country

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Celebrates First Gold Digital Certification

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

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

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

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

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Tour Dates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Belle live on the Lennon Bus in Austin

At SXSW this year, Andrew Belle was invited aboard the Lennon Bus to perform the track that won the John Lennon Songwriting Award for excellence in their pop category. On the Lennon Bus, Andrew recorded an intimate, live version of "The Ladder," which premieres today on Paste.
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After his performances at SXSW and the South Beach Food & Wine FestivalAndrew Belle has returned to hometown Chicago to prepare the limited edition re-release of debut LP The Ladder featuring new music and new artwork and has planned a celebration around the release with his biggest Chicago show to date.
Andrew Belle is a new artist on the pop singer/songwriter scene. Residing in both Chicago and Nashville, he is currently touring clubs and universities across the country, and is also a member of the critically acclaimed national tour Ten Out Of Tenn. Andrew released his debut EP All Those Pretty Lights in 2008, containing songs featured in hit TV shows including “90210”, “The Real World”, “Ghost Whisperer” and “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.
His debut full-length album The Ladder was released in February 2010 on 1L Music. The Ladder reached #1 on iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts, scored a spot in the Top 100 chart on iTunes and charted in the Top 25 on the Billboard Heatseakers Chart.  His songs have garnered nationwide airplay including Chicago’s WXRT, Nashville’s WRLT, and Los Angeles’ KCRW. Andrew recently was named “Best Breakout Artist, Chicago” by MTV. Recently, Andrew was awarded with the John Lennon Songwriting Award for excellence in their Pop category for the title song off The Ladder. Fans and critics often refer to his songs as “smart pop”—nuanced melodies and sophisticated, contemplative lyrics coupled with bold, infectious hooks.
2009 saw Nashville / Chicago resident Andrew Belle invited out on the second generation Ten out of Tenn Tour and after an overwhelming response on the road, invited out for the Ten out of Tenn Holiday Tour.  Ten Out of Tenn is a diverse and unique community of artists making organic pop music in the shadows of Nashville's slick commercial country music industry on the road supporting each other every night!  The original Ten out of Tenn debuted in 05 with ten musicians who were at the forefront of the vibrant Nashville pop music scene with over thirty albums released between them.

Band Together for Ally | A Benefit for Ally Strong

Musicians from the elite Long Island/NYC/national jam band and rock and roll community are coming together for a one night effort to challenge small cell cancer and raise money for one of its own suffering from this disease.

Band Together for Ally” will take place on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at The Homestead, 107 South Street in Oyster Bay, Long Island from 6pm till at least midnight.  Allyson Strong, after receiving her master’s degree last year, was stunningly diagnosed with small cell cervical cancer just before Labor Day.  Radiation and chemo treatments at Sloan Kettering in New York City have not yielded desired results. The community is rallying to assist with the financial needs of the family to fight this dreaded disease. Small cell cervical cancer is an extraordinarily rare diagnosis. There is much to be learned about this specific type of cancer.

This one night fundraising event will assist Allyson and her family offset an extraordinary financial burden and will feature an unprecedented- one time only lineup featuring Rob Barraco (Dark Star Orchestra/The Dead/Phil Lesh and Friends) an original founding member of Red Flannel Hash along with Ally’s dad John Strong, Jeff Mattson (Dark Star Orchestra), John Strong, Jim Kempster, Lee Finkelstein (Funk Filharmonik/Blues Brothers) Rob Barraco and Patrick “Jake” Cummings will reunite as the original Red Flannel Hash for the first time in over thirty years.

Along with the Red Flannel Hash reunion additional acts scheduled to appear include: The Jim Pin Band with Tom Bowes and members of Funk Filharmonik, Quick Draw, The Mike Nugent Band and The FolkadelicsRed Flannel Hash will appear in its original entirety with Ally’s dad John playing bass in both the former 1970’s version of the band as well as with the current configuration acoustic for two separate sets.

Premium donations for raffles have been generously donated and include:  One Brian Moore Custom iGuitar with USB connectivity valued at $1,600, pendants from Tiffany & Co., a pair of 2011 season tickets to Bethel Woods, two separate pairs of camping passes with VIP tent access for Gathering of the Vibes Music, Camping and Arts Festival, July 24-28 at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT featuring Bob Weir/Phil Lesh as Furthur, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Jane’s Addiction, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Steve Kimock, Keller Williams as the Rhythm Devils along with an additional thirty five bands.  More Vibes info can be found at www.govibes.com.

