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Gregory Alan Isakov Announces 2011 Winter Tour

Gregory Alan Isakov’s emotionally saturated, raw indie folk songs have been pulling in fans and critics alike since his tender 2003 debut Rust Colored Stones. In 2009 Isakov’s fourth album, This Empty Northern Hemisphere, propelled him to new heights, with The Denver Post proclaiming him, “a subtler Springsteen, a more melodically diverse Dylan” and Paste Magazine crowning him “The Next Big Thing,” boasting “[Isakov] makes quietly lush, deeply vibrant music more rooted in the starry night sky… than in any terrestrial locale.”

Success continues to pour in for Isakov with his song “If I Go, I’m Going” recently featured on the Showtime hit “Californication” (the song is also featured on the show’s Season 4 Soundtrack Album) and a limited vinyl pressing of This Empty Northern Hemisphere (available on his website). Building on the momentum, late Winter tour dates have just been announced. Touring this time with his band, Isakov will support DeVotchKa for their CD release and Valentine’s Day show at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium before embarking on a string of headlining dates on the East Coast (details below). Look for Isakov’s tour to head west in early spring.

Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Gregory Alan Isakov has found a home in Colorado, where he’s lived for the past 12 years. Isakov has been compared to Iron & Wine, Leonard Cohen, and Jeff Tweedy. Isakov has performed throughout North America and Europe, sharing the stage with artists including Calexico, Mumford & Sons, The Indigo Girls, Brandi Carlile, and Laura Marling.

Check out Isakov’s new video for “Big Black Car” off This Empty Northern Hemisphere here.

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Winter 2011 Tour Dates are as follows:

Saturday, February 12 Fillmore Auditorium Denver CO DeVotchKa CD Release & Valentines Day Show
Sunday, February 13 Frogbelly Farm Longmont CO Benefit for Lisa Sanchez
Thursday, February 17 Johnny D's Somerville MA
Friday, February 18 One Longfellow Square Portland ME w/ Billy Libby
Saturday, February 19 138 Listening Lounge Manchester NH
Sunday, February 20 Ridgefield Library Ridgefield CT
Wednesday, February 23 Downtown Arts Building Wilkes-Barre PA
Thursday, February 24 Johnny Brenda's Philadelphia PA w/ Emily Arin
Friday, February 25 Highline Ballroom New York NY co-headline with Paper Raincoats w/ Paul Dempsey
Saturday, February 26 Sixth and I Historic Synagogue Washington DC

Wanda Jackson at the Boulder Theater | 4/1/11

When Wanda Jackson, the justly crowned Queen of Rockabilly, recorded “Let’s Have A Party,” a tune she made into a hit of her own in 1958 even after one-time boyfriend Elvis Presley had released a version of it, her delivery of the chorus wasn’t so much a suggestion as a command. As the title – and, more importantly, the contents -- of her latest album, The Party Ain’t Over, indicates, this feisty septuagenarian artist is as galvanizing as ever. Jackson was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, honored with a long-time-coming, Early Influence accolade for her pivotal role in the evolution of popular music, especially where female artists were concerned. As a teenager in the mid-50s, the diminutive Jackson was the first woman to perform unadulterated rock and roll – and she one-upped the boys defining this new genre, Presley included, with her exhilaratingly forthright approach. The young Jackson, an Oklahoma native, came across as both gritty and glamorous; a playfully suggestive growl to her voice matched the daring, handmade outfits she wore, short skirts and fringed dresses that have inspired would-be bad girls for decades to come. A tireless touring artist for more than 50 years, Jackson continues to win over new, young fans, including guitarist-vocalist-White Stripes founder Jack White.

On this debut for Third Man/Nonesuch Records, produced and arranged by White at his Nashville studio, the spirited Jackson proves that brash rock and roll attitude need not have an age limit. Her trademark growl remains intact on rockers like “Rip It Up” and “Nervous Breakdown;” she opens the set with an echo-laden sneer on a rollicking version of “Shakin’ All Over” and ends it ten songs later with a plaintive take on Jimmie Rodgers’ “Yodel #6,” along the way gamely tackling country, gospel, densely worded Bob Dylan, and a little bit of Tin Pan Alley. Jackson and White are a remarkably simpatico pairing; their collaboration came together quickly, serendipitously. One of Jackson’s colleagues had originally approached White about doing a duet with Jackson for a proposed “Wanda and Friends” disc, but White demurred. Instead, he offered something better, inviting Jackson to cut a single with him for his Third Man label, and that swiftly led this kindred spirits to put together an entire album.

