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Marc Brownstein Announces His First Full Length Production Project

Marc Brownstein, best known as the bassist for The Disco Biscuits, has a new project that has been making waves in other circles of late: he’s produced the entirety of McKenzie Eddy’s forthcoming album. “Retrograde,” the first single and video from her Brownstein-produced solo album, is currently available for free download as part of her mixtape, “A Prelude to My Next Excursion," which was just released and features Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Nicole Wray, and Stalley.

With the "Retrograde" single seeing coverage from established hiphop outlets such as HipHopDX, HipHopSite.com, and others, the full length album is sure to have high visibility.

Download “A Prelude to My Next Excursion” here. Watch the “Retrograde” video here.

Eddy’s full length debut solo album, produced by Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits in the Biscuits’ own Diamond Studios in Philadelphia, is scheduled for release in April. Studio production, in a variety of genres, is not new hat to Brownstein – but Mckenzie's album will be the first full length album produced entirely by Marc. The album, which also features vocals by the Platinum selling R&B singer Nicole Wray, features the beautiful and soulful storytelling of "the Baby Face of Hip Hop,” as Eddy was called by Elle Magazine this year.

The album, untitled as of yet, is slated to be one of four initial releases on the BiscoRoc label, a joint venture between the Disco Biscuits and Roc-a-Fella founder, and current BluRoc Records owner, Damon Dash. Other projects expected to be released this year on the label include the Disco Biscuits' mixtape, "SkiBeatz vs. The Disco Biscuits," which will also feature Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, and Stalley, in addition to Jay Electronica, Mos Def, the Cool Kids, and Jim Jones of the Diplomats rapping over remixes of TDB's "Planet Anthem" and Ski's "24 Hour Karate School," as well an all original, full length, hip-hop album entitled "BiscoRoc."

In addition to her Brownstein-produced solo album, McKenzie Eddy will be very busy in 2011. In early March, Eddy and Curren$y will co-star in the “Muscle Car Chronicles,” a musical short film and album inspired and produced by Sean O'Connell, executive produced by Damon Dash, and directed by Coodie and Chike of Creative Control. The “Muscle Car Chronicles” will be distributed by Def Jam Records.

Brownstein is currently on a six-week tour of the nation with his electronic side-project, Conspirator, which will make stops at the House of Blues in LA, the Congress Theater in Chicago, the Gramercy Theater in NYC, and the world famous Ultra Music Festival in Miami.

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DOWNLOAD McKENZIE EDDY’S MIXTAPE HERE.

Tracklisting:

1.      Intro

2.      Silence Feat. Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa (Produced by Ski Beatz)

3.      Retrograde (Produced by Marc Brownstein)

4.      Glasshouse feat. Da$h (Produced by Ski Beatz)

5.      Bangers and Cash (Produced by Voodoo Farm)

6.      Secret Side feat. Stalley (Produced by Sean O’Connell)

7.      Minions (Produced by Voodoo Farm)

8.      Rice Crispy Treats Heat Wave ( Produced by Chuck Inglish)

9.      Homegrown feat. Eric Church and Curren$y

10.    Instrument for Your Mental (Produced by Brooklyn Dawn)

11.    Love Plus One (Produced by Voodoo Farm)

12.    Whiskey Sisters featuring Nicole Wray (Produced by Sean O’Connell)

13.    Hollow Hills (Produced by Voodoo Farm)

14.    Let Me Let You Go (Produced by Sean O’Connell)

15.    Equalibrium (Produced by McKenzie Eddy)

16.    Sideways Cover (Produced by Voodoo Farm)

17.    Broke My Leg (Produced by Om’Mas Keith)

eTown: Keller Williams and Marc Broussard

eTown kicks off its 2011 season with a live event that is sure to be energetic, memorable and packed with phenomenal singing and musicianship. Nick and Helen welcome Keller Williams back to the show. The unique musician will bring his cohorts The Keels, husband and wife duo Larry and Jenny Keel, who back Keller on his recent all covers album "Thief" as well as the 2006 collaboration "Grass." As the latter title suggests, the Keels add a bluegrass-y twist to Keller's customary one-man-eclectic-band approach. Keller will do his remarkable solo orchestration as well. Marc Broussard, the Louisiana-bred singer and songwriter, is known for his unique ability to channel the multiple spirits of classic R&B and soul into contemporary terms.

