Blues

Davy Knowles & Backdoor Slam Tour

Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam resumed their North American tour on November 20 in support of the Blix Street Records album COMING UP FOR AIR, produced by Grammy® Award-winning guitarist Peter Frampton. The band has been touring non-stop since the album's release in June, most recently making its Australian debut with shows in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney following a stop in London and a triumphant homecoming to Knowles' native Isle of Man (in the Irish Sea between Belfast and Liverpool).

Following an October British media blitz in anticipation of the November 9 release there of COMING UP FOR AIR, Davy Knowles was profiled in the Sunday Times Culture Magazine in a story written by Paul Sexton (you can read it online) and BBC Radio 2 added the single "Coming Up For Air" to their playlist.  Knowles will also be profiled in the December issue of Britain's Classic Rock Magazine.  Their homecoming concert on October 12 at the Gaiety Theatre in Douglas, Isle of Man was streamed live over the internet and recorded for a DVD now slated for release on December 7.

To coincide with the U.S. fall tour, superstore Best Buy is hosting a series of guitar clinics presented by Best Buy Musical Instruments at which Knowles, the 22-year-old singer, songwriter and guitar prodigy, will perform live in the store and discuss guitar playing, highlighting his learning curve as an artist, his style and his equipment. He will also touch on what it's been like to work with guitar masters such as Peter Frampton, Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes and Paul Reed Smith during his short, but meteoric career.  The first of the guitar clinics took place on Sunday, November 22 at the Best Buy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, followed that evening by the band's appearance at The Shelter in Detroit.

The title cut from the CD-"Coming Up For Air"-was recently shipped to AAA radio as the CD's second single and was the second most-added single out of the box. "Coming Up For Air" from the Gaiety Theatre show, mixed and edited for the forthcoming DVD, is available for viewing on the band's YouTube page.

Davy Knowles' interview for BETA Records TV, the weekly 30-minute music centric show carried  in over 140 U.S. cities, will also air this week.  The weekly magazine format series is carried in over 200 millions homes via various cable and satellite outlets, among them Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Comcast and Verizon FIOS.  After broadcasting, it will live permanently on the BETA website as an archived episode.

The fall tour will culminate with an exciting New Year's Eve appearance at the World Café in Philadelphia.  Special guest stars for that evening will be announced, and the band will appear on WXPN Radio's "Free at Noon" concert program that day, December 31.

Tour Dates:

  1. Recher Theatre

    Towson MD

    November 26th

  2. Chameleon Club

    Lancaster PA

    November 27th

  3. Rock & Roll Hotel

    Washington DC

    November 28th

  4. Bowery Ballroom

    New York

    November 30th

  5. Pourhouse

    Charleston SC

    December 2nd

  6. The Loft

    Atlanta GA

    December 3rd

  7. Warehouse

    Houston TX

    December 5th

  8. Stubbs

    Austin TX

    December 6th

  9. Best Buy Music Clinic AUSTIN

    ‘Best Buy’ So. Austin, TX
    Davy will perform 2-3 songs in the store, highlight his learning curve as an artist, his style, his equipment etc

    Sun 6th Dec at NOON

  10. HOB Cambridge Room

    Dallas TX
    with Rob Drabkin

    December 7th

  11. Soiled Dove

    Denver CO

    December 10th

  12. Crocodile Cafe

    Seattle WA

    December 12th

  13. Berbati’s Pan

    Portland OR
    with Rob Drabkin

    December 13th

  14. Independent

    San Francisco CA

    December 15th

  15. World Cafe (NYE Party!)

    Special New Year’s Eve Show
    Philadelphia PA

    December 31st / Jan 01 2010

Grayson Capps | Live At The Paradiso

Hailing from South Alabama and spending over a decade in New Orleans, acclaimed singer-songwriter Grayson Capps has found listeners the world over enthralled by his stinging tales of the Southern Gothic. Nowhere is this more evident than in Holland where his shows draw impassioned fans who hang on every lyric.

In May 2008, Grayson headlined the legendary Amsterdam music venue, The Paradiso, for a solo acoustic performance. Playing for over two hours, he enthralled the audience with stories from his life and song favorites from the entirety of his repertoire, including "Get Back Up," "Poison," "Washboard Lisa" and "A Love Song For Bobby Long."

