Karla Bonoff has been described as one of the finest singer/songwriters of her gene-ration. And in her case, that description is not hyperbole. During her nearly 40-year career, Bonoff has enjoyed critical acclaim, commercial success, enduring popularity and the unwavering respect of her peers. In addition to achieving chart success with her own recordings, Karla has seen her songs become hits for such stellar artists as Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd and Linda Ronstadt. Many of Bonoff's ballads are now pop classics. But in all those years of writing, recording and performing, the singularly gifted singer/songwriter has never produced a live album...until now.
Karla Bonoff Live, in stores October 9, is a two-CD set containing 21 songs, including some of Bonoff's most popular material ("All My Life," "Someone to Lay Down Beside Me," "Tell Me Why," "Lose Again") plus two new compositions. All but one were recorded at a small club in Santa Barbara with Bonoff's regular touring band, including longtime friend and collaborator Kenny Edwards and noted guitarist Nina Gerber. And all showcase Bonoff's pure, plaintive vocals, which penetrate directly to the heart. Many fans and critics prefer Bonoff's own renditions of her songs, and they won't be disappointed here: The instrumentation is clean and spare, giving Bonoff's voice room to work its emotional magic on the listener.
Live is Bonoff's first solo album since 1999, when she released a 16-song greatest hits collection, All My Life: The Best of Karla Bonoff. Why a live album now? "I never really had done one, and I've been on the road forever," explains Bonoff. "And it seemed the band was sounding good, and I really wanted to get that on tape.
"You know, the songs have evolved a lot over the years," Bonoff continues. "When I first started recording I felt I wasn't that great of a singer. So some of the things on my first album I think I sing a lot better now than I used to. For fans who have never heard me live, I think this will be kind of interesting for them."
Karla Bonoff Live also contains two new songs. "What About Joanne" confronts a lover who has been seen around town with another woman. Bonoff describes the song as "personal, and pretty self-explanatory." "Baja Oklahoma" is a dreamy homage to the little things that tie people to a hometown. "I wrote it for a cable TV movie a while ago, but they didn't use it. So I sort of pulled that back out of the wastebasket," she laughs. "We've been performing it, and that's why it's on there."
A songwriter since the age of 15, Bonoff got her big break at the legendary Troubadour club in Los Angeles, where she met Kenny Edwards and Linda Ronstadt, formerly members of the Stone Poneys. In 1970, Edwards joined Bonoff, Andrew Gold and Wendy Waldman to form a new band called Bryndle. Although Bryndle eventually disbanded, Bonoff's career took off when Ronstadt recorded three of her songs ("Someone to Lay Beside Me," "If He's Ever Near" and "Lose Again") for her 1976 album Hasten Down the Wind.
That success helped Bonoff launch a solo career in 1977 with a self-titled album that included guest appearances by Ronstadt and Bonoff's fellow Bryndle alumni. Three more solo releases followed: Restless Nights (1979), Wild Heart of the Young (1982) and New World (1988). Bonoff's songs were included on the soundtracks to the movies "Footloose" and "About Last Night," and in 1989, Ronstadt and Neville won the Best Pop Vocal Grammy for their rendition of "All My Life."
Country artist Wynonna Judd's infectious version of Bonoff's "Tell Me Why" became a major hit in 1993, and in 1994, Bonoff notched an AC Top 10 with her ballad "Standing Right Next to Me" from the soundtrack to the film "8 Seconds." By 1995, Bonoff had gotten together with her former Bryndle bandmates and recorded enough material for their first album, which was released to much critical acclaim. Bryndle released a second album, House of Silence, in 2002. Bonoff released one more solo album, All My Life: The Best of Karla Bonoff, in 1999.
Throughout her career, Bonoff has continued to tour extensively, playing sold-out shows around the world. She's scheduled a slate of dates in support of Karla Bonoff Live that will showcase her remarkable talent. Listening to Karla Bonoff's moving vocals on her rich, expressive songs is like standing beneath a sparkling waterfall--refreshing, exhilarating, restorative. And hearing them live can be transformative.
Sugar Hill Records is excited to announce the July 12th release of 'Little Bird' from one of Australia’s most accomplished singer-songwriters, Kasey Chambers. The 14 song collection – her first solo project in four years - is the result of an outpouring of new material from Kasey written within a hectic two week period in February of 2010, and Chambers is confident in calling 'Little Bird' the best recording of her career.
Recorded a month later in brother Nash’s Foggy Mountain Studio 'Little Bird' features an all-star band that Kasey dubs The Millionaires; John Watson on drums, Jeff McCormack on bass, Shane Nicholson, Jim Mogine (Midnight Oil) and Kasey’s dad Bill Chambers playing all manner of guitars and stringed instruments. Guest vocalists Missy Higgins, Camille Te Nahu, Patty Griffin and more accompany Kasey on various tracks.
“These guys are some of my favorite musicians and singers, including the backbone of my touring band, so there is a familiarity and intuitive understanding of where this music should go”, says Kasey. Nothing in the recording process sounds forced or labored; every track sounds fresh, positive, exciting. “When the songs are that fresh, there’s something magical about taking them into the studio and bringing them to life, right then and there”.
The new album, which is already certified Gold in Australia, represents a diverse spread of musical styles from Kasey’s glittering career, which has reaped multiple ARIA and APRA awards, number one hits and multi-platinum sales in Australia and around the world.
Despite the upbeat and optimistic vibe of 'Little Bird', Kasey notes that it also reflects on a young woman’s insecurities. “I started remembering how I felt when I wrote ‘Not Pretty Enough’ and comparing it to how I feel now. I was wondering how that sentiment would come out if I revisited it”, says Kasey. “I still have moments like that, of feeling insecure and unsure, but I feel differently about that now. I feel stronger and more powerful, not willing to compromise so much. This record is like the strong, secure version of ‘Not Pretty Enough’.”
Kasey excitedly rates 'Little Bird' as the best recording of her career. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited by a bunch of songs. They all came out completely differently. I was back in that same frame of mind that I had for the early albums. And it made me feel so confident. I was so absolutely in love with all these songs, I could not wait to make them come to life”.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson’s intriguing new album 'Wreck & Ruin' reunites two of Australia’s most notable singer-songwriters, who also happen to be married.
Chambers believes that their second album of duets, due out October 22nd, 2012, on Sugar Hill Records, will shine a light on their unique partnership as spouses as well as musicians.
“I hope people will get a sense of who we are as a couple”, says Chambers, who is a multi-platinum artist in Australia. “I guess I mean that a little bit to do with who we are as a couple in our day-to-day life, but there’s a certain sound that we create when it’s only the two of us. We could not create that on any other solo album, or with any other artist. It’s something that we’ve realized is really quite special. There are a lot of songs on this album that I don’t think we could sing if we weren’t married”.
Chambers and Nicholson met a decade ago when she sang on one of his records. They married at the end of 2005 and released their first duets album, 'Rattlin’ Bones', in 2008. It proved so popular in their home country that they toured behind the project for three years and picked up numerous awards for the album.
For 'Wreck & Ruin', the couple (who are parents to three young children) wrote the bulk of the new material in a remote writing cabin about an hour and a half from their home. The project was recorded in Foggy Mountain Studios, owned by Kasey’s brother Nash Chambers - located in a valley in the Australian bush, far from mobile phone access.
“We put together a whole new band for this album and got together with them a few days before we started recording”, Nicholson says. “We hung out around the studio just jamming songs and getting comfortable with each other, but we didn’t prep the album songs too much. It was more about creating a sense of ease between everybody before we got to work”.
