james

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg Release Guitar Duo Album

Albums of guitar duets are rare. Albums of guitar duets featuring one American and one Englishman, synthesizing their particular geographically specific approaches in a collection of new compositions, are even more rare. Not since Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn's partnerships of the 1970s has there been such a happy reconciliation of Merrie Old England and the good old USA, in which baroque meets the blues, music-hall steps out to ragtime, and Benjamin Britten sits down with Blind Blake.

James Elkington moved from London to Chicago around the turn of the millennium and has since released a string of albums as leader of The Zincs for Thrill Jockey Records.  After dissolving the band in 2008, Elkington has concentrated on acoustic, folk-tinged music with his band The Horse's Ha (that he shares with Freakwater's Janet Bean), culminating in the release of their debut album, Of The Cathmawr Yards in 2009. He is also the owner/operator of a clunky solo career, and moonlights convincingly as the guitar player in Jon Langford's (of The Mekons) Skull Orchard.

Nathan Salsburg is best known as an archivist and producer for the Alan Lomax Archive, curator of the Twos & Fews vernacular-music imprint on Drag City Records, and host of the "Root Hog Or Die" program on East Village Radio. But after a 2007 move from New York City back to his childhood home of Louisville, Kentucky - and the inclusion of a track on Tompkins Square's "Imaginational Anthem, Volume 3" compilation - he discovered adequate time, space, and energy to devote to guitar playing.

Elkington suggested a leap of faith into a collaboration, despite the fact that the two had never previously played guitar together. Avos, then, hither and thither over several seasons, between a porch in Louisville and a kitchen in Chicago, slowly took shape. Aptly, the name comes from the Russian word for the confident approach to new situations, and the faith that nothing tragic will occur once in them.

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg play their record release show on Sunday, October 9th at The Hideout in Chicago. More shows will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Dirty Vegas/New Music Video Feat. Jena Malone

Ready to capture the international dance floor once again, Electric Love marks the explosive return of Dirty Vegas. It finds that elusive sweet spot between the slickly polished electronic sounds of their past and a more decidedly rock edge, deftly balancing beats and guitar-led melodies. After touring the world on the strength of two albums (2002’s Dirty Vegas, 2004’s One), music featured in two films (2005’s Goal!, 2006’s The Boys & Girls Guide To Getting Down) and an international dance hit that snagged a Grammy (“Days Go By”), Dirty Vegas (Steve Smith and the non-related Ben Harris and Paul Harris) had parted ways in 2005 to work on individual projects and just to take a breather. Without the pressures of a recording contract or label executives issuing directives, the trio found a fresh kind of positivity when they reformed four years later to craft Electric Love. Dirty Vegas is rocking with an updated sound on their new album, but the fact that they are game-changers is nothing new; just ask anyone in the music business who deals with the worlds of licensing for film and television. The band’s debut single “Days Go By,” originally released in 2001, appeared on a television advertisement for Mitsubishi. The revived single, and its wonderfully magnetic original video, not only catapulted to Grammy success (for Best Dance Recording in 2003), but was a huge benchmark that helped set a whole new model for the marketing of music. The band also won three DanceStar Awards and was even named Electronic Artist of the Year by Playboy.

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Dirty Vegas, who now have made available the new music video to their latest single “Electric Love” featuring actress Jena Malone (The Soloist, Into The Wild, Donnie Darko).

Written and produced by photographer James Gooding the “Electric Love” video features Jena as she has never been seen before (pole dancing (!), hanging at a cool muscle car race).

“Electric Love” is James Gooding’s directorial debut as well as the first visual element from Dirty Vegas’ new album—also titled Electric Love—due out April 26 on OM Records.  It is also the first of two videos with Jena that will run concurrently over one larger narrative.

You can learn more about Dirty Vegas at their website.

Hot Club of Cowtown's new CD salutes Bob Wills

Bob Wills has always been a core inspiration for the Hot Club of Cowtown’s sound, but it has taken the Texas-based trio a dozen years to fully honor the King of Western swing. A fortuitous tour in England last spring led the band to London’s Specific Sound studio, where they spent two days recording a 14-song marathon of only Bob Wills tunes. The result, What Makes Bob Holler, is a lively tribute to the American music icon, respecting Wills’ legendary music while putting Hot Club’s own signature on these songs. “We have been meaning to make this album for a long time,” says Elana James, who co-founded Hot Club with Whit Smith (they’re joined by bassist Jake Erwin).

