Tickets on sale Thursday, 3/29/18
THE FRITZ PRESENTS:
The King of Pop Meets The Purple One
The Fritz plays the music of Michael Jackson and Prince
The Fritz is a soul-driven dance rock band hailing from Asheville, NC. The group’s aggressive approach to funk, soul, and rock creates a sound that is uniquely their own. Their high-energy, danceable songs provide a platform for each member to shine. With powerful vocals, climactic solos, and tight grooves, The Fritz has built a devoted following and is captivating audiences everywhere.
Originally formed in the rehearsal spaces of University of North Florida's School of Music, The Fritz discovered an immediate chemistry. Drawing on influences such as Prince, Talking Heads and Jimi Hendrix, the quintet integrated their diverse musical tastes and began writing music together.
With their college days behind them, the Fritz soon set their eyes on the mountains of Western North Carolina, eventually settling in Asheville in July 2011. After the release of their 2012 debut album, Bootstrap, the band launched into a near-constant touring schedule. With appearances at festivals such as Hulaween, Wakarusa, and Catskill Chill, the band quickly gained a reputation as a live act not to be missed.
The band’s 2017 release, Natural Mind, captures a sound that has been years in the making.
“We intentionally waited to go back into the studio so that we could really work on the music and figure out what makes this band special,” vocalist and keyboardist Jamar Woods said.
For the new album, The Fritz headed north to More Sound Studios in Syracuse, NY and enlisted the help of producer Dave Brandwein (Turkuaz, Galaxy Smith Studios) and engineers Jason "Jocko" Randall and Jose Varona to assist with the recording process.
“We wanted to work with a producer whose work we respected and who we trusted to add a different perspective,” percussionist Mikey “Spice” Evans said. “Dave played an invaluable role in producing our album.”
While most of the songs were written in the months leading up to recording, the studio environment allowed for some last minute additions and musical breakthroughs.
“We really wanted to arrange these songs specifically for the studio, which was both challenging and fun for us” guitarist Jamie Hendrickson said. “Now we’re very excited to get on the road and have these songs take on a life of their own.”
The band is now taking the album and their unforgettable live performances around the country with the Natural Mind tour.
Check out www.thefritzmusic.com for local tour dates near you.
Recently, the seven-time GRAMMY® Award-winning, RIAA diamond-certified musician celebrated his third full-length solo album, BOOMIVERSE. The project features his latest single “In The South” featuring Gucci Mane and Pimp C as well as singles “Mic Jack” featuring Adam Levine and “Kill Jill” featuring Killer Mike & Jeezy. Big Boi previously unveiled the slick and sexy video, “Chocolate” featuring Trozé, to wide fanfare from media outlets and fans worldwide.
Big Boi's 2010 solo debut, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, bowed at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and received unanimous critical acclaim with Pitchfork proclaiming it one of the "100 Best Albums of the Decade 'So Far'" and topping year-end lists from Time, Paste, Vibe, and more. His 2012 follow-up Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors enamored tastemakers and fans alike and boasted collaborations with A$AP Rocky, Killer Mike, Kid Cudi, and more. In 2015, Big Boi collaborated with Phantogram to create supergroup Big Grams. Their debut self-titled album was released to critical and fan acclaim.
One of history's tightest and most clever rhyme mavericks, Big Boi's indelible influence courses throughout two generations of rap music As one-half of OutKast, Big Boi has achieved seven GRAMMY® Awards, sold over 25 million albums, and created a string of music's most influential work, including Aquemini, Stankonia, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below—which went RIAA Diamond and made the duo the first and only hip-hop artist in history to win the GRAMMY® for “Album of the Year.”
For latest tour and ticket sales information please visit BigBoi.com.
The New Mastersounds
Opening Set by: The 4 Korners
The New Mastersounds
Eddie Roberts – guitar & tambourine
Simon Allen – drums
Pete Shand – bass guitar
Joe Tatton – organ & piano
The New Mastersounds have been delighting audiences with their infectious brand of funky soul-jazz since they formed in Leeds, UK in 1999. For the first five years of the band’s career they were regulars at the Jazz Café in London, before they began to turn heads on the funk scene in the US, where guitarist/producer/bandleader Eddie Roberts now lives. For over a decade now they have been a staple act of the late-night scene during New Orleans’ annual Jazz Fest. Though they have collaborated over the years with such musical luminaries as Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Corinne Bailey Rae, Art Neville, Bernard Purdie and Lou Donaldson, they are at their best on stage as a tightly-packed quartet – bass, drums, guitar and Hammond organ - firing scorching funk grooves off each other and feeding off the energy of the dancers in the front row.
The band tours in support of their twelfth studio album, “Renewable Energy”, released April 2018 on One Note Records.
Twitter & Instagram @newmastersounds
The 4 Korners
With influences from Chick Corea Elektric Band, Dave Weckl Band, Yellowjackets and Tribal Tech, The 4 Korners have completed their second album titled "Portal of Gold" released through Rope-a-Dope Records on October 28th, 2016. This brotherhood started with Clarence Hill (Keys), James Thompson (Bass) and Isaac Thompson (Guitar) around the late 90's early 2000's. Jerrod Sullivan (Drums) joined the band in 2014 and has been a great addition to the band. They aspire to reignite the music scene with their passionate, high energy sound of original live instrumental music. They put their hearts and souls into every piece that they compose and their audiences always feel it. Although they are in the jazz fusion genre, they prefer to call it "Journey Music," encouraging the listener to take a musical joyride from start to finish. Just let your mind run free and enjoy the ride as you listen to the sound of
The 4 Korners!
Have you ever imagined experiencing ALL of Johnny’s iconic songs in concert just the way you remembered them? From the early days with Sam Philips at Sun Records, to the later years with Rick Rubin and American Recordings, Cash Unchained delivers a complete catalog of breath taking music from one of the greatest country artists of all time. Experience it LIVE for one night only!
Johnny Cash may not have been the greatest singer or musical technician, but his sound was unforgettable. Steady like a train, sharp like a razor, with the perfect blend of country, rock 'n' roll, and folk music, Cash paved the way for artists of all genres for years to come. With out Johnny Cash, we wouldn't have some of the music we've all enjoyed over the past 6 decades. Performed by some of the finest musicians in the state of Virginia, James Tamelcoff captures Cash's trademark baritone voice, while his band delivers the infectious, driving rhythm of the Tennessee Three.
Doors at 8
Show at 9
Empire Strikes Brass (ESB) is a high energy Brass-Funk-Rock band hailing from the city of Asheville, North Carolina. Formed on the streets of their hometown, ESB is rooted in the New Orleans Brass Band tradition of second-line parades and deep moving grooves reminiscent of old school funk. Combining complex musical arrangements with thoughtful lyrical song structure, ESB can stretch out and dig deep when they are feeling it or keep things tight and concise. The fat sound of the horns paired with one dirty rhythm section makes the music downright psychedelically nasty! Founded in 2012, ESB intentionally stretches the boundaries of the stereotypical brass band paradigm, fusing sounds from various genres and weaving them together with the common thread of Brass. The diversity of the music within their sets keep audiences guessing what is next to come.
Featuring rich group and strong lead vocals including Grammy Award winner Debrissa Mckinney (Secret Agent 23 Skidoo), ESB not only takes its audiences on a ride to the dark side and back instrumentally, they also use the force of soaring melody and lush harmony to transport the listeners to another dimension. The band released its debut album, "Theme For A Celebration" in 2017 and it was tapped as one of the top 100 album releases in 2017 by WNCW 88.7 radio. Since their conception, ESB has been a consistent fixture at various festivals throughout the east coast. They've had the pleasure of having Warren Haynes (Allman Bros. Band and Gov’t Mule) sit in with them at New Mountain Amphitheater in Asheville, NC and the honor of headlining four years in a row celebrating the life of Dizzy Gillespie in his hometown of Cheraw, SC, for the South Carolina Jazz and Heritage Festival. ESB has co-billed with such artists as Dr. John & Lettuce. The horns have sat in on performances with Galactic, The Big Something, and many others. ESB horn players JP Furnas, Paul Juhl and Alex Bradley are also featured on the live album compilation from world-renowned artists Beats Antique entitled “Creature Carnival” released in 2015. The band is known to regularly parade off stage into the audience leading a the crowd in a raucous procession around the venue before, during or after their set.
