Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘acoustic music’

Heather Hambor Photography_Jon Stickley Trio_2017_53.jpeg

Jon Stickley Trio. Photo By Heather Hambor

 

Jon Stickley Trio Releases Maybe Believe on May 12, 2017
Produced by Dave King (The Bad Plus) at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville NC

Thoughtful & energetic”Bryan Sutton

Watch a behind-the-scenes video from the recording session → www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccQB75r3Vww

ASHEVILLE —  Riding the wave of their critically acclaimed 2015 album, Lost at Last, Jon Stickley Trio independently releases their 3rd full length album, Maybe Believe, on May 12, 2017. Jon Stickley Trio combines Jon Stickley’s rapid-fire flatpicking guitar with the sultry and wild, yet refined, melodies of Lyndsay Pruett on violin set over the deep groove of Patrick Armitage on drums.

“The latest record from the Jon Stickley Trio flexes new and strong muscles, utilizing more progressive structures and deeper pockets than ever before,” says Producer Dave King (Of The Bad Plus). “All the while, the group retains its place as a modern-thinking acoustic ensemble with one foot in tradition and the other in a bluegrass honored future that allows for the avant garde, punk, and be bop to mix in freely and tastefully.”

Greensky Bluegrass’ Anders Beck says of Jon, “Sure, comparisons to previous musicians are a good way to explain a new artist to the masses, but to do so is to cheat Stickley of what he really is: a damn genius, a musical mastermind, and one of the most unique, creative, and inventive guitar players I’ve ever heard…  Stickley’s guitar playing shares as much in common with the flow of the greatest rappers of all time as it does with his flatpicking heroes…”

1-Maybe-Believe-FrontThe album title, Maybe Believe, is a continuation of the theme from Lost at Last. With Lost at Last, the band was stepping away from their collective musical past, into new territory that was somewhat uncomfortable, but also inspiring and free. With Maybe Believe, they have become more comfortable in their own skin yet retain an element of vulnerability while continuing to move into uncharted territory. This album marks the next step in the band’s evolution, and takes the listener to original and unexpected new places that still embody the familiarity of the Jon Stickley Trio’s signature style.

 

Dave says, “I was honored to be a part of this evolution and I think we made a very compelling album for music fans and musicians of all kinds.” This is his second time joining forces with the Trio at Echo Mountain Recording Studio in the band’s hometown of Asheville, NC, once again working with Engineer Julian Dryer. Both were also on board for Lost at Last which garnered praise from The New York Times, NPR’s Heavy Rotation, NPR’s World Cafe, Folk Alley, Premier Guitar Magazine, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Performer Magazine, and many others.

Stickley says, “We had just gotten to know Dave last time and had such a good time. Bringing him in again takes the whole thing up a notch. It was a completely different experience, after traveling all over the place touring [in 2016 the Trio drove over 50,000 miles], over time we’ve developed a cohesion as a band where we intimately know each other and can feel where each other is wanting to go and respond. It’s developed into a tight musical relationship.”

The album’s opening track, “Jewels,” is a short, mellow, piece which serves as the album’s prologue, setting the tone of the record, quieting the mind of the listener. It’s a cleansing of the palette before the full course, and features the delicate harmonics of Jon and Lyndsay along with and Patrick’s textural brushwork.

Then they go full throttle with “Playpeople,” an eclectic piece that draws inspiration from Green Day, Duran Duran, Grateful Dead, and David Grisman Quintet, but in the end, is ultimately pure Jon Stickley Trio. This track’s title is a gender-neutral term for someone who likes to have a good time, and does so despite all external obstacles and displays the Trio’s fun-loving energy and virtuosity, as well as their controlled intensity.

Almost With You” and “Mt. Sandia Swing” highlight the Jon Stickley Trio’s ability and inclination to play with polyrhythms and layer different grooves on top of each other. Dave King described “Sandia” as “The Violent Femmes… playing Jazz.”

Jon Stickley’s music brings forth mental imagery from the soundscapes the band has created in songs like “Slow Burn,” which is a like simmering pot of stew that occasionally boils over, while “Microbruise” embraces the fun-loving nature of Asheville’s beer brewers and drinkers, and “Cecil” is the Trio’s heaviest song yet featuring seamless interplay between guitar and violin with a sludgy, old school, John Bonham style drumbeat.

The aforementioned songs were all penned by Stickley, while Lyndsay Pruett’s hand brings forth a couple of jazzier numbers. A highlight of the record, “The Price of Being Nice” has a quirky, infectious theme that is explored throughout the song with a somewhat deconstructed treatment that allows the Trio to shine. Pruett also wrote “Lady Time,” a short solo song that closes out the album that features her distinctive pizzicato playing and improvisations.

The album contains three covers, “Jerusalem Ridge” (a Bill Monroe tune with a twist that has become a staple at live shows), “Avril 14th’ (a piece by Richard James a.k.a. Aphex Twin), and “Birdland Breakdown” (a tune by mandolinist John Reischman which also appeared on Tony Rice’s jazz-grass album Still Inside).

