Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros


If you sought comparisons for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros self-titled album, you would hear the soulfulness of The Supremes’ ‘Where Did Our Love Go’, the raw exuberant pop of The Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ and the psychedelic echoes of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Surrealistic Pillow’. But at its roots, the album shows a band evolved and hopeful for the future.

Some tracks from the July 2013 release were originally recorded as the bookend piece to their sophomore album, Here, but in their last year of touring, this collection of songs was reimagined, taking on their own shape. They are upbeat, boisterous and passionate, with gospel chorus harmonies, raw, wailing vocals, and deep-in-the-pocket rhythms. “Better Days” mirrors perfectly the feelings of a country emerging from several years of tough times as the light of hope begins to peak through. It may be their most earnest work yet.

Each release by this incredibly talented family of 10+ seems different and transformed from the last, while still maintaining the principles they arrived with—community, exploration and self-relevance. Frontman Alex Ebert, who produced this new album himself, shared, “these songs mean everything to me. It’s the rawest, most liberated, most rambunctious stuff we’ve done.”

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros formed in 2007 after singer Alex Ebert met fellow singer Jade Castrinos outside of Little Pedro’s in downtown Los Angeles. In 2009 the 10-member troupe released their debut album, Up From Below, which featured the hit “Home” as well as fan favorites “40 Day Dream” and “Janglin”. The band has spent the past few years touring the world while winning over audiences at festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Leeds, Austin City Limits and more. Their follow up album, Here, was released in May 2012 and featured the tracks “Man On Fire” and “That’s What’s Up.”  The album debuted at #1 on the Independent Music Chart and #5 on Billboard Top 200 Chart the week after its release. Relix Magazine hailed it as “an album full of undeniable folk-rock hooks, gospel overtones, infectious lyrics, orchestral swells and a whole lot of love.” Entertainment Weekly declared, “…they’ve got so much heart, they can crush hipster irony with one squeeze of the accordion.” The album was listed at number seven on Rolling Stone’s “Best Albums of 2012″ List.



Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Spoon’s New Album And Were About To Ask

Title: Transference
Mastered: September 18, 2009
Formats: CD / LP
Length: 43:06
Personnel: Britt Daniel, Jim Eno, Eric Harvey, Rob Pope

What was the band listening to when they were making this record?
ACDC ‐ Dirty Deeds
Prince Buster ‐ Wreck a Pum Pum
David Bowie ‐ Low
The Damned
Sister Nancy
Micachu and the Shapes
Eddie Current Suppression Ring Warsaw
Bob Dylan
Cliff Martinez

Since their last album, the band:
played its second Mergefest in Chapel Hill
played on Saturday Night Live
went to Japan three times
played in Austin 10 times
played in Chicago 8 times
played in Fayetteville once
played shows in Portugal, Spain, Germany, England, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

The only place in the world where Spoon’s local booking agent doesn’t want the band to play more than once per album: Australia

Also since the last album:
Jim produced a lot of stuff, including the album by Black Joe Lewis.
Rob toured extensively with The Get Up Kids and wasn’t able to see his dog Petty enough.
Britt produced an album by the White Rabbits
Rumors of Eric Harvey’s affair with Amy Winehouse were officially put to rest

Transference is the shift of emotions, especially those experienced in childhood, from one person or object to another.
It can also simply mean the act or process of transferring. For instance, from one recording medium to another.
With Transference, Britt Daniel’s mom says she’s worried Spoon is getting “too metal.” 5 of the 11 songs on Transference are the original demos.

How’s it different from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga?
it keeps more to itself
it’s got more low notes in it
some say it’s more orange
furthermore, some say there’s not a single bridge on it

An excerpt from a recent post on the band’s website:
Here it is a generation later, I’ve never been asked to be in another wedding party again, and I’m writing to tell you how me and Jim and Eric and Rob have just finished an album and that we’re calling it Transference. This is the first record we’ve made without a producer or heavy of any kind and I don’t know for sure because I’ll never hear this record in the same way that someone who didn’t make it will, but I think you can tell it. I can. When I listen to it I think, hey, that’s how I woulda done it! Which is really what you wanna to hear from a band, isn’t it? It feels like pure Spoon. Love, Britt

1. Before Destruction
2. Is Love Forever?
3. The Mystery Zone
4. Who Makes Your Money 5. Written In Reverse
6. I Saw The Light
7. Trouble Comes Running
8. Goodnight Laura
9. Out Go The Lights
10. Got Nuffin
11. Nobody Gets Me But You

Thievery Corporation


When they met in the mid-1990s, Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton and Rob Garza instantly bonded over their shared passion for bossa nova. Dedicating their 1996 debut Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi to bossa nova pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim, the Washington, D.C.-based duo have spent nearly two decades creating boundary-warping, complexly crafted electronic music partly inspired by bossa nova’s intricate rhythms and lush textures. Now, with their seventh studio album Saudade, Thievery Corporation present their first release devoted entirely to the Brazilian-born genre that first connected them. “We always try to progress into something different and stretch our musical chops, and taking a whole album to dive into this one sound seemed like a really great way to do that,” says Hilton. Adds Garza: “It’s a bit of a departure for us, but at the same time these are our roots, this is what brought us together. It’s us coming full circle from electronic music back to something organic before we move on to our next chapter.”

Released on their own label ESL Music, Saudade borrows its title from a Portuguese word meaning “a longing for something or someone that is lost, a contented melancholy, or, simply, the presence of absence.” “Saudade is the essence or feeling of true bossa nova,” explains Hilton, who names “those warm, soulful, melancholic vocals” as one of the elements of bossa nova that’s most alluring to him. Drawing influence from classic Brazilian performers like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gal Costa, and Luis Bonfá—along with Serge Gainsbourg, Ennio Morricone, and more modern artists like electro-samba pioneer Isabelle Antena—Saudade achieves its delicate yet deeply sensuous sound with the help of more than a dozen guest musicians. With each track sung by one of five female vocalists (including longtime Thievery cohort LouLou Ghelichkhani, newcomer Elin Melgarejo, Nouvelle Vague singer Karina Zeviani, Argentine chanteuse Natalia Clavier, and former Bitter:Sweet singer/songwriter Shana Halligan), the endlessly mesmerizing album also features such guests as U.N.K.L.E. drummer Michael Lowery, Argentine singer/songwriter Federico Aubele, and master Brazilian percussionist Roberto Santos.


Although Thievery Corporation stay true to traditional bossa nova’s elegant fusion of samba and jazz all throughout Saudade, the album is rich with strange and wonderful flourishes that revel in the duo’s hyper-inventive tendencies. Opening with the dusky “Décollage,” Saudade glides from the smoldering and string-drenched “Quem Me Leva” to the hushed and mysterious “Sola In Citta” (an Italian-sung nod to the legendary soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, featuring Wurlitzer electric piano by Enea Diotaiuti) to the sweetly ethereal “No More Disguise” (a dreamlike piece laced with orchestral strings and bolero rhythms). With the instrumental title track serving as its gently stunning centerpiece, Saudade also offers the sultry and spacey “Claridad” (a swaying Latin number propelled by analog organ beats) and the French lullaby of “Le Coeur” (featuring the sublime saxophone work of Frank Mitchell, Jr.). And on the final track “Depth of My Soul,” Halligan delivers a haunting vocal performance that merges with the song’s swirling symphonic soundscape to hypnotic effect.

