1FriMay 1, 2015
While some might be surprised by the transition, the truth is that Caroline has never stopped evolving. From folky beginnings and an indie rock second album, she has been consistently pushing herself to new heights. With soaring vocals and catchy melodies at the heart of all three albums, Caroline is settling into a sound that feels more like home. "I feel I've finally created something that is a nod to some of my favorite records while being able to use my own voice to illustrate my personal transition into woman hood; That time in a woman's life when her 'fat butt' becomes her 'phat ass'. I wanted to make music to celebrate that and to encourage other women to do the same." This glimpse of an artist in flux was captured perfectly in the PBS documentary on Caroline, My Way Back Home.
The video for "Magazine", created by director/editor Dan Huiting (Bon Iver, The National, Local Natives, Andrew Bird) and DP Ryan Thompson, perfectly captures the the theme of a woman actively embracing her femininity and transcending societal expectations. The album, released by United Interests, was produced by Jake Hanson (guitarist- Mason Jennings, Solid Gold), recorded at Near North Studios by Brett Bullion (Dark Dark Dark, Chris Walla) and mixed by Paul Marino (Mint Condition). It includes contributions from long-time bandmates Jesse Schuster and Arlen Peiffer (Cloud Cult) along with several guest musicians including Mike Lewis (Bon Iver, Andrew Bird). The band will be touring through the fall to support the album -- starting with an expected sold-out show at First Avenue in their home town of Minneapolis, MN.
Shane Leonard has been busy. Over the past four years he's toured the UK opening for Jeff Tweedy, worked with Field Report, Sara and Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird), Ben Sollee, Evan Ziporyn (Steve Reich, Bang On A Can), Zachariah Hickman (Ray Lamontagne, Andrew Bird), Sean Carey (Bon Iver), MIT's Balinese Gamelan, Berklee College Of Music's Ensemble Robot, and taught music through the Exploration School at Yale University, Augusta Heritage Center, and other programs throughout the US. Somewhere amidst all that he managed a steady output of solo work, releasing two EPs and a full-length, Westbound, under the moniker Kalispell. The debut album made many Best Of The Year lists, was profiled by Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa Public Radio, and featured twice as No Depression's favorite new music. Leonard crowd-funded his forthcoming record, Printer's Son, by independently raising over $15,000 on Kickstarter. Connecting an improvisational heart with meticulously constructed arteries of melody, it eschews the stomp-clap boom-chuck trends of indie-folk, instead giving nods to the entranced sonic tapestries of Phillip Glass and lyrical sophistication of Paul Simon.
2SatMay 2, 20158:00pm $10.00At some point in the last ten years Mojo Perry went from a guy playing throughout the mid-west performing his songs with his band and couch surfing, to having released eight studio albums, performing in 37 states and 6 countries, award nominations and more while writing and performing mostly with Cigarbox Guitars! In the past two years Mojo and his band have opened for Ana Popovic, Chris Duarte, Samantha Fish, Carolyn Wonderland, and others of today's top Blues Rock Artists who feature guitar playing. He is currently working on a new album titled "Radio Flyer", and wrapping up "Mojo Perry Live" CD/DVD and "Magic Butterfly Collection", a box set containing 160 tracks scheduled for release this October! Mojo is one of many gifted songwriters who are specially invited to participate in the "Steel Bridge" and "Darksongs" singer songwriter collaborative events. The experience of working with a big collection of amazing Artists has helped broaden his songwriting. His sound is not based in your typical Blues Rock fashion so his music stands out because of his creativity, raw sound and style of guitar playing, but also his personality and life within his music. He lives his Art. Perry's passionate performances continually place him in opening slots for many of today's most exciting and hailed Blues Rock Singer Songwriters. You will enjoy Mojo Perry's charm, pleasant stage banter with longtime bandmates Chuck Hubbell on Bass and Brother Joe on Drums, and you will be in awe after their butt whooping performance! This is Blues Infused Psychedelic Rock at it's best. A very authentic sound making Mojo Perry stand out as one of today's exciting singer songwriters.
