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BILL EVANS TRIBUTE Tonight At Cornelia Street Café

We open our 2010/11 Serial Underground season with a unique evening to celebrate the great composer/pianist/jazz icon Bill Evans on the thirtieth anniversary of his death on September 15, 1980. Bill was an early mentor of mine. Although it took me a long to appreciate his influential lyrical side, the hard-swinging extroversion that characterized how he played in his last years grabbed me. I suspect our casual friendship arose from common musical interests; for instance, our mutual appreciation of great classical pianists. Bill set me up with a job fixing up and editing his transcribed solos for a book. and we painstakingly cross-checked details over the phone (this was before fax machines and computers, remember). I'd plunk out a chord on my piano, and he'd say yes or no or change this or keep that, and so forth.

Tonight's guest writers certainly bring us closer to the man behind the music. Bill Zavatsky's poems stay with you long after you read or hear them. Laurie Verchomin's upcoming memoir about her life with Bill Evans in the last year and a half of his life runs the full emotional gamut. Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop. Laurie and I decided to frame her words with piano music, and although I'm using Bill¹s compositions or, in some cases, songs associated with him, strangely enough, I'm not playing like him. Maybe a chord or two, or a favorite lick, but I just can't do my once letter-perfect Bill Evans imitation anymore. Perhaps that's a good thing. When I told Bill how much I had stolen from him, he said "Go right ahead. That's what I did when I was young. It only took me forty years to evolve my own style!"

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CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ
29 Cornelia Street, NYC, New York -- 212-989-9319
between West 4th and Bleecker Sts, Greenwich Village
1 Subway to Sheridan Square; A, C, E, B, D, V, F to West 4th St.

Christopher Paul Stelling: A Songwriter With a Story To Tell

Take one look at his road-worn, weathered guitar, and you know that Christopher Paul Stelling is a musician with a story to tell. With a heartfelt voice, dynamic finger-picked guitar stylings, and a songwriting approach that combines folkloric, mythological, and religious imagery, Stelling has forged a style that is all his own, yet hauntingly familiar. Think along the lines of John Fahey, Tom Waits, and Skip James.

Stelling has a busy few weeks ahead- this Thursday, August 19th, he’ll be appearing on East Village Radio’s Belly of the Beast at 8pm, and next Tuesday, August 24th, you can catch his signature blend of hellfire gospel at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall at 9pm, right after Hoots & Hellmouth.

Stelling has managed to revive a sense of musical storytelling and mastery over his instrument that was thought to be long since forgotten, especially in the modern era. His songs evoke everything from delicate fragility to blistering ferocity-those who witness his live shows are often left in disbelief, and wanting more.

Over the past decade, Stelling has traversed the country exploring the roots of American music. Originally hailing from Daytona Beach, he's since hopped from Boulder to Boston, Orlando to Asheville and everywhere in-between, until deciding to call Brooklyn home. Keep your ears out for a full-length album from Christopher Paul Stelling in 2011.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

August 28th – Brooklyn, NY – Goodbye Blue Monday

September 4th – Butler, PA - Associated Artists of Butler County

October 3rd – Brooklyn, NY – The Rock Shop

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Check out some of Chris' tunes on video:



"Black Wings" (Tom Waits cover)

FOLK-ROCK DUO LONG WOODSON TO RELEASE 2ND CD

Folk-rock duo Long Woodson, the prolific pair whose songwriting prowess extends to book-intricate concept albums, will release its second, ROBYVILLE (Robyville Records; Sept. 21, 2010), with a show in Austin to celebrate just two days later.

Long Woodson backed by its band plays at 10 p.m. Thursday, September 23, at Saxon Pub, 1320 S. Lamar Blvd. Cover is $5; information: 512.448.2552. Matt King will play at 8 p.m. and David Beck at midnight.
ROBYVILLE details a fictional West Texas town full of misfits hiding out from mainstream America, each song written about or from the perspective of one of them. Dark lyrics, harmony hooks and gritty vocals paint a picture of survival and hope behind mandolin, Spanish and acoustic guitars, harmonica, and distorted electric guitar.
Matt Long and Gunter Woodson met at The University of Texas and played together in several Austin rock bands. After a time, the duo began to record some of the songs in what has become a growing catalog of co-written material. The result was its first concept album, the acclaimed GIRL UPSTAIRS, which was released in 2009.
ROBYVILLE promises listeners a stimulating journey and a fascinating visit with a colorful cast of characters — with “Nikki,” “Jimi,” “Creole Man” and nine more tracks.
For more information, visit www.longwoodson.com.

