Ted Russell Kamp
The path of a traveling musician often leaves the artist longing to connect. With his deeply personal new record, 'Night Owl', Ted Russell Kamp reveals the aches, joys and adaptations to life on the road.
All songs on “Night Owl” were written on the road or in brief tour breaks in the past few years. The record, produced by Kamp, was recorded in L.A., Nashville, Fort Worth, Tulsa and Helsinki, Finland. “Smile Alone” (co-written with Will Hoge) — a song about holding on to love as it changes through the years — is the leadoff track. It lets the Wurlitzer set the tone for the record with an homage to 70's AM radio and features Brian Whelan (Dwight Yoakam, Chuck Berry) and Michael Webb (John Fogerty, Bobby Keyes). “Right Down To The Wire”, reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen's “Nebraska,” is a reflective look at survival in the face of making a dream come true.
There are two versions of “Another Love Song”, track #3, reminiscent of classic Tom Petty, is centered around an honest and powerful vocal, while the bonus track (#14) features Chuck Blackwell on drums (Leon Russell, Taj Mahal) and Danny Timms on piano (Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt) as they help Ted channel a Stonesy boogie-woogie and the classic Tulsa Sound.
On “A Whole Lot Of You & Me” the first verse and chorus is stripped down to Kamp alone on bass and vocals, which brings pure intimacy. The New Orleans inspired “The Last Drop” (co-written with Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke) is a song about living life to the fullest: “I want to be the first in the morning up to see the sun and the last one standing when the day is done. I want to drink the last drop from the bottom of the well”.
The album was recorded following the model of classic vinyl LP’s with a side one and a side two. “Santa Ana Winds” kicks off the second side as it evokes classic Fleetwood Mac and the dreaminess of Southwest desert highways with fingerpicked guitar and trumpet (also performed by Kamp). “At the End Of The Day” gives a nod to classic country with its emotive fiddle playing by Bethany Dick-Olds (Kathy Mattea). “I Been Watching You” features the droney guitar of Jason Cope (Jamey Johnson) and a slow burning floor tom pulse that builds to an emotional rock climax.
“My Heart Has A Mind Of It's Own” is a journal entry as waltz, co-written with Eric Paslay, one of the most soulful of the new crop of Nashville hit songwriters. It features Kamp, unaccompanied, playing acoustic guitar, mandolin, bass and vocals. “Where Out West,” co-written with Dave Gleason (another of the Los Angeles California country stalwarts), is Kamp’s take on the psychadelic country-rock of the Byrds as he brings in old Shooter Jennings band mate John Schreffler on pedal steel.
One of the bonus tracks is a solo acoustic version of “When The Radio Goes Dead,” a song that Ted wrote for the Shooter Jennings record, “Black Ribbons”.
The attuned artist knows they have reached that pivotal moment, when (after years of hard work, self-exploration, audience building, creative honing, and plain old passion and determination) they suddenly create their masterpiece.
Tia McGraff unabashedly peeled back all the layers in "Break These Chains", her new 12 track CD release, on Bandana Records (produced by co-writer-husband Tommy Parham). The rootsy melodies and honest-to-heart lyrics have been produced with such integrity that one feels they are listening to something hauntingly familiar yet refreshingly real. Perhaps it is because Tia’s influences include lyrical wonders like Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin and Mary Gauthier, or because she has drawn from the stories of those who have touched her own heart. Somehow she has captured a unique and moving experience in each song that is perfectly married to mr Parham’s melodies. The CD flows from ballads like, “Between The Bed And The Door” to a lively “Whiskey Ship” and yet with a consistency that comes from stunningly crafted songwriting, stellar vocals, and impeccable musicianship.
Tommy Parham’s hooky guitar work is framed by Canadian musician Johnathon Edwards’ electric guitar, bass and mandolin. Select guest musicians include popular folk artist Ian Bell (accordion), and “hobo” harmonica performed by Reba’s own band member, Jim Kimball from Nashville. "Break These Chains was mixed in Austin, TX, by Rick DeLellis and mastered in Caledonia, ON, by legendary Nick Blagona.
Described as having "a voice stolen from angels", Tia McGraff first stepped into the international spotlight on a CBC TV special with Johnny Cash and June Carter. Johnny was so impressed with Tia, he invited her into June's dressing room to introduce the two. Johnny Cash wasn't the only one who recognized a shining star. Soon heavy weights like Randy Bachman, Dan Hill, Andrew Gold, Mark Slaughter and countless others were inviting Tia to write and record with them.
Every songwriter's dream is to make it in Nashville, and Tia soon found herself moving there to further her passion and craft. It was in Music City, USA, that this Canadian songstress met Colorado native, Tommy Parham.
6 CD releases, 4 CMT videos, 15 years of main stage festivals and headline concert performances, and you have a singer-songwriter who has crafted a musical career that is respected and celebrated by thousands of fans and industry notables today. Performing on main stage festivals, concert halls, song writing venues, and even house concerts, Tia captures her audience and holds them spell bound until her last haunting note has faded.
"Songs for the new album "Stranger Through The Window" came together in France during July and August 2009. The title track was written in Arcachon while staying with a friend. One of the few times during that hot summer – it rained - In fact, it deluged! Watching the rain through the window I also became aware of the house that borders my friend’s garden. She told me something of its history and I wrote: 'Stranger Through the Window'. This track is one of two “narrative” songs on the album – Both drawing from real life. The other, 'The Montbron Girl' is a tragic tale based on true, compelling events - Though both have been 'romanticised'.
