The Lovell Sisters, Rebecca & Megan Lovell, took America by storm playing at the Grand Ole Opry, Telluride and other top venues and festivals. Now still only 21 & 22 years of age they have launched themselves as Larkin Poe with 5 EP's and 1 live DVD in two years and performances with such stars as Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson and The Indigo Girls. During 2012 they played headline shows at festivals across Europe including standout shows at Beautiful Days, Celtic Connection, the Hebridean Celtic Festival and at Cropredy festival, where they broke the festival record for CD sales! As if that is not productive enough, they are credited for lending a hand to the albums of Blair Dunlop, Gilmore & Roberts, as well as the teenage pop favorites A Rocket To The Moon.
Now the girls present a full album, this time collaborating with multiple Norwegian "Spellemann" winner Thom Hell, and their special guest Sola Akingbola from the multi millon selling band Jamiroquai. The album was recorded in two periods over the two last years, at the studio "Ocean Sound" in Giske, Norway, the same studio Scottish band Travis just finished their upcoming album in. It started as a project to see what could come of a collaboration between Larkin Poe and Thom Hell, a Norwegian artist Larkin Poe had listened to and liked while touring Scandinavia. Luck brought the two bands together, as Thom attended the bands concert, and two visits to the studio later, 10 songs are presented on the album "The Sound Of The Ocean Sound".
Sola Akingbola, the man playing percussion in the multimillion selling UK band Jamiroquai heard a rough mix of the album after playing at the Nobel peace prize concert in Norway and was so eager to play on the record that he spent his 2 days off on his 2 months Jamiroquai tour to lay down some steady percussion work on the album.
The album, available on CD, LP and digital download, has 10 tracks, 6 signed by the sisters in Larkin Poe, 3 signed by Thom Hell, and 1 of the songs was co-written by Rebecca Lovell and Thom Hell in the studio. Masterpieces of pop songs with Larkin Poe's signature mandolin and dobro works, together with the strong voices and choir work of both Larkin Poe and Thom Hell. The album also have the strong musicians Daniel Kimbro on bass, Chad Melton on drums and Mike Seal on guitars, all musicians who have played in the Larkin Poe band up until recently. The Norwegian producer Audun Borrmann recorded and produced the album in close collaboration with Larkin Poe and Thom Hell.
The album is viewed as a project, and the band will only appear on stage together on a few selected concerts in 2013.
Last Man Standing
Where did it all go so wrong for Max Vanderwolf? When did he lose his faith in love and goodwill? Why did he give it away so callously or cas-ually? And what did he trade it in for? Some songs? Some words? Some memories of a vaguely good time that will haunt him for his remaining years?
Considering the 10 stunning tracks on "False Starts & Broken Promises" by his band Last Man Standing it may have been a fair trade. The songs are memorable, the lyrics powerful, and it sounds like he's stumbled down a colorful if crooked path.
Vanderwolf felt this darkness grow inside of him. And after several attempts at recording a new album, the New York-based songwriter gave up and slipped in and out of various forms of self-abuse. Various demo tapes circulated through the music community and they became well-known amongst the community of underground song-writers.
Thrusting himself back into a world of despair and obsessed with artistic endeavour Vanderwolf finds himself in rehab. In an attempt to maintain normalcy, he joins a rehab book club where he is immediately discovered by guitarist and former-pill popper, Chris Cordoba who has himself experienced the verisimilitudes of the music business:
"His demo tapes were widely known to the few in the know that knew. They were the stuff of legend – well, sub-legend--or probably sub-sub legend. After a discussion on that weeks reading, Evelyn Waugh, I think it was, I asked him point blank: Can I produce your next recording? He agreed immediately without knowing a thing about me. We dropped out of rehab that week and started on the record."
Soon the band was playing gigs to enthusiastic audiences. A regular fixture at The Lost Vagueness burlesque parties in London, the band was invited to perform at the Paradiso in Holland for the ‘’London Calling Festival’’, support slots with the Polyphonic Spree, Mercury Rev and Circulus, a weekly residency at Madame Jojo's and festivals including V Festival, Lovebox Festival, Secret Garden Festival and Electric Picnic Festival in Dublin.
"Now I'm in deep again," says Vanderwolf. "And I'm losing my mind - everything must go. Sacrifice it all. Damn the torpedoes. March, soldier. I can almost taste victory. Or is that nerve gas?"
Recorded against great odds, under great constraints and with great ambition, "False Starts & Broken Promises", is the soundtrack to someone's downfall - hopefully not Vanderwolf's.
"False Starts & Broken Promises" available here.
Lathouwers & Barbier
Walter Lathouwers and Bart Barbier. Opposites by look, complementary musical. There is no better way to describe this Belgium based singer songwriter duo.
Walter started playing guitar at age 8. As a self taught singer songwriter he sang and played wherever he could. Through the influence of the bands of the early 70's, he evolved as a musician with a broad interest in blues, pop and rock.
Bart started playing classical guitar at age 7. In his teens he discovered the electric guitar and sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Richie Blackmore, which were the first main influences. In 1996 he joined the 'De Til, Music Univerity' in Antwerp. Afterwards he became a guitar teacher and, occasionally, a session guitarist.
They started writing music together in 2015. Very early on they realised that this process was going far too smooth and in the fall of 2015 they deceided their music needed a platform. So the acoustic experience was born and a first try out gig was planned for Febuary 2016. The reactions were so positive that in the next weeks, new gigs were flying in. A few months later they composed more than enough songs to fill a complete album, and the plans for their 1st full album were born.
In June 2016 they entered the Sputnik Studio in Schoten and recorded their 1st full album "No Time For Rock'N'Roll" in an intense period of just 3 days. The album has just been released. It features 11 original songs and 1 remarkable cover of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'". The music has a big 'in your face' feeling in the most positive way and shows a remarkable musical craftmanship in songwriting and performance. Their style is a sweet marriage of all american and roots based styles of music. From heartland folk, rock to delta blues and so muck more.
Gradually towards the end of 2016 some local radiostations in Belgium and the Netherlands started broadcasting their music. At this very moment, the beginning of 2017, they are full speed ahead in promoting the released album and writing new material for the next step. Lathouwers & Barbier is live already joined by singer An Cornillie and they also started rehearsing with a full band.
