Thomas Dolby debuts 'The Floating City' transmedia game

Best known as the singer/synthesist behind the Top 5 smash hit “She Blinded Me With Science” and as the co-inventor of the Beatnik polyphonic ringtone engine, Thomas Dolby today announced his latest creation: The Floating City is a rich transmedia game with a living world that changes and reacts to player contributions. It uses web browsers, social networks, and even smart phones and iPads as a way for fans to access his latest musical endeavors.

The Floating City is open for registration from today at floatingcity.com. Gameplay commences on June 22nd at 5 p.m. GMT (1 p.m. ET in the U.S.). Players from around the world will form tribes and collaborate to earn free music downloads, merchandise and concert tickets. The leading tribe will even win the right to stage a private concert at which Thomas Dolby and his band will perform his forthcoming album in its entirety.

Completely free to the public, The Floating City is a casual game that hooks you into building a whole story world with your tribe — as deep as you want to go. It runs on a standard web browser, smartphone or iPad without additional software installation. It is targeted at players of all ages, regardless of whether they are familiar with Thomas Dolby’s catalog. But diehard fans of the five-time Grammy™-nominated songwriter will be delighted to find that The Floating City integrates characters, places, and objects named in every one of his albums going back to the beginning of his career . . . and before.

The Floating City is set against a dystopian vision of the 1940s that might have existed had WWII turned out a lot differently,” says Dolby. A global energy experiment went haywire, the Earth’s magnetic fields have been reversed, and the planetary climate system violated. Science has betrayed us: now what must the species do to survive?

Survivors explore a fictional Google map, forming tribes and trading relics amidst a bizarre sea-going barter society. As they struggle to unravel the enigma that is The Floating City, players can haggle over merchandise and music downloads — including brand new songs from the much anticipated CD A Map of the Floating City, Dolby’s first album in 20 years, which will be released following the climax of the game.

“This is a brilliant concept,’ said writer/economist Steven Levitt. “It’s a cross between Freakonomics and Burning Man, with a back-story that would have made J.G. Ballard proud.”

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About Thomas Dolby

Thomas Dolby became a huge star in the ’80s when his songs “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and were on constant rotation at MTV. His unique keyboard playing led to guest performances with the likes of David Bowie (Live Aid), Stevie Wonder (Grammy™ awards) and Roger Waters (The Wall) and he became a top producer, garnering five Grammy™ nominations.

Dolby abandoned the music business in the 1990s to found Beatnik Inc., a Silicon Valley tech company that built the ringtone synthesizer embedded in over 3 billion mobile phones worldwide. Now retired from Beatnik, he has returned to music and has been completing his first studio album in more than 20 years.

The Floating City game consolidates Dolby’s reputation as one of the foremost pioneers of electronic alt-culture. On hearing of the game, counter-cabaret diva Amanda Palmer commented: “Thomas Dolby is to Steampunk what Iggy Pop was to Punk!”

Avett Brothers July 9 Concert from Red Rocks to be Simulcast Live

The Avett Brothers sold-out show on July 9th from Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre will be broadcast live via satellite to the band’s hometown of Concord, NC on the planets largest HDTV screen.  AEG Network LIVE is responsible for producing and shooting the entire event in HD and delivering it via iClips to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Charlotte Motor Speedway, home to the massive 80’ x 200’ Panasonic HDTV, will host Avett Brothers fans from near and far for a chance to be part of this exciting show as it happens live. Fans who can't make it to Colorado or North Carolina on July 9 will be able stream the show on iclips.net.

The live simulcast will give the Avett Brothers’ rabid local fan base the opportunity to view their historical show from Red Rocks on the speedway’s massive 80-foot-by-200-foot HD video board. The speedway will supply concert-grade speakers to turn the infield area in front of the video board into a one-of-a-kind concert venue.  Tickets for the July 9 simulcast on the world’s largest HDTV at Charlotte Motor Speedway are on sale now and can be purchased at the speedway ticket office or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Tickets are only $10 until July 1, when they will increase to $15 until July 8. Tickets purchased the day of the event, July 9, will cost $20.

