black

Amy Black's 'One Time' Streets 3/29/11

Singer/songwriter Amy Black will release her sophomore album entitled One Time on 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.

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Amy Black tour dates:

03/12/2011 - Lowell, MA - The Backpage
04/03/2011 - Cambridge, MA - Club Passim (
One Time Release Party)
04/22/2011 - Cambridge, MA - Toad
06/10/2011 - Shirley, MA - The Bull Run

NPR Takes Ladysmith Black Mambazo Back Home

For their new album, 'Songs From a Zulu Farm' (out this week on Listen 2 Entertainment Group/Razor & Tie Entertainment), South Africa's a cappella treasure Ladysmith Black Mambazo went back home.

Original band member Albert Mazibuko and 20-year band manager Mitch Goldstein joined NPR Weekend Edition Sunday’s host Liane Hansen to discuss how Ladysmith Black Mambazo collected songs traditionally sung by Zulu parents to their children for the new album.

"There's such a rich, wonderful history. A personal history that comes from the group that's not always found in their CDs," Goldstein said. Mazibuko added, "When my grandmother told me about the songs, she said that their parents were singing the same songs to them."

Listen to the NPR interview here.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo was featured earlier this month on AOL’s Spinner blog, where Mazibuko, said, "Most of these songs we sing, even the traditional songs and the songs we wrote as a group, are the songs that always have lessons of encouragement, this kind of instruction."

Read more about 'Songs From a Zulu Farm' and listen to "Uthekwane" and "Leliyafu" here.

Read some Grateful Web coverage of Ladysmith Black Mambazo here.

Sweet Honey In The Rock at the Boulder Theater

Founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973 at the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company, Sweet Honey In The Rock, internationally renowned a cappella ensemble, has been a vital and innovative presence in the music culture of Washington, D.C., and in communities of conscience around the world.

From Psalm 81:16 comes the promise to a people of being fed by honey out of the rock. Honey - an ancient substance, sweet and nurturing. Rock - an elemental strength, enduring the winds of time. The metaphor of sweet honey in the rock captures completely these African American women whose repertoire is steeped in the sacred music of the Black church, the clarion calls of the civil rights movement, and songs of the struggle for justice everywhere.

Rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music out of the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions, Sweet Honey In The Rock possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of Blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, Hip Hop, ancient lullabies, and jazz improvisation. Sweet Honey's collective voice, occasionally accompanied by hand percussion instruments, produces a sound filled with soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms.

In the best and in the hardest of times, Sweet Honey In The Rock has come in song to communities across the U.S., and around the world raising her voice in hope, love, justice, peace, and resistance. Sweet Honey invites her audiences to open their minds and hearts and think about who we are and how we treat each other, our fellow creatures who share this planet, and of course, the planet itself.

The 2008-2009 season finds Sweet Honey celebrating her 35th birthday. What a year it has been and what a year it will be!

Sweet Honey's latest release, Experience...101 was a 2008 Grammy Award nominee. After attending the awards ceremony in Los Angeles, and walking the red carpet, the group summed up the experience in one word: amazing. The excitement continued as Sweet Honey was asked to compose new material in celebration of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater's 50th anniversary. Together these two artistic treasures of the African American experience are performing this once-in-a-lifetime collaboration throughout the United States.

Sweet Honey In The Rock is Ysaye Maria Barnwell, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson, and Shirley Childress Saxton.

More Info / Buy Tickets

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Bring Vocal Serenity, Song & Humor on Tour

Ladysmith Black Mambazo kick off their North American tour on January 18 in Oakland, CA, blending their iconic, moving harmonies with high-energy toe-touches and audience sing-alongs.  The tour will make stops in over 40 major markets across the US and Canada (including Hawaii) in just two months.

From the stage, Mambazo's nine-man a cappella team will transport concert-goers to the open fields and idyllic world of their youth in South Africa's Zulu country, singing the traditional South African folk tunes from their forthcoming album 'Songs From A Zulu Farm' (out February 1 from Listen 2 Entertainment Group/ Razor & Tie Entertainment) as well as selections from their nearly 50 year career.

These songs speak to the universal joys of childhood. "Whether you are in Ladysmith, Virginia, or Ladysmith, South Africa," says Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder and frontman Joseph Shabalala, "children are hearing songs they will carry with them for the rest of their lives and share with their own children. We hope that these songs sung to South African children can be enjoyed by families in many other places in the world."

