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Sarabeth Tucek Streams New Album On AOL

Sarabeth Tucek is set to release her sophomore LP, Get Well Soon, on May 24th on Ungawa Records. It’s a stunning record that, although not a concept album as such, forms a narrative based around the death of Sarabeth’s father, or as she beautifully describes it “an impressionistic rendering of a time ruled by grief”. The 12 tracks were “sequenced and resequenced for weeks” in order for the story to emerge and the end result sees not one wasted word or unnecessary note; all we’re left with is “just pure feeling”.
Sarabeth was born to a psychiatrist and a psychologist in Miami, but grew up in New York. She was a latecomer to music, her first calling being acting. However, after a few years in Hollywood, her singing and songwriting was encouraged by people on the music scene she fell in with. She first made an impression singing backing vocals on Smog’s 2003 album Supper and then in the film ‘Dig!’, where she sings a song she had just written called "Something For You". The Brian Jonestown Massacre went on to cover the song (retitled "Seer"), but Sarabeth’s own version became her debut single, on Sonic Cathedral, back in February 2007.
This stark and simple song won her legions of fans and her self-titled debut album followed a few months later (on the Echo label) to rapturous reviews. Produced by Ethan Johns and Luther Russell, its understated style was an inspiration to a number of singer-songwriters who followed in Sarabeth’s wake, including Laura Marling, who approached Johns to produce I Speak Because I Can after hearing it.
However, despite everything seemingly going so right, at home everything was going wrong. “Some very bad things happened during the first record and after,” recalls Sarabeth. “It was as if all that had ever troubled me, hurt me, came back just as I was embarking on what should’ve been the happiest time of my life. It all came back and said, ‘Not so fast...’
“I don’t think my mind could handle all the good coming its way. It was unfamiliar terrain and I didn’t know how to traverse It. Predictably, my drinking got out of control and that led to a couple car accidents, jail and legal troubles.I wanted to leave LA anyway, but now I felt I sort of had to. I hoped that by coming back home to New York I would be able to forge some kind of redemptive break from the past. To forgive myself.”
The move has informed much of the music on Get Well Soon. The warmth of the West Coast has gone, replaced by a much rawer sound, all recorded over an intensive 15-day period in a basement in Southampton, Pennsylvania. “We recorded this record in a house where we also lived,” Sarabeth explains. “My friends Robert and Peter from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recorded ‘Howl’ there. It’s owned by the Nicgorski family who are all very musical: Billy, who offered me the basement, and his brother have played in lots of bands, their sister Maria sings on ‘State I Am In’ and their father Wally spent his mornings on the front porch singing in his rocking chair. Making a record where I am singing to and about my father and seeing and hearing their dad out there every morning served up a pretty strong and bittersweet feeling for me.”
“I think we managed to capture a unique mood down in that basement,” adds producer Luther Russell. “As guests in someone’s home we got a feeling that might not have happened in a regular studio. Sarabeth wanted to be somewhere totally unfamiliar; the material was incredibly personal to her, so she had to feel right about where she did it. My job was to capture that feeling, and fast. The plan was to mix it in LA, but it turned out that all the magic was there in the rough mixes I did as we went along – so that is what you hear. I think that’s why it’s such an immediate record, because it really was completed in those two weeks... but with a lifetime of preparation, of course.”
The rawness of the recording reflects the subject matter and provides the perfect accompaniment to Sarabeth’s voice, which seems stronger, more confident and more crystalline than ever, like Karen Dalton or a less histrionic Cat Power, as she deftly conveys her grief with an eloquent, understated majesty. The musical reference points of the first album – Neil Young, Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Big Star – are still there, but somehow amplified, and Sarabeth is definitely not looking towards the current music scene for inspiration. “It’s odd how placid a lot of music seems now; so washed out in sound and feeling,” she says. “It’s like antidepressant music to take antidepressants to. I don’t really give a shit. I am more likely to buy a new book now than a new record.”
This would explain the number of literary references on Get Well Soon. The opening track "The Wound And The Bow" is named after a book of essays by Edmund Wilson, in which Sarabeth discovered and subsequently became obsessed with the myth of Philoctetes, a play by Sophocles in which the protagonist suffers a wound so grotesque that he is left alone on an island to live in a cave and tend to his injuries. The title of "Exit Ghost" was taken from the Philip Roth novel, but he appropriated it from ‘Hamlet’, where it is written as a stage direction. “The scene when Hamlet sees his father’s ghost became lodged in my head,” explains Sarabeth. “And his subsequent madness I understood in a more personal way.”
The narrative ends with the title track and a resolution of sorts. “I feel like I’m either the patient or the doctor, somebody always has an ache,” she says. “When I wrote the title track I had a friend of mine on my mind. She was so sad... just inconsolable and it was painful to see her like that. The title is a reminder to keep myself well. It’s hard to explain the ferocity of the grief I experienced when my father died. I really felt like it was going to kill me, so to be here... well, I just wanted to remind myself of what I survived.”

