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Coming Soon! The Hackles • A Dobritch Did As A Dobritch Should on November 8, 2019

The duo’s propensity for glowing chords shines on their upcoming record, though it soon becomes apparent that the expert delicacy of the couple’s guitar work only barely contains the graceful, mounting power prevalent in the meeting of Claborn and Ydstie’s voices.

“We’re processing a lot of things going on in our world right now,” reflects Kati Claborn during a respite from touring. Along with her partner Luke Ydstie, Claborn is striving to make sense of the present by looking to the past in The Hackles’ upcoming album, A Dobtrich Did As A Dobritch Should, out on Jealous Butcher Records on November 8, 2019. “We’re looking at the big picture through individual lives,” says Claborn.  In an era rife with discord, The Hackles are using melodic, shimmering indie folk to chronicle means of control and autonomy through idiosyncratic narratives.

 

Ydstie and Claborn first met in Portland in the mid-2000s after Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski of Blind Pilot recruited additional band members to flesh out the band. Still members of Blind Pilot today, Ydstie and Claborn first met at these initial band practices, and now live in Astoria, Oregon with their five-year-old daughter. After discovering how well each of their creative processes’ enrich one another’s, Ydstie and Claborn decided to form their own musical project. “I think one of the reasons why it’s so successful when Luke and I write together is that we feel very safe and open,” says Claborn. “Both of us feel like we can throw out any idea and it’s okay. We can try anything.” Co-producer Adam Selzer expands this environment of experimentation. “Going into the mixing process, we gave Adam free reign to do whatever he wanted, and he made a lot of interesting mixing choices and added effects that had a huge effect on how the album turned out.”

Though The Hackles’ upcoming record title might at first seem imbued in mystery, the  eccentric name is a nod to the life and death of 20th century Bulgarian circus impresario, Al Dobritch, who appears most markedly in “And The Show Goes On.” The chief producer of famed Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas, Dobritch made a name for himself after escaping World War II and settling in America, eventually rubbing elbows with celebrities and marrying film star Rusty Allen. His gilded life came to a dark end when he was charged with kidnapping and, soon after, jumped to his death on the Las Vegas strip. “Dobritch went through so many crazy things in his life,” says Claborn, “And though he was able to persevere and create this incredible life, it goes to show that at the end, there are sometimes things you can’t control.”

The interwoven notions of predestined fate, as well as the hopeful antithesis of regaining power over one’s personal circumstances, stream throughout The Hackles’ upcoming release, complemented by the album’s serene sound. The duo’s propensity for glowing chords shines, though it soon becomes apparent that the expert delicacy of the couple’s guitar work only barely contains the graceful, mounting power prevalent in the meeting of Claborn and Ydstie’s voices. Similar to the tug-of-war stories that Claborn and Ydstie portray, the dynamism of the duo’s vocals never overpowers the tranquility of the chords below. Instead, both strengths support and enhance one another. “There’s a thread going through the album about the things that control us in our lives and the things that we’re able to take back,” surmises Claborn, “It’s about the impact of inevitability, the webs you can weave, and the webs that weave you.”

Cornell Kinderknecht Timeless sound for a contemporary world… Dreamtime.

The flowing melodies and subtle harmonies of Cornell Kinderknecht’s flutes, reeds and keyboards blend with the moving rhythms of Martin McCall’s drums and percussion to take you to a place where all things are possible – a place where you can be at peace while feeling energized – a place of mystique and wonder – a place of fantasy where you can play and let your imagination run free…

Label: Little Greyhound Music Catalog #: AMUS-0104

Release date: November 2013

Genres: Instrumental, World Fusion, New Age, Ambient

Together, Cornell and Martin create a collection of instrumental music that is equally poignant as it is bold. It’s the perfect music for listening while at the same time, you can zone out and chill with it, get up and move with it, or let it accompany you on a long road trip. Whether it be the grounding earthy songs like Gecko, the mind-opening vastness of Big Sky, the astral exploration of Orion and Voyager, or the quiet longing of One Summer, each song on this work has the power to engage on multiple levels. World flutes and winds virtuoso Cornell Kinderknecht is an award-winning recording artist, composer and performer whose music touches the heart and feeds the soul. He is a winner in the Instrumental category of the Great American Song Contest and has twice been nominated as Texas Music Awards “Musician of the Year” for his solo recordings. His work can be heard in film, television and advertising as well as on numerous other artists’ albums in multiple genres. Martin McCall is a veteran drummer and percussionist and past winner of the Carmine Appice Drum Solo Contest and named a Texas Tornado by Buddy Magazine. Cornell and Martin’s synergistic collaboration provides the perfect roadmap to that special place where all things truly are possible.

