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STS9 @ Hangout Festival 2011

STS9 kicks off a summer of massive touring, performing at a dozen festivals, including Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores Alabama, amphitheatres and more in support of their upcoming summer EP release on 1320 Records.

Since forming in Atlanta over a decade ago, instrumental electronic rock band STS9 has experienced a meteoric rise to the forefront of the electronic-rock music scene. Recently ranked #25 among Pollstar’s list of top-grossing touring acts for Summer 2010, STS9 averaged more than 4,200 tickets sold per city on a 25 city tour that boasted opening acts such as Ghostland Observatory, Thievery Corporation and Big Boi of Outkast. The band’s tour culminated with two sold out performances at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, with 18,000 fans on-hand to experience the audio-visual force that is STS9.

STS9 truly does it all; from headlining stages at festivals such as Austin City Limits Festival, Lollapalooza and Electric Daisy Carnival, to selling out shows around the country in opera houses and amphitheatres alike, to performing with Jay-Z in arenas, to running their own record label, 1320 Records, to using their voice as a platform for change and raising significant amounts of money towards funding for their activism efforts (including $150,000 this past year to The Make it Right Foundation, paving the way to rebuild a house in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans). Pushing boundaries is all in a day’s work for STS9.

In addition to the release of their latest studio album, Ad Explorata (the tenth in their full discography), and in keeping with XLR8R Magazine’s notion that STS9 is "one of the country's most intriguing, innovative outfits around,” June 2010 brought the release of Axe the Cables (1320 Records), a live album featuring STS9’s first ever acoustic performance recorded in late 2009 at the Gates Opera House in Denver, Colorado. These electronic virtuosos got back to their roots, performing on all acoustic instruments to absolutely rave reviews, and inspired additional “unplugged” events at various noteworthy stops across the country during their summer tour – including sold out performances at the Gramercy Theatre in New York, Atlanta’s Tabernacle and the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

STS9’s self-owned record label, 1320 Records was founded on the principles of collaboration, cooperation, and community. The goal is clear: bring the music to the people in the most conscious, unique innovative and savvy ways possible. By doing so, the distance lessens between artists and fans, putting the power back in the hands of those that make music and those that live for it.

Cloud Control Premiere New Track "Mediation" & US Dates

With affirmation of their brilliance in from their homeland, being awarded the critically acclaimed Australian Music Award Cloud Control are set to unleash their stellar collection of quirky layered harmonic psyche-pop on the rest of the world.
Cloud Control signed to bespoke independent label Infectious Music in 2010, and very quickly the tightly packed four-piece from the picturesque and rugged terrains of Australia’s Blue Mountains started to turn heads with the NME claiming “We’ve got a new bunch of favorite fuzzlings, and their name is Cloud Control” and noted BBC Radio 1 D.J Nick Grimshaw hailing Bliss Release the bands debut long-player “perfect for summer time”.
The first part 2011 has seen Cloud Control complete a string of live shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including a grueling nine show campaign at SXSW in Austin Texas and support slots in the UK with Noah & the Whale, Mona and the Naked and Famous. During this first visit to Europe, respected Dutch music title Oor Magazine noted “Cloud Control is setting a foundation for an undoubtedly successful music year for them in Europe. Let The Vaccines, Mona and the rest fight over being newcomer of the year. Here in Paradiso stood one of the festival hits of 2011.”
With their amps still steaming Cloud Control jetted back to the UK for their debut headline tour in April, which ended triumphantly in front of a sold-out crowd at venue XOYO in London’s East End. And it seems as the weeks continue to unfold towards the UK & EU release of ‘Bliss Release’ on May 23rd, more and more people are professing their love for the group, including Huw Stephens from BBC Radio 1 who tweeted “Watching Cloud Control filling the breathtaking Koko venue with their stomping harmonious beauty” and Drowned In Sound who declared “Cloud Control have made a tremendously enjoyable album.”
Keep a close eye on Cloud Control this summer who play a slew of festival dates that already include Great Escape, Hop Farm and Field Day Festivals in the UK and the likes of Lowlands, London Calling, Hurricane & Southside and Les Rock Dans Tous Ses Etats in Europe. The band will be back in the US this Summer playing shows in New York and LA.
Cloud Control are Alister Wright (guitar/lead vocals), Jeremy Kelshaw (bass) and siblings Heidi Lenffer (keyboards/vocals) and Ulrich Lenffer (drums).
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US Dates

July 24th - Knitting Factory - Brooklyn, NY
July 25th - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY
July 27th - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA

Austin Indie Singer Suzanna Choffel To Release New Album

Suzanna Choffel, whose dusky vocals are as intriguing as her indie-soul-pop originals and sultry stage presence, releases on Tuesday, May 24, her latest album, STEADY EYE SHAKY BOW, a collection of upbeat melodies and ballads that Choffel describes as “blues-colored dark grit” drawing from musical influences that include Stax-style jazz and Motown R&B.

