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Country Mice Announce Summer Tour Dates

What does Country Mice front-man Jason Rueger have in common with less than 300 people in the US?  Growing up in Beattie, that’s ruralest of rural Kansas. On a farm of course, that was passed down through three generations of his family and old enough to be on the Pony Express route. “Family, friends, and working the land gave us a good wholesome life”.
Walking dirt road paths, working and living off the land, squinting his eyes at the sun, but with headphones on, it is not the bucolic atmosphere but music that most inspires him.  At an early age, Rueger sets his sights for something different than the surrounding dirt and milo that stung his eyes and cut his hands.
Breaking away from the close-knit ties of friends and family, Rueger moves east, not to Nashville, where you might expect a country boy to venture, but to Brooklyn.  It doesn’t take long to hook up with fellow Midwest transplants Ben Bullington (guitar) and Kurt Kuehn (drums) as they all quickly band together, finding comfort in their shared sense of displacement.  Eventually, as the trio becomes more assimilated to their new surroundings, they recruit upstate New Yorker Mike Feldman (bass).
As Country Mice, they rally together to craft apocalyptic ballads through amplifier hazes that thicken into funnel clouds, drums that stomp-clap sedately before the storm peaks, and bass tones that thicken the bloodstream. Rueger draws on his small town rearing with sophistication beyond the ordinarily romantic and reductive Americana troubadour, and his songwriting is anything but dime a dozen.
Strong traces of Neil Young and Wilco are mixed into modern experimental guitar sounds that any fan of mid-90’s Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. will love. Living and gigging in Brooklyn, Country Mice begin to fully develop their sound, which becomes by influenced the other hardworking bands of Brooklyn's fast-paced scene.
Their debut album Twister is out now.It's a record that sonically chisels through the calloused shell of glossy rock & roll to find the dissonant live wire beneath and play it for all its worth. It tells a tale of strained memory: the hardships, joys, and love of growing up in a small town in the Midwest, with the hopes and dreams of traveling the world – a record for every kid seeing the big world from his small bedroom window.
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Summer Tour Dates:
July 5 Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands
July 9 Brooklyn NY @ Cameo Gallery
July 13 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
July 15 Chicago, IL @ Cal's Bar
July 16 N. Manchester, IN @ The Firehouse
July 17 Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn
July 18 Louisville, KY @ Sunergos
July 19 Little Rock, AR @ Vino's
July 20 Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
July 21 San Antonio, TX @ Limelight
July 22 Austin, TX @ Stubb's
July 23 Oklahoma City, OK @ Blue Note Lounge
July 24 Tulsa, OK @ Sound Pony
July 25 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
July 26 Columbia, MO @ Mojo's
July 27 St. Louis, MO @ Ciceros
July 28 Cincinnati, OH @ Southgate House
July 29 Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn
July 30 Savanna, GA @ The Jinx
July 31 Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
Aug. 1 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie

Band Together for Ally | A Benefit for Ally Strong

Musicians from the elite Long Island/NYC/national jam band and rock and roll community are coming together for a one night effort to challenge small cell cancer and raise money for one of its own suffering from this disease.

Band Together for Ally” will take place on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at The Homestead, 107 South Street in Oyster Bay, Long Island from 6pm till at least midnight.  Allyson Strong, after receiving her master’s degree last year, was stunningly diagnosed with small cell cervical cancer just before Labor Day.  Radiation and chemo treatments at Sloan Kettering in New York City have not yielded desired results. The community is rallying to assist with the financial needs of the family to fight this dreaded disease. Small cell cervical cancer is an extraordinarily rare diagnosis. There is much to be learned about this specific type of cancer.

This one night fundraising event will assist Allyson and her family offset an extraordinary financial burden and will feature an unprecedented- one time only lineup featuring Rob Barraco (Dark Star Orchestra/The Dead/Phil Lesh and Friends) an original founding member of Red Flannel Hash along with Ally’s dad John Strong, Jeff Mattson (Dark Star Orchestra), John Strong, Jim Kempster, Lee Finkelstein (Funk Filharmonik/Blues Brothers) Rob Barraco and Patrick “Jake” Cummings will reunite as the original Red Flannel Hash for the first time in over thirty years.

Along with the Red Flannel Hash reunion additional acts scheduled to appear include: The Jim Pin Band with Tom Bowes and members of Funk Filharmonik, Quick Draw, The Mike Nugent Band and The FolkadelicsRed Flannel Hash will appear in its original entirety with Ally’s dad John playing bass in both the former 1970’s version of the band as well as with the current configuration acoustic for two separate sets.

