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Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys drop album, epic interview w/No Depression

There at HearthPR, they’re all writers as well as publicists. So to them, there’s nothing more exciting as hearing a great songwriter, who’s also a great writer, wax philosophical. This interview between Jonathan Byrd and No Depression is chock full of great quotes and wild ideas. From his weekly roadhouse poetry readings to his burgeoning love for Kierkegaard, Byrd doesn’t hold anything back. Here’s a few quotes:

“People are interested in stories; there’s something about the way our brains work that keeps us interested in hearing them and telling them. Stories put us in a place where we can entertain ideas that we would never talk about or actions we’d never do or lives we’d never live.”

“Scientists have pretty much figured out how old the Earth is, but they can’t heal your broken heart, and hardly any of them know how to tell a good story.”

Do you have to read books until you’re finished with them, or can you walk away from a book without finishing it?
“I walk away from books all the time. I walk away from shitty people in midsentence. I’m 47. I don’t have time.”

Are there one or two books that have shaped — and continue to shape — your life and work?
“The Bible. It’s the keystone of Western literature. It’s weirder than anything on the internet.”

Singing around the campfire. Music shared person to person around the country, like heirlooms or secret messages. This is Jonathan Byrd’s world. The characters in Jonathan Byrd’s songs crackle with life, each one seemingly drawn from a chance encounter on the road with a true American. And that may be the case, as Byrd is drawn to the nomadic working class of this country, the kind of spit-and-grit souls immortalized in the writing of John Steinbeck or the music of Woody Guthrie.

A songwriter’s songwriter, Byrd is fascinated by wordcraft, passionate about unheralded artists, but most of all driven to contribute to a national community of song lovers, a world that’s little seen outside the mainstream. “There’s this underground musical community that travels around the country,” Byrd says. “We see each other at festivals and conferences. It’s a rich, authentic life of music that I wish more people could discover, because I think they’re actually looking for it.” On his new album as Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys, Byrd’s goal was to bring a glimpse of this song-driven life to his audience.

There’s a bit of wry humor to his songwriting, a subtle shade of Randy Newman, as in the song “Tractor Pull” that relates finding love at a redneck jamboree, or the bittersweet smile of “It Don’t Make Sense,” as the singer grapples with love and life lost. But the manifesto of the album is found in “Pickup Cowboy,” a song Byrd wrote for a South Dakota construction worker, his friend and fellow songwriter Matt Fockler. The Pickup Cowboy is a character who doesn’t need much money, fishin’ for breakfast and living on tupelo honey, the hard-worn spirit of the West shines through in the song’s subject. Byrd pays further homage to Fockler by including two of his songs, “Lakota Sioux” and “Do You Dream.”

When you live as much of your life on the road as Byrd does, you learn that home and family are fuel to the creative fire. So he returned home to Rubber Room Studios, a recording studio he helped build by hand, and brought his closest musical friends, the Pickup Cowboys – guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Waken and cellist Paul Ford – to make the album. But life had other plans. The last day of recording, Ford stayed home, complaining of feeling like he had the flu. He called at the end of the day with the news that the doctor had discovered a terminal brain tumor. Ford never went back to the recording studio and passed away the next year. The shock of losing such a close friend put the Pickup Cowboys on hold for a year, but ultimately, Byrd felt that the songs and recordings deserved to be heard. He and Waken took the recordings to Winnipeg to complete the album with Joanna Miller on drums, and Alexa Dirks and Andrina Turenne on backing vocals. Now Byrd is bringing the Pickup Cowboys on the road, traveling out to the many friends he’s made over years of crisscrossing the US with these new songs to share.


It may seem unusual for a songwriter to cover two songs from another songwriter on his album, but it’s part of Byrd’s ethos and the ethos of his community of song collectors. “This is a golden age of songwriting,” Byrd says. “Community songwriting. It’s person-to-person music. Songs get picked up and passed around and end up around the campfires. We wanted to bring some of that to the record. That kind of authenticity, and the real people and real stories in the songs.”


HEARTHPR
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Chart-Topping Folk Artist Bill Abernathy Signs With MTS For New Album Release.

Kansas City’s Bill Abernathy has released his new album, “Crossing Willow Creek”

Kansas City, MO folk/americana artist, Bill Abernathy has released his latest album, “Crossing Willow Creek.” MTS Management Group will handle promotions.

Sometimes life gives you a second chance. I walked away from music for a myriad of reasons. Now, I’ve been given a second chance to pursue music, and I am really enjoying the ride!””

