The Chad & Jeremy story starts in 1963. One of the first groups to make it big in America during the ‘British Invasion’, they then pushed the envelope of psych-folk-rock with cult classic albums such as ‘Of Cabbages and Kings’ and ‘The Ark’ and hit singles ‘The Summer Song’ and ‘Yesterdays Gone.’ They spent much of the next thirty years in an on-again off-again musical relationship, but now they are back with a vengeance, touring various parts of the world to the delight of their fans.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Richie Furay has been a pioneering force in rock music and country music. A founding member of Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and SHF, he was an innovator of new musical forms, a great songwriter, and last and definitely not least, some of Rock and Roll’s best vocals.
The Wilkie Family Singers is the latest chapter in the saga of King Wilkie, a band who has made a career of defying expectations and continually reinventing itself. Now based in New York City, Burgess has enlisted a diverse group of collaborators to bring The Wilkie Family Singers to life. ‘When I came to New York, I was pretty desperate to get this album made. I started writing the record during the sessions for our second album, Low Country Suite, so these songs had been in progress for a couple years.’ Co-producer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist Steve Lewis and longtime King Wilkie collaborator Johnny McDonald were in early on, while Burgess actively sought additional players from his new hometown. The Parkington Sisters take the stage, as one reviewer noted, ‘like a force of nature’.a pure celebration of what we love most about music.’ Violins, cello, piano, mandolin, and guitar are the core of the group. The sisters share lead vocals, with up to five-part harmonies. All are songwriters, influenced by a wide range of musicians: Stravinsky to Edgar Meyer, Joni Mitchell to St??phane Grappelli, The Pixies to Aretha Franklin. These tastes, filtered through their classical training, have produced a sound that is undeniably their own: songs with vibrant string arrangements, warm, interwoven harmonies, improvisation and voices that blend like only sisters can. Renditions of Radiohead’s ‘High and Dry’ or Piazzolla’s ‘Libertango’ show an exceptional talent for rich, dynamic arrangements.
Marco Benevento continues his evolution as a solo artist with his second studio album, Me Not Me. Following 2008’s critically acclaimed Invisible Baby, this latest effort finds Benevento leaping towards the future with the formation of a record label, The Royal Potato Family, while simultaneously exploring the past with interpretations of songs ranging from Leonard Cohen (‘Seems So Long Ago Nancy’), My Morning Jacket (‘Golden’), The Knife (‘Heartbeats’) and Beck (‘Sing It Again’) among others. Benevento also contributes a handful of originals, including ‘Mephisto,’ often part of his repertoire with The Duo. The 31-year old pianist shapes and shifts sound, drawing on a dramatic palette of colors created with distorted pianos, circuit bent toys, Optigan, Farfisa and Casio keyboards. His rhythm section, bassist Reed Mathis and drummers Andrew Barr and Matt Chamberlain, provide nuanced accompaniment throughout. Mixed by Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Antony & The Johnsons), Me Not Me strikes a stunning balance between Benevento’s vision for sound, melody and improvisation.
When members of the Los Straitjackets say their new record, The Further Adventures of the Los Straitjackets, is ‘all over the place,’ they certainly mean it. From the raunchy romp of album opener ‘Cal Speed,’ the hand clap boogie of ‘Fortune Cookie,’ the woozy vibrato of ‘Catalina’ and on through to the flirtatious whimsy of ‘Noctural Twist’ – loosely inspired by the 1930s-era jazz standard ‘Harlem Nocturne’ – the new record is a return to form for the band. After spending the last couple of years making records with Kaiser George (Twist Party) and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, rockabilly belter Big Sandy, and East L.A. legend Little Willie G. (Rock En Espanol Vol. 1) the band found itself missing doing what it does best – and that’s making straight up instrumental rock and roll. ‘It’s definitely heavier – more garage-y than our other records,’ says guitarist Danny Amis. ‘It’s definitely a little more of a punk record than before. I think it’s reflective of the fact that we needed to get back to that.’ To write and record the new album – its first record of original instrumentals since 2003’s Supersonic Guitars in 3-D – the band spent a lot of time listening to its heroes, including Link Wray, and the Ventures. In addition to those artists, guitarist Eddie Angel listened to other bands that may be less likely to be associated with the Los Straitjackets, including Led Zeppelin and The Cramps. He described the process of listening to records for inspiration adding, ‘Then we drank a lot of scotch, also for inspiration.’ ‘We never try to be meaningful,’ Angel says. ‘We’re an anecdote to that. Our goal is to bring fun to the party.’
The history of Peter Rowan and Tony Rice is the history of the continuing evolution of bluegrass and its blossoming into a wider range of progressive acoustic music. Rowan began his career as guitarist and lead singer in a particularly potent ’60s incarnation of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, and then lent his soulful vocals and rich, spiritually-informed songwriting to a series of ground-breaking progressive roots-music outfits, including Earth Opera (with David Grisman), Sea Train, Muleskinner (with Grisman, Bill Keith, Richard Greene, and Clarence White), and Old and In the Way (with Vassar Clements and Jerry Garcia). Subsequent solo and group projects have proven him to be a visionary creative force, unconcerned with the constraints of boundaries and genres. As one of the premier exponents of flat-picked acoustic guitar, Tony Rice parlayed his initial inspiration from Clarence White and Doc Watson into a legacy of innovation. His early stints with the Bluegrass Alliance and J.D. Crowe and the New South introduced a guitarist with a classic bluegrass sensibility matched with a thirst for experimentation. He was a member of David Grisman’s groundbreaking first quintet, and then set out with a series of solo albums that saw him integrating bluegrass music with elements of jazz, folk, country, and other contemporary forms
She’s a Narrows fave, a fab singer with a killer band. A great way to celebrate the Turkey day blues
Ryan Montbleau is a pure soul singer. Not in the traditional sense. His voice ‘ although a sweet, passionate instrument ‘ isn’t packed with Memphis clay like Al Green’s or greased with urban sophistication like R. Kelly’s. Instead, Montbleau sings purely from his soul in a voice every bit as honest, open hearted and original as the stories he tells in his songs.
Bolstered by a sense of it’s own colorful history and urged onward by the promise of a fruitful future, Roots of Creation approaches it’s 4th year of full-time touring having evolved into a musical force of nature. With a hard-working ethic and an arsenal of upbeat, substantial songs, Roots of Creation have ascended to the top of their profession by putting their fans first and doing business with focus and respect. Writers, DJs, venue owners, and booking agents alike have joined ROC’s steadily growing army of fans in heaping praise upon the New Hampshire quartet, and not just for the music – the band has forged a unique connection with their listeners that provides concert attendees with a highly personal experience. They also walk the walk when it comes to social and environmental activism. Having raised money for many causes.