Over the last decade, Connecticut native Stephen Kellogg has performed more than 1500 concerts around the world, raised thousands of dollars for causes close to his heart, been named Armed Forces Entertainer of the Year, and penned singles for artists like "American Idol" winner Nick Fradiani and the platinum selling rock band O.A.R. Stephenâs most recent writing work with legendary guitarist Robert Randolph, has led to a 2017 Grammy nomination for "Best Contemporary Blues Record." He's also had his songs covered by international major label acts and released eight albums of his own that have yielded hundreds of thousands of ticket and album sales.
When it comes to performing, CBS radio has called him "the best live act you've never seen" and another writer for No Depression gives him the oddly flattering title "the best songwriter you're not listening to." Filmmaker Peter Harding was so moved by the underground nature of Stephen's story that he made a documentary called "Last Man Standing" which went on to become an Amazon exclusive film. In recent years heâs added speaking to his resume delivering a Tedx Talk on job satisfaction, the key note speech for the prestigious photography summit WRKSHP, and garnering an invitation to speak to the students at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO on the topics of social justice and 'finding your voice.'
While it's true that Kellogg may not currently be a household name to everyone, he has persisted in building a substantial career that has landed him onstage with some of the biggest and best touring bands in the world (Train, Sugarland, Jason Isbell, Sara Bareilles, and Hanson to name a few.) Kellogg's music has found its way onto the Billboard charts and been featured in numerous films and TV shows. His Americana-tinged, folk, pop, and rock stylings can make his sound hard to define, but to his core, this musician and father of four brings heart and incredible energy to everything he does.
Just-dropped, Flickering Light is the second full-length album from Benjamin Cartel, the Cartel portion of the renowned duo Kaiser Cartel. Co-produced by Cartel and Mike Cohen, the new album features Benjamin Cartel on vocals, guitar and drums; Mike Cohen on guitar; and Kieren Mulvaney on bass.
Cartelâs sound merges a panorama of stylistic influences, including rock, psych folk, dream rock and even a bit of prog rock weaving through some of the tunes. Itâs a prismatic sound with shimmering patience and musical wisdom, as if an imperturbable ambiance decided to enfold you.
Flickering Light encompasses ten tracks. âStarlightâ provides a dreamy tantalizing tint of sonic colors riding a psych-pop melody. Cartelâs voice is smooth as cream, drifting in sparkling waves, like clouds floating by. âCoast Townâ blends alt rock with psychedelic country rock flavors into an emerging wash of sound thatâs simultaneously quixotic and a little dangerous.
âThe Jungle Eats Everythingâ exudes a Beatles-esque sensibility on a psych rock melody. A lustrous, wistful guitar gives the tune a potent opalescent sonority. âSave That Numberâ delivers a bluesy alt rock melody reminiscent of the Kinks, only with jangly Byrds-like guitars and a sensuous bassline. âSummerflameâ features wonderful jangly guitars and a cool stylish SoCal soft rock melody. Cartelâs voice is soft and warm and tender. The jangly guitar solo is yummy.
âSweet Rideâ exudes psychedelic folk rock aromas ensconced in tropical fragrant tones. âTicaâ provides a pop-flavored folk melody, gentle gleaming colors and Cartelâs delicately understated vocals. Itâs a beautiful love song. âDown Nowâ presents kaleidoscopic jangling guitars riding beneath Cartelâ rasping but sublime vocals, like creamy-smooth peanut butter with bits of chocolate added for crunchy sweetness.
The music video for âDown Now,â directed and produced by Cartel and Matt Clements, is shot in washed out colors, as if with a vintage 8mm movie camera. The musicians arrive outside a building, unpack their instruments and carry them up flights of stairs to the roof, where they play âDown Now.â When the camera pulls back, the density of rooftops is overwhelming; just as the optics are established, the camera zooms to close-ups, providing a feeling of vertiginous dislocation.
