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Yonder Mountain String Band's NYE Celebration

97.3 KBCO is proud to present the Yonder Mountain String Band’s Colorado Countdown New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Boulder Theater Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 through Saturday, December 31st, 2011. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Wednesday, August 31st for $35.00 General Admission, $65.00 New Year’s Eve and $185.00 for the 5-Day Pass.

Singer-Songwriter Justin Hines Triumphs With US Debut

Optimism permeates throughout Days to Recall, Justin Hines U.S. debut album to be released August 2nd on Decca. The Canadian singer/songwriter’s collection of heartfelt songs about life and love showcase his considerable talents, and his will to overcome insurmountable obstacles.  The CD coincides with a PBS special of Hines in concert -- taped at Toronto’s Royal Cinema with special guests Ron Sexsmith, Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy, Sierra Noble and The Canadian Tenors -- slated to air multiple times across the U.S. during Public Television’s August pledge drive.

Justin Hines has thrived all his life against odds that would daunt someone with a less indomitable spirit.  Hines has Larsen Syndrome, a joint dislocation condition that confines him to a wheelchair.   He admits his condition has provided challenges, but primarily sees the good it has brought him and the inspiration he can provide others.  “There have been so many blessings. It’s afforded me so many other opportunities. It’s a bit of an attention grabber,” he says. “But then my job is to keep people interested, and keep their attention with my music.”

Highlights on Days To Recall include the first single, the instantly catchy “Tell Me I’m Wrong,” a duet with fellow Canadian/actress Jill Hennessy on the plaintive, “Why Not Love Me” and the uplifting “Say What You Will.”  The latter track took on a life of its own after a South African video featuring the Most Rev. Dr. Desmond Tutu was used as part of a campaign to build 20 schools in 11 days.  Hines performed in South Africa this spring and saw the schools that will educate more than 22,000 students.

To hear “Tell Me I’m Wrong,” click here.

Music was integral throughout Justin’s young life.  He doesn’t remember it, but his mom tells him he wrote his first song when he was seven. In his late teens, he decided to teach himself how to play piano as a way to better express himself.  “I’d done a lot of writing with other people. The most frustrating thing was I could hear the song in my head, but I was relying on other people to write chords since I didn’t play anything,” he says.

Even though Justin grew up singing in church, the realization of pursuing his musical dreams happened at the most unlikely of places— at a Toronto Raptors’ basketball game in his hometown 15 years ago.  A then 14-year-old Justin won a vocal competition to sing the National Anthem at the game — both the Canadian and American -- and his world opened up before him. “In that moment, it all seemed possible,” he recalls. Thrown in the deep end, Hines has performed professionally ever since and realized he could not only survive, but succeed.

To watch the Justin Hines EPK click here.

Great American Taxi's "Blair Mountain" is free mp3; supports WV mining ecology

For Great American Taxi and frontman Vince Herman, who grew up in West Virginia, fighting for social justice in Appalachia and calling for an end to mountaintop removal seems the natural thing to do.  According to a recent studypublished last week in the journal Environmental Research, a "significantly higher" rate of birth defects exists in babies born near mountaintop removal mining sites than those in non-mining areas. Mountaintop removal mining is a particularly environmentally destructive type of resource extraction that involves using explosives to blow the tops off of mountains to expose coal underneath the soil and rock.

So it’s no surprise that “Blair Mountain,” the aptly named title of the first single from the band’s forthcoming yet-to-be-titled new album (set for release this fall), premiered exclusively on the Sierra Club’s special public service call-to-action video, Battle for Blair Mountain. The song was recorded in May with Todd Snider producing. Master folk musician Tim O'Brien, a West Virginia native recently inducted into the WV Music Hall of Fame, plays banjo and fiddle on the track.

GAT is encouraging fans to download a free MP3 of “Blair Mountain” from the band’s website and get involved in restoring Blair Mountain to the National Register in support of the Sierra Club’s recently filed legal petition with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to make Blair Mountain off limits to mining.

