personal kinship that they fought for years in and amongst other commitments to get back to. With the breakup of the bis-quits in 1994, Kimbrough went on to be lead guitarist in Todd Snider & the Nervous Wrecks. (He has since produced several of Snider's records, along with a whole slew of other artists.)
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Lissy Rosemont, 28, is the front woman for the Washington, D.C. based Junior League Band. This rock inspired blue grass band has only been around for a few years, but their popularity is on the rise. They've toured all over the country introducing audiences to their unique blend of rock and blue grass tunes. Despite the changes in band members, the group has managed to release three records in less than 18 months.
Sarah Siskind is seen as one of today's most eclectic songwriters with songs covered by Alison Krauss, Randy Travis, Bon Iver, the Infamous Stringdusters, April Verch and more. Krauss released both Siskind songs as singles, and in 2008, her rendition of "Simple Love" was nominated for a Grammy.
THE DEXATEENS AREN'T GOING ANYHERE AND THAT'S THE WAY THEY LIKE IT. But you wouldn't know it by listening to them. These Alabama natives play a boot stomping brand of 'Skillet Rock' that'll grab you by the collar and make you dance until your legs tremble, and sing until you can't sing anymore. However, family ranks a lot higher for The Dexateens than fame and fortune. Always has and always will. Their time away from the spotlight isn't for sale at any price, so don't be surprised if they're not playing a venue near you anytime soon. When they're actually on tour your bound to catch up with 'em, and when you do it'll be worth the wait.
The Chicago-raised Tristen also took to the stage at an exceptionally tender age, fashioning smart pop tunes that quickly caught the ears of fans and industry folks alike. After scoring a publishing deal in L.A. that earned a handful of her tunes placement in television and film, Tristen relocated to Music City. It was there the young artist developed her style, branching out from her radio roots, and instead injecting her innately playful pop sensibilities into a newly introspective brand of folk.
In Athens, Georgia, the future can look a lot like the past. Often not too many changes down that way and Futurebirds certainly don’t mind. Some folks think good music comes from making a whole bunch of sounds no one’s ever heard before. Some folks think that you can sit back and take her easy for a little while without trying too damn hard. Some folks think you can have a little of both. If you push yourself every once in awhile, you might wind up in the right place around the right friends and come up with something worth playing on the porch-swing over an ice-cold beer. That’s exactly Futurebirds’ situation. Surrounded by a sleepy-living music community—more earnest than you’ll find elsewhere—the band works to set things right where they belong. Provide people with an infectious melody and a refreshing song about things they understand and they’ll sing with you.
Adam Steffey, Ron Stewart, John R. Bowman, Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon make up the new group "The Boxcars." With collective stints with Alison Krauss & Union Station (Adam Steffey, John Bowman), J.D. Crowe & The New South (Ron Stewart, John Bowman, Harold Nixon), Blue Moon Rising (Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon), The Isaacs (John Bowman) and most recently The Dan Tyminski Band (Steffey and Stewart), this quintet starts out with an impressive rap sheet.
Taking inspiration from roots music and Southern tales of the supernatural, the Pine Hill Haints play a self-described style of "Alabama ghost country" that touches upon honky tonk, rockabilly, folk, and bluegrass. As a child, Jamie Barrier (vocals, guitar) often joined his grandfather in attending local hootenannies, where he was exposed to the musical traditions of his native Alabama. Later, Barrier honed his own voice by singing in a graveyard -- the Pine Hill Cemetery -- and formed the raucous rockabilly outfit the Wednesdays while still in elementary school. The Wednesdays would go on to release several albums in the 2000s, but Barrier nevertheless formed the Pine Hill Haints in 1998 as a second (and considerably different) project, piecing together a revolving lineup that ultimately solidified around core members Matt Bakula (washtub bass, banjo), Ben Rhyne (snare drum), and Jamie's wife, Katie Barrier (washboard, mandolin).
“Izzy Cox is a phenomenal singer What a voice! I'd describe it between Rosie Flores and Kelly Hogan. Izzy is also a good guitar player, arranger and performer too.” – Nan Warshaw, Bloodshot Records
“And its sink or swim, but it’s a long way down.” The singing and songwriting guitarist Ernie Hendrickson just has that way with language. It’s a perspective that allows his hand to scribe his unique perception of the world, one of tragedy and optimism juxtaposed. Born in Cuba City, Wisconsin, he is a true raconteur writing for the rest of the socially conscious and open-hearted with his own blend of classic American music underneath his poised tenor voice. Hendrickson’s new album, One For The Dreamers due for release on September 24th 2013, is a straight-forward picture frame around his soul, swimming in his deep well of music.
When it comes from NewFound Road, it comes from the soul. There are more famous bluegrass bands, but you’d be hard pressed to find one that plays and sings with more feeling and heart than this extraordinary ensemble. NewFound Road’s second collection for Rounder Records, Same Old Place, following their well-received 2006 CD Life in a Song, tells you all you need to know about this group’s depth of emotion. It’s chock full of driving rhythms, haunting ballads and classic bluegrass, all brought into sharp focus by the band’s instrumental prowess and the soulful vocals of Tim Shelton.
Since the 2008 release of their debut full-length Casting Shadows Tall As Giants, the band has been gaining momentum regionally as well as nationally. The album was featured on NPR’s “Second Stage” program. "Their music has a great energy to it with some infectious, sing-along choruses and refrains." commented NPR host Robin Hilton. At Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay Awards held in Tampa, HGWT took home the Readers' Poll Award for Best Americana Act and Staff pick for Local CD of the Year. Casting Shadows... landed in the top 5 most-played album of the year on Tampa's WMNF 88.5 fm. The album opener "Blessing and a Curse" was chosen to appear on every episode of the 2009 season of PBS's Roadtrip Nation.
Jeff and Vida’s nine years of performing and songwriting, have seen them delve into many different genres of music; country, honky-tonk, rockabilly, even a little rock and roll. But throughout their career, which has included four critically acclaimed albums, literally thousands of live shows in the U.S. and Europe, and a move from New Orleans to Nashville, bluegrass has remained a key influence in their style and sound. Nowhere is this more evident than on their new CD, Selma Chalk.
The Kenneth Brian Band has been working very hard, finishing up the as-yet-untitled new record, produced by classic rock and studio legend, Johnny Sandlin. Sandlin's work speaks for itself. Having played in Hour Glass (with his pals Duane and Gregg Allman), he then became Vice-President and head of A&R at Capricorn Records, going on to engineer and produce some of the most influential records and artists of all time, including: The Allman Bros., Bonnie Bramlett, Wet Willie, Delbert McClinton, Cher, Widespread Panic, Leroy Parnell, Marshall Tucker Band, Derek Trucks, and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, to name just a few. Johnny's experience in the classic/southern rock genre (he is one of the pioneers in the field) is a perfect match for Kenneth Brian's southern sensibilities, musically and otherwise. Be sure to check back soon for more details on a release date and title, as the record is ALMOST DONE!!!
There were very few role models for a young woman starting out on the bluegrass highway back in the mid ‘70’s when Claire Lynch joined a band called Hickory Wind. A native of Kingston, New York, who has lived in Northern Alabama since the age of 12, Claire was offered a position in the band, decided she was going to be a bluegrass singer, and that was pretty much that. After changing its name to the Front Porch String Band, the group worked regularly throughout the Southeast over the next several years, becoming fan favorites on the strength of its open-minded musical approach and incredible lead singer.
The Darlins was formed in September of 2008 by Erinn Bates and Jude Toy. Erinn was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and graduated from Belmont University with a degree in Music. Just after graduation, she signed a development deal with Sony Nashville and worked with Grammy winning producer, Mark Wright. She also began working with hit songwriters, Mark Selby and Tia Sillers. Selby played guitar and co-produced her project with Wright. In 2006, she packed up and moved to Las Vegas where she sang as part of a group in a country show band. Shortly after her year in Vegas, she returned home to Nashville to pursue a songwriting and artist deal again.
The Honeycutters are, at the heart, the musical collaboration of singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt and Lead Guitarist/ Producer Peter James. While their sound has drawn comparisons to such artists as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris or Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Platt and James produce a refreshingly unique blend of Americana music that is comfortingly familiar while being entirely original. Whether performing as an acoustic duo or a full fledged Honky-Tonk five piece, The Honeycutters leave smiles on the faces of the ears that they catch.
Emerging in 2009 from the college a cappella scene, Sonos turns the genre on its head with bold interpretations of C21st classics. On their Verve debut “SonoSings,” the vocal group reinvents Radiohead, Bon Iver & Fleet Foxes and dazzles with unique twists on the mainstream such as a dark, trip-hop Jackson 5 cover. Recent appearances include live radio sessions on NPR’s Weekend Edition, KCRW, BBC Americana, Sirius/XM; collaborations with novelist Margaret Atwood at UCLA Live and the beloved Young@Heart Chorus; plus performances all over the country including the Sundance Film Festival. 2010 sees Sonos touring widely as well as embracing projects in dance with Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Co. and science/theater with bestselling author and psychologist Dr. Daniel Levitin ("This Is Your Brain on Music"). A new Sonos album featuring covers, collaborations and originals, will be available in the fall.
"Kim Richey would rule the charts in a land where Marshall Crenshaw was king, Aimee Mann queen, and the The Beatles never put out another record after Revolver." Steve Horowitz, popmatters.com
The original Shotgun Party trio met in a little Texas dive bar in 2006. They got their start performing weekly at Austin's own Continental Club. Sparks flew and now Shotgun Party, the Austin based trio, really knows how to fire up a crowd! Their original songs are beautiful and timeless drawing influences from early blues, country, bluegrass and depression era swing. Katy Rose Cox's fearles fiddling is simply virtuosic. Miss Jenny Parrott's gorgeous vocals and addictive songs will bring you to your knees. ...and introducing Shotgun Party's newest member, Andrew Austin-Petersen (formerly of the Shake 'Em Ups) on show stopping upright bass! With tight harmonies and lively stage antics, Shotgun party will leave you with a smile ear to ear. Don't miss 'em!!
Hailing from Nashville via North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama and Texas, The Westbound Rangers are forging a new sound that crosses boundaries between Americana, Bluegrass, and Old-Time. The four piece string band, consisting of clawhammer banjo, mandolin, guitar and doghouse bass, has been turning heads since the band’s unassuming start in 2008.
An award winning singer-songwriter from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Ryan's sound is a smooth ensemble of Country/Western, Roots, Folk and Jazz music. Raised in a large dairy farming family, Ryan did all he could to outrun the expected cliches of cowboy culture. In fact, he started playing in punk rock and heavy metal garage bands as a teenager, and helped to shape a popular Yarmouth music scene along with artists like Brian Borcherdt (Holy F*ck) and Paul Murphy (Wintersleep).
Mandolin stylist known for his musical wizardry, songwriting, singing and arranging. A member of the award-winning brother duo, Jim & Jesse until Jim’s death in 2002. Grand Ole Opry member for more than 45 years. Has performed throughout Europe and Africa, as well as in the U.S. Multiple Grammy nominee and winner. Co-winner of the IBMA Instrumental Recording, "Mandolin Extravaganza". Nominated in 2005 for IBMA Instrumental Recording of the Year for his stellar collection of mostly original songs, "Bending the Rules." Currently celebrating his 63rd Anniversary in music!
In a few years the name G2 will be synonymous with European bluegrass. The five band members, best friends since they met while jamming at a festival in their native Sweden four years ago, have formed the most exciting bluegrass band ever to come out of Europe. With one album under their belts, another in the works, and plans to tour extensively in the United States, G2 is poised to make a mark on the bluegrass world.
The folks of Salem, Missouri, listening to Rodney Dillard pick songs as a child, had little idea the prominent role he would play in music history in later years. Rodney began his career as a part of a family group that performed at fairs, pie suppers and square dances -- a career that has spanned, so far, 40 years of creating and influencing great music.
"There's nothing like playing music to bring a family together," says Sharon White, but that's not exactly right; over 30 years have shown that the music of The Whites - sisters, Sharon and Cheryl, and father Buck - has just as much power to bring audiences together in a feeling that resembles that of one giant, extended family.
A good chunk of popular music’s real estate has been carved up along lines of age these last half-dozen decades, and we’re used to seeing young musicians aim exclusively for young audiences then flounder as they outgrow teenaged listeners’ tastes and concerns. Pan-generational mentoring and mingling has done much to insulate bluegrass from this coming-of-age quandary. Still, Sierra Hull is the rare soul to make it through these years entirely unscathed.
Echo Boom, the band’s third album, displays a growing maturity both musically and thematically, as the band considers the pressures and expectations placed on their generation by the previous one, and the ramifications of some of the vague self-actualization advice passed on by the boomers to their latchkey kids. “We were told by our parents that we could do anything we wanted, and though there’s an amazing freedom in that, a lot of my generation needed more direction,” says singer and guitar player Zach Bevill. Joshua Britt (mandolin/vocals) adds, “We were told to ‘Just Do It,’ but a lot of my friends are like, do what exactly? There is a lot of uncertainty about whether the lives we’re leading are going to get us anywhere.” That sentiment is expressed in “Punchline,” the lead track from Echo Boom. Britt, who wrote the song, juxtaposes earnest seriousness (“I don’t know what it is that fills my head with doubt/I just wanna shine the light that’s trying to get out/But it takes so long/And it’s always a process/And I can’t find the patience”) with the idea that life for his generation often seems like some cosmic joke, and that success is akin to successfully delivering a punchline. The chorus ends with the plea to “Let me deliver, let me deliver.”
With hearts in traditional music and heads in the 21st century, Rockin’ Acoustic Circus points toward a fresh direction for acoustic music. Sharing their passion with impressive musical prowess and boundary pushing style,eir unique vibe of original work, appeals to a wide audience of both traditional and progressive fans alike.
It’s difficult to imagine Frank Fairfield living in an apartment, let alone using e-mail or a cell phone. It’s much easier to picture him supine in the back of a boxcar, plucking his battered banjo while shuttling across a black Southern sky. Or camped by the bank of some slow-moving tributary, fiddling forgotten Appalachian murder ballads, surrounded by hobos chomping cold beans. Or stepping out of a Faulkner novel, all gun smoke, ancestral ghosts and gee-tar.
Nominated for a Grammy at age five for doing a duo with his renowned country music dad, Bobby Bare, Jr., also managed to sing on the Ryman Auditorium stage on its closing night. Although his dad is remembered for contemporary country songs like "500 Miles Away from Home" and "Houston," Bare, Jr. took off in a different direction, reflected in the name of his CD Young Criminals' Starvation League, released in 2002 by Bloodshot. While the CD picks up the flavor of early-'70s classic country with Nashville soul, it also testifies to an angry and sad type of humor. An oddball combination of post-punk and psychedelic melancholy, the CD reflects Bare, Jr.'s skill and depth as a musical artist who doesn't have to slouch in his father's shadow.
Bryan Sutton seemed to come out of nowhere as part of Ricky Skaggs' return to bluegrass in 1997. Bluegrass Unlimited's review of Bluegrass Rules! took special note of his "spellbinding solos...[which] establish him as a musician who bears close scrutiny," while an appearance on Tina Adair's Just You Wait And See (Sugar Hill) led another reviewer to call him "a guitarist to be reckoned with." All in all, it was a remarkable welcome for a young musician.
Morris' voice is the only instrument needed to move the listener's heart and soul. He is probably best known for his original recording of "Wind Beneath My Wings," which won both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music Song of the Year Awards. At the height of his Nashville recording career, Morris boldly opted to play opposite Linda Ronstadt in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Puccini's opera La Boheme. Next, he accepted the heroic lead role of Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables," on Broadway. Receiving resounding critical praise, including a Drama Desk Best Actor nomination, his performance set the standard for this challenging role. Morris' famous rendition of "Bring Him Home" can be found on the platinum-selling Grammy Award-winning International cast album, as well as on his latest CD, "Gospel Classics, Volume 2 - Rock of Ages."
I hate bios, there's plenty of fabricated, fornicated stuff out there if you wanna go root around for it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. I worked in a goldsmith shop and an auction company growing up. I came up at the feet of honest to God mountain people singing bluegrass music about dying and losing lovers. My dad told me stories about our family killing people, killing each other and the generalities that go along with a family of bootlegers, preachers and splintered women. I didn't think it was fashionable to talk about those things and then one day the apostles of suburbia began making up songs about how cool it was, then took it to the people and sang it to 'em. - I don't know about that. These are my stories, I try to be as honest as a liar and a thief knows how to be, I hope you find some threads of truth in here. I like rocks too, I root around in the banks and ditches, dumpsters and dirt every chance I can. Books are nice, I read 'em a lot. I always wanted to be a magician, I guess it's a fine line between Houdini and a Hootenanny. Prime numbers drive me crazy, taking apart stuff really gets me going, and a fresh dumpster in a hoity-toity part of town, well, forget it, I'm going diving. That's me, enjoy
Cary Hudson first became recognized as a pioneer of a new music movement in the late eighties while joined in songwriting partnership with John Stiratt (WILCO) in The Hilltops, an alt-country band born out of Mississippi. When Stiratt left The Hilltops to play bass in Uncle Tupelo and then Wilco, Cary Hudson formed the widely-popular Blue Mountain that captured critical acclaim and gained cult status among its followers. After enjoying a long and successful run, and several popular releases on Roadrunner Records, Blue Mountain disbanded and Cary Hudson embarked on his solo career in 2001. With his solo releases, Cary Hudson has perfected the roots rock-n-roll tradition in a new, stripped down, grittier style that returns roots rock to its roots. His releases and performances have been well-received by both critics and fans alike, proving that Cary Hudson can transition from pioneer to powerful solo songwriter and musician. His solo releases continue to redefine the music that launched a movement.
Megan McCormick always knew her life lay in music. It wasn’t a matter of fancy costumes or the notion of thousands of people clamoring for her attention. The girl who grew up in Alaska – and whose grandparents are in the Western Swing Hall of Fame – could feel it on a cellular level.
Nashville, Tennessee is a nexus – a point where tradition and innovation intersect, where commerce collides with art. It may be the only town around where salaried songwriters and full-time session musicians are as common as accountants and schoolteachers. Music is the product, and the factories line the street, from the swank Music Row mini-high-rises to the low-slung Sylvain Park bungalows. And only Nashville could give birth to a band like the SteelDrivers: a group of seasoned veterans – each distinguished in his or her own right, each valued in the town’s commercial community – who are seizing an opportunity to follow their hearts to their souls’ reward. In doing so, they are braiding their bluegrass roots with new threads of their own design, bringing together country, soul, and other contemporary influences to create an unapologetic hybrid that is old as the hills but fresh as the morning dew. This is new music with the old feeling. SteelDrivers fan Vince Gill describes the band’s fusion as simply “an incredible combination.”
Losin’ Lately Gambler, is the 6th album from Corb Lund, Alberta’s acclaimed, alternative country star. Produced by the noted Nashville drummer and vocalist Harry Stinson (of Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives), this is Lund’s first album on his new record label New West Records.
Dale Watson isn't one to uphold the music industry's status quo. He's moving forward on his own terms and true to his own convictions. Even with frequent proclamations declaring him one of country music's last authentic voices (like that in Crazy Again--a recent documentary on Watson's life--when a fan declares, "son, you play country like country was when country was country"), Watson is done with the "C" word and what it's come to represent in modern times. So much so that he's created his own genre, simply called Ameripolitan. In a recent posting on his website (www.dalewatson.com), Dale explains it like this: "I've been trying to come up with a name the best describes this music that me and folks similar do. When folks ask, I hesitate, down right embarrassed really, to say country. I didn't used to be that way, but with the change in country, the term doesn't mean the same as it used to. If you say traditional, or old, or western swing most folks think 'retro' and dismiss it without hearing it. I wanted a name that didn't say country anything and didn't give anyone a preconceived idea. I came up with Ameripolitan. I even put it in Wikipedia defined as: Original music with 'prominent' roots influence." And so it goes with Dale Watson, the kind of unparalleled iconoclast that's far too rare in music today.
Nashville native, Suzi Ragsdale virtually cut her teeth in the recording studio. Her dad a singer/songwriter as well, she grew up surrounded by music. At age 5, she sang with the kiddie chorus on her father Ray Stevens’ Grammy Award winning smash, “Everything Is Beautiful”. At 10, she began recording children’s albums and writing her own songs… by 13, she was singing other writers’ demos… & by 17 singing in local clubs.
Kara Clark is a storyteller. It’s all about reality for Kara. Whether her songs were penned from actual personal experience or the stories she heard her mother telling her friends over the kitchen table, you will hear the validity of truth in the words and music that are Kara Clark. Each song unravels the events of a captivating tale that will leave you hanging on every word to find out what happens next. Whether good, bad, or just plain and simple honesty, her words will remind you that life is always believable and definitely much more interesting than anything that can be made up! No fairytales for Kara, only truth. No dressed up lies, only honesty in its rawest form. Refusing to sugarcoat reality, Kara Clark is honest, bold and real. With one line, slipped in at a most conspicuous spot, she can bring you face to face with your own reality. Kara Clark is a gifted storyteller.
The Infamous Stringdusters are at the forefront of a new movement in bluegrass music. Their unmatched virtuosity has enabled them to take acoustic music to a completely new level. They wield an expansive repertoire touching on masters from Jimmy Martin to John Hartford, but their strength lies in their original compositions. Dedication to arrangements sets them apart and extended improvisation makes every performance completely unique. The live Stringdusters experience is antiformulaic, groove friendly, and mind‐expanding ‐ not your granddaddy's bluegrass. Unless your granddaddy was Jerry Garcia.
Since the beginning of his musical journey at the age of seven, Barry Scott has served his time with several of Bluegrass and Gospel musics best known acts. This Georgia native has been a member of The Perry’s, The Dixie Melody Boys, Gold City Quartet, and most recently a nine year tour as tenor and lead vocalist with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
Chris Jones is no newcomer to the musical spotlight. His resume includes appearances and recordings with some of the world’s most respected musicians including The Chieftains (he was featured on their 2003 U.S. tour), Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clements, Lynn Morris Band, April Verch Band, the McCarters and the award-winning quartet Weary Hearts, among others. He has performed as a sideman at the Grand Ole Opry and has been seen on such television shows as Conan O’Brien, Emeril Live, and The Grand Ole Opry Live. Jones’ collaboration with legendary country singer/songwriter Tom T. Hall led to the release of the duet “Man On The Side Of The Road” from Chris’ “Just a Drifter” album, which became one of the Top 5 airplay bluegrass songs of 2001. Most recently, he appeared in the PBS series “The Appalachians” as a both a performer and commentator.
Raised in the foothills of the Appalachians, Gabriel Kelley grew up in a rustic space out of time, steeped in the music of his forefathers. In his world, contra dances, pickin' parties and neighborly bluegrass were no anachronism. As a child, Kelley picked up the guitar and quickly became versed in the various styles of old-time players and songwriters surrounding his youth. So when he began writing and creating his own sounds, Americana wasn't a chosen genre or format. It was, simply, music.
Ben Glover has been compelled to write songs since his mid-teens when he was awoken and unsettled by Bob Dylan. It’s writers whose work contains lyrical richness and who take a poetic approach in exploring the human condition that attract Ben. In his own writing he creates characters so life like that you can almost trace the lines of their face with your finger. Whether it’s the soul-moving melody of “Too Late to Leave Her Alone,” or the worn portrait of a “Full Moon Child,” he crafted images that linger and stir. His words find their way to the deepest place in your soul.
indie rocks bluegrass vibe meets a deep jazz groove Missy Raines & The New Hip blur the lines between jazz, bluegrass, and rhythm’n’blues- redefining the acoustic/electric/hybrid landscape. Is it ‘jam jazz’? ‘jazz grass’? ‘rhythm’n’blues-grass’?
Brooklyn-based Americana/Alt-Country band Yarn’s sound owes as much to Gram Parsons and Earl Scruggs as to Jerry Garcia and Exile On Main Street-era Rolling Stones. Following in a fine tradition that includes forward thinking roots bands like The Flying Burrito Brothers and New Riders of The Purple Sage, Yarn weaves roots music idioms into a fresh sound that turns on hipsters and fans of country music alike with technically impressive song-crafting and universal tales from the road of life.
Some people measure life in years. Dave Coleman measures it in moments. And capturing the impact of a moment is what the singer, guitarist and principal songwriter of The Coal Men set out to do on "Beauty Is a Moment," the band's second full-length release.
FSR has just released their third album 'Prompting The Dapperness.'The completely fan funded release (following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign) returns to the formula that has continued to make the band so endearing- strong songwriting, sing along melodies, impassioned vocals and most of all honest music that resonates deep within the listener. There's a reason the band has such a loyal fan base ('The Congregation') and garners accolades wherever they travel.
“There’s freedom in knowing that you don’t have to know it all,” she says, “which is why to me, a song should end with a question, not an answer.” It might seem that after six groundbreaking albums of original songs, more than a dozen years of recording and touring around the world, a harvest of music industry awards, and covers of her songs by a roster of great artists – that Mary Gauthier (say it: go-shay) should have a handle on some of the big answers. Yet with each new album, with each new cycle of songs that illuminate her soul, with each old and new set of characters and life changes she introduces, Mary is always ending up with more questions. Where do her people come from and where do they go? How can they find shelter from the storm? What is the truth?
If Shannon Whitworth’s first two albums were cross-country treks, High Tide is a trans-Atlantic voyage. Leaving all preconceptions of the banjo-wielding songstress behind, Whitworth’s new adventure steers into waters both familiar and refreshingly new, Gibson SG in hand. On the heels of a year spent touring with Chris Isaak and the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, and recording as the singing voice of Belk department stores’ latest campaign, High Tide finds Whitworth collaborating with Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) and producer Seth Kauffman, while continuing to hit the road with her core quartet. From the first rolling rhythms, it’s evident that this album charts new waters. Just as her music stems from Appalachian roots (she’s a favorite at MerleFest) but sheds its traditional skin at the door, High Tide begins with a journey to the coast that takes rest stops in reverb-drenched jazz and indie rock along the way, setting the mood for a tight but playful expedition. Whether you’re holed up in a chilly Appalachian barn or walking the coast on a hot August evening, Whitworth’s High Tide holds universal appeal, from the mountains to the sea.
The acoustic violin/guitar based trio, The Gypsy Hombres, blend traditional jazz with European, South American, and classical music to create a sound unlike any other musical group. The Hombres' repertoire embraces a wide variety of composers and styles; from Brahms and Chopin to George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to international folk songs, all while retaining the gypsy spirit. But besides just adding their own arrangements and personalities to standards, they are also accomplished composers with several original songs featured on their latest album.
Singer Carolyn Martin has been described as “… a winning throwback to the days where emotion was measured and artful rather than loud and histrionic.” From European concert halls to intimate venues at home in Nashville, fans have come to know Carolyn as a a vocalist with a unique sense of musical style, a charismatic stage presence and a voice that exudes passion and experience – the soulful elegance that is the very essence of music.
Nashville based singer-songwriter, Erika Chambers is a modern roots artist with a nostalgic twist. Relatively new to the music scene, Erika is honored to be a 2 time IBMA showcase songwriter (2007 & 2008) and has had the pleasure of performing with such Americana/ folk inspirations as Leigh Nash, Julie Lee, Drew Holcomb, & Katy Bowser.
