Archive for July, 2022

Drunken Hearts Release ‘Sunlight’ (Feat. Big Richard)

“Sunlight” Available Now

BOULDER, Colo. — Led by acoustic guitarist and powerhouse lead singer Andrew McConathy—known for his compelling songwriting and distinct, deep, and expressive vocals—Drunken Hearts independently release their new single, “Sunlight (feat. Big Richard)” July 29 on all platforms

McConathy says, “I wrote ‘Sunlight’ in September of 2021, I was depressed about the pandemic and hung up on trying to get things back to the way they used to be. The weekend before, I planned a writing trip to a cabin in the mountains of Colorado but encountered some of the worst writer’s block I’ve had. It was pretty frustrating and I guess only made my condition worse. However, when I got home, ‘Sunlight’ emerged the first time I pulled out my guitar.”

Andrew McConathy
Photo by Tobin Voggesser

The song begins with a more mournful feel and progresses into another realm of joyful sorrow with it’s lyrics:

I can’t sleep with light in my eyes

I can’t help reaching for the sky

I don’t want to leave it all behind

you know I can’t stop my mind

“While it certainly delves into depression and anxiety, “Sunlight” also serves as a reminder to be resilient in the face of adversity, and to never, ever stop pursuing your dreams, even if you can’t get out of bed in the morning, “says McConathy. “It was an exhilarating experience tracking this song with so many amazing friends and musicians.”

John Grigsby [bassist in Gregory Alan Isakov’s band] did a fantastic job bringing it all to life with stunning surrealist animation, which can be viewed here → https://youtu.be/-qgHfV49Dp4

Americana Highways premiered the video and writes, “With gorgeous pine rainforest footage and misty otherworldly natural images, the video supports this song of renewal. Starting with low, foreboding cello tones and McConathy’s raw vibrato, this song builds piece by piece into a glorious celebration.”

This release from Drunken Hearts features McConathy along with Alex Johnson on drums/ percussion/samples, Adrian Engfer on upright bass and violin, Tyler Adams on piano, and Andy Reiner on violin. Johnson recorded the basic tracks in his basement studio in Arvada, CO and then Todd Divel re-tracked the acoustic guitar and vocals at Silo Sound in Denver, CO and finalized the mix and master.

“When we recorded it, I wanted the instrumentation to match the vibe of the song, which felt different from my other releases, and instantly thought cello would be fitting. I made a Facebook post looking for a cellist, and Joy Adams from Big Richard was the first recommendation. At first we just had upright bass, violin, and acoustic guitar, but over time added cello, more strings, piano, and very light drums. I love Big Richard and after already having Joy’s cello, it only made sense to add the rest of the band on harmony vocals to give the song an eerie, siren-esque feel. I love the way ‘Sunlight’ turned out.”

All contributing to backing vocals on “Sunlight” (with Adams on cello), Big Richard is a charismatic, neo-acoustic supergroup formed in 2021 composed of four well-established Colorado musicians including Bonnie Sims [Bonnie & Taylor Sims, Everybody Loves an Outlaw, Bonnie and the Clydes], Joy Adams [Nathaniel Rateliff, Darol Anger, Half Pelican], Emma Rose [Sound of Honey, Daniel Rodriguez, Whippoorwill], and Eve Panning [Lonesome Days]. Big Richard’s vocal parts were recorded by Kyle Donovan at Cinder Sound Studio in Longmont, CO. Joy Adams and husband Andy Reiner recorded and tracked the cello and fiddle parts at their home studio outside of Black Hawk, CO.

Drunken Hearts have previously released four studio albums—Wheels of the City (2019 LoHi Records, Produced by Tim Carbone [Railroad Earth]), The Prize (2018), Love & Thirst (2016) (produced by Rob Eaton of Dark Star Orchestra) and Live For Today (2012)— as well as a live album, Alive ‘n Free (2021). More recently they released a series of singles through the pandemic from their EP Wildflower Sessions (recorded at Planet Bluegrass) in 2021 and early 2022. Drunken Hearts have shared the stage with acts like Billy Strings, Mumford & Sons, The Revivalists, Greensky Bluegrass, Mavis Staples, Black Pumas, Stevie Wonder, The String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain String Band, and many more. 

Kind Words About Drunken Hearts From Previous Releases:

“… surely McConathy has one of the most memorable voices in roots music”  
Glide Magazine, Jim Hynes

“Heavy thinkers and power players” —PopMatters, Michael Bialas

“We are over the moon with their infectious humor, quick wit, and edgy Americana sound, so much so, we brought them into the studio” —WEXT Radio, Tabitha Clancy

“If you mix Pearl Jam with a mountain spirit, you get Drunken Hearts”
American Songwriter, Dallas Jackson

“[MConathy’s] distinctive and coarse tonality is sure to please listeners and carries the lyrics with intent” —Americana UK, Joe Edwards 

“Drunken Hearts deliver an intimate perspective to a nostalgic rock and roll sound. Passionate vocals that are reminiscent of Eddie Vedder are both familiar and a newfound discovery”
Paul Hoffman [Greensky Bluegrass]

