6FriMarch 6, 2015Midge Ure (solo)
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.
7SatMarch 7, 2015
The band's wildly energetic and seriously soulful new CD Jump Start is jam-packed with Lil' Ed's incendiary slide playing and rough, passionate singing, as the ragged-but-right Blues Imperials cook like mad alongside him. Produced by Williams and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, it is a tour-de-force of untamed slide guitar, rock solid rhythms, heartrending ballads and authentic deep blues vocals. Williams wrote or co-wrote 13 of the album's 14 songs, ranging from the non-stop boogie blast of 'If You Were Mine' to the heart-on-his-sleeve honesty of 'Life Is A Journey' to the bouncing and jazzy 'Jump Right In' to the swaggering, autobiographical 'Musical Mechanical Electrical Man'. The album overflows with the band's full throttle drive and is fueled by Lil' Ed's love of both serious blues and good time fun. Jump Start reveals a band firing on all cylinders and ready to spread the genuine houserockin' fever to their biggest audience yet. "It's all blues, really," says Lil' Ed. "Some of it will make you dance, some will ease your soul Through my music, I want people to feel what I feel."
Blues history runs deep through Lil' Ed's blood -- his uncle and musical mentor (to both Ed and his younger half-brother Pookie) was the great Chicago slide guitarist, songwriter and recording artist J.B. Hutto (author of the only non-original on Jump Start, If You Change Your Mind). According to The Chicago Tribune, "Williams represents one of the few remaining authentic links to pure Chicago blues." The Associated Press agrees, stating, "Williams fills Chicago's biggest shoes with more life and heat than anyone on stage today."
Born in Chicago on April 8, 1955, Ed grew up surrounded by music. He was playing guitar, then drums and bass, by the time he was 12. Ed and Pookie received lessons and support from Hutto. "J.B. taught me everything I know," says Ed. "I wouldn't be where I am today without him." Ed and Pookie spent their teen years making music together, and in 1975 formed the first incarnation of The Blues Imperials. They played their first gig at a West Side club called Big Duke's Blue Flame, splitting the $6 take four ways. Over the next few years, the group played every club in the neighborhood. On one occasion, Hutto brought Ed and Pookie on the road to accompany him. The two teenagers had to paint fake mustaches on just to get into the club. But once in, they both got an advanced lesson in putting on a show and delivering the goods. As young men they kept gigging, but they still needed day jobs to pay the bills. Ed worked ten hours a day as a buffer at the car wash. Pookie drove a school bus. Night after night they played their roaring brand of blues in tiny clubs, and eventually the word reached Alligator president Bruce Iglauer.
At the time, Iglauer was looking for local talent for The New Bluebloods, an anthology of some of Chicago's younger blues musicians. "Ed and his band had a good reputation," recalls Iglauer. "I had only seen them live once or twice. I knew Ed was a hot slide player, but I had no idea what he and the band were really capable of. I just knew that their music reminded me of Hound Dog Taylor and J.B. Hutto, two of my favorite musicians. It seemed like having a band this rough and ready would be a nice change of pace for the anthology, so I asked them to come down to the studio and cut a couple of songs. I never expected what happened."
The band-never having been in a recording studio before-treated the studio like a club, playing live to Iglauer, the engineer, and all the people on the other side of the control room glass. After Ed recorded just two songs, the Alligator staffers were on their feet begging for more. Two songs later, with Ed doing his toe-walks and backbends, even the engineer was dancing. Iglauer offered the band a full album contract on the spot. The end result of the session was 30 songs cut in three hours with no overdubs and only one second take. Twelve of those songs became the band's debut album, Roughhousin', released in September of 1986.
The national press reacted with amazement to the blues world's new discovery. Feature stories ran in Spin, Musician, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune and dozens of other publications. The Village Voice declared, "Roughhousin' just may be the blues album of the year." The New York Times raved, "Raw-boned, old-fashioned Chicago blues has a new young master -- Lil' Ed Williams." "They blow down the walls," said Guitar Player. "Dim the lights, turn up the stereo, and let the house party begin."