— Bill Abernathy

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, USA, November 6, 2018– Everyone loves a good story about second-chances, and that’s exactly what Bill Abernathy’s story is all about. The Kansas City, Missouri resident began writing songs in his early teens. He played all through his school years, but then he stopped…Life took over.

Bill went about getting married, building a business career, and raising his children. After his kids graduated from school and started their careers, Bill picked up the guitar again and began trying to rekindle his love of music.

In 2017, Bill’s album “Find A Way” reached #5 on the Roots Music Report Traditional Folk Albums chart, spending more than a year on the chart. His single, “Goodbye Will Never Come Again” reached #1 on the Traditional Folk Songs chart.

Now, Bill Abernathy’s latest collection of songs, “Crossing Willow Creek” is available. The album is a mix of revamped songs from Bill’s previous release, “Changes,” a couple covers, and a brand new song. First single, “Cry Wolf” is hitting radio airwaves around the globe.

Award-winning publicity and promotions firm, MTS Management Group will handle press for the release.

“Sometimes life is good to you and gives you a second chance. In my youth I walked away from music for a myriad of personal reasons. Now, I’ve now been given a second chance to pursue this thing we love called music, and I am really enjoying the ride!”

https://www.billabernathy.com/crossing-willow-creek
https://www.facebook.com/billabernathymusic/
https://twitter.com/bill_abernathy
https://open.spotify.com/album/4ZyeucH7iBLIQ9WFqVUKzX

Bill Abernathy – “Cry Wolf” Lyric Video


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PETER V BLUES TRAIN – SHAKEN BUT NOT DETERRED

The hard-working, hard-driving contemporary blues band, Peter V Blues Train, has been tearing up the airwaves and the touring routes since their formation in 2013. The veterans of the NY and NJ scene hit us once again with their remarkable second album of 2018 “Shaken But Not Deterred.” The nine original tracks and four fresh covers recorded by Joseph DeMaio at Shorefire Recording Studios, are a sophisticated blend of modern blues with jazz and funk overtones that prove the band means business. The quartet is led by guitar man and vocalist Peter Veteska, aka Peter V, a native of the projects in rough-and-tumble Bushwick, Brooklyn. He is backed by Alex D’Agnese on drums, Sean “Gravey” Graverson on bass and Aron Gornish on keys and joined by a few special friends, including Jeff Levine (B3) and Danny Walsh (sax), to bolster the sound and add fun and fire to an already potent mix.

Drummer Alex D’Agnese introduces the opening track, ‘Don’t Wanna Leave Memphis,’ with a classic shuffle groove that builds to a powerful triplet fill that brings in the band and boldly declares this band knows how to swing and rock steady. Peter V names a few of his heroes from the home of the blues and his love for Beale Street that grew deeper after representing the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation at the International Blues Challenge, while sax man Danny Walsh spars with Jeff Levine on the Hammond B3. The crew then rips out a bump and grind arrangement of Fats Domino’s ‘Blue Monday,’ updating the New Orleans standard with a muscular punchy beat and gritty guitar. Written by Peter V and Joanne Cesario, ‘By The River,’ previously released as the opening track on their 2017 album “On Track,” is revisited and refined here by colorful guitar from Bob DelRosso and a sweet remix from DeMaio that brings out the funky groove but still retains the blues underbelly. Peter V drew inspiration for his emotional delivery from soul singer Donny Hathaway for the oft recorded ‘For All We Know,’ added to the lexicon by kicking up the fire and playing the 1934 ballad like a south side dirty blues.

The slinky ‘In Demand,’ is a slow burning hunk of funk that has Peter V begging at the feet of his best girl. Blues standard ‘T Bone Shuffle’ is reinvented as a heavy Chicago shuffle featuring more hot lead guitar and organ solos. D’ Agnese’s heavy bass drum foot and a gritty riff creates a distinctly modern feel on the heady track ‘Alibi,’ before the band delivers some good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll for the barnstorming ‘Don’t Cheat On My Lady.’ Peter V lays out his bluesman manifesto declaring “This is who I am, not what I chose to be,” on ‘Rodeo. (No BS),’ and repeating “this is a blues show, not some rodeo,” passionately driving his point home. Gary Neuwirth adds hot blues harp and powerhouse vocalist from the Jersey shore, Vanessa Vause, trades verses with Peter V on the saucy duet ‘Getting Closer Now.’ Paul Levinsky sits in as the funky drummer for the hip-hop influenced east coast blues update ‘Been So Long.’ The title track, ‘Shaken But Not Deterred,’ is a jagged time-shifting blues rocker that has influences from Albert Collins and fellow New York shouter Popa Chubby. The live-in-the-studio acoustic duet of the blues chestnut ‘Worried Life Blues,’ tagged as a “bonus track,” closes out the set as a delicious encore.