Chambers adds, “When we were recording it and Shane was talking to the band, he said, ‘It’s very traditional but not conventional’. And I thought, ‘Yeah, that hits the nail on the head for me’. This album is a lot more traditional than any other album that Shane and I have made, together or apart. And it’s got a lot more of the old-timey type of sounds on it. But there’s something that’s not conventional – obviously it doesn’t sound like an album from back then, but it draws from it”.
Kate Campbell is the kind of artist who steps to the beat of a different drummer. Over the course of 20+ years (since her award-winning debut album” Songs From The Levee”), she has resisted the temptation to follow musical trends, but instead chooses to set the pace for her unique musical journey. This distinction is palpable in her latest release, ”The K.O.A. Tapes (Vol. 1)”, in which many of the basic tracks were recorded in her living room on her iPhone, including the revered Southern rock anthem “Freebird”.
Kate’s endearing, clear-water vocal delivery and her eloquent gift for storytelling has drawn repeated comparisons to such bastions of the Southern writing tradition as Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty and William Faulkner. Her easy command of a full-range of American music styles have combined to earn Campbell recognition as a formidable talent by critics. Time Out London proclaimed her a “major talent” while Chicago Daily Herald described her as a “world-class singer-songwriter.” Perhaps Roots Time best summarized the extensive arc of Kate’s 18-album career by stating, “What a great talent Kate Campbell represents is made clear by the legends in music that appear as guest artists on her albums”.
Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark, Maura O’Connell, John Prine, Mac McAnally, Buddy Miller, Spooner Oldham, and the heart of the Muscle Shoals classic soul and r’n’b hit-making machine are both admirers and collaborators in her distinctly literate musical vision.
Originally from the Mississippi Delta and the daughter of a Baptist preacher, Kate's formative years were spent in the very core of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's, and the indelible experiences of those years have shaped her heart and character, as well as her songwriting, ever since. Her music and songs continue to inspire and excite a growing and engaged audience. Her ”Two Nights In Texas” CD received the prestigious Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award. Ballet Memphis featured several tunes from her song catalog as well as a live performance by Kate and band at a ballet entitled ’South Of Everywhere’.
2 of Kate’s songs (“Ave Maria Grotto” and “William’s Vision”) were recently featured in two documentary films (’Brother Joseph & The Grotto’ and ’Chipping Away’) about Brother Joseph Zoettl, the tiny Bavarian hunchback monk who built Ave Maria Grotto, and William Edmundson who was the first African American to be awarded a solo show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
A variety of artists have recorded Campbell’s songs, including Laurie Lewis, Ronnie McDowell, and the Nashville Bluegrass Band who covered her eerie snake-handling song “Signs Following”.
Campbell has performed at a number of esteemed venues such as the Cambridge Folk Festival (UK), Merlefest, Philadelphia Folk Festival, and Port Fairy Folk Festival (Australia), been featured on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Live From Mountain Stage, The Bob Edwards Show, and had her story (and haunting song “When Panthers Roamed In Arkansas”) included in the debut issue of The Oxford American's ultra-hip Southern Music series.
'Sons Of Anarchy' star Katey Sagal, formerly known as Peggy Bundy on 'Married With Children' and as a back-up singer for Bob Dylan, releases “Covered”, her first album in nine years which features inspired new versions of personal favourites by Joni Mitchell, Laury Nyro, Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch, Tom Petty, Ray LaMontagne – and a glowing duet with Jackson Browne.
Although widely known these days for her multi-faceted role as Gemma Teller Morrow on hit FX series 'Sons Of Anarchy', Sagal has had a long musical career in addition to her acting career. She has sung backup vocals for Bette Midler, Bob Dylan, Tanya Tucker, Gene Simmons and several others. Sagal has released two solo albums to date, 1994’s "Well…" and 2004’s "Room". She has also contributed music to the 'Sons Of Anarchy' soundtrack.
Katey Sagal will release her new album, "Covered", on Membran in February 2014. "Covered", is Sagal’s first studio album in 9 years, and features a duet with Jackson Browne on Steve Earle’s heartbreaking song “Goodbye”. The album also features covers of songs by noted songwriters Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Ron Sexsmith, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams and many more.
About the album, Sagal says, ''Covered' is my 3rd solo album. My 2 previous records were mostly original compositions. This one is not. I was tired of waiting for myself to write, and anxious to make another album'.
On "Covered", Sagal is joined by The Forest Rangers, the 'house band' of 'Sons Of Anarchy', led by the show’s music supervisor and musical director Bob Thiele. Thiele, along with noted songwriter Tonio K, also composed the one original composition on "Covered", titled 'Follow The River'.
Most artists take fewer and fewer risks as they get older, but Kathy Mattea is a striking exception. She didn’t play it safe while she charted mainstream country hits — 16 of them reaching the top ten — and she’s not about to start now.
4 years ago, Mattea, one of the most sure-footed country-pop song interpreters of her generation, caught everyone off guard with an album of old-timey Appalachian mining songs called 'Coal'. She’s delved even deeper into her Appalachian heritage with 'Calling Me Home', available from Sugar Hill on September 11th, 2012, co-produced with modern acoustic mastermind Gary Paczosa and featuring liner notes from bestselling author, and Kentucky-born kindred spirit, Barbara Kingsolver.
Mattea’s new direction couldn’t have taken her further from her old way of doing things. Where once she was pitched songs by Music Row writers, now she collects the generations-old and new but old-in-soul tunes that move her at folk gatherings, and rounds out her repertoire through extensive research. Two songs here came from a CD that Alice Gerrard, of the influential 70's folk duo Hazel & Alice, personally pressed into her hand at one such festival.
Once Mattea found her songs, there was still the matter of wrapping her voice around them. A mountain modal folk ballad may sound like the simplest thing on earth, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to sing. Says Kathy, “My big fear when I made 'Coal' was I didn’t grow up singing this stuff from when I was young. I’ve had a commercial music career for decades now. Am I gonna sound like a lounge singer trying to sing Appalachian songs?”
Thankfully, that fear didn’t stop her from taking the leap, and both 'Coal' and 'Calling Me Home' offer decisive proof that she’s no dilettante. She’s always had a profound respect for traditional folk music — her ancestors played it, and in college she even took clawhammer banjo lessons and formed a bluegrass band — but she only recently came to accept that the music is in her blood. “I had to sing ‘Black Lung’ with Hazel Dickens in the fourth row”, she says, referring to the classic song and the revered Appalachian woman who wrote and sang it, about the tragic death of her brother. “Now that will grow you up. Either you own your performance of the song, or you don’t”.
There’s another song from Dickens’s pen on Mattea’s new album, and three from Jean Ritchie, another legendary singer and songwriter of mountain music. Ritchie, now nearing 90, got onto her about altering a few notes in the melody of Ritchie’s “Now Is The Cool Of The Day” when they performed the a cappella, earth-loving gospel song together live. Mattea chuckles at the audacity it takes to tweak a song inherited from a major figure in the tradition. But one listen confirms that bringing her own interpretive gifts and rich, rounded vocal tone to selections that have received austere, high-and-lonesome readings over the years is a considerable contribution, and one that feels perfectly right.
“I don’t think I could’ve sung a lot of these songs when I was 20”, says the singer who was twice named the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist Of The Year. “I just don’t think I had the gravitas in my voice to pull it off, to tell you the truth”.
Even during her radio-ruling days in the late 80's and early 90's, Kathy was proud of representing the people and place she hailed from on the global stage, but it was only after she’d been away from Cross Lanes, West Virginia, for some three decades that she felt called to fully immerse herself in musical appreciation of her roots.
