loves

Delta Spirit Announce US Winter Tour

Let’s start here with a short list of the things that we lose along the way. It seems that the men of Long Beach, Calif., who make up Delta Spirit and who have written and recorded the 11 songs that comprise History From Below, would like this little process. It would make sense to them, this brief focus on what’s gone missing, on what’s been loved and remembered.

It’s not about dwelling on the losses, but recognizing how the losses make all that remains so much more meaningful. It shapes us more than we know – rounding off and enhancing the joys that are still around, that are yet to be made. But we do lose, sometimes without gain, just pain and heartache. So, we lose, in no particular order – chronologically or as importance goes – the following, in varying degrees: our youth, our safety, our comfort, our spirit, our innocence, our grandmothers, our grandfathers, our curiosity, our love, another of our loves, still another of our loves, our wives, our mothers, our fathers, our sight, our hearing, our husbands, our daughters, our drive, our sons, our pets, our time, our hair, our reflexes, our spryness, our brightness, our shine, our guts and we’re just getting started.

We lose nearly everything before we’re done, before we’ve been finished off or written to a stop. We’re wrecked to the point that we need saints and saviors because there’s no doing it on our own. There’s no human being that can get us through these ruts. It must be out of body. It must be something other, something that breathes new breath and something that runs interference with the losses, something that softens them.

Delta Spirit makes music that softens our losses, sure, but it’s a band that makes music to soften their own losses, whatever those may be (see above for a good start). It finds a pleasing heat in a fever and it finds a comfort in a chill, knowing that they will become the other with a long enough wait. They find “churches” wherever they travel and they find those willing to embrace with them in a pageant of the losses, making them feel as if they were three parts sweetness and one part regret. The losses make them realize that so much of our histories come from our hardships, whether we like it or not, and it’s decisive. We can’t help but feel absolutely included and vulnerable when, on “Bushwick Blues,” lead singer Matt Vazquez sings, “My love is strong, but my heart is weak,” with a drawn-out pause, before finishing with the words, “after all.”

US Tour Dates:
11/15/10 Jackpot Music Hall Lawrence, Kansas
11/16/10 Mojo's Columbia, Missouri
11/18/10 High Noon Saloon Madison, Wisconsin
11/19/10 Turner Hall Milwaukee, Wisconsin
11/20/10 Legends of Notre Dame South Bend, Indiana
11/21/10 Mountain Stage Radio Show Charleston, West Virginia
11/22/10 Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, New York
11/23/10 Webster Hall New York, New York
11/26/10 Paradise Rock Club Boston, Massachusetts
11/27/10 The Met Cafe Pawtucket, Rhode Island
11/29/10 OttoBar Baltimore, Maryland
11/30/10 Brillobox Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
12/01/10 The Mad Hatter Covington, Kentucky
12/02/10 Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall Asheville, North Carolina
12/03/10 Mercy Lounge Nashville, Tennessee
12/04/10 Metro Chicago, Illinois
12/07/10  Fillmore  San Francisco, California
12/08/10 The Music Box Hollywood, California
12/09/10 SOHO Music Club Santa Barbara, California
12/10/10 House of Blues San Diego, California

Reverend Horton Heat @ Boulder Theater | 8/20

Recently, the Reverend Horton Heat, aka Jim Heath, had something along the lines of what he calls an epiphany. He's a little tired of being taken so seriously-well, maybe not seriously, exactly, but you get the idea-and lately he's noticed that some of his funnier, country-tinged songs were his biggest crowd pleasers. Besides, being entertaining is what this is all about, right?

So, ladies and gents, roll your smokes up in your sleeve and hold on to your cowboy hats, it's time to take a trip back to a time before slick, over-produced country became the norm-a time when outlaws wrote songs about being without a pot to piss in-or at least about psycho exboyfriends and deadbeat girlfriends that spend your paycheck faster than you can say Lone Star.

