Growing up in Perth-Andover, you learn a thing or two about the tough grind. The family-oriented, blue-collar community is home to singer-songwriter and guitarist Matt Andersen. While manual labour wasn’t his calling, hard work is something you pride yourself on growing up in a small-town. Having played over 200 shows in 2012, his work ethic has never been questioned.
In the short time since her graduation from Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music, singer-songwriter Liz Longley has assembled an impressive resume. While best known for her stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, Liz has steadily developed a reputation as an accomplished songwriter, crafting intimately personal portraits through her music.
Tim Carroll, a product of rural Indiana, began as the rhythm guitarist for the punk band The Gizmos in the late 70s. He later displayed his bare-bones rock ethic with The Blue Chieftains during the 80s. A Nashville transplant since 1993, Tim has had songs recorded by John Prine, Asleep At The Wheel, BR-549, Robbie Fulks, Kasey Chambers, Elizabeth Cook, Bare Jr., Sunny Sweeney, Sonny Burgess, and many others.
EMI recording artist Angie Aparo is the songwriting talent behind such big hits as Faith Hill's recording of 'Cry.' A highly respected and accomplished singer and performer himself, Angie has appeared on stage and recordings with Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Edwin McCain, Matchbox20, and the Zac Brown Band to name but a few. Emotional Traffic, Tim McGraw's much anticipated studio album debuted January 31, 2012 on Billboard's Country Album chart at #1, featuring the songs 'The One' and 'Only Human,' co-written by Angie.
McKenzie Eddy is an alternative/electronica/soul artist based out of New York City. She is currently signed to BluRoc Records, run by Damon Dash. Her fist album titled, ‘A Prelude To My Next Excursion’ was released in January 2011, with features from Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa, Stalley & more.
Amythyst studies old time music at East Tennessee State University; she received her B.A. in the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies, and is continuing to study music at the graduate level in Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. She is a member of the East Tennessee State University Old Time Pride Band. She also works part-time at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum as an assistant researcher, and plays quite often in the Southwest Virginia area. She has opened for Tim O'Brien, and she has played at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival 2012 alongside the Ebony Hillbillies and Sparky and Rhonda Rucker. She also played "Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow" with Wayne Henderson for the Crooked Road Edition of Virginia Tourism Coporation's Web Series.
Martin Harley is a phenomenally talented guitarist, singer and songwriter he fronts the highly praised UK-based acoustic trio; The Martin Harley Band. Martin’s new album MOJO FIX was recorded in Texas and is released in the UK in February 2013. Mojo Fix comes on the heels of four critically celebrated albums, years of touring and countless festivals that have built Martin a strong and solid fan-base spanning the globe.
Armed with undeniable talent and an intense love of her craft (and country music), Kelsey Waldon is a rare and incredibly refreshing artist; an emerging force of raw, honest, and grounded songwriting in the Nashville music scene. Having collected and absorbed more records in her 23 years than most people will hear in a lifetime, and drawing influence from songwriting greats such as Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Bob Dylan, she has an exceptional ability to evoke an older and often seemingly forgotten era of songwriting, while simultaneously creating a relevant, cutting edge, and unique style, true to her own experience.
In the exploding world of acoustic music, Willie Watson needs no introduction. During his decade plus tenure with Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie’s driving rhythm guitar, transcendent lead vocals and pure tenor were an essential part of the band’s success (over 600,000 records sold not to mention the platinum selling single “Wagon Wheel”), but nowhere in OCMS’s catalog does his instrumental artistry and vocal prowess shine as in this new solo incarnation. A vast catalog of traditional songs are reinterpreted and given new life, fitting seamlessly besides self-penned classics cut from the very same cloth, creating a rich new patchwork of Americana.
Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons is an Americana band that began in Providence, RI in 2005. In the center of this revolving cast of musicians, songwriter Joe Fletcher remains at the helm of this country blues-based outfit while still playing many solo acoustic shows throughout the land every year. Sometime in 2007, the band recorded their debut album BURY YOUR PROBLEMS at the rather mysterious Golden Monkey Studio in the heart of Providence’s Smith Hill neighborhood. Details of this event remain murky though it has been corroborated that sound experts Jay Berndt and Matt Oliva oversaw a assortment of musicians which included legends Jack Hanlon, Greg “J.D.” Burgess, Dennis Kelly, and Dale Cunningham. We do know that the record received overwhelmingly positive reviews and Fletcher’s story-driven songwriting began catching national attention earning comparisons to Cash, Cave, Cohen, and Dylan.
