|Remembering saxophone great Arthur Blythe with his performances alongside Horace Tapscott and Azar Lawrence.|
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
|Kasper Collin's acclaimed film about trumpeter Lee Morgan gets a short T.O. run. Watch a Q&A with the director below.|
|Coco's cover of Bash & Pop's Tiny Pieces is a highlight of her self-titled debut for Merge – have a listen below.|
There’s an old saying about how “you have your whole life to write your first record.” For Coco Hames, the songs on her self-titled debut poured out during a sustained burst of inspiration…but they took more than a decade to live out. A deeply personal record filled with poignant ruminations on love lost and found, dreams dashed then rediscovered, these ten songs manage to pinpoint exquisite light amid life’s darkness.
Playing guitar, piano, and electric harpsichord, Hames was aided in her effort by bassist Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs, Dead Weather), drummer Julian Dorio (The Whigs, Eagles Of Death Metal), and lead guitarist Adam Meisterhans (The Weight, JP5). Other contributors include veteran keyboard/organ wizard Dave Amels of Reigning Sound and vocalists Carey Kotsionis (Clem Snide, Bobby Bare, Jr.) and Lillie Mae Rische (Jack White's band).
“I grew up listening to ’60s pop like Dusty Springfield, but also classic country music, like Patsy Cline, and things that bridged both worlds, like Bobbie Gentry,” notes Hames. “With this record, the end result doesn’t fit into any one category. Which is an exciting thing to me.” Along with the album's nine original compositions, Coco covers Tommy Stinson's Bash & Pop gem Tiny Pieces as a duet with Deer Tick's John McCauley. Have a listen to Coco's take on Tiny Pieces followed by Bash & Pop's original from 1993's Friday Night Is Killing Me.
Coco Hames plays a free in-store at Grimey's (1604 8th Ave. South) in Nashville on Friday (March 31) at 6 pm.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Knife In The Water ends 14-year hiatus with new album Reproduction and overdue vinyl release of their 1998 debut
|The slow-moving Austinites return with the decidedly chill Reproduction. Check three low-key tracks below.|
|Sonic Surgery has pressed up 500 copies of Knife In The Water's classic "Plays One Sound and Others" available here.|
Saturday, March 25, 2017
|The Palle Mikkelborg 5 features the Placebo rhythm section of Freddy Rottier, Nick Kletchkovsky and Philip Catherine.|
Friday, March 24, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
|Analog Africa is reissuing Vincent Ahehehinnou's sought-after 1978 solo debut Best Woman on April 20.|
In early 1978, Vincent Ahehehinnou left the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou without explanation. He had been one of their principal vocalist since 1968 and had helped transform them from a hard-charging nightclub band into a musical powerhouse and Africa-wide sensation. By the end of 1977, after an explosive performance at the pan-African arts and culture festival (Festac77) in Lagos, the band had reached the very pinnacle of their success.
For nearly forty years, the reasons behind Vincent's sudden departure have remained a mystery. Until now. In an interview included with Analog Africa's new reissue of Best Woman – Vincent's first post-Poly-Rythmo album, which has been out-of-print for close to four decades and nearly impossible to find outside West Africa – the great singer finally breaks his silence. He didn't leave... he was pushed.
Poly-Rythmo were already popular in their native Benin but, in the aftermath of Festac '77, the band were poised for break-out success throughout Africa. One of the people who stood to benefit most was the band's manager Adissa Seidou, whose label Albarika Store had released most of the band's recordings. However Adissa's vision for Poly-Rythmo didn't always line up with that of the musicians and, more often than not, it was Vincent who spoke up for the band.
The two men grew increasingly estranged until one day – at the funeral for Adissa's father no less – Adissa gave Vincent an ultimatum of sorts. In Vincent's own words: ‘I asked him if there is a way we could sort out our differences to which he replied that the only solution was for me to leave the band, adding, "If not I will kill you"'.
