guitar

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg Release Guitar Duo Album

Albums of guitar duets are rare. Albums of guitar duets featuring one American and one Englishman, synthesizing their particular geographically specific approaches in a collection of new compositions, are even more rare. Not since Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn's partnerships of the 1970s has there been such a happy reconciliation of Merrie Old England and the good old USA, in which baroque meets the blues, music-hall steps out to ragtime, and Benjamin Britten sits down with Blind Blake.

James Elkington moved from London to Chicago around the turn of the millennium and has since released a string of albums as leader of The Zincs for Thrill Jockey Records.  After dissolving the band in 2008, Elkington has concentrated on acoustic, folk-tinged music with his band The Horse's Ha (that he shares with Freakwater's Janet Bean), culminating in the release of their debut album, Of The Cathmawr Yards in 2009. He is also the owner/operator of a clunky solo career, and moonlights convincingly as the guitar player in Jon Langford's (of The Mekons) Skull Orchard.

Nathan Salsburg is best known as an archivist and producer for the Alan Lomax Archive, curator of the Twos & Fews vernacular-music imprint on Drag City Records, and host of the "Root Hog Or Die" program on East Village Radio. But after a 2007 move from New York City back to his childhood home of Louisville, Kentucky - and the inclusion of a track on Tompkins Square's "Imaginational Anthem, Volume 3" compilation - he discovered adequate time, space, and energy to devote to guitar playing.

Elkington suggested a leap of faith into a collaboration, despite the fact that the two had never previously played guitar together. Avos, then, hither and thither over several seasons, between a porch in Louisville and a kitchen in Chicago, slowly took shape. Aptly, the name comes from the Russian word for the confident approach to new situations, and the faith that nothing tragic will occur once in them.

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg play their record release show on Sunday, October 9th at The Hideout in Chicago. More shows will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Von Ehrics: Two Foot Stomp

Von Ehrics newest CD, Two Foot Stomp, is an up and down ride filled with Punkabilly drive and an authentically Texas flavor. Songs like the first single, "Lord I Pray" are new, refreshing, and fun while other like "Rock and Roll" fall a little flat in energy and creativity. The album is an overall success in authenticity, with a real feeling that you could stumble across the Von Ehrics playing around town in Denton, the funky college town music hub of North Texas where Two Foot Stomp was recorded. The album is also successful in screaming "if you think this is good, our live shows are 100 times better".  I am convinced, and definitely will be buying a ticket next time these boys roll through Colorado.

The Highlights:

"Lord I Pray", the album’s first single, is also it’s height of creativity, combining gospel, thrashy rock guitar, and a hyperactive drum set. “Lord I Pray” is soulful and cynical at the same time. The single is a satirical reflection on consumerism, but avoids a “preachy” feel for a rather funny one as lead singer Robert Jason Vandergrift prays for material good while being back up by a full gospel choir.

"Down the Road Tonight" also shines on the album. The song is reminiscent of REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It". That is, if the whole world existed in Texas. You could probably take the lyrics and make them into a scavenger hunt in downtown Austin. Overall it’s super fun.

"Goodbye/The Ride" is a fun, biting little break up song. Vandergrift sings in sweet and slow ballad voice, which we soon learn is totally ironic:

"It's a beautiful night,
the stars are all bright
I've got the moon on my left
and my girl on my right
things are changing tonight
she can kiss my ass goodbye"

then the speedy drummer kicks and one gets a feel of how the guys really feel. I always love a fun break up song.

The guitar lines are a great highlight throughout the album. Just listening to the things Gabe Aguilar (drums) and Clayton Mills (guitar) make up is one of the best parts of the album.

The Not-so-Great:

"Rock and Roll" is a halfhearted cry for what else, rock and roll. I'm not really that convinced, based on this song that the band believes in the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. The Von Ehrics take lyrics that belong in a song like Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock N Roll” and play them with the enthusiasm of Neil Young's “Hey Hey, My My”.

It sounds like the guys wanted a Beastie Boys' "You Got to Fight for Your Right to Party”, but were just kind of tired or hung over or something that day.

"Downtown" is another one of the tunes that is missing the party soul. Maybe the song is much better live, at the actual party. Though the song is low energy, guitarist Clayton Mills picks it up with an exciting solo.

