2WedSeptember 2, 2015
As a result of Romano's immense artistic growth and a testament to the hard work he put in touring behind his 2013 LP, Come Cry With Me, released on New West's emerging artist imprint Normaltown Records, his fourth album, If I'm Only One Time Askin', is receiving its release on New West, making him the labelmate of such celebrated songwriters as Steve Earle, John Hiatt and alumni Kris Kristofferson and Warren Zevon. Come Cry With Me was long-listed for Canada's Polaris Music Prize, received a Juno Awards nomination for Roots & Traditional Solo Album Of The Year and garnered praise from hardcore traditionalists to tastemakers like Aquarium Drunkard and Brooklyn Vegan, who declared: "the sounds are clearly indebted to old sounds, but they also sound refreshingly new, and are some of the better country ballads to be written in recent times." Robert Christgau, the "Dean of American Rock Critics," took note and wrote that Romano had "a voice that's sometimes so deep it serves as its own mournful echo chamber." Exclaim said, "a record this sturdy in composition and delivery has the resilience to stand up to countless plays, and that timeless ache for a good, hard cry."
While references to marquee names like George Jones, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard are apparent in Romano's music, the obvious influences certainly don't demystify his talent. A young man with an old mind and some nice suits, he works with equal parts authenticity and creativity, and his musical world is rich with archetypes and archrivals, wry observations and earnest confessions. Romano, who got his start in punk bands and was a member of Attack in Black and City and Colour before taking his songcraft into waters populated by French pop, Lefty Frizzell, '80s country, Leonard Cohen's grace and Bob Dylan's shape-shifting, casts a vast net. One to eschew labels, he created his own: Mosey. "Mosey music is a study in contrasts," Romano says. "There's glitz and grit, reveling and wallowing, wretchedness and showmanship. Mosey music's pioneers wore their battered hearts on sequined sleeves."
Perhaps a fear of boredom or merely the insatiable need to create, Mosey is fired by Romano's serious musical restlessness. Continually seeking stimulation, he can talk about fuzz guitar solos on obscure Buck Owens records, various periods of Lee Hazelwood's creative output, Shel Silverstein's books and songs, especially the 1998 Old Dogs project written for Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, Bobby Bare and Jerry Reed -- fluently as it happens. In addition to his own music, Romano is regularly called upon by fellow musicians to lend his talents to their songs on both the production and playing side. He has worked with The Luyas, Fred Squire and Julie Doiron (as Daniel, Fred & Julie) and The Weather Station, most recently writing the duet, "Can You See Her In My Eyes," for her collaborative series, Duets #1.
Like the grain of sand that creates the pearl, Romano writes daily, throws away much, comes back to some -- and is always seeing how far he can push his music. Inspiration is everywhere and he is never without pen and paper, always ready to capture the never-ending ideas for songs. "Every time there's something new, it gets thrown into the coat pocket," he says. "Hopefully it's an entity and not a confused pile of papers. Sometimes," he continues, addressing the bumps, "you sit down and there isn't a line. That's when the songs are a little more ethereal."
On the lean honky-tonk "Old Fires Die," Romano comes across like a dry-mouthed Bukowski. "I get more happiness from a bottle/ And get more love from a stranger..." On the lilting title track, the suitor tries to lure a working girl away from her bed. "Honey, let me kiss your pretty face/And wash away the small remaining traces/Of every man who's been here in my place," he laments over a fingerpicked acoustic, a chugging electric, tinkling keys, and a galloping beat. "Strange Faces," featuring Nashville chanteuse Caitlin Rose, is pure poetry: "If I gave my whole collection to a weakness made of man/ I would steal it back in darkness, wake up shaking my own hand/ If I ran away from something, I'd be needed for a time/ I'd return to my replacement, finding things that I can't find."
Romano has a way of injecting levity into the sadness and it's expertly displayed on the clever "Two Word Joe," an upbeat shuffle about a guy who is reduced to the ability to only speak two words at a time after two women break his heart.
Minimalism with high velocity emotional stakes. Country, folk and pop bathed in buzzing neon, yet created in an utterly modern construction. Major heartache, a bit of irony, a hint of fun, it's all part of If I've Only One Time Askin', a song cycle perfect for drowning one's sorrows, drinking warm beer or getting lost on a very long, lonely night.
