singer-songwriter


Amy Black Announces iPod Giveaway Contest

Singer/songwriter Amy Black released her sophomore album entitled One Time this spring and has been on the road supporting the record.  For fans who have not had a chance to catch one of her electric performances, Amy has release videos from her CD release show at Club Passim in Boston's Harvard Square.

In the album’s potent title track, "One Time," the plaintive lyric “Time for you to make a break/And show what you’re good for” could describe Black’s new release and her live performances. “I decided a few years back that it was now or never,” says Black. “I love music way too much to sit on the side lines. You only get one chance at this life, and I’m taking mine.”

"One Time" is the first single off the album and Amy rocked it at the release show. Fans who share the video with their friends will be entered in the "iPod 'One Time' Music Collection" Contest. The winner will receive a new Apple iPod Touch loaded with Amy Black’s music catalog and videos from the "One Time" CD Release Show.

In order to win, watch the video at www.amyblack.lotosnile-dev.com. Viewers of the video can enter to receive a personalized URL to share the video. They can post the link on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or email it to their friends.  The person who gets the most people to view Amy’s video by Thursday, June 2, 2011 through their personalized URL will win the iPod Touch with Amy Black’s music and videos.

For more information or to purchase the album visit www.amyblack.com.

Luther Russell Announces New Double LP

Luther Russell is set to release his fifth LP, a double-length entitled The Invisible Audience, on July 12th on Ungawa Records. It's a wildly ambitious record from the multi-talented singer-songwriter/producer, which he calls "a glimpse into the jukebox of my psyche." The twenty-five tracks on this epic record were culled from months and months of recording "whenever I could get into my eight-track studio or on a four-track cassette to get an idea down." The album's narrative flow seems to run the gamut of emotions from regret, betrayal and loss to humor, nostalgia and hope. His last release, 2007's Repair (produced by Ethan Johns) was a ragged, rootsy pop record full of rich, sometimes bouncy melodies which belied their darker subject matter, namely that of his then-fresh divorce. The album won him quite a bit of acclaim but nonetheless failed to break him to a wider audience. Since then he concentrated on the production side of things, working with a wide array of artists, including Noah & The Whale, Laura Marling, Sarabeth Tucek, Holly Miranda, Richmond Fontaine, Sean Lennon and Fernando, to name a few.

It was during this industrious period that Luther would hit the recording studio on his own whenever time permitted "to capture some kind of feeling before it slipped away" or for other projects like "the odd failed soundtrack that never was." Being a multi-instrumentalist (Luther has lent his talents to many other artists on drums, guitar, bass, keys, etc.) helped to get many songs recorded with no time to waste. For instance, "Traces," a track evoking Slim Chance-era Ronnie Lane, was done "pretty much in one day", recalls Russell. Still, he did enlist help from a few close musical allies to help flesh out harmony-laden blasts like "Everything You Do" and "Tomorrow's Papers", as well as the psychedelic trance-rock of "Motorbike". In fact, on the elegiac "In This Time," members of his old band The Freewheelers popped by to help with the feel of the track. "I just had so many different types of songs coming out of me over the past few years that for once I wanted to intertwine as many as I could, regardless of style or genre, to try and paint a more complete picture of who I am as an artist. This would be my chance because I could take my time and do it until it was done--whenever the hell that would be".

Turns out it wouldn't be for roughly five years, as Luther wouldn't finally compile the songs until he was able to listen to many different sequences on the often snail-paced subway rides between Manhattan and Brooklyn where he had relocated after several years in Los Angeles. "I just began to hit upon the fact that all of the instrumental tracks that I had accrued could provide little 'smoke breaks' for the listener, so to speak". Inspired by the sprawling double-albums of his youth, such as Husker Du's Zen Arcade, Game Theory's Lolita Nation and Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, he began to see the songs woven together in a longer, more colorful tapestry. "I wanted to make a record that someone could literally get lost in...every time you'd drop the needle you'd be somewhere new. It would be like a friend that was always around, but each time you get together something has changed a little, just like in life". Invariably the album would wind up consisting of some darker pathways, to which Luther attributes more than a few harrowing experiences, such as the sudden passing of two of his "very best friends" and a horrible accident where he nearly lost use of his right hand. "A period of intense darkness seemed to settle over me after the recording of my last record. Moving to New York was definitely an 'escape' of sorts, but the kind of loss I experienced over the past few years one can never quite shake, I think".

