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David Gans’ ‘It’s a Hand-Me-Down’ Hits the Streets on Nov 27th
David Gans puts spin on Grateful Dead music, taking it furthur

David Gans has a wonderful way of getting to the emotional center of Grateful Dead songs. He has very much his own twist on these world treasures and yet pays proper homage to the elements that made them great.
Jeff Mattson, Dark Star Orchestra


Oakland, CA
Perhaps the foremost interpreter of Grateful Dead music today and an accomplished guitarist, singer and songwriter in his own right, David Gans now shares with us his own well-crafted and heartfelt interpretations of some of the Grateful Dead’s best songs on It’s a Hand-Me-Down, due out November 27th on Gans’ Perfectible Recordings label. The album is available on pre-order now on FestivalLink.net and Amazon and will be ready to check out on those along with iTunes on Black Friday!

Gans approaches Grateful Dead music with a unique range and a rare degree of mastery on multiple levels: as a noted writer (his most recent volume, This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead [Nov 2015], co-authored with Blair Jackson, presents the definitive story of the Grateful Dead in their own words), commentator, and radio-show host he has introduced, contextualized, and exposed Grateful Dead music to generations of Deadheads and casual fans. As a musician, singer, and impresario he has brought the music to life in solo and ensemble configurations. As an interviewer and documentor, he has chronicled the Grateful Dead experience from a kaleidoscopic array of perspective, as an insider, an outsider, and a songsmith.

It’s a Hand-Me-Down sets some of the Dead tunes Gans most enjoys performing in a “solo electric” context closely modeled on his performance style, making extensive use of looping and electronics to bring the sort of shimmery elastic feel required to do this material justice.

“The idea was to make a record that sounds like my performances: guitar and vocal, with some additional layers of guitar made possible by the Boss RC-30 Loop Station which allows me to record the chord changes of a song so I can play a guitar solo on top of them. It also makes it possible to create multi-layered performances of composed and improvise music.”

“Lazy River Road” and “Attics of My Life” are the simplest: one guitar, one voice. “Ship of Fools,” “Loser,” “Stagger Lee,” “Black Peter,” and “Brokedown Palace” feature guitar fills and solos over the chord changes, exactly as presented in his live show with the help of the looper (but for this project recorded in separate passes, to take advantage of the editing and mixing capabilities of multitrack recording). “Deal” is “realistic” until the end, when a third guitar joins in to spice up the coda. Some sections were edited to eliminate repetitive stretches of loop development. In “Wharf Rat,” this leads to a moment in which four guitars appear simultaneously, in four takes, initially expecting to use just one, but liking the intersection of all four.

DavidGans_PhotoCredit_EBB ESKEWFor this collection, David has chosen songs whose lyrics and melodies he has explored deeply and inhabited in performance. “Songs I cover from the Dead or other artists tend to tell a piece of my own story. It might just be one line or part of a line in a song that resonates in my own little atomic structure, and I don’t always recognize the connection at first. But eventually I find the resonances. I do the songs that I feel are appropriate for me,” says Gans, “and I’ve adapted them to my own style. I’ve changed the key, changed the phrasing or the groove.”

Over the decades, the Grateful Dead have inspired a lot of cover bands, impersonators, and even reenactors capable of recreating specific renditions in precise detail; Gans is doing something different. He has taken from the Dead their approach to music itself, making it live again but in a different realm–one populated by Gans’ own lyrical landscape– “taking it for a walk in the woods” (as Dead guitarist Bob Weir puts it), and making each performance fresh and unique.

Without any urge to duplicate, and no desire to be thought of as the “next Jerry”, Gans is mostly doing what he loves best: playing music and having a ball. “Playing this music is incredibly fun. I’ve always enjoyed getting together with people and jamming, and if you’re into it, this music is deeply enjoyable music to play.

You see and hear this in David’s approach to his own original material as well, and when he returns to these timeless gems from the Dead’s repertoire, the tradition winds on a sort of recursive, fractal, moebius-strip dimension; remaking the old and familiar into something new, fresh, and… familiar. It’s terrapins all the way down!

David brings a unique mix of experiences to this project. Most Deadheads first discovered Gans through his radio show or his writing, but music has always been central, the constant drumbeat organizing his many hats, with the Dead’s music specifically woven through much of it and mingling with his own.