Financial / goods and services donations continue to be gratefully accepted for this fundraising effort.  Media promotion and donations are being provided by WCBS-FM, 94 X Radio, WKJY, B-103, 103.9 WRCN, My Country 96.1 Radio.  Event hosts will include Tom Bowes from Funk Filharmonik, Jonathan Lobdell formally of WLIR-FM and Cande Roth of My Country 96.1 FM.  For those not attending but would like to participate, donations are being accepted in any amount, in the form of a check made out to BARRI GLICK and sent to DAP Agency, PO Box 3587, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.

For more information please go to: www.bandtogetherforally.com.

2011 Backbeat Jazzfest Series

The Backbeat Jazzfest Series will present its sixth annual consecutive series of evening concerts from April 29 - May 8, 2011 coinciding with the weeks of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. This series celebrates the music and spirit of New Orleans and showcases internationally renowned bands and the best in local New Orleans music in a manner that encourages collaboration to create those magical musical moments for the audience and performers alike. As in past years, the 2011 Backbeat Jazzfest Series is an evening destination for music lovers across the country craving late night entertainment after a day filled with musical celebration at Jazzfest.

This year the Backbeat Jazzfest Series will feature shows at its usual spots, Blue Nile and Tipitina's French Quarter, plus venues new to the series Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, 12 Bar, The Temple (also known as the Scottish Rite Temple.) and Tipitina's Uptown.

The Greencards' new 'The Brick Album' features Vince Gill, Sam Bush

From the first notes struck together in 2003 through tours with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, up to and beyond their fourth studio album in 2009, The Greencards have won steadily escalating acclaim for their multi-dimensional Americana vision. Each step they’ve taken has widened their appeal. Their releases have topped the Billboard Bluegrass charts. In both 2008 (for their Viridian album) and 2010 (for Fascination), they were nominated for Grammy Awards in the “Best Country Instrumental” category. They’ve earned ovations from “newgrass” music devotees at MerleFest and from indie-rock loyalists at Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits Festival. RollingStone.com noted, “This imported band is creating some of the finest Americana around.”

But this four-piece band, spearheaded by Australians Carol Young and Kym Warner, is interested less in past accomplishments than in looking ahead for new goals to achieve. Produced and engineered by studio veteran Justin Niebank (Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Keith Urban), The Brick Album on the band’s own Darling Street Records is the first to successfully infuse The Greencards’ eclectic musical references with the excitement they generate onstage.

“We’ve been striving for this since our first record,” says mandolinist Warner. “We recorded totally in one room this time, with very little isolation. It was all about doing the performance now, without going back to add anything later on.”

“What you’re hearing is all one take,” bassist and singer Young adds. “If someone really didn’t like what we’d done, we’d play it all again from the top rather than drop the part in. When you drop in a part, you lose a little bit of the feel. You’ve got to get a run-up to it.”

That immediacy was heightened by the addition of two new members of the group. Tyler Andal, a young fiddle whiz from Tennessee, reinforces both The Greencards’ grounding in roots music and their eagerness to let in the fresh air of newgrass, rock, folk elements, Latin America and much more. “He thinks outside the box,” Warner explains. “We’ve always had a strong rhythmic aspect to our music, and Tyler definitely brings that.”

The other recent arrival, former National Flatpicking Championship winner Carl Miner, excels as a guitarist in that tradition but more importantly applies his virtuosity equally well beyond it. “He’s good at everything,” Warner says. “He’s one of the most versatile musicians, and probably the most consistent, we’ve ever played with. With Tyler and him in the band, everyone is pulling in the same direction.”

