1SatOctober 1, 20168:00pm $35.00For over 50 years, John Mayall has served as a pioneer of blues music, rightly earning him the title, "The Godfather of British Blues." In 2013, John signed with producer Eric Corne's label, Forty Below Records, and has since been experiencing a true artistic and career renaissance.
This revival continues with the release of a brilliant new studio album titled 'Find a Way to Care', produced by John and Eric at famed House of Blues Studios in Encino, California. About the new album, Corne says, "I really wanted to feature John's keyboard playing on this record. He's truly one of the most lyrical, economical and underrated keyboardists around. We also wanted to change things up a bit after the success of "A Special Life" and the addition of a horn section on several tracks was a really fun way to do that. As good as the last album was, I think this one is even better."
On the new album, John adds harmonica on two songs, as well as a classic guitar track reminiscent of Hubert Sumlin or Muddy Waters on the latter's legendary "Long Distance Call." He is joined by his killer touring band: Rocky Athas (guitar), Greg Rzab (bass) and Jay Davenport (drums). The release of "Find a Way to Care" comes on the heels of Mayall's internationally-acclaimed, "A Special Life" in released in 2014. "I'd easily put this one among Mayall's best efforts - and that includes 'Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton,' 'A Hard Road' and 'Blues from Laurel Canyon!'" (about.com)
Earlier this year, John and Forty Below thrilled the blues world with the release of the historical Bluesbreakers album, 'Live In 1967', featuring the three original members of Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. "Sunken treasure doesn't get much better" (Classic Rock Magazine). A second set is slated for a 2016 release.
John Mayall was born on the 29th of November 1933 and grew up in a village not too far from Manchester, England. It was here as a teenager that he first became attracted to jazz and blues 78s in his father's record collection. Initially it was all about guitarists such as Lonnie Johnson, Brownie McGhee, Josh White and Leadbelly. However once he heard the sounds of boogie woogie piano giants Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis, his desire to play in that style was all he could think of. At the age of 14 when he went to Manchester's Junior School of Art, he had access to a piano for the first time and he began to learn the basics of this exciting music. He also found time to continue learning the guitar and a couple of years later, the harmonica, inspired by Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter.
After his two years at art school, he joined the art department of a major department store while starting to build up his own record collection that was to be his source of inspiration to play the blues. At age eighteen when he was due for National Service he spent three years in the Royal Engineers as an office clerk in the south of England and in Korea all the time playing whenever he got a chance. As no-one seemed to be interested in this type of music, John felt pretty much of an outsider throughout his twenties until 1962 when the news broke in the British music magazine Melody Maker that Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies had opened a club in Ealing devoted to blues music. After Britain's ten year traditional jazz boom had about run its course, a new generation was ready for something new. Out came the amplifiers, guitars and harmonicas and out came young enthusiasts from all over the country eager to sit in and form their own groups.
This was all the encouragement thirty-year old John needed and, giving up his graphic design job, he moved from Manchester to London and began putting musicians together under the banner of the Bluesbreakers. Although things were rough at first, the music quickly took off thanks to the popularity of the Rolling Stones, Georgie Fame, Manfred Mann, The Animals and Spencer Davis with a young Steve Winwood. John also backed blues greats John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, and Sonny Boy Williamson on their first English club tours.
After a couple of years and many personnel changes, Eric Clapton quit the Yardbirds and John quickly offered him the job as his new guitarist. Although John had previously released a couple of singles and a live LP for Decca, the now classic collaboration between Eric and John resulted in the all-time best-selling classic album, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton. However, by the time it was entering the charts, Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce had left to form Cream. So began a succession of future stars who would define their roots under John's leadership before leaving to form their own groups. Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood became Fleetwood Mac. Andy Fraser formed Free, and Mick Taylor joined the Rolling Stones.
In 1969, with his popularity blossoming in the USA, John caused somewhat of a stir with the release of a drummer-less acoustic live album entitled The Turning Point, from which his song, "Room To Move" was destined to become a rock classic. He received a gold record for this album. Attracted by the West Coast climate and culture, John then made his permanent move from England to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles and began forming bands with American musicians. Throughout the '70s, John became further revered for his many jazz/rock/blues innovations featuring such notable performers as Blue Mitchell, Red Holloway, Larry Taylor, and Harvey Mandel.
In 1982, motivated by nostalgia and fond memories, John decided to re-form the original Bluesbreakers. Mick Fleetwood was unavailable at the time so John hired drummer Colin Allen to join with John McVie and Mick Taylor for a couple of tours and a video concert film entitled Blues Alive. Featured greats were Albert King, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Etta James. By the time Mick and John had returned to their respective careers, public reaction had convinced Mayall that he should honor his driving blues roots. In Los Angeles, he selected his choices for a new incarnation of the Bluesbreakers. Officially launched in 1984, it included future stars in their own right, guitarists Coco Montoya and Walter Trout.
Throughout the eighties and nineties, John's popularity went from strength to strength with a succession of dynamic albums such as Behind The Iron Curtain, Chicago Line, A Sense of Place, and the Grammy-nominated Wake Up Call that featured guest artists Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Albert Collins and Mick Taylor.
In 1993, Texas guitarist Buddy Whittington joined the Bluesbreakers and for the next ten years energized the band with his unique and fiery ideas. Making his recording debut on Mayall's Spinning Coin album, he proved to be more than equal to following in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors. Other modern classics followed. Blues For the Lost Days and Padlock On The Blues, the latter co-produced by John and his wife Maggie, featured a rare collaboration with his close friend John Lee Hooker. On Along For The Ride, Mayall re-teamed with a number of his former mates, including Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, as well as ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Steve Miller, Billy Preston, Steve Cropper, Otis Rush, Gary Moore and Jeff Healey. The younger generation was well represented by teenage guitar sensations Shannon Curfman and Jonny Lang. In 2002, Stories debuted the Billboard blues charts at #1.
At a 70th Birthday celebration in aid of UNICEF in Liverpool, a concert was filmed, recorded and released as a DVD and double CD in December 2003. Along with the Bluesbreakers, it featured old friends Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Chris Barber. The BBC also aired an hour-long documentary on John's life and career entitled The Godfather of British Blues and to coincide with the release of Road Dogs in 2005, John was awarded an OBE by The Queen's Honours list. In the Spring of 2007, John Mayall's 56th album release, In The Palace Of The King, was an entire studio album that honored and paid tribute to the music of Mayall's long-time hero of the blues, Freddie King. All garnered great reviews, critical and popular acclaim and represent Mayall's ongoing mastery of the blues and his continuing importance in contemporary music.
In addition, over the last ten years, Mayall released live recordings on his own online label, Private Stash Records. (Some still available from his website johnmayall.com. They included Time Capsule (containing historic 1957-62 live tapes), UK Tour 2K, (from a 2000 British tour), Boogie Woogie Man, (a selection of solo performances), Cookin' Down Under, (a live DVD from Australia) No Days Off, (another British live show) and a 3 volume set of Historic Live Shows.
By October 2008, the years of heavy touring were beginning to take their toll on John and he reluctantly announced his decision to take an indefinite break and permanently retire the name "Bluesbreakers." It was a sad occasion to say farewell to Buddy and the guys after twenty years of great music and camaraderie but things had reached another turning point. This caused quite a stir in blues circles and led to rumors about total retirement. Happily for the fans, early in 2009 Eagle Records called upon John to come up with a new album. Feeling much revived after months away from music, he put together a new band for the project.
A few years ago, Buddy Whittington had introduced John to a fellow Texas guitarist, Rocky Athas and he recalled how impressed he'd been at the time. Luckily he answered the call and was eager to come on board for the proposed album. With the need for a rhythm section of dynamic strength, John turned to bassist Greg Rzab who recommended his fellow Chicagoan Jay Davenport on drums. Finally, the three guys were put together with keyboardist Tom Canning and within two days of meeting up in Los Angeles, the album Tough was in the can. It had taken all of three days in the studio and ever since its release and a growing schedule of world tours, a new era was born. Soon after its release Tom left to pursue other projects.
A leaner four piece line-up gave John more room to stretch out as an instrumentalist and the band's chemistry hit new heights.
