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Andy Friedman prepares 'Laserbeams And Dreams' CD

On April 5, 2011, artist and songwriter Andy Friedman will release his third studio album, Laserbeams and Dreams (City Salvage Records).  Produced by noted guitarist and producer David Goodrich (Chris Smither, Peter Mulvey), the album was recorded in Friedman’s Brooklyn neighborhood and cut in 24 hours with one overdub and mixed in the studio.  Complementing Friedman’s “art-damaged, ragged-but-right” (L.A. Weekly) approach and Goodrich’s restrained, atmospheric lead guitar and piano is rising-star upright bassist and composer Stephan Crump (Grammy®-nominated Vijay Iyer Trio, Jim Campilongo), whose latest album of “ingenious originals” (The New Yorker), Reclamation (recorded with his Rosetta Trio), NPR spotlighted among its top five jazz albums of 2010. The interplay of Friedman’s “engagingly singular” (Philadelphia Inquirer) songwriting and “slow, lugubrious, dipped in country heartache” (Hartford Advocate) strum with Crump’s “full, appealingly wooden sound” (The New York Times) calls to mind classic collaborations by Van Morrison with bassist Richard Davis on 1968’s Astral Weeks, or John Hartford and Dave Holland on 1972’s Morning Bugle Call — albums also recorded live in the studio without much pre-conceived musical planning.  “We captured the mood created,” says Friedman.  “It wasn’t our place to second-guess the results.”

Andy Friedman first hit the road as a self-described “Slideshow Poet” in 2002, leaving his day job as an office assistant in the Editorial Department at The New Yorker to accompany projections of his paintings, drawings, and Polaroids with readings of his poetry in dive bars and rock clubs around the nation.  The hybrid performance was applauded by journalists as “the coolest show to come around in a long time” (Good Times [Santa Cruz]), and introduced Friedman as “The King of Art Country” (City Pages [Minneapolis]).  The transition from traveling poet to rambling musician occurred when the “erudite redneck” (Boston Globe) picked up the guitar and sang for the first time in his life in 2005, shortly before recording his debut album, Taken Man (City Salvage Records), the title track of which landed at #30 on a New York Post “Best Songs” list that included over 200 hits by artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Andrew Bird, Amy Winehouse, and The National.

Friedman’s reputation as a “dusty, paint-splattered Americana sage” (Rochester News & Democrat) germinated with the release of the CD Weary Things (City Salvage Records) in 2009, garnering enthusiastic praise, a performance on NPR’s coveted Mountain Stage, a feature interview on XM’s Bob Edwards Show, and a growing audience.  The online cultural journal Slant hailed Friedman as “an arrival of one of the genre’s smartest and deepest talents.” His “hard-tack country originals” were described in The New Yorker as “the mark of a true artist,” while NoDepression.com called his songs “unforgettable.” Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor proffered the song “Weary Things” as a “certified, genuine American tune,” and Indie-icon Sufjan Stevens proclaimed, “I think the world of Andy Friedman. I’ve always wanted to be Andy Friedman.” Largely overlooked, Weary Things was highlighted alongside titles by Tom Waits and Chuck Prophet by the Associated Press among “The Best Overlooked Albums of 2009.” “Friedman can write a lyric, and he can deliver it,” declared Stephen Wine. “He is not to be overlooked, that’s for sure.”