But it wasn't until 1987, when guitarist Mike Garrett joined the band, and a year later, when Garrett recruited his Detroit hometown friend Kelly Littleton to play drums, that things really began to take off. Garrett's risk-taking rhythm guitar work and Littleton's conversational, old school drumming were the perfect complement to Lil' Ed's and Pookie's rambunctious playing. With their 1989 album Chicken, Gravy & Biscuits, doors opened and audiences poured in. Through relentless touring, the group crystallized, becoming tighter with each performance, more telepathic in their abilities to read each other's musical moves. Their spontaneous and unpredictable live show became legendary among blues fans worldwide. Spurred on by the band's rowdy performances, a legion of fanatical fans, proudly calling themselves "Ed Heads," eagerly spread the word.
Quickly, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials went from playing local bars to clubs, concert stages and festivals coast to coast, giving national audiences their first taste of the band's propulsive boogie blues and wild stage show. They have played The Long Beach Blues Festival, The San Francisco Blues Festival, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Doheny Blues Festival, The Sacramento Heritage Festival, The Thunder Bay Blues Festival, The Mid-Atlantic Blues Festival, The Pocono Blues Festival, The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, The Rawa Blues Festival in Poland, as well as touring Canada, Australia, Europe and Japan.
Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials released six Alligator albums between 1989 and 2008. With each one, the band's stature grew as their fan base continued to expand. With 2006′s Rattleshake, Ed and company reached a whole new audience. Die-hard "Ed Head" Conan O'Brien brought the band before millions of television viewers on two separate occasions. Then, in June 2008, celebrating the release of Full Tilt, Ed hit the main stage at The Chicago Blues Festival, performing in front of 100,000 screaming fans, as he whipped the overflowing crowd into a blues-induced frenzy. The band won the prestigious Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year in both 2007 and 2009 and also took home the Best Live Band Award in the 2011 Living Blues Critics' Poll. Blues Revue said, "Listen and hear how a great blues player can make a guitar weep...Lil' Ed is a blues master at the top of his game."
Now, with Jump Start, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials will continue bringing their seriously inspired and wildly fun Chicago blues to "Ed Heads" new and old, wherever they may be. After almost a quarter century together, Lil' Ed, Pookie, Mike and Kelly have played thousands of gigs, logged tens of thousands of miles and have no plans to slow down anytime soon. According to Littleton, "The journey has been amazing. We melded right away and have kept growing." Garrett agrees, saying, "It's a perfect fit. And we keep getting better." Young adds, "We are way stronger now, and we're still having fun. My dreams have all come true."
"Long ago," recalls Lil' Ed, "Uncle J.B. told me, 'When you get the right guys in your band, you'll know.' When Mike and then Kelly joined up with me and Pookie, we just clicked. I knew. We are a family," says Lil' Ed, summing it all up. "And families stay together.
8SunMarch 8, 2015
ACOUSTIC METAL II
On Friday, July 4th, 2014, guitar virtuoso & YouTube sensation EWAN DOBSON releases his 9th solo album, Acoustic Metal II. Recorded in complete isolation in the backwoods of Canada just after completing his tour of Europe , Acoustic Metal II is the follow-up to Acoustic Metal (CandyRat Records, 2013). and features multi-tracked acoustic guitar played with a flat-pick. With Acoustic Metal II, Ewan shows that acoustic guitar can definitely be metal, and you don´t necessarily need distortion.
