Country

Reverend Horton Heat @ Boulder Theater | 8/20

Recently, the Reverend Horton Heat, aka Jim Heath, had something along the lines of what he calls an epiphany. He's a little tired of being taken so seriously-well, maybe not seriously, exactly, but you get the idea-and lately he's noticed that some of his funnier, country-tinged songs were his biggest crowd pleasers. Besides, being entertaining is what this is all about, right?

So, ladies and gents, roll your smokes up in your sleeve and hold on to your cowboy hats, it's time to take a trip back to a time before slick, over-produced country became the norm-a time when outlaws wrote songs about being without a pot to piss in-or at least about psycho exboyfriends and deadbeat girlfriends that spend your paycheck faster than you can say Lone Star.

Without a doubt, the mighty Reverend has won a cult following around the world these past 20+ years with a nearly endless touring ethic and musical style that's equally as rooted in tradition as it is in breaking it. He's one of the lynchpins of the neoroots movement and responsible for moving the genre forward and garnering it a whole new generation of fans. Mix that with a mythic stage presence and you've got a live act that turns rock clubs into psychobilly tent revivals across the country 300 days a year. Heath, who personally loves good old, mid-20th century country music, cautions that the record was not born out of a desire to introduce his audience to a new set of influences-it's just meant to have a little fun.

Friday August 20, 9:00pm
--
Tickets will be on sale through the Boulder Theater box office | Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com | Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030

Marty Stuart Pays Tribute to Traditional Country Music with New Album

RAMMY-winner and American music icon Marty Stuart is set to release a traditional country album GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) on August 24, 2010. With his 14th studio album, Stuart steadily continues to lead the charge in preserving the roots, culture and history of traditional country music.

“What inspires me now, is traditional country music,” says Stuart.  “It’s the music I most cherish, the culture in which I was raised.  It’s the bedrock upon which the empire of country music is built, the empowering force that provides this genre with lasting credibility.  It’s beyond trends and it’s timeless.  With all that being said, I found traditional country music to be on the verge of extinction.  It’s too precious to let slip away. I wanted to attempt to write a new chapter.”
That new chapter is GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) which includes such unmitigated country staples as the male-female duet (the gorgeous, heartfelt "I Run to You," written and sung with Connie Smith), the chugging, bluesy—and spooky— fellow Mississippian Jimmie Rodgers-like train song "Ghost Train Four-Oh-Ten," steel guitar driven, hardcore heartbreak ballads such as "A World Without You," and "Drifting Apart,” and a no-flinching directness is front and center in the premiere of “Hangman,” a pointed, harrowing tale of an executioner's job and life that Stuart co-wrote with Johnny Cash just four days before the Man in Black passed away.
As the album title denotes, GHOST TRAIN  (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) was recorded in the legendary RCA Studio B in Nashville, where Stuart participated in his first-ever recording session at the age of 13 playing mandolin in Lester Flatt’s band.
“Studio B has a profound pedigree; it’s where so much of American music’s legacy was forged, certainly country music’s,” says Stuart.   “And sonically, this is a room that welcomes music.  It seemed to me that in order to authentically stage a brand new traditional country music record we should bring it back to the scene of the crime.”
GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) TRACK LIST:
  1. Branded
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  2. Country Boy Rock & Roll
    (written by Don Reno)
  3. Drifting Apart
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  4. Bridge Washed Out
    (written by Warner Mack)
  5. A World Without You
    (written by Marty Stuart and Connie Smith)
  6. Hummingbyrd
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  7. Hangman
    (written by Marty Stuart and Johnny Cash)
  8. Ghost Train Four-Oh-Ten
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  9. Hard Working Man
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  10. I Run To You
    (written by Marty Stuart and Connie Smith)
  11. Crazy Arms
    (written by Ralph E. Mooney and Charles P. Seals)
  12. Porter Wagoner’s Grave
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  13. Little Heartbreaker
    (written by Marty Stuart and Ralph E. Mooney)
  14. Mississippi Railroad Blues
    (written by Marty Stuart)

Kinky Friedman's First West Coast Your in Two Decades

Former Texas gubernatorial candidate, political commentator and self-proclaimed “author, columnist, musician and beautician” Kinky Friedman will perform on the West Coast this summer for the first time in nearly 20 years. Dates for the “Go West Young Kinky Tour of 2010” start on July 26th in Vancouver and continue into August (a full list of venues follows). Two members of Kinky's seminal band the Texas Jewboys, Little Jewford and Washington Ratso, will join him on the tour.  No prisoners will be taken. Only the strong shall survive.