Jackson admits, “I was scared at first because I didn’t know what this young rock star was going to expect of me or ask me to do. I kind of had shaky feet, deciding whether I wanted to do this or not. Of course I knew about him, I have to admit, from the album he did with Loretta Lynn and how successful that was. That certainly got my attention when he said he was interested in doing one with me. So we began sending material to each other; he sent me the things he thought I should do or he wanted me to do, and I sent him some ideas of things I had put aside for recording at a future date. When I finally got to Nashville, he put me at ease immediately. He’s just so laid back and such a cool guy that I found myself wanting to please him, I wanted to do it his way. My husband (Jackson’s manager of 40 years) and I told him, you do this. If you want a suggestion from me, feel free to ask. Otherwise, you make the decisions. That gave him a lot of freedom and I wanted him to have that freedom. And I think that’s what made it so good as an album. As I began singing these songs and listening to the playbacks he made, I realized he wasn’t wanting to change my style of singing at all. He just wanted me to have new, fresher material. And I said, hey I could do this. I can sing like Wanda Jackson. He just wanted more of Wanda than I was used to putting out. And apparently it worked.”

White and Jackson came up with inspired and wide-ranging song choices that reflect Jackson’s long history with country, gospel, and even the big-band music she remembers from her childhood as well as with rock and roll: Harlan Howard’s woozy lament “Busted”; the Andrew Sisters’ kitschy tropical travelogue, “Rum and Coca Cola”, a fitting companion to her own “Fujiyama Mama”; Dylan’s rockabilly fever dream, “Thunder On The Mountain”. They also recorded a cover of contemporary bad-girl Amy Winehouse’s “You Know That I’m No Good,” which White first released as a single in 2009, paired with “Shakin All Over.” The Winehouse song suits her, Jackson says, but she’s careful to draw the line between life and art: “On the one hand, I’m good, on the other hand, I’m bad. That seems to be the image this new generation of fans that I have has given me. It’s like the title of the documentary about my life that recently came out: The Sweet Lady With the Nasty Voice. Maybe that says that I become a different person, a different persona, when I sing those songs. I have a good reputation, always have had, and respect from everyone as a lady, and that pleases me very much. But the young girls think I’m this hard gal that gets her way and storms in. It’s just because of the material I’ve sung and the way I’ve sung it. And that’s okay. That’s cute.

White himself backs Jackson on lead guitar, cutting loose with solos that are as ferocious and fun as Jackson’s vocals; in fact, the entire band that White assembled – including pedal steel, a horn section and backing vocals from singers Ashley Monroe and Karen Elson –is similarly uninhibited, matching Jackson’s and White’s intensity and, just as often, their humor. Though the work is carefully arranged, the resulting tracks feel like one unforgettable after-hours session, with everyone in thrall to the woman at the heart of these tunes. The first song White suggested they cut was “Rip It Up,” one Jackson knows very well from her rockabilly days. As she explains, “It shocked me that he wanted me to do that but that was the first one I recorded. He loves that song and I do too. But I think he did that to put me at ease, let me do something that I’m real familiar with and real comfortable with, and he didn’t have to direct me or any of that. I just reared back and sang it. That got me loosened up and made me comfortable.” Not that White simply wanted to make things easy. On the sultry “You Know I’m No Good,” says Jackson, “We’d get through one take and he’d say, ‘Oh Wanda that was great.’ And I said, ‘Whew, I made it.’ Then he said, ‘Now let’s do one more and let’s push a little more.’ I was getting physically kind of tired and probably kind of got angry but he got the take he wanted. It’s funny how you can come up with what your producers want in the strangest ways.” A little bit of their repartee can be detected at the top of the track, just as the analog tape gets rolling.

The Party Ain’t Over is about stepping out, not summing up, but it does touch on important aspects of Jackson’s life and ever-evolving career. “Teach Me Tonight,” a country-inflected interpretation of the DeCastro Sisters’ hit, partly fulfills Jackson’s desire to cut a 40s-style big-band disc. “Like A Baby,” recorded live in the studio with the whole band, allowed Jackson to revive an obscure, bluesy number from her old buddy Elvis. The Jimmie Rodgers tune is the first song she ever learned as a child; her father taught her the chords on the guitar, she figured out how to sing along while she played, and, like any aspiring vocal star of the era, she taught herself how to yodel, a skill she has clearly maintained over the ensuing decades.