Luther Russell Announces New Double LP

Luther Russell is set to release his fifth LP, a double-length entitled The Invisible Audience, on July 12th on Ungawa Records. It's a wildly ambitious record from the multi-talented singer-songwriter/producer, which he calls "a glimpse into the jukebox of my psyche." The twenty-five tracks on this epic record were culled from months and months of recording "whenever I could get into my eight-track studio or on a four-track cassette to get an idea down." The album's narrative flow seems to run the gamut of emotions from regret, betrayal and loss to humor, nostalgia and hope. His last release, 2007's Repair (produced by Ethan Johns) was a ragged, rootsy pop record full of rich, sometimes bouncy melodies which belied their darker subject matter, namely that of his then-fresh divorce. The album won him quite a bit of acclaim but nonetheless failed to break him to a wider audience. Since then he concentrated on the production side of things, working with a wide array of artists, including Noah & The Whale, Laura Marling, Sarabeth Tucek, Holly Miranda, Richmond Fontaine, Sean Lennon and Fernando, to name a few.

It was during this industrious period that Luther would hit the recording studio on his own whenever time permitted "to capture some kind of feeling before it slipped away" or for other projects like "the odd failed soundtrack that never was." Being a multi-instrumentalist (Luther has lent his talents to many other artists on drums, guitar, bass, keys, etc.) helped to get many songs recorded with no time to waste. For instance, "Traces," a track evoking Slim Chance-era Ronnie Lane, was done "pretty much in one day", recalls Russell. Still, he did enlist help from a few close musical allies to help flesh out harmony-laden blasts like "Everything You Do" and "Tomorrow's Papers", as well as the psychedelic trance-rock of "Motorbike". In fact, on the elegiac "In This Time," members of his old band The Freewheelers popped by to help with the feel of the track. "I just had so many different types of songs coming out of me over the past few years that for once I wanted to intertwine as many as I could, regardless of style or genre, to try and paint a more complete picture of who I am as an artist. This would be my chance because I could take my time and do it until it was done--whenever the hell that would be".

Turns out it wouldn't be for roughly five years, as Luther wouldn't finally compile the songs until he was able to listen to many different sequences on the often snail-paced subway rides between Manhattan and Brooklyn where he had relocated after several years in Los Angeles. "I just began to hit upon the fact that all of the instrumental tracks that I had accrued could provide little 'smoke breaks' for the listener, so to speak". Inspired by the sprawling double-albums of his youth, such as Husker Du's Zen Arcade, Game Theory's Lolita Nation and Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, he began to see the songs woven together in a longer, more colorful tapestry. "I wanted to make a record that someone could literally get lost in...every time you'd drop the needle you'd be somewhere new. It would be like a friend that was always around, but each time you get together something has changed a little, just like in life". Invariably the album would wind up consisting of some darker pathways, to which Luther attributes more than a few harrowing experiences, such as the sudden passing of two of his "very best friends" and a horrible accident where he nearly lost use of his right hand. "A period of intense darkness seemed to settle over me after the recording of my last record. Moving to New York was definitely an 'escape' of sorts, but the kind of loss I experienced over the past few years one can never quite shake, I think".

It's these more contemplative stretches of musical highway that are found in songs such as "A World Unknown," a stripped-down blues lament concerning "various frightened glimpses into one's own mortality" and "1st & Main," a spidery concoction regarding a certain sojourn through downtown L.A. "which I'd rather not discuss", Russell broods. Livelier tracks include the uproarious "Long Lost Friend," something of a sonic shotgun-wedding between the Faces and Nilsson, juxtaposed with lyrics about "literally having fuck-all", and "Ain't Frightening Me," a dervish of acid words and zig-zag melody influenced by the proto-power-pop of Nick Lowe and Dwight Twilley. The font of mix-and-match songcraft throughout the record can also be attributed to Luther's background, which includes a grandfather and great-uncle, each of whom wrote several Tin Pan Alley standards. It's this family history which he pays tribute to on instrumentals such as the ragtime-y "109th & Madison" (named for the intersection in Harlem where his grandmother grew up) and "Still Life Radio," the old Broadway-style opener which evokes an instant nostalgia even before the expansive record has begun to rev-up (with the grinding Sidekick Reverb).