Jon Stickley Trio On Tour
3/10 Fri – The Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC
3/15 Wed – The Station Inn – Nashville, TN *w/ The Dustbowl Revival
3/16 Thu – The Earl – Atlanta, GA w/ The Dustbowl Revival
3/17-18 Fri-Sat – Anastasia Music Festival @ St. Augustine Amphitheater – St. Augustine, FL
3/21 Tue – Taos Mesa Brewing – El Prado, NM
3/22 Wed – House Concert – Albuquerque, NM
3/23 Thu – Last Exit Live – Phoenix, AZ
3/24 Fri – Coconino Center For The Arts – Flagstaff, AZ
3/25 Sat – Seven Grand – San Diego, CA
3/29 Wed – Throckmorton Theatre – Mill Valley, CA
3/30 Thu – Neck of the Woods – San Francisco, CA
3/31-4/1 Fri-Sat – WinterWonderGrass – North Lake Tahoe, CA
4/6 Thu – The Stage at KDHX – St. Louis, MO
4/7 Fri – Rhythm and Blooms Festival – Knoxville, TN
4/8 Sat – Albino Skunk Festival – Greer, SC
4/12 Wed – Willie’s Locally Known – Lexington, KY
4/13 Thu – The Fire Pit’s Side Bar – Milwaukee, WI
4/14 Fri – Mid West Music Festival – LaCrosse, WI
4/15 Sat – Two Brothers Roundhouse – Aurora, IL
4/29 Sat – WV Craft Brew Fest – Lewisburg, WV
5/12-13 Fri-Sat – LEAF – Black Mountain, NC
5/19 Fri – Lower Town Arts & Music Festival – Paducah, KY
5/20 Sat – Moonshiner’s Ball – Berea, KY
5/26 Fri – Rooster Walk – Martinsville, VA
6/8 Thu – Founders Brewing – Grand Rapids, MI
6/9 Fri – Parliament Room at Otus Supply – Ferndale, MI
6/10-11 Sat-Sun – NorEastr Festival @ County Fairgrounds – Mio, MI
7/15 Sat – Red Wing Roots Music Festival – Mount Solon, VA
7/29-30 Sat-Sun – FloydFest – Floyd, VA
More dates TBA!

Maybe Believe Track Listing*

  1. Jewels 2:03
  2. Playpeople 4:36
  3.  Almost With You 3:39
  4.  Slow Burn 4:47
  5. Jerusalem Ridge (Bill Monroe) 5:36
  6.  Avril 14th (Richard James a.k.a. Aphex Twin) 1:59
  7. Cecil 4:36
  8.  Microbruise 3:19
  9. The Price of Being Nice (Lyndsay Pruett) 3:39
  10.  Mt. Sandia Swing 4:23
  11.  Birdland Breakdown (John Reischman) 3:54
  12. Lady Time (Lyndsay Pruett) 3:44

* All songs written by Jon Stickley unless otherwise noted

For more information and updates from the road, please visit www.jonstickley.com, www.facebook.com/JonStickleyTrio, www.instagram.com/jonstickleytrio, and www.twitter.com/StickleyMusic.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

js3_traingular_ep_artdesign2016

Jon Stickley Trio’s New EP, Triangular, Out Now!
“Pure Joy Through Music”

Get Triangular now on iTunes, Amazon, and CDbaby

Js3 Announces Plans to Record Next Full Length Album, Produced by Dave King (The Bad Plus) at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville NC after Successful Kickstarter Campaign

ASHEVILLE — On the tail of their critically acclaimed 2015 album, Lost at Last, Jon Stickley Trio independently releases a brand new 5-song EP, Triangular, on December 2,2016. With roots in gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and hip-hop in an “exhilarating all-acoustic swirl” (Acoustic Guitar Magazine), Jon Stickley Trio combines Jon Stickley’s rapid-fire flatpicking guitar with the sultry and wild, yet refined, melodies of Lyndsay Pruett on violin set over the deep groove of Patrick Armitage on drums.

In a time when a lot of instrumental music feels more like math than art, Jon Stickley Trio’s Triangular reminds us of the pure joy that can be created and shared through music,” says Greensky Bluegrass’ Anders Beck.

Jon Stickley Trio is on tour this winter with shows in the southeast this December in Knoxville, Kingsport and Charlotte. Jon also has a couple of shows booked with Andy Thorn (Leftover Salmon) and Travis Book (The Infamous Stringdusters) in North Carolina mid-month. On December 30th, the Trio pops up north to Richmond, Virginia to open for The Infamous Stringdusters before heading home to Asheville for a special New Year’s Eve Celebration with The Honeycutters on Dec 31st. In early January, Jon Stickley travels to Denver to play two nights as a part of the Bluegrass Generals featuring members of The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, and more. The Trio joins up again in Wray, Colorado on the 21st with some surprise mystery dates out west TBA. There’s a scattering of other dates announced including WinterWonderGrass in California in the spring and FloydFest in the summer in Virginia. More to come!