3SunMay 3, 2015
A Florida native, Craig grew up in a musical family. Craig took guitar and saxophone lessons growing up, even though he preferred the world of sports. "I started by learning to play all the Beatles' songs by ear, which was a helpful place to start," he recalls. He also began listening to the songs of Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, The Police, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jason Mraz and others. "I was very into Dave Matthews too," he says. "The way he was playing guitar has always been particularly cool to me -- the fragments of chords he can play and the use of the guitar as a percussive instrument. All of these bands contributed to my self-education on the guitar."
His music is heavily inspired by some of the greatest names in melodic modern rock. Scott draws from talented musicians like John Rzeznick and the Goo Goo Dolls, Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty, the Counting Crows and Bruce Springsteen. Craig Scott's work on this EP would not be out of place when compared to artists in this genre as they all share a rock solid sound as the basis for their work. And you may even hear him honoring the craft of these artists with an occasional cover song.
Craig Scott has been described as an electrifying new musician with a captivating style. Scott, who is a singer, a songwriter and a musician, recorded his EP with Marc Loren of 42 Street Recording Studios in his home city. During recording Scott explained that it was his goal to "convey what's on my live show on tape". Bottling the energy of a live show in front of a wild audience in the studio is no small task. It was, however, a challenge worthy of a talented artist like Scott. Having transcendent lyrics which come from a truly genuine place helped in the creation of this quality EP. As did Craig's diverse and layered vocal talents from weathered soprano to soaring falsetto. The end result are raw and edgy songs interspersed with jazz which are both relatable and enjoyable.
"Push and Pull" is the perfect introduction to the musical talents of Craig Scott. The EP showcases a raw and honest set of melodies which will no doubt create a new legion of fans for the troubadour.
Singer Songwriter E is For Epic, (Eric Wennerstrand) Studied flamenco guitar at age and this accounts for the percussive and pummeling portions of his guitar style. Eric was exposed to broad variety of Classical Music and Modern Music by his father and brother which lead him to study classical music composition in college. Eric says that this early exposure lead him gave him a broad musical pallet. After college, Eric played in various bands in Northern California including The Grunge Band, N.U.G. and Surreal Humans in Tune. He also released a theatrical version of his composition, Light Across The Water. After moving to Milwaukee Wisconsin, he helped form the the Hard Rock Bands Benzona, and Von Din. His Bass playing with Benzona gained him recognition by the music blog The Rhythm Authority; among great artists such as Barry Sparks of the Band Dokken. In recent years Eric learned metal, and punk rock strumming techniques with bands such as the Beer Fish and gained experience performing on large concert stages at the Milwaukee Summerfest, opening for Foghat on the Classic Rock Stage, with The Freddie Band and With Von Din at the Milwaukee Germanfest.
In 2011 Eric began work on his acoustic Alternative Rock project E is For Epic. With E is For Epic, Eric draws upon his modern music influences include Alternative, Psychedelic, Punk, Metal, Hard Rock and Grunge bands such as Radio Head, Pink Floyd, The Dead Kennedys, Kings of Leon and Motor Head. Eric also borrows musical ideas from classical, folk and pop music and says, " I try to keep the music I write sounding fresh and current. I do so by listening to new and modern music and integrating those sounds into my own music palette."... a local Milwaukee club owner describes E is For Epic as, "always entertaining!" On that note, the E is For Epic has put together a new drum and guitar duo. Their combined talents create a vibe filled with energy and compelling grooves. The duo has been described as a band of 2 delivering the sound of 4.
On drums! Chris Ulbrich:
Chris is an independent drummer with academic and professional experience in a variety of contemporary musical styles. Growing up in northeast Wisconsin, he learned from some of the most talented and successful drummers in the Midwest. He immersed himself in the intricacies of rock, funk and latin with musician Peter Buxman; whose claims to fame include placing 4th in the world in the DCI individuals snare drum competition and helping set the Guiness world record for longest drum roll by a group. Chris further studied drum set and hand percussion under musician Mark Powers, who has played with artists as diverse as Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen and Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Ries.
Chris specializes in a style of groove-based playing which draws influences from everywhere, including dance and latin rhythms and bombastic classic rock beats. A diverse musician, he plays drum set and various forms of hand percussion including djembe, bongos and congas. He enjoys practicing and playing difficult compositions in a variety of settings and genres and he loves the freedom of being an independent musician.
