ANTRY – Devil Don’t Care

Blues based Americana music with spiritual lyrics, soulful vocals and blazing guitar.
One of the pleasures of running a radio is the monthly package of cd’s from Blind Raccoon and last month was a treasure house.
Steve Antry has given the radio producers an album that is a delight to add to playlists, an eclectic mix that blends in so easily,ballads,blues rock,blues and gospel soul.
Devil Don’t Care the title track is there to please blues lovers.
Always With Me is a lovely americana type ballad.
How Far Down easily fits into any Southern rock playlist and is a showcase for Antrys voice.
Fishin’ is definitely not blues but a delightful folk song about father and son.
Prince Of Peace is a cover of a Leon Russell song and Steve puts his stamp on it very well.
Borrowed Angels country gospel? whatever its a cracker.
Devil Gone Fishin’ Blues with a gospel message.
Sending Me Angels slows the pace down but not the quality.
Get Up Delta blues and gives Shaun Murphy a great opportunity to show off with the backing vocals.
Jimmy Duncan’s Special Angel rounds off the album with Steves take on the famous rock song.
The musicians are terrific Greg Morrow on drums; Michael Rhodes on bass; Rob McNelley, Pat Buchanan, and Brent Mason on electric guitar; Dan Dugmore and Danny Rader on acoustic guitar; Dugmore also plays lap steel guitar; David Smith and Mike Rojas on piano, B3, and keys; Buchanan on harp; and Eric Darkken and Peter Carson on percussion.
OK the spiritual side of the album could put some listeners off but believe me it shouldn’t, if the Devil Don’t Care why should anyone else.
One of the surprises of the year so far,well done Mr. Antry, see you at #1 very soon.
Genre: Blues: Electric Blues
Release Date: 

Album Notes

“From the scorching guitar solo, as one is caught between the forces of good and evil, to the impeccable vocals of Steve Antry throughout this album; if one is not moved, then start searching for the answer why. The fond memories of a kid, to living in a far-from-perfect world, Antry reminds me of why God created man in the first place.” – Billy Austin Martin, Tulsa Blues Society.

Antry’s earliest jobs was working as a track laborer for the Frisco railroad in Tulsa. He was underage, but claimed to be 18 to get hired. This turned out to be his defining “Woody Guthrie moment”, as he describes it. While driving steel with much older gentlemen, with nicknames like ‘“Stokes” and “Bones” (who actually played the spoons), Antry became entranced by the music that was sung out in the country while repairing old railroad track. Everyone would sing along to the rhythm of the maul hitting a spike. That was Antry’s first unwitting exposure to the Blues, in its purest form. Now a singer songwriter, he remembers the circuitous path that got him to this moment. He grew up accomplished in sports, from wrestling and mixed martial arts to ice hockey, while getting his hands dirty doing just about anything manual. Then, as fate would have it, an unlikely mentor crossed his path.

In high school, when work, wrestling and the outdoors were occupying most of his free time, a buddy said to him “the girls in the church choir are pretty cute, we should go.” While attending his first rehearsal his voice caught the attention of the church Music Director, who happened to also be the Dean of Music at the University of Tulsa and Director of the Tulsa Opera. The director took him under his wing and became his music mentor, giving Antry free vocal training every Saturday for years. “I received more inspiration and life lessons from him than any sports coach I ever had,” says Antry of his inspirational classical voice teacher from whom he learned music theory and correct projection and breath control, while developing his three-octave range. Antry was offered a music scholarship from Dr. Sowell, but fate led him to a degree in finance, and a career building businesses and supporting a family. But he always sang, purely for the love of it, at weddings, memorial services and in Gospel choirs, which always brought back those railroad track gang memories of Stokes and Bones and the crazy rhythm of the spoons. “The Southern Gospel choirs are where I learned that presentation is as important as content. There was a lot of movement while singing, which was half the fun,” says Antry of those years.

