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Jane Kramer : Valley Of The Bones

Another great artist from the Broken Jukebox Media, Adam Dawson sure knows how to pick them.

In April 2018, Kramer returned to the studio to record her third full-length album. Valley of the Bones is a triumphant collection of original songs that illustrate and explore the expression human of love in all its various forms.

Tracked mostly live (including the vocal performances,) at Sound Temple Studios in Asheville, N.C., Kramer teamed up with her frequent collaborators: Free Planet Radio musicians River Guerguerian, Chris Rosser and two-time Grammy Award winner Eliot Wadopian; as well as Billy Cardine. The album also includes performances by Nicky Sanders of The Steep Canyon Rangers on violin and Asheville Symphony Orchestra musician Franklin Keel on cello.

The collection of 10 original songs was engineered, mixed and produced by Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios and co-produced by Kramer and Chris Rosser. Kramer says of bringing the earliest, tentative versions of her songs to Johnson and Rosser for arrangement help and production ideas, “I have never trusted two people more with my art. In the past, I have seldom let people hear my songs until I felt that they were polished, but as my musical relationship with and respect for [Johnson] and [Rosser] have deepened, it felt important to me to to involve them from the beginning”.

“I know that the songs and the record as a whole are much stronger for it, and their gentle but firmly constructive approach has made me a better artist. I’ve been looking for such allies and mentors for a long time,” she adds.

While most of the aforementioned musicians accompanied Kramer on her acclaimed 2016 release Carnival of Hopes, listeners will hear a distinct difference in the band’s chemistry, cohesion and almost electric intuition with one another on Valley of the Bones.

“Simply put, it’s because we’ve been playing together a lot over the past three years since I’ve moved back home to Asheville,” she says. “We’ve gotten to know each other personally, had a little time on the road together, sold out some shows in theaters together and have built an incredible mutual respect. We had genuine fun in the studio. I think all of that translates and comes through on the record.”


photo credit : Rose Kaz
Valley of the Bones’ songs tackle a breadth of subject matter, ranging from marriage to miscarriage. Spirituality and self-acceptance are expressed with poetic grace, vulnerability and unapologetically honest grit. Kramer’s endearing, self-effacing humor is also on full display. This warm, easy storytelling is paired with rich, nuanced arrangements that aren’t afraid to be simple when called for, and are punctuated with the unmistakably bittersweet southern wail of Billy Cardine’s dobro.

Standout tracks include the gutsy and reflective “Hymn” (which was a “homework assignment” from Mary Gauthier, Kramer’s musical mentor) the undeniably smart and sassy “Waffle House Song”, and the profoundly poetic and transcendent title track “Valley of the Bones”. This song was dubbed a “masterpiece” by Lydia Hutchinson of Performing Songwriter Magazine. Also noteworthy are the quirky and hilarious country zinger “I’ll See Your Crazy and Raise You Mine” and the sweet, earnest “Singin’s Enough” which speaks candidly of the struggles of a touring musician.

All of the songs on Valley of the Bones show Kramer arriving confidently and comfortably at home inside as both a woman and a masterful songwriter after over twenty years of honing her craft.

‘”Waffle House Song” proves that while Kramer may be eighteen years into her journey, she is solidly serving up a sizzlin’ hot and delicious portion of nourishment for one’s soul…..kinda like that yellow signed place she sings about.”
– Tara Joan, The Daily Country

“I have watched Jane Kramer work diligently, patiently and persistently on her songwriting over many years, refining her natural ability with words to the level of songwriting mastery. She has composed a new collection of songs that beautifully serve the bold, confident intensity of her voice, and I could not be more excited about it. Bravo!”
– 
Mary Gauthier

“Jane Kramer is a folk singer, I dig that” 
– Malcolm Holcombe

“For a singer-songwriter, Kramer has presented the holy trinity of brilliant and affecting songwriting, divine vocals that crackle with emotion and high class backing and accompaniment. That the result is a beautifully produced album that is a joy to listen to perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise”
-Pete Churchill, Americana UK

“The North Carolinian’s third album, Valley Of The Bones, is packed with memorable acoustic-led tunes, an expressive and attractive voice with autobiographical stories that leave you staggered at the breadth of topics and profundity.”
– Tony Ives, Americana Music Show

“Her strong pretty voice and penchant for vivid lyrics are the deepest talents on display here, though the crack band (featuring Nicky Sanders of Steep Canyon Rangers on fiddle) is surely deserving of praise”
– Joseph Neff, The Vinyl District 

