Tue, 07/12/2016 - 11:31 am

Comin’ at you September 9 straight outta Nashville: The Time Jumpers radiant third album, Kid Sister, on Rounder Records.  This treasury of 14 tunes—new and classic—is both a sweet tribute to the band’s late “girl singer,” Dawn Sears (the “Kid Sister” of the title), and a sparkling celebration of western swing and traditional country music.

For the uninitiated and yet-to-be dazzled, The Time Jumpers is a 10-piece band made up of superpickers who normally work recording sessions and/or tour with major artists.  On Monday evenings, their usual night off, they convene at the 3rd & Lindsley nightclub in Nashville for shows that routinely pack the house and attract big name artists, many of whom join them on stage.

“A Nashville institution," The New York Times raved, “with fans often making pilgrimages from abroad.”

The band members are Vince Gill, vocals and guitars; Kenny Sears, fiddle and vocals (and Dawn Sears’ husband); Joe Spivey and Larry Franklin, fiddles and vocals; Paul Franklin, steel guitar; "Ranger Doug" Green, guitars and vocals and founding member of the Grand Ole Opry’s Riders In The Sky; Billy Thomas, drums and vocals; Jeff Taylor, accordion, piano and vocals; Andy Reiss, guitars; and Brad Albin, bass.

Gill produced Kid Sister with the entire band creating the arrangements. 

Kid Sister track listing

1. “My San Antonio Rose” (Freddy Powers)

2. “I Miss You” (Vince Gill, Ashley Monroe)

3. “We’re The Time Jumpers” (Vince Gill)

4. “Table For Two” (Vince Gill, Max D. Barnes)

5. “Empty Rooms” (Doug Green)

6. “All Aboard” (Paul Franklin)

7. “Blue Highway Blue” (Debi Smith Cochran, Billy Thomas)

8. “I Hear You Talkin’” (Cindy Walker)

9. “The True Love Meant For Me” (Vince Gill)

10. “Honky Tonkin’” (Vince Gill, Troy Seals)

11. “Bloodshot Eyes” (Hank Penny)

12. “Sweet Rowena” (Vince Gill, Pete Wasner)

13. “This Heartache” (Kenny Sears)

14. “Kid Sister” (Vince Gill)

The Time Jumpers will take selections from Kid Sister and other crowd favorites to the people starting Thursday, July 21, at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, OK.  From there, it’s to the Globe Performing Arts Center, Amarillo, TX, July 22; the Civic Center Theatre, Lubbock, TX, July 23;and 16 more dates, including a West Coast swing in September and October. 

Pre-order information will be available later this month.

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 11:44 am

The always witty Vince Gill and the reliably wry Lyle Lovett are reuniting for a nine city tour that will take place  March 2017.  After teaming up for a series of concerts in 2015 and 2016, Gill and Lovett saw that the shows were so successful that they decided to extend the tour.

A reviewer for Elmore Magazine raved, “The evening reminded me of the Rat Pack, with pals Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra doing comedy and music and having a great time. . . . This was not the show I had looked forward to—it was much better.”

Each show will be a series of  intimate solo and duo performances, during which the artists will serve as their own accompanists.

"For a night like this, there is no plan," Gill said. "I know Lyle won't have a plan, and I won't either. What he plays will inspire me, and probably vice-versa. It'll be like playing ping-pong. Whatever song he chooses to sing will inspire the next song that comes out of me."

“I enjoy shows that are not planned out,” Lovett observes. “This will be two songwriters in the round. It’s informal, so there will be lots of ad-libbing. It will be like little snapshots of our experiences.”

Both performers have reaped armfuls of Grammys and kindred laurels for their musical versatility and memory-engraving songwriting.

 "Just two guys sitting on stools, telling stories and singing songs," Gill says. "No big bands.  I saw James Taylor once with just him and his guitar, and after that show I felt like I knew him a whole lot better than I ever did before. That's what'll happen between Lyle and me, too, and I'm looking forward to it."

HERE ARE THE DATES AND LOCATIONS:

March 22 -- Thousand Oaks, CA --  Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza 

March 23 -- Mesa, AZ -- Mesa Arts Center - Ikeda Theatre

March 24 -- Las Vegas, NV --  The Smith Center for the Performing Arts - Reynolds Hall

March 25 -- Reno, NV --  Reno Ballroom

March 26 -- San Francisco, CA --  Nourse Theatre

March 27 -- San Rafael, CA --  Marin Center

March 28 -- San Jose, CA --  City National Civic

March 29 -- Visalia, CA --  Visalia Fox Theatre

March 30 -- Santa Ynez, CA --  Chumash Casino 

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 12:06 pm

Jenny Gill will release her debut EP, The House Sessions, February 17.  The autobiographical collection of songs—five of the six of which Gill wrote or co-wrote—blends blues, Americana and country to create a sound and style as unique as she is.

