West Coast Beats: New Music From Rockabillys Kim Lenz

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Rockabilly goddess Kim Lenz is gearing up for the release of her fifth album Slowly Speeding, out February 22, 2019.

Lenz is a songwriter, performer, bandleader, engineer and producer who pores over every nuance of her music to ensure maximum potency. The ten songs on Slowly Speeding brim with growling vocals, clever turns of phrase and heightened musicianship that services both the songs and the emotional intent behind them. As the first song written for the project, “Slowly Speeding” sets the pace for what follows — a gauzy, Western Gothic gaze into the heart of a woman who has abandoned her walls and inhibitions, falling so deeply in love that the universe itself seems unreal. 

Lenz released her debut album in 1998 as Kim Lenz & the Jaguars, via Hightone Records. Heralded as the “Flame-haired keeper of the rockabilly flame” by Allmusic, Lenz reached the highest heights of the 90’s rockabilly revival. At the same time, she established her own distinctive voice as an artist who inhabited the musical and aesthetic traditions of a classic era, even as she subverted them. 

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For Slowly Speeding, Lenz pulled the most essential elements of the past forward into the present and gave her own voice to it. Lenz’s sonic vision for the project was to combine her favorite tones from her most-treasured records, regardless of genre or era, and co-producer DH Phillips was the perfect partner in crime. They looked to early blues, classic country, and old-time gospel harmonies. ”The idea was to try to use all the ingredients that made up rock & roll, but shift around the time frames,” she offers. “I started out in the ’90s making traditional rockabilly music,” she continues. “But in my journey to understand how rockabilly and rock & roll came into being, I found blues, rhythm & blues, gospel, Western swing, and country music.”

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New Music From Americana Artist Greg Hawks

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It’s been more than three decades since Greg Hawks picked up his first instrument, kicking off a career that has found the critically-acclaimed songwriter, front man, and multi-instrumentalist leaving his mark on everything from alt-country to bluegrass music.

He casts a wide net with 2018’s I Think It’s Time, an album inspired by the twang of classic country, the hooks of 1970s pop/rock, the rhythmic soul of old-school Stax records, and Hawks’ own roots in the American South. With influences that veer from Big Star to Buck Owens, I Think It’s Time shines new light on an enduring, eclectic musician who was making Americana music long before the genre had a name.  “The album is a culmination of all my influences, thrown into a big pot as separate ingredients and turned into something cohesive and new,” says Hawks, who recorded I Think It’s Time at his home studio in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

He produced the album himself, playing most of the instruments — from finger-style acoustic guitar to keyboards — along the way. He then turned to Chris Stamey (the dB’s, Whiskeytown, Alex Chilton), who had previously mixed Hawks’ debut album for YepRoc Records, Fool’s Paradise, back in 2001. Stamey reprised that role for I Think It’s Time, resulting in a DIY album whose songs mix Hawks’ sharp, melody-driven songwriting with plenty of social commentary.

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PHILLY BEATS: New Music From Rockers Mo Lowda & The Humble

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Philadelphia rockers, Mo Lowda & the Humble have released their new video for their new song “Card Shark

Card Shark” comes off of Mo Lowda’s sophomore album, Creatures , released earlier this year. The track is a slow, booming, yet bouncy song – drop C tuned guitar drenched in reverb, bellows over an assertive, forward moving bassline and stomping drums as shouty vocals tell the tale of a man who loses everything he loves due to a gambling addiction. Gang vocals sing an ironically joyful melody in the sub-bass driven choruses. The third person account was written by Jordan Caiola (lead vocalist, guitarist) on his flight home from a post-college graduation trip to Las Vegas with some friends. Caiola shares, “We were only playing $5 tables out there for fun but, even so…I saw how easy it could be to get caught up in that, especially if the stakes were higher and desperation played a role.

“We really wanted to dig into the psychology of our hero, and the struggle he faces between his home life, with his wife and child, and his gambling addiction,” says director, Kirby Sybert. “There’s a frightening power involved with addiction that can really tear lives apart. Whether it’s gambling, drinking, drugs, money, power, whatever the vice there are real world consequences attached. Most times core relationships are disrupted. Jordan had come to me with the idea earlier this year and so the band and I really paid attention to the moments that felt real and visceral. We wanted that internal struggle of our hero and his detachment from his surroundings due to this addiction. When it came to shooting we went in with cinematographer, Skyler Jenkins, and shot everything in that one day. It was one of those shoots where everything falls into place and it just feels right. It’s that feeling where we knew we had captured some magic.”

