bluegrass

19th Annual Microbreweries For The Environment

KGNU and the Boulder Weekly proudly present the 19th annual Microbreweries for the Environment benefit on Friday, April 22 at The Boulder Theater.

Since 1993, the Microbreweries for the Environment benefit has raised over $120,000 for local environmental causes. The proceeds from this year's benefit will further the environmental efforts of four local non-profit organizations: CU Environmental Center, Flatirons Neighborhood Farm, The GrowHaus, and Sprout City Farms.

Nineteen Colorado microbreweries serve their best beers for only $2 each. Participating breweries include: Asher Brewing Co., Aspen Brewing Company, Avery Brewing, Boulder Beer Company, Breckenridge Brewery, Bristol Brewing Company, Crabtree Brewery, Dillon Dam Brewery, Great Divide Brewing Company, Fort Collins Brewery, Left Hand Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company, New Planet Beer, Odell Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery, Pumphouse Brewery, Ska Brewing Company, Twisted Pine Brewing, Upslope Brewing Company.

The evening's entertainment features music by P.K.B. followed by two sets from Head for the Hills. These local bands’ innovative sounds are sure to harmonize well with Colorado's finest brews.

P.K.B. is Pete Kartsounes on guitar, Kevin Malone on bass, Ryan Sapp on drums, and Greg Schochet on guitar and mandolin, and Bill McKay on keys. P.K.B. combines electric and funk sounds with slamgrass undercurrents. Armed with an acoustic guitar, blazing skill, powerful voice, and relentless heart, Pete inspires and entertains on a quest to make a difference in people’s lives. P.K.B. will stretch boundaries and bend genres to create tasteful blends of original melodies and lyrics, captivate audiences and foster good times.

Head for the Hills, the acclaimed Colorado Bluegrass quartet, has been receiving nation-wide recognition in response to their refreshing take on acoustic music. Rooted in the tradition of bluegrass but described perhaps more accurately as progressive acoustic/modern roots, H4TH produces a vibrant mixture of homegrown compositions, traditional harmonies, and improvisation. In the live setting, H4TH effortlessly ventures into a myriad of musical styles and sonic landscapes that appeal to a boundless array of listeners.

The benefit is a zero-waste and carbon-neutral event. We encourage people to walk, bike, or bus to the event. Doors open and beer tasting starts at 8:00pm, and music will run to 1:00am. Admission costs $20 ($22 day of show) and includes a commemorative pint glass. Tickets are available at the Boulder Theater Box Office (303-786-7030 or www.bouldertheater.com). This event traditionally sells out in advance.

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More Info / Buy Tickets

Del McCoury and Preservation Hall Release Joint Album Today!

Fans who have been streaming American Legacies, the unprecedented collaboration between bluegrass music’s legendary Del McCoury Band and New Orleans music giants, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, can finally snag a copy of the album for themselves today, April 12th, as the set is released in multiple configurations designed to appeal to casual listeners and dedicated followers alike.  The musical partners are also celebrating the event with the release of a new video that gives a sneak peek at the cross-genre blend on both a musical and personal level, with comments from Del McCoury, the PHJB’s Ben Jaffe and more, available at http://www.mccourymusic.com/americanlegacies.cfm, where the curious can still stream the project in its entirety as well as order it directly from the source.

The set—and the joint tour organized to bring its music to venues around the country—have already gotten plenty of attention for its remarkable blend of traditions. The twin legacies of bluegrass and jazz are combined in ways that underline their points of contact while preserving their distinctive characteristics, as horns blend with string band instruments to produce something at once refreshingly new and yet profoundly familiar, from the opening, tradition-based “The Band’s In Town” through the closing “One More ‘Fore I Die.”  And whether they’re tackling a decades-old standard or a new composition, the two groups bring fierce musicianship, deep respect and a rollicking good humor to the musical table in a way that makes the joy of the encounter unmistakable.

Known as one of the premiere ambassadors of bluegrass, the Del McCoury Band is fronted by veteran Del McCoury, who apprenticed in the honkytonks of Baltimore and with Bill Monroe before starting his own band more than 40 years ago.  A hero to east coast bluegrass audiences through the 1970s and 1980s, he stepped onto the national stage with a move to Nashville in the early 1990s that started the Del McCoury Band on an unprecedented streak of International Bluegrass Music Association awards and international acclaim.  Today, McCoury, along with a band that includes his sons Ron and Rob, are admired by hard-core bluegrass traditionalists and eclectic music fans and stars alike as they make appearances everywhere from the Bonnaroo Music Festival to late night network TV shows to their own popular Delfest.  For millions of fans across the US and around the world, the Del McCoury Band is simply the face of bluegrass.