Laserbeams and Dreams tackles themes of religion, aging, disillusionment, and family, but images of death prevail in all forms. The gospel dirge “Time for Church” is the album’s opener, and finds Friedman renouncing religion in favor of drink, music, and art.  “It’s time for church/It’s five o’clock,” he sings. “Pour a drink/let the record play.” Friedman’s vocals boom with an echo recalling the classic Nashville Sound recorded by Chet Atkins at RCA in the late ’50s and ’60s. The lilting “Motel on the Lake” presents death as the crumbling façade of a once vibrant Catskill Mountain summer resort community more famously referred to as the Borscht Belt, which the singer now reports “whips the children.” Goodrich brings haunting upright piano to “May I Rest When Death Approaches,” a song based on a series of poems written by Friedman’s father-in-law days before his passing.  “Roll On, John Herald” is at once a tribute to the late John Herald — a founding member of the seminal late-’50s bluegrass trio the Greenbriar Boys, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the summer of 2005 — and a humbling, dark portrayal of life as an obscure legend on the road. “When Vin played him on Idiot’s Delight/I knew John Herald had died,” growls Friedman, who befriended the singer when Herald invited the then “slideshow poet” to open a string of dates in 2003.  In “Quiet Blues,” recorded minutes after the ferocious “Roll On, John Herald,” Friedman laments with newfound vocal sensitivity the death of peace and quiet in the digital age.  “Hey, Command Z/bring the quiet blues back to me,” he warbles. “Recording those two songs without a break was like a biathlon,” says Friedman. Singer-songwriter Jen Chapin, who is married to Crump, lent the guitar played by her father — the late Harry Chapin — to Friedman for the recording of Laserbeams and Dreams.

It’s not all death and despair for Friedman, who approaches these themes with the acerbic wit and dark humor of a New Yorker gag cartoon — a pastime with which the singer has found past success under the pseudonym Larry Hat. With “Going Home (Drifter’s Blessing),” Friedman delivers an anthem for the little-known folksinger trying to make it out on the road, whose faith in himself is tested by long drives, missed family, and dismal turnouts, but can only wish the life on his children and theirs.  In “Down by the Willow,” the album’s closer, Friedman is seduced by the serenity of life in the country but is “shackled and chained” to the gritty confines of the city, revisiting the famous car wash scene from the 1967 Paul Newman classic Cool Hand Luke.

Friedman will perform the record in its entirety, accompanied by David Goodrich and Stephan Crump, on select dates during the Laserbeams and Dreams tour.

The Radiators Farewell Tour at the Fox Theatre

One of rock n’ rolls longest and New Orleans’ finest traveling road shows will come to an end after 33 years when The Radiators play their final two shows at Tipitina’s in New Orleans on June 10th & 11th. Lucky fans in the Boulder area can catch the band one last time at The Fox Theatre on February 10th.

Formed out of a jam session in 1978 The Radiators still feature the same 5 original members, Ed Volker (Lead Vocals, Keyboards) Dave Malone (Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar), Camile Baudoin ( Lead Guitar, Bkgrnd Vocals), Reggie Scanlan (Bass) & Frank Bua, Jr. (Drums). The Rads achieved significant commercial success in the late 80’s with the release of the classic albums Law Of The Fish and Total Evaporation. They have also released over 10 albums on independent labels and currently have 6 CDs available including Wild & Free a 2008 2 CD retrospective on their own Radz Records.  The band has played over 4500 shows and kept up a consistent tour schedule, still playing close to 150 dates a year. Additionally, they have held down the closing slot at the prestigious New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for over 25 years.

Volker, who handles the majority of the songwriting as well as splitting lead vocals with Malone informed his band mates a couple of weeks ago that he no longer wanted to endure the day to day struggles of life on the road and was exhausted from the constant touring. The other band members have yet to announce their future plans and have not ruled out the possibility of working together in the future, but the departure of Volker (affectionately known to fans as “Zeke Fish Head”) brings to an end the original version of a treasured rock n’ roll institution.

Tickets are on sale at Fox Theatre Box Office. Call (303) 443-3399 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.foxtheatre.com.

$25 adv / $30 dos

Tickets On Sale NOW!

Al Di Meola Visits Strawberry Fields

On 'Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody,' out March 15th on Telarc International, a division of Concord Music Group, bona fide guitar hero and virtuoso of the highest order Al Di Meola teams up with members of his World Sinfonia ensemble, jazz bass great Charlie Haden and GRAMMY-award winning Cuban jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba on a hauntingly beautiful and deeply moving version of the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” that imbues the classic pop tune with profound feeling, and shows how dazzling Di Meola's electric guitar can be even when delicately restrained.