11FriSeptember 11, 2015
Sena was born and raised in a house of blues in the Minneapolis area. As a kid her parents took her to many all-ages concerts and she was able to see artists like B.B. King, Koko Taylor and the Fabulous Thunderbirds wow their audiences with polished and exciting performances. As she grew older young artists like Jonny Lang and Susan Tedeschi gained success, putting young, contemporary faces to the music she loved.
A pivotal moment for Sena was attending one of Luther Allison's final concerts. As she describes it, "As the sun went down and the lights came up, the emotion of his voice washed over the crowd like a wave, leaving me with tears in my eyes. His ability to connect through music with every member of that audience, each with their own stories, struggles and victories, was stunning to witness. In that moment the idea of being a singer ceased to be a choice for me and instead became a calling."
After graduating from college in 2005, Sena began singing with Plan B, her father's band, which led to her desire to front her own group. In 2010 she started the Sena Ehrhardt Band.
In 2011 Blind Pig released her brilliant debut recording, Leave The Light On, and the critics and fans alike took immediate notice. Blues Revue said, "From track to track, Ehrhardt establishes that she is capable of crooning softly or wailing with the best of them." Living Blues added, "Sena Ehrhardt has a bright, soulful sound, and she doesn't hold back - she can go from sultry and coaxing to gritty and gutsy in an instant."
Elmore commented, "A wicked sense of soul power. Ehrhardt creates an atmosphere of lamp-light jazz club, diva-esque swagger through effortless vocal bends and brassy, wrapped-around-her-finger inflections that will have the listener hanging on every word."The album won the Blues Blast Music Award for "Best New Artist Debut Release" and was nominated for a Blues Music Award in that same category.
For her second recording, All In, released in 2013, Sena teamed up with one the foremost producers in the worlds of rock and blues (Santana, Luther Allison, Stevie Ray Vaughan), multi-Grammy Award winner Jim Gaines. The result of their collaboration is a groove- rich, exciting exploration of the blues in all its moods.
Calling her "truly one of the most dynamic young voices any genre has seen in a long time," Living Blues said, "Her 2011 debut was a bold statement in cabaret-blues silken gloss. Whereas her debut can be seen as walking into the club and feeling the crowd, on this effort, Ehrhardt owns the joint. Sena Ehrhardt's voice cannot get any more powerful, range-defying, and throwback cool." Sena was just announced as a 2014 Living Blues Award nominee in the "Blues Artist of the Year (Female)" category.
With her newest release, Live My Life, Sena continues to forge her own personal and intelligent take on the blues. Says Sena, "Live My Life is such a fitting title for my new release. The last year has been one of tremendous growth and inspiration for me both personally and professionally through music." For one thing, she's excited about an all- new lineup of top-flight musicians she recruited to her Band. After serving as her band's lead guitarist and songwriting collaborator through her first two releases, Sena's father stepped aside earlier this year and she's formed a dynamic and energetic new Band.
With the new band behind her, Sena's looking forward to exciting opportunities on the horizon to play more festivals nationally and begin touring internationally, as she continues to come into her own as a vocalist, songwriter and entertainer.
"Working in the studio with producer David Z. at the helm was a dream come true. His catalog of work has been, in some ways, a soundtrack of my life - ranging from Prince to Jonny Lang. I was thrilled that David, who has strong ties to Minnesota, was able to come to my home state to record my album. In the studio he brought inspired and emotional performances out of myself, my band and the guest musicians on my album. It was truly an honor to work with a creative and contemporary living legend in music."
"The carefully selected covers are songs that I have held dear to my heart for years, with my own spin on their classic stories and appeal. The process of writing for this album along with my guitarist, Cole Allen, was incredibly rewarding."
With her commanding stage presence, and gritty, soulfully emotional vocal prowess, Sena Ehrhardt will continue to rank among the very best and most versatile of current blues vocalists. The journey's just beginning for this artist, but with the release of Live My Life, her expressive songwriting, and outstanding performances, the recognition and accolades for this rising star will continue to amass.