Founded just a few years before McCoury joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been carrying the distinctive sound of New Orleans jazz around the world on behalf of Preservation Hall, a unique venue that embodies the city’s musical legacy.  With a cast of musicians schooled through first-hand experience and apprenticeship into the music’s historic traditions, the PHJB has served as an irreplaceable, vital link to the earliest days of one of America’s most beloved forms of popular music, evoking the spirits of times past in an ever-evolving modern context that has found them traveling around the world.

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Del McCoury/Preservation Hall Tour Dates:

April 13 - St. Charles, MO @ Family Arena
April 14 - Lawrence, KS @ University of Kansas- Leid Center
April 15 - Appleton, WI @ Fox Cities PAC
April 16 - Naperville, IL @ Pfeiffer Hall
April 17 - Fayetteville, AR @ Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center
April 19 - Wilmington, NC @ The Sarah Graham Kenan Memorial
May 12 - Los Angeles, CA @ UCLA- Royce Hall
May 27 - DelFest, Cumberland, MD
June 10 - Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
July 7 - Winnipeg Folk Fest
August 6 - Edmonton Folk Fest

Jim Lauderdale to Release Reason & Rhyme

Can there be too much of a good thing?  If the question’s about collaboration between American roots music hero Jim Lauderdale and legendary lyricist Robert Hunter, the answer’s an emphatic “no!”  Marking the former’s debut on the respected Sugar Hill records label, Reason And Rhyme makes a compelling case for the continued vitality of the Lauderdale—Hunter partnership—and for Lauderdale’s unique and deeply satisfying approach to bluegrass.

“This one’s back to total bluegrass,” Lauderdale says of the collaborative follow-up to 2010’s electric Patchwork River, and so it’s no surprise that it features many of the musicians involved in previous bluegrass efforts like Could We Get Any Closer (2009) and 2007’s Grammy-winning The Bluegrass Diaries.  The close-knit crew, headed up by producer and resonator guitarist Randy Kohrs, is perfectly in tune with Lauderdale’s ‘grass-with-a-twist' sensibilities, and whether it’s a return buddy like bassist Jay Weaver or new colleague Mike Compton (mandolin), each player delivers mightily with the genre’s characteristic virtuosity and emotional fire.

“We started on this one last August,” Lauderdale notes, “right after I finished touring with Elvis Costello.  Robert and I have worked just about every way you can think of—writing in the same room, adding lyrics to music and music to lyrics—but whichever way we go, he’s the lyrics guy and I’m the music guy.  This time around, we wanted to keep the momentum from Patchwork River going; I started sending him melodies, and ten days later we had 18 songs to choose from.”
The collaboration began over a decade ago, when Lauderdale was preparing for his first joint project with bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley, and quickly bore fruit, with more than 30 songs written before the first all-collaborative album, Headed For The Hills (2004).  “I’m not surprised, but I’m always blown away how creative he is lyrically,” says the singer/songwriter, who’s busy enough that finding time to record has always been among his greatest challenges.
With 11 fresh takes on the bluegrass sound that he’s loved since he was a teenager, this latest effort presents Jim Lauderdale at his most relaxed and rooted—and with the help of one of American music’s greatest lyricists, it’s a set that offers not only deep musicality, but deep meaning and vision.  Reason And Rhyme—it’s just the right name for just the right music.

Sid Griffin & the Coal Porters come to Western USA

Musician/writer/author/broadcaster Sid Griffin rose to fame in Los Angeles as leader of Island recording artists the Long Ryders, one of the first bands of the alt-rock era to incorporate the influences of Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Byrds. Yet in recent years, he’s made his home in London, where he leads the Coal Porters. The band has played only a limited number of American shows since their formation in the 90s.

This spring, the Coal Porters will return to the scene of the crime — Los Angeles and the West Coast — where they will play three shows in the L.A. area, one in San Francisco and a coveted spot at the Stagecoach festival on Sunday, May 1.