The New Deal Unveils their Summer Schedule and Festival Appearances

The New Deal understands the live concert experience; they’ve performed more than 700 live shows in their decade long career and released a number of live recordings, including their newest album LIVE: TORONTO 7.16.2009. The band has long adhered to a grassroots model and has enjoyed consistent growth through heavy touring and fan appreciation.  Today The New Deal announces their 2010 summer tour, which runs up and down the east coast with a few stops in the Midwest.  

Throughout their career, The New Deal has spawned countless Live-Electro bands, garnered numerous award nods and inspired the ever-growing legion of fans that flock to their sold-out concerts.  Catch the live show this summer at headlining gigs and on the festival circuit.  

Confirmed dates are as follows:

Thurs/Jun-3 -New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
Fri/Jun- 4 – West Warwick, RI– Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
Sat/Jun-5 - Baltimore, MD - Starscape
Thu/Jun-24 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
Fri/Jun-25 – Boston, MA – The Middle East
Sat/Jun-26 – Philadelphia, PA – The Electric Factory
Thu/Jul-8 -Masontown, WV – All Good Music Festival
Fri/Jul-9 - Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival
Sat/Jul-10- Patchogue, NY–Great South Bay Music Festival
Fri/Jul-16 - Mariaville, NY – Camp Bisco          
Fri/Aug 20 - Wellston, MI – Hoxeyville Music Festival
Sat/Aug 21 – Chicago, IL – Metro
Thu / Nov 11 – Live Oak, FL – Bear Creek Festival

30db Releases "One Man Show" Today

30db, the unassuming collaboration between guitarist Brendan Bayliss of the improvisational Chicago band Umphrey’s McGee and mandolinist Jeff Austin of Boulder’s top-flight Americana unit Yonder Mountain String Band, is creating buzz among critics and fans alike. The super group - which also features Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi All Stars), Nick Forster (Hot Rize) and Eric Thorin (Open Road)– is playing select cities this month is support of their new release, One Man Show.

With three shows down (the band performed last week to packed houses in Minneapolis, Madison, and Chicago) and only four more on the books (at least for now), 30db is turning out to be one of the most intriguing collaborations of the season.

A visceral and personal album, 30db’s One Man Show (released May 11, SCI Fidelity Records) is a moving account of busted relationships. Within months of each other, long-time friends and tour mates Jeff Austin and Brendan Bayliss both witnessed the end of long-term relationships. Austin recalls, “Sometimes emotionally and personally, there’s a lot of stuff going on, and we both had that happen at the same time. We started talking pretty often at that point, just to help each other through it, because we were going through the same personal situation. We were both able to understand each other – partners in pain, almost. You go through this heavy stuff, and people say, ‘Oh, I understand,’ but when I reached out to Bayliss, he really understood.”

Working from their shared perspective, the two musicians wrote, edited, and shaped the 14 tracks that make up One Man Show together. By turns affectingly subdued and passionately hard-rocking, One Man Show is an astonishing and unexpected collaboration that covers the musical spectrum.

Current 30db upcoming tour dates are as follows:

May 19 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre

May 20 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall

May 21 Seattle, WA Tractor Tavern

May 22 Portland, OR Berbati's Pan

May 27 Chillicothe, IL Summer Camp

Bobby Long News & Tour Dates

Bobby Long, the young British singer-songwriter who has built an expansive worldwide fan base through constant touring over the last year, will be featured on National Public Radio's popular World Café program going out to its affiliate stations on Tuesday, April 27.  Carried nationally on over 200 radio stations through out the U.S., the show will be culled from Long's recent appearance on WXPN's weekly Free at Noon broadcast along with an interview with World Café host David Dye.

Long, who is unsigned and whose demanding tour schedule will continue into the summer, appeared live on Free at Noon on March 12 from Philadelphia's World Café Live venue, where he also played to an SRO audience in their upstairs room the following evening.  The prolific singer-songwriter-guitarist's set list included a selection of his better-known songs-"The Bounty of Mary Jane," "In the Frost," "Penance Fire Blues," "Dead and Done," "Two Years Old" and "Who Have You Been Loving," the song that first brought him to the attention of WXPN's music staff.  He also performed two of his newer compositions, "A Happy Winter" and "A Stranger Song."

