The Cordovas are: Joe Firstman, Lucca Soria, Jon Loyd and Graham Spillman. Based in Nashville, TN, Cordovas sound is rooted in harmony, songwriting and musicianship.
Firstman released two albums on Atlantic Records in the early 2000's including the acclaimed War of Women. 24-year-old songsmith, Des Moines' Lucca Soria writes, sings and plays lead guitar. He has several compositions on the forthcoming Cordovas album. Keyboardist Jon Loyd, a native of Macon, GA, sings high notes and possesses a piano style that makes the bandâs sound recognizable and unforgettable. Born in Redondo Beach California, Graham Spillman is on drums. The 25-year-old Berkeley College of Music drop-out also sings and pens tunes for the group.
Cordovas will release a new full length album produced by two-time Grammy Nominee Kenneth Pattengale, of Milk Carton Kids, spring 2017.
A 2014 Blues Music Award winner, thereâs not a time in her life that singer/bassist/songwriter Danielle Nicole (born Danielle Nicole Schnebelen) doesnât remember loving to perform. As a child, she would sing for her family at holidays and took tap, jazz and ballet lessons for many years competing in numerous events. Danielle also took band in middle school, playing the tenor saxophone and enjoying it quite a bit. Unfortunately, she was forced to quit when the family moved to Kansas City and the new school did not offer band.
Danielle comes from generations of singers. Her grandmother, Evelyn Skinner, was a big band singer. Danielleâs mother, Lisa Swedlund, taught her everything she knew while growing up and listening to all different kinds of music from the Everly Brothers to the B-52s.
It wasnât until she was 12 that Danielle took to the stage for the first time singing, Koko Taylorâs âNever Trust a Manâ at a Blues for Schools program that her parents were playing at Englewood Elementary. From then on, she knew music would be her passion for the rest of her life.
Danielle began singing in coffeehouses and at open mic events at age 14, jamming with her parents whenever she could at clubs that would allow minors. At 16, she began singing lead in her fatherâs band, Little Eva and the Works â until he became too sick to play. In March of 1999, she started her own band, Fresh Brew, with Kansas City music veterans Steve Gronemeyer, Steve Hicks, Chuck Payne and Terry Roney. They performed for four years and even represented Kansas City in the International Blues Challenge.
It was during this time that Danielle and her brothers Nick and Kris began talking about a family band that would eventually become Trampled Under Foot. Not only did she and Kris have to move to Philadelphia (where Nick was living), but she would have to learn the bass guitar to keep it a family band. It took a few years of lessons and saving money before that could become reality.
After several acclaimed self-released albums, Trampled Under Foot released Badlands on July 9, 2013 on Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group. Toughened by years of nonstop roadwork, Badlands revealed a musical sophistication well beyond the bandâs years.
On Badlands, the band worked with veteran producer Tony Braunagel at his Ultratone Studios in California. The drummer in the Phantom Blues Band, Braunagel played some percussion on the album and recruited veteran keyboardist Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Etta James) to play keys. Johnny Lee Schell, who also recorded the album, added acoustic guitar to one track and John Porter mixed the final results at Independent Street Studios in New Orleans.
Badlands debuted at #1 on Billboardâs Blues Chart and Trampled Under Foot performed live throughout the United States and Europe in support of the album.
As Trampled Under Foot wound down after 13 years, Danielle formed her own band and now makes her Concord Records solo debut with the March 10, 2015 release of a New Orleans-flavored, blues-soul based EP, featuring GRAMMYÂ®-winning producer-guitarist Anders Osborne, Galacticâs co-founding drummer Stanton Moore and her regular keyboardist Mike âShinetop, Jr.â Sedovic.
The self-titled EP is an introduction to Danielle as a formidable solo artist. A full length album, Wolf Den, is scheduled for release on September 25th, 2015, featuring more music created in New Orleans with Osborne, Moore and Sedovic.
