busy

The Heavy Pets Hit The Road With Double Live CD

2011 Has been a busy year for the Florida based Heavy Pets. The band hits the road this summer with a double-disc live album taken from their 2010-2011 tour recorded by Charlie Miller of the Grateful Dead fame. Coupled with a full national tour on the horizon, this could be the year of the Heavy Pets – whose last studio effort was hailed one of the top 10 albums of the year by the Huffington Post in 2010.

What’s not to love about the Heavy Pets breezy approach to music? The five piece band seamlessly moves through pop, reggae, rock, rhythm, blues, hip-hop, funk and even masters the open-ended jam styling’s of jazz as if it were their native tongue. Each musician as talented as the next, the players bounce between instruments changing roles as drummer, keys, guitar, and even lead vocals as they make their way through varied arrangements in their diverse and extensive catalog . It comes as no surprise that the Huffington Post named their last self-titled album one of the top 10 of the year; it plays like a Pandora radio station offering a little bit of something for everyone.

Beginning this summer, The Heavy Pets will hit the road with a 14 live tracks called Charlie Miller’s Live Picks featuring two hand selected discs of music chosen from the best moments of their 2010-2011 Illumination tour and includes a selection of popular songs like “So Thank You Music”, “Dew Point” and “Chew”. The summer release will be available on-line for download and for purchase at select festival and theater performances while supplies last.

But it’s not just their chops that set the Heavy Pets apart from other touring outfits. The band has an uncanny ability to write quality songs on a dime. This year will see the Pets releasing a live double disc, an acoustic album and a straightforward electric album which the band has been busy recording this spring. While the expected release date for the two new studio efforts are yet to be announced, rumor has it that each album captures a different face of the band who is known best for their jaw-dropping live shows. The band will be giving away a few of their original songs for free download leading up to the release to whet the appetites of their fans.

For more information about the Heavy Pets and their busy release schedule take a peek at the bands website at www.theheavypets.com and don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list where the next series of free downloads are expected to be leaked in the coming weeks.

The Attack Cover The Kinks' "Father Christmas"

Hey Scrooges, Grinches and Heat Misers, you don't have to be so pissed off at Christmas anymore. Orlando street-punk heroes The Attack have just released their rendition of The Kinks' classic Christmas tune "Father Christmas." You won't get stockings hung with care or sugar plum faries, it's more like machine guns, unemployment, and youth mobs runamuck through this Dark Christmas Anthem.

"We've always wanted to record this song and finally had an opportunity to do it, and releasing it this year seems appropriate." recalls The Attack's guitarist Brad Palkevich. "The songs content relfects a recession stricken England years ago, not too different from economic crisis going on all over the world today."

The new single was recorded during a quick trip into the studio to record a collaboration track for MC Lars' upcoming album, with help from producer Jami Roebuck in Orlando, and mixed by Tom Petta (Bigwig) at Bivouac Studios in New Jersey.

After a busy year supporting the release of their first album Of Nostalgia and Rebellion, The Attack are playing a handful of Southeast dates to round out the year before completing their next 7" due out Spring 2011.

The Attack Live!
December 4th @ The Firestone Orlando, FL w/ The Misfits
December 21st @ The Back Booth Orlando, FL w/ Go Rydel and How Dare You
January 7th @ The Social Orlando, FL w/ H2O, Comeback Kid, Casey Jones

Conscious Alliance Plans for a Busy Spring Season

STS9 in support of Conscious Alliance- for the Grateful Web

This fall, Colorado based not-for-profit Conscious Alliance continued its mission to help feed America's hungry communities, hosting food drives at various music events this winter/spring.  Look for Conscious Alliance at the Langerado Music Festival at the Big Cypress Indian Reservation in Florida on March 6th-9th, along STS9 and EOTO Winter Tours, and at select one-off concert events including Keller Williams and The WMD'S on February 2nd at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colorado and New Monsoon (featuring Tim Carbone from Railroad Earth and EOTO with special guest Michael Kang) on February 9th at The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA.  As always, patrons can donate 10 non-perishable food items or $10.00 to receive a limited edition rock art poster.

