C Daniel Boling
Sharing experiences from a life well-lived in places as far ranging as Okinawa, Japan, and Padre Island, TX, this balladeer-songwriter with the friendly tenor brings his well-crafted story songs to lucky audiences coast-to-coast in over one hundred shows a year, from house concerts to festivals. Born into a traveling Air Force family, he later worked as a National Park Ranger (yes, the gun-toting kind) and as a Criminal Investigator for the US Bureau of Land Management. He started touring at 50, when most guys are planning their retirement. "Sleeping Dogs" is C Daniel Boling's 6th album and was produced by Jono Manson and released in the fall of 2013 on Berkalin Records.
Songs on his new CD include great stories about a variety of characters, including himself, and topics as varied as love, aging romance, raising children, marriage equality, fishing, self-control, social responsibility and dreams. In “Moderation”, he tells us, “One small step starts an ugly trend because moderation is not my friend”. Whether your weakness is chocolate or soap operas, Daniel empathizes with you and confides that he gets through with help from “friends of Bill W”. He plays the banjitar here (a banjo/guitar hybrid) and a guitar on other songs, with a deft fingerpicking style that always enhances the stories.
The title cut is a story of self-discovery, first of self-loathing about the “moments of the past that won’t stay gone”. By the finish, though, he’s telling us that “… no one can tell you what your life should mean”. He turns to the whimsical for “Hooked”. You think he’s singing about fishing but then you realize it’s a love song exemplifying that old adage, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. The merry accompaniment includes a fun tuba played by Freebo (Bonnie Raitt’s longtime bassist). There’s another great tale in “Nobody’s Business”. but perhaps not one you’d expect from a guy married to the same woman for 30 years. In a tender and thoughtful way, he links same-sex marriage to the bans in the past on interracial marriages. In “Pontificating Paradox”, we hear from everyone from “the Holy Squirrel of Chapel Rock” to an old agnostic troubadour. This song is presented simply, with only his guitar and vocal – philosophy this poignant doesn’t need a huge band. "Someday" is a Pete Seeger-like call-and-response anthem that starts out with only the banjitar and builds to a rousing room full of voices. The album closes with beautiful harmonies and cello accompanying the contemplative “Summer Sweetcorn”, ostensibly about the passing of the seasons, but really a metaphor for how we pass through the years.
Other well known artists joining Daniel on this recording include 2-Bit Palomino, Freebo and producer Jono Manson.
The California Honeydrops
To those who have seen the California Honeydrops and heard Lech Wierzynski sing and play, it may come as a shock that the young frontman was born in Warsaw, Poland. The son of Polish political refugees raised in Chicago and Washington DC, Lech was exposed to wide range of musical influences. “When my dad was growing up in communist Poland in the 40’s and 50’s, old American music was illegal and therefore very cool”, he says. “He passed on the love of old stuff to me: everything from Louis Armstrong to Sam Cooke”.
Like his early influences, Lech has the unique ability to carry a tune casually, conversationally and powerfully as well. But the California Honeydrops are not just another throwback band. “My brother and I had to assimilate to modern American society”, Wierzynski explains, “so we loved all the popular stuff on the radio too, especially hip-hop and r'n'b. Knowing music was our way of proving we were American”.
After studying ethno-musicology at Oberlin College, Wierzynski arrived in Oakland, California, in 2004. There, he couldn’t help but to continue expanding his musical horizons. “At first”, he recalls, “I played mostly on the street, and then as I got more established I started playing a lot of blues and soul music in clubs and touring. There is a rich heritage of that music here in the Bay Area, and I was lucky enough to play with a lot of older musicians who taught me what it was all about”.
When Lech was ready to combine all his influences into one cohesive sound, he formed the California Honeydrops.
By the time the band put out its first tip jar, at an Oakland train station, Lech had already established himself in the Bay Area music scene. “I had gigs, I wasn’t starving”, he explains. “But I wanted to get back to how I started out, playing on the street with friends, having fun, and putting smiles on peoples faces”. With these goals in mind, the California Honeydrops were formed. “Things got going really fast”, remembers drummer and founding member Ben Malament. “People who had seen us on the street were offering us all kinds of gigs. Before we knew it we were a working band, playing clubs parties, and dances all over”. In just a few years time this group of street performers would be selling out venues across California and bringing its infectious sound to festivals across the US and Europe.
With a background in West African and New Orleans drumming, Ben Malament has provided a funky rhythmic backdrop to Wierzynski’s soulful vocals and soaring trumpet playing, since their subway busking days. The addition of saxophonist Johnny Bones brought to the band his influences from time working with Eddie Palmieri, Nell Carter, and Steve Lucky & The Rhumba Bums, to form the core of the group. Growing bigger and gathering steam, the Honeydrops have expanded from an acoustic street trio to a full band; Piano and keyboards, electric bass and additional percussion round out their sound. Beyond the band’s shared musical vision remains a greater purpose; To make people dance, sing, and enjoy themselves.
The Honeydrops’ music speaks not just to the heart and soul, but also to the body; people have no choice but to dance. Drawing heavily on southern soul and Bay Area r'n'b, with twist of New Orleans second-line street music, the Honeydrops defy genres. Their style may not have a name, but one thing is certain - The California Honeydrops don’t just play music. They throw parties.
Groove. Funk. Gospel-flavored blues with blackened creole spice. Soul singing. Chunky horns. John Scofield on guitar. That’s what!
From Pwop Studios in New London, CT, comes another great album produced by Carl Franklin, only this time it’s all his! Carl released ”Lifeboat To Nowhere” with the Franklin Brothers in 2011. He has appeared with Garth Hudson and Tommy Ramone on Chris Castle’s Americana Masterpiece, ” Last Bird Home”. As well, Carl produces numerous bands in the New London area where the scene is thriving.
”Been A While” has 6 Franklin originals, including ’Chain Reaction’, a Franklin Brothers collaboration with the great John Scofield, and 3 covers. Of note is the funked-up Beatles hit, ’Drive My Car’. It takes balls to attempt a Beatles cover and pull it off, but, well, it just rocks.