Over the years, Thievery Corporation have given nods to their bossa-nova influence on individual album tracks, slipping those quietly enchanting songs into recordings that reveal the duo’s careful studying of everything from Jamaican dub reggae to punk to vintage film soundtracks to psychedelic space rock. After coming up with sketches for several bossa-nova-style numbers while recording their last studio album (2011’s Culture of Fear), Garza and Hilton considered releasing an EP showcasing a handful of Brazilian-inspired songs. “The more we worked on those songs, the more we got into the vibe of that vintage, organic sound,” recalls Hilton. “Making an album fully dedicated to that sound felt like a good idea, especially at a time when the electronic dance music world is so saturated and there’s not much of a focus on musicianship.” Rather than feeling hemmed in by the unfamiliar approach of creating music solely in one style, Thievery Corporation found a great deal of freedom in writing and recording the songs that make up Saudade. “In a way it was really liberating to do something out of our wheelhouse, to put ourselves in a totally different mindset and immerse ourselves in this one particular genre,” notes Garza.

Intense musical exploration has always been essential to Thievery Corporation, a project hatched in 1995 when Hilton and Garza were introduced by a mutual friend at Washington, D.C.’s Eighteenth Street Lounge—a popular gathering spot for musicians that’s co-owned by Hilton. Soon after making their 1996 debut with two underground hit vinyl singles (“Shaolin Satellite” and “2001 Spliff Odyssey”) and Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi, the duo became loosely associated with the trip-hop scene that had newly emerged in the UK. In 2000, they released Mirror Conspiracy, which introduced live vocalists (including Bebel Gilberto and the late Pam Bricker) into the project’s mix. Following 2002’s The Richest Man in Babylon and 2005’s The Cosmic Game (featured politically minded collaborations with Perry Farrell, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, and David Byrne), Thievery Corporation put out 2006’s Versions (a compilation of their remixes of songs by such artists as Sarah McLachlan, Astrud Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar, and The Doors). By then, Garza and Hilton were itching to evolve past their reputation as ambassadors of the downtempo scene, and began to conjure up more subversive recordings that reflected their passion for social activism, as heard on both 2008’s Radio Retaliation and Culture of Fear.

Now on Saudade, Thievery Corporation are once again changing direction, trading the fiery energy of their last two albums for a wistful mood and summery spirit—a shift that both members found highly refreshing. “Even though we’re very socially conscious, it’s nice to take a break from the political theme and just concentrate creating some beautiful songs in the same vein as all these old records that we love,” says Garza. And as one of the most influential and respected names on the electronic/dance music scene, Thievery Corporation also discovered their own breed of rebellion and innovation in committing themselves to a time-worn genre on Saudade. “We’re still chopping up beats, but this time we’re making them sound warm and vintage—which is not at all what’s happening in electronic music right now,” says Hilton. “What we’re doing here is pretty traditional and timeless-sounding, and in that it’s completely contrarian.”

JJ Grey & Mofro


Over the course of six albums and a decade of touring, JJ Grey’s grimy blend of front porch soul and down-home storytelling has taken him around the world and back again. Beating the streets on nearly every continent, he and his band Mofro have sewn a continuous thread of laying-it-on-the-line shows that move folks to dance and at times to tears.

JJ was raised in North Florida by a typically Southern extended family that valued hard work and self-reliance. This upbringing permeates his no nonsense approach to writing and performing and has given him an abundance of material to write about in his songs.

“A friend of mine once said that we’re all characters if we’re given enough room to be one. I guess I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who had plenty of room cause Lord knows I know some larger-than-life ones. I’ve had a lot of laughs and good times with those characters. We’ve shared some hard times too.”

These characters and JJ’s own triumphs and struggles, make regular appearances throughout his lyrics. “Looking at his show now, it’s remarkable to think how far he’s come, and to realize the creative spirit and force of will it’s taken to get there,” says longtime producer and friend Dan Prothero. “But it’s also remarkable to see him up there singing about the worst of it, and smiling a smile that has come from accepting the good with the bad. In recent years I think he’s come to realize that the fighting stance that seemed to get him where he needed to go back then wasn’t getting him where he needed to go now, and so he changed. Letting go and letting it all happen is at the heart of his creative process now.”

“The best songs I’ve ever wrote, I never wrote. They wrote themselves. The best show I ever played, played itself and had little to do with me or talent. To me those things come from the power of an honest moment and I guess I’m trying to live in that power and not force life to cough up what I want. That power is always there whether I’m aware of it or not. Force is the opposite. It requires effort and comes at a great cost. The cost has always been my freedom to truly enjoy what I’m doing while I’m doing it.”

April 2013 brought the release of JJ’s sixth studio album, This River. Named for the St. John’s River — a centering point for his childhood near Jacksonville, Florida — this River flows from freewheeling celebrations (“Florabama”) to dark inner journeys (“Somebody Else”), from late night, beer-soaked testimonials (“Your Lady”) to heartfelt ballads of the almost-forgotten (“The Ballad Of Larry Webb”), and ends with the title track and a singularly devastating vocal performance. With Dan Prothero at the helm as producer, JJ and the band once again returned to Retrophonics Studio in nearby St. Augustine, Florida and muscled out some of JJ’s strongest material to date.

“We set up much like we do for our shows, and cut the tracks as close to live as possible,” says Grey, “there’s something about everybody getting into one room and playing together. It brings some spark that can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of too much overdubbing.”

JJ’s band Mofro has also been a decade in the making. Over that time, great players have come and gone, but according to JJ, the present incarnation — with Art Edmaiston on saxophone, Dennis Marion on Trumpet, Anthony Farrell on organ and piano, Todd Smallie on Bass, Anthony Cole on drums and Andrew Trube on guitar – is “the creme de la crème.”

“These musicians I get to play with make it look easy. I’ve learned so much from them about music and about life in general. It ain’t always easy to keep a core together when you do so many shows a year, year after year, but I truly hope to keep these guys together as long as possible.”

Many of Grey’s songs reflect his love for the North Florida wilderness in which he grew up. Having watched his native home be decimated by egregious development, this has often figured heavily into his lyrics. He now works with groups such as The Snook & Gamefish Foundation and the St. Johns Riverkeepers, but still doesn’t consider himself an environmentalist.

“I guess I’ve never really believed that there is an environment that’s separate from me. I reckon that my connection to the environment, which I could call my home, is part of the connection to myself. I believe that whatever I do to my home and everything in it, I in-turn do to myself.”

From his early days playing cover music behind chicken wire at a Westside (Jacksonville) juke joint to playing sold-out shows and some of the largest music festivals in the world, it’s been a long road. But JJ has no illusions about where he’s headed or where he’s been. When prompted with questions about his past accomplishments or future plans, JJ lays down a little backwoods wisdom:
“I’m just a salmon swimming up stream. Going back home I reckon. I don’t know why and I quit caring why a long time ago. I guess there is no ‘why’ that my mind could understand anyway. All I do know is that I’ve enjoyed and I’m still enjoying every second of just being here and doing whatever it is I’m doing.”

Joan Osborne


Considered one of the great voices of her generation, Joan Osborne is a multi-platinum selling recording artist and seven-time Grammy nominee. Her debut album, Relish, wove together strands of American roots music, poetic lyrics and impassioned vocals, and produced the international hit “(What if God Was) One of Us.”

Since then, she has released several albums, toured extensively with her own band and as a member of The Grateful Dead, appeared in the documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” and shared the stage with Bob Dylan, Luciano Pavarotti, Stevie Wonder, Emmylou Harris and Patti Smith to name just a few.

Joan has produced two albums for Americana stalwarts the Holmes Brothers, and co-produced her most recent critically acclaimed release, Bring it on Home, which was nominated for a Grammy (Best Blues Album).

“I knew when the time was right and my voice was ready, I wanted to make a recording like this one,” Osborne says of the critically acclaimed release.

That recording is Bring It on Home, a collection of vintage blues, R&B and soul songs that make up the seventh album from the multi-platinum artist. It’s an apt title—for Osborne, Home marks a return to her musical roots. “I cut my teeth in New York blues clubs singing songs like this,” Joan remembers. “I’d do three or four one-hour sets per night. That’s where I really learned to sing.”