For the next five years (and counting) John and the band continue to tour extensively. After being invited to do a guest spot on Walter Trout's latest album, John met engineer/producer Eric Corne. John was so impressed that he asked Eric to record his new album 'A Special Life', Greg, Jay and Rocky flew in for the sessions which took less than a week to record and the end result is one of John's best albums ever, with it's deep devotion to blues and roots music. The album was released May 13, 2014 to rave reviews, followed by an extensive 80th Birthday Celebration Tour of North America, Europe and The UK.
Following up on 'A Special Life' and the 2015 releases, 'Find A Way To Care' and 'Live in 1967', Forty Below Records plans to release 'Live In 1967 Volume II' in 2016, and a new studio album is also in the works.
Today, John can safely say he's never been happier with his band and career and the road continues.
Austin-based singer-songwriter Bill Carter's list of bona fides is so long, it's hard to decide which credits to note first. We could start with his first big songwriting score, "Why Get Up?," heard on the Fabulous Thunderbirds' breakout album, Tuff Enuff. There's a breakfast cereal commercial that earned the about-to-be-evicted Carter and his co-writer wife, Ruth Ellsworth, a then-huge $25,000 payday. Then there's "Crossfire," the No. 1 hit they wrote with Chris Layton, Tommy Shannonand Reese Wynans -- a.k.a. Double Trouble, the band who backed T-bird Jimmie Vaughan's little brother, Stevie Ray. Or there's "Anything Made of Paper," penned for the West Memphis 3's Damien Echols, which Carter recorded with pal Johnny Depp and performed on the Late Show With David Letterman. Featured in the West of Memphis documentary and on the accompanying soundtrack, it's also an award-winning animated video.
Carter's songs have been covered by scores of major artists, from John Mayall and Ruth Brown to Robert Palmer and Waylon Jennings; among his accolades is a BMI Million Air award for more than three million "Crossfire" spins. But Carter has also released several albums of his own, the latest of which, Innocent Victims and Evil Companions, bowsFebruary 26, 2016, on Forty Below Records.
On this one, the artist takes blues, soul, country and rock into realms both far-reaching and familiar, aided by several A-team Austin players. They include guitarists Charlie Sexton and Denny Freeman(Dylan's current and former, respectively) and David Holt (Joe Ely, the Mavericks, Storyville); drummer Dony Wynn (Robert Palmer, Charlie Mars); keyboardist Mike Thompson (the Eagles, together and solo); fiddler Richard Bowden (Maines Brothers, Austin Lounge Lizards); the Tosca String Quartet(everyone from David Byrne to the Dixie Chicks); and brass/woodwind player/string arranger John Mills.
But it's his resonant tenor and just-right production -- and songwriting and performing chops, including his six- and 12-string acoustic guitar, harmonica and percussion work -- that drive this release from the first track, "Black Lion," to the 14th, "No More Runnin'." Musically and lyrically, Carter references a rich past while rooting himself firmly in the present.
"Recipe for Disaster," in which he questions how the hope-filled '60s contorted into today's mad world, sounds like a lost Warren Zevon track (and namechecks John Lennon). Carter crafts sinfully delicious retro pop licks in "Feel Town"; "Fisherman's Daughter," which he describes as a love song, delivers a wonderfully loose back-porch blues/honky-tonk vibe; and "Sooner or Later" flat-out rocks. "Lost in a Day" and "Livin' in It" suggest the Traveling Wilburys constructing a new Wall of Sound. And yes, that's Sexton playing electric sitar on "Missing Guru," about the still-fugitive swami convicted of sexually abusing minors in his Austin-area ashram.
And one might be forgiven for wondering whether "Black Lion," which Carter characterizes as "drug-induced paranormal paranoia isolation," bears a relationship to "Bug House in Pasadena" -- his dismal, yet humorous account of "life in the cackle factory."
The far sunnier "Solar Powered Radio," complete with Vox and Fender Rhodes tickles, could become the theme song for the Austin-area station that inspired it.
"Watch what you say around me; I'll put it in a song," Carter likes to joke. Apparently, he isn't kidding -- despite his reputation for hanging around with characters like Depp and the Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes, who, with Carter and Sal Jenco, formed the single-lettered quartet P in the '90s. (Carter also can be heard playing bass on the Surfers' 1996 classic Electriclarryland.)
Though Carter just about holds native-son status in Austin, his roots actually trace back to Kentucky, where his father, Cash Carter, was born. Cash was the son of William Henry Carter (Bill's namesake). William Henry's first cousin was A.P. Carter, scion of country royals the Carter Family. Bill's bluegrass-loving father, a Navy petty officer, raised his sons in Washington state.
Like so many kids of his generation, Carter picked up a guitar after hearing Dylan, and joined a band after hearing the Beatles. He made is way to Austin in 1976, and met Ruth not long after. They've been partners and collaborators ever since. (She shares backing vocals with Kimmie Rhodeson "Fisherman's Daughter.")
Innocent Victims and Evil Companions is Carter's ninth self-produced album, and his first for Forty Below Records. But Carter's songs, with and without Ellsworth (i.e., "Richest Man," "Willie the Wimp") can be heard on many other artists' albums. In 2000, "Crossfire" earned them an Austin Music Award for "Song of the Decade." In 2012, Austin PBS affiliateKLRU-TV presented an "Arts in Context" segment about Carter and his band, the Blame, that featured performances with Freeman, Wynn, Holt,Will Sexton and Cindy Cashdollar, among others, and interviews with notable names including Depp and Billy F. Gibbons. It earned producer-director Pat Kondelis an Emmy. Kondelis and Brandon Ray co-directed the animated video for "Anything Made of Paper," which has won several awards as well.
As for producing his own work, Carter says his rein-holding, in this case, was driven by practicality as well as creativity. "I had all this stuff in my head on every song, which was a lot of information," he explains. "I recorded all the songs with just drums and acoustic guitar at first, so I had to know exactly where the breaks or solos or string sections were going to fall. I didn't have the luxury of spending 10,000 hours in the studio. I would hate to have someone just doing something I could have done myself."
That dedication is just one hallmark of a true musician -- the kind others turn to for inspiration and material. Of course, like any songwriter, Carter is flattered when others cover his songs. But there's something special about hearing them straight from their source, and he can't wait to unleash this latest batch. Because there's already more where they came from.
2SunOctober 2, 2016
Clearly, the sea change has only inspired the singular songwriter. Witness Complicated Game. McMurtry's first album in six years has garnered universal acclaim. "At a stage where most veteran musicians fall into a groove or rut, McMurtry continues to surprise," Texas Music magazine recently noted. "[Complicated Game] is a collection of narratives as sharply observed as any from McMurtry, but with a contemplative depth that comes with maturity."
Indeed, McMurtry's latest collection spotlights a craftsman in absolutely peak form as he turns from the political toward the personal ("These Things I've Come to Know," "You Got to Me"). "The lyrical theme is mostly about relationships," the longtime Austin resident says. "It's also a little about the big old world verses the poor little farmer or fisherman." Either way, McMurtry spins his stories with a poet's pen ("Long Island Sound") and a painter's precision ("She Loves Me") throughout.
Folks notice Complicated Game delivering McMurtry's trademark story songs time and again ("Copper Canteen," "Deaver's Crossing"). "[McMurtry] takes listeners on a road trip of unprecedented geographic and emotional scope," No Depression raves. "Lyrically, the album is wise and adventurous, with McMurtry -- who's not prone to autobiographical tales -- credibly inhabiting characters from all walks of life." "Fuses wry, literate observations about the world with the snarl of barroom rock," National Public Radio (NPR) echoes. "The result is at times sardonic, subversive and funny, but often vulnerable and always poignant."
Longtime fans know McMurtry's vibrant vignettes have turned heads for a quarter century now. "James McMurtry is one of my very few favorite songwriters on Earth and these days he's working at the top of his game," says Americana all-star Jason Isbell. "He has that rare gift of being able to make a listener laugh out loud at one line and choke up at the next. I don't think anybody writes better lyrics." (Yes. Spin "South Dakota." You'll hear.) "They took their time with this one," Texas Music magazine notes, "and it was well worth it. He's always been wise beyond his age, but middle age suits him well."
Evidence: McMurtry's Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched three Americana Music Award nominations (including Artist of the Year). Meanwhile, Childish Things scored endless critical praise and spent six full weeks topping the Americana Music Radio chart in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, Childish Things won the Americana Music Association's Album of the Year and "We Can't Make It Here" was named the rapidly rising organization's Song of the Year.
