Artists

artists

Dick Prall | Rock n' Soul Cafe | Boulder, CO | 9/16/2010 | Review

Small towns give birth to good things, two of them are old friends and great music.

Christopher Paul Stelling Reveals Strange Darkness

Brooklyn-based songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling unveiled a new live performance video for his song “The Museum vs. Jesus,” as well as a live cut of his captivating track, “Strange Darkness,” both of which premiered at Jonny Leather’s new site, Mecca Lecca. Although Stelling doesn’t have an official release out (yet), he’s been busy finishing up nearly 50 songs in anticipation of his 2011 debut- all while mesmerizing NYC audiences all summer.

Performing in the live setting is precisely where Stelling excels. As he puts it, “A recording, the way I make it, is the way I give a performance in a studio. I play to the room. I react to the environment live. At this point, I haven’t had the privilege of spending any serious amount of time in the studio. The recordings I have are all the result of one overnight recording session at a college upstate. I did 20 songs in 12-hour stretch. Recording is a privilege that costs money, and I’m broke. I look forward to trying someday, though.”

With a heartfelt voice, dynamic finger-picked guitar stylings, and a songwriting approach that combines folkloric, mythological, and religious imagery, Stelling has forged a style all his own, yet hauntingly familiar.

Check Out the Video Premiere of “The Museum vs. Jesus” HERE, and Download the New Song “Strange Darkness” HERE!

Upcoming Tour Dates

9/22 - NEW YORK, NY – Piano’s
9/25 - SOMERVILLE, MA - Bull McCabe's Pub
10/03 - BROOKLYN, NY - The Rock Shop
10/23 - NEW YORK, NY - Rockwood Music Hall (CMJ Showcase, 4pm)

Ryan Montbleau Band’s Heavy on the Vine Ripe for Picking

“Time hangs heavy on the vine/Let’s make wine,” Ryan Montbleau sings in the lulling, sensual verse that gives his group’s new album its title. Ryan Montbleau Band has been tending its own musical vineyard for a few years, on the patient cusp of a breakthrough. Their distinctive, long-fermenting blend of neo-folk, classic soul, and kick-out-the-jams Americana finally comes to full fruition in Heavy on the Vine, due out September 21, 2010 on indie Blue’s Mountain Records. It’s an album that represents the product of — and further promise of — a very good year.

It’s been a good year already. The group spent much of it both as opening act and backing band for Martin Sexton, including a round of dates with the Dave Matthews Band. Sexton in turn produced Heavy on the Vine. “I used to dream about getting to meet Martin Sexton,” says Ryan, “and now we’re getting hired as his backing band and he’s producing our record.

“He may not be a household name but to me and so many others, he’s a legend,” Montbleau adds. “But one thing he made clear from the start was that he didn’t want his fingerprints on this record. He wanted us to just play and be us.”

As a songwriter, Ryan recently contributed the single “Something Beautiful” to Trombone Shorty’s recent major-label debut album Backatown. Shorty turned to no less than Lenny Kravitz to contribute vocals and a guitar solo to the track, to help bring across the song’s soulful vibe.  Ryan also co-wrote the Backatown track “One Night Only,” the tune Shorty and his band performed on their Late Night with David Letterman debut in June.

“I’m not one of these people who’s like, ‘Oh, we can’t be pigeonholed.’ I honestly wish we could, just so I could describe it quickly to people,” Montbleau says. “This record has folk songs, funk songs, country tunes, a reggae tune . . . and the end is almost like prog-rock. It’s all over the map, but it’s all us, and we always do it wholeheartedly. We’ve sort of come up in the jam scene, and that’s where our hearts have been in a lot of ways. But we don’t go off on 15-minute epics. We’re actually trying to make the songs shorter as we go. So I would lean more toward the Americana thing than the jam thing. But more than anything, we’re definitely about the song.”