Despite her long history with the music, it was only recently that the singer felt like she was ready to put some of those standards on record. “There’s a texture and richness to these songs that singers don’t have right away, that I didn’t have when I started out,” she says. “But the more I’ve done this, the more tone and depth I’ve developed. This was the time.”

The challenge for Osborne and her band mates (the same crew she uses in her live show) was to get the song selection right and bring something new to the music. “I didn’t just want to take my set list from 20 years ago – so that’s why most of these songs are ones I had sung never before,” she says. “And it’s a challenge to bring something to a recording that you already know so well and love. The key is, what can you do that’s different but just as satisfying?”

The answer involved mixing a little bit of the old and the new. Osborne tackled vintage songs by Ike and Tina Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters and Al Green (among others), treating them with respect while giving them some interesting twists in tempo, key and feeling. “It was different for each song,” she explains. “For the Ray Charles track (“I Don’t Need No Doctor”), the arrangement was already there; we didn’t change a lot, but we just tried to bring a new energy and commitment to it.”

On the flip side, Osborne’s take on Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Bring It on Home” (written by Willie Dixon) features a decidedly female sensuality not present in the original song. “It was more about getting the right vibe,” she says. “First, that song is not highly structured. And like a lot of the songs on here, it was written by a man for a man to sing. In the end, we kind of went for a seductive energy. For the Muddy Waters tune ‘I Want to be Loved,’ I wanted to dial down the swagger and approach it in a more caressing way.” But there was an exception to that rule, she notes. “That Ike Turner song (‘Game of Love’) is from the point of view of a woman who lays down the law.” She laughs. “I wanted to swing that as hard and forceful as I could.”

The loose, fun vibe of the record is evident on the first single, “Shake Your Hips,” a Slim Harpo boogie/soul number (also known by the Rolling Stones cover on Exile on Main Street) recorded during an impromptu jam. “We were just sitting around, and Jack [Petruzzelli, Osborne’s long-time collaborator] started playing the lick from that song, and everyone just joined in. It was a shared mindset. We didn’t have to say anything to each other – we just communicated through music. Afterwards, we were all like ‘that was really cool!’”
Most of the tracks on Home were recorded live, “in one or two takes,” at the Waterfront Studios in Hudson, New York, with engineer Henry Hirsch (Lenny Kravitz), who used a 24-track Studer tape machine to replicate the analog sound of the era. “He’s an obsessive scholar about equipment and sound,” says Osborne. “I think my band was drooling over all the vintage gear and microphones.”

Guest stars on the album include “Barbecue” Bob Pomeroy on harmonica, Allen Toussaint on piano (playing on his own song “Shoorah! Shoorah!”), Conan O’Brien band director Jimmy Vivino (horn arrangements, electric piano), vocalists the Holmes Brothers and Rufus Thomas’s daughter Vaneese. “The Holmes Brothers were particularly great to have on there – they were the kings of the clubs I used to get gigs at,” says Osborne. “To hear those harmonies, that group of voices, it was such a pleasure. They were mentors to me – I’ve been fortunate to play with them live and produce some of their stuff since then.”

Besides Bring It on Home, Osborne is keeping incredibly busy, working on her “stone rocking” side project Trigger Hippy (featuring Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman, ex-Black Crowes guitarist Audley Freed, singer/songwriter Jackie Greene and bassist Nick Govrik), finishing up an album of her own original music, and touring the U.S. in 2013, including several intimate gigs with band mate Keith Cotton. Plus, there’s motherhood, listening to new music (“The Black Keys…they get it. We’re not doing polite music. There’s a rawness to it, and they understand that”) and discovering the wonders of Glee, the hit TV show that just used her breakthrough single “One of Us” in a recent episode. “My college-aged nieces were thrilled,” she says, laughing. “I got a lot of excited text messages when that happened.”

If it sounds like Osborne is having the time of her life, credit the recording of Bring It on Home. The record reminded the singer of what music is all about. “These songs, they’re a remedy–they get me out of my head,” she says. “These songs put the music back in my heart and my soul.”

Vintage Trouble


Vintage Trouble formed in 2010 out of the ashes of a few other bands, and not by chance, Ty Taylor (vocal) and Nalle Colt (guitar) teamed up with drummer Richard Danielson and bassist Rick Barrio Dill. They entered The Bomb Shelter Studio, recorded an album’s worth of material in three days, which was intended to be demos and ended up being pressed into CDs. The Bomb Shelter Sessions became Vintage Trouble’s first album. Selling it at their gigs was easy and not surprisingly so were the calls to feature their music in several commercial media.

With a unified decision to stay in Los Angeles to build their musical foundation as a band, weekly residences in the area lead to a large assembly of fans in a short amount of time. These fans became known as the “TroubleMakers.” It was that underground buzz that lead to legendary manager Doc McGhee taking notice and signing Vintage Trouble to his roster after hearing only a single chorus. Doc’s first order of business became breaking the band in England, right away. Their first venture overseas resulted in a similar groundswell with Music Weekly naming them 2011 Breakout Artist of the Year and HMV hailing them as their “Next Big Thing.”

Their return to the U.S. and Harvelle’s was nothing short of epic, with a line forming down the block before the club even opened. Vintage Trouble felt the homecoming as a true testament to their fans’ dedication at spreading the word and sharing their music. The crowd inside was just as amped; young and old, newbies and old faithful, all anticipating the transference of energy from the band to their soles. Vintage Trouble didn’t disappoint. The next day the band would be on a plane back to London to appear on Later… with Jools Holland. This performance was one of the most talked about of the year, blowing up Twitter as the 6th most tweeted topic worldwide just hours after the show. The very next day, their self-released debut, The Bomb Shelter Sessions entered the charts, becoming the No. 1 “R&B Album” and No. 2 “Rock Album” on Amazon UK—No. 6 on Amazon overall and No. 13 on iTunes, charting in the “UK Top 40″ by the time it was officially released in July.

The band went on to play 80 shows in 100 days in front of an estimated 400,000 people throughout the UK and Germany. The next three months brought them an opportunity playing theaters, opening for Brian May’s Anthems Tour, and then as the support for Bon Jovi in stadiums and arenas on the UK, Ireland and German legs of the tour, playing to over 200,000 people in just under two weeks—all the while headlining smaller venues, after-hours clubs, and pubs. Guitarist Magazine ran a feature about Nalle, and The Bomb Shelter Sessions was named one of the “Top 25 Guitar Albums of the Year” by Total Guitar Magazine. They won the Classic Rock Award for “Best New Band of 2011″—an honor that German Music Magazine would also bestow upon them.

Things exploded around their penultimate show in Glasgow. The demand for tickets was so great that they were bumped up from a 500 seat venue to play for over 800 freshly converted “TroubleMakers.” Ty was invited to front Queen for Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday celebration in London, setting the stage for Vintage Trouble to embark on their third overseas tour, with destinations including Italy, Germany, Paris, Belgium, and the Netherlands. They played Hyde Park Main Stage twice in eight days (The Wireless Festival and Hard Rock Calling). They were featured on Sky News, recorded an MTV The Studio Sessions with Tony Visconti, in addition to 17 live radio sessions throughout the tour, including Radio 2- Janice Long, 6 Music With Craig Charles, Q Radio, BBC Radio London and BBC Radio Scotland.

2012 proved to be just as busy. The band sold out The Troubadour in Los Angeles and took up residencies at both The Cosmopolitan and Hard Rock Hotels in Las Vegas. Their first video “Nancy Lee,” filmed entirely with an iPhone, won at the Original iPhone Film Fest, not just taking the Music Video category, but the festival’s grand prize as well. In February, Google Music selected Vintage Trouble as the featured artist at Sundance where their live performance rocked the film community and they made their first appearance in Rolling Stone. Their too-brief Australian tour included the Sydney Festival and the Australian Film Awards and was met with such an overwhelming response that a return trip is guaranteed sooner rather than later. Vintage Trouble’s SXSW showcase in Austin was named “the fourth best live performance of the festival” by Paste Magazine (only behind The Jesus and Mary Chain, Jack White and Bruce Springsteen). In celebration of the official U.S. release of The Bomb Shelter Sessions, Best Buy also featured Vintage Trouble on their TV screens in stores nationwide.

