monsters

Big Head Todd & The Monsters Announce 2011 Summer Plans

Longtime Colorado favorites Big Head Todd and The Monsters have mapped out their summer tour plans. In addition to a handful of theatres in the midwest, the band headlines their annual Red Rocks Amphitheatre gig on June 11, where Guster will be on hand to open the show. The band also returns to Chicago’s famed Ravinia Festival and to the idyllic Colorado mountain town of Telluride for the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, later this summer. The complete list of summer tour dates is listed below.

Earlier this year, in celebration of influential bluesman Robert Johnson (who would be celebrating his 100 birthday on May 8, 2011), Big Head Todd and The Monsters assembled the Big Head Blues Club. The ad-hoc collaboration featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruthie Foster, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm toured earlier this year and recently released a studio recording of the project, titled 100 Years of Robert Johnson. Here’s what critics are saying:

“A superb musical collective…moving and wildly entertaining.” –Boston Globe

“Todd Park Mohr’s growling and moaning like he's got muddy Delta dirt under his fingernails.” -USA Today

Big Head Todd frontman Todd Park Mohr will be at the 32nd Annual Blues Music Awards on May 5th at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Todd will lead a Robert Johnson tribute. This year’s event also features performances by honorees Buddy Guy, Denise LaSalle and John Hammond, among others. Visit www.blues.org for more information.

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The list of Big Head Todd and The Monsters summer tour dates are as follows:

Friday, April 29 The Windjammer Isle of Palms SC
Sunday, May 22 Doheny Blues Festival Dana Point CA
Thursday, June 2 Cotillion Ballroom Wichita KS
Friday, June 3 Fantle Memorial Park Yankton SD
Saturday, June 4 Crossroads Kansas City MO with Langhorne Slim supporting
Thursday, June 9 Simon Estes Amphitheater Des Moines IA co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Friday, June 10 Stir Cove Council Bluffs IA co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Saturday, June 11 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison CO with Guster supporting
Sunday, June 12 Red Butte Garden Salt Lake City UT co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Tuesday, June 14 Knitting Factory Concert House Reno NV co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Thursday, June 16 Mountain Winery Saratoga CA co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Friday, June 17 Uptown Theatre Napa CA
Thursday, August 4 Minnesota Zoo - Weesner Amphitheatre Apple Valley MN with Cedar Avenue supporting
Friday, August 5 Mankato RibFest Mankato MN
Sunday, August 7 Nateva Music & Arts Festival - Oxford Fairgrounds Oxford ME
Saturday, September 3 Big Sky Resort Big Sky MT
Tuesday, September 6 Wolf Trap Vienna VA co-headline with John Hiatt
Sunday, September 11 Ravinia Festival Highland Park IL
Saturday, September 17 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Telluride CO
Sunday, October 23 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise San Diego CA

Additional dates to be announced, Visit www.bigheadtodd.com for more information

Hurricane Bells: Live At The House Of Blues Boston

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

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

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

Hurricane Bells Live At House Of Blues Boston track listing:

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

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

100 Years of Robert Johnson streets Tuesday, March 1

May 8th, 2011 marks the 100-year anniversary of blues legend Robert Johnson’s birthday. In celebration of the most influential bluesman that ever lived, the Big Head Blues Club – an ad-hoc collaboration featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm – has been touring coast to coast playing the material of Johnson. The tour, which has been garnering rave reviews, wraps up on March 8, just after the studio album, titled 100 Years of Robert Johnson, hits the streets (March 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records).

100 Years of Robert Johnson is a stirring collection featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century. In addition to the above-mentioned artists, 100 Years of Robert Johnson includes performances by blues greats B.B. King and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keeper of the blues flame Ruthie Foster. The album was recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011.

For Todd Park Mohr, who founded Big Head Todd and The Monsters with Rob Squires (bass) and Brian Nevin (drums) nearly a quarter-century ago, the project has served to re-introduce him to the iconic music of Johnson, whose songs provided many of the pioneering blues-rock bands—Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Cream, Canned Heat, etc.—with some of their most popular material.