The performance was captured on a high definition five camera video shoot, but inexplicably the master footage disappeared shortly thereafter. Just as inexplicably, a DVD from the filming turned up this summer at the Hyena Records' Amsterdam office.

The footage has been rescued for release and, as a memento to fans, it will finally be available on December 8 as DVD entitled Live At The Paradiso.  A companion audio recording of the performance will also be released as an mp3 exclusive album download at all major digital music stores.

Listen to: Washboard Lisa from Live At The Paradiso {play}images/mp3/20 washboard lisa.mp3{/play}

Grayson Capps | Tour Dates
November 27 | The Living Room | New York, NY
November 29 | Tin Angel | Philadelphia, PA
December 3 | Le Chat Noir | Augusta, GA (w/ Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion)
December 5 | UU Coffee House | Columbia, SC (w/ Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion)
December 10 | | USA Faulkner Campus | Fairhope, AL (w/ Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion)
December 11 | D.B.A. | New Orleans, LA
December 12 | Pirate's Cove | Josephine, AL
December 13 | Callaghan's | Mobile, AL
January 2 | The Grey Eagle | Asheville, NC
January 6 | The Double Door Inn | Charlotte, NC
January 7 | The Berkeley Cafe | Raleigh, NC
January 8 | The Garage | Winston Salem, NC
Jan. 14 | Thirsty Hippo | Hattiesburg, MS
Jan. 15 | Pirate's Cove | Josephine, AL
Jan. 16 | Soul Kitchen | Mobile, AL

Taj Mahal, Dave Hidalgo unite on 'American Horizon'

Blues legend Taj Mahal and master guitarist/multi-instrumentalist David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) have collaborated with Mexican-American roots group Los Cenzontles (pronounced los senn-sont-less) to tell a timely story of hope, struggle and gratitude of the American worker. Traversing traditional Mexican, blues, cumbia and psychedelic rock styles, they create a distinctive, fresh and exciting sound. The November 3 release will be distributed through ADA Distribution.

Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music and a two-time Grammy winner. Starting his career more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world -- western Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Hawaiian Islands. In American Horizon, Taj explores the deep connections between his own cultural roots and those of Mexican American traditions.

Best known for his work with three-time Grammy winners Los Lobos, David Hidalgo has a musical trajectory that is broad and deep. As songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, accordionist and keyboardist he has delved into rock, traditional and experimental styles. His productions reflect the intimacy and creativity of Latino music and its place in the American cultural landscape.

Los Cenzontles (The Mockingbirds) are a group of musicians deeply bonded to folk roots while incorporating other styles and genres into their music. With fluid harmonies by Lucina Rodriguez, Fabiola Trujillo and Hugo Arroyo they incorporate a sound of California into everything they record. Their first collaboration with David Hidalgo in 2008, Songs of Wood & Steel, brought the group wider recognition from the press. Vintage Guitar magazine said, "The group has created an album that seamlessly incorporates rock and blues elements into traditional Mexican forms, smacking of neither academia nor compromise."

On American Horizon, Los Cenzontles, David Hidalgo and Taj Mahal share composing credits on this groundbreaking bilingual release. Los Cenzontles founder Eugene Rodriguez served as producer with Hidalgo. He and Hidalgo met when Rodriguez produced Los Lobos' 1995 children's album Papa's Dream, which was nominated for a Grammy.

Los Cenzontles (The Mockingbirds) evolved out of the Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center, a community cultural center founded in San Pablo by Eugene Rodriguez in 1989. An innovative group of musicians and dancers that amplifies the roots of Mexican culture, they are led by Rodriguez, who has been schooling them in arcane Mexican folk music styles since their youths. Through numerous CDs and DVD documentaries, Los Cenzontles adds an essential voice to the global conversation among cultural traditions, attracting collaborations with internationally recognized artists like Linda Ronstadt, the Chieftains, Ry Cooder and others. The Chieftains' Paddy Moloney said, "Meeting Los Cenzontles was just like meeting a medieval clan of wonderful musicians from the West Coast of Ireland. The fusion of their music with ours was something that just had to happen. It was inevitable." And Ronstadt enthused, "Los Cenzontles' gutsy rhythms and delightful voices reinvigorated my love of Mexican music."