5TueMay 5, 2015
Alejandro Escovedo is one with his muse and his music. Over a lifetime spent traversing the bridge between words and melody, he has ranged over an emotional depth that embraces all forms of genre and presentation, a resolute voice that weathers the emotional terrain of our lives, its celebrations and despairs, landmines and blindsides and upheavals and beckoning distractions, in search for ultimate release and the healing truth of honesty. Sometimes it takes the form of barely contained rage, the rock of punk amid kneeled feedback; sometimes it caresses and soothes, a whispery harmony riding the air of a nightclub room, removed from amplification, within the audience.
His rise has been gradual, a steady incline rather than a quick ascendance, but it has deepened and burnished his music, made it closer to the bone, where it begins to break, deepening his insight and his ability to find that insight in performance. His tireless touring, and dogged determination to place one album after another, has taken him through many musical scenes, remaining the same persona within each, of an artist who doesn't settle for the easy way out.
"You just do your good work, and people care," Alejandro says over the phone beginning a promotional tour for his work, Street Songs of Love, his tenth solo album.
"I always believed, when I was a kid, that if you just worked hard, you would find fulfillment. I think I got a lot of that from my father, and my brothers. A working musician is all I ever wanted to be. Hard work, to stay true to what you want to do, and then eventually someone would notice for that very reason.
It is a journey that has taken him from Texas to California to New York and back again to Texas, encompassing a breadth of music as varied as the many bands he was part of before embarking on a solo career. In the 1970s, he surfaced on San Francisco's no-holds-barred punk scene centered around the Mabuhay Gardens in North Beach, a guitarist in the Nuns; Rank & File helped unite the disparate worlds of punk and country in the 1980s; and after he moved back to Austin, the True Believers combined all manner of Americana music in a harbinger of what was to come in Alejandro's solo career which begun in 1992 with the album Gravity.
"I had a good record collection," he says when asked about his many roots and branches. Born in San Antonio in 1951, "I grew up in a family of twelve kids. My brothers were jazzers, into Latin jazz and percussion music, Cuban and Puerto Rican. Both my mother and father loved Mexican trio music, vocal groups like Los Panchos, and Tres Aces, who sang beautiful romantic ballads in three part harmony. And then I had a cousin who lived with us in the fifties, who was slightly older than me, a teenager who turned me on to Elvis, and Chuck Berry and the Big Bopper. In 1957 we moved from Texas, where I'd heard the beginnings of rock, and country music, and the blues a little bit, because it was around, and we went to California. It was there I got exposed to the wealth of surf music, and Ike and Tina Turner, James Brown, Thee Midnighters, the 103rd St. Watts Rhythm Band. My cousins would sneak us into dances when we were young, and we'd watch the dancers. I got caught up in that, and the Anglophile thing, all those garage bands who listened to the English groups and turned it into something new."
"You can't be parochial about music," he continued. "I learned that if you immerse yourself in something, listening to records over and over, so it becomes a language, you could learn to speak it. When I began to come of age, and was able to play the music, it became like a religion to me. We were fortunate that radio at that time had no boundaries. It was all brand new. No one knew you couldn't play Marvin Gaye, and then Captain Beefheart, and then Sun Ra. It was all great, and to me, it all made sense."
It was Alejandro's exposure to the freewheeling anything-goes ethos of punk that set him in motion on his musical path. "The beautiful thing about punk rock to me was that it was all mix-and-match, at least until it started defining itself," he said. "We would have shows where a reggae star like Max Romeo would play with a rockabilly guy like Ray Campi, and then be followed by the in-your-face blast of Crime."
But it was in Austin, where he returned in the mid-1980s, that Alejandro found a musical geography that matched his own eclectic sense of musical possibility.
"It was this place that was completely open. The community really supported the musicians. It was small enough that you knew everybody there. You could see Townes Van Zandt walking around, or go to some beer garden and hear Billy Joe Shaver, or catch the Vaughan brothers playing every night at some place. Everybody appreciated each different type of genre of music. The punks respected Townes and the Vaughans, and the Vaughans respected everybody else. Musicians sometimes isolate themselves in their respective scenes. So to be in this small town where everybody encouraged each other, there were great shows all the time, it was cheap to live there, the beer was great, the girls were pretty, the weather warm, there was a great swimming hole... It was just like paradise to me. Austin is an oasis in Texas, where all these kids from small farming and ranch towns and West Texas and the Panhandle, and down in the Valley, and East Texas, they all come to Austin because it's freedom."