When the Ryders ended, native Kentuckian Griffin formed the Coal Porters, which initially had a fluid lineup, and relocated from L.A. to London, where he hooked up with Scottish stand-up comedian Neil Robert Herd (sound engineer on Wasp, Best Live Action Short Film winner at the 2004 Academy Awards). The duo started out playing electric, but quickly tired of hauling around amps and drums. As a result of a dare, the Coal Porters decided to play acoustic bluegrass versions of their material at a charity concert in London. The crowd reaction affirmed that the band had found its true calling and said goodbye to electric instrumentation forever.  En route from then to now they picked up Canadian fiddle virtuoso Carly Frey and London’s noted local attorney and doghouse bassist Andrew Stafford. In 2010 they were blessed to secure the services of one of Britain’s best young banjo players, John Breese. With this impressive lineup, the Coal Porters were ready to take on the world.

With a published author, a professional comedian and a barrister in their ranks they are the only band who can sue themselves over copyright and joke about it.

In April 2009, after traveling halfway across the globe, the Coal Porters arrived outside of Durango, Colorado, played two killer shows at the famous MeltDown Festival (Colorado’s answer to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco), and laid down the tracks to their first album in two years. Durango was recorded in two weeks in the Colorado mountains at the Kozy Tone Studio of legendary producer Ed Stasium (Ramones, Mick Jagger, Phil Spector, Smithereens, Belinda Carlisle, Jeff Healey Band, and the Long Ryders).∂ƒƒ The entire album was cut Basement Tapes style, with the same authenticity of Dylan and The Band. Everyone crowded in one room. Overdubs were few and laughter frequent.

Durango was released in January 2010. It faithfully represents the Coal Porters’ hot live act, and creates new moods of its own. This highly anticipated follow-up to 2007’s Turn the Water On, Boy! is a clear country-mile step forward, evoking the sounds of a bluegrass Clash, or a Bill Monroe for the 21st century.

David Fricke wrote in Rolling Stone, “The Coal Porters [have] been going for nearly two decades . . . and [have] evolved from a deeper mining of the country in the Ryders’ acid-tinted drive to a pure acoustic bluegrass written and played with natural — in Griffin’s case, native — flair on Durango.”

Fricke appeared with Griffin in a one-on-one interview panel at the Americana Music Festival & Conference, held in Nashville in September 2010.

Awarding Durango four stars in March 2010, MOJO magazine said: “The audio equivalent of a feel-good movie . . . recorded all in one room, with everyone as much intent on capturing the vibes as much as the undoubted quality of the music . . . gorgeous.”

Blurt noted, “Seven albums on, the Coal Porters have a reputation they can bank on. And with Durango this durable bunch has successfully added even more fuel to their fire.”

The Coal Porters are five musicians from four different parts of the planet who came together as an incredibly powerful fusion of talent, the world’s first “alt-bluegrass” act.

“For all the satisfaction of success in Europe and becoming the UK’s leading ‘alt-bluegrass’ ensemble,” says Griffin, “there is nothing to compare to the Coal Porters heading for my musical home in California. My days in Los Angeles with the Long Ryders were so wonderful and I was so blessed with so many friends that it is high time I took the band to the left coast to show ’em all what we can do. I am extremely proud of my time in the Golden State and extremely proud of the music my Coal Porters are making right now so to put the two together is gonna be a true, true week to remember.”

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The Spring 2010 West Coast Tour

Fri., April 29  SAN FRANCISCO, CA Hotel Crescent/Burrit Room Lounge
Sun., May 1  INDIO, CA Stagecoach Festival (3 p.m. stage time)
Mon., May 2  LOS ANGELES/CULVER CITY, CA The Cinema Bar
Tues., May 3  LOS ANGELES/ALTADENA, CA The Coffee Gallery
Wed., May 4  LOS ANGELES/ECHO PARK, CA Taix, 321 Lounge

Rex Foundation releases The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia

On Tuesday March 29, 2011 the Rex Foundation will release 12 tracks from The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia. Recorded at The Fillmore in San Francisco, this special live album features some of Garcia’s oldest cohorts playing some of his most well-known songs.

Hosted by the Rex Foundation at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium on December 4, 2010, the benefit concert entitled “The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia” was a historic night. Among the evening’s unique music experiences was the bringing together of Jesse McReynolds, Peter Rowan and David Nelson.

