Carolyn AlRoy grew up in Princeton, NJ, home of eclectic oddballs and intellectual misfits. She went to Rutgers to study acting, but ended up becoming a poet. She studied with poet Laureate Robert Pinski, doing readings throughout the New York City area throughout the 90’s until she began pursing her doctorate as a licensed psychotherapist and writing songs. “The process of songwriting is similar to therapy”, according to AlRoy. “When I hear patients use unusual language, it makes me stop and ask questions… The language holds something that is not directly expressed, but is tangible”. She has a private practice in Manhattan where she helps people with their inner demons during the day before showing off her own in New York clubs by night.
"Gorgeous Enormous" is AlRoy’s debut album, and is co-produced by singer-songwriter Matt Keating and indie rock producer Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). The album is a breath of fresh air - Familiar but completely original, and as addictive as a controlled substance. The songs on "Gorgeous Enormous" are influenced by artists such as Crowded House, Matthew Sweet, Roseanne Cash and Cowboy Junkies.
AlRoy’s music vacillates between upbeat power-pop numbers with jangly guitars and quietly lilting folk ballads. Featuring an all-star band including drums by Mark Brotter from HEM, bass by Jason Mercer (Ron Sexsmith, Ani DiFranco), and Matt Keating on almost everything else, AlRoy’s songs alternately shine with exuberance and melancholy.
Her cover of “Helter Skelter” ranks up there as one of the best Beatles covers ever, with it’s subversive take on that 60’s classic.
New mini-album "Through A Screen Door Darkly" has just been released.
As a solo artist and with his three piece backing band ‘The True Believers’, Carus Thompson has sold over 30,000 CDs independently, supported luminaries such as Dave Matthews, Damien Rice, Jack Johnson, John Butler and The Waifs and been a regular at many of the major festivals.
Having toured the world relentlessly for the last ten years, Carus continues to garner substantial followings in the U.K, Germany, France and Australia. Carus Thompson’s latest album “Creature Of Habit”, his most acclaimed offering to date, sees him leave The True Believers behind, setting out to make a record that rested on one foundation – the strength of his song writing. Produced by Greg Arnold and mixed in Nashville by Brad Jones (Josh Rouse, Bob Evans) worldwide, “Creature Of Habit” reviews have been stellar.
A recent 35 show European tour saw Carus playing to over 2000 people on the Germany leg alone. His most successful European trip yet, Carus has fostered a European fan base via thrice yearly tours. 'Long Time', the first single lifted from the album in Germany has also gone Top 40 in the German National College Radio charts.
After a successful Australian album launch tour last month, Carus has just announced dates for his 'Doing Time' Australian tour. 'Doing Time' is the latest single lifted from “Creature Of Habit” and was co-written with Neil Murray; ex Warumpi Band member & writer of "My Island Home".
Accompanied by Andrew Darling on trumpet and The Waif’s Ben Franz on double bass, The 'Doing Time' tour live’s up to it’s name, seeing Carus & co play a massive 28 shows nationwide. Long renowned as an enigmatic, passionate performer, especially in an acoustic setting, the shows promise to see Carus’ ever-growing crowds build even further as fans and critics alike spot an artist who’s exactly where he needs to be.
Cassis & The Sympathies
“Keep an eye on Cassis. Her band is taking pop to new places.” - Rolling Stone
Hailing from a tiny Black Forest village, New York-based Cassis’ new CD, "ANALOG LOVE" – itself a labor of love seven years in the making – fuses Cassis’ passion for scoring films and penning cinematic songs. Cinematic connections permeate "ANALOG LOVE".
‘River’ springs from Cassis scouting locations in the Oregon wilderness for Jim Jarmusch’s masterpiece, ‘Dead Man’. Working with Jarmusch for years, Cassis had earlier produced the Cannes Palme D’ Or winning segment of 'Coffee & Cigarettes', the one with two of Cassis’ inspirations - Tom Waits & Iggy Pop.
‘Girltime’ anchors the soundtrack for the Oscar-nominated film ‘Ferry Tales’ and ‘Open The Blinds Of One Heart’ is the end credit song for ‘About A Girl (Die Boxerin)’, the prize-winning feature about an ambitious female boxer. Peter Patzak’s 'Zodiac Sign (Sternzeichen)' has the upbeat ‘I’ll Sue You’ in the soundtrack. A big fan of Cassis, Peter also directed a ½ hour documentary about Cassis that played on national German television.