12SatThe Mob Rules - A Night of Ronnie James Dio, Pieces of Led (Led Zeppelin tribute)
show detailsSeptember 12, 20158:00pm $7.00The MOB RULES is a tribute to the musical career of the legendary "Ronnie James Dio". The band formed in August of 2011 to pay tribute to the music Ronnie has created over the course of his 40+ year career. From the early day's of the band ELF, to his day's in RAINBOW, his four albums he sang on when he fronted BLACK SABBATH, plus the songs from his solo career in the band DIO. THE MOB RULES is made up of seasoned musician's hailing from the Chicago area. Ken Mandat (lead guitar) and Rick Browz (bass) are the founding members of the original metal band "DAMIEN THORNE". With four albums to there credit, Damien Thorne has performed in the U.S.A. and throughout Europe. The band is currently working on their fifth album an upcoming shows in the states as well as Europe.Mike Browz (drummer) is also a member of Damien Thorne (2004 to present day). Mike has also played in many cover bands in the Chicago area over the past 30+ years.Brian Buxbaum (keyboardist) is also a member of Damien Thorne (2012 to present day). Brian has toured the states with the Pink Floyd tribute band "Crazy Diamond".Mik Dempsey (vocals) joined the band in September of 2013. Mik hails from the Chicago area and also sings for the band's "HYRAX" and " SAS MONSTER PARTY". THE MOB RULES pays tribute to the legacy of Ronnie James Dio by playing the music as authentic as possible. The band is out to have a good time and recreate some of the music "live" you just don't hear these days.So come on out and be apart of this musical evening and take a trip back to the days of one of rock's legendary vocalists: MR. RONNIE JAMES DIO.
Formed in spring of 2012, pieces of led is a four member power trio performing the music of Led Zeppelin. The set list includes songs such as Rock and roll, black dog, whole lotta love, the ocean, misty mountain hop, wanton song, houses of the holy, and many more!
17ThuSeptember 17, 2015
Whether she's performing on the Today show, the Grand Ole Opry or taking the stage at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, she is fearless, confident and firm in her musical direction. As she says, she sings "old-time music," but it's her own unique blend of roots music that is equal parts Americana, bluegrass, gospel, and country, with a little bit of blues thrown in for good measure.
Offstage, Emilie Sunshine Hamilton is a typical 10-year-old girl who loves video games, pets and colorful clothes. She's had a normal upbringing in Madisonville, Tenn., where her mother worked as a nurse and her father is a recording engineer. But when she begins singing, playing or writing, something else takes over, a phenomenon that began before she could talk. As soon as Emi was old enough to walk down the aisle, she began singing in church. Her parents filled the house with music by Buddy Miller, Johnny and June Carter Cash and Emmylou Harris, and her musical tastes were formed. Those influences served as a foundation on which she built her own sound. "It's kind of what came out," she says of her sound. "I always loved that music and I thought, 'That's what I wanted to play. This is what I want to do.'"
Emi, who has a passionate following on social media, remains unaware of much of the whirlwind swirling around her. Her career moves will be dictated not by opportunities, but integrity. After coming off a year where many of her dreams came true, Emi is quickly creating new dreams and plans. But her ultimate goal remains the same: "I just want everybody to know who I am."
18FriMan with a Camera
show detailsSeptember 18, 2015Man with a Camera
19SatSeptember 19, 2015
Combining the likes of R&B and Top 40 pop production, Milwaukee native Chris Haase brings a lush style of vocal arrangement on top of hip-hop inspired beats to the midwest music scene. With inspiration from artists such as Travis Garland and Nick Jonas, Chris delivers a silvery strong vocal performance.
In September 2014, Chris released his debut single "STAY", which he describes as a "soul, R&B, Pop-fusion track that exclamates being with a woman you want to be the only one." Since then, he has released a monthly series of 'Redux' covers on SoundCloud, ranging from favorite Top 40 songs such as Nick Jonas's 'Jealous' to throwbacks such as Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love'.
His music video debut for the new single 'LEAVE' looks to set a darker, heartbroken tone to the end of a bond between the two loves. "It's a running in between alcohol and emotional abuse, which all we are left with is this bare bone feeling that everyone has felt. An anger-fueled breakdown filled with depression and passion" says Chris.