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More Info / Buy Tickets

Check out lots more Keller Williams coverage on The Grateful Web:

A BackYard Barbeque with Keller Williams

Keller Williams: thief

Keller Williams | The Egg @ The Heart Theatre

NY Guitar Fest Announces 2 New Shows

The New York Guitar Festival today announces two additional performances in its 2010 offerings, both at Le Poisson Rouge. January 26 welcomes an evening of exquisite finger-style guitar featuring music by James Blackshaw, Max Ochs, Ben Hall, and Nick Jonah Davis, while February 2 serves up Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and Skeleton$. Details are listed below.

The New York Guitar Festival launched its 10th event last week with a free opening night performance at World Financial Center’s Winter Garden by Slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. Among India’s most esteemed musicians, Bhattacharya lured the packed house with music both soulfully serene and frenetically ferocious. Catch a glimpse here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9cDctzwyJc . Next up for NYGF – this Thursday Merkin Hall hosts the first of four highly anticipated performances in the series Silent Films/Live Guitars.

No instrument has spoken in more voices to more people than the guitar, and over the past decade no festival has sought out the modulations in those voices and the range of the guitar’s cultural expressions than the New York Guitar Festival.

Following its success since 1999 (with rave reviews in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Jazz Times as well as sister festivals in Urbana, Illinois and Adelaide Australia), the New York Guitar Festival announces its tenth season of concert performances, January 8 though February 4, 2010.

The festival boasts over 30 exceptional guitarists of jazz, classical, rock, traditional, and avant garde styles. Participating venues include Merkin Concert Hall, The 92nd Street Y, The World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, Le Poisson Rouge and Barbes. Concerts range from an all-day Guitar Marathon interpreting the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries, (featuring, among other internationally-famous musicians, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Paul O’Dette, Ana Vidovic, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith and Nigel North) to the Hindustani slide guitar music of Debashish Bhattacharya.

The festival also has a history of commissioning remarkable original works, and the 2010 season breaks yet more new ground by presenting ten classic silent films (seven by Chaplin, one by Keaton and two by Harry Smith) accompanied by original scores performed live by a spectacularly rich and varied coterie of guitarists: Gyan Riley, Alex de Grassi, Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), Steve Kimock, James Blackshaw, Marc Ribot, David Bromberg and the members of Chicha Libre.

The New York Guitar Festival, a not-for-profit arts organization, was founded in 1999 by musician and producer David Spelman, who serves as its Artistic Director. The Festival’s goal is to broaden the public’s appreciation for the guitar by fostering emerging talent, supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists, and commissioning new works. In addition to producing eclectic concerts and radio broadcasts, its Guitar Harvest series of recordings supports outreach programs in New York City public schools.

CONCERT SCHEDULE:

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 14, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant + The Kid

Music by David Bromberg and Marc Ribot
2008 Grammy nominee David Bromberg is known for his eclectic combination of blues, bluegrass, jazz, folk, country, and rock. He’s recorded and performed with Reverend Gary Davis, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan and George Harrison among others and is presenting the premiere of newly commissioned music for Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 The Immigrant. Style-morphing icon Marc Ribot has lent his mercurial guitar sounds to collaborations including Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and John Zorn, and will improvise a score for Chaplin’s 1921 classic, The Kid.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 21, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s One A.M. and Easy Street + Buster Keaton’s Cops

Music by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Steve Kimock
Bon Iver is the nom-de-guerre of musician Justin Vernon. His album For Emma, Forever Ago was a critical and commercial hit, making him one of the most talked-about indie artists of 2008. For his scores to One A.M. & Easy Street, he’s joined by Chris Rosenau, of Collection of Colonies of Bees, whom Justin calls his “guitar mentor.” Steve Kimock is best known as co-founder and guitarist for the San Francisco band Zero. He’s recorded and performed with Bruce Hornsby and members of the Grateful Dead—Jerry Garcia once hailed him as his favorite guitarist. He performs music for Buster Keaton’s Cops.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleeker Street
Tickets and Information: (212) 505-FISH or
lepoissonrouge.com