It's these more contemplative stretches of musical highway that are found in songs such as "A World Unknown," a stripped-down blues lament concerning "various frightened glimpses into one's own mortality" and "1st & Main," a spidery concoction regarding a certain sojourn through downtown L.A. "which I'd rather not discuss", Russell broods. Livelier tracks include the uproarious "Long Lost Friend," something of a sonic shotgun-wedding between the Faces and Nilsson, juxtaposed with lyrics about "literally having fuck-all", and "Ain't Frightening Me," a dervish of acid words and zig-zag melody influenced by the proto-power-pop of Nick Lowe and Dwight Twilley. The font of mix-and-match songcraft throughout the record can also be attributed to Luther's background, which includes a grandfather and great-uncle, each of whom wrote several Tin Pan Alley standards. It's this family history which he pays tribute to on instrumentals such as the ragtime-y "109th & Madison" (named for the intersection in Harlem where his grandmother grew up) and "Still Life Radio," the old Broadway-style opener which evokes an instant nostalgia even before the expansive record has begun to rev-up (with the grinding Sidekick Reverb).

As to the inevitable head-scratching regarding the sheer length of the record, Luther takes it in stride. "I fully get and understand that many people will ask 'why so long' and generally not have the patience to sit through such an 'endless' listen", he laughs, "but I just had to do it. It just felt right and I thought it would be a true musical experience--that is if you even like what I do in the first place!" This time around, not only has Luther Russell made a record that has many of the hallmarks he is known for (ear-catching melodies, lyrics layered with multiple meanings and adventurous musicianship), but he's managed to make one that contains all of them: the dark folk-blues territory he has covered in past records such as Lowdown World, the bold experimentation found in out-of-nowhere u-turns like Down At Kit's and the melancholy pop of the aforementioned Repair. The Invisible Audience aims to tie up the many loose ends of Luther's recorded output and twist it into something new, yet strangely recognizable. "It's an album made for music fans. People like me. Folks who want to disappear for a while, take a vacation from all the bullshit. All you need is a pair of headphones and an open mind".

Andrew Belle live on the Lennon Bus in Austin

At SXSW this year, Andrew Belle was invited aboard the Lennon Bus to perform the track that won the John Lennon Songwriting Award for excellence in their pop category. On the Lennon Bus, Andrew recorded an intimate, live version of "The Ladder," which premieres today on Paste.
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After his performances at SXSW and the South Beach Food & Wine FestivalAndrew Belle has returned to hometown Chicago to prepare the limited edition re-release of debut LP The Ladder featuring new music and new artwork and has planned a celebration around the release with his biggest Chicago show to date.
Andrew Belle is a new artist on the pop singer/songwriter scene. Residing in both Chicago and Nashville, he is currently touring clubs and universities across the country, and is also a member of the critically acclaimed national tour Ten Out Of Tenn. Andrew released his debut EP All Those Pretty Lights in 2008, containing songs featured in hit TV shows including “90210”, “The Real World”, “Ghost Whisperer” and “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.
His debut full-length album The Ladder was released in February 2010 on 1L Music. The Ladder reached #1 on iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts, scored a spot in the Top 100 chart on iTunes and charted in the Top 25 on the Billboard Heatseakers Chart.  His songs have garnered nationwide airplay including Chicago’s WXRT, Nashville’s WRLT, and Los Angeles’ KCRW. Andrew recently was named “Best Breakout Artist, Chicago” by MTV. Recently, Andrew was awarded with the John Lennon Songwriting Award for excellence in their Pop category for the title song off The Ladder. Fans and critics often refer to his songs as “smart pop”—nuanced melodies and sophisticated, contemplative lyrics coupled with bold, infectious hooks.
2009 saw Nashville / Chicago resident Andrew Belle invited out on the second generation Ten out of Tenn Tour and after an overwhelming response on the road, invited out for the Ten out of Tenn Holiday Tour.  Ten Out of Tenn is a diverse and unique community of artists making organic pop music in the shadows of Nashville's slick commercial country music industry on the road supporting each other every night!  The original Ten out of Tenn debuted in 05 with ten musicians who were at the forefront of the vibrant Nashville pop music scene with over thirty albums released between them.