Members of the band have also been expanding their musical resumes and repertoire. Notable side projects and performances include keyboardist Lenny Pettinelli’s recording and performing with Jazz is Phish featuring such artists as Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck, Dave Matthews Band), Chris Bullock (Snarky Puppy), Michael Ray (Sun Ra, Kool and the Gang), the Chase Brothers and many more. The band's founder, saxophonist Paul Juhl, performed with John Oates (Hall and Oates) at MerleFest. In addition to her work with Skidoo, Debrissa McKinney has performed with artists such as Karl Denson and Laura Reed. ESB horn players Kyle Snuffer and Alex Bradley have recorded on Marcus King's upcoming 2018 release produced by Eric Krasno of Soulive and Lettuce.
Later this year, the band is slated to get back in the studio for a follow up sophomore effort to 2017's Theme For A Celebration. Look for the band on the road and at festivals in a town near you!
Empire Strikes Brass is:
Alex Bradley/ trumpet, vocals
Sean Donnelly/ keys, vocals
JP Furnas/ Sousaphone, bass, moog
Kelly Hannah/ guitar, vocals, washboard
Nik Hope/ drums, vocals
Paul Juhl/ saxophone, vocals
Debrissa McKinney/ vocals, saxophone
Lenny Pettinelli/ keys, vocals
Kyle Snuffer/ trombone, vocals
James Hunter has certainly paid his dues. Over the span of 30 years, he’s worked on the railway, busked in the streets of London, provided backup vocals and guitar for Van Morrison, played clubs and theatres all over the world, written scores of original songs, and recorded some of the most original and honest rhythm & soul albums of the last two decades. By 2006, Hunter was recognized with nominations for a GRAMMY® Award (“Best Traditional Blues Album” for People Gonna Talk (Rounder)) and an American Music Award (“Best New/Emerging Artist”). He and his band then hit the road for a decade of extensive touring and recorded three additional critically-acclaimed studio albums— The Hard Way (Concord), Minute by Minute (Concord) and Hold On! (Daptone). By 2016, MOJO magazine had crowned him “The United Kingdom’s Greatest Soul Singer.” On February 2, 2018, renowned soul label Daptone Records will release James Hunter’s most ambitious album to date, Whatever It Takes, offering ten new and original songs written by Hunter and recorded live to 8-track tape by Daptone's two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning Gabriel Roth. At age 16, Hunter left school in Colchester, Essex and began working for the railway, while honing his blues guitar and singing skills. Six years later, he played his first paid gig at the Colchester Labour club (as “Howlin’ Wilf and the Vee-Jays”). In the decades since, James Hunter has gone from singer/songwriter to labourer and back again. After releasing one album in 1986, Hunter and his band became a popular fixture on the UK club circuit and radio waves. His gritty, soulful voice has matured well along with his musicianship and song writing. In the early 90’s, Van Morrison recruited Hunter to sing backup on the road touring and on two albums, A Night in San Francisco and Day's Like This. In the years to follow, Hunter opened shows for Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Willie Nelson, and Tom Petty, and headlined clubs and theatres in England, Europe, Australia and the United States. Throughout his celebrated career, Hunter has remained true not only to his musical roots, but to his loyal bandmates—the newest of which joined him over 20 years ago. As always, he steps into the studio as one of the irreplaceable "The James Hunter Six": Jonathan Lee, drums; Lee Badau, baritone saxophone; Damian Hand, tenor saxophone; Andrew Kingslow, keyboards/percussion; and Jason Wilson, bass. Hunter’s latest album, Whatever It Takes, was inspired in part by his new wife, Jessie. Originally from New Jersey, Jessie met James when – after hearing him on the radio – she turned up at a show in New York City. A year later, they were married in New Orleans and now live in Brighton on the south coast of England. James dedicates three songs in particular to Jessie: “I Don’t Wanna Be Without You,” “I Got Eyes,” and “Whatever It Takes”—a song written to cheer her up during a rather grueling application process for UK residency. Whatever It Takes is The James Hunter Six’s third album working with Roth (AKA Bosco Mann,) who has long been a fan of Hunter's songwriting and appreciates his voice “not only for its natural beauty and grit, but for its honesty.” And Hunter, an equally uncompromising stickler when it comes to his music, notes that, “it’s a rare thing when a producer knows what you’re going for before you’ve told him. It’s good to be associated with a record company that ‘gets’ us.”
You could say we were one of the lucky ones, starting this band in April of '98 without a clue as to what we were doing. We were getting tired of the steady punk rock and metal diet and we wanted to try our hand at country songs, or do our best Tom Waits/Pogues impersonation.
The trick there was that we couldn't really play our instruments! I had never played guitar before and Ben Nichols (lead singer, guitar) had only played bass in other bands. Finding Roy Berry (drummer) and John C. Stubblefield (bassist) solidified the line up and being hidden away in Memphis allowed us to woodshed, experiment with different sounds and create one that was ours alone.
Eventually we got out of town, and playing 250 shows year not only made us tight as a band but as a family as well. We are still one of the few bands out there with the original line up from almost the beginning, and it shows.
Picking up Rick Steff on keys allowed us to expand the sound and grow musically. Being able to play whatever we could think up in our heads and having the music we loved and grew up on motivate and inspire us to try new things and take chances. We realized that if you added some horns to Ben's lyrics that it took it to the next step, from sad bastard country rock to soul and R&B and we realized we were a Memphis band and came by it honest. We have always brought Memphis with us wherever we went and this just proved it.
We came out screaming on 1372 Overton Park. Big sound, bigger horns – like a kid with a new toy we put them on everything and loved it! This record was a marked departure from the previous sound and announcement of way things we're gonna be now!
While 1372 Overton Park was written and the horns added after the fact, Women & Workwas written with the horns in mind so it was a little less gung ho and was starting to settle in nicely. Women & Work is one of the best modern Southern rock records in my opinion and the song "On My Way Downtown" has almost surpassed "Tears Don't Matter Much" as the crowd favorite... almost!
This brings us to the new record. All A Man Should Do contains some of the most resonant lyrics Ben Nichols has ever written, lyrics that read like chapters from his life on the duality of relationships, getting older, finding where you want to be in this world, and musically we are broadening our sound. Working with producer Ted Hutt for a third time at the famous Ardent Studios, we felt comfortable enough to take some chances with a palette of new tones that sound understated yet powerful, bringing life to the stories behind the lyrics without overshadowing them.
It's also the first time we've ever put a cover song on a record, with a full band version of big star's "I Fell in Love with a Girl", and having Jody from Big Star sing back–up vocals makes it that more special and amazing. This is a Memphis record in the greatest sense and a perfect finish to the three–part love letter to a city that brought us up and made us what we are today.
"I was 15 years old in 1989. This record sounds like the record I wanted to make when I was 15. It just took 25 years of mistakes to get it done." — Ben Nichols
"Having Big Star actually sing on your cover of a Big Star song that you're recording at Ardent Studios – it doesn't get much more exciting than that." — Ben Nichols
Mountain True Presents
MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD
STAY HUMAN TOUR
Asheville, NC – Michael Franti & Spearhead return to Asheville on Friday, July 27 to headline the Riverkeeper Beer Series at the Salvage Station for the second year in a row. The show is presented by MountainTrue and 98.1 The River, with proceeds supporting the work of the French Broad Riverkeeper – a MountainTrue program that serves as the primary protector and watchdog of the French Broad River Watershed.
“Michael Franti & Spearhead brought such amazing energy to Asheville last year that it was a no-brainer to bring him back for this year’s French Broad Riverkeeper Concert,” says French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson. “Asheville loves Michael and he seems to love us back. Last year he took a surprise tubing float down the French Broad before jumping on stage.”
Michael Franti is a world-renowned musician, filmmaker, and humanitarian who is recognized as a pioneering force in the music industry. Franti believes in using music as a vehicle for positive change and is revered for his energetic live shows, political activism, worldwide philanthropy efforts and authentic connection to his global fan base known as the SOULROCKER FAM.
