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Brian Wright's House On Fire - Out TODAY

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

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

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

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

Rex Foundation releases The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia

On Tuesday March 29, 2011 the Rex Foundation will release 12 tracks from The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia. Recorded at The Fillmore in San Francisco, this special live album features some of Garcia’s oldest cohorts playing some of his most well-known songs.

Hosted by the Rex Foundation at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium on December 4, 2010, the benefit concert entitled “The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia” was a historic night. Among the evening’s unique music experiences was the bringing together of Jesse McReynolds, Peter Rowan and David Nelson.

McReynolds, Rowan, and Nelson each shared a deep connection with Garcia dating back to the early 1960s. In 1962, when Jerry Garcia began playing the banjo and exploring bluegrass music, he formed a band called the Hart Valley Drifters with David Nelson on guitar. In 1964, as part of his bluegrass pilgrimage through the American South, Jerry sought out the even-then legendary bluegrass musicians “Jim and Jesse” (McReynolds). Garcia held Jesse’s mandolin playing and music in high esteem for many more years to come. In 1969, as the Grateful Dead released Aoxomoxoa, Jerry was also collaborating with other musical friends. He reconnected with David Nelson and John “Marmaduke” Dawson to form New Riders of the Purple Sage. He formed another bluegrass band, Old and in the Way, with David Grisman, John Kahn, Peter Rowan and Vassar Clements. Coming full circle, in October 2010, McReynolds released Songs of the Grateful DeadA Tribute to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, collaborating with none other than David Nelson.

At the December 4th benefit event, the featured artists, along with members of their respective bands, which included Garrett McReynolds, Steve Thomas, Jody Stecher, Keith Little, Paul Knight, Barry Sless, Robin Sylvester, John Molo, Mookie Siegel, and special guest Matt Butler of The Everyone Orchestra, had the exceptional opportunity to play Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter and traditional American roots songs together.

Following the show many people noted that this remarkable music should be made available to those who could not attend, as well as to extend the reach of the benefit to provide additional charitable support to the Rex Foundation. On Tuesday March 29, 2011 this will be the case with downloads and CDs available from nugs.net for all to enjoy. As a special bonus, nugs.net is offering a free album listening party during the week of the release exclusively at nugs.net/wheel.

The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia Track List is as follows:

1. Black Muddy River
2. Ripple
3. Deep Elem Blues
4. Peggy-0
5. Friend of the Devil
6. Alabama Getaway
7. Standing on the Moon
8. Franklin’s Tower
9. Casey Jones
10. Dark Hollow
11. The Wheel
12. Cumberland Blues

The compilation will be available beginning March 29, 2011 in the following formats:
·MP3, FLAC, and Apple Lossless downloads at nugs.net/wheel
·iTunes download
·CD only available at nugs.net/wheel

About Rex Foundation:
Furthering what Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead started 27 years ago, the Rex Foundation endeavors to fund grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities, and educating children and adults. The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 programs across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out fundraising initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections. Visit www.rexfoundation.org for a complete list of grantees and information about current initiatives.

B.B. King's rescheduled date at the Boulder Theater

97.3 KBCO & Westword are proud to present the rescheduled date for B.B. King at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, August 20th, 2011.

His reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth. Yet B.B. King continues to wear his crown well. At age 76, he is still light on his feet, singing and playing the blues with relentless passion. Time has no apparent effect on B.B., other than to make him more popular, more cherished, more relevant than ever. Don't look for him in some kind of semi-retirement; look for him out on the road, playing for people, popping up in a myriad of T.V. commercials, or laying down tracks for his next album. B.B. King is as alive as the music he plays, and a grateful world can't get enough of him.

For more than half a century, Riley B. King - better known as B.B. King - has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics. He was born September 16, 1925, on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, near Indianola. In his youth, he played on street corners for dimes, and would sometimes play in as many as four towns a night. In 1947, he hitchhiked to Memphis, TN, to pursue his music career. Memphis was where every important musician of the South gravitated, and which supported a large musical community where every style of African American music could be found. B.B. stayed with his cousin Bukka White, one of the most celebrated blues performers of his time, who schooled B.B. further in the art of the blues.