Every song has groove. The last song,’ Out Of Your Way’, is a true story ballad that may just bring tears to your eyes.
Carrie Clark & The Lonesome Lovers
Carrie Clark is watching you. Oh, maybe not literally, but one constant running throughout “Between The Bed Sheets & Turpentine” is the Seattle songwriter's keen eye for the telling detail and quirks of human nature. These 13 originals span a gamut of styles, from classic country ("I'm A Lark", "Where Are You") and surging rock ("What Have We Done", "Down At My Knees") to mischievous music hall numbers ("The Night Before") and jazz ("The Stranger"), but all of them showcase her astute powers of observation.
As they like to say in Hollywood, all the events in Carrie Clark's music are based on a true story. Not just curious events, but the gamut of emotions brought to the fore by challenges both large and small, and how our voices, faces and body language reflect different sentiments. Clark finds people endlessly fascinating, and all her songs dwell on human foibles. She knows the best places to eavesdrop on inspiring anecdotes, too.
"I love dive bars in the winter", she adds.
On the surface, many of these originals may seem primarily concerned with having fun and doling out generous doses of sassiness, yet they reveal myriad layers upon closer inspection. The album's title, “Between The Bed Sheets & Turpentine”, is a line from one of the more lighthearted selections ("The Night Before"), but it neatly summarizes the emotional scope of the disc, which encompasses not only all the feelings that can crop up in the bedroom — passion, loneliness, dreams — but also the sometimes hard work of cleaning up after life's mishaps.
The follow-up to 2006 “Seems So Civilized”, “Between The Bed Sheets & Turpentine” boasts the fullest sound and most fully realized arrangements in her catalog yet. Much of the credit, she demurs, goes to her band, the Lonesome Lovers, multi-instrumentalist and arranger Greg Fulton ("my right arm") has been with Clark since 2003, and the other members of the quintet, Kohen Burrill (Tubaluba), Kevin Emerson (Central Services), Dave Pascal (Love Markets) and Rob Witmer (Love Markets), all boast tenures of two years or longer.
She also underscores the pivotal role played by producer Martin Feveyer (Blue Scholars, Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) in helping make her 4th independently released record the finest in her canon yet, pushing Clark and all her musicians to the utmost. The producer also encouraged them to experiment and tease out the unique character within each song, taking full advantage of the ensemble's versatile musicianship. A few of them changed quite drastically, and Clark cites "What Have We Done" — a state-of-the-world meditation inspired by her toddler nephew — as an especially successful example.
"I'm really proud of this record", she concludes. "I've grown a lot since the last one, and I'm excited to share this music".
Carrie Clark is watching you, you'd be wise to keep your eyes — and ears — on Carrie Clark and the Lonesome Lovers, too.
While her family enjoyed their backyard volleyball court and her friends were engaged in all the typical high school activities, Casey Weston picked up a guitar and fell in love with writing music. From the start, she appreciated the immediate feedback, both good and bad, to her work as she began to perform before live audiences at bars, coffee shops, malls and parks in her home town of Naples, Florida. By 15, she had developed a local following and would soon open for national touring acts such as James Otto and Craig Morgan.
On April 7, 2009, Casey won first place in the regional Colgate Country Showdown in Arcadia, Florida. That led to her opening before thousands of fans for such young stars as Justin Moore as well as seasoned Grammy winners like John Anderson. The real turning point, however, came with her being named a contestant on NBC’s inaugural season of The Voice. Finishing number eight in the final competition earned her place in a national tour, allowed her to with serious musicians and exposed her to leading industry professionals.
Again, all of this occurred before she had even graduated from high school. Finally, with diploma in hand, she moved to Nashville and committed herself to her music full time. Since 2009, she has collaborated with a number of Nashville musicians and co-writers to produce two notable albums and three singles. All have drawn strong reviews from a wide range of critics around the world. Her 3rd album, "Young Heart" is scheduled for release in late March 2015 and promises to be the best of her work so far.
In addition to her writing and recording career, Casey has become a sought-after entertainer, headlining in over 70 shows a year at venues around the country. “I love the work of Gavin DeGraw, Ben Rector, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks”, she says, “but I still feel the inspiration of the music that came before me - The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger. My songs tell a story, like theirs do, and I hope touch the heart of people of all generations, not just mine”.
In 2015 Casey was selected by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) as one of 17 talented unsigned songwriters that will make up the ASCAP Guidance from Publishers for Songwriters (GPS) Project Class aimed to display unsigned writers for our publishing community. As she continues to open for a growing list of the nation’s top performers and as she hones her skills as a writer and entertainer, Casey Weston, not yet 23 years old, is building a strong, solid reputation.
Marsteller & Rhodes present CHANDELIER
An original musical saga.
In the 1860’s a 17 year-old girl boards a sailing ship that will take her across the Atlantic to America. She falls for a sailor, they wed and begin a life together in Virginia. He is soon drafted into the Civil War, deserts and vanishes. Now alone, she picks herself up and goes West to California and Mexico, gold mining towns and saloons, Indian missions, bullfighting arenas, stagecoaches and romance.
If ever a movie was made about the life of Chauncey Bowers, Christopher Lloyd would surely get the part. Somewhere between Lloyd’s signature roles as the eccentric Emmett 'Doc' Brown in "Back To The Future" and the flighty Reverend Jim Ignatowski from the hit TV series "Taxi", lies the role of Chauncey Bowers — a man who began his unpredictable career as an assistant “repo man,” then transitioned into being a Harvard-educated Ph D in cellular biology, and now defies laws of common sense as he dissects the music world. His questioning, wide-horizon worldview and barbed humor light up the newly released "Rumors Of Reason".
