Fri, 02/15/2019 - 5:57 pm

Ben Sparaco and The New Effect, the Nashville-based indie-rock trio fronted by songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Ben Sparaco, have announced their national spring tour which includes headlining shows as well as direct support slots with G. Love & Special Sauce. Tickets for all dates are on sale today (2/15). For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Ben Sparaco and The New Effect will hit the road on their 26-date tour with the inaugural show Friday, March 1 in Boulder, CO at Fox Theatre as direct support for G. Love & Special Sauce. An additional six dates in the tour’s coast-to-coast itinerary will accompany G. Love & Special Sauce while the others will be headlining engagements.

“When we're opening for G. Love we’ll be doing 45-minute sets which is short for us, says Sparaco. “Those shows will be all about making the best impression we can in a relatively short time. We’ll probably stick to a similar setlist with pre-determined transitions whereas our headline shows will be a little more improvisational and have more setlist variation.”

Ben Sparaco and The New Effect’s 2019 spring tour

The tour will make additional stops in Denver, Aspen, Nashville, Athens, Richmond, Washington D.C., New York City, Asbury Park, Indianapolis, Asheville, and many others before wrapping in Alpharetta, GA at Matilda's on Saturday, June 1.

“Some of these shows are our first theater shows ever which is super exciting for us and we get to go to some of our favorite places on this tour; Colorado, New York City, etc.,” adds Sparaco. “We’ll be stepping it up a notch for these bigger audiences by incorporating a lot of new sounds into our set that we’ve never had in our music before.”

To wrap the band’s 2018 year, they released their latest single, “Scared of The Dark,” on November 30. The song—which delivers the band’s alternative vibe with a jam element, built from Sparaco’s notable lead guitar chops—has been steadily grabbing attention as it’s now logged over 130,000 Spotify streams to date.

“I’m playing a lot less lead guitar on this song than I normally would,” says Sparaco. “It’s funny that it worked out that way because the song is about my younger self and a lot of the insecurities that came with growing up and trying to be a musician. When I was younger, I was all about being a guitar player. As I’ve grown up, I've become more focused on songs. This song really shows where I’m at right now with my songwriting, while referencing a past version of myself the whole time.”

The band is also putting the final touches on their debut full-length album which is expected to be released in the fall (all details TBA).

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 6:21 am

Kiefer Sutherland is set to release his sophomore full-length album, Reckless & Me, worldwide on Friday, April 26 via BMG. The 10-track Reckless & Me delivers Sutherland’s Americana and country rock-infused songwriting style and highlights his gift of soulful storytelling. Pre-order is available now, here.

The new album holds beautifully arranged ballads and authentic country rockers such as the album’s lead single, “Open Road,” and latest offering, “This Is How It’s Done” – all delivered with Sutherland’s distinctive, whiskey-soaked and gravel-laced voice.

Click here to watch a video incorporating tour footage for “This Is How It’s Done.”

Sutherland’s three-decade, award-winning acting career has made him a familiar face around the globe, but his other passion is music. “I asked myself, says Sutherland, “‘what is the thing that I love about acting, and music?’ ‘What is the common denominator?’ For me it's storytelling and music is a very different way of doing it.”

Produced by Jude Cole, Reckless & Me marks the follow up to Sutherland’s critically acclaimed debut album, Down In A Hole (2016), which had Jill Lawless of Associated Press identifying Sutherland’s “…unexpected, unvarnished authenticity as a singer/songwriter.” Consequence of Sound’s Collin Brennan simply raved Down In A Hole is a “…boozy, bad-ass country album.”

Now returning with Reckless & Me, Sutherland wants to keep touring and sharing these songs with his fans. Though he loves writing and recording, the stage holds a special place in his heart, and for the last three years, he’s toured extensively earning a reputation as a relentless road warrior.

"I couldn't have imagined the depth with which I have fallen in love with touring,” says Sutherland. “To have the opportunity to convey intimate, personal stories to an audience has proven to be priceless.” 

 U.S. tour dates are expected to be announced soon. 