B.B.'s first big break came in 1948 when he performed on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program on KWEM out of West Memphis. This led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis, and later to a ten-minute spot on black-staffed and managed Memphis radio station WDIA. "King's Spot," became so popular, it was expanded and became the "Sepia Swing Club." Soon B.B. needed a catchy radio name. What started out as Beale Street Blues Boy was shortened to Blues Boy King, and eventually B.B. King.

In the mid-1950s, while B.B. was performing at a dance in Twist, Arkansas, a few fans became unruly. Two men got into a fight and knocked over a kerosene stove, setting fire to the hall. B.B. raced outdoors to safety with everyone else, then realized that he left his beloved $30 acoustic guitar inside, so he rushed back inside the burning building to retrieve it, narrowly escaping death. When he later found out that the fight had been over a woman named Lucille, he decided to give the name to his guitar to remind him never to do a crazy thing like fight over a woman. Ever since, each one of B.B.'s trademark Gibson guitars has been called Lucille.

Soon after his number one hit, "Three O'Clock Blues," B.B. began touring nationally. In 1956, B.B. and his band played an astonishing 342 one-night stands. From the chitlin circuit with its small-town cafes, juke joints, and country dance halls to rock palaces, symphony concert halls, universities, resort hotels and amphitheaters, nationally and internationally, B.B. has become the most renowned blues musician of the past 40 years.

Over the years, B.B. has developed one of the world's most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable components of rock guitarist's vocabulary. His economy, his every-note-counts phrasing, has been a model for thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jeff Beck. B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. In B.B.'s words, "When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille."

In 1968, B.B. played at the Newport Folk Festival and at Bill Graham's Fillmore West on bills with the hottest contemporary rock artists of the day who idolized B.B. and helped to introduce him to a young white audience. In ``69, B.B. was chosen by the Rolling Stones to open 18 American concerts for them; Ike and Tina Turner also played on 18 shows.

B.B. was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He received NARAS' Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 1987, and has received honorary doctorates from Tougaloo(MS) College in 1973; Yale University in 1977; Berklee College of Music in 1982; Rhodes College of Memphis in 1990; Mississippi Valley State University in 2002 and Brown University in 2007. In 1992, he received the National Award of Distinction from the University of Mississippi.

In 1991, B.B. King's Blues Club opened on Beale Street in Memphis, and in 1994, a second club was launched at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles. A third club in New York City's Times Square opened in June 2000 and most recently two clubs opened at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut in January 2002. In 1996, the CD-Rom On The Road With B.B. King: An Interactive Autobiography was released to rave reviews. Also in 1996, B.B.'s autobiography, "Blues All Around Me" (written with David Ritz for Avon Books) was published. In a similar vein, Doubleday published "The Arrival of B.B. King" by Charles Sawyer, in 1980.

B.B. continues to tour extensively, averaging over 250 concerts per year around the world. Classics such as "Payin' The Cost To Be The Boss," "The Thrill Is Gone," How Blue Can You Get," "Everyday I Have The Blues," and "Why I Sing The Blues" are concert (and fan) staples. Over the years, the Grammy Award-winner has had two #1 R&B hits, 1951's "Three O'Clock Blues," and 1952's "You Don't Know Me," and four #2 R&B hits, 1953's "Please Love Me," 1954's "You Upset Me Baby," 1960's "Sweet Sixteen, Part I," and 1966's "Don't Answer The Door, Part I." B.B.'s most popular crossover hit, 1970's "The Thrill Is Gone," went to #15 pop.

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Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday March 25!

$69.50 GA / $87.50 Reserved / $115.00 Gold Circle

Acoustic Africa | Boulder Theater | 3.16.2011

The audience was drenched in motherland soul on Wednesday night at the Boulder Theater as Habib Koite, Oliver Mtukudzi and Afel Bocoum came together on one stage to perf

Exclusive presale for The Grateful Dead Movie event

Dead.net and NCM Fathom are proud to present a special one-night event featuring the first nation-wide screening of The Grateful Dead Movie since 1995 plus a never-before-seen interview with Jerry. Under the direction of Jerry and co-directed by Leon Gast, this legendary 1974 concert captures the Dead at the pinnacle of their psychedelic worldwide fame while documenting the Dead Head experience. The film includes band performances of "U.S. Blues," "One More Saturday Night," "Casey Jones," "Playing in the Band," and "Sugar Magnolia," among other Dead classics. This is one movie experience you won’t want to miss in theaters.