“The album is an elegant exploration of melodic soundscapes which convey warmth, contemplation and an innate healing spirit.” – Candice Michelle, Journeyscapes Radio

“I heartily recommend this work for those who want their music to provide them with relief from stress and the modern world, and who seek some quiet time for introspection, and, of course, Dreamtime.” – Rick McDaniel, Independent Reviewer

“Dreamtime is bright and groove inducing, perfect for work and a delight for pure listening enjoyment…” – Amy Martin, Moonlady Media

Cornell Kinderknecht Timeless sound for a contemporary world…
Music that can move the heart, take you on an exhilarating ride and then set you down gently and sweetly right where you need to be. Cornell’s instrumental music has that power to let you lose yourself in bliss with its melodies, tone colors and beauty. Allow yourself to take that ride. You’ll be glad you did.
Cornell Kinderknecht is an award-winning world flutes and reeds virtuoso, pianist and keyboardist. His world flute and reed instruments include Native American flute, bansuri, ocarina, whistle, recorder and saxophone, among others. He is an Indian Summer Music Awards winner, a Top 5 Winner in the Great American Song Contest instrumental category, and has twice been a finalist for Musician of the Year at the Texas Music Awards. Venues Cornell has performed include the prestigious Carnegie Hall, the magnificent amphitheater built into the 2000-foot red rock cliffs of Zion Canyon, the underground “Cave Without A Name,” the Meyerson Symphony Center, and the AT&T Dallas Cowboys Stadium. His music can be heard in film, television series and advertising. In addition to his own recordings, Cornell’s playing can be heard on numerous artists’ CDs in multiple genres. He is in high demand as a performer at festivals around the US.
Cornell‘s original compositions and playing have been described as soothing, soaring, haunting, and playful with influences of Native America, the Middle East, India, and the Far East. His style, which draws from his experience in world, Classical, folk and pop, brings a new and fresh flavor to the instrumental and new age genres.

Fast fingered finger licking Mean Mary’s new album will be our Spotlight Album for October.

Yes it is the same Mary different hair colour but just as mean.

 

Cold is the newest and most intimate release to date from award-winning musician/writer, Mean Mary (Mary James). The moody, almost gothic, lyrics and dark melodies take the listener through the colder seasons of the year and of the heart. Produced by Mary James, the album features all original songs with some lyrics taken straight from her journal entries.

As usual on a Mean Mary project, Mary provides the bulk of vocals and instrumentation to the songs but her family is always there as the unsung heroes. Brother, Frank James, adds his unusual guitar style and harmonies to 4 of the tracks, and Mother (award-winning writer, Jean James) is the co-writer that blends her own brand of lyrics so seamlessly with her daughter’s.

 

 

Mean Mary Bio.

We’re pleased to introduce you to Buffalo NY-based Americana/Folk duo The Rightly So and their brand new album “Vandura”

 Not a pair to stay on the couch, The Rightly So have been touring relentlessly, living on the road, and in fact, that lifestyle and new perspective has become inspiration for this new release.

“We’ve spent the last year and a half living out of our homemade RV built inside an old Verizon work truck, traveling over 40,000 miles and playing shows in over 20 states. “Vandura” is the culmination of 18 months of adventures, a collection of stories we’ve watched unfold and all of the places we’ve been. Living on the road has given us an entirely new perspective that has permeated this album to its core. It’s a layered look into the many facets of what it’s like to travel the back roads of America in an old van for a living, and our love for this new lifestyle that we’ve embraced is a constant theme.”

Stream “Vandura” on Spotify

Bandcamp

Press Quotes
“The Rightly So have it going on! “Blackberry Brandy” and “Crash This Car” are worth the price of admission. And really, there isn’t a mediocre song on the album, which is full of good melodies and superb vocal harmonies.” -The Huffington Post

“There’s music and then there’s music; sounds that make your day better, soundtracks that turn to life changing records and the artists that make those soundtracks, are the epitome of vulnerable beauty. The Rightly So, are the definitive of that greatness; and their latest self-titled release proves it instantly.” -No Depression

“Whether it’s the absolutely remarkable vocal capabilities of Jess Chizuk and Greg Zeis of New York duo, The Rightly So, that reel you in or their award-winning songwriting excellence, there is a harmony between the two that is electric and deeply in tune.” -Tattoo.com

Accolades
– 100+ shows each year for the last 5 years
– 1.5 years of full time national touring
– Opening slots for Howie Day, Dylan Jakobsen, Davina and the Vagabonds, Sean Patrick McGraw, Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers, Cory Branan, and the Vandoliers
– Features in The Huffington Post, No Depression Magazine, and NPR affiliates in Amarillo (TX) and Grand Junction (CO), and Knoxville’s WDVX Blue Plate Special.