Club Cafe's Monthly Open Stage August Edition with Host Jim Bogacz
A free monthly open mic night for all performers. Signup for Performers begins at 7pm. Starving Artist Special from 7pm-8pm featuring half off food, $2 Yuengling Drafts, Free Coffee & Tea. Ages: +21
Club Cafe's open stage is one of Pittsburgh's longest running and most revered open mic events for performers of all genres. Fashioned after some of the high profile and wildly successful open stages in Nashville, New York and LA, Club Cafe's open stage provides artists with the chance to perform on a world renowned stage while fostering a friendly and supportive environment enabling performers to network with their peers, attract new audiences and extend their reach.
This month's host is Jim Bogacz
(Late Show) The Long Hunt / Krevisys / Multiverse Theory
Kalob Griffin & Friends in the writers round. Join us for an intimate evening of song and story before Kalob embarks on his first tour of Germany. Special guests include Nick Snyder (Ferdinand the Bull) and Zach Schmidt.
After 87, Wait For It, Shin Guard, Horus Maze, Vantage Blue
When he was just 16-years-old, Josh Krajcik schemed his way onto the stage of a bar near his hometown of Wooster, Ohio. Earning $100 for his four-hour debut gig, the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist decided that night to devote his life to making music. Over the next 14 years, Krajcik fronted a host of musical projects and eventually founded the Josh Krajcik Band, a three-piece blues-rock outfit that toured with the likes of Corinne Bailey Rae and The Fray and appeared on the Bonnaroo Music Festivalâs 2006 lineup. But by 2011 Krajcik was fighting to sustain his music career, and ended up taking a job at a burrito joint to make ends meet. On a whim, Krajcik then auditioned for The X Factor USA-and soon found himself wowing audiences with his gravelly-rich voice and stirring delivery on the showâs premiere season. Now, Krajcik is set to release his full-length album Blindly, Lonely, Lovely that pair his powerful vocals with intensely passionate, soul-infused songwriting.
âMore than anything, I wanted this music to be honest,â says Krajcik of his debut releases. Instinct has also played a key role in guiding Krajcik through the ups and downs of his early career. âOver the years I definitely had a few of those moments where youâre doubting yourself and you wonder, âShould I just give it all up?ââ Krajcik admits. âBut at the same, I really donât know what else I could have tried to be.â So while holding to the promise he made himself at sixteen yielded its share of struggle, Krajcik asserts that those tough times have more than paid off. âThe day after I finished the sessions for âNothingâ and âDonât Make Me Hopeful,â I was walking around Hammersmith, just sort smiling to myself and thinking about the songs and my music in general,â he recalls. âAfter a while I looked up and realized I didnât know where I was. Iâd gotten so caught up in thinking about where I was now-compared to just about a year before, when I was jumping from couch to couch and making burritos to pay rent-that Iâd ended up completely lost in the middle of London. It was a great moment.â Still, Krajcik asserts that his ultimate goal is to continue expanding his sound and delving more deeply into his songwriting. âThe most important thing for me is to just keep on pushing myself as a singer and songwriter and musician,â says Krajcik, âsince I know that this is what Iâm going to be doing forever.â
(Late Show) LEXFEST II Featuring Quincy Jones, Eman El Husseini, Ed Bailey, Jess Salomon, Phil Forrence and Hosted by Norlex Belma.