“The speedway has been a hometown landmark for us our whole lives and we're proud to have an opportunity for our music to echo through that historical infield,” said Seth Avett. “For us, performing at Red Rocks and airing live in Concord is about the most ideal situation for being in two amazing places at once.”

The Avett Brothers front men, Scott and Seth Avett, who grew up on their father’s farm in Concord, quickly grew their fan base throughout the region with memorable energetic shows, which has become the band’s trademark.

The Avetts’ popularity skyrocketed on the heels on their major label debut, the 2009 album “I and Love and You.” Recently, the band has become accustomed to performing sold out concerts and in February they performed at the 53rd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles alongside Bob Dylan.

“We are so fortunate to travel and play the many places we do,” said Scott Avett. “To have an opportunity to share that with our supportive home town in a setting where great men like Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson competed adds to the sense of pride that we feel to be a part of the Charlotte community and this event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.”

“This is going to be an unbelievable event,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “This is something that would have never been possible without the world’s largest HD video board. But, now we’re going to simulcast a live sold out show from one of the most famous concert venues in the world, featuring our home-town boys, the Avett Brothers, to their loyal fan following here in Charlotte. It’s going to be awesome!”

The Shivers "Love Is in the Air"

The Shivers will return with their latest record More, set for release on Silence Breaks. Recorded in Manchester, UK early last year, the album finds songwriters Keith Zarriello and Jo Schornikow exploring everything from shambly garage rock to melancholic barroom ballads. In honor of the band’s new album, the band has made “Used to Be” available for free download. Check out the track HERE.

Using every dime they’d saved, Zarriello and Schornikow traveled to Manchester in Spring of 2010 to record their latest record in an entirely analog studio. Over five days, the two worked tirelessly, fleshing out the tracks they had worked on in the small church in Queens where the band practices. The end result was More, an album that runs the gamut of American rock ’n’ roll, delving into everything from gritty Lou-Reed-inspired rock to the swaggering soul of Nina Simone. Starting with the brief piano elegy “My Mouth is for Love,” More segues quickly into “Irrational Love,” a bouncy organ-driven rock track with a chorus that sounds like it was plucked from 1966. The album teeters between the upbeat pop of tracks like Used to Beand “I Want You Back” to the heartsick, Leonard-Cohen-inspired ballads like “Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars” and “Love Is In The Air.” The album closes with the record’s title track “More,” a slow-building confessional that serves the record’s triumphant last call. It’s an apt end for a record that sounds like an apologetic love note, written on barroom cocktail napkin.

Hailing from Queens, NY, Keith Zarriello began writing music as The Shivers started back in 2001 and has spent the last ten years mining the depths of American rock, developing a songwriting style that ranges from earnest, heartbroken ballads to ’60s garage rock revival. In 2004, Zarrellio released Charades, which featured the much lauded track “Beauty,which earned universal praise from the likes of Pitchfork and The Guardian, and would end up being named Gorilla Vs Bear’s thirteenth best song of the decade. The album also caught the ear of an Australian, classically-trained church organist named Jo Schornikow, who joined the band as a full-time member that year. Adding counterpoint of beauty with her piano and keyboard flutters, The Shivers spent the next six years touring aggressively in the U.S. and the U.K., and releasing a grand total of four albums, leading up to the ultimate release of More this year.

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The Shivers

More (May 10, Silence Breaks)

Tracklist:

1. My Mouth Is For My Love

2. Irrational Love

3. Kisses

4. Used To Be

5. Love Is In The Air

6. Two Solitudes

7. Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars

8. I Want You Back

9. So Long Woman

10. More

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

Jim Lauderdale's Reason and Rhyme: Out TODAY

Can there be too much of a good thing?  If the question’s about collaboration between American roots music hero Jim Lauderdale and legendary lyricist Robert Hunter, the answer’s an emphatic “no!”  Marking the former’s debut on the respected Sugar Hill records label, Reason And Rhyme makes a compelling case for the continued vitality of the Lauderdale—Hunter partnership—and for Lauderdale’s unique and deeply satisfying approach to bluegrass.

