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Sam Llanas of the BoDeans readies solo album '4 a.m.'

Sam Llanas (pronounced yanas), lead singer-guitarist for the acclaimed Milwaukee band the BoDeans, takes listeners deep into the night on his new release, 4 A.M., arriving Oct. 25 on Inner Knot Records. The intimate, mostly acoustic collection, produced by longtime collaborator Gary Tanin, features 10 new Llanas originals and a dazzling cover of Cyndi Lauper’s hit “All Through the Night.”

Llanas says of his latest work, “I do a lot of work late at night. It’s a night record, a nocturnal record, thematically about things that happen in the night. That covers a lot of ground. It could be the simple things — being in love, being with somebody — or about the loneliness that the night can bring.”

The album, an understated complement to the BoDeans’ just-released 10th studio album Indigo Dreams, is markedly different from Llanas’ 1998 solo bow A Good Day to Die, which was a powerful eulogy for Llanas’s brother recorded under the group rubric Absinthe.

“The Absinthe record was kind of bombastic and very intense,” Llanas says. “I wanted to do something that was lighter, as light as I can get. I wanted it to be completely different. That’s why 4 A.M. is pretty much an acoustic record.”

Work on 4 A.M. began nearly four years ago, when Llanas’ band the BoDeans, which he has led since 1983, was between projects.

He recalls, “I had time on my hands, and I had some songs I wanted to record. I started working with Terry Vittone — I just said, ‘Hey, let’s make some recordings.’ There was no real thought that it was going to be an album or anything like that. It just sort of escalated from there.”

Sessions for the embryonic project commenced at guitarist Vittone’s house. “I would record the songs in the afternoon,” Llanas says, “and get them to a point where I liked them. Then the next day I’d go back, and Terry would say, ‘Sam, I want you to hear some ideas I threw down on the track.’ And Terry was willing to take really strong direction from me, because I didn’t want a guitar player who was playing all over the song. Terry was really good at putting in the nuances that were needed. He played very little, and that seemed to work very well.”

With the majority of the material in the can, a protracted layoff from recording ensued. After almost two years, Llanas began completing 4 A.M. at Daystorm Music in Milwaukee with producer-musician Tanin, who had also worked on A Good Day To Die and supplied the strings on the new recording.

Llanas decided to preserve the original recording’s spare quality, and added a couple of new tracks that were left untouched. “I wanted to keep it simple. ‘The Way Home’ and ‘Janey’ seemed to work really well just the way they were.”

However, he adds, “I thought the other songs needed a bit more dressing up. Some I thought would work better if we put a little bit more on them.” Thus, BoDeans keyboardist Bukka Allen was called in to play accordion, while Milwaukee musicians Matt Turner and Ryan Schiedermayer contributed bass and percussion, respectively.

Some of the compositions on 4 A.M. began life as prospective material for the BoDeans, Llanas says: “‘Nobody Luvs Me’ was actually recorded with the BoDeans, but it’s quite a different version — you wouldn’t really know it’s the same song. ‘Shyne’ was on our album Mr. Sad Clown. I thought that would work really well there, so I brought it into that project. The first song on 4 A.M., ‘Oh, Celia,’ was demoed with the BoDeans years and years ago. That’s quite an old song.”

Nestling seamlessly with Llanas’ own cycle of before-dawn melodies is his hushed cover of Lauper’s 1983 perennial “All Through the Night,” penned by Jules Shear. “It’s a beautiful song,” Llanas says, “but when they recorded it, in the early ’80s, the sound that they got on it was so harsh . The keyboards always ruined the song for me. I really wanted a version of that song that was just beautiful. That’s what I tried to do — honor that song, and give it what it deserved.”

Llanas’ new solo opus offers a new dimension to his music — one that actually dates back to the sunrise of his professional career.

“Before I ever had the BoDeans, I was a solo performer in Waukesha,” he remembers. “I would go and play at these open mic shows, and I learned my craft and honed my stage skills that way. I think this record really reflects that part of my career, that part of my personality. It goes back to before I ever performed with the BoDeans. It was just me — one man and one guitar.”

Esteemed rock critic and author Dave Marsh calls 4 A.M. “A great record. Really the best thing that has come out of their music in a long, long time — closer to classic BoDeans. Sammy’s voice is so much what I love about BoDeans and it has never been showcased any better.”

Asleep At The Wheel @ Boulder Theater | 7/24

Can a wheel reinvent itself while it’s still rolling?

Sounds like an impossible task -- but you never want to say “impossible” to Asleep at the Wheel, the famed western-swing, boogie, and roots-music outfit that’s, amazingly, still on the upswing. That’s saying something, too, considering the group’s been around for nearly 40 years, turning out an incredible 25+ albums while playing an unrelenting schedule of one-nighters that would make a vaudevillian dizzy.

