texas

Von Ehrics: Two Foot Stomp

Von Ehrics newest CD, Two Foot Stomp, is an up and down ride filled with Punkabilly drive and an authentically Texas flavor. Songs like the first single, "Lord I Pray" are new, refreshing, and fun while other like "Rock and Roll" fall a little flat in energy and creativity. The album is an overall success in authenticity, with a real feeling that you could stumble across the Von Ehrics playing around town in Denton, the funky college town music hub of North Texas where Two Foot Stomp was recorded. The album is also successful in screaming "if you think this is good, our live shows are 100 times better".  I am convinced, and definitely will be buying a ticket next time these boys roll through Colorado.

The Highlights:

"Lord I Pray", the album’s first single, is also it’s height of creativity, combining gospel, thrashy rock guitar, and a hyperactive drum set. “Lord I Pray” is soulful and cynical at the same time. The single is a satirical reflection on consumerism, but avoids a “preachy” feel for a rather funny one as lead singer Robert Jason Vandergrift prays for material good while being back up by a full gospel choir.

"Down the Road Tonight" also shines on the album. The song is reminiscent of REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It". That is, if the whole world existed in Texas. You could probably take the lyrics and make them into a scavenger hunt in downtown Austin. Overall it’s super fun.

"Goodbye/The Ride" is a fun, biting little break up song. Vandergrift sings in sweet and slow ballad voice, which we soon learn is totally ironic:

"It's a beautiful night,
the stars are all bright
I've got the moon on my left
and my girl on my right
things are changing tonight
she can kiss my ass goodbye"

then the speedy drummer kicks and one gets a feel of how the guys really feel. I always love a fun break up song.

The guitar lines are a great highlight throughout the album. Just listening to the things Gabe Aguilar (drums) and Clayton Mills (guitar) make up is one of the best parts of the album.

The Not-so-Great:

"Rock and Roll" is a halfhearted cry for what else, rock and roll. I'm not really that convinced, based on this song that the band believes in the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. The Von Ehrics take lyrics that belong in a song like Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock N Roll” and play them with the enthusiasm of Neil Young's “Hey Hey, My My”.

It sounds like the guys wanted a Beastie Boys' "You Got to Fight for Your Right to Party”, but were just kind of tired or hung over or something that day.

"Downtown" is another one of the tunes that is missing the party soul. Maybe the song is much better live, at the actual party. Though the song is low energy, guitarist Clayton Mills picks it up with an exciting solo.

"Texas" (When I Die) is the albums only successful anthem, but it really gets the job done.  It's not a call to rock out or party hard, as the boys attempted in other songs, but an anthem for Texas; the state that encompasses of both of the previous. "Texas" succeeds where some of the other attempts on the album failed in my opinion because Texas is very unique to the Von Ehrics. You can hear conviction in their voice as they sing "when I die, let me go to Texas".

“Texas” is the true call of Two Foot Stomp , and really ties the album together as its last track. Two Foot Stomp is a call to this: party, rebel, dance around, stomp your feet, and do it all in Texas.  I am totally in support of it!

Willie Nelson, Rhett Miller, Robert Earl Keen and More Pay Tribute to Sara Hickman

With an unwavering dedication to increased awareness and funding for arts education and a passion for art and the creative process, Sara Hickman provides a unique and powerful voice for women, her generation and the value and importance of the arts in school. It is no wonder more than 30 Texas music legends including Willie Nelson, Rhett Miller, Shawn Colvin, Robert Earl Keen and dozens more have come together to both pay tribute and add to her philanthropic endeavors with The Best of Times. Sales of this compilation CD, available nationwide August 23, 2011, will benefit Theatre Action Project (TAP), a non-profit that brings art, music and theatre to Central Texas schools.

The 38-track double disc project was inspired by a recent slash in arts funding by Texas State Legislature. “I wanted to utilize my position as the Official State Musician of Texas to promote families being creative together,” says Hickman. “Many times this starts with children bringing home ideas they learn at school.”

