Damien Dempsey is from Donaghmede on Dublin's Northside. His earliest musical influences were the post-pub singsongs that his parents used to have at their home when he was a toddler. Good, bad or indifferent, everyone had to sing. Today his unique sound reflects the influence of traditional Sean-Nós as well as his musical heroes: Bob Marley and Elvis Presley.
After completing his secondary education Damien went on to the Ballyfermot "Rock School" for 2 years where he studied musical performance as well as the practical side of the music industry. The school had its own small record label and star students were awarded a release on the label. Damien was chosen for that honour and the EP, "The Contender", was released in 1995.
In 1997 "Dublin Town", Damien's first commercial single, reached No. 18 in the Irish charts. Ireland's HOT PRESS remarked that it was "..an underground anthem for disaffected youth and closet balladeer alike". A re-recorded version of the song appeared on Damien's first album; "They Don't Teach This Shit In School" released in 2000.
His next release, the "Negative Vibes EP", (2002) featured Sinéad O'Connor on the title track and led to an invitation to support Sinéad on her 2002/2003 Irish, UK and European tour.
Damien's second album, "Seize the Day", was released May 2003 in Ireland on Clear Records via Sony and entered the charts first week of release at No. 5. It has since achieved double-platinum sales. Released in May 2004 in the UK on IRL, the album was awarded "CD of the Week" in the Sunday Times and received enthusiastic reviews in the National and music press.
Nominated in 4 categories in the 2004 Irish Meteor Awards, Damien walked away with two, the only 2004 double winner. A documentary, "It's All Good: The Damien Dempsey Story" by independent filmmaker Dara McCluskey, that followed Damien's career progression up to the release of "Seize the Day", was broadcast on Ireland's national TV station RTE and shown at film festivals in Ireland and New York.
During 2004 Damien toured extensively headlining his own shows as well as supporting Bob Dylan during the Irish leg of his European tour and making his debut appearances at The Fleadh and Womad.
Damien has earned the passionate support of his peers, one of whom is Morrissey who invited Damien to support him on various UK and Irish dates as well as his autumn 2004 US tour. Morrissey went on to sign Damien to his Attack label, and "Seize the Day" had its U.S. release in October 2004.
His third album, "Shots", simultaneously released in Ireland and the UK in March 2005, entered the Irish album charts at Number 1 and achieved platinum status in December 2005. The album was also released in the U.S. on United for Opportunity Records in June 2006 and Damien undertook a coast to coast tour.
In February 2006 Damien increased his Meteor Awards by winning in The Best Irish Male category. Recorded in December 2005 at Dublin's Olympia Theatre and released in June 2006 in both Ireland and the UK, Damien's first live album, "Live at The Olympia", entered the Irish album chart at Number 10. For the second year in a row Damien won Best Irish Male at the 2007 Meteor Awards.
His new album, "To Hell or Barbados", released world-wide in June 2007, entered the Irish album chart at Number 2.
Southern California folk-pop singer-songwriter Dan Krikorian has a distinctively wholesome, reflective nature that has always allowed him to see the beauty in life. This perspective is reflected in his musical style, defined by a cinematic blend of poetry and melody. In 2011 Krikorian released his 3rd album, "Windsor Blue", receiving critical acclaim and sending him on a European tour, as well as opening for notable artists in the US including Eddie Money, Foo Fighters and ALO, among others. In 2012 he wrote the new theme song for his hometown of Costa Mesa, CA, for their 60th anniversary, and released a viral video featuring the residents of the town. Now, Dan Krikorian prepares to independently release his 4th full-length album, "Bloom", on December 10th, 2013.
"Bloom" was recorded in Los Angeles, CA, at Nourse by Northwest Studios and produced by both Dan Krikorian and Shawn Nourse, former drummer for Dwight Yoakam. The sound and vibe of Bloom is an intentional departure from Krikorian’s previous three albums. “I wanted to approach the recording process with a more indie-folk vibe and organic sound,” he says. The album was recorded with Krikorian’s band members Mike Teague (guitar, vocals), Randy Querry (bass), Dusting Robinson (vocals) and Tayler Green (vocals), and mastered by Matt Forger (Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney).
"Bloom" was loosely inspired by author Daniel Wallace’s novel, 'Big Fish', which was later turned into a film directed by Tim Burton. “I fell in love with the story of 'Big Fish' the first time I experienced it as a teenager”, says Dan. “I was so taken by the sense of adventure that the main character, Edward Bloom, possessed. He wanted an extraordinary life worth living and he found it by taking many risks”.
While writing "Bloom", Krikorian had questions about certain meanings and characters in 'Big Fish'. On a whim he emailed author Daniel Wallace, who quickly responded with his phone number and an invitation to discuss their respective projects. Since then Krikorian and Wallace have developed the kind of relationship that only two passionate storytellers can. From their communication about their projects, "Bloom" developed into Krikorian’s own story of growth and an attempt to find “home”, which at times can be a place, a person, a feeling, or a mixture of things.
Later this fall, Dan Krikorian will release a music video for 'Long Days' off of "Bloom", as well as perform record release concerts throughout California and the Pacific Northwest. In the spring and summer of 2014, fans can expect to see Krikorian back on tour in Europe as well as throughout the US.
Dana Pomfret is a singer-songwriter from New York City, now living in New England. She has recorded her original music for Elektra, SBK and Warner Bros Records, and grew up playing New York's rock and folk institutions; CBGB's, Bitter End, Tramps, Lone Star, Bottom Line, etc. She's signed to a publishing deal with Jean Davoust/Paris, and has performed her original music throughout the US and Europe.
Dana's 1st CD, "Talk", was an independent venture which led to a deal with Warner Bros Records. Her 2nd disc, "Soul Collage", was released on Warner Bros in Europe, Japan and Australia, and independently in the US. The CD features her eloquent, blues-inflected songs and vocals, as well as shining guest performances by rock legends David Crosby and Graham Nash, guitar by co-producer Jeff Pevar, Martin Sexton on backing vocals, and François Moutin on bass.
Dana’s 3rd album, "realtime", released in Spring, 2003, was co-produced by Emmy Award winning composer-producer-multi-instrumentalist Jim Chapdelaine. "Tracks", a compilation CD, was released in 2006.
Dana's brand new release, "Float", was recorded over a period of nearly 6 years by engineer Tommy Skarupa. Tom lugged his gear from kitchens to living rooms, improvising recording studios everywhere and making it possible for a stellar cast of players to work together - sometimes sight unseen!
Dana's collaborators this time include legendary guitarist-producer-songwriter Danny Kortchmar, Stefani Langol (keyboards, piano, vocals), Tim McDonald (guitar, vocals), Francois Moutin (upright bass), Jon Peckman (drums, percussion), Jerry Martinez (guitar, vocals), Jeff Pevar (guitar), Steve Postell (guitar) and Jen Lowe (percussion).
One of the most distinctive and celebrated producers of his time, Daniel Lanois was also a gifted composer and solo artist; whether performing his own material or helming records for the likes of U2, Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel, the hallmarks of his singular aesthetic remained the same — noted for his unparalleled atmospheric sensibilities, Lanois pursued emotional honesty over technical perfection, relying on vintage equipment and unorthodox studio methods to achieve a signature sound both viscerally powerful and intricately beautiful. He was born September 19, 1951 in Hull, Quebec; his French-Canadian family was firmly rooted in music, with his mother a singer and both his father and grandfather noted for their prowess on the violin. Following his parents' 1963 separation, Lanois and his mother moved to the English-speaking suburbs of Hamilton, Ontario; there he learned to play guitar, and with his brother Robert began making primitive home recordings on a cheap cassette player. In 1970, the siblings purchased a four-track machine, setting up a recording studio in the laundry room of their home and offering their services to local bands for a $60 fee.
