releases

HAALE RELEASES HER NEW ALBUM, NO CEILING, MARCH 18

photo by Matt Kilmer / Madison House- for the Grateful Web

Haale (as in halle-lujah, or jale-peno ), is a downtown New Yorker of Iranian descent. On her breathtaking full-length debut, No Ceiling, she draws on that heritage freely, but filters it through a contemporary prism. That is, she extracts the Persian influence of her bloodline — including the work of the mystical poet Rumi — and the Sufi trance tradition, while weaving in her fondness for Hendrix, Dylan, Radiohead, and psychedelia.  No Ceiling synthesizes the diverse elements of Haale's personality into a single, impressive approach. Haale sounds pretty much like who she is.

The ten songs on No Ceiling encompass a musical journey in the truest sense, while Haale's substance and versatility stand in stark contrast to today's fashion-show mainstream pop. With the release of No Ceiling, at a time when so many bands sound painfully alike and imitative, Haale offers a much needed voice.  No Ceiling will be released March 18, 2008 on Channel A Music.

Made in partnership with percussionist/producer Matt Kilmer, and a number of NYC musicians, No Ceiling is a group effort. Haale and company have earned a secure place in the downtown scene while also generating opportunities for more mainstream exposure. She released two mesmerizing EPs in 2007 — Morning and Paratrooper. Haale has recorded with Sean Lennon (on 'Before the Skies'), has been presented by David Byrne, and has worked with producer Dougie Bowne (Cibo Matto, Chris Whitley, Cassandra Wilson). She has dazzled audiences at SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Mimi Festival in France, and shared the stage with Frank London of the Klezmatics as well as the legendary Hugh Masakela and Odetta on the Songs of Spirit tour. 

Haale is on tour this spring in support of No Ceiling. The current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

March 13 SXSW Showcase Austin TX
March 15 Low Key Arts Building Hot Springs AK
March 19 Univ. of North Carolina ~ Memorial Hall Chapel Hill NC
March 20 IOTA Café Arlington VA
March 21 Tin Angel Philadelphia PA
March 22 Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Brooklyn NY
March 23 Drom New York NY
March 26 Brubaker Auditorium – Messiah College Grantham PA
March 28 Beachland Tavern Cleveland OH
March 29 Kinetic Playground Chicago IL
March 30 Highdive Champaign IL
April 01 Shank Hall Milwaukee WI
April 02 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis MN
April 03 The Pike Room Detroit MI
April 04 Lula Lounge Toronto ON
April 05 Bellows Falls Opera House Bellows Falls VT
April 06 The Paradise Rock Club Boston MA
April 11 The Tralf Buffalo NY
April 12 Cornell University – Risley Hall Ithaca NY
June 12 Flushing Town Hall Flushing NY

More dates to be announced.

Keller Williams Releases New Album Today!

photos by Brent Fuqua- for the Grateful Web

Keller Williams has been called guitar's mad-scientist, a one-man band for the new millennium, and dozens of other clever sobriquets dreamed up by fans and music journalists trying to get a handle on his uplifting and ever-shifting style of music. Though Keller's music has evolved since he first started playing music over twenty years ago, some things have remained constant: Keller is a prolific artist, an exceptional guitarist, and an accomplished songwriter.  Now, Keller's twelfth album release looks back at a ground-breaking and already remarkable career.  Aptly titled 12 (SCI Fidelity Records), the album features one standout song from each of his previous eleven releases.  Keller himself dubs this his album of "hitless greatest hits." Added to the mix is one new, previously un-recorded song. While the Keller Williams adventure has only just begun, 12 is a fantastic celebration of a musical milestone.

To get the new year started, Keller Williams and The WMD'S are hitting the road for a short run of dates.  The WMD'S debuted at select festival performances this past summer, including an epic and electrifying Bonnaroo show.  Since then, the band has brought the show to theatres in select markets.  The WMD'S features Williams on guitar/vocals, Keith Moseley on bass (The String Cheese Incident), Gibb Droll on guitar (Marc Broussard), and Jeff Sipe on drums (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Trey Anastasio, Susan Tedeschi, Phil Lesh). 

