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Elephant Revival & Steep Canyon Rangers at Boulder Theater

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Elephant Revival and Steep Canyon Rangers at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, November 19th, 2011.  Tickets go on sale Friday, August 12th for $24.00 in advance and $27.00 day of show.

Elephant Revival

The neo-acoustic transcendental folk quintet from Nederland Colorado, is touring in support of their new album, ‘Break in the Clouds’ released on Ruff Shod Records, an independent label created by Chad Stokes of State Radio. The album was released regionally on Nov. 22nd 2010 with a full national release scheduled for June 14th 2011. ‘Break In the Clouds was produced by David Tiller of Taarka. Their sophomore effort expands upon the group’s multi–genre musical approach, threading together dynamic instrumentation and a diverse rhythmic sound while exploring the depths of all five of the groups’ gifted songwriters. The album debuted at #2 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart, and was featured as a new and noteworthy independent release. “Break In the Clouds,” was also the top album sold in Colorado for four weeks in a row, and top radio spins for a Colorado artist in Colorado for the month of January 2011.

Steep Canyon Rangers

The past year has taken the Steep Canyon Rangers to new heights.  In March 2011, the band released its first collaborative record with Steve Martin, “Rare Bird Alert,” which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart and at #43 on the Billboard Top 200.  In 2010, the latest solo record from Steep Canyon Rangers, “Deep In The Shade,” remained in the Bluegrass Top 10 on Billboard for 18 weeks.  While headlining festivals like MerleFest and Bonnaroo alongside Steve Martin with Steep Canyon Rangers include “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Colbert Report” & “Austin City Limits.”

With smooth vocals, smart songwriting, ferocious instrumentals and jaw-dropping harmony, the Rangers are bringing Bluegrass to music lovers across the USA and around the world.  Steep Canyon Rangers are:  Mike Guggino (mandolin/vocals), Charles Humphrey III (bass/vocals), Woody Platt (guitar/lead vocals), Nicky Sanders (fiddle/vocals), and Graham Sharp (banjo/vocals)

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Elephant Revival & Steep Canyon Rangers

Boulder Theater

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Doors: 8:00 pm

Show Time: 9:00 pm


Greensky Bluegrass Offers Free Five Song EP Download from New Album, Handguns

An independent band nationally-recognized for their live show, Greensky Bluegrass defy the boundaries of acoustic music with their self-produced fourth studio effort, Handguns, released on October 4.

This new studio offering is a brave expression of what separates their original music from the rest of the bluegrass genre. For years, while the Kalamazoo, MI band has been gaining recognition for their high energy live show, Handguns proves that they can handle themselves in the studio as well.

Recent internet chatter would have you believe that the entire music industry is lost in a vast and inescapable dust bowl; everything that was once thriving and sustainable has now dried into a mere husk of what it once was. But lest we forget, bands used to make their living on the road, playing in front of new audiences every night. Albums were something that were recorded in between tours and then sold on the road to help keep gas in the tank. It’s the way it was and it looks like the way it might become, but the music never stops.


Handguns was recorded in between tours this winter as the band holed up in a studio in Lansing, committing the songs straight-to-tape on the exact recording console that originally birthed Lynyrd Skynyrd’s infamous track "Free Bird” decades earlier. Matching the warmth of the analog sound, vintage microphones were utilized alongside state-of-the-art studio equipment to create a truly blended and artful sonic experience.

This overlap of traditional and forward-thinking runs throughout most every aspect of Greensky Bluegrass. The opening cut is titled "Don't Lie", and the result of "Handguns" is just that, a collection of songs that speak true. Greensky doesn't boast to know it all, but they don't restrain, letting the listener in on the trials and triumphs of their journey.

"Should have been a farmer and blamed it on the weather, with soiled hands and a tired back to show for my efforts," sings Hoffman on the album's title track.  Modest maybe, but as the listener continues, they are relieved that the band did not trade their instruments for plows or cubicles.

