Codfish Hollow Barnstormers Presents:
Guided by Voices, The Rentals, Cory Chisel and The Refugee All-Stars, Bully, The Whigs, Whitney, John Moreland, Steve Gunn, The Deslondes, Peter Wolf Crier, Eef Barzelay, Small Houses, Margaret Glaspy, Jesse Marchant, Justin Kinkel-Schuster (Water Liars), Susto, The Singer and the Songwriter, Chrash, Anders Parker (Varnaline), LOLO, The Black Velvet Band, Terra Lightfoot, The Multiple Cat, Campdogzz, The Kernal, Kalispell, Trevor Sensor, Yoko and the Oh No's
Fri, Sep 09, 2016 - Sun, Sep 11, 2016
Doors: 4:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pmCodfish Hollow Barnstormers
$30 - $120
Tickets Available at the Door
This event is all ages
6 pm -- Terra Lightfoot
7 pm -- John Moreland
8 pm -- The Whigs
9 pm -- Steve Gunn
10 pm -- Bully
11 pm -- Guided By Voices
5:30 -- The Multiple Cat
6:30 -- Chrash
7:30 -- Peter Wolf Crier
Yoko and the Oh Nos
Black Velvet Band
The Singer and the Songwriter
Two-day barn passes -- $90
Single-day barn passes -- $50
and introducing a grounds pass -- $30 per day
The grounds pass gives you access to camping, the surroundings/hillside outside the barn (where you can hear perfectly and can still have direct sightlines into the barn) and to the valley stage on which 11 amazing acts will be playing over the weekend. With the grounds pass, the only thing you won't be able to do is enter the barn, but the doors will be open and the sound will be great, as many of you already know.
The Lineup by day :
Friday, September 9th
DOORS at 4 PM (camping set-up starts at 2 PM)
MUSIC at 5:30 PM
6 pm -- Terra Lightfoot
7 pm -- John Moreland
8 pm -- The Whigs
9 pm -- Steve Gunn
10 pm -- Bully
11 pm -- Guided By Voices
5:30 -- The Multiple Cat
6:30 -- Chrash
7:30 -- Peter Wolf Crier
Saturday, September 10th
DOORS at NOON
MUSIC at 12:30
10:30 pm -- Cory Chisel
9 pm -- The Rentals
8 pm -- LOLO
7 pm -- SUSTO
6 pm -- Whitney
5 pm -- The Deslondes
4 pm -- Margaret Glaspy
3 pm -- Yoko and the Oh Nos
2 pm -- Campdogzz
1 pm -- The Kernal
12:30 -- Black Velvet Band
1:30 -- The Singer and the Songwriter
2:30 -- Anders Parker
3:30 -- Justin-Kinkel Schuster
4:30 -- Kalispell
5:30 pm -- Eef Barzelay
6:30 pm -- Small Houses
7:30 pm -- Trevor Sensor
8:30 pm -- Jesse Marchant
After 22 albums, 24 solo records and countless side projects, Pollard has recorded a new GBV album by himself and has assembled an exciting new GBV line-up for 2016 touring: Doug Gillard (guitar), Bobby Bare Jr (guitar), Mark Shue (bass) and Kevin March (drums).
On September 5, 2014 the main collaborators from Lost In Alphaville came together at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. For the very 1st time Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig (Lucius), Ryen Slegr (Ozma), Lauren Chipman (The Section Quartet) joined Sharp along with Jared Shavelson subbing in for Alphaville drummer Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) to perform songs from the newly celebrated release.
Understanding that this may be the only time that this unique collection of musicians would be able to come together, the band's label decided to document the entire day by filming from the set up, soundcheck, pre-show, main concert, post-show and everything that came in between the bookends of loading-in and loading-out. This intimate look into the beautiful chaos of "a day in the life" with The Rentals became the basis for Alphaville's 1st official music video "1000 Seasons". Elegantly shot by JDVVC and edited by J. Santos the infectious video gives the fans of the album perhaps the one and only opportunity to watch the album's main musicians collaborate and celebrate together - watch via YouTube.
Keeping the musical-collective tradition that Sharp has always employed with the band, the ever evolving, ever revolving door of guest Rentals collaborators will feature Shawn Glassford (Starfucker) on bass and synthesizers, Lizzy Ellison & Patti King (Radiation City) on vocals and synthesizers, Ryen Slegr (Ozma) on guitar, Ted Gowans (Tegan & Sara) on guitar, Jared Shavelson on drums which all swirl around Sharp's deadpan vocals while he wildly conducts the onstage analog synth madness.
Cory Chisel is an old believer. You can hear it in his music – there's a wisdom beyond his years in that voice. You can see it in his story – the son of a preacher, sheltered from pop music, raised on hymns and Johnny Cash. "Mom played piano and organ, my dad did the preaching, the thing that my sister and I could add to the service was to sing." As fate would have it, the kid was born to do it.
He grew up in the iron range town of Babbit Minnesota, and the rural flatlands of Appleton Wisconsin. Along with the family's spiritual doctrine came a musician uncle, who taught Cory about the blues: Howlin Wolf, Robert Johnson, Sony Boy Williamson.
This musical education put young Cory on a path that was well worn by the greats who came before him and influenced him. People like Cash, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding. For Cory, songwriting is a byproduct of existing. We all talk to ourselves. Cory does so with a melody. Those internal conversations are the seeds, the building blocks of his songs. "Where a painter, in order to express himself, would reach for a canvas and paints, I go to the guitar and try to build it out. Or sometimes songs just come fully formed, usually if I'm really sleep-deprived and driving for whatever reason, it's like a radio station that my brain picks up."
Old Believer is the second LP from Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons. The record, in Cory's words, is about rebuilding, and there's a directness that comes through in the songwriting. "Life is a series of creating things, living with the inevitable destruction of those things, and then finding within yourself the ability to create again."