"Think Spanish Flamenco in a head on crash with a bus filled with Kerry King, Dave Mustaine and Dimebag Darrell! It's when you listen to this record you can easily understand why ex-Megadeth guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman selected Ewan to play the acoustic parts that appears on Marty Friedman's latest album Inferno. Friedman was even quoted saying ´Ewan played the parts so beautifully and with so much expertise and flair that Jason (Becker) and I were in awe of his performance.´ Lets be fair, that statement alone deserves a round of applause." - http://themetalreview.com/albums/ewan-dobson-acoustic-metal-ii-review/
CandyRat Records recording artist Ewan Dobson has established himself as one of Canada's most brilliant and exhilarating guitarists, having performed at such prestigious events and venues as:
Burlington Rotary Fall Music Festival
Pickering Rotary Music Festival
Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition
Montreal Guitar Grand Prix
International Fingerstyle Guitar Championship
Hammerson Hall in Mississauga 's Living Arts Centre
George Weston Recital Hall in the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts
Royal Bank Theatre of the Living Arts Centre
Lebovic Centre for the Performing Arts
Montreal Jazz Festival
"Time 2" from Ewan´s second album was his most successful song and became a viral video hit on the internet acquiring millions of views. The video has been specially featured on numerous media websites across the internet (ie: http://www.reddit.com, http://www.ebaumsworld.com, http://www.collegehumor.com to name but a few). The song reached #1 on the iTunes charts in Finland , Germany and Sweden . It also reached #2 in Austria , #3 in Japan and the Netherlands , #4 in New Zealand and #5 in Denmark . To date, "Time 2" has accrued nearly 16 million views!
In early 2014, Ewan embarked on his first major tour of Europe . The "European Acoustic Metal Tour" consisted of 38 shows in 43 days covering Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary. The tour was a great success and the fans across Europe were delighted by his performances.
Immediately following this tour, Ewan recorded two albums back to back; Acoustic Metal II and 12-String Guitar. Acoustic Metal II ups the game from the previous Acoustic Metal I, bringing with it heavier riffs and more evolved song writing. There are 14 new tracks guaranteed to captivate those who appreciate the heavy acoustic guitar and dual guitar harmonies. Acoustic Metal II is played entirely with a flat-pick and does not contain any fingerstyle guitar unlike Acoustic Metal I. It ranges from technical acoustic death metal to progressive acoustic metal and what could be described as "video-game acoustic metal."
11WedMarch 11, 2015
13FriMarch 13, 2015
On From The Attic, his 12th release overall as a leader and third for Germany's ZYX/Peppercake label, the veteran guitar virtuoso joins bassist Tom Good and drummer Del Bennett for an eclectic, hard-hitting program full of incendiary licks and audacious fretboard tricks. Recorded remarkably quickly ("We did the ten tracks in roughly 11 hours," Koch explains) in the attic of guitarist-engineer Chris Hanson's Victorian home on Milwaukee's East Side, these rockin', bluesy originals are imbued with Koch's trademark searing licks and typically clever lyrics. From the blistering, Magic Sam-inspired boogie "Leg Up Foot Out" to the urgent blues inflected "Nova Scotia Cold," from the elegant fingerstyle instrumental ballad "Sleep Tight" to the wild chicken-picking romp "Picked On," Koch and his crew wail with uncanny tightness and authority. "Trouble" is a growling funk-blues number written about Koch's first encounter with his wife-to-be ("Her middle name was trouble, her last name is mine") while "Agree To Disagree" addresses the guitarist's ongoing conflict with the staunch point's of view of loved ones. "Here We Go Again" is a rich, r&b flavored ballad featuring some lyrical, legato guitar work by Koch and the aggressively funky "Happy Versus Right" recalls classic Red Hot Chili Peppers slamming down a thick groove. Koch flaunts some wicked wahwah-inflected slide guitar licks on the mellow "Twice the Man" and they close out the collection with the anthemic, classic rock jam "You'll Rock and Like It," which sounds like an encounter between Jeff Beck and AC/DC."
"The whole gist of this record is kind of where I started from in my career," says Koch of From The Attic. "It's basically tunes with cool guitar things. And I fi nd that if you can have nice little blasts within the confi nes of a short tune, it's much more digestible." And though Koch may be consciously trying to simplify his six-string onslaught on this trio recording, his natural fretboard fusillades ultimately come to the fore. In its 2001 feature story, Guitar Player magazine described Koch's inherently pyrotechnic approach this way: "An impossible stream of riffs jumps off of Koch's fretboard like clowns spilling out of a VW bug -- and when you're convinced that there can be no more, out pops another one."