Di Meola's laid-back interplay with Haden's acoustic bass, Gonzalo Rubalcaba's piano, Peter Kazsas' drums and Gumbi Ortiz and Mino Cinelu's percussion creates a wistfulness appropriate to John Lennon's hazy memories of a garden near his childhood home.

Hear Al Di Meola's "Strawberry Fields" from 'Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody' on Huffington Post here.

Chris Crocco's Fluidic Duo @ ArtsEcho Galleria

The Chris Crocco Fluid Trio + is the second outing by the terrific threesome fronted by the Virginia born-New York based guitarist Christopher Crocco, an imposing sequel to his impressive debut disc The Chris Crocco Fluid Trio.  As on his first album, a bassless trio outing, Crocco is joined by his longtime friend and mentor, saxophonist George Garzone and Cuban expatriate, current McCoy Tyner drummer Francisco Mela, along with the addition of the very capable bassist and frequent collaborator Peter Slavov.  In the years since the release of their first cd the music created by Crocco, Garzone and Mela has since developed into, in the words of Crocco, “this amazing sound and power,” noting that “we all seem to speak the same improvisational language.” Slavov has joined each of them on many occasions in the past, thereby making him the perfect plus to augment the Fluid Trio.

Crocco confesses that the album was recorded without a concept - just the desire to record the best performances of the new music he had composed since the band’s last effort.  “It was time,” he says, “but when I finished it was easy to see the titles, music, and overall vibe was a result of my own personal catharsis.” Much the result of his studies with Garzone, Crocco has come to realize that his musical objective is to find “the truth” within his art and hence he has abandoned many of the stock improvisatory tricks that often lead many artists (guitarists in particular) away from their own true identities. The resulting record is a more honest expression of the real Chris Crocco – a personal statement of his original music that reveals the true artist behind the music.

The opening track “Avenge” finds the full trio + quartet jumping right off to the races, playing an intricate uptempo line with a vengeance, guitar and tenor doubling the rhythmically charged melody in a manner reminiscent of the work of iconoclast pianist Lennie Tristano, while exchanging phrases with Mela’s drums. Each of the group’s member’s virtuosic capabilities are demonstrated with taste and rest.

“Heaven,” featuring the guitar-bass-drum trio of Crocco, Slavov and Mela, is a three tonic modified minor groove piece in the Coltrane tradition. More devilish than heavenly in mood, the tune’s loping tempo is exquisitely executed by Mela, whose assimilation of Elvin Jones’ asymmetrical drum patterns into his own personal polyrhythmic style makes him one of today’s truly original stick men.  Deceptively simple and restrained, the piece which spotlights the solo work of the leader and Slavov evinces a quiet intensity that is one of the hallmarks of the date.

Crocco’s “Silvia” – the sequel to his first album’s “To Silvia (Don’t Say Goodbye)” – is described by the composer as “the end of the novel.”  A feature for the full quartet, the brooding melancholy melody, at times reminiscent of Horace Silver’s “Peace,” showcases the beautiful tone of Garzone’s tenor.

“When It Is When” again features Crocco’s guitar in trio format with Slavov and Mela. A progressive groove that borrows from the standards of the leader’s generation opens with Crocco strumming a repeated lower register melodic line that iterates a matadorial strength and splendor, buoyed by Mela’s splashing cymbal work.  Chris’s solo finds him venturing into an eastern tinged abstract impressionism that hearkens to the relatively unheralded work of guitarists Gabor Szabo and Atilla Zoller.

The moody swinging “Trial of Time” marks the return of the quartet with Garzone and showcases the remarkable middle register work of tenor and guitar, with Chris shining brightly with a full rich tone and a relaxed bluesy feel. Calling the piece “a composition that relies on a pocket swing with a floater melody on the end,” he astutely notes that “time is relative and can be bent.”

“What It Is” is a straight ahead blues by Crocco played with Slavov and Mela on bass and drums. Played at a blistering tempo it demonstrates the leader’s uniquely personal voice, avoiding the clichéd improvisational devices that lead most guitarists’ solos to predictable places. The interaction between Chris and Francisco reveals the intuitively perceptive relationship built upon years of experience that allows for a disciplined freedom that leads the music to new and interesting places.

