Dirty Honey “Down The Road” Suitcase Session

Dirty Honey “Down The Road” Suitcase Session


Press Release

“Down The Road” is a seductive and melancholy anthem and this acoustic performance underscores the band’s strong connection to the blues.

On a late-afternoon earlier this month, with Dodger Stadium and the downtown Los Angeles skyline in the background, Dirty Honey took to the hills – with suitcase in hand – and shot an acoustic performance clip of their song “Down The Road” as the newest installment in their “Suitcase Sessions” video series. Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, Dirty Honey launched the series when the band had to cancel its plans to travel to Australia to record new music with producer Nick DiDia, as well as perform their first-ever concerts there and in Japan.

“Down The Road” is a seductive and melancholy anthem and this acoustic performance underscores the band’s strong connection to the blues. The video’s gentle transition from late afternoon to dusk is courtesy of cinematographer Nick Almanza and Director of Photography Jonathan Suarez.

From the band’s Los Angeles base, Dirty Honey has been writing and demoing new music with Australia-based producer Nick DiDia via Zoom, and are looking to meet up with DiDia to record either in Los Angeles or Australia – depending on travel restrictions – this summer.

To say that 2019 was a breakout year for Dirty Honey would be an understatement.  Recorded in Byron Bay, Australia with producer Nick DiDia (Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine), the band released its self-titled debut EP in March 2019.  Over the course of the last year-plus, Dirty Honey opened for The Who, Guns N’ Roses, and Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, performed at more than a dozen major summer festivals including Welcome to Rockville, Louder Than Life, Heavy MTL,  Rocklahoma, Sonic Temple and Epicenter, and played to SRO crowds at every show on its first-ever headline tour in December and January & February this year.   Dirty Honey also made music history when it became the only unsigned artist ever to hit #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart with its debut track “When I’m Gone.”  Additionally, the band was named Canadian Rock Radio’s #1 International Breakout Artist of 2019.

Dirty Honey

*Feature image photo credit: Richie Davis

Alligator Records Signs Blues Master Chris Cain

Alligator Records Signs Blues Master Chris Cain


JD Nash

With more than three decades of worldwide touring and fourteen acclaimed previous albums, Cain has earned his reputation as both a fan favorite and a musician’s musician.

Alligator Records has announced the signing of world-renowned blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Chris Cain. His label debut, Raisin’ Cain, should be released later this year or early in 2021, depending on market conditions. The album — produced and recorded by Kid Andersen at San Jose’s Greaseland Studio — will feature twelve original songs. According to Cain, “They are the best pack of tunes I’ve ever written.”

Chris Cain Photo Courtesy of Alligator Records

With more than three decades of worldwide touring and fourteen acclaimed previous albums, Cain has earned his reputation as both a fan favorite and a musician’s musician. Since his first release in 1987, he has created his very own blues sound inspired by his heroes – B.B. King, Albert King, Ray Charles, Albert Collins, Grant Green and Wes Montgomery. His jazz-informed blues guitar playing is fiery, emotional and always unpredictable. His vocals – gruff, lived-in and powerful – add fuel to the fire. His indelible original songs keep one foot in the blues tradition and both eyes on the future. The pure joy Cain brings to his playing and singing is palpable, and draws fans even closer in.

I had the privilege of interviewing Chris a couple years ago. He gives all the credit to his biggest influence, his dad. Cain’s father would take him to see the biggest names when they came to town. His father was a truck driver, so how did he do it? They dressed in suits and just walked in like they owned the joint.

But my dad would always take me see people, and with him being a gentleman in a suit, they just thought he was part of the band. He would just come and go as he pleased. He took me to see Albert King and Freddie King at the Fillmore. He just took me backstage and I got to meet those guys. I was 17 years old, and these guys were like buildings standing next to me. Let me tell you, when you shook Albert King’s hand, it was like sticking your hand into a bean bag chair. It was that kind of stuff that I got to be privy to, because dad would take me to do these things.

Cain was born in San Jose, California in 1955. His parents were huge music fans and shared their love of blues, jazz and popular music with Chris. His African American father and Greek mother both loved music and had a huge record collection. His father first took Chris to see B.B. King when Chris was three, and, says Cain, “we never missed another show.” Thanks to his parents’ musical passion, young Chris saw almost every blues, jazz and rock artist that came through town, many of them repeatedly — James Brown, Albert King, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, even The Beatles. He picked up his first guitar at age eight and learned lick after lick, song after song. He listened to his father’s records over and over until the music had seeped into his soul.

Cain formed his first band in 1986, and released his first album in 1987, Late Night City Blues, on the locally-based Blue Rock’It label. Almost immediately, booking agents came calling. Incredibly, he was touring Europe even before he started barnstorming the U.S. The album received four W.C Handy Award (now the Blues Music Awards) nominations  and the offers to perform kept rolling in. He even opened for his heroes Albert King and Albert Collins, who both asked Chris to jam on stage. The more Cain toured and recorded, the greater his reputation grew. His releases include four albums on Blue Rock’It and three on Blind Pig Records, and his live performances number in the thousands.

Joining Alligator Records is a dream come true for Cain, who grew up idolizing label giants like Hound Dog Taylor and Son Seals. “Alligator cares so much about the music and the artists,” he says. “I’m really excited to be a part of it.”

Similarly, label president Bruce Iglauer is thrilled to welcome Cain into the Alligator family. “Chris Cain is a brilliant and soulful blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter — and a terrific keyboard and sax player too. He’s won devoted fans around the world on top of being a true musician’s musician. He is spoken of with awe by his fellow bluesmen. Chris has cut fourteen terrific previous albums, but none is more exciting than Raisin’ Cain. We’re looking forward to bringing Chris’ music to a wider audience than ever before.”

Chris Cain Alligator Records

Arlo McKinley Announces Solo Debut Album ‘Die Midwestern’

Arlo McKinley Announces Solo Debut Album ‘Die Midwestern’


Press Release

The artist who John Prine Called “a great songwriter” almost gave up on music, but found his feet at 40.

Cincinnati singer-songwriter Arlo McKinley has announced his debut solo album, Die Midwestern, will be released August 14 on John Prine’s independent Oh Boy Records.

Deeply rooted in street soul, country, punk, and gospel, with lyrics stark and arresting in their honesty, Die Midwestern sees 40-year-old McKinley poised for success, after he almost gave up on music altogether before he caught the attention of Prine.

Living proof that great songs will eventually reach the right ears, McKinley reflects, “I’m a little wiser in my ways and a 20 something me would’ve found a way to destroy the one dream that has stuck with me my entire life.”

Arlo is the last artist John Prine and his son Jody signed together to their label, Oh Boy Records. Jody stated, “John was reserved in his praise for songwriters. I played him a couple of Arlo’s songs and he heard ‘Bag Of Pills’ and said, ‘that’s a good song’ which for him, was very high praise. He loved Arlo’s voice, this big guy with a sweet, soulful, gospel voice. He loved the dichotomy of the hard life lived, presented through such beautiful songs and John was very excited about the promise of the album’s release.”

McKinley added, “The feeling of knowing that a hero of mine took time out of his day to come see me perform is such an accomplishment in itself to me that if it all ended the next day and I found out music just wasn’t in the cards for me, I would’ve still considered everything I have done as a success.”

His video for the first single, “Walking Shoes,” captures a powerful song about finding light in the darkness. Discussing the song, McKinley stated, “I wrote this song about moving forward from the things that are keeping you from being free. Freeing yourself from bad relationships, making good out of all the bad things, giving and receiving forgiveness. It’s knowing there’s something better and taking the first steps on the journey to find it.”

McKinley almost missed his big break, which came when he was offered an opening slot for Tyler Childers. His now manager was trying to reach him to offer him an opening slot and Arlo initially dodged the persistent unknown caller. Since, McKinley has been humbly sharing stages with kindred musical spirits John Moreland, Jason Isbell, and Justin Townes Earle.

Die Midwestern was recorded at Memphis’ legendary Sam Phillips Recording Service and was produced by GRAMMY award-winning Matt Ross-Spang along with an all-star Memphis band of Ken Coomer, David Smith, Will Sexton, Rick Steff, Jessie Munson and Reba Russell.

McKinley recorded ten remarkable songs – some dating back fifteen years – all penned with a weight, honesty and gritty-hope that comes from living in Cincinnati, the rustbelt city where his songs were born.

Arlo McKinley

*Feature image David McClister

Prince’s “Other Side of the Pillow” Reimagined by Funk Legend Maceo Parker on New Album

Prince’s “Other Side of the Pillow” Reimagined by Funk Legend Maceo Parker on New Album


Lauren Leadingham

‘Soul Food – Cooking with Maceo’ out this Friday!

Funk royalty Maceo Parker has released his unique version of “Other Side Of The Pillow” by Prince, with whom he collaborated for a decade. Originally recorded at Paisley Park for Prince’s 21st LP, ‘The Truth,’ the song is featured on Soul Food – Cooking with Maceo, Parker’s first studio album in eight years, out this Friday, June 26th. 

“I am really pleased to be including a Prince song on this album,” Parker said. “I recorded this song back in 2002 with Prince but we never got to finish it. We recorded it again freshly in New Orleans for the new album and it pays tribute to two geniuses, Prince and Ray Charles. Also two very important people to me. I hope you enjoy it.” 

Parker continues, “More than anything I miss Prince. He was a genius, so it was special to re-record a song he and I had once toyed with the idea of releasing and give it that special New Orleans feel while also referencing the person I most admired growing up, the Genius Mr Ray Charles.” 

Soul Food – Cooking with Maceo, the 16th solo album was recorded at New Orleans’ House of 1000hz with Andrew “Goat” Gilchrist and producer Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Madlib, Al Green), and is the first release on Mascot Label Group’s new imprint, The Funk Garage.

