RJD2 Announces Third & Fourth Legs of His Nation-Wide Tour

As previously announced, RJD2 will be tirelessly touring the US throughout the first part of the new year in support of his highly anticipated new release, The Colossus, out Jan. 19th on his own new label, RJ’s Electrical Connections. We are pleased to announce the third and fourth legs of this tour, taking RJ from coast to coast and well into the month of April. That’s almost one-third of the year, folks! After touring the Southeast, Midwest and beyond, the third leg kicks off with a hometown show at Philly’s First Unitarian Church, followed by performances throughout New England, Canada, and the Midwest, before returning to Pennsylvania. The fourth leg is set to sate fans in both the Mountain and Pacific Time zones. All tour dates are below.

Also, last week, RJ released the first single off The Colossus, “Games You Can Win,” featuring Grammy-nominated, Ethiopian-born artist Kenna. Check it out, post it, share it, enjoy it!

Download “Games You Can Win” here

Previously Announced Dates:

Sat. Jan. 9 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club #

Sun. Jan. 10 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle #

Mon. Jan. 11 - Charlotte, NC @ Visualite Theater #

Tue. Jan. 12 - Savannah, GA @ Live Wire #

Wed. Jan. 13 - Orlando, FL @ The Social #

Thu. Jan. 14 - Tampa, FL @ Crowbar #

Fri. Jan. 15 - Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder #

Sat. Jan. 16 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Heavan Room) #

Sun. Jan. 17 - Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree #

Mon. Jan. 18 - Chattanooga, TN @ Rhythm and Brews #

Tue. Jan. 19 - Knoxville, TN @ Valarium #

Wed. Jan. 20 - Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel #

Thu. Jan. 21 - Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theatre #

Fri. Jan. 22 - Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant Street #

Fri. Feb. 5 - Newport, KY @ Southgate House #@

Sat. Feb. 6 - Columbus, OH @ Sully's Music Diner #@

Sun. Feb. 7 - Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall #@

Mon. Feb. 8 - Nashville, TN @ Exit In #@

Tue. Feb. 9 - Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone Cafe #@

Wed. Feb. 10 - Oxford, MS @ The Lyric Oxford #@

Thu. Feb. 11 - New Orleans, LA @ Tipitinas #@

Fri. Feb. 12 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon #@

Sat. Feb. 13 - Austin, TX @ Emos #@

Sun. Feb. 14 - Denton, TX @ Hailey's #@

Wed. Feb. 17 - Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar #@

Thu. Feb. 18 - Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note #@

Fri. Feb. 19 - Grinnell, IA @ Grinnell College - Harris Center #@

Sat. Feb. 20 - Urbana, IL @  Canopy Club #@

New Dates:

Fri. Mar. 5 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church #&

Sat. Mar. 6 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg #&

Sun. Mar. 7 - New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom #&

Mon. Mar. 8 - Boston, MA @ Paradise #&

Tue. Mar. 9 - Providence, RI @ Jerky's Music Hall #&

Wed. Mar. 10 - Montreal, QC @ La TuLipe #&

Thu. Mar. 11 - Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club #&

Fri. Mar. 12 - Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick #&

Sat. Mar. 13 - Chicago, IL @ Metro #&

Mon. Mar. 15 - Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club #&

Tue. Mar. 16 - Madison, WI @ Majestic Theater #&

Thu. Mar. 18 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop #&

Fri. Mar. 19 - Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theater #&

Fri. Apr. 2 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater #$

Sat. Apr. 3 - Durango, CO @ Strater Theatre #$

Sun. Apr. 4 - Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room #$

Mon. Apr. 5 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah #$

Tue. Apr. 6 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre #$

Wed. Apr. 7 - San Francisco, CA @ The Independent #$

Thu. Apr. 8 - Eureka, CA @ Red Fox Tavern #$

Fri. Apr. 9 - Portland, OR @ Dantes #$

Sat. Apr. 10 - Bellingham, WA @ The Nightlight Lounge #$

Sun. Apr. 11 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos #$

# w/ Happy Chichester

@ w/ Kenan Bell

& w/ Break Science

$ w/ Busdriver

Ukulele Master Jake Shimabukuro Releases His First LIVE CD

photos by Phil & Janie- for the Grateful Web

Perhaps you were in the audience at one of Jake Shimabukuro's shows last year when he "entered the zone, created unforgettable music, and wowed the crowd. The odds are that Jake's tech crew recorded that concert, and the moment is captured on Live, his upcoming HITCHHIKE RECORDS release (distributed by Thirty Tigers/RED, April 14 release). This is Jake's first full-length CD since 2006's best-selling Gently Weeps. After taping dozens of U.S. and overseas performances Jake chose these tracks as representing the best of the best of his live playing.