“Somewhere between Counting Crows and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats you’ll find Drunken Hearts” —Fervor Coulee, Donald Teplyske

“Lead singer Andrew McConathy is not an imitation, he does emulate expressively a pure Eddie Vedder alt-country vocal halfway to deep-voiced Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies vocalist). But the Hearts’ music has musicality: it’s all golden” —Americana Highways, John Apice

Sunlight Features:

Drunken Hearts:
Andrew McConathy: Acoustic Guitar / Vocals
Alex Johnson: Drums / Percussion 
Adrian Engfer: Upright Bass / Violin
Tyler Adams: Piano
Andy Reiner: Violin

+ Big Richard:
Joy Adams: Cello / Background Vocals
Bonnie Simms: Background Vocals
Emma Rose: Background Vocals
Eve Panning: Background Vocals


Written and Produced by Andrew McConathy 
Recorded by Alex Johnson in Arvada, CO & Todd Divel at Silo Sound in Denver, CO
Big Richard was recorded by Kyle Donovan at Cinder Sound Studio in Longmont, CO
Mixed and Mastered by Todd Divel
Video animation by John Grigsby

For more information, please visit www.thedrunkenhearts.com, facebook.com/thedrunkenhearts, twitter.com/drunkenhearts, tiktok.com/@thedrunkenhearts, Spotify, and instagram.com/thedrunkenhearts.

Read Full Post »

Anya Hinkle and Akira Satake Release New Single “Coming Home”
Released July 29

“The song harkens to childhood and summer scenes—baseball, shooting stars, an ‘evening train,’ and the nostalgic scent of mama’s home cooking…”
First Listen at Folk Alley

Presave “Coming Home” →

Hinkle Tours Colorado in August
(See the full list of tour date below)

ASHEVILLE, NC — Born in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, Anya Hinkle’s music is steeped in the tones of folk and bluegrass, and seasoned by travels across the world with her vivid storytelling, vibrant musicianship, and arresting honesty. 

For her latest single, Hinkle teamed up with Japanese banjoist and composer Akira Satake to release “Coming Home,” a nostalgic and spare song with echoes of a childhood summer in Japan. The single will be out July 29 and is available to presave now

Folk Alley’s Kim Ruehl calls the song a “beautiful collaboration” and premiered the lyric video for “Coming Home saying, “Satake’s inimitable banjo rolls paces in the background, supporting and holding aloft Hinkle’s poetic lyricism with pride, like a summer flower in a child’s fist.”

Akira Satake & Anya Hinkle

Anya says, “Akira had written a beautiful instrumental called ‘Coming Home’ and asked me to write lyrics to go with it. When I asked him what the song was about, he shared some memories of his childhood in Osaka, Japan. I tried to capture the details of the sounds, sights, tastes, and smells of Japan in late summer—children playing baseball in the city, the smells of food cooking as you wander through narrow alleys, the sounds of bicycles and trains, the resounding songs of cicadas. It’s a pleasure collaborating again with Akira.” 

This is the second release of a Hinkle/Satake collaboration; the first, “Hills of Swannanoa,” which appears on Hinkle’s album Eden and Her Borderlands (Organic Records 2021), won runner-up in the 18th International Acoustic Music Awards song competition in the country/bluegrass category. In 2019, she won the MerleFest Chris Austin song contest and was a finalist in the Hazel Dickens songwriting competition for her song “Ballad of Zona Abston.” 

PopMatters calls Hinkle, “A burgeoning force behind the Appalachian roots revival,” and AmericanaUK writes, “Certainly striking, certainly beautiful… everything one could look for in a bluegrass-tinged Americana.”

Anya began her recording career in 2007 for the Virginia Folklife label, The Crooked Road, before moving to Asheville, NC, where she founded bands Dehlia Low (Rebel Records) and Tellico (Organic Records). She released the first full-length album under her own name, Eden and Her Borderlands, in July 2021 to favorable reviews from the genre’s top media outlets including No Depression, Folk Alley, and PopMatters, with features in The Bluegrass Situation, Americana Highways, and more. Several songs placed on Spotify editorial playlists such as Indigo and Grass Roots, and the album was “Bubblin’ Up” on the Americana Radio Chart.

Anya has recorded some 10 albums in various collaborations both in the US and Japan, and in March 2022, she released a single,Nightingale (соловейко) – Bootleg for Peace,” that raised over $2,000 for Ukrainian relief. Hinkle is currently working on her second studio album under her name, slated for release in 2023.

Just back from her second European tour in May 2022, Anya tours regionally and nationally as well as extensively in Japan. She has played stages at MerleFest, Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, La Roche Bluegrass Festival (France), Bristol Rhythm & Roots, and has supported/performed with Mipso, John Doyle, Malcolm Holcombe, The Stray Birds, and many others. 

