music

Dreyfus Jazz Presents European Modernists

Jazz, once a singularly American invention and one of the United States’ greatest exports, has become a truly international phenomenon, with important players from all over the world making valuable contributions to the music’s evolution.  Europe, previously home to many of the most devoted connoisseurs of the art form, is now also the producer of some of the most innovative voices in jazz. With the inauguration of its European Modernists series Dreyfus Jazz is proud to bring U.S. audiences some of the best creative music being made on the continent today.  The first releases in the collection showcase musicians from Belgium, France and Italy, spotlighting two long respected veterans and a pair of important younger voices.  Taken together, Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine, French pianist Jean-Michel Pilc and Italians, drummer Aldo Romano and saxophonist Rosario Giuliani, these artists represent the continuing trend of noteworthy original music emanating from European environs.

Born in Belluno, Italy on Jan 16, 1941, Aldo Romano is the most senior of the four leaders, well known to audiences worldwide since his earliest recordings as a member of Don Cherry’s internationalist quintet featuring Argentinean saxophonist Gato Barbieri, German vibraphonist Karl Berger and French bassist Jean Francois Jenny Clark.  A resident of France since a young age, he’s played swinging drums with visiting American giants like Jackie McLean, Bud Powell, Lucky Thompson, J.J. Johnson, Johnny Griffin and Woody Shaw and avant garde explorations with Steve Lacy, Charlie Mariano, Frank Wright, Bobby Few and Bill Dixon through the years, giving his far reaching music a distinctively freewheeling flavor. His associations with fellow Europeans Michel Petrucciani, Rolf and Joachim Kühn, Enrico Rava and Michel Portal make him a particularly representative artist for this series.

Origine, Romano’s fourth effort for Dreyfus, finds the versatile artist returning to a romantic setting similar to that of his debut effort for the label, Chante, leading an expanded ensemble that displays his considerable capabilities as a composer.  Augmenting his jazz sextet featuring saxophonist/flutist Lionel Belmondo (who arranged all of the disc’s thirteen compositions) and trumpeter/flugelhornist Stéphane Belmondo (the date’s primary soloist), altoist Géraldine Laurent, pianist Eric Legnini and bassist Thomas Bramerie with a classical wind ensemble of clarinet, flute, English horn, bassoon, French horn and tuba, plus percussionist Xavier Desandre-Navarre.  The music is lush and beautiful, a decidedly successful melding of American and European sensibilities reflecting Romano’s wide ranging talents, which also include (like one of his influences, Bill Higgins) playing guitar and singing, the latter of which is heard to great effect on the final track, his “Jazz Messengers” with French lyrics by Yves Simon.

Guitarist Philip Catherine, born in London in 1942 to a Belgian father and British mother, was raised in Brussels’s where he began playing professionally while still a teenager.  Dubbed the "young Django" while still a youth, by the great Charles Mingus (on whose Three or Four Shades of Blues the guitarist recorded), Catherine came into his own voice playing in variety of settings, from bebop to fusion, including work with American expatriates Dexter Gordon and Chet Baker and European violin maestros Jean Luc Ponty and Stephane Grappelli. Since gaining recognition with American audiences for his two guitar work Larry Coryell, he has gone on to become one of the most highly respected artists on his instrument in both the U.S. and Europe.

Catherine, who has recorded over twenty albums under his own name since his 1974 Warner Brothers debut Stream (produced by the legendary French guitarist-vocalist Sacha Distel, who worked with Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and John Lewis) and dozens more as a valued sideman, makes his sixth appearance as a leader on Dreyfus with Concert In Capbreton.  The live recording, featuring the guitarist’s working band with his longtime collaborator, Dutch bassist Hein Van De Geyn, Italian piano maestro Enrico Pieranunzi and former Bill Evans drummer Joe La Barbera, is a swinging affair documenting the group’s 2009 appearance in the charming seaside resort town in southwestern France.  The group stretches out on four standards from the Great American Songbook – “My Funny Valentine”, “My Foolish Heart”, “You’ve Changed” and “Speak Low”, along with two modern jazz classics, Sam Rivers’ “Beatrice” and Richie Beirach’s “Broken Wings” and a beautiful Van de Geyn solo bass piece “Change.”

