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Backtrack Blues Band

The Backtrack Blues Band is one of Florida's longest running and most accomplished blues bands. Founded in 1980, the group has performed continuously for way over 30 years. Backtrack's high energy Chicago style blues with exceptional guitar, harp, and vocals, has made the band a constant on the Florida blues concert, club, and festival scene for soon 4  decades.

The quintet consists of Sonny Charles on harmonica and vocals, Kid Royal on lead guitar and vocals, Little Johnny Walter on rhythm guitar and vocals, Stick Davis on bass, and Joe Bencomo on drums. Backtrack has appeared as an opening act in concert with many legendary blues artists including BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Robert Cray, Johnny Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and many others. The group has also been recognized by the Tampa Bay community as a leader in the blues music arena by garnering 3 Tampa Bay Music Awards as the area's ’Best Blues Band’.

Together, these guys comprise one of Florida's best and most accomplished blues bands, and their live show is an original and exciting display of electric blues at its very best. The band's leader has significant experience in producing top quality blues music shows, having founded and managed the award winning Tampa Bay Blues Festival for over 20 years.

New CD/DVD set, ”Make My Home In Florida”, to be released real soon.

www.backtrackbluesband.com

 



Barry Ollman

Barry Ollman has been making music since the age of eight, but it took a burst of creativity later in life to give rise to this surprising and elegant musical statement. These ten songs are varied and intriguing, and each one has a reason to be...

With his first album of original music, "What'll It Be?", Barry Ollman has assembled an intensely personal and highly musical collection of songs that tells his story in a way that may make you feel that he is telling yours...

Featuring memorable performances by two time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Graham Nash (The Hollies and Crosby Stills & Nash & sometimes Young), founding bass player for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Garry W. Tallent (himself a 2014 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), classical composer and jazz legend, David Amram (collaborator with Jack Kerouac, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Pete Seeger, Leonard Bernstein, performer at every Farm Aid concert to date...) inspired composer and keyboardist for the Crosby Stills & Nash band, James Raymond, the first couple of the long running and much beloved radio show Etown, Nick and Helen Forster (Nick also being an original member of the highly influential Bluegrass group Hot Rize), Etown's revered drummer and percussionist Christian Teele, co-producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist, Dave Beegle and other inspiring musical contributors.

"What'll It Be?" will draw you back for repeated listenings as the thoughtful songwriting charms and evokes deep feelings of insight and appreciation for the sweetness and wonder of life on this lovely planet...

www.barryollman.com

 



Batdorf & Stanley

Fans of Crosby Stills & Nash, Buffalo Springfield, “Rubber Soul”, The Eagles, or classic Beach Boys-harmonies are in for a real treat.

Can you imagine what the Rolling Stones songs would have sounded like if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were California boys with acoustic guitars? Would “Satisfaction”, “Ruby Tuesday”, or “Last Time” have been as powerful if they had been played on acoustic guitars and filled with vocal harmonies? Curious?

So were James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf, purveyors of acoustic rock music for decades. They took 11 Rolling Stones-classics and turned them into something totally unheard of. You don't have to live in California or play acoustic guitar to be enchanted by "All Wood and Stones" ... an amazing collection of Rolling Stones tunes played on acoustic guitars and brimming with joyous vocal harmonies.

“All Wood and Stones” — a unique sounding album of classic Rolling Stones songs.

www.allwoodandstones.com

 

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The Beautiful Old

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Producers Paul Marsteller and Gabriel Rhodes invite you back into the parlor with “The Beautiful Old”, an entertaining collection of elegant yet earthy songs, ranging from 1823’s 'Home Sweet Home' to 1918’s 'Till We Meet Again'. “The Beautiful Old” keeps the piano, often played by The Band’s Garth Hudson, at the heart of each arrangement, illustrating the original spirit of the compositions brought back to life with such illustrious vocalists as Richard Thompson, Christine Collister, Dave Davies (The Kinks), Graham Parker, Kimmie Rhodes, Kim Richey, Heidi Talbot, Jimmy LaFave, Eric Bibb and more.

The stories behind the songs reflect changing times for music and popular culture: 'After The Ball' became the first song in history to sell a million copies of sheet music (and went on to sell 5 million!) and was the beginning of what became known as Tin Pan Alley; 'Come Josephine In My Flying Machine' is a fun take on the new invention of air-flight; 'The Dying Californian' is based on a farewell letter written at sea in the Gold Rush era; 'The Flying Trapeze' is a comic-tragic account of French acrobat Jules Leotard, who also designed the one-piece garment that bears his name.

These antique tales illuminate the past, but along with the other songs on “The Beautiful Old”, reflect timeless subjects of loss and regret, comforts of home, wistful loneliness, heartbreak and the joys of love as the sweetest song of all.

www.thebeautifulold.com




Bev Grant

"It's Personal" is a heart filled album by Bev Grant, a long time feminist and labor social activist, who has been creating and using music for social change since the late 60's. She was founder of a popular political band called The Human Condition, which played around the New York City area for 19 years and currently is founder and director of The Brooklyn Women's Chorus, which will be celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.

This album is her 1st solo album in a number of years, although she did record an album in 2014 with singer songwriter Ina May Wool, called "Wool & Grant". Bev's music is extremely eclectic in style, ranging from acoustic folk to country, jazz and world music, and she has a knack for getting her political points across through the use of personal stories about other peoples' lives.

In this album, she tells us a lot about herself, where she grew up, her relationship with her dad and her loves and losses. There are also songs about social concerns, like the environment and factory conditions, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, but the bulk of the album is personal, although often the personal is political as she points out in her song "Throw Me The Ball", about growing up in the 50's before girls were allowed to play in organized sports.

www.bevgrant.com



Bianca De Leon

Born in South Texas, Bianca De Leon is combination of an American gypsy, Texas troubador and Austin singer-songwriter. She has lived the life that she writes about, and has worn many hats in places all over the world, along her journey of musical discovery and the poetry of life. In all of her CD’s, she features the best musicians that Austin, Texas, has to offer, and continues to grow in her craft. Her 4th album features a photo of her standing in front of a Dutch club’s chalkboard that reads “De Texaanse Troubadour Bianca De Leon”.

That’s because she’s much better known in Europe than in Texas. De Leon is rooted in and lives in two different worlds, the Texas-Mexico borderlands in which she was born and raised, and which few Anglos seem to be able to write about convincingly, and the national and international singer-songwriter venue circuit. She’s a bit different from your average troubadour. How many of them could write “I Sang Patsy Cline (the Night Noriega Fell)”, or “Date Got Shot?”.