I've always wanted to release a live CD because there's something magical about capturing the energy of the audience during a performance, says Jake. "Every cheer and chuckle writes itself into each tune and becomes a part of the arrangement. Every track reveals a different side of the ukulele. Soft and sensitive at times, other times cheery and playful, occasionally dramatic, and, once in a while, hard and aggressive.

I enjoyed putting this album together because it preserved the feeling of each concert. Every venue had a refreshingly intimate vibe that made the creation of music pleasurable. My favorite moments are the spontaneous ones of laughter and joy between songs. Music should bring happiness. The sound of the ukulele always makes me smile. I think the world would be a greater place if everyone played the ukulele.

The 17-song CD includes 12 Shimabukuro originals (Nine versions of his best-known compositions, plus three brand-new tunes) and five covers (including a jaw-dropping version of J.S. Bach's "Two-Part Invention No. 4 in D Minor"and a memorable interpretation of Thriller," the Rod Temperton song made famous by Michael Jackson). Of course there's a live version of George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps"which might be Jake's best-recorded version yet!

Live documents the fascinating journey and musical growth of one of the most original musical talents on the planet, Jake Shimabukuro.


Mike Helm- for the Grateful Web

As an audio/visualist and mash-up DJ, MIKE RELM has become world famous for his mind-melting real time performances. But with the advent of SPECTACLE, his exciting debut studio album due out September 23 on his Radio Fryer label, the San Francisco-based musical talent has masterfully upped his game. On the heels of his recent mesmerizing DVD Clown Alley and the acclaim of his riveting 2005 CD mixtape Radio Fryer, the bespectacled and suit-clad Relm steps into the role of electronic music maestro while effortlessly reinforcing his long-standing reputation for innovation.

By collaborating with respected underground talents like Mr. Lif, The Gift of Gab, Morningwood and Lateef the Truthspeaker, along with producer Patrick Palaad on Spectacle, Relm's sonic realm is as diverse as it is ingenious. Check out can't-miss offerings like "Body Rock" - complete with a twangy guitar line and a celebratory tack destined for the dance floor - and the disc's contagious first single "My Heart" that boasts razor-sharp delivery by rapper Adeem and vocalist Adrian Hartley, a veteran of both Blue Man Group and Fischerspooner.

After befriending Hartley during a lengthy, high profile stint opening for Blue Man Group, Relm knew he had to have her lend vocals to the latter, capturing her memorable performance in a Philadelphia hotel room of all places. Next came the New Hampshire-based Adeem. "We met during one of those 'Minivan-Days Inn' tours," Mike says. "But I knew I wanted to work with him. He was on this list of people I kept that I knew I'd ask and he did such a great job with that track."

With "My Heart" front-and-center in Relm's plan for global domination, it's matched by the equally powerful "You Break," which thrives on a similar and infectious arrangement and is elevated by the adept street prose of Mr. Lif. "That song, like almost everything I construct, started with a beat," Relm explains. "It's just one of those beats that I let people listen to and everyone wanted to get on it." Another notable track on Spectacle is "Hot To Trot" which features vocals and drums by percussionist/beat maker Alfredo Ortiz (Money Mark, Chromeo, Ozomatli).

MIKE RELM adds tremendous energy to any event and has a striking stage presence. He has toured with many different types of artists from the Blue Man Group to most recently Tony Hawk as the featured musical guest on the Boom Boom HuckJam tour, and has appeared at many major music festivals including Coachella, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Summer Sonic and Mt. Fuji in Japan as well as most of the major European festivals.

RELM is known for live performances which feature a series of audio mash-ups with video images, manipulated in real-time. His other credits include performances for a San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland A's baseball game and the closing ceremonies of the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro. He completed remixes for Adult Swim in conjunction with the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, scored a short film for the Disney Channel series Too Many Robots and created a four-song mega mix for Yo Gabba Gabba (Nickelodeon). RELM also stars in an international TV spot for HSBC Bank, directed by Stacy Wall.