Of course, Complicated Game doubles down on literate storytelling longtime enthusiasts expect. Recall high watermarks past: "Childish Things," "Choctaw Bingo," "Peter Pan," "Levelland," and "Out Here in the Middle" only begin the list. (Yes, Robert Earl Keen covered those last two, "Levelland" remaining a live staple.) Just Us Kids alone includes fan favorites "Hurricane Party," "Ruby and Carlos" and "You'd a Thought." "Fireline Road" delivers equal measures depth and breadth and pierces hearts with sharp sociopolitical commentary.
McMurtry's critically lauded first album Too Long in the Wasteland (1989) was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill Records. In 1996, McMurtry received a Grammy nomination for Long Form Music Video for Where'd You Hide the Body. Additionally, It Had to Happen (1997) received the American Indie Award for Best Americana Album.
In 2004, McMurtry released the universally lauded Live in Aught-Three on Compadre Records. Next, the critically acclaimed Childish Things spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006, winning the Americana Music Award for Album of the Year while the cut "We Can't Make It Here" won Song of the Year. McMurtry received more AMA nominations for 2008's Just Us Kids. That album marked his highest Billboard 200 chart position in more than nearly two decades.
In 2009, Live in Europe was released, capturing the McMurtry band's first European tour and extraordinary live set. Along with seasoned band members Ronnie Johnson, Daren Hess, and Tim Holt, the disc features special guests Ian McLagan (The Faces) and Jon Dee Graham (True Believers, Skunks). Also, for the first time ever, video of the band's live performance is available on the included DVD.
The poignant lyrics of McMurtry's immense catalog still ring true today. In 2011, "We Can't Make It Here" was cited among The Nation's "Best Protest Songs Ever." Bob Lefsetz wrote that it "has stood the test of time because of its unmitigated truth."
McMurtry tours year round and consistently throws down unparalleled powerhouse performances. The Washington Post notes, "Much attention is paid to James McMurtry's lyrics and rightfully so: He creates a novel's worth of emotion and experience in four minutes of blisteringly stark couplets. What gets overlooked, however, is that he's an accomplished rock guitar player ... serious stuff, imparted by a singularly serious band."
Sam Llanas (formerly of the BoDeans) is an iconic American singer, acoustic guitarist, and songwriter. Best known for his unique and distinctively soulful voice, Sam's fiery vocals fueled many of his former band's finest songs including their biggest hit "Closer To Free." It was Llanas' voice that supplied the trademark vocal on Robbie Robertson's "Somewhere Down the Crazy River."
In 1997 Llanas founded the band Absinthe. As Absinthe Sam released one album, 1998's critically acclaimed A Good Day To Die. In 2011 Sam Llanas left the BoDeans and released 4 A.M. (The Way Home) on Inner Knot Records. In 2013 he released the live retrospective 4/5 Live - Vol I.
In 2012 the music from 1998's A Good Day To Die was incorporated into a collaboration with playwright Doug Vincent and producer Gary Tanin in the production "A Day for Grace." By 2013 the play had evolved to include multi-city tours and multi-week runs in New York City.
On November 18th, 2014 Llanas is set to release The Whole Night Thru an all new studio record produced by longtime collaborator Gary Tanin. It features 9 new Llanas originals. The Whole Night Thru is Llanas' first studio outing after parting ways with the band he co- fronted for over a quarter century. Shedding new light on a multi-decade career Sam returns to his roots adding a refined rock sound complimented by a full band, all veterans of both studio and live performance. Behind his lone-wolf image and tuffness, Llanas continues to hone his skills. A master craftsman that feels most at home in the city he's always called home, Llanas has set the stage for fans to embrace his new identity.
3MonOctober 3, 2016Dom Flemons
Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Dom's involvement with music began by playing percussion in his high school band. After picking up the guitar and harmonica as a teenager, he began to play in local coffee houses and became a regular performer on the Arizona folk music scene. Dom wrote his own songs and produced 25 albums of singer-songwriters and slam poets in the Phoenix area, including six albums of his own, during this time. He took a brief break from playing music in order to pursue slam poetry (he majored in English at Northern Arizona University) and performed in two national poetry slams in 2002 and 2003. Aside from exploring slam poetry, he spent his early adulthood listening to records and discovering a love of folk music, blues, jazz, jug band music, country music and '50s rock 'n' roll. Dom became interested in folk musicians such as Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk and Mike Seeger, as well as musicians such as Mississippi John Hurt, Howlin' Wolf, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins. After stepping away from the slam poetry scene, he rekindled his interest in music, this time focusing on the old-time blues music of the pre-WWII era.
A multi-instrumentalist, Dom plays banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum and quills, in addition to singing. He says that he incorporates his background in percussion to his banjo playing. Dom's banjo repertoire includes not only clawhammer but also tenor and three-finger styles of playing. He first picked up the instrument when he borrowed a five-string banjo from a friend who had removed the instrument's fifth string. As a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band, Dom was able to explore his interest in bringing traditional music to new audiences. The band won a GRAMMY for its 2011 album Genuine Negro Jig and was nominated for its most recent album, Leaving Eden, in 2012.
Dom says he would like to use the traditional forms of music he has heard and immersed himself in over the years to create new soundscapes that generate interest in old-time folk music. Focusing very much on creating music that is rooted in history but taking a contemporary approach, Dom hopes to reexamine what traditional music can become.
In July 2014, Dom released his third solo record with Music Maker Relief Foundation, and his first since leaving the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Prospect Hill finds Flemons digging deeply into ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern folk music, string band music, jug band music, fife and drum music, and ballads idioms with showmanship and humor, reinterpreting the music to suit 21st century audiences. He was featured on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross and his new album has received praise from The Boston Globe, Paste Magazine, Living Blues Magazine, and more.
4TueOctober 4, 2016
Their new EP, Light Me Up [DigSin], out October 16th, is posed to skyrocket them even further. Armed with a sound that's one part indie dance party and another part roots rock laced with a pop sensibility, the music of Bronze Radio Return is begging to be blared with the windows rolled down. These boys stand primed for impact in a big way.
"This band is the sum of its parts," explains singer Chris Henderson. "We focus on songs in the studio and energy on stage. We love to incorporate different elements to create a diverse listening experience. For as fun as it is, we spend a lot of time writing about themes that are meaningful to us. It's like a big ol' bowl of chili. There are all different spices and flavors. When you put it in a cauldron and stir it up over heat, it creates this new taste."
In order to cook up this latest batch of songs, Bronze Radio Return headed down to Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, TX. Just a stone's throw from the Mexican border, they lived, ate, slept, and created at the sprawling complex with longtime producer Chad Copelin [Ben Rector, BRONCHO, Sufjan Stevens]. The process strengthened their bond more than ever and the group emerged with six tracks that immediately captivate.
"We spent three weeks there," continues Chris. "Everybody was incredibly kind and hospitable. Each day, we would wake up and have this wonderful breakfast, record for several hours, come back to the dining hall for lunch, record more, and then go back there for dinner. It was very communal, and we really felt this aspect of togetherness. That comes through in the music."
The band finished up the nuts and bolts at Copelin's Blackwatch Studios in Norman, OK, before mixing began. F. Reid Shippen (Lady Antebellum, Ingrid Michaelson) mixed half the songs while Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons) mixed the other half, including title track and first single "Light Me Up." The song shimmies from a propulsive guitar and bombastic beat into an unshakable bridge, "I'm looking for a little action." There's definitely no shortage of that...
"It was a twofold idea in my head," says the vocalist. "We love playing live. When you fill up a room full of fans who are excited to hear your music, all you can say is, 'Let's have fun. Let's feel good.' On a second level, I prefer surrounding myself with positive people. There's something about that energy when you're around somebody smiling. It lights you up a little bit. When you seek out people like that, you end up feeling positive yourself, at least from my point of view."
The second single "Only Temporary" culminates on a striking falsetto in between swirling electronics and a galloping sonic strut. "We pulled this together around the concept of having feelings for somebody who is in a relationship with a person who's just dragging them along," he says. "You think to yourself, 'Why are you with that guy when I wouldn't treat you like that?' That's the story."
It's nearly impossible not to fall in love with the rousing, cinematic soundscape on Light Me Up. Once again, the band has turned up with songs that draw you in and give you that undeniable urge to dance and sing along. In many ways, that spirit stands reflected in the moniker Bronze Radio Return.