Michael Franti is the headliner for the Riverkeeper Beer Series that is presented by Asheville GreenWorks and MountainTrue. The beer series includes a series of river cleanups, floats and concerts. Come out for a river cleanup or float during the day and stick around for a special beer release and after-party. There will also be prizes from the Asheville Gear Builders for most trash collected, weirdest trash, and a host of other prizes. Come join the fun this summer at each of these breweries:
April 21 – Cleanup of the French Broad River in Henderson County with beer release party Sanctuary Brewing Company.
May 20 – Cleanup of the French Broad River and Asheville area streams with New Belgium Brewing Company and Asheville Greenworks. After-party at New Belgium Brewing Company.
June 2 – Cleanup of the Swannanoa River with beer release party at the Wedge at Foundation.
June 28 – Cleanup of the French Broad River with beer release party at Wicked Weed.
July 21 – Cleanup of the Swannanoa River with beer release party at the Catawba Brewing in Biltmore Village.
July 27 – Michael Franti & Spearhead Concert at the Salvage Station.
August 25 – Cleanup of the French Broad River and Hominy Creek with a beer release party at French Broad Outfitters, featuring a tap takeover by HiWire Brewing and live music (artist TBD).
September 8 – Cleanup of the French Broad River with an afterparty and concert at Sierra Nevada Brewery.
September 15 – Cruise Then Brews Paddle with Headwaters Outfitters. Paddle down the French Broad River in Transylvania County followed by a beer release party at Oskar Blues Brewing.
Visit MountainTrue.org to register and for more information on the Riverkeeper Beer Series events.
Tickets: On sale at the Salvage Station or online at SalvageStation.com for Michael Franti on Wednesday March 28 at 10am for Michael Franti fan club members and will go on sale to the public on Friday March 30 at 10am. General admission tickets are $33.50 and include a download of Franti’s new album. VIP tickets are $110 and include a VIP party from 5:00pm - 7:00pm including a full catered meal, drinks, a VIP viewing area with a private bar and an appearance by Michael Franti. **THIS IS NOT THE SAME THING AS MICHAEL FRANTI’S VIP UPGRADE.**
The Riverkeeper Series is sponsored by MountainTrue, Asheville GreenWorks, 98.1The River and French Broad Outfitters. Other sponsors include The Wedge Brewery, Wicked Weed Brewery, New Belgium Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery, Sanctuary Brewery, Catawba Brewery, WNC Magazine, MountainXpress, and Recover Brands.
MountainTrue champions resilient forests, clean waters and healthy communities in our region. We engage in policy advocacy at all levels of government, local project advocacy and on-the-ground environmental restoration projects. Primary program areas include public lands, water quality, clean energy, land use/transportation and citizen engagement. We are also home to Riverkeepers for the French Broad, Watauga, Green and Broad Rivers, who are the primary defenders and spokespeople for these waterways. For more information: mountaintrue.org.
Asheville GreenWorks: inspire, equip and mobilize individuals and communities to take care of the places we love to live.
Asheville Yoga Festival hosts an EPIC CELEBRATION PARTY! Join us for a sunset yoga class at Salvage Station. Soak up lovely views of the river as beloved yoga teacher, musician, and ‘Spiritual Graffiti’ author MC YOGI leads you through an energetic yoga practice (perfect for all levels) followed by a dance party and live concert performance, with beats by DJ SOL RISING. This is the one time the entire festival community can gather together & the one event you don’t want to miss! Bring your mat, your friends and your good vibes — get ready for a night of FUN.
$15 ticket price includes yoga class & concert.
For over two decades, Cowboy Mouth has dished up its unique style of rock & roll gumbo, mixing a rowdy spirit reflective of the band's hometown -- New Orleans -- with the fierce firepower of a group that lives on the road. These Louisiana natives have played more than 2,500 concerts and launched their signature song, "Jenny Says,” into the upper half of the Billboard rock charts. Above all else, they earned a well-deserved rep as a raucous, redemptive, live music experience.
Formed during the glory days of grunge music, Cowboy Mouth forged a different sound from the very start. It’s a sound rooted in rock, punk, blues, and the attitude of the Big Easy, a town known for its week-long parties and swampy, southern vibe. Bandleader Fred LeBlanc, who'd previously sharpened his teeth with the punk band Dash Rip Rock, pulls double-duty as the group's frontman and drummer, leading the charge with his larger-than-life personality and percussive attack. During the band’s early days, record companies warned him against singing and drumming at the same time, claiming that audiences would never go for it... but by the mid-'90s, those same record companies were clamoring to sign the band to a major-label deal.
In other words, in a decade filled with angsty alt-rock, Cowboy Mouth stood out for all the right reasons.
The band released its original music with MCA Records, then Atlantic Records. Once the 2000s kicked into gear, the band released music on its own label, cutting out the middleman and focusing on the biggest thing that's kept Cowboy Mouth afloat since 1990: the audience.
"Cowboy Mouth isn't so much about the people onstage as it is about the feeling in the crowd," says LeBlanc.
The people onstage certainly help, though. Since the band’s inception, LeBlanc has shared that stage with guitarist John Thomas Griffith. Now backed by bandmates Matt Jones on guitar and Brian Broussard on bass, LeBlanc and Griffith have led Cowboy Mouth on a wild, critically-acclaimed ride, selling more than 500,000 albums domestically, playing shows with artists like Bo Diddley (whose bluesy, beat-driven music has always been a big influence on Cowboy Mouth's own sound), and performing in front of more than 9 million fans.
Go!, the band's newest album, is proof that Cowboy Mouth hasn't lost its bite. It's the most collaborative album of the group's career, performed with ferocity by a group of rock & roll veterans who've been there, done that... and can't wait to do it all again. "I'm just a little older, but I ain't dead yet!" LeBlanc sings during the very first song, kicking off a record that's steeped in the ageless energy of the band's live shows.
Cowboy Mouth’s music lives in concert with its loyal fans! Fred’s raw and engaging performance style has played ring leader to the audience for decades.
"Our shows are celebratory, life-affirming experiences," LeBlanc says proudly. "With every show, no matter where it is, we try to turn it into New Orleans during the middle of Mardi Gras. It's an unique live concert experience. It's like a southern gospel revival without the religion."
Over the years, an estimated 9 million people would agree.
“… high-energy romp through gospel, soul and funk-infused landscapes…” – Relix
AJ Ghent [J-ent] is all about energy: musically, physically and spiritually. He takes his family’s heirloom “the sacred steel sound” and brings to a broader audience, by standing up: which allows him more freedom in performing and connecting with others. Over the years, Ghent has shared music with Zac Brown, Dave Grohl, and legendary freeform artist, Colonel Bruce Hampton. Ghent’s new creation, THE NEO BLUES PROJECT (March 2018) debut at #7 on the Blues Billboard Charts, and is filled with everything that it should be: grooves, riffs and above all, message.
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic Play for Clean Water
Asheville, NC – The Waggoner Team with Movement Mortgage, Matt and Molly team of Keller Williams and 98.1 The River present George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. MountainTrue’s French Broad Riverkeeper works with the Yoto River Waterkeeper in Togo to provide safe, potable water, and proceeds from the show will fund a drinking water well in rural west Africa.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist and legendary funk act, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic will light up the Salvage Station on Friday May 11, to raise money for drinking water wells in Togo, West Africa. George Clinton revolutionized R&B during the ’70s, twisting soul music into funk by adding influences from several late-’60s heroes: Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Sly Stone. Decades of hits followed and Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic continue to wow crowds with some of the best live shows around.
The French Broad Riverkeepers works in partnership with the Yoto River Waterkeeper to construct drinking water wells along the Yoto River, in rural Togo. This is an area where most people lack access to clean drinking water and additional clean drinking water sources are desperately needed. This partnership has already created three wells that now provide clean drinking water to hundreds of Togolese.
Tickets: On sale Thursday March 1st at 10am.
$29 presale and $34 at the door. VIP tickets for $125 include a preparty at the Salvage Station from 5-7pm with appearance by George Clinton, full catered meal, drinks, and roped off viewing area with private bar. Get tickets at salvagestation.com.
Location: Salvage Station at 468 Riverside Drive.