The trio, known for their progressive songwriting and energetic live performances, will be kicking off a fall North American tour this Friday in Columbus, and have announced their first-ever European tour for early 2019.

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A Sound Recommendation: The Marcus King Band

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A Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. 

Raised in Greenville, South Carolina, King was brought up on the blues, playing shows as a pre-teen sideman with his father—bluesman Marvin King, who himself was the son of a regionally-known guitarist—before striking out on his own.

Going beyond the sonic textures of his acclaimed 2015 debut album, Soul Insight; The Marcus King Band broadens his sound, touching upon everything from funky R&B to Southern soul and Americana in the process. His band gets in on the action too, stacking the songs with blasts of swampy brass, a lock-step rhythm section and swirling organ. Ever the multi-tasker, King bounces between several instruments, handling electric and acoustic guitar — as well as pedal and lap steel — while driving each track home with his soulful, incendiary voice.

A childhood introvert who leaned heavily on music as a way of expressing himself, King fills The Marcus King Band with a mix of biographical tunes and fictional story songs.

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His latest release, Carolina Confessions features 10 brand-new songs, all written by Marcus except for ‘How Long,’ which was co-written with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and veteran songwriter Pat McLaughlin.

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Whether it’s the searing rock exorcism of ‘Confessions’ or the propulsive road-bound soul of ‘Where I’m Headed,’ Marcus exhibits an almost Southern gothic sensibility in his songs, owning up to failed relationships, portraying his complex connection with his hometown, arraying a sprawling musical firmament in the process.

Marcus and his five bandmates – drummer Jack Ryan, bass player Stephen Campbell, trumpeter/trombonist Justin Johnson, sax player Dean Mitchell and keyboard player DeShawn ‘D’Vibes’ Alexander – are in top form on Carolina Confessions, exhibiting an intuitive sense of control and expression as they tackle their most sonically layered and emotionally complex compositions to date.

Marcus is the first player I’ve heard since Derek Trucks to play with the maturity of a musician well beyond his age,” Haynes says. “He’s very much influenced by the blues, but also by jazz, rock, soul music, and any timeless genres of music. You can hear the influences, but it all comes through him in his own unique way. He has one of those voices that instantly draws you in, and his guitar playing is an extension of his voice and vice versa.”   Warren Haynes

 

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An Evening With Dawes 2019 Dates Announced

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Dawes have announced the Feed The Fire EP, their official video for “Feed The Fire” and the second leg of their An Evening With Dawes: Passwords Tour!

The Feed The Fire EP is available on all streaming platforms and includes a special live version of “Feed The Fire,” in addition to a barebones acoustic version and a radio edit of the song. The band has also released the official video for “Feed The Fire,” which can be seen below.

FEED THE FIRE EP TRACK LISTING:

Feed The Fire (Radio Edit)
Feed The Fire (Live)
Feed The Fire (Barebones Acoustic)
Feed The Fire (Album Version)

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Dawes have also announced the second leg of their An Evening With Dawes: Passwords Tour. Each night will be a special night, filled with two full Dawes sets. The additional dates kick off mid-January and run through February, early 2019.

Tickets for all 2018 An Evening With Dawes shows, and for January 26 in Oshkosh, WI are available now HERE.

October 3 – Eugene, OR – HiFi Music Hall
October 4 – Petaluma, CA – Mystic Theatre
October 29 – San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park
October 30 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas
October 31 – Tucson, AZ – The Rialto Theatre
November 2 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s
November 3 – Dallas, TX – The Bomb Factory
November 4 – Houston, TX – The Heights Theater
November 6 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Jones Assembly
November 7 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
November 9 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City
November 10 – Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre
November 11 – Chattanooga, TN – The Signal
November 13 – Richmond, VA – The National Theater
November 14 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground
January 18 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
January 19 – Los Angeles, CA – The Orpheum Theatre
January 20 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
January 22 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Commonwealth Room
January 23 – Fort Collins, CO – Washington’s
January 25 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
January 26 – Oshkosh, WI – The Howard
January 27 – Iowa City, IA – The Englert Theatre
January 29 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
January 30 – Toronto, ON – The Danforth Music Hall
February 1 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
February 2 – Boston, MA – Wang Theatre
February 5 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
February 8 – Charlottesville, VA – The Jefferson Theater
February 9 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
February 10 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
February 12 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre
February 17 – Clearwater, FL – Capitol Theatre
February 19 – St. Augustine, FL – Backyard @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre
February 20 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Music Hall

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New Music From Young Rising Sons

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At first glance, Young Rising Sons may seem to be just another Jersey band, raised on Bruce in the ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’. Perhaps, at some point, that’s exactly what they were, but Young Rising Sons has grown into a family, with its foundation rooted in resilience.