The compilation CD was created to raise funds for TAP and help the organization take the arts and theatre back into the schools. Hickman goes on to say, “I knew thousands and thousands of Texas children were missing out on what art, music, theater, dance and writing can bring to their lives.” Hickman’s goal is to raise $250,000 for TAP and share her story with Texas state legislature on Arts Day in an effort to have arts funding fully reinstate in Texas schools.

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Tour Dates:

06/17/2011 - Dallas, TX - Kessler Theater

06/18/2011 - Croton-On-Hudson, NY - Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival

07/13/2011 - Wimberley, TX - Wimberley Village Library

07/25/11 -07/31/11 - Swannanoaa, NC - Swannanoa Gathering

09/08/2011 - Lincoln, IL - First Presbyterian Church

09/09/2011 - Chicago, IL - Heartland Cafe

09/15/2011 - Austin, TX - Bethany United Methodist Church

09/21/2011 - Nashville, TN - Music City Roots

09/22/2011 - Birmingham, AL - Moonlight on the Mountain

09/23/2011 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic

09/25/2011 - Memphis, TN - Levitt Pavilion-Memphis

10/01/2011 - Houston, TX - Unitunes Coffeehouse

Gary Nicholson's New CD, Texas Songbook

Gary Nicholson is a musical renaissance man — a number one hit songwriter, a two time Grammy winning record producer, a guitarist, singer, and recording artist. A consistent presence on the upper reaches of the country chart hit parade for the last three decades, his associations and collaborations read like an honor roll of notable talent in country and beyond: George Strait, Ringo Starr, Garth Brooks, Jeff Bridges, Robert Plant, B.B. King, Fleetwood Mac, Gregg Allman, The Judds, Buddy Guy, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Del McCoury, The Neville Brothers, Vince Gill, Delbert McClinton, Etta James, John Prine, Keb’ Mo’, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson among them. His songs have been heard in the movies Crazy Heart, Major League, City of Hope, Message in a Bottle and Where the Heart Is. “I’m always curious about working with different people and styles,” he says.

He is also a true blue son of the Lone Star State whose love and pride for the place he calls home brims from every track of his Bismeaux Records album, Texas Songbook, due out June 21, 2011. Recorded in Austin with some of the finest players in the state, it features such guest stars as Joe Ely, McClinton, Marcia Ball, Randy Rogers, Ray Benson and Jason Roberts of Asleep at the Wheel on songs inspired by or about Texas by Nicholson himself and penned with Texans like the late Stephen Bruton, McClinton, Guy Clark, Lee Roy Parnell and others. It’s sure to satisfy anyone with a taste for swinging, two-stepping, and dancehall and honky-tonk style Lone Star country music.

The album leaps into a Lone Star state of mind from the opening track, “Texas Weather,” and keeps the theme dancing though “She Feels Like Texas,” “A Woman in Texas, A Woman in Tennessee,” “Lone Star Blues” (with Ely and Benson singing along, and just recorded by George Strait for his next album), “Talkin’ Texan” and “Texas Ruby” (with Ball on piano). The set includes the signature song “Fallin’ & Flyin’” from Crazy Heart, the infectiously swinging “Messin’ With My Woman” (with backing vocals by Benson and Roberts), “Same Kind of Crazy” (written with McClinton, who plays harmonica on the track and cut the song, as did George Strait on his Twang album), and “Listen to Willie” (a tribute to the Red-Haired Stranger with Stoney LaRue and Benson on vocals and Mickey Raphael on harmonica). It wraps up with “Bless Them All” (with the McCrary Sisters), “Live, Laugh, Love” (previously recorded by Texan Clay Walker), and the closing grace note of “Some Days You Write the Song” (the title song of the Grammy-nominated Guy Clark album, co-written with Clark and Jon Randall Stewart).

Nicholson’s impetus for making Texas Songbook was his recent induction into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. “I’ve always wanted to make a truly country record,” he says of his fourth release in his own right. “So I figured, okay, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this in Texas with all Texas players and with songs co-written by Texans. I’m just going to make the most Texas record I can possibly make and have fun doing it.”

