An often stirring folk/blues guitarist and vocalist, Roy Book Binder has been playing country blues since the mid-'60s, when he began recording for Blue Goose. Greatly influenced by Rev. Gary Davis and Pink Anderson, Book Binder played in East Coast coffeehouses in the early '60s, then began accompanying Rev. Davis on tours in the mid-'60s. He also played with Larry Johnson, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, and Homesick James. Besides constant concerts and tours, Book Binder has made additional recordings for Blue Goose, as well as Adelphi, Rounder, and his own PEGleg label.
The energy of rock n’ roll is impossible to categorize – mercurial, specific to its beholder and profoundly reflective. From the Binghamton, New York music scene comes Driftwood, a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to the Americana/roots music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette. But the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely. “We started off playing rock in high school. Then studying jazz and classical music in college. Then we dove headfirst into folk and bluegrass. At some point I guess we kind of met in the middle”, says guitarist/songwriter Dan Forsyth. Drawing on aspects of everything from 0ld-time recordings to 1960’s R&B, the music is crafted to serve the songs. With fast-growing audiences singing along at live shows, it’s easy to tell the primary focus is on song. “We recognized early on that one of our strongest points was songwriting. The greatest songs transcend genre and time and this was one of the motivating ideas behind the band at the start”, says banjo player/songwriter Joe Kollar. Trading lead vocals between Forsyth, Kollar and violinist Claire Byrne, the group’s stage dynamics are as captivating as the songs. “I give so much of myself when I play because I deem it necessary in order to do the music justice”, says Byrne, whose violin-shredding performances galvanize fans. Songs or shredding, “There’s a reason people won’t let them off the stage”, says Jess Novak from The Syracuse New Times.
Amy Ray’s progression as a singer/songwriter has taken her up and down all of the switchback trails of the South, from the dive bars of Saturday night to church on Sunday morning, with some coffeehouses and arenas along the way, too. Goodnight Tender, her first country album, integrates all of these influences in fresh, surprising ways and testifies to her range and virtuosity as an artist who is always game to follow a thread of melody into new and rugged territory.
In the exploding world of acoustic music, Willie Watson needs no introduction. During his decade plus tenure with Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie’s driving rhythm guitar, transcendent lead vocals and pure tenor were an essential part of the band’s success (over 600,000 records sold not to mention the platinum selling single “Wagon Wheel”), but nowhere in OCMS’s catalog does his instrumental artistry and vocal prowess shine as in this new solo incarnation. A vast catalog of traditional songs are reinterpreted and given new life, fitting seamlessly besides self-penned classics cut from the very same cloth, creating a rich new patchwork of Americana.
The Bankesters Compass Records is excited to announce that The Bankesters have joined its roster of bluegrass artists. Phil and Dorene Bankester and their three daughters and son-in-law are known for some of the finest harmony singing in bluegrass music. They are currently at work gathering material for a new album to be produced by Alison Brown and tentatively slated for a fall 2013 release.
Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons is an Americana band that began in Providence, RI in 2005. In the center of this revolving cast of musicians, songwriter Joe Fletcher remains at the helm of this country blues-based outfit while still playing many solo acoustic shows throughout the land every year. Sometime in 2007, the band recorded their debut album BURY YOUR PROBLEMS at the rather mysterious Golden Monkey Studio in the heart of Providence’s Smith Hill neighborhood. Details of this event remain murky though it has been corroborated that sound experts Jay Berndt and Matt Oliva oversaw a assortment of musicians which included legends Jack Hanlon, Greg “J.D.” Burgess, Dennis Kelly, and Dale Cunningham. We do know that the record received overwhelmingly positive reviews and Fletcher’s story-driven songwriting began catching national attention earning comparisons to Cash, Cave, Cohen, and Dylan.
When it comes to the music of Cabinet, the essential bywords are soul, simplicity, and serious musicianship. In concert, the combination of these qualities invariably yields an experience that is so celebratory and moving that the very word Cabinet takes on a new, vivid meaning for anyone in the audience. An inclusive and engaging energy is the uniting through-line as Cabinet weaves bluegrass, country and folk influences to powerful effect. Tight dynamics punctuate gorgeous, soaring harmonies as down-to-earth rhythm and lyrics give way to dreamy jams that are the musical equivalent of the back road scenic route.