As to the inevitable head-scratching regarding the sheer length of the record, Luther takes it in stride. "I fully get and understand that many people will ask 'why so long' and generally not have the patience to sit through such an 'endless' listen", he laughs, "but I just had to do it. It just felt right and I thought it would be a true musical experience--that is if you even like what I do in the first place!" This time around, not only has Luther Russell made a record that has many of the hallmarks he is known for (ear-catching melodies, lyrics layered with multiple meanings and adventurous musicianship), but he's managed to make one that contains all of them: the dark folk-blues territory he has covered in past records such as Lowdown World, the bold experimentation found in out-of-nowhere u-turns like Down At Kit's and the melancholy pop of the aforementioned Repair. The Invisible Audience aims to tie up the many loose ends of Luther's recorded output and twist it into something new, yet strangely recognizable. "It's an album made for music fans. People like me. Folks who want to disappear for a while, take a vacation from all the bullshit. All you need is a pair of headphones and an open mind".

String Cheese Incident releases Winter Carnival 2011

The String Cheese Incident announces the digital release of Winter Carnival 2011, a live, 21-track compilation of songs culled from the band’s recent Winter Carnival run at Colorado’s brand new 1STBANK Center. Available exclusively at iTunes beginning May 24, 2011, Winter Carnival 2011 catches all of the energy and excitement from this epic run of hometown shows.

Four years had gone by since the last "Winter Carnival", The String Cheese Incident's annual celebration of ski slopes, music, Mardi Gras, and the Winter/Spring Solstice. From humble beginnings in Boulder in 1999, through seven years at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium, the band's annual Winter Carnival run always offered up a chance to welcome SCI’s musical heroes, as well as a few emerging favorites, to share the stage. Guest highlights over the years are numerous, including Little Feat, Bruce Hornsby, Del McCoury Band, Warren Haynes, Los Lobos, The Funky Meters, Olatunji, Dr. John, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe - and the list goes on and on.

Picking back up the tradition, for Winter Carnival 2011 the band welcomed OTT, JD Crowe and the New South, and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk to join them on stage at the celebration’s new home, the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado. A brand new venue just outside of the band's hometown of Boulder, The String Cheese Incident had played there only once before – hosting the now-legendary “Fourmile Canyon Revival” benefit concert. Now, it was time for SCI to lay down roots at this venue that would run deep. And indeed the 1STBANK Center proved to be a natural fit for this epic run of "Incidents."

Check out Grateful Web's review of the Fourmile Canyon Revival.

The String Cheese Incident’s Winter Carnival 2011 Track List is as follows:

DISC 1
1. Betray The Dark
2. Cottonmouth
3. Pygmy Pony
4. Rosie
5. Will It Go 'Round In Circles
6. Rocky Road Blues
7. Let's Go Outside
8. Sand Dollar
9. Colorado Bluebird Sky

DISC 2
1. Rivertrance
2. Give Me The Love
3. Blue Bossa
4. Sweet Melinda
5. Big Shoes
6. Ramble On

DISC 3
1. Rhythm Of The Road
2. Dirk
3. Way Back Home
4. Black Clouds
5. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'6. Black Clouds (Reprise)

My Morning Jacket Share New Track: "Holdin On To Black Metal"

Less than two weeks after My Morning Jacket treated fans to a download of the title track from Circuital (ATO Records; May 31st), the band is sharing another track off their upcoming album.  Head over to My Morning Jacket’s Facebook page to listen to the new song “Holdin On To Black Metal.”  The song will be also available for purchase tomorrow, April 26th, on iTunes and Amazon.