There's brutal honesty in the soulful rock of "I've Been Accused". The song suggests that sometimes with personal growth comes unhappiness, but ultimately you've got to step up. No pain, no gain. "Never Meant To Love You" is timeless, like something straight out of "The Great American Songbook." It's a story of unexpected love, plainly and elegantly told. For "Please Tell Me" Cory says "I went to my guitar instead of going to a phone and sent the message that way." "Seventeen" deals beautifully with the simple truth of realizing that a certain portion of your life has passed. Cory Chisel is an old believer.
The album was recorded in Nashville and produced by a great singer songwriter in his own right, Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs). The two met while making Cory's first album. They sat down to write a song together, and quickly found they were kindred spirits. "We had just such a common language in the way we attacked music making. Brendan is really great at bringing direction and bringing something out of me that is almost indescribable. He's also the guy who can get behind the boards and pull it off."
What Benson pulls off is an album of rich, authentic, rock and roll, drawing a straight line between the gospel and the blues of Cory's youth, and classic rock. He's able to find the right space and color for each song, whether it's the dangerous and dark mood of "Foxgloves", the bright Brill Building meets Graham Nash vibe of "Laura", or the straight up traditional rollin' and tumbin' blues of "Over Jordan".
The sound is filled out by a great cast of Nashville players including Matt Scibilia, Jon Graboff and Brad Pemberton of The Cardinals (Ryan Adams) and The Howlin Brothers. But the thing that truly brings this record to life is Chisel's long time keyboard player and singing partner Adriel Harris. Their voices fit together magically. It's a fitting nod to her contribution that Harris opens Old Believers with the gorgeous prologue- "This Is How It Goes."
"I think one of the best things about being a songwriter and about living a life as an artist is that you really don't get rid of anything, you kind of just like drag it with you the rest of your life and hopefully you can feel that on this record. We're still dancing with those same inspired moments. This record is a culmination of all that."
More crucially, the word "bully" is a perfect distillation of frontwoman Alicia Bognanno's visceral approach to songwriting. She trades in steely observations, raw-nerve confessions, and intense anger directed almost exclusively at herselfalthough a few bystanders and bad exes might get caught in the crossfire. Her voice rises from sugar-sweet to scratchy howl as she bares her most harrowing fears to the world. In other words, Bognanno is her own bully.
Not merely the band's vocalist, songwriter, guitarist, and all-around visionary, she is also Bully's producer and engineer. Her musical life in music is inseparable from her experiences studying audio techniques and technology. Growing up in Minnesota, Bognanno often made up her own lyrics and melodiesnothing so complete as a songbut it wasn't until her senior year of high school that she found an outlet for those creative urges. "I took an audio engineering class at this alternative school," she recalls, adding that sessions were held at the local zoo. "Suddenly, it was like, Wow! I have a way to record stuff. Now I need to figure out how to play an instrument." She learned piano quickly, but guitar was more difficult; she had more fun using Logic Pro X to loop beats for some of her friends who were aspiring rappers.
Audio engineering engaged her in ways that other subjects had not, and Bognanno credits her teacher with recommending an inexpensive four-year Bachelor of Science program at Middle Tennessee State University, about thirty miles south of Nashville. There she immersed herself in courses in recording techniques, music theory and history, even copyright law. She even took another stab at guitar, this time with better results. "I think learning just some basic theory helped a lot, but I think it was because I picked up an electric guitar instead of an acoustic," she explains. "It was a lot more fun."
While the school emphasized digital recording, Boganno became obsessed with analog equipment. Part of the attraction was the richer and roomier sound, which opens up new and livelier textures in the instruments. "It's hard to bust out of what your instructors are showing you and what all your classmates are doing," she says, "but there were two teachers who maintained the tape machines, and they gave me lessons on the mechanics and techniques."
Bognanno used that experience to pursue an internship at Electrical Audio, the Chicago studio complex owned by Steve Albini and host to legendary sessions by some of Bully's heroes and biggest influences: the Breeders, Liz Phair, Superchunk, even the Stooges. When she returned to Tennessee, she started working at a local studio (Battle Tapes), ran sound at one of the best venues in town (the Stone Fox), and formed Bully as essentially a solo project backed by a trio of friends: Stewart Copeland on drums, Clayton Parker on guitar, and Reece Lazarus on bass.
Despite Bognanno's expertise as an audio engineer, the band is less a studio entity than a stage act, one that has quickly developed a reputation for its ferocious live shows (the Nashville Scene named Bully the top local band in its 2014 Best of Nashville issue.) On record, Bognanno strives to retain the band's formidable guitar attack while highlighting her boldly candid lyrics. "At this point in my life I always want everything I make to sound like we're playing live," she explains. "That's why I didn't put any keyboards or any extra stuff on there. Some people don't like that, but I had to go with my gut."
The band recorded live at Electrical Audio, doing as few takes as possible. Once they'd gotten a good performance, the songs were mixed immediately, not merely to save time but to preserve the excitable urgency of the music. Overseeing every part of the process put extra pressure on Bognanno to deliver some truly unbridled vocal performances. She practically screams the lyrics to opener "I Remember," documenting her memories of a curdled romance as the guitars roar and tumble behind her:
I remember showing up at your house
I remember hurting you so much
And I remember the way your sheets smelled!
It made for an intense session. "Stuart was trying to get some footage while we were in the studio, and he said he couldn't be in the same room with me while I was recording those vocals. It was just too intense. I don't even know how it comes out of me."
A deeply personal album by an artist bravely mining her own life, Feels Like is all about trying to figure yourself outabout holding yourself accountable and acting like an adult in a society that doesn't offer very many good examples. It's a coming-of-age album, which only makes Bognanno more relatable. "Sometimes I wonder if people think I'm a complete mess," she says. "It's not easy to put yourself out there like, but it's true. Everyone goes through shit like that."
Says Parker Gispert (guitar/vocals): "We wanted to record quickly, and we wanted to record live. That meant we weren't going to write a bunch of songs that relied on a horn line or any outside instrumentation. That guided the composition of the songs and informed how we approached recording them."
