Bluegrass

Sarah Jarosz's Song Up In Her Head Streets 6/16

Sarah JaroszSeventeen-year-old Texas native Sarah Jarosz emerged on the scene about five years ago as someone to watch.  Jamming onstage with bluegrass icons David Grisman and Ricky Skaggs, she played her mandolin with a sure touch and real joy.  It looked and sounded comfortable in her then twelve-year-old hands.  She started writing songs on the guitar and took up the banjo.  While her instrumental talents are formidable, let's make one thing clear:  Sarah is a singer.  Her voice is velvety smooth, agile, and powerful occasionally reminiscent of such disparate artists as Natalie Maines and Patty Griffin.  With subtle use of colors and effects, she inhabits her songs the way a fine actress does her role. Overall, her music feels good, avoids overreaching. Nothing's contrived.

About to graduate from high school this spring, Sarah is that rare self-possessed teenager. Her schoolteacher parents have raised her well, providing the skills, support, and freedom to become the confident artist that she is. Beautiful, talented, and just a little mysterious in a wholesome, Texas hill country kinda way, Sarah is at home in this world. She knows what she's about and is ready to get out there and make her mark.

"Song Up In Her Head," produced by Jarosz and award-winning engineer and producer Gary Paczosa, features a mix of her original new-old-timey ballads, and two well chosen covers, the Decemberists' "Shankill Butchers" and the Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan co-write, "Come On Up To The House," which mesh flawlessly with the other eleven songs.  Her collaborators include teenaged peers, including Samson Grisman and Alex Hargreaves, as well as well-known veterans of the acoustic scene, including Chris Thile, Darrell Scott, Stuart Duncan, Mike Marshall and Jerry Douglas.  It's an impressive coming out party, a survey of where she's been so far, and a good indicator of where she's headed.  [Adapted from the liner notes by Tim O'Brien]

SARAH JAROSZ TOUR DATES 2009 

April 18th Old Settler's Music Festival, Austin, TX
June 6th Pagosa Folk 'n Bluegrass Music Festival, Pagosa Springs, CO
June 11th Blue Rock Studios < CD Release Party >, Wimberly, TX
July 18th Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Wimberly, TX
July 26th Rocky Grass, Lyons, CO

Debut Album From Joey+Rory Streets October 28th

Joey + Rory- for the Grateful Web

Joey+Rory, along with Grammy-award winning producer Carl Jackson, have put the finishing touches on their debut album, The Life Of A Song, to be released by Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records on October 28th.  Having produced such greats as Alison Krauss and Merle Haggard, Jackson proved the perfect choice to help husband and wife team Rory Feek and Joey Martin create a traditional country album, seasoned with acoustic elements and equal doses of humor and sincerity.

 

"Working with Joey+Rory is a total joy for me," states Jackson.  "They are the real deal, not an act simply called 'country' whose music contradicts that label.  What makes it even more special is that I believe the only thing they love more than a great country song is each other."

 

Joey+Rory are nothing if not authentic; The Life Of A Song might be listened to as a soundtrack to their simple country lifestyle.  The couple resides in an 1870's farmhouse in tiny Hardison Mill, TN, where Joey helps run a nearby family restaurant called Marcy Jo's Mealhouse.  Perfectly in their element, Joey+Rory sing of scuffed cowboy boots ("Boots"), dusty rodeo arenas ("Rodeo"), and cherished vinyl records ("Sweet Emmylou").  They beg the listener to sing or dance along (the brash and buoyant "Cheater Cheater") before hushing the room with the lovely austerity of "Heart of the Wood."  Even the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic "Free Bird" is putty reinvented in the hands of this pair, as adventurous as they are respectful of country music's roots.