100 Years of Robert Johnson features several inspired takes on Johnson’s best known compositions. For Mohr and Goldsmith, the challenge in recording the tribute was to give new voice to Johnson’s music, to avoid copying the countless cover versions already extant. “In so many of the takes on Robert’s stuff, you don’t get the depth of emotion that’s in the lyrics and in Robert’s voice. That’s one thing that Chris and the band and my voice were able to bring to it. Chris had great ideas about how to represent the stuff, and all the musicians were just so good at what they did, the unique arrangements just came naturally.”

Robert Johnson’s story is the stuff of myth and legend alike, and his music has fascinated blues fans and musicians for more than seven decades. Born in Mississippi in 1911, Johnson recorded only 29 songs, all during the years 1936 and ’37. His unique guitar style and haunting vocal phrasing, and the evocative, often mysterious nature of his lyrics, made him a popular artist during his short time in the spotlight and has continued to intrigue since. A persistent tale that as a young man Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become a more proficient musician has been attached to his biography since his untimely death at age 27—the alleged victim of a poisoning incident at the hands of the jealous husband of a woman with whom Johnson had been flirting.

A hundred years after the birth of its greatest artist, it looks like the blues itself is about to be reborn.

BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS tour featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm is as follows:

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Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center
Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology
Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB
Feb. 04 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre
Feb. 05 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theatre
Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M
Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall
Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre
Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU
Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill
Feb. 17 New Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore
Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music
Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre
Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College
Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater
March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino

March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center

March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall

March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre

Big Head Todd & The Monsters headline Red Rocks

Big Head Todd and The Monsters today announce their annual Red Rocks Amphitheater play for June 11, 2011. Guster will open the show. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 4 at 10am MST at Ticketmaster.com. Ticket and show details are listed below.



Big Head Todd and The Monsters will host an online auction featuring exclusive Red Rocks ticket packages including premium show seats and once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as lunch with the band, a “harmonica-handoff” during the show, the opportunity to be a crew member for the day, and so much more. 100% of the proceeds will go to support the Colorado Homeless Coalition. Bidding will happen in two rounds - beginning March 1 and May 1. Visit www.bigheadtodd.com for all the details.



Big Head Todd and The Monsters have been busy – first celebrating the release of their new studio album, Rocksteady (July 20, 2010/Big Records), and now preparing to hit the road with some of blues music’s biggest legends in support of 100 Years of Robert Johnson (March 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records), a stirring new tribute album featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century.

Big Head Blues Club features in addition to the Colorado-based quartet—guitarist and vocalist Todd Park Mohr, bassist Rob Squires, drummer Brian Nevin and keyboardist Jeremy Lawton—special guests, blues legends B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keepers of the blues flame Ruthie Foster, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm.

Recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011, and supported by a national tour (“Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts”) featuring many of the participants in the sessions. A complete list of the tour dates is included below.

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Big Head Todd and The Monsters’ Red Rocks show info is as follows:

Saturday, June 11 @ 7:30PM (Doors @ 6:00PM)
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
with Guster supporting
18300 West Alameda Parkway Morrison, CO
Tickets $39.50 GA, $49.50 - $59.50 reserved / All Ages Welcome
Tickets on sale Friday, February 4 at 10am at Ticketmaster.com

For more information, please contact 1-800-745-3000 or visit www.redrocksonline.com

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BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS tour featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, tour stops are as follows:

Monday, January 31 University of California - Santa Barbara, Campbell Hall Santa Barbara CA
Friday, February 4 Paramount Theatre Austin TX
Saturday, February 5 Lakewood Theater Dallas TX
Thursday, February 10 University Of Michigan, Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor MI
Friday, February 11 Orchestra Hall Chicago IL
Saturday, February 12 Uptown Theater Kansas City MO
Sunday, February 13 Mississippi State University Riley Center Meridian MS
Wednesday, February 16 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Memorial Hall Chapel Hill NC
Thursday, February 17 The Music Center at Strathmore North Bethesda MD
Friday, February 18 Berklee Performance Center Boston MA
Thursday, February 24 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield CT
Friday, February 25 McCarter Theatre Center Princeton NJ
Saturday, February 26 Montgomery County Community College, The Science Center Theater Blue Bell PA
Sunday, February 27 Zeiterion Performing Arts Center New Bedford MA
Friday, March 4 Northern Light Theater at Potawatomi Bingo Casino Milwaukee WI
Saturday, March 5 Holland Performing Arts Center Omaha NE
Sunday, March 6 Orchestra Hall Minneapolis MN
Tuesday, March 8 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Krannert Center - Tryon Festival Theatre Urbana IL