To another artist at a similar point in their career, the idea of self-producing a new album, recording it in their own studio, and then releasing it on their own label, would be an unthinkable gamble, fraught with loose ends, complications, and a distracting degree of responsibility. For Rhonda Vincent, however, it is simply the next logical step. Among the most complete and accomplished artists of her generation – in any genre – Vincent was born into a performing family, and from an early age has dedicated herself to understanding and excelling at every element of her craft. She is quick to point out that she is not infallible: in fact, her willingness to take chances and then diligently assess the results afterwards has insured her continuing artistic and professional growth.
Gaylon and Katrina were both raised around music: festivals, church singings and get together's. Katrina was born into the Bob Lewis Family Band from Doniphan, Mo. They traveled the bluegrass circuit for a couple of years upon hiring a young banjo picker named Gaylon Harper while he and Katrina were both seniors in high school. After marrying and making their home in Bunker, Mo. God has blessed them with three very talented children.
They didn't grow up playing instruments or singing everyday. Although they traveled thousands of miles and listened to more bluegrass than most people hear in a lifetime --- even BEFORE they were born.
The best way to describe this young man is UNBELIEVABLE!!! Isaac is 8yrs old, and sang his first bluegrass song, "Over the Clouds of Glory", at the age of 2 in its entirety. Isaac can remember the words to a song faster than most 20 year olds. Isaac has incredible pitch & loves to sing the songs of Del McCoury, Bill Monroe, Dr. Ralph Stanley, and Flatt & Scruggs. Isaac has that old time sound at age 7 that most Bluegrass singers strive for their entire life!!!! Isaac loves to sing and is ready to go anytime the word bluegrass is mentioned.
Often times, Nashville goes to great lengths to sell you on how ‘real’ an artist is. Sometimes they’re not quite as genuine as they are advertised to be…but then again, sometimes they really are.
The Mother Truckers are a kick-ass rock 'n' roll band from Austin, Texas! Their music is high-octane Americana, blending elements of Country and Blues with loud guitars, big choruses and powerhouse vocals. Their creative songwriting and high energy live performances lift you up to a place that’s somewhere between a honky-tonk and a mosh-pit!
We’ve memorized so thoroughly the worlds from which we come. With a lifelong obsession, we’ve catalogued and internalized the apparently permanent fixtures of a cherished locality until our bodies have in fact become either physical extensions or microcosmic containers of these landscapes: arms kinking in unbroken strip-mall chains, gaping mouths mimicking the enormous vacancy of an evacuated sports dome. The chief business of Frontier Ruckus is the collection and organization of these solid, unmoving markers. We spool the vast confusion and depth of existence around fast-food restaurants in anchoring tethers; we use the vacuous space of the abandoned 90s mall, now dead and tomb-like, as leaky reservoirs of overflowing memory. We turn to these devices to render memory and its innumerable landmarks somehow less crippling in their abundance—to seek some agency, some proprietorship over a world as heavy and unwieldy with contents of the past as a backyard filling with nightfall.
John Oates was destined to be a musician. Singing from the time he could talk and playing the guitar since the age of five, his calling in life was never in question. Born in New York City, his family moved to a small town outside of Philadelphia Pennsylvania in the early 50's ....a move that would change the course of his life. Like most kids at that time, the impact of the early days of rock left an lasting impression on John. At the age of four he witnessed his first live concert: Bill Haley and the Comets playing their classic rockabilly hits at a local amusement park. Then there were the records...
A tin lily is just what it says—and much more than it seems. A thin piece of metal shaped in the petals of a delicate flower, it's designed to take a soft glow, often from a candle, and give it more shine. It's a hard element that does what it can to spread something as ethereal yet as essential as light.
Having spent his musical adolescence in Pennsylvania playing in punk rock bands, Brian McGee is not the most natural figurehead for a movement of new Americana rock. But after living in Western North Carolina for the last ten years and absorbing the sounds and culture of the region, McGee has milled a new angle into his songwriting palette and taken to fusing his punk rock heritage to raw country sounds. Once it became obvious to him that Iggy Pop and The Carter Family played the same three chords, McGee was off and running.
Led by dynamic, energetic front woman and multi-instrumentalist Erin Zindle, The Ragbirds utilize an arsenal of instruments from around the world. The Ragbirds are a fusion of folk rock and pop hooks over danceable world rhythms stirred with a Celtic fiddler’s bow.
Banjoist J.D. Crowe was one of the most influential progressive bluegrass musicians of the '70s. Initially influenced by Earl Scruggs, as well as rock & roll and the blues, Crowe worked his way through several bands during the '60s, developing a distinctive instrumental style that melded country, bluegrass, rock, and blues. Crowe didn't receive national exposure until the early '70s when he formed the New South, but after the release of the band's eponymous debut in 1972 he became a fixture on the bluegrass scene for the next 20 years.
"After some years spent in Nashville and releasing two recordings --- 2004's Seven Songs EP and 2007's full length Luminous--- I moved away from the city and found my way back into country life. Back to the family farm in East Tennessee just outside of Knoxville, where I was born and raised. I came back without knowing what the hell I was doing or why, didn't know how long I would stay, if music was just a dream, if I would ever write a song I liked again, and also wondering: does the world even need any more "singer-songwriters"?
“Here in the city of clowns, is where it all goes down” Not many can claim they are a sixth generation Californian, let alone Angeleno. Manda Mosher can. Still what does that mean? It’s not as easily defined as saying you are a sixth generation New Yorker, or Bostonian for that matter. Manda’s first ancestor to settle in the region, came to Downtown, Los Angeles in the 1800’s from Delhi, New York after the Civil War, additional family followed establishing a chicken farm in the Valley in 1911.
Both hailing from Scottish small towns in Canada, Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac have chosen another musical path; one that channels their parent’s vintage record collection that comprised of the likes of Neil Young and Dolly Parton. Madison Violet came to be nearly 9 years ago after a chance meeting at an appropriately titled restaurant 'The Green Room'. Since that fateful meeting, the pair have come into a sound of their own, which has been described as both city-folk and tumbleweed pop.
On their debut album The Cedar Creek Sessions, the Austin, Texas-based quartet Stonehoney delivers a bracing set of 14 original tunes that effortlessly transcend genre restrictions, merging rootsy grit with savvy melodic hooks and pointed lyrical insight. The foursome’s catchy tunes are matched by their seamless vocal harmonies and punchy ensemble performances, which make the most of the band members’ remarkable musical rapport and personal chemistry.
"I always had in mind to do a bluegrass album someday," says Joe Diffie. "It was something I wanted from the first day that I got my country deal." And while he might not be the first to say that, it not only has the ring of truth when you hear it straight from the man himself, it’s got a lifetime’s worth of bluegrass roots and connections to back it up. In fact, the most surprising thing about the translation of that thought into reality - and given the way that the country music industry has kept bluegrass at arms length, it’s not very surprising at all - is that it’s taken this long.
For more than thirty years Riders In The Sky have been keepers of the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, reviving and revitalizing the genre. And while remaining true to the integrity of Western music, they have themselves become modern-day icons by branding the genre with their own legendary wacky humor and way-out Western wit, and all along encouraging buckaroos and buckarettes to live life "The Cowboy Way!"
The Huntley Sisters have played at Silver Dollar City Bluegrass & BBQ in Branson, Missouri the last 3 years and will be there in May, 2010! We played Dollywood's BBQ & Bluegrass in 2008. We played The Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Tori and Kevin did an instrument demo at The Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
Ann and Regina McCrary are powerfully soulful vocalists whose gospel music really rocks. Each has had a successful career in her own right, but in combination they will take your breath away. Ann, Regina, and Freda McCrary regularly perform with Mike Farris as the Roseland Rhythm Revue. They are the daughters of the legendary Rev. Sam McCrary of the Fairfield Four.
The Volunteer String Band is fronted by one of the most singular vocalists in music today, Travis Stinson. The VSB has been a staple of the Music City scene for over 15 years and can be heard everywhere from Nashville's famous Lower Broadway, to the cavernous depths of Bluegrass Underground, to the barn stage of Music City Roots, and even the tent stages of Bonnaroo. The VSB style is to play anything regardless of genre, whether it is timeless bluegrass songs, original tunes, or raucous covers of artists such as the Talking Heads, Grateful Dead, or Gnarles Barkley.
With a whoop and yell, Raised in the backwoods of America brought up in the alleyways of country and blues, and living gumbo of American roots music!! The Howlin’ Brothers are an American band through and through from down right dirty blues to the most breathe taking vocals the brothers keep audiences on their heels. Taking America by storm they've gathered a large local following, night after night non bluegrass fans stop to take another look at what might just be the most hard working band in the business.
It just comes naturally for Julie Gribble, writing, singing, and performing. But what she loves most is to inspire, to reach people with her music. With her Traditional Americana/Country Music, Gribble has entranced audiences with her modern stories of life, love and relationships. When you think about the edge of an artist like Lucinda Williams, the melodies of Allison Krauss, and a likeness to Natalie Merchant, you'll find Julie. Audiences connect immediately to the unique lyrics because they’re not the same old love clichés. As Craig Ferguson said, on his show about her record, So Typical, "It's Fantastic!"
Elio and The Hank Sinatra band are making fans around the world and now is your chance to be part of a musical movement that is taking the music industry by storm. Don't miss this chance to be a part of music history. Elio and Hank Sinatra Band.
I was born on April 20, 1944 in Ford Town, a part of Sullivan County, near Kingsport, TN, to Leonard and Minnie Lawson. I have two brothers, James and Les, and one sister, Colleen.
Certain talented musicians have the ability to transport the listener to a different place and time by just hitting some strings or directing the air that fills their lungs... For Woody Pines, you find yourself in the Mississippi Delta when AM radio is king, sippin' whiskey if you re fortunate and moonshine if you're desperate.
The Secret Sisters’ incredible story is as simple and true as the effortless harmonies that got them here. Begin anywhere – the thick and fertile brambles of their own family history (their grandfather and his brothers actually forged a group called ‘The Happy Valley Boys’) or light upon the branches of the wondrous, fractal menagerie that makes up their debut album (a guileless, rapturous mixture of roots-ified pop that includes classics like “Why Don’t Ya Love Me?” and “Why Baby Why”). The pure goldenrod from a pair of Alabama sisters direct from Mussel Shoals (barely twenty-somethings themselves) dare to cover the Sinatra untouchable “Something Stupid,” one minute, and deliver their own self-penned, soon-to-be signature anthem “Tennessee Me,” the next.
A girl who makes music from the deepest part of her heart. It's intentionally simple so people feel what she feels. Effortless. Beautiful. No unnecessary words. No unnecessary flash. Lyrics and music from her soul to yours. Alison Krauss meets pop meets Norah Jones meets something honest and true.
John Carter Cash has been in music in some form or fashion all his life. He is a singer-song writer and record producer. He is the Grandchild of Maybelle Carter and the only son to Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. He preserves the family legacy and is caretaker to the heritage of his musical ancestors.
The vivid songwriting of Catie Curtis combines insightful lyrics with addictive melodies and energy. Catie's recordings (released on EMI, Rykodisc, Vanguard and Compass), engaging live shows and impressive touring career (in the US and Europe) have earned her rave reviews and wide recognition. Her songs have been featured on Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Alias, Chicago Hope, and Grey's Anatomy, as well as in several independent films. She's toured extensively with Mary Chapin Carpenter and with the original Lilith Fair. Catie was named grand prize winner of the International Songwriting Competition, for her song "People Look Around", co-written with Mark Erelli. In January 2009 performed at the Human Rights Campaign's official Obama inaugural ball. In 2010, she performed at the White House. Catie is recording a brand new CD of new material in January, which will be released in the summer of 2011.
Rayland Baxter is a gentleman, a singer of song, a teller of tale, a picker of strings, a thinker of things. Born in the untamed hills of Bon Aqua, Tennessee, he tells a story unlike any other, a story that is true and full of unravelling emotion. No lines drawn, no box to be found in the world of Rayland Baxter. He is who he is and he tells the unmatched story. Wether it be the story of love, the story of struggle, or the story of joy, the road that he travels is full of dust and flowers, fire and ice, comets and dreams, and he walks with stars in his eyes, leaving the scent of wild magnolias for those on his trail...for us, we are fortunate to find him at the end, smilin. Tradition is a staple in Rayland's music. In any given song, one can hear the nuances of his favorites...from Dylan to Van Zandt, Johnson to Hopkins, or anyone else on the musical map that has tickled his fancy at one time or another. His reconstruction of song is mesmorizing in its own right...a true artist...a humble man...a dreamer.
Our family comes from the remote part of the Ozark Mountains, near Cane Spur, Arkansas. We spent our days working on the family farm mostly raising our own food and growing dad’s famous pipe tobacco. I guess he grew the best pipe tobacco around. People came from as far as Big Flat to get it. We worked hard but we had fun. In the evening we played and sang. On weekends we had pickens’. There was always a big crowd around. The Cleverly Trio is our family band. It was founded by dad and his three brothers, Turk, Tink and Bunyon. The whole family at one time or another has played in the band. Since 2005 my brother Digger has taken over the band. The current members of the trio are Digger, our brothers Miles and Vernon Dean, my boy Harvey D and our cousin Otto.
Born and raised in Beauty, Kentucky, I'm a true product of Appalachia. I love biscuits, gravy, dirt bikes, overalls, bluegrass, bonfires, burnt rubber, quilts, afghans, mason jars, moonshine, mud, and family. My uncle Bobby was an outlaw musician with an amazing voice and style all his own. I remember sitting on Mamaw's front porch soaking up his versions of songs like "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain", "Sixteenth Avenue", "Almost Persuaded", and "Sugar Mountain". My Daddy, who was a coal miner for thirty years, showed me how to play "Mamma Tried" when I was sixteen. I've been plucking away and writing songs ever since. My mom took Willie and Waylon's advice. Determined not to let her baby grow up to be a cowboy, she sent me to a community college right out of high school. Despite her efforts, I was drawn to music and knew in my heart that it was my destiny. I used to skip class and take my guitar up to Butcher Holler. I'd sit there at Loretta's home place and write songs, dream, and will myself to Nashville, TN. Mom eventually got her way and I wound up graduating from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in Psychology. However, one year out of school, I packed up everything I owned and moved to Music City, U.S.A. I began playing writers nights, and to my sweet surprise, I signed a publishing deal nine months after I moved to town. I'm still a staff writer with the company that gave me my first deal.
Nashville’s music community is cultivating an All-star ensemble of singer-songwriters and instrumentalists playing original music based in the traditions of bluegrass, Americana, rock, folk, country and jazz.
Born in the garage, built for the arena, and hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, The Jompson Brothers are a new breed of Rock ‘n’ Roll. They’re a riff-driven, fist-pumping sonic assault fronted by Grammy-nominated vocalist, Chris Stapleton. JT Cure (bass) and Bard McNamee (drums) provide the tight, chest-thumping back line while Greg McKee brings the lead guitar swagger. Their first studio album is expected to be released in the fall of 2010.
Raised in the Carter Family musical legacy, The Road To Roosky embodies their unique heritage with equal parts of reverence and raucousness. Their talent on their many instruments – Tim on banjo, vocal harp, mandolin and guitar, Danny Reid on guitar – lends itself to masterful arrangements alongside the drums of Dann Sherill and electric bass of Ross Sermons.
Darin and Brooke Aldridge are beautiful young newlyweds who sing and play a rich combination of bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and country duets certain to please fans on any stage or festival, church or concert hall. Their fine harmony work showcases two fine individual voices which blend to perfection, and they are backed by perfect instrumentation.
A Third-Generation Californian with deep roots in the Cowboy history of the American West, Chris Hillman was born in Los Angeles, California on December 4, 1944. Hillman spent his early years on his family’s ranch home in then rural North San Diego County “riding horses, and doing ranch chores”. His interests would soon change from spurs and saddles to guitars and mandolins.
In celebration of the tenth anniversary of International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept 19th), Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers will bring their rollicking set to Music City Roots, with a guest appearance by legendary Australian singer Dobe Newton lead singer of the Bushwackers and a bit of a pirate hinself. The Blue Buccaneers play with the fervor of the Pogues and the sensitivity of the Buena Vista Social Club. Their songs that transport you to the wildest pub in Port Royal at the turn of the eighteenth century.
When it comes to making music, there’s nothing wrong with playing by the rules, but that’s never been the right way for Valerie Smith. While the energetic singer/songwriter knows and respects the tried and true ways of bluegrass—and knows the penalties that can follow a departure from them—she’s held fast to one simple rule of her own: “I sing from my heart,” she says. “I do my own thing.” And today, a dozen years after her first album and on the eve of the release of her latest, she can look back with pride at a musical path that’s all her own, even as she looks ahead to the next dozen with the confidence of a seasoned artist who’s built a devoted following in the best way it can be done—just by being herself.
In late 2007, New Orleanian John Michael Rouchell decided it was time for a change in his life. He set out to write, record, and release one song a week for the entire year of 2008 under the name MyNameIsJohnMichael (MNIJM). What began as a solo project with Rouchell tackling every instrument and even engineering duties on occasion soon grew to the huge project it is today with an ever-expanding following.
Leaving the 1956 Flex tour bus David Mayfield and his family called home to start his nightly shift at the tool and die along side his father it’s easy to understand why he celebrates every performance he’s afforded.
Since its inception in 2002, the Matt Flinner Trio has been forging new pathways for the standard bluegrass trio. Mandolinist Matt Flinner, guitarist Ross Martin and bassist Eric Thorin cover a wide variety of musical styles—all with the common ground of American roots as well as originality. Bluegrass, jazz and Celtic music are all present here, but not necessarily overtly or in a contrived sense. Call it Americana Music, or New Acoustic, or Chamber Grass, or just call it Great Music; whatever label you put on it, it is guaranteed to be fresh and original, and definitely something you’ve never quite heard before.
It begins with a fanfare. With a few well-chosen notes, a mournful trumpet carries us to a far away place and proclaims that something is about to happen, calling on one’s full attention. And in every way, Sinners & Saints, the new album from Raul Malo, is worthy of that attention.
"A daring, definite talent, whose feel for the folk idiom results in moving material. Soulful is the word"-- Wall Street Journal "Washburn stomped and skipped through fiery Appalachian takes on the local songs of Sichuan. Her bilingualism's no gimmick; she nails the dips and peaks of pitch while leading her band in scorching variations on simple, repetitive traditional melodies…” – L.A. Times
The DEFiBULATORs have emerged as one of the most engaging live acts from the thriving roots scene in Brooklyn, NY – melding, bluegrass rockabilly, dixieland, and punk into their own eclectic sound.
"One of the country's most formidable roots-rock bands." That's the assessment of Nashville's Tennessean newspaper about Last Train Home. And while roots-rock is at the heart of LTH's sound, don't overlook the country, bluegrass, swing, blues, folk, pop, and Tin Pan Alley influences you'll find if you lend this band an ear. What began as a part-time band in Washington D.C. back in 1997 has evolved into an acclaimed full-time touring group based out of Nashville.
The music of Jo-El Sonnier is a way of life. Steeped in passion, relentlessly committed to his craft … he has been the undisputed "King of Cajun" for the past 20 years and occupies a significant place in the rich artistic landscape of this country. His fans are undeniably dedicated, while the music industry elite - Dylan, Costello, Diamond, and Cash to name a few - admire his work to no end. He is a "musician's musician" with a wonderful gift to sing and entertain you in a way often imitated but never duplicated.
A fourth generation musician, Dana Romanello began singing with her family’s bluegrass band in Lucasville, Ohio at a very young age. With her sweet blend of bluegrass and the spark of classic country female songwriters, Dana has developed her own original style audiences know and love – something she likes to call “Sassy Grass”. Along with her career as a singer/songwriter, she is also the manager of country programming for Citadel Media and the host of ACC TV Around Town for American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks. She is a former Tennessee Titans Cheerleader and graduate of Marshall University. Dana released her self-titled debut album in 2008 and recently released a digital EP and live DVD titled “Porch Swing Sessions,” available at iTunes, courtesy of 1925 Entertainment.
Ron Sexsmith is a major contemporary writer/artist who has amassed a sizable and consistently enthralling body of work since making his major label debut in 1995 with his self-titled album on Interscope, followed by such eloquent musical gems as Other Songs (1997), Blue Boy (2001), Retriever (2004) and Time Being (2006). Each has its own particular character but is connected to the rest by the overarching intelligence, impeccable taste and understated emotionality of this single-minded voice in the pop-cultural wilderness. As one new fan put it in a comment on iTunes, Sexsmith’s music “wins you over with a silk punch.” Well put.
Emerging out of Asheville, North Carolina's roots renaissance, Dehlia Low echoes the sounds of early country with a strong bluegrass flavor, crafting a fresh originality that feels like home. Beginning in 2007, the group developed a devoted fan base with the help of their self-titled EP, receiving national and international reviews and radio play. In 2009, Dehlia Low released "Tellico," showcasing the group's exceptional songwriting talent and outstanding vocal and instrumental performances. They traveled across the U.S. on the national festival circuit in support of the release, including appearances at Appalachian Uprising, Pickathon, Jammin' at Hippie Jack's, Durango Meltdown and Bristol Rhythm & Roots.
Formed in Los Angeles during the last century, as so many things were, the Coal Porters were originally an electric act centred around ex-Long Ryder Sid Griffin, composer of the Long Ryders 1985 hit single “Looking For Lewis And Clark”.
The Junior League Band is an old-time inspired rock band fronted by the Georgia grown banjo, vocalist, Lissy Rosemont. Based out of Washington, DC, this nationally touring band has been compared to "Alison Krauss and the Band" by the Washington Post, and touts Levon Helm's own horn players on their catchy single "South Carolina Blues." Rosemont has been referred to as one of the "most promising up and coming vocalists on the Americana scene" (Bristol Rythm and Roots Festival) as well as recorded in the studio her old-time banjo with acts such as Missy Elliott and the Pussy Cat Dolls. Rosemont's family runs the oldest fiddler's festival in the country, the Old-Time Fiddler's Convention in Union Grove, NC. The 5 instrumentalists merge these influences with delta blues and pop rock (50's to Indie Rock) to make for an energetic, sing-song, string heavy, danceable yet mesmerizing live performance. Expect a show ripe with catchy melodies, toe tapping beats, sweet vocals, and some of the countries most talented up and coming players.
Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, with roots firmly planted somewhere further south, SPIRIT FAMILY REUNION have comfortably lodged themselves in a niche lying somewhere between the protest stylings of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, and the untamed bluegrass of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Tearing through songs off their self released as well as self sold EP/songbook, they had every soul in the small room stomping, clapping and singing along to their energetic brand of Americana. With the swagger of a man twice his age, the lead vocalist’s ability to control a room is an extremely rare and very much welcomed attribute to this generally tamed genre. With lyrics containing subject matter including God, the Devil, hard living and of love lost, they never stray too far from the road laid out years ago on that end, but maintain a constant ability to keep everything fresh and modern with the energy in which they put it on display.
Bailey Cooke is a emerging artist in the Americana music scene. After spending a few years in Nashville and recording her first E.P, she has established herself as a new voice amongst singer songwriters and country/folk musicians. Her style incorporates influences from early country 78s and current life experiences. Her love for old music comes through her songwriting as she continues and write and perform. She looks forward to releasing her new record in January in which she has collaborated with musicians such as Beau Stapleton of Blue Merle, and David Mayfield of Cadillac Sky.
There’s no separating the unparalleled legacy of the Doobie Brothers from their upcoming release on HOR Records World Gone Crazy – not that anyone would want to. Nevertheless, the new album may be most remarkable for the extent to which it stands completely on its own. Yes, World Gone Crazy is another chapter in one of the great American music stories, but it’s neither comeback nor nostalgia. An exhibition of aggressive and emotional performances, evocative storytelling, unapologetic attitude and world class musicianship, the collection is its own justification.
Nominated for songwriter of the year in 2010 by the Academy of Texas Music, North Dakota native turned Austin, Texan; Leo Rondeau is firing up audiences after grabbing the torch from the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Doug Sahm and other ghosts of Texas music past. From honkytonks to indie clubs, hipsters to cowboys, Rondeau’s sound hooks them all. With five successful national tours under the tires, two critically acclaimed albums and a third on the horizon, Rondeau with his band, Dynamite Tales, have garnered the attention of the music world.
Born in New York City and raised in rural Pennsylvania, John Francis started to show his musical gifts at an early age. The Gospel and Folk music of his upbringing happened on Sunday mornings swaying with the church choir, or at home gathered around the family piano with his mother at the helm. The son of musicians, and Christian ministers, Francis grew up playing music with his parents, in front of crowds. As a young child, John Francis was entranced by his father's Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and his mother's Neil Young, Dylan, and Sly & the Family Stone. He recalls, "the first cassette I owned was 'Chuck Berry's Greatest Hits', and I wore that cassette out quickly".
The argument has been made that rock ‘n’ roll is dead. Well, if it is the Mojo Gurus are refusing to attend the funeral. These four guys from the Tampa Bay area of Florida play as if the burden of saving the genre lay square upon their shoulders. It’s bourbon soaked, gut bucket, glam meets twang, the Stones pick up Hank Williams hitchhikin’ down the Lost Highway. What’s that? Do I feel a pulse?
At the highest levels of acoustic musicianship exists a mystery — the mystery of tone, taste and timing… It can best be illustrated by giving a good musician a good instrument and asking him to briefly strum, pick, bow, — whatever is required to produce the best sound. Then, by way of comparison, hand that very same instrument to a GREAT musician and ask for the same.
Allen Thompson Band is rootsy six piece Americana rock outfit based in Nashville, TN. Take a look at Allen Thompson’s record collection, and you’ll see names like the Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, the Black Crowes, and the Band -- groups that feel more like musical communities than straightforward rock bands. The importance of family and community to the Allen Thompson Band is evidenced by the sounds of their latest effort, Salvation in the Ground. In just 2 weeks, Allen Thompson Band tracked 9 songs live to tape at East Nashville’s famous Bomb Shelter Studio with engineer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Buffalo Clover, Caitlin Rose). Strong vocal harmonies, guitar-driven rhythms, dance-inducing jams, and catchy choruses characterize their music, and the band is best known for their tight musicianship on stage and energetic live performances. Salvation in the Ground shows Thompson deepening and enriching his writing, while the simple honesty of being driven by the pure joy of playing music is what makes The Allen Thompson Band shine.
Grammy Award winner Don Henry’s songs have been recorded by Ray Charles, Patti Page, Conway Twitty, Kathy Mattea and dozens of other great artists… but they shine brightest when sung by the artist who wrote them. Long appreciated as one of Nashville’s finest singer-songwriters, Don is revered by fans, critics and peers alike for being one of the most inspiring, entertaining and funny(!) artists you are ever likely to see and hear.
The music of HuDost, the Neo Folk World Rock Ensemble from Montreal and NY, weaves a seamless tapestry of sound that renders tears and laughter in listeners, cultivating that nameless longing that abides somewhere in all our hearts.
“You can’t deal me the aces and think I wouldn’t play,” says Suzy Bogguss with a twinkle in her eye as she discusses her latest studio album Sweet Danger. It’s a line from one of her signature songs, but it’s also the philosophy with which the Illinois-born singer manages her career, and the stepping-off point for a collection of her strongest songwriting and most evocative vocals to date.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Camille Cortinas’ earliest musical influence came in the form of her grandmother, a migrant farm worker who taught Camille wonderful Spanish folk songs that enchanted her and set her on a musical path. For her 16th birthday, she received her first guitar and pleaded with her older brother to teach her to play.