“This one’s back to total bluegrass,” Lauderdale says of the collaborative follow-up to 2010’s electric Patchwork River, and so it’s no surprise that it features many of the musicians involved in previous bluegrass efforts like Could We Get Any Closer (2009) and 2007’s Grammy-winning The Bluegrass Diaries.  The close-knit crew, headed up by producer and resonator guitarist Randy Kohrs, is perfectly in tune with Lauderdale’s ‘grass-with-a-twist sensibilities, and whether it’s a return buddy like bassist Jay Weaver or new colleague Mike Compton (mandolin), each player delivers mightily with the genre’s characteristic virtuosity and emotional fire.

“We started on this one last August,” Lauderdale notes, “right after I finished touring with Elvis Costello.  Robert and I have worked just about every way you can think of—writing in the same room, adding lyrics to music and music to lyrics—but whichever way we go, he’s the lyrics guy and I’m the music guy.  This time around, we wanted to keep the momentum from Patchwork River going; I started sending him melodies, and ten days later we had 18 songs to choose from.”
The collaboration began over a decade ago, when Lauderdale was preparing for his first joint project with bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley, and quickly bore fruit, with more than 30 songs written before the first all-collaborative album, Headed For The Hills (2004).  “I’m not surprised, but I’m always blown away how creative he is lyrically,” says the singer/songwriter, who’s busy enough that finding time to record has always been among his greatest challenges.
With 11 fresh takes on the bluegrass sound that he’s loved since he was a teenager, this latest effort presents Jim Lauderdale at his most relaxed and rooted—and with the help of one of American music’s greatest lyricists, it’s a set that offers not only deep musicality, but deep meaning and vision.  Reason And Rhyme—it’s just the right name for just the right music.
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Jim Lauderdale 2011 Tour Dates

2011-06-22           Nashville, TN - Music City Roots
2011-06-24           Nashville, TN - Station Inn
2011-06-27           New York, NY - The Living Room
2011-07-22           Trumansburg, NY - Grassroots Festival
2011-07-24           Washington, DC - Hill Country
2011-07-26           Abindgon, VA - Virginia Highlands Community College
2011-08-06           Casper, WY - Beartrap Summer Festival
2011-08-08           Helena, MT - Myrna Loy Center
2011-08-10           Boise, ID - Alive After Five
2011-08-11           Snowmass Village, CO - Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Series
2011-08-13           Alta, WY - Targhee Music Festival
2011-09-06           The Woodlands, TX - Real Life - Real Music @ Dosey Doe
2011-09-17           Bristol, TN - Bristol's Rhythm and Roots Reunion
2011-10-06           Richmond, VA - Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
2011-10-07           Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel - with the Blind Boys of Alabama
2011-10-13           Nashville, TN - Americana Music Conference

2011-10-21           North Bethesda, MD - Strathmore

TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES “2PAC 40TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION”

Afeni Shakur and the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation announce details for the 2PAC 40th Birthday Celebration Concert, at the Atlanta Symphony Hall in Atlanta, GA, June 16, 2011. Hosted by comedian/actor Mike Epps, this star-studded event will feature a headlining appearance by GRAMMY® award-winning artist Erykah Badu, as well as performances by legendary soul artists Roy Ayers and Eric Roberson, and hip-hop heavyweights Too $hort, Bun B, and 8 Ball and MJG. Proceeds from the event benefit the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation.

“I am deeply honored to have been invited by Afeni Shakur to celebrate her son’s remarkable life,” says Badu. “I don’t take this distinction for granted.”

Since 2009, presenters, Mike Epps and Afeni Shakur have drawn thousands of 2Pac fans from around the globe to Atlanta for an annual day of music, art and culture in recognition of the icon’s lasting impact and influence. The event aims to not only revive Tupac’s spirit through art, but offer a prophetic representation of the late artist at age 40 – complete  with a musical soundtrack that spans the soulful jazz sounds of Roy Ayers and to West Coast rap contemporaries such as Too $hort.