Bianca’s 4th CD, “Love, Guns & Money”, features backing by guitar great John Inmon, Radoslav Lorkovic on piano, B3 and accordion, The East Side Flash’s resophonic guitar, David Carroll’s upright bass and Paul Pearcy’s drums and percussion. Her Texas 'border ballads' speak of the human condition voiced in her gypsy wisdom. It’s a rare and unique experience.

www.biancamusic.com



Bill Gable

Straight lines. They’re a man-made conceit – highways, railroads, the quickest distance between two points. But nature likes to meander, to take a slower course. And "No Straight Lines" is a path that suits musician and singer-songwriter Bill Gable. His new record is inspired by those destinations never quite reached.

“Every record is a journey”, Gable remarks. “I wanted to carry the listener with me. I often thought of these lines from a poem by Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa: ‘To be great, be whole; exclude/Nothing, exaggerate nothing that is you. Be whole in everything. Put all you are/into the smallest thing you do. The whole moon gleams in every pool./It rides so high’. Through attention to detail in the storytelling and production, in my own small way I tried to do that”.

Gable began writing "No Straight Lines" in 2004, a year after his 2nd disc, "This Perfect Day", was released. Much of it was composed in Morocco, Spain, and Portugal, in the hotel rooms where he lived, soaking in the countries, their culture and their music.

That travel resonates through the songs. The lyric of “I Threw Your Heart”, for example, burrows deep into the pained flamenco tradition, while on “I Was Born To Love You” Gable’s voice takes on the cracked patina of a flamenco singer, with cajon and footwork providing the rhythmic base.

“I read a lot of flamenco lyrics, a lot of Lorca, Pessoa and Sufi poets”. Gable recalls. “I let them seep in and this is how they came out. But in everything I tried to include influences from where the songs were composed”.

And that includes America, where the fragments of two songs came together to make “A Million Miles Away”, the easy warmth in Gable’s singing evoking 70's era Stevie Wonder. It’s a disc of shades and moods, pop music in the same way that Brazilian MPB is popular music - sophisticated and intelligent, with heart and depth. Its music dives into the soul, rather than gliding over the surface.

But that’s probably no surprise. Raised in the Midwest, Gable is a classically-trained pianist and cellist who played in symphony orchestras growing up before heading out to the West Coast with a literature degree in his pocket. He worked with jazz group the Yellowjackets on many albums, garnering 3 Grammy nominations, writing a number of compositions for them and other artists, ranging from Chicago to DeBarge.

In spite of that background on piano, the songs for "No Straight Lines" were all written on guitar. “It’s more intimate”, Gable says. “It gives a more personal song”.

And the tracks of "No Straight Lines" are studies in emotion and life. The characters in Gable’s songs are people on the trail of certainty, but rarely finding it. “I realized I’ll be on the very verge of beginning every second the rest of my life” he sings on the album’s title cut, a summation of the understanding that comes with age.

It’s a document of a journey that can never end, but he has some strong companions along the way. Along with Gable’s own voice, guitar, cello and Portuguese guitarra, Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group) and Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, Bruce Hornsby) play bass, Larry Goldings (James Taylor, Norah Jones) contributes piano, and Greg Ellis (Beck, Mickey Hart) adds percussion, along with several other guests, and the Eclipse Quartet delicately grace “Road Of Pain” and “End Of The Day” with strings. Not to mention a special appearance by Motown legend Leon Ware ("I Want You") on background vocals.

Gable is a traveler with an open heart and open ears, and he pulls the listener along with him, conjuring up the sights and smells of Fes with the shadings of the oud or the ney flute, the crisp palmas of Granada, or the cumbus and clarinet of Istanbul.

Finding musicians to provide some of the more unusual instruments sometimes proved a challenge, even in cosmopolitan Los Angeles. “I knew I wanted flamenco footwork on some of the songs”, Gable says, “but there wasn’t anyone here who really knew it. Finally a friend called me up and said ‘There’s this guy called Manuel Gutierrez who’s just arrived from Spain. He’s the real deal’. The minute he pulled those little wingtip dance shoes out of that bowling bag I knew he was”.

For all the care in the details of the arrangements, Gable acknowledges that "No Straight Lines" is very lyric-driven, like all my albums.” They’re the picture and the music provides the frame. And powerful pictures they are, too, such as “like a snake, my heart has split its skin/somewhere far away it blew” (“Came So Close To Loving You”) or “the truth was never true enough/and you were never you enough” (“Sustenance”).

It might have taken 12 years for the words and music to finally surface, but the wait is worthwhile. It’s easy to understand why Steely Dan’s Walter Becker called Bill Gable “a great songwriter with a marvelous ability to incorporate exotic musical elements and seemingly disparate influences”. Not going in a straight line makes for a much richer journey.

www.billgablemusic.com




Bill Price

"It's all right with me if you want to go home, it's all right with me, I can sink on my own, but I will be the last refugee". So goes the chorus of singer-songwriter Bill Price's final song,’ The Last Refugee’, written for and connected to his ambitious ”I Can't Stop Looking At The Sky” musical, literary and design odyssey. He says it sums up not only the project, but also what it's like to be a creative person with an artistic vision that only he can clearly see.

4 years in the making, ”I Can't Stop Looking At The Sky” is over 2 hours and 20 minutes of original music housed in a gorgeous, deluxe package that includes a 120-page journal, a 160-page book of short stories, essays and poems, 2 oversized, extensive lyric booklets, plus posters, buttons, postcards and stickers, all designed by Price.

The music is varied and rich with different textures, instruments and rhythms. Presented as a journey, this thematic work speaks to universal human experiences of time, home, place, childhood, forgiveness, grace and paradox. Price claims that at this point in his life, it simply adds up to his worldview. While the themes may be broad, what makes the piece unique and more specific is the story behind it. Inspired partially by explorers Lewis & Clark, Price took a lengthy trip to the American West. "It was life-changing, a real journey on several levels. I have not been the same since", he says. "The ideas and inspiration from both the physical and internal journey propelled this project forward, and it seemed to take on a life of its own".

About the package, Price says, "I used to hide my graphic design side from my music contacts and vice versa, fearing the perception that one would delegitimize the other. I'm at a place in life now where I don't worry about that. It's just who I am". Price has always designed the graphics for his music, his album covers, posters and website, but writing a journal, short stories, essays and poems was something new. "I've dabbled in traditional writing before, but this was a real challenge for me", he explains. "Because the subject matter of the book roughly parallels the themes in the music and the journal hints at the inspiration behind the songs, it seemed like a legitimate thing to pursue".