Parker’s latest work mingles old school funk with New Orleans piquancy, featuring collaborations with Ivan Neville, Nikki Glaspie, Tony Hall, and a host of local musicians. Featured are Maceo and the band’s take on Dr. John (“Right Place, Wrong Time”), The Meters (“Just Kissed My Baby”), and Allen Toussaint (“Yes, We Can Can), as well as Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady” and David “Fathead” Newman’s “Hard Times.” 

Like the proverbial chicken and egg, it is almost impossible to distinguish which came first – Maceo or the Funk. He has played with everyone from James Brown in the ’60s to Mothership Connection with Parliament-Funkadelic, and later spending a decade working with Prince.

1. Cross The Track
2. Just Kissed My Baby
3. Yes We Can Can
4. M A C E O
5. Hard Times
6. Rock Steady
7. Compared To What
8. Right Place Wrong Time
9. Other Side Of The Pillow
10. Grazing In The Grass

Purchase Album

New Single From Darius Scott “Big Brave Man” Out Now

New Single From Darius Scott “Big Brave Man” Out Now


Press Release

“I originally wrote ‘Big Brave Man’ as an open letter to my father, almost a year after he died on Father’s Day in 2019. It took me months to write it.”

Self-taught singer, songwriter, producer and musician from Atlanta, GA, Darius Scott is thrilled to share his new single “Big Brave Man” that is out now.

He has released the song yesterday, on Father’s Day (June 21). The song has an awareness factor and it commemorates Fathers who passed away or are not currently within arm’s reach. During this time it’s really important that we celebrate black fatherhood with COVID hitting minority communities the hardest along with the social injustices that’s been occurring.

Darius says, “I originally wrote ‘Big Brave Man’ as an open letter to my father, almost a year after he died on Father’s Day in 2019. It took me months to write it. I would pick it up and come back to it. I wanted to let him know how much I had grown in the year since he transitioned. Losing him left a gaping hole in my life, and even though I had grown, that empty space hadn’t filled back up, it was merely expanding. I signed my first record deal, got my first major placements, and toured the world, literally right after he died. He for sure had a hand in all that. That’s just what angels do. They go before you, and make sure the path is clear. ‘Big Brave Man’ puts the different stages of grief on display. I had to be so strong taking care of him in the months leading up to his death. I recognize now that it’s kind of hard to feel brave in the absence of your heroes. I wrote this song for those who’ve lost, and for those who still have heroes to hold on to.”

Scott is a multi-instrumentalist with over 8 instruments under his belt. In 2016, after years of working behind the scenes as a music producer and vocal arranger, he found himself on the Team of Pharrell Williams on NBC’s The Voice. He made it to the Top 20 before exiting the show, but his relationship with Pharrell extended beyond the show. Since 2016, Darius produced the music for the Cannes Lion award winning campaign, ONWARD, a collaboration between GAP and Williams’ collective, iAmOther, and has retained Pharrell as a mentor, something he deeply cherishes. Scott has produced and written for a variety of artists including Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, YEBBA, BOSCO, Kirk Franklin, Kim Burrell, Peter CottonTale, and Chika as well as producing two solo albums and many singles for himself.

Darius Scott

For Father’s Day CCR Releases New Video For “Long As I Can See the Light”

For Father’s Day CCR Releases New Video For “Long As I Can See the Light”


Press Release

This Father’s Day, the hope is that this “Long as I Can See the Light” video will help remind families just how deeply they’re connected.

Continuing the 50th anniversary of America’s all-time greatest rock ‘n’ roll band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Craft Recordings is honored to unveil a special fan-generated video for the beloved Cosmo’s Factory closer, “Long as I Can See the Light.” In the lead-up to Father’s Day 2020, Creedence fans worldwide were encouraged to submit videos and photos documenting cherished memories with their fathers, grandfathers or other guiding lights in their life.

One of many hits on Creedence’s legendary fifth studio album, “Long as I Can See the Light” was released in 1970 as part of a double A-side single with “Lookin’ out My Back Door.” Both songs peaked at number two in the U.S., and despite Creedence having never played “Long as I Can See the Light” live, it became a fan favorite. Over the years, the song has taken on different meanings, but John Fogerty has stated that the song is “about the loner in me. Wanting to feel understood, needing those at home to shine a light so that I can make my way back.”

Released on July 16, 1970, Cosmo’s Factory remarkably stood as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fifth full-length in two-years. The album, which borrowed its name from drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford (who often referred to the band’s practice space as “The Factory”), followed a highly prolific year for CCR, in which the Berkeley, CA band released three Billboard Top Ten albums in 12 months. Cosmo’s Factory would continue the group’s momentum, taking Clifford, frontman John Fogerty, guitarist Tom Fogerty, and bassist Stu Cook to the height of their success. For the second time, Creedence topped the album chart in the US, while they scored their first No. 1 in the UK, Canada, and Australia, among other territories, firmly cementing their status as international rock stars.

Now, a half-century after its release, Cosmo’s Factory will gain a new vibrancy, thanks to the exacting process of half-speed mastering. Using high-res transfers from the original analog tapes, the mastering process involves playing back the audio at half its recorded speed, while the cutting lathe is turned at half the desired playback speed. The technique allows more time to cut a micro-precise groove, resulting in more accuracy with frequency extremes and dynamic contrasts. The result on the turntables is an exceptional level of sonic clarity and punch. This special pressing was previously available only as part of CCR’s collectible, seven-LP Studio Albums Collection box set.

The tradition of musical inheritance is strong among CCR appreciators: The band’s timeless albums have been proudly passed down from generation to generation. Music’s capacity to draw people together is more important now than ever, so while many may be unable to be physically near their loved ones this Father’s Day, the hope is that this “Long as I Can See the Light” video will help remind families just how deeply they’re connected.

Available for pre-order now, the audiophile edition of Cosmo’s Factory comes housed in a tip-on jacket, replicating the original packaging.

 

Savoy Brown Proves They ‘Ain’t Done Yet’

Savoy Brown Proves They ‘Ain’t Done Yet’


Press Release

Energetic blues has been the calling card of the band from the beginning, but Simmonds infuses the 10 tracks on Ain’t Done Yet with a new spirit and vitality

Legendary blues-rock band Savoy Brown, birthed in London 55 years ago and long-based in upstate New York, announces the August 28 release of their exciting new album, Ain’t Done Yet, on Quarto Valley Records. Their latest disc follows on the heels of Savoy Brown’s highly-successful 2019 CD, City Night.

Bruce Quarto, QVR founder and CEO said, “Quarto Valley Records is honored to continue working with Savoy Brown on this second QVR release, Ain’t Done Yet, which is now one of my all-time favorites. It’s full of great energy that is the trademark of all their blues-rock music, and everyone who hears it will immediately agree that Savoy Brown ain’t nowhere near done yet.”

“The new album is a continuance of the approach I’ve been taking with the band this past decade,” says guitarist/singer/songwriter Kim Simmonds, who formed the band in 1965 in London, England, and is one of the longest running blues/rock bands in existence. “The big difference with the new album is the multi-layer approach I took to recording the guitar parts. It’s all blues-based rock music. I try to find new and progressive ways to write and play the music I’ve loved since I was a young teenager.”

Simmonds has been the group’s guiding hand from the first singles released in 1966 through this newest effort, Savoy Brown’s 41st album release. On the new record, Simmonds (guitar, harmonica, and vocals) is once again joined by his long-running bandmates Pat DeSalvo (bass) and Garnet Grimm (drums).

“I recorded Ain’t Done Yet at Showplace Studios in New Jersey, where I’ve recorded many times before,” Simmonds affirms. “Owner/engineer Ben Elliott passed away shortly after the recording and I’ve dedicated the album to him.”

Energetic blues has been the calling card of the band from the beginning, but Simmonds infuses the 10 tracks on Ain’t Done Yet with a new spirit and vitality – plus some serious guitar chops – in a variety of styles and roots sounds that transcend the blues-rock idiom. “I emphasized song content on the new album, yet I left plenty of room for band improvisation,” he admits. “For instance, there are two acoustic-based songs and also two six-minute songs where I’m able to stretch out on guitar solos.”

Ain’t Done Yet kicks-off in high gear with the album’s first radio focus track, “All Gone Wrong.” “I’ve always liked ‘All Gone Wrong,’ and it’s one of my favorites on the album,” declares Simmonds.

Blues-rock became the catch-all phrase in the late 1960s to describe the band’s musical genre along with that of contemporaries such as Cream, John Mayall and Jimi Hendrix. In fact, in the 2013 drama film Jimi: All Is By My Side, a Savoy Brown song written by Simmonds, “Train To Nowhere,” was included in the soundtrack.

Many of Savoy Brown’s singles and albums have appeared on the Billboard Hot Hundred charts, including songs such as “I’m Tired” and “Tell Mama,” as well as  albums such as Hellbound Train and Street Corner Talking. In 2017, the band’s Witchy Feelin’ album reached #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart.

Savoy Brown established national status in the 1970s headlining iconic stages such as Carnegie Hall, The Academy of Music and the Fillmore East and West.

Savoy Brown and Kim Simmonds have a body of work that is matched by only a small portion of musical artists. As they continue to tour the world, young and old find inspiration in their energy, timeless music, classic style and ageless performances.

And as the title of their new CD attests, Savoy Brown and Kim Simmonds Ain’t Done Yet. “I still have plenty of energy and I have never stopped enjoying entertaining a crowd and giving people inspiration,” he avows.

Savoy Brown will support the release of Ain’t Done Yet with a late summer tour that extends through 2021.