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BIG HEAD TODD AND THE MONSTERS TOURDATES INCLUDE:

Saturday, February 19 The Fiillmore at Irving Plaza New York NY

Friday, April 15 - Saturday, April 16 Paramount Theatre and Visual Arts Center St. Cloud MN

Saturday, June 11 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison CO

Sunday, October 23 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise San Diego CA

Big Head Todd and The Monsters' new album, Rocksteady, hits streets today

Big Head Todd and The Monsters release their brand new studio album, Rocksteady, today (July 20, 2010/Big Records). As the Denver Post reported in a recent feature story, Rocksteady finds the platinum selling artists “centered and rejuvenated” and moving the BHTM legacy forward. The album’s first single, the infectious “Beautiful” has already reached the Top 20 on Triple A radio charts, and it’s still climbing. Check out a video teaser here.

In support of Rocksteady, Big Head Todd and The Monsters hit the road for a sprawling summer tour, including a recent big play at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where they celebrated the 20th anniversary of Midnight Radio by performing the album in its entirety, and a headlining performance at WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival.

For Rocksteady, Big Head Todd and The Monsters’ eighth studio album, the band draws on a surprising body of influences. The album cuts across a broad swath of stylistic terrain including R&B, reggae and even punk rock. Throughout, the collection’s 11 tracks are funky, lilting, and melodic - all the qualities that have become signature to the band's sound during their 25 years of making music.

“It’s a soul/Caribbean record that rocks,” frontman Todd Park Mohr says. “We almost went out of our way to take all the rock out of it, but it really rocks. It’s the very first album we’ve ever done that’s cohesive. It makes a difference, in terms of this album standing out from our other albums.”

Look for Big Head Todd and The Monsters on tour this summer in support of Rocksteady. Complete list of tourdates is as follows:

Thursday, July 22 Crystal Ballroom Portland OR
Friday, July 23 Moore Theatre Seattle WA
Saturday, July 24 Pavilion Park Liberty Lake WA
Sunday, July 25 Spud Drive In Driggs ID
Wednesday, July 28 WOW Hall Eugene OR
Thursday, July 29 The Fillmore San Francisco CA
Friday, July 30 House of Blues - Sunset Strip West Hollywood CA
Saturday, July 31 Red Rock Resort North Las Vegas NV
Friday, August 6 Wisconsin Valley Fair Wausau WI
Saturday, August 7 Ravinia Festival Highland Park IL
Thursday, August 19 The Vogue Indianapolis IN
Friday, August 20 Preservation Plaza Arnolds Park IA
Saturday, August 21 Fall Park Festival Grounds Sioux Falls SD
Thursday, August 26 Minnesota State Fair St. Paul MN
Friday, August 27 Crossroads Kansas City MO
Saturday, August 28 Southern Brewers Festival Chattanooga TN

Big Head Todd and The Monsters announce New Album and Summer Tour

Big Head Todd and The Monsters release their brand new studio album, Rocksteady, on July 20 on Big Records. In support of Rocksteady, Big Head Todd and The Monsters hit the road for a sprawling summer tour, including a recent big play at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where they celebrated the 20th anniversary of Midnight Radio by performing the album in its entirety.

For Rocksteady, Big Head Todd and The Monsters’ eighth studio album, the band draws on a surprising body of influences. The album cuts across a broad swath of stylistic terrain including R&B, reggae and even punk rock. Throughout, the collection’s 11 tracks are funky, lilting, and melodic - all the qualities that have become signature to the band's sound during their 25 years of making music.

