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

1st Single “Ways” Out Today →
https://thecompanystores.hearnow.com/ways 

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
thecompanystores.hearnow.com/way

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”

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

Sleeping Dogs Sept 9

1st Single “Cold Rain” Out Today 

https://damntallbuildings.hearnow.com/cold-rain

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 
damntallbuildings.hearnow.com/cold-rain

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

www.damntallbuildings.com
www.facebook.com/DamnTallBuildings 
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

Bill Scorzari Independently Releases
The Crosswinds of Kansas
August 19, 2022

First Single I-70 East Available Now at Spotify,Amazon, and Apple

The Musicians:
Bill Scorzari, Brent Burke, Cindy Richardson Walker and Marie Lewey a/k/a The Shoals Sisters,” Chelsea McGough, Danny Mitchell, Eamon McLoughlin, Fats Kaplin, Juan Solorzano, Kyle Tuttle, Matt Menefee, Mia Rose Lynne, Michael Rinne, Neilson Hubbard, Ty Allison, Will Kimbrough 

Co-Produced by Scorzari and Hubbard,
The Crosswinds of Kansas Was
Recorded in Two Locations:
First Thunder Recording Studios by Scorzari in Huntington, NY
and Skinny Elephant Recording by Engineer Dylan Alldredge in Nashville

HUNTINGTON, NY — “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,” says Acoustic Guitar. Scorzari, a prolific songwriter, has taken his craft to new heights and deeper depths with his 4th studio album, The Crosswinds of Kansas which will be independently released on August 19.

Much of The Crosswinds of Kansas was inspired by his three-month-long 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 had 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 on the long drives between performances, until the tour came to an unexpected early end when Bill learned of the sudden decline in the health of his then 94 year old mother back home in NY.

Bill started his four-day drive home back east from California; when he got to Kansas on the second day, the winds were blowing so hard North and South across I-70 East that he had to fight the steering wheel for hours just to keep his car going straight down the highway. He stopped in Hays, KS for the night and woke up the next morning with a sore neck and arms from wrestling those tenacious crosswinds the day before. The following lines came to him while he was driving, “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.” “I-70 East” is the first single to be released and is available now to stream or purchase → https://billscorzari.hearnow.com/i-70-east. Americana Highways premiered the music video for the song and says, “He’s captured such pain. And the beauty of a Rose.”

After arriving back home in NY and securing 24-hour care for his mom in late 2019, Bill took a deep breath, and began to write. Some of the songs were new creations and some were reworkings of songs from his back catalog which also fit well within the themes and moods of what was becoming the new album. He spent the early days of the Covid lockdown finishing the songs, gathering the right instruments to fit the music, and building out his studio—First Thunder where he recorded much of the album. All the while, he continued to share time with his mom daily, until she passed at home on Christmas Day 2020 with Bill and family at her bedside, less than seven weeks before her 96th Birthday. 

With Scorzari drawing inspiration from a full palette of moods and emotions, the 13 original tracks on The Crosswinds of Kansas have many stories to tell— some confront the darker emotions head-on. 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.”  

Scorzari recounts a hard tale of the destruction of a relationship in the rootsy “The Broken Heart Side of the Road,” while “Multnomah Falls” weaves a chronicle of a rainy day’s hike into an account of the trials of change and transcendence set to cascading mandolin lines. The orchestral “Oceans In Your Eyes” recounts a perilous navigation through an enchanted captivation, and a wistfully nostalgic “Patience and Time” haunts with lyrics, “… and I don’t think there’s anything that’s ever been as ‘this much’ on my mind. And with each day that’s passed I’m holding fast to patience and time, ‘cause nothing can outlast patience and time.”

Nostalgia is revisited in the hypnotic “Try, Try Again” and “Not Should’ve Known” presents a combination of uncertainty and prescience with its lyrics, “I’m just waitin’ for the courage to accept what I can’t change. Still, I can’t help but worry ‘bout how sometimes things turn strange and how with every situation that confronts me to my core, there comes a realization that I seem to have had beforewhat if I knew, and not should’ve known?” 

With the electric-guitar-driven opening track ”I-70 East,” the transcendent “All Behind Me Now,” the uplifting “1, 2, 3, Jump,” the fast-moving acoustic jam of “A Ghost, My Hat and My Coat,” and the rhythmic, semi-autobiographical, sound-collage that is “The Measure of a Man,” Scorzari achieves a beautiful balance in this new collections of songs.

Bringing a mix of contemporary and Indigenous instruments, “Inside My Heart” opens with the bell chime of a Tibetan singing bowl, a cluster of claw-hammer banjo notes and a Native American flute flourish, while the intriguing backstory of the making of the album finds Bill learning his lyrics in Navajo from a Navajo flutemaker named Ty Allison and his friends, and recording those lyrics, and the two flutes made by Ty, onto the final track, “Tryin’, Tryin’, Tryin’, Tryin’.” 

Bill says of learning Navajo, “It was an incredible honor for me. Beyond words. I’m also going to very candidly say that it was, however, no small task, and something that I would not have been able to do without the patient teaching, support and encouragement by, and friendship of Ty, Caleb and David. It is a connection that I will always cherish.”

The album was recorded in two locations—beginning in 2020 at First Thunder Recording Studios in Huntington, NY, by Scorzari during the Covid outbreak and through the continued lockdown into 2021, and continuing at Skinny Elephant Recording in Nashville, TN, by Engineer Dylan Alldredge in 2021 and again in 2022. 

Acclaimed record producer, film director, film producer, singer-songwriter, and photographer, Neilson Hubbard joined Bill as Co-Producer during the Nashville sessions, and also played drums and/or percussion on all of the tracks. Bill says, “Neilson has, among many other things, produced records for Mary Gauthier, Sam Baker, Kim Richey, and others, and his musical and production sense is spot on, and it appears to be effortlessly so. The man has a gift, and I am so very grateful for his friendship and for his many great talents which he has shared with me over the past several years.”

The musicians who joined in for the recording of The Crosswinds of Kansas include the following folks who, along with Scorzari and Hubbard, make up the band’s core: Michael Rinne [Willie Nelson, Rodney Crowel, Jack White, Miranda Lambert] brings his impeccable musical sense and technique on upright and electric bass as the perfect foundation for these new songs; Danny Mitchell [Miranda Lambert] played Hammond B3 Organ and Piano on this record with a masterfully cinematic approach; Fats Kaplin [John Prine, Jack White, Nancy Griffith] added his richly melodic and rhythmic sensibilities playing pedal steel guitar, fiddle, and viola; and Juan Solorzano plays electric, slide, and baritone guitars with flawless technique and heart wrenching phrasing.