For months the trio hammered these songs into shape at their Nashville practice space, united in a shared mission: to perform these songs with as much energy and excitement as possible, to expertly navigate every tricky tempo change, taut groove, spacy tangent, and ebullient hook. Their infamously raucous live show was never far from their minds. "Our practice space actually has about a foot-high stage," says Julian Dorio (drums), "and we set up like we're playing a show. We know we're going to spend a lot of time on the road touring, so it's always more fun to write something that's going to sound exciting live."
In the fall of 2013, the trio headed west to record with Jim Scott at his PLYRZ Studio in Valencia, California, about thirty miles northwest of Los Angeles. Scott has helmed albums by Tom Petty, Wilco, and Matthew Sweet, among many others, and his experience proved invaluable: "Guys like Jim have made hundreds of records and they've seen bands do the same stuff," says Gispert. "He's seen bands make mistakes and he's seen bands capture some really great material. I felt very comfortable in his hands."
Driven by Dorio's pummeling drums and Gispert's desperate vocals, the punchy "Asking Strangers for Directions" in particular benefitted from Scott's input. Recalls Dorio: "We played it for him and he scratched his head and said, 'Why don't you take the second part and put it after the third part?' It sent us for a loop. It felt backwards and upside-down, but we trusted Jim. We kept working on it, and now I can't imagine it any other way."
With Scott in their corner, the Whigs worked hard to make sure these songs didn't sound worked over. Rather than track each instrument individually, the band captured most of the
songs in first or second takes, playing together live in the studio. Or, as the case may be, just outside the studio. Bypassing the studio proper, they set up shop in the hangout area at PLYRZ: a cavernous room where most artists spend their time eating, listening to records, goofing off, and just chilling out. For the Whigs, however, it became their creative headquarters.
"It has a real clubhouse vibe," says Tim Deaux (bass). "Jim's quite the collector of artwork and memorabilia. He's got neon signs and weird posters and tied-dyed tapestries hanging on the walls. There's a motorcycle in one corner, and there's a Dolly Parton pinball machine." In addition to amps, keyboards, and guitars galore, there is also an elaborate stereo system next to Scott's sprawling vinyl collection-a veritable rock history at the Whigs' fingertips.
And then there's Scott himself, who acted the part of both producer and professor. He regaled the trio with industry war stories, and they soaked up everything. Recalls Gispert: "It's an invaluable reference to work with someone who's recorded artists that have influenced us. If we want to know how they got a particular sound, we can simply ask."
PLYRZ proved inspirational for the Whigs, who channeled Scott's experience as well as his catchall decorative scheme into wildly diverse rock songs that veer abruptly in unexpected directions and channel a dizzying range of influences-often in the same song. "She Is Everywhere" begins as an improbably spry pop-rock song, with a bouncy guitar jangle that evokes L.A.'s Paisley Underground. When the chorus comes around, the tempo slows precipitously and the song settles into a sludge-riff that recalls a time when "Iron Man" still walked the earth. Likewise, "Friday Night" mixes Motörhead momentum with one of the band's catchiest pop hooks, while the martial stomp of "The Particular"-one of the album's headiest and most hyperactive tracks-is punctuated by the band's excitable shouts of "HEY!"
"I feel like we're pulling from a big pool of influences," says Gispert. "We're drawing from different eras and different styles that we haven't really explored on previous albums, and we're trying to incorporate them into a sound that is still the Whigs." Modern Creation is packed with playful allusions to rock's past, yet the band isn't playing to their record collection. Rather, these new songs digest a range of influences and spit them back out as something new, exciting, and idiosyncratic.
In other words, they're working hard to show their range as a power trio, both in the studio and (when they hit the road this spring) on stage. That may be the secret to the Whigs' longevity: Being a power trio means every member has to pull his own weight. "Nobody can lurk or hang back," says Dorio.
"Everybody has to be contributing or else it's going to fall completely flat. You can't have a weak link. This is the rawest rock record we've made so far. It's the truest representation of the band."
Moreland started writing when he was 10 years old, the same year his family moved from Kentucky, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he still lives today. He turns 30 this year, but he's been slinging songs for more than half his life. He started fronting local punk and hardcore bands in high school. After graduation, he had an epiphany. "I'd just overexposed myself to punk and hardcore to the point that it just didn't do anything for me anymore," he says. The remedy? He ditched his music for his dad's: CCR, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Steve Earle.
"I think what appealed to me about it was lyrics," he says. "In hardcore, there might be great lyrics in a song but you have to read them off a piece of paper to know it. I was 19 in 2004, and Steve Earle had put out 'The Revolution Starts Now,' and I remember hearing the song 'Rich Man's War' and totally feeling like somebody just punched me in the chest."
Moreland's been chasing the chest punch ever since, composing pointedly and prodigiously. "I've always written to make myself feel better, I think," he says. "It's my way of figuring stuff out — figuring out where I stand. You can't do that without emotion. You can't do that insincerely."
When Moreland released In the Throes in the June of 2013, the album didn't just charm listeners — it stunned them. American Songwriter proclaimed that "[t]hose not familiar with the Oklahoma City singer-songwriter should remedy that pronto," while No Depression declared the collection "isn't so much songwriting as alchemy with words and music." MSNBC host Rachel Maddow heard his songs and joined the chorus, tweeting: "If the American music business made any sense, guys like John Moreland would be household names."
If In the Throes ignited Moreland's 2013 summer, FX's Sons of Anarchy poured gasoline all over the fire that fall. The hit series featured three Moreland-penned and -performed gems: "Heaven," off of his Earthbound Blues, the second of two full-length albums he released in 2011; and "Gospel" and "Your Spell," both from In the Throes.
As word continued to spread and Moreland played more and more shows, a pattern began to emerge: his songs hit listeners hard. While his precise, evocative lyrics often get the credit, his voice — a scritchy-scratch baritone capable of soul-shouting but especially potent in its subdued default register — ensures his lines linger.
"I got so used to playing in bars where you're just kind of in a corner," he says. "You're just background music, and nobody gives a fuck about you. It was so soul sucking. I would try to sing in a way that would get people's attention."
