voice

Suzy Bogguss Revives Folk Favorites with New Release

Suzy Bogguss had a revelation on stage with Garrison Keillor in 2008. Everyone loves to sing along on “Red River Valley” – except the children who somehow don't know the song. Folk songs are the scrapbook of the American experience, but as music education fades from our public schools, she worried; these beautiful melodies are in danger of being overlooked. She resolved to record these timeless songs in an updated but reverent way – so that everyone can sing along on “Red River Valley.”

And who better than the golden throated Suzy? The platinum selling songstress already has a full bookshelf of Grammy and CMA awards and now with the release of American Folk Songbook she can put her own book up there too. The CD and companion Songbook will be released on July 18, 2011 at all Cracker Barrel Country Stores followed by a wide release to other fine retail and digital outlets on August 2, 2011.

As Suzy writes in the introduction to the book: “Music has always been my purest joy even as a child. One of my favorite memories is my grade-school music teacher pounding on the piano and leading the class in rousing renditions of folk songs from all around the world. In the summer of 2008 I toured with the brilliant and engaging Garrison Keillor. The energy that passed between the audience and Garrison was overwhelming at times. Several thousand people standing and singing together—old songs, hymns, the Beatles and the Everly Brothers. People of all ages, sharing music. Ahhh, pure joy."

But Bogguss was not content to present the songs as dusty museum pieces, instead she chose to breath new life into them with contemporary arrangements and a crack squad of Nashville's acoustic A-Listers. Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Pat Bergeson, Charlie Chadwick and Jeff Taylor all join the band for Suzy's self-produced project. Ultimately though it's the voice that lovingly weaves through the guitars and mandolins to find the new in these old songs. As John Lomax III writes in the forward to the book, 'Prepare yourself for enchantment! ...This work is, in a word, delightful!"

Suzy says she modeled the songbook after her "good old 5th grade songbook." The hardcover, 96-page book is filled with illustrations, fascinating historical stories about the songs, easy to read sheet music arrangements for piano, voice and guitar as well as personal insights and anecdotes from Bogguss. Her intent from the beginning was to make the book attractive to music lovers and musicians at every level. Again from her introduction: "that way, younger generations could share these slowly fading gems with their families and tell their stories of how they learned a few chords on the guitar or a couple of favorites to play at family gatherings.”

Cracker Barrel, with its devotion to families and appreciation for authentic Americana was the obvious choice for the initial release.

American Folk Songbook is the natural progression of an artist who has demonstrated skill and passion for all types of music in her career. Songs like “Aces,” “Drive South,” “Someday Soon,” “Outbound Plane” and "Letting Go" took her to the top of the country music charts. Along the way she won raves from critics and peers including winning a GRAMMY in 2005 for Traditional Folk Album, the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1992 and album of the Year Award in 1994.

2007’s Billboard Jazz Chart topping Sweet Danger, the universally praised album, Swing recorded in 2003 with Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel and Simpatico, her beloved collaboration with Chet Atkins showed the world Bogguss was willing to both embrace tradition while continuing to grow and challenge herself as an artist. However, it is an appreciation for tradition that really shines through on American Folk Songbook.  The album is filled with songs that are the very fabric of American musical history and Bogguss reclaims this history and revives it with a fresh and beautiful take on classics like “Shenandoah,” “Wayfaring Stranger,” “Ol’ Dan Tucker,”  “Beautiful Dreamer” and of course, "Red River Valley." Everybody sing along!

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Upcoming Appearances:
Suzy is currently on tour in the UK with Gretchen Peters and Matraca Berg as part of Wine, Women & Song 2011. When you put these three critically acclaimed, award winning singer-songwriters with years of friendship on stage together you can expect an evening of laughter and exceptional music. For more on the tour visit www.suzyboggus.com. The ladies will be appearing on BBC 1 Breakfast on June 7 and they will make a special appearance on BBC Radio 2 on June 22 when the network turns its schedule upside down for 2DAY – a 12 hour on air celebration of everything the station has to offer.
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US Tour Dates:
07/06/2011 - Boothbay Harbor, ME - Opera House at Boothbay Harbor