For this trip, Conscious Alliance will host their second Student Service Learning Project.  The program offers exciting alternative service-learning experiences for college students during their fall/spring breaks.  The Student Service Learning Project synthesizes service learning by combining education and hands-on service.  Participating students learn about hunger related issues, as well as Lakota culture, by providing compassionate cross-cultural community service on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  While on the reservation, students lodge with community leaders Floyd and Natalie Hand, as they sort and distribute food to community members in need, aid with home repairs for Lakota families, participate in educational sessions with Lakota elders, and communicate with Pine Ridge college students and peers about current cultural, social, economic, and environmental issues.  This spring, March 23rd - 29th, Conscious Alliance will organize a group of students from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Conscious Alliance started off the 2008 by partnering with Jam Cruise to host a school supplies drive to benefit children living in Roatan, Honduras, one of the stops along Jam Cruise 6.  Conscious Alliance, Jam Cruise, Pangea Organics, The Children's Fund of Roatan and Zero Hero teamed up to deliver dozens of backpacks and boxes of school supplies, which were collected from passengers when the ship docked at port.  Additionally, Pangea Organics donated 1000's of bars of organic soap that were divided between a school, orphanage and clinic on the island.  The Children's Fund of Roatan shared their history to a group of 40 Jam Cruise volunteers, and children at the orphanage received an acoustic performance by Jam Cruise musicians including Jon Fishman, Jamie Janover, Jeff Coffin, Dave Watts and Dan Lebowitz.

For Conscious Alliance, the 2008 winter/spring season comes on the heels of a hugely successful 4th annual Turkey n' Trimmings holiday fundraiser.  As a result of a generous outpouring of donations, Conscious Alliance was able to deliver nearly 2,000 holiday dinners- three times the amount delivered in 2006!  Deliveries were made to communities on Pine Ridge, Northern Cheyenne, Rosebud, Standing Rock, and Fort Peck Indian Reservations.  In addition, the 4th annual Toy Drive received a huge boost this year thanks to a donation from JAKKS Pacific.  The contribution landed the total number of toys donated at nearly 10,000, resulting in distribution to dozens of communities on Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Northern Cheyenne and Fort Peck Indian Reservations.  Instead of wrapping paper, toys were given out in pillowcases sewn by quilting groups across the Midwest, thus eliminating excess waste.

Doyle Lawson Gears Up for Busy Touring Season

Doyle Lawson- for the Grateful Web

Some men celebrate their 63rd birthday by starting a countdown to retirement, but for bluegrass legend - and road warrior - Doyle Lawson, April 20th was a milepost on the way to one of his busiest and most successful seasons yet.

Fresh off taping an episode of GAC's Edge Of Country with Kylie Harris (air dates June 23rd & June 25th) that focuses on his newest release, More Behind the Picture than the Wall (Rounder), Lawson paused to break some big news before heading back on the road.

"I'm happy to announce that the new member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver will be Ron Spears," he said.  "Ron will be playing bass and handling lead and harmony vocals.  Ron is a longtime student and fan of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and he understands the style - when we got together, the vocal blend with the trio and quartet was extremely pleasing to my ear.  I'm looking forward to his vocal input as well as having another songwriter in the band."  Spears, who penned "Ocean Of Teardrops" on Lawson's latest release, will start his new duties with Quicksilver on a yet-to-be-determined date.