This strong second release of 2018, “Shaken But Not Deterred,” will no doubt follow in the footsteps of their third album,Running Out Of Time,” keeping The Peter V Blues Train high on the charts and is sure to receive glowing reviews while maintaining the bands presence in the vibrant original East Coast blues scene.

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

Here’s what Peter V has to say:

“I was born in Manhattan in 1959 and grew up in Jamaica Queens. When I was twelve years old, I saw a black Les Paul in the window of a pawn shop. I got a press route delivering papers on a bike. Each week I would drop off a payment on layaway. After a few months of weekly payments, I was able to pick up the guitar that I had dreamed of. Listening to Derek and the Domino’s and the Allman Brothers I started teaching myself and learning to play my favorite artists. I performed at my first paying gig at the age of 15. For the remainder of my teenage years and adolescence, I played at numerous bars and clubs throughout New York and Long Island. At the age of 21 I was disenchanted with the music scene, and I decided to step away from it. The next twenty-five years, of my life, I only rarely picked up the guitar. My musical taste changed, as I discovered Jazz, and other genres of music. All this music had a very big influence on my musical growth. When the economy tanked in 2008, I reconnected with my lifelong passion of playing the guitar with a renewed vigor.”

“I really got into my “blues” roots. I also discovered many of the blues greats from the 50’s, as well as, new contemporary blues artists such as Robert Cray. I cut my teeth playing various local blues jams. I was the “new kid on the block” yet I was in my early 50’s. I was encouraged to sing, so that I could get up more often, to play at the local jam events. I took that advice and worked on my vocal skills. Today, I have flourished into a solid “blues” guitarist and vocalist, which helped to create the distinctive sound of the Peter V Blues Train. My musical focus is to create a unique sound of blues music which is more upbeat and influenced by jazz and funk. I write and perform original music, as well as, reinterpretations of lesser known blues classics.”

Artist Website
Artist Facebook

DAVE KELLER – EVERY SOUL’S A STAR

Catfood Records announces the release of “Every Soul’s A Star,” the label debut from acclaimed blues/soul singer and guitarist Dave Keller. Produced by Grammy award winner, Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Luther Allison), and recorded primarily at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX, “Every Soul’s A Star” showcases ten original songs, plus a scintillating cover of the Aretha Franklin classic, ‘Baby, I Love You.’ Keller’s soulful vocals are ably supported by The Rays, which include not only legendary Motown guitarist Johnny McGee, but also Bob Trenchard – bass; Dan Ferguson – Hammond B3, Wurlitzer, keyboards; Richy Puga – drums; Mike Middleton – trumpet; Nick Flood – tenor and baritone sax, plus the heavenly voices of Janelle Thompson and Shakara Weston – background vocals; and Christopher Serrano – percussion. Catfood label head Bob Trenchard calls Dave Keller, “The most-talented songwriter I’ve ever worked with, and it was he who suggested Jim Gaines to produce the new project.”

“This record, for me, is about honoring the star in each person,” Dave Keller says. “The songs are about both love and heartbreak, of course, but also speak about the beauty in each of us, as unique individuals and as people standing up together. This record feels like my strongest yet. I felt more at ease singing than I’ve ever felt in the studio. That comfort helped me sing more dynamically than I’ve ever sung before on record.”

“Every Soul’s A Star” is also the first time Keller had the chance to work with the Catfood Records’ house band, The Rays, comprised of all superb musicians with a boatload of experience backing up many of the label’s artists on record, including Blues Music Award-winner Johnny Rawls. “What really impressed me about The Rays was how much heart they put into this record,” Keller declares. “I love how everyone put so much of themselves into the record. I could tell that they really dug the songs, and really cared about doing them justice. I love how you can hear all their individual ideas on the record, and feel their personalities, their souls, and yet everything is in service to the songs.”

“It was a special treat working with Johnny McGhee, who has played guitar on countless great soul albums,” continues Keller. “He started out as a kid – only 12 years old – touring with The Five Stairsteps, and ended up in the band LTD. To each of my songs, Johnny brought the coolest, most perfect little soul licks. He has an amazing ability to find just the right licks and riffs that pull the song together into something perfect.”