Bill Scorzari. Photography by Jacob Blickenstaff 

Additional players joining in on several tracks during the summer 2021 Nashville sessions include Matt Menefee [Bela Fleck, Dan Auerbach, Ricky Skaggs] AKA “Matt, TheBanjoPlayer” on banjo; world class Dobro player Brent Burke [Rhonda Vincent and The Rage]; the multi-talented Will Kimbrough on mandolin; accomplished cellist Chelsea McGough; acclaimed banjo player Kyle Tuttle; and gifted vocalist Mia Rose Lynne on harmony vocals. 

Later, in September of 2021, Bill returned to Nashville to work with Dylan on the final mixes. But before doing so, he brought in a few other stellar musicians to wrap up the final recordings including Eamon McLoughlin [Staff Fiddle Player at The Grand Ole Opry, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell] who played violin on 2 songs, and the incomparable Marie Lewey and Cindy Richardson Walker [AKA The Shoals Sisters] who sang backing vocals on 4 songs.

In early 2022, Bill recorded some backing vocal and harmony vocal tracks for the song, “Tryin’, Tryin’, Tryin’, Tryin’” at his studio in New York. For the final piece to complete the record, he asked Ty to send him a short cell phone recording of himself singing a Navajo chant, which Bill edited to make it sound like a historically older recording before adding it in at the end of the song. It’s also the very last sound on the album. Bill says, “When I was done and listened back to it, the song (and the album) felt complete, and the history it has gathered is abundant and beautiful.”

Bill says, “For me, the journey that had begun in 2019 (and in many respects, much earlier), became a journey into the depths of my soul, not just in a nebulous aspirational or conceptual sense, but in its fruition, and this album is a record of many of the ways in which it has all unfolded for me so far. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have occupied my time with this effort and for the opportunity to continue to participate in the dance that is life, through this pandemic and beyond.”

He continues, “It has been an arduous and relentless trek to the ultimate discovery that we are here simply to dwell in the experience of being human and to come to know that wherever that experience may take us, and to whatever heights or depths we may rise or fall in it, it is all nothing less than an unspeakably generous and miraculous gift of life and great love.”

More about Bill Scorzari: 

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 Lawyer, to a new life as an accomplished, full-time musician. To date, 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.

Through These Waves landed on many Top-Ten-Albums-of-2017 lists including Folk Alley and Elmore Magazine, with Elmore saying, “…this is a must hear for singer-songwriter aficionados.” More recently, Now I’m Free was premiered by Billboard, with an exclusive interview by Gary Graff who described the album as “delicately nuanced” with “detailed arrangements” and Glide Magazine’s Jim Hynes wrote, “Like them [Dylan, Waits, Kristofferson, and Sam Baker] too, Scorzari’s facility with words and poetic flair, instills a calming wisdom and creaks of hope among the dark.”

More information can be found at: www.billscorzari.com.

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

Album Art & Design by Anna Berman

www.billscorzari.com

Initial Lineup Announced for the 6th Suwannee Roots Revival 

October 13-16, 2022 at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL

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
and more!

Tickets → suwanneerootsrevival.com/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 thrilled to announce an initial lineup of incredible musicians for 2022 including 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, 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 more to be announced!

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.

“Creating a lineup has always seemed like painting a musical picture to me,” says Festival Director Beth Judy. “The work in progress for this year’s Suwannee Roots Revival is taking shape nicely starting with the vivid and unique hues of JJ Grey & Mofro and Punch Brothers to complement the colorful collection of artists we’re blessed to have joining us. I look forward to the completion of this work of art very soon and I’m thrilled at the choices on my musical palate. I can’t wait to share the final product with you!” 

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 Tickets are $140 (includes fees and taxes); Student / Military Early Bird are $130 (with a valid ID). Get your tickets quickly because there is a limited supply before the Early Bird Tier will sell out and they rise to the next pricing tier automatically—Early Bird Tier 2 Tickets at $175. 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 Initial 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
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
& more to be announced!

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).

SAINT DISRUPTION’S JOHN MEDESKI AND JEFF FIREWALKER CELEBRATE
50 YEARS OF JOHN LENNON’S “IMAGINE”
FEATURING GUITAR LEGEND WARREN HAYNES

Saint Disruption’s “Imagine” Out Now https://orcd.co/stdimagine 

… this version brings together soulful vocal harmonies and dignified yet ominous piano work. What could be described as almost a hip-hop beat provides the rhythmic backbone that pushes the song forward and allows the vocals and piano to shine. With Medeski’s effortlessly cool jazzy touch and Haynes adding textures with his subtle slide playing, the vocals are allowed to soar to new heights and present this song in a more grandiose manner that feels spiritual.
Glide Magazine Song Premiere

ASHEVILLE, NC —Saint Disruption, the spirit-driven music and art collective led by renowned  improvisational keyboardist John Medeski (cofounder of Medeski Martin & Wood) and musician, scientist, and folk healer Jeff Firewalker Schmitt, has created a soulful rendition of John Lennon’s classic composition “Imagine.” The single features slide guitar work by Grammy winning vocalist, songwriter, guitar legend, and Gov’t Mule front man Warren Haynes, marking the first time that Haynes has recorded with his nephew Austn Haynes, cofounder of Asheville-based hip-hop quartet Free Radio.

Out April 8, 2022 via Root Doctor Collective, the track also features impressively dynamic vocalists—Datrian Johnson and Grammy winning artist Debrissa McKinney (both of whom also work with Austn in Free Radio)—with the foundational bass parts played by Jake Wolf.

Noted Asheville spiritual artist Saïd Osio provides the striking original artwork inspired by the single. “When I was asked to create an image for the new ‘Imagine’ single, I was struck by the richness of John Lennon’s creative vision as a watchtower. I wanted to honor John Lennon in deepening what his song calls forth in me. In this time of upheaval ‘Imagine’ beckons humanity forward, to embrace Gaia as she continues her journey as divine consciousness.”

“Such a cool, inventive take on this timeless tune,” says Warren. “It highlights the amazing strength and importance of the song while taking it into the future. It’s a real honor to work alongside my nephew Austn, my Asheville cohorts and my old friend John Medeski.”