On a moody fall day in the East Village, bassist Julian Dimagiba & drummer Steve Patrick stumbled into a dive bar and caught Andy Tongren performing an acoustic set. The two realized that Tongren, an Ohio-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist, was what their band needed. They had instant chemistry, and the newly formed Sons threw themselves at the NYC and NJ circuits. After beginning to develop a humble, yet loyal fan base they met producers Shep Goodman & Aaron Accetta.

In 2014 Young Rising Sons signed with Goodman & Accettas’ production company, Dirty Canvas Music, and released ‘High”. It garnered the attention of fans and industry executives alike. The band ultimately signed with Interscope Records and released their self-titled EP shortly after.

Following their signing, Young Rising Sons played to the world through placements in Toyota, Pepsi & Hulu commercials, trailers – like Universal Picture’s “A Dog’s Purpose,” the Guitar Hero video game, and ESPN broadcasts of NCAA Football.

They have performed across the US, Canada, and the U.K. with the likes of Halsey, The 1975, & The Neighbourhood. From 200-cap shows at Bowery Electric, to a field of 20,000 at Firefly, the Sons fans have grown with the band. Young Rising Sons have garnered critical acclaim from publications such as Billboard, Clash and Teen Vogue to name a few.

Their new single ‘Scatterbrain’ features infectious playful lyrics, driving drums and gritty guitars, while narrating the chaos and confusion of feeling something and not understanding or knowing how to process it. The band explain “It’s the byproduct of being an emotional hoarder and carrying baggage that you know you shouldn’t. Scatterbrain is about trying to balance the outside work when you’re living inside your head”.

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A Sound Recommendation: Folk Rockers Edward and Jane

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Originally formed in Cleveland, Tennessee, Edward + Jane trace their roots to a young duo comprised of Lee University Students, Timothy Edward Carpenter (guitarist/vocalist) and Emilie Jane Creutzinger (mandolinist/vocalist).

In search for a deeper folk sound, the duo quickly became a trio adding fellow Lee University student, Spencer Thomas Smith (guitarist/vocalist). The final member of Edward + Jane was added in Carpenter’s childhood friend, Jerome Obholz (drums), who completed the folk/rock sound. The four found immediate success in the Cleveland music scene, writing and recording their first EP, Grow, and earning early recognition by being afforded the chance to open for Jon Foreman.

As their Tennessee fan-base grew, Edward + Jane parted ways briefly when Carpenter and Creutzinger made the move up north, back to their hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. The band‘s stint away from home in Cleveland created their first true debut EP, As Family We Gather, an album written and entirely dedicated to the joys and pains of family, being away from the ones we love, and growing older. This album, recorded at Varsity Recording Co. in Anderson, Indiana, established the rock/folk sound Edward + Jane drew influence from in the sister sounds of The Head and The Heart and The Lone Bellow. The album propelled the band to their first international tour in the Spring of 2017, three summer music festivals (once opening for Mandolin Orange), and the feature-length documentary, Gather, surrounding the making and touring of the album.

With the recent addition of Aaron Sawyer (bass), and Brenden Koon (keys), Edward + Jane are now reunited with the full six-piece band in Chattanooga, Tennessee, writing and recording their second EP. The band’s desire to make true, folk/rock music is heard in their honest lyricism and incredible family band instrumentation. They are a reminder to all who listen, that music is the cloth by which we clean the window looking into the heart of what’s really important in life—those we love most.

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The folk rockers just released their anthemic new EP Too Early To Tell. The heartfelt five-song set artfully continues the band’s tradition of making folk-rock music that brims with honest lyricism and incredible family band instrumentation. The album beautifully showcases the group’s palpable chemistry, harmony-laden hooks, and ability to make even the most stoic listener swoon, as they distill influences from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers-esque classic rock to soul-moving gospel choir sensibilities. Too Early To Tell is a nostalgic journey to freedom that blends the bittersweet pain of departure with the flourishing beauty of independence.

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