The EP, Triangular, was recorded at Blue Sprocket Sound in Harrisonburg, VA this summer and was sent early to anyone that donated $10 or more to their recent successful Kickstarter Campaign to help them head back into Echo Mountain Recording Studio this winter with Producer Dave King (Of The Bad Plus) to record a yet un-named new full length album due out in 2017. The band surpassed their goal and reached $29,120 and is currently in studio recording..

nye-shot-cred-heather-hambor“I like to think of music as a two way street, a reciprocal experience between musician and audience,” says Lyndsay Pruett. “The Kickstarter campaign really affirms my view on that. And it truly becomes about more than the money. Money is the thing we all know we need to make the world go around, but this process allows people to have an extra level of personal involvement. We have conversations with people we’ve met at shows from all over the country, and they become involved in the next record. Then when we go back to those places to play the music for them the experience is more substantial, and more fun, of course.”

Triangular features five songs leading out with with “Blackburn Brothers”, of which Beck says, “While the opening notes remind the listener of Tony Rice’s Manzanita (one of the greatest acoustic guitar albums of all time), one is suddenly catapulted into Jackson 5 territory a few minutes later in the same song. Sure, comparisons to previous musicians are a good way to explain a new artist to the masses, but to do so is to cheat Stickley of what he really is: a damn genius, a musical mastermind, and one of the most unique, creative, and inventive guitar players I’ve ever heard.”

Plain Sight” was penned by Jon after the mass shooting at a concert in Paris. ”It’s as much an angry response to the perpetrators as it is a mournful tribute to the victims,” says Stickley. The music features Lyndsay’s delicate pizzicato violin plucking, Patrick’s breakbeat drum vibes, and Stickley’s signature high speed shredding. The third phase of the tune breaks down to a gentle trading of melodic lines by Jon and Lyndsay.

Palm Tree” is a tropically themed dance tune has become a staple of the band’s live shows. It changes time signatures between 5/4 and 6/8, but remains danceable and accessible. The purpose of “Palm Tree” is to jam out and have fun, and that’s what the Trio does on this track. You can hear Jon and Lyndsay pushing each other while Patrick “cooks” underneath, heating up the skillet till its HOT.

Echolocation”’ is a tribute to whales and the beautiful songs they sing underwater. The most evocative of the songs on the record, it features the cello-like longbows of Lyndsay’s violin that mimic the whales’ songs. Patrick’s epic drum solo over Lyndsay and Jon’s unison arpeggios is a climactic moment that is one of the band’s most dazzling recorded moments to date.

Manzanita” is a classic composition by Jon’s hero, guitarist Tony Rice, is arguably one of the most important pieces of music in Newgrass history. The Trio recorded this song as a tribute to those who came before and took musical risks that changes the history of music.

“Since bluegrass players started delving into jazz, they’ve been composing progressive acoustic music, but so much of it has lacked the comfort in its own skin that Stickley’s songs possess.” Anders Beck says of Stickley’s style,“I could go on and on about how amazing it is that his twisty and turny songs don’t feel forced, and always bob and weave at the right time; or how Stickley’s guitar playing shares as much in common with the flow of the greatest rappers of all time as it does with his flatpicking heroes... I think you get my point. Stop reading this and go listen to his new EP.”

With the success of Lost At Last making it into rotation on radio stations both nationally and internationally, the Trio has traveled over 50,000 miles, performing at over 100 festivals and venues across the country in 2016 (Including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC), attracted attention of thousands of new fans, and teamed up with a national booking agency. Jon Stickley Trio heads into the studio in early December to record the yet unnamed full length album with Dave King, who also produced Lost At Last which garnered praise from The New York Times, NPR’s Heavy Rotation, NPR’s World Cafe, Premier Guitar Magazine, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and many others.

Jon Stickley Trio has evolved into a fully formed, musical identity that was just beginning to take shape on the first record. Stickley realizes, “Our musicality has matured individually, and collectively to the extent that we can read each other, and respond to each other in a completely intuitive and natural way. We can’t wait to take our matured sound back into Echo Mountain with our mentor and producer, Dave King.”

All of this interlocks, and is propelling the band into the future. Music City Roots’ Craig Havighurst says “A new generation of bluegrass-reared instrumental explorers is coming into its own, and the Stickley Trio is in the vanguard.” While the group does their thing in the studio, they are happy to share Triangular with the world now!