Savoy Brown

*Feature image by Juan Junco courtesy of Mark Pucci Media

Palo Alto: Previously Unknown Recording from Legendary Jazz Pianist Thelonious Monk

Palo Alto: Previously Unknown Recording from Legendary Jazz Pianist Thelonious Monk


Lauren Leadingham

Historic concert with an unbelievable backstory to be released for the very first time on Impulse! Records

The streets of today and the streets of 1968: how far are those poles apart? In fall 1968, a 16-year-old boy by the name of Danny Scher had a vision of bringing jazz pianist Thelonious Monk and his quartet to play a benefit concert at his high school in Palo Alto, California. He wanted to raise funds for his school’s International Committee, and to work towards racial unity in his community. 

Equipped with nothing more than a telephone, posters, and a compelling pitch, this walking jazz encyclopedia with implacable determination made his dream come true. Scher magically secured Monk’s services to perform on October 27, 1968 for $500.

Scher had trouble selling tickets at first, and also had a hard time convincing people that Monk would even be there. After navigating the peaks and valleys along the way, the concert proceeded and even sold out.

Impulse! Records have unveiled the previously unreleased recording in its entirety, set for release on July 31 on DSPs, CD, and vinyl. Through happenstance, the concert was recorded by a Palo Alto High School janitor whose identity still remains unknown to this day. But the janitor gave the tape to Scher who preserved it for over 50 years.

“It was a total pleasure,” spoke Scher of the event. “There was nothing odd. I loved Monk, I loved his music, and I loved producing. It was great seeing Monk dancing around the stage and then coming back to the piano when it was the right time. There was zero drama.”

The lively 47-minute album showcases Monk’s steady touring band (tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales, drummer Ben Riley). Included are Monk’s lyrical love song “Ruby My Dear”;  the dynamic “Well You Needn’t” with solos by all members; the pianist’s solo reading of “Don’t Blame Me” by Jimmy McHugh; a magnificent dance through “Blue Monk”; and an exuberant dash through ”Epistrophy.” 

The show ends with a truncated encore of the 1925 Tin Pan Alley hit tune by Rudy Vallée, “I Love You (Sweetheart of All My Dreams).” Following a standing ovation, Monk says his goodbye as the band had to leave to make their San Francisco date that evening. 

Below is the first single, “Epistrophy.”

Pre-order Palo Alto

Legendary Downchild Blues Band Present Free Father’s Day Charity Concert

Legendary Downchild Blues Band Present Free Father’s Day Charity Concert


Press Release

SPECIAL GUESTS – DAN AYKROYD, COLIN JAMES, JAMES COTTON, COLIN LINDEN, JONAS, & WAYNE JACKSON OF THE MEMPHIS HORNS

In celebration of Father’s Day and what would have been the final date of The Legendary Downchild Blues Band’s 50th Anniversary Tour, the band are streaming their “Live At Massey Hall” concert in its entirety as a FREE SHOW for fans on Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 7:00 Pm (EST), all in support of a very important cause, the Unison Benevolent Fund.

Downchild were joined on stage by some very special guests for their historic “Live At Massey Hall” performance, including Hollywood Star Dan Aykroyd, blues/rock icon Colin James, American blues legend, James Cotton, Grammy Award winner Colin Linden, Montreal chart topping rocker Jonas and the one and only Wayne Jackson of The Memphis Horns.

Sneak preview of“Soul Man” featuring Dan Aykroyd performing alongside Downchild:

Downchild will premiere their “Live At Massey Hall” concert for an exclusive one-night-only viewing on their official YouTube channel on June 21st at 7:00 PM (EST).

Donations to Unison in conjunction with the Downchild concert can be made by texting UNISON to 45678 or visiting UnisonFund.ca/Donations/Spotify

All donations made to Unison will be matched by Spotify as part of the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project that has been created to amplify the efforts of organizations that focus on helping those most in need, like the Unison Benevolent Fund. Spotify will match donations made to Unison dollar for dollar up to a collective total of $10 million USD.

The Unison Benevolent Fund is a non-profit, registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. They are there to help professional music-makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties. For further, information on Unison and they great work they do, please see Unison Fund.

“We are honored to be able to support a great cause like Unison, that truly takes care of our own, in supporting Canadian artists and Canadian music industry professionals in this difficult time. Like so many people across the country and around the world, the music community has been hit hard by the pandemic.” – Donnie “Mr. Downchild” Walsh

Downchild came to international prominence as the inspiration for Hollywood stars Aykroyd and the late John Belushi film, The Blues Brothers. In fact, two Downchild songs, “Shotgun Blues” and “(I Got Everything I Need) Almost” were even covered on The Blues Brothers’ 1978 multi-platinum album Briefcase Full of Blues.

2018 Juno Award winners, Downchild, include some of the most well respected musicians in the country, who have performed together for over 25 years.  Including lead singer and harmonica player CHUCK JACKSON, PAT CAREY on tenor sax, MIKE FITZPATRICK on drums, GARY KENDALL on bass, and former American super-group rocker MICHAEL FONFARA (of Rhinoceros/Lou Reed fame) on keyboards.

The Legendary Downchild Blues Band

Pixies Announce 30th Anniversary Limited Red Vinyl Edition

Pixies Announce 30th Anniversary Limited Red Vinyl Edition


Lauren Leadingham

The Pixies’ third album turns 30 today

Thursday, June 18, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of “Bossanova,” the third studio album by the Pixies, originally released on August 13, 1990.  To celebrate “Bossanova” hitting its third decade, 4AD will release a limited red vinyl edition on August 7, complete with the original 16-page booklet that was previously available only with the initial UK LP pressing.  Pre-order begins today.

Bossanova continued the Pixies’ work with producer Gil Norton after collaborating the year prior on the platinum-selling Doolittle, which was recorded in the band’s hometown of Boston. For Bossanova, the band – Black Francis (guitar, vocals), Joey Santiago (guitar), Kim Deal (bass, vocals), David Lovering (drums) – chose to record in Los Angeles (with the exception of “Blown Away,” recorded at the Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin while on a 1989 European tour). 

This third album marks a generative period of time for the Pixies, 1990 being the same year Kim Deal was seeing success with The Breeders, who released their debut album, Pod, just a few months before.

Pixies 1990 L-R: Kim Deal, Joey Santiago, David Lovering, Black Francis Photo credit: Kevin Westenberg

 

“From distant star / To this here bar / The me, the you / Where are we now? / Hooray the blues / Of everyone,” Black Francis sings in Allison,” a nod to jazz and blues pianist Mose Allison. “Cecilia Ann,” originally recorded by The Surftones, was the first cover they ever featured on any album. “Velouria” and “Dig for Fire” are both gleaming examples of the Pixies’ surf-meets-space rock, which they started to perfect on Bossanova — the space motif really culminating in 1991’s Trompe Le Monde. The sci-fi nature of Black Francis’s writing on Bossanova influenced Vaughan Oliver’s iconic design for the sleeve.

 

 

Pixies Pre-order Limited Edition Vinyl

Americana Music Association Announces 2020 Honors & Awards Nominees

Americana Music Association Announces 2020 Honors & Awards Nominees


Press Release

The winners of each category will be announced during the Americana Honors & Awards Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville,

The Americana Music Association has revealed the nominees for its 19th annual Americana Honors & Awards featuring Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Our Native Daughters, the late John Prine, Nathaniel Rateliff, Tanya Tucker, Yola and more. Please see below for a full list of nominations in each category.

This year, the association has decided to further highlight the wide breadth of exemplary talent in the Americana music community by expanding its award categories to include five nominations instead of four, with the exception of “Song of the Year” totaling six due to a nomination tie.

19th Annual Americana Honors & Awards Nominees:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
And It’s Still Alright – Nathaniel Rateliff, Produced by James Barone, Patrick Meese and Nathaniel Rateliff
Country Squire – Tyler Childers, Produced by David Ferguson and Sturgill Simpson
The Highwomen – The Highwomen, Produced by Dave Cobb
Jaime – Brittany Howard, Produced by Brittany Howard
While I’m Livin’ – Tanya Tucker, Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings

ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
Brandi Carlile
Brittany Howard
John Prine
Tanya Tucker
Yola

DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR:
Black Pumas
Drive-By Truckers
The Highwomen
Buddy & Julie Miller
Our Native Daughters

EMERGING ACT OF THE YEAR:
Black Pumas
Katie Pruitt
Aubrie Sellers
Billy Strings
Kelsey Waldon

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR:
Ellen Angelico
Annie Clements
Brittany Haas
Zachariah Hickman
Rich Hinman

SONG OF THE YEAR:
“And It’s Still Alright,” Nathaniel Rateliff, Written by Nathaniel Rateliff
“Bring My Flowers Now,” Tanya Tucker, Written by Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth and Tanya Tucker
“Crowded Table,” The Highwomen, Written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna
“My Love Will Not Change,” Aubrie Sellers featuring Steve Earle, Written by Billy Burnette and Shawn Camp
“Stay High,” Brittany Howard, Written by Brittany Howard
“Thoughts and Prayers,” Drive-By Truckers, Written by Patterson Hood

The winners of each category will be announced during the Americana Honors & Awards on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Ticketing information will be announced as plans unfold. With that said, the health and safety of the Americana music community is the association’s utmost concern, and the event organizers will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely while following all national, state and local guidelines as they approach the scheduled ceremony date.

Every year, the Americana Music Association honors distinguished members of the music community with six member-voted annual awards. Described by Emmylou Harris as “the shining star of Nashville and music everywhere,” the Americana Honors & Awards has been broadcast in years past on CMT, Austin City Limits via PBS, AXS TV and via SiriusXM Radio, BBC2, WMOT, WRLT, WSM, Voice of America and NPRMusic.com — with the awards show being the most-streamed music event on NPRMusic.com for four consecutive years.