 Track listing for Reckless & Me:

“Open Road “

“Something You Love”

“Faded Pair of Blue Jeans”

“Reckless & Me”

“Blame It on Your Heart”

“This Is How It’s Done”

“Agave”

“Run to Him”

“Saskatchewan”

“Song for a Daughter

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 12:17 pm

The San Bernardino-based R&B and funk-infused pop trio Royaljag, fronted by twins Jay and Roland Garcia and longtime best friend David Ajoku, have teamed with Buzzbands.LA to debut the music video for their forthcoming single, “909.” The song is set for a public release tomorrow, March 29 on all DSPs.

Click here to watch the “dance-instructional-themed” music video directed by Alex Gilbert of the Nomad Film Co. Buzzbands’ Kevin Bronson notes, “Moves? Inland Empire trio Royaljag has a few. And they show off some of them in the video for the new song ‘909’ — an homage to the area code they call home and a video so endearing your face might get cramps from smiling so hard…Royaljag…have spent months making friends in the 213 with their addictive style of music. They call it ‘chameleon pop,’ a blend of sleek, synth-strafed R&B, funk and disco.”

“909,” an ode to the band’s hometown, is the lead single from their forthcoming sophomore EP, I Don’t Know How I Got Here. The six-song collection is set fora summer 2019 release and follows their 2017 Chameleon EP and debut single, “Jungle,” from 2015. 

To celebrate release of “909,” Royaljag are set to perform the new single in front of a sold-out crowd as they open for The Marías along with Loyal Lobos at The Regent Theater tomorrow night (3/29).

The group told Buzzbands: “For ‘909,’ we wanted to make a fun video that both showcased different pieces of us while also illustrating how all three of us are often on the same wavelength. This song was inspired by our frequent long drives back to the 909. With more opportunities in music outside of San Bernardino, we find ourselves making long drives to L.A. a lot and drifting into our thoughts and dreams. It was so much fun making this video and can’t wait to come up with more cool concepts for videos as we prepare to release our second EP this summer.”

Managed by mija mgmt, Royaljag are architects of Chameleon Pop--a self-defined genre describing versatile pop that blends R&B, new jack swing, funk, psychedelics, disco and more. Growing up in San Bernardino, a Southern California region well known by the 909 area code, the trio grew up idolizing pop greats Stevie Wonder, Supertramp, Prince, ABBA, and Michael Jackson. By high school, Jay, Roland and David had formed Royaljag and began collaborating on music and crafting a sound uniquely their own with self-produced synthesized hooks, infectious melodies, and unified harmony.

 Track listing for I Don’t Know How I Got Here:

“909”

“Put You On”

“Foreign Exchange”

“Feelin’ Right”

“Dangerous”

“Division”

 Royaljag will be announcing their summer touring plans soon. 

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 5:33 pm

Kiefer Sutherland has announced his initial U.S. touring plans for 2019 with a run of shows in support of his sophomore album, Reckless & Me, which is out worldwide this Friday, April 26 via BMG. 

The tour will kick off in Austin, TX at 3Ten Austin City Limits Live on Wednesday, May 29 with additional stops confirmed for Fort Worth, TX, Kansas City, MO, Franklin, TN, Boston, MA and New York, NY, among others. The routing will also include a performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN on Friday, June 7 and an appearance at CMA Fest on Saturday, June 8 on the Budweiser Forever Country Stage. See all dates below.

Tickets for all confirmed U.S. tour dates go on sale this Friday, April 26. Additional dates are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Sutherland’s 10-track sophomore full-length album, Reckless & Me, is highlighted by the singles “Open Road,” “This Is How It’s Done” and the recently-released “Something You Love.” Throughout Reckless & Me, Sutherland offers his Americana and country rock-infused songwriting style and features his gift of soulful storytelling – all delivered with his distinctive, whiskey-soaked and gravel-laced voice. Pre-order for the album is available now, here. Stream “Something You Love” here via Spotify and click here to watch what CMT calls “the singer’s rowdy new music video” for “This Is How It’s Done.”

Sutherland’s three-decade, award-winning acting career has made him a familiar face around the globe, but his other passion is music. “I asked myself, says Sutherland, “‘what is the thing that I love about acting, and music?’ ‘What is the common denominator?’ For me it's storytelling and music is a very different way of doing it.”