For Moreland, that didn't mean screaming or gimmicks. "If you just sing it like you mean it — like so hard that people can't ignore it…" He trails off for a second, then concludes: "That's what I was trying to do."
These days when Moreland performs, rooms ordinarily buzzing with drunken chatter and clanging glasses fall silent.
When he decided to head back to the studio to record the follow-up to In the Throes, Moreland admits he felt more pressure than in previous sessions. "I just tried to ignore it because I figured it's probably not a good way to make a record," he says. "But yeah. It was in the back of my mind."
High expectations must agree with him. High on Tulsa Heat is a triumphant sequel, pulsing with the sharply drawn imagery and cutting vulnerability that his listeners have come to expect. Produced by Moreland, the 10-song collection features a strong cast of players including Jesse Aycock (Hard Working Americans, Secret Sisters), John Calvin Abney (Samantha Crain, The Damn Quails), Jared Tyler (Malcolm Holcombe), Chris Foster, and Kierston White.
Stripped-down arrangements rooted in gritty rock and roll punctuate and cushion Moreland's compositions. Tracks including "Hang Me in the Tulsa County Stars," "Heart's Too Heavy," and "Cleveland County Blues" set the tone, trafficking in relentless honesty and folk.
Buoyant lament "Sad Baptist Rain" tackles internal conflict. "I was just trying to grab this scene of being a 16-year-old church kid in the parking lot of the punk rock show trying to reconcile having some fun with my Southern Baptist guilt," he says, with a hint of a laugh. If "Sad Baptist Rain" is about self-acceptance, "White Flag" warns of self-destruction. "It's a song about wanting or needing somebody so bad that you're willing to destroy yourself for it," he explains.
"American Flags in Black and White," grapples with nostalgia, and while Moreland initially seems to condemn it, he ends up acknowledging its comfort, framing the past as everyone's guilty pleasure. He never really condemns or judges anyone — except himself. "Anytime I do write a song that I feel like is more like pointing a finger at somebody, it never feels good and I always just end up throwing it away," he says.
The album also includes the first recording of live show staple "Cherokee." Based on a vivid dream, the song explores longing, shame, forgiveness, and love. "I want it to be open ended," he says of "Cherokee" and his songs in general. "I don't want to be told what happened or how to feel."
"You Don't Care for Me Enough to Cry" proves once again that Moreland does intoxicatingly sad as well or better than anyone, but the concluding title track rollicks victoriously, relishing the thought of a safe place — an idea Moreland says serves as a loose theme for the album. "A home is something I've really wanted," he says. "But that means you have to figure out what that really means and what it is. The record is about those questions."
Gunn's roots in the underground run deep, from his days in GHQ to his collaborations with Black Twig Pickers and Mike Cooper. He's toured and recorded with Michael Chapman, and released two remarkable duo albums with drummer John Truscinski. His solo ventures, emerging over the past decade and culminating most recently the highly-acclaimed Way Out Weather, have been pastoral, evocative affairs. Here he embraces his urban surroundings through a series of songs that fully showcase his extraordinary ability to match hooks to deftly constructed melodies. Gunn is a consummate guitarist, that rare fingerpicker who can harness the enigma of the American Primitive vernacular without lazily regurgitating it. His playing is inventive and full of personality. His instrumental virtuosity calls upon a vast library of technical skills at will, but he's never showy — his riffs and runs are always in the service of the song at hand.
And what a pleasure to have this music presented to the wider public.
This song cycle melds thoughtful inquisitiveness with poetic reflection, fully embracing rhythmic uplift, allowing personal stories and impressions to live their own lives on their own terms. Gunn is more narrator than diarist; he pours real-life moments and real-life people into vibrant and evocative tales. Dreams and encounters spiral out – they form their own dramas and illuminate their own truths. Indeed, Eyes On The Lines works like a book of the finest short stories, its songs interlocking with an urgent necessity, forming an ever-questioning whole. In Gunn's own words: "The music isn't about me. It's about characters, either real or fictional. It's about images."
And what are lines if not one of the foundational aspects of images? Lines on the road draw one's attention to the lines comprising the landscape. Gunn's music runs ahead and twists – like time, like the road itself. Guitar lines are highway lines are lines carved by the view out the window are the lines one waits in to get a quick meal on the way from one destination to another are lines one draws in the van to stay amused. It's good to be out on the road and it's good to be home, and each feeds into the other. This record sees lines run together and leap across one another.
He's honest about the necessity of being comfortable in being lost. His music values the unknown, so it is always born of the present. We lose ourselves to find ourselves. With all of this comes humility. And gratitude. Listen to "Nature Driver," a statement of thankfulness for the generosity of the plethora of kind souls who welcome travelers into their homes.
"Ancient Jules," which opens the record, is a travel fantasy of a different sort. Built around a head-nodding motif, the song bobs and weaves its way through a tale which foregrounds the surprising joy that can come with a break – a deep sigh in the midst of an onrush, punctuated by the finest example of Gunn's electric soloing to emerge yet. A song like "Conditions Wild" also rambles through strange clouds of roving. Interlocking strings, percussion, and vocals join in an irrepressible rush. This record is like that – the songs get lodged in one's head because they're catchy, but their atmosphere sends the mind reeling into memory and mystery.
These are songs you can take in quickly, but spend all the time in the world devouring. The very large and the very small are present in equal measure. The inability to categorize them within the avalanche of impotent diatribes that pass for categorization is a testament to their power.
Stories give us ways to discover meaning. They provide us with signposts – when we recognize our own lives within them, we clarify our existence. "Far from the world is the mystic fool," Gunn sings on the opening track. The fool may be far from the world, but that doesn't matter. The so-called fool is jacked in to the cosmos.
Matt Krefting Holyoke, MA 2016
The band released its debut album, The Deslondes, in 2015 on New West Records, which was praised by NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and The New York Times, among others.
But the band's history starts well before that. This fall The Deslondes will reissue their debut album's predecessor, Holy Cross Blues, and will tour with original band member Matt Bell on lap steel and electric guitar. The Holy Cross Blues reissue will feature a new cover design, and will be available digitally and on CD via the Deslondes' online shop, as well as on fall tour dates.