For almost two decades, the prestigious ceremony has celebrated pioneering mainstays and trailblazing newcomers, while featuring unforgettable moments in musical history including Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash’s last live performance together, as well as offering show-stopping appearances by k.d. lang, Van Morrison, Mavis Staples, Bob Weir, Buddy Guy, George Strait, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, Solomon Burke, Rosanne Cash, the late Dr. John with Dan Auerbach, Irma Thomas, Levon Helm, Robert Plant and many more.

The Americana Honors & Awards usually serves as the centerpiece of AMERICANAFEST week. Due to COVID-19, in lieu of the association hosting its annual music festival and conference this fall, the recently announced Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF) will be presenting its first initiative with details to be revealed in the coming days.

Americana Music Association

Brother Dege’s Folk Songs of the American Longhair Gets Special 10-Year Anniversary Vinyl Release

Brother Dege’s Folk Songs of the American Longhair Gets Special 10-Year Anniversary Vinyl Release


JD Nash

LOUISIANA BLUESMAN BROTHER DEGE’S ALBUM FOLK SONGS OF THE AMERICAN LONGHAIR GETS SPECIAL 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY VINYL RELEASE ON JUNE 26TH

“Frankly, every track on Brother Dege’s Folk Songs of the American Longhair CD could have been in the movie [Django Unchained]. It works and has a badass score sound to it. Almost every song could be a theme song. It’s like a greatest hits album. But this song ‘Too Old to Die Young’… it’s pretty damn badass. And it’s used in the movie in a pretty damn badass way, I’ve got to say.” – QUENTIN TARANTINO

Like the mad love child of Son House and William Faulkner, Brother Dege Legg has burned a colorful trail through the Promised Land, working odd jobs (dishwasher, day laborer, cabdriver, embedded journalist, homeless shelter employee), hitchhiking, studying philosophy, writing books, and experimenting with psychedelics – all while passionately championing the Deep South, but also clashing with its pecking orders, prejudices, and parochial narrow-mindedness.

In 2009, he began recording songs for the album Folk Songs of the American Longhair in nontraditional spaces (elevator shafts, open fields, abandoned houses) before eventually recording the tracks at home and in a shed behind his rent house in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Just a month after its official release, Legg was contacted by the producers of The Deadliest Catch and asked to use the song “Hard Row to Hoe” as theme song of their spin-off After the Catch. As the above quote can attest, Tarantino hand-picked “Too Old to Die Young,” for the Django Unchained soundtrack.

Dege shares a bit of back story behind the record…

This is an album that gestated over the course of 10 years, while I was broke and living in cheap motels, trailer parks, and working kooky-ass odd jobs (embedded journalist, cabdriver, transport driver) and all that sort of comes out – not so much literally – but in a subtextural way in the songs. I wrote half the album while living in a trailer that leaned at a 10 degree angle from having been flipped in Hurricane Lili. Definitely a best of times / worst of times era for me personally. Best in many ways because the creative process of my songwriting was double-pump firing on all cylinders and I just tried to document as much of it as I could – as evidenced in the Demos of the American Longhair recordings, most of which were recorded in the trailer. I later moved into a rent house and home-recorded the entire album, playing a cheap Dobro that had major noise issues. I named it ‘Buzzo.’ The resonator hardware made a lot of noise and buzzing when I played it – like a mad dog growling. I tried wedging pieces of cloth and toothpicks under the cone, but nothing would fix it. Just kept growling. In defeat, I finally accepted that this must be my sound and finished the album not expecting many people to pay much attention to it. Two years after the 2010 release, Quentin Tarantino heard ‘Too Old to Die Young’ on satellite radio and decided to put it in Django Unchained. It’s been a wild trip. And the coolest thing about it is: it ain’t over yet. I’m still doing the same thing, I was then: home recording every record, playing wacky guitars, and trying to write the best songs I am capable of about my experience of the Deep South and beyond.

Pre-orders of Folk Songs of the American Longhair are available here and include: Limited Edition 150 gram Silver & Lead Colored Vinyl LP of Folk Songs of the American Longhair; gatefold artwork packaging w/ lyrics; 11×17 inch matte print flyer (110lbs stock); FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of Folk Songs of the American Longhair; FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD: Demos of the American Longhair: 10-track download of Dege Legg’s lo-fi demos & field recordings that birthed the American Longhair album; and Brother Dege Louisiana State Seal sticker.

Filmed in East Berlin with Tom Portman, check out the new video for “Old Angel Midnight,” also on this album.

Brother Dege

*Feature image Brian Richard

Shemekia Copeland Brings Headlines to Life With “Uncivil War”

Shemekia Copeland Brings Headlines to Life With “Uncivil War”


Press Release

For me, this country’s all about people with differences coming together to be part of something we all love. That’s what really makes America beautiful.

Award-winning blues and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland releases her timely new song, “Uncivil War“, on Friday, June 19. It is a courageous statement pleading for unity in a time of disunion, and is unlike anything Copeland has previously recorded.

“Uncivil War” takes no sides and speaks to every person’s desire to be safe and free. Featuring iconic mandolin wizard Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas and background vocals from popular alternative band The Orphan Brigade, the song is simultaneously comforting and challenging, as Copeland sings, “Same old wounds we’ve opened before / Nobody wins an uncivil war.” Shemekia delivers the song with passion and insight about the chaos and uncertainty in the world while still finding light in the darkness and hope for the future.

According to Copeland, “It’s not just a song. I’m trying to put the ‘united’ back in the United States. Like many people, I miss the days when we treated each other better. For me, this country’s all about people with differences coming together to be part of something we all love. That’s what really makes America beautiful.”

Copeland’s instantly recognizable voice is capable of being sultry, assertive and roaring. She is a three-time Grammy nominee with a wide-open vision of contemporary Americana roots, blues and soul music. “Uncivil War” showcases the next step in the evolution of a passionate artist with an up-to-the-minute musical and lyrical approach. The song, written by John Hahn, will be featured on Copeland’s upcoming Alligator Records album.

Copeland’s previous release, America’s Child, cemented her place her as one of blues’ and Americana’s most commanding voices. America’s Child won the Blues Music Award for Album Of The Year, and was named the #1 blues album of 2018 by MOJO magazine. Copeland recently received the 2020 Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year, during a special online ceremony.

“Uncivil War” was written by John Hahn and Will Kimbrough. Video by Josh Lindner/Alligator Records.

Shemekia Copeland

*Feature image © Mike White / Alligator Records

Mighty Joe Castro and The Gravamen’s Debut ‘Come On Angels’ Out 7/31

Mighty Joe Castro and The Gravamen’s Debut ‘Come On Angels’ Out 7/31


Press Release

Our goal is to play original rock-n-roll, in the style of the pioneers, but update it lyrically and sonically. What if Buddy Holly had access to a stack of effects pedals and some Bob Dylan or Lou Reed records or books by Kerouac?

Vintage rock and rock and roll / Ameripolitan rockabilly outfit, Mighty Joe Castro & The Gravamen will release their debut LP, Come On Angels! on July 31st.  The album was produced by Brian McTear (Sharon Van Etten, Dr. Dog, War on Drugs, Dead Milkmen) at Miner Street Recordings in the band’s hometown of Philadelphia.

Influenced by 50’s Rock and Roll, Mighty Joe Castro (The Situation, The Lift Up) takes a modern lyrical approach to songwriting while The Gravamen add a healthy dose of post-modern guitar effects, booming percussion and driving bass to the ten original songs that make up the album. Consider them a house that resides at the crossroads where Sun Records and Creation Records meet.

The video for Come On Angels! first single, “There Are No Secrets Here,” was shot during quarantine using an iPhone and three flashlights on microphone stands, the black and white video features Castro singing between scenes from public domain footage of 1957’s Dementia / Daughter of Horror and 1962’s Carnival of Souls.

The majority of the songs on Come on Angels! were written by Castro who, after years playing guitar in semi-successful alt rock bands and fed up with the business side of the industry and decided to give up music for good to focus on his visual art career.  That is, until his wife bought him an acoustic guitar in 2010 to play for their newborn daughter and unattached to a band, Castro started writing songs.

I had no experience with singing and playing guitar at the same time, so I began teaching myself old rock-n-roll songs — Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Bob Dylan, Dion, The Ramones, etc. — because the chords are so simple. I fell back in love with playing music again, and, when I realized I could sing, that opened up a whole new world for me.
My taste in music started changing and I got really into songwriters like Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Nick Cave. I started to believe I could front my own band.

Growing up, Castro’s parents played the classics – Elvis, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and old doo-wop records – and one of his earliest memories is of his mother breaking down and crying when she heard the news of Elvis’ death.  These rock gods were heroes in the Castro home.

As a teenager in the 80’s, Castro was fascinated with movies depicting music from the 50’s, La Bamba, Great Balls of Fire, The Buddy Holly Story and The Outsiders cemented his passion for the period and the mythology surrounding the origins of rock and roll.

I love that whole mid-century aesthetic – the dress style, the sense of design, the beauty of old cars and appliances. I was obsessed with vintage diners and old movies. A lot of that carried over to my visual collage art as well.

I wanted a band that, if needed, could play a whole show acoustic, without electricity, and still have that raw energy and excitement.

After a few false starts, Castro was contacted by upright bassist, HOOV3R and the two quickly booked a rehearsal space. After that first practice, they knew that they had something special.  HOOV3R enlisted drummer Dallas (his band mate in Philadelphia punk rock stalwarts Thorazine) and later found hotshot lead guitarist Michael Stingle floating around Mount Airy.

Our goal is to play original rock-n-roll, in the style of the pioneers, but update it lyrically and sonically. What if Buddy Holly had access to a stack of effects pedals and some Bob Dylan or Lou Reed records or books by Kerouac?