Regularly aiding their clients not only as producers but also as songwriters and arrangers, the Lanois brothers' reputation quickly spread, and as the decade drew to a close, they were able to graduate to larger recording facilities, which they dubbed Grant Avenue Studios. There — after sessions for performers as diverse as Ian Tyson and children's artist Raffi — Daniel first worked with Brian Eno, who in the decade to follow would emerge as Lanois' chief mentor and frequent collaborator. Together, they spent several weeks working on instrumental ambient material, experimenting heavily with sonic manipulation techniques; when Eno eventually returned to the U.K., Lanois remained in Ontario, recording a series of LPs for the local band Martha and the Muffins and, in 1983, producing improvisational guitarist Jon Hassell's album Aka Darbari Java (Magic Realism). In 1984, after working with Eno on Hybrid (a collaboration with guitarist Michael Brook) and The Pearl (another collaborative effort, this time with Harold Budd), Lanois responded to Eno's call to co-produce U2's The Unforgettable Fire; the album was a major hit, and it so impressed another superstar, Peter Gabriel, that he invited Lanois to co-produce the soundtrack to the motion picture Birdy.
Lanois next scored with 1986's So, Gabriel's brilliant commercial breakthrough. However, it was his and Eno's second collaboration with U2, 1987's The Joshua Tree, which launched him to true fame: after the album won a Grammy — and after he subsequently co-produced Robbie Robertson's long-awaited solo debut — Lanois emerged as one of the best-known and most respected producers in contemporary pop music. In 1989, he masterminded Bob Dylan's Oh Mercy — widely regarded as Dylan's best work in over a decade — as well as the Neville Brothers' Yellow Moon, an artistic watershed for the venerable New Orleans group. By this time. Lanois himself was a resident of the Crescent City, setting up Kingsway Studio in a mansion in the heart of New Orleans; there he crafted his own hotly anticipated solo debut, 1989's Acadie. Two years later, he reunited with U2 for the stellar Achtung Baby, and in 1992 re-teamed with Gabriel for the wonderful Us. In 1993, Lanois issued the lovely For the Beauty of Wynona; however, like Acadie, it failed to reap the same commercial awards as his other production ventures. Other albums of note include Emmylou Harris' 1995 masterpiece Wrecking Ball, Luscious Jackson's Fever In, Fever Out, Willie Nelson's Teatro and Dylan's 1997 comeback Time Out of Mind; in between, Lanois also recorded the score to the 1996 film Sling Blade. Lanois sxcored ahain with U2's All That You Can't leave Behind at the end of 2000 along qwith working with Joe Henry and others in a support capacity. 2003 sees the year of his third and finest recording Shine that features guest perfomances from Emmylou Harris and Bono. In 2005 he released the outtake filled, "renegade CD" Rockets through his website, which was followed quickly by Belladonna, a proper album release on Anti.
“Acadie” and “Rockets” are available here:
Daniel Martin Moore
“Our golden age is here”, Daniel Martin Moore sings on the title track of his latest offering, and he could easily be singing about his own career. Moore has steadily gained a following as one of our most emotive and haunting singers since his acclaimed debut back in 2008. Those deeply moving vocals are pushed to new heights on ”Golden Age”, which he co-produced with Jim James of My Morning Jacket.
The album is also a whole new sound for Moore. Known for his meditative singing and guitar-driven melodies, ”Golden Age” manages to hold onto that calming element while also giving Moore a more upbeat quality on a larger canvas.
“We wanted a bigger sound, full band treatments, strings, outer-space, and less guitar”, Moore says of his collaboration with James. “It was Jim's suggestion that we start each song from the perspective of the drums & bass, finding the right foundation, and then seeing how the rest of the instrumentation would fit into that. In the past, it had very much been the other way around, everything was based around what my guitar was up to. We turned that on its head for this record”.
The result is Moore’s best album to date. ”Golden Age” defies description beyond being a solid and beautiful record. Lyrically tight and sonically adventurous, here is an album that demands you tap your foot along on tunes like “On Our Way Home”, sway to the deep grooves of the profoundly singable “Our Hearts Will Hover”, as it builds to its perfect mixture of piano and eerie electric guitar. The listener will sink into the cloud-like vocals and pensive melody of a song like “In Common Time”, and be mesmerized by the humming perfection of “Lily Mozelle”, or the eyes-closed-with-feeling singing style displayed on “Proud As We Are”, that finds Moore remaining sultry and low while the instruments climb toward full exhilaration. The record fairly bursts with emotion, chiefly hope, and firmly establishes a new chapter in the interesting evolution of Moore’s music.
His debut was a storied one, after serving in the Peace Corps, Moore sent an unsolicited 4 song demo to the legendary Sub Pop Records that garnered him a record deal. Sub Pop released 3 of his records, ”Stray Age” in 2008, co-produced with Joe Chiccarelli, ”Dear Companion” in 2010, an album of duets with acclaimed cellist and singer Ben Sollee, which Jim James also produced, and ”In The Cool Of The Day” in 2011, a deeply spiritual album that reimagined gospel. Along the way he played at the Newport Folk Festival, toured the world, and became a darling of NPR. Moore went on to found his own record label (OK Recordings) and release 2 more albums, ”Farthest Field ”in 2012, with Joan Shelley, and ”Archives Vol I”, in 2013. Through it all Jim James has been one of his biggest supporters and frequent contributors. Their artistic vision gelled completely on ”Golden Age”.
James says the album is much like “a flower tucked back in the tall grass” and hopes that listeners “will recognize themselves reflected back from the sounds, and discover a magical place for their mind to wander and wonder”.
Moore found James’s presence a centering force. “He is always encouraging the pushing of boundaries. It's in his nature to expand and elaborate until he finds the spot he's looking for. He's a deep well of creative energy, it’s like he can see the way the future bends the present”.
”Golden Age” manages to be a lament but also hopeful at the same time. For Moore the album is very much about “the nature of togetherness and how our perspective shifts when we lose someone, when we gain someone”.
Even more interesting than the profound themes of the album is the sound. The record is populated by a fine cast of players and singers including a masterful Dan Dorff Jr on piano, organ and keyboards, Dave Givan providing rousing percussion, Alana Rocklin and Zak Appleby weaving bass grooves throughout, while Charlie Patton’s cello and Scott Moore’s violin float like evocative ghosts. Joan Shelley’s ethereal vocals are on fine display here in what Moore calls her “inspiring ability for disappearing into a harmony”, and Jim James bringing his unique guitar stylings and vocals.
Again and again ”Golden Age” reminds us that this is an album that is not afraid to celebrate love, friendship, and, best of all, the wonderful power of outright possibility that is suggested by every song on the record. Always there is the power of music in ”Golden Age”s expressive piano solos, in the thump of bass, in the soaring vocals or in lyrics that tell us “maybe we can never know, these things we love so well, but the music never leaves, the dusk and the dawn and the memories”.
Singer/songwriter Danny O’Keefe began his musical career in the Minnesota coffeehouse scene in the 1960’s In 1969, a meeting with Buffalo Springfield manager Charles Greene led to a telephone audition with Ahmet Ertegun, President of Atlantic Records, resulting in O’Keefe’s first record deal. Atlantic Records released 'O’Keefe' (1972) which featured the top-ten classic hit, "Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues", followed by the classic 'Breezy Stories' (1973).