Jon Stickley On Tour
12/7 Wed – Knoxville, TN – WDVX Tennessee Shines @ Boyd’s Jig & Reel
12/8 Thu – Kingsport, TN – Sleepy Owl Brewery
12/10 Sat – Charlotte, NC – The Rabbit Hole *co-Bill with Billy Strings
12/15-16 Thu-Fri – Asheville, NC – Isis Music Hall *Stickley / Thorn / Book support for Travelin’ McCourys
12/17 Sat – Morganton, NC – Winter Music Fest *Stickley / Thorn / Book
12/30 Fri – Richmond, VA – The National  *support for The Infamous Stringdusters12/31/16 Sat – Asheville, NC – Isis Music Hall *w/ The Honeycutters

1/6-7/17
Fri-Sat – Denver, CO – Cervantes *Jon Stickley as a part of the Bluegrass Generals feat. members of The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, etc.
1/20 Fri – Abilene, KS – Great Plains Theatre
1/21 Sat – Wray, CO – 4th and Main Grille
3/30 Thu – San Francisco, CA – Neck of the Woods
3/31 Fri – Squaw Valley, CA – WinterWonderGrass
7/26-30Floyd, VA – FloydFest

* All dates are Jon Stickley Trio unless otherwise noted.

WATCH Jon Stickley Trio Perform ‘Echolocation’ on Music City Roots →

Head on over to Live For Live Music to listen to the World Premiere of “Blackburn Brothers.” →  http://bit.ly/JS3_L4LM_BlackburnBrothersPremiere.

For more information, updates from the road, and more, please visit www.jonstickley.com, www.facebook.com/JonStickleyTrio, www.instagram.com/jonstickleytrio, and www.twitter.com/StickleyMusic.

Read Full Post »

Experienced_Keel_COVER.png
Larry Keel Independently Releases Experienced
on Friday, February 26, 2016

A blazing journey of music featuring special guests:
Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Jason Carter,
Mike Guggino, and Anders Beck

LEXINGTON, VA —  Flatpicking guitar phenom Larry Keel dazzles music-lovers once more with his 15th self-released album Experienced, due out February 26, 2016. The album is an entirely original work that showcases both Larry’s and bandmate Will Lee’s exceptional songwriting, singing and jaw-dropping instrumental performances, accompanied by Keel’s equally talented wife Jenny Keel on upright bass and harmony vocals. It was recorded at Wally Cleaver Studio in Fredericksburg, VA with engineer (and guest drummer) Jeff Covert and mastered by the award-winning industry great Bill Wolf (Willie Nelson, Tony Rice, Doc Watson) in Arlington, VA.

Added to the raw sophistication of Keel’s progressive acoustic style are several guest-musician-friends who appear on various tracks of Experienced, a list of artists that reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of icons and new stars including Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Jason Carter (The Del McCoury Band), Mike Guggino (Steep Canyon Rangers), and Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass). According to Larry, “This project is a collection of my songs and Will Lee’s music, developed further with the amazing talents of some of our musician friends and heroes. Very real. Very fresh.”

The seven tracks on Experienced reflect Keel’s musical personality, from frenzied and raunchy to mystical and sensitive, and through it all, Keel’s honest attitude shines, fearlessly and with throttle wide-open. As Sam Bush (who plays mandolin and fiddle on the fiery opening track “Ripchord”) says, ‘Enjoy the music… Larry does!” “‘Lil Miss” follows up with a cynical gibe at a mock Miss Prim and not-so-proper young lady of modern day society, set to a down and dirty blues-rock riff.

“Memories” (co-written by Larry and Jenny) is the portrait of the artist (Keel) gently swept away by life’s vast gallery of experiences and personal connections, and the poignant emotions that spring from it all. As the third track, it cools down the pace of things, letting the listener settle into the musical journey Keel has orchestrated.

“Larry Keel is a triple threat… songwriter, guitar player, entertainer. He can do it all,” says Del McCoury, who is featured on the playful and rollicking “‘Fill em Up Again” along with Carter and Guggino. “I think what makes Larry so powerful is that he has lived his songs, he’s not sitting in a room trying to write the hit of the week, he’s writing what’s in his heart and on his mind.”

“I love me some Keels. There is a certain genuine authenticity that Larry and Jenny possess,” says Keller Williams. “When we get together, our wonder-powers unite to form a giant, impenetrable sphere of open-minded, Appalachian psychedelic goodness.” Appropriately, Keller plays on the swelling and rolling “Miles and Miles,” which is a sort of metaphoric travel log of life on the road as a musician (and as a human being)… the key being to stay true to one’s own ‘voice’.

“The Warrior” is loosely based on the Carlos Castaneda book The Teachings of Don Juan and the search for knowledge by an old Yaqui Indian brujo. Peter Rowan joins on percussion instruments, yodeling and throat singing, adding a burning tension to the music, as the tale is sung in Keel’s gravely baritone. “The warrior is seeking the power… Standing tall he will never cower… He can see the spirits in the air… He can see the things that are not there.” The musicianship, lyrics and magical production combine to bring the listener down into the depths of the mystics and back out again in revelation.

Following “The Warrior”, the album’s gentle and refreshing closing melody, “Another Summer Day,” emits the feeling of resurfacing into the world, relaxed and carefree to enjoy the daylight and breeze.  The tune was written and sung by Will Lee, with Anders Beck lending his intuitive touch on dobro and Jeff Covert carrying it along with a light drum beat.