Greensky has continued to gain national momentum since they won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s coveted Band Competition in 2006 and have been invited to play at this summer’s Northwest String Summit, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and NPR’s Mountain Stage, while also playing at Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot and The Hangout Festivals. They’re a bluegrass band but they’re not. Bluegrass doesn’t have distortion, or horns for that matter. Handguns does.

Of course, none of this happened overnight or without sacrifice. Greensky Bluegrass is just as much a grit of the asphalt band as they are a salt of the earth band, having played over 160 shows nationwide, every year, for the last six years. It was by winning over folks on the band’s never-ending tour that got them where they are today – not by a label, syndicated radio play or being on the shelves at big box stores.

As a bonus for all, Greensky Bluegrass is giving away half of Handguns for free. This five-song Handguns EP is available on the Greensky Bluegrass website for anyone who wants to listen.

The motive? To be heard.  For musicians, the model has changed with satellite radio where the F word flies free and name-your-own-price record releases. One thing remains true, however: when the music is great, people will listen.

Chad Stokes of State Radio at the Fox Theatre

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Chadwick Stokes at the Fox Theatre on Tuesday, September 20th.  Tickets go on sale Friday, June 24th for $17.00.

It takes a certain type of musician to hop freight trains and barrel across the vastness of North America with his brother and cousin.  Especially for an artist who, just years before, sold out Madison Square Garden for three consecutive nights. CHAD “CHADWICK” STOKES is anything but a typical rock star. So, there was the singer-guitarist for bands Dispatch and State Radio, wading across a river to escape the chasing railroad bulls and hanging in the different down and out jungles with other traveling folks. And in the end, after the three had finally reached the West Coast and were laying face down in the dirt at gunpoint care of the NSA, he says it was all well worth it.

“I had ridden the trains a little bit in the past for a day or two but I had never done it for weeks at a time,” Stokes says. “I discovered an America that I knew was out there but had limited experience with.  There's all kinds of people out on the rails:  people simply trying to get from point A to B, people running from whatever they left behind, people with nowhere else to go.  You get to see a part of America that only the trains go through -- remote stretches without any sign of mankind."  It was out on these long isolated stretches and in the inner city train yards that Stokes found the inspiration for his solo debut, titled SIMMERKANE II.

At a time when the term Indie-rock refers more to a guitar sound then doing anything truly independent, Stokes is an artist who has genuinely lived the credo. Unassisted by a major label, his band Dispatch arose from the college circuit to become an international musical phenomenon. With only a celebrated live show and a series of self-released albums the band was not only able to sell out Madison Square Garden several times but attract 110,000+ fans to a Boston concert.

While riding the rails, Stokes made a designated stop so his band, State Radio, could play an anti-war concert at the Denver Coliseum with Rage Against The Machine.  It is a DIY social consciousness that Stokes came to early in life - growing up as a pacifist, working in Zimbabwe after high school and eventually co-founding the Elias Fund, the Dispatch Foundation, and now Calling All Crows.  In 2008, Stokes was honored as Humanitarian of the Year at the Boston Music Awards.

Simmerkane II, a proper follow-up to the State Radio EP (Simmerkane I), is a marked evolution in the musician-songwriter’s creative journey. Produced by John Dragonetti (of The Submarines), the album features background vocals from Carly Simon, Matt Embree (Rx Bandits), The White Buffalo, Blake Hazard (The Submarines), and Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. The sound is an engaging mix of Americana, country, folk and rock in the service of some undeniably evocative lyrics. The songs tell a loose narrative of travel, love and loss, like some re-imagined rock-n-roll odyssey.

Simmerkane II is an ambitious album about discovery, loss and moving on. What begun as a journey across an unseen America becomes a moving musical tribute to the resilience of the human heart. “The album was initially inspired by the freight train trip with my brother and that vast underworld that exists out there,” Stokes explains. “But then it’s also about growing up on the farm and losing loved ones; a young man learning about life.” In his spare time, Stokes can still be found hopping trains with his beloved travel companion, Lefty.

