Wild Pink released their debut EP, Good Life, in the Summer of 2015. It was a brief but memorable introduction to the band's brand of introspective indie pop/rock. After numerous tours in support of Good Life the band hunkered down with Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz, Kindling, Sweet John Bloom) to record new songs. What grew from those sessions was actually two new releases. First and foremost, the band's debut LP, slated for release in early 2017 on Tiny Engines. But also, 4 Songs, a supplemental EP out this October, that serves to bridge the gap between releases as the band grows more expansive in their sound and ambitious in their songwriting.
Wild Pink are one of those wonderfully rare bands that sounds instantly familiar upon first listen. Yet trying to draw parallels to their influences or similar bands proves to be incredibly difficult. That remains the same as Wild Pink continue to chart their own unique course. These new songs move at their own intentional pace while the band fleshes their arrangements out further. Yet the songs never suffer, only growing more dynamic and more propulsive with this increased nuance. Wild Pink doesn't lose the warm intimacy that made the band special, it's only enhanced to a greater degree here. These are deeply personal songs about freedom, or lack thereof, about growing up and leaving your youth behind yet still clinging to those sacred scars that we hold dear. Often exercising a stream of conscious lyrical style, Wild Pink has a remarkable way of transporting you to those moments in time where the smallest detail remains etched into your being. There is a sincerity that echoes throughout these songs that is intoxicating and speaks to what makes the band so special. Wild Pink choose the road less traveled and it has served them well.
Torresâ debut album Nostra Nova was initially self-released in 2006, and over the years grew from being a closely-held, sleeper f favorite in the close-knit music scene of Athens, OH (wherehe lived at the time), to earning âcult classicâ status. Upon its 2015 re-release, the album received praise from outlets including The A.V. Club, Stereogum (âa stunnerâ), VICE (âbeautiful, melancholy tunesâ), Popmatters, All Music Guide, and Flavorwire, among others. âAlone Togetherâ from Nostra Nova can be streamed here: https://soundcloud.com/adamtorres/alone-together.
Torres and his band â comprised of Thor Harris (of Swans), Aisha Burns, and Dailey Toliver â will head out on a run of U.S. dates in June. Beginning with a Daytrotter session in Davenport, IA on June 2nd, the tour will wind through the midwest and southeast before wrapping up on June 11th in Lafayette, LA. A current itinerary is below.
More information on Torresâ new album will be announced soon.
Robbie Fulks is a singer, recording artist, instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter. His most recent release, 2017âs Upland Stories, earned yearâs-best recognition from NPR and Rolling Stone among many others, as well as two GrammyÂ® nominations, for folk album and American roots song (âAlabama At Nightâ).
Fulks was born in York, Pennsylvania, and grew up in a half-dozen small towns in southeast Pennsylvania, the North Carolina Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge area of Virginia. After 1980s stints playing with Greg Cahillâs Special Consensus Bluegrass Band and teaching at Chicagoâs Old Town School of Folk Music, Robbie worked as a staff songwriter on Music Row in Nashville (1993-1998). His early solo work includes the influential early "alternative-country" records Country Love Songs (1996) and South Mouth (1997). His music from the last several years hews mainly to acoustic instrumentation; it returns him in part to his earlier bluegrass days, and extends the boundaries of that tradition with sparely orchestrated reflections on love, the slings of time, and the troubles of common people.
Radio: multiple appearances on WSMâs âGrand Ole Opry,â PRIâs âWhaddâya Knowâ and âPrairie Home Companion," NPRâs âFresh Air,â âMountain Stage,â and âWorld Cafe.â TV: PBSâs Austin City Limits; NBCâs Today, Late Night with Conan OâBrien, Later with Carson Daly, and 30 Rock. Artists who have covered his songs include Sam Bush, Kelly Hogan, Hiss Golden Messenger, Andrew Bird, Mollie OâBrien, Rosie Flores, John Cowan, and Old 97s. Festivals heâs played include Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Calgary Folk Festival, Bumbershoot, Birmingham City Stages, IBMA, Walnut Valley Festival (Winfield KS), Wakarusa (Lawrence KS), Americanafest (Nashville), Hideout Block Party, Milwaukeeâs Summerfest, Taste of Chicago, Rhode Island Rhythm and Roots, Whispering Beard, and Pickathon.