Artist Links
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Bandcamp
Soundcloud
Youtube Channel

Contact Details
Artist Contact: [email protected]
Press Contact: [email protected]

Release Info
Artist Name: The Rightly So
Location: Buffalo, NY
Release Name: Vandura
Release Date: Sep 06, 2019
Label: Independent
Producer: N/a
Track List:
1. Black and Blue
2. You Can Bet On Me
3. Honest Kind of Peace
4. Ball and Chain
5. All These Things
6. Dying Day
7. Devil’s Work
8. Nothing But The Weather
9. Good Luck and Godspeed
10. The Lucky Ones
11. Not Coming Home
Musicians:
Jess Chizuk: Vocals and Guitar
Greg Zeis: Vocals and Guitar
Styles: Americana, Modern Folk, Alt Country
Similar To: Brandi Carlile, The Lumineers, Jason Isbell

Artist Biography
Born in the heart of the Buffalo rust belt, The Rightly So brings a vibrant energy to Americana music. The young acoustic duo is comprised of esteemed guitarist and performer Gregory Zeis, and award-winning singer/songwriter Jess Chizuk. Likened to The Milk Carton Kids and The Secret Sisters, The Rightly So has developed a unique style of captivating acoustic music carried by perfectly blended harmonies by voices that have been described as “electric and deeply in tune.”

Combined, Jess and Greg have nearly 20 years of performing experience while still in their early 20’s themselves. The duo has played 100+ shows each year for the last 4 years and orchestrated three nationwide tours. They have performed with Howie Day, Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers, Sean Patrick McGraw, Dylan Jakobsen, and Davina and the Vagabonds, and have been featured in The Huffington Post, No Depression Magazine, and NPR affiliates in Amarillo (TX) and Grand Junction (CO). The Rightly So’s music combines the nostalgia of classic, down-home Americana with the sounds of contemporary folk. Their self-titled album provides an honest look into what a live performance from this duo is like; two guitars, two voices and a batch of well-crafted songs, full of vibrant energy and chemistry without losing any musical integrity. Their tasteful guitar riffs, singable melodies and storytelling lyrics have won them a number of accolades and awards alike.

“We are willing to bet that these two are going to be standing tall along the likes of the Milk Carton Kids and Secret Sisters more than their efforts would ever be considered bunk,” writes Jonathan Fram of For Folk’s Sake. “The Rightly So sound like successes with their strummy and sweet instrumental delivery melded together by the utter beacon that is their tantalizing harmonies.”

Their self-titled debut album was released to much acclaim in July of 2017: the project combines new renditions of old songs from past projects as well as plenty of brand new collaboration pieces. With a new album set to release in the summer of 2019 and their full-time touring schedule showing no sign of slowing down, it’s evident that The Rightly So is at their best when they are together, and that things are only just getting started.

Hailing from Perth, Western Australia, world-traveling singer-songwriter Gav Brown has now released his second studio album: Road Less Travelled.

Early International Success is following:

  • Debut Single “Railroad Track” goes # 1 in Hotdisc Country Top 40 1/9/2019 and has been in the charts for four weeks. The video has been featured on SKY TV in the UK for five weeks to date.

  • “Road Less Travelled” album has obtained multiple #1’s in Play MPE weekly top 20 charts for Downloads and Streams to Radio for: Adult Contemporary, Rock, Triple A, and Australia

  • All Tracks from the “Road Less Travelled” album have had strong rotation on Radio in America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe.

  • 760,000 video views for “Road Less Travelled” tracks, (released July 19, 2019) -most popular in Australia, Canada, England, and Malaysia. “Railroad Track” video viewed 168k times with most views from Canada.
  • Over 2.3 million music video views to date.

 “It’s awesome stuff. I began to play the album on Thursday and will continue to promote. There are some amazingly technically perfect songs like “Nashville” and “Railroad Track.” I chose, however, “Mood for Love” to lead off with as it has the same underlying audiological draw for me as “Greatest Player.” You sound more relaxed and certain of your incredible talent on this latest work. Having said that- the same characteristic vocals and same smoking hot lead and sax are working their magic here, just as on the first release. From a strictly radio standpoint- give me 50 albums a month like this and I’ll be quite satisfied, indeed.”