Since its initial thrust onto the airwaves, "Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues" has been recorded by Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Charlie Rich, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie McCoy, Cab Calloway, Earl Klugh, and Chet Atkins among others. Mel Torme performed it on the hit television series, "Night Court" and, most recently, it was recorded by Dwight Yoakam for his 'Under The Covers' release, and featured in the film 'Wild Things'.
Between l975 and 1979, O’Keefe recorded a third album for Atlantic Records and two albums for Warner Bros: 'So Long Harry Truman' (1975, Atlantic), 'American Roulette' (1977, Warner Bros), and 'The Global Blues' (1979, Warner Bros).
In 1985, O’Keefe released 'The Day To Day' (Coldwater Records), which was re-released in 1989 as 'Redux' (Beachwood/Chameleon Records). The singles, "Along For The Ride" and "Someday" were charted in both the NAC and the AC charts. A video of "Along For The Ride" was aired on VH1. Throughout the 1970s and into 80’s, O’Keefe toured with many well-known artists and friends including, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Buffet, Jessie Colin Young, Maria Muldaur, Linda Ronstadt, Loggins and Messina, and the Hollies. He has also performed on the same bill with acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Yes, Tom Waits, John Hammond, Little Feat, Rita Coolidge, Dr. John, The Beach Boys, and others.
Many of O’Keefe’s songs have been recorded by well-known artists such as Jackson Browne, "The Road"; John Denver, "Along For The Ride" (co-written with Bill Braun); Judy Collins. "Angel Spread Your Wings"; Sheena Easton, "Next To You" (co-written by O’Keefe and George Merrill); David Lindley, "The Jimmy Hoffa Memorial Bldg. Blues," "More Than Eva Braun", "Well, Well, Well" (co-written with Bob Dylan), and “Jody” (co-written with Bill Braun) ; Jesse Colin Young, "On The Edge" (co-written with Young) and "Catfish"; David Mallett, Molly O’Brien, and Alison Krauss, "Never Got Off The Ground" (co-written with Mallett). The sensational young bluegrass group, Nickel Creek, recorded O’Keefe’s and Tim O’Brien’s, “When You Come Back Down” on their first Sugar Hill release. Tim O’Brien has recorded both “When You Come Back Down” and O’Keefe and Fred Tackett’s “Into the West”.
Recently Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama recorded the O’Keefe/Dylan composition for their Grammy award-winning CD, “There Will Be A Light”. A live CD recorded at the Apollo Theatre has recently been released. Bonnie Raitt has recently released a cd/dvd recording of her VH1 special with a performance with Ben Harper of “Well, Well, Well”. Alan Jackson’s release “Like Red On A Rose” has a song written by Danny and Tim Krekl called “Anywhere On Earth You Are”. It was produced by Alison Krauss.
O’Keefe is as well known in environmental circles as he is in musicians’ circles. His inner music naturally led him to an appreciation of songbirds, which have inspired both his music and his activism. In 1998, O’Keefe founded the Songbird Foundation, which seeks to protect songbirds and their habitats that are being destroyed by deforestation caused by non-sustainable coffee growing practices in Latin America. The Foundation educates and encourages coffee-drinkers to drink sustainably grown coffee rather than sun-grown coffee. Sustainably grown coffee is shade grown, organic, and Fair Trade.
The new CD "In Time" is now available. Order the CD at www.dannyokeefe.com
Dave Desmelik is a singer, songwriter and instrumentalist based in Brevard, North Carolina. His new album ”Lifeboat” is full of raw emotions, winding musical pathways, and intense personal feelings. Desmelik considers himself a seasoned veteran and frontline soldier in the D.I.Y. music world. As with all of his recordings and performances, his heart and soul lie exposed in these tunes. According to Desmelik, “the intent of this recording and these somewhat sparse compositions is to allow the songs to breathe and remain open for the listener to interpret however they may”.
”Lifeboat” is Dave Desmelik’s 11th self released full length album. On this collection of songs, he plays a number of instruments including acoustic and electric guitars, bass, piano, drums, textures of hammond b3, but with a heavy foundation of 4-string cigar box guitar and baritone ukulele.
Other musicians contributing their talent on this recording include longtime band mates and friends Josh Gibbs and Andy Gibbon, the incredibly skilled Michael Ashworth (Steep Canyon Rangers), W.N.C. powerhouse Laura Blackley, and the distinctive spoken voice of Ben Hardy. Adding his 2 cents and outside of the box thinking, the mastering was done by Seth Kauffman (Floating Action).
This collection of songs is titled ”Lifeboat” because in all of the complexities and uncertainties of life, music will always be there as a safe place. A sturdy vessel designed for use in saving lives.
Dave Insley has done it again. This is old-style country crooning from a distinctive and original voice from Austin, Texas. Dave’s new disc showcases his quirky, heartfelt narratives and smoky baritone, and features the musical muscle of some of Austin’s finest players. From the opening lines of “Drinkin’ Wine And Staring At The Phone” through the closer, “Everything Must Go,” it ain’t nothin’ but a party, y’all, with Rick Shea, Redd Volkaert and Danny B Harvey on guitar, Matt Hubbard on piano, harmonica and trombone, and special guest vocalists Kelly Willis, Elizabeth McQueen and Dale Watson. "Just The Way That I Am" is Insley’s 4th solo release, and his first since 2008’s "West Texas Wine". His artistic maturity and the clarity of his ideas shine through, carried by the easy cadence and quality performance Insley is known for. Highlights include the honky-tonk weeper “Win-Win Situation, For Losers”, co-written with Rick Shea and Paul Lacques (I See Hawks in LA) and performed here as a duet with Kelly Willis, “Arizona Territory 1904”, a re-telling of a Marty Robbins classic, and “We’re All Here Together Because of You”, a tender, upbeat homage to his wife and family. Insley’s modern voice and old-fashioned approach have earned him a singular position in the broad field of Americana music. This is thinking man’s country, intelligent, thought provoking story-songs that grow more satisfying with each listen.
Dave Rawlings Machine
"A Friend Of A Friend" is the first record by Dave Rawlings, the guitarist, producer, singer, and songwriter best known for his work with Gillian Welch and Old Crow Medicine Show. These long time compatriots join Rawlings on this record, beside newer friends Benmont Tench from the Heartbreakers, Karl Himmel, and Nate Walcott of Bright Eyes.
The notion of recording as Dave Rawlings Machine began in 2007. “I had a few older songs that I had written with other artists that I wanted to record myself. Then the last year or so Gillian and I spent a good deal of time in Los Angeles, hanging out with a new group of musicians and songwriters. This inspired a number of songs that seemed to complete the picture. So we started recording. It was as much of a surprise to me as it was to anybody.”
Of the nine songs on the playlist, Rawlings wrote seven. The other two are “The Monkey and the Engineer,” a country blues by Jesse Fuller, who died in 1976, and a medley consisting of “Method Acting,” by Conor Oberst, and “Cortez the Killer,” by Neil Young. Rawlings learned “Method Acting” two years ago while playing guitar on a Bright Eyes tour. “I played ‘Method Acting’ every night on that tour,” Rawlings says, “and it sort of sank into my awareness in a very deep way. ‘Cortez the Killer’ is a song I heard long before I ever played guitar and it changed the way I heard music."