07/07/2011 - Ogunquit, ME - Jonathan's

07/08/2011 - White River Junction, VT - Tupelo Music Hall

07/09/2011 - Londonderry, NH - Tupelo Music Hall

07/10/2011 - South Hiram, ME - Ossipee Valley Fair

07/19/2011 - Lake City, CO - Sportsman's BBQ Station & Backyark

07/22/2011 - Moses Lake, WA  - Moses Lake Summer Series

07/29/2011 - Toronto, ON - Hugh's Room

07/30/2011 - New York, NY - City Winery

07/31/2011 - Norfolk, CT - Infinity Hall

08/13/2011 - Logan, UT - Cache County Fair

08/20/2011 - Dubois, WY - Dubois High Country Cowboy Gathering

08/25/2011 - Kent, OH - The Kent Stage

08/26/2011 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark

09/02/2011 - Highlands, NC - Highlands Performing Arts Center

09/03/2011 - Clinton, AR - World Champion Chuck Wagon Races

09/22/2011 - New Hope, PA - New Hope Winery

09/23/2011 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head Tavern

09/24/2011 - Staunton, VA - Fortune Williams Festival

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.

100 Years of Robert Johnson streets Tuesday, March 1

May 8th, 2011 marks the 100-year anniversary of blues legend Robert Johnson’s birthday. In celebration of the most influential bluesman that ever lived, the Big Head Blues Club – an ad-hoc collaboration featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm – has been touring coast to coast playing the material of Johnson. The tour, which has been garnering rave reviews, wraps up on March 8, just after the studio album, titled 100 Years of Robert Johnson, hits the streets (March 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records).

100 Years of Robert Johnson is a stirring collection featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century. In addition to the above-mentioned artists, 100 Years of Robert Johnson includes performances by blues greats B.B. King and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keeper of the blues flame Ruthie Foster. The album was recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011.

For Todd Park Mohr, who founded Big Head Todd and The Monsters with Rob Squires (bass) and Brian Nevin (drums) nearly a quarter-century ago, the project has served to re-introduce him to the iconic music of Johnson, whose songs provided many of the pioneering blues-rock bands—Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Cream, Canned Heat, etc.—with some of their most popular material.


100 Years of Robert Johnson features several inspired takes on Johnson’s best known compositions. For Mohr and Goldsmith, the challenge in recording the tribute was to give new voice to Johnson’s music, to avoid copying the countless cover versions already extant. “In so many of the takes on Robert’s stuff, you don’t get the depth of emotion that’s in the lyrics and in Robert’s voice. That’s one thing that Chris and the band and my voice were able to bring to it. Chris had great ideas about how to represent the stuff, and all the musicians were just so good at what they did, the unique arrangements just came naturally.”

Robert Johnson’s story is the stuff of myth and legend alike, and his music has fascinated blues fans and musicians for more than seven decades. Born in Mississippi in 1911, Johnson recorded only 29 songs, all during the years 1936 and ’37. His unique guitar style and haunting vocal phrasing, and the evocative, often mysterious nature of his lyrics, made him a popular artist during his short time in the spotlight and has continued to intrigue since. A persistent tale that as a young man Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become a more proficient musician has been attached to his biography since his untimely death at age 27—the alleged victim of a poisoning incident at the hands of the jealous husband of a woman with whom Johnson had been flirting.

A hundred years after the birth of its greatest artist, it looks like the blues itself is about to be reborn.

BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS tour featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm is as follows:

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Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center
Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology
Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB
Feb. 04 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre
Feb. 05 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theatre
Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M
Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall
Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre
Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU
Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill
Feb. 17 New Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore
Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music
Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre
Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College
Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater
March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino

March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center

March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall

March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre

Celebrating "100 Years of Robert Johnson" -Streets 3/1/11

How do you throw a 100th birthday bash for the most influential bluesman that ever lived? If you’re Big Head Todd and The Monsters, you gather some of the greatest living blues musicians and record 100 Years of Robert Johnson (March 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records), a stirring new tribute album featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century.

Big Head Blues Club, as the ad hoc ensemble is calling itself, features, in addition to the Colorado-based quartet—guitarist and vocalist Todd Park Mohr, bassist Rob Squires, drummer Brian Nevin and keyboardist Jeremy Lawton—special guests, blues legends B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keepers of the blues flame Ruthie Foster, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm.

Recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011, and supported by a national tour (“Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts”) featuring many of the participants in the sessions. A complete list of the tour dates is included below.

For Todd Park Mohr, who founded Big Head Todd and The Monsters with Squires and Nevin nearly a quarter-century ago, the project has served to re-introduce him to the iconic music of Johnson, whose songs provided many of the pioneering blues-rock bands—Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Cream, Canned Heat, etc.—with some of their most popular material.

