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Passengers Of Darkness

The Contribution Release New Music Throughout 2017
Singles to be released for seven months, with 100% of proceeds going to nonprofits

Rex Foundation, Conscious Alliance, HeadCount, Rock the Earth, The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, BCEF (Breast Cancer Emergency Fund in SF Bay area), and Piedmont Land Conservatory

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The Contribution has been living up to their name and giving back, they released their third single from their Wilderness And Space project April 21, benefiting HeadCount. Listen to the Exclusive Stream Premiere of “Passengers of Darkness” at Live For Live Music.

Since this February, The Contribution has been releasing one single a month, as sort of a mid-month pick-me-up, partnering with a variety of nonprofits to which 100% of the profits from each single (sold as a digital download) go to a charity (hand-picked by members of the band) in perpetuity.

The Contribution is the brainchild of Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth (violin, guitar, vocals) together with Phil Ferlino (keyboards, vocals) and Jeff Miller (guitar, vocals) of New Monsoon. Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident), has been the bass player from the band’s inception along with vocalist Sheryl Renee (The Black Swan Singers). The drum chair has been occupied by Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Matt Butler (Everyone Orchestra), and currently Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic). Both Matt Butler and Duane Trucks appear on the band’s new record, Wilderness And Space. Although the band is comprised of some of the scene’s heavy hitters, the first listen to their music reveals their love of 60s pop and soul coupled with their ability to flat-out shred. The full ten song album will be released on vinyl this Fall on LoHi Records.

Tim Carbone tells Shows I Go To about how the nonprofits were selected, “I put it to the band at large. What do you feel strongly about? Matt Butler said we should go for the Rex Foundation. Keith wanted Conscious Alliance, who I have also worked with before. Phil suggested Rock the Earth. I thought we would go with HeadCount because I am politically motivated. They don’t choose sides, they just encourage people to register to vote. When you don’t vote, bad things happen. I think we found that out.”

Tim says, “I wrote the words to ‘This Too Shall Pass’ for our guitar player Jeff after his mother passed away from breast cancer.” He says they did some searching and found BCEF, a Breast Cancer Emergency Fund in SF Bay area, to pair up with that song. LoHi Records labelmate, Jim Brooks, suggested Piedmont Land Conservatory as he has held events to raise money for them in the past to preserve natural and scenic lands, farms, and open spaces in Piedmont North Carolina. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is located nearby where Carbone is from and they do wonderful work in protecting the waterways, including the drinking water of nearly 17 Million people, throughout the entire Delaware River Watershed which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York.

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The Contribution. Photo by Erin Mills

The newest single release “Passengers of Darkness” explores trauma suffered in a relationship, with two people confronting challenges to their love and trust. Carbone says, “It could also be a metaphor [in retrospect] for the trauma some people are feeling over our recent presidential election. The lack of transparency and trust in an election, as well as a relationship, can be destructive and almost always leads to chaos.”

How fitting to pair the song up with HeadCount, an organization that works with musicians to promote participation in democracy. HeadCount is best known for registering voters at concerts – having signed up 450,000 voters since its launch in 2004 – and for the Participation Row social action villages at concerts and festivals which have raised over $1 million for various nonprofit organizations.

“The Contribution is a brilliant concept and we were honored when Tim asked HeadCount to participate. Seeing Tim and The Contribution elevate and amplify the voices of so many incredible organizations is a real example of how music can change the world,” says Andy Bernstein, HeadCount’s Executive Director.

The first single “Back This Way” came out in February with proceeds going to Rex Foundation. Created in 1983 by the Grateful Dead and Family, Rex Foundation aims to help secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of indigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere. Rex Foundation has granted $8.9 million to over 1,200 recipients.

“For more than 30 years, the Rex Foundation has funded organizations most people might never have heard of, but all of whom do meaningful work that we find important. I believe that these same groups need all of us now more than ever, and I doubt there could be any better way to celebrate their work than by coming together with songs in the air and spirits held high,” says Rex Foundation Executive Director Cameron Sears.

March’s release unveiled “The Great Boot” to benefit Conscious Alliance. Live Music News and Review’s Miles Hurley spoke with Conscious Alliance’s Executive Director Justin Levy about their work to help solve the hunger crisis in America since 2002. He writes, “… one of the organization’s really successful efforts in the music world has been Art That Feeds, a project that has touring bands’ artists creating posters and other art that fans can donate food to purchase. As Justin tell us, it’s the fan bases that are a fundamental part of the organization’s mission. “People do want to contribute, people do want to give back locally. It’s about making it easy and accessible, and effective for folks,” he says.

“The idea,” Justin explains, “is to engage people in the middle of their good time, and provide them an outlet to give back locally in each city where the music plays. Tim Carbone has been a huge supporter of Conscious Alliance for many years,” Justin says. “[He] reached out to us as they were getting ready to launch, and said ‘We love Conscious Alliance, and we’d love to continue the support through this program.’”

