life

The Jam Stampede Remembers Ron “Pigpen” McKernan

The Jam Stampede remembers Pigpen and will do a healthy dose of Pigpen on the day of his birthday, September 8. Plenty of Dead tunes will abound and we do one more spin around the sun for Pig.

Starting a rock band was actually Ron McKernan's idea, and he was its first front man, delivering stinging harmonica, keyboards, and beautiful blues vocals in the early years of the Warlocks/Grateful Dead. Nicknamed "Pigpen" for his funky approach to life and sanitation, he was born into a family that was generally conventional, except for the fact that his (Caucasian) father was an R & B disc jockey. And that sound put Pig's life on the rails of the blues from the time he was 12. Liquor, Lightnin' Hopkins, the harmonica and some barbecue - it was an unusual life for a white kid from San Carlos, but it was Pig's life.

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Mexicali Live

Show Date: September 8, 2011

Tickets : $8.00 in advance

Doors: 6:00pm

Show: 8:00pm

Band website

201-833-0011

1409 Queen Anne Road

Teaneck, NJ 07666

Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers w/ Jon McLaughlin - Fox Theatre

Boulder Weekly & Z2 Entertainment are proud to present Stephen Kellogg And The Sixers with Jon McLaughlin and Graham Colton at the Fox Theatre on Thursday, December 1st, 2011.  Tickets go on sale Friday, August 5th for $16.00 in advance & $18.00 day of show.

Massachusetts rockers Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers, Kit “Goose” Karlson (keys, bass, vocals), Brian “Boots” Factor (drums, vocals) and Sam “Steamer” Getz (guitars, vocals)—  return this fall with Gift Horse, their second studio release on Vanguard Records, available on October 11th. Produced by Mark Weinberg, Gift Horse brings the rich legacy of rock & roll into the present tense with 11 real-life narratives about love, family, and what it means to be an American today.

Stephen Kellogg chose to title the album Gift Horse for a clear-cut thematic reason. “There’s the old saying, ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,’” Kellogg says, “which translated as showing appreciation for what you have.’ That’s exactly what this record’s about - appreciation that I have a job right now in 2011, with all that’s going on economically in our country; appreciation for my family, because there’s nothing that I value more; and appreciation of America in general.”

Nowhere is this theme more apparent than on the first single and opening track, “Gravity.” Kellogg writes, “Gravity you’re knocking me out/ You’re shakin’ me up till I twist and I shout/ Oh, Gravity it’s okay in the clouds/ But I love it right here with my feet on the ground.”

Leading up to the release of the album, SK6ERS embark on a North American headline tour with Jon McLaughlin beginning September 27th in Birmingham, AL. Additional stops include Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

With Gift Horse Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers make a bold statement with a simple message. If you are ready to embrace the core values of life wrapped in timeless rock & roll then this is the record you’ve been waiting for.

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Stephen Kellogg And The Sixers

with Jon McLaughlin & Graham Colton

Fox Theatre

Thursday, December 1st

Doors:  7:00 pm

Show Time:  7:30 pm

Mason Jennings at Boulder Theater | 10.27.11

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Mason Jennings with The Pines at the Boulder Theater on Thursday, October 27th, 2011.  Tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 19h for $22.50 in advance and $25.00 the day of the show.

As one grows into adulthood, remaining focused on one’s pursuits gets increasingly difficult. The musician becomes a band mate navigating the creative energies of those around them. He becomes a boyfriend, a husband, a businessman. Life becomes multifarious, and the pressure to not let the threads of a chaotic life unravel can cause strain on any relationship. With his new album Minnesota, Mason Jennings crafts a collage of love trying to survive the transition into being a grown-up in a complex world.

For instance, “Bitter Heart,” which manages to be simultaneously plaintive and hopeful. The protagonist recognizes the breach of faith and the sense of estrangement in the relationship, but sings tenderly of rapprochement. To Mason, the central line in this song and the album is “Our world is filled with only what we see/Can we see love now.” Mason says, “I have come to the understanding that the way that we feel inside is the most important thing, and that we have a say in that.” “Clutch” looks back wistfully at a love before the demands of adulthood came knocking. At the end of the song, Mason sings that “Maybe we could work it out, we could live in a dream, live in a dream.”  The song ends in an instrumental break that leads directly into “Witches’ Dream,” a fabulist romp that juxtaposes raw lust with fairy tale imagery.

Musically, Mason paints from a more varied palette than ever.  The piano is featured more prominently than his previous albums. “The piano seemed to fit the emotional core of the album,” he explains. “I felt that it was important to begin and end the album with piano.” Mason played almost all of the instruments on the album, the one exception being “Well Of Love,” a Perez Prado-esque number that features his friends in The Living Room, the side project of Jack Johnson drummer/percussionist Adam Topol. Friend Jason Schwartzman adds additional piano and background vocals on “Raindrops.”

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Mason Jennings

with The Pines

Boulder Theater

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Doors: 7:00 pm

Show Time: 8:00 pm

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.

Little Bird From Kasey Chambers Out Today!