“With this event, we help keep Tupac’s legacy alive,” says Epps, “not only by bringing together the fans that know and love his music, but also by supporting his organization, and the causes he worked so hard for during his lifetime.”

Past celebrations have included performances by Rick Ross, Wacka Flocka, Lil’ Scrappy, M1 of Dead Prez and more. At last year’s concert, Dekalb County officials presented Afeni Shakur and Mike Epps with a proclamation officially naming June 16th as “Tupac Day.”

This June 16 will mark the 40th birthday of Tupac Shakur, a man whose impact on culture worldwide through his art, activism and passion is felt to this day. This year, fans, family, artists and performers alike will gather at the Atlanta Symphony Hall to both celebrate the life and further the cause of this remarkable individual.

Tickets are priced at $45-150.00, and are available exclusively at www.16thofjune.com.

Rubblebucket Premiere "Worker" with Spinner, NYC Bike Film Festival

Leading up the release of Omega La La on June 21 via Sin Duda Records, Rubblebucket is happy to premiere their latest track, “Worker” with Spinner this morning. The site had great things to say about the band, writing, “Like a love child of the Rapture and Dirty Projectors, Rubblebucket have been churning out highly polished pop since their inception, and their upcoming record, Omega La La, is sure to have you grooving in your skinny jorts this summer.” Listen to the track HERE, and read Spinner’s piece on the hand HERE. As a part of the band’s upcoming summer tour dates, Rubblebucket is also headlining Bikes Rock!, the opening night of the Bicycle Film Festival in New York City, on 6/22 at Santos Party House. Check out the band’s full summer tour below.

Omega La La marks a milestone for Rubblebucket. Recorded last year at Plantain/DFA Studios with Producer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, Cut Copy, Hercules and Love Affair) at the helm, the record is the Brooklyn eight piece’s most adventurous record yet, with the band dipping into everything from the dancey indie-pop arrangements to Fela-Kuti inspired afro-beat stomps. The album opens with “Down in the Yards,” a track that builds off the ebb and flow of a droning, two-note guitar riff, only to explode into a triumphant chorus anchored by the band’s horn section. That track is followed up by the buoyant psych-pop gem, “L’homme.” “Silly Fathers” and a reworked version of “Came Out of a Lady” show off the band’s penchant for creating pop songs that stick in your head. “Raining” is an eccentric pop song built around intertwining vocal lines and a cascading synth. And so far the record has earned a wealth of praise, with Stereogum hailing the record’s “Tricky arrangements, whistle solos, and disco guitar leads” and PasteMagazine calling the album “instrumentally rich but catchy enough to ass-kick Katy Perry off the pop charts (in a just world)—mega-melodic without sacrificing an ounce of atmosphere or creativity.”

For Rubblebucket, it’s been a long journey to make Omega La La. Led by the musical couple of bandleader/trumpeter Alex Toth and frontwoman Kalmia Traver, Rubblebucket has spent the last four years building a reputation as a band that blurs the lines between psychedelic indie rock, upbeat dance, and radiant, left-field arrangements. In 2009, Rubblebucket released a self-titled album that turned heads. SPIN hailed the band as a "must-hear artist from the CMJ Festival” in 2009 and the band won that year’s Boston Music Award for Live Act of the Year.  The band then relocated to Brooklyn and released the Triangular Daises EP in 2010. A stylistic precursor to Omega La La, the Triangular Daises EP was hailed by The Wall Street Journal, NYLON, Paste, and a host of others.