100 Years of Robert Johnson features several inspired takes on Johnson’s best known compositions. For Mohr and Goldsmith, the challenge in recording the tribute was to give new voice to Johnson’s music, to avoid copying the countless cover versions already extant. “In so many of the takes on Robert’s stuff, you don’t get the depth of emotion that’s in the lyrics and in Robert’s voice. That’s one thing that Chris and the band and my voice were able to bring to it. Chris had great ideas about how to represent the stuff, and all the musicians were just so good at what they did, the unique arrangements just came naturally.”

Robert Johnson’s story is the stuff of myth and legend alike, and his music has fascinated blues fans and musicians for more than seven decades. Born in Mississippi in 1911, Johnson recorded only 29 songs, all during the years 1936 and ’37. His unique guitar style and haunting vocal phrasing, and the evocative, often mysterious nature of his lyrics, made him a popular artist during his short time in the spotlight and has continued to intrigue since. A persistent tale that, as a young man, Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become a more proficient musician has been attached to his biography since his untimely death at age 27—the alleged victim of a poisoning incident at the hands of the jealous husband of a woman with whom Johnson had been flirting.

A hundred years after the birth of its greatest artist, it looks like the blues itself is about to be reborn.

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The complete list of “Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts” tour stops is as follows:

Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom

Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center

Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology

Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB

Feb. 04 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre

Feb. 05 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theatre

Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M

Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall

Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre

Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU

Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill

Feb. 17 North Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore

Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music

Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse

Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre

Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College

Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater

March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino

March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center

March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall

March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre

Voice Of The Wetlands All Stars @ Boulder Theater | 2/3/11

Voice of the Wetlands was established in 2004 as a volunteer-based non-profit, focused on driving awareness and developing educational outlets/programs about the loss of the wetlands in southern Louisiana. VOW was started by musician Tab Benoit who was born and raised in Houma, LA - one of the communities born of the wetlands. Tab along with Rueben Williams and a coalition of local artists and business leaders recognized the urgency to save their homes and the culture of southern Louisiana.

Since its inception, VOW has hosted a number of efforts including an annual free, 3-day festival since 2004, and a bold initiative of taking over 50 New Orleans musicians to perform at the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. In addition, VOW has been represented to the federal government by Tab during sessions on Capitol Hill in 2008. The sessions focused on the urgency of restoring and the need to preserve the Louisiana wetlands.

Voice of the Wetlands takes an active role in driving awareness to restore the wetlands from a local to a national level. The organization prides itself in maintaining a mission that addresses all aspects, causes and solutions.



Voice of the Wetlands is the only wetlands restoration and preservation organization comprised of members who were born and raised and continue to live in the communities created from Louisiana's wetlands.

More Info / Buy Tickets

Sweet Honey In The Rock at the Boulder Theater

Founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973 at the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company, Sweet Honey In The Rock, internationally renowned a cappella ensemble, has been a vital and innovative presence in the music culture of Washington, D.C., and in communities of conscience around the world.

From Psalm 81:16 comes the promise to a people of being fed by honey out of the rock. Honey - an ancient substance, sweet and nurturing. Rock - an elemental strength, enduring the winds of time. The metaphor of sweet honey in the rock captures completely these African American women whose repertoire is steeped in the sacred music of the Black church, the clarion calls of the civil rights movement, and songs of the struggle for justice everywhere.

Rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music out of the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions, Sweet Honey In The Rock possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of Blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, Hip Hop, ancient lullabies, and jazz improvisation. Sweet Honey's collective voice, occasionally accompanied by hand percussion instruments, produces a sound filled with soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms.

In the best and in the hardest of times, Sweet Honey In The Rock has come in song to communities across the U.S., and around the world raising her voice in hope, love, justice, peace, and resistance. Sweet Honey invites her audiences to open their minds and hearts and think about who we are and how we treat each other, our fellow creatures who share this planet, and of course, the planet itself.

The 2008-2009 season finds Sweet Honey celebrating her 35th birthday. What a year it has been and what a year it will be!

Sweet Honey's latest release, Experience...101 was a 2008 Grammy Award nominee. After attending the awards ceremony in Los Angeles, and walking the red carpet, the group summed up the experience in one word: amazing. The excitement continued as Sweet Honey was asked to compose new material in celebration of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater's 50th anniversary. Together these two artistic treasures of the African American experience are performing this once-in-a-lifetime collaboration throughout the United States.

Sweet Honey In The Rock is Ysaye Maria Barnwell, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson, and Shirley Childress Saxton.

More Info / Buy Tickets

Voice of the Wetlands All Stars @ Boulder Theater

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Voice of the Wetlands All Stars Ft. Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne, Cyril Neville, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Jumpin Johnny Samsone & Waylon Thibodeaux at the Boulder Theater on Thursday February 3rd.