The complete track listing for MIKE RELM's SPECTACLE is:

  1. Money Beats (TV)
  2. Tron
  3. Everytime (ft. Del the Funky Homosapien and Adrian Hartley)
  4. Hey Drew (TV)
  5. Hot To Trot (ft. Alfredo Ortiz)
  6. Trying To Get Attention (TV)
  7. Body Rock (ft. Morningwood and The Gift of Gab)
  8. The Cube
  9. Red Shoes (TV)
  10. Vertiglo (Interlude)
  11. Without Her (ft. Lateef The Truthspeaker)
  12. Velvet
  13. You Break (ft. Mr. Lif and Adrian Hartley)
  14. Crackin' (TV)
  15. Quickie
  16. Technicism
  17. My Heart (ft. Adeem & Adrian Hartley)
  18. Learning Experience (TV)

MIKE RELM's updated tour routing is as follows:

Treasure Island Music Festival

FRI    9/20            San Francisco, CA                     Treasure Island Music Festival

Mike Relm Headline Dates             

Wed    9/24            Portland, OR                          Holocene       

Thu    9/25            Seattle, WA                           Chop Suey

Wed    10/1            Minneapolis, MN                       Triple Rock Social Club

Thu    10/2            Ames, IA                              Maintenance Shop

Fri    10/3            Chicago, IL                           Abbey Pub

Tue    10/7            New York, NY                          Spiegeltent

Wed    10/8            Boston, MA                            Middle East

Thu    10/9            Northampton, MA                       Pearl Street Nightclub

Fri    10/10           Philadelphia, PA                      Manhattan Room

Sat    10/11           Washington, DC                        Rock N Roll Hotel

Sun    10/12           Charleston, SC                        The Pour House

Mon    10/13           Atlanta, GA                           The Earl

Tue    10/14           Orlando, FL                           The Social 

Wed    10/15           Tampa, FL                             Crowbar

Fri    10/17           New Orleans, LA                       One Eyed Jacks    

Sat    10/18           Baton Rouge, LA                       Spanish Moon

Sun    10/19           Austin, TX                            Mohawk

Mon    10/20           Dallas, TX                            House of Blues Cambridge     

Wed    10/22           Scottsdale, AZ                        Chasers

Thu    10/23           San Diego, CA                         Casbah

Fri    10/24           Los Angeles, CA                       El Rey Theatre

Sat    10/25           Costa Mesa, CA                        Detroit Bar

Wed    10/29           Bloomington, IN                       Bluebird Nightclub

Thu    10/30           Bloomington, IN                       Jake's Nightclub

Tue    11/4            Ft. Collins, CO                       Hodis Half Note

Wed    11/5            Boulder, CO                           Fox Theatre

Thu    11/6            Boulder, CO                           The Black Sheep

Fri    11/7            Denver, CO                            Marquis Theatre

Sat    11/8            Aspen, CO                             Belly Up


Pavlo and His Signature Guitars

Pavlo- for the Grateful Web

At the beginning of this year, Canadian ethnic acoustic guitarist, Pavlo, taped a PBS special at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, Michigan. That concert extravaganza, "Pavlo's Mediterranean Nights," will have sixteen musicians and dancers, along with Pavlo, and will be aired on PBS stations across the country this month. It will also be available on DVD.

Pavlo was named World Artist of the Year in 2004 by the Canadian Independent Music Awards and his second album, Fantasia, won a Juno for the Best Instrumental Album in 2000. He is currently touring in support of his seventh album, Live at Massey Hall.

"After coming off of a huge show like the one we're doing, I long for a more intimate setting," Pavlo said in a phone interview in January. Immediately after the taping of that concert, he hit smaller stages in three cities in the Midwest. Those concerts weren't solo performances, however. He had five musicians traveling with him. "Sometimes, the music is even more well received when it's a little bit more naked," he admitted.

Pavlo is Canadian born, but his parents came from Greece in the mid-60s.  Two of his band members are of Greek descent. Spryos Gazetos, the longest serving member of his band, plays bass, keys, and bouzouki, a mandolin-type instrument, and George Vasilakos also plays bouzouki and guitar. Both are Greek. Gino Mirizio, percussionist and piano player, is Italian and is adept at a variety of handrums, including timbale, congas, cajon, djembe, doumek, and ud. Randy Rodrigues, bass, is of Portuguese descent, and Densil Femdios, the keyboard player, was born in Kenya of Portugese descent. These musicians add flavor to Pavlo's already rich mix of flamenco, classical, and Greek-inspired melodies.