To do so, the first and only choice was to “go straight to Ray Benson.” Recorded at Benson’s Bismeaux Studio, the disc features Asleep at the Wheel members and associates Roberts (fiddle), David Sanger (drums), Floyd Domino (piano) and Kevin Smith (bass) as well as steel guitarist Tommy Detamore and accordion player Joel Guzman. “I couldn’t have made this record in Nashville and gotten this music,” notes Nicholson, a Music City resident for now more than three decades. “I could have come close. But I knew I could only make this album in Texas.” Plus for good measure include in the creative mix some honorary Texans from the state’s “north 40” of Oklahoma like guest singer and Lone Star/Red Dirt music scene hero LaRue and Kevin Welch, co-writer of “Listen to Willie” and now residing in the Hill Country town of Wimberley.

The trail that led Nicholson to becoming an integral and pervasive presence in the Nashville music industry and scene — and 26 ASCAP songwriting awards and nomination to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame — begins in Garland in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex where he came of age within the fertile musical context of the mid 1950s.

He soon took up the guitar and started playing folk and country music, making his public debut in his school’s eighth grade talent show and winning it. Then along came The Ventures and Nicholson took up electric guitar. When he later came to believe that the Beatles “were the greatest thing ever” and heard area resident Freddie King, his fate was sealed. As a teen he played in such British Invasion-inspired bands as the Valiants, the Catalinas and the Untouchables.

While studying at North Texas State University in nearby Denton, Nicholson fell in with such other musical students as soon-to-be Eagle Don Henley and pianist/producer/arranger Jim Ed Norman, later president of the Warner Bros. Nashville label. He stayed busy by night in club bands, and was also recruited to tour with the Nazz after Todd Rundgren left the group. “They hired me because I had a Marshall stack and a Les Paul,” Nicholson recalls with a chuckle. Following a night in 1971 hanging out with Gram Parsons on a swing through Dallas by the American-music pioneer, Nicholson left college and, urged on by Parsons, moved with his band to Los Angeles.

His friends Henley and Norman soon followed as Nicholson went on to win his first publishing deal, scored his debut recorded cover by bluegrass star Doug Dillard, and inked a record deal with Kapp/MCA with his band, Uncle Jim’s Music. They rehearsed in the same building as budding star Linda Ronstadt, whose producer John Boylan helmed the first of the band’s two albums of Nicholson’s songs (with Norman on keyboards for the second), prized by collectors.

Not long after watching Henley join forces with Glenn Frey in Ronstadt’s band and then soar to superstardom in The Eagles, Nicholson married his college sweetheart Barbara and headed back to Texas in 1973. Despite the artistic boom in California, “I liked the music back in Texas better,” he notes. One reason why was an album by locals and fellow expatriates to L.A. who would also return home, Delbert & Glen (Clark).

Nicholson wound up doing stints as a guitarist in McClinton’s band throughout the rest of the 1970s. He also started a group called Hot Sauce that melded country-rock and blues and were sometimes joined by his guitar hero Freddie King at their weekly Sunday residency at Mother Blues in Dallas. He also sharpened his Western swing and country chops taking gigs throughout North Texas, and continued to hone his songwriting skills.

Then Norman tapped a Nicholson song, “Jukebox Argument,” for a recording by Mickey Gilley that ended up on the Urban Cowboy 2 soundtrack. His friend then invited him to relocate to Nashville to write for his publishing company in 1980. By 1984 he had joined the roster of legendary writers at Tree Publishing and nabbed his first No. 1 cut with “That’s the Thing About Love” by Don Williams. He has since written or co-written scores of country chart songs including such Top 10 gems as “One More Last Chance” (Vince Gill), “The Trouble With the Truth” (Patty Loveless), “She Couldn’t Change Me” (Montgomery Gentry) and Reba’s “When Love Gets a Hold of You.”