The “us”-ness of the band comes through in Heavy on the Vine in vivid, funny, touching, and hummable spades. The opening “Slippery Road” playfully examines the fine line of moderation between inebriation and sobriety, a subject familiar to most of Montbleau’s contemporaries and more than a few non-musicians. “Carry,” the purest love song Montbleau has written, is in demand as a wedding song by some romantics who’ve heard it being road-tested. “Fix Your Wings” deals with damage and healing in relationships, with tight gospel harmonies adding to the surprisingly sprightly feel. Both the rocking “Here at All” and the ’20s-styled “Stay” address the itinerant musician’s thwarted impulse to settle in one place for more than one night at a time. An admirer of Paul Simon, Montbleau reaches some of his greatest lyrical heights in “Straw in the Wind,” which asks, “Wouldn’t it be nice . . . if you could reconcile the smile you want to feel with the one that you show?”

“For the song ‘More and More and More’ we had done another weirder version in the studio with a strange old synthesizer. But Martin said, ‘We need to try a Rolling-Stones-in-Nashville country version of this,’ with an untuned piano they had in the studio. And it turned out great.”

The Peabody, Mass. native got his first guitar at age nine but didn’t get the bug to become a serious player until he was attending Villanova University. He spent many years as an acoustic solo artist. His first album, Begin (2002), was followed by the live Stages. The first Montbleau Band recording was One Fine Color (2006). And by the time 2007’s Patience on Friday was released, Ryan Montbleau Band (Montbleau, guitar, lead vocals; Laurence Scudder, viola, vocals; Jason Cohen, keyboards; James Cohen, drums; Matt Giannaros, bass, vocals; and Yahuba, percussion, vocals) were hometown heroes.

The band’s unusual makeup was somewhat accidental, as the leader tells it; he never had it in mind, for instance, that he needed a full-time viola player. “It just evolved over the years, because I really didn’t have a sound that I was going for,” he says, before qualifying that claim. “Well, I knew I wanted an upright bass, I guess. And I knew I wanted the drummer in some ways to be more of a jazz drummer than a straight-ahead rock drummer. But that was all I knew. I’ve personally always loved the B3 organ, but the keyboard approach really comes from Jason (Cohen), who’s a vintage gear nut and tone junkie who loves old Rhodes, organs, Wurlitzers, Moogs, etc.”

Abject realism and a sense of limitless possibility coexist in Montbleau’s ever-ripening mind. “For the last 10 years, I’ve had this insane desire to just go out there and do this. And I face the realities that, okay, I’m 33 and I’m not selling out stadiums yet. I get more realistic as I go and I also get more appreciative of just being able to do this at all. My goal for a few years when I was starting out was to make a living off playing music, and now I’ve been doing that for seven years or so, and the goals change as you go. Now the goal is to spend more time practicing and writing and creating, and a little less time doing all the business stuff.”

Tempted as Montbleau might be to look toward the big picture, not losing sight of the small one is why the band has maintained such a loyal and evangelistically inclined base. “I still go back to my original philosophy of just one person at a time,” he says. “I never even told people ‘Bring your friends to the show’ at the beginning, because it wasn’t about them bringing their friends, it was about them bringing themselves. I’m trying to focus on the one person, because if they come and like it, they are going to bring their friends. We’re still grass roots in that way.” No surprise, then, that those well-tended roots have sprung up into such pregnant vines.

The Heavy Pets Release Collectors Vinyl Album

On the heels of their self-titled 2010 release, The Heavy Pets are unveiling a collectors edition, 150 gram audiophile vinyl album featuring 7 blazing tracks including the previously un-released track "This Side Up" and an alternate version of their haunting 2010 single, "Lazy Anna". The album also includes a free download card for all 12 tracks on the new CD.

Pushing the sonic envelope from the dance floor to the bedroom, The Heavy Pets vinyl gleefully takes the listener on a journey that varies in both sonic and emotional texture. Overflowing with expert musicianship, unexpected musical turns, and masterful pacing of songs; the follow up release also boasts a cameo appearance with high-profile guest star, John Popper of Blues Traveler, courtesy of Verve Records.