Listen to the entire CD here.  | Read some Grateful Web coverage of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Upcoming Ladysmith Black Mambazo tour dates:


Tue Jan 18 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's

Wed Jan 19 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's

Fri Jan 21 - Sacramento, CA - Crest Theater

Sat Jan 22 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Cal Poly State

Sun Jan 23 - Campbell, CA - Heritage Theater

Tue Jan 25 - Maui, HI - Maui Arts Center

Wed Jan 26 - Kamuela, HI - Kahilu Theater

Thu Jan 27 - Laie, HI - Brigham Young University

Fri Jan 28 - Honolulu, HI – TBA

Sun Jan 30 - Clarksdale, MS -The Pinnacle

Tue Feb 1 - Baton Rouge, LA - Manship Theater

Wed Feb 2 - Baton Rouge, LA - Manship Theater

Thu Feb 3 - Austin, TX - One World Theater

Fri Feb 4 - Houston, TX - Jones Hall

Sun Feb 6 - El Paso, TX - El Paso Civic Center

Fri Feb 11 - Aspen, CO - Wheeler Opera House

Sat Feb 12 -  Boulder, CO - University Of Boulder

Tue Feb 15 -  Salina, KS - Stiefel Theatre

Thu Feb 17 -  Minneapolis, MN - Minnesota Opera

Fri Feb 18 - Riverside, IA - University of Iowa

Sat Feb 19 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Music

Sun Feb 20 - Interlochen, MI - Interlochen Center for the Arts

Tue Feb  22 - Chatham, ON - Capitol Theatre

Wed Feb 23 - St. Catharine's, ON - Brock University

Thu Feb 24 - Kingston, ON - Grand Theatre

Fri Feb 25 - Toronto, ON - Roy Thompson Hall

Sat Feb 26 - Rochester, NY - Nazareth College

Sun Feb 27 - Hillside, NJ - Kean University

Tue Mar 1 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head

Thu Mar 3 - Tarrytown, NY - Music Hall

Fri Mar 4 - Portsmouth, NH - Music Hall

Sat Mar 5 - Orono, ME - University of Maine

Sun Mar 6 - New London, CT - Garde Arts Center

Tue Mar 8 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head

Thu Mar 10 - Washington, DC - George Washington University

Fri Mar 11 - Durham, NC - Carolina Theater

Sat Mar 12 - Atlanta, GA - Georgia State University

Fri Mar 18 - Philadelphia, PA - Zellerbach Theater

Sat Mar 19 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

Sun Mar 20 - Cambridge, MA - Sanders Auditorium

Kristy Lee New Years Eve + New Tour!

Earlier this month, Kristy Lee showed New York City her folk-soul spunk. Now after spending time in Atlanta recording her NEW ALBUM with John Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band, she is preparing to UNLEASH the New Year & hit the road again.
Kristy Lee is proud to announce she will be performing at the Soul Kitchen in Mobile, AL this New Year's Eve for Unleashed Events’ Black & White Affair.
Check out Grateful Web's coverage from Kristy's recent NYC appearance.
Upcoming Kristy Lee tour dates:

12/17/10 – Bellissima – Atlanta, GA

12/31/10 - Unleashed Event’s Black & White Affair @ The Soul Kitchen – Mobile, AL

1/21/11 - PLAY Ybor – Tampa, FL

2/24/11 – Bacchus – Mobile, AL

3/3/11 – Bacchus – Mobile, AL

3/6/11 – B-Bob’s – Mobile, AL

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Keep the Music of their Childhood Alive

The centuries-old story of their country and culture has been the foundation of the a cappella singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo since its beginnings, almost fifty years ago. On 'Songs From A Zulu Farm,' out January 25, 2011 (Listen 2 Entertainment Group), the nine-man group returns to their origins in the open fields of Zulu country to recreate the idyllic world in which they once lived by singing traditional folk tunes sung by mothers and fathers to children throughout the generations.

"These are songs from the earliest time in our lives," says Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder and frontman Joseph Shabalala. "When we sing these songs, we're singing from our personal history. It is such a joy for us to put these stories and songs together for our fans to enjoy too."

'Songs From A Zulu Farm' speaks to the universal joys of childhood. "Whether you are in Ladysmith, Virginia, or Ladysmith, South Africa, children are hearing songs they will carry with them for the rest of their lives and share with their own children," Shabalala says. "We hope that these songs sung to South African children can be enjoyed by families in many other places in the world."