Jackson remains too busy to look back – her legend looms especially large now in Europe and Japan, where she is always in demand as a concert performer – but she does allow herself a moment to reflect: “I can’t think of anyone who could be any luckier or any happier than me. I think it’s a blessing from the Lord. I had wonderful parents who gave up so much so that I could have my dreams come true. I was an only child so I had all the love and attention that anyone could ask for. My mother made my stage clothes and a lot of my street clothes too. Dad traveled with me and drove me to all those early dates so I didn’t have to be alone. You couldn’t ask for more, to make your living doing what you love to do, to sing and travel and entertain people all your life. I can’t think of any life that could be better than that.”

And, as she notes, the party ain’t over.

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Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday February 11th!

$20 adv / $22.50 dos

The Saw Doctors at the Boulder Theater - 03.21.11

KGNU & The Boulder Weekly are proud to present The Further Adventures of The Saw Doctors at the Boulder Theater on Monday, March 21st, 2011.


The Saw Doctors are known in Ireland for ridiculously catchy songs and for rocking the road week after week from Galway to Melbourne—and, come March 2011, from New York to Las Vegas. They’ve hopped up countless crowds, including at two inaugurations of Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, with upbeat anthems to everyday people.

A fun-loving reputation precedes the band thanks to their zany hit “I Useta Lover” or the recent sneak Irish radio chart-topper, “Red Cortina A Cappella.” But it belies a more reflective side with deep roots, a side sometimes forgotten even by the group’s biggest fans.

“That one-sided perception of the band haunts us, even in our hometown here in Western Ireland,” chuckles Saw Doctors singer and guitarist Leo Moran. “A few months ago, in a pub here, I sang one of my favorite songs, 'Same Oul Town', the title track of our third album.  It's about a small town in winter, where everyone knows everyone else's business. Another local singer, who has known us forever, came up and told me, 'That's a lovely song; you should record that!'"

Bittersweet portraits of everyday people and the landscape that surrounds them are what the band does best. The Saw Doctors have a Springsteen-like ability to get at the poignant perspectives of ordinary folks: the lovesick pub regular, the guys on the corner, the wise old woman who greeted all comers with a slice of bread and butter.

This ability flows from the roving group’s strong ties to Tuam—and to the lives and stories of the people in it. It’s a town of wits and eccentrics, folks like cartoon artist Squigley McHugh, who humorously sketched the Saw Doctors as superheroes for their stage backdrop. Tuam is known for its gregarious, sometimes overly curious conversationalists. It’s a place where people still pop down to the pub in the afternoon, looking for a pint and a good gossip.

But don’t be surprised if you can’t make out a word: Tuam, explains Moran, has its own secret code, a slang and a love of peculiar turns of phrase incomprehensible to outsiders. “In Tuam, there’s a great interest in language and words. A lot of the Travellers, itinerant Irish traders and tin-smiths, settled around Tuam and had their own language they used while trading. We’ve adopted it as core citizens of the town.”

Tuam’s citizens relish slang and constantly invent new words. Expressions like “Well-Byes,” the greeting of choice among young guys in jogging suits, speak volumes: “you know where you are and you’re from Tuam,” Moran says. Soccer players use local slang when playing against other towns to keep their next moves under wraps (as the band recounts in “All the Way from Tuam”).

Yet words, like the band itself, have a far more winsome side, connecting people with their history and the land. In “Friday Town,” the Anglicized place-names in the chorus hint at a lost Irish past, as Moran sings of people long gone, either overseas to America or to their graves. “When you study the names in Irish, they carry meanings, some feature in the landscape or the memory of something that happened there,” Moran notes. “But all these lovely meanings have been lost. We’re trying to celebrate them, as well as the people who left forever for the States, on an epic, courageous journey.”

More introspective moments still ring with bright guitars, catchy melodies, and upbeat energy, which make The Saw Doctors shows fun, even at their deepest. Sometimes when playing live around Ireland, the exuberant singing from the audience has nearly drowned out the band. The group loves to drop their vocals out altogether, providing only instrumental accompaniment for the chorus of enthusiastic fans, who seem to know every song by heart.

The down-to-earth feel—and the Tuam wit—have universal appeal. “People sometimes say that a song about Tuam or Galway or Ireland won’t matter to people abroad. That’s like telling Bruce Springsteen that he is wasting his time writing about the Jersey Shore,” Moran reflects. “Songs are about sharing feelings and emotions and ideas. If you have ideas and emotions that people can relate to, then it works no matter where you play.”

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Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Now!

