Miss Tess has just released “Live Across the Mason Dixon Line”, a double album featuring two live shows – one from the Regatta Bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts and one from Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia. This release proves to be a valiant effort by the band, Miss Tess & The Bon Ton Parade, to blur the lines that once clearly dictated style, genre, and location.
Grammy nominees Eric Brace & Peter Cooper have created a body of work that reflects their journalistic sensibilities, a love of harmony and wry humor, and their deep respect for the masters they've played with. April 2013 marks the release of Eric Brace & Peter Cooper's third duo record, The Comeback Album, a sparkling set of songs that feature the pair's splendid harmonies and deft storytelling.
Kristi Rose and Fats Kaplin have long been revered as artists of “distinctive personal approach” Kristi Rose as a singer with a voice that can “sing the stars from the heavens” and Fats, as a “brilliant multi-instrumentalist” who has toured and recorded for years with a diverse roster of artists. Together, Fats and Kristi Rose have created a musical genre, (and way of life) known as Pulp Country. This is their second appearance on Music City Roots and at this show they will include songs from their newly released Christmas CD - “I Wonder As I Wander”. In this thought provoking album, Fats and Kristi Rose, delve deep into the meaning of the Christmas Season, reminding us of its poignant beauty, mystery, and joy.
From the pastoral hills, hollers, shopping malls and interstate highways of Goodlettsville Tennessee, home of Bill Monroe, Bashful Brother Oswald, Stringbean, Grandpa Jones, Keith Whitley and some living country music performers, comes the most entertaining "blast from the past" since Lester Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys. They’re the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band -- five guys and a scrubboard, with roots like wisdom teeth.
Yet it also doesn’t do his subject real justice, because Amber Digby’s singing touches the heart, not just of anyone who appreciatse a traditional country song, but of anyone who’s ever known heartbreak, happiness, regret, loneliness—or just the compelling desire to get out on the dance floor for a night of fun. And the fact is, with each passing month and year, as she enjoys growing airplay and tours farther and farther from her home in Texas, Amber Digby and her music are reaching out to more and more and more of those hearts.
If you’ve ever wondered how Chip Taylor, the songwriter whose hits include “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning” and whose songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Peggy Lee, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, and the Hollies wound up pursuing a career as a country performer, don’t worry. With the release of his latest album, Yonkers NY, he takes you back to the start of his life and explains it in a collection of songs with the patented Chip Taylor charm and grace.
Marshall Chapman was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. To date she has released twelve critically acclaimed albums, and her songs have been recorded by everyone from Emmylou Harris and Joe Cocker to Irma Thomas and Jimmy Buffett.
Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line are a traveling Carnival of acoustic Americana. The high energy, Nashville-based quintet perform Struthers’ original story-songs with tight, three-part harmonies, fiddle, claw-hammer banjo, acoustic guitar, bass, and drums. Struthers was catapulted into the spotlight when she lead her band to a blue ribbon at the prestigious 2010 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition (previous winners include Nickel Creek and The Dixie Chicks) and now her group is touring heavily in support of their April 16 release, Carnival. Struthers’ songs are as steeped in American history, and as well crafted, as the beautiful vintage dresses she wears on stage.
Randall Bramblett and his wife, Lenore, were kicking around ideas for an album title when she suggested Now It‘s Tomorrow. But no amount of thought could have produced a more apt description of where the singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist stands at this point in his celebrated career.
Taking inspiration from roots music and Southern tales of the supernatural, the Pine Hill Haints play a self-described style of "Alabama ghost country" that touches upon honky tonk, rockabilly, folk, and bluegrass. As a child, Jamie Barrier (vocals, guitar) often joined his grandfather in attending local hootenannies, where he was exposed to the musical traditions of his native Alabama. Later, Barrier honed his own voice by singing in a graveyard -- the Pine Hill Cemetery -- and formed the raucous rockabilly outfit the Wednesdays while still in elementary school. The Wednesdays would go on to release several albums in the 2000s, but Barrier nevertheless formed the Pine Hill Haints in 1998 as a second (and considerably different) project, piecing together a revolving lineup that ultimately solidified around core members Matt Bakula (washtub bass, banjo), Ben Rhyne (snare drum), and Jamie's wife, Katie Barrier (washboard, mandolin).