“I wrote the song “Blair Mountain” to try and do my part to let people know about what we as working people stand to lose if Blair Mountain is destroyed,” said Herman. “As the grandson of a proud union miner, and former resident of the mountain state, this struggle connects deeply. The coal wars are not over in this country as whole communities are destroyed, water tables ruined and mountains bombed daily in what has become a national sacrifice zone to the interests of the coal companies. I hope that his song may help get us closer to ending the destruction of the most diverse forests in America.”

Great American Taxi continues its summer tour; June highlights included concerts with Barry Sless (Phil and Friends, David Nelson Band, Moonalice) at the Nelson Family Vineyards on 6/19, at the Hopmonk in Sebastopol on 6/22, and special guests New Monsoon in Santa Cruz on 6/23. More surprise guests will be announced for the Eldo in Crested Butte on 7/9 and GAT played with Todd Snider on 6/25 and 6/26.



Great American Taxi includes Vince Herman, Chad Staehly, guitarist Jim Lewin, bassist Brian Adams and drummer Chris Sheldon.

Chad Stokes of State Radio at the Fox Theatre

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Chadwick Stokes at the Fox Theatre on Tuesday, September 20th.  Tickets go on sale Friday, June 24th for $17.00.

It takes a certain type of musician to hop freight trains and barrel across the vastness of North America with his brother and cousin.  Especially for an artist who, just years before, sold out Madison Square Garden for three consecutive nights. CHAD “CHADWICK” STOKES is anything but a typical rock star. So, there was the singer-guitarist for bands Dispatch and State Radio, wading across a river to escape the chasing railroad bulls and hanging in the different down and out jungles with other traveling folks. And in the end, after the three had finally reached the West Coast and were laying face down in the dirt at gunpoint care of the NSA, he says it was all well worth it.

“I had ridden the trains a little bit in the past for a day or two but I had never done it for weeks at a time,” Stokes says. “I discovered an America that I knew was out there but had limited experience with.  There's all kinds of people out on the rails:  people simply trying to get from point A to B, people running from whatever they left behind, people with nowhere else to go.  You get to see a part of America that only the trains go through -- remote stretches without any sign of mankind."  It was out on these long isolated stretches and in the inner city train yards that Stokes found the inspiration for his solo debut, titled SIMMERKANE II.

At a time when the term Indie-rock refers more to a guitar sound then doing anything truly independent, Stokes is an artist who has genuinely lived the credo. Unassisted by a major label, his band Dispatch arose from the college circuit to become an international musical phenomenon. With only a celebrated live show and a series of self-released albums the band was not only able to sell out Madison Square Garden several times but attract 110,000+ fans to a Boston concert.

While riding the rails, Stokes made a designated stop so his band, State Radio, could play an anti-war concert at the Denver Coliseum with Rage Against The Machine.  It is a DIY social consciousness that Stokes came to early in life - growing up as a pacifist, working in Zimbabwe after high school and eventually co-founding the Elias Fund, the Dispatch Foundation, and now Calling All Crows.  In 2008, Stokes was honored as Humanitarian of the Year at the Boston Music Awards.

Simmerkane II, a proper follow-up to the State Radio EP (Simmerkane I), is a marked evolution in the musician-songwriter’s creative journey. Produced by John Dragonetti (of The Submarines), the album features background vocals from Carly Simon, Matt Embree (Rx Bandits), The White Buffalo, Blake Hazard (The Submarines), and Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. The sound is an engaging mix of Americana, country, folk and rock in the service of some undeniably evocative lyrics. The songs tell a loose narrative of travel, love and loss, like some re-imagined rock-n-roll odyssey.