Born in Milwaukee in 1966, Koch got his earliest musical infl uences from his older brother and later became infatuated with Jimi Hendrix, who remains a profound infl uence to this day. After studying jazz guitar for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Koch won 1st Prize in the 1989 Bluesbreaker Guitar Showdown judged by legendary bluesman Buddy Guy. Shortly after, he formed Greg Koch and the Tone Controls, which became one of the more popular acts of the region. The band went on to win fi ve Wisconsin Area Music Awards for Blues Artist of the Year ('93, '95 through '98), and Koch personally took in seven WAMA awards as Guitarist of the Year ('92, '94 through '99).
Koch soon found himself as a clinician for Fender, the world's largest and most prestigious guitar and amplifi er manufacturer. Bringing together world-class chops and a humorous ability to articulate sounds and techniques with a genuine devotion to all things guitar, Koch has developed an exceptionally effective approach to conducting guitar clinics. Greg's relationship with music publishing giant, the Hal Leonard Corporation, has also resulted in a string of top-selling guitar method books, including "Guitar Clues: Operation Pentatonic," "Lead Licks," "Rhythm Riffs" and Koch's popular Hal Leonard instructional DVDs -- two on the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan (approved by Jimmie Vaughan), one on Lynyrd Skynyrd, another celebrating revered blues stylists like Albert King, Albert Collins, Elmore James and Guitar Slim and one on his own twisted take on guitar called "Guitar Gristle" -- have revolutionized video guitar instruction with a combination of humor, effective instruction and inspiring musical performances into a package that can only be described as "edu-tainment."
In his self-penned liner notes to his 2001 recording, The Grip, Koch described his guitaristic approach as "Chet Hendrix meeting the Kings (BB, Albert and Freddie) at the first annual Zeppelin-Holdsworth Coffee Guzzlers Hoedown." He would subsequently showcase his over-the-top chops and wicked sense of humor on 2003's Radio Free Gristle, 2004's 13 x 12, 2005's 4 Days In the South and 2007's Live on WMSE, which showcases his fiery fretboard work in the company of bassist Roscoe Beck (longtime sideman to guitarists Robben Ford and Eric Johnson), drummer Tom Brechtlein (a former member of Ford's Blueline band and a frequent collaborator with Chick Corea) and the charismatic Austin-based soul singer Malford Milligan (formerly the frontman for Storyville and Double Trouble). Last year's Nation Sack had Koch teaming with Milligan and his current rhythm tandem of Good and Bennett for a collection of Koch originals (including some co-penned with Milligan) along with a cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy."
Koch continues to channel all the right people on his most recent collection of blues, funk and R&B, including Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Albert Collins, Jeff Beck and Roy Buchanan with touches of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Danny Gatton and Richie Blackmore thrown in for good measure. And he fi lters all those killer infl uences through his own slightly bent prism that is tinted with grunge, gristle and good clean fun.
14SatMarch 14, 2015
18WedMarch 18, 2015
A remarkably prolific songsmith, Dan has released some two dozen studio albums, EPs, and live recordings since his first acclaimed Sony-distributed CD in 1997. Either fronting the prodigiously talented band Common Rotation or as a solo performer, he is comfortable and convincing, funny and topical, with an unassuming tip of the hat to the spirits Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, the Beatles, and young Bob Dylan--all while sounding thoroughly original and 21st-century. Whether writing about stepping back and appreciating the world around us ("Breathe") or celebrating the venerable voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers ("The Golden Voice of Vin Scully"), Dan's songs are always literary, sometimes funny, and often cinematic. And it's not uncommon at a Dan Bern concert to see and hear fans unabashedly singing along to one song after another with no prompting
from the stage.
Dan Bern recordings have featured a host of artists ranging from Ani DiFranco to Emmylou Harris, and he's devoted entire albums to baseball (Doubleheader), politics (My Country II), and little kids (2 Feet Tall). His singular songwriting has led to stints working on such projects as the Judd Apatow features Walk Hard--the Dewey Cox Story (starring John C. Reilly) and Get Him to the Greek (starring Russell Brand). His songs have appeared in numerous TV shows, and he recently penned the theme song for the Amazon cartoon The Stinky and Dirty Show.
