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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

Spirits Of The Dead's "The Great God Pan!" Single Of The Day On AOL Spinner

Spirits of the Dead is a psychedelic-stoner-folk-rock band with one foot in the electric magic of the sixties/seventies and the other in the modern electric rock sound of 2012.  Guitarist Ole Øvstedal and vocalist Ragnar Vikse formed this genre blurring four-piece in 2007, and within a year they were already touring Scandinavia and Europe to critical acclaim.
Following success on the road, they recorded their first album live using analogue equipment.  It was mastered by George Marino (Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix) giving it a vintage feel. Laden with spider riffs, soaring vocals, progressive interludes and dream-like melancholy.
Spirits of The Dead are unashamedly retro in sound. From the propulsive rhythms of White Lady / Black Rave to the Sabbath-esque doom of the glorious title track, the record basks in authenticity. But they are adding a portion of freshness that bring them out of the retro bag that holds so many striving bands trying to re-capturing the magic.
Influenced by the epic, heavy sounds of Dead Meadow and Black Mountain as much as they are their personal masters of the past – Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and King Crimson – the band have put together something wholly convincing and water tight.
Spirits of The Dead self titled album was a well executed and well crafted debut from a band with one eye set on the past and the other fixed firmly forward. Their debut album received great reviews all over the world giving them a growing attention as one to watch.
Voted in as 2010's 50 finest album of Classic Rock Magazine, and also adding a track on their 15 best songs of 2010 CD.
Their second album The Great God Pan is a much more folk, psychedelic and jazzy record. It takes you immediately on a journey through deep forests, over high mountains, builds you beautiful landscapes and tricks you into the darkest corners of Pan's Kingdom.We will reveal no more, the music will tell you the tale.
Spirits of the Dead consists of Ole Øvstedal (guitars), Ragnar Vikse (vocals), Geir Thorstensen (drums) and Kristian Hultgren (Bass).

BLACK FRANCIS Announces July Acoustic Tour

Black Francis will be doing a special set of solo acoustic shows this July. Mr. Francis will be performing a very unique and memorable selection of songs from his twenty year career.

Black Francis is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known as the frontman of the influential alternative rock band Pixies, with whom he performs under the stage name Black Francis. Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under the name Frank Black. After releasing two albums with 4AD, he left the label and formed a backing band, Frank Black and the Catholics. He reformed the Pixies in 2004 and continues to release solo records and tour as a solo artist, having re-adopted his current stage name in 2007.

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BLACK FRANCIS US Acoustic Tour Dates

7/12 - Neurolux - Boise, ID

7/15 - The State Room - Salt Lake City, UT

7/18 - Knuckleheads - Kansas City, KS

7/19 - The Old Rock House - St Louis, MO

7/20 - Radio Radio - Indianapolis, IN

7/21 - Outland Live - Columbus, OH

7/22 - Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA

7/24 - Le Poisson Rouge - New York City, NY

7/28 - Beachcomber - Wellfleet, MA

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Race Riot Suite

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey will release their 21st album Race Riot Suite on August 30th. Conceived, written and arranged by the band's lap steel guitarist Chris Combs, the recording is a long form conceptual piece that tells the tragic story of the 1921 Tulsa race riot. JFJO's core line-up, which in addition to Combs includes Brian Haas (piano), Jeff Harshbarger (bass) and Josh Raymer (drums), is accompanied by a five-piece horn section featuring Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Peter Apfelbaum (tenor and baritone saxophone), Jeff Coffin (tenor saxophone), Mark Southerland (tenor saxophone) and Matt Leland (trombone). The album was produced by Costa Stasinopoulos and recorded at Tulsa's legendary Church Studio less than a mile from where the riot happened.
In 1921, Tulsa was home to a powerful and affluent African-American community. In one of the largest racial conflicts and cover-ups in American history, massive race riots resulted in the death of hundreds of black Tulsans and the destruction of the entire Greenwood city district, including "Black Wall Street." With jittery melodies, propulsive rhythms and swirling improvisations, JFJO reflects on one of the least understood atrocities of the Jim Crow-era. As the Race Riot Suite unfolds, however, the music ultimately offers light amid the darkness, celebrating the resiliency of community and offering a prayer for the terrible mistakes of the past to never again be repeated. Through the process, the album becomes part of a long lineage of jazz recordings to bring awareness to civil rights issues.
"We felt obligated as Oklahomans to shine a light. What played a big part in the creation of the suite was that it wasn't talked about in Tulsa or taught in schools. So it's kind of this weird looming thing around a really comfortable middle-class suburban community," explains Combs. "As a Tulsan, there was this weird darkness that was still looming. It wasn't talked about. It was deliberately covered up by the local government and press. The idea came from me as a jazz musician and a Tulsan having an emotional reaction to what I learned."
JFJO debuted Race Riot Suite in its entirety with a live performance at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center this past May. They will embark on a U.S. tour to support the album's release in the Fall. The band performs at Festival International De Jazz De Montreal on Friday evening.