None of this was planned. David never set out to become a professional Deadhead or a DJ. Another page he took from the Grateful Dead book was this model of improvising your own life, and staying open to a serendipitous build-up of events and circumstances that led David on his path.

This is also David’s way of celebrating the ever morphing and shifting cultural legacy of the Dead. Each generation experiences the music differently, but draws from the same cultural pool… telling and retelling of the stories, and David Gans is a master storyteller.

It’s A Hand-Me-Down Track Listing
Stagger Lee  4:02
Lazy River Road  5:45
Ship of Fools  4:06
Loser  6:54
Looks Like Rain  6:33
Wharf Rat  7:22
Stella Blue  6:03
Black Peter  6:34
New Speedway Boogie  5:40
Deal  3:58
Terrapin Station  7:26
Attics of My Life  4:53
Brokedown Palace  5:04

All songs by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter
except “Looks Like Rain” by Bob Weir and John Barlow
Ice Nine Publishing (ASCAP)

David Gans – guitars and vocals

Produced by David Gans & Jeremy Goody and recorded by Jeremy Goody at Megasonic Sound, Piedmont CA, except: “Lady With a Fan/Terrapin” and “Looks Like Rain,” produced and recorded by Jim LeBrecht at Berkeley Sound Artists; and “Stella Blue,” recorded by Arnie Brown at The Jam Room, Howell NJ and mixed by Jeremy Goody at Megasonic.

Mastered by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering, Boulder CO

Instruments by Renaissance Guitars (Rick Turner), Mario DeSio, C.F. Martin & Co. (And two borrowed Taylors on “Stella Blue”)

For more information, tour dates and other news from David Gans , please visit www.davidgans.com, Facebook, and Twitter.com/davidgans.

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Town Mountain: The Dead Session Artwork by Taylor Swope

Town Mountain: The Dead Session
Artwork by Taylor Swope

To Honor the Grateful Dead in the year of the band’s 50th Anniversary
Town Mountain recorded bluegrass versions of two of their favorite Grateful Dead songs

Town Mountain: The Dead Session
Features “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” & “Big River
Due Out Fri, Nov 13th

“Wow, I like these hard-core acoustic honky-tonk takes on two Grateful Dead favorites!” —David Gans, musician and co-author of This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead.”

Town Mountain is excited to announce the independent release of Town Mountain: The Dead Session on Friday, November 13, 2015. Each member of this band has enjoyed the music of the Grateful Dead for quite some time,” says vocalist and guitarist Robert Greer. “It seemed only fitting for Town Mountain to pay respect to some musical heroes in this year, their 50th year of existence.” They recorded an impromptu set of two of their favorite songs from the Grateful Dead’s catalog, “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” and “Big River” at the widely acclaimed Echo Mountain Recording Studios in their hometown of Asheville, NC.

This is the Grateful Dead done in Town Mountains hard drivin’ style filled with a honky tonk edge and barroom swagger. The resulting sound is touched by Jerry Garcia with Jimmy Martin and John Hartford… Fitting since Hartford played a short stint in Old and In The Way before Vassar Clements filled out the band on fiddle, and Garcia’s first instrument was a banjo as he was influenced by bluegrass music throughout his career. Narrowing down to just two was not an easy task for Town Mountain.

“What can I say about “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”? It’s just perfect. Lyrically it’s amazing,” says banjoist Jesse Langlais. “Robert Hunter can be so descriptive yet so vague in the point he’s trying to get across. Which is great for the audience because it allows listeners to choose what they want the song to be about. In my opinion that’s what a good songwriter does. He leaves the song open to interpretation.”

Langlais says, “Musically, Mississippi was extremely fun to play with exciting changes and a lot going on melodically… almost like there’s two songs in one. On the original studio version of this song Vassar Clements plays fiddle. Bobby and I tried to mimic the interplay that Jerry and Vassar had on it. This is just an amazing song, and and it made sense for us to record it because it had a bluegrass master involved. We adopted it into Town Mountain’s repertoire without changing the integrity of the song.”

“Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloowas written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and originally released on Wake of the Flood in 1973. It was performed over 230 times live by The Dead over the years and the song was also the second set opener of the second night of the Fare Thee Well shows in Santa Clara this year.

Big River” was written by Johnny Cash in 1958. But true to The Dead’s fashion they would take other people’s songs or traditional songs and make them their own. They had a knack for finding covers that were transcendent of the original artist and they played it in almost 400 live performances.