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Chadwick Stokes of State Radio & Dispatch

Fox Theatre

Tuesday, September 20th

Doors:  8:30 pm

Show Time:  9:00 pm

Tea Leaf Green pays tribute to the Big Man at the Stone Pony

This past Sunday, Father’s Day, Tea Leaf Green performed at the fabled Stone Pony bar and frequent home of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in what became a tribute concert for legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons. Springsteen and Clemons met at the Asbury Park bar in 1971, a story both men have told onstage for the past 40 years. Clemons, 69, the “Big Man” in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, died Saturday night.

Fans who came to pay respects were given free admission to evening headliners Tea Leaf Green who showed love and admiration for Clemons. “It was an honor to pay tribute to ‘The Big Man’ at our last show on this leg of the tour,” said guitarist/vocalist Josh Clark. “We saw firsthand how much Asbury Park and the Stone Pony loved him. We listened to him play all day in the van on our way down there.”

Fellow band member Trevor Garrod added, “When we found out Clarence had died we where still a few hours from Asbury Park. It was a beautiful day; the sun was setting into a riot of crimson clouds; flowers and chalk drawings lined the sidewalk outside of the club. The Atlantic Ocean's waves rolled calmly in across the street. Though we where only coming through coincidentally, we nonetheless felt honored to be part of the celebration of this great musician's life. We couldn't help but feel that somehow the universe was encouraging us to keep up this tradition of rock 'n roll. After we played our set, I jumped into the moonlit sea with some kids who had come to watch the show. I couldn't help but wonder if, back in the day, Clarence had ever done the same. He will be missed.”

San Francisco Bay Area troubadours Tea Leaf Green are newfangled Lost Boys, a traveling gang dedicated to seeking wisdom and experience in places both glorious and seedy. The band’s summer tour kicks off on July 2 in Colorado on the heels of its seventh studio album, Radio Tragedy!, freshly released through Thirty Tigers.

In many ways, this quintet is the essence of rock’s adventurous, playfully outlaw spirit, all of which ultimately fuels songs that resonate with classic vibrations, open-ended possibilities and radio-ready charm. With Radio Tragedy!, Tea Leaf Green have made a record that’s both timely and timeless - a strange, beautiful space that they inhabit naturally and gracefully.

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TEA LEAF GREEN Summer tour dates 2011

Sat., July 2   SNOWMASS VILLAGE, CO The ECO Music Festival
Sun., July 10   DETROIT, MI St. Andrews Hall
Mon., July 11   COLUMBUS, OH Newport Music Hall
Tues., July 12   GRAND RAPIDS, MI The Intersection
Wed., July 13   INDIANAPOLIS, IN Egyptian Room at Murat Theater
Thurs., July 14   DAVENPORT, IA The Redstone Room
Fri., July 15   MILWAUKEE, WI Shank Hall
Sat., July 16   MINNEAPOLIS, MN Cabooze On West Bank
Sat., July 23   BRIDGEPORT, CT Gathering of the Vibes
Tues., July 26   SPOKANE, WA Knitting Factory
Wed., July 27   VANCOUVER, WA Commodore Ballroom
Thurs., July 28   PORTLAND, OR Oregon Zoo Amphitheatre
Fri., July 29   BELLINGHAM, WA Wild Buffalo
Sat., July 30   SEATTLE, WA Neptune Theatre  
Sun., July 31   EUGENE, OR W.O.W. Hall
Mon., Aug. 1   RENO, NV Grand Sierra Theatre
Wed., Aug. 3   LOS ANGELES, CA Club Nokia
Thurs., Aug. 4   VENTURA, CA Majestic Ventura Theatre
Fri., Aug. 5   PIONEERTOWN, CA Pappy & Harriet’s Palace
Sat., Aug. 6    LAS VEGAS, NV Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Sun., Aug. 7   SAN DIEGO, CA Humphrey’s Concerts by Bay
Tues., Aug. 9   ANAHEIM, CA The Grove of Anaheim
Wed., Aug. 10   TEMPE, AZ Marquee Theatre
Mon., Sept. 5   BETHLEHEM, PA SteelJam Festival
Fri., Sept. 30   SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Independent
Sat., Oct. 1   SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Independent