The release of The Bomb Shelter Sessions, combined with their electric live show has catapulted Vintage Trouble into the US limelight, earning them a sponsorship by Supercuts, an iTunes rock download of the week for new song “Pelvis Pusher,” along with praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal and Billboard for what The New York Times raves, “Like Otis Redding, Vintage Trouble makes music that is a little bit of everything … You can slow dance, groove, rock and let it all go.”

Following unforgettable TV performances on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan and Jimmy Kimmel Live, Vintage Trouble recently wowed audiences at this year’s SXSW festival, capturing the attention of Yahoo Music who raves, “Imagine James Brown singing lead for Led Zeppelin, and you’ll get an idea of Vintage Trouble’s muscular, in-the-pocket sound.”

Vintage Trouble’s 2013 world tour had them opening for Lenny Kravitz, The Cranberries, Joss Stone and finally, The Who. Their world tour  in 2013 included performances at Coachella, Glastonbury and Rock In Rio, a Japanese headlining run and The Who’s European Tour. The band opened for The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park in London in July 2013, and returned to the US for a headlining tour in August.

Vintage Trouble’s Ty Taylor, Nalle Colt, Richard Danielson and Rick Barrio Dill together form a quartet of sincere musicians whose combination of hard work, talent, and luck are undoubtedly going to take them right where they deserve to be: on our radios, in our cars, our headphones, our televisions, at the venues where we go to see our favorite bands and on the soundtrack of our favorite moments in life.



Look to your left. A young couple is passionately making out. To your right, two grizzled bearded gentlemen are getting drunk and rowdy, and singing loud as hell. And don’t forget to look up, because an old punk rocker has just launched himself from the stage. Welcome, you are at a Lucero show.

Over their 16 years together, the Memphis band has built up a fanbase that’s as diverse as it is rabid. Ask 50 Lucero fans what their favorite song is and you’ll get 50 different answers. Among the band’s 100-plus songs across nine albums and multiple EPs, there’s no universal fan favorite. “Each person makes Lucero their own thing,” says frontman Ben Nichols. “Everyone identifies with us for completely different reasons. For one reason or another, Lucero becomes a very personal band.” But the one thing that seems to unify Lucero fans of all kinds is the band’s all-or-nothing live show, and Live from Atlanta, the band’s latest live record, thoroughly captures that.

Live from Atlanta is a massive, career-spanning collection of songs recorded over three nights in Atlanta’s Terminal West. It’s a four-LP greatest hits collection of 32 tunes played the way they were meant to be heard, with all the distinguishing elements you’d hear at Lucero’s live show—horns, pianos, and the trademark instrument of the band’s live sound: whiskey-fueled audience sing-alongs. “When you listen to ‘Freebird,’ you’re not listening to the studio version. You’re wanting that 17-minute crazy one. That’s the one you think to go to,” says guitarist Brian Venable. “So we’re hoping with this record, you’ll finally get a version of ‘Tears Don’t Matter Much’ that you know.”

Lucero’s entire catalog, from 2000’s The Attic Tapes to 2013’s Texas & Tennessee EP, is represented on Live from Atlanta, which clocks in at over two impressive hours. “You should’ve seen us turn that record in,” laughs Venable. “They wanted an 88-minute live record. But we were like, ‘That’s just not a live Lucero show!”

“This was a nice chance to document what we’ve been doing recently,” says Nichols. “It’s very representative of what we’ve been doing live for the last couple of years. It’s a pretty good snapshot of where the band is right now.”

The album’s extensive assortment of songs proves that Lucero is a band for everyone. Parts country and parts folk with an added heaping of punk rock, the six-piece cover the musical gamut. Even the band members have varying opinions on how to define their sound. “We’re each playing in a completely different band. We’re on stage and each playing in our own Lucero. I’m not sure that’s how it works for other bands,” laughs Nichols.

However you see Lucero, Live from Atlanta will satisfy your needs, whether you’re in the drunk couple, one of the drunk and rowdy beardos, or the stagediving punk rocker. Whether you look towards slower Lucero songs to get you through tough times like “Nights Like These” or party jams like “All Sewn Up,” Live from Atlanta has got you covered. It might even make fans out of non-believers (especially if they like whiskey). Because like bassist John C. Stubblefield always says, “Lucero loves you.”

Rival Sons


Set for release June 2014 via Earache Records, Great Western Valkyrie puts Rival Sons freewheeling fuzz and improvisational stage ethos to wax and cements their position as America’s next great rock’n’roll band. With a ‘conscious decision for this band to be just what it is’ (Jay Buchanan) this album is more cohesive than any Rival Sons album before.

From the beach cities of Southern California, the time was ripe for Rival Sons. Guitarist Scott Holiday had long been searching for something that would fit his psychedelic vision and fuzzy garage rock tones, then things fell into place when blues singer/songwriter Jay Buchanan put the solo career on the backburner and gave rock ‘n’ roll a chance. Scott Holiday: ‘a random find on the Internet points me to Jay Buchanan. In 13 seconds I realize I have just come across the singer I’ve looked for over the last 10-12 years of my life.’  Jay was invited to record vocals on the band’s debut release ‘Before the Fire’ singing ‘On My Way’ in a single take. We never even ran tape a 2nd time. That was a first to witness for me. And so it was born… Rival Sons.’

Four albums on, with an ever-growing fan base the band go from strength to strength and have never looked back.

Emerging from a scene where over-production was commonplace, writing and recording in a hotbox of activity without prior discussion or preparation came to be what Rival Sons is about. ‘We have a reputation for recording our albums very quickly and keeping things very live – off the floor.’

As Holiday puts it after recording ‘Before The Fire': ‘This is just the simplest way to not cheat ourselves or the listener. Rock and Roll can’t be over-thought, and if it is, it loses its immediacy and instinct … it needs to be a knife fight, not a choreographed knife dance.’

The Rival Sons EP was recorded soon after Jay Buchanan joined the band and it caught the attention of Earache Records founder Digby Pearson who signed a deal in November 2010 that led to the recording of Pressure & Time in early 2011. The album was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Dave Cobb (who has worked on all Rival Sons albums) and released worldwide in May 2011. The band committed to creating an experience that closely matches the attitude and excitement of one of their live performances. Coming straight off a 4 week stint on the road, Rival Sons wrote, recorded, and mixed the album in just 20 days; ensuring a rawness for both the listener and the band; explains Buchanan, ‘in the code of the Samurai, any decision must be made between 3 and 5 breaths … writing by that code forces us to act, go with our instincts and really, truly listen to each other. Creatively, you’re bringing your most immediate instincts.’

Pressure & Time opened a door to Europe where from their first European show at Camden Barfly to Shepherds Bush Empire in 2012, there has hardly been a show that was not sold out. The band quickly picked up European shows and festivals and became known for a wild improvisational live show.

Jay Buchanan: “Each one of us is coming at this thing we call a band for different reasons and with a very different approach. It’s an unlikely collective really but when it all comes together there’s an energy I don’t see happening anywhere else. If rock’n’roll is our base form I would say, that transparent energy in our performance and solid writing are our highest functions as a band. Give everything you have, every time. Each time you approach that stage, every night, you’re waiting for someone to call you out for the fraud you really are so you empty your pockets and give them everything you have inside of you just trying to prove that you’ve come there for a greater reason than just wanting to be the center of someone’s attention. Music is fucking heavy business.”