Dan's new full-length studio album, Hoody, is due in early 2015. The album was recorded primarily in Los Angeles at Pehrspace in the Echo Park neighborhood. Featuring one of his most engaging and eclectic collections of songs, with support from Common Rotation, Hoody digs deeply into Dan's affinity for country, rock, and folk with a punch and poignancy rarely heard these days. And his voice has never sounded richer and more powerful. The record has a warm, organic feel, with the band usually performing together in the same room, at the same time. Beside Dan, who plays acoustic and electric guitars and some harmonica, musicians on the album include Adam Busch (drums, harmonica), Jordan Katz (trumpet, banjo), Eric Kufs (lap steel, vocals), Johnny Flaugher (bass), Eben Grace (guitar), and George Sluppick and Tripp Beam (drums). And Hoody was co-produced by Dan with his old friend Greg Prestopino, whose long list of credits includes co-writing Matthew Wilder's ubiquitous Top 5 hit, "Break My Stride" from 1983. Says Dan, "The way we recorded the stuff was a bit rough in spots, and Greg was able to massage it really well."
Hoody is filled with highlights and surprises, including "Lifeline," a stunning up-tempo country-rocker. The song, which soberly celebrates resiliency, features guest vocals by original Old Crow Medicine Show member Willie Watson and Common Rotation lap-steel guitarist Eric Kufs, who co-wrote the song with Dan. And somehow Dan holds one particularly challenging note for 20 seconds toward the end of the song. Like the thoughtful "Turn on a Dime," "Lifeline" would sound awfully good on progressive-country radio.
As would "Merle, Hank & Johnny," which not only pays homage to those country icons but to Buck Owens, Jimmie Rodgers, and George Jones (and is as loving an ode as his tip of the hat to Vin Scully on 2012's Drifter). The song is powerfully autobiographical, capped off with the sentiment that no matter what music his young daughter ultimately listens to, she's sure to hear Haggard and Williams and Cash as she grows up.
Speaking of Dan's little one, Lulu (who chipped in a few chirps on 2 Feet Tall) has a short but charming three letter cameo (singing "JFK") on "Waffle House," a hilarious live showstopper delineating one of the true dividing lines in modern-day America: "Red states got the Waffle House, blue states don't." On Hoody, the song barely clocks in at a minute-and-a-half, but Dan packs a lot into it. Another gem on Hoody is the harder rocking "Welcome," a three-minute indictment of our modern-day information overload. With an infectious melody belying the song's powerfully topical message, Dan poses the question, "What's in your wallet, and which side are you on?" On a lighter note, there's a charmingly spirited take on Johnny Cash's novel 1976 country chart-topper, "One Piece at a Time." The album closes with one of Dan's loveliest songs ever. "Sky"-- with the timelessness that graces "Soul," the brilliant closing song on 2003's Fleeting Days--is a heartbreakingly beautiful love song, not just to a true love, but to life itself. "Long as I can see the sky...nothing can bring me down."
Reflecting on Hoody, Dan confides, "I feel it's a really strong record. I think it's got a lot of elements--old folk, classic country, British Invasion--but it all holds together. It's the culmination of what I've been aiming at for a long time, and also a jumping off point for everything I'm aiming to do next. I feel like the right radio stations could find a lot here to work with. I was aiming high and knew what I was after, and with a great team was able to achieve it. I hope people will hear it."
Hoody is fresh and contemporary, and certainly deserves to be heard... a lot. Dan is clearly standing on the shoulders of giants as he observes the world around him and puts all the bustle and the craziness into perspective. He's a songwriter's songwriter and a lyrical genius with a huge, optimistic heart, as anyone who's heard his songs can attest to. (Who else could write songs as diverse and pithy as "The Fifth Beatle," "Osama in Obamaland," and "Year-By-Year Home Run Totals of Barry Bonds"?)
Like we said, Dan Bern is a throwback to the days of exemplary songs and extraordinary songwriters. He's one of the very best, and we sure could use more of his kind these days.