He discovered the harmonica (and guitar) as an adult, but found he had a natural aptitude for the Blues Harp. He advanced his skills in short order by applying his vocal training to this new obsession; and now travels with a Seydel pouch of Hohner Special 20s everywhere he goes. He regrets never attempting to master the spoons like old Bones. Antry had the opportunity to fulfill his musical dreams and begin a second life with fire and gusto, when he partnered with Peter Carson in 2015 to produce his debut solo album, “Devil Don’t Care,” in Nashville, diving head long into the process of recording and writing his own music for the first time.

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Charlie Whitten’s Playwright EP is out August 25th


We’re excited to share the first taste from Nashville sing-songwriter Charlie Whitten’s new EP today! You can head over to Atwood Magazine to check out the wonderful track review they’ve done up.


Charlie Whitten grew up during the last gasp of the 20th century, a time when grungy rock bands and teen idols ruled the airwaves. You can’t blame the guy for looking back a bit, for rustling through his Dad’s collection of vintage records and finding some better music to soundtrack his life. Years later, the Nashville-based songwriter is rolling those influences into his own sound, a mellow brand of folk-rock that tips its hat to Pink Floyd’s psychedelic swirl one minute and Simon and Garfunkel’s acoustic wistfulness the next. 

Some would call him an old soul. Others would just say he’s got good taste. 

“For me, the ‘60s and ‘70s were the golden age for songwriting,” he says. “That’s when songs seemed to be the real focus, and people reached outside the box. The chords and melodies used were unheard of.” 





Dreaming, Whitten’s 2012 debut, channeled some of the trippier sounds that came out of those two decades, from Dark Side of the Moon to Big Star’s Sister Lovers. The album was lush. It was dreamy. Keyboards, horns, and percussion collided, creating a soft foundation for Whitten’s vocals and guitar leads. When it came time to write songs for 2014’s Hey Love, though, Whitten took the electric guitar out of the forefront and focused on a quieter, stripped-down sound. In other words: less David Gilmour, more Don McLean. 

A concept album about searching for love, Hey Love begins and ends with different sections of the same song. Fashioned like bookends, the first half tells the story of a couple parting ways, each partner in search of something else. In the second, they reconcile, knowing that things might not be perfect… but at least they’re real. Whitten took a similar approach to the album itself, which was recorded during a series of live sessions with a four-piece band. Overdubs were eventually added, too, but Whitten put his foot down when it came to the use of a click track. He didn’t want that. He wanted the songs to sway, to sound natural, to sound like songs. 

“Any Charlie Whitten album has to sound like a band album,” he explains, “and I didn’t want a band of session players. I wanted a group of friends, of creative thinkers who could play the songs with feeling. I think a music album should be very similar to a photo album: a series of ‘pictures’ with the people you know, things you’ve seen, and places you’ve been within a period of time.” 

Maybe that’s why Hey Love sounds so comfortable, so familiar. The songs tackle big subjects, but they do so with small, laidback touches: a whistling solo here, a burst of organ there, and a whole lot of melody throughout.

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Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers return with new album, ‘The Long-Awaited Album’

Grammy Award-winning comedian and musician Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers return with new album, ‘The Long-Awaited Album’

 
Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers will release “The Long-Awaited Album” on Rounder Records/Decca Records on 22nd September. “The Long-Awaited Album,” Martin’s newest collaboration with the Grammy-winning North Carolina-based  band the Steep Canyon Rangers, is full of stories that mix humour and melancholy, whimsy and realism, rich characters and concrete details. And lots of banjos. 

That instrument – so dexterously, even acrobatically picked and strummed – is just as crucial to relating these new tales as the lyrics themselves, each chord and riff revealing new depths to Martin’s narrators and to his musical talent. Produced by Peter Asher, the new album is a collection of 14 stunning new songs including the boisterous and humorous new track “Caroline,” the deeply romantic tune “All Night Long,” and the fantastical song “Santa Fe,” which showcases the lively dynamic between Martin and the Rangers.

