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Umphrey’s McGee Among First to Embrace New HDMP3 Format

ryanUmphrey's McGee are among the first bands to make their content available in the new HDMP3 format.  The new format allows for the creation and playback of a new type of audio file using lossless compression. MP3HD files are approximately four times the size of corresponding MP3 files, but remain compatible with existing MP3 players.  Umphrey's McGee will make a sizable portion of their recent two-night run at the historic Murat Egyptian Room on March 13, 2009 available in the new format beginning April 1st at http://all4mp3.com/Listen_mp3HD.aspx.  Additional recordings will be made available in the coming weeks.

"As one of the few artists who record and make available every show that is played, sound quality is paramount to the entire band.  The HDMP3 format is a welcome addition to our existing arsenal of lossless and lossy formats we make available for fans, explains Umphrey's McGee's audio engineer & producer Kevin Browning." Offering a much richer sound spectrum combined with the convenience and familiarity of the MP3 format, we expect HDMP3 to be a hit with the band and fans alike."

Umphrey's McGee has recently made headlines with a groundbreaking digital campaign surrounding their latest studio album, Mantis.  Mantis debuted at #62 on the Billboard 200 Chart, and #6 on the Indie Chart, with more than twice the sales the band's previous effort achieved week of release.  In a declining record industry, the band's ingenious and innovative digital strategy has bucked the downward trend.  Prior to this initiative, the standard approach towards offering bonus content was limited to delivery of exclusive materials as a one-shot incentive to the buyer.  Umphrey's McGee, in super-serving their fan base, have built a modern nine-tier solution supported by grassroots and viral word-of-mouth, that marketing executives across the planet will envy.

This innovative initiative relies on fan support to see its goals realized.  A variety of content is made available to those who pre-ordered the album in stages, based on purchased units unlocking the vault at varying thresholds.   With each tier reach, more content goes out to the core crusaders.  Guitarist and vocalist Brendan Bayliss explains, "Our fans have always been there for us, and with each year that has passed, the legion has exponentially grown.  Collectively, we knew that this is a program that they'd love.  Without a community, as we enjoy, this would probably never be executed as a realized vision.  In our case, it worked."  Band manager Vincent Iwinski adds, "That we were able to super-serve our fanbase with content they want, while making them part of the process, resulted in crowd-sourcing a passionate sales team like no other.  With sales more than doubling our previous album in such a tough recorded music market is a testament to the creativity of the band, the support of the fans and the power of the new medium that enables artists like Umphrey's McGee to push the envelope from both music and marketing perspectives."  During the release week, Mantis reached #25 on the iTunes Album chart.

In addition to a one-of-a kind pre-order campaign where fans can participate in "unlocking" exclusive bonus material, Mantis incorporates PUSH(TM) technology by Digital Insert to deliver new content throughout 2009.  PUSH requires no software installation or serial number; by simply putting the Mantis CD in your CD-ROM drive, the disc acts as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.

Umphrey's McGee has also broken new ground by being among the first bands to offer their fans a video subscription service.  Available exclusively at iClips.com, Umphrey's has made an entire week's worth of concerts available in realtime video streaming to their fans for the low cost of only $5 per show, or the total package for only $20.  Fans have the option of streaming the shows live as they happen, as well as further streaming on demand for two weeks following the concerts.

The Mantis campaign, the band's video subscription, and their use of the HDMP3 format are all innovative music experiences offered by Umphrey's McGee, who have proven adaptive and inventive both in music and business over the last 10 years. Through online community building, creative web-based promotions, and open taping policies allowing live music sharing among fans, Umphrey's McGee has harnessed the internet's momentum to spread their music far and wide. The band's download store UMLive.net is an archive of their ever-diverse live performances, hosting downloads of over 300 shows with 750,000 tracks sold since 2004. Umphreys.com hosts the iTunes friendly UM Podcast which releases two 75-minute episodes of live material each month to its 20,000 subscribers. Since 2001, Umphrey's has released soundboard recordings of each night's concert immediately after the show in both physical and digital formats - and each show typically sells upwards of 300 copies per night. The band's unique approach to online and digital distribution, paired with word of mouth buzz, has helped Umphrey's McGee sell out shows nationwide while keeping their fans a top priority.