Voice of the Wetlands was established in 2004 as a volunteer-based non-profit, focused on driving awareness and developing educational outlets/programs about the loss of the wetlands in southern Louisiana. VOW was started by musician Tab Benoit who was born and raised in Houma, LA - one of the communities born of the wetlands. Tab along with Rueben Williams and a coalition of local artists and business leaders recognized the urgency to save their homes and the culture of southern Louisiana.

Since its inception, VOW has hosted a number of efforts including an annual free, 3-day festival since 2004, and a bold initiative of taking over 50 New Orleans musicians to perform at the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. In addition, VOW has been represented to the federal government by Tab during sessions on Capitol Hill in 2008. The sessions focused on the urgency of restoring and the need to preserve the Louisiana wetlands.

Voice of the Wetlands takes an active role in driving awareness to restore the wetlands from a local to a national level. The organization prides itself in maintaining a mission that addresses all aspects, causes and solutions.

Voice of the Wetlands is the only wetlands restoration and preservation organization comprised of members who were born and raised and continue to live in the communities created from Louisiana's wetlands.

Kristy Lee Announces NYC Debut

After tearing up the South on her latest tour, Kristy Lee takes the phrase of "Go Big or Go Home" to heart for her New York City debut.
On Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 Kristy Lee will go on a 1-Night Only THREE Performance Bender to show NYC music lovers her Folk-Soul Spunk with two acoustic sets, & one guest appearance.
WHO IS KRISTY LEE?
That mighty rumble you hear coming out of Alabama is none other than Kristy Lee. Her voice like thunder, rolling in before a sweet southern rain, instantly washes the world away. Kristy Lee's unique rhythms are absolutely nourishing, clean, pure, and unapologetic. This woman means it when she takes her voice out to play! This Alabama girl can pack a house in any state. Tough luck sticking her in a category, because when it comes to writing songs, she has no limits!
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KRISTY LEE TOUR DATES
Nov 18: Club Tribute - New Orleans, LA
Nov 19: Sue Ellen’s - Dallas, TX
Nov 20: Sadie's Nightclub - Lafayette, LA
Dec 2: The Bowery Electric - New York, NY [7PM]
Dec 2: Joe's Pub [guest musician during BITCH's show] - New York, NY [9:30PM]

Dec 2: Rockwood Music Hall - New York, NY [12AM]

Bobby Long To Release Debut Album "A Winter Tale"

British singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobby Long's anticipated debut studio album A WINTER TALE, produced by Grammy-winner Liam Watson (White Stripes) will be released February 1st, 2011 on ATO Records.
Currently residing in New York City, the 24-year old Long has been writing finely-crafted songs since taking up the guitar at age 17; from then on he’s been creating memorable songs inhabited by hauntingly poetic lyrics.  After relocating to London from Wiltshire in the countryside of South West England, he became a fixture at London’s open-mic nights while attending London Metropolitan University where he studied Music in Film and wrote his thesis on The Social Impact of American Folk Music.
Bobby quickly established himself on the local open mic circuit, finding his voice and beginning to develop songs characterized by catchy melodies paired with elusive, imaginative lyrics. As Long became more entrenched in London's burgeoning open mic circuit, he met actor and fellow musician Robert Pattinson, who would go on to sing “Let Me Sign” (co-written by Long and friend Marcus Foster) over a crucial dramatic scene in the blockbuster film Twilight. The inclusion of the song in the film’s soundtrack gave Long a head start on a legion of fans. It is Bobby Long's intensely personal songs, vocal prowess, and heart-wrenching soulfulness that resonate with audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, creating a loyal following through constant touring over the past two years. In 2009, Long played 160 shows in seven months in seven countries.
A WINTER TALE merges band power with acoustic rawness, featuring Nona Hendryx (LaBelle) on backing vocals on "Penance Fire Blues," B. J. Cole (Elton John, Sting) on pedal steel, Icelandic singer Lay Low on several tracks, and other top-drawer musicians. And by way of continued extensive touring, Bobby Long will be bringing A WINTER TALE and what has been called his "tapestry of tales" to the ever-growing audiences seduced by his compelling voice, musicianship and charm. Bobby will be headlining a US club tour January - April 2011, dates are TBA. Be sure to check out the exclusive Burberry Acoustic performance of "Dead & Done." The studio version will appear on the forthcoming album.
Check out Grateful Web's interview with Bobby Long.