“We’ve always liked their version of country music. Even their original albums we’re steeped in that sound. Workingman’s Dead is full of country music influence,” explains Langlais. “The Dead kept the sentiment of ‘Big River’ but translated it to make an audience who may not have known what country music was love it. That audience for them was typically a younger more rock or jam influenced fan but they still ended up knowing the song and singing along.” “Big River” fits right into Town Mountain’s sound and wheelhouse.

Town Mountain. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

Town Mountain. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

The core of Town Mountain is Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Adam Chaffins on bass (Adam is featured on “Mississippi”). Evan Martin plays drums on both tracks. Jon Stickley fills in on bass and guitar in “Big River” and Jack Deveroux lays down the pedal steel on “Big River.”

For the cover art, Town Mountain turned to long time Grateful Dead artist Taylor Swope. Taylor has been creating official Grateful Dead art since the former VP of Grateful Dead Productions discovered her in a parking lot at a show in 2003 and offered her a license on the spot. Her work has become iconic in it’s own right, having become widely associated with the generations of Deadheads who have grown up in the wake of Jerry Garcia’s passing.

Riding the wave of excitement that followed Fare Thee Well where her poster was one of only four featured at both stadiums, and sharing Town Mountain’s deep appreciation for American roots music, Taylor says she “thoroughly enjoyed creating this image. I am obsessed with swimming and water in general, so when Town Mountain asked me to draw them a river with a Steal Your Face, it was a natural fit.”

Town Mountain is no stranger to playing covers, and what has become one of the group’s more memorable live performance songs is their version of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” which they first recorded in 2008’s Heroes & Heretics. Town Mountain’s version “I’m On Fire” has reached over 1 Million listeners on Spotify and has garnered over 430,000 views.

Town Mountain is also prolific in songwriting; each member contributes their well-supplied vat of original material. They are finalizing their next studio release which was produced and engineered by GRAMMY winner Dirk Powell in his studio, The Cypress House, in south Louisiana. For a sneak peek at what to expect on the future album, watch the band perform a new original song, “Wildbird,” in this wonderful session filmed by Hype Music Festivals at the 2015 Suwannee Springfest in Live Oak, FL →  http://bit.ly/Wildbird_byTownMountain_HYPE.

Town Mountain is in it for the long haul… check out out where they’ll be travelin’ to next and keep an eye on TownMountain.net for further dates as well as a brand new selection of merchandise. For updates from the road, please visit facebook.com/TownMountain, twitter.com/TownMountain, and instagram.com/townmountainbluegrass

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bob susan_Lockn_byMiloFarineau2015Grateful and Unforgettable: Lockn’ 2015 in Review.
Words By Kirby Farineau; Photos by Milo Farineau

Stepping up the grassy hill to attend the third annual Lockn’ Music Festival, attendees were greeted with the sight of the event in all its grandeur. Fields of tents, cars, and RVs stretched into the distance far from the dazzling Oakridge stage. Held inside the Oakridge farm racetrack, Lockn’ provides a wide open space for its many thousands of attendees. Based on previous year’s success, the setup for year three is mostly unchanged, providing a great structure to explore the festival grounds and enjoy the music from almost anywhere.

One cannot discuss this year’s festivities without mentioning the unfortunate and literal rain on the parade. Due to an intense storm system on Wednesday, there was enough damage to the festival stage, vendor tents, and campgrounds that impaired their ability to safely run on its scheduled opening day. To the dismay of many, the festival shut all Thursday events down, turning attendees away to the many impromptu pop-up shantytowns in campgrounds and parking lots around the state. Some of the acts were lost, as Thursday was the only day they could play (Little Feat, Galactic, etc.), but Lockn’ was quick to remedy the situation, taking action to create a condensed schedule of music for the remainder of the weekend, making the best of the time and musical talents they had to work with.

Doobie_Lockn_byMiloFarineau2015_1Seeing as that first Friday fell on the important but somber date of 9/11, the festival did their best to honor the occasion in a way that didn’t dwell on the tragedy. John Popper of Blues Traveler took the stage first to deliver the national anthem, surrounded by a group of first responders from the attack on the Twin Towers underneath a big star spangled banner waving for everyone to see. After a few moments to reflect, the swaths of festival attendees bunched up towards the stage were finally greeted with the sounds of The Doobie Incident, a respective combination of classic rock band The Doobie Brothers, and The String Cheese Incident, who played classics from the Doobie’s career but with some added instrumentation from String Cheese. The rest of the first day’s acts followed in a seamless succession, as bands like Seth Stainback and Roosterfoot, Moonalice, and the North Mississippi Allstars all provided rocking, roots, and bluesy sets before New Orleans singer songwriter Anders Osborne and his band brought their original style of heavy funk/blues rock to the stage.

