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Sketchy Black Dog at Birdland | NYC | 8/26/11

Experience the daring, explosive mix of classic rock and originals; sonic temptations that are both seductive and unpredictable. This piano trio with string quartet plays unique spins of Bowie, Zeppelin, Hendrix, and more. Sketchy Black Dog takes timeless rock songs and originals to places both irreverent and fragile. Sketchy Black Dog is the brainchild of pianist Misha Piatigorsky and drummer Chris Wabich – both internationally recognized musicians.

The virtuosic and super-creative Jazz pianist, Misha Piatigorsky, is no stranger to Jazz audiences, but you’ve never seen – or heard – him quite like this! The Russian born Piatigorsky fled from behind the Cold War-era Iron Curtain and moved with his family to New York. It didn’t take long for this Classical pianist to morph into one of the most innovative Jazz artists on the international scene, taking first place in the Thelonious Monk Composers Competition, and playing everything from Brazilian music to straight-up Jazz with Mark Murphy, Joe Lovano and Jon Faddis. Sketchy Black Dog is his current obsession - cranking out his original arrangements of Classic Rock tunes alongside his own award-winning compositions. Piatigorsky’s fiery performances leave audiences screaming for more.

Chris Wabich has collaborated with the leading authorities in Jazz, World, and Rock music, including the Zappa family, Leonard Cohen, Sting, Nenette Evans (pianist Bill Evans' widow) and Omar Faruk Tekbilek. This three-time Grammy nominated artist is known for his dynamic extremities, clarity, melodicism and power. Wabich’s understanding and cross-pollination of genres is evident in his original voice, sought after by the likes of Ludacris to Stanley Jordan. Aside from being the rudder for Sketchy, Chris frequents as music director/producer for LA based artists and full-scale theater productions. His soundtrack credits include "Malcolm in the Middle", "American Idol", and work with film legend Lalo Shifrin.

Together Piatigorsky and Wabich have toured in Japan, Russia and throughout the USA, taking Sketchy Black Dog to Jazz and Rock clubs, Philharmonic halls, Opera houses, and even won over the crowd in one mistakenly booked lumberjack bar.

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BIRDLAND Jazz Club
315 West 44th Street (between 8th and 9th Ave)
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 581-3080

MTO Plays SLY: Steven Bernstein's Tribute to Sly & The Family Stone

New York City's favorite "little big band," Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra, cracks open wide the monumental songbook of Sly & The Family Stone on its third studio album, MTO Plays SLY, due September 27 from Royal Potato Family. For this freewheeling and jubilant 13-track tribute, MTO is propelled by a dynamic cast of special guests, including vocalists Antony Hegarty, Dean Bowman, Martha Wainwright, Sandra St. Victor and Shilpa Ray, organist Bernie Worrell, guitarist Vernon Reid and remixer Bill Laswell. By re-imagining the music of Sly Stone through the filter of their own "downtown NYC" aesthetic, Bernstein and company illuminate the melodic and harmonic sophistication of Sly's timeless body of work, while upholding the Day-Glo soul and psychedelic funk that's the backbone of classics like "M'Lady," "Everyday People" and "Family Affair."

"I've been thinking about Sly's music for a long time. He represented endless possibilities by bringing creative freedom and experimentation to popular music. Sly took the whole of American sounds: blues, gospel, rock, jazz, country and gave it a fresh look through his own rose colored glasses," explains Bernstein. "Harmonically, rhythmically, linguistically, socially -- he broke ground on all fronts.  Sly was multiculti before we even knew that was a possibility.  The biggest lesson I've received from him is that it's all part of the musical gumbo and it's up to each individual to create their personal combination."

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra is: Steven Bernstein (trumpet and slide trumpet), Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), Doug Weiselman (clarinet and tenor saxophone), Peter Apfelbaum (tenor and soprano saxophone), Erik Lawrence (baritone and soprano saxophone), Matt Munisteri (guitar and banjo), Charles Burnham (violin), Ben Allison (acoustic bass) and Ben Perowsky (drums).

In addition to MTO, Steven Bernstein fronts Sexmob and leads The Levon Helm Band horn section. Over a distinguished 30 year career, he's performed and arranged for the likes of Lou Reed, The Lounge Lizards, Sam Rivers, My Morning Jacket, Rufus Wainwright, Elton John and Marianne Faithful among numerous others.