The minor melody “Spice Mine” is another Coltrane inspired Crocco composition. The dramatic Spanish tinged line opens up into inspired solo statements by the composer and Slavov, with Mela’s AfroCuban styled drumming constantly interacting to shift the contexts within which they are heard.

“Metal” is an entirely free improvised guitar-drums duo completed in just one take. Constructed from Crocco’s opening guitar vamp it features the sound of Mela’s cymbal on top of his snare, which is emphasized in the title. Chris notes that the feeling is “like when we first met.... two people playing as solid as one.”

Crocco’s “My Own Personal Wake” is an introspective piece that begins on a reflective note that recalls “Monk’s Mood.” The painterly composition unfolds over the featherlike canvas of Mela’s brushes, with Slavov’s bassline lending an Americana flavor that can be found in much of guitarist Bill Frissell’s finest work.

The closing “My Peace” is a duo between Crocco and Slavov, a configuration the two have played in frequently around New York.  Hymn like in mood it is an indication of the harmony with life that Chris found in his music.

The Fluid Trio + is an important new statement from Chris Crocco.  With the able assistance of George Garzone, Francisco Mela and Peter Slavov he demonstrates major advances in the development of his own musical voice. One that is personal, flowing and seeking nothing more than the truth.

Greensky Bluegrass CD Release

The music that Greensky Bluegrass performs can best be described as a breath of fresh air, relaxing, invigorating and a welcomed change from the current climate.  The Kalamazoo, MI based quintet uses traditional bluegrass instruments – dobro, banjo, guitar, upright bass and mandolin – to create original songs that are unique, yet familiar and cover songs unconventional to their roots (The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan).

The Midwestern boys had an incredible 2010, touring nationally, performing alongside Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead and featured at the Rockygrass Festival in Lyons, CO, on the main stage at the Grey Fox Festival in upstate New York and in front of an audience of thousands at the All Good Festival in West Virginia. Additionally, the quintet delighted campers at the All Good Festival by performing a surprise midnight to sunrise ‘Guerilla Grass’ jam session that was captured by CNN and featured here.

Greensky Bluegrass has quickly become one of the most exciting touring acts on the road today, performing their trademark sound nationwide at over 160 spirited shows a year. This energy is captured perfectly on their live double-CD releases, All Access: Volume One and Volume Two. All Access is a series of recordings of select shows from the road, Volume One was released and subsequently sold-out in 2010 and Volume Two was released later in that same year.  Each installment offers nearly 30 songs, originals and covers.

Since winning the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, Greensky has been touring constantly and all the hard work is certainly paying off. Recent highlights are too many to list, but include selling out venues in many parts of the country, sharing the stage with musical heroes, getting asked to play shows with the likes of Tony Rice and Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth. Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

Check out Greensky Bluegrass at Sullivan Hall in NYC on February 10th.

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Union Street Preservation Society:

USPS is a collective that is a link in the lineage of folk and blues musicians such as Robert Johnson, Duane Allman, Steve Earl, Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt. Our goal is to educate people through music and by talking about the history of the music. This generation is spiritual bankrupt (and increasingly financially so) and in need of something authentic. We seek to provide that communal experience. Join in on the project, sing along, learn some history and contribute any way you can. The society is always accepting new, honorary members who are willing to delve deeper into the music, both intellectually and spiritually and physically.

Citizen Cope at the Fox Theatre - January 1, 2011

"Something is great about this one." The phrase buzzed around in my head, mixing with the endorphins that cracked and snapped about their different relays, telling me that I liked this music. This music is good. The beer in your hand is good.* You are loving this, aren't you? Aren't you?

Singer/Song Writer, Citizen Cope recently headlined in Towson's Recher Theatre, a large dimly lit room washed in blood red drapes. Two bars, bouncers at the door who think they're funny, an entrance covered in music posters: enough ambiance to make you dream of owning rooms filled with nothing but silk pillows and feathery boas. Brilliance -- all of it.