“In terms of how many people we played for, what we accomplished, and how much money we made – well, we didn’t make any money – this year was absolutely our best year ever,” says Wheel founder and front man Ray Benson with a chuckle.

And even as the Wheel rolled on, the reinvention had begun. You could see and hear it in their live shows, where new vocalist Elizabeth McQueen invited comparison with the classic female vocalists of the band’s earlier era, and fiddler-singer Jason Roberts gave the band a second male lead voice to complement Benson’s immediately identifiable baritone.

These days, the reinvented Wheel is also rolling down a couple of new avenues. One involves to the critically acclaimed musical play, A Ride With Bob, which stars Benson as himself -- encountering the ghost of Bob Wills on a tour bus – Roberts as the young Wills, and McQueen as Minnie Pearl and other famed entertainment figures, with the rest of the band members featured as well. Originally designed as a one-off celebration of Wills’ 100th birthday in ’05, A Ride With Bob quickly took on a life of its own and, notes Benson, “it’s absolutely a part of what we do now.” Another success has been the adaptation of the Wheel’s repertoire for pops symphony. Performances with Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth & Amarillo symphonies have drawn record crowds.

The Wheel’s new look is also spotlighted in several new discs – the first called, appropriately enough, Reinventing the Wheel. The 12-cut celebration of American – particularly Southwestern – music features guest appearances by gospel’s Blind Boys of Alabama (with a splendid reworking of the old Wills tune “The Devil Ain’t Lazy”) and banjoist Rolf Sieker, along with lead vocals by McQueen and Roberts as well as Benson, whose voice has been synonymous with Asleep at the Wheel for decades.

The second is 2009’s Willie and the Wheel; a collaboration with Willie Nelson that was originally envisioned by famed producer Jerry Wexler in the 1970s. Unfortunately before they had a chance to cut it, Nelson had left Atlantic Records. But over the ensuing decades Wexler kept the idea alive and even gave Ray his entire collection of western swing vinyl that included his notes on song choices and treatments. In late 2007 the idea was revived and Jerry and Ray reconnected by phone. Always the producer with a vision, Jerry was involved in every way. He insisted that some of the tracks should include horns as well as a return to traditional fiddles and lap steel guitar associated with western swing. As the sessions concluded and Willie finished his vocals the tracks were sent to Jerry. “To my delight and relief,” says Ray, “he loved them.” In fact, Wexler heard most of the finished tracks prior to his passing in August 2008. "Jerry wanted us to do this album and I'm glad we got to do it for him, “says Willie Nelson. “And that he heard it before he passed on."

The success of the Willie and the Wheel album release was quickly followed up by a tour and even a taping of the 35th anniversary of Austin City Limits for PBS (for broadcast in Fall of 2009), a fitting double-bill as Willie had taped the pilot and Asleep at the Wheel appeared in the very first regular episode of the legendary live music television program.

And now in contemplating the 40th anniversary of Asleep at the Wheel in 2010, Ray remains focused on the original concept. “I carried the load for many, many years, but I’ve always just wanted to have a band, as opposed to Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel,” Benson explains. “That’s what we had in the ‘70s – a band, a revue kind of deal, which was the whole concept. But trying to replace a Chris O’Connell was very difficult. And then Elizabeth walks up, and boom – here’s my girl singer. And then I kept pushing Jason, both through the play and through the band, saying, `Man, you’ve got talent. You can sing. You’ve got the golden ear – just apply it to your singing and songwriting.’”


Roberts, who’s been the Wheel’s full-time fiddler since early ’96, welcomed the opportunity to be a part of the revamped, revue-style Wheel. “I think everybody got a chance to put their two cents in, and bring to the table what they had, ” he adds. “God bless Ray Benson for allowing us to do that..”

Adds McQueen, “One of the things about Asleep at the Wheel is that they always have great musicians. That’s what they’re known for. So for them to ask me to join and then to keep me in the band, and to let me step out a little more and stand in the shoes of Chris O’Connell and Maryann Price, who were amazing singers – that’s an incredible honor. It’s above and beyond my greatest expectations.”

So, whether your next encounter with Asleep at the Wheel is at a dance or concert, or backing up Willie Nelson via the new disc, or at a live production of A Ride with Bob, you’ll be witnessing something very special -- a band that’s not only been entertaining audiences with its own genre-busting music for four decades, but also a group that’s never been afraid to try something new -- including a reinvention, inspired by the past, that rolls joyously toward a long and shining future.

More Info / Buy Tickets

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Date/Time: July 24, 2011, 8:00 pm

Audience: All Ages

Seating: All Seated Reserved/GA

Ticket Availability: Yes

General Admission: $32.00

Reserved Tickets: $37.50

Gold Circle: $48.50

'Definitive Chick Corea' Reissue on Concord

Since his earliest recordings in the 1960s, pianist, keyboardist, and composer Chick Corea has consistently taken the creative process to a level that transcends conventional musical doctrines. After spending his formative years with artists as diverse as Miles Davis, Herbie Mann, Stan Getz, and Sarah Vaughan, Corea helped redefine the boundaries of jazz as a founding member of the acclaimed Return To Forever, one of the most innovative and daring jazz fusion collectives of the last half-century. In more recent decades, as the leader of numerous projects that have explored various aspects of the musical landscape, he continues to be an influential force in modern jazz.