"I learned a lot about music from listening to this beautiful, old bronze tube radio that my dad had," explains Chris. "Everyone in the band shares a similar lineage of being influenced by the music we grew up with. We all figuratively had our own Bronze radio. It's a return of our inspirations and collective interpretation of it. That's what this band is."
7FriOctober 7, 2016Eagle Trace
KICK8:00pm $10.00Eagle Trace is an original alternative rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Formed in July 2011 their sound is best described as a blend of alternative both (old and new). Consisting of 4 brothers - lead singer Mitchell, guitarist Max, bassist Jackson, drummer Cass Borgardt and guitarist Phil Bregant. Eagle Trace has supported several national acts such as: Civil Twilight, Coasts, Kopecky, Wildcat! Wildcat!,and more. Also, they have played amazing venues like House of Blues Chicago, The Metro, The Majestic Madison, and Turner Hall Ballroom. Their New EP "The Restless Sea" was released in April 2016. The first single "Without a Sound" can be heard on regular rotation on Milwaukee's 88.9 and Various other stations.
8SatOctober 8, 2016
9SunClosedOctober 9, 2016Closed
10MonOctober 10, 2016
Directly supporting acts like The Lumineers, Delta Rae, American Authors, G. Love and Special Sauce, ZZ Ward, and Greensky Bluegrass, Swear and Shake has gone from city to city connecting people in the same way: by taking listeners on a ride through heart-wrenching ballads, only to pick it up on the next song with something people can dance to and lose themselves in completely.
Though both Kari Spieler (guitar, vocals) and Adam McHeffey (guitar, banjo, vocals) performed regularly around the campus of SUNY Purchase College, it wasn't until the final weeks of their senior year in 2010 that they met and recorded "Johnnie," a song Swear and Shake performs to this day.
The bedroom demo of "Johnnie" began to circulate, finding its way to Shaun Savage, who played bass with McHeffey all through high school, and Benny Goldstein, a fellow student at SUNY Purchase, who would later produce Maple Ridge, and ultimately come to be the full-time drummer for the band.
In August of 2014 the band released its third set of recordings, "Ain't That Lovin'." In November of 2014 the band will be relocating to Nashville, TN, to begin writing and recording their next full-length record, and to plan their next headlining tour for 2015.
Lauren Shera's DigSin debut Gold and Rust marks the distinguished national bow of a literally prodigious singer-songwriter who, having spent half of her young life as a professional musician, is now destined to capture the national spotlight.
The Nashville-based singer-songwriter's album -- her third, following two independently released titles -- is Shera's musical farewell to her home state of California.
"Somebody once described my music as 'California folk,' and I feel that's very accurate," Shera says. "I've always been so inspired by the coast and the mountains and all of the beautiful places in California that I love so much. It was a conducive environment for what I write. A lot of the songs are inspired by various parts of California -- living there, or scenery there, or people that I've met there. Making the record and finishing it, knowing that I was about to be leaving, inspired some of the songs as well."
The 10 original compositions on Gold and Rust -- ranging from spare, meditative ballads to panoramic, elegantly produced folk-rockers -- reflect the pronounced influence of another singer-songwriter whose music has become virtually synonymous with California folk, as well as a diversity of other distinctive musical voices in American folk and folk-rock.
"Joni Mitchell has painted such a beautiful sonic picture of California, and not only with her song 'California,'" Shera says. "We referenced the song 'Woodstock' a lot when we were recording the song 'Coastlands.' I break up my influences into classic musicians and more modern musicians. Joni Mitchell, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and John Prine are all big ones. The more modern ones are Feist, First Aid Kit, and the Fleet Foxes, and then even folkier acts like Gillian Welch."
The album was recorded in Santa Cruz, California, by Andy Zenczak, who also produced Shera's previous two releases, In My Bones (2006) and Once I Was a Bird (2010); the latter featured guest performances by Abigail Washburn and Kristin Hersh. Multi-instrumentalist Zenczak also supplied the new set's luminous lead guitar work.
Gold and Rust features "Stepheny and Aqbar," a striking vocal duet by Shera and Matthew Hegarty, the front man for the UK's Matthew and the Atlas, with whom she shared stages on a prominent 2011 trek.
Shera says, "The first major national tour I did was the Communion U.S. tour with Matthew & the Atlas and the David Mayfield Parade. Communion is a UK-based artist collective that was founded by Ben Lovett from Mumford & Sons. He put together an inaugural U.S. tour with three acts that he chose himself, and I was lucky enough to be one of those acts."
She has also performed dates in the company of such top names as Shawn Colvin, Ray LaMontagne, Nanci Griffith, Jason Mraz, Billy Bragg, and Jackie Greene.
Raised in Monterey, California, Shera hails from a musical family; her father, formerly a professional drummer, encouraged her study of music. She has been performing and writing virtually from the time she was old enough to pick up a guitar -- though she admits she didn't like playing one at first, for she was too small to even hold one.
"When I was 12 or 13," she explains, "I got into writing poetry, and I started entering poetry contests I was technically too young to enter and winning high school poetry contests when I was 13. That's when I decided I wanted to try the guitar again. I pretty much began writing songs immediately."
In her early teens, Shera became a habitué of open mic gigs, folk clubs, and coffee shop performances in Northern California; she was the subject of a profile on San Francisco's public TV station KQED before she had even released her first record. Her debut session, an EP she recorded for her dad as a Father's Day gift, attracted attention immediately.
"After I made that first EP, I wound up getting an offer for a record deal from a major record label," she recalls. "But I passed on it, because I couldn't actually comprehend everything that went into it, and I felt that I wasn't ready for it."
Working independently, Shera cut a semi-professional release she sold at her live dates, and followed it with the fully-formed In My Bones. The year that album was released, she was invited to perform at a star-studded tribute to Bob Dylan at New York's Avery Fisher Hall, alongside such luminaries as Patti Smith, Roseanne Cash, Ryan Adams, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott.
She dates the true beginning of her devotion to a professional music career to her subsequent studies at Chicago's celebrated Old Town School of Folk Music, which spawned such talents as John Prine, Steve Goodman, and the Byrds' Roger McGuinn.
Shera says, "I didn't commit fully to being a musician until I decided to go to Chicago. The school sounded amazing. I wanted a direction in my life. I had made a record and I had played a lot, but I still wasn't sure if it was what I wanted to do. When I went to Chicago and started taking classes and started meeting the amazing people and teachers there and writing again, I felt nourished and inspired.
"I was finding my voice. Everything up until Once I Was a Bird was really just experimentation, trial and error. That record was about putting my roots down and choosing what I wanted to sound like, and that was definitely thanks to the Old Town School."
The release of Once I Was a Bird was succeeded by the Communion tour and an appearance at the enormous Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. "I was invited to play there," Shera says. "They had a little acoustic stage. I played there solo, right before Robert Plant and Alison Krauss played right across the field on the huge stage. It was a trip."
Seeking a change and a more centralized location for a touring base, Shera drove to Nashville the morning after the final session for Gold and Rust. "Geographically, it was just a better move," she says, "and obviously there was tons happening in Nashville musically. My family happened to move here at the same time, so all directions pointed to Nashville. And I love it here."
She adds, "Gold and Rust is very much my last creative chapter in California -- saying goodbye to the coast, and all my friends and family there."
One thing is certain: No matter whether Lauren Shera is living in the Golden State or Music City, she's a new talent to be reckoned with.
11TueOctober 11, 2016
Says Bozzio, "I've been composing, (not just song writing, like for Missing Persons & Jeff Beck) since the '70s. I compose in all styles (as one might classify them), from classical to ambient, electronic, film-like to fusion/rock or jazz. I have my own character or personality, it's unique. I work with many different processes from writing notes on paper, to recording live, to several different computer software applications I may use, that are suited to the particular result I am trying to achieve. Both Zappa & famed musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky encouraged me to compose & I have had my Chamberworks performed at the Vienna Jazz Festival & in Holland w/Metropol Orkest."
He continued, "I first got interested in Art & Sketching at the encouragement of renowned artist Don Van Vliet (aka: Captain Beefheart) who I played with on my first Zappa/Mothers of Invention tour in 1975. Don was always carrying markers & paper & it looked like fun, so I bought some myself & started. He was very encouraging. Last year, I released my first project called Rhythm & Sketch in collaboration with the art group Scene Four. It's been successful & inspired me to do more. (available at www.terrybozzioart.com)"
Terry Bozzio fulfilled a major 2 &1/2 month US solo tour in 2014 in which he displayed his art as a stage set while performing melodic, tuned melodies on his strikingly large drum set, to sold out crowds.