With more music to be released, be sure to keep Chris Haase on your artist radar.
22TueSeptember 22, 2015
Following on from the hugely popular 'Declaration Tour 2014', Mike Peters one man band 'Alarm' concept will present 'Strength' in a similar contemporary style featuring performance, stories and images to honor the legacy the album left on the decade it helped define and the continuing significance it holds for listeners who can still relate to it's timeless themes of love, hope and strength.
The Alarm's debut album 'Declaration' was powered by unique electro-acoustic guitars that by the time of the follow up 'Strength', had evolved into a much fuller arena rock sound that paralleled U2 and Springsteen's E Street Band in its scope and ambition. A sound that would see The Alarm break North America on a grand scale and peak with a live appearance before an audience of 26,000 fans at a concert in Los Angeles watched by millions around the world via MTV's first ever live satellite broadcast.
Packed with powerful yet personal songs like the autobiographical 'Spirit Of '76' and 'Walk Forever By My Side', 'Strength' went on to become The Alarm's best selling album of the 1980's charting in the Top 40 on both sides of the Atlantic. This is The Alarm record that brings together for the first time, the aforementioned themes of love, hope and strength now so synonymous with Mike Peters and his long running battle against cancer.
Two times cancer survivor Mike Peters is fast emerging as one of the most visible advocates and activists for those living with and beating cancer around the world. Over the last four years, his Love Hope Strength Foundation has found over 1500 potentially life saving bone marrow donor matches; built the first ever children's cancer center in Tanzania; supported the Bhaktapur Cancer Center in Nepal with life saving equipment and registered over 90,000 donors through it's 'Get On the List' program. By turning rock concerts into lifesaving events, more than 10,000 international recording artists including Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Frank Turner and The Drop Kick Murphys now support the charity by allowing bone marrow registries at their concerts.
Although Peters, is constantly fighting the illness himself (he may ultimately need a bone marrow transplant), he refuses to stop performing. Continually mixing his role as cancer advocate and musician by leading fundraising treks around the Globe and addressing delegates at the World Cancer Congress in Melbourne, Australia in December. "Thousands of people from around the world die every year simply because they can't find a match. The match is out there for everyone; they just have not been found. That is our life mission - seeing that everyone that needs a donor has one. It's that simple! Equally simple is the process - a simple cotton swab of the cheek - to get on the registry and then, if you are lucky enough to become a donor for someone suffering from blood cancer, the next step is a simple out patient procedure. Most people don't know this and it is our job to get the message out to as many as possible," says Peters.
Peters inspirational story and musical exploits to perform awareness raising concerts at altitude on mountains such as Everest and Kilimanjaro (all while undergoing bi-monthly chemotherapy sessions), will be the focus of a new documentary film 'One Guitar', being produced in the USA by Kaleidoscope Pictures that will be released in 2015.
The idea to climb mountains and perform concerts came when Mike was in hospital in Wales going through his second battle with cancer. Peters said, "I could see Mt. Snowdon from my hospital window and thought to myself, 'When I recover, I'm going to hike up that mountain as my symbolic climb back from cancer and raise money with my fans to support the cancer center that helped save my life.'"
30 years on from the original release of 'Strength', Mike Peters still has so much to live for, After twenty years living with cancer his songs of love hope and strength have taken on greater meaning and the defiance of his words from the 'Spirit Of '76' ring truer than ever. "I will never give in until the day that I die. I'll get myself some independence, carve out a future with my two bare hands".
Mike Benign is a Milwaukee songwriter best known for his bands Blue in The Face (90s), Arms & Legs & Feet (80s) and currently, The Mike Benign Compulsion. Says OnMilwaukee, "Benign's sharp, sardonic, intelligent pop songs have made him a beloved -- and more importantly, respected -- part of the local scene."
24ThuSeptember 24, 2015
The band -- multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven, and Charlie Muench -- hails from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. All three are classically-trained musicians who've been making music of all kinds since childhood (before they reconnected through the local music scene, de Vitry and Muench first met in middle school orchestra); however, they were also all raised with a steady diet of music ranging from pioneers like The Carter Family and Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys to the joyous invention of The Beatles and The Band, to the groundbreaking artistry of Jimi Hendrix.
