What's in a name? In Darcy Malone & The Tangle's case: everything. "We play a tangle of genres," says Malone, a New Orleans native who is the daughter of Dave Malone, vocalist and guitar player of the legendary band The New Orleans Radiators. "We all have different influences, from pop/rock to New Wave to soul to R&B. We’re a band of equals, and we put every single member's influences into our music—that’s what makes us unique."
With their debut album Still Life set for release on March 25th, Darcy Malone & The Tangle whip up a sound that nods to New Orleans' past while pushing ahead toward something entirely new. It's big, bold music, rooted in pop/rock but filled with influences that stretch the band's reach far beyond the boundaries of a single genre. There are blasts of brass courtesy of Jagon Eldridge, a saxophonist educated in the jazz classics who grew up listening to everything from the sounds of his native New Orleans to punk-rock. There's plenty of rock & roll riffage, too, thanks to a pair of guitarists — Chris Boye and Glenn Newbauer — who manage to weave radio-ready hooks with raw, rough-and-tumble roaring guitar lines. Meanwhile, bassist Craig Toomey and drummer Billy Schell add glue and groove to the band's sound, and Malone's raspy voice gives it an R&B tinge. Together, Darcy Malone & The Tangle don't sound like anybody else; they just sound like themselves.
"This is bigger-than-life music," says Schell. "We grew up here, experiencing New Orleans' resurgence and cutting our teeth on this city's music scene. New Orleans is in our blood, so we definitely have some of that brass element, too. But we're really a rock & roll band, with everyone's influences put into the pot."
Recorded and mixed by Rick Nelson of The Afghan Whigs at Marigny Recording Studios, New Orleans and mastered by Richard Dodd (Tom Petty's Wildflowers, Dixie Chicks' Not Ready to Make Nice), Still Life spins stories about drive and determination. For Malone — who shares songwriting and arrangement duties with her five bandmates — it's a logical extension of the music she's been making for more than a decade with her husband Chris. Still Life is an album by a band, though, and it sounds like it—driven forward by a team of six co-captains rather than a single leader.
"Chris and I were looking for the right people to make music with," says Malone, "and when we found these guys everything came together and made sense. We realized we could stop worrying and focus on the love of playing music together. That's what this record is about. 'Crossing Line' is about getting out of a place where you’re sheltered and scared and deciding you're gonna put yourself out there. 'Be a Man' is about standing up strong. 'Still Life' is about being out in the world and trying so hard to be something you think people want you to be, but breaking free of that and realizing when you're just yourself you're so much more successful. That's the record. We're finally exactly where we should be in our artistic career. We're with the right people, all tangled up."
For More Information On Darcy Malone & The Tangle:
New Orleans native John "Papa" Gros (pronounced grow) has spent more than a quarter-century behind the piano championing the music of the Big Easy. He turns over a new leaf with his second solo album, River’s on Fire, which is set for release August 26th. It’s a record that mixes the sounds of rock & roll, funk and rootsy Americana into a genre-bending gumbo that carries on the tradition of New Orleans, both honoring its past and helping to shape its future.
Inspired by hometown hero and longtime colleague Allen Toussaint, who passed away while Gros was recording the album on the Vermilion bayou in southwest Louisiana, River’s on Fire is John’s first release since his former band, Papa Grows Funk, disbanded in 2013. The quintet held down a weekly residency for more than a dozen years at the famous Maple Leaf Bar in Uptown New Orleans, mixing the smooth sophistication of a jazz quintet with the wild, anything-goes spirit of Mardi Gras. Papa Grows Funk released six critically-acclaimed albums along the way, including Needle in the Groove, which was co-produced by Toussaint — with Gros leading the charge as the group's front man, songwriter and organ player.
River’s on Fire finds John shifting his songwriting focus back to the instrument that started his lifelong musical journey - the piano. The album reaches far beyond Papa Grows Funk’s groove-based sound and offers listeners a bit of everything — party songs, melancholy numbers, funk tunes and upbeat rockers. The record even finds Gros putting a new spin on "House of Love," which was originally released on Papa Grows Funk's Shakin’ album. This time, he revises the track's groove and focuses more on its sharp, nuanced songwriting.