STRFKR with Special Guest Reptaliens - Presented by WPTS Radio & Opus One
Being No One, Going Nowhere. The title of STRFKRâs fourth album may seem bleak at first. But hold it in your head a minute, feel its weight, and you may recognize the phrase for what it is: a goal. In the era of the personal brandâamid the FOMO Ageâitâs increasingly hard to shed a stifling sense of self, or to just be in the moment that youâre in. Well, consider this an invitation to get blissfully insignificant. Thatâs what STRFKR founder Joshua Hodges aimed to do when he exiled himself to the desert to create this record, but he returned with his most significant work yet: a set of darkly glistening dance songs rife with sticky beats, ear-worming hooks, philosophical heft, and bittersweet beauty.
The album opens on âTape Machine,â and the difference is readily apparent. On 2013âs Miracle Mile, STRFKR refined a full-band sound, but this doubles down on and completely reimagines the projectâs electronic and pop roots. The initial synths could fuel a rave, and the ensuing groove could score a Drive sequel, but the song is richer still, with cosmic effects flying overhead and a psych-folk earthiness below. It isnât that the band sat this LP outâdrummer (etc.) Keil Corcoran penned the thick astral disco of âIn the End,â and he and bassist (etc.) Shawn Glassford both pitch in throughout. But Being No One, Going Nowhere was born in Joshua Tree after Hodges packed up his Los Angeles apartment and moved to that tiny Mojave outpost under the great big sky. âIt came together for me in the desert,â he says. âOut there, itâs easy to feel small and slow.â
When Hodges started STRFKR in 2007, it was designed to be success-proof. The name was both unfit for radio and a jab at fame-chasers. But the project was also meant to be bright, playful and brimming with energy. He stumbled upon a winning juxtaposition thatâs a STRFKR staple to this day: dark (or heavy) lyrics set to happy music. Hodges credits that to Elliott Smithâs influence, although Being No One, Going Nowhere has closer sonic kin in Italo-disco, kosmische musik and Tony Hofferâs work with Phoenix, Beck and M83. English thinker/writer Alan Watts, a scholar of Eastern philosophy, was another muse for Hodgesâhis voice appears on nearly every STRFKR release, including this one. Thatâs him on âinterspace,â talking about sloughing off preconceived identity to find oneâs place in the universe, which is the story of Hodgesâ eventual career: stop tryingâno, start not tryingâand succeed.
This albumâs name actually paraphrases the title of a book by Ayya Khema, a Buddhist nun, but the concept came to Hodges in a less chaste setting. âI had an experience at a BDSM club that was really freeing,â he says. âI realized that the appeal is letting go of your mind and stress. You can be super present with the pain, and then the pain isnât even pain. Itâs a gateway to freedom.â In a way, each song on Being No One, Going Nowhere seeks that end. Thereâs the reality-refracting fantasy of âNever Ever,â the hard truths about addictionâs ravages on âTape Machine,â a death-defying coming of age tale on âOpen Your Eyes,â and references to Hermann Hesseâs 1919 novel of self-realization, Demian, on âWhen Iâm With You.â If the words donât set you free, the musicâ exuberant, enveloping, incredibly catchyâshould do so handily.
None of which is to imply that STRFKR is drifting along aimlessly. To the contrary, Hodges crafted this albumâs dance bent with the stage in mind. The live setup these days includes a custom-made LED wall and a homemade light show that syncs with the rhythm of the songs (also, the occasional crowd-surfing astronaut and band-in drag). Plus, he camped out at the house of producer Jeffrey Brodsky (Yacht, RAC) for a week and a half, working all hours to ensure Being No One, Going Nowhere sounds as crisply booming over PAs as it does in headphones. Even if Hodges is too busy pushing the future of indie dance-pop forward to possibly attain his goal of unplugging, his aspiration is everything: âExisting is it. This moment is enough.â
As the brains and heart behind electronic act Mako, Alex Seaver is single-handedly tackling his next artistic chapter. Previously a duo, alongside former DJ and bandmate Logan Light, Mako now takes on a new life as a solo act, with Seaver serving a multifaceted role as its frontman, sole producer and songwriter and driving creative force. And with the musical reinvention comes a fresh reboot in sound and style via "Breathe," the newest Mako single out Friday, December 8, on Ultra Music.
"Breathe," a velvety stroll through personal emotions and beautiful instrumentation, serves as Seaver's first official single as the newly reimagined Mako. For the track, he takes cues from various sources of inspiration and sonic styles, all the while picking up where Mako last left off on Hourglass, his debut album released December 2016 via Ultra Music. "Breathe" is thus a natural progression for Seaver, one which sees him updating and upgrading the Mako sound via percussion-powered layers, indie rock sentiments, airy electronic influences, heartfelt lyrics and a striking vocal performance from Seaver himself.