The current list of confirmed Keller Williams tour dates is as follows:

January 17 Orange Peel Asheville NC Keller Williams and The WMD'S
January 18 City Hall Nashville TN Keller Williams and The WMD'S
January 19 The Pageant St. Louis MO Keller Williams and The WMD'S
January 20 The Blue Note Colombia MO Keller Williams and the WMD'S
January 22 Liberty Hall Lawrence KS Keller Williams and the WMD'S
January 23 George's Majestic Fayetteville AR Keller Williams and The WMD'S
January 24 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa OK Keller Williams and The WMD'S
January 25 House of Blues Dallas TX Keller Williams and The WMD'S
January 26 La Zona Rosa Austin TX Keller Williams and The WMD'S
January 29 El Rey Theatre Albuquerque NM Keller Williams and the WMD'S
January 30 Solar Room Taos NM Keller Williams and the WMD'S
January 31 – February 01 Belly Up Aspen CO Keller Williams and The WMD'S
February 02 Fillmore Auditorium Denver CO Keller Williams and The WMD'S
February 23 Sugarloaf Ski Resort - Carrabassett Valley ME Keller Williams and The WMD'S
March 09 Langerado Music Festival Big Cypress FL

More dates to be announced.

Keller Williams has been refining his unique kind of performance art for almost 15 years, logging over 100 gigs annually, and he's a productive recording artist as well.  His calling card?  - a creative combination of talent and technology.  Known, of course, for his astonishing one-man show, Keller Williams surrounds himself with instruments and pedals and slides from one to the next. While his songs are rooted in Williams' warm voice and spirited acoustic guitar, Keller gives them depth and breadth via looping and delay.  Keller essentially accompanies himself, looping several instruments, and filling up an entire room with lush layers of sound … just one man and a humongous imagination.

Swing Fiddler/Vocalist Elana James Releases Solo Debut

Elana James- for the Grateful Web

"When one door closes, another opens" might seem little more than a comforting cliché, but don't try telling that to Elana James.  Dealt a nasty surprise little more than two years ago, when the band she'd worked with for close to a decade suddenly dissolved, James was more pleasantly stunned just weeks later by an invitation to join Bob Dylan's band - and what she learned in the course of touring with a legend set her on a new path whose first (but certainly not last) milestone is the February 27th, 2007 release of her solo debut, Elana James (self released on Snarf).

Almost evenly divided between captivating originals and deftly chosen standards, Elana James is a portrait of an artist at the crossroads between where she's been and where she's headed.  Whether she's singing or leading a swinging instrumental with her violin, James is confident and convincing - the legacy of years spent as a member of the acclaimed Hot Club Of Cowtown.  But while the album offers a healthy dose of her own take on the energetic "string jazz" that was the Hot Club's stock in trade, it points in new directions, too, serving up a compelling change of pace with "All The World And I," a haunting folk-flavored song that reveals a hitherto-unknown side of her creativity.  Leavened by favorites like Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," the sprightly western swing anthem "Silver Bells," and a tip of the hat to Dylan ("One More Night"), Elana James marks the arrival of a strong new musical voice.

Even more than her contributions to the Hot Club's repertoire did, the set's original songs display Elana's deep affinity for the musical vocabulary of swing.  Backed by an ensemble that includes both current band members and some of the brightest lights of her adopted home town of Austin's rich musical scene, songs like "Twenty-Four Hours A Day," "Oh, Baby" and "Down The Line" go down smooth, yet swing ferociously from the first note to the last.  There's a nod to the dancers with the classic lines of her "Eva's Waltz," too, while James - with some help from Texas fiddle/mandolin legend Johnny Gimble - brings her own touch to "Goodbye Liza Jane" and "Silver Bells" in instrumental interludes that serve to complement the songs and highlight both James's and the ensemble's virtuosity.  And when it comes to interpreting standards, Elana easily rises to the challenge, whether giving a winsome reading of country music pioneer Carson Robison's "The Little Green Valley" or a sultry take on "I Don't Mind."

elana"One thing I realized when I was playing in Bob Dylan's band was that what we were doing was what everyone is doing, just at a higher level," James says.  "You write some songs, you teach them to people, and then you tour around and play them.  He's had unparalleled success, and he's peerless in what he does, and yet - on the outside, he's still off doing exactly the same thing as everyone else.  That was a revelation to me.  And it made me realize that if I started my own thing, there's a lot of dignity in just doing it; you don't have to worry about who you're playing for, you don't have to worry about how it's received, you just have to do it."