Music starts at 9pm
Boogie-Woogie piano music at it’s finest, the Screaming J’s hold
nothing back with their wild and zany performances. The Screaming J's
hail from the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, where their
influences range from New Orleans honky-tonk to bluegrass, gospel and
ragtime. Piano player and band leader Jake Hollifield writes the
songs, with backup by music veterans Jonathan "JP" Hess on stand-up
bass and Mike Gray on drums. Found somewhere in-between a honkey-tonk
barn party and an Americana trio on a long psychedelic “trip”, you
won’t be disappointed with the infectious energy that is a Screaming
Comfort zones are overrated—just ask the five members of the Atlanta-based rock outfit O’Brother. When they decamped from their home turf in early 2013 to take over a rented house on wintry Long Island, the idea wasn’t just to update the hard-edged sound they’d achieved on their debut full-length Garden Window with producer Mike Sapone (known for his work with Brand New, Crime in Stereo, Public Enemy and more). This time out, the band reconvened with Sapone to embark on a mind-expanding journey into strange new territory, lyrically and sonically. All it took was a little inspiration.
“I think with this record, we wanted to leave more room to allow the songs to change in the studio,” says lead singer and guitarist Tanner Merritt. “We basically had the structure, the skeletons, for all the songs, but we did a lot more experimentation while recording than we’d done in the past, which was a goal of ours going in. We just wanted an opportunity to work with soundscapes and layers and noises—and we were definitely listening to a lot more psychedelic music. We were on a huge Pink Floyd kick and watching live DVDs every day back at the house.”
Right from the opening ambient guitar strains of the leadoff track “Come into the Divide,” there’s a confident and resolute intention behind O’Brother’s new sound. It seems almost at odds with the album’s title, Disillusion, but then, grappling with uncertainty—and for that matter, casting it in the positive light of infinite possibility—has clearly become one of the band’s strengths. Another case in point: the new album marks the debut of Jordan McGhin, who joined the permanent lineup during last year’s summer tour, in the wake of longtime guitarist Aaron Wamack’s departure.
“Jordan has a real unique writing style when it comes to heavy music,” observes drummer Michael Martens, “but if you hand him an acoustic guitar, he’ll play some of the most amazing classical stuff you’ve ever heard. He’s invaluable because of his spot specifically in the band—he only plays baritone guitar with us, so that gives us a lot of our extra punch and low end, which I guess we’re becoming known for. His complementary parts really help make it all work.”
A tight camaraderie and chemistry keeps O’Brother together, infusing Disillusion with a focused energy that seems to flow directly from the hive mind of the band. It starts with the rhythm section; Martens and bassist Anton Dang have been playing together since they were teenagers, crafting an unspoken symbiosis that comes through in the heavy-leaded syncopation of “Perilous Love” or the well-timed hits that pepper the liquid atmospherics over the first half of the title track. Meanwhile, McGhin and founding guitarist Johnny Dang engage in a near-constant interplay, orchestrated with precision in the lushly textured “Path of Folly”—a persistent groove that surges with high-flying overdrive and tastefully twangy guitar passages.
At the center of it all is Merritt, who clearly set out to test himself. “Sometimes you get tired of doing the same thing,” he says. “I’d been listening to Tom Waits and other people who do crazy things with their voice, and I’ve always done the back-and-forth with pretty vocals and the abrasive coloring, so I wanted to step outside my boundaries a little bit. Trying to put that additional character in your vocals is almost like what I would presume acting to be like. You try to get in a mode and a mindset, and let each take and each part have its own existence and not be so stale.”
The approach stands out in an epic track like “Oblivion,” where Merritt pushes the upper reaches of his range in the verses (“I make my way like a wandering amputee”) and then lays back into a falsetto whisper during the hypnotic, Zeppelin-esque breakdown (“There’s an endless divide between me and where I need to be”). He drew on deeply personal experiences to craft his lyrics, particularly on the moody groove-rocker “Context,” which was inspired in part by a turbulent relationship and by his father’s struggle with memory loss. When Merritt sings “Trade my wounded pride for some peace of mind,” the dual perspectives of father and son—and of significant others in turmoil—shine through with stark clarity.
“We were pulling 12 to 14-hour days recording,” he recalls, “and then we would go back to the house and I would do another four or five hours each night trying to write lyrics to these songs. So there was very little sleeping, but it was amazing because it was the first time that we were able to be completely immersed in the creative process. We left home, rented a house and it was just the five of us with Mike [Sapone], all the time. We were always doing something creative.”
Sequenced like an episodic dream, with each song shape-shifting into the next, Disillusion captures O’Brother in a true state of creative transformation. The sprawling concept albums of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson and more provided the grist, but these five intrepid seekers have crafted a complex slab of bejeweled art-rock that shimmers vividly all on its own. With multiple points of entry and a host of memorable stops along the way, the album defines a journey that almost anyone can grasp: in this crazy tech-fueled world where literally everything can feel like it’s on a downward spiral, sometimes we just need to slow down, sit still and listen.
“To me, the way I’ve seen this record take form, it’s about not being scared of disillusion,” Martens explains. “Everybody has a certain disillusion with the things that they believe and feel, and how they compare themselves to other people, and I think that comes through. But it’s a hopeful disillusionment. We don’t want to be all about doom and gloom, and we’re not trying to question things in a negative manner. We want people to know that lyrically and musically, we’ve got an optimistic, realistic view on things. We’ve always had a tendency to stray from the beaten path, but to us, it’s okay to think a little differently, as long as your motives are positive.”
When you’re part of a musical dynasty, it’s only natural that the personal and professional aspects of your life should intersect. It was no different for Devon Allman, whose late father Gregg Allman helped helm one of the most important and influential American bands of the past 50 years. It’s also little wonder that the younger Allman, an accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist in his own right, should feel the tug of family responsibility and the desire to honor his father’s fabled legacy. It was also only natural that following his father’s passing on May 27, 2017, Devon would take time to grieve his loss, be with his family and consider his own plans going forward. After all, he had been on the road continuously for twelve years, playing an average of 250 dates a year. Consequently he took six months off to rally around his loved ones and “rack up more time with my kid,” as he put it. That included monthly visits to see relatives on the West Coast and taking the time to heal and rearm himself with the impetus and inspiration needed to embark upon the next phase of his career. “It felt good to take that time off,” Devon says in retrospect. “I needed to step back and make up for lost time with the people that are close to me.” Even so, he didn’t neglect music entirely. On December 8, 2017, on what would have been Gregg Allman’s 70th birthday, Devon and a group of special friends celebrated the elder Allman’s life and music with a special concert at the iconic Fillmore in San Francisco. An incredible array of artists took part -- Robert Randolph, brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, G Love, members of Phish, Samantha Fish, and Jimmy Hall, among them. “It was a magical evening,” Devon recalls. “It was like a family gathering. There was so much great music, so many musicians who had such respect for my father, all of whom felt such a personal connection to both the man and his music. And when my manager told me that we could do the concert at the Fillmore, a place that obviously had such profound ties to my dad’s career, I couldn’t have been happier.” The show also rekindled his enthusiasm for several projects he’s planning for 2018. In March his new six-piece band, The Devon Allman Project, will launch a world tour with special guest Duane Betts, the son of Allman Brothers co-founder Dickey Betts. The two men have known each since 1989 when Devon was 17 and Duane was 12. “We’ve had this enduring friendship ever since we were kids,” Devon muses. “We’ve always talked about going out on tour together, and now the time seems right. He’ll start the show, then I’ll do my portion and finally the two of us will share the stage for the encore.” It will, he says, be about comfort, remembrance and a special bond between musical brothers, sentiments that are especially meaningful at this particular time. The first round of World Tour dates will be announced by the end of January. Naturally, Allman also has a new record in the works for 2018 titled Full Speed Ahead, he describes it as an album that will be seeped in classic Americana tradition, the type of music made by Tom Petty, Jackson Browne and other harbingers of California’s fabled Laurel Canyon scene of the ‘70s. While details and the release date will be announced in the coming months, Devon does promise that the music will reflect the sound of timeless classics of that vintage pedigree. “The vibe fits the songs,” he promises. Another upcoming project that he’s especially proud of is the launch of his new record label, Create Records. The first new release slated for November 2018 will be by a new band dubbed The Slays, a project featuring Devon and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. In addition, the company will actively seek out new talent that can be nurtured and ultimately offered the opportunity to develop their craft and creativity. Devon himself will sit in the producer’s chair, with new releases scheduled approximately every 18 months. “It’s always been my dream to start a label,” Allman insists. “As the name implies, this will be an artist-run, artist-friendly company which will foster an environment where musicians will be free to create, develop productive careers and make the best records they’re capable of making.” Specific details about the label’s initial signings will follow in the coming months. Devon Allman is a staunch proponent of authentic Southern Blues. It’s a legacy that’s always weighed heavy on his musical mantra. He’s chalked up a lengthy list of accomplishments that have entitled him to take his own place in the Southern Rock pantheon. His remarkable resume spans two decades, from his post-millennial breakout with Devon Allman’s Honeytribe through to chart-topping collaborations with Jack Bruce, Javier Vargas, and the widely revered super group, Royal Southern Brotherhood. Nevertheless, the stature he’s achieved on his own via his three highly regarded solo albums -- 2013’s Turquoise, 2014’s Ragged & Dirty (praised by the UK’s Blues Magazine as “reminding you why the blues can be, quite simply, the best thing in the world”) and his most recent effort, the critically acclaimed Ride Or Die -- have proven his prowess as a singer, guitarist and provocateur worthy of being reckoned with based on his talent and tenacity alone.
