songs

BRITISH SINGER-SONGWRITER BOBBY LONG RETURNS TO U.S. FOR 2010 TOUR

British singer-songwriter Bobby Long returns to American shores this week, kicking off a tour that will include his first appearances at the annual South By Southwest Conference (SxSW) in Austin, Texas. Long, whose 2009 "Dangerous Summer" tour of the U.S. and Canada comprised more than 100 shows and was extended through December, will begin his 2010 U.S. run at World Café Live in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 13. Following the string of his own shows, Long will join popular Philadelphia indie band matt pond PA (mppa) for 16 shows during May in support their new album The Dark Leaves.

Bobby Long will also be the special guest on WXPN Radio's weekly Free@Noon broadcast, live from Philadelphia this Friday, March 12. Last fall, WXPN began playing cuts from Long's DIRTY POND SONGS CD-a collection he recorded in his London bedroom to be available exclusively at his shows-and made him their "World Café Next" artist of the week in December. The broadcast will be streamed live at www.xpn.org and www.npr.org.

Long is also set for several performances at SxSW next week: Thursday, March 18 at 11PM at the Hilton Garden Inn Creekside as part of "The Bedford at SxSW" event, Friday, March 19 at 2PM at Bug Music's event at the Continental Club and again at 7PM at the SxSW Second Play Stage at the Hilton Hotel Austin. His final SxSW appearance will take place on Sunday, March 21 at 1PM at the UHCU Headliner Stage. Other highlights of the spring tour will be appearances at the eclectic Bamboozle Festival on both coasts, the March 28 event at Anaheim Stadium in California and the May 1 event at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Long started the year with three weeks of shows in Europe, playing several countries for the first time.  He is currently recording his much-anticipated debut studio album for release later in the year with producer Liam Watson (The White Stripes' "Elephant") at the helm. "I'm feeling really good about it all," he says.  "I'm really pleased with the time in the studio and to have had an opportunity to work with amazing musicians and with a producer like Liam Watson.  Everyone worked together, and I really feel like we have put together a great sound and something that will make people stand up and listen. I've recorded around 18 songs and now just have to pick the ones for the album."

He has already sold more than 10,000 copies of the 10-song collection of original material called DIRTY POND SONGS.  "Left to Lie" and "The Bounty of Mary Jane" from that CD are available for download from iTunes and other digital outlets.  "Let Me Sign," a song he co-wrote with Marcus Foster, is part of the American Music Award-winning soundtrack of the blockbuster film "Twilight."  He has also compiled a new DANGEROUS SUMMER TOUR CD of live performances from his marathon 2009 tour, which will be available for sale at the upcoming shows.  Included in that collection are some of his newer compositions, "The Borough Mill," "In the Frost," "My Darling Bell" and "Girl From the Keys," among them.

Fans first discovered his compelling brand of acoustic music via the film, YouTube and his continually-updated MySpace page (www.myspace.com/musicbobbylong), which is now closing in on two million page views.  Music critics and selected radio programmers have jumped on the Long bandwagon early, praising both his songwriting and his style.


BOBBY LONG 2010 U.S. TOUR:

March 12--13-World Café Live Upstairs, Philadelphia; March 15-Mercury Lounge, New York City; March 16-Poor David's Pub, Dallas; SxSW Music Conference, Austin, TX:  March 18, at 11PM, Hilton Garden Inn Creekside) and March 19 at 2PM, Continental Club, Austin, and 7PM, Hilton Hotel Austin; March 22-Hideaway on Dunvale, Houston, TX; 25-Café Congress, Tucson; 28-The Bamboozle Festival, Anaheim Stadium; April 28-Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA; and May 1-The Bamboozle Festival, Meadowlands, East Rutherford, NJ.

Dates supporting matt pond PA are:

May 5-Chameleon Club, Lancaster, PA; 6-Allen Street Stage, Penn State University, State College, PA; 7-Mac's Bar, Lansing, MI; 9-The House Café, DeKalb, IL; 10-Mad Planet, Milwaukee, WI; 11-Slowdown, Omaha; 12-Fox Theater, Boulder, CO; 14-Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS; 15-Mojo's, Columbia, MO; 17-Hi Tone Café, Memphis; 18-Square Room, Knoxville; 20-40 Watt, Athens, GA; 21-Village Tavern, Mt. Pleasant, SC; 22-Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC; 24-The Southern, Charlottesville, VA and 25-Otto Bar, Baltimore, MD.