There is a bitter-sweet feeling to the album; 'On the Radio' states – 'It couldn’t have been mine playing on the radio/They don’t know me on that kind of show' – 'Chasing Down Dreams' states – 'All this time wasted it’s true/Chasing down dreams that could never come true' – And yet songs from 'Waiting for the Light' (2009) were played on the radio and distant dreams have never seemed closer! 'Where is the Fighter?' - A song for and about Phil Lynott appeared on the EP: 'Where is the Fighter – Songs for Phil Lynott 2009', but has been re-mixed and re-mastered. There’s a country-rock sound to more of the tracks too – especially 'Night is Fallin' and 'Some Answers'. The addition of violin (courtesy of Toby Hill) adds to the country and folk feel that compliments the rockier tracks.
I was also lucky enough getting James Vargas to put down saxophone on a couple of tunes – Including the title track. James is making a real name for himself and is an ‘in demand’ sax player. As on 'Waiting for the Light' Jules Reason displays his excellent guitar, but I also hooked up with some players from way, way back: Gerald Maguire, John Loasby and Adam Beetlestone on electric guitars. The acclaimed American blues guitarist Leburn Maddox also puts in a re-appearance for this album as does Phil Knight, with some sensitive playing. Perry James adds his country feel and Gordon Woodcock supplies some tasteful harmonica. As ever I play my usual range of instruments – Even some lead acoustic guitar on this album!
There’s a real range of genres expressed through the fourteen tracks. This album is both melancholic and optimistic at times – From 'Icy Winter' to 'Sunrise' and 'Summer'.
Recording the album took shape from September 2009 through to April 2010 – I even managed to break my foot in October – Hence the different approach to the drumming in 'Can’t Run Away'!
'Stranger' was mastered by Chris Hardcastle of Arena Sound & Vision."
New album available here.
Rock & Sock Records announced today that they are releasing "Tokyo's Fifth" by their recording artist, Tokyo Rosenthal. Appropriately titled, this is Rosenthal's fifth album on the Rock & Sock label, and number five in only six years. The record includes 9 new original tunes penned by "Toke" and a rare cover of Lennon and McCartney's "Helter Skelter". Also included on the new CD is a video of the album's first single, "What Did I Used To Be?", which went "mini-viral". This is Tokyo's latest release since the critically acclaimed "Who Was That Man?" from 2011. That album made the Top 10 on most Americana Charts.
Tokyo is joined once again by a stellar cast of musicians including himself on lead and rhythm guitar, piano, organ, and vocals. Chris Stamey (dB's) returns on bass, Will Rigby (Steve Earle and dB's) and Logan Matheny on drums, Toke's constant touring partner Charlie Chamberlain on mandolin and lead guitar, John Teer (Chatham County Line) on fiddle, Allyn Love (pedal steel), and Matthew Douglas and David DiGiuseppe round out the players on clarinet and accordion respectively. In addition, Tokyo is accompanied on vocals by the amazing talent of Andrea Connolly.
As eclectic as ever, "Tokyo's Fifth" opens with a clarinet lick and continues to demonstrate his versatility in writing and arranging throughout the entire album. As always the subject matter is controversial, political, and personal. Never a stranger to controversy, Toke covers unemployment, suicide, and out sourcing on the album's first single, "What Did I Used To Be?", and the immigration situation in Arizona on "The Immigrant". Tokyo revisits songs dedicated to cities and neighborhoods with "Killaloe" and "Mulberry Place", and euthanasia on "We Put You Down". Rarely recording material by other writers, Rosenthal, along with the screaming violin of Chatham County Line's John Teer, take on "Helter Skelter", in a very creative and unique arrangement of The Beatle's classic. Andrea Connolly's vocal harmonies were born to be on Tokyo's ode to his father, "Waste Of A Heart", the reggae styled, "Smoke and Mirrors", and she will bring a tears to your eyes on her heartfelt duet with Tokyo on "We Put You Down".
"I can't believe it's only been six years since my first record. Seems like we've been doing this forever, and here we are at number five", says Rosenthal. "I certainly couldn't have done it without the support of my wife Carrie Klein and our daughters, Americana radio, my accompanists, especially my touring partner Charlie Chamberlain, my guru Chris Stamey, and the folks who buy my music and come to our shows. I hope this album will make you think, cry, and feel it to be unique, both musically and philosophically. A lot of great players took part in this project in order to deliver my vision of how these songs should be presented to my listeners. I trust we won't disappoint them and any new friends we pick up along the way."
Tom Mank & Sera Smolen
Tom Mank and Sera Jane Smolen have been performing and writing music together since 1994. Mank, a self-taught singer-songwriter, and Smolen, a conservatory trained cellist, blend their musical languages into an eclectic style.
Tom Mank, an independent singer-songwriter for the past twentyfive years, has played in folk, blues and bluegrass bands collaborating with a host of singers and instrumentalists in Boston, MA, Brattleboro, VT, Keene, NH, and Ithaca, NY. He has toured Europe with Smolen and other musicians six times and continues to generate new music.
Sera Jane Smolen is an active performer of many genres of music, including four centuries of classical music. In addition to her collaboration with Mank, she has performed extensively with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Albert Consort (New Violin Family), Tri-Cities Opera, Mansfield University Piano Trio, Ithaca Piano Trio, Trio Melange, Chiron Festival Of The Creative Spirit and Cornell University Hesterian Musicism. Besides teaching in her home studio, she has taught at Mansfield University, Alfred University, Hobart & William Smith and Ithaca College. She is the assistant director of the New Directions Cello Festival, a founding member of the Binghamton Cello Festival and a guest clinician around the US and Canada specializing in teaching improvisation.