McReynolds, Rowan, and Nelson each shared a deep connection with Garcia dating back to the early 1960s. In 1962, when Jerry Garcia began playing the banjo and exploring bluegrass music, he formed a band called the Hart Valley Drifters with David Nelson on guitar. In 1964, as part of his bluegrass pilgrimage through the American South, Jerry sought out the even-then legendary bluegrass musicians “Jim and Jesse” (McReynolds). Garcia held Jesse’s mandolin playing and music in high esteem for many more years to come. In 1969, as the Grateful Dead released Aoxomoxoa, Jerry was also collaborating with other musical friends. He reconnected with David Nelson and John “Marmaduke” Dawson to form New Riders of the Purple Sage. He formed another bluegrass band, Old and in the Way, with David Grisman, John Kahn, Peter Rowan and Vassar Clements. Coming full circle, in October 2010, McReynolds released Songs of the Grateful DeadA Tribute to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, collaborating with none other than David Nelson.

At the December 4th benefit event, the featured artists, along with members of their respective bands, which included Garrett McReynolds, Steve Thomas, Jody Stecher, Keith Little, Paul Knight, Barry Sless, Robin Sylvester, John Molo, Mookie Siegel, and special guest Matt Butler of The Everyone Orchestra, had the exceptional opportunity to play Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter and traditional American roots songs together.

Following the show many people noted that this remarkable music should be made available to those who could not attend, as well as to extend the reach of the benefit to provide additional charitable support to the Rex Foundation. On Tuesday March 29, 2011 this will be the case with downloads and CDs available from nugs.net for all to enjoy. As a special bonus, nugs.net is offering a free album listening party during the week of the release exclusively at nugs.net/wheel.

The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia Track List is as follows:

1. Black Muddy River
2. Ripple
3. Deep Elem Blues
4. Peggy-0
5. Friend of the Devil
6. Alabama Getaway
7. Standing on the Moon
8. Franklin’s Tower
9. Casey Jones
10. Dark Hollow
11. The Wheel
12. Cumberland Blues

The compilation will be available beginning March 29, 2011 in the following formats:
·MP3, FLAC, and Apple Lossless downloads at nugs.net/wheel
·iTunes download
·CD only available at nugs.net/wheel

About Rex Foundation:
Furthering what Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead started 27 years ago, the Rex Foundation endeavors to fund grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities, and educating children and adults. The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 programs across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out fundraising initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections. Visit www.rexfoundation.org for a complete list of grantees and information about current initiatives.

Yonder Mountain String Band @ House of Blues

Coming up in March and April, Colorado-based Yonder Mountain String Band will tour in support of their latest album, The Show.

It's not often you hear of a neo-bluegrass band breaking into the national spotlight with a performance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, tour dates with Dave Matthews, and selling out 9,000 seat venues (i.e., Red Rocks Amphitheater). Yonder Mountain String Band is clearly the exception to the rule, having performed in front of more than 250,000 fans over just the past year. In 2008, the band was even honored with the distinction of opening up for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention (Denver, CO), which brought the group in front of 75,000 people at INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium. Now in their 12th year as a group, Yonder continues to sell-out top music venues across the country including The Fillmore (San Francisco, CA), Red Rocks Amphitheater (Denver, CO), Pepsi Center (Denver, CO), Best Buy Theater (NYC), Stubb's (Austin, TX), House of Blues (Chicago, IL) and others.

Yonder Mountain String Band is comprised of Adam Aijala (guitar, vocals), Jeff Austin (mandolin, vocals), Dave Johnston (banjo, vocals) and Ben Kaufmann (bass, vocals). With the band having one of the strongest touring bases in the industry, fans and critics alike have been drawn to both their live shows and singular studio albums. Reporting from the All Good Music Festival (2009), journalist Jarrett Vellini from CNN Showbiz Tonight notes, "The trophy for best musical set goes to Yonder Mountain String Band who, as the sun began to set, left it all on the stage for an hour and a half. The pickers from Colorado had the audience dancing and shaking, kicking up a joyful storm of dust into the cool summer sky."