“Every song on this project takes me to somewhere in my past,” she says.  “My favorite songs to write are those that reflect personal experiences instead of just telling a story.”

Rolling Stone Country recognized Jenny as one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know” commenting that Gill “sounds like a magical mixture of good genes, hard work and the discovery of one’s own voice.”  Gill also released a music video of the track “Lonely Lost Me,”  a clip that features her adorable 2 1/2 –year-old son Wyatt.

Gill, of course, springs from country music royalty.  Her father is Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill, and her mother is Sweethearts of the Rodeo’s Janis Oliver. Her step-mother is Christian and pop superstar Amy Grant, with whom she has toured as a backup singer for the last six years.

"Jenny and I were camping at Bonnaroo the first time she played me a work tape of 'Your Shadow,’ stated Grant.  "The song stopped me in my tracks. That she had waited months to play it for anyone was a mystery to me. In that moment I knew she was a creative force to be reckoned with. Her lyrics are thought provoking, her melodies effortless and haunting. I am a true fan."

“People have a preconceived perception of me because of my name, that I am country or that my talent should be at a certain place because of my parents’ accomplishments,” she says. “It’s hard to get people to notice you on your own and not for being a plus-one. So that is what The House Sessions is attempting to do. I am done waiting in the wings wondering what could happen.  I’m ready to try and build something all on my own.”

In producing The House Sessions, Vince Gill tapped some of Nashville’s finest musicians, among them Sheryl Crow, Willie Weeks, Jack Pearson and Jon Randall.

Jenny will be performing in support of her album release.  Upcoming appearances include:

Saturday, February 11    The Grand Old Opry

Tuesday, February 14     Bluebird Café/Nashville, TN

Friday, February 24        The Listening Room/Nashville, TN

Friday, March 10             Franklin Theatre/Franklin, TN

Saturday, March 11         TN Kidney Foundation Presents "Bright Lights, Nashville Nights"

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 6:42 am
One of America’s most beloved songwriters will be honored September 15 with the release of the Vector Recordings album A Tribute to John D. Loudermilk.
 
Among the more than two dozen musicians memorializing the composer of  “Tobacco Road,” “Abilene,” “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” “Waterloo,” “Indian Reservation,” and “A Rose and a Baby Ruth” are Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Rodney Crowell, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and renowned guitarists Tommy Emmanuel and John Jorgenson.  The evening was hosted by songwriter and music historian Peter Cooper.
 
A Tribute to John D. Loudermilk was recorded live March 24, 2016 during a concert at the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee, near Nashville.  Although ailing at the time, Loudermilk was on hand to witness this outpouring of love and respect.  He died September 21 at the age of 82.
 
A film of the concert will be released as a PBS special. Grammy-winning John Jorgenson produced the album and was musical director for the concert.  Dixie Gamble, who organized the concert, is co-producer of the album and is overseeing production of the PBS special.  A Tribute to John D. Loudermilk will be distributed by BFD in association with Sony/Red Distribution.
 
Loudermilk found inspiration for his songs in the raw material most people overlook—a lovesick teenager’s peace offering, the magnetic pull of birthplace, the inevitability of personal failure. In addition to hosting the live event, Peter Cooper was also tapped to write the liner notes for the project.  “In life and love and song, Loudermilk hated moderation,” writes Cooper.  “He wasn’t just a seeker of truth and beauty, he was a finder. He found it, he learned it, he kept it, and then he shared it with us seekers.”
 
Equally adept at writing rock, pop and country hits, Loudermilk had songs recorded by the Allman Brothers, Edgar Winter, Jefferson Airplane, the Animals, Johnny Winter, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Casinos, the Everly Brothers, Petula Clark, Perry Como, Brenda Lee, Roy Orbison, Sammy Davis Jr., the Box Tops, Rick Nelson, Stonewall Jackson, Ernie Ashworth, Eddy Arnold, George Hamilton IV, Skeeter Davis, the Browns, Connie Smith, Webb Pierce, Barbara Mandrell, George Jones, Bobbie Gentry, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Doc Watson, Sonny James, Anne Murray, Conway Twitty, Willie Nelson, James Brown, Solomon Burke, Nina Simone, Norah Jones, Jay Z and Kanye West.
Fri, 09/15/2017 - 8:10 am

One of America’s most beloved songwriters is being honored today, September 15, with the release of the Vector Recordings album A Tribute to John D. Loudermilk.

Among the more than two dozen musicians memorializing the composer of “Tobacco Road,” “Abilene,” “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” “Waterloo,” “Indian Reservation,” and “A Rose and a Baby Ruth” are Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Rodney Crowell, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and renowned guitarists Tommy Emmanuel and John Jorgenson.  The evening was hosted by songwriter and music historian Peter Cooper.