19ThuMarch 19, 2015
There is no substitute for chemistry among band members and lived experience can't be faked on record. 1,000 Umbrellas came to the recording studio with decades of shared and individual experience in life and in music. The result, their debut CD re:thingk, is a superb collection of heartfelt songs that speak of life viewed through the subjective lens of the human mind. From politics to depression, from coping with death to corporate greed, from losing faith to finding love, they leave the door open for you to experience the depths of both lyric and music. At the heart of 1,000 Umbrellas is a duo, drummer and percussionist Brian Wendtlandt and guitarist and vocalist Allan Williams. But drawing from a wide circle of friends, the twosome expand on many tracks into a full rock band complete with horn section, and can regroup into a variety of lineups on stage.
Allan has been in the music business for years, entering the scene playing in bands in the late 80's which led the way to his long time career as an audio engineer. He starting out mixing bands in the local club scene but it soon evolved into hitting the road with bands such as Paul Cebar, The Violent Femmes and Willy Porter as well as mixing high profile stages at Milwaukee's Summerfest. When Allan decided to get off the road, he and Willy Porter opened Engine Room Studios where he tracked, mixed and produced local and national acts throughout the 00's. Brian is also a veteran of the Milwaukee music scene having drummed with bands such as Members Fickle, Tolstoi's Tricycle, The Wooldridge Brothers, Tyler Traband and New Harmony Indiana as well as attending UWM School of Music for percussion performance.
Allan and Brian first collaborated in Tolstoi's Tricycle, a staple in Milwaukee's underground scene throughout the mid to late 90's. Though, remaining friends, they parted ways for a while musically before Tolstoi's Tricycle released their self titled debut album in 2001 with a new drummer. Their paths merged again in the mid 00's when Brian and Allan found time amidst jobs, marriage and children to write and hone a collection of songs that ultimately flowered into re:thingk. Remaining nameless at first, they were just waiting for the right time to bring the project out of the basement. In 2011 they became 1,000 Umbrellas and decided to get serious. They started recording the tracks that would become re:thingk in the fall of 2011, completing the album in the fall of 2013. The years of hard work led to an intimacy with each song and the result is thoughtful yet not overworked, the urgency undiminished and refined through careful composition--like a sculptor molding clay or chiseling with deliberation on stone. Allan says that although there are heights to be reached with improvisation, there are definitely depths to be gained by stewing a song for years.
Allan is 1,000 Umbrellas' songwriter, but Brian is integral to the arrangements. re:thingk is a composite of their talents. Rhythms are tight, guitar solos are concise and expressive. 1,000 Umbrellas' music is a happy encounter between heart and craft. Allan, commenting on the autobiographical dimension of his lyrics, says that there's very little fiction in his songs which are unflinching in addressing life's tragedies yet ultimately hopeful in their resolution.
1,000 Umbrellas, deriving it's name from an XTC song and sounding like no one but themselves, will appeal to fans of contemporary, song-oriented bands that have followed their own direction regardless of trends. re:thingk is an album that shines on the surface but reveals its depths gradually. It's not only worth a listen--it rewards listeners who return to it again and again.
20FriMarch 20, 2015Cornmeal
With the release of their debut album "In The Kitchen" (2001 Livin' Live records), Cornmeal secured its place as one of the top bands in its genre. 2003's "Tales from Magic Stone Mountain" (Livin' Live records) garnered much critical attention and became a staple on College and AAA top 10 lists throughout the country. In May of 2006, Cornmeal released their third album, "Feet First", which became proof positive that Cornmeal's tenure on the road brought on an honest and mature sound. Produced by former guitarist Kris Nowak and bassist Chris Gangi, "Feet First" features a strong confidence in songwriting, musicianship and the ability of this band to stylistically ride the fence and bring it back home without missing a step.
