Loudon Wainwright III

At 65, Loudon Wainwright III is older than his father ever was, and it’s got him thinking, and writing, and singing. As he puts it, the new album deals with ‘death ‘n’ decay’ and he’s approached the subject from all angles, with his customary insight, honesty, and rueful humor. But pondering the imponderables can be a lonely business, and so, like never before, Loudon has brought in friends and family to help him with the heavy lifting. The guest singers include Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dame Edna Everage, Chris Smither, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Suzzy Roche, Chaim Tannenbaum, Martha Wainwright, and Rufus Wainwright. Producer Dick Connette, engineer Alex Venguer, and arranger Rob Moose are all back from the Grammy-winning CD set ‘High Wide & Handsome.’ The song treatments range from basic guitar & vocal to sophisticated string settings. There’s even some swinging funk provided by jazz guitar giant, John Scofield.

SOLD OUT Leon Russell

Leon Russell is a legendary musician and songwriter from Tulsa, Oklahoma who has been performing his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for over 50 years. Leon led the famous Joe Cocker’s ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen’ tour and performed with George Harrison and Friends at the Concert for Bangladesh. Leon has toured with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Edgar Winter, The New Grass Revival, Willie Nelson, and Sir Elton John. His songwriting credits include ‘A Song For You’, ‘Delta Lady’, ‘Hummingbird’, ‘Lady Blue’, ‘Back To The Island’, ‘Tight Rope’, and ‘This Masquerade’. Leon and Sir Elton John recorded a duet album produced by TBone Burnett, The Union, which was released October 19, 2010. The single, ‘If It Wasn’t For Bad’ was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Capitol/EMI released a 16-track compilation CD, The Best Of Leon Russell, on April 5, 2011. Leon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and given the Award for Recording Excellence in March 2011 and he was also inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in June 2011.

Nellie McKay

Nellie McKay is not easy to categorize. Her music is tuneful and clever as the best of the Great American Songbook – part cabaret, part sparkly pop. But beneath the charming melodic surface is a wit that cuts, and a sharply tuned social conscience. The Washington Post wrote, ‘McKay’s music evokes the lost elegance of pre-Elvis pop because she recognizes that such stylishness and wit are worth pursuing. But these goals inevitably collide with the realities of money, sex and politics, and she documents those collisions in her tongue-in-cheek lyrics, emphatic beats and bubbly melodies.’

Kelly Joe Phelps

A writer for the San Diego Troubadour described guitarist and songwriter Kelly Joe Phelps as, ‘The Phantom Monk Of Folk- Blues,’ and rightly so. Throughout his 18 years on the road and 8 solo CD releases, Phelps has been talked about as much for his passionate, spirit-driven, solitary musical ways as for the inventiveness of his playing and singing. A New York Times concert reviewer wrote: ‘…his airy playing conjuring a pocket of supernatural space. He manipulated his fretboard to create eerie harmonics as he slipped from a mumble to a falsetto, as if to follow the soul beyond the physical realm.’ Uncut Magazine, reviewing a London show, wrote: ‘…to ripple and snake into unknown territory for the country blues he allegedly played, to squeeze out sounds touching the searching jazz that had once been his trade, to mutate through more layers than twelve strings should hold. And the songs; their pleas for mercy beyond the grave healed the spirit in ways disbelievers, in Bibles or Blues, could feel.’