 

Together, the couple contributed their songwriting talents to seven of the album's 12 tracks, including the lead single, "Cheater Cheater."  Already an established songwriter and founding partner of Nashville publishing company Giantslayer Music, Rory has three #1 hits to his credit (Blake Shelton's "Some Beach", Clay Walker's "The Chain of Love" and Collin Raye's "Someone You Used To Know"), and has had cuts by Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Terri Clark, Mark Wills, Reba McEntire, Waylon Jennings, Lorrie Morgan, Buck Owens, John Michael Montgomery and Charlie Pride, among others.

 

Joey, who performs lead vocals for the duo, is also a veteran recording artist (previously signed to Sony Records, her debut album and single were never released). The pair only started performing as a duo for the audition of CMT's hit series Can You Duet in early 2008.  The pairing proved to be a hit with thousands of fans as well as Naomi Judd, one of the show's judges and Joey+Rory's most fervent supporter.  CMT is now home to Joey+Rory's debut video for "Cheater Cheater," currently in medium rotation.

Old Crow Medicine Show @ Boulder Theater

Old Crow Medicine Show- for the Grateful Web

With combined sales totaling over 280,000 albums, an appearance on Austin City Limits, two performances on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, and multiple appearances on A Prairie Home Companion, various NPR programs and the Grand Ole Opry, OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW prepares for the September 23rd release of TENNESSEE PUSHER, their third album for Nettwerk Music Group and their most personal album to date. 

TENNESSEE PUSHER, produced by Don Was (Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt), features 13 infectious tracks that offer a virtual American road trip, populated with characters that seem to span a century of the South. Down and outers, hustlers, freighthoppers - these are just a few of the archetypes we meet along the way. OCMS continues to create their special blend of American roots, rock, blues and country, but on TENNESSEE PUSHER, the band has truly found their own voice.  With the exception of  "Always Lift Him Up" by Blind Alfred Reed, all of the tracks on the album are OCMS originals. Also noteworthy are two distinguished session musicians that joined the band in the studio: Jim Keltner (John Lennon, Neil Young, Brian Wilson) on drums and Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) on Hammond C-3 organ.

When asked why he chose to work with OCMS, Don Was explains:  "People ask me what The Old Crow Medicine Show are all about. If I'm in a hurry, I just say that they're The Clash of bluegrass music, but that doesn't really do anyone any justice. I could tell 'em that they're a rock 'n roll band who use fiddles and acoustic guitars instead of Les Pauls and Marshal stacks, but that's only one small part of the story. They're an American Band - even more so than Grand Funk Railroad! In fact, it's not hyperbolic to say that, as musicians, songwriters and singers, they are the smartest and finest purveyors of American music to come down the pike in decades."

OCMS will begin touring in support of TENNESSEE PUSHER on September 3rd in the UK, with stops in Manchester, Edinburgh and London before hitting the US on September 18th. With most of their time spent on the road, OCMS has made a name for themselves as energetic performers with an unbridled spirit. It's a live show not to be missed.

BOULDER THEATER
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20  |  8PM

TICKETS ON-SALE FRIDAY, AUGUST 22 AT 10AM!

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE BOULDER THEATER BOX OFFICE, ALL TICKETMASTER OULETS, TICKETMASTER.COM, OR BOULDERTHEATER.COM
$29.50 IN ADVANCE / $33 DAY OF SHOW

The Spring Creek Bluegrass Band

Spring Creek Bluegrass Band- for the Grateful Web

The Spring Creek Bluegrass Band from Lyons, Colorado is quickly gaining a reputation as the hottest young band in the Rocky Mountains! The quartet play a mix of bluegrass standards and compelling originals, and all four musicians are also accomplished vocalists.

The young band, whose members met in music school in Texas, have studied and performed together for several years, creating a tight, polished sound. Counting such bands as Country Gazette and Hot Rize among their influences, Spring Creek's members have a deep respect for tradition, as well as an innate sense of musical innovation.

Judges at two recent band competitions agree that Spring Creek have what it takes to deliver the high, lonesome sounds in the Appalachian tradition. The band won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band contest back in June 2007, and won their second Planet Bluegrass title at the 35th annual Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival held in Lyons.