The Kinkster, often referred to as the “Mark Twain of Texas,” will also be hawking his wares, in this case his most recent (limited edition) books, Heroes of a Texas Childhood and What Would Kinky Do?, both of which will be available for purchase and signing at the shows. As Kinky has often said, he’ll “sign anything but bad legislation.” This includes any of his dozens of top-selling books or columns, or even his Kinky Friedman Cigars, which, rumor has it, will also be available at the venues. Bring it, and he will sign it.

Kinky Friedman rose to stardom in the ’70s, with the aforementioned Texas Jewboys as his sick and twisted sidekicks. An equal opportunity offender, Kinky, with his outrageous lyrics and crazed stage persona, may have offended some, but drew people like Don Imus, Robin Williams, Bob Dylan and John Belushi into his spiritual fan club. He toured with Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and appeared on the inaugural season of Saturday Night Live. His infamous appearance on Austin City Limits, the only performance ever filmed by ACL and never broadcast because of content, has finally been released on DVD, to the delight of fans everywhere.

In the mid ’80s, Kinky rescued a woman being robbed at a midtown Manhattan ATM, and, based on this experience, created the character Kinky Friedman the Detective, who solved murders in what would become a series of wildly popular mystery novels. In the years since, the real Kinky has branched out into children’s books, memoirs, historical reflections and editorials, all to great success, and all powered by his razor sharp wit.

Kinky’s commentaries have appeared in such diverse media as The New York Times, Texas Monthly and Playboy, and since adding politics to his résumé, he has been a regular on cable networks, even stopping by occasionally to spar with Bill O'Reilly.

His books are now read the world over, and his tour schedule reflects this. From Bill Clinton to Billy Bob Thornton to Nelson Mandela, everybody loves a Kinky Friedman mystery. As the ever-humble author likes to say, “I write novels for Americans to read on their aircraft.” Billy Bob is currently working with him on a new book, as is Willie Nelson.

And now, for the first time in almost a generation, folks on the West Coast will get to hear Kinky perform (live!) tunes like “Ride ’Em Jewboy,” “Sold American” and “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore.”  And many friends will be there too: Mojo Nixon will join Kinky in San Diego, and Van Dyke Parks has already signed up for L.A.  There’s no telling who else will pop in.  Will there be a Wavy Gravy sighting in San Francisco?

The Go West Young Kinky Tour of 2010:

Mon., July 26 VANCOUVER, BC Biltmore Cabaret
Tues., July 27  SEATTLE, WA Triple Door
Wed., July 28  PORTLAND, OR Roseland Theater
Fri., July 30   SAN FRANCISCO, CA Great American Music Hall
Sat., July 31  LOS ANGELES, CA McCabe’s (2 shows)
Sun., Aug. 1  SAN DIEGO, CA Belly Up, with Mojo Nixon
Tues., Aug. 3 BAKERSFIELD, CA Fishlips
Wed., Aug. 4  SANTA CRUZ, CA Moe’s Alley
Thurs., Aug. 5 SEBASTOPOL, CA North Bay Live at Studio E

AUSTIN’S STONE RIVER BOYS FLEX THEIR BRAND OF “COUNTRY FUNK”

After tearing it up in the Lone Star State and across the country for nearly two years, Austin’s Stone River Boys will issue their recording bow Love on the Dial on June 1 via Northampton, Mass.-based Cow Island Music.

The Texas-based quintet features the talents of two well-traveled roots music practitioners — guitarist Dave Gonzalez, formerly a driving force in the Hacienda Brothers and the Paladins, and vocalist Mike Barfield, “The Tyrant of Texas Funk” and onetime leader of the Hollisters. Together, Barfield and Gonzalez have fashioned a gutsy crossbreed of country and R&B they’ve labeled “country funk.”

The Stone River Boys’ sound extends the direction of Gonzalez’ previous band, the Hacienda Brothers, who recorded three studio albums with producer and country-soul legend Dan Penn. Gonzalez was partnered in the Haciendas with Southern California-bred singer Chris Gaffney.