Since moving to New York in 1995, virtuoso pianist/composer Jean-Michel Pilc has steadily earned a reputation one the city’s finest musical imports, working and recording regularly in many of the most important venues in the jazz capital of the world, including Sweet Basil, Small’s, Iridium and the Jazz Gallery, both as a leader and with the likes of Roy Haynes, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett and Richard Bona.  Born in Paris in 1960, where he taught himself piano, Pilc truly came into his own after moving to the United States and forming his longstanding trio featuring fellow Frenchman, bassist François Moutin (with whom he recorded his debut album, Funambule, in Paris in 1989) and the flexible Philadelphian drummer, Ari Hoenig.  An innovator with a deeply personal style of his own, Pilc has been called “musical genius’” by the Washington Post, while the New York Time’s Ben Ratliff astutely described him as “a splashy stunner who also has a Rubik's-cube mind for chord substitutions."

True Story, Pilc’s sixth album as a leader for Dreyfus since he began recording for the label back in 2001 with his Welcome Home, introduces the pianist’s remarkable new trio featuring veteran drummer Billy Hart and the great Russian born Mingus Dynasty bassist Boris Kozlov.  The program, predominantly composed by the leader himself, including the five part title track suite, continues on the idiosyncratic path blazed on his previous dates, with music that is both dazzling and unpredictable.  In addition to his other compositions, which include the classically tinged tribute “Mornings With Franz”, he also performs an original arrangement of Schubert’s “Relic” and typically unconventional interpretations of Cole Porter’s “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” and Tom Jones’ pop hit “Try To Remember”, with the former reimagined as a tango and latter serving as an Evanescent impressionistic journey.

Perhaps the least known artist presented in the European Modernist series, Rosario Giuliani is nonetheless an important new voice on the international music scene.  Born in Terracina, Italy in the saxophonist achieved deserved recognition when voted the best new talent in the 2000 critics poll Top Jazz conducted by Musica Jazz magazine. Since then he has gone on to garner attention for his work with artists like Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Cedar Walton, Marc Johnson, Charlie Haden, Phil Woods, Mark Turner and Jeff "Tain" Watts, as well as many of Europe’s best players.  Possessing a virtuosic technique reflecting a range of influences from Charlie Parker and Lee Konitz to John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, Giuliani has proven himself to be a significant addition to the lineage of jazz saxophonists, capable of contributing valuably in a variety of situations.

Lennie’s Pennies, Giuliani’s tenth album as a leader and his fifth for Dreyfus, may well be the saxophonist’s best effort to date. Leading a quartet featuring Paris born Pierre de Bethmann on piano and Fender Rhodes, with expatriate Philadelphian Darryl Hall on bass and Joe La Barbera on drums, Giuliani proves himself to be a first rate on alto saxophone (which he plays exclusively on the date, eschewing the soprano sax that he has doubled on excellently on previous cd’s).  Opening with a blistering tempoed reading of Lennie Tristano’s title track, the leader leaves no doubt whatsoever concerning his powerful voice and technique. Elsewhere he expresses both a dreamy sensitivity, as well as a willingness to stretch boundaries when appropriate.  The program, which includes four originals penned by the leader and two from de Bethmann, as well as a couple of standards, Heyman and Young’s “Love Letters” and Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is The Ocean” and a pair of modern jazz classics, Joe Zawinul’s “74 Miles Away” and Jimmy Rowles’ “The Peacocks” is one that should satisfy forward looking fans of straight ahead jazz.

Ironically, as modern technology and the internet makes the planet seem smaller and smaller, the jazz world continues to expand exponentially with creative artists from all over contributing their individual voices and homegrown influences to the music’s ever growing canon. The four artists featured on the Dreyfus European Modernist series, Aldo Romano, Philip Catherine, Jean-Michel Pilc and Rosario Giuliani, are each important voices in this once all-American music, reflecting the new wide world of contemporary jazz.

Beat Kaestli at Birdland on April 29th

Beat Kaestli is a vocalist, songwriter and producer residing in New York City. After establishing himself in the Swiss music scene, he moved to New York to broaden his musical horizon, leaving behind a promising career in his homeland. He was awarded a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music (BM) and received the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation scholarship to graduate in 2008 with a Masters Degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music (MA). While honing his craft alongside noteworthy Jazz performers, such as Jane Monheit, Jason Moran and Stefon Harris, he immersed himself in Manhattan's fiercely competitive music scene, emerging as a seasoned performer. He now appears in clubs such as The Blue Note, Birdland, The Bitter End, The Jazz Standard, The Stone aCd Sweet Rhythm, performing with Jazz greats, like Esperanza Spalding, Jon Hendricks, Clarence Penn, Gregoire Maret, Joel Frahm , Billy Drummond, Magos Herrera and Victor Prieto. In 2005, Beat was the chosen vocalist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, thrilling audiences in concert halls across the USA. Kaestli is touring the world extensively with his own projects, showcasing his music in renowned clubs and at festivals across the US, Europe, Mexico and Canada. His new CD "Far From Home - A Tribute to European Song" was released in fall 2009 in the USA and is scheduled to be released fall 2010 with in Europe.