Laura Rain & The Caesars
Gone are Nathaniel Mayer and Nolan Strong, Jackie Wilson and Darrell Banks, The Falcons and The Ohio Untouchables. Andre Williams resides in Chicago, Bettye LaVette in New Jersey. Fortune, Lu Pine, Groovesville, Impact, Ric-Tic, D-Town, Inferno, Hot Wax, Groove City Records, and so many more are but memories. Motown moved to California decades ago. Ye who abandoned all hope for Motor City rhythm and blues, enter here. Laura Rain & The Caesars are reclaiming the storied Detroit soul music legacy from the ravages of time, neglect and electronic dance music.
The Caesars are veterans of the Motor City’s r’n’b, jazz, rock, and blues scenes. For more than a decade, the classically trained Laura Rain has been singing in Detroit and Los Angeles with an absolute freedom of expression, permitted by her wondrous voice, an instrument of infinite shadings in timbre that avails itself to effortless glides between registers. Often compared to Aretha Franklin, Rains’s fire, feeling, and expressiveness are all her own.
Producer, co-writer, and guitarist George Friend, another Detroiter returned home from Los Angeles, has made his mark in multiple genres–rockabilly (Robert Gordon), r’n’b (The Sun Messengers), and blues (Janiva Magness) – and released a hip solo album of west coast blues, ”Looka Here!”, in 2004.
Phil Hale has played keyboards for everyone from Martha Reeves to George Clinton, Stanley Jordan, Bettye LaVette, and James Carter. Drummer Ron Pangborn, an original member of Was (Not Was), lays down beats that are perfectly fitted to the Caesars' retro-modern soul and blues.
Tom Hyslop of Blues Music Magazine says Laura Rain is “a force of nature. While clearly informed and inspired by soul and r’n’b styles dating, roughly speaking, from the years between 1965 and 1985, this is vital music for these times”. Blues Junction’s David Mac says “a super charged soul shot that generates enough energy to light a small town and ignite a fire under the ass of all of its inhabitants”.
Reflecting a bygone era when songcraft and spine-tingling vocals outranked guitar solos, Laura Rain & The Caesars have waxed a superb album that falls squarely in the tradition of great soul music, and raised the bar significantly for their peers in today's blues scene.
Lauren Lapointe is a Canadian-born and Savannah, GA-based singer-songwriter who has been gaining recognition for her soulful songs, unique voice, and strong live performances. In 2013, she released her third CD, "Superhero", that was produced by Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith, Mary Gauthier) in Nashville, TN. “Superhero” features twelve original Americana, roots-rock, pop, and old country songs supported by world-class musicians and showcases strong songwriting filled with catchy hooks, memorable melodies, and poignant lyrics.
Songs such as “Superhero” and “Heroine” are fun, upbeat, and empowering with strong choruses. “Scotland Tonight,” inspired by a trip to Scotland, captures the mystical qualities of this ancient land. Lapointe namechecks some of her old country heroes in “Silver Cowboy Boots” and hints of old country abound on tracks such as “Dusty Tired Angel” and “Sit Home And Cry”. The banjo-inflected “When The Wind Blows” has an infectious melody and groove and “The Ghost Of Elvis” pays tribute to the King himself.
To date “Superhero” has been played on over 100 radio stations in the US as well as in several countries and her song “The Ghost Of Elvis” has been selected for Lufthansa Airlines’ inflight program. Her sophomore release “Butterfly”, produced by Tom Prasada-Rao, was released in 2007 and received airplay on more than 100 radio stations in eight countries. Her 2005 debut "Beautiful Shadow" was featured on Georgia public adio and launched Lapointe as a nationally touring singer-songwriter.
Lapointe continues to make a name for herself as a strong and versatile live performer and has played at many renowned listening rooms such as the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, the Rockwood Music Hall in New York, the Jefferson Freedom Cafe in Ft Worth, TX, and Anderson Fair in Houston, TX.
Swedish band Lazy Afternoon combines genuine songwriting with a personal tex mex sound. Their debut album "Whatever!" is nothing more than 47 minutes of pure delight for those who like groovy americana.
"Our sound comes from many years of experience as live musicians and the love of various genres", says band leader Bo Ahlbertz. "We have picked the feeling and the stories from country, the groove from tex mex and a little attitude from rock'n'roll".
The infectious groove is highly created by Jörgen Ahlqvist's accordion, although the instrumentation is not classic tex mex. Lazy Afternoon has invented their own musical flavouring including stylish country licks and influences from folk music. As a member of the folkrock group Patrask, Bo Ahlbertz learned to play Irish bouzouki, an instrument that on songs like "Shelter Me" and "Farewell” contributes to Lazy Afternoon's special version of americana.
The songs of "Whatever!" are made during a period when Bo Ahlbertz has developed his songwriting craft, not least through the international songwriting camps he´s been attending since 2004. The storytelling tradition has inspired the album, where each song reveales a story, about grief, love, nature or a a desire to start over in life.
"Even if we make catchy dance music, you could find a deeper dimension in the lyrics", concludes Bo Ahlbertz. They deal with life experiences that many people can identify with.
Most of the songs on ”Whatever!” are co-writes with, among others, California-based Burton Jespersen and his acclaimed colleague Sofia Ekberg (My Quiet Companion). Bo Ahlbertz contributes four original songs ("Goodbye", "Past Away", "Going South" and "Afternoon"), and drummer Mattias Svensson the delicate "Shelter Me".
Founder and songwriter Bo Ahlbertz is a well known profile in the musical community on the Swedish island of Gotland. During the 80's and 90's he was a touring musician in Westerness and Patrask (bands inspired by Scottish and Irish folk music). After that he began writing songs within the americana tradition leading up to his solo debut in 2013 and the forming of the band Lazy Afternoon. Since then, the repertoire has expanded with 13 new songs. "Whatever!" is recorded by Anders Nordh in Studio Måsen on the island of Gotland, produced by Bo Ahlbertz and released by Artache.
On September 17, 2008, the legendary Levon Helm took his beloved Midnight Ramble on the road to one of America’s treasured venues, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. Accompanied by such luminaries as Buddy Miller, John Hiatt, Sheryl Crow, George Receli, Sam Bush and Billy Bob Thornton, the Levon Helm Band created an unforgettable night of stage magic.