"Before River’s on Fire, it had been a long time since I had done any songwriting on the piano”, John explains. "Previously, I had done most of my songwriting on guitar. I found that it forced me to focus on simpler chord choices and arrangements. The piano allows me the luxury to create more sophisticated compositions. With the keys I can focus on a balancing act- juggling between complexity and simplicity, while keeping the priority on the lyrics and melody."
Working with top-shelf collaborators like Grammy award winning co-producer Tracey Freeman (Harry Connick, Jr., ReBirth Brass Band), Grammy award winning mixer Trina Shoemaker (Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow) and guitarist Brian Stoltz (Bob Dylan, Neville Brothers), River’s On Fire finds Gros showcasing his talent on the keys and also furthering his well-deserved reputation as one of New Orleans' most notable songwriters. Each song has its own distinct personality, with the influence of Allen Toussaint serving as the common denominator or unifying ingredient. River’s on Fire is one life-long Big Easy troubadour and composer paying tribute to another.
"Those are big shoes to fill and big shoes to follow," John says of Toussaint. "That was the plan, though: to follow Allen's footsteps with this record. Every song has his stamp on it, whether it's an obvious line or a subtle trick. I was paying homage to my mentor all along the way."
Throughout his career, Gros has been a bandleader. A sideman. A singer. An instrumentalist. With River’s on Fire, he becomes a solo artist once again. Just as New Orleans, America’s favorite river town, has had a resurgence recently so has John “Papa” Gros. His role is different, but the goal remains the same: to honor the music he's been living his whole life, and to add his own page to the New Orleans history book. “I think this album symbolizes both my passion for my music and my love of this town”, Gros muses. “Urban Dictionary defines “Fire” as someone doing something great that is unable to be stopped. I hope Toussaint is smiling down on me from above, urging me forward.”
The John Papa Gros Band will hold its second annual Carnival Kickoff on Friday, February 17th at the world famous Tipitina’s in New Orleans. Last year’s edition of the party saw the John Papa Gros Band hosting an all-star lineup of guest musicians for a night of unforgettable collaborations. The same holds true this year with special guests including Ivan Neville, Tank and Jelly of Tank and the Bangas and Khris Royal. Great music and good times with friends, it’s sure to be a precursor to the revelry the carnival season always provides. According to John Papa Gros, “last year the Carnival Kickoff was so much fun we are going to do it again and make it an annual event. It really puts you in the Mardi Gras spirit to kick off the season”. The James Martin Band supports. Doors at 8pm, tickets available now at Tipitinas.com.
Born in New Orleans, John "Papa" Gros has spent more than a quarter-century championing the music of the Big Easy. He's played it all — New Orleans funk, rock & roll, jazz, blues, Americana, pop/rock — and he swirls those styles into a genre-bending gumbo that pays tribute to his influences while still pushing ahead into new territory.
After kicking off his career as an organist and pianist, for George Porter Jr.’s Runnin’ Pardners, during the 1990s, Gros formed the funk group Papa Grows Funk in 2000. The band held down a weekly performance at the famous Maple Leaf Bar for 13 years, mixing the smooth sophistication of a jazz quintet with the wild, anything-goes spirit of Mardi Gras. Fans and tourists crowded the bar every Monday night, looking for Papa Grows Funk to dish out a greasy, groove-heavy serving of Big Easy funk. The band delivered, releasing six critically-acclaimed albums — including Needle in the Groove, which was co-produced by Nola legend Allen Toussaint, and a 2015 live record that captured Papa Grows Funk’s last Monday night at the Maple Leaf Bar.— and touring around the world, carrying the torch of New Orleans' music scene to far-flung places.
Papa Grows Funk called it quits in 2013. Gros kept playing music, landing work as a sideman for many Nola artists — including Better Than Ezra, Anders Osborne, The Metermen, Raw Oyster Cult, and Bonerama— and playing organ during a pair of all-star tributes to Dr. John in 2014 and the Neville Brothers in May of this year. Gros is focusing once again on his solo career — which he'd kicked off in 2004 with the album Day's End.