THE CALIFORNIA HONEYDROPS
The California Honeydrops spring into 2018 with the Call It Home Tour to promote the release of a new double album, Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2. The California Honeydrops have a reputation as being among the most exciting and dynamic live bands on the planet. With unrelenting energy and a near-encyclopedic knowledge of musical styles, genres and idioms, the Honeydrops have spent a decade playing everywhere from subway stations in their native Oakland, California to sold-out shows in theatres and at festivals all across the globe. In addition to their own non-stop touring, 2016 and 2017 saw them honored to support Bonnie Raitt on her extensive North American tour, following past support slots with such icons as B.B. King, Allen Toussaint, Buddy Guy and Dr. John. Whether in those high-profile performances or in more intimate venues where the band itself can leave the stage and get down on the dance floor, the California Honeydrops’ shared vision and purpose remain: to make the audience dance and sing.
The band has come a long way since vocalist, guitarist, and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland subway station. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards and Beau Bradbury on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound drawing on diverse musical influences from Bay Area R&B to funk, Southern soul, Delta blues and New Orleans second-line. All while staying true to the organic, street-level feel of their origins. More like parties than traditional concerts, their shows feature extensive off-stage jamming and crowd interaction. “The whole point is to erase the boundaries between the crowd and us,” Wierzynski says. “We don't make setlists. We want requests. We want crowd involvement, to make people become a part of the whole thing by dancing along, singing, picking the songs and generally coming out of their shells.”
With a career spanning 16 years and almost 20 albums, Charlie Hunter consistently ups his game as an innovative writer and bandleader. He has worked with the likes of Norah Jones , Mos Def, John Mayer, D’Angelo and countless others. He is widely considered the authority on the seven and eight - string guitar, and continues to stun audiences with his ability to simultaneously bust out tasty bass parts, melodic leads and swinging rhythms.
Hunter has previously recorded for the venerable Blue Note label, Concord, Ropeadope, GroundUP and others. His recent independent venture is steered by his motivation to release music that most inspires him. Critics have touted his genius technique, but it's his profound artistic sensibility that propels his original music. Hunter's signature style of writing and performing has secured his place as one of today's great guitarists.
1. April 7 - Haywood Road Clean Up Day - East End (West Asheville Business Association) - Image Attached
"SPRING IS HERE WHICH MEANS IT IS TIME TO JOIN FORCES WITH ASHEVILLE GREENWORKS TO SPRUCE UP OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!
Join us on Saturday, April 7, 2018 for the first Haywood Road Clean Up Day of the year. We'll be focusing on the east end of the road."
2. April 14 - Greenworks Env Awards and Trashion Show Gala event -
Our annual Environmental Excellence Awards with a twist!
Asheville GreenWorks is hosting The Awards and Trashion Show. This event features over 20 local designers in a runway fashion show. Each design only uses recycled and upcycled materials that were otherwise heading to the landfill. Join us to celebrate Asheville's leaders in the sustainability community.
"Flash Sale! Asheville Earth Day celebrates Asheville Greenworks -- The next 15 tickets purchased will include a FREE ticket to Keller Williams and Grateful Grass at the Salvage Station April 28! - Thanks to Asheville Earth Day! "
3. April 18 --Big Downtown clean up sweep --Asheville Downtown Association and tons of Downtown Businesses participating with Greenworks (15 tickets)
Thanks to Asheville Earth Day, we will award a limited number of FREE tickets to Keller Williams and Grateful Grass at the Salvage Station April 28!
"The Asheville Downtown Association is partnering with Asheville GreenWorks for Downtown Clean Up Day on Wednesday, April 18 as part of Earth Month. The Clean Up will occur from 11am to 1pm, headquartered in Pritchard Park.
On our recent Downtown Census Survey, 31% of businesses indicated that cleanliness is an issue in downtown, so here’s an opportunity to be part of a solution.
We encourage businesses to sign up as a team, but individual volunteers are great too! We’ll partner you up with a group. All supplies will be provided and we’ll assign your team an area upon check in.
Let’s show downtown some love!
4. April 21- Love your Trees Day DT Pack Square park - Greenworks and partners (15 Tickets)
Wrap Asheville's trees in love this spring as we celebrate Tree Day. There are several ways to get involved:
1. Before the event, volunteer to knit a tree "huggy" from natural fibers.
2. On the day before the event, help wrap the trees in Pack Square Park.
3. Come to the event for fun, free activities and to learn more about trees.
5 April 21 - Connecting Beyond the Page - ( 15 tickets)
"to celebrate Jay Leutze, Trustee for Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and author of Stand Up That Mountain - and the environmental work of so many, Asheville Earth Day is supporting CBTP! The next *15 CBTP tickets purchased will also include a FREE ticket to see Keller Williams and Grateful Grass at The Salvage Station on April 25, and a 4-pack of Devil's Foot Beverage Ginger Beer! Jay will be speaking about his work and about the process of his book being turned into a film at Connect: Beyond the Page. Get your CBTP tickets HERE! (To get involved with SAHC through educational hikes, clean ups and more, visit appalachian.org.)"
Connect: Beyond the Page aims to bridge creative disciplines, bringing together musicians, writers, filmmakers, media personalities, and activists to unearth a myriad of ways in which art inspires us. The 3-day event boasts an eclectic lineup of panels, speakers, and performances by influencers including NPR's Bob Boilen, cellist and activist Ben Sollee, and so many more!
6. April 25 - Music Video Asheville presented by prestige subaru (10 tickets)
-Music Video Asheville, now coming into its 11th year, is an annual event that showcases the collaborations between filmmakers and musicians. Area bands submit their music videos and the best 90 minutes of videos are selected for a viewing and awards ceremony at Diana Wortham Theater in Downtown Asheville. The red carpet event is a celebration of the creative, unique and diverse music community we have here in the heart of Western North Carolina.-
"The next TEN VIP tickets sold will also receive a FREE ticket to the April 28 Keller Williams and Grateful Grass show at the Salvage Station- thanks to Asheville Earth Day!" ($25 value, and if you want to sweeten the deal, a 4-pack of Devils Foot Beverage Ginger Beer $7.50 value)
Asheville Earth Day wants to recognize and thank our amazing musicians and talented professionals that always give of themselves and serve our wonderful city - making Asheville the green, vibrant, artistic, musical city that we are. Check out Asheville Greenworks website HERE and see how you can get involved this Earth Month! Clean up on the river, plant some trees, get involved and make a difference! "
Also the email address for info about the show or anyone wanting to vend or have a booth is firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AshevilleEarthDay/
More info to come
Keller Williams and Grateful Grass
ft. Andy Falco, Andy Thorn, Jeremy Garrett, and Travis Book
The Freeway Revival
Dedicated song crafting has always been the cornerstone of The Freeway Revival. A group forged on the road, they continue to use their lyrics as a window into the life of a traveling band. The Freeway Revival's explosive blend of southern rock, funk, and psychedelic soul encapsulates a sound that feels strangely familiar yet remains entirely unique to itself.