A new Bobby Long single entitled "My Darling Bell" will be available for download from all digital outlets, including iTunes and amazon, beginning today (April 13, 2010). "My Darling Bell" appears on the new live collection of highlights from his DANGEROUS SUMMER 2009 tour, which is available exclusively at his live appearances.  Long has previously released two songs digitally from DIRTY POND SONGS, the first CD he recorded to make available at his live shows.  The first-"Left to Lie"-reached #1 on iTunes' Unsigned and #8 on its Folk charts. "The Bounty of Mary Jane" was released at the start of last summer's tour, followed by a live version of "Being A Mockingbird" recorded at Arlene's Grocery in New York during one of Long's very first U.S. appearances.  "My Darling Bell" is his first new digital release in almost a year.

Though still unsigned, Long is nearing completion of his much-anticipated studio debut recording, produced by Grammy®-winning producer Liam Watson (The White Stripes).  The CD was recorded at Watson's analog Toe Rag Studios in London with studio musicians backing him up on most of the tracks, but several songs will receive the spare, acoustic guitar accompaniment his fan base has come to know and love.  A review in Jambase of his recent SRO show at New York's Mercury Lounge comments on his finger-style guitar playing:  "The majority of [Long's] catalog builds off relatively simplistic chord progressions, but he shows a remarkable knack for adding color via accent notes with his unorthodox two-fingered picking attack and construction of fuller, brighter chords than the standard singer-songwriter fare. Notably, he walks the line between country blues and the more uplifting traditional I-IV-V type structures, while taking the crowd energy through high peaks of heavy strumming howls and low valleys of quiet, whispered picking."

Upcoming Bobby Long shows include: 

April 28-Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA

May 1-The Bamboozle Festival, Meadowlands Sports Complex, East Rutherford, N.J.

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Bobby will support matt pond PA on the following shows in May: 

May 5-Chameleon Club, Lancaster, PA

6-Allen Street Stage, Penn State University, State College, PA

7-Mac's Bar, Lansing, MI

9-The House Café, DeKalb, IL

10-Mad Planet, Milwaukee, WI

11-Slowdown, Omaha

12-Fox Theater, Boulder, CO

14-Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS

15-Mojo's, Columbia, MO

17-Hi Tone Café, Memphis

18-Square Room, Knoxville

20-40 Watt, Athens, GA

21-Village Tavern, Mt. Pleasant, SC

22-Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC

24-The Southern, Charlottesville, VA

25-Otto Bar, Baltimore, MD

THE 40th ANNIVERSARY of the Grateful Dead at HARPUR COLLEGE

1970's intense. T.C. leaves the band in late January. The band's 'busted down on Bourbon Street' on January 31st. In March they discover their manager, Mickey Hart's father Lenny, has been stealing them blind (they're already hugely in debt to the record company). Only the music is sane; they enter the studio in March and in three weeks record Workingman's Dead, fulfilling Garcia and Hunter's work of the past year. It comes out in June. They add a regular opening act, the New Riders of the Purple Sage (Garcia plays pedal steel in it), and their shows stretch ever longer. Late that month they cross Canada on the Festival Express. In September they have some spare time, and go back into the studio, producing another gem, American Beauty. In the fall they begin a long series of college concerts that will establish them (along with the two albums) in a long-term way as a touring band.

“Finally I have the quality I’ve been looking for on this famous date. There are so many outrageous things that stand out on this date, that I hesitate to list them all. There are a few places where the quality “garbles” of fades in & out, during the “Anthem” & “Viola Lee Blues”, but outside of this everything is excellent. In “Cold Rain & Snow”, Garcia tunes up several times & really gets into singing with gusto, like I’ve never heard this tune. There is a really nice riff from “Dark Star” that they do during the end of “Dancing in the Streets”. During the Acoustic Set, there is one point where Garcia & Weir lecture the noisy audience about being a more “respectable audience.”

Dick Latvala

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THE 40th ANNIVERSARY of the Grateful Dead at HARPUR COLLEGE

May 2, 1970

The Zen Tricksters Will perform the entire show forty years to the day on May 2, 2010 at Brooklyn Bowl

Tickets: $5.00

Online ticketing

Venue phone: 718-963-3369

Doors: 7:00pm | Show: 8:00pm

Brooklyn Bowl Website

Shy Blakeman To Release LONG DISTANCE MAN

Shy Blakeman, the Texas singer-songwriter with a colorful past and engaging character who was first introduced to audiences during the 2006 season of “Nashville Star,” is scheduled to release his third album LONG DISTANCE MAN today.