Among the 16 tracks on 'Songs From A Zulu Farm' is "Old McDonald… Zulu Style," the classic children's song reworked in ways never before imagined as it's piped through the language and culture of the Zulu people.

Listen to "Old MacDonald" here.

Shabalala professes his love and longing for the times and places of his youth in “Thalaza,” a song he composed to encourage Zulus – and people of every nation and culture – to reconnect to the innocence of their younger years. “Your roots are who you are,” says Shabalala, who revisits the farmland of his youth every month. “I go home to see the sights I’ve known since I was a baby. When I see a field there, I see my father and mother standing with me as a little boy. I love going home because it is just that…home.”

Check out some Grateful Web coverage of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Stars to Headline the Fillmore | 11/10

Stars, a Canadian Indie act, will be headline the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco on November 10th.  Henry Hauser, will be on-hand to cover their show.  Read what Henry had to say had to say from a previous write-up for the Cornell Daily Sun:

“Storming the florally adorned set of the State Theatre Friday evening, Toronto based indie pop group Stars immediately brought four fifths of the crowd to their feet. Building a swirling hurricane with golden organ and tin-laced percussion; the velvety vocal of Amy Millan weaved the band's inaugural track. In "The Night Starts Here," we are advised to "forget your name, forget your fear," as the tumbling, externalized vocal melody of male bandleader Torquil Campbell refocused our energies on "the ecstasy, the being free, the big black cloud over you and me." Reminiscent of the Baroque style chamber pop that propelled The Arcade Fire's Neon Bible onto countless "Best of 2007" manifestos, the Stars' esoteric instrumentation melted with deep harmonies, creating an explosive, reverberating fortress of sound.”

Stars is currently on-tour now, so check out their website for dates, news, etc.

THE BLACK BUTTERFLIES Tuesday, September 7th 9 PM at NUBLU

While this is just the debut release from The Black Butterflies, a group led by 27-year-old saxophonist Mercedes Figueras, veterans would do well to prick up their ears and take note. The Butterflies deftly blend the Latin rhythms of Figueras' native Argentina with free and post-bop noodling and tantalizing natural-world percussive elements, into full, invigorating music that sprouts, twines and flourishes over the 63-minute span of this entirely satisfying album.

The title track kicks off the record. It is a relaxed, comfortably humid piece that sways from a melodic opening into more forceful strains on the wind of Figueras' sax and swingingly persistent conga thumps. The piece never reaches--nor even strives for--the anthemic quality the title might suggest. Instead, the labor sweats happily, singingly under the sun. Appropriately, the tune--and, thus, the album--takes flight on the crystalline wings of Dan Tepfer's echoing, solo keyboard statement. It's appropriate not only for fashioning a sly musical equivalence to the band's moniker, but by spotlighting in Tepfer one of the group's, well, keys. Tepfer's polished electric tones lace the Latin rhythms and strings them up on a brightly modern line that still never smoothes the crisp, pulsing edges of the traditional beats. As mentioned, it's this facile navigation of divergent musical fields and the ability to rake loose from the passage a lively new hybrid that makes listening to The Black Butterflies so palpably intriguing. Ears laugh at their good fortune.

"Afro Blue," with its inevitable rekindling of saxophonist John Coltrane's spirit, also sparks the ghost of Albert Ayler, the twining sax statements of Figueras and her (even more?) experimental mate, Tony Larokko, rendering the Coltrane vehicle as a mighty, squealing, squawking, melodically impassioned conversation between the lost giants of the avant-garde. The saxophonists pause for a breather midway through, revealing front and center the rolling-thunder percussion the listener's body already knew was there. Tepfer contributes another light yet zinging solo over the drums before backing off to give conga man Bopa "King" Carre, percussionist Fred Berryhill and drummer Kenny Wollesen even more space to break loose and rumble.

The first of Figueras' two original pieces on the album, "Pipi's Blues," follows "Afro Blue" with the type of jumping cadence saxophonist Joe Henderson might have favored with the mid 1960s support of pianists McCoy Tyner or Andrew Hill. Only here Tepfer remains electric, adding the swirling bluesy punch of organist Jimmy Smith, while also not refusing to jut off on Larry Young-like angular departures.