Nicholson showcased his skills as a producer on his 1995 solo debut, The Sky Is Not the Limit. Four albums for McClinton followed, two of them Grammy winners (Best Contemporary Blues Album) and another nominated, and to date the longtime friends have written some 40 songs together that Delbert has recorded. His other noteworthy productions include T. Graham Brown’s acclaimed Wine Into Water, New Day Dawning by Wynonna and the landmark Reunion by the Judds as well as discs by Chris Knight, Seth Walker and Pam Tillis plus Marcia Ball’s latest album, among others.

Soon after arriving in Music City Nicholson did his first session as a guitarist. His credit can be found on numerous albums since, especially when a taste of Texas C&W and blues is called for. He toured out of Nashville in his early years there with Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Tracy Nelson and Gail Davies until Bobby Bare advised him to leave his band and better spend his time at home writing songs. Now that his sons are grown, Nicholson is back out on the road and with his band Fortunate Sons, who put out an album in 2010, as well as gigging and making a record under his nom de blues Whitey Johnson. As Texas Songbook hits the market, he also gathers together a country band to share stages with Asleep at the Wheel over the summer of 2011.

Texas Songbook follows the form of his previous Nashville Songbook album that collected a number of Nicholson’s top country covers in his own versions. Given his Lone Star State roots, his latest disc is a truly special endeavor for the multi-talented musical artist. “I’m really proud of it,” he concludes. “It’s very important stuff for me. As great as Nashville is and has been to me, it will never take the place of Texas in my heart."

Kinky Friedman embarks on "Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011"

This spring, starting April 27th in Kansas City, Missouri, Kinky Friedman, author, musician, politician, and self-proclaimed Governor of the Heart of Texas, will be performing dates throughout the Midwest and East Coast as part of his Springtime for Kinky Tour of 2011. Often returning to places he has not visited in two decades, the Kinkster will appear solo (primarily) and promote his most recent books, What Would Kinky Do? and Heroes of a Texas Childhood. There will be a book signing at each venue.

Buoyed by his Go West Young Kinky Tour last spring and his monster appearance on the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in October, Kinky will take his show to many of his favorite American cities. Playing the songs for which he is best known, such as “They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “Sold American,” reading passages from his books, and carrying on his hilarious running commentary on the state of the union, Kinky, the prodigal son of Texas, will, indeed, return to the scenes of his crimes of years gone by.

Though years have passed since the last full-on Texas Jewboys show, Kinky continues to be associated with that infamous band of his early career, partly because of his long friendship with Bob Dylan (Kinky did, of course, travel with the Rolling Thunder Revue), but mostly because of the band’s total outrageousness and those legendary songs. On the projects list for 2011 is a Willie Nelson CD of Kinky's songs, which will be no less than the third tribute album to Kinky and his work. Willie, who has a new Sony record deal, and who has been swapping stories and playing chess with Kinky for decades, will confirm these tunes as American standards.

Meanwhile, Kinky continues to “spit out books like sunflower seeds,” with a brand new deal to co-write one with old pal Billy Bob Thornton. And he is now being immortalized onstage with a play called Becoming Kinky . . . The World According to Kinky Friedman, written by Ted Swindley, who created the long-running hit Always . . . Patsy Cline, and starring up-and-comer Jesse Dayton.

Kinky may be finished with politics, but politics may not be finished with Kinky.  He continues to be a popular guest on cable news channels, appearing with hosts as diverse as John Seigenthaler and Bill O’Reilly, and his regular contributions to Texas Monthly never fail to take proper shots at the insanity of Texas politics.  He also contributes to such national media as The New York Times and Playboy, more often than not skewing deserving politicians wherever they may be.

And that’s not all in 2011: an Australian tour is on the agenda for June. Kinky will be joined by long-time Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks, as the two old friends visit Kinky's second favorite continent. But in the meantime . . .