Make that “directions.” The Brick Album kicks off with “Make It Out West,” a rhythmically irresistible chant powered by guest artist Sam Bush’s slide mandolin, with lyrics conjuring restless dreams and far horizons. From there the songs take listeners through ever-changing vistas — the Spanish-inflected “Heart Fixer,” whose vocals by Young and guest artist Vince Gill stir memories of Marty Robbins; the slinky, teasing “Mrs. Madness,” written by Warner after a night of watching Bored to Death; the magical “Girl in the Telescope,” which floats like a feather in sunlight; “Tale of KangaRio,” an intimate Brazilian dance of mandolin and guitar; “Loving You Is the Only Way To Fly,” a dreamy evocation of the Louvin and Everly Brothers, the pillars of classic country duet vocals.

There’s much more, but two tracks bear special mention. The wistful “Faded” is a sweetly harmonized tune, so natural that you don’t even notice its unusual 5/4 time signature. Similarly, “Adelaide” is a brisk instrumental, built over a rushing stream of chord changes made accessible by melodies and solos of eloquent coherence.

“As we get older, the more I think about it, the more we want something in music you can cling to,” Warner says. “That comes with melody. What we do on The Brick Album allows us to have something not only on the record but also on our live show. It brings it back to “more than anything, this is about lyrics and harmony.”

It’s also about integrating fans more than ever into the band’s process. The Greencards followed an independent path with The Brick Album, partnering with its followers rather than with record labels to fund its sessions. In exchange for contributing to the “Buy A Brick” project, each donor had his or her name permanently inscribed on a brick within the wall that comprises its cover art.

“The times have changed a lot in the music industry, not so much in the creative side but in business side of making music,” Warner says. “We just wanted to give something unique and special to people, not just by sending them an early copy of the record by putting their names on the artwork. That makes them fully a part of it.”

But it’s the music that makes us all part of this journey. Warner and Young were both steeped in country music; she charted several No. 1 singles in her homeland as a solo artist and he won the Australian National Bluegrass Mandolin Championship for four consecutive years. They moved to Austin, put together the first incarnation of The Greencards there and today call Nashville home.

Along the way, they have picked up some influential fans. Their 2009 release, Fascination, prompted Rosanne Cash to say, “The Greencards are a little island of truth and beauty in a sea of artifice and mediocrity. What a fine group, and what a great collection of songs.” Buddy Miller called it one of the year’s “most inventive discs.”

With this new release, the world becomes more than ever The Greencards’ stage. Their sound defies category, balancing taste and technique, engaging lyrics and melodies and wildly creative arrangements. There may be a wall on The Brick Album’s cover, but the future suggested on these tracks knows no barrier.

Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs keep it lo-fi

No Help Coming is the fourth full-length release by Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, and the latest of nearly 30 albums on which the veteran indie icon is featured. But she’s quick to dismiss any suggestion that she’s refined her approach during her 20 years as a recording artist.

“I’m proud to say that I don’t think there’s been much development at all, really,” Golightly asserts. “I still only know the same chords I did when I was 14, and I still write songs about the same things. But I did get a tuner three years ago, which was monumental.”

Indeed, as much as her work has evolved over the years, the London-born, Georgia-based singer/guitarist has maintained a fierce fidelity to the same raw DIY musical principles that first established her as a seminal influence upon multiple generations of garage combos and lo-fi artists. Her current outfit, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, is a stripped-down duo that teams her with Texas-bred multi-instrumentalist and longtime collaborator Lawyer Dave, who contributes guitar, drums and backing vocals.

On No Help Coming, scheduled for release on April 26, 2011 on Transdreamer Records, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs continue to make music that’s spare and earthy yet unfailingly tuneful, drawing upon gritty blues, country and rockabilly influences while maintaining an unmistakable personal resonance. As Playboy.com commented, “Golightly’s songs are so fresh and timeless they could have been recorded yesterday or 40 years ago.”

The new 12-song set, recorded in the twosome’s adopted home state of Georgia, features such notable originals as “The Rest of Your Life,” “You’re Under Arrest,” “Get Out My House” and the swaggering title track, all of which pack as much of a musical and emotional punch as anything they’ve recorded. No Help Coming also continues Golightly’s longstanding tradition of putting her stamp on unexpected cover material, with personalized readings of country legend Bill Anderson’s “The Lord Knows We’re Drinking,” the mysterious Mr. Undertaker’s 1955 rhythm-and-blues cult classic “Here Lies My Love,” and Wendell Austin’s vintage psycho-country epic “L.S.D. Made a Wreck of Me.” The last tune features an appropriately impassioned lead vocal by Lawyer Dave.