In celebration of Corea’s 70th birthday this summer, Concord Music Group provides a look back at three decades’ worth of brilliant recordings in The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord. The sweeping two-disc collection — the latest in CMG’s ongoing Definitive series — begins with some of Corea’s best sessions with Stretch in the early 1980s and follows him through the end of the century to his work on Concord up to 2009. The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord is set for release on June 7, 2011, just days ahead of the artist’s 70th birthday on June 12.

The collection is being released simultaneously with Forever, a new two-disc electric/acoustic set that Corea recorded live with Return To Forever bandmates Stanley Clarke and Lenny White — along with, on disc two, a few high-profile guests (Chaka Khan, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Bill Connors) — during a world tour in 2009. A previously unreleased version of Corea’s well-known “La Fiesta,” captured during this tour, is the closing track on The Definitive Chick Corea.

Even a quick glance at the range of material in this collection — 21 tracks in all — provides an impressive perspective on the breadth and depth of Corea’s imagination, according to veteran music journalist Don Heckman, who wrote the liner notes for the set.
“Start with the all-star collectives of the early ’80s that find him in the company of such jazz stalwarts as Michael Brecker, Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, and Gary Peacock, to name only a few,” says Heckman. “Add the musical encounters with old friend and frequent collaborator Gary Burton, the first Origin tracks and a glimpse of Chick’s insightful approach to standards. And, in the 2000s, more unusual musical encounters, this time with Bobby McFerrin, Béla Fleck, Hiromi, John McLaughlin, and again Burton, as well as the Elektric and Akoustic Bands.”
As to the divine nature of the creative process, Heckman recalls a quote from Corea himself about the higher channel that every artist eventually dials into: “Your tastes can change from day to day,” says Corea. “But the whole point of being an artist, with my groups, has always been spirituality, art as spirit. That’s our message, and translated into human rights terms, it’s freedom of expression. Freedom of thought, which is actually broader than freedom of religion . . . Freedom to think as you will. Which means freedom to pray, practice your own religion, play what music you want, say what opinions you have, communicate as you want. And that’s our premise.”
The music within The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord exemplifies Corea’s unwillingness to be restricted by artificial boundaries, says Nick Phillips, Concord Music Group’s Vice President of Catalog and Jazz A&R and co-producer — in collaboration with Corea — of this collection. “One of the many amazing things about Chick is just how restlessly creative he is — not only as an instrumentalist, but also as a composer,” says Phillips. “He’s a true artist who’s not driven by fickle trends, or some conventional norm about the way a jazz tune should be written or played. He’s driven purely by his own boundless creativity, and he has demonstrated that throughout his career. That’s what shines through on these tracks and that’s why each one is timeless.”
Heckman sums up the release as “a three-decade, double-disc album of selected musical scenes from a richly creative life. An album guaranteed to appeal to Chick’s dedicated fans, as well as the lucky listeners who will be experiencing the pleasures of first discovery.”
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TRACK LIST:

Disc 1

Tap Step
Quartet No. 1
Folk Song
Duende
Windows
Armando’s Rhumba
Bud Powell
Dreamless
Wigwam
Spain
It Could Happen To You
Disc 2
Blue Monk
Bessie’s Blues
Johnny’s Landing
North Africa
The Fool on the Hill
Señorita
Crystal Silence
The Disguise
La Fiesta [previously unreleased]
Fingerprints

Get Familiar with The New Familiars

Justin Fedor, Josh Daniel, Daniel Flynn, and Patrick Maholland all grew up playing music in some form or fashion and together make up The New Familiars. Together they’ve created a crew of thick-skinned, rowdy, determined musicians and songwriters. Multi-instrumentalist talents of Justin and Josh keeps the ever evolving sound. Willie Nelson, The Band, My Morning Jacket, and Otis Redding are named as a few of their heroes. They’ve shared the stage opening or closing shows with Johnny Neel (Allman Brothers), Levon Helm (The Band), Del McCoury, Emmitt-Nershi Band, and the Infamous Stringdusters. They’re also happy to be in their fifth year in the festival circuit.

“It’s American rock and roll” they’ll tell you. As much as they love bluegrass, rock and roll, and country, they skirt along the edge of all three. Blossoming out of a music scene that’s birthed loads of bands that blur and bend genre lines, The New Familiars happily sit in that place. Regardless, they’ll keep you on your feet, and that’s the important part right?