Throughout his career, Jim Bianco has drawn inspiration from, what some might consider, untraditional sources. Whether an elevator operator in Tokyo, a stalker in Hollywood, a wedding in Tennessee, or a sinner in church, his songs have twisted their way out of his head and into the hearts of his fans. “My father is a Brooklyn-born weight-lifting Italian Roman Catholic who wields a pompadour and only drives a Cadillac. My mother is a kind, classic, 1950’s Brooklyn Jew who quit high school to work in a pencil factory. It’s pretty obvious where my obsession with eccentric characters comes from.”
Rusty Shackle are a six piece band from South Wales, UK. Formed in early 2010 Rusty Shackle can be described as an Alternative Folk band, throwing together Guitars, Fiddle, Banjo, Mandola, Trumpet, Bass, Drums and Percussion to give their unique take on Contemporary folk music.
Amy Ray’s progression as a singer/songwriter has taken her up and down all of the switchback trails of the South, from the dive bars of Saturday night to church on Sunday morning, with some coffeehouses and arenas along the way, too. Goodnight Tender, her first country album, integrates all of these influences in fresh, surprising ways and testifies to her range and virtuosity as an artist who is always game to follow a thread of melody into new and rugged territory.
Cale Tyson is a singer, songwriter and guitar player from Nashville, Tennessee. Born in a small town in Texas, he was raised in Fort Worth, the home of Townes Van Zandt and the place where he first heard the classic country sounds that have inspired and enriched his gentle, melancholy, and undeniably whiskey-soaked sound.
The family band has always possessed a genetic magic, gifting its members with a mysterious psychic connection and powerful vocal blend. AP, Sarah and Maybelle Carter, the founding family of country music, had a profound impact in music through their tight mountain-gospel harmonies and signature sound and that tradition has been carried forward in the bluegrass-country-gospel music of the Cox Family and the Marshall Family Band and followed more recently by The Whites on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. Next in line is the Southern Illinois-based bluegrass band The Bankesters.
The Music City Doughboys are a fresh new look at Western Swing and Americana music. From the heart of Nashville, TN, this band of brothers came together with one goal in mind: to unite and bring the people something fresh. A spin off on the classic ‘Light Crust Doughboys,’ this group plays creates a sound that was popularized in the great Bob Wills and Spade Cooley era.
The Nashville Stringy Band is Colin O’Brien, Mike Compton, Matt Combs and Todd Phillips. An acoustic super-group as entertaining as they are virtuosic. They play a high energy blend of Americana folk styles, a mix of Old Time, Blues, John Hartford songs and those penned by Colin O’Brien. The group is currently booking concerts and festivals for 2014.
Greg Trooper is a singer/songwriter who has released 12 albums since 1986. Raised in the shore town of Little Silver, NJ he became enthralled by the greater New York area’s rich music scene. He discovered a sort of holy musical trinity in the work of Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, and Hank Williams, with their guiding lights of passion, literary dexterity and plainspoken honesty. It’s one reason Trooper’s music feels equally informed by Memphis soul, Greenwich Village folk and Nashville twang.
A native of Los Angeles and current resident of Nashville, James Intveld started his career at an early age listening and singing along to his parents' recordings of Hank Williams, Sr., Dean Martin, Lefty Frizzell and Elvis. By high school he was he was playing in cover bands and was soon a regular sitting in with the house band at the legendary Palomino Club.
Echo Boom, the band’s third album, displays a growing maturity both musically and thematically, as the band considers the pressures and expectations placed on their generation by the previous one, and the ramifications of some of the vague self-actualization advice passed on by the boomers to their latchkey kids. “We were told by our parents that we could do anything we wanted, and though there’s an amazing freedom in that, a lot of my generation needed more direction,” says singer and guitar player Zach Bevill. Joshua Britt (mandolin/vocals) adds, “We were told to ‘Just Do It,’ but a lot of my friends are like, do what exactly? There is a lot of uncertainty about whether the lives we’re leading are going to get us anywhere.” That sentiment is expressed in “Punchline,” the lead track from Echo Boom. Britt, who wrote the song, juxtaposes earnest seriousness (“I don’t know what it is that fills my head with doubt/I just wanna shine the light that’s trying to get out/But it takes so long/And it’s always a process/And I can’t find the patience”) with the idea that life for his generation often seems like some cosmic joke, and that success is akin to successfully delivering a punchline. The chorus ends with the plea to “Let me deliver, let me deliver.”