Amy Speace’s songs hang together like a short story collection, united by a common vantage point and common predicaments…it’s a gift to hear a heart so modest even when it’s wide open,” says legendary rock critic Dave Marsh in his liner notes to Amy Speace’s latest, “How To Sleep In A Stormy Boat” (WindBone/Tone Tree). Marsh continues, “It is the most daring, confident, ambitious and beautiful album Amy Speace has made since she began recording.” Speace, once an actress with The National Shakespeare Company, has crafted a document to living gracefully with grief that weaves a most unlikely yet beautifully poetic narrative between her very modern lamentings and the characters in Shakespeare’s plays. The New York Times wrote “For those who argue that poetry is a dying genre, I suggest listening to Amy Speace.” The Tennessean writes, “What Speace says – what she sings -- she says with a confluence of poetry and honesty, of emotional specificity.” And NPR’ “All Things Considered” featured an interview between Jacki Lyden and Amy which aired late April 2013.
In the simplest terms, Buffalo Clover are vintage rock ‘n’ rollers, but the South tends to creep in. This brand of southern soul bears a striking resemblance to their idols, the Rolling Stones and The Band. Taking a cue from Bob Dylan with a lyrical poeticism inspired by the troubled times, and Janis Joplin with her rough-hewn-but-honest, bottom-of-the-heart soulful lilt, Buffalo Clover emulate their musical paragons in a style of their own. Buffalo Clover has shared the stage with The Flaming Lips, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and legendary sax player Bobby Keys. Front lady Margo Price has worked on two projects with Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard, including their upcoming album TEST YOUR LOVE, available in May 2013.
Lucy Tight & Wayne Waxing are "Hymn For Her", a band that hails from anywhere they can park their trailer. H4H live, tour and record in their 16 foot, 1961 Bambi Airstream (comes with dog and baby). Their new release, 'Lucy & Wayne and THE AMERICAN STREAM' was entirely recorded in their classic trailer on a coast to coast U.S tour. They stopped at various campgrounds and friends driveways between shows, set up their gear in their Bambi/home recording studio, rolled tape and rocked out. Armed with 2 bullet mics, a three-stringed broom handle/cigar box, banjo, dobro, bass drum, hi-hat, and harp, this 'lil duo causes massive earthquakes wherever they play.
Joey Morant is a native Charlestonian, brass instrumentalist and vocalist. He is the quintessential trumpeter from the Jenkins Orphanage band tradition of the 1950s. At the age of eleven, inspired by the piano, he became interested in classical music. When Fletcher Linton, a teacher at Charleston’s Henry P. Archer Elementary School, put a school band together, Morant began studying the trumpet. A generous benefactor, recognizing his talent, arranged for him to spend the summers of his high school years studying theory at the Berklee School of Music. By age fifteen, Morant was teaching theory and saxophone to Oscar Rivers. Later, Joey joined the Metronome All Starts under the direction of music educator, Melvin Hodges, Jr., a member of the 1996 Olympic Committee.
For Brian Wright, life as a traveling troubadour began in McLennan County, Texas near the highway and the trains. That is where his father took a job that required a great deal of travel, making the family VW van Wright’s first crib. Consequently Wright feels most at home when on the road, and this movement has helped shaped Wright’s sense of bare-boned lyrics and achingly beautiful songs that seem both distant and intimate at the same time.
Scott Miller blends folk and rock like there ain’t no words for. The power of storytelling with the power of a compressed electric guitar comes through this Virginian not heard since the likes of Wayne Newton (fellow Virginian) or The Statler Brothers (also of the Commonwealth.) Not even since Thomas Jefferson (Virginian) and Woodrow Wilson (another Virginian) formed their rock trio with drummer Stewart Copeland (northern Virginian) “League of Nations”.
Warm as summer sunshine, real as the truth, intimate as a long overdue visit between old friends … such is a Jonathan Edwards concert. Four decades into a stellar career of uncompromising musical integrity, the man simply delivers, night after night – songs of passion, songs of insight, songs of humor, all rendered in that pure and powerful tenor which, like fine wine, has only grown sweeter with age.
David Vandervelde's very clothes were ablaze that day in his Nashville basement. And the only thing that was ever going to put the flames out was laying "Learn How To Hang" to tape. How else does a song so immediate come to be? The repeated mantra of its title, set to an exhilarating, tightly-wound Buckingham-like lick, is just as much Far East philosophy as it is the most serious of stoner advice. It's a self-effacing moment of clarity under the heat of a blowtorch. Same goes for its brother jam, "Wave Country," with its galloping, sunburst metal and inner-bitch-slap hook, "You ain't any cooler in the shade." And how could we, in good conscience, ever sit on songs so immediate for any longer than one red-hot heartbeat? Some jams can't simply be placed on a release schedule months in advance. Songs like these must be loaded in our bow and shot out into the world. Free Download available at www.secretlycanadian.com
In some ways, music doesn’t get much more modest or minimalist than it is in the hands of The Civil Wars, a duo comprised of California-to-Nashville transplant Joy Williams and her Alabaman partner, John Paul White. They travel without a backup band, and on their first full-length album, Barton Hollow, the bare-bones live arrangements that fans hear on the road are fleshed out with just the barest of acoustic accoutrements. Each song is an intimate conversation, and no third wheels or dinner-party chatter are going to inter-rupt that gorgeous, haunting hush.
Barry Waldrep is the musician’s musician, and is respected by all who take the stage with him. Throughout his career he has performed with some of his hero’s in music. Bill Monroe, Tony Rice, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, John Cowan and many others. But his father was his biggest, as he paved the way by teaching him to play, along with the ropes of the road. This is obvious when you listen to Barry’s tribute to his late father “The Man I Am Today” on the recent Band Of Brothers & Sisters release. “Barry says” He taught me at a very young age of what not to do if you are in the music business and on the road, and that has been as valuable as being able to play my instruments.
Drew Holcomb and the neighbors find themselves in the midst of a creative revival of popular music in Nashville, where artists like Kings of Leon, Jack White, Mat Kearney, and a legion of other national acts have re-invented the reputation of Nashville as a hotbed of music beyond the realm of country. Holcomb and his band have found their own unique niche in this scene, with their 2008 LP, Passenger Seat, and their 2009 EP, live forever, both debuting at #2 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts. They’ve also had multiple TV placements on shows like NBC’s parenthood, Oprah, Army Wives, The Cleaner, and others, proving that Holcomb’s career has stretched far beyond the TN state limits where he was born and raised.
On April 5, 2011, artist and songwriter Andy Friedman will release his third studio album, Laserbeams and Dreams (City Salvage Records). Produced by noted guitarist and producer David Goodrich (Chris Smither, Peter Mulvey), the album was recorded in Friedman’s Brooklyn neighborhood and cut in 24 hours with one overdub and mixed in the studio. Complementing Friedman’s “art-damaged, ragged-but-right” (L.A. Weekly) approach and Goodrich’s restrained, atmospheric lead guitar and piano is rising-star upright bassist and composer Stephan Crump (GRAMMY-nominated Vijay Iyer Trio, Jim Campilongo), whose latest album of “ingenious originals” (The New Yorker), Reclamation (recorded with his Rosetta Trio), NPR spotlighted among its top five jazz albums of 2010. The interplay of Friedman’s “engagingly singular” (Philadelphia Inquirer) songwriting and “slow, lugubrious, dipped in country heartache” (Hartford Advocate) strum with Crump’s “full, appealingly wooden sound” (The New York Times) calls to mind classic collaborations by Van Morrison with bassist Richard Davis on 1968’s Astral Weeks, or John Hartford and Dave Holland on 1972’s Morning Bugle Call — albums also recorded live in the studio without much pre-conceived musical planning. “We captured the mood created,” says Friedman. “It wasn’t our place to second-guess the results.”
For Asheville, North Carolina’s Johnson’s Crossroad, 2010 got off to an auspicious start. With boxes of their newly pressed record Blood in Black and White in hand, the band was heading to Mo’Daddy’s for their cd release party when life in Asheville came to a standstill, the town virtually crippled by a snowstorm. Instead of playing to a packed house, Johnson’s Crossroad ushered the new year in by playing for a handful of die hard fans who braved the elements and treacherous roads to make it to the show.
Greensky Bluegrass is one of the most exciting bands in today’s roots music scene. This five piece band plays traditional bluegrass instruments and uses them to create original songs and soundscapes that are unique and new, yet somehow feel comfortable and familiar. Though they have been likened to ‘70s era deeply American acts like The Band, Greensky would prefer not to be compared to any other bands. “We really just try to make music as a group that sounds and feels right to us”, says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, later adding that “it is nice to know that other people really dig it, too.”
Nashville-based singer/songwriter Don Gallardo unites introspective lyrics, gritty twang, and honey-warm vocals, producing a rootsy, personal sound that exists between the boundaries of Americana, Folk and 70's classic rock. Gallardo's 2009 release, "Sweetheart Radio Revolution, Etc.", garnered a following from alt-country and Triple A radio stations nationwide with its collection of folk-tinged songs.
Asheville, NC’s Bluegrass Band Town Mountain is excited to release their fourth album, Leave the Bottle, September 4, 2012. Town Mountain is Phil Barker on mandolin & vocals, Robert Greer on lead vocals & guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo & vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, and newest member Jon Stickley rounds them out with his steady bass and rock-solid guitar & vocals. They share the kind of easy-going friendly bond that relays itself through their music. One listen to their instantly memorable songs, and it’s plain to see why Grammy-winner Mike Bub would align with the group to produce Leave the Bottle as well as 2011’s Steady Operator, both through Pinecastle Records. Banjo player extraordinaire and longtime member of the Sam Bush Band, Scott Vestal, also joined the team by engineering the new album, which was recorded at Digital Underground Studio in Nashville, TN.
Tommy Ramone began his musical career as Tom Erdelyi an engineer at the Record Plant recording studios. In the musical doldrums of the 70’s he, along with the great JOHNNY, JOEY AND DEE DEE RAMONE, formed the rock group RAMONES and participated in the birth of New Wave, Punk Rock, and Alternative music. As manager, producer and drummer for the band, Tommy Ramone helped create the sound, style and ideology for what was to become modern rock. As an independent record producer Ramone has worked on recordings that include the single, Love Goes to A Building On Fire by TALKING HEADS, and the albums, Neurotica by REDD KROSS, Too Tough To Die by the RAMONES, and Tim by THE REPLACEMENTS, the later voted one of the best albums of the year by the writers of Rolling Stone, Record, The Village Voice, and The LA Times.
PALEFACE was schooled by friend Daniel Johnston and soon discovered by the legendary Danny Fields at an New York City Antifolk open mic. He has since released over a dozen records including two major label releases. Paleface has influenced and inspired a wide range of artists including Grammy Award recipients Kimya Dawson and Beck who called Paleface “a big influence on my early work” in Annie Leibovitz's book "American Music.” Paleface's vocals, instrumentation and songrwriting have appeared on three albums by The Avett Brothers. This past Fall, PALEFACE and girlfriend drummer Monica "Mo" Samalot released their new album One Big Party (Ramseur Records), followed by US and Europe tours. Later in the Spring PASTE Magazine premiered a short documentary on Paleface, "Paleface: The Making Of One Big Party", which features an interview with Scott Avett (The Avett Brothers) in which he recounts being “blown away” the first time he met Paleface: “He was barking and singing and just throwing passion out. We were just immediately inspired and ignited by the fire he was throwing.” For more info: http://PalefaceOnline.com
Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90's when the buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher and jazz singer who was knocking 'em dead at open mikes. The word spread of this Philadelphia-area born and raised performer to New York; Shawn Colvin invited Vance Gilbert to be a special guest on her Fat City tour. Gilbert took audiences across the country by storm ("With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener" wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from that tour.)
Sydni Perry began singing with her family bluegrass band when she was eight years old. Just a few short years later, at age fifteen she was recording with country superstar, Patty Loveless, on Grammy nominated "Sleepless Nights" and then again a year later on Grammy winning "Mountain Soul II", during which time she toured with Patty, singing backup and playing twin fiddles with fiddler extrordinaire, Deanie Richardson. She is stepping out on her own now, with her band, Cafe Blue, playing a variety of classic country, bluegrass, jazz, R&B, and original material, all with their own twist. They have performed at a variety of venues around middle Tn. and southern Ky. and are starting to get serious ttention from the Nashville establishment. If you've heard therm before, you know what to expcect. If not, you are in for a treet. You're sure to enjoy an evening with Sydni Perry and Cafe Blue.
Tempting as it may be, don't just judge Gurf Morlix by the company he keeps, even if it does provide a fine starting point: eminent musical artists like Lucinda Williams, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Warren Zevon, Ian McLagan, Patty Griffin, Robert Earl Keen, Michael Penn, Buddy Miller, Mary Gauthier, Tom Russell, Jim Lauderdale and Slaid Cleaves, to name but a few. Instead, listen to Last Exit to Happyland, his fifth solo album, and understand why his blue-ribbon associations as a producer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist have led Morlix to a similar level of excellence as a singer, songwriter and artist in his own right.
In the past five years, Great American Taxi has become one of the best-known headliners on the jam band circuit. Their uninhibited sound is a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk country, gospel, and good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll. Great American Taxi was born when singer, guitarist, and mandolin player Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon joined keyboard player and singer Chad Staehly for a superstar jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in Boulder, in March of 2005. “We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig,” Herman recalls. “It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again.” Great American Taxi quickly evolved into one of the best country-, rock-, and bluegrass- influenced jam bands in the land, masterfully blending acoustic and electric instruments into music they call “Americana Without Borders.”
Patrick Sweany likes the spaces in between. On a given night (or on a given album) he'll swing through blues, folk, soul, bluegrass, maybe some classic 50s rock, or a punk speedball. He's a musical omnivore, devouring every popular music sound of the last 70 years, and mixing 'em all together seamlessly into his own stew. Yet, the one thing that most people notice about Patrick isn't his ability to copy - it's his authenticity. Like his heroes, folks like Bobby "Blue" Bland, Eddie Hinton, Doug Sahm, Ray Charles, Patrick somehow manages to blend all of these influences into something all his own.
Bringing back the classic sounds of truck drivin' music, Jimbo Darville and the Truckadours have recaptured the vintage feel of the legendary life of a trucker! Enjoy them pickin' and grinnin' about the trials and tribulations of a driver, his rig, truckstops, and their women across the country!
Sometimes I wonder, was I raised in the mountains, or was I raised by the mountains?" Growing up in the heart of the Appalachain Mountains, where the lines of East Tennessee and Virginia intersect, it is easily discernable where singer/songwriter Iodine draws her inspiration. She has been "dipped and stewed" in these rich roots, which is reflected strongly in her musical style and writing. Always out to create her own story - which in her opinion is far better than listening to one - she always was searching for ways to entertain herself while exploring the countryside and spending her summers fishing with her father at a neighboring catfish farm. Her ability to always find an adventure and trouble along the way earned her the nickname "Iodine" by her mother at a young age.
Folks We Have Played With: The Meters, Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, (The Late Great) Chris Whitley, Levon Helm, Drivin' and Cryin', Black Uhuru, Southern Culture on the Skids, Everything, Garrison Starr, Train, Mick Taylor, Kudzu Kings, Blueground Undergrass, Blue Mountain, Galactic, North Mississippi All-Stars, Bloodkin, Dayroom, Places We Have Played: New York City, NY. Long Island, NY. St. Paul, MN. Minneappolis, MN. Lewis, WS. Old Bridge, NJ, Atlantic City, NJ, Sayerville, NJ. Mt. Snow, VT. Killington, VT. Charleston, WV. Allentown, PA. Boston, MA. Lexington, KY. Paducah, KY. Bowling Green, KY. Asheville, NC. Charleston, SC. Hilton Head, SC. Cincinnati. OH. Savannah, GA. Atlanta, GA. Athens, GA. Columbus, GA. Huntsville, AL. Muscle Shaols, AL. Birmingham, AL. Auburn, AL. Jackson, MS. Oxford, MS. Starkville, MS. Hattisburg, MS. Nashville, TN.(obviously) Memphis, TN. Fairview, TN. Knoxville, TN. Murfreesboro, TN. Memphis, TN. Bristol, TN. Johnson City, TN. Chattanooga, TN. Cookeville, TN. Clarksville, TN. Little Rock, AR. St. Louis, MO. Farmington, MO. Evansville, IN. Gunnisson, CO. Telluride, CO. Steamboat Springs, CO. Fort Collins, CO. Crested Butte, CO. Baton Rouge, LA. New Orleans, LA.
Larry Cordle was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Kentucky. While a young child he was introduced to bluegrass, country, and gospel music, by his great grandfather Harry Bryant, an old time claw hammer banjo stylist, fiddle player and dancer. He recounts, “mom said I could sing “I’ll Fly Away”, all the way through when I was 2”! Cordle fondly remembers this early influence by pointing out, “we lived so far away from everything, that we had to make our own entertainment. Papaw would get the fiddle out in the evenings sometimes and play and dance for us. Just as soon as I was old enough to try to learn to play I did so & kinda seconded after him on the guitar. He ran an old country store and I spent many happy hours in there with him playing, talking about and listening to music. It was our escape into another world, something we grew up with and looked so forward to. I was always happiest when we were in a jam session”.
Born and bred in Macon, Georgia, Buddy Greene benefited at an early age from the influences of a town and culture that produced musical giants like Little Richard, Otis Redding, and the Allman Brothers Band. By age 10 he was already playing to audiences around Macon and quickly establishing himself as a local talent worth watching.
The Tillers got their start in August 2007 when Cincinnati friends Mike Oberst, Sean Geil, and Jason Soudrette began thumping around with some banjos and guitars and a big wooden bass. Their earliest gigs were for coins and burritos on the city’s famous Ludlow Street in the district of Clifton. The songs they picked were mostly older than their grandparents. Some came from Woody Guthrie, some were southern blues laments, and many were anonymous relics of Appalachian woods, churches, riverboats, railroads, prairies, and coal mines.
Like all families, Kopecky Family Band beats with the same heart and writes in the same blood. ‘The Family’ began creating music together in Nashville, Tennessee in the Fall of 2007. What began as late night talks about life and dreams gradually flowed into eccentric and beautiful music that has led to numerous tours, including adventures to CMJ, SXSW and Bonnaroo, three EP releases and friendships across the country.
You can find Jim performing in listening rooms and at festivals from the Southeast to New England. His shows are a combination of beloved country tunes, his original ballads and the stories he tells to introduce them. One comes away from a Jim Avett performance with the feeling that this is an honest man sharing his life and his love of music. It’s like spending the evening on the front porch singing and talking with a good friend.
Geoff Achison is a musician of remarkable ability who has forged his own path and won fans all over the world. Having taught himself to play in the isolation of rural Australia, he has developed a blues/funk style all his own that can be delicate one moment and explosive the next.
Onward, Soldiers: These guys know how to make good music. Sean Thomas Gerard, young'n from Pittsburgh who relocated to Wilmington, NC, he's a sharp guy. Teeth cut as much on folk heroes Guthrie and Dylan as Rakim and KRSOne. (Check the phrasing.) His songs are observations, peppered with prose about life as he knows it; restless, inspiring, not without ghosts or doubt but driven by ambition to leave obstacles in the dust, to wave at 'em in the rear-view mirror. Sean probably also has Benjamin Button syndrome. He looks 25 but has the voice of a man twice his age. It's bizarre, and endearing. When you see him onstage you're like "there's no way this kid isn't 50. Did he eat grandpa before the show?" "Nope, I'm right here," silver-fox drummer, Kevin Rhodes, would then reply. Kevin's reverse Benjamin Button. Don't let the gray fool you. **seriously, lock up your daughters.** Kevin has more energy than five kids on Cocoa Puffs. He sings, plays drums, piano, squeezebox, writes songs, eats cookies, and builds palace
Why do we need museums? They show us something familiar and traditional, while at the same time documenting our innovation, showing us possible directions for the future. This is the same reason we need David Wax Museum – to give us music that is somehow familiar, as if it has always existed somewhere in our cultural ether, but is at the same time undeniably fresh.
Becky Schlegel has a gift for taking life’s experiences and transforming them into songs that are passionate and unique. Her music is a fusion of folk, bluegrass and country that is mesmerizing. Schlegel sings with an effortless, angelic and wistful soprano that has been described as “Clear and expressive. [Her] voice can go gritty at times or break appropriately or soar to ethereal heights or drift off in a whisper.” - Bluegrass Unlimited
Tiller’s Folly are the Pacific Northwest's critically acclaimed, internationally traveled, ambassadors of song and at the forefront of a bold new movement in acoustic roots music. For the past sixteen years, through 1,000's of performances stretching from the Pacific Northwest to the British Isles, they have spread their memorable blend of energy, history, musicality, romance and just plain fun from small and large halls to theatres and festivals.
The acclaimed sister duo Sweethearts of the Rodeo have been talking about doing a reunion record for years, but Life always seemed to get in the way. “Life starts to get your attention, and I think we got completely distracted with that,” explains Janis Oliver. “I had kids to raise and bills to pay,” adds sister Kristine Arnold. “Not being in the music business made me humble and made me realize that it’s not the most important thing. But every year on the day after Thanksgiving, we would do a gig at The Bluebird Café. Every time we would do that, we would say, ‘Why are we not singing together all the time?’ Then we’d go off back into our routines.
Over the last ten years Andrew Peterson has quietly carved out a niche for himself as one of the most thoughtful, poetic, and lyrical songwriters of his generation. More recently he’s established himself as the grassroots facilitator of an online literary and songwriting community (www.RabbitRoom.com) and an emerging fantasy novelist as well (The Wingfeather Saga). But it’s still ultimately that sense of rootedness that listeners, readers and fans seem to respond to most deeply—because Andrew’s songs (and books) remind us again and again of simple, solid things like love and friendship and hope and redemption and beauty and how our stories were meant to be shared, and how the darkness will not always hold sway, and how we, being human, need to hear those things over and over again, because otherwise we become disconnected from the very stories we’re living in. All of which brings us, in a roundabout way, to our real starting point, because somehow, Andrew Peterson’s new, twelve-song project, Counting Stars (produced by Ben Shive, with Andy Gullahorn) manages to do all that without ever leaving home.
The music of Robby Hecht represents a return to the early 70s golden era of acoustic pop where thoughtful, well-crafted lyrics were blended with timeless melodies to impact mainstream music and culture. His 2008 debut album Late Last Night, produced by Lex Price (Mindy Smith) and mixed by Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Josh Rouse) features an impressive list of guest performers including Mindy Smith, Jeff Coffin, Thad Cockrell, Jill Andrews of The Everybodyfields, John Deaderick (Patty Griffin), Andrea Zonn (James Taylor) and more.
Since 2005 The Johnny Possum Band (formerly Johnny Possum’s Good Time Hootin’ Band) has been delivering their own brand of alt-country, Americana and bluegrass music featuring guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and upright bass. From performances throughout New Zealand, to appearances at festivals and venues in the USA the band has developed a solid fan base and following.
Whether Guy Davis is appearing on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” or nationally syndicated radio programs such as Garrison Keillor’s, “A Prairie Home Campanion”, “Mountain Stage” or David Dye’s,“World Café”., in front of 15,000 people on the Main Stage of a major festival, or teaching an intimate gathering of students at a Music Camp, Guy feels the instinctive desire to give each listener his ‘all’.
In 1985, Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd were two young singer-songwriters signed to the same song publisher. They came from different backgrounds but had enough in common to create an almost immediate response to the songs they cowrote and recorded. Their first success came as songwriters (early songs were recorded by Sweethearts of the Rodeo and Ricky Van Shelton), but it was the distinctive sound of their publishing demos that gained them their record deal with RCA Records.
Very early in life, Billy Henson knew he wanted to be an entertainer. He taught himself to play guitar and was soon writing songs and dreaming of a big career. In 1952, while still in high school, he began his professional career with Carl Tipton & his Mid-State Playboys on WGNS radio in Murfreesboro, TN. In 1953, he joined the Goober & His Kentuckians show on WSIX television in Nashville. He and Patsy were married in 1960; with her help and encouragement, he attended business college and began to work in earnest to develop his singing and songwriting skills. In 1962, his hard work and perseverance caught the attention of the comedy team Lonzo & Oscar. He got a songwriting contract with their publishing company, a recording contract with Nugget Records and a job as their lead guitar player on the Grand Ole Opry. Billy toured the United States, Canada, and Europe with Lonzo & Oscar the next two years. Later, he was a featured vocalist on the Pee Wee King & the Golden West Cowboys Show, booked by Nashville’s Bo
Kieran Kane's music is adult in the truest sense of the word. His explorations of mature love (The Blue Chair's "Honeymoon Wine"), friends' struggles with personal difficulties ("Kill the Demon" from Six Months, No Sun), and the meaning of life (Shadows on the Ground's title cut) lead directly to his philosophical explorations of faith and life on his latest release, You Can't Save Everybody (with Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin).
Pardon me, I won't take much of your time here, but please - this is important. I think Doug Paisley's new album, Constant Companion, can help you. You'll know it the moment you hear his voice, which'd be made of silk if silk weren't so prideful. Constant Companion's got everything his self-titled debut had, only more of it, and better. And that record's gotten me through some dark days and darker nights. He's my favorite navigator.
In the early parts of their careers, members of the Bo-Keys performed in B.B. King’s orchestra, anchored the Hi Rhythm Section, nailed the unforgettable intro to “Theme From Shaft,” and survived the plane crash that claimed Otis Redding. This is a new, hard-hitting Bo-Keys lineup, featuring alumni both of Stax Records and Hi Records, plus younger musicians who’ve garnered an Emmy award and a Grammy nomination. Together, now, they play fresh Memphis soul.
Bobby Osborne… the name conjurs up memories of that incredible high voice ringing over the hills at a bluegrass festival on a warm summer evening, of the sounds of Rocky Top rolling in on 50,000 watts on The Grand Ole Opry on WSM, 650 on your radio dial, of the sounds of Rubeeeeee!!!, on radio and television stations ever since Bobby Osborne first burst on the scene in 1949. Bobby’s many accomplishments as a professional musician and entertainer would fill an entire book, and they soon will, as his biography is soon to appear in print.
Amy Black may live in Massachusetts but her influences, like her roots, are clearly from below the Mason-Dixon line. Her live performances cover the styles and traditional themes of American music: loving, lying, drinking, dying and going to heaven – but not necessarily that order. She writes and performs her own music and weaves classics by her influences, including Loretta Lynn, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings into her show.
The Houston-born Lynn, who in March will release her debut, Have You Met Lera Lynn?, is already well-known in Athens for her time spent as the sultry voice of mainstay folk-poppers Birds & Wire. However, the multidimensional record’s title is telling; in the days since that band's dissolution, Lynn’s taken an honest and painstaking inventory of her past experiences, and out of that process a song cycle has emerged that serves as a true representation — and a reintroduction — of the artist.
Discovered by guitar legend John McLaughlin in 2006, banjoist Ryan Cavanaugh has spent the last 4 years touring the international jazz scene with acclaimed saxophonist and Miles Davis alum, Bill Evans. In his early twenties, before performing and recording with Bill Evans, Sam Bush, Victor Wooten, Bela Fleck, Robben Ford, and many others, Cavanaugh was a champion of the Merlefest, Rockygrass, and Renofest banjo contests. In '07 Ryan released his bluegrass cd "Songs For the New Frontier" and played on 8 tracks of Bill Evans's record "The Other Side of Something" along with greats Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Victor Wooten, and Dennis Chambers.