"Rumors Of Reason" is Chauncey’s first full-length album, though he has been impressing peers on Los Angeles’ songwriter circuit for years. Its 15 tracks showcase his penchant for taking listeners through the bizarre journeys of everyday life, with twists and turns as abrupt as the good Reverend Jim’s non sequiturs. Take, for example, “Something To Cry About”, and its murderous protagonist: “You hear something funny, but it’s all in your head/If those voices stop talking/Does that mean you’re dead?” Or the dead man’s hindsight in “Stupid and Bloody”: “When I was born, I was stupid and bloody/Crying from the shock of seeing the world”. Or the folk-rock groove of “God Bless Your Children”, that lulls listeners - with driving harmony from Lisa Turner - into a false sense of comfort as its aging protagonist vows: “I believe in the raging righteous/ And I believe there’s love in soldiers and whores”.
Lest that sound like a heavy load of death and darkness, check out the “remarkably agile” horn that stalks Chauncey’s alley-haunting character through “Stray Trombone”, and the tough-luck philosophy spiking “Last Thing I Remember” over producer Ed Tree’s bluesy slide guitar. He pivots often from the twisted to the tender, as with the melancholy “Anything Could Happen” and its graceful plea to “Try and be happy/Just try and sing”, dressed in Teresa James’ dusky harmony and Dale La Duke’s simple keyboard melody.
Chauncey crafts his own alternate universe in these 15 songs, complete with movie-ready characters, and plotlines, and a firmly grounded skepticism. He still holds fast to a few illusions, like his insistence that the “repo man” he worked for was legit — not just a guy stealing cars with a 16-year-old accomplice. The absolute reality of that fact we may never know, but with "Rumors Of Reason", we can at least come along for an exhilarating ride. Like that of a hot-wired, freshly repossessed car.
Cheryl Dyrithe Barnes is a classically trained jazz singer in possession of remarkable depth, range and technique. Beloved around the world as a captivating live performer, Cheryl shied away from making records for nearly a decade. Now in 2015, Ms Barnes returns with her 4th and finest album to date, a studio recording entitled "Listen To This" for which every one of the 12 selections is a personally inspired gem. Produced by Rahn Coleman and also featuring the impassioned piano playing of her husband Phil Cabasso, "Listen To This" was patiently rendered over a 5-year period, prepared with tender loving care utilizing Los Angeles’ finest, including soloists saxophonists Rickey Woodard and Pete Christlieb, pianists John Hammond and Joel Scott, and trumpeter Nolan Shaheed.
"Listen To This" moves from 2 tunes penned by Mark Winkler (the sassy “Like Jazz” and the evocative nostalgia of “That Afternoon In Harlem” to inventive adaptations of “When I Am Laid In Earth” (from Henry Purcell’s opera “Dido & Aeneas”) and Joni Mitchell’s epic “Come in From the Cold”. There’s even a Christmas song. “I love how varied the album is, because I’m varied”, Cheryl beams. “The complexity of jazz, of improvisation, expression and harmony, is clearly there. Rahn, Phil and our engineer Aaron Testerman spent hours, I’m talking marathon sessions, working”, Cheryl shares. “Phil would come home with his eyes like x's! We didn’t have a deadline so we never rushed. A beautiful evolution blossomed through the process”.
From the hippest of contemporary faire like “Come With Me” and “What’s On Your Mind” to choice standards such as “I Wish You Love” (dedicated to the memory of Gloria Lynne) and “Why Did I Choose You” (inspired by Barbra Streisand’s rendition), Ms Barnes brings a singular warmth and empathy to every line she sings, engaging listeners from a purr to a power belt. The title track “Listen To This” (composed and arranged by Cabasso), “What’s Fair In Love” (created and directed by Coleman) and “Baby’s Got Some Awful Kind Of Blues” (crafted by John Hammond) are renderings of original pieces that are sure to go down as Cheryl Barnes classics. “This project solidifies within myself my view of myself as a true artist”, Cheryl poetically states.
Cleveland-native, and now living in Southern California, Cheryl Barnes harbors fond memories of music’s presence throughout her early life. “My father, Calvert Barnes, played music 24 hours a day in the house from his collection of old 78's and LPs, all the big bands, all the singers, all the jazz. Then on the radio he enjoyed the rich beautiful melodies of Mantovani and the 101 Strings. No rock 'n' roll allowed in the house.” Raised Catholic, Cheryl, unlike many Black singers, did not grow up in gospel yet sought and loved that and all music just the same.
Beginning at age 9 through college, Cheryl amassed 16 years of formal classical vocal training which led to appearances with symphony orchestras in Denver, Florida and Wisconsin. The rigorous programming reinforced her innate abilities and enabled her to move with ease between musical genres. Yet the road always led back to jazz. Cheryl confesses. “I have great respect for those that live the discipline of classical music like my cousin Thomas Young (the esteemed classical tenor and educator) who once told me, ‘classical singing is an athletic event’. I used the music that I learned from classical but never felt like if I sing that, I couldn’t sing this. I don’t sing like Leontyne Price or Renee Fleming, but I can sing that music. I sing jazz with strengthened abilities. And people have taken notice”.
The late iconic jazz critic Leonard Feather once wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Barnes' range leapt upward in unpredictable octave jumps to a pure register". Renowned concert and television musical director Rickey Minor marvels, “Cheryl’s voice is sultry and full of soul, you’ll be instantly transported to a place of warmth and serenity”. Singing legend Barbara Morrison testifies, “I don’t think there is a more immaculate professional singer in the jazz world today than Cheryl Barnes. She keeps it clean and swings to the point of no return”. And the aforementioned Mark Winkler swoons, “Cheryl Barnes is a songwriter’s dream. Each song becomes an emotional story that touches, moves or just plain makes you smile”.
Ms Barnes is the quintessential performer, wowing audiences worldwide with her unerring sense for creating and sustaining a musical and personal rapport, be it within intimate club settings or commanding concert stages. The lady has shared the stage with Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Lou Rawls, JJ Johnson and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. In Los Angeles, she has performed in acclaimed venues including the Parisian Room, Memory Lane, The Baked Potato, the Jazz Bakery and Catalina Bar & Grill. Backing her live and in the studio have been some of the finest in jazz, among them bassists James Hughart, Tony Dumas, David LeVray and Robert Russell, drummers Ralph Penland, Quentin Dennard and Kendall Kaye, pianist Bill Cunliffe, and trumpeter Carl Saunders.