Available on June 6th, 2011, “Ramble At The Ryman” – Live CD & DVD (each sold separately) captures the joy, essence and reverence of Helm’s live shows. This collection features the Levon Helm Band in a veritable tour through the American songbook, performing classics from Helm’s tenure with The Band, as well as song’s from his Grammy winning release “Dirt Farmer” and selections from artists such as Chuck Berry, the Carter Family and more.
“Ramble At The Ryman” came on the heels of “Dirt Farmer’s” stunning debut which won a Grammy in 2008 for Best Traditional Folk Album and landed Helm a spot in Rolling Stone’s ‘The 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time’. In 2009, Helm released “Electric Dirt” which marked his highest debut in Soundscan era at #36 and spent six consecutive weeks at #1 on the Americana Radio Chart. Helm won his second consecutive Grammy for “Electric Dirt” in the inaugural category of Best Americana Album in 2010.
The June 6th release of “Ramble At The Ryman” coincides with the commemoration of Levon Helm Day on May 20th. Established in the House of Representatives by the Honorable Maurice D. Hinchey in May 2006, Mr. Hinchey declared “It is because of this great man, and the great music he produces that the Village of Woodstock, New York, has declared May 20th as Levon Helm Day. It continues to be an honor and a great pleasure for so many of us in New York and across America to bear witness to the incredible career and life of this very strong, extremely talented and generous man. I look forward to many more Midnight Rambles.”
The Levon Helm Band continues to play to sold out crowds at his weekly ‘Midnight Ramble’ concerts in his hometown of Woodstock, NY. Since 2004, a who’s who of artists and fans from around the world gather to share the stage and join in a celebration of this musical icon.
Describing Americana singer songwriter Libby Koch as 'country meets soulful', Free Press Houston perfectly pegs the artistry captured on Koch’s new album, "Just Move On", to be released on June 24th, 2016, by Berkalin Records.
Working in Nashville with Bil VornDick, she draws on legends from Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, to Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, among others, to craft an album of 'true cryin’ and leavin’ country songs'. Combining her country soul with a 7th generation Texas troubadour’s storytelling skill, Koch fills these songs with intimacy and honesty. Like the most timeless country classics, they’re the kind that make you feel good about feelin’ bad.
Koch’s gospel grounded and honky tonk voice powerfully navigates the emotions inherent in an album about relationships, starting with the opening break up trio, “Just Move On”, “You Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “Out of My Misery”, 3 diverse, retro to modern songs that ultimately convey more about the triumph of empowerment than the pain of loss. Tracked live with veteran players handpicked by VornDick, the album, her 4th, is a fine follow-up to her 2014 release, "Tennessee Colony", which drew on her ancestors’ stories to address themes of family, faith and home. Calling it 'a frisky blend of country, folk, bluegrass and gospel set to some mighty fine fiddle, banjo and mandolin' and labeling it 'daisy fresh', the Houston Press put "Tennessee Colony" on its year end top 10 list.
Though Houston native Koch began writing songs in junior high school, she never considered doing so professionally until she attended law school at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University, where she discovered she could hold her own in a city full of heavyweight talents. A job at a large Houston law firm convinced her music, not law, was her true calling, and eventually, she decided it was time to, just move on.....
As a 3 year old, he'd sit directly in front of the saxophone sections of Count Basie, Jimmy Dorsey, Duke Ellington and all the other big bands playing the military base circuit that weaved through Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Before finishing grade school, Lightning Red became a bandleader. After befriending Luther Allison and soaking up the sounds of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Mike Bloomfield, BB and Albert King in and around Chicago, Lightning Red began touring the Midwest and Canada.
In 1976 Austin became his home and touring base. While performing at the Armadillo World Headquarters during the latter 70s, Omar and the Howlers, WC Clark and "little" Charlie Sexton were brought onstage and introduced their music to the community. Lightning Red soaked up the music of The Fabulous Thunderbirds (Jimmie Vaughan, Kim Wilson) at Antone's and met a struggling "Little" Stevie Ray Vaughan.
He has toured Scandinavia and Great Britain repeatedly, with two consecutive appearances at The Great R&B Festival in Colne, England.
Special guest performer at the Whangarei Jazz and Blues Festival, Lightning Red’s concert appearances also includes Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand as well as Sydney and Perth, Australia.
His most recent concerts have been in an acoustic duo format with singer extraordinaire LZ Love, as well as Texas performances with his hot electric band to support the rave new CD ‘The Groovemaster’.
Europe beckons and International reviews and airplay should take Lightning Red around the world once again.
Linq is an edgy, emotional, often political singer-songwriter. A serendipitous series of events propelled her out of a career as a pharmacist and pharmacy owner onto an exciting musical path. Her songs are a unique blend of folk and rock, with an occasional touch of blues, funk, and even techno. Using life's tough experiences, Linq is not afraid to tackle controversial issues, and brings a strong, reasoned voice to whatever topic she addresses, including war, racism, homophobia, healthcare and the environment.
At an age when many look forward to retirement, Linq is kicking it up, cranking it out, and defying stereotypes. This singer-songwriter's music is fresh, uncompromising, decidedly un-stodgy, and lush with life experience. She's passionate about touching lives and making a positive difference in the world. One of the most striking things about her music is the amount of joy and enthusiasm she exudes in spite of her edgy tunes and topics.
Linq came of age in the 60's. Her music harkens to roots in the popular music of that time with its political folk, psychedelic rock and social conscience. Harkens but doesn't duplicate. This is a woman who has found her groove; strongly vulnerable, irresistibly passionate and dynamically humanistic.
Linq's music has also captured attention and won several awards. Her first healthcare song, "Tired", was awarded an 'Honorable Mention' in the 2006 'International Narrative Song Competition' (INSC), "Change The Picture" was a nominee in the 2009 'Political Song Category' in the 'Just Plain Folks Music Awards', largest in the world, and she was named 'Musical Artist' of 2009 in the 'Pride In The Arts Music Awards', presented by the Stonewall Society. Linq was also voted 'OUTstanding OUTmusician' in 2011 at the '7th Annual OUTmusic Awards' hosted by the 'LGBT Academy Of Recording Arts' (LARA) for her music and related activism.