And so Vincent found himself forced out of the band he had helped build. He tried his hand at various business ventures, but soon realised that the pull of music was too strong. On a business trip to Nigeria, Vincent met with Ignace de Souza of Benin's Black Santiago band, who agreed to arrange Vincent's songs, assemble musicians, and book a session at the legendary Decca Studios in Lagos.
With everything in place Vincent returned to Cotonou, gathered together all the money he had saved over the years and set out again for Lagos. But the simple bus journey to Nigeria turned into a nightmarish odyssey of military corruption ... and had it not been for the random kindness of an unknown woman on the bus, this album – along with Vincent's subsequent solo career – might never have existed. Vincent tells the full story in the liner notes to this LP.
But Vincent did make it to Lagos and the sessions went ahead. The nine-piece band, handpicked by de Souza, learned the songs and set them to tape in the span of only a week ... but the results are as timeless and essential as anything to emerge from West Africa in the late 1970s.
Vincent's afrobeat credentials are in full evidence on opening track ‘Best Woman' (English) whose driving beat, focussed horns and intricate vocal melody recall the raucous intensity of Poly-Rythmo. But the deep funk of the title track turns out to be only a warm-up for album-highlight ‘Maimouna Cherie' (French), a moving expression of love and longing which kicks off with a hi-hat and wah-wah guitar workout but shifts gears mid-way into a more concentrated and contemplative groove.
The funk and afrobeat gems on Best Woman are balanced by songs that draw upon Sato, one of the many Vodoun rhythms of Vincent's native Benin. Side one concludes with "Vi Deka" (Mina), an epic slow-burner propelled by some of the record's most soulful vocals, while album closer "Wa Do Verite Ton Noumi" (Fon) all but dares you not to lose yourself in its sublime hypnotic trance.
Best Woman was released on Nigeria's Hasbunalau Records in 1978, and original pressings are now highly-prized collector's items. With this reissue on Analog Africa's Dance Edition imprint – newly mastered by Nick Robbins, cut by to vinyl by Frank Merritt at the Carvery, and approved by Vincent himself – Best Woman makes a welcome and long-overdue return to turntables around the world. You can pre-order a vinyl or digital copy directly from Analog Africa right here after checking the two bangin' tracks below.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
|Shermy & Nicole stopped by the famed Tarzana guitar shop to show Norm how The Surfrajettes put reverb to good use.|
|The Surfrajettes will be joining Los Straitjackets, Los Fathoms and others at the Asbury Park Surf Fest – get yer tickets right here.|
|Episode 12 of Cut Chemist's A Stable Sound podcast features hip hop tracks which sample Clyde's funky beats.|
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
|We all know it's been a bad year for rock 'n' roll, it just took Chuck Prophet to write a decent tune about it. RIP Chuck Berry.|
|Scott "Wino" Weinrich and crew return with Sacred available on double vinyl from Relapse on April 7th.|
Monday, March 20, 2017
|Ethiopian Golden Age great Girma Bèyènè returns in Swingin' Addis form with Mistakes On Purpose backed by Akalé Wubé.|
Ethiopiques RSD 6x7" box out April 22
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Saturday, March 18, 2017
|The Terry Malts' upcoming gigs will showcase guitarist Corey Cunningham's solo project Business of Dreams.|
Terry Malts on Tour:
April 5 Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
April 7 Austin, TX - Barracuda
April 8 Dallas, TX - Three Links
April 9 Memphis, TN - Hi Tone Cafe
April 10 Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
April 11 Charlotte, NC - Milestone
April 12 Durham, NC - The Pinhook
April 13 Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery
April 14 Philadelphia, PA - Ortlieb’s
April 15 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
April 17 Boston, MA - O’Brien’s Pub
April 18 Toronto, ON - The Garrison
April 19 Cleveland, OH - Now That’s Class
April 20 Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen
April 21 Milwaukee, WI - The Cactus Club
April 22 Minneapolis, MN - Coming Soon
April 23 Omaha, NE - Reverb Lounge
April 25 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
April 26 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
Friday, March 17, 2017
|Check out the stellar arrangements of Afro Blue, Equinox and Naima by Finnish tenor titan Eero Koivistoinen.|
|Join Toronto's fab Mary Margaret O'Hara & The Rusty Nails Allstar band for a full-tilt St. Patrick's Day bash at The Garrison.|
along with special guest singers:
Mike Schram, Laura Hubert, June Garber, Jeff Farquarson, David Newberry, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Johnny Spence, Jaymz Bee, Ori Dagan, Bradley Harder, Maya Bannerman, Heather Morgan, Chris Powell, Taylor Abrahamse, Bryn Scott Grimes, John Alcorn, Kirsten Johnson, Genevieve Gigi Marentette, Michael Patrick O'Hara, Michelle Rumball, Andyboy Broccoli and Jamie Lawliss.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
|Be sure to arrive at Massey Hall before Wilco appears to see Louisville's delightful Joan Shelley preview her new album.|
The new self-titled album from the Kentucky singer, songwriter, and guitarist Joan Shelley began, with the sound of a fiddle. In the summer of 2014, Shelley fell for the tune “Hog of the Forsaken,” a bowed rollick near the end of Michael Hurley’s wayward 1976 folk gem, Long Journey (Rounder). Hurley’s voice, it seemed to Shelley, clung to the fiddle's melody, dipping where it dipped and climbing where it climbed.