“I really appreciate being respected by instrumentalists because I consider myself a musician", Cheryl concludes. “I sing because I must. I am compelled from within, the force sometimes ebbing, often flowing, the rhythm of it all out of my hands. I follow where it leads, it is an essential part of my being”.
"Remembering" is Chris Cook’s second release for Nashville-Boston based Tree O Records (6th overall). It is a twelve-track cornucopia of Chris Cook’s great singing, songwriting and exceptional musicianship. Co-produced by Tim Carter, who adds his infectious banjo to Ferrell Stowe’s dobro and Guthire Trapp’s mandolin, the record is a classic Americana music melting pot, of roots, rock R&B and blues. Nashville legends, Kenny Malone (drums, percussion), Drake Leonard (bass), Johnny Neel (keyboards) and Ken Fradley (trumpet, flugal horn) round out the players who combine skillfully to enhance the groove, without overshadowing, the laid-back songs all the while allowing Chris’ great singing to shine.
A throwback to the journeyman days of musicmen, Chris averages two-hundred dates a year, touring regionally and internationally showcasing strong vocals, his trademark multi-dimensional musicianship and exceptional songwriting.
Chris Dair was born in the UK of Irish and Sicilian origin. At the age of 5 he was inspired to play the guitar by hearing Manitas De Plata and was given his first acoustic guitar. Entirely self-taught he began making up his own scales, that he now calls Dairian scales, and even made up his own chords, and the phrases he played were based on what he heard of flamenco guitar.
At age 12 Chris was introduced to the blues and a new passion was ignited. Although blues is perhaps his principle genre, Chris has a passion for Afro, Latin and Eastern styles of music, particularly Indian, classical and jazz, and blended with his own unique style, almost a new genre is born.
The new album "Crossroads To Freedom" is the epitome of this crossover World Blues.
During these early years he gigged in London at venues like Ronnie Scotts with John Mayall, John McVie, George Melly and with the Climax Blues Band. He was spotted by Alexis Korner when only 16, an opportunity that unfortunately was prevented by other commitments.
As a young lead guitarist Chris jammed and played with many of the R&B and rock legends of our time, including Rory Gallagher, Jimmy Page, Ginger Baker, the late Paul Kossoff, Captain Beefheart, Dick Stubbs (Juicy Lucy), Linda Lewis (Ferris Wheel), Dave Davies (The Kinks), Roy Wood (Wizard), Mickey Finn (T-Rex), Mark Knopfler, Led Zeppelin, Peter Green and Jeff Beck. Most unforgettably with the great blues legend Bukka White.
One of his last gigs in the UK was a re-opening of The Place where he appeared alongside the Marshall Road Show (Marshall Amplification) and Climax Blues Band. Chris then moved to Ireland to concentrate on writing and recording, but found great pleasure in regularly gigging with bassist Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix Experience). They were joined on occasion by drummer John Coughlan (Status Quo), and Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy) amongst others.
Since moving to France Chris has performed solo concerts, and given guitar master classes, for the conservatoires and various jazz festivals in the region.
Chris currently attracts large audiences online with his solo live broadcasts via iBroadcast.tv and Stageit, and is renowned for his effortless, precise, sensitive and powerful mastery of guitar, both acoustic and electric.
Influences include Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus and blues legends such as Muddy Waters, Bukka White and Leadbelly.
Christine Albert stands out in the Austin, TX, music scene as an artist, songwriter and philanthropist. She has released 6 solo albums including the bilingual 3 CD “Texafrance” series. With her husband Chris Gage (as Albert & Gage) she has released 6 albums including the acclaimed 2009 release “Dakota Lullaby”.
Ms Albert is currently serving as Chair Of The National Board Of Trustees Of The Recording Academy, the GRAMMY organization. She is the first independent artist and only the 2nd woman to reach this position. In addition, Christine is the founder and president of Swan Songs, a central Texas area non-profit organization that fulfills musical last wishes for the terminally ill and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this album support Swan Songs.
Produced by Chris and Christine in their own MoonHouse Studio, “Everything’s Beautiful Now” features Gage's instrumental gifts on piano, B3, acoustic and electric guitars, accordion, harmonies and more. The Austin sound is reinforced by Lloyd Maines on dobro, Kym Warner (The Greencards) on mandolin, Kim Deschamps on pedal steel, bassists Glenn Fukunaga and David Carroll, and drummer Paul Pearcy. Vocalist Kira Small's harmony is simply beauful.
The Jerry Jeff Walker-Christine Albert composion "Old New Mexico" tells the true story of Christine's leap of faith when she left Santa Fe for Austin and she is joined by Jerry Jeff and Eliza Gilkyson, a close friend and fellow New Mexico transplant. “Lean My Way” revives an old Shake Russell and Dana Cooper song with duet vocals by Christine’s son Troupe Gammage, lead singer of indie synth-pop band Speak.
This is not an album that a 20 year old would record, but is an authentic exploration of a rite of passage we all experience when we reach a certain age. "I needed to record these songs for my own healing. My hope is that others will also be comforted in some way".
After 3 albums with her own songs, the Swedish country music singer and songwriter Cina Samuelson is now releasing her new album "Roots & Memories". This album is a collection of songs from some of the artists that Cina listened to as a little girl and who inspired her to become a country music singer.
”One summer evening when I was 7 years old, my aunt introduced me to country music. At that time I couldn’t speak a word of English, but the music caught my heart, and since that evening I have been a huge fan of this wonderful music. This retro album is a collection of songs from some of the artists that inspired me to become a country music singer. And as they did in the good old days, me and 7 fantastic musicians recorded these songs live together, and it was two of the most wonderful days I’ve ever had in a recording studio. I truly hope that these songs will catch your heart as they once caught mine!" ~ Cina
Here is an extract from an authentic conversation between two seasoned, highly professional psychotherapists, currently on the board of experts, manipulating Citizen K towards relative well-being:
Shrink A: So, what’s he really up to now, our poor Citizen?