-Gerry Sorensen WAAY Radio (Ohio, USA)

“Road to You song reminds me of my time on the road. All the while missing my fiance. She said yes. She is my wife now. I can never be far from her. All the roads I would ever take now lead me back to my wife and boy.”

-John Ragsdale 

The Road Less Travelled Album weaves captivating songs, an instrumental tune, and a multi-layered masterpiece of musical styles into a musical delight.

Road Less Travelled follows the internationally successful release of Gav’s debut album, Sound Circus, which was released in November 2018 and enjoyed success in the Play MPE charts for 12 weeks, reaching #1 in Australian, Rock, Triple A, and Adult Contemporary charts.
Popular Sound Circus single “Peter Pan” spent 9 weeks in chart Tasmanian Country Airplay Charts and reached #15. Sound Circus’s idyllic track 1, “Artist’s Dream”, reached #14 in Hotdisc Top 40 during its 6 weeks in the chart, and the video for “Artist’s Dream” was featured on SKY TV in the UK for four weeks. All tracks from the Sound Circus Album have had radio airplay, with strong rotation in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and America and South Africa.

A regular on the live music scene in Perth, West Australia, Gav Brown has performed his soul-fuelled mix of country-rock, folk and pop around Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, Hong Kong and Singapore. A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Gavin uses guitar, banjo, piano, harmonica, mandolin, cigar-box guitar and ukulele to craft honest uplifting music that captures the spirit of a traveller.

Brown has a passion for music which is clear in his song-writing. His influences include George Gershwin, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, James Taylor, Carlos Santana and John Mayer and he has been compared to Tom Waits, Joe Cocker, The Pogues and Dave Alvin.

Regularly compared to The Pogues and Tom Waits, and inspired by his childhood heroes; George Gershwin, James Taylor and Bruce Springsteen, Brown’s use of guitar, mandolin, banjo, piano and cigar-box in his writing process create a rare and compelling musical palette. Combine this with his engaging and gravelly vocals, heart-felt honesty and addictively catchy melodies, and you can see why he’s mesmerising audiences across the country.

More information
www.gavbrown.com.au

    

www.gavbrown.bandcamp.com

Radio Promo Contact

Gav Brown
Mob: +61419818288

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix – Miles Of Blues

 

Grammy nominees Professor Louie & The Crowmatix have been the torchbearers of American roots and blues music for nearly 20 years. The energetic five-piece band from Woodstock, New York return with their second album of 2019 and their 15th release, “Miles Of Blues.” The collection of nine new tracks and a bonus live cut is appropriately subtitled “From L-50 to Steampunk and Miles of Blues in between,” giving us a clue to the variety in store for our listening pleasure.

The acclaimed keyboardist, producer and engineer Aaron L. Hurwitz, aka “Professor Louie,” unselfishly shares the spotlight with vocalist Miss Marie, stalwart guitarist John Platania, along with the versatile rhythm section of Gary Burke and Frank Campbell. The Woodstock Horns make an appearance on two tracks with arrangements by super special guest and member of the original Blues Brothers Band, Tom “Bones” Malone.

Platania delivers masterful slide guitar work on the opening track ‘L-50 Blues,’ a lively ode to one of the most popular Gibson acoustic arch top guitars ever made and its influence on the development of America’s beloved music. Burke then gives us a deep jungle beat to bring in the ‘Funky Steampunk Blues, that capitalizes on the call and response song form created by Bo Diddley and Billy Boy Arnold in the 1950s. Louie and Platania join together on keys and lead guitar to push a gritty riff, while Miss Marie wails on the driving track ‘Love Bound.’ Louie then employs several classic blues conventions to expound upon his love for Miss Marie on the piano driven blues ‘Passion In My Life.’

 

The entourage takes a trip to the bayou for the second line fueled ‘Rain 40 Days’ that speaks to the trials and tribulations people have to endure during hurricane season. Louie demonstrates his extensive keyboard skills on the jaunty road song about lost love ‘Exit Zero.’ Miss Marie stretches out on the dynamic reading of the Percy Mayfield blues classic, ‘Please Send Me Someone To Love.’ The lyrics are a combination of a romantic love ballad and a social message against discrimination that is as timely today as it was back in the 50’s.

