surprise

Great American Taxi's "Blair Mountain" is free mp3; supports WV mining ecology

For Great American Taxi and frontman Vince Herman, who grew up in West Virginia, fighting for social justice in Appalachia and calling for an end to mountaintop removal seems the natural thing to do.  According to a recent studypublished last week in the journal Environmental Research, a "significantly higher" rate of birth defects exists in babies born near mountaintop removal mining sites than those in non-mining areas. Mountaintop removal mining is a particularly environmentally destructive type of resource extraction that involves using explosives to blow the tops off of mountains to expose coal underneath the soil and rock.

So it’s no surprise that “Blair Mountain,” the aptly named title of the first single from the band’s forthcoming yet-to-be-titled new album (set for release this fall), premiered exclusively on the Sierra Club’s special public service call-to-action video, Battle for Blair Mountain. The song was recorded in May with Todd Snider producing. Master folk musician Tim O'Brien, a West Virginia native recently inducted into the WV Music Hall of Fame, plays banjo and fiddle on the track.

GAT is encouraging fans to download a free MP3 of “Blair Mountain” from the band’s website and get involved in restoring Blair Mountain to the National Register in support of the Sierra Club’s recently filed legal petition with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to make Blair Mountain off limits to mining.

“I wrote the song “Blair Mountain” to try and do my part to let people know about what we as working people stand to lose if Blair Mountain is destroyed,” said Herman. “As the grandson of a proud union miner, and former resident of the mountain state, this struggle connects deeply. The coal wars are not over in this country as whole communities are destroyed, water tables ruined and mountains bombed daily in what has become a national sacrifice zone to the interests of the coal companies. I hope that his song may help get us closer to ending the destruction of the most diverse forests in America.”

Great American Taxi continues its summer tour; June highlights included concerts with Barry Sless (Phil and Friends, David Nelson Band, Moonalice) at the Nelson Family Vineyards on 6/19, at the Hopmonk in Sebastopol on 6/22, and special guests New Monsoon in Santa Cruz on 6/23. More surprise guests will be announced for the Eldo in Crested Butte on 7/9 and GAT played with Todd Snider on 6/25 and 6/26.



Great American Taxi includes Vince Herman, Chad Staehly, guitarist Jim Lewin, bassist Brian Adams and drummer Chris Sheldon.

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."

MARCO BENEVENTO | Spring & Summer Tour

On May 11, Marco Benevento will release his third album in as many years, Between The Needles & Nightfall. We couldn't be more excited for you to wrap your ears around this groundbreaking, creative high-point from the acclaimed Brooklyn-based pianist. The pre-order for the album is now open. Pick up your copy on CD, Vinyl or limited edition Red vinyl (only 100 copies), and you'll get a link to download a bonus EP, Spell 579, that features five solo piano tracks recorded by Marco, including his long sought after version of The Shins' "Kissing The Lipless."

Pre-Order BETWEEN THE NEEDLES & NIGHFALL here

Also, Marco Benevento tour dates and lots of them...

April 21 | Bennie's Boom Boom Room | Hattiesburg, MS *w/ Dave Dreiwitz & Billy Martin
April 23 | Tipitina's French Quarter | New Orleans, LA *w/ Dave Dreiwitz, Mark Mullins & Billy Martin
April 24 | Tipitina's French Quarter | New Orleans, LA *w/ The Slip & Surprise Me Mr. Davis
April 28 | Howlin' Wolf | New Orleans, LA *
Megalomaniac's Ball w/ Garage A Trois
May 2 | Hi Ho Lounge | New Orleans, LA
May 5 | The Space | Portland, ME
May 6 | The Stone Church | Newmarket, NH
May 7 | Main Pub | Manchester, CT
May 8 | RISD | Providence, RI
May 9 | Parima | Burlington, VT
May 12 | The Hideaway | Louisville, KY
May 13 | Southgate House | Newport, KY
May 14 | Martyr's | Chicago, IL
May 15 | Wilbert's | Cleveland, OH
May 16 | Club Cafe | Pittsburgh, PA
May 19 | The Nightcat | Easton, MD
May 20 | 8x10 | Baltimore, MD *w/ Xylos
May 21 | North Star | Philadelphia, PA *w/ Xylos
May 22 | Bowery Ballroom | New York, NY *w/ Xylos
June 16 | Sellersville Theater | Sellersville, PA *w/ American Babies
June 17 | River Street Jazz Cafe | Plains, PA *w/ Steve Kimock
June 18 | The Bearsville Theater | Woodstock, NY *w/ Charlie Hunter
June 24 | Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA *w/ Surprise Me Mr. Davis
June 25 | Doug Fir Lounge | Portland, OR *w/ Surprise Me Mr. Davis
June 26 | Axe & Fiddle | Cottage Grove, OR *w/ Surprise Me Mr. Davis
June 27 | Winnipeg Jazz Festival | Winnipeg, Canada
June 28 | Montreal Jazz Festival | Montreal, Canada
June 29 | Toronto Jazz Festival | Toronto, Canada
August 8-10 | Fly Me To The Moon | Telluride, CO ***SOLD OUT
August 12-13 | Dazzle | Denver, CO

Marco Benevento Announces North American Tour Dates

Marco Benevento has announced North American tour dates in support of his forthcoming new album, Between The Needles & Nightfall. The Brooklyn-based pianist leads his trio for the majority of a 29-night headline run that includes a handful of April appearances surrounding the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and May dates on the East Coast and Midwest that are capped off by a hometown show at New York City's Bowery Ballroom.