Anya will be touring through Colorado this summer, including appearances at Red Rocks Summer on the Plaza Music Series, joined by her cousin, Denver-based bassist Troy Robey [Taarka, Jake Leg].

See Anya Hinkle’s tour dates below and catch up on her latest news at www.anyahinkle.cominstagram.com/anyahinkle.music, and facebook.com/anyahinkle.music. Check out her Youtube and Spotify for more music.

Anya Hinkle
Photo by WW Reaves

Anya Hinkle on Tour:
8/4 Thu – The Purple Onion – Saluda, NC w/ Julian Pinelli
8/5 Fri – Jones House – Boone, NC w/ Andrew Finn Magill

Colorado Dates
8/9 Tue – KGNU 88.5 FM & 1390 AM – Boulder, CO
8/9 Tue – Five Points Live! – Denver, CO *
8/10 Wed –  A Church – Salida, CO *
8/11 Thu – Wallis House Concert – Carbondale, CO *
8/12 Fri – Healthy Rhythm Listening Room – Montrose *
8/13-14 Sat-Sun – Red Rocks Summer on the Plaza Music Series – Morrison, CO
8/14 Sun – Old Town House Concerts – Colorado Springs, CO *
8/17 Wed – Gold Hill Inn – Boulder, CO
8/18 Thu – Listening At The Legion – Estes Park, CO*
8/19 Fri – The Post – Denver, CO *
8/20 Sat – Woodie Fisher – Denver, CO *
*with Troy Robey on Bass

Further shows:
9/11 Sun – Charlotte Folk Society – Charlotte, NC
9/23 Fri – Oskar Blues Brewery – Brevard, NC
10/1 Sat – Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival 2022 – Oriental, NC
10/2 Sun – Schoolkids Records – Raleigh, NC

Read Full Post »

Watch the Music Video for “The Broken Heart Side of The Road”

Bill Scorzari Releases 2nd Single
“The Broken Heart Side of the Road”
From Upcoming Album: The Crosswinds of Kansas

“With its melancholy tone, Scorzari lends his gritty vocals to a work of dark Americana roots music. Mandolin, banjo, and fiddle add to the rustic imagery of the lyrics, while a lonesome Dobro and soulful background vocals give the tune a sense of spirituality and depth. The result is a song that carries a stirring energy and a haunting tale.”Glide Magazine – Song Premiere

The Crosswinds of Kansas is Independently Released Aug 19

Thirteen tracks at well over an hour provides plenty of evidence that Scorzari’s message is powerful and profound. The raspy, emotive voice and the chanting ruminations throughout are a joy… The Crosswinds of Kansas therefore has many vivid and sometimes dark stories to tell… [It] is an indisputable triumph and presented in a lavish, detailed CD package, which was an utter joy to review.Rob Dickens’ Listening Through The Lens

HUNTINGTON, NY — Today, Bill Scorzari is excited to release “The Broken Heart Side of the Road” as the 2nd single (and 2nd music video) from his upcoming album, The Crosswinds of Kansas (independently released Aug 19). In “The Broken Heart Side of the Road,” Scorzari recounts a hard tale of the destruction of a relationship, set to traditional roots music. 

He tells Glide Magazine, “I started writing ‘The Broken Heart Side of the Road’ back in 2015 and then it kind of fell off my radar for a while. When I returned to New York after the end of the Now I’m Free tour in 2019, I found that it fit really well with the other songs I was writing at the time, and so I made a few changes to the lyrics and reworked the song structure until it felt right. The lyrics sprouted right out of the chord progression and, at least on some level, are grounded in time I spent in my childhood, learning from my dad how to plant and care for growing things. I especially loved being able to work a lyric into the first chorus, about the risks of planting corn too early in the season. ‘And then a cold rain in the morning corkscrewed my cold-planted corn, and then half my crop took twice the time to grow.’” 

Bill recorded the acoustic guitar and vocal tracks for “The Broken Heart Side of the Road” (and much of the 13-track album) in his studio—First Thunder— in New York in late 2020. In mid 2021, after many people had gotten vaccinated and it appeared to be relatively safe to travel again, Bill drove to Skinny Elephant Recording in Nashville, TN (where he previously recorded Now I’m Free 2019) and met with album Co-Producer Neilson Hubbard (drums, percussion), Michael Rinne (upright bass), Fats Kaplin (fiddle), Matt Menefee (banjo), Brent Burke (Dobro), Will Kimbrough (mandolin), and Engineer Dylan Alldredge to record their parts live there together for the song. Later, in September of 2021, Bill returned to Nashville to work with Dylan on the final mixes and they recorded Marie Lewey and Cindy Richardson Walker, a/k/a The Shoals Sisters, singing the backing vocals to “The Broken Heart Side of the Road.” Lewy and Walker recorded backing vocals for a few of the other tracks. For some of the other songs, Rinne also plays electric bass, in addition to his upright, and Kaplin adds his richly melodic and rhythmic sensibilities on pedal steel guitar, and viola, in addition to his fiddle.