“Ruby” is a plaintive recitation of love for a woman whose affections are remote and self-engaged. “Sweet Tooth,” sung by Welch and Rawlings in their more customary style - two voices, two guitars sparely arranged - is an ironic and wry description of the bittersweet allure of addiction, and the obsessive pleasures and despairs revolving around the satisfaction of a powerful need. “It’s Too Easy” has a narrator blithely content with the simplest indulgences and baffled by why anyone would lift a finger for more. “I Hear Them All,” which was first recorded by Old Crow Medicine Show, is a solemn tribute to the under-equipped, the lost and lonely, the left behind, and overlooked, and a condemnation of the outrages that the powerful practice against the weak. “To Be Young,” a kind of half-apology, half-screed both justifying and rebuking imperfect behavior, was written with Ryan Adams. Rawlings’s version features his banjo playing. “How’s About You” is a rueful, Depression-tinged monologue reflecting on hard times, past and present. The record concludes with “Bells of Harlem,” which has an eerie, spell-like quality. It is the sort of simple, classic-sounding melody that one can imagine being sung by Louis Armstrong or being used as a soundtrack for a David Lynch film. A mesmeric coda, played by strings, trails off at the end like lights rising in a dark theater.
Making "A Friend Of A Friend", Rawlings discovered that different considerations applied when recording himself singing melody instead of harmony. “When I listen to a Gillian record there’s a particular place and feeling in it that has an awful lot to do with the sound of her voice,” Rawlings says. “A lot of things change from track to track, but that has always been the constant. And a lot of the arrangements we’d worked out over the years - the way we put chords, the way we sing together - I was shocked at how little they worked for my voice or my record. We had learned to make records in a particular way because we were always framing her voice, which is this large, takes-up-a-lot-of-space, very intimate, very good sounding thing, a beautiful tone, so you can frame it in a skeletal way. It almost seems to me that the less you put on her records, the more powerful they are, but when we started working that way with my voice, which is so different, it turned out that nothing from that approach was valid, so we had to find different sounds and treatments that we were happy with. I was really surprised when we started that we were in territory as uncharted as we were. We broke new ground from necessity.”
Spontaneity was an important part of the recording. “I've learned over time that as a lead singer, I do my best singing live and on early takes, so it was essential that we capture the band quickly and in an organic way. So when we stood in a circle to rehearse the first song I thought, ‘Well, I guess we better put a mic in the center and be done with it.’ It tied my hands as far as mixing the vocals went, but it helped us capture something in the air. I knew that Gillian and I would be at the core of the recordings, but I became interested in a particular acoustic sound with more vocal parts that I knew the Crows could conjure up. Karl, Benmont and Nate were the icing on the cake.”
"A Friend Of A Friend" has more lavish arrangements than songs from the Gillian Welch catalog typically do. They are more boisterous, but they are built on the same careful spine that Welch songs are. Rawlings’s sly and succinct guitar playing is embedded within ensemble play as opposed to carrying the bulk of the arrangement. The songs are exuberant, sturdy, and carefully constructed, but they also reverberate poetically. The music on "A Friend Of A Friend" is cousin to the deftly modern and haunting music that Welch and Rawlings are known for, but it has here been expanded; the crowd is larger, the party more robust, but the room is the same room.
To celebrate this September’s release of his new solo album ‘The Ringmaster General’, singer, songwriter and guitarist Dave Stewart performed 4 UK shows. The tour kicked off September 3rd, 2012, with a special homecoming show at the Empire Theatre in Stewarts’s Sunderland hometown (the first time he will have played there on his own since the age of 16!) and included stops in Birmingham, Manchester and London.
The iconic artist, who has built a successful career in the US, will perform songs from his upcoming album as well as material from his critically acclaimed 2011 album ‘The Blackbird Diaries’ and other solo works. He will also perform some of his earlier hits with Eurythmics and other artists. Stewart recently toured with Sugarland in America in April and will do so again in August.
“I’m excited to play live in England again”, Stewart says. “It’s been a long time, and to kick off in my hometown the day my new album is released will be a golden moment for me”.
On the upcoming ‘The Ringmaster General’, Stewart creates a potent and distinctive musical gumbo, mixing in rock, blues, country, rhythm & blues and psychedelia. His songs are alternately moving and wry; they are filled with twists and turns – both musical and lyrical – that constantly surprise with repeated listens. Stewart’s voice has an alluringly mysterious quality that guides the listener through these stories of, explains the ringmaster himself, “love, discovery, and ….”
The album was recorded and mixed by John McBride at his famed Blackbird Studio in Nashville. It features 13 new songs, including striking duets with Alison Krauss, Diane Birch and Joss Stone, as well as a duet sung with and co-written by Jessie Baylin. The blistering guitar skills of Orianthi are also featured. As with his recent album, ‘The Blackbird Diaries’, Stewart is backed by some of the finest musicians in Nashville including: guitarist Tom Bukovac, drummer Chad Cromwell, bassist Michael Rhodes, steel guitarist Dan Dugmore and Mike Rojas on piano.
“I called my trusted buddy and co-producer Mike Bradford and warned him we were going back into the vortex armed with nothing but a brand new guitar”, Stewart says of his new album. All the appropriate circus rascals were summoned and thus began the five-day marathon madness that aptly describes a Dave Stewart solo album-party.
On January 29th, 2016, David Berkeley releases his crowning achievement to date in Europe, a set of interwoven stories offered in his second book, "The Free Brontosaurus", and a batch of accompanying songs on his 6th studio album, "Cardboard Boat". The songs are sung from the perspective of each story’s main character. The releases are a rare compliment to each other, but with a degree in literature from Harvard, over a decade of touring under his belt and a stage show that melds profound songs and hilarious anecdotes, Berkeley is uniquely positioned to be able to pull off such an ambitious project.
Berkeley has amassed a dedicated and widespread following who fully funded the creation of this new album and book. He’s been a guest on This American Life, Mountain Stage, World Café, CNN, XM Radio’s Loft Sessions, WFUV, NPR’s Acoustic Café and many more. He won the 2015 Kerrville New Folk competition and ASCAP’s Johnny Mercer Songwriting Award. Called “a musical poet” by the San Francisco Chronicle, “sensational” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and “spellbinding” by Blurt, critics praise Berkeley’s carefully crafted philosophic lyrics and soulful baritone, which at one moment resonates richly only to swoop into a fragile falsetto in the next.
Though he now calls Santa Fe home, where he lives with his wife and 2 young sons, his explorations have taken him from busking in Harvard Square to the mountains of Corsica, from the back roads of Alaska to the crowds of New York City. Each port of call opened him to new experiences, as a public school teacher in Brooklyn, a river rafting guide in Idaho and, always, a chronicler of life as he observed and embraced it.
This isn’t the first time Berkeley has paired songs and stories. In 2010, upon returning from a year on the island of Corsica, Berkeley released his initial book and album combination, "140 Goats & A Guitar". That book comprises 13 stories, each of which sets up a song on his 4th album, "Some Kind Of Cure". “With 'Goats'”, Berkeley explains, “I told the stories that led to the writing of that album’s songs. The book is a lot about becoming a new father and the craft of songwriting. My new project, though, feels like the proper way to weave stories and songs”. From the start Berkeley envisioned the book as a "fictional story cycle," with different narratives overlapping, intertwining and emerging as the brontosaurus moves between characters, and as minor characters in one story become major characters in another.