Their album Between the Moon & The Morning Light is a milestone for their career, which brought band member changes, and united the members that remained. Songs about love, luck, traveling the road, and finding one’s place in the world are what will be heard on Between the Moon & The Morning Light. Recorded by Joe Kuhlmann at 34th & Hudson in Charlotte, North Carolina, and mixed by Dave Glasser at Airshow in Boulder, Colorado.

Guests like Bob Crawford (Avett Brothers),Tania Elizabeth (the Duhks, Mary Gauthier), Sam Quinn, assure a level of energy, quality, and talent that The New Familiars plan to continue to share throughout their recordings and touring.

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Tour Dates:

May 13 – Legal Grounds – Rutherfordton, NC
May 14 – NC Music and Beer Festival – Huntersville, NC
May 14 – Artisphere – Greenville, SC
May 20 – The Quarter – Gulfport, MS
May 28 – Jammin At Hippie Jacks – Crawford, TN
June 17 – Downtown After Five – Asheville, NC
July 4 – National Whitewater Center – Charlotte, NC
September 23 – Jammin At Hippie Jacks – Crawford, TN

Paul Brady's 'Hooba Dooba' Streets 5/24

The career of Paul Brady — whose 12th solo album, the exuberantly titled Hooba Dooba, gets its U.S. release on May 24, 2011 via Proper American — is not that of your usual singer/songwriter. And the new record is the most wildly eclectic this man for all seasons has yet recorded. “I’m a marketing department’s nightmare,” he jokes, before discussing the confusion that has surrounded him for so long.

“I don’t really fit any of the recognized models for artists,” he acknowledges. “That has to do with my musical background, the variety of my tastes and the fact that I’ve jumped from place to place in my career. But at the same time, I’ve never found a compelling reason to narrow my perspective on the music I love by making a record that is only a small bit of what I am. I love big, romantic ballads, screamin’ blues songs, folk songs, country tunes. All these things have been hard to put into one box and say what it is, and I suppose I’ve suffered from that to a degree. But that’s what I am, and my fans are into me because of that — they’re the kind of people who resist marketing strategies, who like to discover things themselves. They respond to the sound of a voice, which says something to them on a subliminal level emotionally, rather than falling for some image.”
In 1963, five years after picking up his first guitar at age 11 and playing along with Shadows and Ventures records, the young Irishman snagged his first paying gig tinkling the ivories in a Donegal hotel, marking the beginning of 48 uninterrupted years of making music — all kinds of music. Like so many of his contemporaries on that side of the pond, he spent a chunk of the ’60s cranking up the volume in R&B bands before making a radical shift into Irish folk music, working with the Johnstons and Planxty, in collaboration with Andy Irvine and on his own, interpreting traditional songs. In the late ’70s, now married and with two kids on the way, he dedicated himself to writing his own material, inspired in part by the music of Gerry Rafferty, another folk artist who’d remade himself as an eloquent singer/songwriter. Hard Station, Brady’s 1981 solo debut album, containing the first fruit of his labors, returned him to the realm of rock and pop, and he scored his first big cover a year later when Hard Station’s “Night Hunting Time” wound up on Santana’s million-selling Shango, to its author’s surprise and delight.
Brady spent the next two decades leading a double life as a recording artist making a sustained effort to get on the radar and a much-covered songwriter, a number of his songs made famous by singers far better known than himself. These included such high-profile covers as Bonnie Raitt’s memorable, multiple-Grammy-winning rendition of “Luck of the Draw” (1991) and Brooks & Dunn’s chart-topping country single “The Long Goodbye” (2001). Around the turn of the century, the multitalented veteran once again reinvented himself, this time as a self-contained, truly independent artist. Since this latest metamorphosis, he’s been touring constantly in small-group settings on both sides of the Atlantic and making records whenever he felt inspired to do so. Which brings us back full circle to Hooba Dooba, its multiple facets glinting like an uncut diamond nestled in a field of shamrocks.
Brady describes “The Winners’ Ball,” propelled by a springy, soulful groove, as “a tongue-and-cheek look at the excesses of the modern end of music,” while “Rainbow” is a lush, widescreen ballad that begs for a country cover, though Brady insists that it’s closer to Memphis than Nashville. “The Price of Fame” builds to a string-laden crescendo in the grand manner of vintage Elton John, and the following “One More Today” sounds like some just-discovered Tin Pan Alley standard.
The album’s most dramatic segue takes the listener from the earthy, rollicking “Follow That Star” to the heart-wrenching “Mother and Son.” “I do like slapping people in the face, figuratively, with an emotional change,” Brady explains. “‘Follow That Star’ comes out of a genre that I have always loved, raw, acoustic blues — anything from Lead Belly to Mississippi John Hurt to ’60s British blues of Winwood, Beck and Clapton. ‘Mother and Son’ is a song about my relationship with my mother. It’s a song that I was trying to write for many years, but only managed to finish it after she passed on.”
The album also contains his first-ever recording of “Luck of the Draw,” the only song here not of recent vintage — apart, that is, from its lone non-original, a sublime, irresistible rendering of “You Won’t See Me” from Rubber Soul. “I wrote ‘Luck of the Draw’ when I was making the Trick or Treat album in L.A. back in 1990, and that’s when Bonnie Raitt picked up on it. I’d always wanted to record it because I had a very different take from the way Bonnie did it, but I decided to leave it alone for a respectable amount of time after hers was current. That was a long time ago, obviously, and it seemed like the right time to do it.” Good move — Brady’s take is so unlike Raitt’s familiar one as to be virtually unrecognizable, providing the song with an edgy, vital second life.
When asked why he decided to title the album Hooba Dooba, Brady replies, “It’s a phrase I’ve used many times in situations when something takes me by surprise that’s pleasurable. In this case, I was in the art department with the designer who was working on the cover looking through various ideas, and when he showed me the image that eventually became the cover, I looked at it and went, “Hooba dooba.” He said, ‘Is that the album title?’ and when I told him no, he said, ‘Well it should be.’ And I decided he was right. Nothing more profound than that.”
Given Brady’s back story, it’s hard to say whether Hooba Dooba — which features guests Jerry Douglas on lap steel and Sarah Siskind on backing vocals — will clear up the confusion about just who this multifaceted guy is or add to it, but one thing’s for sure: this record is a dead-honest picture of a one-of-a-kind artist who has always been absolutely true to himself.