The guys are also proud to announce a special hometown show at the historic Louisville Palace Theater on Circuital’s release date, May 31st.  Pre-sale tickets are available 4/26 at 12:00 noon through the band's fan club: Roll Call. Pre-sale for American Express cardholders go on sale 4/27 with the general public on sale on 4/29 at Ticketmaster.com, and $1 from every ticket sold will go to benefit The Center for Women and Families.  Fans are also encouraged to bring a pre-loved backpack to donate to Blessings in a Backpack.  Click HERE to preorder the album at the band’s website, which includes the option to purchase a special deluxe edition.  “Holdin On To Black Metal” is the latest example of My Morning Jacket’s perpetual drive to experiment with new ideas.  The track features a chorus of female backing singers and horns, creating a thrilling backdrop for Jim James’ mystical vocals.

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Circuital Track List:

Victory Dance
Circuital
The Day is Coming
Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
Outta My System
Holdin On To Black Metal
First Light
You Wanna Freak Out
Slow Slow Tune
Movin Away

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My Morning Jacket Tour Dates:

05/20:  Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Festival

05/31:  Louisville, KY @ Louisville Palace Theater

06/02-06/05:  Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa Festival

06/05:  Hunter, NY @ Mountain Jam

06/09-06/12:  Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Festival

06/16:  Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater

06/17:  Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre

06/22:  Los Angeles, CA @ Pantages Theatre

06/24: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre

06/26:  Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre

06/28:  Portland, OR @ Edgefield

06/29:  Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum

06/30-07/03:  Quincy, CA @ High Sierra Music Festival

07/11:  Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus

07/12:  Montreal, QC @ Metropolis

07/16: Southwold  @ Latitude Festival

07/17: London  @ Somerset House

08/04:  Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

08/05-08/13:  Bangor, ME @ The KahBang Festival

Hurricane Bells: Live At The House Of Blues Boston

A second Hurricane Bells' live album, Hurricane Bells Live At House Of Blues Boston, was released digitally yesterday via Live Nation. Recorded at the Boston stop of the band's tour supporting KT Tunstall this past November, the album features live performances of five tracks from Hurricane Bells' debut album Tonight Is The Ghost, plus B-side "Monsters" from The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack, and new songs "Let's Go" and "The Ghost Of Her." Hurricane Bells Live At House Of Blues Boston is now available via iTunes. The band's first live album, Hurricane Bells Live At House Of Blues San Diego, was released in late March.

The brainchild of Steve Schiltz, longtime front man of Longwave, Hurricane Bells has released one EP, Down Comes The Rain, in addition to the one full-length album (and its deluxe edition) via Schiltz's own label Invisible Brigades. Schiltz wrote, recorded, played, and produced both releases entirely himself. On Monday night, Down Comes The Rain track "The Deep End" was featured on The CW's hit show Gossip Girl. Hurricane Bells' debut Daytrotter session is now online as well.

Schiltz is currently finishing mixing and mastering Hurricane Bells' sophomore full-length album, which will be released this summer.

Hurricane Bells Live At House Of Blues Boston track listing:

  1. This Is A Test
  2. Darkness Is So Deep
  3. The Ghost Of Her
  4. Freezing Rain
  5. Tonight I'm Going To Be Like A Shooting Star
  6. Let's Go
  7. Monsters
  8. The Cold Has Killed Us

Hurricane Bells touring line-up is: Steve Schiltz (vocals, guitar), Ashen Keilyn (vocals), Christian Bongers (bass), and Colin Brooks (drums).

The Drums Release "The New World" For Japan Disaster Relief Efforts

The Drums will release brand new track “The New World” as a download starting April 18th, with all band’s proceeds going to Japan disaster relief efforts. The end date for purchase-with-donation is September 30, 2011 as this is when the Japanese Red Cross will close the account for donations.

“The New World” is a one-off release that won’t be featured on the band’s forthcoming full length album. The track is available from iTunes and www.thedrums.com.

The band is currently writing new material for their second album… stay tuned for more news!

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The Drums are:

Jonny Pierce, Vocals
Jacob Graham, Electric Guitar
Connor Hanwick, Drums

The Shivers Heading Out on Tour This Spring!