The central musicians on "Cardboard Boat", guitarist Bill Titus (Dan Bern, Brother Ali), trumpet and banjo player Jordan Katz (De La Soul, The Indigo Girls), bassist and keyboard player Will Robertson (Shawn Mullins) and drummer Mathias Kunzli (Regina Spektor), found the recording experience transformational, according to Berkeley. "If you go about 20 minutes north of Santa Fe, up into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, you come to a little village called Tesuque, which has just a post office and a restaurant inside a general store", he says. "Then you go further into the hills to an old adobe that Jono Manson has turned into a studio. It has great gear, but it feels like you're in an old Mexican house, with vega-beamed ceilings, out in the middle of nowhere. I've been out here for a few years and have begun to get used to the New Mexican palette, but for the rest of the team to live with that scenery and under those skies, it felt like being in a monastery somewhere. There's something about the light and the landscape and the calm and the quiet that's so inspirational".
The results are magical. Very few contemporary albums combine profound songwriting and such an extraordinarily empathetic performance at this level of eloquence. Complex issues unfold, brought to life by Berkeley's insight drawn from literature, poetry and his own experiences. There are references to Moby Dick in “Setting Sail” and Norse mythology in “The Wishing Well”, One of the standout tracks, “To The Sea”, is an elegy for an estranged father sung by a prodigal daughter. It’s a prayer for second chances as Berkeley and Watkins sing together “let me be like the leaves on the trees, they come back in the spring, gold to green, or let me be like the stream full of rain, it comes back eventually to the sea”.
"Cardboard Boat" stands on its own as a masterwork. It confirms the plaudits earned by Berkeley already, from No Depression ("Berkeley's songs are supremely melodic in ways only the most skilled singer songwriters are able to convey") and Creative Loafing ("Berkeley crafts his songs like watercolor paintings") to New York Times ("Berkeley sings in a lustrous melancholy voice with shades of Tim Buckley and Nick Drake").
David Massey played guitar on and off for 15 years before taking a stab at writing a song. At 35, moved by his sister’s struggles with mental illness, he wrote “Susie Came Home”. Not sure what to make of the result, he set it aside and didn’t attempt a 2nd song until 6 years later. On Memorial Day, 2001, he read a Washington Post reprint of a letter a young American fighter pilot wrote to his wife during World War II after learning of the birth of their first child. Massey wrote “The Drunken Letter” that day, played it for friends, and the positive response set him down the road that has resulted in 3 independently released CD's, "Blissful State Of Blue" in 2004, "So Many Roads" in 2009, and "Until The Day Is Done" in 2015. The few reviewers who noticed were wowed, Rootstime, Belgium, called "Blissful State Of Blue" a masterpiece, and added “David Massey manages, with his storytelling, to blow away celebrities such as John Prine, James McMurtry, Todd Snider and others that have preceded him”.
David’s day job (he’s a partner in the mergers and acquisitions group of a large Washington DC law firm) limits his live performances to the DC area clubs and coffeehouses, but he has assembled an extraordinary band consisting largely of the players on his 3 CD's, all veterans of the Washington music scene. Their versatility allows them to explore the wide variety of styles and genres reflected in Massey’s compositions, from swampy rockers to bluegrass-inflected country rock to delicate ballads.
Born in New York, singer-songwriter David Mead's family relocated to Nashville where he spent the majority of his formative years, honing his craft in pop bands such as Verdant Green, Blue Million and Joe, Marc's Brother. Mead eventually ventured out on his own, collaborating on a demo of his songs with local keyboardist Jason Lehning. The recording subsequently landed him in the offices of RCA Records where he performed his tunes alone with a guitar. The label signed him shortly thereafter. With the aid of Lehning (credited as associate producer) and producer Peter Collins (Jewel, Brian Setzer), the 25-year old Mead was given a relatively free hand on his 1999 debut for RCA. The resulting album, The Luxury of Time, is a collection of well-crafted tunes that tap classic writers from George Gershwin and Cole Porter to Lennon and McCartney and Paul Simon for inspiration without ever coming across as contrived or less than fresh. Mead, who moved back to New York at the time of his first recording, cites his years in Nashville for his growth as a writer and for his appreciation of the proverbial three minute pop song. The follow up Mine and Yours was released in early 2001. Indiana surfaced three years later.
”Wherever You Are” is available here:
"Tangerine" is available here:
"New York Hummingbird" is the 4th solo album by much acclaimed Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter Dean Owens.
Produced in New York and New Jersey by Ray Ketchem with Dave Derby, the album features a host of New York, New Jersey and Nashville musicians.
Known formerly of the much loved Americana outfit The Felsons, Owens has been writing and performing solo for the past few years and "New York Hummingbird" is the latest chapter in his musical evolution.
"New York Hummingbird" is a perfect synergy of old and new, an exercise in the art of pure songcraft, employing timeless pop nous – the album is compact, concise, deliberate, focussed and refined. By pop we mean the Brill Building, or quintessentially British pop like Prefab Sprout and Aztec Camera - timeless, catchy, effortless, but emotive.
What more needs to be said about the Big Apple, a place that has arguably inspired more music than any other place on earth? "New York Hummingbird" is not so much a love letter to NYC, but is one man's life, loves and work viewed through the kaleidoscopic chaos of the most vibrant city. Owens is a romantic for sure, but far from hopeless. New York Hummingbird is an ingenious, deft example of a songwriter at his most vibrant and productive.
"New York Hummingbird" started life in a burst of downright 21st century creativity. Owens, previously known for his almost reverential, analogue recording habits and a distinct live and earthy vibe, began collaborating with New York-based producer Dave Derby. The pair laid down some tracks together then brought in New Jersey producer-mixer Ray Ketchem to oversee matters, with Owens getting the feel for the city lodging at the famous Chelsea Hotel. These tracks were slowly built up, flying back and forth between NYC, NJ and Owens’ home in Edinburgh. The results are more direct than his previous solo works or adventures as part of The Felsons and have a strong retro pop feel.
This album marks another chapter for the acclaimed writer who has created a catalogue of varied gems without ever losing sight of his trademark quality, heartfelt songwriting.
Owens embraced the stark beauty of the Scottish Highlands while making the brittle acoustica of his self-produced solo debut "The Droma Tapes", while for "My Town", he broadened his musical palette further, creating delicate sheets of sound with the company of some of Scotland's folk and roots cognoscenti including leading folksinger-songwriter Karine Polwart and Martin Green of Lau. His 3rd album, "Whisky Hearts" saw him indulge his Nashville dreams, decamping to Music City to create a warm, rootsy album of bittersweet beauty working with award winning guitarist Will Kimbrough, legendary pedal steel player Al Perkins and members of The Jayhawks and The Mavericks.
"New York Hummingbird" is the next step, an ambitious record with real heart. Key tracks include album opener 'Desert Star', arguably the most straight ahead song on the record, an upfront, unashamed country tinged-pop love song. 'Springtime' is a pure breath of fresh air – here Owens teams up with Kendall Meade of New York band Mascott for a twin vocal line of languid sweetness. And yes that is a whistle solo you're hearing. 'The One That Got Away was deliberately crafted to be heard cranking out of a crackly AM radio sometime in the mid 70's - but it also finds time to tip a respectful nod to the genius of Matt Johnson and The The en route, as does the beautiful 'No One’s A Failure'. 'Baby Fireworks', a song transformed during the production process from intimate acoustic lament to something bigger and bolder, uses layers of harmonies and winsome guitar from Sean Eden to considerable effect.
The Deep Dark Woods
Two years after releasing the much lauded, Juno-nominated and Canadian Folk Music Award-winning "The Place I Left Behind", The Deep Dark Woods return with their 2nd studio album on Sugar Hill Records, "Jubilee". On October 1st, 2013, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan natives emerge from the wilderness with the new project, which is a celebration of community, camaraderie and feverish cabin creativity. With "Jubilee", The Deep Dark Woods revel in the jangly, freewheeling days of psychedelic and electric folk (think Neil Young) while keeping their compass aligned with the magnetic, hypnotic north.