âIâm Not The Man You Think I Amâ is redolent of the Beatles in tone and inflection. The glistening jangly guitar injects the tune with psychedelic blushes that ramp up the songâs structural flow. The title track rides a pulsing, persistent rock melody. A dirty screaming guitar imbues the tune with a compact energy thatâs contagious and effective. The freight train rhythm puffs with glossy, radiant dynamics.
Flickering Light is marvelous. The melodic sheens glow with alluring harmonics, the rhythmic pulses provide magnetic energy and Cartelâs polished voice provides exquisite refined tones. Flickering Light coruscates with lustrous beauty.
Kris Gruen writes songs about grownup life infused with a mystic wonder, softening the worldâs sharp edges like a glass of exceptionally fine bourbon. Kris grew up steeped in classic records. His Americana influenced new folk is grounded in the tradition of great narrative songwriters like Cat Stevens and Paul Simon and yet Krisâs voice is strikingly current. A New York City native whoâs put down roots in Vermont, Kris effortlessly blends sagacious wit and emotional depth.
Kris has shared the stage with the likes of The Avett Brothers, Anais Mitchell, Billy Joe Armstrong, and Sean Lennon, and recently supported Alejandro Escovedo on the east coast and just returned from dates in Sweden at the Live at Heart Festival, as well as supporting Jesse Malin and Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) on a few shows in the UK.
Concert for the Tree of Life featuring Daya, Jorma Kaukonen, Low Cut Connie, Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers, Sean Rowe with special guest Michael Glabicki and more. Proceeds to benefit The Jewish Federation of Pittsburghâs Victims of Terror Fund
Proceeds to benefit The Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh's Victims of Terror Fund.
"Music is a common language that brings people together", says WYEP general manager Abby Goldstein. "This is a moment to heal through music and a chance for all of us to give back to the Jewish community and show our support at a time when we need it most."
Ona with Special Guest Ryan Hoffman and the Pioneers
Ona is an indie-rock band comprised of longtime friends Brad Goodall (keys), Bradley Jenkins (vocals/guitar), Zach Johnston (bass), Max Nolte (drums), and Zack Owens (guitar).
The band formed in late 2013 and are based in Huntington, WV. Ona's debut record 'American Fiction' reached critical success appearing on NPR best of lists, SIRIUS Radio airplay, and a spot on nationally syndicated radio program Mountain Stage.
Cat Power - Wanderer Tour 2018 with Special Guest Reverend Baron - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP
Cat Power, the vocalist, songwriter, musician, and producer Chan Marshall, will release her new album Wanderer on October 5, 2018, via Domino.
Produced in its entirety by Marshall, Wanderer includes appearances by longtime friends and compatriots, as well as guest vocals courtesy of friend and recent tour-mate Lana Del Rey. Written and recorded in Miami and Los Angeles over the course of the last few years, the new album Wanderer is a remarkable return from an iconic American voice.
Wandererâs 12 tracks encompass âmy journey so far,â says Marshall. âThe course my life has taken in this journey - going from town to town, with my guitar, telling my tale; with reverence to the people who did this generations before me. Folk singers, blues singers, and everything in between.
They were all wanderers, and I am lucky to be among them.â
Dauntless Media presents BE DAUNTLESS Holiday 2018: The Dauntless Records Release Premiere Party
Join us at the Dauntless Media presents BE DAUNTLESS Holiday 2018: The Dauntless Records release listening party for holiday cheer that ranges from R&B, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Trap and more as we celebrate the release of our debut holiday record, âBE DAUNTLESS Holiday 2018.â Enjoy performances from Clara Kent, Aria Jay Music, Deon Raps, Justo Ontario and more surprise guests. Hosted by Dauntless Media founder, Rachael Hardway.
Dauntless Media is an independent artist incubator and creative agency, with offices in Pittsburgh and New York City, whose goal is to bridge the gap between art and commerce.
(Early Show) Cold Roses - The Music of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals with Special Guest Mean Blue Planets
2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan's LPs, That's What I'm Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ân Roll Legend at an award ceremony.
Priceâs album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2015. A live recording of the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released in April 2017.