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Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011

Wed., April 27  KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Thurs., April 28  LITTLE ROCK, AR Juanita's
Fri., April 29  ST. LOUIS, MO Off Broadway
Sat., April 30  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK The Blue Door
Sun., May 1  NEWPORT, KY (CINCINNATI, OH) Southgate House
Mon., May 2  NASHVILLE, TN 3rd and Lindsley
Tues., May 3  CLEVELAND, OH Wilbert's
Thurs., May 5  MILWAUKEE, WI Shank Hall
Sat., May 7  BERWYN (CHICAGO), IL Fitzgerald's
Sun., May 8  PHILADELPHIA, PA World Cafe Live
Mon., May 9  NEW YORK, NY Highline Theater
Tues., May 10  ROCHESTER, NY Water Street
Fri., May 13  ALEXANDRIA, VA (WASHINGTON, DC) Birchmere
Sat., May 14  WOODSTOCK, NY Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble

Video Premiere | YELLOWBIRDS "The Rest Of My Life"

Yellowbirds is the moniker for the latest musical exploits of Sam Cohen--guitarist/songwriter/vocalist in the psychedelic collective Apollo Sunshine. Cohen grew up in Houston, Texas, and while the Texas of his teens may have been home to Big Oil, Enron, the Bush family, and the drab grey Astros jerseys of the 90s, he prefers to think of it as the Texas of yore, home to: Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, the Space Program, and rainbow orange Astros jerseys.  It stands to reason, then, that his current home of New York City must be the mythical Empire City: Rocky Mountains of architecture, epicenter of modern art, home to Charles Mingus and The Velvet Underground.

It was with these timeless inspirations in mind that Sam Cohen created Yellowbirds’ The Color, out now on Brooklyn label, Royal Potato Family. Double-speed auto-harp glissandos, glowing backwards pedal steel, bubbling echo and fuzz guitars coalesce into a warm wall of sound.  As existential lyrical themes emerge, delivered over psyched-out aural landscapes, the picture emerges of a dust-blown, 4th dimensional Future West.  This is Cohen's quixotic world where "only the purist tones can be heard."

Yellowbirds' new stop-motion, collage-animation video for the song "The Rest Of My Life" was crafted by Sam Cohen from nearly 3000 still photos assembled into collages and animated by hand.  Between exploring images, cutting and compiling, creating the scenes and editing the footage, the project took ten weeks to complete.

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Upcoming Performances…

March 15 | WFPK | Louisville, KY (live radio broadcast)
March 15 | Ear-Xtacy | Louisville, KY (in-store performance)
March 15 | The Rudyard Kipling | Louisville, KY
March 19 | The Snack Bar | Austin, TX (4pm)
March 19 | Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In | Austin, TX (7pm)
March 19 | Black & Tan (official SXSW showcase) | Austin, TX (11:30pm)
March 29 | Public Assembly | Brooklyn, NY
March 30 | WNYC Soundcheck | New York, NY (live radio broadcast)
March 30 | Maxwell's | Hoboken, NJ
April 7 | The Arts Block | Greenfield, MA
April 8 | Bridge Street Live | Collinsville, CT
April 9 | Southpaw | Brooklyn, NY
April 17 | Cactus Records | Houston, TX (in-store performance)
April 30 | Market Market | Rosendale, NY

GAYNGS Announce US 2011 Spring Tour

GAYNGS will be kicking off their 2011 U.S. Tour in Minneapolis, MN. A bunch of the twenty-plus contributors on the Relayted album will be there, including Justin Vernon and Mike Noyce of Bon Iver, ringleader Ryan Olson, Zak Coulter and Adam Hurlburt of Solid Gold. Jake Luck of Leisure Birds, Ivan Rosebud of The Rosebuds, Brad Cook and Joe Westerlund of Megafaun, and Mike Lewis of Andrew Bird and Happy Apple will all be there too!

GANYGS have been garnering a wide variety of critical acclaim ranging from the New York Times to the BBC.  Most recently they were named in Stereogum's prestigious top 40 Best New Bands Of 2010 . They have also been included in a number of Best of 2010 lists; being named #13 on NME's Top 50, #22 on The Guardians Top 40, #11 onThe Quietus' Top 40, and #25 on Uncut Magazine's Top 50.