“A lovely down home voice, a sharp pen and great taste in musical pals make this organic/back porch set a high water mark for Americana that’ll just drive friends of owners of this album crazy since said owners won’t stop playing it.”
-Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“Kramer is a natural and you’ll find that in her music, as the songs take you down quiet, gravel country roads, beautiful forests of peaceful mountain retreats, and the sometimes lonely nights of motels and truck stops on the road of life.”
– Sheryl Craig, Nashville Music Guide

“these songs are kick-up your heels good. These are old timey string band tunes with a modern feel, songs that will appeal to traditionalists and Americana fans alike. Turn it up!”
-Viola Krause, Making a Scene

“She appears to be more comfortable and confident in herself and her songs than ever.”
– Billy Phoenix, Steemit

In Depth Interview with Melissa Clarke of Americana Highways 

Interview with Matt Pieken on Blue Ridge Public Radio

Interview on Making a Scene

Review on Roots time by Freddy Cellis

Recorded at Sound Temple Studios in Asheville, NC
www.soundtemplestudios.com
Engineered and Mixed by Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios
www.soundlabstudios.com
Produced by Adam Johnson
Co-Producers: Chris Rosser and Jane Kramer
Additional Engineering, String Arrangement for “Wedding Vows” and Mastering by Chris Rosser of Hollow Reed Arts in Asheville, NC.
www.chrisrosser.com
All Songs (Words and Music) by Jane Kramer (ASCAP, Famous Brown Boots Music.)

The Band Is:
Jane Kramer – Lead Vocals on All Songs
Chris Rosser – Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Keyboards, Harmonium, Octave Mandolin, Harmony Vocals
Eliot Wadopian – Upright Bass
River Guerguerian – Drumset and Percussion
Billy Cardine – Dobro
Allison Hall – Harmony Vocals
Nicky Sanders (of The Steep Canyon Rangers)  Fiddle
Franklin Keel – Cello

Richard Thompson – Summer 2019 festival and Irish dates

Richard Thompson – Summer 2019 festival and Irish dates

Richard Thompson – Summer 2019 festival and Irish dates

Richard Thompson - 13 RiversRichard Thompson has a busy Summer ahead of him with appearances at festivals throughout August and into September as well as a handful of dates in Ireland. Thompson will be appearing at festivals including Cambridge Folk FestivalSidmouth Folk FestivalFairport’s Cropredy ConventionGreen Man Festival and more.

Buy, listen or download Richard Thompson’s latest album 13 Rivers here

Scroll down to find all of Thompson’s upcoming UK and Irish dates.


Upcoming Tour Dates

Date City Venue Country
Friday, 2nd August 2019 Belladrum Belladrum Tartan Hearts Festival 2019 United Kingdom
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Sunday, 4th August 2019 Cambridge Cambridge Folk Festival United Kingdom
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Thursday, 8th August 2019 Sidmouth Sidmouth Folk Festival United Kingdom
BUY TICKETS
Friday, 9th August 2019 Cropredy Fairport’s Cropredy Convention United Kingdom
with friends Dave Mattacks, Simon Nicol, and Dave Pegg BUY TICKETS
Saturday, 10th August 2019 Dublin Vicar Street Ireland
Address: Vicar Street, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. BUY TICKETS
Sunday, 11th August 2019 Belfast Ulster Hall United Kingdom
BUY TICKETS
Tuesday, 13th August 2019 Galway Galway Town Hall Theatre Ireland
Venue phone: 091 569777. BUY TICKETS
Wednesday, 14th August 2019 Kilkenny Kilkenny Arts Festival Ireland
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Thursday, 15th August 2019 Cork St Luke’s Ireland
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Saturday, 17th August 2019 Crickhowell Green Man Festival United Kingdom
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Sunday, 18th August 2019 Suffolk FolkEast United Kingdom
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Monday, 26th August 2019 Rye Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival United Kingdom
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Sunday, 1st September 2019 Birmingham Moseley Folk & Arts Festival United Kingdom
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Birds, bread, medicine, and stewarding someone else’s mystery: Kelly Hunt’s “Even The Sparrow,” Coming May 17

On the walls of any local used music shop there hangs a gallery of mysteries. Picked up and handed down across the decades, each instrument contains the imprints and stories of those who have played it before, most of which remain untold. For Kansas City-based songwriter Kelly Hunt the most intriguing of these stories is the origin of her anonymous calfskin tenor banjo. “I really wasn’t looking for it,” she says, “but I opened up the case and it said ‘This banjo was played by a man named Ira Tamm in his dog and pony show from 1920 to 1935.’ I strummed it and said ‘This is unlike anything I’ve ever heard.’ People often think of the banjo as being rather brash and tinny – loud and kind of grating – but this was so warm and mellow, with an almost harp-like quality to it, very soulful” – apt words for the Memphis native’s debut album, Even The Sparrow, coming out May 17 on Rare Bird Records.