Tuesday, January 26 @ 6:30 PM

The New Possibility

Music by James Blackshaw, Max Ochs, Ben Hall, and Nick Jonah Davis
An evening of exquisite solo finger-style guitar, assembled by New York City’s Tompkins Square label, a leading purveyor of acoustic guitar music. The Village Voice called the label’s three-volume ‘Imaginational Anthem’ series “the gold standard for guitar nerds.” Ben Hall and Nick Jonah Davis will be making their first-ever New York performances.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 28, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms and The Fall of the House of Usher (directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber)

Music by Alex de Grassi + James Blackshaw
One of the top fingerstyle, steel-string guitarists, Grammy nominee Alex de Grassi is renowned for his impeccable technique and compelling compositions. He’s explored a variety of world music influences and drawn acclaim for his 14 recordings on Windham Hill and other labels. He presents his original score for Chaplin’s 1918 masterpiece Shoulder Arms. James Blackshaw is a London-based prodigy who’s released seven albums of mesmerizing 12-string compositions. His style is often described as “American primitive” and incorporates elements of Indian raga, improvisation, and psychedelia.

92nd Street Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
Tickets and information: 212-415-5500 / www.92Y.org

Sunday, January 31, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a break at 5 p.m.

The Guitar Marathon: Bach

Music by Paul O’Dette, Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith, David Leisner, Nigel North, Gyan Riley, Benjamin Verdery, Ana Vidovic, Jason Vieaux, and additional artists to be announced.
Our 5th biannual Guitar Marathon at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufman Auditorium is co-curated by Paul O’Dette and the NYGF’s David Spelman. Some of today’s finest classical guitarists and lutenists will reveal the different facets of the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries. The event runs from 2—10pm, with a break at 5pm. “An epic event” is how the The Wall Street Journal classified our first Marathon, and Jazz Times called it “a veritable guitar orgy.” Half and full-day tickets will be available in August. Presented in association with WNYC Radio and broadcast on 93.9 FM.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleeker Street
Tickets and Information: (212) 505-FISH or
lepoissonrouge.com

Tuesday, February 2 @ 6:30 PM

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and Skeleton$

Music by Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog: Marc Ribot (guitar), Shahzad Ismaily (bass, Moog, electronics), and Ches Smith (drums, electronics). Skeletons: also known as Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys and Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities.
Ceramic Dog is a post-everything band combining the energies of two masters of downtown New York City mayhem: guitarist/vocalist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, John Zorn, Robert Plant, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello) and bassist Shahzad Ismaily (Laurie Anderson, Will Oldham), with West Coast indie/experimental genius drummer Ches Smith. Ribot is a widely recognized original on the guitar, with influence across multiple genres of music, including rock, jazz, punk, Latin, soul, 80s No-Wave, avant-garde and noise. Opening the show will be Matt Mehlan’s revolving ensemble musical project Skeleton$.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, February 4th, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s The Pilgrim and shorts by Harry Smith

Music by Chicha Libre + Gyan Riley
The Peruvian-influenced psychedelic pop of Chicha Libre mixes Colombian cumbia, dreamy surf guitar, and Andean melodies. They present their score to Chaplin’s 1923 The Pilgrim. Gyan Riley is an equally strong presence in the worlds of classical guitar and contemporary music. He’s performed throughout Europe and the U.S., both as a soloist and in ensembles with Zakir Hussain, the San Francisco Symphony, the Falla Guitar Trio, and his father, the composer/pianist/vocalist Terry Riley.

Don't The Air Taste Sweet?: Marc Cohn's New Zest for Life

Marc Cohn - pboto by Bill Bernstein- for the Grateful Web

These days, Marc Cohn has something to sing about. That may not sound so remarkable since you would naturally expect a singer/songwriter to have something to say. But this 1991 Grammy Award winner for Best New Artist had been facing a severe dry spell. Many writers (no matter if they write songs or books) often face the terror of the blank page. But this fallow period when nothing seemed to gel even when Cohn tried to force the muse had lasted for months, stretching ultimately into a year and then another. Then thinking that if he engaged with his audience, new material might come, Cohn mounted a month-long intensive tour.