Sugar Hill Records is excited to announce the release of Little Bird from one of Australia’s most accomplished singer-songwriters, Kasey Chambers.  The 14 song collection – her first solo project in four years - is the result of an outpouring of new material from Kasey written within a hectic two week period in February of 2010, and Chambers is confident in calling Little Bird the best recording of her career.

Recorded a month later in brother Nash’s Foggy Mountain Studio Little Bird features an all-star band that Kasey dubs The Millionaires; John Watson on drums, Jeff McCormack on bass, Shane Nicholson, Jim Mogine (Midnight Oil) and Kasey’s dad Bill Chambers playing all manner of guitars and stringed instruments.  Guest vocalists Missy Higgins, Camille Te Nahu, Patty Griffin and more accompany Kasey on various tracks.

“These guys are some of my favorite musicians and singers, including the backbone of my touring band, so there is a familiarity and intuitive understanding of where this music should go,” says Kasey. Nothing in the recording process sounds forced or labored; every track sounds fresh, positive, exciting. "When the songs are that fresh, there’s something magical about taking them into the studio and bringing them to life, right then and there."

The new album, which is already certified Gold in Australia, represents a diverse spread of musical styles from Kasey’s glittering career, which has reaped multiple ARIA and APRA awards, Number One hits and multi-platinum sales in Australia and around the world.

Despite the upbeat and optimistic vibe of Little Bird, Kasey notes that it also reflects on a young woman’s insecurities.  “I started remembering how I felt when I wrote “Not Pretty Enough” and comparing it to how I feel now. I was wondering how that sentiment would come out if I revisited it,” says Kasey. “I still have moments like that, of feeling insecure and unsure, but I feel differently about that now. I feel stronger and more powerful, not willing to compromise so much.  This record is like the strong, secure version of ‘Not Pretty Enough’.”

Kasey excitedly rates Little Bird as the best recording of her career. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited by a bunch of songs. They all came out completely differently. I was back in that same frame of mind that I had for the early albums. And it made me feel so confident. I was so absolutely in love with all these songs, I could not wait to make them come to life.”

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's New Live EP Under the Big Top Vol. 1 Available Now

The iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (NGDB), often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, released their new live EP called Under the Big Top Vol. 1 this week. The EP features six fan favorites performed live including "Mr. Bojangles," "Bless the Broken Road" and "Fishin' in the Dark," which was recently certified GOLD by the RIAA for digital sales. Recorded in 2010 at the band's performance at Big Top Chautauqua in Wisconsin, the EP perfectly captures a live experience with NGDB.

"It's a little slice of Dirt...a combo platter of hits, fan-favorites and even some music from our latest CD, Speed of Life," said band member Jeff Hanna. "We recorded it last summer at one of our favorite venues, Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wisconsin. We had such a blast we knew it had to be shared with the fans!"

Available now and featured for digital download at iTunes and in the band's online store, Under the Big Top Vol. 1 is a must-have for any Nitty Gritty fan. Physical albums of this new Live EP are available now, only at nittygritty.com or a live NGDB show.

With multi-platinum and gold records, a string of top ten hits, multiple Grammy, IBMA, CMA Awards and nominations, and recent GOLD Digital Certification, the band's accolades only continue to accumulate. Showing no signs of slowing down, NGDB is currently on an extensive North American Tour in support of their most recent release, the critically acclaimed album Speed of Life (2009, Sugar Hill Records). Proving the "circle won't be unbroken," the band is celebrating another HUGE milestone this year, over four decades of touring and making music!

For a full list of tour dates visit www.nittygritty.com

Sugar Hill Records To Release Little Bird From Kasey Chambers

Sugar Hill Records is excited to announce the July 12th release of Little Bird from one of Australia’s most accomplished singer-songwriters, Kasey Chambers.  The 14 song collection – her first solo project in four years - is the result of an outpouring of new material from Kasey written within a hectic two week period in February of 2010, and Chambers is confident in calling Little Bird the best recording of her career.

Recorded a month later in brother Nash’s Foggy Mountain Studio Little Bird features an all-star band that Kasey dubs The Millionaires; John Watson on drums, Jeff McCormack on bass, Shane Nicholson, Jim Mogine (Midnight Oil) and Kasey’s dad Bill Chambers playing all manner of guitars and stringed instruments.  Guest vocalists Missy Higgins, Camille Te Nahu, Patty Griffin and more accompany Kasey on various tracks.

“These guys are some of my favorite musicians and singers, including the backbone of my touring band, so there is a familiarity and intuitive understanding of where this music should go,” says Kasey. Nothing in the recording process sounds forced or labored; every track sounds fresh, positive, exciting. "When the songs are that fresh, there’s something magical about taking them into the studio and bringing them to life, right then and there."

The new album, which is already certified Gold in Australia, represents a diverse spread of musical styles from Kasey’s glittering career, which has reaped multiple ARIA and APRA awards, Number One hits and multi-platinum sales in Australia and around the world.