Seeing the creative process as a snapshot, only spending less than a month in the studio for each album, writing and recording live under one roof top keeps the process raw but also grueling. Straight off the back of more touring early 2012 the band went into Honey Pye studios in Nashville in February 2012 for 22 days to write and record their new album again with Dave Cobb and Vance Powell (Jack White, Kings of Leon etc). Experimenting with old analog equipment from legendary studios that producer Dave Cobb had collected, the band found a warmth in their sound for the album that would be Head Down.

With growing accolades and chart success the band were presented with “Breakthrough Artist” award by Vic Reeves at the Classic Rock awards at the end of 2012, they also graced the cover of the magazine as well as several other publications.

Between albums, Rival Sons have a taxing tour schedule, original bassist Robin Everhart left the band in August 2013, finding that the touring life didn’t agree with him. Playing club shows, stadiums and festivals, the band convert new fans wherever they go. The band continued their touring schedule with long-time friend of the band Dave Beste (Maroon5, Rocco Deluca and The Burden) on bass, before returning to the studio in Nashville once again in Jan 2014 with producer Dave Cobb to record their 5th release ‘Great Western Valkyrie’.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

Karl Denson

For nearly three decades, legendary saxophonist Karl Denson has been getting crowds around the world out on the dance floor. Approaching iconic status, Denson has moved bodies and minds dating back to his earliest years with Lenny Kravitz’s band through his ongoing tenure as a founding member of seminal boogaloo revivalists The Greyboy Allstars and his current roll as a member of San Diego dub rockers Slightly Stoopid. Nowhere, however, is this more apparent than with his band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Touring relentlessly for the past 15 years and leaving a massive audience in his wake, fans know that when KDTU is in town a dance party will ensue.

Karl and his band are back on the road for a multi-city tour in support of their latest studio album, New Ammo, an infectious 13-track collection, and Denson’s debut release on Slightly Stoopid’s record label, Stoopid Records. Alongside Denson originals like the title track and “Everybody Knows That,” which have become fan favorites from his live sets, KDTU offers up searing versions of “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, “Hang Me Up To Dry” by Cold War Kids and “Sure Shot” by The Beastie Boys. The first single “My Baby,” features Nicki Bluhm on vocals.

In Denson’s own words: “We’ve finally figured out how to capture in the studio what the Tiny Universe does live. We move around a lot musically, but this record reflects who we are as a band and where we’re headed with our music.”


Delta Rae



It’s been a good couple years for the relentlessly hard working six piece rock band from Durham, NC. Delta Rae’s debut album, Carry The Fire, came out to high praise last summer. They’ve been profiled everywhere from NPR to Time to Forbes and Rolling Stone proclaimed that “if Fleetwood Mac came up in North Carolina, they might resemble Delta Rae.” VH1 hand selected them for their “You Oughta Know” Artist Of The Month program. They performed not once, but twice on both The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno and Conan. Live is where Delta Rae truly flourish. They’ve sold out venues from coast to coast, opened for heroes like Lyle Lovett and even shared the stage with First Lady Michelle Obama, when they performed during a Democratic rally at UNC Chapel Hill. They played pretty much every festival under the sun, including Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits and Voodoo. Delta Rae just released a brand new EP, Chasing Twisters, that includes the blazing title track which Rolling Stone deemed “heroic,” and “Run,” which iTunes hand picked as their Single of The Week. Delta Rae are currently working on a brand new studio album, which will come out in early 2014.

The Wood Brothers


Chris Wood had a scrap of a song — seemed like a chorus — scribbled in a notebook. He played it for his older brother, Oliver, who’d had a verse lying around he didn’t know what to do with. The two pieces, composed months apart, one in urban Atlanta and the other deep in the Catskills, dovetailed musically and lyrically: the verse about a man regretting chasing unattainable women, the high-lonesome, harmony-driven refrain of “When I die, I wanna be sent back to try, try again.”

“Neon Tombstone” wasn’t the first song that Chris, a founding member of jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood, and Oliver, formerly Tinsley Ellis’s guitarist, had written — since 2006, they’d released three studio albums of Americana as The Wood Brothers. But it was the first one they’d written like this. “This is how a song is supposed to come together,” Oliver remembers thinking. “There was some chance, some randomness, to it.”

The experience marked a deeper level of collaboration for The Wood Brothers, a newfound fraternal synchronicity that’s captured on their latest album, ‘The Muse.’ Within the first few bars of opener “Wastin’ My Mind,” which could pass for a lost cut from “The Last Waltz,” it’s clear the brothers are operating on a different plane than when we last heard them, on 2011’s ‘Smoke Ring Halo.’ The components are similar: the dialed-in vocal harmonies, Oliver’s gritty acoustic guitar, Chris’s virtuosic upright bass, the warrior poet lyrics. But here there’s a glue — a yellowy carpenter’s glue, one imagines — holding it all together. The cohesion comes from the brothers having spent the last two years on the road with new full-time member Jano Rix, a drummer and ace-in-the-hole multi-instrumentalist, whereas they relied on session musician-friends to fill out previous albums. Jano’s additional harmonies give credence to the old trope that while two family members often harmonize preternaturally, it takes a third, non-related singer for the sound to really shine. And then there’s Jano’s work on his literally patented percussion instrument, the “shuitar,” a shitty acoustic guitar rigged up with tuna cans and other noisemakers, which, in his hands, becomes a veritable drum kit.

Starting with debut ‘Ways Not To Lose,’ which NPR described as a collection of “gracious little songs [that] sound like they were born on a front porch during a beautiful sunset,” The Wood Brothers have made albums like you’re not supposed to anymore — recording mostly live, warts and all. But on ‘The Muse,’ they double down on the production values of a purer time. Whereas ‘Smoke Ring Halo’ was tracked with the musicians playing in separate rooms, here Chris, Oliver and Jano often circled around a tree of microphones, a couple feet apart from one another, and simply played the songs, with even the lead vocals being recorded on the spot. The arrangement is a producer’s nightmare — the different sounds bleed into the various mics, limiting mixing options and ruling out the possibility of fixing mistakes — but the band had two willing accomplices: legendary country musician Buddy Miller, who produced the album, and Nashville studio vet Mike Poole, who engineered.

“I just love how Mike and Buddy really embraced that idea,” Oliver says. Miller, an award-winning producer, guitarist and solo artist, has performed and recorded with icons such as Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Oliver continues, “I hear little things that are out of tune or imperfect, and I love it. That’s what I like about old recordings – they just did it, and that’s what happened.”

From early in their childhood in Boulder, CO., Chris and Oliver were steeped in American roots music. Their father, a molecular biologist, would perform classic songs at campfires and family gatherings, while their mother, a poet, instilled a passion for storytelling and turn of phrase. The brothers bonded over bluesmen like Jimmy Reed and Lightnin’ Hopkins, but their paths, musical and otherwise, would diverge. Oliver moved to Atlanta, where he played guitar in cover bands before earning a spot in Tinsley Ellis’s touring act. At Ellis’s behest, Oliver began to sing and then founded King Johnson, a hard-touring group that would release six albums of blues-inflected R&B, funk and country over the next 12 years. Chris, meanwhile, studied jazz bass at the New England Conservatory of Music, moved to New York City and, in the early ‘90s, formed Medeski Martin & Wood, which over the next two decades would become a cornerstone of contemporary jazz and abstract music.

After pursuing separate musical careers for some 15 years, the brothers performed together at a show in North Carolina: Oliver sat in with MM&W following King Johnson’s opening set. “I realized we should be playing music together,” Chris recalls. Soon after, the pair recorded a batch of Oliver’s songs, channeling the shared musical heroes of their youth while seizing on their own individual strengths — Oliver’s classic songwriting, Chris’s forward-thinking musicianship. A demo landed them a record deal with Blue Note, who released ‘Ways Not To Lose’ in 2006. Follow-up ‘Loaded’ came in 2008; after covers EP ‘Up Above My Head’ the next year, the band moved to Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Artists for ‘Smoke Ring Halo’ and then 2012’s ‘Live, Volume One: Sky High’ and ‘Live, Volume Two: Nail and Tooth.’