If you ask any number of country singers who their favorite singer is, a large number of them will respond: “Gene Watson.” Gene has scored over 72 charted songs, including 23 Top Tens and 6 #1 hits over his forty-year career. It is safe to say that most knowledgeable country fans would point to Gene Watson as one of country music’s best ballad singers in the same league as country icons George Jones, Merle Haggard, Vern Gosdin and others who are the standard bearers for honest, traditional country music. It’s no surprise that such artists as Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack, Trace Adkins, Connie Smith, Joe Nichols, Alison Krauss, and many others are not only happy but eager to record with Gene. There is also the stunning truth that at age 66, Gene is singing better than ever, with his clear, pure tone intact and an unmatched soulful delivery. As a result, A TASTE OF THE TRUTH, his new CD on Shanachie Records, produced by Dirk Johnson, may be his best recording yet, no small achievement for a man who has cut so many classics. And that is good news for fans of real country music rooted in the timeless values of one of America’s bedrock musical genres.
Alexander Fedoryka: Violin/Mandolin/Harmonica/Bass/Vocals Trained classically, Alexander started playing at the age of 3 and has performed in such venues as the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap. Of note, Alexander spent six months in Japan studying under Dr. Suzuki, the renowned founder of the Suzuki School of Music. Alexander also spent four months playing in the streets of Ireland where he picked up the Celtic spirit and combined it with the Gypsy soul of his own Ukrainian ancestry. Josef Crosby: Violin/Bass/Vocals Trained classically, Josef studied at Duquesne under Joe Petron and has performed in venues such as the Benedum Center and Soldiers & Sailors memorial hall. Making the switch to Celtic fiddling, Joe forms the second half of Scythian's signature "dueling fiddles" and is known for his jazzy "dirt & grit" style. Danylo Fedoryka: Rhythm Guitar/Accordion/Vocals Trained as a classical pianist, Danylo made the switch to rhythm guitar in order to make music with his brother Alexander. Having performed at the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap as a classical musician, Danylo enjoys the free and somewhat loose spirit of Celtic music. Putting his keyboard skills to use, Danylo also picked up the accordion which he sports during the bands Gypsy and Klezmer pieces. Mike Ounallah: Percussion/Drums Mike Ounallah, comes from a Jazz background and enriches the sounds of Scythian with a wealth of experience and expertise. Mike recently earned a Masters of Jazz Studies at the University of Maryland. A true student of music, Mike combines his extensive knowledge with his Jordanian heritage, which compliments the Eastern gypsy style of Alexander. Although Mike is respected for his knowledge of music and his musical precision, he is also known as drummer who can flat out "bring it" and who can rock out with the best of them.
Growing up in the rich literary and religious environment of Mississippi, and then moving straight into the country-soaked musical world of Nashville, Trent Dabbs has many stories to tell. Like Flannery O’Connor with her short story collection, A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Dabbs pieces his own spiritual and relational questions into well crafted folk-pop albums. The ghosts of Johnny Cash, old gospel-choirs, Neil Young, and Nick Drake are heard roaming the halls of Trent’s songs.
McPeake began life as nothing more than a group of musicians who came together for special gigs and occasions. Francis McPeake first brought the band together for a stage show based on the Titanic, that he co-wrote in 2003. Since then they have worked with many prominent Irish artists including Brian Kennedy, Finbar Furey, Kieran Goss, Juliet Turner, and Ralph McTell.
Laura Cantrell is a country music artist based in New York City. Born in Nashville, TN, she came to New York to attend Columbia College, and found that her abiding interest in country music helped her stay connected with her family roots. That interest was the motivation behind her long-running radio program on WFMU in Jersey City, NJ, “The Radio Thrift Shop.” Beginning on WFMU in 1993, the program was a Saturday afternoon staple in the New York area for 13 years, then moved to WFMU.org and ran for two seasons on BBC Radio Scotland as a summer replacement in 2005 and 2006. In her ten-year recording career, Cantrell has released three acclaimed albums: “Not The Tremblin’ Kind,” “When The Roses Bloom Again,” and “Humming By The Flowered Vine.” She has toured extensively in the United Kingdom, Europe and Ireland, and was a favorite of pioneering British disc jockey John Peel, who called her 2000 album “Not The Tremblin’ Kind” “my favorite record of the last ten years, possibly my life.” Cantrell recorded several Peel sessions for the BBC from 2000-2004 and appeared on the first Peel Day program on Radio One commemorating the first anniversary of Peel’s death.
The first time Charlie Louvin discovered the young, Merle Travis-style guitarist Ben Hall playing he asked, “When can you go to work with me?” When Hall replied that he couldn’t just yet, as he was studying music at Belmont University, the elder statesman was none too pleased to be turned down, huffing, “You don’t need to be in school, you are meant to be playing that guitar.”
The most award-winning guitarist in recent memory is David Grier. For the past several years, he has been voted by the members of the International Bluegrass Music Association as Best Guitar Player of the Year. He has also appeared on two Grammy- winning recordings: "True Life Blues-A Tribute to Bill Monroe" and "The Great Dobro Sessions." David is also included in the book, "1,000 Great Guitarists." His inspiration to learn guitar came from exposure to Bill Monroe while his father, Lamar Grier, played banjo for the Blue Grass Boys in the middle 1960s.
Guthrie Trapp is one of Nashville’s most in demand Electric and acoustic guitar and mandolin players. He has just finished his first solo album, Pick Peace, due out this fall. The project is a showcase for Trapp’s stellar guitar playing that has long supported the careers of superstar artists and his own bands. Through a blend of six originals and four obscure covers, this exciting and soulful instrumental album explores country, blues, Latin, reggae, jazz, rock and experimental music.
The 1861 Project begins as a collection of original songs that imagine the stories of the real people who fought and lived through the Civil War, and evolves from that creative nucleus into a broader discussion of what the war means today.
"Dave Gleason was a fixture on the West Coast Honky Tonk/Americana circuit since the early 1990's through 2010-until a recent move placed him in Nashville,TN. With four albums of his own to his credit (and countless lead guitar sessions for other artists), Gleason has shared the stage with Jim Lauderdale/Charlie Louvin/Dave Alvin/Albert Lee/Bill Kirchen and Mike Stinson to name just a few. Dan Forte/vintage Guitar Magazine says of Dave Gleason's latest album "Turn And Fade"...'Throughout, Gleasons offers enough new wrinkles to stake his claim as more than merely another “new traditionalist."
Born in Obninsk, Russia, Natasha Borzilova moved to Nashville as the lead singer and acoustic guitarist of the band Bering Strait, which was put together as a group of classically trained child prodigies in the late 1980's. Since then, Bering Strait had two CD releases on Universal South Records, receiving critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for country instrumental of the year in 2002.
American roots traditionalist Tara Nevins’ new release, ‘Wood and Stone’ is an exploration of her own heritage, musical and otherwise. Released on May 3rd, 2011 on Sugar Hill Records ‘Wood and Stone’ was produced by Larry Campbell at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. It showcases Nevins’ ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory. Featured guests on the album include Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams, The Heartbeats, along with the core band of Larry Campbell, Justin Guip, and Byron Isaacs.
Smokey’s Farmland Band is based in Atlanta, but named after a 200-acre farm near the town of LaFayette in northwest Georgia. Smokey Caldwell's farm is the focal point of the cavers who explore the magnificent underground caverns of neighboring Pigeon Mountain and is a popular venue for music festivals. Smokey's Farmland band was formed in 2004 when friends who played music and camped out together on Smokey's land decided to collaborate and further their music. Ian, Justin and Jared played enough music up there that folks on the farm started calling them Smokey's Farmland Band.
So here he is again, almost four decades strong, in the very space where so many Elvis Presley smash hits were recorded as were classic sides by Charley Pride, Connie Smith, Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings, only to name a few. As the new Sugar Hill Records album title says, it's also where the latest Marty Stuart release, Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions), has just been recorded.
Thrift Store Cowboys fourth studio album Light-Fighter (out October 12) could be called their post-arson period, as Daniel Fluitt and band wrote the record after a stranger torched their gear and merchandise-filled trailer parked next to Fluitt’s bedroom, nearly taking his life. Produced by Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case, Iron and Wine) Light-Fighter’s indie rock shapeshifts through ambient and Gothic western music for songs that touch on death, loss, fear, redemption, the Spanish Civil War and West Texas ghost stories. All buoyed by soaring violin, draped against bottom-ended guitar and pedal steel sounds that spaghetti western composer Ennio Morricone might envy.
Paper Bird’s backbone is their songwriting, musicianship and a general allergy to all limitations and trends. With eight members and no leader, possibilities are ever unfolding, with fluctuations in style and mood akin to weather patterns.
The everybodyfields from Johnson City, TN are rapidly gaining a reputation as the front-runners of the newest generation of the alt-country movement. Their melancholic interpretations of universal human stories are set to achingly beautiful melodies and put to life with such instrumentation as lap steel, lead guitar, electric bass, piano and acoustic guitar.
On Jubal's Kin, the self-titled debut from the Florida based duo, brother and sister Roger and Gailanne Amundsen establish a new benchmark for the rising generation of roots musicians - Roger a three time Florida Old-Time Music Championship winner, and Gailanne the 2009 Florida & Tennessee Grand Champion Old Time Fiddler. Jubal's Kin is an eclectic blend of old-timey bluegrass and indie folk - what they've dubbed as "Appalachia-infused Cosmic Americana." And the album finds this compromise with great success, drawing from a wide palette of earthy roots inspirations.
Art helps us articulate emotions. When complex feelings seem impossible to condense into words, we turn to musicians to speak on our behalf. On her new album, Stupid Love, Mindy Smith gives voice to the myriad sentiments, from elation to sorrow, that accompany falling in love.
Over his career, Falcon has released a dozen albums, each remaining true to his hallmark of beautifully crafted songs with lyrics that move the listener to laugh, cry, think, remember, and always, to hope. His latest record, “When,” features thirteen songs that each continue that legacy.
Red June is a dynamic acoustic trio from Asheville, NC, performing beautifully distilled Americana music. The Red June sound is as versatile and original as the musicians themselves; they touch on bluegrass, roots rock, and traditional country music with powerful harmonies, innovative songwriting and expert musicianship. Red June is Will Straughan on dobro, guitar and vocals, celebrated fiddler and vocalist Natalya Weinstein, and John Cloyd Miller on mandolin, guitar and vocals.
Tasmanian born and raised songstress, Ange Boxall resides in London, UK, and regularly visits Nashville, TN, USA. On recent visits, she has worked with legendary singer songwriter JD Souther - who famously played a key role in the formation of the Eagles and co-wrote their hits "Heartache Tonight," "Victim of Love," "New Kid In Town," and "Best of My Love". Meeting in an art gallery (as you do in Nashville!), the pair found an immediate synergy and began to collaborate. The result is the beautiful 'Lucky Day' duet and will be featured on Ange's forthcoming album. The album also includes co-writes with other immensely talented artists, Jim Lauderdale, The Wrights and The Arlenes, all of whom add a new and rich dynamic. The album, produced and engineered by Marc Lacuesta, began it's recording with Anges ‘Wagon Band’ (Alan Gregg, Paul Lush and Steve Brooks), at Konk Studios (of Ray Davies fame) and was then taken to Nashville for the final overdubs, mixing and mastering.
Valley Young is both moving and mysterious. The music seems as if it floated out of a lonesome mountain valley.They call themselves fringe folksters! From the reverb to the songwriting, the folk music of the 1960's and 70's shaped Valley Young's sound today.
Sara Hickman grew up in Houston, Texas, as the daughter of artistic parents—a mother who was a fiber artist, a father who was a painting professor. Her household was full of interactive creativity: writing, painting, jars of clay. There was never a dull moment. At 7, she started to play the guitar, which became her best friend. She wrote her first song at 8, performed it on stage, and won an award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was hooked as a singer/songwriter from that point on.
"Gwyneth & Monko are on the move in more ways than one. In the past two years alone, they've driven over 60,000 miles and played over 250 shows while living out of their Volkswagen Van and camping out in Walmart Supercenter parking lots as well as driveways of friends and strangers alike. In the fall of 2010, amidst tours to the southwest and northwestern U.S., they were able to fit in time to record at Old School Studio in northern California. Gwyneth & Monko’s self titled album came out February 15, 2011 and reflects the style the pair has cultivated on the road: somewhere between folky acoustic and indie rock.”
Tom T. Hall is known as a storyteller, a songwriter with a keen eye for detail and a knack for narrative. Many musicians have covered his songs -- most notably Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 hit "Harper Valley P.T.A." -- and he also has racked up a number of solo hits, including seven No. 1 singles.
Born and raised in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, Malcolm Holcombe is being recognized by the contemporary U.S and European folk/americana community as a performer of national stature, and an uncommonly unique guitarist/vocalist about whom Rolling Stone magazine says: "Haunted country, acoustic blues and rugged folk all meet [here]..."
Everything Daphne Willis has done up to now in both her music and her life has led to this moment—her new album, Because I Can (Vanguard, April 19), marks the 23-year-old writer/singer/guitarist’s artistic coming of age in thrilling—and at times heart-wrenching—fashion. This captivating LP represents an exponential leap, as she grows into her enormous talent and puts it to powerful and relatable use via her singular sensibility. Because I Can sounds very much like the defining work of a young artist who matters.
In few life stories do you find the heroine getting kicked out of her own rock band because of Dolly Parton but IRENE KELLEY proves it ain't impossible. Latrobe, Pennsylvania is better known for brewing Rolling Rock Beer than as a hot musical breeding ground. However, one does not have the privilege of choosing one's birthplace. Along side the aroma of roasting hops, music was in the air and clearly in the blood of young Miss Kelley.
Can the members of Girlyman read each other’s minds? Sometimes it seems so. Onstage they often finish one another’s sentences or burst into improvised three-part ditties so tight they seem rehearsed. Truth is, the Atlanta-based trio has had years to develop this rapport. Doris Muramatsu and Tylan Greenstein became best friends in second grade. The two met Nate Borofsky in college at a talent show, and since then they’ve been creating their own unique language of three-part harmony. Informed by 60s vocal groups like Simon & Garfunkel and The Mamas and the Papas, and infused with years of classical and jazz training, Girlyman’s songs are a dance of melody and suspensions – an irresistible blend of acoustic, Americana, and rock The Village Voice calls “really good, really unexpected, and really different.”
With hearts in traditional music and heads in the 21st century, Rockin’ Acoustic Circus points toward a fresh direction for acoustic music. Sharing their passion with impressive musical prowess and boundary pushing style, their unique vibe of original work, appeals to a wide audience of both traditional and progressive fans alike.
Dolly Parton once noted, famously, that there were just three real female singers around—Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, and Connie Smith. "The rest of us," she said, "are only pretending." It's less-well known that when Ms. Smith was introduced to Keith Richards, he grabbed fellow Connie Smith fan (and Rolling Stone) Ron Wood and brought him up to meet her, too, exclaiming "She's the real deal!"
Vaughan studied with guitarist Bill Frisell, which led to gigs with a local progressive jazz group. “Bill really opened my approach to my playing,” he explains. At eighteen, when his family moved to rural Kansas, Kenny opted to stay in Denver, and after answering an ad in the paper, he began working seven nights a week playing country music on the local honky-tonk scene. “I played with some real characters,” Vaughan recalls, “Great players and singers. We played mostly '50's and '60's country. It was like another world -- I was playing a joint one night and Willie Nelson showed up and sat in for two hours, we ended up on his bus in the parking lot. Fantastic!” It was during this time that Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings performed in the area. "Seeing those two shows changed everything. They had great bands and sang with remarkable intensity and depth."
“Playing music is the easy part,” says Russell Moore with an ever-so-slightly rueful laugh as he looks back on more than thirty years of doing what he grew up wanting to do. “By the time we put this band together”—he’s talking about IIIrd Tyme Out, his musical vehicle for over twenty years now—“I was realistic enough to know that bands come and go. Being able to stay together is the hurdle that everyone faces. So I didn’t have a preconceived notion that someday I’d be celebrating twenty years with IIIrd Tyme Out—but I did feel like I would be playing music for the rest of my life.”
Last January Rodney Crowell rented a house in my little town in Montana just to feel the cold. He had been here before, but always in the summertime, when Livingston is a temperate and sociable outpost for writers and actors and artists on the banks of the Yellowstone River. But as soon as the first blizzard rolls in most of the amateurs sensibly depart for Tucson or Key West. By January, the coldest month, the local population is down to seeds and stems. That's when Rodney and his wife, Claudia Church, arrived for a long visit. He wanted to work on his memoirs, now nearly finished, and he wanted to experience a real Montana winter, the kind he'd read about in Ivan Doig's sweeping novels. The boy from the Houston swamps figured he might learn something new in the frozen north. Rodney was disappointed when a chinook kicked up from the west and the weather turned mild. Snowdrifts melted into puddles.
It all starts with a low tremolo guitar, resonating and rumbling in a way that pulls at unspoken places. Deep in your core, you know without words, this is a song – indeed, an album – that’s about loss, desolation, realizing what life is made of and the fact that even you know it just keeps coming.
Sugar and the Hi-Lows… a brand new collaboration from singer/songwriters Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup along with a band of Nashville’s finest. Together, these artists weave their hypnotic, soulful vibe and catch the ear with a playful, infectious hook. In their first project making its debut this winter, Sugar and the Hi-Lows features melodies that masterfully merge Americana’s rock and soul heritage with the band’s own unmatched, fresh sound. Lyrically, they channel a playful promise and familiar acceptance of life’s ups and downs and still remain firmly rooted in the reality of the here and now.
That simple line atop Elephant Revival's Facebook page contains only five words, but reveals volumes about the band's reason for being. Music unites us in ways that no other medium can. Even when we don't understand one another's languages - we can be moved by a rhythm, soothed by a song. Brought together by a unified sense of purpose - the spirit of five souls working as one, in harmony, creating sounds they could never produce alone.
Rott ‘N’ Roll. The title originated with Grayson Capps’ fans in New Orleans as an explanation of his music. Prostitutes, alcoholics, vagrants and drifters often inhabit the southern troubadour’s songs, while his live performances are ignited by sanctified Southern soul, howling back-country stomp and raucous roadhouse blues.. Slowly, but surely, the phrase spread from one city to the next as the definition of the Grayson Capps experience. For Grayson himself, Rott ‘N’ Roll has come to represent the state of mind needed to play uncompromising roots music as a means for survival in the Dirty South; the yin and yang between the debauchery of life on the road and the come down upon returning home.. Yet, as Grayson makes clear on “Back To The Country,” the album’s opening track, when Rott ‘N’ Roll is the credo, even the serenity of home means, “eating cornbread and raising hell.”
In today’s new acoustic music scene, only one band delivers the urgency of rock-n-roll using the simple tools of American roots: The Wilders. Celebrating its 15-year anniversary in 2011, this internationally touring band receives critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe for its unpredictable, energizing live performances and award-winning studio recordings. The Wilders’ sound is defined by an insurgent rhythm, soulful musicality, close harmony, and an intangible chemistry forged from years of performing together.
Many years ago, in a moment of professional crisis, I took up for a spell with The Jayhawks, an earnest band from Minnesota with whom I shared a tour, a dog-eared sensibility, and the lack of sufficient patronage that might’ve kept us from sleeping triple in the double beds of hard-lit motel rooms scattered throughout the land of the Great Lakes. Before meeting them, I had been given their most recent album by way of introduction; and I will confess here that upon first listen I became so seduced by the singular character that emerged from the songs, that I failed to register that there were actually two very different singers giving rise to him. Honest: I heard it all as if coming from one central figure who had a voice all his own, and that neither lead singer in the band could wholly claim or account for.
Wayne Henderson's top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family, and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia; his guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of "Masters of the Steel-String Guitar", and in seven nations in Asia. In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He is a recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars; he is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made. Doc Watson, a good friend who sometimes stops at Wayne's shop in Rugby, VA, to pick a few tunes, owns a Henderson mandolin. He said, "That Henderson mandolin is as good as any I've had my hands on. And that's saying a lot, because I've picked up some good ones."
Don Henry is a veteran of 28 years in the music business. His experience in writing, publishing, producing and engineering has evolved him into the singer / songwriter / guitarist and entertainer he's become today.
Inspired by the Grateful Dead, Todd began playing guitar as a teenager, which led to his discovery of bluegrass music. Along with friends, he formed the traditional bluegrass band Well Strung, providing him the opportunity to develop his chops by playing in bars and at festivals throughout the state of Alaska.
James Blundell is acknowledged by many as the act single-handedly responsible for turning a younger demographic of Australians onto country music. He was the first young Australian country artist to create an impact on the mainstream pop charts and for many years was the highest selling country artist in the nation. James was also the first Australian country act to sign a major label recording deal in Nashville paving the way for the likes of Keith Urban, Kasey Chambers and others. In addition to his own success James has penned hits for Lee Kernaghan, Slim Dusty and Jimmy Little. James has been the recipient of 9 CMAA (Country Music Association of Australia) Golden Guitar Awards, double platinum, platinum and gold sales awards and is a 5 time ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) Award nominee with one win to his name.
With their seamless harmonies, eclectic country-soul sensibility, and clever Aussie charm carrying them into the top five of the hit CMT TV Series, Can You Duet, husband and wife duo O’Shea were welcomed wholeheartedly onto one of country music’s most prominent stages.
Catherine spent 6 years in Nashville and has toured, performed and recorded with some of music’s most respected names – Kasey Chambers, Paul Kelly, Sir Elton John, Shane Nicholson, Jerry Salley, Tim Rodgers & Kenny Chesney – and has worked with some of Australia’s and Americas finest producers.
One glorious day some years back, a teenage high school dropout Nikki Lane (née Nicole Lane Frady) packed a trailer with her worldly possessions. With one hand firmly gripping a steering wheel and the other flipping the bird, she said so long to her home, Greenville, South Carolina, The South and any sort of life it had suggested she should live. Western bound, she was headed to Los Angeles for no other reason than just because.
“Ultimately, these songs are about spirituality and trying to find your place in the world,” Griffin House says of Flying Upside Down (Nettwerk, April 29), an album that dramatically marks the 27-year-old Ohioan’s coming of age as an artist of formidable skills. “Specifically, it’s the continuing story of what’s happening in my life, following the realization that the more specific I am about my own life and things that have happened to me, the more people will feel it universally.”
"We work ourselves wretched for one old wood coffin, if life doesn't get you, love will finish you off" sings K.S. Rhoads on his stunning debut album Dead Language, which American Songwriter Magazine declares, " is an exhibition in style, grace, and limitless possibilities." His music has been called "... a masterful marriage of indie-pop, orchestral, and american folk." His lush string arrangements recall Danny Elfman, and his lyrics recall F. Scott Fitzgerald. His live performances are rapturous and sporadic.
Jedd Hughes was raised on a farm in a small town called Quorn in South Australia. After high school, Jedd made a life-changing decision and flew into Levelland, Texas. There, at South Plains College, he met Terry McBride who became his first producer. Encouraged to audition for Patty Loveless, Jedd moved to Nashville and got the job as her guitarist. MCA Records picked Jedd up and, in 2004, he released his debut album, Transcontinental featuring 10 original songs.
The Snyder Family Band features the talents of siblings Zeb and Samantha Snyder from Lexington, NC. Backed by their dad, Bud, on upright bass, this band has delighted and surprised audiences at venues including Merlefest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Festival in Columbus, OH, and the Red White and Bluegrass Festival in Morganton, NC. They have also appeared twice on the PBS TV program “Song of the Mountains.” Mom, Laine, occasionally joins in with harmony vocals, and six-year-old Owen also makes special appearances singing or playing guitar.
Carolina Still is an acoustic band with a new sound and an old-time feel. They will take you down on the farm, out into the tobacco fields, and down a dirt road with a trunk full of 'shine; you never know where they might take you. One thing's for sure, you will be schooled in southern American culture after listening to their music.
SHIROCK, a pop/rock band based in Nashville, TN, capitalizes on the transformative power of rock and roll. Their dynamic debut album, Everything Burns, is filled with bold, anthemic songs that bristle with restless urgency and passionate optimism.
Dobe Newton – the front man in the crazy custom made suits confesses to always being a singing ‘dag’ who the late 1960’s Dobe was saved from his university studies and real life plans to be a lawyer by a bunch of Irish folkies who introduced him to the Dubliners. He was handed a lagerphone and a tin whistle, and bush music nestled in his bones.
After honing his performance skills at the ever popular listening room Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA, Matthew Perryman Jones set his sights on Nashville and launched his career five years ago with the release of his debut album Throwing Punches in The Dark. Swallow the Sea followed a few years later further solidified Jones, as noted by Performing Songwriter Magazine, as a talent that follows "…in the footsteps of Lenard Cohen and John Lennon."
What’s the other side of love? There’s the love you see in movies. The love you’re taught as a child will be your due when you grow up. Fairytale love. Brotherly love. But there’s another side to it.
Nanci Griffith got an early start on her path to performing and songwriting. At the age of 6 she began to write songs, thinking of it as “part of the process of learning how to play guitar.” While she doesn’t remember many of her earliest songs, she does recall that “the first original song my mother commented on…was a song about Timothy Leary.” Then at the age of 14, when a campfire turn at the Kerrville Folk Festival caught the ear of singer-songwriter Tom Russell, she was on her way. Having recorded 18 albums and performed concerts all over the world, it’s safe to say that she’s never looked back.
Luke Bulla has been singing and playing music most of his life. Touring with and singing in his family band from age four, Luke took up the fiddle at seven. Over the course of the next few years, he won the National Fiddle Contest (in Weiser, Idaho) six times in his respective age categories.
It makes sense that two of the South's finest grassroots singers had to hoof it all the way to Hollywood to find each other. In a sea of indie rock bands, the unabashedly Appalachian voices of SALLY JAYE and SARAH ROBERTS make for a stunning anomaly. Teaming up not only made sense, it felt destined.
After the V-Roys called it quits at a 1999 New Year’s Eve show in Knoxville, Harrison co-founded the short-lived band the Faults and, shortly thereafter, signed on as a member of Superdrag (power pop legends responsible for the hit “Sucked Out”). When Superdrag went on indefinite hiatus in 2003 Harrison recorded his second solo album “Pallbearer’s Shoes” with producer and Superdrag drummer Don Coffey, Jr. However, it wasn’t until Harrison joined forces with the High Score in 2007 and recorded “Push Me On Home” that everything really came together. The High Score, which included guitarist/vocalist Robbie Trosper (had been with Harrison in the Faults) and drummer Brad Henderson, was already an established band with its own following. The group needed a new bass player and Vance Hillard was recruited.
Buddy will be 56 when Written in Chalk hits stores, though his work has been on regular exhibit since his wife, Julie (who is somewhat younger), began recording in 1990, and more so since he finally started making his own records in 1995. If his genius has not yet been widely recognized, no matter; the other musicians, they know. (There was a reason the final print edition of No Depression magazine proclaimed him to be artist of the decade, and it was not simply the mercurial humor of the magazine’s two editors. It was the music.)
Gary Bennett co-fronted and was a founding member of one of the most successful country music bands of the 1990's, BR5-49. During Gary's tenure the group received three Grammy nominations and was hailed by music industry trade magazine Billboard as having "single-handedly revived the soul of country music in Nashville". The band sold over 500,000 albums and toured the world, headlining shows as well as being invited to open shows and tours for acts like Bob Dylan, George Jones, Merle Haggard, the Black Crowes and Brian Setzer.
Eddy and Hawley met at last year’s Mojo Awards, where Eddy was awarded with the Mojo Icon Award. Hitting it off straight away, a plan was hatched whereby Hawley would work with Eddy on a new album – a dream come true for Hawley who’d wanted to work with his guitar hero for a long, long time, having been turned onto the wonders of his playing as a mere boy.