Jeff Firewalker reflects, “We were inspired to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of Lennon’s classic recording ‘Imagine,’ as we feel the message is more pertinent than ever. There are no human dilemmas, no global issues, no societal imperatives that the message of ‘Imagine’ doesn’t touch. We hope that our rendition stands as a ‘call to action,’ as we ask ourselves, “Are we courageous enough to dismantle the structures that have not served us?”

For this song, Medeski provides tasteful, ominous piano work, and skilled arrangements. He also stepped behind the console to mix the highly-textured reimagined track with Chris Bittner at Applehead Studios. John remarks, “I’m very sensitive about covering songs. I don’t see the point unless you have something personal to say or want to shed a different light on the original. ‘Imagine’ is an anthem, so at first, I was tentative. It was essential that we evoke a different emotional landscape as the backdrop for the song— something all of us were feeling. I think it happened. Nothing felt forced, it all came together easily and naturally, a good sign!”

Medeski and Firewalker Schmitt had no idea they’d meet and strike up a friendship when they traveled independently to the heart of the Amazon to work with a shaman healer in 2008— but when they did, a collaborative creative relationship was born. Over a decade after that fateful meeting, in the midst of a global pandemic, the two felt an urgent need to join forces and make music as Saint Disruption. Saint Disruption brings together musicians and artists to create works that support positive change in the world, with a spotlight on the rich artistic community of Asheville, NC as the creative hub. Firewalker and Medeski are pleased to have created the foundation to bring Warren and Austn Haynes together for the first time in a recording. 

Austn comments, “It’s been a long-time in the making for me to collaborate with Warren, and to start by paying homage to a song of this stature was as frightening as it was fitting. Free Radio and Saint Disruption have become like a musical spirit family and bringing Warren into the mix really felt for me like one side of the family finally coming together with the other. I couldn’t be more grateful that it turned out exactly how it did.“

“‘Imagine’ has long been one of my favorite songs,” says Austin of the song that was initially released in October 1971. “Although John Lennon’s classic might not make most people think about hip-hop, for me, I’ve always wanted to remix it and rap on it. In this dark time our world is currently in, I attempted to meet Lennon on his committed frequency of love and add some poetic confidence in the spirit of hip-hop. Working with this group of musicians was humbling and encouraging because they really helped create the space for the presence and camaraderie that brought our version to life.” 

American Songwriter’s Geoffrey Himes writes, “What’s surprising about this partnership between Schmitt and Medeski is how different the results are from what most people expect of ‘spiritual music.’ The two men may have met in a shaman’s kitchen in the far reaches of the Amazon jungle, but the music they created sounds much more like an American street than that rainforest or a guru’s mountaintop. The predominant flavors are hip-hop, funk, blues-rock and electronica, even if the lyrics are probing issues of systemic oppression, personal identity and barriers to spiritual development.” 

Austn Haynes and the entire Free Radio collective is featured on Saint Disruption’s critically acclaimed debut album Rose in the Oblivion [Released April 8, 2021 via Root Doctor Collective.] The debut is a sweeping seven-track opus of probing and political neo-funk featuring contributions from Lyric Jones and Last Poets founder Umar Bin Hassan amongst others. 

Looking forward, Saint Disruption is planning to release more music and visual art collaborations, music videos, and their soon-to-be-launched No Simple Disruption Podcast/Video-show—released in conjunction with the No Simple Road Podcast and The UBC TV Network—which aspires to provide a platform for young visionaries to share their works and engage in deep dialogue with thought-leaders of their choice.

Stream Saint Disruption’s “Imagine” here → https://orcd.co/stdimagine 

Revisit Rose in the Oblivion here: https://orcd.co/saintdisruption.

For further updates and news about Saint Disruption, please visit: 

www.saintdisruption.com 

Anya Hinkle Announces 2022 European Tour
Touring in Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and France This May
w/ Billy Cardine, Mary Lucey, Julian Pinelli, and Marius Pibarot
 
New Single Benefiting Ukraine

“Nightingale (соловейко) – Bootleg for Peace”
All Proceeds go to Benefit The Ukrainian Relief Project – Guardians of Hope

Available Now On Bandcamp →
https://anyahinkle.bandcamp.com/releases

Streaming Everywhere on March 31 → https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/anyahinkle/nightingale—-bootleg-for-peace

ASHEVILLE, NC — With vivid storytelling, vibrant musicianship and arresting honesty, Anya Hinkle explores the beauty of song craft through the lens of the Appalachian string band tradition. She is excited to announce her upcoming European tour as well as a new single, “Nightingale (соловейко) – Bootleg for Peace.” 

Originally from the mountains of Virginia, Anya’s music is steeped in the tones of folk and bluegrass and seasoned by travels across the world. A founding member of Asheville, NC-based bands Dehlia Low (Rebel Records) and Tellico (Organic Records), Anya released the first full-length album under her own name, Eden And Her Borderlands, in July 2021 on Organic Records. Hinkle won the MerleFest Chris Austin Songwriting Competition in 2019 for her song “Ballad of Zona Abston” and was runner-up in the International Acoustic Music Awards in 2022 for her song “Hills of Swannanoa.” 

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.” No Depression calls her song “Lady Luck” “one of roots music’s gems so far this year.”

Anya will be on tour in Europe this May, presenting music from her new album with two wonderful lineups. First, as a trio featuring Billy Cardine on Dobro and Mary Lucey on bass and vocals; the second, in France only, featuring Billy Cardine along with Julian Pinelli on fiddle and vocals, and Marius Pibarot on bass and vocals. 

Anya Hinkle. Photo by WW Reaves

Hinkle says, “This will be my second European tour and my first visit to the far northern countries of the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden. This tour was rescheduled several times due to the pandemic and we are all thrilled to finally be able to have this incredible experience. Sharing music in a different culture brings many things together in a once-in-a-lifetime sort of way—you make memories and form bonds that can never be forgotten.”

She continues, “At the same time, we are saddened by the events in Ukraine. Although the war feels very remote here in the States, I think that in Europe, people feel a real chill in their bones. The old wars linger heavily—the shadows over the generations, the scars on the landscape. As I prepare to visit, I want to bring my new single ‘Nightingale’ with me to try to help in some small way.”