For Elana James, that realization led to a new career - and with the release of Elana James, it's led to a new opportunity for connoisseurs to discover the full extent of a remarkable musician's talent.

Elana James & The Continental Two ~ 2007 Tour Dates

* With Bruce Robison (solo)

3/16 SXSW / Momo's (9 PM) / Austin, TX
3/17 Gruene Hall / New Braunfels, TX

3/21 Maria's Taco Express / Austin, TX

3/23 Club Helsinki / Great Barrington, MA

3/24 United Methodist Church / Middlebury, VT
3/27-29 Rodeo Bar / NYC
3/30 Café Nine / New Haven, CT
3/31 Narrows Center for the Arts / Fall River, MA
4/10 Coffee Gallery / Altadena, CA

4/12 The Mint / Los Angeles, CA
4/13 Acoustic Music San Diego / San Diego, CA

4/14 West Side Theatre / Newman, CA
4/15 Freight & Salvage / Berkeley, CA
4/16 Don Quixote's Intl Music Hall / Felton, CA
4/18 Grass Valley Center for the Arts / Grass Valley, CA
4/19 Palm's Playhouse /  Winters, CA
4/20 Hotel Utah Saloon / San Francisco, CA
5/03 Continental Club / Houston, TX
5/05 Continental Club / Austin, TX
5/06 Gruene Hall / New Braunfels, TX
5/29 Ballard Park / Ridgefield, CT
5/30 Club Passim / Cambridge, MA

Sunny Sweeney Releases Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame

Sunny Sweeney- for the Grateful Web

Keeping things twangy, tangy & tonkin' Sunny Sweeney releases Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame on Big Machine Records.  Catch Austin based Sunny Sweeney and her cracker-jack band at one of her many tour dates (below) or her upcoming SXSW performances!

"Not many debut discs sound this confident, poised, and excited." - Steve Pick, No Depression, 11/2006

"In East Texas honky-tonk queen, she has that brash confident approach that once personified Patsy Cline." - Fred Dellar, Mojo,11/6/2006

"Rarely do beauty, brains and brawn co-exist so organically as they do in Sunny Sweeney. Her brand of tough love might be the long-sought antidote for the vapid excesses that continue to infest mainstream country." - Darryl Smyers, Dallas Observer, 1/24/2007

"This honky-tonker confidently strides down a path that has been traversed by Rosie Flores, Kelly Willis and Miranda Lambert." - Bobby Reed, Chicago Sun Times, 3/4/07

"The girl can wail, and hopefully someone's paying attention . . . 4 stars."  - James Kelly, Creative Loafing (Atlanta), 1/9/2007

"Sweeney doesn't seem to care a flip about what's going on anyplace but right there in the Lone Star State, keeping things twangy, tangy, and tonkin' . . . . It's been a long time since any young female - think Joy Lynn White, maybe - got this deep-dish country."  - Alanna Nash, Amazon.com, 2/7/2007

 " . . . made from equal parts hick cool and industrial-strength Lone Star honky-tonk sawdust and stardust. Hall of Fame, her debut, is an invigorating batch of hard country tunes sung with a gutsy rural twang." - Rachel Swan, East Bay Express, 11/27/2006

"This debut is downright irresistible, with Sweeney's hankering for hooks not disturbing the hayseed charm. . . . Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame is a sweet, drawling mix of wistful, melodic sway and dancefloor precision." - Michael Corcoran, Austin American Statesman, 10/3/2006

SUNNY SWEENEY TOUR DATES 2007

3/14/07    Austin Airport/BMI Stage      SXSW
3/14/07    The Parish/AMA Showcase       SXSW
3/18/07    KHYI TX Music Revolution      Parker, TX
3/23/07    Floores Country Store         Helotes, TX
3/24/07    Muldoon's Saloon              El Campo, TX
3/31/07    Love & War in TX              Plano, TX
4/5/07     The Auslander                 Fredericksburg, TX
4/6/07     Gruene Hall                   New Braunfels, TX
4/7/07     Woody's Tavern                Fort Worth, TX
4/11/07    Hyatt Regency Lost Pines      Lost Pines, TX
4/13/07    All Good Café                 Dallas, TX
4/20/07    The Horseman                  Fort Worth, TX
4/21/07    Barton Creek Resort           Austin, TX
4/21/07    Continental Club              Austin, TX
4/27/07    Floore's Country Store        Helotes, TX
5/16/07    8.0's                         Fort Worth, TX
5/18/07    Red & Jerry's Rocky Mtn.      Sheridan, CO
5/19/07    Rock Springs Civic Ctr        Rock Springs, WY 
10/12/07   Sparks Ranch                  Longview, TX

San Fran's Underground DJ Releases New Album, "Underground Communication'

- for the Grateful Web

With "the largest cult following of any DJ in San Francisco" and voted "Best DJ" by Nitevibe.com and SF Bay Guardian , Bassnectar's music is forging new paths in the electronic music world, the Burning Man scene, underground hip hop circles, and beyond. Playing at nearly one-hundred and fifty shows a year, to thousands of different people a month; from national festivals to sold-out theaters to overcrowded clubs and warehouses to tight and tiny bars and venues, Bassnectar's enormous popularity reflects the current hunger for raw substance in modern music and a desire for social integrity within the music scene. The brainchild of Lorin Ashton, Bassnectar is an experimentally collaborative music project, but it's also a platform for social change and political awareness. It's stylistically specific, yet it's an eclectic, full spectrum adventure.

Ten years into a strong underground career, 2005 saw the debut of Bassnectar's double-disc collection entitled Mesmerizing The Ultra , described as "a kaleidoscopically brilliant funk conception" by All Music Guide [Amazon.com]. For the next release, Underground Communication (Om Records/May 8, 2007), Bassnectar takes another step forward in his genre-bending blend of musical styles and emotions, combining the visceral melodic presence of modern listening music with the force and volume of sound system dancefloor devastation. The new record is an exploration of hip-hop culture, featuring scores of MCs and rhythmic poetics mashed atop a heavy, driving range of tempo and, of course, those signature throbbing bass lines. Rooted firmly in political conviction and philosophical intention, and backed by a rabid fan base and dedicated following, Underground Communication sets a new standard for the possibilities of merging music, art, new media and social activism.

Bassnectar's live shows are a modern day social mosh pit of hippies, ex-ravers, hipsters, dub reggae heads, Dead-heads, Burning Man freaks, artists, fashion experimentalists, social activists, and hip-hop enthusiasts, all packed into one steamy room of grinding, orgiastic expression and musical experimentation.

Bassnectar is on tour this spring in support of Underground Communication , including select shows with percussive groovers Zilla and visionary puppeteers the Funginears.  Bassnectar's current list of confirmed shows is as follows:

February 23 1015 Folsom San Francisco CA
Feburary 24 The Cal Neva Crystal Bay NV w/ Heavyweight Dub Champion
March 02 Mangy Moose Saloon Teton Village WY
March 03 Abe and Jake's Landing Lawrence KS
March 15 Mercury Hall Church Austin TX
March 17 SXSW Showcase Austin TX
March 27 Dobson Ice Arena Vail CO w/ The String Cheese Incident
March 30 Vet's Hall Santa Cruz CA w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
March 31 DNA Lounge San Francisco CA  w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 03 The Armory Ashland OR w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 04 The Grove Bend OR w/ Funginears, Souleye
April 05 Wow Hall Eugene OR w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 06 City Repair Warehouse Portland OR w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 07 Felix Showdown Seattle WA w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 10 The Nightlight Bellingham WA Funginears, Souleye

Umphrey's McGee Releases Double Disc, 'The Bottom Half'

Jake Cinninger- for the Grateful Web

On April 3, 2007 Umphrey's McGee releases a double disc B-Sides album – a spontaneous and intriguing follow-up to their highly touted spring 2006 studio release Safety In Numbers. Titled The Bottom Half, disc one features ten songs that did not make it onto Safety In Numbers, while disc two offers outtakes, alternative versions of songs, a cappella recordings, and other bits from the band's 2005 studio sessions. As with Safety In Numbers, famed album artist Storm Thorgerson has designed the artwork for The Bottom Half.

Safety In Numbers attracted mountains of attention for Chicago's rising stars during 2006. The highly anticipated album charted on Billboard's Top 200 and on the coveted "Heatseekers" chart, and received a "4 Star" review in Blender magazine. Also in 2006, Umphrey's McGee sold out shows in theaters coast to coast, appeared at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and made their late night TV debut on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live. In addition, Guitar Player Magazine recently featured the band's guitarists – Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss – on their list of "Best Unsung Guitar Heroes."

The current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

February 21 Culture Room Ft. Lauderdale FL
February 22 State Theatre St. Petersburg FL
February 23 The Music Farm Charleston SC
February 24 Amos' South End Charlotte NC
February 25 Legend's Music Hall Boone NC
February 27 The NorVa  Norfolk VA
February 28 Georgia Theater Athens GA
March 01 The Orange Peel Asheville NC
March 02 Bijou Theatre Knoxville TN
March 05-06 Fox Theatre Boulder CO
March 14 Canopy Club Urbana IL
March 15 The Orbit Room Grand Rapids MI
March 16 Clutch Cargos Pontiac MI
March 17 Morris Performing Arts Center South Bend IN
March 22 Orpheum Theatre Madison WI
March 23-24 First Avenue Minneapolis MN
April 03 Iowa Memorial Union Ballroom Iowa City IA
April 04 The Blue Note Columbia MO
April 05 The Pageant St. Louis MO
April 06-07 Egyptian Room - Murat Centre Indianapolis IN
April 11 Calvin Theatre Northampton MA
April 12 Avalon Theatre Boston MA
April 13 Nokia Theatre Time Square New York NY
April 14 9:30 Club Washington D.C.
April 15 Water Street Music Hall Rochester NY
April 17 The Opera House Toronto Ontario
April 18 Penn's Peak Jim Thorpe PA
April 19 The Town Ballroom Buffalo NY
April 20 Newport Music Hall Columbia OH
April 21 TBA - Green Apple Music Festival Chicago IL
May 02-03 The Workplay SoundStage Birmingham AL
May 04 House Of Blues New Orleans LA
May 05 Granada Theatre Dallas  TX
May 25-27 Summer Camp Chillicothe IL
June 02 Mountain Jam Festival Hunter NY
July 18-21 10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes MN

It has been a quick rise for Chicago's Umphrey's McGee. Their virtuoso playing and edgy song craft recently compelled Rolling Stone to choose Umphrey's "a band to watch" in their annual Hot Issue. Relix magazine put them on the cover of their December 2004 issue and the prestigious Chicago Music Awards bestowed upon Umphrey's McGee the coveted Best Rock Entertainer of the Year award. Booked coast to coast by the Monterey Peninsula Booking Agency, the band recently sold out three nights at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom, two nights at Irving Plaza, San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium, and the list goes on.

RITTER RELEASES WILDFIRE PREVENTION PLAN

Grateful Web endorses Bill Ritter for Colorado Gov- for the Grateful Web

With Colorado on high alert for another devastating fire season, gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter today released his plan for protecting Coloradans, their property and wildlife habitat from wildfires.

 

The complete plan is posted on Ritter's campaign website and is available by clicking here.

 

"We must always be prepared for the worst," said Ritter, Denver's former District Attorney, "and my first priority will be to protect the people of Colorado. I will ensure that proper planning, training and resources are in place to protect Colorado's people, land and wildlife habitat."

 

Ritter's plan calls for:

 

·          Increased collaboration among state, federal and local authorities and private landowners to mitigate and prevent wildfires before they start through thinning, prescribed burns and adopting "firewise" techniques that make homes and businesses more defensible.

·          Ensuring that state resources – including more than $3 million appropriated for fire suppression by the legislature and governor – are spent effectively and efficiently.

·          Attacking Colorado's mountain pine beetle infestation quickly and efficiently. More than 425,000 acres of north-central forestland were infested in 2005, significantly increasing the risk and severity of forest fires in those areas.

·          Balancing Colorado's needs and national emergency response needs. Colorado must become more self-sufficient so that our resources are not siphoned away to meet federal needs.

"Wildfires are a natural part of the environment here in the West," said Ritter, who was endorsed by the Colorado Professional Firefighters Association earlier this year. "But we can and must do more to protect ourselves."

 

Ritter applauded U.S. Ken Salazar, who criticized the federal government yesterday for not doing enough to reduce fire risks in the West, where more than 4 million acres have burned so far this year compared with 3 million at this time last year.

 

For more information about Ritter's campaign, visit www.ritterforgovernor.com , e-mail info@ritterforgovernor.com  or call 303.534.0660.