Album & Lyric Book Art & Design:
Anna Berman

Other musicians who joined in for the recording of The Crosswinds of Kansas during the Nashville sessions include Danny Mitchell on Hammond B3 organ and piano with a masterfully cinematic approach; Juan Solorzano on electric, slide, and baritone guitars with flawless technique and heart wrenching phrasing; Grand Ole Opry staff fiddle player Eamon McLoughlin; accomplished cellist Chelsea McGough; acclaimed banjo player Kyle Tuttle; and gifted vocalist Mia Rose Lynne on harmony vocals.

Much of The Crosswinds of Kansas was inspired by his Now I’m Free Tour in 2019—which had become a journey of self discovery, with Bill ultimately arriving at a new awareness and desire to adapt and continue to create. He made his way from the east coast, toward, and around the west coast and back, traveling under two full moons, visiting waterfalls, hiking, climbing, pondering and processing his life experiences of loss, gain and change, and at times composed haiku as a way to pass the time. The tour came to a sudden early end as Bill learned of the decline in the health of his then 94 year old mother. 

The album begins with “I-70 East,” an electric-guitar-driven song that came to him while driving home from the Now I’m Free Tour. Scorzari sings, “Then, came the crosswinds of Kansas unleashed, and it pushed me hard, north and south, all down I-70 east… As I tore home to my mother, before her health, it would fail, at 94, I felt another love leaving me lost, like a nail in a cross.”

Bill says, “When I wrote ‘I-70 East,’ I immediately knew that it was going to be the first track on this new album, even before I wrote the others, and when you cue up this record, it’ll be the first song that you hear when the music begins.” It was also the first single released from the album. Americana Highways premiered the music video for the song and says, “He’s captured such pain. And the beauty of a Rose.”

The 13 original tracks on The Crosswinds of Kansas have many stories to tell including the enlightened “All Behind Me Now,” the life-affirming “1, 2, 3, Jump,” the fast-moving acoustic jam of “A Ghost, My Hat and My Coat,” and the rhythmic, semi-autobiographical, sound-collage The Measure of a Man.” 

Bill says, “I found that a lot of the songs on this record wound up having an upbeat feel, even when the lyrical content wasn’t necessarily upbeat, or at least not primarily or entirely so. It’s a very satisfying thing when that happens, like positivity shining through and prevailing over our struggles with adversity.”

In the rootsy “The Broken Heart Side of the Road” Scorzari recounts the destruction of a relationship, while the upbeat “Multnomah Falls” weaves a rainy day’s hike into a story of the trials of change and transcendence, and the orchestral “Oceans In Your Eyes” recounts perilous navigation through enchanted waters. The wistful melody and promising lyrics of “Patience and Time” bring a haunting nostalgia which reemerges as the central theme of the hypnotic, plaintive “Try, Try Again,” and prescience triumphs in 

uncertain circumstance in the folksy “Not Should’ve Known.”

Inside My Heart” features a mix of contemporary and Indigenous instruments and opens with the bell chime of a Tibetan singing bowl, a cluster of claw-hammer banjo notes, and a Native American flute flourish, while “Tryin’,Tryin’,Tryin’,Tryin’,” the final track on the album, has an intriguing story behind it which resulted in Bill learning Navajo from the flutemaker for the song, a Navajo man named Ty Allison and his friends.

Photography by Jacob Blickenstaff

Bill Scorzari is a New York native, with a richly raspy voice and a stellar ear for lyrics and composition. At a later age, he transformed his life as a New York Trial Attorney, to a new life as an accomplished, full-time musician. His discography includes four full-length albums: Just the Same (2014), Through These Waves (2017), and Now I’m Free (2019)—-all independently released to critical acclaim. Acoustic Guitar’s Pat Moran wrote, “New York-based singer-songwriter Bill Scorzari transcends titles like songwriter or poet. He catapults past categories into a dark, ruminative, and ultimately life-affirming realm where family folklore, memories, pain, prayer, and incantation meet.” Scorzari dives deeper into these themes with his 4th studio album, The Crosswinds of Kansas, which will be out on August 19.

For more information, updates and tour dates, visit www.BillScorzari.com

Pre-order The Crosswinds of Kansas at https://billscorzari.hearnow.com/the-crosswinds-of-kansas

Bill Scorzari — The Crosswinds of Kansas
Track Listing & Credits:

1.) I-70 East (3:16)
2.) Inside My Heart (5:09)
3.) All Behind Me Now (6:01)
4.) Multnomah Falls (4:21)
5.) Oceans In Your Eyes (4:14)
6.) Not Should’ve Known (5:23)
7.) The Broken Heart Side of the Road (4:38)
8.) A Ghost, My Hat and My Coat (4:23)
9.) Patience and Time (6:15)
10.) 1, 2, 3, Jump (6:29)
11.) Try, Try Again (5:17)
12.) The Measure of a Man (4:02)
13.) Tryin’, Tryin’,Tryin’,Tryin’ (11:56)

Read Full Post »