Premium donations for raffles have been generously donated and include:  One Brian Moore Custom iGuitar with USB connectivity valued at $1,600, pendants from Tiffany & Co., a pair of 2011 season tickets to Bethel Woods, two separate pairs of camping passes with VIP tent access for Gathering of the Vibes Music, Camping and Arts Festival, July 24-28 at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT featuring Bob Weir/Phil Lesh as Furthur, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Jane’s Addiction, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Steve Kimock, Keller Williams as the Rhythm Devils along with an additional thirty five bands.  More Vibes info can be found at www.govibes.com.

Financial / goods and services donations continue to be gratefully accepted for this fundraising effort.  Media promotion and donations are being provided by WCBS-FM, 94 X Radio, WKJY, B-103, 103.9 WRCN, My Country 96.1 Radio.  Event hosts will include Tom Bowes from Funk Filharmonik, Jonathan Lobdell formally of WLIR-FM and Cande Roth of My Country 96.1 FM.  For those not attending but would like to participate, donations are being accepted in any amount, in the form of a check made out to BARRI GLICK and sent to DAP Agency, PO Box 3587, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.

For more information please go to: www.bandtogetherforally.com.

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

Medeski, Martin & Wood @ the Boulder Theater

97.3 KBCO & Boulder Weekly are proud to present Medeski, Martin & Wood at the Boulder Theater on Friday, March 4th, 2011.

Somewhere, someplace, someone is debating the future of live and recorded music, speaking in somber tones of changes that have made it difficult to reach consumers, of technologies that have changed society, and of the lack of creativity found in the arts. But in a small but impressive microcosm of the universe known as Medeski Martin & Wood, creativity is alive, flourishing, and filled with outlets for growth and expansion. And somewhere, whatever gods of music there might be are smiling.

Medeski Martin and Wood's story is - like most great stories - one of humble beginnings, friendship, determination, a happy ending and a very bright future.

The trio of keyboard/organ/piano player John Medeski, drummer/percussionist Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood formed not in some vastly creative alternate universe, but rather in the neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, known as D.U.M.B.O. (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in 1991. Medeski and Wood, students at Boston's prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, decided to move to New York City, with intent to explore the late-night underworld of the city's burgeoning jazz scene.


John Medeski, Billy Martin, and Chris Wood were looking to create music that reflected who they were, individually and collectively. The trio began experimenting with contemporary hip-hop beats that could swing as hard as jazz rhythms, yet remained essentially simple and propulsive, giving the musicians ample room to create hypnotic textures and sounds that were brimming with both improvisation and harmony. "In the beginning, as it is now, we went by gut instinct," says Wood. "We have a natural connection between us, as people and as musicians, and we just let things flow in whatever direction they went."

Gigs turned into multiple engagements, dates at small clubs led to performances at legendary New York City downtown hotspots like the Village Gate and the Knitting Factory, and soon the band was packed into Billy's van, traveling up and down the North Eastern United States. The next step was a natural one for any band - capture the music for posterity - and so MMW recorded their debut, "Notes From The Underground," which they released independently on hap-jones records in early 1991.

More gigs followed, and soon it was time for another release. This time, Medeski Martin & Wood inked a deal with Gramavision, a larger but still independent label that afforded them substantial freedom to create music the way they felt it should be played. In the summer of 1993 they released "It's A Jungle In Here," purchased an R/V, and hit the road for nearly half a year.

Communal, on-the-road living has broken up many bands, but true-to-form, MMW thrived in this potentially treacherous situation. Their secret was a unique combination of individual personalities, with each band member taking on additional roles that suited their own aptitudes and interests. As always, nothing was planned out; it just happened.

John, with his love for cooking, was the band's chef, preparing incredible meals that made life on the road more bearable. Billy, who worked well with his hands, could fix anything up to and including the band's RV. And Chris, with his head for business, took care of the group's accounting. As it was with the music, Medeski Martin & Wood balanced each other out perfectly.

"We have a certain chemistry between us, musically," says Martin, "and in addition to that we have a strong friendship that goes beyond the music. Even when we have ups and downs, the music and our friendship carries us through."

1994 saw the release of "Friday Afternoon in the Universe," and by 1995 it seemed like MMW was truly touring the universe, as their concert itinerary spread out and around the entire United States, and into Europe and Japan. In 1996, the band released their final Gramavision disc, "Shack-Man," which they celebrated with an 8-week Monday night residency at New York's Knitting Factory.