Maria's Taco Express, Austin, Texas
As the nineties began, Alejandro took this sense of independence and began to chart his artistic growth through a series of solo albums that expanded his renown and heart-on-sleeve sensibility. His first producer was Stephen Bruton, the acclaimed guitarist who unfortunately passed into the great beyond in May 2009. They made three albums together from 1992 through 1996 -- Gravity, Thirteen Years, and With These Hands. He next worked with Chris Stamey -- "I found someone who listened to all the same records, and loved the same things about rock and roll that I did" -- and the albums that resulted -- Bourbonitis Blues (1999), and A Man Under The Influence (2001) are assured and complex confessionals of love, desire, and consequence.
It was while showcasing his ambitious theatrical song cycle exploring the Mexican-American experience, By The Hand of the Father, in 2003 that Alejandro was felled by a dangerous bout with Hepatitis C, which took him off the road and into recovery. During that time, a double-CD tribute album, Por Vida, rallied his friends and family around him. Participants included Escovedos like Pete, Javier and Sheila E., and appreciators like John Cale, Los Lonely Boys, Calexico, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Howe Gelb, Ian Hunter and the Jayhawks, all covering songs from Alejandro's considerable catalogue. Thankfully, by 2004, Alejandro was on the way to making a full recovery and return to performing and recording.
The Boxing Mirror, produced by John Cale in 2006, was the cathartic album he recorded after his illness. "I had to make that record; there is no other record I could've made at that time. It was uncomfortable to play, and even now, we don't perform a lot of the songs off that record."
Perhaps that led to 2008's Real Animal, a conceptual songwriting collaboration with Chuck Prophet that tried "to tell the story of the bands I was in, how I got inspired by these bands, writers, films, books, and went on to play, and then the adventures of being in a band. Chuck added his perspective, which was a lot of times more humorous than mine. I often can get hung up on the heavier, deeper stuff, sometimes without meaning to," he smiles, "and he brought humor and light to the story."
The album also united him with producer Tony Visconti, "and that began a relationship that was very important for me creatively," he said. "It's one of those working relationships that I'd always heard about, and dreamt about, where he was family right away. He loved the band, he hung out with us, and he's a real gentle, kind man, very warm and supportive. He gets everybody up and excited, and I think he brings things out in us that we didn't even know existed. You don't think about the records that he's made, from Bowie or T. Rex, and the people he worked with. He just makes you feel that you're not trying to live up to something that you're not. You're so comfortable around this person, and so inspired, that he just becomes you, and that loosens everybody up."
This shared encouragement can be heard throughout every track of Street Songs of Love, recorded in a short twelve days in early 2010 at Saint Claire studios in Lexington, Kentucky, the second time that Alejandro has been there with Visconti. And, as each record before, Alejandro had an intuition about how he wanted to frame the album. Though he often shows up at gigs with a string section in tow, or has expanded his "orchestra" to a dozen pieces or more, "I knew I just wanted the two guitars, bass and drums format, that the strings would have to wait a while. In order to create and build some texture, I brought in voices," but other than that, the album is stark and streamlined.
"I began not wanting to talk about myself, just to write songs, cool pop rock songs." To that end, he devised an intriguing way in which to compose and arrange the album, which was to book a two month Tuesday night residency in Austin's Continental Club, where Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys could build the album in front of a live crowd.
"We would bring in three new songs every Tuesday night," he says of his modus operandi, "and we would play them acoustically first for the audience, and then I'd bring in the rhythm section, and slowly but surely we would add each piece, like the singers. I had wanted to bring in horns, but it never made it to that point. But still, the audience could watch the songs develop.
"It was interesting to see it grow and blossom. It started with the room half full, but it built until the last one sold out. Every week it became more intense with the album taking shape in front of us organically, a work in progress. It's as if it knew where it wanted to go, so that by the end of those two months we had watched songs begin with a verse and a chorus and become what we felt were complete compositions. And then we took that on the road for two and a half weeks, leading us from Austin to playing our first gig in Little Rock, and then working our way to Louisville, Kentucky, and then the following day we went to Lexington and started making the record.