His new album Reckoning, produced by Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios, was released on June 15, 2018 by Vizztone Label Group.
43 minutes. That is all Bill Deasy is asking of you.
Turn off your phone. Shut the door. Block out the world.
Wheels on road
Roads in moonlight
Moonlight falling on a midnight train
So begins "Timeless Things," the lead-off title track for Bill Deasy's eighth full-length studio record. Anton DeFade's driving bass pumps along beside Jake Hanner's steady kick drum. Rob James' (on loan from The Clarks) signature confectionary guitar work assisted by electric rhythm from newcomer Noah Minarik, laces through, tying the musical tapestry together. All are in support of Bill's voice, his acoustic guitar, and, of course, his words.
"Every now and then you strike a vein," Deasy says, reflecting on this latest batch of songs. "I didn't even know I was wanting to do a new project, but the songs kept coming, each one seeming to lead to the next."
Nowhere is his intuitive approach to songwriting more prominently displayed than on the record's closing track, "End of the Record Song," which recalls vintage Jackson Browne.
"That one was a real labor of love," Bill notes. "I wrote it over a long weekend and just kept singing it and singing it as the lines slowly appeared."
The song shifts at the midway point from third to first person, a choice Deasy explains holds personal significance.
"The first half of that song is about the character I used to be, wallowing in the sad heartache music of my melancholy youth. Then after the solo section, I find the guts to step out from behind the mask of all the story songs and just be myself. I am wallowing in happiness now. A nice change, for sure."
Though at first the songsmith envisioned recording this new material with his long-time band mates in the Gathering Field, scheduling issues made a solo project the best option. Deasy teamed with local producer Jake Hanner (Donora, Meeting of Important People) and the two set to work.
"We built each song from the ground up," Bill explains. "Jake referenced a rehearsal recording to create simple loops to which I then laid down solo acoustic performances. Once we felt great about those we started layering."
In addition to the studio band mentioned above, guests include singers Maia Sharp, Scott Blasey and Clark Slater. Gathering Field member Dave Brown contributes electric guitar on two tracks as well.
The result is a remarkably natural sounding recording of, perhaps, the strongest songs of Deasy's career.
"We realized as we got deeper into it that something really good was happening," he recalls. "Our job from that point on was just to let it."
Bill Deasy has recorded and toured nationally both as a solo artist and with the Gathering Field. Bill has also written for other artists including Martina McBride and Billy Ray Cyrus in addition to collaborating on songs with the likes of Howard Jones, the Clarks, Maia Sharp, Bijou Phillips, One Flew South, Kim Carnes, Odie Blackmon and many others. Bill's recording of "Good Things are Happening," a song he co-wrote on a trip to Nashville, became the long-running theme for Good Morning America on ABC and he appeared in the promo spots, strumming his guitar and singing.
In 2006, Bill added "published author" to his list of accomplishments with the release of Ransom Seaborn which went on to win the Golden Needle Award and is currently being adapted for film. Traveling Clothes followed in 2009 and Ghost Tree in 2010, both delivering generously on the promise of Ransom Seaborn.
Bill was recently included in the book âPittsburgh Born, Pittsburgh Bredâ as one of 500 of the most memorable Pittsburghers from the past 250 years.