Look for more U. S. dates to be announced soon.

UMBowl: Another Innovative Music Experience by Umphrey's McGee

The forward-thinking band Umphrey’s McGee will carve out new terrain in musical interactivity with their fans at the first “UMBowl,” an unprecedented 4-quarter evening-long concert on Saturday, April 24th, at Lincoln Hall in the group’s hometown of Chicago.

Umphrey’s, which has long forged a close bond with its national fan base through technological innovation, will explore fresh frontiers in the five-hour event, styled to emulate a football game with four “quarters” of unique musical performances that will actually be generated by audience input. Half the night’s music will be determined by text messaging on “gameday” itself.

The first quarter (Q1) will be an acoustic set entirely chosen by attendees; ticket holders will receive ballots and cast votes on the songs to be performed. Q2 will be a wholly improvised performance driven by bi-directional texting, sifted and delivered by “offensive coordinator” (and longtime Umphrey’s sound caresser) Kevin Browning to the band, which will then use the audience input to construct their jams. Q3 will be an all-request segment, with songs again determined by pre-balloting from the audience members. Fans will be able to vote not just on song selection but actually how those songs are arranged and varied from their original form. In Q4, the live audience will actually act as the group’s quarterback, “calling audibles” to direct the course of a free-flowing set via text messages sent to Browning in response to choices projected on an in-house screen.

The text-messaging element of UMBowl, powered by Mozes, was first employed by Umphrey’s McGee at their Stew Art (or “S2”) series, launched in fall 2009. Hosted as freestanding events before Umphrey’s shows in select tour markets, the series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage is entirely directed by S2 audience members. Sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references to the Umphrey's mobile interface, which are then interpreted by the band.


Umphrey’s McGee had previously taken new approaches to delivering their music to the fans. Before their most recent studio recording, Mantis, was released in January 2009, the collection was made available for pre-order in an interesting way. The more Mantis pre-orders were received, the more free bonus content was received. Fans “unlocked” levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album.

The band was also among the first group of performers to offer songs at Rock Band Network. The much buzzed-about video game platform works with Xbox video game systems, and allows bands to offer fans a way to dig into their favorite group’s music in ways they have never been able to before.

UMBowl tickets went on sale last Friday and sold out in just minutes.

For the many out-of-town fans attending UMBowl, the band, together with long-standing travel partners CID Entertainment, offered travel packages for the event. Included in each package are tickets to UMBowl, luxury accommodations at the new Hotel Palomar in downtown Chicago, a drink package for the pre-party at the Umphrey’s hometown hang The Store, a personalized UMBowl jersey, gameday transportation, and more. For further information, go here.

Drive-by Truckers @ Boulder Theater

Flaunting a mix of Southern pride, erudite lyrics, and a muscled three-guitar attack, Drive-By Truckers became one of the most well-respected alternative country-rock acts of the 2000s. Led by frontman Patterson Hood and comprising a rotating cast of Georgia and Alabama natives, the band celebrated the South while refusing to paint over its spotty past.

History, folklore, politics, and character studies all shared equal space in the Truckers catalog, which offered up its first blast of gutsy, twangy rock with 1998's Gangstabilly. However, it was the band's ambitious double-disc concept album, The Southern Rock Opera, that became their unlikely magnum opus. A two-act affair, the album explored Patterson Hood's fascination with 1970s Southern rock (specifically Lynyrd Skynyrd) while tackling the cultural contradictions of the region.

Although the band remained on tour well into 2009, the Truckers also found time to release their second concert album, Live from Austin TX, as well as a collection of unreleased material entitled The Fine Print: A Collection of Oddities and Rarities. Patterson Hood rounded out the year by issuing his first solo record, Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs), although 2010 found him returning to the fold for Drive-By Truckers' eighth studio album, The Big To-Do.

Thursday May 13, 8:30pm

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS

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On Sale Mar 13
GA / All Ages/ $30.00
Tickets will be on sale through the Boulder Theater box office
Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com | Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030

Performing Artist Jill King To Release New Album RAIN ON FIRE

Songstress Jill King releases on April 6 a new studio album, RAIN ON FIRE (Foundher Records), which the artist describes as life-changing for its renewal of her passion for music and for life and as a gift for listeners who might need a similar lift upward.