Looking to produce the highest quality recording possible, The Heavy Pets teamed up with some of the industry's best production and engineering talents. The vinyl lacquers were cut by the legendary Doug Sax, founder of The Mastering Lab. The album was produced by Multi-Platinum award winning producer Scott Mathews and was mastered by two time Grammy Award winning mastering engineer Vlado Meller of Universal Mastering Studios. With each passing year the band continues to break ground by embracing cutting edge technology, while working towards preserving the buoyant sound of analog recording.

Since 2005, the band has built their reputation as a live tour-de-force through years of nationwide touring and three successful previous releases including their acclaimed freshman double-disc studio release, Whale. The band will kick off the first leg of their national fall tour on the east coast with select dates in the south before heading back to their home stomping grounds in Florida to finish off the decade. The new self titled album and vinyl from The Heavy Pets is now available through Amazon.com, iTunes, and the band's web site theheavypets.com.

ON TOUR NOW

September 9 :: Harpers Ferry - Allston, MA
September 10 :: Catskill Chill Music Festival - Hancock, NY
September 11 :: Sullivan Hall - New York, NY
September 15 :: Jillian's - Albany, NY
September 16 :: The Westcott Theater - Syracuse, NY
September 22 :: El Alamo - Key West, FL
September 23 :: El Alamo - Key West, FL
September 24 :: The Green Parrot - Key West, FL
September 25 :: The Green Parrot - Key West, FL
October 2 :: Folk Fest St. Pete - St. Petersburg, FL
October 16 :: The Pour House - Charleston, SC
October 30 :: Southern Monster Mash - Pompano Beach, FL
November 10-14 :: Bear Creek Art and Music Festival - Live Oak, FL
November 19 :: Tobacco Road - Miami, FL

Hoxeyville Music Festival 2010 | Review & Photos

“Get Lost in the Great North Woods” is the perfect way to describe Hoxeyville Music Festival.  The 8th annual festival was held in the Manistee National Forest in Northern Michigan.  Each year Hoxeyville has grown and improved this year followed suit and featured a bigger and better lineup than ever before, cleaner and more organized festival grounds, and the largest crowd to date at around 4,000 people.  One of the greatest things about Hoxeyville is the family atmosphere, whether it was a grandparent and grandchild watching a mid-day set, lon

Leftover Salmon October 30th Halloween at the Fillmore!

Leftover Salmon is excited to announce their return to the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver to celebrate Halloween! Zombie Jamboree will be Salmon’s 5th time decking out the Fillmore in Halloween fashion. Costumes and Halloween has always been a big part of Leftover Salmon. This October 30th we will continue that tradition with special guest Todd Snider back by Great American Taxi to open the show. A limited amount of tickets will be sold through our fan ticketing today Wednesday September 8th at 10am MST. Buy Tickets here.

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Leftover Salmon has released a new DVD "Twice in a Blue Moon" filmed on their 20th celebration at the Boulder Theater on 12/30&31 2010!

View the trailer of the DVD here and go to http://leftoversalmonbluemoon.com to purchase.

Len Dell’Amico's Everything Must Go

Dear Dead Heads:

In 1980, the Grateful Dead needed a director to shoot the planned multi-city broadcast of their Halloween show from Radio City Music Hall.   They brought a guy named Len Dell’Amico out to San Francisco for an interview, and he managed to navigate through one large Hell’s Angel and some fat, potent spliffs sufficiently well to persuade Jerry Garcia that he was the guy for the job.  The result was Dead Ahead, which went on to become a platinum home video.

MoogFest 2010 Adds Cee-Lo, Sleigh Bells, Mutemath, Neon Indian and Omar Souleyman

MoogFest 2010 is undoubtedly throwing the biggest Halloween party of the year!