$20 GA

+ $2 for under 21 ticket buyers

Lee MacDougall "If Walls Could Talk" Tour Starts February 25th

British singer-songwriter-guitarist Lee MacDougall, the newest artist to emerge out of London's burgeoning acoustic movement, is set for his first tour of the U.S. beginning February 25 in New York City.  The tour will criss-corss the country over a two-month period and will include MacDougall's debut appearance at the SxSW Festival in Austin in March.

MacDougall is releasing an 11-song self-produced CD called IF WALLS COULD TALK to coincide with the tour.  The CD includes the standout tracks "The Star Hotel" and "Joanna," among others.  BBC Radio 6 host Tom Robinson says of MacDougall: "You absolutely cannot fake that kind of sincerity and passion, and particularly the yearning quality to his vocals."

Additionally, noted producer Jim Lowe (who has worked with the Stereophonics, Taylor Swift and the Charlatans, among others) has produced several tracks with Lee, including the version of "She" that is currently available from iTunes as part of a three-song EP he released last summer.  An acoustic rendition of the song produced by Lee appears on IF WALLS COULD TALK.

Originally from the fishing town of Grimsby in the north of England, MacDougall has been performing on the open mic night circuit in London that has spawned new acoustic English artists in the last two years.  His ability to couple a strong lyrical narrative with a memorable melody has enabled him to establish an international fan base that expanded when his music was embraced by the community of fans of the Twilight films. But it is the strength of his songwriting that has earned him UK industry recognition and support slots with artists such as Train, Starsailor, Paolo Nutini, The Feeling, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison.  Word Magazine review editor Kate Mossman says:  "He's amazing and very confident. Like Freddie Mercury meets Rufus Wainwright.  He's going to go a long way."

For his U.S. tour dates, he will be accompanied by Rob Hargreaves on guitar and backing vocals.

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Lee MacDougall's tour dates are as follows:

February 25-Bitter End, New York City

28-Club Passim, Boston

March 2-North Star Bar, Philadelphia

5-James Joyce Pub, Durham, NC

8-"Live at 9," WREG-TV, Memphis

9-3rd & Lindsley, Nashville

10-Zanzabar, Louisville

11-Cicero's, St. Louis

15-Poor David's Pub, Dallas

16-Hideaway on Dunvale, Houston

17-19-SxSW, Austin (specific venues to be announced)

22-Record Bar, Kansas City

24-Larimer Lounge, Denver

26-The Beat Coffeehouse & Records, Las Vegas

29-Dizzy's, San Diego

31-Hotel Café, Los Angeles

April-2 Elbo Room, San Fran

7-Tonic Lounge, Portland

8-El Corazon, Seattle

10-Backstage Lounge, Vancouver, BC

13-Sauce Spirits and Soundbar, Minneapolis

14-Double Door, Chicago

15-House Café, DeKalb, IL

20-Hard Rock Café, Pittsburgh

21-Valentines, Albany

22-Bitter End, New York City

23-World Café Live at The Queen, Wilmington, DE

Sleepy Rebels Announce New Album, "Yellow Tree"

Powerful Company will be releasing some breath-taking projects in 2011. Jeremy Adelman and Samantha Balassa formed the company. The pair are a true mom & pop musical powerhouse who found great success handling original music production and composition for advertising including national campaigns for VW, Hulu, Jaguar, and JCPenney. Their desires to make music outside the confines of the corporate creative process lead them to establish Powerful Company whose establishing project is the development and marketing of Sleepy Rebels. The New York based trio, collaboration comprised of Jeremy Adelman and siblings Bruce and Erica Driscoll, have designs to re-establish the coolness of positive sentiments and ideals. Yellow Tree is the manifesto that soundtracks their rebellion!

The pastoral images, sun drenched arrangements and sparkling melodies hit you like the first wave of the summer. “Let’s Take the Day Off” is a call to claim some time for yourself and hit the beach with that special someone. It’s instantly memorable hook will incite you to plan your next vacation day! “You Can Make the Sunrise” reminds listeners that everything is possible and that we all have the potential for greatness. The voices on the album are having a romance with the world itself.  The dreamy string arrangement on “We’ll Wake the World Up” underscores the songs narrative of waking up with someone you love just before daybreak. The record closes with “Something”, a soulful romp full of handclaps and horns. For an early listen of album track "You Can Make The Sunrise," download the MP3 HERE.