That she sings from the perspective of an Appalachian whose career took her elsewhere is part of what makes 'Calling Me Home' feel as contemporary as it does traditional. The top-notch cast of players doesn’t hurt either. The contributions of the multi-talented Stuart Duncan and Bryan Sutton, along with bassist Byron House, percussionist Jim Brock, harmonizing siblings and fellow native West Virginians Tim and Mollie O’Brien and Mattea’s longtime guitarist Bill Cooley, make for a crisp, vivid new-timey string band palette.
The clear-eyed way Kathy gives voice to her longing for her rural home stands out at a time when many a mainstream country song peddles the fantasy of a backwoods locale as a nonstop tailgating party. She, on the other hand, not only celebrates what she loves about the place where she grew up, but wrestles with the necessary evils her people have endured in the name of survival — both of her grandfathers mined coal, her mother worked for the union and her brother ships it to power plants — and grieves over both the destruction coal mining has wrought on the land and the passing of the generations who served as the communities’ glues. That’s called telling it like it really and truly is.
Of one of the songs she chose to record, Mattea notes, "‘Black Waters’ was written in 1970 or 1971, and it is so valid right now. I mean, people are living that story right now. I love that it clearly articulates that experience, and also that, inadvertently, it articulates how little has changed”.
Kathy traveled quite the journey to reach the point where she was ready to advocate for the environment in her music. Twenty years ago, she was courageous enough to take a lonely stand for HIV/AIDS awareness on the stage of the CMA Awards, then organize an album whose proceeds benefited research of the disease. But she didn’t necessarily sing about that sort of thing back then. “I mean, I didn’t set out to be an activist”, she explains. “It’s just that there have been moments where I couldn’t not speak, because of something I valued”.
The music of the Occupy Wall Street movement has shown that beat-you-over-the-head protest songs don’t resonate as well with people today, and Mattea’s song selection is perfectly in step with the moment. She gravitates toward grounded storytelling, singing from the points-of-view of a maple tree, a miner’s wife, a homesteader on family land, an Appalachian expat… Even of coal itself. Just as importantly, from start to finish her chosen material affirms a shared sense of humanity. She reflects, “I just feel like these songs speak for all Appalachians. I wanted to sing for something — not against something”.
There just isn’t a template for a career like Kathy Mattea’s. Her mainstream accomplishments have already earned her a place in the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, and, never one to tread water creatively, she’s made her gracefully daring leap into the roots-honoring trad folk world. “To be a complete novice at something after you’ve been singing for three or four decades, to feel that humility of ‘I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to pull this off again’, it’s a great gift”, she shares. “A lot of times people go through their whole lives and never get to that place”.
And it’s a very good place for Mattea to be. “I feel like I just made the album of my life; I articulated something I was put here to say. It’s my childhood and life experience of a sense of place and culture and history and family, and of all the music that I’ve learned and all I’ve learned performing all rolled into one thing”.
Kaurna Cronin is a wandering storyteller. As part of a new breed of Australian artists he is constantly redeveloping the way music is written and shared globally. With grand storytelling, folk jams and a lyrical sincerity beyond his years, Cronin's unique folk blend and moving performances have been capturing audiences throughout Europe and Australia, establishing this young singer songwriter as an international sensation.
The new album ”Southern Loss” is described by Kaurna as ’a homage to a land I call home’. The entire album is set deep in Australian surroundings. It was recorded in a hand built studio in the hills of Adelaide, Kaurna’s hometown, collaborating with artists Tom Kneebone, Kiah Gossner, David Resce and many more.
The first single ”Passion Parade” reveals the story of a young woman who leaves her small regional settlement in search for a love and a life amongst a city. A city she would never fully understand.
Keegan McInroe is a Texas singer songwriter. Weaving threads from old country, old blues and folk together with his own unique voice and perspective, McInroe creates an original tapestry of American roots music, earthy and lyric driven. For over a decade, mr McInroe has performed and rambled extensively across Texas, the US and Europe. He has shared the stage with Leon Russell, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Willis Alan Ramsey, Carolyn Wonderland, Phosphorescent, Ian Moore, Eric McFadden, Otis Taylor and many more.
The new album "Uncouth Pilgrims" takes it’s inspiration largely from the observations, adventures, and misadventures, particularly in regards to romance, of McInroe’s last 3 years of European touring. The pilgrims encountered over the course of these 14 tracks are therefore not of a spiritual nature, but of a decidedly romantic one, uncouth in their often enthusiastic, yet destructive tendency of leaving those whom they sought out to venerate in worse shape than they found them.
Traversing across several of the earthy traditions comprising the americana genre, the varied and accomplished instrumentation on "Uncouth Pilgrims" offers a rich and vibrant sonic landscape on which McInroe’s vivid and often humorous storytelling comes to life.
"Frankly, I was amazed and humbled at the response to my first CD, "What It Was They Became," in 2006. I had hoped friends and family would give it a listen and they did. I had also hoped to get a few reviews and in that I was wonderfully surprised. I am particularly grateful to the many reviewers, radio programmers and individuals here and in Europe who responded to the album.
With "What It Is They Became" exceeding my modest expectations, it was only natural that I began to think of another project. My friend and producer, Jack Sundrud, and I had co-written many songs over the years. A couple were cut by artists. In the case of "Iola," by Jack's own band, Great Plains. I had the honor of seeing "Homeland" as the title track for the final Great Plains album, and then the excitement of hearing it covered by the legendary Kenny Rogers.
Jack and I began talking about another project in the summer of 2008. This one would be a collection of songs mostly co-written. Jack was able to call upon nearly everyone from the first CD to help us make a second one. The sessions guys included Russ Pahl, Dennis Crouch, Tim Crouch, Brent Truitt, Rick Lonow, Jim Hoke, Sue Braswell and Alan Webb. We were also joined by the legendary Billy Sanford, Bill Huber, Steve Herman, Kirby Shelstad, Tony Harrell, Angela Primm and Gale Mayes.
My intent has been to put together a project that works as a continuation on the themes and influences I explored in the first album - A mashup of country, folk, Americana, swing and roots music.
I included two covers on this album - "Samson & Delilah," which I learned from an old Rev. Gary Davis LP. My version is substantially different than the straight-blues of Davis, but I believe we stayed true to the spirit of the song. The second cover is "Them Dance Hall Girls," written by Allan Fraser, which I heard on an early 1970s album by Fraser and DeBolt. Alan Webb, Dave Smith and I used to perform that song many years ago in coffeehouses and bars in East Tennessee and it has always been a favorite of mine.
The idea for "Iola" came from perusing a road atlas one summer when the Midwest was gripped in drought. Jack, Sue Braswell and I wrote that one over the course of a couple of pretty hot Nashville summer evenings. Jack and Russ Pahl were putting together a band called Great Plains, and we were fortunate when producer Brent Maher chose the song for the album.
Jack and I wrote "The South," several years ago, but added the "Look homeward all you angels" verse this past winter. We also teamed up to write "Maybe I Shoulda." Steve Blazek of Lincoln, Nebraska, and I wrote "I Like To Drive" while he and his wife, Regina, still lived in Nashville.
The rest of the songs are mine, so it actually did not turn out to be the CD I originally envisioned.
"7 Cent Cigar Blues," is an old piece of whimsy that Jack, Sue and I used to perform when we went around Nashville as The Crows. I hope you agree that the addition of the horn section (brought to life with an arrangement by Jim Hoke) brings a really carnival feel to the song.