Commenting on their recent studio recording The Show, Rolling Stone critic Will Hermes says, "The concept is great: liberate bluegrass' hot-shit riffing and blue-sky harmonies from its hidebound formalism and see where it flies. This Boulder, CO crew brings dazzling chops to the table." Produced by rock producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, Foo Fighters), The Show marks Yonder's second go around with Rothrock and their fifth studio album released on their independent label, Frog Pad Records. Featuring the band backed by Elvis Costello's sideman Pete Thomas on drums on six tracks, The Show includes 14 original compositions written by various band members.

Yonder has always played music by its own design. Bending bluegrass, rock and countless other influences, they've come to pioneer a sound that they alone could only champion. With a traditional lineup of instruments, they may appear to be a traditional bluegrass band at first glance but they've taken the customary old-timey instrumentation (sans the fiddle) to new heights, transcending any single genre. Yonder has become a regular performer at major music festivals like the iconic Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Northwest String Summit and DelFest as well as massive multi-stage events like Austin City Limits Festival, Bonnaroo and Rothbury.

For more information on Yonder Mountain String Band, please visit www.yondermountain.com.

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Yonder Mountain String Band
Friday, April 1, 2011
House of Blues |  White Swan Building | 2200 N. Lamar St. Dallas, TX 75202
Doors: 7:30pm Show: 8:30pm All Ages
Tickets: $15/$20 adv, $25 dos
Ticket Info: 214-978-2583, www.houseofblues.com

Steep Canyon Rangers Join Steve Martin on New Album

The Steep Canyon Rangers (SCR), have joined iconic comedian, Steve Martin on his sophomore album entitled Rare Bird Alert to be released TODAY, March 15, 2011. Bringing bluegrass music to new audiences, SCR continue their meteoric rise as passionate ambassadors for the bluegrass music they love. With Martin, SCR played for more people than any other bluegrass band in 2010.  This year will be even bigger, as the group prepares a nationwide tour with Martin to support their collaborative project.  The Rare Bird Tour will kick off in New York City with three sold-out performances at the famed Joe’s Pub March 15-17 as well as a return appearances to the Late Show with David Letterman on March 16 and The View on March 17.

When Martin, an accomplished banjo player and songwriter, handpicked SCR to tour and record with him last year, they jumped at the chance.  “Serendipity has made a better match than any bluegrass computer dating service,” jokes Martin. With Rare Bird Alert, Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers have created an album filled with the traditional bluegrass sound, bursting at the seams with banjo, fiddle and lyrics that are both fun and reflective.

The title track “Rare Bird Alert” perfectly scores the lonely ache and melancholy of bird watching. Paul McCartney guests on “Best Love” a foot-stomper about love and the little things.  On “Go Away, Stop, Turn Around, Come Back” SCR’s lead singer, Woody Platt, tells the story of love, breakup and reunion while “Jubilation Day” bounces with the delight and renewed vigor that can come from a breakup. The Dixie Chicks lend their considerable talent to “You” the saddest un-sad song about a past love with no regret. The closing tracks on the record showcase Martin’s comedy roots.  On “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs” Martin and SCR create a gospel song for those without one while “King Tut” allows Steep Canyon Rangers to put their bluegrass-spin on an old Martin favorite.

After a year jam-packed with tour dates, including Carnegie Hall, and headlining festivals such as Bonnaroo, Merlefest, New Orleans Jazzfest, Newport Folk Festival, Martin helped SCR introduce bluegrass to millions of who may have been hearing it for the first time and SCR show no sign of stopping. For more information, please visit www.steepcanyon.com.

Del McCoury and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band Celebrate Mardi Gras

In honor of Mardi Gras this week, Bluegrass Legend Del McCoury and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band have shared the song “One More ‘Fore I Die” off their upcoming collaborative album, American Legacies (out April 12th).  Click HERE to stream/download the track, which premiered at NPR yesterday.  The two also filled the historic Preservation Hall yesterday for a special performance on Lundi Gras Day. Today they will team up again for the Preservation Hall Parade that occurs annually on Mardi Gras.  The parade will gather on the corner of Dauphine and Frenchmen Streets and will commence at 2:00pm.  The parade route will conclude at Preservation Hall.

Del and the PHJB will also celebrate the advance release of a special Mardi Gras themed vinyl edition of American Legacies. Manufactured exclusively for Record Store Day (April 16) 2011, this special edition vinyl is green on one side and gold on the other, featuring a purple label.  Limited to 1000 copies, a small number have been made available for sale exclusively at Preservation Hall during this very special event.