Shrink B: Well, the last time I checked him, he was suffering from wild hallucinations.
Shrink A: Oh, indeed?
Shrink B: Yes, really bad this time. He kept repeating that he was the king of second thoughts over and over.
Shrink A: What second thoughts?
Shrink B: I don’t know, really. He just kept saying it. He actually sang it. Did you know he could sing?
Shrink A: Never heard of. To me, it’s a giant step forward that he even speaks.
Shrink B: Oh, he sang beautifully this morning, but anyway, I decided to do something rather radical. I actually tried the eyepad on him.
Shrink A: You did what!
Shrink B: I plugged him into the eyepad. It’s completely unharmful to the patient.
Shrink A: Uh?
Shrink B: I just knew the perfect moment would come and I think this was, actually. Two remarkable things happened.
At this point, Shrink A looked so sceptical and troubled that his friend nearly dropped the subject. Instead, he commanded him to just calm down and listen.
Shrink B: Let me explain what happened. When I held the eyepad against Citizen’s forehead, I noticed that he came around very quickly. Within seconds, he was clear and, at least seemingly fully recovered. He asked where his friends were. He mentioned Citizen A, Kim, Walka and this shady record label, Paraply Records, I think it was called.
Shrink A: Unbelievable! That’s really a giant step forward!
Shrink B: Yes, but I still haven’t told you what happened next.
Shrink A, who’d been so sceptical only seconds ago, was now so jazzed that he could hardly stand still. In sheer excitatement, he nearly knocked over a table filled with bottles, containing a variety of medical substances, but his friend came to his (and even more important, the medicine’s) rescue.
Shrink B: Careful!
Shrink A: I’m sorry. Did he tell you anything more?
Shrink B: No, not really. Only that he was dying to fulfill this album he’s been dreaming up since 2009 or something, a double set this time! But I still haven’t told you the most incredible part of this encounter.
Shrink A: Tell me.
Shrink B: You know, when I glanced at the eyepad, having held it still to Citizen’s forehead for, well, perhaps twenty seconds, and there were three documents that hadn’t been there before.
Shrink A: Three documents!
Shrink B: You heard right! Three new documents!
Shrink A: So now, you can actually prove that this dream magnet really works!
Shrink B: Yes, absolutely! I have the documents here in my laptop now. They sound like real studio recordings to me.
Shrink A: Put them on! I still can’t believe I’m actually the first outside person in the world to hear the actual sound of a dream!
Shrink B: Oh, you just wait. You won’t believe this.
Only seconds after this conversation, three brand-new Citizen K songs – “King Of Second Thoughts”, “So This Is Life (I Didn’t Know)” and “Something Truly Magic” – came roaring out of the speakers. The utterly ridiculous idea of even considering hacking into somebody’s brain in order to find audible contents of one, or even many dreams, and then saving it all on a small gadget called “The Dream Magnet”, or as Shrink B put it, “The Eyepad”, obviously worked.
Would you like to hear the exact sound of Citizen K's dreams too? If so, just go and find the EP “King Of Second Thoughts”. It consists of 3 exerpts from "Second Thoughts", a comprehensive double album due for release later this year. With some help from multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer Tobias Walka, musician and girlfriend Annika Larsen, singer Johanna Lillvik and drummer Kim Gunneriusson among others, Klas Qvist a.k.a. Citizen K obviously not only dreamed this up. Somewhere along the way, the dreams were stolen and copied.
In a matter of days, the above mentioned three songs can be bought and heard. Before your second thoughts tell you something else, tap right into the unique dream world of Citizen K. You won’t regret it!
“If Lucinda Williams grew up on Yo La Tengo ballads instead of Hank Williams blues, she’d sound something like Clare Burson.”—The Riverfront Times
Armed with a voice that The Nashville Rage praises as “a breeze whispering through soft curtains . . . rumpled, a little seductive, and highly musical,” Tennessee native Clare Burson will release her second full-length album on August 21. The new album, Thieves, follows her critically acclaimed 2003 release The In-Between and her two previous Eps, Undone and Idaho.
Inspired by her relocation from Nashville to Brooklyn, Thieves reflects Burson’s newfound perspective on music, centered on the desire to write and perform solely for the joy of writing and performing. Recorded in a friend’s Brooklyn brownstone with the windows open, the album contains an organic and effortlessness sensibility. In addition to the collaboration with Nashville based producer Fognode (Sarah Siskind, Cortney Tidwell), the album also features instrumental contribution from Joe McMahan, James Digirolamo and Travis Vance.
From 2001-2005, Burson was actively involved in a tight knit group of Nashville producers, players and writers whose credits include Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, John Prine, Matthew Ryan, Josh Rouse, and Alison Krauss. During this time, Grammy® nominated Irish singer Maura O’Connell rerecorded Clare’s song “Hold On” for her 2004 Sugar Hill release, Don’t I Know. Furthermore, Burson’s music has been featured on the ABC drama, “Six Degrees” as well as the WB’s “Dawson’s Creek.”
Burson will begin a nationwide tour in Georgia on July 10.
"New Orleans", the new release from Clarence Bucaro due October 26, 2009, on Hyena Records is a set of 10 timeless songs brought to life by the 28 year old singer/songwriter’s stunning falsetto vocals infused with the flowing spirit of the Big Easy. "New Orleans", named after the city where it was written and recorded, was produced by Anders Osborne and features a stellar ensemble, including Kirk Joseph (founding member of Dirty Dozen Brass Band), Doug Belote and Mike Burkhart. Dripping with romance, despair and the restlessness of youth, it documents an intense love affair with the enchanting Crescent City as a backdrop.