Simmerkane II is an ambitious album about discovery, loss and moving on. What begun as a journey across an unseen America becomes a moving musical tribute to the resilience of the human heart. “The album was initially inspired by the freight train trip with my brother and that vast underworld that exists out there,” Stokes explains. “But then it’s also about growing up on the farm and losing loved ones; a young man learning about life.” In his spare time, Stokes can still be found hopping trains with his beloved travel companion, Lefty.

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Chadwick Stokes of State Radio & Dispatch

Fox Theatre

Tuesday, September 20th

Doors:  8:30 pm

Show Time:  9:00 pm

Blues & Roots: Vieux Farka Toure w/ William Elliott Whitmore

It was a pretty quiet night on the hill in Boulder, CO at the Fox Theater, even though it was the beginning of the 1st annual Boulder Blues and Roots Summit Festival.  This festival featured early shows at the

Agnes Obel Covers Elliot Smith's 'Between the Bars'

Play “Just So” to anyone in Germany and they’ll tell you it’s the music from the Deutsche Telekom television advertisement. Which it is. The kind of exposure many an artist would die for. Well not literally, obviously. Or the kind of publicity an independent spirit might agonize over, venturing into the commercial arena.

I can’t help feeling that Agnes Obel is not going to have her feathers ruffled by something, in the greater scheme of things, as inconsequential as a song placement in an ad. Yet is not intriguing how a few bars of music can seep into our consciousness and set us off wondering where they came from?

This facebookish world of ours offers us the illusion of getting to know people we don’t really know. Who their friends are and what they like. Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel likes Alfred Erik Lesley Satie and Sonic Youth. Debussy and Dylan. Hitchcock and PJ Harvey. But what people like is not necessarily the same as what he or she is like. Clues, perhaps, but as fans of Hitchcock well know, not every clue leads you where you think it might.

So we focus on the facts. Agnes Obel is from Copenhagen but she lives in Berlin. She studied at the University of Roskilde, a town renowned for a Glastonbury style music festival and home to a marvellous viking ship museum. She possesses the rare gift of a songbird’s voice and is about to release her debut album.

Then, like a good detective, we study the photograph. The owl and Agnes. Except their watchful gaze leaves you feeling its they who are looking at us, rather than the other way around. Did you know that an eagle owl’s eyes do not move, instead owls can move their heads almost three quarters around without moving their body? Agnes, meanwhile, seriously beautiful, looks a little like Liv Ullmann in Bergman’s “Persona,” or Tippi Hedren in self-assured Marnie guise rather than the catatonic figure in The Birds. She appears perfectly balanced alongside the eagle owl, both mutually protective of their proud serenity. A clue staring us in the face, yet conjuring up more questions than answers.

Listen to Anges Obel's beautiful cover of Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars"

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Agnes Obel Tour Dates:
6/4: SANTA MONICA, CA @ McCabe's
6/6: HOLLYWOOD, CA @ Hotel Cafe 8pm
6/7: SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ Rickshaw
6/9: PORTLAND, OR @ Alberta Rose Theatre
6/10: SEATTLE, WA @ Freemont Abbey Center
6/13: WASHINGTON, DC @ Sixth & I
6/14: NEW YORK, NY @ Joe's Pub
6/15: PHILADELPHIA, PA @ Tin Angel

Marty Stuart Reveals Lineup For 10th Annual Late Night Jam

GRAMMY award winner Marty Stuart will host a special 10th Anniversary Late Night Jam on June 8 beginning at 10:00 PM at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.  Country music icons Dolly Parton, Mel Tillis and Connie Smith, along with The Quebe Sisters Band, Doug Kershaw and more surprise guests will be joining Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives for this year’s event.  The Late Night Jam has become the unofficial kick-off of the CMA Music Festival and prior to any lineup information being released, tickets for this year’s event have sold faster than ever before. Proceeds will benefit MusiCares with a portion also going to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

“It's hard to believe that the Late Night Jam is ten years old,” said Stuart.  “I can't help but think back on the first one.  I was nervous; pacing and hoping that we'd have enough people show up.  The show ended up being a sell-out and we’ve been going strong ever since.  That first show was over 25,000 people ago, and it was also many good deeds ago from MusiCares, and a lot of really magical performances ago from some of my dearest musical friends. Every year I say, ‘How can I top that show?’  Somehow it happens and good things result from it. This year will be no different.”