Recordings: "Swimming In The Dark", 2013; "Paper Kisses", 2010; "Where The Sun Meets The Blue, 2007; "Souls Of Birds" 2004; "Conversations In Waves", 2001; "Almost Time", 2000.
Widely respected mandolinist/guitarist Tom Corbett’s third album, 'Tonight I Ride', is a colorfully musical pastiche of open-hearted stories and fond snapshots of the American West.
Highly regarded by peers for his skill at crafting parts that flesh out songs without flash or ego, Corbett’s soulful fretwork is supported by some of the West Coast’s finest acoustic artists, including bluegrass legends Herb Pedersen and Bill Bryson, Los Lobos percussionist Victor Besetti, guitar goddess Nina Gerber, renowned singer-songwriter Claire Holley, vocalist extraordinaire Jonathan McEuen, bassist Randy Tico and acoustic blues duo Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan.
The album came together once Corbett realized he was writing songs “with a Western bent.” The melodic title track’s key line — “I may never have touched the ground of freedom but tonight I ride” — was inspired by a trip to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin, of all places, while “17 Miles A Day” looks at Western pioneers’ race against time and winter snows. “Welcome to Tom’s Place” celebrates the simple pleasures of fishing and friendship with some gleeful picking by Corbett and a posse of fellow Toms (Ball, Lackner, Lee, Rozum and Sauber), and the carefree birthday polka “Doce de Mayo” provides all the excuse needed for Corbett to jam with Los Lobos percussionist Victor Bessetti and Conjunto Los Pochos accordionist Otono Lujan and guitarron player Lorenzo Martinez.
“Ease On Down The River,” previously heard on the 1994 album 'The Cat’s Meow' by the Acousticats, the critically acclaimed folk-bluegrass-swing ensemble Corbett played with in the 90's, reunites him with a pair of longtime friends and musical heroes. “To redo ‘Ease On Down The River,’ with Herb Pedersen and Bill Bryson singing harmony, felt really good”, he says. “I’m really happy with the whole album.”
'Tonight I Ride', which follows 2001’s 'Upstairs At Charlie’s' and 2004’s 'Cloudless Blue Sky', is a crisply produced showcase for Corbett’s wit, warmth and creative versatility. It also shows him settled into a more peaceful phase of his life, sizing up the past and savoring the present. It’s another admirable achievement on his noteworthy resume. Long an active member of LA’s acoustic music scene, Corbett has toured with folk duo Robin & Linda Williams and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band multi-instrumentalist John McEuen, recorded several tracks on Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness’ rootsy solo album 'Cheating At Solitaire', and joined McEuen, Jimmy Ibbotson, Jennifer Warnes and Laurie Lewis in the award-winning 2002 DVD 'Nitty Gritty Surround'. More recently he taught Tom Selleck how to play ukulele for a role, and provided music for the Ted Haggard-themed play 'This Beautiful City' at Centre Theatre Group in Los Angeles. He just played a string of European dates and is currently booking dates for a U.S. tour.
Rex Fowler and Tom Dean emerged as prominent folk-rock artists in the 70's. Rex’s band, Aztec Two Step, burst upon the scene with their self-titled debut album on Elektra Records in 1972. This, and their three subsequent albums on RCA Records, were staples of college and progressive FM radio and helped usher the music of the 60's into the 70's and beyond.
Tom Dean and Alana MacDonald's band Devonsquare was signed by Ahmet Ertegun, the legendary chairman of Atlantic Records, after hearing Dean’s "Walking On Ice" from their self-released album of the same name. Devonsquare went on to record another CD for Atlantic titled "Bye Bye Route 66", which spawned several critically acclaimed singles including "If You Could See Me Now", featuring Alana's powerful vocal performance.
Collectively they have toured worldwide, been reviewed in Rolling Stone, performed on David Letterman and shared stages with such musical luminaries as Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt and The Band, and continue to distinguish themselves as esteemed song-writers, performers and recording artists in the venerated genre of folk-rock music.
Along with several prominent studio musicians, Rex and Tom have teamed up in this labor of love to celebrate the genius and artistry of John Lennon. As a gift to John for his 70th birthday on October 9, 2010, they have re-imagined exquisite acoustic renditions of Lennon’s legendary Beatles songs. Besides a smattering of tasteful percussion, Rex and Tom’s distinctive acoustic guitar and vocal stylings and the beautiful voice of Alana MacDonald, featured instrumentation include cello, violin, mandolin, mandola, bass, slide guitar, accordion and chromatic harmonica.
Happy Birthday John!
Tom Freund, the critically hailed singer/songwriter who often accompanies himself on standup bass as well as guitar and piano, has completed his fourth, full album titled "Collapsible Plans", set for a September release on his own indie imprint Surf Road Records.
Produced by Ben Harper, the album also features guest appearances by Jackson Browne.
New York City native Freund now hangs his hat in Venice, California. When he first moved out to Southern California in the early ‘90s, he formed a duo with Ben Harper, which resulted in an album entitled 'Pleasure And Pain'. Freund spent the mid-‘90s touring with the indie rock cult faves The Silos. In 1998, he released his debut album 'North American Long Weekend' on Red Ant label. The record received an avalanche of critical accolades, most notably in The New York Times in which Ann Powers called it an “unexpected gem” and ranked it #3 in her year-end best-of poll.
2001’s 'Sympatico' drew even more raves. No Depression proclaimed that Freund’s lyrics “capture slices of Americana in a way that many attempt, yet very few actually master,“ while All Music Guide, called it “truly unique and absolutely brilliant.” Freund also is a favorite of NPR’s “Weekend Edition” and has been championed by Los Angeles’ powerful KCRW-FM, where he has performed live on “Morning Becomes Eclectic.”
