state

Conspirator releases new track, announces fall tour dates

Conspirator, the live electronic brainchild of Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits and their new partner Chris Michetti, is set to hit the road again this fall. Armed with an arsenal of slamming new electro songs, the trio will welcome superstar drummer KJ Sawka (PENDULUM) to the tour for the first six shows before passing the baton to Conspirator regular Mike Greenfield of Lotus.

Conspirator has been hard at work in the studio, working on a slew of new tracks inspired by the current styles of popular electronic music, embracing the sounds popularized over the last few years. “Feed the Wolf,” the first installment from a batch of new original tracks, is out this week on SoundCloud with new singles to be released bi-monthly through the fall. At 128 BPM, it combines elements of Electro and Dutch House, but still retains an original edge that is always present in Conspirator's music.

LISTEN TO FEED THE WOLF HERE

As well, they have been cutting their teeth in the remix game, currently working on official remixes of 12th Planet, Porter Robinson, Zed's Dead, Vaski, and TimBerg/Avicii with many more to come. The release of these remixes is expected to begin this fall, concurrently with the release of the original material.

Marc and Aron are currently among the headliners of the IDentity Festival, performing with The Disco Biscuits. The experience has them touring the nation with hot electronic artists such as Rusko, Kaskade, Pretty Lights, and Steve Aoki. Once the 18-show amphitheater tour concludes at the Gorge in early September, they will immediately start preparing for the 3 week Conspirator Fall tour, which brings them from the Mid-West, through their native Northeast and finally down South to Langerado Music Festival in Sunrise, FL before closing the tour with a stop in Charleston, SC. This will, ironically, bring Conspirator back to where they started festival season, having played the sold out Ultra Music Festival in Miami last March. It has been an exciting year for Conspirator, having made stops at such illustrious electronic music festivals such as UMF, Nocturnal (Texas), Electric Forest, and Camp Bisco 10, which was hosted by the Disco Biscuits and reached a sold out, capacity crowd of 25,000 people.

Keep your eye out for Conspirator as they bring their newest sounds into your town this fall!

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CONFIRMED CONSPIRATOR TOUR DATES:

09/09/11 -Catskill Chill Music Festival - Hancock, NY

09/20/11 - Busters Billiards & Bar - Lexington, KY

09/21/11 - Lyric - Oxford, MS

09/22/11 - Middle Tennessee State University - Murfreesboro, TN

09/23/11 - Tall Tree Music Festival - Goreville, IL

09/24/11 - Majestic Theater - Madison, WI

09/25/11 - Bell's Brewery - Kalamazoo, MI

09/27/11 - Mr. Smalls Theater - Pittsburgh, PA

09/28/11 - Town Ballroom - Buffalo, NY

09/29/11 - Westcott Theater - Syracuse, NY

09/30/11 - Higher Ground - Burlington, VT

10/01/11 - Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA

10/02/11 - Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY

10/05/11 - Lincoln Theater - Raleigh, NC

10/06/11 - Georgia Theater - Athens, GA

10/07/11 - State Theatre - St. Petersburg, FL

10/08/11 - Langerado Music Festival - Sunrise, FL

10/09/11 - Pourhouse - Charleston, SC

10/21/11 - Canal Club - Richmond, VA

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones 2011 & 2012 Tour

Bela Fleck and The Flecktones have announced more dates for 2011 as well as a bunch of tour dates in 2012.   Check out their extensive tour dates below.

Béla Fleck is often considered the premiere banjo player in the world. A New York City native (named after composer Béla Bartok), he picked up the banjo at age 15 after being awed by the bluegrass playing of Flatt & Scruggs. He began experimenting with playing bebop on the banjo in high school. In 1982, he joined the progressive bluegrass band New Grass Revival, where he made a name for himself in the country-bluegrass world. At the same time he was releasing a series of solo albums for Rounder Records.

