A Sound Recommendation: Scottish Alt Rockers Fatherson


Photo by Stevie Kyle


Fatherson are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in Kilmarnock, consisting of Ross Leighton (Guitar, lead vocals), Marc Strain (Bass) and Greg Walkinshaw (Drums).

The band have released three studio albums, I Am an Island, Open Book  and this week released their third studio album, Sum Of All Your Parts.



Fatherson have established themselves as a potent force, having sold out Glasgow’s Barrowlands as well as London’s Scala on their previous run of dates. Together with blistering shows and a rabid fanbase, Fatherson operate in a distinctly Scottish plane of sentimentally – it is no coincidence they have previously toured with the likes of Frightened Rabbit, Biffy Clyro and Idlewild.

Have a listen to the lead single, Making Waves





New Music From Shakey Graves


Shakey Graves announces a new EP coming September 21 that will feature live performances of the tracks “Cops and Robbers” and “Counting Sheep” from his NPR Night Owl session that occurred in his hometown of Austin at SXSW earlier this year. The session was filmed at the historic Saengerrunde Hall.

In addition to the EP, Shakey Graves adds new show dates to his extensive international tour 

Last month, Shakey performed to a sold out crowd at Morrison, CO’s legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre. He is currently routing through the US and can be seen at Austin City Limits Music Festival in October before heading to Europe and back to the US for the additional dates. 

The new album, Can’t Wake Up  via Dualtone, has received praise for veering from the inevitable to the revelatory; its thirteen songs teeming with jarring musical and thematic collisions and thrillingly seamless intersections, gnarly psychological hornswoggles and ecstatic resolutions. Central to the prevailing sense of disorientation are the lead vocals, none of which is purely solo. Instead, each lead performance is shadowed by a queasy harmony or slightly out-of-sync unison part, giving the sense-especially on headphones-that these voices are emanating from inside the listener’s head.


September 18 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore *
September 19 – Boston, MA – House of Blues * SOLD OUT
September 20 – Toronto, ON – RBC Echo Beach < ^
September 22 – New York, NY – Terminal 5 *
September 24 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE *
September 25 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall *
September 26 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre *
September 28 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee *
September 29 – St. Paul, MN – Palace Theatre *
September 30 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant *
October 2 – Louisville, KY – Louisville Palace *
October 3 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium *
October 4 – Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle *
October 5 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City Birmingham *
October 7 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
October 14 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
October 29 – Utrecht, Netherlands – TivoliVendenburg Ronda ★
October 30 – Cologne, Germany – Kulturkirche ★
October 31 – Brussels, Belgium – Le Botanique ★
November 2 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Hotel Cecil ★
November 3 – Groningen, Netherlands – Take Root ★
November 4 – Berlin, Germany – Heimathafen ★
November 5 – Hamburg, Germany – Gruenspan ★
November 7 – Vienna, Austria – Flex ★
November 8 – Munich, Germany – Freiheiz ★
November 9 – Solothurn, Switzerland – Kulturfabrik Kofmehl ★
November 10 – Paris, France – La Maroquinerie ★
November 12 – Manchester, UK – Manchester Academy 2 ★
November 13 – London, UK – Koko ★
November 14 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club ★
November 15 – Glasgow, UK – SWG3 ★
November 16 – Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street ★
November 17 – Belfast, UK – Elmwood Hall ★
December 3 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theatre >+
December 4 – Los Angeles, CA – Wiltern >+
December 6 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater >+
December 7 – Eugene, OR – McDonald Theater >+
December 8 – Seattle, WA – Neptune >+
December 11 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater >+
December 12 – Vancouver, BC – Queen Elizabeth Theatre >+
December 14 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up +
December 15 – Vail, CO – Ford Park +

* with The Wild Reeds
< with The Sheepdogs
^ with Blitzen Trapper
★ with Petal
> with Kolars

West Coast Beats: New Single from Acoustic Artist David Ayscue


David Ayscue is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter whose stirring voice and intricate guitar playing recalls the works of John Mayer and James Taylor. His songs paint vivid portraits of life as a young adult — the loves, characters, anxieties and adventures that have all colored his journey so far.

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, he was exposed to a multitude of cross-genre music by surfing through the local radio stations on long drives to and from school–everything from classic rock to folk to local Bay Area rap. His musical career developed in high school, where he began playing in open mic nights and student concerts. Ayscue subsequently joined his high school’s all-male a capella group and began to learn the basics of sight-reading and vocal blending. It was not until his 11th grade year however, that he put pen to paper and discovered his newfound love for songwriting.

Ayscue’s leading single ‘New York’ is a stunning track with soothing vocals that sweep across gentle guitar melodies. It’s minimalistic soundscape creates a beautifully heartfelt song, while it’s charming atmosphere counteracts the hustle and bustle of the song’s subject matter. “ I wrote New York last summer. I knew that in early August I was going to visit my brother, who was living in a small apartment in SoHo. My friend from high school was having his 21st birthday party in the city that same week, and a bunch of old friends were making the trip to the city to see everybody. It felt like this mass migration to NYC was happening, and it gave the city this center-of-the-world feeling. There’s a rekindling of a romance in there as well. It’s a Central Park on a Sunday afternoon type of song,” he says.




Nashville Beats: Alt Country Artist Elise Davis




Elise Davis moves between lush alt-country and stripped-down folk on her second album, Cactus. Arriving two years after The Token — the songwriter’s 2016 debut, whose electrified roots-rock sound earned praised from outlets like Rolling Stone Country and The Wall Street Journal — Cactus spins autobiographical stories about a self-sufficient woman in the modern world. Like the desert plant that lends the album its title, Davis takes pride in her own independence, confident that she doesn’t need help from others to grow tall.