The new CD is a collection of heartfelt and thought-provoking love songs and ballads written and co-written by King that mesh blues, pop, R&B, country and jazz into her solid folk-rock sound, elevated by her stunning vocals and the slide and steel guitar vibe of Australian Michael Flanders, who produced the album with King.

It includes “Beautiful World,” “California” and “I’ll Keep Loving You” — three songs that reflect King’s life journey through joy and sorrow — as well as “Mark on Me,” which features a spoken-word intro and outro by Steven Johnson, the grandson of blues legend Robert Johnson, and the sensual “Undertow,” which was featured in the February 26 episode of the Web soap “Venice The Series.”

King and Flanders were joined in the studio by an array of respected musicians and friends including Congress House Studios’ Mark Hallman on bass, drums, loops, percussion, B3 and piano as well as Brady Blade (drums, percussion), Victor Broden (bass), Jason Millhouse (fat guitars), Bruce Holloway (guitar), Phil Madeira (piano, accordion, B3), Savannah Jo Lack (violin, string arrangement & performance), Rob Mackay (strings, tenor ukulele), Denise Locke (keyboards), Alex Torrez and Ben Flanders (percussion), and Thom Flora, Doug Stokes and Nels Andrews (background vocals) and a gospel choir made up of Marsha Hancock, Alana Griffith, Christina Taddonio.

A special-edition version of the CD includes a fascinating book by King that intricately details the impetus behind each of the songs, an essay on the making of the album and documentary photography by Nashville-based artist Whitney Jones.

King will put together a band for extensive touring behind the album that includes shows through August across the Southeast and California and Texas.

Born and raised in deep-South Arab, Ala., King was singing solos in church at 3 and was playing guitar and writing songs by age 10, when she made her first record at a local studio. Being surrounded by heaven-and-hell ideologies and later her brother’s death from cancer have influenced her life, her songwriting and her sound: a mix of genres, moods and messages.

Otis Taylor's new album, 'Clovis People,' set for May 11 release

Otis Taylor digs the past. Whether it’s the songs he wrote a decade ago, or ancient civilizations that lived more than 10,000 years ago, he’s drawn to stories from another time, and he’s compelled to retell them in a way that’s relevant in the modern day. On Clovis People, set for release May 11, 2010, on Telarc International, a division of Concord Music Group, Taylor writes his own history.

It’s the ideal project for the architect of a sparse and hypnotic style that has come to be known as “trance blues.” Taylor has spent his career crafting songs that are wide open to interpretation — thematically as well as structurally. “I give people a starting point, and then they can take it where they want to take it,” he explains. “That’s true for the people playing my music as well as the people listening to it. That’s how art should be. A person looking at a painting should be able to interpret it in whatever way he wants. The more words you put into a song, the less freedom the listener has to decide what it means.”

The album title is inspired by a recent scientific discovery very close to Taylor’s home in Boulder, Colorado. Barely 100 yards from the edge of his property, archeologists dug up a cache of tools and other implements belonging to a civilization known as the Clovis people, who walked the earth briefly about 13,000 years ago and then mysteriously disappeared.

“That’s amazing to me,” says Taylor. “There have only been four or five sites like this found all over the country. That means these people probably walked on my property. My music only goes back about ten years, but there’s something about reaching back to an earlier time and revisiting the stories of the past from a new perspective that I find compelling.”

Helping to shape that new perspective is a crew of players who lend a variety of shades and voices to the mix. Among them is guitarist Gary Moore, a guest musician on two of Taylor’s previous recordings (Definition of a Circle in 2007 and Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs in 2009), who moves in and out of the tracks with a hard riff here, a subtle accent there, and just the right atmospherics wherever he appears. Also on hand for nine of the twelve tracks is pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell — a member of the Campbell Brothers, the African-American gospel group that has developed a sound commonly known as “sacred steel.” In addition, Clovis People features cornetist Ron Miles and bassist Cassie Taylor (Otis’ 22-year-old daughter).

The set gets under way with the haunting “Rain So Hard,” a bluesy number that employs an intriguing mix of pedal steel, cornet and theremin as the backdrop to Taylor’s unsettling lyrics about a hard rain turning to snow and falling on a scene of betrayal and deceit.

“Little Willy” and “Lee and Arnez” are two previously unreleased songs. The former is a fictional tale of a school shooting — a song Taylor wrote in 1990s, but then shelved in the aftermath of the Columbine shooting of 1999. “Lee and Arnez” tells the story of a couple that Taylor remembers from the neighborhood where he grew up. “They were my parents’ best friends, and they had a boxer dog that I really loved,” says Taylor. “This would have been the 1950s, which were still a difficult time for black people, but I have great memories of this couple and their beautiful dog.”