After Gaffney was diagnosed with liver cancer in early 2008, Gonzalez organized a benefit tour for his ailing bandmate, drawing musicians from Austin’s fertile talent pool. One of the principal members of the touring group was Barfield, whom Gonzalez had known since the early ’80s, when he fronted the top Southern California rockabilly band the Paladins and Barfield led the Houston bands the Rounders and the Hollisters.

Gaffney succumbed to cancer in April 2008, but the tour went on. “We went and did it anyway, and sent the money home to his wife Julie,” says Gonzalez. “A buddy of mine had a recording studio up in Nebraska, and while we were out on tour he invited us to come over there. We went in and cut a couple. I said to Barfield, ‘If you want to do a record, I’d love to, man.’ And we just started making a record.”

Barfield says, “We really naturally just started keeping it going. The name of the band came from the first place we rehearsed for that trip, in this little subdivision in deep South Austin, on a street called Stone River.”

Gonzalez recalls, “When I hooked up with Barfield, he had a whole pocket full of tunes. I felt, ‘We need to record these things right away.’ We wrote a couple right on the spot together. He had a few that were unfinished I kind of helped him with. But he wrote the majority of the material on the record.”

Produced by Gonzalez, the album was recorded during several sessions in 2008-09 with a band that included bassists Scott Esbeck (formerly of the way-out instrumental combo Los Straitjackets), Hank Maninger (Hacienda Brothers) and Kevin Smith (Dwight Yoakam), pedal steel whiz Dave Biller, and drummers Justin Jones and Damien Llanes. It extends the seamless fusion of country and soul influences essayed by both the Hacienda Brothers and Barfield, whose over-the-top funk shows at Austin’s Continental Club have become the stuff of legend.

“Chris Gaffney was a great Western singer,” Gonzalez says, “but he also had a knack for singing R&B and soul tunes, too. When I hooked up with Barfield, it was the same thing. He’s a country bro’, but he’s a funky soul bro’, too. In that sense, it does lean toward the way the Hacienda Brothers were. Dan Penn called our music ‘Western soul.’ Mike is real funky; I was telling everybody it’s more country soul. Lately we’ve been calling it ‘country funk,’ because we’ve got a little more funk and a little more up-tempo material in this new band than we did with the Haciendas.”

Barfield sees a natural connection between the sounds of country and R&B: “There’s a picture of Solomon Burke and Joe Tex, and maybe James Brown, and they all had cowboy hats on. A lot of those soul performers will talk about how they used to listen to the Grand Ole Opry. Some R&B songs, especially the ballads, are very close to some of the honky-tonk ballads. To me, it’s all very similar.”

Love on the Dial features 10 original songs written or co-written by Gonzalez, Barfield, Esbeck, and Biller, plus four musically diverse covers — the late Stephen Bruton’s “Bluebonnet Blue”; a cover of Tyrone Davis’ 1968 hit “Can I Change My Mind”; Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s “Take a Giant Step” (recorded by the Monkees, the Rising Sons, and Taj Mahal); and Nashville hitmakers Jerry Foster and Bill Rice’s “Special.”

Gonzalez says of the new unit, “I feel really refreshed. We have a different take on the country side of things. Mike is a Gulf Coast country Texas boy, and at the same time he’s got this funky up-tempo R&B thing going. I’m working a new style of guitar that I’ve always loved, but I’ve never had the opportunity to play it. People are saying they love the new band, and they’re glad to hear me playing a lot of guitar again.”

“This is the first band where I’ve had a full-time steel player,” says Barfield. “That’s something in this band I like — there are so many voicings. It gives you what a horn section might do or an organ might do.”

Gonzalez, Barfield, and Esbeck are joined in the current edition of the Stone River Boys by pedal steel guitarist Gary Newcomb and drummer Mark Patterson, who both played with Esbeck in Austin singer-songwriter Bruce Robison’s group. The band will support the release of Love on the Dial with a summer 2010 tour of the Southwest and the West Coast.

