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Thu, 01/30/2014 - 11:56 am

On the heels of winning “Best Country” at the 2013 Connecticut Music Awards, John Mayock & The Homesteaders are exploding onto the national stage, bringing a unique blend of aggressive roots-rock and folk, embellished with hints of R&B harmony and a bit of classic country twang. Now, the group releases their highly anticipated self-titled EP, which is sure to bring their newfound fame to even greater heights.The Homesteaders are just as diverse as the musical traditions that have influenced their sound, and its members have worked with countless nationally renowned musicians, including Commander Cody, Gavin DeGraw, Savoy Brown, Buddy Cage, James Montgomery, Duke Robillard, Al Anderson, Tommy Ardolino and Terry Adams of NRBQ, Gregg Allman, and Max Creek. The immense range of their musical talents shines through on their new eponymous EP, from the exuberant opening track “Battle Cry” to “Anticipation Grows,” which seamlessly blends elements of prog-rock with good old down-home blues. The result is catchy, captivating, and entirely unique tracks that perfectly complement Mayock’s heartfelt and poetic songwriting.John Mayock & The Homesteaders was recorded and mixed by Dennis Cotton and mastered by Randy Hunicke. The bands’ masterful musicianship is captured with crystal clarity, so much so that they joke, “It’s like taking the band home without buying us breakfast.” Just one listen and you’ll find out why reviewers like Eric Danton of the Hartford Courant have been raving about John Mayock & The Homesteaders’ “strong vocal harmonies and catchy melodic hooks on aching airy songs with a folksy twangy pop sound and a vintage garage feel!”You can learn more about John Mayock and the Homesteaders at http://www.thehomesteaders.net

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 3:14 pm

The Woodshedders bring the influence of vintage American music forward in its songwriting with a sound sure to be embraced by fans of The Band, Andrew Bird, Jack White, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Mumford & Sons, and The Avett Brothers. The end of 2013 brought the release of The Woodshedders’ all-original album, Wildfire, a storybook ramble that explores the band’s diverse roots music influences, and spotlights its virtuosic members. The Woodshedders, known for fun, danceable shows that swerve between different genres to create exciting original sounds, have played Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival, Mountain Stage New Song Fest, PBS Song of the Mountains, WAMU’s Capital Americana, and are the host band of Virginia’s Watermelon Park Fest.Wildfire’s opening track, “Highway,” sets the listener on the road of travel, hope, and heartbreak, as singer and guitarist Dwayne Brooke sets the tone of the album with charismatic vocals and lyricism. Lead guitarist and mandolinist Jared Pool’s original tune, “Keel Reel,” is a rowdy flatpicking instrumental that rides the line of traditional and modern bluegrass, and further highlights The Woodshedders’ dynamic sound. Jesse Shultzaberger (drums) and Ryan Mayo (bass, piano) lay down deep, cohesive grooves throughout Wildfire; this is especially felt on “O Dig,” a funky, off-kilter dance number. Fiddlin’ Dave Van Deventer elevates the tension to new heights on “Phantom on the Highway,” as the ‘60s era Leslie organ speaker haunts the sound of the wild and raucous fiddle. The Woodshedders’ songs evoke a gang of happy vibes, all while delivering tendrils of realism, and contemplation. The band is known for their upbeat live shows that get fans dancing, and caught up in the wild and rowdy telling of its tales.Wildfire was recorded in 2013 in Richmond, VA at Montrose Studios by Adrian Olsen, and mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio in Hudson, NY. Wildfire truly encompasses the best elements of traditional roots music: simplicity, storytelling, honesty, accessibility, and use of traditional instruments, and brings them forward in relevant, contemporary songs.You can learn more about The Woodshedders at http://www.thewoodshedders.com.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 1:25 pm

Mixing analog electronics with bluegrass backbeats, the music of Brushfire Stankgrass has significant crossover appeal. Their latest release, "Microclimates," is sure to please bluegrass/newgrass buffs and electronic music fans alike. Brushfire Stankgrass was founded in 2006 by Ben and Will Saylor (banjo and guitar), brothers who have been playing music together since the age of three. In conjunction with a rhythm section comprised of Micah Thomas on drums and Daniel Iannucci on bass, the #1 bluegrass band in Asheville (Reverbnation) have successfully and organically blended the feel of down home bluegrass music with elements of funk, jazz, and disco, crediting a wide variety of influences including Dr Dre, Phish, Grateful Dead, and Weather Report.

Their sophomore album, Microclimates, was greatly inspired by its namesake, a phenomenon that the Southern Appalachian mountains are famous for: “little worlds inside worlds that are created by unique, extremely local conditions.” Both the title track and the album as a whole are a musical portrayal representing a wide diversity of microclimates, with a similarly amazing sonic array. This carefully crafted studio release makes use of many layers of sound, including strings, horns, and even some field-recorded nature sounds like crickets, cicadas, and thunderstorms from Southern Appalachia. There's even somewhat of an environmental call to action theme throughout the lyrics: “I don't want to have my bones lying in the sand of some alien looking landscape, it's worth it for our sake to change.”

With such a strong bluegrass feel, Brushfire Stankgrass is often likened to artists such as Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, or Greensky Bluegrass and their songwriting specifically is often compared to John Hartford. However, their sound is very distinguished and authentic. The use of analog electronic processors for banjo and guitar, and electronic effects never before used on a banjo, help to create their very distinct sound. Microclimates was self-produced, and features several locally well-known musicians, including an appearance by Phillip Barker of Town Mountain.

Brushfire Stankgrass releases Microclimates
Saturday, March 22nd - 9PM
The Laughing Goat Artisan Coffeehouse, Bar & venue
1709 Pearl St
Boulder, CO, 80302

You can learn more about Brushfire Stankgrass at http://www.stankgrass.com.