Rubblebucket Premieres Latest Track “Worker” with Spinner Today  Download the Mp3 HERE

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Rubblebucket Spring/Summer Tour Dates:

06/16: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
06/17: Spencer, IN @ Stable Studios Music Festival
06/18: Grand Rapids, MI @ Founders Fest
06/22: New York, NY @ Santos Party House – NYC Bicycle Film Fest
06/28: Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre
06/30: Madison, WI @ Majestic Live
07/02: Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forrest Festival
07/08: Rochester, NY @ East End Festival
07/09: Schuylkill, PA @ Midsummer Meltdown
07/15: Buffalo, NY @ North Fork Music Park
07/16: Greenfield, MA @ Green River Fest
07/24: Bridgeport, CT @ Gathering of the Vibes
07/29: Floyd, VA @ Floyd Fest
07/30: Floyd, VA @ Floyd Fest
08/13: Burlington, VT @ Grand Point North
08/18: Stephentown, NY @ Bella Terra
08/19: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
08/20: Sheldon, VT @ Liberate Festival
09/03: Chicago, IL @ North Coast Festival
09/04: Mohawk, NY @ Moe.Down
09/10: Peru, NY @ Backwoods Pondfest
10/08: Roseland, VA @ The Festy
11/11: Live Oak, FL @ Bear Creek Music & Arts Fest

Lindsey Buckingham announces sixth solo album

Legendary guitarist, singer/songwriter, Grammy winner, producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Lindsey Buckingham will release his sixth solo album, Seeds We Sow, on September 6, 2011.  This album is Buckingham’s first self-release, in which he took a true DIY approach, not only writing and performing every song on the record but producing and mixing them as well. Buckingham also announced a 31-city North American tour in support of the album which kicks off on September 9 in Nevada and continues through October 25 in Napa, CA (full routing below).  Tickets go on sale in select cities beginning June 16, check your local venue for ticket purchase and on-sale info.

Speaking on Seeds We Sow, Buckingham says, “This might be the best work I’ve ever done. I think it’s an excellent representation of what I do. It shows a certain maturity and musicianship and I just feel like I have a lot of tools in my musical vocabulary from which to draw that are again the product of the choices I’ve made. It’s on my own terms. This is very much from the inside out and I hope I never stop doing that.”

From the album’s first single “In Our Own Time,” to the soft melodic pop/rock tinge of “End of Time” and the album’s most rocking track, “One Take,” to the touching “When She Comes Down” and the almost lullaby-esque hushed tones of the gorgeous closing number, “She Smiles Sweetly,” the album showcases Buckingham’s full arsenal of skills.  Just as his guitar style on Seeds We Sow is more mature and refined, so too are his lyrics, with one of the standout tracks being the hook-laden “Illumination.” “I think the lyrics over the years have actually gotten better because they’ve gotten a little, I don’t want to say obscure, but more poetic in the way they’re created,” he says, adding, “It’s a mysterious process even to me.”