About American Legacies:

American music fans have an unprecedented opportunity to hear two masterful groups explore the common ground where bluegrass and jazz meet when the Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band release their collaborative American Legacies project on April 12th via McCoury Music and Preservation Hall Recordings.  Inspired by the success of the Del McCoury’s participation on 2010’s PRESERVATION, a PHJB project made with multiple artists to benefit New Orleans’ unique Preservation Hall venue and its Music Outreach Program, the set offers a dozen songs filled with deep respect and joyful virtuosity.  Complementing the release, the two groups have announced a joint tour that will feature them performing on their own and together in a groundbreaking concert experience.

American Legaciesis a no-holds-barred tour of songs and sounds that sum up the simultaneous (and often intersecting) histories of two distinctively American musical forms—the jazz that has drawn music lovers from around the world to New Orleans for more than a century, and the “hillbilly jazz” of bluegrass, created more than 60 years ago by Del McCoury’s one-time employer, Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys.

Available Everywhere on April 12, 2011

Del/PHJB Tour Dates:

March 19 - Boston, MA
March 27 - Columbus, GA
April 9 - Tucson, AZ
April 13 - St. Charles, MO
April 14 - Lawrence, KS
April 15 - Appleton, WI
April 16 - Napierville, IL
April 17 - Fayetteville, AR
April 19 - Wilmington, NC
May 12 - Los Angeles, CA
May 27 - DelFest, Cumberland, MD
June 10 - Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
July 7 - Winnipeg Folk Fest
August 6 - Edmonton Folk Fest

Brian Setzer Gives Bluegrass a Rockabilly Spin

With its forays into bluegrass and traditional jazz, Brian Setzer's new album 'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!' (out April 19 on Surfdog Records) has the guitar legend testing new waters and putting his signature Stray Cat stamp on a few instrumental favorites. Setzer didn't set out to create an all-instrumental affair but couldn't resist temptation when the music started heading in that direction.

"I didn’t start writing an instrumental record, per se," says Setzer. "I wrote 7 songs with lyrics, and then all of a sudden I just took a turn and started fooling around with 'Blue Moon of Kentucky,' except without any vocals. I started playing melody chords and thought, 'Wow, this is pretty cool!'  So the direction turned about halfway through my writing. I had never done an instrumental record, but I thought, well, now’s the time."

Setzer wrote six originals and revitalizes five jazz-bluegrass classics – “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” "Earl's Breakdown," "Cherokee," "Be-Bop-A-Lula," and "Lonesome Road." Recording each gave Setzer the chance to revisit old techniques and try new tricks, such as playing banjo on the Earl Scruggs' classic “Earl’s Breakdown,” or substituting jazz chords into traditional bluegrass on the Bluegrass Boys’ “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”

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'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!' Tracklist

(all songs written by Brian Setzer, unless otherwise noted)

1. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" (written by Bill Monroe)

2. "Cherokee" (written by Ray Noble)

3. "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (written by Tex Davis and Gene Vincent)

4. "Earl's Breakdown" (written by Earl Scruggs)

5. "Far Noir East"

6. "Intermission"

7. "Go-Go Godzilla"

8. "Lonesome Road" (written by Gene Austin, Nathaniel Shilkret)

9. "Hillbilly Jazz Meltdown"

10. "Hot Love"

11. "Pickpocket"

March 2011 Bluegrass Ball News!

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!

Just added to the already impressive Chicago and St. Louis Bluegrass Ball lineup is Allie Kral fiddler extraordinaire from Cornmeal.  Allie will join already confirmed Travelin McCourys, Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band), Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon and Emmitt-Nershi), and Colorado Heavy hitters Head for the Hills.  This lineup will begin Chicago for a 2 night run at the Abbey Pub on March 10th & 11th and in St. Louis for a 2 night run on March 12th & 13th.

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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

Allie Kral

Allie Kral is quickly becoming a fiddling force to be reckoned with in the jamgrass scene.  Her years with Cornmeal have made her a road warrior spending over 3/4 of the year on the road on the Cornmeal bus.  Allie has shared the stage with just about any band you can think of from festival stages to the jammy stages she is in high demand amonst artists such as Moe, Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, and Keller Williams just to name a few.  Playing with speed and precision Kral's playing appears effortless and wows crowds time and again.

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.