Keller is equally effusive in his praise of producer Jim Gaines. “Jim Gaines is a magician. He really listened to my songs, really got into the meaning of the lyrics, and was able to help me and the band bring them alive with the most heart possible. He’s an expert at making songs really shine. I felt blessed to get to work with him.”

Keller also has a special place in his heart for Johnny Rawls, who introduced him to Catfood Records owner and bassist Bob Trenchard about five years ago at the Blues Music Awards. “Bob and I had a conversation then about making a record together, but it took ‘til now for the time to be just right,” Keller recalls. “As my friend the late Mighty Sam McClain used to say, ‘It may not happen when you want it, but it always happens right on time.’”

Recording in Texas was a new cultural experience for Keller, a native New Englander. “Working at Sonic Ranch was really fun. I’d never been to West Texas, so it was a real adventure for me. From the kindness of the ladies who made us breakfast and lunch every day, to the heat – 105 degrees the day I arrived — to the giant Tarantula Hawks (a kind of wasp) that hovered in the bushes outside the studio. All the little details inspired and energized me.”

BIOGRAPHY

Dave Keller is an award-winning, triple-threat: an outstanding singer, an intense guitarist and a talented songwriter. Fueled by his love of deep Southern soul and blues, his performances ring out with passion, integrity, and an ability to break down the barriers between performer and audience.

Ever since renowned guitarist Ronnie Earl chose Dave Keller to sing on his album “Living In The Light,” Keller’s star has been on the rise. In just a few short years, Keller has been nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Soul/Blues Album, won the International Blues Challenge Best Self-Released CD Award, and been selected for Downbeat‘s Best Recordings of the Year.

A bit of a late bloomer, Keller grew up in Massachusetts, loving music, but not picking up guitar until age 16, and not singing in his first band until age 20. Blessed with mentors including deep soul singer Mighty Sam McClain, mystical soul guitarist Robert Ward, acoustic blues master Paul Rishell and soul/blues man Johnny Rawls, Keller made up for lost time.

Relocating to icy Vermont in 1993, Keller found fertile ground to grow his audience, and has become a household name there. Famous for his live-wire shows, Keller can often be found fifty feet out in the crowd, teasing fiery licks from his trusty Stratocaster and singing off-mike as the audience sings along.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Keller has been expanding his base beyond New England these past few years, performing at some of the biggest festivals in the East, including the North Atlantic Blues Festival, the PA Blues Fest, and the Discover Jazz Festival. He has also performed at the Blues Music Awards ceremony twice, accompanying Ronnie Earl, and Johnny Rawls (with whom Keller frequently tours)

LINKS
Artist Website
Artist Facebook

Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys to release self-titled album November 16, 2018

New album from veteran “songwriter’s songwriter”

Singing around the campfire. Music shared person to person around the country, like heirlooms or secret messages. This is Jonathan Byrd’s world. The characters in Jonathan Byrd’s songs crackle with life, each one seemingly drawn from a chance encounter on the road with a true American. And that may be the case, as Byrd is drawn to the nomadic working class of this country, the kind of spit-and-grit souls immortalized in the writing of John Steinbeck or the music of Woody Guthrie.

A songwriter’s songwriter, Byrd is fascinated by wordcraft, passionate about unheralded artists, but most of all driven to contribute to a national community of song lovers, a world that’s little seen outside the mainstream. “There’s this underground musical community that travels around the country,” Byrd says. “We see each other at festivals and conferences. It’s a rich, authentic life of music that I wish more people could discover, because I think they’re actually looking for it.” On his new album as Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys, Byrd’s goal was to bring a glimpse of this song-driven life to his audience.

 

There’s a bit of wry humor to Jonathan Byrd‘s songwriting, a subtle shade of Randy Newman, as in the song “Tractor Pull” that relates finding love at a redneck jamboree, or the bittersweet smile of “It Don’t Make Sense,” as the singer grapples with love and life lost. But the manifesto of the album is found in “Pickup Cowboy,” a song Byrd wrote for a South Dakota construction worker, his friend and fellow songwriter Matt Fockler. The Pickup Cowboy is a character who doesn’t need much money, fishin’ for breakfast and living on tupelo honey, the hard-worn spirit of the West shines through in the song’s subject. Byrd pays further homage to Fockler by including two of his songs, “Lakota Sioux” and “Do You Dream.”