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Chesky Records Debut "INVITATION" - Release Show BIRDLAND NEW YORK
Thursday, April 29th, 6PM (one set only!)
315 W 44th street (8/9th Ave)
New York, NY
(212) 581 3080 - www.birdlandjazz.com
$20
(includes a complementary CD of the new release "Invitation")
Directions: A, C, E to 42nd street
featuring:
Beat Kaestli - voice
John Hart - guitar
Kenny Rampton - trumpet
Jay Leonhart - bass
Fred Kennedy - drums
and special guest (tba)

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Bar Next Door - Vocal Series:
Monday, April 19th, 8:30/10:30pm
129 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 529-5945
www.lalanternacaffe.com
$12 plus 1 drink min.
Directions: A, B, C, D, E and F trains to W4th street
featuring:
Beat Kaestli - voice
Guilherme Monteiro - guitar
Gary Wang - bass
special guest Sean Nowell - sax
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Chris' Jazz Cafe
Wednesday, April 21stSet times 8 / 9:45PM
1421 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102-3004
(215) 568-3131 - www.chrisjazzcafe.com
$10, $5 for students

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Upcoming shows in USA/Europe/Mexico:

March 31st - Bix Jazz Club, Stuttgart, Germany
April 8th - Brooklyn Library, NYC
April 19th - Bar Next Door, NYC
April 21st - Chris' Jazz Cafe, Philadelphia
April 25th - Interview with David Kenny WBAI, NYC
April 29th - BIRDLAND, NYC - CHESKY RECORDS RELEASE SHOW
May 2nd - San Luis Festival, Mexico
May - Zinco Jazz Club, Mexico City
May 16th - Talent and Voices at CENART, Mexico City
May - Puebla International Jazzfestival, Mexico (tbc)
May 24th - Zinc Bar, NYC
Oct 2nd-5th - Generations Festival Frauenfeld, Switzerland
Oct 6th - Jazzfreunde Interlaken, Switzerland
Oct 7th - Gambrinus, St Gallen, Switzerland
Oct 8th - Italy (tbc)
Oct 11th - "Shared Night" w/ Alexa Rodrian & Elisabeth Rodrian, B-Flat, Berlin (tbc)
Oct 13th - Le Pirate, Rosenheim, Germany
Oct 15th - Birdland, Ettlingen w/Elisabeth Lohninger, Germany
Oct 27th - The Kitano Hotel, NYC (tbc)
April 15th 2011 - Nicolai Saal, Potsdam, Germany

Amelia's Mechanics Announces Plans for New Album + Tour Dates

Amelia's Mechanics is fronted by Greensboro, NC singer-songwriter's Molly McGinn and Molly Miller and backed by a talented group of musicians out of Nashville, TN. Despite what the oil-and-iron name might suggest, the women of Amelia's Mechanics swap that toughness for a more urban, sophisticated take on Americana music, using luxuriating harmonies and classical swells to temper their lyrical frustrations with love and life. The instrumentation and vocal harmonies of Amelia's Mechanics result in a genre-busting sound best described as "vintage country with a moonshine concerto."
The band released their debut album "North, South," produced by Jim Avett (father, The Avett Brothers,) in February of 2010 to critical acclaim and embarked on an inaugural tour pleasing audiences from Florida to West Virginia. Select performances in May will feature support from guitarist Daryl Hance (guitarist, J.J. Grey & Mofro.)
Amelia's Mechanics will begin recording a follow-up album this summer in Asheville, NC at the wonderful Echo Mountain Studios (Smashing Pumpkins, The Avett Brothers, Band of Horses) with three-time Grammy-winner Steven Heller (producer, David Holt's Stellaluna, Doc Watson's Legacy) and fellow Greensboro, NC singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett (songwriter, Ana Lee) at the helm. A release date has not been set for the new album.
REMAINING PERFORMANCES - SPRING 2010:

Acoustic Coffeehouse - April 8 (Johnson City, TN)
Canyons - April 9 (Blowing Rock, NC)
Pisgah Brewing Co. - April 10 (Black Mountain, NC)
Five Spot - April 21 (Atlanta, GA)
Carrboro Arts Center - April 24 (Chapel Hill, NC)
Carolina Theatre - April 25 (Greensboro, NC)
Preservation Pub - April 28 (Knoxville, TN)
Garage - April 29 (Winston-Salem, NC)
Tipsy Teapot - April 30 (Greenville, NC)
MerleFest - May 2 (Wilkesboro, NC) - Molly McGinn PA
Purple Fiddle - May 5 (Petersberg, WV)
Ashland Coffee and Tea House - May 6 (Ashland, VA)
Center City Park - May 7 (Greensboro, NC)
Pour House Music Hall - May 12 (Raleigh, NC)
Stillwater Taproom - May 14 (Augusta, GA)
NC Potato Festival - May 15 (Elizabeth City, NC)
3rd & Lindsley -May 18 (Nashville, TN)
FemmeFest - May 22 (Charlotte, NC)
White Mule Music Pub - May 27 (Columbia, SC)
Home Team BBQ - May 28 (Charleston, SC)
Music in the Woods - May 29 (Paris Mnt. State Park)
Maguire Theater - June 3 (Elizabeth, City, NC)

Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere reunite for new album, 'Midnight Flyer'

Steve Cropper, guitarist for Booker T. and the MGs and one of the primary architects of the unmistakable Stax sound of the 1960s, and vocalist/keyboardist Felix Cavaliere, the voice of the Rascals and the pivotal figure in the blue-eyed soul movement of that same era, have reconvened for their second collaborative recording. Sparks fly at the crossroads of Memphis soul and East Coast R&B when Stax Records releases Midnight Flyer on June 15, 2010.

Midnight Flyer, recorded in Nashville and mixed by the legendary David Z, is the followup to Nudge It Up a Notch, the 2008 maiden voyage by Cropper and Cavaliere that scored critical acclaim from the music and mainstream press. The San Francisco Chronicle called Nudge It Up a Notch “an unexpected delight,” while Blues Wax heralded the project as “one of the great surprises of 2008, and further evidence of Concord’s genuine commitment to the revamped Stax imprint.”

The Stax legacy — and Concord’s commitment to it — are very much alive in Midnight Flyer, an album that once again showcases the songwriting prowess of two towering figures from one of the most seminal periods in the history of American pop music. Assisting with the songwriting throughout most of the album’s 12 tracks is drummer/percussionist/vocalist Tom Hambridge, who also lent a hand with the crafting of the previous album.

“Felix and I come from pretty much the same musical school — but from different geographical locations,” says Cropper. “He’s a Jersey boy at heart, and I grew up in Memphis, but when soul meets soul, what can you say? There are no borders. There are no boundaries.”

But geography does play a role in the making of great songs, says Cavaliere. “Steve has that Southern vernacular, which is something I really like,” he says. “It’s almost like another language to those of us from the East Coast. It has a certain folky quality to it. Some of those idioms are part of the hit songs that Steve has written and recorded over the years, and they’re part of this record as well.”

The impact of both of these musicians and songwriters on pop music is nearly impossible to quantify. As part of Booker T. & the MGs — the house band for the Stax label in its original incarnation during the 1960s — Cropper co-wrote and produced classics by artists like Eddie Floyd (“Knock On Wood”), Wilson Pickett (“In the Midnight Hour”) and Otis Redding (“Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”). In subsequent decades, he lent his instrumental and production skills to a range of artists including Jeff Beck, the Blues Brothers, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and many others.

Cavaliere came to prominence in the mid-’60s as vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter for the Rascals (initially known as the Young Rascals). Cavaliere wrote and/or sang several of the band’s biggest hits, including “Good Lovin’” (1966), “Groovin’” (1967), “It’s a Beautiful Morning” (1968) and “People Got To Be Free” (1968). The phrase “blue-eyed soul” was coined during the Rascals’ heyday, due in large part to the group’s highly successful forays into R&B and soul — styles that had been developed and previously dominated by African-American artists.

Co-produced by Cropper, Cavaliere and Hambridge, Midnight Flyer captures the synergy and brilliance that can only emerge when two powerful forces of nature come together. The result is a range of styles and shades, from heartfelt ballads like “When You’re With Me” to the soul-charged “I Can’t Stand It,” a churning vocal duet featuring Cavaliere and his daughter Aria. “Sexy Lady” harkens back to the soul stylings of the ’70s, while the funky instrumental “Do It Like This” digs into a tight groove and makes plenty of room for Cropper’s tasty riff work to close out the set.

“The main thing we both take away from this record is how much fun we had making it,” says Cavaliere. “We may have used a lot of new technology that didn’t even exist when Steve and I were recording back in the day, but the songs themselves are still the most important part of the process, and we just had a blast writing and recording them. I think that spirit comes through on the record.”