Phil_Lockn_byMiloFarineau2015Steve Earle and The Dukes, with his deep southern tones and their unique country style provided a chance for audience members to gather themselves, and prepare for a torrential outpouring of musical experiences that evening which surpassed the literal storm from the days before. The String Cheese Incident revisited the stage to deliver their own set, followed closely by a performance from the always varying Phil and Friends, this time featuring the fantastic vocal stylings of Lockn’ veteran, Chris Robinson, who took the stage singing classic Grateful Dead tunes in front of Phil Lesh, himself. This was the first of many performances that emphasized one of the greatest elements of Lockn’: collaboration. The cooperative efforts of veteran musicians across genres made for some historical and downright crazy performances throughout the rest of the weekend.

LR_Lockn_byMiloFarineau2015The night ended with back- to-back powerhouse celebrations of music history: The 50 year anniversary of Jefferson Airplane, and a tribute to the late Joe Cocker. The first performance featured Jack and Jorma of Hot Tuna fame, alongside Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive, and drummer Bill Kreutzmann, followed by an unforgettable show simply dubbed Mad Dogs and Englishmen. There’s something magical about seeing Susan Tedeschi, Leon Russell, and Chris Robinson all on the same stage alongside Cocker’s old backup singers like Rita Coolidge which created an image and a sound that attendees will not soon forget.  Closing up with late night performances from Mickey Hart and Umphrey’s McGee, Friday came to a very rousing and very late conclusion.

Karl_Lockn_byMiloFarineau2015Things ramped up early on Saturday kicking things off with one of the Rockn’ to Lockn’ contest winners, local country band Lord Nelson, followed by the always entertaining 80’s cover bluegrass group Love Canon.  Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe teamed up with keyboardist Chuck Leavell to deliver a remarkable performance of soulful horn-heavy rock before Hot Tuna once more took the stage, this time playing a sit down acoustic set of their own music and introspective conversation, allowing audience members a little period of relaxation. More great sets that afternoon with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who somehow get better with every performance. The soulful duo of quiet guitarist Derek Trucks alongside wife Susan Tedeschi, a woman who could sing the roof off a stadium, was soon joined by Grateful Dead legend Bob Weir for a few tunes. The appearance of Weir enamored audience members with another brilliant aspect of Lockn’: The Legacy of the Grateful Dead.

billy_1_Lockn_byMiloFarineau2015Ever since the grand reunion show in Chicago, speculation about the Grateful Dead at Lockn’ gripped the hopes of Deadheads everywhere. For many who were unable to attend that “last show” at Soldier’s Field, it seems that Lockn’ was a possible opportunity to see the four members in some capacity. Ever since Lockn’ organizers Dave Fry and Pete Shapiro announced that all four members were going to be there, the hearts and minds of fans everywhere were racing.

Before that was to be seen, we got musical legend Robert Plant with the Sensational Space Shifters , followed shortly by what at this point seems to be a Lockn’ tradition of Widespread Panic collaborating with a classic musician, in this case Jimmy Cliff.

Mickey_2Lockn_byMiloFarineau2015Then came a show from Billy and The Kids, which may be the closest to the real lineup people may ever get, with Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart all performing on the Oak Stage, while Phil Lesh set up for his show on the Ridge Stage adjoining (but not accompanying). For a very brief moment in time, from the audience, one could at least see all four members of the Grateful Dead together, in some capacity on stage together.

The second Phil and Friends show was as interesting as the first, featuring two different but masterful guitarists Warren Haynes and Carlos Santana. Saturday finished with another late night performance from Mickey Hart, and an appearance of Govt Mule.