GRAYSON CAPPS | 'The Lost Cause Minstrels' Streets June 7

Grayson Capps' fifth studio album, The Lost Cause Minstrels, is set for release June 7 on Royal Potato Family. The 11-track effort finds the Mobile, Alabama-based singer-songwriter coming of age. This doesn't mean, however, that his often unholy tales of the Southern Gothic have lost any of their sting. Quite the contrary, Capps' Tao-tinged, philosophical reflections--revealed deep inside songs shuddering with spit, stomp and snarl--are as potent as ever. Listen no further than "Highway 42," "No Definitions" and "Rock N Roll" to hear that Capps cedes no quarter. It's just that this time his bark and bite is more accepting of the unanswered questions mucking up the universe, while country soul textures and gospel harmonies ease the raw edges. Occasionally, even a celebratory mood prevails like the horn-fueled romp "Ol' Slac," an ode the rebirth of the Mobile, Alabama Mardi Gras, or "Coconut Moonshine," a character sketch based on Mr. Jim who inhabits the hallowed roadside barbecue joint in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Two rare, but classic, American roots' numbers are born again here, as well: Taj Mahal's country-blues paen "Annie's Lover" and Richard Rabbit Brown's jaunty "Jane's Alley Blues," (the original recording preserved on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music).

Grayson Capps' real life situation has evolved since his previous release Rott 'n' Roll, and it surely influences the album's sound and spirit. In 2010, he dissolved his band The Stumpknockers, re-assembling a new cast of musicians, fittingly dubbed The Lost Cause Minstrels. The line-up features a who's who of the finest players on the Gulf Coast music scene, including Corky Hughes on guitars, Chris Spies on keys, Christian Grizzard on bass and John Milham on drums. Capps also moved back to Alabama, where he was born and raised, in the middle of recording the album. He'd been residing in Nashville since 2007 after being driven from his longtime New Orleans’ following Hurricane Katrina. Capps co-produced the effort with his longtime partner and Grammy Award-winning engineer/producer Trina Shoemaker (Queens of the Stone Age, Dylan Leblanc, Sheryl Crow). All of these factors coalesce into a collection of songs timeless in their pursuit of truth yet well aware of how hard the truth is to find in these times. The Lost Cause Minstrels is the highly anticipated next chapter from one of the finest Southern troubadours of the day.

The Lost Cause Minstrels track listing:

1. Highway 41
2. Coconut Moonshine
3. John The Dagger
4. Jane's Alley Blues
5. Chief Seattle
6. Yes You Are
7. Annie's Lover
8. Ol' Slac
9. Paris, France
10. No Definitions
11. Rock n Roll

Upcoming tour dates:

May 1 | Rosie's Grill | Daphne, AL (*solo acoustic)
May 3 | Chickie Wah Wah's | New Orleans, LA
May 5 | Le Petite Theater | New Orleans, LA (*Southern Troubadours also featuring Anders Osborne, Tab Benoit and Devon Allman)
May 6 | DBA | New Orleans, LA (8PM)
May 6 | Le Bon Ton Temp Roulet | New Orleans, LA (*Late Night)
May 7 | River Pub | Hurricane, AL
May 13 | The Fire | Jackson, MS
May 14 | The Hangout | Gulf Shores, AL
May 21 | Northshore Grill | Orange Beach, AL
May 25 | The Nick | Birmingham, AL
May 27 | Smith's Olde Bar | Atlanta, GA
May 28 | Jamming At Hippy Jack's | Crawford, TN (taping for PBS broadcast)
May 29 | Rosie's Grill | Daphne, AL (*solo acoustic)
June 3 | Oak's Cafe | Brewton, AL
June 4 | Pirate's Cove | Josephine, AL
June 12 | Callaghan's Irish Social Club | Mobile, AL
June 14 | Blue Gill | Mobile, AL
June 16 | Myers Park | Gulf Shores, AL
June 17 | DBA | New Orleans, LA
June 18 | The Porch | Lake Charles, LA
June 19 | Callaghan's Irish Social Club | Mobile, AL
June 23 | Rhythm & Brews | Chattanooga, TN
June 24 | The Basement | Nashville, TN
June 25 | Phoenix Hill Tavern | Louisville, KY
July 16 | Chrome Horse | Silver Hill, AL
July 17 | Callaghan's Irish Social Club | Mobile, AL
July 20 | The Grey Eagle | Asheville, NC (*solo acoustic)
July 21 | Duck Pond | Brevard, NC (*solo acoustic)
July 22 | Shenanigan's | Dahlonega, AL (*solo acoustic)
August 4 | Woodwalk Gallery & Events Barn | Egg Harbor, WI
August 6 | Lumberjam Festival | Hayward, WI