The daughter of an opera singer and a saxophonist, Kelly Hunt was raised in Memphis, TN, and grew up performing other people’s works through piano lessons, singing in choirs, and performing theater. “It was a very creative, artistic household,” says Hunt. During her teenage years, influenced by musical inspirations as diverse as Norah Jones, Rachmaninov, and John Denver, she began writing her own songs on the piano as a creative outlet. After being introduced to the banjo in college while studying French and visual arts, Hunt began to develop her own improvised style of playing, combining old-time picking styles with the percussive origins of the instrument. “I’m self-taught, I just started letting the songs dictate what needed to be there,” she says. “I heard a rhythm in a song that I wanted to execute, so I figured out how to do it on the drum head while still being able to articulate certain notes in one motion.” After college, Hunt followed a rambling path that took her through careers in acting, graphic design, traditional French breadmaking, and medicine, all the while making music as a private endeavor. “I wanted get serious about a responsible career choice, but music kept bubbling up. I was writing a lot and playing a lot and started to not be satisfied just playing to my walls of my room.”

After moving to Kansas City and discovering her mysterious Depression-era tenor banjo, Hunt began recording Even The Sparrow in Kansas City alongside collaborator Stas’ Heaney and engineer Kelly Werts. “It took almost two years to record,” she says, “learning how to let the songs dictate the production.” Having finally come to light, the album displays Hunt’s penchant for masterful storytelling and intriguing arrangement, as researched and complex as they are memorable, punctuated by her articulate melodies and a well-enunciated and creative command of lyrical delivery infused with deft emotional communication. While reminiscent of modern traditionalists such as Gillian Welch–a number of her songs even borrow titles and phrasing from traditional American music (“Back to Dixie,” “Gloryland”)–Even The Sparrow reveals an ineffable quality that hovers beyond the constraints of genre, à la Anais Mitchell and Patty Griffin. In “The Men of Blue & Grey,” what begins as a Reconstruction-era ballad about the repurposing of glass photographic plates in a greenhouse roof soon becomes a meditation on the hope that growth and life may one day be able to emerge from the ruins of suffering and haunting of war. “Across The Great Divide” turns an otherwise traditional accounting of spurned love into a philosophical epic of the ethics of forgiveness and freedom, evoking the ideas of Søren Kierkegaard and Walt Whitman.

 

As for the original owner of Kelly Hunt’s mysterious tenor banjo, not much is known. “I’ve never been able to find anything about Ira Tamm,” she says. “I think he just had a humble little traveling show,” she says. What’s clear is that the itinerant performer laid down his banjo at the height of the Great Depression, almost eighty years before it would be picked up by Hunt. “That banjo has stories. I wish I knew them all,” she says, though the banjo’s most intriguing story may just be beginning with Even The Sparrow. “The marks of Ira’s hands are still in the calfskin head, so I can see where he played and left his mark,” she says. “Now my own hand marks are there too, in different places, like a kind of portrait.”

 

Even The Sparrow
Kelly Hunt

May 17, 2019 • Rare Bird Records

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Billboard Emerging Artist And Chart-Topping Folk Singer-Songwriter Bringing “Changes” To Radio

BA ChangesBill Abernathy “Changes”

KC-based folk artist Bill Abernathy has released his new single, “Changes” to radio stations everywhere. It is the second single from “Crossing Willow Creek.”

We are constantly in flux, learning to adapt to the many changes and challenges that occur in our lives every day.”

— Bill Abernathy

KANSAS CITY, MO, USA, March 25, 2019 — In 2017, Kansas City, MO-based singer-songwriter Bill Abernathy hit the top of the Roots Music Report’s Traditional Songs chart with “Goodbye Will Never Come Again.” His album, “Find A Way” reached the Top 5 on the Traditional Albums chart, that same year. The following year, Bill released “Crossing Willow Creek,” an album of revamped versions of previously released tracks, covers and one new song. That album spawned the politically-charged radio hit, “Cry Wolf,” which reached the Americana Top 15, the iTunes Top 100, the Airplay Today Top 20, and #4 on the New Music Weekly country singles chart. The track led to Bill’s feature as an Emerging Artist in Billboard Magazine.

Now, Bill Abernathy is releasing the 2nd single from “Crossing Willow Creek,” “Changes:” “Change is the one constant in our lives we can depend on,” said Bill. “We are constantly in flux, learning to adapt to the many changes and challenges that occur in our lives every day. My tune, ‘Changes’ explores how changes have affected me personally and how embracing these changes have brought me to where I am today. ‘Change always teaches us to be everything we’re destined to be.”