The day after Putin invaded, Anya had decided to take a day-long songwriting retreat:

With a few early images from the New York Times in my mind, somehow a song began, without my trying—I didn’t plan to write about this at all. But the dark grinding images of war were haunting me, and suddenly I thought, ‘there is a bird here.’ I discovered with a quick search that the nightingale is the most highly honored bird of Ukraine. Its song represents fertility, spring, love, and hope

The next day, I played a show and a woman named Tatyana came up to talk to me. She told me that exactly four years ago to the day she had come out to hear me sing and immediately afterward went to the hospital and gave birth to her first child. Our connection was so crazy and delightful. We laughed. Then she told me she was from Ukraine. I told her I had just written a song called “Nightingale” but it needed someone to sing for: Tatyana, and her family in Ukraine. Our conversation turned into a bridge section, and her insights gave the song a real purpose that it didn’t have before.

I made a quick recording in my home studio; Bridger Dunnagan at Echo Mountain Recording Studio here in Asheville donated the mix and David Glasser at Airshow Mastering in Boulder, Colorado donated the master. 

Anya is offering “Nightingale (соловейко) – Bootleg for Peace” as a downloadable track on Bandcamp. 100% of contributions go to The Ukrainian Relief Project – Guardians of Hope, an on-the-ground non-profit organization working to bring supplies back and forth across the Ukrainian border with Poland. It’s a group that Tatyana suggested because it’s someone she actually knows. 

The Anya Hinkle Trio features Dobro master Billy Cardine and Mary Lucey on bass and vocals.

Watch the trio as they perform “Ballad of Zona Abston” live at The Grey Eagle in Asheville → 

Anya Hinkle with Billy Cardine and Mary Lucey

Billy Cardine has been recognized as a slide guitar pioneer, taking the Dobro into unchartered genres for the instrument. Dobro master Jerry Douglas calls him “… an amazing Dobro player… He is fluent in everything that I do and… everybody that has come before. I couldn’t…pick a better example of where the Dobro is now or what the possibilities are with the instrument.” Billy has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and The Grand Ole Opry. He tours and teaches in India, Japan, Europe, and Canada. More info at www.billycardine.com/epk.

Mary Lucey is a talented vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and performer. She has played bass for the The Biscuit Burners and the all female group, Uncle Earl. She has graced stages at The Kennedy Center, Ryman Auditorium, Bonnaroo, MerleFest, Rockygrass, Mountain Stage, and Woodsongs Radio Hour.

Julian Pinelli is a free-spirited violinist who spins deep tone with modern ease. A graduate of Berklee College of music, Julian was awarded the 2016 Fresh Grass Fiddle Award and winner of the 2017 RockyGrass fiddle competition. “His fiddle playing is unique and joyful,” says Aoife O’Donovan, “a rare mix of technical precision and soul.” Darol Anger calls Julian “one of the most exciting fiddlers…who can play just about anything.”

Marius Pibarot is a Franco-American multi-instrumentalist and composer from Paris, France. He has traveled widely to learn the music and cultures of many different countries and namely those of Venezuela, India, Armenia, Turkey, and the US. 

Anya recently joined Black Oak Artists on their booking agency roster. “I’m thrilled to join Black Oak as we springboard from the success we had with Eden and am excited to see where we can go together!!” says Hinkle. Along with her upcoming European Tour, she will be announcing additional US dates, singles and videos ahead of her sophomore solo project, slated for release in 2023. 

NETHERLANDS, DENMARK AND SWEDEN TOUR:
Anya Hinkle Trio Feat. Billy Cardine (Dobro) & Mary Lucey (Bass, Vocals)

May 7 (Sat) Festival Obdam voor Oekraïne – Obdam, Netherlands
May 8 (Sun) Roots of Heaven – Haarlem, Netherlands
May 9 (Mon) Muziekgebouw Frits Philips – Eindhoven, Netherlands
May 10(Tue) Blue Room Sessions – Verkadefabriek, Hertogenbosch
May 11 (Wed) Crossroads @ Vestzaktheater – Bergen op Zoom
May 12 (Thu) TivoliVredenburg Cloud Nine – Utrecht, Netherlands
May 14 (Sat) Cafe De Amer – Amen, Netherlands
May 15 (Sun) Theater Walhalla – Rotterdam, Netherlands
May 18 (Wed) 2022 Grenna Bluegrass Festival – Gränna, Sweden
May 19 (Thu) Karens Minde Kulturhus – Copenhagen, Denmark
May 20 (Fri) Bobuska Cafe – Copenhagen, Denmark
May 21 (Sat) BRUUNS HJØRNE – Skaelskor, Denmark

FRANCE TOUR: 

Anya Hinkle Featuring Billy Cardine (Dobro)
with Julian Pinelli (Fiddle, Vocals) and Marius Pibarot (Bass, Vocals)
May 24 (Tue) La Machine – Trémons, France
May 25 (Wed) 2022 Chez Maquignon – Touvérac, France
May 26 (Thu) La Souris Verte – Épinal France
May 27 (Fri) Peniche Anako – Paris, France
May 28 (Sat) The Church – St. Andeol de Vals, France
May 29 (Sun) TBA – France

Official Videos:

“Eden And Her Borderlands”https://youtu.be/D7-EduKxw_M
“Hills of Swannanoa” →  https://youtu.be/YS5Hkfmb4Bk

Stream Anya Hinkle onlinehttps://clg.lnk.to/PBHjp

Stay tuned to for more information and updates at www.anyahinkle.com.

THE 4TH SUWANNEE SPRING REUNION
MARCH 17-20, 2022
THE SPIRIT OF SUWANNEE MUSIC PARK IN LIVE OAK, FLORIDA

FEATURING 
Greensky Bluegrass – Trampled By Turtles
Yonder Mountain String Band – Sierra Hull

Peter Rowan – Donna The Buffalo
Jim Lauderdale – Verlon Thompson
Roy Book Binder – Jon Stickley Trio – and more

Tickets on sale now atwww.suwanneespringreunion.com 
Early bird ticket price ends Tuesday, March 8 

SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED!

LIVE OAK, FL — Suwannee Spring Reunion is thrilled to kick off the Spring season Thursday through Sunday, March 17-20, 2022. Folks of all ages will be gathering under the gorgeous, mossy live oak laden grounds of The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak, FL for this beloved festival tradition. For four days and nights this family-friendly festival is home to early morning sing-a-longs and night time musical pyrotechnics from the park’s stellar cast of alumni and new favorites hosting a range of original music rooted Americana—Bluegrass, Newgrass, Folk, Singer/Songwriter, Blues, and more. Literally something for everyone!