Choffel and her band — Kyle Thompson on drums, Johnny Vogelsang on bass, Laura Scarborough on vibraphone and synthesizer, and Chris Gebhard on keys and guitar —will make numerous special appearances around the new release. The band recently performed at SXSW Music Festival, including a show at Auditorium Shores with Blue October.

Around the release of STEADY EYE SHAKY BOW Choffel will tour in Texas in May and June, including an Album Release Show in Austin. The album has already yielded “Raincloud,” with its smart, witty lyrics and soulful syncopated sound that is more than pop, the song infused with the flavor of New Orleans with the backing by Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and a video viewed on YouTube more than half a million times.
Another song on the new album is “Archer,” from whence the album’s title comes, a song that exemplifies Choffel’s unique lyrical expression of the emotions inherent in relationships.
Multiple award-winner Choffel was named Indie Artist of the Year at the 2009 Austin Music Awards and won top honors in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
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Suzanna Choffel upcoming shows include:
May 13, Saxon Pub, Austin
May 19, The Shady Grove, Austin
May 20, Luna, San Antonio
May 24, Waterloo Records In-Store, Austin
May 28, One World Theatre, Austin (Album Release Show)
June 11, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, Houston
June 16, Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock

Andrew Belle live on the Lennon Bus in Austin

At SXSW this year, Andrew Belle was invited aboard the Lennon Bus to perform the track that won the John Lennon Songwriting Award for excellence in their pop category. On the Lennon Bus, Andrew recorded an intimate, live version of "The Ladder," which premieres today on Paste.
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After his performances at SXSW and the South Beach Food & Wine FestivalAndrew Belle has returned to hometown Chicago to prepare the limited edition re-release of debut LP The Ladder featuring new music and new artwork and has planned a celebration around the release with his biggest Chicago show to date.
Andrew Belle is a new artist on the pop singer/songwriter scene. Residing in both Chicago and Nashville, he is currently touring clubs and universities across the country, and is also a member of the critically acclaimed national tour Ten Out Of Tenn. Andrew released his debut EP All Those Pretty Lights in 2008, containing songs featured in hit TV shows including “90210”, “The Real World”, “Ghost Whisperer” and “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.
His debut full-length album The Ladder was released in February 2010 on 1L Music. The Ladder reached #1 on iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts, scored a spot in the Top 100 chart on iTunes and charted in the Top 25 on the Billboard Heatseakers Chart.  His songs have garnered nationwide airplay including Chicago’s WXRT, Nashville’s WRLT, and Los Angeles’ KCRW. Andrew recently was named “Best Breakout Artist, Chicago” by MTV. Recently, Andrew was awarded with the John Lennon Songwriting Award for excellence in their Pop category for the title song off The Ladder. Fans and critics often refer to his songs as “smart pop”—nuanced melodies and sophisticated, contemplative lyrics coupled with bold, infectious hooks.
2009 saw Nashville / Chicago resident Andrew Belle invited out on the second generation Ten out of Tenn Tour and after an overwhelming response on the road, invited out for the Ten out of Tenn Holiday Tour.  Ten Out of Tenn is a diverse and unique community of artists making organic pop music in the shadows of Nashville's slick commercial country music industry on the road supporting each other every night!  The original Ten out of Tenn debuted in 05 with ten musicians who were at the forefront of the vibrant Nashville pop music scene with over thirty albums released between them.

David Bromberg's USE ME Tapes Friends

When David Bromberg, one of America’s finest roots musicians, emerged from a recording hiatus of 17 years with the solo, acoustic, traditional folk-blues album Try Me One More Time (Appleseed, 2007), fans and critics were thrilled, and the CD was rewarded with a Grammy nomination. For his follow-up album, Use Me, Bromberg chose a different approach: Why not ask some of his favorite singer-songwriters and musicians to write (or choose), produce, and perform on songs tailored to his versatile but distinctive skills as a guitarist and vocalist?