“Larry is the yin and the yang,” declares Beck. “He will break your heart with a waltz, but he can also scare the hello out of you in the next song.  He plays on the edge… no, strike that.. he creates genius guitar solos while staring over the edge and laughing maniacally.”

“This studio album was a complete blast to make, from start to finish,” says Jenny Keel. “Larry, Will and I, along with our exceptional engineer Jeff Covert coalesce into a working musical unit that push each other to higher and higher heights of magic, skill, art and energy.  Add to that this cast of guests with all THEIR unique talents, and you have a recording that is pure enjoyment. Every detail of it!”

Throughout his prolific career, Keel has released 15 albums, including Experienced, and is featured on 10 others. Along with those that guest on the new album, Keel has performed with a multitude of top acoustic and electric musicians alive, and some now gone, including Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Tony Rice, Bill Monroe, Bob Weir, Jorma Kaukonen, Little Feat, Trombone Shorty, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon and many many others. Larry has written songs being performed by the likes of Del McCoury Band, Infamous Stringdusters and Yonder Mountain String Band and has a tune on Del McCoury’s GRAMMY-winning album The Company We Keep [2005] entitled ‘The Mountain Song.’

Experienced Track Listing:
1. Ripchord [Lee] 6:09  w/ Sam Bush
2. ‘Lil Miss [Keel] 4:22
3. Memories [The Keels]  4:00
4. Fill’em Up Again [Lee] 2:55 w/ Del McCoury, Jason Carter, Mike Guggino
5. Miles and Miles [Keel] 4:37 w/ Keller Williams
6. The Warrior 4:38  [Keel] w/ Peter Rowan
7. Another Summer Day [Lee] 4:47 w/ Anders Beck, Jeff Covert

*All tracks with The Larry Keel Experience: Larry Keel, Will Lee, and Jenny Keel

Find out more and stay up to date with news from Larry Keel at www.larrykeel.com, www.twitter.com/LarryKeel, www.facebook.com/LarryKeelFishinAndPickin.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Cover Carnvial of Hopes(1)-1(1)

Vocalist & Songwriter Jane Kramer Makes a Full Voiced Return to Her Roots with Mountain-made Second Solo Album,
Carnival of Hopes – Due Out Feb 26, 2016

Produced and Engineered by Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios,
The album features backing band Free Planet Radio as well as guest appearances by Nicky Sanders of Steep Canyon Rangers and more

ASHEVILLE, NC — Vocalist and songwriter Jane Kramer is set to independently release her gutsy and ambrosial second solo album entitled Carnival of Hopes on Friday, February 26, 2016. Carnival of Hopes feels both celebratory and frank. It is filled with songs of regret and insight found after deep and gritty self-reflection. At its core, the album tells the story of facing down dark inner demons while still clinging to “that tiny chirping of light in your bones that somehow keeps you tethered to keeping on,” Kramer says.

Throughout the album, it is Kramer’s unvarnished honesty and searching, powerfully sweet and heartrending voice that carry the well-crafted and arranged songs and tie both elements of loss and healing cohesively together. “I’m not great at making stuff up,” she says, “so I sing what I lived and what I know, without any sugar or fluff.”

“Anyone who has stared down the barrel of themselves and their failures and fears and shipwrecked loves has scraped up against the bottom of their own capacity for hoping,” says Kramer, a social worker and musician by trade. “My carnival of hopes is busted and hideous and rusty and somehow still brave and sparkly,” she says, “like the image of the forgotten Ferris wheel printed on the disc – half taken over by trees and time, but still standing.”

With deep ties to the area, Carnival of Hopes, boasts a sparkling cast of Ashevillian producers and players. It was recorded at the award-winning Sound Temple Studios in Asheville in February of 2015, while she still lived on the other side of the country in Portland, Oregon. A few months later, after a four-year run spent writing and reflecting on the West Coast, Jane Kramer pulled up stakes and returned to Western North Carolina with a renewed energy to share her new music with the world.

Carnival of Hopes aches and soars with her connections to Appalachian balladry, a force she first encountered at Warren Wilson College and honed while performing with the Asheville-based all-female trio, the Barrel House Mamas, who helped reintroduce Americana music to the Blue Ridge Mountains a decade ago. However, it is as a solo artist where the power of Kramer’s songwriting and world-class vocals truly shine.

Kramer’s longtime friend Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios, whose portfolio of clients includes such names as Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma, produced and engineered the album. Kramer is backed by Chris Rosser on piano and harmonium, Eliot Wadopian on upright bass and River Guerguerian on drums and percussion, the virtuoso trio that comprises Free Planet Radio, and by master Georgia-based bluegrass musicians/ multi-instrumentalists, Pace Conner (steel string, high string and baritone guitars, ukulele, mandolin, and backing vocals) and Michael Evers (Dobro, banjo, mandolin, and backing vocals) who arranged the songs for recording and perform and tour with Kramer regularly.