“…Sheryl Crow meets Joe Bonamassa” is the perfect way to describe the musical style of nationally recognized performing artist Lisa Lim. If you’re a fan of Sheryl and Joe, then you will love Lisa's masterful songwriting, burning guitar and distinctive vocals - all with a killer blues-rock edge.
Lisa Lim is a WAMA-nominated singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based out of Fredericksburg, VA. This female blues rockin' versatile axe slinger has been touring, performing solo, in duos, and with her various bands over the past two decades. Her blazing lead, slide and rhythmic guitar chops leave both fans and critics breathless.
Her debut CD, “Crazy Feelin’ This Way”, received a 2008 WAMA nomination for best R&B Blues Recording. The disc is best described as blues-rock with a hint of funk and borderline mainstream. Her latest release, “Lisa Lim”, reveals significant growth as an emotional songwriter and performer, as she explores the industrial power blues-influenced indie music genre. She brings her unmistakable guitar sound to over 150 live shows a year with an energy and passion unmatched in the DC and Northern Virginia music scene.
Currently, you can catch her performing with her bands "Lisa Lim Band” and “Over The Limit”. She also is part of an acoustic duo project with Don Chapman. Lisa freelances and has performed with many renowned artists including Gaye Adegbalola, Andra Faye, Dick Dale, Tom Principato, Linwood Taylor, Duffy Kane, Sol Roots, Mary Shaver, Devon Allman, Firefall’s Larry Burnett, Albert Castiglia and Patty Reese.
Lisa is also a respected music educator who serves as a faculty member at National Guitar Workshop and stays in high demand throughout the mid-Atlantic region offering private and group lessons, and performance seminars.
Lisa is invited annually to share the stage with national artists and lead clinician performances at the NAMM trade shows held in Los Angeles, CA, & Nashville, TN.
She shares her guitar knowledge in columns for Premier Guitar and Guitar Girl Magazine.
It may seem unlikely that one of the most interesting bands in the genre often referred to as Americana, resides in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. This is, however, a fact, and their stunning new album “Innocent Again” is here to prove it.
Thanks to bouts of touring and that reliable phenomenon called ‘word of mouth’, Little Green are starting to make waves in their home country, as well as on the international scene.
“Innocent Again”, their 3rd album, is arguably their best so far. With its inventive variations on country, folk, southern rock and jingle-jangle guitars, it will most likely be the album that takes this already highly-respected band to the next level. Little Green always had good songs. This time around, everything else has fallen into place as well. Everything has improved a notch or two or three - Arrangements, performance, recording, mixing, and mastering.
On “Innocent Again”, Little Green leave the folky tendencies of their last album behind, and go for a fuller, more electric sound, with some surprises thrown in for good measure. Basic recordings were made in Sven Karlssons and Hasse Carlssons Studio Lydde in the spring of 2010. Additional recordings were done in the States and Thomas Pontén’s home studio.
The album is full of highlights. To begin with, it features two duets, “This Is Our Life” (featuring Lisa Pedersen), and “I Can Talk Again” (featuring Keith Miles). “Innocent Again” features background vocals by Kimmie Rhodes, whose songs have been recorded by several major artists, including Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler. A songwriter’s songwriter who enjoys a lot of respect from her peers. Ted Russell Kamp, with whom Little Green will do their fourth tour in August, adds backing vocals to a couple of tracks. The subtly Dave Matthews-inspired “Upside Down” describes a poor person’s upbringing, from a Swedish point of view. “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over”, an old song that was re-worked for Little Green, now features a southern rock groove that let the rhythm section stretch out a little. The majestic closer, “The Band Played On” is reminiscent of The Jayhawks and Ryan Adams, with a touch of swedish folklore.
The nucleus of Little Green was born in 2004, when Thomas met singer-guitarist Andreas Johannesson. ”We actually bumped into each other due to the fact that our children were the same age”, remembers Thomas. It soon transpired that both of them were making home recordings of songs, but had started to feel the urge to perform the material live. Their musical tastes were similar, but not identical, making for a great blend of styles rooted in rootsy american music. Andreas’ laid back personality, great ear and smoothly raspy singing style blended well with Thomas driven personality, and more intense style of playing. In 2006, they started performing as a duo, mixing original songs with material by Tom Waits, Carly Simon and others. Deciding to apply for the Swedish Country Championship, they made it to the finals in the alternative country genre. They were joined by additional members on bass, and pedal steel. For the following year’s championships they added banjo and fiddle to their sound.
”Hardcore bluegrass musicians mocked us because we had a drum kit, but for us the styles and instrumentation are not as important as the songwriting, which is the core of the band”, says Thomas. ”Several of my older songs have been re-worked to suit the Little Green sound, whatever that is”.
For a while, their music was labelled Acousticana. But things were about to change. Undeterred by the hostile reception Dylan got in the mid-sixties, the band decided to ”go electric” in the spring of 2008, when agreeing to do their first tour with fellow Americana artist Ted Russell Kamp. Kamp has released several well-received solo albums, as well as being the bass player, and sometime songwriter, for Shooter Jennings. ”I dusted off my electric guitar, and influences by Little Feat and The Band, and Californian singer-songwriter and country-rock influences slowly started creeping in”, remembers Thomas. Open-minded listeners may also be able to detect another, more unexpected ingredient: British new wave pop. ”I was always a sucker for three minute pop songs, as recorded by Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and XTC in the late 70’s and early 80’s. This to-the-point approach surely suits their lead singer. ”Andreas rarely feels like jamming”, Thomas smiles.
Karl Wassholm was the third member to join Little Green. His fellow bandmembers describe him as a very musical guy with diverse musical influences: he’s a Bright Eyes-fan with metal roots which makes for a sensitive player who can turn into a powerhouse bassplayer, when needed. Jonas Holmberg comes from the south of Sweden, and is the most recent member to join Little Green. Having spent most of his adult life on the road, he has toured with major Swedish ”dance bands”, worked as a truck driver and now studies to become a pilot.
What makes Little Green different from American bands is the Scandinavian vibe that complements their knowledge of the Great West, It can be traced in the melancholic and reflective lyrics and subtly Swedish folk harmonies. ”European DJ’s tend to like the Scandinavian vibe. Hopefully it’s the best of both worlds”, says Thomas. ”We are influenced by everything we hear, and we certainly don’t pretend to be an American band”. Americans tend to love them, though, and Little Green have done three tours co-headlining with Ted Russell Kamp, as well as being his backing musicians. Just like The Band (and, later, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) did with Bob Dylan. Needless to say, they look forward to touring together in Sweden again in August.