“It’s Done Happened Again” is built on an urgent rhythm that plays like a frantic heartbeat. “The song is about that moment when someone who got his heart broken hears about someone else who got his heart broken,” says Taylor. “It’s that moment when pain and empathy converge, and you say, ‘Oh yeah, I know where he’s coming from.’”

“Harry Turn the Music Up” recalls Taylor’s memories of the Denver Folklore Center, a place he frequented when he was a boy in the early ’60s. “The song follows a groove that’s deep in the pocket, and it’s really powerful,” says Taylor. “The Denver Folklore Center was a place where nobody cared if you were black or white, skinny or fat. It was a place where everyone was accepted.”

“Babies Don’t Lie” rides on a single chord and speaks to the profound vulnerability of innocents. But somewhere underneath the simple and recurring lyrical line is the question of how and when dark forces take hold and turn some innocents into monsters.

“Think I Won’t” is a showdown-flavored track that captures the moment when a mother confronts a drug dealer in a schoolyard. “There are some badass moms out there,” says Taylor. “Sometimes people don’t realize how tough black women can be. It’s a matriarchal culture, and there are some moms who’ll kick your ass in a half-second if you threaten their children.”

Indeed, some instincts are eternal, whether the frame of reference is 2010, 1950 or some time before recorded history. Clovis People is in some respects a vehicle for Taylor  — an archeologist of a different kind — to re-examine some of the truths he’s uncovered in his own era and preserve them for listeners in some future time.

“I went back to my musical past with these songs — all the way back to my first album,” says Taylor. “I like finding different ways to retell the old stories. They continue to mean something — to me, to the people who hear them, to the musicians who play with me — many years after I first told them.”

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.

Cymbals Eat Guitars and Freelance Whales in DENVER

To call them multi-instrumentalists might be a little overdone.  The kids in Freelance whales are really just collectors, at heart. They don't really fancy buffalo nickels or Victorian furniture, but over the past two years, they've been collecting instruments, ghost stories, and dream-logs.  Somehow, from this strange compost heap of little sounds and quiet thoughts, songs started to rise up like steam from the ground.

The first performance of these songs took place in January of 2009, in Staten Island's abandoned farm colony, a dilapidated geriatric ward, in one of New York's lesser visited boroughs. A seemingly never-ending jigsaw of small rooms, the farm colony ate them whole and threatened to never regurgitate them. And even though the onlookers were only spiritual presences, the group was still palpably nervous and visibly cold.  After a bit of singing, strumming and stomping asbestos, they realized that they'd found a good crowd.  They heard a bit of clapping from an adjacent room, also some laughing, but not a single soul asked about their record.

Weathervanes, the groups debut LP, finished tracking just a few nights earlier.  Swirling with organic and synthetic textures, interlocking rhythmic patterns, and light harmonic vocals, the record works to tell a simple, pre-adolescent love story: a young male falls in love with the spectral young femme who haunts his childhood home.   He chases her in his dreams but finds her to be mostly elusive.  He imagines her alive, and wonders if someday he'll take on her responsibilities of ghosting, or if maybe he'll join her, elsewhere.

Since their brief residency at the Farm Colony, Freelance Whales have taken to city streets, subway platforms, and stages with their swirling nostalgia.  Many people who found them playing in those public spaces, managed to forget what train they were supposed to take; some of them forgot what language they originally spoke.  And so, after playing in New York City, almost exclusively, for about a year, they embarked on their first tour of the United States, and Canada.  They saw buffaloes posted on hilltops, armies of windmills, and lots of lovely people who let the music run their blood in reverse.