Carnival of Hopes as an album is full of sometimes-searing flourishes on the complexities of Kramer’s modern life. The title track clearly encompasses that, she says.

jane_kramer_photo_by_sandlin_gaither-16.jpg

Jane Kramer. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

“In the song ‘Carnival of Hopes’ and on the record as a whole, I talk about letting things die and being honest about it: the notion that I am a good woman, ideas for my future and success, a big love, and even parts of myself dying and being reborn in the letting go” she says. “I talk about laying down my hammer but leaving the light on in the window. While these are heavy concepts, I feel the take-away feeling of the album is one of hope.”

 

On this deeply personal album, Kramer’s favorite track is the ballad, “Good Woman.” While she says she’s not one who fits that description, listeners might disagree after hearing the lilting but earnest passion and regret in her voice.

“Good Woman” is the song you write when your lover kicks you out of the house and you’re half drunk on cheap box wine in a crappy motel room staring at yourself in the mirror under the fluorescent bathroom light,” Jane says. “You can’t help but be honest then.”

“Aside from the sentiment, the contributions of virtuoso players, Nicky Sanders of Steep Canyon Rangers and Franklin Keel of Sirius B, also help make the song a favorite,” Kramer adds. They play orchestral fiddle and cello, respectively, on “Good Woman”.

Other songs on the album offer clear hints to Kramer’s unflinching self-examination and ability to convey heavy subject matter through utterly palatable and even catchy song-crafting. The New Orleans jazz-influenced “Why’d I Do That Blues,” (which features a horn section comprised of JP Furnas on trombone and Ben Hovey on trumpet), the classic country honky tonking sass of the opening track “Half Way Gone,” and the banjo-driven, uptempo modern-day spiritual “My Dusty Wings” all speak to a talented songwriter laying herself bare. She credits her songwriting hero and mentor, Mary Gauthier, with helping her reach for, and express, everything she hoped to communicate with the album.

The songs on the album were all penned by Kramer with the exception of one cover, “Down South,” written by Tom Petty. “This tune just sounds like the mountains.” Kramer says,”I’m a huge Petty fan and love the poignant simplicity of his writing. Additionally, and probably what was most important to me was the message of the song thematically, about returning home to the south and it’s little idiosyncrasies.”

The sense of homecoming that rings through was a conscious effort, Kramer says. “I did that because Asheville is my dirt. It’s my home and my culture, musically and otherwise. I missed it and knew somewhere in my bones I would be coming back to stay soon,” she says.

“I didn’t want to make an album that didn’t sound like home,” Kramer adds. “I wanted Asheville musicians and Appalachian instrumentation – that wistful, southern dobro sound that hurts your heart a little.” Carnival of Hopes is indeed a homecoming album, and will take listeners through the enchanting and accessible emotional landscape of a woman who has climbed the mountain of her own failures and fears and learned how to be at home with herself.

Album: Carnival of Hopes Track listing:

  1. Half Way Gone  3:45
  2. Carnival of Hopes  5:25
  3. Your Ever~Green Heart  3:21
  4. Good Woman  5:29
  5. Down South (by Tom Petty) 3:30
  6. Truck Stop Stars  4:31
  7. Why’d I Do That Blues  2:38
  8. Highways, Rivers & Scars  4:25
  9. Truth Tellin’ Eyes  4:19
  10. My Dusty Wings  2:57

Learn more about Jane Kramer and her music at www.JaneKramer.net and stay up to date with news at www.facebook.com/janekramersongstress.

 

Read Full Post »

HONEYCUTTERS-ME-OH-MY-SUMMER-TOUR-POSTER-FINAL
The Honeycutters Announce ‘Me Oh My’ 2015 Summer Tour

Asheville-based American Country Roots Band, The Honeycutters,
Released 3rd Studio Album, Me Oh My, With Organic Records

“…Platt’s songwriting could be placed in the exceptional category, at least from the evidence Me Oh My presents in her favor. It’s not just the sorrow and sincerity, it’s the insight and  the resonance. Songs like ‘All You Ever’ and ‘Not That Simple’ exemplify this top shelf quality to her music, while the mood of Me Oh My very much takes on the perspective of a young woman moving ever so closer to middle age, and mindful of not just the changes in herself, but in the world as it reflects back on her.”
Saving Country Music

ASHEVILLE, NC — The Honeycutters, an Asheville, NC-based original country roots band, released their third studio album, Me Oh My, on April 21, 2015 with Organic Records® and is thrilled to announce their 2015 summer tour.

They kick off the tour in the south and have an appearance on WDVX’s Tennessee Shines in Knoxville on July 1st airing worldwide at 7pm CT at WDVX.com, followed by a show on the 3rd at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC with Greensky Bluegrass. They travel west for a several shows with stops in Kansas City, Colorado’s Front Range, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Kansas and Arkansas. After a short break, picking back up again for further shows in the southern region including a performance at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, TN in mid August.