After SXSW, GAYNGS will be heading west to play a handful of west coast dates, including the prestigious Coachella Music & Arts Festival and Sasquatch Music Festival. Don't miss this one of a kind band!!

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US DATES:

03/06/11 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN

03/11/11 - Stubb's BBQ - Austin, Texas

03/13/11 - 35 Conferette Festival - Denton, Texas

03/17/11 - Mohawk/ SXSW - Austin Texas

03/18/11 - Lustre Pearle/ Dickies Party / SXSW - Austin , Texas

04/15/11-17 - Coachella Music & Arts Fest - Indio, California

05/28/11- Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, Oregon

05/29/11    Sasquatch Music Festival - Quincy, Washington

06/01/11 - The Independent- San Francisco, California

06/04/11- The Casbah - San Diego, California

Ian Moore's 'El Sonido Nuevo' set for March release

El Sonido Nuevo, the seventh studio record from Austin-raised, Seattle-based singer-songwriter Ian Moore, bridges the gap between the stylistic offshoots of his past few records and the guitar-slinging bravado that characterized his earlier, often bluesier, output. “The album is a retrenching in the face of a diffuse pop culture landscape,” says Moore, now fronting power-pop trio the Lossy Coils for El Sonido Nuevo. “Every band has ten members, every movie is a sequel, there are 500 channels and nothing’s on.”

El Sonido Nuevo, due out March 8, 2011 on Seattle-based label Spark & Shine, distributed by Burnside Distribution, will be available in all formats including vinyl. Digital distribution on iTunes and the rest of the digital world will be through IODA. The iTunes release will have two bonus tracks not on the CD.  The trio will perform songs from the new collection at a handful of Texas and Oklahoma concert dates beginning on March 3, leading up to shows at South by Southwest (March 15–20, 2011) in Austin, Texas.

A certain sentiment rings out loud and clear, from the opening track, “Secondhand Store,” right on through the album: “We wrote it after South by Southwest when we were dealing with that onslaught of hipsters taking over the East Side of Austin — everybody has an angle and nobody seems to be actually doing anything,” says Moore, whose songwriting lets loose lyrics peppered with relevant and provocative topics. “It’s a mish-mash of jaded feelings in a dark moment.”

The Lossy Coils, formed in Seattle in the mid-2000s, features Moore, bassist Matt Harris (Oranger, Posies), and drummer Kyle Schneider (Johnny Goudie). The album was co-written with Harris, who has also played with Roky Erikson and Pavement’s Spiral Stairs. With Moore’s inspiring guitar work leading the way, El Sonido Nuevo alternates between rockers and ballads, pure songs and pure sounds, with a lush pop introduction that follows the same Beatles-by-the-way-of-Big Star thread that has informed the best work of contemporaries like Wilco.

Moore, a prodigy of self-invention, has built a career following his artistic instincts, which hasn’t always worked from a business perspective. Still, he’s been steadily accruing fans by staying on the road doing everything from solo acoustic shows to full band gigs in the U.S. and abroad. Moore’s skilled musicianship has been requested by many of his stylistic forefathers. Milestones include playing “Like a Rolling Stone” on the road with Bob Dylan, drinking goblets of wine and trading guitar riffs with Keith Richards on tour with the Rolling Stones, exchanging mix tapes with Paul Weller, performing “Whisky River” with Willie Nelson, singing a duet with Emmylou Harris, and backing artists as divergent as Roky Erikson and Jason Mraz.

Moore’s pared-back band on the record was a purposeful step into stripping away artifice and décor.  The songs on El Sonido Nuevo are simple and direct. Previously Moore might have been inclined to layer sonics and complex arrangements; here the record is straightforward, the songs clean and without ornamentation. Moore returns to the boundaries of what he can do with six strings and his largely unsung, soulful voice.