Finally, several lush instrumental tracks from the wistful documentary ‘Living Lightly’ tie together all the songs on "ANALOG LOVE".
A transatlantic production, notable contributors are many, among them the legendary studio session team of Herbie Flowers, bassist for David Bowie and also Lou Reed’s ‘Walk On The Wild Side’, and ‘Guitar God’ Chris Spedding. Malcolm Mortimore, drummer for Ian Dury, also makes an appearance. Their cover of ’96 Tears’ with Cassis is a funky, accordion-driven, anti-war bonus track.
Sometimes gritty, sometimes ethereal, sometimes playful, always warm, Cassis’ voice is often compared to Nico and Bjork, while her punchy yet playful delivery is reminiscent of Tori Amos. Love, loss, heartache and hope are the themes that Cassis here digs deep into, often with her spritely sense of humor, and spins new lyrical gold.
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.
Charley Cruz & The Lost Souls
One time it's a slow and tear-jerking ballad about a long-lost love portrayed in melancholy tones... The other a rocking and electrifying uptempo country blues... Charley Cruz & The Lost Souls don't like musical parochialism. Ron Cruz (drums, vocals), DJ Ciggaar (bass, vocals), Jerry Brown (guitar, vocals) and Charley Cruz (vocals, guitar) travel the country-blues-pop-rock road equipped with a convincingly diverse musical outlook.
After the release of their album "Life On The Edge" in 2005 they have gigged almost everywhere in Holland. Successful as the supporting act of Dwight Yoakam, The Hacienda Brothers, The Drams, Chatham County Line, Patricia Vonne, Frank Carillo & The Bandoleros and many, many others.
Their new album "The Last Warrior" has just been released by Sonic Rendezvous.
Austin singer-songwriter Charlie Faye has just released her debut album 'Wilson St'.
Showcasing her sultry voice, the release also demonstrates Charlie Faye’s extraordinary ability to capture the American experience as a songwriter. Aptly named, 'Wilson St', is much more than an album title or even a street name to Charlie Faye; it is a beautiful tapestry of her experiences across this country, from New York to Texas, sewn together through lyric and melody over state lines.
After making a name for herself in her hometown of New York playing with her band the Jerks and touring as a sideman with Dan Zanes and Friends, Charlie Faye moved to Austin in search of a change of scenery and some new inspiration. She was quickly enveloped by Austin’s vibrant local music scene and found herself collaborating with local and traveling musicians alike. She came looking for a community, and between music-filled nights and afternoon barbeques, that’s exactly what she found. In the process, she became a rising star in the Live Music Capital of the World.
On 'Wilson Street' in Austin, Charlie Faye found her home, as well as her cause, among the run-down cottages that served for decades as a sanctuary for the city’s musicians. When the neighborhood was to be destroyed by a local developer, Charlie single-handedly fought back and devised a plan to relocate the affordable cottages instead. She had discovered magic in that musical enclave, a magic that had been present for generations, and she was not willing to let it go. Her community needed her to save it and she rose to the challenge. An Austinite for two short years, Charlie’s undeniable presence has already left a mark, both on 'Wilson Street' and city wide, through music and activism.
Many of the songs on 'Wilson St' were composed on Charlie’s old Gibson in her cottage on that very street and, in true bohemia fashion, are organic and candid. Album standouts include “Runaround,” a roll the windows down summer hit that speaks to the uncertainty of young love; “Coward’s Lament,” a wistful, crooning tale of love’s weakness; and “Bottletops,” a story of the passing of time by a lonely character, ready to tell his story over a jug of wine. These songs are a reflection of Charlie’s experiences. They are songs about real people and real places that have changed her life.
Charlie Faye understands that her artistic truth is achieved through a connection to those around her. Through her new home of Austin, the beloved Wilson Street and unconventional tour schedule, Faye will nurture relationships. 'Wilson St' is only the beginning.
Few bands boast such a will to succeed, to create, that they can surmount any obstacle placed in front of them. For Chasing Gravity this is second nature, as the band have overcome the usually-crippling blows of, firstly, a name change (from when they were based in Brisbane as Elephant Mojo) and, secondly, losing two founding members. Not many bands would walk the high, hard road back into the musical fold, but Chasing Gravity, with an album already recorded, are the one band you’d never pin down for the count.