Lilly Hiatt is set to return with Trinity Lane on August 25th, 2017. The 12-song set was produced by Michael Trent of Shovels & Rope and engineered by Andy Dixon at Trentâs Studio Bees in John Island, SC. It is the follow up to her acclaimed sophomore album Royal Blue, which Paste Magazine described as âa glorious tumble of influences - surf rock, Smiths vibes, Laurel Canyon twang and jangle, Sonic Youth flatline, Britpop flourishes, Seattle grunge and Joy Division meets Human League synthery.â In addition to her backing band, Trent is featured as a musician throughout, and is joined by his wife and Shovels & Rope partner Cary Ann Hearst for backing vocals on âEverything I Had.â Lillyâs love of the â90s alt-rock she was raised on continues to shine through on Trinity Lane in the distressed guitars and urgent backbeats. She cites the Pixies, Breeders, Dinosaur Jr., and her favorite, Pearl Jam as influences, but there is also something distinctly Americana lurking in the songs. Rolling Stone Country has premiered the Michael Carter-directed video for the albumâs title track HERE, stating, âThe daughter of John Hiatt, she keeps the family tradition alive, mixing Southern influences - Americana, folk and left-of-center country - with a raw approach thatâs better suited to the garage than the saloon. The albumâs title track is no exception...the song finds Hiatt making peace with her old demons, while guitars crash and pianos chime in the background.â They continued, ââTrinity Laneâ is an empowerment anthem stocked with details from Hiattâs everyday life, from the name of her street to the smell of her neighborâs cooking.â Lilly Hiatt has also announced her initial tour dates in support of the album, kicking off August 24th in Lexington, KY (Please see all dates below). Trinity Lane will be available digitally, on compact disc, as well as LP and can be pre-ordered now via PledgeMusic.
After moving out of an exâs house, Hiatt settled into a new apartment off of Trinity Lane in her East Nashville neighborhood and went on tour with friend John Moreland to the West Coast and back. The intensely personal, autobiographical album was written largely upon her return, in isolation, facing the issues she escaped while on the road. Every time she wanted a man, she picked up her guitar. Every time she wanted a drink, she picked up her guitar. Hiatt says, âLove will take you to the darkest places but also the most honest places if you let it. Learning how to love myself is something Iâve always been lousy with, and I spent some time on that. I thought about my sobriety, what that means to me, the struggles Iâd had throughout the years, since I was a 27-year-old and hung up my toxic drinking habit. I thought about my mother, who took her own life when I was a baby, not far from my age at 30 years old, and I related to her more than ever. As you can see, there was plenty of time spent on my own. I didnât talk to that many folks, albeit a few close friends, and leaned into my family. I stayed away from men, and danced alone in the evenings, looking out my window observing my humble and lively neighborhood. I found power in being by myself. I found peace in the people I was surrounded with - we didnât really know one another, but we smiled when passed on the street. One time I almost rear-ended an older woman in her car backing out of my driveway and I said, âOh man, Iâm just not used to any cars coming around this bend. She replied, âThis is our little hideout, baby,â And it really was.â She continues, âAfter a while, I had all these songs to play, and wanted to share them. I wanted to get out of town to get some distance from everything, so after an ongoing conversation with Michael Trent, I took my band to Johns Island, SC and we holed up for a few weeks. I poured my heart out, and trusted them with it, and these guys gave it right back. I think we all understood what itâs like to question home, intention, demons, love...I think most people understand that.â
Adam Torres with Special Guests Emily Rodgers and Wayne Beck
In 2006, 20-year-old Adam Torres released his debut album Nostra Nova. The album's 11 songs are idiosyncratic and varied - as are many great songs - with each existing as its own little world. It's influenced by the works of visual artist Adolf Wolfli and C.G. Jung, and it's the sound of Torres making something beautiful. With many truly breathtaking moments throughout, it feels full of promise, and is simultaneously weathered and young. A DIY self-release, Nostra Nova found deep, long-lasting roots within the small Athens, OH community at the time, but didn't resonate farther until much later.
Following its release, Torres went back to college and turned his focus to other interests. But all the while, he never stopped playing music, writing songs, or performing, even while living in Ecuador on and off for two years, teaching English and volunteering in rural villages in the Ecuadorian Andes, among other things. In 2011, Torres moved to Austin, TX and enrolled in graduate school at the University of Texas, and upon finishing, spent two years working for the state of Texas on a project aimed at cleaning the water quality of the Rio Grande River in South Texas.