Umphrey's McGee Announces 2011 Summer Plan

Umphrey’s McGee kicks-off their 2011 Summer Tour on May 27 with three nights at Summercamp in Chillicothe, IL, where the band will debut - debut Huey Lewis and the Rumors, a new collaboration featuring Umphrey's McGee, a full horn section, and of course, the legendary Huey Lewis. Additional festival engagements include Wakarusa, Mountain Jam, All Good and others. Also on the schedule, a triumphant return to Colorado’s legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre on July 3 for Red Rocks And Blue II featuring support by the New Mastersounds and Easy Star Allstars, and an intimate show the Boulder Theater the following day. Visit www.umphreys.com for tickets and show details. The complete list of summer tour dates is included below.

On April 2, 2011, at Park West in Chicago, Umphrey’s McGee hosted the second annual UMBowl, a first of its kind interactive concert where fans call the plays over the course of four musical “quarters.” The event, which sold out in just minutes, further established the band as leaders in the fields of band/fan interaction and technology. Billboard Magazine confirms the band’s vision, saying: “Umphrey’s McGee has become an unlikely role model for a music industry still struggling with the conversion to digital distribution amid rampant piracy.” For more on this ground-breaking event check out the Mashable feature here: mashable.com.

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Umphrey’s McGee Summer Tour Dates

Thursday, May 19 Sundown In The City Knoxville TN with Zach Deputy supporting
Saturday, May 21 The Hangout Music Festival Gulf Shores AL
Thursday, June 2 Wakarusa Festival Ozark AR
Friday, June 3 Stone Pony Asbury Park NJ
Saturday, June 4 Mountain Jam Festival Hunter NY
Thursday, June 23 Maymont Park Richmond VA
Friday, June 24 Iroquois Amphitheater Louisville KY with Black Joe Lewis supporting
Saturday, June 25 The Lawn at White River State Park Indianapolis IN with Black Joe Lewis supporting
Sunday, June 26 Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Columbus OH with Black Joe Lewis supporting
Friday, July 1 Simon Estes Amphitheater Des Moines IA
Saturday, July 2 Crossroads Kansas City MO
Sunday, July 3 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison CO with the New Mastersounds and Easy Star All Stars
Monday, July 4 Boulder Theater Boulder CO
Thursday, July 7 Centennial Terrace Sylvania OH
Sunday, July 10 Moonlite Gardens Cincinnati OH
Friday, July 15 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV
Saturday, July 16 Great South Bay Music Festival Patchogue NY
Thursday, January 26 - Monday, January 30 Mayan Holidaze Puerto Morelos MEXICO

Additional dates to be announced.

My Morning Jacket Share New Track: "Holdin On To Black Metal"

Less than two weeks after My Morning Jacket treated fans to a download of the title track from Circuital (ATO Records; May 31st), the band is sharing another track off their upcoming album.  Head over to My Morning Jacket’s Facebook page to listen to the new song “Holdin On To Black Metal.”  The song will be also available for purchase tomorrow, April 26th, on iTunes and Amazon.

The guys are also proud to announce a special hometown show at the historic Louisville Palace Theater on Circuital’s release date, May 31st.  Pre-sale tickets are available 4/26 at 12:00 noon through the band's fan club: Roll Call. Pre-sale for American Express cardholders go on sale 4/27 with the general public on sale on 4/29 at Ticketmaster.com, and $1 from every ticket sold will go to benefit The Center for Women and Families.  Fans are also encouraged to bring a pre-loved backpack to donate to Blessings in a Backpack.  Click HERE to preorder the album at the band’s website, which includes the option to purchase a special deluxe edition.  “Holdin On To Black Metal” is the latest example of My Morning Jacket’s perpetual drive to experiment with new ideas.  The track features a chorus of female backing singers and horns, creating a thrilling backdrop for Jim James’ mystical vocals.

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Circuital Track List:

Victory Dance
Circuital
The Day is Coming
Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
Outta My System
Holdin On To Black Metal
First Light
You Wanna Freak Out
Slow Slow Tune
Movin Away

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My Morning Jacket Tour Dates:

05/20:  Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Festival

05/31:  Louisville, KY @ Louisville Palace Theater

06/02-06/05:  Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa Festival

06/05:  Hunter, NY @ Mountain Jam

06/09-06/12:  Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Festival

06/16:  Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater

06/17:  Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre

06/22:  Los Angeles, CA @ Pantages Theatre

06/24: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre

06/26:  Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre

06/28:  Portland, OR @ Edgefield

06/29:  Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum

06/30-07/03:  Quincy, CA @ High Sierra Music Festival

07/11:  Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus

07/12:  Montreal, QC @ Metropolis

07/16: Southwold  @ Latitude Festival

07/17: London  @ Somerset House

08/04:  Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

08/05-08/13:  Bangor, ME @ The KahBang Festival

Boris Garcia: Today We Sail

Dear Music Friend of mine:

As we all know, bands with genuine musicians have a life cycle. No matter their level of chops, they start as beginners with lots of energy and perhaps less of the subtle judgment skills that great musicians have -- the ability to listen to each other, the ability to know when not to play.