The Washington Post, listening to the third CD 'Copper Moon', wrote: “Freund clearly delights in enigma. His vocals could go from laconic to impassioned without such obvious trickery as cranking up the volume. His lyrics are full of curveballs.”
Freund is highly respected by his fellow musicians as well. Folk chanteuse Victoria Williams calls Freund’s 2000 disc 'L.A. Fundamental Music' (a soundtrack-oriented EP) “a classic.”
Graham Parker added: “"Listening to 'Sympatico', Tom Freund's second solo release, I find myself just as impressed as I was after hearing 'North American Long Weekend', his solo debut. His songs fill me with an interesting mixture of yearning and melancholy that is somehow thoroughly uplifting at the same time. I get shivers down my spine on almost every tune. Along with Lucinda Williams, Freund is the best singer/songwriter operating today."
"Collapsible Plans" available here.
Born in 1949 in Piedmont North Carolina, singer-songwriter and poet Tom House has produced a staggering amount of work. In the mid 70’s Tom relocated to Nashville where he pounded out over 10 full-length albums, wrote and published hundred’s of poems (which have been translated into numerous languages), all the while producing and editing Rawbone magazine from 1982 to 1990. His first recording “Inside These Walls” was released in 1996 which caught the interest of Bloodshot records when his song “Cole Durhew” was included on a compilation CD titled “Across The Alley” and led to a record deal with Checkered Past with whom he released two critically acclaimed albums: “The Neighborhood Is Changing” and “This White Man’s Burden”. Over the next 10 years Tom would go on to release 5 albums on Catamount Records before the labels demise in 2005.
Tom has also been involved in such projects as an opera based on William Faulkner’s first novel “Light In August” (collaborating with David Olney, Tommy Goldsmith and Karren Pell), stage adaptations of the Lee Smith novel’s “Fair And Tender Ladies” and “The Christmas Letters”, a presentation of May Fowler’s novel “Remembering Blue” and a beautiful chapter by chapter in the round adaptation of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” which was performed for over 15 years all over the south.
Tom House has been branded as “a songwriter’s songwriter”, which is often the case with any artist who scribbles outside the lines. His songs have been recorded by David Olney, Jeffrey Foucault, Dave Isaacs and Rebecca Hosking, to name but a few, and have received praise from Esquire, The Austin Chronicle and No Depression. Tom has also shared the stage with such giants as Arlo Guthrie, Loudon Wainwright III, Hayes Carll, Serena Ryder, Roger McGuinn, Dave Von Ronk, Justin Townes Earle, David Olney, Kevin Welch.
“Nothing about Tom House is easy”, says Grant Alden (No Depression). “Not the high, rushed quaver with which he sings, not the words he writes and the life from which his stories emerge. 'Jesus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore' is a hard and loving record, thoroughly out of fashion, and brilliant. As were its predecessors”.
For Tom Kell it has always been about the songwriting. From his earliest days as a country-rock pioneer on club and concert stages in his native Seattle and throughout the West Coast, to singing duets with John David Souther, Timothy B Schmit and Valerie Carter, he has always been lead through his career by his songs. He writes with a unique sense of time and place, and sings with a voice so full of character and heart, that you feel as though you're standing next to him, seeing the same images, breathing the same moment.
As a resident of Los Angeles for the past 30 years, Tom's songwriting echoes the 'grit and feel' that is LA and captures it perfectly in his new project, "This Desert City".
Tom Kell's 5th solo album continues to deliver his unique, and yet familiar songwriting with the quality and craftsmanship that he's known for, this time taking it to a level of excellence that places his career in its finest hour. More than any, this is the album Tom has always wanted to make.
Tom Kell & Emiko Woods
Music industry veteran singer-songwriter Tom Kell ('Lonely Town', 'One Sad Night', 'Angeltown', 'Complicated Luck', 'This Desert City') delivers a fresh and deeply spiritual album with a widely embraced sound. Written and performed as a collaboration with newcomer Emiko Woods, the result is like an old wine of masterful, memorable melodies captured in new wine skins of contemporary, emotional, harmonic textures.
Among the throngs of fans who have enjoyed this drink, include the famed Ben Harper, JD Souther and Karla Bonoff. Comparisons with the Civil Wars, Buddy & Julie Miller and Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell lend credibility to a style and sound that legitimately stands on its own.
"Glory Bound" is full of the kind of americana gospel music that is rare these days. Smart and rootsy, it moves your soul and lightens your spirit. Produced in a small church studio in Long Beach California, it feels as big as the heavens above, and yet stays true to the pure and simple sounds of a classic genre. Musical contributions include industry legend Bob Glaub (Jackson Browne, John Fogerty) and contemporary master composer and instrumentalist TJ Hill (Future of Forestry).
How it came to be that a seasoned storyteller (who has recorded with such legends as JD Souther, Timothy B Schmit, Valerie Carter, Karla Bonoff and Kenny Edwards) partnered with a bright young unknown singer, is as simple as the longtime friendships they share with each other’s families and their common love of Americana music. What was inevitable soon followed.
After co-writing for several months and beginning to share their songs in churches and local venues, their music found resonance in the hearts of its listeners; but more importantly solidified an undeniable chemistry as musical partners. In 2011, Tom and Emiko began to perform regularly at the First Baptist Church of Lakewood, Tom's home church. With the very first musical offering, the congregation fell in love with Tom and Emiko; and soon after, an invitation was extended to record an album with the church acting as label. A year later, "Glory Bound" was realized.
Tom Rodwell’s critically acclaimed debut album "Live Humble" follows years of extensive touring in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the US, Switzerland and Holland. Rodwell and his band Storehouse are now an established independent club and festival act, and have supported Leon Russell, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Otis Taylor, Son of Dave and psychedelic reggae pioneers Trinity Roots.