He's been a sideman. A bandleader. A frontman. A solo artist. A singer. An instrumentalist. The roles have been varied, but the goal remains the same: to honor the music he's been living his whole life, and to add his own page to New Orleans' history book.
Big Easy soulful indie rockers, Darcy Malone and The Tangle’s latest release is a four track EP called Make Me Over, which features their new single “Time To Be Free.” The record is a fresher and bolder continuation of their bigger than life sound, which was first heard last year when they released their debut album, Still Life. Once again, the band effectively combines their eclectic influences of New Orleans funk, soul, pop and rock into four distinct and catchy songs recorded at legendary Louisiana recording mecca Studio In The Country.
The EP’s title, Make Me Over, is a reference to the band’s journey over the past twelve months, which includes a revised line up with the addition of lead guitarist John Paul Carmody. He is one of the few performers in the world that have won back-to back weeks at the Apollo Theater’s legendary amateur night. Carmody has played alongside well-known New Orleans’ musicians including South Jones, Papa Mali as well as Johnny Sketch and The Dirty Notes. The record also pertains to lead singer Darcy Malone’s own personal makeover, which involved embarking on a weight loss program that led to her loosing 68Ibs. “All of these songs tell a story of where we are,” says Malone. “We are the newest version of ourselves, which is what we are trying to be.”
The EP’s first single “Time To Be Free,” is a powerful soul, rock and gospel anthem, which exemplifies the band’s unique wall of sound. Etta James, Tina Turner and Janis Joplin can be heard in Darcy Malone’s heartfelt and soaring vocal performance as she sings about undergoing a journey of change that ultimately leads to self-acceptance. Billy Schell’s fierce drum riff fires off the EP’s title track “Make Me Over,” a catchy funky rock song, which transitions back and forth from samba to funk. “You’ll See,” is a soulful pop song, which further builds on the theme of self-acceptance. Meanwhile, guitarist Chris Boye lends lead vocals on “Never Wanna See You Alone,” which is his self-penned tribute to New York’s 80’s music scene including legends Debbie Harry, Television and Talking Heads.
Make Me Over, was produced by Ben Humphrey (The Pixies, Anders Osborne, The Breeders) and mixed by Richard Dodd (Tom Petty's Wildflowers, Dixie Chicks' Not Ready to Make Nice). Recorded at Studio In The Country, Bogalusa Louisiana.
What’s in a name? Sometimes nothing, and sometimes everything. In the case of The Freeway Revival, the latter certainly seems to ring true. Theirs is music that was born from the energy and the spirit that comes from a life spent on the road, and the packed tour schedule they have maintained since their inception has strengthened their sound- a healthy mix of guitar driven soul and rock n roll with a flare of psychedelic, complimented by four part vocal harmonies.
After releasing an introductory self-titled EP in 2016, logging numerous tour dates including appearances at the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam By Day and the Mountain Sports Festival The Freeway Revival is set to release their first full length album titled Revolution Road on September 1st, 2017.
The band began with twin brothers Adam and Jonathan Clayton, on keys and guitar respectively. In 2015, with the addition of singer and bassist Kenny Crowley, blazing young guitarist Tim Husk, and the John Bonham-style drumming of Cartwright Brandon, the current brotherhood was formed. With musical influences ranging from the Allman Brothers and Little Feat to The Band, Led Zeppelin, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and the like, finding their footing among the vintage rockers of the 60s and 70s may sound daunting. But after listening to songs like the poetic rock track “When It Breaks”, the funky barn-burner jam “Soul Survivor”, or the introspective soul offering “Rise” it’s clear that the boys of The Freeway Revival are game for the challenge. All four members are independent songwriters who challenge each other yet collaborate in harmony. Music is their church and the road is their home.
The biggest proof of this is in the new album. “A lot of it is about our personal experiences, and our portrayal of the current American landscape. But more than that, it’s about the expression of freedom and living truthfully. It’s about being kind and authentic to others and in return taking that vibe and projecting it in our music” Kenny explains. “That’s why we called it Revolution Road. It’s not as much a revolt against something as it is a celebration of keeping the wheels turning towards the positive things in life now and in the future."