DSO East to West Coast Tours, NYE and More!

A Slingshot On Mars Tour Preview

Following a stellar summer tour full of great festivals and friends we are excited to hit the road again for the Slingshot On Mars Tour starting September 9th. Upcoming dates include stops in Knoxville and Memphis, TN, Terrapin Hill Farm in KY and the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC. Then we make first time stops at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre in Wilmington, NC and the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, VA before a weekend run through some of our favorite east coast stops including The Norva, Rams Head Live and 9:30 Club. Along the way we will celebrate our time in Baltimore and DC with a Cap Centre Weekend. On 9/17 and 9/18 DSO will choose from the legendary Grateful Dead Capital Centre shows and will recreate that show in its entirety. We will then round off our tour with a special acoustic set at Mexicali Live along with stops in Munhall, PA, Wilmington, DE, Philadelphia, Albany, Toads Place in New Haven, CT, Syracuse, Northampton and Lowell, MA before closing out the tour in the 'Big Apple' at the Nokia Theatre.

Visit our Tour Dates Page for complete details.

From A City Near You Tour

DSO is celebrating our return to the West Coast by recreating shows From a City Near You. Each night Dark Star will choose a Grateful Dead show from a city close to that venue and will recreate that show in its entirety. This will be the perfect time to gather your tour buddies and relive the experience or for you to see that show for the first time that you have only heard stories about.

The tour kicks off in the "Golden State" with 2 nights in good ole San Francisco at the Regency Ballroom. From there we head up to Sacramento then over to the banks of Lake Tahoe for a stop at the Crystal Bay Club Casino before returning to Cali for shows in Anaheim and LA before a Saturday night stop in 'Sin City' and a Sunday/Monday run at the Belly Up Tavern in Solona Beach. The last week of tour brings us back to the Mile High City with stops in Tempe and Flagstaff AZ, Salt Lake City and the tour Closer at the Fillmore in Denver.

Visit our Tour Dates Page for complete details.

The Rex Foundation and DSO

In addition to continuing the Grateful Dead concert experience at our shows we are working with The Rex Foundation to continue their legacy of giving. We have recently created a donation module on our fanclub-ticketing page that allows you to make a donation to the Rex Foundation while purchasing tickets to our shows.

For our summer tour former Grateful Dead tie-dye artist Courtenay Pollock designed a backdrop for us. We are pleased to raffle this off with part of the proceeds benefiting the Rex Foundation. If you would like to bid on this one of a kind tie-dye design on 4 10' x 10' panels, please send your bid and contact info to: brett@darkstarorchestra.net.

August 9, 2010 marks the 15 year anniversary of legendary musician and Grateful Dead co-founder Jerry Garcia's death. As a way to honor his musical and community legacy, the gifted musicians on this compilation have generously contributed stirring live performances of Jerry Garcia songs to benefit the Rex Foundation. The album includes four exclusive previously unreleased live Garcia songs from Phish, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, The String Cheese Incident, and Keller & The Keels. Other artists in the order they appear on the album are: Railroad Earth, The Black Crowes, Moonalice, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Waybacks, Widespread Panic, Hot Buttered Rum, and Steve Kimock Crazy Engine. All proceeds are a contribution to the Rex Foundation.

Download the files (MP3, FLAC, or ALAC) or buy the CD here.