“I’ve been in this business over 40 years, and I’m a survivor,” says Brady with unconcealed pride. “I’ve been through plenty of ups and downs, and I know what the business is. I have a broad enough base in terms of my activities to have survived for this long and to still be enjoying what I’m doing. Anything above and beyond that is icing on the cake.” He pauses for a moment, his face lighting up in a smile. “And the cake is okay.”

Rhythm Devils ft. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann announce Summer Tour

For nearly three decades they were the two-headed, eight-limbed, polyrhythmic engine that drove the Grateful Dead. Now, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart are the Rhythm Devils, and when the veteran percussionists take to the road this summer, even the most Deadicated of fans will be in for some big surprises. “The music is quite different,” says Kreutzmann. “It’s real groove-based. It has lots of percussion and electronics. It’s very danceable. It’s gonna be quite a mix up there.”  Hart says, “This music will take you to a very special place, I think. It’s like a super friendly rhythm snake that has wrapped itself around the world a few times and now it’s coming our way. It’s electric; it’s got rhythm, has words and flies. It’s the Rhythm Devils.”

Joining Hart and Kreutzmann in the Rhythm Devils for this tour will be Nigerian talking drum master Sikiru Adepoju, returning from the last RD tour in 2006, Back Door Slam’s Davy Knowles (guitar, vocals) and Andy Hess (bass). Plus one-man-band Keller Williams (guitar, vocals) makes his first run as a Devil, joining the band on select dates, as does The Mother Hips' Tim Bluhm (guitar, vocals).

The Rhythm Devils name has its origins in the late ’70s. As Hart explains, “I remember Jerry looking at Bill and I one time. He shook his head and just said, ‘You guys are Rhythm Devils.’”

But the 2010 incarnation of the Rhythm Devils is guaranteed to be unlike anything that’s come before—the dynamic mix of the musicians’ individual but complementary styles and approaches is sure to lead to some serious sparks. “It’s a great combination,” says Hart. “You have the deep trance music from Nigeria and West Africa that Sikiru brings to us and there’s Davy who at any moment just might rip the sky apart with his guitar and Andy Hess is a real gem of a bass player. Joining us for the first part of the tour is the 'one man band' Keller Williams and on the second part of our tour is Tim Bluhm, who will bring his ferocious California guitar style and beautiful vocals to the mix.”

While both Hart and Kreutzmann promise that the music will be percussion-driven, another factor contributing to the Rhythm Devils’ special mojo is the troupe’s repertoire: Not only will they be reconstituting some familiar Grateful Dead tunes in their unique way, but the Devils will also be performing numerous tunes written exclusively for them by Robert Hunter, the legendary songwriter whose collaborations with the late Jerry Garcia provided the Dead with their most beloved and durable material.

“Robert Hunter is a major force in all of this. He has written his heart out in these new songs,” says Hart. “There will also be enormous, exciting electronic sections of pulsing, throbbing, beautiful zones. There are places and sounds still unknown and unborn that we will no doubt visit.”

Kreutzmann and Hart have been inextricably entwined as partners since they first met in 1967, two years after the formation of the Grateful Dead with Kreutzmann the sole drummer. On that first night, they literally “played the city,” walking around San Francisco with drumsticks banging on everything in sight. Hart joined them immediately and except for a brief hiatus in the ’70s, the pair remained with the Dead until 1995, when Garcia’s death signaled the end of an era. Since then, Kreutzmann and Hart have continued to make music both together (most recently in The Dead) and apart, but they both agree that a special chemistry takes place when their percussive minds are in sync.