Born in Kensington, London, in the same hospital that Jimi Hendrix died in, Holly Golightly grew up in a bohemian household, absorbing a musical diet of psychedelic rock and soul. Her performing debut came via her then-boyfriend Bruce Brand, drummer of the legendary Billy Childish-led combo Thee Headcoats. An impromptu guest spot singing with that band led to a long and productive run as a member of Thee Headcoats’ sister band, Thee Headcoatees, with whom she recorded.

In 1995, while still a member of Thee Headcoatees, Holly branched out into a solo career that quickly revealed a both a distinctive songwriting talent and a commanding stage presence. Her solo work also largely traded Thee Headcoatees’ three-chord girl-group garage rock for a rootsier approach drawing much of its inspiration from rural American styles. She’s been intensely prolific in the years since, releasing 20 solo albums as well as numerous singles and EPs for a variety of labels, including Damaged Goods, Kill Rock Stars, Super Electro and Sympathy for the Record Industry. She’s also recorded collaborations with the likes of the White Stripes, Mudhoney, the Greenhornes and Rocket from the Crypt.

In 2007, Holly teamed with Lawyer Dave to form Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs. They purchased a parcel of rural land near Athens, Georgia, where they raise horses, dogs, chickens, geese and goats. Recording and performing as a duo, with Dave playing guitar with his hands and drums with his feet, they developed a loose, twangy sound that’s perfectly suited to their lyrical explorations of such quintessentially American themes as whiskey, religion and guns.

Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs’ 2007 debut album You Can’t Buy a Gun When You’re Crying won considerable attention from critics and fans alike. The pair continued to expand their audience with 2008’s acclaimed Dirt Don’t Hurt, their first release on the Transdreamer label. It was followed by the similarly well-received EP Devil Do and album Medicine County, released in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Now, No Help Coming adds a compelling new chapter to Holly Golightly’s massively influential body of work. “I think I’m still doing exactly what I’ve always done, in that I’ve managed to keep making music I like,” she observes. “Perhaps some people don’t stick at it for as long because they didn’t really like what they were doing in the first place. I think the trick is to just do what you like, and not aim to use every switch in the studio just because it’s there.”

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SPRING 2011 TOUR DATES

Fri., April 29  CHARLOTTE, NC Snug Harbor
Sat., April 30  CHAPEL HILL, NC Local 506
Sun., May 1  ARLINGTON, VA IOTA Club & Café
Tues., May 3  BALTIMORE, MD The Ottobar
Wed., May 4  PHILADELPHIA, PA M Room
Thurs., May 5  NEW YORK, NY The Mercury Lounge
Fri., May 6  BROOKLYN, NY Knitting Factory
Sat., May 7  CAMBRIDGE, MA Middle East Upstairs
Sun., May 8  NEW HAVEN CT Café Nine
Tues., May 10 BUFFALO, NY The Ninth Ward
Wed., May 11 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Ballroom and Tavern
Fri., May 13  CHICAGO, IL Beat Kitchen
Sat., May 14  MINNEAPOLIS, MN 7th Street Entry
Sun., May 15  MILWAUKEE, WI Mad Planet
Tues., May 17  ST. LOUIS, MO The Firebird
Thurs., May 19  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK The Conservatory
Fri., May 20  AUSTIN, TX Emo’s Alternative Lounging (Indoor)
Mon., June 20  SEATTLE, WA The Funhouse
Tues., June 21  PORTLAND, OR Doug Fir Lounge
Thurs., June 23  SAN FRANCISCO, CA Bottom of the Hill
Fri., June 24  LOS ANGELES, CA The Hotel Cafe
Sat., June 25 SAN DIEGO, CA Soda Bar

Art vs. Science Share New Remix, Announce U.S. Tour Dates

Australia’s Art vs. Science has already made quite the splash in their native country, and now they’re ready to show the U.S. what we’ve been missing out on. The band is coming over for a string of U.S. tour dates, which kicks off with an appearance at SXSW on March 19th. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Art vs. Science yet, download the Kissy Sell Out remix of “Magic Fountain” for a glimpse of the raucous party that the band is bringing our way!