Performing live, The Freeway balances organized, well-crafted tunes with a jam ethos that lends a raw and explorative power to the music. The blend of tasteful guitar harmonies, vibrant four-part vocal harmonies, and a unique assortment of piano and organ melodies creates a soundscape that is both intricate and energetic. Rest that on the groove of a solid rhythm section, and you are sure to feel the magnetic force of this band! Each member plays a vital role in making the live experience unforgettable.
The band has toured relentlessly behind their self-titled EP as well as their full length 2017 release 'Revolution Road', continually growing a dedicated grassroots fan base. The process of writing, recording and touring is ongoing and exponential as they allow the livelihood of what they do to shape their sound and experience.
by todd snider
i started making up songs in 1986.
i made an album in 1994.
i also started a tour in 1994
and that tour is, in a way, still going.
i never made a record so good
that i could just sit home
or did a show so bad
that i had to.
and man, i’ve done some shit shows,
shit albums too.
some of them are pretty good though,
but you know,
it’s been a while.
i really need to put out a good album soon
or i'm finished.
sometimes these days i sing with a band.
i think we made a good album.
david schools of widespread panic is our leader.
i make up our lyrics....we’re a jam band.
our songs only go on about an hour or so but they’re still pretty long.
cool people jam with us all the time and we have like a million shirts and shit.
i personally think we’re the seventh best band in the whole jam thing.
on this tour i am coming to town with nothing but my guitar and stories
like the old days.
pick a little
talk a little
pick a little
talk a little
cheap cheap cheap
talk a lot
pick a little more.
and not to brag,
but i also wrote a book that everybody loves
so i am an author now.
plus i play everywhere,
pretty much all the time
everybody shows up
and they pretty much always love it.
Rorey Carroll (Opening)
Jordan Okrend Experience Single Release Show
w/ special guests Katie Richter, Lilly-Anne Merat & Maddie Shuler
The Jordan Okrend Experience is more than one thing. First, there is the signature sound, vintage pop imbued with an infectious funky jazz edge. There is also something else. Soulful music with socially conscious lyrics, that has all been but lost in today’s current pop climate.
he Asheville NC based singer/songwriter released his first two EP’s, Unpredictable and Rising Up, between 2010 and 2012 while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been performing extensively throughout the East Coast ever since. Has performed at notable venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End, Smiths Olde Bar, Gypsy Sally's and The Grey Eagle. His 2015 EP World Keeps Turnin was a clear indication that Okrend had thrown his hat into the ring of other soul revival upstarts such as Allen Stone and Michael Kiwanuka. The EP blended the old school with the contemporary while echoing the conscious elements of his musical heroes-Lennon, Hendrix and Marley.
krend's latest album, Dance By The Riverside (2017) is a buoyant meditation of the stresses of the modern world, with a distinctively funk and retro soul vibe. IndieMinded says" Okrend’s latest offering delivers in a big way, Soulful vocals in the vein of Amos Lee and Allen Stone, expert instrumentation that includes everything from electric guitars to horns, and meaningful lyrics. "
In Spring 2018 Okrend releases his new soulful single "Competition" recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC.
Kentucky-born cellist and composer Ben Sollee likes to keep moving. He kicked off 2014 with the release of his score for the documentary film Maidentrip. In March, he performed at Carnegie Hall as part of a tribute to Paul Simon. Throughout April and May, he was out supporting song-writer William Fitzsimmons. This September, he toured for two weeks in Europe and returned to the United States to perform with the Charlotte Ballet. If you’ve seen him perform, you know it’s not to missed. For listeners just discovering Ben’s music, you’ll find that there’s a lot more to it than just songs.
To borrow a phrase from heaven’s new poet laureate, Leonard Cohen, Nicole Atkins was “born with the gift of a golden voice.” But somewhere along the way she misplaced it. Goodnight Rhonda Lee is the story of Nicole finding her voice, and how, in doing so, she went a little crazy.
Great Art is born of struggle and Nicole was struggling. The problem was that she felt nothing. Her fans responded to her performances with the same fervor they always had, but Nicole felt nothing. Her new husband loved her and doted on her, but she felt nothing. She traced it back to her drinking and decided to try to learn to live without booze. But that first day of sobriety brought with it an unexpected additional test — Nicole’s dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. This Jersey girl, whose big voice was tethered to a big heart, and whose reaction to the mundane setbacks of everyday life had always been equally overblown, suddenly faced a real problem. “It toughened me up,” she says.
And the songs started to come. Little bursts of therapeutic creativity. Thorny feelings transubstantiated into melodies. Beginning with “Listen Up,” a wake-up call to a lucky girl who hadn’t realized how lucky she’d been, Nicole started to find her redemption in these songs. They rang true in a way no songs ever had before. They came from a deep, vulnerable place. If Nicole had been living an unexamined life, she wasn’t anymore.
She needed her newfound toughness though, as in the midst of all this turmoil, she prepared to move from her native Asbury Park to Nashville. Having spent more than a decade as the de facto queen of Asbury, Nicole was finally leaving the warm, but often stifling confines of her hometown. During one of her final nights before the exodus, a song came to her in a dream. “I Love Living Here Even When I Don’t” summed up the complicated feelings she experienced as she said goodbye to the only real home she’d ever known.
In Nashville, Nicole’s once hectic life was very different. Left home alone as her tour manager husband plied his trade out on the road, Nicole found herself writing songs that examined “feelings of separation and being scared of new surroundings.” In particular, the songs “Sleepwalking” and “Darkness Falls” echo like ghosts through an empty house.
Unsurprisingly, her sobriety faltered. She drifted in and out of it. Nicole knew the wagon was good for her, but she had a hard time staying focused on what was good for her. As it went on however, the clarity of those sober days started to shine through. And she was able to string them together in longer stretches. For the first time, she was able to offer a shoulder for others to lean on, rather than always being the one in need of a shoulder. It helped that she had to be strong for herself in order to be strong for her dad. Much of what she was feeling was painful, but it beat the hell out of feeling nothing.
She reconnected with her old friend Chris Isaak who encouraged her, in the midst of all the soul-searching and soul-baring, to write songs that emphasized the one trait that most sets her apart from the mere mortals of the industry, telling her, “Atkins, you have a very special thing in your voice that a lot of people can’t or don’t do. You need to stop shying away from that thing and let people hear it.” To that end, the two of them collaborated on Goodnight Rhonda Lee‘s standout track, the instant classic, “A Little Crazy.”
Great Art is a journey — and Nicole Atkins traveled quite a distance to bring us Goodnight Rhonda Lee. As Nicole explains it, “This record came to me at a time of deep transition. Some days were good, some not so good. What I did gain, though, from starting to make some changes and going inward, and putting it out on the table, was a joy in what I do again. Joy in the process and a newfound confidence that I don’t think I’ve ever had until now. The album title, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, also came from those feelings. Rhonda Lee was kind of my alias for bad behavior, and it was time to put that persona to bed.“
The direction in which these songs were headed was obvious. Nicole’s voice had always recalled a classic vinyl collection. She is the heir to the legacy of “Roy Orbison, Lee Hazelwood, Sinatra, Aretha, Carole King, Candi Staton.” She is untethered to decade or movement or the whim of the hipster elite.
In order to capture the timelessness she sought, Nicole enlisted a modern day Wrecking Crew: Niles City Sound in Fort Worth, TX, who had just risen to national acclaim as Leon Bridges‘ secret weapon. “We spoke the same language. We wanted to make something classic, something that had an atmosphere and a mood of romance and triumph and strength and soul.” The album was recorded in five days, live to tape. The album that Nicole and the boys came up with in those five days, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, is nothing less than Great Art and a quantum leap forward for Nicole Atkins who, no matter how much she grows up, will always be a little crazy.
The Wild Reeds
The Wild Reeds' sound is highlighted by the interweaving vocal harmonies of three phenomenally talented front-women - Kinsey Lee, Sharon Silva and Mackenzie Howe - who swap lead vocal duties and shuffle between an array of acoustic and electric instruments throughout the set. They are backed by a rhythm section of Nick Jones (drums) and Nick Phakpiseth (bass).