“We’ve weathered some delays in terms of the recording process, all in the name of putting the best version of this vision to tape. Toss in the fact that we are on the road constantly, and it all gets a touch overwhelming”, says Adam. “But we are extremely happy with the outcome of the record, and we tip our hat to producer Matt Hueneman who wasn’t afraid to send us back to the woodshed during the recording process in search of excellence. It’s also very important to get into different markets and in front of new music fans, because this is what we all want to do and we’re completely dedicated to it. We’re hoping it will launch us into national success.” Now with a brand-new album, a tireless work ethic and equal doses of faith and passion Freeway Revival is hungry for what’s next.
Already an award-winning band on the bluegrass circuit, The Railsplitters explore new ground with Jump In, a wide-ranging Americana album that solidifies the group's reputation as an unconventional string band. The record arrives November 10th 2017.
Formed in the Rocky Mountain foothills by a coed group of songwriters and instrumentalists, the Railsplitters have always pushed the boundaries of acoustic roots music. Jump In finds them building upon the progressive sound of their 2015 release, The Faster It Goes, whose accompanying tour found the band playing shows in America, Canada, and Europe, including the Shetland Folk Festival in Scotland. They listened to a broad range of music — including classic country, hip-hop, bluegrass and salsa — during the long drives from show to show, allowing those sounds to seep into their songwriting along the way.
"Many of these songs are literally about jumping in- taking chances and doing what feels right, in spite of any initial reservations," says mandolin player Pete Sharpe. "We still have the typical instrumentation of a five-piece bluegrass band, but our sound is very different. We're fully embracing our uniqueness, and seeing how far we can push things while still playing everything acoustically."
From the fiddle-fueled riff that kicks off the opening track, "Everyone She Meets," to the universal messages of tolerance and forgiveness that punctuate the closing number "Baxses" Jump In delivers 10 tracks of pop hooks and folky fire. The Railsplitters — Sharpe, singer Lauren Stovall, banjo player Dusty Rider, and fiddler Joe D'Esposito recorded the album in Denver with producer Kai Welch, a celebrated producer and musician whose work can be heard on Abigail Washburn's City of Refuge, the Greencards' Grammy-nominated Sweetheart of the Sun and Molly Tuttle's Rise. Welch proved to be an ideal partner for the Railsplitters.
"Kai has worked in the bluegrass field, but he's not a bluegrass guy at heart," Sharpe explains. "He's an insider/outsider character, like us. We wanted to make a record that reflects what we sound like live, and he was the perfect fit. We also recently added double bassist Jean-Luc Davis to the band, which has really complimented our sound."
Jump In showcases The Railsplitters independent spirit, a reflection of each member’s passion to forge a unique path in life and in music. Prior to joining the band Dusty worked on the Alaskan Railroad and spent time as an air traffic controller, while earning his pilot’s license. Pete and Lauren live in a 200-square foot tiny home, and Lauren has been featured on the DIY Network show Tiny House Hunting. Joe decided to pursue a personal zero waste initiative in 2017, collecting all the non-compostable trash he produces for a year. So far it fits inside a zip lock sandwich bag. Jean-Luc recently released an album of jazz interpretations of his favorite rock songs. It’s no surprise the band has crowd funded it’s last three records- raising over $25,000 to produce Jump In while turning down multiple offers from record labels to release the album. The independent spirt cultivated by America’s Western Range has helped to inspire the band’s most dynamic album to date: an album that honors the past while pushing forward into something new and adventurous.
The latest innovation in New Orleans funk Chapter:SOUL is the brainchild of bandleader, vocalist and tenor saxophonist Calvin Johnson, Jr. featuring a modern 4-piece funk and soul band. This is New Orleans music, yes-but newer, younger, and driven by a new vision for NOLA music in the 21st century. The idea for Chapter:SOUL first struck Johnson during a conversation with legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band sousaphone player Kirk Joseph while they were on tour together.