jakeThe band has returned to the road for a run through the northeast, midwest and several forthcoming summer festivals.  Confirmed dates are as follows:   

April 02 The Grand Opera House Wilmington, DE
April 03 Penn's Peak Jim Thorpe, PA
April 04 Ram's Head Live! Baltimore, MD
April 05 Toad's Place New Haven, CT
April 07 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel Providence, RI
April 08 Calvin Theatre Northampton, MA
April 09 House of Blues Boston, MA
April 10 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
April 11 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
April 16 Taft Theatre Cincinnati, OH
April 17 Egyptian Theatre Dekalb, IL
April 18 Morris Performing Arts Center South Bend, IN
April 29 Bama Theatre Tuscaloosa, AL
April 30 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 01 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 02 The Lyric Oxford MS
May 22 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL
May 29 Mountain Jam Festival ~ Hunter Mountain Hunter, NY
May 30 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
June 05 Wanee Festival Live Oak, FL
July 02 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy, CA
July 11 All Good Music Festival ~ Marvin's Mountaintop Masontown, WV
July 18-19 Alpine Valley East Troy, WI supporting The Dave Matthews Band
July 25 10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes, MN

GOV. RITTER HELPS BREAK GROUND ON 2 VESTAS PLANTS; 1,350 NEW JOBS

Gov. Bill Ritter today joined Vestas executives, the crown prince and princess of Denmark and local leaders at a ground-breaking ceremony for two Vestas manufacturing facilities here that will create 1,350 new jobs.

“Today marks the third straight day of new-job announcements this week, resulting in 1,650 new jobs for Colorado,” Gov. Ritter said. “Vestas was one of Colorado’s earliest visionaries and pioneers in our New Energy Economy. Thank you, Vestas, for helping to lead Colorado forward and for working with us to develop a sustainable energy future and a sustainable economic future.”

The Brighton factories will be part of the significant manufacturing and research base Vestas – the Denmark-based wind system manufacturer – is establishing in the United States. One of the Brighton plants will produce giant wind blades and the other will make nacelle assemblies.

Vestas is spending about $290 million to build the two facilities, which will produce 1,800 blades and 1,400 nacelles a year. Brighton also will be home to a technology and production engineering office as well as a division of the Vestas Business Academy for employee training and development.

Vestas currently operates a wind blade manufacturing plant in Windsor and is building the world’s largest wind tower manufacturing facility in Pueblo. When all four plants are fully operational by the end of 2010, they will employ nearly 2,500 Coloradans.

Other job announcements Gov. Ritter took part in this week:

·         Monday: The Water Company of Pueblo, a high-tech water-purification company, announced it is moving into a bigger facility and adding more than 100 jobs.

·         Tuesday:  Ribbon-cutting and grand opening of Ascent Solar’s new world headquarters and manufacturing facility in Thornton, which will result in 200 new jobs over the next couple of years

Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks Release New Album

hicks In vintage Dan Hicks form, Tangled Tales mashes the outlaw swing music, insightful charm, and brilliant melodies that have endeared him to audiences and fellow artists for four decades with his signature understated melancholy that could only be born from a creative genius. Featuring a world-class collection of musical talent including instrumental virtuosos David Grisman, Charlie Musselwhite, and slide-guitarist Roy Rogers, and produced by Grammy-winning roots music producer Chris Goldsmith, Tangled Tales delivers 8 great new original tunes that feel like instant Dan Hicks classics (and some choice cover tunes too).