"I thought it would be great to share this music which I've been working on & keeping to myself for so long. I hope to show a different side of my expression from what people are used to seeing from my solo drumming. And, I wanted to have an abstract painting to represent & be paired with each title to create this hybrid project of music & art," Bozzio explained.
The "Composer Series" contains 59 individual pieces or movements of compositions with a painting in a booklet for each title, along with detailed liner notes for each piece, explaining his concepts, feelings, process and approach for each. It will be available in a deluxe hard-cover artbook which includes Terry Bozzio's hand drawn illustrations and commentary for each piece, audio CDs & a solo drum performance Blu-Ray shot in Japan in 2015 (w/bonus footage), 192kHz/24bit Hi-Res audio of the 59 pieces on Blu-ray and a bonus DVD including 60min talk session of Terry Bozzio with Masa Ito. The material will also be made available in CD/DVD or 4CD/Blu-ray for record stores, as well as in many or individual downloadable formats online.
13ThuOctober 13, 2016Midge Ure
Then you have to take account of Midge's musical directorship of a series of rock concerts for The Prince's Trust, Wicked Women for Breakthrough and in honour of Nelson Mandela; a Lord Provost award for services to Scottish music; record production for Phil Lynott, Steve Harley and countless others; his video direction of memorable hits by the Fun Boy Three, Bananarama and others, or a whole swathe of landmark singles by Ultravox; TV, theatre and film music credits ranging from 'Max Headroom' to stage and big screen.
His musical roots were playing and learning the records of the Small Faces and other rockers who did things very much their own way, Midge appeared to the wider public in a moment of heady teen success with Slik. Their sway-along Bell single 'Forever And Ever' took over at No.1 in the UK from Abba's 'Mamma Mia' on Valentine's Day 1976. Soon outgrowing Slik's pop dimensions, Midge was snapped up by ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock the following year for his new outfit, the Rich Kids, who charted amid an avalanche of press with a self-titled EMI single early in 1978. By April '79, with his name being added to many musicians' contact book, Ure had been asked by Billy Currie, Chris Cross and Warren Cann to become the new frontman in Ultravox.
The band was a major influence on the electro-pop movements of the early '80s and many an open-minded studio and bedroom experimentalist since. Their successful trademark was combining Midge's powerful guitar riffs with sweeping synthesiser motifs, enigmatic imagery and state-of-the-art visuals. Throughout the first half of the '80s, they brilliantly combined the responsibilities of top 10 artists and innovative style-makers.
As interest in the 1980's rises again to a new peak in 2012, courtesy of reformations of the likes of Duran Duran and most recently Spandau Ballet, Ultravox's chart catalogue rewards merits new scrutiny. Tracks like 'Reap the Wild Wind', 'Dancing With Tears in My Eyes', 'Love's Great Adventure' and 1981's timeless 'Vienna' were all massive hits the world over as they charted with awesome regularity, not only on single, but with seven consecutive top ten albums in just six years.
14FriProject/Object - The Music of Frank Zappa featuring Ike Willis & Don Preston
show detailsOctober 14, 2016
Their legendary tours of the USA, Canada, and Europe have paved the way for a rich variety of excellent, contemporary Zappa tributes.
Project/Object is the band that brought most of the currently touring Zappa band alumni out of retirement, and onto the road. Back on tour in Spring 2016 with another special tour to celebrate the music with TWO of Frank's most beloved and popular sidemen.
The Project/Object Spring 2016 Tour will feature:
Ike Willis, the voice of Joe's Garage and Thingfish. Ike was Zappa's lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for virtually every tour and album from 1978 thru the final FZ tour in 1988. Ike's still-incredible baritone and incendiary guitar solos are the #1 request by fans, worldwide. Frank's biggest tours featured Ike as frontman, and the onstage rapport, musical communication and political humor between them is the stuff of legend for the fan base. In 2015 alone Ike toured Germany, Holland, the USA and Brazil performing Zappa music. Ike has been the featured guest at the world-famous Zappanale Festival in Bad Doberan Germany a number of times. For over 25 yrs the festival has been the yearly pilgrimage for Zappa fans and bands from all around the world. Ike's work on albums like Joe's Garage and Tinseltown Rebellion is still demanded at every show around the world.
Don Preston met Zappa when he would come see Don performing electronic music in LA in the early 60s. A few years later Don became one of the most dynamic onstage figures in Zappa's Mothers Of Invention, playing and touring with Frank from 1966 thru 1974. Don's work on the revolutionary Absolutely Free and We're Only In It For The Money is still influencing music and culture 50 years on. Don's legendary piano and pioneering synthesizer work changed the sound of rock, and he was one of the first, if not the very first, to integrate synthesizers (homemade at the time!) with a live rock band. Don is well known for his post Zappa work including the Apocalypse Now! soundtrack, as well as tours & albums with giants like Nat King Cole, Jack Bruce, Robbie Krieger and Herbie Mann. Healthy and still touring at 83, Don is truly a living legend and one of the originators. He also tours with Bunk Gardner in The Grandmothers and with his jazz/electronic trio Don Preston's Akashic Ensemble.
Project/Object welcomes them both back to the stage! This tour will highlight material from each of the Zappa eras these men were a part of, as well as a comprehensive sampling of classic Zappa as well as rare "fan favorites". Don, one of the living originators of the analog synthesizer revolution that is in resurgence, will feature a full-on synthesizer rig combining historic synths with modern technology.
15SatOctober 15, 2016JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound
JC Brooks was born the son of a Jersey funk diva, his voice erupts with heart and heartache over the ferocious rhythm and star-time charisma of guitarist Billy Bungeroth, drummer Kevin Marks, keyboardist Andy Rosenstein, and bassist Ben Taylor. With a take-no-prisoners live attack and lyrics speaking of the torment and triumph of these tumultuous times, it's no wonder that the Chicago Tribune called JC Brooks "the real deal". This is a soul band rallying against our disaffected and disengaged era, connecting with people the old-fashioned way, by whipping them into a frenzy with honest appeal and unbridled enthusiasm.
The Uptown Sound has attracted a true-blue grassroots following, with MOJO Magazine identifying them as "one of the hottest US soul acts". Since unleashing their Bloodshot Records debut "Want More" ("A lively set of gritty old- school soul and funk injected with raw garage-rock aggression" - KEXP), they've barnstormed North America and Europe relentlessly, while burning up NPR and AAA radio with their stomping cover of Wilco's "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart"(which they performed with the song's composer, Jeff Tweedy, at Wilco's Solid Sound Festival).
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound have toured, warred, scored, and they're not to be ignored. Bear witness, for these young men are on the move and they know what post-punk soul looks like. It looks like the future.
Abby Jeanne is a singer songwriter and producer originally from Milwaukee Wisconsin. In 2010 Abby hit the roads of america in her mini-van to begin her musical journey. Since the she has been traveling, writing and playing music on the streets of America and Europe. She started as an acoustic writer and slowly moved her way into production. She personally describes her music as "Rock n' roll with a dreamers soul" and uses her music to guide listeners into transcending reality, her soulful voice full of raw emotion and on-point dynamics. While she has contributed vocals for Queen Tut and Milwaukee's Foreign Goods, her solo work is where she truly shines, a young woman with an old soul evoking those big, soulful, downtempo R&B sounds of the sixties and 80s.
According to Milwaukee Record, "Abby's solo material is not to be ignored. With lush and layered production and her downright moving voice, you'll want to bear witness to this versatile one-woman powerhouse in action." Since Abby Jeanne has returned to Milwaukee she has been playing local shows and recording her upcoming album REBEL LOVE which is planned to be released this November.
16SunOctober 16, 2016
Accordingly, Cleaves' earthy narratives stand oak strong. "Men go off to war for a hundred reasons/But they all come home with the same demons," he sings on the album's title track. "Some you can keep at bay for a while/Some will pin you to the floor/You've been home for a couple of years now, buddy/But you're still fighting the war." Few writers frame bruised souls as clearly. Fewer still deliver a punch with such striking immediacy.