Clarence Bucaro, a Cleveland Ohio native, moved to New Orleans in 2004 after a long two-year haul touring the U.S. and Europe and hiking the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. He intended to soak up its rich culture and make music with his mentor and collaborator Anders Osborne. Soon thereafter, Bucaro found himself enmeshed in a relationship. The combination of both his new love and home opened the creative floodgates. The results culminated in recording this collection of freshly penned songs in a single six-hour session. Bucaro abandoned the project, however, immediately after laying the tracks to tape, the personal nature of the material weighing heavy on him. Soon thereafter, he would head west to Los Angeles to find new direction before eventually settling a year later in New York City. After the 2008 release of his critically acclaimed "‘Til Spring", Bucaro decided to open up the material from the “New Orleans” session, going on to complete it and now share it for release.
The final results are 10 intimate songs that range from the sweet syncopated soul of “Let Me Let Go of You” to the skewed rocker “The Other End,” the pleading gospel-tinged “Light in Your Eyes” to the intimate ballads “Matters of the Heart,” “On My Coast” and “Abandoned Mine.” The warm tone of the recording paired with Bucaro’s love worn lyrics and heartfelt delivery call to mind artists like Jackson Browne and Van Morrison, but never impeding on his uniqueness as an artist.
In support of the October 26th street date, Clarence will be touring both nationally and internationally to introduce the songs of "New Orleans" to new fans, and showcase its material to old fans.
Named after one of the oldest bars in Los Angeles, The Coals play heartfelt California country folk. Their rollicking, pastoral sound sometimes evokes The Band, while at other times their sparse arrangements spotlight the intimate lyrics of singer and songwriter Jason Mandell. LA Weekly called The Coals “a rare and beautiful thing to behold”.
In the summer of 2013 the group will release its second album, "A Happy Animal". With Mandell’s delivery sounding more Dylanesque than ever, the album finds The Coals mixing traditional Americana with some playful mariachi and New Orleans influences. Though it’s just 22 minutes long, the record is a memorable journey through love’s ups and downs.
The Coals have opened for respected alt-country artists including Gillian Welch, Tim Easton and I See Hawks in LA. Their 2010 debut album, "Bring Your Love On Back", features guest vocals by Sara Watkins. One of the album’s tunes, “I Wanted A Lover, I Needed A Friend”, was featured in the video game “Silent Hill: Downpour.” (Interesting fact; The game’s soundtrack also includes a song by Kris Kristofferson, a major influence on The Coals who also attended the same college as Mandell, some 40 years earlier).
Rather than drown in melancholy or teeter on the tightrope of joy, The Coals embrace light and darkness. The spirit of the band might be best summed up by a line from a Leonard Cohen poem, which inspired the title of their new album: “Let me be for a moment, in this miserable and bewildering wretchedness, a happy animal”.
The Coal Porters
Living in London has its advantages for an Kentuckian ex-pat like Sid Griffin. You get to drink strong beer, the town reeks of history, and being American gives you a decided advantage in the European alt-country scene. After all, Sid helped invent alt-country with his first band, the Long Ryders, back in 1980's Los Angeles. In the ensuing years, Griffin has pioneered a new genre, “alt-bluegrass”.
"Find The One", the 5th album by his band, the Coal Porters, was produced by English folk-rock legend John Wood (Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Beth Orton, Squeeze). The album will be released on September 18, 2012. Two installments of a ten-minute film about the Coal Porters will be uploaded to YouTube in August.
Recorded in north London studios once used by the likes of the Clash and Queen, the new album contains five new Griffin songs. Guitarist Neil Robert Herd added three brilliant tunes to the pot, fiddler Carly Frey contributed two songs that, according to Griffin, “wed acoustic folk with the Left Banke’s ‘Walk Away Renee'." The band’s longtime encore “Paint It Black” finally got recorded, with a sitarist evoking the Rolling Stones original. Also included is an acoustic, campfire-style take on David Bowie’s “Heroes”.
In addition, two legendary guests make quite different but equally wonderful appearances on "Find The One". Folk-rock guitar hero Richard Thompson plays on Sid’s new song “Hush U Babe”, a harrowing tale of escape from Dixie via the Underground Railroad. And British DJ Brian Matthew, most familiar to Americans as the voice introducing the Beatles on more than a dozen of their live sessions for BBC radio, performed the same chore for the Coal Porters, introducing Griffin’s song “Ask Me Again”.
The Coal Porters started as an electric band, “kinda a Long Ryders-lite” according to Griffin. But a decade ago Griffin produced an album for U.K. folk-rockers Lindisfarne and he caught the acoustic folk music bug. With guitarist Herd riding shotgun the duo revamped the Coal Porters as a mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar and doghouse bass act — no amps, no drums but lots of harmonies and hot soloing. “Our live fees went up, our gig calendar became crammed... I dunno, why I didn’t think of it earlier?”, laughs Griffin today.
In the past decade, Griffin has started a family, written and published three books, heard his scripts performed on late night BBC national radio, toured, toured some more, and learned his Coal Porters can affect an audience with great songs, harmonies and not much volume needed.
“My music has the same passion it always did”, states Griffin, “It is still anthemic as it was when I sang ‘Looking For Lewis & Clark’. But now I find myself playing to audiences who are intensely listening, and who pay rapt attention. For any artist such devout attention is so terrific. It is such a blessing. I am grateful to receive it. With 'Find The One' the Coal Porters are paying back that devotion. And I hope you can hear it on the record too”.
The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men
“The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men have developed a sound that has an easy rock vibe that's actually hip” ~ SF Chronicle
The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men are five young men from the Santa Cruz Mountains. They play a style of music that is rock and roll in the most classic sense. Melodic, rootsy and heartfelt, the songwriting duo of Jamie and Kellen show an obvious love for a bygone era of music and for groups like the Beatles, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Neil Young & Crazy Horse, as well as a sense of maturity and experience beyond their years.