Until then, listen to “Innocent Again” by Little Green!
One of the most promising singer-songwriters performing in NYC's East Village right now, Liz Tormes began her music career playing rhythm guitar in the infamous Alphabet City Opry where she was recruited for her sense of time. Since then, she has written an impressive body of work and has performed at Mercury Lounge, The Knitting Factory, Sin-e, and The Living Room. Liz is a guest vocalist on the song "Two Steps", which she co-wrote, on the Columbia Records debut release from Ollabelle and her song "Happy" can be heard in Amos Kollecks's feature film "Bridget".
Growing up in Nashville, Liz spent her time listening to The Smiths and Echo & The Bunnymen while riding to the Grand Ole Opry with Bill Monroe and spending summer days at the house of Johnny Cash. The combination of those early influences and a musical diet of nothing but murder ballads & old time music while teaching herself to play guitar, appears to have had a lasting impact on Liz Tormes' music and lyrics. While the moody songs on her upcoming CD, Limelight, may retain echoes of the stark, honest realism of early roots music, the arrangements and instrumentation move boldly beyond that genre to incorporate quirky keyboard melodies amid washes of sparkly guitar which run beneath her sweetly haunting voice. The result is a dark, acoustic pop record filled with eerily familiar melancholy songs that seem to wander in the window as if from a distant radio and have been drawing comparisons to Sam Phillips, Neko Case and Nina Nastasia. Teddy Thompson & Ollabelle's Amy Helm appear as guest vocalists.
Liz has recently finished recording her first full length album, Limelight, which will be released later this year. Early interest from Ken Coomer (of Wilco & Uncle Tupelo fame) resulted in an EP of demos last year, but the upcoming album will be Liz's first national release.
Liza Carbé is a bassist, guitarist, vocalist and composer based in Los Angeles. After years in the music industry, she finally has her first solo CD available, "Wait For The Spring".
The vocal music, forged in a modern, yet timeless new age style, represents compositions as far back as "Songbird", written when Liza was 19, to last year's creative work "Wait For The Spring", inspired by the passing of Liza's mother.
Liza is perhaps best known as one of the co-founders of the internationally acclaimed, Billboard-charting latin-guitar-world-fusion group Incendio.
In 1999, Liza and her husband and partner JP Durand started working with guitarist-composer Jim Stubblefield. Together they formed the latin guitar world fusion group Incendio. Their first 2 CD’s charted on Billboard, CMJ, and various other charts. To date, they have now released 7 CD’s and a DVD internationally, and tour around the United States and beyond for an average of 120 dates a year at festivals, theatres, clubs and cultural centers.
Liza's life is a total immersion in music and the creative process. She is so pleased to finally be able to share her first true solo CD "Wait For The Spring".
”Born in Cleveland, Ohio , 1957, to Cleveland Indians baseball slugger Al Rosen. Mother Terry died from a long battle with emotional illness, a suicide, I was 13. Mom sang and painted and took me to the art museum often. I have an older and a younger brother, making me the middle child. I was good at sports, but didnt like coaches. My granparents had a player piano and thats were it all started for me.
I wound up in New York via Las Vegas and started playing in local bands. Got a gig playing piano with Otis Blackwell, legendary Hall Of Fame songwriter, Smithereens and I were the band. Then branched off into my own writing and performing.
I was signed by Interscope as Goatboy, and then went Ruffhouse as Goat. Had a little hit with my song and recording of ’Great Life’, many of my recordings have been licensed to movies, film,and television.
I did some opening work for Madeleine Peyroux and changed directions from Goat, rock’n’roll, hip hop, to jazz and blues, pop kinda stuff. Madeleine sang a song with me on my critically acclaimed self produced record, ’Dont Tempt Fate’. ’Who Doesn’t Call’, an acoustic guitar and vocal song from the record, garnered 250,000 hits on YouTube with the same titled video.
Most recently I recorded a record for Jazz Legacy Productions, featurung Cyrus Chestnut on piano. When I do the jazz thing its as Andy Scott, when i do the Goat thing, its as myself.
I wore many hats in New York City. I cooked my way through Hunter College, ran sound and bartended and did the door at Kenny’s and The Bitter End in the Village, while playing and writing and recording. For a minute I was on staff at Julliard, as a modern dance accompanist, and I accompanied modern dance classes at the Martha Graham School, Paul Taylor and Alvin Ailey. I played classes at Suny Purchase as well. I saw Michael Jackson and Barishnikov and Liza Mineli and Madonna.
I walk through the doors of the Martha Graham Dance School. At one point I sat down with Pat Metheny to talk with him about the invisble dancers beat. Pat composed wonderful music for the company.
I played in many clubs in New York City. Folk City, The Bottom Line, The Bitter End, The Bowery Ballroom, CBGB’s, Electric Circus, The Cat Club, Kenny’s Castaways, Joe’s Pub, Smalls. These are some that I remember. I loved hanging out and doing music at any opportunity with my friend Chris Whitley.
I continue to write and record and perform, and decided to assemble and release theses recordings.I am performing these songs along with new songs with my band in New York City.”
Lo Kivikas is a Stockholm, Sweden based singer/songwriter. She performs either solo accompanying herself on guitar or with her band delivering a tasteful mix of rock, country and folk music that has garnered international critical acclaim.
Her debut release, "Master of Your Mind" has been topping playlists in both the U.S. and Europe. For more details and to hear tracks from "Master of Your Mind" please visit Lo's myspace-page.
"Lo’s songwriting is kind of like if Fiona Apple got therapy and decided she liked what she saw in the mirror in the morning."
- Chistopher Coolidge - (Internet programmer, Guerilla Radio)
"Lo Kivikas is probably Stockholm’s best kept musical secret. With the passion of Patti Smith and the depth of Marianne Faithful , she arouses that "conscious punk" that resides inside of every human being."