Born in Berkeley, Calif., Moore grew up in Austin, Texas, and made his mark there in the early ’90s as a blues-guitar virtuoso. Early sideman duty for Texas roots legend Joe Ely led to a 1993 self-titled solo record on Capricorn that propelled Moore to those critical opening gigs for the Stones and Dylan, as well as a notable appearance in Billy Bob Thornton’s indie hit film Slingblade. Moore’s broad palette of influences and interests was further explored in the video for “Harlem,” directed by rapper and actor Ice Cube.

Critics have long loved Moore’s studio output: Dave Hickey in Art in America magazine called his Modernday Folklore “one of the best moments in contemporary art in 1996,” while Harp magazine observed, “Since the early ’90s the native Texan has refused corporate molding in favor of freedom and the artistic rewards are staggering.” Moore’s 2004 release Luminaria received numerous accolades, including from Billboard’s Chris Morris, who noted, “The burden of the contemporary singer/ songwriter is in formulating a sound that is completely unique. With Luminaria, Ian Moore accomplishes just that.” And of his most recent release, 2007’s To Be Loved, All Music Guide wrote, “Moore has created a brand of challenging yet highly melodic new-millennium pop-rock that establishes him as an audacious songwriter and player. He has struck that rare balance between astute complexity and utter pop appeal.”

Moore has been placed into the circle of guitarist-songwriters likes Mayfield, Hendrix, and Buckley, “where pop isn't a dirty word and where music comes straight from the soul.” He has made hundreds of television appearances, from regional TV shows to the Today show and the Late Show With David Letterman to a one-hour Direct TV special, while avid watchers of American Idol have seen contestants cover Moore’s songs “Blue Sky” and “Satisfied.” And the Austin Music Awards have repeatedly voted him Best Singer, Musician and Band.

The manner in which Moore has moved across styles and cultural boundaries has rallied critics but, sometimes, confused his longtime fans. On El Sonido Nuevo, the blues and rock guitar he’s best known for is back, bolstered by confident songwriting and the absorbed echoes of those influences and stylistic adventures.

With El Sonido Nuevo, Moore’s musical journey bands together all these disparate influences with a confidence, subtlety, depth and, some would argue, a return to form on the guitar.

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Tour dates:

Thurs., March 3  CORPUS CHRISTIE, TX House of Rock
Sat., March 5  AUSTIN, TX Continental Club
Sun., March 6  AUSTIN, TX Waterloo Records in-store
Sat., March 12  HOUSTON, TX Continental Club

YELLOWBIRDS Release Second Track "The Honest Ocean"

Yellowbirds, the new band formed by Sam Cohen of Apollo Sunshine, have released a second single entitled "The Honest Ocean." It follows the "The Rest Of My Life," their first song made available in October, which was later selected as a Spinner "Mp3 Of The Day" and described as "sunny, psychedelic folk. Warm and inviting," by the blog Unholy Rhythms.

Yellowbirds will offer one more single before their debut album The Color is released February 15, 2011 as an LP and download by The Royal Potato Family.

Stream "The Honest Ocean"
Mp3 Download "The Honest Ocean"
Available at iTunes | Amazon

More on Sam Cohen and Yellowbirds...

Sam Cohen grew up in Houston, Texas, and while the Texas of his teens may have been home to Big Oil, Enron, the Bush family, and the drab gray Astros jerseys of the 90's, he prefers to think of it as the Texas of yore, home to Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, the Space Program, and rainbow orange Astros jerseys.  It stands to reason, then, that his current home of New York City must be the mythical Empire City: Rocky Mountains of architecture, epicenter of modern art, home to Charles Mingus and The Velvet Underground.

It was with these timeless inspirations in mind that Cohen created Yellowbirds, and set to work on his forthcoming "solo" outing The Color.  Double-speed auto-harp glissandos, glowing backwards pedal-steel, bubbling echo and fuzz guitars coalesce into a warm wall of sound.  As existential lyrical themes emerge, delivered nonchalantly over psyched-out aural landscapes, the picture emerges of a dust-blown, 4th dimensional Future West.  This is Cohen's quixotic world where "only the purist tones can be heard."