”I Can't Stop Looking At The Sky” is the 6th release in a series of full-length albums and EPs that Price has released since 2001, the year he says that he seriously committed to writing, recording and playing music.

Looking back, Price says he was drawn to the songwriting aspect of music. “I don’t know if it was the realization that I was always going to be just an average guitar player or the fact that I always have an opinion that got me headed in the songwriting direction. But for whatever reason, I just got that fire. I was inspired by certain music to try and do a similar thing, and I still am". Price continues, "I am addicted to and totally fascinated with this entire process, the inspiration, writing, arranging, recording and performing of songs, and how that process is connected to life itself. There's nothing else like it that I know of".

In 2003 Price released his 1st album of original material, ”Bones & Apples”. It received airplay in the US and Europe on college and independent radio. He also teamed up with Indiana bluesman Gordon Bonham to form “The Brains Behind Pa”, a 3 or 5 piece band inspired by Dylan’s songs and influences. “Gordon and I both have a love of Dylan’s music and much that inspired Dylan, so we started a side project to explore all of that type of music”. The result was ”Old Hat”, an EP that contains 7 traditional folk and blues songs. The follow-up album, ”Better For The Deal”, released in 2006, has 15 original songs and strongly reflects the band’s influences. Both releases received airplay in the US and Europe on college and independent radio.

Price released ”The Circus & The Gallows”, a 3 track CD in 2007. In late 2009 he released ”With The Eye Of A Skeptic”, a full-length, acoustic-based CD. It received good reviews and radio airplay overseas, mainly in Europe. “The reception to the ’Skeptic’ album was the most positive and extensive that any of my albums had received up to that point", Price says.

In 2010 Price began to expand his performing area beyond his native Indiana by playing regional shows around the Midwest. He will tour the northwestern US for the 3rd time in July of 2016. His shows vary from full-band performances to acoustic duo and trio formats, depending upon venue and budget. With the release of ”I Can't Stop Looking At The Sky”, Price says he hopes to do many shows based around the project itself, whether in small, intimate listening rooms where he intersperses readings from the journal and book with songs, or in full-blown, stage productions with visual projections that mirror the beautiful sky images throughout the project's packaging. "To create a show on that scale with all those musicians and visuals is an enormous undertaking", Price says, "but it is something I'm pretty excited about pursuing".

www.billprice.info

 



Black Prairie

On September 18th, 2012, Sugar Hill Records will release ‘A Tear In The Eye Is A Wound In The Heart’, the 2nd album by Black Prairie, the exploratory, back-porch ensemble founded by the Decemberists’ Chris Funk, Nate Query and Jenny Conlee.

Produced by Tucker Martine, ‘Tear In The Eye…’ is the follow up to ‘Feast Of The Hunter’s Moon’, and the first Black Prairie album to primarily feature vocalist Annalisa Tornfelt. Written collaboratively by all band members, the album feels cinematic and familiar; Tornfelt’s gentle, classic country-inspired singing is connected to the band’s Baltic-Appalachian instrumentals by strange, orchestral interludes. The album is an evolution of the band’s love of instrumental, Italian film score weirdness and the venerable, forgotten roots of American and Eastern European folk.

“I don’t feel like there’s any boundaries in this band at all”, adds guitarist Jon Neufeld. “All my weird songs have finally found a home in this group”.

Black Prairie was formed in 2008, in the living rooms of Portland’s rich music scene, during downtime by the Decemberists’ Chris, Nate, Jenny, who invited their friends Annalisa Tornfelt (vocals, fiddle) and guitarist Jon Neufeld. “At that time, I needed a shot in the arm”, says Chris, who began spending more time with the dobro. “We’re trying to keep the acoustic integrity of the acoustic aspect of it - but otherwise, it’s no holds barred. With these five instruments, what can we do?”.

Black Prairie has become Portland’s beloved “house band,” and is recording a series of collaborations with singers in their hometown, the first release of which being a 7″ with James Mercer of the Shins and Sallie Ford.

www.blackprairie.com/home

http://publicity.sugarhillrecords.com

 


Blind Lemon Pledge

Called by one critic ’a national treasure’ and with previous albums hailed as ’masterpieces’ by others still, Blind Lemon Pledge steps out of his ’blues shoes’ to explore the world of americana, folk and country music on his new album ”Backwoods Glance”.

When James Byfield retired from his wide ranging, award winning career as a graphic designer, animator, multi media producer and creative director, he embarked on a fresh, exciting musical adventure. Drawing on musical influences going back to his first forays into roots music. he created the musical persona Blind Lemon Pledge.

As the retro, yet edgy, Blind Lemon Pledge, he explored his passion for country blues of pre-WWII icons like Son House, Bukka White and his namesake, Blind Lemon Jefferson. In 2008, he formed the eponymously named Blind Lemon Pledge blues band and built a fan base as he performed around California with a unique combination of classic blues, old time jazz, reimagined rock and pop tunes and his critically acclaimed original songs. At the same time he recorded a series of highly regarded solo albums. Now, after a nearly decade long discography exploring a multitude of blues-related styles, Pledge is taking a ”Backwoods Glance”.

Since childhood, Byfield has been deeply involved with music. He wrote his first song at 8 years old and began a life long love of melody and lyrics, and the magical synergy between the two. At 14, he picked up his first guitar and discovered country blues which has been a major influence ever since. Over the years, he experimented with a variety of musical forms including blues, jazz, country, folk and rock‘n’roll, with the occasional detour into classical and other forms, even chinese classical, learning the er hu, a two stringed chinese fiddle.

He gained his first critical attention with ”Blessed Be the Lord”, credited in a Time Magazine article as the first use of hard rock music in a liturgical setting. Under the aegis of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Byfield toured with his Rock Mass across Northern California, gaining press coverage, a certain notoriety and a love of new and unusual directions in music.

After graduation from San Francisco State University, Byfield played music in a wide variety of milieus for the next several years, both in band settings and as a solo performer. His career in a wide variety of professional media, graphic art, professional writing, production and media design, has enabled him to become a one man indie production company, creating and producing his original music, the associated graphics and videos for his various projects.

In 2009, he completed his 1st solo LP ”Livin’ My Life With The Blues”, which combined classic blues songs with his originals, all set with the sound of an old time blues string band similar to early Muddy Waters, Sleepy John Estes, the Gus Cannon Jug Band, among others. This completely self produced and self recorded album received international airplay and was named one of the top blues albums by KPIG FM.