Co-produced by Seaver along with producer Scott Bruzenak, the track focuses heavily on its instrumental framework, which is simultaneously rhythmic and groove-laden while at the same time dark and atmospheric-a bittersweet love song, so to speak. "The song is built around a pained style: a personal and soft voice telling an uplifting story," says Seaver of "Breathe." "It's ultimately something thatâs powerful and moving, but it doesnât come without a little bit of pain attached to it as well." The end result is a pop track built on elegance and sophistication and filled with organic sounds and instruments.
With "Breathe" now as his musical reintroduction as Mako, Seaver is bringing the concept to life via a new live show, which he is set to take across North America on a 33-date tour running January-March 2018, including a date in Seaver's home city of San Diego. The original configuration, a four-piece band comprising of Seaver on vocals & keys, a guitarist, a violinist, and a drummer, will showcase the new wave of Mako as a live act, Seaver's first full-fledged tour as a performing unit.
"I started feeling like I couldn't communicate what I needed to communicate musically in a club setting and in that nightlife environment," says Seaver of the inspiration behind the new live Mako show. "I had to switch things up and bring in live musicians. Whenever you take your music to live musicians, theyâre not going to play things mathematically. Theyâre going to play things with a lot of imperfections. You want to create an environment where you make those imperfections exciting, where you can decide something in the moment and have everyone onstage react to it. With the new show, Iâm going to dial it up a notch."
Seaver broke into the mainstream as Mako in late 2016 with Hourglass, his debut artist album for Ultra Music. Mixing far-reaching elements from the worlds of pop, indie rock and EDM, Hourglass marked a stark shift in Mako's musical aesthetic, moving away from dance floor fodder and into a more refined approach to electronic-driven pop. In April 2017, Mako released Hourglass: The Remixes, an accompanying remix album via Ultra Records that included reworked versions of the albumâs tracks from NOTD, Halcyon, Shades, Attom and many others. Hourglass also included the 2015 breakthrough single "Smoke Filled Room," which soared into pop and dance radio airplay charts via continuous support on SiriusXM's BPM and iHeartRadio's Evolution channels and landed at #1 on the Billboard Dance Airplay chart. Elsewhere, "Beam," Mako's first release, has amassed more than 50 million online views and streams since its release in December 2013. Between remixes and work for others, Mako has also racked up multiple Hype Machine #1s. SiriusXM quickly jumped onboard, anointing the act "the next big thing," and the rest of the electronic musical community followed suit. On the touring front, Mako has played high-profile festivals including Coachella, Lollapalooza, EDC Las Vegas, TomorrowWorld, Electric Forest, Electric Zoo and more, in addition to headlining club tours. To date, Mako counts over 150 million combined streams on Spotify alone and has worked with and remixed the worldâs elite EDM artists including Avicii, Steve Angello, Hardwell and many others.
Outside of Mako, Seaver-a skilled, classically trained musician and composer in his own right, as well as a gifted graduate of the lauded Juilliard School in NYCâalso spreads his expansive songwriting and production expertise across various multimedia disciplines. In 2015, he began writing original scores and contributing remixes for Riot Games, the world-renowned video game developer and publisher. He officially remixed "Piercing Light," theme song of the global video game, League of Legends, in 2016. Seaver also co-wrote and co-produced "Legends Never Die," the official theme song for the 2017 League of Legends World Championship; he also sang on the Alan Walker remix of the track alongside Against the Current. In November 2017, Seaver performed at the League of Legends Live concert in Beijing, China, in front of 75,000 attendees and millions more online via the event's official livestream. Additionally, Seaver has scored and created original music for independent films, TV series and several commercials.
Seaver's first full length score is for the acclaimed documentary "Soufra," the story or the first woman in Lebanon to have her own food truck. The documentary (from Morgan Spurlockâs team) is currently being screened for award consideration.
Seaver is now on the cusp of a newer, bolder artistic concept for Mako, a direction steering him toward a more authentic sound and a more personal place within. "I'm certainly going through a lot of musical changes," says Seaver of the new Mako configuration. "I needed to disappear into myself for a little bit."
It all now comes together on the new single, "Breathe," and the forthcoming live tour, which cohesively combine all of Seaver's true musical passions: a love of film and orchestral music; a passion for electronic music and songwriting; and an adoration for live bands and live musicians. Collectively, it all feeds back to the Mako sound-past, present and future.