ABOUT BILL ABERNATHY: 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. His current album, “Crossing Willow Creek” features the Top 100 iTunes chart and Top 5 New Music Weekly chart single, “Cry Wolf.” Bill is a Billboard Magazine Emerging Artist. www.billabernathy.com

http://www.facebook.com/billabernathymusic
http://www.twitter.com/bill_abernathy
https://open.spotify.com/album/4ZyeucH7iBLIQ9WFqVUKzX

Richard Thompson announces UK autumn dates

Richard Thompson has announced an extensive UK tour for October and November 2018 in advance of a new studio album which will be released later this year on Proper Records, kicking off in lovely Liverpool’s Philharmonic on 11th October. Last year, Thompson released two volumes of acoustic recordings:  ‘Acoustic Classics Vol. II’ featuring acoustic renderings of songs from the Richard Thompson catalogue, and ‘Acoustic Rarities’ featuring new recordings of some of the more obscure songs in his repertoire. He celebrated the 50th anniversary of Fairport Convention, the groundbreaking band he co-founded as a teenager in the ‘60s, with a performance at its annual Cropredy Festival last August. He also briefly did a remarkably authentic stint as Abe Simpson when he berated the state of modern music at the AMAUKs last year.

Richard Thompson UK Dates 2018

Thu 11 Oct – Liverpool Philharmonic
Sat 13 Oct – Perth Concert Hall
Mon 15 Oct – Canterbury Marlowe
Tue 16 Oct – London Barbican
Wed 17 Oct – Bath Forum
Thu 18 Oct – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Sat 20 Oct – Stoke on Trent Victoria Hall
Sun 21 Oct – Manchester Opera House
Mon 22 Oct – York Grand Opera House
Tue 23 Oct – Hull City Hall
Wed 24 Oct – Gateshead Sage
Fri 26 Oct – Birmingham Town Hall
Sat 27 Oct – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Sun 28 Oct – Oxford New Theatre
Tue 30 Oct – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Wed 31 Oct – Salisbury City Hall
Thu 1 Nov – Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion
Fri 2 Nov – High Wycombe Swan
Sat 3 Nov – Woking The New Victoria

Aisha Badru – Pendulum

Aisha Badru makes an impressive label debut courtesy of Pendulum.

The LP puts its best foot forward as the opener ‘Mind on Fire’ takes hold of the ear. With an acoustic guitar clacking out a simple rhythm Badru, uses her melodic vocal tones to hum the backing track. The minimalist arrangement sets the stage for the New York artist’s confident, energized, and sweet voice.

The American sings:
“Have you seen the girl with the mind on fire? She set out to tell the world how they suppress our desires. Said she wouldn’t back down ’till the rules were amended and she didn’t give a f**k who she offended“.

It’s a strong lyrical offering that appears to tell of a protagonist looking to reignite her personal fire and make a difference to the world. It’s the LP’s most captivating track, which helps to propel the listener through the rest of what is an enjoyable auditory experience.

‘Bridges’ and ‘Navy Blues’ also impress on the album’s top half. The latter finds Badru reflecting on a toxic relationship with an antagonist who looks to tear down the partnership all the while maintaining the pretence of love.

Badru sings:
“you kicked me down I got back up now. The scars I wear are fading”.
The tracks instrumentation again plays its role well with the violin’s melody proving a gentle accompaniment to the singer’s journey out of her misery.

In promotional material for the project it was revealed that the musician found her producer by scouring the pages of Google. An unorthodox approach you might say, but certainly a prosperous one.

Chris Hutchison Brings the acoustic and the electronic together well, with the artificial complementing the acoustic rather than overshadowing it.

Whether it’s the futuristic distorted backing vocals on ‘Bridges’, the drip drip drip opening of ‘Fossil Fuels’ or, the piano drum combination on ‘Just Visiting’, the producer holds the listener’s attention, whilst maintaining a tranquil easy listening mood.
The second half of the nine-song set isn’t quite as strong as the first.

‘Fossil Fuels’ takes a good shot at being lyrically fresh but, stretches in trying to pair up “precipitation” and “reciprocation” as representatives for love and life. Meanwhile, album bookends ‘Splintered’ and ‘Dreamer’ fall into the well-trodden category of ‘life’s a bit crummy right now but the solution is within us if only we would wake up.’

The songs by no means make for a bad ending, but they don’t match up to the rest of the strong Pendulum.

TME say thanks to John Prine.

A regular artist here at TME.fm Radio John Prine released a new album this year, here is the best review I could find. It’s followed up by an excellent biography and some tracks to listen to.

On his first album of new songs in over 13 years, John Prine baits you but good.