Recorded in a cabin in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains near Bragg Creek, Alberta, "Jubilee" journeys through folk and rock history, from California to the UK, from the 70's to the present day. Produced by LA-based folk revivalist Jonathan Wilson (Dawes, Bonnie Prince Billy, Father John Misty), the album nods to genre pioneers such as The Byrds and Fairport Convention, before heading into altogether new territory of soundscapes that bend and fluctuate underfoot. "Jubilee" moves the yardstick with its rolling layers of specialized keys, organs and analog rarities (e.g., novachord, celesta, vibraphone, and more) first used in the early days of psychedelic-synth experimentation, and the results sound at once in and out of modern time.
Since the release of 2011’s "The Place I Left Behind", for which the band received a Juno nomination, Americana Emerging Artist nomination and a Canadian Folk Music Award, the lineup has changed to include guitarist Clayton Linthicum. Linthicum’s talent for English style guitar playing shines on "Jubilee", in particular on the standout song “18th of December”. “It’s something we’ve tried in the past but haven’t been able to fully accomplish until Clayton joined up”, says vocalist-guitarist Ryan Boldt of the track, his “first attempt at a Fairport Convention-type song”.
Comprised of Boldt, Chris Mason (vocals, bass), Lucas Goetz (drums/percussion, vocals), Geoff Hilhorst (keys) and Linthicum, the tight-knit members of The Deep Dark Woods are old friends and trusted collaborators. Lead singer Boldt writes most of the lyrics, but songwriting credits on "Jubilee" are also shared with Mason, former bandmate Burke Barlow and new addition Linthicum. The band recorded "Jubilee" mostly live off the floor, which allowed for a collective and often spontaneous approach to songcraft. Lyrically, "Jubilee" shows artistic growth and finesse, and the new album features some of band’s finest songs yet.
Delaney Bramlett's musical history spans three decades making it difficult to pinpoint in such a short space his contributions to the world of music. Known as a great songwriter, singer and musician, he has also been a mentor to some of the very best: Eric Clapton, George Harrison, JJ Cale and Bobby Whitlock to name just a few.
From modest beginnings in Pontotoc, Mississippi, Delaney worked his way to the top, but not before a few side adventures. Life in his hometown wasn't for the budding music man and the only way to survive was to pick cotton or join the Armed Services. Delaney joined the Navy for three years and said goodbye to Mississippi. After his release from the Navy with Mississippi in his heart and his feet in Los Angeles he moved his family to be with him, where he has remained ever since.
Living in Los Angeles now, he became a regular on the TV show Shindig as a Shindog, the house band. He was already busy writing with the likes of Joey Cooper, Mac Davis and Jackie DeShannon. Over the years, some of his songs have reached "standard" status such as "Superstar", "Never Ending Song of Love" and "Let It Rain”, among others.
After Eric Clapton joined Delaney on tour he produced and co-wrote songs for Clapton's first solo LP. Due to contractual obligations he relinquished the writer credit to his then wife, Bonnie Bramlett enabling him to keep them in the family. Clapton still credits Delaney for pushing him to sing and teaching him the art.
George Harrison had his first slide bottle placed in his hand by Delaney who quickly taught George how to play slide and write a Gospel song. Out of that lesson came "My Sweet Lord".
He has produced an assortment of artists such as Etta James, Dorothy Morrison (on "Happy Day") and wrote for and produced Elvin Bishop, John Hammond, Bobby Whitlock and the Staple Singers.
He did the late great King Curtis's last LP and taught Curtis to sing, out of which two hits came, "Teasin"' and "Lonesome Long Way From Home". King Curtis kept a room at Delaney's and they spent hour after
hour playing and recording together.
The term "Friends" was coined by Delaney to describe his band and soon the world became his friend. Those involved with Delaney over the years have been many. Joe Cocker sang on the "Motel Shot" LP and Jimi Hendrix joined the "Friends" for a couple weeks of touring. Clapton, Harrison, Duane Allman, Dave Mason and Billy Preston all have been friends too. John Lennon and Delaney collaborated together and Delaney played the friend role as a member of Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. Jerry Lee Lewis requested Delaney's presence during the recording of his famous "London Sessions" album in England. But Duane
Allman and Delaney became best friends sharing ideas, musical licks and a never-ending friendship which to
this day he remembers fondly.
Legendary producer and founder of Atlantic Records, Jerry Wexler says some of the best music he ever heard was played by Duane and Delaney on his back porch. They played many nights there, doing old Robert Johnson and Jimmy Rogers tunes
A few of the artists who have recorded Delaney compositions are Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, Chrissie Hynde, Phoebe Snow, Staple Singers, Sonic Youth, Osmonds, The Carpenters, The Everly Brothers, Crystal Gale and even Lawrence Welk used "Never Ending Song of Love" as an opener for one of his shows.
Over the years songwriting partners have included longtime friends like Spooner Oldham, Leon Russell, Steve Cropper, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Billy Burnette, Dorsey Burnette, George Harrison, Mac Davis, Tony Joe White, J.J. Cale, Gary Nicholson and Dennis Morgan.
There isn't a singer or musician in the world that doesn't feel comfortable with him, regardless whether it's on the front porch, in the studio or playing in front of thousands.
Delaney Bramlett has always attracted the best and had the magical ability to make them even better. It's easy to say every musician under the tutelage of Delaney has become a "Superstar".
The new album "A New Kind Of Blues" was released in 2008 and "Rise Up" will follow soon.
Delaney's world is music.
”Bright Shiny Objects” is the brand new release from New York-based violinist, singer and songwriter, Deni Bonet, due for worldwide release on Zip Records, (distributed by Sony/RED, US and PIAS/Rough Trade, BeNeLux) on January 27th, 2017.
It's no secret that Deni Bonet can rock a violin like nobody's business. Or that she writes memorable songs that make you want to listen again and again and again. Anyone who has heard her last few albums, especially 2013’s ”It’s All Good”, knows that ms Bonet has always brought something extra special to the table. However one listen to ”Bright Shiny Objects”, and you’ll know this particular record takes on a completely different life and direction.
In a departure from her usual song based material, this album is entirely instrumental, Carnegie Hall virtuosity intertwined with a rock club vibe and intimacy. That doesn’t ring your bell? Try Yitzak Perlman playing lead for AC/DC. Deni has spent the past year and a half writing and recording with a who’s who of some of the best musicians on the planet, including Steve Gaboury (Cyndi Lauper), Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel), Richard Barone (Bongos), Shawn Pelton (SNL), Will Lee (Letterman), Matt Beck (Matchbox Twenty), Steve Holley (Paul McCartney), Graham Maby (Joe Jackson), Ben Butler (Chris Botti), Mike Visceglia (Suzanne Vega), Jack Daley (Lenny Kravitz), and the list goes on and on.
It's difficult to try and describe, or unnecessarily, classify, Deni's music, and that's a good thing. There are certainly elements of straight forward rock, classic styled pop and pure american folk, but she takes all of this and makes it wonderfully her own. This new album is sheer, ultra high voltage rock with pure classical training and precision playing. She’s a whirling dervish, a streak of aural and visual lightning wielding a violin bow. Her songs make you want to get up and dance around the living room, or groove to while walking up the street wearing headphones. Even without the vocals, you can hear the passion and emotion in Deni’s performances.