On Sunday, October 3, Los Cenzontles along with Mahal and Hidalgo will perform before an audience of 18,000 at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl as part of "¡Bienvenido Gustavo!," a free concert celebrating the L.A. Philharmonic's new director, Gustavo Dudamel. The show will also feature Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Herbie Hancock, as well as the L.A. Phil and others. Tickets were quickly snapped up and are no longer available.

Lyrics and translations for American Horizon may be found at http://www.themockingbirds.info/store/merch_cds.php

Upcoming Boulder Theater Shows

Here's what we've got coming up at Boulder Theater as of September 8th.  All shows are ON SALE NOW unless otherwise noted.

Tues, Sept 8                97.3 KBCO presents
7:00pm                         E-TOWN
w/ Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule & Langhorne Slim
GA / All Ages / SOLD OUT

Wed, Sept 9                  KGNU presents
8:00pm                          THE BAD PLUS & MARCO BENEVENTO TRIO
Reserved=$28.00, GA=$23.50 / 21+

Thur, Sept 10                 Windstopper & The North Face present
7:00pm                          REEL ROCK FILM TOUR
GA / All Ages / Advance=$15.00, DOS=$17.00

Fri, Sept 11                  97.3 KBCO presents
8:30pm                        PSYCHEDELIC FURS & HAPPY MONDAYS
w/ Amusement Parks on Fire
GA / 21+ / $32.00

Sat, Sept 12                denver.avclub.com & Radio 1190's The Best Medicine presents
9:00pm                        PAUL F. TOMPKINS (VH1's Best Week Ever Host) & KRISTEN SCHAAL (Flight of the Conchords)
Reserved=$32.00, GA seated=$25.00 / All Ages

Mon, Sept 14                  OLIVIA ROX!
6:30pm                        The Movie Premiere presented by Songbird Entertainment
GA / Adults=$21.50, 12 & Under=$12.00

Wed, Sept 16                  IGNITE BOULDER
6:00pm                        GA / 21+ / $10.00
Tickets on sale through www.igniteboulder.com

Thur, Sept 17                 KGNU presents
8:00pm                        MIKE MARSHALL & DAROL ANGER
w/ Vasen
Reserved=$28.00, GA Seated=$22.00 / 21+

Fri, Sept 18                 BOULDER BEER'S 30TH ANNIVERSARY THROWDOWN
8:00pm                       ft. Great American Taxi & Oakhurst
GA / 21+ / $18.00

Sat, Sept 19                 Helly Hansen presents
7:00 & 9:30pm                MSP'S "IN DEEP: the sking experience"
GA / 7pm=All Ages, 9:30pm=21+ / $18.00

Mon, Sept 21                 iEMPATHIZE BENEFIT & LAUNCH PARTY
7:30pm                       w/ Son Lux
GA / All Ages / $20.00

Wed, Sept 23                 Level 1 Production's
8:00pm                       "REFRESH"
Ga / All Ages / $15.00

Thurs, Sept 24                THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT
9:00pm                        w/ Henry Clay People & Red Cortez
GA / All Ages / $24.00

Fri, Sept 25                  Uplifted Entertainment & Reggaemovement.com presents
9:00pm                        BEENIE MAN & RED FLAME w/ RICHIE SPICE & SPANNER BANNER
w/ guests
GA / Advance=$27.00, DOS=$30.00 / All Ages

Sun, Sept 27                Michael Conti presents
1:00pm                          THE SHOOT OUT BOULDER Top 10 Screening
GA / All Ages/ $15.00

Wed, Sept 30               BVSD School Food Project presents
7:00pm                        "FOOD, Inc."
GA/ All Ages/ $15.00

Thur, Oct 1                   Boulder Weekly presents
9:00pm                        GROUNDATION
w/ MTHDS
GA / 18+ / Advance=$22.00, DOS=$24.00

Fri, Oct 2                      Radio 1190, Boulder Weekly & elephantjournal.com present
9:00pm                        PAPER BIRD
w/ Nathaniel Rateliff + The Wheel & Drive River Yacht Club
GA / All Ages / $15.00