The Suwannee Spring Reunion 2022 lineup features Greensky Bluegrass, Trampled By Turtles, Yonder Mountain String Band, Sierra Hull, Peter Rowan, Donna The Buffalo, Jim Lauderdale, and more. There will be music on four stages and plenty of music in the campground with jamming at Slopryland and the Bill Monroe Shrine as well as camp pickin’ parties. Hands-on and performance workshops will be held throughout the weekend with a variety of artists set to perform.  

The full schedule of events has been announced and can be found at www.suwanneespringreunion.com/schedule

Yonder Mountain String Band closes out the Amphitheater Stage Thursday Night with a two hour set from 11pm-1am, following Sierra Hull’s set on the stage from 8:30pm-10pm. In between them, Jon Stickley Trio will stun with a riveting set on the Porch Stage. The festival kicks off with an opening set by The Grass Is Dead at 4pm and other highlights in Thursday’s already jam-packed day include Jim Lauderdale, Mike + Ruthy, The Applebutter Express, The Firewater Tent Revival, and Two Foot Level.

Greensky Bluegrass headlines Friday night at 9:30pm on the Amphitheater Stage with Donna the Buffalo playing the sunset set (6:45pm) and Jon Stickley Trio closing out the latenight from 12:30-2am. Highlights of others performing around the festival Friday include Rev. Jeff Mosier Ensemble, Verlon Thompson, and Chatham County Line on the Porch Stage; Free Range Strange, Two Foot Level, Nikki Talley, and a closing set by The Grass Is Dead in the Music Tent Stage; and on The Music Farmers Stage: a sing-a-long harmony workshop with Mike + Ruthy (of The Mammals), a banjo workshop with Rev. Jeff Mosier, and a blues guitar workshop with Roy Book Binder.

Saturday night headliners are Trampled By Turtles at 9:30pm on the Amphitheater Stage. Peter Rowan plays at 7pm (He will also perform at 1pm on the Porch Stage) and Donna the Buffalo closes out the stage with a late night power set; Songs From The Road Band and Chatham County Line play the Amphitheater Stage in the daytime. Other Saturday highlights include Town Mountain, Fireside Collective, and Tony Furtado with Luke Price on the Porch Stage; a closing set on the Music Tent Stage by Songs From The Road Band—following sets by Quartermoon, Jon Stickley Trio, and Verlon Thomson; and on the Music Farmers Stage sets by The Low Crows and Free Range Strange as well as workshops with Tom Nelly (guitar) and Tony Furtado with Luke Price (banjo and fiddle).

Sunday will always be known as Vassar Sunday in honor of the late and great Vassar Clements who used to frequent the festivities at the park. Donna the Buffalo will close out the festival on The Amphitheater Stage and as is their fashion– they will host a number of folks to perform along with them in a closing jam. Who knows who will end up on stage?! Others set to play Sunday across the festival include Town Mountain, Peter Rowan, Verlon Thomspon, Rev. Jeff Mosier, and more.

“Back in early March 2020, we were on the cusp of things closing down because of COVID-19. The pressure to make the eventual decision to cancel the festival was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” says Beth Judy, Festival Director. “That makes it so much more thrilling for the Suwannee Spring Reunion to finally be happening again after two years of not being able to put it on because of the pandemic. This incredible lineup has many of the acts slated to happen back then, plus a few more to sweeten the pot!” 

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 an array of culinary delights ranging from healthy to decadent in the Vending Village. 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 Spring Reunion 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 Tickets are on sale now with a price of $175 (includes fees and taxes); Student / Military Early Bird are $160 (with a valid ID). Get your tickets before the Early Bird Tier ends good through March 8, 2022. 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 www.suwanneespringreunion.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 Spring Reunion 2022
Greensky Bluegrass
Trampled By Turtles
Yonder Mountain String Band
Sierra Hull
Peter Rowan
Donna The Buffalo
Jim Lauderdale 
Verlon Thompson
Roy Book Binder
Jon Stickley Trio
Town Mountain
Chatham County Line
Fireside Collective
Rev Jeff Mosier Ensemble
Songs From The Road Band
The Grass Is Dead
Tony Furtado with Luke Price
Two Foot Level
Mike + Ruthy 
Nikki Talley
Quartermoon
Sloppy Joe
The Low Crows
The Applebutter Express
Free Range Strange
Firewater Tent Revival
Habanero Honeys
Tania & The Magic Moon Traveling Circus

For more information, tickets, and to reserve camping, please visit www.suwannee spring reunion.com.

Chris Castino & Chicken Wire Empire Independently Release Fresh Pickles
A Star-Studded Bluegrass Restyling of Castino’s Music with The Big Wu

Featuring appearances by

Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Vince Herman, Nick Forster, Tim O’Brien, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Andy Hall, and Album Co-Producer Adam Greuel

~Fresh Pickles Out TODAY February 4, 2022~
www.chriscastino.com

“Chris Castino is one of those rare musicians who thrives in multiple styles. In his case, the styles are rock and bluegrass. In a conversation with Phil Nusbaum, Chris spoke of his journey becoming a pro musician.”
KBEM Jazz88.5’s Bluegrass Saturday Morning with Phil Nusbaum

“Chris Castino’s love of bluegrass started in the mid ’90s when a lot of that music was lively, fun, and irreverent – much like 1995’s ‘Kangaroo.’”
The Bluegrass Situation Premieres “Kangaroo” 

“Castino sings with the kind of laid back, campfire swagger that lends itself well to this light-hearted advisory of a tune, and one can picture it right at home in the grainy picking sessions of Heartworn Highways… Castino is naturally suited for the bluegrass life and there is plenty to be excited for on Fresh Pickles.”
Glide Magazine Premieres “Jackson County”

St. Paul, Minn. — Chris Castino, the primary songwriter for The Big Wu, recently took the opportunity, while sitting through COVID-19 lock-downs in 2020 and 2021, to arrange some of his catalog into impeccably fitting bluegrass tunes with the incredibly talented band Chicken Wire Empire from Milwaukee, WI. With many of Chris’ lifelong musical heroes collaborating, including several GRAMMY winning artists in the bluegrass and Americana: Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Andy Hall, Vince Herman, Nick Forster, Keller Williams, and Adam Greuel, this feels like a classic bluegrass album and sounds instantly familiar. 

Fresh Pickles is a light-hearted, down-home concept that plays with the idea that although some of the songs were written many years before, they now feel brand new. Fresh. The album highlights some of his most beloved tunes with a classic 70’s and 80’s alt-bluegrass sound; it features stomping rippers and sweet, harmonic ballads, as well as a taste of genre-shifting psychedelic rides.