"I started 'Still Fighting the War' four years ago and originally each verse was a separate character," Cleaves explains. "Each verse was about getting swindled. One was about the economy, one was about a returning veteran, one was about a broken-up couple. It was too cumbersome, so I focused in on the soldier. The key that made it all work came as I was talking to my friend and occasional co-writer, Ron Coy. A troubled Vietnam vet buddy of his had recently passed away. Ron said, 'All this time, it was like he was still fighting the war.' I knew instantly that was the perfect way to summarize the song."
Cleaves delivers equal measures of hope and resignation throughout this 2013 release as life lessons slide subtly through side doors. "Normally when I start writing a new batch, a theme starts to emerge after three or four songs," says Cleaves, who built an unlikely success story from scratch after moving to Austin, Texas, from Maine two decades ago. "This time around I thought, I'm just gonna write where the muse takes me and each song will be its own thing. So I ended up with a CD that has a bit more variety on it compared to my previous releases. Half the songs are about struggle and perseverance and half are all over the place, some tongue-in-cheek stuff, a gospel song, a Texas pride song."
Witness deft wordplay on the latter: "Your wit's as sharp as a prickly pear/The sun shines in your golden hair/Your smile hits me right in the solar plexus," Cleaves sings with a wink in "Texas Love Song." "Skin as soft as early morning rain/Temper like a Gulf Coast hurricane/I love you even more than I love Texas." "Originally, the phrase was 'I love you almost as much as I love Texas,'" Cleaves says, "because that's about as far as a true proud Texan will go. Then I realized that if I committed the sin of saying 'I love you even more than I love Texas,' it trips off the tongue better. It was a fun little challenge to come up with so many rhymes for 'Texas.'"
Of course, Cleaves conquered the task. Longtime fans expect nothing less. After all, Still Fighting the War follows the razor sharp songwriter's undeniable hat trick -- Broke Down (2000), Wishbones (2004) and Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away (2009) -- that established him as a singular storyteller. His golden key: effortlessly shading dark with light. Cue Cleaves' excellent double-disc Sorrow & Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge for inarguable evidence ("Drinkin' Days," "Wishbones," "Horseshoe Lounge").
"You get a lot of the man behind the lyrics," Hendrix says. "What you see with Slaid is what you get: He doesn't have the eyes of a cynic. He has optimism about him through a realistic gaze and writes with a wise voice." The Kerrville Folk Festival recognized those intangible qualities long ago when Cleaves won its hallowed New Folk award in 1992. He's doubled down ever since with literate story songs exponentially more mature and meaningful.
Consider one other new high water mark. "But they figured it out/And shipped the elbow grease/Down to Mexico/And off to the Chinese," Cleaves sings on the haunting meditation "Rust Belt Fields." "And I learned a little something 'bout how things are/No one remembers your name just for working hard." Childhood friend Rod Picott co-wrote those potent lines - the duo has split pages on several indelible blue-collar vignettes over the years ("Broke Down," "Sinner's Prayer," "Bring It On," "Black T-shirt").
"Slaid is my favorite co-writer," says Picott, who also co-wrote the new album's standout "Welding Burns." "He's a smart writer with a gift for wringing the most out of a melody. Slaid understands that the song has to rule. He's patient and unwavering in his pursuit of the best." Cleaves humbly accepts the praise. "Despite the odds, through persistence and good fortune I've carved out a niche for myself," he says. "You could say I have a 'Whim of Iron.'"
17MonOctober 17, 2016
Laugh in the Dark, while characterized as always by Keene's distinctive flair for melodic guitar-driven rock and brawny power pop, marks a subtle shift in the artist's songwriting modus operandi in that unlike previously, the material is all of recent vintage. As he explains, "There were always songs left over from the last project or ideas that hadn't been fleshed out. What I've done in the past before starting to write for a new record would be to demo a cover or resurrect an old song of mine that I liked but never made the final cut for an album. But all the songs on Laugh in the Dark were started and finished last year from April through October. I started with a completely fresh slate on this one."
Indeed, Keene cites the experience of doing an entire album's worth of others' material as being key to that "fresh slate" -- and possibly even opening up some creative avenues to explore. "That's really true," says Keene. "Somehow, making the covers album freed me up to not be so overly hypersensitive as to my influences. In fact, I didn't even worry at all about songs, melodies, etc., that might borrow too obviously from my main muses. Hence you have a direct concoction of the Beatles meet the Who by way of Big Star, with a little Stones for good measure."
To that end, Laugh in the Dark sounds utterly unrestricted while still remaining true to Keene's lifelong inspirations. Opening track "Out of My Mind," with its brash power chords and anthemic vibe, subtly conjures vintage Who, while "Last of the Twilight Girls" has a Radio City-worthy opening riff and a succinct-yet-meaty solo to remind listeners of Keene's prowess as a lead guitarist. Likewise, the title tune's jangly invocations and wistful choruses speak to his instincts as a pop classicist. "Go Back Home," with its bluesy acoustic framework spiked by sleek slide guitar, suggests a marriage between Led Zeppelin III and Let It Bleed. And album closer "All Gone Away" is overtly Beatlesque, from its "Dear Prudence"-inspired melody to the psychedelic guitar/keyboard flourishes to a generally epic feel. (Watch for this one at Keene concerts as a show closer as well.)
It's still a uniquely Keene project from start to finish, however, awash in buoyant melodies as well as introspective -- and at times, dark -- lyrical ruminations. "I have had some major upheavals in my life the last few years," confesses Keene, and it's not hard to detect echoes of those issues if one listens closely. "When I'm writing an album I look for a beginning, a middle and an end," he continues, "not necessarily in a thematic sense, but I do try to get songs that represent where I am at the present time and hope they feel consistent."
Keene, previously of D.C.-area combo the Razz, hit the national scene in 1982 with Strange Alliance. Then in 1984 a six-song platter of pop perfection titled Places That Are Gone (Dolphin) landed him high on the CMJ charts and atop the Village Voice Pazz & Jop EP of the Year poll. Blatantly romantic, unapologetically melodic, bittersweet but absolutely invigorating, it still stands as a powerful statement.
He made enough noise in the early '80s to get the majors involved, leading to 1986's Songs From the Film (Geffen) Produced by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick, the album spawned two MTV videos and spent 12 weeks on Billboard's Top 200. The accompanying Run Now EP led to the singer as well as its title track appearing in the Anthony Michael Hall movie Out of Bounds.
For 1989's Based on Happy Times (Geffen) Keene headed down to Ardent Studios in Memphis to record with producers John Hampton and Joe Hardy. The ironically titled disc is the darkest album in the Keene catalog, with heavier guitars, fewer jangles, and a more brooding, fatalistic outlook. Following that he took a break from recording, eventually signing with Matador for 1996's Ten Years After and 1998's Isolation Party. (During this period he also briefly spent time in Paul Westerberg's touring band.) Between 2000 and 2004 he released a live disc called Showtunes (Parasol), The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down (SpinArt) and rarities/demos/unreleased-tracks collection Drowning: A Tommy Keene Miscellany (Not Lame).
Back on the road in 2004, a trek opening for Guided By Voices led to his joining Robert Pollard in '06 as a touring member of his post-GBV band the Ascended Masters and, two years later, Boston Spaceships. Meanwhile, 2006 also saw the release of Crashing the Ether (Eleven Thirty), recorded primarily by Keene himself at home, along with Blues and Boogie Shoes, a collaboration with Pollard under the Keene Brothers moniker. An initial effort for Second Motion, 2009's In the Late Bright, was soon joined by Tommy Keene You Hear Me: A Retrospective 1983-2009, a two-CD collection holding over 40 of his best tunes. Then in 2011 he delivered the masterful Behind the Parade, boasting emphatic hooks, irresistible refrains and vibrant, jangly melodies with a distinctly '60s sensibility.
That in turn led to 2013's aforementioned Excitement at Your Feet. Those who had followed Keene's career already knew his definitive versions of Alex Chilton's "Hey Little Child" and Lou Reed's "Kill Your Sons." Here he tackled influences ranging from the Stones, Donovan, Bee Gees and the Who to Big Star, Echo & the Bunnymen, Television and Roxy Music, but rather than choosing obvious material he opted for deep cuts and lesser-known gems.