Zoë Keating @ Boulder Theater | 6/11/11

Zoë Keating is a one-woman orchestra. She uses a cello and a foot-controlled laptop to record layer upon layer of cello, creating intricate, haunting and compelling music. Increasingly considered a role model for DIY artists, Zoë's self-released albums have sold over 35,000 copies and she has amassed an incredible 1.3 million Twitter followers. Born in Canada and classically trained from the age of eight, Zoë spent her 20's dabbling in computer software while moonlighting as a cellist in rock bands. Inevitably, she combined the two and developed her now signature style while improvising for late night crowds at her San Francisco warehouse. She makes an effort to reach audiences wherever they are and has performed on National Public Radio, television, webcasts, outdoors in the Nevada desert, in churches, concert halls, universities, museums, technology conferences, executive brainstorming sessions, house concerts, bars and rock clubs across North America and Europe.

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More Info / Buy Tickets

Cloud Control Premiere New Track "Mediation" & US Dates

With affirmation of their brilliance in from their homeland, being awarded the critically acclaimed Australian Music Award Cloud Control are set to unleash their stellar collection of quirky layered harmonic psyche-pop on the rest of the world.
Cloud Control signed to bespoke independent label Infectious Music in 2010, and very quickly the tightly packed four-piece from the picturesque and rugged terrains of Australia’s Blue Mountains started to turn heads with the NME claiming “We’ve got a new bunch of favorite fuzzlings, and their name is Cloud Control” and noted BBC Radio 1 D.J Nick Grimshaw hailing Bliss Release the bands debut long-player “perfect for summer time”.
The first part 2011 has seen Cloud Control complete a string of live shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including a grueling nine show campaign at SXSW in Austin Texas and support slots in the UK with Noah & the Whale, Mona and the Naked and Famous. During this first visit to Europe, respected Dutch music title Oor Magazine noted “Cloud Control is setting a foundation for an undoubtedly successful music year for them in Europe. Let The Vaccines, Mona and the rest fight over being newcomer of the year. Here in Paradiso stood one of the festival hits of 2011.”
With their amps still steaming Cloud Control jetted back to the UK for their debut headline tour in April, which ended triumphantly in front of a sold-out crowd at venue XOYO in London’s East End. And it seems as the weeks continue to unfold towards the UK & EU release of ‘Bliss Release’ on May 23rd, more and more people are professing their love for the group, including Huw Stephens from BBC Radio 1 who tweeted “Watching Cloud Control filling the breathtaking Koko venue with their stomping harmonious beauty” and Drowned In Sound who declared “Cloud Control have made a tremendously enjoyable album.”
Keep a close eye on Cloud Control this summer who play a slew of festival dates that already include Great Escape, Hop Farm and Field Day Festivals in the UK and the likes of Lowlands, London Calling, Hurricane & Southside and Les Rock Dans Tous Ses Etats in Europe. The band will be back in the US this Summer playing shows in New York and LA.
Cloud Control are Alister Wright (guitar/lead vocals), Jeremy Kelshaw (bass) and siblings Heidi Lenffer (keyboards/vocals) and Ulrich Lenffer (drums).
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US Dates

July 24th - Knitting Factory - Brooklyn, NY
July 25th - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY
July 27th - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA

Upcoming Shows for the Fox Theatre | 05.02.11

Here is what we have coming up at the Fox Theatre as of May 2nd.  All shows are ON SALE NOW unless otherwise noted. All additions and changes are in blue.
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FOX THEATRE:

Wed May 4 Blastoff Entertainment Presents
8:30 pm Robotic Pirate Monkey (EP Release Show)
w/ Slim Thugz, THiCK CHiCK, & King
AA / GA $14 adv / GA $16 dos

Thur May 5 Marquee Magazine, Radio 1190 and Twist & Shout Present
8:30 pm Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with...
The Black Angels
w/ Sleepy Sun
AA / GA $15 adv / GA $18 dos