On ‘The Muse,’ following the opening one-two of “Wastin’ My Mind” and “Neon Tombstone,” the album shuffles between bluesy, classic country and swampy funk, mining the brothers’ timeless influences (Robert Johnson, Willie Nelson, Charles Mingus) while sounding fresh enough to win over fans of today’s mainstream roots-music acts (The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons). The title track shows Oliver’s songwriting at its most tender and autobiographical to date, as he sings of his “finest work yet” — his newborn child — in his endearingly offbeat voice, which The New York Times calls “gripping.” Chris takes the vocal lead on “Sweet Maria” and “Losin’,” and capably so, while on his standup bass, he’s often playful, even rascally, imbuing the songs with humor with his warm, unpredictable notes. Jano, when not banging on his shuitar, adds refreshing flourishes of piano and melodica.

‘The Muse’ marks another milestone for The Wood Brothers: it’s the first full-length they’ve recorded at Southern Ground Studios in Nashville. In the way that Manhattan becomes its own character in an old Woody Allen movie, the live room at Southern Ground plays a key role on the album, making its warm presence felt throughout. (There’s even a little hiss from the analog tape machine.) The choice of location was practical, given Nashville’s rich history and network of musicians, but also symbolic: The Wood Brothers are now officially a Nashville-based band, with Oliver having relocated in 2012, and Chris recently following. It’s the first time the brothers have lived in the same city since they left their parents’ nest; both are eager, along with Nashville local Jano, to plumb the sense of collaboration they tapped into during the fateful “Neon Tombstone” writing session. As Oliver says of ‘The Muse,’ “This is the first record that really feels like a band record. It’s taken years for us to really feel like we can collaborate, and I think this is the pinnacle of it so far.”



REIGNWOLF is invading the streets unleashing throaty soulful howls, bleeding guitars plugged into smoky half stacks, and the stomp of a vintage Ludwig bass drum. The wolf sound is fierce and instinctual, a collision of rock and roll.

Born in the Great White North, Jordan Cook was influenced by his musician father, jamming around the local club circuit and public school district in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan by age 6. Two years ago, Cook packed up his gear and headed for Seattle, the only plan being to live out of his tent, free in the wild and simply see what materialized. He started gaining attention while buying low-end guitars at local pawn shops and began booking random shows. Reignwolf performances consisted of Cook playing solo with any instrument he could get his hands on, always keeping an eye out for an intriguing collaboration. Soon after arriving in Seattle, he was joined by the low end of brother Stitch and drum destroyer Texas Jo; this gripping combination only intensified the Reignwolf sound.

Reignwolf announced their arrival to the music scene using the DIY approach, gaining a loyal following by performing at local clubs and festivals such as Sasquatch, Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Voodoo Experience, and an opening slot for the 2013 Pixies tour. American Songwriter’s Top 10 Moments of Austin City Limits ranked Reignwolf #2, second only to Atoms for Peace, #1. Reignwolf hit the scene hard and gained momentum, and landed a coveted supporting slot on Black Sabbath’s Spring Canadian Tour in 2014.

Up until recently, “Are You Satisfied?” was the only official song released by the band. Their second song, “In The Dark” was recorded on Halloween night in New Orleans while in town for Voodoo Festival at Ani DiFranco residence, with husband/engineer Mike “Nappy” Napolitano. Wanting to capture the onstage spontaneity from their live shows, the highly anticipated first Reignwolf album is scheduled to release in 2014.

The Reignwolf experience is best summed up by one of his lyrics from “Electric Love”: “I gave you my soul, and I can’t give you anything more”… and onstage Reignwolf undoubtedly gives “it all.”

White Denim


“It has taken five records to make one that sounds the way we do onstage,” says White Denim frontman James Petralli, explaining the band’s new full-length “Corsicana Lemonade.”

Released October 2013 via Downtown Records, “Corsicana Lemonade” puts White Denim’s freewheeling stage ethos to wax and cements their position as a quintessential, unique American rock band. Featuring production on two songs and a full mix from iconic songwriter Jeff Tweedy, it’s a revelation, merging the group’s manic live virtuosity into a rollicking ten-song mission statement.

The Austin, TX four-piece is no stranger to mixing crunchy punk energy, scorched psychedelia, Southern rock and knotty funk, but “Corsicana Lemonade,” the group’s fifth studio album, naturally covers so many bases that it plays like the greatest lost mixtape you could find on your dashboard during a hot summer afternoon.

Since its formation in 2005 and first string of EPs in 2007, White Denim has steadily expanded its sound. From the rootsy classicism of “Last Day Of Summer” (2010) and noisy sun-soaked sizzle of “Fits” (2009) to the soft-edged riffage of “D” (2011), the group’s commitment to fiery live performance, textured exploration and blissful interludes has never wavered. It peaks on “Corsicana Lemonade.”

Album sessions started in Chicago at fabled Wilco compound The Loft with Jeff Tweedy (and frequent production partner Tom Schick) manning the boards and providing motivation. The record was almost entirely recorded live with full-band takes, ensuring a lived-in live feel.

“Before, we had kind of leaned on the ability to give the impression of a full live band on our recordings. That Protools Rock is way more common than people know,” says Petralli. “On ‘Corsicana Lemonade,’ it was actually the band playing together and doing takes as a whole. Whatever sounded best was what we stuck with.”

After the Chicago sessions, White Denim returned to their native Austin, holing-up in a house overlooking Lake Travis from a 100-foot cliff. There, with the help of local producer Jim Vollentine, the band designed a makeshift studio, wheeled in a bunch of crazy ’50s gear and solidified the mixture of hard and classic rock elements that they began exploring on their fourth album “D.”

The record’s songs feel at home with the skuzzy rawness of contemporaries like The Black Keys or Jack White and the Americana experimentalism of Wilco, while the band cites the classic rock shuffles of Thin Lizzy and The Allman Brothers’ instrumental ecstasy as primary influences.

And now, with the support of leading publications like the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Relix, as well as adoring crowds from Bonnaroo to their sold-out headlining tours, White Denim has fully arrived with a record to claim their own spot in America’s great rock lineage.

“Corsicana Lemonade” is available via Downtown Records. Catch the band at Austin City Limits this October and on tour with Tame Impala this fall.


Brother & Bones


Brother & Bones are five men that write songs with the artistry of folk troubadours, the energy of punks, the swagger of rock stars and the self-belief of stadium headliners. A quintet so versatile that they can switch from soul searching laments to chest beating triumphalism with the flick of a wrist and the blink of a steely eye.

Brother & Bones are not a band that create a barrier between themselves and the audience, for these guys the audience is the show. The band play with passion, determination, poise and with only one goal in mind; to entertain. Musicians end up in the crowd, the crowd storm the stage and before the end of the night they are one pulsing, throbbing mass.

Richard Thomas fronts the band, and is a master of the acoustic guitar with a soul-bearing – almost holy – power to his voice. Combined with the other four Brother & Bones’ members, Thomas’s own stand-alone talent is an inescapable force. Alex Karban’s bass guitar snarls and grinds and adds the fire to the band’s belly. The furious and note-perfect guitar work of James Willard gives the songs venom and power that do battle with the blues-folk roots of Thomas’s songs. Drummer Yiannis Sachinis offers the band’s heartbeat, turning great rock songs into stomping, unrelenting behemoths and Robin Howell plays complex and wide ranging percussion, weaving subtle texture and extra power into the songs.

Brother & Bones are on the way to achieving legendary status and they are doing it the right way. The only decision you have to make is whether you get on board now or wait to be swept along in their wake.


