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The Belle Brigade Announce Fall Tour Dates

Having just wrapped a summer-long tour with k.d. lang, Los Angeles' The Belle Brigade have announced that they will hit the road this fall for a series of dates with Groupe Love, followed by a tour with Blitzen Trapper and Dawes. Please see below for more details.

Fronted by siblings Barbara and Ethan Gruska, and backed by their talented band (bassist Keith Karmen, keyboardist, electric guitarist Ben Cassorla, electric guitarist Harlan Silverman and drummer Mike Green), The Belle Brigade are touring in support of their self-titled debut album, which has been critically praised by Spin, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Nylon, and the LA Weekly. The group has performed on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! and TBS's Conan, bringing their "winsome SoCal folk-rock and big, sunny Americana-infused pop songs" (as Nylon put it) to a national television audience. Watch clips of their performances, as well as the video for their first single "Losers," at http://www.thebellebrigade.com/.

Inspired by Barbara and Ethan's love for Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, and Stevie Wonder, The Belle Brigade's debut album is chock-full of artfully arranged, freewheeling songs that brim with breezy, California melodies and bracing pop harmonies, fueled by the driving rhythms Barbara plays on drums. A longtime fixture on the Los Angeles music scene, Barbara is a sought-after live drummer who toured with Inara George and Jenny Lewis before she picked up a guitar and formed the band with her singer-songwriter younger brother Ethan two years ago. Raised in a musical family (their father is songwriter/composer Jay Gruska and their maternal grandfather is renowned film composer John Williams), Barbara and Ethan have a strong familial chemistry, which, along with their obvious songwriting gifts, has resulted in one of the most thrilling debut albums of the year.

The Belle Brigade's fall tour dates are as follows:

08/28/11         Los Angeles, CA      Sunset Junction Street Fair

09/01/11         Jacksonville, OR      Britt Pavilion

09/02/11         George, WA            The Gorge Amphitheatre

09/17/11         Austin, TX               Austin City Limits

With Groupe Love:

10/05 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theater

10/06 Madison, WI The Frequency

10/11 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge

10/13 Atlanta, GA Masquerade - Purgatory Stage

10/17 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks

10/20 Austin, TX Emo's Alternative Lounge

10/21 Dallas, TX The Prophet Bar

10/22 Houston, TX Fitzgerald's

With Blitzen Trapper and Dawes:

10/27 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts

10/28 Boston, MA Royale Nightclub

10/30 Toronto, ON The Opera House

11/01 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom & Tavern

11/02 Grand Rapids, MI Calvin College Fine Arts Center

11/03 Chicago, IL Metro

11/05 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall

11/07 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre

11/10 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre

11/11 Seattle, WA Showbox at the Market

11/13 Eugene, OR McDonald Theatre

11/15 San Francisco, CA Fillmore

Modest Mouse Announce Select U.S. Tour Dates For May 2011

Modest Mouse hits the road this May with four shows including three just announced headlining dates leading into the sold-out Sasquatch! Music Festival on May 29th in George, WA.

Tickets for the band's headline dates go on sale at 10 AM local time on Friday, March 25th. Please head over to www.modestmouse.com for more information.

Opening on the band's headline dates will be Talkdemonic.

Modest Mouse players: Isaac Brock, Eric Judy, Jeremiah Green, Tom Peloso, Joe Plummer & Jim (Kirby) Fairchild.

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Modest Mouse Tour Dates:

May 26 Boise, ID Knitting Factory

May 27 Missoula, MT Big Sky Brewery

May 28 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory

May 29 George, WA Sasquatch Music Festival (SOLD OUT)

Leon Russell @ Boulder Roots & Blues Summit

Leon Russell is a music legend and perhaps the most accomplished and versatile musician in the history of rock 'n roll. In his distinguished and unique 50 year career, he has played on, arranged, written and/or produced some of the best records in popular music.

Leon has played on pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel, and surf records. As a session musician, arranger, producer, singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, record company owner, bandleader, and touring musician, he has collaborated with hundreds of artists, including Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Edgar Winter, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, J.J. Cale, David Gates, Bruce Hornsby, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, B.B. King, Freddie King, Bill Wyman, Steve Cropper, Carl Radle, Chuck Blackwell, Don Preston, Jesse Ed Davis, Rita Coolidge, Gram Parsons, Barbra Streisand, Ike & Tina Turner, Ricky Nelson, Herb Alpert, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Marvin Gaye, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, and groups such as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, The Monkees, The Astronauts, The Accents, The Fencemen, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Jan & Dean, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Rolling Stones, The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Tractors and on and on and on.