Met with critical acclaim, including premieres in The Bluegrass Situation, Relix, and Glide, as well as significant radio airplay and on the air in over 20 states—the album is currently at #4 on the Alt Country Chart this week and on the rise on the Americana and Jamband radio charts. Fresh Pickles was independently released February 4 and is now available to stream and purchase → https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/chriscastinowithchickenwireempire/fresh-pickles.

Chris Castino
Photo by David Jackson

Chris says, “What turned out to be just something to occupy our time while we weren’t touring, became something outstanding. It brings me joy to hear how these songs in particular have been given new life. For music lovers who are unfamiliar with my songs I truly believe that this record will be a fresh experience for them. It’s not essential to understand the history of these songs to appreciate them.” 

Album co-producer Adam Greuel (Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, The High Hawks) says, “I’ve always heard and felt the influence of bluegrass music on Caz’s songwriting. Lyrically, his content and themes seem to occasionally draw from that tradition, while the music has hints of that bluegrass drive or perhaps the sweetness of a traditional waltz. When Castino gave me a ring and explained that he was interested in breathing some new life into some of his more loved Big Wu classics by way of bluegrass, my initial reaction was raw excitement.”

Fresh Pickles can be seen as a retrospective and reexamination of Castino’s music through a bluegrass lens. The album features 11 original songs penned by Castino. All of which, but one, were first released on four of The Big Wu’s five studio albums spanning from 1997-2019. The Big Wu is a longtime popular Minnesota-based rock’n’roll jamband who formed in 1992. The band’s momentum was driven by Castino’s catchy songwriting and the band’s hefty tour schedule in the late 90’s early 00’s, which launched the band into becoming a mainstay in the national roots and jamband scene as a full-time touring commodity for years. They had quickly ascended from the comforts of the local club scene to playing H.O.R.D.E Fest, Bonnaroo (being the first band to perform at the inaugural event), Gathering of the Vibes, High Sierra, and the list goes on.

Castino’s early passion for bluegrass music was cultivated by his father, a professional singer of standards, who was captivated by that plaintive, lonesome vocal style. He says, “I learned all he could from the weekly dose of bluegrass served, like some foreign cuisine to the northern city folk of Minneapolis who knew not the traditions of the southern hill folk, by host Phil Nusbaum and his 35+ years long running radio show Bluegrass Saturday Morning on local community radio: to this day.” Captivated, he began to steer his composing down this road. 

Fresh Pickles aims to satisfy your cravings and is just the beginning of Castino’s heartfelt and fulfilling voyage into bluegrass. Always true to the tradition and authentic in presentation, Fresh Pickles is packed with great music. 

What folks are saying:

“Some tunes are firecrackers & others are dynamite. ‘Red Sky,’ is a workout that smokes. Guest fiddle-player Sam Bush provides the drive on this splendid tune. What makes Castino special is his ability to keep the bluegrass recipe spiced up with genre-shifting. He adds hints of 60s psychedelia, harmonic ballads, yet keeps it true to the tradition. This isn’t a novelty record; the songs are serious & well-played… These musicians must enjoy what they do because their joy translates through their instruments. The energy, fingering techniques, are all proponents that deliver substance with a modicum of joy. There aren’t any low points, missteps, loss of heat in any of these melodies.” —Americana Highways, John Apice

“This album is a collection of eleven beautifully complex and wonderfully arranged songs that highlight the lyrics and vocal abilities of Chris Castino. As the Big Wu fans have come to expect from him, he has delivered a masterpiece, a guided tour through a rootsy tapestry of sound that will make them all feel at home, even if in a slightly different musical environment… This is definitely an album for all Bluegrass fans … a triumph of technical ability bonded perfectly with the accessibility of the songs. An excellent addition to any country or bluegrass playlist… some astonishing music.”
Alan Cackett (UK)

“…the energy from the stage was powerful…the room even had a similar festival feel as The Big Wu show… the best part was standing near fans, who would shout within seconds of the song starting the title of the new Jam turned Bluegrass song and the delight of fans of Chris and the Chicken Wire Empire. It’s fun to get a new look (or listen) at music.”
Mostly Minnesota, Ann Treacy (Live show review Hook & Ladder 1/28/22)

“The Big Wu play a fairly large role in my high school and college days. I grew up in Aberdeen, SD, which seemed to be a common tour stop for the band. We even got a shoutout on the song ‘Red Sky’ (‘from Butte to Aberdeen’) and a nickname from the band, the Aberdeen Army… Each of these songs brings me to a place of nostalgia in the best possible way. That said, they are reimagined in a way that is still familiar and at the same time totally fresh pickles.”
KAXE, Kari Hedlund

“…don’t worry if you’re not familiar with The Big Wu, for this album can certainly function as an introduction to the band’s music. As long as you like good songwriting and appreciate some fine bluegrass playing, you’ll enjoy this album.”
Michael Doherty’s Music Log

“It is so great to hear Chris playing and singing with some of the best in the ever-expanding bluegrass world. To go from one of the seminal jambands of my young adult life to a bluegrass outfit is a testament to his versatility. Always loved Chris’s voice!”  —Adam Ajala (Yonder Mountain String Band)

“Castino is one witty and wild loon. His lyrics tell a vivid story and his chord progressions are often that lovely balance between familiar and boundary-pushing.” —Adam Greuel

“It’s fun to collaborate with old bros. This direction seems to make sense for Chris. Storytelling and quick picking is right up his alley.” Keller Williams

Fresh Pickles Track Listing:
1.) Kangaroo 2:38
2.) Red Sky 4:25 (feat. Sam Bush)
3.) Bound For the South 5:26 (w/ Tim O’Brien and Nick Forster)
4.) Shanty Town 3:24 (feat. Vince Herman)
5.) Minnesota Moon 3:41 (w/ Adam Greuel)
6.) Texas Fireball 2:38 (feat. Keller Williams and Andy Hall)
7.) Young Pioneer 3:57
8.) Rhode Island Red 3:18
9.) Jackson County 5:33 (feat. Jerry Douglas and Adam Greuel)
10.) The Ballad of Dan Toe 6:32 (feat. Peter Rowan and Jerry Douglas)
11.) Irregular Heartbeat 4:59

Fresh Pickles Instrumentation:

Chris Castino – vocals, guitar

Chicken Wire Empire:
Jordan Kroeger – bass
Ernest Brusbardis IV – fiddle, vocals
Jon Peik – banjo, vocals
Ryan Ogburn – mandolin