Answering David’s call were well-known artists from the many genres comprising the amorphous “Americana” musical category. Representing contemporary rootsy singer-songwriters: John Hiatt, the first musician Bromberg approached, who penned the pensive “Ride On Out a Ways” for him; for New Orleans “fonk,” Dr. John; there’s three-guitar jam band interplay with Widespread Panic and jug band music with Levon Helm (the sprightly “Bring It With You When You Come,” produced by Grammy-winning Larry Campbell). Linda Ronstadt puts in a rare appearance on a soulful Brook Benton ballad, Los Lobos contribute a Mexican-flavored waltz, Vince Gill and Tim O’Brien take care of the country and bluegrass quotient, Keb’ Mo’ brings the blues, and the hitmaking Butcher Brothers, producers Phil and Joe Nicolo (Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Cypress Hill, Nine Inch Nails), provide the languid R&B groove for the title song, a cover of Bill Withers’ classic “Use Me.”

The resultant album is due for July 12, 2011 release on Appleseed Records. A national tour will ensue.
Standout tracks change with each listening, but some of the high points include the crisp blues shuffle “Tongue,” the album’s lone Bromberg original, with Levon Helm on drums; “You Don’t Wanna Make Me Mad,” featuring David on slide guitar and Dr. John on piano; the ominous slow blues “Diggin’ in the Deep Blue Sea,” updated by Keb’ Mo’ and Gary Nicholson from Larry Davis’ “Texas Flood” to address the dangers of offshore drilling, and the chipper Vince Gill — Guy Clark co-write “Lookout Mountain Girl,” the only song on which David cedes most of the lead guitar duties (to Vince, although David splits the lead with Widespread Panic’s Jimmy Herring on “Old Neighborhood”).
Rather than collating individual instrumental parts literally phoned in to a central location, the recording sessions for Use Me generally took place on each guest artist’s home turf — in Woodstock (Levon Helm), New Orleans (Dr. John), Nashville (John Hiatt, Tim O’Brien, Vince Gill), Los Angeles (Los Lobos), and so on, to retain their regional flavors. For Bromberg, who started his professional career as an accompanist for everyone from Dion and Jay and the Americans to Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, the sessions were simultaneously a throwback to his sideman days and a sidestep from his own recordings. “As artist and producer, I get to completely mold my vision of how the song should go,” he explains. “The drawback is that I don’t get many ideas that are not my own. It was fascinating for me to see the different approaches that everyone used in production.”
No matter who the producers, songwriters or accompanying musicians are on Use Me, Bromberg’s expressive guitar-playing and “rippling Fred Neil-like baritone that . . . brings warm, reassuring comfort” (Rolling Stone) remain the centerpiece of the CD, diamonds in golden settings.
Born in Philadelphia in 1945 and raised in Tarrytown, NY, “I listened to rock ’n’ roll and whatever else was on the radio,” says Bromberg. “I discovered Pete Seeger and The Weavers and, through them, Reverend Gary Davis. I then discovered Big Bill Broonzy, who led me to Muddy Waters and the Chicago blues. This was more or less the same time I discovered Flatt and Scruggs, which led to Bill Monroe and Doc Watson.”
Bromberg began studying guitar when he was 13 and eventually enrolled in Columbia University as a musicology major. The call of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-’60s drew David to the downtown clubs and coffeehouses, where he could watch and learn from the best performers, including primary sources such as his inspiration and teacher, the Reverend Gary Davis.
Bromberg’s sensitive, blues-based approach to guitar-playing earned him jobs playing the Village “basket houses” for tips, the occasional paying gig, and lots of employment as a backing musician for Tom Paxton, Jerry Jeff Walker and Rosalie Sorrels, among others. He became a first-call, “hired gun” guitarist for recording sessions, playing on hundreds of records by artists including Bob Dylan (New Morning, Self Portrait, Dylan), Link Wray, The Eagles, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson and Carly Simon. In the early ’90s, David produced an as-yet-unreleased Dylan album, although two tracks have been issued as part of Dylan’s “Bootleg Series.”
An unexpected and wildly successful solo spot at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival in Great Britain led to a solo deal with Columbia Records, for whom David recorded four albums. His eponymous 1971 debut included the mock-anguished “Suffer To Sing the Blues,” a Bromberg original that became an FM radio staple, and “The Holdup,” a songwriting collaboration with former Beatle George Harrison on which Harrison also played slide guitar. David, who had met the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia at the Woodstock Festival when they both took refuge from the rain in a tepee, wound up with four Dead members, including Garcia, playing on his next two albums.
Bromberg’s range of material, based in the folk and blues idioms, continually expanded with each new album to encompass bluegrass, ragtime, country and ethnic music, and his touring band grew apace. By the mid-’70s, the David Bromberg Big Band included horn-players, a fiddler, and several multi-instrumentalists, including David himself. Among the best-known Bromberg Band graduates: mandolinist Andy Statman, later a major figure in the Klezmer music movement in America, and fiddler Jay Ungar (who wrote the memorable “Ashokan Farewell” for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, “The Civil War”).
Despite jubilant, loose-limbed concerts and a string of acclaimed albums on the Fantasy label, Bromberg found himself exhausted by the logistics of the music business. “I decided to change the direction of my life,” he explains. So David dissolved his band in 1980, and he and his artist/musician wife, Nancy Josephson, moved from Northern California to Chicago, where David attended the Kenneth Warren School of Violin Making. Though he still toured periodically, the recordings slowed to a trickle and then stopped.
After “too many Chicago winters,” in 2002 David and Nancy moved to Wilmington, Del., where they currently serve as unofficial “artists in residence” and where David established David Bromberg Fine Violins, a retail store and repair shop for high quality instruments. Frequent participation in the city’s weekly jam sessions helped rekindle Bromberg’s desire to perform music “live” again, and the encouragement of fellow musicians Chris Hillman (The Byrds, Desert Rose Band, Flying Burrito Brothers) and bluegrass wizard Herb Pedersen helped nudge him back into the recording studio. The Wilmington jams also led to the formation of Angel Band, fronted by Nancy and two other female vocalists, with David frequently serving as an accompanist.
Bromberg’s participation in his local and musical community has subsequently included a fund-raising music festival (Bromberg’s Big Noise in the Neighborhood) to help renovate a local theater, and a keynote address at this past spring’s Folk Alliance International convention, a non-profit organization of musicians, concert presenters and industry professionals.
David continues his musical revitalization with projects like Use Me, playing solo shows or backed by his own bluegrass quartet and reunions of the David Bromberg Big Band. Use your ears and catch him when you can!