Born in southwest Oklahoma in 1942, Leon began piano lessons at age 4. He was playing in Tulsa nightclubs at the age of 14. After graduating from high school, Leon's band, The Starlighters, went on the road with Jerry Lee Lewis. Leon left Tulsa at the age of 17 for Los Angeles where he began playing in the L.A. clubs and eventually became one of the best session musicians in Hollywood. He worked with the best Hollywood producers and top musicians in the business. Leon became part of an elite group of studio musicians called the Wrecking Crew and played on hundreds of hit records in the 1960's. He was part of studio groups such as The Routers and The Super Stocks. The Routers recorded the huge hit "Let's Go" and The Super Stocks recorded surf and hot rod tunes. In 1964, Leon was a member of the the house band on the Shindig! show on ABC television which showcased the top pop acts. Leon built a recording studio in his home in 1967 where he and Marc Benno recorded songs which were released on two critically acclaimed records as the 'Asylum Choir'.

Leon co-produced, arranged, and played piano, organ, and guitar on Joe Cocker's second album, 'Joe Cocker!' in 1969. He also recorded and toured with 'Delaney & Bonnie & Friends'.

Leon founded Shelter Records with partner Denny Cordell and released Leon's first solo album, "Leon Russell" in May, 1970. It included Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr, Rolling Stones Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and Klaus Voorman. The album contained classic Leon songs, 'A Song For You', along with 'Hummingbird', and 'Delta Lady'.

Shelter Records was home for not only Leon but many other artists such as Freddie King, Don Nix, J.J. Cale, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Gap Band, Dwight Twilley and Phoebe Snow. Leon played on and produced three Shelter albums for blues guitarist Freddie King.

As a songwriter, Leon's songs have hit the charts across all genres and have been covered by a diverse range of artists. Ray Charles recorded 'A Song For You', B.B. King had a hit with 'Hummingbird', The Carpenters with 'Superstar' and Joe Cocker with 'Delta Lady'. The Carpenter's cover of "Superstar", written by Leon and Bonnie Bramlett, went to #2 on the pop music charts. George Benson won the "Record of the Year" Grammy in 1976 for his cover of Leon's song, "This Masquerade", and it became the first song in music history to hit #1 on the jazz, pop and R&B charts.

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More Info / Buy Tickets

Saxophonist Plunky Releases R&B CD

J. Plunky Branch's new release, Plunky On Fire, is a funk jazz concept album that burns across a wide swath of the urban contemporary music landscape. Plunky On Fire takes us on a musical journey through down-tempo funk jazz; house-tempo dance; R&B love songs; spoken word; smooth mellow jazz; novelty funk; world soul message music; live gig clips and thought leader lecturing, all on one chockfull compact disc.

Saxophonist J. Plunky Branch and his group Plunky & Oneness create musical theater that combines the quirkiness of George Clinton and the musicality of George Duke with the vocal poetics of Jill Scott and Gil Scott Heron. Plunky's words and melodies are crafted over hip-hop influenced instrumental tracks produced by his son, Jamiah “Fire” Branch, hence the double entendre CD title.

The father-son duo has produced an album of 14 new songs that are both retro and ultramodern, a new organic-techno soul music that is jazzy, funky and highly danceable. Two songs are targeted for initial airplay: "On Fire," a hot, sax driven dance instrumental with a vocal hook; and "Inside These Walls" a quiet storm love song featuring Chyp Green on lead vocals.

Released on his own N.A.M.E. Brand Records label, this, Plunky's 25th album, will be available at CDBaby.com and all the most popular online sites, including i-tunes, Rhapsody and Napster. CD’s will be distributed to record stores by Liaison Record Distributors of Maryland. The March 29th release date also kicks off the Plunky & Oneness promotional touring in support of the new CD.

Plunky & Oneness is one of the most versatile and enduring funk jazz groups, having toured in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US, in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean for over 25 years. They have appeared in concert and at festivals with some of the biggest names in Black music, including Earth Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze, B.B. King, Patti Labelle, Ray Charles, LL Cool J, Chuck Brown, Wyclef Jean and many others.

Plunky has also been active in music education and arts and culture presentations and some of his insights on aesthetics and African concepts of the groove are presented as interludes on the album. His positive empowerment and political messages are infused in the lyrics of several of the songs as well. He comments, "I just think it’s important to inspire people to reach for their highest aspirations and I believe it can be done while we're having fun; what some call partying with a purpose."

