guitar

Dawn Of The Gecko Release Debut EP, "Raised In The Gecko"

Phil Jourdan of the musical duo Dawn Of the Gecko announced today that their debut album “Raised in the Gecko,” has been released and is currently available for purchase on iTunes and other online retailers. The five track EP features a delightful assortment of cabaret-electronic rock songs mixed with comical lyrics and beats that don’t disappoint.

Describing their genre, Jourdan said, “If it’s melodramatic, campy and upbeat, you’re halfway there. If you incorporate a look of theatrical nonsense into the music and you tell a story, you’re even closer. But I’d say the main thing is to be faithful to the spirit of cabaret, with its grotesqueness and its creepy vibe.” Jourdan, along with partner Sam Folkes, is creating music that serves the dual purpose of both sounding great and making you laugh.

Their second EP, “Gecko! Echo! Echo!” is already in the process of being completed, and is expected to be released in late March, 2011. Dawn Of The Gecko currently performs in local bars, but have their sights set on other venues as well.

The pair met in 2010 through a friend, to whom they have since dedicated a song (“Jim’s Girl”), and discovered they both liked to make music. Their friendship was solidified when they became roommates after Folkes decided to move to Leamington. Though they didn’t know it at the time, a musical match made in heaven was about to be born.

Though both were musicians prior to meeting, neither had the passion that they now both have with Dawn Of The Gecko. Jourdan commented, “I’ve been playing guitar and bass since high school, though I never took it very seriously and prefer to sing when possible. We both like to geek around with sounds, though Sam’s been at it far longer than I have. I used to play little one-man comedy gigs — then I stopped for several years. It was only after meeting Sam that I decided to play live again. We play a gig weekly here in Leamington Spa, where we also live.”

Folkes studied Music Composition and Technology at the University of Hertfordshire and has had a lifelong interest in music. He began playing the piano at age fifteen as a result of being such a huge fan of Boogie-Woogie.

While the pair came up with the band’s name in five minutes by randomly choosing words, selecting their sound took a bit longer. “Initially, we simply wanted to make funny cabaret songs, but given Sam’s love for electronic music and my interest in heavy rock, we quickly expanded the sound and different things until we were happy with the “Gecko sound”. That “Gecko sound” consists of Jourdan on guitar, bass, and singing vocals, with Folkes on piano and doing the programming and mixing.

Coming up with the concept of doing Cabaret-electronica music was a somewhat natural evolution of things that the Dawn of the Gecko band members had been doing on their own. “We were mostly interested in doing stupid pantomime-style stuff when we started out. The comedy bit seemed obvious — we both like not to take our music too seriously. The electronica influences (as well as the occasional industrial influences) came later, when we tried to make the songs sound more original, more relevant to our interests. Not all of our songs are meant to be hilarious, but they’re all pretty stupid lyrically, and they incorporate silly little melodies.

“Raised In The Gecko” can be purchased here.

Tribal Hippie Underground Zone aka the THUGZ

Put on your dancin’ shoes, open your ears and join the party. Sonoma County’s legendary psychedelic dance band, “Tribal Hippie UnderGround Zone” (aka the Thugz) is sure to provide big fun for all with their unique brand of cosmic rock. Over the past decade this multi-faceted band has delighted music fans of all ages and tastes.

Rock, blues, country, jazz, psychedelic and various world music styles blend together at a Thugz show to bring the positive vibes of the ‘60’s into the 21st century. Informed by the music of the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Miles Davis and others the Thugz’ original songs and cosmic jams help to create a joyous, communal spirit between band and audience.

The band has a vast repertoire that includes many Dead tunes from all eras as well as interesting originals and covers. The group strives to combine traditional elements with new and creative material; more of a celebration and less of a replication of the Grateful Dead. If you are a Deadhead or music lover in general you will enjoy the Thugz’ mixture of classic arrangements and exploratory jams.

A plethora of fine musicians have sat in with the Thugz during their musical excursions including David Gans, Barry Sless, Robin Sylvester, Niina Gerber, Zac Brown, and others.

No two “tribal hippie underground zone” shows are exactly the same but the spirit and love of music making are always present.