His music is simple to the point of being stripped down, as if bearing it all was the only way to get our attention. The Spartan band behind him was made up of a drummer, a bassist, two keyboardists, and Cope on guitar. A mix of hip-hop, folk, and blues his songs are mostly beats - mix bass drum, high hat, snare, clap track and repeat - buffed smooth by a haggard, road-weary voice. Uncommon chords for texture and keyboards for lift.

One Rolling Stone critic called him "a modern day bluesman who paints a plaintive portrait of the human condition." Another, not-so-friendly critic from music and culture website, SoundtheSirens said: "I'm sure there's some soulful guy with a guitar who can write better songs sitting in some coffee shop somewhere who deserves the exposure more than he does." This may be warranted, I just happen to disagree.

Good artists can recreate the high people get from good music -- that electricity that makes the crowd sway. After all, that heightened sense, so amazingly replicable across cultures, is what makes music a universal human constant. But the excitement that surrounds great artists -- painters, musicians, writers, and doers alike -- is that you as if you are in the presence of someone who is saying what no else is able to or willing to say. I felt the unsettling electricity in Cope's performance -- the feeling that I could not do this, nor would I ever want to. Who could bear being the only one for long? There's something great about this one.

This line of thinking is flawed. I argue that Citizen Cope is great, but that just makes him great to me. To you he could be anything or nothing. But he got a reaction out of me, a departure from normalcy that left me buzzing afterwards, and it's hard to find words that aren't useless contemplation. Words that avoid shameless worship to someone who does not want to be worshipped. But I knew I was doomed to fail when I started this.

Tickets are on sale at Fox Theatre Box Office. Call (303) 443-3399 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.foxtheatre.com.

$25 adv / $25 dos

Tickets On Sale – Friday December 17th!

Eric Comstock & Randy Napoleon Release Bittersweet

The pianist & vocalist Eric Comstock, a star of the Off-Broadway hit OUR SINATRA known for his pop and jazz interpretations, and guitarist Randy Napoleon, currently of the Freddy Cole Quartet, have collaborated on a uniquely intimate voice/guitar CD, "Bitter/Sweet", on Harbinger Records.

Co-produced by Comstock and Katherine Miller, "Bitter/Sweet" features songs by Rodgers & Hart, Jobim (with a lyric by the late Susannah McCorkle), Lane and Lerner, Billy Strayhorn, Henry Mancini, Billy May, Paul Weston and others from the American, Brazilian and English songbooks, all arranged by Comstock and Napoleon. Standards such as "I Have Dreamed," "This Can't Be Love," "Gone With the Wind," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," and "If I Had You" are joined by such rarities as Roger Schore's lyric to Strayhorn's "Ballad for Very Tired and Very Sad Lotus-Eaters". The album also includes "Two for the Road," on which Comstock is joined by his wife, celebrated vocalist Barbara Fasano. Comstock’s other CDs include “No One Knows”, “Young Man of Manhattan” and “All Hart”, and he is profiled in Will Friedwald's new book "The Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers" (Pantheon, 2010). Napoleon's arrangements are heard on Cole's Grammy-nominated salute to Billy Eckstine, "Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B."

Comstock and Napoleon first worked together at a concert for Lincoln Center's American Songbook in 2003, and felt it was time to record the duets they have performed in concert halls and festivals around the country in the years since. Napoleon says, "This is one of my favorite musical combinations. Whoever first carved a guitar out of a block of wood must have had a singer in mind -- guitar and voice are that natural together. Eric is also a first-rate pianist and accompanist, so I was particularly honored when he asked me to record with guitar and voice alone."

Comstock adds, "We live in a noisy world, and Randy and I are trying to show that whatever is worth saying musically can be said softly and slowly. This album is an antidote to stress, and Randy and I are extremely proud of it."

Comstock returns to the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room with Barbara Fasano on January 4th in a new show entitled, "HELLUVA TOWN: A  New York Soundtrack", featuring an idiosyncratic  mix of songs from Broadway and Hollywood, the pop singer-songwriters, and the jazz songbook.  Performances of "HELLUVA TOWN", which continue through January 15th, 2011, are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8:30pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 and 11pm.