âThe music that Iâm writing and releasing is really mirroring who I am and where I am at that time in my life. Itâs easy to perform songs when theyâre very true.â So says JD Eicher, the Youngstown, OH-area born and bred musician who is set to release The Middle Distance via Rock Ridge Music on May 6, 2016. âIâm really glad that my career has taken the longer, âscenicâ route, because the music Iâm writing now has a certain truth to it that Iâm not sure I would have found otherwise.â
The Middle Distance marks the first album Eicher will issue since sunsetting JD Eicher & the Goodnights, the moniker used on the trilogy of titles, The Shape of Things, Shifting, and Into Place, released previously. So why put The Goodnights to bed? Eicher explains: âThe truth of the matter is, not a whole lot has changed. There will still be a band. But the name shift felt natural with the very personal nature of this new music and the very strong desire to simplify.â
Eicher has noted that the common themes running through his previous three releases are âlove, hope, and acceptance.â Common sense would call for speculating whether there is a common thread that ties together the ten songs found on The Middle Distance. âNot a premeditated one,â he is quick to clarify. âI really wanted to just sit down and write the best songs I could, saying what I needed to say at the time. Itâs more of a journal entry/diary-type approach this time around.â
With that as a forward, the first chapter of Eicherâs aural journal begins with nearly one minute of U2-ish guitar that sets the sonic table for the album opener, âThis Heart,â in which he sings, âAll my fears, all my worries, are alive and well inside this heart.â Eicher expounds, âThis whole record - and definitely that song â is moodier, and thereâs a lot of internal struggle, internal processing. When you hear the song title, âThis Heart,â it sounds like itâs gonna be a love song, but itâs really more about coping and figuring out how to get past whatever youâre dealing with in that moment.â
Songwriting and superb singing are at the center of each track on The Middle Distance, exemplified by the lyric line âMaybe weâve been trained to wash, rinse, and then repeatâ and the heavenly falsetto vocals found on âBe Well,â a song which sounds like it would fit perfectly into Death Cab For Cutieâs catalog. An audio oasis to the overall âmoodierâ sound of the record is refreshingly felt when the soundscape lightens up for the bouncy âThe Little Bit,â which musically and lyrically has a Jason Mraz vibe to it, most notably on the playful line, âI didnât write any lyrics for this part of the songâ¦ everybody relax.â Eicherâs songwriting gravitas shines in the more serious selections - âNot Everybody Runs,â a sonic commitment to, well, commitment; âNot Afraid,â in which abstract fears about our dreams not coming true, relationships going wrong, internal struggles and pressures, letting your guard down and being hurt, and failure are all tackled; and âMan of Faith,â in which Eicher espouses the somewhat ambiguous supplication: âAnd Iâm pretty sure my heavenâs just the answer to my questions.â
Far less ambiguous is how much Eicherâs Rust Belt upbringing seeps into, or serves as, the foundation of his songwriting. âI think it definitely affects the music,â he affirms without hesitation, âeven in the way I approach touring and my overall work ethic with songwriting and recording. Thereâs a world-wariness that comes out of this area that gets into the songs. I think thereâs a realism that comes out of this part of the country, too, and I think that gets in there as well.â Itâs no wonder that Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has embraced the performer and his music as their own.
With his band, The Goodnights, Eicherâs soaring and graceful pop-rock songcraft garnered favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. Alternative Addiction named the group one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Virgin America Airlines used one of the bandâs songs in the teaser for the airlineâs movie, Departure Date. Live, JD Eicher & the Goodnights shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Train, Maroon 5, Hot Chelle Rae, Pete Yorn, Anberlin, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Cartel, Sister Hazel, and Matt Nathanson, among many others.
Now facing a new morning with the added weight of offering up The Middle Distance with just his name on the album cover, does Eicher like the way the shape of things have shifted into place (to borrow a phrase from past album titles), both personally and professionally?
âYeah, definitely. I do feel a lot more firmly-rooted. I feel like thereâs a lot less doubt. I know who I am a lot better than I used to, and a lot of my life is starting to make more sense. Iâm married now. Weâve got a house. The real world stuff has come together in a really meaningful way. And my musical life mirrors those sentiments as well. This was the first time I felt comfortable producing a record on my own. I knew how I wanted it to feel, start to finish.â
For those reasons and more, itâs fair to say The Middle Distance is destined to take JD Eicher even farther than where heâs at today. That prospect makes it a near certainty that his steady pace to the top will likely result in him experiencing the musicianâs equivalent of a long distance runnerâs high.