In 1989 he formed the Flecktones. They made their self-titled debut recording in 1990 by playing a "blu-bop" mix of jazz and bluegrass and soon became a commercially successful, critically-acclaimed and award-winning band. (Fleck--the only musician to be nominated for Grammys in jazz, bluegrass, pop, country, spoken word, Christian, composition and world music categories-- also recorded solo releases including 1994’s Tales from the Acoustic Planet and last year’s The Bluegrass Sessions--Tales from the Acoustic Planet Volume 2.)

Béla, commenting on the Flecktones’ "raging eclecticism" in the May 2000 issue of Down Beat: "The more diverse the audience there is, the better. If you’ve got people who would normally be jazz fans sitting in the same room with people who love bluegrass, some funk fans who love Victor, some Deadheads, it turns into this roomful of happy people who are all real different."

Béla began the new decade by inking a deal with Sony Music that will result in five recordings for the label: two albums for Sony Classical and three albums for Columbia Records: a solo outing for the jazz division of the imprint and two releases by his celebrated category-defying band the Flecktones.

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Tour Dates:

08.26.11         Windsor, CT      Summerwind
08.27.11         Portland, ME      State Theater
08.28.11         NY, NY US     Govenor's Island
09.01.11        Pittsburgh, PA Trib Total Media Amphitheater
09.02.11         Binghamton, NY      Binghamton University
09.03.11         High Mount, NY      Belleayre Music Festival
09.04.11         Orkney Springs, VA      Shenandoah Valley Music Festival

10.09.11        Shakori Hills Music Festival  Hope, NC
10.11.11        House of Blues    New Orleans, LA
10.12.11        House of Blues        Houston, TX
10.13.11        Paramount Theater, Austin, TX
10.14.11        AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, TX
10.15.11        YonderFest, Ozark, AR
10.16.11        The Tennessean,  Knoxville, TN
10.18.11        Lyric Theater, Stuart, FL
10.19.11        Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
10.20.11        Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, FL
10.21.11        House of Blues, Lake Buena Vista, FL
10.22.11        MagnoliaFest, Live Oak, FL
10.23.11        Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte, NC

11.2.11        Foothill PAC  Oneonta, NY
11.3.11        Center for the Arts Mainstage, Buffalo, NY
11.4.11        Storer Auditorium, Syracuse, NY
11.5.11        Helen M. Hosmer Hall  , Potsdam, NY
11.6.11        Hart Theatre - The Egg, Albany, NY
11.7.11        The Music Center, Strathmore, MD
11.9.11        McCarter Theater, Princeton, NJ
11.10.11        Calvin Theater, Northampton, MA
11.11.11        Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, New Bedford, MA
11.12.11        Staller Center, Stony Brook, NY
11.13.11        Stone Mountain Arts Center , Brownfield, ME
11.16.11        Town Hall, New York, NY
11.17.11        Keswick Theater, Glenside, PA
11.18.11        Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA
11.19.11        Paramount Theater, Rutland, VT
11.20.11        Capitol Center for the Arts, Concord, NH

3.1.12            University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
3.2.12            North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie, IL
3.3.12            North Central College,  Naperville, IL
3.6.12            Sunset Center Theater, Carmel-by-the Sea, CA
3.7.12            Humboldt State University,  Arcata, CA
3.8.12            Warfield Theater,  San Francisco, CA
3.9.12            Orpheum Theater,   Los Angeles, CA
3.10.12        John Ascuaga's Nugget,  Sparks, NV
3.12.12        Smith Center for the Performing Arts,  Las Vegas, NV
3.13.12        Anthology,  San Diego, CA
3.21.12        Florida State University,  Tallahassee, FL
3.22.12        Savannah Music Festival,  Savannah, GA
3.24.12        University of Connecticut,  Storrs, CT
3.25.12        Berks Jazz festival,  Reading, PA
3.28.12        Missouri State University,  Springfield, MO
3.29.12        Sheldon Concert Hall,  St. Louis, MO
3.30.12        Butler University,  Indianapolis, IN
3.31.12        University of Northern Iowa,  Cedar Falls, IO
4.1.12            Holland Performing Arts Center,  Omaha, NE
4.3.12            University of Wyoming,  Laramie, WY
4.4.12            Lincoln Center,  Ft. Collins, CO
4.5.12            Wheeler Opera House,  Aspen, CO
4.6.12            Vilar Performing Arts Center,  Beaver Creek, CO
4.7.12            Boulder Theater,  Boulder, CO
4.12.12        Walton Arts Center,  Fayetteville, AR
4.13.12        Performing Arts Center,  Germantown, TN
4.14.12        Ryman Auditorium,  Nashville, TN
4.20.12        Miami University,  Oxford, OH
4.21.12        Clay Center,  Charleston, WVA
4.22.12        University of Richmond,  Richmond, VA
4.25.12        University of North Carolina,  Chapel Hill, NC
4.27.12        Merlefest,  Wilkesboro, NC
4.28.12        Brown Theater,  Louisville, KY