A Tribute to John D. Loudermilk was recorded live March 24, 2016 during a concert at the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee, near Nashville.  Although ailing at the time, Loudermilk was on hand to witness this outpouring of love and respect.  He died September 21 at the age of 82.

All artist royalty proceeds will be donated to MusiCares. MusiCares was established by the Recording Academy to safeguard the health and well-being of all music people.

A film of the concert will be released this Fall as a PBS special. Grammy-winning John Jorgenson produced the album and was musical director for the concert.  Dixie Gamble, who organized the concert, is co-producer of the album and is overseeing production of the PBS special.  A Tribute to John D. Loudermilk will be distributed by BFD in association with Sony/Red Distribution.

Loudermilk found inspiration for his songs in the raw material most people overlook—a lovesick teenager’s peace offering, the magnetic pull of birthplace, the inevitability of personal failure. In addition to hosting the live event, Peter Cooper was also tapped to write the liner notes for the project.  “In life and love and song, Loudermilk hated moderation,” writes Cooper.  “He wasn’t just a seeker of truth and beauty, he was a finder. He found it, he learned it, he kept it, and then he shared it with us seekers.”

Equally adept at writing rock, pop and country hits, Loudermilk had songs recorded by the Allman Brothers, Edgar Winter, Jefferson Airplane, the Animals, Johnny Winter, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Casinos, the Everly Brothers, Petula Clark, Perry Como, Brenda Lee, Roy Orbison, Sammy Davis Jr., the Box Tops, Rick Nelson, Stonewall Jackson, Ernie Ashworth, Eddy Arnold, George Hamilton IV, Skeeter Davis, the Browns, Connie Smith, Webb Pierce, Barbara Mandrell, George Jones, Bobbie Gentry, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Doc Watson, Sonny James, Anne Murray, Conway Twitty, Willie Nelson, James Brown, Solomon Burke, Nina Simone, Norah Jones, Jay Z and Kanye West.

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:50 pm

“The question is not, how do we get diversity into bluegrass, but how do we get diversity back into bluegrass?” asked Rhiannon Giddons during her keynote at the 2017 IBMA conference.  The answer is Nefesh Mountain.  Yes, Beneath The Open Sky is a bluegrass album. Yes, some of its lyrics are sung in Hebrew. No, it isn’t a gimmick or a parody. And, no, it’s not klezmer music. 

That being said, let’s hear Beneath The Open Sky for what it really is: a soulful, euphoric, folk-flavored outpouring of hope and joy, propelled by the kind of crisp, crystalline picking that gives lyrics wings. It’s a distinctively Nefesh Mountain sound.

On March 2, the husband and wife duo of Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg, will release Beneath The Open Sky, their second full length album and follow up to their critically-acclaimed self-titled debut Nefesh Mountain. The recording was very much a hands-on undertaking for the couple, writing or arranging all 11 songs, as well as co-producing the entire project from start to finish. They recorded it with the instrumental backing of Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Tony Trischka and David Grier, aided by Nefesh Mountain’s touring band members, Alan Grubner on fiddle and Tim Kiah on bass.  A dazzling picker in his own right, Lindberg provides lead guitar and banjo throughout, while Zasloff soars with some of the most melodic, incisive and soul-stirring vocals we’ve heard since Mary Travers first took the spotlight.

Using original material, along with four tracks drawing from the folk and old time traditions, Lindberg and Zasloff ingeniously create a beautiful arc throughout Beneath The Open Sky which defines their own genre and world as they see it. Their message is clear from the album's opening track and rousing call for universal equality “Bound For The Promised Land," to the closing of their haunting rendition of Irving Berlin’s “Russian Lullaby." Throughout these songs, you can hear the foundational similarities between bluegrass and Jewish traditions, notably the lure of “home,” the love of nature and the comforts of a like-minded community. Jerusalem Ridge, Rocky Top, Flint Hill and Nefesh Mountain are clearly parts of the same eternal chain. 

Both native New Yorkers, Lindberg and Zasloff have long and strong ties to bluegrass. “I grew up in Brooklyn,” says Lindberg, “but my dad’s side of the family, which was not Jewish—he converted when he married my mother—lived in rural Georgia. I would go down and hang out with my uncles, who were great guitar players. We’d hike the Appalachian Trail and listen to old-time music. Something in my soul always responded to this deep, ancient, and undeniable feeling that I had from being down South in this heartland of America.”

“We want to have a chance to share our story with everybody,” Zasloff adds. “There is this word ‘Americana’ that we all know well and is used a lot these days, bridging the gaps somewhere between Old-Time, Bluegrass, Folk, Blues and Jazz which all have deep roots in this country. For me, the beauty of all of these forms of music is that at their core they are about people, they are about this amazing world, and they are about life. That is where we are coming from with Nefesh Mountain; somewhere in the long chain of music and ideology that gives us the opportunity to open people’s minds and hearts to our culture and heritage. We’re all in the same boat here. We’re all trying to figure it out.”