"This year, I'm going through some big personal changes with my relationship to music, and it's all about bringing all those things together into one place," says Seaver of the future of Mako. "I'm not interested in writing the biggest singles and in being a famous person. My musical interests remain in being creatively malleable in all kinds of ways. I'm constantly pushing my own boundaries and pushing the boundaries of what you'd expect from an artist today."
-John Ochoa, November 2017
Deer Tick - Twice Is Nice Tour with Special Guest Solomon Georgio - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP
Deer Tickâs Twice Is Nice Tour comes to Mr. Smalls Theatre, supporting the new records Deer Tick Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. At each show on the tour, they will play two sets; an âacousticâ set and an electric set. There will be an intermission and a comedian will open the shows. Deer Tick will play music from all their albums.
SOLD OUT - (Rescheduled from October 14) - Jessica Lea Mayfield with Special Guest Mal Blum and The Blums
All tickets from the original date of October 14 will be honored
"The whole record is about me taking my life back, without really realizing it," she says. "I realized I'm the only person that is going to look out for me. I have to be my main person. No one else."
Jessica Lea Mayfield might make some people uncomfortable with the level of honesty she projects on her forthcoming LP, Sorry Is Gone, but she's not going to apologize â for that, or for anything else on her complex, confessional fourth album. Recorded with producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile, Phosphorescent and Dinosaur Jr.), Sorry Is Gone is a raw document of a woman in progress; one weathering cruel storms but finally able to blame the rain itself for the flood. Written as the truth of her own poisonous marriage unfolded before her eyes, Sorry Is Gone is a record of permission. Permission to create freely, to escape what is no longer safe and to stop bearing responsibility for things done to her, not by her. As Mayfield sings on the title track, "the sorry is gone." Indeed, it is; kicked to the curb with every strum of her guitar.
Written in the years since her last solo LP, Make My Head Sing, in 2014, and her 2015 collaboration with Seth Avett, Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, Sorry Is Gone became the soundtrack to a highly personal and traumatic story. The Ohio-born Mayfield was quietly enduring years of domestic abuse, smiling and touring while she hid a brewing tempest â and the bruises, too. But lyrics don't lie even as bruises fade, and they started to tell the tale of her marriage before she was even able to; songs often dark and dangerous and ready to confront and claim her life. Written primarily on an acoustic baritone guitar â out of necessity at first, in her thin-walled apartment â Mayfield started to process the years of hurt and uncertainty through words and melodies that helped her see the light in the darkness.
"I have to sing about things and write about things that have happened to me as therapy," says Mayfield, who shaped so many of these songs in the isolation of the small apartment she shared with her husband while their marriage fell apart in her hands â in many ways, those songs pointed to the way out before she could get there herself. "That's what connects me to other music I listen to. I want music to make me feel things. This is my inner dialogue, and my chance to get the last word."
Recorded with Agnello at Water Music and Electric Lady Studios, Mayfield recruited a stellar group of musicians for Sorry Is Gone, including Avett on backing vocals and keys, drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth, Sun Kil Moon), bassist Emil Amos (Grails, Holy Sons), guitarist Cameron Deyell (Sia, Streets of Laredo) and Patrick Damphier (The Mynabirds, Field Days, who produced and played on "Offa My Hands"). Together, they worked to create an ominous take on love, where hope can exist among heartbreak and the end is only as finite as we make it to be. On songs like the title track and "Bum Me Out," Mayfield bends the angelic notes of her voice over off-kilter orchestration, building an environment of warrior-style triumph; on "Safe 2 Connect 2," she takes stock of the digital world to a haunting, acoustic backdrop that gives a subtle ode to her bluegrass roots.
"Been though hell, there's no telling what might happen in my future," she sings. "All I can do is be thankful for each moment that's my own."
Mayfield has paved an unconventional lifestyle â playing in her family's bluegrass band since the age of eight, she didn't have any traditional schooling and released her first album at the age of fifteen, when she was discovered by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Influenced by everything from that mountain sound to the modern garage, Mayfield has been able to come at songwriting from a pure perspective, lead more by her heart than any textbook. It's what makes the tracks of Sorry Is Gone so striking and visceral â there is no filter on the emotions, no rulebook and certainly no excuses for anything she's been through or the candor she fires.
"I'm not going to bite my lip on anything," she says. "If there is one thing I am going to do, it's talk and sing about what I want to. No one is going to manipulate me."
The sorry is gone, once and for all â and Sorry Is Gone is a permission slip for anyone who wants to stop apologizing for others, and start living for themselves.