Professor Louie pays tribute to one of his mentors, Rick Danko from The Band, taking a deep cut from the “The Basement Tapes” and again in the 2000 reissue of the  seminal album “Music From Big Pink,” the mystery-filled groover, ’Orange Juice Blues’, dropping some barrelhouse piano on top of the rambling shuffle. The Woodstock Horns make a dramatic entrance in the epic minor ‘Oh My Lady,’ adding powerful gravitas to this epic passion play that is the highlight of the album and surely deserves much radio attention.

Clocking in at over nine minutes track number ten, ‘Bull Frog Jam Blues (Live),’ is an all-out barnyard boogie house party. The blazing solos from Platania on slide guitar, Chuck Smith on trombone, Jim Buckley on bari sax, Nick Driscoll on soprano sax and Danny Coyle on trumpet are a joy to behold with the players giving it all they’ve got before the chaotic cacophonous climax. “Miles Of Blues” takes us on a joy ride across a marvelous musical landscape.

 

Rick J Bowen

BIOGRAPHY

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix began as the studio backing band for Aaron “Professor Louie’s” musical productions for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, The Band. Rick Danko christened him Professor Louie due to his work and friendship with The Band.

This Grammy-nominated Woodstock, NY group plays 150 shows a year in the US and worldwide. They have performed at the Thunder Bay, London, Windsor, Tondor, Falcon Ridge Festivals, Sellersville Theater, BB Kings, NYC, House Of Blues, LA. Professor Louie has performed twice on The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix repertoire is steeped in rock ‘n’ roll, blues, gospel and American roots music. They have 15 studio recordings on the Woodstock Records label. In 2016 their album, “Music From Hurley Mountain,” was voted best concept record & group by Radio Crystal Blue. PL&C have been inducted into Blues Hall Of Fame, New York Chapter and hold a permanent place in the Canada South Blues Museum.

 

More information about the band members is @ http://www.professorlouie.com/bio.html.

 

ARTIST LINKS

Susan Gibson To Release New Album, The Hard Stuff promoted by Broken Jukebox.

 

Folk : Americana : Country
Release Date: October 4th
Radio Add Date : September 23rd
www.SusanGibson.com 
Facebook : Twitter

Hear “The Hard Stuff” on Wide Open Country

“When I listen to a Susan Gibson song, I know she is sharing a piece if her heart and soul with me. Susan writes about true stories in her life. She writes with courage puts forth her message with powerful and heartfelt guitar and vocals. It only takes a few lines of her recorded songs for me to recognize that “Susan Sound”
Her new record has that for sure. Enjoy…..”

-Lloyd Maines-  Music producer and musician.

 

 

Wimberley, TX. Take it from Susan Gibson: “Nothing lifts a heavy heart like some elbow grease and a funny bone.” That’s the conclusion that the award-winning singer-songwriter reaches on the title track to her long-awaited new album, The Hard Stuff (due out Oct. 4 on Gibson’s own For the Records), and it may be the best bit of practical advice that she’s put to music since, well … “Check the oil.”

That “oil” line, a father’s reminder to a young daughter heading out on her own in pursuit of “Wide Open Spaces,” has been sung along to by millions of fans around the world ever since the Dixie Chicks recorded Gibson’s song as the title track to their major-label debut back in 1998. It became one of the biggest songs in modern country music history, but Gibson wasn’t aiming for a “hit” when she wrote it some 28 years ago. She was fresh out of college and had yet to officially embark on her professional music career, let alone to have figured out the basics of what she calls the “craft part” of songwriting. All she had to work with at the time, sitting at her parents’ kitchen table in Amarillo, Texas, and wanting to tell “an honest story with some universal truths,” was “sincerity and instinct.” 

Three decades, thousands of miles and countless songs and performances (both as a member of the ’90s Americana group the Groobees and as a successful solo act) down the road, Gibson is now recognized by fans, critics, and peers alike as a master troubadour who very much has the “craft part” of her art down cold. But check under the hood of The Hard Stuff, and it’s clear her songwriting engine still runs on pure emotional honesty. The only difference, really, is the mileage: Instead of reflecting the carefree exuberance of youth, these are the songs of a life-wizened, full-grown woman whose indomitable spirit springs not from untested naivety, but from hardened and tempered choice. 