Steve Martin’s musical career is an extension of the storytelling impulse that drove his work as a comedian, an actor, a screenwriter, a playwright, an essayist, and a novelist. The Grammy® Award winning musician found his love for the banjo at the age of 17 and originally used the instrument as part of his stand-up comedy routine. But in 2010, Martin released his first album, The Crow: New Songs for the 5-Strong Banjo, and since then, Martin has played many prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, Stagecoach, Bonnaroo, New Orleans’ Jazzfest and The Newport Folk Festival, Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Martin released his second full-length bluegrass album Rare Bird Alert in 2011. The album featured 13 Martin-penned tracks as well as special guest vocal appearances by Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chicks. Additionally, Martin co-wrote two of the CD’s songs with the Steep Canyon Rangers. That year, Martin also won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.  

Martin also collaborated with Edie Brickell on the critically acclaimed album Love Has Come For You, which combines Martin’s five-string banjo work with Brickell’s vivid vocals. Martin and Brickell took home the Grammy® Award for “Best American Roots Song” for the album’s title track. Martin and Brickell’s second collaboration “So Familiar” earned widespread critical acclaim and also inspired the Broadway musical Bright Star, which was nominated for five Tony Awards.

The Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin will host their album release celebration on Saturday, set 30 2017 at The IBMA World of Bluegrass –  in the state where it all began for them.
 

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Billy Strings’ Debut LP, Tinfoil & Turmoil, Out September 22nd

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Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons release their album this Friday, July 28th.

The Seattle folklorists & legendary bluesman release their album this Friday, July 28th.

As we gear up for the official release of A Black & Tan Ball we are excited to have the full album streaming over on The Bluegrass Situation today! American Songwriter premiered “Longin’ For My Sugar” calling it “a soulful, melancholy tune originally recorded by Leroy Carr that meditates on the pain of a failed romance” while Glide Magazine featured the track “Shanghai Rooster” saying “played in the “greasy” style, “Shanghai Rooster” is the kind of tune you can picture being played at a rowdy gathering in the deep South at the turn of the century.” American Blues Scene premiered “Do You Call That A Buddy” lauding it as “just one of the outstanding performances on A Black & Tan Ball.”
There’s a duality to the music of Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons; the same duality that lies at the heart of the blues. It’s the dichotomy between the weight of history that hangs over black America and the lightness of these old folk songs, which are meant to uplift and charm, to trick away danger, to fool authority, to squeeze a person out of harm’s way, but also to assert a subtle sense of worth and dignity. These songs brought black Americans through the darkest years of our country’s history, and they have an unsettling amount of currency in today’s world, where saying that the blues is black music or even saying that the life of a black person matters are both controversial statements.

The music that renowned Seattle roots duo Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are making on their new album, A Black & Tan Ball, is not just blues music. The better term is a new and important one: Black Americana. To make this music, they’ve recruited good friend and touring partner Phil Wiggins, an eclectic legend of American blues harmonica (who received an NEA National Heritage Fellowship this year). By pulling together the many threads of black American roots music, and demonstrating the underlying meanings behind the black experience in folk music, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are showing another side to Americana that can help expand the genre’s boundaries.

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NPR has the new video for “Irene” from Courtney Marie Andrews, announcing special re-issue of “Honest Life”

Courtney Marie Andrews has released a video for “Irene” off of her breakout record Honest Life today over on NPR. The song is an anthem for the timid, a beautiful hymn to bolster confidence and believe in your potential. Andrews sums it up perfectly saying “Irene is the little voice inside most of us, that says we aren’t good enough, or strong enough. It’s about shutting that voice off, while also accepting life’s inevitable struggles. It’s about coming to terms with you are, and believing in that person. Irene was written for a friend who was going through a confusing time, but like some songs do, over time it turned into a song about not only myself, but all of the women that I love. Irene is amazing, she just doesn’t know it yet.”
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Mama Bird Recording Co. & Fat Possum Records are pleased to announce the release of an exclusive coke-bottle green vinyl of Honest Life to independent record stores. This version will include a bonus 7″ of unreleased recordings.  The bundle is limited to 400 copies and can be purchased on September 15, 2017.