Amelia's Mechanics Announces Plans for New Album + Tour Dates

Amelia's Mechanics is fronted by Greensboro, NC singer-songwriter's Molly McGinn and Molly Miller and backed by a talented group of musicians out of Nashville, TN. Despite what the oil-and-iron name might suggest, the women of Amelia's Mechanics swap that toughness for a more urban, sophisticated take on Americana music, using luxuriating harmonies and classical swells to temper their lyrical frustrations with love and life. The instrumentation and vocal harmonies of Amelia's Mechanics result in a genre-busting sound best described as "vintage country with a moonshine concerto."
The band released their debut album "North, South," produced by Jim Avett (father, The Avett Brothers,) in February of 2010 to critical acclaim and embarked on an inaugural tour pleasing audiences from Florida to West Virginia. Select performances in May will feature support from guitarist Daryl Hance (guitarist, J.J. Grey & Mofro.)
Amelia's Mechanics will begin recording a follow-up album this summer in Asheville, NC at the wonderful Echo Mountain Studios (Smashing Pumpkins, The Avett Brothers, Band of Horses) with three-time Grammy-winner Steven Heller (producer, David Holt's Stellaluna, Doc Watson's Legacy) and fellow Greensboro, NC singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett (songwriter, Ana Lee) at the helm. A release date has not been set for the new album.
REMAINING PERFORMANCES - SPRING 2010:

Acoustic Coffeehouse - April 8 (Johnson City, TN)
Canyons - April 9 (Blowing Rock, NC)
Pisgah Brewing Co. - April 10 (Black Mountain, NC)
Five Spot - April 21 (Atlanta, GA)
Carrboro Arts Center - April 24 (Chapel Hill, NC)
Carolina Theatre - April 25 (Greensboro, NC)
Preservation Pub - April 28 (Knoxville, TN)
Garage - April 29 (Winston-Salem, NC)
Tipsy Teapot - April 30 (Greenville, NC)
MerleFest - May 2 (Wilkesboro, NC) - Molly McGinn PA
Purple Fiddle - May 5 (Petersberg, WV)
Ashland Coffee and Tea House - May 6 (Ashland, VA)
Center City Park - May 7 (Greensboro, NC)
Pour House Music Hall - May 12 (Raleigh, NC)
Stillwater Taproom - May 14 (Augusta, GA)
NC Potato Festival - May 15 (Elizabeth City, NC)
3rd & Lindsley -May 18 (Nashville, TN)
FemmeFest - May 22 (Charlotte, NC)
White Mule Music Pub - May 27 (Columbia, SC)
Home Team BBQ - May 28 (Charleston, SC)
Music in the Woods - May 29 (Paris Mnt. State Park)
Maguire Theater - June 3 (Elizabeth, City, NC)

Twistable, Turnable Man: Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein, as a writer, poet, and illustrator, has influenced generations upon generations of kids (and kids at heart) with his brilliant, witty, and touching turns of phrase.  In Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein (June 8, 2010), Sugar Hill Records shines a light on the lyrical genius’s oft-overlooked catalog of classic country songs.

As a songwriter, Silverstein penned indelible songs made famous by artists such as Johnny Cash, Dr. Hook, Loretta Lynn, and others.  No country singer ever made Shel’s work as large a part of his repertoire, though, as Bobby Bare Sr., who first partnered with Silverstein on the seminal Outlaw Country album, Lullabys, Legends and Lies, entirely penned by ShelBare Sr. and then-five-year-old son Bobby Bare Jr. received a Grammy nod for the country radio hit “Daddy What If” (a win, incidentally, would have made Bare Jr. the youngest Grammy holder ever, until they were usurped by those mavens of country music: The Pointer Sisters). The song is revisited on the tribute by the now-grown son with his own four-year-old daughter Isabella, making her the third generation to pay homage to Shel on this heart wrenching tune.

On this collection, lovingly co-produced by Bare Sr. and Bare Jr., the wide range of Silverstein’s work – from humorous to poignant to edgy – is interpreted by two distinct generations influenced by Silverstein’s work. From Dr. Dog, My Morning Jacket and Andrew Bird, to Ray Price, Kris Kristofferson, and John Prine, the album is full of surprises and hidden gems. Bare Sr. says in his liners: “Shel would have loved every part of this album. This is the kind of thing he loved to do in the studio— having fun with friends, independent from all, doing it our way!”