Without a doubt, the mighty Reverend has won a cult following around the world these past 20+ years with a nearly endless touring ethic and musical style that's equally as rooted in tradition as it is in breaking it. He's one of the lynchpins of the neoroots movement and responsible for moving the genre forward and garnering it a whole new generation of fans. Mix that with a mythic stage presence and you've got a live act that turns rock clubs into psychobilly tent revivals across the country 300 days a year. Heath, who personally loves good old, mid-20th century country music, cautions that the record was not born out of a desire to introduce his audience to a new set of influences-it's just meant to have a little fun.

Friday August 20, 9:00pm
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Tickets will be on sale through the Boulder Theater box office | Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com | Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030

Sam Bush Honors First Loves on "Circles Around Me"

Sam Bush doesn't seem old enough to be a musical legend. And he's not. But he is. In September, the Americana Music Association with its Lifetime Achievement for Instrumentalist award will honor Bush, who is alternately known as the King of Telluride and the King of Newgrass. "It's overwhelming and humbling," says Bush of the honor. "It goes along with the title cut of my new album, Circles Around Me, which basically says, how in the hell did we get this far? In my brain I'm still 17, but I look in the mirror and I'm 57."

sam-bushCircles Around Me, Bush's seventh solo album and sixth with Sugar Hill, will be released Oct. 20. The album is an aurally inspiring mix of bluegrass favorites and complementary new songs. "I don't know why, but it felt right at this moment in my life to go back and revisit some things that I've loved all my life, which is bluegrass and, unapologetically, newgrass," says Bush. "After all these years of experimenting --and there's experimentation on this record too --I've come full circle."

Produced by three-time Grammy winner Bush, the 14-song set includes appearances by Del McCoury, Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas and New Grass Revival co-founder Courtney Johnson (posthumously). The album also employs the phenomenal talent of Bush's band: Scott Vestal, Stephen Mougin, Byron House and Chris Brown.

The title cut, which Bush co-wrote with Jeff Black, "is about being thankful that you're still here, that you're still alive walking around," Bush explains. "Why are we the ones still here when we've had fallen comrades and loved ones?"

"The Ballad of Stringbean and Estelle," which Bush co-wrote with Guy Clark and Verlon Thompson, is the haunting real-life story of the 1973 murder of Grand Ole Opry star David "Stringbean" Akeman and his wife.

Courtney Johnson, who passed in 1996, was reunited with Bush on the album thanks to New Grass Revival producer Garth Fundis, who found a previously unreleased recording with Bush and Johnson's fiddle and banjo recording of  "Apple Blossom" from 1976. The tape was restored and new parts were added. "It's pretty special and it means a lot to me," Bush says. "It reminds me how much I loved Courtney's playing."

Meanwhile, "Souvenir Bottles" and "Whisper My Name" are fine updates of songs Bush first recorded in his New Grass Revival days. "I guess I'm proud that I can still sing it in the key that we first cut it in," Bush says of "Whisper," which was on New Grass Revival's 1972 debut album.

McCoury, whom Bush has known since the mid-60s, guests on two Bill Monroe songs, "Roll On Buddy, Roll On" and "Midnight On The Stormy Deep." "Del always encouraged me to sing," Bush says. "So I wanted to do these songs with him. 'Roll On' is one of the few songs Del ever recorded with Bill."

Songs such as "Diamond Joe" and "You Left Me Alone" have roots in Bush's youth. The latter was on an album by the Country Gentlemen that Bush bought in the '60s. "It's a great 6/8 fast waltz tune and I am almost quoting John Duffey's mandolin playing note for note," he says. "It's a great tune and I never heard anyone else do it."

The Bush-penned "Old North Woods" is a "Bill Monroe-sounding waltz," according to Bush, that features Meyer, his wife, Cornelia Heard of the Blair String Quartet, and their 16 year old son, George, in his recording debut.

There's plenty more of course and Bush fans new and old will find plenty to love. "It's crazy to think about," Bush says of his influence on today's crop of mandolin players. "I'm proud to be part of a natural progression in music. But I hope to still be playing 30 years from now."