“It’s a soul/Caribbean record that rocks,” frontman Todd Park Mohr says. “We almost went out of our way to take all the rock out of it, but it really rocks. It’s the very first album we’ve ever done that’s cohesive. It makes a difference, in terms of this album standing out from our other albums.”

Look for Big Head Todd and The Monsters on tour this summer in support of Rocksteady.

Complete list of tour dates is as follows:

Friday, June 11 Higher Ground South Burlington VT
Saturday, June 12 Port City Music Hall Portland ME
Friday, July 9 - Saturday, July 10 Belly Up Aspen Aspen CO
Friday, July 16 XPoNential Music Festival Camden NJ
Thursday, July 22 Crystal Ballroom Portland OR
Friday, July 23 Moore Theatre Seattle WA
Saturday, July 24 Pavilion Park Liberty Lake WA
Sunday, July 25 Spud Drive In Driggs ID
Thursday, July 29 The Fillmore San Francisco CA
Friday, July 30 House of Blues - Sunset Strip West Hollywood CA
Saturday, July 31 Red Rock Resort North Las Vegas NV
Friday, August 6 Wisconsin Valley Fair Wausau WI
Saturday, August 7 Ravinia Festival Highland Park IL
Friday, August 20 Preservation Plaza Arnolds Park IA
Saturday, August 21 Fall Park Festival Grounds Sioux Falls SD
Thursday, August 26 Minnesota State Fair St. Paul MN
Friday, August 27 Crossroads Kansas City MO
Saturday, August 28 Southern Brewers Festival Chattanooga TN
Saturday, April 16 Paramount Theatre and Visual Arts Center St. Cloud MN

MONSTERS OF FOLK release DEBUT September 22nd

Monsters of Folk – comprised of Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and singer/songwriter M.Ward – will be releasing their first collaborative album on September 22nd.  The self-titled effort was recorded in Malibu, CA and Omaha, NE, and produced by Mike Mogis.  Although these critically acclaimed artists have shared the stage before, this album marks their first recorded output as a band.  The record will be released in North America on Shangri-La Music, and internationally on Rough Trade (UK/Europe), Spunk Records (Australia/New Zealand) and P-Vine Records (Japan).

Monsters of Folk began as folklore of sorts, when James, Oberst, Ward and Mogis did their first run of shows together in 2004.  Like the musical revue shows that went town to town when rock ‘n’ roll was newly born, the tour was called “An Evening With:  Bright Eyes, Jim James and M. Ward,” although amongst friends and crew, it became affectionately known as the “Monsters of Folk Tour.”  While entertaining audiences coast to coast with gorgeous acoustic melodies and world-weary tales, the foursome vowed to make their way to a studio at some point after the tour’s completion.  Instead,  the songsmiths went on to individually release some of rock music’s most exciting and essential albums of the last five years – Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning & Cassadaga; My Morning Jacket’s Z & Evil Urges; M. Ward’s Post War and Hold Time.   Never ones to forget their promise, when downtime presented itself, they convened in the studio multiple times over two years, with Mogis at the helm of their first recorded effort.  The result is as stunning and storied as you would expect it to be.

All four members play every instrument on the album, supplying everything from drum kills to cascading backing vocals.  The songs – some road-worn fables, some intimate and intricate with electronic elements, some woozy and sun-soaked – are everything one expects from these four musical minds collaborating together.  The album exudes a warm, organic spaciousness, filled by brilliant choruses, intoxicating harmonies and effortless melodies, as each member brings his own strengths to the table to create one perfect whole.

Track List in full:

1.    Dear God (sincerely M.O.F.)
2.    Say Please
3.    Whole Lotta Losin'
4.    Temazcal
5.    The Right Place
6.    Baby Boomer
7.    Man Named Truth
8.    Goodway
9.    Ahead of the Curve
10.  Slow Down Jo
11.  Losin Yo Head
12.  Magic Marker
13.  Map Of The World
14.  The Sandman, the Brakeman and Me
15.  His Master’s Voice