 

When you live as much of your life on the road as Byrd does, you learn that home and family are fuel to the creative fire. So he returned home to Rubber Room Studios, a recording studio he helped build by hand, and brought his closest musical friends, the Pickup Cowboys – guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Waken and cellist Paul Ford – to make the album. But life had other plans. The last day of recording, Ford stayed home, complaining of feeling like he had the flu. He called at the end of the day with the news that the doctor had discovered a terminal brain tumor. Ford never went back to the recording studio and passed away the next year. The shock of losing such a close friend put the Pickup Cowboys on hold for a year, but ultimately, Byrd felt that the songs and recordings deserved to be heard. He and Waken took the recordings to Winnipeg to complete the album with Joanna Miller on drums, and Alexa Dirks and Andrina Turenne on backing vocals. Now Byrd is bringing the Pickup Cowboys on the road, traveling out to the many friends he’s made over years of crisscrossing the US with these new songs to share.

 

It may seem unusual for a songwriter to cover two songs from another songwriter on his album, but it’s part of Byrd’s ethos and the ethos of his community of song collectors. “This is a golden age of songwriting,” Byrd says. “Community songwriting. It’s person-to-person music. Songs get picked up and passed around and end up around the campfires. We wanted to bring some of that to the record. That kind of authenticity, and the real people and real stories in the songs.”

Josh Lief – “LOVE IN DISGUISE” Album with 8 new original songs coming 11/2/18

Album Notes
Josh Lief is singer-songwriter, guitar player based in Richmond, VA. Love In Disguise was recorded at Montrose Recording in Richmond, VA. Josh recorded Love In Disguise with the Josh Lief Band, that is playing gigs in Central Virginia and beyond. The Josh Lief Band includes Josh and the rhythm section of Debbie Flood on drums and Thomas Schoppe on bass. Both are veterans of several well known Richmond bands and Debbie has toured extensively as well as recorded with many artists. Debbie and Tommy are a great team and bring a solid yet exciting rhythm section to the upcoming album and live performances.

BIOGRAPHY

 Josh’s album “Redemption” was released in April, 2017. The album, recorded at Montrose Recording in Richmond, VA, contains 8 original songs, and is a mixture of Americana, Country-Rock and Blues and is available on CDBaby.com, Apple Music, Spotify, and other download services as well as in RVA at Plan 9 records.  The first single from the album, Five Forks Woods, got airplay on over 70 radio stations across the U.S. and is still in rotation on several stations.  

Josh recorded his second album in 2 years – “Love In Disguise” – that will be released on November 2, 2018.  The single Love In Disguise, including a live-action video was released 9/7/18. Also recorded at Montrose Recording in Richmond, VA, Josh recorded Love In Disguise with the Josh Lief Band.  Ben “Wolfe” White of the Trongone Band joined the band on keyboards on several of the tracks on Love In Disguise., and Wolfe and Andrew Trongone sang backup on one song (Andrew contributed some licks on one song as well).  The album contains 8 original tracks, and like Redemption, contains a wide range of music.  Love In Disguise has a more blues/rock sound to it but still contains some elements of Americana/Folk.

The Josh Lief Band plays gigs throughout Virginia and beyond The band includes Josh and the rhythm section of Debbie Flood on drums -www.dflooddrums.com – and Tommy Dacat on bass. Both are veterans of several well known Richmond bands and Debbie has toured extensively as well as recorded with many artists. Debbie and Tommy are a great team and bring a solid yet exciting rhythm section to the upcoming album and live performances.   In addition to band gigs, Josh plays solo acoustic shows on a regular basis.

Josh started playing guitar when he was 6 years old. His style is a mixture of the all the music he loved as a young musician. His influences started with his big three of Hendrix, Clapton, and Led Zeppelin. He also learned a lot of country style lead guitar from being a big Southern Rock fan as well as of the classic country of Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. He is also loves the music of Neil Young, the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead and they can be heard in his lead playing and writing. He can play a wide range of styles from rock to blues to country to folk and in his solo acoustic shows does just that.

Spotlight Album for 30 days Jim Allchin PRIME BLUES

Once more we have an album from Jim Allchin as our SPOTLIGHT ALBUM.

 

About the Album

Prime Blues features 14 new tracks performed by an all-star group of musicians including bassist Glenn Worf, rhythm guitarists Rob McNelley, Bob Britt and Kenny Greenburg, keyboardist Kevin McKendree, drummer Tom Hambridge, vocalist Mycle Wastman, The Memphis Horns and special guest vocalists Grammy-winner Bobby Rush, and Blues Award winner Mike Zito.

Produced by 2x Grammy-winner Tom Hambridge. Recorded, mixed, and mastered in Nashville. Released September 21, 2018.

Prime Blues Reviews

“Prime Blues is hands down a must have album. Jim Allchin is right when he says it’s flat out fun. Get yourself a copy and you’ll hear what both he and we mean.”

– American Blues Scene, JD Nash, October 2018

“Jim Allchin is the consummate blues guitarist and vocalist.  His brand of the blues is strong, energetic and funky, with impressive horns that complement his voice and guitar riffs. Recommendation:  If you love the blues, you must have this album in your collection.  Get it today!”

–  Bob Leggett, LA Music Critic, October 2018

“…a savory collection of 14 amazing new tracks that dig deeper into the Blues and prove the notion that indeed lightning can strike twice.  “

– Rick Bowen, Blues Writer award 2013-2017

“A sensational album but hey that’s why we had to move young Allchin to the top of the class. Score yourself an “A” and get your copy of “Prime Blues” or you will have to stay after class.”

– Peter Merrett, PBS, October 2018

Releasing his debut at a time where there were a lot of people with extra coin taking a breather to chase the dream, you knew that Allchin was one to bet on.  Four records in, this white boy with the blues has jacket copy on his latest full of names like Hambridge, Zito, McKendree, Rush, Memphis Horns and more.  He delivers.  Loaded with gusto and a half, he doesn’t stoop to manqué around when he can keep it his real—which is really good.  White boy blues has entered the next level of the game.

(Sandy Key 5)

-Chris Spector, Midwest Record, October 2018

Hajk announce new album ‘Drama’ out February 1st via Jansen with new single ‘Dancing Like This’

LISTEN TO NEW SINGLE
‘DANCING LIKE THIS’ VIA SOUNDCLOUD

OUT NOW ON ALL DSPs

Hajk Press Shot 2018

 

PREVIOUS PRAISE FOR HAJK:

“This new Oslo-based band will make you feel so very fine” – Noisey

“The soaring vocals of Feist with the erratic percussion of Dirty Projectors” – V Magazine

Ones To Watch at The Guardian

Hajk has delivered one of the best debuts of the year” – The Line Of Best Fit

“Crisp, clear, and smooth… street-ready guitar-pop” – Stereogum

‘Drama’ – of the interpersonal kind – that’s what Hajk have turned their focus to in 2018. The band burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album last year, garnering support around the world as well as making a name for themselves in their home country of Norway. Now, the highly anticipated follow-up ‘Drama’ has been announced for February 2019 – a record that both pulls at the heartstrings and urges you to dance away your sorrows. Lead single and first taste of what is to come arrives in the form of the bubblegum-flavoured new cut, ‘Dancing Like This’. It’s a lyrically melancholy and wide-eyed love song, with an addictive melody that looks to sugarcoat your tears.

Listen to new single ‘Dancing Like This’ via Soundcloud
Listen to ‘Dancing Like This’ via other DSPs

Listen to debut single ‘Magazine’

Hajk’s 2017 debut received praise from the likes of Astrid S, Sigrid and Kimbra, as well as actress and model, Chloë Grace Moretz. International acclaim came in waves from Noisey, Stereogum, The Line of Best Fit, Drowned In Sound, V Magazine, The Independent, Indie Shuffle, and more, noting their idiosyncratic, yet supremely catchy pop tunes, while likening them to everything from Fleetwood Mac and Aztec Camera to Dirty Projectors and Little Dragon.

With their second album, ‘Drama’, a more self-assured band reveals themselves. Sharpened by more studio experience, they have once again produced the record themselves, taking extreme care over every second and minute detail of their work. Blending analogue and digital sounds, switching between programmed arrangements and live takes from the studio, drawing on three lead vocalists and an assortment of guest musicians, Hajk conjured up whatever was necessary to fulfill their creative vision.

The title ‘Drama’ relates to the drama of humanity and a somewhat naïve yearning for love in a world in which love can sometimes seem in scarce supply.

‘Drama’ is due for release on February 1st via Jansen Records. First single from it ‘Dancing Like This’, was released on September 28th, listen here.

