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Dead Man Winter at Fox Theatre | 8/19/11

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Dead Man Winter featuring members of Trampled By Turtles at the Fox Theatre on Friday, August 19th.  Tickets go on sale Friday, June 24th for $8.00 in advance and $10.00 day of show.

During a time when I was now fully unemployed and sleeping indoors only by the good graces of friends willing to share a couch, and the loss of my instruments was more than a little devastating.  Of the few possessions I still had, the one that now gained top billing was a cheap acoustic guitar collecting dust in a small room on Duluth’s central hillside.  A few other musicians in town had similar instruments collecting a similar dust and we started what was our first acoustic band, Trampled by Turtles.

We’ve been able to stay together ever since but lately, the drums and amps ringing in the back of my head have been getting louder and the desire to play, write, and record in a way removed from what I’ve been up to has been getting stronger.  Dead Man Winter was born out of these things.

I’d been renting a studio in Minneapolis, I set to the task of making a record.  My partner in the dirty and thankless work of recording was local engineer, songwriter, producer, guitarslinger, and master of the vibe Erik Koskinen.  We spent countless blissful hours exploring guitars, amps, mics, and players in the worn-in beauty and sanctity of Realphonic Studios.  Without a doubt, countless more hours could have been spent but you can’t begin work on the next record until you put out the current one, so here it is.

The musicians that play on this album are dear friends – there’s not a one of whom would I’d hesitate to trust a song that I hold dear.  In the end, the whole experience has reconnected me to that couch-surfing kid in Duluth trying to figure out what to do next in this big, terrifying, wonderful world and now, with a few more years behind me, it’s refreshing.

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Dead Man Winter

featuring members of Trampled By Turtles

Fox Theatre

Friday, August 19th

Doors:  8:30 pm

Show Time:  9:00 pm

Brian Setzer Remakes Bluegrass Classic Blue Moon of Kentucky

"Blue Moon of Kentucky," the opening track on Brian Setzer's 'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!" (out April 19 on Surfdog Records), has withstood over 65 years of remakes and covers, but it's never been put to the test quite like it is by Setzer.

Setzer goes jazzy, muscled and completely instrumental on the bluegrass standard -- enshrined in 1989 as the official bluegrass song of Kentucky – turning what Bill Monroe wrote as a "country waltz" into a western swing anthem that finds the rockabilly legend picking his way through a series of lightning quick riffs.

Originally written in 1946 for Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Bluegrass Boys, "Blue Moon of Kentucky" has been covered countless times by a number of esteemed artists. Setzer joins a list that includes John Fogerty, Patsy Cline, Ronnie Hawkins, LeAnn Rhimes, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Jerry Reed, Jimmy Martin, and Elvis Presley.

Read more about this release on Brian's website.

The Bluegrass Ball w/ The Travelin’ McCourys

Chances are if you’ve been to a bluegrass festival the memories most prevalent in your mind are not so much that of the “scheduled” performers but more of the impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations.  It’s with that spirit that the McCoury family decided to embark on a traveling bluegrass festival that they are calling The Bluegrass Ball.

Ask most string musicians young or old and they will mostly likely tell you they either want to play with the McCoury family if they have not already.  The McCourys are known for not only their ability to play with just about anyone but also for actually doing it!  Due to this willingness to play with other musicians, the McCoury family is known as heavy weights on the festival and bluegrass scene, even having their own wildly successful festival “Delfest”.  The McCoury’s decided to not only play in this festival but also promote it themselves making the festival on wheels more accessible to fans by playing more intimate venues that collaborate in giving fans a great value at a reasonable price.

Along for the ride over 4 nights in both Chicago and St. Louis are mandolin extraordinaire Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band), Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon and Emmitt-Nershi Band), and bluegrass up and comers Head for the Hills. This run of shows will be nothing short of epic. With this particular line up there are sure to be some phenomenal collaborations and each show will certainly be unique from the next!

The Travelin’ McCourys:

The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road-and online-entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres.  It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music.

No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music.  As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work-a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful.  But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenated.

Jeff Austin:

Jeff Austin is best known for his many years playing mandolin for Colorado heavy hitters, Yonder Mountain String Band. Yonder has always played by their own set of rules bending bluegrass, rock and roll, and countless other influences. While most known for his playing with Yonder Mountain String Band, Jeff has played with countless musicians and is sought after by countless musicians and festivals alike.



Drew Emmitt:

Revered as one of the most energetic and innovative mandolin players on the jamband/newgrass scene today, Emmitt’s “inestimable talents” (An Honest Tune) don’t end with just the instruments that can be picked.  Holding the wheel steady on acoustic and electric slide mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar and mandola Emmitt also showcases on recent solo albums superlative storytelling and versatile vocal abilities. Drew Emmitt is best known for his over 20 years with Leftover Salmon and also the past few years with The Emmitt-Nershi Band

Head For the Hills:

Rooted in the tradition of bluegrass, the music of Head for the Hills is a vibrant mixture of homegrown compositions, traditional harmonies, and an innovative approach to improvisation.  The groups’ lyrical nature and songwriting seems to evoke reminiscent feelings of inspiration. In the live setting, Head for the Hills can venture into the myriad of musical styles and sonic landscapes that caters to a boundless array of listeners.

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Who:  The Bluegrass Ball featuring The Traveling McCoury’s, Jeff Austin, Drew Emmitt and Head for the Hills

Where and March 10th & 11th at The Abbey Pub – Chicago, IL

Where: March 12th & 13th at The Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

WEB

Guitarist Mike Keneally + Drummer Marco Minnemann = Evidence of Humanity

One bright morning, world-renowned drummer Marco Minnemann (Eddie Jobson's UZ, Nina Hagen, Necrophagist, Paul Gilbert, David Torn and countless others) settled down behind the DW kit in his secluded hideaway, punched the record button, and proceeded to pound out an astounding 52-minute improvised solo. When it was finished, he christened it Normalizer 2 and offered it as a sort of gift to a handful of his favorite guitarists, hoping that they would each add their own signature madness to the mix.

Multi-instrumentalist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Dethklok, Joe Satriani and, again, countless others) was someone Marco hoped would dig the idea. In the throes of recording his intense and complex Scambot 1 album (released last year on Exowax), Mike leapt at Marco's offer-- the creation of Evidence of Humanity would be a joyous, freewheeling counterpoint to his meticulous work on Scambot. "A fun ride," Mike would recall.

Frequently, while recording his parts, Mike would respond improvisationally to a section of Marco's drum solo, recording a melodic statement on guitar, keyboard or bass, and then overdubbing orchestrational support to the original improvised part. On other sections, Mike would compose movement strenuously in unison with Marco's initial improvised outburst.

The ecstatic result is something like two of the world's foremost musicians improvising together, but not at the same time. It's a record unlike any other that Mike has recorded (but probably closest to Nonkertompf, his indefinable, mostly instrumental 1999 solo extravaganza). Evidence of Humanity seems to have a life of its own, mutating and maturing with each listen.

Accompanying the Evidence of Humanity CD is a DVD, containing a tasty reimagining of the original concept. This time, Mike and Marco got together in real time and vaulted into the ether for another 52-minute musical improvisation, a feat that was videotaped for your pleasure and entitled Elements Of A Manatee. The DVD also includes an insightful conversation between the two kindred musical spirits, shot in the back seat of a car hurtling toward the Southern California desert's dilapidated Salton Sea.