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The Thugz are;

Mike Campbell – guitar, trumpet & vocals

Andre de Channes – guitar & vocals

Ian Favell – drums & vocals

Chris Lushington – bass

Sylvia Murphy – keyboards & vocals

Jake Hertzog New CD + Miles Café Appearances

Jake Hertzog, one of the most original and exciting young guitarists on the scene, will be returning to the studio next month to record his third album. At 24 years old, Jake has already released two critically acclaimed fusion albums, toured the country as bandleader for Nickelodeon pop-stars Nat and Alex Wolff, and currently writes a jazz column for Guitar Player Magazine entitled “Hey Jazz Guy”.  He was also the youngest ever winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Jazz Guitar Competition in 2006 and has performed and taught worldwide.

The upcoming record, a follow up to last year’s Patterns, will feature Jake’s all-star rhythm section, Victor Jones and Harvie S.  Harvie will also be taking on a new role in addition to bassist on this latest project as producer. “I am thrilled to be producing Jake Hertzog's upcoming CD- Jake is a serious and original artist who is becoming a major voice in contemporary music. I have been a part of his music from his first project as bassist and musical colleague --so this project holds special meaning for me.” Said Harvie, in regards to the upcoming collaboration.  In addition to hundreds of records on which Harvie has played bass, his production credits include Michael Brecker, Phil Woods, Chris Potter, Bob Mintzer, and Mike Stern.


Jake will be bringing his trio into one of New York’s most impressive recording studios, The Magic Shop, that has hosted artists such as The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Norah Jones and Arcade Fire.  “It’s the perfect place for the synthesis of jazz and indie rock”, says Hertzog. “That’s what this record will be all about, continuing more deeply in the direction of the last two albums.”  The Jake Hertzog Trio will be in the studio next month and the record will be released in late spring.

Performing with the venerated rhythm section of Harvie S (bass) and Victor Jones (drums) the Jake Hertzog Trio bends genres with their exhilarating live performances. This is an event not to miss, as the band prepares for their third studio album.

Jake Hertzog Trio with Harvie S (bass) and Victor Jones (drums)

The Miles Café Jazz Club
212 E. 52nd St. 3Fl.
(b/t 2nd & 3rd Ave.)
New York, NY 10022

Friday, Feb. 4th - 7:30pm

Friday, Mar. 4th - 7:30pm

The Dodos Announce U.S. & European 2011 Tour Dates

The drums hit you in the chest first, spraying your speakers like swift gunshots.

The Band of Heathens @ Oskar Blues | 1/7/2011

On Friday night The Band of Heathens played to a full room at Oskar Blues in Lyons, Colorado. The Austin, Texas based gang unleashed their brand of southern rock, alt-country, Americana, or whatever you want to call it on full house of fervent fans. The micro-brews were flowing, and the crowd was ready to get down.

Jon Hardy & the Public to release 'A Hard Year'

Acclaimed purveyors of resonating Americana, Jon Hardy & the Public prepare for the January 25 release of a new stand-out EPA Hard Year - continuing their tradition of being St. Louis' "best kept secret" and announce a very special hometown show to celebrate!

Jon Hardy’s voice is deep and true, expressing yearning, pain, and triumph all at the same time. The St. Louis singer/songwriter and his band, The Public, make music that has bowled over critics at outlets like NPR, No Depression and hometown weekly Riverfront Times. “I asked fellow music writer Roy Kasten to name a better song than Hardy’s ‘Cassius Clay’ to come out of St. Louis since Uncle Tupelo’s ‘Gun,’” wrote that paper’s Christian Schaefer. “He couldn’t.”

Indeed, the group’s Americana-rooted sound often draws comparisons to Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar’s early work, though it also incorporates horn-driven soul and stomping, anthemic rock a la Bruce Springsteen. Also featuring Glenn Labarre on lead guitar, Johnny Kidd on keyboards, Greg Shadwick on bass and Mike Schurk on drums, The Public are also influenced by Randy Newman, and released a four song cover EP of his tracks called Little Criminals. “There’s something in his voice that gives me the impression that he’s on the outside looking in, that he’s not invited to the party,” says Hardy. “His songs are comforting and troubling all at the same time.”