On May 10th, The Shivers will return with their latest record More, set for release on Silence Breaks. Recorded in Manchester, UK early last year, the album finds Queens, NY songwriters Keith Zarriello and Jo Schornikow exploring everything from shambly garage rock to melancholic barroom ballads. In honor of the band’s new album, the band has made “Used to Be” available for free download. Check out the track HERE. The band will also be heading out on a west coast tour starting in early May that will be capped off with a New York homecoming at Mercury Lounge on May 29th. See full tour dates below.
Using every dime they’d saved, Zarriello and Schornikow traveled to Manchester in Spring of 2010 to record their latest record in an entirely analog studio. Over five days, the two worked tirelessly, fleshing out the tracks they had worked on in the small church in Queens where the band practices. The end result was More, an album that runs the gamut of American rock ’n’ roll, delving into everything from gritty Lou-Reed-inspired rock to the swaggering soul of Nina Simone. Starting with the brief piano elegy “My Mouth is for Love,” More segues quickly into “Irrational Love,” a bouncy organ-driven rock track with a chorus that sounds like it was plucked from 1966. The album teeters between the upbeat pop of tracks like “Used to Be” and “I Want You Back” to the heartsick, Leonard-Cohen-inspired ballads like “Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars” and “Love Is In The Air.” The album closes with the record’s title track “More,” a slow-building confessional that serves the record’s triumphant last call. It’s an apt end for a record that sounds like an apologetic love note, written on barroom cocktail napkin.
Hailing from Queens, NY, Keith Zarriello began writing music as The Shivers started back in 2001 and has spent the last ten years mining the depths of American rock, developing a songwriting style that ranges from earnest, heartbroken ballads to ’60s garage rock revival. In 2004, Zarrellio released Charades, which featured the much lauded track “Beauty,” which earned universal praise from the likes of Pitchfork and The Guardian, and would end up being named Gorilla Vs Bear’s thirteenth best song of the decade. The album also caught the ear of an Australian, classically-trained church organist named Jo Schornikow, who joined the band as a full-time member that year. Adding counterpoint of beauty with her piano and keyboard flutters, The Shivers spent the next six years touring aggressively in the U.S. and the U.K., and releasing a grand total of four albums, leading up to the ultimate release of More this year.
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The Shivers Tour Dates:
05/04: San Francisco, CA @ Café Du Nord
05/06: Ashland, OR @ Culture Works
05/07: Portland, OR @ Backspace
05/10: Moscow, ID @ John’s Alley
05/11: Hailey, ID @ Sun Valley Brew
05/12: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
05/14: Las Vegas, NV @ The Las Vegas Country Saloon
05/15: Fullerton, CA @ Commonwealth Lounge
05/19: San Diego, CA @ Habitat House
05/20: San Diego, CA @ Eleven
05/21: Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Café
05/29: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
06/10: Fredericksburg, VA @ Read All Over Bookstore
06/15: New Haven, CT @ BAR

Houston Rock Band Pale Sets Release of New CD

Houston-based rock quartet Pale, known for a blend of soaring melodies set against explosive, guitar-fueled choruses, is set to release their long-awaited new recording entitled IN THE TIME OF DANGEROUS MEN on June 21st. The new CD, which will be available via independent A-Blake Records, was produced by Steve Christensen (Destiny's Child, Clay Walker), who scored a Grammy last year for his work on Townes-A Tribute to Townes Van Zandt by Steve Earle.

From "Bad Intel," the blistering opening track, to the atmospheric "Hushed Tones for Chosen Ones," IN THE TIME OF DANGEROUS MEN showcases the rock-solid songwriting that has been Pale's hallmark since the band formed nearly 10 years ago. "This band has finally got all the elements in place for something big," Artshound.com has touted of the group's new record.

IN THE TIME OF DANGEROUS MEN was recorded during a two-month period last year when the band was sequestered at their label's beach house in Crystal Beach, Texas. Pale, who have been compared favorably to Muse, Radiohead and even U2, emerged with 12 standout new songs and a renewed determination to bring their Brit-rock-influenced music to a wider audience.

Pale's big, dramatic sound is "as subtle as a freight train" as the repeating chorus from the pensive "Catastrophic Skies" implies. From deep, thought-provoking tracks like "Soon" and "My Final Warning" to the high-velocity rock of "Wolves Wait" and "Our Lone Star Shines," their homage to the great state of Texas, IN THE TIME OF DANGEROUS MEN showcases Pale's ability to write memorable songs. The driving "That Sinking Feeling," the first single from the new album, will be serviced to radio in the coming weeks.