This was a small, significant revelation, prompting the guitarist to trade temporarily six strings for four and, as she puts it, “try to play like Michael.” That is, she wanted to sing what she played, to play what she sang. She tried it, for a spell, with the fiddle. “Turns out, I wasn’t very good at fiddle,” remembers Shelley, chuckling. “But I took that idea back to the guitar and tried that same method. I did it as a game to make these songs, a way to find another access point.” But that wasn’t the end of the trials.
After collaborating and touring with ace guitarist Nathan Salsburg for so many years, Shelley decided to put her entire guitar approach to the test, too. Each day, she would twist and turn into a different tuning, letting her fingers fumble along the strings until the start of a tune began to emerge. After playing the songs of her critically acclaimed third album, Over and Even, so many nights during so many shows, the trick pushed her hands out of her habits and into a short, productive span that yielded most of Joan Shelley. It’s fitting that the new recording is self-titled. These are, after all, Shelley’s most assured and complete thoughts to date.
|Joan Shelley's s/t album is out May 5th on No Quarter. Get it here.|
The Loft proved essential for that approach, as it was wired to capture every musical moment, so no take was lost. If, for instance, some magic happened while Spencer Tweedy added drums to a tune he’d never heard, or while Elkington tinkered behind a piano, the tape was rolling. Half of these songs are first takes. “The first time is always the best. That’s when everyone’s on the edge of their seats, listening to not mess it up,” Shelley says. “They’re depending on each other to get through it.”
Shelley’s music has never been experimental, at least in some bleeding-edge sense of the word. And she’s comfortable with that, proud of the fact that her simple songs are attempts to express complex emotion and address difficult question about life, love, lust, and existence itself. During “The Push and Pull,” for instance, she precisely captures the emotional tug of war as two people struggle to codify a relationship, her voice perking up and slinking down to illustrate the idea.
For “Go Wild,” she wrestles with principles of independence and dependence, forgiveness and freedom, her tone luxuriating inside the waltz as though this were a permanent state of being. These are classic ideas, rendered brilliantly anew. But in their own personal way, these songs are experimental and risky, built with methods that pushed Shelley out of the comfort zone she’s established on a string of records defined by a mesmerizing sort of grace and clarity. The shifts are not so much major as they are marked, suggestive of the same curiosity and rumination that you find in the pastoral pining of “If the Storms Never Came” or the subtle romance of “Even Though.”
From genesis through gestation and on to execution, these songs document transitions to destinations unknown. “I don’t have a concept, and I don’t know the meaning until much later. Whatever I am soaking up or absorbing from the world, there will be songs that reflect all those thoughts,” Shelley says. “I keep my songwriting alive and sustainable by trying to be honest about how it came out—these are all its jagged edges, and that’s what it is to be human.” Watch a couple of Joan's recent performances followed by a list of upcoming tour dates.