With much fanfare, the band then signed with another record label - the legendary jazz imprint Blue Note Records. At the turn of the new millennium, they released their all-acoustic album "Tonic," named for the Lower East Side club (and former kosher winery) where it was recorded. The band's affiliation with Blue Note resulted in three discs (plus a best-of set), and found them again pushing their sonic boundaries, incorporating percussionists, horn sections, and turntables into their already potent sound.

Which brings us to the here-and-now. Medeski Martin & Wood are no longer signed to anyone else's record label; they have come full circle by establishing their own label, Indirecto Records, as an outlet for their music. Which, quite happily, brings them neatly back to the way they did things in their formative years. Releasing their own music, their own way, in its own time.

The trio's first Indirecto release, "Out Louder," is a four-way collaboration with guitarist John Scofield, which true-to-form is heavy on group improvisation, irresistible grooves, rich harmonies, and strong melodies. While nothing definite is planned - as always, the band are taking each day and each opportunity as they come - it is possible that "Out Louder" could be the first in a series of independently-released projects that Medeski Martin & Wood will do in collaboration with other artists.

"By having our own label, we can make music however we want, and make as much as we want," explains Medeski. "In the history of man, recorded music is just a blink of the eye, just a small part of that vast history. The real thing is playing music live, and that is what we do. Beyond that, we'll be putting out recordings as often or as infrequently as we want."

The band also plan another first - a disc of children's music titled "Let's Go Everywhere" - set for release in early 2007 on the Little Monster/V2 label that promises to be as engaging for their established fan base as it is for the kids. "It's got everything, instrumentals, vocal songs, our kids are singing on it" says Wood.

Plus, there are the usual side projects going on, creative outlets which all three band members say serve to strengthen and add to the sound of the trio when they converge. Chris Wood plays frequently with his brother Oliver in The Wood Brothers, a rootsy, folk-and-blues, guitar and bass duo that serves as an outlet for both brothers' songwriting and vocal skills.

Billy Martin runs his own record label, releasing new and vintage recordings with a focus on percussion-based music. Amongst his releases is a three volume set of his own drum beats, and a percussion instruction book, focusing on bell and clave patterns found in Afro-Caribbean music, and featuring musical notation that Martin designed himself.

John Medeski, well, he is involved in a multitude of musical projects, from solo piano recitals to sideman gigs to leading or co-leading large and small bands. John has also lent his production skills to recordings by musical associates and friends, and has become involved in scoring films, including the acclaimed film Day on Fire which he scored and has a cameo appearance in.

A happy ending and a bright future, indeed. Medeski Martin and Wood live in our world, playing music that reflects their surroundings and communities. At the same time, they are a small world unto themselves, where creativity and spontaneity are honored, revered, and encouraged. And the world-at-large is a much better place for it

Read Grateful Web's interview with the Wood Brothers.

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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 December 3rd!

$32 adv / $34 dos / + $2.00 for under 21+ ticket buyers

Lucky Peterson interprets Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Ray LaMontagne, Robert Johnson & Blind Willie McTell

Lucky Peterson was discovered by blues legend Willie Dixon when he was three years old, released his first record at five and soon after appeared on The Tonight Show. Trained by keyboardists Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, Peterson went on to play behind Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Kenny Neal. On return from the “Young Blues Giants” tour of Europe, he signed first with Alligator, then Verve, Blue Thumb and Birdology/Dreyfus, where he recorded what Amazon.com called “his finest album,” Black Midnight Sun, in 2003. The New Yorker called him “a master of the guitar, organ and microphone.”

But Lucky’s journey was not a smooth one, and Peterson spent the next few years in transition, working to free himself of drug troubles that had affected his health, family life and professional life. He spent time in treatment, making one-off records for small European labels, but never a proper follow-up to Black Midnight Sun.

But you can always turn around. These words took on special meaning for the 45-year-old Peterson, which is why the first album since his rehabilitation is titled You Can Always Turn Around. It is an uplifting collection of songs that speak of struggles and salvation, using the gritty clarity of acoustic roots-blues (with modern touches) as its main musical vehicle.

