streets

Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere Summit Album Streets 7/29

Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere- for the Grateful Web

What would happen if you combined Steve Cropper, the Memphis-weaned Stax guitar powerhouse who also wrote and co-wrote many soul classics, with Felix Cavaliere, the singer, songwriter and keyboardist whose soulful voice and songs helped form the Rascals? The world is about to find out when Stax Records releases Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere's Nudge It Up a Notch on July 29, 2008.
 
This soul summit came about as a result of conversations between Cropper and producer/songwriter Jon Tiven. When Tiven moved to Nashville several years ago, he asked Cropper what he was up to. Cropper replied that he was focusing on live dates with Booker T & the MGs and the Blues Brothers, but harbored the desire to record some new music. But who would sing? The answer, it turned out, was Cavaliere, who, like Cropper and Tiven, now lived in Nashville. In fact Cropper and Cavaliere were no strangers: they had, with a few other well-known musicians, put together a band to play special events. The two hadn't written together before, but agreed it would be fun to try.
 
The writing process began at Tiven's Hormone Studios, followed by the recording of two songs, "One of Those Days" (the album's lead track) and "Love Appetite." Drummer Chester Thompson, a veteran of John Fogerty, Frank Zappa, Genesis and Frank Black, signed on as drummer, and suggested a bass player, his friend Shake Anderson, who was Curtis Mayfield's protégé. The assemblage grew to include two backup singers, Mark Williams and N'nandi Bryant. And that was it. No special guest stars. As Tiven wrote in the notes, "This isn't one of those albums where you have to guess who's doing what — every guitar lick is Steve, every keyboard is Felix, and all the songs are originals."
 
Tiven elaborates on the legacies of Cropper and Cavaliere: "Steve Cropper is a guitar player's guitarist but also a songwriter's songwriter," he writes. "If the only thing he did in life was to play producer/co-writer/guitarist for Otis Redding, that would be enough. But he also helmed enough albums that made their mark on American pop culture by artists like Booker T & the MGs, The Blues Brothers, Jeff Beck and John Mellencamp to qualify him as a bona fide national treasure."
 
"And Cavaliere . . .," he adds, "If you were alive in the alive in the mid-to-late '60s, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing his voice and songs are part of his group The Young Rascals (later The Rascals). Their blue-eyed soul dominated the airwaves . . . and gave this country the kind of soul music most folks wouldn't think to associate with a bunch of Long Island Peppermint Lounge expatriates."
 
Nudge It Up a Notch, which was reverently mixed by the legendary David Z, features 12 tracks, including several instrumentals (Cropper having a bit of history in the R&B instrumental department) alongside vocal tracks. On a few tunes the team turned to friends Henry Gross and Tom Hambridge to provide their lyrical spin. One track, "Make The Time Go Faster," embellishes its chunky soul riff with rap passages.
 
"If all this combination of iconic songwriter/performers had to offer was simply the sum of their parts it would be extraordinary," Tiven concludes. "But you put this much flammable material in the room and you don't just get a little heat. You get a bonfire."

Keller's New Album '12,' Streets December 18, 2007

photo 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, 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.  Look for 12 in stores on December 18, 2007 on SCI Fidelity Records.

Also this fall, Keller Williams and The WMD'S will tour the east coast. 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 WMD'S debuted at select festival performances this past summer, including an epic and electrifying Bonnaroo show.  Their November run of shows brings them to indoor venues for headlining shows. 

The complete list of Keller Williams confirmed tour dates is as follows:
November 02 Ram's Head Live Baltimore MD Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 03 Norva Norfolk VA Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 04 9:30 Club Washington DC Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 06 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte NC Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 07 New Daisy Theater Memphis TN Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 08 Bijou Knoxville TN Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 09 Music Farm Charleston SC Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 10 Talleyrand Jacksonville FL Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 13 House of Blues Orlando FL Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 14 Revolution Ft. Lauderdale FL Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 15 Soul Kitchen Mobile AL Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 16 Georgia Theatre Athens GA Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 17 Zydeco Birmingham AL Keller Williams and The WMD'S
November 18 Lincoln Theatre Raleigh NC Keller Williams and The WMD'S
December 01 Aggie Theatre Fort Collins CO
December 13 Breezes Runaway Bay Runaway Bay Jamaica
December 28 Beacon Theatre New York NY w/ moe.
December 31 Tweeter Center Camden NJ w/ The Disco Biscuits

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. 

Umphrey's New Release Hits Streets Today

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

The ascension continues for Chicago's Umphrey's McGee, not only in terms of their commercial success but in creative accomplishment and instrumental achievement as well.  Their performance on Live at the Murat (SCI Fidelity), their first official live release, is as impressive as anything they've recorded to date, with the power and finesse, the yin and the yang, that have come to characterize their by-now classic material.

Recorded in Indianapolis in April 2007 and produced by longtime "sound caresser" / honorary seventh member Kevin Browning, the two-disc set features fan favorites like "Push the Pig," "The Triple Wide," "In the Kitchen," and "Nothing Too Fancy" along with rare tunes like the set-ending "Padgett's Profile" and the brief but torrid "Angular Momentum," centered on the combo of drummer Kris Myers and guitarist Jake Cinninger.  The band also dusts off tunes like "Hajimemashite" from '98s Songs for Older Women, and the Yes meets Little Feat-influenced "40's Theme," a live favorite for the band and its fans.