Raised in the Carter Family musical legacy, The Road To Roosky embodies their unique heritage with equal parts of reverence and raucousness. Their talent on their many instruments – Tim on banjo, vocal harp, mandolin and guitar, Danny Reid on guitar – lends itself to masterful arrangements alongside the drums of Dann Sherill and electric bass of Ross Sermons.
“You can’t deal me the aces and think I wouldn’t play,” says Suzy Bogguss with a twinkle in her eye as she discusses her latest studio album Sweet Danger. It’s a line from one of her signature songs, but it’s also the philosophy with which the Illinois-born singer manages her career, and the stepping-off point for a collection of her strongest songwriting and most evocative vocals to date.
On a given night (or on a given album) he'll swing through blues, folk, soul, bluegrass, maybe some classic 50s rock, or a punk speedball. He's a musical omnivore, devouring every popular music sound of the last 70 years, and mixing 'em all together seamlessly into his own stew. Yet, the one thing that most people notice about Patrick isn't his ability to copy - it's his authenticity. Like his heroes, artists like Bobby "Blue" Bland, Doug Sahm, Joe Tex, Patrick somehow manages to blend all of these influences into something all his own.
"One listen and you’ll be convinced that she’s a powerful, authentic, talented and above all soulful new entry in the rootsy singer/songwriter ranks." - American Songwriter Magazine Amy Black is a Boston-based singer/songwriter with storytelling and Southern tradition in her blood. She grew up singing hymns from the pews in church in Missouri, but it wasn't until her family moved to Alabama that she got her first dose of real southern gospel.
Alexander Fedoryka: Fiddle/Mandolin/Bass/Vocals Trained classically, Alexander started playing at the age of 3 and has performed in such venues as the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap. Of note, Alexander spent six months in Japan studying under Dr. Suzuki, the renowned founder of the Suzuki School of Music. Alexander also spent four months playing in the streets of Ireland where he picked up the Celtic spirit and combined it with the Gypsy soul of his own Ukrainian ancestry.
“Playing music is the easy part,” says Russell Moore with an ever-so-slightly rueful laugh as he looks back on more than thirty years of doing what he grew up wanting to do. “By the time we put this band together”—he’s talking about IIIrd Tyme Out, his musical vehicle for over twenty years now—“I was realistic enough to know that bands come and go. Being able to stay together is the hurdle that everyone faces. So I didn’t have a preconceived notion that someday I’d be celebrating twenty years with IIIrd Tyme Out—but I did feel like I would be playing music for the rest of my life.”
Cleveland-born David Wilcox was inspired to play guitar after hearing a fellow college student playing in a stairwell. His lyrical insight is matched by a smooth baritone voice, virtuosic guitar chops, and creative open tunings, giving him a range and tenderness rare in folk music. He released an independent album in 1987, was a winner of the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk award in 1988, and by 1989 he had signed with A&M Records. His first release on the label, ‘How Did You Find Me Here’, sold over 100,000 copies the first year largely by word of mouth. Now, 17 albums into a career marked by personal revelation and wildly loyal fans, David continues to find and deliver joy, inspiration, and invention.
Grant Farm is a band on a mission. Lead by National Flatpicking Champion Tyler Grant (Emmitt/Nershi Band), the talented four-piece is built on the foundation of love, family and the joy of music. The Grant Farm train stops at all the stations on North American roots music line, and is not afraid to let the whistle scream with some blistering jams. After a several solid seasons of touring Coast-to-Coast behind their eponymous debut CD, Grant Farm (Grant Central Records, 2012) audiences everywhere are a-buzz with the Roots, Rock and Cris-Co statement that Grant Farm brings to every performance.
Kellin Watson is a nationally-touring singer-songwriter, whose award-winning sound blends elements of blues, pop, folk, and soul. Hailing from Asheville, NC, Kellin draws on her Appalachian roots to bring both power and rawness to her music. With four albums out, Kellin's music is an ever-evolving collection of work rooted in soul, and folk that have brought her to where she is today.
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.
Texas Music Magazine calls Mingo Fishtrap “the space where melodic pop meets gritty Memphis soul, with a twist of N’awlins funk.” That space is growing like kudzoo vine on the Mississippi Delta, crisscrossing the country with a deep, tenacious groove and a sanctified mission to shake your soul.