The trademark emotive voice of Pale belongs to lead singer/guitarist and chief songwriter Calvin Stanley, who along with guitarist/ keyboardist Robb Moore, bassist Stephen Wesson and drummer Travis Middour quickly rose to the top of the Houston club scene and broadened their domain through impressive live performances on their own and as openers for acts as diverse as Depeche Mode, Roger Waters, Earshot and Blue October.

Pale's recording debut HERE was released in 2004to positive critical response. The six-song EP MANDATORY AMBULANCE followed in 2007, both produced by Lars Goransson (Fastball, the Cardigans, Blondie). The release of the new CD harkens to new opportunities to come. Michael Clark, writing in the Houston Chronicle, expounded, "Pale has the rock 'n' roll ideal: the moxie and evolving know-how to get noticed in a business that gives less and less opportunity to new talent," adding, "Pale is trying to find the rock 'n' roll spirit again."

That rock 'n roll spirit is particularly evident in the extraordinary video the band created for the epic track, "Catastrophic Skies." Enlisting the aid of director Sean Duke and Chase Rees of Think Big Productions as well as countless friends and local volunteers, the result is an opulent cinematic feast with the futuristic look of a Mad Max film set against a contemporary story line about independent music artists battling corporate greed. They even hosted a Hollywood-style premiere for the video at Houston's famed River Oaks Movie Theatre late last year. The song had once been under consideration for the soundtrack of the film Twilight: Eclipse.

"Pale's music inspires the dreamer in all of us," says Calvin Stanley. "I've had my head in the clouds since I was a kid, and I believe that everything is possible with this band. That kind of dreaming heart has really helped pull us through some difficult times."

Pale will hit the road this summer in support of IN THE TIME OF DANGEROUS MEN following a pre-release kick-off concert in their hometown of Houston.Live Pale appearances will be announced shortly.

Scattered Trees' Sympathy Out Today

Scattered Trees’ highly anticipated new album Sympathy (Roll Call/EMI) hits stores across the country today. In honor of the album’s release, AOL Spinner is currently streaming the album in its entirety — click HERE to listen. The band has also made their anthemic track “Four Days Straight” available for free download. Click HERE to download the track. Scattered Trees has also created four videos for “Four Days Straight” with the help of film students at four different schools in NYC, and is currently running a contest on Consequence of Sound to select the band’s next official video. Click HERE to view the videos and vote on the contest. And to celebrate the Sympathy’s release, Scattered Trees has announced a very special album release show on 4/30 at Schubas in Chicago. See the band’s full tour dates below.

Already, the album has been hailed by Nylon, RCRD LBL, Consequence of Sound and others as an album that’s not to be missed. And it’s easy to see why. The album is a focused, deeply personal collection of songs that finds Scattered Trees experimenting with lush multi-part harmonies, constructing dynamic builds, and exploring the intricacies of love and loss. Driving rock epics like “Four Days Straight” rub shoulders with melancholic elegies like “Where You Came From.” The album’s title track starts with a stripped-down plaintive mandolin, ultimately fading into a slow-burning orchestral groove. Melting into “Five Minutes,” Scattered Trees continues the build until the track bursts forth. The band rounds out the record with the mournful acoustic closer “On Your Side,” a fitting tribute for a deeply heartfelt and therapeutic album.

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Scattered Trees Upcoming Tour Dates:

04/09: KANSAS CITY, MO @ Middle of the Map Festival (The Union - 10:00pm)
04/30: CHICAGO, IL @ Schubas (Sympathy Album Release Show sponsored by Consequence of Sound)
05/13: DES MOINES, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
05/20: GRAND RAPIDS, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
07/31: CHICAGO, IL @ Taste of Lincoln Avenue

The Wailers & Duane Stephenson Tour Starts this Week!

The Wailers, the world’s most celebrated reggae group in the world, are getting back to their roots with their new 3-singer line-up when they embark on their 2011 U.S. Tour.  The new line-up includes Yvad, Koolant and Danglin as well as original member and the band’s musical director Aston “Familyman” Barrett. The band will be using the tour to bring attention to their new single “A Step For Mankind“ which was written by Duane Stephenson specifically for the World Food Programme.  They will be donating unused funds from the band’s hospitality riders directly to the United Nations’ World Food Program to help stop world hunger.