Final Lineup Announced for the 6th Suwannee Roots Revival
October 13-16, 2022

The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL

Suwannee Roots Revival Lineup Additions Include:
Larry Keel Experience – John Mailander (Artist at Large)
AJ Lee & Blue Summit – Blair Crimmins & The Hookers
Dread Clampitt – The Krickets – Grandpa’s Cough Medicine
The New Cahoots
Free Range Strange

Added to the already stellar lineup:
JJ Grey & Mofro –  Punch Brothers
Peter Rowan’s Bluegrass Band – Donna the Buffalo – Kitchen Dwellers
Jon Stickley Trio – Jim Lauderdale – Seth Walker
Verlon Thompson – Shawn Camp – Joe Craven

Tickets →

LIVE OAK, FL — The 6th Suwannee Roots Revival takes place Thursday, October 13 – Sunday, October 16 at the renowned Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak, Florida. We are excited to announce an additional round of artists to this incredible lineup that includes JJ Grey & Mofro, Punch Brothers, Peter Rowan’s Bluegrass Band, Donna the Buffalo, Kitchen Dwellers, Jon Stickley Trio, Jim Lauderdale, and Seth Walker. 

Additions include Larry Keel Experience; based in Virginia, Keel has performed a plethora of times at SOSMP and Rolling Stone recently called him, “One of the finest flatpickers around” and described his unparalleled live performance as, “taking songs up a notch with psychedelic hillbilly shredding.” 

John Mailander, acclaimed multi-instrumentalist who is well known for his fiddle playing with Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers and appearances with Billy Strings, will be around for the weekend joining in as Artist-At-Large as well as performing with the Rev Jeff Mosier Ensemble. AJ Lee & Blue Summit features singer, songwriter, and mandolinist, AJ Lee who has been performing since the age of 5. In 2011 Mother Jones magazine asked, “Could This Kid Be the Next Alison Krauss? By the time she was 21 she won the Northern California Bluegrass Society’s (NCBS) Best Female Vocalist award nine times!

Atlanta’s Blair Crimmins & The Hookers will get folks dancing with their supercharged hot ragtime jazz, Dread Clampitt will be performing a 20th anniversary set of their funky bluegrass, The Krickets are a female Americana group from the gulf coast who’s music is what Paste Magazine called a “a truly stunning, one-of-a-kind sound.” Other additions include Florida’s Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, The New Cahoots, and Free Range Strange.

Add that all in along with Suwannee mainstays Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp, Joe Craven, Rev Jeff Mosier Ensemble, The Grass Is Dead, Ralph Roddenbery & the HighRoad, Nikki Talley & Jason Sharp, Nicholas Edward Williams, Sloppy Joe, Quartermoon, The Fried Turkeys, Tania & the Magic Moon Traveling Circus and you’ve got a weekend of unforgettable memories, musical favorites, and news discoveries!

Suwannee Roots Revival focuses on showcasing established as well as up-and-coming roots musicians throughout a weekend laced with community based fun, growing friendships, laughing families, and that feel-good feeling you get from hanging out in such a beautiful natural setting.

Suwannee Roots Revival is jam-packed with stellar music and dance on multiple stages throughout the weekend. This family-friendly festival includes four days of music, camping, yoga, music workshops, a Kids Tent, as well as campground pickin’ sessions. Set in the midst of 800 acres of Spanish moss-draped oak and cypress trees along the Suwannee River, the venue is a playground for endless activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, disc golf, and biking. 

Placing a strong emphasis on embracing the traditions that have made the park a national treasure, there will be a wide array of arts & crafts as well as culinary delights ranging from healthy to decadent in the Vending Village. Hands-on and performance workshops will be held throughout the weekend with a variety of artists set to perform. The park itself is a place where kids of all ages can remember why they fell in love with the magic mixture of sights, sounds, and sensations that constitutes a weekend of paradise that is the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park.

Tickets are on sale now. Suwannee Roots Revival offers a multi-day Weekend Ticket that includes festival admission for four days of music, as well as primitive camping on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Early Bird 2 Tickets are $175 (includes fees and taxes); Student / Military Early Bird are $160 (with a valid ID). Get your tickets quickly before they rise to the next pricing tier, Advance Weekend, at $200 ($250 at the Gate). Single Day tickets are also available. An additional event car pass is now required to bring a car into the campground. Advance Car Pass: $15 or $20 at the Gate. For complete ticket information and to purchase tickets, visit suwanneerootsrevival.com/tickets/.

SOSMP offers guest comforts including a general store, full service restaurant, free showers, indoor bathrooms, and water stations. Upgraded camping, including RV hook ups and cabin rentals, as well as golf cart rentals are currently on sale. Reservations may be made by calling the Park office at (386) 364­-1683. SOSMP is located between Jacksonville, Florida & Tallahassee, Florida about 30 minutes south of the Georgia State line, about 45 minutes north of Gainesville and is host to a variety of events. Please visit the park’s web site at www.musicliveshere.com for further information.