Sunday waved goodbye to the thousands of festival-goers, but not without a few more stunning performances. Richmond reps and Rockn’ to Lockn’ winners, The Southern Belles , followed by Fishbone, The Oh Hellos, and a hip shaking performance by St. Paul and The Broken Bones. Save for performances from Trombone Shorty and Slightly Stoopid, the last evening was comprised of artists (Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, and Robert Plant) who had  played previously, but played additional sets in different configurations, proving that more is sometimes better.

plant_2Lockn_byMiloFarineau2015It seems that with each successive and successful year, Lockn’ has become one of the biggest and most unforgettable festivals in Virginia. Through the efforts of vendors, volunteers, and staff, Lockn’ managed to overcome significant environmental challenges and not only compensated but turned obstacle into accomplishment by providing collaborative combinations into experiences unlikely to ever be forgotten by event participants.

hot tuna_Mickey_2Lockn_byMiloFarineau2015RachaelLockn_byMiloFarineau2015WP_1_Lockn_byMiloFarineau_2015Steve_1_Lockn_byMiloFarineau_2015

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Los_nashville_banner4

Help Leftover Salmon Webcast ‘The Nashville Sessions’
Live From The Ryman on Sept 15th 

Pledge to Celebrate 15 Years Of The Nashville Sessions Live at the Ryman Auditorium.
Help Bring the Live Webcast of this Special Evening Into Your Home!

LEFTOVER SALMON
JOHN BELL ● SAM BUSH ● JEFF COFFIN ● ELIZABETH COOK ● JOHN COWAN ● COL. BRUCE HAMPTON ● JEFF HANNA ● TAJ MAHAL ● TODD PARK MOHR ● BILL PAYNE ● RANDY SCRUGGS ● JO-EL SONNIER ● SALLY VAN METER ● REESE WYNANS

To Find Out More and Pledge: http://bit.ly/LoSNashSess

Bring 15 Years Of The Nashville Sessions Live From The Ryman To Your Home. Help bring this historic night of live music to living rooms around the world! With your help, this one-of-kind concert experience could be webcast live from the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. There are some exclusive items being offered to those who pledge. Our good friends at Music City Roots will be bringing their A-team along with full HD production to capture the night! By pledging, you could help make this live HD webcast a reality. In addition Leftover Salmon will be donating a portion of the funds raised to the Americana Music Association!

Celebrating 15 years of The Nashville Sessions Live At The Ryman Auditorium! On September 15th, Leftover Salmon will assemble an all-star cast which includes John Bell (of Widespread Panic), Sam Bush, Taj Mahal, Bill Payne (of Little Feat), Jeff Coffin (of Dave Matthews Band), Elizabeth Cook, and many more amazing musicians! 15 years ago LoS was joined in the studio by many of these musicians to record their most treasured album to date, The Nashville Sessions. Years later, they are excited to recreate this album in a live setting. Many music fans out there won’t be able to join in on this special evening in Nashville. This is why the band wants to bring the show to you!

At the Ryman, Leftover Salmon will also be releasing The Nashville Sessions [1999] on vinyl for the first time. A limited pressing of 1000 copies will only be available for purchase at the Ryman or by pledging. This double vinyl set includes a special track featuring Col. Bruce Hampton, which has been aging in the vault for the past 15 years!

You can be the first to download “Bluegrass Pines,” one of the new songs off Leftover Salmon’s forthcoming studio album for a pledge of $5. This track was written by Bill Payne of Little Feat and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Be the first to hear it!

Please join Leftover Salmon in helping make this webcast a reality. If the goal is reached, this unique performance will be broadcasted to the world. So, pick up one of these great offerings, and mark your calendar for a special night of entertainment on Monday, September 15th right from the living room for your home!

Vince Herman shares his thought on The Nashville Sessions:
Recording The Nashville  Sessions was like a musical fantasy island for us. We’d have Earl Scruggs come in the morning, Taj Mahal in the afternoon and Waylon Jennings the next day. We were loving it. It’s still dreamlike thinking about it years later. I sure treasure having had the chance to play with such iconic figures, especially those who have passed on, including our brother Mark Vann. I’m going to savor the chance to make music with the great cast of characters assembled at the Ryman that night. Life is short. Art is long. –Vince Herman

Thank you for supporting Leftover Salmon for the past 25 years!

For more information and complete tour dates for LoS, please visit and www.LeftoverSalmon.com. To find out more about the Ryman and the event, please visit www.Ryman.com.

Leftover Salmon with Bill Payne of Little Feat. Photo by Tobin Voggesser.

Leftover Salmon with Bill Payne of Little Feat. Photo by Tobin Voggesser.

 

 

 

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Wednesday June 8
Live audience radio set
KPFA w/ David Gans
9-10pm

KPFA is at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley, CA http://galenkipar.com

Effortlessly crafting a fusion of folk, classical, jazz, and blues, Galen Kipar has been hailed as “complex yet accessible” and “cohesive and poignant.” His most recent release, The Scenic Route, was listed in WNCW’s Top 100 Albums of 2010! Host of the Grateful Dead Hour, David Gans states about the album, “It’s like a collection of short stories, brilliantly constructed and with a unique and compelling literary voice. I keep coming back to each song, listening more deeply and being drawn more deeply in. I was knocked out by their last CD, and was hoping I’d like the next one even half as much; if anything, I like this one twice as much.”


Thursday June 9
Rubber Souldiers & Galen Kipar

Ashkenaz
9pm

1317 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 525-5054

Rubber Souldiers is the phenomenal Beatles tribute band combining the talents of Grateful Dead historian and innovative songwriter David Gans with the incomparable Rowan Brothers! This trio brings to the stage a rockabilly/jam-band revision of all your favorites from the Fab Four!The band describes themselves as: “Beatles vocabulary with a Grateful Dead syntax… The Beatles wrote all these kick-ass songs and these amazing grooves, and then they quit ’em after three minutes. And so we’re stretching them out and stringing them together.” -David Gans – guitar, vocals

“The essence of Rubber Souldiers is the harmony singing, instrumental jamming and the experimental approach. By expanding on spontaneous things that happen, we’re creating our sound.” – Chris Rowan – guitar, vocal

“We’ve written our pieces around their pieces, our hooks around their hooks. We take some of the more obscure songs and mix them with some of the more familiar ones. We’ve opened it up so things flow within you and without you – to coin a phrase.” –Lorin Rowan – guitar, mandolin, vocals


Friday June 10
Galen Kipar with Ike Marr
Big Water Grille
Showtime: 8:30p
(775) 833-0606
North Shore of Lake Tahoe
341 Ski Way • Incline Village, NV  www.ikemarr.com

Ike Marr has more than 20 years of professional experience in laying studio tracks for music sessions as well as movie soundtracks, network television shows, and even video games.

Ike has built his career in American acoustic rock music, playing variations on Acoustic, Alternative, Bluegrass, Blues, Country, Classical, Folk, Pop and Rock. He can provide performances on viola, violin, mandolin, banjo, electric or acoustic guitar, electric or acoustic bass guitar, keys, piano, organ and vocals.

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Keller and the Keels “THIEF” has been getting lot of great attention this year! There are a couple of popular voting contests running now with it on the list: check out WNCW’s top 100 list here & Leeways Homegrown Music Network voting here. THIEF will make a great stocking stuffer too (Please just do not steal it, or it will turn into a lump of coal overnight…)!

Here is a fun review of Thief in the WV Rock Scene Blog and below is one from Bluegrass Unlimited. Click here for the full post.

If  Keller Williams is reading this, we just want to come out and admit that we didn’t pay for Thief. But we didn’t illegally download it or anything like that. Judging from Williams’ liner notes, we don’t want to get off on the wrong foot. [When you buy a copy of the CD; you will see the “Karma Warning”… I’m not going to spoil it for ya though 😉 ]*

But let’s set up exactly how much we wanted to hear the CD first.

A few phrases we’ve coined here include: “The best things come to those who wait,” and “Better late than never.” Both describe our feelings on landing a copy of this 13-song cover CD.

Getting hooked up with the second installment of Keller Williams’ collaboration with Larry and Jenny Keel seems like some sort of cosmic convergence of the most awesome kind.

And in case you didn’t know yet, Keel, the critically acclaimed, much loved flatpicking master, shreds. It would be great to hear him play some metal. Jenny rocks the upright bass and, together, Williams (a star in his own right) and the Keels take songs — maybe not even their favorites, exactly — and, kind of like The Ramones did with songs from rock and roll’s past, put their own unique countrified bluegrass stamp on them.

Remember when you first heard about a bluegrass cover CD of AC/DC songs, and your mind kind of reeled? Hearing Williams and the Keels cover Butthole Surfers, Cracker, Presidents of the United States of America, The Raconteurs, and yes, Amy Winehouse, might seem like a stretch, but they nail it.

They even cover “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground. Remember that friggin song? This might make getting that Marcy Playground tattoo seem like a good idea, which, maybe not so much.