Influenced by the eclectic southern mixture representative of The Black Crowes, Waylon Jennings and Ray Charles, Blakeman succeeds in his efforts to break ground on a new sound by melding genres into an album that is equally pleasurable and viably commercial. This new venture allows the listener to go along for a ride with the “Long Distance Man” as he musically meanders through songs that cross the plains of Texas country at “Quarter to Three,” hears the blues and tastes the “Swamp Water Whisky” of Baton Rouge, dances all night in a few of the “So Many Honky Tonks” that decorate the true country landscape, and establishes roots at the Americana homestead that is “Dragon Fly.”

Produced by Ted Russell Kamp (Shooter Jennings) and Executively Produced by Warren Izard, the album also features a bevy of world class players who have graciously lent their time and talent to support the new project. Artists of note include Marc Ford (The Black Crowes), Audley Freed (The Black Crowes, Cry Love, Peter Frampton), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Jewel), Kenny Vaughn (Steve Earle, Marty Stuart, Rodney Crowell), Michael Webb (John Fogerty), Jason Sutter (Chris Cornell), Ron Dziubla (Royal Crown Reveue, Ricky Martin), and Gia Ciambotti (Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt).

The rollicking title track was released to radio on February 23, 2010 and early commendations for the album are already rolling in. “I’ve been drowning in a sea of cookie-cutter music. Thank you Shy Blakeman for throwing me a life preserver [with] LONG DISTANCE MAN,” says Kelley Peterson of KHKX/KMCM/KQRX in Odessa, Texas.

Blakeman will be promoting his new album today during a performance at the Kinetic Entertainment "The Early Bird Gets The Music" showcase at Annie’s West, 706 W. 6th St. Austin, Texas. He has also been invited to perform for the CMT Awards after-party in Nashville, Tenn. Scheduled for June 9, 2010, this unofficial wrap-up to the CMA Music Fest activities will be hosted by Cowboy Troy, the 2006 and 2007 co-host of “Nashville Star.”

For more information visit: www.shyblakeman.com

BRITISH SINGER-SONGWRITER BOBBY LONG RETURNS TO U.S. FOR 2010 TOUR

British singer-songwriter Bobby Long returns to American shores this week, kicking off a tour that will include his first appearances at the annual South By Southwest Conference (SxSW) in Austin, Texas. Long, whose 2009 "Dangerous Summer" tour of the U.S. and Canada comprised more than 100 shows and was extended through December, will begin his 2010 U.S. run at World Café Live in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 13. Following the string of his own shows, Long will join popular Philadelphia indie band matt pond PA (mppa) for 16 shows during May in support their new album The Dark Leaves.

Bobby Long will also be the special guest on WXPN Radio's weekly Free@Noon broadcast, live from Philadelphia this Friday, March 12. Last fall, WXPN began playing cuts from Long's DIRTY POND SONGS CD-a collection he recorded in his London bedroom to be available exclusively at his shows-and made him their "World Café Next" artist of the week in December. The broadcast will be streamed live at www.xpn.org and www.npr.org.

Long is also set for several performances at SxSW next week: Thursday, March 18 at 11PM at the Hilton Garden Inn Creekside as part of "The Bedford at SxSW" event, Friday, March 19 at 2PM at Bug Music's event at the Continental Club and again at 7PM at the SxSW Second Play Stage at the Hilton Hotel Austin. His final SxSW appearance will take place on Sunday, March 21 at 1PM at the UHCU Headliner Stage. Other highlights of the spring tour will be appearances at the eclectic Bamboozle Festival on both coasts, the March 28 event at Anaheim Stadium in California and the May 1 event at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Long started the year with three weeks of shows in Europe, playing several countries for the first time.  He is currently recording his much-anticipated debut studio album for release later in the year with producer Liam Watson (The White Stripes' "Elephant") at the helm. "I'm feeling really good about it all," he says.  "I'm really pleased with the time in the studio and to have had an opportunity to work with amazing musicians and with a producer like Liam Watson.  Everyone worked together, and I really feel like we have put together a great sound and something that will make people stand up and listen. I've recorded around 18 songs and now just have to pick the ones for the album."

He has already sold more than 10,000 copies of the 10-song collection of original material called DIRTY POND SONGS.  "Left to Lie" and "The Bounty of Mary Jane" from that CD are available for download from iTunes and other digital outlets.  "Let Me Sign," a song he co-wrote with Marcus Foster, is part of the American Music Award-winning soundtrack of the blockbuster film "Twilight."  He has also compiled a new DANGEROUS SUMMER TOUR CD of live performances from his marathon 2009 tour, which will be available for sale at the upcoming shows.  Included in that collection are some of his newer compositions, "The Borough Mill," "In the Frost," "My Darling Bell" and "Girl From the Keys," among them.