Cropper notes a timelessness about Cavaliere that serves as a metaphor for the music itself. “Felix is ageless,” he says. “Sure, you can look at him and see that he’s gotten older since those early days, just like we all have. But if you close your eyes, he sounds as young and energetic as he did when he was making records back in the ’60s . . . Working together on records like this reminds us of the kinds of things that go into the making of a good song. We’re still doing that, and we’re still having fun doing it.”

Twistable, Turnable Man: Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein, as a writer, poet, and illustrator, has influenced generations upon generations of kids (and kids at heart) with his brilliant, witty, and touching turns of phrase.  In Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein (June 8, 2010), Sugar Hill Records shines a light on the lyrical genius’s oft-overlooked catalog of classic country songs.

As a songwriter, Silverstein penned indelible songs made famous by artists such as Johnny Cash, Dr. Hook, Loretta Lynn, and others.  No country singer ever made Shel’s work as large a part of his repertoire, though, as Bobby Bare Sr., who first partnered with Silverstein on the seminal Outlaw Country album, Lullabys, Legends and Lies, entirely penned by ShelBare Sr. and then-five-year-old son Bobby Bare Jr. received a Grammy nod for the country radio hit “Daddy What If” (a win, incidentally, would have made Bare Jr. the youngest Grammy holder ever, until they were usurped by those mavens of country music: The Pointer Sisters). The song is revisited on the tribute by the now-grown son with his own four-year-old daughter Isabella, making her the third generation to pay homage to Shel on this heart wrenching tune.

On this collection, lovingly co-produced by Bare Sr. and Bare Jr., the wide range of Silverstein’s work – from humorous to poignant to edgy – is interpreted by two distinct generations influenced by Silverstein’s work. From Dr. Dog, My Morning Jacket and Andrew Bird, to Ray Price, Kris Kristofferson, and John Prine, the album is full of surprises and hidden gems. Bare Sr. says in his liners: “Shel would have loved every part of this album. This is the kind of thing he loved to do in the studio— having fun with friends, independent from all, doing it our way!”

Of the participating artists, Bobby Bare Jr., who grew up greatly influenced by Shel and went on to write with him as an adult, says “The lineup is a mix of people I have on speed dial, and people my dad has on speed dial” – fortunately they all just happened to be fans of Shel’s songwriting. Bare Jr. explains that Jim James of My Morning Jacket was already a huge fan of the song “Lullabys, Legends, and Lies,” which he would play as the house music between sets at MMJ shows. Bare Jr.’s friend and colleague Andrew Bird was the only artist permitted to put a poem to music, and his version of “The Twistable, Turnable Man Returns” is just as genuinely Bird as it is Silverstein, showing a striking similarity in their lyrical styles. Of John Prine, Bobby Bare Sr. insisted “This Guitar is for Sale” was perfectly suited to his wry and poignant style.

As a whole, the collection presents a variety of takes on a collection of material that lends itself to creative interpretation, making Twistable, Turnable Man: A Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein an eclectic, endearing valentine to this giant of American song.

Lone Star Icon Gary P Nunn To Release TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY

Gary P. Nunn and Guacamole Records are pleased to announce the April 6 release date of TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY, fifteenth studio album from the renowned artist touted as a “Texas Music Institution.” A travelogue of moods and songs, this new independent recording lends itself to a variety of dance rhythms, exposing emotional sweet spots layered with the heartfelt singing the traditionalist movement is praised for.

A 13-track adventure that crosses the borders and many a state line, the album orbits into the atmosphere with “Deja Vu,” a true to form “cosmic cowboy” trip back to a lost love. Wistful memories are revisited in the Mile-High City on “Denver,” a ramped up Cajun fais do do in “Down To Louisiana” offers an upbeat take on a New Orleans tradition while the soundtrack for a tropical island getaway is played out on “Mexican Boulevard” and “It’s Not Love.”

Longing for a return trip to Texas, “One State of Mind” eases the homesick heart while “Lone Star Blues” tours the cities and towns of the Republic. A colorful cast of characters, which includes a true Texan on “The Likes of Me” and a consummate bachelor who sings the anthem that is “I’m Not That Kind of Guy,” peppers the collection.

