tough

Grace Woodroofe Announces New Album on Modular

Australian folk-blues chanteuse, Grace Woodroofe, has been championed by fellow artists since she was barely sixteen. LA based artist collective The Masses heard demos she had entered into an Australian radio contest, and invited her to come to the US and record. Through this invitation she ended up collaborating with Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Carlos Nino (Dublab Collective) and performer/arranger Justin Medal-Johnsen (NIN, Beck, Gnarls Barkley). After finishing her studies in Perth, Grace returned to LA and started work on Always Wantwith Ben Harper, who produced the debut album.

Always Wantis a collection of soul-stirring compositions that manage to explore darkness and discomfort and yet retain a mesmerizing tranquility. The fuzzed out guitars and thud in “Transformer” offset Grace’s gently seductive vocal. The melancholic twinkling of “Battles” underscores its story of a middle-aged waitress’ unsuccessful hunt for companionship. The heart-wrenching single “Quicksand” makes the Bowie classic soar from an understated and delicate arrangement to a spectacular climax replete with lush strings. Title track “Always Want” speaks to a not-so-unusual desire to want what feels just out of reach. The snarling garage stomper “Bear” is a tough love anthem that finds Grace on the hunt.

Grace’s live shows have been garnering raves across the globe. The LA Weekly recently declared her live show “powerful, dynamic, and striking."  She has toured with Cat Power and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and will be on tour with Ben Harper throughout the Fall.

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Catch Grace Woodroofe On Tour This Fall

9/27: Montreal, QC  @ Metropolis
9/29: Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
9/30: Boston, MA @ House of Blues
10/1: New York, NY @ Terminal 5
10/4: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10/5: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10/7: Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
*all dates with Ben Harper

DAVID OLNEY'S New Album ONE TOUGH TOWN

- for the Grateful Web

Over his four-decade career, David Olney has built a reputation not as a kind-hearted troubadour but rather as a performing songwriter possessed of a sharp literary mind that cuts to the bone of the human condition. Whether the subject matter is heartbreak or armed robbery, Olney's cinematic style and fearless approach to lyric writing have won him renown as kind of a musical outlaw. Listening to his latest CD, One Tough Town, due out on June 5 on Red Parlor, is like watching a Sergio Leone Western: It's gritty, smart and dangerous, and you can't take your eyes off the screen.
 
One Tough Town takes us on a back-roads tour of American music, and while totally entertaining, shows us a side that isn't always pretty. The dark-edged title track, for instance, is the kind of song that can only be written from first-hand experience and years on the road. But as Nietzsche's old saw reminds: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." And on One Tough Town, Olney is stronger than ever.
 
A veteran of the Nashville alternative group The X-Rays, who recorded for Rounder, appeared on "Austin City Limits" and opened for Elvis Costello in the '80s, Olney then made several acclaimed solo albums for such labels as Rounder/Philo, Dead Reckoning and Loud House Records. His songs have been covered by numerous artists, including Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury and even Chicago bluesman Lonnie Brooks.
 
One of Olney's biggest admirers was the late, great Townes Van Zandt, who said of him: "Anytime anyone asks me who my favorite music writers are, I say Mozart, Lightnin' Hopkins, Bob Dylan and David Olney. Olney is one of the best songwriters I've ever heard — and that's true. I mean that from my heart."
 
In 2005, Olney teamed with producer Jack Irwin (The Legendary Shack Shakers, Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart) and began recording at Irwin's studio with guitarist Sergio Webb. He enlisted some unconventional instrumentation (tuba, banjo, clarinet, ukulele) and proceeded to let it rip.
 
According to Olney, "I see One Tough Town as a retrospective of a hundred years of American music. Blues, country, rock, swing and all stops in between. No such vision can be complete. There's just too much to cover to achieve that goal. But it has been my life's work, and my life's pleasure, to see how close I can come."

Its tough being a Nebraska Cornhusker football fan lately.

2004 Nebraska Cornhuskers- for the Grateful Web
Nebraska vs. Western Ill.- for the Grateful Web

For the first time in 36 years, Nebraska is not going bowling this coming bowl season. Gone are the 42 years without a losing season.   The demise really first started with the pummeling Nebraska took in 2001 in Boulder, when Nebraska, ranked #1, ended up losing 62 -36, their worse loss in school history.  After that, Nebraska was beat up in the Rose Bowl...  and the bleeding just begun.  In 2002, what I sarcastically refer to the season as the 'goal post tour 2002,' because fans of every team Nebraska faced on the road tore down their goal posts in celebration of beating Nebraska.  In three short years, a program that was feared everywhere dropped to everyday status. First came the end of the 33-year run in the polls in 2002. Then the nine-win season streak fell.  The only streak we have left in consecutive sell-outs at Memorial Stadium, but if Nebraska continues to be a mediocre team, one will wonder if that will go too.. 

Mike Moran, Grateful Web & Nebraska Alumnus