In terms of talent and ambition, too many bands burn too brightly, too quickly, whereas Chasing Gravity have turned this to their own advantage. Their brand of highly-charged rock is a sweeping testament to their durability, their drive, their burning desire to simply create the best music they can. Their ambition actually matches their talent, and their self-financed, independently released debut album 'Autumn In The Platinum Desert' reflects that perfectly. It’s the sound of a band finally comfortable with the music they’re creating, and now, with two new members, they’re finally content in their own skin, content in making Chasing Gravity more than the sum of its parts.
Having began life as Elephant Mojo in Brisbane in 2003, the band discarded that limiting persona and reinvented themselves both philosophically and musically, moving to Melbourne and re-emerging as Chasing Gravity. They gave up their jobs, their binding ties and their lives and it was a move that quickly paid dividends. They created a studio in their new house and simply rehearsed and wrote the songs that would end up forming their debut album 'Autumn In The Platinum Desert'. Financing the record was done the old fashioned way – show after show after show was played in a seemingly never ending tour. But the work was worth it, as 'Autumn In The Platinum Desert' is the professional opening salvo from an immensely professional band.
Melodic rock is rarely done in such a way that it captures the essence of what rock ‘n’ roll sets out to personify. Chasing Gravity are powerful, transformational and always engaging in their subject. This is because their subject matter hinges on the essence of what makes us human: our interactions, our relationships, our way of interpreting the actions and words of others. There’s a gravity (pun intended) to the way they approach relating music to life, and it’s more than clear with the sheer empowerment behind the charging 'Bright Lights', torch-bearing title-track and grinding power-rock of 'Latest Enemy'.
Chasing Gravity are powerful, anthemic, hook-driven guitar-rock, of a gene pool that would leave many a wannabe-rockstar shaking in their boots at their sheer emotive resonance... but Chasing Gravity will do more than that. Chasing Gravity aren’t here simply to rock your foundations; they’re here to move you. With a new line up, a killer record and only more scintillating rock to come, move you they will.
Acclaimed U.S. singer-songwriter Chet Nichols is an award-winning creative director, songwriter, composer, music producer, engineer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, film producer, animation producer, creative artist, designer, photographer, novelist, poet, TV and feature film actor and stage performer.
He has produced 14 CD's over his life of original material. He has produced music that has been used in films, television and radio. His novel, “The Last Riders On Route 66”, is currently in development to become a feature film. His movie script, “The Ghosts Of Santa Barbara” is also currently in development to become a feature film. His newest novel, “The Judas Tree”, will soon be available for purchase.
Chet has just released a new singer-songwriter CD, “Walking In Circles”. It is filled with unique stories and is a blend of folk, rock, pop and world music. The title tune, “Walking In Circles”, just won the 'Broadjam Lyric Writing Contest'.
John Fahey once called Chet 'America’s best acoustic guitarist'. Chet is a living, breathing renaissance man with a big heart, a love for planet Earth, a bottomless sense of humor and an amazing zest for the creative arts.
"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.
From Colorado’s front range, to Belgium, to Massachusetts, to Washington, DC, to Santa Fe, and eventually on to California, Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Chris Laterzo has never quite settled down. Chris’ songs evoke this same restless spirit- the wanderer, the nomadic soul, and the traveler. He is an artist whose music evokes the open road, and whose style is often described as folk-rock, alt-country, or even American cowboy rock. Chris was drawn at an early age to music by the likes of Elton John, Cat Stevens and Neil Young. By his late teens, Chris had picked up the guitar and soon after began to develop a passion for songwriting.
In 1997, Chris released his debut album 'American River'. Co-produced by Laterzo and Denny Weston Jr, the 'L.A. Music Connection' called it “an engaging collection of American folk rock, and the essence of a rustic album”. After two years of playing the local scene and touring throughout California and the Southwest, Chris garnered solid album reviews, as well as airplay on both NPR and small market stations.
For his 2nd album 'WaterKing', Laterzo teamed up again with producer Denny Weston along with producer Ty Stevens. The core band for this album included notable talents such as Tad Wadhams (Sheryl Crow) on bass, Hank Linderman (America, Timothy B. Schmitt) on electric guitar, and Buck Johnson (Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins) on organ. Released in late 2000, 'WaterKing’s' eleven original songs weave among the boundaries of rock, folk, and alternative country.