Rodwell’s music is based in hard blues minimalism, but filtered through an improvisatory, no-fixed-arrangements approach. As influences from free improvisation, spirituals, calypso and Juju music have filtered into his style, this flexible approach has made his guitar-playing harder to categorize, yet more suggestive and resonant for younger, bohemian audiences.
Similarly, Rodwell’s vocals and song choice - usually half-remembered fragments of traditional spirituals or bizarre calypso tales - have deliberately mixed messages, with the sacred and profane competing for space on the dancefloor. “The feeling is the only content of this music”, he is fond of saying, focussing attention on subtext, accentuation, and social function.
Rodwell’s reinvention of blues as a dance form, (the raucous Storehouse live show has appeared in hundreds of clubs, festivals, galleries, rent parties and dive bars internationally since 2003), upsets purists, but also those who see this apparently ‘easy’ music as one-dimensional and static. It is instead, he insists, music that is still mutating into new shapes, away from the modern gaze, somewhere where rock n’ roll never happened.
Tom Shed, a Grammy nominated songwriter and performer brings “history, humor and the human condition” to audiences around the world in an exciting and entertaining concert.
Performing on guitar and banjo throughout the US, Canada, the Caribbean, New Zealand and Australia for many years, Tom shares his unique perspective of life, love and the world around us.
History - Tom sings about real events.
Humor - Tom brings to his concert songs about: alien abduction; experiencing unique southern hospitality; Motorhome mayhem on Florida’s highways; and learning to appreciate your Grandmother.
Human condition - Tom helps us look at life: a celebration of single mothers; the many faces of fear; dreaming of lost opportunities; love at first sight; a questionnaire for marriage; and PTSD.
Tom writes and performs sound tracks for films and television including Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ringside Miami, and the award winning Archie Carr, A Naturalist in Florida.
Tom produces albums for fellow musicians. Most notably “Walk Proud My Son” for the late, Florida folk icon and Native American, Don Grooms.
Tom T Hall
Tom T Hall, ‘The Nashville Storyteller’, is one of the finest songwriters in the storytelling style in Country Music that there has ever been.
Signed to Mercury Records in Nashville in 1967, Tom T Hall quickly started racking up the country hits – the first in 1968 with 'Ballad Of Forty Dollars'. Dozens of Top Ten hits followed. He has delivered 35 albums in his career with over 50 country charting singles.
Tom T effectively retired from recording music in the late 1990’s but continued to be involved with various bluegrass projects and the bluegrass community, with his own label and a studio in his home.
A couple of Christmases ago Tom T’s wife and song writing partner opened her present from Tom T – A mock-up CD entitled "Tom T Hall Sings Miss Dixie" and he announced his intention to record the album. He told her that she would produce it, pick out the musicians and the songs, and he’d sing it. The album was made and released in the USA on the couple’s own label.
Available now for the first time in Europe, "A Gift From Tom T Hall" shows that Tom T’s talent for telling a story is undiminished. This is a great album of songs played by the finest bluegrass musicians including Earl Scruggs and the late Jimmy Martin.
Tom T Hall is held in hugely high esteem by all in the country music, Americana and bluegrass fraternity. The recent HumpHead Records ‘50 Greatest Hits’ garnered 5 stars reviews, and a brand new tribute album to his children’s songs, featuring Buddy Miller, Duane Eddy, Patti Griffin, Jim Lauderdale and many others, has also rekindled even more interest in this truly great artist.
Drummer and singer-songwriter Tommy Rickard spent 2008 and 2009 in the studio, recording the tracks for his debut album “Dream California”. This record is a melting pot of the music Rickard grew up on. The reverb drenched guitars of California’s surf scene with a raw and honest voice, reminiscent of Johnny Cash. The vocal harmonies of the Beach Boys and laid back feel of the Eagles, with an occasional hint of the punk scene where his musical journey began. The live shows are equal parts all of this with Rickard fronting the band, singing while standing and playing drums. He’s backed by 2 guitars, bass and a female background singer. At times there could be a pedal steel player or possibly someone playing Hammond organ, or even an accordion player. Every show’s different. Every night a new canvas.
Rickard grew up in Northern California on the Russian River and in Santa Rosa. In early childhood he spent many nights singing along with his Italian Grandfather Dominic to Johnny Cash and George Jones songs. As a pre-teen he cut class to air drum along with his mom’s Beach Boys, Elvis, and Beatles records. It all took a turn when, at 13, he got his first drum kit. His first gig followed just months after at a punk festival. Rickard spent his teenage years drumming in the punk band The 4xLoozers and opening for punk legends like Black Flag, Agent Orange, Victims Family, and Sea Hags.
As soon as high school graduation hit he hightailed it down to San Francisco where he met singer Davy Vain. Together they formed the glam rock band Vain. Within a year, they were headlining and selling out clubs all over the Bay Area. Vain were soon signed to Island Records and started working on what would become a sleaze rock classic called “No Respect.” Rickard toured with Vain around the world from 1988 through 1992, opening for Guns & Roses, Poison, and Skid Row. Lemmy of Motorhead jammed with them at the Hammersmith Odeon, the final show of Vain’s sold out UK tour.
The down time after 4 years of touring gave Rickard the chance to reconnect with the SF music scene where he started a new band called Loaded. Their trashy, brit-pop sound garnered them extensive California tours and an EP named “TV Star”, released by Crush Records. When not on the road, Rickard began studies with Bay Area drum legend, Chuck Brown. At this time Rickard also did a short stint with San Francisco punk-metal heroes, The Clarke Nova. They recorded an EP and a full length record for Frank Kozik’s, Man’s Ruin label.