Tonight Alive/Silverstein - The Get Free Tour with Special Guests Broadside, Picturesque
The Old Guys, Amy Rigby's first solo album in a dozen years, measures the weight of heroes, home; family, friends and time. Philip Roth and Bob Dylan, CD/cassette players, touring, the wisdom of age and Walter White, groupies, Robert Altman, egg creams and mentors are paid tribute. Twelve songs written unmistakably by Amy and recorded by Wreckless Eric in upstate New York, The Old Guys is the sound of a good girl grown up, never giving up.
Amy Rigby has made a life out of writing and singing about life. With bands Last Roundup and the Shams in eighties NYC East Village to her solo debut Diary Of A Mod Housewife out of nineties Williamsburg; through a songwriting career in 2000s Nashville and during the past decade with duo partner Wreckless Eric, sheâs released records on visionary independent labels Rounder, Matador, Signature Sounds and reborn Stiff Records as well as her and Ericâs own Southern Domestic Recordings. For the last twenty years she has toured the US, Canada, UK and Europe, appearing on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Late Night with Conan OâBrien, World Cafe, WhadâYa Know, All Things Considered, BBC Radio 6 Musicâs Marc Riley Show and Mountain Stage. She lives with Wreckless Eric in the Hudson Valley. Her record âDancing With Joey Ramoneâ is a staple of Little Stevenâs Underground Garage radio show, and kitchen sink anthem âAre We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again?â is played in cafes and bars around the country by real life mod housewives and husbands.
The Old Guys will be released February 23, 2018.
(Late Show) Aris Paul Band CD Release with Special Guest Madeline Rae
Winner of the 2016 WYEP Dos Equis Songwriter Award, Aris Paul and his band, "Aris Paul & The Block Bruisers" are a group of Pittsburgh studio musicians who have come together to mix their favorite elements of alternative, roots, blues, southern rock, funk, and folk into their own guitar-heavy sound. Aris Paul has performed many popular music venues and festivals both locally and throughout the region opening for both Pittsburgh legends and nationally touring icons including Eric Sommer, Davy Knowles, Bill Toms, The Waydown Wanderers, and Raelyn Nelson. "Drive All Night" is Aris Paul's first full length offering showcasing what Aris refers to as, "an upbeat blend of Red-eyed-road music..."
Singer/songwriter Matt Aquiline lived and performed in Washington, DC for nearly two decades, but he has always been of Pittsburgh first and recently returned to his hometown to raise his family and perform his music in the town where it was formed.
Aquiline began performing in Pittsburgh in the early '90s and recorded his cd, Dice Roll, at Dave World in Ambridge, PA, backed by some of Pittsburgh's best musicians including Whitey Cooper and Sam Klingensmith of Norman Nardini and the Tigers, Joe Marini of Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors and at least 1 Granati brother.
He moved to DC to further other career pursuits, where he formed the band, Kid Goat, which performed in the DC area for ten years and recorded the 2009 cd, These People Arenât You. Kid Goat disbanded in 2013 and Aquiline returned to Pittsburgh to continue writing and performing his music there.
To help bring his sound home, Aquiline enlisted veterans of the local scene Stefan Rodriguez (Bad Attitude, Full Circle Band, Electriflyers) on Bass, Neil Carr (Scene 14, RockHeart, Gringo Zydeco) on Lead Guitar and Vocals and Bill Maruca (Sandoz, The Pawnbrokers, TheCAUSE, Billy Price) on Keys, and the youthful talents of Evan Cvejkus on Drums and Heather Catley on Vocals and Guitar. Catley and other band members have also begun contributing their own stellar original material to Aquiline's, adding even more dimension to a sound that already married folk, rock, blues, country and a little blue-eyed soul into an Americana sound that is pure Pittsburgh, with skill, authenticity and the kind of depth you develop surviving a few cold Winters.
The Roof, First To Everest, Name It Tomorrow, Flipswitch
Entertaining audiences from his phenomenal guitar work to his incredibly impassioned lyrics and overall songwriting prowess - one thing has certainly become clear about Albert Cummings' music: He is FAR MORE than simply just the guitarist or the bluesman he's often painted as by fans and the media alike. He offers the complete package.
Though undoubtedly a masterful guitar player who burst onto the blues rock scene in the early 2000's and almost immediately began gaining praise in that realm, his latest release "Live at the '62 Center" further portrays not only his versatility as singer/songwriter and live performer but as an artist first and foremost.