Grab tickets for this very special screening before they go public with our Dead.net exclusive pre-order. Limited seats available - click here to find a theater location and buy your tickets.

The Albertans' "New Age" Out Today

The Albertans, a quintet of Joel Bravo, Ian Everall, Curtis McLean, Krystin Monaghan, and Alison Yip, formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, defects from Alberta, Saskatchewan and the U.S. They met as a collective, and piled into a propane-fueled, converted short bus to tour down to San Diego and back. They toured this way for the next two years, unglamorously, crossing the continent to record in New York, playing shows with bands they didn't know, for people that didn't know them. They traveled 50,000 miles, hopped borders, broke down, and slept on the road. In those two years together, The Albertans recorded an EP and full length with Ernest Jenning Records. They played shows at Sled Island, SXSW, and CMJ with bands such as Cuff the Duke, Hard Drugs, and Woods, and were named one of L Magazine's top NYC bands of 2009. Last Fall, The Albertans finally found a home back in Vancouver, and have been playing shows in BC until now, when they'll leave for SXSW and ultimately a full US tour.

The Albertans recorded their new single and forthcoming album New Age, at Chandelier Studios in Brooklyn, NY. Ernest Jenning Record Company (Cuff the Duke, O'Death, Takka Takka, Still Flyin) have released the full-length album today.

Watch the video 'Megan' here.

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The Albertans Live!

March 19th Austin, TX @ FiveOneTwo (SXSW) w/ The Forms, Takka Takka, O'Death

April 1st Bowen Island, BC @ the Bowen Island Pub
w/ Daniel Carter

April 2nd Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
w/ Wizzrds, The Killing Time Quartet and Bear Mountain

Tower of Power Celebrate 40TH Anniversary

TOWER OF POWER CELEBRATE ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY WITH ALBUM, DVD AND REUNION.   New Collection Features TOP alumni like Lenny Pickett and Chester Thompson; Special Guests Include Soul Legend Sam Moore.

It’s spring! As we celebrate the start of the baseball season, the end of the basketball season and the release of Tower of Power’s 40th Anniversary album, the operative phrase in everyone’s ears is “We Came To Play.” But then, Tower of Power has “come to play,” every single time they take to the stage over the last 42 years.  The horn driven soul and funk machine has toured consistently playing to so(u)ld out crowds around the world.  And after 40 years, four of the original musicians still play with the band.

Similar to sports teams, however, Tower of Power has had numerous players take free agency with other musical prospects. So the 40th Anniversary show gave the band an opportunity to stage their version of “Old Timer’s Day,” bringing 20 former members to work with the ongoing ten player line-up.

“When we were young and we’d lose somebody, it seemed like the end of the world,” TOP founder Emilio Castillo told Gary Graff.  “But it started happening at such an early age in our career, and we always overcame it and always got great people to come in.”

Captured live at the Legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in 2008, this extraordinary show welcomed such former members as Greg Adams, TOP’s trumpeter and arranger for 20 years and subsequently one of the architects of the “smooth Jazz” sound; Chester Thompson, who moved on to play keys for Santana and Elton John; and chart topping “smooth jazz” sax player and first call session guy Richard Elliott.

At a show recorded on the band’s actual anniversary, former TOP member Lenny Pickett, long time sax player for the Saturday Night Live band, joined in. He’s in the bonus footage and is interviewed.   Legendary vocalist Sam Moore, of Sam and Dave, added to the funkified festivities with “I Thank You,” and Otis Redding’s “Mr. Pitiful.”  The DVD is dedicated to Steve “Skip” Mesquite, long time alto player for TOP, who made the show and passed on shortly afterward.

The CD and DVD package is a slam dunk of soulful funk, with such great Tower of Power hits as “What is Hip?” “You’re Still A Young Man,” the ever timely “Only So Much Oil In The Ground,” and “This Time It’s Real.” After 40 years, this band can clearly still hit it out of the ballpark.