Launched in 1994, the Hot Club of Cowtown has grown to be the most globe-trotting, hardest-swinging Western swing trio on the planet, continuing to develop a unique sound inspired by the band’s namesakes: the hot jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli of the Hot Club of France, and Bob Willis & the Texas Playboys.

And with the imminent release of What Makes Bob Holler on Proper American on February 1, the Austin-based band looks to a busy 2011. They start the year opening seven U.K. arena dates with Roxy Music, followed by a taping of NPR’s Mountain Stage in Charleston, W.V. in late January and an appearance at South by Southwest (SXSW) in March — before touring coast to coast in support of the album.

Bob Wills’ music — in this case the recordings of radio shows from 1946-47 called the Tiffany Transcriptions that are the fundamental inspiration for HCCT’s repertoire and style —offers a terrific platform for some ace musicianship in the form of Smith’s guitar, James’ fiddle and Erwin’s nimble bass. By spotlighting Wills’ early, pre-World War II catalogue, the disc happily matches obscure B-sides with some of Wills’ most popular work. Tunes like “Big Balls in Cowtown” and “Stay All Night” are numbers that “people always love when we play them live,” says James, “so it was a no-brainer to gather them into a record.” Other songs, like “Osage Stomp” and “The Devil Ain’t Lazy,” might not be as well known, but they are the type of tunes that originally attracted Smith and James to Wills’ music. “We’re playing what knocked us out about Western swing in the first place — the early fiery energy and jazzy improvisations,” says James.

By 1998 Smith and James had relocated to Austin, Texas, and released their debut, Swingin’ Stampede, on HighTone Records. Seven more albums over the next decade generated much critical acclaim and a devoted following. The New York Times’ Neil Strauss proclaimed the Hot Club “conscious always that above all else, the music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time.” Craig Havighurst, in Nashville’s Tennessean, calls them “one of the most original groups on the Americana circuit, deserving of attention both live and on record” while the Sunday Times of London lauded HCCT as “the world’s most engaging Western Swing band — their shows are all about energy and joie de vivre . . . the devil-may-care style that combined the rigor of Jazz with the down-home sentiment of country and earthiness of the blues — it is as a live act that they have made their greatest impact.”

What Makes Bob Holler arrives on the heels of 2009’s Wishful Thinking, an Americana radio Top 100 album on which HCCT blended their love of hot jazz and Western swing with original songs, a Tom Waits cover and forays into more eclectic territory. The Austin Chronicle’s Jim Caliguiri called it “the Cowtowners at their peak” and David Eldridge, in the Washington Times, describes the disc as “one of the year’s most unexpected listening pleasures.”

What Makes Bob Holler is something of an 180-degree swing from Wishful Thinking’s more eccentric set list. It is the first time HCCT has focused on only one style for an entire album and they are proud enough of the results to express interest in doing more. “There are so many great songs that we didn’t get to,” says James. “We’re going to have to make a box set, eventually, but we’re just going to make it piecemeal,” adds Smith with a laugh.

While the new disc focuses on Bob Wills music, HCCT’s live show will remain a engaging mix of what the band does best — whatever moves them at the moment. James reveals that the band often plays without a set list. “We have faith in the system that is the band. This energy that we plug into and it takes us away.” Smith describes their shows as “like a rock ’n’ roll show” and “people pick up on the energy and the sincerity.”

The Mynabirds Stop By Daytrotter, Kick Off Tour Today

Laura Burhenn has had a busy year.  She released What We Lose In The Fire We Gain in the Flood (Saddle Creek), her acclaimed debut album as The Mynabirds, and opened for everyone from Al Green to Built to Spill.  Burhenn and her band also recently stopped by Daytrotter to record a session, which was just posted today.  Click HERE to listen to them perform 3 songs off the album plus the new song “Lemon Tree,” which was recorded for the first time.  The band is also about to hit the road on a national tour, including dates with Crooked Fingers and David Bazan.

After the break-up of her former band, Georgie James, Burhenn wrote a collection of songs that meditated on the themes of loss and recovery.  She recorded the compositions with Richard Swift and the results are the ten tracks on What We Lose.  A potent mix of soul, gospel, and country, Burhenn created The Mynabirds’ aesthetic based on how she thought Neil Young would sound doing Motown.  Serendipitously, she later found out that Young once collaborated with Rick James for a Motown project under the name The Mynah Birds!  Click HERE for more info on The Mynabirds, plus photos and mp3’s to listen to.