Also available is a limited edition vinyl version of Tangled Tales, with cover art and packaging designed - as always - by Hicks himself.  For forty years Dan has created all of his own album art and promotional materials - cutting and pasting and drawing and illustrating - all by hand. Hicks has always had a clear idea of the aesthetics that best compliment his music.  In fact, the visuals are essential for Dan to further communicate the message of the songs, and he considers them an extension of the musical vision of each album. Family and friends who visit his home know this first hand, as remnants from magazine clippings, pieces of his drawings, old photographs, pages from books and atlases, and more can be found on his floors throughout; clippings that, more often than not, find their way into his work.  Need proof?  Check out Dan's new video here.

Look for Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks on tour this spring.  The list of currently confirmed dates is as follows:

March 25 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach CA
March 26 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles CA with Special Guests Van Dyke Parks and The Ditty Bops
March 28 Yoshi's San Francisco CA with Special Guest David Grisman
April 03 One Longfellow Square Portland ME
April 04 Bull Run Shirley MA
April 05 Iron Horse Northampton MA
April 06 BB King's Blues Club New York NY
April 07 Turning Point Piermont NY
April 09 Stage One at the Fairfield Theatre Company Fairfield CT
April 10 Sellersville Theater Sellersville PA
April 11 The State Theater Falls Church VA
May 12 Uptown Grill's Playlist Theatre LaSalle IL
May 13 Logan Square Auditorium Chicago IL
May 14 Turner Hall Ballroom Milwaukee WI
May 15 Majestic Live Madison WI
May 16 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis MN

Additional dates to be announced.  Visit www.danhicks.net for information and updates.

Tangled Tales is a more-than-worthy addition to Hicks' already massive body of work.  It is an irresistible nod to Dan Hicks' undeniable musical legacy, and a potent reminder of all of the musical inspiration that this Great American Songwriter has spawned. Revered by and also having collaborated with such legendary artists as Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bette Midler, Brian Setzer, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Rickie Lee Jones -- Dan Hicks serves up his unique fashion, attitude and swagger that are embodied in his eccentricity and totally unique sound. His counter-culture appeal, which has twice landed him on the cover of Rolling Stone, has always been rooted in his songwriting. His lyrics have been touted as some of the sharpest-tongued, driest-witted, and subtly hilarious bits of irreverence ever committed to rhyme. He sets these lyrical gems to quirky tunes that trade on a bagful of jazz chords and an irresistible rhythm.

Great American Taxi offering free track from new CD!

taxiGreat American Taxi, which features Leftover Salmon frontman Vince Herman is gearing up to release their sophomore effort "Reckless Habits." With the official release date yet to be announced Taxi has decided to offer up a free download of "Unpromised Land" (labeled as "Whiskey" on a lot of Taxi bootlegs from the past couple of years) from their latest studio work, which was recorded in December of 2008 and produced by Railroad Earth's Tim Carbone. The album also boasts guest appearances by Barry Sless on pedal steel for a good chunk of the record, Carbone on fiddle for a few tracks, Matt Flinner plays banjo on the aforementioned free download, the Black Swan Gospel Singers and the Peak to Freak Horns. Phil Nicolo, multi-grammy winning engineer and producer also lent his talents to the mix and mastering of the record at his fabled Studio 4. Needless to say Taxi has swung for the fence on this one and the result is nothing short of pure Americana bliss. Taxi will be playing 3 shows on the Front Range of Colorado this weekend to celebrate the forthcoming release and will be accompanied on stage by the Black Swan Singers and the Peak to Freak horns as well as some great support acts. Thursday March 19th finds the band at Hodi's Half Note in Fort Collins, Friday March 20th is at the Boulder Theater and Saturday the 21st is at the Bluebird Theater in Denver. These are certain to be special shows and tickets are still available. Follow the link below to get a taste of what GAT has in store from their newest release.

http://www.coolmusicnetwork.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=Great+American+Taxi

More info about Great American Taxi can be found at www.GreatAmericanTaxi.com and make sure to sign up for their mailing list for updates on the official release date.