This uneasy combination was recently featured as NPR’s Song of the Day with the single “Worst I Ever Had”. “Brilliantly capturing that desperate feeling lying somewhere between lust and fear,” wrote NPR’s Ben Westhoff, “the group shows why they probably won’t be simply regional favorites for much longer.”

The two EPs followed the group’s 2005 debut Make Me Like Gold, which No Depression writer Ed Ward said was “about as original as any grass-roots recording by a guitar-based band is going to get at this late date” and their 2007 disc Working In Love. That album featured the show-stopping “Cassius Clay” and songs concerning Hardy’s recent divorce; in many ways the album was a letter to his ex-wife. “That was the best way I knew to tell her what I was thinking and feeling,” he says.
In recent years, Jon Hardy & The Public have performed with acclaimed acts including Okkervil River, The Avett Brothers, White Denim, John Vanderslice, Pernice Brothers and White Rabbits and drawn comparisons to Spoon. Their music has been played on college and community radio stations from coast to coast.
Hardy was raised in Webster Groves, just outside of St. Louis, by a Presbyterian preacher father and a mother whose work included substitute teaching. “It was a strange mix of liberal and conservative,” Hardy says. “My dad would always spend time reading to us about the civil rights movement. At the same time, TV was not smiled upon and music was carefully reviewed.” Having grown up on his parents’ classic rock and pop records, he taught himself guitar largely from listening to blues players like Lightnin’ Hopkins and B.B. King on local radio.
His first band was a power pop outfit called Shelby. “I remember I was very afraid of being in front of people and performing,” he says. “I don’t know that I’ve completely gotten over it.” An odd thing to say, as Jon Hardy & The Public’s shows have the inspirational quality of a revival meeting worthy of his father. Often featuring a full horns section and a faithful cover of Springsteen’s “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” they are largely responsible for the band’s considerable grassroots following in the Midwest.
Shadwick joined the group not long before he and Hardy were laid off from their jobs. He joined Labarre (a former fan of the band who came aboard shortly after Make Me Like Gold), Kidd (who brought a soul and pop aesthetic to the group) and Schurk, who answered a craigslist ad and bested other potential stickmen in a try-out. All five members collaborate on their albums’ stunning production, which highlights each member’s considerable musicianship without sacrificing their raw power.
Hardy makes it clear that he and The Public are dedicated to making quality tracks that stand the test of time. “We all still have to work other jobs to pay the bills, and in the meantime we’re trying to create good music,” he says. He’s also firmly rooted in his community, penning songs largely for himself and his friends. It just so happens that these tunes -- in all their rumbling power -- resonate with folks he’s never met. A sound as big as theirs, it turns out, has a hard time being contained.

Ian Moore's 'El Sonido Nuevo' set for March release

El Sonido Nuevo, the seventh studio record from Austin-raised, Seattle-based singer-songwriter Ian Moore, bridges the gap between the stylistic offshoots of his past few records and the guitar-slinging bravado that characterized his earlier, often bluesier, output. “The album is a retrenching in the face of a diffuse pop culture landscape,” says Moore, now fronting power-pop trio the Lossy Coils for El Sonido Nuevo. “Every band has ten members, every movie is a sequel, there are 500 channels and nothing’s on.”

El Sonido Nuevo, due out March 8, 2011 on Seattle-based label Spark & Shine, distributed by Burnside Distribution, will be available in all formats including vinyl. Digital distribution on iTunes and the rest of the digital world will be through IODA. The iTunes release will have two bonus tracks not on the CD.  The trio will perform songs from the new collection at a handful of Texas and Oklahoma concert dates beginning on March 3, leading up to shows at South by Southwest (March 15–20, 2011) in Austin, Texas.

A certain sentiment rings out loud and clear, from the opening track, “Secondhand Store,” right on through the album: “We wrote it after South by Southwest when we were dealing with that onslaught of hipsters taking over the East Side of Austin — everybody has an angle and nobody seems to be actually doing anything,” says Moore, whose songwriting lets loose lyrics peppered with relevant and provocative topics. “It’s a mish-mash of jaded feelings in a dark moment.”