Bassist for The Del McCoury Band, Mike began a 13 year association with what was to become, and still is, the most awarded band in Bluegrass Music. He's racked up an unprecedented 9 Entertainer of the Year awards, 5 Bass Player of the Year awards as well as various Album, Instrumental and Song of the Year awards and a Grammy. He's been granted membership to the Grand Ole Opry, as well as a Grammy award for Best Bluegrass Album of 2005. He's now a part of the Nashville 'Super Group' 18 South.
Before he got his recording contract, Bradley Walker had already performed on the Grand Ole Opry, appeared on national television and sung at some of America’s leading bluegrass festivals. One listen to Highway of Dreams, his stunning Rounder Records debut, explains why: Bradley Walker is simply one of the greatest young country singers alive. He belongs to a tradition that includes such outstanding stylists as Vern Gosdin, Merle Haggard, Mel Street, Gene Watson, George Jones, Lefty Frizzell, and Keith Whitley, all of whom he cites as influences. “It’s not like I’m on any kind of campaign to bring back traditional country music,” says Walker. “It’s just that this is the kind of music I love, the kind of music that makes me happiest. I’ve been singing this way all my life.”
Wynn Varble admits he must have been destined for a career in country music. Wynn was raised in the small town of Ellenwood, Georgia, where music was a central part of his life. He recalls his father’s collection of country LP’s and the hours he spent listening to the legends: Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Bob Wills, and Jimmie Rodgers, whom Wynn credits as being his primary musical influences. He says he did just about anything to hear the newest country record – even if it meant trading in his big brother’s rock albums and catching trouble for it afterwards!
Complementing their original and thought-provoking folk songs, Kindling Stone members Chris Moore and Mark Wingate draw from the bounty of wise words and powerful melodies found in two early-American musical traditions: The Sacred Harp and The United Society of Believers, commonly known as the Shakers. These traditions (which blossomed during the 18th and 19th centuries and both continue today) respond to some of the same questions that Kindling Stone explores in their own compositions - questions about community, aging and death, love, family, peace, discipline, nature, prayer and meditation.
Lori McKenna’s first name is actually Lorraine. Now you know. She is named after the mother she lost when she was only seven, but whose impact on Lori’s life reverberates to this day. In her sixth album, Lorraine, she considers the influence of her mother, who died at roughly the same age Lori is now, as well as her own place in relationship to her husband, family and community. It is her most personal album to date.
Ten years in, the four gentlemen of Chatham County Line have a lot to reflect on: sold out shows in the US and abroad, appearances on national radio & TV, four solid selling records, and four really dirty suits.
The Rev. Jeff Mosier understands the importance of occasionally re-inventing oneself. Especially when you’ve turned 50 years old, and are suddenly aware that time has become far more precious. “Some people are threatened by starting over,” he says. “Me, I love it. I really do.” In late 2009, Mosier decided to put Blueground Undergrass — the band he had fronted for more than a decade — on hiatus. That group recorded four albums and built a sizable following by combining bluegrass purism with a jam band sensibility. Mosier liked to describe the sound as “psychedelic hick-hop.”
Loves It! formed when two best friends, Vaughn Walters and Jenny Parrott, dreamed of traveling the world together singing songs! Both accomplished solo writers, they were surprised and excited to see their collaborative works sparkle! Besides inventive songwriting that travels between folk, country, indie pop and swing, each is a multi-instrumentalist and the live show features claw hammer banjo, guitars, mandolin, fiddle, and heart felt inspired singing. Vaughn hails from West by God Virginia and brings his love of country, punk rock, and folk to the duo's sound.
Kid Face, the third full-length album from Samantha Crain (Ramseur Records, February 19, 2013), is a revelatory song cycle as expansive as the wide-open spaces of the 26-year-old artist’s native Oklahoma, and as intimate as a conspiratorial whisper. Recorded and mixed in just eight days in the San Francisco studio of producer John Vanderslice (the Mountain Goats, Spoon), this wildly original album stands as the definitive statement thus far from an uncommonly insightful, fearlessly honest young singer/songwriter.
Juno nominees and winners of the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine of Dala write and sing in harmony best described as angelic. These two best friends met in their high school music class in 2002; they have since released five albums and toured extensively across North America. Darlings of the Canadian music scene, Dala are now poised to bring their fresh brand of acoustic pop music to the world.
The deal is this: I've been on the road, making my living as a full time touring indie folk singin songwriter for about four years, give or take (depending on how flexible you're willing to be in your definition of "a living," I guess). Before that I was a part-time touring folk singer and a part time recording studio engineer. Before that I was a full time recording studio engineer (also, at times, a part time cash register specialist at Whole Foods, a college student, a bank teller, the token female on the tech crew, a terrible waitress, Ruth in the Pirates of Penzance and a host of other things). As a rule I try not to put much stock in defining a person by their profession - a dangerous tendency that we have in this culture, I think - but since my brain, my heart, my music, my life, my ego, my livelihood and my identity are all kind of rolled up in one volatile little package that I load into a station wagon, drive all over the country and hoist on stage every night, it's sometimes hard to avoid. I'm working on it.
After releasing well received EP, "Fire Demos," in July 2010, Anderson East's creative ambition steamed ahead with a back to back release of three song EP "Transitive Property," all while gaining interest from a well respected group of music makers who would shortly prove to be the team for East's next endeavor.
ORBO & The Longshots is a European rock & roll band from Norway. The band was established in the year 2000 by singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Ole Reinert Berg-Olsen aka ORBO.
Upon hearing the unique and refreshing sound of Nicki Bluhm, it becomes immediately clear why she is in the midst of a breakout year. Nicki has filled a void in music with her brand of vintage-tinged rocking country soul -- music that's like an enchanting friend you've known for a short while but feels like you've known forever.
In 1996 when Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson came together to record what was supposed to be a one-off tribute album to the great songwriter Willie P. Bennett, there was nary a thought that they would eventually become a going concern as a band. At the time, all three members were deeply committed to burgeoning solo careers that they had no intentions of putting on hold.
Painted Desert started somewhat accidentally. It started with a telephone call from one friend to another, where one friend was seeking direction and the other thought the solution might lie in a song. Heidi threw out the idea to Austin that they might try writing a song together. Austin, who hadn’t really done much co-writing, thought he might give it a shot.
Erin Enderlin has had songs recorded by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Terri Clark, Lee Ann Womack, Adam Brand, and Luke Bryan. These include Jackson’s top 5 hit “Monday Morning Church” that won an NSAI award as one of the ten “Songs I Wish I’d Written” honored in 2005, as well as Lee Ann Womack’s single “Last Call” which won the same award in 2009.
Legendary performer and songwriter David Olney returns to the scene with the third installment of his thematic mini-album series to present a pair of complicated love stories called Robbery & Murder (October 30, Deadbeet Records). As with the first two – 2011’s Film Noir and Olney’s retelling of the Easter story, The Stone (April 2012) – the packaging on Robbery & Murder features original artwork selected by Olney and foreboding photography. Each EP includes a mix of reinterpretations of some of Olney’s classic catalog and several new tunes. The three recordings complete the box set, Body of Evidence, also available October 30.
THE ROYS – LONESOME WHISTLE Bluegrass music is a unique art form that is as much about feel and instinct as it is technique. Blending proficiency and passion into a musically intoxicating package, The Roys make their debut with LONESOME WHISTLE ( Rural Rhythm Records) , a spirited set that showcases the siblings’ stellar vocals, taut musicianship and enviable songwriting skills.
It’s fitting that a song about Django Reinhardt, the father of gypsy-jazz, kicks off the self-titled debut by Humming House. The bandmembers certainly embrace the gypsy spirit, having come from varied corners of the country with all types of instruments and styles to find each other in Nashville. Out January 17, 2012, and produced by Grammy winning Mitch Dane (Jars of Clay) and Vance Powell (Raconteurs and Buddy Guy) the record reflects other eras – utilizing everything from parlor guitar to clanging electric guitar, viola to B3 organ, and even a singing saw. Listen Here
Auld is a memorable and uplifting entertainer. She's a spontaneous comedienne and a writer of humorous, provocative and soulful songs. A touring songwriter, Audrey won the 2006 MerleFest Song Contest and performed her winning song 'Losing Faith' with Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen) on guitar to a thrilled MerleFest crowd.
LA’s Driftwood Singers have gone an un-contemporary route. The duo of Kris Hutson and Pearl Charles play a stripped down kind of folk that one might have heard on front porches in the south of the 1930’s.
In 2007, Jabe Beyer won the BMI Music Maker Songwriting Competition, was nominated for two Boston Music Awards, as well as a nomination in the WFNX FM Best Music Poll. With over 300 songs in his catalog, his namesake band, JABE, won the Abe Oleman Songwriting Award from The Songwriting Hall of Fame as well as a Boston Music Award for Outstanding Debut Album.
Today’s musicians increasingly find themselves at a crossroad. They find that they must choose between originality and building and maintaining an active fan-base. Typically, success depends on their ability to provide the industry and their listeners with music that is truly unique.
Raised in the hill country of northern Mississippi, W.B. Givens grew up a stone's throw away from the legendary land where the Delta Blues began. After a substantial stint in Asheville, North Carolina, he developed a strong passion for traditional Bluegrass and Country music.
Pierce Pettis, adored by both critics and public alike, is one of this generation's most masterful songwriters. His music is distinguished by his uncanny ability to capture universals in human experience by drawing on the humor and trials in daily life. Pettis' music can simultaneously pull on our hearts and keep us laughing. The beautiful harmonies, inventive yet subtle percussion, strong guitar, and Pierce's rich vocals are a constant throughout his body of work.
Grace Pettis has solidified her reputation as an accomplished songwriter with her recent win at the 2011 Kerrville New Folk Contest, as well as being asked to perform at the2011 Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase.
Meet Erin McDermott before the gig, with a Guinness in her hand and a self-effacing wit at the ready, and you’d never suspect the transformation that’s about to take place. But when she sets down her pint and steps onto stage, pay attention. A spruce-topped six string launches into a steam-driving rhythm and her voice rises, gaining power and soaring to a pure quavering vulnerability that makes even the club regulars, the ones who’ve heard it all, stop talking and really listen.
The Hog Slop String Band is a Nashville based old time string band comprised of seven energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia, Tennessee, California and North Carolina. Featuring Casy Meikle and Kevin Martin on fiddles, Graham Sherrill on banjo, Gabe Zorbanos on guitar, Robert Hardy (RH) Dyar Jr. on mandolin, Daniel Allen Frazier Jr. on washboard and Casey McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.
Daniel Hutchens and Eric Carter met each other when they were eight years old. They solidified their early friendship based on a mutual love of baseball, comic books, and rock n roll music. They grew up in West Virginia; much time during their high school years was spent on Skull Run Road, where Eric's family lived, a few miles outside Ravenswood. The boys recall that road as being the site of their first garage band practices.
Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slamgrass pioneers were one of the first bluegrass bands to add drums and tour rock & roll bars, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jam grass genre.
HENRY WAGONS, recently named one of Melbourne's Top 100 Most Influential People, is unanimously lauded as one of Australia’s greatest and most entertaining performers. Along with his rare charisma he offers heavy doses of stomping outlaw country rock, irresistible crooning and classic songwriting.
Pert Near Sandstone emerged from the same roots-based musical hotbed in Minneapolis that gave birth to Bob Dylan, The Jayhawks and Spider John Koerner. Originally formed by four friends from the same hometown, Pert Near Sandstone formed unintentionally over weekly, whiskey-fueled picking sessions in an old house in St. Paul, MN. They decided without any real intentions to start playing shows and the chemistry of their music and friendships, even early on, left people feeling like the party followed them everywhere they went.
J.P. Harris and The Tough Choices play Country-Goddamned-Music. Period. Sick and tired of the modern Pop-Country filth broadcast shamelessly and persistently across our beautiful countrysides, The Tough Choices set out to right the wrongs done to a music so classically and quintessentially American. As we speak, Hank Williams, Buck Owens, Carl Smith, and countless other champions of Honky Tonk are rolling in their graves, groaning with disgust over the watered-down contemporary excuse that Nashville presents us for Country Music. Save a few Randy Travis gems and Alan Jackson hits, this flim-flam is pathetic, at best.
The title of Gretchen Peters’ new Hello Cruel World is a pun on the famed exit line — a joke that, like the lovely melodies and deliciously textured arrangements framing these 11 songs — sweetens this captivating music spun from a year of turmoil. The Grammy nominated singer-songwriter from Nashville calls Hello Cruel World her “most close-to-the-bone work, written at a time when I felt absolutely fearless about telling the truth.” Peters and her guest Rodney Crowell sing, “life is still a beautiful disaster,” on “Dark Angel.” But Peters keeps the accent on the “beautiful” throughout her ninth disc, with both her poetic language and the spare, evocative sounds she created in the studio to support her organic story-telling.
Ever been to the circus before? The bright colors,the band of characters, the storied backgrounds…just plain fun! So what happens when you combine The Oak Ridge Boys, Marty Stuart, Exile, and The Grand Ole Opry, with 4 kids ranging in age from 4 to 13? Representing four generations of musical heritage, you get the Martin Family Circus!
The One and Only Bill Davis originally hails from Manitowoc, WI. He has lived in Chicago, Vail, and Austin. These days he resides in Nashville TN, where he writes songs and commercial jingles. Aside from his original music, he is the founder/frontman of 5X Beaver(classic country & western) and The Hard Rock Zombies(hard-rock/multimedia/horror-soundtracks). He also has played in many bands locally including: Tony Weeks and the Tony Weeks Band Featuring Tony Weeks, Thumbs Up!, & Pizza Party U.S.A.
Paul Kramer is a jack-of-all-trades; forget the "master of none" part. And having forged a successful career as a highly respected sideman to the stars‚ he is now stepping out as an artist in his own right‚ and in several directions at once!
Lonesome River Band’s long career is obviously filled with a multitude of Awards and Recognitions including the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) honoring the group with numerous awards for Album of the Year and topping it off with an amazing four-time award wins for Shelor as IBMA Banjo Performer of the Year. The group has also received recognition by SPBGMA for numerous Bluegrass Band of Year wins, Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year and Shelor as Banjo Player of the Year.
SHEL is Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza, four classically trained musicians who happen to be sisters ranging in age from 18-23. From the artist colony of Fort Collins, Colorado, SHEL is sophisticated and youthful, emotional and lighthearted, classic and eccentric. SHEL’s engaging live show is marked with a prodigy’s creativity and a veteran’s instinct for entertaining. Audiences delight with their unique songwriting style and fresh, new sound.
Gareth Dunlop began his music career at age 14 by trying to play his Fathers old Yamaha guitar. After a few basic chords were established it quickly became an addiction to play and learn more and more about music.
Grant Farm is a refreshing harvest of a band from the fertile Front Range of Colorado. This much-anticipated four-piece represents the fruition of the efforts of National Flatpicking Champion Tyler Grant, one of the hottest and best-known guitar players on the scene today. Tyler was a member of The Drew Emmitt Band and The Emmitt-Nershi Band from 2005 until 2010 when he went on his own to pursue his calling as a bandleader. In Grant Farm he is partnered with dynamic drummer Chris Misner, also of the Drew Emmitt Band and Bill Nershi's Blue Planet. The quartet is completed by funky phenom Adrian "Ace" Engfer on bass and the prodigious Sean Foley on keyboards. Grant Farm has established a movement based on their connection to roots music of all kinds, devotion to their fans and family, and their brilliant performances of Rocky Mountain Rock and Roll.
Chris Wood had a scrap of a song — seemed like a chorus — scribbled in a notebook. He played it for his older brother, Oliver, who’d had a verse lying around he didn’t know what to do with. The two pieces, composed months apart, one in urban Atlanta and the other deep in the Catskills, dovetailed musically and lyrically: the verse about a man regretting chasing unattainable women, the high-lonesome, harmony-driven refrain of “When I die, I wanna be sent back to try, try again.”
My name is Leah Rose Korbin and I am currently studying Songwriting and Music Business in Nashville, TN at Belmont University. I’ve been writing and recording songs since I was a freshman in high school and I expect to eventually write for other artists and soundtracks.
Taylor Brashears is a singer, songwriter, and multi-intstrumentalist born and raised in Nashville, TN. She fell in love with bluegrass music at the age of nine and began playing shows at sixteen.
Tim & Nicki Bluhm are the husband/wife team of singer/songwriter Nicki Bluhm--the "It Girl" of the San Francisco music scene--and Tim Bluhm, singer/songwriter/guitarist of rock band The Mother Hips.
Walter Egan is one of the most talented and underrated artists whose music I’ve ever had the privilege to hear. Although known almost exclusively for his late 1970’s hit “Magnet and Steel,” Egan is an incredibly prolific artist who has continued to write and record numerous songs, often releasing multiple albums in the same year.
In 2000, Scott Simontacchi arrived in Nashville by way of South Carolina with The Biscuit Boys. He recorded two solo albums—Segue and Before the City Wakes—before embarking on stints as an actor and professional photographer. Scott's powerful tone and wide range seem inspired by Sinatra, while his songwriting reflects his admiration for storytellers such as Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen. In addition to a strong background in these genres, there is an undeniable bluegrass element to his creations.
Trace Bundy must be seen, not just heard. His music is poetry in motion, using harmonics, looping, multiple capos, and his unique banter and stage presence to deliver an unforgettable live concert experience. Listening to his intricate arrangements is one thing, but seeing the fan-dubbed "Acoustic Ninja" play live confounds even the most accomplished music lovers as to how one person can do all that with just two hands and ten fingers.
There is nothing like the challenges and camaraderie of the road to inspire a songwriter who thrives upon the emotional energy and exhilaration only travel can deliver. Some singers are devoted to the pursuit of perpetual motion, and Langhorne Slim releases his wild soul in ways that come out of the discipline of live performance.
Embarks the Chuck Foster penned, "Sweet Freedom". Poignant lyrics mixed with righteous guitar, monstrous backbone and Foster's rollicking keys make up the ingredients of OLD UNION's rock and roll formula. Foster, who began playing the keys because "everybody plays guitar", melds an eclectic jukebox of influence alongside his boogie style piano. Ranging from Waylon Jennings to Muddy Waters and all points in between, Old Union defies the boundaries of genre music. They are parts old country, funk, gospel, rock and roll and Americana.
Over the last two decades, Todd Burge, has played everything from Alternative Rock to Bluegrass, performing over 100 shows per year in venues as diverse as CBGB’s, The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Kennedy Center. Burge is a repeat guest on Public Radio’s Mountain Stage and has been called the “dean of WV songwriters, the best we have”, by the show’s host, Larry Groce.
East TN native Josh Oliver has spent the past five years as a side man, touring all over the United States, singing harmony, playing lead guitar and piano with the likes of the everybodyfields, Sam Quinn + Japan 10, and Jill Andrews. And now, with his debut album, Troubles, he's taking a stab at being out front. The album features both original and traditional material, including a unique take on Townes Van Zandt's, "White Freightliner Blues," and a mournful rendering of the Carter Family tune, "I Never Will Marry."
Goose Creek Symphony is considered by many to be one of the most original bands of their time. Major record labels (Capitol & Columbia) of the 60s/early 70s didn’t know what to do with a band that played a mixture of rock and roll, folk, jazz and country with an undeniable hillbilly influence, a hippie attitude and a reckless sense of instrumental daring. They used horns and fiddles as well as effects and blended it with psychedelic rock and roll. The true definition of "Cosmic American Music".
My journey started in 1992 when I fell in love with Guns N’ Roses after seeing Slash get up on the piano for the finale of “November Rain.” When I was 9, I decided I was either going to be a bank robber/surfer or play in a rock ‘n roll band. I’m not brave enough to ride the big waves and not radical enough to rob banks, so here I am with a guitar in my hand. I think my mother is very happy with that call.
Kellin Watson is a nationally-touring singer-songwriter, whose award-winning sound blends elements of blues, pop, folk, and soul. Hailing from Asheville, NC, Kellin draws on her Appalachian roots to bring both power and rawness to her music. With four albums out, Kellin's music is an ever-evolving collection of work rooted in soul, and folk that have brought her to where she is today.
At some point in the early stages of an artist’s career, there’s inevitably that defining moment—an ultimate test of one’s fortitude and willingness to gamble on a dream—that either sends said artist back to their day job, dejected, or provides the final mental push needed to become something greater…something glorious. For UK-born singer-songwriter Callaghan, that all-or-nothing proposition was manifested at 35,000 feet, in a flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
“I really have turned into a bit of gypsy, by accident,” reflects Eileen Rose, whose fifth album, Luna Turista, recorded with her band The Holy Wreck, is released on 5 October 2009 on Floating World Records. Although recorded in her adopted home town of Nashville, Tennessee, these songs have travelled all over the world. They're songs of experience, tanned and weathered, distressed and distilled, rained and shone upon. The album title itself comes from a particular moment of silvery magic the band experienced in Italy in the Summer of 2009, as Rose recalls.
Singer/songwriter Eileen Rose plays her own unique brand of Americana music. She has released 5 critically acclaimed albums, had songs featured in a Disney movie and several major television shows, and has toured with the likes of Ryan Adams, Judy Collins and The Jayhawks. Her richly melodic, starkly emotive songs and electrifying live shows have gained her a clutch of devoted fans across Europe and the US.
For nearly a decade, Off The Wagon has enjoyed playing bluegrass music for audiences in Nashville and beyond. Featuring a steady rotation of songs by both classic and lesser-known names in bluegrass, the band cut its teeth on the stage of the world-famous Station Inn (www.stationinn.com) and other local venues. Off The Wagon continues to grow and delight audiences with favorite bluegrass standards, deeper cuts, and original tunes that put the band’s unique stamp on the traditional bluegrass sound.
People always ask me what type of music I play. I find that question difficult to answer because I play it all, classical, bluegrass, Irish, country, rock. I’d rather tell people about the music I love because bluegrass music and bluegrass musicians are second to none. Just throw me into a bluegrass jam with the amazing Nashville pickers and I’m in heaven. But bluegrass, like me, is not all that easy to define because it is influenced by all genres of music.
With that opening line, Jason White invites us in and sets the confidential tone of his latest release The Longing. What gets White, and by extension, the characters that inhabit his rich song vignettes, through their days, is a desire for something beyond the current limits of their lives. They hunger after what’s beautiful, what’s real, and often, what’s nameless and unattainable. They dream of new beginnings. They struggle for answers. They reach for love and fall short, but never quite give up.
After signing to RCA in 1998, David Mead released a pair of critically-acclaimed records, The Luxury of Time and Mine and Yours. Honing a songwriting gift that embraces elements of Broadway, The Beatles, Prog and New Wave, Mead has since continued to release albums (Indiana, Wherever You Are, Tangerine, Almost and Always) full of “infectious melodies” (The Guardian) sung in a voice “honeyed and compelling” (Entertainment Weekly) while touring relentlessly over five continents, sharing the stage with the likes of Fountains of Wayne, Joe Jackson and Shelby Lynne. His music has enjoyed exposure in television and film, as well as praise from some unexpected admirers: “David Mead is one of my favorite singer-songwriters,” said John Mayer, and Taylor Swift recently covered his song “Nashville” in concert. In 2011, Mead’s fans rallied around him and raised over $20,000 to fund the recording of his new album, Dudes, a work of pure pleasure filled with humor, mystery, and emotional wallop.
Leigh Nash is perhaps best known as the pixie-like singer with the heavenly voice from Sixpence None the Richer, a CCM group that enjoyed considerable fame in 1999 with the single "Kiss Me." She had started the band at age 14 with schoolmate Matt Slocum. Nearly half her life later, at age 27, Sixpence None the Richer split, albeit on good terms. Before the band called it quits, Nash had often considered working solo, if and when she would be band-less. Though the end of Sixpence left her a little distraught, Nash realized it was time to move on, and she and her husband moved from Nashville to Los Angeles. Soon after, Nash gave birth to a son. She decided to return to her roots a little, which consisted of Christian and country music, though she remained in touch with her pop influences. Nash's original musical inspiration came from classic country heroines Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and Tanya Tucker -- whose songs she used to learn on guitar long before the Sixpence days.
Twelve years and nine albums on from their debut, DeMain and Felder are constantly renewing their approach to music-making, adding fresh instrumental flavors such as ukulele (“We’ve both gone crazy over the uke,” says Felder), and inviting several first-time collaborators into the mix.
Some songs are novels. Others are mantras. Some are soda pop and candy while others are bitter pills. Ryan Tanner’s songs are, for the most part, none of those. They’re photographs. Snapshots. A truthful, beautiful, sometimes sad, sometimes contented photographic approach to one scene, one moment. Tanner has been lauded for his “knack for turning words into images” (IN Utah) and “spare songs of love and roaming” (Salt Lake City Weekly) for good reason.
Pieta Brown is a striking poet-songwriter with a seductive voice and an unmistakable style. With one foot in her Iowa home and one in Alabama where she grew up, she is a mercurial sort--a free-spirited beauty who is both self-possessed and disarmingly unaffected. Not easily categorized, her music is a unique blend of alt-country, folk, blues and indie-rock that speaks to music fans around the world and has garnered rave reviews from the likes of the BBC and Boston Globe, as well as a variety of hip music blogs and indie radio stations. She was recently featured on Amos Lee’s new hit album Mission Bell along with Lucinda Williams and Willie Nelson and has toured with such diverse artists as Mark Knopfler, Ani Difranco, Calexico and John Prine.
John McEuen is a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which formed in August, 1966. They are now in their 45th year and have continually played over 7,500 shows and traveled 3 million miles to do it. They have performed on over 200 television shows. Solo John has done another 2,500+ shows.
Formed in Austin, WHEELER BROTHERS have emerged as one of the most exciting bands breaking out of Texas. The five-piece act composed of Austin natives combines the gutsy indie vibe of the modern central Texas music scene with the longing strains of time-honored Texas folk. Brothers Nolan, Tyler and Patrick Wheeler met Danny Matthews at LSU where they spent their afternoons picking guitars and swapping stories in the bar rooms of Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Pa’s Fiddle Project brings the great music of the Little House on the Prairie series to our ears again. There are 127 songs embedded in Laura’s books, music that she heard in her mind’s ear as she wrote and music she wanted her readers to know,
Alejandro Escovedo is one with his muse and his music. Over a lifetime spent traversing the bridge between words and melody, he has ranged over an emotional depth that embraces all forms of genre and presentation, a resolute voice that weathers the emotional terrain of our lives, its celebrations and despairs, landmines and blindsides and upheavals and beckoning distractions, in search for ultimate release and the healing truth of honesty. Sometimes it takes the form of barely contained rage, the rock of punk amid kneeled feedback; sometimes it caresses and soothes, a whispery harmony riding the air of a nightclub room, removed from amplification, within the audience.
The Flea Market Hustlers have been on a four-year quest for music, mayhem, and the perfect taco. The Hustlers' unique sound has continued to evolve, with the band playing festivals all over the Southeast, as well as weekly shows in their hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Their energetic, funky jam-grass style has cultivated an enthusiastic following.
Jen Jones (The Camaros) and Dave Willie (9 Parts Devil, Jet Black Factory, CPS) team up to create a genre busting vehicle for new songs and a stellar Nashville band. The Willies started writing songs together in '09. The goal was to combine Dave's punk rock influences, through the lyrics, with Jen's jazz inspired piano playing, and allow for a lethal dose of Louvin Bros. style harmonies.