"Texas" (When I Die) is the albums only successful anthem, but it really gets the job done.  It's not a call to rock out or party hard, as the boys attempted in other songs, but an anthem for Texas; the state that encompasses of both of the previous. "Texas" succeeds where some of the other attempts on the album failed in my opinion because Texas is very unique to the Von Ehrics. You can hear conviction in their voice as they sing "when I die, let me go to Texas".

“Texas” is the true call of Two Foot Stomp , and really ties the album together as its last track. Two Foot Stomp is a call to this: party, rebel, dance around, stomp your feet, and do it all in Texas.  I am totally in support of it!

Bob Weir's TRI Studios Hosts Slightly Stoopid

Slightly Stoopid is pleased to announce their live debut at Grateful Dead/Furthur founding member Bob Weir’s TRI Studios on Tuesday, September 13, 2011. The band will perform two sets (acoustic & electric) and the performance will feature guests Karl Denson (Greyboy Allstars, Tiny Universe), Ian Neville (Dumpstaphunk, Funky Meters), and Don Carlos (Black Uhuru), with plenty of surprises in store. In between sets, fans can partake in the first-ever live Stoopid Q&A from TRI Studios, communicating with the band via onscreen Facebook and Twitter feeds.

TRI Studios is a state-of-the-art performance studio, broadcasting live HD video and audio streams via the Internet. The show will air live at www.tristudios.com at 6:00pm PDT, and will also be offered on re-played at 9:00pm PDT. Each Streaming costs $10.00 for access. Tickets are on sale now for both showings and can be purchased by visiting www.tristudios.com or clicking the banner at www.SlightlyStoopid.com. Band members will also be featured speakers at the SFMusicTech Summit on Monday, September 12, 2011, in support of this high profile, groundbreaking broadcast.

Slightly Stoopid is currently on their Seedless Summer 2011 Tour making 25 stops in all, including some of the country’s best outdoor venues, such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO, The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA, and Cricket Amphitheater in their hometown of San Diego, CA. As The San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported, “Headlining Cricket for the third year in a row is a coup for the Ocean Beach-based group -- a feat unmatched by blink-182, Jason Mraz, Jewel, P.O.D. or any other nationally prominent San Diego act, past or present.” The complete list of Slightly Stoopid’s Seedless Summer 2011 Tour dates is included below.

Formed in 1995 in San Diego, CA’s Ocean Beach by childhood friends Miles Doughty (guitar, bass, vocals) and Kyle McDonald (guitar, bass, vocals), Slightly Stoopid has become one of the most influential and progressive improvisational musical outfits on the tour circuit. As Amped Up Magazine points out, it’s for good reason. “Slightly Stoopid have perfected one of the rarest and most valuable skills a band can develop: the art of the stealth groove.” Always a festival favorite, Slightly Stoopid has performed at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Outside Lands, Milwaukee Summerfest, Wakarusa, and many others. With their two most recent albums both debuting on Billboard and iTunes charts, the band has sold over 750,000 albums and now releases all material on Doughty and McDonald’s own record label, Stoopid Records.

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SLIGHTLY STOOPID SEEDLESS SUMMER TOUR DATES:

8/25 Raleigh, NC - Raleigh Amphitheatre
8/26 Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion
8/27 Chicago, IL - Charter One Pavilion
9/03 Mohawk, NY - Moe Down at Gelston Castle Estate
9/10 Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay Beach
9/13 San Rafael, CA - TRI Studios (webcast performance)
9/16 Mesa, AZ - Mesa Amphitheatre
9/17 Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9/24 Page, AZ - Powellapalooza on Lake Powell
9/29 Tampa, FL - Rombello Cruise
9/30 Tampa, FL - Rombello Cruise
10/1 Tampa, FL - Rombello Cruise
10/2 Tampa, FL - Rombello Cruise
10/3 Tampa, FL - Rombello Cruise
10/8 Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl

Dead Man Winter @ The Fox Theater | 8/19/11

On August 19th at the Fox Theater in Boulder, CO, Dave Simonett, Erik Kokinen, and some of their friends from Trampled by Turtles gave us an early taste of their new project, Dead Man Winter.  Having been a huge

INXS plays the hits & more at the Ogden Theatre

As I eagerly anticipated INXS’ show at Denver’s Ogden Theatre, I will admit that I didn’t know if I was going to witness an act that was well past its prime and just going through the motions.