“When we get together and we’re in the groove it’s a tractor beam,” says Hart. “Anyone around that will be drawn in. But we always thought of the Grateful Dead, and anything that we did together, as a work in progress. This too is a work in progress and that’s the best thing you could say. We’re looking to the future with this kind of music. In the Grateful Dead we created a body of work that we’ll not leave behind. But we also have an identity as the Rhythm Devils, and that’s who we’ll be.”

When they’re not working together as the Rhythm Devils, both Hart and Kreutzmann are involved in other projects. Kreutzmann plans to release a new album later this year with his other band, 7 Walkers, which features singer-songwriter Papa Mali (who has also been collaborating with Hunter on new material), multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard, and George Porter Jr. on bass.

Among Hart’s recent endeavors is the tentatively titled Rhythms of the Universe, a project of enormous scope. Hart is currently working with leading scientists to capture raw light waves from Space and then transform those light waves into sound waves. Hart then uses those sounds to compose Universal music. Hart's goal is nothing less than exploring what the universe really sounds like, from the Big Bang to the galaxies, to the stars and planets and beyond.

But for both Kreutzmann and Hart, it’s the upcoming Rhythm Devils tour that’s got them most excited. “It’s part of my lifelong partnership, my 40-year rhythmic experience, with Bill Kreutzmann,” says Hart. “It’s time for Bill and me to get together and explore new rhythms and take it to the next level. We share a unique rhythm and we’ve got some great guys with us who we’re going to explore what it sounds like on this planet…star date; 2010.”

Rhythm Devils current tour schedule is as follows:

Friday, July 16 Arcata Theatre Arcata CA with Keller Williams
Saturday, July 17 String Summit North Plains OR with Keller Williams
Sunday, July 18 Britt Festival Jacksonville OR with Keller Williams
Thursday, July 22 Ogden Theatre Denver CO with Keller Williams
Friday, July 23 Steamboat Springs Concert Series Steamboat Springs CO with Keller Williams
Saturday, July 24 Spud Drive In Driggs ID with Keller Williams
Sunday, July 25 Red Butte Garden Salt Lake City UT with Keller Williams
Tuesday, July 27 Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff AZ with Keller Williams
Wednesday, July 28 Rialto Theatre Tucson AZ with Keller Williams
Thursday, July 29 Soundwave San Diego CA with Keller Williams
Saturday, July 31 Gathering of the Vibes Bridgeport CT with Keller Williams
Tuesday, January 4 - Sunday, January 9 Jam Cruise 9 Fort Lauderdale FL with Tim Bluhm
Sunday, January 9 Revolution Fort Lauderdale FL with Tim Bluhm
Part two of the summer tour still to be announced.

Pete Francis | Summer Tour 2010 | New LP

New York City based singer-songwriter, Pete Francis, is set to release his new album The Movie We Are In this May 2010. Whereas Francis’ previous solo albums were largely self-produced, he uprooted his more traditional approach to album-making and assembled an entirely new crew with Los Angeles based producer Jeff Trott (right hand man to Sheryl Crow as writer and guitarist). Says Francis, “In the past I’ve worked with acoustic guitar, bass, drums, B3 organ, but I wanted to bring a modern electronic element into my music. When first speaking with Jeff Trott, I quickly realized he had great musical instincts and that he was getting my tunes. And then, he brought ideas to the table that I hadn’t imagined. I saw a new musical landscape could be created with my songs by working with him.”

The musicians that Trott assembled for the recording sessions helped to create this colorful landscape. Having worked with artists such as Beck, Nine Inch nails, Gnarls Barkley, Willie Nelson, Queens of the Stone Age, Dr. Dre, and Scott Weiland, the musicians (Brian LeBarton, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, John O’Brien, Victor Indrizzo and others) provided an extraordinary musical palette of talent and sensibility.

When asked about the project, Trott says, “It really became apparent to me that Pete was a very creative and colorful song-writer. What I liked was that there was this very good sense of Pete’s personality from happy go lucky to dark and brooding. All these aspects were amazing to work with and the lyrics were very colorful. I think that’s one of the things I really enjoy about Pete’s songs… that it’s sometimes hard to really figure out what the meanings are and I think that’s missing in a lot of music - the mystery of what a song is.”

The opening track, “Glue”, generates a feeling of weightlessness by combining organic instrumentation with futuristic sounds. This song solidly represents what’s to follow on the album’s consistent mix of fresh and classic, electronic and acoustic, known and unknown… Each listen unlocks a new guitar lick, synth riff, bass groove, drum program, live drumbeat or horn swell, and even the sounds of the sparsely used Ethiopian instrument cumbus. Midway through the album, the listener gets catapulted into the up-tempo and joyous revelry of “Love Shakes You Down” a sing-a-long with the familiar bell sounds of Motown combined with a  string synth creating a modern and retro sound all at once. The slower, more melodic songs of the album like “St. Paul’s Fair” and “Didn’t Know I Built It” lure the listener into dream-states with rich deep vocals, sampled sounds from a town square in Italy, trance-like Wurlitzer pedaling, and vivid lyrics.