BackCoverHoneycutters_2015_CreditSandlingaitherFueled by the powerful songwriting and vocals of founder Amanda Anne Platt, Me Oh My moves her into the spotlight as producer, band leader, and principal creative force behind the band. With songs that are honest and relatable, part chagrin and part hope, Platt’s voice carries a timeless appeal.

Along with Amanda Platt, The Honeycutters include Tal Taylor on mandolin, Rick Cooper on bass, Josh Milligan on drums, and Matt Smith rounds out the band on pedal steel, electric guitar, and dobro to create a sound that carries just as well across the bar room as in a church or a theater. Platt’s songs are shaped by a raw honesty that comes straight from the heart and emits a sort of melancholy happiness.

The Honeycutters on Tour with Me Oh My
6/26 Fri – Transylvania County Library – Brevard, NC
7/1 Wed – WDVX’s Tennessee Shines @ Boyd’s Jig and Reel – Knoxville, TN
7/3 Fri – US National Whitewater Center – Charlotte, NC &
7/9 Thu – Knuckleheads Saloon – Kansas City, MO
7/10 Fri – Tuft Theatre – Denver, CO
7/11 Sat – Peak Performances @ Copper Mountain Resort – Copper Mountain, CO
7/12  Sun – Woody Creek Community Center – Woody Creek, CO
7/14 Tue – Low Spirits Bar & Stage – Albuquerque, NM
7/15 Wed – The Blue Door – Oklahoma City, OK
7/16 Thu – George’s Majestic Lounge – Fayetteville, AR
7/17 Fri – Lakewood House Concerts – Pittsburg, KS
7/18 Sat – Stickyz Rock’N’Roll Chicken Shack – Little Rock, AR < 7/24 Fri – Conundrum Music Hall – West Columbia, SC 7/25 Sat – The Pour House – Charleston, SC >
8/9 Sun – Birthplace of Country Music Museum – Bristol, TN
8/14 Fri – The Crown at the Carolina Theatre – Greensboro, NC
8/21 Fri – Summer Tracks Rogers Park Amphitheater – Tryon, NC
8/22 Sat- Cataloochee Ranch – Maggie Valley, NC
10/1 Thu – The Albino Skunk Festival – Greer, SC
12/4 Fri – Manhattan Arts Center – Manhattan, KS
12/5 Sat – The Stage at KDHX – St Louis, MO

& w/ Greensky Bluegrass
< w/ Mountain Sprout > w/ The High Divers and Avi Jacob

For more information about The Honeycutters and further tour dates to be announced, please visit: www.thehoneycutters.com. For news from the road, please visit www.facebook.com/Honeycutters and twitter.com/thehoneycutters.

What Folks Are Saying about Me Oh My:

“Vocalist Amanda Platt has a voice that’s complex, sweet and aching. Even more potently, she writes songs that folks are citing as up there with the best of the field, such as Mary Gauthier and Lucinda Williams.” —Craig Havighurst, Music City Roots

“There are a lot of worthy and compelling Americana singer-songsters and bands out there right now, it’s a rich landscape. But The Honeycutters, fronted by Amanda Platt is surely a wonder to behold. The band just sounds so darn good and makes a style of country music that always makes me feel good, even when it’s so melancholy. I think Amanda has something to teach us about the economy of words, the magic of a good melody and the satisfaction of an aching and honest vocal.” —Amy Ray of The Indigo Girls

“With singer/songwriter — and, now, producer — Amanda Anne Platt at the helm, the group puts their own spin on an old form. Sure, there’s a timeless quality to honest songs done up by a bunch of great players… there’s also a freshness to it.” —Folk Alley First Listen, Kelly McCartney

“It’s easy to think of Mags Bennett, the character played by Margo Martindale on TV’s Justified, when listening to Amanda Anne Platt front North Carolina quartet the Honeycutters. Steadfast, independent and all woman…” –-Pop Matters, Eric Risch

“Me Oh My, an extremely balanced album in terms of tempo and theme, merges Americana, roots, country and even honky tonk into a delightfully unique combination. It’s a highly recommended, refreshing and enjoyable listen from the first track to the last.” —The Daily Country, Tara Joan

Me Oh My… is a like a time machine on a shiny disc; classic, old-timey country and folk tunes with catchy melodies and lyrics that drip in poetry.”  That Music Mag, Jane Roser

“Platt’s rootsy sense of melody and strong lyrical instincts are heard throughout Me Oh My, with the inviting southern swing of ‘Jukebox’ and the ballad title track serving as particular stand-outs.” —Alex Biese, Asbury Park Press

 

Read Full Post »

NSM-JimAvett-Web-750x450-habitatAn Evening of Story & Song with Jim Avett
Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Central United Methodist Church of Asheville

The concert is presented by Central United Methodist Church, in association with the Orange Peel, WNCW, NewSong Music, and the Asheville Area Arts Council

Doors: 6:30pm ET; Showtime: 7pm ET
Seated Show / All Ages; $17 adv / $20 dos

The Sanctuary at Central United Methodist Church
27 Church Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801
828.253.3316
A portion of the proceeds to benefit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
www.newsong-music.com | www.jimavett.com | www.centralumc.org | www.ashevillehabitat.org