Love, a common theme whether lost or being searched for, is found just “A Two-Step Away” on a Friday night when “The Girl Just Loves to Dance.” The title track moves in toward the end with a message to Nashville about real country music still residing and flourishing in Texas and the sweetly pleading closing devotional “The Rest of My Life” ends the journey.
Tracked at Cherry Ridge Recording Studio in Floresville by distinguished C&W producer Tommy Detamore, TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY features three new tunes written or co-written by Nunn, a respected songwriter in his own right, alongside numbers by writers such as Johnny Divine, Levi Mullen, Steven Kundert, Michael Halvorsen and Gary’s brother, Steve K. Nunn. Arriving with a stamp of fan approval, Nunn has been showcasing the tunes, road-testing them alongside his Bunkhouse Band and using audience reaction and support as a marker while deciding what to record on the album.
A revered mainstay on the Texas Music Scene, and a seasoned inspiration to the upcoming generations of rising stars, Nunn is no stranger to acclaim and accolades. In addition to many gold albums, his efforts have been applauded and recognized with a number of notable awards and honors. Texas Governor Mark White named him an Official Ambassador to the World, and years later Governor Rick Perry followed by declaring him an Ambassador of Texas Music. An induction into the Texas Hall of Fame came in 2004, and Nunn is also honored in the West Texas Walk of Fame in Lubbock. The Texas Department of Commerce and Tourism’s also included him on the roster of Lone Star Greats who are leaders in the fields of art, athletics and music. The previous residence he established on an 800-acre cattle in Oklahoma allowed him to be recognized by the Oklahoma House of Representatives for his contribution to the preservation of the unique Southwestern style of music.
Having carved the path for the DIY movement prevalent in today’s independent music scene, Nunn’s TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTY continues these efforts, providing just the right amount of authenticity needed to ensure his reputation as being indisputably Texas and undeniably a fan favorite. For it is Nunn’s ongoing mission to make a connection with the audiences he entertains; over the last half-century Nunn has garnered a bevy of loyal fans by incorporating a variety of indigenous Texas genres and neighboring styles so as to paint a picture of the land and culture he calls “home.”
With the talent, acclaim, and support behind the release of TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY, a new chapter in Nunn’s career has evidently just begun.
Gary P. Nunn Texas Album Release shows and special appearances include:
April 2, Gilley’s, Dallas
April 3, Poodie s Hilltop Cafe, Spicewood, Texas
April 7, Hall Of Fame, Bryan, Texas
April 9, Blanco’s Bar & Grill, Houston
April 16, Broken Spoke, Austin *
April 17, Texas Hat Dance, Fredericksburg, Texas*
April 18, Texas Crawfish Festival, Old Town Spring, Texas
April 25, Love & War In Texas, Plano, Texas*
May 1, Gruene Hall, New Braunfels, Texas*
May 8, The Armadillo Palace, Houston
May 14, The Blue Light, Lubbock, Texas*
May 15, Outskirts, Wichita Falls, Texas*
May 16, Maifest, Anhalt, Texas
May 21, Hardin County Music Fest, Kountze, Texas
May 22, Great Texas Sausage Festival, Lake Somerville, Texas
May 28, Back Porch, Port Aransas, Texas*
May 29, House Pasture, Con Can, Texas*
May 30, Lakeside Icehouse, Bryan, Texas
June 2, County Line BBQ, San Antonio
June 4, Broken Spoke, Austin
June 6, Love and War In Texas (Shiner Sunday), Plano, Texas
* Dedicated Album Release Shows

Nneka to Join Nas & Damien Marley on Distant Relatives Tour

Fresh off of the release of her first US album debut Concrete Jungle, Nneka has been announced as the support act for the historic Distant Relatives Tour with Nas and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley hitting the road May 2010. The tour will stop in major cities across the country in support of their Distant Relatives album, which is a celebration of not only to the bond between the two artists, but the connection to their African ancestry, which inspired the album both musically and lyrically.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Nneka is deeply influenced by her roots. The political and social states of her home country are often prevalent in her music and live performances. It is this message of awareness, hope and love that made her a perfect fit for a collaboration with Nas and Damian Marley, both legendary artists and personal influences of Nneka’s. “With this tour,” Nneka explains, “we represent the fact that we are all connected to one another, all part of one entity and one source – which is love."

The tour extends Nneka’s highly successful introduction to the United States, having been heralded by the likes of Spin, Rolling Stone, and Billboard, among others as the next “it” artist of 2010. Her stunning performance of “Heartbeat” on the Late Show with David Letterman left fans enthralled, and Perez Hilton has proclaimed her music to be “a gift to the world.” More recently, the critical acclaim piqued the interest of national retailer Whole Foods, who is now carrying her album as part of their “Artist Discovery” program.