Holy Cross Blues, released under the band's original name, The Tumbleweeds, features Deslondes' founding members Sam Doores, Dan Cutler and Riley Downing, along with then-Tumbleweeds Matt Bell and drummer Tony Fricky. Deslondes members Cameron Snyder and John James Tourville joined the Tumbleweeds lineup shortly before the group changed its name to The Deslondes.
Holy Cross Blues was recorded at Nashville's The Bomb Shelter with co-producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Benjamin Booker). The album reaches a bit further back into American roots history than The Deslondes' modern country-soul sound. The album features call-and-response gospel-blues ("I Got Found"), classic cowboy songs ("Throw Another Cap on the Fire") and '60s doo-wop ("Depression Blues"). Holy Cross Blues captured on tape some the band's early musical evolution, a glimpse at an elusive, mercurial band on the brink of something bigger.
The Deslondes are currently at work on their sophomore album, to be released by New West in 2017.
The lead off track, "Right Away", best exemplifies the band's new direction, a dense and jarring embrace of the immediacy of real personal connection. Later on in the album, restraint is more readily apparent, in tracks like "Settling it Off", where the sonics do not threaten to overwhelm but are instead peeled back to reveal a more subdued, secure sense of direction.
The notion that any one of these songs could be your favorite depending on where your head and heart reside, moment to moment, is the most appealing aspect of this album. Throughout Garden of Arms, swagger is juxtaposed against an icy delicacy, making the scope of the record complex but somehow an easily digestible statement of how Peter Wolf Crier are rolling: a wheel, rusted with unrestrained hope.
It is apparent from listening to the album that, for Pisano and Moen, 2010 was a both an absolutely exhilarating and a profoundly exhausting year. How they so evocatively and effectively channeled the fabric of their experiences into their body of work is not something they could do two years ago. This is a band that is just starting to figure out what they are capable of.
After a brief flirtation with Seymor Stein’s Sire label they gently exploded unto the late nineties music scene with “Your Favorite Music”; A slow-paced and spare offering that mixed elemental forms of American music with a sonic palette of distressed cello, unexpected samples, and Eef Barzelay’s cracked voice and left-of-center word play.
Soon there after, in the spring of 2001, the band released “The Ghost Of Fashion” on the now defunct SpinArt label which brought them tantalizingly close to mainstream success when the song “Moment in the Sun” was used as the opening theme for the hit NBC show “Ed”. Though plagued with inter band friction and general mismanagement the band made two more records and toured hard though out the US, UK, and Europe before finally calling it quits in 2005. At which point Eef released a couple solo records and tried his hand at scoring movies, most notably the 2007 Sundance hit “Rocket Science”.
More recently Eef wrote the score to William H Macy's directorial debut “Rudderless”, had an original song at the close of Isabel Coixet's latest film "Nobody Wants The Night”, and the Clem Snide classic “No One’s More Happy Than You” was used throughout a recent episode of CBS’ hit show The Good Wife.
Eef is a 45 year old Taurus who enjoys disaster porn, hand rolled cigarettes, and spending time with his wife and two kids in Nashville TN.
“Eef Barzelay may be the most underrated songwriter in the business today, with a sneakily firm grasp on poignancy and humor, and his live performances convey a kind of awkwardly fidgety fearlessness”
NPR - Stephen Thompson
“ Barzelay’s voice, It isn’t your traditional singing voice, It has a whine pitch that is more about emotional exhaustion than it is weakness. It’s equal parts River Cuomo’s sarcasm, Daniel Johnston’s sadness and Mark Oliver Everett’s attention to detail. For a time, it was also the most recognizable voice in a small indie circle defined by recognizable voices, one you would hear through the doors of dormitories and on the far end of music dials. Truly, it had the potential to be the voice of a decade”.
Pop Matters - Joseph Carver
Justin Barney: Scot Avett, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?
Scott Avett: Okay, I hope this doesn’t sound random, but right now, it’s by a band called Clem Snide. And I like the song “Wendy” a lot right now. They’re just a terrific band that’s been around since the late 90’s that I somehow missed, but I have just been devouring their catalogue.
Still Talk; Second City is the result of a one yearlong effort, borne of the exhaustion from too much time spent moving. Prompted to flee to Atlanta with the intent of an indefinite stay, Quentin's eight months of living and recording was funded by various odd jobs and sleeping in the car – anything to keep the project alive. All-night restaurants and friends' homes were among the venues where he recalled the memories of the hometown suburbs that suffuse the album, while shades of influence from poets like James Wright, Jim Harrison, and Seamus Heaney hover like weighty ghosts in the background.
Featuring guest appearances by artists including Mike Brenner (Magnolia Electric Co., Songs:Ohia), Samantha Crain, Erin Rae (The Meanwhiles), and John Davey, Still Talk; Second City celebrates the survival of winning out of "the worst and the longest time" and the drive to create a home outside of the one we already had ("I want something better, mean weather, revelier" – "South, Southern"). Other songs struggle with the want and need to leave, but reveal the need missing, or withheld ("I hear you're lucky on me, honest, and torn to beat up my 99′′ – "Staggers and Rise"). "Still Talk" eavesdrops on imagined conversations, wished for but never had: "I want to make my real life static, real life when it's worth, braided veins and a headlight coming, and a real list of words saying, 'your mom and I still talk'".
Damon Moon, the album's producer and engineer, was inspired by the recording style of creators like Richard Swift (Foxygen, Tennis, Damien Jurado) and Roy Halee (Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds), and took a hand in helping to write and serve as a sounding board across one of his most involved efforts to date.
Throughout the development of her solo career Glaspy has performed with numerous acts, primarily performing back up vocals. She has toured with artists including modern indie pop voices like Rachael Yamagata, bluegrass legends like Ricky Skaggs and folk icons like Del McCoury, Tim O’Brien and Aoife O’Donovan. She now resides in the Upper West Side in New York City. WNYC confesses her “croons and minimalist folk guitar have a knack for sending shivers down any spine.” Glaspy is poised for a big year in 2016, as she is currently cutting an album at the legendary Sear Sound. The album will be mixed by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucius, Har Mar Superstar).