In the beginning of 2010, Cornmeal released their first live album, "Live in Chicago, IL Vol. I"(2010 Livin' Live Records), an album that pays tribute to the fans. Towards the end of 2011, Cornmeal released the follow up, "Live in Chicago, IL Vol. II" (2011 Livin' Live Records). During this time the band went into the studio set to record their first album in over 5 years. Self produced by bassist Chris Gangi and tracked in Chicago at the prestigious Rax Trax recording studios, the process was cut short due to lineup changes and the album was shelved. After almost a year of auditions, rehearsals and wood shedding new material the band is poised to return to the same recording space to finish the album polishing the old material and setting forward with a new sound, new songs and a fresh perspective on the future.
While playing a blend of high profile venues, jam-band and bluegrass festivals to thousands nationally, Cornmeal has been a main stage act at some of the most renowned festivals in the country. These festivals include Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Magnolia Fest, Wakarusa Music Festival, and Summer Camp Music Festival as well as having performed on multiple stages at Bonnaroo, All Good Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, 10K Lakes, and many others. They pride themselves on the energy they put forth each night creating an unrivalled live performance that continues to shape itself into an energetic one of a kind experience. "Live in Chicago, IL Vol. I & II" prove that Cornmeal continues to be a band to watch out for. Every show they play is a unique experience that leaves fans begging for more.
21SatMarch 21, 2015
22SunA Stevie Wonder Tribute featuring Christopher's Project
7:00pm $10 advance / $15 door
show detailsMarch 22, 20157:00pm $10 advance / $15 doorSince its inception, Christopher's Project has put together quite an impressive resume. The group has opened for national and legendary acts as diverse as the Temptations, George Benson, David Sanborn, The Supremes and Jennifer Holiday. They have also performed at corporate functions for notable Corporations such as Northwestern Mutual, Johnson Wax, Quad Graphics and Time Warner. They have also performed at The Grand Opening Ceremony for The Midwest Express Convention Center and at the political galas for The Governors National Conference and The Mayoral Candidacy Party. The group also performs for festivals, special events, weddings and private parties. They are repeat performers at some of Milwaukee's annual festivals, Riversplash, Summerfest, Rainbow Summer and Bastille Days to name a few. For a lighter side of music Christopher's Quartet would be the perfect entertainment selection. The Quartet is a smooth, melodic infusion of Jazz delivered by four soulful musicians. The Quartet is comprised of keyboards, drums, bass and saxophone. Christopher's Project is lead by saxophonist Chris Pipkins, a three-peat winner at Showtime at the Apollo, a prestigious Theater in New York City that showcases the best of up-and-coming talent. The groups lead vocalist Ameerah Tatum is one of the best female vocalists in the business.
26ThuMarch 26, 2015Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers
Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts
For over a decade, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers have avoided unnecessary additives, preservatives and sugary substances that may initially be satisfying, but ultimately provide no sustenance. Instead, they have been serving up nothing but uncompromised, unadulterated, pure rock-n-roll. RCPM have stuck to their credo of letting art lead commerce by mixing relentless guitar licks, four part harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics.
Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers have released six consecutive albums that have debuted in the top 10 on Billboard's Internet Sales chart, the first independent band to ever accomplish that feat. Two of those albums, 1999's Honky Tonk Union and 2004's ¡Americano!, debuted at #1. That streak of creating timeless rock music continues with RCPM's long awaited sixth studio album, Unida Cantina.
Roger Clyne, guitarist Jim Dalton, drummer PH Naffah and bassist Nick Scropos are renowned as one of the tightest, most exciting live acts on the road today. Over the past year, The Peacemakers have toured the U.S. several times over, traveled south of the border to play in Mexico and completed their first ever tour of the United Kingdom. The energy between the band members, experience and comradeship shine on Unida Cantina, the most upbeat and collaborative effort yet for the band.
"It's been 3 years since we've released a studio album," Clyne said. "During that time, we've incorporated Jim Dalton into RPCM and he brings a unique magic to our chemistry. It took some time to know ourselves again. It's always a challenge to remain consistent without being predictable; to create something novel, but not novelty; to appreciate success without becoming complacent. With Unida Cantina, we took our time and poured our hearts into it. Now that we're ready to share it. ...it's almost a rebirth for me."