And this is just the beginning. The Distant Relatives Tour is just the next chapter in Nneka’s ongoing crusade to spread the message of unconditional love to a family of fans across the globe. With lyrics like “come let us be truthful, surrender our pride / admit the stains on our, our chest our hands / we seek, we find” she reminds us that as a global community we are responsible, and further inspires us that we are all indeed, distant relatives.

Concrete Jungle is in stores now on Epic/Decon.

Nneka will be on the following dates of the Distant Relatives Tour:

May 22nd Eugene, OR                    Cuthbert Amphitheater

May 23rd Seattle, WA                     Showbox Sodo

May 25th Oakland, CA                    Fox Theater

May 26th Santa Barbara, CA           University of California, Santa Barbara

May 28th Los Angeles, CA              The Wiltern

May 29th Las Vegas, NV                 The Joint

May 30th Valley Center, CA             Harrah's Rincon - Open Sky Theater

May 31st Los Angeles, CA               UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival

June 2nd Santa Fe, NM                    Paolo Soleri Amphitheatre

June 8th Houston, TX                       House of Blues

June 9th Austin, TX                         Stubb's Waller Creek Outdoor Amphitheater

June 11th Manchester, TN                Bonnaroo Music Festival

June 12th Atlanta, GA                      Tabernacle

June 13th Lake Buena Vista, FL        House of Blues - Lake Buena Vista, FL

DiscoverHope Fund Present: Band Together for Hope

Come enjoy the music and contribute to the global effort to end poverty for some of the 3 billion people who live on less than $2 a day and are trapped in poverty so they cannot adequately feed, clothe, or shelter themselves or their families. DiscoverHope Fund (DHF) is a 501(c)3 promoting abundance for women and their families in economic poverty through microcredit and entrepreneurial training.  DHF’s “Microcredit Plus” model implements a dual approach to poverty alleviation—providing microloans and entrepreneurial training to help loan recipients build their businesses. DHF asks loan recipients what they need to build and sustain their business; then it answers with business trainings, literacy classes, artisan workshops and more. A percentage of ticket sales and funds from an on-site opportunity drawing will go toward our work to create a new consciousness of prosperity that women can pass onto their children, families, communities, society, and this world. DiscoverHope is proud to present an evening of great music starring Americana without Borders allstars – Great American Taxi.

In the past five years, Great American Taxi has become one of the best-known headliners on the jam band circuit. Their uninhibited sound is a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk country, gospel, and good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll. Great American Taxi was born when singer, guitarist, and mandolin player Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon joined keyboard player and singer Chad Staehly for a superstar jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in Boulder, in March of 2005. “We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig,” Herman recalls. “It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again.” Great American Taxi quickly evolved into one of the best country-, rock-, and bluegrass- influenced jam bands in the land, masterfully blending acoustic and electric instruments into music they call “Americana Without Borders."

Great American Taxi has been equated with roots rockers like the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Grateful Dead, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, The Byrds, and Little Feat. Herman finds the comparisons flattering. “We’re definitely connected to all the acts in the country/rock spectrum, as well as the spirit of Gram Parsons and Woody Guthrie,” he says. “We want to address the issues appropriate to our times, while making music that gets people up and moving.”

The benefit will also feature an amazing opportunity drawing with a grand prize of 2 tickets to 2010 10th Anniversary Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL as well as other prizes such as signed and unsigned rock artwork, local gift certificates, and other amazing prices to be announced.

Who: Great American Taxi, Chicago Farmer & Farmaggedon

Where: Coconut Louie’s 2303 E. Washington Bloomington, IL

When: Thursday, April 15th 2010

WHY: To support Discover Hope Fund

COST: $8

WEB: www.discoverhopefund.org

The Disco Biscuits Unveil "On Time" Video

The Disco Biscuits have just released video for “On Time,” a breezy and infectious electro-pop anthem from their latest album, Planet Anthem. This new video, which made its debut  on MTV2 and MTU, was directed by Noah Rappaport and Ghost Town Media. It follows the sexual escapades of a skinny disco robot on a wild night on the town.Planet Anthem, which was released on March 16th, debuted at #140 on the Billboard Top 200 and #5 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.



On the new album, The Disco Biscuits break out of the jam band-meets-electronica sound they have been known for.  This time around, they’ve opted for danceable pop and rock grooves, plus a touch of hip hop thanks to collaborating with producers Don Cheegro and Dirty Harry (Ludacris, Chris Brown, Beanie Sigel).