In the meantime, the veteran bandleader is gearing up for a dizzying round of coast-to-coast performances and honors including stops at California's gigantic Stage Coach country music festival (5/6); Lawson's own bluegrass festival in Denton, NC (5/10-13) and Brooklyn, NY's Southpaw for a Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts performance on June 1st.  Tucked into the busy itinerary is a May 5th stop at Bristol, TN's King College, where Lawson will deliver this year's commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Offsetting the rigors of road life is More Behind The Picture Than The Wall, which is bidding to take its place among Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver's most successful releases.  The disc debuted at #2 on Billboard's Bluegrass Album chart week of release (March 27), with first week scans up more than 30% from the group's previous album.  Critics are raving about its "timeless message" (Barnes & Noble) and the quintet's "expert harmonizers" (L.A. Daily News).  "Quicksilver hears as clearly as ever the sound of traditions reborn," says No Depression of More Behind The Picture Than The Wall, and when they catch Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver in concert, this summer's fans will hear it, too.

2007 UPCOMING TOUR DATES 

5/12    Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival   Denton, NC

5/13    Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival   Denton, NC

5/18    Bloomin' BBQ & Bluegrass    Sevierville, TN

5/19    Community Theatre    McKee, KY

5/25    Twitchell Auditorium    Spartanburg, SC

5/26    Zellwood Corn Festival    Zellwood, FL

6/01    Southpaw    Brooklyn, NY

6/02    Graves Mountain Festival of Music    Syria, VA

6/03    Ram's Head On Stage    Annapolis, MD

6/08    McDukin Civic Center    Cullman, AL

6/09    GA Mountain Fair    Hiawassee, GA

6/16    NC State Bluegrass Festival    Cherokee, NC

6/20    Chatuaqua Festival    Wytheville, VA

6/21    River of Music    Owensboro, KY

6/22    Music in the Mountains    Summersville, WV

6/23    Renfro Valley Entertainment Center    Renfro Valley, KY

7/06    Starvy Creek Bluegrass Festival    Conway, MO

7/07    Shadow Valley Gospel Music Fest     Fayetteville, TN

7/12    Ryman Auditorium    Nashville, TN

7/13    N Georgia Bluegrass Festival    Cleveland, GA

7/14    Watermelon Park     Berryville, VA

7/19    Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival    Ancramdale, NY

7/21    Walton Park     Mineral, VA

7/25    MACC Festival    Columbus, OH

7/26    Porter Center for Performing Arts   Brevard, NC

7/28    Rocky Grass Festival    Lyons, CO

7/29    Rocky Grass Festival    Lyons, CA

8/04    Podunk Bluegrass Festival    East Hartford, CT

8/10    Stonehedge Bluegrass Festival    Gray, ME

8/11    Windmill Bay Farms    Alburg, VT

8/17    Cherokee Bluegrass Festival    Cherokee, NC

8/24    Grand Ole Gospel Theatre    Chocowinity, NC

8/25    Andy Griffith Playhouse    Mt. Airy, NC

Perception is Everything: Look Busy

Perception is Everything- for the Grateful Web

Perception:

When I was in 4th grade, we were required to turn in 1 math assignment per day for homework and one for "in-class" work. My mom wanted me to finish the book and go to the next one, so over a break she made me do 30+ assignments. When school started back, I thought to myself:  "why turn this all in at once when I can goof off for at least 2 weeks?"

Two weeks later, my mom caught on to my scam. The teacher, no doubt embarrassed about being outwitted by her student, told me "I would never get away with this malarkey in real life."  I was rather disappointed that I couldn't get away with this behavior. I did the work. How could I be in trouble? It wasn't until years later that I began to understand.

When I turned 16, I decided to get a job at a restaurant. I remember a young bartender telling me the secret to the working world: "Pick something up and look busy. It doesn't matter what you are doing, just look busy."  Eight years later, I realize what a golden nugget of advice this really is.

Anyone who works in tech-support can tell you about the "Microsoft fix."  The person you are helping thinks you are a miracle worker, when in reality you didn't do that much. To that person, you are a hero, because you solved their problem. Its all about perception.

I'm often reminded of that teacher's lecture. How wrong she was. Life is all about perception. Its not what you can do, or how you do it. Its all about how people perceive you. In the end, it doesn't matter how you got the job done, it matters if you got it done.

Image Credit: Brian Forsse

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