The Hard Stuff is Gibson’s seventh release as a solo artist and her first full-length album since 2011’s Tight Rope. Much like the stop-gap EP that preceded it, 2016’s Remember Who You Are, it’s a record deeply rooted in grief, as Gibson wrote many of the songs while in the midst of coming to terms with the death of first one parent and then the other in the span of four years, a time during which she admits her career became far less of a priority to her than her family. But it was that very period of slowing down for emotional recalibration that ultimately pulled her out of the dark and back into the light, resulting in the most life-affirming and musically adventurous recording of her career. 

Producer Andres Moran (of the Belle Sounds) had a lot to do with helping Gibson expand her horizons at Austin’s Congress House Studio. “I’m a fan of the Belle Sounds, but Andres was a bit of an unknown to me to going into this, and I didn’t really know what he was going to do,” Gibson admits. “But I liked what I did know about him. The thing is, I’ve actually never used the same producer twice, which I think sometimes makes it hard for me to measure my growth or compare one album to the rest and go, ‘Was that forward or backwards?’ But for this one, I knew that I definitely wanted to stretch a bit more than usual. I’ve been very inspired lately by my friend Jana Pochop, who’s a brave writer and just the most unassuming pop star you could ever meet, but also a really good study in how to trust a collaborator enough to let them do their thing, instead of just what you might want them to do. She’s been getting some really good stuff that way, just by not putting limitations on herself in the studio or being tied to her acoustic guitar.”

Moran took Gibson’s “no limits” directive and ran with it. Although still unmistakably a Susan Gibson album, with her warm, friendly rasp of a voice front and center in the mix and an abundance of buoyant melodies brightening even the darkest corners (with a special assist from her beloved banjo on the bittersweet closer, “8×10”), the arrangements throughout The Hard Stuff are full of surprises. Rife with bursts of pop elan, splashes of funk (horns!), and even flirty hints of jazz, it’s a bright, technicolor palette delightfully unfettered by the constraints of her usually solo acoustic live shows. But far from seeming even remotely out of her element, Gibson embraces it all with arms and heart wide open, delivering her most spirited performances on record to date , and 10 of the best songs of her career, each one illuminated by her refreshingly clear-eyed perspectives on life, love, work, and yes, true to album’s title, even death.

Which brings us back to that line about nothing lifting a heavy heart like “some elbow grease and a funny bone”: the key point being, it takes both. And of course, a little time helps, too.

“I feel like Remember Who You Are came out of a lot of really raw and immediate, direct grief,” she says, recalling the EP she made not long after her mother’s death and her focus at the time on “the ache of loss and the balm of letting go.” A lot of that ache lingers still on The Hard Stuff, compounded of course by the loss of a second parent, but the sense of healing is palpable. But the difference with this batch of songs is, they’re not scabs anymore they’re starting to become scars: scars that you can talk about and tell stories about, and even find humor in. I don’t think it’s a particularly ‘humorous’ record, but I do feel like the common thread in a lot of the songs is me trying to not take myself so seriously.” 

To wit, in the title track, inspired by conversations with her concerned older sister (and an old John Wayne quote from the movie The Sands of Iwo Jima), Gibson reminds herself that, “if you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough,” while in “The Big Game,” she baits a light-hearted account of frustrated desire with the winking tease, “Why you gotta make it so hard / for me to be easy?” 

A little bit of that kind of playfulness goes a long way; but its the elbow grease  and hard-earned experience  that ultimately does the heaviest lifting. In the opening “Imaginary Lines,” co-written with her aforementioned friend Jana Pochop, Gibson shifts seamlessly from a country mouse in the big city anecdote (and an account of a too-close-for-comfort encounter with a contract-waving industry business suit) to an exhilarating chorus reaffirming her commitment to the independent music back roads less traveled but traveled hard and with a joyous sense of purpose. The extended metaphors in “Diagnostic Heart” and “Hurricane” hit like brutally honest, tough-love therapy sessions, and the achingly beautiful “Wildflowers in the Weeds” ,ostensibly written for her friend and fellow independent Texas songwriter, Terri Hendrix, but by Gibson’s candid admission just as much about herself  is a portrait of courage and resilience painted in rich hues of empathy and bittersweet truth. And even when Gibson gets around to directly singing about how much she misses her mother (in “8×10”), or about the heartbreak of watching her elderly father struggle just to keep up in the world as a widower in the final years of his own life, her sadness is counterbalanced with equal measures of deeply felt gratitude for the memories she shared with them and the wisdom she learned from them. As she sings in “Antiques,” “Getting older ain’t for the weak / it only happens to the strongest ones.”