Davis’ independent streak began in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she kicked off her career at 12 years old. Now based in Nashville, she has earned acclaim not only for her live show, but also her sharp, articulate songwriting. She collaborates with co-writers like Grammy-winner Maren Morris on Cactus, whose bold, country-leaning sound was produced by Jordan Lehning. The result is Elise Davis’ most honest record to date — an album about what it takes to stand alone, rooted in the hard-won wisdom of a songwriter who’s unafraid to shine a light on her missteps and victories.




A Sound Recommendation: Fiddler Gaelynn Lee


Photo by EvrGlo Media


When Gaelynn Lea won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, her two decades as a hardworking and talented musician finally crystallized in a beautiful moment of national recognition. It was also just the beginning of a grand adventure. With the wind of her award at their backs, Gaelynn and her husband Paul sold their house in Northern Minnesota, quit their jobs, bought a van, and hit the road.

Since then, Gaelynn has played over 250 shows in 42 states and seven countries, adding nearly 100,000 miles to their Ford Econoline’s odometer. The singer-songwriter and violinist has performed everywhere from coffee shops, bars, schools and festivals; she’s graced the stage of renowned venues like Nashville’s Music City Roots , The Kennedy Center , House of Blues and even BBC World News . This June she was featured at arts festivals in Iceland and Switzerland, and she played the Winnipeg Folk Fest in July and Travelers’ Rest Fest (curated by The Decemberists).


Her new album, Learning How To Stay , is an 11-song collection that runs the gamut sonically from pensive and luscious to aggressive and intentioned, from folk to decidedly pop, and even includes a couple of traditional fiddle tunes. Undoubtedly the connecting thread of this album is Gaelynn Lea herself. With her singular voice and deeply-affecting violin, she guides the listener through a journey that explores the contrasting nature of existence: dark and light, birth and death, anger and forgiveness, sorrow and joy. Learning How to Stay encourages the listener to stay present for it all.


In addition to performing and recording, Gaelynn Lea loves to do speaking engagements about disability awareness, inclusion in the arts, and leading an enriching life. Gaelynn has a disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones Disease) and she is a strong voice in the disability community. Gaelynn Lea believes society must prioritize accessibility so people with disabilities can participate in their communities and use their gifts without barriers or discrimination.





New Music and Memoir From American Troubadour Steve Forbert


Big City Cat – My Life in Folk-Rock, singer/songwriter Steve Forbert’s exceptional new memoir co-written with Therese Boyd, allows him ample opportunity to candidly reflect on those specific circumstances that first brought him to the public eye.

Originally conceived as a stage play and screen treatment, it finds him documenting his early adventures in the big city while pursuing his quest to make music. Sharing reflections and journals he kept at the time, he weaves an absorbing narrative that fully documents the trials, travails and triumphs that would eventually play out over the course of his prolific 40 year career. Big City Cat: My Life In Folk Rock also features first-person commentary from those who worked with Forbert on the road and in the studio.

The book is accompanied by its own soundtrack as well, an A+ new album entitled The Magic Tree that offers a series of songs gleaned from previously recorded acoustic demos, overdubbed with new backing tracks and fleshed out as a series of songs that ring with the verve and vitality that Forbert’s fans have always come to expect.

Consistently upbeat and optimistic, the songs convey a firm sense that age ought not diminish a lust for living. Then again, that’s been Forbert’s mantra for quite some time-honoring his past while plowing his way towards the future.

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The Magic Tree track list is as follows:

01. The Magic Tree (Version No 1) 3:51
02. That’d Be Alright (3:12)
03. Carolina Blue Sky Blues (3:02)
04. Let’s Get High (3:13)
05. Tryna Let Go (4:55)
06. Lookin’ At The River in the Rain (3:12)
07. Diamond Sky (2:51)
08. Movin’ Through American (3:40)
09. I Ain’t Got Time (3:35)
10. The Magic Tree (Version No 2) (3:19)
11. Only You (And Nobody Else) (3:58)
12. The Music of the Night (2:59)

Big City Cat – My Life in Folk-Rock and The Magic Tree will be released on September 14, 2018.  


Nashville Beats: Country Rocker Ben Danaher


Drawing on the influence of legendary troubadours like Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, and Townes Van Zandt, Ben Danaher first made a name for himself as a songwriter in Texas before relocating to Nashville. Along the way, he shared bills with Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jack Ingram, Angaleena Presley, Rhett Miller, Travis Meadows, and Amanda Shires, in addition to co-writing songs for Ryan Beaver, Bonnie Bishop, Rob Baird, and Justin Halpin among others. For his own songs, Danaher collaborated with some of Nashville fastest-rising stars, including Maren Morris, on material that blended classic country tradition with modern rock and roll sensibilities. 

Recorded live and raw with his touring band, ‘Still Feel Lucky’ showcases Danaher’s hard-won wisdom and cinematic storytelling, capturing slices of life with a candid honesty that cut straight to the heart of things. Danaher lost his brother to murder and his father to cancer in short succession, and while many of the songs draw from that well of pain and loss, the music is anything but self-pitying. These are songs of revelation and redemption, reflecting a maturity and an acceptance that can only come with time and perspective. Writing the album was a therapeutic process for Danaher, an opportunity to make sense of the inexplicable, but it was also a chance to respond to the universe with love and gratitude despite all he’s been through. 


You can go through hell and get completely hardened up, but there’s always going to be this human part of you that can still feel lucky and grateful for all the good that’s in your life,” he concludes. “No matter how difficult things get, in the end, there’s always hope.”