The album opens with “There Are No Secrets Here” and segues into the title track, “Come on Angles!” which has the feel of a Eddie Cochran or Buddy Holly acoustic rocker with the instantly memorable chorus, “come on angels, pour the whiskey, come on angel, sing it with me tonight…” “They reinterpret Ted Hawkin’s classic “Cold and Bitter Tears” soul tune into the guitar style of early Johnny Cash and “Whispering Hell (The Finish Line),” would be at home in any dance hall. “For Every Setting Sun” is a lamenting waltz followed by “June (90 Degrees),” a dark rocker about a love gone wrong and “Why Not Just Give In This Time” claims, “I never wanted you to pack up and move on…why not just give in this time?” The album winds down with “Better Hold Tight” featuring Ritchie Valens-esque guitar lines and the dark rumble of “Angeline” before closing with country vibes of, “You’ve Got It All (So What Are You Looking For?)”

I think that, by the end of the 1990s, rock had been pushed to every limit possible. And when you get to the end of a road, sometimes you need to turn around and head back to the start to clear a new path. Take what we’ve learned, everything great that’s come after and go apply it to that original sound. That’s the ethos of the band. But for me, it was about falling in love with music again.  Back to the roots.

Mighty Joe Castro & the Gravamen

*Feature image by David Norbut courtesy of Mixtape Media

Walter Trout To Release New Studio Album ‘Ordinary Madness’ on August 28

Walter Trout To Release New Studio Album ‘Ordinary Madness’ on August 28


Press Release

For Walter Trout, there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. Across his five-decade career, the great U.S. bluesman’s music has always been a lifeline and call-to-arms

Walter Trout and Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group have announced the global release of a new studio album titled Ordinary Madness on August 28.  The pre-order goes live today, featuring configurations that include 2LP+MP3, CD, Limited CD Box, and MFiT Digital.

For Walter Trout, there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. Across his five-decade career, the great U.S. bluesman’s music has always been a lifeline and call-to-arms, reminding listeners they are not alone. Now, as the world seeks solace from a tragedy that has touched us all, he comes armed with a boundary-exploring new studio album and eleven searingly honest songs that bring his fans even closer. “There’s a lot of extraordinary madness going on right now,” considers Trout, of the COVID-19 crisis. “This album started because I was dealing with the flaws and weakness inside me. But it ended up being about everyone.”

Ordinary Madness was completed mere days before the U.S. shutdown, its cathartic songcraft and themes of shared troubles couldn’t chime better with a period in which our souls and spirits are under fire from tumultuous global events.

Trout has been nothing short of prolific over the course of his seven decades on this Earth.  He’s released 27 solo albums over a career that has spanned the globe, and delivered notoriety as one of the great purveyors of the blues.  Trout’s history is equal parts thriller, romance, suspense and horror. There are musical fireworks, critical acclaim and fists-aloft triumph, offset by wilderness years, brushes with the jaws of narcotic oblivion, and the survival of an organ transplant few come back from. From 1973, when he left his New Jersey home headed to Los Angeles, he has followed a road that afforded him an opportunity to just play, sharing the stage as a sideman with Jesse Ed Davis, Big Mama Thornton, Lowell Fulson, Joe Tex, and of course the great John Mayall (following a three year tenure in Canned Heat).

Admirably open about his troubled youth, and his own ongoing struggles with mental health, the bluesman had spent recent tours soothing himself by scribbling down his thoughts and feelings. It was only later he realized he’d just written the most honest lyric-sheet of his career – and felt he had an opportunity to let fans share and identify with him. “Everybody is dealing with something,” he says. “And I’m no different from anybody else. Ordinary Madness doesn’t mean you’re gonna end up in a mental institution. It’s just being human. It’s common humanity.”

Trout’s formative blues influences are well-documented, spanning from Paul Butterfield’s 1965 self-titled debut alongside Mike Bloomfield to John Mayall’s seminal 1966 ‘Beano’ LP with Eric Clapton. But as he cut his teeth in New Jersey, the young guitarist was also drawn to the maverick songwriters, taking in The Beatles, Dylan and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse. At every step of his career – moving to California in ’74 to back up giants like John Lee Hooker, joining Canned Heat and Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in the ’80s, then flying solo in 1989 – the stockpile of songs kept growing.

When Trout walked away from the Bluesbreakers, he embarked on a solo career that has yielded a catalogue that has established a deep legacy in the world of blues, Americana, and the realm of revered singer-songwriters. While many would slow down as they approach their 70th birthday, Trout continues to deliver inspired recordings, performances, and a voice that articulates relevant ideology and insights in to The World that inspires his deep perspective. There’s no autopilot emanating from Walter, but a true a sense of growing momentum, elements of surprise, and repertoire that continues to be more compelling with each new creation.

This time around, Trout is doing things a little differently. Led in by an electronic intro created by eldest son Jon Trout, the song sets off on a hypnotic groove with a gloriously languid guitar break that’s anything but autopilot blues. “I’ve broken the pinkie on my left hand three times in the past year,” remembers Trout, “so the guitar playing on this album took a little work, and there’s some anger and frustration in some of the solos. I really like that solo on the title track. It took two or three re-takes. But I think I nailed it.”

From that jump-off, a career-best album spilled out, as Trout convened his band of Michael Leasure (drums), Johnny Griparic (bass) and Teddy ‘Zig Zag’ Andreadis (keys) – along with long-time producer Eric Corne, plus special guests Skip Edwards, Drake ‘Munkihaid’ Shining and Anthony Grisham. The backdrop, once again, was the private LA studio of Doors legend Robby Krieger.  “The whole place is full of vintage gear, and it’s all there for you, whatever you want. The keyboard that Ray Manzarek used in The Doors – it’s just fucking sitting there. I remember, on the rhythm track for OK Boomer, Michael Dumas, who runs the studio, comes walking in and says: ‘Here’s the SG that Robby used in The Doors – wanna try this?’ Then, for the rhythm guitar on Heartland, he says: ‘Here’s one of James Burton’s Paisley Telecasters…’”

Musically, Trout’s antennae are up, as he pushes the envelope on the psychedelic layered vocal harmonies of “The Sun Is Going Down,” a song about dealing with ageing. Trout shares, “Lyrically, it’s about running out of time. You gotta look at death, deal with it, accept it. That’s a condition of being alive.”  The blissed-out anthemics of “Up Above My Sky,” nods to peak-period Pink Floyd and Trout worked with the U.S. blues singer Teeny Tucker on the bereft “All Out Of Tears – a tribute to her late son. On the haunting “Heaven In Your Eyes,” Walter was stunned by Marie Trout’s lyrics about the desperation of trying to find ways to reach the person you love but being unable to find the words.

“As the lyric says in ‘Up Above My Sky,’ he reflects, “sometimes you have to see through the darkness to find the light. I can’t wait get back out there again, meet the people at shows, hug them and pose for a photo. And I’m really looking forward to playing these songs live. Because I think this album speaks to these times…”

Touring plans will be announced in the coming weeks as The World returns to some level of normalcy enabling all artists to return to staging appearances.

Pre-order Ordinary Madness here.

Walter Trout

*Feature image Alessandro Solca

Grayson Capps Announces ‘South Front Street: A Retrospective 1997-2019’

Grayson Capps Announces ‘South Front Street: A Retrospective 1997-2019’


Press Release

‘South Front Street,’ is named after the street where Capps lived, in a shotgun house along the Mississippi River in New Orleans.

Grayson Capps has announced the June 19 release of South Front Street: A Retrospective 1997-2019 via Royal Potato Family.

Compiled by his wife and longtime musical foil, Grammy® Award-winning producer/engineer, Trina Shoemaker, the 16-song collection spans the entirety of the acclaimed South Alabama singer-songwriter’s career to date. In the album’s liner notes, Shoemaker explains: “I began this as a personal compilation that I sequenced for myself.  It is a collection of songs that paint a picture of our life together and reveals a world from the uniquely enchanted, poetic and tormented perspective of Grayson Capps.” She later continues: “These songs capture a life in motion, in pain and joy, in gain and loss, in humility and in grace.” The album’s first single and opening track “Get Back Up” is available to stream here.

More than just a standard “Best Of” compilation presenting Capps’ most widely known work, Shoemaker selected songs that have personal significance in their journey together. She titles the collection ‘South Front Street,’ named after the street where Capps lived, in a shotgun house along the Mississippi River in New Orleans, amid an assortment of outsiders and ne’er-do-wells that he credits as the inspiration for finding his voice as a songwriter. It follows Grayson and Trina’s life in New Orleans, their relocation to Nashville after being forced out following Hurricane Katrina and a subsequent return to the Gulf Coast where they now reside in Fairhope, Alabama.  It touches on songs written both before and after Capps met Shoemaker, including material from his critically acclaimed band Stavin’ Chain and his role in the cult film A Love Song For Bobby Long starring Scarlett Johansson and John Travolta.

Taking it even another step further than the standard retrospective approach, Trina revisited each of the original recordings, remixing many of the songs from scratch, essentially presenting them here anew. Some of Capps’ best known work, “Get Back Up,” “Washboard Lisa” and “Daddy’s Eyes” are born again in striking aural clarity. Deeper tracks like “Harley Davidson,” “May We Love” and “Train Song” will be heard for the first time in their new incarnations by many of Capps’ most devout fans. As Shoemaker concludes: “Among this collection are recordings I believe to be my finest work. South Front Street: A Retrospective is Grayson Capps’ story, and within it lies my own.”

Pre-order South Front Street: A Retrospective 1997-2019 here.