Having penned more than 100 songs since 2006, he quietly released his first music since Nostra Nova in 2012 through DC cassette-label DZ Tapes, which featured tape-recorded demos made inside the apartments he lived in during his time in Ecuador.
In 2015, Nostra Nova saw a small reissue. Called a "cult classic" by The A.V. Club, the album finally achieved its due, earning additional praise from Stereogum, VICE, Popmatters, All Music Guide, and Flavorwire, which wrote of Torres as, "someone who was, at an early age, able to connect his own odd experiences to the concept of life itself in an almost innate way."
In many respects, that description is a good start at capturing the magic of Torres' music. There's a persisting theme that threads through his own story as well as his forthcoming new LP, Pearls To Swine. Within the cosmos of the album, characters experience a sort of misadventure and persevere, casting light on the way life can lead you down a path that's far from where you wanted to be. Pearls To Swine maps Torres' complicated history as a songwriter and musician: it's the sound of someone who discovered the value in his own devotion to music, and how writing and songs are extensions of his own journey. He embeds his own folklore within his high-lonesome sounding, deeply felt and moving brand of folk music.
Across the album, Torres crafts uniquely cinematic soundscapes, ranging through a thoughtfully languid waltz "Juniper Arms" (inspired by Edward Abbey's iconic book of nature writing Desert Solitaire), and on the evocative, uneasy "Some Beast Will Find You By Name." It wends through the lush, gently undulating "High Lonesome" to the lonely sweep of the Raymond Carver-signaling "Where I'm Calling From," and travels from the foreboding, sinuous "Outlands" to the deceptively buoyant cascade of "Mountain River."
Nature abounds on Pearls To Swine - which also examines the tension of the natural versus the constructed, and survival - filled with imagery of juniper trees, deserts, blood moons, rivers, plains, and big western skies that gives it a distinctively southwestern feel. His style acknowledges the classic singer-songwriter tradition, allowing the rhythm sounds to support the structure of songs, while his affecting falsetto conjures the spirit of traditional vocalists such as John Jacob Niles and Robbie Basho.
Pearls To Swine was recorded over eight days in January at Austin's Cacophony Recorders, which overlooks the Colorado River valley. Working alongside co-producer and mixer Erik Wofford (Bill Callahan, Black Angels, M. Ward, Okkervil River), Torres chose the analog route, recording and mixing directly to tape to allow for more finality and less overthought. This method in turn lends a natural, warm, and almost magical realism atmosphere to the songs - like a high-stakes live show captured in a fantastical setting. The core rhythm was captured live and augmented by a few overdubs, and Torres is joined on the album by the players in his band: Thor Harris (of Swans; on conga drums, vibraphone, and percussion), Aisha Burns (violin), and Dailey Toliver (bass/piano), with drum kit performances by Matthew Shepherd and Rodolfo Villareal III.