More obvious songs for the trio to steal may include “Cold Roses” by Ryan Adams, “Wind’s on Fire” by Yonder Mountain String Band, and“Mountains of the Moon” by the Grateful Dead. Bookended by a pair of Kris Kristofferson songs — he stands to make the most money offThief royalties, as Williams points out in the liner notes — this is a great CD to play on a sunny day aimless drive around town, doing chores, or anything else you wanna do.

The most awesome song for us to hear was “Pepper” by Butthole Surfers. Like over a decade ago, we wore out that Electriclarrylandcassette we had. Williams even does a good Gibby Haynes voice.

But the title of the CD is a slight dig on the whole stealing other people’s songs to make a record, and the tendency of you people to download music for free, and not supporting the artists.

Even though we were late getting this, we are so glad to have got hooked up with it. Apparently there was a Keller and the Keels Play Your Couch type contest. Hopefully that person cleaned off their couch.

But for us, we’re gonna go burn a Grass/Thief compilation CD. And of course, we won’t let anyone steal it off of us.

READ THE FULL POST HERE: http://wvrockscene.blogspot.com/2010/11/cd-review-thief.html *Dreamspider’s addition

Bluegrass Unlimited just released a review today. Click the link for the full review, here is an excerpt:

When I first received Thief, the second set of cover songs recorded by Keller Williams and Larry and Jenny Keel, I fully expected my review to end up in the “On The Edge” section of this magazine. Williams’ music floats on the quirky yet inventive side of the jam band scene, and The Keels have always had an open mind about their Virginia ’grass. … Thief, on the other hand, flows wonderfully throughout with great arrangements and expanded musicality.

The unusual cover-song choices here will seem odd at first glance. But, the positive approach and upbeat grooves makes this CD fit in the “regular” review category just fine. Williams handles most of the lead vocals, while all three keep their acoustic instruments humming throughout. Larry Keel’s leads are excellent, especially in the case of rollicking and infectious versions of Patterson Hood’s “Uncle Disney” and Ryan Adams’ “Cold Roses.” Both Keels sing harmony and Jenny’s bass playing is as solid as ever. Other covers include “Switch And The Spur” by The Raconteurs, “Get It While You Can” by Danny Barnes, Cracker’s “Teen Angst,” “Bath Of Fire” by Presidents Of The United States Of America, the Grateful Dead’s “Mountains Of The Moon,” and Yonder Mountain String Band’s “Wind’s On Fire.” Even when the trio takes on the Amy Winehouse song “Rehab,” it isn’t done in a gimmicky way, but instead rocks right along.

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Please visit the Home Grown Music Network’s site to vote for the best HGMN album of the year! THIEF is on the list– hint hint 😉

Check out this great review of Keller and the Keels, Thief, in Acoustic Guitar Magazine this month!

Who knew Amy Winehouse’s neo-soul hit “Rehab” would make a great bluegrass burner? On this mischievous collection of covers by jam-man Keller Williams with flatpicker Larry Keel and upright bassist Jenny Keel, a follow-up to their 2006’s Grass, the trio also tackles the Grateful Dead’s tripped-out “Mountains of the Moon,” Cracker’s cheeky “Teen Angst.” and more stylistically straightforward fare such as Kris Kristofferson’s “Don’t Cuss the Fiddle” and Danny Barnes’s “Get It While You Can.” Williams takes the mando role in this group, adding the bluegrass chops not on an actual mandolin but on a high-tuned Veillette mini-12-string guitar with the top two string courses removed. That leaves plenty of sonic room for Larry Keel’s superfine flatpicking runs and cross-picked rolls, played on a Santa Cruz OM and recorded in sumptuous acoustic detail. In keeping with the repertoire, the vibe of Thief is loose and playful, with all the tracks performed live except for harmony vocals. The trio indulges in a bit of space jamming but overall keeps a light focus on this odd and witty batch of songs, proving along the way that the grass is green out in left field. (SCI Fidelity)

-JEFFREY PEPPER RODGERS

TO SEE THE ORIGINAL POST PLEASE VISIT ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE: http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=25669

Remember to visit the Home Grown Music Network’s site to vote for the best HGMN album of the year! THIEF is on the list– hint hint 😉 http://www.homegrownmusic.net/form/vote-for-the-hgmn-2010-album-of-the-year

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