Touring over the last few years through the Southwest - and most notably his tours in Europe - has brought Laterzo many new fans. Chris has been a featured artist on ASCAP’s ‘Quiet on the Set’ and the musical guest on the number one national television talk show in The Netherlands ‘Barend en van Dorp’.
The fall of 2004 brought the release of 'Driftwood', Chris’ 3rd album. In realizing 'Driftwood', Laterzo opted to take on full production and engineering responsibilities. Chris admits that in recording 'Driftwood', “the end result is that I achieved exactly what I had envisioned - an album that has a homegrown and live-in-the studio band vibe. I specifically kept the instrumentation simple (drums, bass, guitars, piano, pedal steel) and strictly ruled out layering guitar tracks and the use of all the bells and whistles”.
March 2009 brings the latest album by Chris Laterzo, 'Juniper & Pinon'. Basic tracks for the album were recorded at Sonora Studio in Glendale, California with overdubs being recorded in a variety of locations. “Many of the vocal tracks, including two solo acoustic numbers, were recorded over two days in a suite at The Joshua Tree Inn. For bass and drums on ‘Hacienda’ and ‘Senorita Sunshine’ we returned to Joshua Tree, CA, where we rented a house and set up all the recording gear. The high desert offered an ideal setting for making this record, and we were able to capture some great moments”, Laterzo said.
Co-produced by Laterzo and Jeff LeGore, 'Juniper & Pinon' consists of nine Laterzo compositions and an alt-country version of Elton John’s ‘Holiday Inn’. The album features Laterzo with his band Buffalo Robe, and includes several solo acoustic numbers as well. Some highlights include the electric guitar driven ‘Misfit Child’, the breezy pedal steel laced title track, and the ballad ‘Woman’.
Expect to see Laterzo continue to tour through the Southwest and California, with a return to Europe later in the year.
'Juniper & Pinon' available here.
Moonhouse Records is proud to announce the release of “Christine Albert – Paris, Texafrance”. This is the third in Ms. Albert’s acclaimed “Texafrance” series of recordings that celebrate her love of French chansons, European heritage and Texas musical roots. Produced by Albert’s husband/partner Chris Gage (together they are well known as the Austin based Americana duo Albert and Gage), the CD contains songs by French icon Edith Piaf (whose recent biopic film “La Vie En Rose” garnered star Marion Cotillard an Academy Award) as well as two Charles Trenet songs and a Jesse Winchester song with English translations by Christine. Her French music has been called “a waltz across Texas with Maurice Chevalier”. “Texafrance” was released in 1992, followed by 2003’s “Texafrance-Encore!”. “Paris, Texafrance” continues the tradition and further develops the unique sound that Christine Albert has created.
Christine’s grandmother was from Paris, so she grew up surrounded by the French language and fell in love with the music of Edith Piaf at a young age. A Texan by choice for 25 years, her voice is naturally country/folk but with an added dimension in her interpretations of the classic French music of the 40’s and 50’s.
The band for this recording includes Gage on guitar, piano and accordion; Albert’s longtime musical compadre Paul Glasse on mandolin; Shawn Sanders (Strings Attached) on cello; David Carroll on upright bass; and Paul Pearcy and Eddie Cantu sharing the duties on drums and percussion.
“Paris, Texafrance” was recorded in the new and improved MoonHouse Studio, Albert and Gage’s recording studio that was recently moved to a commercial location in south Austin. Ms. Albert said that “singing these French songs in our new space was the prize I kept my eye on throughout five months of sheetrock, wiring, paint and the usual remodeling chaos. It was worth every ounce of effort – especially hearing our new/old Bechstein grand piano on this music.”
"Paris Texafrance" available here.
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!
Combining the best elements of country, folk and classic rock, Topanga Canyon’s CITY FRITTER presents “FROM THE OCEAN TO THE DESERT”, their debut full length CD release.
What ARE the best elements of country?
The simple honesty and grit of Loretta Lynn and Buck Owens
The storytelling of Bob Dylan and the harmonies of CSNY.
The ringing guitars and energy of The Beatles, Byrds and Stones.
What IS CITY FRITTER?