“It was probably the most special night of our entire career,” said Castillo. “Getting together and playing again with those guys we’d spent so much time with on the road. It was magic.”

Christopher Paul Stelling Reveals NYC Residency

Christopher Paul Stelling arrived in New York City in 2008 with nothing but his guitar and a duffel bag. Not necessarily concerned with making a name for himself, circumstance and necessity soon found him singing and playing guitar on the subway platforms. Although he still turns heads while playing in the subway every now and then, Stelling has since graced some of New York’s finest stages, and now we’re thrilled to announce his Rockwood Music Hall residency April, taking place each Tuesday night at 8pm.

CPS also took time to link up with Break Thru Radio to film a compelling video for “Flawless Executioner,” which was recorded in a horse stable near Prospect Park in Brookyln. The video went live today, so head over to BTR and check it out!

The years prior to Stelling’s arrival in Brooklyn had seen him through something of an odyssey. He’s studied under a master guitar builder in Colorado, slept in a closet in North Carolina, managed a used bookstore in Florida, and wandered aimlessly through Seattle, all without a said plan in mind- and completely unaware that something was being stitched together beneath it all.

His guitar playing style would seem more appropriate for a man twice his age, bringing to mind the likes of Leo Kottke, John Fahey, and Sandy Bull. His songwriting reaches deep, tugging emotional heartstrings, all while conjuring up imagery from religion, mythology and folklore.  Having already self-released a 20 song album on his own, and a live session with Daytrotter, his first official full-length is currently in the works.

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Upcoming Christopher Paul Stelling Tour Dates

3/10 – NEW YORK, NY – The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen
(Live Performance & Artist Q&A)
4/05 - NEW YORK, NY - Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1 
4/12 - NEW YORK, NY - Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1
4/19 - NEW YORK, NY - Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1
4/23 – BUTLER, PA – Butler Art Center (AABC)
4/26 - NEW YORK, NY - Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1

March 2011 Bluegrass Ball News!

Chances are if you’ve been to a bluegrass festival the memories most prevalent in your mind are not so much that of the “scheduled” performers but more of the impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations.  It’s with that spirit that the McCoury family decided to embark on a traveling bluegrass festival that they are calling The Bluegrass Ball.

Ask most string musicians young or old and they will mostly likely tell you they either want to play with the McCoury family if they have not already.  The McCourys are known for not only their ability to play with just about anyone but also for actually doing it!  Due to this willingness to play with other musicians, the McCoury family is known as heavy weights on the festival and bluegrass scene, even having their own wildly successful festival “Delfest”.  The McCoury’s decided to not only play in this festival but also promote it themselves making the festival on wheels more accessible to fans by playing more intimate venues that collaborate in giving fans a great value at a reasonable price.

Along for the ride over 4 nights in both Chicago and St. Louis are mandolin extraordinaire Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band), Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon and Emmitt-Nershi Band), and bluegrass up and comers Head for the Hills. This run of shows will be nothing short of epic. With this particular line up there are sure to be some phenomenal collaborations and each show will certainly be unique from the next!

Just added to the already impressive Chicago and St. Louis Bluegrass Ball lineup is Allie Kral fiddler extraordinaire from Cornmeal.  Allie will join already confirmed Travelin McCourys, Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band), Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon and Emmitt-Nershi), and Colorado Heavy hitters Head for the Hills.  This lineup will begin Chicago for a 2 night run at the Abbey Pub on March 10th & 11th and in St. Louis for a 2 night run on March 12th & 13th.

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The Travelin’ McCourys

The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road-and online-entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres.  It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music.

No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music.  As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work-a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful.  But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenated.

Jeff Austin

Jeff Austin is best known for his many years playing mandolin for Colorado heavy hitters, Yonder Mountain String Band. Yonder has always played by their own set of rules bending bluegrass, rock and roll, and countless other influences. While most known for his playing with Yonder Mountain String Band, Jeff has played with countless musicians and is sought after by countless musicians and festivals alike.