Legendary Blues Collaboration to Celebrate 100 Years of Robert Johnson

How do you throw a 100th birthday bash for the most influential bluesman that ever lived? If you’re Big Head Todd and The Monsters, you gather some of the greatest living blues musicians and record 100 Years of Robert Johnson (February 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records), a stirring new tribute album featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century.

Big Head Blues Club, as the ad hoc ensemble is calling itself, features, in addition to the Colorado-based quartet—guitarist and vocalist Todd Park Mohr, bassist Rob Squires, drummer Brian Nevins and keyboardist Jeremy Lawton—special guests, blues legends B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keepers of the blues flame Ruthie Foster, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm.

Recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011, and supported by a national tour (“Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts”) featuring many of the participants in the sessions. A complete list of the tour dates is included below.

For Todd Park Mohr, who founded Big Head Todd and The Monsters with Squires and Nevins nearly a quarter-century ago, the project has served to re-introduce him to the iconic music of Johnson, whose songs provided many of the pioneering blues-rock bands—Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Cream, Canned Heat, etc.—with some of their most popular material.

100 Years of Robert Johnson features several inspired takes on Johnson’s best known compositions. For Mohr and Goldsmith, the challenge in recording the tribute was to give new voice to Johnson’s music, to avoid copying the countless cover versions already extant. “In so many of the takes on Robert’s stuff, you don’t get the depth of emotion that’s in the lyrics and in Robert’s voice. That’s one thing that Chris and the band and my voice were able to bring to it. Chris had great ideas about how to represent the stuff, and all the musicians were just so good at what they did, the unique arrangements just came naturally.”

Robert Johnson’s story is the stuff of myth and legend alike, and his music has fascinated blues fans and musicians for more than seven decades. Born in Mississippi in 1911, Johnson recorded only 29 songs, all during the years 1936 and ’37. His unique guitar style and haunting vocal phrasing, and the evocative, often mysterious nature of his lyrics, made him a popular artist during his short time in the spotlight and has continued to intrigue since. A persistent tale that, as a young man, Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become a more proficient musician has been attached to his biography since his untimely death at age 27—the alleged victim of a poisoning incident at the hands of the jealous husband of a woman with whom Johnson had been flirting.

A hundred years after the birth of its greatest artist, it looks like the blues itself is about to be reborn.

100 Years of Robert Johnson Track List:

1. Come On In My Kitchen (w. Charlie Musselwhite)
2. Ramblin' On My Mind
3. When You Got A Good Friend (w. Hubert Sumlin on guitar and Ruthie Foster)
4. Cross Road Blues (w. B.B. King)
5. Preachin' Blues
6. Kind Hearted Woman (w. Ruthie Foster)
7. If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day
8. Last Fair Deal Gone Done (w. Charlie Musselwhite)
9. All My Love Is Love In Vain (Todd solo vocal and acoustic guitar)
10. Sweet Home Chicago (just Honeyboy and Musselwhite)

Cedric Burnside plays drums on “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day” and “Preachin Blues,” and acoustic guitar on “Ramblin On My Mind”

Lightin’ Malcolm plays electric guitar on “Ramblin on my Mind,” “Gotta Good Friend,” and “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day” and plays acoustic guitar on “Preachin Blues” and “Kind Hearted Woman”

BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS tour featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm is as follows:

Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom

Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center

Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology

Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB

Feb. 04 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre

Feb. 05 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theatre

Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M

Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall

Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre

Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU

Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill

Feb. 17 New Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore

Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music

Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse

Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre

Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College

Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater

March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino

March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center

March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall

March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks' Crazy for Christmas out now

Hailed as, “The eternal hipster, purveyor of the drollest and most swingin' tunes the rock generation ever enjoyed” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks have hijacked the holidays and created a Christmas album you’ll enjoy all year long. Released on October 12, 2010 through Surfdog Records, Crazy For Christmas is classic Hot Licks, full of the same dry wit and musical brilliance that has defined Dan Hicks’ music for the past four decades and established him as one of American music’s true cult heroes.