Fri May 6 Family Moons & Colorado Daily Present
8:30 pm Love and Light
w/ Future Simple Project, Omega, Souljorn & Markus Whaley

Sat May 7 Boulder Weekly & Grateful Web Present
8:30 pm Cornmeal
w/ Good Gravy & Smooth Money Gesture
AA / GA $12.50 adv / GA $15 dos

Sun May 8 Rooster Magazine, Radio 1190's Basementalism and Twist & Shout Present
8:30 pm The Fresh Brew Tour feat.
Devin The Dude
w/ Coughee Brothaz & Diamond Boiz
AA / GA $20

Mon May 9 Westword, Radio 1190 & Twist & Shout Present
8:00 pm Jessica Lea Mayfield & Nathaniel Rateliff
AA / GA $12.50 adv / GA $15 dos

Thur May 12 Colorado Daily & Radio 1190 Basementalism Present
8:30 pm CunninLynguists
w/ Homeboy Sandman, Tonedeff & Blue Sky Black Death
AA / GA $15 adv / GA $18 dos

Fri May 13 TheBluesmobile.com, Daily Camera & Colorado Daily Present
9:30 pm Boulder Roots & Blues summit feat
Vieux Farka Toure & William Elliott Whitmore
AA / GA $20 adv / GA $25 dos

Sat May 14 TheBluesMobile.com, Colorado Daily & Daily Camera Present
9:30 pm Boulder Roots & Blues Summit feat
Davy Knowles
with Hazel Miller Blues Band And Taylor Scott & Another Kind of Magick
AA / GA $20 adv / GA $23 dos / Summit 3-day VIP Pass $325

Tue May 17 The Family Tour Featuring
8:30 pm Atmosphere
w/ Blueprint, Grieves with Budo, Musab & DJ Abilities
AA / GA $25
SOLD OUT!!

Wed May 18 Colorado Daily & 1190's Basementalism Present
8:30 pm D12, Young Buck & Trick Trick
AA / GA $15 adv / GA $18 dos

Thur May 19 The Juarez Street Fighters
8:30 pm w/ Fancy Show Box & Ember
AA / GA $12 adv / GA $15 dos

Fri May 20 Colorado Daily & Radio 1190 Basementalism Present
8:30 pm The Jet Life Tour feat
Curren$y
w/ Trademark, Young Roddy, Fiend & Corner Boy P
AA / GA $15 adv / GA $18 dos

Sat May 21 Colorado Daily Presents
8:30 pm YAMN & Hot Soup
AA / GA $8 adv / GA $10 dos

Sun May 22 Boulder School of Rock Does "Punk and Beyond"
1:00 pm AA / GA $10 adv / GA $12 dos

Tues May 24 Colorado Daily, Radio 1190's Chunk of Funk and Twist & Shout Present
8:30 pm Orgone
w/ Liebermonster
AA / GA $10.00 adv / GA $12.00 dos

Thur May 26 Colorado Daily Presents
TBA Heyoka, R/D, & Ill Esha
AA / GA $12 adv / GA $15 dos

Fri May 27 Radio 1190's Local Shakedown And Twist & Shout Presents
8:30 pm Bad Weather California & Hot White
w/ School Knights + Pacific Pride (Split Cassette Release Party)
AA / GA $5 adv / GA $8 dos

Sat May 28 Dechen Hawk's Soul Sessions
8:30 pm w/ Rogue Sound, By All Means & Dreams Are For Rookies
AA / GA $5 adv / GA $8 dos

Fri Jun 3 Colorado Daily, Radio 1190 and Twist & Shout Present
8:30 pm Noah and the Whale
w/ Bahamas
AA / GA $15

Wed Jun 8 Boulder Weekly Presents
8:30 pm Langhorne Slim
w/ Samantha Crain (Trio)
AA / GA $12 adv / GA $15 dos

Sat Jun 11 97.3 KBCO & Boulder Weekly Present
8:30 pm Toots and the Maytals
AA / GA $27.50 adv / GA $30 dos