Sat, Oct 3                    Live Nation presents
8:00pm                        PATTON OSWALT
GA / All Ages / Advance=$34.00, DOS=$37.50

Tues, Oct 6                   Poor Boyz Productions presents
8:00pm                        TRIPLE THREAT TOUR f.t. Every Day is a Saturday, Contrast & Simon Dumont's Transitions
GA / Advanced=$12.00, DOS=$17.50 / All Ages

Thur, Oct 8                   Boulder Lunachix presents
7:00pm                        LUNAFEST short films
GA / All Ages / GA=$18.00, Student=$12.00

Sat, Oct 10                    97.3 KBCO presents
8:30pm                         BODEANS
w/ guests
GA / 21+ / $34.00

Tues, Oct 13                KUVO presents
7:30pm                        PACO PENA
Reserved=$40.00, GA seated=$32.00 / 21+

Wed, Oct 14                97.3 KBCO presents
8:00pm                        AIMEE MANN
w/ Fountains of Wayne
Reserved Balcony=$34.50, GA= $29.50 / 21+

Thur, Oct 15                  DANCING WITH BOULDER STARS
7:30pm                        Reserved=$50.00, GA=$36.00 / All Ages

Fri, Oct 16                       Teton Gravity Research's
7 & 9:30pm                    "RE:SESSION"
GA / Advance=$15.00, DOS=$16.50 / 7pm=All Ages 9:30pm=21+

Sat, Oct 17                   EMMITT NERSHI BAND & ASSEMBLY OF DUST
9:00pm                        GA / 21+ / $21.50

Wed, Oct 21                   MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO
8:00pm                          w/ guests
GA / 21+ / $29.00

Fri, Oct 23                    97.3 KBCO presents
8:00pm                        THE SUBDUDES
w/ Vienna Teng
GA / 21+ / $27.50

Fri, Oct 29                   Channel 93.3's Throwback Lunch & Westword present
9:00pm                        DINOSAUR, JR.
w/ lou barlow + the missingmen
GA / 18+ Balcony / $29.50

Oct 30 & 31                 Westword & 97.3 KBCO present
9:00pm                        DEVOTCHKA
GA / $38.50 / Oct 30=18+,  Oct 31=21+

Nov 3-8                   WARREN MILLER'S "DYNASTY"
GA / All Ages / $23.00
On Sale September 14

Thurs, Nov 19            Live Nation presents
7:30pm                        BROKEN LIZARD
GA/ $38.00/ 16+
On Sale Sept 12th

 

ALL SHOWS ARE ON SALE NOW (unless otherwise noted) AT THE BOULDER THEATER BOX OFFICE (303)786-7030, OR ONLINE AT WWW.BOULDERTHEATER.COM. Ticket prices include tax and service charge.

The Robert Cray Band @ Boulder Theater

For thirty-plus years Robert Cray has laid down track after track of good-time, uptown, low-down blues. He’s won five Grammys and been nominated an astounding 13 times.  What he hasn’t done is work this magic on a full-length concert CD, where the fires that drive him onstage burn on disc as well.

Robert Cray is one of a precious few young (at this stage, that translates to under 50 years of age) blues artists with the talent and vision to successfully usher the idiom into the 21st century without resorting either to slavish imitation or simply playing rock while passing it off as blues. Just as importantly, his immensely popular records helped immeasurably to jump-start the contemporary blues boom that still holds sway to this day. Blessed with a soulful voice that sometimes recalls '60s-great O.V. Wright and a concise lead guitar approach that never wastes notes, Cray's rise to international fame was indeed a heartwarming one.

Tickets are on sale now at The Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.
Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.
Ticket prices include tax and service charge.
GA / 21+ / $39.00
On Sale Saturday, April 18
10am internet, 12pm phone/box office

An Evening of Dialogue and Insight with Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa- for the Grateful Web

Guitar Center is pleased to announce the next installment of Guitar Center Sessions: An Evening of Dialogue and Insight with Joe Bonamassa. Taking place Wednesday, September 17 at the Guitar Center in Hollywood, CA, the evening is free and open to the public. The evening will be powered in part by Gibson Guitars.