In June, Benevento works a double shift over three nights in the Northwest playing with both his Trio and Surprise Me Mr. Davis. He'll conclude the month with a string of Canadian jazz festivals, including a solo piano performance at Chapelle historique du Bon Pasteur as part of the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Between The Needles & Nightfall hits stores May 11 on vinyl, CD and download via The Royal Potato Family.  A free mp3 download of the album's lead track, "It Came From You," is available now at marcobenevento.com.

Upcoming MARCO BENEVENTO Dates:

April 2 | Parima | Burlington, VT (Solo)
April 21 | Bennie's Boom Boom Room | Hattiesburg, MS (MB & Friends)
April 23 | Tipitina's French Quarter | New Orleans, LA (MB & Friends)
April 24 | Tipitina's French Quarter | New Orleans, LA (w/ The Slip & Suprise Me Mr. Davis)
April 28 | Megalomaniac's Ball at Howlin' Wolf | New Orleans, LA
May 2 | Hi Ho Lounge | New Orleans, LA
May 5 | The Space | Portland, ME
May 6 | The Stone Church | Newmarket, NH
May 7 | Main Pub | Manchester, CT
May 8 | RISD | Providence, RI
May 9 | Parima | Burlington, VT
May 12 | The Hideaway | Louisville, KY
May 13 | Southgate House | Newport, KY
May 14 | Martyr's | Chicago, IL
May 15 | Wilbert's | Cleveland, OH
May 16 | Club Cafe | Pittsburgh, PA
May 19 | The Nightcat | Easton, MD
May 20 | 8x10 | Baltimore, MD (w/ Xylos)
May 21 | North Star | Philadelphia, PA (w/ Xylos)
May 22 | Bowery Ballroom | New York, NY (w/ Xylos)
June 16 | Sellersville Theater | Sellersville, PA (w/ American Babies)
June 17 | River Street Jazz Cafe | Wilkes Barre, PA
June 18 | The Big Up Festival | Ghent, NY
June 24 | Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA (w/ Surprise Me Mr. Davis)
June 25 | Doug Fir Lounge | Portland, OR (w/ Surprise Me Mr. Davis)
June 26 | Axe & Fiddle | Cottage Grove, OR (w/ Surprise Me Mr. Davis)
June 27 | Winnipeg Jazz Festival | Winnipeg, Canada
June 28 | Montreal Jazz Festival | Montreal, Canada (Solo)
June 29 | Toronto Jazz Festival | Toronto, Canada

The Barr Brothers To Tour With The Low Anthem

Brad and Andrew Barr, best known as founding members of revered rock bands The Slip and Surprise Me Mr. Davis, are adding a third act to their repertoire. In the long tradition of brothers who've assumed their surname as a moniker, The Barr Brothers introduce themselves with a string of West Coast and Canadian shows opening for The Low Anthem.

The seeds for The Barr Brothers were first sown five years ago when Brad and Andrew relocated to Montreal. Brad's apartment shared an adjoining wall with harpist Sarah Page. The two would hear each other practicing through the cracks. Sarah's gentle melodies began weaving their way into the music that Brad was writing. A friendship was struck and songs were born. This latest endeavor for Brad and Andrew finds them exploring sounds quieter and more ethereal than anything in their previous work. Final touches are currently being added to a debut recording that will be released later this year.

Brad and Andrew Barr remain equally committed to their other bands, as well. Plans will be announced in the coming weeks for Surprise Me Mr. Davis tour dates and EP release, while work is also underway on the next full-length studio album by The Slip.

Upcoming tour dates by The Barr Brothers are:

March 24 | Coronet @ Largo | Los Angeles, CA*
March 25 | Bootleg | Los Angeles, CA*
March 26 | Great American Music Hall | San Francisco, CA*
March 28 | Doug Fir Lounge | Portland, OR*
March 30 | St. James Hall | Vancouver, Canada*
March 31 | Crocodile Cafe | Seattle, WA*
April 10 | Church Of The Redeemer | Toronto, Canada*
April 12 | Eglise du Gesu | Montreal, Canada*
April 27 | The Saturn Bar | New Orleans, LA**

*w/ Low Anthem & Timbre Timbr