Though they clearly appeal to traditional bluegrass fans, the Spring Creek musicians mix in a little something for everyone at their live shows. Expect to hear an Elton John or Gillian Welch cover squeezed in between a blazing fast Carter Stanley instrumental and a rip roarin' Bill Monroe tune.

Finders and Youngberg is a newly formed folk/bluegrass/country music partnership between two talented couples whose paths have finally converged and begun to carve a distinct mark. Though this alliance is newly solidified, the experience of the individuals is boldly evident in the award-winning songwriting and the spaces between the seasoned vocal and instrumental performances.

You can see the Spring Creek Bluegrass band in Boulder on Friday, August 22nd at the Boulder Theater.

Sugar Hill Years: Americana Master Compilations from Doc Watson & Ricky Skaggs

Doc Watson- for the Grateful Web

Sugar Hill is set to release two new titles as part of their Americana Master Series.  Ricky Skaggs: Best of the Sugar Hill Years and Doc Watson: Best of the Sugar Hill Years will both hit the streets on July 8th, 2008.  Researched and compiled from each artist's body of work on the label, these tracks were culled from radio chart toppers, fan mail, downloads, and songs and tunes that are recurrent favorites at live performances.

Doc Watson
Doc Watson has been an iconic influence on every acoustic guitar player that has come in his wake. A recipient of the National Heritage Award and the National Medal of Arts, Watson's contribution to the American folk idiom is immeasurable. For the Americana Master Series, Watson's Sugar Hill releases - which span over 40 years from 1960 through 2006 - were meticulously combed for the best representation of both the virtuosity that embodies his work, as well as its breadth.

From bluegrass selections that exemplify the flat-picking that has become Watson's calling card to gospel and traditional tunes featuring his soulful vocals, the collection draws upon solo work as well as duets with son Merle and collaborations with Bryan Sutton and Marty Stuart. Also included are tunes featuring the guitarist on banjo and slide guitar, demonstrating the icon's virtuosity and deep connection to Appalachian roots music.

Ricky Skaggs
By the time Ricky Skaggs launched his solo career on Sugar Hill in 1979, he'd already amassed a resume that most retirees would envy. He'd been a member of Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys and the legendary Country Gentlemen. He'd made vital recordings with his friend and collaborator Keith Whitley. He'd been in Emmylou Harris's Hot Band, and he'd been part of the pioneering neo-bluegrass band Boone Creek, whose album One Way Track had in fact been Sugar Hill's first release as a label.

For all he did to bring roots to country, this collection is basted in bluegrass, a hand-picked anthology of the hand-picked music of Skaggs in his early years. Classics like "I'll Stay Around" and "Little Cabin Home On The Hill" from Sweet Temptation show an artist who had internalized the sound and tone of the founding fathers, while Tony Rice's guitar solos introduce overtones of innovation.  With the string of Grammy-winning.

Infamous Stringdusters New Album + Summer Tour Dates!

photos by Mike Moran- for the Grateful Web

With "The Infamous Stringdusters" (released 6/10/2008), the award-winning sextet has put on record the dynamic of intimacy and virtuosity that distinguishes their live shows. The eponymous album is both a nod to traditions and a challenge to conventions, proving that the Infamous Stringdusters' combination of innovation and experience has truly molded a new level of newgrass music.