Upcoming Yellowbirds shows:
December 8 | Goodbye Blue Monday | Brooklyn, NY (acoustic set)
December 11 | The Rock Shop | Brooklyn, NY

HAAM Benefit Day 2010 The Best Ever

The 5th Annual HAAM Benefit Day, held on Tuesday, September 21, brought in the largest amount of funds ever raised for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, its member-musicians and the healthcare service programs they participate in: $195,000, the organization reported today.

It was a record-breaking day all around, with the largest number of Austin area businesses making a donation or pledging a portion of the day’s proceeds — more than 200 — and the most musical performances (more than 140) heard on any HAAM Benefit Day.

“We at HAAM are incredibly pleased with the response to the fifth HAAM Benefit Day,” said Keith Carmichael, HAAM Benefit Day 2010 Committee chairman. “The number of businesses and the number of entertainers participating — not to mention the amount of funds raised, the largest ever — shows us how much this city and the people in it appreciate live music and what this organization is doing to make sure it flourishes.”

In addition to acknowledging Whole Foods Market for its generosity in serving for five consecutive years as HAAM Benefit Day presenting sponsor, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians is grateful for the tens of thousands of dollars donated not only by Whole Foods Market but also by C3 Presents and South by Southwest® over the years of HAAM Benefit Day.
It also recognizes Texas Heritage Songwriters Association for its donation that matched the contribution of the Austin community on September 21 as residents ate out, shopped and donated on behalf of their favorite music-makers.
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians also announced today the date for the 6th Annual HAAM Benefit Day: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, when business, the music community and residents will again unite to keep music alive and well in Austin.
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians provides access to affordable healthcare services to Austin’s low-income, uninsured working musicians with a focus on prevention and wellness. Since HAAM’s 2005 start, more than 2,200 of the city’s battalion of hard-working musicians have joined and gained access to regular, cost-effective healthcare services. Medical, dental, mental, hearing and vision health services are provided by Seton Family of Hospitals, St. David’s Foundation, The SIMS Foundation, Estes Audiology and Prevent Blindness Texas. HAAM’s annual Corporate Battle of the Bands and HAAM Benefit Day have become signature events behind a great cause: maintaining the health of the musicians who help make Austin such an enviable place to live and work. For more information, to join or to make a donation, visit www.myHAAM.org.

Introducing YELLOWBIRDS from Sam Cohen of Apollo Sunshine

Yellowbirds is the moniker for the latest musical exploits of Sam Cohen--songwriter, guitarist and vocalist in the psychedelic collective Apollo Sunshine.  Next Tuesday, October 12, Yellowbirds will release its debut track "The Rest Of My Life." The song is the first of three to be made available in the coming months, hinting at what's to come as Cohen puts the finishing touches on The Color, a full-length studio recording due in early 2011.

Sam Cohen grew up in Houston, Texas, and while the Texas of his teens may have been home to Big Oil, Enron, the Bush family, and the drab gray Astros jerseys of the 90's, he prefers to think of it as the Texas of yore, home to Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, the Space Program, and rainbow orange Astros jerseys.  It stands to reason, then, that his current home of New York City must be the mythical Empire City: Rocky Mountains of architecture, epicenter of modern art, home to Charles Mingus and The Velvet Underground.

It was with these timeless inspirations in mind that Cohen created The Color by Yellowbirds, his "solo" debut.  Double-speed auto-harp glissandos, glowing backwards pedal-steel, bubbling echo and fuzz guitars coalesce into a warm wall of sound.  As existential lyrical themes emerge, delivered nonchalantly over psyched-out aural landscapes, the picture emerges of a dust-blown, 4th dimensional Future West.  This is Cohen's quixotic world where "only the purist tones can be heard."

Listen to Yellowbirds'

{play}images/mp3/therestofmylife.mp3{/play}