In 2010, fronting an acoustic blues band, he released a 2nd album of material under the Blind Lemon Pledge moniker. The album ”I Would Rather Go Blind” has a clean, spare sound with guitars, keyboards, harmonica and bass. This album is a combination of blues and originals with a couple of reworked pop classics such as Stones “No Expectations” thrown into the mix. This album also received international airplay and was again cited by KPIG FM, as well as being listed in the top 100 singer songwriter albums by iTunes Ireland and iTunes Austria. The album continues to sell CD’s and downloads to this day.

2013 saw the release of ”Against The Grain”, this time featuring all original tunes with a different grouping of musicians, and including everything from folk rock to swing to southern gospel. The diversity of styles set the stage for his next two Blind Lemon Pledge releases. Blending his blues and rock influences with jazz and american songbook techniques, Byfield’s 2014 release ”Evangeline” received international radio play and world wide critical praise including a well received review in Blues Blast Magazine. His music has been described as ’Muddy Waters meets Hoagy Carmichael meets Randy Newman meets Bob Dylan’. And critics have noted his ability to deftly handle a wide range of styles and techniques, while praising his instrumental prowess.

In 2016, the unique musical vision of Blind Lemon Pledge emerged anew with the release of ”Pledge Drive”. With a harder, more electric sound than his previous albums, “Pledge Drive” captured the energy and exuberance of Pledge’s many years playing rock‘n’roll. It received worldwide critical praise and 3 spots on the Grammy nominating ballot.

Now in keeping with the myriad of eclectic influences that have shaped his recording career, Blind Lemon Pledge is delving into the roots music world of americana, country and folk with his new collection ”Backwoods Glance”. With stylistic swings from folk to country to cajun to gospel, James Byfield is once again proving his command of musical styles and showcasing his unique and varied musical vision.

www.blindlemon-pledge.com

 



Bo Ahlbertz

Congratulations... You have just acquired a photo album... "What?", is your thought, as you inspect the album in your hand to make sure it is the music CD with Bo Ahlbertz. Don’t worry, it is. But the record is also a photoalbum of life, and Bo’s photos are set to music, with lyrics and compositions that in a clear and unpretentious way gives us an insight into Bo Ahlbertz, the artist. It is a piece of art, and to borrow from clichés (after all life is full of them so let’s be honest and use them) Bo does not paint, he takes snapshots of life events, he describes them, let’s us know them, and encourages us to join, be it in sorrow, hope, or happiness.

There are tracks written a long time ago, tracks that are brand new, and tracks where he has collaborated with other song writers, in this album Bo shares them with us. The track ”Been There, Done That” describes how, in adulthood, we have experienced so much and how this has influenced us. In the last track ”We Ran All The Way Home” Bo describes the feeling of finding your way home, something that so many take for granted but is ultimately gained by few.

Bo musical journey began about 1975, which means he will soon be celebrating 40 years as a musical artist. From the music scene in Stockholm, Bo shortly made his way to Gotland together with the folk-band Patrask that played Swedish folk-pop with Irish influences. After Patrask became increasingly distant he continued to produce and write music solo, but always with the same accurate camera angle. The snapshots became more and more personal.

I was given the opportunity to work with Bo during the recording of the single ”Annelie”. This is where I understood that he has had a long life in music with the roots in folk. Bo dares, and succeeds, in making an album influenced with various styles, but he always manages to nail his songs be they inspired by Americana or Irish music.

On this trip Bo has taken not only himself and studio musicians, here are several guest artists from various genres, everyone with one thing in common, heart. It’s not an All-Star band that Bo is offering, it is an All-Heart band. We see Gotländska Glimra next to Gunnar Järeld. Kruthof gives us tones from dobro and guitar. Bo himself provides guitar and of course his trademark; the bouzouki.

Bo takes these friends along on the trip and on the album, ”No Retreat, No Surrender (Lazy Afternoon)”, he manages to describe his reality and his experiences on 12 tracks, 12 snapshots, that take us on a journey and then leads us back home again. So take a seat and welcome aboard.

Sincerely yours,
Jakob Ringbom

www.ahlbertz.eu




Bob Cheevers

Celebrating his 50th year as a songwriter with over 3 000 songs to his credit, Bob Cheevers offers a 5 disc retrospective box set called “Fifty Years – A Semi Century Of Songwriting”, featuring 83 songs covering his 1st half century of songwriting.

His early years growing up in Memphis gave him a taste for the r’n’b and blues flavor of the Mississippi Delta. After college, Bob headed for Los Angeles and left the place where he and Elvis were hometown boys.

25 years in the pop field resulted in a number of chart hits under his own name and the band he was part of called The Peppermint Trolly Company. One of their credits was singing the theme song to the TV sitcom “Love American Style”.

The historical changes of the 60’s played no small role in Bob’s life which, during that time, also included representation by Neil Young’s and Joni Mitchell’s management team.

The power of change of that period began the life long journey of Bob discovering his musical and personal voices which in no time began to show up in his songwriting. A true artist emerged.

His LA Criterion Music publisher had an office in Nashville and suggested that Bob move there, because he was being pitched as a songwriter and an artist. Already an Emmy winning songwriter, Bob was invited to be a show opener on what was to be Johnny Cash’s final tour after which Cash chose to record one of Bob’s songs.

In 2009, after 16 years in the Nashville songwriting machine, Bob headed for Austin to concentrate on being ’the artist’ in his own right. After only 3 years in Texas, Bob became the Texas Music Awards Singer Songwriter Of The Year.

His 10 commercial CD’s offer a wealth of characters some of whom are real and others imagined. “Fifty Years”, with its range of songs in jazz, rock, singer songwriter, folk and country genres, expand that wealth. Being a seasoned, journeyman performer, his many miles on the road have given him a fine tuned musical voice and endless stories to tell.

The spinning of his rootsy, blues flavored tales of life in a language of the heart provide Bob the roadmap for his journey. His Austin pal Ray Wylie Hubbard says, “Bob Cheevers is one cool scarecrow gypsy poet who writes and sings”.

www.bobcheevers.com

 



Bob Lanois
 
"An invitation to collaborate with my brother, master arranger/musician Daniel Lanois took us on the trip of a lifetime through our family's Quebecois roots and ancient European history, driven by the pulse of the big city of Toronto. He enabled my fledgling harmonica style to emerge from a hidden place in the woods to meet the world.”

— Bob Lanois

When you have a superstar for a brother, it’s hard not to hit him up for a little help from time to time. Bob Lanois embarked on creating his first solo album with a musical god on his side. Younger brother Daniel is spoken of in the hushed tones reserved for a deity. And why not, it was U2’s Bono who referred to him as the best musician he has ever known, while “Rolling Stone” gushed that he was “the most important record producer to emerge in the ’80s.”