Produced by Jude Cole, Reckless & Me marks the follow up to Sutherland’s critically acclaimed debut album, Down In A Hole (2016). Now returning with Reckless & Me, Sutherland wants to keep touring and sharing these songs with his fans. Though he loves writing and recording, the stage holds a special place in his heart, and for the last three years, he’s toured extensively earning a reputation as a relentless road warrior.

"I couldn't have imagined the depth with which I have fallen in love with touring,” says Sutherland. “To have the opportunity to convey intimate, personal stories to an audience has proven to be priceless.”

Track listing for Reckless & Me:

“Open Road “

“Something You Love”

“Faded Pair of Blue Jeans”

“Reckless & Me”

“Blame It on Your Heart”

“This Is How It’s Done”

“Agave”

“Run to Him”

“Saskatchewan”

“Song for a Daughter”

U.S. tour dates for Kiefer Sutherland:

DATE

CITY/STATE

VENUE

Wed, 5/29

Austin, TX

3Ten Austin City Limits Live

Thur, 5/30

The Woodlands, TX

Dosey Doe - The Big Barn

Fri, 5/31

Fort Worth, TX

Billy Bob's Texas

Sat, 6/1

West Siloam Springs, OK

Cherokee Casino West Siloam Springs

Mon, 6/3

Kansas City, MO

Knuckleheads

Tue, 6/4

St. Louis, MO

Old Rock House

Thur, 6/6

Franklin, TN

Franklin Theatre

Fri, 6/7

Nashville, TN

Grand Ole Opry

Sat, 6/8

Nashville, TN

CMA Fest

Sat, 6/22

Boston, MA

The Wilbur

Sun, 6/23

Sayreville, NJ

Starland Ballroom

Tue, 6/25

New York, NY

Irving Plaza

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 9:38 am

Nashville’s Callie McCullough, a modern songwriter inspired by timeless bluegrass and old-school country music, has released the gently-rolling “Five Dollar Pearls.” The song which debuted earlier this week with The Bluegrass Situation is the lead single from her forthcoming After Midnight EP which is expected to be released in winter (exact date TBA). 

Click here to listen to “Five Dollar Pearls” which highlights McCullough’s remarkable sound that’s anchored by her gorgeous voice and showcases an Alison Krauss-worthy tone.

“The idea for this song came to me late one night after someone I was dating hesitated to introduce me to his parents,” Callie told The Bluegrass Situation. “The melody and the second verse spilled out in a matter of seconds but when I sat down about a week later with my songwriting buddy Ryan Sorestad to bring it to life, it became deeper than that. It’s that secret fear we have all felt; that some part of who you are or where you come from is not good enough, or won’t measure up in the world. I’ve always been the loud, bold girl with a bit of a wild streak and never the ingénue or the sweet, shy, perfect girl. It’s something I’ve struggled with in learning to be myself.”

Callie has chased her unique muse for years, making contemporary roots music that nods to the legends who came before her. With After Midnight, McCullough makes her debut as a solo artist. The record was tracked in her adopted hometown of Nashville, where she resettled after spending nearly a decade on the road with other projects. Emotional and eclectic, After Midnight also features first-class picking from members of the Grammy-winning bluegrass band Union Station and western-swing super-group the Time Jumpers. The result is a collaborative and intimate EP that laces McCullough's voice with touches of dobro, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and acoustic guitar, mixing the fresh energy of a rising star with the finesse of a hotshot backing band.

Born third generation in a musical family, her childhood home was filled with inspiration, and it wasn't long before McCullough was contributing to the family business, landing gigs at 14 years old, and forming a duo with her Mom at 16. Armed with an unforgettable voice, she headed to Europe skipping the college graduation ceremony, to play festivals for oversized crowds night after night. 

"When I first moved to Nashville, I didn't know what I was going to do," admits the singer/songwriter, whose love of expressive, swooning ballads was inspired by artists like Krauss, Parton, Eva Cassidy, Keith Whitley and Don Williams. "I was writing songs for other people and playing gigs so I could pay the rent. I was taking time to figure out who I was."