The production of the record reflects that same growth, balancing a new, vivid sound with matured control and rootedness. The lyrics were written later in that same year, when Marchant toured the country twice alone, on early mornings in motel rooms and for a period that he spent following, in a rented house far into the desert around 29 Palms, CA. The tone and image of this is carried throughout the record – drenched in a blinding white sunlight, in the heat, in a dream.
The songs that make up this eponymous album are menacing, dreamy worlds of their own, each one unique for each listener, instantly relatable and surprisingly therapeutic: Marchant's revelations are infectious. He is processing internal and external problems that aren't just personal but feel like signs of our times, and in doing so has created an album that feels particularly important, relevant, and powerful.
Starting with the ambitious 6-minute, lyrically dense album opener "Words Underlined," Marchant quickly establishes this tone. "Where were you," he asks, "when all of this was fucked and on it's side?"
"I am on your side," he sings in the very next song "All Your Promise", with a feeling like the dilemma has been resolved. But this is not an album of resolution; it's an album of disillusion. Even the album's poppiest song, "The Whip", contains a biting social commentary: "everybody likes to feel they're holding the whip."
But for all its philosophical, world-weary tendencies, the album is really based in themes of lost love and failed relationships. Not in a conventional sense, but in the decidedly 21st century conundrum of looking for love in the age of disconnection. Marchant's disillusionment is rooted in this disconnection, and ironically, it exists in opposition to his uncanny ability to articulate himself through music and, in turn, connect with listeners. But when focused on an individual, these theoretical ideas become painful realities.
Later in "The Whip" he sings, "I felt the sun…then I lost you…and I never got it back." In "Every Eye Open," he continues, "I've been living in lies too… and the secret sin that I've loved you for more than a little while." And in "Stay On Your Knees," "love was real, but the meaning was wrong."
Whether at odds with the outside world or the world within him, the battles Marchant fights on this record are such that any intuitive, conscientious listener will relate. Perhaps the entire notion is contained in a single couplet from "Snow Chicago," that feels at once exhausted and revelatory: "I just wanna feel at ease / And that for once I do belong."
Early writing & recording for SUSTO began in late 2011.
In early 2013 Osborne began performing solo in South Carolina & Cuba under the name of SUSTO. By August of that year SUSTO was performing as a full band. In addition to Osborne covering rhythm guitar, keyboards, & lead vocals, this line-up included Taylor McCleskey on drums, Eric Mixon on bass and Johnny Delaware on lead guitar & background vocals.
By early 2014 the debut self titled album was finalized & subsequently released by Osborne & Delaware's label Peninsula Records on April Fool's Day (04/01/2014).
After an extensive North American solo tour (Summer 2014) in support of SUSTO's debut album, Osborne returned to Charleston and began to solidify a permanent live band. SUSTO's full band line-up eventually came to be Corey Campbell (Guitar, Keys, Vocals), Johnny Delaware (Guitar, Keys, Vocals), Jordan Hicks (Bass Guitar), Marshall Hudson (Drums/Percussion) and Justin Osborne (Vocals, Guitar, Keys).
The band maintains a moderate tour schedule & a second album with the working title "& I'm Fine Today" is now in production; no timeframe has been established regarding its release.
Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran met in the winter of 2006, as students of San Francisco State University at an open mic night at the now defunct Canvas Gallery Café. Some years later, on a road trip up the coast of California to Oregon, on the Pacific Coast Highway, they were inspired to write their first song together, which led to the formation of the band. In the fall of 2009 they recorded their independently produced, 5-song debut EP at Amadeo Studios in the Bay Area.
Shortly after moving to Los Angeles in 2008, they began writing and performing music together (under the name Ampersand, later transitioning to The Singer and The Songwriter). The duo started out crafting simple folk songs, but as their songwriting developed, they began to incorporate influences from different eras of jazz and pop music, which led to the creation of their unique, vibrant, "sophisticated but playful" sound (BuzzBands LA). Their music is a stylistic hybrid, reflecting their diverse musical and cultural backgrounds. "His guitar shimmies and swings like Django Reinhardt while her voice wraps around each note, swaying in unison like a modern-day Ella Fitzgerald." (Nooga).
Rachel Garcia grew up listening to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Elvis and Michael Jackson. At a young age, her love of music was nurtured by performing in choirs. Her rich and nuanced vocal style draws inspiration from female vocalists old (Ella Fitzgerald, June Christy, Mama Cass) and new (Fiona Apple, Laura Mvula, Melody Gardot, and Cecile McLorin Salvant).
Thu Tran's songwriting merges traditional styles with modern pop sensibilities. He draws inspiration from the Bossa Nova sounds of Antonio Carlos Jobim, the swinging jazz guitar of Django Reinhardt, and the lyricism of modern songwriters like Sufjan Stevens and Rufus Wainwright.
In 2012, the duo won the West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest in the Miscellaneous category for their recording of The Art of Missing You – "…a delightfully poised and melancholic classic jazz ballad that Sarah Vaughan or Billie Holiday would have gladly wrapped their wounded souls around." (Americana UK)
In 2014, The Singer and The Songwriter released their critically acclaimed, debut full-length LP, What a Difference a Melody Makes, produced by Charlie Stavish (Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis) with mixing and mastering by Brooklyn collective, Mason Jar Music (Lucius, Feist and Andrew Bird). Debuting at #34 on the CMJ Jazz Top 40 Charts, the album has been critically praised as "diverse, confident, stylish and accomplished" (Americana-UK), "a revelation" (Pittsburgh In Tune) and "an opus worthy of national attention" (Playback: STL).
The Singer and The Songwriter have toured the West Coast and is currently performing throughout Los Angeles. In June 2015, they recorded their sophomore EP, Ballads for Trying Times, with producer Griffin Rodriguez (Beirut), slated for release in 2016. Of their live show, The Eastsider LA writes: "Tran's […] colorful playing style paired wonderfully with the dramatic and soulful voice of his partner in crime. It was clear that underneath Garcia's cafe-jazz voice lay a rich, billowing and powerful vocal onslaught. This duo's set of original material did clearly mine the annals of Gypsy Jazz (as well as '60s folk) for inspiration. However, The Singer and The Songwriter are a Los Angeles original."
ROLLING STONE REVIEW: Anders Parker, the singer-songwriter formerly known as Varnaline, has crafted a resolute set of songs that moves fluidly from rugged country-indie to scorched-earth rockers to frosted cabin-in-the-woods-style ballads. Tell It to the Dust is bursting with cameos, including Kendall Meade (Mascott) and Jay Farrar (Son Volt), both of whom especially lend credence to Parker's already elemental songs. "Keep Me Hanging On" is one of those songs that's so perfect, it seems more born than written; Parker's dry, slightly bruised vocals stirs up Meade's supple, simple alto until they match the same emotional pitch. "Doornail (Hats Off to Buster Keaton)" is a maelstrom of a song that leaves blisters in its wake. Tell It to the Dust is Parker's obvious bid for recognition -- and proof that he should get it. (MARGARET WAPPLER)
on New Multitudes JAY FARRAR, WILL JOHNSON, ANDERS PARKER AND YIM YAMES PAY HOMAGE TO WOODY GUTHRIE ON "NEW MULTITUDES" – Like a cadre of musical brothers finally coalescing after years on the road apart, Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Gob Iron, Uncle Tupelo), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket, Monsters of Folk) gratefully deliver New Multitudes, an intimate interpretation of American icon and musical legend Woody Guthrie's previously unrecorded lyrics.
Set to coincide with the centennial celebration of Woody Guthrie's birth year, New Multitudes is being released on Rounder Records as a 12 track release and a 23 track deluxe, limited edition. The limited edition features original Guthrie lyric sheets, the 12 track release, and 11 additional compositions recorded by Farrar and Parker.
Under the invitation of Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter, to tour the Guthrie archives, each of the four songwriters were offered the chance to plumb and mine the plethora of notebooks, scratch pads, napkins, etc. for anything that might inspire them to lend their voices and give the words new life.
"These guys worked on an amazing group of lyrics" says Nora. "Much of it was culled from Woody's times in L.A. Lyric wise, it's a part of the story that is still mostly unknown. From Woody's experiences on LA's skid row to his later years in Topanga Canyon, they are uniquely intimate, and relate two distinctly emotional periods in his life."
The spirit of Guthrie may have been involved in more ways than one, as all four songwriters mentioned the immediate connection to the songs they chose, or as they would suggest, "chose them." The writing came together quickly, as if the mischief muse who originally penned them latched himself to each writer's grey matter upon first contact.
Musically, it is this sense of collaboration that makes New Multitudes not just another trite and traditional acoustic regurgitation of back porch blues. From the ragged jangle of its opening track, "Hoping Machine", the loping lilt of "Fly High", the floorboard stomp of "No Fear", to the lush warmth and sudden sonic gut punch of "My Revolutionary Mind" the cohorts deliver a lesson in discovering a song's sweet spot. It's the function and preparedness of each artist's dogged work ethic gleaned the old-fashion way; veracious songs, road weary odometers, and sweat stained live shows, all attributes of the man they are honoring.
For the past 10 years, LOLO has been working to get to this point. Heard.
At the age of fifteen, having endlessly pestered her parents about her desire to become a recording artist and songwriter, she successfully convinced her mother to move to Los Angeles. "I was writing every day non-stop," she says. "Just to show them that I was dedicated. It was a huge risk."
Forced to return to their hometown in the outskirts of Memphis, LOLO's mother left the young singer in L.A. living with close friend, Riley Keough and her mother, Lisa Marie Presley. At 18, LOLO landed a role in Broadway musical Spring Awakening, originating the rebel character of Ilse, relocating her to New York. "I had to play this bohemian chick that ran away," she laughs. "I was like, well, that's pretty true to life."
In 2010 LOLO, then going by her given name Lauren Pritchard, once again uprooted her life for her craft, moving to London thanks to a record deal offer from Universal/Island Records UK. Her debut album, Wasted In Jackson – a stunning album of southern soul and heartbreak – met small commercial success but was critically praised.
Unwavering in her desire to succeed, LOLO traveled back to the U.S., heading to Brooklyn, NY to work on her sound. Show after show and song after song, she realized something was missing – she couldn't quiet find herself. With new found determination, LOLO went back to the place where she is her best self and in a full circle moment, everything clicked. Reveling in her roots back at home, she discovered the voice she'd been dying to share. LOLO's powerful voice transports you to a hot southern night – rough around the edges but with a velvety quality that soothes the soul.
Currently, she is working on an untitled EP that will be released this summer.
Fueled by beer—especially when it’s free—the Black Velvet Band generates a reckless energy in their performances, occasionally sending audiences into fits of polite applause, and regularly to the bar for more beer. Formed in the 1970s, the Black Velvet Band began as a good excuse for friends to get together, raise a pint or two, and make merry.
The Black Velvet Band is:
Chuck Jorgensen - Vocals, Guitar, Trombone
Dale Kilburg - Mouth Organ, Vocals
Curt Lichter - Vocals, Bass Guitar
Dan Caraway - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
David Manning - Vocals, Flute, Recorders, Whistles, Banjo, Autoharp
Patrick Stolley, Marty Reyhons, Wes Haas, Jason Williams, Jeff Konrad, Rob Cimmarusti, Jenn Paulsen, Jeff Wichmann, Dennis Stacer, Seth Knappen, Justen Parris, Jason Parris, Nan Schwarz, Jeff Jackson, Chris Canning, Anne Lewis, Gary Heitman
Sharing guitar duties with Price is multi-instrumentalist Russell, whose past critical acclaim is represented in the quality of the music. Blending elements of Townes Van Zandt, Songs: Ohia, Cat Power, and Sonic Youth, Campdogzz have created a sound that's bright and immediate at times, somber and resonant at others, while always remaining lively and weighty with the promise of becoming classics.