(Early Show) Sam Stucky's 5th Day of Christmas with Special Guests Second to Safety and Guy Russo
Singer-songwriter Demos Papadimas (guitar/vocals/harmonica/bouzouki) skillfully intertwines American roots music with Mediterranean influences. Based in Northeast Ohio, Papadimas cites among his influences Dylanesque balladry, Leonard Cohenâs latter day touring ensembles, and string-band revivalists such as Old Crow Medicine Show as well as Greek Rembetikoâthe âGreek blues.â
Lyrically, this self-described "cynical optimist" infuses glimmers of hope in his often world-weary lyrics. When Papadimas sings, "Somehow I've dodged so many evil eyes, that I ain't got religion is really just a surprise" he shares his sense of bemused wonder. Having lived on both sides of the Atlantic, Papadimas writes meditative travelogues that are often Guthrie-esque ramblings translated from the Dust Bowl to the Euro-Zone, from freight trains to bullet trains, and are perceptive companions to his rootsy musical approach.
Reviewing 2016âs Waiting in No Depression, Jason D. Hamad coined the term âGreco-Americanaâ for Papadimasâ style, considering it âa musical portmanteau inspired by his own background.â Further discussing Papadimasâ craft, Hamad mentions âwistful, philosophical lyricsâ which âcontinue to generate songs that keep the listener engaged and thinking.â
Papadimas' latest release is titled The "Lucky You" EP and was recorded by Pete Drivere at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown, OH. Critic John Gatta writes, âThe musical strengths on the EP can be attributed to Papadimasâ band lineup. Drummer Ralph Rich, a mainstay since 2012, links up with bassist Corey Gray for a solid rhythmic foundation while Caitlin Hedge adds a down-home element on violin and Dave Lynn offers tasty guitar solos and âinvaluableâ input on arrangements.â
âThe lineup has developed into a true collaborative unit,â Papadimas said. âThere is a shared understanding among the entire band about the direction of the material.â
The Abominable Snow Jam featuring Identity X and Big Atlantic
Identity X is a constantly evolving original modern rock/alternative band based out of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The band pulls influence from the writing style of Incubus blended with the hard rock roots of the 80's metal scene, and progressive stylings of bands like Rush and Coheed & Cambria.
David Toole - Lead Vocals, Guitar : Darin DiNapoli - Backup Vocals, Guitar : Roman Prokopenko - Bass:;
Jonathan Joseph - Keys and Samples : Dave Ardale - Drums
Start Making Sense - a Tribute to Talking Heads with Special Guest Ruby Dear
If David Byrne is one of the geniuses of modern times, then Start Making Sense is a tribute to genius. The musicians in this 7-piece Talking Heads Tribute take pride in faithfully recreating the music of Talking Heads entire career. Together they bring much of the Heads unique live show to the stage, with front man Jon Braun as a spot-on David Byrne, giving you a "once in a lifetime" experience. Prepare yourself for a rockin', funkin', danceable celebration of the new-wave art punk you loved from the 80's!
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong with Special Guest The Magic Beans - Presented by Opus One & PromoWest North Shore
Jessica Bitsura is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA. She has been a DIY solo acoustic musician since the age of 14 when she began performing her original songs and covers in restaurants, bars, and wineries. With songs full of feeling, wittiness, and honesty, her musical style is a mix of pop country and singer-songwriter. She is a true believer in speaking the truth and being vulnerable through the songs that she writes, as they are an authentic expression of who she is. While in Pittsburgh, she was actively involved with 91.3 WYEP radio, having been an artist on the first ReImagination compilation CD, a performer at the 40th Anniversary Backstage Bash, and even an intern at the station. In 2016, she moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University and to further her music career. In Nashville, her song â1 Life Standâ was voted by the Nashville Songwriters Association International as one of the top 24 songs of their 2017 Spring Training event.
Most recently, Bitsura has received attention for her song âDear Neighborâ written in tribute to those affected by the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in October. Having reached over 105,000 views on Facebook, the song has also been featured by WTAE, WPXI, KDKA, and Bubba Show. It even landed her a gig at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Bitsura has already penned several hundred songs and has no plans on stopping. She is incredibly thankful for everyone involved in her journey thus far and canât wait to see where it takes her next.