"I am a songwriter. I am a poet. I am a lyricist. I am a singer. I am an American Idol Winner," confesses the handsome, charismatic and introspective Lee DeWyze. "Some people have a hard time understanding how those things can go hand in hand." Collectively all of these gifts have coalesced to garner DeWyze a place as one of the most exciting singer/songwriterâ s to emerge in the past decade. A Millennial troubadour, DeWyzeâ s depth as a songwriter along with his earnest ability to drive home a song with a delicate balance of deep emotion and subtlety, call to mind some of his earliest influences like Simon and Garfunkel, Yusef Islam (Cat Stevens) and Johnny Cash. DeWyzeâ s songs have spent several consecutive weeks in the top forty on the Billboard Hot AC Chart, been featured on the insanely popular gritty drama The Walking Dead, NBCâ s musical drama Nashville, showcased in commercials and topped charts abroad in Ireland and Italy. In the six years since DeWyze has evolved from being crowned an American Idol winner, he has continued to refine his artistry. In numerology six is regarded as one of the most harmonious and stable single digits, representing balance, sincerity, love, and truth. Whether you believe or not, one thing for sure is that DeWyze seems to have arrived at such a place in his journey thus far. "I think for once I am making music that is just me. All the way through,âsmiles Lee. February 12, 2016, Shanachie Entertainment will release Oil & Water, Lee DeWyzeâ s fifth solo effort and highly anticipated label debut. His resonant, soulful and at times raspy tenor combined with his prodigious guitar playing serve to underscore themes of the heart as ten songs unravel into compelling poetic prose and striking arrangements.Randall Grass, Shanachie Entertainment General Manager states, âLee DeWyze is a classic singer-songwriter with intensely personal lyrics that he delivers with a resonant, viscerally appealing voice. He communicates in a very direct, earthy way that is all too rare these days."Oil &Water is an alluring evocative mix of songs that reflect the ease and comfort of where DeWyze is in his music and life. Each song is a revealing glimpse into Leeâ s world and quest for truth and meaning. He is a powerful storyteller. âI didn't â knowâ I could write music exactly but I knew at a young age I appreciated it. I read my first lyrics on the back of a Cat Stevens record and I recall thinking â wow, he's telling a story. I want to do thatâ and I picked up a guitar when I was about 13.â The songs on Oil & Water at times are deceptively simple and they possess a sincerity and authenticity that you cannot manufacture. All of the albums tracks are written, produced and recorded by Lee along with his friend and engineer Nico Grossfeld. "These songs really sum up a very particular part of my life over the past year or so." Describing his compositional process as 'somewhat chaotic,' DeWyze recorded the songs in his own Los Angeles based studio writing playing and recording the music on his terms. âI am grateful for the process which is this record," declares the young musician. Oil & Water is not a reinvention of Lee DeWyze but rather further discovery. "I think whether you have heard my music or not, people will find common ground on this record. Lyrically these songs speak to a wider audience and I am really excited for people to hear it."
âMy goal was to simply make an album that speaks to who I am. About a year ago, which would have been six months into the making of this album, my vision kind of started to fall into place,â explains Lee. âI have found my process to be one of writing, recording, sitting on it, then re-recording. Much of that comes from playing the songs live on the road and really letting the songs take on a life of their own.ââSometimes I want the listener to say, â I wonder what he means?â confides Lee. âThat's the one thing that I think that really makes music powerful. It does not matter what you believe or what your religion or politics are. Everyone can sit and enjoy and be moved by a song. As a songwriter, I view it as a responsibility to move my listener.âBorn in Mount Prospect, IL, one of four children, Lee DeWyze discovered music and quickly developed a passion at a young age. He cites Cat Stevensâ Tea For The Tillerman and Paul Simonsâ Graceland as two of the albums that changed his life. As a teen Lee played guitar, piano and the drums and it was not long before he started to write his own songs. âI discovered that I could turn my thoughts and ideas into a clever song or line. I fell in love,â recalls Lee. âI would sit around and write funny or witty songs to make my friends or family laugh.â DeWyze was crowned the winner of American Idolâs Season 9 in 2010, DeWyze had a stint working as both a paint salesman and trading floor clerk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Before he was 20, he recorded two albums for an independent label in Chicago: So I'm Told and Slumberland. He made his major label debut in 2010 with Live It Up. His critically lauded Frames followed in 2013 and his song âFightâreached the top 40 on the Billboard Hot AC charts for 10 weeks straight. The video, which Lee produced and created, won first place at the Los Angeles Indie Film Festival. 2014 was a banner year for Lee as he made major headway as a songwriter. His song âBlackbird Songâ was placed in the show The Walking Dead. The song racked up more then 3 million YouTube views, 2 million Spotify streams and was selected as one of the Top 10 most influential placements in 2014 by the Music Writers Guild of America. The same year Lee landed a #1 song in Ireland with his song âLullabyâ which was covered by Ronan Keating. He also scored a #3 hit in Italy when his âMagnetic Heartâ was recorded by Marco Mengioni. Lee DeWyze will embark on an ambitious national tour in 2016 in support Oil & Water. âI love my fans. I truly do. They are the fuel to my engine. I want the audience to feel what I'm saying. To know itâ s real and honest.â With the release of Oil & Water Lee DeWyze takes a no holds barred approach and bares it all and the results are well worth the journey. "I write what I like to hear and how I feel. I am not defining what kind ofcomposer or artist I am. My audience can do that. Because the minute you start to concern yourself with what you're â supposedâ to be doing, you start to second-guess who you are. And that is one thing I am very sure of."