Pavlo started playing guitar in earnest when he was ten. In fact, he played so much that his mother began to worry about him, encouraging him to go out side and play. "I enjoyed playing guitar that much," he said. But it was more than just learning his instrument. "I also started to create. Obviously, writing songs at the age of twelve - - they were pretty bad. But the intention was the there, the need, the desire to create music, to write music, to come up with my own melodies was sort of innate right from the start. This is some of the craft that I have built over the years, not playing my guitar behind my head and all this kind of stuff. It is writing music that means something to me.

Though Pavlo played in a few rock bands in his teens and twenties and was writing melodies for them, it was trip to Greece that made a connection for him. He discovered what he called Mediterranean music, a joyful, celebratory music that moved him and began to move others. He wasn't able to attract a record label but toured all over North America and sold CDs out of the trunk of his car. Eventually, his second album sold a million copies. In the ten years since he has started recording, his music has been recorded on soundtracks for The Chris Issak Show, The L Word, and the film, Marine Life, starring Cybill Shepherd. He also has performed for His Royal Highness, Prince Charles.

One song that is close to Pavlo's heart is "BriAnje," written in honor of Brittany Mastronardi, the daughter of Ontario vintners Eadie and Tony Mastronardi. Brittany died of Batten Disease, a very rare and fatal neuro-degenerative brain disorder, at the age of 11. The Mastronardis named their first wine, a Riesling, after her, calling it BriAnji, which in Portuguese means "Angel Brittany." Pavlo was so inspired by her story that he wrote a song for her.

"But I'm not composing instrumental music to show everybody how fast I can play guitar. I'm composing music that has inspired me or moved me or changed my life in some way," he said. "I've been in this business a very long time. I have friends that write in Nashville, and all they do every day is go to their songwriting sessions and they write from Monday to Friday. That's not my world. I may write one song this month, and I may write seven the next month. It depends on how I'm moved." He said that he doesn't write songs just to record them. "When I complete a song, it's been written for a reason."

In the case of "BriAnji," she had passed on before he met the Mastronardis. "They spoke about this child whom I never met in such a positive light.  It wasn't, 'Why did she only live 11 years?' It was, "Why were we so lucky that she lived 11 years?' The perspective was very different, and she inspired a lot of people. Like every family, you have untimely deaths, but this struck me very different. The song that I wrote has a melancholic feel, but I think a very positive feel at the end of it." That piece of music has never been placed on a record and is available as a free download on his website (www.pavlo.net).

Throughout Pavlo's career, he has played many different guitars and has even been endorsed by Yamaha for years. "That's all fine and dandy," he said, "but, at every show I do, I always have kids come up to me and ask me about the instrument that I play." At first, he just showed them his Yamaha classical guitar. "I wanted to get more involved in it than just that," he said, more than just telling young players what brand he uses.

He realized that many youngsters needed affordable instruments that were good quality. Often, one of the biggest hurdles is getting a good guitar that will produce the sound that you want it to, but it's going to cost you $2,000 or $3,000. Big guitar makers do offer youth guitars but even these are often priced out of young hands or the ones that are affordable are just not up to the quality Pavlo thinks youngsters need.

"I'm at the level now that I can take over that end as well. I'm making an affordable guitar for them. They can play it, and it will be a good guitar," he said. "It's been about a year and a half in the works. I teamed up with a luthier. We found the company out of San Francisco that has manufacturing plants all over the world. The guitar will be a $1500 guitar that I'm probably going to sell to the kids for about $500 to $600."  The higher prices for good guitars Pavlo says are due to middlemen and distributors. "That's how these prices get inflated," he said. "I can minimize all that and have available to these kids a guitar that is very good. And I'm not talking about Esteban and a $100 guitar. I'm talking about a real guitar that will really play well because I'm going to play it myself, and I've got fifty guitars.  It'll play well, and it will be affordable."

These new youth guitars should be available sometime this year. The legacy of these guitars will encourage many young players to continue their classical, ethnic, and acoustic guitar studies.