"By then we weren't thinking about the songs. They were a part of us already."
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.
Sam Llanas is prepared to tour in support of The Whole Night Thru during fourth quarter of 2014 and throughout 2015.
8FriMay 8, 2015The Living Statues
Eagle Trace9:00pm $5.00The Living Statues inhaled the sounds of '64 off an LP of A Hard Day's Night and coughed up Jack White's blood onto Cream City brick. Evolving the pop sensibilities of the British Invasion with explosive garage rock textures, "TLS" will crack your bones like empty bottles yet leave you feeling oddly at home as if you've heard them before in a fevered jukebox dream of another lifetime.
Established in 2012 in the heart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the band is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shears, drummer Chris Morales, and bassist Alex Thornburg. On stage they've been compared to "a shot of adrenaline" and described as "edgy, dangerous and unpredictable," yet in their own words, they're just "a rock-n-roll band from the Great Midwest."
Their debut single, Our American Cousin, was released in June 2013, followed up in April 2014 with their official debut - the Knockin' EP - recorded at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn, NY. Since the release of Knockin', TLS has recorded at Daytrotter, been nominated for three Radio Milwaukee awards, performed as part of the Emerging Artists Series at Summerfest, at School Night in Los Angeles, and on stages with Banks, Best Coast, Hanni El Khatib, Mayer Hawthorne, The Vaccines, Tokyo Police Club, and Walk The Moon.
In January 2015, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel named TLS as one of "6 Wisconsin Bands to Watch for 2015." Following, Entertainment Weekly premiered their video for 'Extra Day.' In February, the group's newest single 'Blackout' was featured by Red Bull music.
9SatMay 9, 2015
Features include: dynamic sound effects, original video projections, dazzling choreographed lighting design, full laser production, and nine of USA's finest musicians, you'll "THINK" FLOYD was right there playing in front of you.
THINK FLOYD USA has performed on some of America's finest stages including The Surf Ball Room, Milwaukee Summerfest, Chicago's legendary Kinetic Playground, Shank Hall, Schwagstock and many more. From Green Bay to Tampa FL, TFUSA is truly THE AMERICAN PINK FLOYD SHOW!!!
13WedMay 13, 2015
Lions is a musical reflection of the personal renovation that's taken place since 2010's Gold In The Shadow. Best summed up by Fitzsimmons himself:
"The last couple years have been...full (kind of difficult to describe years in a single word). They have been wonderful, painful, long, incredibly brief, and more educational and rewarding than any I've ever lived before. ??I finished touring on the previous record feeling very conflicted. The longer I'm given the wonderful opportunity to write and create things, and subsequently share them with others, the more seriously and preciously I take that endeavor and responsibility. It is something I look upon with the utmost gratitude and respect. ??And yet at the same time I find myself making art in a field that is itself quite the opposite of it. I am learning that one of the most difficult things about being human is not merely facing things that you don't generally find comfortable or appropriate or even good, but actually learning how to live in the midst of it and not let it take over who you are. ??When you feel you are on a wrong-headed path, the quickest way to get where you want to go is to turn around, head back, and start again from the point you went askew. ??And so I did.
I returned simply to the things, which have always brought me some measure of understanding, peace, and movement. I began to write and play music without "motive" or "goal" or end result in mind. The way that I wrote when I first began.
There was no cartoon light bulb over my head or kitchen timer dinging to let me know I had gotten somewhere. With the stuff that matters there rarely is I suppose. But after months and months and months (and more bottles of beer and bowls of tobacco than I'd care to disclose), I felt like a necessary distance had been traversed. ??Wanting to continue in this very spirit, I chose to take yet another leap. I made a list of the producers who were making the music and records that most meant something to me. With no expectation I got in touch with the person at the top of the list. And, in a few months, I was on a plane to Seattle to begin working with Chris Walla to turn these songs in a notebook into the collection I wanted them to become.
"Lions" is something I'm terribly proud of and utterly connected to. It's a very personal piece to me (aren't they all) and something that I want you to connect with deeply. And I think you will. I honestly don't want to say too much about the music, because the truth is if music is of any worth, it should be able to speak for itself."