ABOUT LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM
Palo Alto, CA native Lindsey Buckingham is best known for his work as guitarist, male vocalist and songwriter for Fleetwood Mac, a band that has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, won countless awards, sold out venues around the world, and helped define the sound of rock for the last three decades. Buckingham was the predominant musical force behind such Mac albums as Rumours and the innovative Tusk, and has created a critically acclaimed body of solo work that yielded the hits, “Trouble,” “Go Insane,” and “Holiday Road.” After moving to Los Angeles in 1973 with then girlfriend Stevie Nicks, the two were signed to Polydor Records and released the now cult favorite Buckingham Nicks album.  The two joined Fleetwood Mac on New Year’s Eve of 1974 and the band’s self-titled album was released in 1975.  The album was a hit, however, it did not compare to the success of 1977’s Rumors, led by the Buckingham-written single “Go Your Own Way,” which has gone on to become one of the best selling albums of all time (even re-appearing on the Billboard Top 40 in 2011 after the “Glee” episode paid tribute to the album). 1979’s critically acclaimed double-album, Tusk, famously cost the band over a million dollars to record and was followed by 1982’s Mirage and 1987’s Tango in the Night, also huge commercial successes for the band.  Buckingham’s first solo album, 1981’s Law and Order, produced the hit single “Trouble.” Buckingham’s subsequent solo albums, 1984’s Go Insane, 1992’s Out of the Cradle, 2006’s Under the Skin and 2008’s Live at the Bass Performance Hall and Gift of Screws have all earned critical acclaim.  He was recently honored with ASCAP’s Golden Note Award, and has also received The Les Paul Award.  For more information please log on to www.lindseybuckingham.com.
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“SEEDS WE SOW” TOUR DATES:
Fri.-Sat., Sept. 9-10 RENO, NV Nugget Casino
Mon., Sept. 12 BOISE, ID Egyptian Theatre
Tues., Sept. 13   SALT LAKE CITY, UT The Depot
Wed., Sept. 14  DENVER, CO University of Denver  Gates Hall
Fri., Sept. 16  MINNEAPOLIS, MN Pantages Theatre
Sat., Sept. 17  MILWAUKEE, WI The Pabst Theater
Sun., Sept. 18  CHICAGO, IL Vic Theater
Tues., Sept. 20  PITTSBURGH, PA Carnegie Music Hall
Thurs., Sept. 22  PHILADELPHIA, PA Keswick Theatre
Fri., Sept. 23  WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NY Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Ctr.
Sat., Sept. 24  RIDGEFIELD, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
Sun., Sept. 25  BOSTON, MA Wilbur Theatre
Tues., Sept. 27 NEW YORK, NYThe Town Hall
Thurs., Sept. 29  MORRISTOWN, NJ Mayo Performing Arts Center
Fri., Sept. 30  BALTIMORE, MD Goucher College       
Sat., Oct. 1  DURHAM, NC Carolina Theatre of Durham
Mpn., Oct.  3  JACKSONVILLE, FL Florida Theatre
Tues., Oct. 4  FORT PIERCE, FL Sunrise Theatre
Wed., Oct. 5  CLEARWATER, FL Capitol Theatre
Fri., Oct. 7 ATLANTA, GA Symphony Hall
Sun., Oct. 9 HOUSTON, TX Verizon Wireless Theatre
Wed., Oct. 12  PHOENIX, AZ Celebrity Theatre
Thurs., Oct. 13   LOS ANGELES, CA Royce Hall
Fri., Oct. 14  LAS VEGAS, NV Aliente Resort
Sat., Oct. 15  PALM DESERT (PALM SPRINGS), CA McCallum Theater
Mon., Oct. 17 ANAHEIM, CA Grove of Anaheim
Tues., Oct. 18  TURLOCK, CA Turlock Community Theatre
Wed., Oct. 19   SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Regency Center
Sat., Oct. 22  VANCOUVER, BC The Ctr. in Vancouver for Performing Arts
Sun., Oct. 23  SEATTLE, WA Little Creek Casino Resort        
Tues., Oct. 25  NAPA, CA Uptown Theater

Candye Kane's 'Sister Vagabond' album rings triumphant in challenging year

Candye Kane has been called a survivor, a superhero and the toughest girl alive. (All are also titles of her self-penned songs.) Her eleventh CD release, Sister Vagabond, will hit the streets on August 16, 2011 on Delta Groove Records. Produced by Kane and her noted guitarist Laura Chavez, Sister Vagabond is a worthy successor to their 2010 collaboration, Superhero, which was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues CD in the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards.

The jump-blues singer, songwriter and mother of two from East Los Angeles is a five-time nominee for Blues Music Awards, has nabbed ten San Diego Music Awards and starred in a sold-out stage play about her life. She’s beat pancreatic cancer in the last two years. She has performed worldwide for presidents and movie stars.

But her path to success was not always glamorous or easy. Raised in what she calls a dysfunctional blue-collar family, Candye became a mother, a pinup cover girl and a punk-rock, hillbilly blues-belter by the time she was just 21 years old. Ten CDs, six record labels, millions of international road miles and countless awards later, Miss Kane has proven to be a true survivor as she scrambled her way to the top of the roots-music heap, creating a world renowned reputation that has spanned two decades.

A colorful mixture of the traditional and the eclectic, Kane cut her musical teeth in the early ’80s onstage with Hollywood musicians and friends Social Distortion, Dwight Yoakam, Dave Alvin, Los Lobos, The Blasters, X, Fear and the Circle Jerks, to name just a few. While raising two sons, this role model for the disenfranchised championed large-sized women, fought for the equal rights of sex workers and the GLBT community and inspired music lovers everywhere. Her fans are a mixture of true outsiders: bikers, blues fans, punk rockers, drag queens, fat girls, queers, burlesque dancers, porn fans, sex workers, rockabilly and swing dancers, gray-haired hippies, sex-positive feminists and everyday folk of all ages.