Delta Moon’s music is a strong mix of personalities and sounds. A chance meeting in an Atlanta, GA music store brought the two founders, Tom Gray and Mark Johnson, together. Tom tried to sell Mark a Dobro out of the back of his van. Tom remembers the girl with Mark whispering, “Let’s get out of here.” Mark didn’t buy the guitar, but the two exchanged phone numbers and soon were playing together regularly in coffee shops and barbecue joints around Atlanta. Mark came up with the name Delta Moon after a pilgrimage to Muddy Waters’ cabin near Clarksdale, Mississippi.
The Dirty Bourbon River Show made their debut at the legendary Tipitina’s during homegrown night on March 11th, 2009. After picking up bassman Jimmy Williams that summer, they embarked upon their first regional tour of the south. The contagion of their whiskey-soaked New Orleans eclecticism began to spread fast. That fall they recorded their debut studio album, Volume One.
Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is a hard rock band that splits the difference between heavy metal and country music and swerves back and forth between the two while lyrically plowing the rich fields of Southern subject matter. Formed in Atlanta in 1986, the band was never recognized on a national level, but had a healthy, loyal following on college campuses throughout The South - with the largest fan base centering in Georgia , Alabama, North and South Carolina.
Even the best bands come and go but the Carpenter Ants have been around – with virtually the same lineup – for 25 years. The Ants have defied the odds and outlasted most of their peers for a number of reasons. First and foremost, after more than 2,000 performances, regardless of the occasion, the band never fails to have a good time – and that feeling is contagious.
Right out of rural Indiana comes The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band. This fingerpickin', scrubboard scratchin', drum-bucket country blues trio conjure up the likes of such greats as Son House and Charley Patton.
Jonathan Scales is a classically trained composer turned steel pan maestro who takes in influences from Igor Stravinsky to Kanye West and uses every element in between as a basis for his mind-bending compositions. Cody Wright’s technical yet melodic style on the bass pulls from masters Bobby Vega & Jaco Pastorius. His pick-style provides the harmonic foundation for Scales’ sound, while his solos leave audiences awestruck. Drummer Phill Bronson drives the Fourchestra’s time-shifting, modern grooves with a style stemming from his extensive background as a percussionist.
Now You See Them is most often described as a breath of fresh air. If they were around in the 50's and 60's they would be considered Pop. Today, the band falls somewhere between the Folk, Indie, and Americana genres. Featuring strong guy/girl harmonies, heavy percussion, compelling lyrics, and a barrage of traditional and unique instruments, Now You See Them's energy and sound gives listeners hints of old school Rilo Kiley, The Violent Femmes, Cake, and even The Strokes...all while borrowing from the musical themes of 50's and 60's Pop music.
I call it Ôself-help for hippies'," Mosier laughs of the music he's now creating with Blueground Undergrass. 'I try to speak to people as if they were just like me, because guess what? They are. I'm no different because I stand up and run my hand over a piece of wood. That's what Col. Bruce (Hampton) used to say, which, you know, in '88, was something I needed to hear."- Rev Jeff Mosier
Col. Bruce Hampton has been making music since he formed his first band in 1963. The Colonel has been in constant motion ever since leaving a trail of memorable live performances with his many bands, including The Late Bronze Age and Col. Bruce Hampton and The Aquarium Rescue Unit.
Kathy Mattea, the beloved, Grammy-winning singer of such classics as "18 Wheels and A Dozen Roses," "Where've You Been," and many other hits says that her new album offered her a "re-education" in singing. That album, COAL, is a re-education for the listener as well, a record that reshapes the way we think about music, reminding us of why we love it so much in the first place.
Guitarist and harmonica player Pat Bergeson has written, toured, and recorded with many of his musical heroes. Beginning at the University of Illinois in his home state, he moved on to New York City and picked up a Jazz Studies degree at William Patterson University. After playing in New York for ten years, he arrived in Nashville upon the request of Chet Atkins who heard Pat on a demo tape. Chet invited him to play on his album Sneakin' Around with Jerry Reed, and later featured Pat's guitar and compositions on his 1994 release Read My Licks. They were good friends and toured together for several years.
Alison Brown has achieved success in many areas: a Harvard graduate, record label co-founder and owner, mother, and, the role that most people know her in: banjo virtuoso. An internationally recognized musician with a wide-reaching and loyal fan base, Brown first came to national prominence when she was asked by Alison Krauss to join her band Union Station in 1989. Brown had already made a name for herself prior to that by performing extensively with fiddler Stuart Duncan, and on occasional pick-up sessions with artists such as Vince Gill, Byron Berline and John Hickman.
From an early age, Andrea Zonn was encouraged to explore her musical passions. The oldest child in a musical family, Zonn began to study the violin at age 5. She started fiddling at age 10, and traveled the contest circuit around the prairies of her native Illinois. At 14 she was accepted as a freshman violin major at the University of Illinois. Two years later, she transferred to Vanderbilt University in Nashville where she won numerous classical violin competitions and was awarded a fellowship to the prestigious Aspen Music Festival. That same year, she won the National Fiddle Championship in Winfield, KS.
If you happened to find yourself at a recent Carolina Story show, you quite possibly might have mistook your initial, first-glance impression of Ben and Emily Roberts as just another married musical couple that is happy to call Nashville their home. But if you took the time to listen closely to their earnest lyrics and melodic tones, and then met with them afterwards to hear the story behind their music and origins, then you more than likely found out firsthand that they are the genuine exception to the Music Row-mass produced rule. Carolina Story is the real deal; making their personal dreams real even without a record deal so far if you will … and they certainly have and will.
Marley's Ghost - a virtuoso aggregation composed of singer/multi-instrumentalists Dan Wheetman, Jon Wilcox, Mike Phelan, Ed Littlefield Jr. and Jerry Fletcher - celebrates its 25th anniversary with the scintillating roots-music tour de force Jubilee (Sage Arts, June 5).
Former guitarist with The Allman Brothers Band, Jack Pearson has been playing professionally since the age of 15. Although he may be best known as an A-list blues/rock lead and slide guitarist, Jack is also a soulful, creative songwriter, producer and artist in his own right.
Sol Driven Train's music weaves through genres like a Tom Robbins paragraph. The band's sonic schizophrenia absorbs American influences like Jon Prine and Paul Simon, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms into honest songs about life, love, loss, and long johns. The 5-piece band, based in Charleston, SC, features 4 rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings, and percussion.
Dave Eggar’s body of work is consistently greeted with superlatives and rave reviews. It’s a luxury not often enjoyed by an artist who records in diverse genres and performs live in multiple musical categories, seamlessly moving between each, be it Pop, Rock, Jazz, R&B, New Age, World or Classical music. His ability to effortlessly blur the lines between any musical style is truly unique. That's the magic of Dave Eggar.
PHB was on a roll and has continued to win over fans and rack up awards. In early 2006 the band went on the road full time, wowing audiences across the country with close 4-part harmonies and their dance around two tightly-spaced condenser mics. Packway Handle Band has emerged at the national forefront of bands that use a gather-around-the-mic style. Theirs is not a mission to preserve historical styles-- it's just how they do what they do the best.
Robin and Linda Williams are like your next-door neighbors - assuming your neighbors are the salt-of-the-earth and top-flight performers to boot. One minute you picture borrowing a cup of sugar from these two; the next, you're completely stunned by their jaw-dropping talent. Bottom line: You feel right at home at a Robin and Linda concert, and their music stays with you like an old friend.
Dylan expands…"for me music is about getting together with a group of people who feel like family - you create a bond, feeding off each other. Just a look or a hand gesture and they know what you’re talking about." Dylan's progress was natural, organic - learning the ropes as a young sideman helped define his own worldview and artistry through his teens.
Paste Magazine was dead-on when they called The Whiskey Gentry a “toe-tapping, steamrolling kind of band, its fingers picking deep into fields of bluegrass, feet stomping in line with a punk-inspired kick drum.” Formed in 2009 by husband and wife duo Lauren Staley and Jason Morrow, The Whiskey Gentry is a group of seasoned veterans—to put things mildly, some of the finest pickers and musicians the Southeast has to offer.
The Owsley Brothers showcase his darker punk & blues underbelly: pounding drums, soulful vocals, reverb drenched guitars and undeniably catchy hooks. Leaked tracks from Pure Lust have attracted much attention & glowing reviews of blog community stalwarts; Indie Rock Café, Review Stalker, Mad Mackerel, Faronheit & Sonic Masala.
As a youngster growing up in Tampa, Fla., Thad Cockrell didn’t have rock ‘n’ roll or country records around the house. His father was, and still is, a Baptist preacher, as are Cockrell’s two brothers. Thad’s first exposure to the pure country sound came from listening to Merle Haggard and George Jones on commercial radio. At home, there was always plenty of Southern gospel music.
Sarah & Christian Dugas - though these two Dugas siblings have made quite the sound waves each in their own right, you always know that when they are apart, it's only temporary. Sure enough, in 2007, their respective joining of the Canadian Juno-winning and Grammy-nominated, The Duhks, was staggered over a mere couple of seasons.
If you listen closely, you can hear a heartbeat in the songs of Erick Baker. A warm familiar pulse of love and loss echoing from somewhere just under the surface. Written with unguarded lyrical honesty, Erick's songs are passionate confessions that reflect many of our own deeply rooted emotions and secrets.
In 2012 the Blue Dogs, after 25 years of playing shows and releasing 9 CD's and 2 DVD's, continue to perform up to 100 shows a year, from clubs, festivals, and colleges to corporate events, private parties, and fundraisers---primarily in the southeast but still traveling wherever they are called, over the past few years to New York, DC and Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and of course Georgia and the Carolinas.
In 2002, Clay Ross embarked on a musical odyssey that brought him closer to home. The South Carolina native moved to New York to pursue a jazz career and several years later found himself in Recife, Brazil studying the region’s folkloric music. Along the way he rediscovered the straightforward songs of his native South.
Thanksgiving is the work of Pacific Northwest musician Adrian Orange who since his teen years has been recording and performing within the Phil Elverum, Kyle Field, Calvin Johnson social circle. His voice, a delicate unsure weeping call, sings existential songs which, on later albums, emphasize percussion. Earlier works emphasized simple guitar and (sometimes goofy) songwriting.
His name is Aubrey Ghent Jr. also known as Aj Ghent and J Wunder. He plays both lap and pedal steel guitar. Aj comes from a historical legacy of steel guitar players, its been said that the gift is just in his blood. It all starts with Aj's grandfather Henry Nelson. Henry introduced the cutting edge soul sound of the steel guitar in a historical penecostal African American church, which sparked an interest for hundreds of men and women in the organization and abroad to start playing.
Pete Huttlinger has become widely known as one of the most awe-inspiring acoustic guitar players in the world. His unique arrangements and spell-binding musicality and precision have entertained audiences from Los Angeles to Milan.
The Isaacs, a multi-award winning family group who began singing 30 years ago, are based out of LaFollette, TN (30 min north of Knoxville). The vocalists are Lily Isaacs, Ben Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman. Playing their own acoustic instruments and joined by other band members, The Isaacs have a unique style that blends tight, family harmony with contemporary acoustic instrumentation that appeals to a variety of audiences. Their musical influences immerge from all genres of music including bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk, and country, contemporary acoustic and southern gospel.
From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia comes one of bluegrass music's most honest voices in the genre's history, Junior Sisk. Over the years, his haunting, almost lonesome vocals have earned him the devotion of countless traditional bluegrass fans from all over the world. His songwriting talents helped the Lonesome River Band make their ascent into bluegrass stardom in the early 1990's and then he became a member of Wyatt Rice & Santa Cruz and ultimately Blueridge, again reaching new audiences that would eventually follow him on his own musical path.
Music has always played a central role in Ben’s life. His wit and skill as a singer-songwriter showcases an artist who is comfortable in both his own skin and with his impressive musical legacy. His acclaimed previous releases comprise his debut album 2003’s Famous Among The Barns, 2005’s Another Run Around The Sun, and 2008’s The Legend of Kung Folk, Part 1 (The Killing Bite). Highlights from his previous albums include appearances on Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, The CBS Early Show, Last Call with Carson Daly and Howard Stern.
Gibb Droll is the founder of the Gibb Droll Band and has played and or recorded with Brandi Carlile, Marc Broussard, Keller Williams, and Keller, Moseley, Droll, and Sipe (formerly WMDs). He has toured the world and appeared on Jay Leno, Conan OʼBrien, The CBS Morning Show, A&E, MTV, and VH1. His albums have sold over 50,000 records independently. Gibb has been acknowledged in Billboard Magazine and earned himself a spot in the Rolling Stone Reader's Top 20 Poll.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Less is more. Make it work with what you've got. 2 Guitars, a junkyard drum kit (harvested from an actual garbage heap- adorned with tambourines, flowers and kitchen rags), a handful of harmonicas, voices, and above all.. songs. Hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, Shovels & Rope prefer to keep it simple. They have cleverly managed to take 3 separate recording projects and combine them into 1 cohesive, folk rock, sloppy tonk, harmonized, loose but tight, streamlined audience killing machine.
Rod Picott is back with a beautifully crafted new solo CD. Picott's new cd, WELDING BURNS is a fully realized songwriting marvel with characters so vivid the songs play like intimate 3 minute noir movies. Pedal Steel guitars wind elegantly throughout the album while Picott's ragged and soulful voice spins songs of loss, desire, rapture and work. Welding Burns is an album about scars of the skin and of the heart as well. Three songs; Welding Burns, Black T-Shirt and Rust Belt Fields are co-written by Rod's longtime collaborator Slaid Cleaves.
Austin-based indie rock band Uncle Lucius is set to release its new studio album, “And You Are Me,” on August 28, 2012. Recorded in Austin and Nashville, “And You Are Me” finds Uncle Lucius stretching their musicianship and reeling in eleven songs that punch with a fullness reminiscent of The Doors to early Black Crowes. Uncle Lucius takes rock and roll from its deep roots, pushes it onward by putting their own honest interpretation of new rock sounds with elements of r&b and blues added. The band includes Kevin Galloway on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Hal Vorpahl on bass, Mike Carpenter on lead guitar and vocals, Josh Greco on drums and percussion and Jon Grossman on lead vocals, and keys. The first single and video for “Pocket Full of Misery” will be serviced to radio and video outlets shortly.
Tennessee fingerstyle guitarist and composer Bill Mize appeared with the emerging acoustic guitar movement in the 1980s, and has continued to develop a style and sense of taste that influences many of today's guitarists. Applauded by critics and guitar enthusiasts alike for his composition, tone, emotion and smoothly syncopated counterpoint, Bill is a past winner of The Winfield National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition at The Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Guitar Player Magazine has labeled this event the “U.S. Open of guitar competitions”.
It all started with a hairbrush. As a youngster, Etta Britt (born Melissa Prewitt) would spend hours at her bedroom mirror, belting out Supremes songs into her Stanley hairbrush. But the seasoned veteran, who has toured the world and shared a stage or recording studio with everyone from Engelbert Humperdinck to REO Speedwagon, didn’t want to be Diana Ross. Her ambition was to be Mary Wilson. Chances are you’ve heard her voice or seen her on TV in a background vocalist capacity. But, in spite of her modest ambition, the chance is even greater that when you hear Etta Britt sing front and center as a solo artist, relegating her to the background will pretty much be an impossible task. With what she calls a “cool groove record” — her first album for the Wrinkled Records label — Etta stakes her claim as one of the most versatile singers working today. She also happens to write a heart-piercing, soul-affirming tune from time to time. Think Bonnie Raitt meets John Hiatt.
In 2012, Jordie made his theatre debut starring in the Australia premier of ‘Grievous Angel: The Legend of Gram Parsons’ to rave reviews. He now returns to North America to showcase at Americana Music Festival, OCFF and to continue recording his third album with Tom Biller and renowned Drummer/Producer Matt Chamberlain (Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks, John Mayer). It is then back to Australia for a national tour supporting Billy Bragg, before releasing a new single and touring the country with a full band.
Altmann will finish 2012 with an extensive Australian tour in support of Nothing But Nice Things. He then will return to Nashville to embark on a 3-month songwriting residency funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, who selected Altmann as the first recipient of this new initiative. With a live album, studio album and European tour planned for 2013, Altmann is in the midst of the biggest creative output of his career.
Caitlin Harnett hails from Sydney, Australia but her songs evoke Laurel Canyon of the early 1970’s. They share the personal and poetic nature of Joni and Jackson Browne’s early songs, youthful in their outlook but with age-old concerns at their core. Caitlin is one of the youngest signings to Mushroom Music Publishing, Australia’s largest independent music publisher. She has been recognised overseas with an honourable mention in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) and 2nd place in the Billboard Song Contest (Americana category).
It takes an extraordinary artist to emerge on each new album with a fresh, original and dynamic sound — yet at the same time stay completely true to herself. But integrity is a vital part of Felicity Urquhart’s music as her new album shows. The album offers a collection of songs that reveal the many aspects of this remarkable singer and songwriter. The highly autobiographical “Girl in the Mall”, cowritten with Mark Seymour (of Hunters and Collectors fame), is both heartfelt and powerful, while the gentle “Landing Lights”, penned with ex-pat Aussie musician Jedd Hughes, touches the soul in the gentlest possible way.
The Church Sisters are Sarah and Savannah Church, twins who live in Danville VA. They were born in the coal mining area of Dickenson County. After residing in Haysi VA for a short while, they returned to Danville VA hometown of their mother Stephanie. They began their musical career in March of 2007 after winning a local talent competition on WAKG radio. The phone began ringing requesting them to appear at various places including, churches, theaters and festivals. Since winning the competition they have been busy traveling the United States and hope one day to tour Europe.
Billy Burnette is the epitome of a rock star – he exudes talent, good looks, and the rock star aura wherever he goes and understandably so, given his journey as a musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist. Born in Memphis, singer/songwriter/guitarist, Dorsey William Burnette III (aka Billy Burnette) spent most of his youth in the presence of father Dorsey and uncle Johnny (of the legendary Rock and Roll Trio). The Trio made the Rockabilly name famous by combining the name Billy and his cousin Rocky for the 1953 “Rockabilly Boogie” – thus making the term Rockabilly a household name.
Hailing from Bristol, VA, Annabelle’s Curse has moved beyond roots in traditional folk to create something truly different with a style all their own. The band started as the brainchild of Tim Kilbourne, Zack Edwards, and John Watson in the early months of 2010. From there, the rest is history...
King was born on October 14, 1964, in Baton Rouge. His father, Tabby Thomas, is a locally prominent bluesman who owned a club called Tabby's Blues Box, which opened in 1979 and closed in 2004 following Tabby’s retirement. As a result, King, started early toward his musical future; even as a youngster he was well known as Rockin' Tabby's son and a child genius. While frequenting his father's club he performed with the late Silas Hogan, Guitar Kelly and Clarence Edwards, three masters of swamp blues. By sixth grade, King was learning to play the trumpet and later traveling as a rhythm guitar player of famous musicians like Lowell Folsom and Joe Tex. As he matured in the musical setting of New Orleans area blues culture, King was encouraged to experiment and develop his own style. Because each blues musician had a unique playing and singing style, he was discouraged from singing others' songs or even playing the way they did. He told Lisa Simeone on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, "They would never sit me down and say, 'Well, this is how it goes.' They ... told me don't sing their songs ... 'Find your own song and sing that."
Lake Street Dive makes the most of pop music virtues: solid, evocative song craft; propulsive grooves; and Price’s disarming, forthright vocals. However, it’s a personal strain of pop that is refracted through the band members’ rich backgrounds: a sinewy Motown bass line is reborn with woody heft on Kearney’s upright, Calabrese’s drumming mixes timekeeping with more adventurous jazz-inflected outbursts, McDuck’s nimble trumpet is an unexpectedly warm counterpoint to Price’s singing. It all makes for a sound with familiar roots, but with a slant that is entirely their own. Lake Street Dive’s eventual artistic breakthrough came not without struggle, and still surprises original instigator Mike “McDuck” Olson. “Now we’re a pop band, leaning very heavily on soul and rock, with hook-y writing, which I never expected,” he concludes. “If I could travel through time, I’d go back six years and play the new record for my younger self, just to assure him that the awkward, new-band phase doesn’t last forever.”
Putumayo World Music was established in 1993 to introduce people to the music of the world’s cultures. The label grew out of the Putumayo clothing company, founded by Dan Storper in 1975 and sold in 1997. Co-founder Michael Kraus joined Storper to help launch Putumayo World Music. In the past eighteen years, the record label has become known primarily for its upbeat and melodic compilations of great international music characterized by the company’s motto: “guaranteed to make you feel good!”
The Black Cadillacs are a 6-piece rock and roll band, featuring 2 guitar players, bass, drums, keyboards and organ, and a stand-alone frontman. The Black Cadillacs have a diverse array of influences from classic bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Pink Floyd to more modern bands like My Morning Jacket, The Black Keys, and Jack White. Over the last 3 years they have been working hard honing their sound and live performance, and have made a name for themselves in the region. They just finished their second album, “Run”, and is set to be released under Young Giant Records on June 5th, 2012.
The Memphis Dawls are known as the crowning jewel of the Memphis folk scene. The core group is made up of three veteran musicians who have played with several successful local bands. Brought together by their similar tastes in melody and style, and maybe a slight nod from fate, Holly Cole (guitars, vocals) Jana Misener (cello, vocals), and Krista Wroten (viola, mandolin, accordion, vocals) deliver hauntingly romantic and lyrical folk music with a modern flare.
Jacob Jones has spent his entire life on the move and so between alt-country music and his GQ-approved KEEP ON MOVIN! Dance Party DJ sets, so pursuing a life of a troubadour wasn’t quite the stretch for him as it might be for others. Having lived in various Indiana, Kentucky and Georgia towns by the age of ten and spending a brief stint of time in New York City before recently making Nashville his home, Jones has been pursuing Americana rock ‘n roll in earnest for over half a decade now.
Born in Plymouth, Massachusetts but raised mostly in Northeastern Oklahoma, Tom was influenced early by the "3 Bs": Bob Wills (courtesy of his fiddle-playing grandpa), The Beatles (via his guitar-playing father), and the Baptist Hymnal (by way of his piano-playing mother.) As a result, he began playing fiddle at age 6, piano at age 9, and guitar as a teenager. Yarbrough began to take songwriting seriously while in college, and performed whenever he could in local coffee houses, churches, and living rooms.
A multi-instrumentalist, Supe and rock and roll entered adolescence at the same time-Supe describes himself as a 'sponge' in exploring the varied sounds of famed Gaslight Square in St. Louis-and out of the exposure to the vibrant music culture came a mind and soul dedicated to a wide variety of sounds and styles.
In a relatively short period of time, Della Mae has become a sensation in the music world. Commanding a powerful collective chemistry with vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talent to spare, the Boston-based combo mines time-honored elements to create music that's unmistakably fresh and contemporary. The group quickly won an enthusiastic following through their high-energy live performances at festivals around the country. The band expanded its reputation with their self-released first album, 2011's I Built This Heart, which won an impressive amount of attention for a D.I.Y. release.
It’s a fusion of traditional southern soul and funk-inspired power, all layered with furious harmonica lines that simultaneously tie the group together and threaten to tear it apart. As if the warm familiar melody of rootsy porch music has been plugged in and turned up, The Delta Saints are driving listeners from the comforting recline of their porch swings right to the edge of their seats.
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion isn’t just a music festival. It’s an infectious, three-day music experience, bursting with creative passion, electricity, and soul. Every third weekend in September, State Street in historic Downtown Bristol, TN/VA is amped to the beat of Appalachia’s past, present, and future. It digs down deep into the roots of traditional Appalachian sound and lifts its branches to new heights–and it all happens in the heart of The Birthplace of Country Music. It is, and isn’t, your Daddy’s country music. It’s hardly strictly bluegrass. It’s not a rock show, but it totally does. And if you’ve never been, you’ll never know how much.
Rayna Gellert grew up in a musical family, and has spent most of her life immersed in the sounds of rural stringband music, heartfelt gospel songs, and old ballads. After honing her fiddle skills playing at jam sessions and square dances, Rayna fell into a life of traveling and performing. Her fiddle albums are widely celebrated in the old-time music community, and she has recorded with a host of musicians in a variety of styles – including Robyn Hitchcock, Tyler Ramsey, Sara Watkins, Loudon Wainwright III, John Paul Jones, and Abigail Washburn. From 2003 through 2008, Rayna was a member of the acclaimed stringband Uncle Earl, with whom she released two albums on Rounder Records and toured like mad. These days she can be found on stage with Scott Miller, Toubab Krewe, or her father, Dan Gellert. She lives in Swannanoa, North Carolina.
Paul is a young man who began wailing straight out of the womb, and most folks would agree that he hasn’t stopped since. “Oh what a set of lungs that child has,” they’d say, “he must be destined for something special.” Not wishing to disappoint, and being a good young southern boy, Paul began singing in church, stretching those vocal cords with an eye toward becoming a man of the cloth. As it turns out, however, the cloth didn’t appreciate young Paul’s affinity for dirty jokes, Prince, and Tom Waits, and he was inclined to search elsewhere for co-conspirators.
A true country music giant, Bobby Bare scored nearly five dozen top 40 hits from 1962 to 1983. In a laconic vocal style that embraces both wry country wit and poignant folk storytelling, his literate, cross-cultural appeal has earned him the sobriquet "the Springsteen of country."
Reed Föehl's third solo record Once an Ocean pulls together the warm touch of country folk with the edgy honesty intrinsic to modern songwriting -- Foehl's landscape of lush tones and solid songs touches the raw truth of love and tragedy, without sinking into saccharine sentimentally or cold remove. Once an Ocean, originally released in 2009 to quiet regional acclaim, is being rereleased on Nov. 25th 2011 in anticipation of his fourth solo album that will drop in late Spring 2012.
Josh Farrow is an American singer/songwriter living and writing in the heart of Music City. Farrow uses his compelling, soulful voice to tell tales of the country life, ballads of the heartache of city life, and daunting visions of life on the road. Josh Farrow’s 2011 debut solo album "Southern Drag" is an excellent culmination of his refined writing styles. Not only does he blend contemporary styles of Folk and Blues with great homage to the classic elegant Country and Western sound, Josh Farrow continues to stand out in the popular wave of new-age tribute to rich American musical roots.
It was a dark night, like many before it in Memphis, Tennessee. Joshua Andrew Cosby walked home from rehearsal with his guitar, case-less, slung over his back. A local homeless man flagged him down, not for money but for a story. He explained to Cosby how he had written a song about his ex-wife Micey. There, on that dimly lit street occurred an exchange, two men playing each other songs of heartbreak and the ultimate sacrifice. Upon parting ways, this man revealed his name to be Star.
Though he’s a classically trained composer and award winning music jouranlist who performs regularly as a bass player with bluegrass artists Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Roland White and others, Jon Weisberger is probably best known these days as the first recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Songwriter of the Year award. Starting with his first song, written some 20 years ago, he has become one of the music’s most prolific and frequently recorded writers.
Cody is a folk-singer’s folk-singer and a poet’s poet. He was born and bred in Delavan IL, population 25, surrounded by the endless skies of the American Midwest. Before moving to Chicago in 2003, Cody tried his hand at sessions in Nashville and carefully hewed and tested his art in college town bars and honky-tonks around the Midwest. He now plays regularly in the city and it’s not uncommon to see whole rooms full of strangers erupt and sing along to the choruses of his songs on their first listen (I’ve seen it happen). Cody’s voice is powerful and gritty, emotionally piercing while subtly imbuing additional layers of meaning and poignancy in his lyrical delivery. His song-writing is deeply rooted in the American Folk tradition and all of its grit but with a post Dylan sense of wit, perspicacity and that certain savior-faire. He didn’t go to college but he drank all of their beer.