The opening tunes to “The Tree of Forgiveness” are presented with ragged simplicity and homey cheer. Then the veteran songsmith, from an emotive standpoint, tosses you off the cliff with works full of stark, devastating resolve. Then, just as you think his world (and, perhaps, yours) has fallen into ruin, he winds the record up with a reverie of mortality that makes the hereafter sound like a street parade.

To perhaps no one’s surprise, “The Tree of Forgiveness” enlists the help of Dave Cobb, who became the Americana producer of choice during Prine’s prolonged writing absence.

John Prine - The Tree of Forgiveness cover.jpg

Wisely, Cobb keeps things simple, even when he invites a few friends and clients – Jason Isbell and Brandi Carlile, among them – to the sessions. Their contributions provide attractive color, but Prine’s best music has never involved fuss. He tells stories succinctly, keeping his songs focused on lyrics of Mark Twain-ish worldliness with melodies dressed by the lightest and most open of folk melodies.

So it’s business as usual to hear a back porch reverie like “Knockin’ On Your Screen Door” with its sleepy summertime candor and references to sweet potato wine and George Jones 8 track tapes masking a sheepish sense of loneliness at the record’s onset. Three songs later, though, the album heads into the abyss with “Summer’s End,” a tune whose delicacy doesn’t even pretend to hide its sense of loss. “You never know how far from home you’re feeling until you watch the shadows cross the ceiling.” The song’s resulting sadness takes hold so immediately that it’s easy to overlook how graceful and gorgeous the melodic structure is.

But there has also been a mischievous slant to some of Prine’s music that regularly runs hand in hand with homespun, but very pointed social commentary. Case in point is “Lonesome Friends of Science.” It’s partly a slow-poke country rebuke of fact-denying politicos, but it’s mostly another worldly washing of hands, much in the way the classic “Fish and Whistle” was four decades ago. “The lonesome friends of science say the world will end most any day. Well, if it does, then that’s okay, ‘cause I don’t live here anyway.”

The mood is gloriously reprised for the album closing “When I Get to Heaven,” a view of the afterlife both affirmative in its abounding sense of forgiveness but ripe with show biz panache. “As God is my witness, I’m getting back into show business, open up a nightclub called The Tree of Forgiveness and forgive everybody who ever done me any harm.” But Prine saves his prime agenda for the pearly gates to the end as a chorus of laughing children and kazoos ring out. “This old man is going to town.” Sounds like heaven to me.

Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny

One of the most celebrated singer/songwriters of his generation, John Prine is a master storyteller whose work is often witty and always heartfelt, frequently offering a sly but sincere reflection of his Midwestern roots. While Prine‘s songs are often rooted in folk and country flavors, he’s no stranger to rock & roll, R&B, and rockabilly, and he readily adapts his rough but expressive voice to his musical surroundings. And though Prine has never scored a major hit of his own, his songs have been recorded by a long list of well-respected artists, including Johnny CashBonnie RaittKris KristoffersonGeorge StraitBette MidlerPaul Westerberg, and Dwight Yoakam.

John Prine was born October 10, 1946, in Maywood, Illinois. Raised by parents firmly rooted in their rural Kentucky background, at age 14 Prine began learning to play the guitar from his older brother while taking inspiration from his grandfather, who had played with Merle Travis. After a two-year tenure in the U.S. Army, Prine became a fixture on the Chicago folk music scene in the late ’60s, befriending another young performer named Steve Goodman.

Diamonds in the Rough

Prine‘s compositions caught the ear of Kris Kristofferson, who was instrumental in helping him win a recording contract. In 1971, he went to Memphis to record his eponymously titled debut album; though not a commercial success, songs like “Sam Stone,” the harsh tale of a drug-addled Vietnam veteran, won critical approval. Neither 1972’s Diamonds in the Rough nor 1973’s Sweet Revenge fared any better on the charts, but Prine‘s work won great renown among his fellow performers; the Everly Brothers covered his song “Paradise,” while both Bette Midler and Joan Baezoffered renditions of “Hello in There.”

Common Sense

For 1975’s Common SensePrine turned to producer Steve Cropper, the highly influential house guitarist for the Stax label; while the album’s sound shocked the folk community with its reliance on husky vocals and booming drums, it served notice that Prine was not an artist whose work could be pigeonholed, and was his only LP to reach the U.S. Top 100. Steve Goodman took over the reins for 1978’s folky Bruised Orange, but on 1979’s Pink CadillacPrine took another left turn and recorded an electric rockabilly workout produced at Sun Studios by the label’s legendary founder Sam Phillips, and his son Knox.

Storm Windows

Following 1980’s Storm WindowsPrine was dropped by Asylum, and he responded by forming his own label, Oh Boy Records, with the help of longtime manager Al Bunetta. The label’s first release was 1984’s Aimless Love, and under his own imprint, Prine‘s music thrived, as 1986’s country-flavored German Afternoons earned a Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Folk category. After 1988’s John Prine Live, he released 1991’s Grammy-winning The Missing Years; co-produced by Howie Epstein of Tom Petty‘s Heartbreakers, the album featured guest appearances from Bruce SpringsteenBonnie Raitt, and Tom Petty and proved to be Prine‘s biggest commercial success to date, selling nearly 250,000 copies. After making his film debut in 1992’s John Mellencamp-directed Falling from Grace, Prine returned in 1995 with Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, also produced by Epstein, which earned him another Grammy nomination.

In Spite of Ourselves

In 1998, while Prine was working on an album of male/female country duets, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, with the cancer forming on the right side of his neck. Prine underwent surgery and radiation treatment for the cancer, and in 1999 was well enough to complete the album, which was released as In Spite of Ourselves and featured contributions from Emmylou HarrisLucinda WilliamsTrisha YearwoodPatty LovelessConnie Smith, and more. In 2000, Prine re-recorded 15 of his best-known songs (partly to give his voice a workout following his treatment, but primarily so Oh Boy would own recordings of his earlier hits) for an album called Souvenirs, originally issued in Germany but later released in the United States. In 2005, he released Fair & Square, a collection of new songs, followed by a concert tour. Two years later, alongside singer and guitarist Mac WisemanPrine issued Standard Songs for Average People, a collection of the two musicians’ interpretations of 14 folk and country classics. In Person & on Stage, a collection of performances from various concert tours, appeared in 2010.

For Better, Or Worse

In 2016, Prine issued a follow-up to In Spite of Ourselvestitled For Better, or Worse, another set of duet performances of classic country tunes. This time around, Prine‘s vocal partners included Kacey MusgravesAlison KraussMiranda LambertSusan TedeschiLee Ann WomackKathy Mattea, and Prine‘s frequent collaborator Iris DeMentPrine teamed up with Nashville producer Dave Cobb to record 2018’s The Tree of Forgiveness, his first set of original songs since 2005; the album included guest appearances from Brandi CarlileJason Isbell, and Amanda Shires.

Singer-Songwriter John Craigie Shares “Scarlet” From New Album Scarecrow

John Craigie Shares “Scarlet”
From Vinyl-Only Album Scarecrow
 
On Tour Now
Opening Dates for Jack Johnson and Playing Summer Camp, Mountain Jam, and Pickathon Festivals this Summer 

“The lovechild of Mitch Hedberg and John Prine…”
– The Stranger
 Portland, OR-based singer-songwriter John Craigie shared “Scarlet,” the lead single from his new full length Scarecrow. The completely analog album, out 4/21, was recorded live to a 2 inch tape, mastered to tape, and cut straight to be pressed to vinyl.
“These are songs written for last year’s No Rain, No Rose, but were cut from the album because they’re slower and softer in feel than the rest of that album,” Craigie explains. “They are sort of homeless songs, which is one reason why I used the name Scarecrow. They are songs that are out alone in a field.”
The Vinyl District shared “Scarlet,” along with an essay from Craigie about his love for vinyl. “I have always loved records as a whole,” he writes. “Even when I was a kid it was very important for me to hear the whole record, in order, from start to finish. I liked going through the journey, some songs good, some songs bad. Seeing where the artist would place the ‘hits’ vs. where they would place the deep cuts. What songs they would open with, and which songs they would close with.”
Stream “Scarlet”
Craigie’s music is connecting with both audiences and various famous folks. Fellow troubadour Todd Snider notably hand-delivered a gift on-stage, and action hero Chuck Norris remarkably sent Craigie fan mail. Most notably, Craigie caught the attention of Jack Johnson, when his 2016 live LP Capricorn in Retrograde… Just Kidding… Live in Portland landed in Johnson’s car stereo during a California coastal road trip. Immediately becoming a fan, Jack reached out and Craigie soon found himself opening for him. This spring Craigie will play three amphitheater shows with Johnson. Other upcoming tour stops for Craigie include headlining shows in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, and festival performances at Summer Camp, Mountain Jam, and Pickathon.
Craigie truly has a unique live performance; between nearly each song of the set, there’s a “bit” he’s written that thematically leads into the next track. This moved Seattle weekly The Stranger to dub him “the lovechild of John Prine and Mitch Hedberg.”
Craigie recently released his second live album LIVE – Opening for Steinbeck, a perfect example of his craft. Featuring his wry observational humor interwoven in both story and song, The Boot calls the album “a prime example of how Craigie mixes comedic tales and his musical storytelling in his live shows.” Stream Live – Opening For Steinbeck on Spotify and Apple Music, or purchase the CD here.
Pre-order Scarecrow here.
Tour Dates:
Apr 25 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Showcase
Apr 26 – Portsmouth, NH – 3S Arts
Apr 27 – Boston, MA – The Red Room @ Cafe 939
Apr 28 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2)
Apr 29 – Philadelphia, PA – Bourbon & Branch
May 02 – Bozeman, MT – Live From The Divide
May 03 – Missoula, MT – Top Hat Lounge
May 04 – Billings, MT – Pub Station Taproom
May 05 – Rapid City, SD – Hay Camp Brewing Company
May 12 – Isla Vista, CA – Concert For The Coast
May 19 – Portland, OR – Live Wire Radio @ Alberta Street Pub
May 27 – Chillicothe, IL – Summer Camp
Jun 13 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center *
Jun 14 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Center *
Jun 15 – Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre *
Jun 17 – Hunter, NY – Mountain Jam
Jun 28 – Laytonville, CA – Kate Wolf Music Festival (June 28 – July 1)
Jul 05 – Quincy, CA – High Sierra Music Festival (July 5-8)
Jul 19 – North Plains, OR – Northwest String Summit
Aug 03 – Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon (Aug 3-5)
* = opening for Jack Johnson