US Tour Dates:

3/5 - Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
3/6 – Rock N Roll Hotel – Washington, D.C
3/7 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
3/9 – The End – Nashville, TN
3/10 – Pilot Light – Knoxville, TN
3/11 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
3/12 – Harvest Of Hope Festival – St. Augustine, FL
3/13 – Will’s Pub – Orlando, FL
3/14 – The Engine Room – Tallahassee, FL
3/16 – Mango’s – Houston, TX
3/22 – The Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
3/23 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA
3/24 – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA
3/25 – Bottom Of The Hill – San Francisco, CA
3/28 – Crocodile Café – Seattle, WA *
3/29 – The Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC
3/31 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT
4/1 – Hi Dive – Denver, CO
4/2 – Replay Lounge – Lawrence, KS
4/3 – Turf Club - St. Paul, MN
4/4 – Schuba’s – Chicago, IL
4/6 – El Mocambo Club – Toronto, ON
4/7 – Il Motore – Montreal, QB
4/8 – The Middle East – Boston, MA

*CEG Not Playing

Anne McCue's new CD, 'Broken Promise Land,' returns to raw sound

Anne McCue describes her new album, Broken Promise Land, due out on May 18, 2010 on Flying Machine Records Records, as “a bit dirty, a bit rockin’, a bit swampy and a bit bluesy, with a touch of mysteriousness to it.”

What isn’t mysterious is McCue’s musical talent and range. She was voted the Roots Music Association’s Folk Artist of the Year in 2008, performed in a Jimi Hendrix tribute at the 2007 International Guitar Festival and was included in the Four Decades of Folk Rock box set alongside the likes of Bob Dylan and Wilco. Heart’s Nancy Wilson has described her as “my Aussie clone,” while Americana icon Lucinda Williams had this to say: “Initially, her stunning voice hooked me in. Then I got inside the songs. The first chance I got, I went to see her perform . . . I was floored! The combination of her tomboyish beauty mixed with the precision and assertiveness with which she approached the guitar, her surrounding languid and earthy vocals created an intoxicating blend.”

The new, self-produced album is one that she has long wanted to make. Combining heartfelt songwriting with gritty guitar playing, the record harkens back to McCue’s breakout Roll release, although she says that the new disc’s sound is even more raw than its predecessor. While earlier albums covered a range of roots-rock styles, Broken Promise Land focuses on McCue’s hard-charging “cosmic biker rock” sound.

The new disc lets McCue showcase her rockin’ ways and six-string virtuosity. The title track cuts loose with a blistering Hendrix-like bluesy guitar solo. The first single, “Don’t Go To Texas (Without Me),” boasts the dirty guitar sound of late ’60s English bands like the Yardbirds and the Rolling Stones, while “The Old Man Talkin’” exudes a slinky J.J. Cale vibe.

The music’s strong, visceral energy results from a strategy to record as much as possible live. “I didn’t want to have a lot of layers. I wanted it to be pretty much what I can do on stage,” McCue asserts. She sought to capture the vibe of the old Albert King albums that she loves, which were recorded in only a few days, and she included a brass section in the sessions. By recording to tape, McCue also created the textures and dimension that she admires in T-Bone Burnett’s work.

On Broken Promise Land, McCue utilized the veteran rhythm section of Bones Hillman (Midnight Oil) and drummer Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo/Wilco). “Bones and Ken are very developed as musicians,” she says. “It’s great to have that type of depth to the musicianship.” This powerful trio demonstrates their musical breadth throughout this disc, whether it’s building “The Lonely One” into a surging rock ballad, conjuring a spooky atmosphere in Amelia White’s “Motorcycle Dream” or roaring through a cover of Rose Tattoo’s “Rock ’n’ Roll Outlaw.”

McCue’s love for music was nurtured in Sydney, Australia, where she grew up in a house filled with music. Her father, while not a professional musician, played a variety of instruments and her mother sang in the church choir. All of her seven older siblings were heavily into music too, and sounds ranging from Billie Holiday to Led Zeppelin filled the McCue home. “Every type of music except hardcore blues,” the blues-loving McCue admits, “so I definitely didn’t get burned out on it as a child.”

Although McCue played guitar growing up, she wasn’t encouraged to be a musician. A longtime film buff, she got a degree in film studies at Sydney’s University of Technology. Her cinema studies are an influence. “To me, my songs are like short films,” she reveals, “I try to be very visual and cinematic with my music and now I am making videos for the songs too.”