Grayson Capps

Pert Near Sandstone’s New Album ‘Rising Tide’ Out Friday June 12

Pert Near Sandstone’s New Album ‘Rising Tide’ Out Friday June 12


Press Release

Pert Near Sandstone crosses old-time instrumentation with contemporary sensibilities

Minneapolis-based Psych-Bluegrass 5-piece Pert Near Sandstone, the band behind the long running Blue Ox Music Festival have announced Warren Haynes will perform as part of a weekend of live music streamed from Whispering Pines Campground outside Eau Claire, WI on June 12 & 13. The fest will coincide with the release of Pert Near Sandstone’s June 12 full-length release Rising Tide. The video for “Kings and Clowns” is out now. 

The weekend will include 2 nights of Pert Near Sandstone as they debut material from the new full length along with performances from: Charlie Parr, Lissie, and Them Coulee Boys, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, The Travelin’ McCourys, Lillie Mae, and Molly Tuttle performing sets from their hometowns. More artists and the full schedule will be announced in coming weeks. Artists will perform on the big stage with lights and PA live form the festival grounds along with sets from artists performing from their respective hometowns. 

 The festival stream can be viewed on Pert Near Sandstone’s Youtube and Facebook pages and will be streamed in partnership with our partners: 89.3 The Current, Bells Brewery, Blue Ox Music Festival, and Jamgrass TV. The stream is free but viewers who have the means will be encouraged to make contributions to a GoFundMe page with net proceeds benefiting Feed My People Food Bank of Wisconsin, Cleghorn Lions Club, National T.T.T. Society, and the Chippewa Valley Technical College Radiology Department.

Crossing old-time instrumentation with contemporary sensibilities, Pert Near Sandstone first emerged from Minneapolis in 2007 with their acclaimed debut, Up And Down The River. Over the course of five more studio albums and several live releases, they established themselves as standard-bearers for the versatility and vitality of the Midwestern roots music scene, performing onstage with the likes of Steve Martin and the Flaming Lips and earning dates along the way with everyone from Trampled By Turtles and Del McCoury to Yonder Mountain String Band and Sam Bush.

 

Stream for Blue Ox Music Festival is available 1pm – 10:30pm CDT daily (June 12 & 13) on the band’s YouTube and Facebook.

 

Pert Near Sandstone

 

Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine

Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine


Press Release

Produced by the Prine family and Oh Boy Records, the tribute will feature family and friends sharing memories and songs while raising money for several charitable organizations

Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine will be premiered on June 11 at 7:30pm ET/6:30pm CT/4:30pm PT across multiple platforms, including Prine’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

Produced by the Prine family and Oh Boy Records, the tribute will feature family and friends sharing memories and songs while raising money for several charitable organizations including NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) and Alive, whose Grief Center is providing free counseling sessions to anyone in Middle Tennessee who has had a family member die of COVID-19. JP himself died of complications related to COVID-19 on April 7th.

Guests contributing performances and memories for the roughly two-hour video include Courtney Marie Andrews, Dan Auerbach, Kevin Bacon, Brené Brown, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Dave Cobb, Stephen Colbert, Peter Cooper, Iris DeMent, John Dickerson, Mitchell Drosin, David Ferguson, Vince Gill, Jason Isbell, Jeremy Ivey, Jim James, Pat McLaughlin, Bill Murray, Kacey Musgraves, Margo Price, Fiona Whelan Prine, Jack Prine, Tommy Prine, Bonnie Raitt, The Secret Sisters, Kyra Sedgwick, Amanda Shires, Sturgill Simpson, Todd Snider, Billy Bob Thornton, Kurt Vile, Kelsey Waldon, Sara Watkins, Jody Whelan, John Paul White, Rita Wilson and Prine’s longtime band members Kenneth Blevins, David Jacques, Fats Kaplin and Jason Wilber.

A traditional memorial service was rendered impossible due to the continuing COVID-19 restrictions following Prine’s death.

Jody Whelan, Prine’s son and Director of Operations for the Oh Boy label said his father “touched a lot of different worlds,” during his 50 year career.

John Prine

Travis Return With New Album ’10 Songs’

Travis Return With New Album ’10 Songs’


Press Release

’10 Songs’ is yet another body of work that showcases Travis as one of the UK’s finest songwriting exports.

Beloved Scottish band Travis are back with the first new music from their stunning ninth studio album 10 Songs – out October 9th on BMG. The first single from 10 Songs is “A Ghost”, which arrives with an impressively animated video directed and drawn by frontman Fran Healy, with his 14 year old son Clay leading the beautiful cinematography work – all done whilst in Covid-19 isolation.

Co-produced by both Fran and Robin Baynton (Coldplay, Florence & The Machine), and recorded at RAK Studios as 2019 turned into 2020, 10 Songs is an album about the way life comes at love and what love does to weather those challenges. It’s grown-up. There’s sizzling synergy in abundance, and many of it’s songs benefit from the almost psychic sense of mutual attunement that comes from being in a band whose line-up hasn’t changed in its entire collective lifetime.

There’s also inspired cameos to be found, including synth work from Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, lap steel from Greg Leisz (Beck, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen) and vocals from Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles that came about from a chance exchange on Twitter.

It’s been twenty-five years since the four members of Travis first set foot in a Glaswegian rehearsal room. At various points along the trajectory between then and now, the band have sold millions of albums, they’ve been the subject of the award-winning feature length documentary Almost Fashionable and Fran has elicited acclaim from Paul McCartney, Elton John and Graham Nash – all songwriters whose ability to divine a timeless melody out of thin air has sustained them through the decades.

And today marks another new chapter in the band’s extraordinarily prolific and unflappable career. 10 Songs is yet another body of work that showcases Travis as one of the UK’s finest songwriting exports.

Of the intensive work that went into making the video for “A Ghost”, Fran says:

The video for ‘A Ghost’ started out as a mocked up picture of me and three ghosts playing the last chorus of the song in a deserted alleyway. It looked cool so I took that image and back engineered a story out of it. Just when everything was ready to shoot, the world went into lockdown, so we had this great song with no way to make a video. Frustrated and in an act of desperation, I decided to draw it. I did a test to calculate how long it might take me. 16 hours for each, 10 seconds of footage. It worked out that it would take around 30 days which landed exactly on the deadline date. So I drew and drew and drew and drew. 2,500 drawings later, it was done.

One day, I was watching a sequence back and when it got to the end of what I had drawn, it flashed and went into live action. It looked great. This was the moment I realised I could shoot the mock up picture of me playing with my band of ghosts in the alleyway. This helped in 3 ways. 1. Filming the last 47 seconds would save me 10 days of drawing. 2. I could recruit my 14 year old son, Clay as the cameraman. He has a drone camera so could shoot it remotely and could use it as part of his school video project 3. Most importantly, we could film it socially distant.

It was the most bizarre video shoot I have ever worked on. You realise how important proximity is to getting things done when it’s taken out of the equation. But we did it and it turned out great. Clay has to wait till we release the song to hand in his video project.

Travis are Fran Healy (guitar/vox), Andy Dunlop (guitar), Dougie Payne (bass) and Neil Primrose (drums).

10 Songs comes available as Standard CD, Heavyweight vinyl plus Deluxe 2CD and Deluxe 2LP (red and blue vinyl) including 10 Demos.  Pre-Order 10 Songs HERE.Travis

*Feature image courtesy of Grandstand HQ

Michael Kaeshammer Welcomes the World to His Hometown

Michael Kaeshammer Welcomes the World to His Hometown


Press Release

Featuring Collaborations with Colin James, Curtis Salgado & Randy Bachman, The JUNO Award-Nominated Artist’s New CD and DVD Are Available Now!

The Jazz Advocate calls him “Mr. Personality.” The Montreal Gazette slates him as a “must-see live act.” The Record says “listening to Michael Kaeshammer play live is like looking through a window into one of the greatest musical minds in the world today.”

And now audiences can revel in a taste of six-time JUNO Award-nominated and internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter, pianist and producer Michael Kaeshammer on stage with the release today (June 5) of his newest album, Live In Concert, and concurrent DVD, Boogie On The Blues Highway — anytime.

Born and bred in Germany, Michael Kaeshammer began performing club, theatre, and festival stages throughout Europe in his early teens and continued on that trajectory after emigrating to Canada with his family in the mid-‘90s. His first studio album, Blue Keys, dropped in 1996 and spurred a consistent sequence of heralded releases and high-profile international performances. Career highlights include opening slots for the likes of Ray Charles and Anne Murray; stints backing singers like Marva Wright, the late blues queen of New Orleans; co-writing sessions with rockers Randy Bachman and Colin James; official Olympic Games performances in several world cities; and TV specials on major networks.

First aired as the hour-long live special Boogie On The Blues Highway on American Public Television throughout March 2020, Live In Concert delights as it delivers Kaeshammer and his band’s signature style, effortlessly weaving classical, jazz, blues, stride, pop, and — of course — boogie-woogie into a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience track by track.

Captured during a pair of intimate hometown shows at the Charlie White Theatre in his Canadian hometown of Sidney on Vancouver Island, the special showcases Kaeshammer’s insatiable sonic tapestry through a diverse set.

Live In Concert features brand-new songs as well as collaborations with special guests, including blues and soul icon Curtis Salgado for “Do You Believe?,” blues master Colin James for “Who Are You,” and rock legend Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive) for “Takin’ Care of Business.”

“When it comes to Curtis, Colin, and Randy, first and foremost, I’m a fan of their work,” Kaeshammer says of the collaborations. “But then, I’ve been fortunate to develop good friendships with the three of them, so it was an honor to share the stage for these performances.”

Produced by Nashville’s Corridor Group Productions Inc. and executive producer Barbara Hall, Live In Concert also features original Kaeshammer compositions like fan-favorite “Kisses in Zanzibar” alongside new cuts like “Lucky Man” — a preview from his forthcoming studio album slated for Spring 2021.

“Sidney is where I do much of my writing, and I just love the summers there,” Kaeshammer says of recording Boogie On The Blues Highway and Live In Concert in British Columbia. “It was such an inspiring setting for these very special concerts, and I’m excited to share the experience with everyone.”