The deep working class roots of singer/songwriter Don “Doop” Duprie echo throughout his music. Front man for the Detroit area alt-country/roots rock band Doop and the Inside Outlaws, Doop is a laid off firefighter born and raised in industrial River Rouge, Michigan. He teamed up with legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes) to record his albums “Blood River,” “Everett Belcher” and now “What am I supposed to do?”
The Nashville Stringy Band is Colin O’Brien, Mike Compton, Matt Combs and Todd Phillips. An acoustic super-group as entertaining as they are virtuosic. They play a high energy blend of Americana folk styles, a mix of Old Time, Blues, John Hartford songs and those penned by Colin O’Brien. The group is currently booking concerts and festivals for 2014.
Lilly Hiatt’s a young woman wise beyond her years. Listen. You’ll hear. Hiatt’s songs back equal measures edge (“3 Days”) and energy (“Big Bad Wolf”) with stunning lyrical elegance. Clear evidence: The Nashville resident’s buoyant Let Down. Hiatt’s seamless debut fortifies earthy (“Master”) and ethereal narratives (“Oh Mister”) with storytelling as sharp as a seasoned songwriter (“Young Black Rose”). Youthful restlessness guides the journey. “There was a self-loathing theme throughout all those songs, hence the title,” the 28-year-old explains. “It had a lot to do with being in the first half of my twenties and being in this transition from child to grownup. It’s kind of like hitting puberty again.”
Growing up in Perth-Andover, you learn a thing or two about the tough grind. The family-oriented, blue-collar community is home to singer-songwriter and guitarist Matt Andersen. While manual labour wasn’t his calling, hard work is something you pride yourself on growing up in a small-town. Having played over 200 shows in 2012, his work ethic has never been questioned.
Throughout his career, Jim Bianco has drawn inspiration from, what some might consider, untraditional sources. Whether an elevator operator in Tokyo, a stalker in Hollywood, a wedding in Tennessee, or a sinner in church, his songs have twisted their way out of his head and into the hearts of his fans. “My father is a Brooklyn-born weight-lifting Italian Roman Catholic who wields a pompadour and only drives a Cadillac. My mother is a kind, classic, 1950’s Brooklyn Jew who quit high school to work in a pencil factory. It’s pretty obvious where my obsession with eccentric characters comes from.”
In the short time since her graduation from Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music, singer-songwriter Liz Longley has assembled an impressive resume. While best known for her stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, Liz has steadily developed a reputation as an accomplished songwriter, crafting intimately personal portraits through her music.
From a musical family in Dublin, John’s influences include well known English folk singers Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson, and The Watersons; Scottish singers Dick Gaughan and John Martin; and fellow Irishmen Paul Brady and Al O’Donnell as well as his father, Sean Doyle - probably the biggest influence of all. John went on the road as a pro at 16 with the group Chanting House which he formed with Susan McKeown and which eventually included such great players as Seamus Egan, Eileen Ivers, & Donogh Hennessy.
Doug and Telisha are based out of East Nashville, the new Bohemian Mecca of the South. They’re a restless sort, though, and more than anything, they call the road their home. The past few years have been filled with hundreds of shows and thousands of miles for Doug and Telisha. They’ve traveled from Florida to Alaska and Michigan to Texas, hitting 47 US states and six Canadian provinces. They’ve played with some of their most beloved heroes - Lucinda Williams, Darrell Scott, Charlie Louvin, and Joe Ely – and been on stage at Anderson Fair, The Birchmere, The Carolina Theater, Godfrey Daniels, Madison Square Park and Floydfest.
Long considered one of the world’s best-of-the-best Tele-twangers, musical pioneer Pete Anderson has never been satisfied with maintaining the status quo. The last 10 years has found Anderson focusing on his solo career - perfecting his craft & honing his musical vision. On "BIRDS ABOVE GUITARLAND" the Detroit native Anderson delivers a set of all-original music -- a rich roots music gumbo of blues/funk/swing/country twang with a splash of surf music and a dash of jazz. And TONE -- always tone...
Tim Carroll, a product of rural Indiana, began as the rhythm guitarist for the punk band The Gizmos in the late 70s. He later displayed his bare-bones rock ethic with The Blue Chieftains during the 80s. A Nashville transplant since 1993, Tim has had songs recorded by John Prine, Asleep At The Wheel, BR-549, Robbie Fulks, Kasey Chambers, Elizabeth Cook, Bare Jr., Sunny Sweeney, Sonny Burgess, and many others.