Drew Emmitt

Revered as one of the most energetic and innovative mandolin players on the jamband/newgrass scene today, Emmitt’s “inestimable talents” (An Honest Tune) don’t end with just the instruments that can be picked.  Holding the wheel steady on acoustic and electric slide mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar and mandola Emmitt also showcases on recent solo albums superlative storytelling and versatile vocal abilities. Drew Emmitt is best known for his over 20 years with Leftover Salmon and also the past few years with The Emmitt-Nershi Band

Allie Kral

Allie Kral is quickly becoming a fiddling force to be reckoned with in the jamgrass scene.  Her years with Cornmeal have made her a road warrior spending over 3/4 of the year on the road on the Cornmeal bus.  Allie has shared the stage with just about any band you can think of from festival stages to the jammy stages she is in high demand amonst artists such as Moe, Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, and Keller Williams just to name a few.  Playing with speed and precision Kral's playing appears effortless and wows crowds time and again.

Head For the Hills

Rooted in the tradition of bluegrass, the music of Head for the Hills is a vibrant mixture of homegrown compositions, traditional harmonies, and an innovative approach to improvisation.  The groups’ lyrical nature and songwriting seems to evoke reminiscent feelings of inspiration. In the live setting, Head for the Hills can venture into the myriad of musical styles and sonic landscapes that caters to a boundless array of listeners.

GROOMS Announce Sophomore LP On Kanine Records

On PromGrooms' sophomore album, set to be released on Kanine Records this summer, the Brooklyn avant-rock trio has come into their own.  In every way, Prom is a more mature, unique, adventurous, and most of all, accessible record than 2009's widely-praised album Rejoicer.
Travis Johnson (vocals/guitar) and Emily Ambruso (vocals/bass) met, ridiculously, on Friendster, shortly before that website became 100% irrelevant, only to meet in person at a Valentine's Day party in the Oklahoma woods a few weeks later.  They immediately started discussing experimental music and pop, and, after relocating separately to New York in 2004, starting playing experimental music and pop together in their bedrooms.  They met Jim Sykes (drums) through a friend soon after, but didn't start playing with him until 2009, when Grooms formed and released their debut album.  That album was a dark, noisy, and tangled affair, the lyrics focusing almost entirely on Travis' religion-fixated obsessive-compulsive disorder, which he was diagnosed with in adolescence.
On this gorgeously poppy album, Prom, the experiments are with beauty, texture, and melody, and the OCD-related lyrics are nestled in lulling, comforting sounds.  The album was written with touchstones like genre-crossing records from Broadcast and Wire's “154” in mind, in between Emily dragging everyone to see terrible movies in theaters and Jim finishing up his PhD in ethnomusicology.  The result is a semi-electronic, often ambient and haunting record, that sounds variously like zombies playing surf rock ("Imagining the Bodies"), glitchy, pounding IDM ("Tiger Trees"), and creepy Spector girl-group tunes ("Sharing") among dozens of others.  Emily and Travis obsessed over the melodies this time around, pushing each other to sing better at all turns, and harmonizing in ways they'd never tried before.  The band slept in sleeping bags in the studio (Uniform, in Philadelphia), staying up late and waking up early to obsess more, and to fidget with sounds they'd never played with before. Friend Jay Heiselman mixed Prom over the 2010 holidays, diving deep into post-production to help create the intensely new direction for the band.
To Grooms, this record is about freedom: to be catchy, to be unabashedly pretty, to try entirely new types of music, and even to write their first-ever breakup song.  They hope you sing along to Prom, that you get happy and sad to it in the way you do with great pop records, and that you get just a little freaked out when their dark side shows up here and there.
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Upcoming Tour Dates:
Feb 23 – Embassy Vinyl - Scranton, PA
Feb 24 – Happy Dog - Cleveland, OH
Feb 25 - Mulligan’s Pub - Grand Rapids, MI
Feb 26 – Mockbee - Cincinnati, OH
Mar 16 – Palm Door (SXSW) - Austin, TX
Mar 20 – Bro Fest - Dallas, TX
Mar 22 – Opolis - Norman, OK
Mar 23 – The Lemp - St Louis, MO
Mar 25 – Pancho’s - Chicago, IL
Mar 26 – Project Lodge - Madison, WI
Mar 27 – The Strut - Kalamazoo, MI
Mar 29 – Now That’s Class - Cleveland, OH
Mar 30 – Garfield Artworks - Pittsburgh, PA
Apr 02 – The Ox - Philadelphia, PA