Fans first discovered his compelling brand of acoustic music via the film, YouTube and his continually-updated MySpace page (www.myspace.com/musicbobbylong), which is now closing in on two million page views.  Music critics and selected radio programmers have jumped on the Long bandwagon early, praising both his songwriting and his style.


BOBBY LONG 2010 U.S. TOUR:

March 12--13-World Café Live Upstairs, Philadelphia; March 15-Mercury Lounge, New York City; March 16-Poor David's Pub, Dallas; SxSW Music Conference, Austin, TX:  March 18, at 11PM, Hilton Garden Inn Creekside) and March 19 at 2PM, Continental Club, Austin, and 7PM, Hilton Hotel Austin; March 22-Hideaway on Dunvale, Houston, TX; 25-Café Congress, Tucson; 28-The Bamboozle Festival, Anaheim Stadium; April 28-Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA; and May 1-The Bamboozle Festival, Meadowlands, East Rutherford, NJ.

Dates supporting matt pond PA are:

May 5-Chameleon Club, Lancaster, PA; 6-Allen Street Stage, Penn State University, State College, PA; 7-Mac's Bar, Lansing, MI; 9-The House Café, DeKalb, IL; 10-Mad Planet, Milwaukee, WI; 11-Slowdown, Omaha; 12-Fox Theater, Boulder, CO; 14-Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS; 15-Mojo's, Columbia, MO; 17-Hi Tone Café, Memphis; 18-Square Room, Knoxville; 20-40 Watt, Athens, GA; 21-Village Tavern, Mt. Pleasant, SC; 22-Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC; 24-The Southern, Charlottesville, VA and 25-Otto Bar, Baltimore, MD.

Look for more U. S. dates to be announced soon.

UMBowl: Another Innovative Music Experience by Umphrey's McGee

The forward-thinking band Umphrey’s McGee will carve out new terrain in musical interactivity with their fans at the first “UMBowl,” an unprecedented 4-quarter evening-long concert on Saturday, April 24th, at Lincoln Hall in the group’s hometown of Chicago.

Umphrey’s, which has long forged a close bond with its national fan base through technological innovation, will explore fresh frontiers in the five-hour event, styled to emulate a football game with four “quarters” of unique musical performances that will actually be generated by audience input. Half the night’s music will be determined by text messaging on “gameday” itself.

The first quarter (Q1) will be an acoustic set entirely chosen by attendees; ticket holders will receive ballots and cast votes on the songs to be performed. Q2 will be a wholly improvised performance driven by bi-directional texting, sifted and delivered by “offensive coordinator” (and longtime Umphrey’s sound caresser) Kevin Browning to the band, which will then use the audience input to construct their jams. Q3 will be an all-request segment, with songs again determined by pre-balloting from the audience members. Fans will be able to vote not just on song selection but actually how those songs are arranged and varied from their original form. In Q4, the live audience will actually act as the group’s quarterback, “calling audibles” to direct the course of a free-flowing set via text messages sent to Browning in response to choices projected on an in-house screen.

The text-messaging element of UMBowl, powered by Mozes, was first employed by Umphrey’s McGee at their Stew Art (or “S2”) series, launched in fall 2009. Hosted as freestanding events before Umphrey’s shows in select tour markets, the series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage is entirely directed by S2 audience members. Sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references to the Umphrey's mobile interface, which are then interpreted by the band.


Umphrey’s McGee had previously taken new approaches to delivering their music to the fans. Before their most recent studio recording, Mantis, was released in January 2009, the collection was made available for pre-order in an interesting way. The more Mantis pre-orders were received, the more free bonus content was received. Fans “unlocked” levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album.

The band was also among the first group of performers to offer songs at Rock Band Network. The much buzzed-about video game platform works with Xbox video game systems, and allows bands to offer fans a way to dig into their favorite group’s music in ways they have never been able to before.

UMBowl tickets went on sale last Friday and sold out in just minutes.

For the many out-of-town fans attending UMBowl, the band, together with long-standing travel partners CID Entertainment, offered travel packages for the event. Included in each package are tickets to UMBowl, luxury accommodations at the new Hotel Palomar in downtown Chicago, a drink package for the pre-party at the Umphrey’s hometown hang The Store, a personalized UMBowl jersey, gameday transportation, and more. For further information, go here.