Wed Jun 29 Colorado Daily Presents
8:30 pm The Civil Wars
AA / GA $15 adv / GA $18 dos

Fri July 1 Lotus
8:30 pm All Tickets Sold Via Lotus Fan Club as Red Rocks 2-Day

Thur July 7 Mat Mchugh of the Beautiful Girls (Solo Acoustic) & Mishka (Acoustic)
8:30 pm w/ Anuhea
AA / GA $13 adv / GA $16 dos

Wed July 13 Colorado Daily Presents
8:30 pm Zach Deputy
AA / GA $8

Thur July 14 Boulder Weekly Presents
8:30 pm James McMurtry
AA / GA $16 adv / GA $20 dos

Wed July 20 Boulder Weekly Presents
8:30 pm Maceo Parker
AA / GA $25

Thur Aug 11 FMQB Triple A Summit feat
8:00 pm John Butler Trio, Brandi Carlile & NeedToBreathe

21+ / FOX Onsale TBAShannon Bock


Tea Leaf Green readies 'Radio Tragedy!'

It ain’t easy being gypsies, especially ones who sing for their supper. San Francisco Bay Area troubadours Tea Leaf Green are newfangled Lost Boys, a traveling gang dedicated to seeking wisdom and experience in places both glorious and seedy. The band’s seventh studio album, Radio Tragedy!, will be released through Thirty Tigers available worldwide on June 7. Fans who pre-order the album by May 1st are eligible to win handwritten lyrics from the songwriter.

In many ways, this quintet is the essence of rock’s adventurous, playfully outlaw spirit, all of which ultimately fuels songs that resonate with classic vibrations, open-ended possibilities and radio-ready charm. TLG are bruised romantics with heavy minds and a lighthearted way with experimentation, as likely to jam out a number as they are to nail a primo verse-verse-chorus pop gem.

All the steadily growing promise of Tea Leaf Green comes to fruition on their new album with the aid of producer Jeremy Black (Apollo Sunshine). The band has crafted a powerhouse work in Radio Tragedy!, with the oomph of their stellar live performances melded to a truly impressive array of vocal nuance, rib-sticking song craft and smart studio flourishes.

From the Bee Gees-esque bite of “Easy To Be Your Lover” to the bouncing modern rock of “You’re My Star,” Radio Tragedy! showcases a contemporary American rock monster fully emerging from the shadows, ready to take on any comers with a sound that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with skilled contemporaries like My Morning Jacket and The Strokes.

Together, Trevor Garrod (keys, vocals), Josh Clark (guitar, vocals), Scott Rager (drums), Reed Mathis (bass, vocals) and newest member Cochrane McMillan (drums) have made a record that’s both timely and timeless — a strange, beautiful space that Tea Leaf Green inhabits naturally and gracefully.

“Much of this record is a reflection on the ups and downs on the road to radio gold, chasing dreams and ghosts on America’s highways and finding triumph, sorrow and sacrifice in the pursuit,” says Josh Clark. “Tea Leaf Green has been a band for over a decade.  We’ve tried to simply focus on music, just music, honest music, operating in the shadow of braggart auto-tuned rappers and inane teeny bop prop puppets that has come to rule and choke the life out of what was once America’s greatest export — rock ’n’ roll.”

“I don't think any of us have ever felt completely satisfied with our past studio experiences, so we went into this one with the deliberate intent of making a complete album.  Each of us brought our own vision and we did our best to fuse those ideas in the studio, all of us committed to seeing each member’s vision take shape,” says Scott Rager. “TLG has been a band for 13 years and I think we’ve made the record we always thought we were capable of making.”

“I wanted a story — something loud, something bright, something to scare your kids goodnight. There is adventure to be had. There is an undiscovered country,” says Trevor Garrod.  “We have been there for each other through thick (rarely) and thin (mostly). There are five of us now and like a pack of pickpockets, we will steal your heart.”

“At the center, our commitment to this music and our passion for making it and performing it has remained rock steady,” continues Josh Clark. “Like countless bands creating phenomenal music today, we work on the edges of the mainstream where we can be heard, looking in on the tragedy that radio seems to have forgotten where to find the gold.  This album is a true story of our lives in pursuit of a dream from another time and how we survive despite it all.”

