John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band 9-16-16

The John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band features four legendary musicians:  John Jorgenson on guitar, mandolin and vocals; Herb Pedersen on banjo, guitar and vocals; Jon Randall on guitar and vocals; and Mark Fain on bass. Jorgenson and Pedersen are founders (with Chris Hillman, formerly of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers) of the formative country rock band: Desert Rose Band. Continue reading

Big Sam’s Funky Nation – 7/9/2016

Noladelic PowerFunk. That’s the sound Big Sam’s Funky Nation have been whipping up for more than a decade. It’s high-energy music that mixes funk, rock & roll, hip-hop, and jazz into the same pot, glueing everything together with the brassy influence — and heavy grooves — of New Orleans. Continue reading

Richard Thompson – 7/2/2016

Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting on both sides of the Atlantic – from the Americana Music Association in Nashville to Britain’s BBC Awards as well as the prestigious Ivor Novello. In 2011, Thompson received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) personally bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Continue reading

The Barley Hoppers | Possessed by Paul James | The CarLeans – 6/4/2016

A great triple bill of true Americana acts.

Reaching back in time, The Barley Hoppers offer their audience an eclectic blend of roots music featuring authentic renditions of songs from numerous genres.

Formed by Stan Kozlowski and Ray Reniere after discovering a mutual interest in old Honky Tonk, Sun Records, Surf, and Swing music, they have been performing their unique blend of music– not normally found in New England, but in the roadhouses of Texas and Tennessee — to delighted audiences in the area.

In their bag of tricks you will find old Honky Tonk and Country, early Rock and Roll, Surf, Rockabilly, Blues, Swing and sometimes even a little Tex-Mex and Cajun thrown in — all played with the spirit and energy of the original masters of good ole’, down home American music (and a few English guys too for good measure). Simply put: BBQ eatin’, beer drinking, partying, dancing, and good-time music! Continue reading

Eric Lindell 8/4/16

Lifelong roots musician extraordinaire, Eric Lindell has been winning legions of fans across the USA and around the world since his 1996 debut album, Bring It Back. His compelling blend of R&B, soul and country has received widespread critical acclaim and attention from the likes of Rolling Stone, USA Today, the Los Angeles Daily News, Relix Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times and many others, including appearances on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and the final episode of HBO’s “Treme.” Continue reading

Anders Osborne 8/11/16

The depth of one’s life is evident through their music. The more sorrow, laughter and adventure experienced, the more interesting curves and crevices are carved into an artist’s songs. The miles traveled leave rich lines in the verses that only time, misadventure, and hard-won wisdom can produce. Anders Osborne is a map of intensely felt, passionately engaged living, a fractured but healing topography of heartbreak and hope for fellow travelers to explore.

Osborne’s music is redolent of the blues bathed in West Coast sunshine and brotherly compassion, a torchbearer for rock ‘n’ roll with blood in it’s veins and a heart in it’s hands. His long awaited new full length, Spacedust & Ocean Views, offers up graceful songwriting and signature guitar work on one of the strongest releases in his storied career. A strong sense of place runs through the album. From an evocation of geography to a questioning of one’s place in the universe, big ideas are condensed in thoughtful, smoothly swinging ways. It’s the album his fans have been waiting for- one that only he can deliver.

“These twelve songs speak about places dear to me, places I feel something profound about, but there’s also the presence of the universe,” explains Osborne. “I think one of the main struggles we all face is the separation from unity. I want to understand how I can feel unified with the world and others, with the universe writ large. I can arrange the ideas intellectually but the feeling of longing remains. The whole thing is a mystery, sometimes a sad, baffling mystery and sometimes very enchanting, but overall I just don’t understand and want to desperately. That’s what this music is, an attempt to understand it all.”

And what an attempt it is.

Producer Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, Daniel Lanois, Iggy Pop) uses Osborne’s seasoned, searching voice like a river running through the song cycle. It’s a distinctly human element that continually tenderizes the listener as his sinewy, emotionally charged guitar dances with longtime bassist Carl Dufrene, guitar foil Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), and the shared drumming of Brady Blade and Tony Leone. New Orleans percussion master Johnny Vidacovich, bassist James Singleton, and pop-jazz legend Rickie Lee Jones join Osborne for the cosmically charged album closer “From Space.” On the other hand, Spacedusts lead single “Lafayette” is a roots-fueled rocker- a track that finds Osborne simultaneously sticking to his guns and exploring new territory as an artist.

This special collection of compositions is the culmination of years of writing and touring. “This is the last chapter before something new emerges. I’m wrapping some stuff up and figuring some fresh stuff out,” says Osborne, who’s been moving beyond his complicated past for close to a decade. “Now my life is about a human experience in a larger sense. Now, I feel I’m standing on my own two feet, trying to be a grown man doing the right thing.” In an ever changing musical landscape, Spacedust & Ocean Views firmly plants Anders Osborne as one of American music’s elite guitarists and songwriters.

Alejandro Escovedo 7/22/16

There are songwriters who sing their songs, and then there are songs who sing their writers.

Alejandro Escovedo is one with his muse and his music. Over a lifetime spent traversing the bridge between words and melody, he has ranged over an emotional depth that embraces all forms of genre and presentation, a resolute voice that weathers the emotional terrain of our lives, its celebrations and despairs, landmines and blindsides and upheavals and beckoning distractions, in search for ultimate release and the healing truth of honesty. Sometimes it takes the form of barely contained rage, the rock of punk amid kneeled feedback; sometimes it caresses and soothes, a whispery harmony riding the air of a nightclub room, removed from amplification, within the audience.

His rise has been gradual, a steady incline rather than a quick ascendance, but it has deepened and burnished his music, made it closer to the bone, where it begins to break, deepening his insight and his ability to find that insight in performance. His tireless touring, and dogged determination to place one album after another, has taken him through many musical scenes, remaining the same persona within each, of an artist who doesn’t settle for the easy way out.

“You just do your good work, and people care,” Alejandro says over the phone beginning a promotional tour for his latest work, Street Songs of Love, his tenth solo album. “I always believed, when I was a kid, that if you just worked hard, you would find fulfillment. I think I got a lot of that from my father, and my brothers. A working musician is all I ever wanted to be. Hard work, to stay true to what you want to do, and then eventually someone would notice for that very reason.”

It is a journey that has taken him from Texas to California to New York and back again to Texas, encompassing a breadth of music as varied as the many bands he was part of before embarking on a solo career. In the 1970s, he surfaced on San Francisco’s no-holds-barred punk scene centered around the Mabuhay Gardens in North Beach, a guitarist in the Nuns; Rank & File helped unite the disparate worlds of punk and country in the 1980s; and after he moved back to Austin, the True Believers combined all manner of Americana music in a harbinger of what was to come in Alejandro’s solo career which begun in 1992 with the album Gravity.