This comes to fruition in the true spontaneity and creative spirit of the album, in which he put together a newly formed version of his usual trio that afternoon of the October, 2016 recording. With longtime friend and Grammy Winner Jim Gaines behind the soundboard, what comes through in both sight and sound is an incredible journey into the live performance world and true artistry of one of today's most seasoned musicians.
"His muscular guitar work is simply outstanding. He's a great blues singer as well with passion for the tunes inherent in his full throttle approach." - Rock and Blues Muse on Live at the '62 Center.
Like many greats before him who've been painted into a corner as merely great blues players, or guitar players, or singers - Cummings seeks to rise above these labels and be praised for the devotion to his overall craft as a true musician. In artist terms - he's sought to be known for the overall pallet of his music, rather than one specific color. From greats like Eric Clapton to the more recent stylings of John Mayer, his artistic integrity has allowed him to focus on the big picture, writing songs from the heart rather than catering to his specifics strengths as a singer, guitarist, or bandleader (all of which he does impeccably, however).
His musical journey began when young Albert first picked up a guitar - learning the requisite three chords from his father, but later switched over to banjo at the age of 12 after becoming a bluegrass fan. After hearing the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, he was impressed by the sheer virtuosity of the artist, and following his first chance to see him LIVE while in college in Boston he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.
At age 27, as he continued to grow in his newfound passion, he landed on the Northeast blues circuit with his first band Swamp Yankee. Then, in 1998, after walking into a Northeast Blues Society's open jam, Cummings won the right to compete in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge the following year. By 2000, his debut single "The Long Way" was released to rave reviews, and began opening new doors for the artist.
His first big opportunity came in the form of a chance to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section. So taken with Albert's fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003's self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray's passing. Having began his musical journey in part due to Vaughan's inspiration, it seemed Cummings' passion had brought him full-circle.
Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock then caught the attention of Blind Pig Records (Muddy Waters, Jimmy Vivino, Elvin Bishop), which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the all-original release showcased Albert's rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, fully showcasing his well-rounded talents.
Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert's music to a much larger audience. His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, furthered a growing focus and maturity both in Albert's stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting - leading Billboard Magazine to exclaim "This recording is the calling card of a star who has arrived".
2008 saw his first live album "Feel So Good", recorded at the historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts which has hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that's rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, "It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night". Music Connection also called it "one of the best live albums recorded in a long time".
As he continued to grow, playing with the likes of legends from B.B. King (who called dubbed him "a great guitarist"), Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, and many more - Cummings built on not only his all- around songwriting and musicianship but his guitar playing skill as well. Using his knowledge to give back to fellow guitarists wanting to advance in their craft, he released the instructional DVD "Working Man Blues Guitar" in 2011. His next album, 2012's self-released "No Regrets" followed as a return to his true musical roots, poignantly capturing the core of his influences and displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country, and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.
2015's "Someone Like You" was recorded in Southern California with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov't Mule) at the helm. Said Z, "Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. What a blast to watch him jell in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles." One of those musicians was Blind Pig label mate and leader of The Basic Cable Band on the Conan TV show, Jimmy Vivino, who performs on three cuts.
Now, as he continues writing and performing, relentlessly devoting effort to his craft, Cumming's is ready to continue on his ever expansive musical journey.
No cover! Doors and sign up open at 6:45pm, the event starts at 8pm. All acts and performers welcome.
Club Cafe's monthly open stage has joined forces with Calliope and John Hayes (long time host of the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern's open mic night). All acts and genres are welcome to attend. The open stage will happen the first Tuesday of every month. We are excited to be working with John and Calliope and look forward to this next chapter in our long running, well revered open stage.
Joe Pug with Special Guest Jason Narducy (Bob Mould Band, Split Single, Superchunk)
If the opening notes on Joe Pugâs new LP âWindfallâ are a bit disorienting, his fans wonât likely be surprised. The Austin, TX singer songwriter has made a habit of defying expectations so the piano-driven âBright Beginningsâ and the atmospheric rumination of âGreat Hosannasâ are just further indication that heâs quite comfortable stepping outside of the guy-with-a-guitar trappings of the genre.
His rise has been as improbable as it has been impressive. After dropping out of college and taking on work as a carpenter in Chicago, he got his musical start by providing CDs for his fans to pass along to their friends. This led to a string of sold out shows and a record deal with Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records (Jason Isbell, Billy Joe Shaver). As he toured behind âMessengerâ (2010) and The Great Despiser (2012) it was with a band that looked as much like a jazz trio as an Americana band. âI never quite found a live band that captured what I was aiming for until I connected with Greg [Tuoheyâelectric guitar] and Matt [Schuesslerâupright bass]. It was an arrangement that maybe didnât make a ton of sense on paper but 10 minutes into the first rehearsal I knew this was going to be my band.â The following years would have them on the road for over four hundred shows, including stops at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and The Newport Folk Festival.