The Hold Steady


Things to know about The Hold Steady:

* “Teeth Dreams” is the sixth album from one of America’s most acclaimed rock bands released March 24, 2014.

* This is their first release in four years. Their last, “Heaven is Whenever,” came out in May 2010.

* The songs on “Teeth Dreams” came together over the past three years. Many of them went through significant changes along the way. Four years is the most time between any two The Hold Steady releases.

* Guitarist Steve Selvidge joined The Hold Steady for the “Heaven is Whenever” tour. “Teeth Dreams” is the first THS release where Selvidge participated in the writing and recording. A number of the songs were written at sessions in Memphis, where Steve lives.

* The album was produced and mixed by Nick Raskulinecz. Nick has produced records by Foo Fighters, Rush, Alice in Chains, Deftones, Ghost and more.

* “Teeth Dreams” was recorded and mixed at Rock Falcon Studios in Franklin, TN. It is the first record that THS has made outside of the NYC area.

* This five-piece line up (two guitars, bass, drums, vocals) of the band showcases a bigger and tougher sound. The guitars are especially present on this release.

* This is the first release on the band’s own Positive Jams imprint, which is in partnership with Washington Square/Razor & Tie.

* The title “Teeth Dreams” refers to a common nighttime dream. Dreams about teeth are usually triggered by anxiety. Anxiety is a theme that shows up in a number of songs on the album.

* The band recently launched an official fan club called The Unified Scene, and released a five song covers EP to the members of the club.

* The Hold Steady played their first show in 2003. They are entering their second decade as a band. The Hold Steady has been cited as influential by numerous rock acts such as Japandroids, Titus Andronicus, Frank Turner and many others.

* THS has toured heavily, and has played at least one show in all 50 states. They achieved this in summer 2013 when they played a show in Wyoming, the last state on their list.

Harlem Gospel Choir


The world famous Harlem Gospel Choir is one of the pre-eminent gospel choirs in the world. It travels the globe, sharing its joy of faith through its music, & raising funds for childrens charities. The Choir was founded in 1986 by Allen Bailey, who got the idea for the Choir while attending a celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the renowned Cotton Club in Harlem. The Choir is a gathering of the finest singers and musicians from various Black Churches in Harlem. The choir has shared their message of love, peace and harmony for many years with thousands of people from various nations, backgrounds, and cultures. The Harlem Gospel Choir strives to make the world a more loving and peaceful place. Through its music and dynamic performance, the Choir creates a better understanding of the African-American culture and the inspirational music called Gospel as it relates to the Black Church. The theme of every performance is bringing people & nations together & giving something back. Their songs of inspiration touch the depths of the soul and raise spirits to angelic heights.

In 2003 the Choir began its Give Peace a Chance tour. In recognition of its work, the Choir was granted a private audience with His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. In 2004 the Choir continues its Give Peace A Chance world tour to Eastern Europe, South America, The French West Indies, The UK, Ireland, Hawaii, Canada, Japan & Italy. As part of its charity work, the Choir performed at the World of Hope Concert in Rockefeller Center sponsored by Bono of U2 and Senator Frist. In a tribute to the choir, Davide Ige of the Hawaiian State Senate said, “The Senate of Hawaii commends the choir for its successs and achievements and offers its best wishes for future success in all of its endeavors.”

Delta Saints


The Delta Saints are not what they say they are. Delta? Absolutely. But saints? One might call them “cautionary tales” long before the term “saints” ever came to mind; however, there is something devout about their bayou rock, a dirty, distinct sound they’ve zealously refined on their debut full-length, Death Letter Jubilee. Alternating between raucous melodies and slow-burning odes to the devil in his many forms, Ben Ringel (vocals/dobro), Dylan Fitch (guitar), David Supica (bass), and Ben Azzi (drums) explore themes of difficult love, the wanderer’s high road, and the moral low road using their unconscious fascination with the classical elements – earth, air, fire, and water – as a natural vehicle for their briny narratives.

With Death Letter Jubilee, The Delta Saints are blooming into life not as a pretty flower might, but perhaps a mushroom explosion from an atomic bomb or a feral thunderhead. After two self-released and well received EPs, Pray On and A Bird Called Angola, fans demanded a full length and happily burst through the band’s Kickstarter goal to get it. “That is a feeling like no other,” Ben Ringel claims. “It’s awesome and also humbling. And it’s good pressure on us to succeed. It’s the kind of pressure we were able to harness and strive off of.”

The members of The Delta Saints each moved to Nashville for college in 2007. They first found common ground as old-world-loving, good-bourbon-swilling musicians and began playing together around town before they had any plans to record. As the searing harmonica and howling vocals of their live show began garnering notoriety in a city known well for its indifference to anything less than worthwhile, The Saints rode their roots rock wave right into the studio.

On the heels of 2010’s A Bird Called Angola, the band toured tirelessly, playing more than 150 shows a year, including a slot at Arkansas’ Wakarusa Festival and two summers headlining in Europe during which they performed on the long-running, renowned German TV show Rockpalast. Road tested and weather worn, The Delta Saints have seen wholly organic growth, working diligently in the name of a roots revival alongside fellow up and comers Alabama Shakes and Gary Clark Jr., becoming The Black Keys of a bygone era, all the while harnessing the brackish delta current into something gripping and bold.

“Liar” opens Death Letter Jubilee with a swaggering bass line and a blazing guitar riff, the “Come on!” refrain in the chorus echoing like a command, beckoning listeners to settle in for the long haul. “’Chicago’ is just written about the first time I was ever in Chicago,” Ringel explains. “We were there for 18 hours, and there was a blizzard, so it was snow and wind and bitter cold. Right before bed, I looked out this big third story window, and all I could see was amber light from the streetlights and snow, and for some reason that image just stuck.” The song itself generates a heat fit to ward off that blizzard weather, featuring a rare but incendiary brass section and an immovable beat that marks the tune as an early highlight.

“Death Letter Jubilee” is by far the most magnetic track on the album. There’s something eerie about its cacophonous Orleans-inspired chorus, the warm buzz of harmonica, the tinny trumpet whine, and the way one can’t help but be swept away by the utterly irreverent revelry. “I love songs where sonically you get one emotion from it, and then you look at the lyrics and it’s not at all what you expected,” Ringel says of the song’s musical inspiration. “And everybody has certain emotions that they’re not proud of. The idea that you can be glad about somebody’s ultimate demise… it’s such a negative thing, but everybody feels something a little like that.”

“Jezebel” melts down into a sweltering lo-fi blues number, its minimal instrumentation muddled and viscous as though the song was written on an old front porch when it was just too damn hot to do anything but sing. And like water thrown over flames, the crackling and steaming “Out to Sea” cools the album with its haunting refrain: “Oh, oh, river run, straight out from the hurt that seems to pour from me, and oh, oh, river speak, just haulin’ ass down the Calabash, just headed out to sea.”

“It was a new direction for us on a lot of different fronts,” Ringel admits of the tune. “It’s quiet and it’s sweet and it’s sad. It explores the idea of that cheesy, sappy movie line, ‘I can’t live without you,’ but this is more like, if you’re going to say it, what does that really mean?”

“Sing to Me” starts out sluggishly, forlornly, a rusted locomotive gathering speed with lyrics like, “I come to you now with blood on my hands, the law on my tail, and my conscience be damned, my sweet little babe, my sweet honeybee,” before running off the rails completely, harmonica flashing, drums galloping. And “River,” a second listen gem, is a brief interlude deep into the album in which an ethereal female gospel choir seems to sway and billow in the breeze on balmy Sunday afternoon.