In a few years the name G2 will be synonymous with European bluegrass. The five band members, best friends since they met while jamming at a festival in their native Sweden four years ago, have formed the most exciting bluegrass band ever to come out of Europe. With one album under their belts, another in the works, and plans to tour extensively in the United States, G2 is poised to make a mark on the bluegrass world.
Our family comes from the remote part of the Ozark Mountains, near Cane Spur, Arkansas. We spent our days working on the family farm mostly raising our own food and growing dad’s famous pipe tobacco. I guess he grew the best pipe tobacco around. People came from as far as Big Flat to get it. We worked hard but we had fun. In the evening we played and sang. On weekends we had pickens’. There was always a big crowd around. The Cleverly Trio is our family band. It was founded by dad and his three brothers, Turk, Tink and Bunyon. The whole family at one time or another has played in the band. Since 2005 my brother Digger has taken over the band. The current members of the trio are Digger, our brothers Miles and Vernon Dean, my boy Harvey D and our cousin Otto.
Susan Werner's new release leverages ALL of her many talents, and adds "arranger" to her long list of musical accomplishments. * Ten pop songs by Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye, Paul Simon and others from a classic era of Songwriting (1960's-70's) * All new arrangements for string quartet and classical instruments, with melodic quotations from well known classical compositions * Standout vocals from Susan Werner * World class performances by Boston Symphony Orchestra/Boston Pops instrumentalists
In the past five years, Great American Taxi has become one of the best-known headliners on the jam band circuit. Their uninhibited sound is a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk country, gospel, and good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll. Great American Taxi was born when singer, guitarist, and mandolin player Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon joined keyboard player and singer Chad Staehly for a superstar jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in Boulder, in March of 2005. “We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig,” Herman recalls. “It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again.” Great American Taxi quickly evolved into one of the best country-, rock-, and bluegrass- influenced jam bands in the land, masterfully blending acoustic and electric instruments into music they call “Americana Without Borders.”
Red June is a dynamic acoustic trio from Asheville, NC, performing beautifully distilled Americana music. The Red June sound is as versatile and original as the musicians themselves; they touch on bluegrass, roots rock, and traditional country music with powerful harmonies, innovative songwriting and expert musicianship. Red June is Will Straughan on dobro, guitar and vocals, celebrated fiddler and vocalist Natalya Weinstein, and John Cloyd Miller on mandolin, guitar and vocals.
Trace Bundy must be seen, not just heard. His music is poetry in motion, using harmonics, looping, multiple capos, and his unique banter and stage presence to deliver an unforgettable live concert experience. Listening to his intricate arrangements is one thing, but seeing the fan-dubbed "Acoustic Ninja" play live confounds even the most accomplished music lovers as to how one person can do all that with just two hands and ten fingers.
Jacob Jones has spent his entire life on the move and so between alt-country music and his GQ-approved KEEP ON MOVIN! Dance Party DJ sets, so pursuing a life of a troubadour wasn’t quite the stretch for him as it might be for others. Having lived in various Indiana, Kentucky and Georgia towns by the age of ten and spending a brief stint of time in New York City before recently making Nashville his home, Jones has been pursuing Americana rock ‘n roll in earnest for over half a decade now.