Guster releases new EP, kicks off Tour with Jack's Mannequin

Today marks the release of On The Ocean, the new EP from iconic alt-pop outfit Guster. Guster has been growing their cult-like fanbase for over 15 years now, and as evident by their latest album Easy Wonderful, they are only getting better. The band feels the release of Easy Wonderful marked a turning point in their career, and believe they have emerged from the process as "stronger players, writers and record makers".

This 6 song collection features previously unreleased tracks as well as a few acoustic versions and remixes of songs that will be familiar to Guster fans.  While the EP is available from your traditional digital outlets such as itunes and amazon, the band will hold true to their progressive nature, making physical copies of the album only available from independent retailers and at the shows themselves.

Below is a list of the tour dates for Guster's summer run with Jack's Mannequin. Make sure you find your way to the show when they're in your town, and experience for yourself the effect "feeling more energized about our music and playing together than ever" has had on the band's already legendary live performance copies of the album only available from independent retailers and at the shows themselves.

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8/6 is now at the State Theater

8/16 in Portsmouth has been canceled.

8/21 in Pompano Beach is now Ft Lauderdale at Revolution Live

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Tour Dates

08/02/11 - Hyannis, MA @ Cape Cd Melody Tent
08/03/11 - Danbury, CT @ Ives Concert Park
08/04/11 - Newport, RI @ Newport Yacht Club
08/06/11 - Portland, ME @ The State Theatre
08/07/11 - Baltimore, MD @ Pier Six
08/09/11 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony
08/11/11 - Philadelphia, PA @ Festival Pier
08/12/11 - Boston, MA @ Bank of America Pavillion
08/13/11 - Canandaigua, NY @CMAC
08/15/11 - Vienna, VA @Wolf Trap
08/17/11 - Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
08/19/11 - Charlotte, NC @ Uptown Amphitheatre at The Music Factory
08/20/11 - Mt Pleasant, SC @ Patriots Point
08/21/11 - Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
08/23/11 - Tampa, FL @ Ritz Ybor
08/24/11 - Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park
08/29/11 - Indianapolis, IN @ The Lawn at White River
08/30/11 - Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
08/31/11 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Meijer Gardens
09/02/11 - Interlochen, MI @ Kresge Auditorium
09/03/11 - Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia Festival
09/04/11 - Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion

Dark Star Orchestra 2011 Summer/Fall Tour News

Dark Star Orchestra is currently on-tour. They'll be in Colorado in just another week, before heading up to the true Great Northwest.. in Alakska!  Check out a full list of tour dates below as well as updates to their current summer tour.

As the wheel of the year begins the slow downward turn into winter, it's time to think of the long nights and frosty stars. Where will we be when the snow starts to fall? On our Fly Through the Night tour, flying above the city lights of the East Coast, strung together like clusters of diamonds on the black planet below. Finding comfort in some of our usual haunts in DC and Virginia as well as touching down in some new venues in New England, we'll sing a little while for you, and then fly on. If you're in our fan club, tickets are already available; the general public can get tickets starting on August 5th. Visit our tour page for details.