Each with their own style, The Wild Reeds' three songwriters make music that is dynamic and unpredictable. They write lyrics and melodies with the thoughtfulness of seasoned folk artists, and perform with the reckless enthusiasm of a young punk band in a garage. Warm acoustic songs and harmonium pump organ seamlessly give way to fuzzed-out shredding and guitar distortion.
With the upcoming release of 'The World We Built' on April 7, the Los Angeles-based quintet continues a national breakthrough that has been rapidly growing since the release of their EP 'Best Wishes' this summer. NPR Music critic Bob Boilen championed the band, saying "great singers aren't easy to come by, so finding three in one band is something special." The New York Times praised their live show, saying "the communal experience was amazing," while KCRW (Los Angeles) called them "top-notch vocalists."
The first single from the new album, "Only Songs," is catching the attention of radio programmers around the country, like John Richards of KEXP (Seattle), who after listening to the track declared, "we just decided this is the best song ever."
"Only Songs" was written by Howe, and highlights her rock-centric approach, inspired by the '60s and '70s rock songs her mother raised her on. "It's about the feeling that music gives you," she told NPR in an interview. "There's a freedom in music found nowhere else and it doesn't discriminate, it's in the garage and the cathedral."
Lee penned the second song on the album, "Fall To Sleep," a lament to her own mental health under the strains of both a nine-to-five job and the extremes of a touring musician's life. True to her roots in folk music, it begins on a soft note, as a dreamy acoustic ballad, before taking a slightly darker turn, breaking into distorted guitar parts and a Pixies-esque chorus.
Silva's contemplative, complex lyrical approach is best represented on the anthemic standout track "Capable." When asked to describe her songwriting style, she explains, "lately, my songs have been like stories with high highs and low lows - sort of like yelling at someone and then whispering an apology."
Despite their distinct viewpoints, each songwriter complements the next, with each song building on the anticipation created by the last. "What brings us together is the three part vocal harmony," says Howe. "When we're all singing together, it really becomes one unique voice."
The band takes a humble approach to their recent success. "I think that when you write earnestly and honestly, people will relate," says Silva. "But there are lots of bands who do that and don't receive any attention, so I think any success we've had must just be pure luck."
When watching them perform live, it quickly becomes obvious that luck has nothing to do with it. Each of The Wild Reeds is more than talented enough to front their own band, but when all three are singing at once in harmony, their music reaches its emotional apex.
"I don't think that we have figured out how to detach from our emotions yet. We take it all on stage. The voice is such a personal and vulnerable instrument," says Lee. "We aren't as concerned with sounding 'pretty' as we are with sounding real. Everything we do is very raw and I think that's why people tend to find comradery in our lyrics."
Recreating that feeling in a studio environment is an ambitious task. Recorded by producer Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Local Natives) at Tarquin Studios in Connecticut, 'The World We Built' captures it perfectly, and elevates their sound to a whole new level.
"Our sound has evolved as we have evolved as people. We've grown to love a lot of records on the road, sharing music with each other during the hours we spend in the van, which has broadened and united our taste," says Howe. "We've also grown as musicians and it's allowed us to explore new instruments and sounds. This new record is a much more accurate depiction of what we sound like live. It's got more punch and depth."
Along with musical growth, the content of their songwriting has changed with the band's life experiences since they started out. "The songs on the album were written over the last three years, and it's apparent that we are more empowered now as women," says Howe. "The title 'The World We Built' refers to the social constructs we've had to face during the last three years touring as a female fronted band. A lot of these songs illustrate our disillusionment with the myths we've been taught in a patriarchal society, and how we've experienced them in different aspects of our lives - love, success, self esteem, etc."
"As we got older and started to witness the world from a different perspective, we started to write about human issues in a different light," explains Lee. "It's so easy to write about love when you're young because that's the only thing you have to worry about. Now we have a lot of other things in life to occupy our thoughts and songwriting, like experiencing the struggle and exhaustion from following your dream, coming of age, and doubt."
"Releasing music and touring the country have been amazing and eye-opening experiences," says Silva. "I'm still majorly pumped and grateful that I get to play music for people every day."
That optimism resonates with audiences. When they perform live, their passion is infectious. They look like artists living out their dream on stage - the kind of band you idolized as a kid, and as an adult, the kind of band that reminds you why you loved music in the first place.
"Our live show has been how we've gained most of our fans. We've learned that people are just looking for authenticity. If we're vulnerable, people feel it," says Howe. "We always want to put on a show that has energy and leaves peoples feeling more hopeful than when they arrived."
'The World We Built' will be released April 7 via Dualtone Records, an Entertainment One company.
KARL DENSON'S TINY UNIVERSE Presents Eat a Bunch of Peaches Featuring Stanton Moore & Kenneth Crouch
KARL DENSON’S TINY UNIVERSE Presents “EAT A BUNCH OF PEACHES”
Opening set by: Opening Set by: Seth Walker Trio
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe presents “Eat A Bunch Of Peaches” - the band’s celebration of The Allman Brothers Band—throughout the Southeast in mid-April featuring Galactic drummer Stanton Moore joining KDTU drummer Zak Najor behind the kit on double drums, as well as, acclaimed keyboardist Kenneth Crouch who has worked with such artists as Lenny Kravitz, Eric Clapton and Lauryn Hill on keys.
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, highly regarded as one of the best live bands on the planet, will be showcasing material from their long-awaited forthcoming studio album, as well as previous acclaimed KDTU recordings like 'New Ammo' and 'The Bridge.' The current KDTU touring lineup is comprised of Richmond guitarist DJ Williams, former drummer of The Greyboy Allstars, Zak Najor and current bassist Chris Stillwell also of The Greyboy Allstars, Crush Effects’ keyboardist David Veith, Seattle trumpeter Chris Littlefield and ace slide and lap steel guitarist Seth Freeman. Karl Denson is known as a founding member of seminal funk outfit The Greyboy Allstars and sideman of Lenny Kravitz, Slightly Stoopid and his current role touring a part of The Rolling Stones touring band.