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The track listing for MTO Play SLY is:

1. Stand (featuring Sandra St. Victor, Bernie Worrell and Vernon Reid)
2. Family Affair (featuring Antony Hegarty)
3. Sly Notions
4. Que Sera, Sera (featuring Martha Wainwright)
5. M'Lady (featuring Dean Bowman)
6. You Can Make it If You Try
7. Everyday People (featuring Shilpa Ray)
8. Bernie Interlude (featuring Bernie Worrell)
9. Skin I'm In (featuring Sandra St. Victor)
10. Sly Notions 2/Fun (featuring Dean Bowman)
11. Time (featuring Dean Bowman and Vernon Reid)
12. Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa (Bill Laswell mix translation)
13. Life

Dead.net proudly presents The Family Dog

They may have thrown some epic parties, but it's The Family Dog's innovative art that remains their true legacy. In 1966, free-spirited rock promoter Chet Helms teamed up with a commune of hippies to create The Family Dog. The collective put on some of the greatest rock concerts of all time. To spread the word about its live events, they hand-picked a small army of graphic artists to design promotional posters and handbills. The most influential of the group - Rick Griffin, Alton Kelly, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson - became known as the “San Francisco Five.” The San Francisco Five would go on to produce some of the most iconic and memorable imagery in the history of rock and roll. Their art reflects the bold experimental freedom of the era, serving as a guidepost for future generations who long for peace, love, and understanding.

Bring history into your own house with our extremely limited, signed, and numbered collector's edition lithographs.

Explore the galleries here.

Soulive's Al Evans Unearths Crushed Velvet

Royal Family Records has announced the May 24 release of the long lost 1970s' motion picture soundtrack The Big One by Crushed Velvet & The Velveteers. This never-before-issued soul music gem was recently unearthed by Soulive drummer Alan Evans when a family friend in Buffalo, NY put him in touch with the movie's director Cleo McBride. A 1974 Shaft-meets-007 Blaxploitation production, The Big One never made it to the big screen as the film was reported to have been destroyed in a fire soon after completion. The soundtrack recordings remained dormant until Evans was recruited to mix the original sessions and release it through Soulive's record company Royal Family Records. The Brooklyn-based label will release the soundtrack as both a free mp3 album download and on limited edition vinyl.

The track listing is:

1. The Big One (Main Theme)
2. Thunderbird
3. Felecia's Love Theme
4. Detroit Slim
5. The Lay Down
6. Memphis Stomp
7. London Black (pts. 1,2,3)
8. Big Chase
9. The Big One (End Theme)

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More about Crushed Velvet & The Velveteers

In the late 60s and early 70s, Buffalo, NY was a well-known hotspot for funk and soul music. One of the stand-outs on the scene was a guitarist and vocalist who went by the name Crushed Velvet. He backed many of Buffalo's finest musicians and was the first call most national hit-makers would make when needing to assemble a local band for Buffalo dates. Inspired to start his own band, he assembled Crushed Velvet and the Velveteers. They hit the scene hard bringing a tight new sound to “The Queen City." The response was so overwhelming that it quickly became clear the next logical step was to set their sites on New York City. As plans were being made for a move to the Big Apple, Crushed Velvet got a call from an old band-mate turned filmmaker Cleo McBride. Cleo had recently been given his first big break to direct a film called The Big One. This was not going to be a run of the mill Blaxploitation movie, but a film to turn the industry on its head. The main character was to be the first African-American spy hero, chasing down "the man" across the world.  Crushed Velvet believed this could be the band's ticket to the top, so plans for NYC were shelved. Instead, they began recording the album of their lives.  After nearly a year of writing and recording, the soundtrack was near completion. It was around this time that Crushed Velvet received the devastating news that would shatter those dreams. On March 23, 1974, the home of Cleo McBride was burned to the ground along with all of the master film reels for The Big One.

After the fire, all that remained was the shock and allegations of an entire community.  Cleo McBride was the first to claim that the government was at fault for the destruction of his work because of its positive and powerful depiction of a "black man as a strong, worldly hero."  With no film to accompany the music and an overall paranoia associated with anything having to do with The Big One, the soundtrack was shelved. Crushed Velvet broke up the band and disappeared from the Buffalo music scene.

In 2010, Soulive drummer Alan Evans was contacted by a family friend who'd been in touch with Cleo McBride. Aware that Evans, a Buffalo-native, had achieved a great deal of success in the music industry and was also operating his own recording studio PlayonBrother, they shared the story of The Big One and Crushed Velvet & The Velveteers, hoping he'd listen to the tapes. Intrigued by the story, Evans agreed and what he found was pure soul music gold. He took to the task of mixing the recordings and preparing them for worldwide release through Soulive's label Royal Family Records.

