Wed, 03/07/2012 - 2:18 pm

The quintessential live band, Pittsburgh’s Rusted Root celebrates their 20th anniversary this year. Formed in the early 90’s by singer/guitarist Michael Glabicki, Rusted Root’s worldly style quickly charmed fans of roots music and world rock. To date they have released 7 albums and sold over 3 million records worldwide. After debuting in 1992 with the self released Cruel Sun, Rusted Root signed with Mercury Records and released the 1994 platinum selling breakthrough When I Woke, which featured the massive hits Send Me On My Way, Ecstasy and Martyr.  Their huge success allowed the band to tours with Santana, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, The Allman Brothers Band, HORDE Festival and, perhaps most notably, the highly coveted support role on the landmark Jimmy Page/Robert Plant reunion tour. In 1996, the hard-touring Rusted Root returned with Remember, which was followed by 1998’s Rusted Root.  In 2002 the band reemerged with Welcome To My Party. In 2004, the band released a double live album aptly entitled Rusted Root Live; This double set was the second release Rusted Root’s Touchy Pegg label, following the re-release of the newly remastered Cruel Sun in 2003.
 
Along the way, Rusted Root has also issued three EPs (Evil Ways, Live, and Airplane), a home video (Rusted Root Live) and had songs placed in film and TV soundtrack tracks such as Twister, Mathilda, Home For the Holidays, Party of Five, Charmed, Homicide & ice age.  What was indubitably a first for Rusted Root was that NASA engineers chose Send Me On My Way as "wake-up" music for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, for Sol 21. Send Me On My Way was most recently used in a set of Enterprise Rental Car commercials in 2011 & 2012.
 
In May 2009, Rusted Root released Stereo Rodeo, their first studio album in 7 years. Of Stereo Rodeo, band founder & leader Michael Glabicki says ;"We named our record Stereo Rodeo after a song that I started writing back when we were recording our last studio record.  It’s really just a great name,” “We were all just so into the music,” says vocalist/percussionist Liz Berlin about the recording process, “the synergy and excitement on this album is so fresh and energizing.” “It is one of the most powerful albums we have ever recorded,” agrees bassist/vocalist Patrick Norman.
 
The band is currently in the studio recording their new album, tentatively titled Fortunate Freaks, after a song on the upcoming release. Due out for a summer 2012, the disc will mark the groups 20th anniversary year. “Our last record was to let people know that we were back and were making music again,” Glabicki said. “With this new one, we’re not only back, we’re back to our old selves. [the new album] is very danceable and energetic,” he said. “It’s happier than the last record but, more than anything, we returned to our rock roots. I think it’s something fans will be happy with. We have a few more songs to go, and we’re really hoping this will be out in the summer.”  
 
To help support the making of this new album, Rusted Root created the “Fortunate Freaks Unite! We are Rusted Root Campaign.”  This fan-funding campaign provided the fans the opportunity to contribute to the making of the album, while receiving some once in a lifetime opportunities.  “Rusted Root is a state of mind shared and explored by many people- we are a community that supports one another. The fans are as much a part of this as anyone. It is an interesting time in history and fan funding is a great way to point out the obvious; we are a band that relies on the energy of our fans.”
 
As to what you’ll hear at an upcoming Rusted Root show, “We’ve been working on a new album, so our set is a really cool mix of old classic Rusted Root and the new songs,” Liz Berlin says. “It’s been fun to play them. A lot of the development of (the new album) has happened on stage; what fans have been into has helped with the direction of the songs.”
 
Rusted Root will be touring relentlessly throughout 2012, playing their new music as well as some of the faithful fans favorites.

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MARCH
3/16/12 Gateway Clipper                                           Pittsburgh, PA  
3/17/12 St. Patrick's Day Music Fest                            Myrtle Beach, SC
3/27/12 Cubby Bear                                                   Chicago, IL
3/28/12 Old Rock House                                            St. Louis, MO     
3/30/12 Belly Up                                                        Aspen, CO  
3/31/12 Wild West Saloon                                          West Yellowstone, MT  

APRIL
4/1/12 Knitting Factory                                              Spokane, WA  
4/3/12 Mississippi Studios                                          Portland, OR
4/4/12 Tractor Tavern                                                Seattle, WA     
4/6/12 John Ascuaga's                                              Nigget Sparks, NV  
4/7/12 Uptown Theater                                              Napa, CA  
4/8/12 El Rey                                                            Los Angeles, CA   
4/10/12 The Loft - UC                                                San Diego La Jolla, CA  
4/11/12 Live at the Compound Grill                           Phoenix, AZ   
4/13/12 The State Room                                           Salt Lake City, UT  
4/14/12 Gothic Theater                                            Englewood, CO  
4/15/12 Breckenridge Spring Theatre                        Breckenridge, CO
4/26/12 Launch Conference                                      Lancaster, PA  
4/27/12 Brooklyn Arts Center                                   Wilmington, NC  
4/28/12 TBD                                                             Birmingham, AL  
4/29/12 Festival International De Louisiane                 Lafayette, LA  

MAY
5/1/12 House of Blues                                                Houston, Tx  
5/3/12 TBD                                                                Tampa, FL  
5/4/12 The Plaza Live                                                 Orlando, FL   
5/5/12 Blind Tiger                                                      Greensboro, NC  
5/6/12 9:30 Club                                                       Washington, DC     
5/8/12 TBD                                                                 Philadelphia, PA  
5/9/12 Uptown Theater                                                Utica, NY  
5/10/12 Highline                                                          New York, NY  
5/11/12 The Flying Monkey                                         Plymouth, NH  
5/12/12 Bull Run Restaurant                                         Shirley, MA  
5/14/12 TBD                                                               Rochester, NY  
5/15/12 Westcott Theater                                            Syracuse, NY  
5/17/12 Infinity Hall                                                    Norfolk, CT  
5/18/12 Infinity Hall                                                    Norfolk, CT  
5/19/12 Wolf Den @ Mohegan Sun                             Uncasville, CT  
5/20/12 Musikfest Café                                              Bethleham, PA  
5/30/12 tbd                                                                Richmond, VA
5/31/12 Kellys                                                            Nag's Head, NC  

JUNE
6/2/12 Virginia Highlands                                         Summerfest Atlanta, GA  
 6/21/12 Party in the Park                                          Rochester, NY  
 6/29/12 The Village Casino                                      Upstairs Bemus Point, NY  
 7/3/12 Big Butler Fair                                               Prospect, PA  
 7/5/12 Nelson Ledges Quarry Park                          Garrettsville, OH
 7/6/12 Treasure Lake Ski Lodge                                Festival Du Bois, PA  
 7/7/12  Charlvoix Up North Festival                          Dubois, PA
 7/13/12 Bungalow                                                   Rockaway Beach, NY  
 7/14/12 Laurel Art's Somerfest                                 Somerset, PA  
 7/20/12 Taft Theatre                                                Cincinnati, OH  
 7/21/12 Roscoe Village Burger Fest                           Chicago, IL  
 8/25/12 Jammin in the Vines II                                  Silver Creek, NY  
 8/26/12 Allegheny Music Fest                                   Pittsburgh, PA  
 8/28/12 Ziggy’s  (tbc)                                               Winston-Salem, NC
 9/13/12 Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival                    Fredericton, NB - Can  
 9/14/12 Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival                    Fredericton, NB - Can  
 12/21/12 Canegie Hall of Oakland                           Pittsburgh, PA

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 10:07 am

And the hits keep coming. The Bacon Brothers have just added a slew of additional dates to the already action-packed Shaky Ground Tour 2019. “We're excited to be playing some of our favorite places as well as discovering new ones. It'll be fun to go out with some great new music to share!” - Kevin Bacon.

Fiercely devoted to making music, even from an early age, The Bacon Brothers cite such varied influences as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Motown, Led Zeppelin, Philly soul, James Taylor, Pete Seeger and Chet Atkins, just to name a few. The two siblings share a singular body of work that’s found them spending over 20 years working the road and paying their dues, resulting in nine albums – Forosoco (1997), Getting There (1999), Can’t Complain (2001), Live: The No Food Jokes Tour (2003), White Knuckles (2005), New Year’s Day (2009), Philadelphia Road (2011) 36 Cents (2014), and the eponymous, The Bacon Brothers (2018)-- spanning rock, soul, folk and Americana. Never content to be typecast, they’re fiercely devoted to the cause of making music, undeterred by fame, fortune or the pitfalls that frequently obstruct the path to success.

It’s not that either brother lacks the means to steal the spotlight. Kevin Bacon is an award-winning actor with 80 films and dozens of television and stage credits to his name, resulting in numerous Emmy and Screen Actors Guild nominations cited in his resume. Older brother Michael initially began making music in their native Philadelphia before moving to Nashville where his songwriting career blossomed by leaps and bounds. An Emmy-winning composer, he most recently scored Goodface Film's Master Maggie, starring Lorraine Bracco, Kenan Thompson, and Brian Dennehy, which will premiere at The TriBeCa Flim Festival in late April 2019.  Other recent works include the audiobook: You Don't Look Your Age...And Other Fairytales and the HBO documentary RX: Early Detection with Sandra Lee which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year.

So while casual observers may be awed by their Hollywood credentials, critics have been quick to note that the brothers - Michael on vocals, guitar and cello and Kevin on vocals, guitar and percussion -Paul Guzzone (bass, backing vocals), Joe Mennonna (keyboards, accordion), Tim Quick (lead guitar, mandolin and backing vocals) and Frank Vilardi (drums) -- eschew any hint of glitz and glamour in favor of an ethic gleaned.

SHAKEY GROUND TOUR 2019
July 13---Millville, NJ---Levoy Theatre
July 14---Dewey Beach, DE---Bottle & Cork
July 18---Hopewell, VA---The Beacon Theatre
July 19-21---Alexandria, VA---The Birchmere
July 23---Durham, NC---Carolina Theatre
July 25---Charleston, SC--Charleston Music Hall
July 27--Peachtree City, GA---Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheatre
July 28---Ocala, FL---Reilly Arts Center
August 3---Las Vegas, NV---Red Rock Casino Resort Spa
August 4---Phoenix, AZ---Musical Instrument Museum
August 5---Solana Beach, CA---Belly Up Tavern
Aug 7---San Juan Capistrano, CA---The Coach House
Aug 8---Agoura Hills, CA---The Canyon
Aug 9-10---Napa, CA---Blue Note Napa
Aug 17---Kent, OH---The Kent Stage
Aug 18---Lexington, MI---Lexington Village Theatre
Aug 19-20---Arlington Heights, IL---Metropolis Performing Arts Center
Aug 21---Minneapolis, MN---Dakota
Aug 23---Riverside, IA---Riverside Casino & Golf Resort
Aug 24--Fort Wayne, IND---ClydeTheatre
Aug 25---Pittsburgh, PA---Jergel's Rhythm Grille
Sep 19-20---New York, NY---Sony Hall
Sep 21---Ridgefield, CT---Ridgefield Playhouse
Oct 3-4--Franklin, TN--The Franklin Theatre
Oct 5--Frankfort, KY--The Grand Theatre
Oct 11--Fort Worth, TX--Billy Bob's Texas
Oct 12--Lubbock, TX--Cactus Theatre

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 11:20 am

It used to be called boogie-woogie. It used to be called rhythm & blues. Now, they call it rock & roll."

Chuck Berry’s words are at the very heart of Roots Rock & Roll 5-piece, The 40 Acre Mule. The self-described “Rhythm & Blues Outfit” are a powerhouse of vintage revival with a reputation for seamlessly blurring the lines between country, soul and rock audiences with songwriting that borders between blues drenched heartbreak and an old school riot in the streets.

Influenced by the pillars of Rhythm & Blues like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Ray Charles and inspired by recent artists such as J.D. McPherson, Nathaniel Rateliff and Gary Clark Jr., The 40 Acre Mule features J. Isaiah Evans - guitar & vocals, Robert Anderson - drums, Tim Cooper - bass, Chris Evetts - baritone sax & percussion, and John Pedigo - guitar & vocals. They quickly built their own unique sound by blending vintage Rock & Roll, R&B, Soul with a touch of Country. It was a sound that soon caught on with The James Hunter Six, The Reverend Horton Heat and Alejandro Escovedo, just to name a few.

Since forming in 2015 in Dallas, The 40 Acre Mule has built a loyal following the old-fashioned way, playing countless bars and packed clubs. As the crowds caught on, so did the likes of legendary promoter Scott Beggs and Jim Heath (The Reverend Horton Heat) who gave The 40 Acre Mule their first break with an opening slot at a sold-out show at Dallas’ legendary Bomb Factory.

L-R: Chris Evetts, Robert Anderson, J. Isaiah Evans, Tim Cooper & John Pedigo  - photo Credit: Casey Kinney

Playing to diverse crowds has made their fanbase explode. "We’ve gone from 10 to 15 friends in a dive bar on a Tuesday to playing full-on festivals without even having an album out yet. That says something. I think we’re making music that people from all walks of life…country fans, soul fans, rockabilly fans…find comfortable and familiar. It’s because all those genres can trace their roots to Rhythm & Blues, the very backbone of Rock & Roll ", says J. Isaiah Evans.

After years of paying their dues, The 40 Acre Mule are following in the footsteps of good friends and emerging Americana stars, The Vandoliers and Joshua Ray Walker, and signed with State Fair Records. The good times kept rolling with a show stealing appearance at the 2019 HomeGrown Festival with Tripping Daisy, Toadies and The Suffers as well as tour stops with JD McPherson and Charley Crockett. Now, fresh off their nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Act by Central Track, The 40 Acre Mule is set to make more noise with the release of their upcoming full-length debut, Goodnight and Good Luck on July 19, 2019.

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 1:34 pm

Bryan Haraway blurs the lines between Americana and melodic rock & roll on his self-titled solo debut. It's a celebratory record, stacked with layers of electric guitar, horns, pedal steel, and the observations of a sharp songwriter whose learned to appreciate the little things in life. Produced by Grammy-winner Chad Brown (Robert Plant, Patty Griffin) and released less than a year after his near-fatal diagnosis of acute liver failure, Bryan Haraway takes the listener deep into its creator's history of familial and romantic relationships, shining a light on the details that often go overlooked. It also finds the songwriter working alongside a number of top-shelf musicians, including Doug Lancio (touring guitarist for John Hiatt), Larry Hanson (horn player and pianist for Alabama), Gabe Rubin (drummer for Tom Jones), Russ Pahl (pedal steel guitarist for Kacey Musgraves, Lana Del Rey, and Dan Auerbach), and Jim Hoke (saxophonist for Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, and others).

On the record's kickoff track, "We Get High," Haraway's voice shares the spotlight with grooves and guitars, with the frontman singing about the simple joys — a hug in the kitchen during breakfast time, while bacon crackles in a nearby skillet — that come with spending a morning alongside one's lover. On the horn-filled, Motown-flavored "Alive," he looks back upon a relationship that's long since crumbled, focusing not on the messy breakup but, instead, a time when the connection with still vital and beautiful. He shifts his focus to his parents with "How It Is," a big-hearted rock song that finds a grown-up son thanking his mom and dad for the life, lessons, and love they've bestowed upon him over the years.

It was his father who informed Haraway about the family's Native American heritage. A card-carrying member of the Cherokee Indian tribe, Haraway received his first drum kit as a child, "I was a little kid, thinking about the Native Americans banging on drums," he remembers. "When you start to learn where you come from, you pay attention to that culture. The colors…the growing up in the West…the horses…it's all part of who I am." That said, Bryan Haraway is also a universal picture of a man who's learning to love (and live) better. Released less than a year after Haraway was diagnosed with a liver condition that nearly claimed his life, the album delivers a "carpe diem" message in its exuberant melodies and detailed lyrics. After all, why overlook the small things? Those small things often build up to something big. On Bryan Haraway, the songwriter takes stock of it all. "I don't write negative songs," he explains. "A lot of this album is about the minutia and the nuances of relationships. The little things in life can tear you down or lift you up. I try to concentrate on the little stuff, because those little things can be huge in the scope of a relationship."

Honest and heartfelt, Bryan Haraway builds upon the songwriting career that Haraway kick-started with his Las Vegas-based rock band, Part-Time Criminals. He juggled multiple roles within that group — frontman, songwriter, producer, booking agent, designer — and his work helped Part-Time Criminal climb to moderate prominence not only in Vegas, but also in cities like Brooklyn, where they opened for Bruce Hornsby at the Brooklyn Bowl. Five years after that band's formation, he widens his sonic palate with Bryan Haraway, whose songs touch not only upon the rock & roll influences of his youth, but also the heartland anthems of Tom Petty, the lush roots-rock of Jason Isbell, and the alt-country of Wilco.

Bryan Haraway's self-titled album will be released by Part-Time Criminal / Melrose Artists on July 26th.

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 11:17 am

You can't miss Ghalia Volt. She's a natural-born rockstar complete with leather jacket and wicked grin. Ghalia has been honing her blend of Americana blues since she was discovered while busking on the streets of Brussels. Her latest effort, Mississippi Blend, finds her delving deep into the American South,, recording at the famed Zebra Ranch in the Hill Country of Mississippi.

Six years ago, Ghalia was a die-hard R&B and blues fan who heard the siren call of America, and found it too strong to resist. Visiting Chicago, Memphis and Nashville, Ghalia’s livewire talent found a new home. Before long, on Let The Demons Out (2017), Ghalia fused the groove of New Orleans with her own punk-rock attitude, hooking up with bassist Dean Zucchero, guitarist Smokehouse Brown and harmonica player Johnny Mastro from the New Orleans legendary band, Mama’s Boys. Commercially and creatively, this debut release made a seismic impact, hitting #1 on Louisiana’s Roots Music Report, #15 on the national Contemporary Blues Chart and #23 on the Living Blues Charts – while scoring Blues Album Of The Month in Classic Rock Magazine.. 
 
Like any musician who loves the blues, Ghalia hungered to make a record in Mississippi. From the very beginning, her vision for Mississippi Blend was clear. This was going to be an album that had some of the region’s favorite sons add their raw sound.

There was one studio that fit the bill. Owned and operated by Cody and Luther Dickinson, The Zebra Ranch in Coldwater, Mississippi, is where titans like Delta bluesman T-Model Ford to R.L. Burnside have recorded. Rather than being intimidated by the studio’s history, Ghalia embraced the Hill Country influences with the punk, garage and rock ‘n’ roll that she came from. I’m not trying to imitate any style", says Ghalia, "I let my songs drive this music.”

Ghalia sings up a storm, while playing soulful dobro and slide guitar. But this is anything but a one-woman show. On drums, you’ll find Cody Dickinson of the feted North Mississippi Allstars, alternating with Cedric Burnside/ The veteran harp-blower Watermelon Slim duets with Ghalia, while Lightnin’ Malcolm, a guitarist credited with keeping the hill Country Scene so healthy, plays searing leads. 

By all means, take a slug from her hip flask. But don’t forget to play Mississippi Blend - and fall for the most powerful blend of star players you’ll hear this year. “I just can't wait,” says Ghalia, “to share this new album live…”

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 12:31 pm

Sugaray Rayford, a rising star in the international Blues community, has been nominated for a Grammy Award for his critically acclaimed album, Somebody Save Me, which was released this past March on Forty Below Records.

It marks the latest in a series of honors awarded Rayford during the past year alone, including nods for “Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year” at the 40th Blues Music Awards, a pair of 2019 Muddy Awards for “Best Performance” and “Best Recording,” and a win for Blues Blast’s “Best Blues Band.”

The accolades also follow a stream of critical kudos. Downbeat called Rayford a performer with “a soul-blues voice that has an emotional strength.” Albumism raved “A sound that’s undeniably fresh and inspired. Living Blues hailed him as “a soul singer who brilliantly weaves blues, jazz and gospel inflections into his soaring songs.” Blues Music Magazine agreed, describing Somebody Save Me as “an outstanding showcase of Sugaray Rayford’s great talent.”

“I just feel blessed,” said Rayford in response to his Grammy nomination. “I can’t believe this could ever happen to me.”

Eric Corne, Rayford’s writer and producer, added, “It's a huge thrill to be working with such a massive talent as Sugaray Rayford. As a songwriter, producer and owner of Forty Below Records, I am truly humbled, honored and grateful to be included amongst such a strong field of nominees.”

Rayford himself may be best described by this lyric from “The Revelator,” the new album’s opening track: “I’m a freak of nature / I ain’t no honeybee / I’m an unknown creature / The like you’ve never seen.” Indeed, at 6’5” and 300 pounds, this cigar chomping’ ex-Marine sings with a voice that comes across like a force of nature. His magnetic personality and old school vocal approach brings to mind such legends as Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass, he captivates his audiences with dance moves reminiscent of the legendary James Brown.

Despite a difficult childhood fraught with poverty and other domestic difficulties, Rayford began his musical career at the tender age of seven, singing and playing drums in church. After a ten-year stint in the Marines, he opted to pursue a musical career which formally began with his self-release debut album, 2010‘s Blind Alley. A year later, Rayford joined The Mannish Boys and sang lead on nine of the songs featured on their album, Double Dynamite, which went on to win “Best Traditional Blues Album” at the 2013 Blues Music Awards. His next solo album, Dangerous, was released in 2013, followed by Southside in 2015, and The World We Live In in 2017. To date, Rayford has been nominated for over a dozen BMA’s (including “Vocalist of the Year”) and multiple B.B. King “Entertainer of the Year” awards, and induction the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.

The Grammy Award ceremony will be televised Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 8 p.m. EST

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 1:18 pm

Nicholas David is excited to bring his original music to listeners. The pull of the American South has been ever increasing in recent years, bringing this gifted pianist/singer/songwriter to the point where he can deliver, as he likes to say, “music from the heart for the heart.”

Nicholas David is at this point through two related major events that led to this debut on Samantha Fish’s Wild Heart Records. David is a family man with young children who had a strong regional following in Minnesota, having released a steady output of albums and EPs over the past 15 years. He had begun to work on the songs heard on this album when he took a solo opening spot for the Devon Allman Project in 2015. David says, “We really connected on stage. Later our paths crossed after his mom and dad passed. After taking time off, he formed a bigger band and offered me the keyboard spot.” The chance meeting led to a 2017 invitation, which he accepted, to join the Devon Allman Project on a 2018-19 world tour. Among the many notable musicians David met during the 14-month-long trek across the globe was guitarist and singer Samantha Fish. David was struck by the beautiful sincere quality of Samantha’s music as she was touring behind Belle of the West. “She moved me and a song or two of mine caught her attention. She asked me to come to New Orleans as she’d like to help me make the record,” David said.

David has always considered himself a talented singer (more on that later) but his touring with the Devon Allman Project and his role as sideman reminded him in a major way that he was a piano player first and this album brings together both his vocal talents and keyboard skills unlike anything he’s done prior. Allman’s band also established tremendous comradery and brotherhood that reaffirmed David’s outlook on the music business. It rebuilt his trust. He doesn’t miss the music of those two years of touring as much as he misses the bonding and brotherhood that was formed. David has long been a band leader and one to recruit his own players but this new feeling of trust in the music and the direction it was taking enabled him to let others call some of the shots this time.

David headed to New Orleans to commence work on this album, with Fish in the producer’s chair. That week in January resulted in 13 tracks, to be trimmed to 11 for the record, and a collection of songs that displays beautifully both the heartland tug and Crescent City yearning possessing David’s musical mind, body, and soul. He says, “I’ve had some people tell me I sound a bit like Dr. John and it’s funny because I never really listened to his music until now. This pull of The South has become such a strong force that I feel like I understand some of Dr. John’s language now.”

This is not to say that David sounds like Dr. John. He doesn’t try to sound like anyone but Nicholas David, He never has. What he’s realizing now though is that he’s more naturally pulling from the wells of blues and Southern Soul in his music. Surely, he leans into pop as well but that’s likely one of the reasons that Fish wanted to sign him. She is certainly genre-defying as well and seems to be increasingly attracted to those kinds of artists, trying to establish Wild Heart as a home for unique artists rather than simply a “blues label.” Samantha says, “Nicholas is an amazingly talented songwriter and musician. He knows what he wants and when working in the studio, he’s full of ideas and inspiration. I had a lot of fun working on this album with him. It’s been a musical journey so far, and I can’t wait for his fans and new fans as well to connect to this album.”

From the first pastoral notes of “Hole in the Bottom,” slightly reminiscent of a grittier Bruce Hornsby, David’s voice is in complete command as he sings about sacrifice and the need to not overdo anything. Music needs to be balanced with family and other responsibilities. His delivery is immediately authentic and emotive. With each successive song, he cuts incisively and seductively to the core; on the nighttime strut of “Heavy Heart,” or the greasy, funk incantations of “I’m Interested,” the oldest song he’s written, or the gospel waltz of his poem “Peel Back the Leaves,” just to name a few. Elements of blues, soul, rock, funk, and pop meld together seamlessly. It’s naturally a keyboard-driven showcase for David’s songs, and he’s accompanied by some terrific studio contributors such as guitarists Duane Betts, and the recent Wild Hearts Record artist Jonathan Long. Other musicians include Fish’s drummer Scott Graves and renowned Crescent City bassist Charlie Wooton.

David’s is a native of St. Paul, MN who as a youngster became a prodigious talent on piano, instantly recognizable to his grandfather- an accordionist- winning the encouragement of his extended family to cultivate his gift. Nurturing his natural ability as a grade-schooler, he supplemented that with some periodic formal training, though often he found himself playing notes that weren’t on the page. Even then, David was imagining and creating music beyond the expected.

In high school the three-sport athlete found his literal voice, belting out Alice in Chains in his bedroom, and his figurative songwriting voice, as well, filling a notebook of potential lyrics. He added school theatre productions, and a garage band playing covers of Motown and The Doors, to his list of teenage pursuits. David’s achievements onstage were noteworthy, earning him a jazz singing scholarship to the nationally esteemed music program at Chicago’s Roosevelt University.

He declined the prestigious offer, saying it “just didn’t feel right,” instead relocating to Boulder, Colorado, enlisting in the local club circuit and developing his craft. A return to Minnesota at the turn of the 21st century prompted a more serious focus on his career. His 2004 debut, the Four Legged Light EP, was also the inaugural release of his own imprint, Wake the World, and began his prolific solo career.

In 2012 David was invited to audition for NBC’s hit reality competition series, The Voice. Nicknamed by the show producers as the “Family Man”, David soon captured America’s attention with his outstanding vocal prowess and outsized personality. It’s fitting that, by the nation’s measuring stick, he nearly was crowned champion of The Voice.

A Top-Three finish catapulted David from regional musician to international success. His recordings routinely charted on Top 10 lists for Billboard and iTunes, with over a million hits on Soundcloud, numbers that would take a touring band two- three years to amass. David and his Feelin Band toured behind his newfound notoriety, playing support on bills with national acts ranging from The Avett Brothers to Rusted Root to The BoDeans… But fatefully the opening slot for Devon Allman was solo.

Nicholas David likes to say he’s long tried to make music from the heart, for the heart. His newest achievement is certainly true to that mantra. “ The album will surely play to a more roots-music attuned audience than his prior work. “ I’m excited to see what can happen from this record,” David says.

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 5:55 pm

Landslide Records is proud to announce a March 20, 2020 street date for Afterglow, an all-new full-length album by singer and songwriter extraordinaire, Mike Mattison. Best-known for his work with Scrapomatic, The Derek Trucks Band and currently the Tedeschi Trucks Band, with whom he has won Grammy Awards. The result is an eclectic array of original material that is solidly Americana combined with touches of Blues and Rock 'N Roll.

Mattison’s second solo release, Afterglow, displays his trademark ability to combine fresh, memorable melodies with deep, provocative lyrics. The album was co-produced with fellow TTB member Tyler Greenwell, who also plays drums.  Additional musicians include Dave Yoke (guitars), Franher Joseph (bass), Kofi Burbridge (keyboards), Scrapomatic’s Paul Olsen (guitars), and Rachel Eckworth (keyboards). 

A native of Minneapolis, MN, Mattison attended Harvard University where he graduated cum laude in 1991 with a concentration in American Literature. After an ill-advised stint as a journalist, he began his music career with Paul Olsen as one half of the blues duo Scrapomatic, who have released four albums to date. As Scrapomatic's star rose, Mike was picked up by slide-guitarist Derek Trucks and began touring as lead singer with the Derek Trucks Band. Since 2001 he has appeared constantly with Scrapomatic, the Derek Trucks Band and the Tedeschi Trucks Band, performing on five continents and in every state, except Alaska. Mattison has gone on to win two Grammy's with Trucks: 2009's Best Blues Album for the Derek Trucks Band's "Already Free," and 2011's Best Blues Album for the Tedeschi Trucks Band's "Revelator."  His compositions, “Bound for Glory” and "Midnight in Harlem," received significant airplay and the latter was highlighted in the band’s performance for the DVD of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010.
 
Mattison's first release, You Can’t Fight Love from 2014, reaped critical acclaim and strong airplay. American Songwriter wrote that “Mike Mattison has arrived in a big way” and All Music Guide commented on his “remarkable vocal range.”
 
Mike Mattison will perform nationally and overseas with both the Tedeschi Trucks Band and his own formidable unit throughout 2020.

TOURDATES

Billed as 'Scrapomatic featuring Mike Mattison'
March 27---Asheville, NC---Isis Music Hall
March 29---Nashville, TN---City Winery
April 21---Boston, MA---City Winery
April 23---New York, NY---City Winery
April 24---Philadelphia, PA---City Winery
April 25---York, PA---Kable House
April 26---Wash DC---Pearl Street Warehouse

Sun, 01/26/2020 - 11:28 am

Jeremiah Johnson, acclaimed St. Louis blues rocker, is readying the release of his sophomore set Heaven's to Betsy, due out via Ruf Records on February 14th. The St. Louis bandleader is a beacon of time-honored songcraft, writing on acoustic guitar, digging deep for raw lyrics and insisting on studio production that bottles the sweat of his shows. 

Heavens To Betsy is another bold creative leap for an artist on fire. It’s been just two years since Straitjacket hit #6 on the Billboard Blues Album chart and scored rave reviews across the board. This was the follow-up to Grind (2014), Blues Heart Attack (2016), as well as the confessional Ride The Blues documentary.

But while Johnson is rightly proud of that early catalogue – and still serves up house-rocking takes on the Straitjacket material each night – he’s always kept one eye on the horizon. “On Heavens To Betsy, I wanted to try something different than any of my previous releases. I really took the ‘song first’ concept and got back to my roots in blues-based Southern rock.”

The specter of the US South can be felt in every fiery lick and observational lyric. Yet Heavens To Betsy is no exercise in autopilot roadhouse blues. The raging sax of Frank Bauer, either backing up or butting heads with Johnson’s driving guitar, has always given the band an added dimension, and with the addition of former Devon Allman percussionist Tony Antonelli, the groove goes all over the map. “We have a more tribal, rhythmic feel now,” notes Johnson, “like the Black Crowes and the Allman Brothers.”

Confident that his band could handle whatever he threw at them in Memphis’s High/Low Recording studio, the new album represents Johnson’s best writing yet. Try "White Lightning", the lyric penned from the perspective of a struggling Southern farmer, powered by money-lick sax and wah pedal. Try the doubled licks of "Tornado", its lyric saluting a wildcat lover; “She’s a hot cup of coffee on a bumpy road." Or put your foot down with the hard-driving "Castles In The Air" and "American Steel", a salute to the joy of the US freeway.

Nobody does escapism better, but Johnson stands apart with his eloquence on more poignant topics. “Leo Stone is about the overwhelming joy I had while my fiancée was in the final stages of her pregnancy,” he says of this open-hearted, country-flavoured highlight, named for his new-born son. “Long Way Home is about my grandmother, who suffered terribly from dementia, and the story of the last time she remembered who I was. "Forever And A Day" was written while I was away from my family on a European tour. Sometimes it can seem like an eternity.”

Heavens To Betsy

Like all the best records, Heavens To Betsy didn’t come easy. Johnson tells of long days under producer Pete Matthews (Vandoliers, North Mississippi Allstars, John Moreland), sometimes catching the spark in the first take, sometimes at the end of a twelve-hour day. “Recording this record was absolutely the most intense experience I’ve ever had in a studio. Good enough was not an option. But I’m extremely thankful that Pete pushed everyone to get the best out of every performance.”

These songs deserved nothing less. On Heavens To Betsy, Jeremiah Johnson has delivered on his mission statement – and then some – with a record that demands to soundtrack the moments of life that matter. “I want this record to be something you’ll want to crank up when you’re with your friends and celebrating life,” he considers. “I want people to throw this record in the stereo and get a kick in the ass…”

Tue, 02/11/2020 - 2:42 pm

Blues musician Ryan Perry, is pleased to announce that he’ll be releasing his solo debut, High Risk, Low Reward, via Ruf Records March 13, 2020.

Like all the great artists, Ryan Perry isn’t afraid to rip it up and start again. Since 2007, the Mississippi bandleader has blazed a reputation in the award-winning Homemade Jamz Blues Band. But when it came to this solo outing, Perry took a leap of faith and trusted his talent to land him safe on the other side. Now, High Risk, Low Reward announces the touchdown of an artist to treasure.

Although still in his twenties, Perry has the soul, scars and war stories to rival the most hard-bitten road dog. Rewind to 2007, the singer/guitarist was just thirteen when the Homemade Jamz Blues Band won second place at the 23rd International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Already, the line-up of Perry and his siblings showed a ferocious musicality and emotional maturity beyond their years. “I learned more about life and the world while playing blues all over than I ever could in school,” he recalls. “And that knowledge has made me grow up faster, something I’m thankful for.”

A decade later, life’s triumphs and blows have made Perry an even more eloquent songwriter, able to capture human truths with his soulful guitar work and that fathoms-deep vocal. High Risk, Low Reward will thrill long-standing followers of the Homemade Jamz Blues Band. But the eleven songs that Perry tracked at Berlin’s Studio Erde with producer Roger Inniss will sweep up a whole new fanbase too. From the classic porch-blues vibe of his home state on the title track, to "Hard Times" torn-and-frayed ode to struggle in modern America, this is an album that touches every generation that hears it.

“Originally, I wanted to keep the Jamz vibes going into this album,” says Perry, “but while writing, I discovered my music taste has changed. This album branches out in some areas, holds on a bit tighter in others. What I can say is that I always play how I feel at that exact moment.”

When it came to the sessions, Perry and his studio band attacked these songs in Berlin. "Ain't Afraid to Eat Alone" is funky and heartfelt, opening with a stinging lead-guitar intro that sets the standard. "Homesick" has a mid-tempo funk-blues lick and a heavy heart. “That song is about me wanting to leave home (the state, or the woman, you decide) so bad. But then realising I had everything I wanted back home, and wanting to come back.”

Elsewhere, Perry reflects on his own broken-down relationships. “Pride is me acknowledging my prideful (and sometimes toxic) ways and hoping I can change them before the one I love leaves me. "A Heart I Didn’t Break" is about loving yourself before you can love another, something I have only a slight grasp on at this point in my life. The title track is about investing too much into someone who gives too little in return. A lot of people can relate somehow – I just hope it never happens again personally!”

Wherever the blues scene goes, expect Ryan Perry to be at the head of the pack, still addressing age-old truths, but serving them up with a vigour and vision that chimes with fresh listeners. “The new generation of the blues is here now,” he nods. “And it’s here to stay…”

Tue, 02/11/2020 - 3:02 pm

The B.B. King Blues Band are thrilled to announce their new partnership with The B.B. King Estate. This joint venture now finds the two forces working together to bring the world The B.B. King Experience, the band's new working name. In addition to the upcoming world tour (dates listed below), the single "Rock Me Baby" featuring George Benson, Tito Jackson and Claudette King will be released this summer.

Five years since the passing of the great B.B. King, his towering influence over the blues world, and beyond, remains undimmed. King's music will never be forgotten, and the iconic bluesman's presence is felt stronger than ever as his spirit will appear on tour. With over 100 years of cumulative experience between them, the "Experience" not only supported King, but they would start each show by performing onstage before B.B. came on-stage. The B.B. King Experience's current line-up includes: James 'Boogaloo' Bolden (trumpet). Russell Jackson (bass and vocals), Wilbert Crosby (guitar and cocals), Darrell Lavigne (keyboards). Claudette King (vocals) and Myron 'Big Jack' jackson (trumpet.)

The bands last album was released in May 2019 and debuted at #1 in the Billboard Blues Charts. The Soul of the King featured many a-listers inluding Taj Mahal, Joe Louis Walker, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Kenny Neal & Michael Lee. 

ABOUT THE BAND
James 'Boogaloo' Bolden (trumpet/lead & backing vocals)
Born in Houston, TX, James Bolden began his musical training under the guidance of Edmund C. Broussard. Bolden later seized the opportunity to study classical trumpet under Houston Symphony Trumpeter Richard Schafer. James went on to play with local union bands that performed with a wide array of artists such as Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes, Temptations, Supremes, Spinners, and James Brown. Bolden eventually was given the opportunity to join the Duke Ellington Orchestra where he thrived for years. Bolden later joined the band of B.B. King and became bandleader during a stint of over 35 years. James Bolden now continues his association with B.B. King by joining B.B. King’s Band as bandleader. 

Claudette King (Vocals)
Blues/jazz/r&b/singer Claudette King, is the youngest daughter of ultimate blues master B.B. King and is quick to cite her father as her main “inspiration.” Trained in the gospel of the Baptist church from age 13, King has developed some of the emotional authority that one associates with her mighty mentors: Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples, Mahalia Jackson, even Michael Jackson. The affable singer will tell you: “I got a bit of everybody inside of me.” Conscientious and hard-working, she shows her own style, her own identity, through rhythm, phrasing, and timbre with ease and confidence. A long-time Californian, currently based in Atlanta, Claudette has released one European album to date.

Russell Jackson (bass guitar/;ead Vocals/backing vocals) 
Starting his 41-year career in 1974, Russell Jackson moved to Chicago in 1976 and gained his blues stripes working with Otis Clay, Buddy Guy, Bobby Rush, and others like Charlie Musselwhite and WIllie Nelson. For 8 years, Russell toured exclusively with B.B. King as his bass guitarist for over 17 years. Jackson was the first artist to put slap bass on a live blues recording, (Live at Old Miss 1979). During the 1990’s, he recorded with Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne on his Juno Award winning CD. In 1992, the Russell Jackson Band debuted and Jackson released three CD’s of his own material. Present day, Russell is the Music Director for the New Generations of the Blues European Tours, formerly known as The Chicago Blues Festival. Jackson was welcomed into the B.B. King’s Blues Band because of his extraordinary talent. 

Wilbert Crosby (guitar and vocals)
Born and currently based in Chicago, Crosby has had the opportunity to perform and record with a diverse group of artists such as Pops Staples, Mavis Staples, Aretha Franklin, Charlélie Couture, and Carey Bell. A love for Blues, Gospel, Jazz and Soul music has been a part of his life since childhood. His father was a local tenor saxophone player in Chicago in the 1950’s and his godfather was Howlin’ Wolf’s blues drummer S.P. Leary, Crosby was always surrounded by legendary artists. By the time he was 10 years old, he was playing guitar with his father’s band during their rehersals. In 1983, Wilbert began playing with Pops Staples and went on his first international tour. Already interested in composition, he had the opportunity to compose and arrange for other artists including Carey Bell. Out of their collaborations and creative efforts, the album, “Good Luck Man” (1997) won the W.C. Handy Award. Accolades have adorned Crosby’s career. He was awarded the Albert King award in 1996 and has performed at the White House during both the Clinton and Bush administrations. He performed the Grammy awarded song, “Have A Little Faith” with Mavis Staples at the 2005 Grammy Awards. Additionally, he played with Pops Staples at the 1995 Grammy Awards in an all-star jam with Bonnie Raitt, Phil Upchurch, WahWah Watson, Isaac Hayes & Maria Muldaur. 
 
Darrell Lavigne (Keyboards/Vocals)
Lavigne has been performing on stages around the world, most notably New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Rotterdam JVC Jazz Festival Netherlands, and the Berlin Jazz Festival. He began his musical life at age 10, first on guitar then trumpet, but piano became his instrument of choice. “I wanted to explore harmony and the colors of music. Piano represented that for me.” Darrell’s influences came for the usual jazz sources as Monk, Bud Powell, Ahmad Jamal, Hancock, and Corea. Charlie Parker, Coltrane, and Miles Davis. Early musical exposure in addition to the mentoring by Ellis Marsalis and Edward “Kidd” Jordan helped Lavigne become one of the most sought-after pianists around. Darrell has gone on to record two albums with then Columbia Jazz Artist, Kent Jordan, write for one (Night Aire) and produce another (Out of This World). Over the years, Darrell has performed with artists BB King, BB King’s Blues Band, Kirk Whalum, Marion Meadows, George Duke, Hubert/Ronnie Laws, and Everette Harp to name a few. He continues to produce and write for a number of artists. Discography: Blue Orleans (Fertile Crescent, 2000); Kidd Jordan/IAQ-Kidd Stuff (Danjor); Michael Ward-After The Kiss (Sweet Music Records, 2006)

TOUR DATES
Mar 21---Burghausen Jazz Festival---Burghausen, Germany
Mar 28---Sac & Fox Casino---Powhattan, KS*
Apr 18---Gemeindesaal---Lubdewerra, Germany
Apr 19---Tanje Ju---Dresden, Germany
Apr 20---Vienna Blues Festival---Vienna, Austria
Apr 22---Blues Festival Basel---Basel, Switzerland
Apr 23---Scala--- Ludwigburg, Germany
Apr 24---Blue Note Idar---Oberstein, Germany
Apr 25---Harmonie---Bonn, Germany
Apr 26---Quasimodo---Berlin, Germany
Apr 27---Hamburg Blues Club---Hamburg, Germany
Apr 28---Musiktheater Piano---Dortmund, Germany
Apr 29---Colos-Saal---Aschaffenburg, Germany
Apr 30---La Pigalle---Paris, France
May 1---Under the Bridge---London, England
May 2---Blues Garage---Hanover, Germany
May 24---Great Lakes Center for the Arts---Petoskey, MI
May 29---Vorstin City---Hilversum, Netherlands
May 30---Duvel Blues Festival---Puurs, Belgium
May 31—Rib City---Raathe, Netherlands
Jun 12---The Devon Lakeshore Ampitheatre---Decatur, IL
Jun 13---Tinner Hill Music Festival---Falls Church, VA

*featuring Tito Jackson

Sat, 03/07/2020 - 11:03 am

It’s one thing to claim you are “proven,” it’s quite another to have the credentials to back it up. Comprised of five of the most formidable musicians on the blues scene today — guitarist Kid Ramos, vocalist Brian Templeton, keyboardist Anthony Geraci, bassist Willie J. Campbell and drummer Jimi Bott — the band has collectively amassed a slew of accomplishments; dozens of awards won, decades of years playing top-notch music, hundreds of recordings, thousands of hours on the road, and millions of fans worldwide. These five musicians have proven their worth to the world over decades of hard work.

The Proven Ones upcoming album, You Ain’t Done, expands the blues-rock template initially established with their debut effort, Wild Again. The latter garnered a 2019 Blues Music Award Nomination from the Blues Foundation for Best Contemporary Blues Recording and also brought Campbell, Geraci, and Bott individual nominations as well.

The upcoming album finds the band expanding their musical limits and making an even bolder statement. Produced, mixed, and engineered by Bott, and coproduced by the equally legendary Mike Zito, it was recorded at Dockside Studio in Maurice, LA (with additional recording at Roseleaf Recording in Portland, OR and Rear Window in Brookline, MA) and features songwriting contributions from each musician in the band.

“We wanted to stretch the boundaries for this record” Templeton explains. “For the most part we are all known as blues musicians, and rightly so, but we love many styles and naturally want to indulge in them as well. I think we’ve accomplished that with this record. There’s rock, soul, country, some Latin influence, a bit of pop, and, dare I say a punk vibe in parts as well. I believe it’s going to break down a few walls.”

The Proven OnesMembers of TPO hail from bands such as The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Radio Kings, The Mannish Boys, and Sugar Ray and the Bluetones. The Proven Ones can claim credits on literally hundreds of recordings.  They have shared the spotlight with innumerable world class musicians at major music venues across the globe. Together, they make for a potent force all their own. Vivascene declared, “The familiarity between these musicians breeds a feeling of comfortability and a palpable camaraderie… that enhances each and every note they play.” Individually, their respective resumes place them in the upper echelon of contemporary blues players.

ABOUT THE PROVEN ONES

Kid Ramos is a recipient of The Orange County (CA) Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to 14 Blues Music Award nominations. He produced legendary pianist Floyd Dixon’s final recording as well as the accompanying documentary and has also appeared on numerous movie soundtracks.

Brian Templeton commands over 40 years as a stalwart presence as part of Boston’s formidable music scene. His credits include the legendary band the Radio Kings and the Original House of Blues Blue Monday Band, as well as collaborations with such notables as Jerry Portnoy, Sonny Rhodes, James Cotton, and Otis Grand.

Anthony Geraci is an original member of Sugar Ray and the Bluetones and Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters and has appeared on over 40 recordings. He received a Grammy Nomination for his album Super Harps. He also boasts numerous Blues Music Award nominations, including the Pinetop Perkins Piano Award five years in a row and an unprecedented 6 personal Blues Music Award Nominations in 2019. He was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2016 with Sugar Ray and the Bluetones.

Willie J. Campbell has performed with an all-star list of bands and individuals, among them The Fabulous Thunderbirds and The Mannish Boys and has recorded with such luminaries as Sugaray Rayford, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, and Cheech and Chong. He has been nominated by the Blues Foundation for Best Instrumentalist 6 times.

Jimi Bott is widely known as one of the world’s best drummers. He has been nominated by the Blues Foundation for Best Instrumentalist an amazing 20 times - finally winning the Blues Music Award in 2015. He was also inducted into the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame in 2009 after winning the award for 12 consecutive years. The award is now named after him. He has been on over 100 recordings, lives in Portland, OR where he owns and operates Roseleaf Recording Studio.

You Ain't Done to be released via Gulf Coast Records April 17th

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 6:43 pm

Great artists manage to excel in a particular format, but they never find themselves strictly confined either. Consequently, while Grant Dermody has been hailed as a harmonica player, singer, songwriter, and teacher with an approach intrinsically tied to acoustic blues and Chicago blues, his musical reach extends well beyond any singular genre. With three previous albums as a solo artist, another three recorded in tandem with his various bands and wide and varied appearances on nearly two dozen recordings by other artists — Eric Bibb, Dirk Powell, Dan Crary and Cedric Watson, among them — Dermody is now recognized the world over as one of the most profound and prolific harp players making music today.

My Dony, Dermody’s upcoming album (due May 8 on Thunder River Records) ought to entrench that reputation to even greater degree. Recorded live for the most part with a core group of a distinguished group of musicians — longtime friend, colleague and producer Dirk Powell (guitar, piano and harmony vocals), Jason Sypher (bass), Jamie Dick (drums), Corey Ledet (accordion), Kelli Jones (harmony vocals), and special guests, Rhiannon Giddens, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah. Co-produced by Dermody and Powell (their second co-production following 2015’s Sun Might Shine On Me), its 13 songs are infused with energy, urgency and absolute exhilaration, capturing Dermody’s ability to wring emotion out of every note and then back it up with powerful playing and the tight-knit arrangements that grace each of the offerings.

Growing up in Seattle, Dermody was given his first harmonica by his father at age 18. Jimmy Reed, Little Walter Jacobs, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Walter Horton offered his initial introduction to the blues, but it was seeing Sonny Terry and James Cotton live that showed him the huge sound and wide emotional range that the harmonica was capable of getting. After initially delving into electric blues, he soon found himself drawn more to acoustic sounds and a format consisting of harp, guitar, fiddle and mandolin.

After an extended sojourn to Alaska, Dermody returned to Seattle and studied with author/musician Kim Field who, in turn, encouraged him to investigate the sounds of Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and Big Walter. “Kim showed me what good sounded like, sitting right across from you. He had that big, wide open tone, and he had the Chicago tongue-blocked vamping sound as well, he knew how to make it swing,” Dermody says in retrospect.

Dermody soon connected with a band called The Improbabillies, with whom he recorded a self-titled album in 1998. He later produced two ensemble efforts, Crossing That River (featuring 16 musicians) in 2003, followed by his sophomore set, Lay Down My Burden (which included 26 guest artists) in 2010.  The latter was recorded at seven different studios. Sadly, Lay Down My Burden marked the final recording of the legendary blues guitarist John Cephas, who duetted with Dermody for a sizzling live take on Skip James’ “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues.

In 2015, Dermody released Sun Might Shine on Me, a critically acclaimed effort that found him making his initial pilgrimage to Dirk Powell’s Breaux Bridge, Louisiana studio facility where he recorded with a core group of three musicians — Dermody. Powell, and Orville Johnson. Other musicians, including Cedric Watson, Rich Del Grosso and Jockey Etienne were brought in for added embellishment. The album was recorded mostly live in five days at Powell’s studio.

For the past 14 years, Dermody has had opportunity to play and record with some of the best in the business. He’s toured the U.S. and Europe, both on his own and in tandem with an ongoing trio that includes Orville Johnson and John Miller. The group has recorded two albums to date, Deceiving Blues in 2006, and We Heard the Voice of a Porkchop, released in 2011. A new effort by The Improbabillies and a duo effort with long-time musical colleague and acclaimed guitarist Frank Fotusky are also scheduled for release in the near future.

Having also worked with such blues legends as Honeyboy Edwards, Robert Lowery, Big Joe Duskin, John Jackson, John Dee Holeman, and Frank Fotusky, it’s little wonder that Dermody has been lauded with constant praise from his peers. “Grant Dermody is one of the greatest blues and roots harmonica players around,” Eric Bibb insists. “His playing reaches deep into the well of tradition and at the same time takes the music to exciting new places with a very personal sound. Working with him in the studio and on the stage is always a pleasure.”

It's also a credit to Dermody’s generosity of spirit that he’s always been willing to share his skills with his students and move the music forward and then bring it back around. He continues to teach harmonica in both private and group settings to students of all ages both here and abroad. His goal, he says, is to help students find their own voice on the instrument.

“I’ve got my own sound that keeps evolving, and I’m a work in progress as a harmonica player and a singer. I’m always moving forward musically”, Dermody maintains. “While there’s a ton of great harmonica players out there, I wouldn’t want to trade places with any of them. I’m very happy where I am now, on the right path.”

Sun, 05/10/2020 - 3:28 pm

The Blues Music Foundation presented the 41st Annual Blues Music Awards via virtual ceremony on Sunday, May 3rd, 2020. A rising star in the international blues community, Sugaray Rayford, has won the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and for the second consecutive year, nabbed the Soul Blues Male Artist Award. The singer was also nominated in four additional categories.

This past December, Rayford was nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for the critically acclaimed Somebody Save Me, released in March 2019 on Forty Below Records.

These honors mark the latest in a series of awards that Rayford has won in the past year, including a pair of 2019 Muddy Awards for Best Performance and Best Recording, as well as a win for Blues Blast Magazine's Best Blues Band.

The accolades also follow a stream of critical kudos. Downbeat called Rayford a performer with “a soul-blues voice that has an emotional strength.” Albumism raved “A sound that’s undeniably fresh and inspired. Living Blues hailed him as “a soul singer who brilliantly weaves blues, jazz and gospel inflections into his soaring songs.” Blues Music Magazine agreed, describing Somebody Save Me as “an outstanding showcase of Sugaray Rayford’s great talent.”

Sugaray was blown away by his wins, "I am so honored and humbled that the fans of the blues have awarded me with The B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. And, winning Soul Blues Male Artist back to back years with the talent in that category is truly amazing! I am so grateful."

Eric Corne, Rayford’s writer and producer, added, “Seeing Sugar win The Entertainer of the Year on top of the Grammy nomination for “Somebody Save Me”, just makes me immensely proud."

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 5:34 pm

Horton Records is pleased to announce the August 28th release of Back To Paradise:  A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music.

In February 2020, a group of notable Tulsa musicians traveled to Leon Russell’s famed Paradise Studio at Grand Lake in Oklahoma to record the first album tracked there since 1978. Some of the biggest names in the industry recorded at Paradise Studio; Leon Russell, Bob Seger, and Freddie King, while even more musicians and creatives escaped to fellowship at this Okie oasis.

Tulsan Rick Huskey spent the last 30 years preserving and restoring the space, honoring its history while preparing for a new chapter. Upon entering the studio for the first time, the new crop of musicians couldn't help but feel that the vibe was still alive. Musician Jesse Aycock felt that "Walking into the studio for the first time was like walking into a time capsule. The good energy that once filled the room was left floating in the air. All that we had to do was breathe it in. Historically, players from this part of Oklahoma seem to have a different approach to music, the same way that Muscle Shoals, Memphis Chicago, Detroit, Austin and Nashville are known for having a sound. I think Leon and J.J tapped into a unique pulse in this area and I would like to think that it's still vibrating today."

Seventeen tracks written by Tulsa's finest were recorded over the course of four days – mostly live, with very few overdubs, and produced by Jason Weinheimer & Them Tulsa Boys. A total of 20 Tulsa musicians participated in the recording and the core band consisted of Paul Benjaman, Jesse Aycock, Grammy nominee John Fullbright, Paddy Ryan, and Aaron Boehler. About the process, Paul Benjaman stated that "Decisions on how to build the songs were quick and effortless. The language that these musicians have developed over the years from playing live together paid off in knowing what to do instinctively. Unpacking each song, finding the magic that made it work, and leaving space for each person to contribute was a natural process that led to 10+ hour days of music with friends."

The musicians who participated in the project chose the songs for the album. The tracks that will be singles and made into videos are; "I'll Make Love To You Anytime" (J.J. Cale), "If The Shoe Fits" (Leon Russell), "I Yike It" (The Gap Band), "Rock n Roll Gypsies" (Jesse Ed Davis)". John Fullbright states "One of the coolest things about driving there was thinking that Bob Dylan did the  exact same drive, George Harrison did the exact same drive. That was really neat. Tulsa's music scene is very talented and eclectic, and we are a city that does not forget ti's roots and past, and celebrates it and builds on it."

Executive Producer Brian Horton weighs in; "This is a project that we've all wanted to do for more than a decade. We think we've captured some of the spirit and energy that happens around town when you go to a live show.  These musicians love our regional history so much. This is a document of them paying tribute. We want people to check out today's musicians, but we also want them to appreciate the Oklahoma musicians that have made it possible to have a relevant music scene today."

Back to Paradise will be released by Horton Records on August 28th.
Available for sale through Bandcamp