Of the participating artists, Bobby Bare Jr., who grew up greatly influenced by Shel and went on to write with him as an adult, says “The lineup is a mix of people I have on speed dial, and people my dad has on speed dial” – fortunately they all just happened to be fans of Shel’s songwriting. Bare Jr. explains that Jim James of My Morning Jacket was already a huge fan of the song “Lullabys, Legends, and Lies,” which he would play as the house music between sets at MMJ shows. Bare Jr.’s friend and colleague Andrew Bird was the only artist permitted to put a poem to music, and his version of “The Twistable, Turnable Man Returns” is just as genuinely Bird as it is Silverstein, showing a striking similarity in their lyrical styles. Of John Prine, Bobby Bare Sr. insisted “This Guitar is for Sale” was perfectly suited to his wry and poignant style.

As a whole, the collection presents a variety of takes on a collection of material that lends itself to creative interpretation, making Twistable, Turnable Man: A Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein an eclectic, endearing valentine to this giant of American song.

Lone Star Icon Gary P Nunn To Release TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY

Gary P. Nunn and Guacamole Records are pleased to announce the April 6 release date of TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY, fifteenth studio album from the renowned artist touted as a “Texas Music Institution.” A travelogue of moods and songs, this new independent recording lends itself to a variety of dance rhythms, exposing emotional sweet spots layered with the heartfelt singing the traditionalist movement is praised for.

A 13-track adventure that crosses the borders and many a state line, the album orbits into the atmosphere with “Deja Vu,” a true to form “cosmic cowboy” trip back to a lost love. Wistful memories are revisited in the Mile-High City on “Denver,” a ramped up Cajun fais do do in “Down To Louisiana” offers an upbeat take on a New Orleans tradition while the soundtrack for a tropical island getaway is played out on “Mexican Boulevard” and “It’s Not Love.”

Longing for a return trip to Texas, “One State of Mind” eases the homesick heart while “Lone Star Blues” tours the cities and towns of the Republic. A colorful cast of characters, which includes a true Texan on “The Likes of Me” and a consummate bachelor who sings the anthem that is “I’m Not That Kind of Guy,” peppers the collection.

Love, a common theme whether lost or being searched for, is found just “A Two-Step Away” on a Friday night when “The Girl Just Loves to Dance.” The title track moves in toward the end with a message to Nashville about real country music still residing and flourishing in Texas and the sweetly pleading closing devotional “The Rest of My Life” ends the journey.
Tracked at Cherry Ridge Recording Studio in Floresville by distinguished C&W producer Tommy Detamore, TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY features three new tunes written or co-written by Nunn, a respected songwriter in his own right, alongside numbers by writers such as Johnny Divine, Levi Mullen, Steven Kundert, Michael Halvorsen and Gary’s brother, Steve K. Nunn. Arriving with a stamp of fan approval, Nunn has been showcasing the tunes, road-testing them alongside his Bunkhouse Band and using audience reaction and support as a marker while deciding what to record on the album.
A revered mainstay on the Texas Music Scene, and a seasoned inspiration to the upcoming generations of rising stars, Nunn is no stranger to acclaim and accolades. In addition to many gold albums, his efforts have been applauded and recognized with a number of notable awards and honors. Texas Governor Mark White named him an Official Ambassador to the World, and years later Governor Rick Perry followed by declaring him an Ambassador of Texas Music. An induction into the Texas Hall of Fame came in 2004, and Nunn is also honored in the West Texas Walk of Fame in Lubbock. The Texas Department of Commerce and Tourism’s also included him on the roster of Lone Star Greats who are leaders in the fields of art, athletics and music. The previous residence he established on an 800-acre cattle in Oklahoma allowed him to be recognized by the Oklahoma House of Representatives for his contribution to the preservation of the unique Southwestern style of music.
Having carved the path for the DIY movement prevalent in today’s independent music scene, Nunn’s TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTY continues these efforts, providing just the right amount of authenticity needed to ensure his reputation as being indisputably Texas and undeniably a fan favorite. For it is Nunn’s ongoing mission to make a connection with the audiences he entertains; over the last half-century Nunn has garnered a bevy of loyal fans by incorporating a variety of indigenous Texas genres and neighboring styles so as to paint a picture of the land and culture he calls “home.”
With the talent, acclaim, and support behind the release of TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY, a new chapter in Nunn’s career has evidently just begun.
Gary P. Nunn Texas Album Release shows and special appearances include:
April 2, Gilley’s, Dallas
April 3, Poodie s Hilltop Cafe, Spicewood, Texas
April 7, Hall Of Fame, Bryan, Texas
April 9, Blanco’s Bar & Grill, Houston
April 16, Broken Spoke, Austin *
April 17, Texas Hat Dance, Fredericksburg, Texas*
April 18, Texas Crawfish Festival, Old Town Spring, Texas
April 25, Love & War In Texas, Plano, Texas*
May 1, Gruene Hall, New Braunfels, Texas*
May 8, The Armadillo Palace, Houston
May 14, The Blue Light, Lubbock, Texas*
May 15, Outskirts, Wichita Falls, Texas*
May 16, Maifest, Anhalt, Texas
May 21, Hardin County Music Fest, Kountze, Texas
May 22, Great Texas Sausage Festival, Lake Somerville, Texas
May 28, Back Porch, Port Aransas, Texas*
May 29, House Pasture, Con Can, Texas*
May 30, Lakeside Icehouse, Bryan, Texas
June 2, County Line BBQ, San Antonio
June 4, Broken Spoke, Austin
June 6, Love and War In Texas (Shiner Sunday), Plano, Texas
* Dedicated Album Release Shows