After college, Craven was playing with Muench in a bluegrass band called River Wheel when he and de Vitry first met. Craven and de Vitry began sharing their original songs with one another, playing local open mics, and busking regularly at Lancaster's Central Market. In an effort to preserve their songs before an impending parting, the pair recorded the Borderland EP in a friend's basement studio in 2010. Muench appeared as a guest bassist on a few tracks.
It was only a year before the trio would wrap up other endeavors and reassemble in a recording studio, independently releasing their first full-length album, The Stray Birds, in 2012. "Making that record was a really great process for us to learn how we work together as a band," explains de Vitry. The album became a critical darling: NPR included it on their 10 Best Folk/Americana Albums of the Year list and several songs from the project were in heavy rotation on taste-making radio stations like WXPN.
The album's success earned The Stray Birds performance slots at prestigious events like the Philadelphia, Kerrville, and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and legendary venues like Nashville's famous bluegrass club, The Station Inn. Their steadily increasing popularity led to an appearance on Mountain Stage, where their spellbinding harmonies captivated audiences nationwide and helped to build a dedicated fanbase in the UK and Ireland as well.
The trio, who roots music site No Depression praised as "a band destined for global success," received rave reviews at the 2014 Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and followed that appearance with a number of sold-out dates in England and Ireland; they plan to return to the UK for a string of shows in September of this year.
Where their previous releases (aside from the 2013 EP, Echo Sessions, which consisted of covers of songs penned by Townes Van Zandt, The Louvin Brothers, Jimmie Rodgers, Nanci Griffith, and Susanna Clark) consisted nearly entirely of songs that the band members wrote individually while remaining close to home, for Best Medicine, the band's primary songwriters, Maya and Oliver, wrote new, original material inspired by their last two and a half years on the road; then The Stray Birds honed the majority of these songs onstage together.
"This is the first time that we have written music within the context of being a consistent, traveling, performing band," says de Vitry. "These songs have been largely inspired by places we've been or experiences we've had on the road." The album's title track, "Best Medicine," was inspired by a trip to Schenectady, New York, a town with a lively record store amidst countless abandoned storefronts. This juxtaposition, along with the fascinating life story of the record shop's proprietor, led de Vitry to pen the lyrics, "You never know the gold you can find out there / 'Til you put the needle down and do some digging in the air...if the body is a temple, the soul is a bell/ And that's why music is the best medicine I sell."
When the group began to work on their new album at Stonebridge Studios in Leesburg, Virginia, The Stray Birds and their co-producer Stuart Martin pursued a method of recording that was unlike any other project the band had ever made before. "It's more us," states Craven. Instead of recording in isolation as they did on The Stray Birds, for Best Medicine, the band eschewed booths and headphones, instead recording the majority of their material live off the floor, in the same room, each musician playing and singing around a microphone, capturing the energy and the familial feel of their live shows. There were few overdubs, which were largely used by the Birds to give several songs an extra layer of texture by adding more instrumental tracks (ranging from slide guitar to piano) instead of using session musicians.
"By the time we recorded this album, singing together had become so natural," explains de Vitry. It had become familial rather than just professional. Our vocal ranges and tones were complementary to begin with, but our inflection and phrasing evolved so effortlessly once we were singing out on the road every night."
Muench agrees, noting, "I think the three of us have really gelled and inhabited The Stray Birds as a single entity. In the beginning it was 'Maya and Oliver and Charlie sometimes playing music together.' Now we are a solid unit."
In addition to being their strongest, most personal, and most authentic album to date, Best Medicine is an album of firsts for these three musicians: it is the band's first full-length album where Charlie Muench sings lead on a song, a jaunty, fiddle-laced version of the traditional tune "Pallet," which has long been a fan favorite at shows. It was also the first song Maya and Oliver sang together back in 2010, making its inclusion on Best Medicine a moment in which the band's journey from a Lancaster basement to the stages of some of the most well known festivals in the country seems to have come full circle. The album is also the first one to include a song co-written by Maya and Oliver, who normally write separately: the poignant "Feathers and Bone," a song that the pair finished in the studio late one night after one of their recording sessions.