Plunky On Fire presents R&B as art music and this concept extends to the CD cover as well. The original portrait of Plunky on the front was painted by French artist, Dan Brussat; and the inside photograph taken at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was shot by the design and layout artist, Danja Mowf. On this album the music and the art are hot like fire…

Web site: www.plunkyone.com CD Link: www.cdbaby.com/cd/plunky

7 Walkers ft. Bill Kreutzmann & Papa Mali Announce Midwest Tour

7 Walkers, the much-buzzed about new project featuring famed drummer and Grateful Dead co-founder Bill Kreutzmann, guitar master Papa Mali, legendary New Orleans bass man George Porter Jr. (The Meters, Funky Meters) and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard (Willie Nelson, Fastball), is back on the road this spring with some headlining club dates. The band released their self-titled debut release last fall (November 2010 / Response Records) to rave reviews. With nearly all of its songs co-penned by Papa Mali and longtime Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, 7 Walkers is an electrifying hybrid of classic Bay Area rock and New Orleans funk.

Look for 7 Walkers on tour this spring and summer.

Current confirmed tour dates are as follows:

Thursday, March 24 The Englert Theatre Iowa City IA
Friday, March 25 Majestic Live Madison WI
Saturday, March 26 Double Door Chicago IL
Sunday, March 27 Hoyt Sherman Theatre Des Moines IA
Tuesday, March 29 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland OH
Thursday, March 31 Buster's Billiards & Backroom Lexington KY
Friday, April 1 Old Rock House St. Louis MO
Saturday, April 2 George's Majestic Lounge Fayetteville AR

Additional dates to be announced.

17th Mountain Sun Funky Good Times feat. Pearl St. All Stars

The Mountain Sun is 17 years old. The Southern Sun is 8 years old. The Vine Street Pub is almost 3 years old. And The Boulder Theater is throwing an anniversary "Funky Good Times" party to celebrate.

Musicians include-.

-George Porter Jr. from The Funky Meters on bass, returning for the 7th year. We all know how legendary George is on the bass.

-Kyle Hollingsworth from String Cheese Incident on keyboards, also returning for the 7th year. If you have not seen Kyle's style you are missing out. One of the greatest keyboardist of our times.

-Karl Denson from the one and only Karl Denson's Tiny Universe on Saxophone. A highly energized funk machine and formally the sax-man for Lenny Kravitz. Karl is a dynamic musician with the soul to follow.

-Alan Evans from Soul Live on drums. Alan helped Soul Live develop a reputation as one of the most sought after instrumental soul-funk trios in the US.

-Davy Knowles on guitar. Prolific. Prodigal. Profound. That is Davy Knowles. Hailing from the Isle of Man, the tiny kingdom in the middle of the Irish Sea, might have posed a challenge to that childhood epiphany for a lesser talent. Instead, Davy just borrowed his father's acoustic guitar and painstakingly learned to play "Sultans of Swing" by ear. A true virtuoso.

More Info / Buy Tickets

Fleck, Harrison, Wooten Adore Jake Shimabukuro

Critics have raved about the artistry Jake Shimabukuro displays on 'Peace Love Ukulele' (out January 4th from Hitchhike Records). The New Yorker said that "in his hands... the ukulele becomes a source of beauty, power, and inspiration."

Jake's fellow musicians agree. Here's what some of them had to say:

"The way Jake plays the 'ukulele is amazing and beautiful... he's a special musician." - Bela Fleck

"To say that Jake is incredible is not enough. He is much more than that. His music takes you on a journey. He plays with so much expression, feeling, and soul; it's like he's an old man in a young man's body. It only takes one listen to understand exactly what I'm saying." - Victor Wooten

"George felt liberated playing the uke and loved it because it made everyone smile. I especially love Jake's versions of George's songs." - Olivia Harrison

"It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to know that I was able to contribute in some way to the rest of the world hearing Jake play. From the moment I first heard his amazing style and watched the audience reaction in a club on the waterfront in Honolulu, I knew he was a unique and universal talent. We all at Mailboat Records are proud and excited to be distributing his latest release, and it gives me another good excuse to get back to Hawaii for 'business' - work, work, work..." - Jimmy Buffett

“Instrumentalists with a truly unique voice on their instrument come around very rarely. It was such a welcome gift to the world when Jake came on the scene... someone whose mastery of the ukulele is eclipsed only by the sheer joy he spreads in playing it. Jake Shimabukuro is without a doubt, one of a kind!” - Dave Koz

Listen to the hard driving "Bring Your Adz" from 'Peace Love Ukulele' here.