With the arrival of Laugh in the Dark Tommy Keene offers yet more evidence that he is like an athlete rediscovering his prime. Only in this artist's case, he never left it. Incidentally, the album title comes from a ride at an amusement park on the outskirts of his old stomping ground of Washington D.C. -- the same park where the cover photo for 1984's Places That Are Gone was shot. "See, I am consistent!" he concludes, smiling at the memory.
Trolley connects the creativity of the '60s with the energy of now. Since 1995, the Milwaukee band has released a series of albums built from the best elements of psychedelia and punk, classic pop and the hard driving beat of the Mod era. Their 2016 CD, Caught In The Darkness, continues the tradition of mining gold from the past and shaping it into a set of timeless original songs.
Trolley's last CD, Things That Shine And Glow, garnered attention from Little Steven's Underground Garage syndicated radio show featuring the song "I Woke Up" as the show's "Coolest Song In The World" and was on heavy rotation on it's Sirius XM station.
18TueOctober 18, 2016
"Of the many British Invasion acts that stormed the charts in the wake of the Beatles, Chad & Jeremy possessed a subtlety and sophistication unmatched among their contemporaries, essentially creating the template for the kind of lush, sensitive folk-pop embraced by followers from Nick Drake to Belle & Sebastian."
Several decades later, they have been described by one concert reviewer as "Simon and Garfunkel meet Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore." They serve up an appealing blend of vocal harmonies, inventive guitar and piano playing spiced with their unique brand of banter, stories and sardonic wit.
From humble beginnings in coffee houses and folk clubs in London, they were "discovered" by famed movie composer John Barry and recorded a string of hits (Yesterday's Gone, Summer Song, Willow Weep For Me, If I Loved You, Before and After, Distant Shores). As former drama students, they were quickly snapped up by Hollywood ("We had long hair and could string a sentence together") appearing as them-selves in legendary television shows including The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Patty Duke Show, Laredo (a western yet!) and Batman. They hosted Hullabaloo and appeared on all the great variety shows like The Hollywood Palace, Red Skelton and Andy Williams.
Television success and hit records were not enough to keep the team together, however. As the turbulent sixties drew to a close, they produced their best studio work (Cabbages & Kings and The Ark) but Jeremy's true calling was the London stage. They went their separate ways. Jeremy returned to England to pursue an acting career while Chad remained in Los Angeles working as an arranger and record producer.
In the eighties they teamed up again, with another album and starring roles in the British version of the Broadway hit, Pump Boys & Dinettes. Then came the opportunity to tour the U. S. with British Invasion II. After the tour, which garnered laudatory reviews for the duo, Jeremy was obliged to return to Europe to shoot a television series called William Tell, thereby ending their first reunion attempt. Chad escaped from Los Angeles to raise his family in Sun Valley, Idaho where he now lives and teaches music.
Over the years, the two men remained in touch, continuing to write songs and wondering in the back of their minds whether another reunion might be possible. Serendipity intervened in the summer of 2003 with a PBS TV music special. Since then they have performed all over the United States, Hawaii and the Philippines, entrancing audiences with their unique blend of songs old and new, romantic and satirical, humorous stories and anecdotes.
19WedOctober 19, 2016
Many claim it's BRAND X's unique combination of masterful chops mixed with their childlike melodies that make so special. Some musicians play from inside their own world, but John Goodsall, Percy Jones, Kenwood Dennard and the guys from BRAND X play from their own universe! REUNION: After years of rumors of a potential reunion, it is finally happening. Three of the four main members came together recently in New York, and according to sources present at the rehearsals, listening to them play was "...like traveling back in time to the legendary 'Livestock' album -- there was no question this was BRAND X! Their sound was uncannily identical to the BRAND X of 'Livestock' -- and that in itself speaks volumes"
20ThuClosedOctober 20, 2016Closed
21FriOctober 21, 2016
22SatOctober 22, 2016
Heavy Metal blends the country-esque drawl and growling guitars of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with the subtly sensual undercurrent of Ray Charles. Vocal harmonies present throughout the album recall Fleetwood Mac as strongly as they bring to mind the very first doo wop groups. But despite The Rusted Hearts' readily apparent influences, the result of these combined roots is a singular sound that readily distinguishes the band from its peers.
Throughout Heavy Metal, The Rusted Hearts combine their sonic forebears into a style that's entirely theirs, resulting in songs that boast layers upon layers of complexity under their irresistible surfaces. Underneath the gorgeous guitar lines and vocal harmonies outlining this album, brilliantly intertwined riffs and melodies empower The Rusted Hearts with a supremely resonant emotive force. Nielsen employs his songwriting genius to weave in instruments beyond the traditional rock band setup at exactly the right moments, fading these additional flavors in and out of focus exactly when his songs' emotional development demands this. With this seasoned veteran at their helm, The Rusted Hearts' seamlessly marry country, soul, pop, and rock, resulting in ten songs that appeal to just about everyone keeping an open ear.
Although Nielsen leads The Rusted Hearts, Heavy Metal isn't just his journey. The album is credited to a band rather than just Nielsen for a reason: his intent in giving a name to this group was to make sure its members understand how deeply he values their guidance in his spiritual and musical explorations. These friends comprise the same clique that Nielsen has continued to record and tour with for years, a lineup that's survived the treacherous changes that recent years have brought to his personal life. Since his 2009 debut, The Rusted Hearts have stuck right by his side, and he continues to return to the favor by continuing to expand his musical endeavors into a grander, more layered sound fitting for a full band to work with.
Recent years have seen The Rusted Hearts sharing stages with similar artists including Dr. Dog and Rhett Miller to extensive fanfare and acclaim. The Hearts' time on the road allowed the band members' interpersonal chemistry to blossom, driving them to reimagine Nielsen's past solo songs as vivid, full band anthems. This kind of transformation can be attributed to Nielsen being raised in a household that appreciated the classic rock band setup -- yes, this is the same Nielsen blood that runs throughout Cheap Trick lead guitarist and main songwriter Rick Nielsen's veins -- but it's more strongly a result of his extensive background in classical voice and recording engineering, two vital musical areas he has degrees in. Heavy Metal's aching, heartfelt vocals and pristine, lucid production attest to Nielsen's extensive skills in these areas, but more importantly, they remind listeners that they're listening to a truly talented musician and songwriter.
Bluegrass. Swing. Hot jazz. Pre-war blues. Southern soul. New Orleans funk. The Dustbowl Revival is what you could call an American roots orchestra with eight full-time members — and they play it all, mashing the sounds of traditional American music into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party that coaxes new fire out of familiar coal. This isn’t a throwback band. It’s a celebration of the sounds that have kept America moving for more than a century, performed with all the flair of a medicine show and rooted in the sweat and swagger of a juke joint song swap.
26WedOctober 26, 2016
Head for the Hills--Adam Kinghorn on Guitar and vocals, Joe Lessard on violin and vocals, Matt Loewen on upright bass and vocals and Sam Parks on mandolin -- have been bringing their music, whatever you'd like to call it, to audiences from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to South by Southwest and a multitude of stages in between since 2004. The band has independently issued three studio records and one live, been featured on NPR Ideastream and eTown, co-released a beer with Odell Brewing Company and charted on the CMJ Top 200 (Blue Ruin, 2013 and Head for the Hills, 2010).
Meta-fictional sea shanties. Pop-infused newgrass murder ballads and urbane lyricism. Twang and punch. Head for the Hills' fourth and latest record, Blue Ruin, fuses bluegrass, jazz, hip-hop and indie rock into songs inspired by love and misery and comic books. Featuring twelve original songs marked by moving narratives and stellar musicianship, Blue Ruin showcases the quartet's contemporary take on acoustic music; embracing the bluegrass pedigree while looking forward. Recorded and mixed in Fort Collins, Colorado at Swingfingers Studios with ace engineer and banjoist Aaron Youngberg (Martha Scanlan, Cahalen Morrison and Eli West), Blue Ruin features contributions from Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters), James Thomas, Gabe Mervine (The Motet), and more. Renowned screen print artist Timothy Doyle (Muse, The Black Keys, Lucas Films, NASA) created the stunning cover art and Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer David Glasser rounds out the production team. This is Head for the Hills at their most artistically fulfilled: self-produced and in top form. Blue Ruin is more than just a "bluegrass" record--it's a Head for the Hills record.