The opening track, "Light This Candle", recalls the more skilled moments of alt-rock, "Einstein's Brain" is a finessed blend of the poetic nature of a violin intertwined with the chime of a 12-string electric guitar (Mozart meets The Byrds) and the delicate yet dramatic texture of "Primal Dream" is filled with emotion, one doesn't need lyrics to feel what is being said. And check out her updated cover of the classic “Frankenstein”, which begs to be used over the credits of the next Marvel movie.
For years, Bonet has been honing her craft as a violinist, singer, songwriter and performer. She is, simply, a musical total package. Whether fronting her own band of outstanding players, or collaborating with anyone from Cyndi Lauper to R.E.M., to Sarah McLachlan to Irish rocker, Mundy, Deni has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting, dynamic and entertaining performers on the live circuit.
Although classically trained, Deni quit the classical world because she hated having to wear black and sit still. She was an original cast member of National Public Radio's premier music show, Mountain Stage, performing in her own right and accompanying guests like Richard Thompson, Warren Zevon, and the Indigo Girls, before leaving the show to form her own band.
She has performed at Lilith Fair, Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, and just recently performed at the White House for the president, 1st lady and vice president. She has been described by the Wall Street Journal as like “Sheryl Crow meets the B-52's", and music from her 5 independent CD releases has been featured on HBO, NBC, American Airlines and in several movies and modern dance pieces.
One of contemporary jazz leading vocalists, Diane Schuur, has signed with Vanguard Records. She will be releasing her label debut, "The Gathering", on June 7th, 2011. With a distinguished career that spans nearly three decades, Schuur’s new album is unique in both material and style, and features special guests Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Larry Carlton and Kirk Whalum.
"The Gathering" is a collection of 10 classic country songs, mostly written during the golden era of the 60's, and is the first time Schuur has featured this genre of music. On selections like Willie Nelson’s “Healing Hands Of Time”, Roger Miller’s “When Two Worlds Collide”, Merle Haggard’s "Today I Started Loving You Again" and Tammy Wynette’s “Til I Can Make It On My Own,” Schuur’s great vocal versatility shines through.
"The Gathering" was recorded almost entirely in one day in early December in Nashville, TN. The singer has always wanted to record there and work with some of the city’s top musicians. Her new association with Vanguard allowed her to achieve that dream. “I knew when the label approached me it was time to do something I always wanted to do”, Schuur says, “and the way it came together seems like magic”. The album sessions started at 9 a.m. on December 6th, 2010, and by late afternoon all ten songs had been completed. Produced by Music City veteran Steve Buckingham, almost all the recording was done totally live, and most of the finished versions on the album are first takes. Other songs on "The Gathering" include “Why Can’t He Be You”, “Beneath Still Waters”, “Don’t Touch Me”, “Til I Get It Right”, “Am I That Easy To Forget” and “Nobody Wins”.
Diane Schuur has built a stellar career by embracing and exploring nearly every corner of the 20th century American musical landscape. Her expressive and powerful vocal deliveries have placed her amongst jazz greats such as Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. Schuur has performed in some of the most prestigious venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and twice at the White House.
With an illustrious recording career that began in the 80's, Schuur has received numerous awards including two Grammys: "Timeless" (1986) and "Diane Schuur & The Count Basie Orchestra" (1987). The recording with the Basie Orchestra spent an impressive 33 consecutive weeks at No 1 on the Billboard Jazz charts and received three Grammy nominations: "Pure Schuur" (1991), "Love Songs" (1993) and ‘The Christmas Song’ from the compilation album "Christmas Collection" (1993).
She has proven her staying power with a steady flow of releases including "Heart To Heart" – a collaborative recording with B.B. King that entered the Billboard Jazz charts at No 1, "Love Walked In, Swingin’ For Schuur" with Maynard Ferguson, "Midnight" (produced by Barry Manilow), "Schuur Fire" with the Caribbean Jazz Project and "Some Other Time", a tribute to her late mother.
One of country music's most distinguishable voices, multi-platinum singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley returns with a mainstream country collection for the first time since 2009.
“I definitely stepped away and explored some things that were more on the fringe of country music for a little while”, said Bentley. “So, this record feels fresh. It doesn’t feel like a continuation of any other project or series of recordings. I love being able to try different things musically, and I'm so thankful my fans have followed me to those places. But, I feel like my real 'Home' is in the center of country music".
Bentley's versatility as a writer shines on the disc that has already produced the rowdy # 1 hit “Am I The Only One". Bentley penned the good-time chart topper, as well as the disc’s spiritual anchor and title track "Home", which has caught early attention from National Public Radio critics for the authenticity of its lyrics. Additional writing credits on the album are highlighted by the sonic seduction of “Breathe You In” and a father's love letter in “Thinking Of You”.
On other tracks, the signature gravel in Bentley’s voice pairs flawlessly with the smokiness of Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild's vocal on “When You Gonna Come Around,” while legendary bluegrass players Sam Bush and Tim O’Brien reunite with Bentley on “Heart Of A Lonely Girl”. The country crankers "Diamonds Make Babies" and "5-1-5-0" have already been road tested and embraced by country music fans, who will also want to listen through the album’s closer for the recording’s hidden special guest.
From his beginnings as a nasty tyke, Doc Schneider was raised on Long Island in a family that treasured song, stories and sorrow. On his 14th birthday, he was given a Harmony guitar and a Hitachi reel to reel tape recorder. Five years later at age 19, he wrote a song on Newport's shore.
By age 38, he decided to write songs in earnest. In between, he became a trial lawyer at a renowned international law firm and is sure to end his days that way somehow.
Along the way, he has fallen in with some extraordinary musical talent, including Eugene Ruffolo (a songwriter's songwriter and performer), Jeff Jacobs (of Billy Joel and Foreigner) and Ben Wisch (the famed New York producer).
Doc began turning out some pretty decent acoustic gems in the tradition of his heroes, though he's never been a rhymin' Simon and he's never been the same as James. Now, at 55, he has hit the speed limit, turning out three indie releases - including his new release with Eugene Ruffolo - called 'Songs & Stories Live', an intimate concert at the fabled Eddie's Attic in Atlanta, in the spring of 2009.
He remains a lawyer by day and night in Atlanta, and a songwriter everywhere else in between. He travels with one little Z and gaggles of girls, perfect angels who call him by name, including the dazzling McKenzie, a 9-year old budding star (and his granddaughter) who was last seen up on a roof in New York City's trendy Meatpacking District, in a tiny fedora strategically dipped below one eye, singing Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA".
”'Anastasia' my first full studio album since 2001's 'Paradox Of Grace'. Thanks to 515 dedicated Kickstarter contributors I was able to do the most elaborate recording of my very long career. I've reinvented some earlier songs that will get a chance to be heard by new ears and included new material as well. This is a decidedly produced album, string sections, woodwinds, horns, lots of voices, things I couldn't manage in the past due to various constraints. The musical concept was to emulate the warmth and vibe of some of the hit records of the late 70's by artists like Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty. The core of the record was recorded by Don Richmond at Howlin' Dog Studios in Alamosa, CO, and the rest was done in my own Studio 13 in Taos, NM. Many of the guest tracks were recorded in cities across the country and sent back and forth over the internet. I did the final mixing and mastering in Studio 13. Special guests include orchestrator and arranger Paul Buckmaster, Eliza Gilkyson, Kevin Welch, Ellis Paul, Richie Cannata, Dan Navarro and a near miss by Keb Mo. You get 14 songs clocking in at a total running time of just over an hour. Many of the songs take some interesting compositional detours, so in a sense you get some built in instrumental bonus content as well. Hope you like.” ~ Don Conoscenti
Don Felder’s masterful new album 'Road To Forever' — remarkably, only the influential guitarist and songwriter’s 2nd solo album, and first since 1983 — features twelve rousing, guitar-driven original tracks anchored firmly in the classic LA-rock sound he perfected as guitarist for the Eagles for 27 years. Filled with songs that reflect on life, love's gains and losses, and redemption, the album is a return to center stage for the celebrated musician.