Sometimes we visit your country

Wondering where we'll be carried away in March of 2012? To that great city of blended cultures and sidewalk cafes, clean canals and bicycles, Van Gogh and anything goes, the Venice of the North. It's Amsterdam, and we're thrilled to be playing for All Good and Vision International's 6th Jam in the Dam. Come see the silent seeds all burst into bloom and decay. Wait - don't visit our tour page for this one - go straight to the Jam in the Dam site, and check it out!

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DATE VENUE CITY DSO TICKETS
Hearts of Summer Tour
08/11 Santa Fe Brewing Company Santa Fe, NM TICKETS
08/12 Mishawaka Amphitheatre Bellvue, CO TICKETS
08/13 Mishawaka Amphitheatre Bellvue, CO TICKETS
08/14 State Bridge Lodge Bond, CO TICKETS
08/16 Quixotes *Terrapin Nation* Denver, CO TICKETS
08/18 Bear Tooth Theater Anchorage, AK TICKETS
08/19 49th St Brewing Company Healy, AK TICKETS
08/20 Blue Loon Fairbanks, AK TICKETS
09/10 Werk-Out Festival Bellefontaine, OH TICKETS
Last Rose of Summer Tour
09/22 House of Blues San Diego, CA TICKETS
09/23 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA TICKETS
09/25 Majestic Ventura Theater Ventura, CA TICKETS
09/27 Yost Theater Santa Ana, CA TICKETS
09/29 River Theater Guerneville, CA TICKETS
10/01 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA TICKETS
10/02 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival San Francisco, CA
10/04 Montbleu Resort and Casino Lake Tahoe, NV
10/06 The Depot Salt Lake City, UT TICKETS
10/07 TBA TBA
10/08 Fillmore Auditorium Denver, CO
10/09 Pikes Peak Center Colorado Springs, CO TICKETS
10/11 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK TICKETS
10/13 House of Blues Dallas, TX
10/14 Moody Theater Austin, TX
10/15 House of Blues Houston, TX
Fly Through The Night Fall Tour
11/17 Wilbur Theatre Boston, MA
11/18 Calvin Theatre Northampton, MA
11/19 State Theatre Ithaca, NY TICKETS
11/21 Harro East Ballroom Rochester, NY TICKETS
11/22 State Theater New Brunswick, NJ TICKETS
11/23 Penn's Peak Jim Thorpe, PA TICKETS
11/25 Best Buy Theater New York, NY
11/26 Best Buy Theater New York, NY
11/27 Bearsville Theater (Acoustic Show) Woodstock, NY
11/29 State Theatre State College, PA TICKETS
11/30 Carnegie Music Hall Pittsburgh, PA TICKETS
12/01 Jefferson Theater Charlottesville, VA
12/02 930 Club Washington DC TICKETS
12/03 930 Club Washington DC TICKETS
12/05 Capitol Center Chubb Theatre Concord, NH TICKETS
12/07 Lupos Providence RI
12/08 Klein Auditorium Bridgeport, CT
12/09 Palace Theatre Albany, NY
12/10 State Theatre Portland, ME TICKETS
Jam in the Dam VI
03/14 Jam in the Dam VI Amsterdam, NL TICKETS
03/15 Jam in the Dam VI Amsterdam, NL TICKETS
03/16 Jam in the Dam VI Amsterdam, NL TICKETS


2011 MassJazz Schedule Announced

MassJazz has released its annual schedule of jazz and blues festivals and outdoor concerts taking place in Massachusetts this summer and fall. The schedule includes a dozen outdoor jazz festivals across the Commonwealth, plus hundreds of outdoor concerts taking place in city parks and town squares, at museums and cultural venues, and at tourist spots around the state.