'GYPSY JAZZ FAMILY TRIBUTE' at The Django Reinhardt NY Festival

"Gypsy Jazz" is a family tradition passed on from one generation to another and so it was with the SCHMITT family coming from the Strasbourg area of  France, near Germany.  George, father of legendary gypsy guitarist Dorado Schmitt, while virtually unknown for his talent as guitarist and violinist outside the area he lived, taught his son Dorado who taught his sons Samson and now young Amati only 14 years old...keeping the tradition of hot gypsy jazz alive.  To all of them, Django Reinhardt was a God of music in whose footsteps all gypsy musicians walked.

To see Dorado, Samson and Amati (who will debuted in the US at the Festival ) is to see how it all works, side by side.   It is in the family blood, a part of the customs and culture, a sharing and passing down from one member to another....very much a part of gypsy life.  George Schmitt passed away this year and so the Django Reinhardt NY Festival celebrates his influence on his family thru music. Birdland will host the Schmitt Family Tribute, performing in memory of of the elder George Schmitt. The Festival is Produced by Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta and going into its 11th year and has taken the US by storm thru tours connected to the Festival each year which has taken stars of the Festival to the Kennedy Center, Disney Hall in LA, The San Franciso Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Chicago Symphony Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and much more.  It has caused a resurgence of 'gypsy jazz' in America with other festivals and concerts springing up all over, greatly due to the enormous talent of lead gypsy guitarist, legendary Dorado Schmitt who has been a part of the presentations for over 9 years and will be here again this November.

The Schmitts will be joined by bassist Xavier Nikq and violinist Pierre Blanchard from France and master jazz pianist Peter Beets from Holland.  As always there will be a Special Guest each night starting with renowned Russian cellist Borislav Strulev opening night Nov. 2 who will perform "Nuages", Django's most important composition, with an arrangement by top musician Roger Kellaway.  On Nov. 3rd will be swinging saxist Anat Cohen, Nov. 4th beautiful young talent Miguel Zenon also on sax , Nov. 5th Colombian jazz harpist Edmar Castaneda returning by special demand, Nov. 6th David Langlois on washboard percussion, and the fabulous Joel Frahm on sax Nov. 7th.  The beautiful and wonderful vocalist Hilary Kole will step in as well as a surprise on some nights.

George Schmitt may not be a 'star', but his family will shine on him brightly this year at the Django Reinhardt NY Festival at Birdland.  HOT GYPSY JAZZ dating back to the 20's and 30's in Europe when great gypsy guitarist DJANGO REINHARDT met and performed with virtuoso violinist STEPHANE GRAPPELLI changed music forever and created the one of the most memorable musical partnerships in musical history.  This will all be re-created at Birdland Nov. 2-7 and remains music that is ever exciting, creative, original in style and very cutting edge while it still incorporates beautiful melody and romance through the brilliant virtuosity of the players.

On sale at the Festival will be the new CD, Dorado Schmitt and The Django Reinhardt NY Festival Allstars "Live at the Kennedy Center". 

Birdland:  315 West 44th Street (bet 8th and 9th Avenues)
Reservations:  212 581 - 3080
Shows 8:30 and 11:00 pm (tues. thru sunday)

Soulive Pays Tribute to The Beatles on 'Rubber Soulive'

New York City's preeminent soul jazz trio, Soulive, bring the funk to The Beatles' iconic repertoire with the release of Rubber Soulive due September 14 on the band's own Royal Family Records. Featuring renditions of 11 classics by The Fab Four, including "Come Together," "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "Revolution," Rubber Soulive takes its place in a lineage of classic instrumental albums by the likes of Booker T. & The M.G.'s, George Benson and Count Basie that have paid tribute to The Beatles.  Soulive will announce an extended U.S. Fall tour to support the release in the coming weeks.

"We've always been big Beatles' fans. They're consistently in heavy rotation in all of our lives. And then for Halloween last year we had a great show in D.C. by trying out an all-Beatles set. The material was so much fun to play that we decided it had to be put to wax," explains Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno. "At first we thought about doing all of Rubber Soul, but with so many amazing songs to choose from we expanded the scope and picked the ones that lent themselves to our sound, and where we could  best add a Soulive flavor."