Throughout the show, UM's invention brings the progressive instrumental chops of Zappa and the stylistic savvy of Steely Dan.  It is innovative without being indulgent, exhilarating without losing control, and there are plenty of improv passages that keep the band and their fans off-balance.  Clearly, logging 120 gigs a year, "live" is where UM lives.

The current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows

October 16 Toad's Place - Lady Byrd Hat Building Richmond VA
October 17 Nightclub 9:30 Washington DC
October 18 Magic City Music Hall Johnson City NY
October 19-20 Nokia Theater Times Square New York NY
October 22 Harro East Ballroom Rochester NY
October 24-25 Higher Ground Ballroom Burlington VT
October 26 Orpheum Theatre Boston MA
October 27 House of Blues Las Vegas NV
October 28 Vegoose Las Vegas NV
October 31 Fillmore Auditorium Denver CO
November 09 IU Auditorium / Univ. of Indiana Bloomington IN
November 10 Eagles Ballroom Milwaukee WI
November 15 Amos' South End Charlotte NC
November 16 City Hall Nashville TN
November 18 Bear Creek Music Festival Quincy FL
November 29 Orbit Room Grand Rapids MI
November 30 Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Columbus OH
December 01 Michigan Theatre Ann Arbor MI
December 13-17 Caribbean Holidaze Runaway Jamaica
December 29-31 The Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL
March 16-18 Jam in the Dam Amsterdam Netherlands

Live at the Murat is the latest feather in the cap of the dazzling sextet.  They followed their highly touted spring 2006 studio release Safety In Numbers with the magical odds and sods The Bottom Half in the spring of this year.  The album, with its outtakes, alternate versions, and other nifty bits, reached #26 on Billboard's coveted "Heatseakers" Chart and received high marks from the music press.  HARP magazine recently noted "…[The Bottom Half delivers] creamy studio work infused by diabolical skill."  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."  Booked 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, as does Umphrey's McGee.

Adrienne Young's New CD Streets On May 22nd

Adrienne Young- for the Grateful Web

Nashville-based singer-songwriter Adrienne Young is such an ardent supporter of sustainable agriculture that she bundled seed packets into the liner notes of her Grammy-nominated first album. But it's her third release, the forthcoming Room to Grow - due out May 22, 2007 on her own AddieBelle Records and distributed by Ryko Distribution - that she feels will bear the most significant fruits of her labor. Young has integrated a national responsible-farming awareness campaign and fund-raising effort into the release of Room to Grow, a perfect marriage between her convictions and her talent.

 
Recorded in upstate New York at Levon Helm's studio, in Virginia at Sound of Music Studios and mixed by Jason Lenning in Nashville, Room to Grow reveals the maturation and sensitivity that have evolved in Young's songwriting and vocals. The album features guest appearances by legendary bassist Mike Gordon (Phish, Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon), Gordon Stone (Phish, Gordon Stone Trio), long-time collaborator and Nashville heavyweight Will Kimbrough, guest vocals by bluegrass siren Dale Ann Bradley, and co-writes with Mark D. Sanders, one of Music Row's most successful tunesmiths (No. 1 songs for George Strait, Lee Ann Womack, Alan Jackson and others).

 
Branching out from the themes that defined her last effort, 2005's The Art of Virtue - a study and exploration of Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues - Room to Grow is more introspective in its focus but wider in its aim. As in the past, Young tackles heady subjects - longing, regret, fear, desire, contentment, purpose - but manages to artfully sidestep the melodrama, extending instead a rational but hopeful approach to the pilgrimage of life.

 
"It's such a rare place to be, where you're reduced to wagering everything on the pertinence of your perspective," Young shares. "Deciding to produce this record on my own forced me to confront many qualities within myself that have served both as hindrances and strengths. It was not necessarily my intent that those struggles be apparent in the songs themselves, but expression that touches people requires the revelation of truth. I feel this album has the potential to both inspire and challenge simultaneously and am so grateful we had the chance to make it."

 
ayYoung, together with the Food Routes Network (www.foodroutes.org), which she has represented nationally since 2004, have formed an alliance with the American Community Garden Association (www.acga.org). Working with these national non-profits based in Philadelphia and Boston, Young will donate a portion of every record sold to a newly established fund. Proceeds will support local farming efforts in a variety of ways, from supplying non-GMO organic seeds to community gardens, to assisting progressive agricultural entrepreneurs.

 
FoodRoutes executive director Tim Schiltzer is excited about the partnership and feels confident that Young continues to be the appropriate national figure for the organization's mission. "We are very fortunate to have the energy and commitment to our cause from someone as special as Adrienne," Schlitzer says. "FoodRoutes' mission is to revitalize local food systems all over the United States. We do this by working to connect family farms and local consumers together in a way that helps each other through our Buy Fresh Buy Local program. Adrienne's music is one way to introduce our mission both to farmers and the public. We could not ask for a better spokesperson who not only helps spread the word but also leads by example in her contributions to community based food systems."

 
In the fall, Young will unveil an inaugural sustainable living tour featuring eco-vendors, educational workshops on self-sufficient living practices, national live music acts as well as local artists and artisans representing the traditions specific to their region. One of Young's goals is to acquaint people with the resources available in their own backyards. "Our intention is for this tour to affirm the power inherent in tightly bound communities, by reinvigorating an awareness of and affection for local neighborhoods, cultures and economies."