THE BIG ONE, the original motion picture soundtrack by CRUSHED VELVET & THE VELVETEERS is available May 24 as a free mp3 album download and on limited edition vinyl through Royal Family Records.

Watch video with Al Evans explaining history of The Big One

Download a free mp3 of "The Big One (Main Theme)"

Keller Williams Hosts Three-Show Benefit

One-man-band Keller Williams heads to the Fredericksburg Field House on Saturday, May 7 to headline the special family concert: Keller Williams Plays for Kids: A Benefit for the Cobblestone Children's Museum of Fredericksburg. During this unique event full of humor and surprises, parents and children will deepen their bond by playing music together and dancing to Keller’s infectious sing-along songs. Joining Keller will be local artist and drummer Ken Crampton of Everybody Drum and local painter/illustrator Bill Harris who collaborated with Keller last fall on Keller’s first children’s book Because I Said So (Fun Read Publishing, $20, for ages 2-8, 33 pages). Both Williams and Harris will be available following the show for a meet-and-greet and book signing.

This special family concert marks the first-ever fundraising event for the emerging Cobblestone Children's Museum. Cobblestone believes that the Fredericksburg area, with a combined population of more than 300,000, can support a children's museum and that the area’s children and families deserve the educational and enrichment opportunities that such a facility would provide. Cobblestone Children’s Museum of Fredericksburg’s mission is to inspire interactive learning and creativity in children and adults through moments of shared discovery. The museum’s vision is to provide a safe, challenging and stimulating environment where children can direct their own learning experiences. www.cobblestonechildrensmuseum.org.

That same weekend, Keller will also perform two shows for adults; both will benefit the Cobblestone Children’s Museum. On May 6, Keller performs aboard “The City of Fredericksburg Riverboat” for a lucky few people. Always a favorite for Keller fans, this boat trip finds Keller backed by Keith Moseley, Gibb Droll and Jeff Sipe (WMDS). Then, on the evening of May 7 at the Fredericksburg Field House, Keller will perform with Moseley, Droll & Sipe and will host a Late Night Dance Party featuring DJ Logic. Tickets and information on all three shows available at www.kellerwilliams.net.

Keller Williams released his first-ever kids album, appropriately titled Kids, last October, and this benefit show on May 7 marks the first time he’s bringing his live family show to his hometown. Kids has already been warmly embraced by kids and music tastemakers.

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Keller Williams Plays for Kids: A Benefit for the Cobblestone Children's Museum of Fredericksburg
Saturday May 7, 2011
Fredericksburg Field House, Fredericksburg, VA
Doors/Drum Circle 2:30pm / Show 3:30pm
Tickets are $20 & Family 4-Pack $70.00
Tickets available through www.kellerwilliams.net
or locally at Jabberwocky Children's Books and Toys 540-371-5684

ALSO
May 6th – Evening cruise aboard “The City of Fredericksburg Riverboat featuring Keller with Moseley, Droll and Sipe (WMDS). Departs at 6:00 pm.

May 7th – Keller with Moseley, Droll & Sipe and Late Night Dance Party featuring DJ Logic at the Fredericksburg Field House. Doors 7:00pm, WMDS 8:00 PM, DJ Logic will follow the WMDS and will spin ‘til 2PM. Tickets $25.

Tickets to all shows go on sale on Thursday, March 10 at 10:00 am EST at www.kellerwilliams.net.

Great American Taxi Shows canceled this weekend

Hey Folks-

We're sorry to inform the Colorado folks that our three shows in Fort Collins, Breckenridge and Durango are canceled.  Vince's father has been extremely ill and he needs to be there with him right now.  We are all supporting Vince through this difficult time.  We are planning to pick up the tour in Park City on Feb 16th.  We are bummed to be missing these home state shows and plan on rescheduling all of them in the next month or two, we hope you all understand and please keep Vince and his family in your thoughts and prayers.  There's tons of Taxi rides coming up so check the calendar and find out where we'll be.  We hope this finds you all happy and healthy, let all those people in your life know that you love them.  We'll see you soon, best wishes.

Great American Taxi

The Bluegrass Ball w/ The Travelin’ McCourys

Chances are if you’ve been to a bluegrass festival the memories most prevalent in your mind are not so much that of the “scheduled” performers but more of the impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations.  It’s with that spirit that the McCoury family decided to embark on a traveling bluegrass festival that they are calling The Bluegrass Ball.