Joan Shelley on Tour
Mar 19 – Beacon Theater – New York, NY #
Mar 22 – Lincoln Center – New York, NY %
Mar 23-26 – Big Ears Festival – Knoxville, TN
Apr 4 – Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, TN !
Apr 7 – Memorial Hall – Cincinnati, OH !
Apr 9 – Old Town School of Folk Music – Chicago, IL !
Apr 10 – Old Town School of Folk Music – Chicago, IL !
Apr 12 – Kent Stage – Kent, OH !
Apr 13 – Strand-Capitol Performing Arts – York, PA !
Apr 14 – Tarrytown Music Hall – Tarrytown, NY !
Apr 16 – The Colonial Theatre – Bethlehem, PA !
Apr 18 – Sanders Theatre – Cambridge, MA !
Apr 19 – Landmark – Port Washington, NY !
Apr 27 – Debarras – Clonakilty, IE
Apr 28 – Kilkenny Roots Festival – Kilkenny, IE
Apr 29 – Kilkenny Roots Festival – Kilkenny, IE
Apr 30 – Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival – Belfast, UK
May 3 – The Greyhound – Kilkee, IE
May 4 – Whelan’s Upstairs – Dublin, IE
May 5 – The Glad Café – Glasgow, UK
May 6 – The Eagle Inn – Manchester, UK
May 7 – The Wardrobe – Bristol, UK
May 8 – The Lexington – London, UK
May 31 – The Bishop – Bloomington, IN *
June 1 – Colectivo – Milwaukee, WI *
June 2 – Bryant Lake Bowl – Minneapolis, MN *
June 3 – Old Town School of Folk Music – Chicago, IL *
June 4 – CSPH Hall – Cedar Rapids, IA *
June 6 – Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA *
June 7 – Knuckleheads – Kansas City, MO *
June 8 – KDHX Stage – St. Louis, MO *
June 9 – Maiden Alley Cinema – Paducah, KY *
June 10 – Headliners – Louisville, KY *
June 11 – The Basement – Nashville, TN *
June 13 – Eddies Attic – Decatur, GA *
June 14 – Cat’s Cradle Backroom – Carrboro, NC *
June 15 – Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA *
June 16 – Concerts in the Studio – Freehold, NJ *
June 17 – Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA *
June 18 – Parlor Room – Northampton, MA *
June 20 – Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA *
June 23-24 – Solid Sound Festival – North Adams, MA
# – w/ Wilco
% – as part of the American Songbook series
! – w/ Richard Thompson
* – w/ Jake Xerxes Fussell
Endless Boogie's long awaited 4th studio album Vibe Killer – the follow-up to 2013's Long Island –will be released by No Quarter on May 19th. Vibe Killer is the bands first single LP, a concise six track effort recorded at Gary’s Electric in Brooklyn, NY. As on the 2013 album Long Island, Matt Sweeney again joins the Boogie’s core of Marc Razo (bass), Harry Druzd (drums), Jesper Eklow (guitar) and Paul “Top Dollar” Major (guitar).
A special pre-order bundle is available via No Quarter's site which includes an exclusive shirt (with art by Paul Major) and a 12″x24″ screened poster. Listen to the title track “Vibe Killer” followed by what happened when someone told WTF podcaster general Marc Maron about Endless Boogie's Long Island album and he listened to it. Evidently, Marc's been into vinyl for four years now – ever since Dan Cook opened a Los Angeles branch of Gimme Gimme Records on York Blvd in Highland Park.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
|The just-released Smokescreens debut album sounds like a lost Flying Nun artefact cut in Dunedin circa 1985!|
Monday, March 13, 2017
|Snoop Dogg put his own spin on "Lavender" (feat. Kaytranada) off BADBADNOTGOOD's album IV. Check the crazy clown clip.|
|Rodney Crowell remembers his old runaround crew Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt on "Nashville 1972" from Close Ties.|
The Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell is set to release Close Ties on March 31st via New West Records. The 10-song set is his first album in over three years and follows The Traveling Kind, his acclaimed collection of duets with longtime collaborator Emmylou Harris. Co-produced by Jordan Lehning and Kim Buie, the album features a duet with Sheryl Crow on the haunting “I’m Tied To Ya,” and “It Ain’t Over Yet,” a vocal collaboration with his ex-wife Rosanne Cash and John Paul White.