“A Step for Mankind,” recorded in Jamaica specifically for Oniric Records’ Solution for Dreamers: Season 3 is the band’s first studio song in more than 16 years. The band have been supporting the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) efforts to eradicate hunger throughout the world.  The new song calls for world unity and strength to support the ongoing struggle against world hunger. The band is joined on the track by the Wailers’ new singer Koolant,a fresh talent from the heart of St. Thomas known for blazing a positive future for reggae music with his work. The track also introduces Dr Dre protégé Bishop Lamont, an up-and-coming rapper, who contributes a magical flow in the track’s breakdown.  Graced by the Wailers’ undeniably distinctive groove, “A Step for Mankind” is a small taste of more music forthcoming from the legendary group.

Formed in Jamaica in the late 1960s, The Wailers are one of the most successful reggae bands of all time, selling 250 million albums, and playing live to an estimated 24 million people worldwide. Wailers’ bass player Aston “Familyman” Barrett  is recognized throughout the world as the architect of reggae.  A revered innovator, he joined The Wailers in 1969, quickly becoming singer-songwriter Bob Marley’s right-hand man and musical director. On record and on stage, his inimitable style became an essential part of the Wailers’ sound. Following Marley’s death in 1981, “Fams” took the reins as the band’s leader, spearheading performances to adoring crowds the world over, as well as the band’s involvement with the fight against global hunger.

Duane Stephenson recognized one of reggae’s most talented sons, is promoting the release of his latest album, “Black Gold”, and is joining the tour as special guest. This is Stephenson’s sophomore album, following the top-selling “August Town”.  He is also the writer behind “A Step for Mankind” which he will be performing on tour with the Wailers at each performance.  His new 15-track studio album with 14 original songs and is riding high in the charts sees Stephenson working with legendary reggae producer, Dean Fraser, the mastermind behind the majority of production on Black Gold.

Black Gold encompasses Stephenson's growth mentally, emotionally, and musically. From ballads to roots reggae, his musical skills and heartfelt sentiments on this album will resonate with reggae fans and be sure to gain him new ones. Such is the quality of Black Gold , Steve 'Flash' Juon of Rapreviews.com raves that “...so powerful is his vocal tone and the diaphragm which pushes it out over the microphone that almost every word will make perfect sense to even the most jaded listener who thinks they can't understand Caribbean music...”

“For more than forty years, The Wailers have been about spreading a positive message to our audiences,” says Fams. “With the World Food Programme’ campaign, we want to get the word out beyond the audience – so even if these people can’t feel it musically, they can feel it spiritually. I can’t think of a better way to give thanks for forty years in the Wailers than giving back to the people.”

The Wailers continue their relentless touring schedule bringing their message of peace and “one love” to their audiences worldwide.  They will be spreading their message throughout the U.S. in 2011.

“A Step for Mankind” is available at iTunes with ALL proceeds from the song going towards the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) to help stop world hunger.

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2011 Tour Dates

04 April – Vinyl Music Hall – Pensacola, FL

05 April – Tipitina’s – New Orleans, LA

06 April – Granada Theatre – Dallas, TX

08 April – Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM

09 April – Spring Break Breckenridge – Breckenridge, CO

09 April – Belly Up – Aspen, CO

10 April – Steamboat Springs Ski Area – Steamboat Springs, CO

11 May – The Windjammer – Isle of Palms, SC

12 May – Cox Capital Theatre – Macon, GA

13 May – House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL

14 May – House of Blues – N. Myrtle Beach, SC

17 May – Kelly’s – Nags Head, NC

18 May – Innsbrook After Hours – Glen Allen, VA

19 May – Penn’s Peak – Jim Thorpe, PA

20 May – Chesapeake Jubilee Festival – Chesapeake, VA

21 May – Recher Theatre – Towson, MD

25 May – World Café @ The Queen – Wilmington, DE

26 May – Oneonta Theatre – Oneonta, NY

27 May – Seneca Niagara Casino – Niagara Falls, NY

29 May – Freedom Weekend Aloft – Simpsonville, SC

03 June – Surf Club – Ortley Beach, NJ

01 July – Hard Rock Hotel and Casino – Biloxi, MS

05 July – Milwaukee Summerfest – Milwaukee, WI

22 July – Sessions Music and Food Fest – Salem, OR

23-24 July – Alyeska Resort – Girdwood, AK

28 July – Wanderlust Festival – Lake Tahoe, CA

06 August – Gaia Festival – Laytonville, CA

13 August – Pacific Ampitheatre – Costa Mesa, CA