Ask most string musicians young or old and they will mostly likely tell you they either want to play with the McCoury family if they have not already.  The McCourys are known for not only their ability to play with just about anyone but also for actually doing it!  Due to this willingness to play with other musicians, the McCoury family is known as heavy weights on the festival and bluegrass scene, even having their own wildly successful festival “Delfest”.  The McCoury’s decided to not only play in this festival but also promote it themselves making the festival on wheels more accessible to fans by playing more intimate venues that collaborate in giving fans a great value at a reasonable price.

Along for the ride over 4 nights in both Chicago and St. Louis are mandolin extraordinaire Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band), Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon and Emmitt-Nershi Band), and bluegrass up and comers Head for the Hills. This run of shows will be nothing short of epic. With this particular line up there are sure to be some phenomenal collaborations and each show will certainly be unique from the next!

The Travelin’ McCourys:

The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road-and online-entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres.  It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music.

No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music.  As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work-a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful.  But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenated.

Jeff Austin:

Jeff Austin is best known for his many years playing mandolin for Colorado heavy hitters, Yonder Mountain String Band. Yonder has always played by their own set of rules bending bluegrass, rock and roll, and countless other influences. While most known for his playing with Yonder Mountain String Band, Jeff has played with countless musicians and is sought after by countless musicians and festivals alike.



Drew Emmitt:

Revered as one of the most energetic and innovative mandolin players on the jamband/newgrass scene today, Emmitt’s “inestimable talents” (An Honest Tune) don’t end with just the instruments that can be picked.  Holding the wheel steady on acoustic and electric slide mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar and mandola Emmitt also showcases on recent solo albums superlative storytelling and versatile vocal abilities. Drew Emmitt is best known for his over 20 years with Leftover Salmon and also the past few years with The Emmitt-Nershi Band

Head For the Hills:

Rooted in the tradition of bluegrass, the music of Head for the Hills is a vibrant mixture of homegrown compositions, traditional harmonies, and an innovative approach to improvisation.  The groups’ lyrical nature and songwriting seems to evoke reminiscent feelings of inspiration. In the live setting, Head for the Hills can venture into the myriad of musical styles and sonic landscapes that caters to a boundless array of listeners.

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Who:  The Bluegrass Ball featuring The Traveling McCoury’s, Jeff Austin, Drew Emmitt and Head for the Hills

Where and March 10th & 11th at The Abbey Pub – Chicago, IL

Where: March 12th & 13th at The Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

WEB

North Mississippi Allstars @ the Boulder Theater | 02.25

In the beginning, a father passed away and a child was born. Luther and Cody Dickinson lost their father, Memphis music legend Jim Dickinson, only months before Luther became one. Jim had always told them, “You need to be playing music together. You are better together than you will ever be apart.” Coincidentally, the Dickinson brothers were not together when Jim passed. At that moment, they were both off on their own, Luther with The Black Crowes and Cody with the Hill Country Revue.

The Builders and the Butchers: Dead Reckoning

Portland, OR's The Builders and the Butchers have signed with Badman Recording Co. and will release their third album, Dead Reckoning, on February 22nd, 2011.

Dead Reckoning is a bold, kinetic collection of songs that mine from folk, back porch bluegrass, and raucous unplugged blues, lead by Ryan Sollee's fervent vocals and the big drum sound of the deconstructed kit split between Brandon Hafer and Ray Rude. Dynamic epic opener "I Broke The Vein" sets the album's tone, in many ways encompassing all elements of The Builders' sound: tempos both delicate and charging, an abundance of wisely parsed instrumentation, and heavy percussion, all cut with an ominous undercurrent and grounded in Sollee's stellar storytelling. Songs like the pounding anti-anthem "Rotten To The Core" and the urgent, ominous "Lullaby" sit seamlessly alongside the swaying gentle stomp of "Moon On The March" and the beautifully subdued haunt of "All Away." Traces of traditional gospel music emerge throughout; strikingly so on the stark and stirring "Blood For You" and the call-and-response lament "Family Tree." Writing against the backdrop of the recent downturn, Sollee found himself relating to and drawing inspiration from American music of the 1930s. The timeless songs on Dead Reckoning follow suit, weaving gothic stories with common threads like absolute good and evil, addiction, religion, and the father and the son.