A celebrated engineer and producer himself, Bob stepped away from the knobs and dials of the control room, and, freed from the tangle of cables and microphones, took a chance with his own collection of songs — varied, moody, engaging instrumental pieces — produced by the genius of Daniel.

“I totally had to ‘give’ while working with Dan,” says Bob. “He demands it and is somewhat of a shaman that way in that he will trick you into revealing your true self.” Bob’s first solo project, “Snake Road” is an exit ramp off the superhighway of contemporary sonic exploration. It envelops the past, while pushing another envelope on what today’s — or even tomorrow’s — music should sound like.

“It’s forward moving. I believe I am more a futurist than I am a traditionalist,” proffers Bob. “I would rather plunge into the future. You can hear it on ‘Snake Road’.” What you will hear is the signature dream like landscape of Daniel, with the surprisingly lithe harmonica of brother Bob piercing and challenging the rich, shifting textures of ethereal backdrop.

The nine tracks on “Snake Road” are anything but ignorable. Nor is the fact that Bob has been on the cutting edge of ambient since Eno spent two years living at his house while pioneering the sound at Grant Avenue Studio in the early 1980s. While it’s hard to imagine the rough and tumble, blue collar streets of Steeltown as a womb for music that’s been referred to as “room colouring” and “sonic wallpaper”, that’s how the story goes.

 “Ambient music was born in Hamilton, Canada,” Bob will tell you.

That’s where Daniel and Eno worked on seminal Eno recordings like “On Land” (1982) and “Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks” (1983) — in the studio designed and built by Bob.

While the word “ambient” is literally defined as surrounding and encircling, it doesn’t, according to its creator, necessarily define “Snake Road”. “I don’t consider ‘Snake Road’ an ambient record,” Bob says. “I consider it a timeless piece of work that could have been made at any time in history.”

In fact, he continues, every cut on “Snake Road” has a distinct and memorable melody based on a standard structure of verse, chorus and modulated breaks. “Each and every one is, in fact, a classically crafted piece of arrangement genius of a very structured kind,” says Bob. “It’s almost the opposite of ambient where chance and randomness could even be an element.”

“Snake Road” is not Bob’s first foray into playing on an album, but this record is the first project he can take ownership of — his first solo release. Bob played harmonica on the critically acclaimed “The Shack Recordings” Volume 1” (2005) with Tom Wilson (Junkhouse and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings), an album he also co-produced with the triple Juno winner.

Look for a sequel soon.

“Tom’s been hounding me every day for the last year, ‘When are we going to start?’ he keeps asking.”

www.boblanois.com

www.cordovabay.com

 


Bobbo Byrnes

As a member of the Fallen Stars, Bobbo Byrnes has long proven himself as a key voice on the international americana scene. On his new solo album, “Motel Americana”, the singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist continues to successfully explore roots rock and alt country, focusing on the slightly quieter and more nuanced regions of americana.

Bobbo, pronounced like Bobby, but with an o at the end, sang and played the guitars, mandolin, pedal steel, b3 organ and dumpster, yes, there’s a recorded dumpster on one of the tracks, and had help along the way from Tracy Byrnes (The Fallen Stars) on bass and vocals, Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters and Wallflowers) B3 organ on ”I May Never Know”, Ben Riddle (Riddle & The Stars) on backing vocals and Brandon Allen (The Fallen Stars) on drums. Staying true to form, the album has both pedal steel guitar and guitar feedback. It’s northern country rock, more Westerberg than Skynyrd.

Tracks 5, 11 are the more up tempo, rock tracks. Track 1 is a dark folk love song. Tracks 3, 4 and 8 are a little more mid tempo country folk rock. Tracks 7, 10 and 12 are the really quiet folky tunes. It should be noted that ”Nothing Needs To Be Said” has two f-bombs in it, one in each chorus and ”To Her Door” has a hardly noticeable little f-bomb at the 0:55 mark.

Born and partly raised in Boston, Bobbo now calls Southern California home, because he got tired of shoveling snow.

www.bobbobyrnes.com

www.songsandwhispers.com

 



Bodinrocker

Anders Bodin, alias Bodinrocker, has been there before. At a tivoli in Towyn. By boat passing Isle of Man. With a packed lunch at the archery club in Ampthill. On the last bus in the middle of the week to the campsite in Shankill. In the sun on a sandy beach of Harwich or Rosslaire. Or just at any forgotten celtic ruin during a typical green rainfall.

The new single ”Roller Coaster Ride” will be released November 3rd, 2017. And it proves it all. One more trip with Bodinrocker to the boogie sound of the British islands. Classic riffs and catchy melodies. This time in company with Klas Anderhell, drums, Stefan Deland, bass, and Lars Ekberg, keyboards.

The lyrics are written by Jan Leentjes on yellow post-it notes in Sommelsdijk. Along with ”Vacation” this is another teaser from the album ”Eye To Eye” that will be released in early 2018.

www.bodinrocker.se

 


Bonefish

On their 2nd album, ”Atoms”, Bonefish delivers a genuine listening experience based in their totally unique sound and melodic songs. Bonefish formed 6 years ago by songwriter, singer and guitarist Bie Karlsson with merits from famous Swedish group Docenterna. With one leg in traditional rock music,  the other in creative art rock, the group manages to create their own formula for music.

The new album “Atoms” contains a unique mix of songs, sometimes referring to forerunners like Talking Heads and Television, as well as British 70’s pop music. All masterfully compounded by producer Max Lorenz. “Atoms” is recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales, where top selling world acts have been recording since the mid 60’s, among many others, Queen, Pixies and Robert Plant.

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Bie Karlsson have recorded and toured with bands like T-Shirts, Giant Steppers and Docenterna, and worked with high end producers, most notably Dennis ”Blackbeard” Bovell, Anders ”Henkan” Henriksson and Michael Ilbert. Matte Norberg, guitar, Rasmus Rasmusson, drums and Anders ”Nylle” Thoor, bass and vocals, all have years of experience of touring and recording for the local Swedish music scene.

“Atoms” is produced by Max Lorentz who’s long and extensive career as producer and musician includes cooperation with world class artists like Agnetha Fältskog and Mikael Rickfors.

Bonefish’ eponymous debut was self released in 2013 and was followed by shows in Sweden, Belgium and the UK. In 2014 the follow up EP, “Time To Market”, was released, and in 2015 the single “Jimmy!”.

During the autumn of 2017 Bonefish embarks for a short tour in Sweden with gigs in Gävle, Karskoga, Stockholm, Halmstad and Malmö. For the spring of 2018 a European tour is planned with visits in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands.


bonefishswe.com

 



Born 53


Stockholm based Born 53 is releasing ”A Talent Unrecognized”, May 19th, 2017, the band’s 5th album since 2005.