“After being on tour with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band for the past few years, I started feeling an itch,’” Johnson says. “Night after night, town after town, I realized I was thinking about these gigs, not as a side man but as if they were my gigs...troubleshooting, looking for ways to improve things, and always trying for better. Finally, one night Kirk said, ‘Calvin, I think you’re ready to dive in that pool and do your own thing.’”
Johnson already had an impressive resume- logging tours across 5 continents as a horn player with Harry Connick Jr., Jason Derulo, Irma Thomas, Mannie Fresh, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Mystikal- in addition to spending time on the road with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. He called upon Kashonda Bailey (organ, keyboards, and synths), Thomas Glass (drums and pads), and Evan Washington (bass) to join him in his venture to push forward and create a fresh New Orleans sound - something Johnson would later call “NOLA Future Funk.” Together the band employs an electric blend of street brass and bounce rhythms, both to create original compositions and reimagine soul classics.
Chapter:SOUL is touring the US thru the end of 2018 and is also set to release their third EP this fall and their first full length record next year. Their new albums will build upon the groundwork laid by their first two EP’s, which fused contemporary hip-hop and soul elements with help from old-school sampling and New Orleans street beats. Their mixtape/EP release parties in New Orleans have become legendary, even in a town with high standards for a good party.
It’s been quite a road so far but the band is young, hungry, and full of fresh ideas. As Chapter:SOUL grows so does the music, the venues and the audiences. The act strives to bring “NOLA Future Funk” to the masses one city at a time. The road, as they say, goes on forever..
After years of touring, The Weight Band has released a new album of original material, packaged for today’s vibrant Americana base and capturing The Band’s rich musical tradition. Released in February 2018, World Gone Mad is a Roots Rock masterpiece of the Woodstock sound.
The Weight Band originated in 2013 inside the famed Woodstock, New York barn of Levon Helm when Jim Weider and Randy Ciarlante — both former members of The Band — performed “Songs of The Band” with Band founder, Garth Hudson, alongside Jimmy Vivino and Byron Isaacs. Inspired to carry on the legacy of the unforgettable rock group, Weider, Ciarlante and Isaacs began performing fan favorites from The Band catalog to audiences across the country, inviting Brian Mitchell and Marty Grebb to complete their sound. The Weight Band later added Albert Rogers, Michael Bram and Matt Zeiner to cement their current lineup. With a heavy US tour schedule slated for 2018 and beyond, the concerts blend The Weight Band originals with songs from The Band's treasured catalog including “Up On Cripple Creek”, “The Weight” and “Dixie”- complimenting The Band’s timeless legacy while pushing forward with new original material off their first record World Gone Mad.
Billboard, Relix Magazine, Elmore Magazine and others have taken notice, as have generations of The Band fans who have yearned for new material since their last studio release almost 20 years ago. The Boston Globe proclaims the album “strikes a chord between past & present”, The Syracuse Post Standard hails the release as “a revival of roots rock” and The Chicago Tribune says “The Weight carries on where The Band left off.”
Jim Weider (guitar, mandolin & vocals) is a former member of The Band. From 1985 to 2000, Jim replaced Robbie Robertson as their lead guitarist, writing songs and performing on their three studio albums, Jericho, High on the Hog and Jubilation. He toured internationally with original Band members Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko for fifteen years and was featured with them on numerous albums, films, videos and in television appearances.
Michael Bram (drums & vocals) is a soulful singer and multi-instrumentalist. Michael splits his time drumming for The Weight Band and Jason Mraz. He has been a staple in the New York music scene for almost two decades- other career highlights include working with Willie Nelson and recording tracks with Bob Margolin of The Last Waltz fame.
Brian Mitchell (keyboards & vocals) is a current member of Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band and is well-known within the circles of the music industry and beyond for his solo career and his high-profile collaborations. He has recorded and performed with some of music’s most respected artists, Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Al Green, B.B. King, and countless others.
Matt Zeiner (keyboard & vocals) began his career with Hartford’s Street Temperature band, then hit the road with Matt “Guitar” Murphy of Blues Brothers fame. Matt has also toured extensively with Dickey Betts, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.
Albert Rogers (bass, vocals) has shared the stage with Levon Helm and Garth Hudson in The Jim Weider Band, and has also performed with Sid McGinnis, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Vivino, Albert Lee and many others
As winter in the mountains prepares for its annual retreat, seasoned string band Chain Station ushers in the spring touring season with the release of Backroads, an album of original bluegrass songs inspired by the highways, landscapes and residents of the band's Colorado home. The full length record is set for release on May 3rd.
High-lonesome harmonies. Fiery fretwork. Acoustic instruments. Those ingredients of traditional bluegrass music are all present, tucked into an 11-song tracklist that not only nods to Chain Station's appreciation for the old-time heroes of the genre, but also pushes the band into new territory. After all, Backroads isn't your grandfather's roots music. Produced by international banjo champion Kyle Tuttle, it's a modern album rooted in creative arrangements and inspired performances — an album that will please newgrass fans and traditional listeners alike.
"We met around a campfire," explains co-founder Alex Thoele, "and we've been putting that loose, organic vibe onstage ever since. We call it mountain music, because that's where we formed. That's where we live. And that's what we do."
The band's third studio recording, Backroads also serves as an introduction to Chain Station's newest member, Chris "C-Bob" Elliot, whose banjo and baritone harmonies help thicken the group's sound. With Jon Pickett and Jarett Mason rounding out the lineup, Chain Station's members take their time on several of Backroads' tracks, stretching songs like the title track past the five-minute mark. It's a move that not only highlights the musical chemistry between all four members, but also shines a light on the primal energy of their live shows. Having spent years supporting bands like Del McCoury Band, The Devil Makes Three, Hot Buttered Rum, and dozens of others, Chain Station has developed a stage show that's energizing and electrifying.
Like its name suggests, Backroads could serve as an appropriate soundtrack for a road trip. "When we were recording," Thoele remembers, "we were thinking, is this something we'd want to drive through a mountain pass while listening to? So many of our fans listen to our albums while driving, so we kept that in mind and it influenced our creative process."
Maybe that's why the songs on Backroads often mention the mountains, wind, and other natural hallmarks of a joyride through the American West. Other songs, including the positive-minded "Half Full," deliver messages of optimism. A love letter to both their home and their genre, Backroads is Chain Station at their very best: inspired, expanded, and eager to hit the highway.
Listen To The Title Track Of The Album “Backroads” Here:
Celebrate The Band's 1971 historic concert, “Rock of Ages” with a special performance by The Weight Band with The Dap King Horns. Along with special guest Willie Nile, The Weight are five musical brothers based in Woodstock, NY featuring Jim Weider of The Band, and members of the Levon Helm Band. They have been performing their album World Gone Mad and The Band's treasured repertoire to fans around the country.
Fans can relive the iconic performance during our special Rock of Ages concert by The Weight Band, as they perform arguably rock’s greatest live album of all time. This will be a special event that you won’t want miss! Get ready to dance and sing along to beloved mega hits like “The Weight”, “Up On Cripple Creek”, “Rag Mama Rag”, and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, and hear why the Chicago Sun-Times declared, “The Weight carries on where The Band left off”.
Performing their current album, World Gone Mad, as well as classic songs of The Band, The Weight Band is led by Jim Weider, a 15-year former member of The Band and the Levon Helm Band. The Weight Band originated in 2013 inside the famed Woodstock barn of Levon Helm. Weider was inspired by Helm to carry on the musical legacy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group.
Years of touring have seen The Weight Band revive “The Woodstock Sound,” keeping the spirit of Americana/Roots Rock alive for audiences of all ages. They continue to keep the sound vibrant by releasing new music, evidenced by the album World Gone Mad (February 2018.) Their live set features Weight Band songs from the new album as well as fan favorites from The Band’s treasured catalog, including “Up On Cripple Creek,” “The Weight,” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”
The Weight Band includes Brian Mitchell (The Levon Helm Band), Michael Bram (Jason Mraz), Matt Zeiner (Dickey Betts Band), and Albert Rogers (The Jim Weider Band). With a US and international tour schedule slated for 2019 and beyond, The Weight Band complements The Band’s timeless legacy while pushing the music forward for new audiences.
Billboard, Relix Magazine, and others have taken notice, as have generations of The Band fans who have yearned for new material since their last studio release almost 20 years ago. The Boston Globe proclaims World Gone Mad “strikes a chord between past & present,” and the Chicago Tribune says “The Weight carries on where The Band left off.” Goldmine Magazine cited World Gone Mad as one of the best indie albums of 2018, saying the group “effectively revives and recreates The Band’s original rustic sound as a successor [and] keeps that arcane spirit alive!”
Jim Weider (guitar, mandolin & vocals) is a former member of The Band. From 1985 to 2000, Weider replaced Robbie Robertson as their lead guitarist, writing songs and performing on their three studio albums, Jericho, High on the Hog, and Jubilation. He toured internationally with original Band members Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, and Rick Danko for fifteen years and was featured with them on numerous albums, films, videos, and in television appearances.
Michael Bram (drums & vocals) is a soulful singer and multi-instrumentalist. Bram splits his time drumming for The Weight Band and Jason Mraz. He has been a staple in the New York music scene.
Sent for almost two decades- other career highlights include working with Willie Nelson and recording tracks with Bob Margolin of The Last Waltz fame.
Brian Mitchell (keyboards & vocals) is a current member of Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band and is well-known within the circles of the music industry and beyond for his solo career and his high-profile collaborations. He has recorded and performed with some of music’s most respected artists, Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Al Green, B.B. King, and countless others.
Matt Zeiner (keyboard & vocals) began his career with Hartford’s Street Temperature band, then hit the road with Matt “Guitar” Murphy of Blues Brothers fame. Zeiner has also toured extensively with Dickey Bett; a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. Albert Rogers (bass, vocals) has shared the stage with Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, and played in The Jim Weider Band. Rogers has also performed with Sid McGinnis, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Vivino, Albert Lee and many others.
The New York Times called Willie Nile “one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years.” His album Streets Of New York was hailed as “a platter for the ages” by UNCUT magazine. Rolling Stone listed The Innocent Ones as one of the “Top Ten Best Under-The-Radar Albums of 2011” and BBC Radio called it “THE rock ‘n’ roll album of the year.”
Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Jim Jarmusch, and Little Steven are among those who have sung his praises. His album, American Ride, won “Best Rock Album of the Year” at the Independent Music Awards. It appeared on over one hundred year-end Top Ten lists for 2013 and Bono called it, “One of the great guides to unraveling the mystery that is the troubled beauty of America.”
In November 2014 he released an album of piano-based songs, If I Was A River, to universal critical acclaim. “One of the most brilliant singer-songwriters of the past thirty years” said The New Yorker. No Depression raved “Willie Nile’s artistic renaissance continues unabated.”
His 2016 album World War Willie appeared on numerous year end top ten lists as did hid his live shows. As American Songwriter said "Nile cranks up the volume and tears into these tunes with the same hunger, passion and exuberance he displays in his legendary sweat-soaked shows." World War Willie was voted “Album Of The Year” by Twangville Magazine and the song Forever Wild was named “Coolest Song In The World” by Little Steven's Underground Garage. In 2017 he released the critically acclaimed album "Positively Bob – Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan"
Willie has toured across the U.S. with the Who and has sung with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. As the induction program from the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame says: "His live performances are legendary". His 12th studio album 'Children of Paradise' was released in the summer of 2018 to universal acclaim. He is currently bringing his dynamic live show and amazing rock and roll band to enraptured audiences worldwide.
Remember Jones is a one-of-a-kind soul/pop singer, storyteller and bandleader with a throwback vibe and authentic energy. Collaboratively supported by a large ensemble of musicians (often featuring female backing vocalists, a horn section, and a six-piece rhythm section), the band has played to countless packed and sold-out ballrooms, clubs and theaters throughout the country.