NewSong is excited to announce the upcoming concert, ‘An Evening of Story & Song with Jim Avett’ on Saturday, June 6th in the beautiful and acoustically rich Sanctuary of downtown Asheville’s Central United Methodist Church (27 Church Street). The concert begins at 7pm and is presented by Central United Methodist Church, in association with the Orange Peel, WNCW, NewSong Music and the Asheville Area Arts Council. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 the day of show, and are available for purchase online at TheOrangePeel.net. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

JimAvettThe son of a Methodist minister and a classical pianist, Jim Avett, of Concord, NC, grew up in a home full of love and music, learning the importance of hard work and honest living. He and his wife instilled these same values in their children – including sons and musicians Seth and Scott of the Avett Brothers – and tempered them with a lot of fun and music. His guitar was an ever present instrument, and there was always singing.

As much as he enjoyed writing and performing his music, Avett put his family first and spent 35 years running his welding company, building bridges along much of the east coast in order to provide for them. After retiring from welding, he returned to music and recorded Jim Avett and Family in 2008, a collection of gospel music, with his children, Bonnie, Scott and Seth. In 2010 he returned with Tribes, a collection of original tunes, followed by 2012’s Second Chance, which draws heavily on classic country and early rock and roll influences.

Avett now tours across the country, performing in listening rooms and festivals from the Southeast to Pacific Northwest to New England. His shows are a combination of beloved country tunes, gospel, original ballads and the stories he tells to introduce them.

“Jim Avett is the patriarchal archetype of a Southern man doing right by his family and his own values. His humility is palpable; his love for his roots, exceptional,” writes Encore.

About Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has welcomed 269 Buncombe County families to safe, decent and affordable houses since 1983. Habitat homes, which are Green Built North Carolina certified, are sold at no-profit to partner families, who pay back a 0% interest loan. The non-profit also offers a home repair program for low-income homeowners. Learn more about Asheville Area Habitat at ashevillehabitat.org.

About NewSong
newsongpresentslogoNewSong is an independent music organization with the following two-fold mission: To build a supportive community of performers and songwriters across all genres of music and levels of skill. To identify the truly exceptional artists within this community and to work closely with them to develop their careers and introduce their music to a broader, international audience. Over the past ten years, NewSong has achieved its mission by producing the following programs and events: NewSong Recordings, Mountain Stage NewSong Contest & Festival, NewSong Showcase Concerts, and NewSong Academy Workshops. More info at NewSong-music.com.

Read Full Post »

IMG_0224View_from_Workshop_Center

Highlander Center View from Workshop Area

SERFA Holds 7th Annual Conference May 14 – 18  Black Mountain, NC

John McCutcheon to Keynote
The Highlander Research and Education Center to Be Honored

SERFA, The Southeast Regional Folk Alliance, is set to hold their seventh annual conference, with this being their fourth to be held at The Montreat Conference Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina May 14-18, 2014.

SERFA, one of five smaller regional conferences of the Folk Alliance International based in Kansas City, MO, is a gathering of roughly 200 + artists, venues and music industry people who come together for showcasing, education and special events in a community-based atmosphere.

A variety of workshops will be featured during the conference to both help the artist become better at their trade, while also learning more on how to promote their career, alongside instructional clinics and mentoring. A variety of showcasing opportunities for the artist are offered, with many venues and house-concert presenters in attendance.

This year also includes the inaugural award by Founding SERFA President Kari Estrin for “Outstanding Contributions to Music and Culture In the Southeast” which she will present to the Highlander Research and Education Center located in New Market, Tennessee. The Highlander Center serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the U.S. South. But it is Highlander’s integration of music with social change that SERFA is acknowledging with Estrin’s award.

In the Civil Rights Era, not only did Rosa Parks receive training at Highlander before she gave up her seat on the bus, it was also where the song “We Shall Overcome” evolved and was disseminated. And when Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger made their cross-country trip together in the early ‘40’s, one of their first stops was The Highlander Center. Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg of Highlander’s role in combining music and song in order to help promote social change.

The Highlander Research and Education Center has changed the lives of those who have attended their workshops, training and education programs for over 80 years and in effect, many of our own lives because of those who have studied and participated there.

To highlight the recognition of The Highlander Research and Education Center, SERFA is proud to welcome John McCutcheon as their keynote speaker. McCutcheon has attended many gatherings at The Highlander Center to help create opportunities to use music for social change; has worked tirelessly in establishing Local 1000, the only union representing acoustic musicians as a group; and also has distinguished himself in the world of acoustic and Southern music for over 40 years with 36 recordings and several Grammy nominations. Pete Seeger said of McCutcheon, “John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally, he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this world in a better direction.”

The Keynote and Award Presentation will be held on Friday, 10:30 am at The Montreat Conference Center. To register for the conference or for more information, please go to www.serfa.org.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »