Artists

artists

Brendan Bayliss & Jake Cinninger 7th Annual Holiday Acoustic Show

For the past seven years Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger have given Umphrey's McGee fans an extra holiday treat: a holiday acoustic show. This year's sold out show was held at the Park West in Chicago.  The proceeds of the show are donated to the USTORM (United So Together Our Reach Multiplies) Foundation which was co-founded by Bayliss.  USTORM is a non-profit organization which raises funds to help provide access to music and art educational programs.

Davy Knowles & the Back Door Slam | Stubbs | Austin, TX | Review

Is this guy for real!  I only ask such a silly question because this talented Davy Knowles is ripping some nasty good blues that threaten to blow your head off. This sexy young Brit was at Stubb’s in Austin for his national tour with the Back Door Slam, December 6th.  Following the release of their new album, Coming Up For Air, and sporting some brand new band members, Davy Knowles and the Back Door Slam are back.

STS9 Releases AD EXPLORATA Today on 1320 Records

Dubbed "one of the country's most intriguing, innovative outfits around" by XLR8R Magazine, STS9 announces the release of their brand new studio effort, Ad Explorata (December 8, 2009 /1320 Records).

Ad Explorata – the band’s third release of 2009 (following their iTunes LIVE Exclusive NYE.ATL.08 / May 2009 and Peaceblaster : The New Orleans Make It Right Remixes / June 2009) and tenth in their full discography - finds STS9 once again exploring new musical terrain never before heard.

Umphrey's McGee Announces Winter Tour

Umphrey's McGee has never played by the rules. Now, with the unveiling of their all- new Stew Art Series (aka, "S2") - an interactive fan experience where audience members "conduct" the band's live improvisations  - Umphrey's McGee continue to offer their fiercely loyal fanbase the most innovative musical experiences available.

Look for the band to announce S2 events at various stops along their recently announced 2010 winter tour dates. 

Confirmed tour dates are as follows:

December 10-13 Caribbean Holidaze Runaway Bay December 29 Vic Theatre Chicago IL
December 30-31 Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL
January 14 Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff AZ
January 15 House of Blues Las Vegas FL
January 16 Warfield Theatre San Francisco CA
January 17 Knitting Factory Reno NV
January 19 Knitting Factory Boise ID
January 20 The Depot Salt Lake City UT
January 22 Belly Up Aspen Aspen CO
January 23 Fillmore Auditorium Denver CO
February 2 Slowdown Omaha NE
February 3 Liberty Hall Lawrence KS
February 4 The Pageant St. Louis MO
February 5 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville TN
February 6 The Tabernacle Atlanta GA
February 9 WorkPlay Soundstage Birmingham AL
February 11 The Orange Peel Asheville NC
February 12 The Music Farm Charleston SC
February 13 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte NC
February 14 Rams Head Live Baltimore MD
March 21-23 Jam in the 'Dam The Melkweg Amsterdam May 28-30 Summercamp Chillicothe IL

Hosted as individual events before that evening's already schedule show, Umphrey's Stew Art Series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage will be entirely directed by S2 audience members. Check out this S2 video from the inaugural S2 event in Milwaukee.

The first few S2 events have been received with overwhelming enthusiasm and to rave reviews, including recent coverage in Billboard Magazine. For S2, sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references (pretty much whatever came to mind), to the Umphrey's Mozes mobile interface.  The suggestions are then filtered by the band's long time Sound Caresser Kevin Browning and projected on a screen for the band to digest and turn into the next phase of the jam.  The band's music varies stylistically with suggestions ranging from "an afternoon bus ride in Jamaica" to "drinking pina coladas...in a hurricane". As one elated fan commented after a show, "S2 was the coolest thing I have ever been a part of. It's always been a dream of mine to meet the band, and the opportunity to participate in leading the Jam for the band was a dream come true as well."

As highly skilled improvisational musicians known for using a complex set of signals on stage to prompt spontaneous musical changes, S2 is proving to keep the band on their toes as they navigate through the audience's prompts. S22 event), every attendee receives an autographed CD of the Stew Art Series they attend - minutes after the event has concluded. To be clear, each S2 show is a TOTALLY separate event than the scheduled concert date and will be sold as a separate ticket - getting a ticket to S2 does not get you into the show later that night (and vice versa). The S2 experiment is just that, an experiment. Keyboardist Joel Cummins explains, "The improvisational elements of our show have always been one of our favorite parts about playing together - and we think the audience feels that way, too. That's our inspiration for the S2 series. It's also a great way to stay on top of our chops." S2 events take place in the early evening before the respective show start times. Prices and ages vary from show to show - which should last one hour (with Q&A).