No one would deny that Francis has earned his stripes in the independent music scene. He formed the fiercely independent band Dispatch in 1995 whose uncommonly loyal fan-base bid them farewell at The Last Dispatch concert in 2004 with an attendance of 110,000 people from around the world. Since then, his career has infiltrated many musical worlds including performing his solo music at festivals around the country, reuniting with his Dispatch pals for three sold out nights at Madison Square Garden, having his solo music featured in films and television, and performing in the presence of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C..

Commenting on his new album and departure from his Dispatch days, Francis says, “It’s good to get out of your comfort zone. I tried to let this motto resonate at every turning point of this record’s evolution.” When asked if there is an overall theme to The Movie We Are In, Francis explains, “I like to leave this up to the listener. Hearing an album is similar to visiting a museum. The listener has to have his or her own conversation with the artwork and create their own interpretations."

The Antlers Play BOULDER At Fox Theatre On 4.26

Sometimes you have to put yourself first, no matter how difficult that notion seems; no matter how much time and effort you’ve already put into this one person—the person who’s reduced your very being to its absolute core. Just ask Peter Silberman, the string-pulling founder of The Antlers, a solo project that suddenly went widescreen on the self-released Hospice LP (now receiving a proper widespread pressing through Frenchkiss). The first Antlers effort to feature two key permanent players—powerhouse drummer Michael Lerner and the layer-lathering multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci—it’s an album with a sound that’s actually as ambitious as its concept.

“Hospice came from the idea of caring for a terminal patient who’s mentally abusive to you,” says Silberman. “You don’t have the right to argue with them, either, because they’re the one who’s dying here; they’re the one that’s been dealt a wrong hand. So you take it, but you can only take so much. Eventually, you realize that this person is just destroying you.”

Appropriately enough, Hospice’s 10 distinct chapters resonate on debilitating sonic and lyrical levels, from the hypnotic harp and tension-ratcheting build of “Two” to the sing-or-sink choruses of “Bear” and the speaker-rattling peaks of “Sylvia,” easily one of the year’s most immediate epics. It’s here, amidst contrasting shards of ambient noise, sweeping strings and smoky horns, where The Antlers truly transcend Silberman’s singer-songwriter beginnings—a striking escalation of expectations first hinted at on 2008’s New York Hospitals EP. The progression doesn’t end there, either. In a move that could be taken as the riff-raking extension of his thorough guitar training (from the age of 6 ‘til right before college), “Atrophy” and “Wake” delve into sheets of distortion, subtle shades of soul, cicada-like effects and enough movements to fill an entire EP.

“We were going for something that’d be dense but not too complicated,” explains Silberman. “I hate the word ‘lush,’ but I guess that’s the best way of describing it. The structures are like pop songs—verse/chorus, verse/chorus—but the sound is a little more shoegaze-y or post-rocky.”

It’s about to get even more complicated, too, as The Antlers’ Technicolor-tinged trio take all of Hospice’s songs—and three previous releases—in a completely different direction, jettisoning a note-for-note rendition of the record for “a massive sound” doused in delay, reverb and unrehearsed chaos. And to think Cicci was a stage actor with a desire to drop it all for music just a few years ago.

“Hospice was the clear indication that this isn’t a singer-songwriter thing at all,” says Silberman. “Whatever we record next is going to define the three of us as a ‘band.’

He continues, “I always figured I’d be the ‘shredder’ in a group… But things somehow ended up this way.”  We wouldn’t have it any other way, either.

--

The Antlers US Tour Dates With Phantogram:

Fri-Apr-16 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
Sat-Apr-17 - Urbana, IL - Canopy Club
Sun-Apr-18 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
Tue-Apr-20 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre
Wed-Apr-21 - Iowa City, IA  - The Blue Moose
Thu-Apr-22 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Fri-Apr-23 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig

Mon-Apr-26 - Boulder, Co - Fox Theatre
Wed-Apr-28 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
Thurs-Apr-29-Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
Fri-Apr-30 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
Sat-May-01 - San Francisco, CA  - Independent
Mon-May-03 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
Tue-May-04 - Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret
Wed-May-05 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's

The Antlers US Dates With The National:

Wed-Jun-02 - Boston, MA  - House of Blues w/The National
Thu-Jun-03 - Boston, MA  - House of Blues w/The National
Fri-Jun-04 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory w/The National
Sat-Jun-05 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory w/The National
Sun-Jun-06 - Washington, DC - Constitution Hall w/The National
Tue-Jun-08  - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall w/The National
Wed-Jun-09 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall w/The National

Wed-Jun-16 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall w/The National

Javelin Announce US Tour

“George was pretty damn eclectic as a kid,” says Tom Van Buskirk, referring to his cousin/Javelin collaborator, George Langford. “I was more of a snob, growing up on the Beatles and classical music. Like I didn’t get into Nirvana until after MTV Unplugged came out. I’m always late to the party.”