The Stray Birds with Special Guest The Sweaty Already String Band
Magic Fire is an album of firsts for The Stray Birds: their first with an outside producer, their first with venerable guest musicians, and their first truly collaborative songwriting effort. More importantly, perhaps, it's an album of mosts: the most exciting and engaging music they've ever composed paired with their most outspoken and insightful lyrics yet.
Magic Fire builds on the success of The Stray Birds' 2014 Yep Roc debut, Best Medicine, which was hailed by NPR's World Caf? for its "strong harmonies and sharp songwriting" and debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart. Guitar World praised their "heartfelt creativity," while the Philadelphia City Paper called the band "stunning," and Mountain Stage applauded their singular ability to "successfully draw on the rich traditions of American folk music while still sounding modern." It was that unique formula that first brought them national attention and fueled their breakout in 2012, when their self-titled/self-released debut landed amongst NPR's Top Ten Folk/Americana Albums of the Year and earned them major festival performances everywhere from MerleFest to Scotland's Celtic Connections.
When it came time to record Magic Fire, The Stray Birds knew they were ready to take an ambitious step. They retreated to Milan Hill, New York, a small town outside of Woodstock in the Hudson River Valley, and teamed up with Larry Campbell. The three-time GRAMMY Award-winning producer (best known for his work with luminaries like Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, and Willie Nelson) enlisted his preferred engineer, Justin Guip (another three-time GRAMMY Award-winner who worked closely with the late Helm), and the group spent ten days together joyously exploring and creating the music that would become Magic Fire.
"Though a few of the new songs had been on stage in the past year, we granted most of these songs the opportunity to come to life right there in the studio," says Maya de Vitry, who splits her time between fiddle, guitar, and banjo in addition to singing. "It was intoxicating to go to this place of focus with songs that still felt so fresh and free."
"We'd never worked with anyone other than just an engineer in the studio before," adds Charles Muench, who plays banjo and bass in addition to contributing to the group's lush three-part vocal harmonies. "Larry was on our short list of people who we wanted to work with, and it was clear after a few conversations with him that nothing was off limits for this record. He offered up not only his production and direction, but also his playing to any and all of the music."
"We wanted some direction this time," continues Oliver Craven, who plays fiddle, guitar, and mandolin in addition to singing. "We wanted somebody outside of the music with great taste and vibe who could lend a critically unbiased and impartial ear to what we were doing. Larry is very relaxed and works on feel. I don't think I saw him write down one word the whole time."
Before the band settled into the studio, they headed back to their roots, returning to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. There they spent two intensive days of pre-production with another new collaborator, drummer Shane Leonard.
"We started out as a trio of people who all grew up together in Lancaster County and had known each other for a very long time," says de Vitry. "But it was a slow and deliberate musical courtship, and it took years and a lot of patience for us to actually come together and get into a car and start touring and recording as a trio. When we met Shane, I can't even say that we played music together for more than a song or two before we asked him to join us to make a record. We all instinctually knew he was right for us."
That kind of chemistry can't be bought, and it's readily apparent on tracks like "Third Day In A Row," a laid-back slice of infectious Americana that showcases the band's rich harmonies, and "Fossil," which they performed at Leonard's wedding before they'd ever even recorded it. In addition to the newest Bird's contributions (which stretch beyond percussion throughout the record), the album demonstrates the group's remarkable growth as songwriters and performers, with countless nights on the road across the US and Europe sharpening their senses and honing their keen understanding of each other's strengths.