“Massachusetts has a lot to offer visitors, from our champion sports teams and our rich history to the stunning landscapes and abundance of cultural riches,” said Betsy Wall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.  “It’s all here and the vibrant music scene – especially jazz and blues - is another great reason to spend time in the Commonwealth this summer. ”

The Massachusetts festival season kicks off with the Hoop City Jazz & Art Festival in Springfield on July 8-10 and ends with the Pittsfield Jazz Festival in western Massachusetts on October 7-20.  Wall pointed to the strong jazz presence across Massachusetts, with festivals or concerts taking place in every region of the state.

“For tourists who savor jazz and blues – two of America’s greatest art forms – Massachusetts has a terrific slate of festivals and outdoor events this season,” said MassJazz founder Michael P. Quinlin.  “And add to that the jazz clubs, campus events, and live jazz brunches at hotels and restaurants, and you have a music lover’s paradise.”

In July, MassJazz is issuing its 3rd annual MassJazz Travel Guide, a free 40-page magazine with jazz profiles, stories and listings on the state's vibrant jazz scene.  The Guide is available at jazz venues, tourism kiosks, and cultural sports around Massachusetts.

Formed in 2009, MassJazz promotes the state’s jazz scene year round to the travel industry, in concert with Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism and other partners.  For more details on jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.

Click here for Jazz Festivals | Click here for Outdoor Concert Series.

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

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

Cornmeal announces Summer plans and Chicago Live Podcast

Along with hitting the festival circuit extensively this summer (including Summer Camp, Wakarusa, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and many more), Cornmeal has announced a run of summer shows hitting the Midwest and west coast and every point in between.  Cornmeal recently took a break in their hometown of Chicago to visit the set of Chicago Live!, you can check out the podcast here.

For a full list of Cornmeal's upcoming shows & news, check out www.cornmealinthekitchen.com

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Just announced shows include:

June 23rd

Arrowhead Campground

Grassy, MO

July 1st

Nelson Ledges

Garrettsville, OH

July 16th

Nutty’s North

Sioux Falls, SD

July 17th

The Aquarium

Fargo, ND

July 22nd

Wild Buffalo House of Music

Bellingham, WA

July 24th

A Club

Spokane, WA

July 26th

Liquid Lounge

Boise, ID

July 27th

Mangy Moose

Teton Village, WY

July 28th

The State Room

Salt Lake City, UT

w/ Elephant Revival

July 29th

Hard Rock Café on the Strip

Las Vegas, NV

July 30th

Café Du Nord

San Francisco, CA

August 2nd

The Casbah

San Diego, CA

August 3rd

The Compound Grill

Phoenix, AZ

August 4th

The Mint

Los Angeles, CA

August 5th

Crystal Bay Club Casino

Crystal Bay, NV

August 10th

Club Congress

Tucson, AZ

August 11th

Flagstaff Brewing Company

Flagstaff, AZ

August 12th

Santa Fe Brewing Company

Santa Fe, NM

August 13th

State Bridge

Bond, CO

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."

Leftover Salmon Announces 2011 Festivals

Leftover Salmon is pleased to announce our participation in the first ever Eco Music Festival (EMU) in Aspen, CO June 30th- July 3rd. We are honored to be part of this fantastic festival that is geared towards making a difference in the sustainability of festivals around the country. Salmon co-headlines on Saturday July 2nd!

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Other Acts Include:

RJD2, Perpetual Groove, Tea Leaf Green, Stokeswood

Many More to be Announced!

For more information please visit EMU  |  You can purchase your tickets here

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We are also pleased to announce that we are taking part in the River City Roots festival in beautiful Missoula, Montana on Saturday August 27th! This festival is free to public and sure to be a great time!

For more information please visit RCRF website

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"River Run" June 10-12 2011

On June 10th & 11th, Leftover Salmon performs a two night run in the Poudre Canyon at the newly owned and operated Mishawaka Amphitheater in Bellvue, CO. On June 12th the festivities travel to the new  State Bridge Amphitheater in Bond, CO to honor & revisit a celebrated tradition. 

Limited tickets are still available

Mishawaka Amphitheater - Tickets /  State Bridge - Tickets