With That’s Just Me, vocalist Teea Goans fuels the enthusiasm she first ignited with her 2010 debut album, The Way I Remember It. That treasury of traditional country tunes earned Goans four appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and a guest spot on the TV show that celebrated Bill Anderson’s 50th anniversary as an Opry member. In its glowing review of The Way I Remember It, Country Weekly magazine observed that the album “reminds us that country can be simple yet sophisticated and, sometimes, sublime.”
In 1960 a young band that would change music forever was formed in Liverpool. That was not DAN THE TORPEDOES! That was the Beatles. DAN THE TORPEDOES! came about much later at an amusement park in Nashville called Opryland. Their path was slightly different…..
Over the years Wilfie has played with a number of bands performing throughout Ireland, the UK and parts of Europe. Although somewhat illusive in performing his original material 2013 has been a year of cataloguing a lifetime of writing and will culminate in the release of his long anticipated first EP as part of the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival....
EMI recording artist Angie Aparo is the songwriting talent behind such big hits as Faith Hill's recording of 'Cry.' A highly respected and accomplished singer and performer himself, Angie has appeared on stage and recordings with Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Edwin McCain, Matchbox20, and the Zac Brown Band to name but a few. Emotional Traffic, Tim McGraw's much anticipated studio album debuted January 31, 2012 on Billboard's Country Album chart at #1, featuring the songs 'The One' and 'Only Human,' co-written by Angie.
'Triona' is a singer/songwriter/guitarist aged 17, the fifth sibling among eight. During 2012 she recorded stunning first demos with producer Declan Legge and memorably debuted at Vicar Street, Dublin, with Joan Armatrading. Triona is a natural talent with a rare ability to write great hooks who has no fear of stages and seems capable of mainstream success way beyond these shores. Management strategy has been to keep Triona below the radar on you tube etc. until the talent had been nurtured further with both musical direction and enough songs for an album. Over the past year, Triona has worked on her songwriting and has played over 100 solo gigs combining covers and originals. In the past month, sessions with producer Cormac O’Kane have resulted in master-quality recordings. Strategic use of social media will begin to occur in late October followed by release of an EP. Triona was awarded the inaugural Cel Fay Bursary which she will accept at Oh Yeah at end of September.
McKenzie Eddy is an alternative/electronica/soul artist based out of New York City. She is currently signed to BluRoc Records, run by Damon Dash. Her fist album titled, ‘A Prelude To My Next Excursion’ was released in January 2011, with features from Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa, Stalley & more.
Irish singer/songwriter Peter McVeigh first cut his musical teeth in the critically acclaimed band Eskimos Fall. When the group went their separate ways two years ago after releasing a clutch of well received offerings, the tunesmith decided to go it alone and plans to unveil his debut EP ‘Lights’ early 2012.
Amythyst studies old time music at East Tennessee State University; she received her B.A. in the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies, and is continuing to study music at the graduate level in Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. She is a member of the East Tennessee State University Old Time Pride Band. She also works part-time at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum as an assistant researcher, and plays quite often in the Southwest Virginia area. She has opened for Tim O'Brien, and she has played at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival 2012 alongside the Ebony Hillbillies and Sparky and Rhonda Rucker. She also played "Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow" with Wayne Henderson for the Crooked Road Edition of Virginia Tourism Coporation's Web Series.
"One of the key bands for acoustic Ireland. They play with heart, sincerity and honesty." - Music Link NI "It's almost impossible to say a bad word about Farriers. One of the best folk bands in the Northern Irish music scene, and it's pretty clear to see why." - BBC ATL "Upbeat and soulful songs which are full of spirit and tunes that endear you to sing along. They reminded me very much of the Waterboys. The Coastlines EP has that magical quality that made Fisherman’s Blues such a great album. Shift that 20 plus years on, add some great handclapping and footstompin and you have Farriers. This was a well thought out EP with a good range of upbeat and mellow songs that will have you reaching for the whiskey, in a good way."
Martin Harley is a phenomenally talented guitarist, singer and songwriter he fronts the highly praised UK-based acoustic trio; The Martin Harley Band. Martin’s new album MOJO FIX was recorded in Texas and is released in the UK in February 2013. Mojo Fix comes on the heels of four critically celebrated albums, years of touring and countless festivals that have built Martin a strong and solid fan-base spanning the globe.