Suwannee Roots Revival 2022 Lineup
JJ Grey & Mofro
Punch Brothers
Peter Rowan’s Bluegrass Band
Donna the Buffalo
Kitchen Dwellers
Larry Keel Experience
Jon Stickley Trio
Jim Lauderdale
Seth Walker
Verlon Thompson
Shawn Camp
Joe Craven
Rev Jeff Mosier Ensemble
John Mailander – Artist at Large
AJ Lee & Blue Summit
The Grass Is Dead
Blair Crimmins & The Hookers
Dread Clampitt
The Krickets
Ralph Roddenbery & the HighRoad
Grandpa’s Cough Medicine
The New Cahoots
Nikki Talley & Jason Sharp
Free Range Strange
Nicholas Edward Williams
Sloppy Joe
The Fried Turkeys
Tania & the Magic Moon Traveling Circus

For more information, tickets, and to reserve camping, please visit www.suwanneerootsrevival.com.
Also visit us on a www.facebook.com/suwanneeroots, Twitter & Instagram: @SuwanneeRoots (#SuwanneeRoots).

Read Full Post »

The Company Stores Release The Family Album Sept 23, 2022
Produced by Galactic’s Robert Mercurio

1st Single “Ways” Out Today →

Preorder The Family Album

CHARLESTON, WV — The Company Stores independently releases The Family Album, their third full-length album, on September 23. The powerful and sultry voice of lead vocalist Ileana Ille captivates the audience with her ability to express raw emotion, while the band unites many influences to lay down bold grooves amidst dynamic crescendos. “This album is about family,” says Matthew Marks, the primary lyricist for the band. “It’s about understanding the triumphs, failures, tendencies, and choices of the people who came before, in order to understand how to successfully navigate where you are going.” 

Based in Charleston, WV, the band blends elements of rock and roll, jazz, funk, world music, Appalachian folk, gospel, and other soulful roots music with soaring harmonies, electronic textures, strings, and horns over a solid rhythm section. Along with Ille’s vocals and Marks on guitar, The Company Stores is Michael Micucci on bass, Joseph Cevallos on violin and trumpet, Matthew Jackfert on keys, vibes, trombone, among other instruments, and John Query on drums. 

The Family Album was produced by Robert Mercurio, bassist for New Orleans funk legends Galactic. The instrumentation was recorded by Julian Dreyer at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, NC. Mercurio stepped in as engineer to record the vocal parts at Galactic’s Number C Studio in New Orleans—including bringing in the Josh Kagler Choral Group to enhance the choruses on much of the album. The album was mixed and mastered by Mikael “Count” Eldridge [Trombone Shorty, DJ Shadow, The Revivalists]. 

Mercurio says, “As a producer, I feel like I saw this band grow immensely as songwriters though the process of making this album. We started working on it before the pandemic, and with their downtime they put in the work it takes to make great songs. Illy blossomed into the rock star she now is—crushing the vocals on every take. I’m very proud of the final product and had a blast working with all of them.” Along with his own band, Mercurio has production credits with an impressive list of artists including Big Freedia, Lyrics Born, and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe.

The Company Stores had plans to hit the road hard, raise funds, and save to record their new album in 2020, then all plans got curtailed and almost all of their live shows and side jobs were canceled due to the pandemic. The songs were written during a time of personal havoc for Marks after his engagement had ended and he moved to his family farm, where he still resides, in March 2020 to help with his Grandad who was dying of lung cancer. While first there, he did a deep dive into his family history and roots lending to the content and mood of the album. They were able to start recording in mid-2021 after a year-long pause once things seemed safe for travel again. 

This album tells a story of everything being turned upside down; both personally and across the country,” says Marks. “Together we have been spending countless quarantine hours writing in the rehearsal room, growing as songwriters and musicians, and are getting excited to present what we think will be our greatest record to date.” Jackfert, who is also a freelance composer and classical music broadcaster, collaborated with Marks on the arrangements in shaping the lush orchestral soundscapes.

Ille says, “I am honored that The Company Stores chose my voice as a vehicle to express the stories in The Family Album. Each song is a collection of the people who have shaped us and the times that made us. I hope the listeners are able to connect with the musicality, storytelling, and creativity to feel at home when they listen to it.”

With keys and vibes at the front, the album opens with a moody “Savannah” followed by the fiery “A New Leaf” which explores negative patterns in life, with the lyrics, “Damn… what a year. Sucker punched me to the next hemisphere… And now I’m waking up thunderstruck. Right in front of God and everyoneBut now…clarity… A view from the floor that I had to see myself for sure. To turn over a new leaf…

The 1st Single “Ways” is Available Now

With its rockin’ country western vibe “Ways” continues on this theme, but sees the narrator start to recognize how choices made have developed these patterns of behavior that produce similar outcomes. “These old ways ain’t the best ways, just the ones I know… Trails blazed over time in my mind are deciding where I go… Now I gotta find peace of mind, redefine my life…” “Ways” also sees special guests Walter DeBarr [Song of the Year in Minnesota 2021, William Elliot Whitmore] and Jodi Hall on backing vocals. This song is dedicated to DeBarr, known for his soulful songwriting and deep raspy voice, who sadly passed away shortly after recording with the band. Jambase premiered the “Ways” music video and the song is the album’s first single—available now at thecompanystores.hearnow.com/ways.