"Let Go A Little."
It's a line from Denison Witmer's latest album, Denison Witmer, but it's also the lesson that the acoustic singer-songwriter has learned from his first fifteen years of underground success. The release of his self-titled disc--his tenth full-length--comes as an occasion to reflect on what he's learned from a career in music: to be patient, to trust in happy accidents, and to admit every once in a while that he isn't totally in control.
In a way, even the start of his musical career was an accident. Hoping to print a hundred or so copies of his first CD, Safe Away (1998), a teenaged Denison found himself stuck with ten times that many, and went on his first tour in an attempt to keep the extras from going to waste. He sold the whole thousand, including one copy that found its way into the hands of the Burnt Toast Vinyl label, and a recording project intended for a tiny audience turned into a full-fledged album release.
The title of his seventh album, Are You a Dreamer? (Militia, 2005), offers a clue to Denison's songwriting process. According to Denison, music--or life--is sometimes like a dream, the connections between one idea and another, or one moment and the next, making sense on an intuitive level rather than a rational one.
But that's the beauty of a dream: "I like it when things don't necessarily add up," says Denison, "and I'm okay with that, when things spin a little bit out of control." And when his songwriting follows along with that intuitive logic, "instead of necessarily guiding it," he says, "for me, those have always been the most successful moments creatively."
But calamity struck while Denison was working on the follow-up to his eighth album, 2008′s Carry the Weight (Militia). His father fell terminally ill, and Denison took a break from music-making in order to care for him. He helped friend and producer Devin Greenwood build the Honey Jar, a recording studio in Brooklyn, and when he finally returned to finish the EP he had started recording, he instead found himself putting together enough material for a full-length--The Ones Who Wait (Asthmatic Kitty, 2012)--a whole album created, in a sense, by accident.
Co-owning a studio has made it possible for him to create a recording using the same intuitive processes that drive his songwriting, rather than showing up with a strict plan for his time in the studio, to bring in trusted collaborators like Greenwood, Sufjan Stevens, and Rosie Thomas, and give them free reign to realize his music. It has given him the control he needs, in other words, to relinquish control.
For Denison Witmer, Denison takes the same spirit of quiet acceptance that he has brought to life's mysteries, happy accidents, and even calamities, and turns it towards--as the title might suggest--himself. Citing inspirations as different as Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet and the life of knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey, he reflects on the life he's led, from his earliest days on the road.
"One day I put out an album, and then I was packing up my car and going on tour. Then ten years in," he says, "I was still doing the same thing." The song "Constant Muse" is about those first years: "I think it's the most direct song on this album, about deciding to keep doing something that chose me, rather than I chose it--and now, choosing it."
Having lost a father, Denison is now father to a son of his own, named Asa, and the new album looks towards the future as much as it reflects upon the past. In another one of those happy accidents, a friend introduced him to a song called "Asa" that just happens to weave the name's different meanings ("healer" in Hebrew, "morning" in Japanese, and so on) into the album's themes of comfort and consolation.
In an age of flashy pop hits that give off more light than heat, Denison's music is, like his career, a slow burn, but it offers an enduring warmth. He makes "quiet music" (his words), intimate and introspective, that trusts his audience to bring something of themselves to it.
It's an open-ended, patient approach to songwriting. "You could be whatever you want," goes the first verse of Denison Witmer's "Made Out for This"--"but I know that you're feeling older." It could be addressed to the listener, or to a lover, or even to Denison himself. But the second verse sounds less like a love song than a hymn: "I follow the light as it moves," Denison sings, "And I'm still making my way back to the river." And while the verses offer reassurance, the refrain is nagged by doubt: "What if I'm just not made out for this?"
He doesn't offer easy answers. "I guess what's encouraging to me," says Denison, "is that you hear sometimes people, who you never thought they had any doubts about what they're doing, have some doubts."
At the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, given a chance to survey the work of one of his artistic heroes, Denison experienced a small epiphany: no one ever thinks of the obscure, early paintings when they think of the name Van Gogh, but those famous, late masterpieces would have been impossible without them. Even when he was making drawings for art school, Van Gogh was already Van Gogh.