Joe Bonamassa is one of the premier blues-rock guitarists of his generation. At the early age of 12 he was already a touring pro, opening for the legendary B.B. King. Since then, Joe's incendiary playing has earned him a loyal legion of fans and numerous albums in Billboard's Top 10 blues chart. Also a gifted singer and songwriter, Joe Bonamassa was named Best Blues Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine's readership in their annual Reader's Choice Awards for 2008, and recently released From Nowhere in Particular, a 2-CD live album recorded during his fall 2007 U.S. tour and released on his own J&R Adventures label. The CD debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Charts. Joe also hosts "Daily Cup Of Joe" as well, a Monday-Friday show on Sirius Satellite Radio's Blues Channel 74 that airs from 12-12:15 PM (ET).

Designed to provide informative, provocative conversation and hands-on tutorials, Guitar Center Sessions serves as an incubator for musicians, providing them an opportunity to network with their peers in an intimate setting and gain career-fostering advice from their heroes. Join us for a very special in-store event as Joe shares tips, techniques and experiences, talks about his signature Gibson Les Paul, and lays down some seriously soulful licks.

Wednesday, September 17 @ 7 pm

Guitar Center Hollywood

7425 Sunset Blvd.

(323) 874-1060

Free to the public. Limited capacity.

About Guitar Center

Guitar Center is the world's largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates 214 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and website. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the company's website. The Guitar Center logo is a registered trademark of Guitar Center, Inc. Other brand or product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

Garaj Mahal's New CD, 'w00t,' - Street Date 9/9/2008

photos by Susan J. Weiand- for the Grateful Web

When you hear your first Garaj Mahal note, leading into an innovative fusion of funky jazz with a tasty world music flair, all other thoughts leave your mind as the music takes you on an unforgettable voyage. Fans return to experience the band again and again because they know they will always hear something new and progressive from these four first-class musicians: guitar and sitar virtuoso Fareed Haque, world-renowned bass master and educator Kai Eckhardt, gospel-inspired funky jazz keyboardist Eric Levy, and consistently in-the-pocket, natural-born drummer Alan Hertz, Garaj Mahal combines a century of musical experience to create a sound that's always new, freshly infused with a wide spectrum of musical expression, and always smoking hot.

Touring extensively since their formation in 2000, Garaj Mahal continues to earn critical acclaim and a rowing fanbase thanks to their ability to deliver serious "shut-up-and-listen" grooves while simultaneously bringing the dance floor alive. Their collective musical experience allows them to constantly push the envelope of composition and improvisation. Garaj Mahal's sound - a convergence of jazz-style improvisation, mystical Middle-Eastern atmospheres, and danceable American funk - attracts music lovers from all parts of the spectrum and creates a profoundly unique experience.

Each band member dedicates every drop of his education, history, and life-long passion for music to their audience every time they step on stage. The band member's virtuosity is no surprise when you look at even a few of the artists they've performed and/or recorded with over the years, including Dizzy Gillespie, John McLaughlin, Sting, Cassandra Wilson, Dave Holland, Bela Fleck, Chick Corea, Steve Smith, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, Les Claypool, Trey Anastasio, Umphrey's McGee, MMW, Steve Kimock, and Michael Manring.

UPCOMING GARAJ MAHAL TOUR DATES:

# Aug. 24 Orton Park Fest, Madison, WI
# Aug. 26 the Waterfront, Menomonie, WI
# Aug. 27 Martyr's, Chicago, IL
# Aug. 29 Strip Mines Music Fest, Carbondale, IL
# Aug. 30 The Jazz Kitchen, Indianapolis, IN
# Aug. 31 Grateful Fest/ Nelson Ledges, Garrettsville, OH
# Sept. 18 Fez Ballroom, Portland, OR
# Sept. 19 Jazzbones, Tacoma, WA
# Sept. 20 Nectar, Seattle, WA
# Sept. 23 Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico, CA
# Sept. 24 Red Fox Tavern, Eureka, CA
# Sept. 25 Caspar Inn, Caspar, CA
# Sept. 26 12 Galaxies, San Francisco, CA
# Sept. 27 Biltmore Casino, Crystal Bay, NV
# Oct. 26 MN State, Mankato, MN
# Oct. 28 Duffy's, Chicago, IL
# Oct. 30 Lula Lounge, Toronto Ontario Can
# Oct. 31 Pepper Jack's, Hamilton Ontario Can
# Nov. 1 Maverick's, Ottawa Ontario Can