In 2006, when USA Today predicted that Aoife O’Donovan would soon become “the newest darling of the Americana set,” it had already been true for quite some time. Called “a vocalist of unerring instinct” by the New York Times, Aoife is one of the most sought after singers in the roots music field. Her work as the lead singer and co-founder of stringband Crooked Still put her on the map in 2001, and she has collaborated with a variety of musicians across genres since. Aoife’s crystalline voice can be heard on the Grammy nominated album The Goat Rodeo Sessions, alongside icons such as Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Stuart Duncan, and Chris Thile. She’s also appeared as a guest vocalist with folks such as Ollabelle, Dave Douglas, Solas, Noam Pikelny, Joshua Radin, and Kate Rusby, among others. Fans of Alison Krauss may be familiar with Aoife’s unique songwriting–Krauss recorded Aoife’s song “Lay My Burden Down” on her 2011 album Paper Airplane. Aoife recently signed to Yep-Roc Records and will release her debut solo album, produced by Tucker Martine, in June 2013.
Patterson cites Neil Young and country-rock pioneers Poco and the Flying Burrito Brothers as his early influences, as well as soul stalwarts such as Sam and Dave, The Temptations, and Marvin Gaye. The music on I Must Be Dreaming has been compared to John Hiatt, The Band (whose song “Sleeping” he lovingly covers), and Josh Ritter.
Elise Testone has appeared on national TV and done interviews with Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno, and Anderson Cooper not to mention being a finalist on American Idol’s 11th Season. She received heartfelt accolades from Stevie Nicks and Steven Tyler on her abilities and talent…..she even got to shake hands with President Bill Clinton in the whirlwind that has been her life recently.
The first conception of Black Jake & the Carnies arrived on Halloween night in 2002, though it would take Black Jake years of tinkering with sound and lineup before the band was to discover its distinctive "crabgrass" sound. Led by Jake Zettelmaier on vocals and banjo, his Carnies are Gus Wallace (the sole surviving Carnie from the initial Halloween gig) on fiddle, "Jumpin'" Joe Cooter on bass, Zach Pollock on mandolin, J.C. Miller on accordion, and Billy "Kingpin" Lalonde on drums and washboard. Pollock, Miller, and Lalonde also offer backing vocals and various hoots, hollers, and shouts.
John England & the Western Swingers is a six piece band based in Nashville, TN, which plays the lively, happy music called Western Swing. Western Swing originally developed in Texas and Oklahoma during the 1930's. With fiddle, steel guitar, piano, electric guitar, bass, and drums, it's music for dancing and listening, and combines the down-home quality of country music with the sophistication and improvisation of hot jazz.
James Wallace is the kind of guy you’d want on your side if you ever got into a music fight in prison: smart, versatile, and a little bit reckless. With songs that come out of nowhere and stick with you like a sharpened spoon in your back, Wallace composes music with the brain of a book-cooking accountant and the eyes of a crazy homeless man that lives down the street.
Old Man Luedecke isn’t afraid to put his neck on the line. His latest album, Tender Is The Night, goes beyond his beloved solo, banjo-driven folk tunes. Driving a Nashville band from beginning to end with his recognizable voice, this is an artist honing his cunning lyrical flair – tenderly pushing the boundaries of his storytelling with his unique mix of folk, bluegrass and pop hooks.
Now these boy will take you through the hills of ol’ kentucky, bearing the stores, traditions and liquor that date back a century. This old-time band delivers with an intensity that would knock the sock right off of their forefathers feet.
Kenny Roby’s life in music has gone from a musical journey to an odyssey, an intellectual and spiritual quest in which he has explored a wide array of musical styles and genres, absorbing them all and incorporating them into his art. Charting the continuum of that journey takes us to “Memories & Birds,” Roby’s latest album, an ambitious vision of a Southern past littered with provocative characters and the dark and forboding places they inhabit.
The Amigos Band (formerly The Tres Amigos) is a quintessential American folk band with a sound and style all their own. They have appeared in recent performances with Pete Seeger, David Amram, New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and bluegrass legend Tony Rice. They recently gave a sold-out performance at New York City’s Lincoln Center and completed a successful residency at the famed Lower East Side club, The Living Room. The Amigos were chosen to appear in the premier showcase at the 2012 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference and are featured on the first American Folk Art Museum album.