The Mynabirds Fall Tour Dates:

09/02: Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
09/03:  Austin, TX @ The Mohawk&
09/05:  Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress&
09/06:  San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar&
09/07:  Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland&
09/08:  San Francisco, CA @ Café Du Nord&
09/10:  Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern&
09/11: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios&
09/16:  Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall*
09/17:  Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick*
09/18:  Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace*
09/19:  Montreal, QC @ Il Motore*
09/21:  Burlington, VT @ Club Metronome*
09/22:  Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bear’s*
09/24:  Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl*
09/25:  Washington DC @ Black Cat*
09/26:  Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern*
09/27:  Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle*
09/28:  Atlanta, GA @ The Earl*
09/29:  Nashville, TN @ Exit/In*
10/01:  Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits*
10/02:  Orlando, FL @ The Social*
10/03:  Tallahassee, FL @ The Engine Room*
10/05:  Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree*
10/06:  New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks*
10/07: Shreveport, LA @ The Collective

* = w/ David Bazan
& = w/ Crooked Fingers

SALUTE TO JAMES MOODY AT ZANKEL HALL

Carnegie Hall today announced that trumpeter Jon Faddis and saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath will join the all-star celebration honoring the life and music of one of jazz music’s living legends, James Moody, on Wednesday, June 23 at 8:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Heath and Faddis will step in for Moody, the revered saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master, who must regrettably withdraw from this performance as his doctors have advised him against traveling while he continues to recuperate from gallbladder surgery. The performance, originally scheduled for April 7 in celebration of Moody’s 85th birthday, is now titled A Salute to James Moody and will feature Heath and Faddis along with previously announced guest artists, including pianist Renee Rosnes, bassist Todd Coolman, and drummer Adam Nussbaum, as well as special guests: trumpeter Randy Brecker, clarinetist and NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera, and vocalist Roberta Gambarini.

The June 23 performance is presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment and CareFusion Jazz Festival New York and is one of five CareFusion Jazz Festival events taking place at Carnegie Hall in June. Tickets for the originally scheduled April 7 performance will be honored at the performance on June 23. For details, ticketholders can call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.

Jon Faddis is a consummate musician—conductor, composer, and educator. Marked by both intense integrity and humor, Faddis earned accolades from his close friend and mentor Dizzy Gillespie, who declared, “He's the best ever, including me!” As a trumpeter, Faddis possesses a virtually unparalleled range, and with full command of his instrument, he makes the practically impossible seem effortless. After working in Lionel Hampton's band, Faddis joined the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra at the Village Vanguard, formed his own quartet, and soon began directing orchestras, including the Grammy-winning United Nation Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Birthday Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, the Carnegie Hall Centennial Big Band, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York (2003–present). In addition, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble named Faddis as its Artistic Director in 2004. He continues to conduct both the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York, and regularly leads master classes and clinics across the world. Faddis serves as Professor and Director of Jazz Performance at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College-SUNY and is a guest lecturer at Columbia College Chicago.

Jimmy Heath, the middle of the legendary Heath Brothers, has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist, composer, and arranger. He has performed with nearly all of the jazz greats of the last 50 years, from Howard McGhee and Dizzy Gillespie to Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis. One of Heath’s earliest big bands included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant, and Nelson Boyd. During his career, Jimmy Heath has performed on more than 100 record albums including seven with The Heath Brothers and 12 as a leader. He has written over 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been recorded by other notable artists including James Moody, Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dexter Gordon. For 11 years, Heath served as Professor of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He maintains an extensive performance schedule and continues to conduct workshops and clinics throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada.

Program Information
Wednesday, June 23 at 8:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
A SALUTE TO JAMES MOODY (formerly titled “JAMES MOODY'S 85TH BIRTHDAY PARTY”)
Randy Brecker, Trumpet
Paquito D'Rivera, Clarinet
Jon Faddis, Trumpet
Roberta Gambarini, Vocals
Jimmy Heath, Saxophone
with
Renee Rosnes, Piano
Todd Coolman, Bass
Adam Nussbaum, Drums

Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment, LLC and CareFusion Jazz Festival New York.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Ticket Information
There are a limited number of single tickets remaining, starting at $36, available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street. Tickets may also be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or online by visiting carnegiehall.org.