Nikki Talley is a hardworking, energetic, mountain girl with a big voice. She is one half of a FULL TIME touring husband & wife DUO based out of Asheville, NC contributing acoustic guitar, clawhammer banjo & of course her trademark stunning vocals. Since January 2012 she & husband Jason Sharp, who accompanies her on finger style & flat picking guitar as well as bass, have played 200+ shows in over 20 states touring out of their Chevy van, Blue Bell, they bought w/ money raised from a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Armed with undeniable talent and an intense love of her craft (and country music), Kelsey Waldon is a rare and incredibly refreshing artist; an emerging force of raw, honest, and grounded songwriting in the Nashville music scene. Having collected and absorbed more records in her 23 years than most people will hear in a lifetime, and drawing influence from songwriting greats such as Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Bob Dylan, she has an exceptional ability to evoke an older and often seemingly forgotten era of songwriting, while simultaneously creating a relevant, cutting edge, and unique style, true to her own experience.
The Bo-Keys don't simply replay the Memphis instrumental tradition –they deliver a hard-hitting and authentic take on the city's original soul-stew sound. A devotee of Stax instrumental groups like the Mar-Keys and Booker T. & the MGs, bandleader and bassist Scott Bomar formed the Bo-Keys as an homage to the quintessential Memphis sound –yet he has both feet firmly planted in the 21st Century.
Mandy Barnett, a native of Crossville, Tennessee, started singing at five years-old. She has been singing since. Mandy’s style is rooted in the classic country and pop crooning of iconic singers and enduring sounds. She delves into a song with a keen interpretative sense, studying the intricacies of its emotional content and rendering a powerful performance through her full-bodied voice. As a teenager, Mandy starred as country music legend Patsy Cline in the stage show “Always . . . Patsy Cline” at the celebrated Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The performances sold out nightly and received rave reviews across the country. Mandy, in role as Patsy, appears on the Decca Records cast recording.
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.
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.”
As the Wall Street Journal says "The New Queen of Bluegrass" has done it again... Rhonda Vincent named "Entertainer of the Year" at the 40th Annual SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America) Convention & Awards Show in Nashville, Tennessee. The sold out, jammed pack venue watched as Rhonda took home the top honor the same night she was inducted into the SPBGMA Hall of Greats.
Iconic singer/songwriter John Oates was destined to be a musician. Singing from the time he could talk and playing the guitar since the age of 5, his calling in life was never in question. Born in New York City, his family made a move in the early 50’s that would dramatically change the course of his life. They moved to a small town outside of Philadelphia. Like most kids at that time, the impact of the early days of rock left a lasting impression on John. At the age of 4, he witnessed his first live concert when he saw Bill Haley and the Comets play their classic rockabilly hits at a local amusement park.
“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.
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.
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, artists like Bobby "Blue" Bland, Doug Sahm, Joe Tex, Patrick somehow manages to blend all of these influences into something all his own.
"One listen and you’ll be convinced that she’s a powerful, authentic, talented and above all soulful new entry in the rootsy singer/songwriter ranks." - American Songwriter Magazine Amy Black is a Boston-based singer/songwriter with storytelling and Southern tradition in her blood. She grew up singing hymns from the pews in church in Missouri, but it wasn't until her family moved to Alabama that she got her first dose of real southern gospel.
Alexander Fedoryka: Fiddle/Mandolin/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.
“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.”
Cleveland-born David Wilcox was inspired to play guitar after hearing a fellow college student playing in a stairwell. His lyrical insight is matched by a smooth baritone voice, virtuosic guitar chops, and creative open tunings, giving him a range and tenderness rare in folk music. He released an independent album in 1987, was a winner of the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk award in 1988, and by 1989 he had signed with A&M Records. His first release on the label, ‘How Did You Find Me Here’, sold over 100,000 copies the first year largely by word of mouth. Now, 17 albums into a career marked by personal revelation and wildly loyal fans, David continues to find and deliver joy, inspiration, and invention.
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.
Grant Farm is a band on a mission. Lead by National Flatpicking Champion Tyler Grant (Emmitt/Nershi Band), the talented four-piece is built on the foundation of love, family and the joy of music. The Grant Farm train stops at all the stations on North American roots music line, and is not afraid to let the whistle scream with some blistering jams. After a several solid seasons of touring Coast-to-Coast behind their eponymous debut CD, Grant Farm (Grant Central Records, 2012) audiences everywhere are a-buzz with the Roots, Rock and Cris-Co statement that Grant Farm brings to every performance.
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.
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.