The Chapin Sisters' second full length, Two, combined lush keyboards, pulsing rhythms, electric guitars, and bare acoustic tones to layers of vocals that range from deep and guttural to watery and ethereal. The songs were recorded in the woods in rural New Jersey, and the sounds of crickets and tree-frogs creep in at the beginning of “Digging a Hole” (a video for this song was directed by LA artist/videographer Aran Mann). The landscape is hinted at throughout the album; “new tracks like I Can Feel, Paradise, and Sweet Light are pastoral yet eerie, as the duo’s searing voices echo through the woods like melancholic ghosts.” (”Falling” James Moreland - LA Weekly).
In the digital age we live in, music is still the one thing that can grip and infect us with raw energy and emotional passion that we can't easily find in our modern, static society. Songs of the Fall, comprised of Stetson Adkisson and Cia Cherryholmes, is a Nashville based Americana duo with a love of music and communicating it to people on a very personal, relatable level.
Trends and styles may change in music, but there are just some things that are timeless…like songwriting from the heart with ear-catching melodies and rich harmony vocals. The team of David Beck (a stage name as his real name is David Whitbeck) and Paul Cauthen has created Sons of Fathers, a band with a soaring, original sound that belies their young age. They have been compared to the Avett Brothers, The Byrds, and The Everly Brothers, albeit with an infusion of Texas grease.
"Mandolin Orange carries an understanding of tradition and shape it into a thing of beauty. They craft simple songs that go beyond chord progressions and vocal harmonies, leading somehow toward something pure. Using acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and a hand-me-down fiddle, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz allure with a heart-worn sensibility. Last year's Haste Make/ Hard Hearted Stanger combines bluegrass, rock and country for lullabies that swoon." —Ashleigh Phillips, Independent Weekly
Cereus Bright finds its muse—and its name—from the Cereus flower: a white desert flower that blooms only at night. Just as this flower grows in the most desolate of settings, so does art draw its beauty from brokenness and heartache. In their lyrics and melodies, Cereus Bright aims to embrace life as both messy and beautiful.
New Country Rehab cuts through the clutter of watered-down musical imitations with a modern, high-voltage, alt-country sound. Combining sharp innovation and a deep respect and knowledge of timeless musical themes and motifs, New Country Rehab’s powerful music is full of love, loss, longing and joy. They are ”more Arcade Fire than Lady Antebellum…like Canada’s answer to the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons” Nigel Williamson, UNCUT ( Jan. 2012)
So far, this the only description that nearly fits Strung Like A Horse. Their acoustic driven sound fires people off to the darker areas of this strange universe. These unique individuals and their music is like a hellbender found under a rock; not hard to find, but damn hard to get a grasp on.
They never look the same at the end of their set; a pair of hip horn-rimmed glasses breaks in half, buttons become undone, and their once slicked-back hair is simply not anymore. But they wouldn’t be themselves if it were any other way; they thrive when they render themselves void of energy, and humbly hope it rubs off on the kids in the crowd, too.They are Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes. To see them live is to experience the crux of who they are: A high-energy indie rock band dead set on producing the best live sound they know how. And boy, do they know how.
The Kansas Bible Company came into being during the dog days of summer 2008 at Goshen College in Goshen, In. A band of boys congregated in the garage of Vita House, "life house", and began playing rock and roll music. Through encounters with aliens, Bible thumpers, holy rollers, cigarette machines, Teenage Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the KBC, as they have come to be known, have stretched the boundaries of space and time.
In 2008, Sarah Potenza & The Tall Boys released their debut album, "Shiny & New", a powerful collection of original songs that drew attention from venues and festival producers nationwide. Within that year, the band was performing at festivals and sharing bills with acts like Joss Stone, Bonnie Raitt and the legendary Stevie Wonder. In 2010, the group released its second full-length album, "A Lifetime Worth of Sin". A collection of Americana music, derived from blues, bluegrass, and alternative-country, all songs were written and produced by Sarah and the band, with the exception of one cover of Lucinda Williams. This CD features a talented list of notable guest musicians from such groups as The Hen House Prowlers, The Hoyle Brothers, and The Congregation. To capture a warmer and more authentic sound, the entire album was recorded on two inch analogue tape with a Studer track tape machine at Strobe Recording Studio in Humbolt Park, Chicago.