Colin Gilmore is about to release his 3rd full-length album, “The Wild & Hollow”. Recorded and produced in Chicago and Austin by Tim Bennett and Rob Seidenberg respectively, Gilmore’s new release brings to life the inspiration the two cities gave him. Merging an ethereal folk rock sound with traditional roots, blues and country, “The Wild & Hollow” is a worthy follow-up to his previous album, the critically acclaimed “Goodnight Lane (4 stars in Mojo and Uncut!).
On this new release, Gilmore's collaboration with his band mates and producers created a truly memorable album which allows influences like Roy Orbison and Tom Petty to shine through.
Gilmore grew up in Lubbock TX, witnessing songwriters like Joe Ely, Terry Allen and his own father, Jimmie Dale Gilmore bring the stage to life. Touring and recording under his own name for the past several years, Gilmore has consistently incorporated the spirit of West Texas into his work. His live shows have earned him an enthusiastic fan base all over the world and his songs have garnered spins on radio stations across the US.
Dolly Parton once famously said, "There are only three female singers in the world; Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt and Connie Smith. The rest of us are only pretending". That's perhaps one reason new music from longtime Grand Ole Opry member Connie Smith can be celebrated as an "event." Of course, the other reason might just be that the last album Connie released came nearly 13 years ago - and its predecessor arrived in 1978.
'Long Line of Heartaches,' Connie's 54th album, is set for release on Sugar Hill Records on August 23. The collection promises to be business as usual for the country singer whose most memorable hits include 'Cincinnati, Ohio,' 'Just One Time' and the record-setting 'Once A Day.' That 1964 smash, written by Bill Anderson, spent eight weeks at No. 1, becoming the first debut hit by a female artist to ever top the chart. The new album, she declares, will continue in the traditional vein.
"I've had people ask me what this album was going to be like", says Connie, "since it's been a long time since they've heard me on record. But my musical tastes have remained the same. I wanted this to be traditional country, and it is. I have such a deep love for traditional country music. We can talk about the music slipping away, or we can do something about it. The only way I know to do something about it is to keep singing what I've always loved".
Recorded at Nashville's legendary RCA Studio B, where most of Connie's best-known hits were also cut, the upcoming album will include five new songs co-written by Connie and her husband Marty Stuart, who also produced the collection. The remainder of the songs on the album come from iconic songwriters such as Harlan Howard, Johnny Russell and Kostas. Of special note is 'A Heart Like You,' penned by Dallas Frazier, writer of such classics as the Oak Ridge Boys smash, 'Elvira'. 'A Heart Like You' is the 69th Dallas Frazier tune that Connie has recorded. It's also the first new tune from Frazier in 30 years.
In another first, Connie and her three daughters, Julie, Jeanne and Jodi, harmonize on the contemporary hymn, 'Take My Hand'.
'Long Line of Heartaches' is due in stores from Sugar Hill Records August 23rd, 2011.
The Cousin John Band
The Cousin John Band is John Mobley, Dave Obrien, Tim Howe and Joe Goltz. CJB music is a hot mixture of folk, country, blues and tight harmony. It tastes just right, there is no genre for this, so its perfect for the band's irreverent attitude, you could call it americana.....
In live shows, CJB often covers music from artists such as the Rolling Stones, Little Feat, Allman Brothers band, Delbert McClinton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and the Eagles. Original music ranges from country to blues rock, to ballads, and a touch of funk. The diverse mix of music, great sound, and fun atmosphere keep the crowds on their feet until the very last note.
CJB just released their 2nd studio album, "Broken Heart Tattoo". Fans had waited two years for this project to complete, and it turned out to be worth the wait! The release of the (finally) finished album was a huge success, as the new music had begun to blaze brightly upon the roots-music scene, garnering raves from notable press like That Music Magazine, Middle Tennessee Music Magazine and Musician Weekly.
CJB hopes to complete a series of live videos later in the year, so stay tuned!
Craig Bickhardt’s new CD "Brother To The Wind" contains some of the best work he has done in a long career dedicated to ennobling the art of song. One listen and you'll be reminded of the days when artists like James Taylor, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot were pioneering the singer-songwriter genre.
"Music used to change people,” Bickhardt notes. “Records used to be made for careful listeners who read the lyrics and talked about the songs, interpreted their meanings. That’s the kind of music I relate to.” Craig is following in the footsteps of his admired predecessors.
For this project, Bickhardt dug deep into his 800-tune catalog. The record contains songs that have already proven their strength, having been recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Tony Rice, Charlie Louvin and others.
But Craig is not merely a tunesmith capitalizing on his thoroughbred discography. These songs are highly artistic, and throughout his extraordinary career he has picked up many believers among the better artists of his generation. You can hear them “sitting in” on nearly every cut of the new CD; Janis Ian, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Terri Hendrix, Lloyd Maines, John Mock, Tim O'Brien, Darrell Scott, Maura O'Connell, Rusty Young, Jack Sundrud and a host of others.
"I wanted to include some of the artists and friends I've known and respected on this CD. You get to a point where you realize you don't have forever in this world. It's time to do the things I've put off, and one of those things is to sing and pick with these great people I've met and admired,” Craig says.
The Native Pennsylvanian’s big break came in 1982 when he was chosen to write and sing two songs for Robert Duvall's Academy Award winning film "Tender Mercies". In the wake of that film’s success, Craig made his move to Nashville where his songs found their way onto platinum and Grammy winning CDs by legends such as Ray Charles, B. B. King, Martina McBride, The Judds, and Dianne Schuur. Along with his friends and collaborators Thom Schuyler, Fred Knobloch and Don Schlitz, Craig was one of the original Writers In The Round at The Bluebird Café. He went on to have three hits as an artist when he joined Schuyler and Knobloch to make their SKB CD 'No Easy Horses' for MTM Records, which yielded Craig's chart topper "Givers And Takers".