Powerful Company has quickly transformed from a 2 person team into a modern art factory attracting advertising's (and other industry's) greatest talent of freethinking writers, producers, musicians, directors, editors & designers who all share the same need to create content with artistic statements. Powerful Company has the capability to create through limitless channels including music, video, design, film & art.   In the first months of 2011, they will unveil the first few projects created by this team of talent; they include three films that serve as music videos for Sleepy Rebels. Both surreal in nature, they are intended to establish the band with aesthetic & clever visual imagery & technique.  The first video for the band's song “Magic Girl” reveals the band as eccentric street performers in a remote town in an unknown history & geography.  The second video for the song “Unbelievable” takes the unknown history & geography further and is an unexpected and surreal love story that happens in the most peculiar way.  The third video for dreamy “Looking Glass” finds a woman reflecting on love and looking towards the future as she walks the desolate cobblestone streets of a European town. The final project to be unveiled in the coming months will be a step away from typical band promotional material and will involve a collaboration with the high art world.

"You Can Make The Sunrise" MP3 Available Now!

Band of Heathens new CD is 'Top Hat Crown & the Clapmaster's Son'

2010 was a year of making noise and news for the Band of Heathens. With 200-plus show dates, a fifth anniversary celebration, appearances at Lollapalooza and other top national festivals and a taping of Austin City Limits with Elvis Costello, it is remarkable that the Heathens even found time to write and record a new studio album, but they did.

The result is Top Hat Crown & the Clapmaster’s Son, a surprising, multi-faceted gem of a disc. Their third studio album and the fifth release overall, Top Hat Crown displays the wide range of classic influences fans and critics have come to admire in the band, yet they’ve added, built and grown. Producer George Reiff, celebrated for his work with the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson, the Courtyard Hounds (Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks) and Ray Wylie Hubbard, tended to the album’s vibe and spirit, which is reaching, rocking, bluesy, funky and enjoyable as hell, from its rocking opening to its serene acoustic conclusion.

The Band of Heathens is constantly being compared to The Band because of the musical finesse that overlays their timeless, rootsy core. And the three founding members are all skilled multi-instrumentalists who can play almost any position in the field. But TBoH has reached so many fans so fast because of the echoes of and subtle homage to so many different artists at the core of the Americana canon, including Tom Petty, Tony Joe White, the Grateful Dead, Leon Russell, George Harrison, and other rarified stylists. You can hear a little of all that at a Heathens show or on disc, and Top Hat Crown feels like the most coherent and mature encapsulation of those elements so far.

Given the timelessness of their sound, one gets the sense that Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist and Colin Brooks would have gravitated toward the same essential feel had they met in 1975 or 2045. As it happens, it was in 2006 after each songwriter had established residency gigs on the same night of the week at Momo’s, an eclectic-minded club on Austin’s famous Sixth Street. Friendship, semi-regular sit-ins and harmony jags gelled into something quite rare: a band with three frontmen, each with enough humility and passion to invest in the larger project. The sum transcended the parts. Bassist Seth Whitney was a member from the get-go. Drummer John Chipman joined in 2007 as their road calendar got heavier.

The Heathens took their time getting their first studio album out, but when that eponymous debut was released in 2008, they proved they could write and record a coherent statement that measured up to their show. They followed relatively quickly with One Foot in the Ether toward the end of 2009. Both shot to the top of the Americana chart and remained there for months, evincing a longevity rare in any format of music. Each added songs to the band’s set lists that have become staples and favorites: “Jackson Station,” “Cornbread,” frequent set closer “Don’t Call on Me” and the rocking, cathartic “L.A. County Blues.”

Other kinds of recognition and respect rolled in. TBoH was honored as Best New Band at the Austin Music Awards and nominated as Best Duo or Group by the Americana Music Awards. The Wall Street Journal’s Jim Fusilli called theirs the best set he saw during South by Southwest 2009. And the rest of the press has been equally effusive: The Dallas Morning News calls them “a must-see show.” Maverick magazine says they’re “magnificent.”

One can anticipate similar praise for Top Hat Crown, as it stretches without breaking faith with the feel and integrity that got the Band of Heathens this far. Opener “Medicine Man” sets a hoodoo tone with slappy upright piano and a swaggering lyric sung by Gordy Quist.

Another early Quist lead is “Polaroid,” which the guys say was influenced by the Jayhawks and mid-career Beatles. It coasts along on a robust acoustic strum decorated by jangly chiming electric guitar — a pluperfect fusion of pop and roots. Ed Jurdi gets his first lead vocal licks in with “Should Have Known,” a deeply bluesy slow shake that bolsters the regret of the song. Colin Brooks evokes current events and the craziness of modernity with “Enough,” whose mantra-like lyric and mid-tempo groove will have people nodding along in time. Brooks also shines with his lead on “Gravity,” a tour-de-force of forward motion and organ-generated psychedelic colors. Then some bone-rattle percussion ushers in a glowing, single-chord jam ride and a three-part chorus that swells with love.

Fans of the band will note one familiar song here. “Free Again” was written, recorded and released as a single in a blast of energy in the summer of 2010, inspired by the mind-boggling Gulf of Mexico oil spill. It’s sincere and sarcastic, playful and chastising. And it’s part of a Louisiana theme that closes out the album and ties the whole project together. “Hurricane,” the album’s lone cover, a Nashville-written tune from an old Levon Helm album, is a poignant portrait of an aging Gulf Coast salt reflecting on storms and eerily anticipating Katrina. And “Gris Gris Satchel,” the final cut, is a gorgeous and soothing acoustic tune that evokes old New Orleans and memories of great Crosby, Stills & Nash tracks.

Like that historic group, the Band of Heathens is distinguished by collaboration and load-sharing. And while songwriting and vocal duties are chiefly handled by the three guys across the front of the stage, they are decidedly a five-man band, benefitting from the equal input of all. This can lead to a lot of deliberation and creative tension. But it also means the music that emerges has been through five filters and enjoyed the collaborative creative power of five music-loving minds. “When I write a song with Ed or Colin, I usually hear it a certain way in my head,” says Quist about the power of the process. “When we bring it in to the band, the song almost always comes out turned on its head, leaning in another direction from where it started.” Music fans nationwide will hear that distilled quality upon the release of Top Hat Crown.

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TOUR DATES:

Thurs., March 3  ANN ARBOR, MI
Fri., March 4  CHAMPAIGN, IL
Sat., March 5  ST LOUIS, MO
Fri., March  11  SAN ANTONIO, TX
Sat., March 12  DALLAS, TX
Tues., March 15  AUSTIN, TX (SXSW)
Sat., March 19  HOUSTON, TX
Tues., March 29   DENVER, CO
Wed., March 30   ASPEN, CO
Thurs., March 31   PARK CITY, UT
Fri., April 1  BOISE, ID
Sat., April 9  SANTA CRUZ, CA
Sun., April 10  SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Mon., April 11  FOLSOM, CA
Tues., April 12   BAKERSFIELD, CA
Wed., April 13   LOS ANGELES, CA
Thurs., April 14  PHOENIX, AZ
Sun., April 17  DRIFTWOOD, TX

Arbouretum Announce US Winter Tour With Endless Boogie

Arbouretum are thrilled to announce their 2011 Winter tour with fellow indie rock guitar heros, Endless Boogie. They will start out celebrating the release of their epic new LP The Gathering in their hometown of Baltimore, Maryland on February 13th. From there, they will be traveling to the west coast to in support of their highly anticipated new new album. Don't worry east coast, they will be there soon!

The Gathering has garnered early support from Pitchfork, NPR, The Fader, The NME and Stereogum. In November, Arbouretum released new album details and a live video for "When Delivery Comes".  While Pitchfork broke the news of the new LP and premiered the video, both The Fader and NPR picked up the news, posted the new acoustic video, and set the tone for this truly amazing album.
In December, Stereogum premiered their debut single, “Destroying To Save” and raved about its “gorgeous guitar sound and stately vintage psych pacing.” And on the other side of the pond, UK's The NME and premiered the single in their Top 10 Daily Download.
From the truly poetic opener "The White Bird", to the amazing cover of The Highwaymen's "Highwayman", Arbouretum have really delivered a masterpiece of epic proportions. The "Song of the Nile" was a collaboration between Rob Wilson and lead singer/guitarist Dave Heumann; “the song talks about someone on a mythical hero quest who seems to go through all these scenarios quite by accident." The Gathering takes the listener on a journey filled with a plethora of imagery and narrative context lifted from the Gnostic myth of "The Song of The Pearl".


The Gathering, was to a large extent, inspired by The Red Book by Carl Jung, or more specifically, Jung’s pursuit of the inner images that led to the book’s writing. Dave Heumann has long been a fan of experiences that surpass comprehension and describe the numinous. The narrative of “losing one’s way and finding it again” resonated deeply and it was in this context that the songs that comprise The Gathering came to be.  The attention to detail in recording and in writing, in concert with the performance, result in the other-worldly experience of The Gathering.