Ellie Goulding To Perform on Saturday Night Live

Ellie Goulding has been announced as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live May 7th!! Tune into NBC next Saturday at 11:30PM/10:30 C (check local listings for details) to see the episode hosted by Tina Fey & hear Ellie perform songs from her debut album ‘Lights’. Ellie recently completed a SOLD OUT US headline tour including stops at SXSW and Coachella. She will also be performing at this year's Lollapalooza! ‘Lights’ is out now on Cherrytree Records.
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More On Ellie Goulding:

Marcus Eaton West Coast Spring Tour

When singer-songwriter Marcus Eaton was asked to play and co-write on forthcoming album with Rock And Roll Hall of Famer, David Crosby, it was not a big surprise. Thanks to a strange turn of luck, Crosby has been a long-time influence and fan of the powerhouse performer from Boise, ID. Just one of many auspicious experiences dotting Eaton's career things are looking bright for the young performer who is taking his trio on the road for a short national tour this spring.

Known for a clear and inviting voice coupled with dazzling guitar work, Eaton and his band will be making stops in a number of key cities in support of his latest independent release As if You Had Wings (Feb, 2011) available exclusively on his website and at shows. One of five albums bearing Eaton's name, the latest release has received rave reviews with its radio-ready format and brilliant pop-friendly appeal. The band, also featuring bassist Ben Burleigh and powerhouse drummer Kevin Rogers will be playing a number of opening slots with Tim Reynolds TR3 along with a number of headlining slots booked along the way.

In just a few short years, the band who has been likened to such vaunted trios as Cream, Rush and the Police has received lavish praise from music authorities across the board including Crosby, who has courted a 2-year collaborative relationship with Eaton in the making of his latest album, yet to be released . Throughout his career, Eaton has performed at venues vast and intimate including four consecutive years alongside Dave Matthews at the 20,000-capacity Gorge Amphitheatre side stage and on a local level, his CD release party at The Knitting Factory in Boise crammed the concert hall well beyond its official 999-seat capacity.