The Builders recorded Dead Reckoning predominantly live in effort to finally capture the unbridled energy of their renowned live show, one that often breaks down the wall between band and audience, and turns performances into animated, cathartic sing-alongs. Over eight days, the band tracked and mixed the entire album with the help of Adam Selzer (The Decemberists, M. Ward, She & Him), who worked on their sophomore album Salvation is a Deep Dark Well (GTC, 2009), and engineer Dylan Magierek (Mark Kozelek, Starfucker, Thao Nguyen). Minimal overdubs were added and The Builders played every instrument on Dead Reckoning - which includes banjo, mandolin, organ, piano, melodica, and acoustic bass and guitar - save for two guest violin parts laid down by friends Amanda Lawrence and Zy Orange Lynn.

Dead Reckoning track listing:

  1. I Broke The Vein
  2. Rotten To The Core
  3. It Came From The Sea
  4. Lullaby
  5. Moon On The March
  6. All Away
  7. Cradle On Fire
  8. We All Know The Way
  9. Out Of The Mountain
  10. Blood For You
  11. Black Elevator
  12. Family Tree



The Builders formed in Portland in 2005, the five original members all hailing from Alaska. Getting their start playing street corners and eventually local venues, the band released their debut album self-titled album in 2007 on Bladen County Records. The album earned accolades including Willamette Week's 'Best New Band of 2008' and Seattle Sound's 'Best Live Performers 2008,' and was soon followed by 2009's Salvation Is A Deep Dark Well. Recorded by The Decemberists' Chris Funk, this sophomore album lead to even more press, including NPR, Filter, PasteMagazine.com, KEXP, Consequence of Sound, and HearYa, among others. The Builders have toured near-constantly in support of their albums over the past two years, with artists like Heartless Bastards, Portugal. The Man, Amanda Palmer, Brand New, and Murder By Death. The band's 2011 touring plans will be announced soon.

The Builders and the Butchers are: Ryan Sollee (vocals, guitar), Brandon Hafer (drums, vocals, melodica), Willy Kunkle (bass, vocals), Ray Rude (organ, drums, vocals), and Harvey Tumbleson (banjo, mandolin, vocals). Former bassist Alex Ellis performed on the record as well.

The Mynabirds Toast the Holidays with X-Mas Single

Today the Mynabirds release a limited edition 7" on Saddle Creek that features "All I Want is Truth (for Christmas)", an original (anti-) Christmas song, and a cover of the Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" on the B-side. The first 200 copies from Saddle Creek's online store will be offered on white vinyl. A black vinyl version of the 7" is available at retail outlets, and all records include a free digital download. The songs are also available at all digital outlets. If you haven’t checked it out at Brightest Young Things, a free mp3 of "All I Want is Truth (for Christmas)" is available now via Saddle Creek by clicking HERE.

With charming chords descending the wurltizer keys like falling snow, the Mynabirds' "All I Want" starts out like a typical Christmas song. But by the second line, it's clear that this is singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn's cry for anything but another ordinary holiday. "All I Want" navigates global warming, messy politics, endless wars, and American consumerism, and brushes it all away to remind us of the snow-white core of the holidays: love. "Have yourself a happy little New Year," Burhenn sings, "'Cause the politicians will be at their same old arguments: Should we start another war or should we raise another tax?" Burhenn declares that she's opting out of society's endless back and forth to "sit down with [her] love and…remember what it means to celebrate without a single store-bought thing." Like a mug of hot cocoa served with a dash of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth", "All I Want" goes down like an old standard in a whole new era.

"This Will Be Our Year" is the perfect song to close out a year of haunts and minor catastrophes to look to something new. The slide of J. Tom Hnatow's pedal steel colors the Mynabirds' version of this Zombies' classic as a sweet, country-tinged take on the original. Both "All I Want" and "Our Year" were recorded to tape in a single day at Inner Ear in Arlington, Virginia with producers Chad Clark and TJ Lipple at the helm. A host of DC friends joined in, including the Roofwalkers' Elmer Sharp (drums), Ben Licciardi (backing vocals), and Raj Gadhia (bass and vocals); These United States' J. Tom Hnatow (pedal steel); and Winston Yu (strings).

What We Gained in the Fire - Video

Also out now is a new video for "What We Gained in the Fire", the opening track from the Mynabirds' debut album. The video premiered on Friday at AOL Spinner. Director Rob Walters layers new Super 8 footage of singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn traversing a snowy landscape with vintage footage of her own family's home movies that span three generations. Stretching from the 1940's to present day, the viewer gets a window into a family story, watching clips of young love blossom, of babies growing into men, piecing together what might really be going on behind the nuclear family facade.