Nick Nixon is one of those amazing artists that rarely surface today. This velvet voiced singer was born and raised in Nashville, TN, and was part of the thriving Jefferson Street blues scene of the 60′s. Nick was a Chess Records recording artist in the 70′s, and is a key figure in the reviving Nashville blues scene today. His latest, soon to be released CD was recorded with guitarist/bandleader “Andy T” Talamantez (Guitar Shorty, Smokey Wilson), and produced by Anson Funderburgh. This new CD will follow his successful 2001 release on the European, Black Magic label, No End to the Blues, and his acclaimed 2005 recording, Back Down South.
Magnolia Sons is a retro soul and rock group based out of Nashville, Tennessee. They are a 11-piece supergroup composed of artists and musicians from all over the United States. Their music is a tribute to the vintage sound of classic rock and soul from the 1960's and 1970's.
MidDay Farm Report? Well….they’re like cornbread. That southern alchemy that’s one part recipe and equal parts history, influence, taste, and style. Then there’s always the ubiquitous secret ingredient, passed down through generations from mouth to ear. Add a dollop of rural middle Tennessee ladled into a hot skillet of wide-eyed Americana, and the result is authentic, honest music that satisfies, served up by four accomplished musicians. With one foot set squarely in the present and the other on the broken ground of the past. MidDay Farm Report has crafted a sound that’s all their own :“Rural Route Rock’n’Roll.”
This up-and-coming independent Nashville group has stories to tell, and does so with poignant, make-you-think lyrics and compellingly original, yet simultaneously sweet and simple rock-and-folk-and-roll. Following some good attention to the 2010 debut album “Everything in the Whole Wide World,” 2012′s full-length album, “The Mockingbird and the Dogwood Tree” again conjures time-tested emotions and showcases the band’s musical range. And according to the Nashville Scene, it “might just renew your faith in the possibilities of love.”
Gary Talley and The Road Home perform their favorite songs from the 60s and 70s and make you feel like you’re hearing them for the first time, along with original songs and stories from their long careers. A bit of Rock, Blues, Pop, Country, and R&B, with each player adding his own flavor and spicing up the band’s musical dishes with tastes of Memphis, New York, Nashville, London, and the Southwest.
Led by Grammy-winning guitarist John Jorgenson, the John Jorgenson Quintet creates a unique musical experience that equally enthralls the most discerning and the casual music fan. Each member of the group is a virtuoso, yet the music is very accessible, melodic and appealing. The group's style has been called "gypsy jazz" after the dynamic string-driven swing created by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in 1930s Paris, but Jorgenson's compositions draw in elements from Latin, Romanian, Classical, Rock, and Greek music, so "21st Century World Music" is perhaps a more apt description.
Honey Island Swamp Band‘s music has been described as “Bayou Americana”, with timeless songs from Wilkinson & Mulé, highlighted by Mulé’s searing guitar, Wilkinson’s sure-handed mandolin, and 4-part vocal harmonies, all anchored by the powerful groove of Price & Paul’s Louisiana stomp rhythm section. The addition of Trevor Brooks on Hammond B-3 organ to the HISB family in 2010 has rounded out the band’s sound, which draws from a variety of influences in the world of roots music, including artists such as Lowell George & Little Feat, The Band, Taj Mahal, Gram Parsons, Jerry Garcia, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Reed, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and New Orleans’ own Earl King and Dr. John.
The Oh Hellos are Maggie and Tyler Heath, intentionally-independent self-produced music-making siblings hailing from the great state of Texas. Their influences range from Los Campesinos! and The Lumineers to Sufjan Stevens and The Middle East, bending and blending styles and genres into a unique mixture of eclectic folk rock.