Follow the Train Releases Mercury Today

Louisville, KY natives Follow the Train spent the last year in the studio crafting their shimmering new album Mercury, a lushly detailed collection of music that is packed with ideas and brimming with emotion at every corner.  Produced by Kevin Ratterman (VHS or Beta), the album is available today through Removador Recordings and Solutions, the label run by My Morning Jacket frontman Yim Yames and former My Morning Jacket guitarist Johnny Quaid.

Follow the Train began in 2004 as Dennis Sheridans solo musical project, paying tribute to the shoe-gaze of the late 80s and early 90s.  The project found an audience with the self-released EP, The Great Disturbance, followed by a full-length album called A Breath Of SighSheridan eventually found an ear in his longtime friend Yames, who brought Follow The Train to Removador.

The band moved through a few different ensembles before settling on a six-piece group that came together for the new album. Sheridan is joined by James Hewett (drums), Mike Sabo (guitars), Brandon Jones (percussion), Carlos Ramos (bass) and David Cronin (keyboards).

Mercury has emerged as a nine-song, space-maddening, psychedelic, operatic brain-cookie.  At the center is Dennis Sheridan’s beautifully tattered yet commanding voice, which carves out a trail in the sky and bursts with lyrics that yearn for exploration.

Folk, Americana & Alt-Country in Fort Fun

On February 26, 2010, James McMurtry, Great American Taxi, and the Cracker Duo graced Fort Collins with their music and their special blends of Folk, Americana, and Alt-Country. Folk culture is defined as a specific group of people relating to a certain locale.  Fort Collins night of folk music couldn’t have been more appropriate on the anniversary of Johnny Cash’s birthday.

Maceo Parker at Cervante's Ballroom - March 12th

Maceo Parker: his name is synonymous with Funky Music, his pedigree impeccable; his band: the tightest little funk orchestra on earth.

Everyone knows by now that he’s played with each and every leader of funk, his start with James Brown, which Maceo describes as "like being at University"; jumping aboard the Mothership with George Clinton; stretching out with Bootsy’s Rubber Band. He’s the living, breathing pulse which connects the history of Funk in one golden thread. The cipher which unravels dance music down to its core.

“Everything’s coming up Maceo,” concluded DownBeat Magazine in a 1991 article at the beginning of Maceo Parker’s solo career. At the time Maceo was a remembered by aficionados of funk music as sideman; appreciated mainly by those in the know. More than a decade and a half later Maceo Parker has been enjoying a blistering solo career. For the past sixteen years Maceo has been building a new funk empire, fresh and stylistically diverse. He navigates deftly between James Brown’s 1960’s soul and George Clinton’s 1970’s freaky funk while exploring mellower jazz and the grooves of hip-hop.

His collaborations over the years performing or recording or both have included Ray Charles, Ani Difranco, James Taylor, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. His timeless sound has garnered him a fresh young fan base. It is almost impossible to separate which came first, Maceo or the funk. The amazing P-funk Parker has been at it with his legendary alto horn for some time dating back to the 1960’s. That’s when Maceo and his drummer brother Melvin climbed on board the James Brown funky soul funk train. It wasn’t long before James coined the solo summoning signature, “ Maceo, I want you to Blow!” . To most musicologists it’s the muscially fertile group of men from this period of James Brown’s band who are recognized as the early pioneers of the modern funk and hip-hop we still jump to today.

Tickets are $20.00 Advance / $25.00 Day of show
Doors are at 8pm, show begins at approx. 9PM
Tickets are available at the Cervantes’ box office or online at Cervante's Ticketing

My Morning Jacket Hit The Road With The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

It’s been almost a full year, but the wait is finally over.  My Morning Jacket are ready to bring their electrifying live show back on the road.  The guys will make their way around the Southeastern United States this Spring, including a performance at this year’s Jazzfest in New Orleans.  MMJ are also excited to both try something new with their choice for an opening act, and bring some of the spirit of NOLA along with them.  The band is honored that the historic Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be supporting them on the run.

The connection with the PHJB originated in the Spring of 2009 when MMJ frontman Jim James was invited to sing with them at their home turf, New Orleans’ legendary Preservation HallJames recorded two songs with the band: “St. James Infirmary” and “Louisiana Fairytale.”  The tracks will appear on the bands forthcoming album,  PRESERVATION: An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, out February 16th.

“When I got the invitation to go to the legendary Preservation Hall – where SO much of the music we now know and love on this earth found its early roots – I did not waste a minute,”  James reminisces.  “Getting to sing while the guys played with such glorious bursts of sound – all live in that holy room with the ghosts and garbage trucks crankin’ along – was an experience I’ll never forget.”