Craven's "Stolen Love," on which he sings lead, is arguably his strongest song to date, where the heartbreaking lyrics -- "a stolen love just don't grow" -- are belied by sweet, three-part harmony singing, and the band's infectious take on the traditional song "Who's Gonna Shoe" is downright irresistible.
Many of the songs on Best Medicine have been refined onstage in the last year; however, there is one new song that has never been performed live before. "Never for Nothing," is an unforgettable ballad that shines with a glimmer of hope as de Vitry sings, over delicate piano and guitar, "I'm dripping from the rivers I never meant to cross / But I like the things I'm learning more than anything I've lost / And, oh, I have lost...but not for nothing."
Although The Stray Birds choose to focus on folk music's sounds, harmonies, and tones, rather than its tradition of politically-conscious lyrics, Best Medicine includes two songs that would do Pete Seeger proud: Craven's "Simple Man," a heartbreaking song, reminiscent of Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl ballads, told from the perspective of a down on his luck farmer who prays he won't live to see the next sunrise, and de Vitry's "Black Hills," a moody song, anchored by clawhammer banjo, about a dark spot in American history -- it was inspired by a 2012 National Geographic article titled "In the Shadow of Wounded Knee."
While the bulk of the original material for Best Medicine was written with The Stray Birds in mind, the two songs that close the album come from an earlier time but find a home in the hands of the close-knit trio. Craven's aforementioned "Simple Man", and de Viry's "Might Rain"--the first song she ever wrote-- a song for which Muench lays down the bass and picks up the clawhammer banjo in a lulling, old-time inspired arrangement.
Supporting the release of Best Medicine, The Stray Birds are touring for much of 2015, bringing their stunning harmonies and lyrics to theaters, venues, and festivals across the country and world.
25FriSeptember 25, 2015
Back in 1988, Semi-Twang thought they'd taken their best shot with Salty Tears, their Warner Brothers debut. That record generated tons of critical acclaim but little in the way of sales. Soon after its release, other opportunities beckoned and the band members went their separate ways. Friendships survived, but the band was history. For John Sieger, the songwriter and main vocalist, Nashville, TN seemed like a good idea. Dwight Yoakam was one of many artists who found Sieger's songs and producers like Pete Anderson and Jerry Harrison were finding slots for his tunes. Mike Hoffmann stayed busy producing other artists and the other fellows in the band, all great players, were soon scooped up by other groups around town.
After the '09 Shank reunion, the band decided a new recording was in order...the one they should have made first. Unlike their debut, (a major label project with a budget just this side of a NASA launch) the band recorded on the sly, mostly at Hoffmann's House Studio and Sieger's Room w/a VU -- both Pro Tools equipped, comfy and cozy. The pace was relaxed with sessions every few weeks for most of 2010. The atmosphere was loose but unwavering in its vision - get in, make the best record you've ever made, get out -- what's so hard about that?
In March of 2011, Wages Of Sin, their first album in 23 years, was released to overwhelmingly positive response - glowing critical reviews, over-the-top fan praise and lots of local airplay. Semi-Twang had always harkened back to classic artists like Dylan, The Beatles and The Band. This approach paid off handsomely on Wages, an album that dares you to to put a time-stamp on it. Songs like the title cut Wages of Sin and When The Wind Kicks Up sound like the kind of country music Nashville might be making if producers and record companies weren't trying to own the middle of the road. Nervous Energy and Move It Or Lose It recall iconoclasts like Dave Edmonds and Nick Lowe in full-tilt mode. Then, there are songs like Just A Train and It's That Time Again that harbor a very distinctly Semi-Twangian Thang... You can imagine, somewhere down the road, some young band trying to reproduce that unique feel.
Which brings us to 2013: On March 23 of this year, the band has released their third project, The Why & The What For, a recording that ups the stakes in a very entertaining way. It is topical and personal with a bit more R&B soul influence that includes a few throwbacks to the duckwalk days of Chuck Berry. Oh, and you'll also be rewarded with one or two of those unclassifiable yet familiar songs you've come to expect from Semi-Twang. The Why & The What For will be getting heavily promoted to the press and radio here in the states and in the UK by Pavement Media.