NEW ENERGY PROJECTS TO PLAY BIG ROLE IN RECOVERY

The Colorado Governor’s Energy Office said today it is establishing a competitive bid process to fund shovel-ready New Energy Economy projects with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

 

The Energy Office also is co-sponsoring a recovery conference for utility-company officials on Tuesday, featuring Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, Energy Office Director Tom Plant, Public Utilities Commission Chairman Ron Binz and many others.

 

“President Obama last month chose to sign the recovery act into law in Colorado to showcase Colorado’s New Energy Economy,” Gov. Ritter said. “For the past two years, we’ve attracted new companies and created thousands of new jobs by establishing Colorado as a national leader in the manufacturing, production and research of clean energy.

 

“The recovery act will help drive the New Energy Economy forward by creating new opportunities for families, businesses and communities all across Colorado,” Gov. Ritter said.

 

The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) will issue a request for shovel-ready project proposals at the end of March or in early April, depending on the timing of guidelines from the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

The GEO defines shovel-ready as an energy efficiency or renewable energy infrastructure project or program that has been extensively developed and for which there is a clear path to implementation within 90 days from the time of award.

 

To submit questions or ideas about this process, go to www.colorado.gov/energy/recovery/inquiry.asp . For more information on shovel-ready projects go to www.colorado.gov/energy/recovery/shovel-ready.asp.

 

On Tuesday, the GEO is teaming with several state agencies to host an energy-related recovery conference focused on how Colorado gas and electric utilities and their customers can benefit from the recovery act.

 

The conference is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel ballroom at 1881 Curtis St. in downtown Denver.

 

For an agenda and registration information, click here or visit www.dora.state.co.us/puc/agendas/03-10-09ARRA-Symposium.pdf.

 

Other co-sponsors include the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

 

For additional information and to monitor how recovery funds are being spent in Colorado, visit www.colorado.gov/recovery.

 

Bonerama Releases New Single @ PartyGras.com

boneramaCelebrate Fat Tuesday at PartyGrass2009.com to download an exclusive new single by Mardi Gras veterans Bonerama. PartyGrass2009.com launched in January promising to make every Tuesday Fat Tuesday, by offering exclusive music releases or free downloads every Tuesday this year.

Anchored by the music of New Orleans' own Bonerama and Porter Batiste Stoltz, PartyGras2009.com commemorates their hometown's most famous holiday with brand new music and a year of free downloads.  Thinking outside the box to offer fans access to rare and unreleased music, PartyGras2009.com will deliver funky new music each Tuesday all year long.  The release might be a live show, a single of a brand new song, or an archival release from the bands' vaults.  But remember to visit often - all the free material released is available only for one week; until the next Tuesday, when new tunes are featured.

Bonerama's Single Series, where the band releases one new single at a time, kicks off on Fat Tuesday with the release of their brand new song, "Big Fine Woman," available at PartyGras2009.com. While you're there, sign up to receive free music every Tuesday this year, and visit back for offers on never before heard studio releases, exclusive live performances, and more.

www.PartyGras2009.com - Every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday.

Both Bonerama and Porter Batiste Stoltz are on tour now.  Tour dates are as follows.

Bonerama - www.bonerama.net:
March 13 The Howlin' Wolf North Shore New Orleans LA
March 14 Mid City Lanes New Orleans LA
March 27 City Limits Live Delray Beach FL
March 28 Aces Lounge Bradenton FL
April 04 The Swamp Thing and Crawfish Festival Austin TX
April 10 Maple Leaf New Orleans LA
April 18 Rummel High School Fundraiser New Orleans LA
April 19 French Quarter Festival New Orleans LA
April 23 Tipitina's New Orleans LA
April 24 Festival International de Louisiana Lafayette LA
April 25 Mid City Lanes New Orleans LA
May 02 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival New Orleans LA
May 02 Mid City Lanes New Orleans LA
May 03 Maple Leaf New Orleans LA
May 16 Tropical Heat Wave Tampa FL
May 29 Michael Arnone's Crawfish Festival Augusta NJ
May 30 Western Maryland Blues Festival Hagerstown MD