For more than 30 years, Jerry Joseph has been strapping on a guitar and chasing down truth, understanding and soul with a tenacity and resonant skill that mark him as a hard charging kindred spirit to Joe Strummer, Warren Zevon and Patti Smith. While not a household name or critic’s darling, Joseph is the archetypal musician’s musician, something resoundingly clear on his sweeping new double album, Happy Book. Captured with muscle and blood by Joseph’s longtime trio the Jackmormons, this latest chapter in his long, strange journey flows like glowing quicksilver through the modern psyche, where war and disaster wrestle with hope and faith and sometimes the best option is to sashay down to the local disco to mambo with the chicks with dicks just to remind one’s self that you’re never too old or too dead to learn a couple new tricks.
Singer/songwriter/musician BONNIE BISHOP's national debut release "FREE" (OCTOBER 9, 2012/Be Squared Records) was produced by Bonnie (with help from keyboard player/songwriter Jimmy Wallace) "FREE" and was recorded & mixed in Nashville, TN by John Painter at IHOF. Joining Bonnie (Lead, Harmonies and Acoustic Guitar) in the studio were Jimmy Wallace (piano/organ/clavinet), Steve Mackey (bass), Fred Eltringham (drums/percussion), Rob McNelley and Sam Hawksley (electric & acoustic guitars).
Born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised everywhere else, Mandi Rae grew up in a military family and embraced the challenges that a travelling childhood provided, as evidenced in her songwriting, her personality, and her ability to relate to just about anyone.
Nikki Reed and Paul McDonald are showing their love through song. The Twilight beauty and American Idol alum have released a 5-song EP, just weeks before the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. II. The album, titled The Best Part, is described as "a stunning collection of sparse and beautiful alt-country songs." The couple also has two tracks on the Breaking Dawn Pt. II soundtrack, and Reed, 24, even directed a music video for the song Now That I've Found You.
It all starts with a song, but for Julie Lee’s seventh album out March 6, it actually started with babies - not her babies, but the offspring of some of Nashville’s best musicians. As a longtime respected singer/songwriter, and Nashville being Nashville, Lee’s occasional side job of babysitting was for the likes of Kenny Vaughan (award winning guitarist for Marty Stuart, Lucinda Williams and more) and Mike Bub (Del McCoury Band). They continually offered their services if she would get out and play again, and thus The Baby Daddies were born at a live show in 2010, inspiring her to get back into the studio last year.
Southern girls have it so good, since they're usually beautiful, fun and have that irresistible drawl where they can tell you to fuck off and make it sound like you're getting an extra piece of pie, with ice cream on top. Throw in a little talent, maybe some long legs or soft curves, and you can kiss your composure goodbye. Then there's Jen Duke. With the voice of an Angel and the wiles of a Siren, she'll lure you in with buttery purrs and the distant memories of smoky shadows, dirt roads and honky tonks. It is the sound of country blues, mountain bluegrass and old-time gospel, of sorrow and hope, righteousness and redemption. She sings the songs of a Southern girl who is complicated and messy, simple and plain-spoken, sacred and profane.
Whether one calls it kismet or destiny, some things are just meant to be, like The Danberrys. Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry both began to learn music around the age of ten and later joined talents when they met in high school in 1997. They dated through their first two years of college and then after four years, Dorothy and Ben went their separate ways. Five years later they realized they never should have never parted. They were married in October 2006.
Imagine a perfect blend of Nashville and Vaudeville, incorporating sensibilities from Music City with Radio City, and you'll find the dynamic female-fronted Americana group, Grace Adele & The Grand Band. With a distinct vintage style, Grace Adele sets her stage with traditional American roots drawn from classic country, western swing, bluegrass, folk, and contemporary indie rock.
Burlap and opals. Moonshine and macrobiotics. Shaken and soothed. How Suzanne Santo (vocals/banjo/violin) and Ben Jaffe (vocals/guitar) managed to reconcile not just polemics, but seemingly opposed realities for their sexually tinged, bruised knee honeysuckle take on roots music has to be heard to be understood.
Ed Snodderly has dedicated his life to the arts and is a well-respected musician, writer, actor and owner of one of the country’s longest running music venues. Ed’s low-key personal demeanor belies a wealth of accomplishment and talent that distinguishes Ed in the world of Southern-roots based music.
In 1948, Hank Williams Sr. was asked how he decided to start making country music. He responded by saying, “I don’t know what you mean by country music. I just make music the way I know how.” What he created is what felt right and what came natural to him. 63 years later, his attitude towards music reflects that of certain musicians today. Banditos, a six piece band from Birmingham, Alabama, is a perfect example of this; following in Hank Sr.’s footsteps with their “I do what I want” honky tonk attitude, Banditos create raw and gritty southern music that will get anyone and everyone stompin’ their feet.
Mixing a relaxed, seventies country rock vibe with sweeping, breathy vocals that fall somewhere between Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star), Colvin creates an inviting sound that is both reminding and refreshing. Not content to use her early influences as simply a destination point, she showcases her creative momentum with the melodic shuffle of “Holding Steady,” the quiet heartbreak of “The Staying Kind” and the banjo-fueled pulse of “Pocket Change.”
Many people play roots music, but few modern musicians live those roots like Minnesota's Charlie Parr. Recording since the earliest days of the 21st century, Parr's heartfelt and plaintive original folk blues and traditional spirituals don't strive for authenticity: They are authentic.
Adam Pope is a young old soul and it’s reflected In his craft. A Winston-Salem, NC native, Adam always had a fondness for gospel, country, and roots music. Adam's show is likened to the rockin’ spirit of the old Sun Records troupes mixed with the sounds of the torch carrying country music icons such as Alan Jackson and Randy Travis.
For the self-produced A Gentle Man, McGaha assembled a crew of players he felt would be best suited to create that “cozy” atmosphere: guitarist Andre Reiss, bass player Roger Spencer, drummer Marcus Finnie, viola player Kristin Wilkinson, cellist Kristin Cassell and violinists David Davidson and David Angell. Jeff Steinberg played piano and wrote the arrangements. “I try to choose musicians like Duke Ellington did, each one for his or her own individual character,” McGaha says. “There are certain cats that have different sounds, so I think about who I want in each chair.”
Antonia began playing in various NYC clubs before she was even old enough to get in. When she was still a teenager, she booked herself at historic venues like The Bitter End, CBGB’s, The Cornelia Street Cafe, and Kenny’s Castaways. “I remember getting a fake ID on McDougal Street so I could get into clubs and play my music. I’m sure the bookers and bouncers could tell, but they looked the other way so long as you brought in business.”
A formidable combination of passion, ambition, innovation, and talent, Christian Sedelmyer exemplifies a new generation of musicians. A five-string fiddle player who is influenced in equal part by Neil Young and Stuart Duncan, Christian’s unique and progressive improvisational ideas, technical facility, and ardent musicianship have garnered him a strong reputation in Nashville, where he now makes his home.
Rachel Baiman is a fiddle player, singer, and composer based out of Nashville, TN. Specializing in Old Time, Bluegrass, Scottish, and Folk music, her interests are diverse and range from the oldest fiddle traditions to the most innovative of collaborations.
Rachael Hester is a second-generation musician with a passion for traditional music that comes through in both her singing and her writing. Fully submerged in the Nashville music scene as a child and raised in the outskirts of Nashville, her roots in country music are as authentic as they come. Influenced by the classic country and western swing artists she grew up around and the 60’s and 70’s folk music she fell in love with at a young age, her music has a wide range of traditional sounds tied together by her unique, pure voice. Her debut album “Only Time Will Tell” is a project proudly produced and co-written by her father and Nashville fiddle player Hoot Hester.
James House had found success penning hits for major country, rock and pop artists, but in 2009 he decided it was time to make an album that draws from his passion for blues, alt county and rock.
Leon Russell is a music legend and perhaps the most accomplished and versatile musician in the history of rock 'n roll. In his distinguished and unique 50 year career, he has played on, arranged, written and/or produced some of the best records in popular music.
Pat Flynn is a well known name, in one way or another, to music fans all over the world. You may recognize him as a member of a groundbreaking musical group, New Grass Revival, or a first-call Nashville recording session player, or a producer, songwriter, and artist. One thing is for sure: in the last couple of years, Pat has found a way to combine all of these talents and showcase them for you on his latest CD releases.
Brian Ashley Jones is a soulful singer, accomplished guitarist, and versatile Americana songwriter whose compositions have been placed in film and television and recorded by a variety of other performing artists. Jones' songs find influence in the guitar-driven Country, Blues and Bluegrass that he absorbed in his hometown, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Brian performs internationally at festivals and concert series and leads seminars for music education programs, music business conferences, and NSAI chapters around the USA.
With a sound from various influences of blues music, the WTM Blues Band is an anomaly in the blues music scene. With each album the group gravitates closer to the classic sounds that inspired them to learn their craft. What's old is new again!
Jamelle and Brandon Fraley have been making music together as long as they’ve been married. While attending Belmont University, these two vocal majors quickly became each other’s biggest fans, but they also started making an impression on Nashville before they even graduated. Brandon’s early songwriting and producing caught the eye of Mike Doyle (VP of Major Bob Music) who helped him sign his first songwriting deal with Sony Music Publishing right out of college. It didn’t take long for Jamelle to be noticed either. Before graduating, her voice caught the ear of Grammy Award winning writer/producer Tommy Sims (Garth Brooks, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow) and she began working with him in the studio on his records.
In the very house that once belonged to Hank Williams Sr, a new musical spirit has risen up with an entirely new sound. Roots of a Rebellion’s unique and diverse music has recently began to demand a shift of attention in Nashville, a town practically defined by country music. As an emerging reggae rock band, they have quickly proven themselves by capturing the hearts and ears of fans everywhere. They have been fortunate enough to share the stage with such notable acts as The Wailers, Iration, Zach Deputy, Passafire, The Movement, Mike Pinto and Ashes of Babylon.
Vickie Vaughn started singing when she was knee-high to a grasshopper. At the age of 9, she was hired as a background vocalist at the Kentucky Opry in Draffenville, KY, where she grew to love Classic Country and Bluegrass. At sixteen she challenged herself to learn stand-up bass and after graduating high school she moved to Nashville, TN to study Commercial Voice at Belmont University. In 2010 she released her 4-song EP, which features acclaimed pickers and longtime friends Josh Williams and Clayton Campbell performing three Vickie Vaughn originals and Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind.” Touring fulltime, Vickie plays bass and sings with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike and HanaLena, but she still finds time to pursue her solo career with her best friends:
It’s called ‘chemistry’, an elusive quality that can be part history, part mystery and all intangible until the moment that you feel it. It’s a meant-to-be melding of the emotional and creative that can happen between songwriters, performers, best friends or life partners. For Josh and Nicole Johnson – the duo Elenowen – that connection is all of the above and much more. And on their self-titled EP, the chemistry they share is as rare – and real – as it gets.
2011 was a big year for up and coming country singer/songwriter JOSH MIRENDA, as this Pre-Dental student began to spend more time with his guitar and the chance to break his way into the country music industry. Having spent much of his childhood in the studio with his aunt, Nashville singer Gina Dylon and legendary manager Hazel Smith, Josh developed a love for country music and the art of writing at a young age. He was only five when Smith introduced him to revered vocal coach Rene Grant Williams, who instantly agreed to take him on as a student, impressed with his range of natural talent at such a young age. Before long, Josh had gotten his hands on a guitar and had taught himself how to play, sparking a life-long love for writing.
Andrew Duhon began writing in high school spurred on by a fascination with the literary works of Emerson and Thoreau as well as poets Walt Whitman and Robert Frost. During the summer of '04 Andrew worked and lived at an old retreat house on the outskirts of the French Quarter. It was then that he fell in love with the character of New Orleans. A year later hurricane Katrina left the city and his former French Quarter home crippled. The blues that he had found in the French Quarter rang true as he continued to write. The honesty in Andrew Duhon's songwriting is a result of the self-realization that he has found through his writing. His music and performances reflect his personal perspective in a very real way, and his voice leaves no gaps in the experience as he sings with a conviction all too befitting of his raw, personal writings.
Louisiana singer/songwriter Benjy Davis formed the Benjy Davis Project as a folk-rock duo in Baton Rouge in 2001. Originally, the group's only members were Davis and drummer Mic Capdevielle, although the outfit eventually expanded into a six-piece with the addition of Anthony Rushing (violin, mandolin, vocals), Jonathan Lawhun (guitar, banjo), Brett Bolden (bass; later replaced by Matt Rusnak), and Michael Galasso (harmonica, keyboards, vocals). The Benjy Davis Project built up a following while touring nationally as a support act to John Mayer, Better Than Ezra, and the North Mississippi Allstars, as well as playing such prominent local shows as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The group self-released its first album, More Than Local, in 2002, followed two years later by the Practice Sessions EP. The local label Bogalusa issued their second full-length album, 2005's The Angie House, and Real Records stepped in to handle their third, Dust, which appeared in September 2007.
Luella and the Sun, one of Nashville, TN’s must see emerging acts defies any singular description. Music Connection Magazine described them in geographic terms as “feverish, bluesy jungle territory.” Regardless of how they are characterized, one certain thing is that their sound ignites a soulful blend of blues-hop, gospel and rock, merging a fearless sense of abandon and equal parts restraint. The band deftly works as a unit and every note has purpose, combining minimalist attitude with raw emotion - and even in their most unguarded moments, there's a smoldering vulnerability that's unquestionably mesmerizing. Quickly capturing the attention of the music community, Luella and the Sun is a band that you do not want to miss.
Over those years they have established themselves as one of the most important live acts to play traditional Irish music in Ireland and on the World stage. The Boston Globe has described them as “The hottest group in the Celtic realm!” Altan have toured all over the USA and Europe. They also enjoy popularity in Japan where they frequently tour and have hosted Altan festivals in the middle of Tokyo to thousands of enthusiastic fans.
2013 has been an explosive year for Nashville sextet Alanna Royale and with the speed of a runaway train; they show no signs of stopping. On August 14th, 2012 Alanna Royale arrived at The Basement in Nashville to play their first show without even a demo in hand and left that night with a room full of fans. After that first electric show, the word was out and Nashville was ready to embrace them with open arms. With a bombastic live performance, a handful of performances, and a growing fan base, Royale’s reputation continued to spread without even one recorded song. It was five months later in January 2013 when they released their debut EP Bless Her Heart at a sold out show and confirmed everyone’s suspicions that they were ready for something bigger.
Known primarily as the rhythm guitarist and vocalist on Ted Nugent's early (and best) solo albums, Derek St. Holmes has also subsequently lent his talents to recordings by other artists and by the dawn of the 21st century, finally launched his own solo career.
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Keller Williams is literally a one-man jam band. His fascinating live shows feature him solo on-stage with a Gibson Echoplex Digital Pro looping unit, and he creates his backing loops in the moment, building and improvising as he goes on his custom-made ten-string guitar, and thanks to his equally as quirky, upbeat, and semi-surreal songs (which he frequently weaves into extended, half-improvised medleys) and his warm, friendly tenor singing voice, Williams is an utterly unique performer whose musical eccentricities don't keep him from being immediately accessible.
The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road—and online—entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music.
The Saint Johns may be brand new, but Florida natives Louis Johnson and Jordan Meredith have been hard at work crafting their signature sound for close to five years. Formally known as "Augustine", Louis and Jordan have decided to leave name confusion behind them and start fresh with a new name while maintaining the haunting, harmonic melodies for which they are known.
These days you never know if the ringing in Joe Mullins’ ears is that of his banjo or a phone call requesting a performance by his new band, the Radio Ramblers. Mullins owns and operates Classic Country Radio, a network of three southwest Ohio radio stations featuring Classic Country, Bluegrass and Gospel music. The Radio Ramblers, a collaboration of veteran Bluegrass musicians who have worked with one another during former musical endeavors, formed in 2006 for the primary purpose of performing at Classic Country Radio promotions. However, due to the level of their professionalism and talent, the requests for performances by the Radio Ramblers has grown, thus expanding their schedule to include shows at area music venues, benefits, and festivals. It cannot be left unacknowledged that camaraderie and inherent passion for Bluegrass music within this band has had a profound impact on the quality of their stage presence and ultimate demand. The Radio Ramblers have become a welcomed addition to the southwest Ohio Bluegrass music scene.
Andrew Leahey spent most of 2012 on the road, driving the 600 miles between his adopted hometown of Nashville and his native Richmond, Virginia. The trips were long, taking him over the Smoky Mountains, across the Appalachians and through a handful of cities. He passed the time by listening to several albums on repeat — Whiskeytown’s Strangers Almanac, Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ Live Anthology, Drive-By Truckers’ Brighter Than Creation’s Dark – and filing away ideas for his own songs. Those ideas, inspired by the rock & roll coming from Leahey’s stereo and the landscape unfolding outside his car window, became the songs on Andrew Leahey & the Homestead’s new EP, Summer Sleeves.
They draw freely from the old school and the old world, but The Waybacks are no throwback. They've been erroneously pigeonholed as a bluegrass band and celebrated as purveyors of "acoustic mayhem." They are as uninhibited and unpredictable as the eclectic San Francisco Bay area that claims them, and for nearly a decade, their experiments have always proven sharp-witted and musically dazzling. They're living proof that in music anyway, evolution and intelligent design are entirely compatible. "The whole spirit of improvisation – that's always been the cornerstone of this band for me," says founding singer, songwriter and guitarist James Nash. "Through all the stylistic changes and regardless of the instruments we're playing, to me the fun of this band has always been that in some ways I can do whatever I feel like doing at any moment."
Simply stated, Striking Matches, made up of Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis, came to Nashville to play music. Sarah, a Philadelphia native and Justin from Atlanta met when a professor at Belmont University paired them at random to play for a classroom full of guitar majors. Consequently, their first performance was the first time they had ever played together. The pair has been writing and performing ever since. Their influences range from Jerry Reed to the Beatles, John Mayer to Patsy Cline, and back again. It becomes more obvious every day that they were born to play music together. Their debut self-titled EP was produced by Luke Wooten (Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch) and was all co-written by the band. It was released in October of 2012. Career highlights include their December 2012 debut on the Grand Ole Opry and placement of their songs "When The Right One Comes Along" and “Hangin’ On A Lie” on ABC's hit show "Nashville."
Drawing from the very foundations of country and rock, Little Bandit manages to discover new and adventurous musical territory. The band tackles classic themes with both sincerity and fresh wit, with the help of band leader Alex Caress, whose songwriting will "make you weep openly in your whiskey."(Nashville Scene)
In 2006, when USA Today predicted that Aoife O’Donovan would soon become “the newest darling of the Americana set,” it had already been true for quite some time. Called “a vocalist of unerring instinct” by the New York Times, Aoife is one of the most sought after singers in the roots music field. Her work as the lead singer and co-founder of stringband Crooked Still put her on the map in 2001, and she has collaborated with a variety of musicians across genres since. Aoife’s crystalline voice can be heard on the Grammy nominated album The Goat Rodeo Sessions, alongside icons such as Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Stuart Duncan, and Chris Thile. She’s also appeared as a guest vocalist with folks such as Ollabelle, Dave Douglas, Solas, Noam Pikelny, Joshua Radin, and Kate Rusby, among others. Fans of Alison Krauss may be familiar with Aoife’s unique songwriting–Krauss recorded Aoife’s song “Lay My Burden Down” on her 2011 album Paper Airplane. Aoife recently signed to Yep-Roc Records and will release her debut solo album, produced by Tucker Martine, in June 2013.
Peter Cooper is an East Nashville-based singer, songwriter, touring artist, sideman, producer, college professor, and award-winning journalist. His first solo album, Mission Door, released in 2008 received critical acclaim as have his two albums with duo partner Eric Brace and his most recent solo project, The Lloyd Green Album. He is a Grammy-nominated producer for the acclaimed 2011 release I Love: Tom T. Hall's Songs of Fox Hollow.
Johnnyswim is a compelling amalgam of soul, folk, pop and blues rooted in the eclectic enclaves of Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York City. Like melody is to harmony, the voices of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano Ramirez are uniquely symbiotic. The singer/songwriters hail from Los Angeles, California and spend most of their time writing, recording and performing their tunes. If they’re not doing that, the self-proclaimed “foodies” can probably be found eating too much. They are the stylistic cousin to Lauryn Hill, John Legend, and Corinne Bailey Rae, yet wholly original and distinct from any other artist or band.
Part of the key to Holly Williams’ success as a singer-songwriter is that it’s never been her mission to try and live up to the legacy cast by her famous and prolific father and grandfather – Hank Jr. and Sr., respectively – nor has she spent a lot of time trying to live it down. The respect that Holly has garnered as an artist over the course of many years spent building an international fan base, and the release of two acclaimed albums, 2004’s The Ones We Never Knew (Universal South) and 2009’s Here With Me (Mercury Records), has come on her own terms, based on her own sound. Indeed, to paraphrase Freud, sometimes a last name is just a last name.
The Mavericks are back. The country-steeped garage band with a Cuban American lead singer that had emerged from Miami in 1989 with their sultry debut that was equal parts innocence, intensity, and vintage influences has reunited in 2012 after an eight-year hiatus. Time has a way of melting when you're busy living life – and two decades have passed since their polyrhythmic brand of post-modern country has given the world "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down," "Here Comes The Rain," and "Dance The Night Away."
Annie and the Hot Club in homage to the Hot Club genre (Django-Reinhardt gypsy-swing) bring fiery guitar and violin soloing on repertoire from the 1930's and 40's such as Honeysuckle Rose and Sweet Georgia Brown…and to top it off, the perky storyteller and hard-swinging singer, Annie. Nashville native vocalist Annie Sellick was voted Best Jazz Artist by readers of the Nashville Scene five years in a row, and has since toured all over the world and performed and/or recorded with many of her musical heroes including Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing, Tommy Emmanuel and jazz organ royalty Joey DeFrancesco.
Led by Nashville-based composer/saxophonist Rahsaan Barber, Everyday Magic is a quintet devoted to the performance of exceptional modern jazz. The band's debut CD, released in September of 2011 under Rahsaan's name, also entitled "Everyday Magic," has received oustanding critical acclaim as well as strong radio play across the country. The album was selected an Editor's Pick by Downbeat Magazine upon its release in September of 2011.
Over 130 years of combined talent make-up the Jim Skinner Wall to Wall Rhythm and Blues Band. We are a dance band that feeds off audience participation. We will keep you dancing all night from beginning to end. We are always adding new material and every show is unique, exciting, and overwhelmingly entertaining. Jim Skinner, the main vocalist, has traveled the country and has performed in venues in places such as San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, and New Orleans. He had his own band on Bourbon Street for three years and has now landed in Southern Illinois. Born in Chicago, family from Mississippi, Jim Skinner has blues flowing through his veins. Jims current band consists of Luthor Stuthers, rhythm guitarist, guitarist Dave Parrish, bass player Charlie Ryan, drummer Charlie Morrel, and lead vocalist/front-man, Jim Skinner.
Annie Lynch began her love of live music while eavesdropping on the Cape Cod Little Fiddlers’ painstakingly squeaky rehearsal in the gym of her elementary school en route to after-school pickup. This was music to her ears. The sound of their little uneven bows on the cheap instruments might as well have been that of a world-class orchestra. She begged her parents for a violin, a wish they were pleased to grant, and screeched her way through five years of Suzuki lessons until she discovered the music of Joni Mitchell and began to sing. Guitar followed singing, writing followed guitar, and by the time Annie was fourteen, creating and performing songs had seemingly become a vital necessity to her coming of age. Her love of bowed instruments would continue though, thankfully, her violin has not since been publicly unearthed.
Many images come to mind when you hear about a kid setting up a drum kit and a mirror in the basement of his parent’s house. Attempting to keep time with The Meters, playing Cissy Strut, over and over again, until he gets it right. Loving, long suffering parents without ear plugs would be a bit of an understatement, but that’s how Casey Wasner learned to play along with several other instruments, while developing his ear and defining his voice. Self taught, determined and passionate about creating music, Casey writes and records what he feels. Clearly the true definition of a musician surrounded by music growing up.
Patterson cites Neil Young and country-rock pioneers Poco and the Flying Burrito Brothers as his early influences, as well as soul stalwarts such as Sam and Dave, The Temptations, and Marvin Gaye. The music on I Must Be Dreaming has been compared to John Hiatt, The Band (whose song “Sleeping” he lovingly covers), and Josh Ritter.
Elise Testone has appeared on national TV and done interviews with Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno, and Anderson Cooper not to mention being a finalist on American Idol’s 11th Season. She received heartfelt accolades from Stevie Nicks and Steven Tyler on her abilities and talent…..she even got to shake hands with President Bill Clinton in the whirlwind that has been her life recently.
The first conception of Black Jake & the Carnies arrived on Halloween night in 2002, though it would take Black Jake years of tinkering with sound and lineup before the band was to discover its distinctive "crabgrass" sound. Led by Jake Zettelmaier on vocals and banjo, his Carnies are Gus Wallace (the sole surviving Carnie from the initial Halloween gig) on fiddle, "Jumpin'" Joe Cooter on bass, Zach Pollock on mandolin, J.C. Miller on accordion, and Billy "Kingpin" Lalonde on drums and washboard. Pollock, Miller, and Lalonde also offer backing vocals and various hoots, hollers, and shouts.
John England & the Western Swingers is a six piece band based in Nashville, TN, which plays the lively, happy music called Western Swing. Western Swing originally developed in Texas and Oklahoma during the 1930's. With fiddle, steel guitar, piano, electric guitar, bass, and drums, it's music for dancing and listening, and combines the down-home quality of country music with the sophistication and improvisation of hot jazz.
It was once said that James Wallace is the kind of guy you'd want on your side if you ever got into a music fight in prison. He'd probably tell you that too, just to clarify his position on not getting into a real fight in prison. That said, his penchant for dark and clever wordplay above eerily-cheery melodies, begs there may be a few twisted stories from his past that we've yet to hear.
Old Man Luedecke isn’t afraid to put his neck on the line. His latest album, Tender Is The Night, goes beyond his beloved solo, banjo-driven folk tunes. Driving a Nashville band from beginning to end with his recognizable voice, this is an artist honing his cunning lyrical flair – tenderly pushing the boundaries of his storytelling with his unique mix of folk, bluegrass and pop hooks.
Now these boy will take you through the hills of ol’ kentucky, bearing the stores, traditions and liquor that date back a century. This old-time band delivers with an intensity that would knock the sock right off of their forefathers feet.
Wade wrote songs for country legends Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, George Jones and Hank Williams Jr. He embarked on a solo career with the promotional assistance of his cousin, actor Johnny Knoxville, who occasionally featured Wade’s music on his TV show Jackass. During a 2003 appearance on the Howard Stern radio show, Knoxville promoted his cousin’s songs, which were favorably received by Stern and his audience and given frequent airplay thereafter. Wade has released 2 albums, All Likkered Up and Stoned Traveler, on Knoxville’s record label.
Featuring Felix Pastorius (of the Yellowjackets), Bill Fanning, Chris Walters, and very special guest Roy “Futureman” Wooten (of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones) Jeff Coffin is an internationally recognized saxophonist, bandleader, composer and educator and has been traveling the globe since the late 20th Century. He is a 3x Grammy Award winner from Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and played with them from 1997-2010. In July 2008, Jeff began touring with Dave Matthews Band, and officially joined the group in 2009 following the tragic passing of founding member LeRoi Moore. When not on the road with DMB, Coffin fronts his own group, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet.