A quintessential Colorado band, Head for the Hills has been fortunate to work with many of the area greats, starting with Grammy Award winning Dobroist Sally Van Meter, producer of 2007's Robber's Roost. Legacy Colorado musician and Leftover Salmon mandolin player Drew Emmitt came in to produce 2010's Head for the Hills. The list goes on, with a bevy of talent from Colorado and beyond surrounding 2010's Head for the Hills; including Grammy Award winning mixing engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, The Raconteurs), technical wizard and Pink Floyd re-master engineer Gus Skinas, Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass), Kyle James Hauser (Sonablast! Recording Artist, Rapidgrass Quintet) and keyboardist James Thomas, with String Cheese Incident guitarist and Colorado mainstay Billy Nershi rounding out the lineup as studio host and collaborator. In 2012 Head for the Hills released their first live record (Live). Captured in high fidelity sound & culled from 5 great nights in Colorado, Live is just that; the band live and unadorned, performing favorite original material and select covers.
Here are a few of the things people all over the country have been saying about Head for the Hills: "Cutting edge" Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon); "Head for the Hills possesses that secret ingredient," Ryan Dembinsky (Glide Magazine, Hidden Track); "Critics Picks-What we think you should hear at SxSW," (Austin Statesman/360.com); "Summer Stars" (Relix Magazine); "Fiery and precise -- what modern bluegrass should be," City Weekly (Salt Lake City, UT); "A very modern indie rock approach to bluegrass," Daily Herald (Provo, UT); "Colorado Neo-bluegrassers Head for the Hills combine old and new and carry the torch for a new generation," Ryan Heinsius (Flagstaff Live); "Rising stars of the acoustic string scene," (BluegrassLA); "The band is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with many of their predecessors, and in the process creating their chapter in the ever-continuing story of bluegrass," (Marquee Magazine); "Reshaping the genre as a whole," Sam Sanborn (Oregon Music News); "The name Head for the Hills connotes hightailing it, running away. Yeah right. From the growing crowd of fans in hot pursuit," Susan Viebrock (Telluride Inside & Out); "Supremely satisfying," Eric Podolsky (Jambase.com).
27ThuOctober 27, 2016Ruby Rose Fox
In July and August 2015 Ruby Rose Fox was both the Improper Bostonian magazine's pick for Best Musician of 2015 in the "Boston's Best" issue, and featured on the cover of its 2015 "Music" issue. Ruby also took home the "Best Pop Artist," and "Best Female Vocalist" honors at the 2015 Boston Music Awards, and was named "Female Performer of the Year," by the 2016 New England Music Awards.
In April, 2015, Ruby Rose Fox embarked on a very successful tour supporting Martha Davis and The Motels promoting the release of two new singles: Blue Angel and Good Friday. Upon return from her tour with The Motels, on June 10th, 2015, Ruby Rose Fox was the musical guest featured in a live production of WBUR/NPR's On Point Live! with Tom Ashbrook and Cheryl Strayed.
Late last Fall, Ruby Rose Fox went back to the studio, working on a fresh album in following a successful PledgeMusic campaign.
Ruby's new album, "Domestic" was released on 5/24/2016 , and charted at #8 on Billboard's Heatseeker's (northeast) chart in its first week, and rose to #6 in its second week on the charts. The album release has been supported by 4 music videos, with more to be released before the end of 2016.
Ruby Rose Fox is now preparing for a Fall 2016 tour in order to promote the album, with dates to be announced soon.
28FriOctober 28, 2016
For 43 years Martin Barre was the renowned guitarist of Jethro Tull, and his role in the band cannot be overestimated. Bruce Eder wrote on allmusic.com, "His playing has provided much of the energy that allows the band to soar on record and in concert."
His unique sound and style contributed enormously to their success, which includes several chart topping albums, eleven gold and five platinum albums, a Grammy Award for CREST OF A KNAVE in 1988, and album sales exceeding 60 million units. Tull continues to be played worldwide, representing an important part of classic rock history.
Martin's guitar playing has earned him respect and recognition; he's been voted among the best ever in the USA and in the UK for his playing on "Aqualung." Beyond numerous Jethro Tull albums, Martin has plied those award-winning chops with many other distinguished artists, including Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and Chris Thompson. He has shared a stage with such legends as Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
Redoubtable drummer George Lindsay, alongside super songwriter and bass player Alan Thomson form the core of Martin's accomplished band, with vocals performed by the talented and distinctive Dan Crisp. All members are committed to giving the Tull fans and a broader audience the chance to hear tracks not performed for many years with a few surprises along the way.
29SatOctober 29, 20168:00pm $7.00The Lovin' Kind is a Milwaukee group who have re-emerged as a 60s rock band with Beatle and Rolling Stones roots. This group of seven musicians has dedicated themselves to entertaining those folks who truly love a song with a hook and a beat. The music is designed to produce songs that never leave your head.
We play all of our songs with the crowd in mind! We are a "fun" band playing songs that have a great beat for a full night of dancing. The songs are popular classic rock played with great musical talent. The Lovin Kind has been playing together for 7 years and the songs are really "tight". Great lead singing, great harmonies and full sound will make for the best night of music in years! The band consists of lead, rythm and bass guitars, keyboard, drums, degembe, and percussion. Band members sing with great lead and harmonies. The Lovin Kind is truly a classic rock icon in Milwaukee and will be for years to come!
Failure To Launch is a hot Milwaukee cover band will keep you on your feet dancing and singing along the entire show. You'll hear hits ranging form the 70s all the way to the current top 40. Classic Rock, Pop, and even a little Hip Hop are blended seamlessly. Keep an eye out for them in the Milwaukee bar scene as they've played venues such as the BBC, Whiskey Bar, and other Milwaukee area hot spots.
31MonOctober 31, 2016
Halo Circus quickly earned a reputation for their impressive live performances, which led to a series of high profile bookings, including: The Grammys "Women Who Rock Festival At Sea" with Heart, Emmylou Harris, and other iconic female singers; a fourweek Friday night residency at the prestigious Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles; and "Say It Loud! A Night of Cultural Disruption" at the legendary Troubadour. Iraheta also performed on The Tonight Show, making history as the only guest vocalist to sing with the show's band for an entire week.
On February 8, 2016, Halo Circus shocked the music industry by announcing, via Billboard, the first fully crowdsourced American tour ever to be attempted on such a large scale. Through Road Nation, the band declared that any town in America that raises $600 would get Halo Circus to play there this summer and fall. Nine weeks later, the campaign reached 100% backing by fans, making music history with the first successful US crowdfunded tour to date, with 30 cities confirmed.
Next up is the release of Halo Circus' highly anticipated debut album, Bunny, produced by Matthew Hager and mixed by multiple Grammy Award-winner Craig Bauer (Kanye West, Smashing Pumpkins). Iraheta explains, "our aim was high: play as much as possible, and try to develop a reputation as a great live band before releasing an album. Somehow along the way we learned how to play these songs to an audience and the band actually started to take on a life of its own."
She continues, "We decided to rerecord what we recorded a year before. We wanted to capture the evolution of our live sound. We wanted Halo Circus to have the opportunity to record an album with the same quality and attention to detail that was given to bands in the 90's." And this band's effort for perfection is paying off. The first single off the album, "Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena)," was downloaded 647,000 times in its first week of release in a promotion with BitTorrent Bundle. The album, entitled Bunny will be released on June 24.
For Allison Iraheta, life before and with Halo Circus is like night and day. The daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, she was raised in South Central L.A., with Spanish as her native language. She draws from her background as inspiration for Halo Circus' most popular songs: "Yo Me Voy," "All I Have," and "Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena)."
Individually, the members of Halo Circus are veteran musicians. Prior to forming Halo Circus, bassist/keyboardist Matthew Hager was a No. 1 Billboard multiplatinum producer who crossed multiple genres working with the likes of Duran Duran, Scott Weiland, Mindi Abair, and Mandy Moore. In addition to being an accomplished Cantonese and orchestral drummer, Veronica Bellino's previous work with Jeff Beck and DMC of Run DMC has helped to shape her live performances with Halo Circus. Brian Stead is a relentless guitar aficionado who evokes energy and charisma. He is a thoughtful guitarist with his own voice, one that makes him unique. Together, the band is one unstoppable force to be reckoned with as they continue down the rabbit hole and embark on the next chapter of their sound. Iraheta concludes, "Magic happens in this band. It happened when we were writing, when we were recording, and when we were failing. The only thing that mattered was keeping it honest and getting it right, whatever that means. We may be inconvenient, but we continue to attract believers."