In 1997 Tommy joined up with singer/songwriter Michelle Muldrow to form the alternative country band BloodRoses. After two independent record releases the band drifted off to different states and different callings. Rickard moved on to local power-pop quartet, Blue Sky Roadster. B.S.R. released two records “Julio’s Dream” and “Rollercoaster Goodbye”, both of which received critical acclaim. The band then licensed songs to MTV, VH1, the NFL and a few independent films. B.S.R. renamed themselves Single and released “Welcome Nada” and continued to license songs to MTV and VH1.
It was around this time that Rickard began working with Linda Perry, playing drums on her songwriting demos as well as performing with her live, playing in her jaw dropping tribute to Led Zeppelin. In studio Rickard recorded the Grammy single “Beautiful” (Christina Aguilara). Rickard would continue to work with Perry on her solo records and side projects such as Courtney Love’s “Nobody’s Daughter”.
After acquiring a taste for Southern California, Rickard packed up and moved to Los Angeles to pursue more work as a session drummer. Hard times and closed doors made his first year a difficult one. It was a perfect time for him to pick up a guitar and begin writing songs. The first song written was about longing for a life just out of reach called “Dream California”. Soon Rickard had a few songs put together and tried them out at local open mic nights. He then put together a band of his own and began trading his drum services for studio time to record his album.
As his talent began to spread by word of mouth, he developed a reputation as a drummer comfortable in any style, from metal and country, to jazz and pop. He soon found himself in the middle of the California alt-country scene, a warm and familiar place harkening back to his childhood on the hills of west Sonoma County. From 2006 to 2009 Rickard recorded music for the TV shows 'Scrubs' and 'Army Wives' and the films “Little Manhattan”, “Firehouse Dog” and “Less”, all the while continuing to work with Linda Perry, Michelle Shocked, and members of Dwight Yoakam's and Lucinda Williams' bands.
Part of 2009 was also spent in Germany recording the drum tracks for the Delany “Blood and Ashes”, project. A CD that would accompany the Wolfagang Holbein book, “Chronicles Of The Immortal.” The end of 2009 was spent on a tour of Europe with Vain, celebrating the 20th anniversary of “No Respect”.
"Some of my earliest memories are of riding along the country roads of central Maryland, singing songs - like 'Jack O' Diamonds' by Tex Ritter, 'Born To Lose' by Ray Charles, 'Caledonia' by Louis Jordan and 'Pendulum Swings' by Roger Miller - along with my Dad and sisters while my mom smiled at the landscape gliding by... A seed had been planted.
After years of playing pubs and bars in various configurations I decided it was time to record my first release "Naked & Smiling" (1999) and included a mix of songs I'd written over the years. The Washington Post reviewed it calling me a, "tunesmith in the best sense of the word", and folks started coming out to hear the band that I put together during the recording. A tradition of recording hard-luck, real-life songs mixed with humor and wit was born. I get requests for tunes from this CD at live shows to this day.
"Time Tells Tales" followed in 2003. I started to hone a more Americana sound, relying on my earliest influences as well as artists such as John Prine, Creedence, Little Feat, Springsteen, James McMurtry, Lucinda Williams, John Hiatt, Richard Thompson and Steve Earle. "Time Tells Tales" was given a good deal of radio play in Europe and free form stations here at home and it seemed that I had found my true voice somewhere in that gumbo of influences. The Tony Denikos Band had taken its' shape too and we started playing all across the Mid-Altlantic region.
In 2005, I headed to Nashville to begin my next project, "Already Gone". I started laying down tracks with Timm Biery (Danny Gatton, Nils Lofgren). Timm brought in Dave Jacques (John Prine, Emmylou Harris), Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam), and Warner Hodges (Jason & The Scorchers) on the project to record with Gantt Kushner, Scott and Jen Smith (Naked Blue) and myself – what an amazing experience. "Already Gone" hit the streets with a bang in late 2009 and received critical acclaim from DJs and writers around the globe. It went to #2 on the Euro Americana Chart and #7 on the Freeform American Roots (F.A.R.) Chart right out of the gate.
And now in 2012, "Under The Church" is being released. I've been blessed once again by having tremendously talented musicians and producers work with me to create my vision for the CD. My thanks go out to Gantt Kushner, Scott and Jen Smith, and Timm Biery, for lending me their talents for this project. "Under The Church" goes to places both darker and more light-hearted than my previous releases. It allows me to claim my working class roots, reveal my small town disposition, and provide commentary on our current political climate. It may well be my best CD to date. I'll let you be the judge.
You can find me performing in any number of configurations - from acoustic solo to full on, rockin' five piece band - from South Carolina to Texas to upstate New York. I have assembled a collection of some of the most talented musicians in the country to form my band Tony Denikos & The Working Poor - myself, Gantt Kushner, Lee Townsend, Rick Weisenmiller and Mark Riddle. I feel honored every chance I get to share the stage with them.
I love performing almost as much as I love recording a new song. I cherish the connection that my songs help me make with folks in ways only music can. I sure do hope I get a chance to pick y'all a tune or two sometime soon."