“We wanted to have the Hot Licks sound going, with our signature violin and guitar and two girls backing me up and the tongue-in-cheek approach to the material and the delivery. Keeping it swingin’, keeping it light, with lots of good solos and some cool scat stuff,” explains Dan Hicks. “It’s a Christmas album, yes, but first and foremost it’s a Hot Licks album.” Crazy For Christmas covers it all - with Hicks originals “I’ve Got Christmas By The Tail” and the humorous “Santa’s Workshop” nestled in with classics (done Hicks’ style) like “Here Comes Santa Claus” and an amazing original take on “Carol Of The Bells.” Of course, no Dan Hicks holiday album would be complete without a few irreverent parodies including “Christmas Mornin’” (done in the tune of Hicks’ hit “Where’s The Money”) and “Santa Got A Choo-Choo” (a Hicks re-write and salute to “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie”).

Crazy For Christmas comes on the heels of Hicks’ critically acclaimed 2009 release Tangled Tales. The recording, dubbed an “irreverent, rowdy, even dangerous distillation of real American music,” by the East Bay Express, proved once-and-for-all that Hicks’ undeniable musical legacy is still evolving. “Talk about a rugged, all-American individual,” the LA Weekly reviewed, “Dan Hicks has plowed deep furrows through some of the most fertile pop music territory known to man, and during it all has maintained both his own distinct, light yet emphatic touch and a pace that's always kept him more than a few steps ahead of his colleagues.”

Dan Hicks began his career in 1965 as the drummer for psychedelic San Francisco rock band The Charlatans before forming the acoustic ensemble Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. His unique songwriting and blend of styles, masterful folk-swing guitar playing, and unmistakable sense of humor have made him a cultural icon, landing Hicks on the cover of Rolling Stone twice and provoking Tom Waits to say, “Dan Hicks is fly, sly, wily and dry” while Elvis Costello proclaimed him “an American treasure.”

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks are on tour this fall with their always over-the-top “Holidaze in Hicksville” extravaganza.

The complete list of tour dates is as follows:

Friday, November 19 O'Shaughnessy Center Whitefish MT

Saturday, November 27 Appel Farm Arts and Music Center Elmer NJ

Sunday, November 28 The Turning Point Piermont NY

Tuesday, November 30 City Winery New York NY

Wednesday, December 1 Barns at Wolftrap Vienna VA

Thursday, December 2 Greensburg Garden and Civic Center Greensburg PA

Friday, December 3 Sellersville Theater Sellersville PA

Saturday, December 4 The Met Cafe Pawtucket RI

Tuesday, December 7 Wood Fire Dowagiac MI

Wednesday, December 8 Wealthy Theatre Grand Rapids MI

Thursday, December 9 Kent Stage Kent OH

Saturday, December 11 McCabe's Guitar Shop and Concert Hall Santa Monica CA

Wednesday, December 15 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach CA

Friday, December 17 The Center for the Arts Grass Valley CA

Wednesday, December 22 Yoshi's Oakland CA

Trace Bundy & Sungha Jung @ The Boulder Theater

An accomplished acoustic guitar virtuoso, Trace Bundy sells out shows across five continents with his rare combination of expert capo and fingerpicking techniques, unique stage banter, and jawdroppingly difficult arrangements. While his success was built upon a direct connection with his fans-- his videos are attracting 12 million YouTube views and counting--Trace has also garnered the critical acclaim of major media outlets like 'Acoustic Guitar Magazine', earning the title "Most Promising New Talent." It's only fitting he's joining forces with a fellow YouTube phenom and guitar virtuoso, Sungha Jung.

When Sungha Jung was nine years old, he posted a video of himself playing Trace's arrangement of "Pachelbel's Canon". That video went viral and helped launch Sungha's career, leading to 175 million YouTube views, tours of the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and thirteen awards on YouTube by the age of fourteen. Trace and Sungha have teamed up for two of Trace's South Korea tours, as well as a sold-out West Coast tour. This will be Sungha's second U.S. tour, and will include stops in NYC, Philadelphia to play World Cafe, Boston, Washington DC, and Boulder, CO.

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