Eaton and his band will be making rounds all along the West Coast and Mountain States this spring including stops in Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake, Tacoma and Portland and is not to be missed. For more information about Marcus Eaton, or to find out details about his latest tour check out marcuseaton.com

Jam In the Dam 2012 Festival Announced

All Good and Vision International present the return of Jam in the Dam: a multi-day, multi-room extravaganza held at the legendary Melkweg in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on March 14, 15 and 16, 2012.

Celebrating music in an intimate atmosphere, the sixth edition of Jam in the Dam features the music of moe., Mike Gordon (of Phish), Dark Star Orchestra (continuing the Grateful Dead concert experience) , Lotus and Keller Williams. Each artist will play extended sets all three nights in one of the two concert halls, all under one roof.  With this conjunction of musical stars, mind-blowing collaborations are just the beginning.

The music runs from 8:00 pm to 2:30 am.  This schedule allows fans to enjoy the wonders of Amsterdam by day and rock out by night. The city's rich cultural offerings include famous museums and art galleries such as the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum; cozy pubs and café terraces; open-air markets and trendy boutiques; and of course the legendary coffee shops. This unique opportunity to combine the exploration of a world-class European city with the expansion of musical horizons is what makes Jam in the Dam an experience not to be missed.

Tickets are available starting March 24 at http://jaminthedam.missiontix.com at $225 Early Bird pricing, saving $60 off of the gate. In Europe, tickets will go on sale soon at http://www.ticketmaster.nl, and will be priced at 170 Euro for Early Bird.  Single night tickets are available in Europe for 60 Euro.

Travel packages including special perks will be available from CID Entertainment, including options for installment payments. Complete Jam in the Dam festival information and travel support is available online:

http://www.JamInTheDam.com - Official Website
http://www.facebook.com/JamInTheDam - Official Facebook Page

Saxophonist Plunky Releases R&B CD

J. Plunky Branch's new release, Plunky On Fire, is a funk jazz concept album that burns across a wide swath of the urban contemporary music landscape. Plunky On Fire takes us on a musical journey through down-tempo funk jazz; house-tempo dance; R&B love songs; spoken word; smooth mellow jazz; novelty funk; world soul message music; live gig clips and thought leader lecturing, all on one chockfull compact disc.

Saxophonist J. Plunky Branch and his group Plunky & Oneness create musical theater that combines the quirkiness of George Clinton and the musicality of George Duke with the vocal poetics of Jill Scott and Gil Scott Heron. Plunky's words and melodies are crafted over hip-hop influenced instrumental tracks produced by his son, Jamiah “Fire” Branch, hence the double entendre CD title.

The father-son duo has produced an album of 14 new songs that are both retro and ultramodern, a new organic-techno soul music that is jazzy, funky and highly danceable. Two songs are targeted for initial airplay: "On Fire," a hot, sax driven dance instrumental with a vocal hook; and "Inside These Walls" a quiet storm love song featuring Chyp Green on lead vocals.

Released on his own N.A.M.E. Brand Records label, this, Plunky's 25th album, will be available at CDBaby.com and all the most popular online sites, including i-tunes, Rhapsody and Napster. CD’s will be distributed to record stores by Liaison Record Distributors of Maryland. The March 29th release date also kicks off the Plunky & Oneness promotional touring in support of the new CD.

Plunky & Oneness is one of the most versatile and enduring funk jazz groups, having toured in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US, in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean for over 25 years. They have appeared in concert and at festivals with some of the biggest names in Black music, including Earth Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze, B.B. King, Patti Labelle, Ray Charles, LL Cool J, Chuck Brown, Wyclef Jean and many others.

Plunky has also been active in music education and arts and culture presentations and some of his insights on aesthetics and African concepts of the groove are presented as interludes on the album. His positive empowerment and political messages are infused in the lyrics of several of the songs as well. He comments, "I just think it’s important to inspire people to reach for their highest aspirations and I believe it can be done while we're having fun; what some call partying with a purpose."

Plunky On Fire presents R&B as art music and this concept extends to the CD cover as well. The original portrait of Plunky on the front was painted by French artist, Dan Brussat; and the inside photograph taken at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was shot by the design and layout artist, Danja Mowf. On this album the music and the art are hot like fire…

Web site: www.plunkyone.com CD Link: www.cdbaby.com/cd/plunky