Marley's Ghost taps Cowboy Jack Clement for new CD, 'Ghost Town'

Marley’s Ghost, cited by Paste magazine as “(having) earned cult-band status over 20 years of spirited musicianship, multi-part harmonies and irreverent humor,” will return from a three-year absence from recording with a new album, Ghost Town, due out February 23, 2010 on Sage Arts Records. The new album was produced by Cowboy Jack Clement, in whose Nashville home studio it was recorded. The cover was painted by acclaimed American watercolorist William Matthews.

The album follows Marley’s Ghost’s 2006 album Spooked, which was produced by Van Dyke Parks and featured a cover by R. Crumb. Of Spooked, Clement remarked, “The band’s eighth full-length in 20 years glides with deadpan sincerity through sea chanteys, perverted mountain gospel, country-rock, vintage pre-WWII pop, Jazz Age vamps, Dylan, western campfire songs, and a rib-tickling salute to ‘the French Elvis,’ Johnny Hallyday. Brilliantly sung and played, Spooked is a heady, subversive treat.”

The latest development in the band’s recording career may prove to be the crucial link for Marley’s Ghost. Clement, the country music cornerstone whose career entwined with those of Jerry Lee Lewis, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and so many others, is the beloved dean of Nashville producers, and the presence of Marley’s Ghost in his studio earned the band its first Music Row buzz.

“Working with Jack is standing in the front door looking out into the world with the whole house of rock ’n’ roll and country music behind you,” says Marley’s Ghost bassist and singer Dan Wheetman. “Jack is steeped in the Sun Records ideals of music. The technical side is important but takes a backseat to the ‘bang,’ the performance with heart and energy.”

“It’s easy to think of Jack as the guy who wrote hits for Cash at Sun Records and recorded Charley Pride in the ’70s, but you know, he has a platinum album with U2,” he adds, referring to a portion of Rattle and Hum that Clement oversaw.

“Marley’s Ghost is very experienced, versatile and best of all, open-minded, and a fun bunch of guys,” says Clement. “I prefer to play with a great band rather than a bunch of great session players. And they are a great band. They understand that we are all in the fun business and if we’re not having fun, we’re not doing our jobs. And they can play just about anything they want to. Even polkas. I ain’t got ’em to do one yet, but I will.”

After more than 20 years of making music together— recording nine albums and performing thousands of shows around the country — Marley’s Ghost remains one of the best-kept secrets in the music world, an untapped natural resource waiting to be discovered.

“Our criteria,” says the band’s guitarist, Mike Phelan, “has always been: bring it, let’s run it. It’s not about genre or style.” This is one band that knows all the songs from both The Harder They Come soundtrack and Ralph Stanley’s Cry From the Cross. Or as Paste puts it, "a decidedly unusual band, as capable of reanimating Appalachian folk songs as they are traditional Celtic fare, honky tonk and reggae.”

The most important ingredients in the Marley’s Ghost musical brew are the characters in the band. The five multi-instrumentalists boast distinctive musical personalities that couldn’t be less alike.