That’s the kind of “hard stuff” that The Hard Stuff is really about. Not the kind that breaks, but the kind that endures. 

1. Imaginary Lines (4:12)
2. Antiques (4:07)
3. The Hard Stuff (3:48)
4. Lookin’ For A Fight (3:19)
5. The Big Game (3:41)
6. Diagnostic Heart (4:06)
7. 2 Fake IDs (4:21)
8. Hurricane (3:52)
9. Wildflowers In The Weeds (3:35)
10. 8 X 10 (4:05)

All FCC Clean
Focus Tracks : 1, 3, 8, 9

All Songs by Susan Gibson except:
“Imaginary Lines” – Susan Gibson, Jana Pochop, Michael Scwartz

Texas Songwriter Helene Cronin to Release Full Length Album, start listening on TMEfm Radio.

Helene Cronin : Old Ghosts & Lost Causes 
Americana : Folk
Release Date : October 11th
www.HeleneCronin.com 
Facebook 

“Helene Cronin can flat out spin a lyric. Her ability to crawl within a subject and pull a story or emotion out the other end is what makes her a brilliant songwriter. Those writing chops delivered with those earthy vocals have made her one of the best artists I’ve heard in a long time.”
– Terri Hendrix, Songwriter

“I like songs that tell the truth. Helene Cronin’s songs do just that. Helene delivers her songs with sheer soul. She invites you into her world and it’s a great listen.”
– Lloyd Maines, Producer and Musician

“Helene is a master of words who writes and sings straight from the heart. Each song is a handcrafted mini-movie.”
– Zane Williams, Artist

Helene Cronin spent over 15 years performing and songwriting — often for other people — before she awakened to the idea that she needed to follow her muse and start making records that more accurately represent the songs coming from her own heart. Following 2 recent EPs, Old Ghosts & Lost Causes is her first full length offering, although Cronin is a seasoned player. Produced by Matt King and featuring Kenny Vaughan, Byron House and others, the album serves up Cronin’s phenomenal songwriting in a sonic landscape that runs the gamut of the label Americana with hard driving guitar and thoughtful, top shelf musicianship.

The crux of it all is the lyrical mastery and vocal delivery that made Cronin a New Folk winner at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in 2018.  Starting off the album is the first single, “Careless With a Heart”, a reflective song that considers how we treat the fragile but resilient human heart. Following that is the blues-infused “Mean Bone”, a co-write with her novelist daughter, Alex, which examines the idea: what if someone did in fact have a “mean bone in his body” contrary to the popular use of that expression? From that song about the darker side of humanity, Cronin flows into what she calls a centerpiece of the album, the uplifting “Humankind” which celebrates people’s inherent desire to care for others. Later in “Riding The Gray Line”,  she turns her attention to a host of characters riding a Greyhound bus and weaves their stories over an acoustic-based bed. To close out the record Helene returns fully to her folk roots with “Ghost”, a six minute ballad, recounting from his perspective the story of a dead husband, performed completely solo long after the band had finished their work in the studio.

Overall, Old Ghosts & Lost Causes is the perfect vehicle for the precision of Helene Cronin”s songs. It showcases her versatility as a writer and performer while maintaining a cohesive overall feeling.  In a world obsessed with singles and rushing to the next thing, Old Ghosts will grab ahold of you and demand that you sit and give it the attention a proper album deserves.


Helene Cronin: vocals, background vocals, guitar
Bobby Terry: acoustic and  steel guitar, mandolin
Byron House: bass
Chad Cromwell: drums Kenny Vaughan:
electric guitar Heidi Newfield: harmonica, background vocals
Matt King: background vocals

Produced by Matt King
Engineered & mixed by Mitch Dane

The Grahams Release Video for “Just What You Deserve”

Thanks to DOM VIGIL at The Prelude Press for publishing this article.

 

Where do beach balls turn when they’re feeling deflated? Alcohol? Sex? Adventure?

Cinematic rock group, The Grahams (Alyssa & Doug), tackle this question and more with their brand new video for “Just What You Deserve,” the first single off their upcoming record KIDS LIKE US (set for release in early 2020 via 3 Sirens Music Group/RED MUSIC/The Orchard). The video follows the rocky relationship of two beach balls, focusing on one’s journey out of their toxic partnership, as well as the self-discovery that strengthens a beach ball from the inside out. While admittedly beach ball-centric, the video’s sentiment, alongside the track’s balmy, graceful, and anthemic brand of dream pop, demonstrates a universal human story of love, loss, grief, and ultimately hope.