And if they don’t fall into the snares of ego and delusion, they grow. They listen more, both to other music and each other, and they hear more (two different things!), and they reach a higher level.

Boris Garcia is the band that just fell together, and now with Today We Sail, three CDs later, they’re playing at a place that’s ever richer, ever more creative. The simple acoustic feel of their first work has become much more varied: a case in point is “Walking Barefoot,” which begins with a hard-edged rock sound that becomes lovely mandolins and then almost sounds like a full orchestra – an effect they get from just a very few strings (Producer Tim Carbone’s fiddle and Bud Burroughs’ mandolin) – amazing. And Bob Stirner’s lyrics are getting deeper, more evocative: “I’m not indifferent much or maybe, surely, I’ll be on my way, I’ll be on my way/You can’t see Santa if you don’t believe, I’ll be on my way…”

Jeff Otto’s whimsicality maintains its strength here, with “Song Dog” and “Deaf Dumb and Blind” – “But why can’t I see, that love’s for fools and I’m a fool so love’s for me” – but the playing is truly impressive, with piano punctuations sliding against the pedal steel – very hip, very deft. In fact, Chip Desnoyers’ pedal steel (with mandolin in “Song Dog”) is all over Today We Sail, and it’s powerful stuff.

Boris’ songs range from the power rock chords of “Mighty High,” which comes across as almost Springsteenish to me, to “Long Black Hair,” which takes me to “Long Black Veil,” to “Good Home,” which is a sweet love song that opens into a grand psychedelic guitar jam. And lots more.

They’re all over the musical map, but in this case it’s a good thing.

My, how the kids have grown.

Press: D. McNally, dennismcnally@mac.com

Today We Sail is available from www.borisgarcia.com or www.amazon.com

Amy Black Takes Her Shot With Sophomore Release Out Today

Singer/songwriter Amy Black releases her sophomore album entitled One Time today, March 29, 2011. After a decade of success in the business world, Black is taking a chance and following her music dreams with this new release. The rootsy collection of revealing and authentic tunes was recorded with producer, Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Bittertown). Available digitally, the album’s foundation is a traditional American roots sound but it’s not without a dash of rock and soul. “My goal was to create music that successfully merged the acoustic and electric instrumentation that I love,” says Black. “I tend to be drawn to a classic sound and paid my respects to some of the great music of the past when I wrote this album.”

Black worked with Entress to bring the perfect cast of characters together – top-notch musicians, including singer/songwriter Mark Erelli on vocals, guitar and lap steel and Nashville’s favorite fiddle player, Stuart Duncan. With Entress’ guidance the players have created a rich and compelling album. The music spotlights traditional roots instruments like Dobro, fiddle, mandolin, pedal steel and upright bass as well as the smooth and classic sounds of the electric guitar. “Making One Time was an incredible experience for me,” says Black. “As happy as I am to get the music out there, I’m also sad that the creation process is over. My favorite part of making this record was witnessing these incredible musicians doing what they do best. I can’t wait to get back in the studio with them again.”

In her debut album Amy Black & The Red Clay Rascals, Amy paid tribute to her favorite songwriters. With One Time, Amy’s powerful voice and presence are matched by the commanding range of her own song writing as seen in the nine originals on the album. The characters in “Molly” and “Whiskey And Wine” ache with bittersweet yearning in a world of pleasure and pain. “All My Love” simmers with seduction, while “Meet Me On The Dance Floor” is a flirty delight. “Stay”, featuring harmony vocals by Amy’s little sister Corrie Jones, swings with grown-up romance and “Run Johnny” crackles with bluesy menace.

“This album is really a tribute to my southern roots and is dedicated to my Granddad who grew up dirt poor in Alabama,” says Black. After putting himself through college, Black’s grandfather worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority for decades before pursuing his dream of starting his own business. This can-do tenacity along with a flare for storytelling, are traits passed along to Black. “He was a bit of a showman and I think I got that from him,” says Black. “He passed away during the production of the album and I’m proud to honor him with this music.”

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 bold step with this new release. “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.”