In 1986, then married to Thomas Yearsley of the Paladins, she was touched by the music of Big Maybelle, Big Mama Thornton, Ruth Brown and more. Her self-released 1991 Burlesque Swing caught the ear of Texas impresario Clifford Antone, who signed her to a deal with Antone’s Records. Los Lobos’ Cesar Rosas and Paladin/Hacienda Brother/Stone River Boy Dave Gonzalez co-produced the first album of the deal, Home Cookin’. Picked up by Discovery (later Sire) Records, the Dave Alvin/Derek O’Brien-produced Diva La Grande was followed by Swango in the height of the swing craze.

Rounder/Bullseye Records signed her in 1995, releasing The Toughest Girl Alive, produced by Scott Billington. Four albums followed on the German RUF label, including the Bob Margolin-produced Guitar’d and Feathered. She then pacted with her current label, Delta Groove, releasing Superhero in 2010 and now Sister Vagabond in 2011.

Her full-time, 250-days-a-year touring schedule started in 1992. And today, Kane’s live shows are the stuff of legend. She honors the bold blues women of the past with both feet firmly planted in the present. She belts, growls, shouts, croons and moans from a lifetime of suffering and overcoming obstacles. She uses music as therapy and often writes and chooses material with positive affirmations that leave the audience feeling healed and exhilarated. In a show that is part humor, part revival meeting and party sexuality celebration, she'll deliver a barrelhouse-tongue-in-cheek blues tune or a gospel ballad, encouraging audiences to leave behind religious intolerance. She’ll slay the crowd with her balls out rendition of “Whole Lotta Love” or glorify the virtues of zaftig women with “200 Pounds of Fun.” She often says she is a ”fat black drag queen trapped in a white woman's body” and she dresses the part.

Kane has been included in countless blues and jazz CD anthologies including Rolling Stone Jazz and Blues Album Guide and Musichound: Blues, The Essential Album Guide and Dan Aykroyd’s 30 Essential Women of the Blues. She appeared on the influential call-to-arms of Southern California roots music, A Town South of Bakersfield on Enigma Records, alongside Lucinda Williams and Dwight Yoakam.

In addition to her musical achievements, Kane has become an activist and philanthropist in recent years. In August 2009, she appeared in Dublin, Ireland for the World Congress for Downs Syndrome with her United by Music charity. The project provides performance opportunities, blues history lessons and songwriting instruction to young people with disabilities, encouraging them to write their own blues songs to help them overcome their daily challenges.

A fighter par excellence, Candye has an authenticity, determination and optimism that keep her shows passionate, honest and irresistible.

“I take things one day at a time and today I am feeling great and very optimistic about my new CD,” Kane says. It’s been awesome to write and co-produce again with my guitarist Laura Chavez. I am grateful for every chance I get to make music live, or in the studio. Most people are given only three months to live after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and three years later, I am still here. So any opportunity I have to create music makes me humbled and grateful.

“People ask me why I want to work so hard and so much, since I tour 250 days a year. Everyone says I should stay home and relax after my health struggle. But music is my life and neuroendocrine cancer is a mostly manageable disease. I will continue to work as much as I can because I know life is fragile anyway. I would be fine if I died onstage doing what I love like Country Dick Montana or Johnny Guitar Watson. I’m not planning on going anytime soon, but when I do exit this plane, I hope it’s making someone else feel inspired by the powerful words in my songs.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. | Hi-Dive | Denver, CO

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. took the stage last night at the Hi-Dive in Denver clearly on a mission from God. Wearing their traditional Nascar-style track jumpsuits and big ol mesh trucker caps, the Detroit duo of Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott made their debut in the great city of Denver on a tour supporting the release of their debut album, It’s a Corporate World.