This is not the first time that Umphrey's McGee has taken new approaches to delivering their music to the fans. Before their latest studio recording, Mantis, was released in January of this year, the group made the album available for pre-order in an interesting way. Fans were offered more free bonus content the more Mantis pre-orders were received; as the fans "unlocked" levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album. The idea was to give the fans incentive to help spread the word about the album, and to offer a totally unique music experience.

Weezer: Raditude

I will preface this review by saying; I grew up on The Blue Album and Pinkerton. They were classics and set a very high standard for Weezer albums to come. Raditude, like every other Weezer album following their first two, does not evoke the same magic feeling that The Blue Album and Pinkerton do. To Weezer’s credit the musical landscape has vastly changed since The Blue Album. Their garage rock sound has become more of the norm in the mainstream music scene.

Happy Hour at Saxon Pub with Waylon Payne

All 12 of the Saxon Pub tenants had eyes on Payne as he opened with a slow and easy start. Throughout the set Payne mixed a variety of slow subtle originals with upbeat covers. Adhering to call out requests from boisterous tenants, Payne showed a plethora of song knowledge.

Railroad Earth: New Years and New Tunes

After a largely successful fall tour, Railroad Earth is wrapping up a momentous 2009 with performances on both coasts before heading to the studio for their forthcoming album. The six-piece Americana outfit is scheduled for a short east coast run before heading to the Pacific Northwest for a four-night New Years Eve Bash. A bittersweet tour, the New Years run will also mark the final show for stand-up bass player Johnny Grubb.

Known for well-crafted lyrics, outstanding musicianship and an un-matched dedication to their live performance, Railroad Earth is a musical anomaly. Not quite rock n’ roll and not quite Bluegrass; the band captures the flavor of American history by rolling intriguing narratives into traditional instrumentation. The end result is a rootsy, bouncy, sing-along that has fans clamoring for more.

Mixing an unlikely blend of instruments to make up their well-traveled sound, the project features Todd Sheaffer (Lead vocals, acoustic guitars), Tim Carbone (Violin, vocals), John Skehan (Mandolin, vocals), Andy Goessling (Acoustic guitars, banjo, dobro, mandolin, flute, pennywhistle, saxophones and vocals), Carey Harmon (Drums, hand percussion, vocals) and Johnny Grubb (Upright bass).


Railroad Earth’s most successful year to date, the band has graced the stages at some of the country’s most prestigious festivals including Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rothbury and the 10,000 Lakes Festival. And this past September, Railroad Earth performed for the first time at the legendary amphitheater, Red Rocks in Morrison, CO. In their relatively short tenure, the band has released five critically acclaimed albums and amassed an impressive national following with sold-out shows from coast-to-coast.

Their last collective tour of 2009, the New Years performance will mark the final show with long-time bass player and friend, Johnny Grubb, who recently resigned from the project. With numerous sell-out performances around the country, the final performances with Grubb are not to be missed. The band will be taking the first part of 2010 to focus on the creation and release of their sixth album before hitting the road again in the summer.

TOUR DATES:
12/10 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall Of Williamsburg
12/11 Washington, DC - 9 30 Club
12/12 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of the Living Arts
12/27 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
12/28 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
12/30 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
12/31 Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater
1/3 Fort Lauderdale, FL -Jam Cruise 8

Ray LaMontagne | Denver, CO | 11/17/09 | Review

On Nov. 17, Denver’s Ellie Caulkins Opera House was filled with the sweet songs of lost love, simplicity and addiction. The source of this therapeutic rapture was former shoe-factory worker turned folk phenomenon Ray LaMontagne. With a voice that harbors the kind of goosebumps and butterflies that first love brings, he captures the many emotions that coincide with the human condition.

The Rural Alberta Advantage | 'Hometowns' | Review

I have listened to a lot of music. Over the past few years, I have come to accept that there is very little that musically surprises me anymore. I am not saying that there is nothing good out there, to the contrary there has been a lot of good music lately, it is simply that the music I have listened to recently lacks staying power. When I say staying power, I mean that I can play the album a week, month, year or years later and not be embarrassed. The Rural Alberta Advantage debut album Hometowns caught me off guard.

Zack Borer Band | The Bitter End | NYC | Review

The Bitter End is a musical landmark in New York. Many artists on their way up to stardom have played here. Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Patti Smith, Frank Zappa, even pop music's current 'It Girl', Lady Gaga.
 
But on November 12th, it was Zack Borer's turn.