“The main thing we wanted for Death Letter Jubilee was for it to have movement,” Ringel states. “We wanted people to listen and have an emotional journey similar to the one we had while making it.” That journey has left them energized and confident about the future, while still enjoying each stop along the road: “We want to grow, and maybe even grow faster, but we understand that it’s all in due time. We want to fully realize the weight of our experiences, and be able to savor them too.”

The Cold Stares



Authenticity. A word that is frequently used in describing The Cold Stares, and frequently missing from modern music discussions. “We’re not just a blues band, or just a rock band, or anything other than who we are,” says front man Chris Tapp. “There is a power and a realness that is arrived at by just doing what you do best.”

Hailing from Madisonville, Kentucky, The Cold Stares were formed in 2008 after the duo had spent a number of years in other bands. Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins got together for the sole reason to just jam. The result is a hard rocking, story- based brand of rock and roll that is sung from the soul.

They released “The Cold Stares” in 2010 and “A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind” in 2012.

The band was able to sell 25k copies of the latter on their own.

The Album was in the Top 10 in Amazon’s Blues Rock category for 6-8 weeks, holding the #1 spot numerous times in the Blues category.

They spent Fall 2013 in the studio with Mark Needham ( Imagine Dragons, Fleetwood Mac, Pink) and the new music will be released in 2014.

The band has been featured on Fox TV and NBC, with editorials in newspapers and websites including the Huffington Post and Fox News.com.
They’ve been featured in various magazines including Vintage Guitar Magazine.

In addition, they’ve shared the stage with national acts such as Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Bob Schneider and Rival Sons.

More US touring is in the works for 2014, including some major Festival appearances.


Jeffrey Foucault


On May 21, 2013, COLD SATELLITE- the six-piece band centered on the collaboration between critically acclaimed songwriter Jeffrey Foucault and award-winning poet Lisa Olstein- will release CAVALCADE, a sophomore album that both refines and concentrates the band’s signature amalgam of rock, blues, and country.

Described by legendary music critic Greil Marcus as having, “…a country feel that puts the people who live in the Nashville charts to shame… a deep, ditch electric guitar that takes a country song into the blues, and lets it go back where it came from,” COLD SATELLITE pairs Olstein’s visceral and often imagistic language with the rawboned authority of a rock band to create a stripped down ethos harkening back to records by Crazy Horse and the Faces, Led Zeppelin, and CCR.

Rising stars in their respective fields and longtime friends, Jeffrey Foucault and Lisa Olstein began their collaboration at a distance. In the winter of 2007, when he was between albums and she was between books, Olstein handed Foucault a folder of unpublished poems and fragments. Guitar in hand and with a field recorder on the table, he approached each piece cold, creating songs by elision and arrangement and leaving the listener to unify the intentions of the two artists in a single experience. The result is an expansion of the notion of authorship, and an experiment in the invention of meaning. It’s also rock n’ roll.

Following the release of their 2010 indie debut (Jeffrey Foucault: Cold Satellite) and successful American and European tours, COLD SATELLITE returned to the studio in December 2012 to record CAVALCADE, an expansive collection that veers nimbly from thunderous straight-ahead rockers to barroom blues, country-soul ballads to plaintive love songs. CAVALCADE will be released simultaneously with the publication of Lisa Olstein’s third book of poems LITTLE STRANGER, on the venerable Copper Canyon Press.

Featuring a world-class lineup that includes Billy Conway (Morphine) on drums, Jeremy Moses Curtis (Booker T) on bass, David Goodrich (Chris Smither) on electric guitars, Alex McCollough on pedal steel, and Hayward Williams on backing vocals, keyboards, and electric guitars, COLD SATELLITE weaves together strands of primitive rock, blues, R&B, and country in a modern refiguring of the nexus of poetry and song.

Longtime disciple of the rich and strange music that sings behind the American veil, Foucault has spent the last decade mining the darker seams of country and blues, producing a string of spare and elemental albums of rare power while garnering accolades across the United States and overseas for a tersely elegant brand of songwriting set apart by its haunting imagery and weather-beaten cool. He lives in Western Massachusetts.


“I hope my songs evoke the same laissez-faire I grew up witnessing and am always jonesing to be around. My lyrics are simply a diary telling the story of my history; boating in Lake Maurepas in the pouring rain, listening to George Jones and eating chili beans in muddy clothes, hearing Robicheaux sing the blues from the sidewalk, gutter-punks busking anti-war folk standards on Royal, Baptist gospel healings, the erotic passions of Bourbon Street and Storyville, hearing that riverboat calliope up and down the Mississippi all day long like a wind chime in the breeze…”

crash’s story unfolds with that particularly Southern swagger and wit, a tale of a Louisiana boy bred on Waffle House breakfasts and monster truck rallies, local rodeos and the flicker of family bonfires. As a youth he pulled slingshots and shot bb’s at the Popcorn trees, swam, fished and stomped his feet to the tune of his own Pawpaw’s country band.

As adolescence crept in, crash found he had an itch for singing, passing through the French Quarter to learn at the feet of the New Orleans’ legendary street performers, a young man searching for inspiration among the sodden Voodoo alleys of America’s most soulful city. Later, he would steal his Mom’s car to play the open mic nights at The Neutral Ground Coffeehouse, or to sneak into Nick’s on Tulane, or shoot pool at Dixie Tavern. He started a folk act, a punk group and finally, just after high school, started singing on the regular and was appointed “Congregational Song Leader” in a Southern Louisiana Gospel Choir, which had him performing for hundreds at a time.

There was college for a hot minute, there was a move to the Irish Channel, there was the soaking in of all that is New Orleans, wet heat and Sazeracs, the wailing horns of jazz funerals, the teetering handmade floats of Mardi Gras, crawfish and etouffee and howling at the moon. There was work where he could get it, toiling as a PA on the studio sets, Hollywood coming south for the tax credits.
It was on these film productions where crash earned his nickname, something to do with a questionable work ethic and repetitive tardiness (he admits you’d have to ask one Ms. Rita Wilson for the real deal details). And yet despite his reputation (or perhaps because of it), he was anointed “assistant” to Johnny Knoxville during The Dukes of Hazzard’s run. (One can only imagine…)

Then, the rains came, Katrina bearing down hard and fast and the New Orleans that he once knew vanishing forever under poisoned water. Lost, crash reached out to his pal Knoxville, who responded with an offer of help – a job, a place to lay his head– an invite to head west, to Cali. And so he packed his guitar and went, straight into the heart of Tinseltown, to the sweet promise of a Golden State.

crash brought his music with him, quickly joining the critically adored local act Deadly Syndrome as lead singer and frontman, bringing his gris gris into the beautiful belly of the L.A. beast. Since then, crash has been barreling ahead, recording prolifically with Deadly Syndrome, working with famed producer Daniel Lanios, composing a live stage score, acting in a few national commercials, and finally, after Deadly disbanded in 2013, heading out on the road with his pals, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, as percussionist and angelic vocal accompaniment.

And somewhere in that heady mix…in that combination of the rolling road, of California eucalyptus sway and dark NOLA mysteries, he discovered his true self– the wild-eyed, sly-tongued, strutting, winking and wonderful ‘crash’ of this here solo debut.
Produced and engineered by the multitalented Ed Sharpe lead guitarist, Mark Noseworthy, (and featuring friends from the Zeros, Dawes, The Mystic Valley Band and more…) Hardly Criminal is the culmination of all that is strange and sad, hilarious and harmonious, about crash’s own true tale. It is story – moving, funny, weird, and stunningly beautiful.

You can hear the South, yes, Neville swing and Dr. John ju-ju, but you can also hear smooth soul, booty funk, and ragged folk, a mix of sounds taken from his past and pushed into the future, all accompanied by a deadpan storytelling prowess and a voice like a Cajun Prince (as in “The Artist Formerly Known As”). Hardly Criminal is the sum of crash’s best parts – the sonic celebration of his story so far. So, set down a spell, cool yer bones, cher… and listen.