WuGrass: Chris Castino & Chicken Wire Empire Tour Dates:
2/11 Fri – Martyrs  – Chicago, IL
2/12 Sat – Cavalier Theater & Lounge – LaCross, WI
3/17 Thu – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe – Kalamazoo, MI
3/18 Fri – Woodlands Tavern w/ Del McCoury Band – Columbus, OH
3/19 Sat – Parliament Room at Otus Supply – Ferndale, MI
4/28 Thu – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI
5/27 Fri – Revival Music Festival – Clarks Grove, MN

###

ANNOUNCING THE 4TH SUWANNEE SPRING REUNION
MARCH 17-20, 2022
THE SPIRIT OF SUWANNEE MUSIC PARK IN LIVE OAK, FLORIDA

FEATURING 
Greensky Bluegrass – Trampled By Turtles
Yonder Mountain String Band – Sierra Hull

Peter Rowan – Donna The Buffalo
Jim Lauderdale – Verlon Thompson
Roy Book Binder – Jon Stickley Trio – and more!

Early Bird Tickets on sale now atwww.suwanneespringreunion.com

LIVE OAK, FL —  The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) is thrilled to announce the return of  the Suwannee Spring Reunion, set to take place Thursday through Sunday, March 17-20, 2022 at SOSMP in Live Oak, FL. 

The Suwannee Spring Reunion lineup for 2022 features Greensky Bluegrass, Trampled By Turtles, Yonder Mountain String Band, Sierra Hull, Peter Rowan, Donna The Buffalo, Jim Lauderdale , Verlon Thompson, Roy Book Binder, Jon Stickley Trio, Town Mountain, Chatham County Line, Fireside Collective, Rev Jeff Mosier Ensemble, The Grass Is Dead, Songs From The Road Band, Two Foot Level, Nikki Talley, Quartermoon, Sloppy Joe, The Low Crows, and Habanero Honeys.

“Back in early March 2020, we were on the cusp of things closing down because of COVID-19. The pressure to make the eventual decision to cancel the festival was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” says Beth Judy, Festival Director. “That makes it so much more thrilling for the Suwannee Spring Reunion to finally be happening again after two years of not being able to put it on because of the pandemic. This incredible lineup has many of the acts slated to happen back then, plus a few more to sweeten the pot!” 

Folks of all ages will make plans to gather at during the forefront of spring at this gorgeous park and its mossy live oak laden grounds for this beloved festival tradition that features a range of music genres rooted in original music – Americana: Bluegrass, Newgrass, Folk, Singer/Songwriter, Blues, and more. Literally something for everyone!

For four days and nights this family-friendly festival is home to early morning sing-a-longs and night time musical pyrotechnics from the park’s stellar cast of alumni and new favorites. There will be music on four stages and Suwannee Spring Reunion attendees will also enjoy music in the campground with jamming at Slopryland and the Bill Monroe Shrine as well as camp pickin’ parties. Hands-on and performance workshops will be held throughout the weekend with a variety of artists set to perform.  

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 an array of culinary delights ranging from healthy to decadent in the Vending Village. 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 Spring Reunion 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 Tickets are on sale now with a price of $140 (includes fees and taxes) good through January 4th, 2022. Student / Military Early Bird are $130 (with a valid ID). Get your tickets before the Early Bird Tier ends. 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 www.suwanneespringreunion.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 Spring Reunion 2022
Greensky Bluegrass
Trampled By Turtles
Yonder Mountain String Band
Sierra Hull
Peter Rowan
Donna The Buffalo
Jim Lauderdale 
Verlon Thompson
Roy Book Binder
Jon Stickley Trio
Town Mountain
Chatham County Line
Fireside Collective
Rev Jeff Mosier Ensemble
The Grass Is Dead
Songs From The Road Band
Two Foot Level
Nikki Talley
Quartermoon
Sloppy Joe
The Low Crows
Habanero Honeys
For more information, tickets, and to reserve camping, please visit www.suwannee spring reunion.com.

Chris Castino & Chicken Wire Empire Independently Release Fresh Pickles
A Star-Studded Bluegrass Restyling of Castino’s Music with The Big Wu

Featuring guest appearances by

Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Andy Hall, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams,
Tim O’Brien, Nick Forster, Vince Herman, and Album Co-Producer Adam Greuel

~Fresh Pickles Due Out February 4, 2022~
www.chriscastino.com | www.chickenwireempire.com
www.chriscastino.hearnow.com 

Hear the First Single, “Red Sky” Featuring Sam Bush on Fiddle now at Relix
————————————————————————

“It is so great to hear Chris playing and singing with some of the best in the ever-expanding bluegrass world. To go from one of the seminal jambands of my young adult life to a bluegrass outfit is a testament to his versatility. Always loved Chris’s voice!” 
Adam Ajala (Yonder Mountain String Band)

“It’s fun to collaborate with old bros. This direction seems to make sense for Chris. Storytelling and quick picking is right up his alley.” Keller Williams

“Castino is one witty and wild loon. His lyrics tell a vivid story and his chord progressions are often that lovely balance between familiar and boundary-pushing.” —Adam Greuel

St. Paul, Minn. —You could say that Chris Castino is a writer of dance music. Not the kind you hear at any club. It’s the kind you hear at a Dead show, or festivals, when the crowd moves together spinning and bouncing like an ocean of blissful and emancipated souls. Chris is the primary songwriter for his longtime popular Minnesota-based rock’n’roll jamband The Big Wu. The Big Wu started in the mid 90’s and quickly ascended from the comforts of the local club scene to playing H.O.R.D.E Fest, Bonnaroo, Gathering of the Vibes, High Sierra, and the list goes on. 

Castino joined forces with the incredibly talented band Chicken Wire Empire from Milwaukee, WI, and took the opportunity, while sitting through COVID-19 lock-downs in 2020 and 2021, to arrange some of his catalog into impeccably fitting bluegrass tunes. With the addition of many of Chris’s lifelong musical heroes,  including several GRAMMY winning artists in the bluegrass and Americana: Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Andy Hall, Vince Herman, Nick Forster, and Keller Williams, this feels like a classic bluegrass album and sounds instantly familiar. Fresh Pickles aims to satisfy your cravings—it is a light-hearted, down-home concept that plays with the idea that although some of the songs were written many years before, they now feel brand new. Fresh. Fresh Pickles will be independently released on February 4 and is now available for pre-order.