Nashville's Coolest Cat Kenny Vaughan to release V - 9/13

Sugar Hill Records is proud to announce the September 13th release of V, the long-awaited solo debut from Nashville’s not-so-secret weapon: Kenny Vaughan. Since first arriving in Music City in the late ‘80s from his home state of Colorado, Vaughan quickly set himself apart as a different breed of guitar-slinger—technically assured and, more importantly, armed with a deeply felt reverence for a wide range of musical traditions encompassing vintage country, classic pop, hard bop, and beyond. The ten tracks that comprise V dip toes in all of these waters, forming a handy crash course in the trademark wit, flash, and unfailing musicality that has kept Kenny Vaughan so in-demand for the past quarter-century.

Starting in 2001, Vaughan has been a member of Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives, a multi-faceted outfit capable of delivering anything from rollicking bluegrass to classic honky tonk to simmering gospel soul. Aside from one track featuring Vaughan’s Nashville-based organ trio, the Fabulous Superlatives back him throughout V, which opens with the show-stopping Superlatives rave-up “Country Music Got a Hold On Me” and continues through an eclectic program that touches upon western swing (“Hot Like That”), evocative low-twanging instrumentals (“Minuit Sur La Plage,” “Mysterium”), Rockpile-inflected country-pop (“Things I Do”), and even a bit of gutbucket swamp-funk featuring the Oak Ridge Boys (“Okolona, Tennessee”), before concluding with a righteous gospel shuffle, “Don’t Leave Home Without Jesus.”

Recipient of the 2006 Instrumentalist of the Year award from the Americana Music Association, Vaughan is one of the most prominent guitarists of today’s ongoing roots music renaissance. An early pupil of fellow Coloradoan (and fellow eclectic roots alchemist) Bill Frisell, Vaughan has since performed and recorded with an array acclaimed artists, including Lucinda Williams, Kim Richey, Rodney Crowell, Tim O’Brien, Jim Lauderdale, Elizabeth Cook, Greg Garing, and too many more to list. Equally comfortable on stage or in the studio, Vaughan can be relied upon for hot, twitchy country leads, bittersweet melodic jangle, and everything in between—all dispatched with the utmost taste and subtlety.

And, as V so aptly demonstrates, Kenny Vaughan is no slouch as a frontman, either. His songs and singing are charmingly conversational, with no shortage of memorable hooks and clever verbal volleys. His cohorts in the Fabulous Superlatives (including bossman Marty Stuart on guitar and mandolin) offer honest, road-tightened support that is honest and heartfelt. Sterling confirmation of the potential implied by each sideman gig, session, and walk-on, V may have been a little too long in arriving…but, after all, Kenny’s a busy guy.

Della Mae To Release Debut Album

Della Mae, the all-woman bluegrass quartet out of Boston that brings acoustic grit and twang to town with no apologies, will release its debut full-length album in September.

Della Mae features the 2009-2010 National Fiddle Champion Kimber Ludiker, powerful mandolinist Jenni Lyn Gardner, seasoned bassist Amanda Kowalski, and the sweet, sultry vocals and driving acoustic guitar of Celia Woodsmith.

The band will release its debut full-length album, I BUILT THIS HEART, in September, with all-star guests Alison Brown, Laurie Lewis, Brittany Haas (Crooked Still) and Emma Beaton (Joy Kills Sorrow). The album was produced by Austin Nevins (Josh Ritter) and engineered by Erick Jaskowiack. Advance copies are for sale at upcoming shows.

Vintage Guitar magazine describes Della Mae’s sound as “straightforward, expertly executed music that stays true to its inspirations.” The band’s musical style seamlessly blends years of experience with traditional mountain music and modern singer-songwriter sensibilities. With award-winning instrumental abilities and a reputation for energetic live performances, the four women of Della Mae are turning heads.

In the words of master mandolinist Mike Marshall, “These gals can get down and aren’t messing around.”

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Della Mae’s Upcoming Schedule:
July 23: Club Passim, Cambridge, Mass. ( Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum open)
July 30: RockyGrass Bluegrass Festival, Lyons, Colo.
August 12-13: Saddleback Mountain Bluegrass Festival, Saddleback, Maine
August 27: Newport Art Festival, Newport, R.I. (More info TBA)
November 5-6: Laurie Blue Bluegrass Festival, Prince Edward Island, Canada
December 1-18: Bluegrass Jamboree, Germany & Switzerland

John McLaughlin July 2011 Tour

John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension is currently on tour in Europe.  John is in the midst of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland with Carlos Santana.  John will be in Spain, Italy, England, Holland & Norway.