Dan Wheetman is a veteran of the ’60s Simi Valley, Calif. teen rock group the Humane Society, and, as a member of ’70s country-rockers Liberty, toured for years with John Denver and Steve Martin. Jon Wilcox, mandolinist and vocalist, used to trudge around the country as a solo artist. Mike Phelan, like Wheetman and Wilcox a prolific songwriter, can tear your heart out with a soul tune, put a romantic lilt into an Irish folk tune or blast molten lead guitar licks through the heart of a blues. Innovative pedal steel guitarist Ed Littlefield, Jr., spent years performing C&W in rugged roadhouses for loggers across the Pacific Northwest, and plays a fierce fiddle and bagpipes. And Jerry Fletcher, the band’s secret weapon and unofficial fifth Ghost, became “certified” in 2006, bringing his eclectic music skills (drums, keys, accordion and vocal arranging) to bear full-time.

Together they are a unique amalgam of their respective backgrounds, personal proclivities and musical abilities — a blend honed to a seamless collaboration over the many miles they have traveled together down the road.

“I call it ’bang,’” says Clement in summation. “It’s got bang. The band’s got some bang to it.”

Old 97's @ Boulder Theater

The Old 97’s, one of the most acclaimed and beloved bands to spring from the 90s indie rock scene, formed in Dallas in 1993, and are often considered one of the pioneers of the Alt Country genre, although their influences are as varied as The Kinks, The Beatles, The Pixies, David Bowie, Johnny Cash (hence the name) and Merle Haggard. Their career got off to a fast start in 1994 with their debut release, Hitchhike To Rhome.

Old 97’s are comprised of: Rhett Miller, bassist/vocalist Murry Hammond, lead guitarist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples.

 
 
Their latest album, Blame It On Gravity, superbly combines the various elements of rock, punk, classic country and pop displayed on previous releases and the collection is easily the band’s most wellrounded stack of songs recorded for a single offering to date.
 
 
Boulder Theater
2032 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303.786.7030
www.bouldertheater.com
------------------------------
GA / 18+ / $24.00 On Sale May 9

Hank Williams Jr. to be honored at BMI Country Awards

Hank Williams Jr.- for the Grateful Web

Hank Williams, Jr. will be honored as a BMI Icon at the U.S. performing right organization's 56th annual Country Awards, the oldest awards ceremony saluting the genre's top music makers. The black-tie, invitation-only gala recognizing the past year's most-performed BMI country songs is set for November 11 at the company's Music Row offices in Nashville.

The artists and songwriters named BMI Icons have had "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." Hank Williams, Jr., who will be saluted with an all-star musical tribute that evening, joins an elite list of past honorees that includes country music legends Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Whisperin' Bill Anderson, Charlie Daniels and Loretta Lynn, along with multi-genre nobility the Bee Gees, Isaac Hayes, Ray Davies, James Brown, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Steve Winwood and more.

Hank Williams, Jr.'s career has profiled the aspirations, trials and carousals of the everyman in an unabashedly proud and instantly recognizable voice. Nicknamed "Bocephus" by his legendary father Hank Williams, the younger Williams' waggish songs and roguish persona have unified through their celebration of rebellion. A sly songwriter and robust vocalist capable of conveying startling emotion and making deceptively ordinary characters shine, he boasts a catalog that includes honky tonk classics "All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down," "Country Boy Can Survive," "Born to Boogie," "Dixie On My Mind," "Family Tradition," "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound" and "Texas Women." Each composition represents a candid piece of Williams himself: He wrote every song on that list alone. In addition to 10 no. 1 singles, he found mainstream success on the pop charts and through penning and performing the multiple Emmy award-winning theme to Monday Night Football; six of Williams' albums reached platinum status, while 20 were certified gold and 13 reached the no. 1 spot on the charts. Today, a diverse slew of artists spanning hard rap/rocker Kid Rock to contemporary honky tonker Gretchen Wilson embrace Williams' prolific legacy, citing him as a definitive influence.

Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Nashville Writer/Publisher VP Jody Williams, the 56th Annual Country Awards will recognize the songwriters and publishers of the top BMI country songs played on American radio and television during the previous year. BMI will also bestow prestigious honors on the Country Songwriter of the Year, Country Publisher of the Year and Most Performed Country Song of the Year, also known as the Robert J. Burton Award.