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News from Hearth PR

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The crew over here at Hearth is really excited about everything happening over the coming months so wanted to get you a slew of the albums we’re working from now till October! If you’d like any more info, downloads or other materials, on any of these releases please do let me know!
 

Charlie Whitten‘s new EP, Playwright, is coming out August 25th. The whole thing is phenomenal, a quick 4-song EP showcasing a moment in time for the young songwriter. The writing on each of these tracks is wonderful and points to Whitten’s budding brilliance but the up-tempo, jaunty, pining of “Since She’s Gone”, with it’s entwining of heart-break, acceptance and humility is really impressive.

We’ve got an EP coming from Minneapolis-based Humbird coming August 25th, beautiful indie folk settings on this one that tap into the stark forests of the Midwest and the cold North

Billy Strings new psychedelic americana-meets-thrash-bluegrass album is wild (he’s an explosive guitarist!) with some really trippy stuff going on, it drops September 22nd 

The radio wing of HearthPR will be working an amazing album September 8th from Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton. Both were founding members of the Be Good Tanyas (one of our most favorite bands) and this new album is a kind of return to roots for them. It’s also the first time they’ve collaborated together again in a good number of years. If you want a copy for press, we can refer you to their press publicist, otherwise our radio buddies will be getting hard copies shortly!

Lenore.‘s first single has been lauded by Uproxx who said it “features their entwining harmonies — which is the most arresting part of their sound — along with handclaps, a clever guitar lick, and low, slow bass line holding it all together. The track is deceptively simple, building into intricacies as it unfolds, and the legendary Eric Bachmann (Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers) takes over lead vocal duties.”

They’ve brought together an all-star cast from Eric Bachmann on the first single to Neko Case’s Paul Rigby and Dan Hunt and Death Cab For Cutie’s Dave Depper to fill out their witchy folk pop self-titled debut, due out September 15th.

Anna Tivel is a Portland-based songwriter who I watched three people breakdown sobbing at her show the other night. She’s one of those songwriters who collects these visceral stories and conveys them so astutely that you’d think she had lived more than a dozen lives, hers is out September 29th on Fluff & Gravy Records.

Silver Torches is the project of Erik Walters, who plays guitar with Perfume Genius and David Bazan, and is a Springsteen meets PNW indie folk/americana record that I cannot get enough of – Courtney Marie Andrews, Greg Leisz and Noah Gundersen feature on it, his is out October 6th.

Another release on Fluff & Gravy Records, Portland songwriter Jeffrey Martin has been one of the Northwest’s best-kept secrets for far too long. His new album was made while he was off the road and working as a creative writing teacher in a small rural Oregon town. The stories of his students fed into his creative outlet, and the songs on his new album are both beautiful and heart-rending. A glimpse into the broken hearts of America’s rural families. Jeffrey’s album drops October 13.

We’re so excited to be working with Dori Freeman again on her sophomore album! It’ll be produced by Teddy Thompson again and released October 20. It’s a mix of Dori’s originals, though tempered with a slightly more positive outlook, plus some tastefully arranged traditional pieces. Dori’s voice is shockingly great, but hearing her sing true Appalachian music for the first time is a revelation. 

Another album in October (Oct 27) has been a long-time coming. It’s an unusual but very cool collaboration between old-school hip-hop head Mr. Lif and San Francisco-based Balkan brass band Brass Menazeri. If you’ve never heard hip-hop with brass before, you are in for a treat! It’s one of my favorite sounds (you’d be amazed at how well a tuba lays down the bass beats). 

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VIDEO.CHIP TAYLOR AND THE NEW UKRAINANS – F**K ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE

Speaking bluntly, Chip Taylor fires off “Fuck All the Perfect People”, the title track from his album release with The New Ukrainians. Character is the theme for the video with passersby joining in to deliver the world view of Chip Taylor and the New Ukrainans.

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