"Looking over the arc of a career, there are moments when you got it right and moments where you didn't," says Denison. "For me, music's always about the process. It's not always about the final product; it's more about the journey. You work song by song and album by album in pursuit of something--I really try to trust that approach."
Denison Witmer, the album, brings Denison Witmer, the artist, one step closer to that something.
14ThuMay 14, 2015
Both Mette and Kristian have won coveted prizes at Danish Music Award Folk. In 2007 Mette Kathrine Jensen was awarded traditional artist of the year, and in 2006 at the same event Kristian Bugge recieved the awards for debut and instrumentalist of the year! Recently the duo received the prestigious "Tradition-award" at Danish Music Award Folk 2012!
JENSEN & BUGGE already met as kids when they lived at 3 kms distance from each other -- near Vejle. Since that, they have played for lots of dances and concerts in Denmark and many other countries, such as USA, Canada, Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, South Corea and Poland.
JENSEN & BUGGE has extensive experiences of playing for dancing, both together and separately or with other musicians. As well as teaching workshops and playing lots of concerts in many countries..
Back in 2010 the duo released a DVD called "PROJECT DIALECT" with traditional music and dancing from 4 Danish, regional tradtions. It's the first ever release in the name of JENSEN & BUGGE. But both Mette and Kristian has earlier released CD's in their own names (featuring each other as guest musicians) and with other groups.
In 2011 JENSEN & BUGGE released the CD "Sea & Land -- 10 years with Traditional Danish Folk Music", on which the musicians from the "anniversary band" is also featured. And in August 2011. during the big annual Tønder Festival, the CD "Dwight Lamb, Jensen & Bugge live in Denmark 2010″ was released. That CD was followed by a "Vol. 2" in the summer of 2014: "Dwight Lamb, Jensen & Bugge live in Denmark 2013, part two".
15FriMay 15, 2015
Taking cues from the dance bands of western Louisiana (and his native Midwest,), the streets (and 45's) of New Orleans, touring African and Caribbean combos and the soul, funk & blues of his youth, Paul Cebar is a masterful synthesist of rhythmic culture. His time spent in his second home of New Orleans, as a musicologist in Florida, and as a journeyman wanderer in Cuba, is reflected in his musical worldview.
At the core is gifted songwriting, and the company Paul keeps bears it out: Bonnie Raitt, Nick Lowe, Chris Smither, John Hiatt and Cesar Rosas are among his friends and admirers.
Tomorrow Sound are an elite crew. Drummer Reggie Bordeaux, New Orleans native percussionist Mac Perkins, and bassist Mike Fredrickson, throw down some of the best dance grooves in the business. Multi-instrumentalist Bob Jennings adds the luxury of implying a much larger ensemble with his multi-hued contributions on keys and reeds.
Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound's latest album is "Fine Rude Thing" . The songs "Baby Shake" and "You Owe it to Me" feature Cebar's unique mixture of R&B, Caribbean and New Orleans style.
16SatClosed for private partyMay 16, 2015Closed for private party
22FriMay 22, 2015
The founding members of Freddy Jones Band, Marty Lloyd and Wayne Healy, began writing and crafting the new songs along with Niebank during informal demo sessions. Marty and Wayne tested the new songs at performances across the country. Audiences were treated to novel material in vulnerable and raw acoustic performances straight from the writing sessions. Feedback was so strong tracking began immediately in Nashville alongside with Nashville's most celebrated studio musicians. All original members of FJB also participated in the final tracks.
For all of the charting success the band has enjoyed, Freddy Jones Band may just be in its finest hour sitting on its soon-to-be most inspirational and popular work to date.
23SatMay 23, 2015
Everybody else romances the road. Joe Ely lives it. Call him what you want - a wandering minstrel, gypsy cowboy, visionary song poet, or houserocker on fire - whatever he is, Ely's covered a lot of ground in his time. He really has ridden the rails (in a circus train, no less), thumbed his way across the country, hopped boats to exotic foreign lands, and ridden horses across the prairie. All part of the relentless quest for revelation that only a journey can satisfy.