Remember Jones’ debut album, Ladies and Gentlemen, Remember Jones!, was created after raising close to $19,000 through nearly 300 small donations via IndieGoGo, and created in front of a live studio audience with a 25-piece band. Their subsequent release, Tranquilizer!, was recorded at the Bomb Shelter in Nashville, TN, under the production of Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For the Riff Raff, Langhorne Slim). Remember Jones was named one of Paste Magazine and Daytrotter’s Top 10 R&B/Soul Artists of 2017.
In addition to touring and supporting two albums worth of original material, Remember Jones presents and fronts multiple productions which have also gained wide popularity. back to BACK TO BLACK, a recreation of the entire Amy Winehouse album with an orchestra of 12, and Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen in a 20-piece arrangement, have helped Remember Jones develop a diverse audience as the band opens each performance with a set of original music. The company has performed Jeff Buckley's Grace album in its entirety as a collaboration with Grammy-nominated guitarist and Grace co-writer Gary Lucas, a 50th Anniversary concert experience of the musical HAIR, and a live revival of Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak with a 25-piece orchestra.
Remember Jones has shared stages with George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes, Darlene Love, Buster Poindexter, Nigel Hall, The Hip Abduction, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, and more. In the vein of putting their spin on others’ material, Remember Jones released Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?!, a single in celebration of Dean Martin’s 100th birthday, sharing studio time with Dean’s daughter, Deana Martin.
Whether you see him fronting a piano, a four-piece band, or with a soul orchestra of 25, Remember Jones evokes the energy of the great front men and women, with one of a kind song styling and expert storytelling that keep audiences on their toes and emotions in the moment.
Award-winning songwriter. College music professor. Road warrior. One of the most active frontmen in modern-day roots music, Jason Lee McKinney has spent the past decade in an absolute whirl of activity, earning an international following along the way.
He hits a new creative peak with Pieces, the eighth studio album from Jason Lee McKinney Band. Recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Kevin Houston (Buddy Guy, Robert Plant, Lucero) at Jim Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch (North Mississippi Allstars), the album whips up McKinney's own form of soulful American gumbo, finding room for roadhouse rock & roll, bluesy slide guitar, stomping grooves, countrified soul, and the larger-than-life swagger of McKinney's voice. Separately, these are the individual pieces of Jason Lee McKinney Band's sound. Together, they form something raw, raucous, and redemptive — a recipe that's worth revisiting again and again.
Lean and lively, Pieces shines a light on McKinney's songwriting, which has already earned the group a Top 10 hit in Texas (2016's "Lisha's Leaving"), an ever-growing number of national and international tours, and multiple industry awards, including a Josie Music Award for Male R&B Vocalist of the Year in 2019 and an Independent Country Music Association award for Artist of the Year in 2014. Mixed with contributions from longtime bandmates Barry Strauser and Billy Wright, as well as background vocals from fellow Memphis-based soul artists Reba Russell and Susan Marshall, those songwriting chops serve as the bedrock for some of the band's most groove-heavy performances to date.
"I’ve always loved the groove and musicianship of funk and jam bands," says McKinney. "I just wondered if the wide open arrangements caused some people to overlook how amazing the songs were. I aimed to write songs with the musicianship, grooves and melodies of those types of bands, but with tighter, cleaner arrangements."
Fueled by bluesy bombast and twin guitar leads, "Normal is Just an Exit" kickstarts Pieces with plenty of fiery fretwork. It's the title track, though, that fully embodies the album's concept. Co-written with McKinney's son, Zion, "Pieces" is a tribute to new beginnings and forward momentum, set to a soundtrack of anthemic melodies, searing guitar, and gospel harmonies. "This song is the essence of the whole record," says McKinney. "It bonds elements of the band’s sound together so thoroughly, it creates a new compound."
A rock & roll intellectual who holds a Doctorate, an MBA, and a BA in Management, Jason Lee McKinney is smart enough to know when he's creating his best work. And Pieces — released via Bonfire Music Group and filled with diverse, driven songs that are every bit as electrifying as the band's celebratory live show — represents another musical milestone, pairing some of McKinney's sharpest writing to date with a band that continues to fire on all cylinders. Full speed ahead!
Pieces is set for release on all major outlets February 21st, 2020.