After 2012’s ”Theving In The Alley”, entirely devoted to interpretations of Bob Dylan songs, the focus is back on band members Anders Lindh and Hans Birkholz originals, 7 and 3 respectively. The collection is also graced by one Dylan song, ‘Forgetful Heart’ and one from Paddy MacAloon, ‘Devil Came A-Callin’.

Over the years, Born 53 has developed its own style, rooted in blues, with a mixture of various pop, rock and folk influences from different parts of the world, here noticeable in ‘Forgetful Heart’, played as a Finnish tango, with fado tinted vocals by Åsa Källén-Lindh. ‘Devil Come A-Callin’ has a South American feel, courtesy of Hans Birkholz’s charango, a Bolivian string instrument. The opening track, Lindh’s ‘Looking For Marie Jones’ sounds straight out of the 70’s British folk boom, while ‘Forgive’ is best described as world music.

Birkholz’s 3 instrumentals explores landscapes, developed from blues techniques that seem to travel back to its African roots in ‘The Spin’ and ‘The Trail’.

As usual, Lindh has taken good care of his lyrics, this time perhaps a little more personal than before, ‘Crimson Red & Aqua Blue’ is a love song with an edge of mortality, and ‘Morning Song’ is an ode to a love crossing boundaries of various kinds. ‘The Great Liberator’, on the other hand, find’s Lindh at his satirical best. ”I wrote it a couple of years ago”, he says, ”thinking metaphorically, imagining a slick, sophisticated usurper of our minds, but then we got Trump”.

And as for the title song, ‘A Talent Unrecognized’, Lindh writes :

”When I saw Jesus on the cross, I was well advised, maybe lucky is a fella, with a talent unrecognized”.

www.facebook.com/Born53

 



Brad Colerick

While contemplating his next CD, Brad Colerick found himself drawn to story songs, traveling tunes and folk ballads, painting sepia-toned visions of Southwestern vistas, Midwestern prairies, and the ramblers and life gamblers who crisscross them. On the surface, that might suggest he’s fixated on the mythos of a particular region or place. Digging deeper reveals that the Nebraska-raised, California-based songwriter is dealing with the shifting geography of the heart.

“For me, Tucson is not so much a place as a symbol, a state of mind”, he explains while discussing the title track, composed by his friend Dave Plenn. “My grandparents retired to Arizona from Nebraska, now my parents have followed in their footsteps. It’s a transitionary time in all of our lives. But I have this strange feeling that I’ve lost a point of reference, or that I’ve just turned down an unfamiliar road”.

After hearing Plenn perform “Tucson” at Wine & Song, the weekly songwriter showcase Colerick launched four years ago in South Pasadena, he realized he’d found the touchstone for his next album. Each week at Wine & Song he workshopped original songs that cohered around the emerging theme of time’s passage. The talented cast of characters appearing on this album includes Herb Pedersen, April Verch, Steve Hanson, and former Johnny Cash bassist Dave Roe, who have all sat in with Colerick at various Wine & Song nights and other performances.

“One thing I learned the hard way is to always woodshed the songs. Playing them in your living room by yourself is a totally different experience from playing them with other musicians and listening through the ears of a live audience. That’s where doing this weekly hootenanny has been so valuable for me”.

Most of the 11 songs were recorded in Drasco, Arkansas, with producer and guitarist Charlie White, with some production assistance from California-based Ed Tree. Full of guitars, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and pedal steel, this record lands firmly into the Americana wheelhouse. The natural imagery and resilient characters of songs like “Late Winter Snow”, “The Hands Of Time” and the bluegrassy “Brakeman’s Door” hark back to his Nebraska roots. Even after more than two decades in the Los Angeles area, where he runs his Deep Mix music supervision company, Colerick still identifies strongly with the Midwest.

“I’ll always be a flatlander at heart”, he says. “I love California and being part of the singer-songwriter community here, but I don’t think I’ll ever disconnect from that place I come from. The geography and the people tend to seep into my songs and characters. That’s just who I am”.

Nowhere is that more evident than in “This is What I Do (Mighty Keeper)”, a melodically uplifting song whose gentle assessment of choices made and missed is couched in his hometown’s daily rhythms. And then there’s the lightly rocking “Blue Horizon”, with its sober depiction of old friends’ paths diverging. It presents a poignant bookend to “Tucson”.

“This feels like a real storytelling period in my life”, Colerick says. “I guess I’m coming to grips a little more with the fact that we’re all aging, and life is moving to a new phase”. For Colerick, this unanticipated turn toward Tucson has resulted in a rich and captivating musical journey.

www.bradcolerick.com



Bravo Max

Bravo Max is an American band formed in 2007 in Dallas, Texas, by Johnny Beauford, Daniel Beauford, Ben Gastright and Steve Vanderheide. The band has since taken on several formations with line ups including up to 7 members.

To date, they have released one album ”Dog’s Light”, produced by grammy winner Oz Fritz (Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, William Burroughs). Locally, the album was well received and although they did some sporadic touring in the Southwest US to promote it, they played most of their dates from 2008-2012 in and around the southwest US.

In 2013 the band released 3 follow up singles, “Young Gun Slinger”, “Pills” and “Sleepy Simon”. 300+ shows later Bravo Max has opened dates for national and regional heavy hitters from a variety of different genres including, The Mystery Lights, The Districts, The Donkeys, The Warlocks, The Features, Parker Millsap, Blackfoot Gypsies, The Roomsounds, Rasputina, Girl in A Coma, Oil Boom, Telegraph Canyon, Possessed By Paul James, Sarah Jaffe, Leopold & His Fiction, Eric Harvey, Gardens & Villa, Sons Of Fathers, Bob Schneider, Adam Faucett, Eric McFadden and many, many more.

A 15 track sophomore album, ”Bullfighter Blues”, will be released November 4th, 2016, on St Cait Records. The new album is a decisive shift in direction for Bravo Max and it is the culmination of 3 years of truly collaborative writing.

Since slimming down to a trio from the previous release’s line up as a sextet, the band has also taken on a vastly different sound, going from raucous Americana to progressive rock and roll. In addition to top shelf musicianship by the backbone trio, guest performances, including baritone sax, steel guitar, Hammond B3, trumpet, flute, and trombone, help to solidify the rowdy and emphatic style of the new release.

Bullfighter Blues” is a gritty and triumphant trip, it is a dreamy flash of instrumental psychedelia mixed with easily accessible rock and roll.

www.stcaitrecords.com

www.ilovebravomax.com

 


Brett Perkins & The Pawnshop Preachers

The Pawnshop Preachers is the band your brother wants to join, your girlfriend doesn’t trust, and your mother warned you about..... 