Robin McKelle's 'Modern Antique'

Robin McKelle- for the Grateful Web

The horn section enters first, as luxuriously cosmopolitan-sounding as the tuxedo-clad players from a black-and-white movie classic, and sets a lively pace before McKelle herself steps up to the mike. She delivers the playfully flirtatious lyrics, scatting confidently over the melody. The entire combo is having so much fun - and so are you - that the tune is almost over before you realize it's an ingenious re-arrangement of Steve Miller's seventies classic, "Abracadabra."
 
That opening gambit sets the tone for everything that follows: There are more rhythm and blues touches, revealing McKelle's torchy side, and she concludes the album with a self-penned ballad ("Remember") that fits in comfortably with the American Songbook gems that precede it. Modern Antique will impress the ever-growing audience who've already discovered McKelle - via National Public Radio, her glowing press notices, or good old word of mouth - and it should attract the even wider audience in the U.S. she clearly deserves. The Europeans are way ahead of us when it comes to McKelle; she's already a vocal jazz star in France.
 
The adventurous spirit McKelle brings to Modern Antique has distinguished her career from the start. For her debut disc, the Boston-based singer had such conviction about the jazz record she wanted to make that she was willing to risk her own finances to record it - no small feat, given the arrangements that needed to be commissioned, the top-notch players to be hired. Arranger-producer-trumpeter Willie Murillo (Brian Setzer Orchestra, Aimee Mann) shared her vision. Together they fashioned an album that balanced period authenticity with the present-tense thrill of hearing an artist eager to put her own stamp on songs like "Something's Got To Give" and "Night & Day."
 
On Modern Antique, McKelle - who's taught voice at her alma mater, Berklee, and sung with the Boston Pops - allows herself more room to stretch artistically and "put more of my personality and my own touch on it." McKelle especially helped to shape smoldering ballads like "Save Your Love For Me," which boasts a sumptuous string arrangement, and the urbanely sexy "Lover Man."
 
As for that unlikely but utterly convincing cover of Steve Miller, it serendipitously fell into McKelle's lap as she was driving. McKelle says, "I was coming home from a gig one night, I heard that song, and the idea popped into my head. I turned up the radio and thought, this could be great as a swing tune. I called Willie right away. The thing is, I mostly never listen to the radio in the car, and if I do, it's usually talk radio."
 
Modern Antique - and the path that got her there - is epitomized by "Abracadabra": A lot of hard work went into it, but all we hear is the magic.

Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere Summit Album Streets 7/29

Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere- for the Grateful Web

What would happen if you combined Steve Cropper, the Memphis-weaned Stax guitar powerhouse who also wrote and co-wrote many soul classics, with Felix Cavaliere, the singer, songwriter and keyboardist whose soulful voice and songs helped form the Rascals? The world is about to find out when Stax Records releases Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere's Nudge It Up a Notch on July 29, 2008.
 
This soul summit came about as a result of conversations between Cropper and producer/songwriter Jon Tiven. When Tiven moved to Nashville several years ago, he asked Cropper what he was up to. Cropper replied that he was focusing on live dates with Booker T & the MGs and the Blues Brothers, but harbored the desire to record some new music. But who would sing? The answer, it turned out, was Cavaliere, who, like Cropper and Tiven, now lived in Nashville. In fact Cropper and Cavaliere were no strangers: they had, with a few other well-known musicians, put together a band to play special events. The two hadn't written together before, but agreed it would be fun to try.
 
The writing process began at Tiven's Hormone Studios, followed by the recording of two songs, "One of Those Days" (the album's lead track) and "Love Appetite." Drummer Chester Thompson, a veteran of John Fogerty, Frank Zappa, Genesis and Frank Black, signed on as drummer, and suggested a bass player, his friend Shake Anderson, who was Curtis Mayfield's protégé. The assemblage grew to include two backup singers, Mark Williams and N'nandi Bryant. And that was it. No special guest stars. As Tiven wrote in the notes, "This isn't one of those albums where you have to guess who's doing what — every guitar lick is Steve, every keyboard is Felix, and all the songs are originals."
 