Those sort of restless yearnings come naturally to a boy from Lubbock, Texas, where the flat dusty landscape, endless sky and vast horizons have inspired several generations of young creative types to fill up all that empty space with music, as Buddy Holly did, as did Waylon Jennings, and Roy Orbison all the way to the current Lubbock Mob consisting of Ely and his compadres Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Terry Allen. Like them, Joe Ely has proved to himself before he proved to a growing number of faithful that when it comes to the mystical process of writing, singing, and performing music, there's no pretending or holding back. Where he comes from, you put your emotions ofn the line each and every night.
That upbringing led Joe Ely to roam the earth and preach the gospel of the Roadhouse, extolling the virtues of the nowhere-else-but-Texas pressure cooker enviornment where hard core country and the rawest kind of rock and roll collide on the dancefloor every Saturday night.
The first milestone was a band called the Flatlanders, formed in Lubbock more than twenty years ago by Ely, Hancock and Gilmore. Their visionary melding of country, rock, and fold immediately pegged them as three singer- songwriters who were ahead of their time and way too experimental for Nashville.
Next came the Joe Ely Band, Joe's own ensemble who once again mixed country and rock elements into something new and completely different, proving to anyone that heard them that an accordion or pedal steel guitar really could pack the same sonic punch as an electric guitar. In England, the Panhandle poets and his pickers were embraced by the Clash, the standard bearers of the nascent punk movement, who might not have shared the same cultural values as the West Texans, but who certainly knew integrity when they heard it.
Since then, Ely has gained the respect of his friends and his peers, including such kindred spirits as Bruce Springsteen, who contributes vocals on his latest album, along with old friend Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and new friend Raul Malo of the Mavericks.
Whatever qualities grabbed their attention, Joe Ely remains a Texas origional. In Austin, where he now lives and works, a body of work that spans thirteen albums and his willingness to put it all on the line each and every night have rightfully accorded him status akin to royalty.
But no matter how virtuous those qualities and associations seem in retrospect, and no matter how illustrious his performing and recording career may be, all the accomplishments and accolades suddenly seem like mere preludes that have been building up to Letter to Laredo. On this collections of songs, Joe Ely simply sets out to demonstrate what all the fuss is about.
He sings of distance, about rivers and ranches, of smoldering passions and sad laments, of faraway longing and unrequited love. He sings of journeys that take him from the High Plains of West Texas to dark and mysterious flamenco bars in Spanish Andalusia, where Arab, African, and European influences commingle. And more than once he can be seen and heard chasing hearts and souls south across the Rio Grande.
The voice is that of a man who speaks fluently the patois of honky tonks and jook joints, who can hold an audience around a campfire riveted untill the break of dawn, or inspire a crowd of thousands to kick up their bootheels in a two-step or a stomp. It's a voice that can converse with a pistolero as directly as it conveys intimacy to a lover, or articulates that high lonesome feeling known to everyone who has ever hurt. So pull up a chair, cut a rug, or hit the highway. Listener's choice. The songs that Joe Ely sings are the stuff that make anyone's journey something worth remembering.
30SatMay 30, 20158:00pm $7.00Since forming in 2014, the songwriters, musicians and conspirators in Paladino have emerged from a gear-strewn, wood-paneled basement to make their mark on the Milwaukee music scene. Founded by longtime friends Mark Harrig (mandolin) and Phil Wamser (concertina/piano), the Indie Folk/Rock/Americana band now includes new friends Matthew Webber (guitar), Weston Gritt (bass) and Chad Burgess (drums).
Their goal: to make music of beauty and might, equally rich in meaning and melody, with honest, heartfelt lyrics and soaring, stirring harmonies. Their songs blend genres (folk, bluegrass, indie rock), artistic influences (Chris Thile, Paul McCartney, '90s rock) and subject matter (loss, defiance, the search for connection) with poetic imagery and novelistic detail, shot through with real emotion and dynamic musicality.
Kyle Feerick is a Midwest singer-songwriter with a passion for music. Feerick's uplifting, soulful brand of folk-rock has been evolving over the better part of three years into more focused, polished combination of sensible hooks and unique instrumentation with a full group. Over the last two years, Feerick has collaborated with many well known Milwaukee musicians and released a single on 45rpm vinyl entitled "Just Listen," an EP entitled "The Places We Can Go," and has just released his first full-album entitled "The Sky, it Moves."