On a warm August night in 2005 in Denver, fate stepped in. Marc Cohn was shot in the head during a failed carjacking and the worry over lack of creative output in his life seemed trivial. People go blind with a shot to the temple as he had; some suffer brain damage; others die. Cohn walked out of the ER the next day and went back home to New York. As he recovered, he watched the awful devastation that happened in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit.

Experiencing something that Cohn had and being able to walk away from it, relatively unscathed, and then to watch other people suffering so much is bound to raise questions about meaning. Then something wonderful happened. Among the many get well wishes Cohn received, one started a cascade of creative flow.

"I got an email from old songwriting partner who is now an elementary school teacher," Cohn said in a recent phone interview. "He wrote me: Maybe life was curious to see what you would do with the gift of being left alive." The floodgates of creativity opened and washed fresh new ideas into Cohn that were bursting to take form.

"I had been trying so hard to will my writing to come back that it was an incredible release and catharsis to have it come back without me expecting it to," he said. "Although I have to say that there were a lot of friends after I got shot who would say to me, 'I guess you've got a lot to write about.' It's funny. That never occurred to me initially, not in a conscious level. But I do think from the moment this happened, I was already writing."

Michael Silverstone, his former songwriting partner, launched the first song written for Cohn's new album, Join the Parade.  "Live Out the String," which Cohn co-credits with Silverstone, was number six in the ten song lineup on the CD. It's a song of thankfulness and awe, done to a rocking beat.

"That was the beginning of the writing coming back," Cohn said. Though he admits that he knew intellectually that he was grateful to be alive and that there was some deeper meaning behind his experience, he says, "Good songs aren't about intellectual ideas."

He also remembered a line that Rick Bragg had written about "dancing back from the grave." This is also a very unique characteristic of New Orleans funerals. While the mourners pace through the streets in a slow march, they come back from the cemetery dancing, glad their loved ones have gone to Glory. "It applied not only to me but to New Orleans," Cohn said, meaning that the city was dancing back from the grave as he was. "And this just seemed to be happening over and over and over, after years of me not getting a sign from anywhere.  Now, you could argue because I was in a very vulnerable sort of scary space I was open to all of these things, and I think that was probably true. I think there's great poetry flying around all the time. But I wasn't open to it until these two events [Silverstone and Bragg's words] and all of a sudden I couldn't stop the ideas from coming. These came so quickly and so forcefully that I couldn't even stop them. I had another record in a few months."

None of the songs on this album are maudlin. They are all uplifting and hopeful. The quirky love song that begins the CD, "Listening to Levon," sets the tone. It's about this young man who gets distracted kissing his girlfriend because he's listening to The Band on the radio. It's about not quite being present because of the music. "To me that was an interesting opener because it was chronologically the beginning of my story, "Cohn said, "being a young boy falling in love with women and with music at the same time. And then the record obviously ends quite a bit later." The rest of the songs are very much about being present and experiencing the joy of music and life.

"Dance Back from the Grave," "Join The Parade," and "My Sanctuary," are most obviously about New Orleans, but they are also about Cohn. These and others like "Live Out the String" and "Life Goes On" speak to us all about life with a big L and being very present in the moment because when you are, there is always gratitude and relationships (with people, with nature, with the Divine) become very important. There is a connection in the moment. And, for Marc Cohn, his moment of connection has produced a gift for all of us, a hymn to living life with joy.

The miracle of this burst of creativity and the production of this album is all the more remarkable because the muse is now mute. "And then it stopped again," Cohn said. "Basically, I was given these ten songs. I think I wrote a few more than are actually on the record. I haven't written for months, just a couple of ideas here and there."

This may only be temporary. Cohn does admit that he self-edits more than he did when he was younger and will discard ideas before they ever make it to a guitar or piano. Maybe his long dry spell was because he was waiting for a good idea. Then again, maybe Silverstone was right. Maybe he was given life to encourage us all to join the parade of life.

Currently, Marc Cohn is touring all over the country in support of Join the Parade. Later this summer, he plans a very special trip to New Orleans that isn't concert related. "I'm hoping that my son and I will go and do a little work down there, maybe building some homes."

It sounds like Marc Cohn is joining the parade wholeheartedly. As he sings in "Live Out the String," "Don't the air taste sweet?"