The Disco Biscuits also recently announced the lineup for the two annual festivals they put on.  Bisco Inferno will take place on May 29th at Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Morrison, CO.   In addiction to the Biscuits, headliners include The Glitch Mob and The Crystal Method.  Camp Bisco 9, the band’s ninth annual three-day music and arts festival, will be held in Mariaville, New York from July 15-17th. The Disco Biscuits will perform all three nights, and other headliners include LCD Soundsystem, Ween, Girl Talk, and Major Lazer. As true road warriors, The Disco Biscuits have a slew of additional dates throughout the US.

The Disco Biscuits Tour Dates:

4/14 @ Charleston Music Hall, Charleston, SC

4/15 @ Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC

4/16 @ The National, Richmond, VA

4/17 @ The National, Richmond, VA

4/18 @ The NorVa, Norfolk, VA

4/20 @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC

4/21 @ The Jefferson Theatre, Charlottesville, VA

4/22 @ The Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport, CT

4/23 @ Kirby Center For Performing Arts, Wilkes-Barre, PA

4/24 @ House of Blues, Atlantic City, NJ

4/25 @ Webster Theatre, Hartford, CT
05/27: Boulder, CO @ Bopulder Theatre
05/28: Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre

05/29 @ Red Rocks Amphitheater, Denver, CO (Bisco Inferno)

06/03 @ Wakarusa, Ozark, AR

06/04 – BamaJam Music and Arts Festival, Enterprise, AL

06/05 – Starscape, Baltimore, MD

06/10 – Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN

07/15 – Indian Lookout County Club, Mariaville, NY (Camp Bisco)

07/16 – Indian Lookout County Club, Mariaville NY (Camp Bisco)

07/17 – Indian Lookout County Club, Mariaville, NY (Camp Bisco)

08/28 – Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre, Atlanta, GA

08/29 – The Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA

Toubab Krewe Spring Tour - 2010

Toubab Krewe is a couple weeks into their Spring Tour and things are off to a great start. Thanks to all of you who have been coming out!

Toubab Krewe has a few more dates in the Northeast this weekend before joining up with their friends in John Brown's Body for a 12-night co-headlining run that will take us throughout the Midwest, Rockies and West Coast.

Toubab will then swing back through the South on our own, and are happy to announce several new dates, including a special 2-night run in NOLA during JazzFest and a tour of Florida. Many of the upcoming NE and FL shows will feature special guests The Heavy Pets.

Looking ahead to the summer, Festivus is set for July 8-11 in Cabot, VT, and should be bigger and better than ever. The full line-up and more details are coming soon.

Check out Toubab Krewe on the road!

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TOUR DATES
DATE CITY VENUE Other Acts
03/25/10 Allston, MA Harpers Ferry W/special guests The Heavy Pets
03/26/10 New Haven, CT Toad's Place In support of Railroad Earth
03/27/10 Providence, RI Jerky's Live Music Hall W/special guests The Heavy Pets
04/03/10 Chicago, IL Double Door Co-bill w/John Brown's Body
04/04/10 Madison, WI The Majestic Theatre Co-bill w/John Brown's Body
04/05/10 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center Co-bill w/John Brown's Body
04/07/10 Lincoln, NE Bourbon Theatre Co-bill w/John Brown's Body
04/08/10 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre Co-bill w/John Brown's Body & special guest Giant Panda Guerilla
04/09/10 Englewood, CO Gothic Theater Co-bill w/John Brown's Body & special guest Giant Panda Guerilla
04/12/10 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot Co-bill w/John Brown's Body
04/16/10 Seattle, WA Tractor Tavern Co-bill w/John Brown's Body
04/17/10 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge Co-bill w/John Brown's Body
04/19/10 San Francisco, CA Independent Co-bill w/John Brown's Body
04/20/10 Los Angeles, CA Roxy Theatre Co-bill w/John Brown's Body
04/21/10 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern Co-bill w/John Brown's Body & special guest Stickfigure
04/23/10 Scottsdale, AZ McDowell Mountain Music Festival
04/27/10 Austin, TX Stubb's BBQ
04/29/10 New Orleans, LA Tipitina's French Quarter Cyril Neville & Tribe 13
05/01/10 New Orleans, LA Blue Nile
05/04/10 Tallahassee, FL The Engine Room W/special guests The Heavy Pets
05/05/10 Gainesville, FL Common Grounds W/special guests The Heavy Pets & Diocious
05/06/10 Jacksonville Beach, FL Freebird Live W/special guests The Heavy Pets
05/07/10 Orlando, FL The Plaza Theatre W/special guests The Heavy Pets
05/08/10 Tampa, FL Skipper's Smokehouse W/special guests Diocious & Hip Abduction
05/15/10 Gulf Shores, AL The Hangout Festival
7/8-7/11 Cabot, VT Festivus Full line-up and details coming soon!