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US Winter 2011 Tour:

Feb 13  Baltimore, MD   Ottobar Upstairs w/Secret Mountains

Feb 17  San Diego, CA   Tin Can Ale House w/Endless Boogie

Feb 19  Santa Cruz, CA  105 Pioneer w/Endless Boogie

Feb 20  San Francisco, CA Hemlock Tavern w/Endless Boogie

Feb 22  Vancouver, BC Biltmore Cabaret w/Endless Boogie, Nathan Wheeler

Feb 23  Olympia, WA Northern w/Endless Boogie, Eternal Tapestry

Feb 24  Portland, OR Mississippi Studios w/Endless Boogie, Eternal Tapestry

Feb 26  Seattle, WA Comet Tavern w/Endless Boogie, Eternal Tapestry

Feb 28  Oakland, CA  TBA w/Endless Boogie

Mar 1   Los Angeles, CA The Satellite w/Endless Boogie

Mar 5   Baltimore, MD 2640 Space w/Future Islands, Celebration

Amy Speace's new CD 'Land Like a Bird' announced

Amy Speace wrote her new album, Land Like a Bird, with her life in a state of transition. Having spent many years in Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey, surrounded by concrete, taxi horns and rushing trains, Speace suddenly found herself in the South. She’d done quite well as a New Yorker: she was signed by Judy Collins — who called Speace “one of the best young songwriters” — to Wildflower Records; she was awarded an NPR “Song of the Day”; and she toured with Collins, Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin. The city’s WFUV-FM named her song “Weight of the World” the #4 Folk Song of the Decade in its 2010 year-end Top 10 list.

“But life takes its twists and turns and as much as I loved Manhattan, I felt the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another. Relief and anticipation went hand in hand with the grieving,” she says of the change.

Space began writing Land Like a Bird as she bade farewell her Jersey City apartment with the view of the Statute of Liberty and lower Manhattan (inspiration for the song “Manila Street”). Many of the songs were goodbyes to people and places (“Had to Lose,” “Ghost,” Ron Sexsmith’s beautiful “Galbraith Street”). She brought these songs and unpacked them in her new East Nashville home.

Land Like a Bird follows Speace’s 2006 Songs for Bright Street on Collins’ Wildflower Records and 2009’s The Killer in Me. The latter, her “breakup album” which featured guest vocals by Ian Hunter, earned much critical praise. “Amy Speace is a rising star,” opined USA Today. NPR said, “Her velvety, achy voice recalls an early Lucinda Williams. Sounding grounded but wounded, Speace exudes the vulnerability of someone who’s loved and lost.” The Washington Post advised, “If you bemoan the lack of solid singer-songwriters in the world who can bridge inner turmoil with universal experience, Speace is just what you need to hear.”

The new album was produced by Neilson Hubbard (Kim Richey, Matthew Ryan, Glen Phillips, Garrison Starr) at Mr. Lemons studio in Nashville. Hubbard played bass, keyboards and vibes. Speace and Hubbard first met seven years ago while performing on an Arizona TV show and discovered their simpatico musical directions. However, they did not remain in touch. When Speace moved to Nashville last year, they were reintroduced, immediately co-wrote a song, and decided to collaborate on what would become Land Like a Bird. Kim Richey sang background vocals on “Land Like A Bird,” “Half Asleep & Wide Awake” and “Real Love Song.”

“As the fall became winter and the winter became spring, Neilson Hubbard and I would meet and write or record and snippets became songs became demos became a sound we both were chasing,” Speace says of the making of the album. “And by early fall 2010 we were inside the record we both knew we wanted to make together, a full turn of the seasons from my arrival.”

In other news, Speace will be seen on the forthcoming Big Star documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me: The Big Star Story http://vimeo.com/11881695 which includes her performance of “Try Again” with the surviving Big Star members, the Posies and Evan Dando at the Alex Chilton tribute at SXSW in March 2010. Speace and charter Big Star member Jody Stephens had met at the Folk Alliance a few years back in the band’s home of Memphis. Speace was a huge fan of Big Star and was pleasantly surprised that Stephens, in turn, as a fan of hers.