Hurley says “The Great Boot” is “a doozy of a track, echoing both the epicness of something like ‘Terrapin Station,’ and the folky, rich tones of a Railroad Earth tune. The last few minutes launches the song into a powerful climax, fronted by some inspired fiddle playing from band leader Tim Carbone.”

“It’s a pretty special collaboration and we’re very lucky and honored to be involved,” says Levy.

Hurley writes, “Purchasing a wicked cool new track, and getting to contribute to an amazing cause while doing so? It’s a definite win-win all around.”

All songs written and produced by Tim Carbone, Phil Ferlino, and Jeff Miller. The songs from Wilderness And Space were recorded mainly at Silo Sound Studio in Denver, Colorado and engineered by Todd Dival with additional recordings at TRI Studios in San Rafael, California (engineered by Rick Vargas).

Carbone says, “We feel blessed to be able to make this music and have it help people in need… and we would like to empower those who share our passion and provide a resource for them to take action with us.”

Wilderness And Space Singles

2/17 — “Back This Way” benefits Rex Foundation
Listen to the Exclusive Stream Premiere at Relix Magazine

3/17 — “The Great Boot” benefits Conscious Alliance
Listen to the Exclusive Stream Premiere at Shows I Go To

4/21 — “Passengers Of Darkness” benefits HeadCount
Listen to the Exclusive Stream Premiere at Live For Live Music  

Further Release Dates:
5/19 — Ain’t No Sin” – Rock the Earth
6/16 — “Dream Out In The Rain” – The Delaware Riverkeeper Network
7/21 —  “This Too Shall Pass” – BCEF (Bay Area Breast Cancer Emergency Fund)
8/18 — “Wilderness And Space” – Piedmont Land Conservatory

Music available to buy here → www.cdbaby.com/Artist/TheContribution

For more information, please visit www.TheContribution.net, www.facebook.com/TheContribution, www.twitter.com/thecontribution, and www.instagram.com/thecontribution.

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Balsam Range. Photo By David Simchock

Balsam Range Is Casting Acoustic Spells with Mountain Voodoo,
Their Most Recent Release on Mountain Home Music Company

The Boot Premieres a Music Video of “Eldorado Blue”

Filmed at Crossroads Studios near Asheville, N.C., the music video for ‘Eldorado Blue’ provides an intimate glimpse into Balsam Range’s process of laying down tracks in the studio; those clips are juxtaposed with shots of Small Town USA.”

Watch “Eldorado Blue” at The Boot→    
www.theboot.com/balsam-range-eldorado-blue-music-video/

Asheville, NC — Balsam Range is currently touring in support of Mountain Voodoo, their sixth studio album, on Mountain Home Music Company. With it, they are offering something that is sure to continue to mesmerize fans of bluegrass and beyond with elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing, and old-time music that are all infused into the fresh sound of this unique Southern band. It’s five distinct personalities creating one remarkable musical experience.

balsamrangemtnvoodoowallcovMountain Voodoo [Released 11/11/17] is like the book of life “Chapter Six” for Balsam Range; 13-tracks filled with songs of journey, home, sense of place, hardcore drive, and longing. There are fiery instrumental parts alternating with heavy, deep ballads overlaid by the vocal harmonies the group has become known for.

Balsam Range is Buddy Melton (Fiddle, Lead and Tenor Vocals), Darren Nicholson (Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Lead Vocals, Baritone and Low Tenor Vocals), Dr. Marc Pruett (Banjo), Tim Surrett (Bass, Dobro, Baritone and Lead Vocals), and Caleb Smith (Guitar, Lead & Baritone Vocals). The five original members, who are celebrating their 10th year together this March, are all acoustic musicians and singers from North Carolina. They thoughtfully and respectfully adopted the name of a majestic range of mountains that surrounds part of their home county of Haywood, NC where the Smokies meet the Blue Ridge, the Balsam Range.

What Folks Are Saying:

“Fans who grew up in a small town will find plenty to relate to in ‘Eldorado Blue,’ a song that explores the dilemma of whether or not you even want to spread your wings and leave home. Balsam Range describe the song as ‘a story of finding oneself and recognizing contentment in life is something we can all stand to do.’”
Amy McCarthy for The Boot’s World Premiere of the Music Video for “Eldorado Blue

“So consistently impressive that we no longer expect their albums to be ‘better than their last,’ in less than a decade Balsam Range has hit the plateau of excellence few groups achieve. Like The Del McCoury Band, Blue Highway, and Alison Krauss & Union Station before them, a new release from Balsam Range is measured against their individual legacy. Mountain Voodoo lacks nothing.”
Country Standard Time, Donald Teplyske’s Favorite Bluegrass Albums of 2016

“Already accomplished musicians, in a decade they’ve won ten IBMA awards (International Bluegrass Music Association) released five albums, toured nationally, made multiple Grand Ole Opry stops and, in general, have become icons in the world of professional bluegrass. The fellas can both sing and pick.”
Asheville Citizen Times, Carol Rifkin

“Its theme – pride of place and trying to make it in a small town – is visited throughout Mountain Voodoo. The material comes mostly from top bluegrass songwriters, especially band friend Milan Miller, who contributed the swinging honky tonker ‘Hello Heartache.’”
Stream WMOT Roots Radio’s 90 Second Spin with Craig Havighurst

“These guys just keep getting better. How good is this one? There’s a potential song of the year here… the laurels go to Aaron Bibelhauser’s ‘Blue Collar Dreams’, an anthem for working stiffs everywhere that’s been dominating the charts. The song has quite a pedigree.”
Bluegrass Today, David Morris’ Top Albums of the 2016

“The men of the Range continue to make some of the best music in the industry. This is a fitting follow up to Five, which is a LARGE statement. I expect some of the CD to do well through the first qtr/half of 2017.”
Flashpoint Bluegrass Radio, Jeff Miller’s 2016 Bluegrass CDs to Remember

“Stepping over boundaries seems to be a part of Balsam Range’s DNA.”
News & Record/ Greensboro.com, Grant Britt

“They’re groovy. Balsam Range reminds us that bluegrass can be dancing music, hip-swinging music, backbeat music, as rhythmically hypnotic as all the plugged-in genres that formed in its wake. ‘It’s hillbilly soul!’ says mandolin player Darren Nicholson.’”
The Bluegrass Situation, Joseph Terrell

“They kick the album off with a bang. Pure (what they at one time called) Newgrass, the kind of stuff on which Tony Rice and Ricky Skaggs based their reputations. Acoustic guitar (mostly picked), bass, mandolin, fiddle and banjo, and voices. The voices are crucial. You can jig and reel and you can breakdown without vocals but you cannot have the best of what bluegrass offers without voices. Think Seldom Scene and Doyle Lawson. Think harmonies sung by angels. Think harmonies stacked to the ceiling. There isn’t anything like it, or as some of my friends would say, ‘There ain’t nothin’ lak it.’”
No Depression, Frank Gutch Jr.

“Some of the best vocal harmonies I can recall in quite some time… Bluegrass aficionado or not, you absolutely need to hear Balsam Range.”
Elmore Magazine, Jim Hynes

Balsam Range On Tour
2/23-24 Thu- Fri – Wintergrass – Bellvue, WA
3/4  Sat – Balsam Range 10th Anniversary Concert @ Colonial Theatre – Canton, NC
3/11 Sat – Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts – Red Wing, MN
3/25 Sat – Sertoma Youth Ranch Spring Bluegrass Festival – Brooksville, FL
4/1 Sat – Lions Club Brighter Visions Fundraiser – Lake Junaluska, NC
4/7 Fri – Sumter Opera House – Sumter, NC
4/8 Sat – Pamlico Musical Society Concert @ The Red Rooster – Oriental, NC
4/15 Sat – Parrish Auditorium – Hamilton, OH
4/21 Fri – Cary Arts Center – Cary, NC
4/22 Sat – Apple Country Cider Jam – Hendersonville, NC
5/5 Fri – Boxcar Pinion Bluegrass Festival – Chattanooga, NC
5/11 Thu – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival – Denton, NC
5/13 Sat – Rotary Club Fundraiser @ Carteret Community Theatre – Morehead City, NC
5/20 Sat – Buhl, Germany
5/21 Sun – Waldkraiburg, Germany
5/23 Tue – Prague, Czech Republic
5/27 Sat – Willisau, Switzerland
6/1 Thu – Ciener Botanical gardens – Kernersville, NC
6/2 Fri – Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, TN
6/3 Sat – Cold Mountain Music at Lake Logan – Canton, NC
6/16-17 Fri-Sat – Wenatchee River Bluegrass Festival – Cashmere, WA
6/24 Sat – Rudy Fest – Grayson, KY
7/2 Sun – Lake Junaluska Conference Center – Lake Junaluska, NC
7/8 Sat – Stecoah Valley Center – Robbinsville, NC
7/13 Thu – Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival – Oak Hill, NY
7/22 Sat – Bluegrass On The Square – Corydon, IN
8/4 Fri – Mandolin farms Bluegrass Festival – Flemingsburg, KY
8/5 Sat – Dillard Bluegrass & BBQ Festival – Dillard, GA
8/26 Sat – Ocean Lakes Bluegrass Weekend – Myrtle Beach, SC

For more information, tour dates, and more, please visit www.balsamrange.com. Stay up to date with current news on www.facebook.com/balsamrange, www.twitter.com/BalsamRange, and www.instagram.com/balsamrange.

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