'Road To Forever' was conceived during a long period of introspection that also resulted in his hit book "Heaven & Hell: My Life In The Eagles (1974-2001)". After his acrimonious separation from the Eagles and the dissolution of his 29-year marriage, Felder was inspired to "write out the stories of my life as songs. After I collected myself, I found I needed to go out and play music again, and that's how I began recording the album. In the process, I found out who I really am - I had to find out what happened when I almost lost it all".
Felder wrote or co-wrote all the songs and performs guitar and lead vocals on the set, which boasts a long list of iconic guest performers - long-time cohorts and friends including: David Crosby, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills; Steve Lukather, David Paich and Steve Porcaro of Toto; Randy Jackson; Tommy Shaw and many others. Produced by Felder along with Robin DiMaggio (Paul Simon, Steve Vai), 'Road To Forever' will be released October 9th, 2012, on Rocket Science Ventures.
A four-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member with the Eagles, Felder was one of that group's longest-running members and is one of the most influential guitarists of all time, having composed the music to the massive hit single "Hotel California". In 2008 he added "New York Times best selling author" to his long list of accomplishments with "Heaven & Hell: My Life In The Eagles (1974-2001)". Felder has also contributed his singular guitar style to numerous classic albums by Stevie Nicks, Joe Walsh, Bob Seger and others. On 'Road To Forever' Felder brings his full six-string prowess to bear, providing a powerful edge to his best songwriting in years.
Don Williams’ legions of fans across the globe have long been hoping, but likely not expecting to hear new recordings from him again. He has been pretty determined to spend most of his time on his Tennessee farm, quietly, with his family — and for over four decades, country music’s “Gentle Giant” has been known for doing what he wants to do. So it’s both exciting and a very welcome surprise to announce the release of the brand new Don Williams album 'And So It Goes', on Sugar Hill Records on June 19th, 2012, his first since 2004. It is a release very much in the classic Williams mode — mellow yet rhythmic, life-affirming yet thoughtful, serenely masculine and loaded with singularly strong, memorable songs and consummate vocals.
Those are the attributes that won him over fifty top hits from the early 1970s through the early 90's, including such standards-to-be as “Tulsa Time”, “I Believe In You”, “It Must Be Love” and “Good Ole Boys Like Me”, and won him the ultimate accolade with his induction in the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2010. With the chance to reunite with honored Nashville producer Garth Fundis, with whom he’d worked for 17 years on many of his greatest successes and encouragement from his management and the label, he decided to go back to the studio one more time, as well as out on tour to support the release.
As Don puts it himself, “I didn’t do this album because I just felt that I was going to die if I didn’t do another one, but because of all of that encouragement to do it. So here we are — and now I’m feeling good about it”.
The recording emerges as a sonic whole, with Don’s long intact working band at the core of the musicians behind him (“a beautiful thing”, Don calls that), including celebrated guitarist Billy Sanford and percussionist Kenny Malone. Such long-time Don Williams admirers as Keith Urban, Alison Krauss and Vince Gill add both key instrumentals and vocal backing. “We weren’t looking to reinvent Don”, producer Garth Fundis notes, “just to make a good new Don Williams record”. In that they have succeeded in spades, the instant return to form pleasantly surprising Don himself: “When we started back up again”, he says, “it was like we’d never quit”.
The CD proceeds from the upbeat, earworm-catchy opener “Better Than Today” through contemplative considerations of grace and calm (“Heart Of Hearts”), the charms of an actual, credible woman (“She’s a Natural”), and even the possible existence of aliens (“Infinity”) and on to the closing title track about love, loss and the passing of time. The duet with Alison Krauss, “I Just Come Here For The Music”, sounds like a country standard in the making.
When word went out that Don Williams was going to record again, literally hundreds of potential songs from Nashville’s finest were offered, and ten selected from such outstanding masters of the songmaking craft as Kieran Kane, Ronnie Bowman, Al Anderson and Leslie Satcher, Don’s son Tim Williams, as well as Don himself.
“The only description that I’ve ever had for songs I choose to do”, he notes, “is that they affect me emotionally and that, hopefully, they have something to say that will touch other people”. In doing both of those, listeners are about to find, 'And So It Goes' doesn’t miss a beat.
Dazzling guitar, scorching harmonica playing, brilliant songs, soulful singing and spellbinding stories, all delivered by Doug Adamz with insight and a terrific sense of humor. Bawdy blues, tender ballads, exquisite guitar instrumentals or heartwarming, hilarious story songs, the range of his writing and musical skill lend his shows an epic quality.
Adamz currently lives in the outback of Marin County, north of San Francisco of which he has said, “Ain’t nothing between Tomales Bay and the North Pole but an oyster bed”. He grew up in El Paso, on the Texas-Mexico border (“Where apathy is the biggest problem, but nobody cares”) and has been unable to shake the musical influence of his formative years in that unique cultural environment.
Doug Adamz has recorded 5 albums of original, instrumental music and 4 albums of his songs. His compositions have been used by The Joffrey and other ballet companies, been featured in a film by Robert Altman, heard in a PBS documentary soundtrack and in 2 Spanish television series. The Kronos Quartet commissioned Doug to write several short pieces and Stevie Coyle and Dr Elmo have recorded and released some of Doug’s songs on their albums. He has performed with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and many finger-style illuminaries including Stevie Coyle, Doug Young and Vicki Genfan, he’s played (informally) with Joan Baez, Maria Muldaur, and Jim Messina, recorded with Peter Rowan and Huey Lewis, and opened for many stars including Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jesse Colin Young, Leo Kotke, David Lindley, Dottie West, The Chambers Brothers, Steppenwolf, Johnny Rivers and Johnny Lee.
In concert, Adamz performs music from his 3 most recent albums, all recorded completely solo (except for two duets with Peter Rowan) :
”National Steel” (songs performed on a National Steel Body guitar).
”Bernardo’s Serenade (a collection of songs, including “The Authentic Skulls of Pancho Villa”).
”Guitar Solos” (a beautiful instrumental album of original pieces for solo acoustic guitar).
“Doug Ingoldsby has a heart, and he has the gift. A songwriter’s job is to make you feel things. Dougie definitely does the job.” ~ David Crosby
"I've Got A Picture" is a collection of songs from acclaimed singer-songwriter Doug Ingoldsby. Personal tunes that address matters of the heart. Kenny Loggins, Jeff Pevar, Eugene Ruffolo, Jesse Siebenberg, Ben Wisch and many others add their gifts to this engaging group of songs.
Genre - folkrock. Release - 2014.
Doug Prescott Band
"'Wasteland' had me sold in the first few seconds, and if you’ve got a taste for the blues, country fried rhythms, and a kick of cajun, then this newest from Prescott and crew will have you sold as well" ~ Nathan Pike (All What's Rock)
The brand new CD from the Doug Prescott Band, "Wasteland", is available on January 8th, 2016. This is true americana, with a root of blues rock, and influences from Little Feat to the Neville Brothers, and from the Eagles to the Mavericks.