We are very happy to announce Remember Shakti will tour in Europe next fall 2012, from October 25th to November 25th 2012. They will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first and the most amazing world music and fusion band, Shakti ! With John McLaughlin (guitar), Zakir Hussain (tabla), Shankar Mahadevan (vocals), U. Srinivas (mandolin), V. Selvaganesh (kanjira, ghatam, mridangam).

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July 2011 Tour dates:

3/7 Montreux Jazz Festival Switzerland - BB King's night - with special guest John McLaughlin

8/7 Nice Jazz Festival Nice France John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

9/7 North Sea Jazz Festival Rotterdam Holland John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

11/7 Ronnie Scott London UK John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

12/7 Casino de Paris Paris France John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

14/7 Guitar Festival of Cordoba Spain John McLaughlin &t he 4th Dimension

18/7 Roma Italy John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

19/7 Kulturzentrum Tollhaus Karlsruhe Germany John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

21/7 Molde Jazz Molde Norway John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

23/7 Heineken Jazzaldia San Sebastian Spain John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

24/7 Teano Italy John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

25/7 Fano Italy John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

28/7 Jazz à Vannes France John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

30/7 Jazz in Marciac France John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

31/7 Cadaques Music Festival Spain John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension

KJ Denhert: ALBUM No.9.

"Album No.9 is about freedom,” says KJ Denhert. There also is a numerology connection as the album was recorded, starting Sept. 9, 2009, over the course of nine months with nine musicians, and it has nine songs.  "My life-path number is 9," says KJ.  In less than a year of it's release on Sept. 9, 2010, KJ's music video of ALBUM No.9"s yearnful "Help" is becoming a minor hit on youtube. She interprets the Beatles' standard as a plea to the world, in light of so many tragedies that were complicated due to mans inhumanity and greed, most recently in Haiti, Louisiana, Japan. Other classics on the album are "Alfie," "Pennies From Heaven, "The Shadow of Your Smile," "Chanson Baz Bar," and "Smoke on the Water."

"Choose Your Weapon," which won the Independent Music Award for the Sing Out For Social Action" award for recordings released in 2010, and "Let It Go" are two of ALBUM No.9's originals that have become favorites of KJ's fans.

This November, KJ will be celebrating her 15th Year Anniversary as KJ Denhert fronting her band.  But her career dates back to the '60s when she first started playing guitar at age 10, listening to Sergio Mendes, and John Hartford!

In the 1980s, as a young woman, she played guitar and sang with an all-female ban called Fire in North America and Europe, spent time in Cleveland fronting Cyclone Sisters.  Upon her move band to NY City in 1997, she formed the NY Unit, and the rest is history.

In addition to running her own band and Mother Cyclone label, KJ has been named among the six winners of the Kerrville New Folk Song contest in June 2006 for "Private Angel" and won the Mountain Stage New Song contest in August 05 for "Little Mary." The Album, ANOTHER YEAR GONE BY, LIVE, won the 2006 Independent Music Award for Best Live Performance.

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KJ DENHERT ON THE ROAD

June 24:12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar, Peekskill, NY
June 25: 55 Bar, New York, NY
July 7: Underground Wonderbar, Chicago, IL
July 8: Club La Salle, South Bend, IN
July 18: Woodsongs, Lexington, KY
July 23: 55 Bar, New York, NY
July 29: Belleayre Music Festival - Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort, Highmount, NY
July 30: Rams Head on Stage w/ Gregory Porter, Annapolis, MD
August 9: Cape Cod Jazz, Chatham, MA
August 11: New Paltz, NY (duo: KJ Denhert & Jennifer Vincent)
August 20: 55 Bar, New York, NY
August 21: Special Event @the Falcon, Marlboro, NY
August 23: Cornwall, NY
September 2: Union Chapel Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, MA
September 3: 55 Bar, New York, NY
September 10: The Falcon,  Marlboro, NY
September 17: 55 Bar, New York, NY
October 8: Uncommon Ground, Dobbs Ferry (solo w/ Vance Gilbert)