The band has built a huge following in their native country off the back of two independently released EPs (both of which have gone Gold in Australia!) and thanks to their off-the-wall live show that has seen them ascend to almost-headline status at festivals around their native country. Now we’re thrilled to announce their first U.S. release, Magic Fountain EP, out March 15, 2011.

The EP, recorded by Berkfinger (Philadelphia Grand Jury) and mixed by Adrian Bushby (Two Door Cinema Club, Foo Fighters, Muse), is dance music made for Marshall stacks. Imagine AC/DC throwing robots in a drum shop. The songs that comprise the EP are huge, off the wall, unrelenting dance tunes that sound like hypercolor jams forged from sleepless nights and ADD (partly because they are).

Download the FREE MP3 of Kissy Sell Out’s Remix of “Magic Fountain” HERE, and Check Out the Video HERE!

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Art vs. Science U.S. Tour Dates

3/19 – Austin, TX – Aussie BBQ SXSW Showcase @ Maggie Mae’s
(Rooftop Stage, w/ The Jezabels, Cloud Control & Washington)
3/24 – San Francisco, CA - Popscene
3/25 – Santa Monica, CA – The Central
3/26 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater
3/28 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge

Hit by a Train -- the Old 97’s in Boulder

I left the Boulder Theater with both ears ringing thoroughly and my head in a satiated state of buzz, and in fact I was bone sober (as far as intoxicants are concerned).

Sugar Hill To Release Brian Wright's House On Fire

Sugar Hill Records is proud to continue its legacy of incredible songwriters with the release of Brian Wright’s House on Fire – due out March 29th. While this is the first label release from the Waco, TX native, he has built a firm base of fans within and beyond the music industry with two previous releases and tireless touring in the US and Europe. Unlike previous releases, which were both recorded in the studio with a band, House on Fire approaches the recording process in a much more relaxed and reflective manner, with Wright playing every instrument himself and handpicking his prolifically written songs into a mindful, well-curated collection.

And make no mistake, this album truly is about the songs. Gems like “Mean ol’ Wind” and “Live Again” convey the tenderness of the soul which very few songwriters can capture.  “Striking Matches” and “The Good Dr.” bring the driving sound of a cross-country bound train, bound for heartache or redemption. “Maria Sugarcane” paints with a Southern Gothic brush that would make Flannery O’Connor proud.

“When people ask what I sound like, I usually say I’m somewhere between Woody Guthrie and Velvet Underground,” says Wright. “This album finally allowed me to make the music the exact way it was in my head.”

After spending his early twenties on the Austin/Waco/Dallas bar circuit, playing everything from punk to covers, Wright flipped a coin to decide his future home, either New York City or Los Angeles.  Going West won the day.  Today, when not touring, he resides in Los Angeles where he is a fixture in the LA music scene.  For the last six years he has been the front man and lyricist for his band Brian Wright and the Waco Tragedies, a band that has gathered a devoted audience across the country.

Wright has plans to launch the record with a full showcase schedule at SXSW in Austin plus a string of nation-wide tour dates.

Marty Stuart Preps For UK Tour!

RAMMY nominee Marty Stuart will kick off his UK Tour in Glasgow, Scotland on Jan. 28.  The tour comes on the heels of praise from UK press for his album GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS), with the BBC noting that Stuart has “a complete understanding of what makes good country music sound right, and just enough rebelliousness to keep it fresh,” while the UK Independent calls GHOST TRAIN “the best country album of this year.”

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UK TOUR DATES:

1/28    Glasgow, Scotland
1/29    Gateshead, England
1/30    Nottingham, England
1/31    Milton Keynes, England
2/1      London, England
2/2      Dublin, Ireland

The album, including two GRAMMY nominated tracks for “Best Country Collaboration With Vocals” for “I Run To You,” and “Best Country Instrumental” for “Hummingbyrd,” also landed on several year-end lists including NPR’s “Ken Tucker’s Top 10 of 2010,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Philadelphia Inquirer, CMT.com, No Depression, Toronto Star and The 9513.

From Glasgow, Scotland to Glasgow, Kentucky, Stuart has added a slew of dates across the US following his UK stint.  For tour dates and ticket information, visit www.martystuart.net.