Tiven elaborates on the legacies of Cropper and Cavaliere: "Steve Cropper is a guitar player's guitarist but also a songwriter's songwriter," he writes. "If the only thing he did in life was to play producer/co-writer/guitarist for Otis Redding, that would be enough. But he also helmed enough albums that made their mark on American pop culture by artists like Booker T & the MGs, The Blues Brothers, Jeff Beck and John Mellencamp to qualify him as a bona fide national treasure."
 
"And Cavaliere . . .," he adds, "If you were alive in the alive in the mid-to-late '60s, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing his voice and songs are part of his group The Young Rascals (later The Rascals). Their blue-eyed soul dominated the airwaves . . . and gave this country the kind of soul music most folks wouldn't think to associate with a bunch of Long Island Peppermint Lounge expatriates."
 
Nudge It Up a Notch, which was reverently mixed by the legendary David Z, features 12 tracks, including several instrumentals (Cropper having a bit of history in the R&B instrumental department) alongside vocal tracks. On a few tunes the team turned to friends Henry Gross and Tom Hambridge to provide their lyrical spin. One track, "Make The Time Go Faster," embellishes its chunky soul riff with rap passages.
 
"If all this combination of iconic songwriter/performers had to offer was simply the sum of their parts it would be extraordinary," Tiven concludes. "But you put this much flammable material in the room and you don't just get a little heat. You get a bonfire."

New James McMurtry album shipping 4/15!

James McMurtry- for the Grateful Web

Lightning Rod Records will release singer/songwriter James McMurtry's new CD, titled Just Us Kids, on April 15, 2008. McMurtry's ninth album, which features 12 new songs, is a follow-up to 2005's critically acclaimed and award-winning project, Childish Things.

McMurtry has long been known as fine storyteller, but he has lately received nationwide attention for his role as a musical activist. On Just Us Kids, McMurtry picks up where he left off with his controversial anthem "We Can't Make It Here." On "Cheney's Toy," McMurtry once again reminds us that the war in Iraq is still going on, with veiled references to Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and the stark image of a soldier who returned from the conflict, blind and brain damaged. The lyrics of "God Bless America" call out the corporate profiteering and cronyism of the heads of state who led the country to war. McMurtry's songs introduce the listener to characters that exist on the fringes of society. Drug addicts, murderers, crooked politicians, and other unsavory folks all play a part on Just Us Kids.

The self-produced album shows that McMurtry has developed a skill as producer that matches his songcraft. The songs on Just Us Kids vary widely in texture and instrumentation. The Faces' Ian McLagan's piano playing is all over the album while Timbuk3's pat mAcdonald's harmonica peppers several tracks. Austin singer/songwriter John Dee Graham contributes a wailing guitar solo to "Fireline Road." Grammy-nominated Louisiana rocker, C.C. Adcock, adds a swampy guitar part to the album opener, "Bayou Tortous." The rhythm section is McMurtry's longtime road band, Daren Hess and Ronnie Johnson.

Just Us Kids will be the first release for Nashville-based Lightning Rod Records, distributed by Thirty Tigers/RED. Label president Logan Rogers previously worked as director of A&R for Compadre Records on the release of McMurtry's last two albums. "Working with James McMurtry has been a career highlight for me. He is a phenomenal artist with tremendous integrity, and I can think of no better debut release for Lightning Rod Records," said Rogers.

Author Stephen King described Ft. Worth native McMurtry as "the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation" in Entertainment Weekly. The son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), James grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. His first album, released in 1989, was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill. In 2003, McMurtry released the universally lauded Live in Aught-Three (Compadre Records). 2005's Childish Things garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtry's career and spent six weeks at number one on R&R's Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. In September 2006, Childish Things and "We Can't Make It Here" won the Americana Music Awards for album and song of the year, respectively.

In 2007, McMurtry performed on PBS' long running music program, "Austin City Limits," for the second time in his career. This year, McMurtry and his band will launch a national tour in support of Just Us Kids.