The album's latest single “Nashville 1972” is accompanied by a video (see below) directed by Reid Long on 16mm black-and-white film and includes archival and modern images depicting the Nashville Crowell arrived in over 40 years ago and the Nashville in which he currently lives. It’s lyrics namecheck Guy & Susanna Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Tom T. Hall and others. While speaking about the song, Crowell stated, “You learn that writing is work, and all of us young guys in those formative years figured out that you just slept during the day and stayed up all night, at first in pursuit of girls and then in pursuit of the perfect song.” He continued, “With the poor man’s salons where we hung out, sitting around drinking and sharing songs, when you were working you’d be trying to come up with something that you could be proud of when it was your turn to play one.”
But Close Ties defies easy classification. Is it country? Is it a singer-songwriter record? “I have declared my loyalty to Americana. It’s a hard category for people to get their heads around, or at least the terminology is. But all the people who represent it - Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams and more recent stars like John Paul White and Jason Isbell - share a common thread, and that thread is poet. Whether they are actual poets or their music exemplifies a poetic sensibility, generally speaking, the Americana artist shuns commercial compromise in favor of a singular vision. Which resonates with me.” One trait of a poet and the concept behind Close Ties involved the careful handling of memory. “A few years ago I made a record called The Houston Kid that triggered Chinaberry Sidewalks (his 2011 memoir), ” he says. “Those memory muscles are pretty strong in me. They have a natural pull. And so many of these songs use those memories as raw material.”
Fifty years after Crowell first started playing as a teen in Houston garage bands, he has moved into elder-statesman territory, and continues to extend the path carved out by the top-tier songwriters who preceded him. His songs have been recorded by country legends (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, George Strait), to current country chart toppers (Tim McGraw, Keith Urban) to blues icons (Etta James) to rock and roll legends (Van Morrison, Bob Seger). He is a Grammy award winner, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the Americana Music Association.
Close Ties track listing:
1. East Houston Blues
3. Life Without Susanna
4. It Ain’t Over Yet (featuring Rosanne Cash & John Paul White)
5. I Don’t Care Anymore
6. I’m Tied To Ya (featuring Sheryl Crow)
7. Forgive Me Annabelle
8. Forty Miles From Nowhere
9. Storm Warning
10. Nashville 1972
Rodney Crowell On Tour
March 14 – Aspen, CO @ Wheeler Opera House
March 15 – Fort Collins, CO @ Bohemian Nights
March 16 – Boulder, CO @ eTown
March 18 – Nashville, TN @ TPAC at Andrew Jackson Hall
March 23 – Kansas City, MO @ Knuckleheads
March 24 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway Nightclub
March 25 – Chicago, IL @ City Winery Chicago
March 30 – New York, NY @ City Winery New York
March 31 – Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater
April 1 – Washington, DC @ The Hamilton
April 7 – Austin, TX @ Darrel K. Royal Homecoming Show Honoring Guy Clark & Tamara Saviano
April 14 – Virginia City, NV @ Piper's Opera House
April 16 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
April 22 – Fort Worth, TX @ Ft. Worth Main Street Arts Festival
May 6 – Madisonville, TX @ MSCA Pavilion
May 7 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Lobero Theatre
May 9 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubadour
May 10 – Berkeley, CA @ Freight & Salvage
May 12 – Portland, OR @ Alberta Rose Theatre
May 13 – Olympia, WA @ Capitol Theater
July 22 – Telluride, CO @ Americana Festival - Sheridan Opera House
August 27 – Fayetteville, AR @ Main Stage at Fayetteville Roots Festival
September 16 – Bristol, VA @ Bristol Rhythm & Roots
September 22 – Amesbury, MA @ Amesbury Harvest Fair & Country Music Festival
September 23 – Boothbay Harbor, ME @ The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor