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Keller Williams Announces "Keller on Your Couch"; new album out May 25

Keller Williams releases his first-ever all-covers collection, amusingly titled Thief, on May 25, 2010. Recorded with the Keels—husband and wife duo Larry and Jenny KeelThief includes songs originally written and recorded by as wildly diverse an assemblage as anyone’s ever likely to dream up.

Now, with the announcement of his “Keller On Your Couch” contest, Keller and the Keels are on the lam, and they have no idea where they'll end up. The reward for assisting in their capture is a 90 minute private acoustic performance by Keller and The Keels in the winner's living room for them and up to 49 of their friends.

Those who purchase Keller’s new album, Thief, at Keller’s Official Merch Store by August 31, 2010 will be automatically entered into the contest. Those who pre-order Thief through www.kellerwilliams.net before its May 25, 2010 release date will receive two entries into the contest.

Thief offers up Keller-versions of songs by an [almost] unthinkable collection of artists: from Amy Winehouse (“Rehab”) to the Grateful Dead (“Mountains of the Moon”), the Butthole Surfers (“Pepper”) to Kris Kristofferson (“Don’t Cuss That Fiddle,” which opens the album, and “The Year 2003 Minus 25,” which closes the album). The set is filled out with tunes by Ryan Adams, the Presidents of the United States of America, the Raconteurs, Patterson Hood, Danny Barnes, Cracker, the Yonder Mountain String Band and Marcy Playground. All over the place, indeed, but that’s the way Williams likes it. And in his hands it all makes sense—like everything he’s ever touched, whether from his own pen or someone else’s, it all becomes Keller Williams' music.

Keller is on tour this summer - at solo shows, with The Keels, and even for a run of gigs as vocalist/guitarist in The Rhythm Devils, the project by Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and his partner percussionist Mickey Hart.

Keller’s complete list of currently confirmed tour dates is as follows:


Thursday, May 13 Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Richmond VA
Sunday, May 16 The Hangout Music Festival Gulf Shores AL
Saturday, May 22 SmileFest - Deerfields Amphitheater Pinnacle NC
Friday, May 28 Bella Madre Music Festival Geneva MN
Saturday, May 29 Summercamp Chillicothe IL
Sunday, May 30 Delfest Cumberland MD
Keller Williams and Friends featuring Jeff Austin and Keith Moseley
Thursday, June 17 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Telluride CO
Saturday, June 19 Clearwater Festival - Croton Point Park Westchester NY
Friday, July 2 Nateva Music & Arts Festival - Oxford Fairgrounds Oxford ME
Sunday, July 11 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV
Saturday, July 17 YMSB String Summit North Plains OR RHYTHM DEVILS
Sunday, July 18 Britt Festival Jacksonville OR RHYTHM DEVILS
Saturday, July 24 The Spud Drive In Driggs ID RHYTHM DEVILS
Sunday, July 25 Red Butte Garden Salt Lake City UT RHYTHM DEVILS
Saturday, July 31 Gathering of the Vibes Bridgeport CT RHYTHM DEVILS
Saturday, August 14 Mile High Music and Arts Festival Denver CO
Saturday, August 21 Hoxeyville Festival Cadillac MI

Mimi Fishman Auction Happening Now!

The Mimi Fishman Foundation launches its second on-line charity auction of the year with items representing a variety of bands. Of special note the St. Louis Cardinal Baseball team makes an appearance on the auction with a very special hall of fame package. The package consists of tickets to a Cardinals game, passes for the winner and guests to watch batting practice on the field, and an actual seat back from the old Busch Stadium signed by 5 Cardinals Hall of Fame players.

Other auction highlights include String Cheese Incident Red Rocks packages, a Gathering of the Vibes pass package, Dave Matthews Band ticket/lounge passes, and Jon Fishman signed/used drumsticks. In keeping with the baseball theme the auction also includes an official major league baseball signed by all members of Yonder Mountain String Band.

The auction is on the heels of the Foundation announcing their first grants of 2010 totally $18,000 raising the total the Foundation has given away since its inception to over $385,000. Bidding on the auction concludes Monday, April 26; with each auction item having it’s own specific end time.

The Contribution: -- 'Which Way World'

When members of New Monsoon, Railroad Earth and String Cheese Incident come together to create an album the result is Roostsy Americana bliss. Contribution, an appropriate name for a group whose members have bestowed many a musical gift to the masses with their previous bands, will drop Which Way World on March 30.

An album bursting with country gumption and raw poetic flare, this debut showcases the artistic veracity and harmonious nature of some of the best musicians on today’s jam circuit. A balanced blend of old-time charm and aggressive string-heavy muscle, this collaborative effort exemplifies the razor-sharp skills of Tim Carbone (violin, vocals Railroad Earth), Jeff Miller (guitar, mandolin, vocals, New Monsoon), Phil Ferlino (keyboards, New Monsoon), Keith Moseley (bassist, the String Cheese Incident), and Jason Hann (percussion, the String Cheese Incident).

From the initial notes, “Come Around” takes off like a tumbleweed in a dust storm, moving with force, freely charting out its own territory in a sandy soundscape of earnest handclaps, vocal harmonies and a fierce web of strings. Chameleon-like in nature, this opening track captures both a mischievous apathetic side and one of comforted hope. The dichotomous lyrics of “Never mind/never mind/why?” and “Sometimes you gotta lose yourself/find yourself/come around again” play out like a fencing match of internal conflict. The track rounds things off with a whiskey soaked “I don’t care!” from Carbone.

“Time Was Only Yesterday” initially breathes saloon-singer vulnerability, and holds that vintage desire to relive the past. Unexpectedly, lyrics about a “carnival parade” are quickly met by a collage of festive circus-esque clamor. The colossal racket is spiked with the scream of brassy horns and faded shouts you would imagine escaping from the lips of a vagabond ringleader.

“Better Days” proves to be one of the most lyrically poignant tracks on the album. The need for nostalgia, once again, resurfaces. While it gets off to a mellow start, the harmonized sturdy chorus of ‘Gone gone away are better days,’ which culminates with the tinge of tambourine, stands out like a mighty oak left upright after a forest fire.

Brilliance isn’t limited to the instrumentals when you stop to absorb the momentous metaphors and similes just swimming around in the ocean of sound – “Couldn’t see the danger there/ like children scaling rocks beside the sea…”

“Fear of Nothing” hits the listener like a sun shower on a sweltering day. Cool, refreshing and unapologetic, it reigns down with honky tonk tenacity. The upbeat, electrifying piano-laden, tune exudes a sense of rock n’ roll, gospel and blues. Sprinkling a ferocious feminine energy to the mix, are the Black Swan Singers who come equipped with fierce pipes—strong enough to stir a corpse. By far the most danceable tune on the disc, it resembles a hybrid of Great America Taxi meets the Black Crowes.

‘Wind Me Up’ is more spoken then sung and comes across like a sincere monologue of someone who has grown tired of, but accustomed to, going through the motions. The accompaniments and vocals are reminiscent of something quirky country alt-rockers Wilco would create.

“Which Way World,” the title track of the album, captures a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young vibe and yet at times it sounds more like a top ten contemporary country radio hit. Slow, steady and straight up Zenful, it’s a letter to our spinning sphere inquiring bout the very nature of its direction.

“Samsara” opens with piano playing that is rapidly coated by the lush emotion-evoking violin, proving that there is nothing like strings to set a melancholic mood. Capturing a rather dark tone, it sounds like a Celtic pagan homage to the earth— “I am the sky/speak through the wind/I am a shadow/darkness within...”

Let the musical monsoon of earthy cheese-coated goodness splash full force in a downpour that will have you tossing the umbrella and caution to the wind.

The Contribution: The Supergroup Releases Debut Album

Which Way World – the new release recorded by supergroup collective The Contribution - is the kind of debut album that only seasoned musicians can produce. Featuring the stellar contributions of Tim Carbone - violin, vocals (Railroad Earth), Jeff Miller - guitar, mandolin, vocals (New Monsoon), Phil Ferlino - keyboards (New Monsoon), Keith Moseley - bassist (The String Cheese Incident) and Jason Hann - percussion (The String Cheese Incident), the americana-tinged music on Which Way World is full and free-wheeling, offering exceptional chops that never overshadow the stand-out songwriting.

The Contribution releases Which Way World on March 30th, 2010 (SCI Fidelity Records); the album will be available digitally everywhere and on CD (the disc includes bonus video footage shot during the recording process) at www.thecontribution.net.

The idea for The Contribution was first hatched by Carbone, Miller, and Ferlino at a festival in the Pacific Northwest in 2005. According to Carbone, “[After] many days lost in creativity beneath the mighty redwoods, [we] emerged into the California sunshine with ten songs.” The contributions of Moseley and Hann from The String Cheese Incident were welcomed on board shortly thereafter, and the full studio line-up for the supergroup was solidified.

The Contribution plays only two shows in support of the album’s release – April 1st at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, Colorado and April 3 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, California. Show details are as follows:

Thursday, April 1st @ 9PM
Bluebird Theatre
w/ White Water Ramble
3317 East Colfax Avenue, Denver
Tickets: $20.00/ Ages 16+ Welcome
For more information contact 303-830-8497
or visit: bluebirdtheater.net

Saturday, April 3rd @ 9PM
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco
Tickets: $20.00, $44.95 with dinner/All ages Welcome
For more information contact 415-885-0750 or visit:
gamhtickets.com


About the Players

Tim Carbone - New Jersey’s Tim Carbone is best known as a member of Railroad Earth. For The Contribution, Carbone lends his mood-altering violin work, as evident on the upbeat country-ish song “Steady Rise,” and his voice blends perfectly with Miller’s on such songs as “Samsara.”

Jeff Miller - As a member of the San Francisco-based New Monsoon, Miller has issued five studio albums since 2001. Miller’s penchant for alternating between guitar and mandolin, and his smooth vocals, are highlighted throughout Which Way World’, including the album’s first track, “The Closer.”

Phil Ferlino – Phil Ferlino is also a member of San Francisco’s New Monsoon. Handling all things keyboard-related, Ferlino’s playing in The Contribution reflects whatever the song calls for - as evidenced by such standouts as “Time Was Only Yesterday” (which contains organ (which contains organ playing reminiscent of the Band’s classic material) and “Wind Me Up” (which puts Ferlino’s stately piano lines up-front).

Keith Moseley – Moseley’s two-decade music career has been spent largely as bassist with The String Cheese Incident. In addition to his work with SCI and now, The Contribution, Moseley has played and recorded with multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams, including the 2006 live tribute to the Grateful Dead, Rex (Live at the Fillmore).

Jason Hann – Jason Hann joined The String Cheese Incident in 2004 as the band’s percussionist. Hann is extremely well-versed at his craft, having studied music in such exotic countries as Ghana, Haiti, and Korea. In addition to SCI, Hann has played with a slew of renowned musicians (such as R&B legend Isaac Hayes), has released his own solo album (2005’s ‘Rhythmsphere Vol. 1 - Djembe Furia’), and is a member of the electronic/experimental project, EOTO, with SCI band mate Michael Travis.

Mama’s Cookin’ to Play A String of Colorado Shows

Mama’s Cookin’ returns to Colorado in June to bring the heat as only they can for 10 shows for the state that gave birth to the band. Mama’s Cookin has become one of Colorado’s favorite group of rockers and this tour finds them playing renowned venues and festivals including a headlining slot at the South Park Music Festival and two huge shows at The Fox Theater in Boulder and at Owsley’s Golden Road in Denver. As the Denver Post said in a review of a Mama’s Cookin’ show, “You have to see this band.”

mamas-cookinTheir effortless melding of blues, soul-driven rock and hip-hop has propelled the band to the point that their upcoming stops in mountain towns are charged with expectations of bigger things to come. June shows include Breckenridge, Durango, Silverton, Crested Butte, Salida and Grand Junction. This band is truly not to be missed. Aggressive and in-your-face at times, yet subtle and eloquent at others, Mama’s Cookin’ puts on a show like no other. Original sounds are generated from the obliteration of genres and the mixing of styles, making Mama’s Cookin’ true pioneers.

Zebuel Early’s vocal style is refreshing yet gritty, rolling in hip-hop rhyme with down-south delta blues. His voice is inviting and flowing, but it’s his slide work on the guitar matched with ranging and very technical riffs that make him the supreme lead man. Responsible for bringing groove to the equation, Eric Matlock manages the keyboards and Steve LaBella funks it up with the four-string, taking the hard-rock sound down home into the realm of dirty funk. The band’s impeccable timing and fluidity can be traced back to the incredible chops of drummer Mike Adamo.

Their 2008 self-titled studio release won the hearts of music fans across the country as being nearly flawless and innovative. JamBands.com named the album the 12th best of 2008 and the album is finding national traction on the radio, indicating this is not a jam band. Mama’s Cookin’ has huge momentum and is looking at their shows at The Fox Theater in Boulder, Owsley’s Golden Road in Denver and their headlining gig at the South Park Music Festival as a hint of what is to come. Get on board and see what the buzz is all about. These boys will rock you socks off and fill the dance floor with people ready to throw down with some Colorado-style raging.

For more information and tour dates, visit: Mama's Cookin MySpace and Website.

Tour dates:
06/11 – Owsley’s Golden Road – Denver, CO
06/12 – three20south – Breckenridge, CO
06/13 – Animas River Days – Durango, CO
06/14 – Silverton Jamboree – Silverton, CO
06/17 – Center for the Arts – Crested Butte, CO
06/18 – Rotary Amphitheatre, FIBArk Whitewater Festival – Salida, CO
06/19 – Mesa Theater – Grand Junction, CO
06/25 – The Fox Theatre – Boulder, CO
06/27- South Park Music Festival – South Park, CO

Luther Dickinson, Alvin Youngblood Hart & Jimbo Mathus tour as South Memphis String Band

south-memphis-string-bandThe South Memphis String Band, a trio composed of Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), Alvin “Youngblood” Hart (Grammy-winning bluesman) and Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers), launches its first tour on April 23, 2009 in Dallas, Texas, targeting the East and South. The three friends, bound by Memphis and North Mississippi roots, will tour ahead of recording their debut album later this year. So far only two songs have been unveiled, both at the trio’s MySpace page myspace.com/southmemphisstringband. So the April and May dates will be an opportunity for fans to get in on the ground floor.

Although they’d known each other for years, the trio’s musical spirit gelled last year when they recorded a yet-unreleased album with Luther’s father, legendary producer Jim Dickinson, called New Moon Jellyroll Freedom Rockers.

The South Memphis String Band was greatly influenced by the Mississippi Sheiks, Gus Cannon & the Memphis Jug Band and other string bands and jug bands of their ilk, as well as Mississippi Delta and Hill Country blues. They will travel with a passel of guitars, mandolins, banjos, lap steel guitars and harmonicas.

Luther Dickinson is lead guitarist and vocalist for the North Mississippi Allstars as well as lead guitarist for the Black Crowes. The son of producer Jim Dickinson was born and raised in West Tennessee, where he played concerts and gained recording experience with his father and brother, Cody. The family moved to the hills of North Mississippi in 1985. Luther befriended the musical families of Otha Turner, R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. They were the inspiration for Luther and Cody to form the North Mississippi Allstars in ‘96. The Allstars have been nominated for three Grammy Awards in the Best Contemporary Blues category. Luther produced two Otha Turner albums: Everybody Hollerin' Goat and From Senegal To Senatobia. Luther was recently featured in Rolling Stone as one of the “New Guitar Gods.” He has recorded with the Replacements, Mojo Nixon, Toy Caldwell, Billy Lee Riley, John Medeski and Robert Randolph (as The Word), John Hiatt and Jon Spencer, in addition to Turner, Burnside and the elder Dickinson.

Though born in Oakland, California, Alvin “Youngblood” Hart had family connections in Carroll County, Miss., and spent time there in his childhood, hearing his relatives’ stories of Charlie Patton. Influenced by the country blues, Hart is known as one of the world's foremost practitioners of that genre. He’s also a faithful torchbearer for the ‘60s and ‘70s guitar rock of his youth, as well as Western Swing and vintage country. His music has been compared to that of artists ranging from Leadbelly and Spade Cooley to Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy. Hart plays acoustic and electric guitar as well as banjo and sometimes the mandolin. Bluesman Taj Mahal once said of him, “The boy has got thunder in his hands.” In 2003, Hart's album Down in the Alley was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. In ‘05, Hart received a Grammy Award for his contribution to Beautiful Dreamer — The Songs of Stephen Foster. He was featured in the Wim Wenders film The Soul of a Man, which was part of Martin Scorsese’s 2003 PBS series “The Blues,” and also appeared in the documentary Last of the Mississippi Jukes.

Guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and producer Jimbo Mathus grew up in Clarksdale, Miss. He first caught the public’s ear in the 1990s with the hyper-ragtime vaudeville act the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Since then, he has released many recordings of his own in a style he describes as Mississippi Music. “Basically,” Mathus says, “I combine the myriad styles of deep roots music in a type of alchemy. Blues, country, gospel and soul all go into the equation equally.” His last outing, Knockdown South, was released on his own label and received much critical acclaim, including the No. 2 spot on Honest Tune magazine’s Best of 2005 list. He runs the Delta Recording Service, a studio based in Clarksdale, and is sought out by many artists seeking the old-school style of recording. One such artist was Elvis Costello, who recorded his Grammy nominated “Monkey to Man” single in Mathus’ studio in 2005. He has produced two blues CDs that were nominated for Blues Music Awards in 2006, Duwane Burnside’s Under Pressure and Big George Brock’s Club Caravan. Additionally, he contributed vocals on the North Mississippi Allstars’ 2006 Grammy-nominated Electric Blues Watermelon. Mathus sums it up: “I break down walls and stereotypes with my music. I confuse people. I use Mississippi music, which is renegade music at heart, as my inspiration and motivation. I use it as a tool to reach people, to express my own feelings and continue to express those that came before me. I keep the old stories alive while they help keep me alive.”

Mathus says, “Luther, Youngblood Hart and myself have been musical co-conspirators for over a decade. It is only fitting that we should come together with acoustic instruments and perform Mississippi music.”
 

Tour dates:
April 23 – DALLAS, TX Sons of Hermann Hall
April 24 – AUSTIN, TX Antones
April 25 – HOUSTON, TX  Continental Club
April 26 – NEW ORLEANS, LA House of Blues Parish Room
April 27 – BIRMINGHAM, AL  Work Play Theatre
April 28 – MACON, GA  Hummingbird
April 29 – ATLANTA, GA  Eddie's Attic
April 30 – CHARLOTTE, NC  Evening Muse
May 1 – CARRBORO, NC  Carrboro Arts Center
May 2 – RICHMOND, VA  Capital Ale House
May 3 – ANNAPOLIS, MD  Rams Head On Stage
May 5 – NEW YORK, N.Y.  Joe's Pub (9:30pm slot)
May 7 – SELLERSVILLE/PHILADELPHIA, PA - Sellersville Theatre
May 8 – ALEXANDRIA, VA  Birchmere (supporting Dr. John)
May 9 – MEMPHIS, TN  Otherlands

Keller Williams & Yonder Mountain String Band (6.28.08)

If you have never gone on tour with your favorite band into the southeastern corner of our fine nation, you are missing out. Patchwork skirts are replaced by sundresses. Patchouli and dope are replaced by Old Spice and cigarettes. And syncopated dancing with eyes closed is replaced by fists in the air and raucous sing-alongs.

Steve Kimock & Friends Plan String of Bay Area Dates

photo by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

Legendary guitarist Steve Kimock returns to his northern California roots for a run of mid-March dates with a line-up featuring several longtime friends and as well as a few fresh faces. Boasting an All-Star cast, with Melvin Seals (JGB) on the B-3 and keyboards, Steve's prodigal son John Morgan Kimock on drums, veteran bassist Hutch Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt), and Billy Goodman (Goodman Brothers) handling vocal duties, the latest incarnation of SK&F marks a first of firsts. Not only will this be the first time Hutchinson has participated in SK&F, but this is also the first time a Goodman has joined Kimock onstage under SK&F moniker.

It was 1974 when The Goodman Brothers plucked Steve Kimock out of his native Pennsylvania to handle axe-work for their folk rock outfit. Impressed by his uncanny guitar prowess, Frank and Billy tabbed Kimock to round out their Goodman sound and headed to California. Kimock enjoyed stints in the salsa band the Underdogs as well as the Heart of Gold Band, before forming the psychedelic rock ensemble, Zero, in 1984, and was later touted as Jerry Garcia's "favorite unknown guitar player," Now, Billy Goodman and Steve Kimock's journey comes full circle as the two are united onstage once again in this ever-evolving project.

With over three decades of touring under his belt, Steve Kimock amassed a strong national audience through his blistering guitar runs and inspired lyrical improvisations. Following five focused years of composing, recording and touring with the Steve Kimock Band, Kimock spent the last two years working on new projects. Collaborating with such artists such as Mickey Hart and Bill Kreuztmann of the Grateful Dead (for the Rhythm Devils) and Keller Williams for his recent title Dream, Kimock has remained a rather busy musician. After a successful reformation of the band Zero which included Melvin Seals, Kimock toured with Bob Weir's Ratdog through 2007 and also had the chance to join the Allman Brothers on stage for a few memorable performances during their summer tour.

In 2002, Steve Kimock returned to his home state of Pennsylvania with his family, where he is now preparing new songs and arrangements with this year's incarnation of SK&F. With Spring rapidly approaching, fans old and new can anticipate the group dusting off traditional Kimock standards and covers, as well as a full recipe of brand new collaborations and arrangements.

Mar 11- Red Fox Tavern: Eureka, CA
Mar 13- Great American Music Hall: San Francisco, CA
Mar 14- Great American Music Hall: San Francisco, CA
Mar 15- Forestville Club: Forestville, CA
Mar 16- Forestville Club: Forestville, CA