Michael Kaeshammer’s Live In Concert and Boogie On The Blues Highway are available from Linus Entertainment now.

Michael Kaeshammer

Titles From New Orleans Legends Irma Thomas & James Booker Set For Vinyl Reissue

Titles From New Orleans Legends Irma Thomas & James Booker Set For Vinyl Reissue


Press Release

Albums include a remastered edition of Booker’s definitive 1982 LP, Classified and the vinyl debut of Thomas’ GRAMMY® Award-winning 2006 LP, After the Rain

Craft Recordings is proud to reissue two significant titles from New Orleans royalty: Classified from R&B piano virtuoso James Booker and the GRAMMY® Award-winning After the Rain, from soul singer Irma Thomas. Both LPs will be available July 31st. These albums are not only significant to the rich, musical culture of New Orleans but are also standouts in Rounder Records’ vast catalog. The legendary roots label, which is celebrating its 50th year throughout 2020, will be reissuing key titles, as well as special box sets via Craft Recordings. Additionally, the label will be planning events, an original podcast series, curated playlists, exclusive video content, and limited-edition merchandise.

Throughout his short but blazing career, James Booker was one of the most unique and innovative talents in the jazz and R&B world. Known for his dizzying technique at the keyboard, the flamboyant artist coined a myriad of titles for himself: from “The Piano Prince of New Orleans” to “The Bayou Maharajah” to “The Bronze Liberace.”

The New Orleans native’s musical talents were apparent early on, and he made his recording debut while he was still a teenager—releasing a series of singles in the late ’50s and early ’60s, including “Gonzo,” which hit No. 3 on the R&B Chart. Throughout the ’70s, the artist was a regular fixture in Dr. John’s touring band, while in the studio, Booker recorded as a sideman for Ringo Starr, The Doobie Brothers, John Mayall, and Labelle, among other major acts. The artist also spent time in Europe, where he enjoyed a warm reception as an artist. While abroad, he made appearances at the renowned Montreux and Nice Jazz Festivals in France and performed on the BBC in the UK. Sadly, Booker, who struggled with drug addiction throughout much of his life, died at the age of 43.

A deeply complex character, Booker only released two studio albums in his lifetime. However, Classified—his unintended swan song—offers one of his greatest commercially released performances. Recorded in 1982, Classified is primarily the result of a whirlwind, four-hour session, in which Booker gave it his all, after a frustrating few days in the studio. In addition to several originals, the tracklist includes a jaunty repertoire of mainly local fare, including Fats Domino’s “One for the Highway,” a Professor Longhair medley, “Bald Head”/”Tipitina,” and Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.”

Jazz Times called Classified, “A masterful work,” declaring that “Booker was at the top of his game,” while AllMusic proclaimed the recording to be “One of the great blues albums of the ’80s,” praising that the tracks on the album “showcase his idiosyncrasies; how he simultaneously builds on tradition while playing with it.”

In the liner notes for a 2013 expanded edition of the LP, the session’s producer, Scott Billington, wrote, “Classified is by no means James Booker’s best album. In fact, that mythical recording is still out there, on the cassette tapes that fans around the world…traded for the past thirty years. Yet, the album offers material and perhaps an attitude that can be heard nowhere else.” He adds, “One can imagine so many ‘if only…’ moments that might have led James Booker down a different path, but perhaps the life he lived was the only one possible for him, and that his recklessness was the counter-balance to the musical heights he could so often achieve. As [tenor saxophonist] Red Tyler said to me after Booker left the studio, ‘It’s like trying to capture the wind.’”

Photo Credit: (C) 1983 Scott Billington. James Booker on piano and George French on bass.

 

On August 14th, Vinyl Me, Please. will be releasing an exclusive color variant (taupe splatter) of the James Booker Classified vinyl in celebration of Rounder’s 50th.

While James Booker was “The Bayou Maharajah,” Irma Thomas continues to reign as the “Soul Queen of New Orleans.” The singer, who scored her first charting R&B single, “Don’t Mess With My Man,” before her 20th birthday, has enjoyed a long career, working with some of the greatest songwriters of the modern era. Early on, Thomas collaborated with songwriter, musician, producer and fellow New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint, releasing singles like “It’s Raining” and “Ruler of My Heart” (which was later reworked by Otis Redding as “Pain in My Heart”). In the mid-’60s, Thomas scored a string of popular songs including, “Wish Someone Would Care,” “Breakaway” (written by Jackie DeShannon and Sharon Sheeley), and “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand),” co-written by Randy Newman. In the span of her sixty-year career, Thomas has released 21 albums and over 30 singles.

For her 18th studio album, After the Rain, Thomas lent her rich and deeply nuanced vocals to a varied repertoire that spanned 75 years of American songwriting—from Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas’ “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” to Blind Willie Johnson’s “(The) Soul of a Man” to Eleni Mandell’s more recent “Another Lonely Heart.” It was an unusual selection of songs for Thomas, but Billington—who was about to produce his seventh album for the singer —“wanted to try something new,” he recalls. “I felt that we were repeating ourselves—going for a kind of ’70s New Orleans R&B vibe. I began to imagine instead a mostly acoustic setting for Irma, with songs that were chosen simply because they would resonate with her—because she would sound good singing them, and they could showcase her voice without horns or a big band.” Thomas was hesitant at first, but decided to give it a try.

Billington enlisted an all-star collection of local talent to join Thomas in the studio, including singer-songwriter Marc Broussard on backing vocals, blues and reggae artist Corey Harris on acoustic guitar, jazz and funk percussionist Stanton Moore on drums, the late David Egan on piano, and bassist James Singleton (who was also, coincidentally, the bassist on Classified). As Billington predicted, the band’s spare, often acoustic accompaniment allowed Irma’s soulful vocals and direct-from-the-heart delivery to be the focal point on each track.

Recorded at the rural Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana only months after Hurricane Katrina, After the Rain is a remarkable declaration of resilience. Though the majority of the songs were chosen prior to the hurricane—which destroyed Thomas’ home—the album’s eerily prophetic themes offer a poignant message of hope after loss. “It was the first time any of the musicians had seen one another, and it was very emotional,” remembers Billington. “Even though we had chosen all of the songs before the storm, every one of them seemed now to be about the loss everyone had suffered. We added only one song—Stevie Wonder’s ‘Shelter in the Rain.’”

Irma Thomas photo by Rick Olivier

 

Upon its release, After the Rain received wide acclaim. The Austin Chronicle called the album “a statement of [Thomas’] extraordinary strength, as well as her ability to inhabit a surprisingly varied repertoire,” while AllMusic praised that Thomas “gives each song a kind of elegant resignation with her low-key vocal approach, until the whole album seems like one long, whispered effort to recapture hope in the future.” After the Rain also earned Thomas her first GRAMMY® win—for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 49th annual awards ceremony.

Click here to pre-order James Booker’s Classified. Click here to pre-order Irma Thomas’ After The Rain. Click here for exclusive bundle available via the Craft Store.

Billy Gibbons & Tim Montana Serve Up Beez & Teez Whisker Bomb Pepper Sauce

Billy Gibbons & Tim Montana Serve Up Beez & Teez Whisker Bomb Pepper Sauce


Press Release

The new tongue tantalizers are available in two versions packaged in 5-ounce bottles: Whisker Bomb Original and Whisker Bomb Have Mercy ¡HOT!

Billy F Gibbons and Tim Montana, known for their guitar sounds and songwriting excursions, have taken their mutual quest for fiery foods, powered by spicy sauces, to a new plateau with the launch of their line of Beez & Teez Whisker Bomb pepper sauces.

The new tongue tantalizers are available in two versions packaged in 5-ounce bottles: Whisker Bomb Original and Whisker Bomb Have Mercy ¡HOT!  The former is a traditional Louisiana style hot sauce blended, according to Billy and Tim, with a Texas flair; the latter is a unique blend sourced from habañero peppers grown in the Peruvian high desert and offers a distinctive robust tart flavor. Both versions are now offered exclusively in the State of Texas through select H-E-B markets.  They are also available, coast to coast and border to border online at whiskerbomb.com.

Gibbons commented, “Tim is something of a kindred spirit both in music and as regards his lengthy facial locks. As it happens, he’s also a Mexican food aficionado and, like me, favors things on the spicy side. It was only natural that we got to jamming, so to speak, and came up with a formula for a hot sauce we could call our own.”

Montana noted, “Ever since I got to meet and work with Billy it’s been a wild ride.  He’s an action-oriented partner so when the thought sprang to mind to joint venture a new pepper sauce, he got the ball rolling in a big way.  One of his enduring slogans is ‘tone, taste and tenacity.’ As it turns out, that applies not only to guitar playing so we’re proud that Beez & Teez Whisker Bomb has all three of those bases covered – in a most flavorful way.”

Billy Gibbons is, of course, ZZ Top’s celebrated front man/guitar god whose penchant for the picante is the stuff of legend. When not on tour, he’s often found frequenting taquerias in his native Texas and wherever his travels take him. A few years back, he joined forces with Tim Montana who was raised in the state with which he shares his name. Their initial collaboration took place in Nashville where Tim now resides with his family. That collaborative effort yielded a hit country song, “This Beard Came Here To Party.” The song became the post season anthem for the 2013 Boston Red Sox who adopted the same hirsute look as Gibbons and Montana as a sign of their dedication. They went to win the National League playoffs and the World Series that year.  In musical support of the Red Sox Tim re-recorded the song as “These Beards Came Here To Party” with Billy Gibbons guesting on the track. The song was also adopted as the theme of the NHL Nashville Predators during their run up to the Stanley Cup final in 2017. Beyond that song, Billy and Tim (Beez and Teez, if you will) have become fast friends and collaborated on the title song for the feature film American Dresser before launching their Whisker Bomb venture.