"Memories Of You," comes out of my East Tennessee days, as does "Road I'm On" and "Sweet Waters." Looking around for something with a little bit of western swing, I dusted off "Who's That Girl" and added a verse.
I hope you enjoy listening to these half as much as I enjoyed putting them together."
Kelley Hunt’s new album, ”The Beautiful Bones”, offers a dozen superbly crafted songs that blend timeless music with a contemporary perspective – drawing a bead on modern life with grace, humor and gravity through the earthy poetry of her lyrics. Those songs are buoyed by a performing style that balances Hunt’s virtuosity with the down-home gospel, soul and r’n’b that’s part of her DNA.
The title track is a perfect example of Hunt’s art, with its shimmering guitar and B-3 organ providing a gorgeously textured canvas for her haunting, soulful voice. And its storyline is an equally deep illustration of her multi-faceted writing, celebrating both the joy of life and its impermanence, while quietly reminding that the earth is a delicate and mortal place that must be tended to flourish.
“That song was the key to the album’s identity”, Hunt explains. “I had already written most of the songs, and felt they were about the things that are important to us all as people, but ‘The Beautiful Bones’ connected them. I was inspired by looking out my kitchen window while I was playing guitar and seeing the bare branches of a tree covered in snow, and I started to think about the layers we all have in our lives and the possibilities that come with each of them. Fifteen minutes later the song was done”.
The album repeatedly returns to pivotal moments, from the central question “what will we do with this truth and these tears” asked in “The Beautiful Bones” to, in “Gates Of Eden,” the flash when a glance off the road nearly causes a cataclysmic accident to, in “Let It Rain,” the realization that — whether we know it or not — life truly does give us everything we need.
“As human beings, we get so attached to the material world that we forget the most important things”, says Hunt. “The pivotal moments give us clarity. They help us understand that at the end of the day the only things we really have are our lives and our souls”.
Both heart and soul are in abundance on ”The Beautiful Bones”, Hunt’s 6th album and an evolutionary step in her songwriting and arranging. The set’s seamless integration of her influences — from the wooden-church-pew gospel of Mahalia Jackson that resonates in “Release And Be Free” to the classic Memphis soul of “The Sweet Goodbye” to the boogie-woogie of the Tea Party skewering “I’ve Got A Good Feeling” to the driving r’n’b anthem of self-realization “This Time” — captures Hunt at the apex of her skills, abetted in her performances by the A-team of session musicians she assembled in Nashville’s 16 Ton Studios.
Some of those players are already familiar to Hunt’s growing legion of fans. Drummer Bryan Owings played on 2011’s ”Gravity Loves You” and 2008’s ”Mercy”, and has toured and recorded with Justin Townes Earle, Emmylou Harris, Delbert McClinton, Shelby Lynne and a host of other roots music legends. Veteran Hammond B3 player Mark Jordan (Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, Taj Mahal) was a stalwart on both ”Mercy And Gravity” and is a regular on Hunt’s live stage, and Detroit transplant bassist Tim Marks, who claims credits ranging from roots music stars and eminent singer songwriters to Taylor Swift also had a previous role on ”Gravity”. The McCrary sisters, the three daughters of Sam McCrary, the founder of the historic gospel group the Fairfield Four, also appear, lending their angelic voices to three numbers. Regina McCrary is also a veteran of Bob Dylan’s touring band and sang on his album, ”Shot of Love”. Another former Dylan band member, John Jackson, is a new addition to Hunt’s studio ensemble.
“He was a perfect fit, with that rare combination of chops, an authentic roots vocabulary and the ability to work right on the edge”, says Hunt. Typical of Hunt’s open-minded studio aesthetic, a slide guitar line Jackson improvised after the band played through “Golden Hour” for the first time quickly became the song’s bloodline, working as a foil for Hunt’s own New Orleans-style piano.
Hunt’s versatile keyboard and guitar playing provides the album’s own beautiful bones, connecting all its songs with the limitless architecture of her style.
“My goal is to continually grow as an artist, and ”The Beautiful Bones” is part of that”, Hunt says. “I’m also aware that my music exists to serve other people, the way that the music of all the artists that I loved while I was growing up served me. Ultimately, that’s really what is most gratifying”.
Singer songwriter Kelly Zirbes of L.A. based band Kelly’s Lot has returned to her roots and written 14 songs that express a lifetime of feelings. With 14 tracks, the new CD, ”Bittersweet”, contains a variety of roots and folk rock, the genre that Zirbes started in before she began a career in blues rock with "The Lot".
Based in Southern California for the last 21 years, the band has released 11 CD’s, toured nationally and internationally and and have recorded numerous songs for film and television. In 2016 Kelly began asking her friends and fans on Facebook for words to inspire these songs.
These compositions became the catalyst for a CD with lots of heart and message-driven lyrics. These words from friends, fans and even strangers conjured up a lifetime of stories and feelings that Kelly had been keeping at an arms length.
Genres included on ”Bittersweet” include an Irish ballad, an acapella gospel tune, an old style country track, a blues tune and so much more. They will make you smile or cry, possibly both.
The CD is mixed by Fred Paragano from Paragon Studios in Nashville. "The Lot" includes Perry Robertson and Rob Zucca on guitars, Sebastian Sheehan Visconti, Scotty Lund, Art Mendoza and Michael Mason on drums and percussion, Bill Johnston on sax and clarinet, Bobby Orgel on piano and b3, Matt McFadden and Chuck Maithonis on bass, Doug Pettibone on pedal steel and dobro, Frank Hinojosa on harmonica and Kelly Zirbes on guitar and vocals.
”Bittersweet” will be available as a limited release on January 6th, 2017, at www.kellyslot.com and a wide release on January 27th, 2017.
'Highly evocative and intriguing' (fRoots, UK), the music of Ken Dunn offers 'refreshing insight into human complexities' (Festival Of Friends, Canada) with a style grounded in 'the folk tradition, with integrity and sincerity' (Chart, Canada). Whether mining the depths of human emotion, or pleading the case for social and environmental justice, Ken's songs are 'filled with the human spirit' (CFMU Radio, Canada).
Combining an adept finger style acoustic guitar technique with 'strong, distinctive vocals' (R2, UK), and songwriting which is at once powerful and infused with delicate beauty, 'Ken delivers his message directly to the soul of the listener with a style compared to that of Neil Young' (fRoots, UK). Known for his powerful stage presence, engaging sense of humour, and delightful storytelling, Ken performs either solo, with partner Anna Green, or with his band Gypsy Starfish.
Anna Green's beautiful vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar and keyboard work add a depth and character to this duo's live performances which are guaranteed to lift the hearts and inspire fans of grassroots acoustic music everywhere. In addition, Ken's sound takes on a distinctive folk rock vibe when performing with Gypsy Starfish members Tyler Beckett on fiddle, Randy Martin on bass, and Mark Mariash on drums.
A veteran Canadian folk singer-songwriter, Ken has performed at hundreds of venues over the past 30 years, across Canada, the US, and Central America, from concert halls to festivals and cafes, sharing the bill with folk and roots icons as diverse as Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie P Bennett, Valdy, Mike Beck, Roy Schneider, Pi Jacobs and Garnet Rogers. Ken’s passion for social and environmental justice is evident in the many benefit concerts he performs. Supporting charities as diverse as the Harry Chapin Food Bank, Amnesty International and literacy programs for Mexican youth, Ken continues to spread his musical message of hope, maintaining an active tour schedule.