A fried-up tasty mix of all those influences flavored by the experience and creativity of songwriting duo Jewels and Johnny Nation. Incorporating and reflecting all of the varied environments and circumstances that have shaped the band and their sound.Rooted firmly in the present, listening to what’s come before,with eyes to the future - this is timeless music.
“FROM THE OCEAN TO THE DESERT” is like a road movie:
The story of Jewels and Johnny Nation as they came together in music and in life.
The 10 tracks were written in Topanga Canyon and Joshua Tree, California, Baja, Mexico, on Kauai, Hawaii and on the journeys between them. Each song is a little side trip down a different path – internal or external.
One of the songs, the ridiculously catchy “Don’t You Know”, can be heard in the 20th Century Fox film “FLICKA” starring Tim McGraw. Listen carefully during the rodeo scene!
Recorded with producer Eric Corne at Dusty Wakeman’s Mad Dog Studios, headquarters of LA’s rockin’ Americana sound, “FROM THE OCEAN TO THE DESERT” features Johnny’s warm acoustic and twangy electric guitar work perfectly complemented by Chris Lawrence’s shimmering pedal steel, 12 string and b-bender. Jewels’ expressive harmonica accents add a rootsy quality to “See You” and “I Know What To Bring” the latter a pied piper sing along that adds mandolin and banjo on the way. Holding everything together, master drummer Fabian Jolivet kicks out a wide variety of drum styles from dirty Bakersfield shuffles to jazz inflected fills. Eric Corne lends his considerable skill on the bass as well as his incredible ear and knowledge of the vintage Neve 880 board. Jewels and Johnny’s organic harmonies float over the carefully layered instrumentation.
A beautifully crafted album, each song realized to it’s fullest potential collectively adding up to a whole more than the sum of it’s parts. A complete work - clocking in just under 40 minutes, listeners will want to let it spin and take the trip “FROM THE OCEAN TO THE DESERT” again and again.
“Massively talented” – Jimmie Dale Gilmore
“Wild and fun” – The Sun Runner Magazine
“A feel good cross between alt-country and sonic country rock” – Skratch Magazine
Claire Chamblin Holley, a native of Mississippi, was exposed from an early age to the southland's rich variety of musical influences, and from an early age she responded. She took a ukulele to church and sat out in the hot car strumming it between Sunday school and the church service. She ruined her father's classical guitar by replacing the nylon strings with steel strings so she could imitate what she'd been hearing on her favorite record 'Chet Atkins & Merle Travis Traveling Show'.
"Between all my father's records and my mother's collection of musical instruments, there was plenty to learn from. When we listened to music, my father and I would pretend to conduct the orchestra in front of us. I remember my mother showing me how to play the autoharp, and I still have a wooden music box that she played for me when I was a girl. Now I play it for my son sometimes when he goes to sleep; it's a beautiful, melancholy tune." Her grandmother was an accomplished jazz pianist and made sure that Claire took piano lessons for seven years, though it was playing guitar that really interested her. "I was never that good at playing piano, and maybe that's because I didn't practice enough, but I found the guitar fun to play. It wasn't a chore to practice."
She moved to Chicago for college and began performing at coffeehouses and writing songs. At the suggestion of one of her professors, she studied the poems of William Blake and set one of them to music. That, along with two songs she wrote for the college arts CD, 'Kodon', set a nice foundation for recording songs for 'Night Air', her first independent release. She moved to North Carolina, where she collaborated with producer John Plymale on the 1999 release, 'Sanctuary', a visionary collection of traditional hymns and gospel songs which struck a chord with many radio listeners: "Every time we play 'Bounty of the Lord' or 'Come Thou Fount' the phones ring and ring." (Keith Weston, WUNC Chapel Hill, NC). She signed with Yep Roc Records soonafter and her self-titled release from the label was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition with Liane Hansen. Performing Songwriter calls her work on this record, "straightforward, unabashed, and beautiful".
Since then, Claire has established a significant presence as a singer and a songwriter. "…She is graced with a fine voice," says 'Dirty Linen Magazine', "but more than that, she has learned how to use it expressively."