Maybe that’s why Javelin formed in 2005—to throw a party of their own, one that sees nothing wrong with dropping crooked disco (“On It On It”), schoolyard funk (“Intervales Theme”), abstract R&B (“Dep”) and pitch-perfect pop (“Mossy Woodland”) in the same set. At least that’s the way things unfold on Javelin’s debut album, No Más, the eagerly-awaited follow-up to a self-released collection of demos (Jamz n Jemz) and a pair of limited Thrill Jockey 12-inches (Javelin, Number Two).

It’s as if Javelin were programmed to reproduce the golden age of every genre known to man, bouncing between samplers and strings, drum machines and drum sets, and a growing collection of guitars, horns and homemade thumb pianos. You read that right: Most of No Más’ dusty 45 moments aren’t lifted from actual recordcrates. They’re painstakingly recreated, note by note, from the jukebox in Javelin’s collective mind.

“I love making music that has flaws and human fingerprints all over it,” adds Langford. “There’s also that grey area where you can’t tell what’s a sample, although it leaves you wanting to say, ‘Hey, I did that!’”

There’s no denying who’s doing what at Javelin shows, ever-evolving pieces of performance art that leave the laptops at home and have more in common with the multi-tracked madness of an old Jamaican sound system than the standard guitar/bass/drums setup of a ‘band’.

“The worst thing in the world would be to have a wall of dudes staring at your gear, watching your every move,” says Langford, “So we try to inject as much life and energy into our performances as possible.”

When they first started playing around Providence, this meant an overwhelming array of “turntables, glockenspiels and percussion.” Now that they’ve settled in Brooklyn and stripped their restless sound down to its bare essentials, Javelin’s become known as the guys with the boom boxes, a Flaming Lips-like technique that’s allowed them to break down the artist/audience wall at such tour stops as New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

“A lot of people think they’re ornaments, but they play sound,” says Van Buskirk. “It’s like, ‘You really thought we dragged all of this here for nothing?”

Never. You see, everything has its place in a Javelin song, from the shimmering keys and brassy strut of “Shadow Heart” to the loony tune loops of “Oh! Centra.” So if you’re trying to ‘figure Javelin out’, don’t bother. These musical omnivores work their music like a rabid radio dial, leaving a tricky trail of sonic breadcrumbs in their wake. Or as Langford puts it, “The minute I start working in one style, I get distracted and want to work on another one. We kinda gave up on finding our ’sound’ years ago.”

Tour Dates
2/9 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY*
2/16 - Academy 2 - Birmingham, UK*
2/17 - Oran Mor - Glasgow, UK*
2/19 - The Academy - Dublin, IE*
2/20 - Speakeasy - Belfast, NI*
2/21 - Academy 3 - Manchester, UK*
2/22 - The Faversham - Leeds, UK*
2/23 - Heaven - London, UK*
2/24 Windmill Brixton  LONDON, UK (headlining)
2/25 - Thekia - Bristol, UK*
2/26 - Digital - Brighton, UK*
-
3/4 - E & L Auditorium - New York, NY
3/5 Trocodero Theatre w/ Man Man -PHILADELPHIA, PA
3/23 - The Jackpot Saloon - Lawrence, KS#
3/24 - Bourbon Theatre - Lincoln, NE#
3/25 - Public Space One - Iowa City, IA#
3/26 - The Bishop - Bloomington, IN
SAT 3/27 BIG EARS FESTIVAL - KNOXVILLE, TN
3/28 - Cafe Bourbon St - Columbus, OH
3/29 - The Cafe - Detroit, MI#
3/30 - And And And (Artspace) - Toronto, ON#
3/31 - The Friendship Cove - Montreal, QC#
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Yeasayer US Tour
SAT 4/3 WASHINGTON, DC 9:30 CLUB*
SUN 4/4 CARRBORO, NC Cat's Cradle*
MON 4/5 ASHEVILLE, NC Orange Peel*
TUE 4/6 ATLANTA, GA Masquerade*
WED 4/7 MEMPHIS, TN Hi Tone Café*
THU 4/8 DALLAS, TX Granada Theatre*
FRI 4/9 HOUSTON, TX House of Blues*
SAT 4/10 AUSTIN, TX The Parish*
SUN 4/11 AUSTIN, TX  The Parish*
TUE 4/13 MARFA, TX Crowley Theatre*
WED 4/14 TUCSON, AZ Club Congress*
THU 4/15 PHOENIX, AZ Rhythm Room*
FRI 4/16 - La Casa Encendida - Madrid, ES

* Yeasayer