Ken has released 6 albums featuring some of Canada's finest studio musicians, including Dennis Pendrith (Tom Paxton), Dean Drouillard (Jill Barber), Mark Mariash (Buffy Sainte Marie), Randall Hill and Roly Platt. Ken's previous recordings have received critical Acclaim, extensive airplay, and placement in film scores. His latest album, "The Great Unknown" has just been released to positive reviews and extensive airplay on folk and roots radio around the World. Ken is currently working on his 8th album and touring North America.
“I’d have to say that Kenny White has earned a place among my favorite singer-songwriters… and particularly, lyricists. As we say in the trade, “he goes deep.” A true wordsmith and musician who reveals a fine sense of humor, as well. Put on your headphones and listen carefully.” ~ David Crosby
Kenny White has driven a long and interesting road to bring him to this moment. At eight years old, upon being asked whether he’d practiced this week’s piano lesson, Kenny remarked, “yeah…but here’s what I wrote.”
Those songs have not always come easily, however, after many successful years of various musical endeavors, they have led to White’s new Wildflower Records release, “Comfort In The Static”. A collection of wonderfully crafted songs, this album continues to follow the human condition with both unbridled detail and humor.
For many years, White was a fixture in the New York studio scene, writing and producing literally hundreds of commercials for TV and radio. In this capacity, he worked with artists like Gladys Knight, Linda Ronstadt, Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Skaggs, Kim Carnes Felix Cavaliere, Dobie Gray and Aaron Neville among many others.
His relationships with Marc Cohn and Shawn Colvin led to his producing Colvin’s Grammy-nominated, “I Don’t Know Why” and to his involvement in Cohn’s eponymous platinum debut album. White went on to produce three records for legendary J. Geils Band leader, Peter Wolf. The second of which, “Sleepless”, garnered the distinction by Rolling Stone magazine of being one of “the 500 greatest albums ever made”, as well as giving Kenny a chance to work with Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Steve Earle.
As a contributing writer-musician, White worked on many a film soundtrack including, “Message In A Bottle”, “Ed TV”, “Forces Of Nature”, “A Walk On The Moon”, “Where The Heart Is”, “Edie & Pen”, and four films by indie master, John Sayles.
After being hailed by reviewers from the New York Times to the San Fransisco Chronicle for his thrilling and unique piano playing, White chose to devote himself to making his first album and subsequently, “hitting the road”. His work in the studio enabled him to assemble an A-list team of players for that release, 2002′s “Uninvited Guest”.
He traveled and opened shows for many mainstays, including Cheryl Wheeler, Shawn Colvin, Peter Wolf, Richard Shindell and Jonathan Edwards, quickly gaining a reputation as a ‘dazzling’ and ‘not-to-be-missed’ performer. An early copy of his follow-up record, “Symphony In 16 Bars” landed in the hands of folk legend Judy Collins who then signed White to her own Wildflower Records and released the CD in the winter of 2005.
Showcasing another remarkable ensemble of talent, “Symphony In 16 Bars” picked up where “Uninvited Guest” left off, following a main character whose story, set in New York City, navigates the heart’s complexities through an ever changing urban landscape.
Kenny White’s latest album “Comfort In The Static, containing eleven new tracks from the experient songwriter, leads the listener on an intimate odyssey, the spotlight focused on our commonality as humans. From the first haunting melody of the opening track, ‘Useless Bay’, which begins as if White were letting us in on a bittersweet secret, to the catchy pop sensibility of the beautifully melodic ‘Please’. From the Dylan-esque sound of ‘Who’s Gonna Be the One’, to the plaintive musings of “I was fine until love got in the way” from ‘Where You Are Tonight’, “Comfort In The Static” is an arrestingly candid and personal collection of songs.
"Comfort In The Static” is soulful singer-songwriting at its best; lush piano melodies combined with vulnerable vocals and smart, insightful lyrics make for a seminal recording that observes the boundaries between jazz, blues, rock, pop and folk… and then proceeds to step over them. With such seasoned, interpretive musicians as Duke Levine, Shawn Pelton and Marty Ballou backing him up, as well as the contributions of Big Al Anderson and ubiquitous T-Bone Burnett collaborator, Stephen Barber, White wrote and produced this new album with the listener in mind.
“Comfort In The Static” showcases White as a deft storyteller employing striking arrangements and spot-on vocals reminiscent of Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan and early Randy Newman. This is a powerful, sophisticated album that will stay with you long after the CD has stopped playing.
As a 20-year veteran of the Austin music scene, Kevin Sekhani has done it all. From blazing rock-n-roll to holy ghost honkytonk, for years Sekhani has entertained crowds with heartfelt enthusiasm and poignant lyrics. In Austin, Sekhani spent his time working with Michael Ramos (John Mellencamp, Patty Griffin), Andrew Duplantis (Son Volt), and Austin Chronicle’s three-time string player of the year winner Warren Hood.
In 2010, Sekhani moved back to his home town of Lafayette, Louisiana, to front The Mercy Brothers, a gospel group walking the fine line of sinners and saints. Since the prodigal son’s return home, he has won over the hearts of Jazz Fest and Festival International audiences, landed a top 5 spot on the Americana charts in Europe, toured Sweden, and signed his gospel group to Louisiana Red Hot Records.
Kevin Sekhani’s veracious songwriting extends beyond gospel into secular territory with his new solo album ”Day Ain’t Done”, set for release on Louisiana Red Hot Records in late 2015. No Depression praises the album, saying, ’with a voice slightly reminiscent of a young Steve Earle, solid songwriting, and musicians that include a member of Son Volt and veterans of the backing bands of Patty Griffin and John Mellencamp, Kevin Sekhani’s ’Day Ain’t Done’ is one of the best debut albums I have heard in years’.
”Day Ain’t Done” is layered with Americana staple instrumentation, taking the earthy tones of violin, mandolin, accordion and acoustic guitars to give the feel of a back porch jam on a Louisiana Saturday night. The album’s track “Oilfield Tan” has found its way into regular rotation on local Louisiana and Texas radio stations, resonating amongst an area all too familiar with the demanding industry of oilfield work.
Kevin Sekhani celebrates his Louisiana roots, bringing ”Day Ain’t Done” to the worldwide stage. With stops at 2014’s SXSW music festival, Sekhani has already began to garner excitement for his solo career. You may catch Kevin Sekhani at a large festival or even on a small front porch, but wherever it is, it is guaranteed to be one hell of a performance.
Born and raised in the mountains of Japan to a Japanese father and American mother, Kiana Luna and her two older siblings were home-schooled at the foot of Mt Fuji, until she moved to her mother's homeland of Hawaii in 1999. Kiana learned English by traveling to Honolulu throughout her childhood, so it was a natural transition for her to begin her musical career in a place where she felt at home and had spent time nurturing her multi-cultural roots.
Kiana's first musical influence growing up was her mother, who was a folk singer in Hawaii during the 60's, and then later expanded to a variety of pop, world, rock and classical music. Although without any formal training in theory, Kiana began composing piano solos at age 11, after swimming with wild dolphins in a Hawaiian ocean cove, then expanded her writing at 16, when she began creating lyrics for melodies she strummed on her mother's guitar.
After a decade of performing with various bands and around the world as a solo artist, opening for International acts such as the Gipsy Kings and headlining her own tours, Kiana's discography ranges from multiple new age releases, a compilation of folk and world music she made with her mother, and 2 EP releases of her pop-singer-songwriter music.
That being said, Kiana's 8th release in actuality is her debut full-length vocal pop album, which represents the culmination of her journeys from the mountains of Japan to the shores of Hawaii, to the boulevards of Los Angeles, to the streets of Rome, and somehow back home again.