Recorded over four days at drummer Alan Evans' own Playonbrother Studios in upstate New York, Rubber Soulive presents the band back in its original trio format. After a handful of albums experimenting with different vocalists and horn sections, it's apparent from the album's opening track, a greasy rendition of "Drive My Car," that a return to form was in order. For the next 40 minutes, Soulive add their inimitable stamp to one classic after the next from The Beatles’ adored catalog. A stately bounce informs "In My Life" punctuated by a majestic organ break courtesy of Neal Evans. "Eleanor Rigby" finds Alan pushing insistent syncopation into the backbeat and Neal covering a full string section with his two hands. A gorgeous rendition of "Something" makes clear that while Krasno can get down with the best of them, he can also dig deep into the heart of a ballad as he rings every last drop of emotion from the classic George Harrison melody. The trio rounds out the set with a three-dimensional version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The performance concisely encapsulates the definitive Soulive sound built upon the trio's shimmering, wah-drenched guitar licks, soaring Hammond organ lines and relentlessly propulsive swing.

Over a decade into their career, Soulive are having more fun than ever recording and performing together. This past March the band set up shop at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg for a two-week residency dubbed Bowlive that featured special guests ranging from Talib Kweli to Susan Tedeschi to Raul Midon. The event will be documented on a forthcoming DVD release this winter. They operate their own state-of-the-art recording studio, as well as, their own record label Royal Family Records that alongside recent Soulive projects is preparing to offer up albums by Eric Krasno, Lettuce and Break Science. In early 2011, the fledgling indie will release the highly anticipated debut album from the acclaimed, young R&B vocalist Nigel Hall. In the coming months, however, the focus is clearly on the lineup that put them on the forefront of the soul jazz revival. With a fall tour on the horizon and a delectable new album filled with red hot renditions of classics by The Beatles, things are starting to "Come Together" for the original three, right now, all over again.

www.royalfamilyrecords.com/soulive
www.facebook.com/soulive

Rubber Soulive is available September 14 on vinyl, CD and mp3.

Jim Lauderdale at the Fox, Fri Aug 27

Jim Lauderdale is a multi-talented performer and songwriter, with successes in both country and bluegrass music. His roots stem from the Carolinas, yet his career has taken him all over the United States and abroad, making him an international recording artist with an ever-growing fan base. Jim won "Artist of the Year" and "Song of the Year" at the first "Honors and Awards Show" held by the Americana Music Association in 2002. Subsequently, he has hosted this same show for the last seven years.
He is among Nashville's "A" list of songwriters, with songs recorded by artists such as: Patty Loveless, George Jones, The Dixie Chicks, Solomon Burke, Mark Chesnutt, Dave Edmunds, John Mayall, Kathy Mattea, Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan, Blake Shelton. Vince Gill, and George Strait. He also contributed several songs to the successful soundtrack of the George Strait film, "Pure Country." Not content to just write hits for the stars, he's toured with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello, among others.
Jim's musical influences include the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and George Jones. These influences and his unique sense of melody and lyric help forge a sound that is truly his own. He is a 2 time Grammy winner, winning his first in 2002 with Dr. Ralph Stanley for "Lost in the Lonesome Pines" (Dualtone). His next one came for his second "solo" bluegrass album, "The Bluegrass Diaries" (Yep Roc 2007) at the 50th Grammy Awards. His first CD with Dr. Stanley, "I Feel Like Singing Today" ( Dualtone/Rebel 1999) received a Grammy nomination as did his first solo bluegrass CD titled "Bluegrass"(Yep Roc) from 2006. His current release, "Patchwork River" May 11th, 2010 (his second collaboration with Grateful Dead lyricist,  Robert Hunter) is currently climbing the Americana radio charts.
As a performer his credits include production, writing and collaborating on albums such as, "Wait 'Til Spring" (SkyCrunch/Dualtone 2003) with Donna the Buffalo, and "Headed for the Hills" (Dualtone 2004) his first total project with Robert Hunter. The remainder of Jim's 18 albums include: "Planet of Love" (Reprise 1991), "Pretty Close to the Truth" (Atlantic 1994), "Every Second Counts" (Atlantic 1995), "Persimmons" (Upstart 1998), "Whisper" (BNA 1998), "Onward Through It All" (RCA 1999), "The Other Sessions" (Dualtone 2001), "The Hummingbirds" (Dualtone 2002), "Bluegrass" (Yep Roc 2006), "Country Super Hits, Volume 1" (Yep Roc 2006), "Honey Songs" (Yep Roc 2008), and "Could We Get Any Closer?" (SkyCrunch 2009).
All Ages / GA  / $15.00 adv / $17 DOS
Internet 24-7 at www.foxtheater.com
Phone: During box office hours: 303.443.3399