"There's more collaboration than ever before in the band," says Craven. "This record is unlike any of our previous releases in that it has songs written by the two or three or four of us together. I think we've realized that in this band, we're surrounded by people we trust and who inspire us, so if we want something to be as good as it can be, it's in all of our interests to share in that collaboration."
The fruits of their teamwork come to full blossom on highlights like the toe-tapping, fiddle-led "Sabrina," penned on-the-spot, as a trio in the presence of the titular subject, and "Hands Of Man," a dark, Appalachian-influenced tune completed during the recording sessions in Milan Hill. "Where You Come From" marks Muench's first complete songwriting contribution to an album, while "Shining In The Distance" is a collaboration with fellow songwriter Lindsay Lou that grew out of Maya and Oliver's move to Nashville, and "When I Die" features a verse written by Leonard (live versions of the song have included a variety of additional verses contributed by peers and tourmates like Mandolin Orange, Miss Tess, Jordie Lane, and Cahalen Morrison & Eli West).
Despite the new, more open approach to writing, the songs are as focused and incisive as ever. "All The News" is a reminder of just how lucky so many of us are to live in relative comfort and safety, while the groovy "Sunday Morning" is a call to action, as Craven sings, "You can shout for change and worry about the state of the world / But it's gonna take a little more than praying on a Sunday morning."
"I don't think that this record is overtly politicized," says Craven, "but there is an agreed perspective within the band, and I think that turns up throughout the album. It's not only our opportunity but our obligation to do what we can to help the people around us as best we can."
"This collection of songs honors what connects us as humans," Maya adds. "Being human can be a fast-paced, detached experience at times. I feel like part of what we do as musicians is rewire our connections to each other, and perhaps our connections to our collective memory or dream."
For The Stray Birds, those connections come from filling hearts with love and joy and light each night onstage, setting a Magic Fire and watching it spread everywhere they go. The most exciting thing about an album of firsts? It means The Stray Birds are just getting started.
(Early Show) Bill Deasy - 'Swingers, Scamps & Valiants' Release Show
I recently discovered an old cassette tape (remember those?) buried in a cardboard box. It was titled "Swingers, Scamps & Valiants" and I remembered that I had named it in honor of the beloved 1972 Plymouth Scamp I had inherited from my grandmother. I wasn't sure what was on the tape and had to buy a little device just to hear it. My best guess is that the songs (20 of them) were recorded in 1990 and though obviously the sound quality left something to be desired, I could hear the conviction I was feeling and winced less often than I thought I would. And so, without giving myself a moment to hesitate, I asked my buddy Jake to do what little he could to improve the audio and my buddy Jaimee to see if she could cook up some visuals. The result is a limited time, limited edition 2 disc collection of hissy, warbly, incredibly earnest songs from 27 odd years ago.
They're the sultans of salacious soul, the generals of the golden groove, the regents of raucous rhythm, they are the Employees of Funk! Formed in a fiery blast furnace in summer 2016, the 8- piece Employees of Funk have exploded on to the Pittsburgh music scene, mixing years of classical conservatory training with the New Orleans Brass Band tradition- and a healthy heaping of R&B, Hip-Hop, and 2000s pop music to create a uniquely Pittsburgh Brass sound. Come join the Employees of Funk for a night of dancing and brass out the ass!!
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble with Special Guest Morgan Erina
Another New Year, and new shapes are forming - if only we are fortunate enough to notice them! As we spin through this world, we are witness to all manner of combinations unfolding before us - familiar arcs and breaking waves alike, upon all of which it is our choice, our chance and our challenge, to possibly ride. Find Me Finding You, the new album from the new organization called the Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, manages to strike new chords while touching familiar keys in the song of life.