Kiki Ebsen, an accomplished singer and songwriter, known for backing up such artists as Christopher Cross, Wilson Phillips, Boz Scaggs, Tracy Chapman and many more, introduces her first original CD in five years. Already with four CD's under her belt, her latest endeavor is an impressive collection of thirteen self-penned tunes inspired by her own real life stories. The CD is beautifully packaged in a full color digipack filled with pictures and lyrics for each song. Taking a candid look at her own relationships, Kiki carries the listener on an emotional journey of honesty, passion, purpose and peace as she negotiates her way through her own darkness and eventually back into the light. This CD is sure to connect with everyone who wishes to dig deeper for the truth in their heart, past the superficial, to find... "The Beauty Inside".
Kiki started playing piano as a child, following in the footsteps of her mother, aunt and grandmother. She wasn't the only one, her cousin, Jim Pugh, is a keyboard legend and part of the Robert Cray Band. Picking up melodies effortlessly by ear, she began composing her own songs at an early age. She pursued her love of music balanced by her love of animals and nature while growing up in the coastal town of Balboa Island and on a ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. She honed her chops in countless garage bands and eventually earned a degree in classical voice from California Institute of the Arts. Just out of college, Kiki won Collegiate Entertainer of the Year and embarked on a touring career with the legendary band, Chicago, as a keyboardist and MIDI tech.
Two tours and one record later she left them to join Al Jarreau's touring band. They performed on Johnny Carson's 'The Tonight Show' and the Arsenio Hall show before embarking on a world tour. The band featured future stars like N'Dea Davenport (Brand New Heavies), Rickie Minor (American Idol, Jay Leno’s Tonight Show) and Felicia Collins (The Late Show with David Letterman).
Kiki's first CD "Red" was produced by hit smooth jazz producer Paul Brown and features inspired performances from Boney James, Buzz Feiten and Paul Jackson Jr. It was dubbed "the kind of debut most artists can only dream of creating" by the Mac Report. She went on to play live with a succession of artists including Belinda Carlisle, Bill Champlin, Peter Cetera, Tracy Chapman, Michael McDonald, Stephen Bishop, James Ingram, Jeffrey Osborne, Boz Scaggs, Christopher Cross, Dave Koz, Colin Hay and Wilson Phillips.
She found time to record another original CD, "Love Loud", with Mark Browne producing, which made the Muse's Muse Top 10 of 2002. She later reunited with Paul Brown to create "Kiki", which was added to Steve Quirk's Fusion Flavors Best of 2005 list. Says Steve, "Kiki is a sleeping giant in contemporary music, who deserves to be heard". She released a cover CD last year of her favorite songs called "Cool Songs Vol 1". She hopes to do one every couple of years. "There is just too much great music out there". Kiki's music appears on several compilations worldwide. She has opened for Christopher Cross, Peter Cetera, Emmylou Harris and Al Stewart. Kiki sometimes appears singing and playing with the Christopher Cross band. Kiki's latest album, "The Beauty Inside", is a very personal collection of songs about love and family, it was made more special by the addition of background vocals by her dear friend Kenny Edwards, who passed away only three weeks after the recording session.
Kiki divides her time between writing and performing music and facilitating equine interactive learning programs with her special herd of rescued horses (www.thehealingequineranch.com) ...and yes, she is Buddy Ebsen's daughter.
Recorded in Toronto, under the experienced guidance of producer Danny Greenspoon and double bassist Joe Phillips, who created beautiful orchestrations, Kim Erickson's new album"The Raven's Wing" features some extraordinary arrangements for small string ensemble, masterfully executed by some of Canada's best players. “The Raven's Wing”, which features guest appearances by Kim's daughters, Roisin and Lesya Roberts, marks the 25th anniversary of her debut album “The Intention, The Blue”.
Kim Erickson's lyrics for this group of songs speak of lost loves and the lure of great waters, walks by northern shorelines, through autumn gardens and rugged old world landscapes. The music is lyrical and romantic, conjuring dark string sounds, and Kim's interpretation is deep and intense in bringing her compositions to life. Audiences who enjoy folk, jazz and classical fusions will crave this recording.
Kim is a performer, composer and music director of soundscapes for theatre and radio. She received the 2008 CJ Arts and Heritage Award for Media and Performance Art. She has performed her original work across Canada and overseas. She has worked as a solo artist, in duos and ensembles, and in the acoustic trio Canto. Her work has been recorded and documented in various media (sound recordings, film, television, radio).
Kimmie Rhodes is a native Texan who grew up in Lubbock, Texas and began her singing career at the age of six with her family gospel trio. She moved to Austin in 1979, where she met DJ and producer Joe Gracey, an instrumental figure in the Austin progressive country scene who she eventually married. In 1981 she recorded her first album, Kimmie Rhodes and the Jackalope Brothers when Willie Nelson invited her to use his studio. In 1985 she recorded her second album, Man In the Moon. Her third album Angels Get The Blues, recorded at the original Sun Studio in Memphis, was released in 1989. These records led to a series of British and European tours which received rave reviews.
Her promotional tours created a solid fan base in the U.K. and Europe. She has headlined with her band at festivals in Canada, The United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands and has appeared on many European and American TV and radio broadcasts. She has also appeared at many of Willie's Farm Aid concerts and July 4th Picnics. Willie says Kimmie is "an undiscovered superstar" and together they recorded two of her originals for his album Just One Love.
Kimmie recently appeared on Austin City Limits with Emmylou Harris, Dave Mathews, Patty Griffin, and Buddy & Judy Miller, where she and Emmylou performed their Grammy-nominee song "Ordinary Heart" (nominated for Best Female Country Vocal). She has also guested on Late Night With David Letterman, performing "West Texas Heaven" at his request. Kimmie's TV appearances also include a songwriter "guitar pull" Austin City Limits show with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Billy Joe Shaver as well as two episodes of The Nashville Network's "Legend Series" hosted by Willie Nelson and another hosted by Waylon Jennings. Waylon said, "When I hear Kimmie sing it makes me know what the phrase 'pulling on your heart strings' means."
Kimmie's songs have been recorded by such stellar acts as Willie Nelson, Wynonna Judd, Trisha Yearwood, Amy Grant, CeCe Winans, Joe Ely, John Farnham, Waylon Jennings and Peter Frampton. Kimmie co-wrote a song, "Lines", with Waylon for his Justice release "Right For The Time". Kimmie's movie soundtrack credits include "A Heart That's True" for the "Babe: A Pig in the City" CD, "I'm Not An Angel" featured in the soundtrack of "Mrs. Winterbourne" starring Shirley MacLaine and Ricki Lake and a song in the "Daddy's Dyin' Who's Got the Will" soundtrack. Her song, "Shine All Your Light", co-written with Beth Nielson Chapman, was recorded by Amy Grant for the Touched By An Angel TV series soundtrack and CD, which reached the Top Ten in Billboard's CD charts. She recently co-wrote "Ordinary Heart" with Emmylou Harris and the song was featured in the soundtrack to the movie "Happy Texas". Emmylou's performance of the song was nominated for a Grammy.
Kimmie's 1996 CD West Texas Heaven features 12 of her original songs and includes duets with Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt and Willie Nelson. USA Today says, "listening to West Texas Heaven is like a sweet unhurried ramble through bluebonnets", picking the album for their "Best Bets" section. In December, USA Today picked the CD as one of the Top Ten Country Records of 1996.
Kimmie's 1998 CD release is a compilation of original songs from her first three albums called Jackalopes, Moons & Angels. This Jackalope Records CD marks the first time these songs have been available on CD in one collection.