To bring those songs to life, McCullough turned to Nashville-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Dustin Olyan, who helped assemble a top-tier studio band whose members included Grammy-winning banjo/guitar player Ron Block, upright bassist Barry Bales, dobro player Brent Burke, drummer Billy Thomas, accordion and piano player Jeff Taylor, and celebrated fiddler Stuart Duncan. Recorded in iconic Nashville-area studios like the Tracking Room and the Sound Emporium (as well as Olyan's home studio, the Tone Distillery), After Midnight blends hushed, nocturnal soundscapes with traditional influences, contemporary twists, sharp songwriting, and the expressive singing of a front-woman who's truly found her own voice.

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 2:28 pm

Jesse Cook—the internationally acclaimed guitarist, composer and producer—has announced fall dates for his “Follow The Road” U.S. tour. Kicking off on October 9 in Pittsburgh, PA at the Byham Theatre, the 33-date headlining trek will take Cook and his vibrant band across the country with stops in New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, Denver, CO, San Diego, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and Sacramento, CA, among many others. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here

Next year, Cook will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of his debut album, Tempest (1995, Narada). The JUNO Award-winning musician shows no signs of slowing down, but rather expanding on his musical appetite. Cook’s latest record, Beyond Borders (2017, eOne Music), explores a sonic landscape unfettered by geography, ethnicity and musical styles to forge a unique world music hybrid. Beyond Borders is the most sonically diverse and distinctive disc in hisvast and varied catalog, which has earned him 11 JUNO nominations and one JUNO win in the Best Instrumental Album category for Free Fall (2000, Narada) – which has its 20-year anniversary in 2020. After 11 albums and over two million albums sold to date, Cook also continues to progressively build numerous amounts of listeners on the DSPs as well as gather loyal subscribers to his YouTube channel where he releases original and creative content. 

Fans can check their local PBS station listings to watch an airing of Cook’s special, “Beyond Borders.” Directed, edited and mixed by Cook himself, the special captures footage from his 2017/2018 “Beyond Borders” tour and specifically highlights a different song from each night of the tour. Click here to watch the special’s trailer.

Catch Jesse Cook on his “Follow The Road” tour:

DATE

CITY/STATE

VENUE

Wed, 10/9

Pittsburgh, PA

Byham Theatre

Thur, 10/10

Buffalo, NY

Asbury Hall at Babeville

Fri, 10/11

Cleveland, OH

Ohio Theatre

Sat, 10/12

Dayton, OH

Victoria Theatre

Sun, 10/13

Columbus, OH

Lincoln Theatre

Tue, 10/15

Fall River, MA

Narrows Center for the Arts

Wed, 10/16

Boston, MA

Wilbur Theatre

Thur, 10/17

Northampton, MA

Academy of Music

Fri, 10/18

Concord, NH

Capitol Center 

Sat, 10/19

Vienna, VA

The Barns at Wolftrap

Sun, 10/20

Philadelphia, PA

Zellerbach Theatre at Annenberg

Tue, 10/22

Rockymount, VA

Harvester Performance Center

Wed, 10/23

Annapolis, MD

Rams Head

Thur, 10/24

New York, NY

Sony Hall

Fri, 10/25

Hartford, CT

Belding Theatre

Sat, 10/26

Rockport, MA

Shalin Liu Performance Center

Sun, 10/27

Portland, ME

State Theatre

Wed, 11/6

Denver, CO

Paramount Theatre

Thur, 11/7

Albuquerque, NM

KiMo Theatre

Fri, 11/8

Tucson, AZ

Fox Tucson Theatre

Sat, 11/9

Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Sun, 11/10

San Diego, CA

Spreckels

Tue, 11/12

Las Vegas, NV

Smith Center  

Wed, 11/13

Las Vegas, NV

Smith Center

Thur, 11/14

Beverly Hills, CA

Saban Theatre

Fri, 11/15

Fresno, CA

Tower Theatre

Sat, 11/16

Sacramento, CA

Crest Theatre

Sun, 11/17

Santa Cruz, CA

Rio Theatre

Tue, 11/19

Bend, OR

Tower Theatre of Bend

Wed, 11/20

Eugene, OR

John G Shedd Institute for the Arts

Thur, 11/21

Portland, OR

Alladin Theater

Fri, 11/22

Seattle, WA

Moore Theatre

Sat, 11/23

Bellingham, WA

Mount Baker Theatre

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 11:01 am

Kiefer Sutherland’s sophomore album, the 10-song Reckless & Me, arrived earlier this year on a wave of praise and today he’s announced a deluxe edition of the album is set for a September 27 release via BMG. Reckless & Me Special Edition includes the original album along with a bonus disc featuring Sutherland’s full concert in Berlin. Recorded on March 1, 2019 at SchwuZ in Berlin, Germany, the live disc captures an energetic and dynamically-tight set from Kiefer and his band. Click here to watch a live performance of “Something You Love” from the show.

Reckless & Me delivers Sutherland’s Americana and country rock-infused songwriting style and highlights his gift of soulful storytelling. On the bonus disc, Live In Berlin, Sutherland gets to dive deeper into storytelling and reveals some personal anecdotes behind the songs. 

“We’ve played so many shows over the past five years, to have one of them recorded, so that fans who couldn’t make a show because we didn’t play in their particular town or city, is very special to me,” says Sutherland. “I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed playing it”.

Reckless & Me holds beautifully arranged ballads and authentic country rockers such as the album’s lead single, “Open Road,” “This Is How It’s Done and “Something You Love” – all delivered with Sutherland’s distinctive, whiskey-soaked and gravel-laced voice. Produced by Jude Cole, Reckless & Me marks the follow up to Sutherland’s critically acclaimed debut album, Down In A Hole (2016).

The official music video for “Something You Love” can be watched here.

Click here to watch a video incorporating tour footage for “This Is How It’s Done.”

Sutherland recently wrapped his U.S. tour which included special performances at the Grand Ole Opry and CMA Fest in Nashville, TN. While in New York City for his headlining show at Irving Plaza, Sutherland stopped by NBC’s “TODAY” for a performance of “Something You Love.” Watch here.

Track listing for Reckless & Me Special Edition:

“Open Road “

“Something You Love”

“Faded Pair of Blue Jeans”

“Reckless & Me”

“Blame It on Your Heart”

“This Is How It’s Done”

“Agave”

“Run to Him”

“Saskatchewan”

“Song for a Daughter”

Bonus Disc:

“Can't Stay Away” [Live In Berlin]

“Something You Love” [Live In Berlin]

“Reckless & Me” [Live In Berlin]

“Faded Pair of Blue Jeans” [Live In Berlin]

“Open Road” [Live In Berlin]

“Blame It on Your Heart” [Live In Berlin]

“Saskatchewan” [Live In Berlin]

“Not Enough Whiskey” [Live In Berlin]

“This Is How It's Done [Live In Berlin]

“Honey Bee” [Live In Berlin]

(Tom Petty cover)

“Down in a Hole” [Live In Berlin]

“Agave” [Live In Berlin]

“Rebel Wind” [Live In Berlin]

Sat, 05/02/2020 - 2:53 pm

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Robert Francis has released Amaretto, his seventh full-length studio album, today via Aeronaut Records. The 11-song Americana-leaning album from the prolific artist features top-tier guests Ry Cooder, Marty Stuart and Terry Evans on multiple tracks. Francis partnered with American Songwriter yesterday to give fans an early listen to the album.

Recorded mostly in Nashville, TN and completed in 2018, Amaretto faced hurdles due to complications in manufacturing and distribution causing the two-year release delay. Following his temporary move to Nashville, Francis built a recording studio in the basement with an 8-track MCI Tape Machine, one mic for each instrument and no headphones, all intentionally structured for live takes. The result is a raw and skillfully etched collection. Above mentioned trailblazing musicians Ry Cooder, Marty Stuart and Terry Evans lent their talents to Amaretto in a separate session to round out an album filled with inspired, off-the-cuff performances.