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RADIO TRAGEDY! track listing

1.    All Washed Up
2.    Easy To Be Your Lover
3.    You're My Star
4.    My Oklahoma Home
5.    Fallen Angel
6.    Sleep Paralysis
7.    Germinating Seed
8.    Honey Bee
9.    The Cottonwood Tree
10.   Arise
11.   Nothing Changes

Elvin Bishop's 'Raisin' Hell Revue' coming on Delta Groove on May 17

Elvin Bishop’s musical biography is no secret to anyone who has followed blues or rock over the past 40 years. Taken under wing by legendary bluesman Little Smokey Smothers in the ’60s, Bishop found a wide audience as guitarist in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and in the ’70s scored a Top-10 radio hit with “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.” Along the way, he’s carved out a niche all his own, playing an appealing mix of rootsy rock ’n’ roll, R&B and barroom boogie, steeped in the heavy blues he learned from Little Smokey all those years ago.

So when a bunch of close friends who also happen to be consummate musicians are sequestered together, as they were at sea on the 2010 Legendary Blues Cruise, what else were they to do but unite forces to create some truly exemplary music? Thankfully the tapes were rolling, and the musical experience was saved for posterity. Delta Groove Music will release the resultant Raisin’ Hell Revue live album on May 17, 2011. And with the good vibes of a ship full of fellow music lovers to buoy the band, you can really hear that everyone was having a great time.

Over the course of their featured performance, Bishop shares the vocal mike with four hard-hitting pros: blues veteran Finis Tasby (Lowell Fulson, Freddie King, Clarence Carter, Z.Z. Hill), fast-rising harmonica man John Németh (Anson Funderburgh, Junior Watson), Norwegian blues guitar star Chris (Kid) Anderson (Charlie Musselwhite’s band), and Bishop’s long-time band-mate and Bay Area legend, saxophonist Terry Hanck. They work their way through a strutting, soulful set of blues and R&B with the powerful grace of a veteran working outfit, perfectly highlighting the strengths of everyone involved. And it really is a “revue” in the classic sense of the term — various band members representing a wide array of styles move in and out of the spotlight, all presided over by the good-humored and congenial master of ceremonies Elvin Bishop. We’re treated to swinging up-tempo R&B, lowdown blues, rootsy rock ’n’ roll, and a touch of gospel; even a fantastic reworking of Bishop’s smash hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” is included featuring the wonderfully gifted and dynamic vocalist John Németh.

Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Elvin Bishop didn’t have much exposure to live music as a youngster. But his family had a radio, and in between the pop schmaltz and the C&W that ruled the airwaves in the 1950s, that radio could sometimes catch the legendary R&B programming beamed throughout the southern part of the U.S. at night by Nashville radio station WLAC. That station introduced Bishop to the classic records of Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, and once his ears had been hooked, there was no turning back for young Elvin. He soon got his first guitar and on his own began scratching out the basic outlines of the blues, R&B and rock ’n’ roll that had captured his imagination.

By the time he was preparing to go to college in the late ’50s, Bishop had earned a National Merit Scholarship, allowing him to go to almost any school he chose — and there was only one choice on Elvin’s mind, the prestigious University of Chicago, which just happened to be located on Chicago’s South Side, ground zero for much of the urban blues Elvin had been studying only from a distance. He arrived in Chicago in 1959, and before long crossed paths with a kindred spirit in Paul Butterfield.  Together, they explored the ghetto blues clubs in the black neighborhoods surrounding the university campus at a time when blues giants like Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Magic Sam and Howlin’ Wolf could be found playing in neighborhood joints on a weeknight. Elvin soaked it all up, gaining impromptu lessons and invaluable stage time in front of discerning audiences, and forging a fluid yet powerful guitar style of his own.