Kimmie 2000 release was Rich From the Journey (Sunbird), produced by her son Gabe Rhodes. Featuring a guest appearance by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings and performances by such great musicians as Kevin Savigar, the late Jimmy Day and John Gardner, the CD is a brilliant showcase for Kimmie's writing and performing abilities. Appearances promoting that record included the Victoria Folk Roots Festival, Calgary Folk Festival, and Edmonton Folk Festival in Canada followed by the prestigious Tønder Festival in Denmark.
In 2002, Kimmie released Love Me Like A Song (Sunbird). The CD features duets with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Beth Neilsen Chapman, and Heartbreaker keyboardist Benmont Tench. Players inlcude Willie, Benmont, Gary Nicholson, Kevin Savigar, Floyd Domino, John Gardner, and producer Gabe Rhodes. An adventurous journey with all new Kimmie-penned songs, Kimmie once again takes us into new musical waters and the world of her fertile imagination. The CD artwork comes from a series of Kimmie's original oil paintings, prints of which are available on her website. For purchasing information on the originals, contact Austin Galleries.
In 2003 she released a compilation of duets with Willie Nelson titled "Picture In A Frame". It's their first duet CD, featuring the Tom Waits-penned title track, a brand new Willie song ("It Always Will Be"), five original Kimmie tunes, and classics from Rodney Crowell and Willie. The record includes new recordings of past duets as well as "Rhinestone Highway", a track from Kimmie's unreleased theatrical production soundtrack, Small Town Girl. Recorded at Willie's World Headquarters in Luck, Texas with a small acoustic group, this CD captures Willie and Kimmie at their most intimate and relaxed.
Her 2004 CD release is titled "Lost & Found". This is a new set of great songs and recordings, masters that were recorded between 1996 and 2003 and are now being released for the first time, featuring a song co-written with Waylon Jennings and other tracks with a host of talented writing partners, as well as some of Kimmie's best self-penned tunes.
Kimmie's current CD release is titled "Windlbown". This record will also serve as the soundtrack for a new performance art piece featuring live music, interpretive dance, and character portrayals by Joe Sears, scheduled for its debut performance in January 2005. More information about the play can be obtained here: http://www.windblown.biz
Kimmie lives in Austin and performs with her band which includes husband Joe Gracey on bass, son Gabe Rhodes on lead guitar and Kimmie on acoustic guitar and vocals.
Rodney Crowell and best-selling author Mary Karr are scheduled to release "Kin - Songs By Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell" on Vanguard Records June 5th, 2012. Produced by Joe Henry, "Kin" marks the first collaboration between the two writers and is Karr's entry into the world of music.
Long known as a poet among songwriters, Crowell is a masterful storyteller and hit generator. He charted five consecutive number-one hits with the album "Diamonds & Dirt" and has become one of the most critically acclaimed artists in country music. Crowell’s songs have been recorded by the likes of Johnny & Rosanne Cash, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Norah Jones.
He was recently inducted into the Songwriter Hall Of Fame between Willie Nelson and Guy Clark. After reading Karr’s memoirs — "Cherry" and "The Liar’s Club" — which spent over a year on the New York Times bestsellers list and allegedly kick-started the memoir craze — Crowell name-checked her in “Earthbound”, a track off his critically acclaimed album "Fate's Right Hand".
“I called out to her in the darkness because she was a bona fide poet I knew could write songs”, Crowell added, “and despite her professor’s pedigree, she’d ridden a bike in a mosquito truck’s fog”. Karr has taught at Harvard and Syracuse University, where she still holds a chair in literature.
Upon hearing Crowell’s songs, Karr recognized her own less-than-perfect family. “We grew up about 100 miles apart in the same stretch of east Texas Ringworm Belt”, Karr said. She mentioned that both childhood homes had bullet holes in them from their parents’ drunken rampages. But there’s a thread of grace and redemption and at least one gospel number among their ballads and rock songs. In their most recent memoirs, Crowell’s "Chinaberry Sidewalks" (Random House) and Karr’s "Lit" (Harper), religion figures prominently.
They claim a deep spiritual connection made them brother and sister — or kin — and informed their work. “We settled down and raised a record”, Crowell claimed. The stellar lineup of vocalists who render the songs — longtime friends of his — became extended family; Norah Jones, Vince Gill, Lucinda Williams, Lee Ann Womack, Rosanne Cash, Chely Wright, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris and Rodney himself, with Joe Henry producing.
Asked to draw the source of their respective successes in literature and music, despite early hard knocks, Crowell said, “Neither of us was a crybaby, and we kept loving everybody we shared DNA with — no matter how crazy”. Karr said, “An outlaw pedigree isn’t always a disadvantage for a poet”, adding, “this record’s about everybody”.
Los Angeles-based indie songstress Kina Grannis’ is proud to announce the release of her sophomore album "Elements". It follows Kina’s breakout 2011 debut "Stairwells" and showcases a decidedly more mature sound. Produced by Matt Hales (aka Aqualung), whose recent credits include with Paloma Faith, Alex Clare & Lianne La Havas. Kina’s newest songs are filled with layered vocals and harmonies and lush, intricate soundscapes, while documenting a period of growth and change in her personal life, complete with an honesty and a vulnerability that she’s excited to share with her fans.
Kina’s story would not be complete without mentioning how she got to where she is today. In 2007, Kina wrote “Message From Your Heart”, filmed a video and uploaded it to youtube. A few months later, her song and video aired during the Super Bowl in front of its 97 million viewers. Her debut album "Stairwells" debuted on Billboard’s Top 200 chart (and #2 on its New Artist chart) due in large part to her devoted online following. Kina has amassed nearly 125 million video views and has accrued more than 835,000 subscribers on her youtube channel. Her videos have been added across MTV and VH1 networks and she has earned visits on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' and 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'. Kina has headlined tours around the world, selling out shows from New York to Los Angeles, London to Berlin and Sydney to Tokyo.
King Of The Tramps
King Of The Tramps is an original roots rock group, whose sound calls upon influences from modern roots rock, rhythm and blues, rock and southern country rock. Their sound has been described as “whiskey gospel” and “midwestern roots rock” by critics. The band has released 4 albums of original music, “Good People” in 2011, “Wicked Mountain” in 2013, "Joyful Noise" in 2014 and "Cumplir Con El Diablo" in 2016.
King Of The Tramps live show is a foot stompin’, hand clappin’ rock and roll gospel, with plenty of crowd participation. According to City View writer Chad Taylor, "Todd Partridge is part troubadour, part tent revival preacher, Partridge holds court over his audience, welcoming all to the Tramps roots rock and jam band sound with the charisma of a faith healer”.
The band takes its name from the spirit of the golden days when hobos and itinerants roamed the US, many in search of work and some just feeling the freedom of traveling a beautiful young and wide open country. Woody Guthrie most famously represented the image of the independent traveling troubadour, fighting for downtrodden individuals and singing picturesque songs about the beauty he saw from the door of a boxcar.
King Of The Tramps takes its name from a lesser known rail legend, Tex, king of the tramps. Tex rode the rails across the US in the 1930’s and 1940’s, often leaving his mark “Tex K.T.” carved into bridges, fences and buildings across the US.
Raised in the northeast on a healthy diet of Jimmy Webb and Rolling Stones, and drawn by the warm California sun, Kip Boardman began messing with the piano when he was five or so, and much to everyone’s chagrin and disappointment, never really let it go. A longtime bass player with many angeleno stalwarts, Kip has lately turned to the lonely art of songwriting and the more complementary piano and guitar.