“Did you ever deny a love so fiercely that it’s a definitive affirmation?” asks one half of the duo, Alyssa Graham. “This is a song that reveals its own deception. We worked with our longtime co-writer Bryan McCann (BMC) and pieced together this dark love story that all of us know all too well. Deception of self and denial of passion.

JUSTIN PETER KINKEL-SCHUSTER – Take Heart, Take Care (Big Legal Mess)

 

What does a songwriter who has mined darkness do when he finds a measure of contentment?

This was the challenge that faced Fayetteville, AR songwriter Justin Peter Kinkel-Schusterwhen writing his new album Take Heart, Take Care. A songwriter who had success with Water Liars (including over 14 million Spotify streams) and Marie/Lepanto (his collaboration with Will Johnson of Centro-Matic) and has earned acclaim from NPR, Billboard, NY Times, and Paste Magazine now took time to reassess his writing process.

Characters are drawn to and away from other people. They seek both risk and comfort. In the album opener “Plenty Wonder,” he sings of balannce, allowing himself “Plenty wonder in this world still to be found.” Several songs look back at a younger self with curiosity. “Friend of Mine” belies the camaraderie of youth; “Cut Your Teeth” is about seeing abrasiveness around us but then finding and cherishing “a deep and gentle welcome place inside” and remembering the journey that brought you there and the maintenance needed to keep perspective. It also powerfully alternates from fingerpicked acoustic guitar to hails of overdrive.

“Name What You Are” may be the most autobiographical song here (a medium in which Pete does not usually traffic). “It’s being quietly amazed at the places and conditions you put yourself in and why and what that meant at the time and what that means now having more or less dedicated your life to it. The atmosphere of ‘what the hell’s going’ on but it not mattering as much as that you’re simply doing it. For lifers in terms of making music, I would hope it might pretty true.” Yet the fingerpicked guitar and melody is more about the reflection back than the manic activity remembered. When asked about the song, Pete quotes Harry Crews, “Survival is triumph enough.”

Several songs, such as “Take Heart, Take Care,” are in the second person as if speaking directly to those out there who can identify with his earlier, darker experiences. He sings, “Time, time is the mender, whose strange mechanics, yet untold, bid us rise entwined together.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and novelist Forrest Gander notes how this technique makes the listener lean in, saying, “You’ll notice a little delay in the timing as the tunes of JPKS’ “Take Heart, Take Care” back-eddy while he leans into and opens up the song’s long vowels. It’s almost as though the singer were pausing for a friend—that’s us—to catch up, to keep him company just before he turns to dive into the reprise. In fact, friendship is a recurring theme in this album. The second song is ‘Friend of Mine’ but other lyrics remind us ‘to keep it close’ so that what counts doesn’t go ‘asunder.’ Pete’s voice has an easy, unfeigned sweetness tinged with melancholy, and its warmth blows convincingly behind the alternately precise and fuzzy guitar notation that gives the album its definitive sound.”

The intimacy that Gander and Baker observe comes of both form and function for Pete: a desire to keep things simple aesthetically but also the limitations of time and money. His bandmate in Marie/Lepanto, Will Johnson, taught him by example how to build a record by yourself; Pete followed this method, playing all of the instruments except keyboards. “Will is a hero of mine and I’d grown to admire his way of working. We made the Marie/Lepanto record in 3 1⁄2 – 4 days and looking back, I was taken aback that we were able to do that. I take a lot of cues from Will,” he reflects. It freed him. The effect is cinematic yet direct, wind across the plains at times, humidity you can feel at others, and the occasional glimpse of a promised coastline, all of it from a view always in motion.

The sounds also provide a backdrop of a complicated world for Pete to approach his type of makeshift, hard-won providence. The underlying message is of hope, to others as well as himself. He states, “Here I’ve fumbled my way, as always, and of necessity, into a collection of songs that hold a light to the joys and comforts of life not given up on, those that appear over time as we are looking elsewhere, to surprise and delight us when we need them most. Sure, it’s me, so there are glimpses of and nods to the dark, but the dark is not winning anymore. I simply mean to acknowledge its presence. To me, that’s the most fundamental job of songs, of stories, of all art—to be allies, friends, companions, when we need them most and it’s my hope that these songs can do that work in a world that seems to need it.”

So what does a songwriter do when he finds contentment? He tries to pass on what he knows in hopes of helping the next person. 

– JUSTIN PETER KINKEL-SCHUSTER-
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