The sound is pure americana, blending Brett Perkins’ California country style with lyrics culled from his family’s Kentucky hillbilly roots.

The Copenhagen based band has entertained festival audiences over the past several years in Denmark, Greenland and Sweden, gaining solid fans, strong reviews and airplay along the way, including a record five songs from the CD currently in Danish National Radio rotation.

The Pawnshop Preachers’ 12 song debut album clocks in at under 30 minutes, inviting listeners on a fun loving, free wheeling musical hayride, with encouragement to embrace their inner hick. 

Los Angeles born and Copenhagen based Preachers front man Brett Perkins has been a regular fixture on the Danish music scene since 1997, with national airplay on four album releases, as well as numerous co-written releases by established Danish artists.

www.pawnshoppreachers.com

 


Brian Cullman

The Opposite Of Time” continues the work Brian Cullman began with his previous album, ”All Fires The Fire”, but pares down the sound, opening the window to let in as much light and as much air as possible, with most tracks recorded live in the studio. Jenni Muldaur is on backing vocals, Aaron Johnston and Didi Gutman (The Brazilian Girls) are on drums and keyboards, Glenn Patscha (Ollabelle, Sheryl Crow) plays piano and organ, Byron Isaacs (Levon Helm, The Lumineers) plays bass, and Jimi Zhivago (Glen Hansard, Rufus Wainwright) plays guitar and co-produced the album together with Cullman.

From the swampy groove of “Times Are Tight” to the unexpected blues trawl of “Walk The Dog Before I Sleep”, the songs on ”The Opposite Of Time” detour and detox, stopping here and there to check things out before leaving again. “And She Said” swings hard between a Byrdsian jangle and a Harritone. “After All The Gifts” is a heartbreaker, springs from the ghost of Nick Drake’s bedsit (Drake himself being someone Cullman knew and opened for once upon a time). And the last song, “Unspoiled”, is such a proper ending, a Brian Enoy piece of lovely calm and release.

Brian Cullman has been a rock music Zelig, going back to his teenage years hanging out with Lillian Roxon and her friend Danny Fields, back when he was playing host to Iggy, Nico and the like. While still in school, he spent a summer in London where his clique included Nick Drake, Sandy Denny and John Martyn. Years later, he’d play with Robert Quine, Mark Knopfler and Vernon Reid, record a single with Giorgio Gomelsky, producer of The Yardbirds, lead the band OK Savant, and travel to Morocco with Bill Laswell to record ”The Master Musicians Of Jajouka”. Brian has been there and back, and he’s documented it all in award winning journalism for Creem, Crawdaddy, Musician, Rolling Stone, Spin, The Paris Review, and others, but the real stories are in his songs.

”The Opposite Of Time” was recorded and mixed by Hector Castillo (Bjork, David Bowie, Lou Reed) at The Maid’s Room in NYC.

www.briancullman.com




Brian Kramer


Brian Kramer’s latest release is “Full Circle”, distributed by Plugged Records.

A full band, all original, studio recording featuring gorgeous duets with some very talented, classy ladies like Isabella Lundgren, Kitto, Fanny Holm and Maria Blom. Brian on vocals, acoustic, finger-picking and national steel guitar, backed by the Brian Kramer Band, featuring the exceptional talents of Chuck Anthony, Mats Qwarfordt, Bert Deivert, Micke Haglund, Peter Frej and Björn Gideonsson.

This is blues and way beyond!

Brian has toured England, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Holland, Russia, Belgium, Japan, Scandinavia, Thailand, Canada, South Africa, and coast to coast in the USA. He’s played and recorded with Eric Bibb, Larry Johnson, Taj Mahal, Junior Wells, Mick Taylor, Bob Brozman, Toumani Diabate and many others.

www.briankramerblues.com

www.facebook.com/pages/Brian-Kramer-Blues

 


Brian Setzer

Iconic guitarist, songwriter and vocalist Brian Setzer will release "Rockabilly Riot! All Original!", a straight-ahead rockabilly album from start to finish, via Surfdog/Membran/Naxos on August 19th, 2014. The new album, featuring the high-octane first single “Let’s Shake”, marks Setzer’s first studio album since 2011’s Grammy Award-nominated album, "Setzer Goes Instru-Mental!".

The new album thrillingly comes alive with 12 new and original songs in pure rockabilly fashion. Setzer brings his trademark twang and fretboard fire, and he’s backed by three musicians that he says “are the best in their craft”; Mark Winchester (bass), Kevin McKendree (piano) and Noah Levy (drums). Recorded in Nashville, the album was produced by Peter Collins (who’s handled the same honors for Setzer's albums "Vavoom!" and "The Dirty Boogie".

“It’s funny how English people seem to have a more sensibility about what rockabilly music is, even though it was invented in the South", says Setzer. “They seem to know what it should sound like. Peter Collins is experienced and an accomplished producer, he’s done a lot of records, but he loves rockabilly music and he knows what it should sound like".

As Setzer explains, “I think this album sounds to me a little bit like the first Stray Cats record… it’s rockabilly songs. It’s not just blues songs in the rockabilly style. People like to call it ‘neo-billy’ I suppose, which is some invented word that somebody came up with, but if that’s the word they want to use, I’d like to go with that because it sounds to me like it’s very modern and fresh sounding rockabilly.”

http://briansetzer.com

 



Brian Wright

With his 2011 label debut hailed by No Depression as “perfect” and by American Songwriter as “brilliant”, singer-songwriter-rock ’n’ roll musician Brian Wright will unveil his new album, the highly anticipated, "Rattle Their Chains", on September 10th, 2013. The Waco, Texas, native and new Nashville resident will release his diverse new collection of plaintive ballads and rootsy rockers on Sugar Hill Records, which also released his last project, the wildly acclaimed "House On Fire".

Imagine diving after a pearl of great price, only to find that it rests within a dense shell you must crack open with two opposing attempts: one about strength, the other surrender.

That’s how it went down for Brian Wright as he labored to land his gem, the new album "Rattle Their Chains". That’s not to say he started on the wrong foot: far from it. For the recording of "Rattle Their Chains", he convened last summer in a Los Angeles studio, surrounded by a trusted core of musicians. Wright brandished 18 songs, demoed and arranged meticulously so the band could follow his lead. But Wright wasn’t ready to call it a wrap with the resulting recordings.

“I didn’t like the songs once I heard them, so I scrapped all but three or four”, Wright says. “It had hooks and melodies but it was empty. It didn’t feel or sound right at all”.

