The Handsome Family’s highly anticipated album Wilderness will be released May 14 on Carrot Top Records. ‘Spider,’ a new track from Wilderness, can be streamed and shared at SoundCloud. The upcoming album from husband and wife songwriting duo Brett and Rennie Sparks follows 2009’s Honey Moon, which Pitchfork praised for ‘Rennie’s skillful threading of words into images and Brett’s sensitive translation of words on a page into vocals.’ Wild animals, tall tales, and dark stories from American history populate the lyrics of Wilderness. Appalachian holler, psychedelic rock, tin pan alley, and medieval music continue to inform The Handsome Family’s unique brand of Americana, while their affinity for old-tyme ballads and clawhammer banjo has never sounded so seamlessly connected to their use of samples, loops, and sonic effects. Wilderness has a great deal of musical variety: pop, classic rock, countrypolitan, bossa nova, and prog rock appear on the album along with parlour ballads, Cajun tunes, and hymns. Brett and Rennie Sparks have been collaborating on music for over 20 years. With lyrics by Rennie and music by Brett, The Handsome Family infuse their singular art with everything from punk rock to folk, and have garnered extensive critical acclaim over the years. ‘The songs are an effortless blend of vintage country and pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop,’ declared SPIN, ‘but New Mexico’s Handsome Family are no cutesy nostalgia act.’ Mojo named their 1998 album Through the Trees one of the ‘ten essential Americana records of all time,’ and Uncut called In the Air ‘one of the most important records of the 21st century.’ The Handsome Family’s songs have been covered by many notable artists including Jeff Tweedy, Andrew Bird, and Kelly Hogan. Originally from Chicago, The Handsome Family now record all their songs in a converted garage studio at the back of their Albuquerque home.
GuitarOne magazine calls guitarist/vocalist Coco Montoya ‘the hottest southpaw in the blues’ and raves about his ‘master touch and killer tone.’ The Boston Globe succinctly states that Montoya’s music is ‘hot, blistering soul.’ From his early days as a drummer to his current status as one of the top-drawing guitarists and vocalists on the blues-rock scene, Montoya earned his status through years of hard work and constant touring.
Often encapsulated as the ‘Sound of Maui’, HAPA’s music evokes a place that many people at different times have referred to as heavenly. The overriding quality of their music is one of beauty and serenity, found in the majestic tones of the oli (chant), mele (song), the elegant movements of the sacred dance known as hula, and the exhilarating innovative sounds of virtuoso slack key guitar. HAPA’s self entitled debut cd released in 1993, swept the 1994 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawaii’s equivalent of the Grammy’s), becoming the biggest selling CD by a group or duo in the history of recorded Hawaiian music. The group’s ground breaking music has established them as the most recognized name in Hawaiian music internationally since their debut release, with sold-out shows from Tokyo to New York.
The good Doctor on St. Paddy’s Day at the venerable Narrows. I can’t think of anything Mo better that that.
Debo Band is a 11-member group led by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen and fronted by charismatic vocalist Bruck Tesfaye. Since their inception in 2006, the band has won raves for their groundbreaking take on Ethiopian pop music (think Ethiopiques), which incorporates traditional scales and vocal styles, alongside American soul and funk rhythms, and instrumentation reminiscent of Eastern European brass bands. Debo have toured Ethiopia twice, appearing at both the Ethiopian Music Festival in Addis Ababa and Sauti Za Busara in Zanzibar, the largest music festival in East Africa. In North America, they’ve shared stages with Gogol Bordello, Amadou & Mariam, Grupo Fantasma, The Family Stone, and Ethiopian great Tilahun Gessesse. Recent and upcoming performances include the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Bumbershoot, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, The Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, South by Southwest, globalFEST 2012 at Webster Hall, Joe’s Pub, and World Music Festival: Chicago. Their self-titled debut for Sub Pop / Next Ambiance was produced by Thomas ‘Tommy T’ Gobena of Gogol Bordello and features album art by critically-renowned painter Julie Mehretu. It was recorded at Machines with Magnets (Battles, Deer Tick) and mastered by Grammy nominated engineer Joe LaPorta at The Lodge. ‘A Tune-Yards side project? No, but this Ethiopian-American crew\’s update on Seventies East African funk sounds just as giddily strange. Guitar solos, massed vocals,violin and brass rush in like a Red Bulled marching band. Dance at your own risk.’ – Rolling Stone
This is our first of which we hope will be many collaborations with the beautifully refurbished Nagle Auditorium at Durfee High School in Fall River MA. Experience the Music, Magic and Memories in one incredible performance with the Official Beatlemania Stage Show. Featuring an all-star cast of the nation’s most talented musicians, this production brings all generations together to celebrate the timeless music and magic of The Beatles. The curtain rises to reveal four cast members decorated in distinctive costume with authentic vintage instruments. As the stage lights begin to intensify, John and Paul step up to the microphones, George looks over to Ringo to begin the countoff. A portion of the proceeds go to benefit Durfee High Student Government.
Amy is a Boston based singer/songwriter with storytelling and Southern tradition in her blood. She burst onto the Boston scene a few short years ago and in record time, she and her band have become one of the most sought after new acts in New England, sharing the stage with Chris Isaak, The Courtyard Hounds, Rodney Crowell and Joe Ely and playing to packed houses across the region. She is a Narrows favorite.
Steve Kimock is the quintessential musician. He is a guitar hero par excellence. For this tour he has assembled a super group of sorts featuring Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkedelic, Talking Heads), Andy Hess (Gov’t. Mule, Black Crowes) and Wally Ingram (David Lindley, Ry Cooder). This will be a great night of improvisation and killer grooves.
In case you haven’t met her, Anais Mitchell is not a man. She’s a woman, quick to laugh and to cry, a fan of Jane Austen and miniskirts. She came of age reading the diaries of Ana??s Nin and blasting early Ani Difranco records. Anais’ new album is Child Ballads, which she recorded with friend and collaborator Jefferson Hamer. It’s a collection of traditional songs from the British Isles, named after their collector, Francis James Child. Anais and Jefferson recorded the album in early 2012 with legendary Nashville producer Gary Paczosa. Their versions have been carefully re-imagined to reflect an American sensibility as well as a deep respect for the tradition.
An expatriate New Yorker now living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Richard Shindell is a meticulous craftsman of song whose eight studio albums and 2 live recordings have been revered by critics and fans alike. Innovative, original and occasionally spiritual, Shindell’s songs weave tales that interchangeably champion the downtrodden, exalt the disaffected or wax empathetic to those lost to society’s fringes. From his first record, Sparrow’s Point (1992) to the newest album Not Far Now (2009), Shindell has demonstrated a penchant for songwriting at once passionate and profound. His songs are often slowly and painstakingly crafted until honed to perfection. Conversely, he is also capable of writing tunes that are simply clever and amusing. Shindell’s songwriting is truly eclectic, ranging from lighthearted ballads and adulterous love songs, to dirges and diatribes that skillfully skewer politics, prejudice, war and religion. He has a unique ability to morph into the soul of the many and varied personalities he casts as narrators in certain songs–songs that are veritable novellas framed in haunting acoustic melodies, sometimes including cryptic, revelations through the eyes of a woman.