- Darrin Mazzilli - (songwriter/music publisher - Angel Tongue Music)
The Long Ryders
"Native Sons” by the Long Ryders is, and was, not a mere classic, but an out-and-out groundbreaking album. Recorded in early summer 1984 by the great Henry Lewy (Joni Mitchell's main man in the studio, also producer of the Flying Burrito Bros and Gene Clark) by the time it was released it was the number one alternative/college radio album in the United States and the number two indie chart entry in England... Kept out of first place only by the Smiths' “Meat Is Murder”.
“Native Sons” is the first place straight country & western met a punk rock sensibility on the American musicial stage, and it proved so influential both Chris Robinson (Black Crowes) and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) have named it publicly as a wildly thought-provoking release for young hip (then) punks to have heard. Kurt Cobain had a copy (his favorite song was the 12-string dominated closer ‘I Had A Dream’) and so did Justin Currie of Del Amitri in Scotland. Elvis Costello was such a fan he signed the Long Ryders to his Demon label so “Native Sons” could be issued in the UK.
Starting off with the wild ryde through a musical tip of the Stetson to Jerry Lee Lewis that the banging drums and James Burton-guitar of ‘Final Wild Son’ provided to the ending McGuinn-like chimes of ‘I Had A Dream’ this was a record like no others; Everly Brothers-harmonies with mandolin, banjo and Rickenbackers, Dylanesque pleas for equality alongside aching heart romantic balladry, a sense of purpose and a page turning... “Native Sons” opened as many doors as it shut. With the late, great Gene Clark on board to sing on the Byrds-like ‘Ivory Tower’ this was a sound which announced the future was here and the past was going to be part of it. “Native Sons” is now reissued with both extra tracks and the entire “10-5-60” EP included for the first time. Here it is!
Released by Prima Records on May 24th, 2011.
Lorin Hart has been writing songs about basic issues of love and trouble for most of the time since she left the snowy pastures of Northwestern University and dove into the whirlpools of Haight Ashbury, Woodstock, Cambridge, Greenwich Village, Coconut Grove and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
After years of partnering with her guitar slinger husband, and running around briefly with the likes of Tim Buckley, Leonard Cohen, Phil Oaks, Country Joe Macdonald and Lucinda Williams, they split up and she kept half the debt, her guitar and the kids.
She recorded her 1st solo CD ”Breathe” with Hal Blaine and Don Randy of the famed Wrecking Crew some years back, which brought her air play around the country, as she continued writing while finishing raising up her spectacular children. She has now released her 2nd album ”Love Come Back”, featuring Jim Keltner, and looking forward to many more years of finding ways to tell her story in song.
The famed Paul Zollo would have her tell you she is also the grandaughter of renown early silver screen stars, John Gilbert and Leatrice Joy.
Love On Drugs
”I Think I'm Alone Now” is the title of Love On Drugs debut album, due for release May 13th, 2016.
Behind the name Love On Drugs we find Thomas Pontén. He describes himself as an in Gothenburg residing singer songwriter and guitarist who for the past few years tries to combine the easiness of pop with the often more harsh and brooding storytelling of countrymusic, ”...with hope that others think I do it well”, he adds modestly.
Love On Drugs is essentialy a solo project. Pontén has written the songs, sings the lead vocals, as well as plays most of the instruments, alongside producing. He has however enriched the sound stage with the help of some gifted friends.
Krister Selander has been Love On Drugs bassplayer since day one and was therefore the obvious choice for the album. The frequently engaged drummer Johan Håkansson (Nina Persson, Mattias Hellberg, Kristoffer Åström, Ebbot Lundberg et al) plays on 3 tracks. Jessica Bah Rösman, also part of Thomas´s other band My Sweetest Punch, lent her voice for the title track and for “Queen Size Bed”.
“Watercolors” also features Andreas Johannesson, the lead singer of Pontén´s former band Little Green, who died in a tragic accident last year. The whole album is dedicated to his memory. "’Watercolors’ is actually a demo and the song was meant to be on Little Green´s 4th album. ’River Keep On Flowing’ was the first song we wrote together. It was also played on Andreas funeral”.
Pontén describes the 8 track and 25 minutes long album as a well balanced mix of catchy guitar pop and more low key country flavored songs. One can associate it with everything from the early guitar pop of The Church to songwriters like John Prine. Maybe even a tinge of Scottish 'Postcard pop'.
Lyrically it´s mostly about relations, new, ongoing and ended, skillfully narrated and described from many different perspectives. There is also subtle political statements as in ”Gated Conformity”.
Soundwise he´s gotten inspiration from all over, but the sound is, for being a debut album, very stripped from anything unnecessary. "I have always had a love for jingly jangly guitar pop, but have actually never played that kind of music until I started Love On Drugs. The circle have been closed”.
Lowlands are a rock band, formed in Pavia, Italy, by British born singer-songwriter Edward Abbiati. Hard to pigeonhole, their eclectic sound (a powerful mix of electric and acoustic guitars, piano, accordion, violin, bass and drums) has been compared to such diverse groups as Wilco, Whiskeytown, Soul Asylum and Green On Red. “Roots on the inside and grunge on the outside”, according to one review.
Since breaking onto the European roots rock scene with their debut album, “The Last Call” in 2008 to strong reviews, Lowlands have recorded two further albums – “Gypsy Child” (2010), which featured duets with Amanda Shires and Tim Rogers (You Am I) and was mixed by Chris Cacavas and the forthcoming “Beyond” (2012), produced by Joey Huffman (Soul Asylum), as well as three EPs – “EP Vol 1” (2009) and two download only live recordings - “Radio & Kitchen Sessions” (2010) and “Live in Newport” (2011).
In 2010, Lowlands (featuring Chris Cacavas) contributed a stirring version of “Soul Driver” to the Italian Bruce Springsteen tribute album “For You 2” produced by Ermanno Labianca. A touching cover of the Beatles’ classic “In My Life” was released in 2010 on the tribute album “A Day In The Life”, a celebration of the life of John Lennon and of the Pavia music scene.
In 2011, the band backed Hebridean Folk duo Donald and Jen MacNeill on their album “Fathers & Sons” and have recently recorded (as “Lowlands and Friends”) a Woody Guthrie tribute album – “Better World Coming”, which is only for sale on their website and at their live shows.
Lowlands have toured extensively, both in Italy and abroad, playing clubs, small theatres and festivals (as well as a few jails and a church!).