The album, scheduled for September 28, 2010 release on Dreyfus Records, was made in the Catskills with master Woodstock musicians Larry Campbell, guitar (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm); Scott Petito, bass (The Fugs, Mercury Rev, Rick Danko Band); and Gary Burke, drums (Joe Jackson, Shania Twain). Peterson as usual plays a mix of instruments: duolian resonator, piano and acoustic and electric guitars. Also prevalent is the acoustic piano on which Lucky sounds like a bluesy Elton John. “He’s something of a genius — his piano playing reminds me of Aretha Franklin,” says drummer Burke, who has played behind Franklin on the road.

But it’s Peterson’s vocal instrument that some might find most arresting. Peterson wraps his voice around an eclectic selection of blues-based materials including songs by original Delta bluesmen Robert Johnson, Rev. Gary Davis and Blind Willie McTell up through the music of today’s top songwriters including Lucinda Williams, Tom Waits and Ray LaMontagne. The album closes with a version of Curtis Mayfield’s “Think.”

“This album is very different for me — it’s more from the heart,” says Peterson.  “The songs were picked by (co-producer) Doug Yoel, and he knew my heart. I feel like all these songs were for me.”  The album would be the last co-production of Francis Dreyfus, who passed away on June 24, before the album’s release.

One standout on the album is the civil-rights era anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free,” written by Billy Taylor and popularized by Nina Simone. The new recording introduces Tamara Peterson, Lucky’s wife, a worthy blues singer in her own right. The chemistry between Lucky and Tamara on that session was so exciting that Larry Campbell was prompted to invite the pair to appear with the Levon Helm Band at the Midnight Ramble concert the following night.

Peterson creates something brand new on “Trampled Rose,” turning a wordless hook into a seductive Arabian-flavored line. The band responded to and fed the creativity of the newly awakened Lucky Peterson, and the results are truly special.

Peterson continues to tour, doing dates big and small. This new album should increase awareness of and demand for this one-of-a-kind musician.

And when off the road, he’ll be at his church in Dallas, Texas with his family, holding on, and playing for one very lucky congregation.

TRACK LIST:

1. I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom (Robert Johnson)
2. I'm New Here (Bill Callahan)
3. Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell)
4. Trouble (Ray LaMontagne)
5. Trampled Rose (Tom Waits / Kathleen Brennan)
6. Atonement (Lucinda Williams)
7. Why Are People Like That (Bobby Charles)
8. Four Little Boys (James Peterson / Judge Peterson)
9. Death Don't Have No Mercy (Rev. Gary Davis)
10. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas)
11. Think (Curtis Mayfield)

Surprise Me Mr. Davis | Summer Dates & 'Bridge Sessions' Segment

Surprise Me Mr. Davis have announced a handful of summer tour dates. The five piece rock band, featuring Nathan Moore, Brad Barr, Marco Benevento, Marc Friedman and Andrew Barr, will come together from their homes in Montreal, Brooklyn and the Shenandoah Valley for ten shows. They'll be supporting their latest EP release, That Man Eats Morning For Breakfast.

The Hidden Track blog noted in a recent live review: "Someone mentioned that it felt like seeing The Band in some club in 1970, and that seemed just about right--there is such skillful songsmithing, such virtuosity in performance, such joy and such a tortured voice in the quintet. The music glows and rolls and speaks as the greatest Americana does of all the back roads and small towns and small rooms in big cities, all the confused relationships, unrequited love and brotherly love. I can't help thinking, whenever Nathan Moore begins some political rant bookended by some semi-comical, semi-forlorn personal ramble, that this is what Walt Whitman would be doing if he were still alive." Jambase stated: "Surprise Me Mr. Davis needs to be recognized as one of the top bands in the live music scene; an appointment that is far overdue and richly deserved."

Upcoming Surprise Me Mr. Davis tour dates are:

June 24 | Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA (w/ Marco Benevento Trio)
June 25 | Doug Fir Lounge | Portland, OR (w/ Marco Benevento Trio)
June 26 | Axe & Fiddle | Cottage Grove, OR (w/ Marco Benevento Trio)
July 1 | High Sierra | Quincy, CA
July 3 | High Sierra | Quincy, CA
July 6 | Cafe Du Nord | San Francisco, CA
July 7 | Moe's Alley | Santa Cruz, CA
August 19 | Fox Theater | Boulder, CO
August 20 | Three 20 South | Breckenridge, CO
August 21 | Newhoma Music Festival | Florissant, CO

Watch Surprise Me Mr. Davis perform an a-capella rendition the Nathan Moore song "Tombstone" on the Williamsburg Bridge shortly before they took the stage for a headline show in April at New York City's Mercury Lounge. The piece was filmed as a segment for "The Bridge Sessions."