So for dive two, Wright retreated – literally. He headed north to coastal Oregon to hole up in a friend’s hotel just a few weeks shy of Christmas. Once there, Wright followed the same ritual for a week: breakfasts fueled by coffee and eggs sunny-side up; long beach walks listening to Bob Dylan’s 'Basement Tapes'; hunkering down with his Gibson J-45, letting lyrics and melodies surface.

Then there was the vision: “I was picturing a band playing these songs – my friends – and I could hear what was going to happen: a band in a room, guys who really love each other and are really tight”.

Back in L.A. for take two – with a dozen new songs to learn on the spot – Wright and his buddies nailed it. He sought the spontaneity of live show, a roots-rock hoot to smolder and sting, and he got it. But the resulting album also reflects something more: a shadow-meets-light intensity where regret and hope square off.

Take “Weird Winter,” a mournful minor-key masterwork that blends images of transition, desperation and grief in best Guy Clark fashion – rich and evocative, yet leaving enough space for the listener to fill in the blanks with their own backstory.

The songs on "Rattle Their Chains" are personal, but they also invite the listener to settle into them with ease and familiarity.

Besides Dylan and the Band, Wright also found himself drawn to “the storytelling of Texas songwriters. I find myself really into Townes Van Zandt; he had so many beautiful songs. Woody Guthrie lived there, and there’s something in the water in Texas. It’s where all these great stories come from. But I’m also influenced by great rock and roll: Beatles, Rolling Stones and things like that”.

Wright’s rock savvy is apparent on the sonic juggernaut “Hear What I Want.” With echo-laden piano, slide guitar and churning drums, the song yields a neo-psychedelic vision of a relationship where what goes in one ear comes out the other.

“This record was completely different from "House On Fire", where I played most of the instruments myself, with a producer. I just wanted to hole up and make an album by myself. But this new record was just the opposite; I was in a really good place, playing bar gigs with my friends, and that’s what I wanted this record to sound like. And when we come together, it’s a sound like no other”.

That resulting sound is "Rattle Their Chains". Albums created with such abandon and persistence are uncommon, and Wright’s pursuit of his art is itself a rare thing. That it yielded music so brilliant makes it all the more remarkable.

www.brianwrightmusic.com

www.sugarhillrecords.com/publicity




Buford Pope

On the opening track of the new album "Blue Eyed Boy", a wistful Buford Pope sings that he’s 'Still Got Dreams'. But far from having his head in the clouds, he’s crafted his most down to earth album yet.

On 6  full length albums, Sweden’s Buford Pope has drifted easily across the american soundscape, moving freely from folk rich country to gritty rock'n'roll. Yet never has it sounded as effortless, or as honest, as on his 7th album. On "Blue Eyed Boy", there’s no doubt that it’s Buford Pope himself we’re hearing.

“I’ll soon be 46, but in many ways I am still that blue eyed boy”, he says. “No matter how much I’ve seen of the world, a big part of me still looks at it with innocence”.

That innocence is tangible in the album’s approach. Nothing here is calculated or overwrought. On the contrary, Buford Pope’s words and music show a profound openness to the human condition.

“These are songs I’ve carried with me for a long time, some of them for ten years or more”, he explains. “They’ve grown from my own experience and the people who’ve touched me, which is why I couldn’t leave them to chance”.

True to his word, Buford Pope devoted himself to the album’s planning. Every aspect was selected with care, from the vintage mikes and converted barn studio, to the diverse artists,  Swedish, Irish and American, among them Tobias Fröberg, Merit Hemmingson and Christian Kjellvander, who would support him. Yet, when the time came, it all came together at once.

“What you hear is a frozen moment”, he says. “We laid it all down in one take, with no cuts, no loops, no tweaks. It’s as raw as it gets”.

And perhaps that rawness is what gives "Blue Eyed Boy" so much of its flavor. For all the speed of its recording, this is an album to digest slowly.

www.bufordpope.com

 


The Bunny Gang

The Bunny Gang, which is fronted by Flogging Molly's Nathen Maxwell, plays music that crosses the lines of rock, punk and reggae. Nathen Maxwell has the word Revolution tattooed prominently on his left wrist. However, it's more than just a word for The Bunny Gang frontman and Flogging Molly bassist.

"It's a sign of what time it is", he affirms. "Revolution must be peaceful, nonviolent, and conscious. I think it can mean something different to everybody though. There can be a million interpretations, and that's the wonderful thing about it".

The Bunny Gang's sophomore full-length, "Thrive" stands built on creative revolution. Transcending musical boundaries, The Bunny Gang organically strut between alternative, folk, punk and reggae. Following up 2009's acclaimed "White Rabbit", it's a tight and thought-provoking combination that makes for an irresistible sonic brew.

In order to stir up the eleven songs comprising the album, the gang retreated to Sonic Ranch in El Paso, TX, with producer Ryan Hewitt (Sheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers). Tapping into an indescribable chemistry, the entire offering was cut in less than a week.

“The band´s name comes from a punk rock crew I grew up with in the South Bay of Los Angeles called The Original Bunny Gang or OBG PUNX. After playing with several great musicians, I met an amazing hearted and like minded human being in Nat Lort-Nelson in 2012. He was the glue. There's a deep history, and we share a philosophical outlook. We believe art should say something".

That's exactly what songs like the first single, "Sirens Through The City" do. Co-written with Scott Abels (Jimmy Cliff, The Aggrolites, Tim Armstrong & numerous other acclaimed artists) the song skates from a soulful riff into a poetic melody, it's a personal and poignant rumination from the singer. He also encloses a hopeful message inside of the track.

"I wrote that song when I was living in Harbor City, which is a rough town in South Los Angeles", he recalls. "I was literally sitting on the corner and hearing police sirens every night. At the same time, it's a song of hope and making it out of the ghetto and thriving. If people could dream bigger and step outside of their bubble, they'd realize the world is a beautiful place".

Elsewhere on the record, the energetic "Uprise Underground" appeals to revolutionaries everywhere, urging an awakening, while questioning the status quo. The Bunny Gang then floats down the river on “Illegal Market”, co-written with Dennis Casey (Flogging Molly). This is an iridescent jam that showcases the bands love of Cumbia as well as a cry for social equality.

Ultimately, anybody who takes this ride with The Bunny Gang will feel that progression. "Life, art, and music are all evolution", he concludes. It sounds like revolution is just up head for The Bunny Gang.

www.facebook.com/BunnyGangBand

http://hardlineent.com/artists/the-bunny-gang

 

 

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arry Ollman

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