Lowlands & Friends
”In 2012 we invited friends from around Pavia to make an album for the centennial of Woody Guthrie’s birth. It was a fun way to make music with friends and local bands we love, while paying tribute to one of the greats. In 2016 with a few more band and solo albums under our belt we decided to record Townes’ last ever setlist and to invite friends we had played and recorded with from around the world. We had no budget and every single guest played for free as we recorded this in livingrooms and kitchens, studios and rehearsal rooms. Someone even made a contribution over the phone. Musicians from Austin to Melbourne, from Stockholm to Southend on Sea, from Philadelphia to Pavia. We treated Townes’ songs not as relics but as living and breathing beings and we mixed them up till we smiled. To tie all the various contributions together we needed someone special and we got him. Ex-Borderline manager, legendary tour manager and DJ, Barry Marshall-Everitt was the only man I would have trusted to bring it together. We love his radio work and thought it would be cool to present this as a radio session. Rome based Route 61 Music adopted this album and my thanks goes to Ermanno Labianca for opening his doors to us for this album. I am proud of the album and so grateful to all involved, both past and present Lowlands members as well as all the guests. We hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed recording it. Thanks.” ~ Edward Abbiati, Lowlands
"He tucked the instrument under his chin, raised his bow and waited. His eyes were staring at the beautiful ceiling painting. After a short moment of silence, the music started to flow into his ears. The resonance of the violin filled the empty space with its stunning sound…"
This was the start of Loveflowers second album and the song was “Like A Brick Of Stone”. New studio, new challenges and a new sound merged into Loveflowers world of music.
The debut album had its roots in alt country, folk and pop music. The same natural blend is in the second album. All songs have their own identity, and character, but Loveflowers' soul permeates the entire production. You can still hear the acoustic sound from the first album present, but now embedded in an electrical world.
“We felt we produced a special sound when we wrote 'Shepherd Of Soul' says Michael. Influences and experiences from various styles of music created the song within 30 minutes. The step was not far to the next song "Children Eyes", which received an acoustic sound, due to the guitar figure. “I knew immediately that it would not work with an electric guitar”, says Leif.
“We knew after the first album that we wanted to increase the intensity in the songs. It was not obvious at first, but we found the content, structure and sound of many of the song ideas that were composed from start", says Michael.
"In an ideal world, the listener will feel equally involved, as we do, in the music and lyrics. We are proud of our achievements and feel that this album has developed Loveflowers, and taken the music to another level."
In the Spring of 2006, a seven-year email correspondence culminated in the meeting of Luke Jackson and Magnus Börjeson. Luke had long been a devoted fan of two of the Swedish musician’s former bands: Beagle and Favorita, and the two songwriters finally met in Paris where Magnus was mid-tour playing in The Cardigans. By the end of the weekend they were like old friends and Luke had accepted an invitation to Sweden for the upcoming Midsummer long weekend holiday. These celebrations were taking place in the countryside outside Malmö at the Aerosol Grey Machine - the stunning all-analogue recording studio of Christoffer Lundquist, producer and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, former member of Roxette and founding member of Brainpool, another of Luke’s favourite bands.
The Midsummer weekend was a magical time filled with wonderful people, beautiful weather, great music, fantastic food and free-flowing booze of the highest quality. As Luke boarded his flight back to London in a Schnapps-induced fog, he considered the invitation to “come back and record any time”. It had been six years since the release of his self-produced second album “Momentum”, and Luke knew that the songs currently springing from his right hemisphere were the best he’d ever written.
“Why not make an album with my favourite musicians on the planet?” he mused.
And so Luke returned to Sweden in January 2008 and set to work in the studio with Magnus on bass and Christoffer’s Brainpool bandmate Jens Jansson on drums. The four musicians worked quickly and spontaneously to capture half a dozen songs, including “Come Tomorrow” which Luke had begun writing the day before leaving for Sweden. Luke returned to London buzzing with excitement. Not one to manifest small, he sent the rough mixes of the songs to renowned London-based string arranger Robert Kirby (Nick Drake, Elvis Costello, John Cale etc). To Luke’s delight and surprise, Kirby loved the songs and offered to write orchestrations for the album and accompany Luke to Sweden to conduct the necessary recording sessions with nine players from Malmö’s Opera Orchestra.
Luke had managed to bring together two of his most beloved musical worlds: the pop sensibilities of his friends in Sweden, and the distinctive eloquence of Robert Kirby’s string arrangements. It is the collision of these two worlds which makes “...And Then Some” so compelling. Densely layered guitars and vocal harmonies fuse with sweeping string lines, none of which ever draw the ear too far from what lies at the heart of Luke’s music...gorgeous, expressive, unpretentious songs born of the trials and tribulations of a life lived to the fullest.
"...And Then Some" also comes in an audiophile LP edition, half-speed mastered by the legendary Stan Ricker (Joe’s Garage, Brothers In Arms, and the mobile fidelity edition of Dark Side Of The Moon), pressed on 180-gram vinyl in a beautiful gatefold sleeve.
There is also a 45rpm 7” featuring "Come Tomorrow" b/w "A Little Voice" which comes with a hidden download and a DVD featuring the video for "Come Tomorrow" and studio footage of the sessions for "A Little Voice".
Check out Luke’s recording sessions videoblog at :
Luke Powers was born in Chattanooga, TN. He attended the McCallie School where he graduated as valedictorian and captain of the wrestling team. He received a Morehead Scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Unlike his other scholars who went into fields such as medicine and law, he chose the more lucrative field of folklore. Luke received a fellowship to Vanderbilt University, where he studied the work of his hero William Blake, and began a band called "The Four Zoas" in Blake's honor.
At a Zoas' gig Luke met Brian Ahern, legendary producer of Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and George Jones (among others). Ahern published Luke's songs and introduced him to Tommy Spurlock, producer, musician & steel-guitar wizard. Tommy had produced Rick Danko, David Olney and Chip Taylor — and played with groups including The Band, Leon Russell, Rodney Crowell, to name a few. This odd couple — a college professor and a musical “road dawg” - hit it off immediately. Luke helped Tommy with his next project 'Burrito Deluxe'; Luke wrote songs with Mark Collie and Earl Bud Lee and collaborated with the legendary Sneaky Pete Kleinow of The Flying Burrito Brothers.