Porter Batiste Stoltz - www.porterbatistestoltz.com:
March 17 Owsley's Golden Road Denver CO featuring Kyle Hollingsworth
March 18 Boulder Theater Boulder CO featuring Kyle Hollingsworth
March 19 Winter Concert Series Telluride CO
March 26 Space Evanston IL
March 27 Trocaderos Minneapolis MN with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe
March 28 Overture Center for the Arts Madison WI
April 26 Howlin' Wolf New Orleans LA
May 02 Tipitina's New Orleans LA featuring Page McConnell
May 16 Joshua Tree Music Festival Joshua Tree CA
May 29 Mountain Jam Hunter NY
June 04 Wakarusa Ozark AR
June 05 Wakarusa Ozark AR

3 New Shows Added to The Dead Tour

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

The Dead just added 3 new shows to the spring tour, with additional nights at Chicago and Shoreline, plus a show at The Gorge in Quincy, WA! Now the band will be playing 22 shows spread across a month from mid-April through mid-May!

Click here for links to the ticket vendors handling pre-sale starting Tuesday, February 17th at noon EST.

Dead.net will be your official hub for ALL news about the tour, including dates and ticket info... and perhaps even a few surprises along the way!

 

Fareed Haque +The Flat Earth Ensemble New CD 'Flat Planet'

Flat Planet- for the Grateful Web

Hindustani music swings! says Fareed Haque, leader of the Flat Earth Ensemble. A jazz and classical guitar virtuoso, Haque's latest project is the culmination of years of study and innovation, a blending of Hindustani folk rhythms and groove jazz. All my life Ive loved the rhythms of South Asian folk music the folk music from northwestern India and Pakistan, that is the basis for much of what is today called Bollywood film music, Qawwali, Bhangra. All of these are styles of South Asian music that GROOVE with hypnotic, high energy, danceable rhythms...much the same as the African-American gospel that is the basis of so much popular American music. In South Asia, as on the South Side of Chicago, charismatic music music that builds to an emotional and many would say spiritual climax is at the core of traditional culture and the basis for much in popular culture...simply put Punjabi folk music is to India what gospel is to America funky, fun, danceable and spiritual.

"Its a perfect match...I remember listening to Hindustani film and folk music as a child [Haque's lineage is Pakistani and Chilean], and the way that music shuffles is right up there with most jazz shuffles... I remember going to see the Sabri Brothers, a Qawwali group from Pakistan, and the audience was losing it! Rolling on the stage, going into the same kind of trance that once might see at a gospel revival in Mississippi."

Mimi Fishman Foundation's New Charity Auction is Live!

Bonnaroo tixs up for auction- for the Grateful Web

The new Mimi Fishman Foundation charity auction is up and running.  The Foundation's first auction of 2009 includes amazing items donated by Phish, String Cheese Incident, Umphrey's McGee, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Jack Johnson, Scramble Campbell, moe, Dave Matthews Band, and Yonder Mountain String Band.  The auction proceeds will benefit the Delta Gamma Center for Children With Visual Impairments.

One of the more unique items on the auction is a lunch with Phish drummer Jon Fishman.  The winner and one guest will enjoy lunch and conversation with the Phish drummer.  In addition, Fishman will hand the winner a pair of tickets for the next evenings Phish show at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.

The auction, which concludes Feb 26, also features:

·       Phish Summer 2009 Ticket/DVD Packages
·       Dave Matthews Band Ticket/Pass Package
·       Yonder Mountain String Band Ticket/Signed Poster Package
·       Bonnaroo Ticket/Phish Laminate Package
·       Umphrey's McGee VIP Package
·       String Cheese Incident Signed Posters
·       .moe Ticket/Pass Package
·       Scramble Campbell Original Phish Artwork
·       Jack Johnson Signed CD/DVD Package

To view and/or bid on the auction, as well as read about the charities the auction supports, please visit the Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction Page.