Mostly preoccupied with dusty and obsolete forms of country, folk and pop, Kip has released two previous solo albums, 2003’s 'Upon The Stars' on Ridisculous Records and 2005’s 'Hello I Must Be…' on Mesmer Records. Kip continues to play the occasional show with his favorite musician ever, Tony Gilkyson and has recently toured with The Watson Twins. "The Long Weight" Kip Boardman's 3rd and most ambitious album to date was produced by Eric Heywood (Ray LaMontagne, Son Volt) and also features members of Ray LaMontagne’s Pariah Dog backing band, Jennifer Condos on bass, Jay Bellerose on drums and Ryan Freeland on accordion. Along with Patrick Warren on keyboards, David Ralicke on horns and and a dream team of first-call singers comprised of Gia Ciambotti, Claire Holley and Kristin Mooney.
Earthen and halcyonic, "The Long Weight" mines the rich musical landscapes of a distinctly American songbook with shades of Nilsson and Toussaint. "The Long Weight" is a step into late afternoon sun and promises to be one of the most intriguing discoveries if not one of the best albums of 2011.
Krista Detor's debut album, 'Mudshow' ("a small miracle" ~ Rolling Stone), was released in 2006 to international critical acclaim, garnering an average of 4+ star reviews, and reaching the no 1 spot on the Euro Americana Chart. Her follow-up record, 'Cover Their Eyes' ("one of the best albums of the year" ~Revolver), achieved equally unanimous critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Krista's music has been featured at the Cannes Film Festival, on NPR, PBS, the BBC, and countless US and European national, regional, and local radio shows. She has appeared on both US and European television and collaborated on the CD and stage show 'Wilderness Plots', which has received rave reviews and will continue to tour throughout the US well into the future.
In 2009, she was honored to be chosen to be a part of the Darwin Songhouse, with seven other songwriters in Shrewsbury, England, writing for seven days songs to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in his hometown. The event, subsequent concert, and live CD release ("an impressive, intriguing album" ~ The Guardian) were covered extensively by the BBC.
2010 will see the release of 'Chocolate Paper Suites', Krista's fourth solo album, a series of 3-song suites, each connected by theme and/or imagery, and inspired by the works of Lorca, Dylan Thomas, and Darwin, among other thinkers, artists, and experiences.
Touring the US and Europe consistently, Detor has shared stages with Joan Armatrading, Aaron Neville, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright, Sam Phillips, Colin Linden, Chris Wood, Luka Bloom, Slaid Cleaves, Peter Mulvey, The Wailing Jennys, Jakob Dylan, Jez Lowe, Carrie Newcomer, Lucy Kaplansky, and John Gorka, among others, and travels with her partner and producer, David Weber.
Kristina Stykos is an independent music producer, recording engineer, songwriter, radio podcast host, and performer based in Vermont, US. Her recording studio, Pepperbox Studio, is solar, wind and generator powered and fully off-the-grid. She founded a record label, Thunder Ridge Records, in 2005, to release her own material and has since produced over 20 albums for herself and clients who seek her unique combination of creative artistry and technical know-how.
After her first self-produced release, “In The Earth’s Fading Light”, was designated “Best Vermont Album Of The Year” by the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, Kristina completed the next phase of her audio engineering education by earning a production certificate at the Berklee School Of Music in Boston.
She was awarded the “Best Songwriter Of 2013” designation from one of Vermont’s major daily newspapers, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, for her release “Wyoming Territory”. This album was supported in its development by the Ucross Foundation & Brush Creek artist residencies of Wyoming.
“Horse Thief” is her newest release. Her other recent albums include two collaborative projects, “Beautiful Blood” with singer-songwriter Steve Mayone of Brooklyn, NY, and “Raven” co-produced with Grammy-nominated pianist Philip Aaberg of Montana.
Kurt Deemer Band
The debut CD by the Kurt Deemer Band,” Gaslight”, stands apart in both content and execution. Drawing on the angst of americana rock and the melancholy of alternative country, Deemer’s songs feel strangely familiar, yet vital and new.
The swirling dream time arrangements forgo the formulas and emerge lean yet fully embellished. Pedal steel and hammond b3 rise from the mix, catching the ear for a second before fading into the background, subtle enough that you might have just imagined them there. A pop sensibility from long ago prevents anything from getting in the way of a great song.
These are stories of personal disillusionment and partial redemption, about finding one’s place in the world having being eaten alive and swallowed whole, but still emerging alive and kicking. A sense of grace and mellow alienation runs throughout the compositions. Our anger has turned to disappointment coupled with a determination to persevere. We have grown to accept that some true sadness will be woven into the fabric of our lives and we’re okay with that.
The result is not bitter, it’s hauntingly bitter sweet, like a chance meeting with an ex-lover. It is the intimate journey from being authentically broken to cautiously hopeful, in all of its intense and uneasy glory. This is impassioned detachment at its nuanced best.
The paths that the celts traveled from the old world to the new are not etched in stone or traced on maps. But they are recorded in songs, and if you know the songs well enough you can retrace these paths to discover what binds these cultures across the ocean. This is exactly the kind of voyage that American vocalist Kyle Carey undertakes in her new album, ”North Star”, which was produced by renowned Irish-American artist Séamus Egan (Solas). Her songs draw from Americana roots, Irish-American traditions, and Scots Gaelic poetry with the kind of effortless ease that only a lifetime traveler and a musical polyglot can pull off.
Once a full-time waitress as the famed Caffe Lena in New York, Carey traveled to Cape Breton, Canada, on a Fulbright Fellowship to study Scots Gaelic, before ending up on the Isle of Skye in Scotland studying Gaelic song intensively. She then traveled to Ireland to record her debut album. With so much travel and study under her belt, it’s no wonder that Kyle Carey’s new album, ”North Star”, masterfully blends the traditions of three nations into a sound that she calls “Gaelic Americana”. A look at the guest list shows Kyle Carey’s diverse vision, master American roots musicians like Dirk Powell, Katie McNally, and Natalie Haas rub shoulders with young leading lights of the British folk scene Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, and Irish and Scottish traditional artists like Pauline Scanlon, Catriona McKay, and Chris Stout. It’s quite the list of collaborators, something that Carey has always prided herself in cultivating, but the real stars here are the songs.
Each song was written by Carey, excepting two songs in Scots Gaelic and a truly lovely cover of Kate Wolf’s ‘Across The Great Divide’, and though she’s crafting new music, she’s clearly still tied to the tradition. In crafting her songs, Carey draws on long-standing traditional themes of immigration and longing. “Casey Jones Whistle Blues” uses tropes of American folk song to talk about a woman’s dreams for a better life. A song like “Nora O’Kane”, which Carey wrote about an outcast woman bent on revenge, rubs shoulders here with the sad Gaelic lament “Cairistiona” that sings of lost love. “Wind Through Casper” is a haunting lament on immigration and “North Star” speaks to love that comes and goes.
All of these emotions are found in traditional songs throughout America, Ireland, and Scotland, and Carey draws from these influences to create an album that uses universal human ideals to speak to our condition today. ”North Star” is at once an homage to the traditions that inspired her and also a statement on her life’s work uniting American and Celtic traditions. Perhaps nowhere is this more clear than in the song “Sios Dhan An Abhainn” which is a cover of the classic hymn “Down To The River” (as featured in ’O Brother Where Art Thou’) translated to Gaelic.
With ”North Star”, Gaelic Americana singer Kyle Carey is making a powerful statement about the ties that bind us together, ties so strong that they pull families back and forth across this world as easily as the tides. With beautiful vocals, masterful accompaniment, and a far-reaching vision, Kyle Carey is making songs that look forward to the next hundred years of American and Celtic tradition.