Over the past 10 years, Stuart has brought artists such as Keith Urban, Vince Gill, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels, Porter Wagoner, Neko Case, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jerry Lee Lewis and more to the Ryman stage for a one of a kind marathon jam session all in the name of charity and country music.

Stuart, a stalwart of traditional country music, recently received his fifth career GRAMMY award for “Best Country Instrumental” for “Hummingbyrd,” from his critically acclaimed album GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS).  His TV show, The Marty Stuart Show, continues to bring traditional country music into living rooms across the country every Saturday night on RFD-TV.   Upcoming episodes will feature Brad Paisley, Old Crow Medicine Show, Keith Urban, Paul Shaffer and Travis Tritt.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.martystuart.net.

Poly Styrene 1957-2011

We can confirm that the beautiful Poly Styrene, who has been a true fighter,  won her battle on Monday evening (4/25/11)  to go to higher places. Poly Styrene was born Marianne Elliot Said on June 3, 1957. She passed away due to cancer.

Poly Styrene was a punk amongst punks. A groundbreaking presence that left an unrepeatable mark on the musical landscape, she made history the moment she uttered, “Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think oh bondage up yours!” The influence of Poly and X-ray Spex has been felt far and wide ever since. The seminal album Germ Free Adolescents is a landmark work and a primary influence on Britpop and Riot Grrrl. At the center of it was Poly Styrene, a bi-racial feminist punk with the perfect voice to soundtrack rebellion. Poly never sacrificed the intelligence or the fun in her music and style. Her trademark braces and dayglo clothes were a playful rejection of the status quo and of conformity and complacency. She dissected gender politics, consumer culture, and the obsessions of modern life in a way that made us all want sing along with her.

At the core of Poly’s work from Germ Free Adolescents through Generation Indigo, is a revolutionary with a genuine love for this world and the people and things in it. Her indomitable heart is all over the new material from her championing of cruelty free products and as she put it, "being conscious of the slaughterhouse culture" (“I Luv Ur Sneakers”) to giving voice to marginalized poor people worldwide (“No Rockefeller”) to tackling racism (“Colour Blind”). Poly Styrene never stopped exciting us with her incisive world-view, amazing wit, and her adventurous sound. It is impossible to imagine what modern music would be like without her incalculable contributions but it’s probably not worth imagining a world that never had Poly Styrene in it.

A thrilling work from a true pioneer and rebel in every sense, Poly Styrene’s album Generation Indigo is out today through Future Noise Music and was produced by Youth (The Verve, Killing Joke, The Fireman, Edwyn Collins).The album’s fusion of punk spirit, and fresh sounds has already received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic from Spin, NPR, NME, MOJO and countless others. The forward looking Generation Indigo showcases Poly’s humorous musings on pop culture, the internet and fashion whilst also tackling heavier subject matter (war and racism) with her politically aware and intelligent lyrics all in the inimitable voice of a genuine icon. Listen to the full Generation Indigo record streaming on AOL Spinner.

Lee MacDougall Gives it to Denver Short & Sweet

Short and sweet can be a good thing, but when it’s good, everybody wants some more. British musician Lee MacDougall certainly showed that he could satisfy, but unfortunately for the very few that showed up for his performance at the Larimer Lounge, it was a moment that lasted not quite long enough.

Austin City Limits 2010 part III

The last day of a festival is always bittersweet.  You get excited for the festival headliner but also deep down you wish you could replay the weekend over and over again and perhaps catch some of those bands, that due to scheduling conflicts, you painstakingly missed in the days before.