After college, McCue joined an all-female band, Girl Monstar, which was very popular in the Australian indie rock scene. She later became a part of the folk-rock trio Eden AKA that performed on the Lilith Fair tour and recorded a never-released album for Columbia Records. Her ill-fated Columbia experience landed her in America, where she set up shop in Los Angeles and became a vital part of the city’s roots music scene. During her time in Southern California, she recorded two attention-grabbing albums — 2004’s Roll and 2006’s Koala Motel.
Both releases accumulated a bevy of critical accolades. Entertainment Weekly exclaimed that McCue “represents a new generation of hard-bitten, country-inflected singer-songsmiths,” while Billboard heralded her as  “the virtual definition of ‘triple threat.’ A potent singer, thoughtful songwriter and tough guitarist.” Austin Chronicle critic Jim Caligiuri noted that “these days, there are very few women working the same territory as McCue, who can combine tough and vulnerable. That she does it with poise and a self-deprecating sense of humor makes her an artist worth seeing again.”
A few years ago, McCue moved to Nashville, a place she finds quite fertile for making music. “There’s more room to think, more creative space,” she explains, “but there are so many great musicians that it really raises the bar and makes you want to get better.” Last year, she self-produced a limited-distribution acoustic album, East of Electric, on which she played a variety of instruments. A terrific example of her folkier side, it stands as a quiet side-trip to the full-bodied rock ferocity that Broken Promise Land delivers.
“This is the kind of music I love playing,” says McCue talking enthusiastically about her Broken Promise Land songs. “There’s nothing I could look more forward to than playing a whole set of bluesy, rocky, swampy music.”
See the video for McCue’s “Don’t Go to Texas (Without Me)” right here.

Phil and the Osophers Debut Three New Vids

Phil and the Osophers unveil three distinctive videos to titillate the senses.  Members of the International Found Footage Society, the band used newsreels from the 1920s-1940s to create the video for Propeller Jet, which narrates the thrill of America's burgeoning love with the golden age of aviation.  Avant-garde Czech films were spliced together to create the breathtaking Well Being video, the last three minutes being a visual and auditory world unto itself.  Phil and the Osophers own travel footage is showcased in the video for Wandering Soul, where cities and climates and time blur together.


Phil and the Osophers have added a new member!  C. Lizbeth Marquez, a Spaniard by birth, has been added to play keyboard, percussion and background vocals.  Come see the expanded lineup at Brooklyn's Bruar Falls on February 15, in a show curated by Pop Jew, also known as Worst Cooks In America winner Rachel Coleman.  The band will also be doing a short tour in March, more dates are TBA.


Phil and the Osophers made their sixth full length album, Parallelo, available on CD and digitally this summer on Factual Fabrications, Phil’s own sustainable label.  The album finds the Brooklyn 3 piece developing into a jingly and jangly artistic indie rock while retaining carefully crafted and philosophical lyrics.  The band has a catalog of over 100 songs, and this new album is their most impressive work to date.
THE SONGS
The 11 song cycle of Parallelo explores parallels and coincidences in our understanding of meaning.  Phil has an interesting explanation for all of these songs- “Uses Of A Man deals with equal rights for all lovers”, Creators “is a thesis on God in the time of slavery”, Propeller Jet is “about suiting up with Amelia Earhart on her last flight” “Cheap Livin is an tribute to the rich folks who lost it all”  …Tie it together with an avant-garde indie pop sound and you have Parallelo.  It is this sort of innovation that makes Phil and the Osophers such a one-of-a-kind act.
The Brooklyn 3-piece have been on a tear recently: playing SXSW and the Northside Festival in Brooklyn, as well as playing shows with Art Brut, Passion Pit, Les Savy Fav, Le Loup, the Ruby Suns, and the Dodos.
In addition, all 3 members have written and published books of poetry and non-fiction through their own publishing house called ILOANBooks. Bass player Gus has published NINE books, Drummer Kevin has published two (including a new edition entitled "Winter Doesn't Care What Your Name Is"), and Phil has written his one book of poetry entitled "SHAKE! and other rattlers".  These books are usually free at shows and otherwise available upon request.

Collectors' Choice introduces CCM Live label: J. WInter, Hot Tuna, Poco. J. Denver

Collectors’ Choice Music, the label that’s come to be known for compelling and often unexpected CD reissues, has announced the launch of Collectors’ Choice Music Live, a new label devoted to releasing great live performances, most of which have never previously been commercially available.

The series will launch April 20 with the release of four CDs: Johnny Winter And’s Live at the Fillmore East 10/3/70; Poco’s Live at Columbia Studios, Hollywood 9/30/71; Hot Tuna’s Live at the New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA September 1969; and John Denver’s Live at Cedar Rapids, 12/10/87.