The album delivers flavors from the full-spectrum of alt-country and Americana. Heart-tugging ballads with soaring harmonies and infectious phrasing are found in tunes like “How Long”—a song penned after the passing of his father—to uptempo burners like “Country Bar” which delivers blazing mandolin picking by Stuart and precision riff delivery from Ry Cooder. Other standouts include the title track which Francis says, “became the beginning of the whole album. When I was eight or nine, I took art lessons from the brilliant painter, John Brosio. The first still life I ever attempted was of an Amaretto bottle my Dad kept on the kitchen counter. When I moved to Nashville, I didn’t know a single soul. I was out there totally alone. One of my first afternoons there, the sky lit up a boozy, amber color and that still life popped into my head.”

Track listing for Amaretto:

1. “Other Side Of Heaven”

2. “How Long” ft. Ry Cooder & Marty Stuart

3. “Amaretto”

4. “The Way I Know How”

5. “Mendocino”

6. “Dreaming Man”

7. “First Time”

8. “Snakes In The Grass” ft. Terry Evans & Ry Cooder

9. “Country Bar” ft. Ry Cooder & Marty Stuart

10. “Other Side Of Heaven” ft. Terry Evans & Ry Cooder

11. “Bad Evidence”

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 9:33 am

Prolific Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Robert Francis has released Vol. 1, the new full-length album under Robert Francis + The End Times. The 10-song collection– full of guitar solos, bombastic percussion, harmonies and the amplified chemistry of Francis’ End Times bandmates–is out everywhere today via Aeronaut Records on all DSPs (listen here).

It was during a cross-country drive from Nashville to Los Angeles that Francis began crafting the rock & roll anthems that fill Vol. 1. The album’s lead single, "Boy Like That," rides a cool, unhurried groove, with Francis delivering the song from the perspective of an ex-girlfriend. Glide Magazine noted, “with its infectious synth line, mellow guitar lines, and soulful, funky percussion and background vocals, the song [‘Boy Like That’] carries a melancholy, nostalgia-driven rock and roll sound. Compared to the roots and Americana sounds Francis is often known for, this song marks a departure with its combination of indie rock and throwback soul.”

"I'd been doing a lot of listening to the records I grew up with, from the Replacements to the Gin Blossoms," Francis says of the album's rock-inspired sound. "I was going down memory lane and falling in love with that kind of music all over again, without letting my insecurities get in the way. I wasn't wondering if the new songs sounded too country, too rock, or too Americana. I was just embracing this form of heart-on-sleeve, nostalgia-driven rock & roll."

Robert Francis + The End Times' Vol. 1 is an album built for highway driving. It's a soundtrack for the road, filled with songs that evoke the rush of open windows and the glow of sun beaming through the windshield. Tommy Marz of Sound Vapors advised, “when the album is released, I would recommend spending some time alone with it and quite possibly losing yourself in the spectacular songwriting and musical craft on the record. You’ll be hard-pressed to find many albums that are mixed better than this one.”

Vol. 1 may have been written in isolation, but its 10 songs are the work of a fully-formed band. Accompanied by guitarist Drew Phillips, bassist Shane Smith, drummer Brad Cummings, harmony vocalist Cori Elliott, and multiple guests, Francis booked several weeks of recording time at Total Annihilation, a punk-rock studio in L.A.'s Lincoln Heights neighborhood. There, he produced the bulk of the album himself, with all the musicians playing together in the same room. Several months later, while visiting Nashville to perform at the Americana Music Festival, the band cut two additional tracks with producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) at the iconic Bomb Shelter studio.

Track listing for Vol. 1:

“Somewhere Trains”

“Paradise”

“Boy Like That”

“Coast”

“Copy Comic”

“Built To Last”

“Down The Line”

“What It’s Like”

“Loose Conditions”

“House Cat”

Vol. 1 arrives on the heels of his recent surprise Amaretto album release (May 1, Aeronaut Records). The Americana-leaning Amaretto was unveiled on American Songwriter and features trailblazing musicians Ry Cooder, Marty Stuart and Terry Evans on multiple tracks. The 11-song album delivers flavors from the full-spectrum of alt-country and Americana. Heart-tugging ballads with soaring harmonies and infectious phrasing are found in tunes like “How Long”—a song penned after the passing of Francis’ father—to uptempo burners like “Country Bar” which delivers blazing mandolin picking by Stuart and precision riff delivery from Cooder.