Written by: Sara Enderle
With its Johnny Cash-style rhythm section, the playfully plucky opener "Where We're Standing" is a great introduction to the record, welcoming the listener in with its beautiful simplicity. But don't let that simplicity fool you, there's a confidence here that allows room for each song to breathe, giving way to subtle surprises in each song and at time a real sense of humor. While rooted in the nostalgia of yesterday's country sound, it also feels incredibly modern.
This complexity builds an intriguing tension within each song, which never feels forced. Each subtle movement feels natural, progressing the sound of the album from track to track.
Moody and stark, "Homicide" is a slow build with a haunting melody stretched over a bouncy rhythm giving the song a steady undercurrent, ultimately speaking to the deadly nature of communication: "I know that you know / there's ahomicide / every time you speak to me." "Push Your Button" clicks along like a ringing bell and lyrically shows that The Kernal can weave a narrative through his songs like a Southern-fried Springsteen. The quiet "Lay a New Rag Upon My Head" follows each aching howl with an echo, like you can hear the room it was recorded in. But its on "Good-Bye Flowers" and "Mind Control" that The Kernal seems to be having the most fun. Darkly comical and elevating, even if you're not one for the dancehall, these tracks will certainly get your foot tapping. The final track "Bull-Dozin' Dream" reminds the listener that "rambling's never free." It's the perfect send-off for a record that plays out like road music to somewhere and nowhere all at once. Wherever you decide to ramble, Farewellhello would make a good companion.
delivering songs that shape-shift their way through a range of lush sounds and emotion, this is music moving ever-onward while remaining keenly aware of the past.
Leonard's path to his current project, Kalispell, has certainly been a winding one. Beginning drum lessons at age 5, he studied jazz until becoming absorbed by the playing of Bela Fleck in high school, at which time he rented a banjo and took lessons at the local music store. Later he studied English education at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and formed the band Lowtel with friends Sean Carey (Bon Iver), Jeremy Boettcher (S. Carey) and John Dehaven. Leonard avoided studying music at college after receiving the advice "you don't need a degree to play"; however, he managed to learn fiddle, mandolin, and guitar while earning a teacher's license and opening for artists such as Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Megafaun.
In the years following college, Leonard moved back and forth between Connecticut, Massachusetts and Wisconsin, teaching high school and busking at night to make a living. During this time he also performed and recorded with MIT's Gamelan Galak-Tika under the direction of Evan Ziporyn in addition to releasing records with Kalispell, stringband Stoop Singers, and jazz trio Gryn Gryn. In the process, Leonard studied with master banjoists Bob Carlin and Lee Sexton, fiddler Clyde Davenport, and taught courses in West African drumming and American roots music through the Exploration School at Yale University.
Kalispell released its debut album, Westbound, to wide critical praise in May of 2012. A busy life of teaching and music rendered it six years in the making, and in that time, the songs changed and deepened with the retelling. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Leonard played most of the central instruments on the record, but a talented and eclectic backing band featuring Ben Lester (Field Report, AA Bondy), Kevin Rowe (The Barley Jacks) composer David Sumner and others were also on hand. The result is a unique mix of clawhammer banjo and pedal steel guitar, of old-timey Appalachian traditions as in "Methodist Lift" and the ethereal, ambient music of songs like "Sepia Ghost." The piercing lyrics of "Lucky a Hundred Times" are matched by startling gratitude ("sighing at the cold bedside / 'mother, won't you tell me when it feels likes flying?'") and the heartache of watching helplessly as a loved one struggles alone in "Marion, MT" is lifted with "swallow the stream you can't swim." Leonard closes the album with the title song, singing "My heart is where I started / I am westbound."
The two began to fuse in his early songwriting, which was recorded between stints as a dish-washer in the local bar and grill ("you learn a lot from the ex-junkies who make up the kitchen staff," he says now). Among the early results are startling debut single 'The Reaper Man', an ambiguous encounter with death driven by Sensor's raw but soulful voice ("Oh here's the reaper man, he's looking after me / Oh here's the reaper man, he's coming to take me"). Coloured by local love affairs, 50s TV and the mysticism of the Midwest, flip-side 'Villains and Preachers' is a similarly outsider's vision of small-town suburbia, from which Trevor Sensor has emerged one of the most striking new finds of the year.
It doesn’t quite jive how kids this young (Max L. just graduated high school) managed to tap into a vibe this classic. The band’s S/T full-length debut is crammed with classic rock riffs, swinging beats, and up front, the sassy, done-up style of Max G. emoting loosely and widly like a young David Johanson, possessing a crooner’s voice and a taste for style. Dolled up in flashy get-ups, Max G.’s voice is a growly, beefy thing, a rangy tenor that belies his taste for soul shouters. The prevailing mood in modern indie garage rock is one of stylistic indifference, but that’s not how Yoko & the Oh No’s come across; these kiddos don’t just care, they care a lot.
Listen to the crashing classic rock chorus of “Heart Attack,” the sneering “She Knows It,” and the distorted R&B groove of “Nobody Wants to Know.” “Talking over radio/on the moonlit drive/We listen to VU/Jane says close your eyes,” Max G. sings lovelorn until the brutal kiss-off: “Nobody wants to know if you’re telling lies, ‘cause I’m dead to you.” Max G. sells each lyric the way only a hopped up teen could, and Max L. and Stef crank out the jams behind him like Marc Bolan or the Spiders from Mars, with a barely contained energy and strutting attitude.
Yoko & the Oh No’s S/T album is their first for Autumn Tone Records, which has a knack for finding raw young bucks (turn up records by the Orwells, Twin Peaks, and Modern Vices as a testament). Yoko & the Oh No’s recently went on tour with likeminded rock & roll weirdos The Growlers, blowing minds and connecting with crowds across the Midwest.
Codfish Hollow Barnstormers
5013 288th Ave
Maquoketa, IA, 52060