Maria” sees someone trapped in comparisons of old relationships and incorporates Latin stylings. Old Dog,” told from two perspectives—the grumpy old dog stuck in his ways and the “Boy” who is bluntly saying “stop barking at the shadows”—has a bit of hip-hop flare on the verses and heavy guitars and horns on the chorus.

Fathers” looks into how mistakes made can be passed down for generations, stuck in a cycle. Marks, whose father was a pastor, says, “It’s a very personal song, about my father, and his father. I am being as honest with myself and listeners as I could—baring it all.” Set in the minor key, the acoustic guitar and electric Fender Telecaster with tremolo effects along with the Spanish trumpet at the end gives this a very Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western vibe.

An ethereal “Blue Tide” calls out to explore the dark depths of oneself, while the rock opera, “There Went The Neighborhood” is about seeing the people you shared childhood dreams with deteriorate with the neighborhood you all grew up in. The progressive “American Dream Girl” sees a few time signature changes and calls out, “Hey, American Dream Girl. Who are you trying to be? You’re in a dream world. Somebody else’s dream… But every filter veils a real identity.”

Some Sunday,” composed and written by Micucci, has a R&B flavor, with a focus on bass and groove. The album closes with a southern rock gospel ambience in “Castles & Cain,” a song about trying to live up to your family name, and realizing that the people who you respect and even idolize had highs and lows just like everyone else.

The name “The Company Stores” is a throwback to the old coal mines of West Virginia referring to the store in Appalachian coal towns during the 19th and 20th century where workers were paid in coal money or “scrip,” leaving them with no exit from working the mines. This name not only shows the bands heritage, but also the gritty feel of their music and the meaning behind many of their songs about the struggles of the common man.

The Family Album is preceded by the 2017 release Little Lights, also recorded at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, and their local debut Rollin’ In in 2014. Mother Church Pew says, “The Company Stores‘ Little Lights features a fiery backdrop of musicality that begs for a festival-sized stage and a whole lot of sunshine. It’s punchy, it’s poignant, and it’s perfect” and Jammerzine says it is “filled with emotional highs and empathetic harmonies laid over an almost orchestral level of musicianship.” 

The Company Stores says, “We look forward to the day when we can sing, dance, laugh, and cry with you in a room filled with music once again.” Keep an eye on their website and socials for tour dates and further news: www.thecompanystoresband.com, facebook.com/thecompanystores, twitter.com/CompanyStoresWV and instagram.com/thecompanystores

Presave and preorder The Family Album at https://thecompanystores.hearnow.com

The Company Stores – The Family Album – Track Listing

1. Savannah (4:08)
2. A New Leaf (3:31)
3. Ways (3:47)
4. Maria (5:53)
5. Old Dog (4:58)*
6. Fathers (4:07)*
7. Blue Tide (3:47
8. There Went The Neighborhood (2:43)*
9. American Dream Girl (3:32)
10. Some Sunday (3:58)
11. Castles & Cain (3:54)

*FCC Warning: please note explicit language
Radio edited versions are available for “Old Dog” and “There Went The Neighborhood”

Read Full Post »

Vibrant, Rootsy, and Vivid, Damn Tall Buildings
Independently Release Their 3rd Album

Sleeping Dogs Sept 9

1st Single “Cold Rain” Out Today 


Presave/ Preorder Sleeping Dogs

“Virtually unmatched energy and enthusiasm, underpinned by intelligent songs that don’t skimp on the infectiousness… The musicianship is smart and skilled, but still playful and groove savvy”
Saving Country Music

“The Carter Family for the millennial generation” —The Boston Globe

“The natural groove made by a string band seriously happy with the music they are making speaks louder than words” —The Alternate Root

Brooklyn, NY — Acoustic Americana trio fed on bluegrass, roots rock, old time, and vintage swing, Damn Tall Buildings are excited to release their 3rd album, Sleeping Dogs, on September 9. Whether sharing lead vocals and instrumental solos or blending their voices into loose, joyous harmony, the three members of Damn Tall Buildings—multi-instrumentalist and primary lyricist Max Capistran (guitar and banjo), bassist Sasha Dubyk, and fiddler Avery Ballotta—delight in entertaining.

Witty and engaging, Damn Tall Buildings’ energizing music finds beauty and glory in the mundane workaday struggle of everyday life: time keeps passing and the seasons come and go, you scroll too much, you smoke too much, you lose yourself, only to sit with yourself and find yourself again, you laugh with your friends, and you look out the window and dream about what else might be out there. It all keeps coming around. You carry on, intent on flourishing and thriving. This is what Damn Tall Buildings sings about, what they seek to share with their audience.