Hajk is:
Preben Sælid Andersen – Vocals
Sigrid Aase – Vocals
Johan Nord – Percussion
Knut Olav Buverud Sandvik – Bass
Einar Næss Haugeth – Keys

Hajk online:
Facebook
SoundCloud
Instagram
Bandcamp
YouTube
Jansen

Jim Allchin – Prime Blues

Critically Acclaimed Blues-Rock Guitarist, Songwriter and Vocalist Jim Allchin
Announces Prime Blues, His Newest LP, for Release September 21, 2018
Produced by Grammy and Blues Music Award Winner Tom Hambridge and featuring a team of veteran studio and touring professionals including special guests Bobby Rush and Mike Zito
Jim Allchin, the American blues-rock guitarist, philanthropist, and a former software executive, is releasing his fourth widely distributed contemporary blues album: Prime Blues, produced by Producer and Grammy®, ASCAP and Blues Music Award winner Tom Hambridge, whose production credits include: Buddy Guy, Marcia Ball, Susan Tedeschi and James Cotton, among many others.
Prime Blues features 14 new tracks performed by an all-star group of musicians including: bassist Glenn Worf, rhythm guitarists Rob McNelley, Bob Britt and Kenny Greenberg, keyboardist Kevin McKendree, drummer Tom Hambridge, vocalist Mycle Wastman, The Memphis Horns and special guest vocalists Grammy-winner Bobby Rush, and Blues Award winner Mike Zito.
Hambridge stated: “I’m so very proud of this major step forward in Jim’s journey as a Bluesman. We had an absolute blast co-writing some of the songs, planning and recording Prime Blues and we’re anxious for blues
fans around the globe to hear these incredible tunes and performances.”
Featured in Apple Music and receiving wide critical acclaim, Allchin’s last LP, Decisions, topped Contemporary Blues and Blues Rock charts for months and was named a Top 20 Blues Rock Album of 2017 by the venerable
Roots Music Report. The LP registered nearly 1 million plays on Spotify.
The reviewers said:
• “Decisions is Jim Allchin’s best release to date!” Blues Bytes Review
• “Lovers of modern blues need to check him out.” Norman Darwen, Blues in the South Review
• “If you decide to hear some great music, here it is!” Smoky Mountain Blues Society
• “Allchin flat out rips” Rick Bowen NW Blues
Allchin added: “The title Prime Blues refers to both my love of the blues as well as my love of mathematics.
Prime Blues is more concentrated blues than my past albums and at the same time more diverse in terms of style, guitar technique, and guitar tone. Each song tells a story – about an experience, life observation, or my life philosophy in general. I hope you find some of these songs just flat out fun!”

This old proverb ‘strike while the iron is hot’ quickly comes to mind when reviewing the new album “Prime Blues” from pacific Northwest guitar man, Jim Allchin. For it clearly alludes to the imagery of the blacksmith at his forge; if he delays shaping the iron when it is hot and pliable the metal soon cools and hardens, and the opportunity is lost. Allchin astutely heeded this council while hard on the heels of his critically-acclaimed and chart-topping 2017 album “Decisions” and continued running with its winning formula.
In spring of 2018 he returned to the vaunted Blackbird Studios in Nashville to collaborate again with Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and drummer Tom Hambridge and his team. To kick up the flavor a notch the duo invited special guests Mike Zito, Bobby Rush and The Memphis Horns to add their special sauce to the recipe. The result is a savory collection of 14 amazing
new tracks that dig deeper into the blues and prove the notion that indeed “lightning can strike twice.”
A growling guitar riff and a horn-drenched blues rocker ‘Give it Up’ opens the set of “Prime Blues” with Allchin encouraging us all to find our inner truth. Kevin McKendree spares with Allchin on the Hammond B3 on the greasy blues ‘Devil Don’t Sleep.’ The crew then heads down to the bayou to sing the praises of an enchanting Cajun queen for the swampy ‘Voodoo Doll,’ and keep the groove sexy with enticing rocker ‘Snuggle Up.’ Allchin flat out rips on the full tilt instrumental
‘Jimmy’s Boogie,’ and the horns return for the sweet Memphis-styled love song ‘Summer Sunrise.’
Mike Zito steps up to the mic for the Texarkana stomp ‘Enough Is Enough’ that features another gritty solo from Allchin and fiery honkytonk piano from McKendree. Bob Britt from the Delbert McClinton band sits in on the swinging autobiography ‘Found The Blues’ that has Allchin detailing how “music blew his muse” and most likely saved his life.
The full force of The Memphis Horns and a six-piece Nashville band are brought to bear on the bump and grind blues ‘Two Bad Dreams’ to complement the paramount personality that is Bobby Rush. Next Allchin picks up his acoustic guitar for the old-time tale of hard luck and trouble ‘Pawn Shop Man,’ before shredding more hot leads on the sizzling Chicago blues shuffle ‘Lost My Mind.’
The soul-searching track ‘Up To Destiny’ mixes thought-provoking lyrics with pop music sensibilities on an arrangement that has a bit of Santana-like appeal. The patented double shuffle from Hambridge creates an authentic motif for Allchin’s tongue-in-cheek dig at our obsession with cell phones on witty ‘Tech Blues.’ The final track ‘Logoff’ serves as a clever double entendre, with the bluesy groove serving notice to the end of bad love and the poetic finale of the grand adventure that is the album “Prime Blues.” Once again, we are blessed to have Jim Allchin share with us his quest for universal truths and superb guitar tone on what could prove to be his crowning achievement.
Rick J Bowen