Catch 'em live this evening on WSM's Grand Ole Opry: www.wsmonline.com

"Young kids who can seriously play bluegrass. Their album Fork in the Road, feels like it could have been the score for Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid." - Jay Faires, Lionsgate Music

". . . hot picking, tight harmonies, and songwriting that continues their willingness to venture outside the notions of traditional bluegrass." - Dave Stallard, Blue Ridge Outdoors

"The Stringdusters produce bluegrass with such meticulous skill and discipline that it's initially jarring to hear the music without the chaotic energy and rough edges so seemingly inherent to the genre." -  Rob Bricken, Performing Songwriter

 

** INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS SUMMER TOUR '08  **

6/14/2008 Hiawassee, GA
6/20-21/08 Cashmere, WA
6/26/2008 Nashville, TN
6/28/2008 Owensboro, KY
7/9/2008 Ann Arbor, MI
7/10-12/08 Winnipeg, Manitoba
7/14/2008 Alexandria, VA
7/15/2008 Philadelphia, PA
7/16/2008 New York City
7/18-19/08 Ancramdale, NY
7/21-26/2008 Lyons, CO
7/31/2008 Boston, MA
8/1/2008 East Hartford, CT
8/2/2008 Blue Hill, ME
8/8/2008 Alta, WY
8/9/2008 Seattle, WA
8/10/2008 Spokane, WA
8/21/2008 Culver City, CA
8/23-24/2008 San Diego, CA
8/29-31/08 Pagosa Springs, CO

New Music from Infamous Stringdusters ~ Due Out 6/10

The Infamous Stringdusters- for the Grateful Web

When The Infamous Stringdusters comes out June 10 on Sugar Hill Records, some may assume from the title that it's a debut recording. Those already aware of the Stringdusters phenomenon will know differently: that 2007's Fork in the Road was the album that boldly introduced this daring, disciplined band to the world of bluegrass and a wider world of music enthusiasts who heard it and decided: 'if that's bluegrass, then I love bluegrass.' Fork in the Road was named Album of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Its title track was named Song of the Year, and the band itself earned the honor of best emerging artist in a competitive field. It was a stunning cap to an amazing 2007.

Yet The Infamous Stringdusters feels like an introduction of a sort. Whereas Fork in the Road was made during their first potent months together, the new CD represents all the band has become during two years of intense touring, meticulous woodshedding and brotherly jamming. It's their first record with accomplished guitarist Andy Falco, whose blues-infused licks and stunning virtuosity has added a new facet to the band's musical personality. It's the first with the band's dream producer Tim O'Brien, a Grammy-winning musician who has pioneered and embodied the progressive school of roots and bluegrass that underlies the Stringdusters sound. And of course it's the first with these songs - nine band originals supplemented by a few carefully chosen tunes from colleagues in the acoustic music community.

Dobroist Andy Hall's "Well, Well" captures a character in limbo between desperation and optimism. Bassist Travis Book contributed several songs, including the sentimental "Bound For Tennessee." Fiddler and singer Jeremy Garrett lends layers of lonesome to his song "When Silence is the Only Sound." Meanwhile, "Loving You" by Grammy nominated writer Sarah Siskind is a signature example of what sets the Stringdusters apart, with its off-kilter groove and dark-hued melody. The bluesy and slightly demented "Get It While You Can" was composed by Bad Livers mad genius Danny Barnes. And rippling newgrass instrumentals from the hands of mandolinist Jesse Cobb ("Golden Ticket"), banjo master Chris Pandolfi ("Glass Elevator") and Hall ("Black Rock") complement the album with flawless examples of the band's trademark instrumental virtuosity.

In their breakout year of 2007, the Infamous Stringdusters played over 150 dates, including the biggest festivals in acoustic music, jammed on major stages with heroes like David Grisman and Sam Bush, and landed a development deal for motion picture music with Lions Gate Entertainment. With the release of The Infamous Stringdusters, 2008 promises more roads and more new fans in bluegrass and beyond.

Music Doc "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" to Screen at Memphis Film Fest

- for the Grateful Web

Music documentary "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" will screen on March 29 as a part of the On Location: Memphis International Film Festival.

The film, directed by Todd Kwait, is a labor-of-love documentary focused on one of America's most beloved forms of folk music, the jug band.  Featuring a who's who of '60s folk artists like Rock and Roll Hall of Famers John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), David Grisman, Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur and Jim Kweskin, "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" explores the history of jug band music and the influence it had on these legendary musicians.