The relentless grind of four years of nonstop touring had taken its toll though, and by late 2013 he was ready to call it quits. The tour that fall was a runaway success but his personal and creative lives were a different story. âIt was this surreal dichotomy. Everyone kept congratulating me on how well the tour was going, and the mood was probably the best it had ever been on the road. We finally got two hotel rooms in each city instead of one. Weâve got this incredible group of die-hard fans that somehow make each show bigger than our previous trip through town. Meanwhile my relationship was in shambles and creatively I was at a dead end. There was absolutely no joy left in playing music. So we walked off stage after a particular show when I played terribly, and pulled my manager aside in the green room and told him to cancel the rest of the tour dates and that I was essentially through.â
But studio time was already scheduled and deadlines had been set for a new record, so after a few weeks Pug was back to the business of writing songs. âIn retrospect, I was in a very unhealthy place. I was sitting in a room with the blinds shut and a notebook, forcing out words that werenât there and drinking astonishing amounts of bourbon. I was looking at it as a jobâ¦.as a business obligation, and that is a very slippery slope.â At that point he decided to make good on his promise from the previous tour. The album was put on indefinite hold. âI just needed to start behaving like a human being again. I needed to reconnect with my girlfriend. I needed to eat healthy food. I needed to go enjoy live music as a fan. I really needed to make sure I still loved making music, because I really had my doubts at that point.â
The resulting layoff paid dividends in spades. When Pug set up camp in Lexington KY in 2014 to record, he did so with some of the best songs he has ever written. The agenda was much simpler than previous albums. âThe aim on this one was very straightforward. We wanted to capture the music just the way we play it, with minimal production. It was a very back to basics approach because ultimately thatâs what I love about music, and thatâs what I love about making music. I wanted to record these songs the way they were written and put them out in the world.â The result is a collection of songs that are as close as weâve gotten to a road map to Pugâs ambitions. He has collected plenty of the requisite Dylan comparisons over his young career but on this record itâs easier to hear the sway of more contemporary influences like Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams and M.Ward.
The theme of resilience plays a central role throughout Windfall. The weary protagonist in âVeteran Fighterâ wills his way further down the highway despite the gloom that seems certain to overtake him. âThe Measureâ, a song inspired in part by Frederic Buechnerâs novel Godric, marvels at âevery inch of anguish, laid out side by sideâ but ultimately finds that âAll weâve lost is nothing to what weâve found.â âI never really write songs with a specific narrative in mind,â Pug explains. âWhen youâre sort of pushing through a dark period of your life itâs probably inevitable that some of that is going to find its way onto the page. But in the same way, by the time we were in the studio the process had become very effortless and joyful. And hopefully you can hear a lot of that on the record as well.â This duality appears perhaps most overtly in the album-closing stunner âIf Still It Canât Be Foundâ, which features Pat Sansone of Wilco guesting on mellotron.
If itâs not around this corner itâs around the next
If itâs not beyond this river itâs beyond the next
And if still it canât be found
Itâs probâly for the best
As the saying goes, âAllâs well that ends well.â Joe Pug didnât call it quits after all. Heâs engaged to be married and still drinks bourbon on occasion. His new album, Windfall, will be released March 10, 2015 on Lightning Rod Records in the US and Loose Music in Europe.
LIGHTS - We Were Here Tour with Special Guests Chase Atlantic and DCF
Always pushing boundaries, alt-pop phenomenon Lights has never shied away from a challenge. Through her first three records, Lights built an incredibly passionate fan base, selling out tours around the world, earning 100M in U.S. streams, over 200K in U.S. album sales, two JUNO Awards, and three Gold album certifications; not to mention the 2M + rabid fans who follow her every move online. Yet through this success, she felt like she had more important things to say through her music but just didnât know how to get them out. Thus was born Skin&Earth, the Canadian singerâs fourth record and companion comic book series of the same name, entirely written and illustrated by Lights herself. As Billboard explains, âConcept albums are nothing new, but itâs the lengths to which Lights takes her fourth album Skin&Earth that sets it apart.â Further critical acclaim for the project comes from Playboy, who dubs her a âReal-life musical wonder woman,â while ELLE describes Lights as âa musician, and artist, and a comic book hero,â and Departures praises her as âMore pop siren than indie darling.â Her anthemic single âGiantsâ brings the immersive comic book world to life, as Lights â and her alter-ego leading lady â struggles to find hope in a hopeless world. âGiantsâ has been steadily climbing the Hot AC radio chart and has amassed over 2M streams on Spotify. Lights has played numerous festivals including Coachella, Reading & Leeds, plus toured with OneRepublic, Tegan & Sara, Paramore, Kaskade, PVRIS and many others. She will embark on her worldwide headlining tour in 2018. As Buzzfeed attests, âItâs time for Americans to fall in love with Lights.â
Formed by Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin (both accomplished studio and touring musicians), Milk & Bone is set to release their first album, Little Mourning, in the US on April 21st, on Honeymoon. Made up of electronic textures and layered synths, Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin's sonic universe distinguishes itself from the electro-pop genre thanks to their perfectly-paired vocal colours. Their mesmerizing harmonies look into the darker aspects of love, friendship and lust.
By combining their voices and talents, the two friends create electro-pop melodies that are both dreamy and harrowing. After charming the blogosphere and international media last year with two singles (New York and Coconut Water), the Montreal-based duo then shared the song Pressure, which made its way to Hype Machine top songs list, quickly reaching a million plays.
Milk & Bone's tightly-knit bond, palpable in concert and throughout the album, is a key part of their creative process. Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin wrote in tandem, and their eight songs took shape once they arrived in studio with the help of producer Gabriel Gagnon, who also took part in the mixing, programming and the arrangements.
(Late Show) Trending Styles, HennyGivenSunday & Opus One Comedy Presents 'Funny Business' with Jason Russ, DJ Spillz and Guests. Hosted by Darius Singleton
Mixing the sunny swoon of sixties pop with a dark swirl of Warholian garage rock, *repeat repeat create their own geography, dreaming up songs rooted in the spirit of both coasts. Based in Nashville, TN â where frontman Jared Corder, then-drummer Andy Herrin, and keys/singer Kristyn Corder kicked off the band's career with 2014's Bad Latitude â the band looks beyond the borders of their landlocked hometown and, instead, mix California surf culture and New York street smarts into the same tracklist. They're a blend of bloom, doom, and boom. They're Dick Dale's snot-nosed grandkids.
A self-described family business, *repeat repeat was founded by Jared Corder â a former punk-rock kid raised on the sounds of Bad Religion and Black Flag. The goal was simple: to make edgy, guitar-driven music that nodded to the classic sounds of Jared's California birthplace, complete with hazy harmonies and surf-inspired arrangements. The problem? The group needed a female harmony singer, and nobody seemed to fit the bill. Things changed when the band's producer, Gregory Lattimer (Albert Hammond Jr.), suggested that Jared's wife, Kristyn, sing with the band. The fit was natural. Kristyn had grown up in and around California, listening to '60s legends like the Mamas and the Papas and The Everly Brothers. She quickly completed the band, sharing vocal duties with Jared and serving as the inspiration for much of Bad Latitude â a debut album largely written by Jared during the couple's engagement, filled with songs about love, life, and the promise of new partnerships along the way.
Floral Canyon (their sophomore release) stretches the band's musical envelope, adding depth, drive, and darkness to the sun-baked, surf-tinged pop music that's always been their bedrock. Produced once again by Lattimer, the album tackles modern culture ("Plugged In"), rocky relationships ("Mostly"), religious ideologies ("Speaker Destroyer"), and all points in between. Gluing everything together is the band's melodic, musical attack: equal parts percussive thunder, trembling organ, synth pads, coed harmonies, and wide-ranging guitar parts.
The album's name is a sly salute to California's Laurel Canyon, whose rolling hills were home to some of America's best musicians during the '60s and '70s. The SoCal salute came in handy when *repeat repeat caught the attention of notable Silverlake-based label Dangerbird Records, who agreed to release Floral Canyon in the Fall of 2017. It proved to be a busy year as the band saw the departure of Herrin to pursue other projects, a US & Canadian tour with punk sweethearts, Beach Slang, a sold out show with Neon Trees, and a slew of major festival dates including Forecastle Festival, Firefly and SXSW.
*repeat repeatâs sound is bold, bi-coastal beach pop, at once coolly current and proudly vintage. It's sugar-coated music with a raw, real, rocky center, and unmistakably *repeat repeat.
The band is vegan and share their life with 10 rescue animals including dogs, cats, a very talkative African Grey parrot, and an enormous young ex-racehorse.
They also host a popular bi-monthly podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.