The Good Paper of Rev. Robert Mortimer

 

GoodPaper
of Rev. Rob Mortimer is:

Rob Mortimer on vocals, guitars, lap steel guitar, pianos, organs, synth; Jeffrey Tonos on guitar, synth, backing vocals; David Morgan on bass; Walter Washington on drums; Art Edmaiston on Saxophones; and Bob Dowell on Trombone.

Rob Mortimer, is the trifecta of a Mississippi Delta Blues Artist, a Undertaker, and a Reverend.

From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to playing major festivals, Rob Mortimer remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a gravely Mississippi Delta spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His stage presence before an audience is something startling and immediate, at times a funk bounce, or sometimes a Weezerish Otis Redding, and other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human. When you see Rob Mortimer, and his emaculate band (GoodPaper) you will see the man is fearless.

Born and raised in the rich, fertile soil of a Mississippi Delta (in the back of a Hearse/Ambulance combo), Robert Mortimer bases his songs on personal experiences of heartache, love, loss, local religion & politics, catfish, cotton, stories, fibs, and lies.
Mortimer is also in the family business; a second generation funeral director, embalmer and cemeterian. Growing up in a funeral home has helped Robert Mortimer see the end as a new beginning and enjoy the happier side of bad situations.
With the wit of Tom Waits and the Southern charm of Conway Twitty, his music overflows with dynamic rhythms and pounding bottoms, while his sextronic lyrics are at times both humorous and thought provoking.

Onstage, Mortimer delivers his songs with compassion and a relentless honesty, but perhaps not until “Lock It Down Tight” 2018,  has a studio record captured the fierceness and intimacy that defines a Mortimer live performance.On the new album, GoodPaper of the Reverend Robert Mortimer offer grace and groove in equal measure, with an easygoing quality to the production that makes those beautiful muscular drum-breaks sound as though the band has set up in your living room.

“Lock It Down Tight” was recorded in early 2018 at American Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. It was rounded off my a Grammy Nominated Horn Section: Art Edmaiston on Tenor and Baritone Saxophone, Marc Franklin on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Bob Dowell on Trombone. The horn section was nominated for Grammys in2017, for their work on Gregg Allman’s “Southern Blood” and Robert Cray “Robert Cray & Hi Rythm” albums.

When he isn’t touring, Mortimer exerts his prodigious energies in the family business, as President of Mortimer Funeral Home, that he owns and operates along with his family.

Released in 2004, Mortimer’s Good Paper album “Peep”, was recorded in a old funeral home next to a cemetery in Indianola, Mississippi. Composed of 11 original songs concerning the book of Revelations, Quentin Tarantino, and the hurt inflicted by women, Peep was well received by their extensive fan base.

Released in 2010, Good Paper’s sophomore album “Our Stupid Selves” was recorded at Tweed Studios in Oxford, Mississippi; This chapter in Mortimer’s life concentrated on Mississippi Delta heritage, local economy, almost love, and the supernatural.

Mortimer’s songwriting is influenced by Muddy Waters, Stevie Wonder, Tony Soprano, George Bush, Ben Harper, JJ Grey, Sly & The Family Stone, John Mayer, John Scofield, past and present girlfriends, Abe Lincoln, Hernando Desoto, animated preacher men, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and most of all JAMES BROWN as contributing factors to the evolution of the band.

The band was compared to sounding like “The Beatles with James Brown as a front man.”