DEMUN JONES has always had a way of keeping it real when it comes to the music he has written, recorded and performed throughout his career, but, that said, JONES COUNTY might well be the most genuine collection of songs that represents who the Georgia native is and certainly illustrates the place where he’s lived his entire life. Asked how the songs for his forthcoming solo project came about, Demun said, “I went out in my front yard and imagined what are they doing? What are they thinking? What are they going to do? What do I see?” Life in Jones County, which is just north of Macon, is southern and some, including the Jones family, will say they’re rednecks. They drive trucks. They fish and hunt. They like keeping things simple—sort of a what-you-see is what-you-get type of place. All the same, Jones County is what you hear and Demun is hoping people who are from there will respect and love his latest collection of 12 songs, while people who aren’t from around those parts will be “captivated by it and want to listen to it.” Demun – a nickname he earned at a young age because he was aggressive and energetic – was 10 years old when he was transfixed by the immergence of N.W.A. and how they represented their own hometown. He’s never forgotten how that seminal album affected a southern boy down in Georgia. He’s always wanted to do the same for Jones County. “I’ve had inspirations that cover the whole gamut of genres,” Demun said. His musical influences are not all southern or country. His oldest brother Chris introduced him to Led Zeppelin along with AC-DC and Black Sabbath, while his mother Cheryl introduced him to the likes of Marvin Gaye and other Motown acts, including James Brown and Michael Jackson. A ranch owned by Otis Redding is right down the road from where Jones grew up the son of a lifelong brick mason worker. He was the third of six children, who spent their hot summer days playing football in the front yard and frog hunting in a creek behind a hayfield that surrounded their modest home. His uncles introduced him to the southern rock soundscape of The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Back then Demun wasn’t a singer, but he knew at a young age he wanted to do something musical. He started listening to hip hop and rap and was intrigued by breakdancing. That’s when he heard N.W.A. That album was about Compton, for Compton and the whole world took notice. It was a musical documentary – sort of a bird’s eye view of life – that Demun wanted to portray in his own autobiographical song selection for Jones County. “It gave me some hope that I could make my own music,” said Demun, who wrote his first song when he was 15. “It took a long time for me to realize I could make country music without singing the whole time and still be for the country person.” And that is exactly what Demun, whose vocal delivery is as intense as it is distinct, set out to accomplish with Jones County. The challenge was infusing his country inspired lyrics with hip hop grooves. Demun said the creative process often began with a drum beat or chord progression on the guitar, while – thematically speaking – each story was influenced by characters (friends, family and actual folks from the heart of Georgia) and the very experiences Demun had come across throughout his life growing up and living in Jones County, Georgia. “I tried to focus on music that was for people I grew up around,” he said. No song is more familiar to him on Jones County than I’m a Man, which he co-wrote with the guys from I4NI and Jon Conner. It’s about his father Ricky, 61, who has been laying bricks past 49 years. It’s about hard work, ethics and honesty, but, more importantly, Demun said, “He’s always wanted me to sing on a song and this is one of the first, you know what I’m saying, and it’s about him.” Demun added, “I had to do to it once I heard the demo and I did what I had to do to pull it off.” He’s already filmed a video for Tannerite – the lone fictional tale of what happens when some southern boys are playing with explosives and what occurs when they come across a Sasquatch – and Boondocks is another tune that’s all-too-familiar to Jones and a legion of rednecks that Jones County speaks to. It’s an actual place in Georgia, where Demun shot The Muddy Muddy video, in a 1,000-acre field in front of 5,000 people. “That’s when I really understood who I was speaking to with my direction,” said Demun, who went there to film a video and was so affect by the experience he wrote an entire song about it. It had rained all week leading up to the Fourth of July video shoot, but the weather was nice by show time and, of course, muddy. “It was redneck heaven,” Demun proclaimed. For Demun, Jones County is a great place to live and Jones County the album finally illustrates his evolution as a person – he’s married and the father of two girls, 3 and 4 – and as an artist. It’s all part of the freedom of expression that comes with writing songs for a solo project. “It came natural once the process started,” Demun concluded. “Jones County was the easiest album and the easiest songs I’ve written in my life.” These songs might have come naturally to him, but Demun has been playing music for a long time – including a 10-year stint as a member of Rehab – and it’s taken all that time for him to get to a point where he can write songs that represent his life as it is today. He extensively toured with Rehab band mate Danny Boone and co-wrote a lot of the Rehab material, including the critically acclaimed songs for Welcome Home. He also co-wrote Welcome 2 Jawga with the Jawga Boyz, who made an appearance on Jones County as do Charlie Farley, Bubba Sparxx and Locash Cowboys. Demun’s first mainstream credit as a songwriter came on title track of Colt Ford’s popular Ride Through the Country, which also featured John Michael Montgomery. - See more at: http://demunjones.com/about#sthash.xSD8q3cm.dpuf
Opener: The Freeway Revival
Everyone Orchestra conducted by Matt Butler
Kris Myers (Umphrey's McGee)- drums
George Gekas (The Revivalists)- bass
Jeremy Schon (Pigeons Playing Ping Pong)- guitar
Craig Brodhead (Turkuaz)- guitar/keys
Shira Elias (Turkuaz)- vocals
Dave Loss (Aqueous)- guitar/keys
Mike Quinn- sax
Sam Holt Band
Remembering Mikey Tour
The Sam Holt Band is back on the road this April with Remembering Mikey shows in Augusta, Asheville, and Charleston. Lead by Sam Holt, the show will feature Houser originals as well as songs from Houser’s posthumous release Sandbox. The band will also be performing a number of Holt’s original songs written for and inspired by Houser.
Widespread Panic’s founding member, Michael Houser, passed away in 2002. Holt served as Houser’s guitar tech at the time and remembers experiencing a moment of clarity. “There were many times when he [Houser] told me, ‘You need to go play music,’” says Holt. “I realized I needed to make the most of my time.” Eventually, Holt performed with Widespread Panic as their lead guitar player.
Since that time, Holt has formed his own musical groups, touring and building a large fan base across the country; first with Outformation and currently with The Sam Holt Band which formed in Colorado in 2011.
Holt takes time to honor his friend Michael Houser with the upcoming shows, billed officially as “Remembering Mikey” – Honoring the Music, Memory and Spirit of Michael Houser.
Along with Adam Grace, keyboardist for Truth & Salvage Co., “Remembering Mikey” has become a unique experience for Houser fans. “I am a huge fan of Widespread Panic and Mike’s music,” says Grace. “It has been an honor to be a part of this tribute to Houser, one of the greatest musical minds of our time.”
Holt and Grace will once again be joined by bassist Ross Parker and drummer Jeremy Ward, and special guests are expected to be announced as well, making this a show you will not want to miss. The band will kick off the mini-tour with a Masters week performance at Sky City in Augusta Georgia on April 5; followed by a stop in Asheville NC at Savage Station on April 6; and will conclude the tour on April 7 at The Charleston Pour House.
After playing his own music for many years, Holt will be returning to his roots and playing the tunes of his mentor and friend Michael Houser. Holt relates, “Mike meant so much to so many. He instilled me with the confidence to play music… and these shows are a way for us to celebrate his music and memory.”
For more information including ticket information, please visit www.rememberingmikey.com.
"The Get Right Band are the type of performers that you just know will break out. Their songs are infectious and take you immediately to a very happy place. The lyrics are smart and bear weight."
-The Huffington Post
THE GET RIGHT BAND is “hip-shaking, earthquaking pure funk fun” (The Alternate Root). They are one of Relix Magazine’s “On The Verge” picks, Home Grown Music Network’s 2015 “Best New Band of the Year,” and were voted “Best Progressive Band” in Western North Carolina by Mountain Xpress readers. They have performed on the famed World Cafe, a nationally syndicated NPR show, and have brought their unique sound to major festivals and venues such as FloydFest, The Orange Peel, Music City Roots TV Show, The Green Parrot, Arlene’s Grocery, and Riverbend Fest. Combining catchy, clever, honest songwriting with musical expertise and fearless improvisation, the live show promises to move your head, heart, and hips.
“An ass shaking good time.”
The band is built on the musical brotherhood that guitarist/vocalist Silas Durocher and bassist Jesse Gentry have formed playing music together since middle school. Durocher, who is a trained composer and has been commissioned to write for symphonies and chamber groups, possesses guitar chops that can soothe or rage and a charismatic swagger as a frontman and a singer. “Durocher has an impressive range and rich clarity to his vocals—think a more soulful Dan Auerbach” (Connect Savannah). Gentry’s virtuosic bass playing “catapults from elastic to nasty” (The Mountain Xpress). With the addition of Jian-Claude Mears, a drummer with “precision, passion, and an inescapable momentum” (Live For Live Music), the group’s sound has become an unstoppable force. They have been wowing audiences around the country and the Caribbean since their inception in 2011 with an unparalleled live show and a relentless tour schedule.
“I love this song!”
-Marc Maron, of WTF podcast
On August 5, 2016, The Get Right Band released their third studio album, Who’s in Charge? The record was made at Asheville’s legendary Echo Mountain Studios (Widespread Panic, Zac Brown Band, Smashing Pumpkins), engineered, mixed, and co-produced by Julian Dreyer (The Avett Brothers, Dawes, Band of Horses), and mastered by six-time Grammy winner Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Grace Potter, Dr. John, Beck). The album has received praise and support from such giants as The Huffington Post, NPR, Relix, WTF with Marc Maron, Live For Live Music, PopWrapped, and dozens of radio stations around the country. While seamlessly blending a number of different genres, the CD is held together by The Get Right Band’s honest songwriting, fierce playing, and strong self-identity. The powerful songs and the pop/rock/psychedelic approach to production puts the album in the realm of acts like My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog, and The Black Keys (with hints of Sublime and early Chili Peppers).
“Tight and diverse jams and a distinctive, intellectual but accessible worldview.”
-Live For Live Music
The Get Right Band has had the honor of playing shows with national acts such as Galactic, Rusted Root, Victor Wooten Band, Martin Barre (of Jethro Tull), Turkuaz, Mike Dillon Band, Jeff Sipe Trio, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Jeff Coffin’s Mutet, Larry Keel, and Bobby Lee Rodgers.