In 2005 Spurlock got the idea of writing a protest album — against the US war in Iraq, George W. Bush and the decaying state of the nation in general; Americana music of an America gone horribly wrong. Luke had already written a number of protest songs for the cause and came up with the name: 'Kakistocracy' (meaning government by the least honest or competent). The CD, released on Austin Records, featured Luke and Tommy as The Spicewood Seven with Jamie Oldaker (Eric Clapton, Leon Russell), Rosie Flores, Elana James (Hot Club of Cow Town) and Garth Hudson (of The Band). The effort received high praise.
Luke conjured Garth Hudson into recording on Luke debut CD 'Picture Book' (2007) on Phoebe Claire Records. Garth brought a timeless Band-like swirl of sound to songs like “Knoxville Girl” and “Tommy's Going Home To Texas”. The latter song, written about Tommy's decision to move from Nashville to Austin (and saying goodbye to a dream), brought a tear to Garth's eye during the late night/early morning session. Luke admits, “it's the highest praise I could ever imagine”.
Luke decided to follow up his “personal” album with a more abstract concept with his CD 'Texasee'. Luke wanted to evoke a mythic American landscape littered with the remains of love and violence — Sam Peckinpah, the Coen Brothers and a little Cormac McCarthy thrown in for good measure. Since Spurlock had now relocated to Austin and Luke was in Nashville, the name was more than simple geography. The project also began Luke's long-time collaboration with engineer extraordinaire Bradley Hartman (Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson).
He continued to expand his range and reputation with the well-received albums 'Running To Paradise' - the title borrowed from W. B. Yeats. This was Luke's offbeat “religious album” featuring the song “Johnny Rotten Come To Jesus” which he performed live on Knoxville's WDVX at the invitation of DJ Wayne Bledsoe.
The follow-up, 'HWY 100' (2010) delved further into Southern Gothic Americana with songs like “The Ballad Of The Minie-Ball” (a true story in which a ricochet bullet impregnated a southern belle) and “World's Smallest Confederate Veteran” (a sideshow midget, with uniform and pointed beard, astride on a shetland pony).
Luke's university colleagues think of him as a Blake scholar and little suspect that his music is getting airplay all over the US, Europe, Australia and Asia. He's just happy that his music is out there.
Luke's brand new release 'Memphis Mermaid' pairs Luke with session guitarist extraordinaire and Nashville neighbor Chris Leuzinger (Garth Brooks, George Strait) playing truly “electric” guitar well beyond the bounds of the Nashville sound. Michael Smotherman (who has played with greats such as Roger Miller, Glen Campbell and, yes, Captain Beefheart) returns on keys, and Suzi Ragsdale (Guy Clark and her dad Ray Stevens) gives the mermaid a human voice.
The CD is a concept album about Memphis (and the decline and fall of the American dream) and Mermaids (the miracles all around us that transcend that fall). The mermaids take the form of literal mermaids in the Mississippi to a transgender tween at the brink of puberty to Picasso's "Girl With Mandolin".
There is also a song about the Mayan Calendar ("Last Day Of The World") - hopefully the song will get some listens before the world ends next month, but at least, Luke say, "I'm going out with a bang!".
For Lynn Jackson, it is all about the songs. 10 years and 6 albums into her recording career, the one constant fans have come to expect is top notch songwriting and that voice.
“When I write a song, I often hear the arrangement fully formed – I let the songs lead me into whatever direction they want to go. I guess I'm considered a folk-roots artist, but if my writing and ideas take me outside the genre, I'm not afraid to stretch out creatively. There are no rules when it comes to songwriting."
To celebrate her 10 year milestone and bookend that part of her career, Lynn is gearing up to release her new album "The Acoustic Sessions" on Busted Flat Records. Released as a duo album with her long-time collaborator Chris Boyne, the album revisits 13 songs from her past albums in a more sparse acoustic setting.
“Chris is a really talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who fronts my one of my all-time favourite bands called Sexdwarf. We've worked together for the past five years and he is often my accompanist when I play live. The idea behind this recording is to give people a little taste of what we do in concert. Everyone on the record has played live with me in some form or another.”
Recorded basically live off the floor at Norman Blake’s (Teenage Fanclub) home studio, "The Acoustic Sessions" showcases the strength of Jackson’s writing with the songs nestled in arrangements that are tasteful but minimal.
“On the original recordings, some of these songs featured strings, electric guitars, piano – much bigger arrangements. The tracks on the new album are closer to how they sounded when I wrote them. But instead of just releasing bare-bones version of the songs, I've fleshed them out a bit with upright bass, pedal steel, violin, national steel – still minimal, but with a little extra sparkle here and there. Norman has a great ear and captured everything beautifully.”
Mark Logan of Busted Flat Records says of Jackson; "I never know what to expect when Lynn hands in an album. To go from something like ‘Restless Days’ which is pretty gritty and electric to ‘Soft Stars’ as the follow up which is primarily piano and cello, it’s always interesting and unexpected. Lynn’s records are always deep with songs and reward repeated listening as the songs reveal themselves."
“'The Acoustic Sessions' feels to me like marking the end of a chapter. The songs I am writing now are leading me into a more atmospheric electric direction. Some are going to feature my 4-piece band with me playing electric guitar on some of the tracks. I'm going electric - It’s exciting!"
"I've had the pleasure of working with Lynne Hanson on a number of occasions, and she's a fine composer of interesting songs and performs them very well, she's always welcome on any of my shows" ~ Albert Lee
Roots music, rough-around-the-edges folk. Canadian songwriter Lynne Hanson prefers 'porch music with a little red dirt'. Lynne's songs are like a favourite pair of jeans. They're faded and worn through in spots, with a bit of honestly acquired grit ground into the seams. Lynne is a winner of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, has been been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and has toured Canada, the US, Europe and the UK. Lynne has toured in support of grammy nominated songwriters Gretchen Peters and Steve Forbert, as well as guitar legend Albert Lee.
Her songs may be full of grit, but Hanson's live performances are polished, whether she’s playing solo or with her band The Good Intentions. And she’s managed to get around, having toured Canada, the US, Europe and the UK. She’s played showcase gigs in Austin, Phoenix and Memphis, and performed at several historic music venues, including the legendary 100 Club in London, England, and the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennesee.