Born in 1963 in Borås, Sweden. Raised in a musical family by a drumming father and a humming mother. The results of this love making combo are five music making siblings in various genres.
Ulrik's musical career has always been about; Try everything before you even say a word... and so has now been made. Ulrik has dabbled in ballads, cabaret, children's theatre, coverbands, dance music, heavy metal, musicals, variety shows and much, much more...
Ulrik has also perfomed with a variety of Swedish artists; Lasse Berghagen, Jan Johansen, Jill Johnson, Sanna Nielsen, Tommy Nilsson, Magnus Uggla, Jerry Williams and lots of others.
50 years on it was time to gather all of these experiences, trying to stand on his own two feet. Inspired by by his friends' music, and his own favorite artists, he took place in the producer's chair and began. The result is this 4-track EP you now hold in your hands, where nothing has been held back, neither vocals nor any of the musical instruments.
Urban Desert Cabaret
Urban Desert Cabaret is the musical project of Joe City Garcia. It is a place where Joe City creates and plays music that breaths the great American Southwest. From his youth in Northern New Mexico, and throughout a stretch of time in Los Angeles and the California desert, Joe has been playing everything from Tex Mex folk to garage phychedelia to punk rock.
In the mid 90’s, along with a few other notable musical pilgrims, he became part of an early Joshua Tree, CA, music scene that revolved around Fred Drake’s groundbreaking Rancho de la Luna Recording Studio, recently featured in the Foo Fighters ’Sonic Highways’ HBO series. During that period, Joe was introduced to L.A. author, journalist and performer, Rubén Martínez, who invited him to co-write and record music for a theatrical project called Border Ballad. Subsequently they toured and performed in New York, Boston, Washington DC Los Angeles, Northern California and other places in between.
“Joe City Garcia sings from a body that has shot through both heaven and hell and some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful desert landscapes that lie in between”. ~ Rubén Martínez
In 2014 Joe reconnected with old friends in Joshua Tree, out of which emerged a body of newly inspired music in the form of ”Sometimes The Angels”, recorded at Back Of The Moon studios and released in 2015. A follow up, ”Shadow Of A Ghost”, recorded at Red Barn Recorders, has just been released. Each release has culminated in European tours throughout Austria, Slovakia, Poland and Germany, as well as Southern California, and a 2017 tour is being planned.
These days, when not on tour, Urban Desert Cabaret and Joe City can be found writing, playing and recording new music back in the ever inspiring high desert of California. Urban Desert Cabaret loves to travel and perform, and is eager and ready to play shows wherever and whenever possible.
In February of 2008, at a musician’s gathering in Maine, folk musicians Dan Schatz, Kendall Morse and Jacqui Morse began talking about a CD to celebrate the life and music of Utah Phillips. Within weeks dozens had joined in, and after Utah’s death the project became a two disc memorial, with some of the world’s most respected folksingers recording songs by and for Utah.
Musicians include Emmylou Harris and Mary Black, Pete Seeger, Rosalie Sorrels, Tom Paxton, Jean Ritchie, John McCutcheon, Magpie, Gordon Bok, Emma's Revolution, Ani DiFranco and many others. Proceeds from the sale of this 2-CD set go to suppot Utah’s family.
"Singing Through The Hard Times - A Tribute To Utah Phillips" is released by Righteous Babe Records March 3, 2009.
- The Vic Chesnutt album, and why me and Tommy wanted to do it - By Jonathan Richman -
"My drummer Tommy Larkins and I were driving in the van across the United States as we do two or three times a year on our tours of clubs and I said, 'Y'know, we should produce Vic's next record!'. And he said he thought so too. We both were thinking that the way to get the feeling for Vic as a listener was to hear just Vic - no arrangements, no guest guitar solo guys, no 'ironic' touches or anything else to cloud his voice or his poetry. His guitar playing is also the guitar playing on this recording because we think no help is needed. Tommy and I have toured with Vic several times and he's long been one of our favourites. So we're both proud of this record & glad for the chance to make it our way. A lot of it was brand new stuff, a few hours old or becoming a song right there as he sang".
Vic Chesnutt has recorded with many different people for all kinds of labels, but he's never made an album like his debut on Vapor Records.
Chesnutt's first two releases were produced by REM's Michael Stipe, and from there he was featured in the PBS documentary 'Speed Racer' and his songs were recorded for "Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation". A wide range of artists including Garbage, Madonna, Smashing Pumpkins, REM and Live, all covered Chesnutt originals. He has recorded with groups like Widespread Panic and Lambchop, and musicians as varied as Bill Frisell and Fugazi's Guy Picciotto. Chesnutt recently performed on Cowboy Junkie's "Trinity Revisited", with others and over a dozen different releases of his own.
"Skitter On Take-Off" allows Vic Chesnutt to create his most dramatic album yet; recording devastating songs like 'Rips In The Fabric' and 'Dick Cheney' live with no overdubs. This album becomes a unique addition to his history, and allows the singer-songwriter the chance to collaborate with an important influence. "I'm honoured to work with Jonathan Richman. Over the years he's taken me under his wing and mentored me in a very meaningful way, truly shaping me into the songwriter and performer I am today. And it is an ongoing process". Chesnutt and Richman's work together is one for the ages. "Skitter On Take-Off" features Vic Chesnutt, Jonathan Richman & Tommy Larkins. Produced by Jonathan Richman & Tommy Larkins.
“It’s been said popularity is the hallmark of mediocrity. If that’s true, I must be freakin’ amazing, cause I ain’t remotely popular”, and with that, Victor Camozzi let’s fly with a weathered cackle that seems almost Nietzchen. With two critically hailed albums already under his belt, Camozzi has emerged from the outskirts of Austin once again to release his latest album, "Cactus & Roses". Where his previous outings proudly displayed musical influences across the full breadth of Americana, "Cactus & Roses" finds Camozzi locking in on a tighter sound.
“I got a big ol’ stack of vinyl albums - and one cheap little record player - and the records I go back to again and again are the ones where the mojo of the entire song-cycle has been tuned to a specific frequency. So for this album, I invested in a mojo tuning fork”. The “mojo tuning fork” he winkingly refers to may well have been legendary drummer Gary Mallaber. Mallaber has backed iconic American artists from Bruce Springsteen to Bob Seger to the Beach Boys, and "Cactus & Roses" finds him in classic form. Providing an inventive yet never intrusive backbone for Camozzi’s unique lyrical touch.
Just as on his first 2 albums, Camozzi serves up a well-honed sense of human frailty and the inescapable failings that unite us all. It’s tight hooks blended with reckless hopes and a healthy dash of regret, shaken and poured over a glassful of 1970’s Texas songcraft. Raised by a father who was a prison psychologist and a mother who taught severely retarded children, it’s not difficult to see where Camozzi’s formative years found a foothold in the future songwriters mind. In the landscape of his songs, no one is perfect, and no one is bragging. We’re all just struggling to survive. It’s finding the beauty in that struggle that’s the challenge. And it’s a challenge Camozzi takes up with gusto.
Considered reclusive even by his most fervent fans, Camozzi betrays no regrets when asked about any future plans to perform more often. “Hell, I dunno”, he shrugs as he knocks back another beer. “First and foremost, I’m a songwriter. I’m a lyric geek. I spent my youth reading the liner notes of every album I ever loved again and again and again. Now that I’m an artist, should I put more time into stepping onstage and shaking my ass? Maybe. But I’ll have to consult with my ass first”. And with that, the same cosmic laughter spills forth from behind his grizzled beard. For a moment, it feels like the jokes on you. But knowing Camozzi’s song catalogue, it’s clear, he knows the jokes on all of us.
"We spend a lot of time in search of keys. Maybe it's the key to success... to happiness... or to someone's heart. As I searched for the right key, I found keys to songs, which opened the door to my own heart. I entered into a year of songwriting ("The 52 Original Song Project") where I unlocked my senses in order to create. I let music in and out. This collection of songs was chosen by producer, Geoff Stanfield and me. Each song holds a special place in my heart. This is simply a record of the time. Thank you for supporting my quest to grow, evolve, learn inspire and be inspired." ~ Victoria Vox
Vince Melamed has covered a lot of territory as a sideman and session player throughout his illustrious career. Now this world-class musician has finally settled in to record and release his debut solo album, 'WHAT MATTERS MOST', on Adroit Records.
Vince grew up in Los Angeles, and caught the show business bug at an early age. He formed a band at 14, and signed a record deal at the tender age of 16. His band, the Mugwumps, played every love-in and Sunset Strip-club in L.A., as well as appearing in and providing music for some low budget teen flicks.
But after a short-lived brush with success, Melamed decided to enter music school at CSUN Northridge. After graduating from college, where he co-hosted a radio show, Vince was back on the road as a sideman for Danny O’Keefe, then continuing on with Bobby Womack, David Ruffin, JD Souther, The Eagles, Rita Coolidge, Karla Bonoff, Glen Frey, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Dylan, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell and Dan Fogelberg.
"I had been writing in L.A. whenever I was off the road and enjoyed some success," says Melamed, who during that time had cuts with Cher, Tina Turner and Phoebe Snow.
"I originally came to Nashville to work with Rosanne Cash, and that’s when I began to write music seriously, and was fortunate to find a niche in this community of highly supportive and creative music people," recalls Vince about his decision to relocate. So in 1986, he packed up everything and moved to 'Music City'.
Success soon followed with a flood of songs recorded by Trisha Yearwood ('Walkaway Joe'), John Anderson ('Hillbilly Hollywood'), Jill Sobule ('Too Cool to Fall in Love'), Boy Howdy ('She'd Give Anything'), Restless Heart ('Tell Me What You Dream'), Ty Herndon ('What Mattered Most'), Gerald Levert ('I'd Give Anything'), Jimmy Buffett ('Souvenirs') and most recently, Phil Vassar ('I'll Take That as a Yes').
Vince is also is a founding member of the MCA Records’ group Run C&W.
Now, Melamed's newest effort, 'WHAT MATTERS MOST', includes some of his country hits, but with a different twist. "I'm basically a rock 'n' roll guy, and Jim Tract (the CD’s producer) at Adroit gets that," Vince says. "Jim brought in some great musicians for the sessions. The result is a CD that is infused with an alternative sound that is contemporary and dynamic and includes some of Melamed’s favorite compositions that have yet to make it to the radio.
Vincent Cross is a song poet whose catalogue of critically acclaimed albums draw from the purest of mountain springs to urban Americana. A truly international troubadour, he was born in Dublin, raised in Australia and is now based in New York City, where he often performs solo on his trusty vintage Martin guitar. He has performed for and shared the stage with a diverse range of artists including Oscar winner Glen Hansard, folk legend Odetta, Damien Rice, Michael Daves, Rory McLeod, Ron Kavana, Lloyd Cole, James Reams & The Barnstormers and master blues picker Roy Book Binder. He has toured extensively from both coasts of the US, UK, Europe and Australia, from the Long Island Bluegrass Festival to Greystones Americana Festival.
Cross’s eponymous 6-track EP was recorded in the Isle of Man in 2002, which lead to his inclusion in internationally renowned DJ Jon Richards’s lauded Irish releases, ”Inundations” and ”Undercurrents”. Considered by many to capture a high-water mark in contemporary Irish songwriting, and whose impressive line up reads like a whose who of the Irish music scene with tracks from Hothouse Flowers, Ron Sexsmith, The Devlins, Don Baker, Gemma Hayes, Eleanor McEvoy, Cara Dillon, Mary Black and the Sawdoctors.
Not content to remain in Ireland and the British Isles, Cross arrived in the USA in 2006, which lead to his first full-length bluegrass release in 2008. This 12-track release entitled ”Home Away From Home” featuring a traditional bluegrass line-up, as well as tunes stripped down to just mandolin and guitar. Cross uses his crystal clear voice to create atmosphere and authenticity within the traditional high-lonesome bluegrass sound, which is contrasted with softer airier vocals on the more deeply personal tracks. Bluegrass Unlimited saw it as ”a highly successful endeavour, and eagerly anticipated a follow-up”. Americana UK declared it a "solid bluegrass debut”, while the folks in Nashville's Public Radio station were impressed with the originality and authority embedded in the songs.
It was a chance encounter with American singer, actress, guitarist, and a civil and human rights activist, Odetta in the East Village one night that brought about a personal invitation to perform in her honour. A historic tribute night hosted by Wavy Gravy with performance by fellow musicians David Amram, Guy Davis, and Christine Lavin, and with filmmakers DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus in attendance, it was held at Banjo Jim's in the East Village. On hearing Cross sing in the East Village, Odetta spoke glowingly, "I heard a crystal clear voice that took me back to when I was being introduced to mountain music groups and families of Appalachia. It was a pleasure to hear such beauty coming out of Vincent Cross".
Still in New York City, Cross' sophomore release ”A Town Called Normal”, a journeyed further into americana, jazz infused old-time mountain ballads, down home country blues, traditional bluegrass, and indie folk rock. Three different band configurations added to the musical diversity of this recording, as Cross was accompanied by respected bluegrass players on traditional sounding, but contemporary written songs ‘Childish Things’ and ‘Cursed’, while a free jazz feel was brought to ‘Footnotes’ and ‘Cuckoo’ from sparking newly arrived talent. The third band configuration added a heavy dose of drums and mandolin to creating an indie folk rock flavor, which seems to bring together both of Cross' previous releases on one album.
With new songs waiting to be recorded for Cross' 3rd album, appearances at the International Folk Alliance, and tours being booked globally from Australia, UK, US and Ireland, 2015 is looking like a year of further exploration, collaboration and development.
Rhythm has always been part of Vinny Fazzari's life. He started his musical journey on Catalina Island where his mother owned a nightclub. Early on, he realized a knack for bringing you into his musical landscape.
It has become increasingly difficult to come across something original in today’s repetitive music world. Listen to Vinny Fazzari's music and you will be transported to a world all his own. The simplicity and the arrangement of the songs feel as though every instrument is in it's rightful place.
His new album, ”Live Life Long”, stays with you. From the infectious riff of the title track, to the ethereal storytelling of ”Your Dress” and the devotion of ”Hold Me Close Tonight”. Vinny captures elements of his past, present and future. His ’singer songwriter with a twist’ style takes you on a musical ride starting with the whistle of the train through the swampy blues, all the way to the closing farewell.
Vinny sings about living life longer through love, taking road trips and dreaming dreams, enduring challenging moments and coming home. Vinny's music digs deep inside revealing heartfelt emotions. One listen won't be enough as your heart will most likely ask you for more.
Vanguard Records is excited to announce the signing of alternative indie rockers, Viva Voce - also known as – Kevin and Anita Robinson - and the release of their label debut, “The Future Will Destroy You” on June 21st, 2011. All songs on this new recording were written, produced and mixed by the Portland, OR, duo in their home studio.
“Viva Voce will continue to record, produce albums and tour until a force majeure keeps us from doing so. It is our great joy to now finally be on a label that has a history and lineage to match. We're lifers and it feels good to finally be at home”, states Kevin Robinson.
Known for their hazy atmospherics and soaring guitars, the 10 tracks on “The Future Will Destroy You”, represent some of Viva Voce’s strongest songwriting and musicianship to date. ”The Future Will Destroy You” marks Viva Voce’s 5th recording overall. Kevin and Anita Robinson previously worked with Vanguard when they recorded under the moniker ‘Blue Giant’, featuring Chris Funk (Decemberists), Evan Railton (Swords) and Seth Lorinczi (Golden Bears) in 2010.
“The sheer visceral energy of Wallis Bird could kick-start an entire economy” ~ The Irish Times
Wallis Bird is wild. Wallis Bird is unpredictable. And she is contradictory. The best way to sum-up an artist who combines so many different styles is with the person themselves - hence the reason for self-titling her new upcoming album.
A musical magpie whose mature, self-affirming songs display an unusual emotional breadth, Wallis defies categorization. The Irish artist has paid her dues, shredding her fingers and breaking string after string from the sheer force of playing on stages small and large across Europe, and throwing her entire soul into each performance with a level of energy that makes her an unassailable force of nature.
Wallis Bird cannot - and should not - be pigeonholed easily. Capable of the delicate, gossamer-thin ballads that her tiny 5ft2 frame would suggest, she can also summon up a whirlwind of passion and rage in the blink of an eye. Her performances can transition seamlessly from the defiant anthems that can motivate thousands of festival-goers into a rousing sing-a-long, to the most hushed and fragile ballads that can captivate an audience into a spellbound silence. Wherever you may find Wallis, she stands out as a contradictory, powerful presence, one that can unite audiences anywhere she plays.
”Wallis Bird” was written and recorded in three places that, while geographically separate, were all deliberately chosen to impose their unique atmospheres onto the songs. From the communist broadcasting station in Berlin of the former GDR where the government broadcast its propaganda until the Berlin wall came down; to an isolated ghost ridden cottage on a godforsaken cliff edge in Ireland during the worst snowstorms in thirty years; to her own flat in Brixton, South London against a backdrop of screaming sirens and looting as the London riots threatened to overrun the city. The result is a record that strives to makes sense of the chaos around us all.
A double Meteor Award winner in her native Ireland, Wallis Bird’s new album is her third and follows her debut ‘Spoons’ and 2009’s ‘New Boots’, both of which saw her garner critical acclaim and tour with the likes of Billy Bragg, Gabrielle, The Feeling & Rodrigo y Gabriela. Bird has also played some of Europe’s biggest festivals, with her recent appearance at Paris’ Rock En Seine Festival prompting one of France’s biggest daily papers, 'Le Monde', to hail her performance as one of the highlights of the festival alongside Arcade Fire. An exceptional guitarist, her unique playing style only adds to the intrigue of her performances. Following a childhood accident which permanently damaged her left hand, Bird learned to play her instrument flipped back to front, thus having to create her own bafflingly complex chord fingerings, much to the bewilderment of any musicians in the audience.
The new album ‘Wallis Bird’ marks another progression, a record deliberately self-titled to mark it out as the defining statement of her career so far. So the confident strut that opens the first single ‘Encore’ nestles alongside the astonishing vitriol of ‘Who’s Listening Now’, the folky pledge of ‘In Dictum’ and the almost carefree ‘Heartbeating City’ – all disparate musical elements that go towards creating the whole that is Wallis Bird as a songwriter. The intimacy of the recordings captures the sound and smell of an acoustic guitar being pushed to its physical limits, the sense of a packed-out local bar being conducted in time and in thrall to the energetic, captivating presence who marshals every element.
This is Wallis Bird, an unpredictable artist who chooses her own path and beckons us to follow.
Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros
San Antonio-born Walt Wilkins has been called a genius, more than once, and a writer the caliber of John Steinbeck and his voice as comfortable as a pair of old blue jeans, and he is, and has, all of that. His crafting of story-songs, hard-edged vocals to sing them and a plaintive guitar have made him a fixture of the Texas music scene (and Nashville before that). He’s put his magical touch on recordings by new and veteran artists, too many to count.
With The Mystiqueros, Wilkins has created something of a “Texas Hill Country super-group” that features five great singers and four great songwriters from the heart of the Lone Star State, all of whom have made their own records and are flush with recording credits.
Onstage and in the studio, Wilkins is joined by Bill Small (bass, percussion, acoustic guitar), John M. Greenberg (electric guitars), Ramon Rodriguez (drums, percussion) and Marcus Eldridge (electric guitars). Live performances around Texas are being likened to both outlaw country and classic rock bands, and they’re captured on DIAMONDS IN THE SUN, released July 24 by Palo Duro Records.
Wilkins says this is the most fun he’s ever had playing music in a band in 30 years. He describes the music of The Mystiqueros (nicknamed mq5) as highly reminiscent of ’70s country rock from Texas and the West Coast and blues and soul that members grew up listening to and features high-quality songwriting and musicianship, rhythm, and vocal arrangements.
Small, who wrote and sings the new album’s title track, “Diamonds in the Sun,” was born and raised in New Jersey, and lived and worked in New York City, Boston and Nashville before Austin. He had played with both Eldridge and Greenberg and had done a gig with Wilkins. “So we all knew each other,” he says, “and once we all got on stage together, it became obvious that it was the thing to do.”
Greenberg, a busy first-call guitarist, singer and producer around the Hill Country with four solo records, was born and raised in Oklahoma. He contributed the song “Red River Blues” to the album and describes The Mystiqueros as “the band every kid wanted to be in” back in the ’70s music world of rock ’n’ roll, country & R&B: “You were generally partial to one, and I was a rocker. But that’s the coolest part of being a Mystiquero! There are all three elements on this record, and that’s why it was plausible to put a rockin’ song like ‘Red River Blues’ on the same album next to a great country song about Hank Williams.”
Eldridge, a well-respected guitarist in Texas born in Tomball who’s made two soulful solo records, put his clear tenor voice to Wilkins’ “All These Memories” for DIAMONDS. He believes playing in The Mystiqueros is a rare opportunity. “There are no more bands like this left on the planet. … We all do what we do, bring it and blend it with the other talents in the band,” he says. “This kind of a thing is not planned, it just happens.”
Rodriguez, who grew up in Brownfield and has worked with several young Texas bands and artists, sang back-up on “Big Shiny Cars” and a small part on “Honky Tonk Road” on the album. He calls the band “a powerhouse” and the record a timeless thing, modern but with a vintage feeling. As the youngest member of the band, he jokes that he can still cut his own meat and that he pushes the others with his grooves and his beat to stay up late. “We have fun on the road,” he says. “It shows in our shows.”
For Wilkins — from his first musical influences as an Air Force brat, to his first band at age 15 to writing his first song (homesick while studying in the seminary) to playing own songs and writing in Nashville to his first album and producing others’ — The Mystiqueros might just be about coming home, at last.
“She’s like my rockabilly Etta James. I love her, she’s so brilliant. I don’t think ‘Rollin’ In The Deep’ would exist if it wasn’t for Wanda Jackson” ~ Adele
“Wanda Jackson, an atomic fireball of a lady, could have a smash hit with just about anything” ~ Bob Dylan
“There’s an authenticity in her voice that conjures up a world and a very distinct and particular place in time. It’s not something that can be developed” ~ Bruce Springsteen
'Unfinished Business', the new album from legendary singer Wanda Jackson, will be released October 9th, 2012, on Sugar Hill Records. This is Jackson’s 31st studio album and marks the producing debut of fellow renowned musician and songwriter Justin Townes Earle. Of working with Earle, Jackson comments, “From day one I really liked Justin’s idea to take me back to my roots and make a record of country, blues and rockabilly songs. The band was extra tight and great to work with during the whole process. The record just sounds terrific and I’m hoping that my fans enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it”.
'Unfinished Business' continues Jackson’s unparalleled five-and-a-half decades of influential and groundbreaking music making. Recorded in Nashville at House of David Studios in early 2012, the 10-song album features renditions of “California Stars” (Woody Guthrie, Jay Bennett, Jeff Tweedy), “Pushover” (Billy Davis and Tony Clarke), “It’s All Over Now” (Bobby and Shirley Jean Womack) as well as a duet with Earle on “Am I Even A Memory” (Greg Garing).
The new album follows Jackson’s 2011 Jack White-produced 'The Party Ain’t Over', which received both widespread critical and commercial acclaim. Of the record, NPR Music raved “At 73, she still exudes a youthful sound and spirit, and decorates her unique voice with an effortlessly deep and gravelly swoop at the most unexpected times”, while The New York Times noted Jackson “still sounds fantastic, and her gnarled, feisty vocals are a good fit with Mr. White’s scrappy production”. Moreover, the album found Jackson enjoying her first ever charting on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at #58. Jack White declared “Jackson is influential to every modern female singer, whether they know about her or not. She broke down those walls in the beginning, when it was the hardest to do”.
After performing to sold-out audiences across the country last year, including a 10-city tour supporting Adele, Jackson embarks on a series of performances this fall, including a special show at New York’s Highline Ballroom on October 12. Critically praised for her recent live shows, The Los Angeles Times claims “…she’s still fired up with power and sass”, while the Minneapolis Star Tribune adds “Holy moly, what a powerhouse. This tiny woman in red fringe and jet black hair can still sing with the same power and pizazz of the girl a quarter her age. Her voice still shifts effortlessly from warbly to scratchy to clear as a bell, and still has that girly then sultry then girly then again sultry quality about it”.
"Watermelon Slim incarnates the deepest and truest roots of American music. Combine Jimmy Rodgers, the Carter family & Bob Wills with Blind Lemon, Sonny Boy Williamson and Wilson Picket - and you have Slim - a one-of-a-kind pickin'n'singin Okie dynamo."
- Jerry Wexler, legendary producer -
Bill Homans, a.k.a 'Watermelon Slim' has a storied past from which he draws experience and fodder for the fourteen tracks on his latest release The Wheel Man on NorthernBlues Music.
Watermelon Slim first appeared on the music scene in the early 1970s as the only Vietnam veteran to record a full length LP album during the Vietnam war, a 1973 protest-tinged "underground" release entitled Merry Airbrakes.
In the subsequent years his original material has been reissued and performed by anti-establishment icons such as Country Joe McDonald. He developed friendships and musical bonds with Barbara Dane, roommate Henry 'Sunflower' Vestine of Canned Heat, and his dear fishing buddy, seminal Chicago blues harp plyer 'Earring George' Mayweather.
In his 30 years of music he has played with Vestine, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, the late John Lee Hooker, in Paris with expatriate New Orleans barrel-house piano player Champion Jack Dupree, Boston's leading blues guitarist and producer Chris Stovall Brown, and most recently with Muddy Waters' guitarist 'Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin.
But not until recently did he fully chase the dream.
Less than six months after leaving his most latest truckdriviing job, hauling industrial waste, Slim is now making a living as a full time touring bluesman. The decision was predominantly the result of a recent and nearly fatal heart attack, and the renewed perspective on mortality that followed.
Logically, why drive industrial waste around Oklahoma to dispose of when one can drive bandmates around the United States to play music and entertain? Pleasingly, the blues community has officially recognized him as one of the best contemporary blues artists with a nomination for a 2005 W.C. Handy Award for Best New Artist Debut.
Watermelon Slim & The Workers received 6 Blues Music Award nominations in 2006 and Slim was inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame on May 26th, 2007.
"The Wheel Man" available here:
Wendy Waldman is a critically acclaimed recording artist, as well as a writer of multi-platinum songs for other singers in musical genres ranging from country to pop, film, jazz, children's music and R&B. She is one of the first woman record producers to have a major impact in the music industry. Wendy Waldman's career in the music business started with her band, Bryndle, in the early 1970s in Los Angeles. Bryndle was made up of Wendy Waldman and her friends Karla Bonoff, Kenny Edwards, and Andrew Gold.
Waldman's solo career had an auspicious beginning. The first Wendy Waldman album, "Love Has Got Me," was released by Warner Bros. Records in 1973 and proclaimed by Rolling Stone Magazine to be the "singer-songwriter debut of the year." She has made eight critically acclaimed solo albums and toured extensively as well. In 1996, a "best of" collection was released on Warner Brothers, followed by the reissue of all of the Warner albums in 2005.
More than 70 other artists have recorded her songs in fields as diverse as pop, R&B, jazz, country, film, Latin and cowboy music. Among her biggest records are "Save The Best For Last" and "The Sweetest Days" by Vanessa Williams; "Fishin' In The Dark" and "Home Again In My Heart" by the Dirt Band; "Baby What About You" by Crystal Gayle; "I Owe You One" by Aaron Neville; "Heartbeat" by Don Johnson, "I'm Gone" by Alison Krauss, and most recently, "Fishin in the Dark," released on Garth Brooks' new box set.
Her songs have also been recorded by Maria Muldaur, Robert Smith of the Cure, Linda Ronstadt, Kim Carnes, CeCe Winans, NewGrass Revival, Randy Travis, Randy Meisner, Edgar Winter, Jesse Colin Young, Percy Sledge, Kenny Rogers, Judy Collins, Melissa Manchester, Rita Coolidge and Bette Midler to name just a few. Waldman became the first woman to produce country music extensively and was responsible for Susy Bogguss' award-winning debut album, as well as projects for the Forester Sisters, Jonathan Edwards, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Matraca Berg and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.
Waldman produced the last New Grass Revival album, "Friday Night in America," considered a tour de force in the acoustic music world. In recent years she has focused on producing independent artists, among them Ronny Cox, Brian Joseph, John Cowan, Arthur Lee Land, Anna Wolfe, Katy Moffatt and Rosie Flores, and has coproduced all three of the Bryndle cds which have been recorded since 1995. The most recent project is a live acoustic album for the Los Angeles based rock band Hypnogaja, and she is currently in the studio with the legendary folk/jazz artists Artie Traum. After many years, a new Wendy Waldman cd is finished and will be released in the summer of 2006.
Waldman is the only female musician in the Taylor Guitars clinician program and is in demand for her songwriting workshops/performances. She also tours extensively as a solo artist and in combination with other friends, all across the country and in all kinds of venues.
As a true veteran of the music industry, Wendy Waldman imparts a sense of great joy and passion about all aspects of music making.
American singer songwriter Wendy Webb releases her 5th studio album ”Step Out Of Line” on Spooky Moon Records. Songs written under a Nashville skyline with an urban attitude attracted legendary musicians Wayne Jackson, David Grissom, Mark T Jordan, Willie Weeks and Dan Dugmore to record with Webb. The record consists of 9 original songs along with a haunting electric piano rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘Girl From The North Country’, a stunning tribute that pays homage to her Midwestern roots. The recordings took place in a private residence in Nashville where Webb co-wrote and co-produced with engineer Mark Keller.
Webb says, ”Having a house in town made the recording more organic and convenient for studio players to stop by after their day sessions to play on what I thought were some artful demos. Imagine the thrill of hearing Wayne Jackson, founding member of the Memphis Horns, blow that incredible trumpet solo on ‘Step Out Of Line’ in the living room, and know you captured that performance. Jim Horn played sax on ‘Destiny’s Muse’ in the dining room. I sang and played piano on Dylan’s ‘Girl From The North Country’ live in the living room and Dan Dugmore added the gorgeous pedal steel solo. Each musician’s contribution was over the top. It was an extraordinary experience and very exciting”.
Originally from Iowa and self taught on guitar and piano, Wendy moved to Los Angeles where she was fortunate to meet Joni Mitchell’s engineer, Henry Lewy, who offered her studio time and mentoring. She recalls, “That’s when I learned about recording and my own performance”.
West Of Eden
West Of Eden is the Swedish folk-rock band that has thrilled audiences in Sweden and abroad for over a decade with their unique sound and brilliant songwriting. Masterful musicianship combined with the extraordinary voice of singer Jenny Schaub and a deep love for the traditional Celtic folk music has earned them a solid reputation amongst critics and fans around the globe.
With 8 highly praised albums under their belt, the band has now got used to being called “simply phenomenal” (R2 Magazine), “masters of their genre” (UNT) and “the best of contemporary folk” (Irish Music Magazine). Throughout the years, West Of Eden has collaborated with members from groups like the Chieftains, Mark Knopfler’s band, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Wolfstone and Anúna, among others.
With their 9th album ”Look To The West”, West Of Eden ambitiously attempts to tackle a piece of contemporary Swedish history as they present 13 new songs about the great wave of emigrants that left Sweden for America at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Almost a 3rd of the Swedish population travelled westwards from West Of Eden’s home town of Gothenburg to search for greener shores, and the town flourished in the footsteps of the emigrants.
The fact that so few songs has been written about this in Sweden is surprising, and something the band has taken as a challenge. Among the songs on the record, you’ll find everything from melancholy parting songs like ’Going To Hull’ and ’Sweet Old Country’ to gutsy folk-rocking tunes like ’Wilson Line’. The hopes and dreams surrounding the new life waiting on the other side of the ocean can be heard in the title track, while ’Please Mister Agent’ is a tongue-in-cheek story, based on an authentic letter that Jenny Schaub has rewritten into a song.
With ”Look To The West”, West Of Eden has created a thematic, yet varied collection of songs with a subject matter as present today as it was back in the days of the Swedish emigration. Breakups and departures. Memories, wishes and hopes for the future. The first steps on a long journey.
A blues-influenced americana guitarist and songwriter, Sid Whelan cut his teeth on rock 'n' roll and charted on Midwestern indie college radio in the mid 80’s with his song “NY Taxi”. Early in his career, Whelan was lead guitarist with various world music acts including the Lijadu Sisters and later Afroblue, which also experienced regional indie radio success with their cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “You Can Get It If You Really Want”. Following the breakup of Afroblue, Sid left his guitars in their cases for the better part of a decade while he made a life and family in New York City. Now he’s back and again on the radio and web with americana and blues show airplay around the country of “Frisco Lines”, the rollicking Fred McDowell country-blues opening track on his 2013 comeback album, “Flood Waters Rising”.
The comeback started in July 2012 when Sid’s niece Lora-Faye - the 2012 NPR Mountain Stage Songwriting Contest winner - called him to replace her previous lead guitarist. Sid joined her for a baptism-by-fire return to performance for a string of gigs in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Rejuvenated, he began writing music again, returning for inspiration to his love of pre-1960 American music, particularly the blues but also country, folk, bluegrass, Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and jazz.
In 2013 he created the band Whelan, featuring Naido Vargas on keys and harmonica, Richard Huntley on drums and Doug Berns on bass. The group’s 1st CD “Flood Waters Rising”, a blues-inspired collection of 9 songs, was released in October of 2013. Songs from that disc are part of the band’s current live show, as is repertoire from the upcoming disc “The Story Of Ike Dupree”, which will be the first Whelan album to feature a horn section. Speaking of horns, Funk pioneer Fred Wesley (James Brown, Parliament, Count Basi, Bootsy Collins, De La Soul), who was part of the legendary horn section with Maceo Parker and Pee Wee Ellis, has done 8 of the horn arrangements and also played on the tracks for the new recording. "The Story Of Ike Dupree” will mark a major milestone in Sid’s evolution as a songwriter and – even before its release – has resulted in a songwriting commission from a more established artist who loved his latest work, as well as moving on to the semi-finals in the blues category of the 2014 International Songwriting Competition for the track “Every Time I See Her”.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. ”Leave No Bridge Unburned” sees Whitehorse shaping a bigger, bolder rock sound. Any lingering assumptions that the two are working within the boundaries of a folk duo should be put to rest. ”Leave No Bridge Unburned” is a fiery, forceful and finely tuned album. While there’s more in the mix now, more people at the board, more sonic swagger in the ears, Whitehorse will continue to be a story told of intimacy and passion. Two musicians, one band, no looking back.
Opening track, “Baby What’s Wrong”, is the story of a creepy lover told with an evil twang, an even darker version of Calexico’s “desert noir”. The mariachi trumpet of “You Get Older”, about a human smuggler with an existential side, also conjures the burnt-out border towns, stray dogs and rooster crows that populate spaghetti westerns, southern gothic novels and dusty post- apocalyptic landscapes.
Whitehorse formed in 2010 by husband and wife solo musicians Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. The two toured in each other’s bands for years, but they put aside their award winning individual careers to build a new band out of their exceptional guitar playing, his and her harmonies and a flair for dramatic, narrative songwriting. Whitehorse has since been nominated for the Polaris Short List (2013) for ”The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss”, played sold out shows across Canada and established itself in the USA as a band to watch with stellar reviews and coverage running in The Huffington Post, Relix, American Songwriter, CMT Edge, Garden & Gun, Blurt and much more.
On January 26, 2010, venerated songwriter Will Hoge steps to the fore with 'The Wreckage,' (Rykodisc/ADA), his most impassioned album of rugged and powerful rock and roll to date. The new album, Hoge's first since 2007's acclaimed 'Draw the Curtains,' features eleven new songs of heartfelt choruses and raw, emotive power that curse life's wrong turns and celebrate its triumphs.
Recorded at Nashville's Sound Emporium with producers Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) and Charlie Brocco (George Harrison) and mixed by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash), the new album was crafted with a depth of sound and musicality that undeniably breaks new ground for Hoge.
Routinely performing 200 + dates per year, Hoge was temporarily sidelined by a serious traffic accident in 2008 on his way home from a recording session. After spending several months recuperating, he completed the album and recently returned to the stage with a string of sold out hometown shows in Nashville.
Will Hoge will return to Europe in January 2010 for a number of live dates to promote the album.
Will T Massey
"I traded my shotgun for studio time, to a guy who lived on the edge of town, that was one. Some guys from Austin and I travelled out to West Texas. There was an older fiddle player with me, and a negro woman. That was two. Jesse Taylor and I did some studio work together out in Lubbock. A bunch of other people were involved, that was three. I met Bruce Springsteen, making four, in L.A. I still owe him money for some studio time. 5 and 6 were solo's. The objective was to have some relationship with an audience. I got the Sexton brothers together on 7, back in a big studio. The Eastside Flash and I got together on 8, comfortable, cerebral working, crafted instrumentation, rootsy. Lost a love and made number 9. Lost a friend working on it. Dig it. Others, you know I'm spinning 'em.” ~ Will T Massey
"I’ve known Wyatt since he was a teenager and even helped him make his first album way back in the 80s. I was delighted to hear that he’d stepped back over to the other side of the microphone after years of success as a writer and producer in Nashville. Even as a youngster I loved his songwriting and smooth vocal style, but now he has matured into a legitimate triple threat - producer, writer and performer. 'Goodbye Hello' is a peerless collection of songs sung with quiet conviction and effortless style.” ~ Don Dixon
Easterling says, “In Nashville, there’s nothing a songwriter likes better than a co-writer with a broken heart. You can really mine that for great stuff. That said, I’ve been going through some major life changes, so I’ve had my own stuff to mine lately. In the process of writing these songs I discovered, for the umpteenth time, that life is about facing change and embracing it. As this new album began to come into focus, it dawned on me that I'd been writing songs about my own transitions - some good, like kicking the smokes and the booze, some happy times and some sad goodbyes, songs about people coming and going, songs about living and one or two about dying. I must say, 'Goodbye Hello' is the most personal album I’ve recorded to date".
Easterling’s career has been full of chart-topping songs including cuts with Dierks Bentley, Joe Diffie, Billy Joe Royal, Paul Thorn, Neal McCoy, Sons Of The Desert, Robby Hecht and others, but these days Easterling is embracing the life of a troubadour, focusing his energy on bringing his music and his stories directly to his audience. He’s toured with some of his favorite songwriters (who collectively have won 18 Juno and 35 Canadian and U.S. country music awards between them) and helped create ‘The Troubadours’ tour. The fall of 2013 saw them completing their 2nd Canadian tour with another planned for the fall of 2014. Easterling has plenty of solo touring planned as well. “Playing for new audiences reminds me why I fell in love with music in the first place”.
Growing up in Chapel Hill, NC, Easterling released his debut album, "Both Sides Of The Shore", on Moonlight Records in 1981. With his album tucked under his arm, he moved to Nashville and began striving to make his way in the music business in whatever way he could. Wyatt began writing for various song publishers and while looking for a new record deal he was asked by Atlantic Records to head up their A&R department. It was a departure from his original dreams, but that same year, he wrote and sang on 'This Time I’m Takin' My Time” for Neal McCoy’s album "At This Moment". This collaboration launched more than 2 decades of gold and platinum winning releases with Easterling acting as songwriter, producer, executive and/or session player. Wyatt’s partnership with Miles Copeland (The Police & Sting) Bugle Publishing Group and Firstars Management occupied him in the late 90's and early 00's. Leaving Bugle and Firstars, Wyatt's next step was to work on his own writing with songs like his title track for Dierks Bentley’s chart-topping, million-selling album "Modern Day Drifter", followed by his critically acclaimed album "Where This River Goes" released on High Horse Records on May 4, 2009.
West Coast artist Wyckham Porteous has recorded a new album for Cordova Bay Records that was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham last winter in Vancouver.
Oldham left school at sixteen to work for fashion designer Mary Quant; became a publicist who helped Brian Epstein promote the Beatles in their early days; and helmed the Rolling Stones' rise to glory as their manager. He spends part of his time each year split between Vancouver, British Columbia and Bogota, Colombia.
Porteous, born in Victoria, British Columbia, schooled in Nanaimo and lives in Vancouver but has been a world traveller supporting previous albums that have been released in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, The Netherlands and Germany. Previous releases have reached the Top Ten on the Gavin Report's "Americana" chart and the video for the title track of his last release was in the National Canadian Bravo Top Ten list for 20 weeks.
In theatre, Wyckham has received back to back Jesse nominations for "Outstanding Sound Design" and "Original Composition".
He and Oldham have created a quiet, comfortable record that mostly features Wyckham's original tunes. However, Oldham remembered his early days in the business when he worked for The Beatles and felt this album should include a cover of "Please, Please Me", but recorded as it was meant to be when it was written. Originally it was a tribute to Ray Orbison and copied his slow and methodical way. George Martin requested that the tempo be upped considerably for The Beatles released version.
Playing a hunch, the track was previewed on two BBC Radio 1 programs in late winter generating a tremendous response from listeners. With just 3 spins each on two shows over 500 emails were generated demanding that the track be released for sale to the public. With the album completed, titled "3 AM", it will be scheduled for release shortly.
Yael Meyer is an internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter, composer, producer, musician and performer with a career spanning over 10 years that includes several albums, an EP and a remix album. The chilean-american's music has been heard around the globe, having appeared on tv, films and ads for brands such a Blackberry and Ralph Lauren, prime time TV series such as "Private Practice", "Drop Dead Diva", "Awkward" and "Parenthood", as well as several films.
In 2014 Yael broke into the Korean market with her single "All Around Me" which debuted at #2 in the overall digital's sales ranking. Yael also penned the song 'When You Hold Me Tight' for the 2nd season of the Korean drama 'Healer'. The song appears as the title theme for the main character in the series.
In early 2016 Yael will released her 3rd and latest album 'Warrior Heart' in Europe, which was named one of the best albums of 2014 by several online music blogs, and lauded by international music publications such as Relix Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone Argentina and Entertainment Weekly.
In December 2014, Yael was named one of the 100 most influential young leaders of 2014 in her native country of Chile. She has performed on stages and festivals around the world including SXSW, Lollapalooza (Chile) and Sziget (Hungary).
Militant environmentalist and cultural activist, poet and singer-songwriter Zachary Richard’s roots are deeply planted in his native Louisiana. Inspired by the various styles of the region, his songs go beyond the limitations of any particular genre. Zachary’s style is uniquely his own.
Zachary received his first recording contract at the age of 21. He was the last artist to sign with Elektra records before the creation of WEA. That album, 'High Time', was lost in the maelstrom surrounding the merger and was not released until early 2000, when the original masters were found in a vault in New York City and made available on Rhino Handmade.
It was during his early days in New York that Zachary made a discovery that would influence his art and effect the rest of his life. With the advance money from the record company, he purchased a Cajun accordion. From that moment on, he was swept up by the French language culture of Louisiana. Delving into the Cajun tradition, Zachary formed the first new generation Cajun-Rock band. It would be years, however, before Cajun music became popular outside of rural Louisiana. In the meantime, Zachary career led him to Canada and France.
From 1976 until 1981, Zachary lived in Montreal, recording seven French language albums including two gold albums, 'Mardi Gras' and 'Migration'.
Despite critical and commercial success in the French-speaking world, Zachary returned to Louisiana in the early 80's and began another phase of his career, this time recording in English. He recorded two albums for Rounder Records, 'Mardi Gras Mambo' and the perennial favorite 'Zack’s Bon Ton', before signing with A&M, and recording two albums for the label, 'Women In The Room, and 'Snake Bite Love'. Non-stop touring and the strength of these recordings guaranteed Zachary an international following.
In 1994, after and extended absence from the French market, Zachary returned to Canada to play at the Acadian World Congress in New Brunswick. Passionately inspired by his heritage once again, Zachary began a new collection of French songs.The result was 'Cap Enragé'.This double platinum (Canada) album established Zachary Richard as one of the foremost singer-songwriters in the French-speaking world. Once again Zachary had broken the mold, weaving a musical tapestry rich in atmosphere, with masterfully crafted lyrics dealing with far ranging themes.
The celebrated Creole poet, Aimé Césaire, once said that to separate himself from one of his languages (French and Créole) would be like cutting off one of his hands. It is much the same for Zachary. Participating completely in two distinct cultures and creating in his two languages, Zachary’s artistic experience is unique. He is the most American of French songwriters, and the most French of the American.
New album "Le Fou" just released.
Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion
Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion have been gigging and recording together since February 2012, it’s been a very fertile and productive time, with ‘This Is The Life I Choose’ being the band’s 4th studio album, all of which are full of potent and diverse original songs. Add to this two live albums and it is obvious that the musical chemistry and drive of songwriters Zoe and Rob will not let the band stagnate for a moment. The individual CV’s of the 4 musicians is second to none on the British music scene. Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion have made a name and reputation for consummate musicianship, stylish delivery, and a deep rooted, rich and diverse musical vocabulary.