The PHJB’s leader Ben Jaffe shares his memory of playing with James: “I couldn’t have imagined Jim fitting in any better with the guys at Preservation Hall.  Creating music is not a science.  There is no tried and true formula.  There is an unspoken bond amongst musicians.  One that exists in the notes we choose.  Jim’s like our long lost cousin coming home for the first time.”

MMJ Tour Dates With The Preservation Hall Jazz Band:

04/20:  Birmingham, AL @ Alabama Theater

04/21:  Nashville, TN @ Municipal Auditorium

04/23:  Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park

04/24:  New Orleans, LA @ Jazzfest

04/27:  St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheater

04/28:  Charleston, SC @ Family Circle

04/30:  Raleigh, NC @ Koka Booth

05/01:  Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

05/02:  Columbus, OH @ LC Outdoor Pavilion

James McMurtry gets iPhone app, embarks on Western tour

James McMurtry fans can now stay up to date with concert information, photos, videos, music and blog posts while they are on the go with the  his new official iPhone application.  The app also allows users to post photos from their iPhone directly to the fan community and engage other fans across Facebook and iLike. The app is available for $.99 at the link here.

McMurtry and his band will be touring the western United States in support of his latest release, Live in Europe (Lightning Rod Records). The album is a document of McMurtry’s first European tour, on which he was joined by keyboardist Ian McLagan and fellow Texas songwriting legend Jon Dee Graham. The set is available as a CD with a bonus DVD, or as a deluxe vinyl LP package with a CD and DVD insert.

Live in Europe, available as a CD/DVD set or as a vinyl LP/DVD set, has earned praise from the critics. Mike Seely, writing in the Seattle Weekly, wrote: “The great Texan James McMurtry released a new album of old material in 2009—in other words, a live album. No matter: Mere mention of its drop date gave me an excuse to delve deeper into McMurtry's supremely underrated oeuvre. . . This re-exposure made me surer than ever that McMurtry is the Springsteen of the South.”

Blurt’s Steve Pick added, “With a new administration in office, he's taken six of the less directly political songs from that record, added two other older cuts, and brought out Live in Europe. It's another chance to notice how in and around the anger about macroscopic events, McMurtry is capable of extraordinary nuance in describing the lives of ordinary people on a microscopic level.”

In addition, McMurtry’s 2005 song “We Can’t Make it Here” was listed as the “Song of the Decade” both by the Lefsetz Letter’s Bob Lefsetz, and by NoDepression.com’s Grant Alden, the latter of whom called it, “Angry and musically adventurous and pissed off, which is different from angry. And a summary of how this decade felt, from my side of the typing.” The Nation declared McMurtry “Most Important Rocker.”

TOUR DATES
Sat., Jan. 16  NEW BRAUNFELS, TX Gruene Hall
Sat., Jan. 30  SPICEWOOD, TX Poodie’s Hilltop Bar & Grill
Sat., Feb. 6 ALPINE, TX Railroad Blues
Tues., Feb. 9 TUCSON, AZ Club Congress
Wed., Feb. 10 PHOENIX, AZ Rhythm Room
Thurs., Feb. 11 LOS ANGELES, CA The Mint
Fri., Feb. 12  SANTA MONICA, CA McCabe's Guitar Shop
Sat.-Sun., Feb. 13-14  SANTA CRUZ, CA Don Quixote's Int’l Music Hall
Tues., Feb. 16  SAN FRANCISCO, CA Great American Music Hall
Wed., Feb. 17  WINTERS, CA The Palms
Fri., Feb. 19  PORTLAND, OR Aladdin Theater
Sat., Feb. 20  EUGENE, OR WOW Hall
Sun., Feb. 21  SEATTLE , WA Tractor Tavern
Tues., Feb. 23  BOISE, ID Neurolux
Wed., Feb. 24  SALT LAKE CITY, UT The State Room
Thurs., Feb. 25  PAONIA, CO Paradise Theater
Fri., Feb. 26  FT COLLINS, CO Aggie Theater
Sat., Feb. 27  BOULDER, CO Fox Theater
Sun., Feb. 28  OMAHA, NE The Waiting Room
Tues., March 2 KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Wed., March 3 COLUMBIA, MO Mojo's
Fri., March 5  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK Wormy Dog Saloon
Sat., March 6  FORT WORTH, TX The Aardvark