LivePhish Limited Released Today

On Sunday June 27, 2010, Phish played their sixth headline show (since 1998) at Merriweather Post Pavilion and the second show of a two-night stand to a hot, sticky summer crowd.  Merriweather Post is a wooden-roofed music amphitheater designed by Frank Gehry with excellent acoustics and a capacity of about 19,000.  The band opened set one with "Walfredo" which includes lyrics about Phish's first visit to the venue opening for Santana in 1992.  This rarity, performed only a half dozen times and for the first time in a decade, began a string of breakouts.  The number two spot featured Bob Marley's "Mellow Mood" (played for the first time since 2003’s IT festival), "Divided Sky" and 2010's first "Tela".  A couple more covers, Clifton Chenier's Bayou swinging "My Soul" and Norman Blake's "Ginseng Sullivan", were clustered mid-set along with "Sample In A Jar."  Set one wrapped up with "Brian And Robert" - bookended by Phish classics "Bathtub Gin" and "Run Like An Antelope", the latter of which contained teases of "Brian And Robert."  Set two was a seamless affair rooted in the show's theme song, "Saw It Again" (also played at Merriweather for the first time since IT).  This playful set hinged on exploratory playing and transitions like "Meatstick" > "Saw It Again" > "Piper" > "Ghost" which, like the rest of the set included deft teases of "Saw It Again".  Phish sealed the fate of this uncommon set by weaving their debut of the Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" back into "Saw It Again".  The remainder of the show: "Contact", "You Enjoy Myself" (with teases of "Jumpin' Jack Flash") and Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" also included multiple nods to "Saw it Again" among its sonic treasures.

Listen to Meatstick > Saw It Again

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On Saturday July 3, 2010, Phish returned to the Atlanta area for the first time since 2003 to begin the final two-night stand of Leg 1 of their summer tour.  Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park is a general-admission multi-purpose amphitheater with a capacity of about 12,000.  Phish had played this exact date in Atlanta eleven years ago in 1999.  The band kicked off the show with "Character Zero" and the only "Destiny Unbound" of Leg 1, followed by "Rift".  A request from the audience earned a trip to Gamehendge for "McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters" before a concentrated "Bathtub Gin" and the year's first "Mountains In The Mist".  The combination of "NICU" > "Gumbo" > "My Sweet One" spotlighted Page (aka "Leon") and Fish, who penned the latter two songs.  Set one concluded with "Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan",  "Strange Design”, the only "Sanity" of summer and "Run Like An Antelope" to close the set.  Set two began with an opening sequence of the The Velvet Underground's "Rock And Roll" > "Prince Caspian” (with a jam that entered "Dave's Energy Guide" territory) > "Tweezer" > "Slave To The Traffic Light".  This sublime Tweezer/Slave combination was featured on LiveBait Vol. 02.  Set two continued with "Bouncing Around The Room" > "Possum" and "Backwards Down The Number Line" > "Harry Hood" > "Loving Cup".  The Encore, "Sleeping Monkey" > "Tweezer Reprise", capped a great first performance at Alpharetta.

Listen to Bathtub Gin

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On Sunday July 4, 2010, Phish celebrated their second Independence Day in the Atlanta area (they played Lakewood Amphitheatre July 3 and 4, 1999).  The second show of a two-night stand and the last show of Summer Leg 1 began appropriately with an A capella performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" followed by a return to Gamehendge for "Punch You In The Eye" > "Colonel Forbin's Ascent" > "Fly Famous Mockingbird"(narration-free except for Trey pointing out the Mockingbird).  Next came some animal songs in the form of "Camel Walk" and "Ocelot" before a three-song combination of "Heavy Things" > "My Friend, My Friend" > "Lawn Boy" after which the rowdy crowd began to chant "USA, USA."  Set one concluded with "David Bowie" and a fiery "Gotta Jibboo".  After more patriotic chanting by the crowd, Phish kicked off a mostly non-stop set two with "Down With Disease" > "Piper" > "Ghost" > "Waste" > "Julius".  "Mike's Song" > "Tela" was next and was the first and only time in nearly fifteen years that these two songs were paired this way.  After an Independence Day greeting from Trey, the band dropped into the year's only performance of "Harpua".  Trey used his holiday "Harpua" narration to educate Atlanteans and visitors alike about "the history of our country as we know it", pointing out that both the real and alternative history books in schools are full of lies.  Instead, he explained, the nation's true history is to be found within Phish's music.  This rap led perfectly into the band's first and only performance of Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name", sung by Fish with all the spirit of the holiday.  A burst of energy from the crowd acknowledged the message was received.  "Killing in The Name" returned to "Harpua" > "Weekapaug Groove", capping this unique Mike's Groove.  The instrumental "First Tube" filled the Encore slot, closing Leg 1.

Listen to Gotta Jibboo

North Mississippi Allstars @ the Boulder Theater | 02.25

In the beginning, a father passed away and a child was born. Luther and Cody Dickinson lost their father, Memphis music legend Jim Dickinson, only months before Luther became one. Jim had always told them, “You need to be playing music together. You are better together than you will ever be apart.” Coincidentally, the Dickinson brothers were not together when Jim passed. At that moment, they were both off on their own, Luther with The Black Crowes and Cody with the Hill Country Revue.