Backyard Tire Fire To Record w/ Steve Berlin | New Tour Dates

Photo by Brad Hodge- for the Grateful Web

Backyard Tire Fire return to the studio next month to begin work on the follow up to their critically-acclaimed 2008 release, The Places We Lived. They'll be joined by Grammy Award-winning producer Steve Berlin behind the boards. Berlin first discovered Backyard Tire Fire when they opened for his band Los Lobos last October. Backyard Tire Fire's Ed Anderson counted the legendary East Los Angeles group among his biggest influences, so the opportunity to join them on a bill was a career high point. What Anderson didn't expect, however, was that Los Lobos would watch Backyard Tire Fire's entire set from the side of the stage and later invite Anderson and company to sit in for the encore. Berlin was so taken by Backyard Tire Fire's performance that he reached out the following week to inquire about the possibility of producing their next record.

"It takes a pretty special band to rivet the attention of Los Lobos, and Backyard Tire Fire are exactly that," states Berlin. "Great songs, great playing and great guys. I'm really looking forward to the recording sessions. They've come up with another amazing batch of songs. In my opinion they are one of America's best young bands."

Steve Berlin and Backyard Tire Fire will commence recording in late February. Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Death Cab for Cutie, Stephen Malkmus, The Decemberists) will engineer the sessions at Type Foundry Studio in Portland, Oregon where many  of M. Ward's projects have been recorded, including last year's hit, She & Him. As has been Backyard Tire Fire's aesthetic for all of its previous recordings, the sessions will be cut to tape and completely analog.

Backyard Tire Fire's 2008 effort, The Places We Lived fed a growing buzz in the U.S. based around principle songwriter Ed Anderson's ability to combine working class lyrical sentiment with eccentric indie rock songcraft. The album finished on year-end "best of" lists with writers at No Depression, Blurt, Jambase and Glide Magazine. In addition, Sirius XM U has kept "Shoulda Shut It" in regular rotation since early Fall. On the performance front, Backyard Tire Fire toured relentlessly playing both headline dates and opening slots with Reverend Horton Heat, Rose Hill Drive and Squirrel Nut Zippers among others. In February, they'll join JJ Grey & Mofro for a run of shows in the midwest and in March they'll tape their debut appearance on the nationally-syndicated radio show Mountain Stage.

Upcoming Backyard Tire Fire tour dates are:

January 30 & 31 / Louie's / Bloomington, IL
February 3 / Bluebird / Bloomington, IN*
February 4 / Downing University Center Theatre / Bowling Green, KY*
February 5 / The Intersection / Grand Rapids, MI*
February 6 / The Magic Bag / Ferndale, MI*
February 7 / The Dame / Lexington, KY*
February 8 / Industry / Iowa City, IA*
March 13 / Chicago Street / Joliet, IL
March 15 / Mountain Stage / Charleston, WV
March 19 / 40 Watt Club / Athens, GA**
March 20 / Emerald Lounge / Asheville, NC**
March 21 / Gottrocks / Greenville, SC**
April 2 / Locals Only / Indianapolis, IN***
April 3 / Southgate House / Cincinnati, OH
April 4 / Barley's Taproom / Knoxville, TN
April 10 / Mojo's / Columbia, MO
April 11 / Off Broadway / St. Louis, MO****
April 14 / Wisconsin Public TV / Madison, WI
April 16 / Gerstle's / Louisville, KY**
April 17 / Hangar 9 / Carbondale, IL**
April 18 / Double Door / Chicago, IL**
April 23 / 7th Street / Minneapolis, MN
April 24 / High Noon Saloon / Madison, WI
April 25 / Green Room / Sheboygan, WI
April 26 / Brown Baer / Elkhart Lake, WI
April 30 / Redstone Room / Davenport, IA
May 1 / Nutty's North / Sioux Falls, SD
May 2 / Vaudeville Mews / Des Moines, IA
 
* Supporting JJ Grey & Mofro
** Co-bill with Bloodkin
***Co-bill with Steepwater Band
****Co-bill with Pokey LaFarge