Sleeping Dogs is a bop about looking things smack-dab-right-in-the-face and is essentially about how it has become almost impossible to not be constantly influenced by current events, media, and all of the other things that surround you in your day-to-day life.

Sleeping Dogs opener, “What A Nice Life,” has some extra pep to balance out the darker “I-don’t-know-who-I-am-anymore” lyrics. The old timey, swingin’ “Dark Window Panes” (which adds Garrett Eaton [Dana Williams, Gracie and Rachel] on trumpet) and “Podcast” see the band pondering a pending apocalypse.

1st Single “Cold Rain” Out Today 

The velvety and rejuvenating “Cold Rain” is the album’s first single, and was premiered by AmericanaUK who calls it, “music that is determinedly of Now.” For the song, they are joined by mandolin wizard Dylan McCarthy (2019 Rockygrass Mandolin Champion) and rock-steady drummer Micah Cowher [STOMP in NYC]. Micah also lays down the beat on the catchy “Sweet Girl,” with its chorus, “I am not myself, I am everyone else,” which became what the band calls, “the motto for the record; It’s basically our new anthem.” 

Damn Tall Buildings calls Sleeping Dogs, “an exploration to the depths of oneself to discover who we truly are… maybe it really is as simple as buying some new shoes, and feeling really good wearing ‘em, while you cruise down the block on the sunny side of the street.” You can hear this cheery sentiment echoed in the deep groove and colorful melodies of “Lemons,” in which the virtuosic flute playing of Anh Phung [Twisted Pine] elevates the song to a new level. This fresh energy can also be felt as the sunshine slips in on “Patio.”

The mid-tempo shuffle “Painter” illustrates a re-emergence into the world; with Lars Thorson [Kane Brown] bringing the magic of the lap steel to this track. They slow things down a bit in a rainy day ode to waiting, “Quietly Heartbreaking,” and the gentle “My Baby.”

The album closes with the title track, “Sleeping Dogs,” pulling from the old proverb—“Don’t you let them sleeping dogs lie”—the song emphasizes the theme of the album: don’t ignore life, get out there and live it, take pleasure and meaning from the little things that keep us all connected and growing.

Self produced and recorded, the album was mixed & mastered by Dan Cardinal [Darlingside, Lula Wiles, Josh Ritter] at Dimension Sound Studios. Dan also played keyboard on the title track, adding to the texture of the song.

The trio is individually from all over the United States (New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Montana), but were born as a band while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in 2013. They started as buskers on Newbury Street in Boston, started touring nationally, and then moved the band to Brooklyn in 2017. Since their busking days, they’ve made two albums—Cure-All (2014) and Don’t Look Down (2019)—and released a self-titled EP in 2015. 

Sleeping Dogs Track Listing
1.) What A Nice Life – 3:02^
2.) Dark Window Panes – 1:56
3.) Podcast – 3:40
4.) Cold Rain – 3:31^
5.) Lemons – 2:3
6.) My Baby – 4:19
7.) Patio – 2:25 
8.) Painter – 2:27
9.) Quietly Heartbreaking – 3:40
10.) Sweet Girl – 2:56
11.) Sleeping Dogs – 2:58
^FCC Warning

Twitter: @DamnTallTweets
Instagram: @gramtallbuildings
YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/damntallbuildings 

Damn Tall Buildings on Tour:

7/15 Fri – Towne Crier – Beacon, NY
7/16 Sat – The R Bar – Asbury Park, NJ
7/20 Wed – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY
7/23-24 Sat-Sun – Hiawatha Music Festival – Marquette, MI 
7/28-29 Thu-Fri – Ossipee Valley Music Festival – S. Hiram, ME
7/31 Sat – The Word Barn – Exeter, NH
8/4 Thu – Kent Summer Concert Series – Kent, WA
8/6 Sat – Hart House Concert – Beaverton, OR
8/7 Sun – Yachats Commons Building – Yachats, OR
8/10 Wed – The Royal Room (w/ Carly Ann Calbero) – Seattle, WA
8/12-14 Fri-Sun – Bear Creek Folk Festival – Grand Prairie, AB, Canada
9/3 Sat – Rettich Preserve @ Madison Land Trust – Madison, CT
9/9 Fri – Coppell Arts Center – Coppell, TX
9/10 Sat – Cactus Cafe – Austin, TX 
9/15-17 Thu-Sat – Walnut Valley Music Festival – Winfield, KS
9/27-29 Tue-Thu – IBMA Bluegrass Ramble – Raleigh, NC
9/30 Fri – Bourgie Nights – Wilmington, NC
10/1 Sat – IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass Festival – Martin St. Stage  – Raleigh, NC
10/13 Thu – Parlor Room – Northampton, MA
10/15 Sat – Glastonbury Apple Harvest & Music Festival – Glastonbury, CT
10/16 Sun – 118 North – Wayne, PA
11/10 Thu – Prius Hall-Ball State University – Muncie, IN
11/11 Fri – Thrasher Opera House – Green Lake, WI

Read Full Post »