Phil Madeira – Providence

Most people who know Phil Madeira know him as one of the most seasoned players in Nashville. Since his arrival in 1983, Madeira has seen success in a plethora of different ways. He has quietly released five solo critically-acclaimed records and has shared the stage with Neil Young, Sheryl Crow, Leon Russell, and Jack White. If you can think of it, Phil Madeira has probably lived it; but that’s what most people don’t know about Phil Madeira – his own story – and he’s finally ready to tell it.Released on April 6, Providence is a rare look at the man behind the music, a chance for listeners to get to know Madeira’s own stories, after having spent decades helping other songwriters and musicians tell theirs. Click here to read Madeira’s interview with Rolling Stone Country + watch the video for “Gothenburg,” a song that celebrates his family’s immigrant experience.

Comprised of 10 songs, Providence gives listeners a closer look at Madeira’s life and the inner conflict of being raised in New England, yet feeling an undeniable attraction to the music of the South, “It’s an album full of love songs to where I’m from and where I’ve come to.” Songs like “Rich Man’s Town” reflect on his childhood in Barrington, a suburb of Providence, Rhode Island. Others, like “Dearest Companion” with the words “We’re Dixon and Mason, lost in translation. If love ain’t frustration, I don’t know what is,” make the connection between where he was raised and Nashville, his home of over 30 years.

Independently produced, the album is a complete change from anything he’s ever done, “I don’t know what happened, but I fell in love with piano again.” The record straddles his iconic Americana style and jazz, more specifically, a sixties jazz piano style. Made at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios, the live album features “three quarters” of The Red Dirt Boys, with Chris Donahue on bass, Brian Owens on drums, and Madeira providing lead vocals and piano. Will Kimbrough (also a Red Dirt Boy) lends guitar work on one songs, and jazz icon John Scofield adds guitar to another. Touches of brass and reeds round out the sound, but it all hinges on the trio of Madeira, Donohue, and Owens.

If Madeira has proven anything to the world, it’s his ability to bring people together in whatever capacity he’s working in. Though he didn’t intend on the “feel good” record having one overarching theme, he says the most important message is evident in the last track, “Gothenburg”, the Swedish city from which his maternal grandparents immigrated to America from. “It’s a reminder that most of us are immigrants. Most of us picked out a city and trusted that the community was going to embrace us, which is what Nashville has been to me.” Just like Nashville embraced Phil Madeira, Providence embraces the ultimate universal truth – we all have our differences but are, inherently, the same.<

As an instrumentalist, playing electric guitar, lap steel, accordion, dobro, or a Hammond B-3 with icons like Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Sixpence Pence None the Richer, Mavis Staples, and Garth Brooks — to name a few. As a producer, producing tracks for Keb’ Mo’, Emmylou, The Civil Wars, Humming People, The Band Perry, and the 2012 release of Americana Paul McCartney covers, Let Us In: Americana. As a songwriter, with a cut list that includes Alison Krauss, Amy Grant, Toby Keith, and The Civil Wars’ 2014 Grammy-winning single, “From This Valley.”