The Lossy Coils, formed in Seattle in the mid-2000s, features Moore, bassist Matt Harris (Oranger, Posies), and drummer Kyle Schneider (Johnny Goudie). The album was co-written with Harris, who has also played with Roky Erikson and Pavement’s Spiral Stairs. With Moore’s inspiring guitar work leading the way, El Sonido Nuevo alternates between rockers and ballads, pure songs and pure sounds, with a lush pop introduction that follows the same Beatles-by-the-way-of-Big Star thread that has informed the best work of contemporaries like Wilco.

Moore, a prodigy of self-invention, has built a career following his artistic instincts, which hasn’t always worked from a business perspective. Still, he’s been steadily accruing fans by staying on the road doing everything from solo acoustic shows to full band gigs in the U.S. and abroad. Moore’s skilled musicianship has been requested by many of his stylistic forefathers. Milestones include playing “Like a Rolling Stone” on the road with Bob Dylan, drinking goblets of wine and trading guitar riffs with Keith Richards on tour with the Rolling Stones, exchanging mix tapes with Paul Weller, performing “Whisky River” with Willie Nelson, singing a duet with Emmylou Harris, and backing artists as divergent as Roky Erikson and Jason Mraz.

Moore’s pared-back band on the record was a purposeful step into stripping away artifice and décor.  The songs on El Sonido Nuevo are simple and direct. Previously Moore might have been inclined to layer sonics and complex arrangements; here the record is straightforward, the songs clean and without ornamentation. Moore returns to the boundaries of what he can do with six strings and his largely unsung, soulful voice.

Born in Berkeley, Calif., Moore grew up in Austin, Texas, and made his mark there in the early ’90s as a blues-guitar virtuoso. Early sideman duty for Texas roots legend Joe Ely led to a 1993 self-titled solo record on Capricorn that propelled Moore to those critical opening gigs for the Stones and Dylan, as well as a notable appearance in Billy Bob Thornton’s indie hit film Slingblade. Moore’s broad palette of influences and interests was further explored in the video for “Harlem,” directed by rapper and actor Ice Cube.

Critics have long loved Moore’s studio output: Dave Hickey in Art in America magazine called his Modernday Folklore “one of the best moments in contemporary art in 1996,” while Harp magazine observed, “Since the early ’90s the native Texan has refused corporate molding in favor of freedom and the artistic rewards are staggering.” Moore’s 2004 release Luminaria received numerous accolades, including from Billboard’s Chris Morris, who noted, “The burden of the contemporary singer/ songwriter is in formulating a sound that is completely unique. With Luminaria, Ian Moore accomplishes just that.” And of his most recent release, 2007’s To Be Loved, All Music Guide wrote, “Moore has created a brand of challenging yet highly melodic new-millennium pop-rock that establishes him as an audacious songwriter and player. He has struck that rare balance between astute complexity and utter pop appeal.”

Moore has been placed into the circle of guitarist-songwriters likes Mayfield, Hendrix, and Buckley, “where pop isn't a dirty word and where music comes straight from the soul.” He has made hundreds of television appearances, from regional TV shows to the Today show and the Late Show With David Letterman to a one-hour Direct TV special, while avid watchers of American Idol have seen contestants cover Moore’s songs “Blue Sky” and “Satisfied.” And the Austin Music Awards have repeatedly voted him Best Singer, Musician and Band.

The manner in which Moore has moved across styles and cultural boundaries has rallied critics but, sometimes, confused his longtime fans. On El Sonido Nuevo, the blues and rock guitar he’s best known for is back, bolstered by confident songwriting and the absorbed echoes of those influences and stylistic adventures.

With El Sonido Nuevo, Moore’s musical journey bands together all these disparate influences with a confidence, subtlety, depth and, some would argue, a return to form on the guitar.

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Tour dates:

Thurs., March 3  CORPUS CHRISTIE, TX House of Rock
Sat., March 5  AUSTIN, TX Continental Club
Sun., March 6  AUSTIN, TX Waterloo Records in-store
Sat., March 12  HOUSTON, TX Continental Club

John Hartford Stringband Nominated for Grammy Best Traditional Folk Album

GRAMMY voting is wrapping up for the dozens of nominees in scores of categories, including for John Hartford Stringband’s tribute album to the late, great singer-songwriter, MEMORIES OF JOHN (Red Clay/Compass Records), in Category 68: Best Traditional Folk Album, as February 13 approaches and the 53rd annual GRAMMY Awards presentation in Los Angeles.