According to Collectors’ Choice Music GM Gordon Anderson, “After some 15 years of reissuing albums and compiling artists, we’re convinced that some of the biggest remaining veins of gold in the vaults are the live shows that a lot of labels recorded of their artists in their prime, particularly those who made their reputation with improvisational prowess and/or ever-changing set lists. These first four releases on our new Collectors’ Choice Music Live label certainly fit that description.”

Johnny Winter And — Live at the Fillmore East 10/3/70: To commemorate the release of his Johnny Winter And album, Texas blues guitarist/singer Johnny Winter played some shows at New York’s Fillmore East, some of which were compiled on 1971’s Live Johnny Winter And, a classic live album of the era to which this release makes a nice bookend. He had just formed a new band consisting of former member of the McCoys (“Hang on Sloopy”) including Rick Derringer on guitar, bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, and drummer Randy Zehringer. Although the McCoys were none too familiar with Winter’s work, they proved quick studies and entered the studio to make the album Johnny Winter And within three weeks. The New York Times reviewed the Fillmore show, citing “a considerable improvement over Winter’s previous band. Winter and [Derringer] played solos back at each other, simultaneously and in alternation.” The live album contains the Winter hit “Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo” and his take on Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61” alongside  blues classics “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” “It’s My Own Fault” and “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.”

•Poco —Live at Columbia Studios, Hollywood, 9/30/71: In the fall of ’71, Poco was arguably the most popular of the first generation country-rock bands. By then, their album Deliverin’ had cracked the Top 30 and Poco thanked its label, Epic Records, with a private showcase at the CBS Records’ Hollywood studio.  “We just set up as we would have for a small club,” recalls frontman Richie Furay, whose bandmates included guitarist/singer Paul Cotton (from the Illinois Speed Press), bassist Tim Schmidt (later of the Eagles), pedal steel player Rusty Young and drummer/vocalist George Grantham. By this time, Poco was evolving from country-rock towards an edgier rock sound. Says Furay, “Though we were innovators of the L.A. ‘country-rock’ sound, we weren’t going top be pigeonholed into being a one-sound band.” The 14 songs they performed for label employees that day were a solid cross-section of tunes that had appeared on its first four albums including the medley “Hard Luck Child/Child’s Claim to Fame/Pickin’ Up the Pieces,” plus “I Guess You Made It,” “A Man Like Me,” “Ol’ Forgiver,” “Heart That Music,” “Hurry Up,” “You Are the One” and more — an hour of music in all.

Hot Tuna: Live at the New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA September 1969: Hot Tuna was, of course, the blues band-within-a-band side project of Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady that outlasted the parent band and continues to this day. Interestingly, the duo’s first commercial album, which made it to #30 on the Billboard pop album chart, was recorded live at Berkeley’s New Orleans House, but a lot more material was taped than was released. Much of it is issued for the first time on this 68-minute CD, which consists entirely of previously unreleased recordings. Explaining why they recorded their debut album was recorded live, Kaukoken says, “We tend to go places . . . and you lose a bit of that when you work in the studio. And it was cheaper too!” Of the 13 songs on this CD, six — “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” “Winin’ Boy Blues,” “Uncle Sam Blues,” “I Know You Rider,” “Don’t You Leave Me Here” and “How Long Blues” — were included on the first Hot Tuna album, though the versions here are selected from different performances than the ones used on that LP.  Other songs include Blind Boy Fuller’s “Keep On Truckin’,” Rev. Gary Davis’ “Keep Our Lamps Trimmed and Burning” and “Candy Man,” and Blind Blake’s “That’ll Never Happen No More.”

John Denver: Live at Cedar Rapids, December 10, 1987: What is the sound of an audience eating out of the palm of a performer’s hand? Utter silence. And that’s what was heard during the two-hour-plus Iowa concert that comprises this two-CD set.  By 1987, Denver’s days as a Top 40 hitmaker were a decade in the past, but he remained a solid concert draw as a beloved, thoroughly American artist with a permanent place in the history of pop. It says much about Denver’s songwriting that, with the exception of half a dozen songs on which he’s accompanied by string quartet, he delivers two hours of solo music just his voice and 12-string guitar. The hits are here but so are new songs, some early-repertoire nuggets and a well-chosen cover or two.  Included are “Farewell Andromeda (Welcome to My Morning,” ”Take Me Home Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Annie’s Song,” “Love Is the Master,” “Mother Nature’s Son,” “Blow Up Your TV (Spanish Pipe Dream),” “Shanghai Breezes,” “Ohio” and more.