About Phil Madeira:

The last of three children, Madeira was born in Rhode Island to a Baptist minister and a church pianist. He’s lived and breathed music since he can remember, but that didn’t always coincide with his religious family. By high school, he had joined the school band and eventually began to write songs and dabble in piano. From then on, Madeira continued on his own path. He left Rhode Island for Taylor University, a conservative, religious school in small town Indiana, to study art. He continued to write and play songs in his free time, but everything changed when he met popular Christian guitar player Phil Keaggy. “When I met Phil, he said, ‘I think you’re gonna be in my band someday,’ and sure enough, three years later, I was playing with this guy.” He joined Keaggy’s band in 1976, but after recording just one record, the band broke up. Five years later, he made the move to Nashville and was immediately embraced by the Christian world, but always knew that he belonged elsewhere. In the early nineties, Buddy Miller hired him for studio work, which eventually led to him joining Miller’s band and finding his place in Americana.

In 2008, Madeira joined Emmylou’s famed band “The Red Dirt Boys”, a group with alumnus like Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, Al Perkins, and Buddy Miller himself. During the first campaign for Barack Obama, he became disheartened with the political climate and approached Emmylou with an idea. “I went to Emmylou and said, “You know? I want to do kind of a Gospel record. I want to do a record that says God loves everybody.” Shortly after, the two began working on what would become Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us. The critically-acclaimed album, released in 2012, featured an all-star track listing – beginning with The Civil Wars’ “From This Valley”. The album featured songs from the likes of Shawn Mullins, Buddy Miller, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mat Kearney, Amy Stroup, John Scofield, Emmylou, and Madeira himself. The same year, the Americana Association asked Madeira to perform Mercyland at the legendary Downtown Presbyterian Church, as part of the AmericanaFest. A second volume was released in January 2016, that included Americana staples Will Kimborough, The Wood Brothers, John Paul White, and The McCrary Sisters; as well as newcomers like The Lone Bellow and Humming People, among others.

TORS New Single + announcement of upcoming EP ‘Wilder Days’ + debut appearance at The Great Escape

The British Three-Piece release the New Single 23rd March

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Performing Live at:

Live at Leeds, Leeds, 5th May

The Great Escape, Brighton, 18th May

Bushstock Festival, Shepherd’s Bush, 23rd June

Glas-Denbury Festival, Devon, 6th July

110 Above Festival, Leicestershire, 4th August

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‘Tors have a wonderfully fresh, entirely natural, feel.’ – Clash

‘Tors’ music is of the soul, of the earth, we can hear it from the first note.’ – Earmilk

‘Tors feel really familiar when you really dig in, but it might just be because I can’t stop listening to them.’ – Ear To The Ground

Tors return with their highly engaging folk-based harmonies on the second single ‘We Say No’ off the upcoming EP ‘Wilder Days’, following their sold out UK tour with Tom Walker at the end of 2017. The title-single ‘Wilder Days’ gained attention from Alt Press, Earmilk and more.

Matt and Theo; two brothers that make up two thirds of Tors, started out their musical careers writing tracks featuring in critically acclaimed Channel 4 Drama – Skins. Alongside Tors, Matt writes music for multiple big-time Japanese and Korean pop bands, and has also written chart hits in Italy and Poland. In addition, he’s written a song that is currently being supported by Radio 1 – ‘Better’ by Declan J Donovan. Additionally, Tors have made a massive impact with the likes of BBC introducing, 6Music and Radio X and with streams amounting totally over 2million so far, they’re ready to make waves with the release of their new single ‘We Say No’, recorded naturally in their Dad’s old shed in Devon.

‘We Say No’ holds the bulk of the melancholic presence in Tors’ upcoming EP. The single’s tempo is much faster than its counterparts, and with use of offbeat guitar throughout, it exposes a sense of urgency that embraces aspects of songwriting similar to that of The Mystery Jets. However, the choruses bring back those same stylistic Indie-Folk Tors harmonies and excellent use of toms, creating thistle-thick texture from the 3-piece.

Tors are named after a collection of different rock formations in Devon, where Matt and Theo Weedon (frontmen of Tors) hail from. The brothers, who started the band together, are grandsons of the late Bert Weedon, a famous guitarist during the 50’s and 60’s, and writer of Play In A Day; a book which has been credited by Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, John Lennon (to name a few), for their guitar abilities.

Tors have a big year ahead of them, where they are scheduled to play The Great Escape, as well as a number of U.K festivals this summer; they are sure to turn heads and prick ears in 2018.

“’We Say No’ is about depression and overcoming what can feel like a tidal wave of anxiety; the idea that there is worth and light in the struggle itself. As a band we’ve been knocked back enough times that building ourselves back up turns into it’s own little art form, it’s like breathing, you have to get deflated to let the air in again.” – Tors