In what would be 10 years after his passing in 2001, the same group of musicians who appeared on John Hartford’s last five Rounder Records projects and were his final touring band — Chris Sharp on guitar, Bob Carlin on banjo, Matt Combs on fiddle, Mike Compton on mandolin and Mark Schatz on bass — are eager to win the GRAMMY as further tribute to the banjo wizard, guitar picker, vocalist, musical innovator and multiple GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist who penned the megahit “Gentle on My Mind.” Stringband members were joined on MEMORIES OF JOHN by special guests Tim O’Brien, Bela Fleck, Alison Brown, Alan O’Bryant, George Buckner and Eileen Carson Schatz. The album also features Hartford himself on several previously unreleased tracks as well as voiced instructions to the band from previous rehearsal tapes.

17th Mountain Sun Funky Good Times feat. Pearl St. All Stars

The Mountain Sun is 17 years old. The Southern Sun is 8 years old. The Vine Street Pub is almost 3 years old. And The Boulder Theater is throwing an anniversary "Funky Good Times" party to celebrate.

Musicians include-.

-George Porter Jr. from The Funky Meters on bass, returning for the 7th year. We all know how legendary George is on the bass.

-Kyle Hollingsworth from String Cheese Incident on keyboards, also returning for the 7th year. If you have not seen Kyle's style you are missing out. One of the greatest keyboardist of our times.

-Karl Denson from the one and only Karl Denson's Tiny Universe on Saxophone. A highly energized funk machine and formally the sax-man for Lenny Kravitz. Karl is a dynamic musician with the soul to follow.

-Alan Evans from Soul Live on drums. Alan helped Soul Live develop a reputation as one of the most sought after instrumental soul-funk trios in the US.

-Davy Knowles on guitar. Prolific. Prodigal. Profound. That is Davy Knowles. Hailing from the Isle of Man, the tiny kingdom in the middle of the Irish Sea, might have posed a challenge to that childhood epiphany for a lesser talent. Instead, Davy just borrowed his father's acoustic guitar and painstakingly learned to play "Sultans of Swing" by ear. A true virtuoso.

More Info / Buy Tickets

Tyler Ramsey: A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea

Tyler Ramsey's sophomore album A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea was re-released today, January 4th, 2011, via Brown Records/Fat Possum.

A well-established and praised figure in the burgeoning Asheville music scene, Ramsey - who joined Band Of Horses as guitarist in fall 2007 - wrote A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea while living in a log cabin in Swannanoa, NC, in late 2006-7. Recorded at Asheville's Echo Mountain Studios with the help of Bill Reynolds (also of Band Of Horses; who's worked with The Avett Brothers and Lissie) and Danny Kadar (My Morning Jacket, Band Of Horses, Grizzly Bear), the album is a collection of haunting and atmospheric songs that exude a markedly fluid, easy grace.

Ramsey's warm vocals and intricate finger-picked guitar playing lead the way throughout A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea, the expressive guitar lines often telling as much of a story as the lyrics. "A Long Dream" opens with a rolling and ruminative cadence, while the ethereal "Night Time" and the gorgeously languid "Once In Your Life" rise to gentle and varied crescendos. Other standout tracks include the bluesy waltz of "No One Goes Out," the elaborately layered instrumental "Birdwings," and the mesmerizing, strings-laced "When I Wake," each song reinforcing the album's fine, hypnotic brilliance. Championed by NPR (World Café - "Heartwarming, delicate, and comforting, Tyler Ramsey's music showcases a thoughtful approach to his craft."), Stereogum ('Artist To Watch'), WNYC's Soundcheck, and Popmatters, among others, A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea was originally released by Echo Mountain Records in 2008.

Ramsey is currently working on a follow-up album to be released later this year. He will also head overseas for a Band Of Horses tour at the end of the month that will run through February.

Track listing for A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea:


  1. A Long Dream
  2. Ships
  3. Night Time
  4. Once In Your Life
  5. Chinese New Year
  6. No One Goes Out
  7. Birdwings
  8. These Days
  9. When I Wake
  10. Iris
  11. Worried
  12. Please Stop Time
  13. Waves