Irish-born songwriter Tony McLoughlin’s 5th album "The Contender" follows his acclaimed 2010 release "Ride The Wind". Working once again with Ben Reel, this time with Tony alongside as co-producer, McLoughlin has also retained the same rhythm section from "Ride The Wind" of Ronnie O'Flynn (bass, percussion) and Michael Black (drums). Opting for a no frills approach and the less is more attitude, "The Contender" is a guitar-driven Americana tour-de-force, with Tony’s telecaster often playing a starring role while elsewhere three exceptional guitarists more than play their part, also adding an eclectic international flavour to the project - German-born, now Nashville-based Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith, Otis Gibbs, Mary Gauthier), German bluesman Timo Gross (with whom Tony is currently recording another project) and respected Monaghan musician Mick McCarney. Elsewhere top Belfast session man John McCullough plays keyboards on all tracks, while harmony vocals are provided by Tony, Ben Reel, Julieanne Reel and Irene Kelley and Justyna Kelley from Nashville.
In 2000 Tony McLoughlin recorded his debut album "Cinerama" in Germany in the talented production hands of Thomm Jutz. This was followed in 2002 with the rougher edged "Glory Bound" also recorded in Germany, this time with a powerful band led by guitarist Keili Keilhofer (Jack Bruce, Kevin Coyne). In October 2006, Tony travelled to Nashville to record his 3rd album, once again in the creative production and guitar playing hands of old friend Thomm Jutz, by now a Nashville resident and increasingly in-demand producer and musician. The resulting album, "Tall Black Horse" was a masterpiece full of deeply powerful songs.
Following an appearance at the Nashville-Belfast Songwriter Festival 2007, Tony signed a contract with the respected Nashville publisher Matt Lindsey (Bonnie Raitt, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Hal Ketchum). Returning to his Irish roots in 2009, Tony recorded the magnificently rocking "Ride The Wind", which was produced by Ben Reel. The infectious mix of rock, blues, and country-tinged roots is a 'play it again' classic and the reviews duly recognized this. A charismatic live performer, Tony has shared stages with Steve Earle, Arlo Guthrie, Tony Arata, Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, Kinky Friedman, Dougie McLean, David Olney, Lee Roy Parnell, Irene Kelley, etc, and continues to tour in Europe and the US with his band and also as a duo and solo act. His live shows are thrilling, electric and exciting.
Tony continues to write and record albums and is currently recording a project with German guitarist Timo Gross and German percussionist Marlon Klein and plans to record a stripped back acoustic album next spring.
Too Slim and the Taildraggers
Too Slim & The Taildraggers' new release, "Blue Heart", was recorded in Nashville with producer Tom Hambridge. Tim ''Too Slim'' Langford also utilized Nashville studio aces and current former Delbert McClinton-guitarist Rob McNelly, bassist Tommy MacDonald, Tom Hambridge on drums and Reese Wynans of Stevie Ray Vaughan's band on Hammond B3. Former Wet Willie frontman Jimmy Hall also makes a guest vocal appearance, as well as lending his harmonica talents.
Too Slim's previous CD, "Shiver", was nominated for 'Blues Rock Album Of The Year' at the 2012 BMA awards. His last four albums have charted in the Top Ten on the Billboard Blues Charts. Just released by Underworld Records.
Tori Sparks is based in Barcelona, Spain, having recently relocated from Nashville, but she spends most of her time on the road all over the world. Tori at the age of 27, has already released four critically-acclaimed albums under the auspices of her own record label (Glass Mountain Records). She walks the line between soulful and hilarious in her electrifying live performances, singing in English, French and Spanish. Sparks is known as the hardest working woman in the music business, booking and playing well over 200 concerts each year.
Tori Sparks’ upcoming fourth release, 'Until Morning/Come Out Of The Dark', marks her third musical collaboration with producer David Henry (R.E.M., Josh Rouse, Cowboy Junkies, Widespread Panic), and her first with Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Elvis Costello, Velvet Underground, Gypsy Kings, Paula Cole, Rosanne Cash). The recordings feature a cast of world-class musicians, as well as special guest vocalists Shawn Mullins, Mike Farris, Paris DeLane and indie folk favorite David Mead.
'Until Morning/Come Out Of The Dark' is not a traditional album, but a study in dichotomy. Sparks chose to release the 13 new songs as two conjoined mini-albums, or a double EP. The first disc, 'Until Morning', reflects the dark, sensual, even diabolical side of Tori’s vocal and songwriting skill. The second disc, 'Come Out Of The Dark', is tumbleweed Americana meets fragile folk, or Tori’s ability to show us the dawn that follows the darkness – in a word, the hope that love can bring. This record also marks the first Spanish-language song that Tori has recorded, a classic Cuban tune from the 1940s called “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás”. The album art is a design by noted New York visual artist Joe Petruccio, best known for his work with the Elvis Presley Estate and Graceland in Memphis.
As always, Tori’s lyrics are the golden thread that runs through this artistically ambitious project. In the heart-stopping ballad “Until Morning”, her voice soars on the line, “I love you the way the tide loves the sand, just like the gun loves the trigger-happy hand”. Never one to shy away from heavy topics, Tori’s irreverent side is also present, in lines such as “I could have been your compass, if you’d learn to read a map”, and in referencing biological facts about sharks in the song “Judge a Book”. Sparks casually comments in “On My Mind” that she and a lover were made for each other in the same way that a pair of mafia-style “cement shoes” are custom-made for their victim. The tone of both halves of this project is distinctly personal in a way that surpasses even the intimacy of Tori’s previous three records. We as listeners get the sense that she is letting us in on a very private conversation, especially on the minor epic “Come Out Of The Dark”.
Sparks’ previous three albums climbed the Americana and College charts in the US and overseas, have been licensed by MTV, Lifetime, Oxygen, Life Beyond Breast Cancer, and featured on the compilation Country Vol. 2 released by Universal Music France (over 40,000 copies sold).
Tori will be touring non-stop throughout 2011 and 2012 in support of 'Until Morning/Come Out Of The Dark'.