On Unida Cantina, RCPM teamed up with producer/engineer/mixer and long time friend Clif Norrell (The Refreshments, Rush, No Doubt, R.E.M) to record 13 new songs. Collectively, the songs on Unida Cantina represent both the disillusionment and enlightenment of where Clyne's life is today compared to where he thought he would be when he was in his "immortal 20s." In many ways, it turned out different than he thought it would. But it also turned out better than could have imagined.
RCPM look to share those feelings of coming to terms with the differences between the expectations of youth and the reality of emerging adulthood on Unida Cantina. But in spreading that message, the Peacemakers also wanted to rock. Like their past albums, RCPM hope Unida Cantina will bring people together and unify those of like mind and heart. Sometimes people need a unification point or a place where they know they're not alone to face certain challenges, like a cantina. "My music will often bring people to that cantina," Clyne said. "If you need a cantina, you can put on Unida Cantina."
Unida Cantina is Clyne's most infectious record since he and Naffah released their 1996 cult-classic, Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy with their previous band, The Refreshments, on Mercury Records. Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy was Radio & Record's ninth Best-Selling Debut Album of the Year, went to #1 on Billboard's Heatseeker Chart and spawned two popular radio hits, "Banditos" and "Down Together." The Refreshments performed on national late-night shows and Clyne wrote and performed the King of the Hill theme song with the band.
With Unida Cantina, Clyne found his songwriting soulmate in Dalton. "For the very first time, I found someone's inclusion that didn't chase me or put me off my artistic vision. It opened the world to possibilities rather than close it. I felt magic," Clyne said.
Likewise, Clyne said he was more open from gathering input from everyone in the band than he has been on any other record. Both Scropos and Naffah, childhood friends originally hailing from The Windy City, had big input on the final production of Unida Cantina.
The result is pure American guitar-driven roots rock-n-roll. "All Over the Radio" is the album's first track, mixing the classic elements of RCPM music in crunching guitars and mariachi horn section. Other rockin' songs soon to become instant RCPM classics include "Dinero," "Heaven on a Paper Plate" and "Go With the Flow," the first song Clyne and Dalton ever wrote together.
The Spanish-influenced "Marie" has already become a fan favorite thanks to an acoustic recording session with MusicFog during the Steamboat Music Festival and a video that was released on the Internet.
The beautifully written "Small World" touches on the difficult task of showing the ultimate act of love for someone by letting go.
As Clyne sings on "Paper Airplanes," 'if you're feeling like you're too small for this world, or if you're feeling you're talking but there's no one there to listen,' sometimes you just need a place you can unify with other like minded people to weather the storm. And you may just find Unida Cantina.
27FriMarch 27, 20158:00pm $8.00Power trio of Milwaukee musicians with a vast array of experience and tastes. Billy Fell (aka Mr. Lethal) Guitars and vocals, Fred Christensen Bass Guitar and Vocals and Paul Vanderlinden Drums, Percussion and Vocals. Blues/Rock with an edge covering Joe Satriani, Joe Bonnamassa, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, John Hiatt and much more.
Who is Off The Record?
Off The Record plays a variety of danceable songs and crowd-pleasing feature numbers by popular Classic Rock, New Country, Blues and 1960s artists. All the hits, deep cuts and exciting medleys guarantee enjoyment by "boomers" to "millennials", and are sure to bring requests for repeat performances.
These talented musicians have many years of experience playing Festivals, Corporate Events, Private Parties, and Night Clubs. They've played with some of the area's best bands, entertaining audiences throughout Wisconsin. Their level of professionalism speaks for itself, and clients are always very pleased with money well spent.
A four-piece band that showcases three strong and unique lead vocalists, an awesome lead guitar player, a versatile keyboard/guitar player and a rhythm section that features bass and drums by two of the area's best. Off The Record has what it takes to recreate the sounds of the original songs, just like you remember them, at a volume even your parents wouldn't mind.
A quality live musical experience like no other, Off The Record...without the skips and scratches!
28SatMarch 28, 2015