Billy Prine, younger brother of singer-songwriter legend John Prine and a tremendous talent in his own right, started playing in garage bands when he was 13 years old. Born and raised in a suburb of Chicago, he continued playing music all through high school and he began performing locally. According to Billy he, "really started taking it seriously" when he moved to California in 1979 and started a band called Whiplash and the Lawsuits.
After playing the northern California circuit for a few years, Billy returned to the Windy City and started a band called Billy and the Bangers in the mid/late 80's. Billy honed his craft playing the clubs in Chicago and even hosted a cable television show called "Rockin' Prine." After his family moved to Nashville in 1993, Billy followed and worked behind the scenes in the music business until recently when he brought his "bigger-than-life presence" and booming voice back to the stage in Music City.
His first CD includes three original songs and some classics from friends and legends in the music business, along with the musical stylings of several world-class musicians. A natural born entertainer, Billy enjoys living and working in Nashville and performs regularly with his band, The Billy Prine Band.
26SatSeptember 26, 2015
27SunSeptember 27, 2015
Scales received national recognition for co-writing Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single for Johnnie Taylor titled, "Disco Lady". "Disco Lady" was the very first platinum single in the history of the Recording Industry Association of America, selling over two million copies. It was certified platinum on April 22, 1976. Scales is the first African American song writer to receive this status, which is not surprising as it was the first platinum single awarded. Scales also co-wrote the song "I Can Do Bad All by Myself" recorded by Jesse James with Johnny Mills, also of Milwaukee. He has written most of the songs on his albums from the 1978 release of Confidential Affairs to the 1997 Somebody Else's Somebody.
Harvey was well known in his home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin before his big break as a national songwriter. Known as "Twistin' Harvey" in the early 1960s by local fans, Scales, an Osceola, Arkansas native, grew up in Milwaukee and attended Roosevelt Middle and North Division High School. Together he and his long time friend Al Vance formed the group, Harvey Scales and the Seven Sounds. The band included Rudy Jacobs, Ray Armstead, Manny Smith, Bill Purtie, Melvin Taylor and Bill Stonewall -- their first release came out as by 'Twistin' Harvey on James Kirchstein's Cuca label in Sauk City, Wisconsin.
The band enjoyed four 45s there including "Glamour Girl" which is highly sought after by British collectors who pay $300 per copy. They then moved to Magic Touch for four more releases before switching to Chess/Cadet in Chicago. The band also recorded for Mercury and Stax during their funk era.
"Get Down" was issued in June, 1967 and almost made the Billboard Hot 100 top 30 but its time in the charts was too protracted as after its initial sales in July '67, LeCour and Al Bell of Stax signed a distribution deal in September with "Get Down" being the first record to benefit from the tie-up but the disc's momentum was slowing down by then but it did result in a larger number being sold. These figures were also boosted by the 45s flip side, "Love-Itis" which was the preferred choice of many DJs.
Scales continued to write songs with Vance some of which were recorded by the Dells, O'Jays and the Dramatics and in the 70s he also hooked up with Don Davis who was working with the Dramatics for Stax and the trio co-wrote "Disco Lady" for Johnnie Taylor which went on to sell 2,000,000 copies and was the first 45 to go platinum.
30WedSeptember 30, 2015
King Washington was born in the late 2000's by a then teenage Tyson Kelly, the son of an artist and a songwriter. Raised in a world of music and creativity, Tyson knew at an early age that he would one day have a band of his own -- a band that could be a musical force beyond his imagination. Then he met George.
George Krikes has never lacked for natural ability. From surprising his elementary school mates with his voice to wowing professors at USC with his guitar, he had always been, and possibly will always be, the most musically gifted person in the room. Upon seeing Krikes' poetry in motion, Kelly knew what his talents could mean for King Washington; two lead singers with complementary musical talents with which to make the world a canvas for their art.
Together, with bassist/vocalist Billy Lee, King Washington's music has been lauded by critics as "perfectly crafted", "effortless", and "unafraid". Some critics have gone as far imploring their readership to "buy this (King Washington's albums) at once".
It's more than the next step in the evolution of indie-rock. It's more than a salute to the music of yesteryear. It is truth forged by skill, kissed by pain, and caressed by love.