You may remember a year ago when the two got together forming Whisker Brothers. Their July 4th party anthem, “Good ‘Ol BBQ” combined Montana’s Nashville bro-country sound with Gibbons’ Texas blues.

Mark Bradshaw, Manager of Business Development for H-E-B remarked, “We’re thrilled that H-E-B is the exclusive retail outlet in Texas for Whisker Bomb sauces. Billy and Tim have come up with a great new hot sauce that we’re confident is going to be yet another reason to shop at H-E-B.”

Billy F Gibbons Tim Montana H-E-B

*Feature image courtesy of Bob Merlis M.F.H.

Powerful Protest Anthem Video From Wyatt Waddell “Fight!”

Powerful Protest Anthem Video From Wyatt Waddell “Fight!”


Press Release

Part gospel, part field holler, part funky soul, “Fight!” has an upbeat, feel-good groove, that underscores its message.

23 year old rising multi-instrumentalist Wyatt Waddell, today released the powerful video for his protest anthem “FIGHT!,” raising awareness for the protest movement and charities including: Chicago Community Bond Fund, Black Lives Matter Chicago and Greater Chicago Food Depository.

The video features footage from the protests and tributes to victims of police brutality and racial injustice including: Emmett Till, George Stinney, Rodney King, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmed Aubrey, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Laquan McDonald, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair.

Part gospel, part field holler, part funky soul, “Fight!” has an upbeat, feel-good groove, that underscores its message. Already gaining comparisons to Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield, “Fight!” was recorded and released in just 24 hours after Wyatt was deeply inspired by watching the protests unfold on TV and when he recalled a quote by one of his musical inspirations, Nina Simone.

This has been a hard and trying time for black lives. These events have left me angry, scared, and confused. I then remembered what Nina Simone once said: An artist’s duty… is to reflect the times…

Recorded in tribute to the people on the streets protesting, Wyatt added, “This song is me looking at what’s happening and what I’d tell the people protesting. I had to look outside of myself at what’s going on and how people are being affected. Hearing people’s fears, anxieties, and watching everything happening on TV really helped me write the song. I hope that it can be an anthem for my people as they’re fighting for a better America.”

Charities benefiting from the single include the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Wyatt has first hand seen the food crisis in Chicago, adding, “Today I saw the lines down the street of people lining up to get something to eat. We have got to feed the people.”

Chicago’s “Boy Wonder” has been praised by publications including the Chicago Tribune, who compared him to a diverse range of artists from The Beatles to Sly & The Family Stone. His remarkable Instagram loop videos, powerful versatile vocal range, perfect pitch and instinctive songwriting is creating a huge buzz in his local Chicago music scene and he is poised to make his national breakthrough. He plans to follow “FIGHT!!” and previous single “Sleeper” with a full album, which is currently in the works.

Wyatt Waddell

ABKCO Celebrates Philly’s Cameo Parkway Label

ABKCO Celebrates Philly’s Cameo Parkway Label


Press Release

The announcement comes on the anniversary of Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Again” having been awarded the 1961 GRAMMY® for Best Rock & Roll Recording.

ABKCO Records has announced a new three-part series curated from the Cameo Parkway archives with the June 19th release of three dance-oriented compilations that underscore the legacy of Philadelphia’s legendary label.  The announcement comes on the anniversary of Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Again” having been awarded the 1961 GRAMMY® for Best Rock & Roll Recording. Dancin’ Party: The Chubby Checker Collection 1960 – 1966 is a definitive set of tunes from his career defining period. The second set, titled You Can’t Sit Down: Cameo Parkway Dance Crazes 1958 – 1964 is a collection of the label’s most notable dance releases of the period. The third set, You Got The Power: Cameo Parkway Northern Soul 1964 – 1967, consists of tracks famously embraced by the UK’s iconic Northern Soul movement.

Philadelphia-based Cameo Records was founded in late 1956 by Bernie Lowe and Kal Mann, budding songwriters who would later find success with Elvis Presley’s recording of their composition “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear.” Another Lowe & Mann composition would soon become Cameo’s first hit when “Butterfly,” a rockabilly-tinged smash for South Philadelphia native Charlie Gracie hit #1 on the pop charts. In 1958 the Parkway label was added and by 1959 both labels began to emerge as industry powerhouses with hits from Bobby Rydell and Chubby Checker, whose version of “The Twist” catalyzed a social upheaval, not to mention massive record sales.

Concurrent with the success of “The Twist,” Cameo Parkway became one of the industry’s most successful independent companies, on par with Motown’s rise later that decade. By late 1961, Cameo Parkway Records performance was so consistently strong that ownership took the company public; it became the first independent record label to offer shares on the American Stock Exchange. In all, during its roughly 11-year existence, the company placed more than one hundred singles and several dozen albums onto the Billboard charts.

Though somewhat removed from the pop industry centers of New York and Hollywood, Cameo Parkway’s locale proved to be a boon to exposure insofar as Philadelphia was the home of American Bandstand. The hugely popular weekday afternoon teen dance program, initially hosted by local DJ Bob Horn and ultimately by Dick Clark, was a powerful launching pad for many artists affiliated with Cameo and Parkway. With Clark at the helm from 1956 onward, the show went national and Bandstand, Dick Clark and numerous Cameo Parkway artists became household names throughout the country. Charlie Gracie recalls, “Going on Bandstand was like hitting a home run with the bases loaded.” Notes legendary Philadelphia DJ Jerry “The Geator” Blavat, “The importance of Cameo Parkway was the importance of Bandstand. It was the label that created all the dances. You look at Cameo Parkway’s success and look at Bandstand and there it is.”

Chubby Checker was the single most successful component of the Cameo Parkway artist roster. Beyond “The Twist” and “Let’s Twist Again,” he scored numerous successes, most of which were keyed to dance moves and good times. He recorded numerous dance floor fillers and secured impressive chart successes. Twenty-one of Checker’s recordings are featured in the forthcoming Dancin’ Party: The Chubby Checker Collection: 1960 – 1966. This definitive collection highlights seventeen Top 40 hits of which twelve entered the Top 20; seven charted in the Top 10 with two ultimately reaching the #1 spot.

You Can’t Sit Down: Cameo Parkway Dance Crazes 1958 -1964, features recordings with a corresponding dance to go along with each catchy tune. Artists like Bobby Rydell, The Orlons, The Dovells, Dee Dee Sharp, The Applejacks along with Chubby Checker are featured in this collection. Seven Top 10 hits including The Orlons’, “The Wah-Watusi,” Dee Dee Sharp’s “Mashed Potato Time,” two iconic numbers by The Dovells: “Bristol Stomp” and “You Can’t Sit Down,” plus “Slow Twistin’” by Chubby Checker and Dee Dee Sharp, Bobby Rydell’s “The Cha-Cha-Cha” and sixteen more hits dedicated to get even the wallflowers moving.

You Got The Power: Cameo Parkway Northern Soul 1964 -1967, showcases the numerous Cameo Parkway singles that would go on to become part of the soundtrack of Britain’s Northern Soul lifestyle phenomenon. Northern Soul’s emphasis was on obscure yet danceable records, a number of which became the focus of a cult-like worship years after they were first issued, partially due to the rarity of the 45s on vinyl. Recordings by Frankie Beverly & The Butlers, Bunny Sigler, The Orlons, Evie Sands, Candy and the Kisses, Christine Cooper and Eddie Holman are highlights of the 20-track collection.

 

 

ABKCO Records

Cat Clyde Announces Acoustic Album ‘Good Bones’

Cat Clyde Announces Acoustic Album ‘Good Bones’


Press Release

Good Bones, to be released on June 19th via Cinematic Music Group

Bluesy Folk singer-songwriter Cat Clyde has announced her acoustic album Good Bones, comprised of songs from her critically-acclaimed albums, Ivory Castanets and Hunters Trance. The new record is to be released on June 19th via Cinematic Music Group. As a preview, Cat has released the acoustic track to “Mama Said.”

Cat says, “This is the song that really inspired people to dig deeper into my music. It was the one that was heard and shared the most when I was first starting out. I’ve never released an acoustic version of it and wanted to put it out in its original and simple form, where it all began.”

When fans pre-order the album, they will receive the insta grat track of “Mama Said” – her online store also features bundle options that include a poetry book and/or vinyl.

Poetry was always something Cat did on and off in her daily life. As she was crafting the LP, she felt like it was time to put herself out there more to her fans through her poetry.

To date, Cat’s first two albums, Ivory Castanets and Hunters Trance, have amassed over 30 million streams worldwide. She has been touring solo for the past three years alongside artists such as Detroit’s renowned singer-songwriter, Rodriquez (of acclaimed documentary, Searching for Sugarman), and rocked a sold-out tour in Europe with Shakey Graves.

During her last tour in 2019 she went on the road with a full band for a 2.5 month headlining tour, where she had the space and company to stretch out inside her songs and play them live for the first time with a fuller sound, truer to the tracks on the recordings. Cat says, “I wanted to record this acoustic album as sort of a time stamp of all the days of playing live, just me and my guitar. I really wanted to capture the more simple and stripped back vibe, closer to what the songs sounded like playing alone. Some of my favourite versions of songs that I love and really resonate with me are in a very basic and simple form, and I wanted to share that side of my songs as well.”

Cat Clyde continues the classic sounds of yesteryear. With influences ranging from Etta James to Karen Dalton to Lead Belly; hers is a mix that goes down smoother than a neat glass of mellow Kentucky bourbon. No longer do you need to reach for your trusty sifting pan and river boots to find gold. You just need to know one name.

“Mama Said” is out now everywhere

Good Bones Pre-orders can also be made at the link above.

Cat Clyde

*Feature image courtesy of Facci PR