TOUR DATES

DATE VENUE CITY DSO TICKETS
A Slingshot On Mars Tour
09/09 The Valarium Knoxville, TN TICKETS
09/10 Minglewood Hall Memphis, TN TICKETS
09/11 Terrapin Hill Farm Harrodsburg, KY TICKETS
09/12 Orange Peel Asheville, NC TICKETS
09/14 Greenfield Lake Amphitheater Wilmington, NC TICKETS
09/15 Jefferson Theater Charlottesville, VA TICKETS
09/16 The Norva Norfolk, VA TICKETS
09/17 Rams Head Live! Baltimore, MD TICKETS
09/18 930 Club Washington, DC TICKETS
09/20 Mexicali Live Teaneck, NJ TICKETS
09/22 Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead Munhall, PA TICKETS
09/23 Grand Opera House Wilmington, DE
09/24 Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia, PA TICKETS
09/25 Palace Theatre Albany, NY TICKETS
09/27 Toad's Place New Haven, CT
09/28 Westcott Theater Syracuse, NY TICKETS
09/30 Calvin Theatre Northhampton, MA
10/01 Lowell Memorial Auditorium Lowell, MA TICKETS
10/02 Nokia Theatre New York, NY TICKETS
Wings a Mile Long Tour
10/20 Reif Center Grand Rapids, MN TICKETS
10/21 Varsity Theater Minneapolis, MN TICKETS
10/22 The Venue Fargo, ND TICKETS
10/23 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
10/25 The Intersection Grand Rapids, MI TICKETS
10/26 Traverse City Opera House Traverse City,MI TICKETS
10/28 Bluebird Bloomington, IL TICKETS
10/29 The Pageant St. Louis, MO TICKETS
10/30 Madison Theater Covington, KY TICKETS
10/31 The Cannery Ballroom Nashville, TN TICKETS
11/2 Copper Dragon Carbondale, IL TICKETS
11/3 The Blue Note Columbia, MO TICKETS
11/4 Granada Theater Lawrence, KS TICKETS
11/5 The Slowdown Omaha, NE TICKETS
11/6 CCastle Theater Bloomington, IA TICKETS
Just Announced - From a City Near You Tour
11/26 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA
11/27 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA
11/28 Crest Theater Sacramento, CA TICKETS
11/30 Crystal Bay Club Casino Crystal Bay, NV TICKETS
12/2 The Grove Anaheim, CA TICKETS
12/3 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA TICKETS
12/4 Hard Rock Cafe Vegas Las Vegas, NV TICKETS
12/5 Belly Up Tavern Solona Beach, CA TICKETS
12/6 Belly Up Tavern Solona Beach, CA TICKETS
12/8 Marquee Theater Tempe, AZ TICKETS
12/9 Orpheum Theater Flagstaff, AZ TICKETS
12/10 The Depot Salt Lake City, UT TICKETS
12/11 Fillmore Auditorium Denver, CO TICKETS

Christopher Paul Stelling: A Songwriter With a Story To Tell

Take one look at his road-worn, weathered guitar, and you know that Christopher Paul Stelling is a musician with a story to tell. With a heartfelt voice, dynamic finger-picked guitar stylings, and a songwriting approach that combines folkloric, mythological, and religious imagery, Stelling has forged a style that is all his own, yet hauntingly familiar. Think along the lines of John Fahey, Tom Waits, and Skip James.

Stelling has a busy few weeks ahead- this Thursday, August 19th, he’ll be appearing on East Village Radio’s Belly of the Beast at 8pm, and next Tuesday, August 24th, you can catch his signature blend of hellfire gospel at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall at 9pm, right after Hoots & Hellmouth.

Stelling has managed to revive a sense of musical storytelling and mastery over his instrument that was thought to be long since forgotten, especially in the modern era. His songs evoke everything from delicate fragility to blistering ferocity-those who witness his live shows are often left in disbelief, and wanting more.

Over the past decade, Stelling has traversed the country exploring the roots of American music. Originally hailing from Daytona Beach, he's since hopped from Boulder to Boston, Orlando to Asheville and everywhere in-between, until deciding to call Brooklyn home. Keep your ears out for a full-length album from Christopher Paul Stelling in 2011.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

August 28th – Brooklyn, NY – Goodbye Blue Monday

September 4th – Butler, PA - Associated Artists of Butler County

October 3rd – Brooklyn, NY – The Rock Shop

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Check out some of Chris' tunes on video:



"Black Wings" (Tom Waits cover)