From its percolating opening beat, Find Me Finding Youlocates new systems within the sound-universe of Laetitia Sadier. This in itself isn't a surprise - Laetitia has relentlessly followed her music through different dynamics and into a variety of dimensions over the course of four solo albums since 2010 (not to forget her three albums with Monade and the long era of Stereolab) - but the nature of the construction here stands distinctly apart from her recent albums. Laetitia was inspired by a mind's-eye envisaging of geometric forms and their possible permutations. As she sought to replicate the shapes in music, this guided the process of assembly for the album.
Part of the freshness of Find Me Finding You comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. Laetitia recognized the energy of the tracks in their initial form, and sought to preserve their vitality by not retaking too many performances - instead, the rawness in the tracks was retained and refined at the mixing stage, maintaining an edge throughout. When we hear synth lines diving, lifting and drifting, unusual guitar textures, the plucked sound of flat wound bass strings or the bottomless pulsing of bass pedals stepping out of the mix with an exquisite vibrancy, this is the sound of the Source Ensemble.
A key to Laetitia's music is her use of vocal arrangements. Throughout Finding Me Finding You, the shifting accompaniment creates space to bring this element gloriously forward. Arranged by Laetitia with Joe Watson and Jeff Parker making string charts that were subsequently transposed to vocal parts for several songs, richly arranged choirs of voices provide depth along with the thrilling presence of extra breath in the sound. Laetitia's community-politic is well-served by the groups of voices lending support to the machining of the song craft, providing additional uplift to her quintessentially for-ward-facing viewpoint - as well as massed voices from three different countries sharing space in harmony!
Working in collaboration is Laetita's traditions, and a key to this album's view on being free together (it is necessary, prefer-able and right!). The designation of Source Collective implies a new togetherness phase; alongside long-time collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboard and flutes parts played by David Thayer (Little Tornados) were essential contributions, as well as further keys, synths and electronics from Phil M FU and several intense guitar sequences from Mason le Long. Chris A Cummings (aka Marker Starling, Laetitia's favorite composer) graciously wrote "Deep Background" for her. The duet with Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor on "Love Captive" (not to mention Rob Mazurek's distinctive coronet playing!) gives voice to an ideological cornerstone of Find Me Finding You - that, should we be responsible enough to endeavor into a world of basic incomes and open relationships, we would make astonishing strides as a society. These sorts of things can only be done in agreement with others.
Expressing great compassion and expectation with startling immediacy, as well as an abiding belief in an underlying unity that permeates and intimately binds all things and beings, Find Me Finding You combines a rigorous process for music-making with a deeply invested mindset, making captivating music that promises many stimulating spins to come!
Identity X with Special Guests Patron Saint, Big Atlantic, The Art Of Burning Bridges, Shadow Of Corvus
Influenced by the rock and post-hardcore scene of the early to mid 2000's, Identity X is best described as a blend of aggression and beauty. With gain-laden guitar riffs frequently giving way to lush, delay-drenched ambiance, the listener's emotions are stirred to a soundtrack that is anthemic, powerful, atmospheric and melancholic. Lyrically honest and technically proficient, octave leaping vocal lines move from powerful and inspiring to quiet and introspective while maintaining an infectious melody throughout.
Perfect for fans of: Coheed and Cambria, Papa Roach, Incubus, Taking Back Sunday, Alexisonfire, Killswitch Engage, Shinedown, AFI, and Bullet for My Valentine
Erin McKeown is a musician, writer, and producer known internationally for her prolific disregard of stylistic boundaries. Her brash and clever electric guitar playing is something to see. Her singing voice is truly unique â clear, cool, and collected. Over the course of 11 studio albums and thousands of live performances, Erin has developed and refined a distinct and challenging mix of American musical styles. Her latest album is 2017âs MIRRORS BREAK BACK.
"Her operative mood is effortless grace." - LA Weekly