Jug band music has deep roots in Memphis.  Two of the most famous early jug bands were from the city: Cannon's Jug Stompers, featuring Gus Cannon, and the Memphis Jug Band, featuring Memphis native and blues godfather Will Shade.  Both bands recorded and played in Memphis during the 1920s and 30s.  Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers were a popular Beale Street act into the 1930s. Three decades later, following the folk revival of jug band music in the early 1960s, Will Shade and Gus Cannon recorded an album for Memphis' Stax label.

Here's what the critics are saying:

"Delightful... it is the first word that came to mind when considering Chasin' Gus' Ghost... the end product happens to be the most enjoyable film anyone will see this year."  
DocumentaryFilms.net - Bryan Newbury

"An absorbing movie capable of inspiring a whole new generation of ghost-chasers."
AllAboutJazz.com - Sam Chell

What: "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" screening at Memphis International Film Festival
Where: Malco Theatre - Studio on the Square
When: Saturday, March 29th 12:30PM
Tickets: $8.50 at door, available online

Music Doc Featuring Portland's Fritz Richmond Screens in Portland on 1/29

Fritz Richmond (1939-2005)- for the Grateful Web

Acclaimed jug band documentary "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" is set to screen at the 25th Reel Music Festival in Portland at the Whitsell Auditorium on January 29, 2008.  "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" has recently screened to sold-out crowds at the Woodstock Film Festival, Hartford International Film Festival and the San Francisco Jug Band Festival.  

The film, directed by Todd Kwait, is a labor-of-love documentary focused on one of America's most beloved forms of folk music, the jug band.  Featuring a who's-who of '60s folk artists like Rock and Roll Hall of Famers John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), David Grisman, Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur and Jim Kweskin, "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" explores the history of jug band music and the influence it had on these legendary musicians.  

Fritz Richmond, who made his home in Portland later in life and is widely considered to have been the finest jug and washtub bass player in the genre, is featured throughout the film.  Fritz passed away while "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" was being filmed, and in some ways the film became an ode to Fritz - to his talent and character.  He led an illustrious musical life, co-founding the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and performing with Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder and the Grateful Dead.  "Fritz was a cultural icon," says Sebastian in the film.   

Todd Kwait says, "One of the last things Fritz said to me was that if I wanted to tell the complete story we needed to go to Japan and the Yokohama Jug Band Festival."  Todd followed his advice, and filmed what became some of the documentary's most exciting and endearing scenes.   

What: Screening of "Chasin' Gus' Ghost"
Where: Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR
When: January 29, 2008 at 7PM
Tickets: $7 for adults, $6 for students and seniors

GIBSON BROTHERS SET TO RELEASE IRON & DIAMONDS

The Gibson Brothers- for the Grateful Web

Sugar Hill Records is set to release their fourth album with bluegrass stalwarts The Gibson Brothers on April 8, 2008. Iron & Diamonds showcases the brothers' trademark harmonies as well as songwriting that is among the best in the genre.  Interspersed with original songs like the title track - a snapshot of the miners' baseball league in their upstate-NY home - are carefully chosen covers like Tom Petty's "Cabin Down Below" and others.

Iron & Diamonds boasts the brothers' best vocal mix to date thanks to being able to record live on one mike, capturing the energy and closeness that concert audiences rave about. The band - Mike Barber on bass, Clayton Campbell on fiddle, and Rick Hayes on mandolin - is tighter than ever, complementing the brothers' harmonies with adept instrumental performances.

Leigh and Eric Gibson have been performing together since encouraged in their youth by a minister in the borderlands of upstate New York, where they still reside. They received a Best Emerging Artist nod from the IBMA in 1998 and went on to record three albums for Sugar Hill Records - Bona Fide, Long Way Back Home, and Red Letter Day.