Chris says, “What turned out to be just something to occupy our time while we weren’t touring, became something outstanding. I am driven to make music that is lasting and accessible; but my personal style is a combination of sincerity and imagery. There is, to be fair, much more depth in my writing now, having gone through the reckoning of addiction that laid me low, and required nothing short of a rebirth.”

Fresh Pickles features 11 original songs penned by Castino. All of which, but one, were first released on four of The Big Wu’s five studio albums spanning from 1997-2019. Formed in 1992, the Big Wu’s momentum was driven by Castino’s catchy songwriting and the band’s hefty tour schedule in the late 90’s early 00’s, which launched the band into becoming a mainstay in the national roots and jamband scene as a full-time touring commodity for years. Fresh Pickles can be seen as a retrospective and reexamination of Castino’s music through a bluegrass lens.

Chris Castino. Photo by David Jackson.

“It brings me joy to hear how these songs in particular have been given new life,” Castino continues, ”For music lovers who are unfamiliar with my songs I truly believe that this record will be a fresh experience for them. It’s not essential to understand the history of these songs to appreciate them. My hope is to bring a new audience to my music, so that the next record can reach more people. This is my only desire. And my best tunes are yet to come.” Fresh Pickles follows Castino’s introspective 2020 debut solo album Brazil.

The Fresh Pickles album opener, “Kangaroo,” demonstrates how well the songs lend themselves to bluegrass and introduces the core band of Castino on lead vocals and guitar along with Chicken Wire Empire’s Ryan Ogburn on mandolin, Jordan Kroeger on bass, Ernest Brusbardis IV on fiddle, and Jon Peik on banjo. Castino says, “‘Kangaroo’ is one of the very first songs I wrote as a professional. It’s upbeat and irreverent but also reveals the bluegrass influence which was so strong in my writing in those early days.” 

An ambitious “Red Sky” recounts a drive home from the Dead shows in 95; the lyrics being sets of images with Sam Bush’s fiddle work here knitting several different movements within the theme together. Hear it now at Relix.

The Ballad Of Dan Toe is a south-of-the-border inspired tune that The Big Wu has kept in their repertoire since the 90s. Castino says, “It’s a tale of a mythical mystic who is bigger than life. Because it is inspired by the writing of Peter Rowan there’s no understating the bliss of having him sing with me on this tune. Jerry Douglas also appears here. These two are my bigger-than-life heroes.”

The travelogue “Bound For the South” features Tim O’Brien on harmony fiddle and Nick Forster on vocals (both of Hot Rize). Other tracks include a buoyant “Shantytown” (feat. Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon), country-song-turned-funky, “Minnesota Moon” (w/ Adam Greuel), the jolly Texas Fireball” (feat. Keller Williams and Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters), a nostalgic “Young Pioneer,” the high speed “Rhode Island Red,” atmospheric song from the road “Jackson County” (feat. Jerry Douglas and Adam Greuel), and a more Thile-inspired closing track, “Irregular Heartbeat.” 

Adam Greuel (Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, The High Hawks) worked with Castino to produce the album, along with adding vocals on a couple of tracks. Greuel says, “I’ve always heard and felt the influence of bluegrass music on Caz’s songwriting. Lyrically, his content and themes seem to occasionally draw from that tradition, while the music has hints of that bluegrass drive or perhaps the sweetness of a traditional waltz. When Castino gave me a ring and explained that he was interested in breathing some new life into some of his more loved Big Wu classics by way of bluegrass, my initial reaction was raw excitement.”

Castino’s early passion for bluegrass music was cultivated by his father, a professional singer of standards, who was captivated by that plaintive, lonesome vocal style. He says, “I learned all he could from the weekly dose of bluegrass served, like some foreign cuisine to the northern city folk of Minneapolis who knew not the traditions of the southern hill folk, by host Phil Nussbaum and his 35+ years long running radio show Bluegrass Saturday Morning on local community radio: to this day.” Captivated, he began to steer his composing down this road.

Fresh Pickles is just the beginning of Castino’s heartfelt and fulfilling voyage into bluegrass— highlighting some of his most beloved tunes with a classic 70’s and 80’s alt-bluegrass sound, it features stomping rippers and sweet, harmonic ballads, as well as a taste of genre-shifting psychedelic rides. Always true to the tradition and authentic in presentation, Fresh Pickles is packed with great music.

Fresh Pickles Track Listing: 

1.) Kangaroo 2:38
2.) Red Sky 4:25 (feat. Sam Bush)
3.) Bound For the South 5:26 (w/ Tim O’Brien and Nick Forster)
4.) Shanty Town 3:24 (feat. Vince Herman)
5.) Minnesota Moon 3:41 (w/ Adam Greuel)
6.) Texas Fireball 2:38 (feat. Keller Williams and Andy Hall)
7.) Young Pioneer 3:57
8.) Rhode Island Red 3:18
9.) Jackson County 5:33 (feat. Jerry Douglas and Adam Greuel)
10.) The Ballad of Dan Toe 6:32 (feat. Peter Rowan and Jerry Douglas)
11.) Irregular Heartbeat 4:59

Fresh Pickles Credits and Instrumentation:

Chris Castino – vocals, guitar

Chicken Wire Empire:
Jordan Kroeger – bass
Ernest Brusbardis IV – fiddle, vocals
Jon Peik – banjo, vocals
Ryan Ogburn – mandolin

Special Guests:
Sam Bush – fiddle (2)
Tim O’Brien – fiddle, vocals (3)
Nick Forster – vocals (3)
Vince Herman – vocals, spoken word (4)
Adam Greuel – vocals (5,9)
Keller Williams – vocals (6)
Andy Hall – Dobro (6)
Jerry Douglas – Dobro (9,10)
Peter Rowan – vocals (10)

All songs written by Chris Castino
Songs arranged by Chris Castino and Chicken Wire Empire
Recorded by Ryan Young at Neon Brown Studio in Minneapolis, MN except “Rhode Island Red” (and some vocals) recorded by Vinny Millevolte at Axis Recording Studio in Oconomowoc, WI
Mixed by Ryan Young
Produced by Adam Greuel and Chris Castino

Chris Castino:
www.chriscastino.com
www.facebook.com/chriscastinomusic 
www.instagram.com/chris_castino 

Chicken Wire Empire:
www.chickenwireempire.com 
www.facebook.com/ChickenWireEmpire
www.instagram.com/chickenwireempire