Larokko contributes the next two numbers, "Spiritual Travels" and "Yah-Yah," the first a jolting, percussion-heavy piece full of strong repeated sax figures that again recall the journeys of Ayler. The latter, the album's most experimental piece, evolves from whistles and an array of percussion instruments that erupt into a cacophony of insect and animal noises--nature's nighttime rhythm section--that in turn give way to the African chants that supply the song's title and the singing of Figueras. Her voice is strong yet slightly coarse and splintered like the timbre of her sax, relating in insistent, desperate Spanish the tragic tale of "Los Ojos Azules," a Bolivian song popularized by the late Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa, while accompanied by an increasingly complex and urgent layering of rhythmic human voices and drums. The whole ultimately explodes into a screeching battle of horns--the saxophones' cries themselves sounding almost human at times--that burns out through extended, passionate playing, leaving only the snaps and twangs of nature and the soft, compelling "Yah-yah, Yah-yah" chants of dancers or workers.

Yet, lest it be thought the band has gone irrevocably, unrestrainably tribal, it closes on the infectious Figueras piece, "Music Heals All Wounds," a soulful "Auld Lang Syne" with Caribbean accents. (To belabor the Ayler connection--or to kill it, finally--this most certainly is not "Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe.") Figueras' tune delivers as advertised--a warming salve that demands multiple healing doses on the spot, then lingers, replaying itself for hours in the listener's brain to pleasant, calming effect.

Yes, this is the debut release from a new band whose young leader has issued only one other record under her name, Elefante (2007), a free-improv set from Figueras and drummer Martín Visconti. But make no mistake, 1 de Mayo also happens to be one of the best overall records of 2010.

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THE BLACK BUTTERFLIES

when: Tuesday September 7th
Time: 9 PM
Where: NUBLU (62 Av C New York, NY 10009)
http://www.nublu.net/

The Black Ryder Announce Tour Dates With The Cult

Straight from the land of OZ, The Black Ryder are set to release their full length Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride on September 21st via Mexican Summer. Harping a comforting 90's sound of rhinestone drone, this amazing record is a true trip from start to finish and will be released digitally, on CD, and vinyl.
Previously released only in Australia in 2009, Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride is chock full of brooding vocals and dark mysterious paths on a pitch black open road. Complimented with comfort by a tambourine beat of dreams, singer Aimee Nash's voice is a soothing romp, effortlessly partnered with guitarist Scott Van Ryper. TBR is a carefully thought out process of melody, sound, texture, time, space, dynamics, mood, and effect. Says Nash "It is a labor of love that is carefully constructed with particular emphasis on melody, harmony, and placement. This makes more sense to me than trying to draw comparisons or categorizing ourselves into any one genre or style of music." Standouts like "All That We See" and "Gone without Feeling"  are psychedelic markers of calm on this strong debut.
Whilst this collection of recorded works was all done by the band themselves, The Black Ryder has had the great pleasure of working with Peter Hayes & Leah Shapiro of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Graham Bonnar (ex-Swervedriver). The band made their live debut on the B.R.M.C Australian tour (January 2008) and have since opened for The Raveonettes, The Brian Jonestown Massacre & The Charlatans.

TOUR DATES
(More TBA)
Sept 14 - 4th + B - San Diego
Sept 16 - Palm - Las Vegas
Sept 19 - Warfield Theatre - San Francisco
Sept 21 - Showbox Sodo - Seattle
Sept 22 - The Knitting Factory - Spokane
Sept 24 - Salt Air Pavilion - Salt Lake City
Sept 25 - Ogden Theatre - Denver

ERNESTO CERVINI QT Tonight At Cornelia Street Café

The Ernesto Cervini Quartet celebrates the release of their new album, “Little Black Bird.” The music from the album was written by Ernesto Cervini in response to day to day life split between Toronto and New York City, and the pieces were composed to compliment the incredible skill and sensitivity of the musicians in the band. Joining Ernesto on stage will be the incomparable Joel Frahm on saxophones, as well as long-time collaborators Dan Tepfer on piano and Dan Loomis on bass. Many of the pieces from "Little Black Bird" are written for people, or situations that have inspired Ernesto, including “Nonna Rosa”, written for his grandmother and the title track “Little Black Bird” which was inspired by the verbose birds of Mexico. The album is being released on Orange Grove Records and distributed by ANZIC Records. Drummer Ernesto Cervini plays with such conviction and fire that it's easy to give him your ears and time.

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Tue  May 25th 8:30PM | Ernesto Cervini Quartet

CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ
29 Cornelia Street, NYC, New York    212-989-9319
between West 4th and Bleecker Sts, Greenwich Village