The story of Trailerpark Idlers began in September 2006 when Morgan Hellman and Magnus Larsson teamed up with Jerker Andersson and Gunnar Nilsson to start a country band that would go a little beyond the genre. With influences from traditional country such as; Hank Williams, Carter family and Johnny Cash, to rock and punk acts like Rolling Stones, Motörhead and Ramones, Trailerpark Idlers came up with a sound of their own. A year later Ben Dee Salmenranta replaced Nilsson and in February 2008 Miss LisaLee joined to make the band complete
The band is, with the exception of the bass, strictly acoustic. The two lead singers, Morgan and Miss LisaLee, brings a variation in to the music, from raw and mean to nice and sweet. The lead instrumentalist of the band, Jerker, alternate between mandolin and accordion while Magnus beat the drums and Ben Dee ad some bass to it.
Trailerpark Idlers are into a never-ending recording session. Though they has exist as a band less than three years they have released six CD’s so far. They have their own recording studio called “The Forge” and their own label called “Something Wicked”.
The new CD was released in April 2009 and are, at first sight, a collection of Christian hymns. However, as you listen to it you will find that there is a lot more to it than just another country band doing religious songs. You will find that there is hope, despair, doubt, anger and so on....
Trent Miller hails from just outside Turin, the ‘Capital Of The Alps’, in Northern Italy though now resides in London. Since first arriving here in 2006, his fusions of folk, rock, goth and americana have seen him attract a growing following.
His debut album "Cerberus" was released in 2009 on his own Hangman Records label (later reissued through Bucketfull Of Brains). It quickly gained wide acclaim, receiving substantial press coverage and airplay, including Cerys Matthews on BBC6. He returned with a second collection of arresting country-folk "Welcome To Inferno Valley" in 2011.
This was the 1st full-length album released on the Bucketfull Of Brains’ label, directly affiliated to the legendary magazine, the first UK champions of the Paisley Underground and R.E.M. – and as adept as ever at unearthing and supporting maverick talents. It bought more favourable notices, Q Magazine described it as a ‘darkly underground mix of hangovers, anguished love, mournful blues and lonesome country’ and the Daily Mirror declared ‘fans of Gene Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark will recognise a kindred spirit in his glowering meditations and steely worldview’.
Trent and his band – Graham Knight (bass, piano and backing vocals), Steve Brookes (drums) and Barbara Bartz (violin) plus guests Ben Walker (electric guitar) and Paul Cuddeford (electric guitar and lap steel) – then entered Chris Clarke’s Reservoir Studios to record "Burnt Offerings", his most ambitious project to date. It was the culmination of a period of working-up and rehearsing that represented a step towards a more modern, electric-oriented sound, strongly influenced by such totemic bands as The Gun Club and Thin White Rope.
This is the most adept and talented collection of musicians Trent has worked with thus far. As his right-hand man Graham Knight, formerly with Jason McNiff and Harry Oakwood, plays a similar role to Tony Garnier in Bob Dylan’s band. In-demand drummer Steve Brookes also plays with Danny And The Champions of The World and Ahab, and the busy Barbara Bartz also works with Dan Raza and Simon J Alpin among others. Turning to the guest guitars: Ben Walker is a recent BBC Folk Awards double nominee (for his partnership with Josienne Clarke) and Paul Cuddeford currently plays with Bob Geldof having previously been in Ian Hunter’s band.
For live performances the band is now augmented by ace guitarist Paul Lush, also of Danny And The Champs and previously with Alan Tyler’s Lost Sons Of Littlefield.
Vanguard Records is excited to announce the release of Trevor Hall’s new album “Everything Everytime Everywhere” available August 23rd, 2011.
Produced by Jimmy Messer, the eleven tracks on “Everything Everytime Everywhere” showcase Hall’s rare ability to write universal songs infused with underlying themes of devotion and community in the vein of two of his heroes, Ben Harper and Bob Marley. From the upbeat, anthemic “Brand New Day”, straight through to the momentous closing track, “The Mountain,” Hall’s signature blend of catchy pop/rock songs with stylish shades of reggae has made this diverse 24-year-old one of the most lauded up-and-coming artists on the American music scene.
Created with a host of incredible musicians, including longtime guitarist for Matisyahu, Aaron Dugan, bass player Brian Lang and drummer Aaron Sterling, “Everything Everytime Everywhere” also features guest vocals from Jamaican songstress Cherine Anderson.
“Everything Everytime Everywhere” is the follow up to his 2009 label debut, “Trevor Hall”, which featured the single “Unity”, a song written and performed with long time friend, Matisyahu. The self-titled release debuted at #7 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and Hall was cited by MTV’s ‘Subway Fresh Buzz’ Series as “one of the 20 emerging artists for 2010.”
His captivating live performances and growing popularity have led to sold out shows across the country. Hall has also toured with the legendary Jimmy Cliff, Michael Franti, Matisyahu and Colbie Caillat, to name a few.
True North is an acoustic trio ensemble of three wonderful and well-respected singer-songwriters: Eva Hillered of Stockholm, Sweden, Patrick Rydman of Gothenburg, Sweden, and Janni Littlepage of northern California, USA.
Their respective styles traverse many musical genres from folk and americana, to rock, roots, pop, jazz and country, and their performances consist of songs co-written together, as well as their original material arranged for three voices and accompanied by guitars, dulcimer and percussion.
Though they live on distant continents, they are great friends who love each other’s music, and have written songs together for the past few years. Performing for the first time as a trio ensemble at the Copenhagen Songwriters Festival in Denmark in August 2012, the response was overwhelming and they realized that what they had created together with the amalgam of their individual styles and the blend of their voices
and vocal harmonies was very unique. Thus, True North was born.