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

National Jazz Museum in Harlem March 7 - March 13, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

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National Jazz Museum in Harlem

March 7 - March 13, 2011

Schedule

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow, a celebration
Host: Father Peter J. O’Brien

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

His Eye Is On The Sparrow is rightfully acclaimed as one of the greatest autobiographies by an American female singer; with the able assistance of noted journalist andbiographer Charles Samuels, Ethel Water's life and career journey is captured there in all of its joy, sorrow, bitterness, forgiveness, and spirit of perseverance no matter what she faced.

Tonight we celebrate the book and remember the bright star that was Ethel Waters.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

FILM SHOW: Sing Me A Swing Song: Great Jazz Vocalists – Ethel Waters

Host: Father Peter J. O’Brien

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: Maysles Cinema - 343 Lenox Avenue between 127th & 128th Street
DONATION SUGGESTED| For more information: 212-348-8300

Vocalist and actress Ethel Waters (1896-1977) was a key figure in the development of African American culture between the two world wars. She broke barrier after barrier, becoming the first black woman heard on the radio, the first black singer to perform on television, the first African American to perform in an integrated cast on Broadway, and the first black woman to perform in a lead dramatic role on Broadway. As a singer Waters introduced over 50 songs that became hits, including standards of the magnitude of "St. Louis Blues" and "Stormy Weather." Her jazzy yet controlled vocal style influenced a generation of vocalists, black and white, and her career, encompassing stage, song, and screen, flowered several times in comebacks after tumbling to lowpoints.

See Ethel Waters perform on film andearn about the rise and fall and rise again of a great American artist of song, and hear recordings that document the sound and style that made Ethel Waters such an influence.

The Dead Kenny Gs Announce 'Operation Long Leash'

Combustible punk jazz trio, The Dead Kenny Gs, featuring saxophonist Skerik, bassist Brad Houser and drummer/percussionist/vibraphonist Mike Dillon, have announced the release of Operation Long Leash due March 15 on Royal Potato Family. Recorded in December at Stone Gossard's Studio Litho in Seattle with engineer Randall Dunn (Cave Singers, Black Mountain, Boris), the band conceived the majority of the material while on the road last summer with Primus, Gogol Bordello and Garage A Trois. The release of Operation Long Leash is surrounded by a 15-date tour that begins in New Orleans and heads north up the East Coast.

If the moniker Dead Kenny Gs doesn’t say it all at first glance, an initial listen to the latest album quickly makes their intentions clear. The trio is committed to musical subversion of the highest order. Exploring a muso obsession of musical styles and sonic colors, The Dead Kenny Gs have both the courage and the chops to realize their wildest aural fantasies. One moment they draw inspiration from punk legends The Minutemen, while the next finds them embracing the spirit of jazz giant Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and still another the influence of indie rock progenitors Deerhoof; yet always remaining purely DKGs. It’s not just music informing the band’s voice either, but an obsession with political conspiracy in American history. The album’s title, Operation Long Leash, comes from the clandestine CIA operation in the late ‘40s to fund Abstract Expressionism as a means for Western culture to undermine the conformist ideals of the Soviet Union during the early years of the Cold War.

Operation Long Leash opens with the sprawling instrumental art rock "Devil's Playground" followed by the skewed go-go funk of "Black Truman (Harry The Hottentot)," featuring special guest Charlie Hunter on guitar. Over the course of the album's ten tracks, they'll blast through avant instrumental punk rockers spiked with Balkan and Klezmer music like "Melvin Jones" and "Sweatbox." The experimental doom metal dirge "Black Death" includes a cathartic lyrical onslaught from Mike D. that turns his past struggles with heroin into a metaphor for the Gulf Coast oil spill and the United States' addiction to oil. In the hands of these three musicians, the disparate  elements coalesce into a complete vision, fearless in its creation and explosive upon arrival. In the words of Skerik: "Dead Kenny Gs is what happens when people listen to Bad Brains and Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sunn O))) and Milt Jackson, Dead Kennedys and John Coltrane, Melt Banana and Fela Kuti."

Listen to "Devil's Playground"

Listen to "Black Truman (Harry The Hottentot)"

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Tour Dates:

March 4 | D.B.A. | New Orleans, LA
March 5 | Donna's | New Orleans, LA
March 7 | Engine Room | Tallahassee, FL
March 8 | Pour House | Charleston, SC
March 9 | Five Spot | Atlanta, GA
March 10 | Mo Daddy’s | Asheville, NC
March 11 | Cosmic Charlie's | Lexington, KY
March 12 | Rex Theater | Pittsburgh, PA
March 13 | Beachland Tavern | Cleveland, OH
March 14 | Bullfrog Brewery | Williamsport, PA
March 16 | The Dover Brick House | Dover, NH
March 17 | Brooklyn Bowl | New York, NY
March 18 | North Star | Philadelphia, PA
March 19 | The Jewish Mother | Norfolk, VA
March 20 | Martin's Downtown | Roanoke, VA