In 2006 Bickhardt made the bold move to leave Nashville and return to the concert stage and to his roots in eastern Pennsylvania. Since his move he has shared the stage with Kathy Mattea, Judy Collins, Billy Joe Shaver, Livingston Taylor, and Janis Ian among others. His performance at the 2008 Philadelphia Folk Festival prompted the concert’s promoter Jesse Lundy to say, “Craig Bickhardt stands among the giants of songwriting. His main stage show at this year's Philly Folk Festival was absolutely outstanding.”
Craig Cassler is an independent singer songwriter musician who started his career in San Diego, CA, but now calls Boston, MA, home. His new album, "Back To You", is his 4th full-length album. This new release has strong acoustic influences of folk, country, and rock. Craig’s music has been compared to Jack Johnson, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, among others. All songs are radio friendly. Craig will be playing gigs at radio stations, bars, and clubs in the North East USA in support of his new album.
The new album “Dear Elvis” by Vanishing Castle artist Cris Cuddy marks a jubilant return to his rock'n'roll roots and this collection harkens back to his several recordings with trail-blazing roots rockers Max Mouse and the Gorillas, who answered that age old question “Can A Gorilla Sing The Blues” with a mighty howl which former Spin Magazine Editor Glenn O'Brien labelled “tortured-with-a-twist-honkey-soul-twang”.
Cuddy's previous 3 mellower acoustic CD's have seen his songs recorded by artists as diverse as americana and bluegrass artists Jim Hurst (ex-Claire Lynch sidekick) who ripped it up with his firey version of “Long And Lonesome Old Freight Train”, The Spinney Bros who chose the moving “Sally’s Waltz”, in addition to Prairie Oyster who aced “Tom Cat” and “Long and Lonesome”, and songwriting great and mentor Mickey Newbury who used Cris’s “What If Frankie Doesn’t Like It” (and yes, it's about "Old Blue Eyes") as a segue on his masterful “Long Road Home”. And there are more in the works...
“As Usual The Unusual” this CD veers from the summer dance fun of “Here Comes Summer” and the exuberant ode to a rockabilly queen “Starlene”, on through the bluesy “Tom Cat” featuring the great Gene Taylor on the keys, to the brooding sensuality of “I'm A Cadillac”, the rollicking “Rock'n'Roll History” with Gene and guitar whiz Albert Lee, the trance-like Stonesy 12 string beauty of “Magic Girl”, with a few more stops in between, including the deep bayou vibe of “Friday Night”, featuring Roly Platt's wailing harp, all leading up to the dreamy, heart-breaking ballad “Dear Elvis”.
This collection features a dazzling cast of musicians including East Nashville's George “Tonechap” Bradfute (Webb Wilder, Paul Burch), the non pareil piano of Gene Taylor (Fabulous Thunderbirds), multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin (touring with Jack White), Andrew Hardin, Roly Platt, Steve Briggs, Rusty McCarthy and many more.
As with his previous recordings Cuddy’s ace harmonica pal Roly Platt has used his graphic artist skills to produce another stunning cover from a striking image by videographer and musician Sherine Cisco, as well as blowing the top off “Friday Night”.
After a 20-year hiatus, Nashville-based string band, The Crows, are back together making music. The Crows are Sue Braswell, Jack Sundrud and Keith Miles, with assistance from a host of pickers from around the country. The band garnered a loyal following around Nashville and beyond in the late 80's and early 90's with their unique brand of tongue-in-cheek acoustic music.
The group has remastered and re-released their 1991 album, “One Flew Over The Cornfield”, and are working on a new album with a Christmas, 2011 release planned. The 1991 album was recorded live in Burns, Tennessee.
“We gathered up some of our good friends, hung a few microphones around the room and hit the Record button”, said Miles. “No overdubs, no sweetening. Just music straight out of the box. Then we apparently went on a 20-year vacation”.
Not that the performance break meant all musical endeavors were shelved. Sundrud, who was part of the country group Great Plains in the early 90's, continued to work on his own music career, releasing two solo albums, co-writing hit songs and performing as a member of Poco.
The three penned the song, “Iola”, which was recorded by Great Plains, as was “Homeland,” which was written by Sundrud and Miles. Country legend Kenny Rogers also recorded “Homeland” on his album, “There You Go Again”.
Miles released two solo albums, with Sundrud as producer and co-writer. His 2008 release, “Beyond The Headlights”, made several best-of Americana lists in Europe. Miles also contributed to a compilation album – “I Like It Better Here – Music From Home,” released by Hemifran in Sweden in 2010, and he and Sundrud offered another song for the anticipated 2011 release, “That Thing That’s a Whole Lot Bigger Than This – Hymns From Home”.
The Crows are currently booking shows to re-introduce their music to the world.
Crosby Stills Nash & Young
There's been tributes to The Byrds, The Buffalo Springfield and The Hollies. There's been several tributes to Neil Young. There's even been a tribute to Graham Nash's album "Songs For Beginners". But there has never been a tribute to the collective body of work of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Until now!
On October 16th, 2012, Sweden's Hemifrån and Italy's Route 61 Music releases "Music Is Love - A Singer-Songwriters' Tribute To The Music Of Crosby Stills Nash & Young.
The album features, not only several musicians from the inner circle of CSN&Y (Stephen Stills' former girlfriend Judy Collins and daughter Jennifer Stills, Anthony Crawford and Rick Rosas from Neil Young's Electric Band, Sonny Mone from Crazy Horse, David Crosby's guitarist Marcus Eaton and vocal favorites Venice), but also some cool names from the 70's (Karla Bonoff, Elliott Murphy, Willie Nile, Wendy Waldman), some interesting names from the 80's (Sid Griffin from Long Ryders, Ian McNabb from Icicle Works, Liam O'Maonlai from Hothouse Flowers, Steve Wynn from Dream Syndicate), as well as some new-up-and-coming names from the alt country scene in the U.S. (Clarence Bucaro, Neal Casal, Carrie Rodriguez).
The liner notes are penned by Dave Zimmer (author of two official books on CSN and CSNY), and CSN&Y's official photographer Henry Diltz offers some unpublished photos from his vast archives.