Despite the upbeat and optimistic vibe of Little Bird, Kasey notes that it also reflects on a young woman’s insecurities.  “I started remembering how I felt when I wrote “Not Pretty Enough” and comparing it to how I feel now. I was wondering how that sentiment would come out if I revisited it,” says Kasey. “I still have moments like that, of feeling insecure and unsure, but I feel differently about that now. I feel stronger and more powerful, not willing to compromise so much.  This record is like the strong, secure version of ‘Not Pretty Enough’.”

Kasey excitedly rates Little Bird as the best recording of her career. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited by a bunch of songs. They all came out completely differently. I was back in that same frame of mind that I had for the early albums. And it made me feel so confident. I was so absolutely in love with all these songs, I could not wait to make them come to life.”

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Celebrates First Gold Digital Certification

Over two decades after its release, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s (NGDB) No. 1 hit single “Fishin’ in the Dark” is still setting records.  The classic song has been certified GOLD by the RIAA for digital sales of over 500,000 copies.  “Fishin’ in the Dark” was a monster hit for NGDB dominating the No. 1 spot on the country charts in both the US and Canada in 1987.  It was first released digitally in 2009.

“’Fishin’ in the Dark’ seems to have a life of its own and has certainly become a signature song for us over the years,” said band member Jeff Hanna. “We love that this song has become a summer anthem and continues to appeal to new audiences year after year.”

Often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, NGDB continues to add to their already legendary status.  With multi-platinum and gold records, a string of top ten hits, multiple Grammy, CMA, ACM and IBMA Awards and nominations, and now a GOLD Digital Certification, the band's accolades continue to accumulate. Showing no signs of slowing down, NGDB is currently on an extensive North American Tour.  The band is celebrating another HUGE milestone this year, over four decades of touring and making music!

NGDB is currently on the road in support of their most recent release, the critically acclaimed album Speed of Life (2009, Sugar Hill Records). For a full list of tour dates, visit www.nittygritty.com.

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Tour Dates:

05/07/2011 - Fort Yates, ND - Prairie Knights Casino & Resort
06/03/2011 - Scottown, OH - Appalachian Uprising Bluegrass

06/04/2011 - Kent, OH - The Kent Stage

06/16/2011 - Kettering, OH - Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts

06/17/2011 - Louisville, KY - Kentucky Country Day School Theater
06/18/2011 - Springfield, MO - Show Me Music Festival
06/19/2011 - Littleton, CO - Hudson Gardens and Event Center
06/24/2011 - Manhattan, KS - The Country Stampede Tuttle Creek State Park

06/25/2011 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
06/26/2011 - Laytonville, CA - Kate Wolf Memorial Music

07/03/2011 - Mountain View, AR - Ozark Folk Center

07/08/2011 - Huntley, MT - Huntley Homesteader Days Festival

07/09/2011 - Libby, MT - CARD Summer Concert

07/24/2011 - Twin Lakes, WI - Country Thunder USA

07/27/2011 - Minot, ND - North Dakota State Fair

07/30/2011 - Sweet Home, OR - Oregon Jamboree

Callers Announce 2011 US Summer Tour

Ryan and Sara met Don at a show at Melvin's, a bar on St. Claude in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. Ryan and Sara had just begun writing and recording songs together on an old 4-track with a mic hanging from the blade of a ceiling fan in the middle of that stifling sweaty summer, but they would soon part ways and leave New Orleans. Over the next couple of years they relocated to Providence together and later settled in Brooklyn where Don had also settled after Katrina.
Life of Love is the first collection of songs Callers wrote and recorded exclusively in New York as a three- piece. Naturally the band's sound grew in volume in response to the volume of the city; however, they held on to what makes them so consistently affecting: their raw spartan style, anchored by Sara's sensually tough vocals, and Ryan and Don's Southern-honed chops as multi-instrumentalists.
The album started with the band's cover of Wire's "Heartbeat", and the idea of creating something simple and cathartic. Using borrowed amps and mics, in bedrooms and in studios, and by the grace of their good friends, Callers recorded Life of Love in intense spurts over the course of a year. Unlike the experimental ballads on their debut Fortune, the new songs pulse with gritty urgency, colored by the sounds of damaged gear and the earnest spirit of a middle-school gospel choir. The result is an album stripped to the core, an expression of the inexpressible space between us and the places we inhabit and the people we share those places with.
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US Tour Dates
6/4 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY ^&
7/6 - Club Passim - Cambridge, MA
7/7 - One Longfellow Square - Portland, ME
7/8 - Casa Del Popolo - Montreal, QC
7/9 - Cisco Systems Bluesfest - Ottawa, ON
7/10 - The Monkey House - Winooski, VT
7/23 - Hillside Festival - Guelph, ON
7/24 - Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH%
7/26 - Brillobox - Pittsburgh, PA%
7/27 - Metro Gallery - Baltimore, MD
7/28 - World Cafe Live Upstairs - Philadelphia, PA%

^ Yellow Ostrich

& Wildbirds & Peacedrums

% Nat Baldwin

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.