Kenny Roby’s life in music has gone from a musical journey to an odyssey, an intellectual and spiritual quest in which he has explored a wide array of musical styles and genres, absorbing them all and incorporating them into his art. Charting the continuum of that journey takes us to “Memories & Birds,” Roby’s latest album, an ambitious vision of a Southern past littered with provocative characters and the dark and forboding places they inhabit.
The Amigos Band (formerly The Tres Amigos) is a quintessential American folk band with a sound and style all their own. They have appeared in recent performances with Pete Seeger, David Amram, New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and bluegrass legend Tony Rice. They recently gave a sold-out performance at New York City’s Lincoln Center and completed a successful residency at the famed Lower East Side club, The Living Room. The Amigos were chosen to appear in the premier showcase at the 2012 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference and are featured on the first American Folk Art Museum album.
The Chapin Sisters' second full length, Two, combined lush keyboards, pulsing rhythms, electric guitars, and bare acoustic tones to layers of vocals that range from deep and guttural to watery and ethereal. The songs were recorded in the woods in rural New Jersey, and the sounds of crickets and tree-frogs creep in at the beginning of “Digging a Hole” (a video for this song was directed by LA artist/videographer Aran Mann). The landscape is hinted at throughout the album; “new tracks like I Can Feel, Paradise, and Sweet Light are pastoral yet eerie, as the duo’s searing voices echo through the woods like melancholic ghosts.” (”Falling” James Moreland - LA Weekly).
In the digital age we live in, music is still the one thing that can grip and infect us with raw energy and emotional passion that we can't easily find in our modern, static society. Songs of the Fall, comprised of Stetson Adkisson and Cia Cherryholmes, is a Nashville based Americana duo with a love of music and communicating it to people on a very personal, relatable level.
Trends and styles may change in music, but there are just some things that are timeless…like songwriting from the heart with ear-catching melodies and rich harmony vocals. The team of David Beck (a stage name as his real name is David Whitbeck) and Paul Cauthen has created Sons of Fathers, a band with a soaring, original sound that belies their young age. They have been compared to the Avett Brothers, The Byrds, and The Everly Brothers, albeit with an infusion of Texas grease.
"Mandolin Orange carries an understanding of tradition and shape it into a thing of beauty. They craft simple songs that go beyond chord progressions and vocal harmonies, leading somehow toward something pure. Using acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and a hand-me-down fiddle, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz allure with a heart-worn sensibility. Last year's Haste Make/ Hard Hearted Stanger combines bluegrass, rock and country for lullabies that swoon." —Ashleigh Phillips, Independent Weekly
Cereus Bright finds its muse—and its name—from the Cereus flower: a white desert flower that blooms only at night. Just as this flower grows in the most desolate of settings, so does art draw its beauty from brokenness and heartache. In their lyrics and melodies, Cereus Bright aims to embrace life as both messy and beautiful.
New Country Rehab cuts through the clutter of watered-down musical imitations with a modern, high-voltage, alt-country sound. Combining sharp innovation and a deep respect and knowledge of timeless musical themes and motifs, New Country Rehab’s powerful music is full of love, loss, longing and joy. They are ”more Arcade Fire than Lady Antebellum…like Canada’s answer to the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons,” Nigel Williamson, UNCUT.
So far, this the only description that nearly fits Strung Like A Horse. Their acoustic driven sound fires people off to the darker areas of this strange universe. These unique individuals and their music is like a hellbender found under a rock; not hard to find, but damn hard to get a grasp on.
They never look the same at the end of their set; a pair of hip horn-rimmed glasses breaks in half, buttons become undone, and their once slicked-back hair is simply not anymore. But they wouldn’t be themselves if it were any other way; they thrive when they render themselves void of energy, and humbly hope it rubs off on the kids in the crowd, too. They are Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes. To see them live is to experience the crux of who they are: A high-energy indie rock band dead set on producing the best live sound they know how.
The Kansas Bible Company came into being during the dog days of summer 2008 at Goshen College in Goshen, In. A band of boys congregated in the garage of Vita House, "life house", and began playing rock and roll music. Through encounters with aliens, Bible thumpers, holy rollers, cigarette machines, Teenage Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the KBC, as they have come to be known, have stretched the boundaries of space and time.
In 2008, Sarah Potenza & The Tall Boys released their debut album, "Shiny & New", a powerful collection of original songs that drew attention from venues and festival producers nationwide. Within that year, the band was performing at festivals and sharing bills with acts like Joss Stone, Bonnie Raitt and the legendary Stevie Wonder. In 2010, the group released its second full-length album, "A Lifetime Worth of Sin". A collection of Americana music, derived from blues, bluegrass, and alternative-country, all songs were written and produced by Sarah and the band, with the exception of one cover of Lucinda Williams. This CD features a talented list of notable guest musicians from such groups as The Hen House Prowlers, The Hoyle Brothers, and The Congregation. To capture a warmer and more authentic sound, the entire album was recorded on two inch analogue tape with a Studer track tape machine at Strobe Recording Studio in Humbolt Park, Chicago.
Nick Nixon is one of those amazing artists that rarely surface today. This velvet voiced singer was born and raised in Nashville, TN, and was part of the thriving Jefferson Street blues scene of the 60′s. Nick was a Chess Records recording artist in the 70′s, and is a key figure in the reviving Nashville blues scene today. His latest, soon to be released CD was recorded with guitarist/bandleader “Andy T” Talamantez (Guitar Shorty, Smokey Wilson), and produced by Anson Funderburgh. This new CD will follow his successful 2001 release on the European, Black Magic label, No End to the Blues, and his acclaimed 2005 recording, Back Down South.
Magnolia Sons is a retro soul and rock group based out of Nashville, Tennessee. They are a 11-piece supergroup composed of artists and musicians from all over the United States. Their music is a tribute to the vintage sound of classic rock and soul from the 1960's and 1970's.
MidDay Farm Report? Well….they’re like cornbread. That southern alchemy that’s one part recipe and equal parts history, influence, taste, and style. Then there’s always the ubiquitous secret ingredient, passed down through generations from mouth to ear. Add a dollop of rural middle Tennessee ladled into a hot skillet of wide-eyed Americana, and the result is authentic, honest music that satisfies, served up by four accomplished musicians. With one foot set squarely in the present and the other on the broken ground of the past. MidDay Farm Report has crafted a sound that’s all their own :“Rural Route Rock’n’Roll.”
Lulu Mae lends fresh meaning to the term “family band”: Lead singer Joel Finley writes and plays the tunes that he sings with his wife Sarah Finley, musically carried and decorated by their college buddies, the brothers Ben Smith (bass guitar) and Adam Smith (keys, trumpet), with background help from Adam’s wife Jen, and the recent additions of roommates and “adopted brothers” Anthony Mangin on electric and David Sutton on drums.
Gary Talley and The Road Home perform their favorite songs from the 60s and 70s and make you feel like you’re hearing them for the first time, along with original songs and stories from their long careers. A bit of Rock, Blues, Pop, Country, and R&B, with each player adding his own flavor and spicing up the band’s musical dishes with tastes of Memphis, New York, Nashville, London, and the Southwest.
The John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band features four legendary musicians: John Jorgenson on guitar and mandolin, Herb Pedersen on banjo, Jon Randall on guitar, and Mark Fain on bass. Jorgenson and Pedersen are founders (with Chris Hillman) of the formative country rock band "Desert Rose."
Great music begins with great songs, and great songs are what the Honey Island Swamp Band is all about. The band came together after Aaron Wilkinson (acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Chris Mule’ (electric guitar, vocals) were marooned in San Francisco after the levee breaches following Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and had a chance encounter with fellow New Orleans evacuees Sam Price (bass, vocals) and Garland Paul (drums, vocals) at John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room on Fillmore Street. They knew each other from having all played together in some form or another in various New Orleans bands, and with the great unknown regarding their return to their underwater hometown looming in the distance, they decided to put together a band and get some gigs going. Fortunately, the Boom Boom Room’s owner Alex Andreas offered the band a weekly gig on the spot.
The Oh Hellos are Maggie and Tyler Heath, intentionally-independent self-produced music-making siblings hailing from the great state of Texas. Their influences range from Los Campesinos! and The Lumineers to Sufjan Stevens and The Middle East, bending and blending styles and genres into a unique mixture of eclectic folk rock.
Raised in Akron, OH, alt-country singer/songwriter Tim Easton was influenced by a combination of pop icons (the Beatles, Kiss) and bluegrass/folk legends (Doc Watson, John Prine). Kosher Spears, his college band from his days at Ohio State, performed their unique roots rock hybrid across the Midwest, and Easton eventually found himself busking in the streets of Paris, London, and Dublin. Returning to the States, his folk-based songwriting brought an earthy sound to the Haynes Boys (an existing rock band that recruited Easton in the mid-'90s) and they recorded one album, Guardian Angel, for New York-based Slab Records. The band subsequently split, with its members working in Gaunt and Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, and Easton pursuing his solo career. In 1998, Easton recorded his first solo album, Special 20, with session musicians in Nashville, and released it on his own Heathen Records. After inking a deal with EMI Publishing in the fall of 1999, he relocated to Los Angeles to explore scoring films and pursue a record deal. His performances at songwriter hubs like Largo and McCabe's brought about a recording contract with New West Records, and his first release for the label was 2001's The Truth About Us. 2003 brought his solid follow-up for the label, Break Your Mother's Heart. It was followed by Ammunition in 2006. A concert set, Live at Water Canyon, appeared in 2008, followed by Porcupine in 2009 and a pair of self-released albums, Beat the Band and Since 1966, Volume 1, both in 2011.
The Smoking Flowers fire up an East Nashville-based brand of rock, blues and country with a sweet flavor of Southern Gothic folk, all with a punk attitude. Their sophomore album 2 Guns will no doubt appeal to a large spectrum of fans when it hits the world this summer on August 6. The album was co-produced and engineered by Adam Landry, noted producer of Deer Tick, Middle Brother, and Diamond Rugs and former touring guitarist for Ray LaMontagne. Adam also added his own sublime guitar to it, giving it that dusky, diverse feeling of his other Americana projects.
Anyone listening to the innovative, hard-driving instrumental licks and strong, precise harmonies of this Bluegrass Band will want to strap in to their seat and prepare to be thrilled with the ride. The compilations produced by this extremely progressive band truly bring delights to the listening experience. These guys are uniquely gifted in arrangement and presentation of lyrics and melody.
Calling someone a “singer’s singer” is often an overused and under-deserved cliche. In Claire Lynch’s case, it’s an understatement. For proof, look no further than her much-anticipated Compass Records debut, Dear Sister, arriving May 28. She may not yet be a household name outside the worlds of bluegrass and Americana, but she’s well known in the households of many of the premier singers of our time. Individually, the women of the legendary Trio - Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt - have all called upon Claire to add her crystalline harmonies to their solo projects, as has master singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester. When Patty Loveless recorded her first No. 1, “If My Heart Had Windows,” her harmony singers were Claire and a guy named Vince Gill. A gifted songwriter as well, her songs have been recorded by Patty Loveless, The Seldom Scene, Kathy Mattea, Cherryholmes and many others.
Water Liars is Andrew Bryant and Justin Kinkel-Schuster. They met on tour some time ago and have been friends ever since. Named after the first story in Barry Hannah’s collection Airships, Water Liars began by accident in Pittsboro, MS in late 2011. Justin, who previously spent some time in a St. Louis-based band named Theodore, writes the songs and Andrew makes them better.
Americana is the perfect concoction of American roots music that comprises our musical ethos as we know it today. It is something so engrained in our history, folklore, tradition, and mythology that it is not as simple as just “becoming” Americana, but rather, it is something that you are born into. It’s that old cast-iron Coca-Cola sign that’s been in your neighbor’s shed for 50 years, a banjo and a Fender telecaster playing together, a 1955 Chevy with a modern stereo.
April Verch has never sounded more comfortable in her skin than she does now, in the second decade of her career as an internationally touring Canadian fiddler, step dancer and singersongwriter. Her ninth album, Bright Like Gold, captures a woman who’s fleshed out her identity and is in full command of her gifts, a woman who’s grown from a prodigy into an enduring artist—one of music’s most unforgiving public transitions—with grace and grit to spare.
Identical twins Laurie Shook (vocals, banjo, percussion and beatboxing) and Katelyn Shook (vocals, guitar and mandolin) are at the heart of the “quirky” folk group, Shook Twins. A revolving cast of musicians round out the band and include Kyle Volkman (bass), Niko Daoussis (bass, mandolin, guitar) Anna Tivel (fiddle) & Russ Kleiner (percussion). The Shook Twins intertwine gorgeous “twin” harmonies with an eclectic and eccentric blend of folk, roots, pop and fun. But don’t be fooled. The Shook Twins are not your average folk group. They have a few tricks up their sleeves. Laurie may drop a beatbox in the middle of a song, while Katelyn plays the guitar, glockenspiel, mandolin, and sings into a telephone and bocks like a chicken. Laurie plays wah-wah banjo and loops various melodies and beats to make it sound like more than just two identical twin sisters
Following his Grammy-nominated 2009 debut Sounding Point, virtuoso guitarist Julian Lage returns with the evocative and finely wrought Gladwell - the second effort by his offbeat, eclectic group with cellist Aristides Rivas, percussionist Tupac Mantilla, bassist Jorge Roeder and saxophonist Dan Blake. The album unfolds according to a fanciful and story-driven plan, as Lage explains: "We began playing with the idea of creating a story we could use as a guiding light in our writing process.... The result was the development of an imaginary and forgotten town known as Gladwell.... As a metaphor, Gladwell presented us with a clear architecture, to compose songs that evoke feelings of people and places we hold dear."
As a member of Punch Brothers since the band's inception, guitarist Chris Eldridge has been at the vanguard of acoustic music for much of the past decade. Although initially drawn to the electric guitar, by his mid-teens Chris Eldridge had developed a deep love for acoustic music, thanks in part to his father, a banjo player and founding member of the seminal bluegrass group The Seldom Scene. Eldridge later gained in-depth exposure to a variety of different musical styles while studying at Oberlin Conservatory, where he earned a degree in music performance in 2004. During his time at Oberlin, Eldridge studied with legendary guitarist Tony Rice. After graduating he joined the Seldom Scene with whom he received a Grammy nomination in 2007. In 2005 he founded the critically acclaimed bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters. At the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association awards Eldridge and his Stringdusters bandmates won Emerging artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year for their debut album, Fork in the Road.
It has been said that the loudest word in the world is your name, because it is who you are, it is how you have been identified to the world for the length of time you have had your name, and it is a huge part of your self-perception for your whole life. A lot of people who live in Western North Carolina claim the antiquated names of the peaks and valleys and the lakes and rivers of this beautiful part of the Southern Appalachian Mountains as part of their language in ways that might equate to sharing a warm story with an old friend. Place-names can create strong mental images and add building blocks of self-identity that give way to a treasured sense of “where I’m from” or “who I really am.” These feelings of place to which we mountain folk cling help define a majestic home shared by those lucky enough to live here. And these mountain names often undergo a metamorphosis from the memories of “what I’ve experienced here” to virtually become extensions of ourselves.
Nashville-based singer/songwriter Adam Burrows was born and raised in Northeastern Ohio. His songs reflect his small town upbringing and draw the listener in by celebrating life's everyday moments and embracing those that are fleeting. His lyrics capture the beauty of easy conversation, and his characters remain with you like old friends. Adam's stories touch his listener simply but deeply, evoking emotions and images of less complicated times. His recollections of hope and heartache are framed by percussive finger-picking and catchy melodies, melodies you will find yourself humming for days.
River Whyless is named in spirit of its ongoing love affair with the natural world. Since its formation in 2009 the band has toured extensively, playing hundreds of shows from coast to coast and into Canada.
The elusive Sam Doores & Riley Downing with the backing band The Tumbleweeds are a honky-tonk, old country-blues, early R&B, and gospel-influenced New Orleans band. The band has toured the U.S. and Canada, often performing alongside New Orleans' Hurray for the Riff Raff. In May 2012, Sam & Riley played New Orleans’ Jazz & Heritage Festival, while Riley was tapped to open for the Alabama Shakes’ 2012 fall tour. In October 2012, the band released Holy Cross Blues, which was recorded at Nashville’s Bomb Shelter with Andrija Tokic, who co-produced Alabama Shakes' Boys & Girls and Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Look Out Mama.
Bhi Bhiman is an American original, and yet he seems transported from an era when songs were more important than the pretty faces that delivered them. His rich, bellowing tenor can soothe or explode at a moment’s notice. His lived-in, knowing delivery belies his years. His songwriting, too, is quick to captivate. Bhi’s mix of humor and deep empathy puts him in the company of distinguished (and much older) lifelong songsmiths like John Prine, Nick Lowe and Randy Newman. And Bhiman’s technical, emotive guitar playing rises to the challenge that his striking voice presents.
“Songwriting for me is something I have to do to stay on the sunny side of life. It’s my therapy. I pick up a guitar from time to time and it spills out. I feel lucky in that, after years of being blessed by their presence, the song spirits are still moving through me”
Dave Mason is a living rock legend. At age 18, the Worcester England native teamed up with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood to form the legendary band Traffic, who had a profound affect on the genre of rock and roll. While still a teen Mason penned the Traffic hit “Feelin' Alright”. The song became a global rock anthem and has been recorded by dozens of artists (including Joe Cocker who had a huge international hit with the song), “Feeling Alright” remains a highlight of Mason’s live shows today.
Davina Sowers and the Vagabonds have created a stir on the national blues scene with their high-energy live shows, sharp-dressed professionalism, and Sowers’ commanding stage presence. With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band is converting audiences one show at a time, from Vancouver to Miami and across Europe. The band’s latest recording, 2011’s Black Cloud, was named one of the 10 best releases of the year by the Minneapolis Star & Tribune. In 2012 the band performed in 21 states and 6 countries in Europe, and the band is hard at work on a new record (due for release Fall 2013), spending time in the studio between tours.
Stephen Sebastian isn't going mad. Seriously. Granted, musical comparisons to eccentric influences like Ryan Adams, Tom Petty, and Elliott Smith abound. But Steve Sebastian is a young college graduate from Cleveland, Ohio who drives to work, eats home-cooked meals, walks his dog, and tries to call his parents every couple of weeks.
From his debut as a jazz influenced blues-based artist to his evolution into a pop music iconoclast, singersongwriter A.J. Croce has traveled a circuitous musical road. Now, with Twelve Tales, A.J. unveils his most ambitious recording project to date: A dozen new tracks recorded by legendary producers across a variety of American cities to be released one song each month, concluding with the complete full length CD release at the conclusion of 2013.
Robbie Fulks was born in York, Pennsylvania, and grew up in a half-dozen small towns in southeast Pennsylvania, the North Carolina Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge area of Virginia. He learned guitar from his dad, banjo from Earl Scruggs and John Hartford records, and fiddle (long since laid down in disgrace) on his own. He attended Columbia College in New York City in 1980 and dropped out in 1982 to focus on the Greenwich Village songwriter scene and other ill-advised pursuits.
From their handpainted CD cases wrought from cereal boxes to their thoughtful arrangements, Poor Old Shine, an Alt Americana band from rural Connecticut, is about honesty and handcrafted creativity. They travel with an assortment of instruments including guitars, banjos, pump organ, mandolin, string bass, musical saw, washboard, and a yard-sale-scrap-metal drum set. It’s old songs with a new feel, banjos with paint peeled, shoes with holes and treadless soles, and music that is real.
Mosey music is a study in contrasts. There's glitz and grit, reveling and wallowing, wretchedness and showmanship. Mosey music's pioneers wore their battered hearts on sequined sleeves. From Bakersfield to Galveston, the legends traded their tragicomic highs and lows for gold records and white Cadillacs. But that was then; the days of Buckaroos, Nudie Suits and various Hanks are over, save for the museum displays. To quote a George Jones title track, "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?"
FLATT LONESOME is a young, new group of pickers fresh to the scene. While deeply-rooted in bluegrass music’s historic classics, they also have an energetic flair for country sounds, progressive jams, and soul-stirring gospel music while never forsaking their traditional essence. If you love high lonesome harmony, soaring sibling vocals and powerful bluegrass music, then you will love FLATT LONESOME!
It's no secret that artists sometimes create their most authentic works in moments of despair. While intentions to repair their own broken hearts can supersede their desire to communicate with the public, the rawness of their experiences often creates a bridge to the hearts and minds of others. It is a circumstance such as this that brought guitarist, singer, and songwriter Rebecca Frazier to her newest work.
Korby Lenker is a sneaky-good songwriter. And singer. And multi-instrumentalist. An abbreviated list of Lenker’s achievements so far includes: a significant amount of airplay on the legendary Seattle indie rock station KEXP; a BBC 2 interview with Bob Harris, which is only about the highest honor a rootsy singer-songwriter touring the U.K. can get; opening slots for acts ranging from Willie Nelson to Ray LaMontagne, Nickel Creek, Keith Urban, Susan Tedeschi and Tristan Prettyman; a successful run with one of the hottest young West Coast bluegrass bands of the aughts; and wins in the Merlefest folk songwriting contest as well as the Kerrville Folk Festival’s elite New Folk songwriting competition.
Texas Music Magazine calls Mingo Fishtrap “the space where melodic pop meets gritty Memphis soul, with a twist of N’awlins funk.” That space is growing like kudzoo vine on the Mississippi Delta, crisscrossing the country with a deep, tenacious groove and a sanctified mission to shake your soul.
Imagine a new visitor to Australia looking to get a flavour of the country and its people. The perfect place to start is with the music of one of the world's great songwriters, the man who has chronicled our country's beauty and scars and desires, as well as the personal insights which know no borders, in an extraordinary song-writing career that now spans more than 30 years.
Bill, father of Kasey Chambers is one of those growling singers who owes a substantial debt to both Bob Dylan and John Prine. Perhaps it’s a result of those early weathered years he spent roughing it in the outback with his family.
Mixing old-school bluegrass with modern roots music, Mustered Courage made a name for themselves in Australia’s folk scene in 2011, thanks to a self-titled debut album that won the band a string of warm reviews, plenty of radio support and a trophy at the 2012 Music Oz Awards. After playing every major Australian folk festival in 2012, these down-home pickers from Down Under are in the middle of their biggest year to date — a year that will see the release of their second album, Powerlines and their first foray into US territory…
Born into a musical family, Melody was harmonizing on stage with her Dad by the age of 8. A year later, she ventured onto the stage in her own right and it was plain to see there would be no stopping her seeking a career in music.
The Bushwackers are an Australian music institution, having performed for the last 42 years on stages at festivals, stadiums, clubs, bars, pubs, shearing sheds, dance halls, civic events – and just about everywhere else, across the length and breadth of the nation.
Jim Oblon's version of the classic song "where did you sleep last night' was used in HBO's "true blood" season finale, with a vampire dressed as little red riding hood. He made a record with Paul Simon called "so beautiful or so what." He then toured the whole world in support of that album. Jim's latest album was recorded with legendary drummer Jim Keltner and Larry Goldings.
“This is awesome – Ladies and gentlemen, once again, The HillBenders!” The shouts and cheers of the 2012 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival attendees fill the tent as the band tunes up for their encore. The guitarist, sporting a headband and John Lennon sunglasses, approaches the microphone. “Folks, we apologize in advance if one of us falls into your tent…we plan on playing all night tonight!” The supercharged crowd roars in response.
Matt Butcher and The Schoolyard Band are a rock n roll trio based in Nashville, TN. Members include Matt Butcher on vocals and guitar, Cullen Tierney on bass, and Pete Pulkrabek on drums. Their debut album, "The Kids are Gone" will be released in early 2014. The album was recorded at the Fry Pharmacy in Old Hickory, TN and produced by rockabilly legend Chris Casello. The songs were cut live to two inch tape and are brimming with classic influences. It's a ragged affair that brings to mind the work of The Faces, Lou Reed, and The Kinks. A reminder that rock n roll, above all, is gloriously dumb. Says Butcher, "We are not trying to reinvent the wheel, just put our own spin on it."
It’s hard to think of another African-American violin player to make their mark in popular music, so classically trained South Florida twosome, Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester, who go by the name Black Violin are a welcome revelation for their ability to meld highbrow and pop culture, “Brandenburg” and “breakdown,” into a single genre-busting act. The band’s most recent album, Classically Trained, is the follow-up to their 2007 self-titled debut on their own Di-Versatile Music Group label, which is as good an introduction to their groundbreaking blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and even bluegrass music. Live, they are often accompanied by their crack band, featuring ace turntable whiz DJTK (Dwayne Dayal), drummer Beatdown (Jermaine McQueen) and cellist Joe Cello (Joseph Valbrun).
Each new Deer Tick record has stood as a progressive milestone for frontman John McCauley and the Providence, Rhode Island-based band (guitarist Ian O’Neil, bassist Christopher Dale Ryan, keyboardist Rob Crowell, and drummer Dennis Ryan), but Negativity represents an epic leap forward on virtually all fronts. Recorded earlier this year in Portland, Oregon with legendary producer/musician Steve Berlin (The Blasters, Los Lobos, and last year’s McCauley side project, Diamond Rugs), the album is McCauley’s most personal work thus far as well as the band’s most undeniable and universal, their famously freewheeling musical approach refined here into a gloriously cohesive whole.
The critical acclaim composer Jimmy Webb has received during his more than forty years of success is as remarkable as the accomplishments they honor: he is a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and, according to BMI, his “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” has been the third most performed song from the 60s until 1990, with “Up, Up and Away” on the same list in the top thirty. Webb’s, “Wichita Lineman” has been listed in MOJO Magazine’s worldwide survey of the best one hundred singles of all time in the top fifty, and was singled out in the Oct/Nov 2001 issue of Blender as “The Greatest Song Ever.” Even singer/songwriter James Taylor was nominated for a Grammy in 2010 for "Best Male Pop Vocal" for his rendition of the song. The National Academy of Songwriters also named Jimmy as 1993’s recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award, although TIME Magazine was early to acknowledge Jimmy Webb’s range and proficiency back in 1968 when it referred to his astonishing string of hits, and commented on “Webb’s gift for strong, varied rhythms, inventive structures, and rich, sometimes surprising harmonies.” In 1999 Jimmy was inducted by actor Michael Douglas into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame as one of the State’s most celebrated sons, he was inducted onto the Board of Directors for The Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in early 2000, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for ASCAP. In 2011 Webb was unanimously elected as Chairman of The Songwriters Hall of Fame, replacing Hal David’s ten year reign in the same position.
Leave your map and lose your bearings in the swirling sonic forest of The Deep Dark Woods. The band returns from the wilderness with Jubilee, a celebration of community, camaraderie and feverish cabin creativity. With Jubilee, The Deep Dark Woods revel in the jangly, freewheeling days of psychedelic and electric folk while keeping their compass aligned with the magnetic, hypnotic north.
Anyone wondering about Wood & Wire’s sound need not look any further than the four-piece band’s name, which honors the purity of acoustic instruments and the gorgeous music a skilled artist can coax out of just simple wood and wire. The Austin-based band’s self-titled debut album, which will be released on February 5, 2013, is an engaging collection of music that is deeply rooted in bluegrass traditions, although the members themselves draw upon country and Americana and listen to everything from Doc Watson to Led Zeppelin.