Of her next release, 'Dandelion', also on Yep Roc Records, Claire "displays the instincts of a master short-story writer, crafting vivid, folkie vignettes of everyday folks, eccentric and otherwise." (Harp). "Simulaneously sweet and gruff, she can sing luxuriant, summer-drenched ballads with the best of them, but there's something of the honky-tonker lurking underneath." (Paste Magazine)
These songs and performances display Claire's commitment to staking out new musical ground while still remaining true to her southern song-writing roots. Last year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art used two of her arrangements of seasonal songs for one of their music releases.
Her brand new release, 'Hush', takes you to a quiet, simple place . It combines the authenticity of Mississippi John Hurt with the vocal power and whimsy of Feist. Lyrical storytelling at its finest.
'Hush' available here.
“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.
Cliff Wagner & The Old #7
Cliff Wagner & The Old # 7 has just recently completed work on their latest album entitled, “Hobo's Lullaby”, which has debuted at #9 on the Euro Americana charts and # 39 on the USA Americana charts in November 2008. The album contains recordings of many of the songs the band performed on “The Next Great American Band” TV show, along with some choice originals. Cliff and the band made this latest record with the gold & platinum award winning producer/engineer, Michael Vail Blum.
“Working with someone with the caliber of talent and experience of Michael Blum, has helped grow, expand and develop the band both as individual musicians, as well as made the band stronger as a whole unit, by ten fold.”
The Old #7 has an original sound that utilizes traditional bluegrass, blues and honky tonk to create an American roots music that people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy.
"If Bill Monroe had started a band with Muddy Waters and Levon Helm, this is what it would sound like".
"Hobo's Lullaby" available here.
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”.
Cold Chocolate guitarist-songwriter Ethan Robbins believes that the rootsy sounds of bluegrass music were meant to be fused with the backbeat of funk. Ethan’s bluegrass career began at Oberlin College. There he met upright bassist Kirsten Lamb, and the two began developing a new style of sophisticated, but accessible Americana. Now joined by the jazz-inflected banjo of James McIver and the all-out funkiness of drummer Ariel Bernstein, Cold Chocolate proves to be an innovative Americana act with their debut album “This Old Way”. Hailing from Boston’s vibrant acoustic scene, Cold Chocolate has built a reputation for creating original, exciting, and virtuosic tunes.
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.
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.”
Crossing Keys was formed in 1994, based on a mutual love to modern country-rock, in the style of Eagles, Little Texas, Vince Gill and similar artists.
Efforts to record their debut album began in autumn of 2008 and continued at regular intervals during 2009 and 2010. In addition to studio work, the band has continued to develop as a live band, and as such has a little tougher sound.
"Perhaps it is our problem", the band says, "we are a little too tough for those who want traditional country music, while we haven't got a chance to get into other scenes, because we're still considered too country".
When Crossing Keys won the Swedish Country Championships in 2008, the guys got proof that they were on the right track, and it was then that they decided to start recording an album.
"But we decided from the start that we would take our time and not rush out an album. Better let it take a while and get a really good result", the band says.
Periodically the band lived in the studio and recorded the album, song by song. Now, about two and a half years later, the album is finished.
.....and, as they say, it's about time!
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.
With his critically acclaimed and award nominated debut album “Against The Dying Of The Light” from 2007, CS Nielsen managed to establish himself as a remarkable singer-songwriter and a significant Danish ambassador for the living roots-country-folk music traditions. In early 2012 CS Nielsen released his second album “Man Of The Fall”.
CS Nielsen was born in 1977 on the small Danish island Samsø, and has been a professional musician since the 1990’s. Throughout his life and work he has been attracted to the tales, poetry, paradoxes and mysteries of life. Not least on the 13 songs on his new album. The lyrics weave together mythological and deeply personal levels of meaning – with both pathos and humor.
The title track, “Man Of The Fall”, is, in a sense, an ode to autumn as a fundamental human condition, and the other songs deal with such themes as longing and loss, responsibility, doubt, faith, hope and love, the road, death, the impossible homecoming, memory and other existentials.
The stark, predominantly acoustic arrangements are centered around CS Nielsen’s lead vocals, guitar and occasional harmonica. A handful of accompanying musicians contribute with talented touches of harmony vocals, dobro, fiddle, banjo, electric guitar, fender bass IV, accordion, mandolin, lap steel, national guitar, piano and percussion. The album is co-produced by CS Nielsen and roots-music authority Jesper Folke Olsen.
“Man Of The Fall” was released on in January 2012 through Danish independent label Melodika.
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.