By 1963, Bishop and Butterfield were ready to graduate — not necessarily from the university, but certainly from their apprenticeship under Chicago’s blues elders.  Recruiting Howlin’ Wolf’s former rhythm section of Sam Lay on drums and Jerome Arnold on bass, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was born. In 1965, after adding Mike Bloomfield and Mark Naftalin to the lineup, their revolutionary debut LP was released, kicking open the door for virtually all the young white blues bands that followed.

Bishop remained in the fold for three albums with the Butterfield band, including their innovative East-West release (on which Bishop and Bloomfield’s intertwining guitars helped set the stage for the Allman Brothers Band among many others who followed), before venturing out on his own. Elvin released four well-received albums on Epic Records in the early ’70s before joining Capricorn Records for a couple of LPs and experiencing his biggest pop success, the national hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” from his 1976 album Struttin’ My Stuff.

As popular musical trends evolved, the recording projects tapered off, but road work kept Elvin busy through the ’80s, and by the time he hooked up with Alligator Records in 1988, he was returning to his bluesy roots. And that fertile territory has been his focus ever since.

Delta Groove Productions president Randy Chortkoff has been a fan and follower of Elvin’s music through all the many phases of his career, beginning with Butterfield in the mid ’60s, so when the opportunity arose to bring Elvin into the Delta Groove fold, Chortkoff jumped at the opportunity. The result was Elvin’s Grammy-nominated 2008 CD The Blues Rolls On, a project supported by an all-star cast of blues royalty, among them B.B. King, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, George Thorogood, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Tommy Castro, John Németh and Angela Strehli.

The Philadelphia Inquirer noted that “ . . .he’s as lively and sharp-witted as ever. No purist, he bends a variety of styles to his irrepressible personality.”

And now, with the new Delta Groove release Raisin’ Hell Revue, Bishop and crew invoke deep blues while at sail on the deep blue sea.

Company of Thieves Announce New Album, On Tour w/ The Whigs

The Chicago-based band Company of Thieves has announced the release of their new album, Running From A Gamble, due out via Wind-up Records on May 17th. To celebrate, the band is offering up a free MP3 from the album, in the form of the amazing track “Modern Waste.”

Running From A Gamble is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut, Ordinary Riches. Produced by Rob Schnapf, the 13-track album was written primarily by lead singer Genevieve Schatz and guitar player Marc Walloch.  Of the album, Genevieve says, “The album is a coming of age adventure about the mysterious, passionate and painful transition from dependence and enchantment to autonomy and awareness.”  The first single off Running From A Gamble will be “Death of Communication,” which hits radio this month.

Ordinary Riches was released in 2009 and landed at #5 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart.  The band landed a spot on Last Call with Carson Daly where they performed their hit single “Oscar Wilde.”  The band has built a massive fanbase from non-stop touring, performing headlining dates and also opening for bands such as OK Go and The Hold Steady, followed by duets with Daryl Hall on his hit show, “Live From Daryl’s House.”

Reviews of the album and live performances were nothing but positive.  Entertainment Weekly raved, “Thanks to Genevieve Schatz’s consistently gutsy soul-chick vocals and her bandmates’ energetic arrangement…their technique can’t be denied.” Yahoo! exclaimed, “Hands down, one of the best debut albums of 2007.” The band is in the midst of a national tour with The Whigs.

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Download the FREE MP3 “Modern Waste” HERE

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Upcoming Tour Dates (w/ The Whigs)

04/05 – Greensboro, NC – The Blind Tiger
04/06 – Norfolk, VA – The Jewish Mother Backstage
04/07 – Richmond, VA – Capital Ale House
04/13 – Charleston, SC – The Pour House
04/14 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theater
04/15 – Whitesburg, KY – Summit City Lounge
04/17 – Wilmington, NC – The Soapbox
04/25 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone Café
04/26 – Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge
04/27 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway Nightclub
04/28 – Indianapolis, IN – Radio Radio
04/29 – Iowa City, IA – Blue Moose Tap House
04/30 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
05/01 – Tulsa, OK – The Marquee
06/26 – Highland Park, IL – Ravinia Festival (w/ Daryl Hall, John Oates)